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The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 3 by Anon.

Part 8 out of 8

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see his son, and stopped to talk with him as he was accustomed to
do. When he was gone, the impostor learnt from his son who he
was. He increased his assiduities, caressed him in the most
engaging manner, made him some small presents, and often asked
him to dine and sup with him; when he treated him very

Ali Baba's son did not choose to lie under such obligation to
Khaujeh Houssain, without making the like return; but was so much
straitened for want of room in his house, that he could not
entertain him so well as he wished; he therefore acquainted his
father Ali Baba with his intention, and told him that it did not
look well for him to receive such favours from Khaujeh Houssain,
without inviting him in return.

Ali Baba, with great pleasure, took the treat upon himself.
"Son," said he, "to-morrow being Friday, which is a day that the
shops of such great merchants as Khaujeh Houssain and yourself
are shut, get him to take a walk with you, and as you come back,
pass by my door, and call in. It will look better to have it
happen accidentally, than if you gave him a formal invitation. I
will go and order Morgiana to provide a supper."

The next day Ali Baba's son and Khaujeh Houssain met by
appointment, took their walk, and as they returned, Ali Baba's
son led Khaujeh Houssain through the street where his father
lived; and when they came to the house, stopped and knocked at
the door. "This, sir," said he, "is my father's house; who, from
the account I have given him of your friendship, charged me to
procure him the honour of your acquaintance; and I desire you to
add this pleasure to those for which I am already indebted to

Though it was the sole aim of Khaujeh Houssain to introduce
himself into Ali Baba's house, that he might kill him without
hazarding his own life or making any noise; yet he excused
himself, and offered to take his leave. But a slave having opened
the door, Ali Baba's son took him obligingly by the hand, and in
a manner forced him in.

Ali Baba received Khaujeh Houssain with a smiling countenance,
and in the most obliging manner he could wish. He thanked him for
all the favours he had done his son; adding withal, the
obligation was the greater, as he was a young man not much
acquainted with the world, and that he might contribute to his

Khaujeh Houssain returned the compliment, by assuring Ali Baba,
that though his son might not have acquired the experience of
older men, he had good sense equal to the experience of many
others. After a little more conversation on different subjects,
he offered again to take his leave; when Ali Baba, stopping him,
said, "Where are you going, sir, in so much haste? I beg you
would do me the honour to sup with me, though what I have to give
you is not worth your acceptance; but such as it is, I hope you
will accept it as heartily as I give it." "Sir," replied Khaujeh
Houssain, "I am thoroughly persuaded of your good-will; and if I
ask the favour of you not to take it ill that I do not accept
your obliging invitation, I beg of you to believe that it does
not proceed from any slight or intention to affront, but from a
reason which you would approve if you knew it."

"And what may that reason be, sir," replied Ali Baba, "if I may
be so bold as to ask you?" "It is," answered Khaujeh Houssain,
"that I can eat no victuals that have any salt in them; therefore
judge how I should feel at your table." "If that is the only
reason," said Ali Baba, "it ought not to deprive me of the honour
of your company at supper; for, in the first place, there is no
salt ever put into my bread, and as to the meat we shall have to-
night, I promise you there shall be none in that. Therefore you
must do me the favour to stay. I will return immediately."

Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and ordered Morgiana to put no
salt to the meat that was to be dressed that night; and to make
quickly two or three ragouts besides what he had ordered, but be
sure to put no salt in them.

Morgiana, who was always ready to obey her master, could not
help, this time, seeming somewhat dissatisfied at his strange
order. "Who is this difficult man," said she, "who eats no salt
with his meat? Your supper will be spoiled, if I keep it back so
long." "Do not be angry, Morgiana," replied Ali Baba: "he is an
honest man; therefore do as I bid you."

Morgiana obeyed, though with no little reluctance, and had a
curiosity to see this man who ate no salt. To this end, when she
had finished what she had to do in the kitchen, she helped
Abdoollah to carry up the dishes; and looking at Khaujeh
Houssain, knew him at first sight, notwithstanding his disguise,
to be the captain of the robbers, and examining him very
carefully, perceived that he had a dagger under his garment. "I
am not in the least amazed," said she to herself, "that this
wicked wretch, who is my master's greatest enemy, would eat no
salt with him, since he intends to assassinate him; but I will
prevent him".

Morgiana, while they were eating, made the necessary preparations
for executing one of the boldest acts ever meditated, and had
just determined, when Abdoollah came for the dessert of fruit,
which she carried up, and as soon as Abdoollah had taken the meat
away, set it upon the table; after that, she placed three glasses
by Ali Baba, and going out, took Abdoollah with her to sup, and
to give Ali Baba the more liberty of conversation with his guest.

Khaujeh Houssain, or rather the captain of the robbers, thought
he had now a favourable opportunity of being revenged on Ali
Baba. "I will," said he to himself, "make the father and son both
drunk: the son, whose life I intend to spare, will not be able to
prevent my stabbing his father to the heart; and while the slaves
are at supper, or asleep in the kitchen, I can make my escape
over the gardens as before."

Instead of going to supper, Morgiana, who had penetrated the
intentions of the counterfeit Khaujeh Houssain, would not give
him time to put his villanous design into execution, but dressed
herself neatly with a suitable head-dress like a dancer, girded
her waist with a silver-gilt girdle, to which there hung a
poniard with a hilt and guard of the same metal, and put a
handsome mask on her face. When she had thus disguised herself,
she said to Abdoollah, "Take your tabor, and let us go and divert
our master and his son's guest, as we do sometimes when he is

Abdoollah took his tabor and played all the way into the hall
before Morgiana, who, when she came to the door, made a low
obeisance, with a deliberate air, in order to draw attention, and
by way of asking leave to exhibit her skill. Abdoollah, seeing
that his master had a mind to say something, left off playing.
"Come in, Morgiana," said Ali Baba, "and let Khaujeh Houssain see
what you can do, that he may tell us what he thinks of you."
"But, sir," said he, turning towards his guest, "do not think
that I put myself to any expense to give you this diversion,
since these are my slave and my cook and housekeeper; and I hope
you will not find the entertainment they give us disagreeable."

Khaujeh Houssain, who did not expect this diversion after supper,
began to fear he should not be able to improve the opportunity he
thought he had found; but hoped, if he now missed his aim, to
secure it another time, by keeping up a friendly correspondence
with the father and son; therefore, though he could have wished
Ali Baba would have declined the dance, he pretended to be
obliged to him for it, and had the complaisance to express his
satisfaction at what he saw pleased his host.

As soon as Abdoollah saw that Ali Baba and Khaujeh Houssain had
done talking, he began to play on the tabor, and accompanied it
with an air; to which Morgiana, who was an excellent performer,
danced in such a manner as would have created admiration in any
other company besides that before which she now exhibited, among
whom, perhaps, none but the false Khaujeh Houssain was in the
least attentive to her, the rest having seen her so frequently.

After she had danced several dances with equal propriety and
grace, she drew the poniard, and holding it in her hand, began a
dance, in which she outdid herself, by the many different
figures, light movements, and the surprising leaps and wonderful
exertions with which she accompanied it. Sometimes she presented
the poniard to one's breast, sometimes to another's, and
oftentimes seeming to strike her own. At last, as if she was out
of breath, she snatched the tabor from Abdoollah with her left
hand, and holding the dagger in her right, presented the other
side of the tabor, after the manner of those who get a livelihood
by dancing, and solicit the liberality of the spectators.

Ali Baba put a piece of gold into the tabor, as did also his son;
and Khaujeh Houssain seeing that she was coming to him, had
pulled his purse out of his bosom to make her a present; but
while he was putting his hand into it, Morgiana, with a courage
and resolution worthy of herself, plunged the poniard into his

Ali Baba and his son, shocked at this action, cried out aloud.
"Unhappy wretch!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what have you done to ruin
me and my family?" "It was to preserve, not to ruin you,"
answered Morgiana; "for see here," continued she (opening the
pretended Khaujeh Houssain's garment, and shewing the dagger),
"what an enemy you had entertained! Look well at him, and you
will find him to be both the fictitious oil-merchant, and the
captain of the gang of forty robbers. Remember, too, that he
would eat no salt with you; and what would you have more to
persuade you of his wicked design? Before I saw him I suspected
him as soon as you told me you had such a guest. I knew him, and
you now find that my suspicion was not groundless."

Ali Baba, who immediately felt the new obligation he had to
Morgiana for saving his life a second time, embraced her:
"Morgiana," said he, "I gave you your liberty, and then promised
you that my gratitude should not stop there, but that I would
soon give you higher proofs of its sincerity, which I now do by
making you my daughter-in-law." Then addressing himself to his
son, he said, "I believe you, son, to be so dutiful a child, that
you will not refuse Morgiana for your wife. You see that Khaujeh
Houssain sought your friendship with a treacherous design to take
away my life; and, if he had succeeded, there is no doubt but he
would have sacrificed you also to his revenge. Consider, that by
marrying Morgiana you marry the preserver of my family and your

The son, far from shewing any dislike, readily consented to the
marriage; not only because he would not disobey his father, but
also because it was agreeable to his inclination.

After this, they thought of burying the captain of the robbers
with his comrades, and did it so privately that nobody discovered
their bones till many years after, when no one had any concern in
the publication of this remarkable history.

A few days afterwards, Ali Baba celebrated the nuptials of his
son and Morgiana with great solemnity, a sumptuous feast, and the
usual dancing and spectacles; and had the satisfaction to see
that his friends and neighbours, whom he invited, had no
knowledge of the true motives of the marriage; but that those who
were not unacquainted with Morgiana's good qualities commended
his generosity and goodness of heart.

Ali Baba forbore, after this marriage, from going again to the
robbers' cave, as he had done from the time he had brought away
his brother Cassim's mangled remains, for fear of being
surprised. He kept away after the death of the thirty-seven
robbers and their captain, supposing the other two, whom he could
get no account of, might be alive.

At the year's end, when he found they had not made any attempt to
disturb him, he had the curiosity to make another journey, taking
the necessary precautions for his safety. He mounted his horse,
and when he came to the cave, and saw no footsteps of men or
horses, looked upon it as a good sign. He alighted, tied his
horse to a tree, then approaching the entrance, and pronouncing
the words, Open, Sesame, the door opened. He entered the cavern,
and by the condition he found things in, judged that nobody had
been there since the false Khaujeh Houssain, when he had fetched
the goods for his shop, that the gang of forty robbers was
completely destroyed, and no longer doubted that he was the only
person in the world who had the secret of opening the cave, so
that all the treasure was at his sole disposal. Having brought
with him a wallet, he put into it as much gold as his horse would
carry, and returned to town.

Afterwards Ali Baba carried his son to the cave, taught him the
secret, which they handed down to their posterity, who, using
their good fortune with moderation, lived in great honour and


In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there lived at
Bagdad a merchant whose name was Ali Khaujeh, who was neither one
of the richest nor poorest of his line. He was a bachelor, and
lived in the house which had been his father's, independent and
content with the profit he made by his trade. But happening to
dream for three successive nights that a venerable old man came
to him, and, with a severe look, reprimanded him for not having
made a pilgrimage to Mecca, he was much troubled.

As a good Mussulmaun, he knew he was obliged to undertake a
pilgrimage; but as he had a house, shop, and goods, he had always
believed that they might stand for a sufficient reason to excuse
him, endeavouring by his charity, and other good works, to atone
for that neglect. After this dream, however, his conscience was
so much pricked, that the fear lest any misfortune should befall
him made him resolve not to defer it any longer; and to be able
to go that year, he sold off his household goods, his shop, and
with it the greatest part of his merchandize, reserving only some
articles, which he thought might turn to a better account at
Mecca; and meeting with a tenant for his house, let that also.

His affairs being thus disposed, he was ready to depart when the
Bagdad caravan set out for Mecca: the only thing he had to do was
to lodge in some place of security a sum of a thousand pieces of
gold, which would have been troublesome to carry with him, with
the money he had set apart to defray his expenses on the road,
and for other purposes. To this end, he made choice of a jar of a
suitable size, put the thousand pieces of gold into it, and
covered them over with olives. When he had closed the mouth of
the jar, he carried it to a merchant, a particular friend of his,
and said to him, "You know, brother, that in a few days I mean to
depart with the caravan, on my pilgrimage to Mecca. I beg the
favour of you to take charge of a jar of olives, and keep it for
me till I return." The merchant promised him he would, and in an
obliging manner said, "Here, take the key of my warehouse, and
set your jar where you please. I promise you shall find it there
when you return."

On the day the caravan was to set out Ali Khaujeh joined it, with
a camel loaded with what goods he had thought fit to carry, which
also served him to ride on. He arrived safe at Mecca, where he
visited, with other pilgrims, the temple so much celebrated and
frequented by the faithful of all nations every year, who came
from all parts of the world, and observed religiously the
ceremonies prescribed them. When he had acquitted himself of the
duties of his pilgrimage, he exposed the merchandize he had
brought with him for sale or barter, as might be most profitable.

Two merchants passing by, and seeing Ali Khaujeh's goods, thought
them so choice, that they stopped some time to look at, though
they had no occasion for them; and when they had satisfied their
curiosity, one of them said to the other, as they were going
away, "If this merchant knew to what profit these goods would
turn at Cairo he would carry them thither, and not sell them
here, though this is a good mart."

Ali Khaujeh heard these words; and as he had often heard talk of
the beauties of Egypt, he was resolved to take the opportunity of
seeing them, by performing a journey thither. Therefore, after
having packed up his goods again, instead of returning to Bagdad,
he set out for Egypt, with the caravan of Cairo. When he came
thither, he found his account in his journey, and in a few days
sold all his goods to a greater advantage than he had hoped for.
With the money he bought others, with an intent to go to
Damascus: and while he waited for the opportunity of a caravan,
which was to depart in six weeks, visited all the curiosities of
Cairo, as also the pyramids, and sailing up the Nile, viewed the
famous towns on each side of that river.

As the Damascus caravan took Jerusalem in their way, our Bagdad
merchant had the opportunity of visiting the temple, regarded by
the Mussulmauns to be the most holy, after that of Mecca, whence
this city takes its name of Biel al Mukkuddus, or most sacred

Ali Khaujeh found Damascus so delicious a place, being environed
by verdant meadows, pleasantly watered, and delightful gardens,
that it exceeded the descriptions given of it in the journals of
travellers. Here he made a long abode, but, nevertheless, did not
forget his native Bagdad: for which place he at length set out,
and arrived at Aleppo, where he made some stay; and from thence,
after having passed the Euphrates, he bent his course to
Moussoul, with an intention, in his return, to come by a shorter
way down the Tigris.

When Ali Khaujeh came to Moussoul, some Persian merchants, with
whom he had travelled from Aleppo, and with whom he had
contracted a great friendship, had obtained so great an influence
over him by their civilities and agreeable conversation, that
they easily persuaded him not to leave them till he should have
visited Sheerauz, from whence he might easily return to Bagdad
with a considerable profit. They led him through the towns of
Sultania, Rei, Coam, Caschan, Ispahan, and from thence to
Sheerauz; from whence he had the complaisance to bear them
company to Hindoostan, and then returned with them again to
Sheerauz; insomuch, that including the stay made in every town,
he was seven years absent from Bagdad, whither he then resolved
to return.

All this time his friend, with whom he had left his jar of
olives, neither thought of him nor them; but at the time when he
was on the road with a caravan from Sheerauz, one evening as this
merchant was supping with his family, the discourse happened to
fall upon olives, and his wife was desirous to eat some, saying,
she had not tasted any for a long while. "Now you speak of
olives," said the merchant, "you put me in mind of a jar which
Ali Khaujeh left with me seven years ago, when he went to Mecca;
and put it himself in my warehouse to be kept for him against he
returned. What is become of him I know not; though, when the
caravan came back, they told me he was gone for Egypt. Certainly
he must be dead, since he has not returned in all this time; and
we may eat the olives, if they prove good. Give me a plate and a
candle, I will go and fetch some of them, and we will taste

"For God's sake, husband," said the wife, "do not commit so base
an action; you know that nothing is more sacred than what is
committed to one's care and trust. You say Ali Khaujeh has left
Mecca, and is not returned; but you have been told that he is
gone into Egypt; and how do you know but that he may be gone
farther? As you have no intelligence of his death, he may return
to-morrow for any thing you can tell: and what a disgrace would
it be to you and your family if he should come, and you not
restore him his jar in the same condition he left it? I declare I
have no desire for the olives, and will not taste them, for when
I mentioned them it was only by way of conversation; besides, do
you think that they can be good, after they have been kept so
long? They most be all mouldy, and spoiled; and if Ali Khaujeh
should return, as I have a strong persuasion he will, and should
find they had been opened, what will he think of your honour? I
beg of you to let them alone."

The wife had not argued so long with her husband, but that she
read his obstinacy in his face. In short, he never regarded what
she said, but got up, took a candle and a plate, and went into
the warehouse. "Well, husband," said the wife again, "remember I
have no hand in this business; and that you cannot lay any thing
to my charge, if you should have cause to repent of your

The merchant's ears were deaf to these remonstrances of his wife,
and he persisted in his design. When he came into the warehouse,
he opened the jar, and found the olives mouldy; but to see if
they were all so to the bottom, he turned some of them upon the
plate; and by shaking the jar, some of the gold tumbled out.

At the sight of the gold, the merchant, who was naturally
covetous, looked into the jar, perceived that he had shaken out
almost all the olives, and what remained was gold coin. He
immediately put the olives into the jar again, covered it up, and
returned to his wife. "Indeed, wife," said he, "you were in the
right to say that the olives were all mouldy; for I found them
so, and have made up the jar just as Ali Khaujeh left it; so that
he will not perceive that they have been touched, if he should
return." "You had better have taken my advice," said the wife,
"and not have meddled with them. God grant no mischief happens in

The merchant was not more affected with his wife's last words
than he had been by her former, but spent almost the whole night
in thinking how he might appropriate Ali Khaujeh's gold to his
own use, and keep possession of it in case he should return and
ask him for the jar. The next morning he went and bought some
olives of that year, took out the old with the gold, and filled
the jar with the new, covered it up, and put it in the place
where Ali Khaujeh had left it.

About a month after the merchant had committed this unworthy
action, Ali Khaujeh arrived at Bagdad; and as he had let his
house, alighted at a khan, choosing to stay there till he had
announced his arrival to his tenant, and given him time to
provide himself with another residence.

The next morning Ali Khaujeh went to pay a visit to the merchant
his friend, who received him in the most obliging manner; and
expressed great joy at his return, after so many years absence;
telling him, that he had begun to lose all hopes of ever seeing
him again.

After the usual compliments on both sides on such a meeting, Ali
Khaujeh desired the merchant to return him the jar of olives
which he had left. with him, and to excuse the liberty he had
taken in giving him so much trouble.

"My dear friend," replied the merchant, "you are to blame to make
these apologies, your vessel has been no inconvenience to me; on
such an occasion I should have made as free with you: there is
the key of my warehouse, go and fetch your jar ; you will find it
in the place where you deft it."

Ali Khaujeh went into the merchant's warehouse, took his jar; and
after having returned him the key with thanks for the favour he
had done: him, returned with it to the khan where he lodged; but
on opening the jar, and putting his hand down as low as the
pieces of gold had lain, was greatly surprised to find none. At
first he thought he might perhaps be mistaken; and, to discover
the truth, poured out all the olives into his travelling
kitchen-utensils, but without so much as finding one single piece
of money. His astonishment was so great, that he stood for some
time motionless; then lifting up his hands and eyes to Heaven, he
exclaimed, "Is it possible that a man, whom I took for my friend,
should be guilty of such baseness?"

Ali Khaujeh, alarmed at the apprehension of so considerable a
loss, returned immediately to the merchant. "My good friend,"
said he, "be not surprised to see me come back so soon. I own the
jar of olives to be the same I placed in your warehouse; but with
the olives I put into it a thousand pieces of gold, which I do
not find. Perhaps you might have occasion for them, and have
employed them in trade: if so they are at your service till it
may be convenient for you to return them; only put me out of my
pain, and give me an acknowledgment, after which you may pay me
at your own convenience."

The merchant, who had expected that Ali Khaujeh would come with
such a complaint, had meditated an answer. "Friend Ali Khaujeh,"
said he, "when you brought your jar to me did I touch it? did not
I give you the key of my warehouse, did not you carry it there
yourself, and did not you find it in the same place, covered in
the same manner as when you left it? And if you had put gold in
it, you must have found it. You told me it contained olives, and
I believed you. This is all I know of the matter: you may
disbelieve me if you please; but I never touched them."

Ali Khaujeh used all the mild methods he could think of to oblige
the merchant to restore his property. "I love peace and
quietness," said he to him, "and shall be sorry to come to those
extremities which will bring the greatest disgrace upon you;
consider, that merchants, as we are, ought to abandon all
interest to preserve a good reputation. Once again I tell you, I
shall be greatly concerned if your obstinacy oblige me to force
you to do me justice; for I would rather almost lose what is my
right than have recourse to law."

"Ali Khaujeh," replied the merchant, "you agree that you left a
jar of olives with me; and now you have taken it away, you come
and ask me for a thousand pieces of gold. Did you ever tell me
that such a sum was in the jar? I did not even know that they
were olives, for you never showed them to me. I wonder you do not
ask me for diamonds and pearls instead of gold; be gone about
your business, and do not raise a mob about my warehouse;" for
some persons had already collected. These words were pronounced
in such great heat and passion, as not only made those who stood
about the warehouse already stay longer, and create a greater
mob, but the neighbouring merchants came out of their shops to
learn what the dispute was between Ali Khaujeh and the merchant,
and endeavoured to reconcile them; but when Ali Khaujeh had
informed them of his grievance, they asked the merchant what he
had to say.

The merchant owned that he had kept the jar for Ali Khaujeh in
his warehouse, but denied that ever he had meddled with it; swore
that he knew it contained olives, only because Ali Khaujeh told
him so, and requested them all to bear witness of the insult and
affront offered him. "You bring it upon yourself," said Ali
Khaujeh taking him by the arm; "but since you use me so basely, I
cite you to the law of God: let us see whether you will have the
assurance to say the same thing before the cauzee."

The merchant could not refuse the summons, which every Mussulmaun
is bound to observe, or be declared a rebel against religion; but
said, "With all my heart; we shall soon see who is in the wrong."

Ali Khaujeh carried the merchant before the magistrate, where he
accused him of having, by breach of trust, defrauded him of a
thousand pieces of gold, which he had left with him. The cauzee
demanded if he had any witnesses; to which he replied, that he
had not taken that precaution, because he had believed the person
he trusted his money with to be his friend, and always took him
for an honest man.

The merchant made the same defence he had done before the
merchants his neighbours, offering to make oath that he never had
the money he was accused of, and that he did not so much as know
there was such a sum; upon which the cauzee took his oath, and
dismissed him acquitted for want of evidence.

Ali Khaujeh, extremely mortified to find that he must sit down
with so considerable a loss, protested against the sentence,
declaring to the cauzee that he would appeal to the caliph, who
would do him justice; which protestation the magistrate regarded
as the effect of the common resentment of those who lose their
cause; and thought he had done his duty in acquitting a person
who had been accused without witnesses.

While the merchant returned home triumphing over Ali Khaujeh and
overjoyed at his good fortune, the latter went and drew up a
petition; and the next day observing the time when the caliph
came from noon tide prayers, placed himself in the street he was
to pass through; and holding out his hand with the petition, an
officer appointed for that purpose, who always goes before the
caliph, came and took it to present it.

As Ali Khaujeh knew that it was the caliph's custom to read the
petitions at his return to the palace, he went into the court,
and waited till the officer who had taken the petition came out
of the caliph's apartment, who told him that the caliph had
appointed an hour to hear him next day; and then asking him where
the merchant lived, he sent to notify to him to attend at the
same time.

That same evening, the caliph, accompanied by the grand vizier
Jaaffier, and Mesrour the chief of the eunuchs, went disguised
through the town, as it was his custom occasionally to do; when,
on passing through a street, the caliph heard a noise, and
mending his pace, came to a gateway, which led into a little
court, in which he perceived ten or twelve children playing by

The caliph, who was curious to know at what play the children
were engaged, sat down on a stone bench just by; and heard one of
the liveliest of the children say, "Let us play at the cauzee I
will be the magistrate; bring Ali Khaujeh and the merchant who
cheated him of the thousand pieces of gold before me."

These words of the child put the caliph in mind of the petition
Ali Khaujeh had given him that day, and made him redouble his
attention to see the issue of the trial.

As the affair of Ali Khaujeh and the merchant had made a great
noise in Bagdad, it had not escaped the children, who all
accepted the proposition with joy, and agreed on the part each
was to act: not one of them refused him who made the proposal to
be cauzee: and when he had taken his seat, which he did with all
the seeming gravity of a judge, another, as an officer of the
court, presented two boys before him; one as Ali Khaujeh, and the
other as the merchant against whom he complained.

The pretended cauzee then directing his discourse to the feigned
Ali Khaujeh, asked him what he had to lay to that merchant's

Ali Khaujeh after a low obeisance, informed the young cauzee of
the fact, related every particular, and afterwards begged that he
would use his authority, that he might not lose so considerable a
sum of money.

The feigned cauzee, turning about to the merchant, then asked him
why he did not return the money which Ali Khaujeh demanded of

The feigned merchant alleged the same reasons as the real
merchant had done before the cauzee himself, and offered to
confirm by oath that what he had said was truth.

"Not so fast," replied the pretended cauzee; "before you come to
your oath, I should be glad to see the jar of olives. Ali
Khaujeh," said he, addressing himself to the boy who acted that
part, "have you brought the jar?" "No," replied he. "Then go and
fetch it immediately," said the other.

The pretended Ali Khaujeh went immediately, and returning,
feigned to set a jar before the cauzee, telling him that it was
the same he had left with the accused person, and received from
him again. But to omit no part of the formality, the supposed
cauzee asked the merchant if it was the same; and as by his
silence he seemed not to deny it, he ordered it to be opened. He
that represented Ali Khaujeh seemed to take off the cover, and
the pretended cauzee made as if he looked into it. "They are fine
olives," said he, "let me taste them;" and then pretending to eat
some, added, "They are excellent: but," continued he, "I cannot
think that olives will keep seven years, and be so good,
therefore send for some olive-merchants, and let me hear what is
their opinion." Two boys, as olive-merchants, then presented
themselves. "Are you olive-merchants?" said the sham cauzee.
"Tell me how long olives will keep fit to eat."

"Sir," replied the two merchants, "let us take what care we can,
they will hardly be worth any thing the third year; for then they
have neither taste nor colour." "If it be so," answered the
cauzee, "look into that jar, and tell me how long it is since
those olives were put into it?"

The two merchants pretended to examine and to taste the olives,
and told the cauzee they were new and good. "You are mistaken,"
said the young cauzee; "Ali Khaujeh says he put them into the jar
seven years ago."

"Sir," replied the merchants, "we can assure you they are of this
year's growth: and we will maintain there is not a merchant in
Bagdad but will say the same."

The feigned merchant who was accused would have objected against
the evidence of the olive-merchants; but the pretended cauzee
would not suffer him. "Hold your tongue," said he, "you are a
rogue; let him be impaled." The children then concluded their
play, clapping their hands with great joy, and seizing the
feigned criminal to carry him to execution.

Words cannot express how much the caliph Haroon al Rusheed
admired the sagacity and sense of the boy who had passed so just
a sentence, in an affair which was to be pleaded before himself
the next day. He withdrew, and rising off the bench, asked the
grand vizier, who heard all that had passed, what he thought of
it. "Indeed, commander of the true believers," answered the grand
vizier Jaaffier, "I am surprised to find so much sagacity in one
so young."

"But," answered the caliph, "do you know one thing? I am to
pronounce sentence in this very cause to-morrow; the true Ali
Khaujeh presented his petition to me to-day; and do you think,"
continued he, "that I can give a better sentence?" "I think not,"
answered the vizier, " if the case is as the children represented
it." "Take notice then of this house," said the caliph, "and
bring the boy to me to-morrow, that he may try this cause in my
presence; and also order the cauzee, who acquitted the merchant,
to attend to learn his duty from a child. Take care likewise to
bid Ali Khaujeh bring his jar of olives with him, and let two
olive-merchants attend." After this charge he pursued his rounds,
without meeting with any thing worth his attention.

The next day the vizier went to the house where the caliph had
been a witness of the children's play, and asked for the master;
but he being abroad, his wife appeared thickly veiled. He asked
her if she had any children. To which she answered, she had
three; and called them. "My brave boys," said the vizier, "which
of you was the cauzee when you played together last night?" The
eldest made answer, it was he: but, not knowing why he asked the
question, coloured. "Come along with me, my lad," said the grand
vizier; "the commander of the faithful wants to see you."

The mother was alarmed when she saw the grand vizier would take
her son with him, and asked, upon what account the caliph wanted
him? The grand vizier encouraged her, and promised that he should
return again in less than an hour's time, when she would know it
from himself. "If it be so, sir," said the mother, "give me leave
to dress him first, that he may be fit to appear before the
commander of the faithful:" which the vizier readily complied

As soon as the child was dressed, the vizier carried him away and
presented him to the caliph, at the time he had appointed to hear
Ali Khaujeh and the merchant.

The caliph, who saw that the boy was much abashed, in order to
encourage him, said, "Come to me, child, and tell me if it was
you that determined the affair between Ali Khaujeh and the
merchant who had cheated him of his money? I saw and heard the
decision, and am very well pleased with you." The boy answered
modestly, that it was he. "Well, my son," replied the caliph,
"come and sit down by me, and you shall see the true Ali Khaujeh,
and the true merchant."

The caliph then took him by the hand, seated him on the throne by
him, and asked for the two parties. When they were introduced,
they prostrated themselves before the throne, bowing their heads
quite down to the carpet that covered it. Afterwards the caliph
said to them, "Plead each of you your causes before this child,
who will hear and do you justice: and if he should be at a loss I
will assist him."

Ali Khaujeh and the merchant pleaded one after the other; but
when the merchant proposed his oath as before, the child said,
"It is too soon; it is proper that we should see the jar of

At these words Ali Khaujeh presented the jar, placed it at the
caliph's feet, and opened it. The caliph looked at the olives,
took one and tasted it, giving another to the boy. Afterwards the
merchants were called, who examined the olives, and reported that
they were good, and of that year. The boy told them, that Ali
Khaujeh affirmed that it was seven years since he had put them
up; when they returned the same answer as the children, who had
represented them the night before.

Though the wretch who was accused saw plainly that these
merchants' opinion must convict him, yet he would say something
in his own justification. But the child, instead of ordering him
to be impaled, looked at the caliph, and said "Commander of the
faithful, this is no jesting matter; it is your majesty that must
condemn him to death, and not I, though I did it yesterday in

The caliph, fully satisfied of the merchant's villany, delivered
him into the hands of the ministers of justice to be impaled. The
sentence was executed upon him, after he had confessed where he
had concealed the thousand pieces of gold, which were restored to
Ali Khaujeh. The monarch, most just and equitable, then turning
to the cauzee, bade him learn of that child to acquit himself
more exactly of his duty; and embracing the boy, sent him home
with a purse of a hundred pieces of gold as a token of his
liberality and admiration of his acuteness.

End of Volume 3.

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