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The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete by Anon.

Part 25 out of 28

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sovereign in his stead." "Suppose the sultan should hear thee,"
replied the prince. "If he opposes me," cried the fisherman, "I
will order my bashaw to strike off his head; but I will now
punish thee for thy insolent question." He then ran up and seized
the sultan by the nose, the cauzee at the same time attacking the
vizier: it was with difficulty that they made their escape from
the house.

The sultan, notwithstanding his tweak by the nose, resolved to
divert himself further with the bang-eaters, and the next evening
putting on a fresh disguise, repaired to the cauzee's house with
his vizier; where he found the happy companions in high glee.
They had taken it into their heads to dance, which they did with
such vehemence, and for so long a time, that at length they fell
down with fatigue. When they had rested a little, the fisherman
perceiving the sultan, said, "Whence comest thou?" "We are
strangers," replied the sultan, "and only reached this city to-
night; but on our way through the streets, hearing your mirth, we
made bold to enter, that we might participate it with you. Are ye
not, however, fearful lest the sultan should hear you on his
rounds, and punish you for an infringement of the laws?" "How
should the sultan hear us?" answered the fisherman; "he is in his
palace, and we in our own house, though, perhaps, much merrier
than he, poor fellow, with the cares of state upon his mind,
notwithstanding his splendour."

"How comes it," rejoined the sovereign, "that you have not
visited the sultan? for you are merry fellows, and I think he
would encourage you." "We fear," replied the fisherman, "his
guards would beat us away." "Never mind thern," said the sultan;
"if you choose I will give you a letter of recommendation, which
I am sure he will pay attention to, for we were intimate when
youths." "Let us have it," cried the fisherman. The sultan wrote
a note, directed to himself, and departed.

In the morning the cauzee and the fisherman repaired to the
palace, and delivered the note to one of the guards, who, on
sight of it, placed it on his head, prostrated himself to the
ground, and then introduced them to the sultan. Having read the
letter, the sultan commanded them to be led into separate
apartments, and to be treated respectfully. At noon a handsome
collation was served up to each, and at sunset a full service,
after which they were presented with coffee. When about two hours
of the night had passed, the sultan ordered them into his
presence, and on their making their obeisance returned their
salutes, and desired them to be seated, saying, "Where is the
person who gave you this letter?"

"Mighty sultan," replied the fisherman, "two men who last night
visited our house inquired why we did not repair to your majesty,
and partake of your bounty. We replied, that we feared the guards
would drive us away; when one of them gave us this note, saying,
‘Fear not; take this recommendation to the sultan, with whom in
my youth I was intimate.' We followed his direction, and have
found his words to be true. We inquired whence they came; but
they would not tell us more than that they were strangers in this
city." "It is,"continued the sultan, "absolutely necessary that
you should bring them to my presence, for it is long since I have
beheld my old friends." "Permit us then to return home, where
they may possibly visit us again," said the fisherman, "and we
will oblige them to come with us." "How can you do that, "replied
the sultan, "when the other evening you could not prevent your
guest escaping, though you had him by the nose?"

The poor fisherman, and his companion the cauzee, were now
confounded at the discovery that it was the sultan himself who
had witnessed their intoxication and ridiculous transports. They
trembled, turned pale, and fell prostrate to the ground, crying,
"Pardon, pardon, gracious sovereign, for the offences we have
committed, and the insult which in our madness we offered to the
sacred person of your majesty."

The sultan, after laughing heartily at their distress, replied,
"Your pardon is granted, for the insult was involuntary, though
deserved, as I was an impertinent intruder on your privacy; make
yourselves easy, and sit down; but you must each of you relate to
me your adventures, or some story that you have heard." The
cauzee and the fisherman, having recovered from their confusion,
obeyed the commands of the sultan, and being seated, the latter
related the following tale.

Story of the Bang-eater and His Wife.

There lived formerly, near Bagdad, a half-witted fellow, who was
much addicted to the use of bang. Being reduced to poverty, he
was obliged to sell his stock. One day he went to the market to
dispose of a cow; but the animal being in bad order, no one would
bid for it, and after waiting till he was weary he returned
homewards. On the way he stopped to repose himself under a tree,
and tied the cow to one of the branches while he ate some bread,
and drank of an infusion of his beloved bang, which he always
carried with him. In a short time it began to operate, so as to
bereave him of the little sense he possessed, and his head was
filled with ridiculous reveries. While he was musing, a magpie
beginning to chatter from her nest in the tree, he fancied it was
a human voice, and that some woman had asked to purchase his cow:
upon which he said, "Reverend mother of Solomon, dost thou wish
to buy my cow?" The bird croaked again. "Well," replied he," what
wilt thou give if I will sell her a bargain." The bird repeated
her croak. "Never mind," said the foolish fellow, "for though
thou hast forgotten to bring thy purse, yet, as I dare say thou
art an honest woman, and hast bidden me ten deenars, I will trust
thee with the cow, and call on Friday for the money." The bird
renewed her croaking, which he fancied to be thanks for his
confidence; so leaving the cow tied to the branch of the tree, he
returned home exulting in the good bargain he had made for the

When he entered the house, his wife inquired what he had gotten
for the cow; to which he replied, that he had sold her to an
honest woman named Am Solomon, who had promised to pay him on the
next Friday ten pieces of gold. The wife was contented, and when
Friday arrived, her idiot of a husband having, as usual, taken a
dose of bang, repaired to the tree, and hearing the bird
chattering, as before, said, "Well, my good mother, hast thou
brought the gold?" The bird croaked. Supposing the imaginary
woman refused to pay him, he became angry, and threw up his
spade, which frightening the bird, it flew from the nest, and
alighted on a heap of soil at some distance. He fancied that Am
Solomon had desired him to take his money from the heap, into
which he dug with his spade, and found a brazen vessel full of
gold coin. This discovery convinced him he was right, and being,
notwithstanding his weakness, naturally honest, he only took ten
pieces; then replacing the soil, said, "May Allah requite thee
for thy punctuality, good mother!" and returned to his wife, to
whom he gave the money, informing her at the same time of the
great treasure his friend Am Solomon possessed, and where it was
concealed. The wife waited till night, when she went and brought
away the pot of gold; which her husband observing, said, "It is
dishonest to rob one who has paid us so punctually, and if thou
dost not return it to its place, I will inform the (walee)
officer of police."

The wife laughed at his folly; but fearing the ill consequences
of his executing his threat, she planned a stratagem to prevent
them. Going to the market, she purchased some broiled meat and
fish ready dressed, which she brought privately home, and
concealed in the house. At night, the husband having regaled
himself with his beloved bang, retired to sleep off his
intoxication; but about midnight she strewed the provisions she
had brought at the door, and awakening her partner, cried out, in
pretended astonishment, "Dear husband, a most wonderful
phenomenon has occurred; there has been a violent storm while you
slept, and, strange to tell, it has rained pieces of broiled meat
and fish, which now lie at the door!" The husband, still in a
state of stupefaction from the bang, got up, went to the door,
and seeing the provisions, was persuaded of the truth of his
wife's story. The fish and flesh were gathered up, and he partook
with much glee of the miraculous treat; but he still threatened
to inform the walee of her having stolen the treasure of the good
old woman Am Solomon.

In the morning the foolish bang-eater actually repaired to the
walee, and informed him that his wife had stolen a pot of gold,
which she had still in her possession. The walee upon this
apprehended the woman, who denied the accusation, when she was
threatened with death. She then said, "My lord, the power is in
your hands; but I am an injured woman, as you wili find by
questioning my unfortunate husband; who, alas! is deranged in his
intellects. Ask him when I committed the theft." The walee did
so; to which he replied, "It was on the evening of that night on
which it rained broiled flesh and fish ready dressed." "Wretch!"
exclaimed the walee, "dost thou dare to utter falsehoods before
me? Who ever saw it rain any thing but water?" "As I hope for
life, my lord," replied the bang-eater, "I speak the truth; for
my wife and myself ate of the fish and flesh which fell from the
clouds." The woman being appealed to, denied the assertion of her

The walee being now convinced that the man was crazy, released
his wife, and sent the husband to the madhouse; where he remained
some days, till the wife, pitying his condition, contrived to get
him released by the following stratagem. She visited her husband,
and desired him when any one inquired of him if he had seen it
rain flesh and fish, to answer, "No: who ever saw it rain any
thing but water?" She then informed the keeper that he was come
to his senses, and desired him to put the question. On his
answering properly he was released.

The fisherman had not long been in the service of the sultan,
when walking one day near the house of a principal merchant, his
daughter chanced to look through a window, and the buffoon was so
struck with her beauty that he became devoted to love. Daily did
he repair to the same spot for weeks together in hopes of once
seeing her, but in vain; for she did not again appear at the
window. At length, his passion had such an effect upon him that
he fell sick, kept his bed, and began to rave, exclaiming, "Ah!
what charming eyes, what a beautiful complexion, what a graceful
stature has my beloved!" In this situation he was attended by an
old woman, who, compassionating his case, desired him to reveal
the cause of his uneasiness.

"My dear mother," replied he, "I thank thee for thy kindness; but
unless thou canst asssist me I must soon die." He then related
what he had seen, and described to her the house of the merchant.
When she said, "Son, be of good cheer; for no one could so
readily have assisted thee in this dilemma as myself. Have
patience, and I will speedily return with intelligence of thy
beloved." Having spoken thus, she departed, and upon reaching her
own house disguised herself as a devotee. Throwing over her
shoulders a coarse woollen gown, holding in one hand a long
string of beads, in the other a walking staff, she proceeded to
the merchant's house, at the gate of which she cried, "God is
God, there is no God but God; may his holy name be praised, and
may God be with you," in a most devout tone.

The merchant's daughter, on hearing this devout ejaculation, came
to the door, saluted the old woman with great respect, and said,
"Dear mother, pray for me:" when she exclaimed, "May Allah
protect thee, my beloved child, from all injury!" The young lady
then introduced her into the house, seated her in the most
honourable place, and with her mother sat down by her. They
conversed on religious subjects till noon, when the old woman
called for water, performed her ablutions, and recited prayers of
an unusual length: upon which the mother and daughter remarked to
one another that the aged matron must certainly be a most
religious character. When prayers were ended, they set a
collation before her; but she declined partaking, saying, "I am
to day observing a fast." This increased their respect and
admiration of her sanctity, so that they requested her to remain
with them till sunset, and break her fast with them, to which she
consented. At sunset she prayed again, after which she ate a
little, and then uttered many pious exhortations. In short, the
mother and daughter were so pleased with her, that they invited
her to stay all night. In the morning, she rose early, made her
ablutions, prayed for a considerable time, and concluded with a
blessing upon her entertainers in learned words, which they could
not understand. When she rose up, they supported her by the arms
respectfully, and entreated her longer stay; but she declined it,
and having taken leave, departed; promising, however, with the
permission of Allah, to make them soon another visit.

On the second day following, the old woman repaired again to the
merchant's house, and was joyfully received by the mother and
daughter; who, kissing her hands and feet, welcomed her return.
She behaved the same as before, and inspired them with stronger
veneration for her sandity. Her visits now grew frequent, and she
was always a welcome guest in the merchant's family. At length,
one evening she entered, and said, "I have an only daughter,
whose espousals are now celebrating, and this night the bride
goes in state to her husband's house. My desire is that my good
young lady should attend the ceremony, and receive the benefit of
my prayers." The mother replied, "I am unwilling to let her go,
lest some accident should befall her:" upon which the pretended
religious exclaimed, "What canst thou fear, while I and other
devout women shall be with her?" The daughter expressing great
eagerness to attend the nuptials, her mother at length consented.

When the merchant's daughter had adorned herself in her richest
habit, she accompanied the old woman; who, after leading her
through several streets, conducted her to the lodging of the late
fisherman, but now favourite to the sultan, who was eagerly
expecting her arrival. The young lady was astonished on her
entrance at beholding a comely looking man; who, she saw, could
hardly restrain his raptures at the sight of her. Her first alarm
was great at finding herself betrayed into such a snare by the
hypocritical beldam; but having naturally much presence of mind,
she concealed her fears, and considered how she might escape. She
sat down, and after looking round the apartment affected to
laugh, saying to the gallant, "It is commonly usual when a lover
invites his mistress to his house to have an entertainment
prepared; for what is love without the accompaniment of a feast?
If you wish, therefore, that I should spend the evening here, go
and bring in some good cheer, that our joy may be complete. I
will with my good mother wait your return."

The gallant, rejoiced at her commands, exclaimed, "Thou hast
spoken truly, and to hear is to obey;" after which, he went
towards the market to order a splendid entertainment. When he was
gone, the young lady locked the door after him, and thanking the
old woman for introducing her to so handsome a lover, threw her
off her guard, while she walked about the apartment meditating
her escape. At length she found in one corner of it a sharp
sabre, and drawing up her sleeve to her elbow, she grasped the
weapon, which she struck with such force at her false friend, who
was reclining on a sofa, as to cleave the head of the abandoned
procuress in two, and she fell down weltering in her blood, to
rise no more.

The merchant's daughter now searched the room, and finding a rich
dress which the favourite usually wore when he visited the
sultan, rolled it up in a bundle, and carrying it under her veil,
unlocked the door, and hastened homewards. Luckily she reached
her father's house without interruption. Her mother welcomed her
with joy; but on perceiving the bundle, said, "My dear daughter,
what can have been given thee at the nuptials of a poor
religious?" The daughter, whose mind had been over agitated with
her late adventure, was not able to answer; her spirits sunk at
the recollection of her narrow escape, and she fainted away. The
mother shrieked aloud with affright, which brought in her husband
and attendants, who used various means for the young lady's
recovery; and at length, having regained her senses, she related
what had passed. The merchant having cursed the memory of the old
woman for her hypocritical deception, comforted his virtuous
daughter, and taking up the dress which he knew, and to whom it
belonged, hastened to make his complaint to the sultan.

When the sultan had heard the complaint of the merchant, he was
enraged against his unworthy favourite, and commanded him to be
apprehended; but he could no where be found, for having on his
return home seen the old woman weltering in her blood, he guessed
what had happened; and apprehensive of being called to an
account, putting on a mean disguise, made his escape from the
city. Fortunately for him a caravan was just taking its
departure, and with it he travelled for five days successively,
with a mind tortured by disappointed love, and the fear of
discovery. At length the caravan passed the confines of his late
master, and encamped before a large city, which he entered, and
having hired a room at a caravanserai, he resolved to repose, and
seek out for some employment less dangerous than making love, or
serving princes.

When he had rested himself for some days, he repaired to a
market, where labourers stood to be hired; and had not waited
long, when a woman coming up asked if he wanted work, to which he
replied in the affirmative. She then said, "Part of the wall
round the court of my house is so much decayed, that I must have
it taken down and rebuilt, and if thou art willing to undertake
the job I will employ thee." On his consenting, she led him to
her house, and shewing him the wall, gave him a pick-axe,
directing him as he went on to place the stones in one heap and
the rubbish in another. He replied, "To hear is to obey." She
then brought him some provision and water, when he refreshed
himself, and having thanked God that he had escaped, and was able
to get his living, began his task, which he continued till
sunset. His employer paid him ten pieces of silver for his day's
work, and he returned contented to his lodging.

The following morning he again went to labour, and was treated
with the same kindness as before. About noon, as he was stocking
up the foundation of the wall he found a copper vessel, which
upon examination proved to be full of golden coin. He carried the
vessel to his lodging, where he counted the money, upwards of a
hundred deenars, and returned to his work. As he was coming home
in the evening, he saw a crowd following a man who carried upon
his head a large chest, which he offered for sale at a hundred
deenars, but refused to mention the contents.

The fisherman was seized with an irresistible impulse to purchase
the chest, and having a small silver coin of not more value than
a silver penny, said to himself, "I will try my fate, possibly it
may contain something valuable; but if not, I will disregard the
disappointment;" ordered it to be conveyed to his lodging, and
paid the price demanded. He then locked his door and opened the
chest, when, to his astonishment, he beheld in it a beautiful
girl very richly dressed, but apparently lifeless. However, on
putting his hand to her mouth, he perceived that she breathed,
and was only in a deep sleep, from which he endeavoured to awake
her, but in vain. He then took her out of the chest, laid her
gently on his carpet, and continued to gaze at her charms; till
at length about midnight she awoke, and in an exclamation of
alarm and surprise exclaimed, "Gracious Allah, where am I?"

When the lady's first alarm had subsided, she asked the fisherman
how he had brought her to his lodging, and on being informed of
the circumstances her mind became easy; for he behaved towards
her with respectful attention. Concealing for the present her
condition and adventures, she said, "This lodging is too mean, on
the morrow you must hire a better. Serve me with fidelity, do as
I desire, and you shall be amply rewarded." The fisherman, who,
cautioned by his last love adventure, was fearful of taking
liberties, and awed by her dignified demeanour, made a profound
obeisance, and professed himself her slave. He set before her the
best refreshments he could procure, and when she had supped left
her, and retired to sleep in a separate chamber.

Early the next morning he went and hired a decent house, to which
he conveyed her in a covered litter, and did not cease to attend
upon her in all her commands for twenty days, she supplying him
with money to purchase necessaries.

It is proper now to mention, that the lady bought by the
fisherman in the chest was the favourite mistress of the sultan:
having deserted for her all his other women, they had become
envious; but the sultana, who, before the arrival of Koout al
Koolloob (for such was her name) had presided over the haram, was
more mortified than the rest, and had resolved to effect her
removal. For this a favourable opportunity soon occurred, owing
to the sultan's departure for twenty days upon a hunting
excursion. In a day or two after his absence, the sultana invited
Koout al Koolloob to an entertainment, and having mixed a strong
soporific in some sherbet, presented it her to drink. The effect
of the potion was instantaneous, and she sunk into a trance; when
the sultana putting her into the chest, commanded it to be given
to a broker, and sold without examination of the contents, for a
hundred deenars; hoping, that whoever might be the purchaser, he
would be so fascinated with the charms of the beautiful Koout al
Koolloob, as to enjoy his good fortune in secrecy; and that she
should thus get rid of a rival without the crime of

When the sultan returned from his excursion, immediately on
entering the palace he inquired for his favourite; when the
sultana entering with affected sadness, said, "Alas! my lord, the
beautiful and affectionate Koout al Koolloob, unable to bear the
pangs of absence, three days after your departure fell sick, and
having lingered for seven days, was gathered to the mercy of the
Almighty." The sultan, on hearing this, burst into an agony of
grief, and exclaimed, "There is no asylum or refuge but with God;
from God we came, and to God we must return." He was overcome
with affliction, and remained the whole night involved in
melancholy. In the morning he sent for his vizier, and commanded
him to look out for a spot on the bank of the river for the
erection of a building in which he might sit retired, and
meditate on his beloved Koout al Koolloob.

The vizier replied, "To hear is to obey;" and taking with him an
architect, fixed upon a pleasant spot, on which he ordered him to
mark out a space of ninety yards in length and seventy in breadth
for the intended building. The necessary materials, of stone and
marbles, were soon collected, and the work was begun upon; which
the minister for two days superintended in person. On the third
the sultan came to view the progress. He approved of the plan,
and said, "It is truly beautiful; but, alas! only worthy of the
residence of Koout al Koolloob;" after which he wept bitterly.
Seeing the distress of the sultan, his vizier said, "My lord, be
resigned under distress; for the wise have written, ‘Be moderate
when prosperity occurs, and when calamity afflicts thee exercise

The sultan replied, "It is true, O vizier, that resignation is
praiseworthy, and impatience blamable; for a poet has justly
said, ‘Be calm under adversity; for calmness can alone extricate
from danger.' To affliction joy often succeeds, and after trouble
we generally enjoy repose; but, alas! human nature cannot divest
itself of feeling; and Koout al Koolloob was so dear to me, and
so delighted my soul, that I dread I shall never find another
mistress her equal in beauty and accomplishments." The vizier
consoled his master, and at length prevailed upon him to submit
to his misfortune with some degree of resignation.

The sultan and vizier daily repaired to view the progress of the
new edifice, the report of which had spread through the city, and
at length reached Koout al Koolloob, who said to the fisherman,
"We are every day expending our money, and getting nothing:
suppose, therefore, you seek employment in the building which the
sultan is erecting. Report says that he is liberal, so that
possibly advantage may accrue. "The fisherman replied, "My dear
mistress, how shall I bear the least absence from you?" for he
loved her, and she perceiving it, often dreaded that he would
have made advances; but the remembrance of what he had endured
from the conduct of the merchant's daughter had made him
cautious. She replied, "Dost thou really love me?" "Canst thou
doubt it?" answered he; "thou art my life, and the light of my
eyes!" "If so," exclaimed she, "take this necklace, and when you
think of me as you are working, look at it, and it will console
you till your return home."

The fisherman obeyed the commands of Koout al Koolloob, repaired
to the spot where the edifice was erecting, and beheld the sultan
and vizier observing the workmen. The former inquired if he
wanted employment, to which he replied in the affirmative, and
was hired. He began his labour; but so much was his mind engaged
with his mistress, that every now and then, dropping his
implements, he drew out the necklace, and looking upon it heaved
a deep sigh, which the sultan observing, said to his vizier,
"This man, perchance, is more unhappy than myself; let us call
him to us, and inquire into his circumstances." The vizier
brought him to the presence, and desired him to tell honestly why
he had sighed so deeply. "Alas!" replied he, "I am absent from my
beloved, who gave me this necklace to look at whenever I might
think upon her; and my mind is so taken up with her, that I
cannot help laying down my tools, and admiring it constantly."

When the sultan saw the necklace, he recollected that it was one
which he had purchased for Koout al Koolloob for a thousand
deenars. He concealed his agitation, and said, "To whom does this
necklace belong?" "To my slave," replied the labourer, "whom I
purchased for a hundred deenars." "Canst thou admit us to thy
lodging," rejoined the sultan, "that we may see her?" "I dread,"
answered the labourer, "that her modesty may be offended; but I
will consult her, and if she assents, I will invite you to my
lodging." "That is but just," said the sultan, "and no more than
what is proper."

The labourer at sunset returned home, and informed Koout al
Koolloob of his adventure, when she desired him on the morrow to
purchase what was requisite for a decent entertainment, at the
same time giving him five deenars. In the morning he bought what
she had desired, and going to his work, informed the sultan and
vizier that they were welcome to his homely fare, and to see his
slave; or rather, said he, "My divinity, for as such I have at
humble distance adored her."

The sultan and vizier accompanied the labourer to his house where
they were astonished to find prepared an elegant collation, of
which they partook; after which they drank sherbet and coffee.
The sultan then desired to see his slave, who just made her
appearance, but retired immediately. However, the sultan knew
her; and said to the labourer, "Wilt thou dispose of this
damsel?" "I cannot, my lord," replied the labourer, "for my soul
is wholly occupied with her love, though as yet unreturned." "May
thy love be rewarded!" exclaimed the sultan; "but bring her with
thee at sunset to the palace." "To hear is to obey," replied the

At sunset the labourer conducted his slave to the palace, when
the eunuchs attended, and would have led her into the haram; but
he clung round her, and exclaimed, "She is my beloved, and I
cannot part with her." Upon this the sultan related the
circumstances of his having lost her; and requested him to give
her up. Knowing that he durst not oppose the sovereign, he
submitted to his commands with resignation, when the sultan
presented him with fifteen hundred deenars, and a beautiful
slave, also a rich dress, at the same time receiving him among
the most distinguished of his officers. So well did he conduct
himself in his new station, that in a short time he was promoted
to the rank of prime minister, and fulfilled the duties of it
with such ability and integrity, that he became celebrated by the
title of the Just Vizier.

Such was the celebrity of the vizier's decisions, that in a short
time appeals were made from the most distant provinces to his
judgment. One of the most remarkable cases was the following. Two
women belonging to one man conceived on the same day, and were
delivered, one of a boy, the other of a girl, at the same time,
and in one apartment. The female infant died, when each laid
claim to the male child. The magistrates, unable to decide
between the mothers, referred the decision to the just vizier;
who, on hearing the circumstances, commanded two eggs to be
brought, and the contents to be drawn out without breaking the
shells; after which he ordered them to be filled with milk from
the breast of each woman. This being done, he placed the shells
in separate scales, and finding one outweigh the other, declared
that she whose milk was heaviest must be the mother of the male
child; but the other woman was not satisfied with this decision,
and still affirmed she was the mother of the boy.

The vizier, vexed at her obstinacy, now commanded the infant to
be cut in two; when she, whom he had said was the mother, fell
into agonies, and besought its life; but the other was unmoved,
and assented to the death of the child. He then ordered her to be
severely punished, and committed the boy to its afflicted mother.
On being asked on what proofs he had grounded his decision, he
replied, "On two: the first, because the milk of a woman having
produced a male child is always heavier than that of the mother
of a female infant: the second, because the pretended mother
consented to the boy's death; and I supposed it impossible for a
woman to agree to the destruction of her offspring, which is a
part of herself."


There was a sultan, who one evening being somewhat low-spirited,
sent for his vizier, and said, "I know not the cause, but my mind
is uneasy, and I want something to divert it." "If so," replied
the vizier, "I have a friend, named Mhamood al Hyjemmee, a
celebrated traveller, who has witnessed many wonderful
occurrences, and can relate a variety of astonishing narratives.
Shall I send for him to the presence?" "By all means," answered
the sultan, "that I may hear his relations." The minister
departed, and informed his friend that the sultan desired to see
him. "To hear is to obey," replied Mhamood, and hastened with the
vizier to the palace.

When they had entered the palace, Mhamood made the obeisance
usual to the caliphs, and uttered a poetical invocation for the
prosperity of the sultan, who returned his salute; and after
desiring him to be seated, said, "Mhamood, my mind is uneasy, and
as I hear you are acquainted with many curious events, I wish you
to relate some of them to amuse me." Mhamood replied, "To hear is
to obey;" and thus began an adventure of his own.

The Koord Robber.

Some years ago I took a journey from my own country to the land
of Yemen, accompanied by a slave, who was a lad of much ready
wit, and who carried a wallet containing a few necessaries. As we
were entering a town, a rascally koord snatched the wallet from
his hands, and asserted that it was his own, which we had stolen
from him: upon which, I called out to some passengers to assist
me in the recovery of my property, and they helped me to carry
the sharper before the cauzee, to whom I complained of his
assault. The magistrate asked the koord what he had to allege in
his defence; to which he replied, "My lord, I lost this wallet
some days since, and found it in possession of the complainant,
who pretends that it is his own, and will not resign it." "If it
be thine," rejoined the cauzee, "describe to me what it contains,
when I shall be satisfied that thou speakest the truth."

The koord assented, and with a loud voice cried out, "In this
wallet, my lord, are two chests, in which are collyrium for the
eyes, a number of rich napkins, drinking vessels of gold, lamps,
cooking utensils, dishes, basins, and ewers; also bales of
merchandize, jewels, gold, silks, and other precious articles,
with a variety of wearing apparel, carpets, cushions, eating
cloths, and other things too tedious to enumerate; besides, I can
bring a number of my brother koords to testify to the truth of
what I have said, and that the wallet is mine."

When the koord had finished, the cauzee smiled, and asked me and
my slave what we could describe to be in the wallet: upon which,
my slave said, "My lord, there is nothing in it of what the koord
has mentioned, for it contains only both worlds, with all their
lands, seas, cities, habitations, men, animals, and productions
of every kind." The cauzee laughed, and turning to the koord,
said, "Friend, thou hast heard what has past; what further canst
thou say?" "The bag is mine," continued the koord: upon which,
the cauzee ordered it to be emptied; when, lo! there were found
in it some cakes of bread, a few limes, a little pepper, and a
cruet of oil. Seeing this, the koord exclaimed, "Pardon me, my
lord the cauzee, I have been mistaken, the wallet is not mine;
but I must away and search for the thief who has stolen my
valuable property." Having said this, he ran off, leaving the
cauzee, myself, and the spectators bursting with laughter at his
impudent knavery.

The sultan was much diverted with the relation of Mhamood, and
requested him to relate another story, which he did as follows.

Story of the Husbandman.

A certain husbandman having reared some choice vegetables and
fruits earlier than usual, resolved to present them to the
sultan, in hopes of receiving a handsome present. He accordingly
loaded his ass and set off for the capital, on the road to which
he met the sultan, whom he had never before seen; and who being
on a hunting excursion had separated from his attendants. The
sultan inquired where he was going, and what he carried. "I am
repairing," said the husbandman, "to our lord the sultan, in
hopes that he will reward me with a handsome price for my fruits
and vegetables, which I have reared earlier than usual." "What
dost thou mean to ask him?" replied the sultan. "A thousand
deenars," answered the husbandman; "which if he refuses to give,
I will demand five hundred; should he think that sum too much, I
will come down to two hundred; and if he declines to give so
much, I will ask thirty deenars, from which price I will not

The sultan now left the husbandman, and hastening to the city,
entered the palace, where the latter soon after arrived with his
fruits, and was introduced to the presence. Having made his
obeisance, the sultan returning his salute, said, "Father, what
hast thou brought with thee?" "Fruits, reared earlier than
usual," answered the husbandman: to which the sultan replied,
"They are acceptable," and uncovering them, sent a part by the
eunuchs into his haram, and distributed the rest to his
courtiers, excepting a few which he ate himself, talking all the
while to the countryman, whose sensible remarks gave him much
pleasure. He presented him with two hundred deenars, and the
ladies of the haram sent him a present of half that sum. The
sultan then desired him to return home, give the money to his
family, and come back with speed, as he wished to enjoy his
conversation. The husbandman having replied, "To hear is to
obey," blessed the sultan for his bounty, and hastening home gave
the deenars to his wife, informing her that he was invited to
spend the evening at court, and took his leave. It was sunset
when he arrived at the palace, and the sultan being at his
evening meal invited him to partake. When they were satisfied,
they performed their ablutions, and having said the evening
prayer, and read a portion of the Koraun, the sultan, desiring
him to be seated, commanded the husbandman to relate him some
narrative. The husbandman being seated, thus began.

Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird.

It has been lately related that there was formerly a sovereign of
the East who had three sons, the eldest of whom had heard some
traveller describe a particular country where there was a bird
called Bulbul al Syach, who transformed any passenger who came
near him into stone. The prince resolved to see this wonderful
bird; and requested leave to travel from his father, who
endeavoured in vain to divert him from his purpose. He took
leave, and on his departure, pulling off a ring set with a
magical gem, gave it to his second brother, saying, "Whenever you
perceive this ring press hard upon your finger, be assured that I
am lost beyond recovery." Having begun his journey, he did not
cease travelling till he reached the spot where was the bird's
cage, in which it used to pass the night, but in the daytime it
flew about for exercise and food.

It was the custom of the bird to return about sunset to the cage;
when, if it perceived any person near, it would cry out in a
plaintive tone, "Who will say to a poor wanderer, Lodge? who will
say to an unhappy Bulbul, Lodge?" and if the person replied,
"Lodge, poor bird!" it immediately hovered over his head, and
scattering upon him some earth from its bill, the person became
transformed into a stone. Such proved the fate of the unfortunate

The transformation of the eldest prince had no sooner taken place
than the ring pressed hard upon the finger of the second, who
exclaimed, "Alas! alas! my brother is lost; but I will travel,
and endeavour to find out his condition." It was in vain that the
sultan his father, and the sultana his mother, remonstrated. He
departed after he had delivered the magical ring to his younger
brother, and journeyed till he reached the cage of the bird; who
having ensnared him to pronounce the word lodge, scattered some
earth upon his head, when he, also, immediately became
transformed into stone.

At this instant the youngest prince was sitting at a banquet with
his father; when the ring pressed so hard to his finger, as to
put him to much pain. He rose up, and exclaimed, "There is no
refuge or asylum but with God; for his we are, and to him we must
return." The sultan, upon this, inquired the cause of his grief;
when he said, "My brother has perished."

The old sultan was loudly lamenting the loss of his two children,
when the youngest continued, "I will travel and learn the fate of
my brothers." "Alas!" said the father, "is it not enough that I
have lost them, but thou also wilt rush into destruction? I
entreat thee not to leave me." "Father," replied the prince,
"fate impels me to search for my brothers, whom, perhaps, I may
recover; but if I fail, I shall only have done my duty." Having
said this, he departed, in spite of the tears and lamentations of
his parents, and travelled till he had reached the residence of
the bird; where he found his brothers transformed into images of
stone. At sunset the bird began its usual tone; but the prince
suspecting some deceit, forbore to speak, till at length the
Bulbul retired to his cage, and fell asleep; when watching the
opportunity, the prince darted upon it, and fastened the door.
The bird awoke at the noise, and seeing himself caught, said,
"Thou hast won the prize, O glorious son of a mighty sultan!" "If
so," exclaimed the prince, "inform me by what means thou hast
enchanted so many persons as I see around me changed into images
of marble, and how I may release them from their unhappy state."
"Behold," replied the bird, "yonder two heaps of earth, one white
and the other blue. The blue enchants, and the other will recover
from transformation."

The prince immediately took up handfuls of the white earth, and
scattering it over the numerous images, they instantly became
animated and restored to all their functions. He embraced his two
brothers, and received their thanks; also those of the sons of
many sultans, bashaws, and great personages, for giving them new
life. They informed him that near the spot was a city, all the
inhabitants of which had been, like them, transformed into stone.
To this he repaired, and having relieved them from their
enchantment, the people out of gratitude made him rich presents,
and would have chosen him for their sovereign, but he declined
their offer, and resolved to conduct his brothers in safety to
their father.

The two elder princes, notwithstanding they owed the restoration
of their lives to their brother, became envious of the valuable
presents he had received, and of the fame he would acquire at
home for his achievement. They said to one another, "When we
reach the capital the people will applaud him, and say, ‘Lo! the
two elder brothers have been rescued from destruction by the

The youngest prince being supplied with horses, camels, and
carriages, for himself and companions, began his march homewards,
and proceeded by easy stages towards the capital of his father;
within one day's journey of which was a reservoir of water lined
with marble. On the brink of this he ordered his tents to be
pitched, resolving to pass the night and enjoy himself in
feasting with his brothers. An elegant entertainment was
prepared, and he sat with them till it was time to repose; when
they retired to their tents, and he lay down to sleep, having on
his finger a ring, which he had found in the cage of the Bulbul.

The envious brothers thinking this a fit opportunity to destroy
their generous preserver, arose in the dead of night, and taking
up the prince, cast him into the reservoir, and escaped to their
tents undiscovered. In the morning they issued orders of march,
the tents were struck, and the camels loaded; but the attendants
missing the youngest prince, inquired after him; to which the
brothers replied, that being asleep in his tent, they were
unwilling to disturb him. This satisfied them, and having pursued
their march they reached the capital of their father, who was
overjoyed at their return, and admired the beauty of the Bulbul,
which they had carried with them; but he inquired with eagerness
what was become of their brother.

The brothers replied, "We know nothing of him, and did not till
now hear of his departure in search of the bird, which we have
brought with us." The sultan dearly loved his youngest son; and
on hearing that his brothers had not seen him, beat his hands
together, exclaiming, "Alas! alas! there is no refuge or asylum
but with the Almighty, from whom we came, and to whom we must

We must now return to the youngest brother. When he was cast into
the reservoir he awoke, and finding himself in danger, exclaimed,
"I seek deliverance from that God who relieveth his servants from
the snares of the wicked." His prayer was heard, and he reached
the bottom of the reservoir unhurt; where he seated himself on a
ledge, when he heard persons talking. One said to another, "Some
son of man is near." "Yes," replied the other, "he is the
youngest son of our virtuous sultan; who, after having delivered
his two brothers from enchantment, hath been treacherously cast
into this reservoir." "Well," answered the first voice, "he may
easily escape, for he has a ring upon his finger, which if he
will rub a genie will appear to him and perform whatever he may

The prince no sooner heard these words than he rubbed his hand
over the ring, when a good genie appearing, said, "Prince, what
are thy commands?"

"I command," replied the prince, "that thou instantly prepare me
tents, camels, domestics, guards, and every thing suitable to my
condition." "All is ready," answered the genie; who, at the same
instant taking him from the ledge, conducted him into a splendid
encampment, where the troops received him with acclamations. He
ordered signals of march to be sounded, and proceeded towards the
capital of his father. When he had arrived near the city, he
commanded his tents to be pitched on the plain. Immediately his
orders were obeyed, the tents were raised (a most magnificent one
for himself), before which the servants raised a gorgeous awning,
and sprinkled water to lay the dust. The cooks lighted their
fires, and a great smoke ascended, which filled the plain.

The inhabitants of the city were astonished at the approach of
the army, and when they saw the encampment pitched, supposed it
to be that of a powerful enemy preparing for assaulting them.
Intelligence of this unexpected host was conveyed to the sultan;
who, on hearing it, instead of alarm, felt a pleasure which he
could not account for, and said, "Gracious Allah! my heart is
filled with delight; but why I know not." Immediately he
commanded his suite to attend, and repaired to the encampment of
his son, to whom he was introduced; but the prince being habited
very richly, and differently from what he had seen him in, was
not known by the sultan.

The prince received his father with the honours due to his rank,
and when they were seated, and had entered into conversation,
said, "What is become of thy youngest son?" The words were
scarcely uttered, when the old sultan fell fainting to the earth.
On his recovery, he exclaimed, "Alas! my son's imprudence led him
to travel, and he has fallen a prey to the beasts of the forest."
"Be comforted," replied the prince; "the disasters of fortune
have not reached thy son, for he is alive and in health." "Is it
possible?" cried the sultan; "ah! tell me where I shall find
him!" "He is before thee," replied the prince: upon which, the
sultan looking more closely, knew him, fell upon his neck, wept,
and sunk to the earth overpowered with ecstacy.

When the sultan had recovered, he desired his son to relate his
adventures, which he did from first to last. Just as he had
finished the elder brothers arrived, and seeing him in such
splendour, hung down their heads, abashed and unable to speak;
but yet more envious than ever. The old sultan would have put
them to death for their treachery, but the youngest prince said,
"Let us leave them to the Almighty, for whoever commits sin will
meet its punishment in himself."

When the husbandman had concluded the above story, the sultan was
so highly pleased that he presented him with a large sum of
money, and a beautiful slave, inquiring at the same time if he
could divert him with another story, to which he replied in the

On another night, when the sultan and the countryman had sat down
to converse, the former desired him to relate some ancient story,
when the latter began as follows.

Story of a Sultan of Yemen and his three Sons.

It has been related, that in the kingdom of Yemen there was a
sultan who had three sons, two of whom were born of the same
mother, and the third of another wife, with whom becoming
disgusted from some caprice, and having degraded her to the
station of a domestic, he suffered her and her son to live
unnoticed among the servants of the haram. The two former, one
day, addressed their father, requesting his permission to hunt:
upon which he presented them each with a horse of true blood,
richly caparisoned, and ordered proper domestics to attend them
to the chase.

When they had departed, the unfortunate youngest brother repaired
to his unhappy mother, and expressed his wishes to enjoy, like
the elder princes, the pleasures of the field. "My son," replied
she, "it is not in my power to procure thee a horse or other
necessaries." Upon this he wept bitterly; when she gave him some
of her silver ornaments, which he took, and having sold them,
with the price purchased a foundered steed. Having mounted it,
and provided himself with some bread, he followed the track of
his brothers for two days, but on the third lost his way. After
wandering two days more he beheld upon the plain a string of
emeralds and pearls, which shone with great lustre. Having taken
it up, he wreathed it round his turban, and returned homewards
exulting in his prize; but when he had arrived near the city his
brothers met him, pulled him from his horse, beat him, and forced
it from him. He excelled them both in prowess and vigour, but he
was fearful of the sultan's displeasure, and his mother's safety,
should he punish his insulters. He therefore submitted to the
indignity and loss, and retired.

The two cowardly princes entered the palace, and presented the
string of jewels to the sultan; who, after admiring it, said, "I
shall not rest satisfied till the bird arrives to whom this
certainly must have belonged:" upon which the brothers replied,
"We will travel in search of it, and bring it to our august
father and sultan."

Preparations being made, the brothers departed, and the youngest
prince having mounted his lame steed followed them. After three
days' journey he reached an arid desert, which having passed over
by great exertion, he arrived almost exhausted at a city; which
on entering he found resounding with the shrieks of lamentation
and woe. At length he met with a venerable old man, to whom
having made a respectful salute, he inquired of him the cause of
such universal mourning. "My son," replied the old man, "on a
certain day during the last forty-three years, a terrible monster
has appeared before our city, demanding a beautiful virgin to be
delivered up to him, threatening to destroy it in case of
refusal. Unable to defend ourselves, we have complied with his
demand, and the damsels of the city have drawn lots for the
dreadful sacrifice; but this year the chance has fallen upon the
beautiful daughter of our sultan. This is the day of the
monster's usual arrival, and we are involved in universal
lamentation for her unhappy fate."

When the young prince heard the above, he, under the direction of
the old man, repaired to the place of the monster's resort,
resolved to conquer him or die. Scarcely had he reached it, when
the princess approached it, splendidly habited, but with a
dejected head, and drowned in tears. He made a respeftful salute,
which she returned, saying, "Hasten, young man, from this spot,
for a monster will soon appear, to whom, by my unhappy fate, I am
destined. Should he discover thee, he will tear thee in pieces."
"Princess," replied he, "I know the circumstance, and am resolved
to become a ransom for thy beauty."

The prince had hardly uttered these words, when a column of dust
arose; from which with dreadful howlings and fury the monster
issued, lashing his gigantic sides with his thick tail. The
princess shrieked, and wept in the agonies of fear; but the
prince drawing his sabre, put himself in the way of the savage
monster; who, enraged, snorted fire from his wide nostrils, and
made a spring at the prince. The gallant youth with wonderful
agility evaded his talons, and darting from side to side of the
monster, watched his opportunity, till rushing upon him, he cleft
his head asunder just between his eyes, when the huge creature
fell down and growled his last in a tremendous roar.

The princess, on seeing the monster expire, ran to her deliverer,
wiped the dust and sweat from his face with her veil, uttering
grateful thanks, to which he replied, "Return to thy lamenting
parents;" but she would not, and said, "My lord, and light of my
eyes, thou must be mine and I thine." "That is perhaps
impossible," rejoined the prince; and hastening from her, he
returned to the city, where he took up his lodging in an obscure
corner. She now repaired to the palace. On her entrance, the
sultan and her mother were astonished, and inquired in alarm the
cause of her return; fearing that she had escaped from the
monster, who would in revenge destroy the city.

The princess related the story of her deliverance by a handsome
youth: upon which, the sultan, with his attendants, and most of
the inhabitants of the place, repaired to view the monster, whom
they found extended dead on the earth. The whole city was now
filled with grateful thanksgivings and universal rejoicing. The
sultan, eager to shew his gratitude to the gallant youth, said to
the princess, "Shouldst thou know thy deliverer wert thou to see
him again?" "Certainly!" replied she; for love had impressed his
image on her mind too strongly to be ever erased.

The sultan, upon this, issued a proclamation, commanding every
male in the city to pass under the windows of his daughter's
apartment; which was done successively for three days; but she
did not recognize her beloved champion. The sultan then inquired
if all the men of the city had obeyed his commands, and was
informed that all had done so, except a young man at a certain
serai, who was a foreigner, and therefore had not attended. The
sultan ordered him to appear; and he had no sooner approached the
window than the princess threw down upon his head an embroidered
handkerchief, exclaiming, "This is our deliverer from the fangs
of the monster."

The sultan now ordered the young prince to be introduced to his
presence, to which he advanced, making the obeisances customary
to royal personages in a graceful manner. "Art thou the destroyer
of the monster?" exclaimed the sultan. "I am," answered the
prince. "Tell me how I can reward thee?" replied the sultan. "My
request to God and your majesty," answered the prince, "is, that
the princess thy daughter may be given me in marriage." "Rather
ask me a portion of my treasures," rejoined the sultan. Upon
this, the officers of the court observed, that as he had saved
the princess from death, he was worthy of her; and the sultan at
length consenting, the marriage knot was tied. The young prince
received his bride, and the nuptials were consummated. Towards
the close of night he arose, and having taken off her ring, put
his own in its room on her finger, and wrote upon the palm of her
hand, "I am called Alla ad Deen, the son of a potent sultan, who
rules in Yemen; if thou canst come to me there, well; otherwise
remain with thy father."

When the prince had done as above related, he left his bride
asleep, and quitting the palace and city, pursued his travels;
during which he married another wife, whom he had saved from an
elephant in a similar way: he left her in the same manner as the

When the prince had left his second wife, he proceeded in search
of the bird to whom the string of emeralds and pearls had
belonged, and at length reached the city of its mistress, who was
daughter to the sultan, a very powerful monarch. Having entered
the capital, he walked through several streets, till at last he
perceived a venerable old man, whose age seemed to be, at least,
that of a hundred years, sitting alone. He approached him, and
having paid his respects, sat down, and entering into
conversation, at length said, "Canst thou, my uncle, afford me
any information respecting a bird, whose chain is composed of
pearls and emeralds, or of its mistress?"

The old man remained silent, involved in thought, for some
instants; after which, he said, "My son, many sultans and princes
have wished to attain this bird and the princess, but failed in
the attempt; however, do thou procure seven lambs, kill them,
flay and cut them up into halves. In the palace are eight courts,
at the gates of seven of which are placed two hungry lions; and
in the latter, where the princess resides, are stationed forty
slaves. Go, and try thy fortune."

The prince having thanked the old man, took his leave, procured
the lambs, cut them up as directed, and towards midnight, when
the step of man had ceased from passing, repaired to the first
gate of the palace, before which he beheld two monstrous lions,
their eyes flaming like the mouth of a lighted oven. He cast
before each half a lamb, and while they were devouring it passed
on. By the same stratagem he arrived safely into the eighth
court: at the gate of which lay the forty slaves sunk in profound
sleep. He entered cautiously, and beheld the princess in a
magnificent hall, reposing on a splendid bed; near which hung her
bird in a cage of gold wire strung with valuable jewels. He
approached gently, and wrote upon the palm of her hand, "I am
Alla ad Deen, son of a sultan of Yemen. I have seen thee
sleeping, and taken away thy bird. Shouldst thou love me, or wish
to recover thy favourite, come to my father's capital." He then
departed from the palace, and having reached the plain, stopped
to repose till morning.

The prince being refreshed, at day-light having invoked Allah to
protect him from discovery, travelled till sunset, when he
discovered an Arab encampment, to which he repaired and requested
shelter. His petition was readily attended to by the chief; who
seeing him in possession of the bird, which he knew, said to
himself, "This hyoung man must be a favourite of heaven, or he
could not have obtained a prize for which so many potent sultans,
princes, and viziers, have vainly fallen sacrifices." He
entertained him with hospitality, but asked no questions, and in
the morning dismissed him with prayers for his welfare, and a
present of a beautiful horse. Alla ad Deen having thanked his
generous host took leave, and proceeded unceasingly till he
arrived within sight of his father's capital. On the plain he was
again overtaken by his two brothers, returning from their
unsuccessful expedition, who seeing the bird and splendid cage in
his possession, dragged him suddenly from his horse, beat him
cruelly, and left him. They entered the city, and presenting the
cage to their father, framed an artful tale of danger and escapes
that they had undergone in procuring it; on hearing which, the
sultan loaded them with caresses and praises, while the
unfortunate Alla ad Deen retired bruised and melancholy to his
unhappy mother.

The young prince informed his mother of his adventures,
complained heavily of his loss, and expressed his resolves to be
revenged upon his envious brothers. She comforted him, entreated
him to be patient, and wait for the dispensations of Allah; who,
in proper season, would shew his power in the revealment of
justice. We now return to the princess who had lost her bird.

When she awoke in the morning, and missed her bird, she was
alarmed; but on perceiving what was written upon her palm still
more so. She shrieked aloud; her attendants ran in, and finding
her in a frantic state, informed the sultan; who, anxious for her
safety, hastened to the apartment. The princess being somewhat
recovered, related the loss of her bird, shewed the writing on
her hand, and declared that she would marry no one but him who
had seen her asleep. The sultan finding remonstrances vain,
agreed to accompany his daughter in search of the prince, and
issued orders for his army to prepare for a march to Yemen.

When the troops were assembled, the sultan conducted his daughter
to the camp, and on the day following marched; the princess with
her ladies being conveyed in magnificent equipages. No halt was
made till the army arrived near the city, where Alia ad Deen had
delivered the daughter of its sultan by killing the elephant. A
friendly ambassador being dispatched to request permission to
encamp and purchase a supply of provisions, he was honourably
received, and the sultan of the city proceeded in great pomp to
visit his brother monarch, who then informed him of the object of
his expedition. This convinced the other sultan that the stealer
of the bird must also have been the deliverer of his daughter,
and he resolved to join in the search. Accordingly, after three
days of splendid entertainments and rejoicings, the two sultans,
with the two princesses, and their united forces, moved towards
Yemen. Their route lay through the capital, the daughter of whose
sultan Alla ad Deen had saved from the fangs of the savage

On the arrival of the allies at this city an explanation similar
to the last took place, and the third sultan resolved to
accompany them in search of the husband of his daughter, who
readily agreed to join the other princesses. They marched; and on
the route the princess who had lost her bird was fully informed
by the others of the beauty, prowess, and manly vigour of Alla ad
Deen; which involved her more than ever in anxious impatience to
meet him. At length, by continued and uninterrupted movements,
the three sultans reached Yemen, and pitched their encampments
about sunset on a verdant plain well watered, near the capital.

It was with much dread and apprehension that the sultan of Yemen
beheld such a numerous host encamped so near his residence; but
he concealed his fears, and gave proper orders for securing it
from surprise during the night. With the morning his alarms were
removed, as the allied sultans dispatched an ambassador with rich
presents, assurances that they had no hostile intentions, and a
request that he would honour them by a visit to their camp, and
furnish it with supplies. The sultan complied with the
invitation, and the suite being prepared, he proceeded, attended
by all his courtiers in the highest magnificence, to the
encampment; where he was received with due honours. At the
outposts the three sultans met him, and after the usual greetings
of ceremony conducted him to a splendid tent made of crimson
velvet, the fringes and ropes of which were composed of gold
threads, the pins of solid silver, and the lining of the richest
silver tissue, embroidered with flowers of raised work in silks
of all colours, intermixed with foils and gold. It was covered
with superb carpets, and at the upper end on a platform spread
with gold brocade were placed four stools, the coverings of
which, and the cushions, were magnificent beyond description,
being made of Persian velvet, fringed and flowered with costly

When the four sultans were seated, and some conversation had
taken place, in which the latter was informed of the occasion of
the others having marched into his country, the cloth was spread,
and a magnificent entertainment served up in dishes of agate,
crystal, and gold. The basins and ewers for washing were of pure
gold set with jewels. Such was the richness of every thing, that
the sultan with difficulty refrained from shewing his surprise,
and inwardly exclaimed, "By Allah, till now I never have beheld
such a profusion of splendour, elegance, and valuable furniture!"
When the meal was ended, coffee, various sorts of confections,
and sherbets were brought in; after which the company conversed.
The three sultans inquired of their royal guest if he had any
children, to which he replied that he had two sons.

The sultans then requested that he would send for them: upon
which, their father dispatched a messenger to summon them to his
presence. They repaired to the camp, mounted on chargers richly
caparisoned, and most splendidly dressed. On their entering the
tent, the princesses, who were seated in a recess concealed from
view by blinds of gold wire, gazed eagerly at them; and she who
had lost her bird inquired of the other two if either of them was
their husband. They replied in the negative, remarking that he
was of personal beauty, and dignified appearance, far superior to
these princes. The three sultans, also, questioned their
daughters on the subject, and received similar answers.

The sultans, upon this, inquired of the father of the princes if
he had any other sons; to which he replied that he had one; but
that he had long rejected him, and also his mother, from notice;
and that they lived among the domestics of the palace. The
sultans entreated to see him, and he was introduced, but in a
mean habit. The two princesses whom he had delivered from the
monsters and married immediately recognized him, and exclaimed
together, "This is truly our beloved husband!" He was then
embraced by the sultans, and admitted to his wives; who fell upon
his neck in transports of joy and rapture, kissing him between
his eyes, while the princess who had lost the bird prostrated
herself before him, covered with a veil, and kissed his hand.

After this scene the young prince returned to his father, and the
other sultans, who received him respectfully, and seated him by
them, at which the father was astonished; but more so, when,
turning to his brothers, he addressed them, saying, "Which of you
first found the string of emeralds and pearls?" To this they made
no reply: when he continued, "Who of you killed the monster,
destroyed the elephant, or, fortifying his mind, dared to enter
the palace of this sultan, and bring away the cage with the bird?
When you both, coward-like, rushed upon me, robbed me of my
prizes, and wounded me, I could easily have overcome you; but I
felt that there was a season appointed by Providence for justice
upon you and my wretched father, who rejected my mother and
myself, depriving us of our just claims." Having thus spoken, he
drew his sabre, and rushing upon the two guilty princes struck
them dead, each at one blow. He would, in his rage, have attacked
his father; but the sultans prevented him, and having reconciled
them, the old sultan promised to leave him his heir, and to
restore his mother to her former rank and consequence. His
nuptials with the third princess were then celebrated; and their
fathers, after participating for forty days in the magnificent
entertainments given on the occasion, took leave, and returned to
their several kingdoms. The old sultan finding himself, from age,
incapable of the cares of government, resigned the throne to his
son, whose authority was gladly submitted to by the people, who
admired his prowess and gallantry.

Some time after his accession to the kingdom, attended only by
some select courtiers, and without the cumbrous appendages of
royalty, he left his capital upon a hunting excursion. In the
course of the sport, passing over a desert plain, he came to a
spot where was the opening of a cave, into which he entered, and
observed domestic utensils and other marks of its being
inhabited; but no one was then within it.

The curiosity of the sultan being excited, he resolved to wait
until the owners of the cave should appear, and cautioned his
attendants not to mention his rank. He had not sat long, when a
man was seen advancing with a load of provisions and two skins of
water. On his coming to the mouth of the cave, the sultan
addressed him, saying, "Whence comest thou, where art thou going,
and what dost thou carry?" "I am," replied the man, "one of three
companions, who inhabit this cave, having fled from our city to
avoid imprisonment, and every ten days one of us goes to purchase
provisions: to-day was my turn, and my friends will be here
presently." "What was the cause of your flight?" rejoined the
sultan. "As to that," answered the man, "it can only be
communicated by the relation of our adventures, which are
curious, and if you wish to hear them, stay with us to-night, and
we will each, in our turn, relate his own story."

The sultan upon this, said to himself, "I will not move from this
spot until I have heard their adventures;" and immediately
dispatched his attendants, excepting a few, with orders to bring
from the city some necessaries for the night. "For," thought he,
"hearing these stories will be pleasanter than hunting, as they
may, perhaps, inform my mind." He remained in the cave with his
few followers; and soon after arrived the two other inmates, who
were succeeded by the sultan's messengers with the requisites for
a substantial repast, of which all partook without ceremony. When
it was finished, the sultan desired the owners of the cave to
relate their adventures; and they replied, "To hear is to obey:"
the first beginning as follows.

Story of the First Sharper in the Cave.

My father died when I was a youth, leaving my mother and myself
with little property, but an old she-goat, which we sold, and
with the price bought a calf, and nourished her as well as we
could for a whole year; when my mother desired me to go and
dispose of her in the market. Accordingly I went, and soon
perceived that there was not a fatter or finer beast in the
market. The company of butchers, composed of forty persons, fixed
their eyes upon the calf, and supposing me an ignorant lad,
resolved to have her for little or nothing, and feast themselves
upon her flesh. After concerting among themselves, one of them
coming up, said, "My lad, dost thou mean to sell this she-goat?"
"Goat!" replied I, "it is a calf." "Nay," answered he, "surely
thou must be blind or under enchantment; but, old as the goat is,
if thou wilt sell it, I will give thee a koorsh for her." I
angrily refused, and he went away; when presently up came
another; and, in short, in regular succession the whole forty,
the last of whom was the chief of the butchers. I perceived the
connivance to cheat me, and resolving to be revenged, said, "I am
convinced I am deceived, so you shall have the goat, if such she
is, for the koorsh, provided you let me have her tail." This was
agreed to, and it being cut off, I delivered my calf to the chief
of the butchers, received the money, and returned home.

On my arrival at home, my mother asked if I had sold the calf; to
which I replied, "Yes, for a koorsh, and her tail into the
bargain." She thought me stupid or mad, and inquired what I would
do with the latter. I answered, "I will be amply revenged on the
sharpers, who pretended that my calf was a she-goat, and force
from them, at least, a thousand times the price they gave me."
After this, I skinned the tail, cut the leather into thongs, and
twisted them into a whip with hard thick knots. I then disguised
myself in female attire, taking pains to make myself look as
handsome as possible with the assistance of my mother, who put
soorma into my eyelids, and arranged my eyebrows, stained my
hands with hinna, and directed me how to ogle and smile. In
short, as I was then a beardless lad, and reckoned comely, I
appeared as a very desirable maiden in my disguise.

On my arrival at the house of the chief of the butchers, I found
him sitting with his companions in the court. The whole of my
calf had been cooked in various ways, and they were just going to
spread the cloth and feast upon it. On my entrance I made a
profound salutation: upon which they all rose up to return it,
and having *teated me welcomely, whispered one to another,
saying, "By Allah, this will be a night of glorious festivity,
illumined by so much beauty! however, our chief must have the
preference, this night shall be his; after which we will all cast
lots for his turn of enjoyment."

When we had feasted on my calf, and the night was far advanced,
the butchers took leave, departed to their homes, and I remained
alone with the chief, who began to entertain me with amusing
conversation. Observing a rope hanging from the ceiling of an
apartment, I, as if ignorant of its purpose, inquired the use of
it; when the venerable chief of the butchers informed me it was
for suspending animals to cut up; also, occasionally his
dependants, whose crimes required the punishment of flogging.
Upon this I expressed a great desire to be tied with the rope,
drawn up, and swung for amusement. "My dear lady," replied he,
"the cord will hurt thy delicate skin; but thou shall put it
round me, draw me up, and see the use without injuring thyself."

I consented to the wish of the chief butcher, placed the cord
under his arms, and drew him up till the ends of his toes
scarcely touched the ground. I then secured the rope, and for
some moments kept running playfully round him, and tickling his
sides, which made him laugh with delight. At length, tired of his
posture, he desired me to release him; but I refused, saying, "My
dear chief, I have not yet finished my amusement;" after which I
tore the clothes from his back, as if in merriment. When I had
done this, I pulled out my whip, which was well knotted, saying,
"This is the tail of a she-goat, and not of a calf." The butcher
now began to be somewhat alarmed, asking me who I was, and whence
I came? to which I replied, "I am the owner of the fat calf, of
which thou and thy villanous companions so rascally cheated me."
I then bared my arm to my elbow, and so belaboured his back and
sides with my whip that he roared in agony; nor did I leave off
till his skin was completely flayed, and he fainted from the
pain. After this I searched the apartment, found a bag containing
three hundred deenars, some handsome dresses, and other valuable
articles, all of which I bundled up, and carried off; leaving the
chief of the butchers, suspended, to his fate. When I had reached
home, I gave my prize to my mother, saying, "This is only part of
the value of my calf, which I have just received of the

Early in the morning the butchers repaired, as usual, to the
residence of their chief, and finding the door of the court-yard
locked, joked one with another, saying, "Our old gentleman has
been so fatigued with his happiness that he sleeps longer than
ordinary." They waited till near noon, when they called out for
admittance; but receiving no answer, became apprehensive of some
disaster, and forcing the door, found their chief suspended,
almost lifeless, and his scars dropping blood. To their inquiries
into the cause of his doleful situation, he replied, "That
pretended vixen was no woman, but a brawny youth, the owner of
the calf; who, in return for our roguery, has flogged me thus,
and carried off all he could find in my chamber worth having."
The butchers vowed revenge, saying, "We will seize and put him to
death;" but their chief requested them for the present to be
patient, and carry him to a warm bath, that he might wash and get
his wounds dressed.

I observed the chief butcher enter the bathing house alone, while
his followers waited at the gate: upon which I went to a
slaughter-house, poured over my back the blood of a sheep, dabbed
it with plaisters of cotton, and leaning on a crutch, as if in
agony of pain, repaired to the bath. At first the butchers
refused me admittance, saying their chief was within; but on my
entreating their compassion for my miserable condition, they at
length permitted me to enter. Passing through the different
rooms, I came to the bath, in which I found the unfortunate chief
washing his scars. I pulled out my whip, and having said to him,
"Shekh, this is the tail of my calf!" flogged him again so
severely that he fainted; after which I made my escape by another
entrance to the hummaum, which opened into a different street.

The butchers growing impatient at the long stay of their chief in
the bath, at length entered, and found him in extreme agony. He
informed them of this second revenge of the owner of the calf,
and requested that he would take him into the country, pitch a
tent for his reception, and remain to guard him till he should be
cured of his wounds. They did so; but I watched their motions,
and disguising myself, repaired in the evening towards the tent.
Here I found a Bedouin Arab, whom I bribed with a piece of gold
to cry out, "I am the owner of the calf, and will have the life
of your chief!" cautioning him at the same time, after he had so
exclaimed, to make his escape as quickly as possible from the
butchers, who would pursue him. "I shall not heed them," replied
he, "though they may be mounted on the fleetest coursers."

Having said this, the Bedouin went up close to the tents, bawling
out vociferously, as I had direfted him: upon which all the
butchers started up and pursued him, but in vain, to a great
distance. I then entered the tent in which the chief was reposing
alone, and pulling out my whip, once more flogged him till he
roared with agony. When I was tired I bundled up such articles as
I could lay my hands on; and returning home, presented them to my
mother, saying, "Here is the balance of the price of our calf."

The butchers having attempted to overtake the Bedouin, till they
were wearied with running, but in vain, returned to their chief,
whom they found in a fainting fit from the pain of his wounds.
Having sprinkled water on his face, they recovered him so far
that he was able to inform them of what had happened; and to
request them to convey him once more to his own house, to give
out that he was dead of his wounds, and make a mock funeral;
when, possibly, the owner of the calf, believing him departed
this life, might cease to torment him.

The butchers obeyed the commands of their chief, and reporting
that he was dead, laid him in a litter, and marched in mournful
procession towards the burying ground, followed by a great
concourse of people. Mixing with the crowd, in disguise, I at
length stooped under the litter, and giving the chief, who lay
extended in a winding sheet, a smart poke with a pointed stick,
up he jumped, to the astonishment of the beholders; who cried
out, "A miracle! a miracle! the dead is raised to life!" while I
made my escape in the throng; but being fearful that the many
tricks I had played, especially this last, might excite inquiry,
and lead to a discovery, I fled from the city, and resolved to
remain in this cave till curiosity should subside.

The sultan exclaimed, "These adventures are surprising;" when the
second inhabitant of the cave said, "My lord, my story is much
more wonderful than the last; for I contrived not only to be dead
and buried, but to escape from the tomb." "Possibly," said the
sultan, "thy adventures may have been stranger than those of this
man; but if any of you are acquainted with the memoirs of ancient
monarchs, I could wish you to relate them; however, at present, I
must take you with me to the palace, that I may make you
welcome." When the men heard this proposition, they were alarmed,
and cried out, "What, my lord, would you carry us to the city
from which we have escaped to save our lives?" "Fear not,"
replied he, "I am the sultan, and was amusing myself with hunting
when I chanced to discover your cave." They bowed themselves
before him, and exclaimed, "To hear is to obey;" after which they
attended him to the city. On their arrival, the sultan ordered
them proper apartments and suitable entertainment, and invested
each of them with a rich habit. For some days they remained
enjoying themselves; when, at length, one evening the sultan
commanded them to his presence, and requested a narrative, when
one of them related the following story.

History of the Sultan of Hind.

In ancient days there lived a sultan of Hind, than whom no prince
of the age was greater in extent of territory, riches, or force;
but Heaven had not allotted to him offspring, either male or
female: on which account he was involved in sorrow. One morning,
being even more melancholy than usual, he put on a red habit, and
repaired to his divan; when his vizier, alarmed at the robes of
mourning, said, "What can have occasioned my lord to put on this
gloomy habit?" "Alas!" replied the sultan, "my soul is this
morning overclouded with melancholy." "Repair then to the
treasury," said the vizier, "and view thy wealth; as, perhaps,
the lustre of gold, and the brilliant sparkling of jewels, may
amuse thy senses and disperse thy sorrow." "Vizier," answered the
sultan, "this world to me is all vanity; I regard nothing but the
contemplation of the Deity: yet how can I be relieved from
melancholy, since I have lived to this age and he has not blessed
me with children, either sons or daughters, who are the ornaments
of manhood in this world?"

The sultan had scarcely ceased speaking, when a human figure of a
dusky hue appeared before him, and said, "My sovereign, here is a
confection left me by my ancestors, with an assurance, that
whoever might eat of it would have offspring." The sultan eagerly
took the confection, and by the blessing of Allah, one of the
ladies of his haram conceived that very night. When her pregnancy
was made known to him, the sultan was overjoyed, distributed
large sums in charity to the poor, and every day comforted the
distressed by his bounty.

When the sultana had gone her full time, she was delivered of a
son beautiful in aspect, and of graceful person; at which the
sultan became overjoyed, and on that day set apart one half of
his treasures for the use of the infant prince, who was intrusted
to the charge of experienced nurses. After he had thrived
sufficiently at the breast he was weaned, and at six years of age
put under the care of learned tutors, who taught him to write, to
read the Koran, and instructed him in the other several branches
of literature. When he had completed his twelfth year, he was
accomplished in horsemanship, archery, and throwing the lance,
till at length he became a distinguished cavalier, and excelled
the most celebrated equestrians.

The young prince being on a certain day hunting in the vicinity
of the capital, there suddenly appeared soaring and wheeling in
the air a bird, whose plumage was of the most beautiful and
glossy green. The prince let fly an arrow, but without effect,
and the bird suddenly disappeared. It was in vain that he turned
his eye to all quarters, in hopes of again discovering his
wished-for prey, for the bird had flown out of sight, and the
prince after searching in all directions till the close of day,
returned vexed and much disappointed to his father's palace. On
his entrance, the sultan and sultana perceiving his countenance
gloomy, inquired the cause of his melancholy, when he informed
them of the bird: upon which, they said, "Dear son, the creaures
of the Almighty are innumerably diversified; and, doubtless,
there are many birds as beautiful, and wonderfully more so than
this, whose escape you so much regret." "It may be so," replied
the prince; "but unless I shall be able to take this, which has
so captivated my fancy, I will abstain from food."

On the following morning the prince repaired again to the chase,
and having reached the same spot on the plain, to his great joy
beheld the green bird. Having taken a cautious aim, he let fly an
arrow; but she evaded it, and soared before him in the air. The
prince spurred his courser and followed, keeping his desired prey
in sight unceasingly till sunset; when both himself and his horse
being exhausted he gave up the pursuit, and returned towards the
city. As he was riding slowly, and almost fainting with hunger
and fatigue, there met him a venerable looking personage, who
said, "Prince, both thyself and thy charger seem exhausted; what
can have been the cause of such over exercise?" "Father,"
answered the prince, "I have been pursuing, but in vain, a
beautiful green bird, on which I had set my mind." "Son," replied
the sage, "if thou wert to follow it for a whole year's journey,
thy pursuit would be useless; for thou couldst never take it.
This bird comes from a city in the country of Kafoor, in which
are most delightful gardens abounding in such birds as this, and
many other species still more beautiful, some of which sing
enchantingly, and others talk like human beings; but, alas thou
canst never reach that happy spot. Give up then all thoughts of
the bird, and seek some other objeft for a favourite that thou
mayst enjoy repose, and no longer vex thyself for
impossibilities." When the prince heard this from the old man, he
exclaimed, "By Allah! nothing shall prevent me from visiting the
charming country thou hast mentioned;" and leaving the sage, he
rode homewards, his mind wholly taken up in meditating on the
land of Kafoor.

When the prince had reached the palace, the sultan perceiving his
disordered state, inquired the adventures of the day; and being
informed of his fruitless pursuit, and the remarks of the old
man, said, "My son, discharge this idle chimera from thy mind,
nor perplex thyself longer, since he who wishes for an
impossibility may pine himself to death, but can never gain his
desires: calm then thy soul, nor vex thyself longer in vain." "By
Allah!" answered the prince, "my soul, O my father, is captivated
with the desire of possessing this bird more strongly than ever,
from the words of the venerable old man; nor is it possible I can
enjoy repose till I have travelled to the island of Kafoor, and
beheld the gardens containing such a wonderful feathered
species." "Alas! my dear son," exclaimed the sultan, "think how
afflicting must be to myself and thy mother thy absence from our
sight, and for our sakes give up such a fruitless expedition."

The prince, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his father,
continued obstinate, and said, "My travelling is inevitable:
grant me then permission, or I will put myself to death." "If
so," exclaimed the affrighted sultan, "there is no refuge or help
but from the omnipotent Allah: well has the proverb remarked,
that the nestling would not be restrained from the air, when
suddenly the raven pounced upon it and bore it away. Heaven guard
my son from the consequences of his imprudence." Having said
thus, the sultan commanded preparations for the requisites of
travel, and ordered a force to accompany the headstrong prince;
who, having taken leave of his afflicted parents, began his
expedition towards the country of Kafoor.

The prince pursued his journey without any extraordinary
adventure for a whole month, and at the expiration of it arrived
at a spot from which branched out three roads. At the junction of
them was erected a lofty pyramid, each face fronting one of the
roads. On one face was inscribed, "This is named the Path of
Safety:" on the second, "This is called the Way of Repentance:"
and on the third, "Whoever follows this road will not probably
return." "I will pursue this last," said the prince to himself,
and accordingly striking into it, proceeded onwards for twenty
days, at the end of which he encamped near a desolated city,
crumbling into ruin, wholly destitute of inhabitants. He
commanded his attendants, as no provisions could be found in the
city, to kill five sheep of the flocks he had brought with him,
and dress them for their refreshment in various ways. When all
were ready, and the simmaut was spread out, having performed his
ablutions, he sat down with his principal followers.

The prince and his company had scarcely seated themselves, when,
lo! there advanced from the desolated city a Genie, whom the
prince seeing, stood up, and thus accosted, "Hail! and welcome to
the sovereign of the Aoon, friendly to his brethren, and ruler of
this extensive desert." He then addressed him, flatteringly, in
fluent language and eloquent expression. The hair of this Oone
Genie hung shaggily over his eyes, and flowed in matted tresses
upon his shoulders. The prince took out a pair of scissors, and
having condescendingly cut his hair, pared his nails, and washed
him, seated him at the cloth, and placed before him the dish
dressed peculiarly for himself.

The Oone ate, and was delighted with the affability of the
prince, whom he addressed, saying, "By Allah, O Mahummud, son of
a sultan! I am doomed to death by thy arrival here; but what, my
lord, was thy object in coming?" Upon this the prince informed
him of his having seen the bird, his vain attempts to take her,
the account he had received from the old man, and his resolution,
in consequence of his information, to penetrate to the kingdom of
Kafoor, to visit the gardens, and bring away some of the
wonderful birds.

When the Oone heard this, he said, "O son of a sultan, that
country to thee is impenetrable, thou canst not reach it; for the
distance from hence is a journey of three hundred years to the
most laborious traveller; how then canst thou hope to arrive at
it, much more return? But, my son, the good old proverb remarks,
that kindness should be returned with kindness, and evil with
evil, and that none are so cruel or so benevolent as the
inhabitants of the desert. As thou hast treated me kindly, so,
God willing, shalt thou have a return for thy goodness; but thou
must leave here thy attendants and thy effects. Thou and I only
will go together, and I will accomplish thy wish in gratitude for
what thou hast done for me." The prince immediately retired from
his encampment with the Oone, who said, "Mount upon my

The prince obeyed the commands of the Oone, who having first
stopped his rider's ears with cotton, mounted into the air, and
after soaring for some hours descended; when the prince found
himself in the island of Kafoor, and near the desired garden.
Having alighted from the shoulders of the generous Oone, he
examined the spot, beheld groves, blooming shrubs, flowers
bordering clear streams, and beautiful birds chanting various
melodies. The Oone said, "Behold the object, of thy search, enter
the garden!" Upon this the prince left him, passed the gate,
which was open, and entered. He walked on every quarter, and
depending from the branches of flowering shrubs saw cages holding
a variety of beautiful birds, two birds in each cage.

The prince took down a large cage, and having examined the birds,
placed in it such as pleased him to the number of six, with which
he was preparing to leave the garden; when at the gate a watchman
met him, who cried out loudly, "A robber! a robber!" Instantly
numerous guards rushing out, seized the prince, bound, and
carried him before the sultan, to whom they complained, saying,
"We found in the garden this young man, carrying off a cage with
six birds. He must certainly be a robber."

The sultan addressed the prince, saying, "What induced thee,
youthful stranger, to violate my property, trespass on the
garden, and attempt stealing these birds?" The prince returned no
answer: upon which the sultan exclaimed, "Young man, thou art
verging upon death; yet still, if thy soul is bent upon having
these birds, bring me from the Black Island some bunches of
grapes, which are composed of emeralds and diamonds, and I will
give thee six birds in addition to those thou hast stolen."
Having said this, the sultan released the prince, who repaired to
his generous friend the Oone, whom he informed of the unlucky
conclusion of his adventure. "Our task is an easy one," answered
the Oone; "mount upon my shoulders."

The prince did as he was desired, and after two hours flight the
Oone descended and alighted, when the prince found himself in the
Black Island. He immediately advanced towards the garden in which
was the fruit composed of emeralds and diamonds. On the way a
monster met him of terrible appearance.

The monster sprung at the prince, who, with surprising agility,
drawing his sword, wounded the furious beast on the forehead with
such effect, that, uttering a dreadful groan, he fell dead at his
feet. It happened, by divine decree, that the sultan's daughter
looking from a window of the haram, beheld the combat, and,
stricken with the manly beauty and prowess of the prince,
exclaimed, "Who can withstand thy courage, or who resist thy all
conquering charms?" But he did not see the princess, or hear her

The prince, after having slain the monster, proceeded to the
garden, the gate of which he found open, and on entering,
perceived variety of artificial trees composed of precious
stones. Among them was one resembling the vine, the fruits of
which were of emeralds and diamonds. He plucked off six bunches,
and was quitting the garden when a sentinel met him; who, being
alarmed, cried out, "A robber! a robber!" The guards rushed out,
and having bound him, carried him before the sultan, saying, "My
lord, we found this youth stealing the fruit from the garden of

The sultan was enraged, and on the point of ordering him to be
put to death, when a number of persons entered, crying out, "Good
tidings to our sovereign." "On what account?" exclaimed the
sultan. "The horrible monster," replied they, "who used annually
to appear and devour our sons and daughters, we have just now
found dead and cloven in two." The sultan was so rejoiced at this
happy event, that he refrained from the blood of the prince, and
exclaimed, "Whoever has destroyed this monster let him come to
me, and I swear by Allah, who has invested me with royalty, that
I will give him my daughter in marriage; and whatever else he may
desire, even to the half of my empire."

Upon the sultan's declaration being proclaimed, several young men
appeared, pretending that they had killed the monster, and gave
various accounts of the combat, which made the prince smile. "By
Allah! it is strange," said the sultan, "that a youth in such a
perilous situation should be so unconcerned as to smile." While
the sultan was ruminating on this occurrence, a eunuch entered
from the haram, requesting that he would come and speak to the
princess his daughter, who had business of importance to
communicate; upon which the sultan arose, and retired from the
hall of audience.

When the sultan had entered the princess's apartment, he said,
"What can have happened which has occasioned you to send for me
so suddenly?" She replied, "Is it thy wish to know who slew the
monster, and to reward the courageous hero?" "By Allah," answered
the sultan, "who created subjects and their sovereigns, if I can
discover him, my first offer to him shall be to espouse thee,
whatever be his condition, or though he dwell in the most distant
region." The princess rejoined, "No one slew the monster but the
youth who entered the garden of gems, and was bearing off the
fruit, whom thou wast just now on the point of putting to death."

When the sultan heard the above from his daughter, he returned to
the divan, and calling the prince before him, said, "Young man, I
grant thee thy pardon; art thou he who destroyed the monster?" "I
am," replied the prince. The sultan would instantly have summoned
the cauzee to perform the espousals; but the prince said, "I have
a friend to consult; permit me to retire, and I will soon
return." The sultan consented, saying, "Thy request is but
reasonable; but come back quickly." The prince having repaired to
his friend the Oone, informed him of what had happened to him,
and of the offer of the sultan's daughter in marriage: upon which
the Oone said, "Accept the princess; but on condition that, if
you marry her, you shall be allowed to carry her to your own
kingdom." The prince having returned to the sultan, proposed his
terms, which were readily agreed to, and the nuptials were
celebrated with the most splendid magnificence. After abiding in
the palace of the sultan for a month and three days, he requested
permission to depart with his bride towards his own country,
which was granted.

On the departure of the prince, his father-in-law presented him
with a hundred bunches of the grapes composed of emeralds and
diamonds, and he repaired to his friend the Oone; who, having
first stopped their ears with cotton, mounted them upon his
shoulders, and soaring into the air, after two hours descended
near the capital of the island of Kafoor. The prince, taking four
bunches of the jewelled fruit, hastened to the palace, and laid
them before the sultan; who, in astonishment, exclaimed, "Surely,
this young stranger must be a powerful magician, or how could he
have travelled the distance of three hundred years' journey, and
have accomplished his purpose in less time than three months!
Such an action is truly miraculous. Hast thou, indeed, young
man," said the sultan, "been at the Black Island?" "I have,"
answered the prince. "Describe it to me," replied the sultan,
"its appearance, its buildings, its gardens, and rivers." The
prince having answered all his queries, the sultan said, "Noble
youth, you may assuredly ask of me whatever you wish!" "I want
nothing but the birds," rejoined the prince. "They are thine,"
returned the sultan; "but annually on a certain day, and this is
it, there descends from yonder mountain a monstrous vulture,
which tears in pieces our men, women, and children; and having
flown away with them in his gigantic talons devours their flesh.
I have a beautiful daughter, whom, if thou canst overcome this
calamitous monster, I will give to thee in marriage."

The prince replied, "I will consult my friend;" and then returned
to the Oone, whom he informed of the offer; but he had scarcely
done speaking, when, lo! the vulture appeared: upon which the
Oone, ascending into the air, attacked the monster, and after a
fierce combat, tore him into halves; after which he descended to
the prince, and said, "Go to the sultan, and acquaint him that
his destructive enemy is slain."

The prince did as he was directed: upon which the sultan with his
train, and an immense crowd of the inhabitants of the city, came
out on horseback, and beheld the monstrous vulture, stretched
dead on the ground, torn in halves. The sultan then conducted the
prince of Hind to the palace; where his marriage with the
princess was instantly celebrated, amid the highest festivity and
rejoicings; and after remaining a full month at the sultan's
court, he requested leave to depart; when his father-in-law
presented him with ten cages, in each of which were four of the
beautiful birds of variously coloured plumage, and dismissed him,
after an affectionate farewell, with his daughter.

The prince having departed from the sultan repaired to his
faithful friend the Oone, who welcomed his return; and having
mounted him upon his back with his two brides, his jewel fruit,
and the cages, immediately ascended into the air, from whence,
after soaring for some hours, he gradually descended, and
alighted near the ruined city, where the prince had left his
tents, cattle, and followers, whom he found anxiously expecting
his arrival. The friendly Oone had scarcely set him down, when he
said to the prince, "My young friend Mahummud, the obligation
already conferred upon me by thy coming here was great; but I
have one more favour to request." "What can that be?" replied the
prince. "That thou leave not this spot," continued the Oone,
"until thou hast washed my corpse, enshrouded, and laid it in the
grave." Having said thus, the Oone suddenly uttered one loud
groan, and instantly his soul took its flight from the body. The
astonished prince stood for some time overpowered with sorrow;
but at length recovering himself, he, with the assistance of his
domestics, washed the corpse, wrapped it in a winding sheet, and
having prayed over it, deposited it in the earth.

The funeral ceremonies of his friend being over, he commenced his
march homewards, and after three days arrived in sight of the
inscribed pyramid, near which he perceived an extensive
encampment, which, on reconnoitring, he found to be that of his
father. The aged sultan, unable to bear the absence of his son,
had marched from his capital in hopes of overtaking him; but on
his arrival at the junction of the three ways, being confounded
at the sight of the inscriptions, he had halted, not knowing
where to proceed. Great was his joy on discovering the prince
advancing towards that face of the pyramid on which was engraved,
"Whoever travels this road will probably never return." When the
raptures of meeting and mutual congratulations were over, the
prince informed the sultan of his wonderful and successful
adventures, which overpowered him with astonishment and joy.
After reposing a few days, they proceeded towards the capital of
the sultan; where tidings having arrived of their approach, the
inhabitants ornamented the city with silks, carpets, and
transparent paintings; and the nobles and respectable persons
issued forth with splendid trains to meet and congratulate their
sovereign and the prince, who entered in triumphal procession,
amid the greatest rejoicings and prayers for their welfare and


A fisherman's son having in company with his father caught a
large fish, the latter proposed to present it to the sultan, in
hopes of receiving a great reward. While he was gone home to
fetch a basket, the son, moved by compassion, returned the fish
into the water; but fearful of his father's anger, fled from his
country, and repaired to a distant city, where he was entertained
by a person as a servant. Strolling one day in the market, he saw
a Jew purchase of a lad a cock at a very high price, and send it
by his slave to his wife, with orders to keep it safely till his
return home. The fisherman's son supposing that as the Jew gave
so great a price for the cock it must possess some extraordinary
property, resolved to obtain it; and, accordingly, having bought
two large fowls, carried them to the Jew's wife, whom he informed
that her husband had sent him for the cock, which he had
exchanged for the fowls. She gave it him; and he having retired,
killed the bird, in whose entrails he found a magical ring; which
being rubbed by his touch, a voice proceeded from it demanding
what were the commands of its possessor, which should be
immediately executed by the genii who were servants of the ring.
The fisherman's son was rejoiced at his good fortune, and while
meditating what use he should make of his ring, passed by the
sultan's palace, at the gates of which were suspended many human
heads. He inquired the reason, and was informed that they were
those of unfortunate princes, who having failed in performing the
conditions on which the sultan's daughter was offered them in
marriage, had been put to death. Hoping to be more fortunate than
them by the aid of his ring, he resolved to demand the princess's
hand. He rubbed the ring, when the voice asked his commands: upon
which he required a rich dress, and it was instantly laid before
him. He put it on, repaired to the palace, and being introduced
to the sultan, demanded his daughter to wife. The sultan
consented, on condition that his life should be forfeited unless
he should remove a lofty and extensive mound of sand that lay on
one side of the palace, which must be done before he could wed
the princess. He accepted the condition; but demanded an interval
of forty days to perform the task. This being agreed to, he took
his leave, and having repaired to his lodging, rubbed his ring,
commanded the genii to remove the mound, and erect on the space
it covered a magnificent palace, and to furnish it suitably for a
royal residence. In fifteen days the task was completed; he was
wedded to the princess, and declared heir to the sultan. In the
mean while, the Jew whom he had tricked of the cock and the
magical ring resolved to travel in search of his lost prize, and
at last arrived at the city, where he was informed of the
wonderful removal of the mound, and the ereftion of the palace.
He guessed that it must have been done by means of his ring, to
recover which he planned the following stratagem. Having
disguised himself as a merchant, he repaired to the palace, and
cried for sale valuable jewels. The princess hearing him, sent an
attendant to examine them and inquire their price, when the Jew
asked in exchange only old rings. This being told to the
princess, she recollected that her husband kept an old shabby
looking ring in his writing stand, and he being asleep, she took
it out, and sent it to the Jew; who, knowing it to be the one he
had so long sought for, eagerly gave for it all the jewels in his
basket. He retired with his prize, and having rubbed the ring,
commanded the genii to convey the palace and all its inhabitants,
excepting the fisherman's son, into a distant desert island,
which was done instantly. The fisherman's son, on awaking in the
morning, found himself lying on the mound of sand, which had
reoccupied its old spot. He arose, and in alarm lest the sultan
should put him to death in revenge for the loss of his daughter,
fled to another kingdom as quickly as possible. Here he endured a
disconsolate life, subsisting on the sale of some jewels, which
he happened to have upon his dress at his flight. Wandering one
day through a town, a man offered him for sale a dog, a cat, and
a rat, which he purchased, and kept, diverting his melancholy
with their tricks, and uncommon playfulness together. These
seeming animals proved to be magicians; who, in return for his
kindness, agreed to recover for their master his lost prize, and
informed him of their intention. He eagerly thanked them, and
they all set out in search of the palace, the ring, and the
princess. At length they reached the shore of the ocean, after
much travel, and descried the island on which it stood, when the
dog swam over, carrying on his back the cat and the rat. Being
landed, they proceeded to the palace; when the rat entered, and
perceived the Jew asleep upon a sofa, with the ring laid before
him, which he seized in his mouth, and then returned to his
companions. They began to cross the sea, as before, but when
about half over the dog expressed a wish to carry the ring in his
mouth. The rat refused, lest he should drop it; but the dog
threatened, unless he would give it him, to dive and drown them
both in the sea. The rat, alarmed for his life, complied with his
demand: but the dog missed his aim in snatching at the ring,
which fell into the ocean. They landed, and informed the
fisherman's son of his loss: upon which he, in despair, resolved
to drown himself; when suddenly, as he was going to execute his
purpose, a great fish appearing with the ring in his mouth, swam
close to shore, and having dropped it within reach of the
despairing youth, miraculously exclaimed, "I am the fish which
you released from captivity, and thus reward you for your
generosity." The fisherman's son, overjoyed, returned to his
father-in-law's capital, and at night rubbing the ring, commanded
the genii to convey the palace to its old site. This being done
in an instant, he entered the palace, and seized the Jew, whom he
commanded to be cast alive into a burning pile, in which he was
consumed. From this period he lived happily with his princess,
and on the death of the sultan succeeded to his dominions.


A person named Abou Neeut, or the well-intentioned, being much
distressed in his own country, resolved to seek a better
livelihood in another. Accordingly he took with him all he
possessed, being only one single sherif, and began his journey.
He had not travelled far when there overtook him a man, who
entertained him with his conversation; in the course of which it
appeared that his name was Abou Neeuteen, or double-minded. Being
upon the same scheme, they agreed to seek their fortunes
together, and it was settled that Abou Neeut should be the purse-
bearer of the common stock. The other possessed ten sherifs.

After some days of toilsome journey they reached a city; on
entering which, a beggar accosted them, crying out, "Worthy
believers, disburse your alms and ye shall be rewarded ten-fold."
Upon this, Abou Neeut gave him a sherif; when his companion,
enraged at what he thought prodigality, demanded back his money,
which was given him, and he marched off leaving his new friend
without any thing. Abou Neeut, resigned to his fate, and relying
on Providence, proceeded to a mosque to pay his devotions, hoping
to meet some charitable person who would relieve his necessities;
but he was mistaken. For a night and day he remained in the
mosque, but no one offered him charity. Pressed by hunger, he in
the dusk of evening stole out, and wandered with fainting steps
through the streets. At length perceiving a servant throwing the
fragments from an eating cloth, he advanced, and gathering them
up, sat down in a corner, and gnawed the bones and half-eaten
morsels with eagerness; after which, lifting up his eyes towards
heaven, he thanked God for his scanty meal. The servant, who had
observed his motions, was surprised and affected at his wretched
condition and devotion, of which he informed his master; who,
being a charitable man, took from his purse ten sherifs, which he
ordered the servant to give to Abou Neeut.

The servant, through avarice, having retained one sherif as a
perquisite, delivered the rest to Abou Neeut; who, having counted
the money, thanked God for his bounty; but said, agreeably to the
scriptural declaration he ought to have had ten-fold for the
sherif he had given to the beggar. The master of the servant
overhearing this, called Abou Neeut up stairs; and having seated
him, inquired his story, which he faithfully related to his host,
who was a capital merchant, and was so much pleased at his pious
simplicity, that he resolved to befriend him, and desired him to
abide for the present in his house.

Abou Neeut had resided some days with his friendly host, when the
season arrived at which the merchant, who was punctual in
discharging the duties of religion, having examined his stock,
set apart the tenth of it in kind, and bestowed it upon his
guest, whom he advised to open a shop and try his fortune in
trade. Abou Neeut did so, and was so successful, that in a few
years he became one of the most reputable merchants in the place.

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