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Zein Ul Asnam and the King of the Jinn:
Two Stories Done into English from the Recently
Discovered Arabic Text

by John Payne

London 1901

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, K.C.M.G.,

My Dear Burton,

I give myself the pleasure of placing your name in the forefront
of another and final volume of my translation of the Thousand and
One Nights, which, if it have brought me no other good, has at
least been the means of procuring me your friendship.

Believe me,

Yours always,

John Payne.

Twelve years this day,--a day of winter, dreary
With drifting snows, when all the world seemed dead
To Spring and hope,--it is since, worn and weary
Of doubt within and strife without, I fled

From the mean workday miseries of existence,
From spites that slander and from hates that lie,
Into the dreamland of the Orient distance
Under the splendours of the Syrian sky,

And in the enchanted realms of Eastern story,
Far from the lovelessness of modern times,

Garnered the rainbow-remnants of old glory
That linger yet in those ancestral climes;

And now, the tong task done, the journey over,
From that far home of immemorial calms,
Where, as a mirage, on the sky-marge hover
The desert and its oases of palms,

Lingering, I turn me back, with eyes reverted
To this stepmother world of daily life,
As one by some long pleasant dream deserted,
That wakes anew to dull unlovely strife:

Yet, if non' other weal the quest have wrought me.
The long beloved labour now at end,
This gift of gifts the untravelled East hath brought me,
The knowledge of a new and valued friend.

5th Feb. 1889.



The readers of my translation of the Book of the Thousand Nights
and One Night will remember that, in the terminal essay (1884) on
the history and character of the collection, I expressed my
conviction that the eleven (so-called) "interpolated"
tales, [FN#1] though, in my judgment, genuine Oriental stories,
had (with the exception of the Sleeper Awakened and Aladdin) no
connection with the original work, but had been procured by
Galland from various (as yet) unidentified sources, for the
purpose of supplying the deficiencies of the imperfect MS. of the
Nights from which he made his version. [FN#2] My opinion as to
these talcs has now been completely confirmed by the recent
discovery (by M. Zotenberg, Keeper of Oriental MSS. in the
Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris) of two Arabic MSS. of the
Nights, both containing three of the missing stories, i.e. (1)
Zeyn Alasnam, (3) The Sleeper Awakened and (4) Aladdin, and by
the publication (also by M. Zotenberg) of certain extracts from
Galland's diary, giving particulars of the circumstances under
which the "interpolated" tales were incorporated with his
translation of the Arabian Nights. The Arabic text of the Story
of Aladdin, as given by the completer and more authentic of the
newly-discovered MSS., has recently been made by M. Zotenberg the
subject of a special publication, [FN#3] in the preface to which
(an exhaustive bibliographical essay upon the various Texts of
the Thousand and One Nights, considered in relation to Galland's
translation) he gives, in addition to the extracts in question
from Galland's Diary, a detailed description of the two MSS.
aforesaid, the more interesting particulars of which I now
proceed to abstract for the benefit of my readers.


The first MS. commences precisely where the third volume of
Galland's MS. ends, to wit, (see my Terminal essay, p. 265,
note1) with the 281st Night, in the middle of the story of
Camaralzaman [FN#4] and contains, (inter alia) besides the
continuation of this latter (which ends with Night CCCXXIX), the
stories of the Sleeper Awakened (Nights CCCXXX-CCCC), Ganem
(Nights CCCCXXVIII-CCCCLXX1V), Zeyn Alasnam (Nights CCCCLXXV-
CCCCXCI), Aladdin (Nights CCCCXCII-DLXIX) and three others not
found in Galland's version. The MS. ends in the middle of the
631st night with the well-known Story of King Bekhtzad
(Azadbekht) and his son or the Ten Viziers, (which will be found
translated in my " Tales from the Arabic," Vol. I. pp. 61 et
seq.) and contains, immediately after Night CCCCXXVII and before
the story of Ganem, a note in Arabic, of which the following is a

"The fourth volume of the wonders and marvels of the stories of
the Thousand Nights and One Night was finished by the hand of the
humblest of His' servants in the habit of a minister of religion
(Kahin, lit. a diviner, Cohen), the [Christian] priest Dionysius
Shawish, a scion (selil) of the College of the Romans (Greeks,
Europeans or Franks, er Roum), by name St. Athanasius, in Rome
the Greatest (or Greater, utsma, fem. of aatsem, qu re
Constantinople ?) on the seven-and-twentieth of the month Shubat
(February) of the year one thousand seven hundred fourscore and
seven, [he being] then teacher of the Arabic tongue in the
Library of the Sultan, King of France, at Paris the Greatest."

From this somewhat incoherent note we may assume that the MS. was
written in the course of the year 1787 by the notorious Syrian
ecclesiastic Dom Denis Chavis, the accomplice of Cazotte in the
extraordinary literary atrocity shortly afterward perpetrated by
the latter under the name of a sequel or continuation of the
Thousand and One Nights [FN#6] (v. Cabinet des Fees, vols.
xxxviii--xli), [FN#7] and in all probability (cf. the mention in
the above note of the first part, i.e. Nights CCLXXXI-CCCCXXVII,
as the fourth volume) to supply the place of Galland's missing
fourth volume for the Bibliotheque Royale; but there. is nothing,
except a general similarity of style and the occurrence in the
former of the rest of Camaralzaman and (though not in the same
order) of four of the tales supposed to have been contained in
the latter, to show that Dom Chavis made his copy from a text
identical with that used by the French savant. In the notes to
his edition of the Arabic text of Aladdin, M. Zotenberg gives a
number of extracts from this MS., from which it appears that it
is written in a very vulgar modern Syrian style and abounds in
grammatical errors, inconsistencies and incoherences of every
description, to say nothing of the fact that the Syrian
ecclesiastic seems, with the characteristic want of taste and
presumption which might be expected from the joint-author of "Les
Veillees Persanes," to have, to a considerable extent, garbled
the original text by the introduction of modern European phrases
and turns of speech a la Galland. For the rest, the MS. contains
no note or other indication, on which we can found any opinion as
to the source from which the transcriber (or arranger) drew his
materials; but it can hardly be doubted, from internal evidence,
that he had the command of some genuine text of the Nights,
similar to, if not identical with, that of Galland, which he
probably "arranged" to suit his own (and his century's) distorted
ideas of literary fitness. The discovery of the interpolated
tales contained in this MS. (which has thus presumably lain
unnoticed for a whole century, under, as one may say, the very
noses of the many students of Arabic literature who would have
rejoiced in such a find) has, by a curious freak of fortune, been
delayed until our own day in consequence of a singular mistake
made by a former conservator of the Paris Bibliotheque, the
well-known Orientalist, M. Reinaud, who, in drawing up the
Catalogue of the Arabic MSS. in the collection described (or
rather misdescribed) it under the following heading:

"Supplement Arabe 1716. Thousand and One Nights, 3rd and 4th
parts. This volume begins with Night CCLXXXII and ends with Night
DCXXXI. A copy in the handwriting of Chavis. It is from this copy
and in accordance with the instructions (d'apres la indications)
of this Syrian monk that Cazotte composed (redigea) the Sequel to
the Thousand and One Nights, Cabinet des Fees, " xxxvii et xl
(should be tt. xxxviii-xli)."

It is of course evident that M. Reinaud had never read the MS. in
question nor that numbered 1723 in the Supplement Arabe, or he
would at once have recognized that the latter, though not in the
handwriting of the Syrian ecclesiastic, was that which served for
the production of the "Sequel" in question; but, superficial as
was the mistake, it sufficed to prevent the examination by
students of the MS. No. 1716 and so retarded the discovery of the
Arabic originals of Aladdin and its fellows till the acquisition
(some two years ago) by the Bibliotheque Nationale of another
(and complete) MS. of the Thousand and One Nights, which appears
to have belonged to the celebrated Orientalist M. Caussin de
Perceval, although the latter could not have been acquainted with
it at the time (1806) he published his well-known edition and
continuation of Galland's translation, in the eighth and ninth
volumes of which, by the by, he gives a correct version of the
tales so fearfully garbled by Chavis and Cazotte in their
so-called translation as well nigh to defy recognition and to
cause Orientalists in general to deny the possibility of their
having been derived from an Oriental source until the discovery
of the actual Arabic originals so barbarously maltreated [FN#8]

This MS. is in the handwriting of of Sebbagh, the well-known
Syrian collaborator of Silvestre de Sacy, and is supposed to have
been copied by him at Paris between the years 1805 and 1810 for
some European Orientalist (probably de Perceval himself) from a
Baghdad MS. of the early part of the 18th century, of which it
professes to be an exact reproduction, as appears from a terminal
note, of which the following is a translation:

"And the finishing of it was in the first tenth (decade) of
Jumada the Latter [in the] year one thousand one hundred and
fifteen of the Hegira (October, 1703) in the handwriting of the
neediest of the faithful [FN#9] unto God [FN#10] the Most High,
Ahmed ibn Mohammed et Teradi, in the city of Baghdad, and he the
Shafiy by sect and the Mosuli by birth and the Baghdadi by
sojourn, and indeed he wrote it for himself and set upon it his
seal, and God bless and keep our lord Mohammed and his
companions! Kebikej [FN#11] (ter)."

This MS. contains the three "interpolated" tales aforesaid, i.e.
the Sleeper Awakened (Nights CCCXXXVII-LXXXVI), Zeyn Alasnam
(Nights CCCCXCVII-DXIII) and Aladdin (Nights DXIV-XCI), the last
two bearing traces of a Syrian origin, especially Aladdin, which
is written in a much commoner and looser style than Zeyn Alasnam.
The two tales are evidently the work of different authors, Zeyn
Alasnam being incomparably superior in style and correctness to
Aladdin, which is defaced by all kinds of vulgarisms and
solecisms and seems, moreover, to have been less correctly copied
than the other. Nevertheless, the Sebbagh text is in every
respect preferable to that of Shawish (which appears to abound in
faults and errors of every kind, general and particular,) and M.
Zotenberg has, therefore, exercised a wise discretion in
selecting the former for publication.


Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of M. Zorenberg's long and
interesting introduction is a series of extracts from the (as yet
unpublished) MS. Diary regularly kept by Galland, the last four
volumes (1708-15) of which are preserved in the Bibliotheque
Nationale. These extracts effectually settle the question of the
origin of the interpolated tales, as will be seen from the
following abstract.

On the 25th March, 1709, Galland records having that day made the
acquaintance of a Maronite scholar, by name Youhenna Diab, [FN#12]
who had been brought from Aleppo to Paris by Paul Lucas, the
celebrated traveller, and with whom he evidently at once broached
the question of the Nights, [FN#13] probably complaining to him of
the difficulty (or rather impossibility) of obtaining a perfect
copy of the work; whereupon Hanna (as he always calls him)
appears to have volunteered to help him to fill the lacune by
furnishing him with suitable Oriental stories for translation in
the same style as those already rendered by him and then and
there (says Galland) "told me some very fine Arabian tales, which
he promised to put into writing for me." There is no fresh entry
on the subject till May 5 following, when (says Galland) "The
Maronite Hanna finished telling me the tale of the Lamp." [FN#14]

Hanna appears to have remained in Paris till the autumn of the
year 1709 and during his stay, Galland's Diary records the
communication by him to the French savant of the following
stories, afterwards included in the ninth, tenth, eleventh and
twelfth volumes of the latter's translation, (as well as of
several others which he probably intended to translate, had he
lived,) [FN#15] i.e. (May 10, 1709) "Babe Abdalla" and "Sidi
Nouman," (May 13, 1709) "The Enchanted Horse," (May 22, 1709) "
Prince Ahmed and Pari Banou," (May 25, 1709) " The Two Sisters
who envied their younger Sister," (May 27, 1709) "All Baba and
the Forty Thieves," (May 29, 1709) "Cogia Hassan Alhabbal" and
(May 31, 1709) "Ali Cogia." The Maronite seems to have left for
the East in October, 1709, (Galland says under date October 25,
"Received this evening a letter from Hanna, who writes me from
Marseilles, under date the 17th, in Arabic, to the effect that he
had arrived there in good health,") but not without having at
least in part fulfilled his promise to put in writing the tales
communicated by him to Galland, as appears by the entry of
November 3, 1710, "Began yesterday to read the Arabian story of
the Lamp, which had been written me in Arabic more than a year
ago by the Maronite of Damascus [FN#16] whom M. Lucas brought with
him, with a view to putting it into French. Finished reading it
this morning. Here is the title of this tale, 'Story of Aladdin,
son of a tailor, and that which befell him with an African
Magician on account of (or through) a lamp.'" (The Diary adds
that he began that evening to put his translation into writing
and finished it in the course of the ensuing fortnight.) And that
of January 10, 1711, "Finished the translation of the tenth
volume of the 1001 Nights after the Arabic text which I had from
the hand (de la main) of Hanna or Jean Dipi, [FN#17] whom M. Lucas
brought to France on his return from his last journey in the
Levant." The only other entry bearing upon the question is that
of August 24, 1711, in which Galland says, "Being quit of my
labours upon the translation etc. of the Koran, I read a part of
the Arabian Tales which the Maronite Hanna had told me and which
I had summarily reduced to writing, to see which of them I should
select to make up the eleventh volume of the Thousand and One

From these entries it appears beyond question that Galland
received from the Maronite Hanna, in the Spring and Summer of
1709, the Arabic text of the stories of Aladdin, Baba Abdalla,
Sidi Nouman and Cogia Hassan Alhabbal, i.e. the whole of the
tales included in his ninth and tenth volumes (with the exception
of The Sleeper Awakened, of which he does not speak) and that he
composed the five remaining tales contained in his eleventh and
twelfth volumes (i.e. Ali Baba, Ali Cogia, The Enchanted Horse,
Prince Ahmed and Pari Banou and The Two Sisters who envied their
younger Sister,) upon the details thereof taken down from Hanna's
lips and by the aid of copious summaries made at the time. These
entries in Galland's diary dispose, therefore, of the question of
the origin of the "interpolated" tales, with the exception (1) of
The Sleeper Awakened (with which we need not, for the present,
concern ourselves farther) and (2) of Nos. 1 and 2a and b, i.e.
Zeyn Alasnam, Codadad and his brothers and The Princess of
Deryabar (forming, with Ganem, his eighth volume), as to which
Galland, as I pointed out in my terminal essay (p. 264), cautions
us, in a prefatory note to his ninth volume, that these two
stories form no part of the Thousand and One Nights and that they
had been inserted and printed without the cognizance of the
translator, who was unaware of the trick that had been played him
till after the actual publication of the volume, adding that care
would be taken to expunge the intrusive tales from the second
edition (which, however, was never done, Galland dying before the
republication and it being probably found that the stranger tales
had taken too firm a hold upon public favour to be sacrificed, as
originally proposed); and the invaluable Diary supplies the
necessary supplemental information as to their origin. "M. Petis
de la Croix," says Galland under date of January 17, 1710,
"Professor and King's Reader of the Arabic tongue, who did me the
honour to visit me this morning, was extremely surprised to see
two of the Turkish [FN#18] Tales of his translation printed in the
eighth volume of the 1001 Nights, which I showed him, and that
this should have been done without his participation."

Petis de la Croix, a well-known Orientalist and traveller of the
time, published in the course of the same year (1710) the first
volume of a collection of Oriental stories, similar in form and
character to the 1001 Nights, but divided into "Days" instead of
"Nights" and called "The Thousand and One Days, Persian Tales,"
the preface to which (ascribed to Cazotte) alleges him to have
translated the tales from a Persian work called Hezar [o] Yek
Roz, i.e. "The Thousand and One Days," the MS. of which had in
1675 been communicated to the translator by a friend of his, by
name Mukhlis, (Cazotte styles him "the celebrated Dervish Mocles,
chief of the Soufis of Ispahan") during his sojourn in the
Persian capital. The preface goes on to state that Mukhlis had,
in his youth, translated into Persian certain Indian plays, which
had been translated into all the Oriental languages and of which
a Turkish version existed in the Bibliotheque Royale, under the
title of Alfaraga Badal-Schidda (i.e. El Ferej bad esh Shiddeh),
which signified "Joy after Affliction"; but that, wishing to give
his work an original air, he converted the aforesaid plays into
tales. Cazotte's story of the Indian plays savours somewhat of
the cock and the bull and it is probable that the Hezar o Yek Roz
(which is not, to my knowledge, extant) was not derived from so
recondite a source, but was itself either the original of the
well-known Turkish collection or (perhaps) a translation of the
latter. At all events, Zeyn Alasnam, Codadad and the Princess of
Deryabar occur in a copy (cited by M. Zotenberg), belonging to
the Bibliotheque Nationale, of El Ferej bad esh Shidded (of which
they form the eighth, ninth and sixth stories respectively) and
in a practically identical form, except that in Galland's vol.
viii. the two latter stories are fused into one. Sir William
Ouseley is said to have brought from Persia a MS. copy of a
portion of the Hezar o Yek Roz which he describes as agreeing
with the French version, but, in the absence of documentary proof
and in view of the fact that, notwithstanding the unauthorized
incorporation of three of the tales of his original with
Galland's Vol. viii, the published version of the Thousand and
One Days is apparently complete and shows no trace of the
omission, I am inclined to suspect Petis de la Croix of having
invented the division into Days, in order to imitate (and profit
by the popularity of) his fellow savant's version of the Thousand
and One Nights. Galland's publisher was doubtless also that of
Petis de la Croix and in the latter capacity had in hand a
portion of the MS. of the 1001 Days, from which, no doubt weary
of waiting till Galland (who was now come to the end of his
genuine Arabic MS. of the 1001 Nights and was accordingly at a
standstill, till he met with Hanna,) should have procured fresh
material to complete the copy for his eighth volume, of which
Ganem only was then ready for publication, he seems to have
selected (apparently on his own responsibility, but, it must be
admitted, with considerable taste and judgment,) the three tales
in question from the MS. of the 1001 Days, to fill up the lacune.
It does not appear whether he found Codadad and the Princess of
Deryabar arranged as one story ready to his hand or himself
performed (or procured to be performed) the process of fusion,
which, in any case, was executed by no unskilful hand. Be this as
it may, Galland was naturally excessively annoyed at the
publisher's unceremonious proceeding, so much so indeed as for a
time to contemplate renouncing the publication of the rest of the
work, to spare himself (as he says in his Diary, under date of
Dec. 12, 1709) similar annoyances (mortifications) to that which
the printing of the eighth volume had caused him. Indeed, the
effect of this incident was to induce him, not only to change his
publisher, but to delay the publication of the next volume
(which, as we learn from the Diary, was ready for the press at
the end of November or the beginning of December, 1709) for a
whole year, at the end of which time (Diary, November 21, 1710)
he made arrangements with a new (and presumably more trustworthy)
publisher, M. Florentin de Laune, for the printing of Vol. ix.


Notwithstanding the discovery, as above set out, of three of the
doubtful tales, Zeyn Alasnam, Aladdin and The Sleeper Awakened,
in two MSS. (one at least undoubtedly authentic) of the Thousand
Nights and One Night, I am more than ever of opinion that none of
the eleven "interpolated" stories properly belongs to the
original work, that is to say, to the collection as first put
into definite form somewhere about the fourteenth century. [FN#19]
"The Sleeper Awakened" was identified by the late Mr. Lane as a
historical anecdote given by the historian El Ishaki, who wrote
in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, and the frequent
mention of coffee in both MSS. of Aladdin justifies us in
attributing the composition of the story to (at earliest) the
sixteenth century, whilst the modern vulgarisms in which they
abound point to a still later date. Zeyn Alasnam (in the Sebbagh
MS. at least) is written in a much purer and more scholarly style
than Aladdin, but its pre-existence in El Ferej bad esh Shiddeh
(even if we treat as apocryphal Petis de la Croix's account of
the Hezar o Yek Roz) is sufficient, in the absence of contrary
evidence, to justify us in refusing to consider it as belonging
to the Thousand Nights and One Night proper. As shown by
Galland's own experience, complete copies of the genuine work
were rarely to be met with, collections of "silly stories" (as
the Oriental savant, who inclines to regard nothing in the way of
literature save theology, grammar and poetry, would style them),
being generally considered by the Arab bibliographer undeserving
of record or preservation, and the fragmentary copies which
existed were mostly in the hands of professional story-tellers,
who were extremely unwilling to part with them, looking upon them
as their stock in trade, and were in the habit of incorporating
with the genuine text all kinds of stories and anecdotes from
other sources, to fill the place of the missing portions of the
original work. This process of addition and incorporation, which
has been in progress ever since the first collection of the
Nights into one distinct work and is doubtless still going on in
Oriental countries, (especially such as are least in contact with
European influence,) may account for the heterogeneous character
of the various modern MSS. of the Nights and for the immense
difference which exists between the several texts, as well in
actual contents as in the details and diction of such stories as
are common to all. The Tunis MS. of the 1001 Nights (which is
preserved in the Breslau University Library and which formed the
principal foundation of Habicht's Edition of the Arabic text)
affords a striking example of this process, which we are here
enabled to see in mid-operation, the greater part of the tales of
which it consists having not yet been adapted to the framework of
the Nights. It is dated A.H. 1144 (A.D. 1732) and of the ten
volumes of which it consists, i, ii (Nights I--CCL) and x (Nights
DCCCLXXXV-MI) are alone divided into Nights, the division of the
remaining seven volumes (i.e. iii--ix, containing, inter alia, the
Story of the Sleeper Awakened) being the work of the German
editor. It is my belief, therefore, that the three "interpolated"
tales identified as forming part of the Baghdad MS. of 1703 are
comparatively modern stories added to the genuine text by Rawis
(story-tellers) or professional writers employed by them, and I
see no reason to doubt that we shall yet discover the Arabic text
of the remaining eight, either in Hanna's version (as written
down for Galland) or in some as yet unexamined MS. of the Nights
or other work of like character.


M. Zotenberg has, with great judgment, taken as his standard for
publication the text of Aladdin given by the Sebbagh MS.,
inasmuch as the Shawish MS. (besides being, as appears from the
extracts given. [FN#20] far inferior both in style and general
correctness,) is shown by the editor to be full of modern
European phrases and turns of speech and to present so many
suspicious peculiarities that it would be difficult, having
regard, moreover, to the doubtful character and reputation of the
Syrian monkish adventurer who styled himself Dom Denis Chavis, to
resist the conviction that his MS. was a forgery, i.e.
professedly a copy of a genuine Arabic text, but in reality only
a translation or paraphrase in that language of Galland's
version,--were it not that the Baghdad MS. (dated before the
commencement, in 1704, of Galland's publication and transcribed
by a man--Mikhail Sebbagh--whose reputation, as a collaborator of
Silvestre de Sacy and other distinguished Orientalists, is a
sufficient voucher for the authenticity of the copy in the
Bibliotheque Nationale,) contains a text essentially identical
with that of Shawish. Moreover, it is evident, from a comparison
with Galland's rendering and making allowance for the latter's
system of translation, that the Arabic version of Aladdin given
him by Hanna must either have been derived from the Baghdad text
or from some other practically identical source, and it is
therefore probable that Shawish, having apparently been employed
to make up the missing portion of Galland's Arabic text and not
having the Hanna MS. at his command, had (with the execrable
taste and want of literary morality which distinguished Cazotte's
monkish coadjutor) endeavoured to bring his available text up to
what he considered the requisite standard by modernizing and
Gallicizing its wording and (in particular) introducing numerous
European phrases and turns of speech in imitation of the French
translator. The whole question is, of course, as yet a matter of
more or less probable hypothesis, and so it must remain until
further discoveries and especially until the reappearance of
Galland's missing text, which I am convinced must exist in some
shape or other and cannot much longer, in the face of the revived
interest awakened in the matter and the systematic process of
investigation now likely to be employed, elude research.

M. Zotenberg's publication having been confined to the text of
Aladdin, I have to thank my friend Sir R. F. Burton for the loan
of his MS. copy of Zeyn Alasnam, (the Arabic text of which still
remains unpublished) as transcribed by M. Houdas from the Sebbagh


There [FN#21] was [once] in the city of Bassora a mighty Sultan
and he was exceeding rich, but he had no child who should be his
successor [FN#22] after him. For this he grieved sore and fell to
bestowing alms galore upon the poor and the needy and upon the
friends [FN#23] of God and the devout, seeking their intercession
with God the Most High, so He to whom belong might and majesty
should of His favour vouchsafe him a son. And God accepted his
prayer, for his fostering of the poor, and answered his petition;
so that one night of the nights he lay with the queen and she
went from him with child. When the Sultan knew this, he rejoiced
with an exceeding joy, and as the time of her child-bearing drew
nigh, he assembled all the astrologers and those who smote the
sand [FN#24] and said to them, "It is my will that ye enquire
concerning the child that shall be born to me this month, whether
it will be male or female, and tell me what will betide it of
chances and what will proceed from it." [FN#25] So the geomancers
smote their [tables of] sand and the astrologers took their
altitudes [FN#26] and observed the star of the babe [un]born and
said to the Sultan, "O King of the age and lord of the time and
the tide, the child that shall be born to thee of the queen is a
male and it beseemeth that thou name him Zein ul Asnam." [FN#27]
And as for those who smote upon the sand, they said to him,
"Know, O King, that this babe will become a renowned
brave, [FN#28] but he shall happen in his time upon certain
travail and tribulation; yet, an he endure with fortitude against
that which shall befall him, he shall become the richest of the
kings of the world." And the King said to them, "Since the babe
shall become valiant as ye avouch, the toil and travail which
will befall him are nought, for that tribulations teach the sons
of kings."

Accordingly, after a few days, the queen gave birth to a male
child, extolled be the perfection of Him who created him
surpassing in grace and goodliness! His father named him Zein ul
Asnam, and he was as say of him certain of his praisers [FN#29] in
verse: [FN#30]

He shows and "Now Allah be blessed!" men say: "Extol we his Maker
and Fashioner aye!
The king of the fair [FN#31] this is, sure, one and all; Ay, his
thralls, every one, and his liegemen are they."

The boy grew and flourished till he came to the age of
five [FN#32] years, when his father the Sultan assigned him a
governor skilled and versed in all sciences and philosophies, and
he proceeded to teach him till he excelled in all manner of
knowledge and became a young man. [FN#33] Then the Sultan bade
bring him before himself, and assembling all the grandees of his
realm and the chiefs of his subjects, proceeded to admonish him
before them, saying to him, "O my son Zein ul Asnam, behold, I am
grown stricken in years and am presently sick; and belike this
sickness will be the last of my life in this world and thou shalt
sit in my stead; [wherefore I desire to admonish thee]. Beware, O
my son, lest thou oppress any or turn a deaf ear to the
complaining of the poor; but do thou justify the oppressed after
the measure of thy might. And look thou believe not all that
shall be said to thee by the great ones of the people, but trust
thou still for the most part to the voice of the common folk; for
the great will deceive thee, seeing they seek that which
befitteth themselves, not that which befitteth the subject."
Then, after a few days, the Sultan's sickness redoubled on him
and he accomplished his term and died; and as for his son Zein ul
Asnam, he arose and donning the raiment of woe, [mourned] for his
father the space of six days. On the seventh day he arose and
going forth to the Divan, sat down on the throne of the sultanate
and held a court, wherein was a great assemblage of the
folk, [FN#34] and the viziers came forward and the grandees of the
realm and condoled with him for his father and called down
blessings upon him and gave him joy of the kingship and the
sultanate, beseeching God to grant him continuance of glory and
prosperity without end.

When [FN#35] Zein ul Asnam saw himself in this great might and
wealth, and he young in years, he inclined unto prodigality and
to the converse of springalds like himself and fell to
squandering vast sums upon his pleasures and left governance and
concern for his subjects. The queen his mother proceeded to
admonish him and to forbid him from his ill fashions, bidding him
leave that manner of life and apply himself governance and
administration and the ordinance of the realm, lest the folk
reject him and rise up against him and expel [FN#36] hira; but he
would hear not a word from her and abode in his ignorance and
folly. At this the people murmured, for that the grandees of the
realm put out their hands unto oppression, whenas they saw the
king's lack of concern for his subjects; so they rose up in
rebellion against Zein ul Asnam and would have laid violent hands
upon him, had not the queen his mother been a woman of wit and
judgment and address, and the people loved her; so she appeased
the folk and promised them good. Then she called her son Zein ul
Asnam to her and said to him, "See, O my son; said I not to thee
that thou wouldest lose thy kingship and eke thy life, an thou
persistedst in this thine ignorance and folly, in that thou
givest the ordinance of the sultanate into the hands of raw
youths and eschewest the old and wastest thy substance and that
of the realm, squandering it all upon lewdness and the lust of
thy soul?"

Zein ul Asnam hearkened to his mother's rede and going out
forthright to the Divan, committed the manage of the realm into
the hands of certain old men of understanding and experience;
save that he did this only after Bassora had been ruined,
inasmuch as he turned not from his folly till he had spent and
squandered all the treasures of the sultanate and was become
exceeding poor. Then he betook himself to repentance and to
sorrowing over that which he had done, [FN#37] so that he lost the
solace of sleep and eschewed meat and drink, till one night of
the nights,--and indeed he had spent it in mourning and
lamentation and melancholy thought until the last of the night,--
his eyes closed for a little and there appeared to him in his
sleep a venerable old man, who said to him, "O Zein ul Asnam,
grieve not, for that nought followeth after grief save relief
from stress, and an thou desire to be delivered from this thine
affliction, arise and betake thee to Cairo, where thou wilt find
treasuries of wealth which shall stand thee in stead of that thou
hast squandered, ay, and twofold the sum thereof." When he awoke
from his sleep, he acquainted his mother with all that he had
seen in his dream, and she fell to laughing at him; but he said
to her, "Laugh not, for needs must I journey to Cairo." "O my
son," answered she, "put not thy trust in dreams, for that they
are all vain fancies and lying imaginations." And he said to her,
"Nay, my dream was a true one and the man whom I saw is of the
Friends of God [FN#38] and his speech is very sooth."

Accordingly, he left the sultanate and going forth a-journeying
one night of the nights, took the road to Egypt [and fared on]
days and nights till he came to the city of Cairo. So he entered
it and saw it a great and magnificent city; then, being perished
for weariness, he took shelter in one of its mosques. When he had
rested awhile, he went forth and bought him somewhat to eat; and
after he had eaten, he fell asleep in the mosque, of the excess
of his weariness, nor had he slept but a little when the old man
appeared to him in his sleep and said to him, "O Zein ul
Assam, [FN#39] thou hast done as I said to thee, and indeed I made
proof of thee, that I might see an thou wert valiant or not; but
now I know thee, inasmuch as thou hast put faith in my rede and
hast done according thereto. So now return to thine own city and
I will make thee a king rich after such a measure that neither
before thee nor after thee shall [any] of the kings be like unto
thee." So Zein ul Asnam arose from his sleep and said, "In the
name of God. the Compassionate, the Merciful! What is this old
man who hath wearier me, so that I came to Cairo, [FN#40] and I
trusted in him and deemed of him that he was the Prophet (whom
God bless and keep) or one of the pious Friends of God? But there
is no power and no virtue save in God the Most High, the Supreme.
By Allah. I did well in that I acquainted none with my sallying
forth neither related my dream unto any! [FN#41] Indeed. I
believed in this old man and meseemed. by that which appeared to
me, he was none of mankind, [FN#42] extolled be His perfection and
magnified be He who [alone] knoweth the truth! By Allah, I will
leave trusting in this old man [neither will I comply with him]
in that which he would have me do!" Accordingly, he lay [the rest
of] that night [in the mosque] and at daybreak he arose and
mounting his courser, set out on his return to Bassora, [the seat
of] his kingship, where, after a few days, he arrived and went in
that same night to his mother, who asked him if aught had
befallen him of that which the old man had promised him. He
acquainted her with that which he had seen [in his sleep] and she
fell to condoling with him and comforting him, saying, "Grieve
not, O my son, for, an God the Most High have appointed thee
aught of [good] fortune, thou wilt attain thereto without either
travail or toil; but I would have thee be understanding and
discreet and leave these things which have brought thee to
poverty, O my son, and eschew singing-wenches and the commerce of
youths and women; all this is for the baser sort, not for kings'
sons like thee." And he swore to her that he would never more
gainsay her commandment, but would observe all that she should
say to him and would turn his mind to the governance and the
kingship and leave that wherefrom she forbade him. Then he slept
that night and what while he was on sleep, the old man appeared
to him and said to him, "O Zein ul Asnam, O valiant one, whenas
thou arisest from thy sleep this day, I will accomplish my
promise to thee; wherefore take thou a pickaxe and go to the
palace of thy father Such-an-one [FN#43] in such a place and dig
there in the earth and thou wilt find that which shall enrich

When Zein ul Asnam awoke from his sleep, he hastened to his
mother, rejoicing, and acquainted her with his dream; whereupon
she fell again to laughing at him and said to him, "O my son,
indeed this old man laugheth at thee, nought else; wherefore do
thou turn thy thought from him." But he said to her, "Nay, mother
mine, indeed he is soothfast and lieth not; for that, in the
first of his dealing, he tried me and now his intent is to
accomplish unto me his promise." "In any case," rejoined she,
"the thing is not toilsome; [FN#44] so do that which thou wilt,
even as he said to thee, and make proof of the matter, and God
willing, thou shalt [FN#45] return to me rejoicing; but methinketh
thou wilt return to me and say, 'Thou saidst sooth, O my mother,
in thy rede."' The prince accordingly took a pickaxe and going
down to the palace where his father was buried, fell a-delving in
the earth; nor had he dug long when, behold, there appeared to
him a ring fixed in a slab of marble. He raised the slab and
seeing a stair, descended thereby and found a great vault, all
builded with columns of marble and alabaster; then, proceeding
innerward, he found within the vault a hall which ravished the
wit, and therein eight jars of green jasper; [FN#46] and he said,
"What be these jars and what is in them?" So [FN#47] he went up
and uncovering them, found them all full of old gold ; [FN#48]
whereupon he took a little in his hand and going to his mother,
gave her thereof and said to her, "Thou seest, O my mother." She
marvelled at this thing and said to him, "Beware, O my son, lest
thou squander it, like as thou squanderedst other than this." And
he swore to her, saying, "Be not concerned, O my mother, and let
not thy heart be other than easy on my account, for I would fain
have thee also content with me." [FN#49]

Then she arose and went with him, and they descended into the
vault and entered the [underground] hall, [FN#50] where she beheld
that which ravished the wit and saw the jars of gold. What while
they diverted themselves with gazing upon these latter, behold,
they espied a little jar of fine jade; so Zein ul Asnam opened it
and found in it a golden key. Whereupon quoth his mother to him,
"O my son, needs must there be a door here which this key will
open." Accordingly they sought in all parts of the vault and the
hall, so they might see an there were a door or what not else to
be found there, and presently espied a bolted lock, to which they
knew that this must be the key. So Zein ul Asnam went up and
putting the key in the lock, turned it and opened a door which
admitted them into a second hall, [FN#51] more magnificent than
the first; and it was all full of a light which dazzled the
sight, yet was there no flambeau kindled therein, no, nor any
window [FN#52] there, whereat they marvelled and looking farther,
saw eight images of jewels, each one piece, and that of noble
jewels, pure and precious.

Zein ul Asnam was amazed at this and said to his mother, "How
came my father by these things?" And they fell to looking and
considering, till presently the queen espied a curtain of silk,
whereon were these words written: "O my son, marvel not at these
great riches, whereto I have won by dint of sore travail; but
know that there existeth also another image whose worth is more
than that of these [eight] images twenty times told. Wherefore,
an thou wouldst come thereby, get thee to Cairo, where thou wilt
find a slave of mine, by name Mubarek, who will take thee and
bring thee in company [FN#53] with the ninth image. When thou
enterest Cairo, the first man whom thou encounterest will direct
thee to Mubarek's house, for he is known in all Egypt." [FN#54]
When Zein ul Asnam read this inscription, he said, "O my mother,
it is my wish to journey to Cairo, so I may make search for the
ninth image. Tell me, how deemest thou of my dream? Was it true
or was it not? Wilt thou still say [FN#55] to me, 'These be idle
tales'? But I, O my mother, needs must I journey to Cairo." "O my
son," answered the queen, "since thou art under the safeguard of
the Apostle of God [FN#56] (whom God bless and keep), go thou in
peace, and I [and] thy Vizier, we will govern the realm in thine
absence, against thou shalt return."

So Zein ul Asnam went forth and equipping himself [for travel,
set out] and journeyed till he came to Cairo, where he enquired
for Mubarek's house and the folk said to him, "O my lord, this is
a man than whom there is none richer in [all Cairo]; no, nor is
there a more abounding than he in bounty and beneficence, and his
house is [still] open to the stranger." So they directed him
thither and he went till he came to the house and knocked at the
door; whereupon there came out to him one of Mubarek's slaves
and [FN#57] opening the door, said to him, "Who art thou and what
wiliest thou?" Quoth Zein ul Asnam, "I am a stranger, a man from
a far country, and I heard tell of your lord, Mubarek, and how he
is renowned for hospitality and beneficence; so I came to him,
that I may be a guest with him." The slave entered and told his
lord Mubarek; then returned and said to Zein ul Asnam, " O my
lord, blessing hath descended upon us in thy coming. [FN#58]
Enter, for my lord Mubarek awaiteth thee." So Zein ul Asnam
entered into a courtyard, exceeding spacious and all [full] of
trees and waters, and the slave brought him into the
pavilion [FN#59] where Mubarek sat. When he entered, the latter
arose forthright and coming to meet him, received him with
cordiality and said to him, "Blessing hath descended upon us and
this night is the most auspicious of nights in thy coming to us!
But who art thou, O youth, and whence comest thou and whither art
thou bound?" The prince answered him, saying, "I am Zein ul Asnam
and I seek Mubarek, slave to the Sultan of Bassora, who died a
year agone and whose son I am." "What sayst thou? " cried
Mubarek. "Art thou the king's son of Bassora?" "Yea, verily,"
replied Zein ul Asnam; "I am his son." Quoth Mubarek, "Nay, my
lord the king of Bassora left no son; but what is thine age, O
youth?" "About twenty years," replied Zein ul Asnam. "And thou,"
added he, "how long is it since thou wentest out from my father's
house?" "I went out eighteen years agone," answered Mubarek.
"But, O my son Zein ul Asnam, by what token canst thou certify me
that thou art the son of my lord the king of Bassora?" Quoth Zein
ul Asnam, "Thou knowest that my father builded under his palace a
vault and therein [a hall in which] he set forty [FN#60] jars of
fine jade and filled them with ancient gold; [FN#61] and within
this hall he made a second hall, wherein he placed eight images
of precious stones, each wroughten of a single jewel and seated
upon a throne of virgin gold. [FN#62] Moreover, he wrote upon a
curtain of silk there and I read the writ, whereby I found that
he bade me come to thee, saying that thou wouldst acquaint me of
the ninth image and where it is, the which, said he, was worth
the eight, all of them."

When Mubarek heard these words, he threw himself at Zein ul
Asnam's feet and fell to kissing them and saying, "Pardon me, O
my lord! Verily, thou art the son of my lord." Then said he to
the prince, "O my lord, I make to-day a banquet unto all the
chief men of Cairo and I would fain have thy highness honour me
[with thy presence] thereat." And Zein ul Asnam said, "With all
my heart." [FN#63] So Mubarek arose and foregoing Zein ul Asnam,
brought him into the saloon, which was full of the chief men of
Cairo, assembled therein. There he sat down and seating the
prince in the place of honour, called for the evening-meal. So
they laid the tables and Mubarek stood to serve Zein ul Asnam,
with his hands clasped behind him [FN#64] and whiles seated upon
his knees [and heels]. [FN#65] The notables of Cairo marvelled at
this, how Mubarek, the chiefest of them, should serve the youth,
and [FN#66] were sore amazed thereat, knowing not [who or] whence
he was. But, after they had eaten and drunken and supped and were
of good cheer, Mubarek turned to the company and said to them, "O
folk, marvel not that I serve this youth with all worship and
assiduity, for that he is the son of my lord the Sultan of
Bassora, whose slave I was, for that he bought me with his money
and died without setting me free; wherefore it behoveth me serve
my lord, and all that my hand possesseth of monies and gear is
his, nor is anywhit thereof mine." When the notables of Cairo
heard this speech, they arose to Zein ul Asnam and did him
exceeding great worship and saluted him with all reverence and
prayed for him; [FN#67] and he said, "O company, I am before your
presence and ye are witnesses [of that which I am about to do."
Then, turning to his host,] "O Mubarek, [quoth he,] thou art free
and all that is with thee of monies and gear appertaining unto us
shall henceforth be thine and thou art altogether acquitted
thereof [FN#68] and of every part thereof. Moreover, do thou ask
of me whatsoever thou desirest by way of boon, [FN#69] for that I
will nowise gainsay thee in aught thou mayst seek." [FN#70]
Thereupon Mubarek arose and kissed the prince's hand and thanked
him, saying, "O my lord, I will nought of thee save that thou be
well; for indeed the wealth that I have is exceeding abundant
upon me."

So Zein ul Asnam abode with Mubarek four days and every day the
chief men of Cairo came to salute him, whenas it reached them
that this was Mubarek's lord, the Sultan of Bassora; then, after
he was rested, he said to his host, "O Mubarek, indeed the time
is long upon me;" [FN#71] and Mubarek said to him, ``Thou must
know, O my lord, that this whereof thou art come in quest is a
hard [FN#72] matter, nay, even unto danger of death, and I know
not if thy fortitude may suffice thee for the achievement
thereof." [FN#73] "Know, O Mubarek," rejoined Zein ul Asnam, "that
wealth [is gotten] by blood [FN#74] and there betideth a man
nought except by the will and foreordinance of the Creator (to
whom belong might and majesty ); so do thou take heart and
concern not thyself on my account." Accordingly Mubarek
forthright commended his slaves equip them for travel; so they
made all ready and taking horse, journeyed days and nights in the
foulest of deserts, [FN#75] witnessing daily things and matters
which confounded their wits,--things such as never in their time
had they seen,--until they drew near the place [of their
destination]; whereupon they lighted down from their steeds and
Mubarek bade the slaves and servants abide there, saying to them,
"Keep watch over the beasts of burden and the horses till we
return to you."

Then the twain set out together afoot and Mubarek said to Zein ul
Asnam, "O my lord, now behoveth fortitude, for that thou art in
the land of the image whereof thou comest in quest." And they
gave not over walking till they drew near a great lake and a
wide, whereupon quoth Mubarek to Zein ul Asnam, "Know, O my lord,
that there will presently come to us a little boat, bearing a
blue flag and builded all with planks of sandal and Comorin
aloes-wood of price; and [thereanent] I have a charge to give
thee, which it behoveth thee observe." "What is this charge?"
asked the prince and Mubarek said to him, "In this boat thou wilt
see a boatman, [FN#76] but his make is monstrous; [FN#77] wherefore
be thou ware and again, I say, beware lest thou speak aught, for
that he will incontinent drown us; and know that this place
appertaineth to the King of the Jinn and that all thou seest is
their handiwork." Then [FN#78] they came to the lake and behold, a
little boat with planks of sandal and Comorin aloes-wood and in
it a boatman, whose head was [as] the head of an elephant and the
rest of his body [as that of] a wild beast. [FN#79] When he drew
near them, he wrapped his trunk about them both and taking them
with him into the boat, rowed out with them to the midst of the
lake, then fared on with them [FN#80] till he brought them to the
other shore, where they landed and walking on, saw there trees of
ambergris [FN#81] and aloes and sandal-wood and cloves and
jessamine, [FN#82] full-grown and laden with ripe fruits and
flowers [FN#83] whose fragrance dilated the breast and cheered the
spright; and there [they heard] the voices of the birds
twittering their various notes and ravishing the wit with their
warblings. So Mubarek turned to Zein ul Asnam and said to him,
"How deemest thou of this place, O my lord?" And the prince
answered him, saying, "Methinketh, O Mubarek, this is the
paradise which the Prophet (whom God bless and keep) promised us

Then they fared on till they came to a magnificent palace,
builded all with stones of emerald and rubies, and its doors were
of sheer gold. Before it was a bridge, the length whereof was an
hundred and fifty cubits and its breadth fifty cubits, and it was
[wroughten] of the rib of a fish; whilst at the other end of the
bridge were many warriors [FN#84] of the Jinn, gruesome and
terrible of aspect, and all of them bore in their hands javelins
of steel that flashed in the sun like winter lightning. [FN#85]
Quoth Zein ul Asnam to Mubarek, "This is a thing that taketh the
wits;" and Mubarek said to him, "It behoveth us abide in our
place neither fare forward, lest a mischance betide us. O God,
[vouchsafe us] safety!" Therewith he brought out of his pocket
four pieces of yellow silken stuff and girded himself with one
thereof; the second he laid on his shoulders and gave Zein ul
Asnam other two pieces, with which he girded himself [and covered
his shoulders] on like wise. Moreover, he spread before each of
them a sash of white silk and bringing forth of his pocket
precious stones and perfumes, such as ambergris and aloes-wood,
[set them on the edges thereof ; [FN#86]] after which they sat
down, each on his sash, and Mubarek taught Zein ul Asnam these
words, which he should say to the King of the Jinn, to wit: "O my
lord King of the Jinn, we are in thy safeguard." And Zein ul
Asnam said to him, "And I will instantly conjure him that he
accept of us."

Then said Mubarek, "O my lord, by Allah, I am exceeding fearful.
But now hearken; an he be minded to accept of us without hurt, he
will come to us in the semblance of a man accomplished in grace
and goodliness; but, an he have no mind to us, he will come to us
in a gruesome and a frightful aspect. An thou see him surpassing
in beauty, arise forthright and salute him, but beware lest thou
overpass thy sash." And Zein ul Asnam said to him, "Hearkening
and obedience." "And be this thy salutation to him," continued
Mubarek; "thou shalt say, 'O King of the Jinn and lord of the
earth, my father, the Sultan of Bassora, the angel of death hath
removed, as indeed is not hidden from thee. Now Thy Grace was
still wont to take my father under thy protection, and I come to
thee likewise to put myself under thy safeguard, even as did he.'
Moreover, [FN#87] O my lord Zein ul Asnam," added he, "an the King
of the Jinn receive us with a cheerful favour, he will without
fail ask thee and say to thee, 'Seek of me that which thou
wiliest and thou shalt forthright be given [it].' [FN#88] So do
thou seek of him and say to him, 'O my lord, I crave of Thy Grace
the ninth image, than which there is not the world a more
precious; and indeed Thy Grace promised my father that thou
wouldst give it to me."'

Having thus taught his lord how he should speak with the King of
the Jinn and seek of him the ninth image and how he should make
his speech seemly and pleasant, Mubarek fell to conjuring and
fumigating and reciting words that might not be understanded; and
no great while passed ere the world lightened [FN#89] and rain
fell in torrents [FN#90] and it thundered and darkness covered the
face of the earth; and after this there came a tempestuous wind
and a voice like an earthquake of the earthquakes [FN#91] of the
Day of Resurrection. When Zein ul Asnam saw these portents, his
joints trembled and he was sore affrighted, for that he beheld a
thing he had never in all his life seen nor heard. But Mubarek
laughed at him and said to him, "Fear not, O my lord; this
whereat thou art affrighted is that which we seek; nay, it is a
presage of good to-us. So take heart and be of good cheer." After
this there came a great clearness and serenity and there breathed
pure and fragrant breezes; then, presently, behold, there
appeared the King of the Jinn in the semblance of a man comely of
favour, there was none like unto him in his goodliness, save He
who hath no like and to whom belong might and majesty. He looked
on Zein ul Asnam and Mubarek with a cheerful, smiling
countenance; whereupon the prince arose forthright and proffered
him his petition in the words which Mubarek had taught him.

The King of the Jinn turned to him, smiling, and said to him, "O
Zein ul Asnam, indeed I loved thy father the Sultan of Bassora,
and I used, whenassoever he came to me, to give him an image of
those which thou hast seen, each wroughten of a single jewel, and
thou also shalt stand in thy father's stead with me and shalt
find favour in mine eyes, even as did he, ay, and more. Before he
died, I caused him write the writ which thou sawest on the
curtain of silk and promised him that I would take thee under my
protection, even as himself, and would give thee the ninth image,
which is more of worth than those which thou hast seen. Now it is
my intent to perform the promise which I made to thy father, that
I would take thee under my protection, and [FN#92] [know that] I
was the old man whom thou sawest in thy sleep and it was I bade
thee dig in the palace for the vault wherein thou foundest the
jars of gold and the images of jewels. I know also wherefore thou
art come hither; nay, I am he that was the cause of thy coming,
and I will give thee that which thou seekest, albeit I had not
given it to thy father; but on condition that thou swear to me a
solemn oath and abide me constant thereto, to wit, that thou wilt
return and bring me a girl of the age of fifteen years, with whom
there shall be none to match in loveliness, and she must be a
clean maid, who shall never have lusted after man, nor shall man
have lusted after her. Moreover, thou must swear to me that thou
wilt keep faith with her, coming, and beware lest thou play me
false with her by the way."

So Zein ul Asnam swore a solemn oath to him of this and said to
him, "O my lord, indeed, thou honourest me with this service; but
methinketh it will be hard to find a girl like this. Nay,
supposing I find a damsel fifteen years of age and beautiful
exceedingly, according to Thy Grace's requirement, how shall I
know that she hath never in her time lusted after man nor hath
man lusted after her?" "O Zein ul Asnam," replied the King of the
Jinn, "thou art in the right and certain it is that this
knowledge is a thing unto which the sons of man may not avail;
but I will give thee a mirror of my fashion, and when thou seest
a girl and her beauty pleaseth thee and her grace, do thou open
this mirror that I shall give thee, and if thou find her image
therein clear and bright, thou shalt know forthright that she is
pure without default and that all good qualities are in her; so
do thou take her for me. If thou find her image in the mirror
other than this, to wit, an it be troubled and clothed with
uncleanness, know that the girl is sullied and beware of her;
but, an thou find one such as she whose qualities I have set out
to thee, bring her to me and watch over her [by the way;] yet
beware and again I say, beware of treason and bethink thee that,
an thou keep not faith with me, thou wilt assuredly lose thy

So Zein ul Asnam made with him a stable and abiding covenant, the
covenant of the sons of kings, that he would keep the plighted
faith and never play him false, but [FN#93] would bring him the
damsel with all continence. Then the King of the Jinn delivered
him the mirror and said to him, "O my son, take this mirror
whereof I bespoke thee, and now depart." Accordingly Zein ul
Asnam and Mubarek arose and calling down blessings upon the King,
returned upon their steps till they came to the lake, where they
sat a little and behold, up came the boat which had brought them
and the genie rowing therein, whose head was as [FN#94] the head
of an elephant. Now this was by the commandment of the King of
the Jinn; so they embarked with the genie and crossed with him to
the other shore; after which they returned to Cairo and entering
Mubarek's house, abode there awhile till they were rested from
the fatigue of the journey.

Then Zein ul Asnam turned to Mubarek and said to him, "Come, let
us go to the city of Baghdad, so we may seek for a girl who shall
be according to the requirement of the King of the Jinn." And
Mubarek said to him, "O my lord, we are in Cairo, the city of
cities and the wonder of the world. [FN#95] I shall without fail
find a girl here and it needeth not that we go to a far city."
"Thou sayst sooth, O Mubarek," rejoined the prince; "but how
shall we set about the matter and how shall we do to come
by [FN#96] a girl like this and who shall go seeking her for us?"
"O my lord," replied Mubarek, "concern not thyself [FN#97] for
that, for I have with me here an old woman (upon her, [to speak]
figuratively, [FN#98] be the malediction [of God] [FN#99]) who is a
mistress of wiles and craft and guile and not to be baulked by
any hindrance, however great." Then he sent to fetch the old
woman and telling her that he wanted a damsel fifteen years old
and fair exceedingly, so he might marry her to the son of his
lord, promised her largesse galore, an she did her utmost
endeavour in the matter; whereupon, "O my lord," answered she,
"be easy; I will accomplish unto thee thy desire beyond thy wish;
for that under my hand are damsels unpeered in grace and
goodliness and all of them daughters of men of condition." But, O
King of the time, [FN#100] the old woman had no knowledge of the
affair of the mirror.

Then she arose and went out to go round about in the city and to
run along its ways, [FN#101] seeking [FN#102] the girl for Prince
Zein ul Asnam, and whenassoever she saw a fair damsel,
accomplished in beauty, she proceeded to bring her to Mubarek;
but, when he looked at her in the mirror, he would see her image
troubled exceedingly and would leave her; so that the old woman
brought him all the damsels of Cairo, but there was not found
among them one whose image in the mirror was clear; wherefore he
bethought him to go to Baghdad, since he found not one in Cairo
who pleased him [or] who was a clean maid, like as the King of
the Jinn had enjoined him. So he arose and equipping himself,
[set out and] journeyed, he and Zein ul Asnam, till they came to
the city of Baghdad, where they hired them a magnificent palace
amiddleward the city and took up their abode therein. There the
chief men of the city used to come to them every day and sat at
their table, even to the comer and goer by night and by
day. [FN#103] Moreover, when there remained aught from their
table, they distributed it to the poor and the afflicted and all
the strangers in the mosques [FN#104] would come and eat with
them. So the report was noised abroad in the land of their
generosity and bounty and they became in high repute and fair
fame throughout all Baghdad, nor did any talk but of Zein ul
Asnam and his bounty and wealth.

Now it chanced that in one of the mosques was an Imam, [FN#105]
corrupt, envious and despiteful in the extreme, and his lodging
was near the palace wherein Mubatek and Zein ul Asnam had taken
up their abode. When he heard of their bounty and generosity and
of the goodliness of their repute, envy get hold upon him and
jealousy of them, and he fell to bethinking himself how he should
do, so he might bring some calamity upon them and despoil them of
that their fair fortune, for it is of the wont of envy that it
falleth not but upon the rich. So, one day of the days, as he
stood in the mosque, after the mid-afternoon prayer, he came
forward into the midst of the folk and said, "O my brethren, O ye
of the True Faith, ye who ascribe unity to God, know that in this
our quarter there be two men dwelling, strangers, and most like
you are acquainted with them. Now these twain spend and squander
wealth galore, passing all measure, and in my belief they are
none other than thieves and highwaymen and are come hither with
that which they stole from their own country, so they may
squander it." Then [FN#106] "O people of Mohammed," added he, "I
rede you for God's sake keep yourselves from these
tricksters, [FN#107] lest belike the Khalif come presently to know
of these two men and ye also fall with them into calamity. Now I
have warned you and I wash my hands of your affair, for that I
have forewarned and awakened you; so do that which you deem
well." And they said to him, all who were present, with one
voice, "We will do whatsoever thou wiliest, O Aboubekr!" When the
Imam heard this from them, he arose and taking inkhorn and pen
and paper, fell to writing a letter to the Commander of the
Faithful, setting forth to him [the case] against Zein ul Asnam
and Mubarek.

Now, as destiny willed it, the latter chanced to be in the mosque
among the folk and heard the accursed Imam's discourse and that
which he did by way of writing the letter to the Khalif;
whereupon he tarried not, but, returning home forthwith, took an
hundred diners and made him a parcel of price, all of silken
clothes, [FN#108] wherewith he betook himself in haste to
Aboubekr's house and knocked at the door. The Imam came out to
him and opened the door; and when he saw him, he asked him
surlily who he was and what he would; whereupon quoth the other,
"O my lord the Imam Aboubekr, I am thy slave Mubarek and I come
to thee on the part of my lord the Amir Zein ul Asnam. He hath
heard of thy learning and of the excellence of thy repute in the
city and would fain become acquainted with thee and do that which
behoveth unto thee; wherefore he hath presently sent me with
these things and this money for thine expenses and hopeth of thee
that thou wilt not blame him, inasmuch as this is little for thy
worth, but hereafter, God willing, he will not fail of that which
is due unto thee." Aboubekr looked at [the coins and] at their
impress and yellowness [FN#109] and at the parcel of clothes and
said to Mubarek, "O my lord, [I crave] pardon of thy lord the
Amir, for that I am presently abashed before him [FN#110] and it
irketh me sore that I have not done my duty towards him; [FN#111]
but I hope of thee that thou wilt intercede with him on my
behalf, so he may of his favour pardon me my default; and (the
Creator willing) I will to-morrow do that which behoveth me and
will go do my service to him [FN#112] and proffer him the respect
which is due from me to him." "O my lord Aboubekr," replied
Mubarek, "the extreme of my lord's desire is to look upon thy
worship, so he may be honoured by thy presence and get of thee a
blessing." So saying, he kissed the Imam's hand and returned to
his lodging.

On the morrow, whilst Aboubekr was [engaged] in the Friday
prayers at dawn, he stood up amongst the folk, in the midst of
the mosque, and said, "O our brethren of the Muslims and people
of Mohammed, all of you, verily envy falleth not save upon the
rich and the noble and passeth by the poor and those of low
estate. Know that of the two stranger men against whom I spoke
yesterday one is an Amir, a man of great rank and noble birth,
and the case is not as certain of the envious [FN#113] informed me
concerning him, to wit, that he was a thief and a robber; for I
have enquired into the matter and find that the report lieth. So
beware lest any of you missay of the Amir or speak aught of evil
against him, such as that which I heard yesterday, or you will
cause me and yourselves fall into the gravest of calamities with
the Commander of the Faithful; for that a man of high degree like
this cannot sojourn in the city of Baghdad without the Khalif's
knowledge." On [FN#114] this wise, then, the Imam Aboubekr did
away from the minds of the folk the ill thought [FN#115] which he
had planted [there] by his speech concerning Zein ul Asnam.

Moreover, when he had made an end of the prayers, he returned to
his own house and donned his gabardine; then, weightening his
skirts and lengthening his sleeves, [FN#116] he went forth and
took his way to the prince's house. When he came in to Zein ul
Asnam, the latter rose to him and received him with the utmost
reverence. Now he was by nature religious, [FN#117] for all he was
a youth of tender age; so he proffered the Imam all manner of
honour and seating him by his side on a high divan, let bring him
coffee with ambergris. Then the servants spread the table for
breakfast and they took their sufficiency of meat and drink, and
when they had finished, they fell to talking and making merry
together. Presently the Imam asked the prince and said to him,
.'O my lord Zein ul Asnam, doth your highness purpose to sojourn
long here in Baghdad?" "Yea, verily, O our Lord the Imam,"
answered Zein ul Asnam; "my intent is to sojourn here awhile,
till such time as my requirement be accomplished." "And what,"
asked Aboubekr, "is the requirement of my lord the Amir? Belike,
an I know it, I may avail to further him to his wish, though I
sacrifice my life for him." [FN#118] And the prince said to him,
"I seek a damsel fifteen years of age and fair exceedingly, that
I may marry her; but she must be pure and chaste and a clean
maid, whom no man hath anywise defiled nor in all her life hath
she thought upon a man; [FN#119] and she must be unique in grace
and goodliness."

"O my lord," rejoined the Imam, "this is a thing exceeding hard
to find; but I know a damsel unique in her loveliness and her age
is fifteen years. Her father was a Vizier, who resigned office of
his own motion, and he abideth presently at home in his palace
and is exceeding jealous over his daughter and her bringing
up. [FN#120] Methinketh this damsel will suit your Highness's
mind, and she will rejoice in an Amir like your Highness, as also
will her parents." Quoth Zein ul Asnam, "God willing, this damsel
whereof thou speakest will answer my requirement and the
accomplishment of our desire shall be at thy hands; [FN#121] but,
O our lord the Imam, before all things my wish is to see her, so
I may know an she be chaste or not. As for her beauty, I am
assured of [FN#122] your worship's sufficiency and am content to
trust to your word concerning her loveliness, to wit, that she is
surpassing; but, for her chastity, you cannot avail to testify
with certitude of her case." "And how," asked the Imam, "can it
be possible unto you, O my lord the Amir, to know from her face
that she is pure? An this be so, your highness is skilled in
physiognomy. However, an your highness will vouchsafe to
accompany me, I will carry you to her father's palace and make
you known to the latter, and he shall bring her before you."

Accordingly, [FN#123] the Imam Aboubekr took Zein ul Asnam and
carried him to the Vizier's house; and when they went in to him,
the Vizier rose and welcomed the prince, especially when he knew
that he was an Amir and understood from the Imam that he wished
to marry his daughter. So he let bring the damsel before him, and
when she came, he bade her raise the veil from her face.
Accordingly she unveiled herself and Zein ul Asnam, looking upon
her, was amazed at her grace and goodliness, for that never had
he seen one to match with her in beauty; and he said in himself,
"I wonder if I shall [FN#124] happen upon one like this damsel,
since it is forbidden that she should be mine!" Then he brought
out the mirror from his pocket and looked thereon; when, behold,
its crystal was clear exceedingly, as it were virgin silver; and
he observed her image in the mirror and saw it like a white dove.
So he forthright concluded the match and sent for the Cadi and
the witnesses, who wrote the writ [FN#125] and enthroned the
bride; [FN#126] after which Zein ul Asnam took the Vizier, the
bride's father, home with him to his house and sent the young
lady jewels of great price. Then they celebrated the wedding and
held high festival, never was the like thereof, whilst Zein ul
Asnam proceeded to entertain the folk and made them banquets for
the space of eight days. Moreover, he honoured Aboubekr the Imam
and gave him gifts galore and brought the Vizier, the bride's
father, presents and great rarities.

Then, the wedding festivities being ended, Mubarek said to Zein
ul Asnam, "Come, O my lord, let us set out on our way, lest we
waste the time in sloth, now we have found that whereof we were
in search." And the prince answered him, saying, "Thou art in the
right." So Mubarek arose and fell to equipping them for the
journey; moreover, he let make the young lady a
camel-litter [FN#127] with a travelling couch, [FN#128] and they
set out. But Mubarek knew that Zein ul Asnam was sunken deep in
love of the damsel; so he took him and said to him, "O my lord
Zein ul Asnam, I would fain remind thee to watch over thyself;
nay, again I say, have a care and keep the faith which thou
plightedst to the King of the Jinn." "O Mubarek," answered the
prince, "an thou knewest the transport which possesseth me for
the love of this young lady [FN#129] and how I still think of
nothing but of taking her to Bassora and going in [to her]!" And
Mubarek said to him, "Nay, O my lord; keep thy troth and play not
the traitor to thine oath, lest there befall thee a sore calamity
and thou lose thy life and the young lady lose hers also. Bethink
thee of the oath which thou sworest and let not lust get the
mastery over thine understanding, lest thou lose guerdan [FN#130]
and honour and life." "O Mubarek," rejoined Zein ul Asnam, "keep
thou watch over her thyself and let me not see her." So [FN#131]
Mubarek fell to keeping watch and ward over the bride in the
prince's stead and guarded the latter also, lest he should look
on her; and so they journeyed on past the road leading unto Egypt
and fared on their way to the Island of the Jinn.

When the bride beheld the journey (and indeed it was long upon
her) and saw not her husband in all this time since the night of
the bridal, she turned to Mubarek and said to him, "God upon
thee, O Mubarek, tell me, I conjure thee by the life of thy lord
the Amir, are we yet far from the dominions [FN#132] of my
bridegroom, the Amir Zein ul Asnam?" And he said to her, "Alack,
O my lady, it irketh me for thee and I will discover to thee that
which is hidden. To wit, thou deemest that Zein ul Asnam, King of
Bassora, is thy bridegroom. Far be it! [FN#133] He is not thy
bridegroom. The writing of the writ of his marriage with
thee [FN#134] was but a pretext before thy parents and the folk;
and now thou art going for a bride to the King of the Jinn, who
sought thee from the Amir Zein ul Asnam." When the young lady
heard these words, she fell a-weeping and Zein ul Asnam heard her
and fell a-weeping also, a sore weeping, of the excess of his
love for her. And she said to them, "Is there no pity in you and
no clemency and have you no fear of God, that I, a stranger maid,
you cast me into a calamity like this? What answer will you give
unto God [FN#135] concerning this treason that you have wroughten
with me?"

But her weeping and her words availed her nothing, and they
ceased not to fare on with her till they came to the King of the
Jinn, to whom they straightway presented her. When he beheld her,
she pleased him and he turned to Zein ul Asnam and said to him.
"Verily, the girl whom thou hast brought me is exceeding in
beauty and surpassing in loveliness; but the goodliness of thy
loyalty and shine overmastering of thyself for my sake is fairer
than she in mine eyes. So return now to thy place and the ninth
image that thou seekest of me thou shalt find, on thy return,
beside the other images; for I will send it to thee by one of my
slaves of the Jinn." Accordingly, Zein ul Asnam kissed the King's
hand and returned with Mubarek to Cairo; but, when they came
thither, he chose not to abide with Mubarek longer than a
resting-while, of the excess of his longing and his yearning to
see the ninth image. Withal he ceased not from mourning,
bethinking him of the young lady and her grace and goodliness;
and he fell to lamenting and saying, "Alas for the loss of my
delights that were because of thee, O pearl of beauty and
loveliness, thou whom I took from thy parents and presented to
the King of the Jinn! Alack, the pity of it!" And [FN#136] he chid
himself for the deceit and the perfidy which he had practised
upon the young lady's parents and how he had brought her to the
King of the Jinn.

Then he set out and gave not over journeying till he came to
Bassora and entering his palace, saluted his mother and told her
all that had befallen him; whereupon quoth she to him, "Arise, O
my son, so thou mayst [FN#137] see this ninth image, for that I am
exceeding rejoiced at its presence with us." So they both
descended into the underground hall, wherein were the eight
images, and found there a great marvel; to wit, instead of the
ninth image, they beheld the young lady, resembling the sun in
her loveliness. The prince knew her, when he saw her, and she
said to him, "Marvel not to find me here in place of that which
thou soughtest; methinketh thou wilt not repent thee an thou take
me in the stead of the ninth image." "No, by Allah, oh my
beloved!" replied Zein ul Asnam, "For that thou art the end of my
seeking and I would not exchange thee for all the jewels in the
world. Didst thou but know the grief which possessed me for thy
separation, thou whom I took from thy parents by fraud and
brought thee to the King of the Jinn!" [FN#138]

Scarce had the prince made an end of his speech when they heard a
noise of thunder rending the mountains and shaking the earth and
fear get hold upon the queen, the mother of Zein ul Asnam, yea,
and sore trembling; but, after a little, the King of the Jinn
appeared and said to her, "O lady, fear not, it is I who am thy
son's protector and I love him with an exceeding love for the
love his father bore me. Nay, I am he who appeared to him in his
sleep and in this I purposed to try his fortitude, whether or not
he might avail to subdue himself for loyalty's sake. Indeed the
beauty of this young lady beguiled him and he could not avail to
keep his covenant with me so strictly but [FN#139] that he desired
her for his bride. However, I know the frailty of human nature
and withal I think greatly of him that he guarded her and kept
her unsullied and withdrew himself from her; [FN#140] wherefore I
accept this his constancy and bestow her on him as a bride. She
is the ninth image, which I promised him should be with him, and
certes she is fairer than all these images of jewels, inasmuch as
her like is rarely found in the world." Then the King of the Jinn
turned to Zein ul Asnam and said to him, "O Prince Zein ul Asnam,
this is thy bride; take her and go in to her, on condition that
thou love her and take not unto her a second [wife]; and I
warrant thee of the goodliness of her fidelity to-thee-ward."
Therewithal he vanished from them and Zein ul Asnam went out,
glad and rejoicing in the young lady; [FN#141] and of [the excess
of] his love for her he went in to her that night and let
celebrate the bridal and hold high festival in all the kingdom.
Then he abode upon the throne of his kingship, judging and
commanding and forbidding, whilst his bride became queen of
Bassora; and after a little his mother died. So he made her
funeral obsequies [FN#142] and mourned for her; after which he
lived with his bride in all content till there came to them the
Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Societies.


There [FN#144] was [once] in a city of the cities of China a man,
a tailor and poor, and he had a son by name Alaeddin, who was
perverse and graceless from his earliest childhood. When he came
to ten years of age, his father would fain have taught him his
own craft, for that, because he was poor, he could not spend
money upon him to have him taught [another] trade or art [FN#145]
or the like; [FN#146] so he carried him to his shop, that he might
teach him his craft of tailoring; but, forasmuch as the lad was
perverse and wont still to play with the boys of the
quarter, [FN#147] he would not sit one day in the shop; nay, he
would watch his father till such time as he went forth the place
to meet a customer [FN#147] or on some other occasion, when he
would flee forth incontinent and go out to the gardens with the
good-for-nothing lads like himself. This, then, was his
case, [FN#148] and he would not obey his parents, nor would he
learn a craft. His father sickened of his grief and chagrin for
his son's perversity and died, whilst A]aeddin abode on that his
wise. When his mother saw that her husband had departed this
life [FN#149] and that her son was a scapegrace and a good-for-
nought, she sold the shop and all she found therein and fell to
spinning cotton and feeding herself and her graceless son
Alaeddin with her toil. The latter, seeing himself quit of his
father's danger, [FN#150] redoubled in his gracelessness and his
perversity and would not abide in their house save eating-whiles;
and his poor wretched mother supported him [FN#151] by the
spinning of her hands till he came to fifteen years of age.

One [FN#152] day of the days, as he sat in the street, playing
with the vagabond boys, behold, a Maugrabin [FN#153] dervish came
up and stopping to look at the lads, singled out Alaeddin from
his comrades and fell to gazing upon him and straitly considering
his favour. Now this dervish was from the land of Hither
Barbary [FN#154] and he was an enchanter who would cast mountain
upon mountain with his sorcery and was skilled to boot in
physiognomy. [FN#155] When he had well considered Alaeddin, he
said in himself, "Certes, this boy is he whom I seek and he it is
in quest of whom I came forth from my country." So he took one of
the lads apart and asked him of Alaeddin, whose son he was, and
questioned him of all his affairs; after which he went up to
Alaeddin and taking him aside, said to him, "Harkye, boy, art
thou not the son of such an one the tailor?" And he answered him,
saying "Yes, O my lord; but my father died awhile agone." When
the Maugrabin magician heard this, he threw himself upon Alaeddin
and embracing him, fell to kissing him and weeping, that his
tears ran down upon his cheek.

Alaeddin was astonished at the Maugrabin's behaviour; so he asked
him and said to him, "What is the cause of thy weeping, O my
lord, and whence knewest thou my father?" The Maugrabin answered
him, in a mournful, broken voice, [FN#156] saying, "How, O my son,
canst thou ask me this question, after telling me that thy
father, my brother, is dead, for thy father was [indeed] my
brother [FN#157] and I am newly come from my country and was
rejoicing exceedingly, after this my strangerhood, of my
expectation that I should see him and solace myself with
him; [FN#158] and now thou tellest me that he is dead! Marry,
blood discovered unto me that [FN#159] thou wast the son of my
brother, and indeed I knew thee from amongst all the lads;
although thy father, when I left him, was not yet married.
And [FN#160] now, O my son Alaeddin," continued he, "I have lost
my consolation [FN#161] and my joy in thy father, my brother, whom
I had hoped, after my strangerhood, to see ere I died; but
separation hath afflicted me in him [FN#162] and there is no
fleeing from that which is [FN#163] nor is there any resource
against the ordinance of God the Most High."

Then he took Alaeddin and said to him, "O my son, I have no
comfort [FN#163] but in thee [FN#164] and thou art [to me] in the
stead of thy father, since thou art his successor and whoso
leaveth [a successor] is not dead, O my son." With this he put
his hand [to his pocket] and bringing out ten diners, gave them
to Alaeddin, saying, "O my son, where is your house and where is
thy mother, my brother's wife?" So Alaeddin took him and showed
him the way to their house; and the magician said to him, "O my
son, take these monies and give them to thy mother and salute her
on my behalf and tell her that thine uncle is come back from his
strangerhood; and God willing, to-morrow I will come visit you,
so I may salute her and look upon the house wherein my brother
dwelt and see where his tomb is." Alaeddin kissed his hand and
hastened home, running in his joy, to his mother and entered,
contrary to his wont, for that he was not used to go in to her
save at eating-times. So he went in to her, rejoicing, and said
to her, "O my mother, I bring thee glad news of my uncle, in that
he is come back from his absence, and he saluteth thee." "O my
son," quoth she, meseemeth thou makest mock of me. Who is thine
uncle and whence hast thou an uncle on life?" And he said to her,
"O my mother, why didst thou tell me that I had no uncles and no
kinsfolk on life? Indeed, this man is my uncle and he embraced me
and kissed me, weeping, and bade me tell thee of this." And she
answered him, saying, "Yes, O my son, I knew thou hadst an uncle,
but he is dead and I know not that thou hast a second uncle."

As [FN#166] for the Maugrabin enchanter, he went forth at dawn and
fell to searching for [FN#167] Alaeddin, for that he might not
brook parting from him; [FN#168] and as he went about in the
thoroughfares of the city, he came upon the lad, who was playing
with the vagabonds, as of his wont. So he went up to him and
taking him by the hand, embraced him and kissed him; then he
brought out of his purse two diners and said to Alaeddin, "Go to
thy mother and give her these two diners and say to her, 'My
uncle would fain sup with us; so take these two diners and make a
good supper.' But first show me once more the way to your house."
"On my head and eyes, O my uncle," answered Alaeddin and
foregoing him, showed him the way to the house. Then the
Maugrabin left him and went his way, whilst Alaeddin returned
home and telling his mother [what had passed], gave her the two
diners and said to her, " My uncle would fain sup with us." So
she arose forthright and went out to the market, where she bought
all that was needful and returning home, borrowed of her
neighbours that which she required of platters and the like and
proceeded to make ready for supper.

When the time of the evening-meal came, she said to Alaeddin, " O
my son, the supper [FN#169] is ready and maybe shine uncle knoweth
not the way to the house. Go thou and meet him." And he answered
her with "Hearkening and obedience." But, whilst they were in
talk, behold, there came a knocking at the door; whereupon
Alaeddin went out and opening, found the Maugrabin enchanter, and
with him a slave bearing wine and fruits. So he brought them in
and the slave went his way, whilst the Maugrabin entered and
saluted Alaeddin's mother; then he fell a-weeping and said to
her, "Where is the place in which my brother was wont to sit?"
She pointed him to her husband's sitting-place, whereupon he went
thither and prostrating himself, fell to kissing the earth and
saying, "Alas, how scant is my delight and how sorry my fortune,
since I have lost thee, O my brother and apple [FN#170] of mine
eye!" And the abode on this wise, weeping and lamenting, till
Alaeddin's mother was certified that he was in earnest and that
he was like to swoon of the excess of his wailing and his
lamentation. So she came to him and raised him from the ground,
saying, "What profiteth it that thou shouldst kill thyself?"
And [FN#171] she proceeded to comfort him and made him sit down.

Then, before she laid the table, the Maugrabin fell to relating
to her [his history] and said to her, "O wife of my brother, let
it not amaze thee that in all thy days thou never sawest me
neither knewest of me in my late brother's lifetime, for that I
left this country forty years agone and became an exile from my
native land. I journeyed to the lands of Hind and Sind and all
the country of the Arabs and coming presently into Egypt,
sojourned awhile in the magnificent city [of Cairo], which is the
wonder of the world. [FN#172] Ultimately I betook myself to the
land of Hither Barbary [FN#173] and sojourned there thirty years'
space, [FN#174] till one day of the days, as I sat, [FN#175] O wife
of my brother, I bethought me of my country and my native place
and of my late brother and longing waxed on me to see him and I
fell a-weeping and lamenting over my strangerhood and distance
from him. In fine, my yearning for him importuned me till I
resolved to journey to this country, the which was the falling-
place of my head [FN#176] and my native land, that I might see my
brother. And I said in myself, "O man, how long wilt thou be an
exile [FN#177] from thy country and thy native place, whenas thou
hast an only brother and no more? Arise and journey and look upon
him ere thou die. Who knoweth the calamities of fate and the
vicissitudes of the days? Sore pity 'twere that thou shouldst die
and not see thy brother. Moreover, Allah (praised be He) hath
given thee abundant wealth and it may be thy brother is in poor
case and straitened, and thou wilt help him, an [FN#178] thou see
him." So I arose forthright and equipped myself for travel; then,
reciting the Fatiheh [FN#179], I took horse, after the Friday
prayer, and came, after many hardships and fatigues,--which I
suffered, till the Lord (to whom belong might and majesty)
protected [me],--to this city. I entered it and as I went about
its thoroughfares the day before yesterday, I saw my brother's
son Alaeddin playing with the boys; and by Allah the Great, O
wife of my brother, when I saw him, my heart crave to him, for
that blood yearneth unto blood, and my soul foreboded me he was
my brother's son. At his sight I forgot all my toils and troubles
and was like to fly for joy; then, when he told me that my late
brother had departed to the mercy of God the Most High, I swooned
away for stress of grief and chagrin; and most like he hath told
thee of that which overcame me. [FN#180] But I comforted myself
somewhat with Alaeddin, who standeth in stead of [FN#181] the
departed, for that whoso leaveth [a successor] [FN#182] dieth

Then, [FN#183] when he saw her weeping at this speech, he turned
to Alaeddin, by way of making her forget the mention of her
husband and feigning to comfort her, so he might the better
accomplish his device upon her, and said to him, "O my son
Alaeddin, what hast thou learned of crafts and what is thy
business? Hast thou learned thee a trade whereby thou mayst live,
thou and thy mother?" At this Alaeddin was confounded and abashed
and hung down his head, bowing it to the ground, whilst his
mother said to the Maugrabin, "How? By Allah, he knoweth nought
at all! So graceless a lad I never saw. All day long he goeth
about with the vagabond boys of the quarter like himself; nay,
his father, woe is me, died not but of his chagrin concerning
him; and now, as for me, my case is woeful. I spin cotton and
toil night and day, to earn two cakes of bread, that we may eat
them together. This, then, is his condition, O my brother-in-law,
and by thy life, he cometh not in to me save at eating-times, and
I am thinking to bolt the door of my house and not open to him
and let him go seek his living for himself, for that I am grown
an old woman and have no strength left to toil and provide for
the maintenance of a fellow like this. [FN#184] By Allah, I get
mine own livelihood, I that need one who shall maintain
me." [FN#185]

Therewithal the Maugrabin turned to Alaeddin and said to him,
"How is this, O son of my brother? It is a disgrace to thee to go
vagabonding about in this abjection. This befitteth not men like
thee. Thou art gifted with understanding, O my son, and the child
of [reputable] folk; [FN#186] I and it is a shame upon thee that
thy mother, who is an old woman, should toil for thy maintenance,
now thou art grown a man. Nay, it behoveth thee get thee some
means whereby thou mayst maintain thyself, O my son. See, by
God's grace, (praised be He) here in our city be masters of
crafts, nowhere is there a place more abounding in them: choose,
then, the craft which pleaseth thee and I will establish thee
therein, so that, when thou growest up, O my son, thou mayst find
thee thy craft whereby thou shalt live. Belike thou hast no mind
to thy father's trade; so choose other than it. Tell me the craft
which pleaseth thee and I will help thee in all that is possible,
O son of my brother." Then, seeing that Alaeddin was silent and
answered him nothing, he knew that he had no mind to any craft at
all and recked of nothing but vagabondage and said to him, "O son
of my brother, be not abashed at me; [FN#187] if so be
withal [FN#188] thou caress not to learn a trade, I will open thee
a merchant's shop of the costliest stuffs and thou shalt make
thyself acquainted with [FN#189] the folk [FN#190] and shalt give
and take and sell and buy and become known in the city."

When Alaeddin heard these words of his uncle the Maugrabin, to
wit, that it was his intent to make him a merchant, [FN#191] a
trader, [FN#192] he rejoiced exceedingly, well knowing that all
merchants' apparel is neat and elegant; [FN#193] so he looked at
the Maugrabin and smiled and bowed his head, as who should say,
"I am content." The [FN#194] magician, seeing him smile, knew that
he was content to be a merchant and said to him, "Since thou art
content that I should make thee a merchant and open thee a shop,
be a man, O son of my brother, and to-morrow, God willing, I will
take thee first to the market and let cut thee an elegant suit of
clothes such as merchants wear; and after that I will look thee
out a shop and perform my promise to thee." Now Alaeddin's mother
was in some little doubt as to the Maugrabin; but, when she heard
his promise to her son that he would open him a shop as a
merchant with stuffs and capital and what not else, she concluded
that he was in very deed her brother-in-law, inasmuch as a
stranger would not do thus with her son. So she fell to
admonishing her son and exhorting him to put away ignorance and
folly from his head and be a man, and bade him still yield
obedience to his uncle, as he were his father, and apply himself
to make up the time which he had wasted in idleness [with] those
who were like him, after which she arose and laying the table,
spread the evening-meal and they all sat down and fell to eating
and drinking, whilst the Maugrabin talked with Alaeddin upon
matters of merchandry and the like. Then, when he saw that the
night was far spent, [FN#195] he arose and went to his lodging,
promising to return in the morning and take Alaeddin, so he might
let cut him a merchant's suit.

Alaeddin slept not that night for joy and when it was morning,
behold, the Maugrabin knocked at the door. The lad's mother arose
and opened to him; however, he would not enter, but sought
Alaeddin, that he might take him with him to the market. So
Alaeddin went out to him and gave him good-morning and kissed his
hand; whereupon the Maugrabin took him by the hand and going with
him to the market, entered the shop of a seller of all manner of
clothes and demanded a suit of costly stuffs. The merchant
brought him what he sought, all sewn and ready, and the Maugrabin
said to Alaeddin, "Choose that which pleaseth thee, O my son."
Alaeddin rejoiced exceedingly, when he saw that his uncle gave
him his choice, and chose clothes to his mind, such as pleased
him. The Maugrabin at once paid the merchant their price and
going out, carried Alaeddin to the bath, where they bathed and
came forth and drank wine. [FN#196] Then Alaeddin arose and donned
the new suit; whereat he rejoiced and was glad and coming up to
his uncle, kissed his hand and thanked him for his bounties.
After [FN#197] this the Maugrabin carried him to the bazaar of the
merchants and showed him the market and the selling and buying
and said to him, " O my son, it behoveth thee consort with the
folk, especially with the merchants, so thou mayst learn of them
merchandry, since this is become thy craft."

Then he took him again and showed him the city and the mosques
and all the sights of the place; after which he carried him to a
cook's shop, where the morning-meal was set before them in silver
platters. So they ate and drank till they had enough and going
forth, fared on, whilst the Maugrabin proceeded to show Alaeddin
the pleasaunces and fine buildings, [FN#198] going in with him to
the Sultan's palace and showing him all the fair and fine
quarters [FN#199] [of the city]; after which he carried him to the
Khan of the stranger merchants, where he himself lodged. and
invited certain of the merchants who were in the Khan.
Accordingly they came and sat down to supper, and he informed
them that this was his brother's son and that his name was
Alaeddin. Then, after they had eaten and drunken, the night being
now come, the Maugrabin arose and taking Alaeddin, carried him
back to his mother.

When she saw her son as he were one of the merchants, her wit
fled [and she waxed] sorrowful for gladness and fell to extolling
the Maugrabin's bounty and saying to him, "O my brother-in-law, I
might not suffice [to thy deserts,] though I thanked thee all my
life long and praised thee for the good thou hast done with my
son." "O wife of my brother," answered he, "this is no manner of
kindness in me, [FN#200] for that this is my son and it behoveth
me stand in the stead of my brother his father; so be thou easy."
Quoth she, "I pray God, by the glory of the ancients [FN#201] and
the moderns, that He let thee [live] and continue thee, O my
brother-in-law, and prolong me thy life, so thou mayst be [as] a
wing [FN#202] to this orphan boy; and he shall still be under
thine obedience and thy commandment and shall do nought but that
which thou biddest him." "O wife of my brother," rejoined the
Maugrabin, "Alaeddin is a man of understanding and [the son of]
decent folk, and my hope is in God that he will follow in his
father's footsteps and be the solace of shine eyes; [FN#203] but
it irketh me that, to-morrow being Friday, I cannot open him a
shop. It being congregation day, all the merchants will go out
after prayers to the gardens and pleasaunces; but, God willing,
on Saturday, an it please the Creator, we will do our business.
Tomorrow I will come to you and take Alaeddin, that I may show
him the gardens and pleasaunces without the city,--it may be he
hath not yet seen them,--and he shall see the merchant-folk and
the notables a-pleasuring there, so he may become acquainted with
them and they with him." [FN#204]

The [FN#205] Maugrabin lay the night in his lodging; and on the
morrow he came to the tailor's house and knocked at the door.
Alaeddin--of the excess of his joy in the clothes he had donned
and of the pleasures he had enjoyed on the past day, what with
the bath and eating and drinking and viewing the folk and the
thought that his uncle was coming in the morning to take him and
show him the gardens--slept not that night neither closed an eye
and thought the day would never break. [FN#206] So, when he heard
a knocking at the door, he went out at once in haste, like a
spark of fire, and opening, found his uncle the Maugrabin. The
latter embraced him and kissed him and took him by the hand,
saying, "O son of my brother, to-day I will show thee a thing
such as thou never sawest in thy life." Then they went off
together and the Maugrabin fell to making merry with [FN#207]
Alaeddin and amusing him with familiar talk. They went forth the
gate of the city and the Maugrabin proceeded to walk with him
among the gardens and to show him the fine pleasaunces and
marvellous high-builded palaces; and whenassoever they looked
upon a garden or a palace [FN#208] or a pavilion, [FN#209] he would
stand and say to Alaeddin, "Doth this please thee, O my son

Alaeddin was like to fly for joy, inasmuch as he saw that which
he had never in his life seen, and they gave not over walking and
gazing till they were weary, when they entered a fine garden
there, that cheered the heart and brightened the eye with its
springs [FN#210] welling up among flowers and its waters issuing
from the mouths of lions of brass like unto gold, and sitting
down by a lake, rested awhile. As for Alaeddin, he rejoiced and
was exceeding glad and fell a-jesting with the Mangrabin and
making merry with him, as he were his uncle in very deed. Then
the latter arose and loosing his girdle, brought out therefrom a
bag full of victual and fruit and the like and said to Alaeddin,
"O son of my brother, thou art maybe anhungred; come, eat what
thou wilt." So Alaeddin proceeded to eat and the Maugrabin with
him and they were gladdened and refreshed and their souls were
cheered. Then said the Maugrabin, "Rise, O my son, an thou be
rested, so we may walk a little and fare onward." [FN#211] So
Alaeddin arose and the Maugrabin walked on with him from garden
to garden till they had passed them all and came to a high
mountain. [FN#212]

Now Alaeddin had never gone forth the gate of the city nor in all
his life had he walked the like of that walk; so he said to the
Maugrabin, "O my uncle, whither are we going? See, we have left
all the gardens behind us and are come to the foot of a
mountain. [FN#213] If the way be [yet] far, I have no strength
left me for walking, for that I am worn out with fatigue and
there remain no more gardens before us; so let us turn back and
return to the city." "O my son," replied the Maugrabin, "this is
the way and the gardens are not yet at an end, for we are
going [FN#214] to view a garden, whose like is not with the kings
and compared with which all these which thou hast seen are as
nothing. So gird up thy loins [FN#215] for walking; praised be
God, thou art a man." And he fell to amusing him with fair words
and telling him rare stories, true and false, till they reached
the place at which this Maugrabin enchanter aimed and in quest
whereof he was come from Barbary [FN#216] to the land of China;
whereupon, "O son of my brother," quoth he to Alaeddin, "sit and
rest thee; this is the place for which we were making; and now,
please God, I will show thee marvellous things, the like whereof
no one in the world hath seen, nor hath any looked upon that
which thou art about to behold. But [FN#217] do thou, after thou
art rested, arise and seek sticks and grass and reeds and such
like matters as are small and dry, so we may kindle a fire, and I
will cause thee look, O son of my brother, upon a thing which
passeth understanding." [FN#218]

When Alaeddin heard this, he yearned to see what his uncle was
about to do; so he forgot his fatigue and rising forthright, fell
to gathering brushwood and dry sticks and gathered till the
Maugrabin said to him, "Enough, O son of my brother." Then he
brought out of his pocket a casket, from which he took what he
needed of perfumes, and proceeded to make fumigations and
conjurations, speaking words that might not be understanded; and
straightway it darkened and thundered and the earth quaked and
opened. At this Alaeddin was sore affrighted and would have fled;
which when the Maugrabin enchanter saw, he was exceeding,
incensed at him, for that without Alaeddin his labour was of none
avail, since the treasure whereat he sought to come might not be
opened save by means of the lad. So, when he saw him offer to
flee, he rose to him and lifting his hand, smote him on his head,
that he came nigh to knock out his teeth; whereupon Alaeddin
swooned away and fell upon the earth; but, after a little, he
recovered his senses, by the virtue of the Maugrabin's
enchantments, and falling a-weeping, said to him, "O my uncle,
what have I done to deserve from thee this blow?" The Maugrabin
proceeded to soothe him and said to him, "O my son, it is my
desire to make thee a man; so cross me not, for that I am thine
uncle and as it were thy father; wherefore do thou obey me in
that which I shall say to thee, and after a little thou shalt
forget all this travail and annoy, whenas thou lookest upon
things marvellous."

Now, when the earth clove in sunder before the enchanter, there
appeared to him an alabaster slab and in it a ring of molten
brass; [FN#219] so he turned to Alaeddin and said to him, "An thou
do that which I shall tell thee, thou shalt become richer than
all the kings; and on this account, O my son, I beat thee, for
that here is a treasure and it is in thy name, and thou, thou
wouldst fain have passed it by and fled. But now collect thy
wits [FN#220] and see how I have opened the earth by my
conjurations and incantations. Under [FN#221] yonder stone,
wherein is the ring, is the treasure whereof I have told thee; so
do thou put thy hand to the ring and lift the slab, for that none
of mankind can open it but thou and none but thou can set his
foot within this treasure, since it is guarded for thee. But
needs must thou hearken from me that which I shall teach thee and
lose not [FN#222] a syllable of my speech. Marry, all this, O my
son, is for thy good, for that this is an exceeding great
treasure, the kings of the world possess not its like, and it is
thine and mine." So poor Alaeddin forgot fatigue and beating and
weeping, of his amazement at the Maugrabin's speech and joy that
he should become rich after such a measure that even the kings
would be no wealthier than he, and said to him, "O my uncle,
command me all thou wilt, for I will be obedient unto thy
commandment." And the Maugrabin said to him, "O son of my
brother, thou art as my very son, nay, dearer, for being my
brother's son. I have no kindred other than thyself and thou art
my natural heir and successor, O my son."

Therewith he came up to Alaeddin and kissed him. saying, "All
these my toils, whom do they concern? [FN#223] They are all for
thy sake, O my son, that I may make [FN#224] thee a man rich and
great [FN#225] exceedingly; so gainsay me not in aught that I
shall tell thee; but go up to yonder ring and raise it, as I bade
thee." "O my uncle," quoth Alaeddin, "this stone is heavy; I
cannot raise it of myself, [FN#226] so come thou also and help me
raise it, for I am little of years." "O son of my brother,"
replied the Maugrabin, "it will not be possible for us to do
aught, an I help thee, and our toil will be wasted in vain; but
do thou put thy hand to the ring and raise it and it will
immediately come up with thee; for, as I said to thee, none may
handle it but thou. But, when thou raisest it, name thine own
name and those of thy father and mother and it will straightway
rise with thee, nor shalt thou feel its weight."

Accordingly, Alaeddin took courage and summoning his resolution,
did as the Maugrabin bade him and raised the slab with all ease,
whenas he pronounced his own name and those of his father and his
mother. So the stone came up and he threw it aside;
whereupon [FN#227] there appeared to him an underground place and
its door, whereas one entered by a stair of some dozen steps, and
the Maugrabin said to him, "O Alaeddin, give heed [FN#228] and do
punctually that which I shall tell thee, neither fail of aught
thereof. Go down with all circumspection into yonder vault till
thou come to the bottom thereof and thou wilt find there a place
divided into four chambers, [FN#229] in each of which thou wilt
see four jars of gold and others of native ore and silver. Beware
lest thou handle them or take aught therefrom, but pass them by
till thou come to the fourth chamber, and let not thy clothes or
thy skirts touch the jars, no, nor the walls, and stay not one
moment; for, an thou do contrary to this, thou wilt forthright be
transformed and wilt become a black stone. When thou comest to
the fourth chamber, thou wilt find there a door; open it and
speak the names which thou spokest over the slab; then enter and
thou wilt find thyself in a garden, all adorned with trees and
fruits. Thence do thou fare on some fifty cubits in the path thou
wilt find before thee and thou wilt come to a dais, [FN#230]
with [FN#231] a stair of some thirty steps. Above the dais
thou [FN#232] wilt find a lamp hung up; take it and pour out the
oil that is therein and put it in thy sleeve; [FN#233] and fear
not for thy clothes therefrom, for that it [FN#234] is not oil.
And as thou returnest, thou mayst pluck from the trees what thou
wilt, for that it is thine, what while the lamp abideth in thy

When the Maugrabin had made an end of his speech, he drew from
his finger a ring and putting it on Alaeddin's finger, said to
him, "And this ring, O, my son, shall deliver thee from all hurt
and all fear that may betide thee, provided thou observe all that
I have said to thee. So now arise and go down; gird thy loins and
summon up thy resolution and fear not, for that thou art a man
and not a child; and after this, O my son, thou shalt in a little
time become the richest of mankind." So Alaeddin arose and going
down into the underground, found the four chambers and in each
four jars of gold. He passed them by with all care and
precaution, even as the Maugrabin had bidden him, and entering
the garden, fared on there through till he came to the dais and
mounting the stair, entered [FN#235] and found the lamp. So he
quenched it and pouring out the oil that was therein, put it in
his sleeve; then, going down into the garden, he fell to gazing
upon its trees, whereon were birds extolling with their
songs [FN#236] the perfection of the Great Creator, and he had not
seen them as he entered. Now the fruits of these trees were all
precious stones, each tree bearing fruit of one colour and kind
of jewel, and these fruits were of all colours, green and white
and yellow and red and what not else of colours. Their
glitterance outshone the rays of the sun in its forenoon
splendour and the bigness of each jewel overpassed description;
suffice it that not one of them might be found with the greatest
of the kings of the world, [FN#237] no, nor a gem half the bigness
of the smallest that was there.

Alaeddin [FN#238] entered among the trees and proceeded to gaze
upon them and upon these things which amazed the sight and
ravished the sense and observing them, saw that, instead of
fruits, they bore magnificent jewels from the mines, emeralds and
diamonds and rubies and pearls and topazes [FN#239] and the like
of precious stones, such as confounded the wit. Now, for that
this was a thing Alaeddin had never in his life seen, neither was
he of ripe age, so he should know the value of these jewels, by
reason of his being yet a young lad, he thought that they were
all glass or crystal; so he gathered of them what filled his
sleeves [FN#240] and fell to looking an they were grapes or figs
and the like of fruits that might be eaten or not; but, finding
them like glass, he proceeded to gather in his sleeve [FN#241] of
every kind that was upon the trees, albeit he knew not jewels nor
their worth, saying in himself, since he had been baulked in his
intent of eating, "I will gather of these fruits of glass and
will play with them at home." Accordingly he proceeded to pluck
and put in his pockets [FN#242] and his sleeves [FN#243] till he
filled them; after which he filled his girdle with the fruits and
girt himself withal; in fine, he carried off as much as he might,
purposing to lay them up with him in the house by way of
ornament, for that he thought them glass, as I have said. Then he
quickened his pace, of his fear of his uncle the Maugrabin, and
hastened through the four chambers and the [outer] vault nor
looked, as he returned, at the jars of gold, albeit he might now
have taken of them. [FN#244]

When he came to the stair [FN#245] and ascended it and there
remained to him but a small matter, to wit, the last step, which
was much higher than the others, he could not avail to mount it
of himself, having regard to that which he was carrying; so he
said to the Maugrabin, "O my uncle, give me thy hand and help me
up." Quoth he, "O my son, give me the lamp and lighten thyself;
maybe it is that which hindereth thee." "Nay, O my uncle,"
answered Alaeddin, "the lamp hindereth me nought; but do thou
give me thy hand and when I am up, I will give thee the lamp."
The enchanter, who wanted the lamp and that only, fell to urging
Alaeddin to give it him; but the latter, having wrapped it within
his clothes, with purses [FN#246] of jewel-fruits atop of
it, [FN#247] could not reach it with his hand, so he might give it
him. [FN#248] The [FN#249] Maugrabin was instant with him to give
him the lamp and was like to lose his wits for rage, seeing he
attained not his object, albeit Alaeddin still promised him that
he would give it him as soon as he was forth of the vault, [and
that] without lying thought or ill intent. Then, when he saw that
Alaeddin would not give it him, he was angry with an exceeding
anger and abandoning all hope of the lamp, conjured and enchanted
and cast perfumes into the midst of the fire; whereupon the slab
immediately turned over [FN#250] and shut [FN#251] of itself by the
might of his enchantments; the earth covered it like as it was
before and Alaeddin abode under the ground, unable to come forth.

Thus the enchanter--forasmuch as he was a stranger and no uncle of
Alaeddin, as he said, but had counterfeited himself and avouched
leasing, so he might get the lamp by means of the lad, unto whom
that treasure was fortuned by the stars-shut up [FN#252] the earth
upon him and left him to die of hunger. Now this accursed
Maugrabin wizard was from the city of Africa [FN#253] in Hither
Barbary and had from his childhood been addicted to magic and all
the occult arts, for which the city in question is renowned. He
ceased not from his tenderest years to study and learn in his
native land Africa till he became versed in all sciences, and of
the much skill and proficiency which he acquired, by dint of
study and application for the space of forty years, in the matter
of incantations and conjurations, it was discovered to
him, [FN#254] one day of the days, that among the uttermost of the
cities of China was a city called El Kelaas and in this city a
vast treasure, the like whereof no king of the kings of the world
ever possessed; but the rarest [was] that in this treasure
[was] [FN#255] a wonderful lamp, [FN#256] whereat if one should
come, there might no man be found on earth richer than he,
whether in might or in wealth, nor might the greatest king in the
world avail unto aught of the riches of this lamp and its
puissance and virtue. Moreover [FN#257] he saw that this treasure
was to be achieved by means of a lad of mean birth, by name
Alaeddin, who was of the city aforesaid, and that it was eath to
take and unarduous: so he tarried not, but equipped himself
forthright for the voyage to China, as we have said, and did that
which he did with Alaeddin, thinking to come by the lamp. But his
endeavour was baffled and his expectation baulked and his toil
wasted in vain; whereupon he sought to kill Alaeddin and closed
up the earth upon him by his sorcery, so he might die (and the
live hath no slayer [FN#258]); moreover, he purposed by this that

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