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

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

Part 4 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Zaman continued, "It is related that Omar passed by a flock of
sheep, kept by a Mameluke, and asked him to sell him a sheep. He
answered, 'They are not mine.' 'Thou art the man I sought,' said
Omar, and bought him and freed him; whereupon the slave
exclaimed, 'O Allah, as thou hast bestowed on me the lesser
emancipation; so vouchsafe me the greater!'[FN#279] It is also
said that Omar bin al- Khattab was wont to give his servants
sweet milk and himself eat coarse fare, and to clothe them softly
and himself wear rough garments. He rendered unto all men their
due, and exceeded in his giving to them. He once gave a man four
thousand dirhams and added thereto a thousand, wherefore it was
said to him, 'Why dost thou not increase to thy son as thou
increasest to this man?' He answered, 'This man's father stood
firm at the battle day of Ohod.'[FN#280] Al-Hasan relates that
Omar once came back from foray with much money, and that
Hafsah[FN#281] approached him and said, 'O Commander of the
Faithful, the due of kinship!' 'O Hafsah!' replied he, 'verily
Allah hath enjoined us to satisfy the dues of kinship, but not
with the monies of the True Believers. Indeed, thou pleasest"
thy family, but thou angerest thy father.' And she went away
trailing her skirts.[FN#282] The son of Omar said, 'I implored
the Lord to show me my father one year after his death, till at
last I saw him wiping the sweat from his brow and asked him, 'How
is it with thee, O my father?' He answered, 'But for my Lord's
mercy thy father surely had perished.' Then said Nuzhat al-Zaman,
"Hear, O auspicious King, the second division of the first
chapter of the instances of the followers of the Apostle and
other holy men. Saith Al Hasan al-Basri,[FN#283] Not a soul of
the sons of Adam goeth forth of the world without regretting
three things,- failure to enjoy what he hath amassed, failure to
compass what he hoped, failure to provide himself with sufficient
viaticum for that hereto he goeth.[FN#284] It was said of
Sufyan,[FN#285] 'Can a man be a religious and yet possess
wealth?' He replied, 'Yes, so he be patient when grieved and be
thankful when he hath received.' Abdullah bin Shaddad, being
about to die, sent for his son Mohammed and admonished him,
saying, 'O my son, I see the Summoner of Death summoning me, and
so I charge thee to fear Allah both in public and private, to
praise Allah and to be soothfastin thy speech, for such praise
bringeth increase of prosperity, and piety in itself is the best
of provision for the next world; even as saith one of the poets,

'I see not happiness lies in gathering gold; * The man most pious
is man happiest:
In truth the fear of God is best of stores, * And God shall make
the pious choicely blest.'

Then quoth Nuzhat al-Zaman, "Let the King also give ear to these
notes from the second section of the first chapter." He asked her
'What be they?'; and she answered, "When Omar bin Abd al-Aziz[FN#
286] succeeded to the Caliphate, he went to his household and
laying hands on all that was in their hold, put it into the
public treasury. So the Banu Umayyah flew for aid to his
father's sister, Fatimah, daughter of Marwan, and she sent to him
saying, 'I must needs speak to thee.' So she came to him by night
and, when he had made her alight from her beast and sit down, he
said to her, 'O aunt, it is for thee to speak first, since thou
hast some thing to ask: tell me then what thou wouldst with me.'
Replied she, 'O Commander of the Faithful, it is thine to speak
first, for thy judgment perceiveth that which is hidden from the
intelligence of others.' Then said Omar, 'Of a verity Allah
Almighty sent Mohammed as a blessing to some and a bane to
others; and He elected for him those with him, and commissioned
him as His Apostle and took him to Himself,'--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Sixty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nuzhat al-
Zaman continued thus, "Said Omar, 'Verily Allah commissioned as
His Apostle Mohammed (upon whom be the benediction of Allah and
His salvation!), for a blessing to some and a bane to others; and
He elected for him those with him and took him to Himself,
leaving the people a stream whereof they might drink. After him
Abu Bakr[FN#287] the Truth teller became Caliph and he left the
river as it was, doing what was pleasing to Allah. Then arose
Omar and worked a work and strove in holy war and strife where of
none might do the like. But when Othman arose to power he
diverted a streamlet from the stream, and Mu'awiyah in his turn
diverted from it several streamlets; and without ceasing in like
manner, Yezid and the Banu Marwan such as Abd al-Malik and Walid
and Sulayman[FN#288] drew away water from the stream, and the
main course dried up, till rule devolved upon me, and now I am
minded to restore the stream to its normal condition.' When
Fatimah heard this, she said, 'I came wishing only to speak and
confer with thee, but if this be thy word, I have nothing to say
to thee.' Then she returned to the Ommiades and said to them,
'Now take ye the consequences of your act when ye allied
yourselves by marriage with Omar bin al-Khattab.'[FN#289] And it
is also said that when Omar was about to die, he gathered his
children round him, and Maslamah[FN#290] bin Abd al-Malik said to
him, 'O Prince of the Faithful, how wilt thou leave thy children
paupers and thou their protector? None can hinder thee in thy
lifetime from giving them what will suffice them out of the
treasury; and this indeed were better than leaving the good work
to him who shall rule after thee.' Omar looked at him with a look
of wrath and wonder and presently replied, 'O Maslamah, I have
defended them from this sin all the days of my life, and shall I
make them miserable after my death? Of a truth my sons are like
other men, either obedient to Almighty Allah who will prosper
them, or disobedient and I will not help them in their
disobedience. Know, O Maslamah, that I was present, even as
thou, when such an one of the sons of Marwanwas buried, and I
fell asleep by him and saw him in a dream given over to one of
the punishments of Allah, to whom belong Honour and Glory! This
terrified me and made me tremble, and I vowed to Allah, that if
ever I came to power, I would not do such deeds as the dead man
had done. I have striven to fulfil this vow all the length of my
life and I hope to die in the mercy of my Lord.' Quoth Maslamah,
'A certain man died and I was present at his burial, and when all
was over I fell asleep and I saw him as a sleeper seeth a dream,
walking in a garden of flowing waters clad in white clothes. He
came up to me and said: 'O Maslamah, it is for the like of this
that rulers should rule.' Many are the instances of this kind,
and quoth one of the men of authority, 'I used to milk the ewes
in the Caliphate of Omar bin Abd al-Aziz, and one day I met a
shepherd, among whose sheep I saw a wolf or wolves. I thought
them to be dogs, for I had never before seen wolves; so I asked,
'What dost thou with these dogs?' 'They are not dogs, but
wolves,' answered the shepherd. Quoth I, 'Can wolves be with
sheep and not hurt them?' Quoth he, 'When the head is whole, the
body is whole.'[FN#291] Omar bin Abd al-Aziz once preached from a
pulpit of clay and, after praising and glorifying Allah Almighty,
said three words as follows, 'O folk, make clean your inmost
hearts, that your outward lives may be dean to your brethren, and
abstain ye from the things of the world. Know that between us
and Adam there is no one man alive among the dead. Dead are Abd
al- Malik and those who forewent him, and Omar also shall die and
those who forewent him.' Asked Maslamah, 'O Commander of the
Faithful, an we set a pillow behind thee, wilt thou lean on it a
little while?' But Omar answered, 'I fear lest it be a fault
about my neck on Resurrection Day.' Then he gasped with the death
rattle and fell back in a faint; whereupon Fatimah cried out,
saying, 'Ho, Maryam! Ho, Muzahim![FN#292] Ho, such an one! Look
to this man!' And she began to pour water on him weeping, till he
revived from his swoon; and, seeing her in tears said to her,
'What causeth thee to weep, O Fatimah?' She replied, 'O Commander
of the Faithful, I saw thee lying prostrate before us and thought
of thy prostration in death before Almighty Allah, of thy
departure from the world and of thy separation from us. This is
what made me weep.' Answered he, 'Enough, O Fatimah, for indeed
thou exceedest.' Then he would have risen, but fell down and
Fatimah strained him to her and said, 'Thou art to me as my
father and my mother, O Commander of the Faithful! We cannot
speak to thee, all of us.' Then quoth Nuzhat al-Zaman to her
brother Sharrkan and the four Kazis, "Here endeth the second
section of the first chapter."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Sixty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nuzhat al-
Zaman said to her brother Sharrkan and the four Kazis, "Here
endeth the second section of the first chapter. And it so
happened that Omar bin Abd al-Aziz wrote to the people of the
festival at Meccah as follows, 'I call Allah to witness, in the
Holy Month, in the Holy City and on the day of the Greater
Pilgrimage,[FN#293] that I am innocent of your oppression and of
his wrongs that doth wrong you, in that I have neither commanded
this nor purposed it, neither hath any report of aught thereof
hitherto reached me, nor have I compassed any knowledge thereof;
and I trust that a cause for pardon will be found in that none
hath authority from me to oppress any man, for I shall assuredly
be questioned concerning every one oppress. And if any of my
officers swerve from the right and act otherwise than the Holy
Book and the Traditions of the Apostle do authorise, obey him not
so that he may return to the way of righteousness.' He said also
(Allah accept of him!), 'I do not wish to be relieved from death,
because it is the supreme thing for which the True Believer is
rewarded.' Quoth one of authority, 'I went to the Prince of the
Faithful, Omarbin Abd al-Aziz, who was then Caliph, and saw
before him twelve dirhams, which he ordered for deposit in the
public treasury. So I said to him, 'O Commander of the Faithful,
thou impoverishest thy children and reducest them to beggary
having nothing whereon to live. An thou wouldst appoint somewhat
by will to them and to those who are poor of the people of thy
house, it were well.' 'Draw near to me,' answered he: so I drew
near to him and he said, 'Now as for thy saying, 'Thou beggarest
thy children; provide for them and for the poor of thy
household,' it is without reason; for Allah of a truth will
replace me to my children and to the poor of my house, and He
will be their guardian. Verily, they are like other men; he who
feareth Allah, right soon will Allah provide for him a happy
issue, and he that is addicted to sins, I will not up hold him in
his sin against Allah.' Then he summoned his sons who numbered
twelve, and when he beheld them his eyes dropped tears and
presently he said to them, 'Your Father is between two things;
either ye will be well to do, and your parent will enter the
fire, or ye will be poor and your parent will enter Paradise; and
your father's entry into Paradise is liefer to him than that ye
should be well to do.[FN#294] So arise and go, Allah be your
helper, for to Him I commit your affairs!' Khalid bin
Safwan[FN#295] said, 'Yusuf bin Omar[FN#296] accompanied me to
Hisham bin Abd al-Malik,[FN#297] and as I met him he was coming
forth with his kinsmen and attendants. He alighted and a tent
was pitched for him. When the people had taken their seats, I
came up to the side of the carpet whereon he sat reclining and
looked at him; and, waiting till my eyes met his eyes, bespoke
him thus, 'May Allah fulfil His bounty to thee, O Commander of
the Faithful, I have an admonition for thee, which hath come down
to us from the history of the Kings preceding thee!' At this, he
sat up whenas he had been reclining and said to me, 'Bring what
thou hast, O son of Safwan!' Quoth I, 'O Commander of the
Faithful, one of the Kings before thee went forth in a time
before this thy time, to this very country and said to his
companions, 'Saw ye ever any state like mine and say me, hath
such case been given to any man even as it hath been given unto
me?' Now there was with him a man of those who survive to bear
testimony to Truth; upholders of the Right and wayfarers in its
highway, and he said to him, 'O King, thou askest of a grave
matter. Wilt thou give me leave to answer?' 'Yes,' replied the
King, and the other said, 'Dost thou judge thy present state to
be short lasting or ever lasting?' 'It is temporary,' replied the
King. 'How then,' rejoined the man, 'do I see thee exulting in
that which thou wilt enjoy but a little while and whereof thou
wilt be questioned for a long while and for the rendering an
account whereof thou shalt be as a pledge which is pawned?' Quoth
the King, 'Whither shall I flee and what must I seek for me?'
'That thou abide in thy kingship,' replied the other, 'or else
robe thee in rags[FN#298] and apply thyself to obey Almighty
Allah thy Lord until thine appointed hour. I will come to thee
again at daybreak.' Khalid bin Safwan further relates that the
man knocked at the door at dawn and behold, the King had put off
his crown and resolved to become an anchorite, for the stress of
his exhortation. When Hisham bin Abd al-Malik heard this, he
wept till his beard was wet, and, bidding his rich apparel be put
off, shut himself up in his palace. Then the grandees and
dependents came to Khalid and said, 'What is this thou hast done
with the Commander of the Faithful? Thou hast troubled his
pleasure and disturbed his life!' Then quoth Nuzhat al-Zaman,
addressing herself to Sharrkan, "How many instances of admonition
are there not in this chapter! Of a truth I cannot report all
appertaining to this head in a single sitting,"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nuzhat al-
Zaman continued, speaking to Sharrkan, "Know, O King, that in
this chapter be so many instances of admonition that of a truth I
cannot report all appertaining to this head in a single sitting
but, with length of days, O King of the age, all will be well."
There said the Kazis, "O King, of a truth this damsel is the
wonder of the world, and of our age the unique pearl! Never
heard we her like in the length of time or in the length of our
lives." And they called down blessings on the King and went away.
Then Sharrkan turned to his attendants and said, "Begin ye to
prepare the marriage festival and make ready food of all kinds."
So they forthright did his bidding as regards the viands, and he
commanded the wives of the Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees depart
not until the time of the wedding banquet and of the unveiling of
the bride. Hardly came the period of afternoon prayer when the
tables were spread with whatso heart can desire or eye can
delight in of roast meats and geese and fowls; and the subjects
ate till they were satisfied. Moreover, Sharrkan had sent for
all the singing women of Damascus and they were present, together
with every slave girl of the King and of the notables who knew
how to sing. And they went up to the palace in one body. When
the evening came and darkness starkened they lighted candles,
right and left, from the gate of the citadel to that of the
palace; and the Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees marched past before
King Sharrkan, whilst the singers and the tire women took the
damsel to dress and adorn her, but found she needed no adornment.
Meantime King Sharrkan went to the Hammam and coming out, sat
down on his seat of estate, whilst they paraded the bride before
him in seven different dresses: after which they eased her of the
weight of her raiment and ornaments and gave such injunctions as
are enjoined upon virgins on their wedding nights. Then Sharrkan
went in unto her and took her maidenhead;[FN#299] and she at once
conceived by him and, when she announced it, he rejoiced with
exceeding joy and commanded the savants to record the date of her
conception. On the morrow he went forth and seated himself on
his throne, and the high officers came in to him and gave him
joy. Then he called his private secretary and bade him write a
letter to his father, King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, saying that he
had bought him a damsel, who excels in learning and good breeding
and who is mistress of all kinds of knowledge. Moreover he
wrote, "There is no help but that I send her to Baghdad to visit
my brother Zau al-Makan and my sister Nuzhat al-Zaman. I have
set her free and married her and she hath conceived by me." And
he went on to praise her wit and salute his brother and sister
together with the Wazir Dandan and all the Emirs. Then he sealed
the letter and despatched it to his father by a post courier who
was absent a whole month, after which time he returned with the
answer and presented it in the presence. Sharrkan took it and
read as follows, "After the usual Bismillah, this is from the
afflicted distracted man, from him who hath lost his children and
home by bane and ban, King Omar bin al- Nu'uman, to his son
Sharrkan. Know that, since thy departure from me, the place is
become contracted upon me, so that no longer I have power of
patience nor can I keep my secret: and the cause thereof is as
follows. It chanced that when I went forth to hunt and course
Zau al-Makan sought my leave to fare Hijaz wards, but I, fearing
for him the shifts of fortune, forbade him therefrom until the
next year or the year after. My absence while sporting and
hunting endured for a whole month"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Sixty-eighth night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Omar
bin al-Nu'uman wrote in his letter, "My absence while sporting
and hunting endured for a whole month, and when I returned I
found that thy brother and sister had taken somewhat of money and
had set out with the pilgrim caravan for pilgrimage by stealth.
When I knew this, the wide world narrowed on me, O my son! but I
awaited the return of the caravan, hoping that haply they would
come back with it. Accordingly, when the palmers appeared I
asked concerning the twain, but they could give me no news of
them; so I donned mourning for them, being heavy at heart, and in
sleep I have no part and I am drowned in the tears of my eyes."
Then he wrote in verse,

"That pair in image quits me not one single hour, * Whom in my
heart's most honourable place I keep:
Sans hope of their return I would not live one hour, * Without my
dreams of them I ne'er would stretch me in sleep."

The letter went on, "And after the usual salutations to thee and
thine, I command thee neglect no manner of seeking news of them
for indeed this is a shame to us." When Sharrkan read the letter
he felt grief for his father and joy for the loss of his brother
and sister. Then he took the missive and went in with it to
Nuzhat al-Zaman who knew not that he was her brother, nor he that
she was his sister, albeit he often visited her both by night and
by day till the months were accomplished and she sat down on the
stool of delivery. Allah made the child birth easy to her and
she bare a daughter, whereupon she sent for Sharrkan and seeing
him she said to him, "This is thy daughter: name her as thou
wilt." Quoth he, "It is usual to name children on the seventh day
after birth.[FN#300]" Then he bent over the child to kiss it and
he saw, hung about its neck, a jewel, which he knew at once for
one of those which Princess Abrizah had brought from the land of
the Greeks. Now when he saw the jewel hanging from his babe's
neck he recognised it right well, his senses fled and wrath
seized on him; his eyes rolled in rage and he looked at Nuzhat
al- Zaman and said to her, "Whence hadst thou this jewel, O slave
girl?" When she heard this from Sharrkan she replied, "I am thy
lady, and the lady of all in thy palace! Art thou not ashamed to
say to me Slave girl? I am a Queen, daughter of King Omar bin
al-Nu'uman." Hearing this, he was seized with trembling and hung
his head earthwards,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Sharrkan heard these words, his heart fluttered and his colour
waxed yellow and he was seized with trembling and he hung his
head earthwards, for he knew that she was his sister by the same
father. Then he lost his senses; and, when he revived, he abode
in amazement, but did not discover his identity to her and asked,
O my lady, say, art thou in sooth the daughter of King Omar bin
al- Nu'uman?" "Yes," answered she; and he continued, "Tell me the
cause of thy leaving thy sire and of thy being sold for a slave."
So she related to him all that had befallen her from beginning to
end, how she had left her brother sick in the Sanctified City,
Jerusalem, and how the Badawi had kidnapped her and had sold her
to the trader. When Sharrkan heard this, he was certified of her
being his sister on the sword side and said to himself, "How can
I have my sister to wife? By Allah, needs must I marry her to
one of my chamberlains; and, if the thing get wind, I will
declare that I divorced her before consummation and married her
to my Chief Chamberlain." Then he raised his head and sighing
said, "O Nuzhat al-Zaman, thou art my very sister and I cry: 'I
take refuge with Allah from this sin whereinto we have fallen,'
for I am Sharrkan, son of Omar bin al-Nu'uman." She looked at him
and knew he spoke the truth; and, becoming as one demented, she
wept and buffeted her face, exclaiming, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah! Verily have we fallen into
mortal sin![FN#301] What shall I do and what shall I say to my
father and my mother when they ask me, Whence hadst thou thy
daughter?" Quoth Sharrkan, "It were meetest that I marry thee to
my Chamberlain and let thee bring up my daughter in his house,
that none may know thou be my sister. This hath befallen us from
Almighty Allah for a purpose of his own, and nothing shall cover
us but thy marriage with this Chamberlain, ere any know." Then he
fell to comforting her and kissing her head and she asked him,
"What wilt thou call the girl?" "Call her Kuzia Fakan,"[FN#302]
answered he. Then he gave the mother in marriage to the Chief
Chamberlain, and transferred her to his house with the child,
which they reared on the laps of the slave girls, and fed with
milk and dosed with powders. Now all this occurred whilst the
brother, Zau al-Makan, still tarried with the Fireman at
Damascus. One day there came to King Sharrkan a courier from his
father, with a letter which he took and read and found therein,
"After the Bismillah know, O beloved King, that I am afflicted
with sore affliction for the loss of my children: sleep ever
faileth me and wakefulness ever assaileth me. I send thee this
letter that, as soon as thou receivest it, thou make ready the
monies and the tribute, and send them to us, together with the
damsel whom thou hast bought and taken to wife; for I long to see
her and hear her discourse; more especially because there hath
come to us from Roumland an old woman of saintly bearing and with
her be five damsels high bosomed virgins, endowed with knowledge
and good breeding and all arts and sciences befitting mortals to
know; and indeed tongue faileth me to describe this old woman and
these who with her wend; for of a truth they are compendiums of
perfections in learning and accomplishments. As soon as I saw
them I loved them, and I wished to have them in my palace and in
the compass of my hand; for none of the Kings owneth the like of
them; so I asked the old woman their price and she answered, 'I
will not sell them but for the tribute of Damascus.' And I, by
Allah, did not hold this price exorbitant, indeed it is but
little, for each one of them is worth the whole valuation. So I
agreed to that and took them into my palace, and they remain in
my possession. Wherefore do thou forward the tribute to us that
the woman may return to her own country; and send to us the
damsel to the end that she may dispute with them before the
doctors; and, if she prevail over them, I will return her to thee
accompanied by the tribute of Baghdad."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Omar
son of Al-Nu'uman said in his letter, "And send to us the damsel
to the end that she may dispute with them before the doctors and,
if she prevail over them, I will return her to thee accompanied
with the tribute of Baghdad." As soon as Sharrkan knew the
contents, he went in to his brother in law and said to him,
"Bring the damsel to whom I married thee;" and when she came he
showed her the letter and said, "O my sister! what answer
wouldst thou advise me make to this letter?" Replied she, "Seek
advice from thyself!" and presently added (for she yearned after
her people and her native land), "Send me together with my
husband the Chamberlain, to Baghdad, that I may tell my father my
tale and let him know whatso befel me with the Badawi who sold me
to the merchant, and that I also inform him how thou boughtest me
of the trader and gavest me in marriage to the Chamberlain, after
setting me free." "Be it so," replied Sharrkan. Then Sharrkan
took his daughter, Kuzia Fakan, and committed her to the charge
of the wet nurses and the eunuchs, and he made ready the tribute
in haste, bidding the Chamberlain travel with the Princess and
the treasure to Baghdad. He also furnished him two travelling
litters one for himself and the other for his wife. And the
Chamberlain replied, "To hear is to obey." Moreover Sharrkan
collected camels and mules and wrote a letter to his father and
committed it to the Chamberlain; then he bade farewell to his
sister, after he had taken the jewel from her and hung it round
his daughter's neck by a chain of pure gold; and she and her
husband set out for Baghdad the same night. Now it so happened
that Zau al-Makan and his friend the Fireman had come forth from
the hut in which they were, to see the spectacle, and they beheld
camels and Bukhti[FN#303] dromedaries and bat-mules and torches
and lanterns alight; and Zau al-Makan enquired about the loads
and their owner and was told that it was the tribute of Damascus
going to King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, Lord of the City of Baghdad.
He then asked, "Who be the leader of the caravan?" and they
answered, "The Head Chamberlain who hath married the damsel so
famous for learning and science." Thereupon Zau al-Makan wept
with bitter weeping and was minded of his mother and his father
and his sister and his native land, and he said to the Stoker, "I
will join this caravan and, little by little, will journey
homewards." Quoth the Fireman, "I would not suffer thee to travel
single handed from the Holy City to Damascus, then how shall I be
sure of thy safety when thou farest for Baghdad? But I will go
with thee and care for thee till thou effectest thine object."
"With joy and good will," answered Zau al-Makan. Then the
Fireman get him ready for the journey and hired an ass and threw
saddle bags over it and put therein something of provaunt; and,
when all was prepared, he awaited the passage of the caravan.
And presently the Chamberlain came by on a dromedary and his
footmen about him. Then Zau al-Ma ken mounted the ass and said
to his companion, "Do thou mount with me." But he replied, "Not
so: I will be thy servant." Quoth Zau al-Makan, "There is no help
for it but thou ride awhile." "'Tis well," quoth the Stoker; "I
will ride when I grow tired." Then said Zau al-Makan, "O my
brother, soon shalt thou see how I will deal with thee, when I
come to my own folk." So they fared on till the sun rose and,When
it was the hour of the noonday sleep[FN#304] the Chamberlain
called a halt and they alighted and reposed and watered their
camels. Then he gave the signal for departure and, after five
days, they came to the city of Hamah,[FN#305] where they set down
and made a three days' halt;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they halted
in the city of Hamah three days; they then fared forwards and
ceased not travelling till they reached another city. Here also
they halted three days and thence they travelled till they
entered the province Diyar Bakr. Here blew on them the breezes
of Baghdad, and Zau al-Makan bethought him of his father and
mother and native land, and how he was returning to his sire
without his sister: so he wept and sighed and complained, and his
regrets grew on him, and he began improvising these couplets,

"Sweetheart! How long must I await by so long suffering teed? *
Nor cometh messenger to tell me where thou dost abide:
Ah me! in very sooth our meeting time was short enow: * Would
Heaven shorter prove to me the present parting-tide!
Now trend my hand and open my robe and thou within shall sight *
How wasted are the limbs of me and yet the waste I hide:
When say they 'Comfort take for loss of love' I but reply * 'By
Allah, till the Day of Doom no comfort shall betide!' "

Thereupon said to him the Fireman, "Leave this weeping and
wailing, for we are near the Chamberlain's tent." Quoth Zau al-
Makan, "Needs must I recite somewhat of verse; haply it may
quench the fire of my heart." "Allah upon thee," cried the other,
"cease this lamentation till thou come to shine own country; then
do what thou wilt, and I will be with thee wherever thou art."
Replied Zau al-Makan, "By Allah! I cannot forbear from this!"
Then he turned his face towards Baghdad and the moon was shining
brightly and shedding her light on the place, and Nuzhat al-Zaman
could not sleep that night, but was restless and called to mind
her brother and wept. And while she was in tears, he heard Zau
al-Makan weeping and improvising the following distichs,

'Al-Yaman's[FN#306] leven-gleam I see, * And sore despair
despaireth me
For friend who erst abode wi' me * Crowning my cup with gladdest
It minds me o' one who jilted me * To mourn my bitter liberty.
Say sooth, thou fair sheet lightning! shall * We meet once more
in joy and glee?
O blamer! spare to me thy blame * My Lord hath sent this dule to
Of friend who left me, fain to flee; * Of Time that breeds
All bliss hath fled the heart of me * Since Fortune proved mine
He[FN#307] brimmed a bowl of merest pine, * And made me drain the
dregs, did he:
I see me, sweetheart, dead and gone * Ere I again shall gaze on
Time! prithee bring our childhood back, * Restore our happy
When joy and safety 'joyed we * From shafts that now they shoot
at me!
Who aids the hapless stranger wight, * That nights in fright and
That wastes his days in lonely grief, * For 'Time's
Delight'[FN#308] no more must be?
Doomed us despite our will to bear * The hands of base bores cark
and care."

When he ended his verse he cried out and fell down in a fainting
fit. This is how it fared with him; but as regards Nuzhat al-
Zaman, when she heard that voice in the night, her heart was at
rest and she rose and in her joy she called the Chief Eunuch, who
said to her, "What is thy will?" Quoth she, "Arise and bring me
him who recited verses but now." Replied he, "Of a truth I did
not hear him"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nuzhat
Al-Zaman heard her brother reciting, she called the Chief Eunuch
and said to him, "Go, fetch me the man who is repeating this
poetry!" Replied he, "Of a truth I heard him not and I wot him
not and folks are all sleeping." But she said, "Whomsoever thou
seest awake, he is the reciter." So he went, yet found none on
wake save the Stoker; for Zau al-Makan was still insensible, and
when his companion saw the Eunuch standing by his head he was
afraid of him. Then said the Eunuch, "Art thou he who repeated
poetry but now and my lady heard him?" The Stoker fancied that
the dame was wroth with the reciter; and, being afraid, he
replied, "By Allah, 'twas not I!" Rejoined the Eunuch, "Who then
was the reciter?: point him out to me. Thou must know who it
was, seeing that thou art awake." The Fireman feared for Zau al-
Makan and said in himself, "Haply the Eunuch will do him some
hurt"; so he answered, "By Allah, I know not who it was." Said
the Eunuch, "By Allah, thou liest, for there is none on wake here
but thou! So needs must thou know him." "By Allah," replied the
Fireman, "I tell thee the truth!: some passer by, some wayfarer
must have recited the verses and disturbed me and kept me awake;
Allah requite him!" Quoth the Eunuch, "If thou happen upon him,
point him out to me and I will lay hands on him and bring him to
the door of our lady's litter[FN#309] or do thou take him with
thine own hand." Said the Fireman, "Go thou back and I will bring
him to thee." So the Eunuch left him and went his ways; and,
going in to his mistress, told her all this and said to her,
"None knoweth who it was; it must have been some passer by, some
wayfarer." And she was silent. Meanwhile, Zau al-Makan came to
himself and saw that the moon had reached the middle Heavens; the
breath of the dawn breeze[FN#310] breathed upon him and his heart
was moved to longing and sadness; so he cleared his throat and
was about to recite verses, when the Fire man asked him, "What
wilt thou do?" Answered Zau al-Makan, "I have a mind to repeat
somewhat of poetry, that I may quench therewith the fire of my
heart." Quoth the other, "Thou knowest not what befel me whilst
thou wast a faint, and how I escaped death only by beguiling the
Eunuch." "Tell me what happened," quoth Zau al-Makan. Replied
the Stoker, "Whilst thou wast aswoon there came up to me but now
an Eunuch, with a long staff of almond tree wood in his hand, who
took to looking in all the people's faces, as they lay asleep,
and asked me who it was recited the verses, finding none awake
but myself. I told him in reply it was some passerby, some
wayfarer; so he went away and Allah delivered me from him; else
had he killed me. But first he said to me, 'If thou hear him
again, bring him to us.'" When Zau al-Makan heard this he wept
and said, "Who is it would forbid me to recite? I will surely
recite, befal me what may; for I am near mine own land and care
for none." Rejoined the Fireman, "Thy design is naught save to
lose thy life;" and Zau al-Makan retorted, "Needs must I recite
verses." "Verily," said the Stoker, "needs must there be a
parting between me and thee in this place, albeit;I had intended
not to leave thee, till I had brought thee to thy native city and
reunited thee with thy mother and father. Thou hast now tarried
with me a year and a half and I have never harmed thee in aught.
What ails thee, then, that thou must needs recite verses, seeing
that we are tired out with walking and watching and all the folk
are asleep, for they require sleep to rest them of their
fatigue?" But Zau al-Makan answered, "I will not be turned away
from my purpose."[FN#311] Then grief moved him and he threw off
concealment and began repeating these couplets,

"Stand thou by the homes and hail the lords of the ruined stead;
* Cry thou for an answer, belike reply to thee shall be
If the night and absence irk thy spirit kindle a torch * Wi'
repine; and illuminate the gloom with a gleaming greed:
If the snake of the sand dunes hiss, I shall marvel not at all!
* Let him bite so I bite those beauteous lips of the
luscious red:
O Eden, my soul hath fled in despite of the maid I love: * Had I
lost hope of Heaven my heart in despair were dead."

And he also improvised the two following distichs,

"We were and were the days enthralled to all our wills, *
Dwelling in union sweet and homed in fairest site:
Who shall restore the home of the beloved, where showed * Light
of the Place for aye conjoined with Time's

And as he ceased his verses, he shrieked three shrieks and fell
senseless to the ground and the Fireman rose and covered him.
When Nuzhat al-Zaman heard the first improvisation, she called to
mind her father and her mother and her brother and their whilome
home; then she wept and cried at the Eunuch and said to him, "Woe
to thee! He who recited the first time hath recited a second
time and I heard him hard by. By Allah, an thou fetch him not to
me, I will assuredly rouse the Chamberlain on thee, and he shall
beat thee and cast thee out. But take these hundred diners and
give them to the singer and bring him to me gently, and do him no
hurt. If he refuse, hand to him this purse of a thousand diners,
then leave him and return to me and tell me, after thou hast
informed thyself of his place and his calling and what countryman
he is. Return quickly and linger not."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nuzhat al-
Zaman sent the Eunuch to make enquiries concerning the singer and
said, "Beware how thou come back to me and report, I could not
find him." So the Eunuch went out and laid about the people and
trod in their tents, but found none awake, all being asleep for
weariness, till he came to the Stoker and saw him sitting up,
with his head uncovered. So he drew near and seizing him by the
hand, said to him, "It was thou didst recite the verses!" The
Fireman was afeard for his life and replied, "No, by Allah, O
chief of the people, it was not I!" But the Eunuch said, "I will
not leave thee till thou show me who it was that recited the
verses, for I dread returning to my lady without him." Now when
the Fireman heard these words he feared for Zau al-Makan and wept
with exceeding weeping and said to the Eunuch, "By Allah, it was
not I, and I know him not. I only heard some passer by, some
wayfarer, recite verses: so do not thou commit sin on me, for I
am a stranger and come from the Holy City of Jerusalem; and
Abraham, the friend of Allah, be with you all." "Rise up and fare
with me," rejoined the Eunuch, "and tell my lady this with thine
own mouth, for I have seen none awake save thyself." Quoth the
Stoker, "Hast thou not come and seen me sitting in the place
where I now am, and dost thou not know my station? Thou wottest
none can stir from his place, except the watchman seize him. So
go thou to thy station and if thou again meet any one after this
hour reciting aught of poetry, whether he be near or far, it will
be I or some one I know, and thou shalt not learn of him but by
me." Then he kissed the Eunuch's head and spake him fair till he
went away; but the Castrato fetched a round and, returning
secretly, came and stood behind the Fireman, fearing to go back
to his mistress without tidings. As soon as he was gone, the
Stoker arose and aroused Zau al-Makan and said to him, "Come, sit
up, that I may tell thee what hath happened." So Zau al-Makan sat
up, and his companion told him what had passed, and he answered,
"Let me alone; I will take no heed of this and I care for none,
for I am mine own country."[FN#313] Quoth the Stoker, "Why wilt
thou obey thy flesh and the devil? If thou fear no one, I fear
for thee and for my life, so Allah upon thee! recite nothing
more of verses till thou come to thine own land. Indeed, I had
not deemed thee so ill conditioned. Dost thou not know that this
lady is the wife; of the Chamberlain and is minded to chastise
thee for disturbing her? Belike, she is ill or restless for
fatigue of the journey and the distance of the place from her
home, and this is the second time she hath sent the Eunuch to
look for thee." However Zau al-Makan paid no heed to the
Fireman's words but cried out a third time and began versifying
with these couplets,

"I fly the carper's injury,* Whose carping sorely vexeth me:
He chides and taunts me, wotting not * He burns me but more
The blamer cries 'He is consoled!' * I say, 'My own dear
land[FN#314] to see:'
They ask, 'Why be that land so dear?' * I say, 'It taught me in
love to be:'
They ask, 'What raised its dignity?' * I say, 'What made my
Whate'er the bitter cup I drain, * Far be fro' me that land to
Nor will I bow to those who blame, * And for such love would deal
me shame.

Hardly had he made an end of his verses and come to a conclusion,
when the Eunuch (who had heard him from his hiding place at his
head) came up to him; whereupon the Fireman flea end stood afar
off to see what passed between them. Then said the Eunuch to Zau
al-Makan, "Peace be with thee, O my lord!" "And on thee be
peace," replied Zau al-Makan, "and the mercy of Allah and His
blessings!" "O my lord," continued the Eunuch---And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Eunuch
said to Zau al-Makan, "O my lord, I have sought thee these
several times this night, for my mistress biddeth thee to her."
Quoth Zau al- Makan, "And who be this bitch that seeketh for me?
Allah curse her and curse her husband with her!"[FN#315] And he
began to revile the Eunuch, who could make him no answer, because
his mistress had charged him to do Zau al-Makan no hurt, nor
bring him save of his own especial free will; and, if he would
not accompany him, to give him the thousand diners. So the
Castrato began to speak him fair and say to him, "O my lord, take
this purse and go with me. We will do thee no upright, O my son,
nor wrong thee in aught; but our object is that thou bend thy
gracious steps with me to my mistress, to receive her answer and
return in weal and safety: and thou shalt have a handsome present
as one who bringeth good news." When Zau al- Makan heard this, he
arose and went with the Eunuch and walked among the sleeping
folk, stepping over them; whilst the Fireman followed after them
from afar, and kept his eye upon him and said to himself, "Alas
the pity of his youth! Tomorrow they will hang him." And he
ceased not following them till he approached their
station,[FN#316] without any observing him. Then he stood still
and said, "How base it will be of him, if he say it was I who
bade him recite the verses!" This was the case of the Stoker; but
as regards what befel Zau al-Makan, he ceased not walking with
the Eunuch till he reached his station and the Castrato went in
to Nuzhat al-Zaman and said, "O my lady, I have brought thee him
whom thou soughtest, and he is a youth, fair of face and bearing
the marks of wealth and gentle breeding." When she heard this,
her heart fluttered and she cried, "Let him recite some verses,
that I may hear him near hand, and after ask him his name and his
condition and his native land." Then the Eunuch went out to Zau
al-Makan and said to him, "Recite what verses thou knowest, for
my lady is here hard by, listening to thee, and after I will ask
thee of thy name and thy native country and thy condition."
Replied he, "With love and gladness but, an thou ask my name, it
is erased and my trace is unplaced and my body a waste. I have a
story, the beginning of which is not known nor can the end of it
be shown, and behold, I am even as one who hath exceeded in wine
drinking and who hath not spared himself; one who is afflicted
with distempers and who wandereth from his right mind, being
perplexed about his case and drowned in the sea of thought." When
Nuzhat al-Zaman heard this, she broke out into excessive weeping
and sobbing, and said to the Eunuch, "Ask him if he have parted
from one he loveth even as his mother or father." The Castrato
asked as she bade him, and Zau al-Makan replied, "Yes, I have
parted from every one I loved: but the dearest of all to me was
my sister, from whom Fate hath separated me." When Nuzhat al-
Zaman heard this, she exclaimed, "Allah Almighty reunite him with
what he loveth!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nuzhat
al-Zaman heard his words she said, "Allah reunite him with what
he loveth!" Then quoth she to the Eunuch, "Tell him to let me
hear somewhat anent his separation from his countrymen and his
country." The Eunuch did so, and Zau al-Makan sighed heavily and
began repeating these couplets,[FN#317]

"Is not her love a pledge by all mankind confest? * The house
that hometh Hinda be forever blest'
Her love all levels; man can reck of naught beside; * Naught or
before or after can for man have zest
'Tis though the vale is paved with musk and ambergris * That day
when Hinda's footstep on its face is prest:
Hail to the beauty of our camp, the pride of folk, * The dearling
who en' Slaves all hearts by her behest:
Allah on 'Time's Delight' send large dropped clouds that teem *
With genial rain but bear no thunder in their breast."

And also these,

"I vow to Allah if at home I sight * My sister Nuzhat al-Zamani
I'll pass the days in joyance and delight * Mid bashful minions,
maidens soft and white:
To sound of harps in various modes they smite * Draining the
bowl, while eyes rain lively light
'Neath half closed lids, a sipping lips red bright * By stream
bank flowing through my garden site."

When he had finished his verse, Nuzhat al-Zaman lifted up a skirt
of the litter curtain and looked at him. As soon as her eyes
fell on his face, she knew him for certain and cried out, "O my
brother! O Zau al-Makan!" He also looked at her and knew her and
cried out, "O my sister! O Nuzhat al-Zaman!" Then she threw
herself upon him and he gathered her to his bosom and the twain
fell down in a fainting fit. When the Eunuch saw this case, he
wondered at them and throwing over them somewhat to cover them,
waited till they should recover. After a while they came to
themselves, and Nuzhat al-Zaman rejoiced with exceeding joy:
oppression and depression left her and gladness took the mastery
of her, and she repeated these verses,

"Time sware my life should fare in woeful waste; * Forsworn art
Time, expiate thy sin in haste![FN#318]
Comes weal and comes a welcome friend to aid; * To him who brings
good news, rise, gird thy waist
I spurned old world tales of Eden bliss; * Till came I
Kausar[FN#319] on those lips

When Zau al-Makan heard this, he pressed his sister to his
breast; tears streamed from his eyes for excess of joy and he
repeated these couplets,[FN#320]

"Long I lamented that we fell apart, * While tears repentant
railed from these eyne;
And sware, if Time unite us twain once more, * 'Severance' shall
never sound from tongue of mine:
Joy hath so overwhelmed me that excess * Of pleasure from mine
eyes draws gouts of brine:
Tears, O mine eyes, have now become your wont * Ye weep for
pleasure and you weep for pine!"

They sat awhile at the litter door till she said to him, "Come
with me into the litter and tell me all that hath befallen thee,
and I will tell thee what happened to me." So they entered and
Zau al-Maken said, "Do thou begin thy tale." Accordingly she told
him all that had come to her since their separation at the Khan
and what had happened to her with the Badawi; how the merchant
had bought her of him and had taken her to her brother Sharrkan
and had sold her to him; how he had freed her at the time of
buying; how he had made a marriage contract with her and had gone
in to her and how the King, their sire, had sent and asked for
her from Sharrkan. Then quoth she, "Praised be Allah who hath
vouchsafed thee to me and ordained that, even as we left our
father together, so together shall we return to him!" And she
added, "Of a truth my brother Sharrkan gave me in marriage to
this Chamberlain that he might carry me to my father. And this
is what befel me from first to last; so now tell me how it hath
fared with thee since I left thee." Thereupon he told her all
that had happened to him from beginning to end; and how Allah
vouchsafed to send the Fireman to him, and how he had journeyed
with him and spent his money on him and had served him night and
day. She praised the Stoker for this and Zau al-Makan added, "Of
a truth, O my sister, this Fireman hath dealt with me in such
benevolent wise as would not lover with lass nor sire with son,
for that he fasted and gave me to eat, and he walked whilst he
made me ride; and I owe my life to him." Said she, "Allah
willing, we will requite him for all this, according to our
power." Then she called the Eunuch, who came and kissed Zau al-
Makan's hand, and she said, "Take thy reward for glad tidings, O
face of good omen! It was thy hand reunited me with my brother;
so the purse I gave thee and all in it are thine. But now go to
thy master and bring him quickly to me." The Castrato rejoiced
and, going in to the Chamberlain, him to his mistress.
Accordingly, he came in to his wife and finding Zau al-Makan with
her, asked who he was. So she told him all that had befallen
them both, first and last, and added, "Know, O Chamberlain, that
thou hast married no slave girl; far from it, thou hast taken to
wife the daughter of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman for I am Nuzhat al-
Zaman, and this is my brother, Zau al-Makan." When the
Chamberlain heard the story he knew it to be sooth, and its
manifest truth appeared to him and he was certified that he was
become King Omar bin al-Nu'uman's son in law, so he said to
himself, " 'Twill be my fate to be made viceroy of some
province."[FN#321] Then he went up to Zau al-Makan and gave him
joy of his safety and reunion with his sister, and bade his
servants forthwith make him ready a tent and one of the best of
his own horses to ride. Thereupon said Nuzhat al-Zaman, "We are
now near our country and I would be left alone with my brother,
that we may enjoy each other's company and take our fill of it
ere we reach Baghdad; for we have been parted a long, long time."
"Be it as thou biddest," replied the Chamberlain, and, going
forth from them, sent them wax candles and various kinds of
sweetmeats, together with three suits of the costliest for Zau
al-Makan. Then he returned to the litter and related the good he
had done and Nuzhat al-Zaman said to him, "Bid the Eunuch bring
me the Fireman and give him a horse to ride and ration him with a
tray of food morning and evening, and let him be forbidden to
leave us." The Chamberlain called the Castrato and charged him to
do accordingly; so he replied, "I hear and I obey;" and he took
his pages with him and went out in search of the Stoker till he
found him in the rear of the caravan, girthing his ass and
preparing for flight. The tears were running adown his cheeks,
out of fear for his life and grief for his separation from Zau
al-Makan; and he was saying to himself, "Indeed, I warned him for
the love of Allah, but he would not listen to me; Oh would I knew
what is become of him!" Ere he had done speaking the Eunuch was
standing by his head whilst the pages surrounded him The Fireman
turned and seeing the Eunuch and the pages gathered around him
became yellow with fear,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Stoker girthed his ass for flight and bespake himself, saying,
"Oh would I knew what is become of him!"; ere he had done
speaking the Castrato was standing by his head and his side
muscles quivered for fear and he lifted up his voice and cried,
"Verily he knoweth not the value of the good offices I have done
him! I believe he hath denounced me to the Eunuch (hence these
pages et about me) and he hath made me an accomplice in his
crime." Then the effeminated one cried at him, saying, "Who was
it recited the verses? O liar! why didst thou say, 'I never
repeated these couplets, nor do I know who repeated them;' when
it was thy companion? But now I will not leave thee between this
place and Baghdad, and what betideth thy comrade shall betide
thee." Quoth the Fireman, "What I feared hath befallen me." And
he repeated this couplet,

"'Twas as I feared the coming ills discerning: * But unto Allah
we are all returning."

Then the Eunuch cried upon the pages, saying, "Take him off the
ass." So they carried him along with the caravan, surrounded by
the pages, as the white contains the black of the eye; and the
Castrato said to them, "If a hair of him be lost, you will be
lost with it." And he bade them privily treat him with honour and
not humiliate him. But when the Stoker saw himself beset by the
pages, he despaired of his life and turning to the Eunuch, said
to him, "O Chief, I am neither this youth's brother nor am I akin
to him, nor is he sib to me; but I was a Fireman in a Hammam and
found him cast out, in his sickness, on the dung heap." Then the
caravan fared on and the Stoker wept and imagined in himself a
thousand things, whilst the Eunuch walked by his side and told
him nothing, but said to him, "Thou disturbedst our mistress by
reciting verses, thou and this youth: but fear nothing for thy
self;" and kept laughing at him the while to himself. Whenever
the caravan halted, they served him with food, and he and the
Castrato ate from one dish.[FN#322] Then the Eunuch bade his lads
bring a gugglet of sugared sherbet and, after drinking himself,
gave it to the Fireman, who drank; but all the while his tears
never dried, out of fear for his life and grief for his
separation from Zau al-Makan and for what had befallen them in
their strangerhood. So they both travelled on with the caravan,
whilst the Chamberlain now rode by the door of his wife's litter,
in attendance on Zau al-Makan and his sister, and now gave an eye
to the Fireman; and Nuzhat al-Zaman and her brother occupied
themselves with converse and mutual condolence; and they ceased
not after this fashion till they came within three days' journey
from Baghdad. Here they alighted at eventide and rested till the
morning morrowed; and as they awoke and they were about to load
the beasts, behold, there appeared afar off a great cloud of dust
that darkened the firmament till it became black as gloomiest
night.[FN#323] Thereupon the Chamberlain cried out to them,
"Stay, and your loading delay!"; then, mounting with his
Mamelukes, rode forward in the direction of the dust cloud. When
they drew near, suddenly appeared under it a numerous conquering
host like the full tide sea, with flags and standards, drums and
kettledrums, horsemen and footmen. The Chamberlain marvelled at
this; and when the troops saw him, there detached itself from
amongst them a plump of five hundred cavaliers, who fell upon him
and his suite and surrounded them, five for one; whereupon said
he to them, "What is the matter and what are these troops, that
ye do this with us?" Asked they, "Who art thou; and whence comest
thou, and whither art thou bound?" and he answered, "I am the
Chamberlain of the Emir of Damascus, King Sharrkan, son of Omar
bin al-Nu'uman, Lord of Baghdad and of the land of Khorasan, and
I bring tribute and presents from him to his father in Baghdad."
When the horsemen heard his words they let their head kerchiefs
fall over their faces and wept, saying, "In very sooth King Omar
is dead and he died not but of poison. So fare ye forwards; no
harm shall befal you till you join his Grand Wazir, Dandan." Now
when the Chamberlain heard this, he wept sore and exclaimed, "Oh
for our disappointment in this our journey!" Then he and all his
suite wept till they had come up with the host and sought access
to the Wazir Dandan, who granted an interview and called a halt
and, causing his pavilion to be pitched, sat down on a couch
therein and commanded to admit the Chamberlain. Then he bade him
be seated and questioned him; and he replied that he was
Chamberlain to the Emir of Damascus and was bound to King Omar
with presents and the tribute of Syria. The Wazir, hearing the
mention of King Omar's name, wept and said, "King Omar is dead by
poison, and upon his dying the folk fell out amongst themselves
as to who should succeed him, until they were like to slay one
another on this account; but the notables and grandees and the
four Kazis interposed and all the people agreed to refer the
matter to the decision of the four judges and that none should
gainsay them. So it was agreed that we go to Damascus and fetch
thence the King's son, Sharrkan, and make him Sultan over his
father's realm. And amongst them were some who would have chosen
the cadet, Zau Al-Makan, for, quoth they, his name be Light of
the Place, and he hath a sister Nuzhat al-Zaman highs, the
Delight of the Time; but they set out five years ago for Al-Hijaz
and none wotteth what is become of them." When the Chamberlain
heard this, he knew; that his wife had told him the truth of her
adventures; and he grieved with sore grief for the death of King
Omar, albeit he joyed with exceeding joy, especially at the
arrival of Zau al-Makan, for that he would now become Sultan of
Baghdad in his father's stead--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Sharrkan's Chamberlain heard of the death of King Omar bin al-
Nu'uman he mourned, but he rejoiced because of his wife and her
brother Zau al-Makan who would become Sultan of Baghdad in his
father's stead. So he turned to the Wazir Dandan and said to
him, "Verily your tale is a wonder of wonders! Know, O Chief
Wazir, that here, where you have encountered me, Allah hath given
you rest from fatigue and bringeth you your desire after the
easiest of fashions, for that His Almighty Will restoreth to you
Zau al-Makan and his sister Nuzhat al-Zaman; whereby we will
settle the matter as we easily can." When the Minister heard
these words he rejoiced with great joy and said, "O Chamberlain,
tell me the tale of the twain and what befel them and the cause
of their long absence." So he repeated to him the whole story and
told him that Nuzhat al-Zaman was his wife and related to him the
adventures of Zau al-Makan from first to last. As soon as he had
ended his tale, the Wazir sent for the Emirs and Wazirs and Chief
Officers and acquainted them with the matter; whereat they
rejoiced with great joy and wondered at the happy chance. Then
they gathered in a body and went in to the Chamberlain and did
their service to him, kissing the ground between his hands; and
the Wazir Dandan also rose and went out to meet him and stood
before him in honour. After this, the Chamberlain held on that
day a Divan council; and he and the Wazir sat upon a throne,
whilst all the Emirs and Grandees and Officers of State took
their places before them, according to their several
ranks.[FN#324] Then they melted sugar in rose water and drank,
after which the Emirs sat down to hold council and permitted the
rest of the host to mount and ride forward leisurely, till they
should make an end of their debate and overtake them. So the
officers kissed the ground between their hands and mounting, rode
onwards, preceded by the standards of war. When the grandees had
finished their conference, they took horse and rejoined the host;
and the Chamberlain approached the Wazir Dandan and said, "I deem
it well to ride on before you, and precede you, that I may get
ready a place for the Sultan and notify him of your coming and of
your choosing him as Sultan over the head of his brother
Sharrkan." "Aright thou reckest," answered the Wazir Then the
Chamberlain rose up in haste and Dandan also stood up to do him
honour and brought him presents, which he conjured him to accept.
In similar guise did all the Emirs and Grandees and Officers of
State, bringing him gifts and calling down blessings on him and
saying to him, "Haply thou wilt mention our case to Sultan Zau
al-Makan and speak to him to continue us in our
dignities."[FN#325] The Chamberlain promised all they required
and bade his pages be ready to march, whereupon the Wazir Dandan
sent with him tents and bade the tent pitchers set them up at a
day's journey from the city. And they did his bidding. Then the
Chamberlain mounted and rode forward, full of joy and saying to
himself, "How blessed is this gurney!", and indeed his wife was
exalted in his eyes, she and her brother Zau al-Makan. They made
all haste over their wayfare, till they reached a place distant a
day's journey from Baghdad, where the Chamberlain called a halt
for rest, and bade his men alight and make ready a sitting place
for the Sultan Zau al-Makan, son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman,
while he rode forward with his Mamelukes and, alighting at a
distance from Nuzhat al-Zaman's litter, commanded the eunuchs to
ask leave of admission to the presence. They did so and she gave
permission; whereupon he went in to her and conversed with her
and her brother; and told them of the death of their father; and
of Zau al-Makan, how the heads of the people had made him King
over them in the stead of his sire; and he gave them joy of the
kingdom. They both wept for their father and asked the manner of
his being killed; but the Chamberlain answered, "The news rests
with the Wazir Dandan who will be here tomorrow leading all the
host; and it only remaineth for thee, O King, to do what they
counsel, since they have unanimously chosen thee Sultan; for if
thou do not this, they will choose some one else and thou canst
not be sure of thy life with another Sultan. Haply he will kill
thee, or discord may befal between you twain and the kingdom pass
out of the hands of both." Zau al-Makan bowed his head awhile and
then said, "I accept this position;" for indeed there was no
refusing; and he was certified that the Chamberlain had
counselled him well and wisely and set him on the right way.
Then he added, "O my uncle, how shall I do with my brother
Sharrkan?" "O my son," replied the Chamberlain, "thy brother will
be Sultan of Damascus and thou Sultan of Baghdad; so take heart
of grace and get ready thy case." Zau al-Makan accepted this and
the Chamberlain presented him with a suit of royal raiment and a
dagger[FN#326] of state, which the Wazir Dandan had brought with
him; then leaving him he bade the tent pitchers choose a spot of
rising ground and set up thereon a spacious pavilion, wherein the
Sultan might sit to receive the Emirs and Grandees. Moreover he
ordered the kitcheners to cook rich viands and serve them and he
commanded the water carriers to dispose the water troughs. They
did as he bade them and presently arose a cloud of dust from the
ground and spread till it walled the horizon round. After
awhile, the dust dispersed and there appeared under it the army
of Baghdad and Khorasan, a conquering host like the full tide
sea.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Chamberlain bade the tent pitchers set up a pavilion spacious
enough to receive the subjects flocking to their Sultan, they
planted a splendid Shahmiyanah[FN#327] befitting Kings. And as
they ended their labours behold, a dust cloud spired aloft and
the breeze made it lift and beneath it showed a conquering host;
and presently it appeared that this was the army of Baghdad and
Khorasan preceded by the Wazir Dandan. And in it all rejoiced at
the accession of the "Light of the Place." Now Zau al-Makan had
donned robes of royal estate and girt himself with the sword of
state: so the Chamberlain brought him a steed and he mounted
surrounded by the Mamelukes and all the company from the tents on
foot, to do him service, and he rode on until he came to the
great pavilion, where he sat down and he laid the royal dagger
across his thighs, whilst the Chamberlain stood in attendance on
him and his armed slaves stationed themselves under the entrance
awning of the Shahmiyanah, with drawn swords in their hands.
Presently, up came the troops and the host and craved admission
so the Chamberlain went in to Zau al-Makan and asked his leave
whereupon he bade admit them, ten by ten. The Chamberlain
acquainted them with the King's commands, to which they replied,
"We hear and we obey;" and all drew up before the pavilion
entrance. Then he took ten of them and carried them through the
vestibule into the presence of Sultan Zau al-Makan, whom when
they saw, they were awed; but he received them with most gracious
kindness and promised them all good. So they gave him joy of his
safe return and invoked Allah's blessings upon him after which
they took the oath of fealty never to gainsay him in aught and
they kissed ground before him and withdrew. Then other ten
entered and he entreated them as he had entreated the ethers; and
they ceased not to enter, ten by ten, till none was left but the
Wazir Dandan. Lastly the Minister went in and kissed the ground
before Zau al-Makan, who rose to meet him, saying, "Welcome, O
Wazir and sire sans peer! Verily, thine acts are those of a
counsellor right dear, and judgement and foreseeing clear are in
the hands of the Subtle of Lere." Then bade he the Chamberlain
forthwith go out and cause the tables to be spread and order all
the troops thereto. So they came and ate and drank. Moreover
the Sultan commanded his Wazir Dandan call a ten days' halt of
the army, that he might be private with him and learn from him
how and wherefore his father had been slain. The Wazir obeyed
the commands of the Sultan with submission and wished him
eternity of glory and said, "This needs must be!" He then
repaired to the heart of the encampment and ordered the host to
halt ten days. They did as he bade them and, moreover, he gave
them leave to divert themselves and ordered that none of the
lords in waiting should attend upon the King for service during
the space of three days. Then the Wazir went to the Sultan and
reported all to him, and Zau al-Makan waited until nightfall,
when he went in to his sister Nuzhat al-Zaman and asked her,
"Dost thou know the cause of my father's murder or not?" "I have
no knowledge of the cause," she answered, and drew a silken
curtain before herself, whilst Zau al-Makan seated himself
without the curtain and commanded the Wazir to the presence and,
when he came, said to him, "I desire thou relate to me in detail
the cause of the killing of my sire, King Omar bin al-Nu'uman!"
"Know then, O King," replied Dandan, "that King Omar bin al-
Nu'uman, when he returned to Baghdad from his chasing and hunting
and entered the city, enquired for thee and thy sister, but could
not find you and knew that you twain had gone on the Pilgrimage;
whereat he was greatly grieved and much angered, and his breast
was straitened and he abode thus half a year, seeking news of you
from all who came and went but none could give him any tidings.
Now while we were in attendance upon him one day, after a whole
year had sped since ye were lost to his sight, lo! there came to
us an ancient dame with signs of being a devotee, accompanied by
five damsels, high bosomed virgins like moons, endowed with such
beauty and loveliness as tongue faileth to describe; and, to
crown their perfections of comeliness, they could read the Koran
and were versed in various kinds of learning and in the histories
of bygone peoples. Then that old woman sought audience of the
King, and he bade admit her; whereupon she entered the presence
and kissed the ground between his hands. I was then sitting by
his side and he, seeing in her the signs of asceticism and
devoutness, made her draw near and take seat hard by him. And
when she had sat down she addressed him and said, 'Know, O King,
that with me are five damsels, whose like no King among the Kings
possesseth; for they are endowed with wit and beauty and
loveliness and perfection. They read the Koran--and the
Traditions and are skilled in all manner of learning and in the
history of bygone races. They stand here between thy hands to do
thee service, O King of the Age, and it is by trial that folk are
prized or despised. 'Thy father, who hath found mercy;[FN#328]
looked at the damsels and their favour pleased him; so he said to
them, Let each and every of you make me hear something of what
she knoweth anent the history of the folk of yore and of peoples
long gone before!'--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan said unto King Zau al-Makan, "Thy father, who hath found
mercy, glanced at the damsels and their favour pleased him and he
said to them, 'Let each and every of you make me hear something
of what she knoweth anent the history of the folk of yore and of
peoples long gone before!' Thereupon one of them came forward
and, kissing the ground before him, spake as follows[FN#329]
'Know, O King, that it behoveth one of good breeding to eschew
impertinence and adorn himself with excellencies, and observe the
Divine injunctions and avoid mortal sins; and to this he should
apply himself with the assiduity of one who, if he stray
therefrom, falleth into perdition; for the foundation of good
breeding is virtuous behaviour. And know that the chief cause
and reason of man's existence is the endeavour after life
everlasting, and the right way thereto is the service of Allah.
Wherefore it behoveth thee to deal beneficently with the people:
and swerve not from this canon, for the mightier men are in
dignity, the more their need of prudence and foresight; and
indeed Monarchs need this more than the many, for the general
cast themselves into affairs, without taking thought to the issue
thereof. Be thou prodigal of thy life and thy good in the way of
Allah, and know that, if an enemy dispute with thee, thou mayst
dispute with him and refute him with proofs and be proof against
him; but as for thy friend, there is none can judge between thee
and him save righteousness and fair dealing. Choose, therefore,
thy friend for thyself, after thou hast proved him. If he be of
the brotherhood of futurity,[FN#330] let him be zealous in
observing the externals of the Holy Law and versed in its inner
meaning, as far as may be; and if he be of the brotherhood of the
world, let him be free born, sincere, neither a fool nor a
perverse, for the fool man is such that even his parents might
well flee from him, and a liar cannot be a true friend. Indeed
the word, Siddik[FN#331] ('friend') deriveth from Sidk ('truth')
that welleth up from the bottom of the heart; and how can this be
the case, when falsehood is manifest upon the tongue? And know,
that the observance of the Law profiteth him who practiseth it:
so love thy brother, if he be of this quality and do not cast him
off, even if thou see in him that which irketh thee, for a friend
is not I like a wife, whom one can divorce and re-marry: nay, his
heart is like glass: once broken, it may not be mended. And
Allah bless him who saith,

'Ware how thou hurtest man with hurt of heart; * 'Tis hard to win
thee back the heart offended:
For hearts indeed, whence love is alien made, * Like broken glass
may nevermore be mended.'

The maiden continued and concluded with pointing out to us what
sages say, 'The best of brethren is he who is the most constant
in good counsel; the best of action is that which is fairest in
its consequence, and the best of praise is not that which is in
the mouths of men. It is also said, 'It behoveth not the servant
to neglect thanking Allah especially for two favours, health and
reason.' Again it is said, 'Whoso honoureth himself, his lust is
a light matter to him, and he who maketh much of his small
troubles, Allah afflicteth him with the greater; he who obeyeth
his own inclination neglecteth his duties and he who listeneth to
the slanderer loseth the true friend. He who thinketh well of
thee, do thou fulfill his thought of thee. He who exceedeth in
contention sinneth, and he who against upright standeth not on
ward, is not safe from the sword. Now will I tell thee somewhat
of the duties of Kazis and judges. Know, O King, that no
judgement serveth the cause of justice save it be given after
proof positive, and it behoveth the judge to treat all people on
the same level, to the intent that the great may not hunger for
oppression nor the small despair of justice. Furthermore he
should extract proof from the complainant and impose an oath upon
the defendant; and mediation is admissible between Moslems,
except it be a compromise sanctioning the unlawful or forbidding
the lawful.[FN#332] If thou shalt have done aught during the day,
of which thy reason is doubtful but thy good intention is proved,
thou (O Kazi) shouldst revert to the right, for to do justice is
a religious obligation and to return to that which is right is
better than persistence in wrong. Then (O judge) thou shouldest
study precedents and the law of the case and do equal justice
between the suitors, withal fixing thine eyes upon the truth and
committing thine affair to Allah (be He extolled and exalted!).
And require thou proof of the complainant, and if he adduce
evidence let him have due benefit of it; and if not, put the
defendant to his oath; for this is the ordinance of Allah.
Receive thou the testimony of competent Moslem witnesses, one
against other, for Almighty Allah hath commanded judges to judge
by externals, He Himself taking charge of the inner and secret
things. It behoveth the judge also to avoid giving judge meet,
whilst suffering from stress of pain or hunger,[FN#333] and that
in his decisions between folk he seek the face of Allah Almighty
for he whose intent is pure and who is at peace with himself,
Allah shall guarantee him against what is between him and the
people.' Quoth al-Zuhri,[FN#334] 'There are three things for
which, if they be found in a Kazi, he should be deposed; namely,
if he honour the base, if he love praise and if he fear
dismissal. And Omar bin Abd al-Aziz once deposed a Kazi, who
asked him, 'Why hast thou dismissed me? It hath reached me,'
answered Omar, 'that thy converse is greater than thy condition.'
It is said also that Iskandar[FN#335] said to his Kazi, 'I have
invested thee with this function and committed to thee in it my
soul and mine honour and my manliness; so do thou guard it with
thy sense and thine understanding.' To his Cook he said, 'Thou
art the Sultan of my body; so look thou tender it as thine own
self.' To his Secretary he said, 'Thou art the controller of my
wit: so do thou watch over me in what thou writest for me and
from me.'" Thereupon the first damsel backed out from the
presence and a second damsel came forward.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Wazir Dandan said to Zau al-Makan, "Thereupon the first damsel
backed out from the presence and a second damsel came forward
and, kissing the ground seven times before the King thy father,
spake as follows, 'The sage Lukman[FN#336] said to his son,
'There be three who are known only in three several cases; the
merciful man is unknown save in time of wrath, the brave only in
battle, and thy friend in time of need.' It is said that the
oppressor shall be depress though by people praised, and that the
oppress is at rest though by people blamed. Quoth Allah
Almighty,[FN#337] 'Assuredly deem not that those who rejoice in
what they have done, and who love to be praised for what they
have not done, shall escape reckoning of punishment: indeed there
is reserved for them a grievous penalty.' And he said[FN#338] (on
whom be salvation and salutation!), 'Works are according to
intention and to each man is attributed that which he intendeth.'
He said also, 'In the body is a part which being sound the rest
is sound, and which being unsound the whole is unsound.' And this
is the heart. Now this heart is the most marvellous of what is
in man, since it is that which ordereth his whole affair: If
covetise stir in it, desire destroyeth him, and if affliction
master it, anguish slayeth him; if anger rage in it, danger is
hard upon him; if it be blest with contentment, he is safe from
discontent; if fear surprise it, he is full of mourning; and if
calamity overtake it, affliction betideth him. If a man gain the
use of wealth, peradventure he is diverted thereby from the
remembrance of his Lord; if poverty choke him his heart is
distracted by woe, or if disquietude waste his heart, weakness
causeth him to fall. Thus, in any case, nothing profiteth him
but that he be mindful of Allah and occupy himself with gaining
his livelihood in this world and securing his place in the next.
It was asked of a certain sage, 'Who is the most ill conditioned
of men?'; and he answered, 'The man whose lusts master his
manhood and whose mind soareth over high, so that his knowledge
dispreadeth and his excuse diminisheth; and how excellently saith
the poet,

Freest am I of all mankind fro' meddling wight * Who, seeing
others err, self error ne'er can sight:
Riches and talents are but loans to creature lent, * Each wears
the cloak of that he bears in breast and sprite:
If by mistaken door attempt on aught thou make, * Thou shalt go
wrong and if the door be right, go right!'

Continued the maiden, 'As for anecdotes of devotees, quoth Hisham
bin Bashar, 'I asked Omar bin Ubayd, What is true piety?'; and he
answered, 'The Apostle of Allah (to whom be salutation and
salvation!) hath explained it when he sayeth, The pious is he who
forgetteth not the grave nor calamity and who preferreth that
which endureth to that which passeth away; who counteth not the
morrow as of his days but reckoneth himself among the dead.' And
it is related that Abu Zarr[FN#339] used to say, Want is dearer
to me than wealth, and unheal is dearer to me than health.' Quoth
one of the listeners, 'May Allah have mercy on Abu Zarr!'. For
my part, I say, 'Whoso putteth his trust in the goodness of the
election of Almighty Allah should be content with that condition
which Allah hath chosen for him.' Quoth one of the Companions of
the Prophet, 'Ibn Abi Aufa[FN#340] once prayed with us the dawn
prayer. When he had done, he recited, 'O Thou
Enwrapped!'[FN#341] till he came to where Allah saith, 'When
there shall be a trumping on the trumpet,' and fell down dead.
It is said that Sabit al-Banani wept till he well nigh lost his
eyes. They brought him a man to medicine him who said to him, 'I
will cure thee, provided thou obey my bidding' Asked Sabit, 'In
what matter?' Quoth the leach, 'In that thou leave weeping!'
'What is the worth of mine eyes?', rejoined Sabit, 'if they do
not weep?' Quoth a man to Mohammed bin Abdillah, 'Exhort thou
me!'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-first Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Wazir Dandan said to Zau al-Makan, "Thus spake the second hand
maid to the King who hath found mercy, Omar bin al-Nu'uman.
'Quoth a man to Mohammed bin Abdillah, Exhort thou me!' 'I exhort
thee,' replied he, 'to be a self ruler, an abstainer in this
world, and in the next a greedy slave.' 'How so?' asked the other
and Mohammed answered, 'The abstinent man in this world
conquereth both the world that is and the world to come.' And
quoth Ghaus bin Abdillah, 'There were two brothers among the sons
of Israel, one of whom said to the other, 'What be the most
perilous[FN#342] thing thou hast done?' Replied the brother, 'I
once came upon a nest of young birds; so I took out one and threw
it back into the nest; but among the chickens were some which
drew apart from it. This is the most perilous thing I ever did;
now what be the most perilous thing thou hast ever done?' He
rejoined, 'When I arise for prayer I am fearful that it is only
for the sake of the reward.' Now their father heard these words
and exclaimed, 'O Allah, an say they sooth take them to Thyself!'
It was declared by one of the wise men, 'Verily, these were of
the most virtuous of children.' Quoth Sa'id bin Jubayr,[FN#343]
'I was once in company with Fuzalah bin 'Ubaydand said to him,
'Exhort thou me!, Replied he, 'Bear in mind these two
necessaries, Shun syntheism[FN#344] and harm not any of Allah's
creatures.' And he repeated these two couplets,

'Be as thou wilt, for Allah still is bounteous Lord, * And care
dispeller dread not therefore bane and ban
To two things only never draw thee nigh, nor give * Partner to
Allah trouble to thy brother man.'

And how well saith the poet,

'An thou of pious works a store neglect * And after death meet
one who did collect,
Thou shalt repent thou diddest not as he, * Nor madest ready as
he did elect.'

Then the third damsel came forward, after the second had with
drawn, and said, 'Of a truth, the chapter of piety is exceeding
wide; but I will mention what occurreth to me thereof, concerning
the pious of old. Quoth a certain holy man, 'I congratulate
myself in death, though I am not assured of rest therein, save
that I know death interveneth between a man and his works; so I
hope for the doubling of good works and the docking off of ill
works.' And Ita'a al Salami, when he had made an end of an
exhortation, was wont to tremble and grieve and weep sore; and as
they asked him why he did this he answered, 'I desire to enter
upon a grave matter, and it is the standing up before Almighty
Allah to do in accordance with my exhortation.' In similar guise
Zayn al-Abidin,[FN#345] son of Al-Husayn, was wont to tremble
when he rose to pray. Being asked the cause of this, he replied,
'Know ye not before whom I stand and whom I address?' It is said
that there lived near Sufyan al-Thauri[FN#346] a blind man who,
when the month of Ramazan came, went out with the folk to
pray,[FN#347] but remained silent and hung back. Said Sufyan,
'On the Day of Resurrection he shall come with the people of the
Koran and they will be distinguished by increase of honour from
their fellows.' Quoth Sufyan, 'Were the soul established in the
heart as befitteth, it would fly away for joy and pining for
Paradise, and for grief and fear of hell-fire.' It is related
also of Sufyan Al-Thauri that he said, 'To look upon the face of
a tyrant is a sin.' Then the third damsel retired and came for
ward the fourth, who said, 'Here am I to treat of sundry
traditions of pious men which suggest themselves to me. It is
related that Bishr Barefoot[FN#348] said, 'I once heard Khalid
say, 'Beware of secret polytheism.' I asked, 'What may secret
polytheism be?'; and he answered, 'When one of you in praying
prolong his inclinations and prostrations till a cause of
impurity[FN#349] come upon him.' And one of the sages said,
'Doing works of weal expiateth what is ill.' Quoth
Ibrahim,[FN#350] 'I supplicated Bishr Barefoot to acquaint me
with some theological mysteries; but he said, 'O my son, this
knowledge it behoveth us not to teach to every one; of every
hundred five, even as the legal alms upon money.' Said Ibrahim,
'I thought his reply excellent and approved of it and while I was
praying behold, Bishr was also praying: so I stood behind
him[FN#351] making the prayer bow till the Mu'ezzin called his
call. Then rose a man of tattered appearance and said, O folk,
beware of a truth which bringeth unweal, for there is no harm in
a lie bringing weal,[FN#352] and in time of need no choice we
heed: speech booteth not in the absence of good qualities even as
silence hurteth not in the presence of good. Presently I saw
Bishr drop a danik,[FN#353] so I picked it up and exchanged it
for a dirham which I gave him. Quoth he, 'I will not take it.'
Quoth I, 'It is perfectly lawful change'; but he rejoined 'I
cannot take in exchange the riches of the present world for those
of the future world.' It is related also that Bishr Barefoot's
sister once went to Ahmad bin Hanbal"[FN#354]--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to bespeak Zau al-Makan on this wise, "And quoth
the maiden to thy father, 'Bishr Barefoot's sister once went to
Ahmad bin Hanbal and said to him, 'O Imam of the Faith, we are a
family that spin thread by night and work for our living by day;
and oftentimes the cressets of the watch of Baghdad pass by and
we on the roof spinning by their light. Is this forbidden to
us?' Asked Ahmad:'Who are thou?' 'I am the sister of Bishr
Barefoot,' answered she. Rejoined the Iman, 'O household of
Bishr, I shall never cease to drink full draughts of piety from
your hearts.' Quoth one of the sages, 'When Allah willeth well to
His servant He openeth upon him the gate of action.' Malik bin
Dinar,[FN#355] when he passed through the bazar and saw aught he
desired, was wont to say, 'O soul, take patience, for I will not
accord to thee what thou desirest.' He said also (Allah accept
him!), 'The salvation of the soul lies in resistance to it and
its damnation in submission to it.' Quoth Mansur bin
Ammar,[FN#356] 'I made a pilgrimage and was faring Meccahwards by
way of Cufa, and the night was overcast, when I heard a voice
crying out from the deeps of the darkness saying, 'O Allah, I
swear by Thy Greatness and Thy Glory, I meant not through my
disobedience to transgress against Thee; for indeed I am not
ignorant of Thee; but my fault is one Thou didst foreordain to me
from eternity without beginning;[FN#357] so do Thou pardon my
transgression, for indeed I disobeyed Thee of my ignorance!' When
he had made an end of his prayer he recited aloud the verse, 'O
true believers, save your souls and those of your families from
the fire whose fuel is men and stones.'[FN#358] Then I heard a
fall, but not knowing what it was I passed on. When the morning
morrowed, as we went our way, behold, we fell in with a funeral
train, followed by an old woman whose strength had left her. I
asked her of the dead, and she answered, 'This is the funeral of
a man who passed by us yesterday whilst my son was standing at
prayer and after his prayers he recited a verse from the Book of
Allah Almighty when the man's gall bladder burst and he fell
dead.' Therewith the fourth damsel retired and the fifth came
forward and said, 'I here will also repeat what occurreth to me
regarding the acts of devotees in olden time. Maslamah bin Dinar
used to say, 'By making sound the secret thoughts, sins great and
small are covered'; and, 'when the servant of Allah is resolved
to leave sinning, victory cometh to him.' Also quoth he, 'Every
worldly good which doth not draw one nearer to Allah is a
calamity, for a little of this world distracteth from a mickle of
the world to come and a mickle of the present maketh thee forget
the whole of the future.' It was asked of Abu Hazim,[FN#359] 'Who
is the most prosperous of men?'; and he answered, 'Whoso spendeth
his life in submission to Allah.' The other enquired, 'And who is
the most foolish of mankind?' 'Whoso selleth his future for the
worldly goods of others,' replied Abu Hazim. It is reported of
Moses[FN#360] (on whom be peace!) that when he came to the waters
of Midian he exclaimed, 'O Lord, verily I stand in need of the
good which thou shalt send down to me.'[FN#361] And he asked of
his Lord and not of his folk. There came two damsels and he drew
water for them both and allowed not the shepherds to draw first.
When the twain returned, they informed their father Shu'ayb (on
whom be peace!) who said, 'Haply, he is hungry,' adding to one of
them, 'Go back to him and bid him hither.' Now when she came to
Moses, she veiled her face and said, 'My father biddeth thee to
him that he may pay thee thy wage for having drawn water for us.'
Moses was averse to this and was not willing to follow her. Now
she was a woman large in the back parts, and the wind blowing
upon her garment[FN#362] covered the hinder cheeks to Moses;
which when Moses saw, he lowered his eyes and said to her, 'Get
thee behind while I walk in front.' So she followed him till he
entered the house of Shu'ayb where supper was ready."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan, "Now, quoth the fifth damsel to
thy sire, 'When Moses (on whom be peace!) entered the home of
Shu'ayb where supper was ready, Shu'ayb said to him, 'O Moses, I
desire to pay thee thy wage for having drawn water for these
two.' But Moses answered, 'I am of a household which selleth
nothing of the fashion of the next world[FN#363] for what is on
earth of gold and silver.' Then quoth Shu'ayb, 'O youth!
nevertheless thou art my guest, and it is my wont and that of my
forbears to honour the guest by setting food before him.' So
Moses sat down and ate. Then Shu'ayb hired Moses for eight
pilgrimages, that is to say, eight years, and made his wage
marriage with one of his two daughters, and Moses' service to him
was to stand for her dowry. As saith the Holy Writ of him,
'Verily I will give thee one of these my two daughters in
marriage, on condition that thou serve me for hire eight
pilgrimages: and if thou fulfil ten years, it is in thine own
breast; for I seek not to impose a hardship on thee.'[FN#364] A
certain man once said to one of his friends whom he had not met
for many days, 'Thou hast made me desolate, for that I have not
seen thee this long while.' Quoth the other, 'I have been
distracted from thee by Ibn Shihab: dost thou know him?' Quoth
his friend, 'Yes, he hath been my neighbour these thirty years,
but I have never spoken to him.' He replied, 'Verily thou
forgettest Allah in forgetting--thy neighbour! If thou lovedst
Allah thou wouldst love thy neighbour. Knowest thou not that a
neighbour hath a claim upon his neighbour,[FN#365] even as the
right of kith and kin?' Said Huzayfah, 'We entered Meccah with
Ibrahim bin Adham, and Shakik al-Balkhi was also making a
pilgrimage that year. Now we met whilst circumambulating the
Ka'abah and Ibrahim said to Shakik, 'What is your fashion in your
country?' Replied Shakik, 'When we are blest with our daily bread
we eat, and when we hunger we take patience.' 'This wise,' said
Ibrahim, 'do the dogs of Balkh; but we, when blest with plenty,
do honour to Allah and when an hungered we thank Him.' And Shakik
seated himself before Ibrahim and said to him, 'Thou art my
master.' Also said Mohammed bin Imran, 'A man once asked of Hatim
the Deaf[FN#366] 'What maketh thee to trust in Allah?' 'Two
things,' answered he, 'I know that none save myself shall eat my
daily bread, so my heart is at rest as to that; and I know that I
was not created without the knowledge of Allah, and am abashed
before Him.' Then the fifth damsel retired and the ancient dame
came forward and, kissing the ground before thy father nine
times, said, 'Thou hast heard, O King, what these all have spoken
on the subject of piety; and I will follow their example in
relating what hath reached me of the famous men of past times.
It is said that the Imam al-Shafi'i departed the night into three
portions, the first for study, the second for sleep and the third
for prayer. The Imam Abu Hanifah[FN#367] was wont also to pass
half the night in prayer. One

day a man pointed him out to another, as he walked by and
remarked, 'Yonder man watcheth the whole night.' When he heard
this Abu Hanifah said, 'I was abashed before Allah to hear myself
praised for what was not in me'; so after this he used to watch
the whole night. And one of the Sages hath said,

'Who seeketh for pearl in the Deep dives deep; * Who on high
would hie robs his night of sleep.'

Al-Rabi a relates that Al-Shafi'i used to recite the whole Koran
seventy times during the month of Ramazan, and that in his daily
prayers. Quoth Al-Shafi'i (Allah accept him!), 'During ten years
I never ate my fill of barley bread, for fullness hardeneth the
heart and deadeneth the wit and induceth sleep and enfeebleth one
from standing up to pray.'[FN#368] It is reported of Abdullah bin
Mohammed al-Sakra that he said, 'I was once talking with Omar and
he observed to me, 'Never saw I a more God fearing or eloquent
man than Mohammed bin Idris al-Shafi'i.' It so happened I went
out one day with Al-Haris bin Labib al-Saffar, who was a disciple
of Al-Muzani[FN#369] and had a fine voice and he read the saying
of the Almighty, 'This shall be a day whereon they shall not
speak to any purpose, nor shall they be permitted to excuse
themselves.'[FN#370] I saw Al-Shafi'i's colour change; his skin
shuddered with horripilation, he was violently moved and he fell
down in a fainting fit When he revived he said, 'I take refuge
with Allah from the stead of the liars and the lot of the
negligent! O Allah, before whom the hearts of the wise abase
themselves, O Allah, of Thy bene ficence accord to me the
remission of my sins, adorn me with the curtain of Thy protection
and pardon me my shortcomings, by the magnanimity of Thy Being!'
Then I rose and went away. Quoth one of the pious, 'When I
entered Baghdad, Al-Shafi'i was there. So I sat down on the
river bank to make the ablution before prayer; and behold, there
passed me one who said, 'O youth, make thy Wuzu-ablution well and
Allah will make it well for thee in this world and in the next.'
I turned and lo! there was a man behind whom came a company of
people. So I hastened to finish my ablution and followed him.
Presently, he turned and asked me, 'Say, dost thou want aught?'
'Yes,' answered I, 'I desire that thou teach me somewhat of that
which Allah Almighty hath taught thee.' He said, 'Know then that
whoso believeth in Allah shall be saved, and whoso jealously
loveth his faith shall be delivered from destruction, and whoso
practiseth abstinence in this world, his eyes shall be solaced on
the morrow of death. Shall I tell thee any more?' I replied,
'Assuredly;' and he continued, 'Be thou of the world that is,
heedless; and of the world to come, greediest. Be truthful in
all thy dealings, and thou shalt be saved with the
Salvationists.' Then he went on and I asked about him and was
told that he was the Imam Al-Shafi'i. Al-Shafi'i was wont to
remark, 'I love to see folk profit by this learning of mine, on
condition that nothing of it be attributed to me."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan, "The old woman bespake thy
sire, saying, 'The Imam Al-Shafi'i was wont to remark, I love to
see folk profit by this learning of mine on condition that
nothing of it be attributed to me.' He also said, 'I never
disputed with any one, but I would that Almighty Allah should
give him the knowledge of the Truth and aid him to dispread it:
nor did I ever dispute with anyone at all but for the showing
forth of the Truth, and I reck not whether Allah manifest it by
my tongue or by His.' He said also (whom Allah accept!), 'If thou
fear to grow conceited of thy lore, then bethink thee Whose grace
thou seekest and for what good thou yearnest and what punishment
thou dreadest.' It was told to Abu Hanifah that the Commander of
the Faithful, Abu Ja'afar al-Mansur, had appointed him Kazi and
ordered him a salary of ten thousand dirhams; but he would not
accept of this; and, when the day came on which the money was to
be paid him, he prayed the dawn prayer, then covered his head
with his robe--and spoke not. When the Caliph's messenger came
with the money, he went in to the Imam and accosted him, but he
would not speak to him. So the messenger said, 'Verily this
money is lawfully thine.' 'I know that it is lawfully mine,'
replied he: 'but I abhor that the love of tyrants get a hold upon
my heart.'[FN#371] Asked the other, 'If thou go in to them canst
thou not guard thyself from loving them?' Answered Abu Hanifah,
'Can I look to enter the sea without my clothes being wet?'
Another of Al-Shafi'i's sayings (Allah accept him!) is,

'Oh soul of me, an thou accept my rede, * Thou shalt be wealthy
and of grace entire:
Cast off ambitious hopes and vain desires, * How many a death was
done by vain desire!'

Among the sayings of Sufyan al-Thauri, with which he admonished
Ali bin al-Hasan al-Salami was, 'Be thou a man of truth and 'ware
lies and treachery and hypocrisy and pride. Be not indebted save
to Him who is merciful to His debtors; and let thine associate be
one who shall dissociate thee from the world. Be ever mindful of
death and be constant in craving pardon of Allah and in
beseeching of Allah peace for what remaineth of thy life.
Counsel every True Believer, when he asketh thee concerning the
things of his faith; and beware of betraying a Believer, for
whoso betrayeth a Believer, betrayeth Allah and His Apostle.
Avoid dissensions and litigation; and leave that which causeth
doubt in thee for things which breed no doubt:[FN#372] so shalt
thou be at peace. Enjoin beneficence and forbid malevolence: so
shalt thou be loved of Allah. Adorn thine inner man and Allah
shall adorn thine outer man. Accept the excuse of him who
excuseth self to thee and hate not any one of the Moslems. Draw
near unto those who withdraw from thee and excuse those that
misuse thee: so shalt thou be the friend of the Prophets. Let
thine affairs, both public and private, be in Allah's charge, and
fear Him with the fear of one who knoweth he is dead and who
fareth towards Resurrection and Judgement stead between the hands
of the Lord of Dread; and remember that to one of two houses thou
art sped, either for Heavens eterne or to the Hell fires that
burn.' Thereupon the old woman sat down beside the damsels. Now
when thy father, who hath found mercy, heard their discourse, he
knew that they were the most accomplished of the people of their
time; and, seeing their beauty and loveliness and the extent of
their wisdom and lore, he showed them all favour. Moreover, he
turned to the ancient dame and treated her with honour, and set
apart for her and her damsels the palace which had lodged
Princess Abrizah, daughter of the King of Greece, to which he
bade carry all the luxuries they needed. They abode with him ten
days and the old woman abode with them; and, whenever the King
visited them, he found her absorbed in prayer, watching by night
and fasting by day; whereby love of her took hold upon his heart
and he said to me, 'O Wazir, verily this old woman is of the
pious, and awe of her is strong in my heart.' Now on the eleventh
day, the King visited her, that he might pay her the price of the
damsels; but she said to him, 'O King, know that the price of
these maidens surpasseth the competence of men; indeed I seek not
for them either gold or silver or jewels, be it little or much.'
Now when thy father heard these words he wondered and asked her,
'O my lady and what is their price?'; whereto she answered, 'I
will not sill them to thee save on condition that thou fast,
watching by night a whole month, and abstaining by day, all for
the love of Allah Almighty; and, if thou do this, they are thy
property to use in thy palace as thou please.' So the King
wondered at the perfection of her rectitude and piety and
abnegation; she was magnified in his eyes and he said, 'Allah
make this pious woman to profit us!' Then he agreed with her to
fast for a month as she had stipulated, and she said to him, 'I
will help thee with the prayers I pray for thee and now bring me
a gugglet of water.' They brought one and she took it and recited
over it and muttered spells, and sat for an hour speaking in
speech no one understood or knew aught thereof. Lastly she
covered it with a cloth and, sealing it with her signet ring,
gave it to thy sire, saying, 'When thou hast fasted the first ten
days, break thy fast on the eleventh night with what is in this
gugglet, for it will root out the love of the world from thy
heart and fill it with light and faith. As for me, tomorrow I
will go forth to my brethren, the Invisible[FN#373] Controuls,
for I yearn after them, and I will return to thee when the first
ten days are past. Thy father took the gugglet and arose and set
it apart in a closet of his palace, then locked the door and put
the key in his pocket. Next day the King fasted and the old
woman went her ways."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan thus continued to Zau al-Makan, "Now when came the day for
the Sultan's fast, the old woman went her ways. And after he had
accomplished the ten days thereof, on the eleventh he opened the
gugglet and drank what was therein and found it cordial to his
stomach. Within the second ten days of the month the old woman
returned, bringing sweetmeats wrapped in a green leaf, like no
leaf of known tree. She went in to thy sire and saluted him;
and, when he saw her, he rose to her saying, 'Welcome, O pious
lady!' 'O King,' quoth she, 'the Invisible Controuls salute thee,
for I told them of thee, and they rejoiced in thee and have sent
thee their Halwa,[FN#374] which is of the sweetmeats of the other
world. Do thou break thy fast on it at the end of the day.' The
King rejoiced at this with great joy, and exclaimed, 'Praised be
Allah, who hath given me brethren of the Invisible World!'
Thereupon he thanked the ancient dame and kissed her hands; and
he honoured her and the damsels with exceeding honour. She went
forth for the twenty days of thy father's fast at the end of
which time she came to him and said, 'Know, O King, that I told
the Invisible Controuls of the love which is between me and thee,
and informed them how I had left the maidens with thee, and they
were glad that the damsels should belong to a King like thee; for
they were wont, when they saw them, to be strenuous in offering
on their behalf prayers and petitions ever granted. So I would
fain carry them to the Invisible Controuls that they may benefit
by the breath of their favour, and peradventure, they shall not
return to thee without some treasure of the treasures of the
earth, that thou, after completing thy fast, mayst occupy thyself
with their raiment and help thyself by the money they shall bring
thee, to the extent of thy desires.' When thy sire heard her
words, he thanked her for them and said, 'Except that I fear to
cross thee, I would not accept the treasure or aught else; but
when wilt thou set out with them?' Replied she, 'On the seven and
twentieth night; and I will bring them back to thee at the head
of the month, by which time thou wilt have accomplished thy fast
and they will have had their courses and be free from impurity;
and they shall become thine and be at thy disposal. By Allah,
each damsel of them is worth many times thy kingdom!' He said, 'I
know it, O pious lady!' Then quoth the old woman, 'There is no
help but that thou send with them someone in thy palace who is
dear to thee, that she may find solace and seek a blessing of the
Invisible Controuls.' Quoth he, 'I have a Greek slave called
Sophia, by whom I have been blessed with two children, a girl and
a boy; but they were lost; years ago. Take her with thee that
she may get the blessing'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan, "Quoth thy sire to the ancient
woman when she demanded the handmaids of him, 'I have a Greek
slave called Sophia, by whom I have been blest with two children,
a girl and a boy, but they were lost years ago; so take her with
thee, haply she may get the benediction and, belike, the
Invisible Controuls will sue Allah for her that her two children
may be restored to her.' 'Thou hast said well,' replied she; 'for
that indeed was her grievousest want.' Thy sire gave not over
finishing his fast till the old woman said to him, 'O my son, I
am going to the Invisible Controuls; so bring me Sophia.'
Accordingly, he summoned her and she came forthright, and he
delivered her to the old woman who mixed her up with the other
damsels. Then she went in to her chamber and bringing out a
sealed cup, presented it to the Sultan saying, 'On the thirtieth
day, do thou repair to the Hammam and when thou comest out, enter
one of the closets in thy palace and drink what is in this cup.
Then sleep, and thou shalt attain what thou seekest, and peace be
with thee'! Thereat the King was glad and thanked her and kissed
her hands. Quoth she, 'I commend thee to Allah's care;' whereat
quoth he, 'And when shall I see thee again, O pious lady? In
very sooth I love not to part with thee.' Then she called down
blessings on him and departed with the five damsels and the
Queen; whilst the King fasted after her departure other three
days, till the month ended, when he arose and went to the Hammam
and coming out shut himself up in a closet of his palace,
commanding that none should go in to him. There, after making
fast the door, he drank what was in the cup and lay down to
sleep; and we sat awaiting him till the end of the day, but he
did not come out and we said, 'Perchance he is tired with the
bath and with watching by night and fasting by day; wherefore he
sleepeth.' So we waited till next day; but still he did not come
forth. Then we stood at the closet door and cried aloud so haply
he might awake and ask what was the matter. But nothing came of
that; so at last we lifted up the door;[FN#375] and, going in,
found him dead, with his flesh torn into strips and bits and his
bones broken.[FN#376] When we saw him in this condition it was
grievous to us, and we took up the cup and found within its cover
a piece of paper whereon was inscribed, 'Whoso doeth evil leaveth
no regrets, and this be the reward of him who playeth traitor
with the daughters of Kings and who debaucheth them; and we make
known to all who fall upon this scroll that Sharrkan, when he
came to our country, seduced our Queen Abrizah; nor did that
suffice him but he must needs take her from us and bring her to
you. Then he[FN#377] sent her away in company of a black slave
who slew her, and we found her lying dead on the desert sward and
thrown out to wild beasts. This be no kingly deed, and he who
did this is requited with naught but what he merited. So do ye
suspect none of having killed him, for no one slew him but the
cunning witch, whose name is Zat al-Dawahi. And behold, I have
taken the King's wife, Sophia, and have carried her to her
father, Afridun King of Constantinople. Moreover, there is no
help for it but that we wage war upon you and kill you and take
your country from you, and ye shall be cut off even to the last
man, nor shall a living soul be spared by Death nor one who
bloweth fire with his breath, save he who Cross and Belt[FN#378]
worshippeth.' When we read this paper, we knew that the ancient
woman had beguiled us and carried out her plot against us:
whereupon we cried aloud and buffeted our faces and wept sore
when weeping availed us naught. And the troops fell out as to
whom they should make Sultan; some would have thee, and others
would have thy brother Sharrkan; and we ceased not to dispute
about this for the space of a month, at the end of which certain
of us drew together and agreed to repair to thy brother Sharrkan:
so we set out and journeyed on till we fell in with thee. And
such is the manner of the death of Sultan Omar bin al-Nu'uman!"
Now when the Wazir Dandan had made an end of his story, Zau al-
Makan and his sister, Nuzhat al-Zaman wept; and the Chamberlain,
who wept also, said to Zau al-Makan, "O King, weeping will avail
thee naught; nor shall aught profit thee but that thou harden thy
heart and strengthen thy stress and establish thy sovranty; for
verily whoso leaveth the like of thee is not dead." Thereupon Zau
al-Makan gave over his weeping and caused his throne to be set up
without the pavilion, and then commanded the army to pass in
review order before him. And the Chamberlain sat by his side and
all the armour-bearers[FN#379] behind him, whilst the Wazir
Dandan and the rest of the Emirs and Grandees stood each in his
individual stead. Then quoth King Zau al-Makan to the Minister
Dandan, "Inform me concerning my sire's treasures;" and he
replied, "I hear and I obey;" and gave him to know of the late
King's hoards and monies, and what was in the treasury of amassed
wealth and jewels, and acquainted him with other precious things.
So Zau al-Makan opened his hand to the army, and gave a sumptuous
robe of honour to the Wazir Dandan, saying, "Thou continues" in
office. Whereupon Dandan kissed the ground before him and wished
him long life. Then he bestowed dresses on the Emirs, after
which he said to the Chamberlain, "Bring out before me the
tribute of Damascus that is with thee." So he was shown the
chests of money and rarities and jewels, when he took them and
parted them all amongst the troops,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zau al-
Makan ordered the Chamberlain to bring out before him what he had
brought of the tribute of Damascus; and, when he was shown the
chests of money and rarities and jewels, he took them and parted
them all amongst the troops, till nothing was left. And the
Emirs kissed the ground before him and wished him long life,
saying, "Never saw we a King, who gave the like of these gifts."
Then all went away to their tents and when it was morning he gave
orders for marching. So they marched for three days, till, on
the fourth day, they drew near to Baghdad. When they entered the
city, they found it decorated, and Zau al-Makan, the Sultan, went
up to his father's palace and sat down on the throne, whilst the
Emirs of the army and the Wazir Dandan and the Chamberlain of
Damascus stood between his hands. Then he bade his private
secretary write a writ to his brother Sharrkan, acquainting him
with all that had passed, from first to last, and he concluded,
"As soon as thou hast read this letter, make ready thine affair
and join us with thine army, that we may turn to Holy War upon
the Infidels and take man bote for our father and wipe out the
stain upon our honour." Then he folded the letter and sealed it
with his seal ring and said to the Minister Dandan, "None shall
carry this letter but thou; and it behoveth thee speak my brother
fair and say to him, 'If thou have a mind to thy father's
kingdom, it is thine, and thy brother shall be Viceroy for thee
in Damascus; for to this effect am I instructed by him.'" So the
Wazir went down from before him and made ready for his march.
Then Zau al-Makan bade set apart a magnificent house for the
Fireman and furnished it with the best of furniture and long is
the tale of that Fireman.[FN#380] Presently Zau al-Makan went
out chasing and hunting and, as he was returning to Baghdad, one
of the Emirs presented him with blood horses and with beauteous
handmaids whose description the tongue evades. One of the
damsels pleased him: so he went in unto her and knew her that
night, and she conceived by him forthright. After a while, the
Wazir Dandan returned from his journey, bringing him news of his
brother Sharrkan and that he was then on his way to him, and
said, "It were fitting thou go forth to meet him." Zau al- Makan
replied, "I hear and I consent;" and riding forth with his
Grandees a day's journey from Baghdad, he pitched his pavilions
there awaiting his brother. Next morning appeared King Sharrkan
amid the army of Syria, a horseman of might, a lion fierce in
fight, a prow and doughty knight. As the squadrons drew nigh and
the dust clouds came hard by and the troops rode up with banners
on high, Zau al-Makan and those with him pushed forward to meet
Sharrkan and his men; and when Zau al-Makan saw his brother, he
desired to dismount, but Sharrkan conjured him not to do on this
wise, and himself footed it, and walked a few paces towards
him.[FN#381] As soon as he reached Zau al-Makan, the new Sultan
threw himself upon him, and Sharrkan embraced him and wept with
great weeping and the twain condoled with each other. Then they
mounted and rode onward, they and their troops, till they reached
Baghdad, where they alighted and went up to the royal palace and
there they passed that night, and when next morning came, Zau al-
Makan went forth and bade summon the troops from all parts, and
proclaimed a Holy War and a Razzia.[FN#382] They then awaited the
coming of the levies from each quarter of the kingdom, and every
one who came they entreated with honour and promised him all
manner of good; till in so doing a full month had sped, and the
fighting men flocked to them in a continuous body. Then Sharrkan
said to Zau al-Makan, "O my brother, tell me thy history." So he
told him all that had befallen him from first to last, including
the benevolent dealing of the Fireman with him. Asked Sharrkan,
'Hast thou requited his kindness?"; and he answered, "O my
brother! I have not rewarded him as yet, but Inshallah! I will
recompense him whenas I return from this raid"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sharrkan
asked his brother Zau al-Makan, "Hast thou requited the Fireman
for his kindness?"; and he answered, "O my brother, I have not
rewarded him as yet, but Inshallah! I will recompense him whenas
I return from this raid and find time so to do." Therewith
Sharrkan was certified that his sister, Nuzhat al-Zaman, had told
him the whole truth; but he concealed what had passed between
them and offered his salutation to her by her husband the
Chamberlain. She sent him back her greeting, calling down
blessings on him and enquiring after her daughter Kuzia-Fakan, to
which he replied that the maiden was well and in the best of
health and safety. Where upon she praised Almighty Allah and
gave him thanks. Then Sharrkan went to his brother to take
counsel with him for departure; and Zau al-Makan said, "O my
brother, as soon as the army is complete and the Arabs have come
in from all parts, we will march forth." So he bade make ready
the commissariat and prepare munitions of war and went in to his
wife, who was now five months gone with child; and he put under
her astrologers and mathematicians, to whom he appointed stipends
and allowances. Then he set out three months after the arrival
of the army of Syria, and as soon as the Arabs were come in and
the troops were assembled from all directions; and, as he fared
forth, he was followed by the warriors and the united host. Now
the name of the General of the Daylam army was Rustam and that of
the General of the army of the Turks[FN#383] Bahram. And Zau al-
Makan marched in mid host and on his right was his brother
Sharrkan, and on his left the Chamberlain his brother-in-law. So
the squadrons broke up and pushed forward and the battalions and
companies filed past in battle array, till the whole army was in
motion. They ceased not to fare on for the space of a month, and
each body dismounted at its own ground and there rested every
week three days (for the host was great); and they advanced in
this order till they came to the country of the Greeks. Then the
people of the villages and hamlets and the poorer sort took
fright at them and fled to Constantinople. But when King Afridun
heard the tidings he arose and betook himself to Zat al-Dawahi,
the same who had contrived the stratagem, and had travelled to
Baghdad and had slain King Omar bin Al-Nu'uman; and who after
carrying off her slaves and Queen Sophia, had returned with them
all to her native land. Now when she had been restored to her
son, the King of Greece, and felt herself safe, she said to King
Hardub, "Cool thine eyes; for I have avenged by blood the shame
of thy daughter Abrizah, and have killed Omar bin al-Nu'uman and
have brought back Sophia. So now let us go to the King of
Constantinople and carry to him his daughter and acquaint him
with what hath happened, that all of us be on guard and prepare
our forces; and I will fare with thee to King Afridun, Lord of

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest