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The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete by Anon.

Part 23 out of 28

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The emperor pronounced his sentence in such a tone that the grand
vizier durst not further remonstrate; and it was executed, to the
great satisfaction of the two envious sisters. A shed was built,
and the queen, truly worthy of compassion, was put into it, and
exposed ignominiously to the contempt of the people; which usage,
as she did not deserve it, she bore with a patient resignation
that excited the admiration as well as compassion of those who
judged of things better than the vulgar.

The two princes and the princess were, in the mean time, nursed
and brought up by the intendant of the gardens and his wife with
all the tenderness of a father and mother; and as they advanced
in age, they all shewed marks of superior dignity, but the
princess in particular, which discovered itself every day by
their docility and inclinations above trifles, different from
those of common children, and by a certain air which could only
belong to exalted birth. All this increased the affeftions of the
intendant and his wife, who called the eldest prince Bahman, and
the second Perviz, both of them names of the most ancient
emperors of Persia, and the princess, Perie-zadeh, which name
also had been borne by several queens and princesses of the

As soon as the two princes were old enough, the intendant
provided proper masters to teach them to read and write; and the
princess their sister, who was often with them, shewing a great
desire to learn, the intendant, pleased with her quickness,
employed the same master to teach her also. Her emulation,
vivacity, and piercing wit, made her in a little time as great a
proficient as her brothers.

From that time the brothers and sister had the same masters in
geography, poetry, history, and even the secret sciences; and
made so wonderful a progress, that their tutors were amazed, and
frankly owned that they could teach them no farther. At the hours
of recreation, the princess learned to sing and play upon all
sorts of instruments; and when the princes were learning to ride
she would not permit them to have that advantage over her, but
went through all the exercises with them, learning to ride also,
to bend the bow, and dart the reed or javelin, and often-times
outdid them in the race, and other contests of agility.

The intendant of the gardens was so overjoyed to find his adopted
children so accomplished in all the perfections of body and mind,
and that they so well requited the expense he had been at in
their education, that he resolved to be at a still greater: for
as he had till then been content only with his lodge at the
entrance of the garden, and kept no country house, he purchased a
country seat at a short distance from the city, surrounded by a
large tract of arable land, meadows, and woods. As the house was
not sufficiently handsome nor convenient, he pulled it down, and
spared no expense in building a mansion more magnificent. He went
every day to hasten, by his presence, the great number of workmen
he employed; and as soon as there was an apartment ready to
receive him, passed several days together there when his presence
was not necessary at court; and by the same exertions, the
interior was furnished in the richest manner, answerably to the
magnificence of the edifice. Afterwards he made gardens,
according to a plan drawn by himself. He took in a large extent
of ground, which he walled round, and stocked with fallow deer,
that the princes and princess might divert themselves with
hunting when they chose.

When this country seat was finished and fit for habitation, the
intendant of the gardens went and cast himself at the emperor's
feet, and after representing how long he had served, and the
infirmities of age which he found growing upon him, begged he
would permit him to resign his charge into his majesty's
disposal, and retire. The emperor gave him leave, with the more
pleasure because he was satisfied with his long services, both in
his father's reign and his own; and when he granted it, asked
what he should do to recompense him? "Sir," replied the intendant
of the gardens, "I have received so many obligations from your
majesty and the late emperor your father of happy memory, that I
desire no more than the honour of dying in your favour."

He took his leave of the emperor, and retired with the two
princes and the princess to the country retreat he had built. His
wife had been dead some years, and he himself had not lived above
six months with them before he was surprised by so sudden a
death, that he had not time to give them the least account of the
manner in which he had discovered them.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, who
knew no other father than the intendant of the emperor's gardens,
regretted and bewailed him as such, and paid all the honours in
his funeral obsequies which love and filial gratitude required of
them. Satisfied with the plentiful fortune he had left them, they
lived together in perfect union, free from the ambition of
distinguishing themselves at court, or aspiring to places of
honour and dignity, which they might easily have obtained.

One day when the two princes were hunting, and the princess had
remained at home, a religious old woman came to the gate, and
desired leave to go in to say her prayers, it being then the
hour. The servants asked the princess's permission, who ordered
them to shew her into the oratory, which the intendant of the
emperor's gardens had taken care to fit up in his house, for want
of a mosque in the neighbourhood. She bade them also, after the
good woman had finished her prayers, shew her the house and
gardens, and then bring her to her.

The old woman went into the oratory, said her prayers, and when
she came out two of the princess's women invited her to see the
house and gardens; which civility she accepted, followed them
from one apartment to another, and observed, like a person who
understood what belonged to furniture, the nice arrangement of
every thing. They conducted her also into the garden, the
disposition of which she found so well planned, that she admired
it, observing that the person who had formed it must have been an
excellent master of his art. Afterwards she was brought before
the princess, who waited for her in the great hall, which in
beauty and richness exceeded all that she had admired in the
other apartments.

As soon as the princess saw the devout woman, she said to her,
"My good mother, come near and sit down by me. I am overjoyed at
the happiness of having the opportunity of profiting for some
moments by the good example and conversation of such a person as
you, who have taken the right way by dedicating yourself to the
service of God. I wish every one were as wise."

The devout woman, instead of sitting on a sofa, would only sit
upon the edge of one. The princess would not permit her to do so,
but rising from her seat,'and taking her by the hand, obliged her
to come and sit by her. The good woman, sensible of the civility,
said, "Madam, I ought not to have so much respect shewn me; but
since you command, and are mistress of your own house, I will
obey you." When she had seated herself, before they entered into
any conversation, one of the princess's women brought a little
low stand of mother of pearl and ebony, with a china dish full of
cakes upon it, and many others set round it full of fruits in
season, and wet and dry sweetmeats.

The princess took up one of the cakes, and presenting her with
it, said, "Eat, good mother, and make choice of what you like
best; you had need to eat after coming so far." "Madam," replied
the good woman, "I am not used to eat such delicacies; but will
not refuse what God has sent me by so liberal a hand as yours."

While the devout woman was eating, the princess ate a little too,
to bear her company, and asked her many questions upon the
exercise of devotion which she practised, and how she lived: all
which she answered with great modesty. Talking of several things,
at last she asked her what she thought of the house, and how she
liked it.

"Madam," answered the devout woman, "I must certainly have very
bad taste to disapprove any thing in it, since it is beautiful,
regular, and magnificently furnished with exactness and judgment,
and all its ornaments adjusted in the best manner. Its situation
is an agreeable spot, and no garden can be more delightful; but
yet if you will give me leave to speak my mind freely, I will
take the liberty to tell you, that this house would be
incomparable if it had three things which are wanting to complete
it.""My good mother," replied the princess Perie-zadeh,"what are
those? I conjure you, in God's name, to tell me what they are: I
will spare nothing to get them, if it be possible."

"Madam," replied the devout woman, "the first of these three
things is the speaking bird, so singular a creature, that it
draws round it all the singing birds of the neighbourhood, which
come to accompany his song. The second is the singing tree, the
leaves of which are so many mouths, which form an harmonious
concert of different voices, and never cease. The third is the
yellow water of a gold colour, a single drop of which being
poured into a vessel properly prepared, it increases so as to
fill it immediately, and rises up in the middle like a fountain,
which continually plays, and yet the basin never overflows."

"Ah! my good mother," cried the princess, "how much am I obliged
to you for the knowledge of these curiosities! They are
surprising, and I never before heard there were such wonderful
rarities in the world; but as I am persuaded that you know, I
expect that you should do me the favour to inform me where they
are to be found."

"Madam," replied the good woman, "I should be unworthy the
hospitality you have with so much goodness shewn me, if I should
refuse to satisfy your curiosity in that point; and am glad to
have the honour to tell you, that these curiosities are all to be
met with in the same spot on the confines of this kingdom,
towards India. The road to it lies before your house, and whoever
you send needs but follow it for twenty days, and on the
twentieth let him only ask the first person he meets where the
speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water are, and he will be
informed." After saying this, she rose from her seat, took her
leave, and went her way.

The princess Perie-zadeh's thoughts were so taken up with what
the devout woman had told her of the speaking bird, singing tree,
and yellow water, that she never perceived her departure, till
she wanted to ask her some question for her better information;
for she thought that what she had told her was not a sufficient
reason for exposing herself by undertaking a long journey,
possibly to no purpose. However, she would not send after her,
but endeavoured to remember all she had told her; and when she
thought she had recollected every word, took real pleasure in
thinking of the satisfaction she should have if she could get
these wonderful curiosities into her possession; but the
difficulties she apprehended, and the fear of not succeeding,
made her very uneasy.

She was absorbed in these thoughts when her brothers returned
from hunting; who, when they entered the great hall, instead of
finding her lively and gay, as she used to be be, were amazed to
see her so pensive, and hanging down her head as if something
troubled her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman,"what is become of all your mirth
and gaiety? Are you not well? or has some misfortune befallen
you? Has any body given you reason to be so melancholy? Tell us,
that we may know how to act, and give you some relief. If any one
has affronted you, we will resent his insolence."

The princess remained in the same posture some time without
answering; but at last lifted up her eyes to look at her
brothers, and then held them down again, telling them nothing
disturbed her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman, "you conceal the truth from us;
there must be something of consequence. It is impossible we could
observe so sudden a change if nothing was the matter with you.
You would not have us satisfied with the evasive answer you have
given: do not conceal any thing, unless you would have us suspect
that you renounce the strict union which has hitherto subsisted
between us from our infancy."

The princess, who had not the smallest intention to offend her
brothers, would not suffer them to entertain such a thought, but
said, "When I told you nothing disturbed me, I meant nothing that
was of importance to you; but to me it is of some consequence;
and since you press me to tell you by our strict union and
friendship, which are so dear to me, I will. You think, and I
always believed so too, that this house was so complete that
nothing was wanting. But this day I have learned that it wants
three rarities, which would render it so perfect that no country
seat in the world could be compared with it. These three things
are, the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water.
After she had informed them wherein consisted the excellency of
these rarities, "A devout woman," added she, "has made this
discovery to me, told me the place where they are to be found,
and the way thither. Perhaps you may imagine these things to be
trifles, and of little consequence to render our house complete,
that without these additions it will always be thought
sufficiently elegant with what it already contains, and that we
can do without them. You may think as you please; but I cannot
help telling you that I am persuaded they are absolutely
necessary, and I shall not be easy without them. Therefore,
whether you value them or not, I desire you to consider what
person you may think proper for me to send in search of the
curiosities I have mentioned."

"Sister," replied prince Bahman, "nothing can concern you in
which we have not an equal interest. It is enough that you have
an earnest desire for the things you mention to oblige us to take
the same interest; but if you had not, we feel ourselves inclined
of our own accord and for our own individual satisfaction. I am
persuaded my brother is of the same opinion, and therefore we
ought to undertake this conquest; for the importance and
singularity of the undertaking deserve that name. I will take
that charge upon myself; only tell me the place, and the way to
it, and I will defer my journey no longer than till to-morrow."

"Brother," said prince Perviz, "it is not proper that you, who
are the head and director of our family, should be absent. I
desire my sister would join with me to oblige you to abandon your
design, and allow me to undertake it. I hope to acquit myself as
well as you, and it will be a more regular proceeding." "I am
persuaded of your good-will, brother," replied prince Bahman,
"and that you would succeed as well as myself in this journey;
but I have resolved, and will undertake it. You shall stay at
home with our sister, and I need not recommend her to you." He
spent the remainder of the day in making preparations for his
journey, and informing himself from the princess of the
directions which the devout woman had left her.

The next morning Bahman mounted his horse, and Perviz and the
princess embraced, and wished him a good journey. But in the
midst of their adieus, the princess recollected what she had not
thought of before. "Brother," said she, "I had quite forgotten
the accidents which attend travellers. Who knows whether I shall
ever see you again? Alight, I beseech you, and give up this
journey. I would rather be deprived of the sight and possession
of the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water, than run
the risk of never seeing you more."

"Sister," replied Bahman, smiling at the sudden fears of the
princess, "my resolution is fixed, but were it not, I should
determine upon it now, and you must allow me to execute it. The
accidents you speak of befall only those who are unfortunate; but
there are more who are not so. However, as events are uncertain,
and I may fail in this undertaking, all I can do is to leave you
this knife."

Bahman, pulling a knife from his vestband, and presenting it in
the sheath to the princess, said, "Take this knife, sister, and
give yourself the trouble sometimes to pull it out of the sheath:
while you see it clean as it is now, it will be a sign that I am
alive; but if you find it stained with blood, then you may
believe me dead, and indulge me with your prayers."

The princess could obtain nothing more of Bahman. He bade adieu
to her and prince Perviz for the last time, and rode away. When
he got into the road he never turned to the right hand nor to the
left, but went direftly forward towards India. The twentieth day
he perceived on the road side a hideous old man, who sat under a
tree some small distance from a thatched house, which was his
retreat from the weather.

His eye-brows were as white as snow, as was also the hair of his
head; his whiskers covered his mouth, and his beard and hair
reached down to his feet. The nails of his hands and feet were
grown to an extensive length; a flat broad umbrella covered his
head. He had no clothes, but only a mat thrown round his body.

This old man was a dervish, for many years retired from the
world, to give himself up entirely to the service of God; so that
at last be became what we have described.

Prince Bahman, who had been all that morning very attentive to
see if he could meet with any body who could give him information
of the place he was in search of, stopped when he came near the
dervish, alighted, in conformity to the directions which the
devout woman had given the princess Perie-zadeh, and leading his
horse by the bridle, advanced towards him, and saluting him,
said, "God prolong your days, good father, and grant you the
accomplishment of your desires."

The dervish returned the prince's salutation, but so
unintelligibly that he could not understand one word he said:
prince Bahman perceiving that this difficulty proceeded from the
dervish's whiskers hanging over his mouth, and unwilling to go
any farther without the instructions he wanted, pulled out a pair
of scissors he had about him, and having tied his horse to a
branch of the tree, said, "Good dervish, I want to have some talk
with you: but your whiskers prevent my understanding what you
say: and if you will consent, I will cut off some part of them
and of your eye-brows, which disfigure you so much that you look
more like a bear than a man."

The dervish did not oppose the offer; and when the prince had cut
off as much hair as he thought fit, he perceived that the dervish
had a good complexion, and that he did not seem so old as he
really was. "Good dervish," said he, "if I had a glass I would
shew you how young you look: you are now a man, but before nobody
could tell what you were."

The kind behaviour of prince Bahman made the dervish smile, and
return his compliment. "Sir," said he, "whoever you are, I am
obliged by the good office you have performed, and am ready to
shew my gratitude by doing any thing in my power for you. You
must have alighted here upon some account or other. Tell me what
it is, and I will endeavour to serve you."

"Good dervish," replied prince Bahman, "I am in search of the
speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water; I know
these three rarities are not far from hence, but cannot tell
exactly the place where they are to be found; if you know, I
conjure you to shew me the way, that I may not lose my labour
after so long a journey."

The prince, while he spoke, observed that the dervish changed
countenance, held down his eyes, looked very serious, and instead
of making any reply, remained silent; which obliged him to say to
him again, "Good father, I fancy you heard me; tell me whether
you know what I ask you, that I may not lose my time, but inform
myself somewhere else."

At last the dervish broke silence. "Sir," said he to prince
Bahman, "I know the way you ask of me; but the regard which I
conceived for you the first moment I saw you, and which is grown
stronger by the service you have done me, kept me in suspense,
whether I should give you the satisfaction you desire." "What
motive can hinder you?" replied the prince; "and what
difficulties do you find in so doing?" "I will tell you," replied
the dervish; "the danger you are going to expose yourself to is
greater than you may suppose. A number of gentlemen of as much
bravery and courage as you can possibly possess have passed this
way, and asked me the same question. When I had used all my
endeavours to persuade them to desist, they would not believe me;
at last, I yielded, to their importunities; I was compelled to
shew them the way, and I can assure you they have all perished,
for I have not seen one come back. Therefore, if you have any
regard for your life, take my advice, go no farther, but return

Prince Bahman persisted in his resolution. "I will not suppose,"
said he to the dervish, "but that your advice is sincere. I am
obliged to you for the friendship you express for me; but
whatever may be the danger, nothing shall make me change my
intention: whoever attacks me, I am well armed, and can say I am
as brave as any one." "But they who will attack you are not to be
seen," replied the dervish; "how will you defend yourself against
invisible persons?" "It is no matter," answered the prince; "all
you say shall not persuade me to do any thing contrary to my
duty. Since you know the way, I conjure you once more to inform

When the dervish found he could not prevail upon prince Bahman,
and that he was obstinately bent to pursue his journey
notwithstanding his friendly remonstrance, he put his hand into a
bag that lay by him and pulled out a bowl, which he presented to
him. "Since I cannot prevail on you to attend to my advice," said
he, "take this bowl; when you are on horseback throw it before
you, and follow it to the foot of a mountain, where it will stop.
As soon as the bowl stops, alight, leave your horse with the
bridle over his neck, and he will stand in the same place till
you return. As you ascend you will see on your right and left a
great number of large black stones, and will hear on all sides a
confusion of voices, which will utter a thousand injurious abuses
to discourage you, and prevent your reaching the summit of the
mountain. Be not afraid; but above all things, do not turn your
head to look behind you; for in that instant you will be changed
into such a black stone as those you see, which are all youths
who have failed in this enterprise. If you escape the danger of
which I give you but a faint idea, and get to the top of the
mountain, you will see a cage, and in that cage is the bird you
seek; ask him which are the singing tree and the yellow water,
and he will tell you. I have nothing more to say; this is what
you have to do, and the danger you have to avoid; but if you are
prudent, you will take my advice, and not expose your life.
Consider once more while you have time that the difficulty is
almost insuperable."

"I am obliged to you for your repeated advice," replied prince
Bahman, after he had received the bowl, "but cannot follow it.
However, I will endeavour to conform myself to that part of it
which bids me not look behind me as I shall ascend the mountain,
and I hope to come and see you again soon, and thank you when I
have obtained what I am seeking." After these words, to which the
dervish made no other answer than that he should be overjoyed to
see him again, the prince mounted his horse, took his leave of
the dervish with a respectful salute, and threw the bowl before

The bowl rolled away unceasingly with as much swiftness as when
prince Bahman first hurled it from his hand, which obliged him to
put his horse to the same pace to avoid losing sight of it, and
when it had reached the foot of the mountain it stopped. The
prince alighted from his horse, laid the bridle on his neck; and
having first surveyed the mountain, and seen the black stones,
began to ascend; but had not gone four steps, before he heard the
voices mentioned by the dervish, though he could see nobody. Some
said, "Where is that fool going? where is he going? what would he
have? do not let him pass." Others, "Stop him, catch him, kill
him;" and others with a voice like thunder, "Thief! assassin!
murderer!" while some in a gibing tone cried, "No, no, do not
hurt him; let the pretty fellow pass, the cage and bird are kept
for him."

Notwithstanding all these troublesome voices, prince Bahman
ascended with courage and resolution for some time, but the
voices redoubled with so loud a din near him, both behind and
before, that at last he was seized with dread, his legs trembled
under him, he staggered, and finding that his strength failed
him, he forgot the dervish's advice, turned about to run down the
hill, and was that instant changed into a black stone; a
metamorphosis which had happened to many before him, who had
attempted the ascent. His horse likewise underwent the same

From the time of prince Bahman's departure, the princess Perie-
zadeh always wore the knife and sheath in her girdle, and pulled
it out several times in a day, to know whether her brother was
alive. She had the consolation to understand he was in perfect
health, and to talk of him frequently with prince Perviz, who
sometimes prevented her by asking her what news.

On the fatal day that prince Bahman was transformed into a stone,
as prince Perviz and the princess were talking together in the
evening, as usual, the prince desired his sister to pull out the
knife to know how their brother did. The princess readily
complied, and seeing the blood run down the point was seized with
so much horror that she threw it down. "Ah! my dear brother,"
cried she, "I have been the cause of your death, and shall never
see you more! Why did I tell you of the speaking bird, singing
tree, and yellow water; or rather, of what importance was it to
me to know whether the devout woman thought this house ugly or
handsome, or complete or not? I wish to Heaven she had never
addressed herself to me? Deceitful hypocrite!" added she, "is
this the return you have made for the kind reception I gave you?
Why did you tell me of a bird, a tree, and a water, which,
imaginary as I am persuaded they are, by my dear brother's death,
yet disturb me by your enchantment?"

Prince Perviz was as much afflicted at the death of prince Bahman
as the princess; but not to waste time in needless regret, as he
knew that she still passionately desired possession of the
speaking bird, the singing tree, and the golden water, he
interrupted her, saying, "Sister, our regret for our brother is
vain and useless; our grief and lamentations cannot restore him
to life; it is the will of God, we must submit to it, and adore
the decrees of the Almighty without searching into them. Why
should you now doubt of the truth of what the holy woman told
you? do you think she spoke to you of three things that were not
in being? and that she invented them on purpose to deceive you,
who had given her no cause to do so, but received her with so
much goodness and civility? Let us rather believe that our
brother's death is owing to some error on his part, or some
accident which we cannot conceive. It ought not therefore to
prevent us from pursuing our object. I offered to go this
journey, and am now more resolved than ever; his example has no
effect upon my resolution; to-morrow I will depart."

The princess did all she could to dissuade prince Perviz,
conjuring him not to expose her to the danger of losing two
brothers; but he was obstinate, and all the remonstrances she
could urge had no effeft upon him. Before he went, that she might
know what success he had, he left her a string of a hundred
pearls, telling her, that if they would not run when she should
count them upon the string, but remain fixed, that would be a
certain sign he had undergone the same fate as his brother; but
at the same time told her he hoped it would never happen, but
that he should have the happiness to see her again to their
mutual satisfaction.

Prince Perviz, on the twentieth day after his departure, met the
same dervish in the same place as his brother Bahman had done
before him. He went diredly up to him, and after he had saluted,
asked him, if he could tell him where to find the speaking bird,
the singing tree, and the golden water? The dervish urged the
same difficulties and remonstrances as he had done to prince
Bahman, telling him, that a young gentleman, who very much
resembled him, was with him a short time before; that, overcome
by his importunity and pressing instances, he had shewn him the
way, given him a guide, and told him how he should act to
succeed; but that he had not seen him since, and doubted not but
he had shared the same fate as all other adventurers.

"Good dervish," answered prince Perviz, "I know whom you speak
of; he was my elder brother, and I am informed of the certainty
of his death, but know not the cause." "I can tell you," replied
the dervise; "he was changed into a black stone, as all I speak
of have been; and you must expeft the same transformation, unless
you observe more exaftly than he has done the advice I gave him,
in case you persist in your resolution, which I once more entreat
you to renounce."

"Dervish," said prince Perviz, "I cannot sufficiently express how
much I am obliged for the concern you take in my life, who am a
stranger to you, and have done nothing to deserve your kindness:
but I thoroughly considered this enterprise before I undertook
it, and I cannot now relinquish it: therefore I beg of you to do
me the same favour you have done my brother. Perhaps I may have
better success in following your direftions." "Since I cannot
prevail with you," said the dervish, "to give up your obstinate
resolution, if my age did not prevent me, and I could stand, I
would get up to reach you a bowl I have here, which will shew you
the way."

Without giving the dervish time to say more, the prince alighted
from his horse and went to the dervish, who had taken a bowl out
of his bag, in which he had a great many, and gave it him, with
the same directions he had given prince Bahman; and after warning
him not to be discouraged by the voices he should hear without
seeing any body, however threatening they might be, but to
continue his way up the hill till he saw the cage and bird, he
let him depart.

Prince Perviz thanked the dervish, and when he had remounted, and
taken leave, threw the bowl before his horse, and spurring him at
the same time, followed it. When the bowl came to the bottom of
the hill it stopped, the prince alighted, and stood some time to
recollect the dervish's directions. He encouraged himself, and
began to walk up with a resolution to reach the summit; but
before he had gone above six steps, he heard a voice, which
seemed to be near, as of a man behind him, say in an insulting
tone, "Stay, rash youth, that I may punish you for your

Upon this affront the prince, forgetting the dervish's advice,
clapped his hand upon his sword, drew it, and turned about to
revenge himself; but had scarcely time to see that nobody
followed him before he and his horse were changed into black

In the mean time the princess Perie-zadeh, several times a day
after her brother's departure, counted her chaplet. She did not
omit it at night, but when she went to bed put it about her neck;
and in the morning when she awoke counted over the pearls again
to see if they would slide.

The day that prince Perviz was transformed into a stone, she was
counting over the pearls as she used to do, when all at once they
became immoveably fixed, a certain token that the prince her
brother was dead. As she had determined what to do in case it
should so happen, she lost no time in outward demonstrations of
grief, which she concealed as much as possible; but having
disguised herself in man's apparel, armed and equipped, she
mounted her horse the next morning, having told her servants she
should return in two or three days, and took the same road her
brothers had done.

The princess, who had been used to ride on horseback in hunting,
supported the fatigue of so long a journey better than most
ladies could have done; and as she made the same stages as her
brothers, she also met with the dervish on the twentieth day.
When she came near him, she alighted off her horse, leading him
by the bridle, went and sat down by the dervish, and after she
had saluted him, said, "Good dervish, give me leave to rest
myself; and do me the favour to tell me if you have not heard
that there are somewhere in this neighbourhood a speaking bird, a
singing tree, and golden water."

"Princess," answered the dervish, "for so I must call you, since
by your voice I know you to be a woman disguised in man's
apparel, I thank you for your compliment, and receive the honour
you do me with great pleasure. I know the place well where these
things are to be found: but what makes you ask me this question?"

"Good dervish," replied the princess, "I have had such a
flattering relation of them given me, that I have a great desire
to possess them." "Madam," replied the dervish, "you have been
told the truth. These curiosities are more singular and
surprising than they have been represented to you: but you have
not been made acquainted with the difficulties which must be
surmounted in order to obtain them. If you had been fully
informed of these, you would not have undertaken so troublesome
and dangerous an enterprise. Take my advice, go no farther,
return, and do not urge me to contribute towards your ruin."

"Good father," said the princess, "I have travelled a great way,
and should be sorry to return without executing my design. You
talk of difficulties, and danger of life; but you do not tell me
what those difficulties are, and wherein the danger consists.
This is what I desire to know, that I may consider and judge
whether I can trust my courage and strength to brave them."

The dervish repeated to the princess what he had said to the
princes Bahman and Perviz, exaggerating the difficulties of
climbing up to the top of the mountain, where she was to make
herself mistress of the bird, which would inform her of the
singing tree and golden water. He magnified the noise and din of
the terrible threatening voices which she would hear on all sides
of her, without seeing any body, and the great number of black
stones, alone sufficient to strike terror. He entreated her to
reflect that those stones were so many brave gentlemen, so
metamorphosed for having omitted to observe the principal
condition of success in the perilous undertaking, which was not
to look behind them before they had got possession of the cage.

When the dervish had done, the princess replied, "By what I
comprehend from your discourse, the difficulties of succeeding in
this affair are, first, the getting up to the cage without being
frightened at the terrible din of voices I shall hear; and
secondly, not to look behind me: for this last, I hope I shall be
mistress enough of myself to observe it. As to the first, I own
that those voices, such as you represent them to be, are capable
of striking terror into the most undaunted; but as in all
enterprises and dangers every one may use stratagem, I desire to
know of you if I may use any in one of so great importance." "And
what stratagem is it you would employ?" said the dervish. "To
stop my ears with cotton," answered the princess, "that the
voices, however loud and terrible, may make the less impression
upon my imagination, and my mind remain free from that
disturbance which might cause me to lose the use of my reason."

"Princess," replied the dervish, "of all the persons who have
addressed themselves to me for information, I do not know that
ever one made use of the contrivance you propose. All I know is,
that they all perished. If you persist in your design, you may
make the experiment. You will be fortunate if it succeeds; but I
would advise you not to expose yourself to the danger."

"My good father," replied the princess, "nothing can hinder my
persisting in my design. I am sure my precaution will succeed,
and am resolved to try the experiment. Nothing remains for me but
to know which way I must go; I conjure you not to deny me the
favour of that information." The dervish exhorted her again, for
the last time, to consider well what she was going to do; but
finding her resolute, he took out a bowl, and presenting it to
her, said, "Take this bowl; mount your horse again, and when you
have thrown it before you, follow it through all its windings,
till it stops at the bottom of the mountain, there alight, and
ascend the hill. Go; you know the rest."

After the princess had thanked the dervish, and taken her leave
of him, she mounted her horse, threw the bowl before her, and
followed it till it stopped at the foot of the mountain.

The princess alighted, stopped her ears with cotton; and after
she had well examined the path leading to the summit, began with
a moderate pace, and walked up with intrepidity. She heard the
voices, and perceived the great service the cotton was to her.
The higher she went, the louder and more numerous the voices
seemed; but they were not capable of making any impression upon
her. She heard a great many affronting speeches and raillery very
disagreeable to a woman, which she only laughed at. "I mind not,"
said she to herself, "all that can be said, were it worse; I only
laugh at them, and shall pursue my way. At last she got so high,
that she could perceive the cage and the bird, which endeavoured,
with the voices, to frighten her, crying in a thundering tone,
notwithstanding the smallness of its size, "Retire, fool, and
approach no nearer."

The princess, encouraged by this object, redoubled her speed, and
by effort gained the summit of the mountain, where the ground was
level; then running directly to the cage, and clapping her hand
upon it, cried, "Bird, I have you, and you shall not escape me."

While Perie-zadeh was pulling the cotton out of her ears, the
bird said to her, "Heroic princess, be not angry with me for
joining with those who exerted themselves to preserve my liberty.
Though in a cage, I was content with my condition; but since I am
destined to be a slave, I would rather be yours than any other
person's, since you have obtained me so courageously. From this
instant, I swear inviolable fidelity, and an entire submission to
all your commands. I know who you are; you do not: but the time
will come when I shall do you essential service, which I hope you
will think yourself obliged to me for. As a proof of my
sincerity, tell me what you desire, and I am ready to obey you."

The princess's joy was the more inexpressible, because the
conquest she had made had cost her the lives of two beloved
brothers, and given her more trouble and danger than she could
have imagined, notwithstanding what the dervish had represented
to her. "Bird," said she, "it was my intention to have told you
that I wish for many things which are of importance; but I am
overjoyed that you have shewn your good-will and prevented me. I
have been told that there is not far off a golden water, the
property of which is very wonderful; before all things, I ask you
to tell me where it is." The bird shewed her the place, which was
just by, and she went and filled a little silver flagon which she
had brought with her. She returned to the bird and said, "Bird,
this is not enough; I want also the singing tree; tell me where
it is." "Turn about," said the bird, "and you will see behind you
a wood, where you will find this tree." The princess went into
the wood, and by the harmonious concert she heard soon knew the
tree among many others, but it was very large and high. She came
back to the bird, and said to it, "Bird, I have found the singing
tree, but I can neither pull it up by the roots, nor carry it."
The bird replied, "It is not necessary that you should take it up
by the roots; it will be sufficient to break off a branch, and
carry it to plant in your garden; it will take root as soon as it
is put into the earth, and in a little time will grow to as fine
a tree as that you have seen."

When the princess had obtained possession of the three things
which the devout woman had told her of, and for which she had
conceived so great a desire, she said again to the bird, "Bird,
what you have yet done for me is not sufficient. You have been
the cause of the death of my two brothers, who must be among the
black stones which I saw as I ascended the mountain. I wish to
take them home with me."

The bird seemed reluctant to satisfy the princess in this point,
and indeed made some difficulty to comply. "Bird," said the
princess, "remember you told me that you were my slave. You are
so; and your life is in my disposal." "That I cannot deny,"
answered the bird; "but although what you now ask is more
difficult than all the rest, yet I will do it for you. Cast your
eyes around," added he, "and look if you can see a little
pitcher." "I see it already," said the princess. "Take it then,"
said he, "and as you descend the mountain, sprinkle a little of
the water that is in it upon every black stone."

The princess took up the pitcher accordingly, carried with her
the cage and bird, the flagon of golden water, and the branch of
the singing tree, and as she descended the mountain, threw a
little of the water on every black stone, which was changed
immediately into a man; and as she did not miss one stone, all
the horses, both of the princes her brothers, and of the other
gentlemen, resumed their natural forms. She instantly recognized
Bahman and Perviz, as they did her, and ran to embrace her. She
returned their embraces, and expressed her amazement. "What do
you here, my dear brothers?" said she; they told her they had
been asleep. "Yes," replied she, "and if it had not been for me,
perhaps you might have slept till the day of judgment. Do not you
remember that you came to fetch the speaking bird, the singing
tree, and the yellow water? and did not you see, as you came
along, the place covered with black stones? Look and see if there
be any now. The gentlemen and their horses who surround us, and
you yourselves, were these black stones. If you desire to know
how this wonder was performed," continued she, shewing the
pitcher, which she set down at the foot of the mountain, having
no further use for it, "it was done by virtue of the water which
was in this pitcher, with which I sprinkled every stone. After I
had made the speaking bird (which you see in this cage) my slave,
by his directions I found out the singing tree, a branch of which
I have now in my hand; and the yellow water, which this flagon is
filled with; but being still unwilling to return without taking
you with me, I constrained the bird, by the power I had over him,
to afford me the means. He told me where to find this pitcher,
and the use I was to make of it."

The princes Bahman and Perviz learnt by this relation the
obligation they had to the princess their sister; as did all the
other gentlemen, who were collected round, and expressed to the
princess, that, far from envying her happiness in the conquest
she had made, and which they all had aspired to, they thought
they could not any otherwise acknowledge the favour she had done
them, or better express their gratitude to her for restoring them
to life again, than by declaring themselves all her slaves, and
that they were ready to obey her in whatever she should command.

"Gentlemen," replied the princess, "if you had given any
attention to my words you might have observed that I had no other
intention in what I have done than to recover my brothers;
therefore, if you have received any benefit, you owe me no
obligation, and I have no further share in your compliment than
your politeness towards me, for which I return you my thanks. In
other respects, I regard each of you individually as free as you
were before your misfortunes, and I rejoice with you at the
happiness which has accrued to you by my means. Let us however
stay no longer in a place where we have nothing to detain us; but
mount our horses, and return to our respective homes."

The princess took her horse, which stood in the place where she
had left him.--Before she mounted, prince Bahman desired her to
give him the cage to carry. "Brother," replied the princess, "the
bird is my slave, and I will carry him myself; if you will take
the pains to carry the branch of the singing tree, there it is;
only hold the cage while I get on horseback." When she had
mounted her horse; and prince Bahman had given her the cage, she
turned about and said to prince Perviz, "I leave the flagon of
golden water to your care, if it will not be too much trouble for
you to carry it." Prince Perviz took charge of it with pleasure.

When Bahman, Perviz, and all the gentlemen had mounted their
horses, the princess waited for some of them to lead the way. The
two princes paid that compliment to the gentlemen, and they again
to the princess, who, finding that none of them would accept of
the honour, but that it was reserved for her, addressed herself
to them and said, "Gentlemen, I expect that some of you should
lead the way;" to which one who was nearest to her, in the name
of the rest, replied, "Madam, were we ignorant of the respect due
to your sex, yet after what you have done for us there is no
deference we would not willingly pay you, notwithstanding your
modesty; we entreat you no longer to deprive us of the happiness
of following you."

"Gentlemen," said the princess, "I do not deserve the honour you
do me, and accept it only because you desire it." At the same
time she led the way, and the two princes and the gentlemen

This illustrious company called upon the dervish as they passed,
to thank him for his reception and wholesome advice, which they
had all found to be sincere. But he was dead: whether of old age,
or because he was no longer necessary to shew the way to the
obtaining the three rarities which the princess Perie-zadeh had
secured, did not appear. They pursued their route, but lessened
in their numbers every day. The gentlemen who, as we said before,
had come from different countries, after severally repeating
their obligations to the princess and her brothers, took leave of
them one after another as they approached the road they had come.

As soon as the princess reached home, she placed the cage in the
garden; and the bird no sooner began to warble than he was
surrounded by nightingales, chaffinches, larks, linnets,
goldfinches, and every species of birds of the country. And the
branch of the singing tree was no sooner set in the midst of the
parterre, a little distance from the house, than it took root,
and in a short time became a large tree, the leaves of which gave
as harmonious a concert as those of the tree from which it was
gathered. A large basin of beautiful marble was placed in the
garden; and when it was finished, the princess poured into it all
the yellow water from the flagon, which instantly increased and
swelled so much that it soon reached up to the edges of the
basin, and afterwards formed in the middle a fountain twenty feet
high, which fell again into the basin perpetually without running

The report of these wonders was presently spread abroad, and as
the gates of the house and those of the gardens were shut to
nobody, a great number of people came to admire them.

Some days after, when the princes Bahman and Perviz had recovered
from the fatigue of their journey, they resumed their former way
of living; and as their usual diversion was hunting, they mounted
their horses and went for the first time since their return, not
to their own demesne, but two or three leagues from their house.
As they pursued their sport, the emperor of Persia came in
pursuit of game upon the same ground. When they perceived by the
number of horsemen in different places that he would soon be up,
they resolved to discontinue their chase, and retire to avoid
encountering him; but in the very road they took they chanced to
meet him in so narrow a way that they could not retreat without
being seen. In their surprise they had only time to alight, and
prostrate themselves before the emperor, without lifting up their
heads to look at him. The emperor, who saw they were as well
mounted and dressed as if they had belonged to his court, had the
curiosity to see their faces. He stopped, and commanded them to
rise. The princes rose up, and stood before him with an easy and
graceful air, accompanied with respeftful modest countenances.
The emperor took some time to view them before he spoke: and
after he had admired their good air and mien, asked them who they
were, and where they lived.

"Sir," said prince Bahman, "we are the sons of the late intendant
of your majesty's gardens: and live in a house which he built a
little before he died, till we should be fit to serve your
majesty, and ask of you some employ when opportunity offered."

"By what I perceive," replied the emperor, "you love hunting."
"Sir," replied prince Bahman, "it is our common exercise, and
what none of your majesty's subjects who intend to bear arms in
your armies ought, according to the ancient custom of the
kingdom, to neglect." The emperor, charmed with so prudent an
answer, said, "Since it is so, I should be glad to see your
expertness in the chase; choose your own game.

The princes mounted their horses again, and followed the emperor;
but had not gone far before they saw many wild beasts together.
Prince Bahman chose a lion, and prince Perviz a bear; and pursued
them with so much intrepidity, that the emperor was surprised.
They came up with their game nearly at the same time, and darted
their javelins with so much skill and address, that they pierced,
the one the lion, and the other the bear, so effectually, that
the emperor saw them fall one after the other. Immediately
afterwards prince Bahman pursued another bear, and prince Perviz
another lion, and killed them in a short time, and would have
beaten out for fresh game, but the emperor would not let them,
and sent to them to come to him. When they approached he said,
"If I would have given you leave, you would soon have destroyed
all my game: but it is not that which I would preserve, but your
persons; for I am so well assured your bravery may one time or
other be serviceable to me, that from this moment your lives will
be always dear to me."

The emperor, in short, conceived so great a kindness for the two
princes, that he invited them immediately to make him a visit: to
which prince Bahman replied, "Your majesty does us an honour we
do not deserve; and we beg you will excuse us."

The emperor, who could not comprehend what reason the princes
could have to refuse this token of his favour, pressed them to
tell him why they excused themselves. "Sir," said prince Bahman,
"we have a sister younger than ourselves, with whom we live in
such perfect union, that we undertake nothing before we consult
her, nor she any thing without asking our advice." "I commend
your brotherly affection," answered the emperor. "Consult your
sister, meet me here tomorrow, and give me an answer."

The princes went home, but neglected to speak of their adventure
in meeting the emperor, and hunting with him, and also of the
honour he had done them, by asking them to go home with him; yet
did not the next morning fail to meet him at the place appointed.
"Well," said the emperor, "have you spoken to your sister? And
has she consented to the pleasure I expect of seeing you?" The
two princes looked at each other and blushed. "Sir," said prince
Bahman, "we beg your majesty to excuse us: for both my brother
and I forgot." "Then remember to-day," replied the emperor, "and
be sure to bring me an answer to-morrow."

The princes were guilty of the same fault a second time, and the
emperor was so good-natured as to forgive their negligence; but
to prevent their forgetfulness the third time, he pulled three
little golden balls out of a purse, and put them into prince
Bahman's bosom. "These balls," said he, smiling, "will prevent
your forgetting a third time what I wish you to do for my sake;
since the noise they will make by falling on the floor, when you
undress, will remind you, if you do not recollect it before." The
event happened just as the emperor foresaw; and without these
balls the princes had not thought of speaking to their sister of
this affair. For as prince Bahman unloosed his girdle to go to
bed the balls dropped on the floor, upon which he ran into prince
Perviz's chamber, when both went into the princess Perie-zadeh's
apartment, and after they had asked her pardon for coming at so
unseasonable a time, they told her all the circumstances of their
meeting the emperor.

The princess was somewhat surprised at this intelligence. "Your
meeting with the emperor," said she, "is happy and honourable,
and may in the end be highly advantageous to you, but it is very
disagreeable and distrustful to me. It was on my account, I know,
you refused the emperor, and I am infinitely obliged to you for
doing so. I know by this your affection is equal to my own, since
you would rather be guilty of incivility towards the emperor than
violate the brotherly union we have sworn to each other. You
judge right, for if you had once gone you would insensibly have
been engaged to leave me, to devote yourselves to him. But do you
think it an easy matter absolutely to refuse the emperor what he
seems so earnestly to desire? Monarchs will be obeyed in their
desires, and it may be dangerous to oppose them; therefore, if to
follow my inclination I should dissuade you from shewing the
complaisance he expects from you, it may expose you to his
resentment, and may render myself and you miserable. These are my
sentiments: but before we conclude upon any thing let us consult
the speaking bird, and hear what he says; he is penetrating, and
has promised his assistance in all difficulties."

The princess sent for the cage, and after she had related the
circumstances to the bird in the presence of her brothers, asked
him what they should do in this perplexity? The bird answered,
"The princes your brothers must conform to the emperor's
pleasure, and in their turn invite him to come and see your

"But, bird," replied the princess, "my brothers and I love one
another, and our friendship is yet undisturbed. Will not this
step be injurious to that friendship?" "Not at all," replied the
bird; "it will tend rather to cement it." "Then," answered the
princess, "the emperor will see me." The bird told her it was
necessary he should, and that everything would go better

Next morning the princes met the emperor hunting, who, at as
great a distance as he could make himself be heard, asked them if
they had remembered to speak to their sister? Prince Bahman
approached, and answered, "Sir, your majesty may dispose of us as
you please; we are ready to obey you; for we have not only
obtained our sister's consent with great ease, but she took it
amiss that we should pay her that deference in a matter wherein
our duty to your majesty was concerned. But if we have offended,
we hope you will pardon us." "Do not be uneasy on that account,"
replied the emperor; "so far from taking amiss what you have
done, I highly approve of your conduct, and hope you will have
the same deference and attachment to my person, if I have ever so
little share in your friendship." The princes, confounded at the
emperor's goodness, returned no other answer but a low obeisance,
to shew the great respect with which they received it.

The emperor, contrary to his usual custom, did not hunt long that
day. Presuming that the princes possessed wit equal to their
courage and bravery, he longed with impatience to converse with
them more at liberty. He made them ride on each side of him, an
honour which, without speaking of the principal courtiers who
accompanied him, was envied by the grand vizier, who was much
mortified to see them preferred before him.

When the emperor entered his capital, the eyes of the people, who
stood in crowds in the streets, were fixed upon the two princes
Bahman and Perviz; and they were earnest to know who they might
be, whether foreigners or natives.

All, however, agreed in wishing that the emperor had been blessed
with two such handsome princes, and said, "He might have had
children as old, if the queen, who had suffered the punishment of
her misfortune, had been more fortunate in her lyings-in."

The first thing that the emperor did when he arrived at his
palace was to conduct the princes into the principal apartments;
who praised without affectation, like persons conversant in such
matters, the beauty and symmetry of the rooms, and the richness
of the furniture and ornaments. Afterwards a magnificent repast
was served up, and the emperor made them sit with him, which they
at first refused; but finding it was his pleasure, they obeyed.

The emperor, who had himself much learning, particularly in
history, foresaw that the princes, out of modesty and respect,
would not take the liberty of beginning any conversation.
Therefore, to give them an opportunity, he furnished them with
subjects all dinner-time. But whatever subject he introduced,
they shewed so much wit, judgment, and discernment, that he was
struck with admiration. "Were these my own children," said he to
himself, "and I had improved their talents by suitable education,
they could not have been more accomplished or better informed."
In short, he took such great pleasure in their conversation, that
after having sat longer than usual he led them into his closet,
where he pursued his conversation with them, and at last said, "I
never supposed that there were among my subjects in the country
youths so well brought up, so lively, so capable; and I never was
better pleased with any conversation than yours: but it is time
now we should relax our minds with some diversion; and as nothing
is more capable of enlivening the mind than music, you shall hear
a vocal and instrumental concert which may not be disagreeable to

The emperor had no sooner spoken for them than the musicians, who
had orders to attend, entered, and answered fully the
expectations the princes had been led to entertain of their
abilities. After the concerts, an excellent farce was acted, and
the entertainment was concluded by dancers of both sexes.

The two princes seeing night approach, prostrated themselves at
the emperor's feet; and having first thanked him for the favours
and honours he had heaped upon them, asked his permission to
retire; which was granted by the emperor, who, in dismissing
them, said, "I give you leave to go; but remember I brought you
to the palace myself only to shew you the way; you will be always
welcome, and the oftener you come the greater pleasure you will
do me."

Before they went out of the emperor's presence, prince Bahman
said, "Sir, may we presume to request that your majesty will do
us and our sister the honour to pass by our house, and rest and
refresh yourself after your fatigue, the first time you take the
diversion of hunting in that neighbourhood? It is not worthy your
presence; but monarchs sometimes have vouchsafed to take shelter
in a cottage." "My children," replied the emperor; "your house
cannot be otherwise than beautiful, and worthy of its owners. I
will call and see it with pleasure, which will be the greater for
having for my hosts you and your sister, who is already dear to
me from the account you give me of the rare qualities with which
she is endowed; and this satisfaction I will defer no longer than
to-morrow. Early in the morning I will be at the place where I
shall never forget that I first saw you. Meet me, and you shall
be my guides."

When the princes Bahman and Perviz had returned home, they gave
the princess an account of the distinguished reception the
emperor had given them; and told her that they had invited him to
do them the honour, as he passed by, to call at their house; and
that he had appointed the next day.

"If it be so," replied the princess, "we must think of preparing
a repast fit for his majesty; and for that purpose I think it
would be proper we should consult the speaking bird, he will tell
us perhaps what meats the emperor likes best." The princes
approved of her plan, and after they had retired she consulted
the bird alone. "Bird," said she, "the emperor will do us the
honour to-morrow to come and see our house, and we are to
entertain him; tell us what we shall do to acquit ourselves to
his satisfaction."

"Good mistress," replied the bird, "you have excellent cooks, let
them do the best they can; but above all things, let them prepare
a dish of cucumbers stuffed full of pearls, which must be set
before the emperor in the first course before all the other

"Cucumbers stuffed full of pearls!" cried princess Perie-zadeh,
with amazement; "surely, bird, you do not know what you say; it
is an unheard-of dish. The emperor may admire it as a piece of
magnificence, but he will sit down to eat, and not to admire
pearls; besides, all the pearls I possess are not enough for such
a dish."

"Mistress," said the bird, "do what I say, and be not uneasy
about what may happen. Nothing but good will follow. As for the
pearls, go early to-morrow morning to the foot of the first tree
on your right hand in the park, dig under it, and you will find
more than you want."

That night the princess ordered a gardener to be ready to attend
her, and the next morning early led him to the tree which the
bird had told her of, and bade him dig at its foot. When the
gardener came to a certain depth, he found some resistance to the
spade, and presently discovered a gold box about a foot square,
which he shewed the princess. "This," said she, "is what I
brought you for; take care not to injure it with the spade."

When the gardener took up the box, he gave it into the princess's
hands, who, as it was only fastened with neat little hasps, soon
opened it, and found it full of pearls of a moderate size, but
equal, and fit for the use that was to be made of them. Very well
satisfied with having found this treasure, after she had shut the
box again she put it under her arm, and went back to the house,
while the gardener threw the earth into the hole at the foot of
the tree as it had been before.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, who, as they were dressing
themselves in their own apartments, saw the princess their sister
in the garden earlier than usual, as soon as they could get out
went to her, and met her as she was returning, with a gold box
under her arm, which much surprised them. "Sister," said Bahman,
"you carried nothing with you when we saw you before with the
gardener, and now we see you have a golden box: is this some
treasure found by the gardener, and did he come and tell you of

"No, brother," answered the princess; "I took the gardener to the
place where this casket was concealed, and shewed him where to
dig: but you will be more amazed when you see what it contains."

The princess opened the box, and when the princes saw that it was
full of pearls, which, though small, were of great value; they
asked her how she came to the knowledge of this treasure?
"Brothers," said she, "if nothing more pressing calls you
elsewhere, come with me, and I will tell you." "What more
pressing business," said prince Perviz, "can we have than to be
informed of what concerns us so much? We have nothing to do to
prevent our attending you." The princess, as they returned to the
house, gave them an account of her having consulted the bird, as
they had agreed she should, and the answer he had given her; the
objection she had raised to preparing a dish of cucumbers stuffed
full of pearls, and how he had told her where to find this box.
The princes and princess formed many conjectures to penetrate
into what the bird could mean by ordering them to prepare such a
dish; and after much conversation, though they could not by any
means guess at his reason, they nevertheless agreed to follow his
advice exactly.

As soon as the princess entered the house, she called for the
head cook; and after she had given him directions about the
entertainment for the emperor, said to him, "Besides all this,
you must dress an extraordinary dish for the emperor's own
eating, which nobody else must have any thing to do with besides
yourself. This dish must be of cucumbers stuffed with these
pearls;" and at the same time she opened him the box, and shewed
him the pearls.

The chief cook, who had never heard of such a dish, started back,
and shewed his thoughts by his looks; which the princess
penetrating, said, "I see you take me to be mad to order such a
dish, which you never heard of, and which one may say with
certainty was never made. I know this as well as you; but I am
not mad, and give you these orders with the most perfect
recollection. You must invent and do the best you can, and bring
me back what pearls are left." The cook could make no reply, but
took the box and retired: and afterwards the princess gave
directions to all the domestics to have every thing in order,
both in the house and gardens, to receive the emperor.

Next day the two princes went to the place appointed; and as soon
as the emperor of Persia arrived the chase began, which lasted
till the heat of the sun obliged him to leave off. While prince
Bahman stayed to conduit the emperor to their house, prince
Perviz rode before to shew the way, and when he came in sight of
the house, spurred his horse, to inform the princess Perie-zadeh
that the emperor was approaching; but she had been told by some
servants whom she had placed to give notice, and the prince found
her waiting ready to receive him.

When the emperor had entered the court-yard, and alighted at the
portico, the princess came and threw herself at his feet, and the
two princes informed him she was their sister, and besought him
to accept her respects.

The emperor stooped to raise her, and after he had gazed some
time on her beauty, struck with her fine person and dignified
air, he said, "The brothers are worthy of the sister, and she
worthy of them; since, if I may judge of her understanding by her
person, I am not amazed that the brothers would do nothing
without their sister's consent; but," added he, "I hope to be
better acquainted with you, my daughter, after I have seen the

"Sir," said the princess, "it is only a plain country residence,
fit for such people as we are, who live retired from the great
world. It is not to be compared with houses in great cities, much
less with the magnificent palaces of emperors." "I cannot
perfectly agree with you in opinion," said the emperor very
obligingly, "for its first appearance makes me suspect you;
however, I will not pass my judgment upon it till I have seen it
all; therefore be pleased to conduct me through the apartments."

The princess led the emperor through all the rooms except the
hall; and, after he had considered them very attentively and
admired their variety, "My daughter," said he to the princess,
"do you call this a country house? The finest and largest cities
would soon be deserted, if all country houses were like yours. I
am no longer surprised that you take so much delight in it, and
despise the town. Now let me see the garden, which I doubt not is
answerable to the house."

The princess opened a door which led into the garden; and the
first object which presented itself to the emperor's view was the
golden fountain. Surprised at so rare an object, he asked from
whence that wonderful water, which gave so much pleasure to
behold, had been procured; where was its source; and by what art
it was made to play so high, that he thought nothing in the world
was to be compared to it? He said he would presently take a
nearer view of it.

The princess then led him to the spot where the harmonious tree
was planted; and there the emperor heard a concert, different
from all he had ever heard before; and stopping to see where the
musicians were, he could discern nobody far or near; but still
distinctly heard the music, which ravished his senses. "My
daughter," said he to the princess, "where are the musicians whom
I hear? Are they under ground, or invisible in the air? Such
excellent performers will hazard nothing by being seen; on the
contrary, they would please the more."

"Sir," answered the princess smiling, "they are not musicians,
but the leaves of the trees your majesty sees before you, which
form this concert; and if you will give yourself the trouble to
go a little nearer, you will be convinced, and the voices will be
the more distinct."

The emperor went nearer, and was so charmed with the sweet
harmony, that he would never have been tired with hearing it, but
that his desire to have a nearer view of the fountain of yellow
water forced him away. "Daughter," said he, "tell me, I pray you,
whether this wonderful tree was found in your garden by chance,
or was a present made to you, or have you procured it from some
foreign country? It must certainly have come from a great
distance, otherwise, curious as I am after natural rarities, I
should have heard of it. What name do you call it by?"

"Sir," replied the princess, "this tree has no other name than
that of the singing tree, and is not a native of this country. It
would at present take up too much time to tell your majesty by
what adventures it came here; its history is connected with the
yellow water, and the speaking bird, which came to me at the same
time, and which your majesty may see after you have taken a
nearer view of the golden water. But if it be agreeable to your
majesty, after you have rested yourself, and recovered the
fatigue of hunting, which must be the greater because of the
sun's intense heat, I will do myself the honour of relating it to

"My daughter," replied the emperor, "my fatigue is so well
recompensed by the wonderful things you have shewn me, that I do
not feel it the least. I think only of the trouble I give you.
Let us finish by seeing the yellow water. I am impatient to see
and admire the speaking bird."

When the emperor came to the yellow water, his eyes were fixed so
steadfastly upon the fountain, that he could not take them off.
At last, addressing himself to the princess, he said, "As you
tell me, daughter, that this water has no spring or
communication, I conclude that it is foreign, as well as the
singing tree."

"Sir," replied the princess, "it is as your majesty conjectures;
and to let you know that this water has no communication with any
spring, I must inform you that the basin is one entire stone, so
that the water cannot come in at the sides or underneath. But
what your majesty will think most wonderful is, that all this
water proceeded but from one small flagon, emptied into this
basin, which increased to the quantity you see, by a property
peculiar to itself, and formed this fountain." "Well," said the
emperor, going from the fountain, "this is enough for one time. I
promise myself the pleasure to come and visit it often; but now
let us go and see the speaking bird."

As he went towards the hall, the emperor perceived a prodigious
number of singing birds in the trees around, filling the air with
their songs and warblings, and asked, why there were so many
there, and none on the other trees in the garden? "The reason,
sir," answered the princess, "is, because they come from all
parts to accompany the song of the speaking bird, which your
majesty may see in a cage in one of the windows of the hall we
are approaching; and if you attend, you will perceive that his
notes are sweeter than those of any of the other birds, even the

The emperor went into the hall; and as the bird continued
singing, the princess raised her voice, and said, "My slave, here
is the emperor, pay your compliments to him." The bird left off
singing that instant, when all the other birds ceased also, and
it said, "The emperor is welcome; God prosper him, and prolong
his life." As the entertainment was served on the sofa near the
window where the bird was placed, the sultan replied, as he was
taking his seat, "Bird, I thank you, and am overjoyed to find in
you the sultan and king of birds."

As soon as the emperor saw the dish of cucumbers set before him,
thinking it was stuffed in the best manner, he reached out his
hand and took one; but when he cut it, was in extreme surprise to
find it stuffed with pearls. "What novelty is this?" said he "and
with what design were these cucumbers stuffed thus with pearls,
since pearls are not to be eaten?" He looked at the two princes
and princess to ask them the meaning: when the bird interrupting
him, said, "Can your majesty be in such great astonishment at
cucumbers stuffed with pearls, which you see with your own eyes,
and yet so easily believe that the queen your wife was delivered
of a dog, a cat, and a piece of wood?" "I believed these things,"
replied the emperor, "because the midwives assured me of the
facts." "Those midwives, sir," replied the bird, "were the
queen's two sisters, who, envious of her happiness in being
preferred by your majesty before them, to satisfy their envy and
revenge, have abused your majesty's credulity. If you interrogate
them, they will confess their crime. The two brothers and the
sister whom you see before you are your own children, whom they
exposed, and who were taken in by the intendant of your gardens,
who provided nurses for them, and took care of their education."

This speech of the bird's presently cleared up the emperor's
understanding. "Bird," cried he, "I believe the truth which you
discover to me. The inclination which drew me to them told me
plainly they must be my own blood. Come then, my sons, come, my
daughter, let me embrace you, and give you the first marks of a
father's love and tenderness." The emperor then rose, and after
having embraced the two princes and the princess, and mingled his
tears with theirs, said, "It is not enough, my children; you must
embrace each other, not as the children of the intendant of my
gardens, to whom I have been so much obliged for preserving your
lives, but as my own children, of the royal blood of the monarchs
of Persia, whose glory, I am persuaded, you will maintain."

After the two princes and princess had embraced mutually with new
satisfaction, the emperor sat down again with them, and finished
his meal in haste; and when he had done, said, "My children, you
see in me your father; to-morrow I will bring the queen your
mother, therefore prepare to receive her."

The emperor afterwards mounted his horse, and returned with
expedition to his capital. The first thing he did, as soon as he
had alighted and entered his palace, was to command the grand
vizier to seize the queen's two sisters. They were taken from
their houses separately, convicted, and condemned to be
quartered; which sentence was put in execution within an hour.

In the mean time the emperor Khoosroo Shaw, followed by all the
lords of his court who were then present, went on foot to the
door of the great mosque; and after he had taken the queen out of
the strict confinement she had languished under for so many
years, embracing her in the miserable condition to which she was
then reduced, said to her with tears in his eyes, "I come to
entreat your pardon for the injustice I have done you, and to
make you the reparation I ought; which I have begun, by punishing
the unnatural wretches who put the abominable cheat upon me; and
I hope you will look upon it as complete, when I present to you
two accomplished princes, and a lovely princess, our children.
Come and resume your former rank, with all the honours which are
your due." All this was done and said before great crowds of
people, who flocked from all parts at the first news of what was
passing, and immediately spread the joyful intelligence through
the city.

Next morning early the emperor and queen, whose mournful
humiliating dress was changed for magnificent robes, went with
all their court to the house built by the intendant of the
gardens, where the emperor presented the princes Bahman and
Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, to their enraptured mother.
"These, much injured wife," said he, "are the two princes your
sons, and this princess your daughter; embrace them with the same
tenderness I have done, since they are worthy both of me and
you." The tears flowed plentifully down their cheeks at these
tender embraces, especially the queen's, from the comfort and joy
of having two such princes for her sons, and such a princess for
her daughter, on whose account she had so long endured the
severest afflictions.

The two princes and the princess had prepared a magnificent
repast for the emperor and queen, and their court. As soon as
that was over, the emperor led the queen into the garden, and
shewed her the harmonious tree and the beautiful effect of the
yellow fountain. She had seen the bird in his cage, and the
emperor had spared no panegyric in his praise during the repast.

When there was nothing to detain the emperor any longer, he took
horse, and with the princes Bahman and Perviz on his right hand,
and the queen consort and the princess at his left, preceded and
followed by all the officers of his court, according to their
rank, returned to his capital. Crowds of people came out to meet
them, and with acclamations of joy ushered them into the city,
where all eyes were fixed not only upon the queen, the two
princes, and the princess, but also upon the bird, which the
princess carried before her in his cage, admiring his sweet
notes, which had drawn all the other birds about him, which
followed him, flying from tree to tree in the country, and from
one house-top to another in the city. The princes Bahman and
Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, where at length brought to
the palace with this pomp, and nothing was to be seen or heard
all that night but illuminations and rejoicings both in the
palace and in the utmost parts of the city, which lasted many
days, and were continued throughout the empire of Persia, as
intelligence of the joyful event reached the several provinces.


There was in the land of Yemen (Arabia Felix) a sultan, under
whom were three tributary princes. He had four children, three
sons and a daughter. He possessed greater treasures than could be
estimated, as well as innumerable camels, horses, and flocks of
sheep; and was held in awe by all contemporary sovereigns.

After a long and prosperous reign, age brought with it infirmity,
and he at length became incapable of appearing in his hall of
audience; upon which he commanded his sons to his presence, and
said to them, "My wish is to divide among you, before my death,
all my possessions, that you may be satisfied, and live in
unanimity and brotherly affection with each other, and in
obedience to my dying commands." They exclaimed, "To hear is to

The sultan then said, "My will is, that the eldest be sovereign
in my room; that the second possess my treasures; and the third
every description of animals. Let no, one encroach upon another,
but all assist each other." He then caused them to sign an
agreement to abide by his bequests, and shortly afterwards was
received into the mercy of the Almighty; upon which his sons
prepared what was suitable to his dignity for his funeral. They
washed the corpse, enshrouded it, prayed over it, and having
committed it to the earth, returned to their palaces; where the
viziers, officers of state, and inhabitants of the metropolis,
high and low, rich and poor, attended to console with them on the
loss of their father. The news of the death of the sultan was
soon spread abroad into all the provinces, and deputations from
every city came to condole with the princes.

After these ceremonies, the eldest prince demanded that he should
be inaugurated sultan in the room of the deceased monarch,
agreeably to his will; but this was not possible, as each of the
other brothers was ambitious of being sovereign. Contention and
disputes now arose between them for the government, till at
length the elder brother, wishing to avoid civil war, said, "Let
us go and submit to the arbitration of one of the tributary
sultans, and to let him whom he adjudges the kingdom peaceably
enjoy it." To this they assented, as did also the viziers; and
they departed, unattended, towards the capital of one of the
tributary sultans.

When the princes had proceeded about half way on their journey,
they reached a verdant spot, abounding in herbage and flowers,
with a clear rivulet running through it, the convenience of which
made them halt to refresh themselves. They sat down and were
eating, when one of the brothers casting his eyes on the grass,
said, "A camel has lately passed this way loaded, half with
sweetmeats and half with grain." "True," cried another, "and he
was blind of one eye." "Yes," exclaimed the third, "and he had
lost his tail." They had scarcely concluded their remarks, when
the owner of the camel came up to them (for he had heard what
they had said, and was convinced, as they had described the beast
and his load, that they must have stopped him), crying out, that
they had stolen his camel. "We have not seen him," answered the
princes, "nor touched him." "By Allah!" replied he, "none but you
can have taken him; and if you will not deliver him up, I will
complain of you to the sultan." They rejoined, "It is well; let
us go to the sultan."

When all four had reached the palace, information was given of
the arrival of the princes, and they were admitted to an
audience, the owner of the camel following, who bawled out,
"These men, my lord, by their own confession, have stolen my
property, for they described him and the load he carried."

The man then related what each of the princes, had said; upon
which the sultan demanded if it was true. They answered, "My
lord, we have not seen the camel; but we chanced, as we were
sitting on the grass taking some refreshment, to observe that
part of the pasture had been grazed; upon which we supposed that
the camel must have been blind of an eye, as the grass was only
eaten on one side. We then observed the dung of a camel in one
heap on the ground, which made us agree that its tail must have
been cut off, as it is the custom for camels to shake their
tails, and scatter it abroad. On the grass where the camel had
lain down, we saw on one side flies collected in great numbers,
but none on the other: this made us conclude that one of the
panniers must have contained sweets, and the other only grain."
Upon hearing the above, the sultan said to the complainant,
"Friend, go and look for thy camel, for these observations do not
prove the theft on the accused, but only the strength of their
understandings and penetration."

The sultan now ordered apartments for the princes, and directed
that they should be entertained in a manner befitting their rank;
after which he left them to their repose. In the evening, when
the usual meal was brought in, the elder prince having taken up a
cake of bread, said, "This bread, I am sure, was made by a sick
woman." The second, on tasting some kid, exclaimed, "This kid was
suckled by a bitch:" and the third cried out, "Certainly this
sultan must be illegitimate." At this instant the sultan, who had
been listening, entered hastily, and exclaimed, "Wherefore utter
ye these affronting speeches?" "Inquire," replied the princes,"
into what you have heard, and you will find all true."

The sultan now retired to his haram, and on inquiry, found that
the woman who had kneaded the bread was sick. He then sent for
the shepherd, who owned that the dam of the kid having died, he
had suckled it upon a bitch. Next, in a violent passion, he
proceeded to the apartments of the sultana mother, and
brandishing his cimeter--threatened her with death, unless she
confessed whether he was son to the late sultan or not.

The sultana was alarmed, and said, "To preserve my life, I must
speak truth. Know then that thou art the son of a cook. Thy
father had no male offspring, at which he was uneasy: on the same
day myself and the wife of the cook lay in, I of a daughter and
she of a son. I was fearful of the coolness of the sultan, and
imposed upon him the son of the cook for his own: that son art
thou, who now enjoyest an empire."

The spurious sultan left the sultana in astonish, ment at the
penetration of the brothers, whom he summoned to his presence,
and inquired of them on what grounds they had founded their just
suspicions respecting the bread, the kid, and himself." "My
lord," replied the elder prince," when I broke the cake, the
flour fell out in lumps; and hence I guessed that she who made it
had not strength to knead it sufficiently, and must have been
unwell." "It is as thou hast said," replied the sultan." The fat
of the kid," continued the second brother," was all next the
bone, and the flesh of every other animal but the dog has it next
the skin. Hence my surmise that it must have been suckled by a
bitch." "Thou wert right," answered the sultan; "but now for

"My reason for supposing thee illegitimate," said the youngest
prince, "was, because thou didst not associate with us, who are
of the same rank with thyself. Every man has properties which he
inherits from his father, his grandfather, or his mother. From
his father, generosity, or avarice; from his grandfather, valour
or cowardice; from his mother, bashfulness or impudence." "Thou
hast spoken justly," replied the sultan; "but why came ye to ask
judgment of me, since ye are so much better able to decide
difficult questions than myself? Return home, and agree among
yourselves." The princes did so; and obeyed the will of their


Three very ingenious sharpers who associated together, being much
distressed, agreed, in hopes of obtaining immediate relief, that
they would go to the sultan, and pretend each to superior ability
in some occupation. Accordingly they proceeded to the metropolis,
but found admission to the presence difficult; the sultan being
at a garden palace surrounded by guards, who would not let them
approach. Upon this they consulted, and agreed to feign a
quarrel, in hopes that their clamour would draw the notice of the
sultan. It did so: he commanded them to be brought before him,
inquired who they were, and the cause of their dispute. "We were
disputing," said they, "concerning the superiority of our
professions; for each of us possesses complete skill in his own."
"What are your professions?" replied the sultan. "I am," said
one, "O sovereign, a lapidary of wonderful skill." "I fear thou
art an astonishing rascal," exclaimed the sultan.

"I am," said the second sharper, "a genealogist of horses." "And
I," continued the third, "a genealogist of mankind, knowing every
one's true descent; an art much more wonderful than that of
either of my companions, for no one possesses it but myself, nor
ever did before me." The sultan was astonished, but gave little
credit to their pretensions: yet he said to himself, "If these
men speak truth, they are worthy of encouragement. I will keep
them near me till I have occasion to try them; when, if they
prove their abilities, I will promote them; but if not, I will
put them to death." He then allotted them an apartment, with an
allowance of three cakes of bread and a mess of pottage daily;
but placed spies over them, fearing lest they might escape.

Not long after this, a present of rarities was brought to the
sultan, among which were two precious stones; one of them
remarkably clear in its water, and the other with a flaw. The
sultan now bethought himself of the lapidary, and sent for him to
his presence, when he gave him the clear jewel to examine, and
demanded what he thought it was worth.

The sharper took the stone, and with much gravity turned it
backwards and forwards in his hands, examining it with minute
attention on every part; after which he said, "My lord, this
jewel has a flaw in the very centre of it." When the sultan heard
this, he was enraged against the sharper, and gave orders to
strike off his head; saying, "This stone is free from blemish,
and yet thou pretendest it hath a flaw." The executioner now
advanced, laid hold of the sharper, bound him, and was going to
strike, when the vizier entered, and seeing the sultan enraged,
and the sharper under the cimeter, inquired the cause. Being
informed, he advanced towards the sultan, and said, "My lord, act
not thus, but first break the stone: should a flaw appear in it,
the words of this man are true; but if it be found free from
blemish, put him to death." The sultan replied, "Thy advice is
just:" and broke it in two with his mace. In the middle he found
a flaw, at which he was astonished, and exclaimed to the sharper,
"By what means couldst thou discover the blemish?" He replied,
"By the acuteness of my sight." The sultan then released him, and
said, "Take him back to his companions, allow him a mess of
pottage to himself, and two cakes of bread."

Some time after this a tribute came from one of the provinces,
part of which consisted of a beautiful black colt, in colour
resembling the hue of the darkest night. The sultan was delighted
with the animal, and spent whole days in admiring him. At length
he bethought himself of the sharper who had pretended to be a
genealogist of horses, and commanded him to his presence. When he
appeared, the sultan said, "Art thou a judge of horses?" He
replied, "Yes, my lord: "upon which the sultan exclaimed," It is
well! but I swear by him who appointed me guardian of his
subjects, and said to the universe, Be! and it was, that should I
find untruth in thy declaration, I will strike off thy head." The
man replied, "To hear is to submit." After this they brought out
the colt, that he might examine him.

The sharper desired the groom to mount the colt and pace him
before him, which he did backwards and forwards, the fiery animal
all the while plunging and rearing. At length the genealogist
said, "It is enough:" and turning to the sultan exclaimed, "My
lord, this colt is singularly beautiful, of true blood by his
sire, his paces exquisite and proportions just; but in him there
is one blemish; could that be done away, he would be all
perfection; nor would there be upon the face of the earth his
equal among all the various breeds of horses." "What can that
blemish be?" said the sultan. "His sire," rejoined the
genealogist, "was of true blood, but his dam of another species
of animal; and, if commanded, I will inform you." "Speak," said
the sultan. "The dam of this beautiful colt," continued the
genealogist, "was a buffalo."

When the sultan heard this he flew into a rage, and commanded an
executioner to strike off the head of the sharper; exclaiming,
"Thou accursed dog! how could a buffalo bring forth a colt?" "My
lord," replied the sharper, "the executioner is in attendance;
but send for the person who presented the colt, and inquire of
him the truth. If my words prove just, my skill will be
ascertained; but if what I have said be false, then let my head
pay the forfeit for my tongue." Upon this the sultan sent for the
master of the colt to attend his presence.

When the master of the colt appeared before him, the sultan
inquired whether it was purchased of another person, or had been
bred by himself? To which the man replied, "My lord, I will
relate nothing but the truth. The production of this colt is
surprising. His sire belonged to me, and was of the true breed of
sea-horses: he was always kept in an enclosure by himself, as I
was fearful of his being injured; but it happened one day in the
spring, that the groom took him for air into the country, and
picqueted him in the plain. By chance a cow-buffalo coming near
the spot, the stallion became outrageous, broke his heel-ropes,
joined the buffalo, which after the usual period of gestation,
produced this colt, to our great astonishment."

The sultan was surprised at this relation. He commanded the
genealogist to be sent for, and upon his arrival said, "Thy words
have proved true, and thy wonderful skill in the breed of horses
is ascertained; but by what mark couldst thou know that the dam
of this colt was a buffalo?" The man replied, "My lord, the mark
is visible in the colt itself. It is not unknown to any person of
observation, that the hoof of a horse is nearly round, but the
hoof of a buffalo thick and longish, like this colt's: hence I
judged that the dam must certainly have been a buffalo." The
sultan now dismissed him graciously, and commanded that he should
be allowed daily a mess of pottage, and two cakes of bread.

Not long after this the sultan bethought himself of the third
sharper, who pretended that he was the genealogist of man, and
sent for him to the presence. On his appearance he said, "Thou
canst trace the descent of man?" "Yes, my lord," replied the
genealogist. Upon this the sultan commanded an eunuch to take him
into his haram, that he might examine the descent of his
favourite mistress. Upon his introduction, he looked at the lady
on this side and on that, through her veil, till he was
satisfied, when he came out; and the sultan exclaimed, "Well,
what hast thou discovered in my mistress?" He replied, "My lord,
she is all perfect in elegance, beauty, grace, stature, bloom,
modesty, accomplishments, and knowledge, so that every thing
desirable centres in herself; but still there is one point that
disgraces her, from which if she was free, it is not possible she
could be excelled in anything among the whole of the fair sex."
When the sultan had heard this, he rose up angrily, and drawing
his cimeter, ran towards the genealogist, intending to strike off
his head.

Just as he was going to strike, some of the attendants said, "My
lord, put not the man to death before thou art convinced of his
falsehood." Upon which the sultan exclaimed, "What fault appeared
to thee in my mistress?" "O sultan," replied the man, "she is, as
to herself, all perfect; but her mother was a rope-dancer." Upon
this the sultan immediately sent for the father of the lady, and
said, "Inform me truly who was the mother of thy daughter, or I
will put thee to death." "Mighty prince," replied the father,
"there is no safety for man but in the truth. Her mother was a
rope-dancer, whom I took when very young from a company of
strolling mummers, and educated. She grew up most beautiful and
accomplished: I married her, and she produced me the girl whom
thou hast chosen."

When the sultan heard this, his rage cooled, but he was filled
with astonishment; and said to the genealogist, "Inform me what
could shew thee that my mistress was the daughter of a rope-
dancer?" "My lord," replied the man, "this cast of people have
always their eyes very black, and their eyebrows bushy; such are
hers: and from them I guessed her descent." The sultan was now
convinced of his skill, dismissed him graciously, and commanded
that he should be allowed a mess of pottage and three cakes of
bread daily, which was done accordingly.

Some time after this the sultan reflected on the three sharpers,
and said to himself, "These men have proved their skill in
whatever I have tried them. The lapidary was singularly excellent
in his art, the horse genealogist in his, and the last has proved
his upon my mistress. I have an inclination to know my own
descent beyond a doubt." He then ordered the genealogist into his
presence, and said, "Dost thou think thou canst prove my
descent?" "Yes, my lord," replied the man, but on condition that
you spare my life after I shall have informed you; for the
proverb says, ‘When the sultan is present, beware of his anger,
as there is no delay when he commands to strike.'" "There shall
be safety for thee," exclaimed the sultan," in my promise, an
obligation that can never be forfeited."

"O sultan," continued the genealogist, "when I shall inform thee
of thy parentage and descent, let not there be any present who
may hear me." "Wherefore?" replied the sultan. "My lord,"
answered the sharper, "you know the attributes of the Deity
should be veiled in mystery." The sultan now commanded all his
attendants to retire, and when they were alone, the genealogist
advanced and said, "Mighty prince, thou art illegitimate, and the
son of an adulteress."

As soon as the sultan heard this, his colour changed, he turned
pale, and fainted away. When he was recovered, he remained some
time in deep contemplation, after which he exclaimed, "By him who
constituted me the guardian of his people, I swear that if thy
assertion be found true I will abdicate my kingdom, and resign it
to thee, for royalty cannot longer become me; but should thy
words prove void of foundation, I will put thee to instant
death." "To hear is to assent," replied the sharper.

The sultan now arose, entered the haram, and bursting into his
mother's apartment with his cimeter drawn, exclaimed, "By him who
divided the heavens from the earth, shouldst thou not answer
faithfully to what I shall inquire, I will cut thee to pieces
with this cimeter." The queen, trembling with alarm, said, "What
dost thou ask of me?" "Inform me," replied the sultan, "of whom
am I the son?" "Since truth only can save me," cried the
princess, "know that thou art the offspring of a cook. My husband
had no children either male or female, on which account he became
sad, and lost his health and appetite. In a court of the haram we
had several sorts of birds, and one day the sultan fancying he
should relish one of them, ordered the cook to kill and dress it.
I happened then to be in the bath alone.

"As I was in the bath," continued the sultana, "I saw the cook
endeavouring to catch the birds. At that instant it occurred to
my mind from the instigation of Satan, that if I bore not a son,
after the death of the sultan my influence would be lost. I
tempted the man, and thou art the produce of my crime. The signs
of my pregnancy soon appeared; and when the sultan was informed
of them, he recovered his health, and rejoiced exceedingly, and
conferred favours and presents on his ministers and courtiers
daily, till the time of my delivery. On that day he chanced to be
upon a hunting excursion at a country palace; but when
intelligence was brought him of the birth of a son, he instantly
returned to me, and issued orders for the city to be decorated,
which was done for forty days together, out of respect to the
sultan. Such was my crime, and such was thy birth."

The sultan now returned to the adventurer, and commanded him to
pull off his clothes, which he did; when the sultan, disrobing
himself, habited him in the royal vestments, after which he said,
"Inform me whence thou judgest that I was a bastard?"

"My lord," replied the adventurer, "when each of us shewed our
skill in what was demanded, you ordered him only an allowance of
a mess of pottage and three cakes of bread. Hence I judged you to
be the offspring of a cook, for it is the custom of princes to
reward the deserving with wealth and honours, but you only
gratified us with victuals from your kitchen." The sultan
replied, "Thou hast spoken truly." He then made him put on the
rest of the royal robes and ornaments, and seated him upon the
throne; after which he disguised himself in the habit of a
dervish, and wandered from his abdicated dominions. When the
lucky adventurer found himself in possession of the throne, he
sent for his companions; and finding they did not recognize him
in his royal habiliments, dismissed them with liberal presents,
but commanded them to quit his territories with the utmost
expedition, lest they should discover him. After this, with a
satisfied mind, he fulfilled the duties of his new station with a
liberality and dignity that made the inhabitants of the
metropolis and all the provinces bless him, and pray for the
prolongation of his reign.

The Adventures of the Abdicated Sultan.

The abdicated prince, disguised as a dervish, did not cease
travelling in a solitary mood till he came to the city of Cairo,
which he perceived to be in repose and security, and well
regulated. Here he amused himself with walking through several
streets, till he had reached the royal palace, and was admiring
its magnificent architecture and extent, and the crowds passing
in and out, when the sultan with his train appeared in sight
returning from a hunting excursion, upon which he retired to one
side of the road. The sultan observing his dignified demeanour,
commanded one of his attendants to invite him to the palace, and
entertain him till he should inquire after him.

When the sultan had reposed himself from the fatigue of his
exercise, he sent for the supposed dervish to his presence, and
said, "From what kingdom art thou arrived?" He answered, "I am,
my lord, a wandering dervish." "Well," replied the sultan, "but
inform me on what account thou art come here." On which he said,
"My lord, this cannot be done but in privacy." "Let it be so,"
rejoined the sultan; and rising up, led him into a retired
apartment of the palace. The supposed dervish then related what
had befallen him, the cause of his having abdicated his kingdom,
and taken upon himself the character of a religious. The sultan
was astonished at his self-denial, and exclaimed, "Blessed be his
holy name, who exalteth and humbleth whom he will by his almighty
power; but my history is more surprising than thine. I will
relate it to thee, and conceal nothing."

History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo.

At my first outset in the world I was an indigent man, and
possessed none of the conveniences of life, till at length I
became possessed of ten pieces of silver, which I resolved to
expend in amusing myself. With this intention, I one day walked
into the principal market, intending first to purchase somewhat
delicate to feast upon. While I was looking about me, a man
passed by, with a great crowd following and laughing at him, for
he led in an iron chain a monstrous baboon, which he cried for
sale at the price of ten pieces of silver. Something
instinctively impelled me to purchase the creature, so I paid him
the money, and took my bargain to my lodging; but on my arrival,
was at a loss how to procure a meal for myself or the baboon.
While I was considering what I should do, the baboon having made
several springs, became suddenly transformed into a handsome
young man, beautiful as the moon at the fourteenth night of its
appearance, and addressed me, saying, "Shekh Mahummud, thou hast
purchased me for ten pieces of silver, being all thou hadst, and
art now thinking how thou canst procure food for me and thyself."
"That is true," replied I; "but in the name of Allah, from whence
dost thou come?" "Ask no questions," replied my companion, "but
take this piece of gold, and purchase us somewhat to eat and
drink." I took the gold, did as he had desired, and we spent the
evening merrily together in feasting and conversation, till it
was time to repose.

In the morning the young man said, "My friend, this lodging is
not fitting for us; go, and hire a better." "To hear is to obey,"
replied I, and departed to the principal serai, where I hired an
upper apartment, to which we removed. He then gave me ten
deenars, with orders to purchase carpets and cushions, which I
did, and on my return found before him a package, containing
princely vestments. These he gave to me, desiring that I would go
to the bath, and, after bathing, put them on. I obeyed his
commands, dressed myself, and found in each pocket a hundred
deenars. I was not a little proud of my improved appearance in
the rich robes. On my return, he praised my figure, and seated me
by him, when we refreshed ourselves, and chatted on various
subjefls. At length he gave me a bundle, desiring that I would
present it to the sultan, and at the same time demand his
daughter in marriage for myself, assuring me that my request
would meet a ready compliance.

The young man commanded a slave he had bought to attend me, who
carried the bundle, and I set out for the palace; near which I
found a great crowd of grandees, officers, and guards, who seeing
me so richly habited, inquired respectfully what I wanted. Upon
my replying that my business was with the sultan, they informed
the ushers, who introduced me to the presence. I made the
customary obeisance, and the sultan returned my salute; after
which I presented the bundle before him, saying, "Will my lord
accept this trifle, becoming my humble situation to offer, but
certainly not worthy the royal dignity to receive?" The sultan
commanded the package to be opened; when, lo! it contained a
complete dress of royal apparel, richer than had ever been before
seen, at which the sultan was astonished, and exclaimed,
"Heavens! I have nothing like this, nor ever possessed so
magnificent a suit; it shall be accepted: but inform me, Shekh,
what thou requirest in return for so valuable an offering."
"Mighty sovereign," replied I, "my wish is to become thy relation
by espousing that precious gem of the casket of beauty, thy
incomparable daughter."

When the sultan had heard this request, he turned towards his
vizier and said, "Advise me how I should act in this affair."
Upon which the minister replied, "Shew him, my lord, your most
valuable diamond, and inquire if he has any one equally precious
to match it as a marriage present for your daughter." The sultan
did so; when I said, "If I present two, will you give me your
daughter?" To which he assented, and I took my leave, carrying
with me the diamond, to shew the young man as a model. Upon my
arrival at our serai, I informed him of what passed, when he
examined the diamond, and said, "The day is now far spent, but
tomorrow I will procure ten like it, which thou shalt present to
the sultan." Accordingly in the morning he walked out, and in the
space of an hour returned with ten diamonds, which he gave me,
and I hastened with them to the sultan. When he beheld the
precious stones he was enraptured at their brilliancy, and again
consulted his vizier how he should act in this business. "My
lord," replied the minister, "you only required one diamond of
the Shekh, and he has presented you with ten: it is therefore
incumbent upon you to give him your daughter."

The sultan now sent for the cauzees and effendis, who drew up the
deed of espousals, which they gave me, when I returned to our
serai, and shewed it to the young man, who said, "It is well; go
and complete thy marriage; but I entreat that thou wilt not
consummate thy nuptials till I shall give thee permission." "To
hear is to obey," replied I. When it was night I entered the
princess's apartment, but sat down at a distance from her, and
did not speak till morning, when I bade her farewell, and took my
leave for the day. I observed the same conduct the second night
and the third, upon which, offended at my coldness, she
complained to her mother, who informed the sultan of my
affronting behaviour.

The sultan sent for me to his presence, and with much anger
threatened, if I should continue my coldness to the princess
another evening, that he would put me to death. Upon this I
hastened to inform my friend at the serai, who commanded, that
when I should next be alone with my wife I should demand of her a
bracelet which she wore upon her right arm, and bring it to him,
after which I might consummate my nuptials. I replied, "To hear
is to obey;" and the next evening, when I entered the apartment,
said to my wife, "If thou desirest that we should live happily
together, give me the bracelet on thy right arm." She did so
immediately, when I carried it to the young man, and, returning
to the palace, slept, as I supposed, with the princess till
morning. Guess, however, what was my surprise, when on awaking I
found myself lying in my first humble lodging, stripped of my
rich vestments, and saw on the ground my former mean attire;
namely, an old vest, a pair of tattered drawers, and a ragged
turban, as full of holes as a sieve. When I had somewhat
recovered my senses, I put them on and walked out in a melancholy
mood, regretting my lost happiness, and not knowing what I should

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