Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 3 by Anon.

Part 4 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Hassan, or the commander of the faithful! Almighty God, enlighten
my understanding, and inform me of the truth, that I may know
what to trust." He then uncovered his shoulders, and shewed the
ladies the livid weals of the blows he had received. "Look," said
he, "judge whether these strokes could come to me in a dream, or
when I was asleep. For my part, I can affirm, that they were real
blows; I feel the smart of them yet, and that is a testimonial
there is no room to doubt. Now if I received these strokes in my
sleep, it is the most extraordinary thing in the world, and
surpasses my comprehension."

In this uncertainty Abou Hassan called to one of the officers
that stood near him: "Come hither," said he, "and bite the tip of
my ear, that I may know whether I am asleep or awake." The
officer obeyed, and bit so hard, that he made him cry out loudly
with the pain; the music struck up at the same time, and the
officers and ladies all began to sing, dance, and skip about Abou
Hassan, and made such a noise, that he was in a perfect ecstasy,
and played a thousand ridiculous pranks. He threw off his
caliph's habit, and his turban, jumped up in his shirt and
drawers, and taking hold of two of the ladies' hands, began
singing, jumping and cutting capers, so that the caliph could not
contain himself, but burst into such violent laughter, that he
fell backwards, and was heard above the noise of all the
musicians. He was so long before he could check himself, that it
had like to have been fatal. At last he got up, opened the
lattice, and putting out his head, cried "Abou Hassan, Abou
Hassan, have you a mind to kill me with laughing?"

As soon as the caliph's voice was heard, every body was silent,
and Abou Hassan, among the rest, who, turning his head to see
from whence the voice came, knew the caliph, and in him
recognised the Moussul merchant, but was not in the least
daunted; on the contrary he became convinced that he was awake,
and that all that had happened to him had been real, and not a
dream. He entered into the caliph's pleasantry. "Ha! ha!" said
he, looking at him with good assurance, "you are a merchant of
Moussul, and complain that I would kill you; you have been the
occasion of my using my mother so ill, and of my being sent to a
mad-house. It was you who treated the imaum and the four scheiks
in the manner they were used, and not me; I wash my hands of it.
It is you who have been the cause of all my disorders and
sufferings: in short, you are the aggressor, and I the injured

"Indeed, you are in the right, Abou Hassan," answered the caliph,
laughing all the while; "but to comfort you, and make you amends
for all your troubles, I call Heaven to witness, I am ready and
willing to make you what reparation you please to ask." After
these words, he came out of the closet into the hall, ordered one
of his most magnificent habits to be brought, commanded the
ladies to dress Abou Hassan in it, and when they had done, he
said, embracing him, "Thou art my brother; ask what thou wilt,
and thou shalt have it."

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "I beg of your
majesty to do me the favour to tell me what you did to disturb my
brain in this manner, and what was your design; for it is a thing
of the greatest importance for me to know, that I may perfectly
recover my senses."

The caliph was ready to give him this satisfaction, and said,
"First, you are to know, that I often disguise myself, and
particularly at night, to observe if all goes right in Bagdad;
and as I wish to know what passes in its environs, I set apart
the first day of every month to make an excursion, sometimes on
one side, sometimes on another, and always return by the bridge.
The evening that you invited me to supper, I was beginning my
rounds, and in our conversation you told me, that the only thing
you wished for was to be caliph for four-and-twenty hours, to
punish the imaum of your mosque and his four counsellors. I
fancied that this desire of yours would afford me diversion, and
thought immediately how I might procure you the satisfaction you
wished. I had about me a certain powder, which immediately throws
the person who takes it into a sound sleep for a certain time. I
put a dose of it, without being perceived by you, into the last
glass I presented to you, upon which you fell fast asleep, and I
ordered my slave to carry you to my palace, and came away without
shutting the door. I have no occasion to repeat what happened
when you awoke, nor during the whole day till evening, but after
you had been regaled by my orders, one of the ladies put another
dose of the same powder into a glass she gave you; you fell
asleep as before, and the same slave carried you home, and left
the door open. You have told me all that happened to you
afterwards. I never imagined that you could have suffered so much
as you have done. But as I have a great regard for you, I will do
every thing to comfort you, and make you forget all your
sufferings; think of what I can do to serve you, and ask me
boldly what you wish."

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "how great
soever my tortures may have been, they are all blotted out of my
remembrance, since I understand my sovereign lord and master had
a share in them. I doubt not in the least of your majesty's
bounty; but as interest never governed me, and you give me
liberty to ask a favour, I beg that it may be that of having
access to your person, to enjoy the happiness of admiring, all my
lifetime, your virtues."

This proof of disinterestedness in Abou Hassan confirmed the
esteem the caliph had entertained for him. "I am pleased with
your request," said he, "and grant you free access to my person
at all times and all hours." At the same time he assigned him an
apartment in the palace, and, in regard to his pension, told him,
that he would not have him apply to his treasurer, but come
always to him for an order upon him, and immediately commanded
his private treasurer to give him a purse containing a thousand
pieces of gold. Abou Hassan made a low prostration, and the
caliph left him to go to council.

Abou Hassan took this opportunity to go and inform his mother of
his good fortune, and that what had happened was not a dream; for
that he had actually been caliph, had acted as such, and received
all the honours; and that she had no reason to doubt of it, since
he had this confirmed by the caliph himself.

It was not long before this story of Abou Hassan was spread
throughout Bagdad, and carried into all the provinces both far
and near, without the omission of a single circumstance.

The new favourite Abou Hassan was always with the caliph; for, as
he was a man of a pleasent temper, and created mirth wherever he
went by his wit and drollery, the caliph formed no party of
diversion without him, and sometimes carried him to visit his
consort Zobeide, to whom he had related his story. Zobeide, who
observed that every time he came with the caliph, he had his eyes
always fixed upon one of her slaves, called Nouzhatoul-aouadat,
resolved to tell the caliph of it. "Commander of the faithful,"
said she one day, "you do not observe that every time Abou Hassan
attends you in your visits to me, he never keeps his eyes off
Nouzhatoul-aouadat, and makes her blush, which is almost a
certain sign that she entertains no aversion for him. If you
approve of it, we will make a match between them."

"Madam," replied the caliph, "you remind me of what I ought to
have done before. I know Abou Hassan's opinion respecting
marriage from himself, and have always promised him a wife that
should please him. I am glad you mentioned the circumstance; for
I know not how I came to forget it. But it is better that Abou
Hassan should follow his own inclination, and choose for himself.
If Nouzhatoul-aouadat is not averse to it, we ought not to
hesitate upon their marriage; and since they are both present,
they have only to say that they consent."

Abou Hassan threw himself at the caliph's and Zobeide's feet, to
shew the sense he had of their goodness; and rising up, said, "I
cannot receive a wife from better hands, but dare not hope that
Nouzhatoul-aouadat will give me her hand as readily as I give her
mine." At these words he looked at the princess's slave, who
shewed by her respectful silence, and the sudden blush that arose
in her cheeks, that she was disposed to obey the caliph and her
mistress Zobeide.

The marriage was solemnized, and the nuptials celebrated in the
palace, with great rejoicings, which lasted several days. Zobeide
made her slave considerable presents, and the caliph did the same
to Abou Hassan. The bride was conducted to the apartment the
caliph had assigned Abou Hassan, who waited for her with all the
impatience of a bridegroom, and received her with the sound of
all sorts of instruments, and musicians of both sexes, who made
the air echo with their concert.

After these feasts and rejoicings, which lasted several days, the
newly-married couple were left to pursue their loves in peace.
Abou Hassan and his spouse were charmed with each other, lived
together in perfect union, and seldom were asunder, but when
either he paid his respects to the caliph, or she hers to
Zobeide. Indeed, Nouzhatoul-aouadat was endued with every
qualification capable of gaining Abou Hassan's love and
attachment, was just such a wife as he had described to the
caliph, and fit to sit at the head of his table. With these
dispositions they could not fail to pass their lives agreeably.
They kept a good table covered with the nicest and choicest
rarities in season, by an excellent cook, who took upon him to
provide every thing. Their sideboard was always stored with
exquisite wines placed within their reach when at table, where
they enjoyed themselves in agreeable conversation, and afterwards
entertained each other with some pleasantry or other, which made
them laugh more or less, as they had in the day met with
something to divert them; and in the evenings, which they
consecrated to mirth, they had generally some slight repast of
dried sweetmeats, choice fruits, and cakes, and at each glass
invited each other by new songs to drink, and sometimes
accompanied their voices with a lute, or other instruments which
they could both touch.

Abou Hassan and Nouzhatoul-aouadat led this pleasant life
unattentive to expense, until at length the caterer, who had
disbursed all his and their money for these expenses, brought
them in a long bill in hope of having an advance of cash. They
found the amount to be so considerable, that all the presents
which the caliph and Zobeide had given them at their marriage
were but just enough to pay him. This made them reflect seriously
on what was passed, which, however, was no remedy for the present
evil. But they agreed to pay the caterer; and having sent for
him, gave him all they owed him, without considering the
difficulty they should be in immediately after.

The caterer went away highly pleased at receiving so large a sum,
though Abou Hassan and his wife were not so well satisfied with
seeing the bottom of their purse, but remained a long time
silent, and very much embarrassed, to find themselves reduced to
poverty the very first year of their marriage. Abou Hassan
remembered that the caliph, when he took him into the palace, had
promised never to let him want. But when he considered how
prodigal he had been of his money, was unwilling to expose
himself to the shame of letting the caliph know the ill use he
had made of his bounty, and that he wanted a supply. Besides, he
had made over his patrimony to his mother, when the caliph had
received him near his person, and was afraid to apply to her,
lest she should discover that he had returned to the same
extravagance he had been guilty of after his father's death. His
wife, on the other hand, regarded Zobeide's generosity, and the
liberty she had given her to marry, as more than a sufficient
recompense for her service, and thought she had no right to ask

Abou Hassan at last broke silence, and looking at his wife, said,
"I see you are in the same embarrassment as myself, and thinking
what we must do in this unhappy juncture, when our money fails us
so unexpectedly. I do not know what your sentiments may be; but
mine are, let what will happen, not to retrench our expenses in
the least; and I believe you will come into my opinion. The point
is, how to support them without stooping to ask the caliph or
Zobeide: and I think I have fallen on the means; but we must
assist each other."

This discourse of Abou Hassan very much pleased his wife, and
gave her some hopes. "I was thinking so as well as you," said
she; "but durst not explain my thoughts, because I do not know
how we can help ourselves; and must confess, that what you tell
me gives me a revival of pleasure. Since you say you have found
out a resource, and my assistance is necessary, you need but tell
me in what way, and I will do all that lies in my power."

"I was sure," replied Abou Hassan, "that you would not fail me in
a business which concerns us both; and therefore I must tell you,
this want of money has made me think of a plan which will supply
us, at least for a time. It consists in a little trick we must
put, I upon the caliph and you upon Zobeide, and at which, as I
am sure they will both be diverted, it will answer advantageously
for us. You and I will both die." "Not I indeed," interrupted
Nouzhatoul-aouadat; "you may die by yourself, if you please, but
I am not so weary of this life; and whether you are pleased or
not, will not die so soon. If you have nothing else to propose,
you may die by yourself; for I assure you I shall not join you."

"You are a woman of such vivacity and wonderful quickness,"
replied Abou Hassan, "that you scarcely give me time to explain
my design. Have but a little patience, and you shall find that
you will be ready enough to die such a death as I intend; for
surely you could not think I meant a real death?" "Well," said
his wife, "if it is but a sham death you design, I am at your
service, and you may depend on my zeal to second you in this
manner of dying; but I must tell you truly, I am very unwilling
to die, as I apprehended you at first."

"Be but silent a little," said Abou Hassan, "and I will tell you
what I promise. I will feign myself dead, and you shall lay me
out in the middle of my chamber, with my turban upon my face, my
feet towards Mecca, as if ready to be carried out to burial. When
you have done this, you must lament, and weep bitterly, as is
usual in such cases, tear your clothes and hair, or pretend to do
it, and go all in tears, with your locks dishevelled, to Zobeide.
The princess will of course inquire the cause of your grief; and
when you have told her, with words intermixed with sobs, she will
pity you, give you money to defray the expense of my funeral, and
a piece of good brocade to cover my body, that my interment may
be the more magnificent, and to make you a new dress in the room
of that you will have torn. As soon as you return with the money
and the brocade, I will rise, lay you in my place, and go and act
the same part with the caliph, who I dare say will be as generous
to me as Zobeide will have been to you."

Nouzhatoul-aouadat highly approved the project, and said to Abou
Hassan, "Come, lose no time; strip to your shirt and drawers,
while I prepare a winding sheet. I know how to bury as well as
any body; for while I was in Zobeide's service, when any of my
fellow-slaves died, I had the conducting of the funeral." Abou
Hassan did as his wife mentioned, and laid himself on the sheet
which she had spread on the carpet in the middle of the room. As
soon as he had crossed his arms, his wife wrapped him up, turned
his feet towards Mecca, and put a piece of fine muslin and his
turban upon his face, so that nothing seemed wanting but to carry
him out to be buried. After this she pulled off her head-dress,
and with tears in her eyes, her hair dishevelled, and seeming to
tear it off, with a dismal cry and lamentation, beating her face
and breast with all the marks of the most lively grief, ran
across the court to Zobeide's apartments, who, hearing the voice
of a person crying very loud, commanded some of her women to see
who it was; they returned and told her that it was Nouzhatoul-
aouadat, who was approaching in a deplorable condition.

The princess, impatient to know what had happened to her, rose up
immediately, and went to meet her at the door of her ante-
chamber. Nouzhatoul-aouadat played her part to perfection. As
soon as she saw Zobeide, who held the door open, she redoubled
her cries, tore her hair off by handfuls, beat her face and
breast, and threw herself at her feet, bathing them with her

Zobeide, amazed to see her slave in such extraordinary
affliction, asked what had happened; but, instead of answering,
she continued her sobs; and at last feigning to strive to check
them, said, with words interrupted with sighs, "Alas! my most
honoured lady and mistress, what greater misfortune could have
befallen me than this, which obliges me to throw myself at your
highness's feet)' God prolong your days, my most respectable
princess, in perfect health, and grant you many happy years! Abou
Hassan! poor Abou Hassan! whom you honoured with your esteem, and
gave me for a husband, is no more!"

At these words Nouzhatoul-aouadat redoubled her tears and sighs,
and threw herself again at the princess's feet. Zobeide was
extremely concerned at this news. "Abou Hassan dead!" cried she;
"that agreeable, pleasant man! I did not expect his death so
soon; he seemed to promise a long life, and well deserved to
enjoy it!" She then also burst into tears, as did all her women,
who had been often witnesses of Abou Hassan's pleasantries when
the caliph brought him to amuse the princess Zobeide, and all
together continued for some time bewailing his loss. At length
the princess Zobeide broke silence: "Wicked woman!" cried she,
addressing herself to the false widow, "perhaps you may have
occasioned his death. Your ill temper has given him so much
vexation, that you have at last brought him to his grave."
Nouzhatoul-aouadat seemed much hurt at the reproaches of Zobeide:
"Ah, madam," cried she, "I do not think I ever gave your majesty,
while I was your slave, reason to entertain so disadvantageous an
opinion of my conduct to a husband who was so dear to me. I
should think myself the most wretched of women if you were
persuaded of this. I behaved to Abou Hassan as a wife should do
to a husband for whom she has a sincere affection; and I may say,
without vanity, that I had for him the same regard he had for me.
I am persuaded he would, were he alive, justify me fully to your
majesty; but, madam," added she, renewing her tears, "his time
was come, and that was the only cause of his death."

Zobeide, as she had really observed in her slave a uniformly
equal temper, mildness, great docility and zeal for her service,
which shewed she was rather actuated by inclination than duty,
hesitated not to believe her on her word, and ordered her
treasurer to fetch a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of rich

The slave soon returned with the purse and piece of brocade,
which, by Zobeide's order, she delivered to Nouzhatoul-aouadat,
who threw herself again at the princess's feet, and thanked her
with great self-satisfaction at finding she had succeeded so
well. "Go," said Zobeide, "use that brocade to cover the corpse
of your husband, and with the money bury him handsomely, as he
deserves. Moderate the transport of your afflictions: I will take
care of you."

As soon as Nouzhatoul-aouadat got out of the princess's presence,
she dried up her tears, and returned with joy to Abou Hassan, to
give him an account of her good success. When she came home she
burst out a laughing on seeing her husband still stretched out in
the middle of the floor; she ran to him, bade him rise and see
the fruits of his stratagem. He arose, and rejoiced with his wife
at the sight of the purse and brocade. Unable to contain herself
at the success of her artifice, "Come, husband," said she,
laughing, "let me act the dead part, and see if you can manage
the caliph as well as I have done Zobeide."

"That is the temper of all women," replied Abou Hassan, "who, we
may well say, have always the vanity to believe they can do
things better than men, though at the same time what good they do
is by their advice. It would be odd indeed, if I, who laid this
plot myself, could not carry it on as well as you. But let us
lose no time in idle discourse; lie down in my place, and witness
if I do not come off with as much applause."

Abou Hassan wrapped up his wife as she had done him, and with his
turban unrolled, like a man in the greatest affliction, ran to
the caliph, who was holding a private council with Jaaffier and
other confidential viziers. He presented himself at the door, and
the officer, knowing he had free access, opened it. He entered
holding with one hand his handkerchief before his eyes, to hide
the feigned tears, which trickled down his cheeks, and striking
his breast with the other, with exclamations expressing
extraordinary grief.

The caliph, always used to see Abou Hassan with a merry
countenance, was very much surprised to behold him in so much
distress. He interrupted the business of the council to inquire
the cause of his grief. "Commander of the faithful," answered
Abou Hassan, with repeated sighs and sobs, "God preserve your
majesty on the throne, which you fill so gloriously! a greater
calamity could not have befallen me than what I now lament. Alas!
Nouzhatoul-aouadat whom you in your bounty gave me for a wife to
gladden my existence, alas!" at this exclamation Abou Hassan
pretended to have his heart so full, that he could not utter
more, but poured forth a flood of tears.

The caliph, who now understood that Abou Hassan came to tell him
of the death of his wife, seemed much concerned, and said to him
with an air which shewed how much he regretted her loss, "God be
merciful to her: she was a good slave, and we gave her to you
with an intention to make you happy: she deserved a longer life."
The tears then ran down his face, so that he was obliged to pull
out his handkerchief to wipe them off. The grief of Abou Hassan,
and the tears of the caliph, excited those of Jaaffier and the
other viziers. They bewailed the death of Nouzhatoul- aouadat,
who, on her part, was only impatient to hear how Abou Hassan

The caliph had the same suspicion of the husband that Zobeide had
of the wife, and imagined that he had occasioned her death.
"Wretch!" said he, in a tone of indignation, "have not you been
the cause of your wife's death by your ill treatment of her? You
ought at least to have had some regard for the princess my
consort, who loved her more than the rest of her slaves, yet
consented to give her to you. What a return for her kindness!"

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, affecting to
weep more bitterly than before, "can your majesty for a moment
suppose that Abou Hassan, whom you have loaded with your favours
and kindness, and on whom you have conferred honours he could
never have aspired to, can have been capable of such ingratitude?
I loved Nouzhatoul-aouadat my wife as much on these accounts, as
for the many good qualities she possessed, and which drew from me
all the attachment, tenderness, and love she deserved. But, my
lord," added he, "she was to die, and God would no longer suffer
me to enjoy a happiness for which I was indebted to your majesty
and your beloved consort."

Abou Hassan dissembled so well, that the caliph, who had never
heard how extravagantly he and his wife had lived, no longer
doubting his sincerity, ordered his treasurer, who was present,
to give Abou Hassan a purse of a hundred pieces of gold and a
piece of brocade. Abou Hassan immediately cast himself at the
caliph's feet, and thanked him for his present. "Follow the
treasurer," said the monarch; "throw the brocade over the corpse,
and with the money shew the last testimony of thy love for thy

Abou Hassan made no reply to these obliging words of the caliph,
but retiring with a low prostration, followed the treasurer; and
as soon as he had got the purse and piece of brocade, went home,
well pleased with having found out so quick and easy a way of
supplying the necessity which had given him so much uneasiness.

Nouzhatoul-aouadat, weary with lying so long in one posture,
waited not till Abou Hassan bade her rise; but as soon as she
heard the door open, sprang up, ran to her husband, and asked him
if he had imposed on the caliph as cleverly as she had done on
Zobeide. "You see," said he, shewing her the stuff, and shaking
the purse, "that I can act a sorrowful husband for a living wife,
as well as you can a weeping widow for a husband not dead." Abou
Hassan, however, was not without his fears that this double plot
might be attended with some ill consequences. He thought it would
not be amiss to put his wife on her guard as to what might
happen, that they might aft in concert. "For," added he, "the
better we succeed in embarrassing the caliph and Zobeide, the
more they will be pleased at last, and perhaps may shew their
satisfaction by greater liberality." This last consideration
induced them to carry on their stratagem farther.

The caliph, though he had important affairs to decide, was so
impatient to condole with the princess on the death of her slave,
that he rose up as soon as Abou Hassan was gone, and put off the
council to another day. "Follow me," said he to Mesrour, who
always attended him wherever he went, and was in all his
councils, "let us go and share with the princess the grief which
the death of her slave Nouzhatoul-aouadat must have occasioned."

Accordingly they went to Zobeide's apartment, whom the caliph
found sitting on a sofa, much afflicted, and still in tears.
"Madam," said the caliph, going up to her, "it is unnecessary to
tell you how much I partake with you in your affliction; since
you must be sensible that what gives you pleasure or trouble, has
the same effect on me. But we are all mortal, and must surrender
up to God that life he has given us, when he requires it.
Nouzhatoul-aouadat, your faithful slave, was endued with
qualifications that deserved your esteem, and I cannot but
approve your expressing it after her death; but consider all your
grief will not restore her to life. Therefore, madam, if you love
me, and will take my advice, be comforted for this loss, take
care of a life which you know is precious to me, and constitutes
all the happiness of mine. "

If the princess was charmed with these tender sentiments which
the caliph expressed in his compliments, she was amazed to hear
of Nouzhatoulaouadat's death. This news threw her into such
astonishment, that she was not able to return an answer for some
time. At last recovering, she replied with an air expressive of
surprise, "Commander of the faithful, I am very sensible of all
your tender sentiments; but give me leave to say, I cannot
comprehend the news you tell me of the death of my slave, who is
in perfect health. My affliction is for the death of Abou Hassan,
her husband, your favourite, whom I esteemed, as much for the
regard you had for him, as his having so often diverted me
agreeably, and for whom I had as great a value as yourself. But
the little concern you shew for his death, and your so soon
forgetting a man in whose company you have so often told me you
took so much pleasure, surprises me; and this insensibility seems
the greater, from the deception you would put upon me in changing
his death for that of my slave."

The caliph, who thought that he was perfectly well informed of
the death of the slave, and had just reason to believe so,
because he had both seen and heard Abou Hassan, laughed, and
shrugged up his shoulders, to hear Zobeide talk in this manner.
"Mesrour," said he, to the eunuch, "what do you think of the
princess's discourse? Do not women sometimes lose their senses;
for you have heard and seen all as well as myself?" Then turning
to Zobeide, "Madam," said he, "shed no more tears for Abou
Hassan, for I can assure you he is well; but rather bewail the
death of your dear slave. It is not many moments since her
husband came in the most inexpressible affliction, to tell me of
the death of his wife. I gave him a purse of a hundred pieces of
gold and a piece of brocade, to comfort him, and bury her; and
Mesrour, who was present, can tell you the same."

The princess took this discourse of the caliph's to be all a
jest, and thought he had a mind to impose upon her. "Commander of
the faithful," replied she, "though you are used to banter, I
must tell you, this is not a proper time for pleasantry. What I
tell you is very serious; I do not talk of my slave's death, but
of Abou Hassan's, her husband, whose fate I bewail, and so ought
you too." "Madam," said the caliph, putting on a grave
countenance, "I tell you without raillery that you are deceived;
Nouzhatoul-aouadat is dead, and Abou Hassan is alive, and in
perfect health."

Zobeide was much piqued at this dry answer of the caliph.
"Commander of the faithful," replied she smartly, "God preserve
you from continuing longer in this mistake, surely you would make
me think your mind is not as usual. Give me leave to repeat to
you once more, that it is Abou Hassan who is dead, and that my
slave Nouzhatoul-aouadat, his widow, is living. It is not an hour
since she went from hence. She came here in so disconsolate a
state, that the sight of her was enough to have drawn tears from
my eyes, if she had not told me her affliction. All my women, who
wept with me, can bear me witness, and tell you also that I made
her a present of a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of brocade;
the grief which you found me in, was on account of the death of
her husband; and just at the instant you entered, I was going to
send you a compliment of condolence."

At these words of Zobeide, the caliph cried out in a fit of
laughter, "This, madam, is a strange piece of obstinacy; but,"
continued he seriously, "you may depend upon Nouzhatoul-aouadat's
being dead." "I tell you no, sir," replied Zobeide sharply; "it
is Abou Hassan that is dead, and you shall never make me believe

Upon this the caliph's anger rose in his countenance. He seated
himself on the sofa at some distance from the princess, and
speaking to Mesrour, said, "Go immediately, see which it is, and
bring me word; for though I am certain that it is Nouzhatoul-
aouadat, I would rather take this method than be any longer
obstinately positive about the matter, though of its certainty I
am perfectly satisfied." No sooner had the caliph commanded than
Mesrour was gone. "You will see," continued he, addressing
himself to Zobeide, "in a moment, which of us is right." "For my
part," replied Zobeide, "I know very well that I am in the right,
and you will find it to be Abou Hassan." "And for myself,"
returned the caliph, "I am so sure that it is Nouzhatoul-aouadat,
that I will lay you what wager you please that Abou Hassan is

"Do not think to come off so," said Zobeide; "I accept your
wager, and I am so well persuaded of his death, that I would
willingly lay the thing dearest to me in the world against what
you will, though it were of less value. You know what I have in
my disposal, and what I value most; propose the bet, and I will
stand to it."

"Since it is so," said the caliph, "I will lay my garden of
pleasures against your palace of paintings, though the one is
worth much more than the other." "Is the question at present,"
replied Zobeide, "if your garden is more valuable than my palace?
That is not the point. You have made choice of what you thought
fit belonging to me, as an equivalent against what you lay; I
accept the wager, and that I will abide by it, I take God to
witness." The caliph took the same oath, and both waited
Mesrour's return.

While the caliph and Zobeide were disputing so earnestly, and
with so much warmth, Abou Hassan, who foresaw their difference,
was very attentive to whatever might happen. As soon as he
perceived Mesrour through a window, at which he sat talking with
his wife, and observed that he was coming directly to their
apartment, he guessed his commission, and bade his wife make
haste to act the dead part once more, as they had agreed, without
loss of time; but they were so pressed, that Abou Hassan had much
ado to wrap up his wife, and lay the piece of brocade which the
caliph had given him upon her, before Mesrour reached the house.
This done, he opened the door of his apartment, and with a
melancholy, dejected countenance, and his handkerchief before his
eyes, went and sat down at the head of the pretended deceased.

By the time he was seated, Mesrour came into the room. The dismal
sight which met his eyes, gave him a secret joy on account of the
errand the caliph had sent him on. Abou Hassan rose up to meet
him, and kissing his hand out of respect, said, sighing and
sobbing, "You see me under the greatest calamity that ever could
have befallen me the death of my dear wife, Nouzhatoul-aouadat,
whom you honoured with your favours."

Mesrour, affected by this discourse, could not refuse some tears
to the memory of the deceased. He lifted up the cloth a little at
the head, and peeping under it, let it down again, and said, with
a deep sigh, "There is no other God but Allah, we must all submit
to his will, and every creature must return to him. Nouzhatoul-
aouadat, my good sister," added he, sighing, "thy days have been
few: God have mercy on thee." Then turning to Abou Hassan, who
was all the time in tears, "We may well say," added he, "that
women sometimes have whims, and lose their senses in a most
unpardonable manner; for Zobeide, good mistress as she is, is in
that situation at present; she will maintain to the caliph that
you are dead, and not your wife; and whatever the caliph can say
to the contrary, he cannot persuade her otherwise. He called me
to witness and confirm this truth; for you know I was present
when you came and told him the sorrowful news: but all signifies
nothing. They are both positive; and the caliph, to convince
Zobeide, has sent me to know the truth, but I fear I shall not be
believed; for when women once take up a thing, they are not to be
beaten out of it."

"God keep the commander of the faithful in the possession and
right use of his senses," replied Abou Hassan, still sighing and
weeping; "you see how it is, and that I have not imposed upon his
majesty. And I wish to Heaven," continued he, to dissemble the
better, "that I had no occasion to have told him the melancholy
and afflicting news. Alas! I cannot enough express my irreparable
loss!" "That is true," replied Mesrour, "and I can assure you I
take a great share in your affliction; but you must be comforted,
and not abandon yourself to your grief. I leave you with
reluctance, to return to the caliph; but I beg the favour of you
not to bury the corpse till I come again; for I will assist at
the interment, and accompany it with my prayers." Mesrour went to
give an account of his visit. Abou Hassan attended him to the
door, told him he did not deserve the honour he intended him: and
for fear Mesrour should return to say something else, followed
him with his eyes for some time, and when he saw him at a
distance, returned to his wife and released her. "This is
already," said he, "a new scene of mirth, but I fancy it will not
be the last; for certainly the princess Zobeide will not believe
Mesrour, but will laugh at him, since she has too substantial a
reason to the contrary; therefore we must expect some new event."
While Abou Hassan was talking thus, Nouzhatoul-aouadat had time
to put on her clothes again, and both went and sat down on a sofa
opposite to the window, where they could see all that passed.

In the mean time, Mesrour reached Zobeide's apartment, and going
into her closet laughing, clapped his hands like one who had
something very agreeable to tell.

The caliph, naturally impatient, and piqued a little at the
princess's contradiction, as soon as he saw Mesrour, "Vile
slave," said he, "is this a time to laugh? Why do not you tell me
which is dead, the husband or the wife?"

"Commander of the faithful," answered Mesrour, putting on a
serious countenance, "it is Nouzhatoul-aouadat who is dead, for
the loss of whom About Hassan is as much afflicted as when he
appeared before your majesty." The caliph not giving him time to
pursue his story, interrupted him, and cried out, laughing
heartily, "Good news! Zobeide, your mistress, was a moment ago
possessed of the palace of paintings, and now it is mine. She
staked it against my garden of pleasures, since you went;
therefore you could not have done me greater pleasure. I will
take care to reward you: but give me a true account of what you

"Commander of the faithful," said Mesrour, "when I came to Abou
Hassan's apartment, I found the door open, and he was bewailing
the death of his wife. He sat at the head of the deceased, who
was laid out in the middle of the room, with her feet towards
Mecca, and was covered with the piece of brocade which your
majesty presented to Abou Hassan. After I had expressed the share
I took in his grief, I went and lifted up the pall at the head,
and knew Nouzhatoul-aouadat, though hr face was much swelled and
changed. I exhorted Abou Hassan in the best manner I could to be
comforted; and when I came away, told him I would attend at his
wife's funeral, and desired him not to remove the corpse till I
came. This is all I can tell your majesty." "I ask no more," said
the caliph, laughing heartily, "and I am well satisfied with your
exactness." Then addressing himself to Zobeide, "Well, madam,"
said he, "have you yet any thing to say against so certain a
truth? Will you still believe that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is alive,
and that Abou Hassan is dead? And will you not own that you have
lost your wager?"

"How, sir," replied Zobeide, who would not believe one word
Mesrour said, "do you think that I regard that impertinent fellow
of a slave, who knows not what he says? I am not blind or mad.
With these eyes I saw Nouzhatoul-aouadat in the greatest
affliction; I spoke to her myself, and she told me that her
husband was dead." "Madam," replied Mesrour, "I swear to you by
your own life, and that of the commander of the faithful, which
are both dear to me, that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is dead, and Abou
Hassan is living."

"Thou liest, base despicable slave," said Zobeide in a rage, "and
I will confound thee immediately." Clapping her hands together,
she called her women, who all approached. "Come hither," said the
princess to them, "and speak the truth. Who was that who came and
spoke with me a little before the caliph entered?" The women all
answered that it was poor afflicted Nouzhatoul-aouadat. "And
what," added she, addressing herself to her treasurer, "did I
order you to give her?" "Madam," answered the treasurer, "I gave
Nouzhatoul-aouadat, by your orders, a purse of a hundred pieces
of gold and a piece of brocade, which she carried away with her."
"Well, then, sorry slave," said Zobeide to Mesrour, in passion,
"what have you to say to all this? Whom do you think now I ought
to believe, you or my treasurer, my women, and myself?"

Mesrour did not want for arguments to contradict the princess;
but, as he was afraid of provoking her too much, chose rather to
be silent, though he was satisfied that the wife was dead, and
not the husband.

During the whole of this dispute between Zobeide and Mesrour, the
caliph, who heard the evidence on both sides, and was persuaded
of the contrary of what the princess asserted, because he had
himself seen and spoken to Abou Hassan, and from what Mesrour had
told him, laughed heartily to see Zobeide so exasperated.
"Madam," said he to her, "once more I repeat that I know not who
was the author of that saying, that ‘Women sometimes lose their
wits,' but I am sure you make it good. Mesrour has just come from
Abou Hassan's, and tells you that he saw Nouzhatoul-aouadat lying
dead in the middle of the room, Abou Hassan alive, and sitting by
her; and yet you will not believe this evidence, which nobody can
reasonably refuse; I cannot comprehend this conduit."

Zobeide would not hear the caliph. "Pardon me, commander of the
faithful," replied she, "if I suspect you: I see that you have
contrived with Mesrour to vex me, and to try my patience. And as
I perceive that this report was concerted between you, I beg
leave to send a person to Abou Hassan's, to know whether or not I
am in the wrong."

The caliph consented, and the princess charged with this
important commission an old nurse, who had lived with her from
her infancy. "Hark you nurse," said she, "you see my dispute with
the commander of the faithful, and Mesrour; I need tell you no
more. Go to Abou Hassan's or rather to Nouzhatoul-aouadat's, for
Abou Hassan is dead, and clear up this matter for me. If you
bring me good news, a handsome present is your reward: make
haste, and return immediately."

The nurse set out, to the great joy of the caliph, who was
delighted to see Zobeide in this embarrassment; but Mesrour,
extremely mortified to find the princess so angry with him, did
all he could to appease her, and to make her and the caliph both
satisfied with him. He was overjoyed when Zobeide sent the nurse;
because he was persuaded that the report she must make would
agree with his, justify him, and restore him to her favour.

In the mean time Abou Hassan, who watched at the window,
perceived the nurse at a distance, and guessing that she was sent
by Zobeide, called his wife, and told her that the princess's
nurse was coming to know the truth. "Therefore," said he, "make
haste and lay me out." Accordingly Nouzhatoul-aouadat covered him
with the brocade Zobeide had given her, and put his turban upon
his face. The nurse, eager to acquit herself of her commission,
hobbled as fast as age would allow her, and entering the room,
perceived Nouzhatoul-aouadat in tears, her hair dishevelled, and
seated at the head of her husband, beating her breast, with all
the expressions of violent grief.

The good old nurse went directly to the false widow. "My dear
Nouzhatoul-aouadat," said she, with a sorrowful countenance, "I
come not to interrupt your grief and tears for a husband whom you
loved so tenderly." "Ah! good mother," replied the counterfeit
widow, "you see my misfortune, and how unhappy I am from the loss
of my beloved Abou Hassan. Abou Hassan, my dear husband!" cried
she, "what have I done that you should leave me so soon? Have I
not always preferred your will to my own? Alas! what will become
of poor Nouzhatoul-aouadat?"

"This black-faced Mesrour," cried the nurse, lifting up her
hands, "deserves to be punished for having caused so great a
difference between my good mistress and the commander of the
faithful, by the falsehood he has told them. Daughter," continued
she, "that villain Mesrour has asserted, with inconceivable
impudence, before our good mistress, that you were dead, and Abou
Hassan was alive."

"Alas! my good mother," cried Nouzhatoul-aouadat, "I wish to
Heaven that it was true! I should not be in this sorrowful state,
nor bewail a husband so dear to me!" At these words she wept
afresh, and with redoubled tears and cries feigned the deepest

The nurse was so much moved by her tears, that she sat down by
her, and cried too. Then gently lifting up the turban and cloth,
looked at the face of the corpse. "Ah! poor Abou Hassan," she
cried, covering his face again, "God have mercy upon thee. Adieu,
child," said she to Nouzhatoul-aouadat: "if I could stay longer
with you, I would with all my heart; but I am obliged to return
immediately, to deliver my mistress from the uneasiness that
black villain has occasioned her, by his impudent lie, assuring
her with an oath that you were dead."

As soon as the nurse was gone, Nouzhatoul-aouadat wiped her eyes
and released Abou Hassan; they both went and sat down on a sofa
against the window, expecting what would be the end of this
stratagem, and to be ready to act according as circumstances
might require.

The nurse, in the mean time, made all the haste she could to
Zobeide. The pleasure of carrying the princess news favourable to
her wager, but still more the hopes of a good reward, added wings
to her feet, and running into the princess's closet quite out of
breath, she gave her a true account of all she had seen. Zobeide
hearkened to the old woman's relation with a most sensible
pleasure; and when she had done, said, with a tone which shewed
triumph at having, as she supposed, won her wager: "Repeat it
once more before the caliph, who looks upon us all to be fools,
would make us believe we have no sense of religion, nor fear of
God; and tell your story to that wicked black slave, who had the
insolence to assert a wilful falsehood."

Mesrour, who expected the nurse's report would prove favourable
on his side, was much mortified to find it so much the contrary,
and so vexed at the anger Zobeide expressed against him, for a
thing which he thought himself surer of than any body, that he
was glad of an opportunity of speaking his mind freely to the old
women, which he durst not do to the princess. "Old toothless,"
said he to the nurse, "you are a liar, and there is no truth in
what you say; for I saw with my own eyes Nouzhatoul-aouadat laid
out in the middle of the room."

"You are a notorious liar yourself," replied the nurse, with an
insulting air, "to dare maintain so great a falsity before my
face, who am just come from seeing Abou Hassan dead, laid out,
and have left his wife alive." "I am not an impostor," replied
Mesrour; "it is you who endeavour to lead us all into error."

"What impudence," said the nurse, "to dare tell me I lie in the
presence of their majesties, when I saw just now with my own eyes
what I have had the honour to tell them." "Indeed, nurse,"
answered Mesrour again, "you had better hold your tongue, for you
certainly doat."

Zobeide, who could no longer endure this want of respect in
Mesrour, who, without any regard to her, treated her nurse so
injuriously in her presence, without giving the old lady time to
reply to so gross an affront, said to the caliph, "Commander of
the faithful, I demand justice for this insolence to us both."
She was so enraged she could say no more, but burst into tears.

The caliph, who had heard all the dispute, thought it very
intricate. He mused some time, and could not tell what to think
of so many contradictions. The princess on her part, as well as
Mesrour, the nurse, and all the women slaves, who were present,
were as much puzzled, and remained silent. At last the caliph,
addressing himself to Zobeide, said, "I see we are all liars;
myself first, then you, Mesrour, and you, nurse; or at least it
seems not one can be believed more than the other; therefore let
us go ourselves to examine the truth, for I can see no other way
to clear up these doubts."

So saying, the caliph arose, the princess followed him, and
Mesrour went before to open the doors. "Commander of the
faithful," said he, "I am overjoyed that your majesty has taken
this course; and shall be much more, when I shall make it plainly
appear to the nurse, not that she doats, since the expression is
unfortunately displeasing to my good mistress, but that her
report is not true."

The nurse wanted not a reply; "Hold your tongue, black face,"
said she; "you doat yourself."

Zobeide, who was much provoked at Mesrour, could not bear to hear
him attack her nurse again without taking her part: "Vile slave,"
said she, "say what you will, I maintain my nurse speaks the
truth, and look upon you as a mere liar." "Madam," replied
Mesrour, "if nurse is so very certain that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is
alive, and Abou Hassan dead, I will lay her what she dares of
it." The nurse was as ready as he; "I dare," said she, "take you
at your word: let us see if you dare unsay it." Mesrour stood to
his word; and they laid a piece of gold brocade with silver
flowers before the caliph and the princess.

The apartment from which the caliph and Zobeide set out, though
distant from Abou Hassan's, was nevertheless just opposite, so
that he perceived them coming, and told his wife that he was much
mistaken if the caliph and Zobeide, preceded by Mesrour, and
followed by a great number of women, were not about to do them
the honour of a visit. She looked through a lattice and saw them,
seemed frightened, and cried out, "What shall we do? we are
ruined." "Fear nothing," replied Abou Hassan. "Have you forgotten
already what we agreed on? We will both feign ourselves dead, and
you shall see all will go well. At the slow rate they are coming,
we shall be ready before they reach the door." Accordingly, Abou
Hassan and his wife wrapped up and covered themselves with the
pieces of brocade, and waited patiently for their visitors.

Mesrour, who came first, opened the door, and the caliph and
Zobeide, followed by their attendants, entered the room; but were
struck with horror, and stood motionless, at the spectacle which
presented itself to their view, not knowing what to think. At
length Zobeide breaking silence, said to the caliph, "Alas! they
are both dead! You have done much," continued she, looking at the
caliph and Mesrour, "to endeavour to make me believe that my dear
slave was dead, and I find it is true: grief at the loss of her
husband has certainly killed her." "Say rather, madam," answered
the caliph, prepossessed to the contrary, that Nouzhatoul-aoudat
died first, "the afflicted Abou Hassan sunk under his grief, and
could not survive his dear wife; you ought, therefore, to confess
that you have lost your wager, and that your palace of paintings
is mine."

"Hold there," answered Zobeide, warmed at being contradicted by
the caliph; "I will maintain you have lost your garden of
pleasures. Abou Hassan died first; since my nurse told you, as
well as me, that she saw her alive, and weeping for the death of
her husband."

The dispute of the caliph and Zobeide brought on another between
Mesrour and the nurse, who had wagered as well as they; each
affirmed to have won, and at length they proceeded to abuse each
other very grossly.

At last the caliph, reflecting on what had passed, began to think
that Zobeide had as much reason as himself to maintain that she
had won. In this embarrassment of not being able to find out the
truth, he advanced towards the corpses, and sat down at the head,
searching for some expedient that might gain him the victory over
Zobeide. "I swear," cried he presently after, "by the holy name
of God, that I will give a thousand pieces of gold to him who can
tell me which of these two died first."

No sooner were these words out of the caliph's mouth, than he
heard a voice under Abou Hassan's piece of brocade say,
"Commander of the faithful, I died first, give me the thousand
pieces of gold." At the same instant Abou Hassan threw off the
piece of brocade, and springing up, prostrated himself at his
feet, while his wife did the same to Zobeide, keeping on her
piece of brocade out of decency. The princess at first shrieked
out, but recovering herself, expressed great joy to see her dear
slave rise again, just when she was almost inconsolable at having
seen her dead. "Ah! wicked Nouzhatoul-aouadat," cried she, "what
have I suffered for your sake? However, I forgive you from my
heart, since you are not dead."

The caliph was not so much surprised, when he heard Abou Hassan's
voice: but thought he should have died with laughing at this
unravelling of the mystery, and to hear Abou Hassan ask so
seriously for the thousand pieces of gold. "What, Abou Hassan,"
said he, continuing to laugh aloud, "hast thou conspired against
my life, to kill me a second time with laughing? How came this
thought into your head, to surprise Zobeide and me thus, when we
least thought of such a trick?"

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "I will declare
to your majesty the whole truth, without the least reserve. Your
majesty knows that I always loved to eat and drink well' and the
wife you gave me rather increased than restrained this
propensity. With these dispositions your majesty may easily
suppose we might spend a good estate; and to make short of my
story, we were not sparing of what your majesty so generously
gave us. This morning, accounting with our caterer, who took care
to provide every thing for us, and paying what we owed him, we
found we had nothing left. Then, reflections on what was past,
and resolutions to manage better for the future, crowded into our
thoughts; we formed a thousand projects, all of which we
rejected. At last, the shame of seeing ourselves reduced to so
low a condition, and not daring to tell your majesty, made us
contrive this stratagem to relieve our necessities, and to divert
you, which we hope your majesty will be pleased to pardon."

The caliph was satisfied with Abou Hassan's sincerity, and
Zobeide, who had till now been very serious, began to laugh at
the thought of Abou Hassan's scheme. The caliph, who had not
ceased laughing at the singularity of the adventure, rising, said
to Abou Hassan and his wife, "Follow me; I will give you the
thousand pieces of gold I promised, for joy to find you are not
dead." Zobeide desired him to let her make her slave a present of
the same sum, for the same reason. By this means Abou Hassan and
his wife Nouzhatoul-aouadat preserved the favour of the caliph
Haroon al Rusheed and the princess Zobeide, and by their
liberalities were enabled to pursue their pleasures.


In the capital of one of the large and rich provinces of the
kingdom of China, the name of which I do not recollect, there
lived a tailor, named Mustapha, who was so poor, that he could
hardly, by his daily labour, maintain himself and his family,
which consisted of a wife and son.

His son, who was called Alla ad Deen, had been brought up in a
very careless and idle manner, and by that means had contracted
many vicious habits. He was wicked, obstinate, and disobedient to
his father and mother, who, when he grew up, could not keep him
within doors. He was in the habit of going out early in the
morning, and would stay out all day, playing in the streets and
public places with idle children of his own age.

When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father not being
able to put him out to any other, took him into his own shop, and
taught him how to use his needle: but neither fair words nor the
fear of chastisement were capable of fixing his lively genius.
All his father's endeavours to keep him to his work were in vain;
for no sooner was his back turned, than he was gone for that day.
Mustapha chastised him, but Alla ad Deen was incorrigible, and
his father, to his great grief, was forced to abandon him to his
idleness: and was so much troubled at not being able to reclaim
him, that it threw him into a fit of sickness, of which he died
in a few months.

The mother, finding that her son would not follow his father's
business, shut up the shop, sold off the implements of trade, and
with the money she received for them, and what she could get by
spinning cotton, thought to maintain herself and her son. Alla ad
Deen, who was now no longer restrained by the fear of a father,
and who cared so little for his mother, that whenever she chid
him, he would abuse her, gave himself entirely over to his idle
habits, and was never out of the streets from his companions.
This course he followed till he was fifteen years old, without
giving his mind to any useful pursuit, or the least reflection on
what would become of him. In this situation, as he was one day
playing according to custom in the street, with his vagabond
associates, a stranger passing by stood to observe him.

This stranger was a sorcerer, called by the writer of this story,
the African magician; he was a native of Africa, and had been but
two days arrived from thence.

The African magician, who was a good physiognomist, observing in
Alla ad Deen's countenance something absolutely necessary for the
execution of the design he was engaged in, inquired artfully
about his family, who he was, and what were his inclinations; and
when he had learned all he desired to know, went up to him, and
taking him aside from his comrades, said, "Child, was not your
father called Mustapha the tailor?" "Yes, sir," answered the boy;
"but he has been dead a long time."

At these words, the African magician threw his arms about Alla ad
Deen's neck, and kissed him several times with tears in his eyes.
Alla ad Deen, who observed his tears, asked him what made him
weep. "Alas! my son," cried the African magician with a sigh,
"how can I forbear?

"I am your uncle; your worthy father was my own brother. I have
been many years abroad, and now I am come home with the hopes of
seeing him, you tell me he is dead. I assure you it is a sensible
grief to me to be deprived of the comfort I expected. But it is
some relief to my affliction, that as far as I can remember him,
I knew you at first sight, you are so like him; and I see I am
not deceived." Then he asked Alla ad Deen, putting his hand into
his purse, where his mother lived; and as soon as he had informed
him, gave him a handful of small money, saying, "Go, my son, to
your mother, give my love to her, and tell her that I will visit
her to-morrow, if I have time, that I may have the satisfaction
of seeing where my good brother lived so long, and ended his

As soon as the African magician left his newly-adopted nephew,
Alla ad Deen ran to his mother, overjoyed at the money his uncle
had given him. "Mother," said he, "have I an uncle?" "No, child,"
replied his mother, "you have no uncle by your father's side, or
mine." "I am just now come," said Alla ad Deen, "from a man who
says he is my uncle by my father's side, assuring me that he is
his brother. He cried and kissed me when I told him my father was
dead; and to shew you that what I tell you is truth," added he,
pulling out the money, "see what he has given me. He charged me
to give his love to you, and to tell you, if he has any time to-
morrow, he will come and pay you a visit, that he may see the
house my father lived and died in." "Indeed, child," replied the
mother, "your father had a brother, but he has been dead a long
time, and I never heard of another."

The mother and son talked no more then of the African magician;
but the next day Alla ad Deen's uncle found him playing in
another part of the town with other children, and embracing him
as before, put two pieces of gold into his hand, and said to him,
"Carry this, child, to your mother, tell her that I will come and
see her tonight, and bid her get us something for supper; but
first shew me the house where you live."

After Alla ad Deen had shewed the African magician the house, he
carried the two pieces of gold to his mother, and when he had
told her of his uncle's intention, she went out and bought
provisions; and considering she wanted various utensils, borrowed
them of her neighbours. She spent the whole day in preparing the
supper; and at night when it was ready, said to her son, "Perhaps
your uncle knows not how to find our house; go and bring him if
you meet with him."

Though Alla ad Deen had shewed the magician the house, he was
ready to go, when somebody knocked at the door, which he
immediately opened: and the magician came in loaded with wine,
and all sorts of fruits, which he brought for a dessert.

After the African magician had given what he brought into Alla ad
Deen's hands, he saluted his mother, and desired her to shew him
the place where his brother Mustapha used to sit on the sofa; and
when she had so done, he fell down and kissed it several times,
crying out with tears in his eyes, "My poor brother! How unhappy
am I, not to have come soon enough to give you one last embrace."
Alla ad Deen's mother desired him to sit down in the same place,
but he declined. "No," said he, "I shall take care how I do that;
but give me leave to sit opposite to it, that although I am
deprived of the satisfaction of seeing the master of a family so
dear to me, I may at least have the pleasure of beholding the
place where he used to sit." The widow pressed him no farther,
but left him at liberty to sit where he pleased.

When the magician had made choice of a place, and sat down, he
began to enter into discourse with Alla ad Deen's mother. "My
good sister," said he, "do not be surprised at your never having
seen me all the time you have been married to my brother Mustapha
of happy memory. I have been forty years absent from this
country, which is my native place, as well as my late brother's;
and during that time have travelled into the Indies, Persia,
Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, have resided in the finest towns of
those countries; and afterwards crossed over into Africa, where I
made a longer stay. At last, as it is natural for a man, how
distant soever it may be, to remember his native country,
relations, and acquaintance, I was desirous to see mine again,
and to embrace my dear brother; and finding I had strength enough
to undertake so long a journey, I immediately made the necessary
preparations, and set out. I will not tell you the length of time
it took me, all the obstacles I met with, and what fatigues I
have endured, to come hither; but nothing ever mortified and
afflicted me so much, as hearing of my brother's death, for whom
I always had a brotherly love and friendship. I observed his
features in the face of my nephew, your son, and distinguished
him among a number of children with whom he was at play; he can
tell you how I received the most melancholy news that ever
reached my ears. But God be praised for all things! It is a
comfort for me to find, as it were, my brother in a son, who has
his most remarkable features."

The African magician perceiving that the widow began to weep at
the remembrance of her husband, changed the conversation, and
turning towards her son, asked him his name. "I am called Alla ad
Deen," said he. "Well, Alla ad Deen," replied the magician, "what
business do you follow? Are you of any trade?"

At this question the youth hung down his head, and was not a
little abashed when his mother answered, "Alla ad Deen is an idle
fellow; his father, when alive, strove all he could to teach him
his trade, but could not succeed; and since his death,
notwithstanding all I can say to him, he does nothing but idle
away his time in the streets, as you saw him, without considering
he is no longer a child; and if you do not make him ashamed of
it, I despair of his ever coming to any good. He knows that his
father left him no fortune, and sees me endeavour to get bread by
spinning cotton; for my part, I am resolved one of these days to
turn him out of doors, and let him provide for himself."

After these words, Alla ad Deen's mother burst into tears; and
the magician said, "This is not well, nephew; you must think of
helping yourself, and getting your livelihood. There are many
sorts of trades, consider if you have not an inclination to some
of them; perhaps you did not like your father's, and would prefer
another: come, do not disguise your sentiments from me; I will
endeavour to help you." But finding that Alla ad Deen returned no
answer, "If you have no mind," continued he, "to learn any
handicraft, I will take a shop for you, furnish it with all sorts
of fine stuffs and linens; and with the money you make of them
lay in fresh goods, and then you will live in an honourable way.
Consult your inclination, and tell me freely what you think of my
proposal: you shall always find me ready to keep my word."

This plan greatly flattered Alla ad Deen, who hated work, but had
sense enough to know that such shops were much frequented, and
the owners respected. He told the magician he had a greater
inclination to that business than to any other, and that he
should be much obliged to him for his kindness. "Since this
profession is agreeable to you," said the African magician, "I
will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as handsomely as the
best merchants in the city, and afterwards we will think of
opening a shop as I mentioned."

The widow, who never till then could believe that the magician
was her husband's brother, no longer doubted after his promises
of kindness to her son. She thanked him for his good intentions;
and after having exhorted Alla ad Deen to render himself worthy
of his uncle's favour by good behaviour, served up supper, at
which they talked of several indifferent matters; and then the
magician, who saw that the night was pretty far advanced, took
his leave, and retired.

He came again the next day, as he had promised, and took Alla ad
Deen with him to a merchant, who sold all sorts of clothes for
different ages and ranks ready made, and a variety of fine
stuffs. He asked to see some that suited Alla ad Deen in size;
and after choosing a suit for himself which he liked best, and
rejecting others which he did not think handsome enough, he bade
Alla ad Deen choose those he preferred. Alla ad Deen, charmed
with the liberality of his new uncle, made choice of one, and the
magician immediately paid for it.

When Alla ad Deen found himself so handsomely equipped, he
returned his uncle thanks; who promised never to forsake him, but
always to take him along with him; which he did to the most
frequented places in the city, and particularly where the
principal merchants kept their shops.

When he brought him into the street where they sold the richest
stuffs, and finest linens, he said to Alla ad Deen, "As you are
soon to be a merchant, it is proper you should frequent these
shops, and be acquainted with them." He then shewed him the
largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans or inns
where the merchants and travellers lodged, and afterwards to the
sultan's palace, where he had free access; and at last brought
him to his own khan, where meeting with some merchants he had
become acquainted with since his arrival, he gave them a treat,
to bring them and his pretended nephew acquainted.

This entertainment lasted till night, when Alla ad Deen would
have taken leave of his uncle to go home; the magician would not
let him go by himself, but conducted him to his mother, who, as
soon as she saw him so well dressed, was transported with joy,
and bestowed a thousand blessings upon the magician, for being at
so great an expense upon her child. "Generous relation!" said
she, "I know not how to thank you for your liberality! I know
that my son is not deserving of your favours; and were he ever so
grateful, and answered your good intentions, he would be unworthy
of them. I thank you with all my soul, and wish you may live long
enough to witness my son's gratitude, which he cannot better shew
than by regulating his conduct by your good advice." "Alla ad
Deen," replied the magician, "is a good boy, and I believe we
shall do very well; but I am sorry for one thing, which is, that
I cannot perform to-morrow what I promised, because, as it is
Friday, the shops will be shut up, and therefore we cannot hire
or furnish one, but must wait till Saturday. I will, however,
call on him to-morrow and take him to walk in the gardens, where
people of the best fashion generally resort. Perhaps he has never
seen these amusements, he has only hitherto been among children;
but now he must see men." The African magician took his leave of
the mother and the son, and retired. Alla ad Deen, who was
overjoyed to be so well clothed, anticipated the pleasure of
walking in the gardens. He had never been out of the town, nor
seen the environs, which were very beautiful and pleasant.

Alla ad Deen rose early the next morning, dressed himself, to be
ready when his uncle called on him; and after he had waited some
time, began to be impatient, and stood watching at the door; but
as soon as he perceived him coming, he told his mother, took his
leave of her, and ran to meet him.

The magician caressed Alla ad Deen, and said, "Come, my dear
child, and I will shew you fine things." He then led him out at
one of the gates of the city, to some magnificent houses, or
rather palaces, to each of which belonged beautiful gardens, into
which anybody might enter. At every building he came to, he asked
Alla ad Deen if he did not think it fine; and the youth was ready
to answer when any one presented itself, crying out, "Here is a
finer house, uncle, than any we have seen yet." By this artifice,
the cunning magician led Alla ad Deen some way into the country;
and as he meant to carry him farther, to execute his design, he
took an opportunity to sit down in one of the gardens on the
brink of a fountain of clear water, which discharged itself by a
lion's mouth of bronze into a basin, pretending to be tired.
"Come, nephew," said he, "you must be weary as well as I; let us
rest ourselves, and we shall be better able to pursue our walk."

After they had sat down, the magician pulled from his girdle a
handkerchief with cakes and fruit, which he had provided, and
laid them on the edge of the basin. He broke a cake in two, gave
one half to Alla ad Deen, and ate the other himself; and in
regard to the fruit, left him at liberty to take which sort he
liked best. During this short repast, he exhorted his nephew to
leave off keeping company with vagabonds, and seek that of wise
and prudent men, to improve by their conversation. "For," said
he, "you will soon be at man's estate, and you cannot too early
begin to imitate their example." When they had eaten as much as
they liked, they got up, and pursued their walk through gardens
separated from one another only by small ditches, which marked
out the limits without interrupting the communication; so great
was the confidence the inhabitants reposed in each other. By this
means, the African magician drew Alla ad Deen insensibly beyond
the gardens, and crossed the country, till they nearly reached
the mountains.

Alla ad Deen, who had never been so far before, began to find
himself much tired with so long a walk, and said to the magician,
"Where are we going, uncle? We have left the gardens a great way
behind us, and I see nothing but mountains; if we go much
further, I do not know whether I shall be able to reach the town
again?" "Never fear, nephew," said the false uncle; "I will shew
you another garden which surpasses all we have yet seen; it is
not far off; and when we come there, you will say that you would
have been sorry to have been so nigh, and not seen it." Alla ad
Deen was soon persuaded; and the magician, to make the way seem
shorter and less fatiguing, told him a great many stories.

At last they arrived between two mountains of moderate height,
and equal size, divided by a narrow valley, which was the place
where the magician intended to execute the design that had
brought him from Africa to China. "We will go no farther now,"
said he to Alla ad Deen: "I will shew you here some extraordinary
things, which, when you have seen, you will thank me for: but
while I strike a light, gather up all the loose dry sticks you
can see, to kindle a fire with."

Alla ad Deen found so many dried sticks, that before the magician
had made a light, he had collected a great heap. The magician
presently set them on fire, and when they were in a blaze, threw
in some incense which raised a cloud of smoke. This he dispersed
on each side, by pronouncing several magical words which Alla ad
Deen did not understand.

At the same time the earth trembling, opened just before the
magician, and uncovered a stone, laid horizontally, with a brass
ring fixed into the middle. Alla ad Deen was so frightened at
what he saw, that he would have run away; but the magician caught
hold of him, abused him, and gave him such a box on the ear, that
he knocked him down. Alla ad Deen got up trembling, and with
tears in his eyes, said to the magician, "What have I done,
uncle, to be treated in this severe manner?" "I have my reasons,"
answered the magician: "I am your uncle, I supply the place of
your father, and you ought to make no reply. But, child," added
he, softening, "do not be afraid; for I shall not ask any thing
of you, but that you obey me punctually, if you would reap the
advantages which I intend you." These fair promises calmed Alla
ad Deen's fears and resentment; and when the magician saw that he
was appeased, he said to him, "You see what I have done by virtue
of my incense, and the words I pronounced. Know then, that under
this stone there is hidden a treasure, destined to be yours, and
which will make you richer than the greatest monarch in the
world: no person but yourself is permitted to lift this stone, or
enter the cave; so you must punctually execute what I may
command, for it is a matter of great consequence both to you and

Alla ad Deen, amazed at all he saw and heard the magician say of
the treasure which was to make him happy, forgot what was past,
and rising, said, "Well, uncle, what is to be done? Command me, I
am ready to obey." "I am overjoyed, child," said the African
magician, embracing him; "take hold of the ring, and lift up that
stone." "Indeed, uncle," replied Alla ad Deen, "I am not strong
enough, you must help me." "You have no occasion for my
assistance," answered the magician; "if I help you, we shall be
able to do nothing; take hold of the ring, pronounce the names of
your father and grandfather, then lift it up, and you will find
it will come easily." Alla ad Deen did as the magician bade him,
raised the stone with ease, and laid it on one side.

When the stone was pulled up, there appeared a cavity of about
three or four feet deep, with a little door, and steps to go down
lower. "Observe, my son," said the African magician, "what I
direct. Descend into the cave, and when you are at the bottom of
those steps you will find a door open, which will lead you into a
spacious vault, divided into three great halls, in each of which
you will see four large brass cisterns placed on each side, full
of gold and silver; but take care you do not meddle with them.
Before you enter the first hall, be sure to tuck up your vest,
wrap it about you, and then pass through the second into the
third without stopping. Above all things, have a care that you do
not touch the walls, so much as with your clothes; for if you do,
you will die instantly. At the end of the third hall, you will
find a door which opens into a garden planted with fine trees
loaded with fruit; walk directly across the garden by a path
which will lead you to five steps that will bring you upon a
terrace, where you will see a niche before you, and in that niche
a lighted lamp. Take the lamp down, and extinguish it: when you
have thrown away the wick, and poured out the liquor, put it in
your vestband and bring it to me. Do not be afraid that the
liquor will spoil your clothes, for it is not oil; and the lamp
will be dry as soon as it is thrown out. If you should wish for
any of the fruit of the garden, you may gather as much as you

After these words, the magician drew a ring off his finger, and
put it on one of Alla ad Deen's, telling him that it was a
preservative against all evil, while he should observe what he
had prescribed to him. After this instruction he said, "Go down
boldly, child, and we shall both be rich all our lives."

Alla ad Deen jumped into the cave, descended the steps, and found
the three halls just as the African magician had described. He
went through them with all the precaution the fear of death could
inspire; crossed the garden without stopping, took down the lamp
from the niche, threw out the wick and the liquor, and, as the
magician had desired, put it in his vestband. But as he came down
from the terrace, seeing it was perfectly dry, he stopped in the
garden to observe the fruit, which he only had a glimpse of in
crossing it. All the trees were loaded with extraordinary fruit,
of different colours on each tree. Some bore fruit entirely
white, and some clear and transparent as crystal; some pale red,
and others deeper; some green, blue, and purple, and others
yellow: in short, there was fruit of all colours. The white were
pearls; the clear and transparent, diamonds; the deep red,
rubies; the paler, rubies; the green, emeralds; the blue,
turquoises; the purple, amethysts; and those that were of yellow
cast, sapphires. Alla ad Deen was altogether ignorant of their
worth, and would have preferred figs and grapes, or any other
fruits. But though he took them only for coloured glass of little
value, yet he was so pleased with the variety of the colours, and
the beauty and extraordinary size of the seeming fruit, that he
resolved to gather some of every sort; and accordingly filled the
two new purses his uncle had bought for him with his clothes.
Some he wrapped up in the skirts of his vest, which was of silk,
large and wrapping, and crammed his bosom as full as it could

Alla ad Deen, having thus loaded himself with riches he knew not
the value of, returned through the three halls with the same
precaution, made all the haste he could, that he might not make
his uncle wait, and soon arrived at the mouth of the cave, where
the African magician expected him with the utmost impatience. As
soon as Alla ad Deen saw him, he cried out, "Pray, uncle, lend me
your hand, to help me out." "Give me the lamp first," replied the
magician; "it will be troublesome to you." "Indeed, uncle,"
answered Alla ad Deen, "I cannot now; it is not troublesome to
me: but I will as soon as I am up." The African magician was so
obstinate, that he would have the lamp before he would help him
up; and Alla ad Deen, who had encumbered himself so much with his
fruit that he could not well get at it, refused to give it to him
till he was out of the cave. The African magician, provoked at
this obstinate refusal, flew into a passion, threw a little of
his incense into the fire, which he had taken care to keep in,
and no sooner pronounced two magical words, than the stone which
had closed the mouth of the cave moved into its place, with the
earth over it in the same manner as it lay at the arrival of the
magician and Alla ad Deen.

This action of the African magician's plainly shewed him to be
neither Alla ad Deen's uncle, nor Mustapha the tailor's brother;
but a true African. Africa is a country whose inhabitants delight
most in magic of any in the whole world, and he had applied
himself to it from his youth. After forty years' experience in
enchantments, geomancy, fumigations, and reading of magic books,
he had found out that there was in the world a wonderful lamp,
the possession of which would render him more powerful than any
monarch; and by a late operation of geomancy, he had discovered
that this lamp lay concealed in a subterraneous place in the
midst of China, in the situation already described. Fully
persuaded of the truth of this discovery, he set out from the
farthest part of Africa; and after a long and fatiguing journey,
came to the town nearest to this treasure. But though he had a
certain knowledge of the place where the lamp was, he was not
permitted to take it himself, nor to enter the .subterraneous
place, but must receive it from the hands of another person. For
this reason he had addressed himself to Alla ad Deen, whom he
looked upon as a young lad whose life was of no consequence, and
fit to serve his purpose, resolving, as soon as he should get the
lamp into his hands, to sacrifice him to his avarice and
wickedness, by making the fumigation mentioned before, and
repeating two magical words, the effect of which would remove the
stone into its place, so that no witness would remain of the

The blow he had given Alla ad Deen was intended to make him obey
the more readily, and give him the lamp as soon as he should ask
for it. But his too great precipitation, and his fear lest
somebody should come that way during their dispute, and discover
what he wished to keep secret, produced an effect quite contrary
to what he had proposed to himself.

When the African magician saw that all his hopes were frustrated
forever, he returned the same day for Africa; but went quite
round the town, and at some distance from it, lest some persons
who had observed him walk out with the boy, on seeing him come
back without him, should entertain any suspicions, and stop him.

According to all appearances, there was no prospects of Alla ad
Deen being any more heard of. But the magician, when he had
contrived his death, forgot the ring he had put upon his finger,
which preserved him, though he knew not its virtue. It may seem
astonishing that the loss of that, together with the lamp, did
not drive the magician to despair; but magicians are so much used
to misfortunes, and events contrary to their wishes, that they do
not lay them to heart, but still feed themselves, to the end of
life, with unsubstantial notions and chimeras.

The surprise of Alla ad Deen, who had never suspected this
treachery from his pretended uncle, after all his caresses and
what he had done for him, is more easily to be imagined than
expressed. When he found himself buried alive, he cried, and
called out to his uncle, to tell him he was ready to give him the
lamp; but in vain, since his cries could not be heard. He
descended to the bottom of the steps, with a design to get into
the garden, but the door, which was opened before by enchantment,
was now shut by the same means. He then redoubled his cries and
tears, sat down on the steps, without any hopes of ever seeing
light again, and in a melancholy certainty of passing from the
present darkness into that of a speedy death.

Alla ad Deen remained in this state two days, without eating or
drinking, and on the third looked upon death as inevitable.
Clasping his hands with an entire resignation to the will of God,
he said, "There is no strength or power but in the great and high
God." In this action of joining his hands he rubbed the ring
which the magician had put on his finger, and of which he knew
not yet the virtue. Immediately a genie of enormous size and
frightful aspect rose out of the earth, his head reaching the
roof of the vault, and said to him, "What wouldst thou have? I am
ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all who may
possess the ring on thy finger; I, and the other slaves of that

At another time, Alla ad Deen, who had not been used to such
appearances, would have been so frightened at the sight of so
extraordinary a figure that he would not have been able to speak;
but the danger he was in made him answer without hesitation,
"Whoever thou art, deliver me from this place, if thou art able."
He had no sooner spoken these words, than he found himself on the
very spot where the magician had caused the earth to open.

It was some time before his eyes could bear the light, after
being so long in total darkness: but after he had endeavoured by
degrees to support it, and began to look about him, he was much
surprised not to find the earth open, and could not comprehend
how he had got so soon out of its bowels. There was nothing to be
seen but the place where the fire had been, by which he could
nearly judge the situation of the cave. Then turning himself
towards the town, he perceived it at a distance in the midst of
the gardens that surrounded it, and saw the way by which the
magician had brought him. Returning God thanks to find himself
once more in the world, he made the best of his way home. When he
got within his mother's door, the joy to see her and his weakness
for want of sustenance for three days made him faint, and he
remained for a long time as dead. His mother, who had given him
over for lost, seeing him in this condition, omitted nothing to
bring him to himself. As soon as he recovered, the first words he
spoke, were, "Pray, mother, give me something to eat, for I have
not put a morsel of anything into my mouth these three days." His
mother brought what she had, and set it before him. "My son,"
said she, "be not too eager, for it is dangerous; eat but little
at a time, and take care of yourself. Besides, I would not have
you talk; you will have time enough to tell me what has happened
to you when you are recovered. It is a great comfort to me to see
you again, after the affliction I have been in since Friday, and
the pains I have taken to learn what was become of you."

Alla ad Deen took his mother's advice, and ate and drank
moderately. When he had done, "Mother," said he to her, "I cannot
help complaining of you, for abandoning me so easily to the
discretion of a man who had a design to kill me. and who at this
very moment thinks my death certain. You believed he was my
uncle, as well as I; and what other thoughts could we entertain
of a man who was so kind to me, and made such advantageous
proffers? But I must tell you, mother, he is a rogue and a cheat,
and only made me those promises to accomplish my death; but for
what reason neither you nor I can guess. For my part, I can
assure you, I never gave him any cause to justify the least ill
treatment from him. You shall judge yourself, when you have heard
all that passed from the time I left you, till he came to the
execution of his wicked design."

Alla ad Deen then related to his mother all that had happened to
him from the Friday, when the magician took him to see the
palaces and gardens about the town, and what fell out in the way,
till they came to the place between the two mountains where the
great prodigy was to be performed; how, with incense which the
magician threw into the fire, and some magical words which he
pronounced, the earth opened, and discovered a cave, which led to
an inestimable treasure. He forgot not the blow the magician had
given him, in what manner he softened again, and engaged him by
great promises, and putting a ring to his finger, to go down into
the cave. He did not omit the least circumstance of what he saw
in crossing the three halls and the garden, and his taking the
lamp, which he pulled out of his bosom and shewed to his mother,
as well as the transparent fruit of different colours, which he
had gathered in the garden as he returned. But, though these
fruits were precious stones, brilliant as the sun, and the
reflection of a lamp which then lighted the room might have led
them to think they were of great value, she was as ignorant of
their worth as her son, and cared nothing for them. She had been
bred in a low rank of life, and her husband's poverty prevented
his being possessed of jewels, nor had she, her relations, or
neighbours, ever seen any; so that we must not wonder that she
regarded them as things of no value, and only pleasing to the eye
by the variety of their colours.

Alla ad Deen put them behind one of the cushions of the sofa, and
continued his story, telling his mother, that when he returned to
the mouth of the cave, upon his refusal to give the magician the
lamp till he should get out, the stone, by his throwing some
incense into the fire, and using two or three magical words, shut
him in, and the earth closed. He could not help bursting into
tears at the representation of the miserable condition he was in,
at finding himself buried alive in a dismal cave, till by the
touching of his ring, the virtue of which he was till then an
entire stranger to, he, properly speaking, came to life again.
When he had finished his story, he said to his mother, "I need
say no more, you know the rest. This is my adventure, and the
danger I have been exposed to since you saw me."

Alla ad Deen's mother heard with so much patience as not to
interrupt him this surprising and wonderful relation,
notwithstanding it could be no small affliction to a mother, who
loved her son tenderly: but yet in the most moving part which
discovered the perfidy of the African magician, she could not
help shewing, by marks of the greatest indignation, how much she
detested him; and when her son had finished his story, she broke
out into a thousand reproaches against that vile impostor. She
called him perfidious traitor, barbarian, assassin, deceiver,
magician, and an enemy and destroyer of mankind. "Without doubt,
child," added she, "he is a magician, and they are plagues to the
world, and by their enchantments and sorceries have commerce with
the devil. Bless God for preserving you from his wicked designs;
for your death would have been inevitable, if you had not called
upon him, and implored his assistance." She said a great deal
more against the magician's treachery; but finding that whilst
she talked, Alla ad Deen, who had not slept for three days and
nights, began to doze, she left him to his repose and retired.

Alla ad Deen, who had not closed his eyes while he was in the
subterraneous abode, slept very soundly till late the next
morning; when the first thing he said to his mother was that he
wanted something to eat, and that she could not do him a greater
kindness than to give him his breakfast. "Alas! child," said she,
"I have not a bit of bread to give you, you ate up all the
provisions I had in the house yesterday; but have a little
patience, and it shall not be long before I will bring you some:
I have a little cotton, which I have spun; I will go and sell it,
buy bread, and something for our dinner." "Mother," replied Alla
ad Deen, "keep your cotton for another time, and give me the lamp
I brought home with me yesterday; I will go and sell it, and the
money I shall get for it will serve both for breakfast and
dinner, and perhaps supper too."

Alla ad Deen's mother took the lamp, and said to her son, "Here
it is, but it is very dirty; if it was a little cleaner I believe
it would bring something more." She took some fine sand and water
to clean it; but had no sooner begun to rub it, than in an
instant a hideous genie of gigantic size appeared before her, and
said to her in a voice like thunder, "What wouldst thou have? I
am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those
who have that lamp in their hands; I and the other slaves of the

Alla ad Deen's mother, terrified at the sight of the genie,
fainted; when Alla ad Deen, who had seen such a phantom in the
cavern, snatched the lamp out of his mother's hand, and said to
the genie boldly, "I am hungry, bring me something to eat." The
genie disappeared immediately, and in an instant returned with a
large silver tray, holding twelve covered dishes of the same
metal, which contained the most delicious viands; six large white
bread cakes on two plates, two flagons of wine, and two silver
cups. All these he placed upon a carpet, and disappeared; this
was done before Alla ad Deen's mother recovered from her swoon.

Alla ad Deen had fetched some water, and sprinkled it in her
face, to recover her: whether that or the smell of the meat
brought her to life again, it was not long before she came to
herself. "Mother," said Alla ad Deen, "do not mind this; get up,
and come and eat; here is what will put you in heart, and at the
same time satisfy my extreme hunger: do not let such delicious
meat get cold."

His mother was much surprised to see the great tray, twelve
dishes, six loaves, the two flagons and cups, and to smell the
savoury odour which exhaled from the dishes. "Child," said she,
"to whom are we obliged for this great plenty and liberality? Has
the sultan been made acquainted with our poverty, and had
compassion on us?" "It is no matter, mother," said Alla ad Deen,
"let us sit down and eat; for you have almost as much need of a
good breakfast as myself; when we have done, I will tell you."
Accordingly both mother and son sat down, and ate with the better
relish as the table was so well furnished. But all the time Alla
ad Deen's mother could not forbear looking at and admiring the
tray and dishes, though she could not judge whether they were
silver or any other metal, and the novelty more than the value
attracted her attention.

The mother and son sat at breakfast till it was dinner-time, and
then they thought it would be best to put the two meals together;
yet after this they found they should have enough left for
supper, and two meals for the next day.

When Alla ad Deen's mother had taken away and set by what was
left, she went and sat down by her son on the sofa, saying, "I
expect now that you should satisfy my impatience, and tell me
exactly what passed between the genie and you while I was in a
swoon;" which he readily complied with.

She was in as great amazement at what her son told her, as at the
appearance of the genie; and said to him, "But, son, what have we
to do with genii? I never heard that any of my acquaintance had
ever seen one. How came that vile genie to address himself to me,
and not to you, to whom he had appeared before in the cave?"
"Mother," answered Alla ad Deen, "the genie you saw is not the
one who appeared to me, though he resembles him in size; no, they
had quite different persons and habits; they belong to different
masters. If you remember, he that I first saw, called himself the
slave of the ring on my finger; and this you saw, called himself
the slave of the lamp you had in your hand: but I believe you did
not hear him, for I think you fainted as soon as he began to

"What!" cried the mother, "was your lamp then the occasion of
that cursed genie addressing himself rather to me than to you?"
Ah my son, take it out of my sight, and put it where you please.
I will never touch it. I had rather you would sell it, than run
the hazard of being frightened to death again by touching it: and
if you would take my advice, you would part also with the ring,
and not have any thing to do with genii, who, as our prophet has
told us, are only devils."

"With your leave, mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "I shall now
take care how I sell a lamp, which may be so serviceable both to
you and me. Have not you been an eye-witness of what it has
procured us? and it shall still continue to furnish us with
subsistence and maintenance. You may suppose as I do, that my
false and wicked uncle would not have taken so much pains, and
undertaken so long and tedious a journey, if it had not been to
get into his possession this wonderful lamp, which he preferred
before all the gold and silver which he knew was in the halls,
and which I have seen with my own eyes. He knew too well the
worth of this lamp, not to prefer it to so great a treasure; and
since chance hath discovered the virtue of it to us, let us make
a profitable use of it, without making any great shew, and
exciting the envy and jealousy of our neighbours. However, since
the genii frighten you so much, I will take it out of your sight,
and put it where I may find it when I want it. The ring I cannot
resolve to part with; for without that you had never seen me
again; and though I am alive now, perhaps, if it was gone, I
might not be so some moments hence; therefore I hope you will
give me leave to keep it, and to wear it always on my finger. Who
knows what dangers you and I may be exposed to, which neither of
us can foresee, and from which it may deliver us." As Alla ad
Deen's arguments were just, his mother had nothing to say against
them; she only replied, that he might do what he pleased, for her
part, she would have nothing to do with genii, but would wash her
hands of them, and never say anything more about them.

By the next night they had eaten all the provisions the genie had
brought; and the next day Alla ad Deen, who could not bear the
thoughts of hunger, putting one of the silver dishes under his
vest, went out early to sell it, and addressing himself to a Jew
whom he met in the streets, took him aside, and pulling out the
plate, asked him if he would buy it. The cunning Jew took the
dish, examined it, and as soon as he found that it was good
silver, asked Alla ad Deen at how much he valued it. Alla ad
Deen, who knew not its value, and never had been used to such
traffic, told him he would trust to his judgment and honour. The
Jew was somewhat confounded at this plain dealing; and doubting
whether Alla ad Deen understood the material or the full value of
what he offered to sell, took a piece of gold out of his purse
and gave it him, though it was but the sixtieth part of the worth
of the plate. Alla ad Deen, taking the money very eagerly,
retired with so much haste, that the Jew, not content with the
exorbitancy of his profit, was vexed he had not penetrated into
his ignorance, and was going to run after him, to endeavour to
get some change out of the piece of gold; but he ran so fast, and
had got so far, that it would have been impossible for him to
overtake him.

Before Alla ad Deen went home, he called at a baker's, bought
some cakes of bread, changed his money, and on his return gave
the rest to his mother, who went and purchased provisions enough
to last them some time. After this manner they lived, till Alla
ad Deen had sold the twelve dishes singly, as necessity pressed,
to the Jew, for the same money; who, after the first time, durst
not offer him less, for fear of losing so good a bargain. When he
had sold the last dish, he had recourse to the tray, which
weighed ten times as much as the dishes, and would have carried
it to his old purchaser, but that it was too large and
cumbersome; therefore he was obliged to bring him home with him
to his mother's, where, after the Jew had examined the weight of
the tray, he laid down ten pieces of gold, with which Alla ad
Deen was very well satisfied.

They lived on these ten pieces in a frugal manner, and Alla ad
Deen, though used to an idle life, had left off playing with
young lads of his own age ever since his adventure with the
African magician. He spent his time in walking about, and
conversing with decent people, with whom he gradually got
acquainted. Sometimes he would stop at the principal merchants'
shops, where people of distinction met, and listen to their
discourse, by which he gained some little knowledge of the world.

When all the money was spent, A]la ad Deen had recourse again to
the lamp. He took it in his hand, looked for the part where his
mother had rubbed it with the sand, rubbed it also, when the
genie immediately appeared, and said, "What wouldst thou have?" I
am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those
who have that lamp in their hands; I, and the other slaves of the
lamp." "I am hungry," said Alla ad Deen, "bring me something to
eat." The genie disappeared, and presently returned with a tray,
the same number of covered dishes as before, set them down, and

Alla ad Deen's mother, knowing what her son was going to do, went
out about some business, on purpose to avoid being in the way
when the genie came; and when she returned, was almost as much
surprised as before at the prodigious effect of the lamp.
However, she sat down with her son, and when they had eaten as
much as they liked, she set enough by to last them two or three

As soon as Alla ad Deen found that their provisions were
expended, he took one of the dishes, and went to look for his Jew
chapman; but passing by a goldsmith's shop, who had the character
of a very fair and honest man, the goldsmith perceiving him,
called to him, and said, "My lad, I have often observed you go
by, loaded as you are at present, and talk with such a Jew, and
then come back again empty handed. I imagine that you carry
something which you sell to him; but perhaps you do not know that
he is the greatest rogue even among the Jews, and is so well
known, that nobody of prudence will have anything to do with him.
What I tell you is for your own good. If you will shew me what
you now carry, and it is to be sold, I will give you the full
worth of it; or I will direct you to other merchants who will not
cheat you."

The hopes of getting more money for his plate induced Alla ad
Deen to pull it from under his vest, and shew it to the
goldsmith, who at first sight saw that it was made of the finest
silver, asked him if he had sold such as that to the Jew, when
Alla ad Deen told him that he had sold him twelve such, for a
piece of gold each. "What a villain!" cried the goldsmith; "but,"
added he, "my son, what is passed cannot be recalled. By shewing
you the value of this plate, which is of the finest silver we use
in our shops, I will let you see how much the Jew has cheated

The goldsmith took a pair of scales, weighed the dish, and after
he had mentioned how much an ounce of fine silver cost, assured
him that his plate would fetch by weight sixty pieces of gold,
which he offered to pay down immediately. "If you dispute my
honesty," said he, "you may go to any other of our trade, and if
he gives you more, I will be bound to forfeit twice as much; for
we gain only the fashion of the plate we buy, and that the
fairest dealing Jews are not contented with."

Alla ad Deen thanked him for his fair dealing, so greatly to his
advantage, took the gold, and never after went to any other
person, but sold him all his dishes and the tray, and had as much
for them as the weight came to.

Though Alla ad Deen and his mother had an inexhaustible treasure
in their lamp, and might have had whatever they wished for, yet
they lived with the same frugality as before, except that Alla ad
Deen dressed better; as for his mother, she wore no clothes but
what she earned by spinning cotton. After their manner of living,
it may easily be supposed, that the money for which Alla ad Deen
had sold the dishes and tray was sufficient to maintain them some

During this interval, Alla ad Deen frequented the shops of the
principal merchants, where they sold cloth of gold and silver,
linens, silk stuffs, and jewellery, and oftentimes joining in
their conversation, acquired a knowledge of the world, and
respectable demeanour. By his acquaintance among the jewellers,
he came to know that the fruits which he had gathered when he
took the lamp were, instead of coloured glass, stones of
inestimable value; but he had the prudence not to mention this to
any one, not even to his mother.

One day as Alla ad Deen was walking about the town, he heard an
order proclaimed, commanding the people to shut up their shops
and houses, and keep within doors, while the princess Buddir al
Buddoor, the sultan's daughter, went to the baths and returned.

This proclamation inspired Alla ad Deen with eager curiosity to
see the princess's face, which he could not do without admission
into the house of some acquaintance, and then only through a
window; which did not satisfy him, when he considered that the
princess, when she went to the baths, would be closely veiled;
but to gratify his curiosity, he presently thought of a scheme,
which succeeded; it was to place himself behind the door of the
bath, which was so situated that he could not fail of seeing her

Alla ad Deen had not waited long before the princess came, and he
could see her plainly through a chink of the door without being
discovered. She was attended by a great crowd of ladies, slaves
and eunuchs, who walked on each side, and behind her. When she
came within three or four paces of the door of the baths, she
took off her veil, and gave Alla ad Deen an opportunity of a full

As soon as Alla ad Deen had seen the princess, his heart could
not withstand those inclinations so charming an object always
inspires. The princess was the most beautiful brunette in the
world; her eyes were large, lively, and sparkling; her looks
sweet and modest; her nose was of a just proportion and without a
fault, her mouth small, her lips of a vermilion red and
charmingly agreeable symmetry; in a word, all the features of her
face were perfectly regular. It is not therefore surprising that
Alla ad Deen, who had never before seen such a blaze of charms,
was dazzled, and his senses ravished by such an assemblage. With
all these perfections the princess had so fine a form, and so
majestic an air, that the sight of her was sufficient to inspire
love and admiration.

After the princess had passed by, and entered the baths, Alla ad
Deen remained some time astonished, and in a kind of ecstacy,
retracing and imprinting the idea of so charming an object deeply
in his mind. But at last, considering that the princess was gone
past him, and that when she returned from the bath her back would
be towards him, and then veiled, he resolved to quit his hiding
place and go home. He could not so far conceal his uneasiness but
that his mother perceived it, was surprised to see him so much
more thoughtful and melancholy than usual; and asked what had
happened to make him so, or if he was ill? He returned her no
answer, but sat carelessly down on the sofa, and remained silent,
musing on the image of the charming Buddir al Buddoor. His
mother, who was dressing supper, pressed him no more. When it was
ready, she served it up, and perceiving that he gave no attention
to it, urged him to eat, but had much ado to persuade him to
change his place; which when he did, he ate much less than usual,
all the time cast down his eyes, and observed so profound a
silence, that she could not obtain a word in answer to all the
questions she put, in order to find the reason of so
extraordinary an alteration.

After supper, she asked him again why he was so melancholy, but
could get no information, and he determined to go to bed rather
than give her the least satisfaction. Without examining how he
passed the night, his mind full as it was with the charms of the
princess, I shall only observe that as he sat next day on the
sofa, opposite his mother, as she was spinning cotton, he spoke
to her in these words: "I perceive, mother, that my silence
yesterday has much troubled you; I was not, nor am I sick, as I
fancy you believed; but I assure you, that what I felt then, and
now endure, is worse than any disease. I cannot explain what ails
me; but doubt not what I am going to relate will inform you.

"It was not proclaimed in this quarter of the town, and therefore
you could know nothing of it, that the sultan's daughter was
yesterday to go to the baths. I heard this as I walked about the
town, and an order was issued that all the shops should be shut
up in her way thither, and everybody keep within doors, to leave
the streets free for her and her attendants. As I was not then
far from the bath, I had a great curiosity to see the princess's
face; and as it occurred to me that the princess, when she came
nigh the door of the bath, would pull her veil off, I resolved to
conceal myself behind the door. You know the situation of the
door, and may imagine that I must have had a full view of her.
The princess threw off her veil, and I had the happiness of
seeing her lovely face with the greatest security. This, mother,
was the cause of my melancholy and silence yesterday; I love the
princess with more violence than I can express; and as my passion
increases every moment, I cannot live without the possession of
the amiable Buddir al Buddoor, and am resolved to ask her in
marriage of the sultan her father."

Alla ad Deen's mother listened with surprise to what her son told
her; but when he talked of asking the princess in marriage, she
could not help bursting out into a loud laugh. Alla ad Deen would
have gone on with his rhapsody, but she interrupted him. "Alas!
child," said she, "what are you thinking of? you must be mad to
talk thus."

"I assure you, mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "that I am not mad,
but in my right senses; I foresaw that you would reproach me with
folly and extravagance; but I must tell you once more that I am
resolved to demand the princess of the sultan in marriage, and
your remonstrances shall not prevent me."

"Indeed, son," replied the mother seriously, "I cannot help
telling you that you have forgotten yourself; and if you would
put this resolution of yours in execution, I do not see whom you
can prevail upon to venture to make the proposal for you." "You
yourself," replied he immediately. "I go to the sultan!" answered
the mother, amazed and surprised. "I shall be cautious how I
engage in such an errand. Why, who are you, son," continued she,
"that you can have the assurance to think of your sultan's
daughter? Have you forgotten that your father was one of the
poorest tailors in the capital, and that I am of no better
extraction; and do not you know that sultans never marry their
daughters but to princes, sons of sovereigns like themselves?"

"Mother," answered Alla ad Deen, "I have already told you that I
foresaw all that you have said, or can say: and tell you again,
that neither your discourse nor your remonstrances shall make me
change my mind. I have told you that you must ask the princess in
marriage for me: it is a favour I desire of you, and I beg of you
not to refuse, unless you would rather see me in my grave, than
by your compliance give me new life."

The good old woman was much embarrassed, when she found Alla ad
Deen obstinately persisting in so wild a design. "My son," said
she again, "I am your mother, who brought you into the world, and
there is nothing that is reasonable but I would readily do for
you. If I were to go and treat about your marriage with some
neighbour's daughter, whose circumstances were equal with yours,
I would do it with all my heart; and even then they would expect
you should have some little estate or fortune, or be of some
trade. When such poor folks as we are wish to marry, the first
thing they ought to think of, is how to live. But without
reflecting on the meanness of your birth, and the little merit
and fortune you have to recommend you, you aim at the highest
pitch of exaltation; and your pretensions are no less than to
demand in marriage the daughter of your sovereign, who with one
single word can crush you to pieces. I say nothing of what
respects yourself. I leave you to reflect on what you have to do,
if you have ever so little thought. I come now to consider what
concerns myself. How could so extraordinary a thought come into
your head, as that I should go to the sultan and make a proposal
to him to give his daughter in marriage to you? Suppose I had,
not to say the boldness, but the impudence to present myself
before the sultan, and make so extravagant a request, to whom
should I address myself to be introduced to his majesty? Do you
not think the first person I should speak to would take me for a

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest