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Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 by Richard F. Burton

Part 6 out of 9

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negresses and as many sturdy black chattels who loaded the packs
upon the mules' and the camels' backs. Then they fell to cutting
across the wilds and , each and everyone intent upon ministering
to the maiden, and they ceased not faring until they drew near
the mountain, and they took station by the cavern-door. Here they
unloaded the bales and burthens and transported them to the
pavilion within the cave, after which the Merchant's daughter
went in and as she walked forwards fell to gazing, rightwards and
leftwards, until such time as she had reached the pavilion.
Presently she found it poikilate of corners and columns, and she
was assured that the distance of that mountain from her father's
town measured the march of a full-told month. And whenas she had
taken seat and had settled in that pavilion, her father
considered the unapproachable nature of the place and waxed
contented of heart and his mind became right of rede, because he
was certified of his daughter that she was safe from the tricks
of Time and every trickster.[FN#505] So he tarried beside her for
a decade of days, after which he farewelled her and wended him
home, leaving the damsel in the mountain-cave. Thus fared it with
these; but as regards the case of the Prince of Al-Irak, his
father who owned no issue, or man-child or girl-child, lay
sleeping one night of the nights when, lo and behold! he heard
the words, "All things befal by Fate and Fortune." Hereat he
arose from slumber being sore startled and cried, "Laud to the
Lord whom I have heard say[FN#506] that all things depend upon
Doom and Destiny." On the next night he slept with his spouse who
by leave of Almighty Allah forthright conceived. When her
pregnancy became manifest the Sovran rejoiced and he scattered
and largessed and doled alms-deeds to the widows and paupers and
the mean and miserable; and he sued the Creator on high saying,
"O Lord vouchsafe to me a man-boy which may succeed me in the
reign, and deign Thou make him a child of life."[FN#507] But when
the Queen's time had sped she was seized by labour-pangs and
delivery-pains, after which she bare a babe--Glory be to God who
created him and confirmed what He had wrought in the creation of
that child who was like unto a slice of the moon! They committed
him to the wet-nurses who fell to suckling him and tending him
and fondling him till the milk-term was completed, and when his
age had reached the sixth year, his father brought for him a
Divine perfect in knowledge of all the sciences, spiritual and
temporal, and the craft of penmanship and what not. Accordingly,
the boy began to read and study under his learner until he had
excelled him in every line of lore, and he became a writer deft,
doughty in all the arts and sciences: withal his sire knew not
that was doomed to him of dule and dolours.--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 Ninetieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince
became a penman doughty in all knowledge, withal he wist not that
was written for him of dule and dolours. This lasted until his
tenth year, and the old King rejoiced in him and caused him to
back steeds until he had mastered all of horsemanship, and he
waxed accomplished in hunting and birding and he had attained the
bourne of omnis res scibilis. Every morning he would superintend
the governance of his sire in the office of Commandments and
direct him to affairs wherein lay rede that was right until, one
day of the days, his parent said to him "O my son, do thou rule
for a day and I will govern on the next." "O my father," said he,
"I am young of years nor is it meet that I meddle with public
matters or sit in thy Divan." Now when he reached the age of
fourteen and had entered upon man's estate and had waxed perfect
in the words of ordinance and had become complete and sanspareil
in beauty and loveliness, the King resolved upon marrying him,
but he consented not, nor did his heart incline to womankind for
the being in the All-Knowledge of Almighty Allah all that was
foredoomed to him from Time beginningless. Presently on a chance
day his nature longed for the hunt and chase, and he asked leave
of his sire who consented not, fearing for his safety; but he
said in himself, "An I go not I will slay myself;"[FN#508] and so
he privily apprized of his intent a party of his dependents who,
all and every, prepared to ride forth with him into the Desert.
Now the King had in his stables a stallion, known as Abú
Hamámah,[FN#509] which was kept alone in a smaller stall, and he
was chained by four chains to a like number of posts[FN#510] and
was served by two grooms who never could draw nigh to him or let
him loose; nor could any, save only his lord, approach him with
bridle or saddle or aught of horse-gear. But when the Prince had
designed to fare forth a-hunting and a-birding, he went in to his
father's steed Abu Hamamah by hest of Allah Almighty's might over
him and for what was hidden to him in the Future, and found him
chained and tethered; and, as the horse pleased him and affected
his fancy, he approached him and gentled him with caressing
hands. The stallion also at that time under decree of Destiny was
influenced by the Lord and directed towards the Prince for the
sake of that which was hidden from him in the World of Secrets.
So he continued to gentle the animal and to caress him and to
make much of him and he was all the more pleased with him, and
said to himself, "Verily my going forth to hunt and the chase
shall not be save upon this stallion;" and he ceased not pacing
and pressing around him, soothing him the while, until the steed
showed subjection and neither started nor lashed-out nor indeed
moved a limb, but stood like a man obedient and dependent. And
when the youth's glance wandered around he saw beside the
stallion a closet, and as he neared it and opened it he found
therein all manner harness and equipments, such as a saddle
complete with its girths and shovel-stirrups and bit and
bridle,[FN#511] whilst on every side was gear of warfare enfolded
in the furniture, such as scymitar and dagger;[FN#512] and a pair
of pistols. So he wondered at this circumstance of the horse how
that none could draw near him or place upon him that harness, and
he likewise marvelled at the subjection of the steed to himself.
Hereupon he carried the furniture from the closet and going forth
with it walked up to the Father of a Pigeon, which was somewhat
fearful of him and affrighted, and he uplifted the saddle and
threw it upon his back, and girthed him tight and bridled him
with the bit, when the horse became adorned as a bride who is
displayed upon her throne. Now the King's son at times enquired
of himself saying, "An I loose this horse from his chains he will
start away from me;" and at other times quoth he, "At this hour
the stallion will not think of bolting from me," and on this wise
he abode between belief and unbelief in his affair. And he
stinted not asking of himself until his suite was a-weary of
waiting and of looking at him, so they sent to him praying that
he would hurry, and he said in his thought, "I place my trust in
Allah, for the Forewritten hath no flight therefrom." Anon he
loosed the stallion's chains after harnessing and girthing him
straitly; then, throwing his right leg over his back[FN#513]
mounted thereupon with a spring and settled himself in selle and
came forth. And all who looked at that steed were unable to stand
upon the road until the Prince had ridden forwards and had
overtaken the rest of his suite without the town, whence they
sought the hunting-grounds. But when they were amiddlemost the
waste lands and beyond sight of the city, the courser glanced
right and left and tossed his crest and neighed and snorted and
ran away; then shaking his head and buck-jumping under the son of
the Sultan bolted[FN#514] with him until he became like a bird
whereof is seen no trace nor will trick avail to track.[FN#515]
When his folk beheld him they were impotent to govern their
horses until their lord had vanisht from their view, nor had
anyone the muscle or the manhood to keep up pursuit. So waxing
perplext and wildered in their wits they sought counsel one of
other saying, "Let each and every of us ride by a separate road
until such a day when haply we shall meet him." Hereupon the
whole party dispersed and all took their own directions seeking
the Prince; and they stinted not search, anon putting out to
speed and anon retracing their steps[FN#516] and then returning
by the same road. This endured for five days when not a soul came
upon their liege lord, so they waxed distraught nor could they
find right guidance to aught they should do. However when the
trysting-day came, all gathered together and said, "Fare we to
the Sultan and acquaint we him with this and let him devise a
device for the matter of his son; because this youth is his
father's prop and stay, nor owneth he any other than this one."
Hereupon they set out citywards and ceased not riding until they
drew near the capital where they found a marquee pitched without
the walls, and having considered it they knew it to be the King's
own. So they drew near it and there found the Chamberlains and
Nabobs and officers of high commandment standing round about it,
and when they asked saying, "What is the cause for setting up
yonder tent in such place?" they were answered, "Verily, whenas
his son fared from him designing to hunt and bird, on the next
day his heart was straitened for the Youth and he wist not what
had befallen him. On the first night when the Prince fared forth
from him and disappeared, all went well, but on the second his
breast was straitened and in his vitals he sensed a change and
'twas at the hour when the stallion began buck-jumping with his
child and running away. Anon he lost all patience and unable to
endure session within his Palace so he commanded pitch his
pavilion without the walls and here we have been sitting for a
space of six days, awaiting the escort to return." As the party
drew near the marquee the bruit of them went abroad until it came
to the King's ears.--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 Ninety-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King
feeling his breast a-straitened bade pitch his pavilion without
the walls and tarried therein for a space of six days and on the
seventh appeared his son's suite which had been left behind when
the horse ran away with the Prince, nor did any know what
direction the beast had taken. As soon as the bruit went abroad
and came to the ears of the bereaved father, he cried out with a
single outcry and fell to the ground aswoon, and the fainting fit
lasted for two days. But when he came to himself and asked after
his son, the suite reported all that had befallen the youth from
the stallion and at that moment the King recalled to mind the
Voice which had spoken saying, "All things befal by Fate and
Fortune;" and had declared, "Resignation to the trials sent by
Allah is first and best till such time as Destiny shall win to
her end." "If" (he mused) "my lot be forgathering with him
anywheres then needs must it be; and, if otherwise, we will be
patient under the All-might of Allah Most Highest." Such was the
case with these; but as concerns the young Prince,[FN#517] when
the stallion started off with him and bolted and became like a
bird flying between the firmament and terra firma, he suffered
nor fatigue nor emotion, nay, he sat contented upon the beast's
back, for that had he hent in hand a cup full of coffee naught
thereof would have been spilt. And the stallion ceased not
galloping at speed with him through the livelong day until night
came on when, seeing a lake, he halted by the side of it. The
Prince thereupon dismounted and withdrawing the bridle offered
him water which he drank; then he foddered him with forage which
he ate, for our Lord had subjected to him that steed till it
became between his hands like one familiar from the first and, as
the youth had somewhat of provaunt in his budget, he drew forth
of it and took food. But the Prince knew not whither the horse
was minded to bear him and the Fiat of Fate drove him to the
matter foredoomed to him from Eternity. So after that time as
often as he mounted and let loose the bridle thongs,[FN#518] the
horse paced unguided on those wilds and wastes and hills and
dales and stony leas, and whenever they drew near a city or a
town the son of the Sultan dismounted from his steed; and,
leaving him where he was, went into the streets in order to bring
provaunt and forage, after which he could return to his beast and
feed him in the same place. And he ceased not wayfaring until he
drew near a city where he designed to dismount as was his wont
and lay in somewhat of vivers and fodder, so he alighted and
leaving his horse outside the houses he went in to satisfy his
need. Now by the decree of the Decreer the King of that Capital
had left it on an excursion to hunt and bird, and he chanced
return at that moment and as he drew near the walls behold, he
found the steed standing alone and harnessed with trappings fit
for the Kings. The Sultan was astounded when he looked upon this
and being on horseback himself he designed to draw near and catch
the animal, and when he came close he put forth his hand. But the
steed was scared with the scaring of a camel, and the King bade
his followers form ring around him and seize him; so they gat
about him and designed to catch him and lead him away, when
suddenly the steed screamed a scream which resounded throughout
the city and when the horses heard the cry of that stallion they
turned with their riders in headlong flight and dispersed one
from other. And amongst them was the Sultan, who, when his
courser ran away with him, strove hard to pull him up and control
him, but he lost all power and whilst the rest of the horses were
trembling under their riders he swooned and fell to the ground.
Presently the followers came to his aid and found him in fainting
condition, so they propped him up and sprinkled somewhat of water
upon him, when he recovered and asked them, "Where is the horse?"
Answered they, "He is still standing in the same place;" and
quoth he, "Walláhi, needs must this affair have a cause, and do
ye lie awaiting him and see whither he will wend, for this beast
God wots must be of the Jinns." On this wise it befel them; but
as regards the horse's owner, the son of the Sultan, when he
entered the city seeking to buy somewhat of victual and fodder,
he heard the scream of the steed and recognised it, but of the
city-folk all who had hearkened to that outcry felt their hearts
fluttering with extreme affright; so each one rose and padlocked
his shop and hardly believed that he could reach his house in
safety and this continued until the capital (even within its
bazars) became empty like a waste, a ruin. Hereupon quoth the
youth, "By Allah, needs must some matter of the matters have
befallen the horse," and so saying he went forth the city and
walked on till he neared the site where he had left the steed
when, behold, he came suddenly upon a party of people in the
middlemost whereof appeared one sitting and trembling in all his
limbs, and he saw the attendants standing about him and each one
holding in hand a horse. So he drew near him and asked him what
was to do and they acquainted him with the affair of the stallion
and his scream and the cause of the man being seated; and this
was none other than the Sultan who had been seized with affright
and had fainted at the outcry of the Father of a Pigeon. Hereupon
he fell to conversing with them and they knew not that he was the
owner of the steed until such time as he asked them, "And doth
not any of you avail to draw near him?" Answered they, "O Youth
indeed there is none who can approach him." Quoth he, "This is a
matter which is easy to us and therein is no hindrance;" and so
saying he left them and turned towards the courser who no sooner
saw him than he shook his head at him; and he approached the
beast and fell to stroking his coat and kissing him upon the
brow. After this he strewed somewhat of fodder before him and
offered him water and the stallion ate and drank until he was
satisfied. All this and the suite of the Sultan was looking on at
the Prince and presently informed their lord, saying, "O King of
the Age, a Youth hath come to us and asked us for information
touching this steed and when we told him what had happened he
approached him and gentled him and bussed him on the brow; and
after that he strewed before him somewhat of forage which he ate
and gave him water to drink and still he standeth hard by him."
When the Sultan heard these words he marvelled and cried, "By
Allah, indeed this is a wondrous matter, but do ye fare to him
and bring him to me, him and his horse; and, if he make aught
delay with you, seize and pinion him and drag him before me
debased and degraded and in other than plight pleasurable!"--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 nd Ninety-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King
sent to his suite bidding them bring the owner of that stallion
adding, "If he make aught delay with you drag him before me
debased and degraded, and in other than pleasurable plight."
Accordingly, they went to him and accosting him said, "O youth,
thou owest hearing and obeying to His Highness the King; and, if
thou come not to him with good gree we will bear thee maugre
thyself." But the Prince, hearing these their words, set his left
foot in stirrup and throwing his right leg over the saddle
mounted till he was firm of seat upon his stallion's back and had
power over his monture. Then he asked saying, "Who amongst you
shall come near me to carry me to yonder Sultan of yours?" Whenas
they saw this from him they kept away from his arm-reach, but
inasmuch as they could not return to their King and report
saying, "We availed not to bring him," they exclaimed, "Allah
upon thee, O Youth, that thou draw nigh with us to the Sovran and
bespeak him from the back of thy steed: so shall we be clear and
bear nor rebuke nor reproach." Hearing this much the Prince
understood what was in their thoughts and that their design was
to win free of the King and the avoidance of blame; accordingly
he said to them; "Fare ye before me and I will follow
you."[FN#519] But when they returned with the youth behind them
to within a short distance of the King where either of the twain
could hear the other's words, the Prince asked, "O King of the
Age, what dost thou require of me and what is it thou wantest?"
"Do thou dismount," answered the Sultan, "and draw near me when I
will tell thee and question thee of a certain matter;" but quoth
the youth, "I will not alight from the back of my steed and let
whoso hath a claim upon me demand satisfaction,[FN#520] for here
be the Maydán--the field of fight." So saying he wheeled his
steed and would have made for the open country, when the Sultan
cried aloud to his followers, "Seize him and bring him hither."
So they took horse all of them, a matter of one hundred and fifty
riders, and followed him at full speed (he still riding) and
overtook him and formed a ring around him, and he seeing this
shortened the bridle-reins and gored flanks with stirrup-irons
when the beast sprang from under him like the wafting of the
wind. Then he cried out to them, "Another day, O ye dogs;" and no
sooner had they heard his outcry than they turned from him flying
and to safety hieing. When the Sultan beheld his followers, some
hundred and fifty riders, returning to the presence in headlong
flight and taking station before him, he enquired the cause of
their running, and they replied that none could approach that
horseman, adding, "Verily he cried a warcry which caused each and
every of us to turn and flee, for that we deemed him one of the
Jánn." "Woe to you!" exclaimed the King: "an hundred and fifty
riders and not avail to prevail over a single horseman!"
presently adding, "By Allah, his say was sooth who said,

‘And how many an one in the tribe they count * When to one a
thousand shall ne'er amount?'

Verily this youth could not be confronted by a thousand, nor
indeed could a whole tribe oppose him, and by Allah, I have been
deficient in knightly devoir for not doing him honour; however,
it was not to be save on such wise." But the youth ceased not
faring through days and nights for the whole of four months,
unknowing the while when he should reach a place wherein to take
repose. And as soon as this long wayfare ended, suddenly a
mountain towering high to the heights of heaven arose before him;
so he set his face thither, and after a further term of three
days[FN#521] (and he ever wayfaring) he reached it and beheld
upon its flanks fair leasows with grasses and rills and trees and
fruits besprent, and birds hymning Allah the One, the Omnipotent.
Anon he alighted therein for that his heart had somewhat to say
anent that mountain, and he also marvelled thereat by cause that
during his wayfare he had never seen aught like it at all, nor
anything resembling that herbage and those streams. And after
dismounting he unbridled his steed and suffered him browse and
pasture upon the greenery and drink of the water, while he on
like wise fell to eating of the fruits which hung from the trees
and taking his ease and repose. But the more he shifted from
place to place the fairer he found it than the first, so he was
delighted with the site, and as he looked upon it he improvised
these couplets,

"O who fearest the world do thou feel right safe; * Trust all to
Him did mankind create:
Fate aye, O my lord, shall come to pass * While safe thou art
from th' undoomed by Fate."

The Sultan's son ceased not straying from stead to stead for a
term of ten days, during which he wandered round about the
Mountain and solaced himself by gazing upon the trees and
waters,[FN#522] and he was gladdened by the warbling of the birds
till at length the Doom of Destiny and the Fiat of Fate cast him
over against the door of the cave which contained the Khwajah's
daughter with her handmaids and her negro slaves. He looked at
the entrance and marvelled and was perplexed at--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 Ninety-seventh NIght

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
King's son took place before the Cavern-door he marvelled at its
strength intended to protect those within, but he knew not if it
had any inmate or an it were void of inhabitants, seeing that the
mountain was far distant and divided from towns and cities nor
could any avail to reach it. So he said in his mind, "Sit thee
down here over against the entrance amid these grasses and trees
and fruits, for an thou quit this site thou shalt find none like
it in charms and eke it shall console thee for parting from thy
people. Moreover, haply shall someone of this place pass by me
and from him I may ask tidings concerning this region and
peradventure Almighty Allah shall guide me back to my own country
and I shall forgather with my father and my folk and my friends.
Indeed possibly there may be someone within this place who when
he issueth forth shall become my familiar." So he ceased not
sitting at the door of the cave for a term of twenty days eating
of the fruits of the trees and drinking of the water of the rain
pools as likewise did his steed; but when it was the twenty and
first day, behold, the door of the antre was thrown open and
there came forth it two black slave-girls and a negro chattel,
followed by five white handmaidens, all seeking diversion and
disport among those meadows which lay on the mountain-flank and
beyond. But as they paced along their eyes fell on the son of the
Sultan who was still sitting there with his steed before him and
they found him cast in the mould of beauty and loveliness, for he
had now rested in that place from his wayfare and the perfection
of charms was manifest upon him. When the slave-girls looked at
him they were overwhelmed by the marvels of his comeliness and
shapeliness and they returned in haste and hurry to their
mistress and said to her, "O our lady, verily at the cavern-door
is a Youth, never saw we a fairer than he or a seemlier of
semblance, and in very deed he resembleth thee in grace and
elegance of face and form, and before him standeth a steed even
as a bride." Now when the Merchant's daughter heard these words
from her handmaidens, she arose and in haste and hurry made for
the cave-door and her heart was filled with gladness and she
ceased not walking till she reached it. Then she looked upon the
Prince and came forward and embraced him[FN#523] and gave him the
salam and she continued to gaze upon and consider his beauty and
comeliness, until love to him settled in her heart and likewise
the Prince's love to her increased. Hereupon she hent him by the
hand and led him into the cavern where he fell to looking
rightwards and leftwards about the sides thereof and wondering at
what he saw therein of pleasaunces and trees and streams and
birds, until at last they reached the pavilion. But before
entering thither the Prince had led his horse and loosed him in
the leasows which lay in the cavern; and, when at last the twain
ended at the palace and went within, the attendants brought meat
for him; so he ate his sufficiency and they washed his hands and
then the couple fell to conversing together whilst all were
delighted with the son of the King. And they continued in such
case until night drew nigh when each of the handmaidens went to
her chamber and lay her down and on like wise did the black
slaves until there remained none save the Prince and the
Merchant's daughter. Then began she to excite him and incite him
and disport with him until his heart inclined towards her by
reason of her toyings and her allurements, so he drew near to her
and clasped her to his breast and at last he threw her upon her
back and did away her maidenhead. Now by hest of Allah Almighty's
All-might she conceived of him that very night and they ceased
not to be in sport and laughter until the Creator brought on the
dawn which showed its sheen and shone and the sun arose over
lowland and lawn. Then did the twain, she and he, sit communing
together, when the girl began to improvise these couplets,

"Loving maid in obedience doth come * Trailing skirt with her
pride all astir;
And she's meet for no man save for him * And he's meet for no
maid save for her."[FN#524]

After this the Khwajah's daughter tarried with the King's son for
a term of six months; but, from the night when he had abated her
pucelage, he never approached her at all, and she also on like
wise felt no lust of the flesh for him in any way nor did she
solicit him to love-liesse.[FN#525] But when it was the seventh
month, the youth remembered his family and native land and he
sought leave of her to travel but she said to him, "Why dost thou
not tarry beside us?" Said he, "If in our life there be due
length needs must we forgather." Then asked she, "O my lord, who
mayest thou be?" so he declared to her his pedigree and degree
and the name of his native country and she also informed him of
her rank and lineage and her patrial stead. Presently he
farewelled her and mounting his horse fared forth from her in
early morning,--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, "Andwhere 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 Ninety-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King's
son farewelled the Merchant's daughter and fared forth from her
in early morning, seeking his folk and his natal land, and he
drove amiddlemost the wilds and the wolds. On this wise it was
with him; but as regards the merchant, the father of the damsel,
he and the Darwaysh after consigning her to the cavern returned
to his town and there spent six months in business as was his
wont; but on the seventh he called to mind his child and was
desolated by her absence because he had none other. So quoth he
to her mother, "I have an intent to visit the girl and look upon
her and see what may be her condition, for my heart is in sore
doubt on her account and I cannot but fancy that some unforeseen
casualty hath brought calamity or that some wayfarer may have
visited her; and my thoughts are occupied with her, so 'tis my
will to fare forth and see her." "Such act were advisable," quoth
the wife; and so saying she fell to making him somewhat of
provaunt amounting to some ten camel-loads.[FN#526] Presently he
led forth with him a few of his negro slaves and set out to see
his daughter on the Jabal al-Saháb. So he dove into the depths of
the desert and cut across the dales and the hills and conjoined
the journeyings of night with day for a space of three months,
and about sunset-tide on the first of the fourth behold, a rider
appeared to him coming from the breast of the waste, nor had he
with him anyone. When the stranger drew near, the Khwajah saluted
him and his salam was returned by the horseman who happened to be
the Prince returning from the Merchant's daughter. Quoth the
Khwajah, "O Youth, dismount with us in this place and let us
twain, I and thou, night together and solace ourselves with
converse;[FN#527] then, when it shall be morning, each of us
shall depart seeking his own stead." Quoth the Prince, "No harm
in that," and so saying he sprang from the back of his steed and
unbridled him and suffered him to browse upon the grasses and
greenery together with the Khwajah's cattle. Hereat the two sat
down together in talk while the slaves slaughtered a lamb and
flayed it, then, having lighted a fire, they set the meat
thereupon in a chauldron and when it was cooked they fished it
out with a flesh-hook and scored it[FN#528] and placed it in a
mighty platter which they served up to their lord and the King's
son. Both ate of it after the measure of their sufficiency and
the remnants were borne off by the slaves for their suppers. And
when the time for night-prayers came, the two having made the
Wuzú-ablution performed the orisons obligatory upon them, and
anon sat down for evening converse, overtalking the tidings of
the world and its affairs, until quoth the Merchant to the
Prince, "O Youth, whence comest thou and whither art thou
wending?" Quoth the other, "Walláhi, O Khwajah, I have a wondrous
tale, nay a marvel of marvels which, were it graved with
needle-gravers upon the eye-corners were a warning to whoso would
be warned. And this it is, I am the King's son of Al-Irak and my
sire's prop and stay in the House of the World, and he reared me
with the fairest of rearing; but when I had grown to man's estate
and had learnt the mysteries of venerie I longed one chance day
of the days to ride forth hunting and birding. So I went for a
horse (as was my wont) to the stables, where I found yon stallion
which is with me chained to four posts; whereupon of my
ignorance, unknowing that none could approach him save myself nor
any avail to mount him, I went up to him and girthed him, and he
neither started nor moved at my gentling of him, for this was
existing in the purpose of Almighty Allah. Then I mounted him and
sought my suite without informing my sire and rode forth the city
with all my many, when suddenly the horse snorted with his
nostrils and neighed through his throttle and buckjumped in air
and bolted for the wilderness swift as bird in firmament-plain,
nor wist I whither he was intending.[FN#529] He ceased not
running away with me the whole day till eventide when we reached
a lake in a grassy mead." (Now when the Khwajah heard the words
of the Prince his heart was heartened and presently the other
pursued), "So I took seat and ate somewhat of my vivers, my horse
also feeding upon his fodder, and we nighted in that spot and
next morning I set out and stinted not riding for a march of four
months. But on the first of the fifth I neared a towering
mountain whose length and whose breadth had no bounds, and on its
flanks I found leasows manifold with trees and fruits and streams
besprent and birds hymning the One, the Omnipotent. So I was
gladdened by the sight and dismounted and unbridled my steed whom
I allowed to browse the while I ate of the fruits, and presently
I fell to roaming about from site to site. And when some time had
passed I came to the mouth of a cavern whence after a short delay
on my part fared forth slave-girls under the escort of a negro
chattel. When they beheld me they rejoiced in me, then going in
they disappeared for an hour and anon returned bringing a young
lady as she was the moon of the fourteenth night, who salam'd to
me, and invited me to become her guest and led me into the cave"-
-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 Eight Hundred and First Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince
continued to the Merchant saying, "The slave-girls invited me and
led me into the cave until I reached a Pavilion that was there. I
tarried beside them for a matter of some six months when I felt
desolate for my folk and my native land, so I craved leave to
depart from them and farewelled them and went forth, they sending
me away with highmost honour. But when bidding them goodbye I
covenanted with them saying, ‘an there be in life any length
needs must we forgather'; and with these words I left them, and
now 'tis some time since I journeyed thence when thou mettest me
in this place." Now the Merchant hearing his tale knew from the
beginning what had occurred there, and was certified of the
saying of the Voice, and judging from the tenor of the
information said in his mind, "There is no doubt or hesitation
but that this be the youth to whom was appointed my daughter,
that of him she should conceive in the way of unright and the
Written[FN#530] is now fulfilled." So quoth the Merchant, "O
Youth, where is thy town?" and he informed him thereof. Now the
Prince knew not that he had come upon the damsel's father by the
road, whereas the Khwajah wotted right well that this man had had
to do with his daughter. As soon as it was morning the twain
farewelled each other and either of them went his own way; but,
the Khwajah fell into cark and care such as cannot be conceived,
and he fasted from food nor was meat to him sweet nor was sleep.
However, he ceased not travelling till he arrived at the Jabal
al-Sahab, when he approached the door of the cave and rapped
thereat. The handmaidens opened to him and as soon as they saw
his face they recognised him, and returning to their lady
informed her thereof: so she arose to seek him, and presently met
him and salam'd to him and kissed his hands and walked by his
side until she reached the Pavilion, where the twain, he and she,
went up, and she seated him and stood before him in his suit and
service. Hereat her father looked at her and considered her and
found her colour changed and her belly grown big, and asked her,
"What is to do with thee and what is't hath altered thy
complexion, for to-day I see thee heavy of body, and no doubt
some man has mixed[FN#531] with thee?" Now when she heard the
words of her father she understood and was certified that he had
compassed full knowledge concerning what had befallen her, so she
returned him nor answer nor address, and she was overwhelmed with
shame and confusion, and waxed changed and was well nigh falling
upon the floor. Presently she sat down in abashment before her
sire by reason of the bigness of her belly, but he bowed in
obedience before the power of Almighty Allah; and they two ceased
not conversing until fall of night, when each and every of the
handmaids had sought her own chamber that she might sleep
therein. As soon as the Khwajah remained alone with his daughter
and without other being present he said to her, "O my child,
verily this matter was foredoomed to thee from the Lord of the
Heavens, and there is no Averter of whatso is fated; but do thou
relate to me what befel between thee and the youth who owneth the
steed, and who is the King's son of Al-Irak." Hereupon the girl
was consterned and she could return no reply, and presently when
she recovered she said to her sire, "How shall I relate to one
who is already informed of all, first and last, and thou
declarest that the foredoomed must come to pass, nor can I say
thereanent a single word?" And presently she resumed, "O my
father, verily the Youth promised me that an his life have length
he would certainly forgather with me, and I desire of thee that
when thou shalt return to thy country thou take me and carry me
in thy company to him, and reunite me with him and let me meet
his sire and ask him to keep his word, for I require none else
nor shall anyone ever unveil me in privacy. And in fine do thou
marry me to him. Now whatso hath betided me thou hast heard it
from the Voice, and thou hast wearied thy soul in transporting me
to this place, fearing for me the shifts of the days, and thou
hast contraried the power of Allah, nor hath this profited thee
aught, because the Destinies which be writ upon mankind from
infinity and eternity must needs be carried out. All this was
determined by Allah, for that prosperity and adversity and
benefaction and interdiction all be from the Almighty. Do thou
whatso I have said and that which is inscribed upon my forehead
shall be the quickening of me (Inshallah--an so please God!),
since patience and longsuffering are better than restless
thought." When her father heard from her such words, he agreed
with her in all she had spoken to him, and as soon as it was
morning he fell to preparing for wayfare, he and his daughter and
his handmaidens and his negro-slaves; and on the third day they
loaded their loads and set forth on return to their country and
city. Then they conjoined the travel of night and day and pushed
forward on their journey without stay or delay for a term of five
months, until they reached their home and settled them down
therein. Such was their case; but as regards the King's son of
Al-'Irak, after he had met the girl's father on the road and had
parted from him, without recognising him withal, he strave for
return to his own land and behold, he wandered from the way and
was confronted by a sea dashing with clashing billows. So he was
perplext as to his affair and his judgment left him and his right
wits, and he knew not what he should do or whither he should
wend, or what direction he should take or what Allah had decreed
for him--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day, and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Eight Hundred and Third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Prince came upon that sea he was perplext and wist not what to
do, so he leapt from the back of the Father of the Pigeon and set
his steed standing beside him that he might lean against his
quarter[FN#532] when, of the excess of his night watching, he
fell asleep and was drowned in slumber. Then, by doom of Destiny
the beast shook his head and snorted and set off at full speed
making for the wild and the wold and was presently amiddlemost
the waste. Now when some two-told hours of time had passed, the
Prince shook off his drowsihead and opened his eyes, but of his
steed could see nor sign nor aught of visible trace. So he smote
hand upon hand and cried, "There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great," after which he
took seat by the side of the sea and sued comfort of Almighty
Allah. On the next day a ship suddenly sailed in and made fast to
the shore, after which a posse of Jews landed from her and as
soon as they saw him they fell upon him and seized him and
pinioned him; then, carrying him perforce aboard, loaded his legs
with irons. So quoth he to himself, "Whenas Fate is so minded our
eyes are blinded; however, patience is fairest and of Allah must
we ask aidance." Hereupon the Jews again disembarked and filled
their kegs with the water of an adjoining rain-pool, after which
they trooped aboard and making sail voyaged over the billows of
the ocean before them. This lasted for a month, after which time
they cast anchor beside a harbour-town, and presently swarmed out
to sell and to buy, and there they delayed for a term of two
months until they had finished their business and they had
purchased them what sufficed of provaunt. All this while the
Prince lay bound in the black hole deep down in the ship's hold,
nor did anyone go near him save a Jew, a man of a certain
age.[FN#533] And whenever he entered that dismal place he heard
the youth reciting from the Koran and he would stand to hearken
until his heart was softened to the speaker and he would favour
him in the matter of meat and drink. When they cast anchor beside
the second place, the King's son asked the man, "What may be this
port-city and what is her name and the name of her ruler? Would
Heaven I wot an her lord be a King or a Governor under a royal
hand?" "Wherefore askest thou?" quoth the Jew, and quoth the
other, "For nothing: my only want is the city's name[FN#534] and
I would learn whether it belong to Moslems or Jews or Nazarenes."
"This be peopled by Moslem folk," replied the Jew, "natheless can
none carry tidings of thee to her inhabitants. However, O Moslem,
I feel a fondness for thee and 'tis my intent when we reach the
city of Andalús[FN#535] to give tidings of thee, but it must be
on condition that thou accept of me to thy company whenas Allah
Almighty shall have delivered thee." Said the Prince, "And what
hindereth thee from Al-Islam at this hour?" and said the other,
"I am forbidden by fear of the ship's Captain."[FN#536] Replied
the Prince, "Become a Moslem in secret and wash and pray in
privacy beside me here." So he became of the True Believers at
the hand of the King's son, who presently asked him, "Say me, be
there in this vessel any Moslems save myself?" "There are some
twenty here," answered he, "and 'tis the design of the Captain to
offer them up on arrival at his own country and he shall devote
them as victims in the Greater Synagogue." Rejoined the other,
"Thou art now a Moslem even as I am a Moslem, and it besitteth
thou apprise me of all and whatsoever befalleth in the ship, but
first art thou able to gar me forgather with the other True
Believers?" And the man answered in the affirmative. Now after
the ship had sailed with them for ten days, the whilome Jew
contrived to bring him and the Moslem prisoners together and they
were found to number twenty, each and every in irons. But when it
was the Sabbath about undurn hour, all the Jews including the
Captain fell to wine-bibbing and therein exceeded until the whole
of them waxed drunken; whereat the Prince and his convert arose,
and going to the armoury[FN#537] and opening it found therein all
manner war-gear, even habergeons. So the Youth returned to the
captives and unbinding their bonds, led them to the cabin of
weapons and said to them, "Do each and every of you who shall
find aught befitting take it and let such as avail to wear coat
of mail seize one of them and don it." On this wise he heartened
their hearts and cried to them, "Unless ye do the deeds of men
you will be slaughtered with the slaughtering of sheep, for at
this moment 'tis their design on reaching their own land to offer
you up as corbans in their Greater Synagogue. So be you on your
guard and, if ye fall in this affair,[FN#538] 'tis fairer for you
than to die with split weasands." So each of them snatched up
whatso of war-gear suited him and one equipped other and they
heartened their hearts and all waxed eager for the fray. Then
sallied they forth, one and twenty in number, at a single word,
with the Takbír and the Tahlíl,[FN#539] whilst the Jews who
formed the ship's crew were some one hundred and five. But these
were all drunken with wine and giddy of head, nor did they
recover until the weapons began to play upon their necks and
their backs, whereat they shook off their crapulence and learned
that the Moslems had gotten about them with their war-gear. So
they cried out to one another and became ware and the
liquor-fumes left their brains. Then they rushed for the armoury
but found that most of the weapons were with the Moslems, whom
the Prince was urging to derring-do of cut and thrust. Thus were
they departed into two portions and hardly had passed an hour, an
hour which would grey the hair of a little child, in fight and
fray and onset and retreat--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 Eight Hundred and Fifth night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince
urged on his party and fortified their hearts to fight, nor had
an hour passed in battle and slaughter (and he smiting rightwards
and leftwards) when behold, he was encountered by the Captain who
sprang at him with his scymitar and designed to cut him down. But
he forestalled him with sway of sabre and smote him a swashing
stroke and an all-sufficient which share through his joints and
tare through his limbs; and when the ship's crew saw their Chief
fall dead they gave in their submission[FN#540] and throwing down
their weapons would have saved their lives. The Prince, however,
went forward to them and fell to pinioning them, one after other,
until he had bound them all after which he counted them and found
them to number about forty head while the slain were three score
and five. These he threw into the sea,[FN#541] but the captives
he placed in prison after chaining them with iron chains and they
padlocked the doors upon them; and the Moslems worked the ship's
sails while the man who had newly islamised directed them upon
their course until they moored at a holm hard by the mainland.
Here they landed and found the place abounding in blooms and
trees and streams, and the Prince left the ship to reconnoitre
the continent when suddenly a dust cloud drew nigh and a
sand-pillar soared awhile in air high; then it uncovered some
fifty horsemen, and they were pursuing in the hottest of
haste,[FN#542] a stallion which was saddled and bridled and which
they intended to secure. Now for ten days they had galloped after
him but none availed to catch him. When the King's son looked
upon that case he uttered a loud cry and the courser, hearing the
sound of his master's voice, made for him and fell to rubbing his
cheeks upon his back and shoulders[FN#543] until they came up
with him as he was standing beside his lord. Hereat all the
riders dismounted with intent to seize him, but the Prince
opposed them saying. "This is my horse and he was lost from me in
such a place upon the margin of the main." Replied they, "'Tis
well, but this is our booty nor will we ever leave him to thee,
for that during the last ten days we have galloped after him
until we are melted, and our horses are melted as well as
ourselves. Moreover, our King awaiteth us and if we return
without the steed our heads will be cut off." Quoth the Prince,
"Nor ye nor that Sovran of yours can have any command over him,
albeit you may have pursued him at speed for ten days or fifteen
days or twenty days; nor shall you make him a quarry or for
yourselves or for the King of you. By Allah, one Sultan was
unable to take even a hair from him and, by the Almighty! were
you to pursue him for a full-told year not one of you could come
up with him or make him your own." Hereupon talk increased
between them and one drew weapon upon other and there befel
between them contest and enmity and rage of bad blood and each
clapt hand to sword and drew it from sheath. When the King's son
saw this from them, he sprang upon the steed's back swiftlier
than the blinding leven; and, having settled himself firmly in
selle, he put forth his hand and seized a sword which hung by the
saddle bow. As soon as the folk saw that he had mounted the
horse, they charged upon him with their scymitars and would have
cut him down, but he made his steed curvet and withdrew from them
saying, "An you design battle I am not fain of fight, and do ye
all go about your business and covet not the horse lest your
greed deceive you and you ask more than enough and thereby fall
into harm. This much we know and if you require aught else let
the strongest and doughtiest of you do his best." Then they
charged upon him a second time and a third time and he warded
them off and cried, "Allah draw the line between me and
you,[FN#544] O folk, and do ye gang your gait for you be fifty
riders and I be alone and singlehanded and how shall one contend
in fight with half an hundred?" Cried they, "Naught shall save
thee from us except thou dismount from the steed and suffer us to
take him and return home with him;"--And Shahrazad was surprised
by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her
permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy
story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth
she, "And where is this compared with that I would relate to you
on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?" Now when
it was the next night and that was

The Eight Hundred and Seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the fifty
horsemen said to the King's son, "There is no help but that we
take from thee the horse," and said he, "I have given you good
advice, and well I wot and am certified that were you two hundred
riders ye could never prevail over me whilst I am mounted on my
courser's back and indeed I have no fear of fight; but let any of
you who hath claim to knightlihood come forwards and take him and
mount him." So saying he alighted forthright and left his horse
and went to some distance from him, when one of the fifty riders
pushed forwards and designed to seize the steed by the reins and
bestride him, when suddenly the stallion raged like fire at him
and attacked him and smote him with his forehand and drove the
entrails out of his belly and the man at once fell to the ground
slain. As his party saw this they bared their brands and
assaulted the horse designing to cut him in pieces when behold, a
dust-cloud high in lift upflew and walled the view; and all
extended their glances in that direction for an hour of time
until it opened and showed some two hundred knights headed by a
King mighty of degree and majesty and over his head were flags
a-flying. The fifty horsemen, seeing him advance with his troops,
drew off and stood still to look and see whom he might be, and
when the horse sighted these banners he sniffed with nostrils
opened wide to the air, and made for them at full speed, as if
gladdened by the sight, and approached them and returned to them
a second time in like guise and at the third time he drew up hard
beside them and nearing the King fell to rubbing his cheeks upon
the stirrups whilst the ruler put forth his hand and gentled the
steed by smoothing his head and forehead. As soon as the fifty
riders saw this, they marvelled thereat, but the King's son who
had kept his ground was astounded and said to himself, "The horse
fled me and when this host drew nigh he sought me again."[FN#545]
Presently the Prince fixed his glance upon the latest comers and
behold, the King was his father, so he sprang to him and when the
sire saw him he knew his son and footed it and the twain embraced
and fell fainting to the ground for awhile. When they recovered
the suite of the Sultan came forward and salam'd to the Prince
who presently asked his sire, "What may be the cause of thy
coming to this plain?" and the ruler informed him by way of
answer that after his child's departure slumber to him brought no
rest nor was there in food aught of zest and with him longing
overflowed for the sake of his son, so that after a while of time
he and the grandees of his realm had marched forth, and he ended
by saying, "O my son, our leaving home was for the sake of thee,
but do thou tell me what befel thee after mounting the Father of
a Pigeon, and what was the cause of thy coming to this spot."
Accordingly the Prince told all that had betided him, first and
last, of his durance vile amongst the Jews and how he had devised
the killing of the Captain and the capture of the craft; and how
the steed, after being lost in the waste,[FN#546] had returned to
him in this place; also of the fifty riders who encountered him
on landing and would fain have seized him but failed and of the
death of the horseman who was slain by the horse. Hereat they
pitched the pavilions upon that spot and set up a throne for the
King who after taking seat thereon placed his son by his side and
bade summon the fifty riders who were brought into the presence--
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 Eight Hundred and Eighth night.

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Sultan took seat upon the throne and set his son by his side he
summoned the fifty riders, who were brought into the presence and
placed between his hands. Then he questioned them of their case
and their country and the cause of their coming to that stead and
they notified to him their native land and their Sovran and the
reason of their wandering; to wit, their headlong pursuit of the
stallion which had lasted for a term of ten days. Now when the
Sultan understood their words and knew and was certified
concerning their King and their country, he robed them with
honourable robes[FN#547] and said to them, "Walláhi! had I known
that the stallion would have submitted to you and would have
obeyed you I should have delivered him up to you, but I feared
for any that durst approach him, barring his master. Now,
however, do ye depart and salam to your Sovran and say him, ‘By
Allah, if the stallion thou sawest wandering the waste befitted
the use of thee I had sent him in free gift.'" With this fair
message the men farewelled him and fared from him and they ceased
not faring until they returned to their liege lord and reported
to him all that had betided them; that is, how the owner of the
stallion had appeared and proved to be a King who (they added)
"hath sent his salam to thee saying it was his desire to despatch
the horse but none availed to manage him save himself and his
son." And when the Ruler heard these words, he returned thanks to
the Sovran for the grace of his goodness, and returned forthright
to his own land. Meanwhile the Sultan who was owner of the
stallion presented the captured ship to those who had captured
her, and taking his son turned towards his capital, and they
marched without stay or delay until they reached it. Hereupon the
Chamberlains and the Nabobs and the high Officers and the
townsfolk came forth to meet and greet their Ruler and rejoiced
in his safety and that of his son, and they adorned the city for
three days and all were in high mirth and merriment until what
time the Sultan had settled down at home. Such was his case; but
as regards the Khwajah and his daughter, when they had let load
their loads they quitted the cavern and set forth, making for
their country and patrial stead, and they ceased not forcing
their marches for a term of ten days. But on the eleventh they
encountered fiery heat beginning from mid-forenoon; and, as the
place was grassy ground and overgrown with greenery, they
alighted from their beasts and bade pitch two pavilions, one for
the daughter and the other for her father and his folk, that it
might shade them and shelter them from the excessive sultriness.
Now when it was mid-afternoon behold, the damsel was seized with
the birth-pains and the pangs of child-bearing, but Allah
Almighty made delivery right easy to her and presently she became
the mother of a man-child--Glory be to God who fashioned him and
perfected what He had fashioned in the creation of that
babe![FN#548] So his mother cut his navel-string and, rolling it
up in one of her shifts, kept careful guard over it.[FN#549] And
presently her father entered to look upon her, and finding that
she had been delivered was grieved with exceeding grief and the
world was straitened before his face, and unknowing what to do he
said to himself, "Had we reached our homes and that babe appeared
with the damsel, our honour had been smirched and men had blamed
us saying, ‘The Khwajah's daughter hath brought forth in sin.' So
we cannot confront the world, and if we bear with us this infant
they will ask where is its father!" He remained perplext and
distraught, seeing no way of action, and now he would say, "Let
us slay the child," and anon, "Let us hide it;" and the while he
was in that place his nature bespake him with such promptings.
But when morning came he had determined upon abandoning the
new-born and not carrying it further, so quoth he to his
daughter, "Hearken unto whatso I shall say thee." Quoth she,
"'Tis well!" and he continued, "If we travel with this infant the
tidings of us will spread through the city and men will say, ‘The
Khwajah's daughter hath been debauched and hath borne a babe in
bastardy'; and our right way (according to me) is that we leave
it in this tent under charge of the Lord and whoso shall come up
to the little one shall take it with the tent; moreover I will
place under its head two hundred dinars and any whose lot it is
shall carry off the whole." When the damsel heard these words she
found the matter grievous, but she could return no reply. "What
sayest thou?" asked he, and she answered, "Whatso is right that
do thou." Hereupon he took a purse[FN#550] of two hundred gold
pieces which he set under the child's head and left it in the
tent. Then he loaded his loads and fared forth, he and his
daughter and his pages, and they ceased not pushing their marches
until they reached their own land and native country and entered
their home, where they were met by sundry of their familiars
coming forth to greet them. They settled down in their quarters
when the damsel forgathered with her mother who threw her arms
round her neck for exceeding affection to her and asked her of
her news; so she informed her concerning the matter of the cavern
and what was therein and how great was its distance, but she told
her naught of what had befallen her nor of her pregnancy by the
Prince nor of the babe she had abandoned. The mother still
supposed that she was a clean maid, yet she noted the change in
her state and complexion. Then the damsel sought privacy in one
of the chambers and wept until her gall-bladder was like to burst
and said to herself, "Would Heaven I knew whether Allah will
re-unite me with the child and its father the Prince!" and in
this condition she remained for a while of time. On such wise it
befel the Merchant and his daughter; but as regards the son of
the Sultan, when he had settled down in the city of his sire he
remembered the Khwajah's daughter, and quoth he to his father, "O
my papa, my desire is to hunting and birding and diversion."
Quoth the King, the better that Destiny might be fulfilled, "'Tis
well, O my son, but take with thee a suite." "I desire no more
than five men in all," said the other, and gat himself ready for
travel and, having farewelled his father, set forth from the
city--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Eight Hundred and Tenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince
went forth from his father with a train of five attendants and
made for the wilderness, and he conjoined the journeys of night
and day; withal he knew not whither he was going, and he chanced
travel over the same wilds and wolds and dales and stony leas.
But as regards the Merchant and his daughter, he went in to her
one day of the days and found her weeping and wailing, so he said
to her, "What causeth thee to shed tears, O my child?" and said
she, "How shall I not weep? indeed I must wail over my lot, and
over the promise wherewith Allah promised me." Hereupon he
exclaimed, "O my daughter, be silent and Inshallah--God willing--
I will equip me for travel and will fare to the son of the King;
and look to it, for haply Allah Almighty our Lord may direct me
to a somewhat shall conduct me to the Prince's city." So saying
he bade his handmaidens and eunuchs make ready forthright a
viaticum sufficing for a full-told year himself and his following
of pages and eunuchs, and they did his bidding. After a few days
they prepared all he had required and he purposed to set out;
then, he loaded his loads and, farewelling his wife and daughter,
went forth seeking the city of the King's son. He ceased not
travelling for a space of three months, when he found a meadow
wide of sides on the margin of a sweet-water lake, so he said to
his slaves, "Alight we here in this very place that we may take
our rest." Accordingly, they dismounted and pitched a tent and
furnisht it for him, and he passed that night by the water-side,
and all enjoyed their repose. But as soon as morn 'gan show and
shone with sheeny glow, and the sun arose o'er the lands lying
low, the Khwajah designed to order a march for his slaves when
suddenly espying a dust-cloud towering in rear of them, they
waited to see what it might be, and after some two hours of the
day it cleared off and disclosed beneath it six riders and with
them a bât-beast carrying a load of provisions. These drew near
the meadow where the Khwajah sat looking at them, and fear hereat
entered into his heart, and trembling fell upon his limbs[FN#551]
until he was assured that they were but six men. So his mind was
calmed. But when the party drew near him he fixed his glance and
made certain that the men were headed by the King's son whom he
had met on his first journey, and he marvelled indeed at the
youth making for the same place, and he strove to guess the cause
of his coming with only five followers and no more. Then he arose
and accosted him and salam'd and sat down in converse with him,
being assured the while that it was the same who had had doings
with his daughter, and that the child which she had borne in the
tent and which they abandoned was the son of this Prince, while
the youth knew not that the Khwajah was father to the damsel with
whom he had tarried in the cavern. So they fell to communing
together for a while until the Prince asked the Trader, "What is
the cause of thy coming hither?" and answered the other, "I have
come seeking thee and thy country, for I have a want which thou
must fulfil me;" presently adding, "And thou, whither art thou
intending? Quoth the King's son, "I am making for the cavern
wherein the handmaidens showed me much honour, for indeed I gave
my word that I would return to them after I had revisited my
country and had met my folk and my friends; and here I am coming
back to keep what plight and promise were between us." Hereupon
the Merchant arose, and taking the Prince, retired with him to a
place of privacy where none could wot of them twain save Allah
Almighty. "Would Heaven I knew what may be in the thoughts of
this Khwájah!" said the Prince in his mind; but when both had
seated themselves at ease, the Merchant addressed the King's son
in these words, "O my son, all things are foredoomed in the World
of Secrets, and from fated lot is no flight. Now the end and aim
whereto thou designest in the cavern, verily they[FN#552] left it
for their own land." When the King's son heard these words
informing him that his beloved had quitted her abode, he cried
out with a loud outcry for stress of what had betided him, and
fell a-swoon by cause that love of the damsel had mastered his
heart and his vitals hung to her. After a while he recovered and
asked the Khwajah, "Say me, be these words of thine soothfast or
false?" "Soothfast indeed," answered the father, "but, O my
child, be of good cheer and eyes clear, for that thy wish is
won"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and
how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this
compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an
the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night
and that was

The Eight Hundred and Twelfth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that quoth the
Khwajah to the King's son after he had revived, "O my child, be
of good cheer and eyes clear for that thy want is won and for
thee the way hath been short done and if thy heart be firm-fixed
upon thy beloved the heart of her is still firmer than thine and
I am a messenger from her who seek thee that I may unite you
twain Inshallah--an Allah please." Asked the Prince, "And who
mayest thou be to her, O my lord?" and answered the other, "I am
her father and she is my daughter and hers is a marvel-tale, I
swear by the All-might of Him who made the Heavens and the
Earth." Then he fell to recounting anent the Voice which came to
him on the night of her being conceived in her mother's womb and
all that had since befallen her, keeping concealed[FN#553] only
the matter of the babe which she had borne in the tent. But when
the Prince knew that the wayfarer was her sire who was travelling
to seek him, he rejoiced in the glad tidings of forgathering with
the damsel and on the morning of the second day all marched off
together and made for the Merchant's city. And they stinted not
wayfaring and forcing their marches until they drew near it, and
as soon as they entered it, the Merchant, before going to his
home, led the Prince with him and sought the Kazi by whose aid
the marriage-tie, after due settlement of the dowry, might be
tied between him and the damsel. This done, he conducted him to a
place of concealment and presently went in to his daughter and
her mother who saluted him and asked him the news. Hereupon he
gave them to know that he had brought the King's son and had made
ready to knot the knot of wedlock between him and her. As soon as
the damsel heard these tidings she fainted for excess of her
happiness, and when she revived her mother arose and prepared her
person and adorned her and made her don her most sumptuous of
dresses. And when night fell they led the bridegroom in
procession to her and the couple embraced and each threw arms
round the neck of other for exceeding desire and their embraces
lasted till dawn-tide.[FN#554] After that the times waxed clear
to them and the days were serene until one chance night of the
nights when the Prince was sitting beside his bride and
conversing with her concerning various matters when suddenly she
fell to weeping and wailing. He was consterned thereat and cried,
"What causeth thee cry, O dearling of my heart and light of mine
eyes?" and she, "How shall I not cry when they have parted me
from my boy, the life-blood of my liver!" "And thou, hast thou a
babe?" asked he and she answered, "Yes indeed, my child and thy
child, whom I conceived by thee while we abode in the cavern. But
when my father[FN#555] took me therefrom and was leading me home
we encountered about midway a burning heat, so we halted and
pitched two tents for myself and my sire; then, as I sat within
mine the labour-pangs came upon me and I bare a babe as the moon.
But my parent feared to carry it with us lest our honour be
smirched by tittle-tattle, so we left the little one in the tent
with two hundred gold pieces under its head, that whoso might
come upon it and take it and tend it might therewith be repaid."
In fine, she told her spouse the whole tale concerning her infant
and declared that she had no longer patience to be parted from
it. Her bridegroom consoled her and promised her with the fairest
promises that he would certainly set out and travel and make
search for the lost one amongst the lands, even though his
absence might endure through a whole year in the wilderness. And
lastly he said to her, "We will ask news and seek tidings of him
from all the wayfarers who wend by that same valley, and certify
ourselves of the information, nor will we return to thee save
with assured knowledge; for this child is the fruit of my loins
and I will never neglect him; no, never. Needs must I set forth
and fare to those parts and search for my son." Such was their
case; but as regards the babe which had been abandoned (as we
have noticed), he lay alone for the first day and yet another
when a caravan appeared passing along that same road; and, as
soon as they sighted the pavilion yet they saw none within, they
drew near to it and behold, they found a babe lying prostrate
with his fingers in his mouth and sucking thereat[FN#556] and he
was even as a slice of the moon. So they approached him and took
him up and found under his head the purse, whereupon they carried
him, not forgetting the gold, and showed him to the Shaykh of the
Cafilah[FN#557] who cried, "Walláhi, our way is a blessed for
that we have discovered this child; and, inasmuch as I have no
offspring, I will take him and tend him and adopt him to son."
Now this caravan was from the land of Al-Yaman and they had
halted on that spot for a night's rest, so when it was morning
they loaded and left it and fared forwards and they ceased not
wayfaring until they reached their homes safe and sound. After
returning all the Cafilah folk dispersed, each to his own stead,
but the Shaykh, who was employed by government under the King of
Al-Yaman, repaired to his own house accompanied by the child
which he had carefully tended and salam'd to his wife. As soon as
she saw the babe she marvelled at his fashion and, sending for a
wet-nurse, committed him for suckling to her and set apart for
her a place; and the woman fell to tending him and cleaning him,
and the house prospered for the master and dame had charge of
it[FN#558] during the days of suckling. And when the boy was
weaned they fed him fairly[FN#559] and took sedulous charge of
him, so he became accustomed to bespeak the man with, "O my
papa," and the woman with, "O my mamma," believing the twain to
be truly his parents. This endured for some seven years when they
brought him a Divine to teach him at home, fearing lest he should
fare forth the house; nor would they at any time send him to
school. So the tutor[FN#560] took him in hand and taught him
polite letters and he became a reader and a writer and well
versed in all knowledge before he reached his tenth year. Then
his adopted father appointed for him a horse that he might learn
cavalarice and the shooting of shafts and firing of bullets at
the butt,[FN#561] and then brought for him a complete rider that
he might teach him all his art and when he came to the age of
fourteen he became a doughty knight and a prow. Now one chance
day of the days the youth purposed going to the wild that he
might hunt,--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 Eight Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth
proposed going forth to the wild that he might hunt, but his
guardians feared for him so that he availed not to fare forth.
Grievous to him was it that he could not obtain his liberty to
set out a-chasing, and there befel him much concern[FN#562] and a
burning thirst; so he lay him down sore sick and troubled.
Hereupon his father and mother went in to him and, finding that
he had taken to his pillow, they mourned over him, and fearing
lest he be afflicted by some disease they asked him, "What is to
do with thee and what calamity hath befallen thee?" Answered he,
"There is no help but that I go forth a-hunting in the
wilderness." Quoth they, "O our son, we fear for thee," and quoth
he, "Fear not, for that all things be foredoomed from Eternity
and, if aught be written for me, 'twill come to pass even
although I were beside you; and the bye-word saith, ‘Profiteth
not Prudence against Predestination.'" Hereat they gave him
permission, and upon the second day he rode forth to the chase,
but the wold and the wilds swallowed him up, and when he would
have returned he knew not the road, so he said to himself, "Folk
declare that affects are affected and footsteps are sped to a
life that is vile and divided daily bread.[FN#563] If aught be
written to me fain must I fulfil it." And whenever he hunted down
a gazelle, he cut its throat and broiled the meat over a fire and
nourished himself for a while of days and nights; but he was lost
in those wastes until he drew in sight of a city. This he
entered, but he had no money for food or for foraging his horse,
so he sold it willy-nilly and, hiring a room in a Wakálah, lived
by expending its price till the money was spent. Then he cried,
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great! The wise man doth even as the fool, but
All-might is to Allah." So he went forth to solace himself in the
highways of the city, looking rightwards and leftwards, until he
came to the gateway of the King's Palace, and when he glanced
around he saw written over it, "Dive not into the depths unless
thou greed for thyself and thy wants."[FN#564] So he said in his
mind, "What is the meaning of these words I see here inscribed?"
Presently he repaired for aid to a man in a shop and salam'd to
him, and when his salutation was returned enquired of him, "O my
lord, what is the meaning of this writ which is written over the
Sultan's gateway?" The other replied, "O my son, whereof dost
thou ask? Verily the Sultan and all the Lords of his land are in
sore cark and care for the affair of his daughter, the Princess."
The youth rejoined, "What is the matter with her and what hath
befallen her?" and the man retorted, "O my son, verily the Sultan
hath a daughter so fair that she seemeth cast in the very mould
of beauty and none in her day can excel her, but whoso is
betrothed to her and marrieth her and goeth in unto her the dawn
never cometh without his becoming a heap of poison, and no one
wotteth the business what it may be." Hearing these words the
youth said to himself, "By Allah, the death of me were better
than this the life of me, but I have no dower to offer her." Then
he asked the man, "O my uncle, whoso lacketh money and wisheth to
marry her, how shall he act?" "O my son," answered the other,
"verily the Sultan demandeth nothing; nay, he expendeth of his
own wealth upon her." The youth arose from beside the man at that
moment and, going in to the King, found him seated on his throne;
so he salam'd to him and prayed for him and deprecated and kissed
ground before him, and when the King returned his salutation and
welcomed him he cried, "O King of the Age, 'tis my intent and
design to be connected with thee through the lady safe-guarded,
thy daughter." "By Allah, O Youth," said the Sultan, "I consent
not for thine own sake that thou wed her by cause that thou wilt
be going wilfully to thy death;" and hereupon he related to him
all that befel each and every who had married her and had gone in
unto her. Quoth the youth, "O King of the Age, indeed I rely upon
the Lord, and if I die I shall fare to Allah and His ruth and, if
I live, 'tis well, for that all things are from the Almighty."
Quoth the Sultan, "O Youth, counsel appertaineth to Allah, for
thou art her equal in beauty;" and the other rejoined, "All
things are by Fate and man's lot." Hereupon the King summoned the
Kazi and bade tie the marriage-tie between the youth and his
daughter; then he went in to his Harem and apprised thereof her
mother that she might prepare the girl's person for the coming
night. But the youth departed from the Sultan's presence perplext
of heart and distraught, unknowing what to do; and, as he walked
about, suddenly he met a man in years, clean of raiment and with
signs of probity evident; so he accosted him and said, "O my
lord, ask a blessing for me." Said the Shaykh, "O my son, may our
Lord suffice thee against all would work thee woe and may He ever
forefend thee from thy foe."[FN#565] And the youth was gladdened
by the good omen of the Shaykh's words. But when the Sultan had
sought his Harem he said, "By Allah, he who hath wedded the
damsel is a beautiful youth: oh the pity of it that he should
die! Indeed I dissuaded him, saying so-and-so shall befal thee,
but I could not deter him. Now by the rights of Him who raised
the firmament without basement, an our Lord deign preserve this
Youth and he see the morn in safety, I will assuredly gift him
and share with him all my good, for that I have no male issue to
succeed me in the sovranty; and this one, if Allah Almighty
vouchsafe prolong his days, shall become my heir apparent and
inherit after me. Indeed I deem him to be a son of the Kings who
disguiseth himself, or some Youth of high degree who is troubled
about worldly goods and who sayeth in himself, ‘I will take this
damsel to wife that I may not die of want, for verily I am
ruined.' I diverted him from wedding her, but it could not be,
and the more I deterred him with words manifold only the more
grew his desire and he cried, ‘I am content'; thus speaking after
the fashion of one who longeth to perish. However, let him meet
his lot--either death-doom or deliverance from evil." Now when it
was eventide the Sultan sent to summon his son-in-law and,
seating him beside the throne, fell to talking with him and
asking after his case; but he concealed his condition and said,
"Thy servant is such whereof 'tis spoken, ‘I fell from Heaven and
was received by Earth.' Ask me not, O King of the Age, or of the
root or of the branch, for one of the wise and ware hath said:--

‘To tell my root and my name refrain; * The root of the youth is
what good he gain:[FN#566]
A wight without father full oft shall win * And melting shall
purify drossy strain.'

And folk are equal but in different degrees."[FN#567] Now when
the Sultan heard these words, he wondered at his eloquence and
sweetness of speech; withal he marvelled that his son-in-law
would not explain to him from what land or from what folk he
came. And the two ceased not their converse until after the hour
of night prayers, when the Lords of the land had been dismissed;
whereupon the Sultan bade an eunuch take the youth and introduce
him to the Princess. So he arose from him and went with the
slave, the King exclaiming the while, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great: verily
yonder young man wendeth wilfully to his death." Now when the
bridegroom reached the apartment of the Sultan's daughter and
entered to 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 Eight Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth,
when entering to the Sultan's daughter, exclaimed "Bismillah--in
the name of Allah--I place my trust upon Allah, and I have
committed mine affair unto Allah!" Then he went forwards and
found his bride seated upon her bedstead, and she was as a Hoard
newly loosed from its Talisman; while she on her part rose and
met him, and looked upon him and considered him until she was
certified of his being cast in beauty's mould, nor had she ever
seen any like unto him. So she wept till the tears trickled adown
her cheeks and she said to herself, "Oh the pity of it! Never
shall my joy be fulfilled with this beautiful youth, than whom
mine eyes never fell upon one fairer." Quoth he, "What causeth
thee cry, O my lady?" and quoth she, "I cry for the loss of my
joys with thee seeing that thou art to perish this very night;
and I sue of the Almighty and supplicate Him that my life may be
thy ransom, for by Allah 'tis a pity!" When he heard these words
he presently looked around and suddenly he sighted a magical
Sword[FN#568] hanging by the belt against the wall: so he arose
and hent it and threw it across his shoulders; then, returning he
took seat upon the couch beside the Sultan's daughter, withal his
heart and his tongue never neglected to recite the Names of Allah
or to sue aidance from the Prince of the Hallows[FN#569] who
alone can reconcile with the Almighty fiat the fates and affairs
of God's servants. This lasted for an hour until the first third
of the night, when suddenly were heard the bellowings as of wind
and rumblings of thunder, and the bride, perceiving all the
portents which had occurred to others, increased in weeping and
wailing. Then lo and behold! a wall amiddlemost the chamber clave
asunder, and there issued forth the cleft a Basilisk[FN#570]
resembling a log of palm-tree, and he was blowing like the
storm-blast and his eyes were as cressets and he came on
wriggling and waving. But when the youth saw the monster he
sprang up forthright with stout heart that knew naught of
startling or affright, and cried out, "Protect me, O Chief and
Lode-star of the Hallows, for I have thrown myself upon thine
honour and am under thy safe-guard." So saying and setting hand
on brand he advanced and confronted the portent swiftlier than an
eye-glance, raising his elbow till the blackness of the armpit
appeared; and he cried out with a loud outcry whereto the whole
city re-echoed, and which was audible even to the Sultan. Then he
smote the monster upon his neck[FN#571] and caused head to fly
from body for a measure of some two spans. Hereupon the Basilisk
fell dead, but the youth was seized by a fainting-fit for the
mighty stress of his stroke, and the bride arose for the excess
of her joy and threw herself upon him and swooned away for a
full-told hour. When the couple recovered, the Princess fell to
kissing his hands and feet and wiping with her kerchief the sweat
from his brow and saying to him, "O my lord, and the light of
mine eyes, may none thy hand ever foreslow nor exult over thee
any foe," till he had recovered his right senses and had regained
his strength. Anon he arose, and taking the Basilisk set it upon
a large tray;[FN#572] then, letting bring a skinful of water he
cleaned away the blood. After this the youth and the King's
daughter sat down and gave each other joy of their safety and
straightway disappeared from them all traces of distress.
Presently the Bridegroom looked at his Bride and found her like a
pearl, so he caused her to laugh and disported with her and
excited her and she did on like wise and at last he threw her
upon her back and did away her maidenhead, whenas their gladness
grew and their pleasures were perfected and their joyance was
enhanced by the monster's death. They ceased not, the twain of
them, toying and enjoying themselves until it was well nigh dawn
and sleep overcame them and they slumbered. But the Sultan during
that night could relish nor lying down nor sitting up, and as
soon as he heard the shout he cried, "The Youth is indeed dead
and this world hath fled! There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great." About morning-tide
he prepared for him a shroud and mortuary perfumes, and all
things required, and despatched a party to dig a tomb for him who
had been slain by the side of his daughter, and he let make an
iron bier, after which he sent for the washers of the dead and
summoned them to his presence and lastly he awaited for his wife
to seek her daughter and bring him the tidings--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 Eight Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
sat until morning-tide expecting his wife to bring him tidings of
the youth that he might take him and bury him. But the
Queen-mother repaired to her daughter's apartment where she found
the door locked and bolted upon the couple; so she knocked for
them whilst her eyes were tear-stained and she was wailing over
the loss of her daughter's love-liesse. Hereat the Princess awoke
and she arose and opened the door when behold, she found her
mother weeping so she asked her, "What caused thee shed tears, O
Mother mine, whilst my enjoyment hath been the completest?" Asked
she, "And what hath joyed you?" So the daughter led her to the
middlemost of the apartment where she found the Basilisk (which
was like the section of a palm-trunk) lying dead upon a huge tray
and she saw her son-in-law sleeping upon the bedstead[FN#573] and
he was like a fragment of the moon on the fourteenth night. The
mother bowed head towards him and kissed him upon the brow
saying, "Verily and indeed thou deservest safety!" Then she went
forth from him lullilooing aloud and bade all the handmaids raise
the cry of joy[FN#574] and the Palace was turned topsy-turvy with
gladness and delight. When the Sultan heard this he arose and
asked "What may be the news? Are we in grief or in gladness;" and
so saying he went forth when suddenly he was met by his wife in
the highest delight who took him and led him to the apartment of
her daughter. There he also espied the Basilisk stretched dead
upon the tray and the youth his son-in-law lying asleep upon the
bedstead, whereat from the stress of his joyance he fell to the
floor in a fainting-fit which lasted an hour or so. But when he
revived he cried, "Is this wake or rather is't sleep?" after
which he arose and bade the musicians of his band beat the
kettledrums and blow the shawms and the trumps and he commanded
adorn the city; and the citizens did all his bidding. The
decorations remained during seven days in honour of the safety of
the Sultan's son-in-law, and increased were their joys and fell
from them all annoys, and the Sultan took to distributing and
giving alms and largessing and making presents to the Fakirs and
the miserable and he robed his nobles with honourable robes and
fed the captives and the prisoners one and all;[FN#575] and the
naked he clothed, and those anhungered he feasted in honour of
his daughter. Then said the Sultan, "By Allah, this youth
deserveth naught save that I make him my partner and share with
him my good, for he hath banished from us our dule and our
dolours and eke on account of himself and his own sake." After
this he made over to him half of his realm and his riches and the
Sultan would rule one day and his son-in-law the other and their
joys endured for the space of a full-told year. Then the Sovran
was seized of a sickness, so he bequeathed to his son-in-law all
he had and everything he owned; and but a little time elapsed
before his malady increased day by day until he fared to the ruth
of Almighty Allah and the youth sat in his stead as Sovran and
Sultan. Such was his case; but as regards the matter of his sire,
the King's son of Al-'Irak, when he promised his wife that he
would certainly go forth and travel and search for their son, he
ceased not wending through the regions for a length of nights and
days until Destiny threw him into such-and-such a city; and from
the excess of what he had suffered of toil and travail he tarried
therein a time. Now the Shaykh of the Caravans (who had found the
babe in the tent and had taken him and had tended and adopted
him, and from whom the youth when grown to man's estate had
disappeared on the hunting excursion and returned not to his
parents) also set out a-seeking him and fell diligently to
searching for tidings of him and roaming from place to place.
Presently he was cast by doom of Destiny into the same city; and,
as he found none to company with, he was suddenly met on one of
the highways by the youth's true father and the twain made
acquaintance and became intimate until they nighted and morning'd
in the same stead; withal neither knew what was his companion.
But one night of the nights the two sat down in talk and the true
sire asked the adoptive father, "O my brother, tell us the cause
of thy going forth from thy country and of thy coming hither?"
Answered his comrade, "By Allah, O my brother, my tale is a
wondrous and mine adventure is a marvellous." Quoth he, "And
how?" and quoth the other, "I was Shaykh of the Cafilahs on
various trading journeys, and during one of them I passed by a
way of the ways where I found a pavilion pitched at a forking of
the roads. So I made for it and dismounted my party in that place
and I glanced at the tent but we found none therein, whereupon I
went forwards and entered it and saw a babe new-born strown upon
his back and sucking his fingers.[FN#576] So I raised him between
my hands and came upon a purse of two hundred dinars set under
his head; and I took the gold and carried it off together with
the child." But when his comrade, the true father, heard this
tale from him he said to himself, "This matter must have been
after such fashion," and he was certified that the foundling was
his son, for that he had heard the history told by the mother of
the babe with the same details essential and accidental. So he
firmly believed[FN#577] in these words and rejoiced thereat, when
his comrade continued, "And after that, O my brother, I bore off
that babe and having no offspring I gave him to my wife who
rejoiced therein and brought him a wet-nurse to suckle him for
the usual term. When he had reached his sixth year I hired a
Divine to read with him and teach him writing and the art of
penmanship;[FN#578] and, as soon as he saw ten years, I bought
him a horse of the purest blood, whereon he learnt cavalarice and
the shooting of shafts and the firing of bullets until he
attained his fifteenth year. Presently one day of the days he
asked to go a-hunting in the wilderness, but we his parents (for
he still held me to be his father and my wife his mother) forbade
him in fear of accidents; whereupon he waxed sore sorrowful and
we allowed him leave to fare forth."--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 Eight Hundred and Twenty-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
adoptive father pursued to his comrade, "So we permitted him to
hie a-hunting, and he farewelled us and went forth from us and
left us, whereat we fell to beweeping him; and inasmuch as until
this present he hath not returned to us, I have set out to seek
him and here am I in this place searching for traces of him.
Peradventure may Allah Almighty deign unite me with him and gar
me forgather with him; for, Walláhi! from the hour he went from
us sleep hath done us no good nor have we found relish in food."
And when the speech was ended, quoth his comrade, "O my brother,
whenas he is not the son of thy loins and he could prove himself
perverse to thee, what must be the condition in his regard of the
father who begat him and the mother who enwombed him?" He
replied, "Theirs must be cark and care and misery beyond even
mine;" and the other rejoined, "By Allah, O my brother, verily
the relation thou hast related anent this child proveth that he
is, by God, my child and of mine own seed, for in sooth his
mother gave birth to him in that stead where she left him being
unable to carry him with her; but now she beweepeth the loss of
him through the nights and the days." "O my brother," quoth the
adoptive father, "we twain, I and thou, will indeed make public
search and open inquiry for him through the lands, and Allah
Almighty shall guide us himwards." When morning came the pair
went forth together intending to journey from that city, but by
doom of the Decreer the Sultan on that very day set out to visit
the gardens; and, when the travellers heard tidings thereof, one
said to the other, "Let us stay and solace ourselves with a sight
of the royal suite and after we will wend our ways." Said his
comrade, "'Tis well." So they took their station to await the
issuing forth of the Sultan, who suddenly rode out amid his suite
as the two stood leaning beside the road and looking at the
Sultan, when behold, his glance fell upon the two men. He at once
recognised the father who had reared him, and when he gazed at
the other standing beside him his heart was opened to the love of
him albeit he weeted naught of their tie of blood nor believed
that any was his sire save the Shaykh who had adopted him.
Accordingly, after considering them he bade carry them both to
the House of Hospitality, so they led them thither and did his
bidding. Hereupon the twain said to themselves, "Wherefore hath
the Sultan made us his guests? Nor he knoweth us nor we know him
and needs must this have a cause." But after leaving them the
King rode to the gardens where he tarried the whole day, and when
it was sunset he returned to his Palace, and at suppertide
commanded the men be brought before him. They salam'd to him and
blessed him and he returned their salutations, and bade them take
seat at the trays whereat none other was present. They obeyed his
order much wondering thereat the while and musing in their minds,
"What condition is this?" They ate till they were satisfied,
after which the food-trays were removed and they washed their
hands and drank coffee and sherbets; then, by command of the
King, they sat down to converse when the Sultan addressed them
instead of the others, whereat they marvelled self-communing and
saying, "What can be the cause?" But as soon as all the
attendants had been dismissed to their quarters and no one
remained save the Sultan and his guests (three in all and no
more), and it was the first third of the night, the King asked
them, "Which of you availeth to tell a tale which shall be a
joyance to our hearts?" The first to answer him was the true
father, who said, "Walláhi, O King of the Age, there befel me an
adventure which is one of the wonders of the world, and 'tis
this. I am son to a King of the Kings of the earth who was
wealthy of money and means, and who had the goods of life beyond
measure. He feared for my safety because he had none other save
myself, and one day of the days, when I craved leave to go
a-hunting in the wilderness, he refused me in his anxiety for my
safety." (Hereat, quoth the Sultan in himself, "By Allah, the
story of this man is like my history!") "So quoth I, ‘O King,
unless I fare forth to sport, verily I will slay myself,' and
quoth my sire, ‘O my son, do thou go ride to the chase, but leave
us not long for the hearts of us two, I and thy mother, will be
engrossed by thee.' Said I, ‘Hearing and obeying,' and I went
down to the stable to take a steed; and finding a smaller stall
wherein was a horse chained to four posts and, on guard beside
him, two slaves who could never draw near him, I approached him
and fell to smoothing his coat. He remained silent and still
whilst I took his furniture and set it upon his back, and girthed
his saddle right tight and bridled him and loosed him from the
four posts, and during all this he never started not shied at me
by reason of the Fate and Fortune writ upon my forehead from the
Secret World. Then I got him ready and mounted him and went
forth"--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 Eight Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the man
who was bespeaking the Sultan pursued to him, "Then I mounted him
and rode him over the gravelly ground without the city when
behold, he snorted and snarked and shook his crest and started at
speed and galloped with me and bolted, swiftly as though he were
a bird in the firmament of heaven." On this wise he fell to
recounting all that had befallen in the cave between him and the
Merchant's daughter and what had betided him by decree of Allah;
how he had left her for his own land and how had her sire come
and carried her away; also in what manner she had been delivered
of a son by him on the road and had left her babe-child in the
tent hoping that someone might find him and take him and tend
him; and, lastly, how he had married the child's mother and what
was the cause of his going forth and his coming to that place
that he might seek his son. Hereupon the Sultan turned to his
adoptive father whom hitherto he had believed to be his real
parent saying, "And thou, the other, dost thou know any tale like
that told to us by thy comrade?" So the Shaykh recounted to him
the whole history as hath before been set forth from incept to
conclusion, nor hid from him aught thereof. Then the Sultan
declared himself to his true sire, saying, "Thou art my father
and there befel such things and such," after which said his
adoptive parent, "Walláhi, O my son, verily none is thy father
save this one from whose loins thou art sprung, for I only found
thee in the pavilion and took thee and tended thee in my home.
But this is thy very parent in very deed." Hereat all the three
fell upon one another's necks and kissed one another and the
Sultan cried, "Praise to Him who hath united us after disunion!"
and the others related to him anent his maternal grandfather how
he was a Merchant, and concerning his paternal grandsire how he
was a Monarch. Anon each of the two was ordered to revisit his
own country and convey his consort and his children; and the
twain disappeared for the space of a year and a month and at
length returned to the young King. Hereupon he set apart for them
palaces and settled them therein and they tarried with him until
such time as there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the
Severer of societies.

Story of the Youth Who Would Futter His Father's
Wives.[FN#579]

It is related that there was a man who had a grown-up son, but
the youth was a ne'er-do-well,[FN#580] and whatever wife his sire
wedded, the son would devise him a device to lie with her and
have his wicked will of her, and he so managed the matter that
his father was forced to divorce her. Now the man once married a
bride beautiful exceedingly and, charging her beware of his son,
jealously guarded her from him.--And Shahrazad was surprised by
the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted
say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O
sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And
where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the
coming night an the King suffer me to survive?" Now when it was
the next night, and that was

The Eight Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
not sleeping, 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 father
applied himself to safe-guarding his wife and gave her a charge
warning her with threats against his son and saying, "Whenas I
wed ever a woman, yonder youth by his cunning manageth to have
his wicked will of her." Quoth she, "O Man, what be these words
thou speakest? This thy son is a dog, nor hath he power to do
with me aught, and I am a lady amongst women." Quoth he, "Indeed
I but charge thee to have a care of thyself.[FN#581] Haply I may
hie me forth to wayfare and he will lay some deep plot for thee
and work with thee as he wrought with others." She replied, "O
Man, hold thyself secure therefrom for an he bespeak me with a
single word I will slipper him with my papoosh;[FN#582] and her
rejoined, "May safety be thine!" He cohabited with her for a
month till one day of the days when he was compelled to travel;
so he went in to his wife and cautioned her and was earnest with
her saying, "Have a guard of thyself from my son the debauchee
for 'tis a froward fellow, a thief, a miserable, lest he come
over thee with some wile and have his will of thee." Said she,
"What words are these? Thy son is a dog nor hath he any power
over me in aught whereof thou talkest, and if he bespeak me with
one injurious word, I will slipper him soundly with my foot-
gear."[FN#583] He rejoined, "If thou happen to need aught[FN#584]
never even mention it to him;" and she, "Hearkening and
obedience." So he farewelled her and fared forth wholly intent
upon his wayfare. Now when he was far enough from the town the
youth came to the grass-widow but would not address a single word
to her, albeit fire was lighted in his heart by reason of her
being so beautiful. Accordingly he contrived a wile. It happened
to be summer-tide so he went[FN#585] to the house and repaired to
the terrace-roof, and there he raised his clothes from his
sitting-place and exposed his backside stark naked to the cooling
breeze; then he leant forwards propped on either elbow and,
spreading his hands upon the ground, perked up[FN#586] his
bottom. His stepmother looked at him and marvelling much said in
her mind, "Would Heaven I knew of this froward youth what may be
his object!"[FN#587] However he never looked at her nor ever
turned towards her but he abode quiet in the posture he had
chosen. She stared hard at him and at last could no longer
refrain from asking him, "Wherefore dost thou on this wise?" He
answered, "And why not? I am doing that shall benefit me in the
future, but what that is I will never tell thee; no, never." She
repeated her question again and again, and at last he replied, "I
do thus when 'tis summer-tide and a something of caloric entereth
my belly through my backside and when 'tis winter the same cometh
forth and warmeth my body; and in the dog-days and keepeth me in
heats like these, fresh and comfortable."[FN#588] She asked, "An
I do what thou doest, shall it be the same to me?" And he
answered, "Aye." Herewith she came forward beside him and raised
her raiment from her behind till the half of her below the waist
was stark naked;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night
as the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next
night and that was

The Eight Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the grass-
widow came forward beside her stepson and raised her raiment from
her behind until the half of her below the waist was stark naked;
and she did even as her husband's son had done, and perked up her
buttocks, leaning heavily upon her knees and elbows. Now when she
acted on this wise the youth addressed her saying, "Thou canst
not do it aright." "How so?" "Because the wind passing in through
the postern passeth out through thy portal, thy solution of
continuity." "Then how shall I do?" "Stopper thy slit
wherethrough the air passeth." "How shall I stopper it?" "An
thou stopper it not thy toil will be in vain." "Dost thou know
how to stopper it?" "Indeed I do!" "Then, rise up and stopper
it." Hearing these words he arose, because indeed he greeded for
her, and came up behind her as she rested upon her elbows and
knees and hending in hand his prickle nailed it into her coynte
and did manly devoir. And after having his will of her he said,
"Thou hast now done thy best for me and thy belly is filled full
of the warm breeze." On this wise he continued every day,
enjoying the wife of his father for some time during his wayfare,
till the traveller returned home, and on his entering the house
the bride rose and greeted him and said, "Thou hast been absent
overlong!"[FN#589] The man sat with her awhile and presently
asked of her case for that he was fearful of his son; so she
answered, "I am hale and hearty!" "Did my son ask thee of aught?"
"Nay, he asked me not, nor did he ever address me: withal, O Man,
he hath admirable and excellent expedients and indeed he is
deeply versed in natural philosophy." "What expedients and what
natural philosophy?" "He tucketh up his dress and exposeth his
backside to the breeze which now passeth into his belly and
benefiteth him throughout the cold season, and in winter he doeth
exactly what he did in summer with effect as beneficial. And I
also have done as he did." Now when the husband heard these her
words he knew that the youth had practised upon her and had
enjoyed his desire of her; so he asked her, "And what was it thou
diddest?" She answered, "I did even as he did. However the breeze
would not at first enter into my belly for whatever passed
through the back postern passed out of the front portal, and the
youth said to me, 'Stopper up thy solution of continuity.' I
asked him, 'Dost thou know how to stopper it?' and he answered,
'Indeed I do!' Then he arose and blocked it with his prickle; and
every day I continued to do likewise and he to stopper up the
peccant part with the wherewithal he hath." All this was said to
the husband who listened with his head bowed groundwards; but
presently he raised it and cried, "There is no Majesty and there
is no might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great;" and suddenly
as they were speaking on that subject the youth came in to them--
And Sharazad 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 Eight Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
not sleeping, 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 worth celebrating, that the youth came in
to his father and found his step-mother relating to him all they
had done whilst he was away and the man said to him, "Wherefore,
O youth, hast thou acted on such wise?" Said the son, "What harm
have I done? I only dammed the waterway that the warm air might
abide in her belly and comfort her in the cold season." So the
father knew that his son had played this trick in order to have
his will of her. Hereat he flew into a fury[FN#590] and
forthright divorced her, giving her the contingent dowry; and she
went her ways. Then the man said in his mind, "I shall never get
the better of this boy until I marry two wives and ever keep them
with each other, so that he may not cozen the twain." Now after a
couple of weeks he espoused a fair woman fairer than his former
and during the next month he wived with a second and cohabited
with the two brides. Then quoth the youth in his mind, "My papa
hath wedded two perfect beauties and here am I abiding in single
blessedness. By Allah, there is no help but that I play a prank
upon both of them!" Then he fell to seeking a contrivance but he
could not hit upon aught for that whenever he entered the house
he found his two step-mothers sitting together and thus he could
not avail to address either. But his father never fared forth
from home or returned to it without warning his wives and saying,
"Have a care of yourselves against that son of mine. He is a
whoremonger and he hath made my life distraught, for whenever I
take to myself a wife he serveth some sleight upon her; then he
laugheth at her and so manageth that I must divorce her." At such
times the two wives would cry, "Walláhi, an he come near us and
ask us of amorous mercy, we will slap him with our slippers."
Still the man would insist, saying, "Be ye on your guard against
him," and they would reply, "We are ever on our guard." Now one
day the women said to him, "O man, our wheat is finished," and
said he, "Be ye watchful while I fare to the Bazar in our market-
town which lieth hard by and fetch you the corn." So he left them
and made for the town,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and 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 Eight Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worth celebrating, that when the
father had gone forth and was making for the market-town, his son
happened to meet him, and the two wives went up to the terrace
wishing to see if their husband be gone or not. Now by the decree
of the Decreer the man had in some carelessness forgotten his
papooshes so he turned to the youth who was following him and
said, "O my son, go back and bring me my shoes." The women still
looking, and the youth returned in mighty haste and hurry till he
stood under the terrace, when he looked up and said, "My father
hath just now charged me with a charge saying, 'Do thou go sleep
with my wives, the twain of them, and have each one of them
once.' They replied, "What, O dog, O accursed, thy father bespake
thee on this wise? By Allah, indeed thou liest, O hog, O ill-
omened wight." "Wallahi," he rejoined, "I lie not!" So he walked
back till he was near his father when he shouted his loudest so
as to be heard by both parties, "O my papa, O my papa, one of
them or the two of them? One of them or the two of them?" The
father shouted in reply, "The two, the two! Allah disappoint
thee: did I say one of them or the two of them?" So the youth
returned to his father's wives and cried, "Ye have heard what my
papa said. I asked him within your hearing, 'One of them or the
two of them?' and ye heard him say, 'Both, both.'" Now the man
was speaking of his slippers, to wit, the pair; but the women
understood that his saying, "the two of them" referred to his
wives. So one turned to her sister spouse and said, "So it
is,[FN#591] our ears heard it and the youth hath in no wise lied:
let him lie with me once and once with thee even as his father
bade him." Both were satisfied herewith; but meanwhile the son
stole quietly into the house and found his father's papooshes:
then he caught him up on the road and gave them to him and the
man went his ways. Presently the youth returned to the house and
taking one of his father's wives lay with her and enjoyed her and
she also had her joy of him; and when he had done all he wanted
with her he fared forth from her to the second wife in her
chamber and stretched himself beside her and toyed with her and
futtered her. She saw in the son a something she had not seen in

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