Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand and One Nights Volume 4 by Richard F. BurtonWith Notes Anthropological And Explanatory

To The Book Of The Thousand And One Nights With Notes Anthropological And Explanatory VOLUME FOUR To William H. Chandler, Esq,. Pembroke College, Oxford. My Dear Mr. Chandler, As without your friendly and generous aid this volume could never have seen the light, I cannot resist the temptation of inscribing it to you and without
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To The Book Of The Thousand And One Nights With Notes
Anthropological And
Explanatory

VOLUME FOUR

To William H. Chandler, Esq,. Pembroke College, Oxford.

My Dear Mr. Chandler,

As without your friendly and generous aid this volume could never have seen the light, I cannot resist the temptation of inscribing it to you and without permission, for your modesty would have refused any such acknowledgment.

I am, ever,
Yours sincerely,
Richard F. Burton.

Trieste, March 10th, 1888.

Contents of the Fourteenth Volume.

1. Story of the Sultan of Al-Yaman and His Three Sons 2. Story of the Three Sharpers
a. The Sultan Who Fared Forth in the Habit of a Darwaysh b. History of Mohammed, Sultan of Cairo c. Story of the First Lunatic
d. Story of the Second Lunatic
e. Story of the Sage and the Scholar f. The Night-Adventure of Sultan Mohammed of Cairo with the Three Foolish
Schoolmasters
g. Story of the Broke-Back Schoolmaster h. Story of the Split-Mouthed Schoolmaster i. Story of the Limping Schoolmaster j. Story of the Three Sisters and Their Mother the Sultanah
3. History of the Kazi Who Bare a Babe 4. Tale of the Kazi and the Bhang-Eater a. History of the Bhang-Eater and His Wife b. How Drummer Abu Kasim Became a Kazi c. Story of the Kazi and His Slipper d. Tale of Mahmud the Persian and the Kurd Sharper e. Tale of the Sultan and the Poor Man Who Brought To Him Fruit
f. The Fruit-Seller’s Tale
g. Tale of the Sultan and His Three Sons and the Enchanting Bird
h. Adventure of the Fruit-Seller and the Concubine i. Story of the King of Al-Yaman and His Three Sons and the Enchanting Bird
j. History of the First Larrikin k. History of the Second Larrikin
l. History of the Third Larrikin m. Story of a Sultan of Al-Hind and His Son Mohammed n. Tale of the Fisherman and His Son o. Tale of the Third Larrikin Concerning Himself 5. History of Abu Niyyah and Abu Niyyatayn Appendix A: – Ineptiae Bodleianae
Appendix B: – The Three Untranslated Tales in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb’s “Forty Vezirs”

The Translator’s Foreword.

As my first and second volumes (Supplemental) were composed of translated extracts from the Breslau Edition of The Nights, so this tome and its successor (vols. iv. and v.) comprise my version from the (Edward) Wortley Montague Codex immured in the old Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Absence from England prevents for the present my offering a satisfactory description of this widely known manuscript; but I may safely promise that the hiatus shall be filled up in vol. v., which is now ready for the press.

The contents of the Wortley Montague text are not wholly unfamiliar to Europe. In 1811 Jonathan Scott, LL.D. Oxon. (for whom see my vols. i., ix. and x. 434), printed with Longmans and Co. his “Arabian Nights Entertainments” in five substantial volumes 8vo, and devoted a sixth and last to excerpts entitled

TALES
SELECTED FROM THE MANUSCRIPT COPY OF THE
1001 NIGHTS

BROUGHT TO EUROPE BY EDWARD WORTLEY MONTAGUE, ESQ.
Translated from the Arabic BY JONATHAN SCOTT, LL.D.

Unfortunately for his readers Scott enrolled himself amongst the acolytes of Professor Galland, a great and original genius in the line Raconteur, and a practical Orientalist whose bright example was destined to produce disastrous consequences. The Frenchman, however unscrupulous he might have been about casting down and building up in order to humour the dead level of Gallican bon gout, could, as is shown by his “Aladdin,” trans- late literatim and verbatim when the story-stuff is of the right species and acceptable to the average European taste. But, as generally happens in such cases, his servile suite went far beyond their master and model. Petis de la Croix (“Persian and Turkish Tales”), Chavis and Cazotte (“New Arabian Nights”), Dow (“Inayatu llah”) and Morell (“Tales of the Genii”), with others manifold whose names are now all but forgotten, carried out the Gallandian liberties to the extreme of licence and succeeded in producing a branchlet of literature, the most vapid, frigid and insipid that can be imagined by man,–a bastard Europeo-Oriental, pseudo-Eastern world of Western marionettes garbed in the gear which Asiatic are (or were) supposed to wear, with sentiments and opinions, manners and morals to match; the whole utterly lacking life, local colour, vraisemblance, human interest. From such abortions, such monstrous births, libera nos, Domine!

And Scott out-gallanded Galland:–

Diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis.

It is hard to quote a line which he deigned textually to translate. He not only commits felony on the original by abstracting whole sentences and pages ad libitum, but he also thrusts false goods into his author’s pocket and patronises the unfortunate Eastern story-teller by foisting upon him whatever he, the “translator and traitor,” deems needful. On this point no more need be said: the curious reader has but to compare any one of Scott’s “translations” with the original or, for that matter, with the present version.

I determined to do that for Scott which Lane had done partly and imperfectly, and Payne had successfully and satisfactorily done for Galland. But my first difficulty was about the text. It was impossible to face without affright the prospect of working for months amid the discomforts and the sanitary dangers of Oxford’s learned atmosphere and in her obsolete edifices the Bodleian and the Radcliffe. Having ascertained, however, that in the so-called “University” not a scholar could be found to read the text, I was induced to apply for a loan–not to myself personally for I should have shunned the responsibility–but in the shape of a temporary transfer of the seven-volumed text, tome by tome, to the charge of Dr. Rost, the excellent Librarian of the India Office.

My hopes, however, were fated to be deferred. Learned bodies, Curators and so forth, are ponderous to move and powerless to change for

The trail of the slow-worm is over them all.

My official application was made on September 13th, 1886. The tardiest steps were taken as if unwillingly and, when they could no longer decently be deferred, they resulted in the curtest and most categorical but not most courteous of refusals, under circumstances of peculiar disfavour, on November 1st of the same year. Here I shall say no more: the correspondence has been relegated to Appendix A. My subscribers, however, will have no reason to complain of these “Ineptiae Bodleianae.” I had pledged myself in case of a loan “not to translate Tales that might be deemed offensive to propriety:” the Curators have kindly set me free from that troublesome condition and I thank them therefor.

Meanwhile I had not been idle. Three visits to Oxford in September and October had enabled me to reach the DIVth Night. But the laborious days and inclement evenings, combined with the unsanitary state of town and libraries–the Bodleian and the Rotunda–brought on a serious attack of “lithiasis” as it is now called, and prostrated me for two months, until it was time to leave England en route for my post.

Under these circumstances my design threatened to end in failure. As often befalls to men out of England, every move ventured by me menaced only check-mate. I began by seeking a copyist at Oxford, one who would imitate the text as an ignoramus might transcribe music: an undergraduate volunteered for the task and after a few days dropped it in dumb disgust. The attempt was presently repeated by a friend with the unsatisfactory result that three words out of four were legible. In London several Easterns were described as able and willing for the work; but they also were found wanting; one could not be trusted with the MS. and another was marriage-mad. Photography was lastly proposed, but considerations of cost seemed to render it unavailable. At last, when matters were at the worst, the proverbial amendment appeared. Mr. Chandler, whose energetic and conscientious opposition to all “Bodleian loans,” both of books and of manuscripts, had mainly caused the passing of the prohibitory statute, came forward in the most friendly and generous way: with no small trouble to himself he superintended the “sun- pictures,” each page of the original being reduced to half-size, and he insisted upon the work being done wholly and solely at his own expense. I know not how to express my gratitude.

The process was undertaken by Mr. Percy Notcutt, of Kingsbury and Notcutt, 45, St. George’s Place, Knightsbridge, and the four hundred and odd pages were reproduced in most satisfactory style.

Being relegated to a port-town which never possessed even an Arabic lexicon, I have found some difficulty with the Wortley Montague MS. as it contains a variety of local words unknown to the common dictionaries. But I have worked my best to surmount the obstacle by consulting many correspondents, amongst whom may be mentioned the name of my late lamented friend, the Reverend George Percy Badger; and, finally, by submitting my proofs to the corrections and additions of the lexicologist Dr. Steingass.

Appendix B will require no apology to the numerous admirers of Mr. E. J. W. Gibb’s honest and able work, “The History of the Forty Vezirs” (London, Redway, MDCCCLXXXVI). The writer in a book intended for the public was obliged to leave in their original Turkish, and distinguished only by italics, three “facetious” tales which, as usual, are some of the best in the book. These have been translated for me and I offer them to my readers on account of their curious analogies with many in The Nights.

Richard F. Burton.

TRIESTE, April 10th, 1888.

Supplemental Nights

To The Book Of The

Thousand Nights And A Night

Story of the Sultan of Al-Yaman and His three Sons.[FN#1]

There was erewhile in the land of Al-Yaman a man which was a Sultan and under him were three Kinglets whom he overruled. He had four children; to wit, three sons and a daughter: he also owned wealth and treasures greater than reed can pen or page may contain; as well as animals such as horses and camels, sheep and black cattle; and he was held in awe by all the sovrans. But when his reign had lasted for a length of time, Age[FN#2] brought with it ailments and infirmities and he became incapable of faring forth his Palace to the Divan, the hall of audience; whereupon he summoned his three sons to the presence and said to them, “As for me, ’tis my wish to divide among you all my substance ere I die, that ye may be equal in circumstance and live in accordance with whatso I shall command.” And they said, “Hearkening and obedience.” Then quoth the Sultan, “Let the eldest of you become sovereign after me: let the cadet succeed to my moneys and treasures[FN#3] and as for the youngest let him inherit my animals of every kind. Suffer none to transgress against other; but each aid each and assist his co-partner.” He then caused them to sign a bond and agreement to abide by his bequeathal; and, after delaying a while, he departed to the mercy of Allah. Thereupon his three sons got ready the funeral gear and whatever was suited to his estate for the mortuary obsequies such as cerements and other matters: they washed the corpse and enshrouded it and prayed over it: then, having committed it to the earth they returned to their palaces where the Wazirs and the Lords of the Land and the city-folk in their multitudes, high and low, rich and poor, flocked to condole with them on the loss of their father. And the news of his decease was soon bruited abroad in all the provinces; and deputations from each and every city came to offer condolence to the King’s sons. These ceremonies duly ended, the eldest Prince demanded that he should be seated as Sultan on the stead of his sire in accordance with the paternal will and testament; but he could not obtain it from his two brothers as both and each said, “I will become ruler in room of my father.” So enmity and disputes for the government now arose amongst them and it was not to be won by any; but at last quoth the eldest Prince, “Wend we and submit ourselves to the arbitration of a Sultan of the tributary sultans; and let him to whom he shall adjudge the realm take it and reign over it.” Quoth they “‘Tis well!” and thereto agreed, as did also the Wazirs; and the three set out without suite seeking the capital of one of the subject Sovrans.–And Shahrazad[FN#4] was surprised by the dawn of day[FN#5] and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the three Princes fared seeking a Sultan of the sultans who had been under the hands of their sire, in order that they might take him to arbitrator. And they stinted not faring till the middle way, when behold, they came upon a mead abounding in herbage and in rainwater lying sheeted.[FN#6] So they sat them down to rest and to eat of their victual, when one of the brothers, casting his eye upon the herbage, cried, “Verily a camel hath lately passed this way laden half with Halwa-sweetmeats and half with Hamiz-pickles.”[FN#7] “True,” cried the second, “and he was blind of an eye.” Exclaimed the third, “‘Tis sooth; and indeed he hath lost his tail.” Hardly, however, had they ended their words when lo! the owner of the camel came upon them (for he had overheard their speech and had said to himself, “By Allah, these three fellows have driven off my property, inasmuch as they have described the burthen and eke the beast as tail-less and one-eyed”), and cried out, “Ye three have carried away my camel!”[FN#8] “By Allah we have not seen him,” quoth the Princes, “much less have we touched him;” but quoth the man, “By the Almighty, who can have taken him except you? and if you will not deliver him to me, off with us, I and you three, to the Sultan.” They replied, “By all manner of means; let us wend to the Sovran.” So the four hied forth, the three Princes and the Cameleer, and ceased not faring till they reached the capital of the King. There they took seat without the wall to rest for an hour’s time and presently they arose and pushed into the city and came to the royal Palace. Then they craved leave of the Chamberlains, and one of the Eunuchs caused them enter and signified to the sovereign that the three sons of Such-and-such a Sultan had made act of presence. So he bade them be set before him and the four went in and saluted him, and prayed for him and he returned their salams. He then asked them, “What is it hath brought you hither and what may ye want in the way of enquiry?” Now the first to speak was the Cameleer and he said, “O my lord the Sultan; verily these three men have carried off my camel by proof of their own speech.”–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Cameleer came forward between the Sultan’s hands and said, “O my lord, verily these men have carried away the camel which belongeth to me,[FN#9] for they have indeed described him and the burthen he bore! And I require of our lord the Sultan that he take from these wights and deliver to me the camel which is mine as proved by their own words.” Presently asked the Sultan, “What say ye to the claims of this man and the camel belonging to him?” Hereto the Princes made answer, “By Allah, O King of the Age, we have not seen the camel, much less have we stolen him.” Thereupon the Cameleer exclaimed, “O my lord, I heard yonder one say that the beast was blind of an eye; and the second said that he was tail-less, and the third said that half his load was of sour stuff and the other half was of sweet stuff.” They replied, “True, we spake these words;” and the Sultan cried to them, “Ye have purloined the beast by this proof.” They rejoined, “No, by Allah, O my lord. We sat us in such a place for repose and refreshment and we remarked that some of the pasture had been grazed down, so we said, ‘This is the grazing of a camel; and he must have been blind of one eye as the grass was eaten only on one side.’ But as for our saying that he was tail-less, we noted the droppings lying heaped[FN#10] upon the ground which made us agree that the tail must have been cut off, it being the custom of camels at such times to whisk their tails and scatter the dung abroad. So ’twas evident to us that the camel had lost his tail. But as for our saying that the load was half Halwa and half Hamiz, we saw on the place where the camel had knelt the flies gathering in great numbers while on the other were none: so the case was clear to us (as flies settle on naught save the sugared) that one of the panniers must have contained sweets and the other sours.” Hearing this the Sultan said to the Cameleer, “O man, fare thee forth and look after thy camel; for these signs and tokens prove not the theft of these men, but only the power of their intellect and their penetration.”[FN#11] And when the Cameleer heard this, he went his ways. Presently the Sultan cleared a place in the Palace and allotted to it the Princes for their entertainment: he also directed they be supplied with a banquet and the eunuchs did his bidding. But when it was eventide and supper was served up, the trio sat down to it purposing to eat; the eldest, however, having hent in hand a bannock of bread exclaimed, “By Allah, verily this cake was baked by a woman in blood, to wit, one with the menses.” The cadet tasting a bit of kid exclaimed, “This kid was suckled by a bitch”; and the youngest exclaimed, “Assuredly this Sultan must be a son of shame, a bastard.” All this was said by the youths what while the Sultan had hidden himself in order to hear and to profit by the Princes’ words. So he waxed wroth entered hastily crying, “What be these speeches ye have spoken?” They replied, “Concerning all thou hast heard enquire within and thou wilt find it wholly true.” The Sultan then entered his women’s apartments and after inquisition found that the woman who had kneaded the bread was sick with her monthly courses. He then went forth and summoned the head-shepherd and asked him concerning the kid he had butchered. He replied, “By Allah, O my lord, the nanny-goat that bare the kid died and we found none other in milk to suckle him; but I had a bitch that had just pupped and her have I made nourish him.” The Sultan lastly hent his sword in hand and proceeded to the apartments of the Sultanah-mother and cried, “By Allah, unless thou avert my shame[FN#12] we will cut thee down with this scymitar! Say me whose son am I?” She replied, “By Allah, O my child, indeed falsehood is an excuse, but fact and truth are more saving and superior. Verily thou art the son of a cook!”–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan’s mother said to him, “Verily thou art a cook’s son. Thy sire could not beget boy-children and I bare him only a single daughter. But it so fortuned that the kitchener’s wife lay in of a boy (to wit, thyself); so we gave my girl-babe to the cook and took thee as the son of the Sultan, dreading for the realm after thy sire’s death.” The King went forth from his mother in astonishment at the penetration of the three youths and, when he had taken seat in his Palace, he summoned the trio and as soon as they appeared he asked them; “Which of you was it that said, ‘She who kneaded the bread was in blood’?” Quoth the eldest, “That was I;” and quoth the King, “What led thee to suspect that she was menstruous?” He replied, “O my lord, when I took the bannock and broke off a bittock, the flour fell out in lumps.[FN#13] Now had the kneader been well, her strength of hand would have remained and the bread would have been wrought by all the veins; but, when the blood came, her powers were minished for women’s force is in their hands; and as soon as the monthly period cometh upon them their strength is lost. Their bodies contain three hundred and sixty veins all lying hard by one another and the blood of the catamenia floweth from them all; hence their force becometh feebleness. And this was my proof of the woman which was menstruous.” Quoth the Sultan, “‘Tis well. We accept as certain thy saying upon this evidence, for it is agreeable to man’s understanding nor can any challenge it; this being from the power of insight into the condition of womankind. And we are assured of its soothfastness, for ’tis evident to us without concealment. But which is he who said of the kid’s meat that the beast was suckled by a bitch? What proof had he of this? How did he learn it and whence did his intelligence discover it to him?” Now when the deceased Sultan’s second son heard these words, he made answer. “I, O King of the Age, am he who said that say!” The King replied, “‘Tis well;” and the Prince resumed, “O my lord, that which showed me the matter of the meat which was to us brought is as follows. I found the fat of the kid all hard by the bone, and I knew that the beast had sucked bitch’s milk; for the flesh of dogs lieth outside and their fat is on their bones, whereas in sheep and goats the fat lieth upon the meat. Such, then, was my proof wherein there is nor doubt nor hesitation; and when thou shalt have made question and inquiry thou wilt find this to be fact.” Quoth the Sultan, “‘Tis well; thou hast spoken truth and whatso thou sayest is soothfast. But which is he who declared that I am a bastard and what was his proof and what sign in me exposed it to him?” Quoth the youngest Prince, “I am he who said it;” and the Sultan rejoined, “There is no help but that thou provide me with a proof.” The Prince rejoined, “‘Tis well!”–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youngest Prince said to the Sultan, “O my lord, I have evidence that thou art the son of a cook and a base-born in that thou didst not sit at meat with us and this was mine all-sufficient evidence. Every man hath three properties which he inheriteth at times from his father, at times from his maternal uncle and at times from his mother.[FN#14] From his sire cometh generosity or niggardness; from his uncle courage or cowardice; from his mother modesty or immodesty; and such is the proof of every man.” Then quoth to him the Sultan, “Sooth thou speakest; but say me, men who like you know all things thoroughly by evidence and by your powers of penetration, what cause have they to come seeking arbitration at my hand? Beyond yours there be no increase of intelligence. So fare ye forth from me and manage the matter amongst yourselves, for ’tis made palpable to me by your own words that naught remaineth to you save to speak of mysterious subjects;[FN#15] nor have I the capacity to adjudge between you after that which I have heard from you. In fine an ye possess any document drawn up by your sire before his decease, act according to it and contrary it not.” Upon this the Princes went forth from him and made for their own country and city and did as their father had bidden them do on his death-bed. The eldest enthroned himself as Sultan; the cadet assumed possession and management of the moneys and treasures and the youngest took to himself the camels and the horses and the beeves and the muttons. Then each and every was indeed equal with his co-partner in the gathering of good. But when the new year came, there befel a drought among the beasts and all belonging to the youngest brother died nor had he aught of property left: yet his spirit brooked not to take anything from his brethren or even to ask of them aught. This then is the Tale of the King of Al-Yaman in its entirety; yet is the Story of the Three Sharpers[FN#16] more wondrous and marvellous than that just recounted.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the King suffer me to survive.” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating;” and she began to recount

THE STORY OF THE THREE SHARPERS.[FN#17]

Saying, “Verily their adventure is wondrous and their actions delightsome and marvellous,” presently adding–There were in time of yore three Sharpers who were wont every day in early morning to prowl forth and to prey, rummaging[FN#18] among the mounds which outlay the city. Therein each would find a silver bit of five parahs or its equivalent, after which the trio would for- gather and buy whatso sufficed them for supper: they would also expend two Nusfs[FN#19] upon Bast,[FN#20] which is Bhang, and purchase a waxen taper with the other silver bit. They had hired a cell in the flank of a Wakalah, a caravanserai without the walls, where they could sit at ease to solace themselves and eat their Hashish after lighting the candle and enjoy their intoxication and consequent merriment till the noon o’ night. Then they would sleep, again awaking at day-dawn when they would arise and seek for spoil, according to their custom, and ransack the heaps where at times they would hit upon a silverling of five dirhams and at other times a piece of four; and at eventide they would meet to spend together the dark hours, and they would expend everything they came by every day. For a length of time they pursued this path until, one day of the days, they made for the mounds as was their wont and went round searching the heaps from morning to evening without finding even a half-parah; wherefore they were troubled and they went away and nighted in their cell without meat or drink. When the next day broke they arose and repaired for booty, changing the places wherein they were wont to forage; but none of them found aught; and their breasts were straitened for lack of a find of dirhams wherewith to buy them supper. This lasted for three full-told and following days until hunger waxed hard upon them and vexation; so they said one to other, “Go we to the Sultan and let us serve him with a sleight, and each of us three shall claim to be a past master of some craft: haply Allah Almighty may incline his heart uswards and he may largesse us with something to expend upon our necessities.” Accordingly all three agreed to do on this wise and they sought the Sultan whom they found in the palace-garden. They asked leave to go in to him, but the Chamberlains refused admission: so they stood afar off unable to approach the presence. Then quoth they one to other, “‘Twere better we fall to and each smite his comrade and cry aloud and make a clamour,[FN#21] and as soon as he shall hear us he will send to summon us.” Accordingly they jostled one another and each took to frapping his fellow, making the while loud outcries. The Sultan hearing this turmoil said, “Bring me yonder wights;” and the Chamberlains and Eunuchs ran out to them and seized them and set them between the hands of the Sovran. As soon as they stood in the presence he asked them, “What be the cause of your wrath one against other?” They answered, “O King of the Age, we are past masters of crafts, each of us weeting an especial art.” Quoth the Sultan, “What be your crafts?” and quoth one of the trio, “O our lord, as for my art I am a jeweller by trade.” The King exclaimed, “Passing strange! a sharper and a jeweller:[FN#22] this is a wondrous matter.” And he questioned the second–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night which was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan asked the second Sharper saying, “And thou, the other, what may be thy craft?” He answered, “I am a genealogist[FN#23] of the horse-kind.” So the King glanced at him in surprise and said to himself, “A sharper yet he claimeth an astounding knowledge!” Then he left him and put the same question to the third who said to him, “O King of the Age, verily my art is more wondrous and marvellous than aught thou hast heard from these twain: their craft is easy but mine is such that none save I can discover the right direction thereto or know the first of it from the last of it.” The Sultan enquired of him, “And what be thy craft?” Whereto he replied, “My craft is the genealogy of the sons of Adam.” Hearing these words the Sovran wondered with extreme wonderment and said in himself, “Verily He informeth with His secrets the humblest of His creatures! Assuredly these men, an they speak truth in all they say and it prove soothfast, are fit for naught except kingship. But I will keep them by me until the occurrence of some nice contingency wherein I may test them; then, if they approve themselves good men and trustworthy of word, I will leave them on life; but if their speech be lying I will do them die.” Upon this he set apart for them apartments and rationed them with three cakes of bread and a dish of roast meat[FN#24] and set over them his sentinels dreading lest they fly. This case continued for a while till behold, there came to the Sultan from the land of ‘Ajam a present of rarities, amongst which were two gems whereof one was clear of water and the other was clouded of colour.[FN#25] The Sultan hent them in hand for a time and fell to considering them straitly for the space of an hour; after which he called to mind the first of the three Sharpers, the selfstyled jeweller, and cried, “Bring me the jeweller-man.” Accordingly they went and brought him and set him before the Sovran who asked him, “O man, art thou a lapidary?” And when the Sharper answered “Yes” he gave him the clear-watered stone, saying, “What may be the price of this gem?”–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sharper took the jewel in hand and turned it rightwards and leftwards and considered the outside and pried into the inside; after which he said to the Sultan, “O my lord, verily this gem containeth a worm[FN#26] bred within the heart thereof.” Now when the King heard these words he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and commanded the man’s head to be stricken off, saying, “This jewel is clear of colour and free of flaw or other default; yet thou chargest it falsely with containing a worm!” Then he summoned the Linkman[FN#27] who laid hands on the Sharper and pinioned his elbows and trussed up his legs[FN#28] like a camel’s and was about to smite his neck when behold, the Wazir entered the presence and, seeing the Sovran in high dudgeon and the Sharper under the scymitar, asked what was to do. The Sultan related to him what had happened when he drew near to him and said, “O my lord, act not after this fashion! An thou determine upon the killing of yonder man, first break the gem and, if thou find therein a worm, thou wilt know the wight’s word to have been veridical; but an thou find it sound then strike off his head.” “Right is thy rede,” quoth the King: then he took in hand the gem and smote it with his mace[FN#29] and when he brake behold, he found therein the worm amiddlemost thereof. So he marvelled at the sight and asked the man, “What proved to thee that it harboured a worm?” “The sharpness of my sight,” answered the Sharper. Then the Sultan pardoned him and, admiring his power of vision, addressed his attendants saying, “Bear him back to his comrades and ration him with a dish of roast meat and two cakes of bread.” And they did as he bade them. After some time, on a day of the days, there came to the King the tribute of ‘Ajamland accompanied with presents amongst which was a colt whose robe black as night[FN#30] showed one shade in the sun and another in the shadow. When the animal was displayed to the Sultan he fell in love with it and set apart for it a stall and solaced himself at all times by gazing at it and was wholly occupied with it and sang its praises till they filled the whole country side. Presently he remembered the Sharper who claimed to be a genealogist of the horse-kind and bade him be summoned. So they fared forth and brought him and set him between the hands of the Sovran who said to him, “Art thou he who knoweth the breed and descent of horses?” “Yea verily,” said the man. Then cried the King, “By the truth of Him who set me upon the necks of His servants and who sayeth to a thing ‘Be’ and it becometh, an I find aught of error or confusion in thy words, I will strike off thy head.” “Hearkening and obedience,” quoth the Sharper. Then they led him to the colt that he might consider its genealogy. He called aloud to the groom[FN#31]–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sharper called aloud to the stirrup-holder and when they brought him he bade the man back the colt for his inspection. So he mounted the animal and made it pace to the right and to the left causing it now to prance and curvet and then to step leisurely, while the connoisseur looked on and after a time quoth he to the groom, “‘Tis enough!” Then he went in to the presence and stood between the hands of the King who enquired, “What hast thou seen in the colt, O Kashmar?”[FN#32] Replied the Sharper, “By Allah, O King of the Age, this colt is of pure and noble blood on the side of the sire: its action is excellent and all its qualities are praiseworthy save one; and but for this one it had been perfect in blood and breed nor had there been on earth’s face its fellow in horseflesh. But its blemish remaineth a secret.” The Sultan asked, “And what is the quality which thou blamest?” and the Sharper answered, “Its sire was noble, but its dam was of other strain: she it was that brought the blemish and if thou, O my lord, allow me I will notify it to thee.” “‘Tis well, and needs must thou declare it,” quoth the Sultan. Then said the Sharper, “Its dam is a buffalo-cow.”[FN#33] When the King heard these words he was wroth with wrath exceeding and he bade the Linkman take the Sharper and behead him, crying, “O dog! O accursed! How can a buffalo-cow bear a horse?” The Sharper replied, “O my lord, the Linkman is in the presence; but send and fetch him who brought thee the colt and of him make enquiry. If my words prove true and rightly placed, my skill shall be stablished; but an they be lies let my head pay forfeit for my tongue. Here standeth the Linkman and I am between thy hands: thou hast but to bid him strike off my head!” Thereupon the King sent for the owner and breeder of the colt and they brought him to the presence.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth the sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan sent for the owner and breeder of the colt and asked him saying, “Tell me the truth anent the blood of this colt. Didst thou buy it or breed it so that it was a rearling of thy homestead?” Said he, “By Allah, O King of the Age, I will speak naught which is not sooth, for indeed there hangeth by this colt the strangest story: were it graven with graver-needles upon the eye-corners it had been a warning to whoso would be warned. And this it is. I had a stallion of purest strain whose sire was of the steeds of the sea;[FN#34] and he was stabled in a stall apart for fear of the evil eye, his service being entrusted to trusty servants. But one day in springtide the Syce took the horse into the open and there picquetted him when behold, a buffalo-cow walked into the enclosed pasture where the stallion was tethered, and seeing her he brake his heel-ropes and rushed at her and covered her. She conceived by him and when her days were completed and her throwing-time came she suffered sore pains and bare yonder colt. And all who have seen it or have heard of it were astounded,” said he, presently adding, “by Allah, O King of the Age, had its dam been of the mare-kind the colt would have had no equal on earth’s surface or aught approaching it.” Hereat the Sultan took thought and marvelled; then, summoning the Sharper he said to him when present, “O man, thy speech is true and thou art indeed a genealogist in horseflesh and thou wottest it well. But I would know what proved to thee that the dam of this colt was a buffalo-cow?” Said he, “O King, my proof thereof was palpable nor can it be concealed from any wight of right wits and intelligence and special knowledge; for the horse’s hoof is round whilst the hooves of buffaloes are elongated and duck-shaped,[FN#35] and hereby I kenned that this colt was a jumart, the issue of a cow-buffalo.” The Sultan was pleased with his words and said “Ration him with a plate of roast meat and two cakes of bread;” and they did as they were bidden. Now for a length of time the third Sharper was forgotten till one day the Sultan bethought him of the man who could explain the genealogy of Adam’s sons. So he bade fetch him and when they brought him into the presence he said, “Thou art he that knowest the caste and descent of men and women?” and the other said, “Yes.” Then he commanded the Eunuchs take him to his wife[FN#36] and place him before her and cause him declare her genealogy. So they led him in and set him standing in her presence and the Sharper considered her for a while looking from right to left; then he fared forth to the Sultan who asked him, “What hast thou seen in the Queen?” Answered he, “O my lord, I saw a somewhat adorned with loveliness and beauty and perfect grace, with fair stature of symmetrical trace and with modesty and fine manners and skilful case; and she is one in whom all good qualities appear on every side, nor is aught of accomplishments or knowledge concealed from her and haply in her centre all desirable attributes. Natheless, O King of the Age, there is a curious point that dishonoureth her from the which were she free none would outshine her of all the women of her generation.” Now when the Sultan heard the words of the Sharper, he sprang hastily to his feet and clapping hand upon hilt bared his brand and fell upon the man purposing to slay him;–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan fell upon the Sharper with his sword purposing to slay him; but the Chamberlains and the Eunuchs prevented him saying, “O our lord, kill him not until his falsehood or his fact shall have been made manifest to thee.”The Sultan said to him, “What then appeared to thee in my Queen?” “He[FN#37] is ferly fair,” said the man, “but his mother is a dancing-girl, a gypsey.”[FN#38] The fury of the King increased hereat and he sent to summon the inmates of his Harem and cried to his father-in-law, “Unless thou speak me sooth concerning thy daughter and her descent and her mother I”–[FN#39] He replied, “By Allah, O King of the Age, naught saveth a man save soothfastness! Her mother indeed was a Ghaziyah: in past time a party of the tribe was passing by my abode when a young maid strayed from her fellows and was lost. They asked no questions concerning her; so I lodged her and bred her in my homestead till she grew up to be a great girl and the fairest of her time. My heart would not brook her wiving with any other; so I wedded her and she bare me this daughter whom thou, O King, hast espoused.” When the Sultan heard these words the flame in his heart was quenched[FN#40] and he wondered at the subtlety of the Sharper man; so he summoned him and asked him saying, “O wily one, tell me what certified to thee that my Queen had a dancing girl, a gypsey, to mother?” He answered, “O King of the Age, verily the Ghaziyah race hath eye-balls intensely black and bushy brows whereas other women than the Ghaziyah have the reverse of this.” On such wise the King was convinced of the man’s skill and he cried, “Ration him with a dish of roast meat and two scones.” They did as he bade and the three Sharpers tarried with the Sultan a long time till one day when the King said to himself, “Verily these three men have by their skill solved every question of genealogy which I proposed to them: first the jeweller proved his perfect knowledge of gems; secondly the genealogist of the horse-kind showed himself as skilful, and the same was the case with the genealogist of mankind, for he discovered the origin of my Queen and the truth of his words appeared from all quarters. Now ’tis my desire that he do the same with me that I also may know my provenance.” Accordingly they set the man between his hands and he said to him, “O fellow, hast thou the power to tell me mine origin?” Said the Sharper, “Yes, O my lord, I can trace thy descent, but I will so do only upon a condition; to wit, that thou promise me safety[FN#41] after what I shall have told thee; for the saw saith, ‘Whilst Sultan sitteth on throne ‘ware his despite, inasmuch as none may be contumacious when he saith ‘Smite.'” Thereupon the Sultan told him, “thou hast a promise of immunity, a promise which shall never be falsed.”–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent, and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was

The Three Hundred and Fortieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan pledged his word for the safety of the Sharper with the customary kerchief[FN#42] and the man said, “O King of the Age, whenas I acquaint thee with thy root and branch, let it be between us twain lest these present hear us.” “Wherefore O man?” asked the Sultan, and the Sharper answered, “O my lord, Allah of Allmight hath among His names ‘The Veiler’;”[FN#43] wherefore the King bade his Chamberlains and Eunuchs retire so that none remained in the place save those two. Then the Sharper came forward and said, “O my lord, thou art a son of shame and an issue of adultery.” As soon as the King heard these words his case changed and his colour waxed wan and his limbs fell loose:[FN#44] he foamed at the mouth;[FN#45] he lost hearing and sight; he became as one drunken without wine and he fell fainting to the ground. After a while he recovered and said to the Sharper, “Now by the truth of Him who hath set me upon the necks of His servants, an thy words be veridical and I ascertain their sooth by proof positive, I will assuredly abdicate my Kingdom and resign my realm to thee, because none deserveth it save thou and it becometh us least of all and every. But an I find thy speech lying I will slay thee.” He replied, “Hearing and obeying;” and the Sovran, rising up without stay or delay, went inside to his mother with grip on glaive, and said to her, “By the truth of Him who uplifted the lift above the earth, an thou answer me not with the whole truth in whatso I ask thee, I will cut thee to little bits with this blade.” She enquired, “What dost thou want with me?” and he replied, “Whose son am I, and what may be my descent?” She rejoined, “Although falsehood be an excuse, fact and truth are superior and more saving. Thou art indeed the very son of a cook. The Sultan that was before thee took me to wife and I cohabited with him a while of time without my becoming pregnant by him or having issue; and he would mourn and groan from the core of his heart for that he had no seed, nor girl nor boy; neither could he enjoy aught of sweet food or sleep. Now we had about the Palace many caged birds; and at last, one day of the days, the King longed to eat somewhat of poultry, so he went into the court and sent for the Kitchener to slaughter[FN#46] one of the fowls; and the man applied himself to catching it. At that time I had taken my first bath after the monthly ailment and quoth I to myself, ‘If this case continue with the King he will perish and the Kingdom pass from us.’ And the Shaytan tempted me to that which displeased Allah”–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Queen continued, “And Satan tempted me and made the sin fair in my sight. So I went up to the Kitchener, attired and adorned as I was in my finest apparel and I fell a-jesting with him and provoking him and disporting with him till his passions were excited by me: so he tumbled me at that very hour, after which he arose and slaughtered one of the birds and went his ways. Then I bade the handmaids sprinkle water on the fowl and clean it and cook it; and they did my bidding. After a while symptoms of pregnancy declared themselves in me and became evident; and when the King heard that his Queen was with child, he waxed gladsome and joyful and gave alms and scattered gifts and bestowed robes upon his Officers of State and others till the day of my delivery and I bare a babe–which is thyself. Now at that time the Sultan was hunting and birding and enjoying himself about the gardens all of his pleasure at the prospect of becoming a father; and when the bearer of good news went to him and announced the birth of a man-child he hurried back to me and forthright bade them decorate the capital and he found the report true; so the city adorned itself for forty days in honour of its King. Such is my case and my tale.”[FN#47] Thereupon the King went forth from her to the Sharper and bade him doff his dress and when this had been done he doffed his own raiment and habited the man in royal gear and hooded him with the Taylasan[FN#48] and asked him saying, “What proof hast thou of my being a son of adultery?” The Sharper answered, “O my lord, my proof was thy bidding our being rationed, after showing the perfection of our skill, with a dish of roast meat and two scones of bread; whereby I knew thee to be of cook’s breed, for the Kings be wont in such case to make presents of money and valuables, not of meat and bread as thou didst, and this evidenced thee to be a bastard King.” He replied, “Sooth thou sayest,” and then robed him with the rest of his robes including the Kalansuwah or royal head-dress under the hood[FN#49] and seated him upon the throne of his estate.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive.” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan enthroned the Sharper upon the throne of estate and went forth from him after abandoning all his women to him and assumed the garb of a Darwaysh who wandereth about the world and formally abdicated his dominion to his successor. But when the Sharper- king saw himself in this condition, he reflected and said to himself, “Summon thy whilome comrades and see whether they recognize thee or not.” So he caused them be set before him and conversed with them; then, perceiving that none knew him he gifted them and sent them to gang their gait. And he ruled his realm and bade and forbade and gave and took away and was gracious and generous to each and every of his lieges; so that the people of that region who were his subjects blessed him and prayed for him. Such was the case with the Sharper; but as for

The Sultan who Fared Forth in the Habit of a Darwaysh,[FN#50]

He ceased not wayfaring, as become a wanderer, till he came to Cairo[FN#51] city whose circuit was a march of two and a half days and which then was ruled by her own King Mohammed hight. He found the folk in safety and prosperity and good ordinance; and he solaced himself by strolling about the streets to the right and left and he diverted his mind by considering the crowds and the world of men contained in the capital, until he drew near the palace when suddenly he sighted the Sultan returning from the chase and from taking his pleasure. Seeing this the Darwaysh retired to the wayside, and the King happening to glance in that direction, saw him standing and discerned in him the signs of former prosperity. So he said to one of his suite, “Take yon man with thee and entertain him till I send for him.” His bidding being obeyed he entered the Palace and, when he had rested from the fatigues of the way, he summoned the Fakir to the presence and questioned him of his condition, saying, “Thou, from what land art thou?” He responded, “O my lord, I am a beggar man;” and the other rejoined, “There is no help but that thou tell me what brought thee hither.” The Darwaysh retorted, “O my lord, this may not be save in privacy,” and the other exclaimed, “Be it so for thee.” The twain then arose and repaired to a retired room in the Palace and the Fakir recounted to the Sultan all that had befallen him since the loss of his kingship and also how he, a Sultan, had given up the throne of his realm and had made himself a Darwaysh. The Sovran marvelled at his self-denial in yielding up the royal estate and cried, “Laud be to Him who degradeth and upraiseth, who honoureth and humbleth by the wise ordinance of His All-might,” presently adding, “O Darwaysh, I have passed through an adventure which is marvellous; indeed ’tis one of the Wonders of the World[FN#52] which I needs must relate to thee nor from thee withhold aught thereof.” And he fell to telling–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King fell to telling the beggar man

The History of Mohammed, Sultan of Cairo.

I began my career in the world as a Darwaysh, an asker, owning naught of the comforts and conveniences of life, till at length, one day of the days, I became possessor of just ten silverlings[FN#53] (and no more) which I resolved to expend upon myself. Accordingly I walked into the Bazar purposing to purchase somewhat of provaunt. While I was looking around, I espied a man passing by and leading in an iron chain a dog-faced baboon and crying “Haraj![FN#54] this ape is for sale at the price of ten faddahs.” The folk jibed at the man and jeered at his ape; but quoth I to myself, “Buy this beast and expend upon it the ten silverlings.” Accordingly I drew near the seller and said to him, “Take these ten faddahs;” whereupon he took them and gave me the ape which I led to the cell wherein I dwelt. Then I opened the door and went in with my bargain but began debating in my mind what to do and said, “How shall I manage a meal for the baboon and myself?” While I was considering behold, the beast was suddenly transformed, and became a young man fair of favour who had no equal in loveliness and stature and symmetric grace, perfect as the moon at full on the fourteenth night; and he addressed me saying, “O Shaykh Mohammed, thou hast bought me with ten faddahs, being all thou hadst and art debating how we shall feed, I and thou.” Quoth I, “What art thou?” and quoth he, “Query me no questions, concerning whatso thou shalt see, for good luck hath come to thee.” Then he gave me an Ashrafi[FN#55] and said, “Take this piece of gold and fare thee forth to the Bazar and get us somewhat to eat and drink.” I took it from him and repairing to the market purchased whatso food our case required; then returning to the cell set the victual before him and seated myself by his side. So we ate our sufficiency and passed that night, I and he, in the cell, and, when Allah caused the morn to dawn, he said to me, “O man, this room is not suitable to us: hie thee and hire a larger lodging.” I replied, “To hear is to obey;” and, rising without stay or delay, went and took a room more roomy in the upper part of the Wakalah.[FN#56] Thither we removed, I and the youth, and presently he gave me ten dinars more and said, “Go to the Bazar and buy thee furniture as much as is wanted.” Accordingly, I went forth and bought what he ordered and on my return I found before him a bundle containing a suit of clothes suitable for the Kings. These he gave to me desiring that I hie me to the Hammam and don them after bathing, so I did his bidding and washed and dressed myself and found in each pocket of the many pockets an hundred gold pieces; and presently when I had donned the dress I said to myself, “Am I dreaming or wide awake?”[FN#57] Then I returned to the youth in the room and when he saw me he rose to his feet and commended my figure and seated me beside him. Presently he brought up a bigger bundle and bade me take it and repair to the Sultan of the City and at the same time ask his daughter in marriage for myself.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan of Cairo continued:[FN#58]–So I took it and repaired with it to the King of that city, and a slave whom the youth had bought bore the bundle. Now when I approached the Palace I found thereabout the Chamberlains and Eunuchs and Lords of the Land: so I drew near them and when they saw me in that suit they approved my appearance and questioned me saying, “What be thy business and what dost thou require?” I replied, “My wish is to have audience of the King,” and they rejoined, “Wait a little while till we obtain for thee his permission.” Then one of the ushers went in and reported the matter to the Sultan who gave orders to admit me; so the man came out and led me within and on entering the presence I salamed to the Sovran and wished him welfare and presently set before him the bundle, saying, “O King of the Age, this be in the way of a gift which besitteth my station not thine estate.” The Sultan bade the package be spread out, and he looked into it and saw a suit of royal apparel whose like he never had owned. So he was astonished at the sight and said in his mind, “By Allah, I possess naught like this, nor was I ever master of so magnificent a garment;” presently adding, “It shall be accepted, O Shaykh, but needs must thou have some want or requisition from me.” I replied, “O King of the Age, my wish is to become thy connection through that lady concealed and pearl unrevealed, thy daughter.” When the Sultan heard these words, he turned to his Wazir and said, “Counsel me as to what I should do in the matter of this man?” Said he, “O King of the Age, show him thy most precious stone and say him, ‘An thou have a jewel evening this one it shall be my daughter’s marriage-dowry.'” The King did as he was advised, whereat I was wild with wonderment and asked him, “An I bring thee such a gem wilt thou give me the Princess?” He answered, “Yea, verily!” and I took my leave bearing with me the jewel to the young man who was awaiting me in the room.[FN#59] He enquired of me, “Hast thou proposed for Princess?” and I replied, “Yes: I have spoken with the Sultan concerning her, when he brought out this stone, saying to me, ‘An thou have a jewel evening this one, it shall be my daughter’s marriage dowry;’ nor hath the Sultan power to false his word.” The youth rejoined, “This day I can do naught, but to-morrow (Inshallah!) I will bring thee ten jewels like it and these thou shalt carry and present to the Sovran.” Accordingly when the morning dawned he arose and fared forth and after an hour or so he returned with ten gems which he gave me. I took them and repaired with them to the Sultan and, entering the presence, I presented to him all the ten. When he looked upon the precious stones he wondered at their brilliant water and turning to the Wazir again asked him how he should act in this matter. Replied the Minister, “O King of the Age, thou requiredst of him but one jewel and he hath brought thee ten; ’tis therefore only right and fair to give him thy daughter.”–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Minister said to the Monarch, “Give him thy daughter.” Accordingly the Sultan summoned the Kazis and the Efendis[FN#60] who wrote out the marriage-contract between me and the Princess. Then I returned to the youth who had remained in the room and told him all that had occurred when he said, “‘Twere best to conclude the wedding-ceremony and pay the first visit to thy bride at once; but thou shalt on no wise consummate the nuptials until I bid thee go in unto her, after somewhat shall have been done by me.” “Hearing and obeying,” replied I; and, when the night of going in[FN#61] came, I visited the Sultan’s daughter but sat apart from her by the side of the room during the first night and the second and the third; nor did I approach her although every day her mother came and asked her the usual question[FN#62] and she answered, “He hath never approached me.” So she grieved with sore grief for that ’tis the wont of womankind, when a maid is married and her groom goeth not in unto her, to deem that haply folk will attribute it to some matter which is not wholly right. After the third night the mother reported the case to her father who cried, “This night except he abate her pucelage I will slay him!” The tidings reached my bride who told all to me, so I repaired to the young man and acquainted him therewith. He cried, “When thou shalt visit her say, ‘By Allah, I will not enjoy thee unless thou give me the amulet-bracelet hanging to thy right shoulder.'” I replied, “To hear is to obey;” and, when I went in to her at nightfall, I asked her, “Dost thou really desire me to futter thee?” She answered, “I do indeed;” so I rejoined, “Then give me the amulet-bracelet hanging over thy right shoulder.” She arose forthright and unbound it and gave it to me, whereupon I bled her of the hymeneal blood[FN#63] and going to the young man gave him the jewel. Then I returned to my bride and slept by her side till the morning when I awoke and found myself lying outstreched in my own caravanserai-cell. I was wonderstruck and asked myself, “Am I on wake or in a dream?” and I saw my whilome garments, the patched gabardine[FN#64] and tattered shirt alone with my little drum;[FN#65] but the fine suit given to me by the youth was not on my body nor did I espy any sign of it anywhere. So with fire burning in my heart after what had befallen me, I wandered about crowded sites and lone spots and in my distraction I knew not what to do, whither to go or whence to come; when lo and behold! I found sitting in an unfrequented part of the street a Maghrabi,[FN#66] a Barbary man, who had before him some written leaves and was casting omens for sundry bystanders. Seeing this state of things, I came forward and drew near him and made him a salam which he returned; then, after considering my features straitly, he exclaimed, “O Shaykh, hath that Accursed done it and torn thee from thy bride?” “Yes,” I replied. Hereupon he said to me, “Wait a little while,” and seated me beside him; then, as soon as the crowd dispersed he said, “O Shaykh, the baboon which thou boughtest for ten silver bits and which was presently transformed into a young man of Adam’s sons, is not a human of the sons of Adam but a Jinni who is enamoured of the Princess thou didst wed. However, he could not approach her by reason of the charmed bracelet hanging from her right shoulder, wherefore he served thee this sleight and won it and now he still weareth it. But I will soon work his destruction to the end that Jinnkind and mankind may be at rest from his mischief; for he is one of the rebellious and misbegotten imps who break the law of our lord Solomon (upon whom be the Peace!).” Presently the Maghrabi took a leaf and wrote upon it as it were a book.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Maghrabi wrote a writ and signed his name within and sealed it; after which he handed it to me saying, “O Shaykh, take this missive and hie thee herewith to a certain spot where thou must wait and observe those who pass by. Hearten thy heart and when thou shalt see approaching thee a man attended by a numerous train, present to him this scroll for ’tis he who will win for thee thy wish.” I took the note from the Barbary man and fared forth to the place which he had described and ceased not faring till I reached it after travelling all that night and half the next day; then I sat down until darkness set in to await whatso might befal me. When a fourth part of the night had passed, a dazzling glare of lights suddenly appeared from afar advancing towards me; and as it shone nearer, I made out men bearing flambeaux[FN#67] and lanthorns, also a train of attendants befitting the Kings. They looked on and considered me whilst my heart fluttered with fear, and I was in sore affright. But the procession defiled and drew off from before me, marching two after two, and presently appeared the chief cortege wherein was a Sultan[FN#68] of the Jann. As he neared me I heartened my heart and advanced and presented to him the letter which he, having halted, opened and read aloud; and it was:–“Be it known to thee, O Sultan of the Jann, that the bearer of this our epistle hath a need which thou must grant him by destroying his foe; and if opposition be offered by any we will do the opponent die. An thou fail to relieve him thou wilt know to seek from me relief for thyself.” When the King of the Jann had read the writ and had mastered its meaning and its mysteries, he forthwith called out to one of his serjeants[FN#69] who at once came forward and bade him bring into his presence without delay such-and-such a Jinni who by his spells had wrought round the daughter of the Cairene Sultan. The messenger replied, “Hearing and obeying,” and departed from him and disappearing was absent an hour or thereabouts; after which he and others returned with the Jinni and set him standing before the King who exclaimed, “Wherefore, O Accurst, hast thou wrought ill to this man and done on this wise and on that wise?” He replied, “O my lord, all came of my fondness for the Princess who wore a charm in her armlet which hindered my approaching her and therefore I made use of this man to effect my purpose. I became master of the talisman and won my wish but I love the maiden and never will I harm her.” Now when the Sultan heard these words he said, “Thy case can be after one of two fashions only. Either return the armlet that the man may be reunited with his wife and she with her husband as whilome they were; or contrary me and I will command the headsman strike thy neck.” Now when the Jinni heard this speech (and ’twas he who had assumed the semblance of a dog-faced baboon), he refused and was rebellious to the King and cried, “I will not return the armlet nor will I release the damsel, for none can possess her save myself.” And having spoken in this way he attempted to flee.–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Marid would fain have fled from before the King of the Jann, but the Sovran bade other Marids and more forceful arrest him; so they seized him and pinioned him and bound him in chains and collar and dragged him behind the King of the Jann till the latter had reached his place and had summoned him and had taken from him the armlet. Then the Sultan gave order for him to be slain and they slew him. When this was done, I prayed for the charm-armlet and I recovered it after the Marid’s death; they also restored to me my fine suit. So I proceeded to the city which I entered, and as soon as the guards and courtiers saw me, they cried out for joy and said, “This is the son-in-law of the Sultan who was lost!” Hereat all the lieges hurried up to me and received me with high respect and greeted me. But after entering the Palace I proceeded forthright till I reached the apartment set apart by them for myself and my spouse whom I found in a deep sleep and stupefied, as it were; a condition in which she had lain ever since I took from her the talismanic armlet. So I replaced the jewel upon her right shoulder and she awoke and arose and ordered herself; whereat her father and family and the Lords of the Land and all the folk joyed with exceeding joy. After this we lived together in all happiness till the death of her sire who, having no son, named me his successor so that I became what I am. Now when the Darwaysh-Sultan heard all this he was astounded at what happeneth in this world of marvels and miracles; upon which I said to him, “O my brother wonder not; for whatso is predetermined shall perforce be carried out. But thou needs must become my Wazir; because thou art experienced in rule and governance and, since what time my sire-in-law the Sultan died, I have been perplexed in my plight being unable to find me a Minister who can administer the monarchy. So do thou become my Chief Counsellor in the realm.” Thereupon the Darwaysh replied, “Hearkening and obedience.” The Sultan then robed him in a sumptuous robe of honour and committed to him his seal-ring and all other matters pertinent to his office, at the same time setting apart for him a palace, spacious of corners, which he furnished with splendid furniture and wadded carpets and vaiselle and other such matters. So the Wazir took his seat of office and held a Divan or Council of State forthright and commanded and countermanded, and bade and forbade according as he saw just and equitable; and his fame for equity and justice was disproved abroad; insomuch that who ever had a cause or request or other business he would come to the Wazir for ordering whatso he deemed advisable. In this condition he continued for many years till, on a day of the days, the Sultan’s mind was depressed. Upon this he sent after the Minister who attended at his bidding, when he said, “O Wazir, my heart is heavy!” “Enter then,” replied the Minister, “O King, into thy treasury of jewels and rubies and turn them over in thy hands and thy breast will be broadened.” The Sultan did accordingly but it took no effect upon his ennui; so he said, “O Wazir, I cannot win free of this melancholic humour and nothing pleasureth me in my palace; so let us fare forth, I and thou, in disguise.” “Hearing is obeying,” quoth the Minister. The twain then retired into a private chamber to shift their garb and habited themselves as Darwayshes, the Darwayshes of Ajam-land, and went forth and passed through the city right and left till they reached a Maristan, a hospital for lunatics.[FN#70] Here they found two young men, one reading the Koran[FN#71] and the other hearkening to him, both being in chains like men Jinn-mad; and the Sultan said in his mind, “By Allah, this is a marvel-case,” and bespake the men asking, “Are ye really insane?” They answered saying, “No, by Allah; we are not daft but so admirable are our adventures that were they graven with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners they had been warners to whoso would be warned.” “What are they?” quoth the King, and quoth they, “Each of us, by Allah, hath his own story;” and presently he who had been reading exclaimed, “O King of the Age, hear my tale.”–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth began relating to the Sultan

The Story of the First Lunatic.[FN#72]

I was a merchant and kept a shop wherein were Hindi goods of all kinds and colours, highmost priced articles; and I sold and bought with much profit. I continued in this condition a while of time till one day of the days as I, according to my custom, was sitting in my shop an old woman came up and gave me the good morning and greeted me with the salam. I returned her salute when she seated her upon the shopboard and asked me saying, “O master, hast thou any pieces of choice Indian stuffs?” I replied, “O my mistress, I have with me whatso thou wantest;” and she rejoined, “Bring me forth one of them.” Accordingly I arose and fetched her a Hindi piece of the costliest price and placed it in her hands. She took it and examining it was greatly pleased by its beauty and presently said to me, “O my lord, for how much is this?” Said I, “Five hundred dinars;” whereupon she pulled forth her purse and counted out to me the five hundred gold pieces. Then she took the stuff and went her ways; and I, O our lord the Sultan, had sold to her for five hundred sequins a piece of cloth worth at cost price three hundred and fifty gold pieces. She came to me again, O my lord, on the next day and asked me for another piece; so I rose up and brought her the bundle and she paid me once more five hundred dinars: then she took up her bargain and ganged her gait. She did the same, O my lord, on the third and the fourth day and so on to the fifteenth, taking a piece of stuff from me and paying me regularly five hun- dred golden pieces for each bargain. On the sixteenth behold, she entered my shop as was her wont, but she found not her purse; so she said to me, “O Khwajah,[FN#73] I have left my purse at home.” Said I, “O my lady, an thou return ’tis well and if not thou art welcome to it.” She sware she would not take it and I, on the other hand, sware her to carry it off as a token of love and friendship.[FN#74] Thereupon debate fell between us, and I, O our lord the Sultan, had made muchel of money by her and, had she taken two pieces gratis, I would not have asked questions anent them. At last she cried, “O Khwajah, I have sworn an oath and thou hast sworn an oath, and we shall never agree except thou favour me by accompanying me to my house so thou mayest receive the value of the stuff, when neither of us will have been forsworn: therefore lock up thy shop lest anything be lost in thine absence.” Accordingly I bolted my door and went with her, O our lord the Sultan, and we ceased not walking, conversing the while we walked, I and she, until we neared her abode when she pulled out a kerchief from her girdle and said, “‘Tis my desire to bind this over thine eyes.” Quoth I, “For what cause?” and quoth she, “For that on our way be sundry houses whose doors are open and the women are sitting in the vestibules of their homes, so that haply thy glance may alight upon some one of them, married or maid, and thy heart become engaged in a love-affair and thou abide distraight, because in this quarter of the town be many fair faces, wives and virgins, who would fascinate even a religious, and wherefore we are alarmed for thy peace of mind.” Upon this I said in myself, “By Allah, this old woman is able of advice;” and I consented to her requirement, when she bound the kerchief over my eyes and blindfolded me. Then we walked on till we came to the house she sought; and when she rapped with the door-ring a slave-girl came out and opening the door let us in. The old body then approached me and unbound the kerchief from over my eyes; whereupon I looked around me, holding myself to be a captive, and I found me in a mansion having sundry separate apartments in the wings and ’twas richly decorated resembling the palaces of the Kings.–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this com- pared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth pursued:–By Allah, O our lord the Sultan, of that house I never saw the fellow. She then bade me hide within a room and I did her bidding in a corner place where beside me I beheld heaped together and cast down in that private site all the pieces of stuff which the ancient dame had purchased of me. Seeing this I marvelled in my mind and lo! appeared two damsels as they were moons and came down from an upper story till they stood on the ground-floor; after which they cut a piece of cloth into twain and each maiden took one and tucked up her sleeves. They then sprinkled the court of that palace with water of the rose and of the orange-flower,[FN#75] wiping the surface with the cloth and rubing it till it became as silver; after which the two girls retired into an inner room and brought out some fifty chairs[FN#76] which they set down, and placed over each seat a rug[FN#77] with cushions of brocade. They then carried in a larger chair of gold and placed upon it a carpet with cushions of orfrayed work and after a time they withdrew. Presently, there descended from the staircase, two following two, a host of maidens in number till they evened the chairs and each one of them sat down upon her own, and at last suddenly appeared a young lady in whose service were ten damsels, and she walked up to and they seated her upon the great chair. When I beheld her, O my lord the Sultan, my right senses left me and my wits fled me and I was astounded at her loveliness and her stature and her symmetric grace as she swayed to and fro in her pride of beauty and gladsome spirits amongst those damsels and laughed and sported with them. At last she cried aloud, “O mother mine!” when the ancient dame answered her call and she asked her, “Hast thou brought the young man?” The old woman replied, “Yes, he is present between thy hands;” and the fair lady said, “Bring him hither to me!” But when I heard these words I said to myself, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Doubtless when this damsel shall have discovered my being in such hiding place she will bid them do me die.” The old woman then came forwards to me and led me before the young lady seated on the great chair; and, when I stood in her presence, she smiled in my face and saluted me with the salam and welcomed me; after which she signed for a seat to be brought and when her bidding was obeyed set it close beside her own. She then commanded me to sit and I seated me by her side.–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth pursued:–She seated me beside her, O our lord the Sultan, and fell to talking and joking with me for an hour or so when she said, “O youth, what sayest thou of me and of my beauty and my loveliness? Would Heaven that I could occupy thy thought and please thee so that I might become to thee wife and thou be to me man.” When I heard these her words I replied, “O my lady, how dare I presume to attain such honour? Indeed I do not deem myself worthy to become a slave between thy hands.” Hereupon said she, “Nay, O young man, my words have in them nor evasion nor alteration; so be not disheartened or fearful of returning me a reply, for that my heart is fulfilled of thy love.” I now understood, O our lord the Sultan, that the damsel was desirous of marrying me; but I could not conceive what was the cause thereof or who could have given her intelligence concerning me. She continued to enjoy herself in the gladsomest way till at length I was emboldened to say to her, “O my lady, an thy words to me be after the fashion of thy will, remember the proverb, ‘When a kindness is to be done, this is its time.'” “By Allah, O youth, there cannot be a more fortunate day than this present.” “O my lady, what shall I apportion to thee for dowry?” “The dowry hath been paid to me in the value of the stuffs which thou entrustedst to this ancient dame who is my mother!” “That cannot suffice.” “By Allah, naught shall be added; but, O youth, ’tis my intention forthright to send after the Kazi and his Asses- sors and I will choose me a trustee[FN#78] that they may tie together us twain without delay; and thou shalt come in to me this coming evening. But all such things be upon one condition.” “And what may be thy condition?” “This, that thou swear never to address or to draw near any woman save myself.” And I, O our lord the Sultan, being unmarried and eager to possess so beautiful a bride, said to her, “This be thine; and I will never contrary thee by word or by deed.” She then sent to summon the Kazi and his witnesses and appointed an agent; upon which they knotted the knot. After the marriage ceremony was ended she ordered coffee[FN#79] and sherbets and gave somewhat of dirhams to the Kazi and a robe of honour to her trustee; and this done, all went their several ways. I was lost in astonishment and said in my mind, “Do I dream or am I on wake?” She then commanded her damsels to clear the Hammam-bath and cleanse it and fill it afresh and get ready towels and waist-cloths and silken napkins[FN#80] and scented woods and essences, as virgin ambergris and ottars and perfumes of vari-coloured hues and kinds. And when they had executed her orders, she ordered the Eunuchry standing in her service to take me and bear me to the Bath, largessing each one with a sumptuous dress. They led me into a Hammam which had been made private and I saw a place tongue is powerless to portray. And as we arrived there they spread vari-coloured carpets upon which I sat me down and doffed what clothing was upon me: then I entered the hot rooms and smelt delicious scents diffused from the sides of the hall, sandal-wood, Comorin lign-aloes and other such fragrant substances. Here they came up to me and seated me, lathering me with perfumed soaps and shampoo’d me till my body became silver-bright; when they fetched the metal tasses and I washed with water luke-warm after which they brought me cold water mingled with rose water and I sprinkled it over me. After this they supplied me with silken napkins and drying-towels of palm-fibre[FN#81] wherewith I rubbed me and then repaired to the cool room outside the calidarium[FN#82] where I found a royal dress. The Eunuchry arrayed me therein and after fumigating me with the smoke of lign-aloes served up somewhat of confections[FN#83] and coffee and sherbets of sundry sorts; so I drank after eating the Ma’jun. About eventide I left the Baths with all the Eunuchry in attendance on me and we walked till we entered the Palace and they led me into a closet spread with kingly carpets and cushions. And behold, she came up to me attired in a new habit more sumptuous than that I had seen her wearing erewhile.–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:–And I, O our lord the Sultan, went into the closet and behold, she met me wearing a habit of the most sumptuous: so when I sighted her she seemed to me from the richness of her ornaments like an enchanted hoard wherefrom the talisman had been newly removed. She sat down beside me and bent lovingly over me and I rose up for I could no longer contain my passion and wrought that work which was to be worked.[FN#84] Presently she again disappeared but soon returned in vestments even richer than the last and she did with me as before and I embraced her once more. In short, O our lord the Sultan, we ceased not dwelling together, I and she, in joyaunce and enjoyment, laughter and disport and delicious converse for a space of twenty days. At the end of this time I called to mind my lady-mother, and said to the dame I had espoused, “O my lady, ’tis long since I have been absent from home and ’tis long since my parent hath seen me or wotteth aught concerning me: needs must she be pining and grieving for my sake. So do thou give me leave to visit her and look after my mother and also after my shop.” Quoth she, “No harm in that: thou mayst visit thy mother daily and busy thyself about thy shop-business; but this ancient dame (my mother) is she who must lead thee out and bring thee back.” Whereto I replied, “‘Tis well.” Upon this the old woman came in and tied a kerchief over my eyes according to custom and fared forth with me till we reached the spot where she had been wont to remove the bandage. Here she unbound it saying, “We’ll expect thee to-morrow about noontide and when thou comest to this place, thou shalt see me awaiting thee.” I left her and repaired to my mother whom I found grieving and weeping at my absence; and upon seeing me she rose up and threw her arms round my neck with tears of joy. I said, “Weep not, O my mother, for the cause of my absence hath been a certain matter which be thus and thus.” I then related to her my adventure and she on hearing it was rejoiced thereby and exclaimed, “O my son, may Allah give thee gladness; but I pray thee solace me[FN#85] at least every two days with a visit that my longing for thee may be satisfied.” I replied,”This shall be done;” and thenceforth, O our lord the Sultan, I went to my shop and busied myself as was my wont till noontide, when I returned to the place appointed and found the old woman awaiting me. Nor did I ever fare forth from the mansion without her binding my eyes with the kerchief which she loosed only when we reached my own house; and whenever I asked her of this she would answer, “On our way be sundry houses whose doors are open and the women sitting in the vestibules of their homes, so that haply thy glance may alight upon some one of them, matron or maid: all sniff up love like water,[FN#86] and we fear for thee lest thy heart be netted in the net of amours.”For thirty days, a whole month, I continued to go and come after this fashion but, O our lord the Sultan, at all times and tides I was drowned in thought and wondered in my mind, saying, “What chance caused me forgather with this damsel? What made me marry her? Whence this wealth which is under her hand? How came I to win union with her?” For I knew not the cause of all this. Now, on a day of the days, I found an opportunity of being private with one of her black slave girls[FN#87] and questioned her of all these matters that concerned her mistress. She replied, “O my lord, the history of my lady is marvellous; but I dare not relate it to thee in fear lest she hear thereof and do me die.” So I said to her, “By Allah, O handmaid of good, an thou wilt say me sooth I will veil it darkly for in the keeping of secrets there is none like myself: nor will I reveal it at any time.” Then I took oath of secrecy when she said, “O my lord,”–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:–Then the handmaiden said to me, “O my lord, my lady went forth one day of the days to the Hammam with the object of pleasuring and of diverting herself, for which purpose she made goodly preparation including gifts and presents,[FN#88] matters worth a mint of money.[FN#89] After leaving the baths she set out upon an excursion to eat the noon-day meal in a flower garden where she enjoyed herself with exceeding joy and enjoyment, eating and drinking till the evening; and when she designed to depart she collected the fragments of the feast and distributed them amongst the mean and the mesquin. On her return she passed through the Bazar-street wherein standeth thy shop, and it was a Friday when thou wast sitting, adorned with thy finest dress, in converse with the nearest neighbour. And suddenly as she fared by, she beheld thee in such state and her heart was stricken with sore stroke of love albeit none of us observed her condition and what affection she had conceived for thee. However, no sooner had she reached her palace than her melancholy began to grow upon her with groans and her cark and care, and her colour left her: she ate and drank little and less and her sleep forsook her and her frame was sorely enfeebled till at last she took to her bed. Upon this her mother went to summon a learned man[FN#90] or a mediciner that he might consider the condition of her daughter and what sickness had gotten about her: she was absent for an hour and returned with an ancient dame who took seat beside her and putting forth her hand felt the patient’s pulse. But she could perceive in her no bodily ailment or pain, upon which the old woman understood her case, but she durst not bespeak her of it nor mention to her mother that the girl’s heart was distraught by love. So she said, ‘There is no harm to thee! and (Inshallah!) to-morrow I will return hither to thee and bring with me a certain medicine.’ She then went forth from us and leading the mother to a place apart, said to her, ‘O my lady, Allah upon thee, pardon me for whatso I shall mention and be thou convinced that my words are true and keep them secret nor divulge them to any.’ The other replied, ‘Say on and fear not for aught which hath become manifest to thee of my daughter’s unweal: haply Allah will vouchsafe welfare.’ She rejoined, ‘Verily, thy daughter hath no bodily disorder or malady of the disease kind but she is in love and there can be no cure for her save union with her beloved.’ Quoth the mother, ‘And how about the coming of her sweetheart? This is a matter which may not be managed except thou show us some contrivance whereby to bring this youth hither and marry him to her. But contriv- ance is with Allah.’ Then the old lady went her ways forthright and the girl’s mother sought her daughter and said to her after kindly fashion, ‘O my child, as for thee thy disorder is a secret and not a bodily disease. Tell me of him thou requirest and fear naught from me; belike Allah will open to us the gate of con- trivance whereby thou shalt win to thy wish.’ Now when the maiden heard these words she was abashed before her parent and kept silence, being ashamed to speak; nor would she return any reply for the space of twenty days. But during this term her distraction increased and her mother ceased not to repeat the same words, time after time, till it became manifest to the parent that the daughter was madly in love with a young man; so at last quoth she, ‘Describe him to me.’ Quoth the other, ‘O mother mine, indeed he is young of years and fair of favour; also he woneth in such a Bazar, methinks on its southern side.’ Therewith the dame arose without stay or delay and fared forth to find the young man and ’tis thyself, O youth! And when the mother saw thee she took from thee a piece of cloth and brought it to her daughter and promised thou shouldst visit her. Thence- forwards she ceased not repeating her calls to thee for the period thou wottest well until by her cunning she brought thee hither; and that happened which happened and thou didst take the daughter to wife. Such is her tale and beware lest thou reveal my disclosure.” “No, by Allah,” replied I. Then the lunatic resumed speaking to the Sultan:–O my lord, I continued to cohabit with her for the space of one month, going daily to see my mother and to sell in my shop and I returned to my wife every evening blindfolded and guided as usual by my mother-in-law. Now one day of the days as I was sitting at my business, a damsel came into the Bazar-street.–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:–A damsel came into the Bazar-street bearing the image of a cock made of precious ore and crusted with pearls and rubies and other gems; and she offered it to the goodmen[FN#91] of the market for sale. So they opened the biddings at five hundred dinars and they ceased not contending[FN#92] thereanent till the price went up to nine hundred and fifty gold pieces. All this time and I looked on nor did I interfere by speaking a syllable or by adding to the biddings a single bit of gold. At last, when none would offer aught more, the girl came up to me and said, “O my lord, all the gentlemen have increased their biddings for the cock; but thou hast neither bidden nor heartened my heart by one kind word.” Quoth I, “I have no need thereof;” and quoth she, “By Allah, needs must thou bid somewhat more than the others.” I replied, “Since there is no help for it, I will add fifty dinars which will fill up the thousand.” She rejoined, “Allah gar thee gain!”[FN#93] So I fared into my shop to fetch the money, saying in my mind, “I will present this curiosity to my Harim: haply ’twill pleasure her.” But when I was about, O my lord the Sultan, to count out the thousand ducats, the damsel would not accept aught of me but said, “I have a request to make of thee, O youth! to wit, that I may take one kiss from thy cheek.” I asked her, “For what purpose?” and she answered, “I want one kiss of thy cheek which shall be the price of my cock, for I need of thee naught else.” I thought to myself, “By Allah, a single kiss of my cheek for the value of a thousand sequins were an easy price;” and I gave my consent thereto, O my lord. Then she came up to me and leaned over me and bussed my cheek, but after the kiss she bit me with a bite which left its mark:[FN#94] then she gave me the cock and went her ways in haste. Now when it was noon I made for my wife’s house and came upon the old woman awaiting me at the customed stead and she bound the kerchief over my eyes and after blindfolding them fared with me till we reached our home when she unbound it. I found my wife sitting in the saloon dressed from head to foot in cramoisy[FN#95] and with an ireful face, whereupon I said to myself, “O Saviour,[FN#96] save me!” I then went up to her and took out the cock which was covered with pearls and rubies, thinking that her evil humour would vanish at the sight of it and said, “O my lady, accept this cock for ’tis curious and admirable to look upon; and I bought it to pleasure thee.” She put forth her hand and taking it from me examined it by turning it rightwards and leftwards; then exclaimed, “Didst thou in very sooth buy this on my account?” Replied I, “By Allah, O my lady, I bought it for thee at a thousand gold pieces.” Hereupon she shook her head at me, O my lord the Sultan, and cried out after a long look at my face, “What meaneth that bite on thy cheek?” Then with a loud and angry voice she called to her women who came down the stairs forthright bearing the body of a young girl with the head cut off and set upon the middle of the corpse;[FN#97] and I looked and behold, it was the head of the damsel who had sold me the cock for a kiss and who had bitten my cheek. Now my wife had sent her with the toy by way of trick, saying to her, “Let us try this youth whom I have wedded and see if he hold himself bound by his plighted word and pact or if he be false and foul.” But of all this I knew naught. Then she cried a second cry and behold, up came three handmaids bearing with them three cocks like that which I had brought for her and she said, “Thou bringest me this one cock when I have these three cocks; but inasmuch as, O youth, thou hast broken the covenant that was between me and thee, I want thee no more: go forth! wend thy ways forthright!” And she raged at me and cried to her mother, “Take him away!”[FN#98]–And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Youth continued to the King:–Hereupon the old woman, O my lord, hent me by the hand and bound the kerchief over my eyes as was her wont and led me to the customed place when she loosed the bandage saying, “Begone!” and disappeared. But I, O my lord, became like a madman and ran through the streets as one frantic crying, “Ah her loveliness! Ah her stature! Ah her perfect grace! Ah her ornaments!” Hereupon the folk seeing me and hearing me say these words shouted out, “Yonder is a lunatic;” so they seized me perforce and jailed me in the madhouse as thou hast seen me, O our lord the Sultan. They say, “This man is Jinn-mad;” but, by Allah, I am no maniac, O my lord, and such is my tale. Hereat the King marvelled and bowed his brow groundwards for a while in deep thought over this affair: then he raised his head and turning to his Minister said, “O Wazir, by the truth of Him who made me ruler of this realm, except thou discover the damsel who married this youth, thy head shall pay forfeit.” The Wazir was consterned to hear the case of the young man; but he could not disobey the royal commandment so he said, “Allow me three days of delay, O our lord the Sultan;” and to this much of grace the King consented. Then the Wazir craved dismissal and would have taken the Youth with him; when the Sultan cried, “As soon as thou shalt have hit upon the house, the young man will go into it and come forth it like other folk.” He replied, “Hearkening and obedience.” So he took the Youth and went out with aching head and giddy as a drunken man, perplexed and unknowing whither he should wend; and he threaded the city streets from right to left and from east to west, tarrying at times that he might privily question the folk. But naught discovered himself to him and he made certain of death. In this condition he continued for two days and the third till noontide, when he devised him a device and said to the Youth, “Knowest thou the spot where the old woman was wont to blindfold thine eyes?” He replied, “Yes.” So the Minister walked on with him till the young man exclaimed, “Here, ’tis this!”[FN#99] The Wazir then said, “O Youth, knowest thou the door-ring wherewith she was wont to rap and canst thou distinguish its sound?” He said, “I can.” Accordingly, the Wazir took him and went the round of all the houses in that quarter and rapped with every door-ring asking him, “Is’t this?” and he would answer, “No.” And the twain ceased not to do after such fashion until they came to the door where the appointment had taken place without risk threatened;[FN#100] and the Wazir knocked hard at it and the Youth, hearing the knock, exclaimed, “O my lord, verily this be the ring without question or doubt or uncertainty.” So the Minister knocked again with the same knocker and the slave-girls threw open the door and the Wazir, entering with the Youth, found that the palace belonged to the daughter of the Sultan who had been succeeded by his liege lord.[FN#101] But when the Princess saw the Minister together with her spouse, she adorned herself and came down from the Harem and salam’d to him. Thereupon he asked her, “What hath been thy business with this young man?” So she told him her tale from first to last and he said, “O my lady, the King commandeth that he enter and quit the premises as before and that he come hither without his eyes being bandaged with the kerchief.” She obeyed and said, “The commandments of our lord the Sultan shall be carried out.” Such was the history of that youth whom the Sultan heard reading the Koran in the Maristan, the public madhouse: but as regards the second Lunatic who sat listening, the Sultan asked him, “And thou, the other, what be thy tale?” So he began to relate the

Story of the Second Lunatic.[FN#102]

“O my lord,” quoth the young man, “my case is marvellous, and haply thou wilt desire me to relate it in order continuous;” and quoth the Sultan, “Let me hear it.”–And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the second youth said:–O my lord the Sultan, I am by calling a merchant man