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The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 4 by Anon.

Part 6 out of 8

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has a grand appearance, in so solitary a plain?" I then went to
the rear of the tent, and exclaimed, "Health to you, O
inhabitants of this tent, and may the Almighty to you be
merciful!" Upon this there advanced from it a youth, seemingly
about nineteen, who appeared graceful as the rising moon, and
valour and benevolence gleamed upon his aspect. He returned my
salutation, and said, "Brother Arab, perchance thou hast missed
thy way." I answered, "Yes, shew it, and may God requite thee!"
upon which he replied, "My dwelling, brother Arab, is at present
in this wild spot; but the night is dreary, and shouldst thou
proceed there is no surety against wild beasts tearing thee in
pieces. Lodge, then, at present with me in safety, and repose,
and when day shall appear I will direct thee on thy way." I
alighted, when he took my camel, picketted her, and gave her
water and fodder. He then retired for a while; but returned with
a sheep, which he killed, flayed, and cut up; then lighted a
fire, and when it was of a proper glow broiled part of the sheep,
which he had previously seasoned with sundry dried herbs, seeds,
and spices, and when ready presented his cookery to me.

During his hospitalities I observed that my kind host sometimes
beat his breast and wept, from which I guessed that he was in
love, and a wanderer, like myself. My curiosity was raised; but I
said within myself, "I am his guest, why should I intrude upon
him by painful questions?" and refrained from inquiry. When I had
eaten as much as sufficed me, the youth arose, went into his
tent, and brought out a basin and ewer, with a napkin embroidered
with silk and fringed with gold; also a cruet of rose water, in
which musk had been infused. I was astonished at his proceedings,
and the politeness of his demeanour, and exclaimed inwardly, "How
wonderful is the abode of so accomplished a personage in this
wild desert." We made our ablutions, and conversed awhile upon
various subjects; after which my gentle host went to his tent,
from whence he brought out a piece of red silk damask, which he
divided between us, saying, "Brother Arab, go into my tent and
choose thy place of repose, for last night and to-day great must
have been thy hardship and fatigue."

I entered the tent, and in one partition of it found a mattress
of green damask: upon which, having pulled off my upper garments,
I lay down, and slept so soundly that I never enjoyed, before or
since, so refreshing a repose. At length I awoke, when night was
far advanced, and became involved in thought respecting my
hospitable host; but knew not what to conjecture, and was sinking
again into slumber, when, lo! gentle murmurs struck my ears, than
which I never heard sound more soft or tenderly affecting. I
lifted up the curtain of my partition, and looked around, when I
beheld a damsel more beautiful than any I had ever seen, seated
by the generous owner of the tent. They wept and complained of
the agonies of love, of separation and interruptions to their
desire of frequent meetings. Then I said within myself, "There is
a wonderfully dignified appearance in this amiable youth, yet he
lives alone, and I have seen no other tent on the plain. What can
I conjecture, but that this damsel must be a daughter of one of
the good genii, who has fallen in love with him, and upon her
account he has retired to this solitary spot?" Respect for their
love made me drop the curtain; I drew the coverlid over me, and
again fell asleep.

When the morning dawned I awoke, dressed, and having performed my
ablutions and prayers, said to the young man, who had already
risen, "Brother Arab, if in addition to thy hospitalities already
shewn thou wilt put me in my way, my obligations will be
complete. "He looked kindly, and said, "If convenient, my
brother, let me entertain thee as my guest for three days." I
could not refuse his hospitable request, and abode with him. On
the third day I ventured to inquire his name and family, when he
replied, "I am of the noble tribe of Azzra," and I discovered
that he was the son of my father's brother. "Son of my uncle,"
exclaimed I, "what can have induced thee to court the seclusion
of this desert spot, and to quit thy kinsmen, neighbours, and

Upon hearing these words, the eyes of the youth became suffused
with tears, he sighed, and said, "Ah! my cousin, I passionately
admired the daughter of my uncle, and was so devoted to her love
that I asked her in marriage; but he refused me, and wedded her
to another of our tribe richer than myself, who carried her to
his abode. When she was thus torn from me, despair agitated my
soul, I quitted my relations, friends, and companions, became
enamoured of solitude, and retired to this lonely spot."

When he had finished his communication, I said, "But where is the
abode of thy beloved and thy successful rival?" He replied, "Near
the summit of yonder mountain, from whence, as frequently as
opportunity will allow, in the stillness of night, when sleep
hath overpowered the eyes of the village, she ventures to my
tent, and we enjoy the company of each other; but believe me, my
brother, our passion is innocent as devotional love. Hence I
dwell here in the manner you have witnessed, and while she visits
me delightful will pass the hours, until Allah shall execute his
appointed decrees, and reward our constancy in this world, or
consign us to the grave together."

When the unfortunate youth had concluded his narration, at which
I was affected with sincere compassion for his circumstances, an
eager desire to relieve the lovers from their oppressors occupied
my mind, and after much consideration I addressed him thus: "If
thou choosest, I think I can point out a plan which, under the
blessing of Allah, may end the sufferings of thyself and thy
beloved." He replied, "O son of my uncle, reveal it to me!" and I
continued, saying, "When night shall arrive, and the damsel
cometh, let us seat her upon my camel; for she is sure-footed and
swift of pace; do thou then mount thy steed, and I will accompany
you upon one of your camels. We will travel all night, and ere
morning shall have passed the forest, when you will be safe, and
thy heart will be rendered happy with thy beloved. The land of
God is wide enough to afford us an asylum; and by Heaven I swear,
that while life remains I will be thy friend." The youth replied,
"Son of my uncle, I will consult upon thy plan with my beloved,
for she is prudent and well-informed."

When night had shut in, and the usual hour of the damsel's coming
approached, my kind host impatiently expefted her arrival; but in
vain, for she did not appear. He rose, stood in the doorway of
the tent, opened his mouth, and drew in the exhalations of the
gale, then returned, sat down pensively for a few minutes, and at
last bursting into tears, exclaimed, "Ah! my cousin, there are no
tidings of the daughter of my uncle, some, mishap must have
befallen her. Remain here while I go in search of intelligence."
Having said thus, he took up his sabre, his lance, and departed.

When somewhat more than an hour had elapsed, I heard his
footstep, and soon perceived him advancing, bearing something
bulky in his arms, while he called loudly upon me in a
distressful tone. I hastened towards him, and upon my arrival he
exclaimed, "Alas, alas! the beloved daughter of my uncle is no
more, and I bear her remains. She was hastening, as usual, to my
tent, when suddenly a lion sprung upon her in the path, and tore
her in pieces. These relics are all that remain of my beloved."
He then laid them down, and, lo! the thigh bones of the damsel
and part of her ribs. He wept piteously, and said, "Remain here
till I return;" after which he departed with the swiftness of an
arrow. In about an hour he returned, and in his hand was the head
of the lion, which he threw down, and asked eagerly for water,
which I brought him. He then washed his hands, cleansed the mouth
of the lion, which he rapturously kissed, and wept bitterly for
some moments. He then exclaimed, "By Allah, I conjure thee, O son
of my uncle, and by the ties of relationship between us, that
thou observe my will; for within this hour I shall follow my
beloved; be thou our mourner, and bury her remains with mine in
the same grave." Having said this, he retired into the sleeping
partition of the tent; where he remained at his devotions for an
hour, then came out, beat his breast, sighed deeply, and at
length heaved his expiring groan, saying, "I come, I come, my
beloved, I come!" and his pure soul took flight for the mansions
of Paradise.

When I beheld his corpse, sad indeed was my condition, and from
excess of sorrow I found it difficult to perform my promise; but
at length I arose, washed, enshrouded, and laid the remains of
these constant lovers in the same grave, near which I remained
for three days in prayer and lamentation; after which I departed
homewards: but have not failed annually to visit the spot, to
bedew their grave with my tears, and pray for the mercy of Allah
to their souls and my own errors.


Some ages back a certain sultan of Sind had a son by a concubine,
who behaved so rudely to his sultana, that she became dispirited
and lost her health, which her favourite woman observing,
resolved by stratagem to get rid of the prince. She advised her
mistress, when he might next insult her, to say to him, "That he
would never appear becoming his rank till he was beloved by
Fatima, daughter of a sultan named Amir bin Naomaun." The queen
having followed the woman's directions, the prince resolved to
travel to the country of the princess, and demand her in
marriage. Accordingly, having obtained the consent of the sultan
his father, he departed with an attendance suitable to his rank.
After marching for some time he entered a desert, which was
covered with a numberless flight of locusts, that had fallen
exhausted for want of food. Pitying their distress, he ordered
meal to be spread on the ground, when the locusts having
refreshed themselves flew away. Some days after this incident he
reached a thick forest crowded with elephants, and herds of wild
animals of every description; but as they did not attempt to
attack him, and were in a starving condition, he ordered some of
his cattle to be killed, and distributed to them for food. Having
satisfied themselves they retired, shewing every sign that
dumbness would allow of being pleased with his kind treatment. On
his march onwards the prince met a venerable old man, of whom he
inquired the route to the territories of Amir bin Naomaun, and
was informed that they were at no great distance; but only to be
entered by a range of rugged and steep mountains composed of
iron-stone, and next to impassable; also, that should he succeed
in overcoming this difficulty, it was in vain to hope to attain
the princess. The prince inquiring the reason, the old man
continued, "Sultan Amir bin Noamaun has resolved that no one
shall wed his daughter unless he can perform three tasks which he
will impose, and these are of so difficult a nature as not to be
executed by the labour or ingenuity of man, and many unhappy
princes have lost their heads in the attempt; for he puts them to
death instantly on failure: be advised, therefore, and give up so
fruitless an expedition." The prince, instead of listening to the
admonition of the old man, resolved to proceed; and having
requested his prayers and benedictions, continued his march. In a
short time, having entered the passes of the mountains, he
discovered vast caverns inhabited by a species of genii, who were
employed in working upon masses of iron-stone, which they dug
from the rock. The prince having entertained them with a
hospitable feast, they, in return, shewed him the easiest route
through the stupendous mountains, and he at length arrived in
safety before the capital of sultan Amir bin Naomaun, to whom he
sent an envoy, requesting leave to encamp on the plain, and to
offer himself as a candidate for the beautiful princess his
daughter. The sultan, in reply, acceded to his petition, and
invited him to the palace; where, in the evening, he was led into
a court, in which was placed an immense vessel filled with three
kinds of grain mixed together, which (as his first task towards
obtaining the princess) he was to separate entirely from each
other, and put into three heaps; which if not accomplished before
sunrise, he was then to forfeit his head in punishment for his
temerity. It being now too late to recede, the prince resigned
himself to Providence; and the gates of the court being locked
upon him, he prayed to Allah, and began to separate the grains;
but finding his progress vain, his spirits deserted him about
midnight, and he left off his fruitless labour in despair,
endeavouring to reconcile himself to death. While he was praying
for fortitude to bear him up in his last moments, a voice was
heard, saying, "Be comforted, and receive the reward of thy
charity to famished insects." Immediately after this the heavens
were obscured, as if by thick clouds, which descended on the
court, when, lo! this phenomenon proved to be myriads of locusts;
who, alighting on the vessel, in a few hours emptied it of all
the grain, which they disposed of, each in its kind, in three
several heaps, and having given a general buzzing of salutation,
took flight, and vanished into the air. The prince was overjoyed
at the miraculous accomplishment of his task by the grateful
locusts, and having offered up thanks to Allah and the prophet
for his deliverance from impending destruction, composed himself
to rest, doubting not but that they would assist him to overcome
the two remaining labours. Great was the surprise of the sultan
Amir bin Naomaun, when, on coming at daylight to the court, he
beheld his intended victim in a profound sleep, and the grain in
three separate heaps, neatly piled up in the form of domes. The
prince awaking, saluted him, and demanded to be informed of his
next task; but the sultan put him off to the evening, until when
he entertained him at the palace with a most magnificent feast;
and his obdurate heart was so softened by the noble address and
demeanour of his guest, that he wished he might be able to
overcome the remaining impositions and become his son-in-law. The
princess, also, who had the curiosity to look at him through the
blinds of her apartments, was so fascinated with his appearance
that she prayed for his success.

When night had set in, the prince was conducted to an open plain
in front of the palace, in the centre of which was a large
reservoir full of clear water, which the sultan commanded him to
drain off before sunrise, or forfeit his life. The prince
remained alone on the brink of the reservoir with rather somewhat
more hope of success than he had felt of overcoming his task of
the preceding night; nor was he disappointed, for about midnight
a voice was heard exclaiming, "Prince, benevolence is never
unrequited:" and, lo! the plain was filled with elephants,
rhinoceroses, camels, dromedaries, lions, tigers, and every
species of wild beasts, in such immense droves as could not be
numbered, who, advancing in turn to the reservoir, drank in such
quantity that it, at length, was completely emptied, and became
as dry as if just finished. The beasts then expressing pleasure
by their varying natural noises at having served their benefadlor
departed, and left him to enjoy the deliverance from the labour
imposed upon him.

The prince, now more assured than ever that he was the favourite
of Allah and the prophet, after offering up prayers with a
relieved heart, slept comfortably in a building creeled on the
margin of the reservoir, and was only awakened by the call of the
sultan at sun-rise, who was more astonished at the accomplishment
of this labour than the former, though certainly each was equally
difficult. He conducted the prince to his palace, and the day was
spent in the highest festivity.

At the approach of night the prince was conducted to his third
task, which was to complete and fit up before daylight from a
vast mass of planks of the choicest timber ready stored the
doors, windows, and balconies of an unfinished palace, much
larger than that which the sultan inhabited. The prince at the
apprehension of the consequences of failure was somewhat alarmed;
but the recollection of his former aids supported him, and after
offering up his devotions he sat down, composedly waiting for the
decision of Providence on his fate. His resignation was accepted,
for at midnight he was roused from his contemplations by the
sounds of sawing, planing, hammering, nailing, and the songs of
happy work-men. Looking up he perceived his friends of the iron
mountains; who, all saluting him, cried out, "Prince, set your
heart at rest, for we are come to repay you for your hospitable
feast." Before daylight the palace was fitted up in a manner more
elegant than can be described, and every door, window, and
balcony painted with the most brilliant colours, flowered with
silver and gold. The grateful labourers of the iron mountains
having finished their work, respectfully saluted the prince and

The prince having taken a grateful leave of his useful friends,
walked through the palace, and was eagerly employed in admiring
its elegance and the magnificence of their finishing hand, when
the sultan Amir bin Naomaun, who from his apartments at sun-rise
had observed the miraculous completion, appeared, having hastened
to examine the superb workmanship, and to congratulate his son-
in-law, for as such he now acknowledged him, and as the favoured
of Allah, and of the last of prophets. He conducted the prince to
the palace, and the most magnificent preparations being made, the
nuptials with his daughter were celebrated in the new edifice,
where the bride and bridegroom enjoyed themselves for three
months, at the expiration of which the prince begged permission
to return to his father's dominions, which he reached just in
time to release him from the attack of an inimical sultan, who
had invaded the country, and laid close siege to his capital. His
father received him with rapture, and the prince having made an
apology to the sultana for his former rude behaviour, she
received his excuses, and having no child of her own readily
adopted him as her son; so that the royal family lived henceforth
in the utmost harmony, till the death of the sultan and sultana,
when the prince succeeded to the empire.


There formerly dwelt in the city of Damascus two brothers, one
poor and the other rich, the former of whom had a son, and the
latter a daughter. The poor man dying left his son, just emerging
from infancy, to the protection of his wealthy uncle, who behaved
to his unfortunate charge with paternal tenderness, till the
youth, who had exchanged vows of love with his cousin, requested
her in marriage; when the father refused, and expelled him from
his house. The young lady, however, who ardently loved him,
agreed to elope, and having one night escaped from her father's
dwelling, repaired to the object of her affection; who, having
had notice of her intentions, had prepared two horses and a mule
to carry their baggage. They travelled all night, and by morning
reached a sea-port, where they found a ship ready to sail, in
which, having secured a passage, the lady immediately embarked;
but the lover remained on shore to dispose of the horses and
mule. While he was seeking for a purchaser in the market, a fair
wind sprung up, and the master of the ship having weighed anchor,
hoisted sail and departed: the lady in vain entreating him to
wait the return of her beloved, or send her on shore, for he was
captivated with her beauty. Finding herself thus ensnared, as she
was a woman of strong mind, instead of indulging in unavailing
complaint, she assumed a satisfied air; and as the only way to
preserve her honour, received the addresses of the treacherous
master with pretended complacency, and consented to receive him
as a husband at the first port at which the ship might touch.
With these assurances he was contented, and behaved to her with
honourable deference, and affectionate respect. At length the
vessel anchored near a city, to which the captain went to make
preparations for his marriage; but the lady, while he was on
shore, addressed the ship's crew, setting forth with such force
his treacherous conduct to herself, and offering such rewards if
they would convey her to her lover at the port they had left,
that the honest sailors were moved in her favour, agreed to obey
her as their mistress, and hoisting sail, left the master to
shift for himself. After some days of favourable weather, a
contrary gale blowing hard, the vessel was driven far out of her
course, and for shelter obliged to anchor in the first haven that
offered, which proved to be that of a large city, the capital of
a potent sultan, whose officers came on board to examine the
vessel, and inquire into her cargo and destination. These men, to
their great surprise, finding it commanded by a lady of exquisite
beauty, reported her charms to the sultan, who resolved to
possess them, and sent her an offer of marriage; to which she
seemingly consented, and the sultan commanded the most splendid
preparations to be made for the nuptials. When all was ready, he
sent onboard the vessel the daughter of his vizier, with other
ladies, thirty-nine in number, magnificently attired, to wait
upon his bride, and attend her on shore. They were graciously
received by the politic lady, and invited to refresh themselves
in the grand cabin, which she had elegantly adorned with costly
hangings, and prepared in it a superb collation, to which they
sat down. She then dismissed the boats in which they came,
sending a message to the sultan that she should entertain the
ladies on board till the next morning, when she would repair on
shore and conclude their marriage. She behaved towards her new
guests with such winning affability, that they one and all
admired their expected sultana, and partook of the entertainment
with the highest satisfaction; but what was their surprise when,
in the middle of the night, she commanded the crew to weigh
anchor, having first warned them, on pain of her displeasure and
immediate death, to keep silence, and raise no alarm in the
harbour. The vessel sailed, and put to sea without being
molested, when the intrepid commandress consoled the affrighted
ladies, related to them her own adventures, and assured them that
when she should have rejoined her lover, they should, if they
chose it, be honourably restored to their homes; but in the mean
time she hoped they would contentedly share her fortunes. This
behaviour, by degrees, so won upon their minds, that the ladies
forgot their sorrows, became pleased with their situation, and in
a short time were so attached to their new mistress, that they
would not have left her had it been in their power. After some
weeks sail, it became necessary to steer towards the first coast
that should present itself, to lay in a supply of fresh water and
provisions, and land appearing, the vessel anchored, when the
lady with her companions went on shore. Here they were surrounded
by forty robbers, who threatened to take them prisoners; when the
heroic lady, desiring her friends to conceal their fears, assumed
a smiling countenance, and addressing the chief of the banditti,
assured him there would be no occasion for force, as she and her
companions were ready to share their love, being women who were
above the prejudices of their sex, and had devoted themselves to
pleasure, in search of which they roved on board their vessel
from one coast to another, and would now stay with them as long
as they might wish for their company. This declaration suiting
the depraved minds of the robbers, they laid aside their fierce
looks and warlike weapons, bringing abundance of all sorts of
provisions to regale their expected mistresses, with whom they
sat down to a plentiful repast, which was heightened by a store
of wines which the lady had brought in her boats from the ship.
Mirth and jollity prevailed; but the fumes of the liquors, in
which the politic lady had infused strong opiates, suddenly
operated upon their senses, and they fell down one and all in a
state of stupefaction. She then with her companions drew the
sabres of their brutal admirers and put them all to death
excepting the chief, whom they bound hand and foot with strong
cords, and after cutting off his beard and mustachios, tied his
own cimeter round his neck, leaving him to feel mortification
worse than death on the recovery of his senses, namely, the sight
of his slaughtered fellows, and regret at the loss of his
imagined happiness. The ladies then stripped the caves of the
robbers of the vast wealth which they had hoarded up from their
plunders, and having carried it on board their boats, with a
stock of water and provisions, returned to the ship, weighed
anchor, and sailed triumphant and rejoicing from such a dangerous
coast. After some weeks' sail they again descried land, to which
they approached, and discovered a spacious harbour, round which
rose a vast city, the buildings of which were sublimely lofty,
adorned with flights of marble steps to the water's edge, and
crowned with domes and minarets topped with pinnacles of gold.
The enterprising lady having anchored, clothed herself and her
companions in magnificent male habits; after which she ordered
the boats to be hoisted out, and they were rowed ashore by part
of their crew richly dressed. On landing, they found all the
inhabitants of the city in mourning, and making doleful
lamentation for their late sultan, who had died only a few days
before. The gallant appearance of a stranger so nobly attended
created much surprise, and intelligence of the arrival was
instantly conveyed to the vizier, who acted as regent till the
eleftion of a new monarch, which ceremony was just on the point
of taking place. The minister, who thought he perceived in such a
critical arrival the work of fate, immediately waited on the now
supposed prince, whom he invited to be present at the election;
at the same time informing him that when in this kingdom a sultan
died without issue, the laws appointed that his successor should
be chosen by the alighting of a bird on his shoulder, which bird
would be let fly among the crowd assembled in the square before
the palace. The seeming prince accepted the invitation, and with
the disguised ladies was conducted to a gorgeous pavilion, open
on all sides, to view the ceremony. The ominous bird being
loosened from his chain, soared into the air to a great height,
then gradually descending, flew round and round the square
repeatedly, even with the faces of the spectators. At length it
darted into the pavilion, where the lady and her companions were
seated, fluttered around her head, and at length rested upon her
shoulder, giving at the same time a cry of exultation, stretching
its neck, and flapping its wings. Immediately upon this, the
viziers and courtiers bowed themselves to the ground, and the
assembled crowd prostrated themselves on the earth, crying out,
"Long live our glorious sultan, the chosen of Providence, the
elecled by the decrees of fate!" The disguised lady was instantly
conducted to the palace, seated on a splendid throne, and
proclaimed amidst the acclamations of the people, sovereign of an
extensive empire; nor were the abilities of her mind unequal to
the task of government. In a few days the vizier offered to the
supposed sultan his daughter in marriage; and his offer being
accepted, the nuptials were celebrated with the utmost
magnificence; but what was the astonishment of the bride, when,
instead of being caressed, the sultan on retiring with her became
cold and reserved, rose from her, and spent the night in prayer.
In the morning the sultana was questioned by her mother; who, on
her relating the behaviour of the husband, observed, that
possibly from his youth he might be over reserved; but that love
would naturally in time operate its effect. Several evenings past
in the same manner, when the bride, mortified at such coldness,
could no longer restrain herself, and said, "Why, my lord, if you
disliked me, did you take me to wife? but if you love not as
other men, tell me so, and I will suffer my misfortune in
silence." The lady, moved by this remonstrance, replied, "Most
virtuous princess, would that for your sake I were of the sex you
suppose me; but, alas! I am like you a woman, disappointed in
love." She then related to her the wonderful adventures she had
undergone since leaving her father's house, at which the vizier's
daughter was so affected that she vowed for her a lasting
friendship, agreed to keep her secret, and live with her till
such times as chance should restore her lover. In return for this
kindness the lady promised that should the object of her
affections ever arrive, he should marry them both, and that she
should have the precedence in the ceremony of union. The two
friends having thus agreed, the vizier's daughter regained her
cheerfulness, and means were taken to convince her father,
mother, and friends of the consummation of the nuptials. From
this time they lived in perfect happiness together, one
exercising the authority of sultan to the satisfaction of the
subject, and the other acting the part of a satisfied and
obedient wife; but still both were anxious to meet their mutual
husband. As the capital of the kingdom was a mart for most
nations of the world, the pretended sultan formed the following
stratagem for discovering her beloved, not doubting but that he
would travel over all parts of the world in search of the object
of his affection. She erected a most magnificent caravanserai,
furnished with baths hot and cold, and every convenience for the
weary traveller. When it was finished, she issued a proclamation,
that sojourners from all parts should be welcome to lodge in it,
and be provided with every necessary till they could accommodate
themselves in the city, or pursued, if only travellers, their
journey to another part. Over the gate of this edifice she placed
an exact statue of herself, and gave orders to the guards that
whatever stranger, on looking at it, should shew signs of
agitation, or utter words signifying that he knew the original,
should be immediately seized and confined in the palace. Many
weeks had not passed when the father of this enterprising lady,
who had travelled many thousands of miles in search of his
daughter, arrived at the gate, and on seeing the statue,
exclaimed, "Alas! alas! how like my poor, lost child!" He wds
immediately carried to the palace, lodged in a magnificent
apartment, treated with the highest respect; but kept in complete
ignorance as to the cause of his confinement and his future fate.
Not long after this, his disconsolate nephew, who, on the
departure of the treacherous captain, had wandered from city to
city in hopes of finding his mistress, arrived, and repaired to
the caravanserai.

On sight of the statue his feelings overcame him; he sighed and
fainted: when he was taken up by the guards and lodged in the
palace, where being come to himself, he was astonished at the
repect and attention paid him by the domestics, and the splendid
manner in which he was entertained; but it was in vain that he
inquired the cause of his detention, the only answer he could get
being, "Have patience, my lord, and repose yourself till
Providence shall free you from our confinement." Soon after this
the master of the ship, who had visited port after port in hopes
of recovering his vessel, reached the city, and hearing of the
hospitality with which all strangers were received at the
caravanserai of the sultan, repaired to the gateway; but no
sooner had he cast his eyes on the statue, than he exclaimed,
"Ah! how like to the artful yet virtuous woman who cheated me of
my property by stealing my ship." Immediately he was seized by
the guards, and conveyed to the palace, but treated with
kindness. Many days had not succeeded to this event, when the
sultan and the vizier, whose daughter with the thirty-nine ladies
had been so artfully carried away from them by the enterprising
heroine of this history, made their appearance at the gateway of
the caravanserai, and on beholding the statue, cried out, "Surely
this is the likeness of her who deprived us of our children; ah!
that we could find her and be revenged on her hypocrisy!" On
saying this they were apprehended and taken to the palace, where
they were conducted to apartments suitable to their rank. In a
few days afterwards the chief of the banditti, who, burning with
the ireful resolution of revenging the deaths of his associates,
had travelled from place to place in hopes of finding the object
of his fury, arrived at the gateway, and observing the statue,
roared out in a rage, "Surely this is the resemblance of my
tormenter; oh! that I could meet thy original, so that I might
have the satisfaction of making her blood atone for the murder of
my friends!" Instantly, as he had spoken, the guards at the gate
rushing upon him, bound him hand and foot, conveyed him to the
palace, where he was confined in a loathsome dungeon, and fed on
the coarsest viands.

The pretended sultan having now all the parties in her power, one
morning ascended her throne in full audience, and commanded them
to be brought before her. When they had made their obeisance, she
commanded them to relate the cause of their having journeyed to
her capital; but the royal presence rendered them incapable of
uttering a word: upon which she exclaimed, "Since you cannot
speak, I will;" and then discovered to their astonished minds the
adventures of each, which had occasioned their travelling. She
then discovered herself, and fell upon the necks of her father
and lover, with whom she retired into the private apartments. The
sultan and his vizier were made happy in the company of the
daughter of the latter and the other ladies. The master of the
ship, as his troubles had atoned for his irregular behaviour, was
received into favour, and had his vessel restored; but the savage
chief of the banditti was put to death, by being cast into a
burning pile, that no further injury might be offered to mankind.
In a few days, the most magnificent preparations being made, the
double nuptials of the heroic lady and her friend the vizier's
daughter were celebrated with her constant lover, to whom she
resigned her throne, and the happy wives lived together in
felicity, undisturbed by jealousy of the husband's attention to
either, so equally did they share his love. The sultan and
vizier, after being long entertained at the court, took leave,
and returned, under an escort, to their own country; but the
daughter and the thirty-nine ladies could not be prevailed upon
to accompany them, only to visit and bid farewell to their
parents, for such was their attachment to their gallant mistress,
that they came back immediately, and were espoused to the
principle nobles of her court. Years of unusual happiness passed
over the heads of the fortunate adventurers of this history,
until death, the destroyer of all things, conducted them to a
grave which must one day be the resting-place for ages of us all,
till the receiving angel shall sound his trumpet.


As Hyjauje (the Ommiad caliph) was was one day seated in his hall
of audience, surrounded by his nobles and dependents, tremblingly
awaiting his commands, for his countenance resembled that of an
enraged lion, there suddenly entered, unceremoniously, into the
assembly a beardless youth of noble but sickly aspect, arrayed in
tattered garments, for misfortune had changed his original
situation, and poverty had withered the freshness of his opening
youth. He made the customary obeisance to the governor, who
returned his salute, and said, "Who art thou, boy? what hast thou
to say, and wherefore hast thou intruded thyself into the company
of princes, as if thou wert invited? who art thou, and of whom
art thou the son?" "Of my father and mother," replied the youth.
"But how earnest thou here?" "In my clothes." "From whence?"
"From behind me." "Where art thou going?" "Before me." "Upon what
dost thou travel?" "Upon the earth" Hyjauje, vexed at the
pertness of the youth, exclaimed, "Quit this trifling, and inform
me whence thou comest." "From Egypt." "Art thou from Cairo?" "Why
askest thou?" said the boy?" "Because," replied Hyjauje, "her
sands are of gold, and her river Nile miraculously fruitful; but
her women are wanton, free to every conqueror, and her men
unstable." "I am not from thence, but from Damascus," cried the
youth." "Then," said Hyjauje, "thou art from a most rebellious
place, filled with wretched inhabitants, a wavering race, neither
Jews nor Christians." "But I am not from thence," replied the
youth, "but from Khorassan." "That is a most impure country,"
said Hyjauje, "whose religion is worthless, for the inhabitants
are of all barbarians the most savage. Plunderers of flocks, they
know not mercy, their poor are greedy, and their rich men
misers." "I am not of them," cried the youth, "but of Moussul."
"Then," exclaimed Hyjauje, "thou art of an unnatural and
adulterous race, whose youths are catamites, and whose old men
are obstinate as asses." "But I am from Yemen," said the boy. "If
so," answered the tyrant, "thou belongest to a comfortless
region, where the most honourable profession is robbery, where
the middling ranks tan hides, and where a wretched poor spin wool
and weave coarse mantles." "But I am from Mecca," said the boy."
"Then," replied Hyjauje, "thou comest from a mine of
perverseness, stupidity, ignorance, and slothfulness; for from
among its people God raised up his prophet, whom they
disbelieved, rejected, and forced away to a strange nation, who
loved, venerated, and assisted him in spite of the men of Mecca.
But whence comest thou, youth? for thy pertness is become
troublesome, and my inclination leads me to punish thee for thy
impertinence." "Had I been assured that thou durst kill me,"
cried the youth, "I should not have appeared before thee; but
thou canst not." "Woe to thee, rash boy," exclaimed Hyjauje; "who
is he that can prevent my executing thee instantly?" "To thee be
thy woe," replied the youth: "he can prevent thee who directs man
and his inmost thoughts, and who never falsifieth his gracious
promises." "He it is," cried the tyrant, "who instigates me to
put thee to death." "Withhold thy blaspheming," replied the
youth; "it is not God, but Satan that prompts thy mind to my
murder, and with God I hope for refuge from the accursed: but
know, that I am from the glorious Medina, the seat of religion,
virtue, respectability, and honour, descended of the race of Bin
Ghalib, and family of Ali, son of Abou Talib, whom God has
glorified and approved, and will protect all his posterity, which
you would extirpate; but you cannot root it out, for it will
flourish even to the last day of the existence of this world."

The tyrant was now overcome with rage, and commanded the youthful
Syed to be slain; but his nobles and officers interceded for him,
saying, while they bowed their necks before him, "Pardon, pardon;
behold our heads and our lives a ransom for his! For God's sake
accept our intercession, O ameer, for this youth is not deserving
of death." "Forbear your entreaties," exclaimed the tyrant, "for
were an angel to cry from Heaven, ‘Do not slay him!' I would not
attend." Upon this the young Syed said, "Thou ravest, O Hyjauje;
who art thou that an angel should be commissioned for thy sake?"
The tyrant, struck with his magnanimity, became calm, and
commanding the executioner to release the youth, said, "For the
present I forbear, and will not kill thee unless thy answers to
my further questions shall deserve it." They then entered on the
following dialogue; Hyjauje hoping to entrap him in discourse.

Hyjauje. How can the creature approach the perfection of the

Syed. By prayer, by fasting, by the commanded alms, by
pilgrimage, and fighting for the cause of God.

H. I serve him by shedding the blood of infidel man. You pretend
that Hassan and Houssain, your ancestors, were descendants of the
prophet; but how can that be, when God has declared in the Koran
Mahummud was not of your obstinate race; but the prophet of God,
and last of divine messengers?

S. Hear the answer to that in the verse following it. "Hath not a
prophet come unto you of your own nation? Receive him, and from
what he hath forbidden be forbidden." Surely, then, God hath
forbidden the shedding of the blood of him whom he sanctified.

H. Thou hast spoken justly, young man; but inform me what God
hath daily and nightly commanded us as obligatory to do?

S. To pray five times.

H. What to observe in each year?

S. To keep the month of Ramzaun as a fast.

H. What to perform in the course of life?

S. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the temple of God.

H. Truly said; but what hath mostly dignified and enlightened

S. The tribe of Koreish.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because of our holy prophet's being a member of it.

H. Who were the most skilful in horsemanship in all Arabia, the
most valiant, and of best conduct in war?

S. The tribe of Hashim.

H. Why think you so?

S. Because my grandfather Imaum Ali, son of Abou Talib, was one
of it.

H. What tribe of Arabs is most famous for benevolence, and
celebrated for liberality?

S. The family of Tai.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because Hatim belonged to it.

H. Which of the tribes have been most disgraceful to Arabia, and
most oppressive to its inhabitants?

S. The tribe of Sukkeef.

H. Why so?

S. Because thou belongest to it.

The tyrant could scarcely now contain his anger; but said, hoping
to cut the youth off from reply, "Tell me, is the Capricorn of
the heavens male or female?" To which he answered, "Shew me its
tail, that I may inform thee." The tyrant laughed, and continued
his questions as follows:

H. Wert thou ever in love?

S. Yes, completely immersed in it.

H. With whom?

S. With my God, who will, I trust, pardon me for my errors, and
deliver me from thee this day.

H. Knowest thou thy God?

S. Yes.

H. By what means?

S. By the scriptures, which he caused to descend to his prophet.

H. Dost thou guard the Koran?

S. Does it fly from me, that I should guard it?

H. What dost thou learn from it?

S. That God commanded its rules to be obeyed.

H. Hast thou read and understood it?

S. Yes.

H. If so, tell me, first, What passage in it is most sublime.
Secondly, Which most commanding. Thirdly, Which most just.
Fourthly, Which most alarming. Fifthly, Which most encouraging.
Sixthly, That which Jews and Christians both believe in.
Seventhly, That in which God has spoken purely of himself; that
where he speaks of the angels; that in which he mentions the
prophets; that where he alludes to those destined to Paradise;
and that in which he speaks of those devoted to hell; that which
includes ten points; and that which Eblis the accursed delivered.

S. By God's help I will answer thee. The most sublime passage is
the Koorsee: the most commanding, "God insisteth on justice:" the
most just, "Whoever diminishes the least of a measure, God will
requite him doubly, and the same to whoever addeth the least:"
the most alarming, "All expect to enter Paradise:" the most
encouraging, "O my servants, who have mortified yourselves,
despair not of the mercy of God!" that in which are ten points,
"God created the heavens and the earth, the revolutions of night
and day; also, the firmament over the waters that it might profit
man:" that which is believed alike by jews and christians, "The
Jew saith that the Christian is in error, and the Christian saith
that the Jew is mistaken, they both believe so; and both are in
error:" that in which God hath spoken purely of himself, "I have
not created genii and men but to worship me:" that in which he
speaks of the angels, "They said, we have no knowledge, but what
thou hast taught us; for thou only art wise and all-knowing:"
that which speaks of the prophets, "How could we deliver you a
verse without the order of God, on whom the faithful will rely:"
that which mentions the devoted to hell, "God hath cast us down
from heaven, for we were transgressors:" that which describes the
blessed, "Praised be God, who hath divested us of all sorrow, for
our Lord is merciful and gracious:" that which satan spoke, "None
will profit by thy mercy but thy servants the blessed."

Hyjauje involuntarily exclaimed, "Praised be God, who giveth
wisdom to whom it pleaseth him; but I have found none so learned
of such tender age." Having thus spoken, he put many other
questions to the youth in every science, and he answered them so
readily that the tyrant was overcome with admiration, and offered
him a residence at his court; but the young man declined it, and
requested his dismission, which he granted, conferring upon him a
beautiful female slave richly habited, a thousand pieces of gold,
and a steed elegantly caparisoned. The courtiers were astonished
at the bounty of the tyrant, which he perceiving, said, "Be not
surprised, for the advice he hath given me was worthy of reward,
and ‘Cursed is he who doth not requite a sincere adviser,'
declareth our sacred Koran."


Many ages past there was a very powerful sultan who had a vizier
named Ibrahim, and this minister had a daughter the most
beautiful of her sex and accomplished of her age, so that she
became distinguished by the appellation of Wird al Ikmaum, or the
rose among flowers. It was the custom of sultan Shamikh to hold
annually a general assembly of all the nobles of his kingdom, and
persons eminent for science or the arts, during which they were
magnificently entertained at the royal expense. The former
displayed their prowess in martial exercises before the
sovereign, and the latter the productions of their genius and
skill; when valuable prizes were bestowed by the arbitration of
appointed judges on those who deserved them. On one of the days
of this festival, the vizier's daughter from a latticed balcony
of the palace, in which she sat to view the sports, was so struck
with the manly figure and agility of a young nobleman named Ins
al Wujjood (or the perfection of human nature), that love took
possession of her mind. She pointed him out to a female
confidant, and gave her a letter to convey to the object of her
affections. The young nobleman, who had heard her praises, was
enraptured by his good fortune, and the next day, having obtained
as full a sight of her beauties as could be had through the
golden wires of the balcony, retired overcome by love. Letters
now passed daily, and almost hourly, between them; but they were
impatient (or a meeting, which was at length planned; but the
note fixing the place and time was unfortunately dropped by the
confidant and carried to the vizier; who, alarmed for the honour
of his family, sent his daughter the same night to a far distant
castle belonging to himself, and situated on an island in a vast
lake, surrounded by mountainous deserts thinly inhabited. The
unfortunate lady was obliged to submit to her fate, but before
her departure contrived to write on the outside of her balcony
the following words, "They are carrying me off, but I know not
where." In the morning her lover repairing, as usual, in hopes of
seeing his mistress in the balcony, read the unwelcome
intelligence, which for a time deprived him of his senses. When
somewhat recovered he resolved to leave the court, though then
the chief favourite of the sultan, and go in search of his
beloved. Having put on the habit of a wandering devotee, he, on
the following evening, quitted the city, and recommending himself
to Providence, set out, but knew not whither. Many weeks did he
travel, but could find no traces of his beloved object; when
suddenly, passing through a thick forest, there met him a
monstrous lion, from whom he thought it impossible to escape, and
having uttered a prayer for the happiness of his beloved, and
repeated the testimony of martyrdom, he resigned himself to his
fate, and waited the spring of his expected devourer. What was
his surprise when the majestic animal, instead of making him his
prey, on approaching close to him, having looked compassionately
in his face, licked his hands, and turning round, walked gently
onwards, moving his head, as if to signify the youth should
follow him. Ins al Wujjood did so, and was conducted through the
forest by the lion; who, ascending a high mountain, suddenly
stopped at the entrance of a cave, to which was a door of iron,
then moving his head, and once more licking the hands of his
companion, the generous animal left him, and retired back to the
woods. The youth now went to the cave, and having knocked at the
door, it was opened by a venerable hermit, who bade him welcome,
brought him warm water to wash his feet, and set before him
refreshments of various kinds. When he had eaten, he inquired the
cause of his coming to such a desolate country; and Ins al
Wujjood having related his adventures, the old man exclaimed,
"Thou art a favourite of Heaven, or the lion would have devoured
thee; despair not, therefore, of success, for my mind presages
that thou wilt be happy, nor shalt thou want my assistance." Ins
al Wujjood having thanked him for his hospitality and generous
offers, the hermit informed him, that for nearly twenty years
past he had not beheld a human face till a few days prior to his
coming, when, wandering over the mountains, he had seen an
encampment on the margin of the great lake below, in which
appeared a crowd of men and women, some very richly habited, part
of whom had embarked on board a stately yacht, and the remainder
having taken leave of them, struck their tents, and returned by
the road they had come. "Most probably," said the hermit, "the
yacht may have conveyed thy mistress to the castle which stands
on an island in the middle of the lake, and if so thou shalt soon
be safely landed: for the rest Providence must be thy guide. I
will this night remember thee in my prayers, and meditate on what
can be done for thy benefit." Having said this, the hermit
conducted the wanderer to a chamber, and left him to his repose.

The beautiful Wird al Ikmaum during this time remained
overwhelmed with uneasiness in her confinement, and it was in
vain that her attendants tried to amuse her. She wandered
melancholy through the magnificent gardens of the castle, the
groves of which were filled with every variety of birds, whose
harmony was delightful; but the soft cooing of the turtle dove
and the plaintive note of the lovelorn nightingale alone caught
her attention. To these she would listen for hours together,
reclined on a mossy bank, and fancy their pensive strains the
language of her beloved. Such was her daily employment, nor would
she quit the garden till forced by her attendants to take shelter
from the falling dews of night. We now return to her lover.

Fatigue and the consoling assurances of the friendly hermit had
greatly composed the mind of Ins al Wujjood, who enjoyed a
refreshing sleep, nor did he awake till the sun was mounted high
in the heavens, when he joined his venerable host in his
devotions; after which they partook of a repast of bread, milk,
and fresh fruits. This ended, the old man requested him to fetch
from the forest a bundle of the filaments of palm bark, which,
when brought to him, he plaited into a, shape resembling a little
boat, and giving it to Ins al Wujjood, said, "Repair to the lake,
and put this into the water, when it will become instantly large
enough to hold thee, then embark in it, and trust to Heaven for
the rest. Farewell!"

Ins al Wujjood having taken leave of his venerable friend the
hermit, with many thanks, did as he had been commanded, and soon
arrived on the margin of the lake, into which he launched his.
little vessel, when, to his great surprise, it instantaneously
became a handsome boat with the sails set. He got into it, and a
fair wind springing up was soon out of sight of land. For some
days he was wafted over the deep; but at length the shore of an
island appeared, on which he landed, and made his boat fast to
the trunk of a large tree. He then walked into the country, and
found it beautifully interspersed with green meadows, clear
streams, and shady groves of bending fruit trees, on the branches
of which all sorts of birds were warbling in their different
strains. Having refreshed himself with several fruits, he
proceeded onwards, and at length came in sight of a superb
edifice, to the gateway of which he advanced; but found it
locked. For three days he waited in hopes of seeing some of its
inhabitants, but in vain. However on the fourth morning the gate
was opened by a man, who seeing Ins al Wujjood, advanced towards
him, and inquired who he was, whence he came, and what was his
reason for waiting at the gate. "I am of Ispahaun," replied Ins
al Wujjood, "and was shipwrecked in a trading voyage upon this
coast, to the shore of which I alone of all my companions had the
good fortune to escape." Upon hearing this the man burst into
tears, embraced him, and said, "May God preserve thee from future
calamities! I am also a native of Ispahaun, where also dwelt my
cousin, whom I dearly loved, and by whom I was beloved. At this
happy period of my youth a nation stronger than ours made war
against us, overcame us, and among other captives forced me from
my country; after which they sold me as a slave to my present
master: but come, my dear countryman, enter the palace, and
repose thyself in my apartment, where we will endeavour to
console each other under our misfortunes till Providence shall
restore us to our homes."

Ins al Wujjood gladly accepted such a friendly invitation, and on
entering the court beheld a lofty and wide-spreading tree, from
the branches of which were suspended several golden cages, each
inhabited by a beautiful bird, and each striving to rival the
other in melody, as if in welcome of his approach. He inquired of
his host to whom the splendid edifice belonged, and was informed
to the vizier of sultan Shamikh; who, to secure his daughter from
the vicissitudes of fortune, had lodged her here, and only
visited her annually to inquire after her health, and bring the
necessary supplies for her convenience and the support of her
attendants in the castle. Upon hearing the above circumstances,
Ins al Wujjood was nearly overcome with ecstacy; but restraining
his feelings, exclaimed to himself, "At length I have reached the
abode of my beloved, and may hope for success;" which was yet,
however, afar off. His charming mistress, little thinking that
her lover was so near, and weary of absence and the solitude of
her abode, had that very evening resolved to escape from
confinement. In the darkness of night she accordingly let herself
down from the battlements by a silken rope, which she had twisted
from slips of various robes, and reached the ground unhurt. With
haste she fled towards the sea shore, where she perceived a
fishing boat, the owner of which, though at first alarmed,
supposing her, from her dazzling appearance (for she was covered
with jewels), to be an ensnaring genie, at length, on her
assurances that she was really a woman, admitted her into his
vessel. She thanked him for his kindness, which she rewarded by
the gift of many rich jewels, and requested to be conveyed across
the lake. The fisherman hoisted sail, and for some hours the wind
was prosperous; but now a heavy tempest arose, which tossed them
constantly in imminent danger for three days, and drove them far
from their intended course. At length the gale subsided, the sea
became assuaged, and land appeared. As they approached the shore
a stately city rose to their view, the buildings of which seemed
unusually magnificent. Under the terrace of the sultan's palace
they safely, at last, cast anchor; and it chanced that the
prince, who was named Dara, was then sitting with his daughter in
a balcony to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, and the view of the
extensive harbour, crowded with the vessels of every country.
Perceiving the boat, the sultan commanded his officers to bring
the master and his crew to the presence. Great was his surprise
at the introduction of the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum. From her
rich dress, dignified air, and demeanour, he concluded her to be
of superior rank, and having seated her near his daughter, he
graciously requested to be informed of the name of her country,
and the cause of her having travelled to his capital; to which
she replied in eloquent language, giving a summary detail of all
her adventures. The sultan consoled her by encouraging assurances
of his protection, promised to exert his authority to effect a
union with her beloved, and immediately dispatched his vizier
with costly presents to sultan Shamikh, requesting him to send
Ins al Wujjood to his court.

The vizier, after a prosperous voyage, having reached the capital
of sultan Shamikh, presented his offerings, and made known the
request of his master; to which the sultan replied, That nearly a
year had elapsed since Ins al Wujjood had, to his great regret,
absented himself from his court, nor had any tidings been
obtained of the place of his retirement; but that he would order
his vizier to accompany the ambassador in search of his retreat,
being willing to oblige his master the sultan to the utmost of
his power. Accordingly, after a repose of some days, the two
viziers departed in search of Ins al Wujjood, but without knowing
where to bend their journey. At length they reached the shore of
the ocean of Kunnooz, on which they embarked in a hired vessel,
and sailed to the mountainous island of Tukkalla, of which the
vizier of sultan Shamikh gave to his companion the following
account. "This island was some ages back inhabited by genii; a
princess of whom became violently enamoured of a handsome young
man, a son of an ameer of the city of Misr, or Cairo, whom she
beheld in her flight sleeping in his father's garden in the heat
of the day. She sat down by him, and having gently awoke him, the
youth, on looking up, to his astonishment and rapture saw a most
beautiful damsel who courted his addresses: he was not backward
in offering them; and mutual protestations of love and constancy
took place. After some hours of happiness the genie princess took
an affectionate leave, promising soon to visit him again, and
vanished from sight. The youth remained musing on his fortunate
adventure till the dews of night began to fall, when his parents,
fearful of some injury, sent attendants to conduct him to their
palace, but he refused to go; and talked, as it appeared to them,
so incoherently concerning his beloved, that they thought him
distracted; seized him roughly, and forced him homewards. His
father and mother were alarmed: it was in vain that they courted
him to partake of refreshment; he was sullen and gloomy, and at
length abruptly retired to his chamber, where he remained in
restless anxiety all night, waiting impatiently for morning, that
he might revisit the happy spot where his charmer had promised
again to meet him.

"At early dawn the ameer's son repaired to the garden, and was
soon gratified with the sight of his beloved; but while they were
exchanging mutual protestations of regard, the mother of the
genie princess, who had suspected from her daughter's conduct
that she was carrying on some intrigue, and had followed her in
the air unperceived, suddenly appeared. Rushing upon the lovers,
she seized her daughter by the hair, beat, and abused her in the
harshest language for having disgraced the honour of the genii by
an amour with a wretched son of mortality: to all which the genie
princess replied, that her remonstrances were vain; she had fixed
her affections, and would rather be torn into a thousand pieces
than desert the object of her heart. The mother upon this finding
the case desperate, and being herself softened by the uncommon
beauty of the youth, who had fallen at her feet, entreating mercy
for his beloved, at length relented, and agreed to sanctify their
loves by her consent to theii marriage. It was accordingly
celebrated; and this island, which after the name of the genie
princess was called Tukkalla, was fixed upon for the place of
their residence. Its magnificent palace still remains, after the
lapse of many ages, and is at present in my possession. Here 1
hope to meet my only daughter, whom I brought to reside in it
nearly a year ago, to secure her from the attempts of a young
courtier, on whom she had, against my consent, fixed her

The two viziers now disembarked, and proceeded up the island; but
what was the astonishment and mortification of Ibrahim on
learning, when he arrived at the palace, that his daughter had
escaped, nor had the attendants heard of her since her departure,
though they had repeatedly searched every quarter of the island.
Perceiving among his attendants whom he had left at the palace a
strange young man of pallid countenance, wasted frame, and
melancholy air, the vizier inquired how he had come among them;
and received for reply, that he was a shipwrecked merchant of
Ispahaun, whom they had taken in for the sake of charity. Ibrahim
now requested of the vizier of sultan Dara that he would return
to his master, and inform him of their vain search after Ins al
Wujjood; at the same time desiring him to receive into his suite
the supposed merchant as far as the city of Ispahaun, which lay
in his route. To this the vizier of sultan Dara consented: and
the two ministers having taken a friendly leave of each other
separated, and departed for their several capitals.

The vizier of sultan Dara, in the course of the journey, became
so pleased with the agreeable manners of the supposed merchant,
that he often conversed with him familiarly; and at length the
young man, emboldened by his condescending attention, ventured to
inquire the cause of his travels to regions so distant from his
own country: upon which he was informed of the arrival of the
beautiful Wird al Ikmaum at the court of sultan Dara; of the
compassion of that sultan for her misfortunes; his generous
protection; and his own fruitless mission in search of her lover
Ins al Wujjood. A this happy intelligence, the latter, overcome
with ecstacy, could no longer contain himself, but discovered who
he was; and the vizier was also overjoyed at knowing, when least
expected, that he had found the despaired of object of his long
journey. He embraced the young man, congratulated him upon the
speedy termination of absence from his beloved, and the happy
union which awaited him. He then made him an inmate of his own
tents, supplied him with rich attire, and every necessary
becoming the condition of a person for whose fortunes he knew his
sovereign to be so highly concerned. Ins al Wujjood, now easy in
mind, and renovated by the happy prospects before him, daily
recovered health and strength, so that by the time of their
arrival at the capital of sultan Dara he had regained his
pristine manliness and vigour.

When the vizier waited upon his master the sultan Dara to
communicate his successful commission, the sultan commanded the
youth to his presence. Ins al Wujjood performed the usual
obeisance of kissing the ground before the throne, with the
graceful demeanour of one who had been used to a court. The
sultan graciously returned his salutation, and commanded him to
be seated; after which he requested him to relate his adventures,
which he did in eloquent language, interspersing in his narrative
poetical quotations, and extempore verses applicable to the
various incidents and situations. The sultan was charmed with his
story; and when he had finished its relation, sent for a cauzee
and witnesses to tie the marriage knot between the happy Ins al
Wujjood and the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum; at the same time
dispatching a messenger to announce the celebration of the
nuptials to sultan Shamikh and Ibrahim his vizier, who were
bewailing their supposed irrecoverable losses; one that of his
favourite, and the latter that of his daughter. Sultan Dara
detained the happy couple at his court for some time, after which
he dismissed them with valuable presents to their own country,
which they reached in safety, and were received with the most
heart-felt rejoicings by the sultan and the repentant vizier, who
now recompensed them by his kindness for the former cruelty of
his behaviour towards them; so that in favour with the sultan,
and happy in their own family, the lovers henceforth enjoyed
every earthly felicity, sweetened by the reflection on past
distresses, till the angel of death summoned them to submit to
the final destination of mortality.


In ancient days there resided in the city of Khorassaun a youth
named Mazin, who, though brought up by his mother, a poor widow,
to the humble occupation of a dyer, was so celebrated for his
personal accomplishments and capacity as to become the admiration
of crowds, who daily flocked to his shop to enjoy the pleasure of
his conversation. This young man was as good as he was able, nor
did flattery take away his humility, or make him dissatisfied
with his laborious occupation, which he followed with industry
unceasing, and maintained his mother and himself decently from
the fruits of his labour. So delicate was his taste in the choice
of colours, that veils, turbans, and vests of Mazin's dyeing were
sought after by all the young and gay of Khorassaun; and many of
the females would often cast a wishful glance at him from under
their veils as they gave him their orders. Mazin, however, was
destined by fate not always to remain a dyer, but for higher
fortunes and surprising adventures.

As he was one day busy in his occupation, a man of Hijjem came to
his shop, and after looking at him earnestly for some moments,
exclaimed, "Alas, that such a noble youth should be confined to
drudge at so mean an employment!" "I thank you, father, for your
compassion," replied Mazin, "but honest industry can never be
disgraceful." "True," said the old man of Hijjem, "yet if
Providence puts affluence and distinction in our way, should we
refuse it?" "By no means," said Mazin; "canst thou point me out
the way to it without making me forfeit my integrity? If so, I
assure thee I am not so fond of my trade but I would be glad to
live at ease in an honest manner without it; for I should like to
enjoy leisure to follow my studies, which have already gained me
some little celebrity." "Son," said the Hijjemmee, "thy wishes
shall be satisfied: thou hast no father, but I will be one to
thee; from this instant I adopt thee as my son. I possess the art
of transmuting common metals into gold: be ready at thy shop
early in the morning, when I will meet thee. Farewell!" Having
thus said, the old man took leave.

Mazin's curiosity and ambition were raised: he shut up his shop
sooner than usual, and returned with a full heart to his mother,
to whom he communicated the offered kindness of the Hijjemmee.
The good woman, after some moments of reflection, said, "Son, I
fear some evil lurks under this apparent kindness, for we live in
wicked days, when men profess more than they mean to do for the
sake of attaining an object; be cautious then, and do not till
thou hast proof of his sincerity regard his offcis. We have at
present all we want, and what can riches give more?" Mazin agreed
to the propriety of his mother's advice, and promised to be wary.
They ate their usual cheerful meal, and retired to rest; but the
young man could sleep but little, and he longed with impatience
for the morning that was to put him into possession of the art of
transmuting metals into gold.

The morning arrived, and Mazin repaired impatiently to his shop,
where he had soon after the satisfaction of seeing his adopted
father, who came bearing in his hands a crucible. "Welcome, son!"
"Welcome, father!" was the mutual salutation; after which the
Hijjemmee desired Mazin to kindle a fire: he did so, when the old
man inquired of Mazin if he had any old metal, iron, brass,
copper, &c. Mazin produced some pieces of an old pot of the
latter metal, which were put into the crucible. When melted, the
Hijiemmee took from his turban a paper containing powder of a
yellowish hue, which he threw into the crucible, over which he
repeated some cabalistic words while he stirred the melting
metal. At length he took it from the fire, and to his
astonishment Mazin beheld a large lump of pure gold, which the
Hijicminee desired him to carry to a goldsmith's and get it
exchanged for coin He did did so, and received a handsome sum,
with which he returned to his adopted father.

"Well, my son, "said the Hijjemmee," art thou now convinced of my
skill, and my sincerity in offering to promote thy fortunes?" "I
am," said Mazin," and am ready to follow wherever thou choosest,
in hopes of learning this invaluable secret" "That shall soon be
thine," replied the transmuter of metals;" I will sup with thee
this evening, and in the privacy of retirement give thee the
necessary instruction." Mazin, overjoyed, immediately shut up his
shop, and with his adopted father repaired to his own house,
where he seated him in his best apartment. He then went to his
mother, desiring that she would go and spend the night at a
neighbour's, shewing her the gold which his broken copper had
procured, as a proof of the sincerity of his new friend. The old
lady no longer doubted upon such evidence, and cheerfully took
leave and departed to a friend's house.

Mazin next went to a cook's shop, from which he returned laden
with every sort of refreshment, nor was wine forgotten, though
forbidden to the faithful. The adopted father and son ate
heartily, at the same time pushing about the spirit-stirring
liquor, till at last Mazin, who had not been used to drink wine,
became intoxicated. The wily magician, for such in fact was his
pretended friend, watching his opportunity, infused into the
goblet of his unsuspecting host a certain potent drug, which
Mazin had scarcely drunk oft, when he fell back upon his cushion
totally insensible, the treacherous wizard tumbled him into a
large chest, and shutting the lid, locked it. He then ransacked
the apartments of the house of every thing portable worth having,
which, with the gold, he put into another chest, then fetching in
porters, he made them take up the chests and follow him to the
seaside, where a vessel waited his orders to sail, and embarked
with the unfortunate Mazin and his plunder. The anchor was
weighed, and the wind being fair, the ship was soon out of sight
of the land

Mazin's mother early in the morning returning to her house found
the door open, her son missing, and the rooms ransacked of all
her valuables. She gave a loud shriek, tore her hair, beat her
bosom, and threw herself on the ground, crying out for her son,
who she thought must have been murdered by the treacherous
magician, against whose professions she had warned him to be
cautious, till the sight of the transmuted gold had deceived her,
as well as the unfortunate victim of his accursed arts. Some
neighbours hearing her lamentations rushed in, lifted her from
the ground, and inquired the cause of her distress; which, when
informed of, they endeavoured to alleviate by every consolation
in their power, but in vain: the afflicted old lady was not to be
comforted. She commanded a tombstone to be raised in the court-
yard, over which she sat night and day bewailing her son, taking
scarcely food sufficient to preserve her miserable existence.

The infidel Hijjemmee, who was a wicked magician and a worshipper
of fire, by name Bharam, hated the true believers, one of whom
annually for several years past he had inveigled by his offers of
instructing in the science of transmuting metals into his power;
and after making him subservient to his purposes in procuring the
ingredients necessary for his art, had treacherously put him to
death, lest the secret should be divulged: such was now his
intention towards the unfortunate Mazin.

On the evening of the second day after the sailing of the vessel,
Bharam thought proper to awaken his victim to a sense of his
misery. He opened the chest, which had been placed in his cabin,
and poured a certain liquid down the throat of Mazin, who
instantly sneezed several times; then opening his eyes, gazed for
some minutes wildly around him. At length, seeing the magician,
observing the sea, and feeling the motion of the ship, his mind
surmised to him the misfortune which had happened; and he guessed
his having fallen into the snares of the treacherous Bharam,
against which his mother had warned him, but in vain. Still,
being a virtuous Mussulmaun, he would not complain against the
decrees of Heaven; and instead of lamentation uttered the
following verse of the sacred Koran: "There is no support or
refuge but from the Almighty, whose we are, and to whom we must
return. Deal gently with me, O my God, in the dictates of thy
omnipotence; and make me resigned under thy chastening, O Lord of
all being."

Having finished the above prayer, Mazin turning humbly towards
his accursed betrayer, said in a supplicating tone, "What hast
thou done, my father? didst thou not promise me enjoyment and
pleasure?" The magician, after striking him, with a scowling and
malignant sneer, exclaimed, "Thou dog! son of a dog! my pleasure
is in thy destruction. Nine and thirty such ill-devoted wretches
as thyself have I already sacrificed, and thou shalt make the
fortieth victim to my enjoyment, unless thou wilt abjure thy
faith, and become, like me, a worshipper of the sacred fire, in
which case thou shalt be my son, and I will teach thee the art of
making gold." "Cursed be thou, thy religion, and thy art,"
exclaimed the enraged Mazin: "God forbid that for the pleasures
of this world I should apostatize from our holy prophet, and give
up the glorious rewards reserved in certain store for his
faithful disciples. Thou mayest indeed destroy my body, but my
soul despises thy torments" "Vile dog!" roared out the now
furious sorcerer," I will try thy constancy." He then called in
his slaves, who held Mazin on the floor of the cabin while their
abominable master beat him with a knotted whip till he was
covered with a gore of blood, but the resolute youth, instead of
complaining, uttered only prayers to Heaven for divine support
under his pangs, and strength of fortitude to acquire the glory
of martyrdom. At length the magician, exhausted by his cruel
exercise, desisted, and making his slaves load his unfortunate
victim with heavy fetters, chained him down with only a coarse
mat to lie upon in a dark closet, in which was placed some
stinking water and coarse bread, just sufficient to keep up his
miserable existence. Mazm's courage was not to be overcome He
washed his wounds, and comforted himself with the hope that if he
died he should enjoy the blisses of Paradise, or if Providence
had decreed his continuance in life, that the same Providence
would present a mode of relief from his present and future
afflictions. In this assurance he took a little of his wretched
fare, and in spite of the agony of his wounds fell asleep, but
only to awake to fresh misery In the morning he was again
persecuted by his cruel tormentor, who for three months daily
harassed him with blows, with rcvilings, and every sort of insult
that malice could invent or cruelty devise.

Hitherto the wind had been fair, and the vessel had nearly
reached the desired haven, when suddenly it changed, and a most
tremendous storm arose The waves threatened to swallow up or dash
the vessel in pieces, so that all gave themselves over for lost.
At this crisis the sailors, who believed that the tempest was
sent by Heaven as a judgment for their suffering the unfortunate
Mazin to be so cruelly tormented, went in a body to the accursed
Bharam, and accused him of having brought down the wrath of God
upon the crew by his persecution of the young Mussulmaun; at the
same time threatening to cast him overboard if he did not
instantly release the youth from his confinement. To show the
seriousness of their resolves, the sailors seized the slaves who
had been the instruments of the magician's cruelty, and threw
them into the sea, which so alarmed the treacherous Bharam that
he immediately released Mazin from his chains, fell at his feet,
begging pardon for his hard usage, and promising if they escaped
the storm to conduct him safely to his own country, and fulfil
his promise of instruct ing him in the secret of making gold.
Wonderful to relate! But no sooner was Mazin freed from his
fetters than the violence of the tempest lessened, by degrees the
winds subsided, the waves abated their swell, and the sea no
longer threatened to overwhelm them: in a few hours all was calm
and security, and a prosperous gale enabled the shattered vessel
to resume her course.

The sailors now regarding Mazin as one immediately befriended by
Heaven, treated him with the greatest respect and attention; and
the hypocritical magician pretending sorrow for his late
cruelties, strove to procure his forgiveness and good opinion by
every art of flattery and affected contrition; which had such an
effect on the ingenuous youth that he forgot his treachery, again
believed his fair promises and assurances that the torments he
had undergone had only been inflicted as trials of his constancy
and belief in the true religion, virtues necessary to be proved
before the grand secret of transmuting metals could be trusted to
his keeping.

The remainder of the voyage was prosperous and happy, and at the
expiration of three months more the vessel anchored on the wished
for coast, which was rocky, and the beach strewed with pebbles of
every colour. The magician having given orders to the master of
the vessel to wait a month for their return, disembarked with
Mazin, and they proceeded together into the country. When they
had got out of sight of the ship the magician sat down, and
taking from his vestband a small drum, began to beat upon it with
two sticks, when instantly a whirlwind arose, and a thick column
of dust rolled towards them from the desert. Mazin was alarmed,
and began to repent having left the vessel; when the magician,
seeing his colour change, desired him to calm his apprehensions,
for which there was no cause, that he had only to obey his orders
and be happy. He had scarcely spoken when the wind ceased, the
dust dispersed, and three camels stood before them, one of which
was laden with water and provisions; the others were bridled and
very richly caparisoned. Bharam having mounted one, and, at his
desire, Mazin the other, they travelled without ceasing, except
to take the necessary refreshment and repose, for seven days and
nights successively over a wild and sandy desert.

On the eighth morning they reached a beautifully fertile tract,
delightfully watered by clear streams; the ground verdant, shaded
by spreading trees laden with fruit, on whose branches various
birds warbled melodiously, and beneath them antelopes and other
forest animals sported unmolested. At the end of a thick avenue
rose to view a capacious dome of blue and green enamel, resting
upon four columns of solid gold, each pillar exceeding in value
the treasures of the sovereigns of Persia and Greece. They
approached the dome, stopped their camels and dismounted, and
turned the animals to graze. This splendid building was
surrounded by a delightful garden, in which the now happy Mazin
and the magician reposed themselves all that day and night. At
some distance from this enchanting spot appeared a stupendous
fabric, whose numerous turrets and lofty pinnacles glittered to
the eye, and denoted a palace of uncommon magnificence, so that
the curiosity of Mazin was raised, and he could not help
inquiring of his companion to whom such a superb edifice might
belong. The magician, rather roughly, desired him for the present
to ask no questions concerning a place which belonged to his most
bitter enemies, who were evil genii, and of whom at a proper time
he would give him the history. Mazim was silent, but from the
magician's manner he began to forbode some new treachery.

In the morning Bharam beat his magical drum, and the three camels
appealed, when Mazim and his companion mounted, pursuing their
journey in the same manner as before for seven days, with a speed
more resembling flight than the pace of travel, for their camels
were supernatural. On the eighth morning the magician inquired of
Mazim what he saw on the horizon. "I behold," said he, "to
appearance, a range of thick black clouds extending from east to
west." "They are not clouds," replied Bharam," but lofty
mountains, called the Jubbal al Sohaub, or mountains of clouds,
from their cloud-like appearance, on their summit lies the object
of our journey, which with thy assistance we shall soon obtain,
and return to our vessel more enriched than all the sovereigns of
the world, but thou must be sure to obey me in whatever I may
command. "Mazin promised to do so, but his heart trembled within
him as he beheld the gloomy prospect before him, and recollected
the boast which the accursed magician had made of his having
sacrificed thirty-nine youthful victims on these mountains, and
also his threat on board the ship to make the fortieth offering
of himself. He repented of having trusted himself from the
vessel, but it was now too late to recede. He resigned himself to
the same Providence who had relieved his sufferings in his
voyage, and concealed, as well as he could, his uneasiness from
the magician, who now endeavoured to sooth and flatter him with
artful promises and caresses.

For four days longer they pursued their route, when it was
stopped by the black mountains, which formed, as it were, a wall
inaccessible, for the precipices were perpendicular, as if
scarped by art, and their tremendous height cast a dark and
gloomy shade to a vast distance. They now dismounted, and turned
their camels to graze, when the magician took out of his package
three loaves and a sum of water, after which he lighted a fire;
then having beat his talismanic drum, the camels again appeared,
tne smallest of which he killed, embowelled, and carefully flayed
off the skin, the inside of which he washed with water. Having
done thus, he addressed Mazin, saying, "My son, the task must now
be thine to crown our labours with success. Enter this skin, with
these loaves and this water bag for thy sustenance while thou
remainest on the summit of the mountain. Be not afraid, for no
harm can happen I will sew up the skin, leaving room enough for
the admission of air. By and by a roc will descend, and seizing
it in her talons carry thee easily through the air. When she
shall have alighted on the table-land of the mountain, rip open
the stitches of the skin with thy dagger, and the roc on seeing
thee will be instantly scared, and fly far away. Then arise,
gather as much as possible of a black dust which thou wilt find
thickly strewed on the ground; put it into this bag, and throw it
down to me, after which I will contrive an easy means for thy
descent, and when thou hast rejoined me we will return to our
vessel, and I will convey thee safely back to thy own country.
The dust, which has the quality of transmuting metals into gold,
we will share between us, and shall each have enough to rival all
the treasuries on earth."

Mazim finding it in vain to oppose, allowed himself to be sewn up
in the camel's skin with the loaves and water, recommending
himself by mental prayer to the protection of Allah and his
prophet. The magician having finished his work retired to some
distance, when, as he had said, a monstrous roc, darting from a
craggy precipice, descended with the rapidity of lightning,
grasped the skin in her widely extended talons, and soaring
swifter than the eagle soon alighted on the table-land of the
mountain; when Mazin, feeling himself on the ground, ripped the
stitches of his dangerous enclosure, and the roc being alarmed,
uttered a loud scream and flew away. Mazin now arose, and walked
upon the surface of the mountain, which he found covered with
black dust; but he beheld also the skeletons of the young men
whom the accursed Bharam, after they had served his purpose, had
left to perish. His blood became chilled with horror at the view,
as he apprehended the same unhappy fate: he however filled his
bag with the black powder, and advanced to the edge of a
precipice, from which he beheld the magician eagerly looking
upwards to discover him. Mazin called out; and when the hypocrite
saw him, he began dancing and capering for joy, at the same time
exclaiming, "Welcome, welcome, my son! my best friend, beloved
child! all our dangers are now over, throw me down the bag." "I
will not," said Mazin," but will give it thee when thou hast
conveyed me safely from this perilous summit." "That is not in my
power," answered Bharam, "till I shall have the bag: cast it
down, and I swear by the fire which I worship immediately to
procure thee a safe descent. "Mazin, relying on his oath, and
seeing no other chance of escape, cast down the bag; which having
taken up, the accursed sorcerer mounted his camel and was
departing. The unhappy Mazin in agony called after him, saying,
"Surely thou wilt not forfeit thy oath, nor leave me to perish!"
"Perish thou must, Mussulmaun dog!" exclaimed the treacherous
magician, "that my secret may be kept, nor can thy boasted
prophet save thee from destruction; for around thee are mountains
impassable, and below a fathomless sea. I have obtained what I
wished, and leave thee to thy fate." Having said thus he speeded
onwards, and was soon out of sight.

Mazin was now in an agony of despair, not a ray of hope comforted
his mind; he beat his bosom, threw himself on the ground amid the
mouldering skeletons of the former victims to the treachery of
the magician, and lay for some time in a state of insensibility.
At length the calls of hunger and thirst forced him back to a
sense of wretched existence; and the love of life, however
miserable, made him have recourse to his water and his loaves.
Being somewhat revived, religion came to his aid, and he began to
pray for resignation to submit to the decrees of Heaven, however
painful. He then walked to the edge of the mountain overhanging
the sea, which he observed to wash the base of the rock without
any beach, at sight of which a desperate chance of escape struck
his mind: this was, to throw himself from the precipice into the
ocean, in hopes, should he survive the fall and rise to the
surface, he might reach land. He commended himself to God, shut
his eyes, held in his breath, and giving a desperate spring,
plunged headlong into the dreadful abyss, which providentially
received him unhurt, and a friendly wave drove him on shore;
where, however, he remained some minutes in a lifeless stupor,
owing to the rapidity of his descent from the brain-sickening

When his senses returned Mazin looked wildly around him, at first
scarcely able to bear the light from the recollection of the
dizzy eminence from which he had plunged; and an uneasy interval
elapsed before he could persuade himself that the certainty of
death was past. Convinced at length of this, he prostrated
himself to the earth, and exclaimed, "In God alone is our refuge
and support! I thought I should have perished, but his providence
has sustained me." He then wept exceedingly, entreated
forgiveness of his offences, read several passages from the
Koran, which he had preserved in his vestband, repeated the whole
of his rosary, and besought the intercession of the prophet for
his deliverance from future dangers. After this he walked onwards
till evening, the fruits of the forest his food, his drink the
water of the streams, and his resting place the green turf. Such
was his progress, that after three days he reached the spot under
the mountain where he had been taken up by the roc in the camel's
skin. He now recognized the road he had come; and after measuring
back his steps for nine days, beheld on the last the superb
palace, concerning which he had inquired of the magician, who had
informed him it was inhabited by evil genii, his most bitter

For some time Mazin hesitated whether he should advance to the
gates of the palace; but considering that no greater calamity
could happen to him than he had already endured, he contemned
danger, and boldly advanced to a grand lodge built of white
marble exquisitely polished. He entered, and beheld on one of the
raised platforms which skirted the passage into the court two
beautiful damsels playing at the game of chess; one of whom on
beholding him exclaimed, "Surely, sister, this is the young man
who passed this way about a month ago with Bharam the magician?"
"I am he!" exclaimed Mazin, at the same time throwing himself at
her feet, "and entreat your hospitable protection." The lady,
raising him from the ground, said, "Stranger, you resemble so
much a once beloved brother, that I feel inclined to adopt thee
as such, if my sister will also agree to do so." The other lady
readily assented. They then embraced Mazin, seated him between
them, and requested to be informed of his adventures, of which he
gave them a true narration.

When Mazin had concluded his story, the ladies expressed
compassion for his misfortunes, and the strongest resentment
against the accursed magician, whom they vowed to punish by a
tormenting death for having had the insolence to accuse them of
being evil genii. They then proceeded to acquaint him with the
cause of their residence in this secluded palace, saying,
"Brother, for as such we shall henceforward regard you, our
father is a most potent sultan of a race of good genii, who were
converted by Solomon, the son of David, to the true faith; we are
seven daughters by the same mother; but for some cause which we
do not know the sultan our father, being fearful of our becoming
connected with mankind, has placed us in this solitary spot. This
palace was erected by genii for our accommodation; the meadows
and forests around it are delightful, and we often amuse
ourselves with field sports, there being plenty of every sort of
game, as you must have observed. When we want horses or camels we
have only to beat a small magical drum, and they instantly attend
our call, ready caparisoned. Our five sisters are at present at
the chase, but will soon return. Set thy heart at rest, forget
thy misfortunes, which are now at an end, and thou shall live
with us in ease and pleasure."

The five sisters soon returned, and Mazin's adventures being
recounted to them they also adopted him as their brother; and he
continued with these ladies, who strove to divert him all in
their power by repeated rounds of amusements: one day they
hunted, another hawked, another fished, and their indoor
pleasures were varied and delightful; so that Mazin soon
recovered his health, and was happy to the extent of his wishes.
A year had elapsed, when Mazin one day riding out for his
amusement to the enamelled dome supported on four golden columns,
perceived under it the accursed magician, and with him a youth,
whom, like himself, he had inveigled into his snares, and devoted
also to destruction. The rage of Mazin was kindled at the sight;
he drew his sabre, and rushing unperceived behind the sorcerer,
who was in the act of flaying a camel for the purposes already
described, seized him by his hair, and exclaimed, "Wretch! the
judgment of Heaven at length hath overtaken thee, and soon shall
thy impure soul be plunged into that fire thou hast blasphemously
adored." The magician struggled, but in vain. He then implored
for mercy and forgiveness; but Mazin, convinced by experience
that he deserved none, struck off his head at one blow. Then
informing the intended viftim, who stood near gazing with
astonishment, of the wicked arts of the accursed Bharam, and of
his own narrow escape from almost certain destruction, he advised
the young man to remount his camel, and return to the spot where
he had disembarked from the vessel, which would safely convey him
back to his own country. The youth, having thanked him for his
deliverance, took his leave; and Mazin returned to the palace,
carrying with him the head of the magician as a trophy of his
victory. He was highly applauded for his prowess by the sisters,
who rejoiced in the destruction of so cruel an enemy to mankind.

Many days had not elapsed after this event, when one morning
Mazin and the sisters sitting together in a gallery of the
palace, observed a thick cloud of dust rising from the desert and
approaching towards them. As it came nearer they perceived
through it a troop of horsemen; upon which the sisters, desiring
Mazin to retire into an inner chamber, went to the gateway to
inquire who the strangers might be. They were servants of the
genie sultan, father to the ladies, and sent by him to conduct
them to his presence, in order to attend the nuptials of a near
relation. Upon this summons the sisters prepared for the journey,
and at the end of three days departed, assuring Mazin that they
would return in a month. At taking leave they gave him the keys
of every apartment in the palace, telling him that he might open
every door except one, which to enter might be attended with
unpleasant consequences, and therefore had better be avoided.
Mazin promised to observe their caution; and for many days was so
well amused in examining the magnificent rooms and curiosities of
the palace, that he did not feel a wish to transgress till the
forbidden door alone remained unopened. Having then nothing to
divert him, he could not resist the impulse of curiosity, but
unlocked the door, which opened on a marble staircase by which he
ascended to the terraced roof of the palace, from whence a most
delightful prospect feasted his sight. On one side his eye was
arrested by an extensive garden, in the centre of which, under
shady trees, was a basin of clear water, lined with gems of every
colour and description. He resolved to visit this enchanting
object; and descending the staircase, explored his way through a
long arcade, which led him at length into the garden, in which he
diverted himself with the scenery it afforded for some time. He
then retired to an alcove on the margin of the basin, and sat
down; but had not rested many moments, when to his astonishment
he beheld descending from the sky a company of beautiful damsels,
whose robes of light green silk floating in the air seemed their
only support. Alarmed at such a preternatural appearance, he
retired to the end of the alcove, from whence he watched their
motions. They alighted on the brink of the water, and having
thrown off their robes, stood to the enraptured view of Mazin in
native loveliness. Never had he beheld such enchanting beauty;
but one even more exquisitely charming than the rest attracted
his gaze, and from the instant fixed the affections of his heart.
They now plunged into the basin, where for some time they amused
themselves by swimming, every now and then playfully dashing the
water over themselves and at each other. When satiated with
frolic they came out of the water, sat for some time on the
verdant margin, then dressed themselves, and adjusting their
robes to the air, soared aloft, and were soon far from the sight
of the enamoured Mazin, who followed them till his eyes could
stretch no farther; then despairing of ever again beholding the
object of his affections, he fainted on the grass, and it was
some time before he recovered his senses. He returned melancholy
to the palace, and spent the night in reposeless agitation.

The following morning the seven sisters returned; and she who had
first welcomed him to their abode, and had ever since retained
for Mazin the purest affection, ran with eagerness to inquire
after his health. Great was her affliction on beholding him upon
his bed, pale, and apparently in a state of rapid decay. After
many kind questions, to which he returned no answers, she
entreated earnestly, by the vow of brotherly and sisterly
adoption which had past between them, that he would inform her of
the cause ot his unhappy dejection; assuring him that she would
use every exertion to remove it, and gratify his wishes, be they
what they might, however difficult to be obtained. Mazin upon
this, in a feeble tone, related his adventure in the garden; and
declared that unless the beautiful (he supposed celestial) damsel
could be obtained for him he must die of grief. The sister bade
him be comforted, for in a short time his desires should be
satisfied, which revived his spirits, and he accompanied his kind
hostess to welcome home her sisters, who received him with their
usual hospitality, but were grieved and alarmed at the sad
alteration in his appearance, of which they inquired the reason,
and were informed that it was the effect of absence from his
generous patronesses.

The next morning the sisters went upon a hunting excursion for
ten days, only one (his kindest friend) remained in the palace,
under pretence of attending Mazin, whose health, she said, was
too delicate to bear the exercise of the chase. When the others
were departed, she informed Mazin that the beautiful beings he
had seen in the garden were of a race of genie much more powerful
than her own, that they inhabited a country surrounded by seas
and deserts not to be approached by human exertion, that the
ladies he beheld were sisters to the queen of these genii, whose
subjects were entirely female, occasionally visited by male
genii, with whom they were in alliance for the sake of
population, and to whom all the males were sent away as soon as
born. She further told him, that these females had the power,
from their silken robes, of soaring through the air with a flight
an hundred times swifter than that of any bird, that they were
fond of recreating in verdant spots, and bathing in the clearest
waters, and that the garden he had seen them in was a favourite
place of their resort, so that they would probably soon visit it
again. "Possibly," continued she, "they may recreate themselves
there to-day; we will be on the watch, and if they appear, you
must fix your eye on your favourite, mark where she places her
robes, and while they are in the water seize and conceal them,
for deprived of these she cannot fly away, and you may make her
your prisoner. Bring her to the palace, and endeavour by
tenderness and endearing attention to gain her affection and
consent to marriage; but remember when she is in your power to
keep her robes from her, for should she regain possession of them
she would certainly return to the Flying Islands, and you would
see her no more."

Mazin and his adopted sister now repaired to the garden, and
seated themselves in the alcove, nor had they been there long
when the fair genii appeared as before, descended on the margin
of the basin, and all having undressed, each laying her robes by
themselves, rushed playfully into the water, in which they began
to swim, dive, and besprinkle playfully each other. Mazin, whose
eager eye had ardently watched his beloved, swiftly, but
cautiously, snatching up the robes of his mistress, conveyed them
to the alcove unobserved by the fair bathers; who, when they had
sufficiently amused themselves, quitted the water, and ascending
the bank, began to dress; but how can we describe the distressful
confusion of the unhappy genie whose robes had been stolen? Big
tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks, she beat her bosom, tore
her hair, and uttered loud shrieks, while her sisters, instead of
consoling her, were concerned only for their own safety, and
dressing themselves with confused haste, bade her farewell,
mounted into the air, and disappeared. On their departure, Mazin
and his adopted sister approached, and saluting the disconsolate
genie endeavoured to console her, but for the present in vain,
her mind being intent only on the sad captivity she thought
awaited her, and the loss of her native country and relations.
They led her gently to the palace, and Mazin, retiring
respectfully, left her to the care of his adopted sister, who by
a thousand endearments and attentions so gained upon her, that in
two days the genie began to recover her spirits, and consented to
receive Mazin as her husband, when the ladies should return from
the chase. On their arrival at the palace they were informed by
their sisters of what had happened, and introduced to the fair
stranger; who, diverted by their company and attentions, now
scarcely regretted her captivity. Preparations were made for the
nuptials, and in a short time Mazin was made happy in the
possession of his beloved genie. A round of festivities succeeded
their marriage, and the seven sisters strove with each other who
should by invention of new amusements make their residence among
them most delightful to the happy pair Mazin, however, now began
to think of his mother and his native city with fond regret, and
at length begged leave of his kind patronesses to return home, to
which request they, from admiration of his filial love, though
unwilling to part, consented, and a day was fixed for his
departure. The time being arrived, the sisters beat their magical
drum, when several camels appeared at the gates of the palace
heavily laden with the richest goods, a large sum of money,
valuable jewels, and refreshments for the journey, led by proper
attendants. One camel carried a splendid litter for the
conveyance of his wife, and another was richly caparisoned for
the use of Mazin, who, having taken an affectionate leave of his
generous benefactresses, whom he promised to revisit at some
future time, departed, and pursued the route back towards the sea
shore, where he had disembarked with the magician. On the journey
nothing remarkable occurred, and on their arrival at the coast
they found a vessel ready to receive them, when the wind proving
fair, a short time carried them safely to Bussorah, where Mazin
had the satisfaction of finding his mother alive, though greatly
wasted with constant grief and lamentation for his loss. To
describe the joy of their meeting is impossible, for never was
there more tender affeftion between parent and child than
subsisted between Mazin and his mother. She seemed to gain new
life from his recovery, and again to grow young. The fair genie,
who was now in the way of being a mother, appeared perfectly
contented in her situation, and Mazin, so unexpectedly restored
to his country, was happy in the possession of all he wished; for
the generous sisters had bestowed such wealth upon him, that, in
addition to the domestic felicity he enjoyed, he was now one of
the richest persons in all Bussorah.

Three years had rolled away in undisturbed happiness, during
which the fair genie had borne him two sons, when Mazin thought
it grateful to perform his promise to the seven sisters, the
benevolent foundresses of his good fortune. Having accordingly
made preparations for his journey, he committed his wife's native
robes to the care of his mother, giving her the key of a secret
recess in which he had lodged them, but with a strict charge not
to let the genie put them on, lest an irresistible impulse might
inspire her to fly away to her own country; for though in general
she had seemed contented, he had heard her now and then express a
wish to be again with her own friends and species. The mother
promised obedience, and Mazin having taken an affectionate leave
of her, his wife and children, with assurances of speedy return,
embarked on board a vessel and pursued his voyage, which was
uncommonly prosperous. On his landing he found camels waiting his
arrival on the beach, for the genie ladies, by magic arts, knew
of his coming, and had stationed them for his conveyance to their
palace, which he reached in safety, and was received with the
most aftectionate welcomes and hospitality.

Some time after the departure of Mazin, his wife requested her
mother-in-law's permission to amuse herself at a public bath, and
the old lady willingly accompanied her and the children to the
most celebrated humnaum in the city, which was frequented by the
ladies and those of the chief personages of the court, the caliph
Haroon al Rusheed then happening to be at Bussorah. When they
reached the bath there were then in it some of the principal
female slaves, attendants of Zobeide, who, on the entrance of
Mazin's wife, were struck with her uncommon beauty, and instantly
collecting round her, rapturously gazed upon her as she was

The slaves of Zobeide did not cease to admire Mazin's wife till
she left the hummaum, and even followed her till she entered her
own house, when dusk had begun to gloom, and they became
apprehensive of their mistress's being displeased at their long
absence, and so it happened.

Upon entering into her presence, Zobeide exclaimed, "Where have
ye loitered, and what has been the cause of your unusually long
stay at the hummaum?" Upon which they looked confusedly at each
other, and remained silent. The sultana then said in anger,
"Instantly inform me of the cause of your delay!" when they
related the wonderful beauty of Mazin's wife, and dwelt so much
upon her charms, that Zobeide was overcome by curiosity to behold
them. On the follow ing day she sent for the mother of Mazin, who
obeyed the summons with fear and trembling, wondering what could
have made the caliph's consort desirous of seeing a person of her
inferior rank.

Mazin's mother prostrated herself, and kissed the feet of the
sultana, who graciously raising her, said, "Am Mazin, our wish is
that you introduce to me your son's wife, of whose beauty I have
heard such a description, that I long to behold her."

When the mother of Mazin heard these words, her heart sunk within
her, she trembled, but dared not refuse the command of Zobeide,
and she said, "To hear is to obey!" after which she took leave,
with the usual ceremony of prostration before the throne of the

When the mother of Mazin left the princess Zobeide she returned
towards her own house; and when she had reached it. entered to
her son's wife, and said, "Our sultana Zobeide hath invited thee
to an entertainment." The wife of Mazin was delighted, instantly
rose up, arrayed herself in the richest apparel she was mistress
of, and dressed her two children in their choicest garments and
ornaments Then with them, the mother of her husband, and a black
slave, she proceeded, till they reached the palace of the
princess Zobeide, which they entered, and found her sitting in
impatient expectation. They kissed the ground be fore her, and
prayed for her prosperity.

When the sultana Zobeide beheld the wife of Mazin her senses were
confounded, her heart fluttered, she was astonished at her
beauty, elegance, graceful stature, and blooming complexion, and
exclaimed, "Gracious heaven! Where could such a form as this have
been created?" Then she seated her guests, and ordered a
collation to be brought in, which was done immediately, when they
ate and were satisfied, but Zobeide could not keep her eyes from
the wife of Mazin of Bussorah. She kissed her, and questioned her
concerning what had befallen herself and her husband. Her
astonishment was redoubled on the relation of their adventures.

The wife of Mazin then said, "My princess, if you are thus
surprised, though you have not seen me in my native robes, how
would you be delighted at my appearance in them! If, therefore,
you wish to gratify your curiosity by beholding a miracle, you
must command the mother of my husband to bring my country dress.
"Upon this Zobeide commanded the mother of Mazin to fetch the
flying robes, and as she dared not disobey the sultana of the
caliph, she went home, and speedily returned with them. Zobeide
took them into her hands, examined them, and was surprised at
their fashion and texture. At length she gave them to the wife of

When the wife of Mazin had received the robes, she unfolded them,
and going into the open court of the palace, arrayed herself in
them, then taking her children in her arms, mounted with them
suddenly into the air. When she had ascended to about the height
of sixty feet, she called out to the mother of her husband,
saying, "Give my adieu, dear mother, to my lord, and tell him,
should ardent love for me affect him he may come to me in the
islands of Waak al Waak." After this speech she soared towards
the clouds, till she was hidden from their eyes, and speeded to
her own country.

When the mother of Mazin beheld her in the air, she beat her
cheeks, scattered dust upon her head, and cried aloud to the
princess Zobeide, "This is thy mischief." Zobeide was not able to
answer or reprove her boldness from the excess of her sorrow and
regret, which made her repent, when repentance could not avail.
The old lady returned in despair to her own habitation.

Thus it happened to the persons above mentioned, but how was it
with the affairs of Mazin? He did not cease travelling for some
time, till he arrived at the palace of the seven sisters, and
paid his respefts. They were rejoiced at his arrival, and
inquired after his wife, when he informed them she was well, and
that God had blessed him with two children, both sons, which
added to their satisfaction. He remained with them for some time,
after which he entreated their permission to depart. They took a
tender leave of him, when he bade them farewell, and returned
towards his own country; nor did he halt till he arrived in
safety at Bussorah. When he entered his house he found his mother
alone, mournfully weeping and lamenting what had happened in his
absence. Seeing her in this state, he inquired the cause, upon
which she informed him of all that had occurred, from the
beginning to the conclusion.

When Mazin had heard the unwelcome intelligence, he cried out in
an agony of distress for the loss of his wife and children, fell
fainting to the ground, and forgot his own existence. His mother,
on beholding his condition, beat her cheeks, and sprinkled water
upon his face till he came to himself, when he wept and said to
his mother, "Inform me what my wife may have spoken on her
departure." She repeated her farewell words: upon hearing which
his distress and ardent longing for his wife and children was
redoubled. He remained mournfully at home for the space of ten
days, after which he resolved upon the journey to the islands of
Waak al Waak, distant from Bussorah one hundred and fifty years
of travel.

Mazin departed from his mother after he had taken leave and
entreated her prayers for his success, but the aged matron was so
affected that she ordered her tomb to be prepared, and did
nothing but weep and lament night and day for her son, who did
not halt till he had reached the palace of the seven sisters.
When they saw him they were surprised, and said to one another,
"There must be some urgent cause for his returning so speedily."
They saluted him, and inquired after his affairs: upon which he
informed them of the desertion of his wife, what she had said at
going away, and of his resolves to travel to the islands of Waak
al Waak. The seven ladies replied, "This expedition is impossible
to be accomplished either by thee or any of thy race; for these
islands are distant a hundred and fifty years' journey, so that
thou canst not live to reach them." Mazin exclaimed, "My
attempting it, however, is incumbent upon me, though I may perish
on the road: if God has decreed my reunion with my wife I shall
meet her again; but if not, I shall die and be received into the
mercy of the Almighty." The sisters did not cease to importune
him to lay aside the journey, but it was impossible for him to
obey them or remain at ease; upon which their grief for his
situation increased. They knew that the distance was such as he
could never overcome by human aid, or rejoin his wife, but they
respected his ardent love for her and his children.

On this account they consulted with one another how to assist him
on the journey. He remained with them a month, but unable to
repose or enjoy their entertainments. The sisters had two uncles,
one named Abd al Kuddoos, and the other Abd al Sulleeb, who lived
at three months distance from them, to whom they wrote in
recommendation of Mazin as follows.

"The bearer is our friend Mazin of Bussorah. If you can direct
him how to reach the islands of Waak al Waak, assist him; but if

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