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The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete by Anon.

Part 19 out of 28

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fright and apprehension I would have you tell me all that has
happened, and conceal nothing from me."

The princess, who took great pleasure in giving the sultan the
satisfaction he demanded, said, "If I appear so little altered, I
beg of your majesty to consider that I received new life
yesterday morning by the presence of my dear husband and
deliverer Alla ad Deen, whom I looked upon and bewailed as lost
to me; and the happiness of seeing and embracing of whom has
almost recovered me to my former state of health. My greatest
suffering was only to find myself forced from your majesty and my
dear husband; not only from the love I bore my husband, but from
the uneasiness I laboured under through fear that he, though
innocent, might feel the effects of your anger, to which I knew
he was left exposed. I suffered but little from the insolence of
the wretch who had carried me off; for having secured the
ascendant over him, I always put a stop to his disagreeable
overtures, and was as little constrained as I am at present.

"As to what relates to my transportation, Alla ad Deen had no
concern in it; I was myself the innocent cause of it." To
persuade the sultan of the truth of what she said, she gave him a
full account of how the African magician had disguised himself,
and offered to change new lamps for old ones; how she had amused
herself in making that exchange, being entirely ignorant of the
secret and importance of the wonderful lamp; how the palace and
herself were carried away and transported into Africa, with the
African magician, who was recognised by two of her women and the
eunuch who made the exchange of the lamp, when he had the
audacity, after the success of his daring enterprise, to propose
himself for her husband; how he persecuted her till Alla ad
Deen's arrival; how they had concerted measures to get the lamp
from him again, and the success they had fortunately met with by
her dissimulation in inviting him to supper, and giving him the
cup with the powder prepared for him. "For the rest," added she,
"I leave it to Alla ad Deen to recount."

Alla ad Deen had not much to tell the sultan, but only said,
"When the private door was opened I went up into the great hall,
where I found the magician lying dead on the sofa, and as I
thought it not proper for the princess to stay there any longer,
I desired her to go down into her own apartment, with her women
and eunuchs. As soon as I was alone, and had taken the lamp out
of the magician's breast, I made use of the same secret he had
done, to remove the palace, and carry off the princess; and by
that means the palace was re-conveyed to the place where it stood
before; and I have the happiness to restore the princess to your
majesty, as you commanded me. But that your majesty may not think
that I impose upon you, if you will give yourself the trouble to
go up into the hall, you may see the magician punished as he

The sultan, to be assured of the truth, rose instantly, and went
into the hall, where, when he saw the African magician dead, and
his face already livid by the strength of the poison, he embraced
Alla ad Deen with great tenderness, and said, "My son, be not
displeased at my proceedings against you; they arose from my
paternal love; and therefore you ought to forgive the excesses to
which it hurried me." "Sir," replied Alla ad Deen, "I have not
the least reason to complain of your majesty's conduct, since you
did nothing but what your duty required. This infamous magician,
the basest of men, was the sole cause of my misfortune. When your
majesty has leisure, I will give you an account of another
villanous action he was guilty of towards me, which was no less
black and base than this, from which I was preserved by the
providence of God in a very miraculous way." "I will take an
opportunity, and that very shortly," replied the sultan, "to hear
it; but in the mean time let us think only of rejoicing, and the
removal of this odious object."

Alla ad Deen ordered the magician's corpse to be removed and
thrown upon a dunghill, for birds and beasts to prey upon. In the
mean time, the sultan commanded the drums, trumpets, cymbals, and
other instruments of music to announce his joy to the public, and
a festival of ten days to be proclaimed for the return of the
princess and Alla ad Deen.

Thus Alla ad Deen escaped once more the almost inevitable danger
of losing his life; but this was not the last, since he ran as
great a hazard a third time.

The African magician had a younger brother, who was equally
skilful as a necromancer, and even surpassed him in villany and
pernicious designs. As they did not live together, or in the same
city, but oftentimes when one was in the east, the other was in
the west, they failed not every year to inform themselves, by
their art, each where the other resided, and whether they stood
in need of one another's assistance.

Some time after the African magician had failed in his enterprise
against Alla ad Deen, his younger brother, who had heard no
tidings of him, and was not in Africa, but in a distant country,
had the wish to know in what part of the world he sojourned, the
state of his health, and what he was doing; and as he, as well as
his brother, always carried a geomantic square instrument about
him, he prepared the sand, cast the points, and drew the figures.
On examining the planetary mansions, he found that his brother
was no longer living, but had been poisoned; and by another
observation, that he was in the capital of the kingdom of China;
also that the person who had poisoned him was of mean birth,
though married to a princess, a sultan's daughter.

When the magician had informed himself of his brother's fate, he
lost no time in useless regret, which could not restore him to
life; but resolving immediately to revenge his death, departed
for China; where, after crossing plains, rivers, mountains,
deserts, and a long tract of country without delay, he arrived
after incredible fatigues.

When he came to the capital of China, he took a lodging. The next
day he walked through the town, not so much to observe the
beauties, which were indifferent to him, as to take proper
measures to execute his pernicious designs. He introduced himself
into the most frequented places, where he listened to everybody's
discourse. In a place where people resort to divert themselves
with games of various kinds, and where some were conversing,
while others played, he heard some persons talk of the virtue and
piety of a woman called Fatima, who was retired from the world,
and of the miracles she wrought. As he fancied that this woman
might be serviceable to him in the project he had conceived, he
took one of the company aside, and requested to be informed more
particularly who that holy woman was, and what sort of miracles
she performed.

"What!" said the person whom he addressed, "have you never seen
or heard of her? She is the admiration of the whole town, for her
fasting, her austerities, and her exemplary life. Except Mondays
and Fridays, she never stirs out of her little cell; and on those
days on which she comes into the town she does an infinite deal
of good; for there is not a person that has the headache but is
cured by her laying her hand upon them."

The magician wanted no further information. He only asked the
person in what part of the town this holy woman's cell was
situated. After he had informed himself on this head, he
determined on the detestable design of murdering her and assuming
her character. With this view he watched all her steps the first
day she went out after he had made this inquiry, without losing
sight of her till evening, when he saw her re-enter her cell.
When he had fully observed the place, he went to one of those
houses where they sell a certain hot liquor, and where any person
may pass the night, particularly in the great heats, when the
people of that country prefer lying on a mat to a bed. About
midnight, after the magician had satisfied the master of the
house for what little he had called for, he went out, and
proceeded directly to the cell of Fatima. He had no difficulty to
open the door, which was only fastened with a latch, and he shut
it again after he had entered, without any noise. When he entered
the cell, he perceived Fatima by moonlight lying in the air on a
sofa covered only by an old mat, with her head leaning against
the wall. He awakened her, and clapped a dagger to her breast.

The pious Fatima opening her eyes, was much surprised to see a
man with a dagger at her breast ready to stab her, and who said
to her, "If you cry out, or make the least noise, I will kill
you; but get up, and do as I shall direct you."

Fatima, who had lain down in her habit, got up, trembling with
fear. "Do not be so much frightened," said the magician; "I only
want your habit, give it me and take mine." Accordingly Fatima
and he changed clothes. He then said to her, "Colour my face,
that I may be like you;" but perceiving that the poor creature
could not help trembling, to encourage her he said, "I tell you
again you need not fear anything: I swear by the name of God I
will not take away your life." Fatima lighted her lamp, led him
into the cell, and dipping a soft brush in a certain liquor,
rubbed it over his face, assured him the colour would not change,
and that his face was of the same hue as her own: after which,
she put her own head-dress on his head, also a veil, with which
she shewed him how to hide his face as he passed through the
town. After this, she put a long string of beads about his neck,
which hung down to the middle of his body, and giving him the
stick she used to walk with in his hand, brought him a looking-
glass, and bade him look if he was not as like her as possible.
The magician found himself disguised as he wished to be; but he
did not keep the oath he so solemnly swore to the good Fatima;
but instead of stabbing her, for fear the blood might discover
him, he strangled her; and when he found she was dead, threw her
body into a cistern just by the cell.

The magician, thus disguised like the holy woman Fatima, spent
the remainder of the night in the cell. The next morning, two
hours after sunrise, though it was not a day the holy woman used
to go out on, he crept out of the cell, being well persuaded that
nobody would ask him any questions; or, if they should, he had an
answer ready for them. As one of the first things he did after
his arrival was to find out Alla ad Deen's palace, where he was
to complete his designs, he went directly thither.

As soon as the people saw the holy woman, as they imagined him to
be, they presently gathered about him in a great crowd. Some
begged his blessing, others kissed his hand, and others, more
reserved, only the hem of his garment; while others, whether
their heads ached, or they wished to be preserved against that
disorder, stooped for him to lay his hands upon them; which he
did, muttering some words in form of prayer; and, in short,
counterfeited so well, that everybody took him for the holy

After frequently stopping to satisfy people of this description,
who received neither good nor harm from this imposition of hands,
he came at last to the square before Alla ad Deen's palace. The
crowd was so great that the eagerness to get at him increased in
proportion. Those who were the most zealous and strong forced
their way through the crowd. There were such quarrels, and so
great a noise, that the princess, who was in the hall of four-
and-twenty windows, heard it, and asked what was the matter; but
nobody being able to give her an answer, she ordered them to
inquire and inform her. One of her women looked out of a window,
and then told her it was a great crowd of people collected about
the holy woman to be cured of the headache by the imposition of
her hands.

The princess, who had long heard of this holy woman, but had
never seen her, was very desirous to have some conversation with
her, which the chief of the eunuchs perceiving, told her it was
an easy matter to bring her to her, if she desired and commanded
it; and the princess expressing her wishes, he immediately sent
four eunuchs for the pretended holy woman.

As soon as the crowd saw the eunuchs, they made way, and the
magician perceiving also that they were coming for him, advanced
to meet them, overjoyed to find his plot proceeded so well. "Holy
woman," said one of the eunuchs, "the princess wants to see you,
and has sent us for you." "The princess does me too great an
honour," replied the false Fatima; "I am ready to obey her
command," and at the same time followed the eunuchs to the

When the magician, who under a holy garment disguised a wicked
heart, was introduced into the great hall, and perceived the
princess, he began a prayer, which contained a long enumeration
of vows and good wishes for the princess's health and prosperity,
and that she might have every thing she desired. He then
displayed all his hypocritical rhetoric, to insinuate himself
into the princess's favour under the cloak of piety, which it was
no hard matter for him to do; for as the princess herself was
naturally good, she was easily persuaded that all the world were
like her, especially those who made profession of serving God in

When the pretended Fatima had finished his long harangue, the
princess said to him, "I thank you, good mother, for your
prayers: I have great confidence in them, and hope God will hear
them. Come, and sit by me." The false Fatima sat down with
affected modesty: the princess then resuming her discourse, said,
"My good mother, I have one thing to request, which you must not
refuse me; it is to stay with me, that you may edify me with your
way of living; and that I may learn from your good example how to
serve God." "Princess," said the counterfeit Fatima, "I beg of
you not to ask what I cannot consent to, without neglecting my
prayers and devotion." "That shall be no hinderance to you,"
answered the princess; "I have a great many apartments
unoccupied; you shall choose which you like best, and have as
much liberty to perform your devotions as if you were in your own

The magician, who desired nothing more than to introduce himself
into the palace, where it would be a much easier matter for him
to execute his designs, under the favour and protection of the
princess, than if he had been forced to come and go from the cell
to the palace, did not urge much to excuse himself from accepting
the obliging offer which the princess made him. "Princess," said
he, "whatever resolution a poor wretched woman as I am may have
made me renounce the pomp and grandeur of this world, I dare not
presume to oppose the will and commands of so pious and
charitable a princess."

Upon this the princess, rising up, said, "Come with me, I will
shew you what vacant apartments I have, that you may make choice
of that you like best." The magician followed the princess, and
of all the apartments she shewed him, made choice of that which
was the worst furnished, saying it was too good for him, and that
he only accepted of it to please her.

Afterwards the princess would have brought him back again into
the great hall to make him dine with her; but he considering that
he should then be obliged to shew his face, which he had always
taken care to conceal; and fearing that the princess should find
out that he was not Fatima, he begged of her earnestly to excuse
him, telling her that he never ate anything but bread and dried
fruits, and desiring to eat that slight repast in his own
apartment. The princess granted his request, saying, "You may be
as free here, good mother, as if you were in your own cell: I
will order you a dinner, but remember I expect you as soon as you
have finished your repast."

After the princess had dined, and the false Fatima had been
informed by one of the eunuchs that she was risen from table, he
failed not to wait upon her. "My good mother," said the princess,
"I am overjoyed to have the company of so holy a woman as
yourself, who will confer a blessing upon this palace. But now I
am speaking of the palace, pray how do you like it? And before I
shew it all to you, tell me first what you think of this hall."

Upon this question, the counterfeit Fatima, who, to act his part
the better, affected to hang down his head, without so much as
ever once lifting it, at last looked up, and surveyed the hall
from one end to the other. When he had examined it well, he said
to the princess, "As far as such a solitary being as I am, who am
unacquainted with what the world calls beautiful, can judge, this
hall is truly admirable and most beautiful; there wants but one
thing." "What is that, good mother?" demanded the princess; "tell
me, I conjure you. For my part, I always believed, and have heard
say, it wanted nothing; but if it does, it shall be supplied."

"Princess," said the false Fatima, with great dissimulation,
"forgive me the liberty I have taken; but my opinion is, if it
can be of any importance, that if a roe's egg were hung up in the
middle of the dome, this hall would have no parallel in the four
quarters of the world, and your palace would be the wonder of the
unit verse."

"My good mother," said the princess, "what bird is a roe, and
where may one get an egg?" "Princess," replied the pretended
Fatima, "it is a bird of prodigious size, which inhabits the
summit of mount Caucasus; the architect who built your palace can
get you one."

After the princess had thanked the false Fatima for what she
believed her good advice, she conversed with her upon other
matters; but could not forget the roe's egg, which she resolved
to request of Alla ad Deen when he returned from hunting. He had
been gone six days, which the magician knew, and therefore took
advantage of his absence; but he returned that evening after the
false Fatima had taken leave of the princess, and retired to his
apartment. As soon as he arrived, he went directly to the
princess's apartment, saluted and embraced her, but she seemed to
receive him coldly. "My princess," said he, "I think you are not
so cheerful as you used to be; has any thing happened during my
absence, which has displeased you, or given you any trouble or
dissatisfaction In the name of God, do not conceal it from me; I
will leave nothing undone that is in my power to please you." "It
is a trifling matter," replied the princess, "which gives me so
little concern that I could not have thought you could have
perceived it in my countenance; but since you have unexpectedly
discovered some alteration, I will no longer disguise a matter of
so little consequence from you."

"I always believed," continued the princess," that our palace was
the most superb, magnificent, and complete in the world: but I
will tell you now what I find fault with, upon examining the hall
of four-and-twenty windows. Do not you think with me, that it
would be complete if a roe's egg were hung up in the midst of the
dome?" "Princess," replied Alla ad Deen, "it is enough that you
think there wants such an ornament; you shall see by the
diligence used to supply that deficiency, that there is nothing
which I would not do for your sake."

Alla ad Deen left the princess Buddir al Buddoor that moment, and
went up into the hall of four-and-twenty windows, where pulling
out of his bosom the lamp, which, after the danger he had been
exposed to, he always carried about him, he rubbed it; upon which
the genie immediately appeared. "Genie," said Alla ad Deen,
"there wants a roe's egg to be hung up in the midst of the dome;
I command thee, in the name of this lamp, to repair the
deficiency." Alla ad Deen had no sooner pronounced these words,
than the genie gave so loud and terrible a cry, that the hall
shook, and Alla ad Deen could scarcely stand upright. "What!
wretch," said the genie, in a voice that would have made the most
undaunted man tremble, "is it not enough that I and my companions
have done every thing for you, but you, by an unheard-of
ingratitude, must command me to bring my master, and hang him up
in the midst of this dome? This attempt deserves that you, your
wife, and your palace, should be immediately reduced to ashes:
but you are happy that this request does not come from yourself.
Know then, that the true author is the brother of the African
magician, your enemy, whom you have destroyed as he deserved. He
is now in your palace, disguised in the habit of the holy woman
Fatima, whom he has murdered; and it is he who has suggested to
your wife to make this pernicious demand. His design is to kill
you, therefore take care of yourself." After these words, the
genie disappeared.

Alla ad Deen lost not a word of what the genie had said. He had
heard talk of the holy woman Fatima, and how she pretended to
cure the headache. He returned to the princess's apartment, and
without mentioning a word of what had happened, sat down, and
complained of a great pain which had suddenly seized his head;
upon which the princess ordered the holy woman to be called, and
then told him how she had invited her to the palace, and that she
had appointed her an apartment.

When the pretended Fatima came, Alla ad Deen said, "Come hither,
good mother; I am glad to see you here at so fortunate a time; I
am tormented with a violent pain in my head, and request your
assistance, by the confidence I have in your good prayers, and
hope you will not refuse me that favour which you do to so many
persons afflicted with this complaint." So saying, he arose, but
held down his head. The counterfeit Fatima advanced towards him,
with his hand all the time on a dagger concealed in his girdle
under his gown; which Alla ad Deen observing, he seized his hand
before he had drawn it, pierced him to the heart with his own
dagger, and then pushed him down on the floor.

"My dear husband, what have you done?" cried the princess in
surprise. "You have killed the holy woman." "No, my princess,"
answered Alla ad Deen, with emotion, "I have not killed Fatima,
but a villain, who would have assassinated me, if I had not
prevented him. This wicked wretch," added he, uncovering his
face, "has strangled Fatima, whom you accuse me of killing, and
disguised himself in her clothes with intent to murder me: but
that you may know him better, he is brother to the African
magician." Alla ad Deen then informed her how he came to know
these particulars, and afterwards ordered the dead body to be
taken away.

Thus was Alla ad Deen delivered from the persecution of two
brothers, who were magicians. Within a few years afterwards, the
sultan died in a good old age, and as he left no male children,
the princess Buddir al Buddoor, as lawful heir of the throne,
succeeded him, and communicating the power to Alla ad Deen, they
reigned together many years, and left a numerous and illustrious


The caliph Haroon al Rusheed was one day suffering from
depression of spirits, when his faithful and favourite grand
vizier Jaaffier came to him. This minister finding him alone,
which was seldom the case, and perceiving as he approached that
he was in a very melancholy humour, and never lifted up his eyes,
stopped till he should vouchsafe to look at him.

At last the caliph turned his eyes towards him, but presently
withdrew them again, and remained in the same posture motionless
as before.

The grand vizier, observing nothing in the caliph's eyes which
regarded him personally, took the liberty to speak to him, and
said, "Commander of the faithful, will your majesty give me leave
to ask whence proceeds this melancholy, of which you always
seemed to me so little susceptible?"

"Indeed, vizier," answered the caliph, brightening up his
countenance, "I am very little subject to it, and had not
perceived it but for you, but I will remain no longer in this
hippish mood. If no new affair brought you hither, you will
gratify me by inventing something to dispel it."

"Commander of the faithful," replied the grand vizier, "my duty
obliged me to wait on you, and I take the liberty to remind your
majesty, that this is the day which you have appointed to inform
yourself of the good government of your capital and its environs;
and this occasion very opportunely presents itself to dispel
those clouds which obscure your natural gaiety."

"You do well to remind me," replied the caliph, "for I had
entirely forgotten it; go and change your dress, while I do the

They each put on the habit of a foreign merchant, and under that
disguise went out by a private door of the palace-garden, which
led into the country. After they had gone round part of the city
to the banks of the Euphrates, at some distance from the walls,
without having observed anything disorderly, they crossed the
river in the first boat they met, and making a tour on the other
side, crossed the bridge, which formed the communication betwixt
the two parts of the town.

At the foot of this bridge they met an old blind man, who asked
alms of them; the caliph turned about, and put a piece of gold
into his hand. The blind man instantly caught hold of his hand,
and stopped him; "Charitable person," said he, "whoever you are,
whom God hath inspired to bestow alms on me, do not refuse the
favour I ask of you, to give me a box on the ear, for I deserve
that, and a greater punishment." Having thus spoken, he let the
caliph's hand go, that he might strike, but for fear he should
pass on without doing it, held him fast by his clothes.

The caliph, surprised both at the words and action of the blind
man, said, "I cannot comply with your request. I will not lessen
the merit of my charity, by treating you as you would have me."
After these words, he endeavoured to get away from the blind man.

The blind man, who expected this reluctance of his benefactor,
exerted himself to detain him. "Sir," said he, "forgive my
boldness and importunity; I desire you would either give me a box
on the ear, or take your alms back again, for I cannot receive it
but on that condition, without breaking a solemn oath, which I
have sworn to God; and if you knew the reason, you would agree
with me that the punishment is very slight."

The caliph, unwilling to be detained any longer, yielded to the
importunity of the blind man, and gave him a very slight blow:
whereupon he immediately let him go, thanked and blessed him.
When the caliph and vizier had got so me small distance from the
blind man, the caliph said to Jaaffier, "This blind man must
certainly have some very uncommon reasons, which make him behave
himself in this manner to all who give him alms. I should be glad
to know them; therefore return, tell him who I am, and bid him
not fail to come to my palace about prayer-time in the afternoon
of to-morrow, that I may have some conversation with him."

The grand vizier returned, bestowed his alms on the blind man,
and after he had given him a box on the ear, told him the
caliph's order, and then returned to the caliph.

When they came into the town, they found in a square a great
crowd of spectators, looking at a handsome well-shaped young man,
who was mounted on a mare, which he drove and urged full speed
round the place, spurring and whipping the poor creature so
barbarously, that she was all over sweat and blood.

The caliph, amazed at the inhumanity of the rider, stopped to ask
the people if they knew why he used the mare so ill; but could
learn nothing, except that for some time past he had every day,
at the same hour, treated her in the same manner.

At they went along, the caliph bade the grand vizier take
particular notice of the place, and not fail to order the young
man to attend the next day at the hour appointed to the blind
man. But before the caliph got to his palace, he observed in a
street, which he had not passed through a long time before, an
edifice newly built, which seemed to him to be the palace of some
one of the great lords of the court. He asked the grand vizier if
he knew to whom it belonged; who answered he did not, but would
inquire; and thereupon asked a neighbour, who told him that the
house was that of one Khaujeh Hassan, surnamed Al Hubbaul, on
account of his original trade of rope-making, which he had seen
him work at himself, when poor; that without knowing how fortune
had favoured him, he supposed he must have acquired great wealth,
as he defrayed honourably and splendidly the expenses he had been
at in building.

The grand vizier rejoined the caliph, and gave him a full account
of what he had heard. "I must see this fortunate rope-maker,"
said the caliph, "therefore go and tell him to come to my palace
at the same hour you have ordered the other two." Accordingly the
vizier obeyed.

The next day, after afternoon prayers, the caliph retired to his
own apartment, when the grand vizier introduced the three persons
we have been speaking of, and presented them to the caliph.

They all three prostrated themselves before the throne, and when
they rose up, the caliph asked the blind man his name, who
answered, it was Baba Abdoollah.

"Baba Abdoollah," replied the caliph, "your manner of asking alms
seemed so strange to me yesterday, that if it had not been for
some private considerations I should not have complied with your
request, but should have prevented you from giving any more
offence to the public. I ordered you to come hither, to know from
yourself what could have induced you to make the indiscreet oath
you told me of, that I may judge whether you have done well, and
if I ought to suffer you to continue a practice that appears to
me to set so ill an example. Tell me freely how so extravagant a
thought came into your head, and do not disguise any thing from
me, for I will absolutely know the truth."

Baba Abdoollah, intimidated by this reprimand, cast himself a
second time at the foot of the caliph's throne, with his face to
the ground, and when he rose up, said, "Commander of the
faithful, I most humbly ask your majesty's pardon for my
presumption, in daring to have required, and almost forced you to
do a thing which indeed appears so contrary to reason. I
acknowledge my offence, but as I did not then know your majesty,
I implore your clemency, and hope you will consider my ignorance.

"As to the extravagance of my action, I own it, and own also that
it must seem strange to mankind; but in the eye of God it is a
slight penance I have enjoined myself for an enormous crime of
which I have been guilty, and for which, if all the people in the
world were each to give me a box on the ear, it would not be a
sufficient atonement. Your majesty will judge of this yourself,
when, in telling my story, in obedience to your commands I shall
inform you what that heinous crime was."

The Story of Baba Abdoollah.

Commander of the faithful, I was born at Bagdad, had a moderate
fortune left me by my father and mother, who died within a few
days of each other. Though I was then but young, I did not
squander away my fortune as most young men do, in idle expenses
and debauchery; on the contrary, I neglected no opportunity to
increase it by my industry. At last I became rich enough to
purchase fourscore camels, which I let out to merchants for
caravans, who paid me well for every journey I went with them
throughout the extent of your majesty's dominions.

In the midst of this prosperity, and with an ardent desire of
growing much richer, as I was returning one day with my camels
unloaded from Bussorah, whither I had carried some bales that
were to be embarked for the Indies, I met with good pasturage, at
some distance from any habitation; made a halt, and let my beasts
graze for some time. While I was seated, a dervish, who was
walking to Bussorah, came and sat down by me to rest himself: I
asked him whence he came, and where he was going; he put the same
questions to me: and when we had satisfied each other's
curiosity, we produced our provisions and ate together.

During our repast, after we had talked on many indifferent
subjects, the dervish told me that he knew of a spot a small
distance from thence, where there were such immense riches, that
if all my fourscore camels were loaded with the gold and jewels
that might be taken from it, they would not be missed.

This intelligence surprised and charmed me; and I was so
overjoyed, that I could scarcely contain myself. I could not
believe that the dervish was capable of telling me a falsehood;
therefore I fell upon his neck, and said, "Good dervish, I know
you value not the riches of this world, therefore of what service
can the knowledge of this treasure be to you? You are alone, and
cannot carry much of it away; shew me where it is, I will load
all my camels, and as an acknowledgment of the favour done me,
will present you with one of them."

Indeed I offered very little, but after he had communicated the
secret to me, my desire of riches was become so violent, that I
thought it a great deal, and looked upon the seventy-nine camel
loads which I reserved for myself as nothing in comparison of
what I allowed him.

The dervish, though he saw my avarice, was not however angry at
the unreasonable return I proposed to make him, but replied
without the least concern, "You are sensible, brother, that what
you offer me is not proportionable to the valuable favour you ask
of me. I might have chosen whether I would communicate my secret
to you or not, and have kept the treasure to myself: but what I
have told you is sufficient to shew my good intentions; it is in
my power to oblige you, and make both our fortunes. I have,
however, another proposition more just and equitable to make to
you; it lies in your own breast whether or no you will agree to

"You say," continued the dervish, "that you have fourscore
camels: I am ready to conduct you to the place where the treasure
lies, and we will load them with as much jewels and gold as they
can carry, on condition that when they are so loaded you will let
me have one half, and you be contented with the other; after
which we will separate, and take our camels where we may think
fit. You see there is nothing but what is strictly equitable in
this division; for if you give me forty camels, you will procure
by my means wherewithal to purchase thousands."

I could not but agree there was a great deal of justice in what
the dervish said: but without considering what riches I should
gain in accepting of the condition he proposed, I could not
without reluctance think of parting with my forty camels,
especially when I reflected that the dervish would then be as
rich as myself. Avarice made me unmindful that I was beforehand
making an ungrateful return for a favour, purely gratuitous. But
there was no time to hesitate; I must either accept of the
proposal, or resolve to repent all my lifetime of losing, by my
own fault, an opportunity of obtaining an immense fortune. That
instant I collected all my camels, and after we had travelled
some time, we came into a valley, the pass into which was so
narrow, that two camels could not go a-breast. The two mountains
which bounded this valley formed nearly a circle, but were so
high, craggy, and steep, that there was no fear of our being seen
by any body.

When we came between these two mountains, the dervish said to me,
"Stop your camels, make them kneel that we may load them the
easier, and I will proceed to discover the treasure."

I did as the dervish directed; and going to him soon after, found
him with a match in one hand, gathering sticks to light a fire;
which he had no sooner done, than he cast some incense into it,
and pronouncing certain words which I did not understand, there
presently arose a thick cloud. He divided this cloud, when the
rock, though of a prodigious perpendicular height, opened like
two folding doors, and exposed to view a magnificent palace in
the hollow of the mountain, which I supposed to be rather the
workmanship of genii than of men; for man could hardly have
attempted such a bold and surprising work.

But this, I must tell your majesty, was an afterthought which did
not occur to me at the moment; so eager was I for the treasures
which displayed themselves to my view, that I did not even stop
to admire the magnificent columns and arcades which I saw on all
sides; and, without attention to the regularity with which the
treasures were ranged, like an eagle seizing her prey, I fell
upon the first heap of golden coin that was near me. My sacks
were all large, and with my good will I would have filled them
all; but I was obliged to proportion my burden to the strength of
my camels. The dervish did the same; but I perceived he paid more
attention to the jewels, and when he told me the reason, I
followed his example, so that we took away much more jewels than
gold. When we had filled our sacks, and loaded our camels, we had
nothing left to do but to shut up the treasure and go our way.

But before we parted, the dervish went again into the treasury,
where there were a great many wrought vessels of gold of
different forms. I observed that he took out of one of these
vessels a little box of a certain wood, which I knew not, and put
it into his breast; but first shewed me that it contained only a
kind of glutinous ointment.

The dervish used the same incantations to shut the treasury as he
had done to open it; and after he pronounced certain words, the
doors closed, and the rock seemed as solid and entire as before.

We now divided our camels. I put myself at the head of the forty
which I had reserved for myself, and the dervish placed himself
at the head of the rest which I had given him. We came out of the
valley by the way we had entered, and travelled together till we
came to the great road, where we were to part; the dervish to go
to Bussorah, and I to Bagdad. To thank him for so great a
kindness, I made use of the most expressive terms, testifying my
gratitude for the preference he had given me before all other men
in letting me have a share of such riches. We embraced each other
with great joy, and taking our leave, pursued our different

I had not gone far, following my camels, which paced quietly on
in the track I had put them into, before the demon of ingratitude
and envy took possession of my heart, and I deplored the loss of
my other forty, but much more the riches wherewith they were
loaded. "The dervish," said I to myself, "has no occasion for all
this wealth, since he is master of the treasure, and may have as
much as he pleases;" so I gave myself up to the blackest
ingratitude, and determined immediately to take the camels with
their loading from him.

To execute this design, I first stopped my own camels, then ran
after the dervish, and called to him as loud as I could, giving
him to understand that I had something material to say to him,
and made a sign to him to stop, which he accordingly did.

When I came up to him, I said, "Brother, I had no sooner parted
from you, but a thought came into my head, which neither of us
had reflected on before. You are a recluse dervish, used to live
in tranquillity, disengaged from all the cares of the world, and
intent only upon serving God. You know not, perhaps, what trouble
you have taken upon yourself, to take care of so many camels. If
you would take my advice, you would keep but thirty; you will
find them sufficiently troublesome to manage. Take my word; I
have had experience."

"I believe you are right," replied the dervish, who found he was
not able to contend with me;" I own I never thought of this. I
begin already to be uneasy at what you have stated. Choose which
ten you please, and take them, and go on in God's keeping."

I set ten apart, and after I had driven them off, I put them in
the road to follow my others. I could not have imagined that the
dervish would be so easily persuaded to part with his camels,
which increased my covetousness, and made me flatter myself, that
it would be no hard matter to get ten more: wherefore, instead of
thanking him for his present, I said to him again; "Brother, the
interest I take in your repose is so great, that I cannot resolve
to part from you without desiring you to consider once more how
difficult a thing it is to govern thirty loaded camels,
especially for you who are not used to such work: you will find
it much better to return me as many more back as you have done
already. What I tell you is not for my own sake and interest, but
to do you the greater kindness. Ease yourself then of the camels,
and leave them to me, who can manage a hundred as well as one."

My discourse had the desired effect upon the dervish, who gave
me, without any hesitation, the other ten camels; so that he had
but twenty left and I was master of sixty, and might boast of
greater riches than any sovereign princes. Any one would have
thought I should now have been content; but as a person afflicted
with a dropsy, the more he drinks the more thirsty he is, so I
became more greedy and desirous of the other twenty camels.

I redoubled my solicitations and importunities, to make the
dervish condescend to grant me ten of the twenty, which he did
with a good grace: and as to the other ten he had left, I
embraced him, kissed his feet, and caressed him, conjuring him
not to refuse me, but to complete the obligation I should ever
have to him, so that at length he crowned my joy, by giving me
them also. "Make a good use of them, brother," said the dervish,
"and remember that God can take away riches as well as give them,
if we do not assist the poor, whom he suffers to be in want, on
purpose that the rich may merit by their charity a recompense in
the other world."

My infatuation was so great that I could not profit by such
wholesome advice. I was not content, though I had my forty camels
again, and knew they were loaded with an inestimable treasure.
But a thought came into my head, that the little box of ointment
which the dervish shewed me had something in it more precious
than all the riches which I was obliged to him for: the place
from whence the dervish took it, said I to myself, and his care
to secure it, makes me believe there is something mysterious in
it. This determined me to obtain it. I had just embraced him and
bade him adieu; but as I turned about from him, I said, "What
will you do with that little box of ointment? It seems such a
trifle, it is not worth your carrying away. I entreat you to make
me a present of it; for what occasion has a dervish, as you are,
who has renounced the vanities of the world, for perfumes, or
scented ointments?"

Would to heaven he had refused me that box; but if he had, I was
stronger than he, and resolved to have taken it from him by
force; that for my complete satisfaction it might not be said he
had carried away the smallest part of the treasure.

The dervish, far from denying me, readily pulled it out of his
bosom, and presenting it to me with the best grace in the world,
said, "Here, take it, brother, and be content; if I could do more
for you, you needed but to have asked me; I should have been
ready to satisfy you."

When I had the box in my hand, I opened it, and looking at the
ointment, said to him, "Since you are so good, I am sure you will
not refuse me the favour to tell me the particular use of this

"The use is very surprising and wonderful," replied the dervish:
"if you apply a little of it round the left eye, and upon the
lid, you will see at once all the treasures contained in the
bosom of the earth; but if you apply it to the right eye, it will
make you blind."

"I would make the experiment myself. Take the box," said I to the
dervish, "and apply some to my left eye. You understand how to do
it better than I, and I long to experience what seems so
incredible." Accordingly I shut my left eye, and the dervish took
the trouble to apply the unguent; I opened my eye, and was
convinced he had told me truth. I saw immense treasures, and such
prodigious riches, so diversified, that it is impossible for me
to give an account of them; but as I was obliged to keep my right
eye shut with my hand, and that tired me, I desired the dervish
to apply some of the pomatum to that eye.

"I am ready to do it," said the dervish; "but you must remember
what I told you, that if you put any of it upon your right eye,
you would immediately be blind; such is the virtue of the

Far from being persuaded of the truth of what the dervish said, I
imagined, on the contrary, that there was some new mystery, which
he meant to hide from me. "Brother," replied I, smiling, "I see
plainly you wish to mislead me; it is not natural that this
ointment should have two such contrary effects."

"The matter is as I tell you," replied the dervish, taking the
name of God to bear witness; "you ought to believe me, for I
cannot disguise the truth."

I would not believe the dervish, who spoke like an honest man. My
insurmountable desire of seeing at my will all the treasures in
the world and perhaps of enjoying those treasures to the extent I
coveted, had such an effect upon me, that I could not hearken to
his remonstrances, nor be persuaded of what was however but too
true, as to my lasting misfortune I soon experienced.

I persuaded myself that if the ointment, by being applied to the
left eye, had the virtue of shewing me all the treasures of the
earth, by being applied to the right, it might have the power of
putting them in my disposal. Possessed with this thought, I
obstinately pressed the dervish to apply the ointment to my right
eye; but he as positively refused. "Brother," said he, "after l
have done you so much service, I cannot resolve to do you so
great an injury; consider with yourself what a misfortune it is
to be deprived of one's eye-sight: do not reduce me to the hard
necessity of obliging you in a thing which you will repent of all
your life."

I persisted in my obstinacy, and said to him in strong terms,
"Brother, I earnestly desire you to lay aside all your
difficulties. You have granted me most generously all that I have
asked of you hitherto, and would you have me go away dissatisfied
with you at last about a thing of so little consequence? For
God's sake grant me this last favour; whatever happens I will not
lay the blame on you, but take it upon myself alone."

The dervish made all the resistance possible, but seeing that I
was able to force him to do it, he said, "Since you will
absolutely have it so, I will satisfy you;" and thereupon he took
a little of the fatal ointment, and applied it to my right eye,
which I kept shut; but alas! when I came to open it, I could
distinguish nothing with either eye but thick darkness, and
became blind as you see me now.

"Ah! dervish," I exclaimed in agony, "what you forewarned me of
has proved but too true. Fatal curiosity," added I, "insatiable
desire of riches, into what an abyss of miseries have they cast
me! I am now sensible what a misfortune I have brought upon
myself; but you, dear brother," cried I, addressing myself to the
dervish, "who are so charitable and good, among the many
wonderful secrets you are acquainted with, have you not one to
restore to me my sight again?"

"Miserable wretch!" answered the dervish, "if you would have been
advised by me, you would have avoided this misfortune, but you
have your deserts; the blindness of your mind was the cause of
the loss of your eyes. It is true I have secrets, some of which,
during the short time we have been together, you have by my
liberality witnessed; but I have none to restore to you your
sight. Pray to God, therefore, if you believe there is one; it is
he alone that can restore it to you. He gave you riches, of which
you were unworthy, on that account takes them from you again, and
will by my hands give them to men not so ungrateful as yourself."

The dervish said no more, and I had nothing to reply. He left me
to myself overwhelmed with confusion, and plunged in
inexpressible grief. After he had collected my camels, he drove
them away, and pursued the road to Bussorah.

I cried out loudly as he was departing, and entreated him not to
leave me in that miserable condition, but to conduct me at least
to the first caravanserai; but he was deaf to my prayers and
entreaties. Thus deprived of sight and all I had in the world, I
should have died with affliction and hunger, if the next day a
caravan returning from Bussorah had not received me charitably,
and brought me back to Bagdad.

After this manner was I reduced without remedy from a condition
worthy the envy of princes for riches and magnificence, though
not for power, to beggary without resource. I had no other way to
subsist but by asking charity, which I have done till now. But to
expiate my offence against God, I enjoined myself, by way of
penance, a box on the ear from every charitable person who should
commiserate my condition.

"This, commander of the faithful, is the motive which seemed so
strange to your majesty yesterday, and for which I ought to incur
your indignation. I ask your pardon once more as your slave, and
submit to receive the chastisement I deserve. And if you
vouchsafe to pronounce any thing beyond the penance I have
imposed upon myself, I am ready to undergo it, since I am
persuaded you must think it too slight and much too little for my

The blind man having concluded his story, the caliph said, "Baba
Abdoollah, your sin has been great; but God be praised, you feel
the enormity of your guilt, and your penance proves your
repentance. You must continue it, not ceasing to ask of God
pardon in every prayer your religion obliges you to say daily:
but that you may not be prevented from your devotions by the care
of getting your living, I will settle a charity on you during
your life, of four silver dirhems a day, which my grand vizier
shall give you daily with the penance, therefore do not go away,
but wait till he has executed my orders."

At these words, Baba Abdoollah prostrated himself before the
caliph's throne, returned him thanks, and wished him all
happiness and prosperity.

The caliph, very well satisfied with the story of Baba Abdoollah
and the dervish, addressed himself to the young man who used his
mare so ill, and asked him his name; to which he replied, it was
Syed Naomaun.

"Syed Naomaun," resumed the caliph, "I have seen horses exercised
all my life, and have often exercised them myself, but never in
so barbarous a manner as you yesterday treated your mare in the
full square, to the great offence of all the spectators, who
murmured loudly at your conduct. I myself was not less
displeased, and had nearly, contrary to my intention, discovered
who I was, to have punished your cruelty. By your air and
behaviour you do not seem to be a barbarous or cruel man; and
therefore I would fain believe that you had reason for what you
did, since I am informed that this was not the first time, but
that you practise the same treatment every day. I would know what
is the cause, and sent for you for that purpose, that you should
tell me the truth, and disguise nothing from me."

Syed Naomaun understood what the caliph demanded of him. The
relation was painful to him. He changed colour several times, and
could not help shewing how greatly he was embarrassed. However,
he must resolve to tell his story; but before he spoke, he
prostrated himself before the caliph's throne, and after he rose
up, endeavoured to speak to satisfy the caliph, but was so
confounded, not so much at the presence of the caliph, as by the
nature of his relation, that he was speechless.

The caliph, notwithstanding his natural impatience to be obeyed,
shewed not the least anger at Syed Naomaun's silence: he saw
plainly, that he either had not assurance to speak before him, or
was intimidated by the tone of his voice; or, in short, that
there was something to be concealed in his story.

"Syed Naomaun," said the caliph, to encourage him, "recollect
yourself, but tell your story as if you were speaking not to me,
but to your most familiar friend. If there is any thing in your
relation which troubles you, and you think I may be offended at
it, I pardon you beforehand: therefore be not uneasy, but speak
boldly and freely, and disguise nothing."

Syed Naomaun, encouraged by these words, said, "Commander of the
faithful, whatever apprehensions a man may be under at your
majesty's presence, I am sensible those respectful sensations
would not deprive me of the use of my speech, so as to fail in my
obedience, in giving you satisfaction in any other matter but
this you now ask of me. I dare not say I am the most perfect of
men; yet I am not wicked enough to have committed, or to have had
an intention of committing any thing against the laws to fear
their severity; and yet I cannot say I am exempt from sin through
ignorance. In this case I do not say that I depend upon your
majesty's pardon, but will submit myself to your justice, and
receive the punishment I deserve. I own, that the manner in which
I have for some time treated my mare, and which your majesty has
witnessed, is strange, and sets an ill example: but I hope you
will think the motive well grounded, and that I am more worthy of
compassion than chastisement: but not to keep your majesty any
longer in suspense by a long preamble, I will tell you my story."

The Story of Syed Naomaun.

I shall not trouble your majesty with my birth, which is not
illustrious enough to merit your attention. For my situation, my
parents, by their good economy, left me enough to live on like an
honest man, free from ambition, or being burdensome to any one.

With these advantages, the only blessing I wanted to render my
happiness complete was an amiable wife, who might share them with
me; but that was a blessing it did not please God to grant me: on
the contrary, it was my misfortune to have one, who, the very
next day after our wedding, began to exercise my patience in a
manner not to be conceived by any one who has not had the same

As it is the custom for us to marry without seeing or knowing
whom we are to espouse, your majesty is sensible that a husband
has no reason to complain, when he finds that the wife who has
been chosen for him is not horribly ugly and deformed, and that
her carriage, wit, and behaviour make amends for any slight
bodily imperfections.

The first time I saw my wife with her face uncovered, after she
was brought home with the usual ceremonies to my house, I
rejoiced to find that I had not been imposed upon in the
description of her person, which pleased me, and she was
perfectly agreeable to my inclination.

The next day after our wedding, when our dinner was served up,
which consisted of several dishes, I went into the room where the
cloth was ]aid, and not finding my wife there, ordered her to be
called. After making me wait a long time, she came. I dissembled
my impatience, we sat down, and I began with the rice, which I
took up as usual.

On the other hand, my wife, instead of using her hand as
everybody does, pulled a little case out of her pocket, and took
out of it a kind of bodkin, with which she picked up the rice,
and put it into her mouth, grain by grain.

Surprised at this manner of eating, I said to her, "Ameeneh,"
(which was her name,) "are you used to eat rice so in your
family, or do you do it because you are a little eater, or would
you count the grains, that you may not eat more at one time than
another? If you do it out of frugality, or to teach me not to be
extravagant, you have no reason to fear, as I can assure you we
shall not ruin ourselves that way. We have, God be thanked!
enough to live at our ease, without depriving ourselves of
necessaries. Do not restrain yourself, my dear Ameeneh, but eat
as you see me eat." The kind manner in which I made these
remonstrances might have produced some obliging answer; but she,
without saying a word, continued to eat as she had begun. At
last, to make me the more uneasy, she ate a grain of rice at
intervals only; and instead of eating any of the other meats with
me, she only now and then put some crumbs of bread into her
mouth, but not so much as a sparrow would have pecked.

I was much provoked at her obstinacy; but yet, to indulge and
excuse her, I imagined that she had not been used to eat with
men, before whom she might perhaps have been taught to restrain
herself; but at the same time thought she carried it too far out
of pure simplicity. I fancied again that she might have
breakfasted late, or that she might have a wish to eat alone, and
more at liberty. These considerations prevented me from saying
more to her then, to ruffle her temper, by shewing any sign of
dissatisfaction. After dinner I left her, but not with an air
that shewed any displeasure.

At supper, and the next day, and every time we ate together, she
behaved herself in the same manner. I knew it was impossible for
a woman to live on so little food as she took, and that there
must be some mystery in her conduct, which I did not understand.
This made me resolve to dissemble; I appeared to take no notice
of her actions, in hopes that time would bring her to live with
me as I desired she should. But my hopes were in vain, and it was
not long before I was convinced they were so.

One night, when Ameeneh thought me fast asleep, she got out of
bed softly, dressed herself with great precaution, not to make a
noise for fear of awaking me. I could not comprehend her design,
but curiosity made me feign a sound sleep. As soon as she had
dressed herself, she went softly out of the room.

When she was gone, I arose, threw my cloak over my shoulders, and
had time enough to see from a window that looked into my court-
yard, that she opened the street-door and went out.

I immediately ran down to the door, which she had left half open,
and followed her by moonlight, till I saw her enter a burying-
ground just by our house. I got to the end of the wall, taking
care not to be seen, and looking over, saw Ameeneh with a ghoul.

Your majesty knows that the ghouls of both sexes are wandering
demons, which generally infest old buildings; from whence they
rush out, by surprise, on people that pass by, kill them, and eat
their flesh; and for want of such prey, will sometimes go in the
night into burying-grounds, and feed on dead bodies which they
dig up.

I was struck with astonishment and horror to see my wife with
this ghoul. They dug up a dead body which had been buried but
that day, and the ghoul cut off pieces of the flesh, which they
ate together by the grave-side, conversing during their shocking
and inhuman repast. But I was too far off to hear their
discourse, which must have been as strange as their meal, the
remembrance of which still makes me shudder.

When they had finished this horrible feast, they threw the
remains of the dead body into the grave again, and filled it up
with the earth which they had dug out. I left them at their work,
made haste home, and leaving the door half open as I had found
it, went into my chamber, and to bed again, where I pretended to
be fast asleep.

Soon afterwards Ameeneh returned without the least noise,
undressed herself, and came to bed, rejoicing, as I imagined,
that she had succeeded so well without being discovered.

My mind was so full of the idea of such an abominable action as I
had witnessed, that I felt great reluctance to lie by a person
who could have had any share in the guilt of it, and was a long
time before I could fall asleep. However, I got a short nap; but
waked at the first call to public prayers at day-break, got up,
dressed myself, and went to the mosque.

After prayers I went out of the town, spent the morning in
walking in the gardens, and thinking what I should do to oblige
my wife to change her mode of living. I rejected all the violent
measures that suggested themselves to my thoughts, and resolved
to use gentle means to cure her unhappy and depraved inclination.
In this state of reverie I insensibly reached home by dinner-

As soon as Ameeneh saw me enter the house, she ordered dinner to
be served up; and as I observed she continued to eat her rice in
the same manner, by single grains, I said to her, with all the
mildness possible, "You know, Ameeneh, what reason I had to be
surprised, when the day after our marriage I saw you eat rice in
so small a quantity, and in a manner which would have offended
any other husband but myself: you know also, I contented myself
with telling you that I was uneasy at it, and desired you to eat
of the other meats, which I had ordered to be dressed several
ways to endeavour to suit your taste, and I am sure my table did
not want for variety: but all my remonstrances have had no
effect, and you persist in your sullen abstemiousness. I have
said nothing, because I would not constrain you, and should be
sorry that any thing I now say should make you uneasy; but tell
me, Ameeneh, I conjure you, are not the meats served up at my
table better than the flesh of a human corpse?"

I had no sooner pronounced these words than Ameeneh, who
perceived that I had discovered her last night's horrid
voraciousness with the ghoul, flew into a rage beyond
imagination. Her face became as red as scarlet, her eyes ready to
start out of her head, and she foamed with passion.

The terrible state in which she appeared alarmed me so much, that
I stood motionless, and was not able to defend myself against the
horrible wickedness she meditated against me, and which will
surprise your majesty. In the violence of her passion, she dipped
her hand into a basin of water, which stood by her, and muttering
between her teeth some words, which I could not hear, she threw
some water in my face, and exclaimed, in a furious tone, "Wretch,
receive the punishment of thy prying curiosity, and become a

Ameeneh, whom I did not before know to be a sorceress, had no
sooner pronounced these diabolical words, than I was immediately
transformed into a dog. My amazement and surprise at so sudden
and unexpected a metamorphosis prevented my thinking at first of
providing for my safety. Availing herself of this suspense, she
took up a great stick, with which she laid on me such heavy
blows, that I wonder they did not kill me. I thought to have
escaped her rage, by running into the yard; but she pursued me
with the same fury, and notwithstanding all my activity I could
not avoid her blows. At last, when she was tired of running after
and beating me, and enraged that she had not killed me, as she
desired, she thought of another method to effect her purpose: she
half opened the street-door, that she might endeavour to squeeze
me to death, as I ran out to preserve my life. Dog as I was, I
instantly perceived her pernicious design; and as present danger
inspires a presence of mind, to elude her vigilance I watched her
face and motions so well, that I took my opportunity, and passed
through quick enough to save myself and escape her malice, though
she pinched the end of my tail.

The pain I felt made me cry out and howl as I ran along the
streets, which collected all the dogs about me, and I got bit by
several of them; but to avoid their pursuit, I ran into the shop
of a man who sold boiled sheep's heads, tongues, and feet, where
I saved myself.

The man at first took my part with much compassion, by driving
away the dogs that followed me, and would have run into his
house. My first care was to creep into a corner to hide myself;
but I found not the sanctuary and protection I hoped for. My host
was one of those extravagantly superstitious persons who think
dogs unclean creatures, and if by chance one happens to touch
them in the streets, cannot use soap and water enough to wash
their garments clean. After the dogs who chased me were all
dispersed and gone, he did all he could to drive me out of his
house, but I was concealed out of his reach, and spent that night
in his shop in spite of him; and indeed I had need of rest to
recover from Ameeneh's ill-treatment.

Not to weary your majesty with trifling circumstances, I shall
not particularize the melancholy reflections I made on my
metamorphosis; but only tell you, that my host having gone out
the next morning to lay in a stock of sheep's heads, tongues, and
trotters, when he returned, he opened his shop, and while he was
laying out his goods, I crept from my corner, and got among some
other dogs of the neighbourhood, who had followed my host by the
scent of his meat, and surrounded the shop, in expectation of
having some offal thrown to them. I joined them, and put myself
among them in a begging posture. My host observing me, and
considering that I had eaten nothing while I lay in the shop,
distinguished me from the rest, by throwing me larger pieces of
meat, and oftener than the other dogs. After he had given me as
much as he thought fit, I looked at him earnestly, and wagged my
tail, to shew him I begged he would repeat his favours. But he
was inflexible, and opposed my entrance with a stick in his hand,
and with so stern a look, that I felt myself obliged to seek a
new habitation.

I stopped at the shop of a baker in the neighbourhood, who was of
a lively gay temper, quite the reverse of the offal butcher. He
was then at breakfast, and though I made no sign that I wanted
any thing, threw me a piece of bread. Instead of catching it up
greedily, as dogs usually do, I looked at him, moving my head and
wagging my tail, to shew my gratitude; at which he was pleased,
and smiled. Though I was not hungry, I ate the piece of bread to
please him, and I ate slowly to shew him that it was out of
respect to him. He observed this, and permitted me to continue
near the shop. I sat down and turned myself to the street, to
shew him I then only wanted his protection; which he not only
granted, but by his caresses encouraged me to come into the
house. This I did in a way that shewed it was with his leave. He
was pleased, and pointed me out a place where to lie, of which I
took possession, and kept while I lived with him. I was always
well treated; and whenever he breakfasted, dined, or supped, I
had my share of provisions; and, in return, I loved him, and was
faithful, as gratitude required of me. I always had my eyes upon
him, and he scarcely stirred out of doors, or went into the city
on business, but I was at his heels. I was the more exact,
because I perceived my attention pleased him; for whenever he
went out, without giving me time to see him, he would call
Chance, which was the name he gave me.

At this name I used to spring from my place, jump, caper, run
before the door, and never cease fawning on him, till he went
out; and then I always either followed him, or ran before him,
continually looking at him to shew my joy.

I had lived some time with this baker, when a woman came one day
into the shop to buy some bread, who gave my master a piece of
bad money among some good, which he returned, and requested her
to exchange.

The woman refused to take it again, and affirmed it to be good.
The baker maintained the contrary, and in the dispute told the
woman, he was sure that the piece of money was so visibly bad,
that his dog could distinguish it; upon which he called me by
name. I immediately jumped on the counter, and the baker throwing
the money down before me, said, "See, and tell me which of these
pieces is bad?" I looked over all the pieces of money, and then
set my paw upon that which was bad, separated it from the rest,
looking in my master's face, to shew it him.

The baker, who had only called me to banter the woman, was much
surprised to see me so immediately pitch upon the bad money. The
woman thus convicted had nothing to say for herself, but was
obliged to give another piece instead of the bad one. As soon as
she was gone, my master called in some neighbours, and enlarged
very much on my capacity, telling them what had happened.

The neighbours desired to make the experiment, and of all the bad
money they shewed me, mixed with good, there was not one which I
did not set my paw upon, and separate from the rest.

The woman also failed not to tell everybody she met what had
happened; so that the fame of my skill in distinguishing good
money from bad was not only spread throughout the neighbourhood,
but over all that part of the town, and insensibly through the
whole city.

I had business enough every day; for I was obliged to shew my
skill to all customers who came to buy bread of my master. In
short, my reputation procured my master more business than he
could manage, and brought him customers from the most distant
parts of the town; this run of business lasted so long, that he
owned to his friends and neighbours, that I was a treasure to

My little knowledge made many people envy my master's good
fortune, and lay snares to steal me away, which obliged him
always to keep me in his sight. One day a woman came like the
rest out of curiosity to buy some bread, and seeing me sit upon
the counter, threw down before me six pieces of money, among
which was one that was bad. I separated it presently from the
others, and setting my paw upon it, looked in the woman's face,
as much as to say, "Is it not so?" The woman looking at me
replied, "Yes, you are in the right, it is bad:" and staying some
time in the shop, to look at and admire me, at last paid my
master for his bread, but when she went out of the shop, made a
sign, unknown to him, for me to follow her.

I was always attentive to any means likely to deliver me out of
so strange a metamorphosis, and had observed that the woman
examined me with an extraordinary attention. I imagined that she
might know something of my misfortune, and the melancholy
condition I was reduced to: however, I let her go, and contented
myself with looking at her. After walking two or three steps, she
turned about, and seeing that I only looked at her, without
stirring from my place, made me another sign to follow her.

Without deliberating any longer, and observing that my master was
busy cleaning his oven, and did not mind me, I jumped off the
counter, and followed the woman, who seemed overjoyed.

After we had gone some way, she stopped at a house, opened the
door, and called to me to come in, saying, "You will not repent
following me." When I had entered, she shut the door, and
conduded me to her chamber, where I saw a beautiful young lady
working embroidery. This lady, who was daughter to the charitable
woman who had brought me from the baker's, was a very skilful
enchantress, as I found afterwards.

"Daughter," said the mother, "I have brought you the much-talked-
of baker's dog, that can tell good money from bad. You know I
gave you my opinion respecting him when I first heard of him, and
told you, I fancied he was a man changed into a dog by some
wicked magician. To-day I determined to go to that baker for some
bread, and was myself a witness of the wonders performed by this
dog, who has made such a noise in Bagdad. What say you, daughter,
am I deceived in my conjecture?" "Mother, you are not," answered
the daughter, "and I will disenchant him immediately."

The young lady arose from her sofa, put her hand into a basin of
water, and throwing some upon me, said, "If thou wert born a dog,
remain so, but if thou wert born a man, resume thy former shape,
by the virtue of this water." At that instant the enchantment was
broken, and I became restored to my natural form.

Penetrated with the greatness of this kindness, I threw myself at
my deliverer's feet; and after I had kissed the hem of her
garment, said, "My dear deliverer, I am so sensible of your
unparalleled humanity towards a stranger, as I am, that I beg of
you to tell me yourself what I can do to shew my gratitude; or
rather dispose of me as a slave, to whom you have a just right,
since I am no more my own, but entirely yours: and that you may
know who I am, I will tell you my story in as few words as

After I had informed her who I was, I gave her an account of my
marriage with Ameeneh, of the complaisance I had shewn her, my
patience in bearing with her humour, her extraordinary behaviour,
and the savage inhumanity with which she had treated me out of
her inconceivable wickedness, and finished my story with my
transformation, and thanking her mother for the inexpressible
happiness she had procured me.

"Syed Naomaun," said the daughter to me, "let us not talk of the
obligation you say you owe me; it is enough for me that I have
done any service to so honest a man. But let us talk of Ameeneh
your wife. I was acquainted with her before your marriage; and as
I know her to be a sorceress, she also is sensible that I have
some of the same kind of knowledge as herself, since we both
learnt it of the same mistress. We often meet at the baths, but
as our tempers are different, I avoid all opportunities of
contracting an intimacy with her, which is no difficult matter,
as she does the same by me. I am not at all surprised at her
wickedness: but what I have already done for you is not
sufficient; I must complete what I have begun. It is not enough
to have broken the enchantment by which she has so long excluded
you from the society of men. You must punish her as she deserves,
by going home again, and assuming the authority which belongs to
you. I will give you the proper means. Converse a little with my
mother till I return to you."

My deliveress went into a closet, and while she was absent, I
repeated my obligations to the mother as well as the daughter.
She said to me, "You see my daughter has as much skill in the
magic art as the wicked Ameeneh; but makes such use of it, that
you would be surprised to know the good she has done, and daily
does, by exercising her science. This induces me to let her
practise it; for I should not permit her, if I perceived she made
an improper application of it in the smallest instance."

The mother then related some of the wonders she had seen her
perform: by this time the daughter returned with a little bottle
in her hand. "Syed Naomaun," said she, "my books which I have
been consulting tell me that Ameeneh is now abroad, but will be
at home presently. They also inform me that she pretended before
your servants to be very uneasy at your absence, and made them
believe, that at dinner you recollected some business which
obliged you to go out immediately; that as you went, you left the
door open, and a dog running into the hall where she was at
dinner, she had beaten him out with a great stick.

"Take this little bottle, go home immediately, and wait in your
own chamber till Ameeneh comes in, which she will do shortly. As
soon as she returns, run down into the court, and meet her face
to face. In her surprise at seeing you so unexpectedly, she will
turn her back to run away; have the bottle ready, and throw some
of the liquor it contains upon her, pronouncing at the same time
these words: ‘Receive the chastisement of thy wickedness.' I will
tell you no more; you will see the effect."

After these instructions I took leave of my benefactress, and her
mother, with all the testimonies of the most perfect gratitude,
and a sincere protestation never to forget my obligation to them;
and then went home.

All things happened as the beautiful and humane enchantress had
foretold. Ameeneh was not long before she came home. As she
entered the court, I met her with the bottle in my hand. Upon
seeing me, she shrieked; and as she turned to run towards the
door, I threw the liquor upon her, pronouncing the words which
the young lady had taught me, when she was instantly transformed
into the mare which your majesty saw me upon yesterday.

At that instant, owing to the surprise she was in, I easily
seized her by the mane, and notwithstanding her resistance, led
her into the stable, where I put a halter upon her head, and when
I had tied her to the rack, reproaching her with her baseness, I
chastised her with a whip till I was tired, and have punished her
every day since in the manner which your majesty has witnessed.

"I hope, commander of the faithful," concluded Syed Naomaun,
"your majesty will not disapprove of my conduct, but will rather
think I have shewn so wicked and pernicious a woman more
indulgence than she deserved."

When the caliph found that Syed Naomaun had ended his story, he
said to him, "Your adventure is very singular, and the wickedness
of your wife inexcusable; therefore I do not condemn the
chastisement you have hitherto given her; but I would have you
consider how great a punishment it is to be reduced to the
condition of beasts, and wish you would be content with the
chastisement you have already inflicted. I would order you to go
and address yourself to the young enchantress, to end the
metamorphosis she has inflicted, but that I know the obstinacy
and incorrigible cruelty of magicians of both sexes, who abuse
their art; which makes me apprehensive that a second effect of
your wife's revenge might be more fatal than the first."

The caliph, who was naturally mild and compassionate to all
criminals, after he had declared his mind to Syed Naomaun,
addressed himself to the third person the grand vizier had
summoned to attend him. "Khaujeh Hassan," said he, "passing
yesterday by your house, it seemed so magnificent that I felt a
curiosity to know to whom it belonged, and was told that you,
whose trade is so mean that a man can scarcely get his bread by
it, have built this house after you had followed this trade some
years. I was likewise informed that you make a good use of the
riches God has blessed you with, and your neighbours speak well
of you.

"All this pleases me well," added the caliph, "but I am persuaded
that the means by which Providence has been pleased to bestow
these gifts on you must have been very extraordinary. I am
curious to know the particulars from your own mouth, and sent for
you on purpose to have that satisfaction. Speak truly, that when
I know your story, I may rejoice in your good fortune.

"But that you may not suspect my curiosity, and believe I have
any other interest than what I tell you, I declare, that far from
having any pretensions, I give you my word you shall enjoy freely
all you possess."

On these assurances of the caliph, Khaujeh Hassan prostrated
himself before the throne, with his forehead down to the carpet,
and when he rose up, said, "Commander of the faithful, some
persons might have been alarmed at having been summoned to appear
before your majesty; but knowing that my conscience was clear,
and that I had committed nothing against the laws or your
majesty, but, on the contrary, had always the most respectful
sentiments and the profoundest veneration for your person, my
only fear was, that I should not be able to support the splendour
of your presence. But nevertheless on the public report of your
majesty's receiving favourably, and hearing the meanest of your
subjects, I took courage, and never doubted but I should have
confidence enough to give you all the satisfaction you might
require of me. Besides, your majesty has given me a proof of your
goodness, by granting me your protection before you know whether
I deserve it. I hope, however, you will retain the favourable
sentiments you have conceived of me, when, in obedience to your
command, I shall have related my adventures."

After this compliment to conciliate the caliph's good-will and
attention, and after some moments' recollection, Khaujeh Hassan
related his story in the following manner:

The Story of Khaujeh Hassan al Hubbaul.

Commander of the faithful, that your majesty may the better
understand by what means I arrived at the happiness I now enjoy,
I must acquaint you, there are two intimate friends, citizens of
Bagdad, who can testify the truth of what I shall relate, and to
whom, after God, the author of all good, I owe my prosperity.

These two friends are called, the one Saadi, the other Saad.
Saadi, who is very rich, was always of opinion that no man could
be happy in this world without wealth, to live independent of
every one.

Saad was of a different opinion; he agreed that riches were
necessary to comfort, but maintained that the happiness of a
man's life consisted in virtue, without any farther eagerness
after worldly goods than what was requisite for decent
subsistence, and benevolent purposes.

Saad himself is one of this number, and lives very happily and
contentedly in his station: but though Saadi is infinitely more
opulent, their friendship is very sincere, and the richest sets
no more value on himself than the other. They never had any
dispute but on this point; in all other things their union of
opinion has been very strict.

One day as they were talking upon this subject, as I have since
been informed by them both, Saadi affirmed, that poverty
proceeded from men's being born poor, or spending their fortunes
in luxury and debauchery, or by some of those unforeseen
fatalities which do not often occur. "My opinion," said he, "is,
that most people's poverty is owing to their wanting at first a
sufficient sum of money to raise them above want, by employing
their industry to improve it; for," continued he, "if they once
had such a sum, and made a right use of it, they would not only
live well, but would in time infallibly grow rich."

Saad could not agree in this sentiment: "The way," said he,
"which you propose to make a poor man rich, is not so certain as
you imagine. Your plan is very hazardous, and I can bring many
good arguments against your opinion, but that they would carry us
too far into dispute, I believe, with as much probability, that a
poor man may become rich by other means as well as by money: and
there are people who have raised as large and surprising fortunes
by mere chance, as others have done by money, with all their good
economy and management to increase it by the best conducted

"Saad," replied Saadi, "I see we shall not come to any
determination by my persisting to oppose my opinion against
yours. I will make an experiment to convince you, by giving, for
example, a sum of money to some artisan, whose ancestors from
father to son have always been poor, lived only from day to day,
and died as indigent as they were born. If I have not the success
I expect, you shall try if you will have better by the means you
shall employ."

Some days after this dispute, the two friends happened to walk
out together, and passing through the street where I was at work
at my trade of rope-making, which I learnt of my father, who
learnt of his, and he of his ancestors; and by my dress and
appearance, it was no hard matter for them to guess my poverty.

Saad, remembering Saadi's engagement, said, "If you have not
forgotten what you said to me, there is a man," pointing to me,
"whom I can remember a long time working at his trade of rope-
making, and in the same poverty: he is a worthy subject for your
liberality, and a proper person to make your experiment upon." "I
so well remember the conversation," replied Saadi, "that I have
ever since carried a sufficient sum about me for the purpose, but
only waited for an opportunity of our being together, that you
might be witness of the fact. Let us go to him, and know if he is
really necessitous."

The two friends came to me, and I, seeing that they wished to
speak to me, left off work: they both accosted me with the common
salutation, and Saadi, wishing me peace, asked me my name.

I returned their salutation, and answered Saadi's question,
saying to him, "Sir, my name is Hassan; but by reason of my
trade, I am commonly known by the name of Hassan al Hubbaul."

"Hassan," replied Saadi, "as there is no occupation but what a
man may live by, I doubt not but yours produces enough for you to
live well upon; and I am amazed, that during the long time you
have worked at your trade, you have not saved enough to lay in a
good stock of hemp to extend your manufacture and employ more
hands, by the profit of whose work you would soon increase your

"Sir," replied I, "you will be no longer amazed that I have not
saved money and taken the way you mention to become rich, when
you come to know that, let me work as hard as I may from morning
till night, I can hardly get enough to keep my family in bread
and pulse. I have a wife and five children, not one of whom is
old enough to be of the least assistance to me. I must feed and
clothe them, and in our poor way of living, they still want many
necessaries, which they can ill do without And though hemp is not
very dear, I must have money to buy it. This is the first thing I
do with any money I receive for my work; otherwise I and my
family must starve.

"Now judge, sir," added I, "if it be possible that I should save
any thing for myself and family: it is enough that we are content
with the little God sends us, and that we have not the knowledge
or desire of more than we want, but can live as we have been
always bred up, and are not reduced to beg."

When I had given Saadi this account, he said to me, "Hassan, I am
not so much surprised as I was, for I comprehend what obliges you
to be content in your station. But if I should make you a present
of a purse of two hundred pieces of gold, would not you make a
good use of it? and do not you believe, that with such a sum you
could become soon as rich as the principal of your occupation?"

"Sir," replied I, "you seem to be so good a gentleman, that I am
persuaded you would not banter me, but that the offer you make me
is serious; and I dare say, without presuming too much upon
myself, that a considerably less sum would be sufficient to make
me not only as rich as the first of our trade, but that in time I
should be richer than all of them in this city together, though
Bagdad is so large and populous."

The generous Saadi showed me immediately that in what he said he
was serious. He pulled a purse out of his bosom, and putting it
into my hands, said, "Here, take this purse; you will find it
contains two hundred pieces of gold: I pray God bless you with
them, and give you grace to make the good use of them I desire;
and believe me, my friend Saad, whom you see here, and I shall
both take great pleasure in finding they may contribute towards
making you more happy than you now are."

When I had got the purse, the first thing I did was to put it
into my bosom; but the transport of my joy was so great, and I
was so much penetrated with gratitude, that my speech failed me
and I could give my benefactor no other tokens of my feelings
than by laying hold of the hem of his garment and kissing it; but
he drew it from me hastily, and he and his friend pursued their

As soon as they were gone, I returned to my work, and my first
thought was, what I should do with my purse to keep it safe. I
had in my poor house neither box nor cupboard to lock it up in,
nor any other place where I could be sure it would not be
discovered if I concealed it.

In this perplexity, as I had been used, like many poor people of
my condition, to put the little money I had in the folds of my
turban, I left my work, and went into the house, under pretence
of wrapping my turban up anew. I took such precautions that
neither my wife nor children saw what I was doing. But first I
laid aside ten pieces of gold for present necessaries, and
wrapped the rest up in the folds of the linen which went about my

The principal expense I was at that day was to lay in a good
stock of hemp, and afterwards, as my family had eaten no flesh
meat a long time, I went to the shambles, and bought something
for supper.

As I was carrying home the meat I had bought, a famished vulture
flew upon me, and would have taken it away, if I had not held it
very fast; but, alas! I had better have parted with it than lost
my money; the faster I held my meat, the more the bird struggled
to get it, drawing me sometimes on one side, and sometimes on
another, but would not quit the prize; till unfortunately in my
efforts my turban fell on the ground.

The vulture immediately let go his hold, but seizing my turban,
flew away with it. I cried out so loud, that I alarmed all the
men, women, and children in the neighbourhood, who joined their
shouts and cries to make the vulture quit his hold; for by such
means these voracious birds are often frightened so as to quit
their prey. But our cries did not avail; he carried off my
turban, and we soon lost sight of him, and it would have been in
vain for me to fatigue myself with running after him.

I went home very melancholy at the loss of my money. I was
obliged to buy a new turban, which diminished the small remainder
of the ten pieces; for I had laid out several in hemp. The little
that was left was not sufficient to give me reason to indulge the
great hopes I had conceived.

But what troubled me most, was the little satisfaction I should
be able to give my benefactor for his ineffectual generosity,
when he should come to hear what a misfortune I had met with,
which he would perhaps regard as incredible, and consequently an
idle excuse.

While the remainder of the ten pieces lasted, my little family
and I lived better than usual; but I soon relapsed into the same
poverty, and the same inability to extricate myself from
wretchedness. However, I never murmured nor repined; "God," said
I, "was pleased to give me riches when I least expelled them; he
has thought fit to take them from me again almost at the same
time, because it so pleased him, and they were at his disposal;
yet I will praise his name for all the benefits I have received,
as it was his good pleasure, and submit myself, as I have ever
done hitherto, to his will."

These were my sentiments, while my wife, from whom I could not
keep secret the loss I had sustained, was inconsolable. In my
trouble I had told my neighbours, that when I lost my turban I
lost a hundred and ninety pieces of gold; but as they knew my
poverty, and could not comprehend how I should have got so great
a sum by my work, they only laughed at me.

About six months after this misfortune, which I have related to
your majesty, the two friends walking through that part of the
town where I lived, the neighbourhood brought me to Saad's
recollection. "We are now," said he to Saadi, "not far from the
street where Hassan the ropemaker lives; let us call and see what
use he has made of the two hundred pieces of gold you gave him,
and whether they have enabled him to take any steps towards
bettering his fortune."

"With all my heart," replied Saadi; "I have been thinking of him
some days, and it will be a great pleasure and satisfaction to me
to have you with me, as a witness of the proof of my argument.
You will see undoubtedly a great alteration. I expect we shall
hardly know him again."

Just as Saadi said this, the two friends turned the corner of the
street, and Saad, who perceived me first at a distance, said to
his friend, "I believe you reckon without your host. I see
Hassan, but can discern no change in his person, for he is as
shabbily dressed as when we saw him before; the only difference
that I can perceive is, that his turban looks something better.
Observe him yourself, and see whether I am in the wrong."

As they drew nearer to me, Saadi saw me too, and found Saad was
in the right, but could not tell to what he should attribute the
little alteration he saw in my person; and was so much amazed,
that he could not speak when he came up to me. "Well, Hassan,"
said Saad, "we do not ask you how affairs go since we saw you
last; without doubt they are in a better train."

"Gentlemen," replied I, addressing myself to them both, "I have
the great mortification to tell you, that your desires, wishes,
and hopes, as well as mine, have not had the success you had
reason to expect, and I had promised myself; you will scarcely
believe the extraordinary adventure that has befallen me. I
assure you nevertheless, on the word of an honest man, and you
ought to believe me, for nothing is more true than what I am
going to tell you." I then related to them my adventure, with the
same circumstances I had the honour to tell your majesty.

Saadi rejected my assertion, and said, "Hassan, you joke, and
would deceive me; for what you say is a thing incredible. What
have vultures to do with turbans? They only search for something
to satisfy their hunger. You have done as all such people as
yourself generally do. If they have made any extraordinary gain,
or any good fortune happens to them, which they never expected,
they throw aside their work, take their pleasure, make merry,
while the money lasts; and when they have eaten and drunk it all
out, are reduced to the same necessity and want as before. You
would not be so miserable, but because you deserve it, and render
yourself unworthy of any service done to you."

"Sir," I replied, "I bear all these reproaches, and am ready to
bear as many more, if they were more severe, and all with the
greater patience because I do not think I deserve them. The thing
is so publicly known in this part of the town, that there is
nobody but can satisfy you of the truth of my assertions. If you
inquire, you will find that I do not impose upon you. I own, I
never heard of vultures flying away with turbans; but this has
actually happened to me, like many other things, which do not
fall out every day, and yet have actually happened."

Saad took my part, and told Saadi a great many as surprising
stories of vultures, some of which he affirmed he knew to be
true, insomuch that at last he pulled his purse out of his
vestband, and counted out two hundred pieces of gold into my
hand, which I put into my bosom for want of a purse.

When Saadi had presented me with this sum, he said, "Hassan, I
make you a present of these two hundred pieces; but take care to
put them in a safer place, that you may not lose them so
unfortunately as you have done the others, and employ them in
such a manner that they may procure you the advantages which the
others would have done." I told him that the obligation of this
his second kindness was much greater than I deserved, after what
had happened, and that I should be sure to make good use of his
advice. I would have said a great deal more, but he did not give
me time, for he went away, and continued his walk with his

As soon as they were gone, I left off work, and went home, but
finding neither my wife nor children within, I pulled out my
money, put ten pieces by, and wrapped up the rest in a clean
linen cloth, tying it fast with a knot; but then I was to
consider where I should hide this linen cloth that it might be
safe. After I had considered some time, I resolved to put it in
the bottom of an earthen vessel full of bran, which stood in a
corner, which I imagined neither my wife nor children would look
into. My wife came home soon after, and as I had but little hemp
in the house, I told her I should go out to buy some, without
saying any thing to her about the two friends.

While I was absent, a sandman, who sells scouring earth for the
hair and body, which women use in the baths, passed through our
street, and called, "Cleansing, ho!" My wife, who wanted some,
beckoned to him: but as she had no money, asked him if he would
make an exchange of some earth for some bran. The sandman asked
to see the bran. My wife shewed him the pot; the bargain was
made; she had the cleansing earth, with which she filled a dust
hole I had made to the house, and the sandman took the pot and
bran along with him.

Not long after I came home with as much hemp as I could carry,
and followed by five porters loaded also with hemp. After I had
satisfied them for their trouble, I sat down to rest myself; and
looking about me, could not see the pot of bran.

It is impossible for me to express to your majesty my surprise
and the effect it had on me at the moment. I asked my wife
hastily what was become of it; when she told me the bargain she
had made with the sandman, which she thought to be a very good

"Ah! unfortunate woman!" cried I, "you know not the injury you
have done me, yourself, and our children, by making that bargain,
which has ruined us for ever. You thought you only sold the bran,
but with the bran you have enriched the sandman with a hundred
and ninety pieces of gold, which Saadi with his friend came and
made me a second present of."

My wife was like one distracted, when she knew what a fault she
had committed through ignorance. She cried, beat her breast, and
tore her hair and clothes. "Unhappy wretch that I am," cried she,
"am I fit to live after so dreadful a mistake! Where shall I find
this sandman? I know him not, I never saw him in our street
before. Oh! husband," added she, "you were much to blame to be so
reserved in a matter of such importance This had never happened,
if you had communicated the secret to me." In short, I should
never finish my story were I to tell your majesty what her grief
made her say. You are not ignorant how eloquent women often are
in their afflictions.

"Wife," said I, "moderate your grief: by your weeping and howling
you will alarm the neighbourhood, and there is no reason they
should be informed of our misfortunes. They will only laugh at,
instead of pitying us. We had best bear our loss patiently, and
submit ourselves to the will of God, and bless him, for that out
of two hundred pieces of gold which he had given us, he has taken
back but a hundred and ninety, and left us ten, which, by the use
I shall make of them will be a great relief to us."

My wife at first did not relish my arguments; but as time softens
the greatest misfortunes, and makes them more supportable, she at
last grew easy, and had almost forgotten them. "It is true," said
I to her, "we live but poorly; but what have the rich which we
have not? Do not we breathe the same air, enjoy the same light
and the same warmth of the sun? Therefore what conveniences have
they more than we, that we should envy their happiness? They die
as well as we. In short, while we live in the fear of God, as we
should always do, the advantage they have over us is so very
inconsiderable, that we ought not to covet it."

I will not tire your majesty any longer with my moral
reflections. My wife and I comforted ourselves, and I pursued my
trade with as much alacrity as before these two mortifying
losses, which followed one another so quickly. The only thing
that troubled me sometimes was, how I should look Saadi in the
face when he should come and ask me how I had improved his two
hundred pieces of gold, and advanced my fortune by means of his
liberality. I saw no remedy but to resolve to submit to the
confusion I should feel, though it was by no fault of mine this
time, any more than before, that our misfortune had happened.

The two friends stayed away longer this time than the former,
though Saad had often spoken to Saadi, who always put it off;
for, said he, "The longer we stay away, the richer Hassan will
be, and I shall have the greater satisfaction."

Saad, who had not the same opinion of the effect of his friend's
generosity, replied, "You fancy then that your last present will
have been turned to a better account than the former. I would
advise you not to flatter yourself too much, for fear you may be
more sensibly mortified if it should prove otherwise." "Why,"
replied Saadi, "vultures do not fly away with turbans every day;
and Hassan will have been more cautious this time."

"I do not doubt it," replied Saad; "but," added he, "there are
other accidents that neither you nor I can think of; therefore, I
say again, moderate your expectations, and do not depend too much
on Hassan's success; for to tell you what I think, and what I
always thought (whether you like to hear it or not), I have a
secret presentiment that you will not have accomplished your
purpose, and that I shall succeed better in proving that a poor
man may sooner become rich by other means than money."

One day, when Saad and Saadi were disputing upon this subject,
Saad observed that enough had been said; "I am resolved,"
continued he, "to inform myself this very day what has passed; it
is a pleasing time for walking, let us not lose it, but go and
see which of us has lost the wager." I saw them at a distance,
was overcome with confusion, and was just going to leave my work,
to run and hide myself. However I refrained, appeared very
earnest at work, made as if I had not seen them, and never lifted
up my eyes till they were close to me and had saluted me, and
then I could not help myself. I hung down my head, told them my
last misfortune, with all the circumstances, and that I was as
poor as when they first saw me.

"After that," I added, "you may say that I ought to have hidden
my money in another place than in a pot of bran, which was
carried out of my house the same day: but that pot had stood
there many years, and had never been removed, whenever my wife
parted with the bran. Could I guess that a sandman should come by
that very day, my wife have no money, and would make such an
exchange? You may indeed allege, that I ought to have told my
wife of it; but I will never believe that such prudent persons,
as I am persuaded you are, would have given me that advice; and
if I had put my money anywhere else, what certainty could I have
had that it would be more secure?"

"I see, sir," said I, addressing myself to Saadi, "that it has
pleased God, whose ways are secret and impenetrable, that I
should not be enriched by your liberality, but that I must remain
poor: however, the obligation is the same as if it had wrought
the desired effect."

After these words I was silent; and Saadi replied, "Though I
would persuade myself, Hassan, that all you tell us is true, and
not owing to your debauchery or ill management, yet I must not be
extravagant, and ruin myself for the sake of an experiment. I do
not regret in the least the four hundred pieces of gold I gave
you to raise you in the world. I did it in duty to God, without
expecting any recompense but the pleasure of doing good. If any
thing makes me repent, it is, that I did not address myself to
another, who might have made a better use of my charity." Then
turning about to his friend, "Saad," continued he, "you may know
by what I have said that I do not entirely give up the cause. You
may now make your experiment, and let me see that there are ways,
besides giving money, to make a poor man's fortune. Let Hassan be
the man. I dare say, whatever you may give him he will not be
richer than he was with four hundred pieces of gold." Saad had a
piece of lead in his hand, which he shewed Saadi. "You saw me,"
said he, "take up this piece of lead, which I found on the
ground; I will give it Hassan, and you shall see what it is

Saadi, burst out laughing at Saad. "What is that bit of lead
worth," said he, "a farthing? What can Hassan do with that?" Saad
presented it to me, and said, "Take it, Hassan; let Saadi laugh,
you will tell us some news of the good luck it has brought you
one time or another." I thought Saad was in jest, and had a mind
to divert himself: however I took the lead, and thanked him. The
two friends pursued their walk, and I fell to work again.

At night when I pulled off my clothes to go to bed, the piece of
lead, which I had never thought of from the time he gave it me,
tumbled out of my pocket. I took it up, and laid it on the place
that was nearest me. The same night it happened that a fisherman,
a neighbour, mending his nets, found a piece of lead wanting; and
it being too late to buy any, as the shops were shut, and he must
either fish that night, or his family go without bread the next
day, he called to his wife and bade her inquire among the
neighbours for a piece. She went from door to door on both sides
of the street, but could not get any, and returned to tell her
husband her ill success. He asked her if she had been to several
of their neighbours, naming them, and among the rest my house.
"No indeed," said the wife, "I have not been there; that was too
far off, and if I had gone, do you think I should have found any?
I know by experience they never have any thing when one wants
it." "No matter," said the fisherman, "you are an idle hussy; you
must go there; for though you have been there a hundred times
before without getting any thing, you may chance to obtain what
we want now. You must go."

The fisherman's wife went out grumbling, came and knocked at my
door, and waked me out of a sound sleep. I asked her what she
wanted. "Hassan," said she, as loud as she could bawl, "my
husband wants a bit of lead to load his nets with; and if you
have a piece, desires you to give it him."

The piece of lead which Saad had given me was so fresh in my
memory, and had so lately dropped out of my clothes, that I could
not forget it. I told my neighbour I had some; and if she would
stay a moment my wife should give it to her. Accordingly, my
wife, who was wakened by the noise as well as myself, got up, and
groping about where I directed her, found the lead, opened the
door, and gave it to the fisherman's wife, who was so overjoyed
that she promised my wife, that in return for the kindness she
did her and her husband, she would answer for him we should have
the first cast of the nets.

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