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The Arabian Nights

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					        The Arabian Nights Entertainments

                Illustrated by S. L. Wood

for Free EBooks,visit: http://esnips.com/web/ebooks4u


                    In Four Volumes

                       Volume 1

    Only 500 copies of the Small Paper Edition are printed
        for America, of which this is No. 217


                      London
                  Pickering and Chatto
                       1890




                 The Publishers' Preface.



This, the "Aldine Edition" of "The Arabian Nights
Entertainments," forms the first four volumes of a proposed
series of reprints of the Standard works of fiction which have
appeared in the English language.

It is our intention to publish the series in an artistic way,
well illustrating a text typographically as perfect as possible.
The texts in all cases will be carefully chosen from approved
editions.

The series is intended for those who appreciate well printed and
illustrated books, or who are in want of a handy and handsome
edition of such works to place upon their bookshelves.

The exact origin of the Tales, which appear in the Arabic as "The
Thousand and One Nights," is unknown. The Caliph Haroon al
Rusheed, who, figures in so lifelike a manner in many of the
stories, was a contemporary of the Emperor Charlemagne, and there
is internal evidence that the collection was made in the Arabic
language about the end of the tenth century.

They undoubtedly convey a picturesque impression of the manners,
sentiments, and customs of Eastern Mediaeval Life.
The stories were translated from the Arabic by M. Galland and
first found their way into English in 1704, when they were
retranslated from M. Galland's French text and at once became
exceedingly popular.

This process of double translation had great disadvantages; it
induced Dr. Jonathan Scott, Oriental Professor, to publish in
1811, a new edition, revised and corrected from the Arabic.

It is upon this text that the present edition is formed.

It will be found free from that grossness which is unavoidable in
a strictly literal translation of the original into English; and
which has rendered the splendid translations of Sir R. Burton and
Mr. J. Payne quite unsuitable as the basis of a popular edition,
though at the same time stamping the works as the two most
perfect editions for the student.

The scholarly translation of Lane, by the too strict an adherence
to Oriental forms of expression, and somewhat pedantic rendering
of the spelling of proper names, is found to be tedious to a very
large number of readers attracted by the rich imagination,
romance, and humour of these tales.



         The Arabian Nights Entertainments.



The chronicles of the Sassanians, ancient kings of Persia, who
extended their empire into the Indies, over all the adjacent
islands, and a great way beyond the Ganges, as far as China,
acquaint us, that there was formerly a king of that potent
family, who was regarded as the most excellent prince of his
time. He was as much beloved by his subjects for his wisdom and
prudence, as he was dreaded by his neighbours, on account of his
velour, and well-disciplined troops. He had two sons; the elder
Shier-ear, the worthy heir of his father, and endowed with all
his virtues; the younger Shaw-zummaun, a prince of equal merit.

After a long and glorious reign, this king died; and Shier-ear
mounted his throne. Shaw-zummaun, being excluded from all share
in the government by the laws of the empire, and obliged to live
a private life, was so far from envying the happiness of his
brother, that he made it his whole business to please him, and in
this succeeded without much difficulty. Shier-ear, who had
naturally a great affection the prince his brother, gave him the
                                                                    2
kingdom of Great Tartary. Shaw-zummaun went immediately and took
possession of it, and fixed the seat of his government at
Samarcand, the metropolis of the country.

After they had been separated ten years, Shier-ear, being very
desirous of seeing his brother, resolved to send an ambassador to
invite him to his court. He made choice of his prime vizier for
the embassy, and sent him to Tartary, with a retinue answerable
to his dignity. The vizier proceeded with all possible expedition
to Samarcand. When he came near the city, Shaw-zummaun was
informed of his approach, and went to meet him attended by the
principal lords of his court, who, to shew the greater honour to
the sultan's minister, appeared in magnificent apparel. The king
of Tartary received the ambassador with the greatest
demonstrations of joy; and immediately asked him concerning the
welfare of the sultan his brother. The vizier having acquainted
him that he was in health, informed him of the purpose of his
embassy. Shaw-zummaun was much affected, and answered: "Sage
vizier, the sultan my brother does me too much honour; nothing
could be more agreeable to me, for I as ardently long to see him
as he does to see me. Time has not diminished my friendship more
than his. My kingdom is in peace, and I want no more than ten
days to get myself ready to return with you. There is therefore
no necessity for your entering the city for so short a period. I
pray you to pitch your tents here, and I will order everything
necessary to be provided for yourself and your attendants." The
vizier readily complied; and as soon as the king returned to the
city, he sent him a prodigious quantity of provisions of all
sorts, with presents of great value.

In the meanwhile, Shaw-zummaun prepared for his journey, gave
orders about his most important affairs, appointed a council to
govern in his absence, and named a minister, of whose wisdom he
had sufficient experience, and in whom he had entire confidence,
to be their president. At the end of ten days, his equipage being
ready, he took leave of the queen his wife, and went out of town
in the evening with his retinue. He pitched his royal pavilion
near the vizier's tent, and conversed with him till midnight.
Wishing once more to see the queen, whom he ardently loved, he
returned alone to his palace, and went directly to her majesty's
apartments. But she, not expecting his return, had taken one of
the meanest officers of her household to her bed.

The king entered without noise, and pleased himself to think how
he should surprise his wife who he thought loved him with
reciprocal tenderness. But how great was his astonishment, when,
by the light of the flambeau, he beheld a man in her arms! He
stood immovable for some time, not knowing how to believe his own
eyes. But finding there was no room for doubt, "How!" said he to
                                                                    3
himself, "I am scarcely out of my palace, and but just under the
walls of Samarcand, and dare they put such an outrage upon me?
Perfidious wretches! your crime shall not go unpunished. As a
king, I am bound to punish wickedness committed in my dominions;
and as an enraged husband, I must sacrifice you to my just
resentment." The unfortunate prince, giving way to his rage, then
drew his cimeter, and approaching the bed killed them both with
one blow, their sleep into death; and afterwards taking them up,
he threw them out of a window into the ditch that surrounded the
palace.

Having thus avenged himself, he returned to his pavilion without
saying one word of what had happened, gave orders that the tents
should be struck, and everything made ready for his journey. All
was speedily prepared, and before day he began his march, with
kettle-drums and other instruments of music, that filled everyone
with joy, excepting the king; he was so much afflicted by the
disloyalty of his wife, that he was seized with extreme
melancholy, which preyed upon his spirits during the whole of his
journey.

When he drew near the capital of the Indies, the sultan Shier-ear
and all his court came out to meet him. The princes were
overjoyed to see one another, and having alighted, after mutual
embraces and other marks of affection and respect, remounted, and
entered the city, amidst the acclamations of the people. The
sultan conducted his brother to the palace provided for him,
which had a communication with his own by a garden. It was so
much the more magnificent as it was set apart as a banqueting-
house for public entertainments, and other diversions of the
court, and its splendour had been lately augmented by new
furniture.

Shier-ear immediately left the king of Tartary, that he might
give him time to bathe, and to change his apparel. As soon as he
had done, he returned to him again, and they sat down together on
a sofa or alcove. The courtiers out of respect kept at a
distance, and the two princes entertained one another suitably to
their friendship, their consanguinity, and their long separation.
The time of supper being come, they ate together, after which
they renewed their conversation, which continued till Shier-ear,
perceiving that it was very late, left his brother to repose.

The unfortunate Shaw-zummaun retired to bed. Though the
conversation of his brother had suspended his grief for some
time, it returned again with increased violence; so that, instead
of taking his necessary rest, he tormented himself with the
bitterest reflections. All the circumstances of his wife's
disloyalty presented themselves afresh to his imagination, in so
                                                                    4
lively a manner, that he was like one distracted. being able to
sleep, he arose, and abandoned himself to the most afflicting
thoughts, which made such an impression upon his countenance, as
it was impossible for the sultan not to observe. "What," said he,
"can be the matter with the king of Tartary that he is so
melancholy? Has he any cause to complain of his reception? No,
surely; I have received him as a brother whom I love, so that I
can charge myself with no omission in that respect. Perhaps it
grieves him to be at such a distance from his dominions, or from
the queen his wife? If that be the case, I must forthwith give
him the presents I designed for him, that he may return to
Samarcand." Accordingly the next day Shier-ear sent him part of
those presents, being the greatest rarities and the richest
things that the Indies could afford. At the same time he
endeavoured to divert his brother every day by new objects of
pleasure, and the most splendid entertainments. But these,
instead of affording him ease, only increased his sorrow.

One day, Shier-ear having appointed a great hunting-match, about
two days journey from his capital, in a place that abounded with
deer, Shaw-zummaun besought him to excuse his attendance, for his
health would not allow him to bear him company. The sultan,
unwilling to put any constraint upon him, left him at his
liberty, and went a-hunting with his nobles. The king of Tartary
being thus left alone, shut himself up in his apartment, and sat
down at a window that looked into the garden. That delicious
place, and the sweet harmony of an infinite number of birds,
which chose it for their retreat, must certainly have diverted
him, had he been capable of taking pleasure in anything; but
being perpetually tormented with the fatal remembrance of his
queen's infamous conduct, his eyes were not so much fixed upon
the garden, as lifted up to heaven to bewail his misfortune.

While he was thus absorbed in grief, a circumstance occurred
which attracted the whole of his attention. A secret gate of the
sultan's palace suddenly opened, and there came out of it twenty
women, in the midst of whom walked the sultaness, who was easily
distinguished from the rest by her majestic air. This princess
thinking that the king of Tartary was gone a-hunting with his
brother the sultan, came with her retinue near the windows of his
apartment. For the prince had so placed himself that he could see
all that passed in the garden without being perceived himself. He
observed, that the persons who accompanied the sultaness threw
off their veils and long robes, that they might be more at their
ease, but he was greatly surprised to find that ten of them were
black men, and that each of these took his mistress. The
sultaness, on her part, was not long without her gallant. She
clapped her hands, and called "Masoud, Masoud," and immediately a
black descended from a tree, and ran towards her with great
                                                                    5
speed.

Modesty will not allow, nor is it necessary, to relate what
passed between the blacks and the ladies. It is sufficient to
say, that Shaw-zummaun saw enough to convince him, that his
brother was as much to be pitied as himself. This amorous company
continued together till midnight, and having bathed together in a
great piece of water, which was one of the chief ornaments of the
garden, they dressed themselves, and re-entered the palace by the
secret door, all except Masoud, who climbed up his tree, and got
over the garden wall as he had come in.

These things having passed in the king of Tartary's sight, filled
him with a multitude of reflections. "How little reason had I,"
said he, "to think that none was so unfortunate as myself? It is
surely the unavoidable fate of all husbands, since even the
sultan my brother, who is sovereign of so-many dominions, and the
greatest prince of the earth, could not escape. Such being the
case, what a fool am I to kill myself with grief? I am resolved
that the remembrance of a misfortune so common shall never more
disturb my peace."

From that moment he forbore afflicting himself. He called for his
supper, ate with a better appetite than he had done since his
leaving Samarcand, and listened with some degree of pleasure to
the agreeable concert of vocal and instrumental music that was
appointed to entertain him while at table.

He continued after this very cheerful; and when he was informed
that the sultan was returning, went to meet him, and paid him his
compliments with great gaiety. Shier-ear at first took no notice
of this alteration. He politely expostulated with him for not
bearing him company, and without giving him time to reply,
entertained him with an account of the great number of deer and
other game they had killed, and the pleasure he had received in
the chase. Shaw-zummaun heard him with attention; and being now
relieved from the melancholy which had before depressed his
spirits, and clouded his talents, took up the conversation in his
turn, and spoke a thousand agreeable and pleasant things to the
sultan.

Shier-ear, who expected to have found him in the same state as he
had left him, was overjoyed to see him so cheerful: "Dear
brother," said he, "I return thanks to heaven for the happy
change it has wrought in you during my absence. I am indeed
extremely rejoiced. But I have a request to make to you, and
conjure you not to deny me."I can refuse you nothing," replied
the king of Tartary; "you may command Shaw-zummaun as you please:
speak, I am impatient to know what you desire of me." "Ever since
                                                                    6
you came to my court," resumed Shier-ear, "I have found you
immersed in a deep melancholy, and I have in vain attempted to
remove it by different diversions. I imagined it might be
occasioned by your distance from your dominions, or that love
might have a great share in it; and that the queen of Samarcand,
who, no doubt, is an accomplished beauty, might be the cause. I
do not know whether I am mistaken in my conjecture; but I must
own, that it was for this very reason I would not importune you
upon the subject, for fear of making you uneasy. But without
myself contributing anything towards effecting the change, I find
on my return that your mind is entirely delivered from the black
vapour which disturbed it. Pray do me the favour to tell me why
you were so melancholy, and wherefore you are no longer so."

The king of Tartary continued for some time as if he had been
meditating and contriving what he should answer; but at last
replied, "You are my sultan and master; but excuse me, I beseech
you, from answering your question." "No, dear brother," said the
sultan, "you must answer me, I will take no denial." Shaw-
zummaun, not being able to withstand these pressing entreaties,
replied, "Well then, brother, I will satisfy you, since you
command me ;" and having told him the story of the queen of
Samarcand's treachery "This," said he, "was the cause of my
grief; judge whether I had not sufficient reason for my
depression."

"O! my brother," said the sultan, (in a tone which shewed what
interest he took in the king of Tartary's affliction), "what a
horrible event do you tell me! I commend you for punishing the
traitors who offered you such an outrage. None can blame you for
what you have done. It was just; and for my part, had the case
been mine, 1 should scarcely have been so moderate. I could not
have satisfied myself with the life of one woman; I should have
sacrificed a thousand to my fury. I now cease to wonder at your
melancholy. The cause was too afflicting and too mortifying not
to overwhelm you. O heaven! what a strange adventure! Nor do I
believe the like ever befell any man but yourself. But I must
bless God, who has comforted you; and since I doubt not but your
consolation is well-grounded, be so good as to inform me what it
is, and conceal nothing from me." Shaw-zummaun was not so easily
prevailed upon in this point as he had been in the other, on his
brother's account. But being obliged to yield to his pressing
instances, answered, "I must obey you then, since your command is
absolute, yet I am afraid that my obedience will occasion your
trouble to be greater than my own. But you must blame yourself,
since you force me to reveal what I should otherwise have buried
in eternal Oblivion." "What you say," answered Shier-ear, "serves
only to increase my curiosity. Discover the secret, whatever it
be." The king of Tartary being no longer able to refuse, related
                                                                    7
to him the particulars of the blacks in disguise, of the
ungoverned passion of the sultaness, and her ladies; nor did he
forget Masoud. After having been witness to these infamous
actions, he continued, "I believed all women to be naturally
lewd; and that they could not resist their inclination. Being of
this opinion, it seemed to me to be in men an unaccountable
weakness to place any confidence in their fidelity. This
reflection brought on many others; and in short, I thought the
best thing I could do was to make myself easy. It cost me some
pains indeed, but at last I grew reconciled; and if you will take
my advice, you will follow my example."

Though the advice was good, the sultan could not approve of it,
but fell into a rage. "What!" said he, "is the sultaness of the
Indies capable of prostituting herself in so base a manner! No,
brother, I cannot believe what you state unless I beheld it with
my own eyes. Yours must needs have deceived you; the matter is so
important that I must be satisfied of it myself." "Dear brother,"
answered Shaw-zummaun, "that you may without much difficulty.
Appoint another hunting-match, and when we are out of town with
your court and mine, we will rest under our tents, and at night
let you and I return unattended to my apartments. I am certain
the next day you will see a repetition of the scene." The sultan
approving the stratagem, immediately appointed another hunting-
match. And that same day the tents were pitched at the place
appointed.

The next day the two princes set out with all their retinue; they
arrived at the place of encampment, and stayed there till night.
Shier-ear then called his grand vizier, and, without acquainting
him with his design, commanded him during his absence to suffer
no person to quit the camp on any presence whatever. As soon as
he had given this order, the king of Grand Tartary and he took
horse, passed through the camp incognito, returned to the city,
and went to Shaw-zummaun's apartment. They had scarcely placed
themselves in the window whence the king of Tartary had beheld
the scene of the disguised blacks, when the secret gate opened,
the sultaness and her ladies entered the garden with the blacks,
and she having called to Masoud, the sultan saw more than enough
fully to convince him of his dishonour and misfortune.

"Oh heavens!" he exclaimed, "what indignity! What horror! Can the
wife of a sovereign be capable of such infamous conduct? After
this, let no prince boast of being perfectly happy. Alas! my
brother," continued he, embracing the king of Tartery, "let us
both renounce the world, honour is banished out of it; if it
flatter us one day, it betrays us the next. Let us abandon our
dominions, and go into foreign countries, where we may lead an
obscure life, and conceal our misfortunes." Shaw-zummaun did not
                                                                    8
at all approve of this plan, but did not think fit to contradict
Shierear in the heat of his passion. "Dear brother," he replied,
"your will shall be mine. I am ready to follow you whithersoever
you please: but promise me that you will return, if we meet with
any one more unhappy than ourselves." "To this I agree," said the
sultan, "but doubt much whether we shall." "I am not of your
opinion in this," replied the king of Tartary; "I fancy our
journey will be but short." Having thus resolved, they went
secretly out of the palace. They travelled as long as day-light
continued; and lay the first night under trees. They arose about
break of day, went on till they came to a fine meadow on the
seashore, that was be-sprinkled with large trees They sat down
under one of them to rest and refresh themselves, and the chief
subject of their conversation was the infidelity or their wives.

They had not rested long, before they heard a frightful noise
from the sea, and a terrible cry, which filled them with fear.
The sea then opened, and there arose something like a great black
column, which reached almost to the clouds. This redoubled their
terror, made them rise with haste, and climb up into a tree m
bide themselves. They had scarcely got up, when looking to the
place from whence the noise proceeded, and where the sea had
opened, they observed that the black column advanced, winding
about towards the: shore, cleaving the water before it. They
could not at first think what this could mean, but in a little
time they found that it was one of those malignant genies that
are mortal enemies to mankind, and are always doing them
mischief. He was black and frightful, had the shape of a giant,
of a prodigious stature, and carried on his head a large glass
box, fastened with four locks of fine steel. He entered the
meadow with his burden, which he laid down just at the foot of
the tree where the two princes were concealed, who gave
themselves over as lost. The genie sat down by his box, and
opening it with four keys that he had at his girdle, there came
out a lady magnificently appareled, of a majestic stature, and
perfect beauty. The monster made her sit down by him, and eyeing
her with an amorous look, said, "Lady, nay, most accomplished of
all ladies who are admired for their beauty, my charming
mistress, whom I carried off on your wedding-day, and have loved
so constantly ever since, let me sleep a few moments by you; for
I found myself so very drowsy that I came to this place to take a
little rest." Having spoken thus, he laid down his huge head upon
the lady's knees, and stretching out his legs, which reached as
far as the sea, he fell asleep presently, and snored so loud that
he made the shores echo.

The lady happening at this time to look up, saw the two princes
in the tree, and made a sign to them with her hand to come down
without making any noise. Their fear was extreme when they found
                                                                    9
themselves discovered, and they prayed the lady, by other signs,
to excuse them. But she, after having laid the monster's head
softly on the ground, rose up and spoke to them, with a low but
eager voice, to come down to her; she would take no denial. They
informed her by signs that they were afraid of the genie, and
would fain have been excused. Upon which she ordered them to come
down, and threatened if they did not make haste, to awaken the
genie, and cause him to put them to death.

These words so much intimidated the princes, that they began to
descend with all possible precaution lest they should awake the
genie. When they had come down, the lady took them by the hand,
and going a little farther with them under the trees, made them a
very urgent proposal. At first they rejected it, but she obliged
them to comply by her threats. Having obtained what she desired,
she perceived that each of them had a ring on his finger, which
she demanded. As soon as she had received them, she pulled out a
string of other rings, which she shewed the princes, and asked
them if they knew what those jewels meant? "No," said they, "we
hope you will be pleased to inform us." "These are," she replied,
"the rings of all the men to whom I have granted my favours.
There are fourscore and eighteen, which I keep as memorials of
them; and I asked for yours to make up the hundred. So that I
have had a hundred gallants already, notwithstanding the
vigilance of this wicked genie, who never leaves me. He may lock
me up in this glass box and hide me in the bottom of the sea; but
I find methods to elude his vigilance. You may see by this, that
when a woman has formed a project, there is no husband or lover
that can prevent her from putting it in execution. Men had better
not put their wives under such restraint, as it only serves to
teach them cunning." Having spoken thus to them, she put their
rings on the same string with the rest, and sitting down by the
monster, as before, laid his head again upon her lap, end made a
sign to the princes to depart.

They returned immediately the way they had come, and when they
were out of sight of the lady and the genie Shier-ear said to
Shaw-zummaun "Well, brother, what do you think of this adventure?
Has not the genie a very faithful mistress? And do you not agree
that there is no wickedness equal to that of women?" "Yes,
brother," answered the king of Great Tartary; "and you must also
agree that the monster is more unfortunate, and more to be pitied
than ourselves. Therefore, since we have found what we sought
for, let us return to our dominions, and let not this hinder us
from marrying. For my part, I know a method by which to preserve
the fidelity of my wife inviolable. I will say no more at
present, but you will hear of it in a little time, and I am sure
you will follow my example." The sultan agreed with his brother;
and continuing their journey, they arrived in the camp the third
                                                                    10
night after their departure.

The news of the sultan's return being spread, the courtiers came
betimes in the morning before his pavilion to wait his pleasure.
He ordered them to enter, received them with a more pleasant air
than he had formerly done, and gave each of them a present. After
which, he told them he would go no farther, ordered them to take
horse, and returned with expedition to his palace.

As soon as he arrived, he proceeded to the sultaness's apartment,
commanded her to be bound before him, and delivered her to his
grand vizier, with an order to strangle her, which was
accordingly executed by that minister, without inquiring into her
crime. The enraged prince did not stop here, but cut off the
heads of all the sultaness's ladies with his own hand. After this
rigorous punishment, being persuaded that no woman was chaste, he
resolved, in order to prevent the disloyalty of such as he should
afterwards marry, to wed one every night, and have her strangled
next morning. Having imposed this cruel law upon himself, he
swore that he would put it in force immediately after the
departure of the king of Tartary, who shortly took leave of him,
and being laden with magnificent presents, set forward on his
journey.

Shaw-zummaun having departed, Shier-ear ordered his grand vizier
to bring him the daughter of one of his generals. The vizier
obeyed. The sultan lay with her, and putting her next morning
into his hands again in order to have her strangled, commanded
him to provide him another the next night. Whatever reluctance
the vizier might feel to put such orders in execution, as he owed
blind obedience to the sultan his master, he was forced to
submit. He brought him then the daughter of a subaltern, whom he
also put to death the next day. After her he brought a citizen's
daughter; and, in a word, there was every day a maid married, and
a wife murdered.

The rumour of this unparalleled barbarity occasioned a general
consternation in the city, where there was nothing but crying and
lamentation. Here, a father in tears, and inconsolable for the
loss of his daughter; and there, tender mothers dreating lest
their daughters should share the same fate, filling the air with
cries of distress and apprehension. So that, instead of the
commendation and blessings which the sultan had hitherto received
from his subjects, their mouths were now filled with
imprecations.

The grand vizier who, as has been already observed, was the
unwilling executioner of this horrid course of injustice, had two
daughters, the elder called Scheherazade, and the younger
                                                                    11
Dinarzade. The latter was highly accomplished; but the former
possessed courage, wit, and penetration, infinitely above her
sex. She had read much, and had so admirable a memory, that she
never forgot any thing she had read. She had successfully applied
herself to philosophy, medicine, history, and the liberal arts;
and her poetry excelled the compositions of the best writers of
her time. Besides this, she was a perfect beauty, and all her
accomplishments were crowned by solid virtue.

The vizier loved this daughter, so worthy of his affection. One
day, as they were conversing together, she said to him, "Father,
I have one favour to beg of you, and most humbly pray you to
grant it." "I will not refuse," answered he, "provided it be just
and reasonable." "For the justice of it," resumed she, "there can
be no question, and you may judge of this by the motive which
obliges me to make the request. I wish to stop that barbarity
which the sultan exercises upon the families of this city. I
would dispel those painful apprehensions which so many mothers
feel of losing their daughters in such a fatal manner." "Your
design, daughter," replied the vizier "is very commendable; but
the evil you would remedy seems to me incurable. How do you
propose to effect your purpose?" "Father," said Scheherazade,
"since by your means the sultan makes every day a new marriage, I
conjure you, by the tender affection you bear me, to procure me
the honour of his bed." The vizier could not hear this without
horror. "O heaven!" he replied in a passion, "have you lost your
senses, daughter, that you make such a dangerous request? You
know the sultan has sworn, that he will never lie above one night
with the same woman, and to command her to be killed the next
morning; would you then have me propose you to him? Consider well
to what your indiscreet zeal will expose you." "Yes, dear
father," replied the virtuous daughter, "I know the risk I run;
but that does not alarm me. If I perish, my death will be
glorious; and if I succeed, I shall do my country an important
service." "No, no," said the vizier "whatever you may offer to
induce me to let you throw yourself into such imminent danger, do
not imagine that I will ever consent. When the sultan shall
command me to strike my poniard into your heart, alas! I must
obey; and what an employment will that be for a father! Ah! if
you do not dread death, at least cherish some fears of afflicting
me with the mortal grief of imbuing my hands in your blood."
"Once more father," replied Scheherazade, "grant me the favour I
solicit." "Your stubbornness," resumed the vizier "will rouse my
anger; why will you run headlong to your ruin? They who do not
foresee the end of a dangerous enterprise can never conduct it to
a happy issue. I am afraid the same thing will happen to you as
befell the ass, which was well off, but could not remain so."
"What misfortune befell the ass?" demanded Scheherazade. "I will
tell you," replied the vizier, "if you will hear me."
                                                                    12
         The Ass, the Ox, and the Labourer.



A very wealthy merchant possessed several country-houses, where
he kept a large number of cattle of every kind. He retired with
his wife and family to one of these estates, in order to improve
it under his own direction. He had the gift of understanding the
language of beasts, but with this condition, that he should not,
on pain of death, interpret it to any one else. And this hindered
him from communicating to others what he learned by means of this
faculty.

He kept in the same stall an ox and an ass. One day as he sat
near them, and was amusing himself in looking at his children who
were playing about him, he heard the ox say to the ass,
"Sprightly, O! how happy do I think you, when I consider the ease
you enjoy, and the little labour that is required of you. You are
carefully rubbed down and washed, you have well-dressed corn, and
fresh clean water. Your greatest business is to carry the
merchant, our master, when he has any little journey to make, and
were it not for that you would be perfectly idle. I am treated in
a very different manner, and my condition is as deplorable as
yours is fortunate. Daylight no sooner appears than I am fastened
to a plough, and made to work till night, which so fatigues me,
that sometimes my strength entirely fails. Besides, the labourer,
who is always behind me, beats me continually. By drawing the
plough, my tail is all flayed; and in short, after having
laboured from morning to night, when I am brought in they give me
nothing to eat but sorry dry beans, not so much as cleansed from
dirt, or other food equally bad; and to heighten my misery, when
I have filled my belly with such ordinary stuff, I am forced to
lie all night in my own dung: so that you see I have reason to
envy your lot."

The ass did not interrupt the ox; but when he had concluded,
answered, "They that called you a foolish beast did not lie. You
are too simple; you suffer them to conduct you whither they
please, and shew no manner of resolution. In the mean time, what
advantage do you reap from all the indignities you suffer." You
kill yourself for the ease, pleasure, and profit of those who
give you no thanks for your service. But they would not treat you
so, if you had as much courage as strength. When they come to
fasten you to the stall, why do you not resist? why do you not
gore them with your horns, and shew that you arc angry, by
                                                                    13
striking your foot against the ground? And, in short, why do not
you frighten them by bellowing aloud? Nature has furnished you
with means to command respect; but you do not use them. They
bring you sorry beans and bad straw; eat none of them, only smell
and then leave them. If you follow my advice, you will soon
experience a change, for which you will thank me."

The ox took the ass's advice in very good part, and owned he was
much obliged to him. "Dear Sprightly," added he, "I will not fail
to do as you direct, and you shall see how I will acquit myself."
Here ended their conversation, of which the merchant lost not a
word.

Early the next morning the labourer went for the ox. He fastened
him to the plough and conducted him to his usual work. The ox,
who had not forgotten the ass's counsel, was very troublesome and
untowardly all that day, and in the evening, when the labourer
brought him back to the stall, and began to fasten him, the
malicious beast instead of presenting his head willingly as he
used to do, was restive, and drew back bellowing; and then made
at the labourer, as if he would have gored him with his horns. In
a word, he did all that the ass had advised him. The day
following, the labourer came as usual, to take the ox to his
labour; but finding the stall full of beans, the straw that he
had put in the night before not touched, and the ox lying on the
ground with his legs stretched out, and panting in a strange
manner, he believed him to be unwell, pitied him, and thinking
that it was not proper to take him to work, went immediately and
acquainted his master with his condition. The merchant perceiving
that the ox had followed all the mischievous advice of the ass,
determined to punish the latter, and accordingly ordered the
labourer to go and put him in the ox's place, and to he sure to
work him hard. The labourer did as he was desired. The ass was
forced to draw the plough all that day, which fatigued him so
much the more, as he was not accustomed to that kind of labour;
besides he had been so soundly beaten, that he could scarcely
stand when he came back.

Meanwhile, the ox was mightily pleased; he ate up all that was in
his stall, and rested himself the whole day. He rejoiced that he
had followed the ass's advice, blessed him a thousand times for
the kindness he had done him, and did not fail to express his
obligations when the ass had returned. The ass made no reply, so
vexed was he at the ill treatment he had received; but he said
within himself, "It is by my own imprudence I have brought this
misfortune upon myself. I lived happily, every thing smiled upon
me; I had all that I could wish; it is my own fault that I am
brought to this miserable condition; and if I cannot contrive
some way to get out of it, I am certainly undone." As he spoke,
                                                                    14
his strength was so much exhausted that he fell down in his
stall, as if he had been half dead.

Here the grand vizier, himself to Scheherazade, and said,
"Daughter, you act just like this ass; you will expose yourself
to destruction by your erroneous policy. Take my advice, remain
quiet, and do not seek to hasten your death." "Father," replied
Scheherazade, "the example you have set before me will not induce
me to change my resolution. I will never cease importuning you
until you present me to the sultan as his bride." The vizier,
perceiving that she persisted in her demand, replied, "Alas!
then, since you will continue obstinate, I shall be obliged to
treat you in the same manner as the merchant whom I before
referred to treated his wife a short time after."

The merchant understanding that the ass was in a lamentable
condition, was desirous of knowing what passed between him and
the ox, therefore after supper he went out by moonlight, and sat
down by them, his wife bearing him company. After his arrival, he
heard the ass say to the ox "Comrade, tell me, I pray you, what
you intend to do to-morrow, when the labourer brings you meat?"
"What will I do?" replied the ox, "I will continue to act as you
taught me. I will draw back from him and threaten him with my
horns, as I did yesterday: I will feign myself ill, and at the
point of death." "Beware of that," replied the ass, "it will ruin
you; for as I came home this evening, I heard the merchant, our
master, say something that makes me tremble for you." "Alas! what
did you hear?" demanded the ox; "as you love me, withhold nothing
from me, my dear Sprightly." "Our master," replied the ass,
"addressed himself thus to the labourer: ‘Since the ox does not
eat, and is not able to work, I would have him killed to-morrow,
and we will give his flesh as an alms to the poor for God's sake,
as for the skin, that will be of use to us, and I would have you
give it the currier to dress; therefore be sure to send for the
butcher.' This is what I had to tell you," said the ass. "The
interest I feel in your preservation, and my friendship for you,
obliged me to make it known to you, and to give you new advice.
As soon as they bring you your bran and straw, rise up and eat
heartily. Our master will by this think that you are recovered,
and no doubt will recall his orders for killing you; but, if you
act otherwise, you will certainly be slaughtered."

This discourse had the effect which the ass designed. The ox was
greatly alarmed, and bellowed for fear. The merchant, who heard
the conversation very attentively, fell into a loud fit of
laughter. His wife was greatly surprised, and asked, "Pray,
husband, tell me what you laugh at so heartily, that I may laugh
with you." "Wife," replied he, "you must content yourself with
hearing me laugh." "No," returned she, "I will know the reason."
                                                                    15
"I cannot afford you that satisfaction," he, "and can only inform
you that I laugh at what our ass just now said to the ox. The
rest is a secret, which I am not allowed to reveal." "What,"
demanded she "hinders you from revealing the secret?" "If I tell
it you," replied he, "I shall forfeit my life." "You only jeer
me," cried his wife, "what you would have me believe cannot be
true. If you do not directly satisfy me as to what you laugh at,
and tell me what the ox and the ass said to one another, I swear
by heaven that you and I shall never bed together again."

Having spoken thus, she went into the house, and seating herself
in a corner, cried there all night. Her husband lay alone, and
finding next morning that she continued in the same humour, told
her, she was very foolish to afflict herself in that manner; that
the thing was not worth so much; that it concerned her very
little to know while it was of the utmost consequence to him to
keep the secret: "therefore," continued he, "I conjure you to
think no more of it." "I shall still think so much of it,"
replied she, "as never to forbear weeping till you have satisfied
my curiosity." "But I tell you very seriously," answered he,
"that it will cost me my life if I yield to your indiscreet
solicitations." "Let what will happen," said she, "I do insist
upon it." "I perceive," resumed the merchant, "that it is
impossible to bring you to reason, and since I foresee that you
will occasion your own death by your obstinacy, I will call in
your children, that they may see you before you die." Accordingly
he called for them, and sent for her father and mother, and other
relations. When they were come and had heard the reason of their
being summoned, they did all they could to convince her that she
was in the wrong, but to no purpose: she told them she would
rather die than yield that point to her husband. Her father and
mother spoke to her by herself, and told her that what she
desired to know was of no importance to her; but they could
produce no effect upon her, either by their authority or
intreaties. When her children saw that nothing would prevail to
draw her out of that sullen temper, they wept bitterly. The
merchant himself was half frantic, and almost ready to risk his
own life to save that of his wife, whom he sincerely loved.

The merchant had fifty hens and one cock, with a dog that gave
good heed to all that passed. While the merchant was considering
what he had best do, he saw his dog run towards the cock as he
was treading a hen, and heard him say to him: "Cock, I am sure
heaven will not let you live long; are you not ashamed to ad thus
to-day?" The cock standing up on tiptoe, answered fiercely: "And
why not to-day as well as other days?" "If you do not know,"
replied the dog, "then I will tell you, that this day our master
is in great perplexity. His wife would have him reveal a secret
which is of such a nature, that the disclosure would cost him his
                                                                    16
life. Things are come to that pass, that it is to be feared he
will scarcely have resolution enough to resist his wife's
obstinacy; for he loves her, and is affected by the tears she
continually sheds. We are all alarmed at his situation, while you
only insult our melancholy, and have the impudence to divert
yourself with your hens."

The cock answered the dog's reproof thus: "What, has our master
so little sense? he has but one wife, and cannot govern her, and
though I have fifty, I make them all do what I please. Let him
use his reason, he will soon find a way to rid himself of his
trouble." "How?" demanded the dog; "what would you have him do?"
"Let him go into the room where his wife is," resumed the cock,
"lock the door, and take a stick and thrash her well; and I will
answer for it, that will bring her to her senses, and make her
forbear to importune him to discover what he ought not to
reveal." The merchant had no sooner heard what the cock said,
than he took up a stick, went to his wife, whom he found still
crying, and shutting the door, belaboured her so soundly, that
she cried out, "Enough, husband, enough, forbear, and I will
never ask the question more." Upon this, perceiving that she
repented of her impertinent curiosity, he desisted; and opening
the door, her friends came in, were glad to find her cured of her
obstinacy, and complimented her husband upon this happy expedient
to bring his wife to reason.

"Daughter," added the grand vizier, "you deserve to be treated as
the merchant treated his wife."

"Father," replied Scheherazade, "I beg you would not take it ill
that I persist in my opinion. I am nothing moved by the story of
this woman. I could relate many, to persuade you that you ought
not to oppose my design. Besides, pardon me for declaring, that
your opposition is vain; for if your paternal affection should
hinder you from granting my request, I will go and offer myself
to the sultan." In short, the father, being overcome by the
resolution of his daughter, yielded to her importunity, and
though he was much grieved that he could not divert her from so
fatal a resolution, he went instantly to acquaint the sultan,
that next night he would bring him Scheherazade.

The sultan was much surprized at the sacrifice which the grand
vizier proposed to make. "How could you", said he, "resolve to
bring me your own daughter?" "Sir," answered the vizier, "it is
her own offer. The sad destiny that awaits her could not
intimidate her; she prefers the honour of being your majesty's
wile for one night, to her life." "But do not act under a
mistake, vizier," said the sultan; "to-morrow. when I place
Scheherazade in your hands, I expect you will put her to death;
                                                                    17
and if you fail, I swear that your own life shall answer." "Sir,"
rejoined the vizier "my heart without doubt will be full of grief
to execute your commands; but it is to no purpose for nature to
murmur. Though I am her father, I will answer for the fidelity of
my hand to obey your order." Shier-ear accepted his minister's
offer, and told him he might bring his daughter when he pleased.

T'he grand vizicr went with the intelligence to Schcherazade, who
received it with as much joy as if it had been the most agreeable
information she could have received. She thanked her father for
having so greatly obliged her; and perceiving that he was
overwhelmed with grief, told him for his consolation, that she
hoped he would never repent of having married her to the sultan;
and that, on the contrary, he should have reason to rejoice at
his compliance all his days.

Her business now was to adorn herself to appear before the
sultan; but before she went, she took her sister Dinarzade apart,
and said to her, "My dear sister, I have need of your assistance
in a matter of great importance, and must pray you not to deny it
me. My father is going to conduct me to the sultan; do not let
this alarm you, but hear me with patience. As soon as I am in his
presence, I will pray him to allow you to lie in the bride-
chamber, that I may enjoy your company this one night more. If I
obtain that favour, as I hope to do, remember to awake me to-
morrow an hour before day, and to address me in these or some
such words: ‘My sister, if you be not asleep, I pray you that
till day-break, which will be very shortly, you will relate to me
one of the entertaining stories of which you have read so many.'
I will immediately tell you one; and I hope by this means to
deliver the city from the consternation it is under at present."
Dinarzade answered that she would with pleasure act as she
required her.

The grand vizier conducted Schcherazade to the palace, and
retired, after having introduced her into the sultan's apartment.
As soon as the sultan was left alone with her, he ordered her to
uncover her face: he found her so beautiful that he was perfectly
charmed; but perceiving her to be in tears, demanded the reason.
"Sir," answered Scheherazade, "I have a sister who loves me
tenderly, and I could wish that she might be allowed to pass the
night in this chamber, that I might see her, and once more bid
her adieu. Will you be pleased to allow me the consolation of
giving her this last testimony of my affection?" Shier-ear having
consented, Dinarzade was sent for, who came with all possible
expedition.

An hour before day, Dinarzade failed not to do as her sister had
ordered. "My dear sister," cried she, "if you be not asleep, I
                                                                    18
pray that until daybreak, which will be very shortly, you will
tell me one of those pleasant stories you have read. Alas! this
may perhaps be the last time that I shall enjoy that pleasure."

Scheherazade, instead of answering her sister, addressed herself
to the sultan: "Sir, will your majesty be pleased to allow me to
afford my sister this satisfaction?" "With all my heart," replied
the sultan. Scheherazade then bade her sister attend, and
afterwards, addressing herself to Shier-ear, proceeded as
follows.




           THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIE.



There was formerly a merchant who possessed much property in
lands, goods, and money, and had a great number of clerks,
factors, and slaves. He was obliged from time to time to visit
his correspondents on business; and one day being under the
necessity of going a long journey on an affair of importance, he
took horse, and carried with him a wallet containing biscuits and
dates, because he had a great desert to pass over, where he could
procure no sort of provisions. He arrived without any accident at
the end of his journey; and having dispatched his affairs, took
horse again, in order to return home.

The fourth day of his journey, he was so much incommoded by the
heat of the sun, and the reflection of that heat from the earth,
that he turned out of the road, to refresh himself under some
trees. He found at the root of a large tree a fountain of very
clear running water. Having alighted, he tied his horse to a
branch, and sitting down by the fountain, took some biscuits and
dates out of his wallet. As he ate his dates, he threw the shells
carelessly in different directions. When he had finished his
repast, being a good Moosulmaun, he washed his hands, face, and
feet, and said his prayers. Before he had finished, and while he
was yet on his knees, he saw a genie, white with age, and of a
monstrous bulk, advancing towards him with a cimeter in his hand.
The genie spoke to him in a terrible voice: "Rise, that I may
kill thee with this cimeter, as thou hast killed my son;" and
accompanied these words with a frightful cry. The merchant being
as much alarmed at the hideous shape of the monster as at his
threatening language, answered him, trembling, "Alas! my good
lord, of what crime can I be guilty towards you, that you should
take away my life?" "I will," replied the genie, "kill thee, as
thou hast killed my son." "Heavens," exclaimed the merchant, "how
                                                                    19
could I kill your son? I never knew, never saw him." "Did not you
sit down when you came hither?" demanded the genie: "did you not
take dates out of your wallet, and as you ate them, did not you
throw the shells about in different directions?" "I did all that
you say," answered the merchant, "I cannot deny it." "If it be
so," resumed the genie, "I tell thee that thou hast killed my
son; and in this manner: When thou wert throwing the shells
about, my son was passing by, and thou didst throw one into his
eye, which killed him; therefore I must kill thee." "Ah! my lord!
pardon me!" cried the merchant. "No pardon," exclaimed the genie,
"no mercy. Is it not just to kill him that has killed another?"
"I agree it is," replied the merchant, "but certainly I never
killed your son; and if I have, it was unknown to me, and I did
it innocently; I beg you therefore to pardon me, and suffer me to
live." "No, no," returned the genie, persisting in his
resolution, "I must kill thee, since thou hast killed my son."
Then taking the merchant by the arm, he threw him with his face
on the ground, and lifted up his cimeter to cut off his head.

The merchant, with tears, protested he was innocent, bewailed his
wife and children, and supplicated the genie, in the most moving
expressions. The genie, with his cimeter still lifted up, had the
patience to hear his unfortunate victims to the end of his
lamentations, but would not relent. "All this whining," said the
monster, "is to no purpose; though you should shed tears of
blood, they should not hinder me from killing thee, as thou hast
killed my son." "What!" exclaimed the merchant, "can nothing
prevail with you? Will you absolutely take away the life of a
poor innocent?" "Yes," replied the genie, "I am resolved."

As soon as she had spoken these words, perceiving it was day, and
knowing that the sultan rose early in the morning to say his
prayers, and hold his council, Scheherazade discontinued her
story. "Dear sister," said Dinarzade, "what a wonderful story is
this!" "The remainder of it," replied Scheherazade "is more
surprising, and you will be of this opinion, if the sultan will
but permit me to live over this day, and allow me to proceed with
the relation the ensuing night." Shier-ear, who had listened to
Scheherazade with much interest, said to himself, "I will wait
till to-morrow, for I can at any time put her to death when she
has concluded her story." Having thus resolved not to put
Scheherazade to death that day, he rose and went to his prayers,
and to attend his council.

During this time the grand vizier was in the utmost distress.
Instead of sleeping, he spent the night in sighs and groans,
bewailing the lot of his daughter, of whom he believed he should
himself shortly be the executioner. As, with this melancholy
prospect before him, he dreaded to meet the sultan, he was
                                                                    20
agreeably surprised when he found the prince entered the council
chamber without giving him the fatal orders he expected.

The sultan, according to his custom, spent the day in regulating
his affairs; and when the night had closed in, retired with
Scheherazade. The next morning before day, Dinarzade failed not
to call to her sister: "My dear sister, if you be not asleep, I
pray you till day-break, which is very near, to go on with the
story you began last night." The sultan, without waiting for
Scheherazade to ask his permission, bade her proceed with the
story of the genie and the merchant; upon which Scheherazade
continued her relation as follows. [FN: In the original work
Scheherazade continually breaks off to ask the sultan to spare
her life for another day, that she may finish the story she is
relating. As these interruptions considerably interfere with the
continued interest of the stories, it has been deemed advisable
to omit them.]

When the merchant saw that the genie was going to cut off his
head, he cried out aloud to him, "For heaven's sake hold your
hand! Allow me one word. Have the goodness to grant me some
respite, to bid my wife and children adieu, and to divide my
estate among them by will, that they may not go to law after my
death. When I have done this, I will come back and submit to
whatever you shall please to command." "But," said the genie, "if
I grant you the time you ask, I doubt you will never return?" "If
you will believe my oath," answered the merchant, "I swear by all
that is sacred, that I will come and meet you here without fail."
"What time do you require then?" demanded the genie. "I ask a
year," said the merchant; "I cannot in less settle my affairs,
and prepare myself to die without regret. But I promise you, that
this day twelve months I will return under these trees, to put
myself into your hands." "Do you take heaven to be witness to
this promise?" said the genie. "I do," answered the merchant,
"and you may rely on my oath." Upon this the genie left him near
the fountain, and disappeared.

The merchant being recovered from his terror, mounted his horse,
and proceeded on his journey, glad on the one hand that he had
escaped so great a danger, but grieved on the other, when he
reflected on his fatal oath. When he reached home, his wife and
children received him with all the demonstrations of perfect joy.
But he, instead of returning their caresses, wept so bitterly,
that his family apprehended something calamitous had befallen
him. His wife enquire reason of his excessive grief and tears;
"We are all overjoyed," said she, "at your return; but you alarm
us by your lamentations; pray tell us the cause of your sorrow."
"Alas!" replied the husband, "I have but a year to live." He then
related what had passed betwixt him and the genie, and informed
                                                                    21
her that he had given him his oath to return at the end of the
year, to receive death from his hands.

When they heard this afflicting intelligence, they all began to
lament in the most distressing manner. His wife uttered the most
piteous cries, beat her face, and tore her hair. The children,
all in tears, made the house resound with their groans; and the
father, not being able to resist the impulse of nature, mingled
his tears with theirs: so that, in a word, they exhibited the
most affecting spectacle possible.

On the following morning the merchant applied himself to put his
affairs in order; and first of all to pay his debts. He made
presents to his friends, gave liberal alms to the poor, set his
slaves of both sexes at liberty, divided his property among his
children, appointed guardians for such of them as were not of
age; and after restoring to his wife all that was due to her by
their marriage contract, he gave her in addition as much as the
law would allow him.

At last the year expired, and he was obliged to depart. He put
his burial clothes in his wallet; but when he came to bid his
wife and children adieu, their grief surpassed description. They
could not reconcile their minds to the separation, but resolved
to go and die with him. When, however, it became necessary for
him to tear himself from these dear objects, he addressed them in
the following terms: "My dear wife and children, I obey the will
of heaven in quitting you. Follow my example, submit with
fortitude to this necessity, and consider that it is the destiny
of man to die." Having thus spoken, he went out of the hearing of
the cries of his family; and pursuing his journey, arrived on the
day appointed at the place where he had promised to meet the
genie. He alighted, and seating himself down by the fountain,
waited the coming of the genie, with all the sorrow imaginable.
Whilst he languished under this painful expectation, an old man
leading a hind appeared and drew near him. After they had saluted
one another, the old man said to him, "Brother, may I ask why you
are come into this desert place, which is possessed solely by
evil spirits, and where consequently you cannot be safe? From the
beautiful trees which are seen here, one might indeed suppose the
place inhabited; but it is in reality a wilderness, where it is
dangerous to remain long."

The merchant satisfied his curiosity, and related to him the
adventure which obliged him to be there. The old man listened
with astonishment, and when he had done, exclaimed, "This is the
most surprising thing in the world! and you are bound by the most
inviolable oath. However, I will be witness of your interview
with the genie." He then seated himself by the merchant, and they
                                                                    22
entered into conversation.

"But I see day," said Scheherazade, "and must leave off; yet the
best of the story is to come." The sultan resolving to hear the
end of it, suffered her to live that day also.

The next morning Dinarzade made the same request to her sister as
before: "My dear sister," said she, "if you be not asleep, tell
me one of those pleasant stories that you have read." But the
sultan, wishing to learn what followed betwixt the merchant and
the genie, bade her proceed with that, which she did as follows.

Sir, while the merchant and the old man who led the hind were
conversing, they saw another old man coming towards them,
followed by two black dogs; after they had saluted one another,
he asked them what they did in that place? The old man with the
hind told him the adventure of the merchant and genie, with all
that had passed between them, particularly the merchant's oath.
He added, that it was the day agreed on, and that he was resolved
to stay and see the issue.

The second old man thinking it also worth his curiosity, resolved
to do the same, and took his seat by them. They had scarcely
begun to converse together, when there arrived a third old man
leading a mule. He addressed himself to the two former, and asked
why the merchant who sat with them looked so melancholy? They
told him the reason, which appeared to him so extraordinary, that
he also resolved to witness the result; and for that purpose sat
down with them.

In a short time they perceived a thick vapour, like a cloud of
dust raised by a whirlwind, advancing towards them. When it had
come up to them it suddenly vanished, and the genie appeared;
who, without saluting them, went to the merchant with a drawn
cimeter, and taking him by the arm, said, "Get thee up, that I
may kill thee, as thou didst my son." The merchant and the three
old men began to lament and fill the air with their cries.

When the old man who led the hind saw the genie lay hold of the
merchant, and about to kill him, he threw himself at the feet of
the monster, and kissing them, said to him, "Prince of genies, I
most humbly request you to suspend your anger, and do me the
favour to hear me. I will tell you the history of my life, and of
the hind you see; and if you think it more wonderful and
surprising than the adventure of the merchant, I hope you will
pardon the unfortunate man a third of his offence." The genie
took some time to deliberate on this proposal, but answered at
last, "Well then, I agree."

                                                                    23
      The Story of the First Old Man and the Hind.



I shall begin my story then; listen to me, I pray you, with
attention. This hind you see is my cousin; nay, what is more, my
wife. She was only twelve years of age when I married her, so
that I may justly say, she ought to regard me equally as her
father, her kinsman, and her husband.

We lived together twenty years, without any children. Her
barrenness did not effect any change in my love; I still treated
her with much kindness and affection. My desire of having
children only induced me to purchase a slave, by whom I had a
son, who was extremely promising. My wife being jealous,
cherished a hatred for both mother and child, but concealed her
aversion so well, that I knew nothing of it till it was too late.

Mean time my son grew up, and was ten years old, when I was
obliged to undertake a long journey. Before I went, I recommended
to my wife, of whom I had no mistrust, the slave and her son, and
prayed her to take care of them during my absence, which was to
be for a whole year. She however employed that time to satisfy
her hatred. She applied herself to magic, and when she had learnt
enough of that diabolical art to execute her horrible design, the
wretch carried my son to a desolate place, where, by her
enchantments, she changed him into a calf, and gave him to my
farmer to fatten, pretending she had bought him. Her enmity did
not stop at this abominable action, but she likewise changed the
slave into a cow, and gave her also to my farmer.

At my return, I enquired for the mother and child. "Your slave,"
said she, "is dead; and as for your son, I know not what is
become of him, I have not seen him this two months." I was
afflicted at the death of the slave, but as she informed me my
son had only disappeared, I was in hopes he would shortly return.
However, eight months passed, and I heard nothing of him. When
the festival of the great Bairam was to be celebrated, I sent to
my farmer for one of the fattest cows to sacrifice. He
accordingly sent me one, and the cow which was brought me proved
to be my slave, the unfortunate mother of my son. I bound her,
but as I was going to sacrifice her, she bellowed piteously, and
I could perceive tears streaming from her eyes. This seemed to me
very extraordinary, and finding myself moved with compassion, I
could not find in my heart to give her a blow, but ordered my
farmer to get me another.
                                                                    24
My wife, who was present, was enraged at my tenderness, and
resisting an order which disappointed her malice, she cried out,
"What are you doing, husband? Sacrifice that cow; your farmer has
not a finer, nor one fitter for the festival." Out of deference
to my wife, I came again to the cow, and combating my compassion,
which suspended the sacrifice, was going to give her the fatal
blow, when the victim redoubling her tears, and bellowing,
disarmed me a second time. I then put the mallet into the
farmer's hands, and desired him to take it and sacrifice her
himself, for her tears and bellowing pierced my heart.

The farmer, less compassionate than myself; sacrificed her; but
when he flayed her, found her to be nothing except bones, though
to she seemed very fat. "Take her yourself," said I to him,
"dispose of her in alms, or any way you please: and if you have a
very fat calf, bring it me in her stead." I did not enquire what
he did with the cow, but soon after he had taken her away, he
returned with a fat calf. Though I knew not the calf was my son,
yet I could not forbear being moved at the sight of him. On his
part, as soon as he beheld me, he made so great an effort to come
near me, that he broke his cord, threw himself at my feet, with
his head against the ground, as if he meant to excite my
compassion, conjuring me not to be so cruel as to take his life;
and did as much as was possible for him, to signify that he was
my son.

I was more surprised and affected with this action, than with the
tears of the cow. I felt a tender pity, which interested me on
his behalf, or rather, nature did its duty. "Go," said I to the
farmer, "carry home that calf, take great care of him, and bring
me another in his stead immediately."

As soon as my wife heard me give this order, she exclaimed, "What
are you about, husband? Take my advice, sacrifice no other calf
but that." "Wife," I replied, "I will not sacrifice him, I will
spare him, and pray do not you oppose me." The wicked woman had
no regard to my wishes; she hated my son too much to consent that
I should save him. I tied the poor creature, and taking up the
fatal knife, was going to plunge it into my son's throat, when
turning his eyes bathed with tears, in a languishing manner,
towards me, he affected me so much that I had not strength to
kill him. I let the knife fall, and told my wife positively that
I would have another calf to sacrifice, and not that. She used
all her endeavours to persuade me to change my resolution; but I
continued firm, and pacified her a little, by promising that I
would sacrifice him against the Bairam of the following year.

The next morning my farmer desired to speak with me alone. "I
                                                                    25
come," said he, "to communicate to you a piece of intelligence,
for which I hope you will return me thanks. I have a daughter
that has some skill in magic. Yesterday, as I carried back the
calf which you would not sacrifice, I perceived she laughed when
she saw him, and in a moment after fell a weeping. I asked her
why she acted two such opposite parts at one and the same time. ‘
rather,' replied she, ‘ the calf you bring back is our landlord's
son; I laughed for joy to see him still alive, and wept at the
remembrance of the sacrifice that was made the other day of his
mother, who was changed into a cow. These two metamorphoses were
made by the enchantments of our master's wife, who hated both the
mother and son.' This is what my daughter told me," said the
farmer, "and I come to acquaint you with it."

I leave you to judge how much I was surprised. I went immediately
to my farmer, to speak to his daughter myself. As soon as I
arrived, I went forthwith to the stall where my son was kept; he
could not return my embraces, but received them in such a manner,
as fully satisfied me he was my son.

The farmer's daughter then came to us: "My good maid," said I,
"can you restore my son to his former shape?" "Yes," she replied,
"I can." "Ah!" said I, "if you do, I will make you mistress of
all my fortune." She answered me, smiling, "You are our master,
and I well know what I owe to you; but I cannot restore your son
to his former shape, except on two conditions: the first is, that
you give him to me for my husband; and the second, that you allow
me to punish the person who changed him into a calf." "As to the
first," I replied, "I agree with all my heart: nay, I promise you
more, a considerable fortune for yourself, independently of what
I design for my son: in a word, you shall see how I will reward
the great service I expect from you. As to what relates to my
wife, I also agree; a person who has been capable of committing
such a criminal action, justly deserves to be punished. I leave
her to your disposal, only I must pray you not to take her life."
"I am going then," answered she, "to treat her as she treated
your son." "To this I consent," said I, "provided you first of
all restore to me my son."

The damsel then took a vessel full of water, pronounced over it
words that I did not understand, and addressing herself to the
calf, "O calf, if thou west created by the almighty and sovereign
master of the world such as thou appearest at this time, continue
in that form; but if thou be a man, and art changed into a calf
by enchantment, return to thy natural shape, by the permission of
the sovereign Creator." As she spoke, she threw water upon him,
and in an instant he recovered his natural form.

"My son, my dear son," cried I, immediately embracing him with
                                                                    26
such a transport of joy that I knew not what I was doing, "it is
heaven that hath sent us this young maid, to remove the horrible
charm by which you were enchanted, and to avenge the injury done
to you and your mother. I doubt not but in acknowledgment you
will make your deliverer your wife, as I have promised." He
joyfully consented; but before they married, she changed my wife
into a hind; and this is she whom you see here. I desired she
might have this shape, rather than another less agreeable, that
we might see her in the family without horror.

Since that time, my son is become a widower, and gone to travel.
It being now several years since I heard of him, I am come abroad
to inquire after him; and not being willing to trust anybody with
my wife, till I should return home, I thought fit to take her
everywhere with me.

"This is the history of myself and this hind: is it not one of
the most wonderful and surprising?" "I admit it is," said the
genie, "and on that account forgive the merchant one third of his
crime."

When the first old man had finished his story, the second, who
led the two black dogs, addressed the genie, and said: "I am
going to tell you what happened to me, and these two black dogs
you see by me; and I am certain you will say, that my story is
yet more surprising than that which you have just heard. But when
I have done this, I hope you will be pleased to pardon the
merchant another third of his offence." "I will," replied the
genie, "provided your story surpass that of the hind." Then the
second old man began in this manner--




  The Story of the Second old Man and the Two Black Dogs.



Great prince of genies, you must know that we are three brothers,
the two black dogs and myself. Our father, when he died, left
each of us one thousand sequins. With that sum, we all became
merchants. A little time after we had opened shop, my eldest
brother, one of these two dogs, resolved to travel and trade in
foreign countries. With this view, he sold his estate, and bought
goods suited to the trade intended to follow.

He went away, and was absent a whole year. At the expiration of
this time, a poor man, who I thought had come to ask alms,
presented himself before me in my shop. I said to him, "God help
                                                                    27
you." He returned my salutation, and continued, "Is it possible
you do not know me?" Upon this I looked at him narrowly, and
recognised him: "Ah, brother," cried I, embracing him, "how could
I know you in this condition?" I made him come into my house, and
asked him concerning his health and the success of his travels.
"Do not ask me that question," said he; "when you see me, you see
all: it would only renew my grief, to relate to you the
particulars of the misfortunes I have experienced since I left
you, which have reduced me to my present condition."

I immediately shut up my shop, and taking him to a bath, gave him
the best clothes I had. Finding on examining my books, that I had
doubled my stock, that is to say, that I was worth two thousand
sequins, I gave him one half; "With that," said I, "brother, you
may make up your loss." He joyfully accepted the present, and
having repaired his fortunes, we lived together, as before.

Some time after, my second brother, who is the other of these two
dogs, would also sell his estate. His elder brother and myself
did all we could to divert him from his purpose, but without
effect. He disposed of it, and with the money bought such goods
as were suitable to the trade which he designed to follow. He
joined a caravan, and departed. At the end of the year he
returned in the same condition as my other brother. Having myself
by this time gained another thousand sequins, I made him a
present of them. With this sum he furnished his shop, and
continued his trade.

Some time after, one of my brothers came to me to propose that I
should join them in a trading voyage; I immediately declined.
"You have travelled," said I, "and what have you gained by it?
Who can assure me, that I shall be more successful than you have
been?" It was in vain that they urged open me all the
considerations they thought likely to gain me over to their
design, for I constantly refused; but after having resisted their
solicitations five whole years, they importuned me so much, that
at last they overcame my resolution. When, however, the time
arrived that we were to make preparations for our voyage, to buy
the goods necessary to the undertaking, I found they had spent
all, and had not one dirrim left of the thousand sequins I had
given to each of them. I did not, on this account, upbraid them.
On the contrary, my stock being still six thousand sequins, I
shared the half of it with them, telling them, "My brothers, we
must venture these three thousand sequins, and hide the rest in
some secure place: that in case our voyage be not more successful
than yours was formerly, we may have wherewith to assist us, and
to enable us to follow our ancient way of living." I gave each of
them a thousand sequins, and keeping as much for myself, I buried
the other three thousand in a corner of my house. We purchased
                                                                    28
goods, and having embarked them on board a vessel, which we
freighted betwixt us, we put to sea with a favourable wind.

After two months sail, we arrived happily at port, where we
landed, and had a very good market for our goods. I, especially,
sold mine so well, that I gained ten to one. With the produce we
bought commodities of that country, to carry back with us for
sale.

When we were ready to embark on our return, I met on the sea-
shore a lady, handsome enough, but poorly clad. She walked up to
me gracefully, kissed my hand, besought me with the greatest
earnestness imaginable to marry her, and take her along with me.
I made some difficulty to agree to this proposal; but she urged
so many things to persuade me that I ought not to object to her
on account of her poverty, and that I should have all the reason
in the world to be satisfied with her conduct, that at last I
yielded. I ordered proper apparel to be made for her; and after
having married her, according to form, I took her on board, and
we set sail. I found my wife possessed so many good qualities,
that my love to her every day increased. In the mean time my two
brothers, who had not managed their affairs as successfully as I
had mine, envied my prosperity; and suffered their feelings to
carry them so far, that they conspired against my life; and one
night, when my wife and I were asleep, threw us both into the
sea.

My wife proved to be a fairy, and, by consequence, a genie, so
that she could not be drowned; but for me, it is certain I must
have perished, without her help. I had scarcely fallen into the
water, when she took me up, and carried me to an island. When day
appeared, she said to me, "You see, husband, that by saving your
life, I have not rewarded you ill for your kindness to me. You
must know, that I am a fairy, and being upon the sea-shore, when
you were going to embark, I felt a strong desire to have you for
my husband; I had a mind to try your goodness, and presented
myself before you in disguise. You have dealt generously by me,
and I am glad of an opportunity of returning my acknowledgment.
But I am incensed against your brothers, and nothing will satisfy
me but their lives."

I listened to this discourse with admiration; I thanked the fairy
the best way I could, for the great kindness she had done me;
"But, Madam," said I, "as for my brothers, I beg you to pardon
them; whatever cause of resentment they have given me, I am not
cruel enough to desire their death." I then informed her what I
had done for them, but this increased her indignation; and she
exclaimed, "I must immediately pursue those ungrateful traitors,
and take speedy vengeance on them. I will destroy their vessel,
                                                                    29
and sink them into the bottom of the sea." "My good lady,"
replied I, "for heaven's sake forbear; moderate your anger,
consider that they are my brothers, and that we ought to return
good for evil."

I pacified her by these words; and as soon as I had concluded,
she transported me in a moment from the island to the roof of my
own house, which was terraced, and instantly disappeared. I
descended, opened the doors, and dug up the three thousand
sequins I had formerly secreted. I went afterwards to my shop,
which I also opened; and was complimented by the merchants, my
neighbours, upon my return. When I went back to my house, I
perceived there two black dogs, which came up to me in a very
submissive manner: I could not divine the meaning of this
circumstance, which greatly astonished me. But the fairy, who
immediately appeared, said, "Husband, be not surprised to see
these dogs, they are your brothers." I was troubled at this
declaration, and asked her by what power they were so
transformed. "I did it," said she, "or at least authorised one of
my sisters to do it, who at the same time sunk their ship. You
have lost the goods you had on board, but I will compensate you
another way. As to your two brothers, I have condemned them to
remain five years in that shape. Their perfidiousness too well
deserves such a penance." Having thus spoken and told me where I
might hear of her, she disappeared.

The five years being now nearly expired, I am travelling in quest
of her; and as I passed this way, I met this merchant, and the
good old man who led the hind, and sat down by them. This is my
history, O prince of genies! do not you think it very
extraordinary?" "I own it is," replied the genie, "and on that
account I remit the merchant the second third of the crime which
he has committed against me."

As soon as the second old man had finished, the third began his
story, after repeating the request of the two former, that the
genie would pardon the merchant the other third of his crime,
provided what he should relate surpassed in singularity of
incidents the narratives he had already heard. The genie made him
the same promise as he had given the others.

The third old man related his story to the genie; and it exceeded
the two former stories so much, in the variety of wonderful
adventures, that the genie was astonished; and no sooner heard
the conclusion, than he said to the old man, "I remit the other
third of the merchant's crime on account of your story. He is
greatly obliged to all of you, for having delivered him out of
his danger by what you have related, for to this he owes his
life." Having spoken thus he disappeared, to the great
                                                                    30
contentment of the company.

The merchant failed not to make due acknowledgment to his
deliverers. They rejoiced to see him out of danger; and bidding
him adieu, each of them proceeded on his way. The merchant
returned to his wife and children, and passed the rest of his
days with them in peace.




           THE STORY OF THE FISHERMAN.



There was an aged fisherman, who was so poor, that he could
scarcely as much as would maintain himself, his wife, and three
children. He went every day to fish betimes in the morning; and
imposed it as a law upon himself, not to cast his nets above four
times a-day. He went one morning by moon-light, and coming to the
seaside, undressed himself, and cast in his nets. As he drew them
towards the shore, he found them very heavy, and thought he had a
good draught of fish, at which he rejoiced; but in a moment
after, perceiving that instead of fish his nets contained nothing
but the carcass of an ass, he was much vexed.

When the fisherman had mended his nets, which the carcass of the
ass had broken in several places, he threw them in a second time;
and when he drew them, found a great deal of resistance, which
made him think he had taken abundance of fish; but he found
nothing except a basket full of gravel and slime, which grieved
him extremely. "O fortune!" cried he, with a lamentable tone, "be
not angry with me, nor persecute a wretch who prays thee to spare
him. I came hither from my house to seek for my livelihood, and
thou pronouncest against me a sentence of death. I have no other
trade but this to subsist by: and notwithstanding all my care, I
can scarcely provide what is absolutely necessary for my family.
But I am to blame to complain of thee; thou takest pleasure to
persecute honest people, and to leave great men in obscurity,
while thou shewest favour to the wicked, and advancest those who
have no virtue to recommend them."

Having finished this complaint, he fretfully threw away the
basket, and washing his nets from the slime, cast them the third
time; but brought up nothing, except stones, shells, and mud. No
language can express his disappointment; he was almost
distracted. However, when day began to appear, he did not forget
to say his prayers, like a good Moosulmaun, and he added to them
this petition: "Lord, thou knowest that I cast my nets only four
                                                                    31
times a day; I have already drawn them three times, without the
least reward for my labour: I am only to cast them once more; I
pray thee to render the sea favourable to me, as thou didst to
Moses "

The fisherman having finished this prayer, cast his nets the
fourth time; and when he thought it was proper, drew them as
formerly, with great difficulty; but instead of fish, found
nothing in them but a vessel of yellow copper, which from its
weight seemed not to be empty; and he observed that it was shut
up and sealed with lead, having the impression of a seal upon it.
This turn of fortune rejoiced him; "I will sell it," said he, "to
the founder, and with the money buy a measure of corn." He
examined the vessel on all sides, and shook it, to try if its
contents made any noise, but heard nothing. This circumstance,
with the impression of the seal upon the leaden cover, made him
think it inclosed something precious. To try this, he took a
knife, and opened it with very little labour. He turned the mouth
downward, but nothing came out; which surprised him extremely. He
placed it before him, but while he viewed it attentively, there
came out a very thick smoke, which obliged him to retire two or
three paces back.

The smoke ascended to the clouds, and extending itself along the
sea and upon the shore formed a great mist, which we may well
imagine filled the fisherman with astonishment. When the smoke
was all out of the vessel, it re-united and became a solid body,
of which was formed a genie twice as high as the greatest of
giants. At the sight of a monster of such an unwieldy bulk, the
fisherman would fain have fled, but was so frightened, that he
could not move.

"Solomon," cried the genie immediately, "Solomon, the great
prophet, pardon, pardon; I will never more oppose your will, I
will obey all your commands."

When the fisherman heard these words of the genie, he recovered
his courage, and said to him, "Thou proud spirit, what is it you
say? It is above eighteen hundred years since the prophet Solomon
died, and we are now at the end of time. Tell me your history,
and how you came to be shut up in this vessel."

The genie turning to the fisherman, with a fierce look, said.
"Thou must speak to me with more respect; thou art a presumptuous
fellow to call me a proud spirit." "Very well," replied the
fisherman, "shall I speak to you more civilly, and call you the
owl of good luck?" "I say," answered the genie, "speak to me more
respectfully, or I will kill thee." "Ah!" replied the fisherman,
"why would you kill me? Did I not just now set you at liberty,
                                                                    32
and have you already forgotten my services?" "Yes, I remember
it," said the genie, "but that shall not save thy life: I have
only one favour to grant thee." "And what is that?" asked the
fisherman. "It is," answered the genie, "to give thee thy choice,
in what manner thou wouldst have me put thee to death." "But
wherein have I offended you?" demanded the fisherman. "Is that
your reward for the service I have rendered you?" "I cannot treat
thee otherwise," said the genie; "and that thou mayest know the
reason, hearken to my story."

"I am one of those rebellious spirits that opposed the will of
heaven; nearly all the other genies owned Solomon, the great
prophet, and yielded to his authority. Sabhir and I were the only
two that would never be guilty of a mean submission: and to
avenge himself, that great monarch sent Asaph, the son of
Barakhia, his chief minister, to apprehend me. That was
accordingly done. Asaph seized my person, and brought me by force
before his master's throne.

"Solomon, the son of David, commanded me to acknowledge his
power, and to submit to his commands: I bravely refused, and told
him, I would rather expose myself to his resentment, than swear
fealty as he required. To punish me, he shut me up in this copper
vessel; and that I might not break my prison, he himself stamps
upon this leaden cover, his seal with the great name of God
engraver upon it. He then gave the vessel to one of the genies
who had submitted, with orders to throw me into the sea, which to
my sorrow were executed.

"During the first hundred years of my imprisonment, I swore that
if any one should deliver me before the expiration of that
period, I would make him rich, even after his death: but that
century ran out, and nobody did me that good office. During the
second, I made an oath, that I would open all the treasures of
the earth to any one that might set me at liberty; but with no
better success. In the third, I promised to make my deliverer a
potent monarch, to be always near him in spirit, and to grant him
every day three requests, of what nature soever they might be:
but this century passed as well as the two former, and I
continued in prison. At last being angry, or rather mad, to find
myself a prisoner so long, I swore, that if afterwards any one
should deliver me, I would kill him without mercy, and grant him
no other favour but to choose the manner of his death; and
therefore, since thou hast delivered me to-day, I give thee that
choice."

This discourse afflicted the fisherman extremely: "I am very
unfortunate," cried he, "to come hither to do such a kindness to
one that is so ungrateful. I beg you to consider your injustice,
                                                                    33
and revoke such an unreasonable oath; pardon me, and heaven will
pardon you; if you grant me my life, heaven will protest you from
all attempts against your own." "No, thy death is resolved on,"
said the genie, "only choose in what manner you will die." The
fisherman perceiving the genie to be resolute, was extremely
grieved, not so much for himself, as on account of his three
children; and bewailed the misery they must be reduced to by his
death. He endeavoured still to appease the genie, and said,
"Alas! be pleased to take pity on me, in consideration of the
service I have done you." "I have told thee already," replied the
genie, "it is for that very reason I must kill thee." "That is
strange," said the fisherman, "are you resolved to reward good
with evil? The proverb says, ‘That he who does good to one who
deserves it not is always ill rewarded.' I must confess, I
thought it was false; for certainly there can be nothing more
contrary to reason, or the laws of society. Nevertheless, I find
now by cruel experience that it is but too true." "Do not lose
time," interrupted the genie; "all thy reasonings shall not
divert me from my purpose: make haste, and tell me what kind of
death thou preferest?"

Necessity is the mother of invention. The fisherman bethought
himself of a stratagem. "Since I must die then," said he to the
genie, "I submit to the will of heaven; but before I choose the
manner of my death, I conjure you by the great name which was
engraver upon the seal of the prophet Solomon, the son of David,
to answer me truly the question I am going to ask you."

The genie finding himself obliged to a positive answer by this
adjuration, trembled; and replied to the fisherman, "Ask what
thou wilt, but make haste."

The fisherman then said to him, "I wish to know if you were
actually in this vessel: Dare you swear it by the name of the
great God?" "Yes," replied the genie, "I do swear by that great
name, that I was." "In good faith," answered the fisherman, "I
cannot believe you; the vessel is not capable of holding one of
your size, and how should it be possible that your whole body
should lie in it?" "I swear to thee, notwithstanding," replied
the genie, "that I was there just as you see me here: Is it
possible, that thou cost not believe me after the solemn oath I
have taken?" "Truly not I," said the fisherman; "nor will I
believe you, unless you go into the vessel again."

Upon which the body of the genie dissolved and changed itself
into smoke, extending as before upon the sea shore; and at last,
being collected, it began to re-enter the vessel, which it
continued to do by a slow and equal motion, till no part remained
out; when immediately a voice came forth, which said to the
                                                                    34
fisherman, "Well now, incredulous fellow, I am in the vessel, do
not you believe me now?"

The fisherman, instead of answering the genie, took the cover of
lead, and having speedily replaced it on the vessel, "Genie,"
cried he, "now it is your turn to beg my favour, and to choose
which way I shall put you to death; but not so, it is better that
I should throw you into the sea, whence I took you: and then I
will build a house upon the shore, where I will reside and give
notice to all fishermen who come to throw in their nets, to
beware of such a wicked genie as thou art, who hast made an oath
to kill him that shall set thee at liberty."

The genie, enraged at these expressions, struggled to set himself
at liberty; but it was impossible, for the impression of
Solomon's seal prevented him. Perceiving that the fisherman had
got the advantage of him, for he thought fit to dissemble his
anger; "Fishermen," said he, "take heed you do not what you
threaten; for what I spoke to you was only by way of jest." "O
genie!" replied the fisherman, "thou who wast but a moment ago
the greatest of all genies, and now art the least of them, thy
crafty discourse will signify nothing, to the sea thou shalt
return. If thou hast been there already so long as thou hast told
me, thou may'st very well stay there till the day of judgment. I
begged of thee in God's name not to take away my life, and thou
didst reject my prayers; I am obliged to treat thee in the same
manner."

The genie omitted nothing that he thought likely to prevail with
the fisherman: "Open the vessel," said he, "give me my liberty,
and I promise to satisfy thee to thy own content." "Thou art a
traitor," replied the fisherman, "I should deserve to lose my
life, if I were such a fool as to trust thee: thou wilt not fail
to treat me in the same manner as a certain Grecian king treated
the physician Douban. It is a story I have a mind to tell thee,
therefore listen to it."




  The Story of the Grecian King and the Physician Douban.



There was in the country of Yunaun or Greece, a king who was
leprous, and his physicians had in vain endeavoured his cure;
when a very able physician, named Douban, arrived at his court.

This physician had learnt the theory of his profession in Greek,
                                                                    35
Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Latin, Syriac, and Hebrew books; he was
an experienced natural philosopher, and fully understood the good
and bad qualities of plants and drugs. As soon as he was informed
of the king's distemper, and understood that his physicians had
given him over, he found means to present himself before him. "I
know," said he, after the usual ceremonials, "that your majesty's
physicians have not been able to heal you of the leprosy; but if
you will accept my service, I will engage to cure you without
potions, or external applications."

The king listened to what he said, and answered, "If you be able
to perform what you promise, I will enrich you and your
posterity. Do you assure me that you will cure my leprosy without
potion, or applying any external medicine?" "Yes, Sire," replied
the physician, "I promise myself success, through God's
assistance, and to-morrow, with your majesty's permission, I will
make the trial."

The physician returned to his quarters, made a hollow mace, and
at the handle he put in his drugs; he made also a ball in such a
manner as suited his purpose, with which next morning he
presented himself before the king, and falling down at his feet,
kissed the ground.

The physician Douban rose up, and after a profound reverence,
said to the king, he judged it meet that his majesty should take
horse, and go to the place where he used to play at mall. The
king did so, and when he arrived there, the physician came to him
with the mace, and said, "Exercise yourself with this mace, and
strike the ball until you find your hands and body perspire. When
the medicine I have put up in the handle of the mace is heated
with your hand, it will penetrate your whole body; and as soon as
you perspire, you may leave off the exercise, for then the
medicine will have had its effect. Immediately on your return to
your palace, go into the bath, and cause yourself to be well
washed and rubbed; then retire to bed, and when you rise to-
morrow you will find yourself cured."

The king took the mace, and struck the ball, which was returned
by his officers who played with him; he played so long, that his
hands and his whole body were in a sweat, and then the medicine
shut up in the handle of the mace had its operation, as the
physician had said. Upon this the king left off play, returned to
his palace, entered the bath, and observed very exactly his
physician had prescribed to him.

The next morning when he arose, he perceived with equal wonder
and joy, that his leprosy was cured, and his body as clean as if
it had never been affected. As soon as he was dressed, he came
                                                                    36
into the hall of audience, where he ascended his throne, and
shewed himself to his courtiers: who, eager to know the success
of the new medicine, came thither betimes, and when they saw the
king perfectly cured, expressed great joy. The physician Douban
entering the hall, bowed himself before the throne, with his face
to the ground. The king perceiving him, made him sit down by his
side, presented him to the assembly, and gave him all the
commendation he deserved. His majesty did not stop here: but as
he treated all his court that day, made him eat at his table
alone with him.

The Grecian king was not satisfied with having admitted the
physician Douban to his table, but caused him to be clad in a
rich robe, ordered him two thousand pieces of gold, and thinking
that he could never sufficiently acknowledge his obligations to
him, continued every day to load him with new favours. But this
king had a vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and naturally
capable of every kind of mischief. He could not behold without
envy the presents that were given to the physician, whose other
merits had already begun to make him jealous, and he therefore
resolved to lessen him in the king's esteem. To effect this, he
went to the king, and told him in private, that he had some
information of the greatest consequence to communicate. The king
having asked what it was? "Sire," said he, "it is highly
dangerous for a monarch to confide in a man whose fidelity he has
never tried. Though you heap favours upon the physician Douban,
your majesty does not know that he is a traitor, sent by your
enemies to take away your life." "From whom," demanded the king,
"have you the suggestion which you dare pronounce? Consider to
whom you are speaking, and that you are advancing what I shall
not easily believe." "Sire," replied the vizier, "I am well
informed of what I have had the honour to reveal to your majesty;
therefore do not rest in dangerous security: if your majesty be
asleep, be pleased to awake; for I once more repeat, that the
physician Douban left his native country, and came to settle
himself at your court, for the sole purpose of executing the
horrible design which I have intimated."

"No, no, vizier," interrupted the king; "I am certain, that this
physician, whom you suspect to be a villain and a traitor, is one
of the best and most virtuous of men. You know by what medicine,
or rather by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy: If he had
had a design upon my life, why did he save me then? He needed
only to have left me to my disease; I could not have escaped it,
as life was fast decaying. Forbear then to fill me with unjust
suspicions: instead of listening to you, I tell you, that from
this day forward I will give that great man a pension of a
thousand pieces of gold per month for his life; nay, though I
were to share with him all my riches and dominions, I should
                                                                    37
never pay him sufficiently for what he has done. I perceive it to
be his virtue that raises your envy; but do not think I will be
unjustly prejudiced against him. I remember too well what a
vizier said to king Sinbad, his master, to prevent his putting to
death the prince his son."

What the Grecian king said about king Sinbad raised the vizier's
curiosity, who said, "I pray your majesty to pardon me, if I have
the boldness to ask what the vizier of king Sinbad said to his
master to divert him from putting the prince his son to death."
The Grecian king had the condescension to satisfy him: "That
vizier," said he, "after having represented to king Sinbad, that
he ought to beware, lest on the accusation of a mother-in-law he
should commit an action of which he might afterwards repent, told
him this story."




The Story of the Husband and the Parrot.



A certain man had a beautiful wife, whom he loved so dearly, that
he could scarcely allow her to be out of his sight. One day, some
urgent affairs obliging him to go from home, he went to a place
where all sorts of birds were sold, and bought a parrot, which
not only spoke well, but could also give an account of every
thing that was done in its presence. He brought it in a cage to
his house, desired his wife to put it in his chamber, and take
care of it during his absence, and then departed.

On his return, he questioned the parrot concerning what had
passed while he was from home, and the bird told him such things
as gave him occasion to upbraid his wife. She concluded some of
her slaves had betrayed her, but all of them swore they had been
faithful, and agreed that the parrot must have been the tell-
tale.

Upon this, the wife began to devise how she might remove her
husband's jealousy, and at the same time revenge herself on the
parrot. Her husband being gone another journey, she commanded a
slave in the night-time to turn a hand-mill under the parrot's
cage; she ordered another to sprinkle water, in resemblance of
rain, over the cage; and a third to move a looking-glass,
backward and forward against a candle, before the parrot. The
slaves spent a great part of the night in doing what their
mistress desired them, and acquitted themselves with much skill.

                                                                    38
Next night the husband returned, and examined the parrot again
about what had passed during his absence. The bird answered,
"Good master, the lightning, thunder, and rain so much disturbed
me all night, that I cannot tell how much I suffered." The
husband, who knew that there had been neither thunder, lightning,
nor rain in the night, fancied that the parrot, not having spoken
truth in this, might also have lied in the other relation; upon
which he took it out of the cage, and threw it with so much force
to the ground that he killed it. Yet afterwards he understood
from his neigbours, that the poor parrot had not deceived him in
what it had stated of his wife's base conduct, made him repent
that he had killed it.

When the Grecian king had finished the story of the parrot, he
added, "And you, vizier, because of the hatred you bear to the
physician Douban, who never did you any injury, you would have me
cut him off; but I will beware lest I should repent as the
husband did after killing his parrot."

The mischievous vizier was too desirous of effecting the ruin of
the physician Douban to stop here. "Sir," said he, "the death of
the parrot was but a trifle, and I believe his master did not
mourn for him long: but why should your fear of wronging an
innocent man, hinder your putting this physician to death? Is it
not sufficient justification that he is accused of a design
against your life? When the business in question is to secure the
life of a king, bare suspicion ought to pass for certainty; and
it is better to sacrifice the innocent than to spare the guilty.
But, Sir, this is not a doubtful case; the physician Douban has
certainly a mind to assassinate you. It is not envy which makes
me his enemy; it is only my zeal, with the concern I have for
preserving your majesty's life, that makes me give you my advice
in a matter of this importance. If the accusation be false, I
deserve to be punished in the same manner as a vizier formerly
was." "What had the vizier done," demands the Grecian king, "to
deserve punishment?" "I will inform your majesty," said the
vizier, "if you will be pleased to hear me."




The Story of the Vizier that was Punished.



There was a king who had a son that loved hunting. He allowed him
to pursue that diversion often; but gave orders to his grand
vizier always to attend him.

                                                                    39
One hunting day, the huntsman having roused a deer, the prince,
who thought the vizier followed him, pursued the game so far, and
with so much earnestness, that he separated himself from the
company. Perceiving he had lost his way he stopped, and
endeavoured to return to the vizier; but not knowing the country
he wandered farther.

Whilst he was thus riding about, he met on his way a handsome
lady, who wept bitterly. He stopped his horse, and enquired who
she was, how she came to be alone in that place, and what she
wanted. "I am," replied she, "the daughter of an Indian king. As
I was taking the air on horseback, in the country, I grew sleepy,
and fell from my horse, who is run away, and I know not what is
become of him." The young prince taking compassion on her,
requested her to get up behind him, which she willingly did.

As they were passing by the ruins of a house, the lady expressed
a desire to alight. The prince stopped, and having put her down,
dismounted himself, and went near the building, leading his horse
after him. But you may judge how much he was surprised, when he
heard the pretended lady utter these words: "Be glad, my
children, I bring you a young man for your repast;" and other
voices, which answered immediately, "Where is he, for we are very
hungry?"

The prince heard enough to convince him of his danger. He
perceived that the lady, who called herself the daughter of an
Indian king, was one of those savage demons, called Gholes, who
live in desolated places, and employ a thousand wiles to surprise
passengers, whom they afterwards devour. The prince instantly
remounted his horse, and luckily escaped.

The pretended princess appeared that very moment, and perceiving
she had missed her prey, exclaimed, "Fear nothing, prince: Who
are you? Whom do you seek?" "I have lost my way," replied he,
"and am endeavouring to find it." "If you have lost your way,"
said she, "recommend yourself to God, he will deliver you out of
your perplexity."

After the counterfeit Indian princess had bidden the young prince
recommend himself to God, he could not believe she spoke
sincerely, but thought herself sure of him; and therefore lifting
up his hands to heaven, said, "Almighty Lord, cast shine eyes
upon me, and deliver me from this enemy." After this prayer, the
ghole entered the ruins again, and the prince rode off with all
possible haste. He happily found his way, and arrived safe at the
court of his father, to whom he gave a particular account of the
danger he had been in through the vizier's neglect: upon which
the king, being incensed against that minister, ordered him to be
                                                                    40
immediately strangled.

"Sir," continued the Grecian king's vizier, "to return to the
physician Douban, if you do not take care, the confidence you put
in him will be fatal to you; I am very well assured that he is a
spy sent by your enemies to attempt your majesty's life. He has
cured you, you will say: but alas! who can assure you of that? He
has perhaps cured you only in appearance, and not radically; who
knows but the medicine he has given you, may in time have
pernicious effects?"

The Grecian king was not able to discover the wicked design of
his vizier, nor had he firmness enough to persist in his first
opinion. This discourse staggered him: "Vizier," said he, "thou
art in the right; he may be come on purpose to take away my life,
which he may easily do by the smell of his drugs."

When the vizier found the king in such a temper as he wished,
"Sir," said he, "the surest and speediest method you can take to
secure your life, is to send immediately for the physician
Douban, and order his head to be struck off." "In truth," said
the king, "I believe that is the way we must take to frustrate
his design." When he had spoken thus, he called for one of his
officers, and ordered him to go for the physician; who, knowing
nothing of the king's purpose, came to the palace in haste.

"Knowest thou," said the king, when he saw him, "why I sent for
thee?" "No, Sir," answered he; "I wait till your majesty be
pleased to inform me." "I sent for thee," replied the king, "to
rid myself of thee, by taking away thy life."

No man can express the surprise of the physician, when he heard
the sentence of death pronounced against him. "Sir," said he,
"why would your majesty take my life? What crime have I
committed?" "I am informed," replied the king, "that you came to
my court only to attempt my life; but to prevent you, I will be
sure of yours. Give the blow," said he to the executioner, who
was present, "and deliver me from a perfidious wretch, who came
hither on purpose to assassinate me."

When the physician heard this cruel order, he readily judged that
the honours and presents he had received from the king had
procured him enemies, and that the weak prince was imposed on. He
repented that he had cured him of his leprosy; but it was now too
late. "Is it thus," asked the physician, "that you reward me for
curing you?" The king would not hearken to him, but a second time
ordered the executioner to strike the fatal blow. The physician
then had recourse to his prayers; "Alas, Sir," cried he, "prolong
my days, and God will prolong yours; do not put me to death, lest
                                                                    41
God treat you in the same manner."

The fisherman broke off his discourse here, to apply it to the
genie. "Well, genie," said he, "you see that what passed betwixt
the Grecian king and his physician Douban is acted just now by
us."

The Grecian king, continued he, instead of having regard to the
prayers of the physician, who begged him to spare his life,
cruelly replied, "No, no; I must of necessity cut you off,
otherwise you may assassinate with as much art as you cured me."
The physician, without bewailing himself for being so ill
rewarded by the king, prepared for death. The executioner tied
his hands, and was going to draw his cimeter.

The courtiers who were present, being moved with compassion,
begged the king to pardon him, assuring his majesty that he was
not guilty of the crime laid to his charge, and that they would
answer for his innocence: but the king was inflexible.

The physician being on his knees, his eyes tied up, and ready to
receive the fatal blow, addressed himself once more to the king:
"Sir," said he, "since your majesty will not revoke the sentence
of death, I beg, at least, that you would give me leave to return
to my house, to give orders about my burial, to bid farewell to
my family, to give alms, and to bequeath my books to those who
are capable of making good use of them. I have one particularly I
would present to your majesty; it is a very precious book, and
worthy of being laid up carefully in your treasury." "What is
it," demanded the king, "that makes it so valuable?" "Sir,"
replied the physician, "it possesses many singular and curious
properties; of which the chief is, that if your majesty will give
yourself the trouble to open it at the sixth leaf, and read the
third line of the left page, my head, after being cut off, will
answer all the questions you ask it." The king being curious,
deferred his death till next day, and sent him home under a
strong guard.

The physician, during that time, put his affairs in order; and
the report being spread, that an unheard of prodigy was to happen
after his death, the viziers, emirs, officers of the guard, and,
in a word, the whole court, repaired next day to the hall of
audience, that they might be witnesses of it.

The physician Douban was brought in, and advancing to the foot of
the throne, with a book in his hand, he called for a basin, and
laid upon it the cover in which the book was wrapped; then
presenting the book to the king, "Take this," said he, "and after
my head is cut off, order that it be put into the basin upon that
                                                                    42
cover; as soon as it is placed there, the blood will stop; then
open the book, and my head will answer your questions. But permit
me once more to implore your majesty's clemency; for God's sake
grant my request, I protest to you that I am innocent." "Your
prayers," answered the king, "are in vain; and were it for
nothing but to hear your head speak after your death, it is my
will you should die." As he said this, he took the book out of
the physician's hand, and ordered the executioner to do his duty.

The head was so dexterously cut off that it fell into the basin,
and was no sooner laid upon the cover of the book than the blood
stopped; then to the great surprise of the king, and all the
spectators, its eyes, and said, "Sir, will your majesty be
pleased to open the book?" The king proceeded to do so; but
finding that the leaves adhered to each other, that he might turn
them with more ease, he put his finger to his mouth, and wetted
it with spittle. He did thus till he came to the sixth leaf, and
finding no writing on the place where he was desired to look for
it, "Physician," said he, "there is nothing written." "Turn over
some more leaves," replied the head. The king went on, putting
always his finger to his mouth, until the poison with which each
leaf was imbued, coming to have its effect, the prince found
himself suddenly taken with an extraordinary fit, his eye-sight
failed, and he fell down at the foot of the throne in violent
convulsions.

When the physician Douban, or rather his head, saw that the
poison had taken effect, and that the king had but a few moments
to live; "Tyrant," it cried, "now you see how princes are
treated, who, abusing their authority, cut off innocent men: God
punishes soon or late their injustice and cruelty." Scarcely had
the head spoken these words, when the king fell down dead, and
the head itself lost what life it had.

As soon as the fisherman had concluded the history of the Greek
king and his physician Douban, he made the application to the
genie, whom he still kept shut up in the vessel. "If the Grecian
king," said he, "had suffered the physician to live, God would
have continued his life also; but he rejected his most humble
prayers, and the case is the same with thee, O genie! Could I
have prevailed with thee to grant me the favour I supplicated, I
should now take pity on thee; but since, notwithstanding the
extreme obligation thou west under to me, for having set thee at
liberty, thou didst persist in thy design to kill me, I am
obliged, in my turn, to be equally hard-hearted to thee."

"My good friend fisherman," replied the genie, "I conjure thee
once more, not to be guilty of such cruelty; consider, that it is
not good to avenge one's self, and that on the other hand, it is
                                                                    43
commendable to do good for evil; do not treat me as Imama
formerly treated Ateca." "And what did Imama to Ateca?" enquired
the fisherman. "Ho!" says the genie, "if you have a mind to be
informed, open the vessel: do you think that I can be in an
humour to relate stories in so strait a prison? I will tell you
as many as you please, when you have let me out." "No," said the
fisherman, "I will not let thee out; it is in vain to talk of it;
I am just going to throw thee into the bottom of the sea." "Hear
me one word more," cried the genie; "I promise to do thee no
hurt; nay, far from that, I will shew thee a way to become
exceedingly rich."

The hope of delivering himself from poverty, prevailed with the
fisherman. "I could listen to thee," said he, "were there any
credit to be given to thy word; swear to me by the great name of
God, that you will faithfully perform what you promise, and I
will open the vessel; I do not believe you will dare to break
such an oath."

The genie swore to him, upon which the fisherman immediately took
off the covering of the vessel. At that instant the smoke
ascended, and the genie having resumed his form, the first thing
he did was to kick the vessel into the sea. This action alarmed
the fisherman. "Genie," said he, "will not you keep the oath you
just now made? And must I say to you, as the physician Douban
said to the Grecian king, suffer me to live, and God will prolong
your days."

The genie laughed at the fisherman's fear, and answered, "No,
fisherman, be not afraid, I only did it to divert myself, and to
see if thou wouldst be alarmed at it: but to convince thee that I
am in earnest, take thy nets and follow me." As he spoke these
words, he walked before the fisherman, who having taken up his
nets, followed him, but with some distrust. They passed by the
town, and came to the top of a mountain, from whence they
descended into a vast plain, which brought them to a lake, that
lay betwixt four hills.

When they reached the side of the lake, the genie said to the
fisherman, "Cast in thy nets, and catch fish; "the fisherman did
not doubt of taking some, because he saw a great number in the
water; but he was extremely surprised, when he found they were of
four colours, that is to say, white, red, blue, and yellow. He
threw in his nets, and brought out one of each colour. Having
never seen the like before, he could not but admire them, and
judging that he might get a considerable sum for them, he was
very joyful. "Carry those fish," said the genie to him, "and
present them to thy sultan; he will give thee more money for
them. Thou mayest come every day to fish in this lake; but I give
                                                                    44
thee warning not to throw in thy nets above once a day, otherwise
thou wilt repent." Having spoken thus, he struck his foot upon
the ground, which opened, and after it had swallowed him up
closed again.

The fisherman being resolved to follow the genie's advice,
forbore casting in his nets a second time; and returned to the
town very well satisfied; and making a thousand reflections upon
his adventure. He went immediately to the sultan's palace, to
offer his fish.

The sultan was much surprised, when he saw the four fish which
the fisherman presented. He took them up one after another, and
viewed them with attention; and after having admired them a long
time, "Take those fish," said he to his vizier, "and carry them
to the cook, whom the emperor of the Greeks has sent me. I cannot
imagine but that they must be as good as they are beautiful."

The vizier, carried them as he was directed, and delivering them
to the cook, said, "Here are four fish just brought to the
sultan; he orders you to dress them:" he then returned to the
sultan his master, who ordered him to give the fisherman four
hundred pieces of gold of the coin of that country, which he did
accordingly.

The fisherman, who had never seen so much money, could scarcely
believe his good fortune, but thought the whole must be a dream,
until he found it otherwise, by being able to provide necessaries
for his family with the produce of his fish.

As soon as the sultan's cook had gutted the fish, she put them
upon the fire in a frying-pan, with oil, and when she thought
them fried enough on one side, she turned them upon the other;
but, O monstrous prodigy! scarcely were they turned, when the
wall of the kitchen divided, and a young lady of wonderful beauty
entered from the opening. She was clad in flowered satin, after
the Egyptian manner, with pendants in her ears, a necklace of
large pearls, and bracelets of gold set with rubies, with a rod
in her hand. She moved towards the frying-pan, to the great
amazement of the cook, who continued fixed by the sight, and
striking one of the fish with the end of the rod, said, "Fish,
fish, are you in duty?" The fish having answered nothing, she
repeated these words, and then the four fish lifted up their
heads, and replied, "Yes, yes: if you reckon, we reckon; if you
pay your debts, we pay ours; if you fly, we overcome, and are
content." As soon as they had finished these words, the lady
overturned the frying-pan, and returned into the open part of the
wall, which closed immediately, and became as it was before.

                                                                    45
The cook was greatly frightened at what had happened, and coming
a little to herself, went to take up the fish that had fallen on
the hearth, but found them blacker than coal, and not fit to be
carried to the sultan. This grievously troubled her, and she fell
to weeping most bitterly. "Alas!" said she, "what will become of
me? If I tell the sultan what I have seen, I am sure he will not
believe me, but will be enraged against me."

While she was thus bewailing herself, the grand vizier entered,
and asked her if the fish were ready? She told him all that had
occurred, which we may easily imagine astonished him; but without
speaking a word of it to the sultan, he invented an excuse that
satisfied him, and sending immediately for the fisherman, bid him
bring four more such fish, for a misfortune had befallen the
others, so that they were not fit to be carried to the sultan.
The fisherman, without saying any thing of what the genie had
told him, in order to excuse himself from bringing them that day,
told the vizier, he had a great way to go for them, but would
certainly bring them on the morrow.

Accordingly the fisherman went away by night, and coming to the
lake, threw in his nets betimes next morning, took four fish like
the former, and brought them to the vizier, at the hour
appointed. The minister took them himself, carried them to the
kitchen, and shutting himself up with the cook, she gutted them,
and put them on the fire, as she had done the four others the day
before. When they were fried on one side, and she had turned them
upon the other, the kitchen wall again opened, and the same lady
came in with the rod in her hand, struck one of the fish, spoke
to it as before, and all four gave her the same answer.

After the four fish had answered the young lady, she overturned
the frying-pan with her rod, and retired into the wall. The grand
vizier, being witness to what had passed: "This is too wonderful
and extraordinary," said he, "to be concealed from the sultan; I
will inform him of this prodigy."

The sultan, being much surprised, sent immediately for the
fisherman, and said to him, "Friend, cannot you bring me four
more such fish?" The fisherman replied, "If your majesty will be
pleased to allow me three days, I will do it." Having obtained
his time, he went to the lake immediately, and at the first
throwing in of his net, he caught four fish, and brought them
directly to the sultan; who was so much the more rejoiced, as he
did not expect them so soon, and ordered him four hundred pieces
of gold. As soon as the sultan had the fish, he ordered them to
be carried into his closet, with all that was necessary for
frying them; and having shut himself up with the vizier, the
minister gutted them, put them into the pan, and when they were
                                                                    46
fried on one side, turned them upon the other; then the wall of
the closet opened, but instead of the young lady, there came out
a black, in the habit of a slave, and of a gigantic stature, with
a great green staff in his hand. He advanced towards the pan, and
touching one of the fish with his staff, said with a terrible
voice, "Fish, are you in your duty?" At these words, the fish
raised up their heads, and answered, "Yes, yes; we are: if you
reckon, we reckon; if you pay your debts, we pay ours; if you
fly, we overcome, and are content."

The fish had no sooner finished these words, than the black threw
the pan into the middle of the closet, and reduced the fish to a
coal. Having done this, he retired fiercely, and entering again
into the aperture, it closed, and the wall appeared just as it
did before.

"After what I have seen," said the sultan to the vizier, "it will
not be possible for me to be easy: these fish, without doubt,
signify something extraordinary." He sent for the fisherman, and
when he came, said to him, "Fisherman, the fish you have brought
us, make me very uneasy; where did you catch them?" "Sir,"
answered he, "I fished for them in a lake situated betwixt four
hills, beyond the mountain that we see from hence." "Knowst thou
not that lake?" said the sultan to the vizier. "No," replied the
vizier. "I never so much as heard of it, although I have for
sixty years hunted beyond that mountain." The sultan asked the
fisherman, how far the lake might be from the palace? The
fisherman answered, it was not above three hours journey; upon
this assurance, the sultan commanded all his court to take horse,
and the fisherman served them for a guide. They all ascended the
mountain, and at the foot of it they saw, to their great
surprise, a vast plain, that nobody had observed till then, and
at last they came to the lake, which they found to be situated
betwixt four hills as the fisherman had described. The water was
so transparent, that they observed all the fish to be like those
which the fisherman had brought to the palace.

The sultan stood upon the bank of the lake, and after beholding
the fish with admiration, demanded of his courtiers, if it were
possible they had never seen this lake, which was within so short
a distance of the town. They all answered, that they had never so
much as heard of it.

"Since you all agree that you never heard of it, and as I am no
less astonished than you are, at this novelty, I am resolved not
to return to my palace till I learn how this lake came here, and
why all the fish in it are of four colours." Having spoken thus,
he ordered his court to encamp; and immediately his pavilion and
the tents of his household were planted upon the banks of the
                                                                    47
lake.

When night came, the sultan retired under his pavilion, and spoke
to the grand vizier. thus: "Vizier, my mind is uneasy: this lake
transported hither; the black that appeared to us in my closet,
and the fish that we heard speak; all these things so much excite
my curiosity, that I cannot resist my impatient desire to have it
satisfied. To this end, I am resolved to withdraw alone from the
camp, and I order you to keep my absence secret: stay in my
pavilion, and to-morrow morning, when the emirs and courtiers
come to attend my levee, send them away, and tell them, that I am
somewhat indisposed, and wish to be alone; and the following days
tell them the same thing, till I return."

The grand vizier. endeavoured to divert the sultan from this
design; he represented to him the danger to which he might be
exposed, and that all his labour might perhaps be in vain: but it
was to no purpose; the sultan was resolved. He put on a suit fit
for walking, and took his cimeter; and as soon as he found that
all was quiet in the camp, went out alone, and passed over one of
the hills without much difficulty; he found the descent still
more easy, and when he came to the plain, walked on till the sun
arose, and then he saw before him, at a considerable distance, a
vast building. He rejoiced at the sight, in hopes of receiving
there the information he sought. When he drew near, he found it
was a magnificent palace, or rather a strong castle, of black
polished marble, and covered with fine steel, as smooth as glass.
Being highly pleased that he had so speedily met with something
worthy his curiosity, he stopped before the front of the castle,
and considered it with attention.

He then advanced towards the gate, which had two leaves, one of
them open; though he might immediately have entered, yet he
thought it best to knock. This he did at first softly, and waited
for some time; but seeing no one, and supposing he had not been
heard, he knocked harder the second time, and after that he
knocked again and again, but no one yet appearing, he was
exceedingly surprised; for he could not think that a castle in
such repair was without inhabitants. "If there be no one in it,"
said he to himself, "I have nothing to fear; and if it be
inhabited, I have wherewith to defend myself."

At last he entered, and when he came within the porch, he cried,
"Is there no one here to receive a stranger, who comes in for
some refreshment as he passes by?" He repeated the same words two
or three times; but though he spoke very loud, he was not
answered. The silence increased his astonishment: he came into a
spacious court, and looked on every side for inhabitants, but
discovered none.
                                                                    48
The sultan entered the grand halls, which were hung with silk
tapestry, the alcoves and sofas were covered with stuffs of
Mecca, and the porches with the richest stuffs of India, mixed
with gold and silver. He came afterwards into a superb saloon, in
the middle of which was a fountain, with a lion of massy gold at
each angle: water issued from the mouths of the four lions; and
as it fell, formed diamonds and pearls, resembling a jet d'eau,
which springing from the middle of the fountain, rose nearly to
the top of a cupola painted in Arabesque.

The castle, on three sides, was encompassed by a garden, with
parterres of flowers, shrubbery, and whatever could concur to
embellish it; and to complete the beauty of the place, an
infinite number of birds filled the air with their harmonious
notes, and always remained there, nets being spread over the
garden, and fastened to the palace to confine them. The sultan
walked from apartment to apartment, where he found every thing
rich and magnificent. Being tired with walking, he sat down in a
verandah or arcade closet, which had a view over the garden,
reflecting what he had already seen, and then beheld: when
suddenly he heard the voice of one complaining, in lamentable
tones. He listened with attention, and heard distinctly these
words: "O fortune! thou who wouldst not suffer me longer to enjoy
a happy lot, forbear to persecute me, and by a speedy death put
an end to my sorrows. Alas! is it possible that I am still alive,
after so many torments as I have suffered!"

The sultan rose up, advanced toward the place whence he heard the
voice; and coming to the door of a great hall, opened it, and saw
a handsome young man, richly habited, seated upon a throne raised
a little above the ground. Melancholy was painted on his
countenance. The sultan drew near, and saluted him; the young man
returned his salutation by an inclination of his head, not being
able to rise, at the same time saying, "My lord, I should rise to
receive you; but am hindered by sad necessity, and therefore hope
you will not be offended." "My lord," replied the sultan, "I am
much obliged to you for having so good an opinion of me: as to
the reason of your not rising, whatever your apology be, I
heartily accept it. Being drawn hither by your complaints, and
afflicted by your grief, I come to offer you my help; would to
God that it lay in my power to ease you of your trouble! I would
do my utmost to effect it. I flatter myself that you will relate
to me the history of your misfortunes; but inform me first of the
meaning of the lake near the palace, where the fish are of four
colours? whose this castle is? how you came to be here? and why
you are alone?"

Instead of answering these questions, the young man began to weep
                                                                    49
bitterly. "How inconstant is
fortune!" cried he; "she takes pleasure to pull down those she
had raised. Where are they who enjoy quietly the happiness which
they hold of her, and whose day is always clear and serene?"

The sultan, moved with compassion to see him in such a condition,
prayed him to relate the cause of his excessive grief. "Alas! my
lord," replied the young man, "how is it possible but I should
grieve, and my eyes be inexhaustible fountains of tears?" At
these words, lifting up his robe, he shewed the sultan that he
was a man only from the head to the girdle, and that the other
half of his body was black marble.

The sultan was much surprised, when he saw the deplorable
condition of the young man. "That which you shew me," said he,
"while it fills me with horror, excites my curiosity, so that I
am impatient to hear your history, which, no doubt, must be
extraordinary, and I am persuaded that the lake and the fish make
some part of it; therefore I conjure you to relate it. You will
find some comfort in so doing, since it is certain, that the
unfortunate find relief in making known their distress." "I will
not refuse your request," replied the young man, "though I cannot
comply without renewing my grief. But I give you notice before
hand, to prepare your ears, your mind, and even your eyes, for
things which surpass all that the imagination can conceive."




The History of the Young King of the Black Isles.



You must know that my father, named Mahmoud, was king of this
country. This is the kingdom of the Black Isles, which takes its
name from the four small neighbouring mountains; for these
mountains were formerly isles: the capital where the king my
father resided was situated on the spot now occupied by the lake
you have seen. The sequel of my history will inform you of those
changes.

The king my father died when he was seventy years of age; I had
no sooner succeeded him, than I married, and the lady I chose to
share the royal dignity with me, was my cousin. I had so much
reason to be satisfied with her affection, and, on my part, loved
her with so much tenderness, that nothing could surpass the
harmony and pleasure of our union. This lasted five years, at the
end of which time, I perceived the queen, my cousin, ceased to
delight in my attentions.
                                                                    50
One day, after dinner, while she was at the bath, I found myself
inclined to repose and lay down upon a sofa. Two of her ladies,
who were then in my chamber, came and sat down, one at my head,
and the other at my feet, with fans in their hands to moderate
the heat, and to prevent the flies from disturbing me. They
thought I was asleep, and spoke in whispers; but as I only closed
my eyes, I heard all their conversation.

One of them said to the other, "Is not the queen wrong, not to
love so amiable a prince?" "Certainly," replied the other; "I do
not understand the reason, neither can I conceive why she goes
out every night, and leaves him alone!" "Is it possible that he
does not perceive it?" "Alas!" said the first, "how should he?
she mixes every evening in his liquor, the juice of a certain
herb, which makes him sleep so sound all night, that she has time
to go where she pleases, and as day begins to appear, she comes
and lies down by him again, and wakes him by the smell of
something she puts under his nostrils."

You may guess, my lord, how much I was surprised at this
conversation, and with what sentiments it inspired me; yet,
whatever emotion it excited, I had sufficient self-command to
dissemble, and feigned to awake without having heard a word.

The queen returned from the bath, we supped together and she
presented me with a cup full of such water as I was accustomed to
drink; but instead of putting it to my mouth, I went to a window
that was open, and threw out the water so quickly, that she did
not perceive it, and returned.

We went to bed together, and soon after, believing that I was
asleep, she got up with so little precaution, that she said loud
enough for me to hear her distinctly, "Sleep on, and may you
never wake again!" She dressed herself, and went out of the
chamber.

As soon as the queen my wife was gone, I dressed myself in haste,
took my cimeter, and followed her so quickly, that I soon heard
the sound of her feet before me, and then walked softly after
her, for fear of being heard. She passed through several gates,
which opened upon her pronouncing some magical words, and the
last she opened was that of the garden, which she entered. I
stopt at this gate, that she might not perceive me, as she passed
along a parterre; then looking after her as far as the darkness
of the night permitted, I saw her enter a little wood, whose
walks were guarded by thick palisadoes. I went thither by another
way, and concealing myself behind the palisadoes of a long walk,
I saw her walking there with a man.
                                                                    51
I did not fail to lend the most attentive ear to their discourse,
and heard her address herself thus to her gallant: "I do not
deserve to be reproached by you for want of diligence. You well
know the reason; but if all the proofs of affection I have
already given you be not sufficient to convince you of my
sincerity, I am ready to give you others more decisive: you need
but command me, you know my power; I will, if you desire it,
before sun-rise convert this great city, and this superb palace,
into frightful ruins, inhabited only by wolves, owls, and revens.
If you would have me transport all the stones of those walls so
solidly built, beyond mount Caucasus, or the bounds of the
habitable world, speak but the word, and all shall be changed."

As the queen finished these words she and her lover came to the
end of the walk, turned to enter another, and passed before me. I
had already drawn my cimeter, and her lover being next me, I
struck him on the neck, and brought him to the ground. I
concluded I had killed him, and therefore retired speedily
without making myself known to the queen, whom I chose to spare,
because she was my kinswoman.

The wound I had given her lover was mortal; but by her
enchantments she preserved him in an existence in which he could
not be said to be either dead or alive. As I crossed the garden
to return to the palace, I heard the queen loudly lamenting, and
judging by her cries how much she was grieved, I was pleased that
I had spared her life.

As soon as I had reached my apartment, I went to bed, and being
satisfied with having punished the villain who had injured me,
fell asleep; and when I awoke next morning, found the queen
lying. I cannot tell you whether she slept or not; but I arose,
went to my closet, and dressed myself. I afterwards held my
council. At my return, the queen, clad in mourning, her hair
dishevelled, and part of it torn off, presented herself before
me, and said; "I come to beg your majesty not to be surprised to
see me in this condition. My heavy affliction is occasioned by
intelligence of three distressing events which I have just
received." "Alas! what are they, madam?" said I. "The death of
the queen my dear mother," she replied, "that of the king my
father killed in battle, and of one of my brothers, who has
fallen down a precipice."

I was not displeased that she used this pretext to conceal the
true cause of her grief, and I concluded she had not suspected me
of being the author of her lover's death. "Madam," said I, "so
far from blaming, I assure you I heartily commiserate your
sorrow. I should feel surprise if you were insensible to such
                                                                    52
heavy calamities: weep on; your tears are so many proofs of your
tenderness; but I hope that time and reflection will moderate
your grief."

She retired into her apartment, where, giving herself wholly up
to sorrow, she spent a whole year in mourning and lamentation. At
the end of that period, she begged permission to erect a burying
place for herself, within the bounds of the palace, where she
would continue, she told me, to the end of her days: I consented,
and she built a stately edifice, crowned by a cupola, which may
be seen from hence, and called it the Palace of Tears. When it
was finished, she caused her lover to be conveyed thither, from
the place to which she had caused him to be carried the night I
wounded him: she had hitherto prevented his dying, by potions
which she had administered to him; and she continued to convey
them to him herself every day after he came to the Palace of
Tears.

Yet, with all her enchantments, she could not cure him; he was
not only unable to walk or support himself, but had also lost the
use of his speech, and exhibited no sign of life except in his
looks. Though the queen had no other consolation but to see him,
and to say to him all that her senseless passion could inspire,
yet every day she made him two long visits. I was well apprised
of this, but pretended ignorance.

One day my curiosity induced me to go to the Palace of Tears, to
observe how the princess employed herself, and from a place where
she could not see me, I heard her thus address her lover: "I am
afflicted to the highest degree to behold you in this condition;
I am as sensible as yourself of the tormenting pain you endure;
but, dear soul, I am continually speaking to you, and you do not
answer me: how long will you remain silent? Speak only one word:
alas! the sweetest moments of my life are these I spend here in
partaking of your grief. I cannot live at a distance from you,
and would prefer the pleasure of having you always before me, to
the empire of the universe."

At these words, which were several times interrupted by her sighs
and sobs, I lost all patience: and discovering myself, came up to
her, and said, "Madam, you have wept enough, it is time to give
over this sorrow, which dishonours both; you have too much
forgotten what you owe to me and to yourself." "Sire," said she,
"if you have any kindness or compassion for me left, I beseech
you to put no restraint upon me; allow me to indulge my grief,
which it is impossible for time to assuage."

When I perceived that my remonstrance, instead of restoring her
to a sense of duty, served only to increase her anguish, I gave
                                                                    53
over and retired. She continued every day to visit her lover, and
for two whole years abandoned herself to grief and despair.

I went a second time to the Palace of Tears, while she was there.
I concealed myself again, and heard her thus address her lover:
"It is now three years since you spoke one word to me; you answer
not the proofs I give you of my love by my sighs and
lamentations. Is it from insensibility, or contempt? O tomb! hast
thou destroyed that excess of affection which he bare me? Hast
thou closed those eyes that evinced so much love, and were all my
delight? No, no, this I cannot think. Tell me rather, by what
miracle thou becamest the depositary of the rarest treasure the
world ever contained."

I must confess, my lord, I was enraged at these expressions; for,
in truth, this beloved, this adored mortal, was by no means what
you would imagine him to have been. He was a black Indian, one of
the original natives of this country. I was so enraged at the
language addressed to him, that I discovered myself, and
apostrophising the tomb in my turn; I cried, "O tomb! why dost
not thou swallow up that monster so revolting to human nature, or
rather why dost not thou swallow up both the lover and his
mistress?"

I had scarcely uttered these words, when the queen, who sat by
the black, rose up like a fury. "Miscreant!" said she "thou art
the cause of my grief; do not think I am ignorant of this, I have
dissembled too long. It was thy barbarous hand that brought the
objets of my fondness into this lamentable condition; and thou
hast the cruelty to come and insult a despairing lover." "Yes,"
said I, in a rage, "it was I that chastised that monster,
according to his desert; I ought to have treated thee in the same
manner; I now repent that I did not; thou hast too long abused my
goodness." As I spoke these words, I drew out my cimeter, and
lifted up my hand to punish her; but regarding me stedfastly, she
said with a jeering smile, "Moderate thy anger." At the same
time, she pronounced words I did not understand; and afterwards
added, "By virtue of my enchantments, I command thee to become
half marble and half man." Immediately, my lord, I became what
you see, a dead man among the living, and a living man among the
dead.

After the cruel sorceress, unworthy of the name of queen, had
metamorphosed me thus, and brought me into this hall, by another
enchantment she destroyed my capital, which was very flourishing
and populous; she annihilated the houses, the public places and
markets, and reduced the site of the whole to the lake and desert
plain you have seen; the fishes of four colours in the lake are
the four kinds of inhabitants of different religions, which the
                                                                    54
city contained. The white are the Moosulmauns; the red, the
Persians, who worship fire; the blue, the Christians and the
yellow, the Jews. The four little hills were the four islands
that gave name to this kingdom. I learned all this from the
enchantress, who, to add to my affliction, related to me these
effects of her rage. But this is not all; her revenge not being
satisfied with the destruction of my dominions, and the
metamorphosis of my person, she comes every day, and gives me
over my naked shoulders a hundred lashes with a whip until I am
covered with blood. When she has finished this part of my
punishment, she throws over me a coarse stuff of goat's hair, and
over that this robe of brocade, not to honour, but to mock me.

When he came to this part of the narrative, the young king could
not restrain his tears; and the sultan was himself so affected by
the relation, that he could not find utterance for any words of
consolation. Shortly after, the young king, lifting up his eyes
to heaven, exclaimed, "Mighty creator of all things, I submit
myself to thy judgments, and to the decrees of thy providence: I
endure my calamities with patience, since it is thy will things
should be as they are; but I hope thy infinite goodness will
ultimately reward me."

The sultan, greatly moved by the recital of this affecting story,
and anxious to avenge the sufferings of the unfortunate prince,
said to him, "Inform me whither this perfidious sorceress
retires, and where may be found her vile paramour, who is
entombed before his death." "My lord," replied the prince, "her
lover, as I have already told you, is lodged in the Palace of
Tears, in a superb tomb constructed in the form of a dome: this
palace joins the castle on the side in which the gate is placed.
As to the queen, I cannot tell you precisely whither she retires,
but every day at sun-rise she goes to visit her paramour, after
having executed her bloody vengeance upon me; and you see I am
not in a condition to defend myself. She carries to him the
potion with which she had hitherto prevented his dying, and
always complains of his never having spoken to her since he was
wounded."

"Prince," said the sultan, "your condition can never be
sufficiently deplored: no one can be more sensibly affected by
your misfortunes than I am. Never did any thing so extraordinary
befall any man, and those who write your history will have the
advantage of relating what surpasses all that has hitherto been
recorded. One thing only is wanting; the revenge to which you are
entitled, and I will omit nothing in my power to effect it."

In his subsequent conversation with the young prince, the sultan
told him who he was, and for what purpose he had entered the
                                                                    55
castle; and afterwards informed him of a mode of revenge which he
had devised. They agreed upon the measures they were to take for
accomplishing their design, but deferred the execution of it till
the following day. In the mean time, the night being far spent,
the sultan took some rest; but the young prince passed the night
as usual, without sleep, having never slept since he was
enchanted, still indulging some hopes of being speedily delivered
from his misery.

Next morning the sultan arose with the dawn, and prepared to
execute his design, hiding his upper garment, which might
encumber him; he then proceeded to the Palace of Tears. He found
it lighted up with an infinite number of flambeaux of white wax,
and perfumed by a delicious scent issuing from several censers of
fine gold of admirable workmanship. As soon as he perceived the
bed where the black lay, he drew his cimeter, and without
resistance deprived him of his wretched life, dragged his corpse
into the court of the castle, and threw it into a well. After
this, he went and lay down in the black's bed, placed his cimeter
under the covering, and waited to complete his design.

The queen arrived shortly after. She first went into the chamber
of her husband, the king of the Black Islands, stripped him, and
with unexampled barbarity gave him a hundred stripes. The
unfortunate prince filled the palace with his lamentations, and
conjured her in the most affecting tone to take pity on him; but
the cruel wretch ceased not till she had given the usual number
of blows. "You had no compassion on my lover," said she, "and you
are to expect none from me."

After the enchantress had given the king, her husband, a hundred
blows with the whip, she put on again his covering of goat's
hair, and his brocade gown over all; she went afterwards to the
Palace of Tears, and as she entered renewed her tears and
lamentations: then approaching the bed, where she thought her
paramour lay, "What cruelty," cried she, "was it to disturb the
satisfaction so tender and passionate a lover as I am? O cruel
prince, who reproachest me that I am inhuman, when I make thee
feel the effects of my resentment! Does not thy barbarity surpass
my vengeance? Traitor! in attempting the life of the object which
I adore, hast thou not robbed me of mine? Alas!" said she,
addressing herself to the sultan, conceiving him to be the black
"My sun, my life, will you always be silent! Are you resolved to
let me die, without affording me the comfort of hearing again
from your own lips that you love me? My soul, speak one word to
me at least, I conjure you."

The sultan, as if he had awaked out of a deep sleep, and
counterfeiting the pronunciation of the blacks, answered the
                                                                    56
queen with a grave tone, "There is no strength or power but in
God alone, who is almighty." At these words the enchantress, who
did not expect them, uttered a loud exclamation of joy. "My dear
lord," cried she, "do not I deceive myself; is it certain that I
hear you, and that you speak to me?" "Unhappy woman," said the
sultan, "art thou worthy that I should answer thee?" "Alas!"
replied the queen, "why do you reproach me thus?" "The cries,"
returned the sultan, "the groans and tears of thy husband, whom
thou treatest every day with so much indignity and barbarity,
prevent my sleeping night or day. Hadst thou disenchanted him, I
should long since have been cured, and have recovered the use of
my speech. This is the cause of my silence, of which you
complain." "Well," said the enchantress, "to pacify you, I am
ready to execute your commands; would you have me restore him?"
"Yes," replied the sultan; "make haste to set him at liberty,
that I be no longer disturbed by his lamentations."

The enchantress went immediately out of the Palace of Tears; she
took a cup of water, and pronounced some words over it, which
caused it to boil, as if it had been on the fire. She afterwards
proceeded to the young king her husband, and threw the water upon
him, saying, "If the creator of all things did form thee as thou
art at present; or if he be angry with thee, do not change; but
if thou art in that condition merely by virtue of my
enchantments, resume thy natural shape, and become what thou west
before." She had scarcely spoken these words, when the prince,
finding himself restored to his former condition, rose up and
returned thanks to God. The enchantress then said to him, "Get
thee from this castle, and never return on pain of death." The
young king, yielding to necessity, went away from the
enchantress, without replying a word; and retired to a remote
place, where he patiently awaited the event of the design which
the sultan had so happily begun. Meanwhile, the enchantress
returned to the Palace of Tears, and supposing that she still
spoke to the black, said, "Dear love, I have done what you
required; nothing now prevents your rising and giving me the
satisfaction of which I have so long been deprived."

The sultan, still counterfeiting the pronunciation of the blacks,
said, "What you have now done is by no means sufficient for my
cure; you have only removed a part of the evil; you must cut it
up by the root." "My lovely black," resumed the queen, "what do
you mean by the root?" "Wretched woman," replied the sultan,
"understand you not that I allude to the town, and its
inhabitants, and the four islands, destroyed by thy enchantments?
The fish every night at midnight raise their heads out of the
lake, and cry for vengeance against thee and me. This is the true
cause of the delay of my cure. Go speedily, restore things to
their former state, and at thy return I will give thee my hand,
                                                                    57
and thou shalt help me to arise."

The enchantress, inspired with hope from these words, cried out
in a transport of joy, "My heart, my soul, you shall soon be
restored to your health, for I will immediately do as you command
me." Accordingly she went that instant, and when she came to the
brink of the lake, she took a little water in her hand, and
sprinkling it, had no sooner pronounced some words over the fish
and the lake, than the city was immediately restored. The fish
became men, women, and children; Mahummedans, Christians,
Persians, or Jews; freemen or slaves, as they were before: every
one having recovered his natural form. The houses and shops were
immediately filled with their inhabitants, who found all things
as they were before the enchantment. The sultan's numerous
retinue, who found themselves encamped in the largest square,
were astonished to see themselves in an instant in the middle of
a large, handsome, well-peopled city.

To return to the enchantress: As soon as she had effected this
wonderful change, she returned with all expedition to the Palace
of Tears, that she might receive her reward. "My dear lord,"
cried she, as she entered, "I come to rejoice with you in the
return of your health: I have done all that you required of me,
then pray rise, and give me your hand." "Come near," said the
sultan, still counterfeiting the pronunciation of the blacks. She
did so. "You are not near enough," he continued, "approach
nearer." She obeyed. He then rose up, and seizing her by the arm
so suddenly, that she had not time to discover him, he with a
blow of his cimeter cut her in two, so that one half fell one way
and the other another. This done he left the body on the spot,
and going out of the Palace of Tears, went to seek the young king
of the Black Isles, who waited for him with great impatience.
When he found him, "Prince," said he, embracing him, "rejoice;
you have now nothing to fear; your cruel enemy is dead."

The young prince returned thanks to the sultan in a manner that
sufficiently the sincerity of his gratitude, and in return wished
him long life and happiness. "You may henceforward," said the
sultan, "dwell peaceably in your capital, unless you will
accompany me to mine, which is near: you shall there be welcome,
and have as much honour and respect shown you as if you were in
your own kingdom." "Potent monarch, to whom I am so much
indebted," replied the king, "you think then that you are near
your capital?" "Yes," said the sultan, "I know it is not above
four or five hours' journey." "It will take you a whole year to
return," said the prince "I do indeed believe that you came
hither from your capital in the time you mention, because mine
was enchanted; but since the enchantment is taken off, things are
changed: however, this shall not prevent my following you, were
                                                                    58
it to the utmost corners of the earth. You are my deliverer, and
that I may give you proofs of my acknowledging this during my
whole life, I am willing to accompany you, and to leave my
kingdom without regret."

The sultan was extremely surprised to understand that he was so
far from his dominions, and could not imagine how it could be.
But the young king of the Black Islands convinced him beyond a
possibility of doubt. Then the sultan replied, "It is no matter;
the trouble of returning to my own country is sufficiently
recompensed by the satisfaction of having obliged you, and by
acquiring you for a son; for since you will do me the honour to
accompany me, as I have no child, I look upon you as such, and
from this moment appoint you my heir and successor."

The conversation between the sultan and the king of the Black
Islands concluded with most affectionate embraces, after which
the young prince employed himself in making preparations for his
journey, which were finished in three weeks, to the great regret
of his court and subjects, who agreed to receive at his hands one
of his nearest kindred for their monarch.

At length, the sultan and the young prince began their journey,
with a hundred camels laden with inestimable riches from the
treasury of the young king, followed by fifty handsome gentlemen
on horseback, perfectly well mounted and dressed They had a
pleasant journey; and when the sultan, who had sent couriers to
give advice of his delay, and of the adventure which had
occasioned it, approached his capital, the principal officers
came to receive him, and to assure him that his long absence had
occasioned no alteration in his empire. The inhabitants also came
out in great crowds, received him with acclamations, and made
public rejoicings for several days.

The day after his arrival the sultan gave all his courtiers a
very ample account of the circumstances, which, contrary to his
expectation, had detained him so long. He acquainted them with
his having adopted the king of the Four Black Islands, who was
willing to leave a great kingdom, to accompany and live with him;
and, in reward for their loyalty, he made each of them presents
according to their rank.

As for the fisherman, as he was the first cause of the
deliverance of the young prince, the sultan gave him a plentiful
fortune, which made him and his family happy the rest of their
days.



                                                                    59
        STORY OF THE THREE CALENDERS, SONS OF
       SULTANS; AND OF THE FIVE LADIES OF BAGDAD.



In the reign of Caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there was at Bagdad, a
porter, who, notwithstanding his mean and laborious business, was
a fellow of wit and good humour. One morning as he was at the
place where he usually plyed, with a great basket, waiting for
employment, a handsome young lady, covered with a great muslin
veil, accosted him, and said with a pleasant air, "Hark you,
porter, take your basket and follow me." The porter, charmed with
these words, pronounced in so agreeable a manner, took his basket
immediately, set it on his head, and followed the lady,
exclaiming, "O happy day, O day of good luck!"

In a short time the lady stopped before a gate that was shut, and
knocked: a Christian, with a venerable long white beard, opened
it; and she put money into his hand, without speaking; but the
Christian, who knew what she wanted, went in, and in a little
time, brought a large jug of excellent wine. "Take this jug,"
said the lady to the porter, "and put it in your basket." This
being done, she commanded him to follow her; and as she
proceeded, the porter continued his exclamation, "O happy day!
This is a day of agreeable surprise and joy."

The lady stopped at a fruit-shop, where she bought several sorts
of apples, apricots, peaches, quinces, lemons, citrons, oranges;
myrtles, sweet basil, lilies, jessamin, and some other flowers
and fragrant plants; she bid the porter put all into his basket,
and follow her. As she went by a butcher's stall, she made him
weigh her twenty five pounds of his best meat, which she ordered
the porter to put also into his basket. At another shop, she took
capers, tarragon, cucumbers, sassafras, and other herbs,
preserved in vinegar: at another, she bought pistachios, walnuts,
filberts, almonds, kernels of pine-apples, and such other fruits;
and at another, all sorts of confectionery. When the porter had
put all these things into his basket, and perceived that it grew
full, "My good lady," said he, "you ought to have given me notice
that you had so much provision to carry, and then I would have
brought a horse, or rather a camel, for the purpose; for if you
buy ever so little more, I shall not be able to bear it." The
lady laughed at the fellow's pleasant humour, and ordered him
still to follow her.

She then went to a druggist, where she furnished herself with all
manner of sweet-scented waters, cloves, musk, pepper, ginger, and
a great piece of ambergris, and several other Indian spices; this
                                                                    60
quite filled the porter's basket, and she ordered him to follow
her. They walked till they came to a magnificent house, whose
front was adorned with fine columns, and had a gate of ivory.
There they stopped, and the lady knocked softly.

While the young lady and the porter waited for the opening of the
gate, the porter made a thousand reflections. He wondered that
such a fine lady should come abroad to buy provisions; he
concluded she could not be a slave, her air was too noble, and
therefore he thought she must needs be a woman of quality. Just
as he was about to ask her some questions upon this head, another
lady came to open the gate, and appeared to him so beautiful,
that he was perfectly surprised, or rather so much struck with
her charms, that he had nearly suffered his basket to fall, for
he had never seen any beauty that equalled her.

The lady who brought the porter with her, perceiving his
disorder, and knowing the cause, was greatly diverted, and took
so much pleasure in watching his looks, that she forgot the gate
was opened. "Pray, Sister," said the beautiful portress, "come
in, what do you stay for? Do not you see this poor man so heavy
laden, that he is scarcely able to stand,"

When she entered with the porter, the lady who had opened the
gate shut it, and all three, after having passed through a
splendid vestibule, entered a spacious court, encompassed with an
open gallery, which had a communication with several apartments
of extraordinary magnificence. At the farther end of the court
there was a platform, richly furnished, with a throne of amber in
the middle, supported by four columns of ebony, enriched with
diamonds and pearls of an extraordinary size, and covered with
red satin embroidered with Indian gold of admirable workmanship.
In the middle of the court there was a fountain, faced with white
marble, and full of clear water, which was copiously supplied out
of the mouth of a lion of brass.

The porter, though heavy laden, could not but admire the
magnificence of this house, and the excellent order in which
every thing was placed; but what particularly captivated his
attention, was a third lady, who seemed to be more beautiful than
the second, and was seated upon the throne just mentioned; she
descended as soon as she saw the two others, and advanced towards
them: he judged by the respect which the other ladies showed her,
that she was the chief, in which he was not mistaken. This lady
was called Zobeide, she who opened the gate Safie, and she who
went to buy the provisions was named Amene.

Zobeide said to the two ladies, when she came to them, "Sisters,
do not you see that this honest man is ready to sink under his
                                                                    61
burden, why do not you ease him of it?" Then Amene and Safie took
the basket, the one before and the other behind; Zobeide also
assisted, and all three together set it on the ground; then
emptied it; and when they had done, the beautiful Amene took out
money, and paid the porter liberally.

The porter was well satisfied with the money he had received; but
when he ought to have departed, he could not summon sufficient
resolution for the purpose. He was chained to the spot by the
pleasure of beholding three such beauties, who appeared to him
equally charming; for Amene having now laid aside her veil,
proved to be as handsome as either of the others. What surprised
him most was, that he saw no man about the house, yet most of the
provisions he had brought in, as the dry fruits, and the several
sorts of cakes and confections, were adapted chiefly for those
who could drink and make merry.

Zobeide thought at first, that the porter staid only to take
breath, but perceiving that he remained too long, "What do you
wait for," said she, "are you not sufficiently paid?" And turning
to Amene. she continued, "Sister, give him something more, that
he may depart satisfied." "Madam," replied the porter, "it is not
that which detains me, I am already more than paid for my
services; I am sensible that I act rudely in staying longer than
I ought, but I hope you will the goodness to pardon me, when I
tell you, that I am astonished not to see a man with three ladies
of such extraordinary beauty: and you know that a company of
women without men is as melancholy as a company of men without
women." To this he added several other pleasant things, to prove
what he said, and did not forget the Bagdad proverb, "That the
table is not completely furnished, except there be four in
company:" and so concluded, that since they were but three, they
wanted another.

The ladies fell a laughing at the porter's reasoning; after which
Zobeide gravely addressed him, "Friend, you presume rather too
much; and though you do not deserve that I should enter into any
explanation with you, I have no objection to inform you that we
are three sisters, who transact our affairs with so much secrecy
that no one knows any thing of them. We have but too much reason
to be cautious of acquainting indiscreet persons with our
counsel; and a good author that we have read, says, ‘Keep thy own
secret, and do not reveal it to any one. He that makes his secret
known it no longer its master. If thy own breast cannot keep thy
counsel, how canst thou expect the breast of another to be more
faithful?'"

"My ladies," replied the porter, "by your very air, I judged at
first that you were persons of extraordinary merit, and I
                                                                    62
conceive that I am not mistaken. Though fortune has not given me
wealth enough to raise me above my mean profession, yet I have
not omitted to cultivate my mind as much as I could, by reading
books of science and history; and allow me, I beseech you, to
say, that I have also read in another author a maxim which I have
always happily followed: ‘We conceal our secret from such persons
only as are known to all the world to want discretion, and would
abuse our confidence; but we hesitate not to discover it to the
prudent, because we know that with them it is safe.' A secret in
my keeping is as secure as if it were locked up in a cabinet, the
key of which is lost, and the door sealed up."

Zobeide perceiving that the porter was not deficient in wit, but
thinking he wished to share in their festivity, answered him,
smiling, "You know that we have been making preparations to
regale ourselves, and that, as you have seen, at a considerable
expense; it is not just that you should now partake of the
entertainment without contributing to the cost." The beautiful
Safie seconded her sister, and said to the porter, "Friend. have
you never heard the common saying, ‘If you bring something with
you, you shall carry something away, but if you bring nothing,
you shall depart empty?'"

The porter, notwithstanding his rhetoric, must, in all
probability, have retired in confusion, if Amene had not taken
his part, and said to Zobeide and Safie, "My dear sisters, I
conjure you to let him remain; I need not tell you that he will
afford us some diversion, of this you perceive he is capable: I
assure you, had it not been for his readiness, his alacrity, and
courage to follow me, I could not have done so much business, in
so short a time; besides, where I to repeat to you all the
obliging expressions he addressed to me by the way, you would not
feel surprised at my taking his part."

At these words of Amene, the porter was so transported with joy,
that he fell on his knees, kissed the ground at her feet, and
raising himself up, said, "Most beautiful lady, you began my good
fortune to-day, and now you complete it by this generous conduct;
I cannot adequately express my acknowledgments. As to the rest,
ladies," said he, addressing himself to all the three sisters,
"since you do me so great an honour, do not think that I will
abuse it, or look upon myself as deserving of the distinction.
No, I shall always look upon myself as one of your most humble
slaves." When he had spoken these words he would have returned
the money he had received, but Zobeide ordered him to keep it.
"What we have once given," said she, "to reward those who have
served us, we never take back. My friend, in consenting to your
staying with us, I must forewarn you, that it is not the only
condition we impose upon you that you keep inviolable the secret
                                                                    63
we may entrust to you, but we also require you to attend to the
strictest rules of good manners." During this address, the
charming Amene put off the apparel she went abroad with, and
fastened her robe to her girdle that she might act with the
greater freedom; she then brought in several sorts of meat, wine,
and cups of gold. Soon after, the ladies took their places, and
made the porter sit down by them, who was overjoyed to see
himself seated with three such admirable beauties. After they had
eaten a little, Amene took a cup, poured some wine into it, and
drank first herself; she then filled the cup to her sisters, who
drank in course as they sat; and at last she filled it the fourth
time for the porter, who, as he received it, kissed Amene's hand;
and before he drank, sung a song to this purpose. That as the
wind bears with it the sweet scents of the purfumed places over
which it passes, so the wine he was going to drink, coming from
her fair hands, received a more exquisite flavour than it
naturally possessed. The song pleased the ladies much, and each
of them afterwards sung one in her turn. In short, they were all
very pleasant during the repast, which lasted a considerable
time, and nothing was wanting that could serve to render it
agreeable. The day drawing to a close, Safie spoke in the name of
the three ladies, and said to the porter, "Arise, it is time for
you to depart." But the porter, not willing to leave good
company, cried, "Alas! ladies, whither do you command me to go in
my present condition? What with drinking and your society, I am
quite beside myself. I shall never find the way home; allow me
this night to recover myself, in any place you please, but go
when I will, I shall leave the best part of myself behind."

Amene pleaded the second time for the porter, saying, "Sisters,
he is right, I am pleased with the request, he having already
diverted us so well; and, if you will take my advice, or if you
love me as much as I think you do, let us keep him for the
remainder of the night." "Sister," answered Zobeide, "we can
refuse you nothing;" and then turning to the porter, said, "We
are willing once more to grant your request, but upon this new
condition, that, whatever we do in your presence relating either
to ourselves or any thing else, you do not so much as open your
mouth to ask the reason; for if you put any questions respecting
what does not concern you, you may chance to hear what you will
not like; beware therefore, and be not too inquisitive to pry
into the motives of our actions.

"Madam," replied the porter, "I promise to abide by this
condition, that you shall have no cause to complain, and far less
to punish my indiscretion; my tongue shall be immovable on this
occasion, and my eye like a looking-glass, which retains nothing
of the objets that is set before it." "To shew you," said Zobeide
with a serious countenance, "that what we demand of you is not a
                                                                    64
new thing among us, read what is written over our gate on the
inside."

The porter went and read these words, written in large characters
of gold: "He who speaks of things that do not concern him, shall
hear things that will not please him." Returning again to the
three sisters, "Ladies," said he, "I swear to you that you shall
never hear me utter a word respecting what does not relate to me,
or wherein you may have any concern."

These preliminaries being settled, Amene brought in supper, and
after she had lighted up the room with tapers, made of aloe-wood
and ambergris, which yield a most agreeable perfume, as well as a
delicate light, she sat down with her sisters and the porter.
They began again to eat and drink, to sing, and repeat verses.
The ladies diverted themselves in intoxicating the porter, under
pretext of making him drink their healths, and the repast was
enlivened by reciprocal flashes of wit. When they were all in the
best humour possible, they heard a knocking at the gate.

When the ladies heard the knocking, they all three got up to open
the gate; but Safie was the nimblest; which her sisters
perceiving, they resumed their seats. Safie returning, said,
"Sisters, we have a very fine opportunity of passing a good part
of the night pleasantly, and if you agree with me, you will not
suffer it to go by. There are three calenders at our gate, at
least they appear to be such by their habit; but what will
surprise you is, they are all three blind of the right eye, and
have their heads, beards, and eye-brows shaved. They say, they
are but just come to Bagdad, where they never were before; it
being night, and not knowing where to find a lodging, they
happened by chance to knock at this gate, and pray us, for the
love of heaven, to have compassion on them, and receive them into
the house. They care not what place we put them in, provided they
may be under shelter; they would be satisfied with a stable. They
are young and handsome, and seem not to want spirit. But I cannot
without laughing think of their amusing and uniform figure." Here
Safie laughed so heartily, that the two sisters and the porter
could not refrain from laughing also. "My dear sisters," said
she, "you will permit them to come in; it is impossible but that
with such persons as I have described them to be, we shall finish
the day better than we began it; they will afford us diversion
enough, and put us to no charge, because they desire shelter only
for this night, and resolve to leave us as soon as day appears."

Zobeide and Amene made some difficulty to grant Safie's request,
for reasons which she herself well knew. But being very desirous
to obtain this favour, they could not refuse her; "Go then," said
Zobeide, "and bring them in, but do not forget to acquaint them
                                                                    65
that they must not speak of any thing which does not concern
them, and cause them to read what is written over the gate."
Safie ran out with joy, and in a little time after returned with
the three calenders.

At their entrance they made a profound obeisance to the ladies,
who rose up to receive them, and told them courteously that they
were welcome, that they were glad of the opportunity to oblige
them, and to contribute towards relieving the fatigues of their
journey, and at last invited them to sit down with them.

The magnificence of the place, and the civility they received,
inspired the calenders with high respect for the ladies: but,
before they sat down, having by chance cast their eyes upon the
porter, whom they saw clad almost like those devotees with whom
they have continual disputes respecting several points of
discipline, because they never shave their beards nor eye-brows;
one of them said, "I believe we have got here one of our revolted
Arabian brethren."

The porter having his head warm with wine, took offence and with
a fierce look, without stirring from his place, answered, "Sit
you down, and do not meddle with what does not concern you: have
you not read the inscription over the gate? Do not pretend to
make people live after your fashion, but follow ours."

"Honest man," said the calender, "do not put yourself in a
passion; we should be sorry to give you the least occasion; on
the contrary, we are ready to receive your commands." Upon which,
to put an end to the dispute, the ladies interposed, and pacified
them. When the calenders were seated, the ladies served them with
meat; and Safie, being highly pleased with them, did not let them
want for wine.

After the calenders had eaten and drunk liberally, they signified
to the ladies, that they wished to entertain them with a concert
of music, if they had any instruments in the house, and would
cause them to be brought: they willingly accepted the proposal,
and fair Safie going to fetch them, returned again in a moment,
and presented them with a flute of her own country fashion,
another of the Persian, and a tabor. Each man took the instrument
he liked, and all three together began to play a tune The ladies,
who knew the words of a merry song that suited the air, joined
the concert with their voices; but the words of the song made
them now and then stop, and fall into excessive laughter.

In the height of this diversion, when the company were in the
midst of their jollity, a knocking was heard at the gate; Safie
left off singing, and went to see who it was. The caliph Haroon
                                                                    66
al Rusheed was frequently in the habit of walking abroad in
disguise by night, that he might discover if every thing was
quiet in the city, and see that no disorders were committed.

This night the caliph went out on his rambles, accompanied by
Jaaffier his grand vizier, and Mesrour the chief of the eunuchs
of his palace, all disguised in merchants' habits; and passing
through the street where the three ladies dwelt, he heard the
sound of music and fits of loud laughter; upon which he commanded
the vizier, to knock, as he wished to enter to ascertain the
reason. The vizier, in vain represented to him that the noise
proceeded from some women who were merry-making, that without
question their heads were warm with wine, and that it would not
be proper he should expose himself to be affronted by them:
besides, it was not yet an unlawful hour, and therefore he ought
not to disturb them in their mirth. "No matter," said the caliph,
"I command you to knock." Jaaffier complied; Safie opened the
gate, and the vizier, perceiving by the light in her hand, that
she was an incomparable beauty, with a very low salutation said,
"We are three merchants of Mossoul, who arrived here about ten
days ago with rich merchandise, which we have in a warehouse at a
caravan-serai, where we have also our lodging. We happened this
evening to be with a merchant of this city, who invited us to his
house, where we had a splendid entertainment: and the wine having
put us in good humour, he sent for a company of dancers. Night
being come on, and the music and dancers making a great noise,
the watch, passing by, caused the gate to be opened and some of
the company to be taken up; but we had the good fortune to escape
by getting over the wall. Being strangers, and somewhat overcome
with wine, we are afraid of meeting that or some other watch,
before we get home to our khan. Besides, before we can arrive
there the gates will be shut, and will not be opened till
morning: wherefore, hearing, as we passed by this way, the sound
of music, we supposed you were not yet going to rest, and made
bold to knock at your gate, to beg the favour of lodging
ourselves in the house till morning; and if you think us worthy
of your good company, we will endeavour to contribute to your
diversion to the best of our power, to make some amends for the
interruption we have given you; if not, we only beg the favour of
staying this night in your vestibule."

Whilst Jaaffier was speaking, Safie had time to observe the
vizier, and his two companions, who were said to be merchants
like himself, and told them that she was not mistress of the
house; but if they would have a minute's patience, she would
return with an answer.

Safie made the business known to her sisters, who considered for
some time what to do: but being naturally of a good disposition,
                                                                    67
and having granted the same favour to the three calenders, they
at last consented to let them in.

The caliph, his grand vizier, and the chief of the eunuchs, being
introduced by the fair Safie, very courteously saluted the ladies
and the calenders. The ladies returned their salutations,
supposing them to be merchants. Zobeide, as the chief, addressed
them with a grave and serious countenance, which was natural to
her, and said, "You are welcome. But before I proceed farther, I
hope you will not take it ill if we desire one favour of you."
"Alas!" said the vizier, "what favour? We can refuse nothing to
such fair ladies." Zobeide continued, "It is that, while here,
you would have eyes, but no tongues; that you question us not for
the reason of any thing you may see, and speak not of any thing
that does not concern you, lest you hear what will by no means
please you."

"Madam," replied the vizier, "you shall be obeyed. We are not
censorious, nor impertinently curious; it is enough for us to
notice affairs that concern us, without meddling with what does
not belong to us." Upon this they all sat down, and the company
being united, they drank to the health of the new-comers.

While the vizier, entertained the ladies in conversation, the
caliph could not forbear admiring their extraordinary beauty,
graceful behaviour, pleasant humour, and ready wit; on the other
hand, nothing struck him with more surprise than the calenders
being all three blind of the right eye. He would gladly have
learnt the cause of this singularity; but the conditions so
lately imposed upon himself and his companions would not allow
him to speak. These circumstances, with the richness of the
furniture, the exact order of every thing, and the neatness of
the house, made him think they were in some enchanted place.

Their conversation happening to turn upon diversions, and the
different ways of making merry; the calenders arose, and danced
after their fashion, which augmented the good opinion the ladies
had conceived of them, and procured them the esteem of the caliph
and his companions.

When the three calenders had finished their dance, Zobeide arose,
and taking Amene by the hand, said, "Pray, sister, arise, for the
company will not be offended if we use our freedom, and their
presence need not hinder the performance of our customary
exercise." Amene understanding her sister's meaning, rose from
her seat, carried away the dishes, the flasks and cups, together
with the instruments which the calenders had played upon.

Safie was not idle, but swept the room, put every thing again in
                                                                    68
its place, trimmed the lamps, and put fresh aloes and ambergris
to them; this being done, she requested the three calenders to
sit down upon the sofa at one side, and the caliph with his
companions on the other: then addressing herself to the porter,
she said, "Get up, and prepare yourself to assist us in what we
are going to do; a man like you, who is one of the family, ought
not to be idle." The porter, being somewhat recovered from his
wine, arose immediately, and having tied the sleeve of his gown
to his belt, answered, "Here am I, ready to obey your commands."
"Very well," replied Safie, "stay till you are spoken to; and you
shall not be idle long." A little time after, Amene came in with
a chair, which she placed in the middle of the room; and then
went towards a closet. Having opened the door, she beckoned to
the porter, and said, "Come hither and assist me." He obeyed, and
entered the closet, and returned immediately, leading two black
bitches, each of them secured by a collar and chain; they
appeared as if they had been severely whipped with rods, and he
brought them into the middle of the apartment.

Zobeide, rising from her seat between the calenders and the
caliph, moved very gravely towards the porter; "Come," said she,
heaving a deep sigh, "let us perform our duty:" she then tucked
up her sleeves above her elbows, and receiving a rod from Safie,
"Porter," said she, "deliver one of the bitches to my sister
Amene, and bring the other to me."

The porter did as he was commanded. Upon this the bitch that he
held in his hand began to howl, and turning towards Zobeide, held
her head up in a supplicating posture; but Zobeide, having no
regard to the sad countenance of the animal, which would have
moved pity, nor to her cries that resounded through the house,
whipped her with the rod till she was out of breath; and having
spent her strength, threw down the rod, and taking the chain from
the porter, lifted up the bitch by her paws, and looking upon her
with a sad and pitiful countenance, they both wept: after which,
Zobeide, with her handkerchief, wiped the tears from the bitch's
eye, kissed her, returned the chain to the porter, desired him to
carry her to the place whence he took her, and bring her the
other. The porter led back the whipped bitch to the closet, and
receiving the other from Amene, presented her to Zobeide, who
requested him to hold her as he had done the first, took up the
rod, and treated her after the same manner; and when she had wept
over her, she dried her eyes, kissed her, and returned her to the
porter: but Amene spared him the trouble of leading her back into
the closet, and did it herself. The three calenders, with the
caliph and his companions, were extremely surprised at this
exhibition, and could not comprehend why Zobeide, after having so
furiously beaten those two bitches, that by the moosulman
religion are reckoned unclean animals, should weep with them,
                                                                    69
wipe off their tears, and kiss them. They muttered among
themselves, and the caliph, who, being more impatient than the
rest, longed exceedingly to be informed of the cause of so
strange a proceeding, could not forbear making signs to the
vizier to ask the question: the vizier turned his head another
way; but being pressed by repeated signs, he answered by others,
that it was not yet time for the caliph to satisfy his curiosity.

Zobeide sat still some time in the middle of the room, where she
had whipped the two bitches, to recover herself of her fatigue;
and Safie called to her, "Dear sister, will you not be pleased to
return to your place, that I may also aft my part?" "Yes,
sister," replied Zobeide; and then went, and sat down upon the
sofa, having the caliph, Jaaffier, and Mesrour, on her right
hand, and the three calenders, with the porter, on her left.

After Zobeide had taken her seat, the whole company remained
silent for some time; at last, Safie, sitting on a chair in the
middle of the room, spoke to her sister Amene, "Dear sister, I
conjure you to rise; you know what I would say." Amene rose, and
went into another closet, near to that where the bitches were,
and brought out a case covered with yellow satin, richly
embroidered with gold and green silk. She went towards Safie and
opened the case, from whence she took a lute, and presented it to
her: and after some time spent in tuning it, Safie began to play,
and accompanying the instrument with her voice, sung a song about
the torments that absence creates to lovers, with so much
sweetness, that it charmed the caliph and all the company. Having
sung with much passion and action, she said to Amene, "Pray take
it, sister, for my voice fails me; oblige the company with a
tune, and a song in my stead." "Very willingly," replied Amene,
who, taking the lute from her sister Safie, sat down in her
place.

Amene played and sung almost as long upon the same subject, but
with so much vehemence, and was so much affected, or rather
transported, by the words of the song, that her strength failed
her as she finished.

Zobeide, desirous of testifying her satisfaction, said, "Sister,
you have done wonders, and we may easily see that you feel the
grief you have expressed in so lively a manner." Amene was
prevented from answering this civility, her heart being so
sensibly touched at the moment, that she was obliged, for air, to
uncover her neck and bosom, which did not appear so fair as might
have been expected; but, on the contrary, were black and full of
scars, which surprised and affected all the spectators. However,
this gave her no ease, for she fell into a fit.

                                                                    70
When Zobeide and Safie had run to help their sister, one of the
calenders could not forbear saying, "We had better have slept in
the streets than have come hither to behold such spectacles." The
caliph, who heard this, came to him and the other calenders, and
asked them what might be the meaning of all this? They answered,
"We know no more than you do." "What," said the caliph, "are you
not of the family? Can you not resolve us concerning the two
black bitches and the lady that fainted away, who appears to have
been so basely abused?" "Sir," said the calenders, "this is the
first time of our being in the house; we came in but a few
minutes before you."

This increased the caliph's astonishment: "Probably," said he,
"this man who is with you may know something of the matter." One
of the calenders beckoned the porter to come near; and asked him,
whether he knew why those two black bitches had been whipped, and
why Amene's bosom was so scarred. "Sir," said the porter, "I can
swear by heaven, that if you know nothing of all this, I know as
little as you do. It is true, I live in this city, but I never
was in the house until now, and if you are surprised to see me I
am as much so to find myself in your company; and that which
increases my wonder is, that I have not seen one man with these
ladies."

The caliph and his company, as well as the calenders, had
supposed the porter to be one of the family, and hoped he would
have been able to give them the information they sought; but
finding he could not, and resolving to satisfy his curiosity, the
caliph said to the rest, "We are seven men, and have but three
women to deal with; let us try if we can oblige them to explain
what we have seen, and if they refuse by fair means, we are in a
condition to compel them by force."

The grand vizier Jaaffier objected to this, and shewed the caliph
what might be the consequence. Without discovering the prince to
the calenders, he addressed him as if he had been a merchant, and
said, "Consider, I pray you, that our reputation is at stake. You
know the conditions on which these ladies consented to receive
us, and which we agreed to observe; what will they say of us if
we break them? We shall be still more to blame, if any mischief
befall us; for it is not likely that they would have extorted
such a promise from us, without knowing themselves to be in a
condition to punish us for its violation."

Here the vizier took the caliph aside, and whispered to him, "The
night will soon be at an end, and if your majesty will only be
pleased to have so much patience, I will to-morrow morning bring
these ladies before your throne, where you may be informed of all
that you desire to know." Though this advice was very judicious,
                                                                    71
the caliph rejected it, desired the vizier to hold his tongue,
and said, he would not wait so long, but would immediately have
his curiosity satisfied.

The next business was to settle who should carry the message. The
caliph endeavoured to prevail with the calenders to speak first;
but they excused themselves, and at last they agreed that the
porter should be the man: as they were consulting how to word
this fatal question, Zobeide returned from her sister Amene, who
was recovered of her fit. She drew near them, and having
overheard them speaking pretty loud, said, "Gentlemen, what is
the subject of your conversation? What are you disputing about?"

The porter answered immediately, "Madam, these gentlemen beseech
you to inform them why you wept over your two bitches after you
had whipped them so severely, and how the bosom of that lady who
lately fainted away came to be so full of scars? These are the
questions I am ordered to ask in their name."

At these words, Zobeide put on a stern countenance, and turning
towards the caliph and the rest of the company, "Is it true,
gentlemen," said she, "that you desired him to ask me these
questions?" All of them, except the vizier Jaaffier, who spoke
not a word, answered, "Yes." On which she exclaimed, in a tone
that sufficiently expressed her resentment, "Before we granted
you the favour of receiving you into our house, and to prevent
all occasion of trouble from you, because we are alone, we
imposed the condition that you should not speak of any thing that
did not concern you, lest you might hear that which would not
please you; and yet after having received and entertained you,
you make no scruple to break your promise. It is true that our
easy temper has occasioned this, but that shall not excuse your
rudeness." As she spoke these words, she gave three stamps with
her foot, and clapping her hands as often together, cried, "Come
quickly:" upon this, a door flew open, and seven black slaves
rushed in; every one seized a man, threw him on the ground, and
dragged him into the middle of the room, brandishing a cimeter
over his head.

We may easily conceive the caliph then repented, but too late,
that he had not taken the advice of his vizier, who, with
Mesrour, the calenders and porter, was from his ill-timed
curiosity on the point of forfeiting his life. Before they would
strike the fatal blow, one of the slaves said to Zobeide, and her
sisters: "High, mighty, and adorable mistresses, do you command
us to strike off their heads?" "Stay," said Zobeide, "I must
examine them first." The frightened porter interrupted her thus:
"In the name of heaven, do not put me to death for another man's
crime. I am innocent; they are to blame." "Alas!" said he,
                                                                    72
weeping, "how pleasantly did we pass our time! those blind
calenders are the cause of this misfortune; there is no town in
the world but suffers wherever these inauspicious fellows come.
Madam, I beg you not to destroy the innocent with the guilty, and
consider, that it is more glorious to pardon such a wretch as I
am, who have no way to help myself, than to sacrifice me to your
resentment."

Zobeide, notwithstanding her anger, could not but laugh within
herself at the porter's lamentation: but without replying to him,
she spoke a second time to the rest; "Answer me, and say who you
are, otherwise you shall not live one moment longer: I cannot
believe you to be honest men, or persons of authority or
distinction in your own countries; for if you were, you would
have been more modest and more respectful to us."

The caliph, naturally warm, was infinitely more indignant than
the rest, to find his life depending upon the command of a woman:
but he began to conceive some hopes, when he found she wished to
know who they all were; for he imagined she would not put him to
death, when informed of his quality; therefore he spoke with a
low voice to the vizier, who was near him, to declare it
speedily: but the vizier, more prudent, resolved to save his
master's honour, and not let the world know the affront he had
brought upon himself by his own imprudence; and therefore
answered, "We have what we deserve." But if he had intended to
speak as the caliph commanded him, Zobeide would not have allowed
him time: for having turned to the calenders, and seeing them all
blind with one eye, she asked if they were brothers. One of them
answered, "No, madam, no otherwise than as we are calenders; that
is to say, as we observe the same rules." "Were you born blind of
the right eye," continued she? "No, madam," answered he; "I lost
my eye in such a surprising adventure, that it would be
instructive to every body were it in writing: after that
misfortune I shaved my beard and eyebrows, and took the habit of
a calender which I now wear."

Zobeide asked the other two calenders the same question, and had
the same answers; but the last who spoke added, "Madam, to shew
you that we are no common fellows, and that you may have some
consideration for us, be pleased to know, that we are all three
sons of sultans; and though we never met together till this
evening, yet we have had time enough to make that known to one
another; and I assure you that the sultans from whom we derive
our being were famous in the world."

At this discourse Zobeide suppressed her anger, and said to the
slaves, "Give them their liberty a while, but remain where you
are. Those who tell us their history, and the occasion of their
                                                                    73
coming, do them no hurt, let them go where they please; but do
not spare those who refuse to give us that satisfaction."

The three calendars, the caliph, the grand vizier, Jaaffier, the
eunuch Mesrour, and the porter, were all in the middle of the
hall, seated upon a carpet in the presence of the three ladies,
who reclined upon a sofa, and the slaves stood ready to do
whatever their mistresses should command.

The porter, understanding that he might extricate himself from
danger by telling his history, spoke first, and said, "Madam, you
know my history already, and the occasion of my coming hither; so
that what I have to say will be very short. My lady, your sister,
called me this morning at the place where I plyed as porter to
see if any body would employ me, that I might get my bread; I
followed her to a vintner's, then to a herb-shop, then to one
where oranges, lemons, and citrons were sold, then to a grocer's,
next to a confectioner's, and a druggist's, with my basket upon
my head as full as I was able to carry it; then I came hither,
where you had the goodness to suffer me to continue till now, a
favour that I shall never forget. This, madam, is my history."

When the porter had done, Zobeide said to him, "Depart, let us
see you here no more." "Madam," replied the porter, "I beg you to
let me stay; it would not be just, after the rest have had the
pleasure to hear my history, that I should not also have the
satisfaction of hearing theirs." And having spoken thus, he sat
down at the end of the sofa, glad at heart to have escaped the
danger that had frightened him so much. After him, one of the
three calenders directing his speech to Zobeide, as the principal
of the three ladies, began thus:




         The History of the First Calender.



Madam, in order to inform you how I lost my right eye, and why I
was obliged to put myself into a calender's habit, I must tell
you, that I am a sultan's son born: my father had a brother who
reigned over a neighbouring kingdom; and the prince his son and I
were nearly of the same age.

After I had learned my exercises, the sultan my father granted me
such liberty as suited my dignity. I went regularly every year to
see my uncle, at whose court I amused myself for a month or two,
and then returned again to my father's. These journeys cemented a
                                                                    74
firm and intimate friendship between the prince my cousin and
myself. The last time I saw him, he received me with greater
demonstrations of tenderness than he had done at any time before;
and resolving one day to give me a treat, he made great
preparations for that purpose. We continued a long time at table,
and after we had both supped; "Cousin," said he, "you will hardly
be able to guess how I have been employed since your last
departure from hence, about a year past. I have had a great many
men at work to perfect a design I have formed; I have caused an
edifice to be built, which is now finished so as to be habitable:
you will not be displeased if I shew it you. But first you are to
promise me upon oath, that you will keep my secret, according to
the confidence I repose in you."

The affection and familiarity that subsisted between us would not
allow me to refuse him any thing. I very readily took the oath
required of me: upon which he said to me, "Stay here till I
return, I will be with you in a moment; and accordingly he came
with a lady in his hand, of singular beauty, and magnificently
apparelled: he did not intimate who she was, neither did I think
it would be polite to enquire. We sat down again with this lady
at table, where we continued some time, conversing upon
indifferent subjects; and now and then filling a glass to each
other's health. After which the prince said, "Cousin, we must
lose no time; therefore pray oblige me by taking this lady along
with you, and conducting her to such a place, where you will see
a tomb newly built in form of a dome: you will easily know it;
the gate is open; enter it together, and tarry till I come, which
will be very speedily."

Being true to my oath, I made no farther enquiry, but took the
lady by the hand, and by the directions which the prince my
cousin had given me, I brought her to the place. We were scarcely
got thither, when we saw the prince following us, carrying a
pitcher of water, a hatchet, and a little bag of mortar.

The hatchet served him to break down the empty sepulchre in the
middle of the tomb; he took away the stones one after another,
and laid them in a corner; he then dug up the ground, where I saw
a trap-door under the sepulchre, which he lifted up, and
underneath perceived the head of a staircase leading into a
vault. Then my cousin, speaking to the lady, said, "Madam, it is
by this way that we are to go to the place I told you of:" upon
which the lady advanced, and went down, and the prince began to
follow; but first turning to me, said, "My dear cousin, I am
infinitely obliged to you for the trouble you have taken; I thank
you. Adieu." "Dear cousin," I cried, "what is the meaning of
this?" "Be content," replied he; "you may return the way you
came."
                                                                    75
I could get nothing farther from him, but was obliged to take my
leave. As I returned to my uncle's palace, the vapours of the
wine got up into my head; however, I reached my apartment, and
went to bed. Next morning, when I awoke, I began to reflect upon
what had happened, and after recollecting all the circumstances
of such a singular adventure, I fancied it was nothing but a
dream. Full of these thoughts, I sent to enquire if the prince my
cousin was ready to receive a visit from me; but when they
brought word back that he did not lie in his own lodgings that
night, that they knew not what was become of him, and were in
much trouble in consequence, I conceived that the strange event
of the tomb was too true. I was sensibly afflicted, and went to
the public burying-place, where there were several tombs like
that which I had seen: I spent the day in viewing them one after
another, but could not find that I sought for, and thus I spent
four days successively in vain.

You must know, that all this while the sultan my uncle was
absent, and had been hunting for several days; I grew weary of
waiting for him, and having prayed his ministers to make my
apology at his return, left his palace, and set out towards my
father's court. I left the ministers of the sultan my uncle in
great trouble, surmising what was become of the prince: but
because of my oath to keep his secret, I durst not tell them what
I had seen.

I arrived at my father's capital, where, contrary to custom, I
found a numerous guard at the gate of the palace, who surrounded
me as I entered. I asked the reason, and the commanding officer
replied, "Prince, the army has proclaimed the grand vizier,
instead of your father, who is dead, and I take you prisoner in
the name of the new sultan." At these words the guards laid hold
of me, and carried me before the tyrant: I leave you to judge,
madam, how much I was surprised and grieved.

This rebel vizier, had long entertained a mortal hatred against
me; for this reason. When I was a stripling, I loved to shoot
with a cross-bow; and being one day upon the terrace of the
palace with my bow, a bird happening to come by, I shot but
missed him, and the ball by misfortune hit the vizier, who was
taking the air upon the terrace of his own house, and put out one
of his eyes. As soon as I understood this, I not only sent to
make my excuse to him, but did it in person: yet he never forgave
me, and, as opportunity offered, made me sensible of his
resentment. But now that he had me in his power, he expressed his
feelings; for he came to me like a madman, as soon as he saw me,
and thrusting his finger into my right eye, pulled it out, and
thus I became blind of one eye.
                                                                    76
But the usurper's cruelty did not stop here; he ordered me to be
shut up in a machine, and commanded the executioner to carry me
into the country, to cut off my head, and leave me to be devoured
by birds of prey. The executioner conveyed me thus shut up into
the country, in order to execute the barbarous sentence; but by
my prayers and tears, I moved the man's compassion: "Go," said he
to me, "get you speedily out of the kingdom, and take heed of
returning, or you will certainly meet your own ruin, and be the
cause of mine." I thanked him for the favour he did me; and as
soon as I was left alone, comforted myself for the loss of my
eye, by considering that I had very narrowly escaped a much
greater evil.

Being in such a condition, I could not travel far at a time; I
retired to remote places during the day, and travelled as far by
night as my strength would allow me. At last I arrived in the
dominions of the sultan my uncle, and came to his capital.

I gave him a long detail of the tragical cause of my return, and
of the sad condition he saw me in. "Alas!" cried he, "was it not
enough for me to have lost my son, but must I have also news of
the death of a brother I loved so dearly, and see you reduced to
this deplorable condition?" He told me how uneasy he was that he
could hear nothing of his son, notwithstanding all the enquiry he
could make. At these words, the unfortunate father burst into
tears, and was so much afflicted, that pitying his grief, it was
impossible for me to keep the secret any longer; so that,
notwithstanding my oath to the prince my cousin, I told the
sultan all that I knew.

His majesty listened to me with some sort of comfort, and when I
had done, "Nephew," said he, "what you tell me gives me some
hope. I knew that my son ordered that tomb to be built, and I can
guess pretty nearly the place; and with the idea you still have
of it, I fancy we shall find it: but since he ordered it to be
built privately, and you took your oath to keep his secret, I am
of opinion, that we ought to go in quest of it without other
attendants." But he had another reason for keeping the matter
secret, which he did not then tell me, and an important one it
was, as you will perceive by the sequel of my story.

We disguised ourselves and went out by a door of the garden which
opened into the fields, and soon found what we sought for. I knew
the tomb, and was the more rejoiced, because I had formerly
sought it a long time in vain. We entered, and found the iron
trap pulled down at the head of the staircase; we had great
difficulty in raising it, because the prince had fastened it
inside with the water and mortar formerly mentioned, but at last
                                                                    77
we succeeded.

The sultan my uncle descended first, I followed, and we went down
about fifty steps. When we came to the foot of the stairs, we
found a sort of antechamber, full of thick smoke of an ill scent,
which obscured the lamp, that gave a very faint light.

From this antechamber we came into another, very large, supported
by columns, and lighted by several branched candlesticks. There
was a cistern in the middle, and provisions of several sorts
stood on one side of it; but we were much surprised not to see
any person. Before us there appeared a high estrade, which we
mounted by several steps, and upon this there was a large bed,
with curtains drawn. The sultan went up, and opening the
curtains, perceived the prince his son and the lady in bed
together, but burnt and changed to cinder, as if they had been
thrown into a fire, and taken out before they were consumed.

But what surprised me most was, that though this spectacle filled
me with horror, the sultan my uncle, instead of testifying his
sorrow to see the prince his son in such a condition, spat on his
face, and exclaimed, with a disdainful air, "This is the
punishment of this world, but that of the other will last to
eternity;" and not content with this, he pulled off his sandal,
and gave the corpse of his son a blow on the cheek.

I cannot adequately express how much I was astonished when I saw
the sultan my uncle abuse his son thus after he was dead. "Sir,"
said I, "whatever grief this dismal sight has impressed upon me,
I am forced to suspend it, to enquire of your majesty what crime
the prince my cousin may have committed, that his corpse should
deserve such indignant treatment?" "Nephew," replied the sultan,
"I must tell you, that my son (who is unworthy of that name)
loved his sister from his infancy, as she did him: I did not
check their growing fondness, because I did not foresee its
pernicious consequence. This tenderness increased as they grew in
years, and to such a height, that I dreaded the end of it. At
last, I applied such remedies as were in my power: I not only
gave my son a severe reprimand in private, laying before him the
horrible nature of the passion he entertained, and the eternal
disgrace he would bring upon my family, if he persisted; but I
also represented the same to my daughter, and shut her up so
close that she could have no conversation with her brother. But
that unfortunate creature had swallowed so much of the poison,
that all the obstacles which by my prudence I could lay in the
way served only to inflame her love.

"My son being persuaded of his sister's constancy, on presence of
building a tomb, caused this subterraneous habitation to be made,
                                                                    78
in hopes of finding one day or other an opportunity to possess
himself of that objets which was the cause of his flame, and to
bring her hither. He took advantage of my absence, to enter by
force into the place of his sister's confinement; but this was a
circumstance which my honour would not suffer me to make public.
And after so damnable an action, he came and shut himself up with
her in this place, which he has supplied, as you see, with all
sorts of provisions, that he might enjoy detestable pleasures,
which ought to be a subject of horror to all the world; but God,
who would not suffer such an abomination, has justly punished
them both." At these words, he melted into tears, and I joined
mine with his.

After a while, casting his eyes upon me, "Dear nephew," cried he,
embracing me, "if I have lost that unworthy son, I shall happily
find in you what will better supply his place." The reflections
he made on the doleful end of the prince and princess his
daughter made us both weep afresh.

We ascended the stairs again, and departed at last from that
dismal place. We let down the trap door, and covered it with
earth, and such other materials as the tomb was built of, on
purpose to hide, as much as lay in our power, so terrible an
effect of the wrath of God.

We had not been long returned to the palace, unperceived by any
one, but we heard a confused noise of trumpets, drums, and other
instruments of war. We soon understood by the thick cloud of
dust, which almost darkened the air, that it was the arrival of a
formidable army: and it proved to be the same vizier that had
dethroned my father, and usurped his place, who with a vast
number of troops was come to possess himself of that also of the
sultan my uncle.

My uncle, who then had only his usual guards about him, could not
resist so numerous an enemy; they invested the city, and the
gates being opened to them without any resistance, soon became
masters of it, and broke into the palace where my uncle defended
himself, and sold his life at a dear rate. I fought as valiantly
for a while; but seeing we were forced to submit to a superior
power, I thought on my retreat, which I had the good fortune to
effect by some back ways, and got to one of the sultan's servants
on whose fidelity I could depend.

Being thus surrounded with sorrows and persecuted by fortune, I
had recourse to a stratagem, which was the only means left me to
save my life: I caused my beard and eye-brows to be shaved, and
putting on a calender's habit, I passed, unknown by any, out of
the city; after that, by degrees, I found it easy to quit my
                                                                    79
uncle's kingdom, by taking the bye-roads.

I avoided passing through towns, until I had reached the empire
of the mighty governor of the Moosulmauns, the glorious and
renowned caliph Haroon al Rusheed, when I thought myself out of
danger; and considering what I was to do, I resolved to come to
Bagdad, intending to throw myself at the feet of that monarch,
whose generosity is renowned throughout the world. "I shall move
him to compassion," said I to myself, "by the relation of my
uncommon misfortunes, and without doubt he will take pity on a
persecuted prince, and not suffer me to implore his assistance in
vain."

In short, after a journey of several months, I arrived yesterday
at the gate of this city, into which I entered about the dusk of
evening ; and stopping a little while to consider which way I was
to turn, another calender came up; he saluted me, and I him: "You
appear," said I, "to be a stranger, as I am." "You are not
mistaken," replied he. He had no sooner returned this answer,
than a third calender overtook us. He saluted us, and told us he
was a stranger newly come to Bagdad; so that as brethren we
joined together, resolving not to separate from one another.

It was now late, and we knew not where to seek a lodging in the
city, where we had never been before. But good fortune having
brought us to your gate, we made bold to knock, when you received
us with so much kindness, that we are incapable of rendering
suitable thanks. "This, madam," said he, "is, in obedience to
your commands, the account I was to give how I lost my right eye,
wherefore my beard and eye-brows are shaved, and how I came to be
with you at this time."

"It is enough," said Zobeide; "you may retire to what place you
think fit." The calender begged the ladies' permission to stay
till he had heard the relations of his two comrades, "Whom I
cannot," said he, "leave with honour;" and that he might also
hear those of the three other persons in company.

The story of the first calender seemed wonderful to the whole
company, but especially to the caliph, who, notwithstanding the
slaves stood by with their cimeters drawn, could not forbear
whispering to the vizier "Many stories have I heard, but never
any that equalled in surprising incident that of the calender."
Whilst he was saying this, the second calender began, addressing
himself to Zobeide.




                                                                    80
         The Story of the Second Calender.



Madam, to obey your commands, and to shew you by what strange
accident I became blind of the right eye, I must of necessity
give you the account of my life.

I was scarcely past my infancy, when the sultan my father (for
you must know I am a prince by birth) perceived that I was
endowed with good natural ability, and spared nothing proper for
improving it.

No sooner was I able to read and write, but I learned the Koraun
from beginning to end by heart, that admirable book, which
contains the foundation, the precepts, and the rules of our
religion; and that I might be thoroughly instructed in it, I read
the works of the most approved divines, by whose commentaries it
had been explained. I added to this study, that of all the
traditions collected from the mouth of our prophet, by the great
men that were contemporary with him. I was not satisfied with the
knowledge of all that had any relation to our religion, but made
also a particular search into our histories. I made myself
perfect in polite learning, in the works of poets, and
versification. I applied myself to geography, chronology, and to
speak the Arabian language in its purity; not forgetting in the
meantime all such exercises as were proper for a prince to
understand. But one thing which I was fond of, and succeeded in,
was penmanship; wherein I surpassed all the celebrated scribes of
our kingdom.

Fame did me more honour than I deserved, for she not only spread
the renown of my talents through all the dominions of the sultan
my father, but carried it as far as the empire of Hindoostan,
whose potent monarch, desirous to see me, sent an ambassador with
rich presents: my father, who rejoiced at this embassy for
several reasons, was persuaded, that nothing could be more
improving to a prince of my age than to travel and visit foreign
courts; and he wished to gain the friendship of the Indian
monarch. I departed with the ambassador, but with no great
retinue.

When we had travelled about a month, we discovered at a distance
a cloud of dust, and under that we saw very soon fifty horsemen
well armed, who were robbers, advancing towards us at full speed.

As we had ten horses laden with baggage, and presents to the
sultan of Hindoostan, from my father, and my retinue was but
small, you may easily judge that these robbers came boldly up to
                                                                    81
us; and not being in a posture to make any opposition, we told
them, that we were ambassadors, and hoped they would attempt
nothing contrary to the respect due to such sacred characters,
thinking by this means to save our equipage and our lives: but
the robbers most insolently replied, "For what reason would you
have us shew any respect to the sultan your master? We are none
of his subjects, nor are we upon his territories:" having spoken
thus, they surrounded and fell upon us: I defended myself as long
as I could; but finding myself wounded, and seeing the ambassador
with his attendants and mine lying on the ground, I made use of
what strength was yet remaining in my horse, who was also very
much wounded, and rode away as fast as he could carry me; but he
shortly after, from weariness and the loss of blood, fell down
dead. I cleared myself from him unhurt, and finding that I was
not pursued, judged the robbers were not willing to quit the
booty they had obtained.

Here you see me, alone, wounded, destitute of help, and in a
strange country. I durst not take the high road, fearing I might
fall again into the hands of these robbers. When I had bound up
my wound, which was not dangerous, I walked on the rest of the
day, and arrived at the foot of

mountain, where I perceived a passage into a cave; I went in, and
staid there that night with little satisfaction, after I had
eaten some fruits that I had gathered by the way.

I continued my journey for several days following, without
finding any place of abode: but after a month's time, I came to a
large town well inhabited, and situated so much the more
advantageously, as it was surrounded by several streams, so that
it enjoyed perpetual spring.

The pleasant objects which then presented themselves to my view
afforded me some joy, and suspended for a time the sorrow with
which I was overwhelmed. My face, hands, and feet were black and
sun-burnt; and, by my long journey, my boots were quite worn out,
so that I was forced to walk bare-footed; and besides, my clothes
were all in rags I entered the town to inform myself where I was,
and addressed myself to a tailor that was at work in his shop;
who, perceiving by my air that I was a person of more note than
my outward appearance bespoke, made me sit down by him, and asked
me who I was, from whence I came, and what had brought me
thither? I did not conceal anything that had befallen me, nor
made I any scruple to discover my quality.

The tailor listened to me with attention; but after had done
speaking, instead of giving me any consolation, he augmented my
sorrow: "Take heed," said he, "how you discover to any person
                                                                    82
what you have related to me; for the prince of this country is
the greatest enemy your father has, and he will certainly do you
some mischief, should he hear of your being in this city." I made
no doubt of the tailor's sincerity, when he named the prince: but
since that enmity which is between my father and him has no
relation to my adventures, I pass it over in silence.

I returned the tailor thanks for his advice, expressed himself
disposed to follow his counsel, and assured him that his favours
should never be forgotten. He ordered something to be brought for
me to eat, and offered me at the same time a lodging in his
house, which I accepted. Some days after, finding me tolerably
well recovered of the fatigue I had endured by a long and tedious
journey, and reflecting that most princes of our religion applied
themselves to some art or calling that might be serviceable to
them upon occasion, he asked me, if I had learned any whereby I
might get a livelihood, and not be burdensome to others? I told
him that I understood the laws, both divine and human; that I was
a grammarian and poet; and above all, that I could write with
great perfection. "By all this," said he, "you will not be able,
in this country, to purchase yourself one morsel of bread;
nothing is of less use here than those sciences; but if you will
be advised by me, dress yourself in a labourer's habit; and since
you appear to be strong, and of a good constitution, you shall go
into the next forest and cut fire-wood, which you may bring to
the market to be sold; and I can assure you this employment will
turn to so good an account that you may live by it, without
dependence upon any man; and by this means you will be in a
condition to wait for the favourable minute, when heaven shall
think fit to dispel those clouds of misfortune that thwart your
happiness, and oblige you to conceal your birth; I will take care
to supply you with a rope and a hatchet."

The fear of being known, and the necessity I was under of getting
a livelihood, made me agree to this proposal, notwithstanding the
meanness and hardships that attended it. The day following the
tailor brought me a rope. a hatchet, and a short coat, and
recommended me to some poor people who gained their bread after
the same manner, that they might take me into their company. They
conducted me to the wood, and the first day I brought in as much
upon my head as procured me half a piece of gold, of the money of
that country; for though the wood was not far distant from the
town, yet it was very scarce, by reason that few would be at the
trouble of fetching it for themselves. I gained a good sum of
money in a short time, and repaid my tailor what he had advanced
to me

I continued this way of living for a whole year. One day, having
by chance penetrated farther into the wood than usual, I happened
                                                                    83
to light on a pleasant spot, where I began to cut; and in pulling
up the root of a tree, I espied an iron ring, fastened to a trap
door of the same metal. I took away the earth that covered it,
and having lifted it up, discovered a flight of stairs, which I
descended with my axe in my hand.

When I had reached the bottom, I found myself in a palace, and
felt great consternation, on account of a great light which
appeared as clear in it as if it had been above ground in the
open air. I went forward along a gallery, supported by pillars of
jasper, the base and capitals of messy gold: but seeing a lady of
a noble and graceful air, extremely beautiful, coming towards me,
my eyes were taken off from every other objets.

Being desirous to spare the lady the trouble of coming to me, I
hastened to meet her; and as I was saluting her with a low
obeisance, she asked me, "What are you, a man or a genie?" "A
man, madam," said I; "I have no correspondence with genies." "By
what adventure," said she, fetching a deep sigh, "are you come
hither? I have lived here twenty-five years, and you are the:
first man I have beheld in that time."

Her great beauty, which had already smitten me, and the sweetness
and civility wherewith she received me, emboldened me to say,
"Madam, before I have the honour to satisfy your curiosity, give
me leave to tell you, that I am infinitely gratified with this
unexpected meeting, which offers me an occasion of consolation in
the midst of my affliction; and perhaps it may give me an
opportunity of making you also more happy than you are." I
related to her by what strange accident she beheld me, the son of
a sultan, in such a condition as I appeared in her presence; and
how fortune had directed that I should discover the entrance into
that magnificent prison where I had found her, according to
appearance, in an unpleasant situation.

"Alas! prince," said she, sighing once more, "you have just cause
to believe this rich and pompous prison cannot be otherwise than
a most wearisome abode: the most charming place in the world
being no way delightful when we are detained there contrary to
our will. It is not possible but you have heard of the sultan of
the isle of Ebene, so called from that precious wood which it
produces in abundance; I am the princess his daughter.

"The sultan, my father, had chosen for me a husband, a prince who
was my cousin; but on my wedding-night, in the midst of the
rejoicings of the court and capital, before I was conducted to my
husband, a genie took me away. I fainted with alarm, and when I
recovered, found myself in this place. I was long inconsolable,
but time and necessity have accustomed me to see and receive the
                                                                    84
genie. Twenty-five years I have continued in this place, where, I
must confess, I have all that I can wish for necessary to life,
and also every thing that can satisfy a princess fond of dress
and splendour.

"Every ten days," continued the princess, "the genie comes
hither, and remains with me one night, which he never exceeds;
and the excuse he makes for it is, that he is married to another
wife, who would grow jealous if she should know his infidelity.
Meanwhile, if I have occasion for him by day or night, as soon as
I touch a talisman, which is at the entrance into my chamber, the
genie appears. It is now the fourth day since he was here, and I
do not expect him before the end of six more; so, if you please,
you may stay five days, and I will endeavour to entertain you
according to your quality and merit." I thought myself too
fortunate, to have obtained so great a favour without asking, to
refuse so obliging an offer. The princess made me go into a bath,
the most commodious, and the most sumptuous imaginable; and when
I came forth, instead of my own clothes I found another very
costly suit, which I did not esteem so much for its richness, as
because it made me appear worthy to be in her company. We sat
down on a sofa covered with rich tapestry, with cushions of the
rarest Indian brocade; and some time after she covered a table
with several dishes of delicate meats. We ate, and passed the
remaining part of the day with much satisfaction, as also the
evening, together.

The next day, as she contrived every means to please me, she
brought in, at dinner, a bottle of old wine, the most excellent
that ever was tasted, and out of complaisance drank some part of
it with me. When my head grew warm with the agreeable liquor,
"Fair princess," said I, "you have been too long thus buried
alive; follow me, enjoy the real day, of which you have been
deprived so many years, and abandon this artificial though
brilliant glare." "Prince," replied she, with a smile, "leave
this discourse; if you out of ten days will grant me nine, and
resign the last to the genie, the fairest day would be nothing in
my esteem." "Princess," said I, "it is the fear of the genie that
makes you speak thus; for my part, I value him so little, that I
will break in pieces his talisman, with the conjuration that is
written about it. Let him come, I will expect him; and how brave
or redoubtable soever he be, I will make him feel the weight of
my arm: I swear solemnly that I will extirpate all the genies in
the world, and him first." The princess, who knew the
consequence, conjured me not to touch the talisman. "For that
would be the means," said she, "of ruining both you and me; I
know what belongs to genies better than you." The fumes of the
wine did not suffer me to hearken to her reasons; but I gave the
talisman a kick with my foot, and broke it in several pieces.
                                                                    85
The talisman was no sooner broken than the palace began to shake,
and seemed ready to fall, with a hideous noise like thunder,
accompanied with flashes of lightning, and alternate darkness.
This terrible noise in a moment dispelled the fumes of my wine,
and made me sensible, but too late, of the folly I had committed.
"Princess," cried I, "what means all this?" She answered, without
any concern for her own misfortune, "Alas! you are undone, if you
do not fly immediately."

I followed her advice, but my fears were so great, that I forgot
my hatchet and cords. I had scarcely reached the stairs by which
I had descended, when the enchanted palace opened at once, and
made a passage for the genie: he asked the princess in great
anger, "What has happened to you, and why did you call me?" "A
violent spasm," said the princess, "made me fetch this bottle
which you see here, out of which I drank twice or thrice, and by
mischance made a false step, and fell upon the talisman, which is
broken, and that is all."

At this answer, the furious genie told her, "You are a false
woman, and speak not the truth; how came that axe and those cords
there?" "I never saw them till this moment," said the princess.
"Your coming in such an impetuous manner has, it may be, forced
them up in some place as you came along, and so brought them
hither without your knowing it."

The genie made no other answer but what was accompanied with
reproaches and blows, of which I heard the noise. I could not
endure to hear the pitiful cries of the princess so cruelly
abused. I had already taken off the suit she had presented to me,
and put on my own, which I had laid on the stairs the day before,
when I came out of the bagnio: I made haste upstairs, the more
distracted with sorrow and compassion, as I had been the cause of
so great a misfortune; and by sacrificing the fairest princess on
earth to the barbarity of a merciless genie, I was becoming the
most criminal and ungrateful of mankind. "It is true," said I,
"she has been a prisoner these twenty-five years; but, liberty
excepted she wanted nothing that could make her happy. My folly
has put an end to her happiness, and brought upon her the cruelty
of an unmerciful devil." I let down the trap-door, covered it
again with earth, and returned to the city with a burden of wood,
which I bound up without knowing what I did, so great was my
trouble and sorrow.

My landlord, the tailor, was very much rejoiced to see me: "Your
absence," said he, "has disquieted me much, as you had entrusted
me with the secret of your birth, and I knew not what to think; I
was afraid somebody had discovered you; God be praised for your
                                                                    86
return." I thanked him for his zeal and affection, but not a word
durst I say of what had passed, nor of the reason why I came back
without my hatchet and cords.

I retired to my chamber, where I reproached myself a thousand
times for my excessive imprudence: "Nothing," said I, "could have
paralleled the princess's good fortune and mine, had I forborne
to break the talisman."

While I was thus giving myself over to melancholy thoughts, the
tailor came in and said, "An old man, whom I do not know, brings
your hatchet and cords, which he found in his way as he tells me,
and says he understood from your comrades that you lodge here;
come out and speak to him, for he will deliver them to none but
yourself."

At these words I changed colour, and fell a trembling. While the
tailor was asking me the reason, my chamber-door opened, and the
old man, having no patience to stay, appeared to us with my
hatchet and cords. This was the genie, the ravisher of the fair
princess of the isle of Ebene, who had thus disguised himself,
after he had treated her with the utmost barbarity. "I am a
genie," said he, speaking to me, "son of the daughter of Eblis,
prince of genies: is not this your hatchet, and are not these
your cords?"

After the genie had put the question to me, he gave me no time to
answer, nor was it in my power, so much had his terrible aspect
disordered me. He grasped me by the middle, dragged me out of the
chamber, and mounting into the air, carried me up to the skies
with such swiftness, that I was not able to take notice of the
way he conveyed me. He descended again in like manner to the
earth, which on a sudden he caused to open with a stroke of his
foot, and sunk down at once, when I found myself in the enchanted
palace, before the fair princess of the isle of Ebene. But, alas!
what a spectacle was there! I saw what pierced me to the heart;
this poor princess was quite naked, weltering in her blood, and
laid upon the ground, more like one dead than alive, with her
cheeks bathed in tears.

"Perfidious wretch!" said the genie to her, pointing at me, "is
not this your gallant?" She cast her languishing eyes upon me,
and answered mournfully, "I do not know him, I never saw him till
this moment." "What!" said the genie, "he is the cause of thy
being in the condition thou art justly in; and yet darest thou
say thou cost not know him?" "If I do not know him," said the
princess, "would you have me lie on purpose to ruin him?" "Oh
then," said the genie, pulling out a cimeter and presenting it to
the princess, "if you never saw him before, take this, and cut
                                                                    87
off his head." "Alas," replied the princess, "how is it possible
that I should execute such an act? My strength is so far spent
that I cannot lift up my arm; and if I could, how should I have
the heart to take away the life of an innocent man, and one whom
I do not know?" "This refusal," said the genie to the princess,
"sufficiently informs me of your crime." Upon which, turning to
me, "And thou," said he, "dost thou not know her?"

I should have been the most ungrateful wretch, and the most
perfidious of all mankind, if I had not strewn myself as faithful
to the princess as she had been to me, who had been the cause of
her misfortunes. I therefore answered the genie, "How should I
know her, when I never saw her till now?" "If it be so," said he,
"take the cimeter and cut off her head: on this condition I will
set thee at liberty, for then I shall be convinced that thou hast
never seen her till this moment, as thou gayest." "With all my
heart," replied I, and took the cimeter in my hand.

Do not think, madam, that I drew near to the fair princess of the
isle of Ebene to be the executioner of the genie's barbarity. I
did it only to demonstrate by my behaviour, as much as possible,
that as she had strewn her resolution to sacrifice her life for
my sake, I would not refuse to sacrifice mine for hers. The
princess, notwithstanding her pain and suffering, understood my
meaning; which she signified by an obliging look, and made me
understand her willingness to die for me; and that she was
satisfied to see how ready I was also to die for her. Upon this I
stepped back, and threw the cimeter on the ground. "I should for
ever," said I to the genie, "be hateful to all mankind were I to
be so base as to murder, not only a person whom I do not know,
but a lady like this, who is already on the point of expiring: do
with me what you please, since I am in your power; I cannot obey
your barbarous commands."

"I see," said the genie, "that you both out-brave me, and insult
my jealousy; but both of you shall know by my treatment of you of
what I am capable." At these words the monster took up the
cimeter and cut off one of her hands, which left her only so much
life as to give me a token with the other that she bade me for
ever adieu. For the blood she had lost before, and that which
gushed out then, did not permit her to live above one or two
moments after this barbarous cruelty; the sight of which threw me
into a fit. When I was come to myself again, I expostulated with
the genie, why he made me languish in expectation of death:
"Strike," cried I, "for I am ready to receive the mortal blow,
and expect it as the greatest favour you can show me." But
instead of agreeing to that, "Behold," said he, "how genies treat
their wives whom they suspect of unfaithfulness; she has received
thee here, and were I certain that she had put any further
                                                                    88
affront upon me, I would put thee to death this minute: but I
will content myself with transforming thee into a dog, ape, lion,
or bird; take thy choice of any of these, I will leave it to
thyself."

These words gave me some hopes of being able to appease him: "O
genie," said I, "moderate your passion, and since you will not
take away my life, give it me generously. I shall always remember
your clemency, if you pardon me, as one of the best men in the
world pardoned one of his neighbours that bore him a mortal
hatred. The genie asked me what had passed between those two
neighbours, and said, he would have patience till he heard the
story, which I related to him; and I believe, madam, you will not
be displeased if I now repeat it.




The Story of the Envious Man, and of him that he Envied.



In a considerable town two persons dwelt in adjoining houses. One
of them conceived such a violent hatred against the other, that
the hated party resolved to remove to a distance, being persuaded
that their being neighbours was the only cause of this animosity;
for though he had done him several pieces of service, he found
that his hatred was not diminished; he therefore sold his house,
with what goods he had left, and retired to the capital city of a
kingdom which was not far distant. Here he bought a little spot
of ground, which lay about half a league from the city; where he
had a convenient house, with a garden, and a pretty spacious
court, wherein there was a deep well, which was not in use.

The honest man having made this purchase put on a dervise's
habit, intending to lead a retired life, and caused several cells
to be made in the house, where in a short time he established a
numerous society of dervises. He soon came to be publicly known
by his virtue, through which he acquired the esteem of many
people, as well of the commonalty as of the chief of the city. In
short, he was much honoured and courted by all ranks. People came
from afar to recommend themselves to his prayers; and all who
visited him, published what blessings they received through his
means.

The great reputation of this honest man having spread to the town
from whence he had come, it touched the envious man so much to
the quick, that he left his house and affairs with a resolution
to ruin him. With this intent he went to the new convent of
                                                                    89
dervises, of which his former neighbour was the head, who
received him with all imaginable tokens of friendship. The
envious man told him that he was come on purpose to communicate a
business of importance, which he could not do but in private; and
"that nobody may hear us, let us," said he, "take a walk in your
court; and seeing night begins to draw on, command your dervises
to retire to their cells." The chief of the dervises did as he
was required.

When the envious man saw that he was alone with this good man, he
began to tell him his errand, walking side by side in the court,
till he saw his opportunity; and getting the good man near the
brink of the well, he gave him a thrust, and pushed him into it,
without being seen by any one. Having done thus, he returned, got
out at the gate of the convent without being known, and reached
his own house well satisfied with his journey, being fully
persuaded that the object of his hatred was no more; but he found
himself mistaken.

This old well was inhabited by fairies and genies, which happened
luckily for the relief of the head of the convent; for they
received and supported him, and carried him to the bottom, so
that he got no hurt. He perceived that there was something
extraordinary in his fall, which must otherwise have cost him his
life; but he neither saw nor felt anything. He soon heard a
voice, however, which said, "Do you know what honest man this is,
to whom we have done this piece of service?" Another voice
answered, "No." To which the first replied, "Then I will tell
you. This man out of charity, the purest ever known, left the
town he lived in, and has established himself in this place, in
hopes to cure one of his neighbours of the envy he had conceived
against him; he had acquired such a general esteem, that the
envious man, not able to endure it, came hither on purpose to
ruin him; and he would have accomplished his design, had it not
been for the assistance we have given this honest man, whose
reputation is so great, that the sultan, who keeps his residence
in the neighbouring city, was to pay him a visit to-morrow, to
recommend the princess his daughter to his prayers."

Another voice asked, "What need had the princess of the dervise's
prayers?" To which the first answered, "You do not know, it
seems, that she is possessed by genie Maimoun, the son of Dimdim,
who is fallen in love with her. But I well know how this good
head of the dervises may cure her; the thing is very easy, and I
will explain it to you. He has a black cat in his convent, with a
white spot at the end of her tail, about the bigness of a small
piece of Arabian money; let him only pull seven hairs out of the
white spot, burn them, and smoke the princess's head with the
fume, she will not only be immediately cured, but be so safely
                                                                    90
delivered from Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, that he will never
dare to approach her again."

The head of the dervises remembered every word of the
conversation between the fairies and the genies, who remained
silent the remainder of the night. The next morning, as soon as
daylight appeared, and he could discern the nature of his
situation, the well being broken down in several places, he saw a
hole, by which he crept out with ease.

The other dervises, who had been seeking for him, were rejoiced
to see him; he gave them a brief account of the wickedness of the
man to whom he had given so kind a reception the day before, and
retired into his cell. Shortly after the black cat, which the
fairies and the genies had mentioned the night before, came to
fawn upon her master, as she was accustomed to do; he took her
up, and pulled seven hairs from the white spot that was upon her
tail, and laid them aside for his use when occasion should serve.

Soon after sunrise the sultan, who would leave no means untried
that he thought likely to restore the princess to perfect health,
arrived at the gate of the convent. He commanded his guards to
halt, whilst he with his principal officers went in. The dervises
received him with profound respect.

The sultan called their chief aside, and said, "Good Sheik, you
may probably be already acquainted with the cause of my visit."
"Yes, Sir," replied he gravely, "if I do not mistake, it is the
disease of the princess which procures me this unmerited honour."
"That is the real case," replied the sultan. "You will give me
new life if your prayers, as I hope they may, restore my
daughter's health." "Sir," said the good man, "if your majesty
will be pleased to let her come hither, I am in hopes, through
God's assistance and favour, that she will be effectually cured."

The prince, transported with joy, sent immediately for his
daughter, who soon appeared with a numerous train of ladies and
eunuchs, but veiled, so that her face was not seen. The chief of
the dervises caused a pall to be held over her head, and he had
no sooner thrown the seven hairs upon the burning coals, than the
genie Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, uttered a great cry, and
without being seen, left the princess at liberty; upon which, she
took the veil from her face, and rose up to see where she was,
saying, "Where am I, and who brought me hither?" At these words
the sultan, overcome with excess of joy, embraced his daughter,
and kissed her eyes; he also kissed the chief of the dervises'
hands, and said to his officers, "What reward does he deserve
that has thus cured my daughter?" They all cried, "He deserves
her in marriage." "That is what I had in my thoughts," said the
                                                                    91
sultan; "and I make him my son-in-law from this moment." Some
time after the prime vizier died, and the sultan conferred the
place on the dervise. The sultan himself also died without heirs
male; upon which the religious orders and the militia consulted
together, and the good man was declared and acknowledged sultan
by general consent.

The honest dervise, having ascended the throne of his father-in-
law, as he was one day in the midst of his courtiers on a march,
espied the envious man among the crowd that stood as he passed
along, and calling one of the viziers that attended him,
whispered him in his ear, "Go, bring me that man you see there;
but take care you do not frighten him." The vizier obeyed, and
when the envious man was brought into his presence, the sultan
said, "Friend, I am extremely glad to see you." Upon which he
called an officer, "Go immediately," said he, "and cause to be
paid to this man out of my treasury, one hundred pieces of gold:
let him have also twenty loads of the richest merchandize in my
storehouses, and a sufficient guard to conduit him to his house."
After he had given this charge to the officer, he bade the
envious man farewell, and proceeded on his march.

When I had finished the recital of this story to the genie, the
murderer of the princess of the isle of Ebene, I made an
application of it to himself: "O genie!" said I, "this bountiful
sultan was not satisfied with merely overlooking the design of
the envious man to take away his life, but also treated him
kindly, and sent him back loaded with the favours I have
enumerated." In short, I employed all my eloquence to persuade
him to imitate so good an example, and to grant me pardon; but it
was impossible to move his compassion.

"All that I can do for thee," said he, "is, to grant thee thy
life; but do not flatter thyself that I will allow thee to return
safe and well; I must let thee feel what I am able to do by my
enchantments." So saying, he seized me violently, and carried me
through the arched roof of the subterraneous palace, which opened
to give him passage; he ascended with me into the air to such a
height, that the earth appeared like a little white cloud; he
then descended again like lightning, and alighted upon the summit
of a mountain.

Here he took up a handful of earth, and pronouncing, or rather
muttering, some words which I did not understand, threw it upon
me. "Quit," said he, "the form of a man, and take that of an
ape." He instantly disappeared, and left me alone, transformed
into an ape, and overwhelmed with sorrow in a strange country,
not knowing whether I was near or far from my father's dominions.

                                                                    92
I descended the mountain, and entered a plain level country,
which took me a month to travel over, and then I came to the sea-
side. It happened at the time to be perfectly calm, and I espied
a vessel about half a league from the shore: unwilling to lose so
good an opportunity, I broke off a large branch from a tree,
carried it into the sea, and placed myself astride upon it, with
a stick in each hand to serve me for oars.

I launched out in this posture, and rowed towards the ship. When
I had approached sufficiently near to be seen, I exhibited to the
seamen and passengers on the deck an extraordinary spectacle, and
all of them regarded me with astonishment. In the meantime I got
on board, and laying hold of a rope, jumped upon the deck, but
having lost my speech I found myself in great perplexity: and
indeed the risk I ran was not less than when I was at the mercy
of the genie.

The merchants, being both superstitious and scrupulous, thought
if they received me on board I should be the occasion of some
misfortune to them during their voyage. On this account one of
them said, "I will destroy him with a blow of this handspike;"
another, "I will shoot an arrow through his body;" and a third,
"Let us throw him into the sea." Some one of them would not have
failed to carry his threat into execution had I not gone to the
captain, thrown myself at his feet, and taken hold of his skirt
in a supplicating posture. This action, together with the tears
which he saw gush from my eyes, moved his compassion. He took me
under his protection, threatened to be revenged on any one that
would do me the least hurt, and loaded me with a thousand
caresses. On my part, though I had not power to speak, I showed
by my gestures every mark of gratitude in my power.

The wind that succeeded the calm was not strong, but favourable;
it continued to blow in the same direction for fifty days, and
brought us safe to the port of a city, well peopled, and of great
trade, the capital of a powerful state, where we came to anchor.

Our vessel was instantly surrounded with an infinite number of
boats full of people, who came to congratulate their friends on
their safe arrival, or to inquire for those they had left behind
them in the country from whence they had come, or out of
curiosity to see a ship that had performed so long a voyage.

Amongst the rest, some officers came on board, desiring in the
name of the sultan to speak with the merchants. The merchants
appearing, one of the officers told them, "The sultan our master
hath commanded us to acquaint you, that he rejoices in your safe
arrival, and beseeches each of you to take the trouble to write a
few lines upon this roll. That you may understand the design of
                                                                    93
this request, you must know that we had a prime vizier, who
besides possessing great abilities for the management of public
affairs could write in the highest perfection. This minister a
few days since died. The event has greatly affected the sultan;
and since he can never behold his writing without admiration, he
has made a solemn vow, not to give the place to any one who
cannot write equally well. Many have presented specimens of their
skill; but to this day, no one in the empire has been judged
worthy to supply the vizier's place."

Those of the merchants who thought they could write well enough
to aspire to this high dignity, wrote one after another what they
thought fit. After they had done, I advanced, and took the roll
out of the gentleman's hand; but all the people, especially the
merchants, cried out, that I would tear it, or throw it into the
sea, till they saw how properly I held the roll, and made a sign
that I would write in my turn: their apprehensions then changed
into wonder. However, as they had never seen an ape that could
write, and could not be persuaded that I was more ingenious than
others of my kind, they wished to take the roll out of my hand;
but the captain took my part once more. "Let him alone," said he,
"allow him to write. If he only scribbles the paper, I promise
you that I will immediately punish him. If, on the contrary, he
writes well, as I hope he will, because I never saw an ape so
clever and ingenious, and so quick of apprehension, I declare
that I will adopt him as my son." Perceiving that no one opposed
my design, I took the pen, and wrote six sorts of hands used
among the Arabians, and each specimen contained an extemporary
distich or quatrain in praise of the sultan. My writing not only
excelled that of the merchants, but was such as they had not
before seen in that country. When I had done, the officers took
the roll, and carried it to the sultan.

The sultan took little notice of any of the writings, except
mine, which pleased him so much that he said to the officers,
"Take the finest horse in my stable, with the richest trappings,
and a robe of the most sumptuous brocade to put on the person who
wrote the six hands, and bring him thither." At this command the
officers could not forbear laughing. The sultan was incensed at
their rudeness, and would have punished them had they not
explained: "Sir," said they, "we humbly beg your majesty's
pardon: these hands were not written by a man, but by an ape."
"What do you say?" exclaimed the sultan. "Those admirable
characters, are they not written by the hands of a man?" "No,
Sir," replied the officers; "we assure your majesty that it was
an ape, who wrote them in our presence." The sultan was too much
surprised at this account not to desire a sight of me, and
therefore said, "Do what I command you, and bring me speedily
that wonderful ape."
                                                                    94
The officers returned to the vessel and shewed the captain their
order, who answered, "The sultan's command must be obeyed."
Whereupon they clothed me with the rich brocade robe, and carried
me ashore, where they set me on horseback, whilst the sultan
waited for me at his palace with a great number of courtiers,
whom he gathered together to do me the more honour.

The procession commenced; the harbour, the streets, the public
places, windows, terraces, palaces, and houses, were filled with
an infinite number of people of all ranks, who flocked from every
part of the city to see me; for the rumour was spread in a
moment, that the sultan had chosen an ape to be his grand vizier,
and after having served for a spectacle to the people, who could
not forbear to express their surprise by redoubling their shouts
and cries, I arrived at the sultan's palace.

I found the prince on his throne in the midst of the grandees; I
made my obeisance three times very low, and at last kneeled and
kissed the ground before him, and afterwards took my seat in the
posture of an ape. The whole assembly viewed me with admiration,
and could not comprehend how it was possible that an ape should
so well understand how to pay the sultan his due respect; and he
himself was more astonished than any. In short, the usual
ceremony of the audience would have been complete, could I have
added speech to my behaviour; but apes never speak, and the
advantage I had of having been a man did not now yield me that
privilege.

The sultan dismissed his courtiers, and none remained by him but
the chief of the eunuchs, a little young slave, and myself. He
went from his chamber of audience into his own apartment, where
he ordered dinner to be brought. As he sat at table he made me a
sign to approach and eat with them: to shew my obedience I kissed
the ground, arose, and placed myself at the table, and ate with
discretion and moderation.

Before the table was cleared, I espied a standish, which I made a
sign to have brought me; having got it, I wrote upon a large
peach some verses expressive of my acknowledgment to the sultan;
who having read them after I had presented the peach to him, was
still more astonished. When the things were removed, they brought
him a particular liquor, of which he caused them to give me a
glass. I drank, and wrote upon the glass some new verses, which
explained the state I was reduced to, after many sufferings. The
sultan read these likewise, and said, "A man that was capable of
doing so much would be above the greatest of his species."

The sultan caused to be brought to him a chessboard, and asked me
                                                                    95
by a sign if I understood that game, and would play with him? I
kissed the ground, and laying my hand upon my head, signified
that I was ready to receive that honour. He won the first game,
but I won the second and third; and perceiving he was somewhat
displeased at my success, I made a quatrain to satisfy him; in
which I told him that two potent armies had been fighting
furiously all day, but that they concluded a peace towards the
evening, and passed the remaining part of the night very amicably
together upon the field of battle.

So many circumstances appearing to the sultan beyond whatever had
either been seen or known of the cleverness or sense of apes, he
determined not to be the only witness of these prodigies himself,
but having a daughter, called the Lady of Beauty, on whom the
chief of the eunuchs, then present, waited; "Go," said the sultan
to him, "and bid your lady come hither: I am desirous she should
share my pleasure."

The eunuch went, and immediately brought the princess, who had
her face uncovered; but she had no sooner come into the room,
than she put on her veil, and said to the sultan, "Sir, your
majesty must needs have forgotten yourself; I am surprised that
your majesty has sent for me to appear among men." "How,
daughter!" said the sultan, "you do not know what you say: there
is no one here, but the little slave, the eunuch your governor,
and myself, who have the liberty to see your face; and yet you
lower your veil, and blame me for having sent for you." "Sir,"
said the princess, "your majesty shall soon understand that I am
not in the wrong. That seeming ape is a young prince, son of a
powerful sultan, and has been metamorphosed into an ape by
enchantment. A genie, son of the daughter of Eblis, has
maliciously done him this wrong, after having cruelly taken away
the life of the princess of the isle of Ebene."

The sultan, astonished at this declaration, turned towards me,
and speaking no more by signs, but in plain words, asked me, if
what his daughter said was true? Finding I could not speak, I put
my hand to my head' to signify that what the princess spoke was
correct. Upon this the sultan said again to his daughter, "How do
you know that this prince has been transformed by enchantments
into an ape?" "Sir," replied the Lady of Beauty, "your majesty
may remember that when I was past my infancy I had an old lady
who waited on me; she was a most expert magician, and taught me
seventy rules of magic, by virtue of which I can, in the
twinkling of an eye, transport your capital into the midst of the
sea, or beyond mount Caucasus. By this science I know all
enchanted persons at first sight: I know who they are, and by
whom they have been enchanted; therefore do not be surprised if I
should forthwith relieve this prince, in spite of the
                                                                    96
enchantments, from that which prevents his appearing in your
sight in his natural form." "Daughter," said the sultan, "I did
not believe you to have understood so much." "Sir," replied the
princess, "these things are curious and worth knowing; but I
think I ought not to boast of them." "Since it is so," said the
sultan, "you can dispel the prince's enchantment." "Yes, sir,"
said the princess, "I can restore him to his original shape." "Do
it then," said the sultan, "you cannot do me a greater pleasure;
for I will have him to be my vizier, and he shall marry you."
"Sir," said the princess, "I am ready to obey you in all that you
should be pleased to command me."

The princess, the Lady of Beauty, went into her apartment, and
brought thence a knife, which had some Hebrew words engraven on
the blade: she made the sultan, the master of the eunuchs, the
little slave, and myself, descend into a private court of the
palace, and there left us under a gallery that went round it. She
placed herself in the middle of the court, where she made a great
circle, and within it she wrote several words in Arabian
characters, some of them ancient.

When she had finished and prepared the circle as she thought fit,
she placed herself in the centre of it, where she began
incantations, and repeated verses of the Koraun. The air grew
insensibly dark, as if it had been night, and the whole world
were about to be dissolved: we found ourselves struck with
consternation, and our fear increased when we saw the genie, the
son of the daughter of Eblis, appear suddenly in the shape of a
lion of a gigantic size.

As soon as the princess perceived this monster, "Dog," said she,
"instead of creeping before me, dare you present yourself in this
shape, thinking to frighten me?" "And thou," replied the lion,
"art thou not afraid to break the treaty which was solemnly made
and confirmed between us by oath, not to wrong or do one another
any injury?" "Wretch," replied the princess, "I justly may
reproach thee with having done so." The lion answered fiercely,
"Thou shalt quickly have thy reward for the trouble thou hast
given me:" with that he opened his monstrous jaws, and sprang
forward to devour her; but she, being on her guard, stepped back,
got time to pull out one of her hairs, and by pronouncing three
or four words, changed it into a sharp sword, with which she cut
the lion in two through the middle.

The two parts of the lion disappeared, while the head changed
into a large scorpion. Immediately the princess turned herself
into a serpent, and fought the scorpion, who, finding himself
worsted, took the shape of an eagle, and flew away: but the
serpent at the same time took also the shape of an eagle, that
                                                                    97
was black and much stronger, and pursued him, so that we lost
sight of them both.

Some time after they had disappeared, the ground opened before
us, and out of it came forth a black and white cat, with her hair
standing on end, and mewing in a frightful manner; a black wolf
followed close after her, and gave her no time to rest. The cat,
being thus hard pressed, changed into a worm, and being near a
pomegranate accidentally fallen from a tree on the side of a
canal which was deep, but not broad, pierced the pomegranate in
an instant, and hid itself, but the pomegranate swelled
immediately, and became as big as a gourd, which, mounting up to
the roof of the gallery, rolled there for some time backward and
forward; it then fell down again into the court, and broke into
several pieces.

The wolf had in the meanwhile transformed itself into a cock, and
now fell to picking up the seeds of the pomegranate one after
another; but finding no more, he came towards us with his wings
spread, making a great noise, as if he would ask us whether there
were any more seed. There was one lying on the brink of the
canal, which the cock perceiving as he went back, ran speedily
thither; but just as he was going to pick it up, the seed rolled
into the river, and turned into a little fish.

The cock leaped into the river, turned into a pike, and pursued
the small fish; they continued both under water above two hours,
and we knew not what was become of them, but suddenly we heard
terrible cries, which made us tremble, and a little while after
we saw the genie and princess all in flames. They threw flashes
of fire out of their mouths at each other, till they came to
close combat; then the two fires increased, with a thick burning
smoke which mounted so high that we had reason to apprehend it
would set the palace on fire. But we very soon had a more
pressing occasion of fear, for the genie having got loose from
the princess, came to the gallery where we stood, and blew flames
of fire upon us. We must all have perished had not the princess,
running to our assistance, forced him to retire, and defend
himself against her; yet, notwithstanding all her exertions, she
could not hinder the sultan's beard from being burnt, and his
face scorched, the chief of the eunuchs from being stifled, and a
spark from entering my right eye, and making it blind. The sultan
and I expected but death, when we heard a cry of "Victory!
Victory!" and instantly the princess appeared in her natural
shape, but the genie was reduced to a heap of ashes.

The princess approached us, and hastily called for a cup-full of
water, which the young slave, who had received no hurt, brought
her. She took it, and after pronouncing some words over it, threw
                                                                    98
it upon me, saying, "If thou art become an ape by enchantment,
change thy shape, and take that of a man which thou hadst
before." These words were hardly uttered, when I again became a
man, in every respect as I was before my transformation,
excepting the loss of my eye.

I was prepared to return the princess my thanks, but she
prevented me by addressing herself to her father: "Sir, I have
gained the victory over the genie, as your majesty may see; but
it is a victory that costs me dear; I have but a few minutes to
live, and you will not have the satisfaction to make the match
you intended; the fire has pierced me during the terrible combat,
and I find it is gradually consuming me. This would not have
happened, had I perceived the last of the pomegranate seeds, and
swallowed it, as I did the others when I was changed into a cock:
the genie had fled thither as to his last intrenchment, and upon
that the success of the combat depended, which would have been
successful, and without danger to me. This oversight obliged me
to have recourse to fire, and to fight with those mighty arms as
I did, between heaven and earth, in your presence; for, in spite
of all his redoubtable art and experience, I made the genie know
that I understood more than he; I have conquered and reduced him
to ashes, but I cannot escape death, which is approaching."

The sultan suffered the princess, the Lady of Beauty, to go on
with the recital of her combat, and when she had done, addressed
her in a tone that sufficiently testified his grief; "My
daughter," said he, "you see in what condition your father is;
alas! I wonder that I am yet alive! Your governor, the eunuch, is
dead, and the prince whom you have delivered from his enchantment
has lost one of his eyes." He could say no more, for his tears,
sighs, and sobs, deprived him of the power of utterance.

Suddenly the princess exclaimed, "I burn! I burn!" She found that
the fire had at last seized upon her vital parts, which made her
still cry "I burn!" until death had put an end to her intolerable
pains. The effect of that fire was so extraordinary, that in a
few moments she was wholly reduced to ashes, as the genie had
been.

I cannot tell you, madam, how much I was grieved at so dismal a
spectacle; I had rather all my life have continued an ape or a
dog, than to have seen my benefactress thus miserably perish. The
sultan being afflicted all that can be imagined, cried piteously,
and beat himself on his head and breast, until being quite
overcome with grief, he fainted away, which made me fear for his
life. In the mean time, the eunuchs and officers came running at
the sultan's lamentations, and with much difficulty brought him
to himself. It was not necessary that the prince or myself should
                                                                    99
relate the circumstances of the adventure, to convince them of
the affliction it had occasioned us. The two heaps of ashes, to
which the princess and the genie had been reduced, were a
sufficient demonstration. The sultan was hardly able to stand,
but was under the necessity of being supported to his apartment.

When the knowledge of this tragical event had spread through the
palace and the city, all the people bewailed the misfortune of
the princess, the Lady of Beauty, and commiserated the sultan's
affliction. Public mourning was observed for seven days, and many
ceremonies were performed. The ashes of the genie were thrown
into the air, but those of the princess were collected into a
precious urn, to be preserved, and the urn was deposited in a
superb mausoleum, constructed for that purpose on the spot where
the princess had been consumed.

The grief of the sultan for the loss of his daughter confined him
to his chamber for a whole month. Before he had fully recovered
his strength he sent for me: "Prince," said he, "attend to the
commands I now give you; your life must answer if you do not
carry them into execution." I assured him of exalt obedience;
upon which he went on thus: "I have constantly lived in perfect
felicity, but by your arrival all the happiness I possessed has
vanished; my daughter is dead, her governor is no more, and it is
only through a miracle that I am myself yet alive You are the
cause of all these misfortunes, under which it is impossible that
I should be comforted; depart hence therefore in peace, without
farther delay, for I must myself perish if you remain any longer.
I am persuaded that your presence brings misfortune with it.
Depart, and take care never to appear again in my dominions. No
consideration whatever shall hinder me from making you repent
your temerity should you violate my injunction." I was going to
speak, but he prevented me by words full of anger; and I was
obliged to quit the palace, rejected, banished, an outcast from
the world. Before I left the city I went into a bagnio, here I
caused my beard and eyebrows to be shaved, and put on a
calender's habit. I began my journey, not so much deploring my
own miseries, as the death of the two fair princesses, of which I
have been the occasion. I passed through many countries without
making myself known; at last I resolved to come to Bagdad, in
hopes of getting myself introduced to the commander of the
faithful, to move his compassion by relating to him my
unfortunate adventures. I arrived this evening, and the first man
I met was this calender, our brother, who spoke before me. You
know the remaining part, madam, and the cause of my having the
honour to be here.

When the second calender had concluded his story, Zobeide, to
whom he had addressed his speech, said, "It is well, you are at
                                                                    100
liberty." But instead of departing, he also petitioned the lady
to shew him the same favour vouchsafed to the first calender, and
went and sat down by him.




         The History of the Third Calender.



My story, most honourable lady, very much differs from what you
have already heard. The two princes who have spoken before me
have each lost an eye by the pure effects of their destiny, but
mine I lost through my own fault, and by hastening to seek my own
misfortune, as you shall hear by the sequel of the story.

My name is Agib, and I am the son of a sultan who was called
Cassib. After his death I took possession of his dominions, and
continued in the city where he had resided. It is situated on the
sea-coast, has one of the finest and safest harbours in the
world, an arsenal capable of fitting out for sea one hundred and
fifty men of war, besides merchantmen and light vessels. My
kingdom is composed of several fine provinces upon the main land,
besides a number of valuable islands, which lie almost in sight
of my capital.

My first object was to visit the provinces: I afterwards caused
my whole fleet to be fitted out, and went to my islands to gain
the hearts of my subjects by my presence, and to confirm them in
their loyalty. These voyages gave me some taste for navigation,
in which I took so much pleasure, that I resolved to make some
discoveries beyond my own territories; to which end I caused ten
ships to be fitted out, embarked, and set sail.

Our voyage was very pleasant for forty days successively, but on
the forty-first night the wind became contrary, and withal so
boisterous that we were near being lost: about break of day the
storm abated, the clouds dispersed, and the weather became fair.
We reached an island, where we remained two days to take in fresh
provisions; and then put off again to sea. After ten days' sail
we were in hopes of seeing land, for the tempests we had
experienced had so much abated my curiosity, that I gave orders
to steer back to my own coast; but I perceived at the same time
that my pilot knew not where we were. Upon the tenth day, a
seaman being sent to look out for land from the mast head, gave
notice that on starboard and larboard he could see nothing but
sky and sea, but that right a-head he perceived a great
blackness.
                                                                    101
The pilot changed colour at this account, and throwing his turban
on the deck with one hand, and beating his breast with the other,
cried, "Oh, Sir, we are all lost; not one of us can escape; and
with all my skill it is not in my power to effect our
deliverance." Having spoken thus, he lamented like a man who
foresaw unavoidable ruin; his despondence threw the whole ship's
crew into consternation. I asked him what reason he had thus to
despair? He exclaimed, "The tempest has brought us so far out of
our course, that to-morrow about noon we shall be near the black
mountain, or mine of adamant, which at this very minute draws all
your fleet towards it, by virtue of the iron in your ships; and
when we approach within a certain distance, the attraction of the
adamant will have such force, that all the nails will be drawn
out of the sides and bottoms of the ships, and fasten to the
mountain, so that your vessels will fall to pieces and sink.

"This mountain," continued the pilot, "is inaccessible. On the
summit there is a dome of fine brass, supported by pillars of the
same metal, and on the top of that dome stands a horse, likewise
of brass, with a rider on his back, who has a plate or lead fixed
to his breast, upon which some talismanic characters are
engraver. Sir, the tradition is, that this statue is the chief
cause why so many ships and men have been lost and sunk in this
place, and that it will ever continue to be fatal to all those
who have the misfortune to approach, until it shall be thrown
down."

The pilot having finished his discourse, began to weep afresh,
and all the rest of the ship's company did the same. I had no
other thought but that my days were there to terminate. In the
mean time every one began to provide for his own safety, and to
that end took all imaginable precaution; and being uncertain of
the event, they all made one another their heirs, by virtue of a
will, for the benefit of those that should happen to be saved.

The next morning we distinctly perceived the black mountain.
About noon we were so near, that we found what the pilot had
foretold to be true; for all the nails and iron in the ships flew
towards the mountain, where they fixed, by the violence of the
attraction, with a horrible noise; the ships split asunder, and
their cargoes sunk into the sea. All my people were drowned, but
God had mercy on me, and permitted me to save myself by means of
a plank, which the wind drove ashore just at the foot of the
mountain. I did not receive the least hurt, and my good fortune
brought me to a landing place, where there were steps that led up
to the summit of the mountain.

At the sight of these steps, for there was not a space of ground
                                                                    102
either on the right or left whereon a man could set his foot, I
gave thanks to God; and recommended myself to his holy
protection, as I began to ascend the steps, which were so narrow,
that had the wind raged it would have thrown me into the sea.
But, at last, I reached the top, without accident. I went into
the dome, and kneeling on the ground, gave God thanks for his
mercies.

I passed the night under the dome. In my sleep an old grave man
appeared to me, and said, "Hearken, Agib; as soon as thou art
awake dig up the ground under thy feet: thou wilt find a bow of
brass, and three arrows of lead, that are made under certain
constellations, to deliver mankind from the many calamities that
threaten them. Shoot the three arrows at the statue, and the
rider will fall into the sea, but the horse will fall by thy
side; thou must bury it in the place where thou findest the bow
and arrows: this being done, the sea will swell and rise to the
foot of the dome. When it has come so high, thou wilt perceive a
boat with one man holding an oar in each hand; this man is also
of metal, but different from that thou hast thrown down; step on
board, but without mentioning the name of God, and let him
conduct thee. He will in ten days' time bring thee into another
sea, where thou shalt find an opportunity to return to thy
country, provided, as I have told thee, thou dost not mention the
name of God during the whole voyage."

This was the substance of the old man's discourse. When I awoke I
felt much comforted by the vision, and did not fail to observe
everything that he had commanded me. I took the bow and arrows
out of the ground, shot at the horseman, and with the third arrow
I overthrew him; he fell into the sea, and the horse fell by my
side; I buried it in the place whence I took the bow and arrows.
In the mean time, the sea swelled and rose up by degrees. When it
came as high as the foot of the dome upon the top of the
mountain, I saw, afar off, a boat rowing towards me, and I
returned God thanks that everything succeeded according to my
dream.

At last the boat made land, and I perceived the man was made of
metal, as I had dreamt. I stept aboard, and took great heed not
to pronounce the name of God, neither spoke I one word. I sat
down, and the man of metal began to row off from the mountain. He
rowed without ceasing till the ninth day, when I saw some
islands, which gave me hopes that I should escape all the danger
that I feared. The excess of my joy made me forget what I was
forbidden: "Blessed be God," said I; "God be praised."

I had no sooner spoken these words, than the boat sunk with the
man of metal, leaving me upon the surface. I swam the remaining
                                                                    103
part of the day towards that land which appeared nearest. A very
dark night succeeded, and not knowing where I was, I swam at
random. My strength at last began to fail, and I despaired of
being able to save myself, but the wind began to blow hard, and a
wave vast as a mountain threw me on a flat, where it left me, and
retreated. I made haste ashore, fearing another wave might wash
me back. The first thing I did was to strip, wring the water out
of my clothes, and lay them on the dry sand, which was still warm
from the heat of the day.

Next morning the sun dried my clothes; I put them on, and went
forward to discover what sort of country I was in. I had not
walked far before I found I was upon a desert, though a very
pleasant, island, as it displayed several sorts of trees and wild
shrubs bearing fruit; but I perceived it was far from the
continent, which much diminished the joy I felt at having escaped
the danger of the seas. Nevertheless, I recommended myself to God
and prayed him to dispose of me according to his will.
Immediately after, I saw a vessel coming from the main land,
before the wind, directly towards the island. I doubted not but
they were coming to anchor there; and being uncertain what sort
of people they might be, whether friends or foes, I thought it
not safe to be seen. I got up into a very thick tree, from whence
I might safely view them. The vessel came into a little creek,
where ten slaves landed, carrying a spade and other instruments
for digging up the ground. They went towards the middle of the
island, where I saw them stop, and dig for a considerable time,
after which I thought I perceived them lift up a trap door. They
returned again to the vessel, and unloaded several sorts of
provisions and furniture, which they carried to the place where
they had been digging: they then descended, which made me suppose
it led to a subterraneous dwelling.

I saw them once more go to the ship, and return soon after with
an old man, who led in his hand a handsome lad of about fourteen
or fifteen years of age. They all descended when the trap door
had been opened. After they had again come up, they let down the
trap door, covered it over with earth, and returned to the creek
where the ship lay, but I saw not the young man in their company.
This made me believe that he had staid behind in the
subterraneous place, a circumstance which exceedingly surprised
me.

The old man and the slaves went on board, and getting the vessel
under weigh, steered their course towards the main land. When I
perceived they had proceeded to such a distance that I could not
be seen by them, I came down from the tree, and went directly to
the place where I had seen the ground broken. I removed the earth
by degrees, till I came to a stone that was two or three feet
                                                                    104
square. I lifted it up, and found that it covered the head of a
flight of stairs, which were also of stone. I descended, and at
the bottom found myself in a large room, furnished with a carpet,
a couch covered with tapestry, and cushions of rich stuff, upon
which the young man sat, with a fan in his hand. These things,
together with fruits and flower-pot standing about him, I saw by
the light of two wax tapers. The young man, when he perceived me
was considerably alarmed; but to quiet his apprehensions, I said
to him as I entered, "Whoever you are, Sir, do not fear; a
sultan, and the son of a sultan, as I am, is not capable of doing
you any injury: on the contrary, it is probable that your good
destiny may have brought me hither to deliver you out of this
tomb, where it seems you have been buried alive, for reasons to
me unknown. But what surprises me (for you must know that I have
been witness to all that hath passed since your coming into this
island), is, that you suffered yourself to be entombed in this
place without any resistance."

The young man felt assured at these words, and with a smiling
countenance requested me to take a seat by him. When I had
complied, he said "Prince, I am to acquaint you with what will
surprise you by its singularity.

"My father is a merchant jeweller, who, by his industry and
professional skill, has acquired considerable property. He has
many slaves, and also agents, whom he employs as supercargoes in
his own ships, to maintain his correspondence at the several
courts, which he furnishes with precious stones.

"He had been long married without having issue, when it was
intimated to him in a dream that he should have a son, though his
life would be but short; at which he was much concerned when he
awoke. Some days after, my mother acquainted him that she was
with child, and what she supposed to be the time of her
conception agreed exactly with the day of his dream. At the end
of nine months she was brought to bed of me; which occasioned
great joy in the family.

"My father, who had observed the very moment of my birth,
consulted astrologers about my nativity; and was answered, ‘Your
son shall live happily till the age of fifteen, when his life
will be exposed to a danger which he will hardly be able to
escape. But if his good destiny preserve him beyond that time, he
will live to a great age. It will be' (said they) ‘when the
statue of brass, that stands upon the summit of the mountain of
adamant, shall be thrown into the sea by prince Agib, son of king
Cassib; and, as the stars prognosticate, your son will be killed
fifty days afterwards by that prince.'

                                                                    105
"My father took all imaginable care of my education until this
year, which is the fifteenth of my age. He had notice given him
yesterday, that the statue of brass had been thrown into the sea
about ten days ago. This news alarmed him much.

"Upon the prediction the astrologers, he sought by all means
possible to falsify my horoscope, and to preserve my life. He
took the precaution to form this subterranean habitation to hide
me in, till the expiration of the fifty days after the throwing
down of the statue; and therefore, as it is ten days since this
happened, he came hastily hither to conceal me, and promised at
the end of forty days to return and fetch me away. For my own
part I am sanguine in my hopes, and cannot believe that prince
Agib will seek for me in a place under ground, in the midst of a
desert island."

While the jeweller's son was relating this story, I laughed at
the astrologers who had foretold that I should take away his
life; for I thought myself so far from being likely to verify
their prediction, that he had scarcely done speaking, when I told
him with great joy, "Dear Sir, trust in the goodness of God, and
fear nothing; consider it as a debt you had to pay; but that you
are acquitted of it from this hour. I rejoice that after my
shipwreck I came so fortunately hither to defend you against all
who would attempt your life. I will not leave you till the forty
days have expired, of which the foolish astrologers have made you
apprehensive; and in the mean while I will do you all the service
in my power: after which, with leave of your father and yourself,
I shall have the benefit of getting to the main land in your
vessel; and when I am returned into my kingdom, I will remember
the obligations I owe you, and endeavour to demonstrate my
gratitude by suitable acknowedgments."

This discourse encouraged the jeweller's son, and inspired him
with confidence. I took care not to inform him I was the very
Agib whom he dreaded, lest I should alarm his fears, and used
every precaution not to give him any cause to suspect who I was.
We passed the time in various conversation till night came on. I
found the young man of ready wit, and partook with him of his
provisions, of which he had enough to have lasted beyond the
forty days, though he had had more guests than myself. After
supper we conversed for some time; and at last retired to bed.

The next morning, when he arose, I held the basin of water to
him; I also provided dinner, and at the proper time placed it on
the table: after we had dined I invented a play for our
amusement, not only for that day, but for those that followed. I
prepared supper after the same manner as I had done the dinner;
and having supped, we retired to bed as before. We had sufficient
                                                                    106
time to contrast mutual friendship and esteem for each other. I
found he loved me; and I on my part regarded him with so much
affection, that I often said to myself, "Those astrologers who
predicted to his father that his son should die by my hand were
impostors; for it is not possible that I could commit so base a
crime." In short, madam, we spent thirty-nine days in the
pleasantest manner possible in this subterraneous abode.

The fortieth day appeared: and in the morning, when the young man
awoke, he said to me with a transport of joy that he could not
restrain, "Prince, this is the fortieth day, and I am not dead,
thanks to God and your good company. My father will not fail to
make you, very shortly, every acknowledgment of his gratitude for
your attentions, and will furnish you with every necessary
accommodation for your return to your kingdom: but," continued
he, "while we are waiting his arrival, I beg you will provide me
some warm water in that portable bath, that I may wash my body
and change my dress, to receive my father with the more respect."

I set the water on the fire, and when it was hot poured it into
the moveable bath; the youth went in, and I both washed and
rubbed him. At last he came out, and laid himself down in his bed
that I had prepared. After he had slept a while, he awoke, and
said, "Dear prince, pray do me the favour to fetch me a melon and
some sugar, that I may eat some to refresh me."

Out of several melons that remained I took the best, and laid it
on a plate; and as I could not find a knife to cut it with, I
asked the young man if he knew where there was one. "There is
one," said he, "upon this cornice over my head:" I accordingly
saw it there, and made so much haste to reach it, that, while I
had it in my hand, my foot being entangled in the carpet, I fell
most unhappily upon the young man, and the knife pierced his
heart.

At this spectacle I cried out with agony. I beat my head, my
face, and breast; I tore my clothes; I threw myself on the ground
with unspeakable sorrow and grief! "Alas!" I exclaimed, "there
were only some hours wanting to have put him out of that danger
from which he sought sanctuary here; and when I thought the
danger past, then I became his murderer, and verified the
prediction. But, O Lord!" said I, lifting up my face and my hands
to heaven, "I intreat thy pardon, and if I be guilty of his
death, let me not live any longer."

After this misfortune I would have embraced death without any
reluctance, had it presented itself to me. But what we wish,
whether it be good or evil, will not always happen according to
our desire. Nevertheless, considering that all my tears and
                                                                    107
sorrows would not restore the young man to life, and, the forty
days being expired, I might be surprised by his father, I quitted
the subterranean dwelling, laid down the great stone upon the
entrance, and covered it with earth.

I had scarcely done, when, casting my eyes upon the sea towards
the main land, I perceived the vessel coming to fetch away the
young man. I began then to consider what I had best do. I said to
myself, "If I am seen by the old man, he will certainly seize me,
and perhaps cause me to be massacred by his slaves, when he has
discovered that his son is killed: all that I can allege to
justify myself will not convince him of my innocence. It is
better then to withdraw while it is in my power, than to expose
myself to his resentment."

There happened to be near a large tree thick with leaves, which I
ascended in hopes of concealment, and was no sooner fixed in a
place where I could not be perceived, than I saw the vessel come
to the creek where she lay the first time.

The old man with his slaves landed immediately, and advanced
towards the subterranean dwelling, with a countenance that shewed
some hope; but when they saw the earth had been newly removed,
they changed colour, particularly the old man. They lifted up the
stone, and went down; they called the young man by his name, but
he not answering, their fears increased. They proceeded to seek
him; and at length found him lying upon the bed with the knife in
his heart, for I had not power to take it out. At this sight they
cried out lamentably, which increased my sorrow: the old man fell
down in a swoon. The slaves, to give him air, brought him up in
their arms, and laid him at the foot of the tree where I was
concealed; but notwithstanding all the pains they took to recover
him, the unfortunate father continued a long while insensible,
and made them more than once despair of his life; but at last he
came to himself. The slaves then brought up his son's corpse,
dressed in his best apparel, and when they had made a grave they
buried it. The old man, supported by two slaves, and his face
covered with tears, threw the first earth upon the body, after
which the slaves filled up the grave.

This being done, all the furniture was brought up, and, with the
remaining provisions, put on board the vessel. The old man,
overcome with sorrow, and not being able to stand, was laid upon
a litter, and carried to the ship, which stood out to sea, and in
a short time was out of sight.

After the old man and his slaves were gone, I was left alone upon
the island. I lay that night in the subterranean dwelling, which
they had shut up, and when the day came, I walked round the
                                                                    108
island, and stopped in such places as I thought most proper for
repose.

I led this wearisome life for a whole month. At the expiration of
this time I perceived that the sea had receded; that the island
had increased in dimensions; the main land too seemed to be
drawing nearer. In fact, the water sunk so low, that there
remained between me and the continent but a small stream, which I
crossed, and the water did not reach above the middle of my leg.
I walked so long a way upon the slime and sand that I was very
weary: at last I got upon more firm ground, and when I had
proceeded some distance from the sea, I saw a good way before me
something that resembled a great fire, which afforded me some
comfort; for I said to myself, I shall find here some persons, it
not being possible that this fire should kindle of itself. As I
drew nearer, however, I found my error, and discovered that what
I had taken for a fire was a castle of red copper, which the
beams of the sun made to appear at a distance like flames.

I stopped in the neighbourhood of the castle, and sat down to
admire its noble structure, and to rest myself. Before I had
taken such a view of this magnificent building as it deserved, I
saw ten handsome young men coming along, as if they had been
taking a walk; but what surprised me was, that they were all
blind of the right eye. They were accompanied by an old man, who
was very tall, and of a venerable aspect.

I could not suppress my astonishment at the sight of so many half
blind men in company, and every one deprived of the same eye. As
I was conjecturing by what adventure these men could come
together, they approached, and seemed glad to see me. After the
first salutations, they inquired what had brought me thither. I
told them my story would be somewhat tedious, but if they would
take the trouble to sit down, 1 would satisfy their curiosity.
They did so, and I related to them all that had happened to me
since I had left my kingdom, which filled them with astonishment.

After I had concluded my account, the young gentlemen prayed me
to accompany them into the castle. I accepted their offer, and we
passed through a great many halls, ante-chambers, bed-chambers,
and closets, very well furnished, and came at last into a
spacious hall, where there were ten small blue sofas set round,
separate from one another, on which they sat by day and slept at
night. In the middle of this circle stood an eleventh sofa, not
so high as the rest, but of the same colour, upon which the old
man before-mentioned sat down, and the young gentlemen occupied
the other ten. But as each sofa could only contain one man, one
of the young men said to me, "Comrade, sit down upon that carpet
in the middle of the room, and do not inquire into anything that
                                                                    109
concerns us, nor the reason why we are all blind of the right
eye; be content with what you see, and let not your curiosity
extend any farther."

The old man having sat a short time, arose, and went out; but he
returned in a minute or two, brought in supper, distributed to
each man separately his proportion, and likewise brought me mine,
which I ate apart, as the rest did; and when supper was almost
ended, he presented to each of us a cup of wine.

They thought my story so extraordinary, that they made me repeat
it after supper, and it furnished conversation for a good part of
the night. One of the gentlemen observing that it was late, said
to the old man, "You do not bring us that with which we may
acquit ourselves of our duty." At these words the old man arose,
and went into a closet, and brought out thence upon his head ten
basins, one after another, all covered with blue stuff; he placed
one before every gentleman, together with a light.

They uncovered their basins, which contained ashes, coal-dust,
and lamp-black; they mixed all together, and rubbed and bedaubed
their faces with it in such a manner as to make themselves look
very frightful. After having thus blackened themselves, they wept
and lamented, beating their heads and breasts, and crying
continually, "This is the fruit of our idleness and debauches."

They continued this strange employment nearly the whole of the
night, and when they left off, the old man brought them water,
with which they washed their faces and hands; they changed all
their clothes, which were spoiled, and put on others; so that
they exhibited no appearance of what they had been doing.

You may judge how uneasy I felt all this time. I wished a
thousand times to break the silence which had been imposed upon
me, and ask questions; nor was it possible for me to sleep that
night.

The next day, soon after we had arisen, we went out to walk, and
then I said to them, "Gentlemen, I declare to you, that I must
renounce the law which you prescribed to me last night, for I
cannot observe it. You are men of sense, you have convinced me
that you do not want understanding; yet, I have seen you do such
actions as none but madmen could be capable of. Whatever
misfortune befalls me, I cannot forbear asking, why you bedaubed
your faces with black? How it has happened that each of you has
but one eye? Some singular circumstance must certainly be the
cause; therefore I conjure you to satisfy my curiosity." To these
pressing instances they answered only, that it was no business of
mine to make such inquiries, and that I should do well to hold my
                                                                    110
peace.

We passed that day in conversation upon indifferent subjects; and
when night was come and every man had supped, the old man brought
in the blue basins, and the young gentlemen as before bedaubed
their faces, wept and beat themselves, crying, "This is the fruit
of our idleness and debauches," and continued the same actions
the following night. At last, not being able to resist my
curiosity, I earnestly prayed them to satisfy me, or to shew me
how to return to my own kingdom; for it was impossible for me to
keep them company any longer, and to see every night such an odd
exhibition, without being permitted to know the reason.

One of the gentlemen answered on behalf of the rest, "Do not
wonder at our conduit in regard to yourself, and that hitherto we
have not granted your request: it is out of kindness, to save you
the pain of being reduced to the same condition with ourselves.
If you have a mind to try our unfortunate destiny, you need but
speak, and we will give you the satisfaction you desire." I told
them I was resolved on it, let what would be the consequence.
"Once more," said the same gentleman, "we advise you to restrain
your curiosity: it will cost you the loss of your right eye." "No
matter," I replied; "be assured that if such a misfortune befall
me, I will not impute it to you, but to myself."

He farther represented to me, that when I had lost an eye I must
not hope to remain with them, if I were so disposed, because
their number was complete, and no addition could be made to it. I
told them, that it would be a great satisfaction to me never to
part from such agreeable gentlemen, but if there were a necessity
for it, I was ready to submit; and let it cost me what it would,
I begged them to grant my request.

The ten gentlemen perceiving that I was so fixed in my
resolution, took a sheep, killed it, and after they had taken off
the skin, presented me with a knife, telling me it would be
useful to me on an occasion which they would soon explain. "We
must sew you in this skin," said they, "and then leave you; upon
which a bird of a monstrous size, called a roc, will appear in
the air, and taking you for a sheep, will pounce upon you, and
soar with you to the sky: but let not that alarm you; he will
descend with you again, and lay you on the top of a mountain.
When you find yourself on the ground, cut the skin with your
knife, and throw it off. As soon as the roc sees you, he will fly
away for fear, and leave you at liberty. Do not stay, but walk on
till you come to a spacious castle, covered with plates of gold,
large emeralds, and other precious stones: go up to the gate,
which always stands open, and walk in. We have each of us been in
that castle; but will tell you nothing of what we saw, or what
                                                                    111
befell us there; you will learn by your own experience. All that
we can inform you is, that it has cost each of us our right eye,
and the penance which you have been witness to, is what we are
obliged to observe in consequence of having been there. The
history of each of us is so full of extraordinary adventures,
that a large volume would not contain them. But we cannot explain
ourselves farther."

When the gentleman had thus spoken, I wrapt myself in the sheep's
skin, held fast the knife which was given me; and after the young
gentlemen had been at the trouble to sew the skin about me, they
retired into the hall, and left me alone. The roc they spoke of
soon arrived; he pounced upon me, took me in his talons like a
sheep, and carried me up the summit of the mountain.

When I found myself on the ground, I cut the skin with the knife,
and throwing it off, the roc at the sight of me flew sway. This
roc is a white bird, of a monstrous size; his strength is such,
that he can lift up elephants from the plains, and carry them to
the tops of mountains, where he feeds upon them.

Being impatient to reach the castle, I lost no time; but made so
much haste, that I got thither in half a day's journey, and I
must say that I found it surpassed the description they had given
me of its magnificence.

The gate being open, I entered a square court, so large that
there were round it ninety-nine gates of wood of sanders and
aloes, and one of gold, without reckoning those of several superb
staircases, that led to apartments above, besides many more which
I could not see. The hundred doors I spoke of opened into gardens
or store-houses full of riches, or into apartments which
contained many things wonderful to be seen.

I saw a door standing open just before me, through which I
entered into a large hall. Here I found forty young ladies of
such perfect beauty as imagination could not surpass: they were
all most sumptuously appareled. As soon as they saw me they
arose, and without waiting my salutations, said to me, with
demonstrations of joy, "Noble Sir, you are welcome." And one thus
addressed me in the name of the rest, "We have long been in
expectation of such a gentleman as you; your mien assures us,
that you are master of all the good qualities we can desire; and
we hope you will not find our company disagreeable or unworthy of
yours."

They obliged me, notwithstanding all the opposition I could make,
to sit down on a seat that was higher than their own; and when I
expressed my uneasiness, "That is your place," said they, "you
                                                                    112
are at present our lord, master, and judge, and we are your
slaves, ready to obey your commands."

Nothing, madam, so much astonished me, as the solicitude and
eagerness of those fair ladies to do me all possible service. One
brought hot water to wash my feet, a second poured sweet scented
water on my hands; others brought me all kinds of necessaries,
and change of apparel; others again brought in a magnificent
collation; and the rest came with glasses in their hands to fill
me delicious wines, all in good order, and in the most charming
manner possible. I ate and drank; after which the ladies placed
themselves about me, and desired an account of my travels. I gave
them a full relation of my adventures, which lasted till night
came on.

When I had finished my narrative to the forty ladies, some of
them who sat nearest me staid to keep me company, whilst the
rest, seeing it was dark, rose to fetch tapers. They brought a
prodigious number, which by the wonderful light they emitted
exhibited the resemblance of day, and they disposed them with so
much taste as to produce the most beautiful effect possible.

Other ladies covered a table with dry fruits, sweetmeats, and
everything proper to relish the liquor; a side-board was set out
with several sorts of wine and other liquors. Some of the ladies
brought in musical instruments, and when everything was ready,
they invited me to sit down to supper. The ladies sat down with
me, and we continued a long while at our repast. They that were
to play upon the instruments and sing arose, and formed a most
charming concert. The others began a kind of ball, and danced two
and two, couple after couple, with admirable grace.

It was past midnight ere these amusements ended. At length one of
the ladies said to me, "You are doubtless wearied by the journey
you have taken to-day; it is time for you to retire to rest; your
lodging is prepared: but before you depart choose which of us you
like best to be your bedfellow." I answered, "That I knew not how
to make my own choice, as they were all equally beautiful, witty,
and worthy of my respects and service, and that I would not be
guilty of so much incivility as to prefer one before another."

The lady who had spoken to me before answered, "We are very well
satisfied of your civility, and find it is your fear to create
jealousy among us that occasions your diffidence; but let not
this hinder you. We assure you, that the good fortune of her whom
you choose shall cause no feeling of the kind; for we are agreed
among ourselves, that every one of us shall in her turn have the
same honour; and when forty days are past, to begin again;
therefore make your selection, and lose no time to take the
                                                                    113
repose you need." I was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and
offered my hand to the lady who spoke, and who, in return, gave
me hers. We were conducted to a sumptuous apartment, where they
left us; and then every one retired to her own chamber.

I was scarcely dressed next morning, when the other thirty-nine
ladies came into my chamber, all in different dresses from those
they had worn the day before: they bade me good-morrow, and
inquired after my health. After which they conveyed me to a bath,
where they washed me themselves, and whether I would or no,
served me with everything I needed; and when I came out of the
bath, they made me put on another suit much richer than the
former.

We passed the whole day almost constantly at table; and when it
was bed-time, they prayed me again to make choice of one of them
for my companion In short, madam, not to weary you with
repetitions, I must tell you that I continued a whole year among
those forty ladies, and received them into my bed one after
another: and during all the time of this voluptuous life, we met
not with the least kind of trouble. When the year was expired, I
was greatly surprised that these forty ladies, instead of
appearing with their usual cheerfulness to ask me how I did,
entered my chamber one morning all in tears. They embraced me
with great tenderness one after another, saying, "Adieu, dear
prince, adieu! for we must leave you." Their tears affected. I
prayed them to tell me the reason of their grief, and of the
separation they spoke of. "Fair ladies, let me know," said I, "if
it be in my power to comfort you, or if my assistance can be any
way useful to you." Instead of returning a direct answer,
"Would," said they, "we had never seen or known you! Several
gentlemen have honoured us with their company before you; but
never one of them had that comeliness, that sweetness, that
pleasantness of humour, and that merit which you possess; we know
not how to live without you." After they had spoken these words,
they began to weep bitterly. "My dear ladies," said I, "have the
kindness not to keep me any longer in suspense: tell me the cause
of your sorrow." "Alas!" said they, "what but the necessity of
parting from you could thus afflict us? Perhaps we shall never
see you more; but if it be your wish we should, and if you
possess sufficient self-command for the purpose, it is not
impossible but that we may again enjoy the pleasure of your
company." "Ladies," I replied, "I understand not what you mean;
pray explain yourselves more clearly."

"Well," said one of them, "to satisfy you, we must acquaint you
that we are all princesses, daughters of kings. We live here
together in the manner you have seen; but at the end of every
year we are obliged to be absent forty days upon indispensable
                                                                    114
duties, which we are not permitted to reveal: and afterwards we
return again to this castle. Yesterday was the last of the year;
to day we must leave you, and this circumstance is the cause of
our grief. Before we depart we will leave you the keys of
everything, especially those of the hundred doors, where you will
find enough to satisfy your curiosity, and to relieve your
solitude during our absence. But for your benefit, and our own
personal interests, we recommend you to forbear opening the
golden door; for if you do we shall never see you again; and the
apprehension of this augments our grief. We hope, nevertheless,
that you will attend to our advice; your own peace, and the
happiness of your life, depends upon your compliance; therefore
take heed. If you suffer yourself to be swayed by a foolish
curiosity, you will do yourself a considerable injury. We conjure
you to avoid the indiscretion, and to give us the satisfaction
finding you here again at the end of forty days. We would
willingly take the key of the golden door with us; but that it
would be an affront to a prince like you to question your
discretion and firmness."

This speech of the fair princesses grieved me extremely. I
omitted not to declare how much their absence would afflict me. I
thanked then for their good advice, assuring them that I would
follow it, and expressed my willingness to perform what was much
more difficult, to secure the happiness of passing the rest of my
days with ladies of such beauty and accomplishments. We separated
with much tenderness, and after I had embraced them all, they
departed, and I remained alone in the castle.

The agreeableness of their company, their hospitality, their
musical entertainments, and other amusements, had so much
absorbed my attention during the whole year, that I neither had
time nor desire to see the wonders contained in this enchanted
palace. I did not even notice a thousand curious objects that
every day offered themselves to my view, so much was I charmed by
the beauty of those ladies, and the pleasure they seemed to take
in promoting my gratification. Their departure sensibly afflicted
me; and though their absence was to be only forty days, it seemed
to me an age to live without them.

I determined not to forget the important advice they had given
me, not to open the golden door; but as I was permitted to
satisfy my curiosity in everything else, I took the first of the
keys of the other doors, which were hung in regular order.

I opened the first door, and entered an orchard, which I believe
the universe could not equal. I could not imagine any thing to
surpass it, except that which our religion promises us after
death. The symmetry, the neatness, the admirable order of the
                                                                    115
trees, the abundance and diversity of unknown fruits, their
freshness and beauty, delighted my senses.

Nor must I omit to inform you, that this delicious orchard was
watered in a very particular manner. There were channels so
artificially and proportionately dug, that they carried water in
considerable quantities to the roots of such trees as required
much moisture. Others conveyed it in smaller quantities to those
whose fruits were already formed: some carried still less to
those whose fruits were swelling, and others carried only so much
as was just requisite to water those which had their fruits come
to perfection, and only wanted to be ripened. They far exceeded
in size the ordinary fruits of our gardens. Lastly, those
channels that watered the trees whose fruit was ripe had no more
moisture than just what would preserve them from withering.

I should never have tired in examining and admiring so delightful
a place; nor have left it, had I not conceived a still higher
idea of the other things which I had not seen. I went out at last
with my mind filled with the wonders I had viewed: I shut the
door, and opened the next.

Instead of an orchard, I found here a flower garden, which was no
less extraordinary in its kind. It contained a spacious plot, not
watered so profusely as the former, but with greater niceness,
furnishing no more water than just what each flower required. The
roses, jessamines, violets, daffodils, hyacinths, anemonies,
tulips, pinks, lilies, and an infinite number of flowers, which
do not grow in other places but at certain times, were there
flourishing all at once, and nothing could be more delicious than
the fragrant smell which they emitted.

I opened the third door, and found a large aviary, paved with
marble of several fine and uncommon colours. The trellis work was
made of sandal wood and wood of aloes. It contained a vast number
of nightingales, gold-finches, canary birds, larks, and other
rare singing-birds, which I had never heard of; and the vessels
that held their seed and water were of the most precious jasper
or agate.

Besides, this aviary was so exceedingly neat, that, considering
its extent, I judged there must be not less than a hundred
persons to keep it clean; but all this while not one appeared,
either here or in the gardens I had before examined; and yet I
could not perceive a weed, or any thing superfluous or offensive
to sight. The sun went down, and I retired, charmed with the
chirping notes of the multitude of birds, who then began to perch
upon such places as suited them for repose during the night. I
went to my chamber, resolving on the following days to open all
                                                                    116
the rest of the doors, excepting that of gold.

The next day I opened the fourth door. If what I had seen before
was capable of exciting my surprise, what I now beheld
transported me into perfect ecstacy. I entered a large court
surrounded with buildings of an admirable structure, the
description of which I will omit, to avoid prolixity.

This building had forty doors, all open, and through each of them
was an entrance into a treasury: several of these treasuries
contained as much wealth as the largest kingdoms. The first was
stored with heaps of pearls: and, what is almost incredible, the
number of those stones which are most precious, and as large as
pigeons' eggs, exceeded the number of those of the ordinary size.
In the second treasury, there were diamonds, carbuncles, and
rubies; in the third, emeralds; in the fourth, ingots of gold; in
the fifth, money; in the sixth, ingots of silver; and in the two
following, money. The rest contained amethysts, chrysolites,
topazes, opals, turquoises, and hyacinths, with all the other
stones known to us, without mentioning agate, jasper, cornelian,
and coral, of which there was a store house filled, not only with
branches, but whole trees.

Filled with astonishment and admiration at the view of all these
riches, I exclaimed, "If all the treasures of the kings of the
universe were gathered together in one place, they could not
equal the value of these. How fortunate am I to possess all this
wealth with so many admirable princesses! "

I will not tire you, madam, with a detail of all the other
objects of curiosity and value which I discovered on the
following day. I shall only say, that thirty-nine days afforded
me but just as much time as was necessary to open ninety-nine
doors, and to admire all that presented itself to my view, so
that there was only the hundredth door left, which I was
forbidden to open.

The fortieth day after the departure of those charming princesses
arrived, and had I but retained so much self-command as I ought
to have had, I should have been this day the happiest of all
mankind, whereas now I am the most unfortunate. They were to
return the next day, and the pleasure of seeing them again ought
to have restrained my curiosity: but through my weakness, which I
shall ever repent, I yielded to the temptations of the evil
spirit, who allowed me no rest till I had involved myself in the
misfortunes I have since suffered.

I opened that fatal door! But before I had moved my foot to
enter, a smell pleasant enough, but too powerful for my senses,
                                                                    117
made me faint away. However, I soon recovered: but instead of
taking warning from this incident to close the door, and restrain
my curiosity, after waiting some time for the external air to
correct the effluvia of the place, I entered, and felt myself no
longer incommoded. I found myself in a spacious vaulted
apartment, the pavement of which was strewed with saffron. It was
illuminated by several large tapers which emitted the perfume of
aloes and ambergris, and were placed in candlesticks of solid
gold. This light was augmented by gold and silver lamps, burning
perfumed oils of various kinds.

Among the many objects that attracted my attention was a black
horse, of the most perfect symmetry and beauty that ever was
beheld. I approached in order the better to observe him, and
found he had on a saddle and bridle of massive gold, curiously
wrought. One part of his manger was filled with clean barley and
sesame, and the other with rose-water. I laid hold of his bridle,
and led him out to view him by daylight. I mounted, and
endeavoured to make him move: but finding he did not stir, I
struck him with a switch I had taken up in his magnificent
stable. He had no sooner felt the blow, than he began to neigh in
a most horrible manner, and extending his wings, which I had not
before perceived, flew up with me into the air. My thoughts were
fully in keeping my seat; and considering the fear that had
seized me, I sat well. At length he directed his course towards
the earth, and lighted upon the terrace of a castle, and, without
giving me time to dismount, shook me out of the saddle with such
force, as to throw me behind him, and with the end of his tail he
struck out my eye.

Thus it was I became blind of one eye. I then recollected the
predictions of the ten young gentlemen. The horse again took
wing, and soon disappeared. I got up much vexed at the misfortune
I had brought upon myself. I walked upon the terrace, covering my
eye with one of my hands, for it pained me exceedingly, and then
descended, and entered into a hall. I soon discoved by the ten
sofas in a circle, and the eleventh in the middle, lower than the
rest, that I was in the castle whence I had been carried by the
roc.

The ten young gentlemen were not in the hall when I entered; but
came in soon after, attended by the old man. They seemed not at
all surprised to see me, nor at the loss of my eye; but said, "We
are sorry that we cannot congratulate you on your return, as we
could wish; but we are not the cause of your misfortune." "I
should do you wrong," I replied, "to lay it to your charge; I
have only myself to accuse." "If," said they, "it be a subject of
consolation to the afflicted to know that others share their
sufferings, you have in us this alleviation of your misfortune.
                                                                    118
All that has happened to you we have also endured; we each of us
tasted the same pleasures during a year; and we had still
continued to enjoy them, had we not opened the golden door, when
the princesses were absent. You have been no wiser than we, and
have incurred the same punishment. We would gladly receive you
into our company, to join with us in the penance to which we are
bound, and the duration of which we know not. But we have already
stated to you the reasons that render this impossible: depart,
therefore, and proceed to the court of Bagdad, where you will
meet with the person who is to decide your destiny." After they
had explained to me the road I was to travel, I departed.

On the road I caused my beard and eye-brows to be shaven, and
assumed a calender's habit. I have had a long journey, but at
last I arrived this evening, and met these my brother calenders
at the gate, being strangers as well as myself. We were mutually
surprised at one another, to see that we were all blind of the
same eye; but we had not leisure to converse long on the subject
of our misfortunes. We have only had time enough to bring us
hither, to implore those favours which you have been generously
pleased to grant us.

The third calender having finished this relation of his
adventures, Zobeide addressed him and his fellow calenders thus:
"Go wherever you think proper, you are at liberty." But one of
them answered, "Madam, we beg you to pardon our curiosity, and
permit us to hear the stories of those gentlemen who have not yet
spoken." Then the lady turned to the caliph, the vizier Jaaffier,
and Mesrour, and said to them, "It is now your turn to relate
your adventures, therefore speak."

The grand vizier who had all along been the spokesman, answered
Zobeide: "Madam, in order to obey you, we need only repeat what
we have already said. We are merchants of Moussol come to Bagdad
to sell our merchandize, which lies in the khan where we lodge.
We dined today with several other persons of our condition, at a
merchant's house of this city; who, after he had treated us with
choice dainties and excellent wines, sent for men and women
dancers, and musicians. The great noise we made brought in the
watch, who arrested some of the company, and we had the good
fortune to escape: but it being already late, and the door of our
khan shut up, we knew not whither to retire. We chanced as we
passed along this street to hear mirth at your house, which made
us determine to knock at your gate. This is all the account that
we can give you, in obedience to your commands."

Zobeide having heard this statement, seemed to hesitate what to
say, which the calenders perceiving, prayed her to grant the same
favour to the three Moussol merchants as she had done to them.
                                                                    119
"Well then," said she, "you shall all be equally obliged to me; I
pardon you all, provided you immediately depart."

Zobeide having given this command in a tone that signified she
would be obeyed, the caliph, the vizier Mesrour, the three
calenders, and the porter departed, without saying one word: for
the presence of the seven slaves with their weapons awed them
into silence. As soon as they had quitted the house, and the gate
was closed after them, the caliph said to the calenders, without
making himself known, "You gentlemen, who are newly come to town,
which way do you design to go, since it is not yet day?" "It is
this," they replied, "that perplexes us." "Follow us," resumed
the caliph, "and we will convey you out of danger." He then
whispered to the vizier, "Take them along with you, and tomorrow
morning bring them to me; I will cause their history to be put in
writing, for it deserves a place in the annals of my reign."

The vizier Jaaffier took the three calenders along with him; the
porter went to his quarters, and the caliph and Mesrour returned
to the palace. The caliph went to bed, but could not sleep, being
perplexed by the extraordinary things he had seen and heard. But
above all, he was most concerned to know the history of Zobeide;
what reason she could have to be so severe to the two black
bitches, and why Amene had her bosom so scarred. Day began to
appear whilst he was thinking upon these things; he arose and
went to his council chamber, and sat upon his throne.

The grand vizier entered soon after, and paid his respects as
usual. "Vizier," said the caliph, "the affairs that we have to
consider at present are not very pressing; that of the three
ladies and the two black bitches is the most urgent: my mind
cannot rest till I am thoroughly satisfied, in all those matters
that have so much surprised me. Go, bring those ladies and the
calenders at the same time; make haste, and remember that I
impatiently expect your return."

The vizier who knew his master's quick and fiery temper, hastened
to obey, and went to the ladies, to whom he communicated, in a
civil way,. the orders with which he was charged, to bring them
before the caliph, without taking any notice of what had passed
the night before at their house.

The ladies put on their veils, and went with the vizier As he
passed his own house, he took along with him the three calenders,
who in the interval had learnt that they had seen and spoken with
the caliph, without knowing him. The vizier conducted them to the
palace with so much expedition, that the caliph was much pleased.
This prince, that he might observe proper decorum before the
officers of his court who were then present, ordered that the
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ladies should be placed behind the hangings of the door which led
to his own chamber, and placed the three calenders near his
person, who, by their respectful behaviour, sufficiently evinced
that they were not ignorant before whom they had the honour to
appear.

When the ladies were thus disposed of, the caliph turned towards
them, and said, "When I acquaint you that I was last night in
your house, disguised in a merchant's habit, you may probably be
alarmed, lest you may have given me offence; you may perhaps
believe that I have sent for you for no other purpose than to
shew some marks of my resentment; but be not afraid; you may rest
assured that I have forgotten all that has past, and am well
satisfied with your conduct. I wish that all the ladies of Bagdad
had as much discretion as you evinced before me. I shall always
remember the moderation with which you acted, after the rudeness
of which we were guilty. I was then a merchant of Moussol, but am
at present Haroon al Rusheed, the fifth caliph of the glorious
house of Abbas, and hold the place of our great prophet. I have
only sent for you to know who you are, and to ask for what reason
one of you, after severely whipping the two black bitches, wept
with them? And I am no less curious to know, why another of you
has her bosom so full of scars."

Though the caliph pronounced these words very distinctly, the
three ladies heard him well enough, yet the vizier out of
ceremony, repeated them.

Zobeide, after the caliph by his address had encouraged her,
began thus:




            The Story of Zobeide.



Commander of the faithful, the relation which I am about to give
your majesty is singularly extraordinary. The two black bitches
and myself are sisters by the same father and mother; and I shall
acquaint you by what strange accident they came to be
metamorphosed. The two ladies who live with me, and are now here,
are also my sisters by the father's side, but by another mother:
she that has the scars upon her breast is named Amene; the name
of the other is Safie, and my own Zobeide.

After our father's death, the property that he left was equally
divided among us, and as soon as these two sisters received their
                                                                    121
portions, they left me to live with their mother. My other two
sisters and myself stayed with our mother, who was then alive,
and who when she afterwards died left each of us a thousand
sequins. As soon as we had received our portions, the two eldest
(for I am the youngest) married, and left me alone. Some time
after, my eldest sister's husband sold all that he had, and with
that money and my sister's portion they went both into Africa,
where her husband, by riotous living and debauchery' spent all;
and finding himself reduced to poverty, found a pretext for
divorcing my sister, and put her away.

She returned to this city, and having suffered incredible
hardships by the way, came to me in so lamentable a condition
that it would have moved the hardest heart to compassion to
behold her. I received her with every possible tenderness, and
inquiring into the cause of her distress, she told me with tears
how inhumanly her husband had behaved towards her. Her
misfortunes affected me: and I mingled my tears with hers. I took
her to a bath, clothed her with my own apparel, and thus
addressed her: "Sister, you are the elder, and I esteem you as my
mother: during your absence, God has blest the portion that fell
to my share, and the employment I follow of breeding silk-worms.
Assure yourself there is nothing I have but is at your service,
and as much at your disposal as my own."

We lived very comfortably together for some months. As we were
one day conversing about our third sister, and wondering we
received no intelligence of her, she came in as bad a condition
as the eldest: her husband had treated her after the same manner;
and I received her likewise with the same affection as I had done
the former.

Some time after, my two sisters, on presence that they would not
be chargeable to me, told me they intended to marry again. I
observed, that if putting me to expense was the only reason, they
might lay those thoughts aside, and be welcome to remain: for
what I had would be sufficient to maintain us all three, in a
manner answerable to our condition. "But," I added, "I rather
believe you wish to marry again; I shall feel much surprised if
such be the case. After the experience you have had of the little
satisfaction there is in wedlock, is it possible you dare venture
a second time? You know how rare it is to meet with a husband
perfectly virtuous and deserving. Believe what I say, and let us
live together as comfortably as we can." All my persuasion was in
vain; they were resolved to marry, and soon accomplished their
wishes. But after some months were past, they returned again, and
begged my pardon a thousand times for not following my advice.
"You are our youngest sister," said they, "but abundantly more
wise than we; if you will vouchsafe to receive us once more into
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your house, and account us your slaves, we shall never commit a
similar fault again." My answer was, "Dear sisters, I have not
altered my mind with respect to you since we last parted: come
again, and take part of what I have." Upon this I embraced them,
and we lived together as before.

We continued thus a whole year in perfect love and harmony.
Seeing that God had increased my small stock, I projected a
voyage, to embark some of it in a commercial speculation. To this
end, I went with my two sisters to Bussorah, where I bought a
ship ready fitted for sea, and laded her with such merchandise as
I had carried with me from Bagdad. We set sail with a fair wind,
and soon cleared the Persian gulf; when we had reached the open
sea, we steered our course to the Indies; and the twentieth day
saw land. It was a very high mountain, at the bottom of which we
perceived a great town: having a fresh gale, we soon reached the
harbour, and cast anchor.

I had not patience to wait till my sisters were dressed to go
along with me, but went ashore alone in the boat. Making directly
to the gate of the town, I saw there a great number of men upon
guard, some sitting, and others standing with sticks in their
hands; and they had all such dreadful countenances that I was
greatly alarmed; but perceiving they remained stationary, and did
not so much as move their eyes, I took courage, and went nearer,
when I found they were all turned into stones. I entered the town
and passed through several streets, where at different intervals
stood men in various attitudes, but all motionless and petrified.
In the quarter inhabited by the merchants I found most of the
shops shut, and in such as were open I likewise found the people
petrified.

Having reached a vast square, in the heart of the city, I
perceived a large folding gate, covered with plates of gold,
which stood open; a curtain of silk stuff seemed to be drawn
before it: a lamp hung over the entrance. After I had surveyed
the building, I made no doubt but it was the palace of the prince
who reigned over that country: and being much astonished that I
had not met with one living creature, I approached in hopes to
find some. I lifted up the curtain, and was surprised at
beholding no one but the guards in the vestibule all petrified;
some standing, some sitting, and some lying.

I came to a large court, where I saw before me a stately
building, the windows of which were inclosed with gates of messy
gold: I concluded it to be the queen's apartments. I entered; and
in a large hall I found several black eunuchs turned into stone.
I went from thence into a room richly furnished, where I
perceived a lady in the same situation. I knew it to be the
                                                                    123
queen, by the crown of gold on her head, and a necklace of pearls
about her neck, each of them as large as a nut; I approached her
to have a nearer view of it, and never beheld a finer objets.

I stood some time admiring the riches and magnificence of the
room; but above all, the carpet, the cushions, and the sofas,
which were all ornamented with Indian stuff of gold, and
representations of men and beasts in silver, admirably executed.

I quitted the chamber where the petrified queen was, and passed
through several other apartments and closets richly furnished,
and at last came into a large room, where there was a throne of
massive gold, raised several steps above the floor, and enriched
with large enchased emeralds, and upon the throne there was a bed
of rich stuff embroidered with pearls. What surprised me most was
a sparkling light which came from above the bed. Being curious to
know whence it proceeded, I ascended the steps, and lifting up my
head, saw a diamond as large as the egg of an ostrich, lying upon
a low stool; it was so pure, that I could not find the least
blemish in it, and it sparkled with so much brilliancy, that when
I saw it by day-light I could not endure its lustre.

At the head of the bed there stood on each side a lighted
flambeau, but for what use I could not comprehend; however, it
made me imagine that there was some living creature in this
place; for I could not believe that the torches continued thus
burning of themselves. Several other rarities detained my
curiosity in this room, which was inestimable in value, were it
only for the diamond I mentioned.

The doors being all open, or but half shut, I surveyed some other
apartments, that were as beautiful as those I had already seen. I
looked into the offices and store-rooms, which were full of
riches. In short, the wonders that everywhere appeared so wholly
engrossed my attention, that I forgot my ship and my sisters, and
thought of nothing but gratifying my curiosity. In the mean time
night came on, which reminded me that it was time to retire. I
proposed to return the way I had entered, but I could not find
it; I lost myself among the apartments; and perceiving I was come
back again to the large room, where the throne, the couch, the
large diamond, and the torches stood, I resolved to take my
night's lodging there, and to depart the next morning early, to
get aboard my ship. I laid myself down upon a couch, not without
some dread to be alone in a desolate place; and this fear
hindered my sleep.

About midnight I heard a voice like that of a man reading the
Koraun, after the same manner, and in the same tone as it is read
in our mosques. Being extremely glad to hear it, I immediately
                                                                    124
arose, and taking a torch in my hand, passed from one chamber to
another on that side from whence the sound proceeded. I came to
the closet-door, and stood still, not doubting that it came from
thence. I set down my torch upon the ground, and looking through
a window, found it to be an oratory. It had, as we have in our
mosques, a niche, to direct us whither we are to turn to say our
prayers: there were also lamps hung up, and two candlesticks with
large tapers of white wax burning.

I saw a little carpet laid down like those we have to kneel upon
when we say our prayers, and a comely young man sat on this
carpet reading with great devotion the Koraun, which lay before
him on a desk. At this sight I was transported with admiration. I
wondered how it came to pass that he should be the only living
creature in a town where all the people were turned into stones,
and I did not doubt but there was something in the circumstance
very extraordinary.

The door being only half shut, I opened it, went in, and standing
upright before the niche, I repeated this prayer aloud: "Praise
be to God, who has favoured us with a happy voyage, and may he be
graciously pleased to protect us in the same manner, until we
arrive again in our own country. Hear me, O Lord, and grant my
request."

The young man turned his eyes towards me, and said, "My good
lady, pray let me know who you are, and what has brought you to
this desolate city? And, in return, I will you who I am, what has
happened to me, why the inhabitants of this city are reduced to
the state you see them in, and why I alone am safe in the midst
of such a terrible disaster."

I told him in a few words whence I had come, what had made me
undertake the voyage, and how I safely arrived at the port after
twenty days' sailing; when I had done, I prayed him to perform
his promise, and told him how much I was struck by the frightful
desolation which I had seen in the city.

"Lady," said the young man, "have patience for a moment." At
these words he shut the Koraun, put it into a rich case, and laid
it in the niche. I took that opportunity to observe him, and
perceiving in him so much good nature and beauty, I felt emotions
I had never known before. He made me sit down by him, and before
he began his discourse, I could not forbear saying, with an air
that discovered the sentiments I felt, "Amiable sir, dear object
of my soul, I can scarcely have patience to wait for an account
of all these wonderful objects that I have seen since I came into
your city; and my curiosity cannot be satisfied too soon:
therefore pray, sir, let me know by what miracle you alone are
                                                                    125
left alive among so many persons that have died in so strange a
manner."

"Madam," said the young man, "by the prayer you just now
addressed to him, you have given me to understand that you have a
knowledge of the true God. I will acquaint you with the most
remarkable effect of his greatness and power. You must know, that
this city was the metropolis of a mighty kingdom, over which the
sultan my father reigned. That prince, his whole court, the
inhabitants of the city, and all his other subjects, were magi,
worshippers of fire, and of Nardoun, the ancient king of the
giants, who rebelled against God.

"But though I was born of an idolatrous father and mother, I had
the good fortune in my youth to have a governess who was a good
Moosulmaun. ‘Dear prince,' would she oftentimes say, ‘there is
but one true God; take heed that you do not acknowledge and adore
any other.' She taught me to read Arabic, and the book she gave
me to study was the Koraun. As soon as I was capable of
understanding it, she explained to me all the passages of this
excellent book, and infused piety into my mind, unknown to my
father or any other person. She happened to die, but not before
she had perfectly instructed me in all that was necessary to
convince me of the truth of the Moosulmaun religion. After her
death I persisted with constancy in the belief of its divinity:
and I abhor the false god Nardoun, and the adoration of fire.

"About three years and some months ago, a thundering voice was
suddenly sounded so distinctly, through the whole city, that
nobody could miss hearing it. The words were these: ‘Inhabitants,
abandon the worship of Nardoun, and of fire, and worship the only
God who shews mercy.'

"This voice was heard three years successively, but no one was
converted. On the last day of that year, at four o'clock in the
morning, all the inhabitants were changed in an instant into
stone, every one in the condition and posture they happened to be
in. The sultan, my father, shared the same fate, for he was
metamorphosed into a black stone, as he is to be seen in this
palace, and the queen, my mother, had the like destiny.

"I am the only person who did not suffer under that heavy
judgment, and ever since I have continued to serve God with more
fervency than before. I am persuaded, dear lady, that he has sent
you hither for my comfort, for which I render him infinite
thanks; for I must own that this solitary life is extremely
irksome."

All these expressions, and particularly the last, greatly
                                                                    126
increased my love for him. "Prince," said I, "there is no doubt
but Providence has brought me into your port, to afford you an
opportunity of withdrawing from this dismal place. The ship I
came in may serve in some measure to convince you that I am in
some esteem at Bagdad, where I have left considerable property;
and I dare engage to promise you sanctuary there, until the
mighty commander of the faithful, vicegerent to our prophet whom
you acknowledge, shew you the honour that is due to your merit.
This renowned prince lives at Bagdad, and as soon as he is
informed of your arrival in his capital, you will find that it is
not in vain to implore his assistance. It is impossible you can
stay any longer in a city where all the objects you behold must
renew your grief: my vessel is at your service, where you may
absolutely command as you shall think fit." He accepted the
offer, and we conversed the remainder of the night concerning our
embarkation.

As soon as it was day we left the palace, and went aboard my
ship, where we found my sisters, the captain, and the slaves, all
much troubled at my absence. After I had presented my sisters to
the prince, I told them what had hindered my return the day
before, how I had met with the young prince, his story, and the
cause of the desolation of so fine a city.

The seamen were taken up several days in unlading the merchandize
I brought with me, and embarking in its stead all the precious
things in the palace, such as jewels, gold, and money. We left
the furniture and goods, which consisted of an infinite quantity
of plate, &c., because our vessel could not carry it, for it
would have required several vessels more to convey to Bagdad all
the riches that we might have chosen to take with us.

After we had laden the vessel with what we thought most
desirable, we took such provisions and water aboard as were
necessary for our voyage (for we had still a great deal of those
provisions left that we had taken in at Bussorah); at last we set
sail with a wind as favourable as we could wish.

The young prince, my sisters and myself, enjoyed ourselves for
some time very agreeably. But alas! this good understanding did
not last long, for my sisters grew jealous of the friendship
between the prince and myself, and maliciously asked me one day,
what we should do with him when we came to Bagdad? I perceived
immediately that they put this question on purpose to discover my
inclinations; therefore, resolving to put it off with a jest, I
answered, "I will take him for my husband;" and upon that,
turning myself to the prince, said, "Sir, I humbly beg of you to
give your consent, for as soon as we come to Bagdad I desire to
offer you my person to be your slave, to do you all the service
                                                                    127
that is in my power, and to resign myself wholly to your
commands."

The prince replied, "I know not, madam, whether you be in jest or
no; but for my part, I seriously declare before these ladies,
your sisters, that from this moment I heartily accept your offer,
not with any intention to have you as a slave, but as my lady and
mistress: nor will I pretend to have any power over your
actions." At these words my sisters changed colour, and I could
perceive afterwards that they did not love me as before.

We entered the Persian gulf, and had come within a short distance
of Bussorah (where I hoped, considering the fair wind, we might
have arrived the day following), when in the night, while I was
asleep, my sisters watched their opportunity, and threw me
overboard. They did the same to the prince, who was drowned. I
floated some minutes on the water, and by good fortune, or rather
miracle, I felt ground. I went towards a dark spot, that, by what
I could discern, seemed to be land, and proved to be a flat on
the coast, which, when day appeared, I found to be a desert
island, lying about twenty miles from Bussorah. I soon dried my
clothes in the sun, and as I walked along I found several kinds
of fruit, and likewise fresh water, which gave me some hopes of
preserving my life.

I had just laid myself down to rest in a shade, when I perceived
a very large winged serpent coming towards me, with an irregular
waving movement, and hanging out its tongue, which induced me to
conclude it had received some injury. I instantly arose, and
perceived that it was pursued by a larger serpent which had hold
of its tail, and was endeavouring to devour it. This perilous
situation of the first serpent excited my pity, and instead of
retreating I assumed courage to take up a stone that lay near me,
and to throw it with all my strength at the other, which I hit
upon the head and killed. The other, finding itself at liberty,
took wing and flew away. I looked after it for some time till it
disappeared. I then sought another shady spot for repose, and
fell asleep.

Judge what was my surprise when I awoke, to see standing by me a
black woman of lively and agreeable features, who held in her
hand two bitches of the same colour, fastened together. I sat up,
and asked her who she was? "I am," said she, "the serpent whom
you lately delivered from my mortal enemy. I did not know in what
way I could better requite the important services you have
rendered me than by what I have just done. The treachery of your
sisters was well known to me, and to avenge your wrongs, as soon
as I was liberated by your generous assistance, I called together
several of my companions, fairies like myself, conveyed into your
                                                                    128
storehouses at Bagdad all the lading of your vessel, and
afterwards sunk it.

"These two black bitches are your sisters, whom I have
transformed into this shape. But this punishment will not
suffice; and my will is that you treat them hereafter in the way
I shall direst."

As soon as she had thus spoken the fairy took me under one of her
arms, and the two bitches under the other, and conveyed us to my
house in Bagdad; where I found in my storehouses all the riches
with which my vessel had been laden. Before she left me, she
delivered to me the two bitches, and said, "If you would not be
changed into a similar form, I command you, in the name of him
that governs the sea, to give each of your sisters every night
one hundred lashes with a rod, as the punishment of the crime
they have committed against yourself, and the young prince, whom
they have drowned." I was forced to promise obedience. Since that
time I have whipped them every night, though with regret, whereof
your majesty has been a witness. My tears testify with how much
sorrow and reluctance I perform this painful duty; and in this
your majesty may see I am more to be pitied than blamed. If there
be any thing else relating to myself that you desire to know, my
sister Amene will give you full information in the relation of
her story.

After the caliph had heard Zobeide with much astonishment, he
desired his grand vizier to request Amene to acquaint him
wherefore her breast was disfigured with so many scars.

Amene addressed herself to the caliph, and began her story after
this manner:




              The Story of Amene.



Commander of the faithful, to avoid repeating what your majesty
has already heard in my sister's story, I shall only add, that
after my mother had taken a house for herself to live in, during
her widowhood, she gave me in marriage, with the portion my
father left me, to a gentleman who had one of the best estates in
the city.

I had scarcely been a year married when I became a widow, and was
left in possession of all my husband's property, which amounted
                                                                    129
to 90,000 sequins. The interest of this money was sufficient to
maintain me very honourably. When the first six months of my
mourning was over, I caused to be made for me ten different
dresses, of such magnificence that each came to a thousand
sequins; and at the end of the year I began to wear them.

One day, while I was alone engaged in my domestic affairs, I was
told that a lady desired to speak to me. I gave orders that she
should be admitted. She was a person advanced in years; she
saluted me by kissing the ground, and said to me kneeling, "Dear
lady, excuse the freedom I take to trouble you, the confidence I
have in your charity makes me thus bold. I must acquaint your
ladyship that I have an orphan daughter, who is to be married
this day. She and I are both strangers, and have no acquaintance
in this town; which much perplexes me, for we wish the numerous
family with whom we are going to ally ourselves to think we are
not altogether unknown and without credit: therefore, most
beautiful lady, if you would vouchsafe to honour the wedding with
your presence, we shall be infinitely obliged, because the ladies
of our country, when informed that a lady of your rank has strewn
us this respect, will then know that we are not regarded here as
unworthy and despised persons. But, alas! madam, if you refuse
this request, how great will be our mortification! we know not
where else to apply."

This poor woman's address, which she spoke with tears, moved my
compassion. "Good woman," said I, "do not afflict yourself, I
will grant you the favour you desire; tell me whither I must go,
and I will meet you as soon as I am dressed." The old woman was
so transported with joy at my answer, that she kissed my feet
before I had time to prevent her. "My compassionate lady," said
she, rising, "God will reward the kindness you have shewed to
your servants, and make your heart as joyful as you have made
theirs. You need not at present trouble yourself; it will be time
enough for you to go when I call for you in the evening. So
farewell, madam, till I have the honour to see you again."

As soon as she was gone, I took the suit I liked best, with a
necklace of large pearls, bracelets, pendents for my ears, and
rings set with the finest and most sparkling diamonds; for my
mind presaged what would befall me.

When the night closed in, the old woman called upon me, with a
countenance full of joy. She kissed my hands, and said, "My dear
lady, the relations of my son-in-law, who are the principal
ladies of the city, are now met together; you may come when you
please; I am ready to conduct you." We immediately set out; she
walked before me, and I was followed by a number of my women and
slaves properly dressed for the occasion. We stopt in a wide
                                                                    130
street, newly swept and watered, at a spacious gate with a lamp,
by the light of which I read this inscription in golden letters
over the entrance: "This is the everlasting abode of pleasure and
joy." The old woman knocked, and the gate was opened immediately.

I was conducted towards the lower end of the court, into a large
hall, where I was received by a young lady of admirable beauty.
She drew near, and after having embraced me, made me sit down by
her upon a sofa, on which was raised a throne of precious wood
set with diamonds. "Madam," said she, "you are brought hither to
assist at a wedding; but I hope it will be a different wedding
from what you expected. I have a brother, one of the handsomest
men in the world: he is fallen so much in love with the fame of
your beauty, that his fate depends wholly upon you, and he will
be the unhappiest of men if you do not take pity on him. He knows
your quality, and I can assure you he is in no respect unworthy
of your alliance. If my prayers, madam, can prevail, I shall join
them with his, and humbly beg you will not refuse the proposal of
being his wife."

After the death of my husband I had not thought of marrying
again. But I had no power to refuse the solicitation of so
charming a lady. As soon as I had given consent by my silence,
accompanied with a blush, the young lady claps her hands, and
immediately a closet-door opened, out of which came a young man
of a majestic air, and so graceful a behaviour, that I thought
myself happy to have made so great a conquest. He sat down by me,
and I found from his conversation that his merits far exceeded
the eulogium of his sister.

When she perceived that we were satisfied with one another, she
claps her hands a second time, and out came a Cauzee, who wrote
our contract of marriage, signed it himself, and caused it to be
attested by four witnesses he brought along with him. The only
condition that my new husband imposed upon me was, that I should
not be seen by nor speak to any other man but himself, and he
vowed to me that, if I complied in this respect, I should have no
reason to complain of him. Our marriage was concluded and
finished after this manner; so I became the principal actress in
a wedding to which I had only been invited as a guest.

About a month after our marriage, having occasion for some
stuffs, I asked my husband's permission to go out to buy them,
which he granted; and I took with me the old woman of whom I
spoke before, she being one of the family, and two of my own
female slaves.

When we came to the street where the merchants reside, the old
woman said, "Dear mistress, since you want silk stuffs, I must
                                                                    131
take you to a young merchant of my acquaintance, who has a great
variety; and that you may not fatigue yourself by running from
shop to shop, I can assure you that you will find in his what no
other can furnish." I was easily persuaded, and we entered a shop
belonging to a young merchant who was tolerably handsome. I sat
down, and bade the old woman desire him to shew me the finest
silk stuffs he had. The woman desired me to speak myself; but I
told her it was one of the articles of my marriage contract not
to speak to any man but my husband, which I ought to keep.

The merchant shewed me several stuffs, of which one pleased me
better than the rest; but I bade her ask the price. He answered
the old woman, "I will not sell it for gold or money, but I will
make her a present of it, if she will give me leave to kiss her
cheek." I ordered the old woman to tell him, that he was very
rude to propose such a freedom. But instead of obeying me, she
said, "What the merchant desires of you is no such great matter;
you need not speak, but only present him your cheek." The stuff
pleased me so much, that I was foolish enough to take her advice.
The old woman and my slaves stood up, that nobody might see, and
I put up my veil; but instead of kissing me, the merchant bit me
so violently as to draw blood.

The pain and my surprise were so great, that I fell down in a
swoon, and continued insensible so long, that the merchant had
time to escape. When I came to myself, I found my cheek covered
with blood: the old woman and my slaves took care to cover it
with my veil, that the people who came about us could not
perceive it, but supposed I had only had a fainting fit.

The old woman who accompanied me being extremely troubled at this
accident, endeavoured to comfort me. "My dear mistress," said
she, "I beg your pardon, for I am the cause of this misfortune,
having brought you to this merchant, because he is my countryman:
but I never thought he would be guilty of such a villainous
action. But do not grieve; let us hasten home, I will apply a
remedy that shall in three days so perfectly cure you, that not
the least mark shall be visible." The fit had made me so weak,
that I was scarcely able to walk. But at last I got home, where I
again fainted, as I went into my chamber. Meanwhile, the old
woman applied her remedy; I came to myself, and went to bed.

My husband came to me at night, and seeing my head bound up,
asked me the reason. I told him I had the head-ache, which I
hoped would have satisfied him, but he took a candle, and saw my
cheek was hurt: "How comes this wound?" said he. Though I did not
consider myself as guilty of any great offence, yet I could not
think of owning the truth. Besides, to make such an avowal to a
husband, I considered as somewhat indecorous; I therefore said,
                                                                    132
"That as I was going, under his permission, to purchase some silk
stuff, a porter, carrying a load of wood, came so near to me, in
a narrow street, that one of the sticks grazed my cheek; but had
not done me much hurt." This account put my husband into a
violent passion. "This act," said he, "shall not go unpunished. I
will to-morrow order the lieutenant of the police to seize all
those brutes of porters, and cause them to be hanged." Fearful of
occasioning the death of so many innocent persons, I said, "Sir,
I should be sorry so great a piece of injustice should be
committed. Pray refrain; for I should deem myself unpardonable,
were I to be the cause of so much mischief." "Then tell me
sincerely," said he, "how came you by this wound." "I answered,
"That it was occasioned by the inadvertency of a broom-seller
upon an ass, who coming behind me, while he was looking another
way, his ass came against me with so much violence, that I fell
down, and hurt my cheek upon some glass." "If that is the case,"
said my husband, "to-morrow morning, before sun-rise, the grand
vizier Jaaffier shall be informed of this insolence, and cause
all the broom-sellers to be put to death." "For the love of God,
Sir," said I, "let me beg of you to pardon them, for they are not
guilty." "How, madam," he demanded, "what then am I to believe?
Speak, for I am resolved to know the truth from your own mouth."
"Sir," I replied, "I was taken with a giddiness, and fell down,
and that is the whole matter."

At these words my husband lost all patience. "I have," said he,
"too long listened to your falsehoods." As he spoke he clapped
his hands, and in came three slaves: "Pull her out of bed," said
he, "and lay her in the middle of the floor." The slaves obeyed,
one holding me by the head, another by the feet; he commanded the
third to fetch a cimeter, and when he had brought it, "Strike,"
said he, "cut her in two, and then throw her into the Tygris.
This is the punishment I inflict on those to whom I have given my
heart, when they falsify their promise." When he saw that the
slave hesitated to obey him, "Why do you not strike?" said he.
"What do you wait for?"

"Madam," said the slave then, "you are near the last moment of
your life, consider if you have any thing to dispose of before
you die." I begged permission to speak one word, which was
granted me. I lifted up my head, and casting an affectionate look
on my husband, said, "Alas! to what a condition am I reduced!
must I then die in the prime of my youth!" I could say no more,
for my tears and sighs choked my utterance. My husband was not at
all moved, but, on the contrary, went on to reproach me; and it
would have been in vain to attempt a reply. I had recourse to
intreaties and prayers; but he had no regard to them, and
commanded the slaves to proceed to execution. The old woman, who
had been his nurse, came in just at that moment, fell down upon
                                                                    133
her knees, and endeavoured to appease his wrath. "My son," said
she, "since I have been your nurse and brought you up, let me beg
the favour of you to grant me her life. Consider, that he who
kills shall be killed, and that you will stain your reputation,
and forfeit the esteem of mankind. What will the world say of
such sanguinary violence?" She spoke these words in such an
affecting manner, accompanied with tears, that she prevailed upon
him at last to abandon his purpose,

"Well then," said he to his nurse, "for your sake I will spare
her life; but she shall bear about her person some marks to make
her remember her offence." When he had thus spoken, one of the
slaves, by his order, gave me upon my sides and breast so many
blows, with a little cane, that he tore away both skin and flesh,
which threw me into a swoon. In this state he caused the same
slaves, the executioners of his fury, to carry me into a house,
where the old woman took care of me. I kept my bed four months;
at last I recovered: the scars which, contrary to my wish, you
saw yesterday, have remained ever since.

As soon as I was able to walk, and go abroad, I resolved to
retire to the house which was left me by my first husband, but I
could not find the site whereon it had stood. My second husband,
in the heat of his resentment, was not satisfied with the
demolition of that, but caused every other house in the same
street to be razed to the ground. I believe such an act of
violence was never heard of before; but against whom could I
complain? The perpetrator had taken good care to conceal himself.
But suppose I had discovered him, is it not easily seen that his
conduct must have proceeded from absolute power? How then could I
dare to complain?

Being left thus destitute and helpless, I had recourse to my dear
sister Zobeide, whose adventures your majesty has just heard. To
her I made known my misfortune; she received me with her
accustomed goodness, and advised me to bear my ambition patience.
"This is the way of the world," said she, "which either robs us
of our property, our friends, or our lovers; and some. times of
all together." In confirmation of her remark, she at the same
time gave me an account of the loss of the young prince,
occasioned by the jealousy of her two sisters. She told me also
by what accident they were transformed into bitches: and in the
last place, after a thousand testimonials of her love towards me,
she introduced me to my youngest sister, who had likewise taken
sanctuary with her after the death of her mother.

Having returned our grateful acknowledgments to God for having
thus brought us together, we resolved to preserve our freedom,
and never again to separate. We have now long enjoyed this
                                                                    134
tranquil life. As it was my business to manage the affairs of the
house, I always took pleasure in going myself to purchase what we
wanted. I happened to go abroad yesterday for this purpose, and
the things I bought I caused to be carried home by a porter, who
proving to be a sensible and jocose fellow, we kept with us for a
little diversion. Three calenders happened to come to our door as
it began to grow dark, and prayed us to give them shelter till
the next morning We admitted them upon certain conditions which
they agreed to observe; and after we had made them sit at table
with us, they in their own way entertained us with a concert of
music. At this time we heard knocking at our gate. This proceeded
from three merchants of Moussol, men of good appearance, who
begged the same favour which the calenders had obtained before.
We consented upon the same conditions, but neither of them kept
their promise. Though we had power, as well as justice on our
side, to punish them, yet we contented ourselves with demanding
from them the history of their lives; and afterwards confined our
revenge to dismissing them, after they had done, and denying them
the asylum they requested.

The caliph was well pleased to be thus informed of what he
desired to know; and publicly expressed his admiration of what he
had heard.

The caliph having satisfied his curiosity, thought himself
obliged to shew his generosity to the calender princes, and also
to give the three ladies some proof of his bounty. He himself,
without making use of his minister, the grand vizier, spoke to
Zobeide. "Madam, did not this fairy, that shewed herself to you
in the shape of a serpent, and imposed such a rigorous command
upon you, tell you where her place of abode was? Or rather, did
she not promise to see you, and restore those bitches to their
natural shape?"

"Commander of the faithful," answered Zobeide, "I forgot to tell
your majesty that the fairy left with me a bundle of hair,
saying, that her presence would one day be of use to me; and
then, if I only burnt two tufts of this hair, she would be with
me in a moment, though she were beyond mount Caucasus." "Madam,"
demanded the caliph, "where is the bundle of hair?" She answered,
"Ever since that time I have been so careful of it, that I always
carry it about me." Upon which she pulled it out, opened the case
which contained it, and shewed it to him. "Well then," said the
caliph, "let us bring the fairy hither; you could not call her in
a better time, for I long to see her."

Zobeide having consented, fire was brought in, and she threw the
whole bundle of hair into it. The palace at that instant began to
shake, and the fairy appeared before the caliph in the form of a
                                                                    135
lady very richly dressed.

"Commander of the faithful," said she to the prince, "you see I
am ready to receive your commands. The lady who gave me this call
by your order did me essential service. To evince my gratitude, I
revenged her of her sisters' inhumanity, by changing them to
bitches; but if your majesty commands me, I will restore them to
their former shape."

"Generous fairy," replied the caliph, "you cannot do me a greater
pleasure; vouchsafe them that favour, and I will find some means
to comfort them for their hard penance. But besides, I have
another boon to ask in favour of that lady, who has had such
cruel usage from an unknown husband. As you undoubtedly know all
things, oblige me with the name of this barbarous wretch, who
could not be contented to exercise his outrageous and unmanly
cruelty upon her person, but has also most unjustly taken from
her all her substance. I only wonder how such an unjust and
inhuman action could be performed under my authority, and even in
my residence, without having come to my knowledge."

"To oblige your majesty," answered the fairy, "I will restore the
two bitches to their former state, and I will so cure the lady of
her scars, that it shall never appear she was so beaten; and I
will also tell you who it was that abused her."

The caliph sent for the two bitches from Zobeide's house, and
when they came, a glass of water was brought to the fairy by her
desire. She pronounced over it some words which nobody
understood; then throwing some part of it upon Amene, and the
rest upon the bitches, the latter became two ladies of surprising
beauty, and the scars that were upon Amene disappeared. After
which the fairy said to the caliph, "Commander of the faithful, I
must now discover to you the unknown husband you enquire after.
He is very nearly related to yourself, for it is prince Amin,
your eldest son, who falling passionately in love with this lady
from the fame of her beauty, by stratagem had her brought to his
house, where he married her. As to the blows he caused to be
given her, he is in some measure excusable; for the lady his
spouse had been a little too easy, and the excuses she had made
were calculated to lead him to believe she was more faulty than
she really was. This is all I can say to satisfy your curiosity."
At these words she saluted the caliph, and vanished.

The prince being filled with admiration, and having much
satisfaction in the changes that had happened through his means,
acted in such a manner as will perpetuate his memory to all ages.
First, he sent for his son Amin, told him that he was informed of
his secret marriage, and how he had ill-treated Amene upon a very
                                                                    136
slight cause. Upon this the prince did not wait for his father's
commands, but received her again immediately.

After which the caliph declared that he would give his own heart
and hand to Zobeide, and offered the other three sisters to the
calenders, sons of sultans, who accepted them for their brides
with much joy. The caliph assigned each of them a magnificent
palace in the city of Bagdad, promoted them to the highest
dignities of his empire, and admitted them to his councils.

The chief Cauzee of Bagdad being called, with witnesses, wrote
the contracts of marriage; and the caliph in promoting by his
patronage the happiness of many persons who had suffered such
incredible calamities, drew a thousand blessings upon himself.




          THE STORY OF SINBAD THE VOYAGER.



In the reign of the same caliph Haroun al Rusheed, whom I have
already mentioned, there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called
Hindbad. One day, when the weather was excessively hot, he was
employed to carry a heavy burden from one end of the town to the
other. Being much fatigued, and having still a great way to go,
he came into a street where a refreshing breeze blew on his face,
and the pavement was sprinkled with rose-water. As he could not
desire a better place to rest and recruit himself, he took off
his load and sat upon it, near a large mansion.

He was much pleased that he stopped in this place; for the
agreeable smell of wood of aloes, and of pastils that came from
the house, mixing with the scent of the rose-water, completely
perfumed and embalmed the air. Besides, he heard from within a
concert of instrumental music, accompanied with the harmonious
notes of nightingales, and other birds, peculiar to the climate.
This charming melody, and the smell of several sorts of savoury
dishes, made the porter conclude there was a feast, with great
rejoicings within. His business seldom leading him that way, he
knew not to whom the mansion belonged; but to satisfy his
curiosity, he went to some of the servants, whom he saw standing
at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the name of the
proprietor. "How," replied one of them, "do you live in Bagdad,
and know not that this is the house of Sinbad, the sailor, that
famous voyager, who has sailed round the world?" The porter, who
had heard of this Sinbad's riches, could not but envy a man whose
condition he thought to be as happy as his own was deplorable:
                                                                    137
and his mind being fretted with these reflections, he lifted up
his eyes to heaven, and said loud enough to be heard, "Almighty
creator of all things, consider the difference between Sinbad and
me! I am every day exposed to fatigues and calamities, and can
scarcely get coarse barley-bread for myself and my family, whilst
happy Sinbad profusely expends immense riches, and leads a life
of continual pleasure. What has he done to obtain from thee a lot
so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?"
Having finished his expostulation, he struck his foot against the
ground, like a man absorbed in grief and despair.

Whilst the porter was thus indulging his melancholy, a servant
came out of the house, and taking him by the arm, bade him follow
him, for Sinbad, his master, wanted to speak to him.

Sir, your majesty may easily imagine, that the repining Hindbad
was not a little surprised at this compliment. For, considering
what he had said, he was afraid Sinbad had sent for him to punish
him: therefore he would have excused himself, alleging, that he
could not leave his burden in the middle of the street. But
Sinbad's servants assured him they would look to it, and were so
urgent with him, that he was obliged to yield.

The servants brought him into a great hall, where a number of
people sat round a table, covered with all sorts of savoury
dishes. At the upper end sat a comely venerable gentleman, with a
long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and
domestics, all ready to attend his pleasure. This personage was
Sinbad. The porter, whose fear was increased at the sight of so
many people, and of a banquet so sumptuous, saluted the company
trembling. Sinbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his
right hand, served him himself, and gave him excellent wine, of
which there was abundance upon the sideboard.

When the repast was over, Sinbad addressed his conversation to
Hindbad; and calling him brother, according to the manner of the
Arabians, when they are familiar one with another, enquired his
name and employment.

"My lord," answered he, "my name is Hindbad." "I am very glad to
see you," replied Sinbad; "and I daresay the same on behalf of
all the company: but I wish to hear from your own mouth what it
was you lately said in the street." Sinbad had himself heard the
porter complain through the window, and this it was that induced
him to have him brought in.

At this request, Hindbad hung down his head in confusion, and
replied, "My lord, I confess that my fatigue put me out of
humour, and occasioned me to utter some indiscreet words, which I
                                                                    138
beg you to pardon." "Do not think I am so unjust," resumed
Sinbad, "as to resent such a complaint. I consider your
condition, and instead of upbraiding, commiserate you. But I must
rectify your error concerning myself. You think, no doubt, that I
have acquired, without labour and trouble, the ease and
indulgence which I now enjoy. But do not mistake; I did not
attain to this happy condition, without enduring for several
years more trouble of body and mind than can well be imagined.
Yes, gentlemen," he added, speaking to the whole company, "I can
assure you, my troubles were so extraordinary, that they were
calculated to discourage the most covetous from undertaking such
voyages as I did, to acquire riches. Perhaps you have never heard
a distinct account of my wonderful adventures, and the dangers I
encountered, in my seven voyages; and since I have this
opportunity, I will give you a faithful account of them, not
doubting but it will be acceptable."

As Sinbad wished to relate his adventures chiefly on the porter's
account, he ordered his burden to be carried to the place of its
destination, and then proceeded.




              The First Voyage.



I inherited from my father considerable property, the greater
part of which I squandered in my youth in dissipation; but I
perceived my error, and reflected that riches were perishable,
and quickly consumed by such ill managers as myself. I farther
considered, that by my irregular way of living I wretchedly
misspent my time; which is, of all things, the most valuable. I
remembered the saying of the great Solomon, which I had
frequently heard from my father; That death is more tolerable
than poverty. Struck with these reflections, I collected the
remains of my fortune, and sold all my effects by public auction.
I then entered into a contract with some merchants, who traded by
sea. I took the advice of such as I thought most capable of
assisting me: and resolving to improve what money I had, I went
to Bussorah, and embarked with several merchants on board a ship
which we had jointly fitted out.

We set sail, and steered our course towards the Indies, through
the Persian gulf, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix
on the right, and by those of Persia on the left, and, according
to common opinion is seventy leagues wide at the broadest place.
The eastern sea, as well as that of the Indies, is very spacious.
                                                                    139
It is bounded on one side by the coasts of Abyssinia, and is
4,500 leagues in length to the isles of Vakvak. At first I was
troubled with the sea-sickness, but speedily recovered my health,
and was not afterwards subject to that complaint.

In our voyage we touched at several islands, where we sold or
exchanged our goods. One day, whilst under sail, we were becalmed
near a small island, but little elevated above the level of the
water, and resembling a green meadow. The captain ordered his
sails to be furled, and permitted such persons as were so
inclined to land; of this number I was one.

But while we were enjoying ourselves in eating and drinking, and
recovering ourselves from the fatigue of the sea, the island on a
sudden trembled, and shook us terribly.

The trembling of the island was perceived on board the ship, and
we were called upon to re-embark speedily, or we should all be
lost; for what we took for an island proved to be the back of a
sea monster. The nimblest got into the sloop, others betook
themselves to swimming; but for myself I was still upon the back
of the creature, when he dived into the sea, and I had time only
to catch hold of a piece of wood that we had brought out of the
ship to make a fire. Meanwhile, the captain, having received
those on board who were in the sloop, and taken up some of those
that swam, resolved to improve the favourable gale that had just
risen, and hoisting his sails pursued his voyage, so that it was
impossible for me to recover the ship.

Thus was I exposed to the mercy of the waves. I struggled for my
life all the rest of the day and the following night. By this
time I found my strength gone, and despaired of saving my life,
when happily a wave threw me against an island, The bank was high
and rugged; so that I could scarcely have got up, had it not been
for some roots of trees, which fortune seemed to have preserved
in this place for my safety. Having reached the land, I lay down
upon the ground half dead, until the sun appeared. Then, though I
was very feeble, both from hard labour and want of food, I crept
along to find some herbs fit to eat, and had the good luck not
only to procure some, but likewise to discover a spring of
excellent water, which contributed much to recover me. After this
I advanced farther into the island, and at last reached a fine
plain, where at a great distance I perceived a horse feeding. I
went towards it, fluctuating between hope and fear, for I knew
not whether in advancing I was more likely to endanger or to
preserve my life. As I approached, I perceived it to be a very
fine mare, tied to a stake. Whilst I was admiring its beauty, I
heard from beneath the voice of a man, who immediately appeared,
and asked me who I was? I related to him my adventure, after
                                                                    140
which, taking me by the hand, he led me into a cave, where there
were several other people, no less amazed to see me than I was to
see them.

I partook of some provisions which they offered me. I then asked
them what they did in such a desert place? to which they
answered, that they were grooms belonging to Maha-raja, sovereign
of the island; that every year, at the same season, they brought
thither the king's mares, and fastened them as I had seen, until
they were covered by a sea-horse, who afterwards endeavoured to
destroy the mares; but was prevented by their noise, and obliged
to return to the sea. The mares when in foal were taken back, and
the horses thus produced were kept for the king's use, and called
seahorses. They added, that they were to return home on the
morrow, and had I been one day later, I must have perished,
because the inhabited part of the island was at a great distance,
and it would have been impossible for me to have got thither
without a guide.

While they entertained me thus, the horse came out of the sea, as
they had told me, covered the mare, and afterwards would have
devoured her; but upon a great noise made by the grooms, he left
her, and plunged into the sea.

Next morning they returned with their mares to the capital of the
island, took me with them, and presented me to the Maha-raja. He
asked me who I was, and by what adventure I had come into his
dominions? After I had satisfied him, he told me he was much
concerned for my misfortune, and at the same time ordered that I
should want nothing; which commands his officers were so generous
and careful as to see exactly fulfilled.

Being a merchant, I frequented men of my own profession, and
particularly enquired for those who were strangers, that
perchance I might hear news from Bagdad, or find an opportunity
to return. For the Maha-raja's capital is situated on the sea-
coast, and has a fine harbour, where ships arrive daily from the
different quarters of the world. I frequented also the society of
the learned Indians, and took delight to hear them converse; but
withal, I took care to make my court regularly to the Maha-raja,
and conversed with the governors and petty kings, his
tributaries, that were about him. They put a thousand questions
respecting my country; and I being willing to inform myself as to
their laws and customs, asked them concerning every thing which I
thought worth knowing.

There belongs to this king an island named Cassel. They assured
me that every night a noise of drums was heard there, whence the
mariners fancied that it was the residence of Degial. I
                                                                    141
determined to visit this wonderful place, and in my way thither
saw fishes of 100 and 200 cubits long, that occasion more fear
than hurt; for they are so timorous, that they will fly upon the
rattling of two sticks or boards. I saw likewise other fish about
a cubit in length, that had heads like owls.

As I was one day at the port after my return, a ship arrived, and
as soon as she cast anchor, they began to unload her, and the
merchants on board ordered their goods to be carried into the
customhouse. As I cast my eye upon some bales, and looked to the
name, I found my own, and perceived the bales to be the same that
I had embarked at Bussorah. I also knew the captain; but being
persuaded that he believed me to be drowned, I went, and asked
him whose bales these were? He replied, that they belonged to a
merchant at Bagdad, called Sinbad, who came to sea with him; but
one day, being near an island, as was supposed, he went ashore,
with several other passengers, upon this island, which was only a
monstrous fish, that lay asleep upon the the sur-face of the
water: but as soon as he felt the heat of the fire they had
kindled upon his back, to dress some victuals, began to move, and
dived under water. Most of the persons who were upon him
perished, and among them the unfortunate Sinbad. Those bales
belonged to him, and I am resolved to trade with them until I
meet with some of his family, to whom I may return the profit. "I
am that Sinbad," said I, "whom you thought to be dead, and those
bales are mine."

When the captain heard me speak thus, "Heavens!" he exclaimed,
"whom can we trust in these times? There is no faith left among
men. I saw Sinbad perish with my own eyes, as did also the
passengers on board, and yet you tell me you are that Sinbad.
What impudence is this? To look on you, one would take you to be
a man of probity, and yet you tell a horrible falsehood, in order
to possess yourself of what does not belong to you." "Have
patience," replied I; "do me the favour to hear what I have to
say." "Very well," said he, "speak, I am ready to hear you." Then
I told him how I had escaped, and by what adventure I met with
the grooms of Maha-raja, who had brought me to his court.

His confidence began to abate upon this declaration, and he was
at length persuaded that I was no cheat: for there came people
from his ship who knew me, paid me great compliments, and
expressed much joy at seeing me alive. At last he recollected me
himself, and embracing me, "Heaven be praised," said he, "for
your happy escape. I cannot express the joy it affords, me; there
are your goods, take and do with them as you please." I thanked
him, acknowledged his probity, and in requital, offered him part
of my goods as a present, which he generously refused.

                                                                    142
I took out what was most valuable in my bales, and presented them
to the Maha-raja, who, knowing my misfortune, asked me how I came
by such rarities. I acquainted him with the circumstance of their
recovery. He was pleased at my good luck, accepted my present,
and in return gave me one much more considerable. Upon this, I
took leave of him, and went aboard the same ship, after I had
exchanged my goods for the commodities of that country. I carried
with me wood of aloes, sandal, camphire, nutmegs, cloves, pepper,
and ginger. We passed by several islands, and at last arrived at
Bussorah, from whence I came to this city, with the value of
l00,000 sequins. My family and I received one another with all
the transports of sincere affection. I bought slaves of both
sexes, and a landed estate, and built a magnificent house. Thus I
settled myself, resolving to forget the miseries I had suffered,
and to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Sinbad stopped here, and ordered the musicians to proceed with
their concert, which the story had interrupted. The company
continued enjoying themselves till the evening, and it was time
to retire, when Sinbad sent for a purse of 100 sequins and giving
it to the porter, said, "Take this, Hindbad, return to your home,
and come back to-morrow to hear more of my adventures." The
porter went away, astonished at the honour done, and the present
made him. The account of this adventure proved very agreeable to
his wife and children, who did not fail to return thanks to God
for what providence had sent him by the hand of Sinbad.

Hindbad put on his best apparel next day, and returned to the
bountiful traveller, who received him with a pleasant air, and
welcomed him heartily. When all the guests had arrived, dinner
was served, and continued a long time. When it was ended, Sinbad,
addressing himself to the company, said, "Gentlemen, be pleased
to listen to the adventures of my second voyage; they deserve
your attention even more than those of the first." Upon which
every one held his peace, and Sinbad proceeded.




             The Second Voyage.



I designed, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days
at Bagdad, as I had the honour to tell you yesterday; but it was
not long ere I grew weary of an indolent life. My inclination to
trade revived. I bought goods proper for the commerce I intended,
and put to sea a second time with merchants of known probity. We
embarked on board a good ship, and after recommending ourselves
                                                                    143
to God, set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged
commodities with great profit. One day we landed in an island
covered with several sorts of fruit-trees, but we could see
neither man nor animal. We went to take a little fresh air in the
meadows, along the streams that watered them. Whilst some
diverted themselves with gathering flowers, and other fruits, I
took my wine and provisions, and sat down near a stream betwixt
two high trees, which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal,
and afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but
when I awoke the ship was gone.

I was much alarmed at finding the ship gone. I got up and looked
around me, but could not see one of the merchants who landed with
me. I perceived the ship under sail, but at such a distance, that
I lost sight of her in a short time.

I leave you to guess at my melancholy reflections in this sad
condition: I was ready to die with grief. I cried out in agony;
beat my head and breast, and threw myself upon the ground, where
I lay some time in despair, one afflicting thought being
succeeded by another still more afflicting. I upbraided myself a
hundred times for not being content with the produce of my first
voyage, that might have sufficed me all my life. But all this was
in vain, and my repentance too late.

At last I resigned myself to the will of God. Not knowing what to
do, I climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, from whence I looked
about on all sides, to see if I could discover any thing that
could give me hopes. When I gazed towards the sea I could see
nothing but sky and water; but looking over the land I beheld
something white; and coming down, I took what provision I had
left, and went towards it, the distance being so great, that I
could not distinguish what it was.

As I approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a prodigious
height and extent; and when I came up to it, I touched it, and
found it to be very smooth. I went round to see if it was open on
any side, but saw it was not, and that there was no climbing up
to the top as it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces
round.

By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the
sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud.
I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when
I found it occasioned by a bird of a monstrous size, that came
flying toward me. I remembered that I had often heard mariners
speak of a miraculous bird called Roc, and conceived that the
great dome which I so much admired must be its egg. In short, the
bird alighted, and sat over the egg. As I perceived her coming, I
                                                                    144
crept to the egg, so that I had before me one of the legs of the
bird, which was as big as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself
strongly to it with my turban, in hopes that the roc next morning
would carry me with her out of this desert island. After having
passed the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as
it was daylight, and carried me so high, that I could not discern
the earth; she afterwards descended with so much rapidity that I
lost my senses. But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily
untied the knot, and had scarcely done so, when the roc, having
taken up a serpent of a monstrous length in her bill, flew away.

The spot where it left me was encompassed on all sides by
mountains, that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep
that there was no possibility of getting out of the valley. This
was a new perplexity: so that when I compared this place with the
desert island from which the roc had brought me, I found that I
had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with
diamonds, some of which were of a surprising bigness. I took
pleasure in looking upon them; but shortly saw at a distance such
objects as greatly diminished my satisfaction, and which I could
not view without terror, namely, a great number of serpents, so
monstrous, that the least of them was capable of swallowing an
elephant. They retired in the day-time to their dens, where they
hid themselves from the roc their enemy, and came out only in the
night.

I spent the day in walking about in the valley, resting myself at
times in such places as I thought most convenient. When night
came on, I went into a cave, where I thought I might repose in
safety. I secured the entrance, which was low and narrow, with a
great stone to preserve me from the serpents; but not so far as
to exclude the light. I supped on part of my provisions, but the
serpents, which began hissing round me, put me into such extreme
fear, that you may easily imagine I did not sleep. When day
appeared, the serpents retired, and I came out of the cave
trembling. I can justly say, that I walked upon diamonds, without
feeling any inclination to touch them. At last I sat down, and
notwithstanding my apprehensions, not having closed my eyes
during the night, fell asleep, after having eaten a little more
of my provision. But I had scarcely shut my eyes, when something
that fell by me with a great noise awaked me. This was a large
piece of raw meat; and at the same time I saw several others fall
down from the rocks in different places.

I had always regarded as fabulous what I had heard sailors and
others relate of the valley of diamonds, and of the stratagems
employed by merchants to obtain jewels from thence; but now I
                                                                    145
found that they had stated nothing but truth. For the fact is,
that the merchants come to the neighbourhood of this valley, when
the eagles have young ones, and throwing great joints of meat
into the valley, the diamonds, upon whose points they fall, stick
to them; the eagles, which are stronger in this country than any
where else, pounce with great force upon those pieces of meat,
and carry them to their nests on the precipices of the rocks to
feed their young: the merchants at this time run to their nests,
disturb and drive off the eagles by their shouts, and take away
the diamonds that stick to the meat.

Until I perceived the device I had concluded it to be impossible
for me to get from this abyss, which I regarded as my grave; but
now I changed my opinion, and began to think upon the means of my
deliverance.

I began to collect together the largest diamonds I could find,
and put them into the leather bag in which I used to carry my
provisions. I afterwards took the largest of the pieces of meat,
tied it close round me with the cloth of my turban, and then laid
myself upon the ground with my face downward, the bag of diamonds
being made fast to my girdle.

I had scarcely placed myself in this posture when the eagles
came. Each of them seized a piece of meat, and one of the
strongest having taken me up, with the piece of meat to which I
was fastened, carried me to his nest on the top of the mountain.
The merchants immediately began their shouting to frighten the
eagles; and when they had obliged them to quit their prey, one of
them came to the nest where I was. He was much alarmed when he
saw me; but recovering himself, instead of enquiring how I came
thither began to quarrel with me, and asked, why I stole his
goods? "You will treat me," replied I, "with more civility, when
you know me better. Do not be uneasy, I have diamonds enough for
you and myself, more than all the other merchants together.
Whatever they have they owe to chance, but I selected for myself
in the bottom of the valley those which you see in this bag." I
had scarcely done speaking, when the other merchants came
crowding about us, much astonished to see me; but they were much
more surprised when I told them my story. Yet they did not so
much admire my stratagem to effect my deliverance, as my courage
in putting it into execution.

They conducted me to their encampment, and there having opened my
bag, they were surprised at the largeness of my diamonds, and
confessed that in all the courts which they had visited they had
never seen any of such size and perfection. I prayed the
merchant, who owned the nest to which I had been carried (for
every merchant had his own), to take as many for his share as he
                                                                    146
pleased. He contented himself with one, and that too the least of
them; and when I pressed him to take more, without fear of doing
me any injury, "No," said he, "I am very well satisfied with
this, which is valuable enough to save me the trouble of making
any more voyages, and will raise as great a fortune as I desire."

I spent the night with the merchants, to whom I related my story
a second time, for the satisfaction of those who had not heard
it. I could not moderate my joy when I found myself delivered
from the danger I have mentioned. I thought myself in a dream,
and could scarcely believe myself out of danger.

The merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for
several days. And each of them being satisfied with the diamonds
that had fallen to his lot, we left the place the next morning,
and travelled near high mountains, where there were serpents of a
prodigious length, which we had the good fortune to escape. We
took shipping at the first port we reached, and touched at the
isle of Roha, where the trees grow that yield camphire. This tree
is so large, and its branches so thick, that one hundred men may
easily sit under its shade. The juice, of which the camphire is
made, exudes from a hole bored in the upper part of the tree, is
received in a vessel, where it thickens to a consistency, and
becomes what we call camphire; after the juice is thus drawn out,
the tree withers and dies.

In this island is also found the rhinoceros, an animal less than
the elephant, but larger than the buffalo. It has a horn upon its
nose, about a cubit in length; this horn is solid, and cleft
through the middle, upon this may be seen white lines,
representing the figure of a man. The rhinoceros fights with the
elephant, runs his horn into his belly, and carries him off upon
his head but the blood and the fat of the elephant running into
his eyes, and making him blind, he falls to the ground; and then,
strange to relate! the roc comes and carries them both away in
her claws, for food for her young ones.

I pass over many other things peculiar to this island, lest I
should be troublesome to you. Here I exchanged some of my
diamonds for merchandize. From hence we went to other islands,
and at last, having touched at several trading towns of the
continent, we landed at Bussorah, from whence I proceeded to
Bagdad. There I immediately gave large presents to the poor, and
lived honourably upon the vast riches I had brought, and gained
with so much fatigue.

Thus Sinbad ended the relation of the second voyage, gave Hindbad
another hundred sequins, and invited him to come the next day to
hear the account of the third. The rest of the guests returned to
                                                                    147
their homes, and came again the following day at the same hour,
and one may be sure the porter did not fail, having by this time
almost forgotten his former poverty. When dinner was over, Sinbad
demanded attention, and gave them an account of his third voyage,
as follows.




The Third Voyage.



I soon lost in the pleasures of life the remembrance of the
perils I had encountered in my two former voyages; and being in
the flower of my age, I grew weary of living without business,
and hardening myself against the thought of any danger I might
incur, went from Bagdad to Bussorah with the richest commodities
of the country. There I embarked again with some merchants. We
made a long voyage, and touched at several ports, where we
carried on a considerable trade. One day, being out in the main
ocean, we were overtaken by a dreadful tempest, which drove us
from our course. The tempest continued several days, and brought
us before the port of an island, which the captain was very
unwilling to enter; but we were obliged to cast anchor. When we
had furled our sails, the captain told us, that this, and some
other neighbouring islands, were inhabited by hairy savages, who
would speedily attack us; and. though they were but dwarfs, yet
our misfortune was such, that we must make no resistance, for
they were more in number than the locusts; and if we happened to
kill one of them, they would all fall upon us and destroy us.

This account of the captain, continued Sinbad put the whole
company into great consternation and we soon found that what he
had told us was but too true; an innumerable multitude of
frightful savages, about two feet high, covered all over with red
hair, came swimming towards us, and encompassed our ship. They
spoke to us as they came near, but we understood not their
language; they climbed up the sides of the ship with such agility
as surprised us. We beheld all this with dread, but without
daring to defend ourselves, or to divert them from their
mischievous design. In short, they took down our sails, cut the
cable, and hauling to the shore, made us all get out, and
afterwards carried the ship into another island from whence they
had come. All voyagers carefully avoided the island where they
left us, it being very dangerous to stay there, for a reason you
shall presently hear; but we were forced to bear our affliction
with patience.

                                                                    148
We went forward into the island, where we gathered some fruits
and herbs to prolong our lives as long as we could; but we
expected nothing but death. As we advanced, we perceived at a
distance a vast pile of building, and made towards it. We found
it to be a palace, elegantly built, and very lofty, with a gate
of ebony of two leaves, which we forced open. We entered the
court, where we saw before us a large apartment, with a porch,
having on one side a heap of human bones, and on the other a vast
number of roasting spits. We trembled at this spectacle, and
being fatigued with travelling, fell to the ground, seized with
deadly apprehension, and lay a long time motionless.

The sun set, and whilst we were in the lamentable condition I
have described, the gate of the apartment opened with a loud
crash, and there came out the horrible figure of a black man, as
tall as a lofty palm-tree. He had but one eye, and that in the
middle of his forehead, where it looked as red as a burning coal.
His fore-teeth were very long and sharp, and stood out of his
mouth, which was as deep as that of a horse. His upper lip hung
down upon his breast. His ears resembled those of an elephant,
and covered his shoulders; and his nails were as long and crooked
as the talons of the greatest birds. At the sight of so frightful
a giant, we became insensible, and lay like dead men.

At last we came to ourselves, and saw him sitting in the porch
looking at us. When he had considered us well, he advanced
towards us, and laying his hand upon me, took me up by the nape
of my neck, and turned round as a butcher would do a sheep's
head. After having examined me, and perceiving me to be so lean
that I had nothing but skin and bone, he let me go. He took up
all the rest one by one, and viewed them in the same manner. The
captain being the fattest, he held him with one hand, as I would
do a sparrow, and thrust a spit through him; he then kindled a
great fire, roasted, and ate him in his apartment for his supper.
Having finished his repast, he returned to his porch, where he
lay and fell asleep, snoring louder than thunder. He slept thus
till morning. As to ourselves, it was not possible for us to
enjoy any rest, so that we passed the night in the most painful
apprehension that can be imagined. When day appeared the giant
awoke, got up, went out, and left us in the palace.

When we thought him at a distance, we broke the melancholy
silence we had preserved the whole of the night, and filled the
palace with our lamentations and groans. Though we were several
in number, and had but one enemy, it never occurred to us to
effect our deliverance by putting him to death. This enterprize
however, though difficult of execution, was the only design we
ought naturally to have formed.

                                                                    149
We thought of several other expedients, but determined upon none;
and submitting ourselves to what it should please God to order
concerning us, we spent the day in traversing the island,
supporting ourselves with fruits and herbs as we had done the day
before. In the evening we sought for some place of shelter, but
found none; so that we were forced, whether we would or not, to
return to the palace.

The giant failed not to return, and supped once more upon one of
our companions, after which he slept, and snored till day, and
then went out and left us as before. Our situation appeared to us
so dreadful, that several of my comrades designed to throw
themselves into the sea, rather than die so painful a death; and
endeavoured to persuade the others to follow their example. Upon
which one of the company answered, "That we were forbidden to
destroy ourselves: but even if that were not the case, it was
much more reasonable to devise some method to rid ourselves of
the monster who had destined us to so horrible a fate."

Having thought of a project for this purpose, I communicated it
to my comrades, who approved it. "Brethren," said I, "you know
there is much timber floating upon the coast; if you will be
advised by me, let us make several rafts capable of bearing us,
and when they are done, leave them there till we find it
convenient to use them. In the mean time, we will carry into
execution the design I proposed to you for our deliverance from
the giant, and if it succeed, we may remain here patiently
awaiting the arrival of some ship to carry us out of this fatal
island; but if it happen to miscarry, we will take to our rafts,
and put to sea. I admit that by exposing ourselves to the fury of
the waves, we run a risk of losing our lives; but is it not
better to be buried in the sea than in the entrails of this
monster, who has already devoured two of our number?" My advice
was approved, and we made rafts capable of carrying three persons
on each.

We returned to the palace towards the evening, and the giant
arrived shortly after. We were forced to submit to seeing another
of our comrades roasted. But at last we revenged ourselves on the
brutish giant in the following manner. After he had finished his
cursed supper, he lay down on his back, and fell asleep. As soon
as we heard him snore, according to his custom, nine of the
boldest among us, and myself, took each of us a spit, and putting
the points of them into the fire till they were burning hot, we
thrust them into his eye all at once, and blinded him. The pain
made him break out into a frightful yell: he started up, and
stretched out his hands, in order to sacrifice some of us to his
rage: but we ran to such places as he could not reach; and after
having sought for us in vain, he groped for the gate, and went
                                                                    150
out, howling in agony.

We quitted the palace after the giant, and came to the shore,
where we had left our rafts, and put them immediately to sea. We
waited till day, in order to get upon them, in case the giant
should come towards us with any guide of his own species, but we
hoped if he did not appear by sun-rising, and gave over his
howling, which we still heard, that he would prove to be dead;
and if that happened to be the case, we resolved to stay in that
island, and not to risk our lives upon the rafts: but day had
scarcely appeared, when we perceived our cruel enemy, accompanied
with two others almost of the same size, leading him; and a great
number more coming before him at a quick pace.

We did not hesitate to take to our rafts, and put to sea with all
the speed we could. The giants, who perceived this, took up great
stones, and running to the shore, entered the water up to the
middle, and threw so exactly, that they sunk all the rafts but
that I was upon; and all my companions, except the two with me,
were drowned. We rowed with all our might, and got out of the
reach of the giants. But when we got out to sea, we were exposed
to the mercy of the waves and winds, and tossed about, sometimes
on one side, and sometimes on another, and spent that night and
the following day under the most painful uncertainty as to our
fate; but next morning we had the good fortune to be thrown upon
an island, where we landed with much joy. We found excellent
fruit, which afforded us great relief, and recruited our
strength.

At night we went to sleep on the sea-shore but were awakened by
the noise of a serpent of surprising length and thickness, whose
scales made a rustling noise as he wound himself along. It
swallowed up one of my comrades, notwithstanding his loud cries,
and the efforts he made to extricate himself from it; dashing him
several times against the ground, it crushed him, and we could
hear it gnaw and tear the poor wretch's bones, though we had fled
to a considerable distance. The following day, to our great
terror, we saw the serpent again, when I exclaimed, "O heaven, to
what dangers are we exposed! We rejoiced yesterday at having
escaped from the cruelty of a giant and the rage of the waves,
now are we fallen into another danger equally dreadful."

As we walked about, we saw a large tall tree upon which we
designed to pass the following night, for our security; and
having satisfied our hunger with fruit, we mounted it according.
Shortly after, the serpent came hissing to the foot of the tree;
raised himself up against the trunk of it, and meeting with my
comrade, who sat lower than I, swallowed him at once, and went
off.
                                                                    151
I remained upon the tree till it was day, and then came down,
more like a dead man than one alive, expecting the same fate with
my two companions. This filled me with horror, and I advanced
some steps to throw myself into the sea; but the natural love of
life prompting us to prolong it as long as we can, I withstood
this dictate of despair, and submitted myself to the will of God,
who disposes of our lives at his pleasure.

In the mean time I collected together a great quantity of small
wood, brambles, and dry thorns, . and making them up into
faggots, made a wide circle with them round the tree, and also
tied some of them to the branches over my head. Having done this,
when the evening came, I shut myself up within this circle, with
the melancholy satisfaction, that I had neglected nothing which
could preserve me from the cruel destiny with which I was
threatened. The serpent failed not to come at the usual hour, and
went round the tree, seeking for an opportunity to devour me, but
was prevented by the rampart I had made; so that he lay till day,
like a cat watching in vain for a mouse that has fortunately
reached a place of safety. When day appeared, he retired, but I
dared not to leave my fort until the sun arose.

I felt so much fatigued by the labour to which it had put me, and
suffered so much from his poisonous breath, that death seemed
more eligible to me than the horrors of such a state. I came down
from the tree, and, not thinking of the resignation I had the
preceding day resolved to exercise, I ran towards the sea, with a
design to throw myself into it.

God took compassion on my hopeless state; for just as I was going
to throw myself into the sea, I perceived a ship at a
considerable distance. I called as loud as I could, and taking
the linen from my turban, displayed it, that they might observe
me. This had the desired effect; the crew perceived me, and the
captain sent his boat for me. As soon as I came on board, the
merchants and seamen flocked about me, to know how I came into
that desert island; and after I had related to them all that had
befallen me, the oldest among them said to me, they had several
times heard of the giants that dwelt in that island, that they
were cannibals, and ate men raw as well as roasted; and as to the
serpents, they added, that there were abundance in the island
that hid themselves by day, and came abroad by night. After
having testified their joy at my escaping so many dangers, they
brought me the best of their provisions; and the captain, seeing
that I was in rags, was so generous as to give me one of his own
suits. We continued at sea for some time, touched at several
islands, and at last landed at that of Salabat, where sandal wood
is obtained, which is of great use in medicine. We entered the
                                                                    152
port, and came to anchor. The merchants began to unload their
goods, in order to sell or exchange them. In the mean time, the
captain came to me, and said, "Brother, I have here some goods
that belonged to a merchant, who sailed some time on board this
ship, and he being dead, I design to dispose of them for the
benefit of his heirs, when I find who they are." The bales he
spoke of lay on the deck, and shewing them to me, he said, "There
are the goods; I hope you will take care to sell them, and you
shall have factorage." I thanked him for thus affording me an
opportunity of employing myself, because I hated to be idle.

The clerk of the ship took an account of all the bales, with the
names of the merchants to whom they belonged. And when he asked
the captain in whose name he should enter those he had given me
the charge of; "Enter them," said the captain, "in the name of
Sinbad." I could not hear myself named without some emotion; and
looking stedfastly on the captain, I knew him to be the person
who, in my second voyage, had left me in the island where I fell
asleep, and sailed without me, or sending to see for me. But I
could not recollect him at first, he was so much altered since I
had seen him.

I was not surprised that he, believing me to be dead, did not
recognize me. "Captain," said I, "was the merchant's name, to
whom those bales belonged, Sinbad?" "Yes," replied he, "that was
his name; he came from Bagdad, and embarked on board my ship at
Bussorah. One day, when we landed at an island to take in water
and other refreshments, I knew not by what mistake, I sailed
without observing that he did not re-embark with us; neither I
nor the merchants perceived it till four hours after. We had the
wind in our stern, and so fresh a gale, that it was not then
possible for us to tack about for him." "You believe him then to
be dead?" said I. "Certainly," answered he. "No, captain," I
resumed; "look at me, and you may know that I am Sinbad, whom you
left in that desert island."

The captain, continued Sinbad, having considered me attentively,
recognized me. "God be praised," said he, embracing me; "I
rejoice that fortune has rectified my fault. There are your
goods, which I always took care to preserve." I took them from
him, and made him the acknowledgments to which he was entitled.

From the isle of Salabat, we went to another, where I furnished
myself with cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. As we sailed from
this island, we saw a tortoise twenty cubits in length and
breadth. We observed also an amphibious animal like a cow, which
gave milk; its skin is so hard, that they usually make bucklers
of it. I saw another, which had the shape and colour of a camel.

                                                                    153
In short, after a long voyage, I arrived at Bussorah, and from
thence returned to Bagdad, with so much wealth that I knew not
its extent. I gave a great deal to the poor, and bought another
considerable estate in addition to what I had already.

Thus Sinbad finished the history of his third voyage; gave
another hundred sequins to Hindbad, invited him to dinner again
the next day, to hear the story of his fourth voyage. Hindbad and
the company retired; and on the following day, when they
returned, Sinbad after dinner continued the relation of his
adventures.




              The Fourth Voyage.



The pleasures and amusements which I enjoyed after my third
voyage had not charms sufficient to divert me from another. My
passion for trade, and my love of novelty, again prevailed. I
therefore settled my affairs, and having provided a stock of
goods fit for the traffic I designed to engage in, I set out on
my journey. I took the route of Persia, travelled over several
provinces, and then arrived at a port, where I embarked. We
hoisted our sails, and touched at several ports of the continent,
and some of the eastern islands, and put out to sea: we were
overtaken by such a sudden gust of wind, as obliged the captain
to lower his yards, and take all other necessary precautions to
prevent the danger that threatened us. But all was in vain our
endeavours had no effect; the sails were split in a thousand
pieces, and the ship was stranded; several of the merchants and
seamen were drowned and the cargo was lost.

I had the good fortune, with several of the merchants and
mariners, to get upon some planks, and we were carried by the
current to an island which lay before us. There we found fruit
and spring water, which preserved our lives. We staid all night
near the place where we had been cast ashore, without consulting
what we should do; our misfortune had so much dispirited us that
we could not deliberate.

Next morning, as soon as the sun was up, we walked from the
shore, and advancing into the island, saw some houses, which we
approached. As soon as we drew near, we were encompassed by a
great number of negroes, who seized us, shared us among them, and
carried us to their respective habitations.

                                                                    154
I, and five of my comrades, were carried to one place; here they
made us sit down, and gave us a certain herb, which they made
signs to us to eat. My comrades not taking notice that the blacks
ate none of it themselves, thought only of satisfying their
hunger, and ate with greediness. But I, suspecting some trick,
would not so much as taste it, which happened well for me; for in
little time after, I perceived my companions had lost their
senses, and that when they spoke to me, they knew not what they
said.

The negroes fed us afterwards with rice, prepared with oil of
cocoa-nuts; and my comrades, who had lost their reason, ate of it
greedily. I also partook of it, but very sparingly. They gave us
that herb at first on purpose to deprive us of our senses, that
we might not be aware of the sad destiny prepared for us; and
they supplied us with rice to fatten us; for, being cannibals,
their design was to eat us as soon as we grew fat. This
accordingly happened, for they devoured my comrades, who were not
sensible of their condition; but my senses being entire, you may
easily guess that instead of growing fat, as the rest did, I grew
leaner every day. The fear of death under which I laboured,
turned all my food into poison. I fell into a languishing
distemper, which proved my safety; for the negroes, having killed
and eaten my companions, seeing me to be withered, lean, and
sick, deferred my death.

Meanwhile I had much liberty, so that scarcely any notice was
taken of what I did, and this gave me an opportunity one day to
get at a distance from the houses, and to make my escape. An old
man, who saw me, and suspected my design, called to me as loud as
he could to return; but instead of obeying him, I redoubled my
speed, and quickly got out of sight. At that time there was none
but the old man about the houses, the rest being abroad, and not
to return till night, which was usual with them. Therefore, being
sure that they could not arrive time enough to pursue me, I went
on till night, when I stopped to rest a little, and to eat some
of the provisions I had secured; but I speedily set forward
again, and travelled seven days, avoiding those places which
seemed to be inhabited, and lived for the most part upon cocoa-
nuts, which served me both for meat and drink. On the eighth day
I came near the sea, and saw some white people like myself,
gathering pepper, of which there was great plenty in that place.
This I took to be a good omen, and went to them without any
scruple.

The people who gathered pepper came to meet me as soon as they
saw me, and asked me in Arabic who I was, and whence I came? I
was overjoyed to hear them speak in my own language, and
satisfied their curiosity, by giving them an account of my
                                                                    155
shipwreck, and how I fell into the hands of the negroes. "Those
negroes," replied they, "eat men, and by what miracle did you
escape their cruelty?" I related to them the circumstances I have
just mentioned, at which they were wonderfully surprised.

I staid with them till they had gathered their quantity of
pepper, and then sailed with them to the island from whence they
had come. They presented me to their king, who was a good prince.
He had the patience to hear the relation of my adventures, which
surprised him; and he afterwards gave me clothes, and commanded
care to be taken of me.

The island was very well peopled, plentiful in everything, and
the capital a place of great trade. This agreeable retreat was
very comfortable to me after my misfortunes, and the kindness of
this generous prince completed my satisfaction. In a word, there
was not a person more in favour with him than myself; and,
consequently, every man in court and city sought to oblige me; so
that in a very little time I was looked upon rather as a native
than a stranger.

I observed one thing, which to me appeared very extraordinary.
All the people, the king himself not excepted, rode their horses
without saddle, bridle, or stirrups. This made me one day take
the liberty to ask the king how it came to pass? His majesty
answered, that I talked to him of things which nobody knew the
use of in his dominions.

I went immediately to a workman, and gave him a model for making
the stock of a saddle. When that was done, I covered it myself
with velvet and leather, and embroidered it with gold. I
afterwards went to a smith, who made me a bit, according to the
pattern I shewed him, and also some stirrups. When I had all
things completed, I presented them to the king, and put them upon
one of his horses. His majesty mounted immediately, and was so
pleased with them, that he testified his satisfaction by large
presents. I could not avoid making several others for the
ministers and principal officers of his household, who all of
them made me presents that enriched me in a little time. I also
made some for the people of best quality in the city, which
gained me great reputation and regard.

As I paid my court very constantly to the king, he said to me one
day, "Sinbad, I love thee; and all my subjects who know thee,
treat thee according to my example. I have one thing to demand of
thee, which thou must grant." "Sir," answered I, "there is
nothing but I will do, as a mark of my obedience to your majesty,
whose power over me is absolute." "I have a mind thou shouldst
marry," replied he, "that so thou mayst stay in my dominions, and
                                                                    156
think no more of thy own country." I durst not resist the
prince's will, and he gave me one of the ladies of his court,
noble, beautiful, and rich. The ceremonies of marriage being
over, I went and dwelt with my wife, and for some time we lived
together in perfect harmony. I was not, however, satisfied with
my banishment, therefore designed to make my escape the first
opportunity, and to return to Bagdad; which my present
settlement, how advantageous soever, could not make me forget.

At this time the wife of one of my neighbours, with whom I had
contrasted a very strict friendship, fell sick, and died. I went
to see and comfort him in his affliction, and finding him
absorbed in sorrow, I said to him as soon as I saw him, "God
preserve you and grant you a long life." "Alas!" replied he, "how
do you think I should obtain the favour you wish me? I have not
above an hour to live." "Pray," said I, "do not entertain such a
melancholy thought; I hope I shall enjoy your company many
years." "I wish you," he replied, "a long life; but my days are
at an end, for I must be buried this day with my wife. This is a
law which our ancestors established in this island, and it is
always observed inviolably. The living husband is interred with
the dead wife, and the living wife with the dead husband. Nothing
can save me; every one must submit to this law."

While he was giving me an account of this barbarous custom, the
very relation of which chilled my blood, his kindred, friends,
and neighbours, came in a body to assist at the funeral. They
dressed the corpse of the woman in her richest apparel, and all
her jewels, as if it had been her wedding-day; then they placed
her on an open coffin, and began their march to the place of
burial. The husband walked at the head of the company, and
followed the corpse. They proceeded to a high mountain, and when
they had reached the place of their destination, they took up a
large stone, which covered the mouth of a deep pit, and let down
the corpse with all its apparel and jewels. Then the husband,
embracing his kindred and friends, suffered himself to be put
into another open coffin without resistance, with a pot of water,
and seven small loaves, and was let down in the same manner. The
mountain was of considerable length, and extended along the sea-
shore, and the pit was very deep. The ceremony being over, the
aperture was again covered with the stone, and the company
returned.

It is needless for me to tell you that I was a most melancholy
spectator this funeral, while the rest were scarcely moved, the
custom was to them so familiar. I could not forbear communicating
to the king my sentiment respecting the practice: "Sir," I said,
"I cannot but feel astonished at the strange usage observed in
this country, of burying the living with the dead. I have been a
                                                                    157
great traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so
cruel a law." "What do you mean, Sinbad?" replied the king: "it
is a common law. I shall be interred with the queen, my wife, if
she die first." "But, Sir," said I, "may I presume to ask your
majesty, if strangers be obliged to observe this law?" "Without
doubt," returned the king (smiling at the occasion of my
question), "they are not exempted, if they be married in this
island."

I returned home much depressed by this answer; for the fear of my
wife's dying first, and that I should be interred alive with her,
occasioned me very uneasy reflections. But there was no remedy; I
must have patience, and submit to the will of God. I trembled
however at every little indisposition of my wife. Alas! in a
little time my fears were realized, for she fell sick, and died.

Judge of my sorrow; to be interred alive, seemed to me as
deplorable a termination of life as to be devoured by cannibals.
It was necessary, however, to submit. The king and all his court
expressed their wish to honour the funeral with their presence,
and the most considerable people of the city did the same. When
all was ready for the ceremony, the corpse was put into a coffin,
with all her jewels and her most magnificent apparel. The
procession began, and as second actor in this doleful tragedy, I
went next the corpse, with my eyes full of tears, bewailing my
deplorable fate. Before we reached the mountain, I made an
attempt to affect the minds of the spectators: I addressed myself
to the king first, and then to all those that were round me;
bowing before them to the earth, and kissing the border of their
garments, I prayed them to have compassion upon me. "Consider,"
said I, "that I am a stranger, and ought not to be subject to
this rigorous law, and that I have another wife and children in
my own country." Although I spoke in the most pathetic manner, no
one was moved by my address; on the contrary, they ridiculed my
dread of death as cowardly, made haste to let my wife's corpse
into the pit, and lowered me down the next moment in an open
coffin, with full of water and seven loaves. In short, the fatal
ceremony being performed, they covered over the mouth of the pit,
notwithstanding my grief and piteous lamentations.

As I approached the bottom, I discovered by the aid of the little
light that came from above the nature of this subterranean place,
it seemed an endless cavern, and might be about fifty fathom
deep. I was annoyed by an insufferable stench proceeding from the
multitude of bodies which I saw on the right and left; nay, I
fancied that I heard some of them sigh out their last. However,
when I got down, I immediately left my coffin, and getting at a
distance from the bodies, held my nose, and lay down upon the
ground, where I stayed a considerable time, bathed in tears. At
                                                                    158
last, reflecting on my melancholy case, "It is true," said I,
"that God disposes all things according to the degrees of his
providence; but, unhappy Sinbad, hast thou any but thyself to
blame that thou art brought to die so strange a death? Would to
God thou hadst perished in some of those tempests which thou hast
escaped! then thy death had not been so lingering, and so
terrible in all its circumstances. But thou hast drawn all this
upon thyself by thy inordinate avarice. Ah, unfortunate wretch!
shouldst thou not rather have remained at home, and quietly
enjoyed the fruits of thy labour?"

Such were the vain complaints with which I filled the cave,
beating my head and breast out of rage and despair, and
abandoning myself to the most afflicting thoughts. Nevertheless,
I must tell you, that instead of calling death to my assistance
in that miserable condition, I felt still an inclination to live,
and to do all I could to prolong my days. I went groping about,
with my nose stopped, for the bread and water that was in my
coffin, and took some of it. Though the darkness of the cave was
so great that I could not distinguish day and night, yet I always
found my coffin again, and the cave seemed to be more spacious
and fuller of bodies than it had appeared to be at first. I lived
for some days upon my bread and water, which being all spent, I
at last prepared for death.

As I was thinking of death, I heard the stone lifted up from the
mouth of the cave, and immediately the corpse of a man was let
down When reduced to necessity, it is natural to come to extreme
resolutions. While they let down the woman I approached the place
where her coffin was to be put, and as soon as I perceived they
were again covering the mouth of the cave, gave the unfortunate
wretch two or three violent blows over the head, with a large
bone; which stunned, or, to say the truth, killed her. I
committed this inhuman action merely for the sake of the bread
and water that was in her coffin, and thus I had provision for
some days more. When that was spent, they letdown another dead
woman, and a living man; I killed the man in the same manner,
and, as there was then a sort of mortality in the town, by
continuing this practice I did not want for provisions.

One day after I had dispatched another woman, I heard something
tread, and breathing or panting as it walked. I advanced towards
that side from whence I heard the noise, and on my approach the
creature puffed and blew harder, as if running away from me. I
followed the noise, and the thing seemed to stop sometimes, but
always fled and blew as I approached. I pursued it for a
considerable time, till at last I perceived a light, resembling a
star; I went on, sometimes lost sight of it, but always found it
again, and at last discovered that it came through a hole in the
                                                                    159
rock, large enough to admit a man.

Upon this, I stopped some time to rest, being much fatigued with
the rapidity of my progress: afterwards coming up to the hole, I
got through, and found myself upon the sea shore. I leave you to
guess the excess of my joy: it was such, that I could scarcely
persuade myself that the whole was not a dream.

But when I was recovered from my surprise, and convinced of the
reality of my escape, I perceived what I had followed to be a
creature which came out of the sea, and was accustomed to enter
the cavern and feed upon the bodies of the dead.

I examined the mountain, and found it to be situated betwixt the
sea and the town, but without any passage to or communication
with the latter; the rocks on the sea side being high and
perpendicularly steep. I prostrated myself on the shore to thank
God for this mercy, and afterwards entered the cave again to
fetch bread and water, which I ate by daylight with a better
appetite than I had done since my interment in the dark cavern

I returned thither a second time, and groped among the coffins
for all the diamonds, rubies,, pearls, gold bracelets, and rich
stuffs I could find; these I brought to the shore, and tying them
up neatly into bales, with the cords that let down the coffins, I
laid them together upon the beach, waiting till some ship might
appear, without fear of rain, for it was then the dry season.

After two or three days, I perceived a ship just come out of the
harbour, making for the place where I was. I made a sign with the
linen of my turban, and called to the crew as loud as I could.
They heard me, and sent a boat to bring me on board, when they
asked by what misfortune I came thither; I told them that I had
suffered shipwreck two days before, and made shift to get ashore
with the goods they saw. It was fortunate for me that these
people did not consider the place where I was, nor enquire into
the probability of what I told them; but without hesitation took
me on board with my goods. When I came to the ship, the captain
was so well pleased to have saved me, and so much taken up with
his own affairs, that he also took the story of my pretended
shipwreck upon trust, and generously refused some jewels which I
offered him.

We passed by several islands, and among others that called the
isle of Bells, about ten days' sail from Serendib, with a regular
wind, and six from that of Kela, where we landed. This island
produces lead mines, Indian canes, and excellent camphire.

The king of the isle of Kela is very rich and powerful, and the
                                                                    160
isle of Bells, which is about two days journey in extent, is also
subject to him. The inhabitants are so barbarous that they still
eat human flesh. After we had finished our traffic in that
island, we put to sea again, and touched at several other ports;
at last I arrived happily at Bagdad with infinite riches, of
which it is needless to trouble you with the detail. Out of
gratitude to God for his mercies, I contributed liberally towards
the support of several mosques, and the subsistence of the poor,
gave myself up to the society of my kindred and friends, enjoying
myself with them in festivities and amusements.

Here Sinbad finished the relation of his fourth voyage, which
appeared more surprising to the company than the three former. He
made a new present of one hundred sequins to Hindbad, whom he
requested to return with the rest next day at the same hour to
dine with him, and hear the story of his fifth voyage. Hindbad
and the other guests took their leave and retired. Next morning
when they all met, they sat down at table, and when dinner was
over, Sinbad began the relation of his fifth voyage as follows.




              The Fifth Voyage.



The pleasures I enjoyed had again charms enough to make me forget
all the troubles and calamities I had undergone, but could not
cure me of my inclination to make new voyages. I therefore bought
goods, departed with them for the best sea-port; and there, that
I might not be obliged to depend upon a captain, but have a ship
at my own command, I remained till one was built on purpose, at
my own charge. When the ship was ready, I went on board with my
goods; but not having enough to load her, I agreed to take with
me several merchants of different nations with their merchandize.

We sailed with the first fair wind, and after a long navigation
the first place we touched at was a desert island, where we found
an egg of a roe, equal in size to that I formerly mentioned.
There was a young roc it just ready to be hatched, and its bill
had begun to appear.

The merchants whom I had taken on board, and who landed with me,
broke the egg with hatchets, and made a hole in it, pulled out
the young roc piecemeal, and roasted it. I had earnestly
intreated them not to meddle with the egg, but they would not
listen to me.

                                                                    161
Scarcely had they finished their repast, when there appeared in
the air at a considerable distance from us two great clouds. The
captain whom I had hired to navigate my ship, knowing by
experience what they meant, said they were the male and female
roc that belonged to the young one, and pressed us to re-embark
with all speed, to prevent the misfortune which he saw would
otherwise befall us. We hastened on board, and set sail with all
possible expedition.

In the mean time, the two roes approached with a frightful noise,
which they redoubled when they saw the egg broken, and their
young one gone. They flew back in the direction they had come,
and disappeared for some time, while we made all the sail we
could to endeavour to prevent that which unhappily befell us.

They soon returned, and we observed that each of them carried
between its talons stones, or

rather rocks, of a monstrous size. When they came directly over
my ship, they hovered, and one of them let fall a stone, but by
the dexterity of the steersman it missed us, and falling into the
sea, divided the water so that we could almost see the bottom.
The other roe, to our misfortune, threw his messy burden so
exactly upon the middle of the ship, as to split it into a
thousand pieces. The mariners and passengers were all crushed to
death, or sunk. I myself was of the number of the latter; but as
I came up again, I fortunately caught hold of a piece of the
wreck, and swimming sometimes with one hand, and sometimes with
the other, but always holding fast my board, the wind and the
tide favouring me, I came to an island, whose shore was very
steep. I overcame that difficulty, however, and got ashore.

I sat down upon the grass, to recover myself from my fatigue,
after which I went into the island to explore it. It seemed to be
a delicious garden. I found trees everywhere, some of them
bearing green, and others ripe fruits, and streams of fresh pure
water running in pleasant meanders. I ate of the fruits, which I
found excellent; and drank of the water, which was very light and
good.

When night closed in, I lay down upon the grass in a convenient
spot, but could not sleep an hour at a time, my mind being
apprehensive of danger. I spent best part of the night in alarm,
and reproached myself for my imprudence in not remaining at home,
rather than undertaking this last voyage. These reflections
carried me so far, that I began to form a design against my life;
but daylight dispersed these melancholy thoughts. I got up, and
walked among the trees, but not without some fears.

                                                                    162
When I was a little advanced into the island, I saw an old man,
who appeared very weak and infirm. He was sitting on the bank of
a stream, and at first I took him to be one who had been
shipwrecked like myself. I went towards him and saluted him, but
he only slightly bowed his head. I asked him why he sat so still,
but instead of answering me, he made a sign for me to take him
upon my back, and carry him over the brook, signifying that it
was to gather fruit.

I believed him really to stand in need of my assistance, took him
upon my back, and having carried him over, bade him get down, and
for that end stooped, that he might get off with ease; but
instead of doing so (which I laugh at every time I think of it)
the old man, who to me appeared quite decrepid, clasped his legs
nimbly about my neck, when I perceived his skin to resemble that
of a cow. He sat astride upon my shoulders, and held my throat so
tight, that I thought he would have strangled me, the
apprehension of which make me swoon and fall down.

Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old fellow kept fast
about my neck, but opened his legs a little to give me time to
recover my breath. When I had done so, he thrust one of his feet
against my stomach, and struck me so rudely on the side with the
other, that he forced me to rise up against my will. Having
arisen, he made me walk under the trees, and forced me now and
then to stop, to gather and eat fruit such as we found. He never
left me all day, and when I lay down to rest at night, laid
himself down with me, holding always fast about my neck. Every
morning he pushed me to make me awake, and afterwards obliged me
to get up and walk, and pressed me with his feet. You may judge
then, gentlemen, what trouble I was in, to be loaded with such a
burden of which I could not get rid.

One day I found in my way several dry calebashes that had fallen
from a tree. I took a large one, and after cleaning it, pressed
into it some juice of grapes, which abounded in the island;
having filled the calebash, I put it by in a convenient place,
and going thither again some days after, I tasted it, and found
the wine so good, that it soon made me forget my sorrow, gave me
new vigour, and so exhilarated my spirits, that I began to sing
and dance as I walked along.

The old man, perceiving the effect which this liquor had upon me,
and that I carried him with more ease than before, made me a sign
to give him some of it. I handed him the calebash, and the liquor
pleasing his palate, he drank it all off. There being a
considerable quantity of it, he became drunk immediately, and the
fumes getting up into his head, he began to sing after his
manner, and to dance with his breech upon my shoulders. His
                                                                    163
jolting made him vomit, and he loosened his legs from about me by
degrees. Finding that he did not press me as before, I threw him
upon the ground, where he lay without motion; I then took up a
great stone, and crushed his head to pieces.

I was extremely glad to be thus freed for ever from this
troublesome fellow. I now walked towards the beach, where I met
the crew of a ship that had cast anchor, to take in water. They
were surprised to see me, but more so at hearing the particulars
of my adventures. "You fell," said they, "into the hands of the
old man of the sea, and are the first who ever escaped strangling
by his malicious tricks. He never quitted those he had once made
himself master of, till he had destroyed them, and he has made
this island notorious by the number of men he has slain; so that
the merchants and mariners who landed upon it, durst not advance
into the island but in numbers at a time."

After having informed me of these things, they carried me with
them to the ship; the captain received me with great kindness,
when they told him what had befallen me. He put out again to sea,
and after some days' sail, we arrived at the harbour of a great
city, the houses of which were built with hewn stone.

One of the merchants who had taken me into his friendship invited
me to go along with him, and carried me to a place appointed for
the accommodation of foreign merchants. He gave me a large bag,
and having recommended me to some people of the town, who used to
gather cocoa-nuts, desired them to take me with them. "Go," said
he, "follow them, and act as you see them do, but do not separate
from them, otherwise you may endanger your life." Having thus
spoken, he gave me provisions for the journey, and I went with
them.

We came to a thick forest of cocoa-trees, very lofty, with trunks
so smooth that it was not possible to climb to the branches that
bore the fruit. When we entered the forest we saw a great number
of apes of several sizes, who fled as soon as they perceived us,
and climbed up to the top of the trees with surprising swiftness.

The merchants with whom I was, gathered stones and threw them at
the apes on the trees. I did the same, and the apes out of
revenge threw cocoa-nuts at us so fast, and with such gestures,
as sufficiently testified their anger and resentment. We gathered
up the cocoa-nuts, and from time to time threw stones to provoke
the apes; so that by this stratagem we filled our bags with
cocoa-nuts, which it had been impossible otherwise to have done.

When we had gathered our number, we returned to the city, where
the merchant, who had sent me to the forest, gave me the value of
                                                                    164
the cocoas I brought: "Go on," said he, "and do the like every
day, until you have got money enough to carry you home." I
thanked him for his advice, and gradually collected as many
cocoa-nuts as produced me a considerable sum.

The vessel in which I had come sailed with some merchants, who
loaded her with cocoa-nuts. I expected the arrival of another,
which anchored soon after for the like loading. I embarked in her
all the cocoa-nuts I had, and when she was ready to sail, took
leave of the merchant who had been so kind to me; but he could
not embark with me, because he had not finished his business at
the port.

We sailed towards the islands, where pepper grows in great
plenty. From thence we went to the isle of Comari, where the best
species of wood of aloes grows, and whose inhabitants have made
it an inviolable law to themselves to drink no wine, and suffer
no place of debauch. I exchanged my cocoa in those two islands
for pepper and wood of aloes, and went with other merchants a
pearl-fishing. I hired divers, who brought me up some that were
very large and pure. I embarked in a vessel that happily arrived
at Bussorah; from thence I returned to Bagdad, where I made vast
sums of my pepper, wood of aloes, and pearls. I gave the tenth of
my gains in alms, as I had done upon my return from my other
voyages, and endeavoured to dissipate my fatigues by amusements
of different kinds.

When Sinbad had finished his story, he ordered one hundred
sequins to be given to Hindbad, who retired with the other
guests; but next morning the same company returned to dine with
rich Sinbad; who, after having treated them as formerly,
requested their attention, and gave the following account of his
sixth voyage.




              The Sixth Voyage.



Gentlemen, you long without doubt to know, how, after having been
shipwrecked five times, and escaped so many dangers, I could
resolve again to tempt fortune, and expose myself to new
hardships? I am, myself, astonished at my conduct when I reflect
upon it, and must certainly have been actuated by my destiny. But
be that as it may, after a year's rest I prepared for a sixth
voyage, notwithstanding the intreaties of my kindred and friends,
who did all in their power to dissuade me.
                                                                    165
Instead of taking my way by the Persian gulf, I travelled once
more through several provinces of Persia and the Indies, and
arrived at a sea-port, where I embarked in a ship, the captain of
which was bound on a long voyage. It was long indeed, and at the
same time so unfortunate, that the captain and pilot lost their
course. They however at last discovered where they were, but we
had no reason to rejoice at the circumstance. Suddenly we saw the
captain quit his post, uttering loud lamentations. He threw off
his turban, pulled his beard, and beat his head like a madman. We
asked him the reason, and he answered, that he was in the most
dangerous place in all the ocean. "A rapid current carries the
ship along with it, and we shall all perish in less than a
quarter of an hour. Pray to God to deliver us from this peril; we
cannot escape, if he do not take pity on us." At these words he
ordered the sails to be lowered; but all the ropes broke, and the
ship was carried by the current to the foot of an inaccessible
mountain, where she struck and went to pieces, yet in such a
manner that we saved our lives, our provisions, and the best of
our goods.

This being over, the captain said to us, "God has done what
pleased him. Each of us may dig his grave, and bid the world
adieu; for we are all in so fatal a place, that none shipwrecked
here ever returned to their homes." His discourse afflicted us
sensibly, and we embraced each other, bewailing our deplorable
lot.

The mountain at the foot of which we were wrecked formed part of
the coast of a very large island. It was covered with wrecks, and
from the vast number of human bones we saw everywhere, and which
filled us with horror, we concluded that multitudes of people had
perished there. It is also incredible what a quantity of goods
and riches we found cast ashore. All these objects served only to
augment our despair. In all other places, rivers run from their
channels into the sea, but here a river of fresh water runs out
of the sea into a dark cavern, whose entrance is very high and
spacious. What is most remarkable in this place is, that the
stones of the mountain are of crystal, rubies, or other precious
stones. Here is also a sort of fountain of pitch or bitumen, that
runs into the sea, which the fish swallow, and evacuate soon
afterwards, turned into ambergris: and this the waves throw up on
the beach in great quantities. Trees also grow here, most of
which are wood of aloes, equal in goodness to those of Comari.

To finish the description of this place, which may well be called
a gulf, since nothing ever returns from it, it is not possible
for ships to get off when once they approach within a certain
distance. If they be driven thither by a wind from the sea, the
                                                                    166
wind and the current impel them; and if they come into it when a
land-wind blows, which might seem to favour their getting out
again, the height of the mountain stops the wind, and occasions a
calm, so that the force of the current carries them ashore: and
what completes the misfortune is, that there is no possibility of
ascending the mountain, or of escaping by sea.

We continued upon the shore in a state of despair, and expected
death every day. At first we divided our provisions as equally as
we could, and thus every one lived a longer or shorter time,
according to his temperance, and the use he made of his
provisions.

Those who died first were interred by the survivors, and I paid
the last duty to all my companions: nor are you to wonder at
this; for besides that I husbanded the provision that fell to my
share better than they, I had some of my own which I did not
share with my comrades; yet when I buried the last, I had so
little remaining, that I thought I could not long survive: I dug
a grave, resolving to lie down in it, because there was no one
left to inter me. I must confess to you at the same time, that
while I was thus employed, I could not but reproach myself as the
cause of my own ruin, and repented that I had ever undertaken
this last voyage. Nor did I stop at reflections only, but had
well nigh hastened my own death, and began to tear my hands with
my teeth.

But it pleased God once more to take compassion on me, and put it
in my mind to go to the bank of the river which ran into the
great cavern. Considering its probable course with great
attention, I said to myself, "This river, which runs thus under
ground, must somewhere have an issue. If I make a raft, and leave
myself to the current, it will convey me to some inhabited
country, or I shall perish. If I be drowned, I lose nothing, but
only change one kind of death for another; and if I get out of
this fatal place, I shall not only avoid the sad fate of my
comrades, but perhaps find some new occasion of enriching myself.
Who knows but fortune waits, upon my getting off this dangerous
shelf, to compensate my shipwreck with usury."

I immediately went to work upon large pieces of timber and
cables, for I had choice of them, and tied them together so
strongly, that I soon made a very solid raft. When I had
finished, I loaded it with some bulses of rubies, emeralds,
ambergris, rock-crystal, and bales of rich stuffs. Having
balanced my cargo exactly, and fastened it well to the raft, I
went on board with two oars that I had made, and leaving it to
the course of the river, resigned myself to the will of God.

                                                                    167
As soon as I entered the cavern, I lost all light, and the stream
carried me I knew not whither. Thus I floated some days in
perfect darkness, and once found the arch so low, that it very
nearly touched my head, which made me cautious afterwards to
avoid the like danger. All this while I ate nothing but what was
just necessary to support nature; yet, notwithstanding my
frugality, all my provisions were spent. Then a pleasing stupor
seized upon me. I cannot tell how long it continued; but when I
revived, I was surprised to find myself in an extensive plain on
the brink of a river, where my raft was tied, amidst a great
number of negroes. I got up as soon as I saw them, and saluted
them. They spoke to me, but I did not understand their language.
I was so transported with joy, that I knew not whether I was
asleep or awake; but being persuaded that I was not asleep, I
recited the following words in Arabic aloud: "Call upon the
Almighty, he will help thee; thou needest not perplex thyself
about any thing else: shut thy eyes, and while thou art asleep,
God will change thy bad fortune into good."

One of the blacks, who understood Arabic, hearing me speak thus,
came towards me, and said, "Brother, be not surprised to see us,
we are inhabitants of this country, and came hither to-day to
water our fields, by digging little canals from this river, which
comes out of the neighbouring mountain. We observed something
floating upon the water, went to see what it was, and, perceiving
your raft, one of us swam into the river, and brought it thither,
where we fastened it, as you see, until you should awake. Pray
tell us your history, for it must be extraordinary; how did you
venture yourself into this river, and whence did you come?" "I
begged of them first to give me something to eat, and then I
would satisfy. their curiosity. They gave me several sorts of
food, and when I had satisfied my hunger, I related all that had
befallen me, which they listened to with attentive surprise. As
soon as I had finished, they told me, by the person who spoke
Arabic and interpreted to them what I said, that it was one of
the most wonderful stories they had ever heard, and that I must
go along with them, and tell it their king myself; it being too
extraordinary to be related by any other than the person to whom
the events had happened. I assured them that I was ready to do
whatever they pleased.

They immediately sent for a horse, which was brought in a little
time; and having helped me to mount, some of them walked before
to shew the way, while the rest took my raft and cargo and
followed.

We marched till we came to the capital of Serendib, for it was in
that island I had landed. The blacks presented me to their king;
I approached his throne, and saluted him as I used to do the
                                                                    168
kings of the Indies; that is to say, I prostrated myself at his
feet. The prince ordered me to rise, received me with an obliging
air, and made me sit down near him. He first asked me my name,
and I answered, "People call me Sinbad the voyager, because of
the many voyages I have undertaken, and I am a citizen of
Bagdad." "But," resumed he, "how came you into my dominions, and
from whence came you last?"

I concealed nothing from the king; I related to him all that I
have told you, and his majesty was so surprised and pleased, that
he commanded my adventures to be written in letters of gold, and
laid up in the archives of his kingdom. At last my raft was
brought in, and the bales opened in his presence; he admired the
quantity of wood of aloes and ambergris, but, above all, the
rubies and emeralds, for he had none in his treasury that
equalled them.

Observing that he looked on my jewels with pleasure, and viewed
the most remarkable among them one after another, I fell
prostrate at his feet, and took the liberty to say to him, "Sir,
not only my person is at your majesty's service, but the cargo of
the raft, and I would beg of you to dispose of it as your own."
He answered me with a smile, "Sinbad, I will take care not to
covet any thing of yours, or to take any thing from you that God
has given you; far from lessening your wealth, I design to
augment it, and will not let you quit my dominions without marks
of my liberality." All the answer I returned were prayers for the
prosperity of that nobly minded prince, and commendations of his
generosity and bounty. He charged one of his officers to take
care of me, and ordered people to serve me at his own expence.
The officer was very faithful in the execution of his commission,
and caused all the goods to be carried to the lodgings provided
for me.

I went every day at a set hour to make my court to the king, and
spent the rest of my time in viewing the city, and what was most
worthy of notice.

The isle of Serendib is situated just under the equinoctial line;
so that the days and nights there are always of twelve hours
each, and the island is eighty parasangs in length, and as many
in breadth.

The capital stands at the end of a fine valley, in the middle of
the island, encompassed by mountains the highest in the world.
They are seen three days' sail off at sea. Rubies and several
sorts of minerals abound, and the rocks are for the most part
composed of a metalline stone made use of to cut and polish other
precious stones. All kinds of rare plants and trees grow there,
                                                                    169
especially cedars and cocoa-nut. There is also a pearl-fishing in
the mouth of its principal river; and in some of its valleys are
found diamonds. I made, by way of devotion, a pilgrimage to the
place where Adam was confined after his banishment from Paradise,
and had the curiosity to go to the top of the mountain.

When I returned to the city, I prayed the king to allow me to
return to my own country, and he granted me permission in the
most obliging and most honourable manner. He would needs force a
rich present upon me; and when I went to take my leave of him, he
gave me one much more considerable, and at the same time charged
me with a letter for the commander of the faithful, our
sovereign, saying to me, "I pray you give this present from me,
and this letter to the caliph, and assure him of my friendship."
I took the present and letter in a very respectful manner, and
promised his majesty punctually to execute the commission with
which he was pleased to honour me. Before I embarked, this prince
sent for the captain and the merchants who were to go with me,
and ordered them to treat me with all possible respect.

The letter from the king of Serendib was written on the skin of a
certain animal of great value, because of its being so scarce,
and of a yellowish colour. The characters of this letter were of
azure, and the contents as follows:

"The king of the Indies, before whom march one hundred elephants,
who lives in a palace that shines with one hundred thousand
rubies, and who has in his treasury twenty thousand crowns
enriched with diamonds, to caliph Haroon al Rusheed.

"Though the present we send you be inconsiderable, receive it
however as a brother and a friend, in consideration of the hearty
friendship which we bear for you, and of which we are willing to
give you proof. We desire the same part in your friendship,
considering that we believe it to be our merit, being of the same
dignity with yourself. We conjure you this in quality of a
brother. Adieu."

The present consisted first, of one single ruby made into a cup,
about half a foot high, an inch thick, and filled with round
pearls of half a drachm each. 2. The skin of a serpent, whose
scales were as large as an ordinary piece of gold, and had the
virtue to preserve from sickness those who lay upon it. 3. Fifty
thousand drachms of the best wood of aloes, with thirty grains of
camphire as big as pistachios. 4. A female slave of ravishing
beauty, whose apparel was all covered over with jewels.

The ship set sail, and after a very successful navigation we
landed at Bussorah, and from thence I went to Bagdad, where the
                                                                    170
first thing I did was to acquit myself of my commission.

Scheherazade stopped, because day appeared, and next night
proceeded thus.

I took the king of Serendib's letter, and went to present myself
at the gate of the commander of the faithful, followed by the
beautiful slave, and such of my own family as carried the
presents. I stated the reason of my coming, and was immediately
conducted to the throne of the caliph. I made my reverence, and,
after a short speech, gave him the letter and present. When he
had read what the king of Serendib wrote to him, he asked me, if
that prince were really so rich and potent as he represented
himself in his letter? I prostrated myself a second time, and
rising again, said, "Commander of the faithful, I can assure your
majesty he doth not exceed the truth. I bear him witness. Nothing
is more worthy of admiration than the magnificence of his palace.
When the prince appears in public, he has a throne fixed on the
back of an elephant, and marches betwixt two ranks of his
ministers, favourites, and other people of his court; before him,
upon the same elephant, an officer carries a golden lance in his
hand; and behind the throne there is another, who stands upright,
with a column of gold, on the top of which is an emerald half a
foot long, and an inch thick; before him march a guard of one
thousand men, clad in cloth of gold and silk, and mounted on
elephants richly caparisoned.

"While the king is on his march, the officer, who is before him
on the same elephant, cries

from time to time, with a loud voice, ‘Behold the great monarch,
the potent and redoubtable sultan of the Indies, whose palace is
covered with one hundred thousand rubies, and who possesses
twenty thousand crowns of diamonds. Behold the monarch greater
than Solomon, and the powerful Maha-raja.' After he has
pronounced those words, the officer behind the throne cries in
his turn, ‘This monarch, so great and so powerful, must die, must
die, must die.' And the officer before replies, ‘Praise be to him
who lives for ever.'

"Farther, the king of Serendib is so just, that there are no
judges in his dominions. His people have no need of them. They
understand and observe justice rigidly of themselves."

The caliph was much pleased with my account. "The wisdom of that
king," said he, "appears in his letter, and after what you tell
me, I must confess, that his wisdom is worthy of his people, and
his people deserve so wise a prince." Having spoken thus, he
dismissed me, and sent me home with a rich present.
                                                                    171
Sinbad left off, and his company retired, Hindbad having first
received one hundred sequins; and next day they returned to hear
the relation of his seventh and last voyage.




           The Seventh and Last Voyage.



Being returned from my sixth voyage, said Sinbad, I absolutely
laid aside all thoughts of travelling; for, besides that my age
now required rest, I was resolved no more to expose myself to
such risks as I had encountered; so that I thought of nothing but
to pass the rest of my days in tranquillity. One day as I was
treating my friends, one of my servants came and told me that an
officer of the caliph's enquired for me. I rose from table, and
went to him. "The caliph," he said, "has sent me to tell you,
that he must speak with you." I followed the officer to the
palace, where being presented to the caliph, I saluted him by
prostrating myself at his feet. "Sinbad," said he to me, "I stand
in need of your service; you must carry my answer and present to
the king of Serendib. It is but just I should return his
civility."

This command of the caliph was to me like a clap of thunder.
"Commander of the faithful," I replied, "I am ready to do
whatever your majesty shall think fit to command; but I beseech
you most humbly to consider what I have undergone. I have also
made a vow never to go out of Bagdad." Hence I took occasion to
give him a full and particular account of all my adventures,
which he had the patience to hear out.

As soon as I had finished, "I confess," said he, "that the things
you tell me are very extraordinary, yet you must for my sake
undertake this voyage which I propose to you. You will only have
to go to the isle of Serendib, and deliver the commission which I
give you. After that you are at liberty to return. But you must
go; for you know it would not comport with my dignity, to be
indebted to the king of that island." Perceiving that the caliph
insisted upon my compliance, I submitted, and told him that I was
willing to obey. He was very well pleased, and ordered me one
thousand sequins for the expences of my journey.

I prepared for my departure in a few days, and as soon as the
caliph's letter and present were delivered to me, I went to
Bussorah, where I embarked, and had a very happy voyage. Having
                                                                    172
arrived at the isle of Serendib, I acquainted the king's
ministers with my commission, and prayed them to get me speedy
audience. They did so, and I was conducted to the palace in an
honourable manner, where I saluted the king by prostration,
according to custom. That prince knew me immediately, and
testified very great joy at seeing me. "Sinbad," said he, "you
are welcome; I have many times thought of you since you departed;
I bless the day on which we see one another once more." I made my
compliment to him, and after having thanked him for his kindness,
delivered the caliph's letter and present, which he received with
all imaginable satisfaction.

The caliph's present was a complete suit of cloth of gold, valued
at one thousand sequins; fifty robes of rich stuff, a hundred of
white cloth, the finest of Cairo, Suez, and Alexandria; a vessel
of agate broader than deep, an inch thick, and half a foot wide,
the bottom of which represented in bass relief a man with one
knee on the ground, who held bow and an arrow, ready to discharge
at a lion. He sent him also a rich tablet, which, according to
tradition, belonged to the great Solomon. The caliph's letter was
as follows:

"Greeting, in the name of the sovereign guide of the right way,
from the dependent on God, Haroon al Rusheed, whom God hath set
in the place of vicegerent to his prophet, after his ancestors of
happy memory, to the potent and esteemed Raja of Serendib.

"We received your letter with joy, and send you this from our
imperial residence, the garden of superior wits. We hope when you
look upon it, you will perceive our good intention and be pleased
with it. Adieu."

The king of Serendib was highly gratified that the caliph
answered his friendship. A little time after this audience, I
solicited leave to depart, and had much difficulty to obtain it.
I procured it however at last, and the king, when he dismissed
me, made me a very considerable present. I embarked immediately
to return to Bagdad, but had not the good fortune to arrive there
so speedily as I had hoped. God ordered it otherwise.

Three or four days after my departure, we were attacked by
corsairs, who easily seized upon our ship, because it was no
vessel of force. Some of the crew offered resistance, which cost
them their lives. But for myself and the rest, who were not so
imprudent, the corsairs saved us on purpose to make slaves of us.

We were all stripped, and instead of our own clothes, they gave
us sorry rags, and carried us into a remote island, where they
sold us.
                                                                    173
I fell into the hands of a rich merchant, who, as soon as he
bought me, carried me to his house, treated me well, and clad me
handsomely for a slave. Some days after, not knowing who I was,
he asked me if I understood any trade? I answered, that I was no
mechanic, but a merchant, and that the corsairs, who sold me, had
robbed me of all I possessed. "But tell me," replied he, "can you
shoot with a bow?" I answered, that the bow was one of my
exercises in my youth. He gave me a bow and arrows, and, taking
me behind him upon an elephant, carried me to a thick forest some
leagues from the town. We penetrated a great way into the wood,
and when he thought fit to stop, he bade me alight; then shewing
me a great tree, "Climb up that," said he, "and shoot at the
elephants as you see them pass by, for there is a prodigious
number of them in this forest, and if any of them fall, come and
give me notice." Having spoken thus, he left me victuals, and
returned to the town, and I continued upon the tree all night.

I saw no elephant during that time, but next morning, as soon as
the sun was up, I perceived a great number. I shot several arrows
among them, and at last one of the elephants fell, when the rest
retired immediately, and left me at liberty to go and acquaint my
patron with my booty. When I had informed him, he gave me a good
meal, commended my dexterity, and caressed me highly. We went
afterwards together to the forest, where we dug a hole for the
elephant; my patron designing to return when it was rotten, and
take his teeth to trade with.

I continued this employment for two months, and killed an
elephant every day, getting sometimes upon one tree, and
sometimes upon another. One morning, as I looked for the
elephants, I perceived with extreme amazement, that, instead of
passing by me across the forest as usual, they stopped, and came
to me with a horrible noise, in such number that the plain was
covered, and shook under them. They encompassed the tree in which
I was concealed, with their trunks extended, and all fixed their
eyes upon. At this alarming spectacle I continued immoveable, and
was so much terrified, that my bow and arrows fell out of my
hand.

My fears were not without cause; for after the elephants had
stared upon me some time, one of the largest of them put his
trunk round the foot of the tree, plucked it up, and threw it on
the ground; I fell with the tree, and the elephant taking me up
with his trunk, laid me on his back, where I sat more like one
dead than alive, with my quiver on my shoulder. He put himself
afterwards at the head of the rest, who followed him in troops,
carried me a considerable way, then laid me down on the ground,
and retired with all his companions. Conceive, if you can, the
                                                                    174
condition I was in: I thought myself in a dream. After having
lain some time, and seeing the elephants gone, I got up, and
found I was upon a long and broad hill, almost covered with the
bones and teeth of elephants. I confess to you, that this object
furnished me with abundance of reflections. I admired the
instinct of those animals; I doubted not but that was their
burying place, and that they carried me thither on purpose to
tell me that I should forbear to persecute them, since I did it
only for their teeth. I did not stay on the hill, but turned
towards the city, and, after having travelled a day and a night,
I came to my patron. I met no elephant in my way, which made me
think they had retired farther into the forest, to leave me at
liberty to come back to the hill without any obstacle.

As soon as my patron saw me; "Ah, poor Sinbad," exclaimed he, "I
was in great trouble to know what was become of you. I have been
at the forest, where I found a tree newly pulled up, and a bow
and arrows on the ground, and after having sought for you in
vain, I despaired of ever, seeing you more. Pray tell me what
befell you, and by what good chance thou art still alive." I
satisfied his curiosity, and going both of us next morning to the
hill, he found to his great joy that what I had told him was
true. We loaded the elephant which had carried us with as many
teeth as he could bear; and when we were returned, "Brother,"
said my patron, "for I will treat you no more as my slave, after
having made such a discovery as will enrich me, God bless you
with all happiness and prosperity. I declare before him, that I
give you your liberty. I concealed from you what I am now going
to tell you.

"The elephants of our forest have every year killed us a great
many slaves, whom we sent to seek ivory. For all the cautions we
could give them, those crafty animals destroyed them one time or
other. God has delivered you from their fury, and has bestowed
that favour upon you only. It is a sign that he loves you, and
has some use for your service in the world. You have procured me
incredible wealth. Formerly we could not procure ivory but by
exposing the lives of our slaves, and now our whole city is
enriched by your means. Do not think I pretend to have rewarded
you by giving you your liberty, I will also give you considerable
riches. I could engage all our city to contribute towards making
your fortune, but I will have the glory of doing it myself."

To this obliging declaration I replied, "Patron, God preserve
you. Your giving me my liberty is enough to discharge what you
owe me, and I desire no other reward for the service I had the
good fortune to do to you and your city, but leave to return to
my own country." "Very well," said he, "the monsoon will in a
little time bring ships for ivory. I will then send you home, and
                                                                    175
give you wherewith to bear your charges." I thanked him again for
my liberty and his good intentions towards me. I staid with him
expecting the monsoon; and during that time, we made so many
journeys to the hill, that we filled all our warehouses with
ivory. The other merchants, who traded in it, did the same, for
it could not be long concealed from them.

The ships arrived at last, and my patron, himself having made
choice of the ship wherein I was to embark, loaded half of it
with ivory on my account, laid in provisions in abundance for my
passage, and besides obliged me to accept a present of some
curiosities of the country of great value. After I had returned
him a thousand thanks for all his favours, I went aboard. We set
sail, and as the adventure which procured me this liberty was
very extraordinary, I had it continually in my thoughts.

We stopped at some islands to take in fresh provisions. Our
vessel being come to a port on the main land in the Indies, we
touched there, and not being willing to venture by sea to
Bussorah, I landed my proportion of the ivory, resolving to
proceed on my journey by land. I made vast sums of my ivory,
bought several rarities, which I intended for presents, and when
my equipage was ready, set out in company with a large caravan of
merchants. I was a long time on the way, and suffered much, but
endured all with patience, when I considered that I had nothing
to fear from the seas, from pirates, from serpents, or from the
other perils to which I had been exposed.

All these fatigues ended at last, and I arrived safe at Bagdad. I
went immediately to wait upon the caliph, and gave him an account
of my embassy. That prince said he had been uneasy, as I was so
long in returning, but that he always hoped God would preserve
me. When I told him the adventure of the elephants, he seemed
much surprised, and would never have given any credit to it had
he not known my veracity. He deemed this story, and the other
relations I had given him, to be so curious, that he ordered one
of his secretaries to write them in characters of gold, and lay
them up in his treasury. I retired well satisfied with the
honours I received, and the presents which he gave me; and ever
since I have devoted myself wholly to my family, kindred, and
friends.

Sinbad here finished the relation of his seventh and last voyage,
and then addressing himself to Hindbad, "Well, friend," said he,
"did you ever hear of any person that suffered so much as I have
done, or of any mortal that has gone through so many
vicissitudes? Is it not reasonable that, after all this I should
enjoy a quiet and pleasant life?" As he said this, Hindbad drew
near to him, and kissing his hand, said, "I must acknowledge,
                                                                    176
sir, that you have gone through many imminent dangers; my
troubles are not comparable to yours: if they afflict me for a
time, I comfort myself with the thoughts of the profit I get by
them. You not only deserve a quiet life, but are worthy of all
the riches you enjoy, because you make of them such a good and
generous use. May you therefore continue to live in happiness and
joy till the day of your death!" Sinbad gave him one hundred
sequins more, received him into the number of his friends,
desired him to quit his porter's employment, and come and dine
every day with him, that he might have reason to remember Sinbad
the voyager.




              THE THREE APPLES.



The Caliph Haroon al Rusheed one day commanded the grand vizier
Jaffier to come to his palace the night following. "Vizier," said
he, "I will take a walk round the town, to inform myself what
people say, and particularly how they are pleased with my
officers of justice. If there be any against whom they have cause
of just complaint, we will turn them out, and put others in their
stead, who shall officiate better. If, on the contrary, there be
any that have gained their applause, we will have that esteem for
them which they deserve." The grand vizier being come to the
palace at the hour appointed, the caliph, he, and Mesrour the
chief of the eunuchs, disguised themselves so that they could not
be known, and went out all three together.

They passed through several places, and by several markets. As
they entered a small street, they perceived by the light of the
moon, a tall man, with a white beard, who carried nets on his
head, and a staff in his hand. "To judge from his appearance,"
said the caliph, "that old man is not rich; let us go to him and
inquire into his circumstances." "Honest man," said the vizier,
"who art thou?" The old man replied, "Sir, I am a fisher, but one
of the poorest and most miserable of the trade. I went from my
house about noon a fishing, and from that time to this I have not
been able to catch one fish; at the same time I have a wife and
small children, and nothing to maintain them."

The caliph, moved with compassion, said to the fisherman, "Hast
thou the courage to go back and cast thy net once more? We will
give thee a hundred sequins for what thou shalt bring up." At
this proposal, the fisherman, forgetting all his day's toil, took
the caliph at his word, and returned to the Tigris, accompanied
                                                                    177
by the caliph, Jaaffier, and Mesrour; saying to himself as he
went, "These gentlemen seem too honest and reasonable not to
reward my pains; and if they give me the hundredth part of what
they promise, it will be an ample recompence."

They came to the bank of the river, and the fisherman, having
thrown in his net, when he drew it again, brought up a trunk
close shut, and very heavy. The caliph made the grand vizier pay
him one hundred sequins immediately, and sent him away. Mesrour,
by his master's order, carried the trunk on his shoulder, and the
caliph was so very eager to know what it contained, that he
returned to the palace with all speed. When the trunk was opened,
they found in it a large basket made of palm-leaves, shut up, and
the covering of it sewed with red thread. To satisfy the caliph's
impatience, they would not take time to undo it, but cut the
thread with a knife, and took out of the basket a package wrapt
up in a sorry piece of hanging, and bound about with a rope;
which being untied, they found, to their great amazement, the
corpse of a young lady, whiter than snow, all cut in pieces.

The astonishment of the caliph was great at this dreadful
spectacle. His surprise was instantly changed into passion, and
darting an angry look at the vizier, "Thou wretch," said he, "is
this your inspection into the actions of my people? Do they
commit such impious murders under thy ministry in my capital, and
throw my subjects into the Tigris, that they may cry for
vengeance against me at the day of judgment? If thou dost not
speedily avenge the murder of this woman, by the death of her
murderer, I swear by heaven, that I will cause thee and forty
more of thy kindred to be impaled." "Commander of the faithful,"
replied the grand vizier, "I beg your majesty to grant me time to
make enquiry." "I will allow thee no more," said the caliph,
"than three days."

The vizier Jaaffier went home in great perplexity. "Alas!" said
he "how is it possible that in such a vast and populous city as
Bagdad, I should he able to detect a murderer, who undoubtedly
committed the crime without witness, and perhaps may be already
gone from hence? Any other vizier than I would take some wretched
person out of prison, and cause him to be put to death to satisfy
the caliph; but I will not burden my conscience with such a
barbarous action; I will rather die than preserve my life by the
sacrifice of another innocent person."

He ordered the officers of the police and justice to make strict
search for the criminal. They sent their servants about, and they
were not idle themselves, for they were no less concerned in this
matter than the vizier. But all their endeavours were to no
purpose; what pains soever they took they could not discover the
                                                                    178
murderer; so that the vizier concluded his life to be lost.

The third day being arrived, an officer came to the unfortunate
minister, with a summons to follow him, which the vizier obeyed.
The caliph asked him for the murderer. He answered, "Commander of
the faithful, I have not found any person that could give me the
least account of him." The caliph, full of fury and rage, gave
him many reproachful words, and ordered that he and forty
Bermukkees should be impaled at the gate of the palace.

In the mean while the stakes were preparing, and orders were sent
to seize forty Bermukkees in their houses; a public crier was
sent about the city by the caliph's order, to cry thus: "Those
who have a desire to see the grand vizier Jaaffier impaled, with
forty of his kindred, let them come to the square before the
palace."

When all things were ready, the criminal judge, and many officers
belonging to the palace, having brought out the grand vizier with
the forty Bermukkees, set each by the stake designed for him. The
multitude of people that filled the square could not without
grief and tears behold this tragical sight; for the grand vizier
and the Bermukkees were loved and honoured on account of their
probity, bounty, and impartiality, not only in Bagdad, but
through all the dominions of the caliph.

Nothing could prevent the execution of this prince's severe and
irrevocable sentence, and the lives of the most deserving people
in the city were just going to be sacrificed, when a young man of
handsome mien pressed through the crowd till he came up to the
grand vizier, and after he had kissed his hand, said, "Most
excellent vizier, chief of the emirs of this court, and comforter
of the poor, you are not guilty of the crime for which you stand
here. Withdraw, and let me expiate the death of the lady that was
thrown into the Tigris. It is I who murdered her, and I deserve
to be punished for my offence."

Though these words occasioned great joy to the vizier, yet he
could not but pity the young man, in whose look he saw something
that instead of evincing guilt was engaging: but as he was about
to answer him, a tall man advanced in years, who had likewise
forced his way through the crowd, came up to him, saying, "Do not
believe what this young man tells you, I killed that lady who was
found in the trunk, and this punishment ought only to fall upon
me. I conjure you in the name of God not to punish the innocent
for the guilty." "Sir," said the young man to the vizier, "I do
protest that I am he who committed this vile act, and nobody else
had any concern in it." "My son," said the old man, "it is
despair that brought you hither, and you would anticipate your
                                                                    179
destiny. I have lived a long while in the world, and it is time
for me to be gone; let me therefore sacrifice my life for yours."
"Sir," said he again to the vizier, "I tell you once more I am
the murderer; let me die without delay."

The controversy between the old and the young man induced the
grand vizier to carry them both before the caliph, to which the
judge criminal consented, being glad to serve the vizier. When he
came before the prince, he kissed the ground seven times, and
spake after this manner: "Commander of the faithful, I have
brought here before your majesty this old and this young man,
each of whom declares himself to be the sole murderer of the
lady." The caliph asked the criminals which of them it was that
so cruelly murdered the lady, and threw her into the Tigris? The
young man assured him it was he, but the old man maintained the
contrary. "Go," said the caliph to the grand vizier, "and cause
them both to be impaled." "But, Sir," said the vizier, "if only
one of them be guilty, it would be unjust to take the lives of
both." At these words the young man spoke again, "I swear by the
great God, who has raised the heavens so high, that I am the man
who killed the lady, cut her in pieces, and about four days ago
threw her into the Tigris. I renounce my part of happiness
amongst the just at the day of judgment, if what I say be not
truth; therefore I am he that ought to suffer." The caliph being
surprised at this oath, believed him; especially since the old
man made no answer. Whereupon, turning to the young man,
"Wretch," said he, "what made thee commit that detestable crime,
and what is it that moves thee to offer thyself voluntarily to
die?" "Commander of the faithful," said he, "if all that has past
between that lady and me were set down in writing, it would be a
history that might be useful to other men." "I command thee then
to relate it," said the caliph. The young man obeyed, and began
his history.




The Story of the Lady who was Murdered, and of the Young Man her
                 Husband.



Commander of the faithful, this murdered lady was my wife,
daughter of this old man, who is my uncle by the father's side.
She was not above twelve years old, when eleven years ago he gave
her to me. I have three children by her, all boys, yet alive, and
I must do her the justice to say, that she never gave me the
least occasion for offence; she was chaste, of good behaviour,
and made it her whole business to please me. And on my part I
                                                                    180
ardently loved her, and in every thing rather anticipated than
opposed her wishes.

About two months ago she fell sick; I took all imaginable care of
her, and spared nothing that could promote her speedy recovery.
After a month thus passed she began to grow better, and expressed
a wish to go to the bath. Before she went, "Cousin," said she
(for so she used to call me out of familiarity), "I long for some
apples; if you would get me any, you would greatly please me. I
have longed for them a great while, and I must own it is come to
that height, that if I be not satisfied very soon, I fear some
misfortune will befall me." "I will cheerfully try," said I, "and
do all in my power to make you easy."

I went immediately round all the markets and shops in the town to
seek for apples, but I could not get one, though I offered to pay
a sequin a piece. I returned home much dissatisfied at my
failure; and for my wife, when she returned from the bagnio, and
saw no apples, she became so very uneasy, that she could not
sleep all night. I got up by times in the morning, and went
through all the gardens, but had no better success than the day
before; only I happened to meet an old gardener, who told me,
that all my pains would signify nothing, for I could not expect
to find apples any where but in your majesty's garden at
Bussorah. As I loved my wife passionately, and would not neglect
to satisfy her, I dressed myself in a traveller's habit, and
after I had told her my design, went to Bussorah, and made my
journey with such speed, that I returned at the end of fifteen
days with three apples, which cost me a sequin apiece, for as
there were no more left, the gardener would not let me have them
for less. As soon as I came home, I presented them to my wife,
but her longing had ceased, she satisfied herself with receiving
them, and laid them down by her. In the mean time she continued
sickly, and I knew not what remedy to procure for her relief.

Some few days after I returned from my journey, sitting in my
shop in the public place where all sorts of fine stuffs are sold,
I saw an ugly, tall, black slave come in, with an apple in his
hand, which I knew to be one of those I had brought from
Bussorah. I had no reason to doubt it, because I was certain
there was not one to be had in Bagdad, nor in any of the gardens
in the vicinity. I called to him, and said, "Good slave, pr'ythee
tell me where thou hadst this apple?" "It is a present" (said he,
smiling) "from my mistress. I went to see her to-day, and found
her out of order. I saw three apples lying by her, and asked her
where she had them. She told me the good man, her husband, had
made a fortnight's journey on purpose, and brought them to her.
We had a collation together; and, when I took my leave of her, I
brought away this apple."
                                                                    181
This account rendered me distracted. I rose, shut up my shop, ran
home with all speed, and going to my wife's chamber, looked
immediately for the apples, and seeing only two, asked what was
become of the third. My wife, turning her head to the place where
the apples lay, and perceiving there were but two, answered me
coldly, "Cousin, I know not what is become of it." At this reply
I was convinced what the slave had told me was true; and giving
myself up to madness and jealousy, drew my knife from my girdle,
and thrust it into the unfortunate creature's throat. I
afterwards cut off her head, and divided her body into four
quarters, which I packed up in a bundle, sewed it up with a
thread of red yarn, put all together in a trunk, and when night
came, carried it on my shoulder down to the Tigris, where I sunk
it.

The two youngest of my children were asleep, the third was out;
but at my return, I found him sitting by my gate, weeping. I
asked him the reason; "Father," said he, "I took this morning
from my mother, without her knowledge, one of those three apples
you brought her, and kept it a long while; but, as I was playing
some time ago with my little brother in the street, a tall slave
passing by snatched it out of my hands, and carried it away. I
ran after him, demanding it back, and besides told him, that it
belonged to my mother, who was sick; and that you had made a
fortnight's journey to procure it; but all to no purpose, he
would not restore it. And as I still followed him, crying out, he
turned and beat me, and then ran away as fast as he could from
one lane to another, till at length I lost sight of him. I have
since been walking without the town expecting your return, to
pray you, dear father, not to tell my mother of it, lest it
should make her worse!" When he had thus spoken he fell a weeping
again more bitterly than before.

My son's account afflicted me beyond measure. I then found myself
guilty of an enormous crime, and repented too late of having so
easily believed the calumnies of a wretched slave, who, from what
he had learnt of my son, had invented that fatal falsehood.

My uncle here present came just at that time to see his daughter,
but instead of finding her alive, understood from me that she was
dead, for I concealed nothing from him; and without staying for
his censure, declared myself the greatest criminal in the world.

Upon this, instead of reproaching me, he joined his tears with
mine, and we together wept three days without intermission, he
for the loss of a daughter whom he had loved tenderly; and I for
the loss of a beloved wife, of whom I had deprived myself in so
cruel a manner by giving too easy credit to the report of a lying
                                                                    182
slave.

This, commander of the faithful, is the sincere confession your
majesty required from me. You have now heard all the
circumstances of my crime, and I must humbly beg of you to order
the punishment due for it; how severe soever it may be, I shall
not in the least complain, but esteem it too easy and light.

The caliph was much astonished at the young man's relation. But
this just prince, finding he was rather to be pitied than
condemned, began to speak in his favour: "This young man's
crime," said he, "is pardonable before God, and excusable with
men. The wicked slave is the sole cause of this murder; it is he
alone that must be punished: wherefore," continued he, looking
upon the grand vizier, "I give you three days' time to find him
out; if you do not bring him within that space, you shall die in
his stead." The unfortunate Jaaffier, had thought himself out of
danger, was perplexed at this order of the caliph; but as he
durst not return any answer to the prince, whose hasty temper he
knew too well, he departed from his presence, and retired
melancholy to his house, convinced that he had but three days to
live; for he was so fully persuaded that he should not find the
slave, that he made not the least enquiry after him. "Is it
possible," said he, "that in such a city as Bagdad, where there
is an infinite number of negro slaves, I should be able to find
him out that is guilty? Unless God be pleased to interpose as he
hath already to detest the murderer, nothing can save my life."

He spent the first two days in mourning with his family, who sat
round him weeping and complaining of the caliph's cruelty. The
third day being arrived, he prepared himself to die with courage,
as an honest minister, and one who had nothing to trouble his
conscience; he sent for notaries and witnesses' who signed his
will. After which he took leave of his wife and children, and
bade them farewell. All his family were drowned in tears, so that
there never was a more sorrowful spectacle. At last a messenger
came from the caliph to tell him that he was out of all patience,
having heard nothing from him concerning the negro slave whom he
had commanded him to search for; "I am therefore ordered," said
the messenger, "to bring you before his throne." The afflicted
vizier, obeyed the mandate, but as he was going out, they brought
him his youngest daughter, about five or six years of age, to
receive his last blessing.

As he had a particular affection for that child, he prayed the
messenger to give him leave to stop a moment, and taking his
daughter in his arms, kissed her several times: as he kissed her,
he perceived she had something in her bosom that looked bulky,
and had a sweet scent. "My dear little one," said he, "what hast
                                                                    183
thou in thy bosom?" "My dear father," she replied, "it is an
apple which our slave Rihan sold me for two sequins."

At these words apple and slave, the grand vizier, uttered an
exclamation of surprise, intermixed with joy, and putting his
hand into the child's bosom, pulled out the apple. He caused the
slave, who was not far off, to be brought immediately, and when
he came, "Rascal," said he, "where hadst thou this apple?" "My
lord," replied the slave, "I swear to you that I neither stole it
in your house, nor out of the commander of the faithful's garden;
but the other day, as I was passing through a street where three
or four children were at play, one of them having it in his hand,
I snatched it from him, and carried it away. The child ran after
me, telling me it was not his own, but belonged mother, who was
sick; and that his father, to satisfy her longing, had made a
long journey, and brought home three apples, whereof this was
one, which he had taken from his mother without her knowledge. He
said all he could to prevail upon me to give it him back, but I
refused, and so brought it home, and sold it for two sequins to
the little lady your daughter."

Jaaffier could not reflect without astonishment that the
mischievousness of a slave had been the cause of an innocent
woman's death, and nearly of his own. He carried the slave along
with him, and when he came before the caliph, gave the prince an
exact account of what the slave had told him, and the chance
which led him to the discovery of his crime.

Never was any surprise so great as that of the caliph, yet he
could not refrain from falling into excessive fits of laughter.
At last he recovered himself, and with a serious air told the
vizier, that since his slave had been the occasion of murder, he
deserved an exemplary punishment. "I must own it," said the
vizier, "but his guilt is not unpardonable: I remember the
wonderful history of a vizier, of Cairo, and am ready to relate
it, upon condition that if your majesty finds it more astonishing
than that which gives me occasion to tell it, you will be pleased
to pardon my slave." "I consent," said the caliph; "but you
undertake a hard task, for I do not believe you can save your
slave, the story of the apples being so very singular." Upon
this, Jaaffier began his story thus:




 The Story of Noor ad Deen Ali and Buddir ad Deen Houssun.



                                                                    184
Commander of the faithful, there was formerly a sultan of Egypt,
a strict observer of justice, gracious, merciful, and liberal,
and his valour made him terrible to his neighbours. He loved the
poor, and protected the learned, whom he advanced to the highest
dignities. This sultan had a vizier, who was prudent, wise,
sagacious, and well versed in all sciences. This minister had two
sons, who in every thing followed his footsteps. The eldest was
called Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, and the younger Noor ad Deen Ali.
The latter was endowed with all the good qualities that man could
possess.

The vizier their father being dead, the sultan caused them both
to put on the robes of a vizier, "I am as sorry," said he, "as
you are for the loss of your father; and because I know you live
together, and love one another cordially, I will bestow his
dignity upon you conjointly; go, and imitate your father's
conduct."

The two new viziers humbly thanked the sultan, and retired to
make due preparation for their father's interment. They did not
go abroad for a month, after which they repaired to court, and
attended their duties. When the sultan hunted, one of the
brothers accompanied him, and this honour they had by turns. One
evening as they were conversing together after a cheerful meal,
the next day being the elder brother's turn to hunt with the
sultan, he said to his younger brother, "Since neither of us is
yet married, and we live so affectionately together, let us both
wed the same day sisters out of some family that may suit our
quality. What do you think of this plan?" "Brother," answered the
other vizier, "there cannot be a better thought; for my part, I
will agree to any thing you approve." "But this is not all," said
the elder; "my fancy carries me farther: Suppose both our wives
should conceive the first night of our marriage, and should
happen to be brought to bed on one day, yours of a son, and mine
of a daughter, we will give them to each other in marriage."
"Nay," said Noor ad Deen aloud, "I must acknowledge that this
prospect is admirable; such a marriage will perfect our union,
and I willingly consent to it. But then, brother," said he
farther, "if this marriage should happen, would you expect that
my son should settle a jointure on your daughter?" "There is no
difficulty in that," replied the other; "for I am persuaded, that
besides the usual articles of the marriage contract, you will not
fail to promise in his name at least three thousand sequins,
three landed estates, and three slaves." "No," said the younger
"I will not consent to that; are we not brethren, and equal in
title and dignity? Do not you and I know what is just? The male
being nobler than the female, it is your part to give a large
dowry with your daughter. By what I perceive, you are a man that
would have your business done at another's charge."
                                                                    185
Although Noor ad Deen spoke these words in jest, his brother
being of a hasty temper, was offended, and falling into a passion
said, "A mischief upon your son, since you prefer him before my
daughter. I wonder you had so much confidence as to believe him
worthy of her; you must needs have lost your judgment to think
you are my equal, and say we are colleagues. I would have you to
know, that since you are so vain, I would not marry my daughter
to your son though you would give him more than you are worth."
This pleasant quarrel between two brothers about the marriage of
their children before they were born went so far, that Shumse ad
Deen concluded by threatening: "Were I not to-morrow," said he,
"to attend the sultan, I would treat you as you deserve; but at
my return, I will make you sensible that it does not become a
younger brother to speak so insolently to his elder as you have
done to me." Upon this he retired to his apartment in anger.

Shumse ad Deen rising early next morning, attended the sultan,
who went to hunt near the pyramids. As for Noor ad Deen, he was
very uneasy all night, and supposing it would not be possible to
live longer with a brother who had treated him with so much
haughtiness, he provided a stout mule, furnished himself with
money and jewels, and having told his people that he was going on
a private journey for two or three days, departed.

When out of Cairo, he rode by way of the desert towards Arabia;
but his mule happening to tire, was forced to continue his
journey on foot. A courier who was going to Bussorah, by good
fortune overtaking him, took him up behind him. As soon as the
courier reached that city, Noor ad Deen alighted, and returned
him thanks for his kindness. As he went about to seek for a
lodging, he saw a person of quality with a numerous retinue, to
whom all the people shewed the greatest respect, and stood still
till he had passed. This personage was grand vizier, to the
sultan of Bussorah, who was passing through the city to see that
the inhabitants kept good order and discipline.

This minister casting his eyes by chance on Noor ad Deen Ali,
perceiving something extraordinary in his aspect, looked very
attentively upon him, and as he saw him in a traveller's habit,
stopped his train, asked him who he was, and from whence he came?
"Sir," said Noor ad Deen, "I am an Egyptian, born at Cairo, and
have left my country, because of the unkindness of a near
relation, resolved to travel through the world, and rather to die
than return home." The grand vizier, who was a good-natured man,
after hearing these words, said to him, "Son, beware; do not
pursue your design; you are not sensible of the hardships you
must endure. Follow me; I may perhaps make you forget the
misfortunes which have forced you to leave your own country."
                                                                    186
Noor ad Deen followed the grand vizier, who soon discovered his
good qualities, and conceived for him so great an affection, that
one day he said to him in private, "My son, I am, as you see, so
far gone in years, that it is not probable I shall live much
longer. Heaven has bestowed on me only one daughter, who is as
beautiful as you are handsome, and now fit for marriage. Several
nobles of the highest rank at this court have sought her for
their sons, but I would not grant their request. I have an
affection for you, and think you so worthy to be received into my
family, that, preferring you before all those who have demanded
her, I am ready to accept you for my son-in-law. If you like the
proposal, I will acquaint the sultan my master that I have
adopted you by this marriage, and intreat him to grant you the
reversion of my dignity of grand vizier in the kingdom of
Bussorah. In the mean time, nothing being more requisite for me
than ease in my old age, I will not only put you in possession of
great part of my estate, but leave the administration of public
affairs to your management."

When the grand vizier had concluded this kind and generous
proposal, Noor ad Deen fell at his feet, and expressing himself
in terms that demonstrated his joy and gratitude, assured him,
that he was at his command in every way. Upon this the vizier
sent for his chief domestics, ordered them to adorn the great
hall of his palace, and prepare a splendid feast. He afterwards
sent to invite the nobility of the court and city, to honour him
with their company; and when they were all met (Noor ad Deen
having made known his quality), he said to the noblemen present,
for he thought it proper to speak thus on purpose to satisfy
those to whom he had refused his alliance, "I am now, my lords,
to discover a circumstance which hitherto I have keep a secret. I
have a brother, who is grand vizier to the sultan of Egypt. This
brother has but one son, whom he would not marry in the court of
Egypt, but sent him hither to wed my daughter in order that both
branches of our family may be united. His son, whom I knew to be
my nephew as soon as I saw him, is the young man I now present to
you as my son-in-law. I hope you will do me the honour to be
present at his wedding, which I am resolved to celebrate this
day." The noblemen, who could not be offended at his preferring
his nephew to the great matches that had been proposed, allowed
that he had very good reason for his choice, were willing to be
witnesses to the ceremony, and wished that God might prolong his
days to enjoy the satisfaction of the happy match.

The lords met at the vizier of Bussorah's palace, having
testified their satisfaction at the marriage of his daughter with
Noor ad Deen Ali, sat down to a magnificent repast, after which,
notaries came in with the marriage contrast, and the chief lords
                                                                    187
signed it; and when the company had departed, the grand vizier
ordered his servants to have every thing in readiness for Noor ad
Deen Ali, to bathe. He had fine new linen, and rich vestments
provided for him in the greatest profusion. Having bathed and
dressed, he was perfumed with the most odoriferous essences, and
went to compliment the vizier, his father-in-law, who was
exceedingly pleased with his noble demeanour. Having made him sit
down, "My son," said he, "you have declared to me who you are,
and the office you held at the court of Egypt. You have also told
me of a difference betwixt you and your brother, which occasioned
you to leave your country. I desire you to make me your entire
confidant, and to acquaint me with the cause of your quarrel; for
now you have no reason either to doubt my affection, or to
conceal any thing from me."

Noor ad Deen informed him of every circumstance of the quarrel;
at which the vizier, burst out into a fit of laughter, and said,
"This is one of the strangest occurrences I ever heard. Is it
possible, my son, that your quarrel should rise so high about an
imaginary marriage? I am sorry you fell out with your elder
brother upon such a frivolous matter; but he was also wrong in
being angry at what you only spoke in jest, and I ought to thank
heaven for that difference which has procured me such a son-in-
law. But," continued the vizier, "it is late, and time for you to
retire; go to your bride, my son, she expects you: to-morrow, I
will present you to the sultan, and hope he will receive you in
such a manner as shall satisfy us both." Noor ad Deen Ali took
leave of his father-in-law, and retired to his bridal apartment.

It is remarkable that Shumse ad Deen Mahummud happened also to
marry at Cairo the very same day that this marriage was
solemnized at Bussorah, the particulars of which are as follow:

After Noor ad Deen Ali left Cairo, with an intention never to
return, his elder brother, who was hunting with the sultan of
Egypt, was absent for a month; for the sultan being fond of the
chase, continued it often for so long a period. At his return,
Shumse ad Deen was much surprised when he understood, that under
presence of taking a short journey his brother departed from
Cairo on a mule the same day as the sultan, and had never
appeared since. It vexed him so much the more, because he did not
doubt but the harsh words he had used had occasioned his flight.
He sent a messenger in search of him, who went to Damascus, and
as far as Aleppo, but Noor ad Deen was then at Bussorah. When the
courier returned and brought no news of him, Shumse ad Deen
intended to make further inquiry after him in other parts; but in
the meantime matched with the daughter of one of the greatest
lords in Cairo, upon the same day in which his brother married
the daughter of the grand vizier, of Bussorah.
                                                                    188
At the end of nine months the wife of Shumse ad Deen was brought
to bed of a daughter at Cairo, and on the same day the lady of
Noor ad Deen was delivered of a son at Bussorah, who was called
Buddir ad Deen Houssun.

The grand vizier, of Bussorah testified his joy for the birth of
his grandson by gifts and public entertainments. And to shew his
son-in-law the great esteem he had for him, he went to the
palace, and most humbly besought the sultan to grant Noor ad Deen
Ali his office, that he might have the comfort before his death
to see his son in-law made grand vizier, in his stead.

The sultan, who had conceived a distinguished regard for Noor ad
Deen when the vizier, had presensed him upon his marriage, and
had ever since heard every body speak well of him, readily
granted his father-in-law's request, and caused Noor ad Deen
immediately to be invested with the robe and insignia of the
vizarut, such as state drums, standards, and writing apparatus of
gold richly enamelled and set with jewels.

The next day, when the father saw his son-in-law preside in
council, as he himself had done, and perform all the offices of
grand vizier, his joy was complete. Noor ad Deen Ali conducted
himself with that dignity and propriety which shewed him to have
been used to state affairs, and engaged the approbation of the
sultan, and reverence and affection of the people.

The old vizier of Bussorah died about four years afterwards with
great satisfaction, seeing a. branch of his family that promised
so fair to support its future consequence and respectability.

Noor ad Deen Ali, performed his last duty to him with all
possible love and gratitude. And as soon as his son Buddir ad
Deen Houssun had attained the age of seven years, provided him an
excellent tutor, who taught him such things as became his birth.
The child had a ready wit, and a genius capable of receiving all
the good instructions that could be given.

After Buddir ad Deen had been two years under the tuition of his
master, who taught him perfectly to read, he learnt the Koran by
heart. His father put him afterwards to other tutors, by whom his
mind was cultivated to such a degree, that when he was twelve
years of age he had no more occasion for them. And then, as his
physiognomy promised wonders, he was admired by all who saw him.

Hitherto his father had kept him to study, but now he introduced
him to the sultan, who received him graciously. The people who
saw him in the streets were charmed with his demeanour, and gave
                                                                    189
him a thousand blessings.

His father proposing to render him capable of supplying his
place, accustomed him to business of the greatest moment, on
purpose to qualify him betimes. In short, he omitted nothing to
advance a son he loved so well. But as he began to enjoy the
fruits of his labour, he was suddenly seized by a violent fit of
sickness; and finding himself past recovery, disposed himself to
die a good Mussulmaun.

In that last and precious moment he forgot not his son, but
called for him, and said, "My son, you see this world is
transitory; there is nothing durable but in that to which I shall
speedily go. You must therefore from henceforth begin to fit
yourself for this change, as I have done; you must prepare for it
without murmuring, so as to have no trouble of conscience for not
having acted the part of a really honest man. As for your
religion, you are sufficiently instructed in it, by what you have
learnt from your tutors, and your own study; and as to what
belongs to an upright man, I shall give you some instructions, of
which I hope you will make good use. As it is a necessary thing
to know one's self, and you cannot come to that knowledge without
you first understand who I am, I shall now inform you.

"I am a native of Egypt; my father, your grandfather, was first
minister to the sultan of that kingdom. I had myself the honour
to be vizier, to that sultan, and so has my brother, your uncle,
who I suppose is yet alive; his name is Shumse ad Deen Mahummud.
I was obliged to leave him, and come into this country, where I
have raised myself to the high dignity I now enjoy. But you will
understand all these matters more fully by a manuscript that I
shall give you."

At the same time, Noor ad Deen Ali gave to his son a memorandum
book, saying, "Take and read it at your leisure; you will find,
among other things, the day of my marriage, and that of your
birth. These are circumstances which perhaps you may hereafter
have occasion to know, therefore you must keep it very
carefully."

Buddir ad Deen Houssun being sincerely afflicted to see his
father in this condition, and sensibly touched with his
discourse, could not but weep when he received the memorandum
book, and promised at the same time never to part with it.

That very moment Noor ad Deen fainted, so that it was thought he
would have expired; but he came to himself again, and spoke as
follows:

                                                                    190
"My son, the first instruction I give you, is, Not to make
yourself familiar with all sorts of people. The way to live happy
is to keep your mind to yourself, and not to tell your thoughts
too easily.

"Secondly, Not to do violence to any body whatever, for in that
case you will draw every body's hatred upon you. You ought to
consider the world as a creditor, to whom you owe moderation,
compassion, and forbearance.

"Thirdly, Not to say a word when you are reproached; for, as the
proverb says, ‘He that keeps silence is out of danger.' And in
this case particularly you ought to practice it. You also know
what one of our poets says upon this subject, ‘That silence is
the ornament and safe-guard of life'; That our speech ought not
to be like a storm of hail that spoils all. Never did any man yet
repent of having spoken too little, whereas many have been sorry
that they spoke so much.

"Fourthly, To drink no wine, for that is the source of all vices.

" Fifthly, To be frugal in your way of living; if you do not
squander your estate, it will maintain you in time of necessity.
I do not mean you should be either profuse or niggardly; for
though you have little, if you husband it well, and lay it out on
proper occasions, you will have many friends; but if on the
contrary you have great riches, and make but a bad use of them,
all the world will forsake you, and leave you to yourself.

In short, the virtuous Noor ad Deen continued till the last
aspiration of his breath to give good advice to his son; and when
he was dead he was magnificently interred.

Noor ad Deen was buried with all the honours due to his rank.
Buddir ad Deen Houssun of Bussorah, for so he was called, because
born in that city, was with grief for the death of his father,
that instead of a month's time to mourn, according to custom, he
kept himself shut up in tears and solitude about two months,
without seeing any body, or so much as going abroad to pay his
duty to his sovereign. The sultan being displeased at his
neglect, and looking upon it as a alight, suffered his passion to
prevail, and in his anger, called for the new grand vizier, (for
he had created another on the death of Noor ad Deen), commanded
him to go to the house of the deceased, and seize upon it, with
all his other houses, lands, and effects, without leaving any
thing for Buddir ad Deen Houssun, and to confine his person.

The new grand vizier, accompanied by his officers, went
immediately to execute his commission. But one of Buddir ad Deen
                                                                    191
Houssun's slaves happening accidentally to come into the crowd,
no sooner understood the vizier's errand, than he ran before to
give his master warning. He found him sitting in the vestibule of
his house, as melancholy as if his father had been but newly
dead. He fell down at his feet out of breath, and alter he had
kissed the hem of his garment, cried out, "My lord, save yourself
immediately." The unfortunate youth lifting up his head,
exclaimed, "What news dost thou bring?" "My lord," said he,
"there is no time to be lost; the sultan is incensed against you,
has sent to confiscate your estates, and to seize your person."

The words of this faithful and affectionate slave occasioned
Buddir ad Deen Houssun great alarm. "May not I have so much
time," said he, "as to take some money and jewels along with me?"
``No, Sir," replied the slave, "the grand vizier, will be here
this moment; be gone immediately, save yourself." The unhappy
youth rose hastily from his sofa, put his feet in his sandals,
and after he had covered his head with the skirt of his vest,
that his face might not be known, fled, without knowing what way
to go, to avoid the impending danger.

He ran without stopping till he came to the public burying-
ground, and as it was growing dark, resolved to pass that night
in his father's tomb. It was a large edifice, covered by a dome,
which Noor ad Deen Ali, as is common with the Mussulmauns, had
erected for his sepulture. On the way Buddir ad Deen met a Jew,
who was a banker and merchant, and was returning from a place
where his affairs had called him, to the city.

The Jew, knowing Buddir ad Deen, stopped, and saluted him very
courteously.

Isaac the Jew, after he had paid his respects to Buddir ad Deen
Houssun, by kissing his hand, said, "My lord, dare I be so bold
as to ask whither you are going at this time of night alone, and
so much troubled? Has any thing disquieted you?" "Yes," said
Buddir ad Deen, "a while ago I was asleep, and my father appeared
to me in a dream, looking very fiercely upon me, as if much
displeased. I started out of my sleep in alarm, and came out
immediately to go and pray upon his tomb."

"My lord," said the Jew (who did not know the true reason why
Buddir ad Deen had left the town), "your father of happy memory,
and my good lord, had store of merchandize in several vessels,
which are yet at sea, and belong to you; I beg the favour of you
to grant me the refusal of them before any other merchant. I am
able to pay down ready money for all the goods that are in your
ships: and to begin, if you will give me those that happen to
come in the first that arrives in safety, I will pay you down in
                                                                    192
part of payment a thousand sequins," and drawing out a bag from
under his vest, he shewed it him sealed up with one seal.

Buddir ad Deen Houssun being banished from home, and dispossessed
of all that he had in the world, looked on this proposal of the
Jew as a favour from heaven, and therefore accepted it with joy.
"My lord," said the Jew, "then you sell me for a thousand sequins
the lading of the first of your ships that shall arrive in port?"
"Yes," answered Buddir ad Deen, "I sell it to you for a thousand
sequins; it is done." Upon this the Jew delivered him the bag of
a thousand sequins, and offered to count them, but Buddir ad Deen
said he would trust his word. "Since it is so, my lord," said he,
"be pleased to favour me with a small note of the bargain we have
made." As he spoke, he pulled the inkhorn from his girdle, and
taking a small reed out of it neatly cut for writing, presented
it to him with a piece of paper. Buddir ad Deen Houssun wrote
these words:

"This writing is to testify, that Buddir ad Deen Houssun of
Bussorah, has sold to Isaac the Jew, for the sum of one thousand
sequins, received in hand, the lading of the first of his ships
that shall arrive in this port."

This note he delivered to the Jew, after having stamped it with
his seal, and then took his leave of him.

While Isaac pursued his journey to the city, Buddir ad Deen made
the best of his way to his father's tomb. When he came to it, he
prostrated himself to the ground, and, with his eyes full of
tears, deplored his miserable condition. "Alas!" said he,
"unfortunate Buddir ad Deen, what will become of thee? Whither
canst thou fly for refuge against the unjust prince who
persecutes thee? Was it not enough to be afflicted by the death
of so dear a father? Must fortune needs add new misfortunes to
just complaints?" He continued a long time in this posture, but
at last rose up, and leaning his head upon his father's
tombstone, his sorrows returned more violently than before; so
that he sighed and mourned, till, overcome with heaviness, he
sunk upon the floor, and drops asleep.

He had not slept long, when a genie, who had retired to the
cemetery during the day, and was intending, according to his
custom, to range about the world at night, entered the sepulchre,
and finding Buddir ad Deen lying on his back, was surprised at
his beauty.

When the genie had attentively considered Buddir ad Deen Houssun,
he said to himself, "To judge of this creature by his beauty, he
would seem to be an angel of the terrestrial paradise, whom God
                                                                    193
has sent to put the world in a flame by his charms." At last,
after he had satisfied himself with looking at him, he tool; a
flight into the air, where meeting by chance with a perie, they
saluted one another; after which he said to her, "Pray descend
with me into the cemetery, where I dwell, and I will shew you a
beauty worthy your admiration." The perie consented, and both
descended in an instant; they came into the tomb. "Look," said
the genie, shewing her Buddir ad Deen Houssun, "did you ever see
a youth more beautiful?"

The perie having attentively observed Buddir ad Deen, replied, "I
must confess that he is a very handsome man, but I am just come
from seeing an objets at Cairo, more admirable than this; and if
you will hear me, I will relate her unhappy fate." "You will very
much oblige me," answered the genie. "You must know then," said
the perie, "that the sultan of Egypt has a vizier, Shumse ad Deen
Mahummud, who has a daughter most beautiful and accomplished. The
sultan having heard of this young lady's beauty, sent the other
day for her father, and said, ‘I understand you have a daughter
to marry; I would have her for my bride: will not you consent?'
The vizier, who did not expect this proposal, was troubled, and
instead of accepting it joyfully, which another in his place
would certainly have done, he answered the sultan: ‘May it please
your majesty, I am not worthy of the honour you would confer upon
me, and I most humbly beseech you to pardon me, if I do not
accede to your request. You know I had a brother, who had the
honour, as well as myself, to be one of your viziers: we had some
difference together, which was the cause of his leaving me
suddenly. Since that time I have had no account of him till
within these four days, that I heard he died at Bussorah, being
grand vizier to the sultan of that kingdom.

"‘He has left a son, and there having been an agreement between
us to match our children together, I am persuaded he intended
that match when he died; and being desirous to fulfil the promise
on my part, I conjure your majesty to grant me permission.'

"The sultan of Egypt, provoked at this denial of his vizier said
to him in anger which he could not restrain: ‘Is this the way in
which you requite my condescension in stooping so low as to
desire your alliance? I know how to revenge your presumption in
daring to prefer another to me, and I swear that your daughter
shall be married to the most contemptible and ugly of my slaves.'
Having thus spoken, he angrily commanded the vizier to quit his
presence. The vizier retired to his palace full of confusion, and
overwhelmed in despair.

"This very day the sultan sent for one of his grooms, who is
hump-backed, big-bellied, crook legged, and as ugly as a
                                                                    194
hobgoblin; and after having commanded the vizier to marry his
daughter to this ghastly slave, he caused the contract to be made
and signed by witnesses in his own presence. The preparations for
this fantastical wedding are all ready, and this very moment all
the slaves belonging to the lords of the court of Egypt are
waiting at the door of a bath, each with a flambeau in his hand,
for the crook-back groom, who is bathing, to go along with them
to his bride, who is already dressed to receive him; and when I
departed from Cairo, the ladies met for that purpose were going
to conduct her in her nuptial attire to the hall, where she is to
receive her hump-backed bridegroom, and is this minute expecting
him. I have seen her, and do assure you, that no person can
behold her without admiration."

When the perie left off speaking, the genie said to her,
"Whatever you think or say, I cannot be persuaded that the girl's
beauty exceeds that of this young man." "I will not dispute it
with you," answered the perie; "for I must confess he deserves to
be married to that charming creature, whom they design for hump-
back; and I think it were a deed worthy of us to obstruct the
sultan of Egypt's injustice, and put this young gentleman in the
room of the slave." "You are in the right," answered the genie;
"I am extremely obliged to you for so good a thought; let us
deceive him. I consent to your revenge upon the sultan of Egypt;
let us comfort a distressed father, and make his daughter as
happy as she thinks herself miserable. I will do my utmost
endeavours to make this project succeed, and I am persuaded you
will not be backward. I will be at the pains to carry him to
Cairo before he awakes, and afterwards leave it to your care to
carry him elsewhere, when we have accomplished our design."

The perie and the genie having thus concerted what they had to
do, the genie lifted up Buddir ad Deen Houssun gently, and with
an inconceivable swiftness conveyed him through the air and set
him down at the door of a building next to the bath, whence hump-
back was to come with a train of slaves that waited for him.
Buddir ad Deen awoke, and was naturally alarmed at finding
himself in the middle of a city he knew not; he was going to cry
out, but the genie touched him gently on the shoulder, and forbad
him to speak. He then put a torch in his hand, saying, "Go, and
mix with the crowd at the door of the bath; follow them till you
come into a hall, where they are going to celebrate a marriage.
The bridegroom is a hump-backed fellow, and by that you will
easily know him. Put yourself at the right hand as you go in,
open the purse of sequins you have in your bosom, distribute them
among the musicians and dancers as they go along; and when you
are got into the hall, give money also to the female slaves you
see about the bride; but every time you put your hand in your
purse, be sure to take out a whole handful, and do not spare
                                                                    195
them. Observe to do everything exactly as I have desired you; be
not afraid of any person, and leave the rest to a superior power,
who will order matters as he thinks fit."

Buddir ad Deen, being well instructed in all that he was to do,
advanced towards the door of the bath. The first thing he did was
to light his torch at that of a slave; and then mixing among them
as if he belonged to some noblemen of Cairo, he marched along as
they did, and followed humpback, who came out of the bath, and
mounted a horse from the sultan's own stable.

Buddir ad Deen coming near to the musicians, and men and women
dancers, who went just before the bridegroom, pulled out time
after time whole handfuls of sequins, which he distributed among
them: and as he thus gave his money with an unparalleled grace
and engaging mien, all who received it fixed their eyes upon him;
and after they had a full view of his face, they found him so
handsome that they could not withdraw their attention.

At last they came to the gates of the vizier who little thought
his nephew was so near. The doorkeepers, to prevent any disorder,
kept back all the slaves that carried torches, and would not
admit them. Buddir ad Deen was likewise refused; but the
musicians, who had free entrance, stood still, and protested they
would not go in, if they hindered him from accompanying them. "He
is not one of the slaves'" said they; "look upon him, and you
will soon be satisfied. He is certainly a young stranger, who is
curious to see the ceremonies observed at marriages in this
city;" and saying thus, they put him in the midst of them, and
carried him with them in spite of the porters. They took his
torch out of his hand, gave it to the first they met, and having
brought him into the hall, placed him at the right hand of the
hump-backed bridegroom, who sat near the vizier's daughter on a
throne most richly adorned.

She appeared very lovely, but in her face there was nothing to be
seen but vexation and grief. The cause of this was easily to be
guessed, when she had by her side a bridegroom so very deformed,
and so unworthy of her love. The nuptial seat was in the midst of
an estrade. The ladies of the emirs, viziers, those of the
sultan's bed-chamber, and several other ladies of the court and
city, were placed on each side, a little lower, every one
according to her rank, and richly dressed, holding a large wax
taper in her hands.

When they saw Buddir ad Deen Houssun, all fixed their eyes upon
him, and admiring his shape, his behaviour, and the beauty of his
face, they could not forbear looking upon him. When he was seated
every one deft their seats, came near him to have a full view of
                                                                    196
his face, and all found themselves moved with love and
admiration.

The disparity between Buddir ad Deen Houssun and the hump-backed
groom, who made such a contemptible figure, occasioned great
murmuring among the company; insomuch that the ladies cried out,
"We must give our bride to this handsome young gentleman, and not
to this ugly humpback." Nor did they rest here, but uttered
imprecations against the sultan, who, abusing his absolute power,
would unite ugliness and beauty together. They also mocked the
bridegroom, so as to put him out of countenance, to the great
satisfaction of the spectators, whose shouts for some time put a
stop to the concert of music in the hall. At last the musicians
began again, and the women who had dressed the bride surrounded
her.

Each time that the bride retired to change her dress, she on her
return passed by hump-back without giving him one look, and went
towards Buddir ad Deen, before whom she presented herself in her
new attire. On this occasion, Buddir ad Deen, according to the
instructions given him by the genie, failed not to put his hands
in his purse, and pulled out handfuls of sequins, which he
distributed among the women that followed the bride. Nor did he
forget the players and dancers, but also threw money to them. It
was pleasant to see how they pushed one another to gather it up.
They shewed themselves thankful for his liberality.

When the ceremony of changing habits was passed, the music ceased
and the company retired. The bride repaired to the nuptial
chamber, whither her attendants followed to undress her, and none
remained in the hall but the hump-back groom, Buddir ad Deen, and
some of the domestics.

Hump-back, who was enraged at Buddir ad Deen, suspecting him to
be his rival, gave him a cross look, and said, "And thou, what
dost thou wait for? Why art thou not gone as well as the rest?
Depart!" Buddir ad Deen having no pretence to stay, withdrew, not
knowing what to do with himself. But before he got out of the
vestibule, the genie and the perie met and stopped him. "Whither
are you going?" said the perie; "stay, hump-back is not in the
hall, return, and introduce yourself into the bride's chamber. As
soon as you are alone with her, tell her boldly that you are her
husband, that the sultan's intention was only to make sport with
the groom. In the mean time we will take care that the hump-back
shall not return, and let nothing hinder your passing the night
with your bride, for she is yours and not his."

While the perie thus encouraged Buddir ad Deen, and instructed
him how he should behave himself, hump-back had really gone out
                                                                    197
of the room for a moment. The genie went to him in the shape of a
monstrous cat, mewing at a most fearful rate. Hump-back called to
the cat, he clapped his hands to drive her away, but instead of
retreating, she stood upon her hinder feet, staring with her eyes
like fire, looking fiercely at him, mewing louder than she did at
first, and increasing in size till she was as large as an ass. At
this sight, hump-back would have cried out for help, but his fear
was so great, that he stood gaping and could not utter one word.
That he might have no time to recover, the genie changed himself
immediately into a large buffalo, and in this stripe called to
him, with a voice that redoubled his fear, "Thou hump-backed
villain!" At these words the affrighted groom cast himself upon
the ground, and covering his face with his vest, that he might
not see this dreadful beast, "Sovereign prince of buffaloes,"
said he, "what is it you want of me?" "Woe be to thee," replied
the genie, "hast thou the presumption to venture to marry my
mistress?" "O my lord," said hump-back, "I pray you to pardon me,
if I am guilty, it is through ignorance. I did not know that this
lady had a buffalo to her sweetheart: command me in anything you
please, I give you my oath that I am ready to obey you." "By
death," replied the genie; "if thou goest out from hence, or
speakest a word till the sun rises, I will crush thy head to
pieces. I warn thee to obey, for if thou hast the impudence to
return, it shall cost thee thy life." When the genie had done
speaking, he transformed himself into the shape of a man, took
hump-back by the legs, and after having set him against the wall
with his head downwards, "If thou stir," said he, "before the sun
rise, as I have told thee already, I will take thee by the heels
again, and dash thy head in a thousand pieces against the wall."

To return to Buddir ad Deen. Prompted by the genie and the
presence of the perie, he returned to the hall, from whence he
slips into the bride-chamber, where he sat down, expecting the
success of his adventure. After a while the bride arrived,
conducted by an old matron, who came no farther than the door,
without looking in to see whether it were hump-back or another
that was there, and then retired.

The beautiful bride was agreeably surprised to find instead of
hump-back a handsome youth, who gracefully addressed her. "What!
my dear friend," said she, "by your being here at this time of
night you must be my husband's comrade?" "No, madam," said Buddir
ad Deen, "I am of another quality than that ugly hump-back."
"But," said she, "you do not consider that you speak degradingly
of my husband." "He your husband," replied he: "can you retain
those thoughts so long? Be convinced of your mistake, for so much
beauty must never be sacrificed to the most contemptible of
mankind. It is I that am the happy mortal for whom it is
reserved. The sultan had a mind to make himself merry, by putting
                                                                    198
this trick upon the vizier your father, but he chose me to be
your real husband. You might have observed how the ladies, the
musicians, the dancers, your women, and all the servants of your
family, were pleased with this comedy. We have sent hump-back to
his stable again."

At this discourse the vizier's daughter (who was more like one
dead than alive when she came into the bride-chamber) put on a
gay air, which made her so handsome, that Buddir ad Deen was
charmed with her graces.

"I did not expect," said she, "to meet with so pleasing a
surprise; and I had condemned myself to live unhappy all my days.
But my good fortune is so much the greater, that I possess in you
a man worthy of my tenderest affection."

Buddir ad Deen, overjoyed to see himself possessor of so many
charms, retired with his bride, and laid his vesture aside, with
the bag that he had from the Jew; which, notwithstanding all the
money he had dispersed, was still full.

Towards morning, while the two lovers were asleep, the genie, who
had met again with the perie, said, "It is time to finish what we
have so successfully carried on; let us not be overtaken by day-
light, which will soon appear; go you and bring off the young man
again without awaking him."

The perie went into the bed-chamber where the two lovers were
fast asleep, took up Buddir ad Deen in his under vest and
drawers; and in company with the genie with wonderful swiftness
fled away with him to the gates of Damascus in Syria, where they
arrived just at the time when the officers of the mosques,
appointed for that end, were calling the people to prayers at
break of day. The perie laid Buddir ad Deen softly on the ground,
close by the gate, and departed with the genie.

The gate of the city being opened, and many people assembled,
they were surprised to see a youth lying in his shirt and drawers
upon the ground. One said, "He has been hard put to it to get
away from his mistress, that he could not get time to put on his
clothes." "Look," said another, "how people expose themselves;
sure enough he has spent most part of the night in drinking with
his friends, till he has got drunk, and then, perhaps, having
occasion to go out, instead of returning, is come this length,
and not having his senses about him, was overtaken with sleep."
Others were of another opinion; but nobody could guess what had
been the real occasion of his coming thither.

A small puff of wind happening to blow at this time, uncovered
                                                                    199
his breast, which was whiter than snow. Every one being struck
with admiration at the fineness of his complexion, they spoke so
loud that they awaked him.

His surprise was as great as theirs, when he found himself at the
gate of a city where he had never been before, and encompassed by
a crowd of people gazing at him. "Inform me," said he, "for God's
sake, where I am, and what you would have?" One of the crowd
spoke to him saying, "Young man, the gates of the city were just
now opened, and as we came out we found you lying here in this
condition: have you lain here all night? and do not you know that
you are at one of the gates of Damascus?" "At one of the gates of
Damascus!" answered Buddir ad Deen, "surely you mock me. When I
lay down to sleep last night I was at Cairo." When he had said
this, some of the people, moved with compassion for him,
exclaimed, "It is a pity that such a handsome young man should
have lost his senses;" and so went away.

"My son," said an old man to him, "you know not what you say. How
is it possible that you, being this morning at Damascus, could be
last night at Cairo?" "It is true," said Buddir ad Deen, "and I
swear to you, that I was all day yesterday at Bussorah." He had
no sooner said this than all the people fell into a fit of
laughter, and cried out, "He's a fool, he's a madman." There were
some, however, that pitied him because of his youth; and one
among the company said to him, "My son, you must certainly be
crazed, you do not consider what you say. Is it possible that a
man could yesterday be at Bussorah, the same night at Cairo, and
this morning at Damascus? Surely you are asleep still, come rouse
up your spirits." "What I say," answered Buddir ad Deen Houssun,
"is so true that last night I was married in the city of Cairo."
All those who laughed before, could not forbear again at this
declaration. "Recollect yourself," said the same person who spoke
before; "you must have dreamt all this, and the fancy still
possesses your brain." "I am sensible of what I say," answered
the young man. "Pray can you tell me how it was possible for me
to go in a dream to Cairo, where I am very certain I was in
person, and where my bride was seven times brought before me,
each time dressed in a different habit, and where I saw an ugly
hump backed fellow, to whom they intended to give her? Besides, I
want to know what is become of my vest, my turban, and the bag of
sequins I had at Cairo?"

Though he assured them that all these things were matters of
fact, yet they could not forbear to laugh at him: which put him
into such confusion, that he knew not what to think of all those
adventures.

After Buddir ad Deen Houssun had confidently affirmed all that he
                                                                    200
said to be true, he rose up to go into the town, and every one
who followed him called out, "A madman, a fool." Upon this some
looked out at their windows, some came to their doors, and others
joined with those that were about him, calling out as they did,
"A madman;" but not knowing for what. In this perplexity the
affrighted young man happened to come before a pastry-cook's
shop, and went into it to avoid the rabble.

This pastry-cook had formerly been captain to a troop of Arabian
robbers, who plundered the caravans; and though he was become a
citizen of Damascus, where he behaved himself to every one's
satisfaction, yet he was dreaded by all who knew him; wherefore,
as soon as he came out to the rabble who followed Buddir ad Deen,
they dispersed.

The pastry-cook asked him who he was, and what brought him
thither. Buddir ad Deen told him all, not concealing his birth,
nor the death of his father the grand vizier. He afterwards gave
him an account why he had left Bussorah; how, after he had fallen
asleep the night following upon his father's tomb, he found
himself when he awoke at Cairo, where he had married a lady; and
at last, in what amazement he was, when he found himself at
Damascus, without being able to penetrate into all those
wonderful adventures.

"Your history is one of the most surprising," said the pastry-
cook; "but if you will follow my advice, you will let no man know
those matters you have revealed to me, but patiently wait till
heaven thinks fit to put an end to your misfortunes. You shall be
welcome to stay with me till then; and as I have no children, I
will own you for my son, if you consent; after you are so
adopted, you may freely walk the city, without being exposed any
more to the insults of the rabble."

Though this adoption was below the son of a grand vizier, Buddir
ad Deen was glad to accept of the pastry-cook's proposal, judging
it the best thing he could do, considering his circumstances. The
cook clothed him, called for witnesses, and went before a notary,
where he acknowledged him for his son. After this, Buddir ad Deen
lived with him under the name of Houssun, and learned the pastry-
trade.

While this passed at Damascus, the daughter of Shumse ad Deen
awoke, and finding Buddir ad Deen gone, supposed he had risen
softly for fear of disturbing her, but would soon return. As she
was in expectation of him, her father the vizier. (who was vexed
at the affront put upon him by the sultan) came and knocked at
her chamber-door, to bewail her sad destiny. He called her by her
name, and she knowing him by his voice, immediately got up, and
                                                                    201
opened the door. She kissed his hand, and received him with so
much pleasure in her countenance, that she surprised the vizier.
who expected to find her drowned in tears, and as much grieved as
himself. "Unhappy wretch!" said he in a passion, "do you appear
before me thus? after the hideous sacrifice you have just
consummated, can you see me with so much satisfaction?"

The new bride seeing her father angry at her pleasant
countenance, said to him, "For God's sake, sir, do not reproach
me wrongfully; it is not the hump-back fellow, whom I abhor more
than death, it is not that monster I have married. Every body
laughed him to scorn, and put him so out of countenance, that he
was forced to run away and hide himself, to make room for a noble
youth, who is my real husband." "What fable do you tell me?" said
Shumse ad Deen, roughly. "What! Did not crook-back lie with you
tonight?" "No, sir," said she, "it was the youth I mentioned, who
has large eyes and black eyebrows." At these words the vizier.
lost all patience, and exclaimed in anger, "Ah, wicked woman! you
will make me distracted!" "It is you, father," said she, "that
put me out of my senses by your incredulity." "So, it is not
true," replied the vizier, "that hump-back----" "Let us talk no
more of hump-back," said she, "a curse upon hump-back. Father, I
assure you once more, that I did not bed with him, but with my
dear spouse, who, I believe, is not far off."

Shumse ad Deen went out to seek him, but, instead of seeing
Buddir ad Deen, was surprised to find hump-back with his head on
the ground, and his heels uppermost, as the genie had set him
against the wall. "What is the meaning of this?" said he; "who
placed you thus?" Crookback, knowing it to be the vizier.
answered, "Alas! alas! it is you then that would marry me to the
mistress of a genie in the form of a buffalo."

Shumse ad Deen Mabummud, when he heard hump-back speak thus,
thought he was raving, bade him move, and stand upon his legs. "I
will take care how I stir," said hump-back, "unless the sun be
risen. Know, sir, that when I came last night to your palace,
suddenly a black cat appeared to me, and in an instant grew as
big as a buffalo. I have not forgotten what he enjoined me,
therefore you may depart, and leave me here." The vizier. instead
of going away, took him by the heels, and made him stand up, when
hump-back ran off, without looking behind him; and coming to the
palace presented himself to the sultan, who laughed heartily when
informed how the genie had served him.

Shumse ad Deen returned to his daughter's chamber, more
astonished than before. "My abused daughter," said he, "can you
give me no farther light in this miraculous affair?" "Sir,"
replied she, "I can give you no other account than I have done
                                                                    202
already. Here are my husband's clothes, which he put off last
night; perhaps you may find something among them that may solve
your doubt." She then shewed him Buddir ad Deen's turban, which
he examined narrowly on all sides, saying, "I should take this to
be a vizier's turban, if it were not made after the Bussorah
fashion." But perceiving something to be sewed between the stuff
and the lining, he called for scissors, and having unripped it,
found the paper which Noor ad Deen Ali had given to his son upon
his deathbed, and which Buddir ad Deen Houssun had sewn in his
turban for security.

Shumse ad Deen having opened the paper, knew his brother's hand,
and found this superscription, "For my son Buddir ad Deen
Houssun." Before he could make any reflections upon it, his
daughter delivered him the bag, that lay under the garments,
which he likewise opened, and found it full of sequins: for,
notwithstanding all the liberality of Buddir ad Deen, it was
still kept full by the genie and perie. He read the following
words upon a note in the bag: "A thousand sequins belonging to
Isaac the Jew." And these lines underneath, which the Jew had
written, "Delivered to my lord Buddir ad Deen Houssun, for the
cargo of the first of those ships that formerly belonged to the
noble vizier, his father, of blessed memory, sold to me upon its
arrival in this place." He had scarcely read these words, when he
groaned heavily, and fainted away.

The vizier Shumse ad Deen being recovered from his fit by the aid
of his daughter, and the women she called to her assistance;
"Daughter," said he, "do not alarm yourself at this accident,
occasioned by what is scarcely credible. Your bridegroom is your
cousin, the son of my beloved and deceased brother. The thousand
sequins in the bag reminds me of a quarrel I had with him, and is
without the dowry he gives you. God be praised for all things,
and particularly for this miraculous adventure, which
demonstrates his almighty power." Then looking again upon his
brother's writing, he kissed it several times, shedding abundance
of tears.

He looked over the book from beginning to end. In it he found the
date of his brother's arrival at Bussorah, of his marriage, and
of the birth of his son; and when he compared them with the day
of his own marriage, and the birth of his daughter at Cairo, he
wondered at the exact coincidence which appeared in every
circumstance.

The happy discovery put him into such a transport of joy, that he
took the book, with the ticket of the bag, and shewed them to the
sultan, who pardoned what was past, and was so much pleased with
the relation of this adventure, that he caused it with all its
                                                                    203
circumstances to be put in writing for the information of
posterity.

Meanwhile, the vizier. Shumse ad Deen could not comprehend the
reason why his nephew did not appear; he expected him every
moment, and was impatient to receive him to his arms. After he
had waited seven days in vain, he searched through all Cairo, but
could procure no intelligence of him, which threw him into great
perplexity. "This is the strangest occurrence," said he, "that
ever happened." In order to certify it, he thought fit to draw up
in writing with his own hand an account of the manner in which
the wedding had been solemnized; how the hall and his daughter's
bed-chamber were furnished, with the other circumstances. He
likewise made the turban, the bag, and the rest of Buddir ad
Deen's raiment into a bundle, and locked them up.

After some days were past, the vizier's daughter perceived
herself pregnant, and after nine months was brought to bed of a
son. A nurse was provided for the child, besides other women and
slaves to wait upon him; and his grandfather called him Agib.

When young Agib had attained the age of seven, the vizier,
instead of teaching him to read at home, put him to school with a
master who was in great esteem; and two slaves were ordered to
wait upon him. Agib used to play with his schoolfellows, and as
they were all inferior to him in rank, they shewed him great
respect, according to the example of their master, who many times
would pass by faults in him that he would correct in his other
pupils. This indulgence spoiled Agib; he became proud and
insolent, would have his play-fellows bear all from him, and
would submit to nothing from them, but be master every where; and
if any took the liberty to thwart him, he would call them a
thousand names, and many times beat them.

In short, all the scholars grew weary of his insolence, and
complained of him to their master. He answered, "That they must
have patience." But when he saw that Agib grew still more and
more overbearing, and occasioned him much trouble, "Children,"
said he to his scholars, "I find Agib is a little insolent
gentleman; I will shew you how to mortify him, so that he shall
never torment you any more. Nay, I believe it will make him leave
the school. When he comes again to-morrow, place yourselves round
him, and let one of you call out, "Come, let us play, but upon
condition, that every one who desires to play shall tell his own
name, and the names of his father and mother; they who refuse
shall be esteemed bastards, and not be suffered to play in our
company."

Next day when they were gathered together, they failed not to
                                                                    204
follow their master's instructions. They placed themselves round
Agib, and one of them called out, "Let us begin a play, but on
condition that he who cannot tell his own name, and that of his
father and mother, shall not play at all." They all cried out,
and so did Agib, "We consent." Then he that spoke first asked
every one the question, and all fulfilled the condition except
Agib, who answered, "My name is Agib, my mother is called the
lady of beauty, and my father Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, vizier to
the sultan."

At these words all the children cried out, "Agib, what do you
say? That is not the name of your father, but your grandfather."
"A curse on you," said he in a passion. "What! dare you say that
the vizier is not my father?" "No, no," cried they with great
laughter, "he is your grandfather, and you shall not play with
us. Nay we will take care how we come into your company." Having
spoken thus, they all left him, scoffing him, and laughing among
themselves, which mortified Agib so much that he wept.

The schoolmaster who was near, and heard all that passed, came
up, and speaking to Agib, said, "Agib, do not you know that the
vizier is not your father, but your grandfather, and the father
of your mother the lady of beauty? We know not the name of your
father any more than you do. We only know that the sultan was
going to marry your mother to one of his grooms, a humpback
fellow; but a genie lay with her. This is hard upon you, but
ought to teach you to treat your schoolfellows with less
haughtiness."

Agib being nettled at this, ran hastily out of the school. He
went directly sobbing to his mother's chamber, who being alarmed
to see him thus grieved, asked the reason. He could not answer
for tears, so great was his mortification, and it was long ere he
could speak plain enough to repeat what had been said to him, and
had occasioned his sorrow.

When he came to himself. "Mother," said he "for the love of God
be pleased to tell me who is my father?" "My son," she replied,
"Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, who every day caresses you so kindly,
is your father." "You do not tell me truth," returned Agib; "he
is your father, and none of mine. But whose son am I?" At this
question, the lady of beauty calling to mind her wedding night,
which had been succeeded by a long widowhood, began to shed
tears, repining bitterly at the loss of so handsome a husband as
Buddir ad Deen.

Whilst the lady of beauty and Agib were both weeping, the vizier
entered, who demanded the reason of their sorrow. The lady told
him the shame Agib had undergone at school, which so much
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affected the vizier that he joined his tears with theirs, and
judging from this that the misfortune which had happened to his
daughter was the common discourse of the town, he was mortified
to the quick.

Being thus afflicted, he went to the sultan's palace, and falling
prostrate at his feet, most humbly intreated permission to make a
journey in search of his nephew Buddir ad Deen Houssun. For he
could not bear any longer that the people of the city should
believe a genie had disgraced his daughter.

The sultan was much concerned at the vizier's affliction,
approved his resolution, and gave him leave to travel. He caused
a passport also to be written for him, requesting in the
strongest terms all kings and princes in whose dominions Buddir
ad Deen might sojourn, to grant that the vizier might conduct him
to Cairo.

Shumse ad Deen, not knowing how to express his gratitude to the
sultan, fell down before him a second time, while the floods of
tears he shed bore sufficient testimony to his feelings. At last,
having wished the sultan all manner of prosperity, he took his
leave and returned to his house, where he disposed every thing
for his journey; and the preparations were carried on with so
much diligence, that in four days after he left the city,
accompanied with his daughter the lady of beauty, and his
grandson Agib.

They travelled nineteen days without intermission; but on the
twentieth, arriving at a pleasant mead, a small distance from the
gate of Damascus, they halted, and pitched their tents upon the
banks of a river which fertilizes the vicinity, and runs through
the town, one of the pleasantest in Syria, once the capital of
the caliphs; and celebrated for its elegant buildings, the
politeness of its inhabitants, and the abundance of its
conveniences.

The vizier declared he would stay in that pleasent place two
days, and pursue his journey on the third. In the mean time he
gave his retinue leave to go to Damascus; and almost all of them
made use of it: some influenced by curiosity to see a city they
had heard so much of, and others by the opportunity of vending
the Egyptian goods they had brought with them, or buying stuffs,
and the rarities of the country. The beautiful lady desiring her
son Agib might share in the satisfaction of viewing that
celebrated city, ordered the black eunuch, who acted in quality
of his governor, to conduct him thither.

Agib, in magnificent apparel, went with the eunuch, who had a
                                                                    206
large cane in his hand. They had no sooner entered the city, than
Agib, fair and glorious as the day, attracted the eyes of the
people. Some got out of their houses to gain a nearer and
narrower view of him; others put their heads out of the windows,
and those who passed along the street were not satisfied in
stopping to look upon him, but kept pace with him, to prolong the
pleasure of the agreeable sight: in fine, there was not a person
that did not admire him, and bestow a thousand benedictions on
the father and mother that had given being to so fine a child. By
chance the eunuch and he passed by the shop of Buddir ad Deen
Houssun, and there the crowd was so great, that they were forced
to halt.

The pastry-cook who had adopted Buddir ad Deen Houssun had died
some years before, and left him his shop and all his property,
and he conducted the pastry trade so dexterously, that he had
gained great reputation in Damascus. Buddir ad Deen seeing so
great a crowd before his door, who were gazing so attentively
upon Agib and the black eunuch, stepped out to see them himself.

Having cast his eyes upon Agib, Buddir ad Deen found himself
moved, he knew not how, nor for what reason. He was not struck
like the people with the brilliant beauty of the boy; another
cause unknown to him gave rise to the uneasiness and emotion he
felt. It was the force of blood that wrought in this tender
father; who, laying aside his business, made up to Agib, and with
an engaging air, said to him: "My little lord, who hast won my
soul, be so kind as to come into my shop, and eat a bit of such
fare as I have; that I may have the pleasure of admiring you at
my ease." These words he pronounced with such tenderness, that
tears trickled from his eyes. Little Agib was moved when he saw
his emotion; and turning to the eunuch, said, "This honest man
speaks in such an affectionate manner, that I cannot avoid
complying with his request; let us step into his house, and taste
his pastry." "It would be a fine thing truly," replied the slave,
"to see the son of a vizier go into a pastry-cook's shop to eat;
do not imagine that I will suffer any such thing." "Alas! my
lord," cried Buddir ad Deen, "it is cruelty to trust the conduct
of you in the hands of a person who treats you so harshly." Then
applying himself to the eunuch, "My good friend," continued he,
"pray do not hinder this young lord from granting me the favour I
ask; do not put such mortification upon me: rather do me the
honour to walk in along with him, and by so doing, you will let
the world know, that, though your outside is brown like a
chestnut, your inside is as white. Do you know," continued he,
"that I am master of the secret to make you white, instead of
being black as you are?" This set the eunuch a laughing, and then
he asked what that secret was. "I will tell you," replied Buddir
ad Deen, who repeated some verses in praise of black eunuchs,
                                                                    207
implying, that it was by their ministry that the honour of
princes and of all great men was secured. The eunuch was so
charmed with these verses, that, without further hesitation, he
suffered Agib to go into the shop, and went in with him himself.

Buddir ad Deen Houssun was overjoyed at having obtained what he
had so passionately desired, and, falling again to the work he
had discontinued "I was making," said he, "cream-tarts; and you
must, with submission, eat of them. I am persuaded you will find
them good; for my own mother, who made them incomparably well,
taught me, and the people send to buy them of me from all
quarters of the town." This said, he took a cream-tart out of the
oven, and after strewing upon it some pomegranate kernels and
sugar, set it before Agib, who found it very delicious.

Another was served up to the eunuch, and he gave the same
judgment.

While they were both eating, Buddir ad Deen viewed Agib very
attentively; and after looking upon him again and again, it came
into his mind that possibly he might have such a son by his
charming wife, from whom he had been so soon and so cruelly
separated; and the very thought drew tears from his eyes. He
intended to have put some questions to little Agib about his
journey to Damascus; but the child had no time to gratify his
curiosity, for the eunuch pressing him to return to his
grandfather's tent, took him away as soon as he had done eating.
Buddir ad Deen Houssun, not contented with looking after him,
shut up his shop immediately, and followed him.

Buddir ad Deen Houssun ran after Agib and the eunuch, and
overtook them before they had reached the gate of the city. The
eunuch perceiving he followed them, was extremely surprised: "You
impertinent fellow," said he, with an angry tone, "what do you
want?" "My dear friend," replied Buddir ad Deen, "do not trouble
yourself; I have a little business out of town, and I must needs
go and look after it." This answer, however, did not at all
satisfy the eunuch, who turning to Agib, said, "This is all owing
to you; I foresaw I should repent of my complaisance; you would
needs go into the man's shop; it was not wisely done in me to
give you leave." "Perhaps," replied Agib, "he has real business
out of town, and the road is free to every body." While this
passed they kept walking together, without looking behind them,
till they came near the vizier's tents, upon which they turned
about to see if Buddir ad Deen followed them. Agib, perceiving he
was within two paces of him, reddened and whitened alternately,
according to the different emotions that affected him. He was
afraid the grand vizier his grandfather should come to know he
had been in the pastry shop, and had eaten there. In this dread,
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he took up a large stone that lay at his foot and throwing it at
Buddir ad Deen, hit him in the forehead, and wounded him so that
his face was covered with blood. The eunuch gave Buddir ad Deen
to understand, he had no reason to complain of a mischance that
he had merited and brought upon himself.

Buddir ad Deen turned towards the city staunching the blood of
the wound with his apron, which he had not put off. "I was a
fool," said he within himself, "for leaving my house, to take so
much pains about this brat; for doubtless he would never have
used me after this manner, if he had not thought I had some ill
design against him." When he got home, he had his wound dressed,
and softened the sense of his mischance by the reflection that
there was an infinite number of people upon the earth, who were
yet more unfortunate than he.

Buddir ad Deen kept on the pastry-trade at Damascus, and his
uncle Shumse ad Deen Mahummud went from thence three days after
his arrival. He went by way of Emaus, Hanah, and Halep; then
crossed the Euphrates, and after passing through Mardin,
Moussoul, Singier, Diarbeker, and several other towns, arrived at
last at Bussorah. Immediately after his arrival he desired
audience of the sultan, who was no sooner informed of his quality
than he admitted him to his presence, received him very
favourably, and inquired the occasion of his journey to Bussorah.
"Sire," replied the vizier "I come to know what is become of the
son of my brother, who has had the honour to serve your majesty."
"Noor ad Deen Ali," said the sultan, "has been long dead; as for
his son, all I can tell you of him is, that he disappeared
suddenly, about two months after his father's death, and nobody
has seen him since, notwithstanding all the inquiry I ordered to
be made. But his mother, who is the daughter of one of my
viziers, is still alive." Shumse ad Deen Mahummud desired leave
of the sultan to take her to Egypt; and having obtained
permission, without waiting till the next day, inquired after her
place of abode, and that very hour went to her house, accompanied
with his daughter and his grandson.

The widow of Noor ad Deen Ali resided still in the same place
where her husband had lived. It was a stately fabric, adorned
with marble pillars: but Shumse ad Deen did not stop to view it.
At his entry he kissed the gate, and the piece of marble upon
which his brother's name was written in letters of gold. He asked
to speak with his sister-in-law, and was told by her servants,
that she was in a small building covered by a dome, to which they
directed in the middle of a very spacious court. This tender
mother used to spend the greatest part of the day and night in
that room which she had built as a representation of the tomb of
her son Buddir ad Deen Houssun, whom she supposed to be dead
                                                                    209
after so long an absence. She was pouring tears over his memorial
when Shumse ad Deen entering, found her buried in the deepest
affliction.

He made his compliment, and after beseeching her to suspend her
tears and sighs, informed her he had the honour to be her
brother-in-law, and acquainted her with the reason of his journey
from Cairo to Bussorah.

Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, after acquainting his sister-in-law with
all that had passed at Cairo on his daughter's wedding-night, and
informing her of the surprise occasioned by the discovery of the
paper sewed up in Buddir ad Deen's turban, presented to her Agib
and the beautiful lady.

The widow of Noor ad Deen, who had still continued sitting like a
woman dejected, and weaned from the affairs of this world, no
sooner understood by his discourse that her dear son, whom she
lamented so bitterly, might still be alive, than she arose, and
repeatedly embraced the beautiful lady and her grandchild Agib;
and perceiving in the youth the features of Buddir ad Deen, drops
tears different from what she had been so long accustomed to
shed. She could not forbear kissing the youth, who, for his part,
received her embraces with all the demonstrations of joy he was
capable of shewing. "Sister," said Shumse ad Deen, "it is time to
dry your tears, and suppress your sighs; you must think of going
with us to Egypt. The sultan of Bussorah gives me leave to carry
you thither, and I doubt not you will consent. I am in hopes we
shall at last find out your son my nephew; and if we do, the
history of him, of you, of my own daughter, and of my own
adventures, will deserve to be committed to writing, and
transmitted to posterity."

The widow of Noor ad Deen heard this proposal with pleasure, and
ordered preparations to be made for her departure. While they
were making, Shumse ad Deen desired a second audience, and after
taking leave of the sultan, who dismissed him with ample marks of
respect, and gave him a considerable present for himself, and
another of great value for the sultan of Egypt, he set out from
Bussorah once more for the city of Damascus.

When he arrived in the neighbourhood of Damascus, he ordered his
tents to be pitched without the gate, at which he designed to
enter the city; and gave out he would tarry there three days, to
give his suit rest, and buy up curiosities to present to the
sultan of Egypt.

While he was employed in selecting the finest stuffs which the
principal merchants had brought to his tents, Agib begged the
                                                                    210
black eunuch his governor to carry him through the city, in order
to see what he had not had leisure to view before; and to inquire
what was become of the pastry cook whom he had wounded. The
eunuch complying with his request, went along with him towards
the city, after leave obtained of the beautiful lady his mother.

They entered Damascus by the Paradise-gate, which lay next to the
tents of the vizier They walked through the great squares and the
public places where the richest goods were sold, and took a view
of the superb mosque at the hour of prayer, between noon and sun-
set. When they passed by the shop of Buddir ad Deen Houssun, whom
they still found employed in making cream tarts, "I salute you
sir," said Agib; "do you know me? Do you remember you ever saw me
before?" Buddir ad Deen hearing these words, fixed his eyes upon
him, and recognizing him (such was the surprising effect of
paternal love!), felt the same emotion as when he saw him first;
he was confused, and instead of making any answer, continued a
long time without uttering a word. At length, recovering himself,
"My lord," said he, "be so kind as to come once more with your
governor into my house, and taste a cream-tart. I beg your
lordship's pardon, for the trouble I gave you in following you
out of town; I was at that time not myself, I did not know what I
did. You drew me after you, and the violence of the attraction
was so soft, that I could not withstand it."

Agib, astonished at what Buddir ad Deen said, replied: "There is
an excess in the kindness you express, and unless you engage
under oath not to follow me when I go from hence, I will not
enter your house. If you give me your promise, and prove a man of
your word, I will visit you again to-morrow, since the vizier my
grandfather, is still employed in buying up rarities for a
present to the sultan of Egypt." "My lord," replied Buddir ad
Deen, "I will do whatever you would have me." This said, Agib and
the eunuch went into the shop.

Presently after, Buddir ad Deen set before them a cream-tart,
that was full as good as what they had eaten before; "Come," said
Agib, "sit down by me, and eat with us." Buddir ad Deen sat down,
and attempted to embrace Agib, as a testimony of the joy he
conceived upon sitting by him. But Agib pushed him away, desiring
him not to be too familiar. Buddir ad Deen obeyed, and repeated
some extempore verses in praise of Agib: he did not eat, but made
it his business to serve his guests. When they had done, he
brought them water to wash, and a very white napkin to wipe their
hands. Then he filled a large china cup with sherbet, and put
snow into it; and offering it to Agib, "This," said he, "is
sherbet of roses; and I am sure you never tasted better." Agib
having drunk of it with pleasure, Buddir ad Deen took the cup
from him, and presented it to the eunuch, who drank it all off at
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once.

In fine, Agib and his governor having fared well, returned thanks
to the pastry-cook for their good entertainment, and moved
homewards, it being then late. When they arrived at the tents of
Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, Agib's grandmother received him with
transports of joy: her son ran always in her mind, and in
embracing Agib, the remembrance of him drew tears from her eyes.
"Ah, my child!" said she, "my joy would be perfect, if I had the
pleasure of embracing your father as I now embrace you." She made
Agib sit by her, and put several questions to him, relating to
the walk he had been taking with the eunuch; and when he
complained of being hungry, she gave him a piece of cream-tart,
which she had made for herself, and was indeed very good: she
likewise gave some to the eunuch.

Agib no sooner touched the piece of cream-tart that had been set
before him, than he pretended he did not like it, and left it
uncut; and Shubbaunee (which was the eunuch's name) did the same.
The widow of Noor ad Deen Ali observed with regret that her
grandson did not like the tart. "What!" said she, "does my child
thus despise the work of my hands? Be it known to you, no one in
the world can make such besides myself and your father, whom I
taught." "My good mother," replied Agib, "give me leave to tell
you, if you do not know how to make better, there is a pastry-
cook in this town that outdoes you. We were at his shop, and ate
of one much better than yours."

On hearing this, the grandmother, frowning upon the eunuch, said,
"How now, Shubbaunee, was the care of my grandchild committed to
you, to carry him to eat at pastry-shops like a beggar?" "Madam,"
replied the eunuch, "it is true, we did stop a little while and
talked with the pastry-cook, but we did not eat with him."
"Pardon me," said Agib, "we went into his shop, and there ate a
cream-tart." Upon this, the lady, more incensed against the
eunuch than before, rose in a passion from the table, and running
to the tent of Shumse ad Deen, informed him of the eunuch's
crime; and that in such terms, as tended more to inflame the
vizier than to dispose him to excuse it.

The vizier who was naturally passionate, did not fail on this
occasion to display his anger. He went forthwith to his sister-
in-law's tent, and said to the eunuch, "Wretch, have you the
impudence to abuse the trust I repose in you?" Shubbaunee, though
sufficiently convicted by Agib's testimony, denied the fact
still. But the child persisting in what he had affirmed,
"Grandfather," said he, "I can assure you we not only ate, but
that so very heartily, that we have no occasion for supper:
besides, the pastry-cook treated us also with a great bowl of
                                                                    212
sherbet." "Well," cried Shumse ad Deen, "after all this, will you
continue to deny that you entered the pastry-cook's house, and
ate there?" Shubbaunee had still the impudence to swear it was
not true. "Then you are a liar," said the vizier "I believe my
grandchild; but after all, if you can eat up this cream-tart I
shall be persuaded you have truth on your side."

Though Shubbaunee had crammed himself up to the throat before, he
agreed to stand that test, and accordingly took a piece of tart;
but his stomach rising against it, he was obliged to spit it out
of his mouth. Yet he still pursued the lie, and pretended he had
over-eaten himself the day before, and had not recovered his
appetite. The vizier irritated with all the eunuch's frivolous
presences, and convinced of his guilt, ordered him to be soundly
bastinadoed. In undergoing this punishment, the poor wretch
shrieked out aloud, and at last confessed the truth; "I own,"
cried he, "that we did eat a cream-tart at the pastry cook's, and
that it was much better than that upon the table."

The widow of Noor ad Deen thought it was out of spite to her, and
with a desire to mortify her, that Shubbaunee commended the
pastry-cook's tart; and accordingly said, "I cannot believe the
cook's tarts are better than mine; I am resolved to satisfy
myself upon that head. Where does he live? Go immediately and buy
me one of his tarts." The eunuch repaired to Buddir ad Deen's
shop, and said, "Let me have one of your cream-tarts; one of our
ladies wants to taste them." Buddir ad Deen chose one of the
best, and gave it to the eunuch.

Shubbaunee returned speedily to the tents, gave the tart to Noor
ad Deen's widow, who, snatching it greedily, broke a piece off;
but no sooner put it to her mouth, than she cried out and swooned
away. The vizier was extremely surprised at the accident; he
threw water upon her face, and was very active in recovering her.
As soon as she came to herself, "My God!" cried she, "it must
needs be my son, my dear Buddir ad Deen who made this tart."

When the vizier Shumse ad Deen heard his sister-in-law say, that
the maker of the tart, brought by the eunuch, must needs be her
son, he was overjoyed; but reflecting that his joy might prove
groundless, and the conjecture of Noor ad Deen's widow be false,
"Madam," said he, "do you think there may not be a pastry-cook in
the world, who knows how to make cream-tarts as well as your
son?" "I own," replied she, "there may be pastry-cooks that can
make as good tarts as he; but as I make them in a peculiar
manner, and only my son was let into the secret, it must
absolutely be he that made this. Come, my brother," added she in
a transport, "let us call up mirth and joy; we have at last found
what we have been so long looking for." "Madam," said the vizier
                                                                    213
answer, "I entreat you to moderate your impatience, for we shall
quickly know the truth. All we have to do, is to bring the
pastry-cook hither; and then you and my daughter will readily
distinguish whether he be your son or not. But you must both be
concealed so as to have a view of Buddir ad Deen while he cannot
see you; for I would not have our interview and mutual discovery
happen at Damascus. My design is to delay the discovery till we
return to Cairo."

This said, he left the ladies in their tent, and retired to his
own; where he called for fifty of his men, and said to them:
"Take each of you a stick in your hands, and follow Shubbaunee,
who will conduct you to a pastry-cook in this city. When you
arrive there, break and dash in pieces all you find in the shop:
if he demand the reason of your outrage, only ask him in return
if it was not he that made the cream-tart that was brought from
his house. If he answer in the affirmative, seize his person,
fetter him, and bring him along with you; but take care you do
not beat him, nor do him the least harm. Go, and lose no time."

The vizier's orders were immediately executed. The detachment,
conducted by the black eunuch, went with expedition to Buddir ad
Deen's house, broke in pieces the plates, kettles, copper pans,
and all the other moveables and utensils they met with, and
inundated the sherbet-shop with cream and comfits. Buddir ad
Deen, astonished at the sight, said with a pitiful tone, "Pray,
good people, why do you serve me so? What is the matter? What
have I done?" "Was it not you," said they, "that sold this eunuch
the cream-tart?" "Yes," replied he, "I am the man; and who says
any thing against it? I defy any one to make a better." Instead
of giving him an answer, they continued to break all round them,
and the oven itself was not spared.

In the mean time the neighbours took the alarm, and surprised to
see fifty armed men committing such a disorder, asked the reason
of such violence; and Buddir ad Deen said once more to the
rioters, "Pray tell me what crime I have committed to deserve
this usage?" "Was it not you," replied they, "that made the
cream-tart you sold to the eunuch?" "Yes, yes, it was I," replied
he; "I maintain it is a good one. I do not deserve this
treatment." However, without listening to him, they seized his
person, and, snatching the cloth off his turban, tied his hands
with it behind his back, and, after dragging him by force out of
his shop, marched off.

The mob gathering, from compassion to Buddir ad Deen, took his
part; but officers from the governor of the city dispersed the
people, and favoured the carrying off of Buddir ad Deen, for
Shumse ad Deen Mahummud had in the mean time gone to the
                                                                    214
governor's house to acquaint him with the order he had given, and
to demand the interposition of force to favour the execution; and
the governor, who commanded all Syria in the name of the sultan
of Egypt, was unwilling to refuse any thing to his master's
vizier.

It was in vain for Buddir ad Deen to ask those who carried him
off, what fault had been found with his cream-tart: they gave him
no answer. In short, they conducted him to the tents, and made
him wait there till Shumse ad Deen returned from the governor of
Damascus.

Upon the vizier's return, the pretended culprit was brought
before him. "My lord," said Buddir ad Deen, with tears in his
eyes, "pray do me the favour to let me know wherein I have
displeased you." "Why, you wretch," exclaimed the vizier "was it
not you that made the cream-tart you sent me?" "I own I am the
man," replied Buddir ad Deen, "but pray what crime is that?" "I
will punish you according to your deserts," said Shumse ad Deen,
"it shall cost you your life, for sending me such a sorry tart."
"Ah!" exclaimed Buddir ad Deen, "is it a capital crime to make a
bad cream-tart?" "Yes," said the vizier "and you are to expect no
other usage from me."

While this interview lasted, the ladies, who were concealed
behind curtains, saw Buddir ad Deen, and recognized him,
notwithstanding he had been so long absent. They were so
transported with joy, that they swooned away; and when they
recovered, would fain have run up and fallen upon his neck, but
the promise they had made to the vizier of not discovering
themselves, restrained the tender emotions of love and of nature.

Shumse ad Deen having resolved to set out that night, ordered the
tents to be struck, and the necessary preparations to be made for
his journey. He ordered Buddir ad Deen to be secured in a sort of
cage, and laid on a camel. The vizier and his retinue began their
march, and travelled the rest of that night, and all the next
day, without stopping In the evening they halted, and Buddir ad
Deen was taken out of his cage, in order to be served with the
necessary refreshments, but still carefully kept at a distance
from his mother and his wife; and during the whole expedition,
which lasted twenty days, was served in the same manner.

When they arrived at Cairo, they encamped in the neighbourhood of
the city; Shumse ad Deen called for Buddir ad Deen, and gave
orders, in his presence, to prepare a stake. "Alas!" said Buddir
ad Deen, "what do you mean to do with a stake?" "Why, to impale
you," replied Shumse ad Deen, "and then to have you carried
through all the quarters of the town, that the people may have
                                                                    215
the spectacle of a worthless pastry-cook, who makes cream-tarts
without pepper." This said, Buddir ad Deen cried out so
ludicrously, that Shumse ad Deen could hardly keep his
countenance: "Alas!" said he, "must I suffer a death as cruel as
it is ignominious, for not putting pepper in a cream-tart?"

"How," said Buddir ad Deen, "must I be rifled; must I be
imprisoned in a chest, and at last impaled, and all for not
putting pepper in a cream-tart? Are these the actions of
Moosulmauns, of persons who make a profession of probity,
justice, and good works?" With these words he shed tears, and
then renewing his complaint; "No," continued he, "never was a man
used so unjustly, nor so severely. Is it possible they should be
capable of taking a man's life for not putting pepper in a cream-
tart? Cursed be all cream-tarts, as well as the hour in which I
was born! Would to God l had died that minute!"

The disconsolate Buddir ad Deen did not cease his lamentations;
and when the stake was brought, cried out bitterly at the horrid
sight. "Heaven!" said he, "can you suffer me to die an
ignominious and painful death? And all this, for what crime? not
for robbery or murder, or renouncing my religion, but for not
putting pepper in a cream tart,"

Night being then pretty far advanced, the vizier ordered Buddir
ad Deen to be conveyed again to his cage, saying to him, "Stay
there till to-morrow; the day shall not elapse before I give
orders for your death." The chest or cage then was carried away
and laid upon the camel that had brought it from Damascus: at the
same time all the other camels were loaded again; and the vizier
mounting his horse, ordered the camel that carried his nephew to
march before him, and entered the city with all his suit. After
passing through several streets, where no one appeared, he
arrived at his palace, where he ordered the chest to be taken
down, but not opened till farther orders.

While his retinue were unlading the other camels, he took Buddir
ad Deen's mother and his daughter aside; and addressed himself to
the latter: "God be praised," said he, "my child, for this happy
occasion of meeting your cousin and your husband! You remember,
of course, what order your chamber was in on your wedding night:
go and put all things as they were then placed; and if your
memory do not serve you, I can aid it by a written account, which
I caused to be taken upon that occasion."

The beautiful lady went joyfully to execute her father's orders;
and he at the same time commanded the hall to be adorned as when
Buddir ad Deen Houssun was there with the sultan of Egypt's
hunch-backed groom. As he went over his manuscript, his domestics
                                                                    216
placed every moveable in the described order. The throne was not
forgotten, nor the lighted wax candles. When every thing was
arranged in the hall, the vizier went into his daughter's chamber
and put in their due place Buddir ad Deen's apparel, with the
purse of sequins. This done, he said to the beautiful lady,
"Undress yourself, my child, and go to bed. As soon as Buddir ad
Deen enters your room, complain of his being from you so long,
and tell him, that when you awoke, you were astonished you did
not find him by you. Press him to come to bed again; and to-
morrow morning you will divert your mother-in-law and me, by
giving us an account of your interview." This said, he went from
his daughter's apartment, and left her to undress herself and go
to bed.

Shumse ad Deen Mahummud ordered all his domestics to depart the
hall, excepting two or three, whom he desired to remain. These he
commanded to go and take Buddir ad Deen out of the cage, to strip
him to his under vest and drawers, to conduct him in that
condition to the hall, to leave him there alone, and shut the
door upon him.

Buddir ad Deen, though overwhelmed with grief, was asleep so
soundly, that the vizier's domestics had taken him out of the
chest and stripped him before he awoke; and they carried him so
suddenly into the hall, that they did not give him time to see
where he was. When he found himself alone in the hall, he looked
round him, and the objects he beheld recalling to his memory the
circumstances of his marriage, he perceived, with astonishment,
that it was the place where he had seen the sultan's groom of the
stables. His surprise was still the greater, when approaching
softly the door of a chamber which he found open, he spied his
own raiments where he remembered to have left them on his wedding
night. "My God!" said he, rubbing his eyes, "am I asleep or
awake?"

The beautiful lady, who in the mean time was diverting herself
with his astonishment, opened the curtains of her bed suddenly,
and bending her head forward, "My dear lord," said she, with a
soft, tender air, "what do you do at the door? You have been out
of bed a long time. I was strangely surprised when I awoke in not
finding you by me." Buddir ad Deen was enraptured; he entered the
room, but reverting to all that had passed during a ten years'
interval, and not being able to persuade himself that it could
all have happened in the compass of one night, he went to the
place where his vestments lay with the purse of sequins; and
after examining them very carefully, exclaimed, "By Allah these
are mysteries which I can by no means comprehend!" The lady, who
was pleased to see his confusion, said, once more, "My lord, what
do you wait for?" He stepped towards the bed, and said to her,
                                                                    217
"Is it long since I left you?" "The question," answered she,
"surprises me. Did not you rise from me but now? Surely your mind
is deranged." "Madam," replied Buddir ad Deen, "I do assure you
my thoughts are not very composed. I remember indeed to have been
with you, but I remember at the same time, that I have since
lived ten years at Damascus. Now, if I was actually in bed with
you this night, I cannot have been from you so long. These two
points are inconsistent. Pray tell me what I am to think; whether
my marriage with you is an illusion, or whether my absence from
you is only a dream?" "Yes, my lord," cried she, "doubtless you
were light-headed when you thought you were at Damascus." Upon
this Buddir ad Deen laughed heartily, and said, "What a comical
fancy is this! I assure you, madam, this dream of mine will be
very pleasant to you. Do but imagine, if you please, that I was
at the gate of Damascus in my shirt and drawers, as I am here
now; that I entered the town with the halloo of a mob who
followed and insulted me; that I fled to a pastry cook who
adopted me, taught me his trade, and left me all he had when he
died; that after his death I kept a shop. In fine, I had an
infinity of other adventures, too tedious to recount: and all I
can say is, that it was well that I awoke, for they were going to
impale me!" "And for what," cried the lady, feigning
astonishment, "would they have used you so cruelly? Surely you
must have committed some enormous crime." "Not the least,"
replied Buddir ad Deen; "it was for nothing but a mere trifle,
the most ridiculous thing you can imagine. All the crime I was
charged with, was selling a cream-tart that had no pepper in it."
"As for that matter," said the beautiful lady laughing heartily,
"I must say they did you great injustice." "Ah!" replied he,
"that was not all. For this cursed cream-tart was every thing in
my shop broken to pieces, myself bound and fettered, and flung
into a chest, where I lay so close, that methinks I am there
still, but thanks be to God all was a dream."

Buddir ad Deen was not easy all night. He awoke from time to
time, and put the question to himself, whether he dreamed or was
awake. He distrusted his felicity; and, to be sure whether it was
true or not, looked round the room. "I am not mistaken," said he;
"this is the same chamber where I entered instead of the hunch-
backed groom of the stables; and I am now in bed with the fair
lady designed for him." Day-light, which then appeared, had not
yet dispelled his uneasiness, when the vizier Shumse ad Deen, his
uncle, knocked at the door, and at the same time went in to bid
him good morrow.

Buddir ad Deen was extremely surprised to see a man he knew so
well, and who now appeared with a different air from that with
which he pronounced the terrible sentence of death against him.
"Ah!" cried Buddir ad Deen, "it was you who condemned me so
                                                                    218
unjustly to a kind of death, the thoughts of which make me
shudder, and all for a cream-tart without pepper." The vizier
fell a laughing, and to put him out of suspense, told him how, by
the ministry of a genie (for hunch-back's relation made him
suspect the adventure), he had been at his palace, and had
married his daughter instead of the sultan's groom of the
stables; then he acquainted him that he had discovered him to be
his nephew by the memorandum of his father, and pursuant to that
discovery had gone from Cairo to Bussorah in quest of him. "My
dear nephew," added he, embracing him with every expression of
tenderness, "I ask your pardon for all I have made you undergo
since I discovered you. I resolved to bring you to my palace
before I told you your happiness; which ought now to be so much
the dearer to you, as it has cost you so much perplexity and
distress. To atone for all your afflictions, comfort yourself
with the joy of being in the company of those who ought to be
dearest to you. While you are dressing yourself I will go and
acquaint your mother, who is beyond measure impatient to see you;
and will likewise bring to you your son, whom you saw at
Damascus, and for whom, without knowing him, you shewed so much
affection."

No words can adequately express the joy of Buddir ad Deen, when
he saw his mother and his son. They embraced, and shewed all the
transports that love and tenderness could inspire. The mother
spoke to Buddir ad Deen in the most moving terms; she mentioned
the grief she had felt for his long absence, and the tears she
had shed. Little Ajib, instead of flying his father's embraces,
as at Damascus, received them with all the marks of pleasure. And
Buddir ad Deen Houssun, divided between two objects so worthy of
his love, thought he could not give sufficient testimonies of his
affection.

While this passed, the vizier was gone to the palace, to give the
sultan an account of the happy success of his travels; and the
sultan was so moved with the recital of the story, that he
ordered it to be taken down in writing, and carefully preserved
among the archives of the kingdom. After Shumse ad Deen's return
to his palace, he sat down with his family, and all the household
passed the day in festivity and mirth.

The vizier Jaaffier having thus concluded the story of Buddir ad
Deen, told the caliph that this was what he had to relate to his
majesty. The caliph found the story so surprising, that without
farther hesitation he granted his slave Rihan's pardon; and to
console the young man for the grief of having unhappily deprived
himself of a woman whom he had loved so tenderly, married him to
one of his slaves, bestowed liberal gifts upon him, and
maintained him till he died.
                                                                    219
      THE HISTORY OF GANEM, SON OF ABOU AYOUB,
      AND KNOWN BY THE SURNAME OF LOVE'S SLAVE.



There was formerly at Damascus a merchant, who had by care and
industry acquired great wealth, on which he lived in a very
honourable manner. His name was Abou Ayoub, and he had one son
and a daughter. The son was called Ganem, but afterwards surnamed
Love's slave. His person was graceful, and the excellent
qualities of his mind had been improved by able masters. The
daughter's name was Alcolom, signifying Ravisher of hearts,
because her beauty was so perfect that whoever saw her could not
avoid loving her.

Abou Ayoub died, and left immense riches: a hundred loads of
brocades and other silks that lay in his warehouse were the least
part. The loads were ready made up, and on every bale was written
in large characters, "For Bagdad."

Mahummud, the son of Soliman, surnamed Zinebi, reigned at that
time at Damascus, the capital of Syria. His kinsman, Haroon al
Rusheed, had bestowed that kingdom on him as his tributary.

Soon after the death of Abou Ayoub, Ganem conversed with his
mother about their domestic affairs, and concerning the loads of
merchandize in the warehouse, asked her the meaning of what was
written upon each bale. "My son," answered his mother, "your
father used to travel sometimes into one province, and sometimes
into another; and it was customary with him, before he set out,
to write the name of the city he designed to repair to on every
bade. He had provided all things to take a journey to Bagdad, and
was on the point of setting out, when death"----She had not power
to finish; the lively remembrance of the loss of her husband
would not permit her to say more, and drew from her a shower of
tears.

Ganem could not see his mother so sensibly affected, without
being equally so himself. They continued some time silent; but at
length he recovered himself, and as soon as he found his mother
calm enough to listen to him, said, "Since my father designed
these goods for Bagdad, I will prepare myself to perform that
journey; and I think it will be proper for me to hasten my
departure, for fear those commodities should perish, or that we
should lose the opportunity of selling them to the best
                                                                    220
advantage."

Abou Ayoub's widow, who tenderly loved her son, was much
concerned at this resolution, and replied, "My dear child, I
cannot but commend you for designing to follow your father's
example; but consider, that you are too young, inexperienced, and
unaccustomed to the fatigue of travelling. Besides, can you think
of leaving me, and adding to that sorrow with which I am already
oppressed? Is it not better to sell those goods to the merchants
of Damascus, and take up with a moderate profit, than expose
yourself to the danger of perishing?"

It was in vain for her to oppose Ganem's resolution by the
strongest arguments; they had no weight with him. An inclination
to travel, and to accomplish himself by a thorough knowledge of
the world, urged him to set out, and prevailed over all his
mother's remonstrances, her entreaties, and even her tears. He
went to the market where slaves were sold, and bought such as
were able-bodied, hired a hundred camels, and having provided all
other necessaries, entered upon his journey, with five or six
merchants of Damascus, who were going to trade at Bagdad.

Those merchants, attended by their slaves, and accompanied by
several other travellers, made up such a considerable caravan,
that they had nothing to fear from the Bedouin Arabs, who make it
their only profession to range the country; and attack and
plunder the caravans when they are not strong enough to repulse
them. They had no other difficulty to encounter, than the usual
fatigues of a long journey, which were easily forgotten when they
came in sight of the city of Bagdad, where they arrived in
safety.

They alighted at the most magnificent and most frequented khan in
the city; but Ganem chose to be lodged conveniently, and by
himself. He only left his goods there in a warehouse for their
greater security, and hired a spacious house in the
neighbourhood, richly furnished, having a garden which was very
delightful, on account of its many waterworks and shady groves.

Some days after this young merchant had been settled in his
house, and perfectly recovered of the fatigue of his journey, he
dressed himself richly, and repaired to the public place, where
the merchants met to transact business. A slave followed him,
carrying a parcel of fine stuffs and silks.

The merchants received Ganem very courteously, and their syndic,
or chief, to whom he first made application, bought all his
parcel, at the price set down in the ticket annexed to every
piece of stuff. Ganem continued his trade so successfully, that
                                                                    221
he every day sold all the goods he exposed.

He had but one bale left, which he had caused to be carried from
the warehouse to his own house; he then went to the public
rendezvous, where he found all the shops shut. This seemed
somewhat extraordinary to him and having asked the cause, he was
told, that one of the first merchants, whom he knew, was dead,
and that all his brother traders were gone to his funeral.

Ganem inquired for the mosque, where prayer was to be said, and
whence the body was to be conducted to the grave; and having been
informed, sent back his slave with the goods, and walked towards
the mosque. He got thither before the prayers were ended, which
were said in a hall hung with black satin. The corpse was taken
up, and followed by the kindred, the merchants, and Ganem, to the
place of burial, which was at some distance without the city. It
was a stone structure, in form of a dome, purposely built to
receive the bodies of all the family of the deceased, and being
very small, they had pitched tents around, that all the company
might be sheltered during the ceremony. The monument was opened,
and the corpse laid in it, after which it was shut up. Then the
imam, and other ministers of the mosque, sat down in a ring on
carpets, in the largest tent, and recited the rest of the
prayers. They also read the Fateah, or introductory chapter of
the Koraun, appointed for the burial of the dead. The kindred and
merchants sat round, in the same manner, behind the ministers.

It was near night before all was ended: Ganem who had not
expected such a long ceremony, began to be uneasy, and the more
so, when he saw meat served up, in memory of the deceased,
according to the custom of the Mahummedans. He was also told that
the tents had been set up not only against the heat of the sun,
but also against the evening dew, because they should not return
to the city before the next morning. These words perplexed Ganem.
"I am a stranger," said he to himself, "and have the reputation
of being a rich merchant; thieves may take the opportunity of my
absence, and rob my house. My slaves may be tempted by so
favourable an opportunity; they may run away with all the gold I
have received for my goods, and whither shall I go to look for
them?" Full of these thoughts, he ate a few mouthfuls hastily,
and slipped away from the company.

He made all possible haste; but, as it often happens that the
more a man hurries the less he advances, he went astray in the
dark, so that it was near midnight when he came to the city gate;
which, to add to his misfortune, was shut. This was a fresh
affliction to him, and he was obliged to look for some convenient
place in which to pass the rest of the night till the gate was
opened. He went into a burial-place, so spacious, that it reached
                                                                    222
from the city to the very place he had left. He advanced to some
high walls, which enclosed a small field, being the mausoleum of
a family, and in which there was a palm-tree. Ganem, finding that
the burial-place where the palm-tree grew was open, went into it,
and shut the door after him. He lay down on the grass and tried
to sleep; but his uneasiness at being absent from home would not
permit him. He got up, and after having passed before the door
several times, opened it, without knowing why, and immediately
perceived at a distance a light, which seemed to come towards
him. He was startled at the sight, closed the door, which had
nothing to secure it but a latch, and got up as fast as he could
to the top of the palm-tree; looking upon that as the safest
retreat under his present apprehensions.

No sooner was he up, than by the help of the light which had
alarmed him, he plainly perceived three men, whom, by their
habit, he knew to be slaves, enter into the burial-place. One of
them advanced with a lantern, and the two others followed him,
loaded with a chest, between five and six feet long, which they
carried on their shoulders. They set it down, and then one of the
three slaves said to his comrades, "Brethren, if you will be
advised by me, we will leave the chest here, and return to the
city." "No, no," replied another, "that would not be executing
our mistress's orders; we may have cause to repent not doing as
we were commanded. Let us bury the chest, since we are enjoined
so to do." The two other slaves complied. They began to break
ground with the tools they had brought for that purpose. When
they had made a deep trench, they put the chest into it, and
covered it with the earth they had taken out, and then departed.

Ganem, who from the top of the palm-tree had heard every word the
slaves had spoken, could not tell what to think of the adventure.
He concluded that the chest must contain something of value, and
that the person to whom it belonged had some particular reasons
for causing it to be buried in the cemetery. He resolved
immediately to satisfy his curiosity, came down from the palm-
tree, the departure of the slaves having dissipated his fear, and
fell to work upon the pit, plying his hands and feet so well,
that in a short time he uncovered the chest, but found it secured
by a padlock. This new obstacle to the satisfying of his
curiosity was no small mortification to him, yet he was not
discouraged, but the day beginning then to appear, he saw several
great stones about the burial-place. He picked out one, with
which he easily knocked off the padlock, and then with much
impatience opened the chest. Ganem was strangely surprised, when,
instead of money, he discovered a young lady of incomparable
beauty. Her fresh and rosy complexion, and her gentle regular
breathing, satisfied him she was alive, but he could not conceive
why, if she were only asleep, she had not awaked at the noise he
                                                                    223
made in forcing off the padlock. Her habit was so costly, with
bracelets and pendants of diamonds, and a necklace of pearls, so
large, that he made not the least doubt of her being one of the
principal ladies of the court. At the sight of so beautiful an
object, not only compassion and natural inclination to relieve
persons in danger, but something more powerful, which Ganem could
not then account for, prevailed on him to afford the unfortunate
beauty all the assistance in his power.

He first shut the gate of the burial-place, which the slaves had
left open; then, returning, took the lady in his arms, and laid
her on the soft earth which he had thrown off the chest. As soon
as she was exposed to the air, she sneezed, and, by the motion in
turning her head, there came from her mouth a liquor, with which
her stomach seemed to have been loaded; then opening and rubbing
her eyes, she with such a voice as charmed Ganem, whom she did
not see, cried out, "Zohorob Bostan, Shijher al Mirjaun, Casabos
Souccar, Nouron Nihar, Nagmatos Sohi, Nonzbetos Zaman, why do you
not answer? where are you?" These were the names of six female
slaves that used to wait on her. She called them, and wondered
that nobody answered; but at length looking about, and perceiving
she was in a burial-place, was seized with fear. "What," cried
she, much louder than before, "are the dead raised? Is the day of
judgment come? What a wonderful change is this from evening to
morning?"

Ganem did not think fit to leave the lady any longer in her
perplexity, but presented himself before her with all possible
respect, and in the most courteous manner. "Madam," said he, "I
am not able to express my joy at having happened to be here to do
you the service I have, and to offer you all the assistance you
may need under your present circumstances."

In order to persuade the lady to repose confidence in him, he, in
the first place, told her who he was, and what accident had
brought him to that place. Next he acquainted her with the coming
of the three slaves, and how they had buried the chest. The lady,
who had covered her face with her veil as soon as Ganem appeared,
was extremely sensible of the obligations she owed him. "I return
thanks to God," said she "for having sent so worthy a person as
you are to deliver me from death; but since you have begun so
charitable a work, I conjure you not to leave it imperfect. Let
me beg of you to go into the city, and provide a muleteer, to
come with his mule, and carry me to your house in this chest;
for, should I go with you on foot, my dress being different from
that of the city ladies, some one might take notice of it, and
follow me, which it highly concerns me to prevent. When I shall
be in your house, I will give you an account of myself; and in
the mean time be assured that you have not obliged an ungrateful
                                                                    224
person."

Before the young merchant left the lady, he drew the chest out of
the pit, which he filled up with earth, laid her again in the
chest, and shut it in such a manner, that it did not look as if
the padlock had been forced off; but for fear of stifling her, he
did not put it quite close, leaving room for the admittance of
air. Going out of the burial-place, he drew the door after him;
and the city gate being then open, soon found what he sought. He
returned with speed to the burial place, and helped the muleteer
to lay the chest across his mule, telling him, to remove all
cause of suspicion, that he came to that place the night before,
with another muleteer, who, being in haste to return home, had
laid down the chest where he saw it.

Ganem, who, since his arrival at Bagdad, had minded nothing but
his business, was still unacquainted with the power of love, and
now felt its first attacks. It had not been in his power to look
upon the young lady without being dazzled; and the uneasiness he
felt at following the muleteer at a distance, and the fear lest
any accident might happen by the way that should deprive him of
his conquest, taught him to unravel his thoughts. He was more
than usually delighted, when, being arrived safe at home, he saw
the chest unloaded. He dismissed the muleteer, and having caused
a slave to shut the door of his house, opened the chest, helped
the lady out, gave her his hand, and conducted her to his
apartment, lamenting how much she must have endured in such close
confinement. "If I have suffered," said she, "I have satisfaction
sufficient in what you have done for me, and in the pleasure of
seeing myself out of danger."

Though Ganem's apartment was very richly furnished, the lady did
not so much regard its appearance, as she did the handsome
presence and engaging mien of her deliverer, whose politeness and
obliging behaviour heightened her gratitude. She sat down on a
sofa, and to give the merchant to understand how sensible she was
of the service done her, took off her veil. Ganem on his part was
sensible of the favour so lovely a lady did in uncovering her
face to him, or rather felt he had already a most violent passion
for her. Whatever obligations she owed him, he thought himself
more than requited by so singular a favour.

The lady dived into Ganem's thoughts, yet was not at all alarmed,
because he appeared very respectful. He, judging she might have
occasion to eat, and not willing to trust any but himself with
the care of entertaining so charming a guest, went out with a
slave to an eating-house, to give directions for an
entertainment. From thence he went to a fruiterer, where he chose
the finest and best fruit; buying also the choicest wine, and the
                                                                    225
same bread that was eaten at the caliph's table.

As soon as he returned home, he with his own hands made a pyramid
of the fruit he had bought, and serving it up himself to the lady
in a large dish, of the finest china-ware, "Madam," said he, "be
pleased to make choice of some of this fruit, while a more solid
entertainment, and more worthy yourself, is preparing." He would
have continued standing before her, but she declared she would
not touch any thing, unless he sat down and ate with her. He
obeyed; and when they had eaten a little, Ganem observing that
the lady's veil, which she laid down by her on a sofa, was
embroidered along the edge with golden letters, begged her
permission to look on the embroidery. The lady immediately took
up the veil, and delivered it to him, asking him whether he could
read? "Madam," replied he, with a modest air, "a merchant would
be ill-qualified to manage his business if he could not at least
read and write." "Well, then," said she, "read the words which
are embroidered on that veil, which gives me an opportunity of
telling you my story."

Ganem took the veil, and read these words, "I am yours, and you
are mine, thou descendant from the prophet's uncle." That
descendant from the prophet's uncle was the caliph Haroon al
Rusheed, who then reigned, and was descended from Abbas,
Mahummud's uncle.

When Ganem perceived these words, "Alas! madam," said he, in a
melancholy tone, "I have just saved your life, and this writing
is my death! I do not comprehend all the mystery; but it
convinces me I am the most unfortunate of men. Pardon, madam, the
liberty I take, but it was impossible for me to see you without
giving you my heart. You are not ignorant yourself, that it was
not in my power to refuse it you, and that makes my presumption
excusable. I proposed to myself to touch your heart by my
respectful behaviour, my care, my assiduity, my submission, my
constancy; and no sooner have I formed the flattering design,
than I am robbed of all my hopes. I cannot long survive so great
a misfortune. But, be that as it will, I shall have the
satisfaction of dying entirely yours. Proceed, madam, I conjure
you, and give me full information of my unhappy fate."

He could not utter those words without letting fall some tears.
The lady was moved; but was so far from being displeased at the
declaration he made, that she felt secret joy; for her heart
began to yield. However, she concealed her feelings, and as if
she had not regarded what Ganem had said. "I should have been
very cautious," answered she, "of strewing you my veil, had I
thought it would have given you so much uneasiness; but I do not
perceive that what I have to say to you can make your condition
                                                                    226
so deplorable as you imagine."

"You must understand," proceeded she, "in order to acquaint you
with my story, that my name is Fetnah (which signifies
disturbance), which was given me at my birth, because it was
judged that the sight of me would one day occasion many
calamities. Of this you cannot be ignorant, since there is nobody
in Bagdad but knows that the caliph, my sovereign lord and yours,
has a favourite so called.

"I was carried into his palace in my tenderest years, and I have
been brought up with all the care that is usually taken with such
persons of my sex as are destined to reside there. I made no
little progress in all they took the pains to teach me; and that,
with some share of beauty, gained me the affection of the caliph,
who allotted me a particular apartment adjoining to his own. That
prince was not satisfied with such a mark of distinction; he
appointed twenty women to wait on me, and as many eunuchs; and
ever since he has made me such considerable presents, that I saw
myself richer than any queen in the world. You may judge by what
I have said, that Zobeide, the caliph's wife and kinswoman, could
not but be jealous of my happiness. Though Haroon has all the
regard imaginable for her, she has taken every possible
opportunity to ruin me.

"Hitherto I had secured myself against all her snares, but at
length I fell under the last effort of her jealousy; and, had it
not been for you, must now have been exposed to inevitable death.
I question not but she had corrupted one of my slaves, who last
night, in some lemonade, gave me a drug, which causes such a dead
sleep, that it is easy to dispose of those who have taken it; for
that sleep is so profound, that nothing can dispel it for the
space of seven or eight hours. I have the more reason to judge
so, because naturally I am a very bad sleeper, and apt to wake at
the least noise.

"Zobeide, the better to put her design in execution, has availed
herself of the absence of the caliph, who went lately to put
himself at the head of his troops, to chastise some neighbouring
kings, who have formed a league of rebellion. Were it not for
this opportunity, my rival, outrageous as she is, durst not have
presumed to attempt any thing against my life. I know not what
she will do to conceal this action from the caliph, but you see
it highly concerns me that you should keep my secret. My life
depends on it. I shall be safe in your house as long as the
caliph is from Bagdad. It concerns you to keep my adventure
private; for should Zobeide know the obligation I owe you, she
would punish you for having saved me.

                                                                    227
"When the caliph returns, I shall not need to be so much upon my
guard. I shall find means to acquaint him with all that has
happened, and I am fully persuaded he will be more earnest than
myself to requite a service which restores me to his love."

As soon as Haroon al Rusheed's beautiful favourite had done
speaking, Ganem said, "Madam, I return you a thousand thanks for
having given me the information I took the liberty to desire of
you; and I beg of you to believe, that you are here in safety;
the sentiments you have inspired are a pledge of my secrecy.

"As for my slaves, they may perhaps fail of the fidelity they owe
me, should they know by what accident and in what place I had the
happiness to find you. I dare assure you, however, that they will
not have the curiosity to inquire. It is so natural for young men
to purchase beautiful slaves, that it will be no way surprising
to them to see you here, believing you to be one, and that I have
bought you. They will also conclude that I have some particular
reasons for bringing you home as they saw I did. Set your heart,
therefore, at rest, as to that point, and remain satisfied that
you shall be served with all the respect that is due to the
favourite of so great a monarch as our sovereign the caliph. But
great as he is, give me leave, madam, to declare, that nothing
can make me recall the present I have made you of my heart. I
know, and shall never forget, ‘that what belongs to the master is
forbidden to the slave;' but I loved you before you told me that
you were engaged to the caliph; it is not in my power to overcome
a passion which, though now in its infancy, has all the force of
a love strengthened by a perfect of situation. I wish your august
and most fortunate lover may avenge you of the malice of Zobeide,
by calling you back to him; and when you shall be restored to his
wishes, that you may remember the unfortunate Ganem, who is no
less your conquest than the caliph. Powerful as that prince is, I
flatter myself he will not be able to blot me out of your
remembrance. He cannot love you more passionately than I do; and
I shall never cease to love you into whatever part of the world I
may go to expire, after having lost you."

Fetnah perceived that Ganem was under the greatest of
afflictions, and his situation affected her; but considering the
uneasiness she was likely to bring upon herself, by prosecuting
the conversation on that subject, which might insensibly lead her
to discover the inclination she felt for him; "I perceive," said
she, "that this conversetion gives you too much uneasiness; let
us change the subject, and talk of the infinite obligation I owe
you. I can never sufficiently express my gratitude, when I
reflect that, without your assistance, I should never again have
beheld the light of the sun."

                                                                    228
It was happy for them both, that somebody just then knocked at
the door; Ganem went to see who it was, and found it to be one of
his slaves come to acquaint him that the entertainment was ready.
Ganem, who, by way of precaution, would have none of his slaves
come into the room where Fetnah was, took what was brought, and
served it up himself to his beautiful guest, whose soul was
ravished to behold what attention he paid her.

When they had eaten, Ganem took away, as he had covered the
table; and having delivered all things at the door of the
apartment to his slaves, "Madam," said he to Fetnah, "you may now
perhaps desire to take some rest; I will leave you, and when you
have reposed yourself, you shall find me ready to receive your
commands."

Having thus spoken, he left her, and went to purchase two women-
slaves. He also bought two parcels, one of fine linen, and the
other of all such things as were proper to make up a toilet fit
for the caliph's favourite. Having conducted home the two women-
slaves, he presented them to Fetnah, saying, "Madam, a person of
your quality cannot be without two waiting-maids, at least, to
serve you; be pleased to accept of these."

Fetnah, admiring Ganem's attention, said, "My lord, I perceive
you are not one that will do things by halves: you add by your
courtesy to the obligations I owe you already; but I hope I shall
not die ungrateful, and that heaven will soon place me in a
condition to requite all your acts of generosity."

When the women-slaves were withdrawn into a chamber adjoining, he
sat down on the sofa, but at some distance from Fetnah, in token
of respect. He then began to discourse of his passion. "I dare
not so much as hope," said he, "to excite the least sensibility
in a heart like yours, destined for the greatest prince in the
world. Alas! it would be a comfort to me in my misfortune, if I
could but flatter myself, that you have not looked upon the
excess of my love with indifference." "My lord," answered Fetnah
"Alas! madam," said Ganem, interrupting her at the word lord,
"this is the second time you have done me the honour to call me
lord; the presence of the women-slaves hindered me the first time
from taking notice of it to you: in the name of God, madam, do
not give me this title of honour; it does not belong to me; treat
me, I beseech you, as your slave: I am, and shall never cease to
be so."

"No, no," replied Fetnah, interrupting him in her turn, "I shall
be cautious how I treat with such disrespect a man to whom I owe
my life. I should be ungrateful, could I say or do any thing that
did not become you. Leave me, therefore, to follow the dictates
                                                                    229
of my gratitude, and do not require of me, that I should
misbehave myself towards you, in return for the benefits I have
received. I shall never be guilty of such conduct; I am too
sensible of your respectful behaviour to abuse it; and I will not
hesitate to own, that I do not regard your care with
indifference. You know the reasons that condemn me to silence."

Ganem was enraptured at this declaration; he wept for joy, and
not being able to find expressions significant enough, in his own
opinion, to return Fetnah thanks, was satisfied with telling her,
that as she knew what she owed to the caliph, he, on his part,
was not ignorant "that what belongs to the master is forbidden to
the slave."

Night drawing on, he rose up to fetch a light, which he brought
in himself, as also a collation.

They both sat down at table, and at first complimented each other
on the fruit as they presented it reciprocally. The excellence of
the wine insensibly drew them both to drink; and having drunk two
or three glasses, they agreed that neither should take another
glass without first singing some air. Ganem sung verses ex
tempore, expressive of the vehemence of his passion; and Fetnah,
encouraged by his example, composed and sung verses relating to
her adventure, and always containing something which Ganem might
take in a sense favourable to himself; except in this, she most
exactly observed the fidelity due to the caliph. The collation
continued till very late, and the night was far advanced before
they thought of parting. Ganem then withdrew to another
apartment, leaving Fetnah where she was, the women slaves he had
bought coming in to wait upon her.

They lived together in this manner for several days. The young
merchant went not abroad, unless upon of the utmost consequence,
and even for that took the time when the lady was reposing; for
he could not prevail upon himself to lose a moment that might be
spent in her company. All his thoughts were taken up with his
dear Fetnah, who, on her side, gave way to her inclination,
confessed she had no less affection for him than he had for her.
However, fond as they were of each other, their respect for the
caliph kept them within due bounds, which still heightened their
passion.

Whilst Fetnah, thus snatched from the jaws of death, passed her
time so agreeably with Ganem, Zobeide was not without some
apprehensions in the palace of Haroon al Rusheed.

No sooner had the three slaves, entrusted with the execution of
her revenge, carried away the chest, without knowing what it
                                                                    230
contained, or so much as the least curiosity to inquire (being
used to pay a blind obedience to her commands), than she was
seized with a tormenting uneasiness; a thousand perplexing
thoughts disturbed her rest; sleep fled from her eyes, and she
spent the night in contriving how to conceal her crime. "My
consort," said she, "loves Fetnah more than ever he did any of
his favourites. What shall I say to him at his return, when he
inquires of me after her?" Many contrivances occurred to her, but
none were satisfactory. Still she met with difficulties, and knew
not where to fix. There lived with her a lady advanced in years,
who had bred her up from her infancy. As soon as it was day, she
sent for her, and having entrusted her with the secret, said, "My
good mother, you have always assisted me with your advice; if
ever I stood in need of it, it is now, when the business before
you is to still my thoughts, distracted by a mortal anxiety, and
to show me some way to satisfy the caliph."

"My dear mistress," replied the old lady, "it had been much
better not to have run yourself into the difficulties you labour
under; but since the thing is done, the best consolation is to
think no more of it. All that must now be thought of, is how to
deceive the commander of the believers; and I am of opinion, that
you should immediately cause a wooden image resembling a dead
body to be carved. We will shroud it up in linen, and when shut
up in a coffin, it shall be buried in some part of the palace;
you shall then immediately cause a marble mausoleum to be built,
in the form of a dome, over the burial place, and erect a tomb,
which shall be covered with embroidered cloth, and set about with
great candlesticks and large wax tapers. There is another thing,"
added the old lady, "which ought not to be forgotten; you must
put on mourning, and cause the same to be done by your own and
Fetnah's women, your eunuchs, and all the officers of the palace.
When the caliph returns, and sees you all and the palace in
mourning, he will not fail to ask the occasion of it. You will
then have an opportunity of insinuating yourself into his favour,
by saying, it was out of respect to him that you paid the last
honours to Fetnah, snatched away by sudden death. You may tell
him, you have caused a mausoleum to be built, and, in short, that
you have paid all the last honours to his favourite, as he would
have done himself had he been present. His passion for her being
extraordinary, he will certainly go to shed tears upon her grave;
and perhaps," added the old woman, ‘`he will not believe she is
really dead. He may, possibly, suspect you have turned her out of
the palace through jealousy, and look upon all the mourning as an
artifice to deceive him, and prevent his making inquiries after
her. It is likely he will cause the coffin to be taken up and
opened, and it is certain he will be convinced of her death, as
soon as he shall see the figure of a dead body buried. He will be
pleased with all you shall have done, and express his gratitude.
                                                                    231
As for the wooden image, I will myself undertake to have it cut
by a carver in the city, who shall not know the purpose for which
it is designed. As for your part, madam, order Fetnah's woman,
who yesterday gave her the lemonade, to give out, among her
companions, that she has just found her mistress dead in her bed;
and in order that they may only think of lamenting, without
offering to go into her chamber, let her add, she has already
acquainted you with the circumstance, and that you have ordered
Mesrour to cause her to be buried."

As soon as the old lady had spoken, Zobeide took a rich diamond
ring out of her casket, and putting it on her finger, and
embracing her in a transport of joy, said, "How infinitely am I
beholden to you, my good mother! I should never have thought of
so ingenious a contrivance. It cannot fail of success, and I
begin to recover my peace. I leave the care of the wooden figure
to you, and will go myself to order the rest."

The wooden image was got ready with as much expedition as Zobeide
could have wished, and then conveyed by the old lady herself into
Fetnah's bed-chamber, where she dressed it like a dead body, and
put it into a coffin. Then Mesrour, who was himself deceived by
it, caused the coffin and the representation of Fetnah to be
carried away, and buried with the usual ceremonies in the place
appointed by Zobeide, the favourite's women weeping and
lamenting, she who had given her the lemonade setting them an
example by her cries and lamentations.

That very day Zobeide sent for the architect of the palace, and,
according to orders, the mausoleum was finished in a short time.
Such potent princesses as the consort of a monarch, whose power
extended from east to west, are always punctually obeyed in
whatsoever they command. She soon put on mourning with all the
court; so that the news of Fetnah's death was quickly spread over
the city.

Ganem was one of the last who heard of it; for, as I have before
observed, he hardly ever went abroad. Being, however, at length
informed of it, "Madam," said he to the caliph's fair favourite,
"you are supposed in Bagdad to be dead, and I do not question but
that Zobeide herself believes it. I bless heaven that I am the
cause, and the happy witness of your being alive; would to God,
that, taking advantage of this false report, you would share my
fortune, and go far from hence to reign in my heart! But whither
does this pleasing transport carry me? I do not consider that you
are born to make the greatest prince in the world happy; and that
only Haroon al Rusheed is worthy of you. Supposing you could
resolve to give him up for me, and that you would follow me,
ought I to consent? No, it is my part always to remember, ‘that
                                                                    232
what belongs to the master is forbidden to the slave.'"

The lovely Fetnah, though moved by the tenderness of the passion
he expressed, yet prevailed with herself not to encourage it. "My
lord," said she to him, "we cannot obstruct the momentary triumph
of Zobeide. I am not surprised at the artifice she uses to
conceal her guilt: but let her go on; I flatter myself that
sorrow will soon follow her triumph. The caliph will return, and
we shall find the means privately to inform him of all that has
happened. In the mean time let us be more cautious than ever,
that she may not know I am alive. I have already told you the
consequences to be apprehended from such a discovery."

At the end of three months the caliph returned to Bagdad with
glory, having vanquished all his enemies. He entered the palace
with impatience to embrace Fetnah; but was amazed to see all the
officers in mourning; and his concern was redoubled when,
approaching the apartment of Zobeide, he beheld that princess
coming to meet him in mourning with all her women. He immediately
asked her the cause, with much agitation. "Commander of the
believers," answered Zobeide, "I am in mourning for your slave
Fetnah; who died so suddenly that it was impossible to apply any
remedy to her disorder." She would have proceeded, but the caliph
did not give her time, being so agitated at the news, that he
uttered a feeble exclamation, and fainted. On recovering himself,
he, with a feeble voice, which sufficiently expressed his extreme
grief, asked where his dear Fetnah had been buried. "Sir," said
Zobeide, "I myself took care of her funeral, and spared no cost
to make it magnificent. I have caused a marble mausoleum to be
built over her grave, and will attend you thither if you desire."

The caliph would not permit Zobeide to take that trouble, but
contented himself to have Mesrour to conduct him. He went thither
just as he was, in his camp dress. When he saw the tomb, the wax-
lights round it, and the magnificence of the mausoleum, he was
amazed that Zobeide should have performed the obsequies of her
rival with so much pomp; and being naturally of a jealous temper,
suspected his wife's generosity and fancied his mistress might
perhaps be yet alive; that Zobeide, taking advantage of his long
absence, might have turned her out of the palace, ordering those
she had entrusted to conduct her, to convey her so far off that
she might never more be heard of. This was all he suspected; for
he did not think Zobeide wicked enough to have attempted the life
of his favourite.

The better to discover the truth himself, he ordered the tomb to
be removed, and caused the grave and the coffin to be opened in
his presence; but when he saw the linen wrapped round the wooden
image, he durst not proceed any farther. This devout caliph
                                                                    233
thought it would be a sacrilegious act to suffer the body of the
dead lady to be touched; and this scrupulous fear prevailed over
his love and curiosity. He doubted not of Fetnah's death. He
caused the coffin to be shut up again, the grave to be filled,
and the tomb to be made as it was before.

The caliph thinking himself obliged to pay some respect to the
grave of his favourite, sent for the ministers of religion, the
officers of the palace, and the readers of the Koraun; and,
whilst they were collecting together, he remained in the
mausoleum, moistening with his tears the marble that covered the
phantom of his mistress. When all the persons he had sent for
were come, he stood before the tomb, and recited long prayers;
after which the readers of the Koraun read several, chapters.

The same ceremony was performed every day for a whole month,
morning and evening, the caliph being always present, with the
grand vizier, and the principal officers of the court, all of
them in mourning, as well as the caliph himself, who all the time
ceased not to honour the memory of Fetnah with his tears, and
would not hear of any business.

The last day of the month, the prayers and reading of the Koraun
lasted from morning till break of day the next morning. The
caliph, being tired with sitting up so long, went to take some
rest in his apartment, and fell asleep upon a sofa, between two
of the court ladies, one of them sitting at the bed's-head, and
the other at the feet, who, whilst he slept, were working some
embroidery, and observed a profound silence.

She who sat at the bed's-head, and whose name was Nouron-Nihar,
perceiving the caliph was asleep, whispered to the other, called
Nagmatos Sohi,"There is great news! The commander of the
believers our master will be overjoyed when he awakes, and hears
what I have to tell him; Fetnah is not dead, she is in perfect
health." "O heavens!" cried Nagmatos Sohi, in a transport of joy,
"is it possible, that the beautiful, the charming, the
incomparable Fetnah should be still among the living?" She
uttered these words with so much vivacity, and so loud, that the
caliph awoke. He asked why they had disturbed his rest? "Alas! my
sovereign lord," answered the slave, "pardon me this
indiscretion; I could not without transport hear that Fetnah is
still alive; it caused such emotion in me, as I could not
suppress." "What then is become of her," demanded the caliph, "if
she is not dead?" "Chief of the believers," replied the other, "I
this evening received a note from a person unknown, written with
Fetnah's own hand; she gives me an account of her melancholy
adventure, and orders me to acquaint you with it. I thought fit,
before I fulfilled my commission, to let you take some few
                                                                    234
moments' rest, believing you must stand in need of it, after your
fatigue; and----"

"Give me that note," said the caliph, interrupting her eagerly,
"you were wrong to defer delivering it to me."

The slave immediately presented to him the note, which he opened
with much impatience, and in it Fetnah gave a particular account
of all that had befallen her, but enlarged a little too much on
the attentions of Ganem. The caliph, who was naturally jealous,
instead of being provoked at the inhumanity of Zobeide, was more
concerned at the infidelity he fancied Fetnah had been guilty of
towards him. "Is it so?" said he, after reading the note; "the
perfidious wretch has been four months with a young merchant, and
has the effrontery to boast of his attention to her. Thirty days
are past since my return to Bagdad, and she now thinks of sending
me news of herself. Ungrateful creature! whilst I spend the days
in bewailing her, she passes them in betraying me. Go to, let us
take vengeance of a bold woman, and that bold youth who affronts
me." Having spoken these words, the caliph rose, and went into a
hall where he used to appear in public, and give audience to his
court. The first gate was opened, and immediately all the
courtiers, who were waiting without, entered. The grand vizier,
came in, and prostrated himself before the throne. Then rising,
he stood before his master, who, in a tone which denoted he would
be instantly obeyed, said to him, "Jaaffier, your presence is
requisite, for putting in execution an important affair I am
about to commit to you. Take four hundred men of my guards with
you, and first inquire where a merchant of Damascus lives whose
name is Ganem, the son of Abou Ayoub. When you have learnt this,
repair to his house, and cause it to be razed to the foundations;
but first secure Ganem, and bring him hither, with my slave
Fetnah, who has lived with him these four months. I will punish
her, and make an example of that insolent man, who has presumed
to fail in respell to me."

The grand vizier, having received this positive command, made a
low prostration to the caliph, having his hand on his head, in
token that he would rather lose it than disobey him, and
departed. The first thing he did, was to send to the syndic of
the dealers in foreign stuffs and silks, with strict orders to
find out the house of the unfortunate merchant. The officer he
sent with these orders brought him back word, that he had
scarcely been seen for some months, and no man knew what could
keep him at home, if he was there. The same officer likewise told
Jaaffier where Ganem lived.

Upon this information, that minister, without losing time, went
to the judge of the police, whom he caused to bear him company,
                                                                    235
and attended by a great number of carpenters and masons, with the
necessary tools for razing a house, came to Ganem's residence;
and finding it stood detached

from any other, he posted his soldiers round it, to prevent the
young merchant's making his escape.

Fetnah and Ganem had just dined: the lady was sitting at a window
next the street; hearing a noise, she looked out through the
lattice, and seeing the grand vizier, approach with his
attendants, concluded she was their object as well as Ganem. She
perceived her note had been received, but had not expected such a
consequence, having hoped that the caliph would have taken the
matter in a different light. She knew not how long the prince had
been returned from his campaign, and though she was acquainted
with his jealous temper, yet apprehended nothing on that account.
However, the sight of the grand vizier, and the soldiers made her
tremble, not indeed for herself, but for Ganem: she did not
question clearing herself, provided the caliph would but hear
her. As for Ganem, whom she loved less out of gratitude than
inclination, she plainly foresaw that his incensed rival might be
apt to condemn him, on account of his youth and person. Full of
this thought, she turned to the young merchant and said, "Alas!
Ganem, we are undone." Ganem looked through the lattice, and was
seized with dread, when he beheld the caliph's guards with their
naked cimeters, and the grand vizier, with the civil magistrate
at the head of them. At this sight he stood motionless, and had
not power to utter one word. "Ganem," said the favourite, "there
is no time to be lost; if you love me, put on the habit of one of
your slaves immediately, and disfigure your face and arms with
soot. Then put some of these dishes on your head; you may be
taken for a servant belonging to the eating house, and they will
let you pass. If they happen to ask you where the master of the
house is, answer, without any hesitation, that he is within."
"Alas! madam," answered Harem, concerned for himself than for
Fetnah, "you only take care of me, what will become of you?" "Let
not that trouble you," replied Fetnah, "it is my part to look to
that. As for what you leave in this house, I will take care of
it, and I hope it will be one day faithfully restored to you,
when the caliph's anger shall be over; but at present avoid his
fury. The orders he gives in the heat of passion are always
fatal." The young merchant's affliction was so great, that he
knew not what course to pursue, and would certainly have suffered
himself to be seized by the caliph's soldiers, had not Fetnah
pressed him to disguise himself. He submitted to her persuasions,
put on the habit of a slave, daubed himself with soot, and as
they were knocking at the door, all they could do was to embrace
each other tenderly. They were both so overwhelmed with sorrow,
that they could not utter a word. Thus they parted. Ganem went
                                                                    236
out with some dishes on his head: he was taken for the servant of
an eating-house, and no one offered to stop him. On the contrary,
the grand vizier, who was the first that met him, gave way and
let him pass, little thinking that he was the man he looked for.
Those who were behind the grand vizier, made way as he had done,
and thus favoured his escape He soon reached one of the gates,
and got clear of the city.

Whilst he was making the best of his way from the grand vizier,
that minister came into the room where Fetnah was sitting on a
sofa, and where there were many chests full of Ganem's clothes,
and of the money he had made of his goods.

As soon as Fetnah saw the grand vizier, come into the room, she
fell upon her face, and continuing in that posture, as it were to
receive her death; "My lord," said she, "I am ready to undergo
the sentence passed against me by the commander of the believers;
you need only make it known to me." "Madam," answered Jaaffier,
falling also down till she had raised herself, "God forbid any
man should presume to lay profane hands on you. I do not intend
to offer you the least harm. I have no farther orders, than to
intreat you will be pleased to go with me to the palace, and to
conduct you thither, with the merchant that lives in this house."
"My lord," replied the favourite, "let us go; I am ready to
follow you. As for the young merchant, to whom I am indebted for
my life, he is not here, he has been gone about a month since to
Damascus, whither his business called him, and has left these
chests you see under my care, till he returns. I conjure you to
cause them to be carried to the palace, and order them to be
secured, that I may perform the promise I made him to take all
possible care of them."

"You shall be obeyed," said Jaaffier, and immediately sent for
porters, whom he commanded to take up the chests, and carry them
to Mesrour.

As soon as the porters were gone, he whispered the civil
magistrate, committing to him the care of seeing the house razed,
but first to cause diligent search to be made for Ganem, who, he
suspected, might be hidden, notwithstanding what Fetnah had told
him. He then went out, taking her with him, attended by the two
slaves who waited on her. As for Ganem's slaves, they were not
regarded; they ran in among the crowd, and it was not known what
became of them.

No sooner was Jaaffier out of the house, than the masons and
carpenters began to demolish it, and did their business so
effectually, that in a few hours none of it remained. But the
civil magistrate, not finding Ganem, after the strictest search,
                                                                    237
sent to acquaint the grand vizier, before that minister reached
the palace. "Well," said Haroon al Rusheed, seeing him come into
his closet, "have you executed my orders?" "Yes," answered
Jaaffier "the house Ganem lived in is levelled with the ground,
and I have brought you your favourite Fetnah; she is at your
closet door, and I will call her in, if you command me. As for
the young merchant, we could not find him, though every place has
been searched, and Fetnah affirms that he has been gone a month
to Damascus."

Never was passion equal to that of the caliph, when he heard that
Ganem had made his escape. As for his favourite, believing that
she had been false to him, he would neither see nor speak to her.
"Mesrour," said he to the chief of the eunuchs, who was then
present, "take the ungrateful and perfidious Fetnah, and shut her
up in the dark tower." That tower was within the precinct of the
palace, and commonly served as a prison for the favourites who
any way offended the caliph.

Mesrour being used to execute his sovereign's orders, however
unjust, without making any answer, obeyed this with some
reluctance. He signified his concern to Fetnah, who was the more
grieved because she had assured herself, that the caliph would
not refuse to speak to her. She was obliged to submit to her hard
fate, and to follow Mesrour, who conducted her to the dark tower,
and there left her.

In the mean time, the enraged caliph dismissed his grand vizier,
and only hearkening to his passion, wrote the following letter
with his own hand to the king of Syria, his cousin and tributary,
who resided at Damascus.

"This letter is to inform you, that a merchant of Damascus, whose
name is Ganem, the son of Abou Ayoub, has seduced the most
amiable of my women slaves, called Fetnah, and is fled. It is my
will, that when you have read my letter, you cause search to be
made for Ganem, and secure him. When he is in your power, you
shall cause him to be loaded with irons, and for three days
successively let him receive fifty strokes of the bastinado. Then
let him be led through all parts of the city by a crier,
proclaiming, ‘This is the smallest punishment the commander of
the believers inflicts on him that offends his lord, and
debauches one of his slaves.' After that you shall send him to me
under a strong guard. It is my will that you cause his house to
be plundered; and after it has been razed, order the materials to
be carried out of the city into the middle of the plain. Besides
this, if he has father, mother, sister, wives, daughters, or
other kindred, cause them to be stripped; and when they are
naked, expose them three days to the whole city, forbidding any
                                                                    238
person on pain of death to afford them shelter. I expect you will
without delay execute my command."

The caliph having written this letter, dispatched it by an
express, ordering him to make all possible speed, and to take
pigeons along with him, that he might the sooner hear what had
been done by Mahummud Zinebi.

The pigeons of Bagdad have this peculiar quality, that from
wherever they may be carried to, they return to Bagdad as soon as
they are set at liberty, especially when they have young ones. A
letter rolled up is made fast under their wing, and by that means
advice is speedily received from such places as it is desired.

The caliph's courier travelled night and day, as his master's
impatience required; and being come to Damascus, went directly to
king Zinebi's palace, who sat upon his throne to receive the
caliph's letter. The courier having delivered it, Mahummud
looking at it, and knowing the hand, stood up to shew his
respect, kissed the letter, and laid it on his head, to denote he
was ready submissively to obey the orders it contained. He opened
it, and having read it, immediately descended from his throne,
and without losing time, mounted on horseback with the principal
officers of his household. He sent for the civil magistrate; and
went directly to Ganem's house, attended by all his guards.

Ganem's mother had never received any letter from him since he
had left Damascus; but the other merchants with whom he went to
Bagdad were returned, and all of them told her they had left her
son in perfect however, seeing he did not return, she could not
but be persuaded that he was dead, and was so fully convinced of
this in her imagination, that she went into mourning. She
bewailed Ganem as if she had seen him die, and had herself closed
his eyes: never mother expressed greater sorrow; and so far was
she from seeking any comfort, that she delighted in indulging her
grief. She had caused a dome to be built in the middle of the
court belonging to her house, in which she placed a tomb. She
spent the greatest part of the days and nights in weeping under
that dome, as if her son had been buried there: her daughter bore
her company, and mixed her tears with hers.

It was now some time since they had thus devoted themselves to
sorrow, and the neighbourhood, hearing their cries and
lamentations, pitied such tender relations, when king Mahummud
Zinebi knocked at the door, which being opened by a slave
belonging to the family, he hastily entered the house, inquiring
for Ganem, the son of Abou Ayoub.

Though the slave had never seen king Zinebi, she guessed by his
                                                                    239
retinue that he must be one of the principal officers of
Damascus. "My lord," said she, "that Ganem you inquire for is
dead; my mistress, his mother, is in that monument, lamenting
him." The king, not regarding what was said by the slave, caused
all the house to be diligently searched by his guards for Ganem.
He then advanced towards the monument, where he saw the mother
and daughter sitting on a mat, and their faces appeared to him
bathed in tears. These poor women immediately veiled themselves,
as soon as they beheld a man at the door of the dome; but the
mother, knowing the king of Damascus, got up, and ran to cast
herself at his feet. "My good lady," said he, "I was looking for
your son, Ganem, is he here?" "Alas! sir," cried the mother, "it
is a long time since he has ceased to be: would to God I had at
least put him into his coffin with my own hands, and had had the
comfort of having his bones in this monument! O my son, my dear
son!" She would have said more, but was oppressed with such
violent sorrow that she was unable to proceed.

Zinebi was moved; for he was a prince of a mild nature, and had
much compassion for the sufferings of the unfortunate. "If Ganem
alone be guilty," thought he to himself, "why should the mother
and the daughter, who are innocent, be punished? Ah! cruel Haroon
al Rusheed! what a mortification do you put upon me, in making me
the executioner of your vengeance, obliging me to persecute
persons who have not offended you."

The guards whom the king had ordered to search for Ganem, came
and told him their search had been vain. He was fully convinced
of this; the tears of those two women would not leave him any
room to doubt. It distracted him to be obliged to execute the
caliph's order. "My good lady," said he to Ganem's mother, "quit
this monument with your daughter, it is no place of safety for
you." They went out, and he, to secure them against any insult,
took off his own robe, and covered them both with it, bidding
them keep close to him. He then ordered the populace to be let in
to plunder, which was performed with the utmost rapaciousness,
and with shouts which terrified Ganem's mother and sister the
more, because they knew not the reason. The rabble carried off
the richest goods, chests full of wealth, fine Persian and Indian
carpets, cushions covered with cloth of gold and silver, fine
China ware; in short, all was taken away, till nothing remained
but the bare walls of the house: and it was a dismal spectacle
for the unhappy ladies, to see all their goods plundered, without
knowing why they were so cruelly treated.

When the house was plundered, Mahummud ordered the civil
magistrate to raze the house and monument; and while that was
doing, he carried away the mother and daughter to his palace.
There it was he redoubled their affliction, by acquainting them
                                                                    240
with the caliph's will. "He commands me," said he to them, "to
cause you to be stripped, and exposed naked for three days to the
view of the people. It is with the utmost reluctance that I
execute such a cruel and ignominious sentence." The king
delivered these words with such an air, as plainly made it appear
his heart was really pierced with grief and compassion. Though
the fear of being dethroned prevented his following the dictates
of his pity, yet he in some measure moderated the rigour of the
caliph's orders, by causing large shifts, without sleeves, to be
made of coarse horse-hair for Ganem's mother, and his sister.

The next day, these two victims of the caliph's rage were
stripped of their clothes, and their horse-hair shifts put upon
them; their head-dress was also taken away, so that their
dishevelled hair hung floating on their backs. The daughter had
the finest hair, and it hung down to the ground. In this
condition they were exposed to the people. The civil magistrate,
attended by his officers, were along with them, and they were
conducted through the city. A crier went before them, who every
now and then cried, "This is the punishment due to those who have
drawn on themselves the indignation of the commander of the
believers."

Whilst they walked in this manner along the streets of Damascus,
with their arms and feet naked, clad in such a strange garment,
and endeavouring to hide their confusion under their hair, with
which they covered their faces, all the people were dissolved in
tears; more especially the ladies, considering them as innocent
persons, as they beheld them through their lattice windows, and
being particularly moved by the daughter's youth and beauty, they
made the air ring with their shrieks, as they passed before their
houses. The very children, frightened at those shrieks, and at
the spectacle that occasioned them, mixed their cries with the
general lamentation. In short, had an enemy been in Damascus,
putting all to fire and sword, the consternation could not have
been greater.

It was near night when this dismal scene concluded. The mother
and daughter were both conducted back to king Mahummud's palace.
Not being used to walk bare-foot, they were so spent, that they
lay a long time in a swoon. The queen of Damascus, highly
afflicted at their misfortunes, notwithstanding the caliph's
prohibition to relieve them, sent some of her women to comfort
them, with all sorts of refreshments and wine, to recover their
spirits.

The queen's women found them still in a swoon, and almost past
receiving any benefit by what they offered them. However, with
much difficulty they were brought to themselves. Ganem's mother
                                                                    241
immediately returned them thanks for their courtesy. "My good
madam," said one of the queen's ladies to her, "we are highly
concerned at your affliction, and the queen of Syria, our
mistress, has done us a favour in employing us to assist you. We
can assure you, that princess is much afflicted at your
misfortunes, as well as the king her consort." Ganem's mother
entreated the queen's women to return her majesty a thousand
thanks from her and her daughter, and then directing her
discourse to the lady who spoke to her, "Madam," said she, "the
king has not told me why the chief of the believers inflicts so
many outrages on us: pray be pleased to tell us what crimes we
have been guilty of." "My good lady," answered the other, "the
origin of your misfortunes proceeds from your son Ganem. He is
not dead, as you imagine. He is accused of having seduced the
beautiful Fetnah, the best beloved of the caliph's favourites;
but having, by flight, withdrawn himself from that prince's
indignation, the punishment is fallen on you. All condemn the
caliph's resentment, but all fear him; and you see king Zinebi
himself dares not resist his orders, for fear of incurring his
displeasure. All we can do is to pity you, and exhort you to have
patience."

"I know my son," answered Ganem's mother; "I have educated him
carefully, and in that respect which is due to the commander of
the believers. He cannot have committed the crime he is accused
of; I dare answer for his innocence. But I will cease to murmur
and complain, since it is for him that I suffer, and he is not
dead. O Ganem!" added she, in a transport of affection and joy,
"my dear son Ganem! is possible that you are still alive? I am no
longer concerned for the loss of my fortune; and how harsh and
unjust soever the caliph's orders may be, I forgive him, provided
heaven has preserved my son. I am only concerned for my daughter;
her sufferings alone afflict me; yet I believe her to be so good
a sister as to follow my example."

On hearing these words, the young lady, who till then had
appeared insensible, turned to her mother, and clasping her arms
about her neck, "Yes, dear mother," said she, "I will always
follow your example, whatever extremity your love for my brother
may reduce us to."

The mother and daughter thus interchanging their sighs and tears,
continued a considerable time in such moving embraces. In the
mean time the queen's women, who were much affected at the
spectacle, omitted no persuasions to prevail with Ganem's mother
to take some sustenance. She ate a morsel out of complaisance,
and her daughter did the like.

The caliph having ordered that Ganem's kindred should be exposed
                                                                    242
three days successively to the sight of the people, in the
condition already mentioned, the unhappy ladies afforded the same
spectacle the second time next day, from morning till night. But
that day and the following, the streets, which at first had been
full of people, were now quite empty. All the merchants, incensed
at the ill usage of Abou Ayoub's widow and daughter, shut up
their shops, and kept themselves close within their houses. The
ladies, instead of looking through their lattice windows,
withdrew into the back parts of their houses. There was not a
person to be seen in the public places through which those
unfortunate women were carried. It seemed as if all the
inhabitants of Damascus had abandoned their city.

On the fourth day, the king resolving punctually to obey the
caliph's orders, though he did not approve of them, sent criers
into all quarters of the city to make proclamation, strictly
commanding all the inhabitants of Damascus, and strangers, of
what condition soever, upon pain of death, and having their
bodies cast to the dogs to be devoured, not to receive Ganem's
mother and sister into their houses, or give them a morsel of
bread or a drop of water, and, in a word, not to afford them the
least support, or hold the least correspondence with them.

When the criers had performed what the king had enjoined them,
that prince ordered the mother and the daughter to be turned out
of the palace, and left to their choice to go where they thought
fit. As soon as they appeared, all persons fled from them, so
great an impression had the late prohibition made upon all. They
easily perceived that every body shunned them; but not knowing
the reason, were much surprised; and their amazement was the
greater, when coming into any street, or among any persons, they
recollected some of their best friends, who immediately retreated
with as much haste as the rest. "What is the meaning of this,"
said Ganem's mother; "do we carry the plague about us? Must the
unjust and barbarous usage we have received render us odious to
our fellow-citizens? Come, my child," added she, "let us depart
from Damascus with all speed; let us not stay any longer in a
city where we are become frightful to our very friends."

The two wretched ladies, discoursing in this manner, came to one
of the extremities of the city, and retired to a ruined house to
pass the night. Thither some Mussulmauns, out of charity and
compassion, resorted to them after the day was shut in. They
carried them provisions, but durst not stay to comfort them, for
fear of being discovered, and punished for disobeying the
caliph's orders.

In the mean time king Zinebi had let fly a pigeon to give the
caliph an account of his exact obedience. He informed him of all
                                                                    243
that had been executed, and conjured him to direct what he would
have done with Ganem's mother and sister. He soon received the
caliph's answer in the same way, which was, that he should banish
them from Damascus for ever. Immediately the king of Syria sent
men to the old house, with orders to take the mother and
daughter, and to conduct them three days' journey from Damascus,
and there to leave them, forbidding them ever to return to the
city.

Zinebi's men executed their commission, but being less exact
their master, in the strict performance of the caliph's orders,
they in pity gave the wretched ladies some small pieces of money,
and each of them a scrip, which they hung about their necks, to
carry their provisions.

In this miserable state they came to the first village. The
peasants' wives flocked about them, and, as it appeared through
their disguise that they were people of some condition, asked
them what was the occasion of their travelling in a habit that
did not seem to belong to them. Instead of answering the
question, they fell to weeping, which only served to heighten the
curiosity of the peasants, and to move their compassion. Ganem's
mother told them what she and her daughter had endured; at which
the good countrywomen were sensibly afflicted, and endeavoured to
comfort them. They treated them as well as their poverty would
permit, took off their horse-hair shifts, which were very uneasy
to them, and put on them others which they gave them, with shoes,
and something to cover their heads, and save their hair.

Having expressed their gratitude to those charitable women, Jalib
al Koolloob and her mother departed from that village, taking
short journeys towards Aleppo. They used at dusk to retire near
or into the mosques, where they passed the night on the mat, if
there was any, or else on the bare pavement; and sometimes rested
in the public places appointed for the use of travellers. As for
sustenance, they did not want, for they often came to places
where bread, boiled rice, and other provisions are distributed to
all travellers who desire it.

At length they came to Aleppo, but would not stay there, and
continuing their journey towards the Euphrates, crossed the
river, and entered Mesopotamia, which they traversed as far as
Moussoul. Thence, notwithstanding all they had endured, they
proceeded to Bagdad. That was the place they had fixed their
thoughts upon, hoping to find Ganem, though they ought not to
have fancied that he was in a city where the caliph resided; but
they hoped, because they wished it; their affection for him
increasing instead of diminishing, with their misfortunes. Their
conversation was generally about him, and they inquired for him
                                                                    244
of all they met. But let us leave Jalib al Koolloob and her
mother, and return to Fetnah.

She was still confined closely in the dark tower, since the day
that had been so fatal to Ganem and herself. However,
disagreeable as her prison was to her, it was much less grievous
than the thoughts of Ganem's misfortune, the uncertainty of whose
fate was a killing affliction. There was scarcely a moment in
which she did not lament him.

The caliph was accustomed to walk frequently at night within the
enclosure of his palace, for he was the most inquisitive prince
in the world, and sometimes, by those night-walks, came to the
knowledge of things that happened in his court, which would
otherwise never have reached his ear. One of those nights, in his
walk, he happened to pass by the dark tower, and fancying he
heard somebody talk, stops, and drawing near the door to listen,
distinctly heard these words, which Fetnah, whose thoughts were
always on Ganem, uttered with a loud voice: "O Ganem, too
unfortunate Ganem! where are you at this time, whither has thy
cruel fate led thee? Alas! it is I that have made you wretched!
why did you not let me perish miserably, rather than afford me
your generous relief? What melancholy return have you received
for your care and respect? The commander of the faithful, who
ought to have rewarded, persecutes you; and in requital for
having always regarded me as a person reserved for his bed, you
lose your fortune, and are obliged to seek for safety in flight.
O caliph, barbarous caliph, how can you exculpate yourself, when
you shall appear with Ganem before the tribunal of the Supreme
Judge, and the angels shall testify the truth before your face?
All the power you are now invested with, and which makes almost
the whole world tremble, will not prevent your being condemned
and punished for your violent and unjust proceedings." Here
Fetnah ceased her complaints, her sighs and tears putting a stop
to her utterance.

This was enough to make the caliph reflect. He plainly perceived,
that if what he had heard was true, his favourite must be
innocent, and that he had been too hasty in giving such orders
against Ganem and his family. Being resolved to be rightly
informed in an affair which so nearly concerned him in point of
equity, on which he valued himself, he immediately returned to
his apartment, and that moment ordered Mesrour to repair to the
dark tower, and bring Fetnah before him.

By this command, and much more by the caliph's manner of
speaking, the chief of the eunuchs guessed that his master
designed to pardon his favourite, and take her to him again. He
was overjoyed at the thought, for he respected Fetnah, and had
                                                                    245
been much concerned at her disgrace; therefore flying instantly
to the tower, "Madam," said he to the favourite, with such an air
as expressed his satisfaction, "be pleased to follow me; I hope
you will never more return to this melancholy abode: the
commander of the faithful wishes to speak with you, and I draw
from this a happy omen."

Fetnah followed Mesrour, who conducted her into the caliph's
closet. She prostrated herself before him, and so continued, her
face bathed in tears. "Fetnah," said the caliph, without bidding
her rise, "I think you charge me with violence and injustice. Who
is he, that, notwithstanding the regard and respell he had for
me, is in a miserable condition? Speak freely, you know the
natural goodness of my disposition, and that I love to do
justice."

By these words the favourite was convinced that the caliph had
heard what she had said, and availed herself of so favourable an
opportunity to clear Ganem. "Commander of the true believers,"
said she, "if I have let fall any word that is not agreeable to
your majesty, I most humbly beseech you to forgive me; but he
whose innocence and wretched state you desire to be informed of
is Ganem, the unhappy son of Abou Ayoub, late a rich merchant of
Damascus. He saved my life from a grave, and afforded me a
sanctuary in his house. I must own, that, from the first moment
he saw me, he perhaps designed to devote himself to me, and
conceived hopes of engaging me to admit his love. I guessed at
this, by the eagerness which he shewed in entertaining me, and
doing me all the good offices I so much wanted under the
circumstances I was then in; but as soon as he heard that I had
the honour to belong to you, ‘Ah, madam,' said he, ‘that which
belongs to the master is forbidden to the slave.' From that
moment, I owe this justice to his virtue to declare, his
behaviour was always suitable to his words. You, commander of the
true believers, well know with what rigour you have treated him,
and you will answer for it before the tribunal of God."

The caliph was not displeased with Fetnah for the freedom of
these words; "But may I," said he, "rely on the assurance you
give me of Ganem's virtue?" "Yes," replied Fetnah, "you may. I
would not for the world conceal the truth from you; and to prove
to you that I am sincere, I must make a confession, which perhaps
may displease you, but I beg pardon of your majesty beforehand."
"Speak, daughter," said Haroon al Rusheed, "I forgive you all,
provided you conceal nothing from me." "Well, then," replied
Fetnah, "let me inform you, that Ganem's respectful behaviour,
joined to all the good offices he did me, gained him my esteem. I
went further yet: you know the tyranny of love: I felt some
tender inclination rising in my breast. He perceived it; but far
                                                                    246
from availing himself of my frailty, and notwithstanding the
flame which consumed him, he still remained steady in his duty,
and all that his passion could force from him were the words I
have already repeated to your majesty, ‘That which belongs to the
master is forbidden to the slave.'"

This ingenuous confession might have provoked any other man than
the caliph; but it completely appeased that prince. He commanded
her to rise, and making her sit by him, "Tell me your story,"
said he, "from the beginning to the end." She did so, with
artless simplicity, passing slightly over what regarded Zobeide,
and enlarging on the obligations she owed to Ganem; but above
all, she highly extolled his discretion, endeavouring by that
means to make the caliph sensible that she had been under the
necessity of remaining concealed in Ganem's house, to deceive
Zobeide. She concluded with the young merchant's escape, which
she plainly told the caliph she had compelled him to, that he
might avoid his indignation.

When she had done speaking, the caliph said to her, "I believe
all you have told me; but why was it so long before you let me
hear from you? Was there any need of staying a whole month after
my return, before you sent me word where you were?" "Commander of
the true believers," answered Fetnah, "Ganem went abroad so very
seldom, that you need not wonder we were not the first that heard
of your return. Besides, Ganem, who took upon him to deliver the
letter I wrote to Nouron Nihar, was a long time before he could
find an opportunity of putting it into her own hands."

"It is enough, Fetnah," replied the caliph; "I acknowledge my
fault, and would willingly make amends for it, by heaping favours
on the young merchant of Damascus. Consider, therefore, what I
can do for him. Ask what you think fit, and I will grant it."
Hereupon the favourite fell down at the caliph's feet, with her
face to the ground; and rising again, said, "Commander of the
true believers, after returning your majesty thanks for Ganem, I
most humbly entreat you to cause it to be published throughout
your do minions, that you pardon the son of Abou Ayoub, and that
he may safely come to you." "I must do more," rejoined the
prince, "in requital for having saved your life, and the respect
he has strewn for me, to make amends for the loss of his fortune.
In short, to repair the wrong I have done to himself and his
family, I give him to you for a husband." Fetnah had no words
expressive enough to thank the caliph for his generosity: she
then withdrew into the apartment she had occupied before her
melancholy adventure. The same furniture was still in it, nothing
had been removed; but that which pleased her most was, to find
Ganem's chests and bales, which Mesrour had received the caliph's
orders to convey thither.
                                                                    247
The next day Haroon al Rusheed ordered the grand vizier, to cause
proclamation to be made throughout all his dominions, that he
pardoned Ganem the son of Abou Ayoub; but this proved of no
effect, for a long time elapsed without any news of the young
merchant. Fetnah concluded, that he had not been able to survive
the pain of losing her. A dreadful uneasiness seized her mind;
but as hope is the last thing which forsakes lovers, she
entreated the caliph to give her leave to seek for Ganem herself;
which being granted, she took a purse containing a thousand
pieces of gold, and went one morning out of the palace, mounted
on a mule from the caliph's stables, very richly caparisoned.
Black eunuchs attended her, with a hand placed on each side of
the mule's back.

Thus she went from mosque to mosque, bestowing her alms among the
devotees of the Mahummedan religion, desiring their prayers for
the accomplishment of an affair, on which the happiness of two
persons, she told them, depended. She spend the whole day and the
thousand pieces of gold in giving alms at the mosques, and
returned to the palace in the evening.

The next day she took another purse of the same value, and in the
like equipage as the day before, went to the square of the
jewellers' shops, and stopping at the gateway without alighting,
sent one of her black eunuchs for the syndic or chief of them.
The syndic, who was a most charitable man, and spent above two-
thirds of his income in relieving poor strangers, sick or in
distress, did not make Fetnah wait, knowing by her dress that she
was a lady belonging to the palace. "I apply myself to you," said
she, putting the purse into his hands, "as a person whose piety
is celebrated throughout the city. I desire you to distribute
that gold among the poor strangers you relieve, for I know you
make it your business to assist those who apply to your charity.
I am also satisfied that you prevent their wants, and that
nothing is more grateful to you, than to have an opportunity of
relieving their misery." "Madam," answered the syndic, "I shall
obey your commands with pleasure; but if you desire to exercise
your charity in person, and will be pleased to step to my house,
you will there see two women worthy of your compassion; I met
them yesterday as they were coming into the city; they were in a
deplorable condition, and it moved me the more, because I thought
they were persons of rank. Through all the rags that covered
them, notwithstanding the impression the sun has made on their
faces, I discovered a noble air, not to be commonly found in
those people I relieve. I carried them both to my house, and
delivered them to my wife, who was of the same opinion with me.
She caused her slaves to provide them good beds, whilst she
herself led them to our warm bath, and gave them clean linen. We
                                                                    248
know not as yet who they are, because we wish to let them take
some rest before we trouble them with our questions."

Fetnah, without knowing why, felt a curiosity to see them. The
syndic would have conducted her to his house, but she would not
give him the trouble, and was satisfied that a slave should shew
her the way. She alighted at the door, and followed the syndic's
slave, who was gone before to give notice to his mistress, she
being then in the chamber with Jalib al Koolloob and her mother,
for they were the persons the syndic had been speaking of to
Fetnah.

The syndic's wife being informed by the slave, that a lady from
the palace was in her house, was hastening to meet her; but
Fetnah, who had followed the slave, did not give her time: on her
coming into the chamber, the syndic's wife prostrated herself
before her, to express the respect she had for all who belonged
to the caliph. Fetnah raised her up, and said, "My good lady, I
desire you will let me speak with those two strangers that
arrived at Bagdad last night." "Madam," answered the syndic's
wife, "they lie in those beds you see by each other." The
favourite immediately drew near the mother's, and viewing her
carefully, "Good woman," said she, "I come to offer you my
assistance: I have considerable interest in this city, and may be
of service to you and your companion." "Madam," answered Ganem's
mother, "I perceive by your obliging offers, that Heaven has not
quite forsaken us, though we had cause to believe it had, after
so many misfortunes as have befallen us." Having uttered these
words, she wept so bitterly that Fetnah and the syndic's wife
could not forbear letting fall some tears.

The caliph's favourite having dried up hers, said to Ganem's
mother, "Be so kind as to tell us your misfortunes, and recount
your story. You cannot make the relation to any persons better
disposed to use all possible means to comfort you." "Madam,"
replied Abou Ayoub's disconsolate widow, "a favourite of the
commander of the true believers, a lady whose name is Fetnah, is
the occasion of all our misfortunes." These words were like a
thunderbolt to the favourite; but suppressing her agitation and
concern, she suffered Ganem's mother to proceed in the following
manner: "I am the widow of Abou Ayoub, a merchant of Damascus; I
had a son called Ganem, who, coming to trade at Bagdad, has been
accused of carrying off Fetnah. The caliph caused search to be
made for him every where, to put him to death; but not finding
him, he wrote to the king of Damascus, to cause our house to be
plundered and razed, and to expose my daughter and myself three
days successively, naked, to the populace, and then to banish us
out of Syria for ever. But how unworthy soever our usage has
been, I should be still comforted were my son alive, and I could
                                                                    249
meet with him. What a pleasure would it be for his sister and me
to see him again! Embracing him we should forget the loss of our
property, and all the evils we have suffered on his account.
Alas! I am fully persuaded he is only the innocent cause of them;
and that he is no more guilty towards the caliph than his sister
and myself."

"No doubt of it," said Fetnah, interrupting her there, "he is no
more guilty than you are; I can assure you of his innocence; for
I am that very Fetnah, you so much complain of; who, through some
fatality in my stars, have occasioned you so many misfortunes. To
me you must impute the loss of your son, if he is no more; but if
I have occasioned your misfortune, I can in some measure relieve
it. I have already justified Ganem to the caliph; who has caused
it to be proclaimed throughout his dominions, that he pardons the
son of Abou Ayoub; and doubt not he will do you as much good as
he has done you injury. You are no longer his enemies. He waits
for Ganem, to requite the service he has done me, by uniting our
fortunes; he gives me to him for his consort, therefore look on
me as your daughter, and permit me to vow eternal duty and
affection." "Having so said, she bowed down on Ganem's mother,
who was so astonished that she could return no answer. Fetnah
held her long in her arms, and only left her to embrace the
daughter, who, sitting up, held out her arms to receive her.

When the caliph's favourite had strewn the mother and daughter
all tokens of affection, as Ganem's wife, she said to them, "The
wealth Ganem had in this city is not lost, it is in my apartment
in the palace; but I know all the treasure of the world cannot
comfort you without Ganem, if I may judge of you by myself. Blood
is no less powerful than love in great minds; but why should we
despair of seeing him again? We shall find him; the happiness of
meeting with you makes me conceive fresh hopes. Perhaps this is
the last day of your sufferings, and the beginning of a greater
felicity than you enjoyed in Damascus, when Ganem was with you."

Fetnah would have proceeded, but the syndic of the jewellers
coming in interrupted her: "Madam," said he to her, "I come from
seeing a very moving object, it is a young man, whom a camel-
driver had just carried to an hospital: he was bound with cords
on a camel, because he had not strength enough to sit. They had
already unbound him, and were carrying him into the hospital,
when I happened to pass by. I went up to the young man, viewed
him attentively, and fancied his countenance was not altogether
unknown to me. I asked him some questions concerning his family
and his country; but all the answers I could get were sighs and
tears. I took pity on him, and being so much used to sick people,
perceived that he had need to have particular care taken of him.
I would not permit him to be put into the hospital; for I am too
                                                                    250
well acquainted with their way of managing the sick, and am
sensible of the incapacity of the physicians. I have caused him
to be brought to my own house, by my slaves; and they are now in
a private room where I placed him, putting on some of my own
linen, and treating him as they would do myself."

Fetnah's heart beat at these words of the jeweller, and she felt
a sudden emotion, for which she could not account: "Shew me,"
said she to the syndic, "into the sick man's room; I should be
glad to see him." The syndic conducted her, and whilst she was
going thither, Ganem's mother said to Jalib al Koolloob, "Alas!
daughter, wretched as that sick stranger is, your brother, if he
be living, is not perhaps in a more happy condition."

The caliph's favourite coming into the chamber of the sick
stranger, drew near the bed, in which the syndic's slaves had
already laid him. She saw a young man, whose eyes were closed,
his countenance pale, disfigured, and bathed in tears. She gazed
earnestly on him, her heart beat, and she fancied she beheld
Ganem; but yet she would not believe her eyes. Though she found
something of Ganem in the objets she beheld, yet in other
respects he appeared so different, that she durst not imagine it
was he that lay before her. Unable, however, to withstand the
earnest desire of being satisfied, "Ganem," said she, with a
trembling voice, "is it you I behold?" Having spoken these words,
she stopped to give the young man time to answer, but observing
that he seemed insensible; "Alas! Ganem," added she, "it is not
you that I address! My imagination being overcharged with your
image, has given to a stranger a deceitful resemblance. The son
of Abou Ayoub, however indisposed, would know the voice of
Fetnah." At the name of Fetnah, Ganem (for it was really he)
opened his eyes, sprang up, and knowing the caliph's favourite;
"Ah! madam," said he, "by what miracle" He could say no more;
such a sudden transport of joy seized him that he fainted away.
Fetnah and the syndic did all they could to bring him to himself;
but as soon as they perceived he began to revive, the syndic
desired the lady to withdraw, lest the sight of her should
heighten his disorder.

The young man having recovered, looked all around, and not seeing
what he sought, exclaimed, "What is become of you, charming
Fetnah? Did you really appear before my eyes, or was it only an
illusion?" "No, sir," said the syndic, "it was no illusion. It
was I that caused the lady to withdraw, but you shall see her
again, as soon as you are in a condition to bear the interview.
You now stand in need of rest, and nothing ought to obstruct your
taking it. The situation of your affairs is altered, since you
are, as I suppose, that Ganem, in favour of whom the commander of
the true believers has caused a proclamation to be made in
                                                                    251
Bagdad, declaring, that he forgives him what is passed. Be
satisfied, for the present, with knowing so much; the lady, who
just now spoke to you, will acquaint you with the rest, therefore
think of nothing but recovering your health; I will contribute
all in my power towards it." Having spoke these words, he left
Ganem to take his rest, and went himself to provide for him such
medicines as were proper to recover his strength, exhausted by
hard living and toil.

During this time Fetnah was in the room with Jalib al Koolloob
and her mother, where almost the same scene was acted over again;
for when Ganem's mother understood that the sick stranger whom
the syndic had brought into his house was Ganem himself, she was
so overjoyed, that she also swooned away, and when, with the
assistance of Fetnah and the syndic's wife, she was again come to
herself, she would have arisen to go and see her son; but the
syndic coming in, hindered her, representing that Ganem was so
weak and emaciated, that it would endanger his life to excite in
him those emotions, which must be the consequence of the
unexpected sight of a beloved mother and sister. There was no
occasion for the syndic's saying any more to Ganem's mother; as
soon as she was told that she could not converse with her son,
without hazarding his life, she ceased insisting to go and see
him. Fetnah then said, "Let us bless Heaven for having brought us
all together. I will return to the palace to give the caliph an
account of these adventures, and tomorrow morning I will return
to you." This said, she embraced the mother and the daughter, and
went away. As soon as she came to the palace, she sent Mesrour to
request a private audience of the caliph, which was immediately
granted; and being brought into the prince's closet, where he was
alone, she prostrated herself at his feet, with her face on the
ground, according to custom. He commanded her to rise, and having
made her sit down, asked whether she had heard any news of Ganem?
"Commander of the true believers," said she, "I have been so
successful, that I have found him, and also his mother and
sister." The caliph was curious to know how she had discovered
them in so short a time, and she satisfied his inquiries, saying
so many things in commendation of Ganem's mother and sister, he
desired to see them as well as the young merchant.

Though Haroon al Rusheed was passionate, and in his heat
sometimes guilty of cruel actions; yet he was just, and the most
generous prince in the world, when the storm of anger was over,
and he was made sensible of the wrong he had done. Having
therefore no longer cause to doubt but that he had unjustly
persecuted Ganem and his family, and had publicly wronged them,
he resolved to make them public satisfaction. "I am overjoyed,"
said he to Fetnah, "that your search has proved so successful; it
is a real satisfaction to me, not so much for your sake as for my
                                                                    252
own. I will keep the promise I have made you. You shall marry
Ganem, and I here declare you are no longer my slave; you are
free. Go back to that young merchant, and as soon as he has
recovered his health, you shall bring him to me with his mother
and sister."

The next morning early Fetnah repaired to the syndic of the
jewellers, being impatient to hear of Ganem's health, and tell
the mother and daughter the good news she had for them. The first
person she met was the syndic, who told her that Ganem had rested
well that night; and that his disorder proceeding altogether from
melancholy, the cause being removed, he would soon recover his
health.

Accordingly the son of Abou Ayoub was speedily much amended.
Rest, and the good medicines he had taken, but above all the
different situation of his mind, had wrought so good an effect,
that the syndic thought he might without danger see his mother,
his sister, and his mistress, provided he was prepared to receive
them; because there was ground to fear, that, not knowing his
mother and sister were at Bagdad, the sight of them might
occasion too great surprise and joy. It was therefore resolved,
that Fetnah should first go alone into Ganem's chamber, and then
make a sign to the two other ladies to appear, when she thought
it was proper.

Matters being so ordered, the syndic announced Fetnah's coming to
the sick man, who was so transported to see her, that he was
again near fainting away, "Well, Ganem," said she, drawing near
to his bed, "you have again found your Fetnah, whom you thought
you had lost for ever." "Ah! madam," exclaimed he, eagerly
interrupting her, "what miracle has restored you to my sight? I
thought you were in the caliph's palace; he has doubtless
listened to you. You have dispelled his jealousy, and he has
restored you to his favour."

"Yes, my dear Ganem," answered Fetnah, "I have cleared myself
before the commander of the true believers, who, to make amends
for the wrong he has done you, bestows me on you for a wife."
These last words occasioned such an excess of joy in Ganem, that
he knew not for a while how to express himself, otherwise than by
that passionate silence so well known to lovers. At length he
broke out in these words: "Beautiful Fetnah, may I give credit to
what you tell me? May I believe that the caliph really resigns
you to Abou Ayoub's son?" "Nothing is more certain," answered the
lady. "The caliph, who before caused search to be made for you,
to take away your life, and who in his fury caused your mother
and your sister to suffer a thousand indignities, desires now to
see you, that he may reward the respect you had for him; and
                                                                    253
there is no question but that he will load your family with
favours."

Ganem asked, what the caliph had done to his mother and sister,
which Fetnah told him; and he could not forbear letting fall some
tears at the relation, notwithstanding the thoughts which arose
in his mind at the prospect of being married to his mistress. But
when Fetnah informed him, that they were actually in Bagdad, and
in the same house with him, he appeared so impatient to see them,
that the favourite could no longer defer giving him the
satisfaction; and accordingly called them in. They were at the
door waiting for that moment. They entered, went up to Ganem, and
embracing him in their turns, kissed him a thousand times. What
tears were shed amidst those embraces! Ganem's face was bathed
with them, as well as his mother's and sisters; and Fetnah let
fall abundance. The syndic himself and his wife were so moved at
the spectacle, that they could not forbear weeping, nor
sufficiently admire the secret workings of Providence which had
brought together into their house four persons, whom fortune had
so cruelly persecuted.

When they had dried up their tears, Ganem drew them afresh, by
the recital of what he had suffered from the day he left Fetnah,
till the moment the syndic brought him to his house. He told
them, that having taken refuge in a small village, he there fell
sick; that some charitable peasants had taken care of him, but
finding he did not recover, a camel-driver had undertaken to
carry him to the hospital at Bagdad. Fetnah also told them all
the uneasiness of her imprisonment, how the caliph, having heard
her talk in the tower, had sent for her into his closet, and how
she had cleared herself. In conclusion, when they had related
what accidents had befallen them, Fetnah said, "Let us bless
Heaven, which has brought us all together again, and let us think
of nothing but the happiness that awaits us. As soon as Ganem has
recovered his health, he must appear before the caliph, with his
mother and sister; but I will go and make some provision for
them."

This said, she went to the palace, and soon returned with a purse
containing a thousand pieces of gold, which she delivered to the
syndic, desiring him to buy apparel for the mother and daughter.
The syndic, who was a man of a good taste, chose such as were
very handsome, and had them made up with all expedition. They
were finished in three days, and Ganem finding himself strong
enough, prepared to go abroad; but on the day he had appointed to
pay his respects to the caliph, while he was making ready, with
his mother and sister, the grand vizier, Jaaffier came to the
syndic's house.

                                                                    254
He had come on horseback, attended by a great number of officers.
"Sir," said he to Ganem, as soon as he entered, "I am come from
the commander of the true believers, my master and yours; the
orders I have differ much from those which I do not wish to
revive in your memory; I am to bear you company, and to present
you to the caliph, who is desirous to see you." Ganem returned no
other answer to the vizier's compliment, than by profoundly
bowing his head, and then mounted a horse brought from the
caliph's stables, which he managed very gracefully. The mother
and daughter were mounted on mules belonging to the palace, and
whilst Fetnah on another mule led them by a bye-way to the
prince's court, Jaaffier conducted Ganem, and brought him into
the hall of audience. The caliph was sitting on his throne,
encompassed with emirs, viziers, and. other attendants and
courtiers, Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, Africans, and Syrians, of
his own dominions, not to mention strangers.

When the vizier had conducted Ganem to the foot of the throne,
the young merchant paid his obeisance, prostrating himself with
his face to the ground, and then rising, made a handsome
compliment in verse, which, though the effusion of the moment,
met with the approbation of the whole court. After his
compliment, the caliph caused him to approach, and said, "I am
glad to see you, and desire to hear from your own mouth where you
found my favourite, and all that you have done for her." Ganem
obeyed, and appeared so sincere, that the caliph was convinced of
his veracity. He ordered a very rich vest to be given him,
according to the custom observed towards those who are admitted
to audience. After which he said to him, "Ganem, I will have you
live in my court." "Commander of the true believers," answered
the young merchant, "a slave has no will but his master's, on
whom his life and fortune depend." The caliph was highly pleased
with Ganem's reply, and assigned him a considerable pension. He
then descended from his throne, and causing only Ganem and the
grand vizier, follow him, retired into his own apartment.

Not questioning but that Fetnah was in waiting, with Abou Ayoub's
widow and daughter, he caused them to be called in. They
prostrated themselves before him: he made them rise; and was so
charmed by Jalib al Koolloob's beauty, that, after viewing her
very attentively, he said, "I am so sorry for having treated your
charms so unworthily, that I owe them such a satisfaction as may
surpass the injury I have done. I take you to wife; and by that
means shall punish Zobeide, who shall become the first cause of
your good fortune, as she was of your past sufferings. This is
not all," added he, turning towards Ganem's mother; "you are
still young, I believe you will not disdain to be allied to my
grand vizier, I give you to Jaaffier, and you, Fetnah, to Ganem.
Let a cauzee and witnesses be called, and the three contracts be
                                                                    255
drawn up and signed immediately." Ganem would have represented to
the caliph, that it would be honour enough for his sister to be
one of his favourites; but he was resolved to marry her.

Haroon thought this such an extraordinary story, that he ordered
his historiographer to commit it to writing with all its
circumstances. It was afterwards laid up in his library, and many
copies being transcribed, it became public.




End of Volume 1.




Text scanned and proofread by JC Byers
(http://www.capitalnet.com/~jcbyers/index.htm)




            The "Aldine" Edition of

         The Arabian Nights Entertainments

            Illustrated by S. L. Wood

         FROM THE TEXT OF DR. JONATHAN SCOTT

               In Four Volumes

                 Volume 2


                 London
             Pickering and Chatto
                  1890




             Contents of Volume II.

The Story of the Little Hunch-Back
  The Story Told by the Christian Merchant
  The Story Told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor
                                                                    256
   The Story Told by the Jewish Physician
   The Story Told by the Tailor
   The Story Told by the Barber
   The Story Told by the Barber's Eldest Brother
   The Story Told by the Barber's Second Brother
   The Story Told by the Barber's Third Brother
   The Story Told by the Barber's Fourth Brother
   The Story Told by the Barber's Fifth Brother
   The Story Told by the Barber's Sixth Brother

The History of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Ecar, and Schemselnihar,
Favourite of Caliph Haroon Al Rusheed

The Story of the Loves of Kummir Al Zummaun, Prince of the Isles
of the Children of
Khaledan, and of Badoura, Princess of China

The Story of the Princes Amgiad and Assad
  The Story of the Prince Amgiad and a Lady of the City of
Magicians

The Story of Noor Ad Deen and the Fair Persian




        THE STORY OF THE LITTLE HUNCH-BACK.



There was in former times at Casgar, on the extreme boundaries of
Tartary, a tailor who had a pretty wife, whom he affectionately
loved, and by whom he was beloved with reciprocal tenderness. One
day while he was at work, a little hunch-back seated himself at
the shop door and began to sing, and play upon a tabor. The
tailor was pleased with his performance, and resolved to take him
to his house to entertain his wife: "This little fellow," said
he, "will divert us both this evening." He accordingly invited
him, and the other readily accepted the invitation: so the tailor
shut up his shop, and carried him home. Immediately after their
arrival the tailor's wife placed before them a good dish of fish;
but as the little man was eating, he unluckily swallowed a bone,
which, notwithstanding all that the tailor and his wife could do,
choked him. This accident greatly alarmed them both, dreading, if
the magistrates should hear of it, that they would be punished as
murderers. However, the husband devised a scheme to get rid of
the corpse. He reflected that a Jewish doctor lived just by, and
                                                                    257
having formed his plan, his wife and he took the corpse, the one
by the feet and the other by the head, and carried it to the
physician's house. They knocked at the door, from which a steep
flight of stairs led to his chamber. The servant maid came down
without any light, and opening the door, asked what they wanted.
"Have the goodness," said the tailor, "to go up again, and tell
your master we have brought him a man who is very ill, and wants
his advice. Here," continued he, putting a piece of money into
her hand, "give him that beforehand, to convince him that we do
not mean to impose." While the servant was gone up to inform her
master, the tailor and his wife hastily conveyed the hunchbacked
corpse to the head of the stairs, and leaving it there, hurried
away.

In the mean time, the maid told the doctor, that a man and woman
waited for him at the door, desiring he would come down and look
at a sick man whom they had brought with them, and clapped into
his hand the money she had received. The doctor was transported
with joy; being paid beforehand, he thought it must needs be a
good patient, and should not be neglected. "Light, light," cried
he to the maid; "follow me quickly." As he spoke, he hastily ran
towards the head of the stairs without waiting for a light, and
came against the corpse with so much violence that he
precipitated it to the bottom, and had nearly fallen with it.
"Bring me a light," cried he to the maid; "quick, quick." At last
she brought one, and he went down stairs with her; but when he
saw that what he had kicked down was a dead man, he was so
frightened, that he invoked Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Esdras, and all
the other prophets of his nation. "Unhappy man that I am," said
he, "why did I attempt to come without a light! I have killed the
poor fellow who was brought to me to be cured: doubtless I am the
cause of his death, and unless Esdras's ass come to assist me, I
am ruined: Mercy on me, they will be here out of hand, and drag
me out of my house for a murderer."

Notwithstanding the perplexity and confusion into which he was
thrown, he had the precaution to shut his door, for fear any one
passing by should observe the accident of which he reckoned
himself to be the author. He then took the corpse into his wife's
chamber, who was ready to swoon at the sight. "Alas," cried she,
"we are utterly ruined and undone, unless we can devise some
expedient to get the corpse out of our house this night. If we
harbour it till morning we are lost. What a deplorable misfortune
is this! What have you done to kill this man?" "That is not now
the question," replied the Jew; "our business at present is, to
find a remedy for the evil which threatens us."

The doctor and his wife consulted how to dispose of the corpse
that night. The doctor racked his brain in vain, he could not
                                                                    258
think of any stratagem to relieve his embarrassment; but his
wife, who was more fertile in invention, said, "A thought is just
come into my head; let us carry the corpse to the terrace of our
house, and throw it down the chimney of our Mussulmaun
neighbour."

This Mussulmaun was one of the sultan's purveyors for furnishing
oil, butter, and articles of a similar nature, and had a magazine
in his house, where the rats and mice made prodigious havoc.

The Jewish doctor approving the proposed expedient, the wife and
he took the little hunch-back up to the roof of the house; and
clapping ropes under his arm-pits, let him down the chimney into
the purveyor's chamber so dexterously that he stood upright
against the wall, as if he had been alive. When they found he had
reached the bottom, they pulled up the ropes, and left the corpse
in that posture. They were scarcely got down into their chamber,
when the purveyor, who had just returned from a wedding feast,
went into his room, with a lanthorn in his hand. He was not a
little surprised to discover a man standing in his chimney; but
being a stout fellow, and apprehending him to be a thief, he took
up a stick, and making straight up to the hunch-back, "Ah!" said
he, "I thought the rats and mice ate my butter and tallow; but it
is you who come down the chimney to rob me? However, I think you
will have no wish to come here again." Upon this he attacked
hunch-back, and struck him several times with his stick. The
corpse fell down flat on the ground, and the purveyor redoubled
his blows. But, observing that the body did not move, he stood a
little time to regard it; and then, perceiving it to be dead,
fear succeeded his anger. "Wretched man that I am," said he,
"what have I done! I have killed a man; alas, I have carried my
revenge too far. Good God, unless thou pity me my life is gone!
Cursed, ten thousand times accursed, be the fat and the oil that
occasioned me to commit so criminal an action." He stood pale and
thunderstruck; he fancied he already saw the officers come to
drag him to condign punishment, and could not tell what
resolution to take.

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor had never noticed the little
man's hump-back when he was beating him, but as soon as he
perceived it, he uttered a thousand imprecations against him.
"Ah, thou cursed hunch-back," cried he, "thou crooked wretch,
would to God thou hadst robbed me of all my fat, and I had not
found thee here. I then should not have been thrown into this
perplexity on account of this and thy vile hunch. Ye stars that
twinkle in the heavens, give your light to none but me in this
dangerous juncture." As soon as he had uttered these words, he
took the crooked corpse upon his shoulders, and carried it to the
end of the street, where he placed it in an upright posture
                                                                    259
against a shop; he then returned without once looking behind him.

A few minutes before day-break, a Christian merchant, who was
very rich, and furnished the sultan's palace with various
articles, having sat up all night at a debauch, happened to come
from his house in this direction on his way to the bath. Though
he was intoxicated, he was sensible that the night was far spent,
and that the people would soon be called to morning prayers; he
therefore quickened his pace to get to the bath in time, lest
some Mussulmaun, in his way to the mosque, should meet him and
carry him to prison for a drunkard. When he came to the end of
the street, he had occasion to stop by the shop where the
sultan's purveyor had put the hunch-backed corpse; which being
jostled by him, tumbled upon the merchant's back. The merchant
thinking he was attacked by a robber, knocked it down, and after
redoubling his blows, cried out "Thieves!"

The outcry alarmed the watch, who came up immediately, and
finding a Christian beating a Mussulmaun (for hump-back was of
our religion), "What reason have you," said he, "to abuse a
Mussulmaun in this manner?" "He would have robbed me," replied
the merchant, "and jumped upon my back in order to take me by the
throat." "If he did," said the watch, "you have revenged yourself
sufficiently; come, get off him." At the same time he stretched
out his hand to help little hump-back up, but observing he was
dead, "Oh!" said he, "is it thus that a Christian dares to
assassinate a Mussulmaun?" So saying, he laid hold of the
Christian, and carried him to the house of the officer of the
police, where he was kept till the judge was stirring, and ready
to examine him. In the mean time, the Christian merchant became
sober, and the more he reflected upon his adventure, the less
could he conceive how such slight blows of his fist could have
killed the man.

The judge having heard the report of the watch, and viewed the
corpse, which they had taken care to bring to his house,
interrogated the Christian merchant, who could not deny the
crime, though he had not committed it. But the judge considering
that little hump-back belonged to the sultan, for he was one of
his buffoons, would not put the Christian to death till he knew
the sultan's pleasure. For this end he went to the palace, and
acquainted the sultan with what had happened; and received this
answer: "I have no mercy to show to a Christian who kills a
Mussulmaun." Upon this the judge ordered a stake to be prepared,
and sent criers all over the city to proclaim that they were
about to impale a Christian for killing a Mussulmaun.

At length the merchant was brought to the place of execution; and
the executioner was about to do his duty, when the sultan's
                                                                    260
purveyor pushed through the crowd, calling to him to stop for
that the Christian had not committed the murder, but he himself
had done it. Upon that, the officer who attended the execution
began to question the purveyor, who told him every circumstance
of his having killed the little hunchback, and how he had
conveyed his corpse to the place where the Christian merchant had
found it. "You were about," added he, "to put to death an
innocent person; for how can he be guilty of the death of a man
who was dead before he touched him? It is enough for me to have
killed a Mussulmaun without loading my conscience with the death
of a Christian who is not guilty."

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor having publicly charged himself
with the death of the little hunchbacked man, the officer could
do no less than execute justice on the merchant. "Let the
Christian go," said he to the executioner, "and impale this man
in his stead, since it appears by his own confession that he is
guilty." Thereupon the executioner released the merchant, and
seized the purveyor; but just as he was going to impale him, he
heard the voice of the Jewish doctor, earnestly intreating him to
suspend the execution, and make room for him to approach.

When he appeared before the judge, "My lord," said he, "this
Mussulmaun you are going to execute is not guilty. I am the
criminal. Last night a man and a woman, unknown to me, came to my
door with a sick man; my maid went and opened it without a light,
and received from them a piece of money with a commission to come
and desire me, in their name, to step down and look at the
patient. While she was delivering her message, they conveyed the
sick person to the stair-head, and disappeared. I went, without
staying till my servant had lighted a candle, and in the dark
happened to stumble upon the sick person, and kick him down
stairs. At length I saw he was dead, and that it was the crooked
Mussulmaun whose death you are now about to avenge. My wife and I
took the corpse, and, after conveying it up to the roof of the
purveyor, our next neighbour, whom you were going to put to death
unjustly, let it down the chimney into his chamber. The purveyor
finding it in his house, took the little man for a thief, and
after beating him concluded he had killed him. But that it was
not so you will be convinced by this my deposition; I am the sole
author of the murder; and though it was committed undesignedly, I
am resolved to expiate my crime, that I may not have to charge
myself with the death of two Mussulmauns."

The chief justice being persuaded that the Jewish doctor was the
murderer, gave orders to the executioner to seize him and release
the purveyor. Accordingly the doctor was just going to be
impaled, when the tailor appeared, crying to the executioner to
hold his hand, and make room for him, that he might come and make
                                                                    261
his confession to the chief judge. Room being made, "My lord,"
said he, "you have narrowly escaped taking away the lives of
three innocent persons; but if you will have the patience to hear
me, I will discover to you the real murderer of the crook backed
man. If his death is to be expiated by another, that must be
mine. Yesterday, towards the evening, as I was at work in my
shop, and was disposed to be merry, the little hunch-back came to
my door half-drunk, and sat down. He sung a little, and so I
invited him to pass the evening at my house. He accepted the
invitation and went in with me. We sat down to supper and I gave
him a plate of fish; but in eating, a bone stuck in his throat,
and though my wife and I did our utmost to relieve him, he died
in a few minutes. His death afflicted us extremely, and for fear
of being charged with it, we carried the corpse to the Jewish
doctor's house and knocked. The maid came. and opened the door; I
desired her to go up again and ask her master to come down and
give his advice to a sick person whom we had brought along with
us; and withal, to encourage him, I charged her to give him a
piece of money, which I put into her hand. When she was gone, I
carried the hunch-back up stairs, and laid him upon the uppermost
step, and then my wife and I made the best of our way home. The
doctor coming, threw the corpse down stairs, and concluded
himself to be the author of his death. This being the case,"
continued he, "release the doctor, and let me die in his stead."

The chief justice, and all the spectators, wondered at the
strange events which had ensued upon the death of the little
hunch-back. "Let the Jewish doctor go," said the judge, "and
seize the tailor, since he confesses the crime. It is certain
this history is very uncommon, and deserves to be recorded in
letters of gold." The executioner having dismissed the doctor
prepared to impale the tailor.

While the executioner was making ready to impale the tailor, the
sultan of Casgar, wanting the company of his crooked jester,
asked where he was; and one of his officers told him; "The hunch-
back, Sir, whom you inquire after, got drunk last night, and
contrary to his custom slipped out of the palace, and went
strolling about the city, and this morning was found dead. A man
was brought before the chief justice, and charged with the murder
of him; but when he was going to be impaled, up came a man, and
after him another, who took the charge upon themselves and
cleared one another, and the judge is now examining a third, who
gives himself out for the real author of the murder."

Upon this intelligence the sultan of Casgar sent an officer to
the place of execution. "Go," said he, "with all expedition, and
tell the judge to bring the accused persons before me immediately
and bring also the corpse of poor hunch-back, that I may see him
                                                                    262
once more." Accordingly the officer went, and happened to arrive
at the place of execution at the very time that the executioner
had laid his hands upon the tailor. He called aloud to him to
suspend the execution. The executioner knowing the officer, did
not dare to proceed, but released the tailor; and then the
officer acquainted the judge with the sultan's pleasure. The
judge obeyed, and went directly to the palace accompanied by the
tailor, the Jewish doctor, and the Christian merchant; and made
four of his men carry the hunch-backed corpse along with him.

When they appeared in the sultan's presence, the judge threw
himself at the prince's feet and after recovering himself, gave
him a faithful relation of what he knew of the story of the
hunch-backed man. The story appeared so extraordinary to the
sultan, that he ordered his own historian to write it down with
all its circumstances. Then addressing himself to the audience;
"Did you ever hear," said he, "such a surprising event as has
happened on the account of my little crooked buffoon?" The
Christian merchant, after falling down, and touching the earth
with his forehead, spoke as follows: "Most puissant monarch, I
know a story yet more astonishing than this; if your majesty will
give me leave, I will relate it. The circumstances are such, that
no one can hear them without emotion." "Well," said the sultan,
"you have my permission:" and the merchant went on as follows:




The Story told by the Christian Merchant.



Sir, before I commence the recital of the story you have
permitted me to relate, I beg leave to acquaint you, that I have
not the honour to be born in any part of your majesty's empire. I
am a stranger, born at Cairo in Egypt, a Copt by nation, and by
religion a Christian. My father was a broker, and realized
considerable property, which he left me at his death. I followed
his example, and pursued the same employment. While I was
standing in the public inn frequented by the corn merchants,
there came up to me a handsome young man, well dressed, and
mounted on an ass. He saluted me, and pulling out a handkerchief,
in which he had a sample of sesame or Turkey corn, asked me how
much a bushel of such sesame would fetch.

I examined the corn the young man shewed me, and told him it was
worth a hundred dirhems of silver per bushel. "Pray," said he,
"look out for some merchant to take it at that price, and come to
me at the Victory gate, where you will see a khan at a distance
                                                                    263
from the houses." So saying, he left me the sample, and I shewed
it to several merchants, who told me, that they would take as
much as I could spare at a hundred and ten dirhems per bushel, so
that I reckoned on getting ten dirhems per bushel for my
commission. Full of the expectation of this profit, I went to the
Victory gate, where I found the young merchant expecting me, and
he took me into his granary, which was full of sesame. He had
then a hundred and fifty bushels, which I measured out, and
having carried them off upon asses, sold them for five thousand
dirhems of silver. "Out of this sum," said the young man, "there
are five hundred dirhems coming to you, at the rate of ten
dirhems per bushel. This I give you; and as for the rest which
pertains to me, take it out of the merchants' hands, and keep it
till I call or send for it, for I have no occasion for it at
present." I answered, it should be ready for him whenever he
pleased to demand it; and so, kissing his hand, took leave of
him, with a grateful sense of his generosity.

A month passed before he came near me: then he asked for the sum
he had committed to my trust. I told him it was ready, and should
be counted to him immediately. He was mounted on his ass, and I
desired him to alight, and do me the honour to eat a mouthful
with me before he received his money. "No," said he, "I cannot
alight at present, I have urgent business that obliges me to be
at a place just by; but I will return this way, and then take the
money which I desired you would have in readiness." This said, he
disappeared, and I still expected his return, but it was a full
month before I saw him again. "This young merchant," thought I,
"has great confidence in me, leaving so great a sum in my hands
without knowing me; any other man would have been afraid I should
have run away with it." To be short, he came again at the end of
the third month, and was still mounted on his ass, but more
handsomely dressed than before.

As soon as I saw the young man, I intreated him to alight, and
asked him if he would not take his money? "There is no hurry,"
said he, with a pleasant easy air, "I know it is in good hands; I
will come and take it when my other money is all gone. Adieu,"
continued he, "I will return towards the end of the week." With
that he struck the ass, and soon disappeared. "Well," thought I,
"he says he will see me towards the end of the week, but he may
not perhaps return for a great while; I will make the most I can
of his money, which may bring me much profit."

As it happened, I was not deceived in my conjecture; for it was a
full year before I saw my young merchant again. He then appeared
as richly appareled as before, but seemed to have something on
his spirits. I asked him to do me the honour to walk into my
house. "For this time," replied he, "I will: but on this
                                                                    264
condition, that you shall put yourself to no extraordinary charge
on my account." "I will do just as you please," said I, "only do
me the favour to alight and walk in." Accordingly he complied. I
gave orders to have a repast prepared, and while this was doing,
we entered into conversation. All things being ready, we sat
down. I observed he took the first mouthful with his left hand,
and not with the right. I was at a loss what to think of this.
"Ever since I have known this young man," said I inwardly, "he
has always appeared very polite; is it possible he can do this
out of contempt? What can be the reason he does not use his right
hand?"

After we had done eating, and every thing was taken away, we sat
upon a sofa, and I presented him with a lozenge by way of dainty;
but still he took it with his left hand. I said to him, "Pardon,
Sir, the liberty I take in asking you what reason you have for
not using your right hand? Perhaps you have some complaint in
that hand." Instead of answering, he heaved a deep sigh, and
pulling out his right arm, which he had hitherto kept under his
vest, shewed me, to my great astonishment, that it had been cut
off. "Doubtless you were displeased," said he, "to see me feed
myself with the left hand; but I leave you to judge, whether it
was in my power to do otherwise." "May one ask," said I, "by what
mischance you lost your right hand?" Upon that he burst into
tears, and after wiping his eyes, gave me the following relation.

You must know that I am a native of Bagdad, the son of a rich
merchant, the most eminent in that city for rank and opulence. I
had scarcely launched into the world, when falling into the
company of travellers, and hearing their wonderful accounts of
Egypt, especially of Grand Cairo, I was interested by their
discourse, and felt a strong desire to travel. But my father was
then alive, and would not grant me permission. At length he died;
and being then my own master, I resolved to take a journey to
Cairo. I laid out a large sum of money in the purchase of several
sorts of fine stuffs of Bagdad and Moussol. and departed.

Arriving at Cairo, I went to the khan, called the khan of
Mesrour, and there took lodgings, with a warehouse for my bales,
which I had brought with me upon camels. This done, I retired to
my chamber to rest, after the fatigue of my journey, and gave
some money to my servants, with orders to buy some provisions and
dress them. After I had eaten, I went to view the castle, some
mosques, the public squares, and the other most remarkable
places.

Next day I dressed myself, and ordered some of the finest and
richest of my bales to be selected and carried by my slaves to
the Circassian bazaar, whither I followed. I had no sooner made
                                                                    265
my appearance, than I was surrounded with brokers and criers who
had heard of my arrival. I gave patterns of my stuffs to several
of the criers, who shewed them all over the bazaar; but none of
the merchants offered near so much as prime cost and carriage.
This vexed me, and the criers observing I was dissatisfied, said,
"If you will take our advice, we will put you in a way to sell
your goods without loss."

The brokers and the criers, having thus promised to put me in a
way of losing nothing by my goods, I asked them what course they
would have me pursue . "Divide your goods," said they, among
several merchants, they will sell them by retail; and twice a
week, that is on Mondays and Thursdays, you may receive what
money they may have taken. By this means, instead of losing, you
will turn your goods to advantage, and the merchants will gain by
you. In the mean while you will have time to take your pleasure
about the town or go upon the Nile."

I took their advice, and conducted them to my warehouse; from
whence I brought all my goods to the bazaar, and there divided
them among the merchants whom they represented as most reputable
and able to pay; and the merchants gave me a formal receipt
before witnesses, stipulating that I should not making any
demands upon them for the first month.

Having thus regulated my affairs, my mind was occupied with
ordinary pleasures. I contracted acquaintance with divers persons
of nearly the same age with myself, which made the time pass
agreeably. After the first month had expired, I began to visit my
merchants twice a week, taking with me a public officer to
inspect their books of sale, and a banker to see that they paid
me in good money, and to regulate the value of the several coins.
Every pay-day, I had a good sum of money to carry home to my
lodging at the khan of Mesrour. I went on other days to pass the
morning sometimes at one merchant's house, and sometimes at that
of another. In short, I amused myself in conversing with them,
and seeing what passed in the bazaar.

One Monday, as I was sitting in a merchant ‘s shop, whose name
was Buddir ad Deen, a lady of quality, as might easily be
perceived by her air, her apparel, and by a well-dressed slave
attending her, came into the shop, and sat down by me. Her
external appearance, joined to a natural grace that shone in all
her actions, prepossessed me in her favour, and inspired me with
a desire to be better acquainted with her. I know not whether she
observed that I took pleasure in gazing on her, and whether this
attention on my part was not agreeable to her; but she let down
the crepe that hung over the muslin which covered her face, and
gave me the opportunity of seeing her large black eyes; which
                                                                    266
perfectly charmed me. In fine, she inflamed my love to the height
by the agreeable sound of her voice, her graceful carriage in
saluting the merchant, and asking him how he did since she had
seen him last.

After conversing with him some time upon indifferent subjects,
she gave him to understand that she wanted a particular kind of
stuff with a gold ground; that she came to his shop, as affording
the best choice of any in all the bazaar; and that if he had any
such as she asked for, he would oblige her in showing them.
Buddir ad Deen produced several pieces, one of which she pitched
upon, and he asked for it eleven hundred dirhems of silver. "I
will," said she, "give you your price for it, but I have not
money enough about me; so I hope you will give me credit till to-
morrow, and in the mean time allow me to carry home the stuff. I
shall not fail," added she, "to send you tomorrow the eleven
hundred dirhems." "Madam," said Buddir ad Deen, "I would give you
credit with all my heart if the stuff were mine; but it belongs
to the young man you see here, and this is the day on which we
settle our accounts." "Why," said the lady in surprise, "do you
use me so? Am not I a customer to your shop And when I have
bought of you, and carried home the things without paying ready
money for them, did I in any instance fail to send you your money
next morning?" "Madam," said the merchant, "all this is true, but
this very day I have occasion for the money." "There," said she,
throwing the stuff to him, "take your stuff, I care not for you
nor any of the merchants. You are all alike; you respect no one."
As she spoke, she rose up in anger, and walked out.

When I saw that the lady walked away, I felt interested on her
behalf, and called her back, saying, "Madam, do me the favour to
return, perhaps I can find a way to satisfy you both." She
returned, saying, it was on my account that she complied. "Buddir
ad Deen," said I to the merchant, "what is the price you must
have for this stuff that belongs to me?" "I must have," replied
he, "eleven hundred dirhems, I cannot take less." "Give it to the
lady then," said I, "let her take it home with her; I allow a
hundred dirhems profit to yourself, and shall now write you a
note, empowering you to deduct that sum upon the produce of the
other goods you have of mine." In fine, I wrote, signed, and gave
him the note, and then delivered the stuff to the lady. "Madam,"
said I, "you may take the stuff with you, and as for the money,
you may either send it to-morrow or the next day; or, if you
will, accept it as a present from me." "Pardon me," returned she,
"I mean no such thing. You treat me with so much politeness, that
I should be unworthy to appear in the world again, were I to omit
making you my best acknowledgments. May God reward you, by an
increase of your fortune; may you live many years after I am
dead; may the gate of paradise be open to you when you remove to
                                                                    267
the other world, and may all the city proclaim your generosity."

These words inspired me with some assurance. "Madam," I replied,
"I desire no other reward for the service I have done you than
the happiness of seeing your face; which will repay me with
interest." I had no sooner spoken than she turned towards me,
took off her veil, and discovered to me a wonderful beauty. I
became speechless with admiration. I could have gazed upon her
for ever; but fearing any one should observe her, she quickly
covered her face, and letting down the crepe, took up the piece
of stuff, and went away, leaving me in a very different state of
mind from that in which I had entered the shop. I continued for
some time in great confusion and perplexity. Before I took leave
of the merchant, I asked him, if he knew the lady; "Yes," said
he, "she is the daughter of an emir."

I went back to the khan of Mesrour, and sat down to supper, but
could not eat, neither could I shut my eyes all the night, which
seemed the longest in my life. As soon as it was day I arose, in
hopes of once more beholding the object that disturbed my repose:
and to engage her affection, I dressed myself much richer than I
had done the day before.

I had but just reached Buddir ad Deen's shop, when I saw the lady
coming in more magnificent apparel than before, and attended by
her slave. When she entered, she did not regard the merchant, but
addressing herself to me, said, "Sir, you see I am punctual to my
word. I am come for the express purpose of paying the sum you
were so kind as to pass your word for yesterday, though you had
no knowledge of me. Such uncommon generosity I shall never
forget."

"Madam," said I, "you had no occasion to be in such haste; I was
well satisfied as to my money, and am sorry you should put
yourself to so much trouble." "I had been very unjust," answered
she, "if I had abused your generosity." With these words she put
the money into my hand, and sat down by me.

Having this opportunity of conversing with her, I determined to
improve it, and mentioned to her the love I had for her; but she
rose and left me very abruptly, as if she had been angry with the
declaration I had made. I followed her with my eyes as long as
she continued in sight; then taking leave of the merchant walked
out of the bazaar, without knowing where I went. I was musing on
this adventure, when I felt somebody pulling me behind, and
turning to see who it was, I was agreeably surprised to perceive
it was the lady's slave. "My mistress," said she, "I mean the
young lady you spoke to in the merchant's shop, wants to speak
with you, if you please to give yourself the trouble to follow
                                                                    268
me." Accordingly I followed her, and found her mistress sitting
waiting for me in a banker's shop.

She made me sit down by her, and spoke to this purpose. "Do not
be surprised, that I left you so abruptly. I thought it not
proper, before that merchant, to give a favourable answer to the
discovery you made of your affection for me. But to speak the
truth, I was so far from being offended at it, that it gave me
pleasure; and I account myself infinitely happy in having a man
of your merit for my lover. I do not know what impression the
first sight of me may have made on you, but I assure you, I had
no sooner beheld you than I found my heart moved with the
tenderest emotions of love. Since yesterday I have done nothing
but think of what you said to me; and my eagerness to seek you
this morning may convince you of my regard." "Madam," I replied,
transported with love and joy, "nothing can be more agreeable to
me than this declaration. No passion can exceed that with which I
love you. My eyes were dazzled with so many charms, that my heart
yielded without resistance." "Let us not trifle away the time in
needless discourse," said she, interrupting me; "make no doubt of
your sincerity, and you shall quickly be convinced of mine. Will
you do me the honour to come to my residence? Or if you will I
will go to yours." "Madam," I returned, "I am a stranger lodged
in a khan, which is not the proper place for the reception of a
lady of your quality. It is more proper, madam, that I should
visit you at your house; have the goodness to tell me where it
is." The lady consented; "Come," said she, "on Friday, which is
the day after to-morrow, after noon-prayers, and ask for the
house of Abon Schama, surnamed Bercour, late master of the emirs;
there you will find me." This said, we parted; and I passed the
next day in great impatience.

On Friday I put on my richest apparel, and took fifty pieces of
gold in my purse. I mounted an ass I had bespoken the day before,
and set out, accompanied by the man who let me the ass. I
directed the owner of the ass to inquire for the house I wanted;
he found it, and conducted me thither. I paid him liberally,
directing him to observe narrowly where he left me, and not to
fail to return next morning with the ass, to carry me again to
the khan of Mesrour.

I knocked at the door, and presently two little female slaves,
white as snow, and neatly dressed came and opened it. "Be pleased
to come in, Sir, said they, "our mistress expects you
impatiently; these two days she has talked of nothing but you. I
entered the court, and saw a pavilion raised seven steps, and
surrounded with iron rails that parted it from a very pleasant
garden. Besides the trees which only embellished the place, and
formed an agreeable shade, there was an infinite number of others
                                                                    269
loaded with all sorts of fruit. I was charmed with the warbling
of a great number of birds, that joined their notes to the
murmurings of a fountain, in the middle of a parterre enamelled
with flowers. This fountain formed a very agreeable object; four
large gilded dragons at the angles of the basin, which was of a
square form, spouted out water clearer than rock-crystal. This
delicious place gave me a charming idea of the conquest I had
made. The two little slaves conducted me into a saloon
magnificently furnished; and while one of them went to acquaint
her mistress with my arrival, the other tarried with me, and
pointed out to me the beauties of the hall.

I did not wait long in the hall, ere the lady I loved appeared,
adorned with pearls and diamonds ; but the splendour of her eyes
far outshone that of her jewels. Her shape, which was now not
disguised by the habit she wore in the city, appeared the most
slender and delicate. I need not mention with what joy we met
once more; it far exceeded all expression. When the first
compliments were over, we sat down upon a sofa, and there
conversed together with the highest satisfaction. We had the most
delicious refreshments served up to us; and after eating,
continued our conversation till night. We then had excellent wine
brought up, and fruit adapted to promote drinking, and timed our
cups to the sound of musical instruments, joined to the voices of
the slaves. The lady of the house sung herself, and by her songs
raised my passion to the height. In short, I passed the night in
full enjoyment.

Next morning I slipped under the bolster of the bed the purse
with the fifty pieces of gold I had brought with me, and took
leave of the lady, who asked me when I would see her again.
"Madam," said I, "I give you my promise to return this night."
She seemed to be transported with my answer, and conducting me to
the door, conjured me at parting to be mindful of my promise.

The same man who had carried me thither waited for me with his
ass, which I mounted, and went directly to the khan; ordering the
man to come to me again in the afternoon at a certain hour, to
secure which, I deferred paying him till that time came.

As soon as I arrived at my lodging, my first care was to order my
people to buy a lamb, and several sorts of cakes, which I sent by
a porter as a present to the lady. When that was done I attended
to my business till the owner of the ass arrived. I then went
along with him to the lady's house, and was received by her with
as much joy as before, and entertained with equal magnificence.

Next morning I took leave, left her another purse with fifty
pieces of gold, and returned to my khan.
                                                                    270
I continued to visit the lady every day, and to leave her every
time a purse with fifty pieces of gold, till the merchants whom I
employed to sell my goods, and whom I visited regularly twice a
week, had paid me the whole amount of my goods and, in short, I
came at last to be moneyless, and hopeless of having any more.

In this forlorn condition I walked out of my lodging, not knowing
what course to take, and by chance went towards the castle, where
there was a great crowd to witness a spectacle given by the
sultan of Egypt. As soon as I came up, I wedged in among the
crowd, and by chance happened to stand by a horseman well mounted
and handsomely clothed, who had upon the pommel of his saddle a
bag, half open, with a string of green silk hanging out of it. I
clapped my hand to the bag, concluding the silk-twist might be
the string of a purse within: in the mean time a porter, with a
load of wood upon his back, passed by on the other side of the
horse so near, that the rider was forced to turn his head towards
him, to avoid being hurt, or having his clothes torn by the wood.
In that moment the devil tempted me; I took the string in one
hand, and with the other pulled out the purse so dexterously,
that nobody perceived me. The purse was heavy, and I did not
doubt but it contained gold or silver.

As soon as the porter had passed, the horseman, who probably had
some suspicion of what I had done while his head was turned,
presently put his hand to his bag, and finding his purse was
gone, gave me such a blow, that he knocked me down. This violence
shocked all who saw it. Some took hold of the horse's bridle to
stop the gentleman, and asked him what reason he had to strike
me, or how he came to treat a Mussulmaun so rudely. "Do not you
trouble yourselves," said he briskly, "I had reason for what I
did; this fellow is a thief." At these words I started up, and
from my appearance every one took my part, and cried out he was a
liar, for that it was incredible a young man such as I was should
be guilty of so base an action: but while they were holding his
horse by the bridle to favour my escape, unfortunately passed by
the judge, who seeing such a crowd about the gentleman on
horseback, came up and asked what the matter was. Every body
present reflected on the gentleman for treating me so unjustly
upon the presence of robbery.

The judge did not give ear to all that was said; but asked the
cavalier if he suspected any body else beside me? The cavalier
told him he did not, and gave his reasons why he believed his
suspicions not to be groundless. Upon this the judge ordered his
followers to seize me, which they presently did; and finding the
purse upon me, exposed it to the view of all the people. The
disgrace was so great, I could not bear it, and I swooned away.
                                                                    271
In the mean time the judge called for the purse.

When the judge had got the purse in his hand, he asked the
horseman if it was his, and how much money it contained. The
cavalier knew it to be his own, and assured the judge he had put
twenty sequins into it. Upon which the judge called me before
him; "Come, young man," said he, "confess the truth. Was it you
that took the gentleman's purse from him? Do not wait for the
torture to extort confession." Then with downcast eyes, thinking
that if I denied the fact, they, having found the purse upon me,
would convict me of a lie, to avoid a double punishment I looked
up and confessed my guilt. I had no sooner made the confession,
than the judge called people to witness it, and ordered my hand
to be cutoff. This sentence was immediately put in execution, to
the great regret of all the spectators; nay, I observed, by the
cavalier's countenance, that he was moved with pity as much as
the rest. The judge would likewise have ordered my foot to be cut
off, but I begged the cavalier to intercede for my pardon; which
he did, and obtained it.

When the judge was gone, the cavalier came up to me, and holding
out the purse, said, "I see plainly that necessity drove you to
an action so disgraceful and unworthy of such a young man as you
appear. Here, take that fatal purse; I freely give it you, and am
heartily sorry for the misfortune you have undergone." Having
thus spoken, he went away. Being very weak by loss of blood, some
of the good people of the neighbourhood had the kindness to carry
me into a house and give me a glass of cordial; they likewise
dressed my arm, and wrapped up the dismembered hand in a cloth,
which I carried away with me fastened to my girdle.

Had I returned to the khan of Mesrour in this melancholy
condition, I should not have found there such relief as I wanted;
and to offer to go to the young lady was running a great hazard,
it being likely she would not look upon me after being informed
of my disgrace. I resolved, however, to put her to the trial; and
to tire out the crowd that followed me, I turned down several by-
streets, and at last arrived at the lady's house very weak, and
so much fatigued, that I presently threw myself down upon a sofa,
keeping my right arm under my garment, for I took great care to
conceal my misfortune.

In the mean time the lady, hearing of my arrival, and that I was
not well, came to me in haste; and seeing me pale and dejected,
said, "My dear love, what is the matter with you?" "Madam," I
replied, dissembling, "I have a violent pain in my head." The
lady seemed to be much concerned, and asked me to sit down, for I
had arisen to receive her. "Tell me," said she, "how your illness
was occasioned. The last time I had the pleasure to see you, you
                                                                    272
were very well. There must be something that you conceal from me,
let me know what it is." I stood silent, and instead of an
answer, tears trickled down my cheeks. "I cannot conceive,"
resumed she, "what it is that afflicts you. Have I unthinkingly
given you any occasion of uneasiness? Or do you come on purpose
to tell me you no longer love me?" "It is not that, madam," said
I, heaving a deep sigh; "your unjust suspicion adds to my
misfortune."

I could not think of discovering to her the true cause. When
night came, supper was brought, and she pressed me to eat; but
considering I could only feed myself with my left hand, I begged
to be excused upon the plea of having no appetite. "It will
return," said she, "if you would but discover what you so
obstinately conceal from me. Your want of appetite, without
doubt, is only owing to your irresolution."

"Alas! madam," returned I, "I find I must resolve at last." I had
no sooner spoken, than she filled me a cup full of wine, and
offering it to me, "Drink that," said she, "it will give you
courage." I reached out my left hand, and took the cup.

When I had taken the cup in my hand, I redoubled my tears and
sighs. "Why do you sigh and weep so bitterly?" asked the lady;
"and why do you take the cup with your left hand, rather than
your right?" "Ah! madam," I replied, "I beseech you excuse me; I
have a swelling in my right hand." "Let me see that swelling,"
said she; "I will open it." I desired to be excused, alleging it
was not ripe enough for such an operation; and drank off the cup,
which was very large. The fumes of the wine, joined to my
weakness and weariness, set me asleep, and I slept very soundly
till morning.

In the mean time the lady, curious to know what ailed my right
hand, lifted up my garment that covered it; and saw to her great
astonishment that it was cut off, and that I had brought it along
with me wrapped up in a cloth. She presently apprehended what was
my reason for declining a discovery, notwithstanding all her
pressing solicitation; and passed the night in the greatest
uneasiness on account of my disgrace, which she concluded had
been occasioned only by the love I bore to her.

When I awoke, I discerned by her countenance that she was
extremely grieved. However, that she might not increase my
uneasiness she said not a word. She called for jelly-broth of
fowl, which she had ordered to be prepared, and made me eat and
drink to recruit my strength. After that, I offered to take leave
of her; but she declared I should not go out of her doors.
"Though you tell me nothing of the matter," said she, "I am
                                                                    273
persuaded I am the cause of the misfortune that has befallen you.
The grief that I feel on that account will soon end my days, but
before I die, I must execute a design for your benefit." She had
no sooner spoken, than she called for a judge and witnesses, and
ordered a writing to be drawn up, putting me in possession of her
whole property. After this was done, and every body dismissed,
she opened a large trunk where lay all the purses I had given her
from the commencement of our amour. "There they are all entire,"
said she; "I have not touched one of them. Here is the key ; take
it, for all is yours." After I had returned her thanks for her
generosity and goodness; "What I have done for you," said she,
"is nothing; I shall not be satisfied unless I die, to show how
much I love you." I conjured her, by all the powers of love, to
relinquish such a fatal resolution. But all my remonstrances were
ineffectual: she was so afflicted to see me have but one hand,
that she sickened, and died after five or six weeks' illness.

After mourning for her death as long as was decent, I took
possession of all her property, a particular account of which she
gave me before she died; and the corn you sold for me was part of
it.

"What I have now told you," said he, "will plead my excuse for
eating with my left hand. I am highly obliged to you for the
trouble you have given yourself on my account. I can never
sufficiently recompense your fidelity. Since I have still, thanks
to God, a competent estate, notwithstanding I have spent a great
deal, I beg you to accept of the sum now in your hand, as a
present from me. I have besides a proposal to make to you. As I
am obliged, on account of this fatal accident, to quit Cairo, I
am resolved never to return to it again. If you choose to
accompany me, we will trade together as equal partners, and share
the profits."

I thanked the young man for the present he had made me, and I
willingly embraced the proposal of travelling with him, assuring
him, that his interest should always be as dear to me as my own.

We fixed a day for our departure, and accordingly entered upon
our travels. We passed through Syria and Mesopotamia, travelled
over Persia, and after stopping at several cities, came at last,
sir, to your capital. Some time after our arrival here, the young
man having formed a design of returning to Persia, and settling
there, we balanced our accounts, and parted very good friends. He
went from hence, and I, sir, continue here in your majesty's
service. This is the story I had to relate. Does not your majesty
find it more surprising than that of the hunch-back buffoon?

The sultan of Casgar fell into a passion against the Christian
                                                                    274
merchant. "Thou art a presumptuous fellow," said he, "to tell me
a story so little worth hearing, and then to compare it to that
of my jester. Canst thou flatter thyself so far as to believe
that the trifling adventures of a young debauchee are more
interesting than those of my jester? I will have you all four
impaled, to revenge his death.

Hearing this, the purveyor prostrated himself at the sultan's
feet. "Sir," said he, "I humbly beseech your majesty to suspend
your wrath, and hear my story; and if it appears to be more
extraordinary than that of your jester, to pardon us." The sultan
having granted his request, the purveyor began thus.




The Story told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor.



Sir, a person of quality invited me yesterday to his daughter's
wedding. I went to his house in the evening at the hour
appointed, and found there a large company of men of the law,
ministers of justice, and others of the first rank in the city.
After the ceremony was over, we partook of a splendid feast.
Among other dishes set upon the table, there was one seasoned
with garlic, which was very delicious, and generally relished. We
observed, however, that one of the guests did not touch it,
though it stood just before him. We invited him to taste it, but
he intreated us not to press him. "I will take good care," said
he, "how I touch any dish that is seasoned with garlic; I have
not yet forgotten what the tasting of such a dish once cost me."
We requested him to inform us what the reason was of his aversion
to garlic. But before he had time to answer, the master of the
house exclaimed, "Is it thus you honour my table? This dish is
excellent, do not expect to be excused from eating of it; you
must do me that favour as well as the rest." "Sir," said the
gentleman, who was a Bagdad merchant, "I hope you do not think my
refusal proceeds from any mistaken delicacy; if you insist on my
compliance I will submit, but it must be on this condition, that
after having eaten, I may, with your permission, wash my hands
with alkali forty times, forty times more with ashes, and forty
times again with soap. I hope you will not feel displeased at
this stipulation, as I have made an oath never to taste garlic
but on these terms."

As the master of the house, continued the purveyor of the sultan
of Casgar, would not dispense with the merchant's partaking of
the dish seasoned with garlic, he ordered his servants to provide
                                                                    275
a basin of water, together with some alkali, the ashes, and soap,
that the merchant might wash as often as he pleased. After he had
given these instructions, he addressed the merchant and said, "I
hope you will now do as we do."

The merchant, apparently displeased with the constraint put upon
him, took up a bit, which he put to his mouth trembling, and ate
with a reluctance that astonished us. But what surprised us yet
more was, that he had no thumb; which none of us had observed
before, though he had eaten of other dishes. "You have lost your
thumb," said the master of the house. "This must have been
occasioned by some extraordinary accident, a relation of which
will be agreeable to the company." "Sir," replied the merchant,
"I have no thumb on either the right or the left hand." As he
spoke he put out his left hand, and shewed us that what he said
was true. "But this is not all," continued he: "I have no great
toe on either of my feet: I was maimed in this manner by an
unheard-of adventure, which I am willing to relate, if you will
have the patience to hear me. The account will excite at once
your astonishment and your pity. Only allow me first to wash my
hands." With this he rose from the table, and after washing his
hands a hundred and twenty times, reseated himself, and proceeded
with his narrative as follows.

In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, my father lived at
Bagdad, the place of my nativity, and was reputed one of the
richest merchants in the city. But being a man addicted to his
pleasures, and neglecting his private affairs, instead of leaving
me an ample fortune, he died in such embarrassed circumstances,
that I was reduced to the necessity of using all the economy
possible to discharge the debts he had contracted. I at last,
however, paid them all; and by care and good management my little
fortune began to wear a smiling aspect.

One morning, as I opened my shop, a lady mounted upon a mule, and
attended by an eunuch and two slaves, stopped near my door, and
with the assistance of the eunuch alighted. "Madam," said the
eunuch, "I told you you would be too early; you see there is no
one yet in the bazaar: had you taken my advice, you might have
saved yourself the trouble of waiting here." The lady looked and
perceiving no shop open but mine, asked permission to sit in it
till the other merchants arrived. With this request I of course
readily complied.

The lady took a seat in my shop, and observing there was no one
in the bazaar but the eunuch and myself, uncovered her face to
take the air. I had never beheld any thing so beautiful. I became
instantly enamoured, and kept my eyes fixed upon her. I flattered
myself that my attention was not unpleasant to her; for she
                                                                    276
allowed me time to view her deliberately, and only concealed her
face so far as she thought necessary to avoid being observed.

After she had again lowered her veil, she told me she wanted
several sorts of the richest and finest stuffs, and asked me if I
had them. "Alas! madam," I replied, "I am but a young man just
beginning the world; I have not capital sufficient for such
extensive traffic. I am much mortified not to be able to
accommodate you with the articles you want. But to save you the
trouble of going from shop to shop, when the merchants arrive, I
will, if you please, go and get those articles from them, and
ascertain the lowest prices." She assented to this proposal, and
entered into conversation with me, which I prolonged, making her
believe the merchants that could furnish what she wanted were not
yet come.

I was not less charmed with her wit than I had been before with
the beauty of her face; but was obliged to forego the pleasure of
her conversation. I ran for the stuffs she wanted, and after she
had fixed upon what she liked, we agreed for five thousand
dirhems of coined silver; I wrapped up the stuffs in a small
bundle, and gave it to the eunuch, who put it under his arm. She
then rose and took leave. I followed her with my eyes till she
had reached the bazaar gate, and even after she had remounted her
mule.

The lady had no sooner disappeared, than I perceived that love
had led me to a serious oversight. It had so engrossed my
thoughts, that I did not reflect that she went away without
paying, and that I had not informed myself who she was, or where
she resided. I soon felt sensible, however, that I was
accountable for a large sum to the merchants, who, perhaps, would
not have patience to wait for their money: I went to them, and
made the best excuse I could, pretending that I knew the lady;
and then returned home, equally affected with love, and with the
burden of such a heavy debt.

I had desired my creditors to wait eight days for their money:
when this period had elapsed, they did not fail to dun me. I then
intreated them to give me eight days more, to which they
consented; but the next day I saw the lady enter the bazaar,
mounted on her mule, with the same attendants as before, and
exactly the same hour of the day.

She came straight to my shop. "I have made you wait some time,"
said she, "but here is your money at last; carry it to the
banker, and see that it is all good and right." The eunuch who
carried the money went along with me to the banker, and we found
it quite right. I returned, and had the happiness of conversing
                                                                    277
with the lady till all the shops of the bazaar were open. Though
we talked but of ordinary things, she gave them such a turn, that
they appeared new and uncommon; and convinced me that I was not
mistaken in admiring her wit at our first interview.

As soon as the merchants had arrived and opened their shops, I
carried to the respective owners the money due for their stuffs,
and was readily intrusted with more, which the lady had desired
to see. She chose some from these to the value of one thousand
pieces of gold, and carried them away as before without paying;
nay, without speaking a word, or informing me who she was. What
distressed me was the consideration that while at this rate she
risked nothing, she left me without any security against being
made answerable for the goods in case she did not return. "She
has paid me," thought I, "a considerable sum; but she leaves me
responsible for a greater, Surely she cannot be a cheat. The
merchants do not know her, they will all come upon me." In short,
my love was not so powerful as to stifle the uneasiness I felt,
when I reflected upon the circumstances in which I was placed. A
whole month passed before I heard any thing of the lady again;
and during that time my alarm increased. The merchants were
impatient for their money, and to satisfy them, I was going to
sell off all I had, when one morning the lady returned with the
same equipage as before.

"Take your weights," said she, "and weigh the gold I have brought
you." These words dispelled my fear, and inflamed my love. Before
we counted the money, she asked me several questions, and
particularly if I was married. I answered I never had been. Then
reaching out the gold to the eunuch, "Let us have your
interposition," said she, "to accommodate our matters." Upon
which the eunuch fell a laughing, and calling me aside, made me
weigh the gold. While I was thus occupied, the eunuch whispered
in my ear, "I know by your eyes you love this lady, and I am
surprised that you have not the courage to disclose your passion.
She loves you more ardently than you do her. Do not imagine that
she has any real occasion for your stuffs. She only makes this
her presence to come here, because you have inspired her with a
violent passion. It was for this reason she asked you if you were
married. It will be your own fault, if you do not marry her." "It
is true," I replied, "I have loved her since I first beheld her;
but I durst not aspire to the happiness of thinking my attachment
could meet her approbation. I am entirely hers, and shall not
fail to retain a grateful sense of your good offices in this
affair."

I finished weighing the gold, and while I was putting it into the
bag, the eunuch turned to the lady, and told her I was satisfied;
that being the word they had agreed upon between themselves.
                                                                    278
Presently after, the lady rose and took her leave; telling me she
would send her eunuch to me, and that I had only to obey the
directions he might give me in her name.

I carried each of the merchants their money, and waited some days
with impatience for the eunuch. At last he came.

I received the eunuch very kindly, and inquired after his
mistress's health. "You are," said he, "the happiest lover in the
world; she is impatient to see you; aud were she mistress of her
own conduct, would not fail to come to you herself, and willingly
pass in your society all the days of her life." "Her noble mien
and graceful carriage," I replied, "convinced me, that she was a
lady beyond the common rank." "You have not erred in your
judgment on that head," said the eunuch; "she is the favourite of
Zobeide the caliph's wife, who is the more affectionately
attached to her from having brought her up from her infancy, and
intrusts her with all her affairs. Having a wish to marry, she
has declared to her mistress that she has fixed her affections
upon you, and has desired her consent. Zobeide told her, she
would not withhold her consent; but that she would see you first,
in order to judge if she had made a good choice; in which case
she meant herself to defray the expenses of the wedding. Thus you
see your felicity is certain; since you have pleased the
favourite, you will be equally agreeable to the mistress, who
seeks only to oblige her, and would by no means thwart her
inclination. All you have to do is to come to the palace. I am
sent hither to invite you." "My resolution is already formed,"
said I, "and I am ready to follow you whithersoever you please."
"Very well," said the eunuch; "but you know men are not allowed
to enter the ladies' apartments in the palace, and you must be
introduced with great secrecy. The favourite lady has contrived
the matter well. On your side you must act your part discreetly;
for if you do not, your life is at stake."

I gave him repeated assurances punctually to perform whatever he
might require. "Then," said he, "in the evening, you must be at
the mosque built by the caliph's lady on the bank of the Tigris,
and wait there till somebody comes to conduct you." To this I
agreed; and after passing the day in great impatience, went in
the evening to the prayer that is said an hour and a half after
sun-set in the mosque, and remained there after all the people
had departed.

Soon after I saw a boat making up to the mosque, the rowers of
which were all eunuchs, who came on shore, put several large
trunks into the mosque, and then retired. One of them stayed
behind, whom I perceived to be the eunuch that had accompanied
the lady, and had been with me that morning. I saw the lady also
                                                                    279
enter the mosque; and approaching her, told her I was ready to
obey her orders. "We have no time to lose," said she; and opening
one of the trunks, desired me to get into it, that being
necessary both for her safety and mine. "Fear nothing," added
she, "leave the management of all to me." I considered with
myself that I had gone too far to recede, and obeyed her orders;
when she immediately locked the trunk. This done, the eunuch her
confidant called the other eunuchs who had brought in the trunks,
and ordered them to carry them on board again. The lady and the
eunuch re-embarked, and the boatmen rowed to Zobeide's apartment.

In the meantime I reflected very seriously upon the danger to
which I had exposed myself, and made vows and prayers, though it
was then too late.

The boat stopped at the palace-gate, and the trunks were carried
into the apartment of the officer of the eunuchs, who keeps the
key of the ladies' apartments, and suffers nothing to enter
without a narrow inspection. The officer was then in bed, and it
was necessary to call him up.

The officer of the eunuchs was displeased at having his rest
disturbed, and severely chid the favourite lady for coming home
so late. "You shall not come off so easily as you think," said
he: "not one of these trunks shall pass till I have opened it."
At the same time he commanded the eunuchs to bring them before
him, and open them one by one. The first they took was that
wherein I lay, which put me into inexpressible fear.

The favourite lady, who had the key, protested it should not be
opened. "You know very well," said she, "I bring nothing hither
but what is for the use of Zobeide, your mistress and mine. This
trunk is filled with rich goods, which I purchased from some
merchants lately arrived, besides a number of bottles of Zemzem
water sent from Mecca; and if any of these should happen to
break, the goods will be spoiled, and you must answer for them;
depend upon it, Zobeide will resent your insolence." She insisted
upon this in such peremptory terms, that the officer did not dare
to open any of the trunks. "Let them go," said he angrily; "you
may take them away." Upon this the door of the women's apartment
was opened, and all the trunks were carried in.

This had been scarcely accomplished, when I heard the people cry,
"Here is the caliph! Here comes the caliph!" This put me in such
alarm, that I wonder I did not die upon the spot; for as they
announced, it proved to be the caliph. "What hast thou got in
these trunks?" said he to the favourite. "Some stuffs," she
replied, "lately arrived, which the empress wishes to see." "Open
them," cried he, "and let me see them." She excused herself,
                                                                    280
alleging the stuffs were only proper for ladies, and that by
opening them, his lady would be deprived of the pleasure of
seeing them first. "I say open them," resumed the caliph; "I will
see them." She still represented that her mistress would be angry
with her, if she complied: "No, no," said he, "I will engage she
shall not say a word to you. Come, come, open them, and do not
keep me waiting."

It was necessary to obey, which gave me such alarm, that I
tremble every time I recollect my situation. The caliph sat down;
and the favourite ordered all the trunks to be brought before him
one after another. She opened some of them; and to lengthen out
the time, displayed the beauties of each particular stuff,
thinking in this manner to tire out his patience; but her
stratagem did not succeed. Being as unwilling as myself to have
the trunk where I lay opened, she left that to the last. When all
the rest were viewed, "Come," said the caliph, "let us see what
is in that." I am at a loss to tell you whether I was dead or
alive that moment; for I little thought of escaping such imminent
danger.

When Zobeide's favourite saw that the caliph persisted in having
this trunk opened: "As for this," said she, "your majesty will
please to dispense with the opening of it; there are some things
in it which I cannot shew you without your lady be present."
"Well, well," said the caliph, "since that is the case, I am
satisfied; order the trunks to be carried away." The words were
no sooner spoken than they were moved into her chamber, where I
began to revive again.

As soon as the eunuchs, who had brought them, were gone, she
opened the trunk in which I was confined. "Come out," said she;
"go up these stairs that lead to an upper room, and wait there
till I come to you." The door, which led to the stairs, she
locked after me; and that was no sooner done, than the caliph
came and sat down on the very trunk which had been my prison. The
occasion of this visit did not respect me. He wished to question
the lady about what she had seen or heard in the city. So they
conversed together some time; he then left her, and retired to
his apartment.

When she found the coast clear, she came to the chamber where I
lay concealed, and made many apologies for the alarms she had
given me. "My uneasiness," said she, "was no less than yours; you
cannot well doubt of that, since I have run the same risk out of
love to you. Perhaps another person in my situation would not,
upon so delicate an occasion, have had the presence of mind to
manage so difficult a business with so much dexterity; nothing
less than the love I had for you could have inspired me with
                                                                    281
courage to do what I have. But come, take heart, the danger is
now over." After much tender conversation, she told me it was
time to go to rest, and that she would not fail to introduce me
to Zobeide her mistress, some hour on the morrow, "which will be
very easy," added she; "for the caliph never sees her but at
night." Encouraged by these words, I slept very well, or if my
sleep was interrupted, it was by agreeable disquietudes, caused
by the hopes of possessing a lady blest with so much wit and
beauty.

The next day, before I was introduced to Zobeide, her favourite
instructed me how to conduct myself, mentioning what questions
she would probably put to me, and dictating the answers I was to
return. She then carried me into a very magnificent and richly
furnished hall. I had no sooner entered, than twenty female
slaves, advanced in age, dressed in rich and uniform habits, came
out of Zobeide's apartment, and placed themselves before the
throne in two equal rows; they were followed by twenty other
younger ladies, clothed after the same fashion, only their habits
appeared somewhat gayer. In the middle of these appeared Zobeide
with a majestic air, and so laden with jewels, that she could
scarcely walk. She ascended the throne, and the favourite lady,
who had accompanied her, stood just by her right hand; the other
ladies, who were slaves, being placed at some distance on each
side of the throne.

As soon as the caliph's lady was seated, the slaves who came in
first made a sign for me to approach. I advanced between the two
rows they had formed, and prostrated myself upon the carpet that
was under the princess's feet. She ordered me to rise, did me the
honour to ask my name, my family, and the state of my fortune; to
all which I gave her satisfactory answers, as I perceived, not
only by her countenance, but by her words. "I am glad," said she,
"that my daughter," (so she used to call the favourite lady,)
"for I look upon her as such after the care I have take of her
education, has made this choice; I approve of it, and consent to
your marriage. I will myself give orders for having it
solemnized; but I wish my daughter to remain with me ten days
before the solemnity; in that time I will speak to the caliph,
and obtain his consent: mean while do you remain here; you shall
be taken care of."

Pursuant to the commands of the caliph's lady, I remained ten
days in the women's apartments, and during that time was deprived
of the pleasure of seeing the favourite lady: but was so well
used by her orders, that I had no reason to be dissatisfied.

Zobeide told the caliph her resolution of marrying the favourite
lady; and the caliph leaving to her the liberty to act in the
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business as she thought proper, granted the favourite a
considerable sum by way of settlement. When the ten days were
expired, Zobeide ordered the contract of marriage to be drawn up
and brought to her, and the necessary preparations being made for
the solemnity, the musicians and the dancers, both male and
female, were called in, and there were great rejoicings in the
palace for nine days. The tenth day being appointed for the last
ceremony of the marriage, the favourite lady was conducted to a
bath, and I to another. At night I had all manner of dishes
served up to me, and among others, one seasoned with garlic, such
as you have now forced me to eat. This I liked so well, that I
scarcely touched any of the other dishes. But to my misfortune,
when I rose from table, instead of washing my hands well, I only
wiped them; a piece of negligence of which I had never before
been guilty.

As it was then night, the whole apartment of the ladies was
lighted up so as to equal the brightness of day. Nothing was to
be heard through the palace but musical instruments, dances, and
acclamations of joy. My bride and I were introduced into a great
hall, where we were placed upon two thrones. The women who
attended her made her robe herself several times, according to
the usual custom on wedding days; and they shewed her to me every
time she changed her habit.

All these ceremonies being over, we were conducted to the nuptial
chamber: as soon as the company retired, I approached my wife;
but instead of returning my transports, she pushed me away, and
cried out, upon which all the ladies of the apartment came
running in to inquire the cause: and for my own part, I was so
thunderstruck, that I stood like a statue, without the power of
even asking what she meant. "Dear sister," said they to her,
"what has happened since we left you? Let us know, that we may
try to relieve you." "Take," said she, "take that vile fellow out
of my sight." "Why, madam?" I asked, "wherein have I deserved
your displeasure?" "You are a villain," said she in a furious
passion, "to eat garlic, and not wash your hands! Do you think I
would suffer such a polluted wretch to poison me? Down with him,
down with him on the ground," continued she, addressing herself
to the ladies, "and bring me a bastinado." They immediately did
as they were desired; and while some held my hands, and others my
feet, my wife, who was presently furnished with a weapon, laid on
me as long as she could stand. She then said to the ladies, "Take
him, send him to the judge, and let the hand be cut off with
which he fed upon the garlic dish."

"Alas!" cried I, "must I be beaten unmercifully, and, to complete
my affliction, have my hand cut off, for partaking of a dish
seasoned with garlic, and forgetting to wash my hands? What
                                                                    283
proportion is there between the punishment and the crime? Curse
on the dish, on the cook who dressed it, and on him who served it
up."

"All the ladies who had seen me receive the thousand strokes,
took pity on me, when they heard the cutting off of my hand
mentioned. "Dear madam, dear sister," said they to the favourite
lady, "you carry your resentment too far. We own he is a man
quite ignorant of the world, of your quality, and the respect
that is due to you: but we beseech you to overlook and pardon his
fault." "I have not received adequate satisfaction," said she; "I
will teach him to know the world; I will make him bear sensible
marks of his impertinence, and be cautious hereafter how he
tastes a dish seasoned with garlic without washing his hands."
They renewed their solicitations, fell down at her feet, and
kissing her fair hands, said, "Good madam, moderate your anger,
and grant us the favour we supplicate." She made no reply, but
got up, and after uttering a thousand reproaches against me,
walked out of the chamber: all the ladies followed her, leaving
me in inconceivable affliction.

I continued thus ten days, without seeing any body but an old
female slave that brought me victuals. I asked her what was
become of the favourite lady. "She is sick," said the old woman;
"she is sick of the poisoned smell with which you infected her.
Why did you not take care to wash your hands after eating of that
cursed dish?" "Is it possible," thought I, "that these ladies
can be so nice, and so vindictive for such a trifling fault!" I
loved my wife notwithstanding all her cruelty, and could not help
pitying her.

One day the old woman told me my spouse was recovered, and gone
to bathe, and would come to see me the next day. "So," said she,
"I would have you call up your patience, and endeavour to
accommodate yourself to her humour. For she is in other respects
a woman of good sense and discretion, and beloved by all the
ladies about the court of our respected mistress Zobeide."

My wife accordingly came on the following evening, and accosted
me thus: "You perceive that I must possess much tenderness to
you, after the affront you have offered me: but still I cannot be
reconciled till I have punished you according to your demerit, in
not washing your hands after eating of the garlic dish." She then
called the ladies, who, by her order, threw me upon the ground;
and after binding me fast, she had the barbarity to cut off my
thumbs and great toes herself, with a razor. One of the ladies
applied a certain root to staunch the blood; but by bleeding and
by the pain, I swooned away.

                                                                    284
When I came to myself, they gave me wine to drink, to recruit my
strength. "Ah! madam," said I to my wife, "if ever I again eat of
a dish with garlic in it, I solemnly swear to wash my hands a
hundred and twenty times with alkali, with ashes, and with soap."
"Well," replied she, "upon that condition I am willing to forget
what is past, and live with you as my husband."


"This," continued the Bagdad merchant, addressing himself to the
company, "is the reason why I refused to eat of the dish seasoned
with what is now on the table."

The ladies applied to my wounds not only the root I mentioned,
but likewise some balsam of Mecca, which they were well assured
was not adulterated, because they had it out of the caliph's own
dispensatory. By virtue of that admirable balsam, I was in a few
days perfectly cured, and my wife and I lived together as
agreeably as if I had never eaten of the garlic dish. But having
been all my lifetime used to enjoy my liberty, I grew weary of
being confined to the caliph's palace; yet I said nothing to my
wife on the subject, for fear of displeasing her. However, she
suspected my feelings; and eagerly wished for liberty herself,
for it was gratitude alone that made her continue with Zobeide.
She represented to her mistress in such lively terms the
constraint I was under, in not living in the city with people of
my own rank, as I had always done, that the good princess chose
rather to deprive herself of the pleasure of having her favourite
about her than not to grant what we both equally desired.

A month after our marriage, my wife came into my room with
several eunuchs, each carrying a bag of silver. When the eunuchs
were gone; "You never told me," said she, "that you were uneasy
in being confined to court; but I perceived it, and have happily
found means to make you contented. My mistress Zobeide gives us
permission to quit the palace; and here are fifty thousand
sequins, of which she has made us a present, in order to enable
us to live comfortably in the city. Take ten thousand of them,
and go and buy us a house."

I quickly found a house for the money, and after furnishing it
richly, we went to reside in it, kept a great many slaves of both
sexes, and made a good figure. We thus began to live in a very
agreeable manner: but my felicity was of short continuance; for
at the end of a year my wife fell sick and died.

I might have married again, and lived honourably at Bagdad; but
curiosity to see the world put me upon another plan. I sold my
house, and after purchasing several kinds of merchandize, went
with a caravan to Persia; from Persia I travelled to Samarcand,
                                                                    285
and from thence to this city.

"This," said the purveyor to the sultan of Casgar, "is the story
that the Bagdad merchant related in a company where I was
yesterday." "This story," said the sultan, "has something in it
extraordinary; but it does not come near that of the little
hunch-back." The Jewish physician prostrated himself before the
sultan's throne, and addressed the prince in the following
manner: "Sir, if you will be so good as to hear me, I flatter
myself you will be pleased with a story I have to tell you."
"Well spoken," said the sultan; "but if it be not more surprising
than that of little hunch-back, you must not expect to live."

The Jewish physician, finding the sultan of Casgar disposed to
hear him, gave the following relation.




The Story told by the Jewish Physician.



When I was studying physic at Damascus, and was just beginning to
practise that noble profession with some reputation, a slave
called me to see a patient in the governor of the city's family.
Accordingly I went, and was conducted into a room, where I found
a very handsome young man, much dejected by his disorder. I
saluted him, and sat down by him; but he made no return to my
compliments, only a sign with his eyes that he heard me, and
thanked me. "Pray, sir," said I, "give me your hand, that I may
feel your pulse." But instead of stretching out his right, he
gave me his left hand, at which I was extremely surprised.
However, I felt his pulse, wrote him a prescription, and took
leave.

I continued my visits for nine days, and every time I felt his
pulse, he still gave me his left hand. On the tenth day he seemed
to be so far recovered, that I only deemed it necessary to
prescribe bathing to him. The governor of Damascus, who was by,
in testimony of his satisfaction with my service, invested me
with a very rich robe, saying, he had appointed me a physician of
the city hospital, and physician in ordinary to his house, where
I might eat at his table when I pleased.

The young man likewise shewed me many civilities, and asked me to
accompany him to the bath. Accordingly we went together, and when
his attendants had undressed him, I perceived he wanted the right
                                                                    286
hand, and that it had not long been cut off, which had been the
occasion of his disorder, though concealed from me; for while the
people about him were applying proper remedies externally, they
had called me to prevent the ill consequence of the fever which
was on him. I was much surprised and concerned on seeing his
misfortune; which he observed by my countenance. "Doctor," cried
he, "do not be astonished that my hand is cut off; some day or
other I will tell you the cause; and in that relation you will
hear very surprising adventures."

After we had returned from the bath, we sat down to a collation;
and he asked me if it would be any prejudice to his health if he
went and took a walk out of town in the governor's garden? I made
answer, that the air would be of service to him. "Then," said he,
"if you will give me your company, I will recount to you my
history." I replied I was at his command for all that day. Upon
which he presently called his servants, and we went to the
governor's garden. Having taken two or three turns there, we
seated ourselves on a carpet that his servants had spread under a
tree, which gave a pleasant shade. The young man then gave me his
history in the following terms;

I was born at Moussol, of one of the most considerable families
in the city. My father was the eldest of ten brothers, who were
all alive and married when my grandfather died. All the brothers
were childless, except my father; and he had no child but me. He
took particular care of my education; and made me learn every
thing proper for my rank.

When I was grown up, and began to enter into the world, I
happened one Friday to be at noon-prayers with my father and my
uncles in the great mosque of Moussol. After prayers were over,
the rest of the company going away, my father and my uncles
continued sitting upon the best carpet in the mosque; and I sat
down by them. They discoursed of several things, but the
conversation fell insensibly, I know not how, upon the subject of
travelling. They extolled the beauties and peculiar rarities of
some kingdoms, and of their principal cities. But one of my
uncles said, that according to the uniform report of an infinite
number of voyagers, there was not in the world a pleasanter
country than Egypt, on account of the Nile; and the description
he gave infused into me such high admiration, that from that
moment I had a desire to travel thither. Whatever my other uncles
said, by way of preference to Bagdad and the Tigris, in calling
Bagdad the residence of the Mussulmaun religion, and the
metropolis of all the cities of the earth, made no impression
upon me. My father joined in opinion with those of his brothers
who had spoken in favour of Egypt; which filled me with joy. "Say
what you will," said he, "the man that has not seen Egypt has not
                                                                    287
seen the greatest rarity in the world. All the land there is
golden; I mean, it is so fertile, that it enriches its
inhabitants. All the women of that country charm you by their
beauty and their agreeable carriage. If you speak of the Nile,
where is there a more wonderful river? What water was ever
lighter or more delicious? The very slime it carries along in its
overflowing fattens the fields, which produce a thousand times
more than other countries that are cultivated with the greatest
labour. Observe what a poet said of the Egyptians, when he was
obliged to depart from Egypt: ‘Your Nile loads you with blessings
every day; it is for you only that it runs from such a distance.
Alas! in removing from you, my tears will flow as abundantly as
its waters; you are to continue in the enjoyment of its
sweetnesses, while I am condemned to deprive myself of them
against my will.'

"If you look," added my father, "towards the island that is
formed by the two greatest branches of the Nile, what variety of
verdure! What enamel of all sorts of flowers! What a prodigious
number of cities, villages, canals, and a thousand other
agreeable objects! If you turn your eyes on the other side, up
towards Ethiopia, how many other subjects of admiration! I cannot
compare the verdure of so many plains, watered by the different
canals of the island, better than to brilliant emeralds set in
silver. Is not Grand Cairo the largest, the most populous, and
the richest city in the world? What a number of magnificent
edifices both public and private! If you view the pyramids, you
will be filled with astonishment at the sight of the masses of
stone of an enormous thickness, which rear their heads to the
skies! You will be obliged to confess, that the Pharaohs, who
employed such riches, and so many men in building them, must have
surpassed in magnificence and invention all the monarchs who have
appeared since, not only in Egypt, but in all the world, for
having left monuments so worthy of their memory: monuments so
ancient, that the learned cannot agree upon the date of their
erection; yet such as will last to the end of time. I pass over
in silence the maritime cities of the kingdom of Egypt, such as
Damietta, Rosetta, and Alexandria, where nations come for various
sorts of grain, cloth, and an infinite number of commodities
calculated for accommodation and delight. I speak of what I know;
for I spent some years there in my youth, which I shall always
reckon the most agreeable part of my life."

My uncles could make no reply, and assented to all my father had
said of the Nile, of Cairo, and of the whole kingdom of Egypt. My
imagination was so full of these subjects, I could not sleep that
night. Soon after, my uncles declared how much they were struck
with my father's account. They made a proposal to him, that they
should travel all together into Egypt. To this he assented; and
                                                                    288
being rich merchants, they resolved to carry with them such
commodities as were likely to suit the market. When I found that
they were making preparations for their departure, I went to my
father, and begged of him, with tears in my eyes, that he would
suffer me to make one of the party, and allow me some stock of
goods to trade with on my own account. "You are too young," said
he, "to travel into Egypt; the fatigue is too great for you; and,
besides, I am sure you will come off a loser in your traffic."
These words, however, did not suppress my eager desire to travel.
I made use of my uncles' interest with my father, who at last
granted me permission to go as far as Damascus, where they were
to leave me, till they had travelled through Egypt. "The city of
Damascus," said my father, "may likewise glory in its beauties,
and my son must be content with leave to go so far." Though my
curiosity to see Egypt was very pressing, I considered he was my
father, and submitted to his will.

I set out from Moussol in company with him and my uncles. We
travelled through Mesopotamia, passed the Euphrates, and arrived
at Aleppo, where we stayed some days. From thence we went to
Damascus, the first sight of which struck me with agreeable
surprise We lodged all together in one khan; and I had the view
of a city that was large, populous, full of handsome people, and
well fortified. We employed some days in walking up and down the
delicious gardens that surrounded it; and we all agreed that
Damascus was justly said to be seated in a paradise. At last my
uncles thought of pursuing their journey; but took care, before
they went, to sell my goods so advantageously for me, that I
gained by them five hundred per cent. This sale brought me a sum
so considerable, as to fill me with delight.

My father and my uncles left me in Damascus, and pursued their
journey. After their departure, I used great caution not to lay
out my money idly. But at the same time I took a stately house,
built of marble, adorned with paintings of gold, silver foliage,
and a garden with fine water-works. I furnished it, not so richly
indeed as the magnificence of the place deserved, but at least
handsomely enough for a young man of my rank. It formerly
belonged to one of the principal lords of the city; but was then
the property of a rich jewel-merchant, to whom I paid for it only
two sherifs a month. I had a number of domestics, and lived
honourably; sometimes I gave entertainments to such people as I
had made an acquaintance with, and sometimes was treated by them.
Thus did I spend my time at Damascus, waiting for my father's
return; no passion disturbed my repose, and my only employment
was conversing with people of credit.

One day, as I sat taking the cool air at my gate, a very
handsome, well-dressed lady came to me, and asked if I did not
                                                                    289
sell stuffs? She had no sooner spoken the words, than she went
into my house.

When I saw that the lady had entered the house, I rose, and
having shut the gate, conducted into a hall, and prayed her to
sit down. "Madam," said I, "I have had stuffs fit to be strewn to
you, but at present, I am sorry to say, I have none." She removed
the veil from her face, and discovered such beauty as affected me
with emotions I had never felt before. "I have no occasion for
stuffs," replied she, "I only come to see you, and, if you
please, to pass the evening in your company; all I ask of you is
a light collation."

Transported with joy, I ordered the servants to bring us several
sorts of fruit, and some bottles of wine. These being speedily
served, we ate, drank, and made merry till midnight. In short, I
had not before passed a night so agreeably as this. Next morning
I would have put ten sherifs into the lady's hands, but she drew
back instantly. "I am not come to see you," said she, "from
interested motives; you therefore do me wrong. So far from
receiving money from you, I must insist on your taking some from
me, or else I will see you no more." In speaking this, she put
her hand into her purse, took out ten sherifs, and forced me to
take them, saying, "You may expect me three days hence after sun-
set. She then took leave of me, and I felt that when she went she
carried my heart along with her."

She did not fail to return at the appointed hour three days
after; and I received her with all the joy of a person who waited
impatiently for her arrival. The evening and the night we spent
as before; and next day at parting she promised to return the
third day after. She did not, however, leave me without forcing
me to take ten sherifs more.

She returned a third time; and at that interview, when we were
both warm with wine, she spoke thus: "My dear love, what do you
think of me? Am I not handsome and agreeable?" "Madam," I
replied, "I think this an unnecessary question: the love which I
shew you ought to persuade you that I admire you; I am charmed to
see and to possess you. You are my queen, my sultaness; in you
lies all the felicity of my life." "Ah!" returned she, "I am sure
you would speak otherwise, if you saw a certain lady of my
acquaintance, who is younger and handsomer than I am. She is of
such a pleasant lively temper, that she would make the most
melancholy people merry: I must bring her hither; I spoke of you
to her, and from the account I have given of you she is dying
with desire to see you. She intreated me to procure her that
pleasure, but I did not dare to promise her without speaking to
you beforehand." "Madam," said I, "do what you please; but
                                                                    290
whatever you may say of your friend, I defy all her charms to
tear my heart from you, to whom it is so inviolably attached,
that nothing can disengage it." "Be not too positive," returned
she; "I now tell you, I am about to put your heart to a severe
trial."

We continued together all night, and next morning at parting,
instead of ten sherifs she gave me fifteen, which I was forced to
accept. "Remember," said she, "that in two days' time you are to
have a new guest; pray take care to give her a good reception: we
will come at the usual hour." I had my hall put in great order,
and a handsome collation prepared against they came.

I waited for the two ladies with impatience and at last they
arrived at the close of the day. They both unveiled, and as I had
been surprised with the beauty of the first, I had reason to be
much more so when I saw her friend. She had regular features, an
elegant person, and such sparkling eyes, that I could hardly bear
their splendour. I thanked her for the honour she did me, and
entreated her to excuse me if I did not give her the reception
she deserved. "No compliments," replied she; "it should be my
part to make them to you, for allowing my friend to bring me
hither. But since you are pleased to suffer it, let us lay aside
all ceremony, and think only of amusing ourselves."

I had given orders, as soon as the ladies arrived, to have the
collation served up, and we soon sat down to our entertainment. I
placed myself opposite the stranger, who never ceased looking
upon me with a smiling countenance. I could not resist her
conquering eyes, and she made herself mistress of my heart,
without opposition. But while she inspired me with a flame, she
caught it herself; and so far from appearing to be under any
constraint, she conversed in very free and lively language.

The other lady, who observed us, did nothing at first but laugh.
"I told you," said she, addressing herself to me, "you would find
my friend full of charms; and I perceive you have already
violated the oath you made of being faithful to me." "Madam,"
replied I, laughing as well as she, "you would have reason to
complain, if I were wanting in civility to a lady whom you
brought hither, and who is your intimate friend; both of you
might then upbraid me for not performing duly the rites of
hospitality."

We continued to drink; but as the wine warmed us, the strange
lady and I ogled one another with so little reserve, that her
friend grew jealous, and quickly gave us a dismal proof of the
inveteracy of her feelings. She rose from the table and went out,
saying, she would be with us presently again: but in a few
                                                                    291
moments after, the lady who stayed with me changed countenance,
fell into violent convulsions, and expired in my arms while I was
calling for assistance to relieve her. I went out immediately,
and enquired for the other lady; when my people told me, she had
opened the street door and was gone. I then suspected what was
but too true, that she had been the cause of her friend's death.
She had the dexterity, and the malice, to put some very strong
poison into the last glass, which she gave her with her own hand.

I was afflicted beyond measure with the accident. "What shall I
do?" I exclaimed in agony. "What will become of me?" I considered
there was no time to lose, and it being then moon-light, I
ordered my servants to take up one of the large pieces of marble,
with which the court of my house was paved, dig a hole, and there
inter the corpse of the young lady. After replacing the stone, I
put on a travelling suit, took what money I had; and having
locked up every thing, affixed my own seal on the door of my
house. This done I went to the jewel-merchant my landlord, paid
him what I owed, with a year's rent in advance and giving him the
key, prayed him to keep it for me. "A very urgent affair," said
I, "obliges me to be absent for some time; I am under the
necessity of going to visit my uncles at Cairo." I took my leave
of him, immediately mounted my horse, and departed with my
attendants from Damascus.

I had a good journey, and arrived at Cairo without any accident.
There I met with my uncles, who were much surprised to see me. To
excuse myself, I pretended I was tired of waiting; and hearing
nothing of them, was so uneasy, that I could not be satisfied
without coming to Cairo. They received me kindly, and promised
that my father should not be displeased with me for leaving
Damascus without his permission. I lodged in the same khan with
them, and saw all the curiosities of Cairo.

Having finished their traffic, they began to talk of returning to
Moussol, and to make preparations for their departure; but I,
having a wish to view in Egypt what I had not yet seen, left my
uncles, and went to lodge in another quarter at a distance from
their khan, and did not appear any more till they were gone. They
sought for me all over the city; but not finding me, supposed
remorse for having come to Egypt without my father's consent had
occasioned me to return to Damascus, without saying any thing to
them. So they began their journey, expecting to find me at
Damascus, and there to take me up.

After their departure I continued at Cairo three years, more
completely to indulge my curiosity in seeing all the wonders of
Egypt. During that time I took care to remit money to the jewel-
merchant, ordering him to keep my house for me; for I designed to
                                                                    292
return to Damascus, and reside there some years longer. I had no
adventure at Cairo worth relating; but doubtless you will be much
surprised at that which befell me on my return to Damascus.

Arriving at this city, I went to the jewel-merchant's, who
received me joyfully, and would accompany me to my house, to shew
me that no one had entered it whilst I was absent. The seal was
still entire upon the lock; and when I went in, I found every
thing in the order in which I had left it.

In sweeping and cleaning out the hall where I had eaten with the
ladies, one of my servants found a gold chain necklace, with ten
very large and perfect pearls strung upon it at certain
distances. He brought it to me, when I knew it to be the same I
had seen upon the lady's neck who was poisoned; and concluded it
had broken off and fallen. I could not look upon it without
shedding tears, when I called to mind the lovely creature I had
seen die in such a shocking manner. I wrapped it up, and put it
in my bosom.

I rested some days to recover from the fatigues of my journey;
after which, I began to visit my former acquaintance. I abandoned
myself to every species of pleasure, and gradually squandered
away all my money. Being thus reduced, instead of selling my
furniture, I resolved to part with the necklace; but I had so
little skill in pearls, that I took my measures very ill, as you
shall hear.

I went to the bazaar, where I called a crier aside, and strewing
him the necklace, told him I wished to sell it, and desired him
to show it to the principal jewellers. The crier was surprised to
see such a valuable ornament. "How beautiful," exclaimed he,
gazing upon it with admiration, "never did our merchants see any
thing so rich; I am sure I shall oblige them highly in strewing
it to them; and you need not doubt they will set a high price
upon it, in emulation of each other." He carried me to a shop
which proved to be my landlord's: "Stop here," said the crier, "I
will return presently and bring you an answer."

While he was running about to shew the necklace, I sat with the
jeweller, who was glad to see me, and we conversed on different
subjects. The crier returned, and calling me aside, instead of
telling me the necklace was valued at two thousand sherifs,
assured me nobody would give me more than fifty. "The reason is,"
added he, "the pearls are false; consider if you will part with
it at that price." I took him at his word, wanting money. "Go,"
said I, "I take your word, and that of those who know better than
myself; deliver it to them, and bring me the money immediately."

                                                                    293
The crier had been ordered to offer me fifty sherifs by one of
the richest jewellers in town who had only made that offer to
sound me, and try if I was well acquainted with the value of the
pearls. He had no sooner received my answer, than he carried the
crier to the judge, and shewing him the necklace; "Sir," said he,
"here is a necklace which was stolen from me, and the thief,
under the character of a merchant, has had the impudence to offer
it to sale, and is at this minute in the bazaar. He is willing to
take fifty sherifs for a necklace that is worth two thousand

which is a clear proof of his having stolen it."

The Judge sent immediately to seize me, and when I came before
him, he asked me if the necklace he had in his hand was not the
same that I had exposed to sale in the bazaar. I told him it was.
"Is it true," demanded he, "that you are willing to sell it for
fifty sherifs,?" I answered I was. "Well," continued he, in a
scoffing way "give him the bastinado; he will quickly confess
notwithstanding his merchant's disguise, that he is only an
artful thief; let him be beaten till he owns his guilt." The pain
of the torture made me tell a lie; I confessed, though it was not
true that I had stolen the necklace; and the judge ordered my
hand to be cut off according to the sentence of our law.

This made a great noise in the bazaar, and I was scarcely
returned to my house when my landlord came. "My son," said he,
"you seem to be a young man well educated, and of good sense; how
is it possible you could be guilty of such an unworthy action, as
that I hear talked of? You gave me an account of your property
yourself, and I do not doubt but the account was just. Why did
not you request money of me, and I would have lent it you?
However, after what has happened, I cannot allow you to remain
longer in my house; you must go and seek for other lodgings." I
was extremely troubled at this; and entreated the jeweller, with
tears in my eyes, to let me stay three days longer; which he
granted.

"Alas," thought I, "this misfortune and affront are unsufferable;
how shall I dare to return to Moussol? Nothing I can say to my
father will persuade him that I am innocent."

Three hours after this fatal accident my house was forcibly
entered by the judge's officers, accompanied by my landlord, and
the merchant who had falsely accused me of having stolen the
necklace. I asked them, what brought them there? But instead of
giving me any answer, they bound and gagged me, calling me a
thousand abusive names, and telling me the necklace belonged to
the governor of Damascus, who had lost it above three years
before, and that one of his daughters had not been heard of
                                                                    294
since. Judge of my sensations when I heard this intelligence.
However, I summoned all my resolution, "I will," thought I, "tell
the governor the truth, and it will rest with him either to put
me to death, or to protect my innocence."

When I was brought before him, I observed he looked upon me with
an eye of compassion, from whence I augured well. He ordered me
to be untied, and addressing himself to the jeweller who accused
me, and to my landlord: "Is this the man," asked he, "that sold
the pearl necklace?" They had no sooner answered yes, than he
continued, "I am sure he did not steal the necklace, and I am
much astonished at the injustice that has been done him." These
words giving me courage: "Sir," said I, "I do assure you I am
perfectly innocent. I am likewise fully persuaded the necklace
never did belong to my accuser, whom I never saw, and whose
horrible perfidy is the cause of my unjust treatment. It is true,
I made a confession as if I had stolen it; but this I did
contrary to my conscience, through the force of torture, and for
another reason that I am ready to give you, if you will have the
goodness to hear me." "I know enough of it already," replied the
governor, "to do you one part of the justice to which you are
entitled. Take from hence," continued he, "the false accuser; let
him undergo the same punishment as he caused to be inflicted on
this young man, whose innocence is known to myself."

The governor's orders were immediately put in execution; the
jeweller was punished as he deserved. Then the governor, having
ordered all present to withdraw, said to me: "My son, tell me
without fear how this necklace fell into your hands, conceal
nothing from me." I related plainly all that had passed, and
declared I had chosen rather to pass for a thief than to reveal
that tragical adventure. "Good God," exclaimed the governor, "thy
judgments are incomprehensible, and we ought to submit to them
without murmuring. I receive, with entire submission, the stroke
thou hast been pleased to inflict upon me." Then directing his
discourse to me: "My son," said he, "having now heard the cause
of your disgrace, for which I am truly concerned, I will give you
an account of the affliction which has befallen myself. Know
then, that I am the father of both the young ladies you were
speaking of. The first lady, who had the impudence to come to
your house, was my eldest daughter. I had given her in marriage
at Cairo to one of her cousins, my brother's son. Her husband
died, and she returned home corrupted by every vice too often
contracted in Egypt. Before I took her home, her younger sister,
who died in that deplorable manner in your arms, was a truly
virtuous girl, and had never given me any occasion to complain of
her conduce. But after that, the elder sister became very
intimate with her, and insensibly made her as wicked as herself.
The day after the death of the younger not finding her at home, I
                                                                    295
asked her elder sister what was become of her; but she, instead
of answering, affected to weep bitterly; from whence I formed a
fatal presage. I pressed her to inform me of what she knew
respecting her sister ‘Father,' replied she, sobbing, ‘I can tell
you no more than that my sister put on yesterday her richest
dress, with her valuable pearl necklace, went out, and has not
been heard of since.' I searched for her all over the town, but
could learn nothing of her unhappy fate. In the mean time the
elder, who doubtless repented of her jealous fury, became
melancholy, and incessantly bewailed the death of her sister; she
denied her self all manner of food, and so put an end to her
deplorable days. Such is the condition of mankind! such are the
misfortunes to which we are exposed! However, my son," added he,
"since we are both of us equally unfortunate, let us unite our
sorrow, and not abandon one another. I will give you in marriage
a third daughter I have still left, she is younger than her
sisters, and in no respect imitates their conduct; besides, she
is handsomer, and I assure you is of a disposition calculated to
make you happy. You shall have no other house but mine, and,
after my death, you and she shall be heirs to all my property."
"My lord," I replied, "I am overcome by your favours, and shall
never be able to make a sufficient acknowledgment." "Enough,"
said he, interrupting me, "let us not waste time in idle words."
He then called for witnesses, ordered the contract of marriage to
be drawn, and I became the husband of his third daughter. He was
not satisfied with punishing the jeweller, who had falsely
accused me, but confiscated for my use all his property, which
was very considerable. As for the rest, since you have been
called to the governor's house, you may have seen what respect
they pay me there. I must tell you further, that a person
despatched by my uncles to Egypt, on purpose to inquire for me
there, passing through this city found me out last night, and
delivered me a letter from them. They inform me of my father's
death, and invite me to come and take possession of his property
at Moussol. But as the alliance and friendship of the governor
have fixed me here, and will not suffer me to leave him, I have
sent back the express with a power, which will secure to me my
inheritance. After what you have heard, I hope you will pardon my
seeming incivility during the course of my illness, in giving you
my left instead of my right hand.

" This," said the Jewish physician, "is the story I heard from
the young man of Moussol. I continued at Damascus as long as the
governor lived; after his death, being still in the vigour of my
age, I had the curiosity to travel. Accordingly I went through
Persia to the Indies, and came at last to settle in this your
capital, where I have practised physic with reputation."

The sultan of Casgar was well pleased with this story. "I must
                                                                    296
confess," said he to the Jew, "the story you have told me is very
singular; but I declare freely, that of the little hump-back is:
yet more extraordinary, and much more diverting; so you are not
to expect that I will give you your life, any more than the rest.
I will have you all four executed." "Pray, sir, stay a minute,"
said the tailor, advancing, and prostrating himself at the
sultan's feet. "Since your majesty loves pleasant stories, I have
one to tell you that will not displease you." "Well, I will hear
thee too," said the sultan; "but do not flatter thyself that I
will suffer thee to live, unless thou tellest me some adventure
that is yet more diverting than that of my hump-backed jester."
Upon this the tailor, as if he had been sure of success, spoke
boldly to the following purpose.




The Story told by the Tailor.



A citizen of this city did me the honour two days ago to invite
me to an entertainment, which he was to give to his friends
yesterday morning. Accordingly I went early, and found there
about twenty persons.

The master of the house was gone out upon some business, but in a
short time returned, and brought with him a young man, a
stranger, very well dressed, and handsome, but lame. When he
entered, we all rose, and out of respect to the master of the
house, invited the young man to sit down with us upon the
estrade. He was going to comply; but suddenly perceiving a barber
in our company, flew backwards, and made towards the door. The
master of the house, surprised at his behaviour, stopped him.
"Where are you going?" demanded he. "I bring you along with me to
do me the honour of being my guest among the rest of my friends,
and you are no sooner got into my house, than you are for running
away." "Sir," replied the young man, "for God's sake do not stop
me, let me go, I cannot without horror look upon that abominable
barber, who, though he was born in a country where all the
natives are white, resembles an Ethiopian; and his soul is yet
blacker and more horrible than his face."

We were all surprised to hear the young man speak in this manner,
and began to have a very bad opinion of the barber, without
knowing what ground the young man had for what he said. Nay, we
protested we would not suffer any one to remain in our company,
who bore so horrid a character. The master of the house intreated
the stranger to tell us what reason he had for hating the barber.
                                                                    297
"Gentlemen," resumed the young man, "you must know this cursed
barber is the cause of my being lame, and having fallen into the
most ridiculous and teasing situation you can imagine. For this
reason I have sworn to avoid all the places where he is, and even
not to stay in the cities where he resides. It was for this
reason that I left Bagdad, where he then dwelt; and travelled so
far to settle in this city, at the extremity of Tartary; a place
where I flattered myself I should never see him. And now, after
all, contrary to my expectation, I find him here. This obliges
me, gentlemen, against my will, to deprive myself of the honour
of being merry with you. This very day I shall take leave of your
town, and go, if I can, to hide my head where he cannot come."
This said, he would have left us, but the master of the house
earnestly intreated him to stay, and tell us the cause of his
aversion for the barber, who all this while looked down and said
not a word. We joined with the master of the house in his
request; and at last the young man, yielding to our
importunities, sat down; and, after turning his back on the
barber, that he might not see him, gave us the following
narrative of his adventures.

My father's quality might have entitled him to the highest posts
in the city of Bagdad, but he always preferred a quiet life to
the honours of a public station. I was his only child, and when
he died I had finished my education, and was of age to dispose of
the plentiful fortune he had left me; which I did not squander
away foolishly, but applied to such uses as obtained for me
everybody's respect. I had not yet been disturbed by any passion:
I was so far from being sensible of love, that I bashfully
avoided the conversation of women. One day, walking in the
streets, I saw a large party of ladies before me; and that I
might not meet them, I turned down a narrow lane, and sat down
upon a bench by a door. I was placed opposite a window, where
stood a pot of beautiful flowers, on which I had my eyes fixed,
when the window opened, and a young lady appeared, whose beauty
struck me. Immediately she fixed her eyes upon me; and in
watering the flowerpot with a hand whiter than alabaster, looked
upon me with a smile, that inspired me with as much love for her
as I had formerly aversion for all women. After having watered
her flowers, and darted upon me a glance full of charms that
pierced my heart, she shut the window, and left me in
inconceivable perplexity, from which I should not have recovered,
if a noise in the street had not brought me to myself. I lifted
up my head, and turning, saw the first cauzee of the city,
mounted on a mule, and attended by five or six servants: he
alighted at the door of the house, where the young lady had
opened the window, and went in; from whence I concluded he was
her father. I went home in an altered state of mind; agitated by
a passion the more violent, as I had never felt its assaults
                                                                    298
before: I retired to bed in a violent fever, at which all the
family were much concerned. My relations, who had a great
affection for me, were so alarmed by the sudden disorder, that
they importuned me to tell the cause; which I took care not to
discover. My silence created an uneasiness that the physicians
could not dispel, because they knew nothing of my distemper, and
by their medicines rather inflamed than checked it. My relations
began to despair of my life, when an old lady of our
acquaintance, hearing I was ill, came to see me. She considered
me with great attention, and after having examined me,
penetrated, I know not how, into the real cause of my illness.
She took my relations aside, and desired all my people would
retire out of the room, and leave her with me alone.

When the room was clear, she sat down on the side of my bed. "My
son," said she, "you have obstinately concealed the cause of your
illness; but you have no occasion to reveal it to me. I have
experience enough to penetrate into a secret; you will not deny
when I tell you it is love that makes you sick. I can find a way
to cure you, if you will but inform me who that happy lady is,
that could move a heart so insensible as yours; for you have the
character of a woman-hater, and I was not the last who perceived
that such was your disposition; but what I foresaw has come to
pass, and I am now glad of the opportunity to employ my talents
in relieving your pain."

The old lady having thus spoken, paused, expecting my answer; but
though what she had said had made a strong impression upon me, I
durst not lay open to her the bottom of my heart; I only turned
to her, and heaved a deep sigh, without replying a word. "Is it
bashfulness," said she, "that keeps you silent? Or is it want of
confidence in me? Do you doubt the effect of my promise? I could
mention to you a number of young men of your acquaintance, who
have been in the same condition with yourself, and have received
relief from me."

The good lady told me so many more circumstances that I broke
silence, declared to her my complaint, pointed out to her the
place where I had seen the object which occasioned it, and
unravelled all the circumstances of my adventure. "If you
succeed," added I, "and procure me the happiness of seeing that
charming beauty, and revealing to her the passion with which I
burn for her, you may depend upon it I will be grateful." "My
son," replied the old woman, "I know the lady you speak of; she
is, as you rightly judged, the daughter of the first cauzee of
this city: I am not surprised that you are in love with her. She
is the handsomest and most lovely lady in Bagdad, but very proud,
and of difficult access. You know how strict our judges are, in
enjoining the punctual observance of the severe laws that confine
                                                                    299
women; and they are yet more strict in the observation of them in
their own families; the cauzee you saw is more rigid in that
point than any of the other magistrates. They are always
preaching to their daughters what a heinous crime it is to shew
themselves to men; and the girls themselves are so prepossessed
with the notion, that they make no other use of their own eves
but to conduct them along the street, when necessity obliges them
to go abroad. I do not say absolutely that the first cauzee's
daughter is of that humour; but that does not hinder my fearing
to meet with as great obstacles on her side, as on her father's.
Would to God you had loved any other, then I should not have had
so many difficulties to surmount. However, I will employ all my
wits to compass the matter; but it requires time. In the mean
while take courage and trust to me."

The old woman took leave; and as I weighed within myself all the
obstacles she had been talking of, the fear of her not succeeding
in her undertaking inflamed my disorder. Next day she came again,
and I read in her countenance that she had no favourable news to
impart. She spoke thus: "My son, I was not mistaken, I have
somewhat else to conquer besides the vigilance of a father. You
love an insensible object, who takes pleasure in making every one
miserable who suffers himself to be charmed by her; she will not
deign them the least comfort: she heard me with pleasure, when I
spoke of nothing but the torment she made you undergo; but I no
sooner opened my mouth to engage her to allow you to see her, and
converse with her, but casting at me a terrible look, ‘You are
very presumptuous,' said she, ‘to make such a proposal to me; I
charge you never to insult me again with such language.'

"Do not let this cast you down," continued she; "I am not easily
disheartened, and am not without hope but I shall compass my
end." To shorten my story, this good woman made several fruitless
attacks in my behalf on the proud enemy of my rest. The vexation
I suffered inflamed my distemper to that degree, that my
physicians gave me over. I was considered as a dead man, when the
old woman came to recall me to life.

That no one might hear what was said, she whispered in my ear;
"Remember the present you owe for the good news I bring you."
These words produced a marvellous effect; I raised myself up in
the bed, and with transport replied, "You shall not go without a
present; but what is the news you bring me?" "Dear sir," said she
"you shall not die; I shall speedily have the pleasure to see you
in perfect health, and very well satisfied with me. Yesterday I
went to see the lady you love, and found her in good humour. As
soon as I entered, I put on a sad countenance heaved many deep
sighs, and began to squeeze out some tears. ‘My good mother,'
demanded she ‘what is the matter with you, why are you so cast
                                                                    300
down?' ‘Alas, my dear and honourable lady,' I replied, ‘I have
just been with the young gentleman of whom I spoke to you the
other day, who is dying on your account.' ‘I am at a loss to
know,' said she, ‘how you make me to be the cause of his death.
How can I have contributed to it?' ‘How?' replied I; ‘did not you
tell me the other day, that he sat down before your window when
you opened it to water your flower-pot? He then saw that prodigy
of beauty, those charms that your mirror daily represents to you.
From that moment he languished, and his disorder has so
increased, that he is reduced to the deplorable condition I have
mentioned.'

"‘You well remember,' added I, ‘how harshly you treated me at our
last interview; when I was speaking to you of his illness, and
proposing a way to save him from the threatened consequences of
his complaint. After I left you I went directly to his house, and
he no sooner learnt from my countenance that I had brought no
favourable answer than his distemper increased. From that time,
madam, he has been at the point of death; and I doubt whether
your compassion would not now come too late to save his life.'
The fear of your death alarmed her, and I saw her face change
colour. ‘Is your account true?' she asked. ‘Has he actually no
other disorder than what is occasioned by his love of me?' ‘Ah,
madam!' I replied, ‘it is too true; would it were false!' ‘Do you
believe,' said she, ‘that the hopes of seeing me would at all
contribute to rescue him from his danger?' I answered, ‘Perhaps
it may, and if you will permit me, I will try the remedy.'?
‘Well,' resumed she, sighing, ‘give him hopes of seeing me; but
he must pretend to no other favours, unless he aspire to marry
me, and obtains my father's consent.' ‘Madam,' replied I. ‘your
goodness overcomes me; I will instantly seek the young gentleman,
and tell him he is to have the pleasure of an interview with
you.' ‘The best opportunity I can think of,' said she, ‘for
granting him that favour, will be next Friday at the hour of noon
prayers. Let him observe when my father goes out, and then, if
his health permits him to be abroad, come and place himself
opposite the house. I shall then see him from my window, and will
come down and open the door for him: we will converse together
during prayer-time; but he must depart before my father returns.'

"It is now Tuesday," continued the old lady "you have the
interval between this and Friday to recover your strength, and
make the necessary dispositions for the interview." While the
good old lady was speaking, I felt my illness decrease, or
rather, by the time she had done, I found myself perfectly
recovered. "Here, take this," said I, reaching out to her my
purse, which was full, "it is to you alone that I owe my cure. I
reckon this money better employed than all that I gave the
physicians, who have only tormented me during my illness."
                                                                    301
When the lady was gone, I found I had strength enough to get up:
and my relations finding me so well, complimented me on the
occasion, and went home.

On Friday morning the old woman came, just as I was dressing, and
choosing out the richest clothes in my wardrobe, said, "I do not
ask you how you are, what you are about is intimation enough of
your health; but will not you bathe before you go?" "That will
take up too much time," I replied; "I will content myself with
sending for a barber, to shave my head." Immediately I ordered
one of my slaves to call a barber that could do his business
cleverly and expeditiously.

The slave brought me the wretch you see here, who came, and after
saluting me, said, "Sir, you look as if you were not well." I
told him I was just recovered from a fit of sickness. "May God,"
resumed he, "deliver you from all mischance; may his grace always
go along with you." "I hope he will grant your wish, for which I
am obliged to you." "Since you are recovering from a fit of
sickness," he continued, "I pray God preserve your health; but
now let me know what I am to do; I have brought my razors and my
lancets, do you desire to be shaved or to be bled?" I replied, "I
am just recovered from a fit of sickness, and you may readily
judge I only want to be shaved: come, do not lose time in
prattling; for I am in haste, and have an appointment precisely
at noon."

The barber spent much time in opening his case, and preparing his
razors Instead of putting water into the basin, he took a very
handsome astrolabe out of his case, and went very gravely out of
my room to the middle of the court to take the height of the sun:
he returned with the same grave pace, and entering my room, said,
"Sir, you will be pleased to know this day is Friday the 18th of
the moon Suffir, in the year 653, from the retreat of our great
prophet from Mecca to Medina, and in the year 7320 of the epocha
of the great Iskender with two horns; and that the conjunction of
Mars and Mercury signifies you cannot choose a better time than
this very day and hour for being shaved. But, on the other hand,
the same conjunction is a bad presage to you. I learn from it,
that this day you run a great risk, not indeed of losing your
life, but of an inconvenience which will attend you while you
live. You are obliged to me for the advice I now give you, to
avoid this accident; I shall be sorry if it befall you."

You may guess, gentlemen, how vexed I was at having fallen into
the hands of such a prattling, impertinent fellow; what an
unseasonable adventure was it for a lover preparing for an
interview with his mistress! I was quite irritated. "I care not,"
                                                                    302
said I, in anger, "for your advice and predictions; I did not
call you to consult your astrology; you came hither to shave me;
shave me, or begone." "I will call another barber, sir," replied
he, with a coolness that put me out of all patience; "what reason
have you to be angry with me? You do not know, that all of my
profession are not like me; and that if you made it your business
to search, you would not find such another. You only sent for a
barber; but here, in my person, you have the best barber in
Bagdad, an experienced physician, a profound chemist, an
infallible astrologer, a finished grammarian, a complete orator,
a subtle logician, a mathematician perfectly well versed in
geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and all the refinements of
algebra; an historian fully master of the histories of all the
kingdoms of the universe. Besides, I understand all parts of
philosophy. I have all our sacred traditions by heart. I am a
poet, I am an architect; and what is it I am not? There is
nothing in nature hidden from me. Your deceased father, to whose
memory I pay a tribute of tears every time I think of him, was
fully convinced of my merit; he was fond of me, and spoke of me
in all companies as the first man in the world. Out of gratitude
and friendship for him, I am willing to attach myself to you, to
take you under my protection, and guard you from all the evils
that your stars may threaten."

When I heard all this jargon, I could not forbear laughing,
notwithstanding my anger. "You impertinent prattler!" said I,
"will you have done, and begin to shave me?"

"Sir," replied the barber, "you affront me in calling me a
prattler; on the contrary, all the world gives me the honourable
title of Silent. I had six brothers, whom you might justly have
called prattlers. These indeed were impertinent chatterers, but
for me, who am a younger brother, I am grave and concise in my
discourse."

For God's sake, gentlemen, do but suppose you had been in my
place. What could I say when I saw myself so cruelly delayed?
"Give him three pieces of gold," said I to the slave who was my
housekeeper, "and send him away, that he may disturb me no more;
I will not be shaved this day." "Sir," said the barber, "pray
what do you mean? I did not come to seek for you, you sent for
me; and as that is the case I swear by the faith of a Moosulmaun,
I will not stir out of these doors till I have shaved you. If you
do not know my value, it is not my fault. Your deceased father
did me more justice. Every time he sent for me to let him blood,
he made me sit down by him, and was charmed with hearing what
witty things I said. I kept him in a continual strain of
admiration; I elevated him; and when I had finished my discourse,
‘My God,' he would exclaim, ‘you are an inexhaustible source of
                                                                    303
science, no man can reach the depth of your knowledge.' ‘My dear
sir,' I would answer, ‘you do me more honour than deserve. If I
say anything that is worth hearing, it is owing to the favourable
audience you vouchsafe me; it is your liberality that inspires me
with the sublime thoughts which have the happiness to please
you.' One day, when he was charmed with an admirable discourse I
had made him, he said, ‘Give him a hundred pieces of gold, and
invest him with one of my richest robes.' I instantly received
the present. I then drew his horoscope, and found it the happiest
in the world. Nav. I carried my gratitude further; I let him
blood with cupping-glasses."

This was not all; he spun out another harangue that was a full
half hour long. Tired with hearing him, and fretted at the loss
of time, which was almost spent before I was half ready, I did
not know what to say. "It is impossible," I exclaimed, "there
should be such another man in the world who takes pleasure, as
you do, in making people mad."

I thought I might perhaps succeed better if I dealt mildly with
my barber. "In the name of God," said I, "leave off talking, and
shave me directly: business of the last importance calls me, as I
have already told you." At these words he fell a laughing: "It
would be fortunate," said he, "if our minds were always in the
same state; if we were always wise and prudent. I am willing,
however, to believe, that if you are angry with me, it is your
disorder that has caused the change in your temper, for which
reason you stand in need of some instructions, and you cannot do
better than follow the example of your father and grandfather.
They came and consulted me upon all occasions, and I can say,
without vanity, that they always highly prized my advice. Pray
observe, sir, men never succeed in their undertakings without the
counsel of persons of understanding. A man cannot, says the
proverb, be wise without receiving advice from the wise. I am
entirely at service, and you have only to command me."

"What! cannot I prevail with you then," I demanded,, interrupting
him, "to leave off these long speeches, that tend to nothing but
to distract my head, and detain me from my business? Shave me, I
say, or begone:" with that I started up in anger, stamping my
foot against the ground.


When he saw I was in earnest, he said, "Sir, do not be angry, we
are going to begin." He lathered my head, and began to shave me;
but had not given four strokes with his razor before he stopped,
and addressed me, "Sir, you are hasty, you should avoid these
transports that only come from the devil. I am entitled to some
consideration on account of my age, my knowledge, and my great
                                                                    304
virtues."

"Go on and shave me," said I, interrupting him again, "and talk
no more." "That is to say," replied he, "you have some urgent
business to go about; I will lay you a wager I guess right." "Why
I told you two hours ago," I returned, "you ought to have shaved
me before." "Moderate your passion," replied he; "perhaps you
have not maturely weighed what you are going about; when things
are done precipitately, they are generally repented of. I wish
you would tell me what mighty business this is you are so earnest
upon. I would tell you my opinion of it; besides, you have time
enough, since your appointment is not till noon, and it wants
three hours of that yet." "I do not mind that," said I; "persons
of honour and of their word are rather before their time than
after. But I forget that by reasoning with you, I give into the
faults of you prattling barbers; have done, have done; shave me."

The more haste I was in, the less speed he made. He laid down the
razor, and took up his astrolabe; then laid down his astrolabe,
and took up his razor again.

The barber quitted his razor again, and took up his astrolabe a
second time; and so left me half shaved, to go and see precisely
what hour it was. Back he came, and exclaimed, "Sir, I knew I was
not mistaken, it wants three hours of noon. I am sure of it, or
else all the rules of astronomy are false." "Just heaven!" cried
I, "my patience is exhausted, I can bear this no longer. You
cursed barber, you barber of mischief, I can scarcely forbear
falling upon you and strangling you." "Softly, sir," said he,
very calmly, without being moved by my anger: "are you not afraid
of a relapse? Be not in a passion, I am going to shave you this
minute." In speaking these words, he clapped his astrolabe in his
case, took up his razor, and passing it over the strap which was
fixed to his belt, fell to shaving me again; but all the while he
was thus employed, the dog could not forbear prattling. "If you
would be pleased, sir," said he, "to tell me what the business is
you are going about at noon, I could give you some advice that
might be of use to you." To satisfy the fellow, I told him I was
going to meet some friends at an entertainment at noon, to make
merry with me on the recovery of ray health.

When the barber heard me talk of regaling; "God bless you this
day, as well as all other days!" he cried: "you put me in mind
that yesterday I invited four or five friends to come and eat
with me as this day; indeed I had forgotten the engagement, and
have made no preparation for them." "Do not let that trouble
you," said I; "though I dine abroad, my larder is always well
furnished. I make you a present of all that it contains; and
besides, I will order you as much wine as you have occasion for;
                                                                    305
I have excellent wine in my cellar; only you must hasten to
finish shaving me: and pray remember, as my father made you
presents to encourage you to speak, I give you mine to induce you
to be silent."

He was not satisfied with my promise, but exclaimed, "God reward
you, sir, for your kindness: pray shew me these provisions now,
that I may see if there will be enough to entertain my friends. I
would have them satisfied with the good fare I make them." "I
have," said I, "a lamb, six capons, a dozen chickens, and enough
to make four courses." I ordered a slave to bring all before him,
with four great pitchers of wine. "It is very well," returned the
barber; "but we shall want fruit, and sauce for the meat." These
I ordered likewise; but then he left off shaving, to look over
every thing one after another; and this survey lasted almost half
an hour. I raged and stormed like a madman; but it signified
nothing, the wretch made no more haste. However, he took up his
razor again, and shaved me for some minutes; then stopping
suddenly, exclaimed, "I could not have believed, sir, that you
would have been so liberal; I begin to perceive that your
deceased father lives again in you. Most certainly, I do not
deserve the favours with which you have loaded me; and I assure
you I shall have them in perpetual remembrance; for, sir, to let
you know, I have nothing but what I obtain from the generosity of
such gentlemen as you: in which respect, I am like to Zantout,
who rubs the people in the baths; to Sali, who cries boiled peas
in the streets; to Salout, who sells beans; to Akerscha, who
sells greens; to Aboumecarez, who sprinkles the streets to lay
the dust; and to Cassem, the caliph's lifeguard man. Of all these
persons, not one is apt so be melancholy; they are neither
impertinent nor quarrelsome; they are more contented with their
lot, than the caliph in the midst of his court; they are always
gay, ready to sing and dance, and have each of them their
peculiar song and dance, with which they divert the city of
Bagdad; but what I esteem most in them is, that they are no great
talkers, any more than your slave, that has bow the honour to
speak to you. Here, sir, is the song and dance of Zantout, who
rubs the people in the baths; mind me, pray, and see if I do not
imitate it exactly."

The barber sung the song, and danced the dance of Zantout; and
let me say what I could to oblige him to finish his buffooneries,
he did not cease till he had imitated, in like manner, the songs
and dances of the other persons he had named. "After that,"
addressing himself to me, "I am going," said he, "to invite all
these honest men to my house; if you will take my advice you will
join us, and disappoint your friends, who perhaps are great
talkers. They will only teaze you to death with their impertinent
discourse, and make you relapse into a disorder worse than that
                                                                    306
from which you are so lately recovered; whereas at my house you
shall have nothing but pleasure."

Notwithstanding my anger, I could not forbear laughing at the
fellow's impertinence. "I wish I had no business upon my hands,"
I replied, "I would accept your invitation, and go with all my
heart to partake of your entertainment; but I beg to be excused,
I am too much engaged; another day I shall be more at leisure,
and then we will make up the same party. Come, finish shaving me,
and make haste home; perhaps your friends are already arrived at
your house." "Sir," replied he, "do not refuse me the favour I
ask of you; were you but once in our company, it would afford you
so much pleasure as abundantly to compensate you for forsaking
your friends." "Let us talk no more of that," said I; "I cannot
be your guest."

I found I gained no ground by mild terms. "Since you will not
come to my house," replied the barber, "you must allow me to go
along with you: I will carry these things to my house, where my
friends may eat of them if they like, and I will return
immediately; I would not be so uncivil as to leave you alone. You
deserve this piece of complaisance at my hands." "Heavens!" cried
I, "then I shall not get clear of this troublesome fellow to-day.
In the name of the living God, leave off your unreasonable
jargon; go to your friends, drink, eat, and be merry with them,
and leave me at liberty to go to mine. I must go alone, I have no
occasion for company; besides, I must needs tell you, the place
to which I go is not one where you can be received." "You jest,
sir," said he; "if your friends have invited you to a feast, what
should prevent you from allowing me to go with you? You will
please them, I am sure, by introducing to them a man who can talk
wittily like me, and knows how to divert company. But say what
you will, I am determined to accompany you."

These words, gentlemen, perplexed me much. "How," thought I,
"shall I get rid of this cursed barber? If I persist in
contradicting him, we shall never have done."

Besides, I heard at this instant the first call to noon-prayers,
and it was time for me to go. In fine, I resolved to say nothing,
and to make as if I consented to his accompanying me. He then
finished shaving me, and I said to him, "Take some of my servants
to carry these provisions along with you, and return hither; I
will stay for you, and shall not go without you."

At last he went, and I dressed myself as expeditiously as I
could. I heard the last call to prayers, and hastened to set out:
but the malicious barber, who guessed my intention, went with my
servants only within sight of the house and stood there till he
                                                                    307
saw them enter it, after which he concealed himself at the corner
of the street, with an intent to observe and follow me. In fine,
when I arrived at the cauzee's door, I looked back and saw him at
the head of the street which alarmed me to the last degree.

The cauzee's door was half open, and as I went in I saw an old
woman waiting for me, who, after she had shut the door, conducted
me to the chamber of the young lady who was the object of my
love; but we had scarcely begun to converse, when we heard a
noise in the streets. The young lady put her head to the window,
and saw through the gate that it was her father already returning
from prayers. At the same time I looked, and saw the barber
sitting over-against the house, on the bench from which I had
first seen the young lady.

I had then two things to fear, the arrival of the cauzee, and the
presence of the barber. The young lady mitigated my apprehension
on the first head, by assuring me the cauzee, came but seldom to
her chamber, and as she had forseen that this misadventure might
happen, she had contrived a way to convey me out safely: but the
indiscretion of the accursed barber made me very uneasy; and you
shall hear that my uneasiness was not without ground.

As soon as the cauzee was come in, he caned one of his slaves,
who had deserved chastisement. This slave made a horrid noise,
which was heard in the streets; the barber thought it was I who
cried out, and was maltreated. Prepossessed with this thought, he
roared out aloud, rent his clothes, threw dust upon his head, and
called the neighbourhood to his assistance. The neighbours
collected, and asked what assistance he wanted? "Alas!" cried he,
"they are assassinating my master, my dear patron;" and without
saying anything more, he ran all the way to my house, with the
very same cry in his mouth. From thence he returned, followed by
all my domestics armed with sticks. They knocked with
inconceivable fury at the door, and the cauzee sent slave to see
what was the matter; but the slave being frightened, returned to
his master, crying, "Sir, above ten thousand men are going to
break into your house by force."

Immediately the cauzee himself ran, opened the door, and asked
what they wanted. His venerable presence could not inspire them
with respect. They insolently said to him, "You cursed cauzee,
what reason have you to assassinate our master? What has he done
to you?" "Good people," replied the magistrate, "for what should
I assassinate your master, whom I do not know and who has done me
no harm? my house is open to you, come and search." "You
bastinadoed him," said the barber; "I heard his cries not a
minute ago." "What harm could your master do to me," replied the
cauzee, "to oblige me to abuse him at that rate? Is he in my
                                                                    308
house? If he is, how came he in, or who could have introduced
him?" "Ah! wretched cauzee, cried the barber, "you and your long
beard shall never make me believe you; I know your daughter is in
love with our master, and appointed him a meeting during the time
of noon-prayer, you without doubt have had notice of it, returned
home, and surprised him, and made your slaves bastinado him: but
this your wicked action shall not pass with impunity; the caliph
shall be acquainted with it, and he will give true and brief
justice. Let him come out, deliver him to us immediately; or if
you do not, we will go in and take him out to your shame." "There
is no occasion for so many words," replied the cauzee, "nor to
make so great a noise: if what you say is true, go and find him
out, I give you free liberty." Thereupon the barber and my
domestics rushed into the house like furies, and looked for me
all about.

As I heard all that the barber said to the cauzee, I sought for a
place to conceal myself, and could find nothing but a large empty
trunk, in which I lay down, and shut it upon me. The barber,
after he had searched everywhere, came into the chamber where I
was, and opened the trunk. As soon as he saw me, he took it upon
his head and carried it away. He descended a high staircase into
a court, which he crossed hastily, and at length reached the
street door. While he was carrying me, the trunk unfortunately
flew open, and not being able to endure the shame of being
exposed to the view and shouts of the mob who followed us, I
leaped out into the street with so much haste, that I have been
lame ever since. I was not sensible of the hurt at first, and
therefore got up quickly to avoid the people, who laughed at me;
nay, I threw handfuls of gold and silver among them, and whilst
they were gathering it up, I made my escape by cross streets and
alleys. But the cursed barber followed me close, crying, "Stay,
sir; why do you run so fast? If you knew how much I am afflicted
at the ill treatment you received from the cauzee, you, who are
so generous, and to whom I and my friends are so much obliged!
Did I not tell you truly, that you would expose your life by your
obstinate refusal to let me go with you? See what has happened to
you, by your own fault; and if I had not resolutely followed, to
see whither you went, what would have become of you? Whither do
you go, sir? Stay for me."

Thus the barber cried aloud in the street it was not enough for
him to have occasioned so great a scandal in the quarter where
the cauzee lived, but he would have it known through the whole
town. I was in such a rage, that I had a great mind to stop and
cut his throat; but considering this would have perplexed me
farther, I chose another course. Perceiving that his calling
after me exposed me to vast numbers of people, who crowded to the
doors or windows, or stopped in the street to gaze at me, I
                                                                    309
entered an inn, the chamberlain of which knew me, and finding him
at the gate, whither the noise had brought him, I prayed him, for
the sake of heaven, to hinder that madman from coming in after
me. He promised to do so, and was as good as his word, but not
without a great deal of trouble; for the obstinate barber would
enter in spite of him, and did not retire without calling him a
thousand names. After the chamberlain had shut the gate, the
barber continued telling all he met what great service he had
done me. Thus I rid myself of that troublesome fellow. After
this, the chamberlain prayed me to tell him my adventure, which I
did, and then desired him to let me have an apartment until I was
cured . "But sir," said he, "will it not be more convenient for
you to go home?" "I will not return thither," replied I: "for the
detestable barber will continue plaguing me there, and I shall
die of vexation to be continually teazed by him. Besides, after
what has befallen me to-day, I cannot think of staying any longer
in this town; I must go whither my ill-fortune leads me."
Accordingly, when I was. cured, I took all the money I thought
necessary for my travels, and divided the rest of my property
among my kindred.

Thus, gentlemen, I left Bagdad, and came hither. I had ground to
hope that I should not meet this pernicious barber in a country
so far from my own, and yet I find him amongst you. Be not
surprised then at my haste to be gone: you may easily judge how
unpleasant to me is the sight of a man who was the occasion of my
lameness, and of my being reduced to the melancholy necessity of
living so far from my kindred, friends, and country.

When he had spoken these words, the lame young man rose up and
went out; the master of the house conducted him to the gate, and
told him, he was sorry that he had given him, though innocently,
so great a subject of mortification.


When the young man was gone, continued the tailor, we were all
astonished at the story, and turning to the barber, told him he
was very much to-blame, if what we had just heard was true.
"Gentlemen," answered he, raising up his head, which till then he
had held down, "my silence during the young man's discourse is
sufficient to testify that he advanced nothing that was not true:
but for all that he has said to you, I maintain that I ought to
have done what I did; I leave you to be judges. Did not he throw
himself into danger, and could he have come off so well without
my assistance? He may think himself happy to have escaped with
the lame leg Did not I expose myself to greater danger to get him
out of a house where I thought he was ill-treated? Has he any
reason to complain of and abuse me? This is what one gets by
serving unthankful people. He accuses me of being a prattling
                                                                    310
fellow, which is a mere slander: of seven brothers, I speak
least, and have most wit to my share; and to convince you of
this, gentlemen, I need only relate my own story and theirs.
Honour me, I beseech you, with your attention."




The Story of the Barber.



In the reign of the caliph Mustunsir Billah, that is, seeking
victory of God, a prince so famous for his liberality towards the
poor, ten highwaymen infested the roads about Bagdad, and for a
long time committed unheard-of robberies and cruelties. The
caliph, having notice of this, sent for the judge of the police,
some days before the feast of Bairam, and ordered him, on pain of
death, to bring all the ten to him.


The judge of the police used so much diligence, and sent so many
people in pursuit of the ten robbers, that they were taken on the
very day of Bairam. I was walking at the time on the banks of the
Tigris, and saw ten men richly appareled go into a boat. Had I
but observed the guards who had them in custody, I might have
concluded they were robbers; but my attention was fixed on the
men themselves, and thinking they were people who designed to
spend the festival in jollity, I entered the boat with them,
hoping they would not object to my making one of the company. We
descended the Tigris, and landed before the caliph's palace: I
had by this time had leisure to reflect, and to discover my
mistake. When we quitted the boat, we were surrounded by a new
troop of the judge of the police's guard, who bound us all, and
carried us before the caliph. I suffered myself to be bound as
well as the rest, without speaking one word: for what would it
have availed to have spoken, or made any resistance? That had
been the way to have got myself ill-treated by the guards, who
would not have listened to me, for they are brutish fellows, who
will hear no reason: I was with the robbers, and that was enough
to make them believe me to be one of their number.

When we had been brought before the caliph, he ordered the ten
highwaymen's heads to be cut off immediately. The executioner
drew us up in a file within reach of his arm, and by good fortune
I was placed last. He cut off the heads of the ten highwaymen,
beginning at the first; and when he came to me, he stopped. The
caliph perceiving that he did not strike me, grew angry: "Did not
I command thee," said he, "to cut off the heads of ten
                                                                    311
highwaymen, and why hast thou cut off but nine?" "Commander of
the faithful," he replied, "Heaven preserve me from disobeying
your majesty's orders: here are ten bodies upon the ground, and
as many heads which I have cut off; your majesty may count them."
When the caliph saw that what the executioner said was true, he
looked at me with amazement, and perceiving that I had not the
face of a highwayman, said to me, "Good old man, how came you to
be among those wretches, who have deserved a thousand deaths?" I
answered, "Commander of the faithful, I will make a true
confession. This morning I saw those ten persons, whose
punishment is a proof of your majesty's justice, take boat: I
embarked with them, thinking they were men going to celebrate
this day, which is the most distinguished in our religion." The
caliph could not forbear laughing at my adventure; and instead of
treating me as a prattling fellow, as this lame young man did, he
admired my discretion and taciturnity. "Commander of the
faithful," I resumed, "your majesty need not wonder at my silence
on such an occasion, as would have made another apt to speak. I
make a particular profession of holding my peace, and on that
account have acquired the glorious title of Silent; by which I am
distinguished from my six brothers. This is the effect of my
philosophy; and, in a word, in this virtue consists my glory and
happiness." "I am glad," said the caliph, smiling, "that they
gave you a title which you know so well how to use. But tell me
what sort of men were your brothers, were they like you?" "By no
means," I replied; "they were all of them loquacious, prating
fellows. And as to their persons, there was still a greater
difference betwixt them and me. The first was hump-backed; the
second had rotten teeth; the third had but one eye; the fourth
was blind; the fifth had his ears cut off; and the sixth had
hare-lips. They had met with such adventures as would enable you
to judge of their characters, had I the honour of relating them
to your majesty:" and the caliph seemed desirous to hear their
several stories, I went on without waiting his commands.




                                                                    312
The Story of the Barber's Eldest Brother.



My eldest brother, whose name was Bacbouc the hump-back, was a
tailor: when he came out of his apprenticeship, he hired a shop
opposite a mill, and having but very little business, could
scarcely maintain himself. The miller, on the contrary, was very
wealthy, and had a handsome wife. One day as my brother was at
work in his shop, he saw the miller's wife looking out of the
window, and was charmed with her beauty. The woman took no notice
of him, but shut her window, and made her appearance no more that
day The poor tailor did nothing all day long but lift up his eyes
towards the mill. He pricked his finger oftener than once, and
his work was not very regular. At night, when he was to shut his
shop, he could scarcely tell how to do it, because he still hoped
the miller's wife would once more come to the window; but at last
he was forced to shut up, and go home, where he passed but a very
uncomfortable night. He arose betimes in the morning, and ran to
his shop, in hopes to see his mistress; but he was no happier
than the day before, for the miller's wife did not appear at the
window above a minute in the course of the day, but that minute
made the tailor the most amorous man that ever lived. The third
day he had more ground of satisfaction, for the miller's wife
cast her eyes upon him by chance, and surprised him as he was
gazing at her, which convinced her of what passed in his mind.

No sooner did the miller's wife perceive my brother's
inclination, than, instead of allowing it to excite her
resentment, she resolved to divert herself with it. She looked at
him with a smiling countenance, and my brother returned her
smile, but in so ludicrous a way, that the miller's wife hastily
shut her window, lest her loud laughter should make him sensible
that she only ridiculed him. Poor Bacbouc interpreted her
carriage to his own advantage, and flattered himself that she
looked upon him with pleasure.

The miller's wife resolved to have sport with my brother: she had
a piece of very fine stuff, with which she had a long time
designed to make a vest; she wrapped it up in a fine embroidered
silk handkerchief, and sent it to him by a young slave whom she
kept; who being taught her lesson, went to the tailor's shop, and
told him, "My mistress gives you her service, and prays you to
make her a vest of this stuff according to this pattern; she
changes her dress often, so that her custom will be profitable to
you." My brother doubted not but the miller's wife loved him, and
thought she had sent him work so soon after what had passed
                                                                    313
betwixt them, only to signify that she knew his mind, and
convince him that he had obtained her favour. He charged the
slave to tell her mistress, that he would lay aside all work for
hers and that the vest should be ready next morning. He worked at
it with so much diligence, that he finished it in the course of
the same day. Next morning the young slave came to see if the
vest was ready. Bacbouc delivered it to her neatly folded up,
telling her, "I am too much concerned to please your mistress to
neglect her work; I would engage her by my diligence to employ no
other than myself for the time to come." The young slave went
some steps as if she had intended to go away, and then coming
back, whispered to my brother, "I had forgotten part of my
commission; my mistress charged me to make her compliments to
you, and to ask how you passed the night; as for her, poor woman,
she loves you to that degree that she could not sleep." "Tell
her," answered my silly brother, "I have so strong a passion for
her, that for these four nights I have not slept one wink." After
such a compliment from the miller's wife, my brother thought she
would not let him languish long in expectation of her favours.

About a quarter of an hour after, the slave returned to my
brother with a piece of satin: "My mistress," said she, "is very
well pleased with her vest, nothing in the world can fit her
better, and as it is very handsome, she will not wear it without
a new pair of drawers; she prays you to make her one, as soon as
you can, of this piece of satin." "Enough," said Bacbouc, "I will
do it before I leave my shop: you shall have it in the evening."
The miller's wife shewed herself often at her window, and was
very prodigal of her charms, to encourage my brother. You would
have laughed to see him work. The pair of drawers was soon made,
and the slave came for it, but brought the tailor no money,
neither for the trimming he had bought for the vest, nor for the
making. In the mean time, this unfortunate lover, whom they only
amused, though he could not see it, had eaten nothing all that
day, and was forced to borrow money at night to buy his supper.
Next morning, as soon as he arrived at his shop, the young slave
came to tell him that the miller wanted to speak to him. "My
mistress," said she, "spoke to him so much in your praise, when
she shewed him your work, that he has a mind you should work for
him also; she does this on purpose, that the connection she
wishes to form betwixt you and him may crown your mutual wishes
with success." My brother was easily persuaded, and went to the
mill with the slave. The miller received him very kindly, and
shewed him a piece of cloth, and told him he wanted shirts, bade
him make it into twenty, and return him again what was left.

My brother had work enough for five or six days to make twenty
shirts for the miller, who afterwards gave him another piece of
cloth to make him as many pair of drawers. When they were
                                                                    314
finished, Bacbouc carried them to the miller, who asked him what
he must have for his pains. My brother answered, he would be
content with twenty dirhems of silver. The miller immediately
called the young slave, and bade her bring him his weights to see
if his money was right. The slave, who had her lesson, looked at
my brother with an angry countenance, to signify to him, that he
would spoil all if he took money. He knew her meaning, and
refused to take any, though he wanted it so much that he was
forced to borrow some to buy the thread to sew the shirts and
drawers. When he left the miller, he came to me to borrow money
to purchase provisions, and told me they did not pay him. I gave
him some copper money I had in my purse, and upon that he
subsisted for some days. It is true, indeed, he lived upon
nothing but broth, nor had he his fill of that.

One day he went to the miller, who was busy at his work, and
thinking my brother came for money, offered him some; but the
young slave being present, made him another sign not to take it,
which he complied with, and told the miller he did not come for
his money, but only to know how he did. The miller thanked him,
and gave him an upper garment to make. Bacbouc carried it to him
the next day. When the miller drew out his purse, the young slave
gave my brother the usual sign, on which he said to the miller,
"Neighbour, there is no haste, we will reckon another time;" so
that the poor ninny went to his shop again, with three terrible
distempers, love, hunger, and an empty purse. The miller's wife
was not only avaricious, but ill-natured; for, not content with
cheating my brother of his due, she provoked her husband to
revenge himself upon him for making love to her, which they
accomplished thus. The miller invited Bacbouc one night to
supper, and after giving him a very sorry treat, said to him,
"Brother, it is too late for you to return home, you had better
stay here all night," and then took him to a place in the mill,
where there was a bed; there he left him, and went to bed with
his wife. About the middle of the night, the miller came to my
brother, and said, "Neighbour, are you asleep? My mule is ill,
and I have a quantity of corn to grind; you will do me a great
kindness if you will turn the mill in her stead." Bacbouc, to
shew his good nature, told him, he was ready to do him that
service, if he would shew him how. The miller tied him by the
middle in the mule's place, and whipping him soundly over the
back, said to him, "Go on, neighbour." "Ho!" exclaimed my
brother, "why do you beat me?" "It is to make you brisk," replied
the miller, "for without a whip my mule will not go." Bacbouc was
amazed at this treatment, but durst not complain. When he had
gone five or six rounds, he would fain have rested; but the
miller gave him a dozen sound lashes, saying, "Courage,
neighbour! do not stop, pray; you must go on without taking
breath, otherwise you will spoil my meal."
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The miller obliged my brother to turn the mill thus all night.
About break of day he left him without untying him, and went to
his wife's chamber. Bacbouc continued there for some time, and at
last the young slave came and untied him. "Ah!" said the
treacherous wretch, "how my mistress and I pitied you! We had no
hand in this wicked trick which her husband has played you." The
wretched Bacbouc answered not a word, he was so much fatigued
with work and blows; but crept home to his house, resolving never
to think more of the miller's wife.

The telling of this story, continued the barber, made the caliph
laugh. "Go home," said he to me, "I have ordered something to be
given you to make up for the loss of the good dinner you
expected." "Commander of the faithful," I replied, "I pray your
majesty to let me stay till I have told the story of my other
brothers." The caliph having signified by his silence that he was
willing to hear me, I went on thus.




The Story of the Barber's Second Brother.



My second brother, who was called Backbarah the Toothless, going
one day through the city, met in a distant street an old woman,
who came up to him, and said, "I want one word with you, pray
stop a moment." He did so, and asked what she would have. "If you
have time to come with me," said she, "I will bring you into a
stately palace, where you shall see a lady as fair as the day.
She will receive you with much pleasure, and treat you with
excellent wine. I need say no more." "But is what you say true?"
demanded my brother. "I am no lying hussy," replied the old
woman. "I say nothing to you but what is true. But hark, I have
something to ask of you. You must be prudent, say but little, and
be extremely polite." Backbarah agreed to all this. The old woman
went on, and he followed her. They came to the gate of a great
palace, where there was a number of officers and domestics. Some
of them would have stopped my brother, but no sooner did the old
woman speak to them than they let him pass. Then turning to my
brother, she said to him, "You must remember that the young lady
I bring you to loves good-nature and modesty, and cannot endure
to be contradicted; if you please her in these respects, you may
be sure to obtain of her what you please." Backbarah thanked her
for this advice, and promised to follow it.

She brought him into a superb court, answerable to the
                                                                    316
magnificence of the palace. There was a gallery round it, and a
garden in the middle. The old woman made him sit down on a
handsome sofa, and bade him stay a moment, till she went to
acquaint the young lady with his arrival.

My brother, who had never been in such a stately palace before,
gazed on the fine things that he saw; and judging of his good
fortune by the magnificence of the palace, he was scarcely able
to contain himself for joy. In a short time he heard a great
noise, occasioned by a troop of merry slaves, who came towards
him with loud fits of laughter; and in the middle of them he
perceived a young lady of extraordinary beauty, who was easily
known to be their mistress by the respect they paid her.
Backbarah, who expected private conversation with the lady, was
extremely surprised when he saw so much company with her. In the
mean time, the slaves, as they drew near, put on a grave
countenance; and when the young lady came up to the sofa, my
brother rose and made her a low obeisance. She took the upper
seat, prayed him to sit down, and said to him with a smiling
countenance, "I am much pleased to see you, and wish you all the
happiness you can desire." "Madam," replied Backbarah, "I cannot
desire a greater happiness than to be in your company." "You seem
to be of a pleasant humour," said she, "and to be disposed to
pass the time agreeably."

She commanded a collation to be brought; and immediately a table
was covered with several baskets of fruit and sweetmeats. The
lady sat down at the table with the slaves and my brother; and he
being placed just opposite to her, when he opened his mouth to
eat, she perceived he had no teeth; and taking notice of this to
her slaves, she and they laughed heartily. Backbarah, from time
to time, lifted up his head to look at her, and perceiving her
laugh, concluded it was from the pleasure she derived from his
company, and flattered himself that she would speedily send away
her slaves, and remain with him alone. She guessed his thoughts,
and amusing herself to flatter him in this mistake, addressed him
in the most pleasant language, and presented him the best of
every thing with her own hand. The entertainment being finished,
they rose from the table; ten slaves took musical instruments,
and began to play and sing, and others to dance. My brother, to
please them, danced likewise, and the lady danced with them.
After they had danced some time, they sat down to take breath,
and the young lady calling for a glass of wine, looked upon my
brother with a smiling countenance, to signify that she was going
to drink his health. He rose and stood while she drank. When she
had done instead of giving back the glass, she ordered it to be
filled, and presented it to my brother, that he might pledge her.

My brother took the glass from the young lady's hand, which he
                                                                    317
kissed at the same time and stood and drank to her, in return for
the favour she had done him. The lady then made him sit down by
her, and began to caress him. She put her hand behind his head,
and gave him some tips from time to time with her fingers:
ravished with these favours, he thought himself the happiest man
in the world, and felt disposed to kiss the charming lady, but
durst not take that liberty before so many slaves, who had their
eyes upon him, and laughed at their lady's wanton tricks. The
young lady continued to tip him with her fingers, but at last
gave him such a sound box on the ear, that he grew angry; the
colour came into his face, and he rose up to remove to a greater
distance from such a rude playfellow. Then the old woman, who
brought him thither, gave him a look, to let him know that he was
in the wrong, and that he had forgotten her advice, to be very
complaisant. He owned his fault, and to make amends, went near
the young lady again, pretending that he did not remove out of
any ill-humour. She drew him by the arm, made him sit down by
her, and gave him a thousand malicious squeezes. Her slaves took
their part in the diversion; one gave poor Backbarah several
fillips on the nose with all her might; another pulled him by the
ears, as if she would have pulled them off; and others boxed him
in a manner that might have made it appear they were not in jest.
My brother bore all this with admirable patience, affecting a gay
air, and looking at the old woman, said to her with a forced
smile, "You told me, indeed, that I should find the lady
perfectly kind, pleasant, and charming; I am mightily obliged to
you!" "All this is nothing," replied the old woman; "let her go
on, you will see other things by and by." Then the young lady
said to him, "Brother, you are a brave man; I am glad to find you
are so good-humoured and complaisant to bear with my little
caprices, and that your humour is so conformable to mine."
"Madam," replied Backbarah, who was charmed with this address, "l
am no more at my own disposal, I am wholly yours, you may do with
me as you please." "How you oblige me," returned the lady, "by
such submission! I am well pleased with you, and would have you
be so with me: bring him perfume, and rose-water." Upon this, two
slaves went out and returned speedily, one with a silver casket,
filled with the best of aloes wood, with which she perfumed him;
and the other with rose-water, which she sprinkled on his face
and hands. My brother was quite enraptured with this handsome
treatment. After this ceremony, the young lady commanded the
slaves, who had already played on their instruments and sung, to
renew their concerts. They obeyed, and while they were thus
employed, the lady called another slave, and ordered her to take
my brother with her, and do what she knew, and bring him back to
her again. Backbarah, who heard this order, got up quickly, and
going to the old woman, who also rose to accompany him and the
slave, prayed her to inform him what they were to do with him.
"My mistress is only curious," replied the old woman softly; "she
                                                                    318
has a mind to see how you look in a woman's dress, and this
slave, who is desired to take you with her, has orders to paint
your eyebrows, to cut off your whiskers, and to dress you like a
woman." "You may paint my eyebrows as much as you please," said
my brother, "I consent to that, because I can wash it off again;
but to shave me, you know I must not permit. How can I appear
abroad again without moustaches?" "Beware of refusing what is
asked of you," returned the old woman, you will spoil your
fortune, which is now in as favourable a train as heart can wish.
The lady loves you, and has a mind to make you happy; and will
you, for a nasty whisker, renounce the most delicious favours
that man can obtain?" Backbarah listened to the old woman, and
without saying a word went to a chamber with the slave, where
they painted his eyebrows with red, cut off his whiskers, and
were going to do the like with his beard.. My brother's patience
then began to fail: "Oh!" said he, "I will never part with my
beard." The slave told him, that it was to no purpose to have
parted with his whiskers, if he would not also part with his
beard, which could never comport with "woman's dress; and she
wondered that a man, who was upon the point of being loved by the
finest lady in Bagdad, should be concerned about his beard. The
old woman threatened him with the loss of the young lady's
favour; so that at last he allowed them to do what they would.
When he was dressed in female attire, they brought him before the
young lady, who laughed so heartily when she saw him, that she
fell backward on the sofa. The slaves laughed and clapped their
hands, so that my brother was quite out of countenance. The young
lady got up, and still laughing, said to him, "After so much
complaisance, I should be very much to blame not to love you with
all my heart: but there is one thing more you must do for me, and
that is, to dance as we do." He obeyed, and the young lady and
her slaves danced with him, laughing as if they had been mad.
After they had danced some time, they all fell upon the poor
wretch, and did so box and kick him, that he fell down like one
out of his senses. The old woman helped him up again: and that he
might not have time to think of his ill-treatment, bade him take
courage, and whispered in his ear, that all his sufferings were
at an end, and that he was just about to receive his reward.

The old woman continued her discourse to Backbarah thus: "You
have only one thing more to do, and that is but a small one. You
must know that my mistress has a custom, when she has drunk a
little, as you see she has done to-day, to let no one that she
loves come near her, except they be stripped to their shirt; and
when they have done so, she takes a little advantage of them and
begins running before them through the gallery, and from chamber
to chamber, till they catch her. This is one more of her humours:
what advantage soever she takes of you, considering your
nimbleness, you will soon overtake her; strip yourself then to
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your shirt, undress yourself without ceremony."

My silly brother had done too much to hesitate at anything now.
He undressed himself; and in the mean time the young lady was
stripped to her shift and drawers, that she might run the more
nimbly. When they were ready, the young lady took the advantage
of twenty paces, and then began to run with surprising swiftness:
my brother followed as fast as he could, the slaves in the mean
time laughing heartily and clapping their hands. The young lady,
instead of losing ground, gained upon my brother: she made him
run two or three times round the gallery, and then entering a
long dark passage, made her escape. Backbarah, who still
followed, having lost sight of her in the passage, was obliged to
slacken his pace, because of the darkness of the place: at last
perceiving a light, he ran towards it, and went out at a door,
which was immediately shut after him. You may imagine how he was
surprised to find himself in a street inhabited by curriers, and
they were no less surprised to see him in his shirt, his eyes
painted red, and without beard or moustaches: they began to clap
their hands and shout at him, and some of them ran after him and
lashed his back with leather straps. They then took him and set
him upon an ass which they met by chance, and carried him through
the town exposed to the laughter of the people.

To complete his misfortune, as he went by the judge's house, he
would needs know the cause of the tumult. The curriers told him,
that they saw him come in that condition from the gate of the
apartments of the grand vizier's women, which opened into their
street; upon which the judge ordered unfortunate Backbarah to
have a hundred blows with a cane on the soles of his feet, and
sent him out of the town with orders never to return.

"Thus, commander of the faithful," said I to the caliph, "I have
given an account of the adventure of my second brother, who did
not know that our greatest ladies divert themselves sometimes by
putting such tricks upon young people, who are so foolish as to
be caught in the snare."

The barber, without breaking off, told the story of his third
brother in the following manner.




The Story of the Barber's Third Brother.



Commander of the faithful, my third brother, whose name was
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Backbac, was blind, and his evil destiny reduced him to beg from
door to door. He had been so long accustomed to walk through the
streets alone, that he wanted none to lead him: he had a custom
to knock at people's doors, and not to answer till they opened to
him. One day he knocked thus, and the master of the house, who
was alone, cried, "Who is there?" My brother made no answer, and
knocked a second time: the master of the house asked again and
again, "Who is there?" but to no purpose, no one answered; upon
which he came down, opened the door, and asked my brother what he
wanted? "Give me something for Heaven's sake," said Backbac. "You
seem to be blind," replied the master of the house. "Yes, to my
sorrow," answered my brother. "Give me your hand," resumed the
master of the house. My brother did so, thinking he was going to
give him alms; but he only took him by the hand to lead him up to
his chamber. Backbac thought he had been carrying him to dine
with him, as many other people had done. When they reached the
chamber, the man let go his hand, and sitting down, asked him
again what he wanted? "I have already told you," said Backbac,
"that I want something for God's sake." "Good blind man," replied
the master of the house, "all that I can do for you is to wish
that God may restore you your sight." "You might have told me
that at the door," replied my brother, "and not have given me the
trouble to come up stairs." "And why, fool," said the man of the
house, "do not you answer at first, when people ask you who is
there? Why do you give any body the trouble to come and open the
door when they speak to you?" "What will you do with me then?"
asked my brother. "I tell you again," said the man of the house,
"I have nothing to give you." "Help me down the stairs then, as
you brought me up." "The stairs are before you," said the man of
the house, "and you may go down by yourself if you will." My
brother attempted to descend, but missing a step about the middle
of the stairs, fell to the bottom and hurt his head and his back:
he got up again with much difficulty, and went out cursing the
master of the house. who laughed at his fall.

As my brother went out of the house, two blind men, his
companions, were going by, knew him by his voice, and asked him
what was the matter? He told them what had happened; and
afterwards said, "I have eaten nothing to-day; I conjure you to
go along with me to my house, that I may take some of the money
that we three have in common to buy me something for supper." The
two blind men agreed, and they went home with him.

You must know that the master of the house where my brother was
so ill used was a robber, and of a cunning and malicious
disposition. He overheard from his window what Backbac had said
to his companions, and came down and followed them to my
brother's house. The blind men being seated, Backbac said to
them, "Brothers, we must shut the door, and take care there be no
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stranger with us." At this the robber was much perplexed, but
perceiving a rope hanging down from a beam, he caught hold of it,
and hung by it, while the blind men shut the door, and felt about
the room with their sticks. When they had done, and had sat down
again in their places, the robber left his rope, and seated
himself softly by my brother, who thinking himself alone with his
blind comrades, said to them, "Brothers, since you have trusted
me with the money, which we have been a long time gathering, I
will show you that I am not unworthy of the confidence you repose
in me. The last time we reckoned, you know we had ten thousand
dirhems, and that we put them into ten bags; I will shew you that
I have not touched one of them:" having so said, he put his hand
among some old clothes, and taking out the bags one after
another, gave them to his comrades, saying, "There they are; you
may judge by their weight that they are whole, or you may tell
them if you please." His comrades answered there was no need,
they did not mistrust him; so he opened one of the bags, and took
out ten dirhems, and each of the other blind men did the like.

My brother put the bags into their place again: after which, one
of the blind men said to him, "There is no need to lay out
anything for supper, for I have collected as much victuals from
good people as will serve us all." At the same time he took out
of his bag bread and cheese, and some fruit, and putting all upon
the table, they began to eat, The robber, who sat at my brother's
right hand, picked out the best, and eat with them; but whatever
care he took to make no noise, Backbac heard his chaps going, and
cried out immediately, "We are undone, there is a stranger among
us:" having so said, he stretched out his hand, and caught hold
of the robber by the arm, cried out "Thieves!" fell upon him, and
struck him. The other blind men fell upon him in like manner; the
robber defended himself as well as he could, and being young and
vigorous, besides having the advantage of his eyes, gave furious
blows, sometimes to one, sometimes to another, and cried out
"Thieves!" louder than they did. The neighbours came running at
the noise, broke open the door, and had much ado to separate the
combatants; but having at last succeeded, they asked the cause of
their quarrel. My brother, who still had hold of the robber,
cried out, "Gentlemen, this man I have hold of is a thief, and
stole in with us on purpose to rob us of the little money we
have." The thief, who shut his eyes as soon as the neighbours
came, feigned himself blind, and exclaimed, "Gentlemen, he is a
liar. I swear to you by heaven, and by the life of the caliph,
that I am their companion, and they refuse to give me my just
share. They have all three fallen upon me, and I demand justice."
The neighbours would not interfere in their quarrel, but carried
them all before the judge.

When they came before the magistrate, the robber, without staying
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to be examined, cried out, still feigning himself blind, "Sir,
since you are deputed to administer justice by the caliph, whom
God prosper, I declare to you that we are equally criminal, my
three comrades and I; but we have all engaged, upon oath, to
confess nothing except we be bastinadoed; so that if you would
know our crime, you need only order us to be bastinadoed, and
begin with me." My brother would have spoken, but was not allowed
to do so: and the robber was put under the bastinado.

The robber being under the bastinado, had the courage to bear
twenty or thirty blows; when, pretended to be overcome with pain,
he first opened one eve, and then the other, and crying out for
mercy, begged the judge would put a stop to the blows. The judge
perceiving that he looked upon him with his eyes open, was much
surprised, and said to him, "Rogue, what is the meaning of this
miracle?" "Sir," replied the robber, "I will discover to you an
important secret, if you will pardon me, and give me, as a pledge
that you will keep your word, the seal-ring which you have on
your finger." The judge consented, gave him his ring, and
promised him pardon. "Under this promise," continued the robber,
"I must confess to you sir, that I and my three comrades do all
of us see very well. We feigned ourselves to be blind, that we
might freely enter people's houses, and women's apartments, where
we abuse their weakness. I must farther confess to you, that by
this trick we have gained together ten thousand dirhems. This day
I demanded of my partners two thousand five hundred that belonged
to my share, but they refused because I told them I would leave
them; and they were afraid I should accuse them. Upon my pressing
still to have my share, they fell upon me; for which I appeal to
those people who brought us before you. I expect from your
justice, sir, that you will make them deliver me the two thousand
five hundred dirhems which is my due; and if you have a mind that
my comrades should confess the truth, you must order them three
times as many blows as I have had, and you will find they will
open their eyes as well as I have done."

My brother and the other two blind men would have cleared
themselves of this horrid charge, but the judge would not hear
them: "Villains," said he, "do you feign yourselves blind then,
and, under that pretext of moving their compassion, cheat people,
and commit such crimes?" "He is an impostor," cried my brother,
"and we take God to witness that none of us can see."

All that my brother could say was in vain, his comrades and he
received each of them two hundred blows. The judge expected them
to open their eyes, and ascribed to their obstinacy what really
they could not do. All the while the robber said to the blind
men, "Poor fools that you are, open your eyes, and do not suffer
yourselves to be beaten to death." Then addressing himself to the
                                                                    323
judge, said, "I perceive, sir, that they will be maliciously
obstinate to the last, and will never open their eyes. They wish
certainly to avoid the shame of reading their own condemnation in
the face of every one that looks upon them; it were better, if
you think fit, to pardon them, and to send some person along with
me for the ten thousand dirhems they have hidden."

The judge consented to give the robber two thousand five hundred
dirhems, and kept the rest himself; and as for my brother and his
two companions, he thought he shewed them pity by sentencing them
only to be banished. As soon as I heard what had befallen my
brother, I went to him; he told me his misfortune, and I brought
him back secretly to the town. I could easily have justified him
to the judge, and have had the robber punished as he deserved,
but durst not make the attempt, for fear of bringing myself into
danger of assassination. Thus I finished the sad adventure of my
honest blind brother. The caliph laughed at it, as much as at
those he had heard before, and ordered again that something
should be given me; but without staying for it, I began the story
of my fourth brother.




The Story of the Barber's Fourth Brother.



Alcouz was the name of the fourth brother who lost one of his
eyes, upon an occasion that I shall have the honour to relate to
your majesty. He was a butcher by profession, and had a
particular way of teaching rams to fight, by which he gained the
acquaintance and friendship of the chief lords of the country,
who loved that sport, and for that end kept rams at their houses.
He had besides a very good trade, and had his shop always full of
the best meat, because he spared no cost for the prime of every
sort. One day when he was in his shop, an old man with a long
white beard came and bought six pounds of meat of him, gave him
money for it, and went his way. My brother thought the money so
pure and well coined, that he put it apart by itself: the same
old man came every day for five months together, bought a like
quantity of meat, and paid for it in the same kind of money,
which my brother continued to lay apart.

At the end of five months, Alcouz having a mind to buy a lot of
sheep, and to pay for them in this money, opened his chest; but
instead of finding his money, was extremely surprised to see
nothing in the place where he had laid it, but a parcel of leaves
clipped round. He beat his head, and cried out aloud, which
                                                                    324
presently brought the neighbours about him, who were as much
surprised as he, when he told them the story. "O!" cried my
brother, weeping, "that this treacherous old fellow would come
now with his hypocritical looks!" He had scarcely spoken, when he
saw him at a distance; he ran to him, and laid hands on him;
"Moosulmauns," cried he, as loud as he could, "help! hear what a
cheat this wicked fellow has put upon me," and at the same time
told a great crowd of people, who came about him, what he had
formerly told his neighbours. When he had done, the old man said
to him very gravely and calmly, "You had better let me go, and by
that means make amends for the affront you have put upon me
before so many people, for fear I should put a greater affront
upon you, which I should be sorry to do." "How," said my brother,
"what have you to say against me? I am an honest man in my
business, and fear not you, nor any body." "You would have me
speak out then," resumed the old man in the same tone; and
turning to the crowd, said to them, "Know, good people, that this
fellow, instead of selling mutton as he ought to do, sells human
flesh." "You are a cheat," said my brother. "No, no," continued
the old man; "good people, this very minute while I am speaking
to him, there is a man with his throat cut hung up in the shop
like a sheep; do any of you go thither, and see if what I say be
not true."

Just before my brother had opened his chest he had killed a
sheep, dressed it, and exposed it in the shop, according to
custom: he protested that what the old man said was false; but
notwithstanding all his protestations, the credulous mob,
prejudiced against a man accused of such a heinous crime, would
go to see whether the charge were true. They obliged my brother
to quit the old man, laid hold of him, and ran like madmen into
his shop, where they saw, to all appearance, a man hung up with
his throat cut, as the old man had told them; for he was a
magician, and deceived the eyes of all people, as he did my
brother, when he made him take leaves instead of money. At this
sight, one of those who held Alcouz gave him a violent blow with
his fist, and said to him, "Thou wicked villain, dost thou make
us eat man's flesh instead of mutton?" And at the same time the
old man gave him another blow, which beat out one of his eyes.
Every body that could get near him struck him; and not content
with that, they carried him before a judge, with the pretended
carcase of the man, to be evidence against him." "Sir," said the
old magician to the judge, "we have brought you a man, who is so
barbarous as to murder people, and to sell their flesh instead of
mutton. The public expects that you will punish him in an
exemplary manner." The judge heard my brother with patience, but
would believe nothing of the story of the money changed into
leaves, called my brother a cheat, told him he would believe his
own eyes, and ordered him to receive five hundred blows. He
                                                                    325
afterwards made him tell him where his money was, took it all
from him, and banished him for ever, after having made him ride
three days through the city upon a camel, exposed to the insults
of the people.

I was not at Bagdad when this tragical adventure befell my fourth
brother. He retired into a remote place, where he lay concealed
till he was cured of the blows with which his back was terribly
mangled. When he was able to walk, he went by night to a certain
town where nobody knew him; and there he took a lodging, from
whence he seldom moved; but being weary of this confined life, he
went to walk in one of the suburbs, where suddenly he heard a
noise of horsemen coming behind him. He was then by chance near
the gate of a house, and fearing, after what had befallen him,
that these horsemen were pursuing him, he opened the gate in
order to hide himself, and after he had shut it, entered a court,
where immediately two servants came and collared him, saying,
"Heaven be praised, that you have come of your own accord to
surrender yourself; you have alarmed us so much these three last
nights, that we could not sleep; nor would you have spared our
lives, if we had not prevented your design." You may well imagine
my brother was much surprised. "Good people," said he, "I know
not what you mean; you certainly take me for somebody else." "No,
no," replied they, "we know that you and your comrades are
robbers: you were not contented to rob our master of all that he
had, and to reduce him to beggary, but you conspired to take his
life. Let us see if you have not a knife about you, which you had
in your hand when you pursued us last night." Having said thus,
they searched him, and found he had a knife. "Ho! ho!" cried
they, laying hold of him, "and dare you say that you are not a
robber?" "Why," said my brother, "cannot a man carry a knife
about him without being a robber? If you will hearken to my
story, instead of having so bad an opinion of me, you will be
touched with compassion at my misfortunes." But far from
attending to him, they fell upon him, trod upon him, took away
his clothes, and tore his shirt. Then seeing the scars on his
back, "O dog," said they, redoubling their blows, "would you have
us believe you are an honest man, when your back shews us the
contrary?" "Alas!" said my brother, "my crimes must be very
great, since, after having been abused already so unjustly, I am
thus treated a second time without being more culpable!"

The two servants, no way moved with his complaint, carried him
before the judge, who asked him how he durst presume to go into
their house, and pursue them with a drawn knife? "Sir," replied
the unfortunate Alcouz, "I am the most innocent man in the world,
and am undone if you will not be pleased to hear me patiently: no
one deserves more compassion." "Sir," exclaimed one of the
domestics, "will you listen to a robber, who enters people's
                                                                    326
houses to plunder and murder them? If you will not believe us,
only look upon his back;" and while he said so he uncovered my
brother's back, and shewed it to the judge, who, without any
other information, commanded his officers immediately to give him
a hundred lashes over the shoulders, and made him afterwards be
carried through the town on a camel, with one crying before him,
"Thus are men punished who enter people's houses by force." After
having treated him thus, they banished him the town, and forbad
him ever to return. Some people, who met him after the second
misfortune, brought me word where he was; I went, brought him to
Bagdad privately, and gave him all the assistance I could. The
caliph did not laugh so much at this story as at the other. He
was pleased to pity the unfortunate Alcouz, and ordered something
to be given me. But without giving his servants time to obey his
orders, I continued my discourse, and said to him: "My sovereign
lord and master, you see that I do not talk much; and since your
majesty has been pleased to do me the favour to listen to me so
far, I beg you would likewise hear the adventures of my two other
brothers; I hope they will be as diverting as those of the
former. You may make a complete history of them, that will not be
unworthy of your library: I shall do myself the honour then to
acquaint you, that the fifth brother was called Alnaschar."




The Story of the Barber's Fifth Brother.



Alnaschar, as long as our father lived, was very lazy; instead of
working he used to beg in the evening, and live upon what he got.
Our father died at a very old age, and left among us seven
hundred dirhems: we divided equally, so that each of us had a
hundred for his share. Alnaschar, who had never before possessed
so much money, was much perplexed to know what he should do with
it. He consulted a long time with himself, and at last resolved
to lay it out in glass-ware which he bought of a wholesale
dealer. He put all in an open basket, and sat with it before him,
and his back against a wall, in a place where he might sell it.
In this posture, with his eyes fixed on his basket, he began to
meditate; during which he spoke as follows: "This basket cost me
a hundred dirhems, which is all I have in the world. I shall make
two hundred of them by retailing my glass, and of these two
hundred, which I will again lay out in glass-ware, I shall make
four hundred; and going on thus, I shall at last make four
thousand dirhems; of four thousand I shall easily make eight
thousand, and when I come to ten thousand, I will leave off
selling glass and turn jeweller; I will trade in diamonds,
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pearls, and all sorts of precious stones: then when I am as rich
as I can wish, I will buy a fine mansion, a great estate, slaves,
eunuchs, and horses. I will keep a good house, and make a great
figure in the world; I will send for all the musicians and
dancers of both sexes in town. Nor will I stop here, for, I will,
by the favour of Heaven, go on till I get one hundred thousand
dirhems, and when I have amassed so much, I will send to demand
the grand vizier's daughter in marriage; and represent to that
minister, that I have heard much of the wonderful beauty,
understanding, wit, and all the other qualities of his daughter;
in a word, that I will give him a thousand pieces of gold the
first night after we are married; and if the vizier be so uncivil
as to refuse his daughter, which cannot be supposed, I will go
and carry her off before his face, and take her to my house
whether he will or no. As soon as I have married the grand
vizier's daughter, I will buy her ten young black eunuchs, the
handsomest that can be had; I will clothe my self like a prince,
and mounted upon a fine horse, with a saddle of fine gold, with
housings of cloth of gold, finely embroidered with diamonds and
pearls, I will ride through the city, attended by slaves before
and behind. I will go to the vizier's palace in view of all the
people great and small, who will show me the most profound
respect. When I alight at the foot of the vizier's staircase, I
will ascend through my own people, ranged in files on the right
and left; and the grand vizier, receiving me as his son-in-law,
shall give me the right hand and set me above him, to do me the
more honour. If this comes to pass, as I hope it will, two of my
people shall each of them have a purse with a thousand pieces of
gold, which they shall carry with them. I will take one, and
presenting it to the grand vizier, tell him, ‘There is the
thousand pieces of gold that I promised the first night of
marriage:' and I will offer him the other and say to him, ‘There
is as much more, to shew you that I am a man of my word, and even
better than my promise.' After such an action as this, all the
world will talk of my generosity. I will return to my own house
in the same pomp. My wife will send some officer to compliment
me, on account of my visit to the vizier, her father: I will
honour the officer with a fine robe, and send him back with a
rich present. If she send me a present, I will not accept it, but
dismiss the bearer. I will not suffer her to go out of her
apartment on any account whatever, without giving me notice: and
when I have a mind to come to her apartment, it shall be in such
a manner as to make her respect me. In short, no house shall be
better ordered than mine. I will be always richly clad. When I
retire with my wife in the evening, I will sit on the upper seat,
I will affect a grave air, without turning my head to one side or
the other. I will speak little; and whilst my wife, beautiful as
the full moon, stands before me in all her charms, I will make as
if I did not see her. Her women about her will say to me, ‘Our
                                                                    328
dear lord and master, here is your spouse, your humble servant,
before you, ready to receive your caresses, but much mortified
that you do not vouchsafe to look upon her; she is wearied with
standing so long, bid her, at least, sit down.' I will make no
answer, which will increase their surprise and grief. They will
prostrate themselves at my feet; and after they have for a
considerable time entreated me to relent, I will at last lift up
my head, give her a careless look, and resume my former posture:
they will suppose that my wife is not handsomely enough dressed,
and will carry her to her closet to change her apparel. At the
same time I will get up and put on a more magnificent suit; they
will return and address me as before, but I will not so much as
look upon my wife, till they have prayed and entreated as long as
they did at first. Thus I will begin on the first day of
marriage, to teach her what she is to expect during the rest of
her life.

"After the ceremonies of the marriage, I will take from one of my
servants, who shall be about me, a purse of five hundred pieces
of gold, which I will give to the tire-women, that they may leave
me alone with my spouse: when they are gone, my wife shall go to
bed first; then I will lie down by her with my back towards her,
and will not say one wore to her all night. The next morning she
will certainly complain of my contempt and of my pride, to her
mother the grand vizier's wife, which will rejoice my heart. Her
mother will come to wait upon me, respectfully kiss my hands, and
say to me, ‘Sir' (for she will not dare to call me son-in-law,
for fear of provoking me by such a familiar style), ‘I entreat
you not to disdain to look on my daughter, and refuse to come
near her. I assure you that her chief delight is to please you,
and that she loves you with all her soul.' But in spite of all my
mother-in-law can say, I will not answer her one word, but keep
an obstinate gravity. Then she will throw herself at my feet,
kiss them repeatedly, and say to me, ‘Sir, is it possible that
you can suspect my daughter's virtue? You are the first man who
ever saw her face: do not mortify her so much; do her the favour
to look upon her, to speak to her, and confirm her in her good
intentions to satisfy you in every thing.' But nothing of this
shall prevail with me. Upon which my mother-in-law will take a
glass of wine, and putting it in the hand of her daughter my
wife, will say, ‘Go, present him this glass of wine yourself;
perhaps he will not be so cruel as to refuse it from so fair a
hand.' My wife will come with the glass and stand trembling
before me; and when she finds that I do not look towards her, but
that I continue to disdain her, she will say to me with tears in
her eyes, ‘My heart, my dear soul, my amiable lord, I conjure
you, by the favours which heaven heaps upon you, to receive this
glass of wine from the hand of your most humble servant:' but I
will not look upon her still, nor answer her. ‘My charming
                                                                    329
spouse,' will she say, redoubling her tears, and putting the
glass to my mouth, "I will never cease till I prevail with you to
drink;' then, wearied with her entreaties, I will dart a terrible
look at her, shake my hand in her face, and spurn her from me
with my foot."

My brother was so full of these chimerical visions, that he acted
with his foot as if she had been really before him, and
unfortunately gave such a push to his basket and glasses, that
they were thrown down, and broken into a thousand pieces,

On this fatal accident, he came to himself, and perceiving that
he had brought misfortune upon himself by his insupportable
pride, beat his face, tore his clothes, and cried so loud, that
the neighbours came about him; and the people, who were going to
their noon prayers, stopped to know what was the matter. Being on
a Friday, more people went to prayers than usual; some of them
took pity on Alnaschar, and others only laughed at his
extravagance. In the mean time, his vanity being dispersed with
his property, he bitterly bewailed his loss; and a lady of rank
passing by upon a mule richly caparisoned, my brother's situation
moved her compassion. She asked who he was, and what he cried
for? They told her, that he was a poor man, who had laid out the
little money he possessed in the purchase of a basket of
glassware, that the basket had fallen, and all his glasses were
broken. The lady immediately turned to an eunuch who attended
her, and said to him, "Give the poor man what you have about
you." The eunuch obeyed, and put into my brother's hands a purse
with five hundred pieces of gold. Alnaschar was ready to die with
joy when he received it. He gave a thousand blessings to the
lady, and shutting up his shop, where he had no more occasion to
sit, went to his house.

While he was pondering over his good luck, he heard somebody
knock at his door. Before he opened, he asked who it was, and
knowing by the voice that it was a woman, he let her in. "My
son," said she, "I have a favour to beg of you: the hour of
prayer is come, let me perform my ablutions in your house, that I
may be fit to say my prayers." My brother looking at her, and
seeing that she was well advanced in years, though he knew her
not, granted her request, and sat down again still full of his
new adventure. He put his gold in a long strait purse, proper to
carry at his girdle. The old woman in the mean time said her
prayers, and when she had done, came to my brother and bowed
twice to the ground, so low, that she touched it with her
forehead: then rising up, she wished him all happiness.

The old woman then bowed again, and thanked him for his civility.
Being meanly clad, and very humble, he thought she asked alms;
                                                                    330
upon which he offered her two pieces of gold. The old woman
stepped back in a sort of surprise, as if my brother had
affronted her. "Good God!" said she, "what is the meaning of
this? Is it possible, sir, that you took me for one of those
impudent beggars who push into people's houses to ask alms? Take
back your money: thank heaven, I need it not. I belong to a young
lady of this city, who is a perfect beauty, and very rich; she
lets me want for nothing."

My brother was not cunning enough to perceive the craft of the
old woman, who only refused the two pieces of gold, that she
might catch more. He asked her, if she could not procure him the
honour of seeing that lady. "With all my heart," she replied;
"she will be very glad to marry you, and to put you in possession
of her fortune, by making you master of her person. Take up your
money, and follow me." My brother, transported with his good luck
in finding so great a sum of money, and almost at the same time a
beautiful and rich wife, shut his eyes to all other
considerations; so that he took his five hundred pieces of gold,
and followed the old woman. She walked on, and he followed at a
distance, to the gate of a great house, where she knocked. He
came up just as a young Greek slave opened the gate. The old
woman made him enter first, crossed a well-paved court, and
introduced him into a hall, the furniture of which confirmed him
in the good opinion he had conceived of the mistress of the
house. While the old woman went to acquaint the lady, he sat
down, and the weather being hot, put off his turban, and laid it
by him. He speedily saw the young lady enter: her beauty and rich
apparel perfectly surprised him; he arose as soon as he saw her.
The lady, with a smiling countenance, prayed him to sit down
again, and placed herself by him. She told him, she was very glad
to see him; and after having spoken some engaging words, said,
"We do not sit here at our ease. Come, give me your hand." At
these words she presented him hers, and conducted him into an
inner chamber, where she conversed with him for some time: she
then left him, saying that she would be with him in a moment. He
waited for her; but instead of the lady came in a great black
slave with a cimeter in his hand, and looking upon my brother
with a terrible aspect, said to him fiercely, "What have you to
do here?" Alnaschar was so frightened, that he had no power to
answer. The black stripped him, carried off his gold, and gave
him several flesh wounds with his cimeter. My unhappy brother
fell to the ground, where he lay without motion, though he had
still the use of his senses. The black thinking him to be dead,
asked for salt: the Greek slave brought him a basin full: they
rubbed my brother's wounds with it, but he had so much command of
himself, notwithstanding the intolerable pain it put him to, that
he lay still without giving any sign of life. The black and the
Greek slave having retired, the old woman, who had enticed my
                                                                    331
brother into the snare, came and dragged him by the feet to a
trapdoor, which she opened, and threw him into a place under
ground, among the bodies of several other people who had been
murdered. He perceived this as soon as he came to himself, for
the violence of the fall had taken away his senses. The salt
rubbed into his wounds preserved his life, and he recovered
strength by degrees, so as to be able to walk. After two days he
opened the trap-door in the night, and finding in the court a
place proper to hide himself in, continued there till break of
day, when he saw the cursed old woman open the street gate, and
go out to seek another victim. He stayed in the place some time
after she was gone, that she might not see him, and then came to
me for shelter, when he told me of his adventures.

In a month's time he was perfectly cured of his wounds by
medicines that I gave him, and resolved to avenge himself of the
old woman, who had put such a barbarous cheat upon him. To this
end he took a bag, large enough to contain five hundred pieces of
gold, and filled it with pieces of glass.


My brother fastened the bag of glass about him, disguised himself
like an old woman, and took a cimeter under his gown. One morning
he met the old woman walking through the town to seek her prey;
he went up to her, and counterfeiting a woman's voice, said,
"Cannot you lend me a pair of scales? I am newly come from
Persia, have brought five hundred pieces of gold with me, and
would know if they are weight." "Good woman," answered the old
hag, "you could not have applied to a fitter person: follow me, I
will conduct you to my son, who changes money, and will weigh
them himself to save you the trouble. Let us make haste, for fear
he should go to his shop." My brother followed her to the house
where she carried him at first, and the Greek slave opened the
door.

The old woman took my brother to the hall where she desired him
to wait till she called her son. The pretended son came, and
proved to be the villainous black slave. "Come, old woman," said
he to my brother, "rise and follow me:" having spoken thus, he
went before to conduct him to the place where he designed to
murder him. Alnaschar got up, followed him, and drawing his
cimeter, gave him such a dexterous blow behind on the neck, that
he cut off his head, which he took in one hand, and dragging the
corpse with the other, threw them both into the place under
ground before-mentioned. The Greek slave, who was accustomed to
the trade, came presently with a basin of salt; but when she saw
Alnaschar with his cimeter in his hand, and without his veil, she
laid down the basin, and fled. But my brother overtaking her, cut
off her head also. The wicked old woman came running at the
                                                                    332
noise, and my brother seizing her, said to her, "Treacherous
wretch, do not you know me?" "Alas, Sir!" answered she trembling,
"who are you? I do not remember that I ever saw you." "I am,"
replied he, "the person to whose house you came the other day to
wash and say your prayers. Hypocritical hag, do not you
remember?" Then she fell on her knees to beg his pardon, but he
cut her in four pieces.

There remained only the lady, who knew nothing of what had
passed: he sought her out, and found her in a chamber, where she
was ready to sink when she saw him: she begged her life, which he
generously granted. "Madam," said he, "how could you live with
such wicked people, as I have so justly revenged myself upon?" "I
was," she answered, "wife to an honest merchant; and the old
woman, whose wickedness I did not then know, used sometimes to
come to see me; ‘Madam,' said she to me one day, ‘we have a
wedding at our house, which you will be pleased to see, if you
will give us the honour of your company:' I was persuaded by her,
put on my best apparel, and took with me a hundred pieces of
gold. I followed her; she brought me to this house, where the
black has since kept me by force, and I have been three years
here to my great sorrow." "By the trade which that cursed black
followed," replied my brother, "he must have gathered together a
vast deal of riches." "There is so much," said she "that you will
be made for ever, if you can carry them off: follow me, and you
shall see them." Alnaschar followed her to a chamber, where she
shewed him several coffers full of gold, which he beheld with
admiration. "Go," said she, "and fetch people to carry it all
off." My brother went out, got ten men together, and brought them
with him, but was much surprised to find the gate open, the lady
and the coffers gone, for she being more diligent than he, had
conveyed them all off and disappeared. However, being resolved
not to return empty-handed, he carried off all the furniture of
the house, which was a great deal more than enough to make up the
five hundred pieces of gold he had been robbed of; but when he
went out of the house, he forgot to shut the gate. The
neighbours, who saw my brother and the porters come and go, went
and acquainted the magistrate, for they looked upon my brother's
conduct as suspicious. Alnaschar slept well enough all night, but
the next morning, when he came out of his house, twenty of the
magistrate's men seized him. "Come along with us," said they,
"our master would speak with you." My brother prayed them to have
patience for a moment, and offered them a sum of money to let him
escape; but instead of listening to him, they bound him, and
forced him to go with them. They met in the street an old
acquaintance of my brother's, who stopped them awhile, asked them
why they had seized my brother, offered them a considerable sum
to let him escape, and tell the magistrate they could not find
him, but in vain.
                                                                    333
When the officers brought him before the magistrate, he asked him
where he had the goods which he had carried home the preceding
evening? "Sir," replied Alnaschar, "I am ready to tell you all
the truth; but allow me first to have recourse to your clemency,
and to beg your promise, that I shall not be punished." "I give
it you," said the magistrate. My brother then told him the whole
story without disguise, from the period the old woman came into
his house to say her prayers, to the time the lady made her
escape, after he had killed the black, the Greek slave, and the
old woman: and as for what he had carried to his house, he prayed
the judge to leave him part of it, for the five hundred pieces of
gold of which he had been robbed.

The judge, without promising any thing, sent his officers to
bring off the whole, and having put the goods into his own
warehouse, commanded my brother to quit the town immediately, and
never to return, for he was afraid, if he had stayed in the city,
he would have found some way to represent this injustice to the
caliph. In the mean time, Alnaschar obeyed without murmuring, and
left that town to go to another. By the way, he met with
highwaymen, who stripped him naked; and when the ill news was
brought to me, I carried him a suit, and brought him secretly
into the town, where I took the like care of him as I did of his
other brothers.




The Story of the Barber's Sixth Brother.



I have now only to relate the story of my sixth brother, called
Schacabac, with the hare lips. At first he was industrious enough
to improve the hundred dirhems of silver which fell to his share,
and went on very well; but a reverse of fortune brought him to
beg his bread, which he did with a great deal of dexterity. He
studied chiefly to get into great men's houses by means of their
servants and officers, that he might have access to their
masters, and obtain their charity. One day as he passed by a
magnificent house, whose high gate shewed a very spacious court,
where there was a multitude of servants, he went to one of them,
and asked him to whom that house belonged? "Good man," replied
the servant, "whence do you come that you ask me such a question?
Does not all that you behold point out to you that it is the
palace of a Barmecide?" "My brother, who very well knew the
liberality and generosity of the Barmecides, addressed himself to
one of his porters (for he had more than one), and prayed him to
                                                                    334
give him alms. "Go in," said he, "nobody hinders you, and address
yourself to the master of the house; he will send you back
satisfied."

My brother, who expected no such civility, thanked the porters,
and with their permission entered the palace, which was so large,
that it took him a considerable time to reach the Barmecide's.
apartment; at last he came to an arcade square building of an
excellent architecture, and entered by parterres of flowers
intersected by walks of several colours, extremely pleasant to
the eye: the lower apartments round this square were most of them
open, and were shut only with great curtains to keep out the sun,
which were opened again when the heat was over to let in the
fresh air.

Such an agreeable place would have struck my brother with
admiration, even if his mind had been more at ease than it was.
He went on till he came into a hall richly furnished and adorned
with painting of gold and azure foliage, where he saw a venerable
man with a long white beard, sitting at the upper end on a sofa,
whence he concluded him to be the master of the house; and in
fact it was the Barmecide himself, who said to my brother in a
very civil manner, that he was welcome; and asked him what he
wanted? "My lord," answered my brother, in a begging tone, "I am
a poor man who stands in need of the help of such rich and
generous persons as yourself." He could not have addressed
himself to a fitter person than this lord, who had a thousand
good qualities.

The Barmecide seemed to be astonished at my brother's answer, and
putting both his hands to his stomach, as if he would rend his
clothes for grief, "Is it possible," cried he, "that I am at
Bagdad, and that such a man as you is so poor as you say? this is
what must never be." My brother, fancying that he was going to
give him some singular mark of his bounty, blessed him a thousand
times, and wished him all happiness. "It shall not be said,"
replied the Barmecide, "that I will abandon you, nor will I have
you leave me." "Sir," replied my brother, "I swear to you I have
not eaten one bit to-day." "Is it true," demanded the Barmecide,
"that you are fasting till now? Alas, poor man! he is ready to
die for hunger. Ho, boy," cried he, with a loud voice, "bring a
basin and water presently, that we may wash our hands." Though no
boy appeared, and my brother saw neither water nor basin, the
Barmecide fell to rubbing his hands as if one had poured water
upon them, and bade my brother come and wash with him. Schacabac
judged by this, that the Barmecide lord loved to be merry, and he
himself understanding raillery, and knowing that the poor must be
complaisant to the rich, if they would have any thing from them,
came forward and did as he was required.
                                                                    335
"Come on," said the Barmecide, "bring us something to eat, and do
not let us wait." When he had spoken, though nothing appeared, he
began to cut as if something had been brought him upon a plate,
and putting his hand to his mouth began to chew, and said to my
brother, "Come, friend, eat as freely as if you were at home;
come, eat; you said you were like to die of hunger, but you eat
as if you had no appetite." "Pardon me, my lord," said Schacabac,
who perfectly imitated what he did, "you see I lose no time, and
that I play my part well enough." "How like you this bread," said
the Barmecide; "do not you find it very good?" "O! my lord,"
replied my brother, who saw neither bread nor meat, "I have never
eaten anything so white and so fine." "Eat your belly-full," said
the Barmecide; "I assure you the woman who bakes me this good
bread cost me five hundred pieces of gold to purchase her."

The Barmecide, after having boasted so much of his bread, which
my brother ate only in idea, cried, "Boy, bring us another dish:"
and though no boy appeared, "Come, my good friend," continued he,
"taste this new dish; and tell me if ever you ate better mutton
and barley-broth than this." "It is admirably good," replied my
brother, "and therefore you see I eat heartily." "You oblige me
highly," resumed the Barmecide; "I conjure you then, by the
satisfaction I have to see you eat so heartily, that you eat all
up, since you like it so well." A little while after he called
for a goose and sweet sauce, made up of vinegar, honey, dry
raisins, grey peas, and dry figs, which were brought just in the
same manner as the others had. "The goose is very fat," said the
Barmecide, "eat only a leg and a wing; we must save our stomachs,
for we have abundance of other dishes to come." He actually
called for several others, of which my brother, who was ready to
die of hunger, pretended to eat; but what he boasted of more than
all the rest was a lamb fed with pistachio nuts, which he ordered
to be brought up in the same manner. "Here is a dish," said the
Barmecide "that you will see at nobody's table but my own; I
would have you eat your belly-full of it." Having spoken thus, he
stretched out his hand as if he had had a piece of lamb in it,
and putting it to my brother's mouth, "There," said he, "swallow
that, and you will judge whether I had not reason to boast of
this dish." My brother thrust out his head, opened his mouth, and
made as if he took the piece of lamb, and eat it with extreme
pleasure. "I knew you would like it," said the Barmecide. "There
is nothing in the world finer," replied my brother; "your table
is most delicious." "Come, bring the ragout; I fancy you will
like that as well as you did the lamb: Well, how do you relish
it?" "O! it is wonderful," replied Schacabac; "for here we taste
all at once, amber, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, and the most
odoriferous herbs, and all these delicacies are so well mixed,
that one does not prevent our tasting the other." "How pleasant!
                                                                    336
Honour this ragout," said the Barmecide, "by eating heartily of
it. Ho, boy, bring us another ragout." "No, my lord, if it please
you," replied my brother, "for indeed I can eat no more."

"Come, take away then," said the Barmecide, "and bring the
fruit." He stayed a moment as it were to give time for his
servants to carry away; after which, he addressed my brother,
"Taste these almonds, they are good and fresh gathered." Both of
them made as if they had peeled the almonds, and eaten them;
after this, the Barmecide invited my brother to eat something
else. "Look," said he, "there are all sorts of fruits, cakes, dry
sweetmeats, and conserves, take what you like;" then stretching
out his hand, as if he had reached my brother something, "Look,"
he continued, "there is a lozenge, very good for digestion."
Schacabac made as if he ate it, and said, "My lord, there is no
want of musk here." "These lozenges," replied the Barmecide, "are
made at my own house, where nothing is wanting to make every
article good." He still bade my brother eat, and said to him,
"Methinks you do not eat as if you had been so hungry as you
complained you were when you came in." "My lord," replied
Schacabac, whose jaws ached with moving and having nothing to
eat, "I assure you I am so full that I cannot eat one bit more."

"Well, then, friend," resumed the Barmecide, "we must drink now,
after we have eaten so well." "You may drink wine, my lord,"
replied my brother, "but I will drink none if you please, because
I am forbidden." "You are too scrupulous," rejoined the
Barmecide; "do as I do." "I will drink then out of complaisance,"
said Schacabac, "for I see you will have nothing wanting to make
your treat complete; but since I am not accustomed to drink wine,
I am afraid I shall commit some error in point of good breeding,
and contrary to the respect that is due to you; therefore I pray
you, once more, to excuse me from drinking any wine; I will be
content with water." "No, no," said the Barmecide, "you shall
drink wine," and at the same time he commanded some to be
brought, in the same manner as the meat and fruit had been served
before. He made as if he poured out wine, and drank first
himself, and then pouring out for my brother, presented him the
glass, saying, "Drink my health, and let us know if you think
this wine good." My brother made as if he took the glass, and
looked as if the colour was good, and put it to his nose to try
the flavour: he then made a low salute to the Barmecide, to
signify that he took the liberty to drink his health, and lastly
he appeared to drink with all the signs of a man that drinks with
pleasure: "My lord," said he, "this is very excellent wine, but I
think it is not strong enough." "If you would have stronger,"
answered the Barmecide, "you need only speak, for I have several
sorts in my cellar. Try how you like this." Upon which he made as
if he poured out another glass for himself, and one for my
                                                                    337
brother; and did this so often, that Schacabac, feigning to be
intoxicated with the wine, and acting a drunken man, lifted up
his hand, and gave the Barmecide such a box on the ear as made
him fall down. He was going to give him another blow, but the
Barmecide holding up his hand to ward it off, cried, "Are you
mad?" Then my brother, making as if he had come to himself again,
said, "My lord, you have been so good as to admit your slave into
your house, and give him a treat; you should have been satisfied
with making me eat, and not have obliged me to drink wine; for I
told you beforehand, that it might occasion me to fail in my
respect for you. I am very sorry for it, and beg you a thousand
pardons."

Scarcely had he finished these words, when the Barmecide, instead
of being in a passion, fell a laughing with all his might. "I
have been long," said he, "seeking a man of your character."

The Barmecide caressed Schacabac mightily, and told him, "I not
only forgive the blow you have given me, but I desire
henceforward we should be friends, and that you take my house for
your home: you have had the complaisance to accommodate yourself
to my humour, and the patience to keep the jest up to the last;
we will now eat in good earnest." When he had finished these
words, he clapped his hands, and commanded his servants, who then
appeared, to cover the table; which was speedily done, and my
brother was treated with all those dishes in reality, which he
ate of before in fancy. At last they cleared the table, and
brought in the wine, and at the same time a number of handsome
slaves, richly appareled, came and sung some agreeable airs to
their musical instruments. In a word, Schacabac had all the
reason in the world to be satisfied with the Barmecide's civility
and bounty; for he treated him as his familiar friend, and
ordered him a suit from his wardrobe.

The Barmecide found my brother to be a man of so much wit and
understanding, that in a few days after he entrusted him with the
care of his household and all his affairs. My brother acquitted
himself very well in that employment for twenty years; at the end
of which the generous Barmecide died, and leaving no heirs, all
his property was confiscated to the use of the prince; and my
brother lost all he had acquired. Being reduced to his first
condition, he joined a caravan of pilgrims going to Mecca,
designing to accomplish that pilgrimage by their charity; but
unfortunately the caravan was attacked and plundered by a number
of Bedouins, superior to that of the pilgrims. My brother was
then taken as a slave by one of the Bedouins, who put him under
the bastinado for several days, to oblige him to ransom himself.
Schacabac protested that it was all in vain. "I am your slave,"
said he, "you may dispose of me as you please; but I declare to
                                                                    338
you that I am extremely poor, and not able to redeem myself." In
a word, my brother discovered to him all his misfortunes, and
endeavoured to soften him with tears; but the Bedouin was not to
be moved, and being vexed to find himself disappointed of a
considerable sum of which he reckoned himself sure, he took his
knife and slit my brother's lips. to avenge himself by this
inhumanity for the loss that he thought he had sustained.

The Bedouin had a handsome wife, and frequently when he went on
his excursions left my brother alone with her. At such times she
used all her endeavours to comfort my brother under the rigour of
his slavery. She gave him tokens enough that she loved him, but
he durst not return her passion, for fear he should repent; and
therefore avoided being alone with her, as much as she sought the
opportunity to be alone with him. She was so much in the habit of
caressing and playing with the miserable Schacabac, whenever she
saw him, that one day she happened to act in the same manner, in
the presence of her husband. My brother, without taking notice
that he observed them (so his sins would have it), played
likewise with her. The Bedouin, immediately supposing that they
lived together in a criminal manner, fell upon my brother in a
rage, and after he had mutilated him in a barbarous manner,
carried him on a camel to the top of a desert mountain, where he
left him. The mountain was on the road to Bagdad, so that the
passengers who saw him there informed me where he was. I went
thither speedily, and found unfortunate Schacabac in a deplorable
condition: I gave him what help he stood in need of, and brought
him back to the city.

This is what I told the caliph; that prince applauded me with new
fits of laughter. "Now," said he, "I cannot doubt but they justly
give you the surname of Silent. No one can say the contrary for
certain reasons, however, I command you to depart this town
immediately, and let me hear no more of you." I yielded to
necessity, and travelled for several years in distant countries.
Understanding at last that the caliph was dead, I returned to
Bagdad, where I found not one of my brothers alive. It was on my
return to this city that I did the lame young man the important
service which you have heard. You are, however, witnesses of his
ingratitude, and of the injurious manner in which he treated me;
instead of testifying his obligation, he rather chose to fly from
me and leave his own country. When I understood that he was not
at Bagdad, though no one could tell me whither he was gone, I
determined to seek him. I travelled from province to province a
long time; and when I least expected, met him this day, but I
little thought to find him so incensed against me.

When the barber had concluded his story, we found that the young
man was not to blame for calling him a great chatterer. However,
                                                                    339
he wished him to stay with us, and partake of the entertainment
which the master of the house had prepared. We sat down to table,
and were merry together till afternoon prayers; when all the
company parted, and I went to my shop, till it was time to return
home. It was during this interval that humpback came half drunk
before my shop, where he sung and played on his tabor. I thought
that, by carrying him home with me, I should divert my wife,
therefore I took him in: my wife gave us a dish of fish, and I
presented humpback with some, which he ate, without taking notice
of a bone. He fell down dead before us, and after having in vain
essayed to help him, in the trouble and fear occasioned by such
an unlucky accident, we carried the corpse out, and dexterously
lodged him with the Jewish doctor. The Jewish doctor put him into
the chamber of the purveyor, and the purveyor carried him out
into the street, where it was believed the merchant had killed
him. "This sir," added the tailor, "is what I had to say to
satisfy your majesty, who must pronounce whether we be worthy of
mercy or wrath, life or death."

The sultan of Casgar shewed a satisfaction in his countenance,
which restored the tailor and his comrades to life. "I cannot but
acknowledge," said he, "that I am more struck with the history of
the young cripple, with that of the barber, and with the
adventures of his brothers, than with the story of my jester: but
before I send you all away, and we proceed to bury humpback, I
should like to see the barber who is the occasion of my pardoning
you; since he is in my capital, it is easy to satisfy my
curiosity." At the same time he sent an officer with the tailor
to find him.

The officer and the tailor went immediately and brought the
barber, whom they presented to the sultan: the barber was a
venerable man about ninety years of age; his eye-brows and beard
were white as snow, his ears hanging down, and his nose very
long. The sultan could not forbear laughing when he saw him.
"Silent man," said he to him, "I understand that you know
wonderful stories, will you tell me some of them?"

"Sir," answered the barber, "let us forbear the stories, if you
please, at present. I most humbly beg your majesty to permit me
to ask what that Christian, that Jew, that Moosulmaun and that
dead humpback, who ties on the ground, do here before your
majesty?" The sultan smiled at the barber's freedom, and replied,
"Why do you ask?" "Sir," replied the barber, "it concerns me to
ask, that your majesty may know I am not so great a talker as
some represent me, but a man justly called Silent."

The sultan commanded them to tell him the story of the humpback,
which he seemed earnestly to wish for. When the barber heard it,
                                                                    340
he shook his head, as if he would say, there was something under
this which he did not understand. "Truly," cried he, "this is a
surprising story; but I wish to examine humpback a little
nearer." He approached him, sat down on the ground, took his head
between his knees, and after he had looked upon him steadfastly,
fell into so great a fit of laughter, and had so little command
of himself, that he fell backwards on the ground, without
considering that he was before the sultan of Casgar. As soon as
he came to himself, "It is said," cried he, "and not without
reason, that no man dies without a cause. If ever any history
deserved to be written in letters of gold, it is that of this
humpback."

At this all the people looked on the barber as a buffoon, or an
old dotard. "Silent man," said the sultan, "why do you laugh?"
"Sir," answered the barber, "I swear by your majesty's
benevolence, that humpback is not dead: he is yet alive, and I
shall be content to pass for a madman if I do not convince you
this minute." So saying, he took a box wherein he had several
medicines that he carried about him to use as occasion might
require; and drew out a little phial of balsam, with which he
rubbed humpback's neck a long time; then he took out of his case
a neat iron instrument, which he put betwixt his teeth, and after
he had opened his mouth, he thrust down his throat a pair of
small pincers, with which he took out a bit of fish and bone,
which he shewed to all the people. Immediately humpback sneezed,
stretched forth his arms and feet, opened his eyes, and shewed
several other signs of life.

The sultan of Casgar, and all who were witnesses of this
operation, were less surprised to see humpback revive, after he
had passed a whole night, and great part of a day, without giving
any sign of life, than at the merit and capacity of the barber,
who performed this; and notwithstanding all his faults, began to
look upon him as a great physician. The sultan, transported with
joy and admiration, ordered the story of humpback to be written
down, with that of the barber, that the memory of them might, as
it deserved, be preserved for ever. Nor did he stop here; but,
that the tailor, Jewish doctor, purveyor, and Christian merchant
might remember the adventure, which the accident of humpback had
occasioned to them, with pleasure, he did not send them away till
he had given each of them a very rich robe, with which he caused
them to be clothed in his presence. As for the barber, he
honoured him with a great pension, and kept him near his person.




                                                                    341
     The History of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Becar, and
   Schemselnihar, Favourite of Caliph Maroon Al Rusheed.



In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there lived at
Bagdad a druggist, named Alboussan Ebn Thaher, a very rich
handsome man. He had more wit and politeness than people of his
profession generally possess: his integrity, sincerity, and good
humour made him beloved and sought after by all sorts of people.
The caliph, who knew his merit, had entire confidence in him. He
held him in such high esteem, that he entrusted him to provide
his favourite ladies with all the things they stood in need of.
He chose for them their clothes, furniture, and jewels, with
admirable taste.

His good qualities, and the favour of the caliph, occasioned the
sons of emirs, and other officers of the first rank, to be always
about him: his house was the rendezvous of all the nobility of
the court Among the young lords that went daily to visit him, was
one whom he took more notice of than the rest, and with whom he
contrasted a particular friendship, called Aboulhassen Ali Ebn
Becar, originally of an ancient royal family of Persia. This
family had continued at Bagdad ever since the conquest of that
kingdom. Nature seemed to have taken pleasure in endowing this
young prince with the rarest qualities of body and mind: his face
was so very beautiful, his shape so fine, his air so easy, and
his physiognomy so engaging, that it was impossible to see him
without immediately loving him. When he spoke, he expressed
himself in terms proper and well chosen, with a new and agreeable
turn, and his voice charmed all that heard him: he had besides so
much wit and judgment, that he thought and spoke of all subjects
with admirable exactness. He was so reserved and modest, that he
advanced nothing till after he had taken all possible care to
avoid giving any ground of suspicion that he preferred his own
opinion to that of others.

Being such a person as I have represented him, we need not wonder
that Ebn Thaher distinguished him from all the other young
noblemen of the court, most of whom had the vices which composed
the opposites to his virtues. One day, when the prince was with
Ebn Thaher, there came a lady mounted on a piebald mule, in the
midst of ten female slaves who accompanied her on foot, all very
handsome, as far as could be judged by their air, and through
their veils which covered their faces. The lady had a girdle of a
rose colour, four inches broad, embroidered with pearls and
diamonds of an extraordinary bigness; and for beauty it was easy
to perceive that she surpassed all her women, as far as the full
moon does that of two days old. She came to buy something, and as
                                                                    342
she wanted to speak to Ebn Thaher, entered his shop, which was
very neat and spacious; and he received her with all the marks of
the most profound respect, entreating her to sit down, and
directing her to the most honourable place.

In the mean time, the prince of Persia, unwilling to lose such an
opportunity of strewing his good breeding and gallantry, adjusted
the cushion of cloth of gold, for the lady to lean on; after
which he hastily retired, that she might sit down; and having
saluted her, by kissing the carpet under her feet, rose and stood
before her at the lower end of the sofa. It being her custom to
be free with Ebn Thaher, she lifted up her veil, and discovered
to the prince of Persia such an extraordinary beauty as struck
him to the heart. On the other hand, the lady could not refrain
from looking upon the prince, the sight of whom had made the same
impressions upon her. "My lord," said she to him, with an
obliging air, "pray sit down." The prince of Persia obeyed, and
sat on the edge of the sofa. He had his eyes constantly fixed
upon her, and swallowed large draughts of the sweet poison of
love. She quickly perceived what passed in his heart, and this
discovery served to inflame her the more towards him. She arose,
went to Ebn Thaher, and after she had whispered to him the cause
of her coming, asked the name and country of the prince. "Madam,"
answered Ebn Thaher, "this young nobleman's name is Aboulhassen
Ali Ebn Becar, and he is a prince of the blood royal of Persia."

The lady was transported at hearing that the person she already
loved so passionately was of so high a rank. "Do you really
mean," said she, "that he is descended from the kings of Persia?"
"Yes, madam," replied Ebn Thaher, "the last kings of Persia were
his ancestors, and since the conquest of that kingdom, the
princes of his family have always made themselves very acceptable
at the court of our caliphs." "You will oblige me much," added
she, "by making me acquainted with this young nobleman: when I
send this woman," pointing to one of her slaves, "to give you
notice to come and see me, pray bring him with you; I shall be
glad to afford him the opportunity of seeing the magnificence of
my house, that he may have it in his power to say, that avarice
does not reign at Bagdad among persons of quality. You know what
I mean."

Ebn Thaher was a man of too much penetration not to perceive the
lady's mind by these words: "My princess, my queen," replied he,
"God preserve me from giving you any occasion of anger: I shall
always make it a law to obey your commands." At this answer, the
lady bowed to Ebn Thaher, and took her leave; and after she had
given a favorable look to the prince of Persia, she remounted her
mule, and departed.

                                                                    343
The prince of Persia was so deeply in love with the lady, that he
looked after her as far as he could; and long after she was out
of sight directed his eyes that way. Ebn Thaher told him, that he
remarked several persons observing him, and began to laugh to see
him in this posture. "Alas!" said the prince, "the world and you
would pity me, if you knew that the beautiful lady, who is just
gone from you, has carried with her the best part of me, and that
the remaining part seeks for an opportunity to go after her. Tell
me, I conjure you," added he, "what cruel lady is this, who
forces people to love her, without giving them time to reflect?"
"My lord," answered Ebn Thaher, "this is the celebrated
Schemselnihar, the principal favourite of the caliph, our
master." "She is justly so called," added the prince, "since she
is more beautiful than the sun at noonday." "True," replied Ebn
Thaher; "therefore the commander of the faithful loves, or rather
adores her. He gave me express orders to furnish her with all
that she asked for, and to anticipate her wishes as far as lies
in my power."

He spoke thus to hinder him from engaging in a passion which
could not but prove unfortunate to him; but this served only to
inflame it the more. "I feared, charming Schemselnihar," cried
he, "I should not be allowed so much as to think of you; I
perceive, however, that without hopes of being loved in return, I
cannot forbear loving you; I will love you then, and bless my lot
that I am the slave of an object fairer than the meridian sun."

While the prince of Persia thus consecrated his heart to the fair
Schemselnihar, this lady, as she went home, contrived how she
might see, and have free converse with him. She no sooner entered
her palace, than she sent to Ebn Thaher the woman she had pointed
out to him, and in whom she placed all her confidence, to tell
him to come and see her without delay, and bring the prince of
Persia with him. The slave came to Ebn Thaher's shop, while he
was speaking to the prince, and endeavouring to dissuade him, by
very strong arguments, from loving the caliph's favourite. When
she saw them together, "Gentlemen," said she, "my honourable
mistress Schemselnihar the chief favourite of the commander of
the faithful, entreats you to come to her palace, where she waits
for you." Ebn Thaher, to testify his obedience, rose up
immediately, without answering the slave, and followed her, not
without some reluctance. The prince also followed he, without
reflecting on the danger there might be in such a visit. The
presence of Ebn Thaher, who had liberty to go to the favourite
when he pleased, made the prince very easy: they followed the
slave, who went a little before them, and entered after her into
the caliph's palace, and joined her at the gate of
Schemselnihar's pavilion, which was ready open. She introduced
them into a great hall, where she prayed them to be seated.
                                                                    344
The prince of Persia thought himself in one of those delicious
palaces that are promised to us in the other world: he had never
seen any thing that came near the magnificence of the place. The
carpets, cushions, and other appendages of the sofa, the
furniture, ornaments, and architecture, were surprisingly rich
and beautiful. A little time after Ebn Thaher and he had seated
themselves, a very handsome black slave brought in a table
covered with several delicacies, the admirable smell of which
evinced how deliciously they were seasoned. While they were
eating, the slave who brought them in waited upon them; she took
particular care to invite them to eat of what she knew to be the
greatest dainties. The other slaves brought them excellent wine
after they had eaten. When they had done, there was presented to
each of them a gold basin full of water to wash their hands;
after which, they brought them a golden pot full of the wood of
aloes, with which they perfumed their beards and clothes.
Odoriferous water was not forgotten, but served in a golden
vessel enriched with diamonds and rubies, and it was thrown upon
their beards and faces according to custom; they then resumed
their places, but had scarcely sat down, when the slave entreated
them to arise and follow her. She opened a door, and conducted
them into a large saloon of wonderful structure. It was a dome of
the most agreeable form, supported by a hundred pillars of
marble, white as alabaster. The bases and chapiters of the
pillars were adorned with four-footed beasts, and birds of
various sorts, gilded. The carpet of this noble saloon consisted
of one piece of cloth of gold, embroidered with bunches of roses
in red and white silk; and the dome painted in the same manner,
after the Arabian fashion, presented to the mind one of the most
charming objects. In every space between the columns was a little
sofa adorned in the same manner, and great vessels of china,
crystal, jasper, jet, porphyry, agate, and other precious
materials, garnished with gold and jewels; in these spaces were
also so many large windows, with balconies projecting breast
high, fitted up as the sofas, and looking out into the most
delicious garden; the walks were of little pebbles of different
colours, of the same pattern as the carpet of the saloon; so
that, looking upon the carpet within and without it seemed as if
the dome and the garden with all its ornaments had been upon the
same carpet. The prospect was, at the end of the walks,
terminated by two canals of clear water, of the same circular
figure as the dome, one of which being higher than the other,
emptied its water into the lowermost, in form of a sheet; and
curious pots of gilt brass, with flowers and shrubs, were set
upon the banks of the canals at equal distances. Those walks lay
betwixt great plots of ground planted with straight and bushy
trees, where a thousand birds formed a melodious concert, and
diverted the eye by flying about, and playing together, or
                                                                    345
fighting in the air.

The prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher were a long time engaged in
viewing the magnificence of the place, and expressed their
surprise at every thing thing saw, especially the prince, who had
never beheld any thing like it. Ebn Thaher, though he had been
several times in that delicious place, could not but observe many
new beauties, In a word they never grew weary in admiring so many
singularities, and were thus agreeably employed, when they
perceived a company of ladies richly appareled sitting without,
at some distance from the dome, each of them upon a seat of
Indian plane wood inlaid with silver filigree in compartments,
with instruments of music in their hands, waiting for orders to
play. They both went forward, and had a full view of the ladies,
and on the right they saw a great court with a stair up from the
garden, encompassed with beautiful apartments. The slave had left
them, and being alone, they conversed together; "For you, who are
a wise man," said the prince of Persia, "I doubt not but you look
with a great deal of satisfaction upon all these marks of
grandeur and power; for my part, I do not think there is any
thing in the world more surprising. But when I consider that this
is the glorious habitation of the lovely Schemselnihar, and that
the greatest monarch of the earth keeps her here, I confess to
you that I look upon myself to be the most unfortunate of all
mankind, and that no destiny can be more cruel than mine, to love
an object possessed by my rival, and that too in a place where he
is so potent, that I cannot think myself sure of my life one
moment."

Ebn Thaher, hearing the prince of Persia speak, replied, "Sir, I
wish you could give me as good assurance of the happy success of
your passion, as I can give you of the safety of your life.
Though this stately palace belongs to the caliph, who built it on
purpose for Schemselnihar, and called it the palace of eternal
pleasures, and though it makes part of his own palace, yet you
must know that this lady lives here at absolute liberty. She is
not beset by eunuchs to be spies upon her; this is her private
house, absolutely at her disposal. She goes into the city when
she pleases, and returns again, without asking leave of any body:
and the caliph never comes to see her, but he sends Mesrour, the
chief of his eunuchs, to give her notice, that she may be
prepared to receive him. Therefore you may be easy, and give full
attention to the concert of music, which, I perceive,
Schemselnihar is preparing for you."

Just as Ebn Thaher had spoken these words, the prince of Persia,
and he, saw the favourite's trusty slave giving orders to the
ladies to begin to sing, and play with the instruments: they all
began immediately to play together as a prelude, and after they
                                                                    346
had played some time, one of them began to sing alone, and
accompanied herself at the same time admirably upon her lute,
being informed beforehand upon what subject she was to sing. The
words were so agreeable to the prince of Persia's sentiments,
that he could not forbear applauding her at the end of the
couplet. "Is it possible," cried he, "that you have the gift of
knowing people's hearts, and that the knowledge of what is
passing in my mind has occasioned you to give us a taste of your
charming voice by those words? I should not express myself
otherwise, were I to choose." The lady made no reply, but went on
and sung several other stanzas, with which the prince was so
affected, that he repeated some of them with tears in his eyes;
which discovered plainly enough that he applied them to himself.
When she had finished, she and her companions rose up and sung a
chorus, signifying by their words, that the full moon was going
to rise in all her splendour, and that they should speedily see
her approach the sun. Intimating, that Schemselnihar was coming,
and that the prince of Persia would soon have the pleasure of
beholding her.

In fact, as they looked towards the court, they saw
Schemselnihar's confidant coming towards them, followed by ten
black women, who, with much difficulty, carried a throne of
massive silver curiously wrought, which they set down before them
at a certain distance; the black slaves then retired behind the
trees, to the entrance of a walk. After this came twenty handsome
ladies richly appareled alike; they advanced in two rows, each
singing and playing upon instruments which she held in her hands,
and placed themselves on each side of the throne.

All these things kept the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher in so
much the greater expectation, as they were curious to know how
they would end. At length they saw advancing from the gate
through which the ten black women had proceeded ten other ladies
equally handsome, and well dressed, who halted a few moments,
expecting the favourite, who came out last, and placed herself in
the midst of them.

Schemselnihar was easily distinguished from the rest, by her fine
shape and majestic air, as well as by a sort of mantle, of a very
fine stuff of gold and sky-blue, fastened to her shoulders, over
her other apparel, which was the most handsome, most magnificent,
and best contrived that could be imagined.

The pearls, rubies, and diamonds, which adorned her, were well
disposed; not many in number, but chosen with taste, and of
inestimable value. She came forward, with a majesty resembling
the sun in its course amidst the clouds, which receive his
splendour without hiding his lustre, and sat upon the silver
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throne that had been brought for her.

As soon as the prince of Persia saw Schemselnihar, his eyes were
rivetted on her. "We cease inquiring," said he to Ebn Thaher,
"after what we seek, when once it is in view; and no doubt
remains, when once the truth is made apparent. Do you see this
charming beauty? She is the cause of all my sufferings, which I
bless, and will never forbear to bless, however severe and
lasting. At the sight of this objets, I am not my own master; my
soul is disturbed, and rebels, and seems disposed to leave me. Go
then, my soul, I allow thee; but let it be for the welfare and
preservation of this weak body. It is you, cruel Ebn Thaher, who
are the cause of this disorder, in bringing me hither. You
thought to do me a great pleasure; but I perceive I am only come
to complete my ruin. Pardon me," he continued, interrupting
himself; "I am mistaken. I would come, and can blame no one but
myself;" and at these words he burst into tears. "I am glad,"
said Ebn Thaher, "that you do me justice. When I told you at
first, that Schemselnihar was the caliph's chief favourite, I did
it on purpose to prevent that fatal passion which you please
yourself with entertaining. All that you see here ought to
disengage you, and you are to think of nothing but of
acknowledging the honour which Schemselnihar has done you, by
ordering me to bring you with me; recall then your wandering
reason, and prepare to appear before her, as good breeding
requires. See, she advances: were we to begin again, I would take
other measures, but since the thing is done, I pray God we may
not have cause to repent. All that I have now to say to you is,
that love is a traitor, who may involve you in difficulties from
which you will never be able to extricate yourself."

Ebn Thaher had no time to say more, because Schemselnihar
approached, and sitting down upon her throne, saluted them both
by bowing her head; but she fixed her eyes on the prince of
Persia, and they spoke to one another in a silent language
intermixed with sighs; by which in a few moments they spoke more
than they could have done by words in a much longer time. The
more Schemselnihar, looked upon the prince, the more she found in
his looks to confirm her opinion that he was in love with her;
and being thus persuaded of his passion, thought herself the
happiest woman in the world. At last she turned her eyes from
him, to command the women, who began to sing first, to come near;
they rose, and as they advanced, the black women, who came out of
the walk into which they had retired, brought their seats, and
placed them near the window, in the front of the dome where Ebn
Thaher and the prince of Persia stood, and their seats were so
disposed, that, with the favourite's throne and the women on each
side of her, they formed a semicircle before them.

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The women, who were sitting before she came resumed their places,
with the permission of Schemselnihar, who ordered them by a sign;
that charming favourite chose one of those women to sing, who,
after she had spent some moments in tuning her lute, sung a song,
the meaning whereof was, that when two lovers entirely loved one
another with affection boundless, their hearts, though in two
bodies, were united; and, when any thing opposed their desires,
could say with tears in their eyes, "If we love because we find
one another amiable, ought we to be blamed? Let destiny bear the
blame."

Schemselnihar evinced so plainly by her eyes and gestures that
those words were applicable to herself and the prince of Persia,
that he could not contain himself. He arose, and advancing to a
balustrade, which he leaned upon, beckoned to one of the
companions of the woman who had just done singing, to approach.
When she had got near enough, he said to her, "Do me the favour
to accompany me with your lute, in a song which you shall hear me
sing." He then sung with an air so tender and passionate, as
perfectly expressed the violence of his love. As soon as he had
done, Schemselnihar, following his example, said to one of the
women, "Attend to me likewise, and accompany my song." At the
same time she sung in such a manner, as more deeply to penetrate
the heart of the prince of Persia, who answered her by a new air,
more passionate than the former.

The two lovers having declared their mutual affection by their
songs, Schemselnihar yielded to the force of hers. She arose from
her throne in transport, and advanced towards the door of the
hall. The prince, who perceived her design, rose up immediately,
and went to meet her. They met at the door, where they took one
another by the hand, and embraced with so much passion, that they
fainted, and would have fallen, if the woman who followed
Schemselnihar had not hindered them. They supported them to a
sofa, where they were brought to themselves, by throwing
odoriferous water on their faces, and applying pungent odours to
their nostrils.

When they had recovered, the first thing Schemselnihar did was to
look about: and not seeing Ebn Thaher, she asked, with eagerness,
where he was? He had withdrawn out of respect whilst her women
were engaged in recovering her, and dreaded, not without reason,
that some disagreeable consequence might follow what he had seen;
but as soon as he heard Schemselnihar inquire for him, he came
forward.

Schemselnihar was much pleased to see Ebn Thaher, and expressed
her joy in the most obliging terms: "Ebn Thaher, I know not how
to make you proper returns for the great obligations you have put
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upon me; without you, I should never have seen the prince of
Persia, nor have loved the most amiable person in the world.
Assure yourself I shall not die ungrateful, and that my
gratitude, if possible, shall be equal to the obligation." Ebn
Thaher answered this compliment by a low obeisance, and wished
the favourite the accomplishment of all her desires.

Schemselnihar, turning towards the prince of Persia, who sat by
her, and looking upon him with some confusion after what had
passed, said to him, "I am well assured you love me, and how
great soever your love may be to me, you need not doubt but mine
is as great towards you: but let us not flatter ourselves; for,
notwithstanding this conformity of our sentiments, I see nothing
for you and me but trouble, impatience, and tormenting grief.
There is no other remedy for our evils but to love one another
constantly, to refer ourselves to the disposal of Heaven, and to
wait its determination of our destiny." "Madam," replied the
prince of Persia, "you will do me the greatest injustice, if you
doubt for a moment the continuance of my love. It is so
interwoven with my soul, that I can justly say it makes the best
part of it, and will continue so after death. Pains, torments,
obstacles, nothing shall prevent my loving you." Speaking these
words he shed tears in abundance, and Schemselnihar was not able
to restrain hers.

Ebn Thaher took this opportunity to speak to the favourite.
"Madam, allow me to represent to you, that, instead of melting
into tears, you ought to rejoice that you are now together. I
understand not this grief. What will it be when you are obliged
to part? But why do I talk of that? We have been a long while
here, and you know, madam, it is time for us to be going." "Ah!
how cruel are you!" replied Schemselnihar, "You, who know the
cause of my tears, have you no pity for my unfortunate condition?
Oh! sad fatality! What have I done to subject myself to the
severe law of not being able to join with the only person I
love?"

Persuaded as she was that Ebn Thaher spoke to her only out of
friendship, she did not take amiss what he said, but made a
proper use of his intimation She made a sign to the slave her
confidant, who immediately went out, and in a little time brought
a collation of fruits upon a small silver table, which she set
down betwixt her mistress and the prince of Persia. Schemselnihar
took some of the best, and presented it to the prince, praying
him to eat it for her sake; he took it, and put to his mouth that
part which she had touched; and then he presented some to her,
which she took, and ate in the same manner. She did not forget to
invite Ebn Thaher to eat with them; but he thinking himself not
safe in that place, and wishing himself at home, ate only out of
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complaisance. After the collation was taken away, they brought a
silver basin, with water in a vessel of gold, and washed
together; they afterwards returned to their places, and three of
the ten black women brought each a cup of rock crystal full of
exquisite wine, upon a golden salver; which they placed before
Schemselnihar, the prince of Persia, and Ebn Thaher. That they
might be the more private, Schemselnihar kept with her only ten
black women, with ten others who began to sing, and play upon
instruments; and after she had sent away all the rest, she took
up one of the cups, and holding it in her hand sung some tender
words, which one of her women accompanied with her lute. When she
had done, she drank, and afterwards took up one of the other cups
and presented it to the prince, praying him to drink for love of
her, as she had drunk for love of him. He received the cup with a
transport of love and joy; but before he drank, he sung also a
song, which another woman accompanied with an instrument: and as
he sang the tears fell from his eyes in such abundance, that he
could not forbear expressing in his song, that he knew not
whether he was going to drink the wine she had presented to him,
or his own tears. Schemselnihar at last presented the third cup
to Ebn Thaher, who thanked her for her kindness, and for the
honour she did him.

After this she took a lute from one of her women, and sung to it
in such a passionate manner, that she seemed to be transported
out of herself: and the prince of Persia stood with his eyes
fixed upon her, as if he had been enchanted. At this instant, her
trusty slave came in great alarm, and addressing herself to her
mistress, said, "Madam Mesrour and two other officers, with
several eunuchs that attend them, are at the gate, and want to
speak with you from the caliph." When the prince of Persia and
Ebn Thaher heard these words, they changed colour, and began to
tremble as if they had been undone: but Schemselnihar who
perceived their agitation, revived their courage by a sigh.

After Schemselnihar had quieted the fears of the prince of Persia
and Ebn Thaher, she ordered the slave, her confidant, to go and
speak to Mesrour, and the two other officers, till she had put
herself in a condition to receive them, and could send her to
introduce them. Immediately she ordered all the windows of' the
saloon to be shut, and the painted cloth on the side of the
garden to be let down: and after having assured the prince and
Ebn Thaher that they might continue there without any fear, she
went out at the gate leading to the garden, and closed it upon
them: but whatever assurance she had given them of their safety,
they were full of apprehension all the while they remained there.

As soon as Schemselnihar had reached the garden with the women
that had followed her, she ordered all the seats, which served
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the women who played on the instruments, to be placed near the
window, where the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher heard them; and
having got things in order, she sat down upon her silver throne:
she then sent notice to the slave her confidant to bring in the
chief of the eunuchs, and his two subaltern officers.

They appeared, followed by twenty black eunuchs all handsomely
clothed, with cimeters by their sides, and gold belts of four
inches broad. As soon as they perceived the favourite
Schemselnihar at a distance, they made her a profound reverence,
which she returned them from her throne. When they approached,
she arose and went to meet Mesrour, who advanced first; she asked
what news he brought? He answered, "Madam, the commander of the
faithful has sent me to signify that he cannot live longer
without seeing you; he designs to do himself that pleasure this
night, and I am come to give you notice, that you may be ready to
receive him. He hopes, madam, that you will receive him with as
much pleasure as he feels impatience to see you."

At these words the favourite Schemselnihar prostrated herself to
the ground, as a mark of that submission with which she received
the caliph's order. When she rose, she said, "Pray tell the
commander of the faithful, that I shall always reckon it my glory
to execute his majesty's commands, and that his slave will do her
utmost to receive him with all the respect that is due to him."
At the same time she ordered the slave her confidant to tell the
black women appointed for that service to get the palace ready to
receive the caliph, and dismissing the chief of the eunuchs, said
to him, "You see it requires some time to get all things ready,
therefore I entreat you to curb his majesty's impatience, that,
when he arrives, he may not find things out of order."

The chief of the eunuchs and his retinue being gone,
Schemselnihar returned to the saloon, extremely concerned at the
necessity she was under of sending back the prince of Persia
sooner than she had intended. She came up to him again with tears
in her eyes, which heightened Ebn Thaher's fear, who thought it
no good omen. "Madam," said the prince to her, "I perceive you
are come to tell me that we must part: if there be nothing more
to dread, I hope Heaven will give me the patience which is
necessary to support your absence." "Alas!" replied the too
tender Schemselnihar, "how happy do I think you, and how unhappy
do I think myself, when I compare your lot with my sad destiny!
No doubt you will suffer by my absence, but that is all, and you
may comfort yourself with hopes of seeing me again; but as for
me, just Heaven! what a terrible trial am I brought to! I must
not only be deprived of the sight of the only person whom I love,
but I must be tormented with the presence of one whom you have
made hateful to me. Will not the arrival of the caliph put me in
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mind of your departure? And how can I, when I am taken up with
your dear image, express to that prince the joy which he always
observed in my eyes whenever he came to see me? I shall have my
mind perplexed when I speak to him, and the least complaisance
which I shew to his love will stab