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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 by Richard F. Burton

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A Plain and Literal Translation
of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

Translated and Annotated by
Richard F. Burton


To John Payne, Esq.

My Dear Sir,

Allow me thus publicly to express my admiration of your
magnum opus, "The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night;" and
to offer you my cordial thanks for honouring me with the
dedication of that scholar-like and admirable version.

Ever yours sincerely,

Richard F. Burton.

Queen's College, Oxford,
August 1, 1885.

Contents of the Second Volume

7. Nur Al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis Al-Jalis
8. Tale of Ghanim Bin Ayyub, The Distraught, The Thrall O' Love
a. Tale of the First Eunuch, Bukhayt
b. Tale of the Second Eunuch, Kafur
9. Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu'uman and His Sons Sharrkan and
Zau Al-Makan
a. Tale of Taj Al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya
aa. Tale of Aziz and Azizah

The Book Of The

Nur Al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis Al-Jalis

Quoth Shahrazad [FN#1]:--It hath reached me, O auspicious King of
intelligence penetrating, that there was, amongst the Kings of
Bassorah[FN#2], a King who loved the poor and needy and cherished
his lieges, and gave of his wealth to all who believed in
Mohammed (whom Allah bless and assain!), and he was even as one
of the poets described him,

"A King who when hosts of the foe invade, * Receives them with
lance-lunge and sabre-sway;
Writes his name on bosoms in thin red lines, * And scatters the
horsemen in wild dismay."[FN#3]

His name was King Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, and he had two
Wazirs, one called Al-Mu'in, son of Sawi and the other Al-Fazl
son of Khakan. Now Al-Fazl was the most generous of the people of
his age, upright of life, so that all hearts united in loving him
and the wise flocked to him for counsel; whilst the subjects used
to pray for his long life, because he was a compendium of the
best qualities, encouraging the good and lief, and preventing
evil and mischief. But the Wazir Mu'in bin Sawi on the contrary
hated folk [FN#4] and loved not the good and was a mere compound
of ill; even as was said of him,

"Hold to nobles, sons of nobles! 'tis ever Nature's test * That
nobles born of nobles shall excel in noble deed:
And shun the mean of soul, meanly bred, for 'tis the law, * Mean
deeds come of men who are mean of blood and breed."

And as much as the people loved and fondly loved Al-Fazl bin
Khakan, so they hated and thoroughly hated the mean and miserly
Mu'in bin Sawi. It befel one day by the decree of the Decreer,
that King Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, being seated on his
throne with his officers of state about him, summoned his Wazir
Al-Fazl and said to him, "I wish to have a slave-girl of passing
beauty, perfect in loveliness, exquisite in symmetry and endowed
with all praiseworthy gifts." Said the courtiers, "Such a girl
is not to be bought for less than ten thousand gold pieces:"
whereupon the Sultan called out to his treasurer and said, "Carry
ten thousand dinars to the house of Al-Fazl bin Khakan." The
treasurer did the King's bidding; and the Minister went away,
after receiving the royal charge to repair to the slave-bazar
every day, and entrust to brokers the matter aforesaid. Moreover
the King issued orders that girls worth above a thousand gold
pieces should not be bought or sold without being first displayed
to the Wazir. Accordingly no broker purchased a slave-girl ere
she had been paraded before the minister; but none pleased him,
till one day a dealer came to the house and found him taking
horse and intending for the palace. So he caught hold of his
stirrup saying,

"O thou, who givest to royal state sweet savour, * Thou'rt a
Wazir shalt never fail of favour!
Dead Bounty thou hast raised to life for men; * Ne'er fail of
Allah's grace such high endeavour!"

Then quoth he, "O my lord, that surpassing object for whom the
gracious mandate was issued is at last found; [FN#5]" and quoth
the Wazir, "Here with her to me!" So he went away and returned
after a little, bringing a damsel in richest raiment robed, a
maid spear-straight of stature and five feet tall; budding of
bosom with eyes large and black as by Kohl traced, and dewy lips
sweeter than syrup or the sherbet one sips, a virginette smooth
cheeked and shapely faced, whose slender waist with massive hips
was engraced; a form more pleasing than branchlet waving upon the
top-most trees, and a voice softer and gentler than the morning
breeze, even as saith one of those who have described her,

"Strange is the charm which dights her brows like Luna's disk
that shine; * O sweeter taste than sweetest Robb[FN#6] or
raisins of the vine.
A throne th'Empyrean keeps for her in high and glorious state, *
For wit and wisdom, wandlike form and graceful bending line:
She in the Heaven of her face[FN#7] the seven-fold stars
displays, * That guard her cheeks as satellites against
the spy's design:
If man should cast a furtive glance or steal far look at her, *
His heart is burnt by devil-bolts shot by those piercing

When the Wazir saw her she made him marvel with excess of
admiration, so he turned, perfectly pleased, to the broker and
asked, "What is the price of this girl?"; whereto he answered,
"Her market-value stands at ten thousand dinars, but her owner
swears that this sum will not cover the cost of the chickens she
hath eaten, the wine she hath drunken and the dresses of honour
bestowed upon her instructor: for she hath learned calligraphy
and syntax and etymology; the commentaries of the Koran; the
principles of law and religion; the canons of medicine, and the
calendar and the art of playing on musical instruments."[FN#8]
Said the Wazir, "Bring me her master." So the broker brought him
at once and, behold, he was a Persian of whom there was left only
what the days had left; for he was as a vulture bald and scald
and a wall trembling to its fall. Time had buffetted him with
sore smart, yet was he not willing this world to depart; even as
said the poet,

"Time hath shattered all my frame, * Oh! how time hath
shattered me.
Time with lordly might can tame * Manly strength and vigour
Time was in my youth, that none * Sped their way more fleet
and fast:
Time is and my strength is gone, * Youth is sped, and speed
is past.[FN#9]"

The Wazir asked him, "Art thou content to sell this slave-girl to
the Sultan for ten thousand dinars?"; and the Persian answered,
"By Allah, if I offer her to the King for naught, it were but my
devoir."[FN#10] So the Minister bade bring the monies and saw
them weighed out to the Persian, who stood up before him and
said, "By the leave of our lord the Wazir, I have somewhat to
say;" and the Wazir replied, "Out with all thou hast!" "It is my
opinion," continued the slave-dealer, "that thou shouldst not
carry the maid to the King this day; for she is newly off a
journey; the change of air[FN#11] hath affected her and the toils
of trouble have fretted her. But keep her quiet in thy palace
some ten days, that she may recover her looks and become again as
she was. Then send her to the Hammam and clothe her in the
richest of clothes and go up with her to the Sultan: this will be
more to thy profit." The Wazir pondered the Persian's words and
approved of their wisdom; so he carried her to his palace, where
he appointed her private rooms, and allowed her every day
whatever she wanted of meat and drink and so forth. And on this
wise she abode a while. Now the Wazir Al-Fazl had a son like the
full moon when sheeniest dight, with face radiant in light,
cheeks ruddy bright, and a mole like a dot of ambergris on a
downy site; as said of him the poet and said full right,

"A moon which blights you[FN#12] if you dare behold; * A branch
which folds you in its waving fold:
Locks of the Zanj[FN#13] and golden glint of hair; * Sweet gait
and form a spear to have and hold:
Ah! hard of heart with softest slenderest waist, * That evil to
this weal why not remould?[FN#14]
Were thy form's softness placed in thy heart, * Ne'er would thy
lover find thee harsh and cold:
Oh thou accuser! be my love's excuser, * Nor chide if love-pangs
deal me woes untold!
I bear no blame: 'tis all my hear and eyne; * So leave thy
blaming, let me yearn and pine."

Now the handsome youth knew not the affair of the damsel; and his
father had enjoined her closely, saying, "Know, O my daughter,
that I have bought thee as a bedfellow for our King, Mohammed bin
Sulayman al-Zayni; and I have a son who is a Satan for girls and
leaves no maid in the neighbourhood without taking her
maidenhead; so be on thy guard against him and beware of letting
him see thy face or hear they voice." "Hearkening and obedience,"
said the girl; and he left her and fared forth. Some days after
this it happened by decree of Destiny, that the damsel repaired
to the baths in the house, where some of the slave women bathed
her; after which she arrayed herself in sumptuous raiment; and
her beauty and loveliness were thereby redoubled. Then she went
in to the Wazir's wife and kissed her hand; and the dame said to
her, "Naiman! May it benefit thee,[FN#15] O Anis al-
Jalis![FN#16] Are not our baths handsome?" "O my mistress," she
replied, "I lacked naught there save thy gracious presence."
Thereupon the lady said to her slave-women, "Come with us to the
Hammam, for it is some days since we went there:" they answered,
"To hear is to obey!" and rose and all accompanied her. Now she
had set two little slave-girls to keep the door of the private
chamber wherein was Anis al-Jalis and had said to them, "Suffer
none go in to the damsel." Presently, as the beautiful maiden
sat resting in her rooms, suddenly came in the Wazir's son whose
name was Nur al-Din Ali,[FN#17] and asked after his mother and
her women, to which the two little slave-girls replied, "They are
in the Hammam." But the damsel, Anis al-Jalis, had heard from
within Nur al-Din Ali's voice and had said to herself, "O would
Heaven I saw what like is this youth against whom the Wazir
warned me, saying that he hath not left a virgin in the
neighbourhood without taking her virginity: by Allah, I do long
to have sight of him!" So she sprang to her feet with the
freshness of the bath on her and, stepping to the door, looked at
Nur al-Din Ali and saw a youth like the moon in its full and the
sight bequeathed her a thousand sighs. The young man also glanced
at her and the look make him heir to a thousand thoughts of care;
and each fell into Love's ready snare. Then he stepped up to the
two little slave-girls and cried aloud at them; whereupon both
fled before him and stood afar off to see what he would do. And
behold, he walked to the door of the damsel's chamber and,
opening it, went in and asked her "Art thou she my father bought
for me?" and she answered "Yes." Thereupon the youth, who was
warm with wine, came up to her and embraced her; then he took her
legs and passed them round his waist and she wound her arms about
his neck, and met him with kisses and murmurs of pleasure and
amorous toyings. Next he sucked her tongue and she sucked his,
and lastly, he loosed the strings of her petticoat-trousers and
abated her maidenhead. When the two little slave-girls saw their
young master get in unto the damsel, Anis al-Jalis, they cried
out and shrieked; so as soon as the youth had had his wicked will
of her, he rose and fled forth fearing the consequences of his
ill-doing. When the Wazir's wife heard the slave-girls' cries,
she sprang up and came out of the baths with the perspiration
pouring from her face, saying, "What is this unseemly clamour in
the house[FN#18]?" Then she came up to the two little slave-
girls and asked them saying, "Fie upon you! what is the matter?";
and both answered, "Verily our lord Nur al-Din came in and beat
us, so we fled; then he went up to Anis al-Jalis and threw his
arms round her and we know not what he did after that; but when
we cried out to thee he ran away." Upon this the lady went to
Anis al-Jalis and said to her, "What tidings?" "O my lady," she
answered, "as I was sitting here lo! a handsome young man came in
and said to me:--Art thou she my father bought for me?; and I
answered Yes; for, by Allah, O mistress mine, I believed that his
words were true; and he instantly came in and embraced me." "Did
he nought else with thee but this?" quoth the lady, and quoth
she, "Indeed he did! But he did it only three times." "He did
not leave thee without dishonouring thee!" cried the Wazir's wife
and fell to weeping and buffetting her face, she and the girl and
all the handmaidens, fearing lest Nur al-Din's father should kill
him.[FN#19] Whilst they were thus, in came the Wazir and asked
what was the matter, and his wife said to him, "Swear that whatso
I tell thee thou wilt attend to it." "I will," answered he. So
she related to him what his son had done, whereat he was much
concerned and rent his raiment and smote his face till his nose
bled, and plucked out his beard by the handful. "Do not kill
thyself," said his wife, "I will give thee ten thousand dinars,
her price, of my own money." But he raised his head and cried,
"Out upon thee! I have no need of her purchase-money: my fear is
lest life as well as money go." "O my lord, and how is that?"
"Wottest thou not that yonder standeth our enemy Al Mu'in bin
Sawi who, as soon as he shall hear of this matter, will go up to
the Sultan"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Thirty-fifth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Wazir said to his wife, "Wottest thou not that yonder standeth
our enemy Al-Mu'in bin Sawi who, as soon as he hears of this
matter will go up to the Sultan and say to him, 'Thy Wazir who,
thou wilt have it loveth thee, took from thee ten thousand ducats
and bought therewith a slave-girl whose like none ever beheld;
but when he saw her, she pleased him and he said to his son,
'Take her: thou art worthier of her than the Sultan.' So he took
her and did away with her virginity and she is now in his house.'
The King will say, 'Thou liest!' to which he will reply, 'With
thy leave I will fall upon him unawares and bring her to thee.'
The King will give him warranty for this and he will come down
upon the house and will take the girl and present her to the
Sultan, who will question her and she will not be able to deny
the past. Then mine enemy will say, 'O my lord, thou wottest
that I give thee the best of counsel; but I have not found favour
in thine eyes.' Thereupon the Sultan will make an example of me,
and I shall be a gazing-stock to all the people and my life will
be lost." Quoth his wife, "Let none know of this thing which
hath happened privily, and commit thy case to Allah and trust in
Him to save thee from such strait; for He who knoweth the future
shall provide for the future." With this she brought the Wazir a
cup of wine and his heart was quieted, and he ceased to feel
wrath and fear. Thus far concerning him; but as regards his son
Nur al-Din Ali, fearing the consequence of his misdeed he abode
his day long in the flower garden and came back only at night to
his mother's apartment where he slept; and, rising before dawn,
returned to the gardens. He ceased not to do thus for two whole
months without showing his face to his parent, till at last his
mother said to his father, "O my lord, shall we lose our boy as
well as the girl? If matters continue long in this way he will
flee from us." "And what to do?" asked he; and she answered, "Do
thou watch this night; and, when he cometh, seize on him and
frighten him: I will rescue him from thee and do thou make peace
with him and give him the damsel to wife, for she loveth him as
he loveth her. And I will pay thee her price." So the Minister
say up that night and, when his son came, he seized him and
throwing him down knelt on his breast and showed as thou he would
cut his throat; but his mother ran to the youth's succour and
asked her husband, "What wouldest thou do with him?" He answered
her, "I will split his weasand." Said the son to the father, "Is
my death, then, so light a matter to thee?"; and his father's
eyes welled with tears, for natural affection moved him, and he
rejoined, "O my son, how light was to thee the loss of my good
and my life!" Quoth Nur al-Din, "Hear, O my father, what the
poet hath said,

'Forgive me! thee-ward sinned I, but the wise * Ne'er to the
sinner shall deny his grace:
Thy foe may pardon sue when lieth he * In lowest, and thou
holdest highest place!'"

Thereupon the Wazir rose from off his son's breast saying, "I
forgive thee!"; for his heart yearned to him; and the youth
kissed the hand of his sire who said, "O my son, were I sure that
thou wouldest deal justly by Anis al-Jalis, I would give her to
thee." "O my father, what justice am I to do to her?" "I enjoin
thee, O my son, not to take another wife or concubine to share
with her, nor sell her." "O my father! I swear to thee that
verily I will not do her injustice in either way." Having sworn
to that effect Nur al-Din went in to the damsel and abode with
her a whole year, whilst Allah Almighty caused the King to forget
the matter of the maiden; and Al-Mu'in, though the affair came to
his ears, dared not divulge it by reason of the high favour in
which his rival stood with the Sultan. At the end of the year
Al-Fazl went one day to the public baths; and, as he came out
whilst he was still sweating, the air struck him[FN#20] and he
caught a cold which turned to a fever; then he took to his bed.
His malady gained ground and restlessness was longsome upon him
and weakness bound him like a chain; so he called out, "Hither
with my son;" and when Nur al-Din Ali came he said to him, "O my
son, know that man's lot and means are distributed and decreed;
and the end of days by all must be dree'd; and that every soul
drain the cup of death is nature's need." The he repeated these

"I die my death, but He alone is great who dieth not! * And well
I wot, soon shall I die, for death was made my lot:
A King there's not that dies and holds his kingdom in his hand, *
For Sovranty the Kingdom is of Him who dieth not."

Then he continued, "O my son, I have no charge to leave thee save
that thou fear Allah and look to the issues of thine acts and
bear in mind my injunctions anent Anis al-Jalis." "O my father!"
said Nur al-Din, "who is like unto thee? Indeed thou art famed
for well doing and preachers offer prayers for thee in their
pulpits!" Quoth Al-Fazl, "O my son, I hope that Allah Almighty
may grant me acceptance!" Then he pronounced the Two
Testimonies,[FN#21] or Professions of the Faith, and was recorded
among the blessed. The palace was filled with crying and
lamentation and the news of his death reached the King, and the
city-people wept, even those at their prayers and women at
household cares and the school-children shed tears for Bin-
Khakan. Then his son Nur al-Din Ali arose and made ready his
funeral, and the Emirs and Wazirs and high Officers of State and
city-notables were present, amongst them the Wazir al-Mu'in bin
Sawi. And as the bier went forth from the house some one in the
crowd of mourners began to chant these lines,

"On the fifth day I quitted al my friends for evermore, * And
they laid me out and washed me on a slab without my
They stripped me of the clothes I was ever wont to wear, * And
they clothed me in the clothes which till then I never wore.
On four men's necks they bore me and carried me from home * To
chapel; and some prayed for him on neck they bore:
They prayed for me a prayer that no prostration knows;[FN#23] *
They prayed for me who praised me and were my friends of
And they laid me in a house with a ceiling vaulted o'er, * And
Time shall be no more ere it ope to me its door."

When they had shovelled in the dust over him and the crowd had
dispersed, Nur al-Din returned home and he lamented with sobs and
tears; and the tongue of the case repeated these couplets,

"On the fifth day at even-tide they went away from me: *
farewelled them as faring they made farewell my lot:
But my spirit as they went, with them went and so I cried, * 'Ah
return ye!' but replied she, 'Alas! return is not
To a framework lere and lorn that lacketh blood and life, * A
frame whereof remaineth naught but bones that rattle and
Mine eyes are blind and cannot see quencht by the flowing tear! *
Mine ears are dull and lost to sense: they have no power to

He abode a long time sorrowing for his father till, one day, as
he was sitting at home, there came a knocking at the door; so he
rose in haste and opening let in a man, one of his father's
intimates and who had been the Wazir's boon-companion. The
visitor kissed Nur al-Din's hand and said to him, "O my lord, he
who hath left the like of thee is not dead; and this way went
also the Chief of the Ancients and the Moderns. [FN#24] O my lord
Ali, be comforted and leave sorrowing." Thereupon Nur al-Din
rose and going to the guest-saloon transported thither all he
needed. Then he assembled his companions and took his handmaid
again; and, collecting round him ten of the sons of the
merchants, began to eat meat and drink wine, giving entertainment
after entertainment and lavishing his presents and his favours.
One day his Steward came to him and said, "O my lord Nur al-Din,
hast thou not heard the saying, Whoso spendeth and reckoneth not,
to poverty wendeth and recketh not?" And he repeated what the
poet wrote,

"I look to my money and keep it with care, * For right well I wot
'tis my buckler and brand:
Did I lavish my dirhams on hostilest foes,[FN#25] * I should
truck my good luck by mine ill luck trepanned:
So I'll eat it and drink it and joy in my wealth; * And no
spending my pennies on others I'll stand:
I will keep my purse close 'gainst whoever he be; * And a niggard
in grain a true friend ne'er I fand:
Far better deny him than come to say:--Lend, * And five-fold the
loan shall return to thy hand!
And he turns face aside and he sidles away, * While I stand like
a dog disappointed, unmanned,
Oh, the sorry lot his who hath yellow-boys none, * Though his
genius and virtues shine bright as the sun!

O my master," continued the Steward, "this lavish outlay and
these magnificent gifts waste away wealth." When Nur al-Din Ali
heard these words he looked at his servant and cried, "Of all
thou hast spoken I will not heed one single word, for I have
heard the saying of the poet who saith,

'An my palm be full of wealth and my wealth I ne'er bestow, * A
palsy take my hand and my foot ne'er rise again!
Show my niggard who by niggardise e'er rose to high degree, * Or
the generous gifts generally hath slain.'"

And he pursued, "Know, O Steward, it is my desire that so long as
thou hast money enough for my breakfast, thou trouble me not with
taking thought about my supper." Thereupon the Steward asked,
"Must it be so?"; and he answered, "It must." So the honest man
went his way and Nur al-Din Ali devoted himself to extravagance;
and, if any of his cup-companions chanced to say, "This is a
pretty thing;" he would reply, "'Tis a gift to thee!"; or if
another said, "O my lord, such a house is handsome;" he would
answer, "Take it: it is thine!" After this reckless fashion he
continued to live for a whole year, giving his friends a banquet
in the morning and a banquet in the evening and a banquet at
midnight, till one day, as the company was sitting together, the
damsel Anis al-Jalis repeated these lines,

"Thou deemedst well of Time when days went well, * And feardest
not what ills might deal thee Fate:
Thy nights so fair and restful cozened thee, * For peaceful
nights bring woes of heavy weight."

When she had ended her verse behold, somebody knocked at the
door. So Nur al-Din rose to open it and one of his boon-
companions followed him without being perceived. At the door he
found his Steward and asked him, "What is the matter?"; and he
answered, "O my lord, what I dreaded for thee hath come to pass!"
"How so?" "Know that there remains not a dirham's worth, less or
more in my hands. Here are my Daftars and account books showing
both income and outlay and the registers of thine original
property." When Nur al-Din heard these words he bowed his head
and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah!" When the man who had followed him privily to spy on him
heard the Steward's words, he returned to his friends and warned
them saying, "Look ye well to what ye do: Nur al-Din is
penniless;" and, as the young host came back to his guests,
vexation showed itself in his face. Thereupon one of the
intimates rose; and, looking at the entertainer, said to him, "O
my lord, may be thou wilt give me leave to retire?" "And why so
early retirement this day?"; asked he and the other answered him,
"My wife is in childbirth and I may not be absent from her:
indeed I must return and see how she does." So he gave him
leave, whereupon another rose and said, "O my lord Nur al-Din, I
wish now to go to my brother's for he circumciseth his son to-
day."[FN#26] In short each and every asked permission to retire
on some pretence or other, till all the ten were gone leaving Nur
al-Din alone. Then he called his slave-girl and said to her, "O
Anis al-Jalis, hast thou seen what case is mine?" And he related
to her what the Steward had told him. Then quoth she, "O my
lord, for many nights I had it in my mind to speak with thee of
this matter, but I heard thee repeating,

'When the World heaps favours on thee, pass on * Thy favours to
friends ere her hand she stay:
Largesse never let her when fain she comes, * Nor niggardise kept
her from turning away!'

When I heard these verses I held my peace and cared not to
exchange a word with thee." "O Anis al-Jalis," said Nur al-Din,
"thou knowest that I have not wasted my wealth save on my
friends, especially these ten who have now left me a pauper, and
I think they will not abandon and desert me without relief." "By
Allah," replied she, "they will not profit thee with aught of
aid." Said he, "I will rise at once and go to them and knock at
their doors; it may be I shall get from them somewhat wherewith I
may trade and leave pastime and pleasuring." So he rose without
stay or delay, and repaired to a street wherein all his ten
friends lived. He went up to the nearest door and knocked;
whereupon a handmaid came out and asked him, "Who art thou?"; and
he answered, "Tell thy master that Nur al-Din Ali standeth at the
door and saith to him, 'Thy slave kisseth thy hand and awaiteth
thy bounty.'" The girl went in and told her master, who cried at
her, "Go back and say, 'My master is not at home.'" So she
returned to Nur al-Din, and said to him, "O my lord, my master is
out." Thereupon he turned away and said to himself, "If this one
be a whoreson knave and deny himself, another may not prove
himself such knave and whoreson." Then he went up to the next
door and sent in a like message to the house-master, who denied
himself as the first had done, whereupon he began repeating,

"He is gone who when to his gate thou go'st, * Fed thy famisht
maw with his boiled and roast."

When he had ended his verse he said, "By Allah, there is no help
but that I make trial of them all: perchance there be one amongst
them who will stand me in the stead of all the rest." So he went
the round of the ten, but not one of them would open his door to
him or show himself or even break a bit of bread before him;
whereupon he recited,

"Like a tree is he who in wealth doth wone, * And while fruits he
the folk to his fruit shall run:
But when bared the tree of what fruit it bare, * They leave it to
suffer from dust and sun.
Perdition to all of this age! I find * Ten rogues for every
righteous one."

Then he returned to his slave-girl and his grief had grown more
grievous and she said to him, "O my lord, did I not tell thee,
none would profit thee with aught of aid?" And he replied, "By
Allah, not one of them would show me his face or know me!" "O my
lord," quoth she, "sell some of the moveables and household
stuff, such as pots and pans, little by little; and expend the
proceeds until Allah Almighty shall provide." So he sold all of
that was in the house till nothing remained when he turned to
Anis al-Jalis and asked her "What shall we do now?"; and she
answered, "O my lord, it is my advice that thou rise forthwith
and take me down to the bazar and sell me. Thou knowest that
they father bought me for ten thousand dinars: haply Allah may
open thee a way to get the same price, and if it be His will to
bring us once more together, we shall meet again." "O Anis al-
Jalis," cried he, "by Allah it is no light matter for me to be
parted from thee for a single hour!" "By Allah, O my lord," she
replied, "nor is it easy to me either, but Need hath its own law,
as the poet said,

'Need drives a man into devious roads, * And pathways doubtful of
trend and scope:
No man to a rope[FN#27] will entrust his weight, * Save for cause
that calleth for case of rope.'"

Thereupon he rose to his feet and took her,[FN#28] whilst the
tears rolled down his cheek like rain; and he recited with the
tongue of the case these lines,

"Stay! grant one parting look before we part, * Nerving my heart
this severance to sustain:
But, an this parting deal thee pain and bane, * Leave me to die
of love and spare thee pain!"

Then he went down with her to the bazar and delivered her to the
broker and said to him, "O Hajj Hasan,[FN#29] I pray thee note
the value of her thou hast to cry for sale." "O my lord Nur al-
Din," quoth the broker, "the fundamentals are remembered;"[FN#30]
adding, "Is not this the Anis al-Jalis whom thy father bought of
me for ten thousand dinars?" "Yes," said Nur al-Din. Thereupon
the broker went round to the merchants, but found that all had
not yet assembled. So he waited till the rest had arrived and
the market was crowded with slave-girls of all nations, Turks,
Franks and Circassians; Abyssinians, Nubians and Takruris;[FN#31]
Tartars, Georgians and others; when he came forward and standing
cried aloud, "O merchants! O men of money! every round thing is
not a walnut and every long thing a banana is not; all reds are
not meat nor all whites fat, nor is every brown thing a
date![FN#32] O merchants, I have here this union-pearl that hath
no price: at what sum shall I cry her?" "Cry her at four thousand
five hundred dinars," quoth one of the traders. The broker opened
the door of sale at the sum named and, as he was yet calling, lo!
the Wazir Al-Mu'in bin Sawi passed through the bazar and, seeing
Nur al-Din Ali waiting at one side, said to himself, "Why is
Khakan's son[FN#33] standing about here? Hath this gallows-bird
aught remaining wherewith to buy slave-girls?" Then he looked
round and, seeing the broker calling out in the market with all
the merchants around him, said to himself, "I am sure that he is
penniless and hath brought hither the damsel Anis al-Jalis for
sale;" adding, "O how cooling and grateful is this to my heart!"
Then he called the crier, who came up and kissed the ground
before him; and he said to him, "I want this slave-girl whom thou
art calling for sale." The broker dared not cross him, so he
answered, "O my lord, Bismillah! in Allah's name so be it;" and
led forward the damsel and showed her to him. She pleased him
much whereat he asked, "O Hasan, what is bidden for this girl?"
and he answered, "Four thousand five hundred dinars to open the
door of sale." Quoth Al-Mu'in, "Four thousand five hundred is MY
bid." When the merchants heard this, they held back and dared
not bid another dirham, wotting what they did of the Wazir's
tyranny, violence and treachery. So Al-Mu'in looked at the broker
and said to him, "Why stand still? Go and offer four thousand
dinars for me and the five hundred shall be for thyself."
Thereupon the broker went to Nur al-Din and said, "O my lord, thy
slave is going for nothing!" "And how so?" asked he. The broker
answered, "We had opened the biddings for her at four thousand
five hundred dinars; when that tyrant, Al-Mu'in bin Sawi, passed
through the bazar and, as he saw the damsel she pleased him, so
he cried to me, 'Call me the buyer at four thousand dinars and
thou shalt have five hundred for thyself.' I doubt not but that
he knoweth that the damsel if thine, and if he would pay thee
down her price at once it were well; but I know his injustice and
violence; he will give thee a written order upon some of his
agents and will send after thee to say to them, 'Pay him
nothing.' So as often as though shalt go in quest of the coin
they will say, 'We'll pay thee presently!' and they will put thee
off day after day, and thou art proud of spirit; till at last,
when they are wearied with thine importunity, they will say,
'Show us the cheque.' Then, as soon as they have got hold of it
they will tear it up and so thou wilt lose the girl's price."
When Nur al-Din heard this he looked at the broker and asked him,
"How shall this matter be managed?"; and he answered, "I will
give thee a counsel which, if thou follow, it shall bring thee
complete satisfaction." "And what is that?" quoth Nur al-Din.
Quoth the broker, "Come thou to me anon when I am standing in the
middle of the market and, taking the girl from my hand, give her
a sound cuffing and say to her, 'Thou baggage, I have kept my vow
and brought thee down to the slave-market, because I swore an
oath that I would carry thee from home to the bazar, and make
brokers cry thee for sale.' If thou do this, perhaps the device
will impose upon the Wazir and the people, and they will believe
that thou broughtest her not to the bazar, but for the quittance
of thine oath." He replied, "Such were the best way." Then the
broker left him and, returning into the midst of the market, took
the damsel by the hand, and signed to the Wazir and said, "O my
lord, here is her owner." With this up came Nur al-Din Ali and,
snatching the girl from the broker's hand, cuffed her soundly and
said to her, "Shame on thee, O thou baggage! I have brought thee
to the bazar for quittance of mine oath; now get thee home and
thwart me no more as is thy wont. Woe to thee! do I need thy
price, that I should sell thee? The furniture of my house would
fetch thy value many times over!" When Al-Mu'in saw this he said
to Nur al-Din, "Out on thee! Hast thou anything left for selling
or buying?" And he would have laid violent hands upon him, but
the merchants interposed (for they all loved Nur al-Din), and the
young man said to them, "Here am I in your hands and ye all know
his tyranny." "By Allah," cried the Wazir, "but for you I had
slain him!" Then all signed with significant eyes to Nur al-Din
as much as to say, "Take thy wreak of him; not one of us will
come between thee and him." Thereupon Nur al-Din, who was stout
of heart as he was stalwart of limb, went up to the Wazir and,
dragging him over the pommel of his saddle, threw him to the
ground. Now there was in that place a puddling- pit for brick-
clay,[FN#34] into the midst of which he fell, and Nur al-Din kept
pummelling and fisti-cuffing him, and one of the blows fell full
on his teeth, and his beard was dyed with his blood. Also there
were with the minister ten armed slaves who, seeing their master
entreated after this fashion, laid hand on sword-hilt and would
have bared blades and fallen on Nur al-Din to cut him down; but
the merchants and bystanders said to them, "This is a Wazir and
that is the son of a Wazir; haply they will make friends some
time or other, in which case you will forfeit the favour of both.
Or perchance a blow may befal your lord, and you will all die the
vilest of deaths; so it were better for you not to interfere."
Accordingly they held aloof and, when Nur al-Din had made an end
of thrashing the Wazir, he took his handmaid and fared homewards.
Al-Mu'in also went his ways at once, with his raiment dyed of
three colours, black with mud, red with blood and ash coloured
with brick-clay. When he saw himself in this state, he bound a
bit of matting[FN#35] round his neck and, taking in hand two
bundles of coarse Halfah-grass,[FN#36] went up to the palace and
standing under the Sultan's windows cried aloud, "O King of the
age, I am a wronged man! I am foully wronged!" So they brought
him before the King who looked at him; and behold, it was the
chief Minister; whereupon he said, "O Wazir who did this deed by
thee?" Al-Mu'in wept and sobbed and repeated these lines,

"Shall the World oppress me when thou art in't? * In the lion's
presence shall wolves devour?
Shall the dry all drink of thy tanks and I * Under rain-cloud
thirst for the cooling shower?"

"O my lord," cried he, "the like will befal every one who loveth
and serveth thee well." "Be quick with thee," quoth the Sultan,
"and tell me how this came to pass and who did this deed by one
whose honour is part of my honour." Quoth the Wazir, "Know, O my
lord, that I went out this day to the slave-market to buy me a
cookmaid, when I saw there a damsel, never in my life long saw I
a fairer; and I designed to buy her for our lord the Sultan; so I
asked the broker of her and of her owner, and he answered, "She
belongeth to Ali son of Al-Fazl bin Khakan. Some time ago our
lord the Sultan gave his father ten thousand dinars wherewith to
buy him a handsome slave-girl, and he bought this maiden who
pleased him; so he grudged her to our lord the Sultan and gave
her to his own son. When the father died, the son sold all he had
of houses and gardens and household gear, and squandered the
price till he was penniless. Then he brought the girl to the
market that he might sell her, and he handed her over to the
broker to cry and the merchants bid higher and higher on her,
until the price reached four thousand dinars; whereupon quoth I
to myself, 'I will buy this damsel for our lord the Sultan, whose
money was paid for her.' So I said to Nur al-Din, 'O my son,
sell her to me for four thousand dinars.' When he heard my words
he looked at me and cried, 'O ill-omened oldster, I will sell her
to a Jew or to a Nazarene, but I will not sell her to thee!' 'I
do not buy her for myself,' said I, 'I buy her for our lord and
benefactor the Sultan.' Hearing my words he was filled with
rage; and, dragging me off my horse (and I a very old man), beat
me unmercifully with his fists and buffeted me with his palms
till he left me as thou seest, and all this hath befallen me only
because I thought to buy this damsel for thee!" Then the Wazir
threw himself on the ground and lay there weeping and shivering.
When the Sultan saw his condition and heard his story, the vein
of rage started out between his eyes[FN#37] and he turned to his
body-guard who stood before him, forty white slaves, smiters with
the sword, and said to them, "Go down forthright to the house
built by the son of Khakan and sack it and raze it and bring to
me his son Nur al-Din with the damsel; and drag them both on
their faces with their arms pinioned behind them." They replied,
"To hear is to obey;" and, arming themselves, they set out for
the house of Nur al-Din Ali. Now about the Sultan was a
Chamerlain, Alam[FN#38] al-Din Sanjar hight, who had aforetime
been Mameluke to Al-Fazl; but he had risen in the world and the
Sultan had advanced him to be one of his Chamberlains. When he
heard the King's command and saw the enemies make them ready to
slay his old master's son, it was grievous to him: so he went out
from before the Sultan and, mounting his beast, rode to Nur al-
Din's house and knocked at the door. Nur al-Din came out and
knowing him would have saluted him: but he said, "O my master
this is no time for greeting or treating. Listen to what the
poet said,

'Fly, fly with thy life if by ill overtaken!
Let thy house speak thy death by its builder forsaken!
For a land else than this land thou may'st reach, my brother,
But thy life tho'lt ne'er find in this world another.'"[FN#39]

"O Alam al-Din what cheer?" asked Nur al-Din, and he answered,
"Rise quickly and fly for thy life, thou and the damsel; for Al-
Mu'in hath set a snare for you both; and, if you fall into his
hands, he will slay you. The Sultan hath despatched forty
sworders against you and I counsel you to flee ere harm can hurt
you." Then Sanjar put his hand to his purse and finding there
forty gold pieces took them and gave them to Nur al-Din, saying,
"O my lord receive these and journey with them. Had I more I
would give them to thee, but this is not the time to take
exception." Thereupon Nur al-Din went in to the damsel and told
her what had happened, at which she wrung her hands. Then they
fared forth at once from the city, and Allah spread over them His
veil of protection, so that they reached the river-bank where
they found a vessel ready for sea. Her skipper was standing
amidships and crying, "Whoso hath aught to do, whether in the way
of provisioning or taking leave of his people; or whoso hath
forgotten any needful thing, let him do it at once and return,
for we are about to sail"; and all of them saying, "There is
naught left to be done by us, O captain!", he cried to his crew,
"Hallo there! cast off the cable and pull up the mooring-
pole!"[FN#40] Quoth Nur al-Din, "Whither bound, O captain?" and
quoth he, "To the House of Peace, Baghdad," -And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
skipper answered, "To the House of Peace, Baghdad," Nur al-Din
Ali and the damsel went on board, and they launched the craft and
shook out the sails, and the ship sped forth as though she were a
bird on wing; even as said one of them and said right well,

"Watch some tall ship, she'll joy the sight of thee, * The breeze
outstripping in her haste to flee;
As when a bird, with widely-spreading wings, * Leaveth the sky to
settle on the sea."

So the vessel sailed on her fastest and the wind to her was
fairest. Thus far concerning them; but as regards the Mamelukes,
they went to Nur al-Din's mansion and, breaking open the doors,
entered and searched the whole place, but could find no trace of
him and the damsel; so they demolished the house and, returning
to the Sultan, reported their proceedings; whereupon quoth he,
"Make search for them both, wherever they may be;" and they
answered, "Hearing is obeying." The Wazir Al-Mu'in had also gone
home after the Sultan had bestowed upon him a robe of honour, and
had set his heart at rest by saying, "None shall take blood-wreak
for thee save I;" and he had blessed the King and prayed for his
long life and prosperity. Then the Sultan bade proclaim about
the city, "Oyez, O ye lieges one and all! It is the will of our
lord the Sultan that whoso happeneth on Nur al-Din Ali son of Al-
Fazl bin Khakan, and bringeth him to the Sultan, shall receive a
robe of honour and one thousand gold pieces; and he who hideth
him or knoweth his abiding place and informeth not, deserveth
whatsoever pains and penalties shall befal him." So all began to
search for Nur al-Din Ali, but they could find neither trace nor
tidings of him. Meanwhile he and his handmaid sailed on with the
wind right aft, till they arrived in safety at Baghdad, and the
captain said to them, "This is Baghdad and 'tis the city where
security is to be had: Winter with his frosts hath turned away
and Prime hath come his roses to display; and the flowers are a-
glowing and the trees are blowing and the streams are flowing."
So Nur al-Din landed, he and his handmaid and, giving the captain
five dinars, walked on a little way till the decrees of Destiny
brought them among the gardens, and they came to a place swept
and sprinkled, with benches along the walls and hanging jars
filled with water.[FN#41] Overhead was a trellis of reed-work
and canes shading the whole length of the avenue, and at the
upper end was a garden gate, but this was locked. "By Allah,"
quoth Nur al-Din to the damsel, "right pleasant is this place!";
and she replied, "O my lord sit with me a while on this bench and
let us take our ease." So they mounted and sat them down on the
bench, after which they washed their faces and hands; and the
breeze blew cool on them and they fell asleep and glory be to Him
who never sleepeth! Not this garden was named the Garden of
Gladness[FN#42] and therein stood a belvedere hight the Palace of
Pleasure and the Pavilion of Pictures, the whole belonging to the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid who was wont, when his breast was
straitened with care, to frequent garden and palace and there to
sit. The palace had eighty latticed windows and fourscore lamps
hanging round a great candelabrum of gold furnished with wax-
candles; and, when the Caliph used to enter, he would order the
handmaids to throw open the lattices and light up the rooms; and
he would bid Ishak bin Ibrahim the cup-companion and the slave-
girls to sing till his breast was broadened and his ailments were
allayed. Now the keeper of the garden, Shaykh Ibrahim, was a
very old man, and he had found from time to time, when he went
out on any business, people pleasuring about the garden gate with
their bona robas; at which he was angered with exceeding
anger.[FN#43] But he took patience till one day when the Caliph
came to his garden; and he complained of this to Harun al-Rashid
who said, "Whomsoever thou surprisest about the door of the
garden, deal with him as thou wilt." Now on this day the
Gardener chanced to be abroad on some occasion and returning
found these two sleeping at the gate covered with a single
mantilla; whereupon said he, "By Allah, good! These twain know
not that the Caliph hath given me leave to slay anyone I may
catch at the door; but I will give this couple a shrewd whipping,
that none may come near the gate in future." So he cut a green
palm-frond[FN#44] and went up to them and, raising his arm till
the white of his arm-pit appeared, was about to strike them, when
he bethought himself and said, "O Ibrahim, wilt thou beat them
unknowing their case? Haply they are strangers or of the Sons of
the Road,[FN#45] and the decrees of Destiny have thrown them
here. I will uncover their faces and look at them." So he
lifted up the mantilla from their heads and said, "They are a
handsome couple; it were not fitting that I should beat them."
Then he covered their faces again and, going to Nur al-Din's
feet, began to rub and shampoo them,[FN#46] whereupon the youth
opened his eyes and, seeing an old man of grave and reverend
aspect rubbing his feet, he was ashamed and drawing them in, sat
up. Then he took Shaykh Ibrahim's hand and kissed it. Quoth the
old man, "O my son, whence art thou?"; and quoth he, "O my lord,
we two are strangers," and the tears started from his eyes. "O
my son," said Shaykh Ibrahim, "know that the Prophet (whom Allah
bless and preserve!) hath enjoined honour to the stranger;" and
added, "Wilt not thou arise, O my son, and pass into the garden
and solace thyself by looking at it and gladden thy heart?" "O
my lord," said Nur al-Din, "to whom doth this garden belong?;"
and the other replied, "O my son, I have inherited it from my
folk." Now his object in saying this was to set them at their
ease and induce them to enter the garden. So Nur al-Din thanked
him and rose, he and the damsel, and followed him into the
garden; and lo! it was a garden, and what a garden! The gate was
arched like a great hall and over walls and roof ramped vines
with grapes of many colours; the red like rubies and the black
like ebonies; and beyond it lay a bower of trelliced boughs
growing fruits single and composite, and small birds on branches
sang with melodious recite, and the thousand-noted nightingale
shrilled with her varied shright; the turtle with her cooing
filled the site; the blackbird whistled like human wight[FN#47]
and the ring-dove moaned like a drinker in grievous plight. The
trees grew in perfection all edible growths and fruited all
manner fruits which in pairs were bipartite; with the camphor-
apricot, the almond-apricot and the apricot "Khorasani" hight;
the plum, like the face of beauty, smooth and bright; the cherry
that makes teeth shine clear by her sleight, and the fig of three
colours, green, purple and white. There also blossomed the
violet as it were sulphur on fire by night; the orange with buds
like pink coral and marguerite; the rose whose redness gars the
loveliest cheeks blush with despight; and myrtle and gilliflower
and lavender with the blood-red anemone from Nu'uman hight. The
leaves were all gemmed with tears the clouds had dight; the
chamomile smiled showing teeth that bite, and Narcissus with his
negro[FN#48] eyes fixed on Rose his sight; the citrons shone with
fruits embowled and the lemons like balls of gold; earth was
carpeted with flowers tinctured infinite; for Spring was come
brightening the place with joy and delight; and the streams ran
ringing, to the birds' gay singing, while the rustling breeze
upspringing attempered the air to temperance exquisite. Shaykh
Ibrahim carried them up into the pavilion, and they gazed on its
beauty, and on the lamps aforementioned in the latticed windows;
and Nur al-Din, remembering his entertainments of time past,
cried, "By Allah, this is a pleasant place; it hath quenched in
me anguish which burned as a fire of Ghaza-wood.[FN#49]" Then
they sat down and Shaykh Ibrahim set food before them; and they
ate till they were satisfied and washed their hands: after which
Nur al-Din went up to one of the latticed windows, and, calling
to his handmaid fell to gazing on the trees laden with all manner
fruits. Presently he turned to the Gardener and said to him, "O
Shaykh Ibrahim hast thou no drink here, for folk are wont to
drink after eating?" The Shaykh brought him sweet water, cool
and pleasant, but he said, "This is not the kind of drink I
wanted." "Perchance thou wishest for wine?" "Indeed I do, O
Shaykh!" "I seek refuge from it with Allah: it is thirteen years
since I did this thing, for the Prophet (Abhak[FN#50]) cursed its
drinker, presser, seller and carrier!" "Hear two words of me."
"Say on." "If yon cursed ass[FN#51] which standeth there be
cursed, will aught of his curse alight upon thee?" "By no means!"
"Then take this dinar and these two dirhams and mount yonder ass
and, halting afar from the wine-shop, call the first man thou
seest buying liquor and say to him, 'Take these two dirhams for
thyself, and with this dinar buy me some wine and set it on the
ass.' So shalt thou be neither the presser, nor the buyer, nor
the carrier; and no part of the curse will fall upon thee." At
this Shaykh Ibrahim laughed and said, "By Allah, O my son, I
never saw one wilier of wit than thou art, nor heard aught
sweeter than thy speech." So he did as he was bidden by Nur al-
Din who thanked him and said, "We two are now dependent on thee,
and it is only meet that thou comply with our wishes; so bring us
here what we require." "O my son," replied he, "this is my
buttery before thee" (and it was the store-room provided for the
Commander of the Faithful); "so go in, and take whatso thou wilt,
for there is over and above what thou wantest." Nur al-Din then
entered the pantry and found therein vessels of gold and silver
and crystal set with all kinds of gems, and was amazed and
delighted with what he saw. Then he took out what he needed and
set it on and poured the wine into flagons and glass ewers,
whilst Shaykh Ibrahim brought them fruit and flowers and aromatic
herbs. Then the old man withdrew and sat down at a distance from
them, whilst they drank and made merry, till the wine got the
better of them, so that their cheeks reddened and their eyes
wantoned like the gazelle's; and their locks became dishevelled
and their brightness became yet more beautiful. Then said Shaykh
Ibrahim to himself, "What aileth me to sit apart from them? Why
should I not sit with them? When shall I ever find myself in
company with the like of these two that favour two moons?" So he
stepped forward and sat down on the edge of the dais, and Nur al-
Din said to him, "O my lord, my life on thee, come nearer to us!"
He came and sat by them, when Nur al-Din filled a cup and looked
towards the Shaykh and said to him, "Drink, that thou mayest try
the taste of it!" "I take refuge from it with Allah!" replied he;
"for thirteen years I have not done a thing of the kind." Nur
al-Din feigned to forget he was there and, drinking off the cup,
threw himself on the ground as if the drink had overcome him;
whereupon Anis al-Jalis glanced at him and said, "O Shaykh
Ibrahim see how this husband of mine treateth me;" and he
answered, "O my lady, what aileth him?" "This is how he always
serveth me," cried she, "he drinketh awhile, then falleth asleep
and leaveth me alone with none to bear me company over my cup nor
any to whom I may sing when the bowl goeth round." Quoth the
Shaykh (and his mien unstiffened for that his soul inclined
towards her), "By Allah, this is not well!" Then she crowned a
cup and looking towards him said, "By my life thou must take and
drink it, and not refuse to heal my sick heart!" So he put forth
his hand and took it and drank it off and she filled a second and
set it on the chandelier and said, "O master mine, there is still
this one left for thee." "By Allah, I cannot drink it;" cried
he, "what I have already drunk is enough for me;" but she
rejoined, "By Allah, there is no help for it." So he took the
cup and drank; and she filled him a third which he took and was
about to drink when behold, Nur al-Din rolled round and sat
upright,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Thirty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din
sat upright and said, "Ho, Shaykh Ibrahim, what is this? Did I
not adjure thee a while ago and thou refusedst, saying, 'What I!
'tis thirteen years ago since I have done such a thing!'" "By
Allah," quoth the Shaykh (and indeed he was abashed), "no sin of
mine this, she forced me to do it." Nur al-Din laughed and they
sat down again to wine and wassail, but the damsel turned to her
master and said in a whisper, "O my lord, drink and do not press
him, that I may show thee some sport with him." Then she began
to fill her master's cup and he hers and so they did time after
time, till at last Shaykh Ibrahim looked at them and said, "What
fashion of good fellowship is this? Allah curse the glutton who
keepeth the cup to himself! Why dost thou not give me to drink,
O my brother? What manners are these, O blessed one?" At this
the two laughed until they fell on their backs; then they drank
and gave him to drink and ceased not their carousal till a third
part of the night was past. Then said the damsel, "O Shaykh
Ibrahim, with thy leave I will get up and light one of these
candles." "Do so," he replied, "but light no more than one." So
she sprang to her feet and, beginning with one candle, lighted
all the eighty and sat down again. Presently Nur al-Din said, "O
Shaykh Ibrahim, in what favour am I with thee? May I not light
one of these lamps?" "Light one," replied he, "and bother me no
more in thy turn!" So he rose and lighted one lamp after
another, till he had lighted the whole eight and the palace
seemed to dance with brilliancy. Quoth the Shaykh (and indeed
intoxication had overcome him), "Ye two are bolder than I am."
Then he rose to his feet and opened all the lattices and sat down
again; and they fell to carousing and reciting verses till the
place rang with their noisy mirth. Now Allah, the Decreer who
decreeth all things and who for every effect appointeth a cause,
had so disposed that the Caliph was at that moment sitting in the
light of the moon at one of the windows of his palace overlooking
the Tigris. He saw the blaze of the lamps and wax candles
reflected in the river and, lifting his eyes, perceived that it
came from the Garden Palace which was all ablaze with brilliancy.
So he cried, "Here to me with Ja'afar the Barmaki!"; and the last
word was hardly spoken ere the Wazir was present before the
Commander of the Faithful, who cried at him, "O dog of a
Minister, hast thou taken from me this city of Baghdad without
saying aught to me?" "What words are these words?" asked
Ja'afar; and the Caliph answered, "If Baghdad city were not taken
from me, the Palace of Pictures would not be illuminated with
lamps and candles, nor would its windows be thrown open. Woe to
thee! who durst do a deed like this except the Caliphate had been
taken from me?" Quoth Ja'afar (and indeed his side-muscles
trembled as he spoke), "Who told thee that the Palace of Pictures
was illuminated and the windows thrown open?" "Come hither and
see," replied the Caliph. Then Ja'afar came close to the Caliph
and, looking towards the garden, saw the palace blazing with
illumination that rayed through the gloom of the night; and,
thinking that this might have been permitted by the keeper for
some reason of his own, he wished to make an excuse for him; so
quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful, Shaykh Ibrahim said to me
last week, 'O my lord Ja'afar, I much wish to circumcise my sons
during the life of the Commander of the Faithful and thy life.'
I asked, 'What dost thou want?'; and he answered, 'Get me leave
from the Caliph to hold the festival in the Garden Palace.' So
said I to him, 'Go circumcise them and I will see the Caliph and
tell him.' Thereupon he went away and I forgot to let thee
know." "O Ja'afar," said the Caliph, "thou hast committed two
offences against me; first in that thou didst no report to me,
secondly, thou didst not give him what he sought; for he came and
told thee this only as excuse to ask for some small matter of
money, to help him with the outlay; and thou gavest him nothing
nor toldest me." "O Commander of the Faithful," said Ja'afar, "I
forgot." "Now by the rights of my forefathers and the tombs of
my forbears," quoth the Caliph, "I will not pass the rest of this
night save in company with him; for truly he is a pious man who
frequenteth the Elders of the Faith and the Fakirs and other
religious mendicants and entertaineth them; doubtless they are
not assembled together and it may be that the prayer of one of
them will work us weal both in this world and in the next.
Besides, my presence may profit and at any rate be pleasing to
Shaykh Ibrahim." "O Commander of the Faithful," quoth Ja'afar,
"the greater part of the night is passed, and at this time they
will be breaking up." Quoth the Caliph, "It matters not: I needs
must go to them." So Ja'afar held his peace, being bewildered
and knowing not what to do. Then the Caliph rose to his feet
and, taking with him Ja'afar and Masrur the eunuch sworder, the
three disguised themselves in merchants' gear and leaving the
City-palace, kept threading the streets till they reached the
garden. The Caliph went up to the gate and finding it wide open,
was surprised and said, "See, O Ja'afar, how Shaykh Ibrahim hath
left the gate open at this hour contrary to his custom!" They
went in and walked on till they came under the pavilion, when the
Caliph said, "O Ja'afar, I wish to look in upon them unawares
before I show myself, that I may see what they are about and get
sight of the elders; for hitherto I have heard no sound from
them, nor even a Fakir calling upon the name of Allah.[FN#52]"
Then he looked about and, seeing a tall walnut-tree, said to
Ja'afar, "I will climb this tree, for its branches are near the
lattices and so look in upon them." Thereupon he mounted the
tree and ceased not climbing from branch to branch, till he
reached a bough which was right opposite one of the windows, and
here he took seat and looked inside the palace. He saw a damsel
and a youth as they were two moons (glory be to Him who created
them and fashioned them!), and by them Shaykh Ibrahim seated cup
in hand and saying, "O Princess of fair ones, drinking without
music is nothing worth; indeed I have heard a poet say,

'Round with bit and little, the bowl and cup, * Take either than
moon[FN#53] in his sheen hath crowned:
Nor drink without music, for oft I've seen, * The horse drink
best to the whistle's sound!'"

When the Caliph saw this, the vein of wrath started up between
his eyes and he came down and said to the Wazir, "O Ja'afar,
never beheld I yet men of piety in such case; so do thou mount
this tree and look upon them, lest the blessings of the blest be
lost to thee." Ja'afar, hearing the words of the Commander of
the Faithful and being confounded by them, climbed to the tree-
top and looking in, saw Nur al-Din and the damsel, and Shaykh
Ibrahim holding in his hand a brimming bowl. At this sight he
made sure of death and, descending, stood before the Commander of
the Faithful, who said to him, "O Ja'afar, praise be to Allah who
hath made us of those that observe external ordinances of Holy
Law and hath averted from us the sin of disguising ourselves
after the manner of hypocrites!"[FN#54] But Ja'afar could not
speak a word for excess of confusion; so the Caliph looked at him
and said, "I wonder how they came hither, and who admitted them
into my pavilion! But aught like the beauty of this youth and
this damsel my eyes never yet saw!" "Thou sayest sooth, O our
Lord the Sultan!" replied Ja'afar (and he hoped to propitiate the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid). Then quoth the Caliph, "O Ja'afar, let
us both mount the branch opposite the window, that we may amuse
ourselves with looking at them." So the two climbed the tree
and, peering in, heard Shaykh Ibrahim say, "O my lady, I have
cast away all gravity mine by the drinking of wine, but 'tis not
sweet save with the soft sounds of the lute-strings it combine."
"By Allah," replied Anis al-Jalis, "O Shaykh Ibrahim, an we had
but some instrument of music our joyance were complete." Hearing
this he rose to his feet and the Caliph said to Ja'afar, "I
wonder what he is about to do!" and Ja'afar answered, "I know
not." The Shaykh disappeared and presently reappeared bringing a
lute; and the Caliph took not of it and knew it for that of Abu
Ishak the Cup-companion.[FN#55] "By Allah," said the Caliph, "if
this damsel sing ill I will crucify all of you; but if she sing
well I will forgive them and only gibbet thee." "O Allah cause
her to sing vilely!" quoth Ja'afar. Asked the Caliph, "Why so?";
and he answered, "If thou crucify us all together, we shall keep
one another company." The Caliph laughed at his speech.
Presently the damsel took the lute and, after looking at it and
tuning it, she played a measure which made all hearts yearn to
her; then she sang these lines,

"O ye that can aid me, a wretched lover, * Whom longing burns nor
can rest restore me!
Though all you have done I have well deserved, * I take refuge
with you, so exult not o'er me:
True, I am weak and low and vile, * But I'll bear your will and
whatso you bore me:
My death at your hands what brings it of glory? * I fear but your
sin which of life forlore me!"

Quoth the Caliph, "By Allah, good! O Ja'afar, never in my life
have I heard a voice so enchanting as this." "Then haply the
Caliph's wrath hath passed away," said Ja'afar, and he replied,
"Yes, 'tis gone." Thereupon they descended from the tree, and
the Caliph said to Ja'afar, "I wish to go in and sit with them
and hear the damsel sing before me." "O Commander of the
Faithful," replied Ja'afar, "if thou go in to them they will be
terribly troubled, and Shaykh Ibrahim will assuredly die of
fright." But the Caliph answered, "O Ja'afar, thou must teach me
some device wherewith to delude them and whereby I can foregather
with them without their knowing me." So they walked towards the
Tigris pondering the matter, and presently came upon a fisherman
who stood fishing under the pavilion windows. Now some time
before this, the Caliph (being in the pavilion) had called to
Shaykh Ibrahim and asked him, "What noise is this I hear under
the windows?" and he had answered, "It is voices of fisher folk
catching fish:" so quoth the Caliph, "Go down and forbid them
this place;" and he forbade them accordingly. However that night
a fisherman named Karim, happening to pass by and seeing the
garden gate open, said to himself, "This is a time of negligence;
and I will take advantage of it to do a bit of fishing." So he
took his net and cast it, but he had hardly done so when behold,
the Caliph come up single-handed and, standing hard by, knew him
and called aloud to him, "Ho, Karim!" The fisherman, hearing
himself named, turned round, and seeing the Caliph, trembled and
his side-muscles quivered, as he cried, "By Allah, O Commander of
the Faithful, I did it not in mockery of the mandate; but poverty
and a large family drove me to what thou seest!" Quoth the
Caliph, "Make a cast in my name." At this the fisherman was glad
and going to the bank threw his net, then waiting till it had
spread out at full stretch and settled down, hauled it up and
found in it various kinds of fish. The Caliph was pleased and
said, "O Karim, doff thy habit." So he put off a gaberdine of
coarse woollen stuff patched in an hundred places whereon the
lice were rampant, and a turband which had never been untwisted
for three years but to which he had sown every rag he came upon.
The Caliph also pulled off his person two vests of Alexandrian
and Ba'lbak silk, a loose inner robe and a long-sleeved outer
coat, and said to the fisherman, "Take them and put them on,"
while he assumed the foul gaberdine and filthy turband and drew a
corner of the head-cloth as a mouth-veil[FN#56] before his face.
Then said he to the fisherman, "Get thee about thy business!; and
the man kissed the Caliph's feet and thanked him and improvised
the following couplets,

"Thou hast granted more favours than ever I craved; * Thou hast
satisfied needs which my heart enslaved:
I will thank thee and thank whileas life shall last, * And my
bones will praise thee in grave engraved!"

Hardly had the fisherman ended his verse, when the lice began to
crawl over the Caliph's skin, and he fell to catching them on his
neck with his right and left and throwing them from him, while he
cried, "O fisherman, woe to thee! what be this abundance of lice
on thy gaberdine." "O my lord," replied he, "they may annoy thee
just at first, but before a week is past thou wilt not feel them
nor think of them." The Caliph laughed and said to him, "Out on
thee! Shall I leave this gaberdine of thine so long on my body?"
Quoth the fisherman, "I would say a word to thee but I am ashamed
in presence of the Caliph!"; and quoth he, "Say what thou hast to
say." "It passed through my thought, O Commander of the
Faithful," said the fisherman, "that, since thou wishest to learn
fishing so thou mayest have in hand an honest trade whereby to
gain thy livelihood, this my gaberdine besitteth thee right
well."[FN#57] The Commander of the Faithful laughed at this
speech, and the fisherman went his way. Then the Caliph took up
the basket of fish and, strewing a little green grass over it,
carried it to Ja'afar and stood before him. Ja'afar thinking him
to be Karim the fisherman feared for him and said, "O Karim, what
brought thee hither? Flee for thy life, for the Caliph is in the
garden to-night and, if he see thee, thy neck is gone." At this
the Caliph laughed and Ja'afar recognized him and asked, "Can it
be thou, our lord the Sultan?"; and he answered, "Yes, O Ja'afar,
and thou art my Wazir and I and thou came hither together; yet
thou knowest me not; so how should Shaykh Ibrahim know me, and he
drunk? Stay here, till I came back to thee." "To hear is to
obey," said Ja'afar. Then the Caliph went up to the door of the
pavilion and knocked a gentle knock, whereupon said Nur al-Din,"
O Shaykh Ibrahim, some one taps at the door." "Who goes there?"
cried the Shaykh and the Caliph replied, "It is I, O Shaykh
Ibrahim!" "Who art thou," quoth he, and quoth the other, "I am
Karim the fisherman: I hear thou hast a feast, so I have brought
thee some fish, and of a truth 'tis good fish." When Nur al-Din
heard the mention of fish, he was glad, he and the damsel, and
they both said to the Shaykh, "O our lord, open the door and let
him bring us his fish." So Shaykh Ibrahim opened and the Caliph
came in (and he in fisherman guise), and began by saluting them.
Said Shaykh Ibrahim, "Welcome to the blackguard, the robber, the
dicer! Let us see thy fish." So the Caliph showed them his
catch and behold, the fishes were still alive and jumping,
whereupon the damsel exclaimed, "By Allah! O my lord, these are
indeed fine fish: would they were fried!" and Shaykh Ibrahim
rejoined, "By Allah, O my lady, thou art right." Then said he to
the Caliph, "O fisherman, why didst thou not bring us the fish
ready fried? Up now and cook them and bring them back to us."
"On my head be thy commands!" said the Caliph, "I will fry thee a
dish and bring it." Said they, "Look sharp." Thereupon he went
and ran till he came up to Ja'afar when he called to him, "Hallo,
Ja'afar!"; and he replied, "Here am I, O Commander of the
Faithful, is all well?" "They want the fish fried," said the
Caliph, and Ja'afar answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, give
it to me and I'll fry it for them." "By the tombs of my
forbears," quoth the Caliph, "none shall fry it but I, with mine
own hand!" So he went to the gardener's hut, where he searched
and found all that he required, even to salt and saffron and wild
marjoram and else besides. Then he turned to the brasier and,
setting on the frying-pan, fried a right good fry. When it was
done, he laid it on a banana-leaf, and gathering from the garden
wind-fallen fruits, limes and lemons, carried the fish to the
pavilion and set the dish before them. So the youth and the
damsel and Shaykh Ibrahim came forward and ate; after which they
washed their hands and Nur al-Din said to the Caliph, "By Allah,
O fisherman, thou hast done us a right good deed this night."
Then he put hand in pouch and, taking out three of the dinars
which Sanjar had given him, said, "O fisherman, excuse me. By
Allah had I known thee before that which hath lately befallen me,
I had done away the bitterness of poverty from thy heart; but
take thou this as the best I can do for thee." Then he threw the
gold pieces to the Caliph, who took them and kissed them and put
them in pouch. Now his sole object in doing all this was to hear
the damsel sing; so he said to Nur al-Din, "Thou hast rewarded me
most liberally, but I beg of thy boundless bounty that thou let
this damsel sing an air, that I may hear her."[FN#58] So Nur al-
Din said, "O Anis al-Jalis!" and she answered "Yes!" and he
continued, "By my life, sing us something for the sake of this
fisherman who wisheth so much to hear thee." Thereupon she took
the lute and struck the strings, after she had screwed them tight
and tuned them, and sang these improvised verses,

"The fawn of a maid hent her lute in hand * And her music made us
right mettlesome:
For her song gave hearing to ears stone-deaf, * While Brava!
Brava! exclaimed the dumb."

Then she played again and played so ravishingly, that she charmed
their wits and burst out improvising and singing these couplets,

"You have honoured us visiting this our land, * And your
splendour illumined the glooms that blent:
So 'tis due that for you I perfume my place * With rose-water,
musk and the camphor-scent!"

Hereupon the Caliph was agitated, and emotion so overpowered him
that he could not command himself for excess of pleasure, and he
exclaimed, "By Allah, good! by Allah, good! by Allah,
good!"[FN#59] Asked Nur al-Din, "O fisherman, doth this damsel
please thee?" and the Caliph answered, "Ay, by Allah!" Whereupon
said Nur al-Din, "She is a gift to thee, a gift of the generous
who repenteth him not of his givings and who will never revoke
his gift!" Then he sprang to his feet and, taking a loose robe,
threw it over the fisherman and bade him receive the damsel and
be gone. But she looked at him and said, "O my lord, art thou
faring forth without farewell? If it must be so, at least stay
till I bid thee good-bye and make known my case." And she began
versifying in these verses,

"When love and longing and regret are mine, * Must not this body
show of ills a sign?
My love! say not, 'Thou soon shalt be consoled'; * When state
speaks state none shall allay my pine.
If living man could swim upon his tears, * I first should float
on waters of these eyne:
O thou, who in my heart infusedst thy love, * As water mingles in
the cup with wine,
This was the fear I feared, this parting blow. * O thou whose
love my heart-core ne'er shall tyne!
O Bin Khakan! my sought, my hope, my will, * O thou whose love
this breast make wholly thine!
Against thy lord the King thou sinn'dst for me, * And winnedst
exile in lands peregrine:
Allah ne'er make my lord repent my loss * To cream[FN#60] o' men
thou gavest me, one right digne."

When she had ended her verses, Nur al-Din answered her with these

"She bade me farewell on our parting day, * And she wept in the
fire of our bane and pains:
'What wilt thou do when fro' thee I'm gone?' * Quoth I, 'say this
to whom life remains!'"

When the Caliph heard her saying in her verse,

"To Karim, the cream of men thou gavest me;"

his inclination for her redoubled and it seemed a hard matter and
a grievous to part them; so quoth he to the youth, "O my lord,
truly the damsel said in her verses that thou didst transgress
against her master and him who owned her; so tell me, against
whom didst thou transgress and who is it hath a claim on thee?"
"By Allah, O fisherman," replied Nur al-Din, "there befel me and
this damsel a wondrous tale and a marvellous matter: an 't were
graven with needle-gravers on the eye-corners it would be a
warner to whoso would be warned." Cried the Caliph, "Wilt thou
not tell me thy story and acquaint me with thy case? Haply it may
bring thee relief, for Allah's aid is ever nearhand." "O
fisherman," said Nur al-Din, "Wilt thou hear our history in verse
or in prose?" "Prose is a wordy thing, but verses," rejoined the
Caliph, "are pearls on string." Then Nur al-Din bowed his head,
and made these couplets,

"O my friend! reft of rest no repose I command, * And my grief is
redoubled in this far land:
Erst I had a father, a kinder ne'er was; * But he died and to
Death paid the deodand:
When he went from me, every matter went wrong * Till my heart was
nigh-broken, my nature unmanned:
He bought me a handmaid, a sweeting who shamed * A wand of the
willow by Zephyr befanned:
I lavisht upon her mine heritage, * And spent like a nobleman
puissant and grand:
Then to sell her compelled, my sorrow increased; * The parting
was sore but I mote not gainstand:
Now as soon as the crier had called her, there bid * A wicked old
fellow, a fiery brand:
So I raged with a rage that I could not restrain, * And snatched
her from out of his hireling's hand;
When the angry curmudgeon made ready for blows, * And the fire of
a fight kindled he and his band,
I smote him in fury with right and with left, * And his hide,
till well satisfied, curried and tanned:
Then in fear I fled forth and lay hid in my house, * To escape
from the snares which my foeman had spanned:
So the King of the country proclaimed my arrest; * When access to
me a good Chamberlain fand:
And warned me to flee from the city afar, * Disappear, disappoint
what my enemies planned:
Then we fled from our home 'neath the wing of the night, * And
sought us a refuge by Baghdad strand:
Of my riches I've nothing on thee to bestow, * O Fisher, except
the fair gift thou hast scanned:
The loved of my soul, and when I from her part, * Know for sure
that I give thee the blood of my heart."[FN#61]

When he had ended his verse, the Caliph said to him, "O my lord
Nur al-Din, explain to me thy case more fully," So he told him
the whole story from beginning to end, and the Caliph said to
him, "Whither dost thou now intend?" "Allah's world is wide,"
replied he. Quoth the Caliph, "I will write thee a letter to
carry to the Sultan Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, which when he
readeth, he will not hurt nor harm thee in aught." -And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Thirty-eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Caliph said to Nur al-Din Ali, "I will write thee a letter to
carry to the Sultan Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, which when he
readeth, he will not hurt nor harm thee in aught," Nur al-Din
asked "What! is there in the world a fisherman who writeth to
Kings? Such a thing can never be!"; and the Caliph answered,
"Thou sayest sooth, but I will tell thee the reason. Know that I
and he learnt in the same school under one schoolmaster, and that
I was his monitor. Since that time Fortune befriended him and he
is become a Sultan, while Allah hath abased me and made me a
fisherman; yet I never send to him to ask aught but he doeth my
desire; nay, though I should ask of him a thousand favours every
day, he would comply." When Nur al-Din heard this he said, "Good!
write that I may see." So the Caliph took ink-case and reed-pen
and wrote as follows,--"In the name of Allah, the
Compassionating, the Compassionate! But after.[FN#62] This
letter is written by Harun al-Rashid, son of Al-Mahdi, to his
highness Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, whom I have encompassed
about with my favour and made my viceroy in certain of my
dominions. The bearer of these presents is Nur al-Din Ali, son
of Fazl bin Khakan the Wazir. As soon as they come to thy hand
divest thyself forthright of the kingly dignity and invest him
therewith; so oppose not my commandment and peace be with thee."
He gave the letter to Nur al-Din, who took it and kissed it, then
put it in his turband and set out at once on his journey. So far
concerning him; but as regards the Caliph, Shaykh Ibrahim stared
to him (and he still in fisher garb) and said, "O vilest of
fishermen, thou hast brought us a couple of fish worth a score of
half-dirhams,[FN#63] and hast gotten three dinars for them; and
thinkest thou to take the damsel to boot?" When the Caliph heard
this, he cried out at him, and signed to Masrur who discovered
himself and rushed in upon him. Now Ja'afar had sent one of the
gardener-lads to the doorkeeper of the palace to fetch a suit of
royal raiment for the Prince of the Faithful; so the man went
and, returning with the suit, kissed the ground before the Caliph
and gave it him. Then he threw of the clothes he had on[FN#64]
and donned kingly apparel. Shaykh Ibrahim was still sitting upon
his chair and the Caliph tarried to behold what would come next.
But seeing the Fisherman become the Caliph, Shaykh Ibrahim was
utterly confounded and he could do nothing but bite his finger-
ends[FN#65] and say, "Would I knew whether am I asleep or am I
awake!" At last the Caliph looked at him and cried, "O Shaykh
Ibrahim, what state is this in which I see thee?" Thereupon he
recovered from his drunkenness and, throwing himself upon the
ground, repeated these verses,

"Pardon the sinful ways I did pursue; * Ruth from his lord to
every slave is due:
Confession pays the fine that sin demands; * Where, then, is that
which grace and mercy sue?"[FN#66]

The Caliph forgave him and bade carry the damsel to the city-
palace, where he set apart for her an apartment and appointed
slaves to serve her, saying to her, "Know that we have sent thy
lord to be Sultan in Bassorah and, Almighty Allah willing, we
will dispatch him the dress of investiture and thee with it."
Meanwhile, Nur al-Din Ali ceased not travelling till he reached
Bassorah, where he repaired to the Sultan's palace and he shouted
a long shout.[FN#67] The Sultan heard him and sent for him; and
when he came into his presence, he kissed the ground between his
hands and, producing the letter, presented it to him. Seeing the
superscription in the writing of the Commander of the Faithful,
the Sultan rose to his feet and kissed it three times; and after
reading it said, "I hear and I obey Allah Almighty and the
Commander of the Faithful!" Then he summoned the four
Kazis[FN#68] and the Emirs and was about to divest himself of the
rule royal, when behold, in came Al Mu'in bin Sawi. The Sultan
gave him the Caliph's letter and he read it, then tore it to
pieces and putting it into his mouth, chewed it[FN#69] and spat
it out. "Woe to thee," quoth the Sultan (and indeed he was sore
angered); "what induced thee to do this deed?" "Now by thy life!
O our lord the Sultan," replied Mu'in, "this man hath never
foregathered with the Caliph nor with his Wazir; but he is a
gallows-bird, a limb of Satan, a knave who, having come upon a
written paper in the Caliph's hand, some idle scroll, hath made
it serve his own end. The Caliph would surely not send him to
take the Sultanate from thee without the imperial
autograph[FN#70] and the diploma of investiture, and he certainly
would have despatched with him a Chamberlain or a Minister. But
he hath come alone and he never came from the Caliph, no, never!
never! never!" "What is to be done?" asked the Sultan, and the
Minister answered, "Leave him to me and I will take him and keep
him away from thee, and send him in charge of a Chamberlain to
Baghdad-city. Then, if what he says be sooth, they will bring us
back autograph and investiture; and if not, I will take my due
out of this debtor." When the Sultan heard the Minister's words
he said, "Hence with thee and him too." Al Mu'in took trust of
him from the King and, carrying him to his own house, cried out
to his pages who laid him flat and beat him till he fainted.
Then he let put upon his feet heavy shackles and carried him to
the jail, where he called the jailor, one Kutayt,[FN#71] who came
and kissed the ground before him. Quoth the Wazir, "O Kutayt, I
wish thee to take this fellow and throw him into one of the
underground cells[FN#72] in the prison and torture him night and
day." "To hear is to obey," replied the jailor and, taking Nur
al-Din into the prison, locked the door upon him. Then he gave
orders to sweep a bench behind the door and, spreading on it a
sitting-rug and a leather-cloth, seated Nur al-Din thereon and
loosed his shackles and entreated him kindly. The Wazir sent
every day enjoining the jailor to beat him, but he abstained from
this, and so continued to do for forty days. On the forty-first
day there came a present from the Caliph; which when the Sultan
saw, it pleased him and he consulted his Ministers on the matter,
when one of them said, "Perchance this present was for the new
Sultan." Cried Al-Mu'in, "We should have done well had we put
him to death at his first coming;" and the Sultan cried "By
Allah, thou hast reminded me of him! Go down to the prison and
fetch him, and I will strike off his head." "To hear is to
obey," replied Al-Mu'in: then he stood up and said, "I will make
proclamation in the city:--Whoso would solace himself with seeing
the beheading of Nur al-Din bin al-Fazl bin Khakan, let him
repair to the palace! So follower and followed, great and small
will flock to the spectacle, and I shall heal my heart and harm
my foe." "Do as thou wilt," said the Sultan. The Wazir went off
(and he was glad and gay), and ordered the Chief of Police to
make the afore-mentioned proclamation. When the people heard the
crier, they all sorrowed and wept, even the little ones at school
and the traders in their shops; and some strove to get places for
seeing the sight, whilst others went to the prison with the
object of escorting him thence. Presently, the Wazir came with
ten Mamelukes to the jail and Kutayt the jailor asked him, "Whom
seekest thou, O our lord the Wazir?"; whereto he answered, "Bring
me out that gallows- bird." But the jailor said, "He is in the
sorriest of plights for the much beating I have given him." Then
he went into the prison and found Nur al-Din repeating these

"Who shall support me in calamities, * When fail all cures and
greater cares arise?
Exile hath worm my heart, my vitals torn; The World to foes
hath turned my firm allies.
O folk, will not one friend amidst you all * Wail o'er my woes,
and cry to hear my cries?
Death and it agonies seem light to me, * Since life has lost all
joys and jollities:
O Lord of Mustafa,[FN#73] that Science-sea, * Sole Intercessor,
Guide all-ware, all-wise!
I pray thee free me and my fault forego, * And from me drive mine
evil and my woe."

The jailor stripped off his clean clothes and, dressing him in
two filthy vests, carried him to the Wazir. Nur al-Din looked at
him and saw it was his foe that sought to compass his death; so
he wept and said, "Art thou, then, so secure against the World?
Hast thou not heard the saying of the poet,

'Kisras and Caesars in a bygone day * Stored wealth; where it is,
and ah! where are they?'

O Wazir," he continued, "know that Allah (be He extolled and
exalted!) will do whatso He will!" "O Ali," replied he,
"thinkest thou to frighten me with such talk? I mean this very
day to smite thy neck despite the noses of the Bassorah folk and
I care not; let the days do as they please; nor will I turn me to
thy counsel but rather to what the poet saith,

'Leave thou the days to breed their ban and bate, * And make thee
strong t' upbear the weight of Fate.'

And also how excellently saith another,

'Whoso shall see the death-day of his foe, * One day surviving,
wins his bestest wish.'"

Then he ordered his attendants to mount Nur al-Din upon the bare
back of a mule; and they said to the youth (for truly it was
irksome to them), "Let us stone him and cut him down thou our
lives go for it." But Nur al-Din said to them, "Do not so: have
ye not heard the saying of the poet,

'Needs must I bear the term by Fate decreed, * And when that day
be dead needs must I die:
If lions dragged me to their forest-lair, * Safe should I live
till draw my death-day nigh.'"

Then they proceeded to proclaim before Nur al-Din, "This is the
least of the retribution for him who imposeth upon Kings with
forgeries." And they ceased not parading him round about
Bassorah, till they made him stand beneath the palace-windows and
set him upon the leather of blood,[FN#74] and the sworder came up
to him and said, "O my lord, I am but a slave commanded in this
matter: an thou have any desire, tell it me that I may fulfil it,
for now there remaineth of they life only so much as may be till
the Sultan shall put his face out of the lattice." Thereupon Nur
al-Din looked to the right and to the left, and before him and
behind him and began improvising,

"The sword, the sworder and the blood-skin waiting me I sight, *
And cry, Alack, mine evil fate! ah, my calamity!
How is't I see no loving friend with eye of sense or soul? *
What! no one here? I cry to all: will none reply to me?
The time is past that formed my life, my death term draweth nigh,
* Will no man win the grace of God showing me clemency;
And look with pity on my state, and clear my dark despair, * E'en
with a draught of water dealt to cool death's agony?"

The people fell to weeping over him; and the headsman rose and
brought him a draught of water; but the Wazir sprang up from his
place and smote the gugglet with his hand and broke it: then he
cried out at the executioner and bade him strike off Nur al-Din's
head. So he bound the eyes of the doomed man and folk clamoured
at the Wazir and loud wailings were heard and much questioning of
man and man. At this moment behold, rose a dense dust-cloud
filling sky and wold; and when the Sultan, who was sitting in the
palace, descried this, he said to his suite, "Go and see what yon
cloud bringeth:" Replied Al Mu'in, "Not till we have smitten
this fellow's neck;" but the Sultan said, "Wait ye till we see
what this meaneth." Now the dust-cloud was the dust of J'afar
the Barmecide, Wazir to the Caliph, and his host; and the cause
of his coming was as follows. The Caliph passed thirty days
without calling to mind the matter of Nur al-Din Ali,[FN#75] and
none reminded him of it, till one night, as he passed by the
chamber of Anis al-Jalis, he heard her weeping and singing with a
soft sweet voice these lines of the poet,

"In thought I see thy form when farthest far or nearest near; *
And on my tongue there dwells a name which man shall ne'er

Then her weeping redoubled; when lo! the Caliph opened the door
and, entering the chamber, found Anis al-Jalis in tears. When
she saw him she fell to the ground and kissing his feet three
times repeated these lines,

"O fertile root and noble growth of trunk; * Ripe-fruitful branch
of never sullied race;
I mind thee of what pact thy bounty made; * Far be 't from thee
thou should'st forget my case!"

Quoth the Caliph, "Who art thou?" and she replied, "I am she whom
Ali bin Khakan gave thee in gift, and I wish the fulfilment of
thy promise to send me to him with the robe of honour; for I have
now been thirty days without tasting the food of sleep."
Thereupon the Caliph sent for Ja'afar and said to him, "O
Ja'afar, 'tis thirty days since we have had news of Nur al-Din
bin Khakan, and I cannot suppose that the Sultan hath slain him;
but, by the life of my head and by the sepulchres of my
forefathers, if aught of foul play hath befallen him, I will
surely make an end of him who was the cause of it, though he be
the dearest of all men to myself! So I desire that thou set out
for Bassorah within this hour and bring me tidings of my cousin,
King Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Zayni, and how he had dealt with
Nur al-Din Ali bin Khakan;" adding, "If thou tarry longer on the
road than shall suffice for the journey, I will strike off they
head. Furthermore, do thou tell the son of my uncle the whole
story of Nur al-Din, and how I sent him with my written orders;
and if thou find, O my cousin,[FN#76] that the King hath done
otherwise than as I commanded, bring him and the Wazir Al-Mu'in
bin Sawi to us in whatsoever guise thou shalt find them."[FN#77]
"Hearing and obedience," replied Ja'afar and, making ready on the
instant, he set out for Bassorah where the news of his coming had
foregone him and had reached to the ears of King Mohammed. When
Ja'afar arrived and saw the crushing and crowding of the lieges,
he asked, "What means all this gathering?" so they told him what
was doing in the matter of Nur al-Din; whereupon he hastened to
go to the Sultan and saluting him, acquainted him with the cause
why he came and the Caliph's resolve, in case of any foul play
having befallen the youth, to put to death whoso should have
brought it about. Then he took into custody the King and the
Wazir and laid them in ward and, giving order for the release of
Nur al-Din Ali, enthroned him as Sultan in the stead of Mohammed
bin Sulayman. After this Ja'afar abode three days in Bassorah,
the usual guest-time, and on the morning of the fourth day, Nur
al-Din Ali turned to him and said, "I long for the sight of the
Commander of the Faithful." Then said Ja'afar to Mohammed bin
Sulayman, "Make ready to travel, for we will say the dawn-prayer
and mount Baghdad-wards;" and he replied, "To hear is to obey."
Then they prayed and they took horse and set out, all of them,
carrying with them the Wazir, Al-Mu'in bin Sawi, who began to
repent him of what he had done. Nur al-Din rode by Ja'afar's
side and they stinted not faring on till they arrived at Baghdad,
the House of Peace, and going in to the Caliph told him how they
had found Nur al-Din nigh upon death. Thereupon the Caliph said
to the youth, "Take this sword and smite with it the neck of
thine enemy." So he took the sword from his hand and stepped up
to Al-Mu'in who looked at him and said, "I did according to my
mother's milk, do thou according to thine."[FN#78] Upon this Nur
al-Din cast the sword from his hand and said to the Caliph, "O
Commander of the Faithful, he hath beguiled me with his words;"
and he repeated this couplet,

"By craft and sleight I snared him when he came; * A few fair
words aye trap the noble-game!"

"Leave him then," cried the Caliph and, turning to Masrur said,
"Rise thou and smite his neck." So Masrur drew his sword and
struck off his head. Then quoth the Caliph to Nur al-Din Ali,
"Ask a boon of me." "O my lord," answered he, "I have no need of
the Kingship of Bassorah; my sole desire is to be honoured by
serving thee and by seeing the countenance." "With love and
gladness," said the Caliph. Then he sent for the damsel, Anis
al-Jalis, and bestowed plentiful favours upon them both and gave
them one of his palaces in Baghdad, and assigned stipends and
allowances, and made Nur al-Din Ali bin Fazl bin Khakan, one of
his cup-companions; and he abode with the Commander of the
Faithful enjoying the pleasantest of lives till death overtook
him. "Yet (continued Shahrazad) is not his story in any wise
more wondrous than the history of the merchant and his children."
The King asked "And what was that?" and Shahrazad began to relate

Tale of Ghanim bin Ayyub[FN#79], the Distraught, the Thrall o'

It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in times of yore and
in years and ages long gone before, there lived in Damascus a
merchant among the merchants, a wealthy man who had a son like
the moon on the night of his fulness[FN#80] and withal sweet of
speech, who was named Ghanim bin 'Ayyub, surnamed the Distraught,
the Thrall o' Love. He had also a daughter, own sister to Ghanim,
who was called Fitnah, a damsel unique in beauty and loveliness.
Their father died and left them abundant wealth.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
merchant left his two children abundant wealth and amongst other
things an hundred loads[FN#81] of silks and brocades, musk pods
and mother o' pearl; and there was written on every bale, "This
is of the packages intended for Baghdad," it having been his
purpose to make the journey thither, when Almighty Allah took him
to Himself, which was in the time of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid.
After a while his son took the loads and, bidding farewell to his
mother and kindred and townsfolk, went forth with a company of
merchants, putting his trust in Allah Almighty, who decreed him
safety, so that he arrived without let or stay at Baghdad. There
he hired for himself a fair dwelling house which he furnished
with carpets and cushions, curtains and hangings; and therein
stored his bales and stabled his mules and camels, after which he
abode a while resting. Presently the merchants and notables of
Baghdad came and saluted him, after which he took a bundle
containing ten pieces of costly stuffs, with the prices written
on them, and carried it to the merchants' bazar, where they
welcomed and saluted him and showed him all honour; and, making
him dismount from his beast, seated him in the shop of the Syndic
of the market, to whom he delivered the package. He opened it
and, drawing out the pieces of stuff, sold them for him at a
profit of two diners on every diner of prime cost. At this Ghanim
rejoiced and kept selling his silks and stuffs one after another,
and ceased not to do on this wise for a full year. On the first
day of the following year he went, as was his wont, to the
Exchange which was in the bazar, but found the gate shut; and
enquiring the reason was told, "One of the merchants is dead and
all the others have gone to follow his bier,[FN#82] and why
shouldst thou not win the meed of good deeds by walking with
them?"[FN#83] He replied "Yes," and asked for the quarter where
the funeral was taking place, and one directed him thereto. So he
purified himself by the Wuzu-ablution[FN#84] and repaired with
the other merchants to the oratory, where they prayed over the
dead, then walked before the bier to the burial place, and
Ghanim, who was a bashful man, followed them being ashamed to
leave them. They presently issued from the city, and passed
through the tombs until they reached the grave where they found
that the deceased's kith and kin had pitched a tent over the tomb
and had brought thither lamps and wax candles. So they buried the
body and sat down while the readers read out and recited the
Koran over the grave; and Ghanim sat with them, being overcome
with bashfulness and saying to himself "I cannot well go away
till they do." They tarried listening to the Koranic perfection
till nightfall, when the servants set supper and
sweetmeats[FN#85] before them and they ate till they were
satisfied; then they washed their hands and again took their
places. But Ghanim's mind was preoccupied with his house and
goods, being in fear of robbers, and he said to himself, "I am a
stranger here and supposed to have money; if I pass the night
abroad the thieves will steal my money bags and my bales to
boot." So when he could no longer control his fear he arose and
left the assembly, having first asked leave to go about some
urgent business; and following the signs of the road he soon came
to the city gate. But it was midnight and he found the doors
locked and saw none going or coming nor heard aught but the
hounds baying and the wolves howling. At this he exclaimed,
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! I was
in fear for my property and came back on its account, but now I
find the gate shut and I am in mortal fear for my life!" Then he
turned back and, looking out for a place where he could sleep
till morning, presently found a Santon's tomb, a square of four
walls with a date-tree in the central court and a granite
gateway. The door was wide open; so he entered and would fain
have slept, but sleep came not to him; and terror and a sense of
desolation oppressed him for that he was alone amidst the tombs.
So he rose to his feet and, opening the door, looked out and lo!
he was ware of a light afar off in the direction of the city
gate; then walking a little way towards it, he saw that it was on
the road whereby he had reached the tomb. This made him fear for
his life, so he hastily shut the door and climbed to the top of
the dale tree where he hid himself in the heart of the fronds.
The light came nearer and nearer till it was close to the tomb;
then it stopped and he saw three slaves, two bearing a chest and
one with a lanthorn, an adze and a basket containing some mortar.
When they reached the tomb, one of those who were carrying the
case said, "What aileth thee O Sawab?"; and said the other, "What
is the matter O Kafur?"[FN#86] Quoth he, "Were we not here at
supper tide and did we not leave the door open?" "Yes," replied
the other, "that is true.'' "See," said Kafur, "now it is shut
and barred." "How weak are your wits!" cried the third who bore
the adze and his name was Bukhayt,[FN#87] "know ye not that the
owners of the gardens use to come out from Baghdad and tend them
and, when evening closes upon them, they enter this place and
shut the door, for fear lest the wicked blackmen, like ourselves,
should catch them and roast 'em and eat 'em."[FN#88] "Thou sayest
sooth," said the two others, "but by Allah, however that may be,
none amongst us is weaker of wits than thou." "If ye do not
believe me," said Bukhayt, "let us enter the tomb and I will
rouse the rat for you; for I doubt not but that, when he saw the
light and us making for the place, he ran up the date tree and
hid there for fear of us." When Ghanim heard this, he said in
himself, "O curstest of slaves! May Allah not have thee in His
holy keeping for this thy craft and keenness of wit! There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! How shall I win free of these blackamoors?" Then said the
two who bore the box to him of the adze, "Swarm up the wall and
open the gate for us, O Bukhayt, for we are tired of carrying the
chest on our necks; and when thou hast opened the gate thou shalt
have one of those we catch inside, a fine fat rat which we will
fry for thee after such excellent fashion that not a speck of his
fat shall be lost." But Bukhayt answered, "I am afraid of
somewhat which my weak wits have suggested to me: we should do
better to throw the chest over the gateway; for it is our
treasure." "If we throw it 'twill break," replied they; and he
said, "I fear lest there be robbers within who murder folk and
plunder their goods, for evening is their time of entering such
places and dividing their spoil." "O thou weak o' wits," said
both the bearers of the box, "how could they ever get in
here!"[FN#89] Then they set down the chest and climbing over the
wall dropped inside and opened the gate, whilst the third slave
(he that was called Bukhayt) stood by them holding the adze, the
lanthorn and the hand basket containing the mortar. After this
they locked the gate and sat down; and presently one of them
said, "O my brethren, we are wearied with walking and with
lifting up and setting down the chest, and with unlocking and
locking the gate; and now 'tis midnight, and we have no breath
left to open a tomb and bury the box: so let us rest here two or
three hours, then rise and do the job. Meanwhile each of us shall
tell how he came to be castrated and all that befel him from
first to last, the better to pass away our time while we take our
rest." Thereupon the first, he of the lanthorn and whose name was
Bukhayt, said, "I'll tell you my tale." "Say on," replied they;
so he began as follows the

Tale of the First Eunuch, Bukhayt.

Know, O my brothers, that when I was a little one, some five
years old, I was taken home from my native country by a slave
driver who sold me to a certain Apparitor.[FN#90] My purchaser
had a daughter three years old, with whom I was brought up; and
they used to make mock of me, letting me play with her and dance
for her[FN#91] and sing to her, till I reached the age of twelve
and she that of ten; and even then they did not forbid me seeing
her. One day I went in to her and found her sitting in an inner
room, and she looked as if she had just come out of the bath
which was in the house; for she was scented with essences and
reek of aromatic woods, and her face shone like a circle of the
moon on the fourteenth night. She began to sport with me, and I
with her. Now I had just reached the age of puberty; so my
prickle stood at point, as it were a huge key. Then she threw me
on my back and, mounting astraddle on my breast, fell a wriggling
and a bucking upon me till she had uncovered my yard. When she
saw it standing with head erect, she hent it in hand and began
rubbing it upon the lips of her little slit[FN#92] outside her
petticoat trousers. Thereat hot lust stirred in me and I threw my
arms round her, while she wound hers about my neck and hugged me
to her with all her might, till, before I knew what I did, my
pizzle split up her trousers and entered her slit and did away
her maiden head. When I saw this, I ran off and took refuge with
one of my comrades. Presently her mother came in to her; and,
seeing her in this case, fainted clean away. However she managed
the matter advisedly and hid it from the girl's father out of
good will to me; nor did they cease to call to me and coax me,
till they took me from where I was. After two months had passed
by, her mother married her to a young man, a barber who used to
shave her papa, and portioned and fitted her out of her own
monies; whilst the father knew nothing of what had passed. On the
night of consummation they cut the throat of a pigeon poult and
sprinkled the blood on her shift.[FN#93] After a while they
seized me unawares and gelded me; and, when they brought her to
her bridegroom, they made me her Agha,[FN#94] her eunuch, to walk
before her wheresoever she went, whether to the bath or to her
father's house. I abode with her a long time enjoying her beauty
and loveliness by way of kissing and clipping and coupling with
her,[FN#95] till she died, and her husband and mother and father
died also; when they seized me for the Royal Treasury as being
the property of an intestate, and I found my way hither, where I
became your comrade. This, then, O my brethren, is the cause of
my cullions being cut off; and peace be with you! He ceased and
his fellow began in these words the

Tale of the Second Eunuch, Kafur.

Know, O my brothers that, when beginning service as a boy of
eight, I used to tell the slave dealers regularly and exactly one
lie every year, so that they fell out with one another, till at
last my master lost patience with me and, carrying me down to the
market, ordered the brokers to cry, "Who will buy this slave,
knowing his blemish and making allowance for it?" He did so and
they asked him, "Pray, what may be his blemish?" and he answered,
"He telleth me one single lie every year." Now a man that was a
merchant came up and said to the broker, "How much do they allow
for him with his blemish?" "They allow six hundred dirhams," he
replied; and said the other, "Thou shalt have twenty dirhams for
thyself." So he arranged between him and the slave dealer who
took the coin from him and the broker carried me to the
merchant's house and departed, after receiving his brokerage. The
trader clothed me with suitable dress, and I stayed in his
service the rest of my twelvemonth, until the new year began
happily. It was a blessed season, plenteous in the produce of the
earth, and the merchants used to feast every day at the house of
some one among them, till it was my master's turn to entertain
them in a flower garden without the city. So he and the other
merchants went to the garden, taking with them all that they
required of provaunt and else beside, and sat eating and
carousing and drinking till mid day, when my master, having need
of some matter from his home, said to me, "O slave, mount the she
mule and hie thee to the house and bring from thy mistress such
and such a thing and return quickly." I obeyed his bidding and
started for the house but, as I drew near it, I began to cry out
and shed tears, whereupon all the people of the quarter
collected, great and small; and my master's wife and daughters,
hearing the noise I was making, opened the door and asked me what
was the matter. Said I, "My master was sitting with his friends
beneath an old wall, and it fell on one and all of them; and when
I saw what had happened to them, I mounted the mule and came
hither in haste to tell you." When my master's daughters and wife
heard this, they screamed and rent their raiment and beat their
faces, whilst the neighbours came around them. Then the wife over
turned the furniture of the house, one thing upon another, and
tore down the shelves and broke the windows and the lattices and
smeared the walls with mud and indigo, saying to me, "Woe to
thee, O Kafur! come help me to tear down these cupboards and
break up these vessels and this china ware,[FN#96] and the rest
of it." So I went to her and aided her to smash all the shelves
in the house with whatever stood upon them, after which I went
round about the terrace roofs and every part of the place,
spoiling all I could and leaving no china in the house unbroken
till I had laid waste the whole, crying out the while "Well away!
my master!" Then my mistress fared forth bare faced wearing a
head kerchief and naught else, and her daughters and the children
sallied out with her, and said to me, "O Kafur, go thou before us
and show us the place where thy master lieth dead, that we may
take him from under the fallen wall and lay him on a bier and
bear him to the house and give him a fine funeral." So I went
forth before them crying out, "Slack, my master!"; and they after
me with faces and heads bare and all shrieking, "Alas! Alas for
the man!" Now there remained none in the quarter, neither man nor
woman, nor epicene, nor youth nor maid, nor child nor old trot,
but went with us smiting their faces and weeping bitterly, and I
led them leisurely through the whole city. The folk asked them
what was the matter, whereupon they told them what they had heard
from me, and all exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah!" Then said one of them, "He was a personage
of consequence; so let us go to the Governor and tell him what
hath befallen him." When they told the Governor,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Fortieth Night,[FN#97]

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they
told the Governor, he rose and mounted and, taking with him
labourers, with spades and baskets, went on my track, with many
people behind him; and I ran on before them, howling and casting
dust on my head and beating my face, followed by my mistress and
her children keening for the dead. But I got ahead of them and
entered the garden before them, and when my master saw me in this
state, I smiting my face and saying, "Well away! my mistress!
Alas! Alas! Alas! who is left to take pity on me, now that my
mistress is gone? Would I had been a sacrifice for her!", he
stood aghast and his colour waxed yellow and he said to me, "What
aileth thee O Kafur! What is the matter?" "O my lord," I replied,
"when thou sentest me to the house, I found that the saloon wall
had given way and had fallen like a layer upon my mistress and
her children!" "And did not thy mistress escape?" "No, by Allah,
O my master; not one of them was saved; the first to die was my
mistress, thine elder daughter!" "And did not my younger daughter
escape?"; "No, she did not!" "And what became of the mare mule I
use to ride, is she safe?" "No, by Allah, O my master, the house
walls and the stable walls buried every living thing that was
within doors, even to the sheep and geese and poultry, so that
they all became a heap of flesh and the dogs and cats are eating
them and not one of them is left alive." "And hath not thy
master, my elder son, escaped?" "No, by Allah! not one of them
was saved, and now there is naught left of house or household,
nor even a sign of them: and, as for the sheep and geese and
hens, the cats and dogs have devoured them." When my master heard
this the light became night before his sight; his wits were dazed
and he so lost command of his senses that he could not stand firm
on his feet: he was as one struck with a sudden palsy and his
back was like to break. Then he rent his raiment and plucked out
his beard and, casting his turband from off his head, buffeted
his face till the blood ran down and he cried aloud, "Alas, my
children! Alas, my wife! Alas, my calamity! To whom ever befel
that which hath befallen me?" The merchants, his friends, also
cried aloud at his crying and wept for his weeping and tore their
clothes, being moved to pity of his case; and so my master went
out of the garden, smiting his face with such violence that from
excess of pain he staggered like one drunken with wine. As he and
the merchants came forth from the garden gate, behold, they saw a
great cloud of dust and heard a loud noise of crying and
lamentation; so they looked and lo! it was the Governor with his
attendants and the townsfolk, a world of people, who had come out
to look on, and my master's family following them, all screaming
and crying aloud and weeping exceeding sore weeping. The first to
address my owner were his wife and children; and when he saw them
he was confounded and laughed[FN#98] and said to them, "How is it
with all of you and what befel you in the house and what hath
come to pass to you?" When they saw him they exclaimed, "Praise

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