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The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete by Anon.

Part 7 out of 28

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Judge, and the angels shall testify the truth before your face?
All the power you are now invested with, and which makes almost
the whole world tremble, will not prevent your being condemned
and punished for your violent and unjust proceedings." Here
Fetnah ceased her complaints, her sighs and tears putting a stop
to her utterance.

This was enough to make the caliph reflect. He plainly perceived,
that if what he had heard was true, his favourite must be
innocent, and that he had been too hasty in giving such orders
against Ganem and his family. Being resolved to be rightly
informed in an affair which so nearly concerned him in point of
equity, on which he valued himself, he immediately returned to
his apartment, and that moment ordered Mesrour to repair to the
dark tower, and bring Fetnah before him.

By this command, and much more by the caliph's manner of
speaking, the chief of the eunuchs guessed that his master
designed to pardon his favourite, and take her to him again. He
was overjoyed at the thought, for he respected Fetnah, and had
been much concerned at her disgrace; therefore flying instantly
to the tower, "Madam," said he to the favourite, with such an air
as expressed his satisfaction, "be pleased to follow me; I hope
you will never more return to this melancholy abode: the
commander of the faithful wishes to speak with you, and I draw
from this a happy omen."

Fetnah followed Mesrour, who conducted her into the caliph's
closet. She prostrated herself before him, and so continued, her
face bathed in tears. "Fetnah," said the caliph, without bidding
her rise, "I think you charge me with violence and injustice. Who
is he, that, notwithstanding the regard and respell he had for
me, is in a miserable condition? Speak freely, you know the
natural goodness of my disposition, and that I love to do

By these words the favourite was convinced that the caliph had
heard what she had said, and availed herself of so favourable an
opportunity to clear Ganem. "Commander of the true believers,"
said she, "if I have let fall any word that is not agreeable to
your majesty, I most humbly beseech you to forgive me; but he
whose innocence and wretched state you desire to be informed of
is Ganem, the unhappy son of Abou Ayoub, late a rich merchant of
Damascus. He saved my life from a grave, and afforded me a
sanctuary in his house. I must own, that, from the first moment
he saw me, he perhaps designed to devote himself to me, and
conceived hopes of engaging me to admit his love. I guessed at
this, by the eagerness which he shewed in entertaining me, and
doing me all the good offices I so much wanted under the
circumstances I was then in; but as soon as he heard that I had
the honour to belong to you, ‘Ah, madam,' said he, ‘that which
belongs to the master is forbidden to the slave.' From that
moment, I owe this justice to his virtue to declare, his
behaviour was always suitable to his words. You, commander of the
true believers, well know with what rigour you have treated him,
and you will answer for it before the tribunal of God."

The caliph was not displeased with Fetnah for the freedom of
these words; "But may I," said he, "rely on the assurance you
give me of Ganem's virtue?" "Yes," replied Fetnah, "you may. I
would not for the world conceal the truth from you; and to prove
to you that I am sincere, I must make a confession, which perhaps
may displease you, but I beg pardon of your majesty beforehand."
"Speak, daughter," said Haroon al Rusheed, "I forgive you all,
provided you conceal nothing from me." "Well, then," replied
Fetnah, "let me inform you, that Ganem's respectful behaviour,
joined to all the good offices he did me, gained him my esteem. I
went further yet: you know the tyranny of love: I felt some
tender inclination rising in my breast. He perceived it; but far
from availing himself of my frailty, and notwithstanding the
flame which consumed him, he still remained steady in his duty,
and all that his passion could force from him were the words I
have already repeated to your majesty, ‘That which belongs to the
master is forbidden to the slave.'"

This ingenuous confession might have provoked any other man than
the caliph; but it completely appeased that prince. He commanded
her to rise, and making her sit by him, "Tell me your story,"
said he, "from the beginning to the end." She did so, with
artless simplicity, passing slightly over what regarded Zobeide,
and enlarging on the obligations she owed to Ganem; but above
all, she highly extolled his discretion, endeavouring by that
means to make the caliph sensible that she had been under the
necessity of remaining concealed in Ganem's house, to deceive
Zobeide. She concluded with the young merchant's escape, which
she plainly told the caliph she had compelled him to, that he
might avoid his indignation.

When she had done speaking, the caliph said to her, "I believe
all you have told me; but why was it so long before you let me
hear from you? Was there any need of staying a whole month after
my return, before you sent me word where you were?" "Commander of
the true believers," answered Fetnah, "Ganem went abroad so very
seldom, that you need not wonder we were not the first that heard
of your return. Besides, Ganem, who took upon him to deliver the
letter I wrote to Nouron Nihar, was a long time before he could
find an opportunity of putting it into her own hands."

"It is enough, Fetnah," replied the caliph; "I acknowledge my
fault, and would willingly make amends for it, by heaping favours
on the young merchant of Damascus. Consider, therefore, what I
can do for him. Ask what you think fit, and I will grant it."
Hereupon the favourite fell down at the caliph's feet, with her
face to the ground; and rising again, said, "Commander of the
true believers, after returning your majesty thanks for Ganem, I
most humbly entreat you to cause it to be published throughout
your do minions, that you pardon the son of Abou Ayoub, and that
he may safely come to you." "I must do more," rejoined the
prince, "in requital for having saved your life, and the respect
he has strewn for me, to make amends for the loss of his fortune.
In short, to repair the wrong I have done to himself and his
family, I give him to you for a husband." Fetnah had no words
expressive enough to thank the caliph for his generosity: she
then withdrew into the apartment she had occupied before her
melancholy adventure. The same furniture was still in it, nothing
had been removed; but that which pleased her most was, to find
Ganem's chests and bales, which Mesrour had received the caliph's
orders to convey thither.

The next day Haroon al Rusheed ordered the grand vizier, to cause
proclamation to be made throughout all his dominions, that he
pardoned Ganem the son of Abou Ayoub; but this proved of no
effect, for a long time elapsed without any news of the young
merchant. Fetnah concluded, that he had not been able to survive
the pain of losing her. A dreadful uneasiness seized her mind;
but as hope is the last thing which forsakes lovers, she
entreated the caliph to give her leave to seek for Ganem herself;
which being granted, she took a purse containing a thousand
pieces of gold, and went one morning out of the palace, mounted
on a mule from the caliph's stables, very richly caparisoned.
Black eunuchs attended her, with a hand placed on each side of
the mule's back.

Thus she went from mosque to mosque, bestowing her alms among the
devotees of the Mahummedan religion, desiring their prayers for
the accomplishment of an affair, on which the happiness of two
persons, she told them, depended. She spend the whole day and the
thousand pieces of gold in giving alms at the mosques, and
returned to the palace in the evening.

The next day she took another purse of the same value, and in the
like equipage as the day before, went to the square of the
jewellers' shops, and stopping at the gateway without alighting,
sent one of her black eunuchs for the syndic or chief of them.
The syndic, who was a most charitable man, and spent above two-
thirds of his income in relieving poor strangers, sick or in
distress, did not make Fetnah wait, knowing by her dress that she
was a lady belonging to the palace. "I apply myself to you," said
she, putting the purse into his hands, "as a person whose piety
is celebrated throughout the city. I desire you to distribute
that gold among the poor strangers you relieve, for I know you
make it your business to assist those who apply to your charity.
I am also satisfied that you prevent their wants, and that
nothing is more grateful to you, than to have an opportunity of
relieving their misery." "Madam," answered the syndic, "I shall
obey your commands with pleasure; but if you desire to exercise
your charity in person, and will be pleased to step to my house,
you will there see two women worthy of your compassion; I met
them yesterday as they were coming into the city; they were in a
deplorable condition, and it moved me the more, because I thought
they were persons of rank. Through all the rags that covered
them, notwithstanding the impression the sun has made on their
faces, I discovered a noble air, not to be commonly found in
those people I relieve. I carried them both to my house, and
delivered them to my wife, who was of the same opinion with me.
She caused her slaves to provide them good beds, whilst she
herself led them to our warm bath, and gave them clean linen. We
know not as yet who they are, because we wish to let them take
some rest before we trouble them with our questions."

Fetnah, without knowing why, felt a curiosity to see them. The
syndic would have conducted her to his house, but she would not
give him the trouble, and was satisfied that a slave should shew
her the way. She alighted at the door, and followed the syndic's
slave, who was gone before to give notice to his mistress, she
being then in the chamber with Jalib al Koolloob and her mother,
for they were the persons the syndic had been speaking of to

The syndic's wife being informed by the slave, that a lady from
the palace was in her house, was hastening to meet her; but
Fetnah, who had followed the slave, did not give her time: on her
coming into the chamber, the syndic's wife prostrated herself
before her, to express the respect she had for all who belonged
to the caliph. Fetnah raised her up, and said, "My good lady, I
desire you will let me speak with those two strangers that
arrived at Bagdad last night." "Madam," answered the syndic's
wife, "they lie in those beds you see by each other." The
favourite immediately drew near the mother's, and viewing her
carefully, "Good woman," said she, "I come to offer you my
assistance: I have considerable interest in this city, and may be
of service to you and your companion." "Madam," answered Ganem's
mother, "I perceive by your obliging offers, that Heaven has not
quite forsaken us, though we had cause to believe it had, after
so many misfortunes as have befallen us." Having uttered these
words, she wept so bitterly that Fetnah and the syndic's wife
could not forbear letting fall some tears.

The caliph's favourite having dried up hers, said to Ganem's
mother, "Be so kind as to tell us your misfortunes, and recount
your story. You cannot make the relation to any persons better
disposed to use all possible means to comfort you." "Madam,"
replied Abou Ayoub's disconsolate widow, "a favourite of the
commander of the true believers, a lady whose name is Fetnah, is
the occasion of all our misfortunes." These words were like a
thunderbolt to the favourite; but suppressing her agitation and
concern, she suffered Ganem's mother to proceed in the following
manner: "I am the widow of Abou Ayoub, a merchant of Damascus; I
had a son called Ganem, who, coming to trade at Bagdad, has been
accused of carrying off Fetnah. The caliph caused search to be
made for him every where, to put him to death; but not finding
him, he wrote to the king of Damascus, to cause our house to be
plundered and razed, and to expose my daughter and myself three
days successively, naked, to the populace, and then to banish us
out of Syria for ever. But how unworthy soever our usage has
been, I should be still comforted were my son alive, and I could
meet with him. What a pleasure would it be for his sister and me
to see him again! Embracing him we should forget the loss of our
property, and all the evils we have suffered on his account.
Alas! I am fully persuaded he is only the innocent cause of them;
and that he is no more guilty towards the caliph than his sister
and myself."

"No doubt of it," said Fetnah, interrupting her there, "he is no
more guilty than you are; I can assure you of his innocence; for
I am that very Fetnah, you so much complain of; who, through some
fatality in my stars, have occasioned you so many misfortunes. To
me you must impute the loss of your son, if he is no more; but if
I have occasioned your misfortune, I can in some measure relieve
it. I have already justified Ganem to the caliph; who has caused
it to be proclaimed throughout his dominions, that he pardons the
son of Abou Ayoub; and doubt not he will do you as much good as
he has done you injury. You are no longer his enemies. He waits
for Ganem, to requite the service he has done me, by uniting our
fortunes; he gives me to him for his consort, therefore look on
me as your daughter, and permit me to vow eternal duty and
affection." "Having so said, she bowed down on Ganem's mother,
who was so astonished that she could return no answer. Fetnah
held her long in her arms, and only left her to embrace the
daughter, who, sitting up, held out her arms to receive her.

When the caliph's favourite had strewn the mother and daughter
all tokens of affection, as Ganem's wife, she said to them, "The
wealth Ganem had in this city is not lost, it is in my apartment
in the palace; but I know all the treasure of the world cannot
comfort you without Ganem, if I may judge of you by myself. Blood
is no less powerful than love in great minds; but why should we
despair of seeing him again? We shall find him; the happiness of
meeting with you makes me conceive fresh hopes. Perhaps this is
the last day of your sufferings, and the beginning of a greater
felicity than you enjoyed in Damascus, when Ganem was with you."

Fetnah would have proceeded, but the syndic of the jewellers
coming in interrupted her: "Madam," said he to her, "I come from
seeing a very moving object, it is a young man, whom a camel-
driver had just carried to an hospital: he was bound with cords
on a camel, because he had not strength enough to sit. They had
already unbound him, and were carrying him into the hospital,
when I happened to pass by. I went up to the young man, viewed
him attentively, and fancied his countenance was not altogether
unknown to me. I asked him some questions concerning his family
and his country; but all the answers I could get were sighs and
tears. I took pity on him, and being so much used to sick people,
perceived that he had need to have particular care taken of him.
I would not permit him to be put into the hospital; for I am too
well acquainted with their way of managing the sick, and am
sensible of the incapacity of the physicians. I have caused him
to be brought to my own house, by my slaves; and they are now in
a private room where I placed him, putting on some of my own
linen, and treating him as they would do myself."

Fetnah's heart beat at these words of the jeweller, and she felt
a sudden emotion, for which she could not account: "Shew me,"
said she to the syndic, "into the sick man's room; I should be
glad to see him." The syndic conducted her, and whilst she was
going thither, Ganem's mother said to Jalib al Koolloob, "Alas!
daughter, wretched as that sick stranger is, your brother, if he
be living, is not perhaps in a more happy condition."

The caliph's favourite coming into the chamber of the sick
stranger, drew near the bed, in which the syndic's slaves had
already laid him. She saw a young man, whose eyes were closed,
his countenance pale, disfigured, and bathed in tears. She gazed
earnestly on him, her heart beat, and she fancied she beheld
Ganem; but yet she would not believe her eyes. Though she found
something of Ganem in the objets she beheld, yet in other
respects he appeared so different, that she durst not imagine it
was he that lay before her. Unable, however, to withstand the
earnest desire of being satisfied, "Ganem," said she, with a
trembling voice, "is it you I behold?" Having spoken these words,
she stopped to give the young man time to answer, but observing
that he seemed insensible; "Alas! Ganem," added she, "it is not
you that I address! My imagination being overcharged with your
image, has given to a stranger a deceitful resemblance. The son
of Abou Ayoub, however indisposed, would know the voice of
Fetnah." At the name of Fetnah, Ganem (for it was really he)
opened his eyes, sprang up, and knowing the caliph's favourite;
"Ah! madam," said he, "by what miracle" He could say no more;
such a sudden transport of joy seized him that he fainted away.
Fetnah and the syndic did all they could to bring him to himself;
but as soon as they perceived he began to revive, the syndic
desired the lady to withdraw, lest the sight of her should
heighten his disorder.

The young man having recovered, looked all around, and not seeing
what he sought, exclaimed, "What is become of you, charming
Fetnah? Did you really appear before my eyes, or was it only an
illusion?" "No, sir," said the syndic, "it was no illusion. It
was I that caused the lady to withdraw, but you shall see her
again, as soon as you are in a condition to bear the interview.
You now stand in need of rest, and nothing ought to obstruct your
taking it. The situation of your affairs is altered, since you
are, as I suppose, that Ganem, in favour of whom the commander of
the true believers has caused a proclamation to be made in
Bagdad, declaring, that he forgives him what is passed. Be
satisfied, for the present, with knowing so much; the lady, who
just now spoke to you, will acquaint you with the rest, therefore
think of nothing but recovering your health; I will contribute
all in my power towards it." Having spoke these words, he left
Ganem to take his rest, and went himself to provide for him such
medicines as were proper to recover his strength, exhausted by
hard living and toil.

During this time Fetnah was in the room with Jalib al Koolloob
and her mother, where almost the same scene was acted over again;
for when Ganem's mother understood that the sick stranger whom
the syndic had brought into his house was Ganem himself, she was
so overjoyed, that she also swooned away, and when, with the
assistance of Fetnah and the syndic's wife, she was again come to
herself, she would have arisen to go and see her son; but the
syndic coming in, hindered her, representing that Ganem was so
weak and emaciated, that it would endanger his life to excite in
him those emotions, which must be the consequence of the
unexpected sight of a beloved mother and sister. There was no
occasion for the syndic's saying any more to Ganem's mother; as
soon as she was told that she could not converse with her son,
without hazarding his life, she ceased insisting to go and see
him. Fetnah then said, "Let us bless Heaven for having brought us
all together. I will return to the palace to give the caliph an
account of these adventures, and tomorrow morning I will return
to you." This said, she embraced the mother and the daughter, and
went away. As soon as she came to the palace, she sent Mesrour to
request a private audience of the caliph, which was immediately
granted; and being brought into the prince's closet, where he was
alone, she prostrated herself at his feet, with her face on the
ground, according to custom. He commanded her to rise, and having
made her sit down, asked whether she had heard any news of Ganem?
"Commander of the true believers," said she, "I have been so
successful, that I have found him, and also his mother and
sister." The caliph was curious to know how she had discovered
them in so short a time, and she satisfied his inquiries, saying
so many things in commendation of Ganem's mother and sister, he
desired to see them as well as the young merchant.

Though Haroon al Rusheed was passionate, and in his heat
sometimes guilty of cruel actions; yet he was just, and the most
generous prince in the world, when the storm of anger was over,
and he was made sensible of the wrong he had done. Having
therefore no longer cause to doubt but that he had unjustly
persecuted Ganem and his family, and had publicly wronged them,
he resolved to make them public satisfaction. "I am overjoyed,"
said he to Fetnah, "that your search has proved so successful; it
is a real satisfaction to me, not so much for your sake as for my
own. I will keep the promise I have made you. You shall marry
Ganem, and I here declare you are no longer my slave; you are
free. Go back to that young merchant, and as soon as he has
recovered his health, you shall bring him to me with his mother
and sister."

The next morning early Fetnah repaired to the syndic of the
jewellers, being impatient to hear of Ganem's health, and tell
the mother and daughter the good news she had for them. The first
person she met was the syndic, who told her that Ganem had rested
well that night; and that his disorder proceeding altogether from
melancholy, the cause being removed, he would soon recover his

Accordingly the son of Abou Ayoub was speedily much amended.
Rest, and the good medicines he had taken, but above all the
different situation of his mind, had wrought so good an effect,
that the syndic thought he might without danger see his mother,
his sister, and his mistress, provided he was prepared to receive
them; because there was ground to fear, that, not knowing his
mother and sister were at Bagdad, the sight of them might
occasion too great surprise and joy. It was therefore resolved,
that Fetnah should first go alone into Ganem's chamber, and then
make a sign to the two other ladies to appear, when she thought
it was proper.

Matters being so ordered, the syndic announced Fetnah's coming to
the sick man, who was so transported to see her, that he was
again near fainting away, "Well, Ganem," said she, drawing near
to his bed, "you have again found your Fetnah, whom you thought
you had lost for ever." "Ah! madam," exclaimed he, eagerly
interrupting her, "what miracle has restored you to my sight? I
thought you were in the caliph's palace; he has doubtless
listened to you. You have dispelled his jealousy, and he has
restored you to his favour."

"Yes, my dear Ganem," answered Fetnah, "I have cleared myself
before the commander of the true believers, who, to make amends
for the wrong he has done you, bestows me on you for a wife."
These last words occasioned such an excess of joy in Ganem, that
he knew not for a while how to express himself, otherwise than by
that passionate silence so well known to lovers. At length he
broke out in these words: "Beautiful Fetnah, may I give credit to
what you tell me? May I believe that the caliph really resigns
you to Abou Ayoub's son?" "Nothing is more certain," answered the
lady. "The caliph, who before caused search to be made for you,
to take away your life, and who in his fury caused your mother
and your sister to suffer a thousand indignities, desires now to
see you, that he may reward the respect you had for him; and
there is no question but that he will load your family with

Ganem asked, what the caliph had done to his mother and sister,
which Fetnah told him; and he could not forbear letting fall some
tears at the relation, notwithstanding the thoughts which arose
in his mind at the prospect of being married to his mistress. But
when Fetnah informed him, that they were actually in Bagdad, and
in the same house with him, he appeared so impatient to see them,
that the favourite could no longer defer giving him the
satisfaction; and accordingly called them in. They were at the
door waiting for that moment. They entered, went up to Ganem, and
embracing him in their turns, kissed him a thousand times. What
tears were shed amidst those embraces! Ganem's face was bathed
with them, as well as his mother's and sisters; and Fetnah let
fall abundance. The syndic himself and his wife were so moved at
the spectacle, that they could not forbear weeping, nor
sufficiently admire the secret workings of Providence which had
brought together into their house four persons, whom fortune had
so cruelly persecuted.

When they had dried up their tears, Ganem drew them afresh, by
the recital of what he had suffered from the day he left Fetnah,
till the moment the syndic brought him to his house. He told
them, that having taken refuge in a small village, he there fell
sick; that some charitable peasants had taken care of him, but
finding he did not recover, a camel-driver had undertaken to
carry him to the hospital at Bagdad. Fetnah also told them all
the uneasiness of her imprisonment, how the caliph, having heard
her talk in the tower, had sent for her into his closet, and how
she had cleared herself. In conclusion, when they had related
what accidents had befallen them, Fetnah said, "Let us bless
Heaven, which has brought us all together again, and let us think
of nothing but the happiness that awaits us. As soon as Ganem has
recovered his health, he must appear before the caliph, with his
mother and sister; but I will go and make some provision for

This said, she went to the palace, and soon returned with a purse
containing a thousand pieces of gold, which she delivered to the
syndic, desiring him to buy apparel for the mother and daughter.
The syndic, who was a man of a good taste, chose such as were
very handsome, and had them made up with all expedition. They
were finished in three days, and Ganem finding himself strong
enough, prepared to go abroad; but on the day he had appointed to
pay his respects to the caliph, while he was making ready, with
his mother and sister, the grand vizier, Jaaffier came to the
syndic's house.

He had come on horseback, attended by a great number of officers.
"Sir," said he to Ganem, as soon as he entered, "I am come from
the commander of the true believers, my master and yours; the
orders I have differ much from those which I do not wish to
revive in your memory; I am to bear you company, and to present
you to the caliph, who is desirous to see you." Ganem returned no
other answer to the vizier's compliment, than by profoundly
bowing his head, and then mounted a horse brought from the
caliph's stables, which he managed very gracefully. The mother
and daughter were mounted on mules belonging to the palace, and
whilst Fetnah on another mule led them by a bye-way to the
prince's court, Jaaffier conducted Ganem, and brought him into
the hall of audience. The caliph was sitting on his throne,
encompassed with emirs, viziers, and. other attendants and
courtiers, Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, Africans, and Syrians, of
his own dominions, not to mention strangers.

When the vizier had conducted Ganem to the foot of the throne,
the young merchant paid his obeisance, prostrating himself with
his face to the ground, and then rising, made a handsome
compliment in verse, which, though the effusion of the moment,
met with the approbation of the whole court. After his
compliment, the caliph caused him to approach, and said, "I am
glad to see you, and desire to hear from your own mouth where you
found my favourite, and all that you have done for her." Ganem
obeyed, and appeared so sincere, that the caliph was convinced of
his veracity. He ordered a very rich vest to be given him,
according to the custom observed towards those who are admitted
to audience. After which he said to him, "Ganem, I will have you
live in my court." "Commander of the true believers," answered
the young merchant, "a slave has no will but his master's, on
whom his life and fortune depend." The caliph was highly pleased
with Ganem's reply, and assigned him a considerable pension. He
then descended from his throne, and causing only Ganem and the
grand vizier, follow him, retired into his own apartment.

Not questioning but that Fetnah was in waiting, with Abou Ayoub's
widow and daughter, he caused them to be called in. They
prostrated themselves before him: he made them rise; and was so
charmed by Jalib al Koolloob's beauty, that, after viewing her
very attentively, he said, "I am so sorry for having treated your
charms so unworthily, that I owe them such a satisfaction as may
surpass the injury I have done. I take you to wife; and by that
means shall punish Zobeide, who shall become the first cause of
your good fortune, as she was of your past sufferings. This is
not all," added he, turning towards Ganem's mother; "you are
still young, I believe you will not disdain to be allied to my
grand vizier, I give you to Jaaffier, and you, Fetnah, to Ganem.
Let a cauzee and witnesses be called, and the three contracts be
drawn up and signed immediately." Ganem would have represented to
the caliph, that it would be honour enough for his sister to be
one of his favourites; but he was resolved to marry her.

Haroon thought this such an extraordinary story, that he ordered
his historiographer to commit it to writing with all its
circumstances. It was afterwards laid up in his library, and many
copies being transcribed, it became public.

End of Volume 1.

Text scanned and proofread by JC Byers

The "Aldine" Edition of

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Illustrated by S. L. Wood


In Four Volumes

Volume 2

Pickering and Chatto

Contents of Volume II.

The Story of the Little Hunch-Back
The Story Told by the Christian Merchant
The Story Told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor
The Story Told by the Jewish Physician
The Story Told by the Tailor
The Story Told by the Barber
The Story Told by the Barber's Eldest Brother
The Story Told by the Barber's Second Brother
The Story Told by the Barber's Third Brother
The Story Told by the Barber's Fourth Brother
The Story Told by the Barber's Fifth Brother
The Story Told by the Barber's Sixth Brother

The History of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Ecar, and Schemselnihar,
Favourite of Caliph Haroon Al Rusheed

The Story of the Loves of Kummir Al Zummaun, Prince of the Isles
of the Children of
Khaledan, and of Badoura, Princess of China

The Story of the Princes Amgiad and Assad
The Story of the Prince Amgiad and a Lady of the City of

The Story of Noor Ad Deen and the Fair Persian


There was in former times at Casgar, on the extreme boundaries of
Tartary, a tailor who had a pretty wife, whom he affectionately
loved, and by whom he was beloved with reciprocal tenderness. One
day while he was at work, a little hunch-back seated himself at
the shop door and began to sing, and play upon a tabor. The
tailor was pleased with his performance, and resolved to take him
to his house to entertain his wife: "This little fellow," said
he, "will divert us both this evening." He accordingly invited
him, and the other readily accepted the invitation: so the tailor
shut up his shop, and carried him home. Immediately after their
arrival the tailor's wife placed before them a good dish of fish;
but as the little man was eating, he unluckily swallowed a bone,
which, notwithstanding all that the tailor and his wife could do,
choked him. This accident greatly alarmed them both, dreading, if
the magistrates should hear of it, that they would be punished as
murderers. However, the husband devised a scheme to get rid of
the corpse. He reflected that a Jewish doctor lived just by, and
having formed his plan, his wife and he took the corpse, the one
by the feet and the other by the head, and carried it to the
physician's house. They knocked at the door, from which a steep
flight of stairs led to his chamber. The servant maid came down
without any light, and opening the door, asked what they wanted.
"Have the goodness," said the tailor, "to go up again, and tell
your master we have brought him a man who is very ill, and wants
his advice. Here," continued he, putting a piece of money into
her hand, "give him that beforehand, to convince him that we do
not mean to impose." While the servant was gone up to inform her
master, the tailor and his wife hastily conveyed the hunchbacked
corpse to the head of the stairs, and leaving it there, hurried

In the mean time, the maid told the doctor, that a man and woman
waited for him at the door, desiring he would come down and look
at a sick man whom they had brought with them, and clapped into
his hand the money she had received. The doctor was transported
with joy; being paid beforehand, he thought it must needs be a
good patient, and should not be neglected. "Light, light," cried
he to the maid; "follow me quickly." As he spoke, he hastily ran
towards the head of the stairs without waiting for a light, and
came against the corpse with so much violence that he
precipitated it to the bottom, and had nearly fallen with it.
"Bring me a light," cried he to the maid; "quick, quick." At last
she brought one, and he went down stairs with her; but when he
saw that what he had kicked down was a dead man, he was so
frightened, that he invoked Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Esdras, and all
the other prophets of his nation. "Unhappy man that I am," said
he, "why did I attempt to come without a light! I have killed the
poor fellow who was brought to me to be cured: doubtless I am the
cause of his death, and unless Esdras's ass come to assist me, I
am ruined: Mercy on me, they will be here out of hand, and drag
me out of my house for a murderer."

Notwithstanding the perplexity and confusion into which he was
thrown, he had the precaution to shut his door, for fear any one
passing by should observe the accident of which he reckoned
himself to be the author. He then took the corpse into his wife's
chamber, who was ready to swoon at the sight. "Alas," cried she,
"we are utterly ruined and undone, unless we can devise some
expedient to get the corpse out of our house this night. If we
harbour it till morning we are lost. What a deplorable misfortune
is this! What have you done to kill this man?" "That is not now
the question," replied the Jew; "our business at present is, to
find a remedy for the evil which threatens us."

The doctor and his wife consulted how to dispose of the corpse
that night. The doctor racked his brain in vain, he could not
think of any stratagem to relieve his embarrassment; but his
wife, who was more fertile in invention, said, "A thought is just
come into my head; let us carry the corpse to the terrace of our
house, and throw it down the chimney of our Mussulmaun

This Mussulmaun was one of the sultan's purveyors for furnishing
oil, butter, and articles of a similar nature, and had a magazine
in his house, where the rats and mice made prodigious havoc.

The Jewish doctor approving the proposed expedient, the wife and
he took the little hunch-back up to the roof of the house; and
clapping ropes under his arm-pits, let him down the chimney into
the purveyor's chamber so dexterously that he stood upright
against the wall, as if he had been alive. When they found he had
reached the bottom, they pulled up the ropes, and left the corpse
in that posture. They were scarcely got down into their chamber,
when the purveyor, who had just returned from a wedding feast,
went into his room, with a lanthorn in his hand. He was not a
little surprised to discover a man standing in his chimney; but
being a stout fellow, and apprehending him to be a thief, he took
up a stick, and making straight up to the hunch-back, "Ah!" said
he, "I thought the rats and mice ate my butter and tallow; but it
is you who come down the chimney to rob me? However, I think you
will have no wish to come here again." Upon this he attacked
hunch-back, and struck him several times with his stick. The
corpse fell down flat on the ground, and the purveyor redoubled
his blows. But, observing that the body did not move, he stood a
little time to regard it; and then, perceiving it to be dead,
fear succeeded his anger. "Wretched man that I am," said he,
"what have I done! I have killed a man; alas, I have carried my
revenge too far. Good God, unless thou pity me my life is gone!
Cursed, ten thousand times accursed, be the fat and the oil that
occasioned me to commit so criminal an action." He stood pale and
thunderstruck; he fancied he already saw the officers come to
drag him to condign punishment, and could not tell what
resolution to take.

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor had never noticed the little
man's hump-back when he was beating him, but as soon as he
perceived it, he uttered a thousand imprecations against him.
"Ah, thou cursed hunch-back," cried he, "thou crooked wretch,
would to God thou hadst robbed me of all my fat, and I had not
found thee here. I then should not have been thrown into this
perplexity on account of this and thy vile hunch. Ye stars that
twinkle in the heavens, give your light to none but me in this
dangerous juncture." As soon as he had uttered these words, he
took the crooked corpse upon his shoulders, and carried it to the
end of the street, where he placed it in an upright posture
against a shop; he then returned without once looking behind him.

A few minutes before day-break, a Christian merchant, who was
very rich, and furnished the sultan's palace with various
articles, having sat up all night at a debauch, happened to come
from his house in this direction on his way to the bath. Though
he was intoxicated, he was sensible that the night was far spent,
and that the people would soon be called to morning prayers; he
therefore quickened his pace to get to the bath in time, lest
some Mussulmaun, in his way to the mosque, should meet him and
carry him to prison for a drunkard. When he came to the end of
the street, he had occasion to stop by the shop where the
sultan's purveyor had put the hunch-backed corpse; which being
jostled by him, tumbled upon the merchant's back. The merchant
thinking he was attacked by a robber, knocked it down, and after
redoubling his blows, cried out "Thieves!"

The outcry alarmed the watch, who came up immediately, and
finding a Christian beating a Mussulmaun (for hump-back was of
our religion), "What reason have you," said he, "to abuse a
Mussulmaun in this manner?" "He would have robbed me," replied
the merchant, "and jumped upon my back in order to take me by the
throat." "If he did," said the watch, "you have revenged yourself
sufficiently; come, get off him." At the same time he stretched
out his hand to help little hump-back up, but observing he was
dead, "Oh!" said he, "is it thus that a Christian dares to
assassinate a Mussulmaun?" So saying, he laid hold of the
Christian, and carried him to the house of the officer of the
police, where he was kept till the judge was stirring, and ready
to examine him. In the mean time, the Christian merchant became
sober, and the more he reflected upon his adventure, the less
could he conceive how such slight blows of his fist could have
killed the man.

The judge having heard the report of the watch, and viewed the
corpse, which they had taken care to bring to his house,
interrogated the Christian merchant, who could not deny the
crime, though he had not committed it. But the judge considering
that little hump-back belonged to the sultan, for he was one of
his buffoons, would not put the Christian to death till he knew
the sultan's pleasure. For this end he went to the palace, and
acquainted the sultan with what had happened; and received this
answer: "I have no mercy to show to a Christian who kills a
Mussulmaun." Upon this the judge ordered a stake to be prepared,
and sent criers all over the city to proclaim that they were
about to impale a Christian for killing a Mussulmaun.

At length the merchant was brought to the place of execution; and
the executioner was about to do his duty, when the sultan's
purveyor pushed through the crowd, calling to him to stop for
that the Christian had not committed the murder, but he himself
had done it. Upon that, the officer who attended the execution
began to question the purveyor, who told him every circumstance
of his having killed the little hunchback, and how he had
conveyed his corpse to the place where the Christian merchant had
found it. "You were about," added he, "to put to death an
innocent person; for how can he be guilty of the death of a man
who was dead before he touched him? It is enough for me to have
killed a Mussulmaun without loading my conscience with the death
of a Christian who is not guilty."

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor having publicly charged himself
with the death of the little hunchbacked man, the officer could
do no less than execute justice on the merchant. "Let the
Christian go," said he to the executioner, "and impale this man
in his stead, since it appears by his own confession that he is
guilty." Thereupon the executioner released the merchant, and
seized the purveyor; but just as he was going to impale him, he
heard the voice of the Jewish doctor, earnestly intreating him to
suspend the execution, and make room for him to approach.

When he appeared before the judge, "My lord," said he, "this
Mussulmaun you are going to execute is not guilty. I am the
criminal. Last night a man and a woman, unknown to me, came to my
door with a sick man; my maid went and opened it without a light,
and received from them a piece of money with a commission to come
and desire me, in their name, to step down and look at the
patient. While she was delivering her message, they conveyed the
sick person to the stair-head, and disappeared. I went, without
staying till my servant had lighted a candle, and in the dark
happened to stumble upon the sick person, and kick him down
stairs. At length I saw he was dead, and that it was the crooked
Mussulmaun whose death you are now about to avenge. My wife and I
took the corpse, and, after conveying it up to the roof of the
purveyor, our next neighbour, whom you were going to put to death
unjustly, let it down the chimney into his chamber. The purveyor
finding it in his house, took the little man for a thief, and
after beating him concluded he had killed him. But that it was
not so you will be convinced by this my deposition; I am the sole
author of the murder; and though it was committed undesignedly, I
am resolved to expiate my crime, that I may not have to charge
myself with the death of two Mussulmauns."

The chief justice being persuaded that the Jewish doctor was the
murderer, gave orders to the executioner to seize him and release
the purveyor. Accordingly the doctor was just going to be
impaled, when the tailor appeared, crying to the executioner to
hold his hand, and make room for him, that he might come and make
his confession to the chief judge. Room being made, "My lord,"
said he, "you have narrowly escaped taking away the lives of
three innocent persons; but if you will have the patience to hear
me, I will discover to you the real murderer of the crook backed
man. If his death is to be expiated by another, that must be
mine. Yesterday, towards the evening, as I was at work in my
shop, and was disposed to be merry, the little hunch-back came to
my door half-drunk, and sat down. He sung a little, and so I
invited him to pass the evening at my house. He accepted the
invitation and went in with me. We sat down to supper and I gave
him a plate of fish; but in eating, a bone stuck in his throat,
and though my wife and I did our utmost to relieve him, he died
in a few minutes. His death afflicted us extremely, and for fear
of being charged with it, we carried the corpse to the Jewish
doctor's house and knocked. The maid came. and opened the door; I
desired her to go up again and ask her master to come down and
give his advice to a sick person whom we had brought along with
us; and withal, to encourage him, I charged her to give him a
piece of money, which I put into her hand. When she was gone, I
carried the hunch-back up stairs, and laid him upon the uppermost
step, and then my wife and I made the best of our way home. The
doctor coming, threw the corpse down stairs, and concluded
himself to be the author of his death. This being the case,"
continued he, "release the doctor, and let me die in his stead."

The chief justice, and all the spectators, wondered at the
strange events which had ensued upon the death of the little
hunch-back. "Let the Jewish doctor go," said the judge, "and
seize the tailor, since he confesses the crime. It is certain
this history is very uncommon, and deserves to be recorded in
letters of gold." The executioner having dismissed the doctor
prepared to impale the tailor.

While the executioner was making ready to impale the tailor, the
sultan of Casgar, wanting the company of his crooked jester,
asked where he was; and one of his officers told him; "The hunch-
back, Sir, whom you inquire after, got drunk last night, and
contrary to his custom slipped out of the palace, and went
strolling about the city, and this morning was found dead. A man
was brought before the chief justice, and charged with the murder
of him; but when he was going to be impaled, up came a man, and
after him another, who took the charge upon themselves and
cleared one another, and the judge is now examining a third, who
gives himself out for the real author of the murder."

Upon this intelligence the sultan of Casgar sent an officer to
the place of execution. "Go," said he, "with all expedition, and
tell the judge to bring the accused persons before me immediately
and bring also the corpse of poor hunch-back, that I may see him
once more." Accordingly the officer went, and happened to arrive
at the place of execution at the very time that the executioner
had laid his hands upon the tailor. He called aloud to him to
suspend the execution. The executioner knowing the officer, did
not dare to proceed, but released the tailor; and then the
officer acquainted the judge with the sultan's pleasure. The
judge obeyed, and went directly to the palace accompanied by the
tailor, the Jewish doctor, and the Christian merchant; and made
four of his men carry the hunch-backed corpse along with him.

When they appeared in the sultan's presence, the judge threw
himself at the prince's feet and after recovering himself, gave
him a faithful relation of what he knew of the story of the
hunch-backed man. The story appeared so extraordinary to the
sultan, that he ordered his own historian to write it down with
all its circumstances. Then addressing himself to the audience;
"Did you ever hear," said he, "such a surprising event as has
happened on the account of my little crooked buffoon?" The
Christian merchant, after falling down, and touching the earth
with his forehead, spoke as follows: "Most puissant monarch, I
know a story yet more astonishing than this; if your majesty will
give me leave, I will relate it. The circumstances are such, that
no one can hear them without emotion." "Well," said the sultan,
"you have my permission:" and the merchant went on as follows:

The Story told by the Christian Merchant.

Sir, before I commence the recital of the story you have
permitted me to relate, I beg leave to acquaint you, that I have
not the honour to be born in any part of your majesty's empire. I
am a stranger, born at Cairo in Egypt, a Copt by nation, and by
religion a Christian. My father was a broker, and realized
considerable property, which he left me at his death. I followed
his example, and pursued the same employment. While I was
standing in the public inn frequented by the corn merchants,
there came up to me a handsome young man, well dressed, and
mounted on an ass. He saluted me, and pulling out a handkerchief,
in which he had a sample of sesame or Turkey corn, asked me how
much a bushel of such sesame would fetch.

I examined the corn the young man shewed me, and told him it was
worth a hundred dirhems of silver per bushel. "Pray," said he,
"look out for some merchant to take it at that price, and come to
me at the Victory gate, where you will see a khan at a distance
from the houses." So saying, he left me the sample, and I shewed
it to several merchants, who told me, that they would take as
much as I could spare at a hundred and ten dirhems per bushel, so
that I reckoned on getting ten dirhems per bushel for my
commission. Full of the expectation of this profit, I went to the
Victory gate, where I found the young merchant expecting me, and
he took me into his granary, which was full of sesame. He had
then a hundred and fifty bushels, which I measured out, and
having carried them off upon asses, sold them for five thousand
dirhems of silver. "Out of this sum," said the young man, "there
are five hundred dirhems coming to you, at the rate of ten
dirhems per bushel. This I give you; and as for the rest which
pertains to me, take it out of the merchants' hands, and keep it
till I call or send for it, for I have no occasion for it at
present." I answered, it should be ready for him whenever he
pleased to demand it; and so, kissing his hand, took leave of
him, with a grateful sense of his generosity.

A month passed before he came near me: then he asked for the sum
he had committed to my trust. I told him it was ready, and should
be counted to him immediately. He was mounted on his ass, and I
desired him to alight, and do me the honour to eat a mouthful
with me before he received his money. "No," said he, "I cannot
alight at present, I have urgent business that obliges me to be
at a place just by; but I will return this way, and then take the
money which I desired you would have in readiness." This said, he
disappeared, and I still expected his return, but it was a full
month before I saw him again. "This young merchant," thought I,
"has great confidence in me, leaving so great a sum in my hands
without knowing me; any other man would have been afraid I should
have run away with it." To be short, he came again at the end of
the third month, and was still mounted on his ass, but more
handsomely dressed than before.

As soon as I saw the young man, I intreated him to alight, and
asked him if he would not take his money? "There is no hurry,"
said he, with a pleasant easy air, "I know it is in good hands; I
will come and take it when my other money is all gone. Adieu,"
continued he, "I will return towards the end of the week." With
that he struck the ass, and soon disappeared. "Well," thought I,
"he says he will see me towards the end of the week, but he may
not perhaps return for a great while; I will make the most I can
of his money, which may bring me much profit."

As it happened, I was not deceived in my conjecture; for it was a
full year before I saw my young merchant again. He then appeared
as richly appareled as before, but seemed to have something on
his spirits. I asked him to do me the honour to walk into my
house. "For this time," replied he, "I will: but on this
condition, that you shall put yourself to no extraordinary charge
on my account." "I will do just as you please," said I, "only do
me the favour to alight and walk in." Accordingly he complied. I
gave orders to have a repast prepared, and while this was doing,
we entered into conversation. All things being ready, we sat
down. I observed he took the first mouthful with his left hand,
and not with the right. I was at a loss what to think of this.
"Ever since I have known this young man," said I inwardly, "he
has always appeared very polite; is it possible he can do this
out of contempt? What can be the reason he does not use his right

After we had done eating, and every thing was taken away, we sat
upon a sofa, and I presented him with a lozenge by way of dainty;
but still he took it with his left hand. I said to him, "Pardon,
Sir, the liberty I take in asking you what reason you have for
not using your right hand? Perhaps you have some complaint in
that hand." Instead of answering, he heaved a deep sigh, and
pulling out his right arm, which he had hitherto kept under his
vest, shewed me, to my great astonishment, that it had been cut
off. "Doubtless you were displeased," said he, "to see me feed
myself with the left hand; but I leave you to judge, whether it
was in my power to do otherwise." "May one ask," said I, "by what
mischance you lost your right hand?" Upon that he burst into
tears, and after wiping his eyes, gave me the following relation.

You must know that I am a native of Bagdad, the son of a rich
merchant, the most eminent in that city for rank and opulence. I
had scarcely launched into the world, when falling into the
company of travellers, and hearing their wonderful accounts of
Egypt, especially of Grand Cairo, I was interested by their
discourse, and felt a strong desire to travel. But my father was
then alive, and would not grant me permission. At length he died;
and being then my own master, I resolved to take a journey to
Cairo. I laid out a large sum of money in the purchase of several
sorts of fine stuffs of Bagdad and Moussol. and departed.

Arriving at Cairo, I went to the khan, called the khan of
Mesrour, and there took lodgings, with a warehouse for my bales,
which I had brought with me upon camels. This done, I retired to
my chamber to rest, after the fatigue of my journey, and gave
some money to my servants, with orders to buy some provisions and
dress them. After I had eaten, I went to view the castle, some
mosques, the public squares, and the other most remarkable

Next day I dressed myself, and ordered some of the finest and
richest of my bales to be selected and carried by my slaves to
the Circassian bazaar, whither I followed. I had no sooner made
my appearance, than I was surrounded with brokers and criers who
had heard of my arrival. I gave patterns of my stuffs to several
of the criers, who shewed them all over the bazaar; but none of
the merchants offered near so much as prime cost and carriage.
This vexed me, and the criers observing I was dissatisfied, said,
"If you will take our advice, we will put you in a way to sell
your goods without loss."

The brokers and the criers, having thus promised to put me in a
way of losing nothing by my goods, I asked them what course they
would have me pursue . "Divide your goods," said they, among
several merchants, they will sell them by retail; and twice a
week, that is on Mondays and Thursdays, you may receive what
money they may have taken. By this means, instead of losing, you
will turn your goods to advantage, and the merchants will gain by
you. In the mean while you will have time to take your pleasure
about the town or go upon the Nile."

I took their advice, and conducted them to my warehouse; from
whence I brought all my goods to the bazaar, and there divided
them among the merchants whom they represented as most reputable
and able to pay; and the merchants gave me a formal receipt
before witnesses, stipulating that I should not making any
demands upon them for the first month.

Having thus regulated my affairs, my mind was occupied with
ordinary pleasures. I contracted acquaintance with divers persons
of nearly the same age with myself, which made the time pass
agreeably. After the first month had expired, I began to visit my
merchants twice a week, taking with me a public officer to
inspect their books of sale, and a banker to see that they paid
me in good money, and to regulate the value of the several coins.
Every pay-day, I had a good sum of money to carry home to my
lodging at the khan of Mesrour. I went on other days to pass the
morning sometimes at one merchant's house, and sometimes at that
of another. In short, I amused myself in conversing with them,
and seeing what passed in the bazaar.

One Monday, as I was sitting in a merchant ‘s shop, whose name
was Buddir ad Deen, a lady of quality, as might easily be
perceived by her air, her apparel, and by a well-dressed slave
attending her, came into the shop, and sat down by me. Her
external appearance, joined to a natural grace that shone in all
her actions, prepossessed me in her favour, and inspired me with
a desire to be better acquainted with her. I know not whether she
observed that I took pleasure in gazing on her, and whether this
attention on my part was not agreeable to her; but she let down
the crepe that hung over the muslin which covered her face, and
gave me the opportunity of seeing her large black eyes; which
perfectly charmed me. In fine, she inflamed my love to the height
by the agreeable sound of her voice, her graceful carriage in
saluting the merchant, and asking him how he did since she had
seen him last.

After conversing with him some time upon indifferent subjects,
she gave him to understand that she wanted a particular kind of
stuff with a gold ground; that she came to his shop, as affording
the best choice of any in all the bazaar; and that if he had any
such as she asked for, he would oblige her in showing them.
Buddir ad Deen produced several pieces, one of which she pitched
upon, and he asked for it eleven hundred dirhems of silver. "I
will," said she, "give you your price for it, but I have not
money enough about me; so I hope you will give me credit till to-
morrow, and in the mean time allow me to carry home the stuff. I
shall not fail," added she, "to send you tomorrow the eleven
hundred dirhems." "Madam," said Buddir ad Deen, "I would give you
credit with all my heart if the stuff were mine; but it belongs
to the young man you see here, and this is the day on which we
settle our accounts." "Why," said the lady in surprise, "do you
use me so? Am not I a customer to your shop And when I have
bought of you, and carried home the things without paying ready
money for them, did I in any instance fail to send you your money
next morning?" "Madam," said the merchant, "all this is true, but
this very day I have occasion for the money." "There," said she,
throwing the stuff to him, "take your stuff, I care not for you
nor any of the merchants. You are all alike; you respect no one."
As she spoke, she rose up in anger, and walked out.

When I saw that the lady walked away, I felt interested on her
behalf, and called her back, saying, "Madam, do me the favour to
return, perhaps I can find a way to satisfy you both." She
returned, saying, it was on my account that she complied. "Buddir
ad Deen," said I to the merchant, "what is the price you must
have for this stuff that belongs to me?" "I must have," replied
he, "eleven hundred dirhems, I cannot take less." "Give it to the
lady then," said I, "let her take it home with her; I allow a
hundred dirhems profit to yourself, and shall now write you a
note, empowering you to deduct that sum upon the produce of the
other goods you have of mine." In fine, I wrote, signed, and gave
him the note, and then delivered the stuff to the lady. "Madam,"
said I, "you may take the stuff with you, and as for the money,
you may either send it to-morrow or the next day; or, if you
will, accept it as a present from me." "Pardon me," returned she,
"I mean no such thing. You treat me with so much politeness, that
I should be unworthy to appear in the world again, were I to omit
making you my best acknowledgments. May God reward you, by an
increase of your fortune; may you live many years after I am
dead; may the gate of paradise be open to you when you remove to
the other world, and may all the city proclaim your generosity."

These words inspired me with some assurance. "Madam," I replied,
"I desire no other reward for the service I have done you than
the happiness of seeing your face; which will repay me with
interest." I had no sooner spoken than she turned towards me,
took off her veil, and discovered to me a wonderful beauty. I
became speechless with admiration. I could have gazed upon her
for ever; but fearing any one should observe her, she quickly
covered her face, and letting down the crepe, took up the piece
of stuff, and went away, leaving me in a very different state of
mind from that in which I had entered the shop. I continued for
some time in great confusion and perplexity. Before I took leave
of the merchant, I asked him, if he knew the lady; "Yes," said
he, "she is the daughter of an emir."

I went back to the khan of Mesrour, and sat down to supper, but
could not eat, neither could I shut my eyes all the night, which
seemed the longest in my life. As soon as it was day I arose, in
hopes of once more beholding the object that disturbed my repose:
and to engage her affection, I dressed myself much richer than I
had done the day before.

I had but just reached Buddir ad Deen's shop, when I saw the lady
coming in more magnificent apparel than before, and attended by
her slave. When she entered, she did not regard the merchant, but
addressing herself to me, said, "Sir, you see I am punctual to my
word. I am come for the express purpose of paying the sum you
were so kind as to pass your word for yesterday, though you had
no knowledge of me. Such uncommon generosity I shall never

"Madam," said I, "you had no occasion to be in such haste; I was
well satisfied as to my money, and am sorry you should put
yourself to so much trouble." "I had been very unjust," answered
she, "if I had abused your generosity." With these words she put
the money into my hand, and sat down by me.

Having this opportunity of conversing with her, I determined to
improve it, and mentioned to her the love I had for her; but she
rose and left me very abruptly, as if she had been angry with the
declaration I had made. I followed her with my eyes as long as
she continued in sight; then taking leave of the merchant walked
out of the bazaar, without knowing where I went. I was musing on
this adventure, when I felt somebody pulling me behind, and
turning to see who it was, I was agreeably surprised to perceive
it was the lady's slave. "My mistress," said she, "I mean the
young lady you spoke to in the merchant's shop, wants to speak
with you, if you please to give yourself the trouble to follow
me." Accordingly I followed her, and found her mistress sitting
waiting for me in a banker's shop.

She made me sit down by her, and spoke to this purpose. "Do not
be surprised, that I left you so abruptly. I thought it not
proper, before that merchant, to give a favourable answer to the
discovery you made of your affection for me. But to speak the
truth, I was so far from being offended at it, that it gave me
pleasure; and I account myself infinitely happy in having a man
of your merit for my lover. I do not know what impression the
first sight of me may have made on you, but I assure you, I had
no sooner beheld you than I found my heart moved with the
tenderest emotions of love. Since yesterday I have done nothing
but think of what you said to me; and my eagerness to seek you
this morning may convince you of my regard." "Madam," I replied,
transported with love and joy, "nothing can be more agreeable to
me than this declaration. No passion can exceed that with which I
love you. My eyes were dazzled with so many charms, that my heart
yielded without resistance." "Let us not trifle away the time in
needless discourse," said she, interrupting me; "make no doubt of
your sincerity, and you shall quickly be convinced of mine. Will
you do me the honour to come to my residence? Or if you will I
will go to yours." "Madam," I returned, "I am a stranger lodged
in a khan, which is not the proper place for the reception of a
lady of your quality. It is more proper, madam, that I should
visit you at your house; have the goodness to tell me where it
is." The lady consented; "Come," said she, "on Friday, which is
the day after to-morrow, after noon-prayers, and ask for the
house of Abon Schama, surnamed Bercour, late master of the emirs;
there you will find me." This said, we parted; and I passed the
next day in great impatience.

On Friday I put on my richest apparel, and took fifty pieces of
gold in my purse. I mounted an ass I had bespoken the day before,
and set out, accompanied by the man who let me the ass. I
directed the owner of the ass to inquire for the house I wanted;
he found it, and conducted me thither. I paid him liberally,
directing him to observe narrowly where he left me, and not to
fail to return next morning with the ass, to carry me again to
the khan of Mesrour.

I knocked at the door, and presently two little female slaves,
white as snow, and neatly dressed came and opened it. "Be pleased
to come in, Sir, said they, "our mistress expects you
impatiently; these two days she has talked of nothing but you. I
entered the court, and saw a pavilion raised seven steps, and
surrounded with iron rails that parted it from a very pleasant
garden. Besides the trees which only embellished the place, and
formed an agreeable shade, there was an infinite number of others
loaded with all sorts of fruit. I was charmed with the warbling
of a great number of birds, that joined their notes to the
murmurings of a fountain, in the middle of a parterre enamelled
with flowers. This fountain formed a very agreeable object; four
large gilded dragons at the angles of the basin, which was of a
square form, spouted out water clearer than rock-crystal. This
delicious place gave me a charming idea of the conquest I had
made. The two little slaves conducted me into a saloon
magnificently furnished; and while one of them went to acquaint
her mistress with my arrival, the other tarried with me, and
pointed out to me the beauties of the hall.

I did not wait long in the hall, ere the lady I loved appeared,
adorned with pearls and diamonds ; but the splendour of her eyes
far outshone that of her jewels. Her shape, which was now not
disguised by the habit she wore in the city, appeared the most
slender and delicate. I need not mention with what joy we met
once more; it far exceeded all expression. When the first
compliments were over, we sat down upon a sofa, and there
conversed together with the highest satisfaction. We had the most
delicious refreshments served up to us; and after eating,
continued our conversation till night. We then had excellent wine
brought up, and fruit adapted to promote drinking, and timed our
cups to the sound of musical instruments, joined to the voices of
the slaves. The lady of the house sung herself, and by her songs
raised my passion to the height. In short, I passed the night in
full enjoyment.

Next morning I slipped under the bolster of the bed the purse
with the fifty pieces of gold I had brought with me, and took
leave of the lady, who asked me when I would see her again.
"Madam," said I, "I give you my promise to return this night."
She seemed to be transported with my answer, and conducting me to
the door, conjured me at parting to be mindful of my promise.

The same man who had carried me thither waited for me with his
ass, which I mounted, and went directly to the khan; ordering the
man to come to me again in the afternoon at a certain hour, to
secure which, I deferred paying him till that time came.

As soon as I arrived at my lodging, my first care was to order my
people to buy a lamb, and several sorts of cakes, which I sent by
a porter as a present to the lady. When that was done I attended
to my business till the owner of the ass arrived. I then went
along with him to the lady's house, and was received by her with
as much joy as before, and entertained with equal magnificence.

Next morning I took leave, left her another purse with fifty
pieces of gold, and returned to my khan.

I continued to visit the lady every day, and to leave her every
time a purse with fifty pieces of gold, till the merchants whom I
employed to sell my goods, and whom I visited regularly twice a
week, had paid me the whole amount of my goods and, in short, I
came at last to be moneyless, and hopeless of having any more.

In this forlorn condition I walked out of my lodging, not knowing
what course to take, and by chance went towards the castle, where
there was a great crowd to witness a spectacle given by the
sultan of Egypt. As soon as I came up, I wedged in among the
crowd, and by chance happened to stand by a horseman well mounted
and handsomely clothed, who had upon the pommel of his saddle a
bag, half open, with a string of green silk hanging out of it. I
clapped my hand to the bag, concluding the silk-twist might be
the string of a purse within: in the mean time a porter, with a
load of wood upon his back, passed by on the other side of the
horse so near, that the rider was forced to turn his head towards
him, to avoid being hurt, or having his clothes torn by the wood.
In that moment the devil tempted me; I took the string in one
hand, and with the other pulled out the purse so dexterously,
that nobody perceived me. The purse was heavy, and I did not
doubt but it contained gold or silver.

As soon as the porter had passed, the horseman, who probably had
some suspicion of what I had done while his head was turned,
presently put his hand to his bag, and finding his purse was
gone, gave me such a blow, that he knocked me down. This violence
shocked all who saw it. Some took hold of the horse's bridle to
stop the gentleman, and asked him what reason he had to strike
me, or how he came to treat a Mussulmaun so rudely. "Do not you
trouble yourselves," said he briskly, "I had reason for what I
did; this fellow is a thief." At these words I started up, and
from my appearance every one took my part, and cried out he was a
liar, for that it was incredible a young man such as I was should
be guilty of so base an action: but while they were holding his
horse by the bridle to favour my escape, unfortunately passed by
the judge, who seeing such a crowd about the gentleman on
horseback, came up and asked what the matter was. Every body
present reflected on the gentleman for treating me so unjustly
upon the presence of robbery.

The judge did not give ear to all that was said; but asked the
cavalier if he suspected any body else beside me? The cavalier
told him he did not, and gave his reasons why he believed his
suspicions not to be groundless. Upon this the judge ordered his
followers to seize me, which they presently did; and finding the
purse upon me, exposed it to the view of all the people. The
disgrace was so great, I could not bear it, and I swooned away.
In the mean time the judge called for the purse.

When the judge had got the purse in his hand, he asked the
horseman if it was his, and how much money it contained. The
cavalier knew it to be his own, and assured the judge he had put
twenty sequins into it. Upon which the judge called me before
him; "Come, young man," said he, "confess the truth. Was it you
that took the gentleman's purse from him? Do not wait for the
torture to extort confession." Then with downcast eyes, thinking
that if I denied the fact, they, having found the purse upon me,
would convict me of a lie, to avoid a double punishment I looked
up and confessed my guilt. I had no sooner made the confession,
than the judge called people to witness it, and ordered my hand
to be cutoff. This sentence was immediately put in execution, to
the great regret of all the spectators; nay, I observed, by the
cavalier's countenance, that he was moved with pity as much as
the rest. The judge would likewise have ordered my foot to be cut
off, but I begged the cavalier to intercede for my pardon; which
he did, and obtained it.

When the judge was gone, the cavalier came up to me, and holding
out the purse, said, "I see plainly that necessity drove you to
an action so disgraceful and unworthy of such a young man as you
appear. Here, take that fatal purse; I freely give it you, and am
heartily sorry for the misfortune you have undergone." Having
thus spoken, he went away. Being very weak by loss of blood, some
of the good people of the neighbourhood had the kindness to carry
me into a house and give me a glass of cordial; they likewise
dressed my arm, and wrapped up the dismembered hand in a cloth,
which I carried away with me fastened to my girdle.

Had I returned to the khan of Mesrour in this melancholy
condition, I should not have found there such relief as I wanted;
and to offer to go to the young lady was running a great hazard,
it being likely she would not look upon me after being informed
of my disgrace. I resolved, however, to put her to the trial; and
to tire out the crowd that followed me, I turned down several by-
streets, and at last arrived at the lady's house very weak, and
so much fatigued, that I presently threw myself down upon a sofa,
keeping my right arm under my garment, for I took great care to
conceal my misfortune.

In the mean time the lady, hearing of my arrival, and that I was
not well, came to me in haste; and seeing me pale and dejected,
said, "My dear love, what is the matter with you?" "Madam," I
replied, dissembling, "I have a violent pain in my head." The
lady seemed to be much concerned, and asked me to sit down, for I
had arisen to receive her. "Tell me," said she, "how your illness
was occasioned. The last time I had the pleasure to see you, you
were very well. There must be something that you conceal from me,
let me know what it is." I stood silent, and instead of an
answer, tears trickled down my cheeks. "I cannot conceive,"
resumed she, "what it is that afflicts you. Have I unthinkingly
given you any occasion of uneasiness? Or do you come on purpose
to tell me you no longer love me?" "It is not that, madam," said
I, heaving a deep sigh; "your unjust suspicion adds to my

I could not think of discovering to her the true cause. When
night came, supper was brought, and she pressed me to eat; but
considering I could only feed myself with my left hand, I begged
to be excused upon the plea of having no appetite. "It will
return," said she, "if you would but discover what you so
obstinately conceal from me. Your want of appetite, without
doubt, is only owing to your irresolution."

"Alas! madam," returned I, "I find I must resolve at last." I had
no sooner spoken, than she filled me a cup full of wine, and
offering it to me, "Drink that," said she, "it will give you
courage." I reached out my left hand, and took the cup.

When I had taken the cup in my hand, I redoubled my tears and
sighs. "Why do you sigh and weep so bitterly?" asked the lady;
"and why do you take the cup with your left hand, rather than
your right?" "Ah! madam," I replied, "I beseech you excuse me; I
have a swelling in my right hand." "Let me see that swelling,"
said she; "I will open it." I desired to be excused, alleging it
was not ripe enough for such an operation; and drank off the cup,
which was very large. The fumes of the wine, joined to my
weakness and weariness, set me asleep, and I slept very soundly
till morning.

In the mean time the lady, curious to know what ailed my right
hand, lifted up my garment that covered it; and saw to her great
astonishment that it was cut off, and that I had brought it along
with me wrapped up in a cloth. She presently apprehended what was
my reason for declining a discovery, notwithstanding all her
pressing solicitation; and passed the night in the greatest
uneasiness on account of my disgrace, which she concluded had
been occasioned only by the love I bore to her.

When I awoke, I discerned by her countenance that she was
extremely grieved. However, that she might not increase my
uneasiness she said not a word. She called for jelly-broth of
fowl, which she had ordered to be prepared, and made me eat and
drink to recruit my strength. After that, I offered to take leave
of her; but she declared I should not go out of her doors.
"Though you tell me nothing of the matter," said she, "I am
persuaded I am the cause of the misfortune that has befallen you.
The grief that I feel on that account will soon end my days, but
before I die, I must execute a design for your benefit." She had
no sooner spoken, than she called for a judge and witnesses, and
ordered a writing to be drawn up, putting me in possession of her
whole property. After this was done, and every body dismissed,
she opened a large trunk where lay all the purses I had given her
from the commencement of our amour. "There they are all entire,"
said she; "I have not touched one of them. Here is the key ; take
it, for all is yours." After I had returned her thanks for her
generosity and goodness; "What I have done for you," said she,
"is nothing; I shall not be satisfied unless I die, to show how
much I love you." I conjured her, by all the powers of love, to
relinquish such a fatal resolution. But all my remonstrances were
ineffectual: she was so afflicted to see me have but one hand,
that she sickened, and died after five or six weeks' illness.

After mourning for her death as long as was decent, I took
possession of all her property, a particular account of which she
gave me before she died; and the corn you sold for me was part of

"What I have now told you," said he, "will plead my excuse for
eating with my left hand. I am highly obliged to you for the
trouble you have given yourself on my account. I can never
sufficiently recompense your fidelity. Since I have still, thanks
to God, a competent estate, notwithstanding I have spent a great
deal, I beg you to accept of the sum now in your hand, as a
present from me. I have besides a proposal to make to you. As I
am obliged, on account of this fatal accident, to quit Cairo, I
am resolved never to return to it again. If you choose to
accompany me, we will trade together as equal partners, and share
the profits."

I thanked the young man for the present he had made me, and I
willingly embraced the proposal of travelling with him, assuring
him, that his interest should always be as dear to me as my own.

We fixed a day for our departure, and accordingly entered upon
our travels. We passed through Syria and Mesopotamia, travelled
over Persia, and after stopping at several cities, came at last,
sir, to your capital. Some time after our arrival here, the young
man having formed a design of returning to Persia, and settling
there, we balanced our accounts, and parted very good friends. He
went from hence, and I, sir, continue here in your majesty's
service. This is the story I had to relate. Does not your majesty
find it more surprising than that of the hunch-back buffoon?

The sultan of Casgar fell into a passion against the Christian
merchant. "Thou art a presumptuous fellow," said he, "to tell me
a story so little worth hearing, and then to compare it to that
of my jester. Canst thou flatter thyself so far as to believe
that the trifling adventures of a young debauchee are more
interesting than those of my jester? I will have you all four
impaled, to revenge his death.

Hearing this, the purveyor prostrated himself at the sultan's
feet. "Sir," said he, "I humbly beseech your majesty to suspend
your wrath, and hear my story; and if it appears to be more
extraordinary than that of your jester, to pardon us." The sultan
having granted his request, the purveyor began thus.

The Story told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor.

Sir, a person of quality invited me yesterday to his daughter's
wedding. I went to his house in the evening at the hour
appointed, and found there a large company of men of the law,
ministers of justice, and others of the first rank in the city.
After the ceremony was over, we partook of a splendid feast.
Among other dishes set upon the table, there was one seasoned
with garlic, which was very delicious, and generally relished. We
observed, however, that one of the guests did not touch it,
though it stood just before him. We invited him to taste it, but
he intreated us not to press him. "I will take good care," said
he, "how I touch any dish that is seasoned with garlic; I have
not yet forgotten what the tasting of such a dish once cost me."
We requested him to inform us what the reason was of his aversion
to garlic. But before he had time to answer, the master of the
house exclaimed, "Is it thus you honour my table? This dish is
excellent, do not expect to be excused from eating of it; you
must do me that favour as well as the rest." "Sir," said the
gentleman, who was a Bagdad merchant, "I hope you do not think my
refusal proceeds from any mistaken delicacy; if you insist on my
compliance I will submit, but it must be on this condition, that
after having eaten, I may, with your permission, wash my hands
with alkali forty times, forty times more with ashes, and forty
times again with soap. I hope you will not feel displeased at
this stipulation, as I have made an oath never to taste garlic
but on these terms."

As the master of the house, continued the purveyor of the sultan
of Casgar, would not dispense with the merchant's partaking of
the dish seasoned with garlic, he ordered his servants to provide
a basin of water, together with some alkali, the ashes, and soap,
that the merchant might wash as often as he pleased. After he had
given these instructions, he addressed the merchant and said, "I
hope you will now do as we do."

The merchant, apparently displeased with the constraint put upon
him, took up a bit, which he put to his mouth trembling, and ate
with a reluctance that astonished us. But what surprised us yet
more was, that he had no thumb; which none of us had observed
before, though he had eaten of other dishes. "You have lost your
thumb," said the master of the house. "This must have been
occasioned by some extraordinary accident, a relation of which
will be agreeable to the company." "Sir," replied the merchant,
"I have no thumb on either the right or the left hand." As he
spoke he put out his left hand, and shewed us that what he said
was true. "But this is not all," continued he: "I have no great
toe on either of my feet: I was maimed in this manner by an
unheard-of adventure, which I am willing to relate, if you will
have the patience to hear me. The account will excite at once
your astonishment and your pity. Only allow me first to wash my
hands." With this he rose from the table, and after washing his
hands a hundred and twenty times, reseated himself, and proceeded
with his narrative as follows.

In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, my father lived at
Bagdad, the place of my nativity, and was reputed one of the
richest merchants in the city. But being a man addicted to his
pleasures, and neglecting his private affairs, instead of leaving
me an ample fortune, he died in such embarrassed circumstances,
that I was reduced to the necessity of using all the economy
possible to discharge the debts he had contracted. I at last,
however, paid them all; and by care and good management my little
fortune began to wear a smiling aspect.

One morning, as I opened my shop, a lady mounted upon a mule, and
attended by an eunuch and two slaves, stopped near my door, and
with the assistance of the eunuch alighted. "Madam," said the
eunuch, "I told you you would be too early; you see there is no
one yet in the bazaar: had you taken my advice, you might have
saved yourself the trouble of waiting here." The lady looked and
perceiving no shop open but mine, asked permission to sit in it
till the other merchants arrived. With this request I of course
readily complied.

The lady took a seat in my shop, and observing there was no one
in the bazaar but the eunuch and myself, uncovered her face to
take the air. I had never beheld any thing so beautiful. I became
instantly enamoured, and kept my eyes fixed upon her. I flattered
myself that my attention was not unpleasant to her; for she
allowed me time to view her deliberately, and only concealed her
face so far as she thought necessary to avoid being observed.

After she had again lowered her veil, she told me she wanted
several sorts of the richest and finest stuffs, and asked me if I
had them. "Alas! madam," I replied, "I am but a young man just
beginning the world; I have not capital sufficient for such
extensive traffic. I am much mortified not to be able to
accommodate you with the articles you want. But to save you the
trouble of going from shop to shop, when the merchants arrive, I
will, if you please, go and get those articles from them, and
ascertain the lowest prices." She assented to this proposal, and
entered into conversation with me, which I prolonged, making her
believe the merchants that could furnish what she wanted were not
yet come.

I was not less charmed with her wit than I had been before with
the beauty of her face; but was obliged to forego the pleasure of
her conversation. I ran for the stuffs she wanted, and after she
had fixed upon what she liked, we agreed for five thousand
dirhems of coined silver; I wrapped up the stuffs in a small
bundle, and gave it to the eunuch, who put it under his arm. She
then rose and took leave. I followed her with my eyes till she
had reached the bazaar gate, and even after she had remounted her

The lady had no sooner disappeared, than I perceived that love
had led me to a serious oversight. It had so engrossed my
thoughts, that I did not reflect that she went away without
paying, and that I had not informed myself who she was, or where
she resided. I soon felt sensible, however, that I was
accountable for a large sum to the merchants, who, perhaps, would
not have patience to wait for their money: I went to them, and
made the best excuse I could, pretending that I knew the lady;
and then returned home, equally affected with love, and with the
burden of such a heavy debt.

I had desired my creditors to wait eight days for their money:
when this period had elapsed, they did not fail to dun me. I then
intreated them to give me eight days more, to which they
consented; but the next day I saw the lady enter the bazaar,
mounted on her mule, with the same attendants as before, and
exactly the same hour of the day.

She came straight to my shop. "I have made you wait some time,"
said she, "but here is your money at last; carry it to the
banker, and see that it is all good and right." The eunuch who
carried the money went along with me to the banker, and we found
it quite right. I returned, and had the happiness of conversing
with the lady till all the shops of the bazaar were open. Though
we talked but of ordinary things, she gave them such a turn, that
they appeared new and uncommon; and convinced me that I was not
mistaken in admiring her wit at our first interview.

As soon as the merchants had arrived and opened their shops, I
carried to the respective owners the money due for their stuffs,
and was readily intrusted with more, which the lady had desired
to see. She chose some from these to the value of one thousand
pieces of gold, and carried them away as before without paying;
nay, without speaking a word, or informing me who she was. What
distressed me was the consideration that while at this rate she
risked nothing, she left me without any security against being
made answerable for the goods in case she did not return. "She
has paid me," thought I, "a considerable sum; but she leaves me
responsible for a greater, Surely she cannot be a cheat. The
merchants do not know her, they will all come upon me." In short,
my love was not so powerful as to stifle the uneasiness I felt,
when I reflected upon the circumstances in which I was placed. A
whole month passed before I heard any thing of the lady again;
and during that time my alarm increased. The merchants were
impatient for their money, and to satisfy them, I was going to
sell off all I had, when one morning the lady returned with the
same equipage as before.

"Take your weights," said she, "and weigh the gold I have brought
you." These words dispelled my fear, and inflamed my love. Before
we counted the money, she asked me several questions, and
particularly if I was married. I answered I never had been. Then
reaching out the gold to the eunuch, "Let us have your
interposition," said she, "to accommodate our matters." Upon
which the eunuch fell a laughing, and calling me aside, made me
weigh the gold. While I was thus occupied, the eunuch whispered
in my ear, "I know by your eyes you love this lady, and I am
surprised that you have not the courage to disclose your passion.
She loves you more ardently than you do her. Do not imagine that
she has any real occasion for your stuffs. She only makes this
her presence to come here, because you have inspired her with a
violent passion. It was for this reason she asked you if you were
married. It will be your own fault, if you do not marry her." "It
is true," I replied, "I have loved her since I first beheld her;
but I durst not aspire to the happiness of thinking my attachment
could meet her approbation. I am entirely hers, and shall not
fail to retain a grateful sense of your good offices in this

I finished weighing the gold, and while I was putting it into the
bag, the eunuch turned to the lady, and told her I was satisfied;
that being the word they had agreed upon between themselves.
Presently after, the lady rose and took her leave; telling me she
would send her eunuch to me, and that I had only to obey the
directions he might give me in her name.

I carried each of the merchants their money, and waited some days
with impatience for the eunuch. At last he came.

I received the eunuch very kindly, and inquired after his
mistress's health. "You are," said he, "the happiest lover in the
world; she is impatient to see you; aud were she mistress of her
own conduct, would not fail to come to you herself, and willingly
pass in your society all the days of her life." "Her noble mien
and graceful carriage," I replied, "convinced me, that she was a
lady beyond the common rank." "You have not erred in your
judgment on that head," said the eunuch; "she is the favourite of
Zobeide the caliph's wife, who is the more affectionately
attached to her from having brought her up from her infancy, and
intrusts her with all her affairs. Having a wish to marry, she
has declared to her mistress that she has fixed her affections
upon you, and has desired her consent. Zobeide told her, she
would not withhold her consent; but that she would see you first,
in order to judge if she had made a good choice; in which case
she meant herself to defray the expenses of the wedding. Thus you
see your felicity is certain; since you have pleased the
favourite, you will be equally agreeable to the mistress, who
seeks only to oblige her, and would by no means thwart her
inclination. All you have to do is to come to the palace. I am
sent hither to invite you." "My resolution is already formed,"
said I, "and I am ready to follow you whithersoever you please."
"Very well," said the eunuch; "but you know men are not allowed
to enter the ladies' apartments in the palace, and you must be
introduced with great secrecy. The favourite lady has contrived
the matter well. On your side you must act your part discreetly;
for if you do not, your life is at stake."

I gave him repeated assurances punctually to perform whatever he
might require. "Then," said he, "in the evening, you must be at
the mosque built by the caliph's lady on the bank of the Tigris,
and wait there till somebody comes to conduct you." To this I
agreed; and after passing the day in great impatience, went in
the evening to the prayer that is said an hour and a half after
sun-set in the mosque, and remained there after all the people
had departed.

Soon after I saw a boat making up to the mosque, the rowers of
which were all eunuchs, who came on shore, put several large
trunks into the mosque, and then retired. One of them stayed
behind, whom I perceived to be the eunuch that had accompanied
the lady, and had been with me that morning. I saw the lady also
enter the mosque; and approaching her, told her I was ready to
obey her orders. "We have no time to lose," said she; and opening
one of the trunks, desired me to get into it, that being
necessary both for her safety and mine. "Fear nothing," added
she, "leave the management of all to me." I considered with
myself that I had gone too far to recede, and obeyed her orders;
when she immediately locked the trunk. This done, the eunuch her
confidant called the other eunuchs who had brought in the trunks,
and ordered them to carry them on board again. The lady and the
eunuch re-embarked, and the boatmen rowed to Zobeide's apartment.

In the meantime I reflected very seriously upon the danger to
which I had exposed myself, and made vows and prayers, though it
was then too late.

The boat stopped at the palace-gate, and the trunks were carried
into the apartment of the officer of the eunuchs, who keeps the
key of the ladies' apartments, and suffers nothing to enter
without a narrow inspection. The officer was then in bed, and it
was necessary to call him up.

The officer of the eunuchs was displeased at having his rest
disturbed, and severely chid the favourite lady for coming home
so late. "You shall not come off so easily as you think," said
he: "not one of these trunks shall pass till I have opened it."
At the same time he commanded the eunuchs to bring them before
him, and open them one by one. The first they took was that
wherein I lay, which put me into inexpressible fear.

The favourite lady, who had the key, protested it should not be
opened. "You know very well," said she, "I bring nothing hither
but what is for the use of Zobeide, your mistress and mine. This
trunk is filled with rich goods, which I purchased from some
merchants lately arrived, besides a number of bottles of Zemzem
water sent from Mecca; and if any of these should happen to
break, the goods will be spoiled, and you must answer for them;
depend upon it, Zobeide will resent your insolence." She insisted
upon this in such peremptory terms, that the officer did not dare
to open any of the trunks. "Let them go," said he angrily; "you
may take them away." Upon this the door of the women's apartment
was opened, and all the trunks were carried in.

This had been scarcely accomplished, when I heard the people cry,
"Here is the caliph! Here comes the caliph!" This put me in such
alarm, that I wonder I did not die upon the spot; for as they
announced, it proved to be the caliph. "What hast thou got in
these trunks?" said he to the favourite. "Some stuffs," she
replied, "lately arrived, which the empress wishes to see." "Open
them," cried he, "and let me see them." She excused herself,
alleging the stuffs were only proper for ladies, and that by
opening them, his lady would be deprived of the pleasure of
seeing them first. "I say open them," resumed the caliph; "I will
see them." She still represented that her mistress would be angry
with her, if she complied: "No, no," said he, "I will engage she
shall not say a word to you. Come, come, open them, and do not
keep me waiting."

It was necessary to obey, which gave me such alarm, that I
tremble every time I recollect my situation. The caliph sat down;
and the favourite ordered all the trunks to be brought before him
one after another. She opened some of them; and to lengthen out
the time, displayed the beauties of each particular stuff,
thinking in this manner to tire out his patience; but her
stratagem did not succeed. Being as unwilling as myself to have
the trunk where I lay opened, she left that to the last. When all
the rest were viewed, "Come," said the caliph, "let us see what
is in that." I am at a loss to tell you whether I was dead or
alive that moment; for I little thought of escaping such imminent

When Zobeide's favourite saw that the caliph persisted in having
this trunk opened: "As for this," said she, "your majesty will
please to dispense with the opening of it; there are some things
in it which I cannot shew you without your lady be present."
"Well, well," said the caliph, "since that is the case, I am
satisfied; order the trunks to be carried away." The words were
no sooner spoken than they were moved into her chamber, where I
began to revive again.

As soon as the eunuchs, who had brought them, were gone, she
opened the trunk in which I was confined. "Come out," said she;
"go up these stairs that lead to an upper room, and wait there
till I come to you." The door, which led to the stairs, she
locked after me; and that was no sooner done, than the caliph
came and sat down on the very trunk which had been my prison. The
occasion of this visit did not respect me. He wished to question
the lady about what she had seen or heard in the city. So they
conversed together some time; he then left her, and retired to
his apartment.

When she found the coast clear, she came to the chamber where I
lay concealed, and made many apologies for the alarms she had
given me. "My uneasiness," said she, "was no less than yours; you
cannot well doubt of that, since I have run the same risk out of
love to you. Perhaps another person in my situation would not,
upon so delicate an occasion, have had the presence of mind to
manage so difficult a business with so much dexterity; nothing
less than the love I had for you could have inspired me with
courage to do what I have. But come, take heart, the danger is
now over." After much tender conversation, she told me it was
time to go to rest, and that she would not fail to introduce me
to Zobeide her mistress, some hour on the morrow, "which will be
very easy," added she; "for the caliph never sees her but at
night." Encouraged by these words, I slept very well, or if my
sleep was interrupted, it was by agreeable disquietudes, caused
by the hopes of possessing a lady blest with so much wit and

The next day, before I was introduced to Zobeide, her favourite
instructed me how to conduct myself, mentioning what questions
she would probably put to me, and dictating the answers I was to
return. She then carried me into a very magnificent and richly
furnished hall. I had no sooner entered, than twenty female
slaves, advanced in age, dressed in rich and uniform habits, came
out of Zobeide's apartment, and placed themselves before the
throne in two equal rows; they were followed by twenty other
younger ladies, clothed after the same fashion, only their habits
appeared somewhat gayer. In the middle of these appeared Zobeide
with a majestic air, and so laden with jewels, that she could
scarcely walk. She ascended the throne, and the favourite lady,
who had accompanied her, stood just by her right hand; the other
ladies, who were slaves, being placed at some distance on each
side of the throne.

As soon as the caliph's lady was seated, the slaves who came in
first made a sign for me to approach. I advanced between the two
rows they had formed, and prostrated myself upon the carpet that
was under the princess's feet. She ordered me to rise, did me the
honour to ask my name, my family, and the state of my fortune; to
all which I gave her satisfactory answers, as I perceived, not
only by her countenance, but by her words. "I am glad," said she,
"that my daughter," (so she used to call the favourite lady,)
"for I look upon her as such after the care I have take of her
education, has made this choice; I approve of it, and consent to
your marriage. I will myself give orders for having it
solemnized; but I wish my daughter to remain with me ten days
before the solemnity; in that time I will speak to the caliph,
and obtain his consent: mean while do you remain here; you shall
be taken care of."

Pursuant to the commands of the caliph's lady, I remained ten
days in the women's apartments, and during that time was deprived
of the pleasure of seeing the favourite lady: but was so well
used by her orders, that I had no reason to be dissatisfied.

Zobeide told the caliph her resolution of marrying the favourite
lady; and the caliph leaving to her the liberty to act in the
business as she thought proper, granted the favourite a
considerable sum by way of settlement. When the ten days were
expired, Zobeide ordered the contract of marriage to be drawn up
and brought to her, and the necessary preparations being made for
the solemnity, the musicians and the dancers, both male and
female, were called in, and there were great rejoicings in the
palace for nine days. The tenth day being appointed for the last
ceremony of the marriage, the favourite lady was conducted to a
bath, and I to another. At night I had all manner of dishes
served up to me, and among others, one seasoned with garlic, such
as you have now forced me to eat. This I liked so well, that I
scarcely touched any of the other dishes. But to my misfortune,
when I rose from table, instead of washing my hands well, I only
wiped them; a piece of negligence of which I had never before
been guilty.

As it was then night, the whole apartment of the ladies was
lighted up so as to equal the brightness of day. Nothing was to
be heard through the palace but musical instruments, dances, and
acclamations of joy. My bride and I were introduced into a great
hall, where we were placed upon two thrones. The women who
attended her made her robe herself several times, according to
the usual custom on wedding days; and they shewed her to me every
time she changed her habit.

All these ceremonies being over, we were conducted to the nuptial
chamber: as soon as the company retired, I approached my wife;
but instead of returning my transports, she pushed me away, and
cried out, upon which all the ladies of the apartment came
running in to inquire the cause: and for my own part, I was so
thunderstruck, that I stood like a statue, without the power of
even asking what she meant. "Dear sister," said they to her,
"what has happened since we left you? Let us know, that we may
try to relieve you." "Take," said she, "take that vile fellow out
of my sight." "Why, madam?" I asked, "wherein have I deserved
your displeasure?" "You are a villain," said she in a furious
passion, "to eat garlic, and not wash your hands! Do you think I
would suffer such a polluted wretch to poison me? Down with him,
down with him on the ground," continued she, addressing herself
to the ladies, "and bring me a bastinado." They immediately did
as they were desired; and while some held my hands, and others my
feet, my wife, who was presently furnished with a weapon, laid on
me as long as she could stand. She then said to the ladies, "Take
him, send him to the judge, and let the hand be cut off with
which he fed upon the garlic dish."

"Alas!" cried I, "must I be beaten unmercifully, and, to complete
my affliction, have my hand cut off, for partaking of a dish
seasoned with garlic, and forgetting to wash my hands? What
proportion is there between the punishment and the crime? Curse
on the dish, on the cook who dressed it, and on him who served it

"All the ladies who had seen me receive the thousand strokes,
took pity on me, when they heard the cutting off of my hand
mentioned. "Dear madam, dear sister," said they to the favourite
lady, "you carry your resentment too far. We own he is a man
quite ignorant of the world, of your quality, and the respect
that is due to you: but we beseech you to overlook and pardon his
fault." "I have not received adequate satisfaction," said she; "I
will teach him to know the world; I will make him bear sensible
marks of his impertinence, and be cautious hereafter how he
tastes a dish seasoned with garlic without washing his hands."
They renewed their solicitations, fell down at her feet, and
kissing her fair hands, said, "Good madam, moderate your anger,
and grant us the favour we supplicate." She made no reply, but
got up, and after uttering a thousand reproaches against me,
walked out of the chamber: all the ladies followed her, leaving
me in inconceivable affliction.

I continued thus ten days, without seeing any body but an old
female slave that brought me victuals. I asked her what was
become of the favourite lady. "She is sick," said the old woman;
"she is sick of the poisoned smell with which you infected her.
Why did you not take care to wash your hands after eating of that
cursed dish?" "Is it possible," thought I, "that these ladies
can be so nice, and so vindictive for such a trifling fault!" I
loved my wife notwithstanding all her cruelty, and could not help
pitying her.

One day the old woman told me my spouse was recovered, and gone
to bathe, and would come to see me the next day. "So," said she,
"I would have you call up your patience, and endeavour to
accommodate yourself to her humour. For she is in other respects
a woman of good sense and discretion, and beloved by all the
ladies about the court of our respected mistress Zobeide."

My wife accordingly came on the following evening, and accosted
me thus: "You perceive that I must possess much tenderness to
you, after the affront you have offered me: but still I cannot be
reconciled till I have punished you according to your demerit, in
not washing your hands after eating of the garlic dish." She then
called the ladies, who, by her order, threw me upon the ground;
and after binding me fast, she had the barbarity to cut off my
thumbs and great toes herself, with a razor. One of the ladies
applied a certain root to staunch the blood; but by bleeding and
by the pain, I swooned away.

When I came to myself, they gave me wine to drink, to recruit my
strength. "Ah! madam," said I to my wife, "if ever I again eat of
a dish with garlic in it, I solemnly swear to wash my hands a
hundred and twenty times with alkali, with ashes, and with soap."
"Well," replied she, "upon that condition I am willing to forget
what is past, and live with you as my husband."

"This," continued the Bagdad merchant, addressing himself to the
company, "is the reason why I refused to eat of the dish seasoned
with what is now on the table."

The ladies applied to my wounds not only the root I mentioned,
but likewise some balsam of Mecca, which they were well assured
was not adulterated, because they had it out of the caliph's own
dispensatory. By virtue of that admirable balsam, I was in a few
days perfectly cured, and my wife and I lived together as
agreeably as if I had never eaten of the garlic dish. But having
been all my lifetime used to enjoy my liberty, I grew weary of
being confined to the caliph's palace; yet I said nothing to my
wife on the subject, for fear of displeasing her. However, she
suspected my feelings; and eagerly wished for liberty herself,
for it was gratitude alone that made her continue with Zobeide.
She represented to her mistress in such lively terms the
constraint I was under, in not living in the city with people of
my own rank, as I had always done, that the good princess chose
rather to deprive herself of the pleasure of having her favourite
about her than not to grant what we both equally desired.

A month after our marriage, my wife came into my room with
several eunuchs, each carrying a bag of silver. When the eunuchs
were gone; "You never told me," said she, "that you were uneasy
in being confined to court; but I perceived it, and have happily
found means to make you contented. My mistress Zobeide gives us
permission to quit the palace; and here are fifty thousand
sequins, of which she has made us a present, in order to enable
us to live comfortably in the city. Take ten thousand of them,
and go and buy us a house."

I quickly found a house for the money, and after furnishing it
richly, we went to reside in it, kept a great many slaves of both
sexes, and made a good figure. We thus began to live in a very
agreeable manner: but my felicity was of short continuance; for
at the end of a year my wife fell sick and died.

I might have married again, and lived honourably at Bagdad; but
curiosity to see the world put me upon another plan. I sold my
house, and after purchasing several kinds of merchandize, went
with a caravan to Persia; from Persia I travelled to Samarcand,
and from thence to this city.

"This," said the purveyor to the sultan of Casgar, "is the story
that the Bagdad merchant related in a company where I was
yesterday." "This story," said the sultan, "has something in it
extraordinary; but it does not come near that of the little
hunch-back." The Jewish physician prostrated himself before the
sultan's throne, and addressed the prince in the following
manner: "Sir, if you will be so good as to hear me, I flatter
myself you will be pleased with a story I have to tell you."
"Well spoken," said the sultan; "but if it be not more surprising
than that of little hunch-back, you must not expect to live."

The Jewish physician, finding the sultan of Casgar disposed to
hear him, gave the following relation.

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