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The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete by Anon.

Part 21 out of 28

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taken in giving him so much trouble.

"My dear friend," replied the merchant, "you are to blame to make
these apologies, your vessel has been no inconvenience to me; on
such an occasion I should have made as free with you: there is
the key of my warehouse, go and fetch your jar ; you will find it
in the place where you deft it."

Ali Khaujeh went into the merchant's warehouse, took his jar; and
after having returned him the key with thanks for the favour he
had done: him, returned with it to the khan where he lodged; but
on opening the jar, and putting his hand down as low as the
pieces of gold had lain, was greatly surprised to find none. At
first he thought he might perhaps be mistaken; and, to discover
the truth, poured out all the olives into his travelling
kitchen-utensils, but without so much as finding one single piece
of money. His astonishment was so great, that he stood for some
time motionless; then lifting up his hands and eyes to Heaven, he
exclaimed, "Is it possible that a man, whom I took for my friend,
should be guilty of such baseness?"

Ali Khaujeh, alarmed at the apprehension of so considerable a
loss, returned immediately to the merchant. "My good friend,"
said he, "be not surprised to see me come back so soon. I own the
jar of olives to be the same I placed in your warehouse; but with
the olives I put into it a thousand pieces of gold, which I do
not find. Perhaps you might have occasion for them, and have
employed them in trade: if so they are at your service till it
may be convenient for you to return them; only put me out of my
pain, and give me an acknowledgment, after which you may pay me
at your own convenience."

The merchant, who had expected that Ali Khaujeh would come with
such a complaint, had meditated an answer. "Friend Ali Khaujeh,"
said he, "when you brought your jar to me did I touch it? did not
I give you the key of my warehouse, did not you carry it there
yourself, and did not you find it in the same place, covered in
the same manner as when you left it? And if you had put gold in
it, you must have found it. You told me it contained olives, and
I believed you. This is all I know of the matter: you may
disbelieve me if you please; but I never touched them."

Ali Khaujeh used all the mild methods he could think of to oblige
the merchant to restore his property. "I love peace and
quietness," said he to him, "and shall be sorry to come to those
extremities which will bring the greatest disgrace upon you;
consider, that merchants, as we are, ought to abandon all
interest to preserve a good reputation. Once again I tell you, I
shall be greatly concerned if your obstinacy oblige me to force
you to do me justice; for I would rather almost lose what is my
right than have recourse to law."

"Ali Khaujeh," replied the merchant, "you agree that you left a
jar of olives with me; and now you have taken it away, you come
and ask me for a thousand pieces of gold. Did you ever tell me
that such a sum was in the jar? I did not even know that they
were olives, for you never showed them to me. I wonder you do not
ask me for diamonds and pearls instead of gold; be gone about
your business, and do not raise a mob about my warehouse;" for
some persons had already collected. These words were pronounced
in such great heat and passion, as not only made those who stood
about the warehouse already stay longer, and create a greater
mob, but the neighbouring merchants came out of their shops to
learn what the dispute was between Ali Khaujeh and the merchant,
and endeavoured to reconcile them; but when Ali Khaujeh had
informed them of his grievance, they asked the merchant what he
had to say.

The merchant owned that he had kept the jar for Ali Khaujeh in
his warehouse, but denied that ever he had meddled with it; swore
that he knew it contained olives, only because Ali Khaujeh told
him so, and requested them all to bear witness of the insult and
affront offered him. "You bring it upon yourself," said Ali
Khaujeh taking him by the arm; "but since you use me so basely, I
cite you to the law of God: let us see whether you will have the
assurance to say the same thing before the cauzee."

The merchant could not refuse the summons, which every Mussulmaun
is bound to observe, or be declared a rebel against religion; but
said, "With all my heart; we shall soon see who is in the wrong."

Ali Khaujeh carried the merchant before the magistrate, where he
accused him of having, by breach of trust, defrauded him of a
thousand pieces of gold, which he had left with him. The cauzee
demanded if he had any witnesses; to which he replied, that he
had not taken that precaution, because he had believed the person
he trusted his money with to be his friend, and always took him
for an honest man.

The merchant made the same defence he had done before the
merchants his neighbours, offering to make oath that he never had
the money he was accused of, and that he did not so much as know
there was such a sum; upon which the cauzee took his oath, and
dismissed him acquitted for want of evidence.

Ali Khaujeh, extremely mortified to find that he must sit down
with so considerable a loss, protested against the sentence,
declaring to the cauzee that he would appeal to the caliph, who
would do him justice; which protestation the magistrate regarded
as the effect of the common resentment of those who lose their
cause; and thought he had done his duty in acquitting a person
who had been accused without witnesses.

While the merchant returned home triumphing over Ali Khaujeh and
overjoyed at his good fortune, the latter went and drew up a
petition; and the next day observing the time when the caliph
came from noon tide prayers, placed himself in the street he was
to pass through; and holding out his hand with the petition, an
officer appointed for that purpose, who always goes before the
caliph, came and took it to present it.

As Ali Khaujeh knew that it was the caliph's custom to read the
petitions at his return to the palace, he went into the court,
and waited till the officer who had taken the petition came out
of the caliph's apartment, who told him that the caliph had
appointed an hour to hear him next day; and then asking him where
the merchant lived, he sent to notify to him to attend at the
same time.

That same evening, the caliph, accompanied by the grand vizier
Jaaffier, and Mesrour the chief of the eunuchs, went disguised
through the town, as it was his custom occasionally to do; when,
on passing through a street, the caliph heard a noise, and
mending his pace, came to a gateway, which led into a little
court, in which he perceived ten or twelve children playing by

The caliph, who was curious to know at what play the children
were engaged, sat down on a stone bench just by; and heard one of
the liveliest of the children say, "Let us play at the cauzee I
will be the magistrate; bring Ali Khaujeh and the merchant who
cheated him of the thousand pieces of gold before me."

These words of the child put the caliph in mind of the petition
Ali Khaujeh had given him that day, and made him redouble his
attention to see the issue of the trial.

As the affair of Ali Khaujeh and the merchant had made a great
noise in Bagdad, it had not escaped the children, who all
accepted the proposition with joy, and agreed on the part each
was to act: not one of them refused him who made the proposal to
be cauzee: and when he had taken his seat, which he did with all
the seeming gravity of a judge, another, as an officer of the
court, presented two boys before him; one as Ali Khaujeh, and the
other as the merchant against whom he complained.

The pretended cauzee then directing his discourse to the feigned
Ali Khaujeh, asked him what he had to lay to that merchant's

Ali Khaujeh after a low obeisance, informed the young cauzee of
the fact, related every particular, and afterwards begged that he
would use his authority, that he might not lose so considerable a
sum of money.

The feigned cauzee, turning about to the merchant, then asked him
why he did not return the money which Ali Khaujeh demanded of

The feigned merchant alleged the same reasons as the real
merchant had done before the cauzee himself, and offered to
confirm by oath that what he had said was truth.

"Not so fast," replied the pretended cauzee; "before you come to
your oath, I should be glad to see the jar of olives. Ali
Khaujeh," said he, addressing himself to the boy who acted that
part, "have you brought the jar?" "No," replied he. "Then go and
fetch it immediately," said the other.

The pretended Ali Khaujeh went immediately, and returning,
feigned to set a jar before the cauzee, telling him that it was
the same he had left with the accused person, and received from
him again. But to omit no part of the formality, the supposed
cauzee asked the merchant if it was the same; and as by his
silence he seemed not to deny it, he ordered it to be opened. He
that represented Ali Khaujeh seemed to take off the cover, and
the pretended cauzee made as if he looked into it. "They are fine
olives," said he, "let me taste them;" and then pretending to eat
some, added, "They are excellent: but," continued he, "I cannot
think that olives will keep seven years, and be so good,
therefore send for some olive-merchants, and let me hear what is
their opinion." Two boys, as olive-merchants, then presented
themselves. "Are you olive-merchants?" said the sham cauzee.
"Tell me how long olives will keep fit to eat."

"Sir," replied the two merchants, "let us take what care we can,
they will hardly be worth any thing the third year; for then they
have neither taste nor colour." "If it be so," answered the
cauzee, "look into that jar, and tell me how long it is since
those olives were put into it?"

The two merchants pretended to examine and to taste the olives,
and told the cauzee they were new and good. "You are mistaken,"
said the young cauzee; "Ali Khaujeh says he put them into the jar
seven years ago."

"Sir," replied the merchants, "we can assure you they are of this
year's growth: and we will maintain there is not a merchant in
Bagdad but will say the same."

The feigned merchant who was accused would have objected against
the evidence of the olive-merchants; but the pretended cauzee
would not suffer him. "Hold your tongue," said he, "you are a
rogue; let him be impaled." The children then concluded their
play, clapping their hands with great joy, and seizing the
feigned criminal to carry him to execution.

Words cannot express how much the caliph Haroon al Rusheed
admired the sagacity and sense of the boy who had passed so just
a sentence, in an affair which was to be pleaded before himself
the next day. He withdrew, and rising off the bench, asked the
grand vizier, who heard all that had passed, what he thought of
it. "Indeed, commander of the true believers," answered the grand
vizier Jaaffier, "I am surprised to find so much sagacity in one
so young."

"But," answered the caliph, "do you know one thing? I am to
pronounce sentence in this very cause to-morrow; the true Ali
Khaujeh presented his petition to me to-day; and do you think,"
continued he, "that I can give a better sentence?" "I think not,"
answered the vizier, " if the case is as the children represented
it." "Take notice then of this house," said the caliph, "and
bring the boy to me to-morrow, that he may try this cause in my
presence; and also order the cauzee, who acquitted the merchant,
to attend to learn his duty from a child. Take care likewise to
bid Ali Khaujeh bring his jar of olives with him, and let two
olive-merchants attend." After this charge he pursued his rounds,
without meeting with any thing worth his attention.

The next day the vizier went to the house where the caliph had
been a witness of the children's play, and asked for the master;
but he being abroad, his wife appeared thickly veiled. He asked
her if she had any children. To which she answered, she had
three; and called them. "My brave boys," said the vizier, "which
of you was the cauzee when you played together last night?" The
eldest made answer, it was he: but, not knowing why he asked the
question, coloured. "Come along with me, my lad," said the grand
vizier; "the commander of the faithful wants to see you."

The mother was alarmed when she saw the grand vizier would take
her son with him, and asked, upon what account the caliph wanted
him? The grand vizier encouraged her, and promised that he should
return again in less than an hour's time, when she would know it
from himself. "If it be so, sir," said the mother, "give me leave
to dress him first, that he may be fit to appear before the
commander of the faithful:" which the vizier readily complied

As soon as the child was dressed, the vizier carried him away and
presented him to the caliph, at the time he had appointed to hear
Ali Khaujeh and the merchant.

The caliph, who saw that the boy was much abashed, in order to
encourage him, said, "Come to me, child, and tell me if it was
you that determined the affair between Ali Khaujeh and the
merchant who had cheated him of his money? I saw and heard the
decision, and am very well pleased with you." The boy answered
modestly, that it was he. "Well, my son," replied the caliph,
"come and sit down by me, and you shall see the true Ali Khaujeh,
and the true merchant."

The caliph then took him by the hand, seated him on the throne by
him, and asked for the two parties. When they were introduced,
they prostrated themselves before the throne, bowing their heads
quite down to the carpet that covered it. Afterwards the caliph
said to them, "Plead each of you your causes before this child,
who will hear and do you justice: and if he should be at a loss I
will assist him."

Ali Khaujeh and the merchant pleaded one after the other; but
when the merchant proposed his oath as before, the child said,
"It is too soon; it is proper that we should see the jar of

At these words Ali Khaujeh presented the jar, placed it at the
caliph's feet, and opened it. The caliph looked at the olives,
took one and tasted it, giving another to the boy. Afterwards the
merchants were called, who examined the olives, and reported that
they were good, and of that year. The boy told them, that Ali
Khaujeh affirmed that it was seven years since he had put them
up; when they returned the same answer as the children, who had
represented them the night before.

Though the wretch who was accused saw plainly that these
merchants' opinion must convict him, yet he would say something
in his own justification. But the child, instead of ordering him
to be impaled, looked at the caliph, and said "Commander of the
faithful, this is no jesting matter; it is your majesty that must
condemn him to death, and not I, though I did it yesterday in

The caliph, fully satisfied of the merchant's villany, delivered
him into the hands of the ministers of justice to be impaled. The
sentence was executed upon him, after he had confessed where he
had concealed the thousand pieces of gold, which were restored to
Ali Khaujeh. The monarch, most just and equitable, then turning
to the cauzee, bade him learn of that child to acquit himself
more exactly of his duty; and embracing the boy, sent him home
with a purse of a hundred pieces of gold as a token of his
liberality and admiration of his acuteness.

End of Volume 3.

Text scanned by JC Byers and proofread by the Distributed

The "Aldine" Edition of

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Illustrated by S. L. Wood


In Four Volumes

Volume 4

Pickering and Chatto

Contents of Volume IV.

The Story of the Enchanted Horse
The Story of Prince Ahmed, and the Fairy Perie Banou
The Story of the Sisters Who Envied Their Younger Sister
Story of the Three Sharpers and the Sultan
The Adventures of the Abbdicated Sultan
History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo
Story of the First Lunatic
Story of the Second Lunatic
Story of the Retired Sage and His Pupil, Related to the
Sultan by the Second Lunatic
Story of the Broken-backed Schoolmaster
Story of the Wry-mouthed Schoolmaster
Story of the Sisters and the Sultana Their Mother
Story of the Bang-eater and the Cauzee
Story of the Bang-eater and His Wife
The Sultan and the Traveller Mhamood Al Hyjemmee
The Koord Robber
Story of the Husbbandman
Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird
Story of a Sultan of Yemen and His Three Sons
Story of the First Sharper in the Cave
History of the Sultan of Hind
Story of the Fisherman's Son
Story of Abou Neeut and Abou Neeuteen; Or, the Well-intentioned
and the Double-minded
Adventure of a Courtier, Related by Himself to His Parton, an
Ameer of Egypt
Story of the Prince of Sind, and Fatima, Daughter of Amir Bin
Story of the Lovers of Syria; Or, the Heroine
Story of Hyjauje, the Tyrannical Gtovernor of Coufeh, and the
Young Syed
Story of Ins Alwujjood and Wird Al Ikmaun, Daughter of Ibrahim,
Vizier to Sultan Shamikh
The Adventures of Mazin of Khorassaun
Story of the Sultan the Dervish, and the Barber's Son
Adventures of Aleefa Daughter of Mherejaun Sultan of Hind, and
Eusuff, Son of Sohul, Sultan of Sind
Adventures of the Three Princes, Sons of the Sultan of China
Story of the Good Vizier Unjustly Imprisoned
Story of the Lady of Cairo and Her Four Gallants
The Cauzee's Story
Story of the Merchant, His Daughter, and the Prince of Eerauk
Adventures of the Cauzee, His Wife, &c
The Sultan's Story of Himself


The Nooroze, or the new day, which is the first of the year and
spring, is observed as a solemn festival throughout all Persia,
which has been continued from the time of idolatry; and our
prophet's religion, pure as it is, and true as we hold it, has
not been able to abolish that heathenish custom, and the
superstitious ceremonies which are observed, not only in the
great cities, but celebrated with extraordinary rejoicings in
every little town, village, and hamlet.

But the rejoicings are the most splendid at the court, for the
variety of new and surprising spectacles, insomuch that strangers
are invited from the neighbouring states, and the most remote
parts, by the rewards and liberality of the sovereign, towards
those who are the most excellent in their invention and
contrivance. In short, nothing in the rest of the world can
compare with the magnificence of this festival.

One of these festival days, after the most ingenious artists of
the country had repaired to Sheerauz, where the court then
resided, had entertained the king and all the court with their
productions, and had been bountifully and liberally rewarded
according to their merit and to their satisfaction by the
monarch; when the assembly was just breaking up, a Hindoo
appeared at the foot of the throne, with an artificial horse
richly caparisoned, and so naturally imitated, that at first
sight he was taken for a living animal.

The Hindoo prostrated himself before the throne; and pointing to
the horse, said to the emperor, "Though I present myself the last
before your majesty, yet I can assure you that nothing shewn to-
day is so wonderful as this horse, on which I beg your majesty
would be pleased to cast your eyes." "I see nothing more in the
horse," said the emperor, "than the natural resemblance the
workman has given him; which the skill of another workman may
possibly execute as well or better."

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "it is not for his outward form and
appearance that I recommend my horse to your majesty's
examination as wonderful, but the use to which I can apply him,
and which, when I have communicated the secret to them, any other
persons may make of him. Whenever I mount him, be it where it
may, if I wish to transport myself through the air to the most
distant part of the world, I can do it in a very short time.
This, sir, is the wonder of my horse; a wonder which nobody ever
heard speak of, and which I offer to shew your majesty, if you
command me."

The emperor of Persia, who was fond of every thing that was
curious, and notwithstanding the many prodigies of art he had
seen had never beheld or heard of anything that came up to this,
told the Hindoo, that nothing but the experience of what he
asserted could convince him: and that he was ready to see him
perform what he had promised.

The Hindoo instantly put his foot into the stirrup, mounted his
horse with admirable agility, and when he had fixed himself in
the saddle, asked the emperor whither he pleased to command him.

About three leagues from Sheerauz there was a lofty mountain
discernible from the large square before the palace, where the
emperor, his court, and a great concourse of people, then were.
"Do you see that mountain?" said the emperor, pointing to it; "it
is not a great distance from hence, but it is far enough to judge
of the speed you can make in going and returning. But because it
is not possible for the eye to follow you so far, as a proof that
you have been there, I expect that you will bring me a branch of
a palm-tree that grows at the bottom of the hill."

The emperor of Persia had no sooner declared his will than the
Hindoo turned a peg, which was in the hollow of the horse's neck,
just by the pummel of the saddle; and in an instant the horse
rose off the ground and carried his rider into the air with the
rapidity of lightning to such a height, that those who had the
strongest sight could not discern him, to the admiration of the
emperor and all the spectators. Within less than a quarter of an
hour they saw him returning with the palm branch in his hand; but
before he descended, he took two or three turns in the air over
the spot, amid the acclamations of all the people; then alighted
on the spot whence he had set off, without receiving the least
shock from the horse to disorder him. He dismounted, and going up
to the throne, prostrated himself, and laid the branch of the
palm-tree at the feet of the emperor.

The emperor, who had viewed with no less admiration than
astonishment this unheard-of sight which the Hindoo had
exhibited, conceived a great desire to have the horse; and as he
persuaded himself that he should not find it a difficult matter
to treat with the Hindoo, for whatever sum of money he should
value it at, began to regard it as the most valuable thing in his
treasury. "Judging of thy horse by his outward appearance," said
he to the Hindoo, "I did not think him so much worth my
consideration. As you have shewn me his merits, I am obliged to
you for undeceiving me; and to prove to you how much I esteem it,
I will purchase him of you, if he is to be sold."

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "I never doubted that your majesty,
who has the character of the most liberal prince on earth, would
set a just value on my work as soon as I had shewn you on what
account he was worthy your attention. I also foresaw that you
would not only admire and commend it, but would desire to have
it. Though I know his intrinsic value, and that my continuing
master of him would render my name immortal in the world; yet I
am not so fond of fame but I can resign him, to gratify your
majesty; however, in making this declaration, I have another to
add, without which I cannot resolve to part with him, and perhaps
you may not approve of it.

"Your majesty will not be displeased," continued the Hindoo, "if
I tell you that I did not buy this horse, but obtained him of the
inventor, by giving him my only daughter in marriage, and
promising at the same time never to sell him; but if I parted
with him to exchange him for something that I should value beyond
all else."

The Hindoo was proceeding, when at the word exchange, the emperor
of Persia interrupted him. "I am willing," said he, "to give you
whatever you may ask in exchange. You know my kingdom is large,
and contains many great, rich, and populous cities; I will give
you the choice of which you like best, in full sovereignty for

This exchange seemed royal and noble to the whole court; but was
much below what the Hindoo had proposed to himself, who had
raised his thoughts much higher. "I am infinitely obliged to your
majesty for the offer you make me," answered he, "and cannot
thank you enough for your generosity; yet I must beg of you not
to be displeased if I have the presumption to tell you, that I
cannot resign my horse, but by receiving the hand of the princess
your daughter as my wife: this is the only price at which I can
part with my property."

The courtiers about the emperor of Persia could not forbear
laughing aloud at this extravagant demand of the Hindoo; but the
prince Firoze Shaw, the eldest son of the emperor, and
presumptive heir to the crown, could not hear it without
indignation. The emperor was of a very different opinion, and
thought he might sacrifice the princess of Persia to the Hindoo,
to satisfy his curiosity. He remained however undetermined,
considering what he should do.

Prince Firoze Shaw, who saw his father hesitated what answer to
make, began to fear lest he should comply with the Hindoo's
demand, and regarded it as not only injurious to the royal
dignity, and to his sister, but also to himself; therefore to
anticipate his father, he said, "Sir, I hope your majesty will
forgive me for daring to ask, if it is possible your majesty
should hesitate about a denial to so insolent a demand from such
an insignificant fellow, and so scandalous a juggler? or give him
reason to flatter himself a moment with being allied to one of
the most powerful monarchs in the world? I beg of you to consider
what you owe to yourself, to your own blood, and the high rank of
your ancestors."

"Son," replied the emperor of Persia, "I much approve of your
remonstrance, and am sensible of your zeal for preserving the
lustre of your birth; but you do not consider sufficiently the
excellence of this horse; nor that the Hindoo, if I should refuse
him, may make the offer somewhere else, where this nice point of
honour may be waived. I shall be in the utmost despair if another
prince should boast of having exceeded me in generosity, and
deprived me of the glory of possessing what I esteem as the most
singular and wonderful thing in the world. I will not say I
consent to grant him what he asked. Perhaps he has not well
considered his exorbitant demand: and putting my daughter the
princess out of the question, I may make another agreement with
him that will answer his purpose as well. But before I conclude
the bargain with him, I should be glad that you would examine the
horse, try him yourself, and give me your opinion."

As it is natural for us to flatter ourselves in what we desire,
the Hindoo fancied, from what he had heard, that the emperor was
not entirely averse to his alliance, and that the prince might
become more favourable to him; therefore, he expressed much joy,
ran before the prince to help him to mount, and shewed him how to
guide and manage the horse.

The prince mounted without the Hindoo's assisting him; and no
sooner had he got his feet in both stirrups, but without staying
for the artist's advice, he turned the peg he had seen him use,
when instantly the horse darted into the air, quick as an arrow
shot out of a bow by the most adroit archer; and in a few moments
the emperor his father and the numerous assembly lost sight of
him. Neither horse nor prince were to be seen. The Hindoo,
alarmed at what had happened, prostrated himself before the
throne, and said, "Your majesty must have remarked the prince was
so hasty, that he would not permit me to give him the necessary
instructions to govern my horse. From what he saw me do, he was
ambitious of shewing that he wanted not my advice. He was too
eager to shew his address, but knows not the way, which I was
going to shew him, to turn the horse, and make him descend at the
wish of his rider. Therefore, the favour I ask of your majesty
is, not to make me accountable for what accidents may befall him;
you are too just to impute to me any misfortune that may attend

This address of the Hindoo much surprised and afflicted the
emperor, who saw the danger his son was in to be inevitable, if,
as the Hindoo said, there was a secret to bring him back,
different from that which carried him away; and asked, in a
passion, why he did not call him the moment he ascended?

"Sir," answered the Hindoo, "your majesty saw as well as I with
what rapidity the horse flew away. The surprise I was then, and
still am in, deprived me of the use of my speech; but if I could
have spoken, he was got too far to hear me. If he had heard me,
he knew not the secret to bring him back, which, through his
impatience, he would not stay to learn. But, sir," added he,
"there is room to hope that the prince, when he finds himself at
a loss, will perceive another peg, and as soon as he turns that,
the horse will cease to rise, and descend to the ground, when he
may turn him to what place he pleases by guiding him with the

Notwithstanding all these arguments of the Hindoo, which carried
great appearance of probability, the emperor of Persia was much
alarmed at the evident danger of his son. "I suppose," replied
he, "it is very uncertain whether my son may perceive the other
peg, and make a right use of it; may not the horse, instead of
lighting on the ground, fall upon some rock, or tumble into the
sea with him?"

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "I can deliver your majesty from this
apprehension, by assuring you, that the horse crosses seas
without ever falling into them, and always carries his rider
wherever he may wish to go. And your majesty may assure yourself,
that if the prince does but find out the other peg I mentioned,
the horse will carry him where he pleases. It is not to be
supposed that he will stop any where but where he can find
assistance, and make himself known."

"Be it as it may," replied the emperor of Persia, "as I cannot
depend upon the assurance you give me, your head shall answer for
my son's life, if he does not return safe in three days' time, or
I should hear that he is alive." He then ordered his officers to
secure the Hindoo, and keep him close prisoner; after which he
retired to his palace in affliction that the festival of Nooroze
should have proved so inauspicious.

In the mean time the prince was carried through the air with
prodigious velocity; and in less than an hour's time had ascended
so high, that he could not distinguish any thing on the earth,
but mountains and plains seemed confounded together. It was then
he began to think of returning, and conceived he might do this by
turning the same peg the contrary way, and pulling the bridle at
the same time. But when he found that the horse still rose with
the same swiftness, his alarm was great. He turned the peg
several times, one way and the other, but all in vain. It was
then he grew sensible of his fault, in not having learnt the
necessary precautions to guide the horse before he mounted. He
immediately apprehended the great danger he was in, but that
apprehension did not deprive him of his reason. He examined the
horse's head and neck with attention, and perceived behind the
right ear another peg, smaller than the other. He turned that
peg, and presently perceived that he descended in the same
oblique manner as he had mounted, but not so swiftly.

Night had overshadowed that part of the earth over which the
prince was when he found out and turned the small peg; and as the
horse descended, he by degrees lost sight of the sun, till it
grew quite dark; insomuch that, instead of choosing what place he
would go to, he was forced to let the bridle lie upon the horse's
neck, and wait patiently till he alighted, though not without the
dread lest it should be in the desert, a river, or the sea.

At last the horse stopped upon some solid substance about
midnight, and the prince dismounted very faint and hungry, having
eaten nothing since the morning, when he came out of the palace
with his father to assist at the festival. He found himself to be
on the terrace of a magnificent palace, surrounded with a
balustrade of white marble, breast high; and groping about,
reached a staircase, which led down into an apartment, the door
of which was half open.

Few but prince Firoze Shaw would have ventured to descend those
stairs dark as it was, and in the danger he exposed himself to
from friends or foes. But no consideration could stop him. "I do
not come," said he to himself, "to do anybody harm; and
certainly, whoever meets or sees me first, and finds that I have
no arms in my hands, will not attempt any thing against my life,
before they hear what I have to say for myself." After this
reflection, he opened the door wider, without making any noise,
went softly down the stairs, that he might not awaken anybody;
and when he came to a landing-place on the staircase, found the
door of a great hall, that had a light in it, open.

The prince stopped at the door, and listening, heard no other
noise than the snoring of some people who were fast asleep. He
advanced a little into the room, and by the light of a lamp saw
that those persons were black eunuchs, with naked sabres laid by
them; which was enough to inform him that this was the guard-
chamber of some sultan or princess; which latter it proved to be.

In the next room to this the princess lay, as appeared by the
light, the door being open, through a silk curtain, which drew
before the door-way, whither prince Firoze Shaw advanced on tip-
toe, without waking the eunuchs. He drew aside the curtain, went
in, and without staying to observe the magnificence of the
chamber, gave his attention to something of greater importance.
He saw many beds; only one of them on a sofa, the rest on the
floor. The princess slept in the first, and her women in the

This distinction was enough to direct the prince. He crept softly
towards the bed, without waking either the princess or her women,
and beheld a beauty so extraordinary, that he was charmed, and
inflamed with love at the first sight. "O heavens!" said he to
himself, "has my fate brought me hither to deprive me of my
liberty, which hitherto I have always preserved? How can I avoid
certain slavery, when those eyes shall open, since, without
doubt, they complete the lustre of this assemblage of charms! I
must quickly resolve, since I cannot stir without being my own
murderer; for so has necessity ordained."

After these reflections on his situation, and on the princess's
beauty, he fell on his knees, and twitching gently the princess's
sleeve, pulled it towards him. The princess opened her eyes, and
seeing a handsome man on his knees, was in great surprise; yet
seemed to shew no sign of fear.

The prince availed himself of this favourable moment, bowed his
head to the ground, and rising said, "Beautiful princess, by the
most extraordinary and wonderful adventure, you see at your feet
a suppliant prince, son of the emperor of Persia, who was
yesterday morning in his court, at the celebration of a solemn
festival, but is now in a strange country, in danger of his life,
if you have not the goodness and generosity to afford him your
assistance and protection. These I implore, adorable princess,
with confidence that you will not refuse me. I have the more
ground to persuade myself, as so much beauty and majesty cannot
entertain inhumanity."

The personage to whom prince Firoze Shaw so happily addressed
himself was the princess of Bengal, eldest daughter of the Rajah
of that kingdom, who had built this palace at a small distance
from his capital, whither she went to take the benefit of the
country air. After she had heard the prince with all the candour
he could desire, she replied with equal goodness, "Prince, you
are not in a barbarous country; take courage; hospitality,
humanity, and politeness are to be met with in the kingdom of
Bengal, as well as in that of Persia. It is not merely I who
grant you the protection you ask; you not only have found it in
my palace, but will meet it throughout the whole kingdom; you may
believe me, and depend on what I say."

The prince of Persia would have thanked the princess for her
civility, and had already bowed down his head to return the
compliment; but she would not give him leave to speak.
"Notwithstanding I desire," said she, "to know by what miracle
you have come hither from the capital of Persia in so short a
time; and by what enchantment you have been able to penetrate so
far as to come to my apartment, and to have evaded the vigilance
of my guards; yet, as it is impossible but you must want some
refreshment, and regarding you as a welcome guest, I will waive
my curiosity, and give orders to my women to regale you, and shew
you an apartment, that you may rest yourself after your fatigue,
and be better able to satisfy my curiosity."

The princess's women, who awoke at the first words which the
prince addressed to the princess, were in the utmost surprise to
see a man at the princess's feet, as they could not conceive how
he had got thither, without waking them or the eunuchs. They no
sooner comprehended the princess's intentions, than they were
ready to obey her commands. They each took a wax candle, of which
there were great numbers lighted up in the room; and after the
prince had respectfully taken leave, went before and conducted
him into a handsome chamber; where, while some were preparing the
bed, others went into the kitchen; and notwithstanding it was so
unseasonable an hour, they did not make prince Firoze Shaw wait
long, but brought him presently a collation; and when he had
eaten as much as he chose, removed the trays, and left him to
taste the sweets of repose.

In the mean time, the princess of Bengal was so struck with the
charms, wit, politeness, and other good qualities which she had
discovered in her short interview with the prince, that she could
not sleep: but when her women came into her room again asked them
if they had taken care of him, if he wanted any thing; and
particularly, what they thought of him?

The women, after they had satisfied her as to the first queries,
answered to the last: "We do not know what you may think of him,
but, for our parts, we are of opinion you would be very happy if
your father would marry you to so amiable a youth; for there is
not a prince in all the kingdom of Bengal to be compared to him;
nor can we hear that any of the neighbouring princes are worthy
of you."

This flattering compliment was not displeasing to the princess of
Bengal; but as she had no mind to declare her sentiments, she
imposed silence, telling them that they talked without
reflection, bidding them return to rest, and let her sleep.

The next day the princess took more pains in dressing and
adjusting herself at the glass than she had ever done before. She
never tired her women's patience so much, by making them do and
undo the same thing several times. She adorned her head, neck,
arms, and waist, with the finest and largest diamonds she
possessed. The habit she put on was one of the richest stuffs of
the Indies, of a most beautiful colour, and made only for kings,
princes, and princesses. After she had consulted her glass, and
asked her women, one after another, if any thing was wanting to
her attire, she sent to know, if the prince of Persia was awake;
and as she never doubted but that, if he was up and dressed, he
would ask leave to come and pay his respects to her, she charged
the messenger to tell him she would make him the visit, and she
had her reasons for this.

The prince of Persia, who by the night's rest had recovered the
fatigue he had undergone the day before, had just dressed
himself, when he received the princess of Bengal's compliments by
one of her women. Without giving the lady who brought the message
leave to communicate it, he asked her, if it was proper for him
then to go and pay his respects to the princess; and when the
lady had acquitted herself of her errand, he replied, "It shall
be as the princess thinks fit; I came here to be solely at her

As soon as the princess understood that the prince of Persia
waited for her, she immediately went to pay him a visit. After
mutual compliments, the prince asking pardon for having waked the
princess out of a profound sleep, and the princess inquiring
after his health, and how he had rested, the princess sat down on
a sofa, as did also the prince, though at some distance, out of

The princess then resuming the conversation, said, "I would have
received you, prince, in the chamber in which you found me last
night; but as the chief of my eunuchs has the liberty of entering
it, and never comes further without my leave, from my impatience
to hear the surprising adventure which procured me the happiness
of seeing you, I chose to come hither, that we may not be
interrupted; therefore I beg of you to give me that satisfaction,
which will highly oblige me."

Prince Firoze Shaw, to gratify the princess of Bengal, began with
describing the festival of the Nooroze, and mentioned the shows
which had amazed the court of Persia, and the people of Sheerauz.
Afterwards he came to the enchanted horse; the description of
which, with the account of the wonders which the Hindoo had
performed before so august an assembly, convinced the princess
that nothing of that kind could be imagined more surprising in
the world. "You may well think, charming princess," continued the
prince of Persia, "that the emperor my father, who cares not what
he gives for any thing that is rare and curious, would be very
desirous to purchase such a curiosity. He asked the Hindoo what
he would have for him; who made him an extravagant reply, telling
him, that he had not bought him, but taken him in exchange for
his only daughter, and could not part with him but on the like
condition, which was to have his consent to marry the princess my

"The crowd of courtiers, who stood about the emperor my father,
hearing the extravagance of this proposal, laughed loudly; I for
my part conceived such great indignation, that I could not
disguise it; and the more, because I saw that my father was
doubtful what answer he should give. In short, I believe he would
have granted him what he asked, if I had not represented to him
how injurious it would be to his honour; yet my remonstrance
could not bring him entirely to quit his design of sacrificing
the princess my sister to so despicable a person. He fancied he
should bring me over to his opinion, if once I could comprehend,
as he imagined he did, the singular worth of this horse. With
this view he would have me mount, and make a trial of him myself.

"To please my father, I mounted the horse, and as soon as I was
upon his back, put my hand on a peg, as I had seen the Hindoo do
before, to make the horse mount into the air, without stopping to
take instructions of the owner for his guidance or descent. The
instant I touched the peg, the horse ascended, as swift as an
arrow shot out of a bow, and I was presently at such a distance
from the earth that I could not distinguish any object. From the
swiftness of the motion I was for some time unapprehensive of the
danger to which I was exposed; when I grew sensible of it, I
endeavoured to turn the peg the contrary way. But the experiment
would not answer my expectation, for still the horse rose, and
carried me a greater distance from the earth. At last I perceived
another peg, which I turned, and then I grew sensible that the
horse descended towards the earth, and presently found myself so
surrounded with darkness, that it was impossible for me to guide
the machine. In this condition I laid the bridle on his neck, and
trusted myself to the will of God to dispose of my fate.

"At length the horse stopped, I got off his back, and examining
whereabouts I might be, perceived myself on the terrace of this
palace, and found the door of the staircase half open. I came
softly down the stairs, and seeing a door open, put my head into
the room, perceived some eunuchs asleep, and a great light in an
adjoining chamber. The necessity I was under, notwithstanding the
inevitable danger to which I should be exposed, if the eunuchs
had waked, inspired me with the boldness, or rather rashness, to
cross that room to get to the other.

"It is needless," added the prince, "to tell you the rest, since
you are not unacquainted with all that passed afterwards. But I
am obliged in duty to thank you for your goodness and generosity,
and to beg of you to let me know how I may shew my gratitude.
According to the law of nations I am already your slave, and
cannot make you an offer of my person; there only remains my
heart: but, alas! princess, what do I say? My heart is no longer
my own, your charms have forced it from me, but in such a manner,
that I will never ask for it again, but yield it up; give me
leave, therefore, to declare you mistress both of my heart and

These last words of the prince were pronounced with such an air
and tone, that the princess of Bengal never doubted of the effect
she had expected from her charms; neither did she seem to resent
the precipitate declaration of the prince of Persia. Her blushes
served but to heighten her beauty, and render her more amiable in
his eyes.

As soon as she had recovered herself, she replied, "Prince, you
have given me sensible pleasure, by telling me your wonderful
adventure. But, on the other hand, I can hardly forbear
shuddering, when I think on the height you were in the air; and
though I have the good fortune to see you here safe and well, I
was in pain till you came to that part where the horse
fortunately descended upon the terrace of my palace. The same
thing might have happened in a thousand other places. I am glad
that chance has given me the preference to the whole world, and
of the opportunity of letting you know, that it could not have
conducted you to any place where you could have been received
with greater pleasure.

"But, prince," continued she, "I should think myself offended, if
I believed that the thought you mentioned of being my slave was
serious, and that it did not proceed from your politeness rather
than from a sincerity of sentiment; for, by the reception I gave
you yesterday, you might assure yourself you are here as much at
liberty as in the midst of the court of Persia.

"As to your heart," added the princess, in a tone which shewed
nothing less than a refusal, "as I am persuaded that you have not
lived so long without disposing of it, and that you could not
fail of making choice of a princess who deserves it, I should be
sorry to give you an occasion to be guilty of infidelity to her."

Prince Firoze Shaw would have protested that when he left Persia
he was master of his own heart: but, at that instant, one of the
princess's ladies in waiting came to tell that a collation was
served up.

This interruption delivered the prince and princess from an
explanation, which would have been equally embarrassing to both,
and of which they stood in need. The princess of Bengal was fully
convinced of the prince of Persia's sincerity; and the prince,
though the princess had not explained herself, judged
nevertheless from some words she had let fall, that he had no
reason to complain.

As the lady held the door open, the princess of Bengal said to
the prince, rising off her seat, as he did also from his, "I am
not used to eat so early; but as I fancied you might have had but
an indifferent supper last night, I ordered breakfast to be got
ready sooner than ordinary." After this compliment she led him
into a magnificent hall, where a cloth was laid covered with
great plenty of choice and excellent viands; and as soon as they
were seated, many beautiful slaves of the princess, richly
dressed, began a most agreeable concert of vocal and instrumental
music, which lasted the whole time of eating.

This concert was so sweet and well managed, that it did not in
the least interrupt the prince and princess's conversation. The
prince served the princess with the choicest of every thing, and
strove to outdo her in civility, both by words and actions, which
she returned with many new compliments: and in this reciprocal
commerce of civilities and attentions, love made a greater
progress in both than a concerted interview would have promoted.

When they rose, the princess conducted the prince into a large
and magnificent saloon, embellished with paintings in blue and
gold, and richly furnished; there they both sat down in a
balcony, which afforded a most agreeable prospect into the palace
garden, which prince Firoze Shaw admired for the vast variety of
flowers, shrubs, and trees, which were full as beautiful as those
of Persia, but quite different. Here taking the opportunity of
entering into conversation with the princess, he said, "I always
believed, madam, that no part of the world but Persia afforded
such stately palaces and beautiful gardens; but now I see, that
other great monarchs know as well how to build mansions suitable
to their power and greatness; and if there is a difference in the
manner of building, there is none in the degree of grandeur and

"Prince," replied the princess of Bengal, "as I have no idea of
the palaces of Persia, I cannot judge of the comparison you have
made of mine. But, however sincere you seem to be, I can hardly
think it just, but rather incline to believe it a compliment: I
will not despise my palace before you; you have too good an eye,
too good a taste not to form a sound judgment. But I assure you,
I think it very indifferent when I compare it with the king my
father's, which far exceeds it for grandeur, beauty, and
richness; you shall tell me yourself what you think of it, when
you have seen it: for since a chance has brought you so nigh to
the capital of this kingdom, I do not doubt but you will see it,
and make my father a visit, that he may pay you all the honour
due to a prince of your rank and merit."

The princess flattered herself, that by exciting in the prince of
Persia a curiosity to see the capital of Bengal, and to visit her
father, the king, seeing him so handsome, wise, and accomplished
a prince, might perhaps resolve to propose an alliance with him,
by offering her to him as a wife. And as she was well persuaded
she was not indifferent to the prince, and that he would be
pleased with the proposal, she hoped to attain to the utmost of
her wishes, and preserve all the decorum becoming a princess, who
would appear resigned to the will of her king and father; but the
prince of Persia did not return her an answer according to her

"Princess," he replied, "the preference which you give the king
of Bengal's palace to your own is enough to induce me to believe
it much exceeds it: and as to the proposal of my going and paying
my respects to the king your father, I should not only do myself
a pleasure, but an honour. But judge, princess, yourself, would
you advise me to present myself before so great a monarch, like
an adventurer, without attendants, and a train suitable to my

"Prince," replied the princess, "let not that give you any pain;
if you will but go, you shall want no money to have what train
and attendants you please: I will furnish you; and we have
traders here of all nations in great numbers, and you may make
choice of as many as you please to form your household."

Prince Firoze Shaw penetrated the princess of Bengal's intention,
and this sensible mark of her love still augmented his passion,
which, notwithstanding its violence, made him not forget his
duty. Without any hesitation he replied, "Princess, I should most
willingly accept of the obliging offer you make me, for which I
cannot sufficiently shew my gratitude, if the uneasiness my
father must feel on account of my absence did not prevent me. I
should be unworthy of the tenderness he has always had for me, if
I should not return as soon as possible to calm his fears. I know
him so well, that while I have the happiness of enjoying the
conversation of so lovely a princess, I am persuaded he is
plunged into the deepest grief, and has lost all hopes of seeing
me again. I trust you will do me the justice to believe, that I
cannot, without ingratitude, and being guilty of a crime,
dispense with going to restore to him that life, which a too long
deferred return may have endangered already.

"After this, princess," continued the prince of Persia, "if you
will permit me, and think me worthy to aspire to the happiness of
becoming your husband, as my father has always declared that he
never would constrain me in my choice, I should find it no
difficult matter to get leave to return, not as a stranger, but
as a prince, to contract an alliance with your father by our
marriage; and I am persuaded that the emperor will be overjoyed
when I tell him with what generosity you received me, though a
stranger in distress."

The princess of Bengal was too reasonable, after what the prince
of Persia had said, to persist any longer in persuading him to
pay a visit to the raja of Bengal, or to ask any thing of him
contrary to his duty and honour. But she was much alarmed to find
he thought of so sudden a departure; fearing, that if he took his
leave of her so soon, instead of remembering his promise, he
would forget when he ceased to see her. To divert him from his
purpose, she said to him, "Prince, my intention of proposing a
visit to my father was not to oppose so just a duty as that you
mention, and which I did not foresee. But I cannot approve of
your going so soon as you propose; at least grant me the favour I
ask of a little longer acquaintance; and since I have had the
happiness to have you alight in the kingdom of Bengal, rather
than in the midst of a desert, or on the top of some steep craggy
rock, from which it would have been impossible for you to
descend, I desire you will stay long enough to enable you to give
a better account at the court of Persia of what you may see

The sole end the princess had in this request was, that the
prince of Persia, by a longer stay, might become insensibly more
passionately enamoured of her charms; hoping thereby that his
ardent desire of returning would diminish, and then he might be
brought to appear in public, and pay a visit to the Rajah of
Bengal. The prince of Persia could not well refuse her the favour
she asked, after the kind reception she had given him; and
therefore politely complied with her request; and the princess's
thoughts were directed to render his stay agreeable by all the
amusements she could devise.

Nothing went forward for several days but concerts of music,
accompanied with magnificent feasts and collations in the
gardens, or hunting-parties in the vicinity of the palace, which
abounded with all sorts of game, stags, hinds, and fallow deer,
and other beasts peculiar to the kingdom of Bengal, which the
princess could pursue without danger. After the chase, the prince
and princess met in some beautiful spot, where a carpet was
spread, and cushions laid for their accommodation. There resting
themselves, after their violent exercise, they conversed on
various subjects. The princess took pains to turn the
conversation on the grandeur, power, riches, and government of
Persia; that from the prince's replies she might have an
opportunity to talk of the kingdom of Bengal, and its advantages,
and engage him to resolve to make a longer stay there; but she
was disappointed in her expectations.

The prince of Persia, without the least exaggeration, gave so
advantageous an account of the extent of the kingdom of Persia,
its magnificence and riches, its military force, its commerce by
sea and land with the most remote parts of the world, some of
which were unknown even to him; the vast number of large cities
it contained, almost as populous as that which the emperor had
chosen for his residence, where he had palaces furnished ready to
receive him at all seasons of the year; so that he had his choice
always to enjoy a perpetual spring; that before he had concluded,
the princess found the kingdom of Bengal to be very much inferior
to that of Persia in a great many respects. When he had finished
his relation, he begged of her to entertain him with a
description of Bengal.

The princess after much entreaty gave prince Firoze Shaw that
satisfaction; but by lessening a great many advantages the
kingdom of Bengal was well known to have over that of Persia, she
betrayed the disposition she felt to accompany him, so that he
believed she would consent at the first proposition he should
make; but he thought it would not be proper to make it till he
had shewed her so much deference as to stay with her long enough
to make the blame fall on herself, in case she wished to detain
him from returning to his father.

Two whole months the prince of Persia abandoned himself entirely
to the will of the princess of Bengal, yielding to all the
amusements she contrived for him, for she neglected nothing to
divert him, as if she thought he had nothing else to do but to
pass his whole life with her in this manner. But he now declared
seriously he could not stay longer, and begged of her to give him
leave to return to his father; repeating again the promise he had
made her to come back soon in a style worthy of her and himself,
and to demand her in marriage of the Rajah of Bengal.

"And, princess," observed the prince of Persia, "that you may not
suspect the truth of what I say; and that by my asking this
permission you may not rank me among those false lovers who
forget the object of their affection as soon as absent from them;
to shew that my passion is real, and not feigned, and that life
cannot be pleasant to me when absent from so lovely a princess,
whose love to me I cannot doubt is mutual; I would presume, were
I not afraid you would be offended at my request, to ask the
favour of taking you along with me."

As the prince saw that the princess blushed at these words,
without any mark of anger, he proceeded, and said, "Princess, as
for my father's consent, and the reception he will give you, I
venture to assure you he will receive you with pleasure into his
alliance; and as for the Rajah of Bengal, after all the love and
tender regard he has always expressed for you, he must be the
reverse of what you have described him, an enemy to your repose
and happiness, if he should not receive in a friendly manner the
embassy which my father will send to him for his approbation of
our marriage."

The princess returned no answer to this address of the prince of
Persia; but her silence, and eyes cast down, were sufficient to
inform him that she had no reluctance to accompany him into
Persia. The only difficulty she felt was, that the prince knew
not well enough how to govern the horse, and she was apprehensive
of being involved with him in the same difficulty as when he
first made the experiment. But the prince soon removed her fear,
by assuring her she might trust herself with him, for that after
the experience he had acquired, he defied the Hindoo himself to
manage him better. She thought therefore only of concerting
measures to get off with him so secretly, that nobody belonging
to the palace should have the least suspicion of their design.

The next morning, a little before day-break, when all the
attendants were asleep, they went upon the terrace of the palace.
The prince turned the horse towards Persia, and placed him where
the princess could easily get up behind him; which she had no
sooner done, and was well settled with her arms about his waist,
for her better security, than he turned the peg, when the horse
mounted into the air, and making his usual haste, under the
guidance of the prince, in two hours time the prince discovered
the capital of Persia.

He would not alight at the great square from whence he had set
out, nor in the palace, but directed his course towards a
pleasure-house at a little distance from the capital. He led the
princess into a handsome apartment, where he told her, that to do
her all the honour that was due to her, he would go and inform
his father of their arrival, and return to her immediately. He
ordered the housekeeper of the palace, who was then present, to
provide the princess with whatever she had occasion for.

After the prince had taken his leave of the princess, he ordered
a horse to be saddled, which he mounted, after sending back the
housekeeper to the princess, with orders to provide her
refreshments immediately, and then set forwards for the palace.
As he passed through the streets he was received with
acclamations by the people, who were overjoyed to see him again.
The emperor his father was giving audience, when he appeared
before him in the midst of his council. He received him with
ecstacy, and embracing him with tears of joy and tenderness,
asked him, what was become of the Hindoo's horse.

This question gave the prince an opportunity of describing the
embarrassment and danger he was in when the horse ascended into
the air, and how he had arrived at last at the princess of
Bengal's palace, the kind reception he had met with there, and
that the motive which had induced him to stay so long with her
was the affection she had shewn him; also, that after promising
to marry her, he had persuaded her to accompany him into Persia.
"But, sir," added the prince, "I felt assured that you would not
refuse your consent, and have brought her with me on the
enchanted horse, to a palace where your majesty often goes for
your pleasure; and have left her there, till I could return and
assure her that my promise was not in vain."

After these words, the prince prostrated himself before the
emperor to obtain his consent, when his father raised him up,
embraced him a second time, and said to him, "Son, I not only
consent to your marriage with the princess of Bengal, but will go
and meet her myself, and thank her for the obligation I in
particular have to her, and will bring her to my palace, and
celebrate your nuptials this day."

The emperor now gave orders for his court to make preparations
for the princess's entry; that the rejoicings should be announced
by the royal band of military music, and that the Hindoo should
be fetched out of prison and brought before him. When the Hindoo
was conducted before the emperor, he said to him, "I secured thy
person, that thy life, though not a sufficient victim to my rage
and grief, might answer for that of the prince my son, whom,
however, thanks to God! I have found again: go, take your horse,
and never let me see your face more."

As the Hindoo had learned of those who brought him out of prison
that prince Firoze Shaw was returned with a princess, and was
also informed of the place where he had alighted and left her,
and that the emperor was making preparations to go and bring her
to his palace; as soon as he got out of the presence, he
bethought himself of being revenged upon the emperor and the
prince. Without losing any time, he went directly to the palace,
and addressing himself to the keeper, told him, he came from the
prince of Persia for the princess of Bengal, and to conduct her
behind him through the air to the emperor, who waited in the
great square of his palace to gratify the whole court and city of
Sheerauz with that wonderful sight.

The palace-keeper, who knew the Hindoo, and that the emperor had
imprisoned him, gave the more credit to what he said, because he
saw that he was at liberty. He presented him to the princess of
Bengal; who no sooner understood that he came from the prince of
Persia than she consented to what the prince, as she thought, had
desired of her.

The Hindoo, overjoyed at his success, and the ease with which he
had accomplished his villany, mounted his horse, took the
princess behind him, with the assistance of the keeper, turned
the peg, and instantly the horse mounted into the air.

At the same time the emperor of Persia, attended by his court,
was on the road to the palace where the princess of Bengal had
been left, and the prince of Persia was advanced before, to
prepare the princess to receive his father; when the Hindoo, to
brave them both, and revenge himself for the ill-treatment he had
received, appeared over their heads with his prize.

When the emperor of Persia saw the ravisher, he stopped. His
surprise and affliction were the more sensible, because it was
not in his power to punish so high an affront. He loaded him with
a thousand imprecations, as did also all the courtiers, who were
witnesses of so signal a piece of insolence and unparalleled
artifice and treachery.

The Hindoo, little moved with their curses, which just reached
his ears, continued his way, while the emperor, extremely
mortified at so great an insult, but more so that he could not
punish the author, returned to his palace in rage and vexation.

But what was prince Firoze Shaw's grief at beholding the Hindoo
hurrying away the princess of Bengal, whom he loved so
passionately that he could not live without her! At a spectacle
so little expected he was confounded, and before he could
deliberate with himself what measures to pursue, the horse was
out of sight. He could not resolve how to act, whether he should
return to his father's palace, and shut himself in his apartment,
to give himself entirely up to his affliction, without attempting
to pursue the ravisher. But as his generosity, love, and courage,
would not suffer this, he continued on his way to the palace
where he had left his princess.

When he arrived, the palace-keeper, who was by this time
convinced of his fatal credulity, in believing the artful Hindoo,
threw himself at his feet with tears in his eyes, accused himself
of the crime, which unintentionally he had committed, and
condemned himself to die by his hand. "Rise," said the prince to
him, "I do not impute the loss of my princess to thee, but to my
own want of precaution. But not to lose time, fetch me a
dervish's habit, and take care you do not give the least hint
that it is for me."

Not far from this palace there stood a convent of dervishes, the
superior of which was the palace-keeper's particular friend. He
went to his chief, and telling him that a considerable officer at
court and a man of worth, to whom he had been very much obliged
and wished to favour, by giving him an opportunity to withdraw
from some sudden displeasure of the emperor, readily obtained a
complete dervish's habit, and carried it to prince Firoze Shaw.
The prince immediately pulled off his own dress, put it on, and
being so disguised, and provided with a box of jewels, which he
had brought as a present to the princess, left the palace,
uncertain which way to go, but resolved not to return till he had
found out his princess, and brought her back again, or perish in
the attempt.

But to return to the Hindoo; he governed his enchanted horse so
well, that he arrived early next morning in a wood, near the
capital of the kingdom ot Cashmeer. Being hungry, and concluding
the princess was so also, he alighted in that wood, in an open
part of it, and left the princess on a grassy spot, close to a
rivulet of clear fresh water.

During the Hindoo's absence, the princess of Bengal, who knew
that she was in the power of a base ravisher, whose violence she
dreaded, thought of escaping from him, and seeking out for some
sanctuary. But as she had eaten scarcely any thing on her arrival
at the palace, was so faint, that she could not execute her
design, but was forced to abandon it and stay where she was,
without any other resource than her courage, and a firm
resolution rather to suffer death than be unfaithful to the
prince of Persia. When the Hindoo returned, she did not wait to
be entreated, but ate with him, and recovered herself enough to
answer with courage to the insolent language he now began to hold
to her. After many threats, as she saw that the Hindoo was
preparing to use violence, she rose up to make resistance, and by
her cries and shrieks drew towards them a company of horsemen,
which happened to be the sultan of Cashmeer and his attendants,
who, as they were returning from hunting, happily for the
princess of Bengal, passed through that part of the wood, and ran
to her assistance, at the noise she made.

The sultan addressed himself to the Hindoo, demanded who he was,
and wherefore he ill. treated the lady? The Hindoo, with great
impudence, replied, "That she was his wife, and what had any one
to do with his quarrel with her?"

The princess, who neither knew the rank nor quality of the person
who came so seasonably to her relief, told the Hindoo he was a
liar; and said to the sultan, "My lord, whoever you are whom
Heaven has sent to my assistance, have compassion on a princess,
and give no credit to that impostor. Heaven forbid that I should
be the wife of so vile and despicable a Hindoo! a wicked
magician, who has forced me away from the prince of Persia, to
whom I was going to be united, and has brought me hither on the
enchanted horse you behold there."

The princess of Bengal had no occasion to say more to persuade
the sultan of Cashmeer that what she told him was truth. Her
beauty, majestic air, and tears, spoke sufficiently for her.
Justly enraged at the insolence of the Hindoo, he ordered his
guards to surround him, and strike off his head: which sentence
was immediately executed.

The princess, thus delivered from the persecution of the Hindoo,
fell into another no less afflicting. The sultan conducted her to
his palace, where he lodged her in the most magnificent
apartment, next his own, commanded a great number of women slaves
to attend her, and ordered a guard of eunuchs. He led her himself
into the apartment he had assigned her; where, without giving her
time to thank him for the great obligation she had received, he
said to her, "As I am certain, princess, that you must want rest,
I will take my leave of you till to-morrow, when you will be
better able to relate to me the circumstances of this strange
adventure;" and then left her.

The princess of Bengal's joy was inexpressible at finding herself
delivered from the violence of the Hindoo, of whom she could not
think without horror. She flattered herself that the sultan of
Cashmeer would complete his generosity by sending her back to the
prince of Persia when she should have told him her story, and
asked that favour of him; but she was much deceived in these
hopes; for her deliverer had resolved to marry her himself the
next day; and for that end had ordered rejoicings to be made by
day-break, by beating of drums, sounding of trumpets, and other
instruments expressive of joy; which not only echoed through the
palace, but throughout the whole city.

The princess of Bengal was awakened by these tumultuous concerts;
but attributed them to a very different cause from the true one.
When the sultan of Cashmeer, who had given orders that he should
be informed when the princess was ready to receive a visit, came
to wait upon her; after he had inquired after her health, he
acquainted her that all those rejoicings were to render their
nuptials the more solemn; and at the same time desired her assent
to the union. This declaration put her into such agitation that
she fainted away.

The women-slaves, who were present, ran to her assistance; and
the sultan did all he could to bring her to herself, though it
was a long time before they succeeded* But when she recovered,
rather than break the promise she had made to prince Firoze Shaw,
by consenting to marry the sultan of Cashmeer, who had proclaimed
their nuptials before he had asked her consent, she resolved to
feign madness. She began to utter the most extravagant
expressions before the sultan, and even rose off her seat as if
to attack him; insomuch that he was greatly alarmed and
afflicted, that he had made such a proposal so unseasonably.

When he found that her frenzy rather increased than abated, he
left her with her women, charging them never to leave her alone,
but to take great care of her. He sent often that day to inquire
how she did; but received no other answer than that she was
rather worse than better. At night she seemed more indisposed
than she had been all day, insomuch that the sultan deferred the
happiness he had promised himself.

The princess of Bengal continued to talk wildly, and shew other
marks of a disordered mind, next day and the following; so that
the sultan was induced to send for all the physicians belonging
to his court, to consult them upon her disease, and to ask if
they could cure her.

The physicians all agreed that there were several sorts and
degrees of this disorder, some curable and others not; and told
the sultan, that they could not judge of the princess of Bengal's
unless they might see her; upon which the sultan ordered the
eunuchs to introduce them into the princess's chamber, one after
another, according to their rank.

The princess, who foresaw what would happen, and feared, that if
she let the physicians feel her pulse, the least experienced of
them would soon know that she was in good health, and that her
madness was only feigned, flew into such a well-dissembled rage
and passion, that she appeared ready to injure those who came
near her; so none of them durst approach her.

Some who pretended to be more skilful than the rest, and boasted
of judging of diseases only by sight, ordered her some potions,
which she made the less difficulty to take, well knowing she
could be sick or well at pleasure, and that they could do her no

When the sultan of Cashmeer saw that his court physicians could
not cure her, he called in the most celebrated and experienced of
the city, who had no better success. Afterwards he sent for the
most famous in the kingdom, who met with no better reception than
the others from the princess, and what they prescribed had no
effect. Afterwards he dispatched expresses to the courts of
neighbouring sultans, with the princess's case, to be distributed
among the most famous physicians, with a promise of a munificent
reward to any of them who should come and effect her cure.

Various physicians arrived from all parts, and tried their skill;
but none could boast of better success than their predecessors,
or of restoring the princess's faculties, since it was a case
that did not depend on medicine, but on the will of the princess

During this interval Firoze Shaw, disguised in the habit of a
dervish, travelled through many provinces and towns, involved in
grief; and endured excessive fatigue, not knowing which way to
direct his course, or whether he might not be pursuing the very
opposite road from what he ought, in order to hear the tidings he
was in search of. He made diligent inquiry after her at every
place he came to; till at last passing through a city of
Hindoostan, he heard the people talk much of a princess of
Bengal, who ran mad on the day of the intended celebration of her
nuptials with the sultan of Cashmeer. At the name of the princess
of Bengal, and supposing that there could exist no other princess
of Bengal than her upon whose account he had undertaken his
travels, he hastened towards the kingdom of Cashmeer, and upon
his arrival at the capital took up his lodging at a khan, where
the same day he was informed of ihe story of the princess, and
the fate of the Hindoo magician, which he had so richly deserved.
From the circumstances, the prince was convinced that she was the
beloved object he had sought so long.

Being informed of all these particulars, he provided himself
against the next day with a physician's habit, and having let his
beard grow during his travels, he passed the more easily for the
character he assumed, went to the palace, impatient to behold his
beloved, where he presented himself to the chief of the officers,
and observed modestly, that perhaps it might be looked upon as a
rash undertaking to attempt the cure of the princess, after so
many had failed; but that he hoped some specifics, from which he
had experienced success, might effect the desired relief. The
chief of the officers told him he was welcome, that the sultan
would receive him with pleasure, and that if he should have the
good fortune to restore the princess to her former health, he
might expect a considerable reward from his master's liberality:
"Stay a moment," added he, "I will come to you again

Some time had elapsed since any physician had offered himself;
and the sultan of Cashmeer with great grief had begun to lose all
hope of ever seeing the princess restored to health, that he
might marry, and shew how much he loved her. He ordered the
officer to introduce the physician he had announced.

The prince of Persia was presented, when the sultan, without
wasting time in superfluous discourse, after having told him the
princess of Bengal could not bear the sight of a physician
without falling into most violent transports, which increased her
malady, conducted him into a closet, from whence, through a
lattice, he might see her without being observed.

There Firoze Shaw beheld his lovely princess sitting melancholy,
with tears in her eyes, and singing an air in which she deplored
her unhappy fate, which had deprived her, perhaps, for ever, of
the object she loved so tenderly.

The prince was sensibly affected at the melancholy condition in
which he found his dear princess, but he wanted no other signs to
comprehend that her disorder was feigned, or that it was for love
of him that she was under so grievous an affliction. When he came
out of the closet, he told the sultan that he had discovered the
nature of the princess's complaint, and that she was not
incurable; but added withal, that he must speak with her in
private, and alone, as, notwithstanding her violent agitation at
the sight of physicians, he hoped she would hear and receive him

The sultan ordered the princess's chamber door to be opened, and
Firoze Shaw went in. As soon as the princess saw him (taking him
by his habit to be a physician), she rose up in a rage,
threatening him, and giving him the most abusive language. He
made directly towards her, and when he was nigh enough for her to
hear him, for he did not wish to be heard by any one else, said
to her, in a low voice, "Princess, I am not a physician, but the
prince of Persia, and am come to procure you your liberty."

The princess, who knew the sound of the voice, and the upper
features of his face, notwithstanding he had let his beard grow
so long, grew calm at once, and a secret joy and pleasure
overspread her face, the effect of seeing the person so much
desired so unexpectedly. Her agreeable surprise deprived her for
some time of the use of speech, and gave Firoze Shaw time to tell
her as briefly as possible, how despair had seized him when he
saw the Hindoo carry her away; the resolution he afterwards had
taken to leave every thing to find her out, and never to return
home till he had regained her out of the hands of the perfidious
wretch; and by what good fortune, at last, after a long and
fatiguing journey, he had the satisfaction to find her in the
palace of the sultan of Cashmeer. He then desired the princess to
inform him of all that happened to her, from the time she was
taken away, till that moment when he had the happiness to
converse with her, telling her, that it was of the greatest
importance to know this, that he might take the most proper
measures to deliver her from the tyranny of the sultan of

The princess informed him how she was delivered from the Hindoo's
violence by the sultan, as he was returning from hunting; how she
was alarmed the next day, by a declaration he had made of his
precipitate design to marry her, without even the ceremony of
asking her consent; that this violent and tyrannical conduct put
her into a swoon; after which she thought she had no other way
than what she had taken, to preserve herself for a prince to whom
she had given her heart and faith; or die, rather than marry the
sultan, whom she neither loved, nor could ever love.

The prince of Persia then asked her, if she knew what became of
the horse, after the death of the Hindoo magician. To which she
answered, that she knew not what orders the sultan had given; but
supposed, after the account she had given him of it, he would
take care of it as a curiosity.

As Firoze Shaw never doubted but that the sultan had the horse,
he communicated to the princess his design of making use of it to
convey them both into Persia; and after they had consulted
together on the measures they should take, they agreed that the
princess should dress herself the next day, and receive the
sultan civilly, but without speaking to him.

The sultan of Cashmeer was overjoyed when the prince of Persia
stated to him what effect his first visit had had towards the
cure of the princess. On the following day, when the princess
received him in such a manner as persuaded him her cure was far
advanced, he regarded him as the greatest physician in the world;
and seeing her in this state, contented himself with telling her
how rejoiced he was at her being likely soon to recover her
health. He exhorted her to follow the directions of so skilful a
physician, in order to complete what he had so well begun; and
then retired without waiting for her answer.

The prince of Persia, who attended the sultan of Cashmeer out of
the princess's chamber, as he accompanied him, asked if, without
failing in due respect, he might inquire, how the princess of
Bengal came into the dominions of Cashmeer thus alone, since her
own country was far distant? This he said on purpose to introduce
some conversation about the enchanted horse, and to know what was
become of it.

The sultan, who could not penetrate into the prince's motive,
concealed nothing from him; but informed him of what the princess
had related, when he had delivered her from the Hindoo magician:
adding, that he had ordered the enchanted horse to be kept safe
in his treasury as a great curiosity, though he knew not the use
of it.

"Sir," replied the pretended physician, "the information which
your majesty has given your devoted slave affords me a means of
curing the princess. As she was brought hither on this horse, and
the horse is enchanted, she hath contracted something of the
enchantment, which can be dissipated only by a certain incense
which I am acquainted with. If your majesty would entertain
yourself, your court, and the people of your capital, with the
most surprising sight that ever was beheld, let the horse be
brought into the great square before the palace, and leave the
rest to me. I promise to show you, and all that assembly, in a
few moments time, the princess of Bengal completely restored in
body and mind. But the better to effect what I propose, it will
be requisite that the princess, should be dressed as
magnificently as possible, and adorned with the most valuable
jewels your majesty may possess." The sultan would have
undertaken much more difficult things to have arrived at the
enjoyment of his desires, which he expected soon to accomplish.

The next day, the enchanted horse was, by his order, taken out of
the treasury, and placed early in the great square before the
palace. A report was spread through the town that there was
something extraordinary to be seen, and crowds of people flocked
thither from all parts, insomuch that the sultan's guards were
placed to prevent disorder, and to keep space enough round the

The sultan of Cashmeer, surrounded by all his nobles and
ministers of state, was placed on a scaffold erected on purpose.
The princess of Bengal, attended by a number of ladies whom the
sultan had assigned her, went up to the enchanted horse, and the
women helped her to mount. When she was fixed in the saddle, and
had the bridle in her hand, the pretended physician placed round
the horse at a proper distance many vessels full of lighted
charcoal, which he had ordered to be brought, and going round
them with a solemn pace, cast in a strong and grateful perfume;
then collected in himself, with downcast eyes, and his hands upon
his breast, he ran three times about the horse, making as if he
pronounced some mystical words. The moment the pots sent forth a
dark cloud of pleasant smell, which so surrounded the princess,
that neither she nor the horse could be discerned, watching his
opportunity, the prince jumped nimbly up behind her, and reaching
his hand to the peg, turned it; and just as the horse rose with
them into the air, he pronounced these words, which the sultan
heard distinctly, "Sultan of Cashmeer, when you would marry
princesses who implore your protection, learn first to obtain
their consent."

Thus the prince delivered the princess of Bengal, and carried her
the same day to the capital of Persia, where he alighted in the
square of the palace, before the emperor his father's apartment,
who deferred the solemnization of the marriage no longer than
till he could make the preparations necessary to render the
ceremony pompous and magnificent, and evince the interest he took
in it.

After the days appointed for the rejoicings were over, the
emperor of Persia's first care was to name and appoint an
ambassador to go to the Rajah of Bengal with an account of what
had passed, and to demand his approbation and ratification of the
alliance contracted by this marriage; which the Rajah of Bengal
took as an honour, and granted with great pleasure and


There was a sultan who had peaceably filled the throne of India
many years, and had the satisfaction in his old age to have three
sons the worthy imitators of his virtues, who, with the princess
his niece, were the ornaments of his court. The eldest of the
princes was called Houssain, the second Ali, the youngest Ahmed,
and the princess his niece Nouronnihar.

The princess Nouronnihar was the daughter of the younger brother
of the sultan, to whom in his lifetime he had allowed a
considerable revenue. But that prince had not been married long
before he died, and left the princess very young. The sultan, in
consideration of the brotherly love and friendship that had
always subsisted between them, besides a great attachment to his
person, took upon himself the care of his daughter's education,
and brought her up in his palace with the three princes; where
her singular beauty and personal accomplishments, joined to a
lively wit and irreproachable virtue, distinguished her among all
the princesses of her time.

The sultan, her uncle, proposed to marry her when she arrived at
a proper age, and by that means to contract an alliance with some
neighbouring prince; and was thinking seriously on the subject,
when he perceived that the three princes his sons loved her
passionately. This gave him much concern, though his grief did
not proceed from a consideration that their passion prevented his
forming the alliance he designed, but the difficulty he foresaw
to make them agree, and that the two youngest should consent to
yield her up to their eldest brother. He spoke to each of them
apart; and remonstrated on the impossibility of one princess
being the wife of three persons, and the troubles they would
create if they persisted in their attachment. He did all he could
to persuade them to abide by a declaration of the princess in
favour of one of them; or to desist from their pretensions, to
think of other matches which he left them free liberty to choose,
and suffer her to be married to a foreign attachment. But as he
found them obstinate, he sent for them all together, and said,
"My children, since I have not been able to dissuade you from
aspiring to marry the princess your cousin; and as I have no
inclination to use my authority, to give her to one in preference
to his brothers, I trust I have thought of an expedient which
will please you all, and preserve harmony among you, if you will
but hear me, and follow my advice. I think it would not be amiss
if you were to travel separately into different countries, so
that you might not meet each other: and as you know I am very
curious, and delight in every thing that is rare and singular, I
promise my niece in marriage to him who shall bring me the most
extraordinary rarity; chance may lead you to form your own
judgment of the singularity of the things which you bring, by the
comparison you make of them, so that you will have no difficulty
to do yourselves justice by yielding the preference to him who
has deserved it; and for the expense of travelling, I will give
each of you a sum suited to your rank, and for the purchase of
the rarity you shall search after; which shall not be laid out in
equipage and attendants, as much display, by discovering who you
are, would not only deprive you of the liberty to acquit
yourselves of your charge, but prevent your observing those
things which may merit your attention, and may be most useful to

As the three princes were always submissive and obedient to the
sultan's will, and each flattered himself fortune might prove
favourable to him, and give him possession of the princess
Nouronnihar, they all consented to the proposal. The sultan gave
them the money he promised; and that very day they issued orders
for the preparations for their travels, and took leave of their
father, that they might be ready to set out early next morning.
They all went out at the same gate of the city, each dressed like
a merchant, attended by a trusty officer, habited as a slave, and
all well mounted and equipped. They proceeded the first day's
journey together; and slept at a caravanserai, where the road
divided into three different tracks. At night when they were at
supper together, they all agreed to travel for a year, to make
their present lodging their rendezvous; and that the first who
came should wait for the rest; that as they had all three taken
leave together of the sultan, they might return in company. The
next morning by break of day, after they had embraced and wished
each other reciprocally good success, they mounted their horses,
and took each a different road.

Prince Houssain, the eldest brother, who had heard wonders of the
extent, power, riches, and splendour of the kingdom of Bisnagar,
bent his course towards the Indian coast; and after three months'
travelling, joining himself to different caravans, sometimes over
deserts and barren mountains, and sometimes through populous and
fertile countries, arrived at Bisnagar, the capital of the
kingdom of that name, and the residence of its maharajah. He
lodged at a khan appointed for foreign merchants; and having
learnt that there were four principal divisions where merchants
of all sorts kept their shops, in the midst of which stood the
castle, or rather the maharajah's palace, on a large extent of
ground, as the centre of the city, surrounded by three courts,
and each gate distant two leagues from the other, he went to one
of these quarters the next day.

Prince Houssain could not view this quarter without admiration.
It was large, divided into several streets, all vaulted and
shaded from the sun, but yet very light. The shops were all of
the same size and proportion; and all who dealt in the same sort
of goods, as well as all the artists of the same profession,
lived in one street.

The number of shops stocked with all kinds of merchandizes, such
as the finest linens from several parts of India, some painted in
the most lively colours, and representing men, landscapes, trees,
and flowers; silks and brocades from Persia, China, and other
places; porcelain from Japan and China; foot carpets of all
sizes; surprised him so much, that he knew not how to believe his
eyes: but when he came to the shops of the goldsmiths and
jewellers (for those two trades were exercised by the same
merchants), he was in a kind of ecstasy, at beholding such
prodigious quantities of wrought gold and silver, and was dazzled
by the lustre of the pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and
other precious stones exposed to sale. But if he was amazed at
seeing so many treasures in one place, he was much more surprised
when he came to judge of the wealth of the whole kingdom, by
considering, that except the brahmins, and ministers of the
idols, who profess a life retired from worldly vanity, there was
not an Indian, man or woman, through the extent of the kingdom,
but wore necklaces, bracelets, and ornaments about their legs and
feet, made of pearls, and precious stones, which appeared with
the greater lustre, as they were blacks, which colour admirably
set off their brilliancy.

Another object which prince Houssain particularly admired was the
great number of flower-sellers who crowded the streets; for the
Indians are such great lovers of flowers that not one will stir
without a nosegay of them in his hand, or a garland of them on
his head; and the merchants keep them in pots in their shops, so
that the air of the whole quarter, however extensive, is
perfectly perfumed.

After prince Houssain had passed through that quarter, street by
street, his thoughts fully employed on the riches he had seen, he
was much fatigued; which a merchant perceiving, civilly invited
him to sit down in his shop. He accepted his offer; but had not
been seated long, before he saw a crier pass with a piece of
carpeting on his arm, about six feet square, and crying it at
thirty purses. The prince called to the crier, and asked to see
the carpeting, which seemed to him to be valued at an exorbitant
price, not only for the size of it, but the meanness of the
materials. When he had examined it well, he told the crier that
he could not comprehend how so small a piece of carpeting, and of
so indifferent an appearance, could be set at so high a price.

The crier, who took him for a merchant, replied, "Sir, if this
price seems so extravagant to you, your amazement will be greater
when I tell you, I have orders to raise it to forty purses, and
not to part with it under." "Certainly," answered prince
Houssain, "it must have something very extraordinary in it, which
I know nothing of." "You have guessed right, sir," replied the
crier, "and will own it when you come to know, that whoever sits
on this piece of carpeting may be transported in an instant
wherever he desires to be, without being stopped by any

At this account, the prince of the Indies, considering that the
principal motive of his tour was to carry the sultan his father
home some singular rarity, thought that he could not meet with
any which would afford him more satisfaction. "If the carpeting,"
said he to the crier, "has the virtue you attribute to it, I
shall not think forty purses too much; but shall make you a
present besides.' "Sir," replied the crier, "I have told you the
truth; and it will be an easy matter to convince you of it, as
soon as you have made the bargain for forty purses, on condition
I shew you the experiment. But as I suppose you have not so much
with you, and to receive them, I must go with you to the khan
where you lodge; with the leave of the master of this shop we
will go into the back warehouse, where I will spread the
carpeting; and when we have both sat down, and you have formed
the wish to be transported into your apartment at the khan, if we
are not conveyed thither, it shall be no bargain, and you shall
be at your liberty. As to your present, as I am paid for my
trouble by the seller, I shall receive it as a favour, and feel
much obliged by your liberality."

On this assurance of the crier, the prince accepted the
conditions, and concluded the bargain; then having obtained the
master's leave, they went into his back-shop, where they both sat
down on the carpeting; and as soon as the prince had formed his
wish to be transported into his apartment at the khan, he in an
instant found himself and the crier there: as he wanted not a
more convincing proof of the virtue of the carpeting, he counted
to the crier forty purses of gold, and gave him twenty pieces for

In this manner prince Houssain became the possessor of the
carpeting, and was overjoyed that at his arrival at Bisnagar he
had found so rare a curiosity, which he never doubted must of
course gain him the possession of Nouronnihar. In short, he
thought it impossible for the princes, his younger brothers, to
meet with any thing to be compared with ir. It was in his power,
by sitting on this carpeting, to be at the place of rendezvous
that very day; but as he would be obliged to wait there for his
brothers, as they had agreed, and as he was desirous of seeing
the maharajah of Bisnagar and his court, and to inform himself of
the strength, laws, customs, and religion of the kingdom, he
chose to make a longer abode in this capital, and to spend some
months in satisfying his curiosity.

It was the custom of the maharajah of Bisnagar to give all
foreign merchants access to his person once a week; so that in
his assumed character prince Houssain saw him often: and as this
prince was of an engaging presence, sensible and accomplished, he
distinguished himself among the merchants, and was preferred
before them all by the maharajah, who addressed himself to him to
be informed of the person of the sultan of the Indies, and of the
government, strength, and riches of his dominions.

The rest of his time the prince employed in viewing what was most
remarkable in and about the city; and among the objects which
were most worthy of admiration, he visited a temple remarkable
for being built all of brass. It was ten cubits square, and
fifteen high; but its greatest ornament was an idol of the height
of a man, of massive gold; its eyes were two rubies, set so
artificially, that it seemed to look at those who viewed it, on
which side soever they turned: besides this, there was another
not less curious, in the environs of the city, in the midst of a
lawn of about ten acres, which was like a delicious garden full
of roses and the choicest flowers, surrounded by a low wall,
breast high, to keep out the cattle. In the midst of this lawn
was raised a terrace, a man's height, and covered with such
beautiful cement, that the whole pavement seemed to be but one
single stone, most highly polished. A temple was erected in the
middle of this terrace, having a spire rising about fifty cubits
high from the building, which might be seen for several leagues
round. The temple was thirty cubits long, and twenty broad; built
of red marble, highly polished. The inside of the spire was
adorned with three compartments of fine paintings: and there was
not a part in the whole edifice but what was embellished with
paintings, or relievos, and gaudy idols from top to bottom.

Every night and morning there were superstitious ceremonies
performed in this temple, which were always succeeded by sports,
concerts of music, dancing, singing, and feasts. The brahmins of
the temple, and the inhabitants of this suburb, had nothing to
subsist on but the offerings of pilgrims, who came in crowds from
the most distant parts of the kingdom to perform their vows.

Prince Houssain was also spectator of a solemn festival, which
was celebrated every year at the court of Bisnagar, at which all
the governors of provinces, commanders of fortified places, all
heads and magistrates of towns, and the brahmins most celebrated
for their learning, were usually present; and some lived so far
off, that they were four months in coming. This assembly,
composed of such innumerable multitudes of Hindoos encamped in
variously coloured tents, on a plain of vast extent, was a
splendid sight, as far as the eye could reach. In the centre of
this plain was a square of great length and breadth, closed on
one side by a large scaffolding of nine stories, supported by
forty pillars, raised for the maharajah and his court, and those
strangers whom he admitted to audience once a week: within, it
was adorned and furnished magnificently with rich carpets and
cushions; and on the outside were painted landscapes, wherein all
sorts of beasts, birds, and insefts, even flies and gnats, were
drawn very naturally. Other scaffolds of at least four or five
stories, and painted almost all with the same fanciful
brilliancy, formed the other three sides. But what was more
particular in these scaffolds, they could turn, and make them
change their fronts so as to present different decorations to the
eye every hour.

On each side of the square, at some little distance from each
other, were ranged a thousand elephants, sumptuously caparisoned,
each having upon his back a square wooden stage, finely gilt,
upon which were musicians and buffoons. The trunks, ears, and
bodies of these elephants were painted with cinnabar and other
colours, representing grotesque figures.

But what prince Houssain most of all admired, as a proof of the
industry, address, and inventive genius of the Hindoos, was to
see the largest of these elephants stand with his four feet on a
post fixed into the earth, and standing out of it above two feet,
playing and beating time with his trunk to the music. Besides
this, he admired another elephant as large as the former, placed
upon a plank, laid across a strong beam about ten feet high, with
a sufficiently heavyweight at the other end, which balanced him,
while he kept time, by the motions of his body and trunk, with
the music, as well as the other elephant. The Hindoos, after
having fastened on the counterpoise, had drawn the other end of
the board down to the ground, and made the elephant get upon it.

Prince Houssain might have made a longer stay in the kingdom and
court of Bisnagar, where he would have been agreeably diverted by
a great variety of other wonders, till the last day of the year,
whereon he and his brothers had appointed to meet. But he was so
well satisfied with what he had seen, and his thoughts ran so
much upon the object of his love, that after such success in
meeting with his carpet, reflecting on the beauty and charms of
the princess Nouronnihar increased every day the violence of his
passion, and he fancied he should be the more easy and happy the
nearer he was to her. After he had satisfied the master of the
khan for his apartment, and told him the hour when he might come
for the key, without mentioning how he should travel, he shut the
door, put the key on the outside, and spreading the carpet, he
and the officer he had brought with him sat down upon it, and as
soon as he had formed his wish, were transported to the
caravanserai at which he and his brothers were to meet, and where
he passed for a merchant till their arrival.

Prince Ali, the second brother, who had designed to travel into
Persia, in conformity with the intention of the sultan of the
Indies, took that road, having three days after he parted with
his brothers joined a caravan; and in four months arrived at
Sheerauz, which was then the capital of the empire of Persia; and
having in the way contracted a friendship with some merchants,
passed for a jeweller, and lodged in the same khan with them.

The next morning, while the merchants opened their bales of
merchandises, prince Ali, who travelled only for his pleasure,
and had brought nothing but necessaries with him, after he had
dressed himself, took a walk into that quarter of the town where
they sold precious stones, gold and silver works, brocades,
silks, fine linens, and other choice and valuable articles, and
which was at Sheerauz called the bezestein. It was a spacious and
well-built street, arched over, within the arcades of which were
shops. Prince Ali soon rambled through the bezestein, and with
admiration judged of the riches of the place by the prodigious
quantities of the most precious merchandises exposed to view.

But among the criers who passed backwards and forwards with
several sorts of goods, offering to sell them, he was not a
little surprised to see one who held in his hand an ivory tube,
of about a foot in length, and about an inch thick, which he
cried at forty purses. At first he thought the crier mad, and to
inform himself, went to a shop, and said to the merchant who
stood at the door, "Pray, sir, is not that man" (pointing to the
crier, who cried the ivory tube at forty purses) "mad? If he is
not, I am much deceived." "Indeed, sir," answered the merchant,
"he was in his right senses yesterday; and I can assure you he is
one of the ablest criers we have, and the most employed of any,
as being to be confided in when any thing valuable is to be sold;
and if he cries the ivory tube at forty purses, it must be worth
as much or more, on some account or other which does not appear.
He will come by presently, when we will call him, and you shall
satisfy yourself: in the mean time sit down on my sofa, and rest

Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and presently
afterwards the crier arrived. The merchant called him by his
name, and pointing to the prince, said to him, "Tell that
gentleman, who asked me if you were in your right senses, what

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