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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 06

Translator: Sir Richard Francis Burton

Release date: September 1, 2002 [eBook #3440]
Most recently updated: April 26, 2021

Language: English

Original publication: The Burton Club, 1885



A Plain and Literal Translation
of the Arabian Nights Entertainments
Translated and Annotated by
Richard F. Burton
Privately Printed By The Burton Club

                     I Inscribe This Volume
              To My Old And Valued Correspondent,
                    I Whose Debt I Am Deep,

                    Professor Aloys Sprenger
                        (of Heidelberg),

Arabist, Philosopher and Friend.

Richard F. Burton.

Contents of the Sixth Volume

133. Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman
a. The First Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
b. The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
c. The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
d. The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
e. The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
f. The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
g. The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman
The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman (according to the Calcutta Edition)
134. The City of Brass
135. The Craft and Malice of Woman
a. The King and His Wazir’s Wife
b. The Confectioner, His Wife and the Parrot
c. The Fuller and His Son
d. The Rake’s Trick Against the Chaste Wife
e. The Miser and the Loaves of Bread
f. The Lady and Her Two Lovers
g. The King’s Son and the Ogress
h. The Drop of Honey
i. The Woman Who Made Her Husband Sift Dust
j. The Enchanted Spring
k. The Wazir’s Son and the Hamman-Keeper’s Wife
l. The Wife’s Device to Cheat her Husband
m. The Goldsmith and the Cashmere Singing-Girl
n. The Man who Never Laughed During the Rest of His Days
o. The King’s Son and the Merchant’s Wife
p. The Page Who Feigned to Know the Speech of Birds
q. The Lady and Her Five Suitors
r. The Three Wishes, or the Man Who Longed to see the Night of Power
s. The Stolen Necklace
t. The Two Pigeons
u. Prince Behram and the Princess Al-Datma
v. The House With the Belvedere
w. The King’s Son and the Ifrit’s Mistress
x. The Sandal-Wood Merchant and the Sharpers
y. The Debauchee and the Three-Year-Old Child
z. The Stolen Purse
aa. The Fox and the Folk
136. Judar and His Brethren
137. The History of Gharib and His Brother Ajib
The Book Of The


There lived in the city of Baghdad, during the reign of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, a man named Sindbád the Hammál,[FN#2] one in poor case who bore burdens on his head for hire. It happened to him one day of great heat that whilst he was carrying a heavy load, he became exceeding weary and sweated profusely, the heat and the weight alike oppressing him. Presently, as he was passing the gate of a merchant’s house, before which the ground was swept and watered, and there the air was temperate, he sighted a broad bench beside the door; so he set his load thereon, to take rest and smell the air,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Hammal set his load upon the bench to take rest and smell the air, there came out upon him from the court-door a pleasant breeze and a delicious fragrance. He sat down on the edge of the bench, and at once heard from within the melodious sound of lutes and other stringed instruments, and mirth-exciting voices singing and reciting, together with the song of birds warbling and glorifying Almighty Allah in various tunes and tongues; turtles, mocking-birds, merles, nightingales, cushats and stone-curlews,[FN#3] whereat he marvelled in himself and was moved to mighty joy and solace. Then he went up to the gate and saw within a great flower-garden wherein were pages and black slaves and such a train of servants and attendants and so forth as is found only with Kings and Sultans; and his nostrils were greeted with the savoury odours of all manner meats rich and delicate, and delicious and generous wines. So he raised his eyes heavenwards and said, “Glory to Thee, O Lord, O Creator and Provider, who providest whomso Thou wilt without count or stint! O mine Holy One, I cry Thee pardon for all sins and turn to Thee repenting of all offences! O Lord, there is no gainsaying Thee in Thine ordinance and Thy dominion, neither wilt Thou be questioned of that Thou dost, for Thou indeed over all things art Almighty! Extolled be Thy perfection: whom Thou wilt Thou makest poor and whom Thou wilt Thou makest rich! Whom Thou wilt Thou exaltest and whom Thou wilt Thou abasest and there is no god but Thou! How mighty is Thy majesty and how enduring Thy dominion and how excellent Thy government! Verily, Thou favourest whom Thou wilt of Thy servants, whereby the owner of this place abideth in all joyance of life and delighteth himself with pleasant scents and delicious meats and exquisite wines of all kinds. For indeed Thou appointest unto Thy creatures that which Thou wilt and that which Thou hast foreordained unto them; wherefore are some weary and others are at rest and some enjoy fair fortune and affluence, whilst others suffer the extreme of travail and misery, even as I do.” And he fell to reciting,

“How many by my labours, that evermore endure, * All goods of
     life enjoy and in cooly shade recline?
Each morn that dawns I wake in travail and in woe, * And strange
     is my condition and my burden gars me pine:
Many others are in luck and from miseries are free, * And Fortune
     never loads them with loads the like o’ mine:
They live their happy days in all solace and delight; * Eat,
     drink and dwell in honour ’mid the noble and the digne:
All living things were made of a little drop of sperm, * Thine
     origin is mine and my provenance is thine;
Yet the difference and distance ’twixt the twain of us are far *
     As the difference of savour ’twixt vinegar and wine:
But at Thee, O God All-wise! I venture not to rail * Whose
     ordinance is just and whose justice cannot fail.”

When Sindbad the Porter had made an end of reciting his verses, he bore up his burden and was about to fare on, when there came forth to him from the gate a little foot-page, fair of face and shapely of shape and dainty of dress who caught him by the hand saying, “Come in and speak with my lord, for he calleth for thee.” The Porter would have excused himself to the page but the lad would take no refusal; so he left his load with the doorkeeper in the vestibule and followed the boy into the house, which he found to be a goodly mansion, radiant and full of majesty, till he brought him to a grand sitting-room wherein he saw a company of nobles and great lords, seated at tables garnished with all manner of flowers and sweet-scented herbs, besides great plenty of dainty viands and fruits dried and fresh and confections and wines of the choicest vintages. There also were instruments of music and mirth and lovely slave-girls playing and singing. All the company was ranged according to rank; and in the highest place sat a man of worshipful and noble aspect whose beard-sides hoariness had stricken; and he was stately of stature and fair of favour, agreeable of aspect and full of gravity and dignity and majesty. So Sindbad the Porter was confounded at that which he beheld and said in himself, “By Allah, this must be either a piece of Paradise or some King’s palace!” Then he saluted the company with much respect praying for their prosperity, and kissing the ground before them, stood with his head bowed down in humble attitude.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Porter, after kissing ground between their hands stood with his head bowed down in humble attitude. The master of the house bade him draw near and be seated and bespoke him kindly, bidding him welcome. Then he set before him various kinds of viands, rich and delicate and delicious, and the Porter, after saying his Bismillah, fell to and ate his fill, after which he exclaimed, “Praised be Allah whatso be our case![FN#4]” and, washing his hands, returned thanks to the company for his entertainment. Quoth the host, “Thou art welcome and thy day is a blessed. But what is thy name and calling?” Quoth the other, “O my lord, my name is Sindbad the Hammal, and I carry folk’s goods on my head for hire.” The house-master smiled and rejoined, “Know, O Porter that thy name is even as mine, for I am Sindbad the Seaman; and now, O Porter, I would have thee let me hear the couplets thou recitedst at the gate anon.” The Porter was abashed and replied, “Allah upon thee! Excuse me, for toil and travail and lack of luck when the hand is empty, teach a man ill manners and boorish ways.” Said the host, “Be not ashamed; thou art become my brother; but repeat to me the verses, for they pleased me whenas I heard thee recite them at the gate. Hereupon the Porter repeated the couplets and they delighted the merchant, who said to him,—Know, O Hammal, that my story is a wonderful one, and thou shalt hear all that befel me and all I underwent ere I rose to this state of prosperity and became the lord of this place wherein thou seest me; for I came not to this high estate save after travail sore and perils galore, and how much toil and trouble have I not suffered in days of yore! I have made seven voyages, by each of which hangeth a marvellous tale, such as confoundeth the reason, and all this came to pass by doom of fortune and fate; for from what destiny doth write there is neither refuge nor flight. Know, then, good my lords (continued he) that I am about to relate the

First Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.”[FN#5]

My father was a merchant, one of the notables of my native place, a monied man and ample of means, who died whilst I was yet a child, leaving me much wealth in money and lands and farmhouses. When I grew up, I laid hands on the whole and ate of the best and drank freely and wore rich clothes and lived lavishly, companioning and consorting with youths of my own age, and considering that this course of life would continue for ever and ken no change. Thus did I for a long time, but at last I awoke from my heedlessness and, returning to my senses, I found my wealth had become unwealth and my condition ill-conditioned and all I once hent had left my hand. And recovering my reason I was stricken with dismay and confusion and bethought me of a saying of our lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be peace!), which I had heard aforetime from my father, “Three things are better than other three; the day of death is better than the day of birth, a live dog is better than a dead lion and the grave is better than want.”[FN#6] Then I got together my remains of estates and property and sold all, even my clothes, for three thousand dirhams, with which I resolved to travel to foreign parts, remembering the saying of the poet,

“By means of toil man shall scale the height; * Who to fame
     aspires mustn’t sleep o’ night:
Who seeketh pearl in the deep must dive, * Winning weal and
     wealth by his main and might:
And who seeketh Fame without toil and strife * Th’ impossible
     seeketh and wasteth life.”

So taking heart I bought me goods, merchandise and all needed for a voyage and, impatient to be at sea, I embarked, with a company of merchants, on board a ship bound for Bassorah. There we again embarked and sailed many days and nights, and we passed from isle to isle and sea to sea and shore to shore, buying and selling and bartering everywhere the ship touched, and continued our course till we came to an island as it were a garth of the gardens of Paradise. Here the captain cast anchor and making fast to the shore, put out the landing planks. So all on board landed and made furnaces[FN#7] and lighting fires therein, busied themselves in various ways, some cooking and some washing, whilst other some walked about the island for solace, and the crew fell to eating and drinking and playing and sporting. I was one of the walkers but, as we were thus engaged, behold the master who was standing on the gunwale cried out to us at the top of his voice, saying, “Ho there! passengers, run for your lives and hasten back to the ship and leave your gear and save yourselves from destruction, Allah preserve you! For this island whereon ye stand is no true island, but a great fish stationary a-middlemost of the sea, whereon the sand hath settled and trees have sprung up of old time, so that it is become like unto an island;[FN#8] but, when ye lighted fires on it, it felt the heat and moved; and in a moment it will sink with you into the sea and ye will all be drowned. So leave your gear and seek your safety ere ye die!”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship-master cried to the passengers, “Leave your gear and seek safety, ere ye die;” all who heard him left gear and goods, clothes washed and unwashed, fire pots and brass cooking-pots, and fled back to the ship for their lives, and some reached it while others (amongst whom was I) did not, for suddenly the island shook and sank into the abysses of the deep, with all that were thereon, and the dashing sea surged over it with clashing waves. I sank with the others down, down into the deep, but Almighty Allah preserved me from drowning and threw in my way a great wooden tub of those that had served the ship’s company for tubbing. I gripped it for the sweetness of life and, bestriding it like one riding, paddled with my feet like oars, whilst the waves tossed me as in sport right and left. Meanwhile the captain made sail and departed with those who had reached the ship, regardless of the drowning and the drowned; and I ceased not following the vessel with my eyes, till she was hid from sight and I made sure of death. Darkness closed in upon me while in this plight and the winds and waves bore me on all that night and the next day, till the tub brought to with me under the lee of a lofty island, with trees overhanging the tide. I caught hold of a branch and by its aid clambered up on to the land, after coming nigh upon death; but when I reached the shore, I found my legs cramped and numbed and my feet bore traces of the nibbling of fish upon their soles; withal I had felt nothing for excess of anguish and fatigue. I threw myself down on the island ground, like a dead man, and drowned in desolation swooned away, nor did I return to my senses till next morning, when the sun rose and revived me. But I found my feet swollen, so made shift to move by shuffling on my breech and crawling on my knees, for in that island were found store of fruits and springs of sweet water. I ate of the fruits which strengthened me; and thus I abode days and nights, till my life seemed to return and my spirits began to revive and I was better able to move about. So, after due consideration, I fell to exploring the island and diverting myself with gazing upon all things that Allah Almighty had created there; and rested under the trees from one of which I cut me a staff to lean upon. One day as I walked along the marge, I caught sight of some object in the distance and thought it a wild beast or one of the monster-creatures of the sea; but, as I drew near it, looking hard the while, I saw that it was a noble mare, tethered on the beach. Presently I went up to her, but she cried out against me with a great cry, so that I trembled for fear and turned to go away, when there came forth a man from under the earth and followed me, crying out and saying, “Who and whence art thou, and what caused thee to come hither?” “O my lord,” answered I, “I am in very sooth, a waif, a stranger, and was left to drown with sundry others by the ship we voyaged in;[FN#9] but Allah graciously sent me a wooden tub; so I saved myself thereon and it floated with me, till the waves cast me up on this island.” When he heard this, he took my hand and saying, “Come with me,” carried me into a great Sardab, or underground chamber, which was spacious as a saloon. He made me sit down at its upper end; then he brought me somewhat of food and, being anhungered, I ate till I was satisfied and refreshed; and when he had put me at mine ease he questioned me of myself, and I told him all that had befallen me from first to last; and, as he wondered at my adventure, I said, “By Allah, O my lord, excuse me; I have told thee the truth of my case and the accident which betided me; and now I desire that thou tell me who thou art and why thou abidest here under the earth and why thou hast tethered yonder mare on the brink of the sea.” Answered he, “Know, that I am one of the several who are stationed in different parts of this island, and we are of the grooms of King Mihrjan[FN#10] and under our hand are all his horses. Every month, about new-moon tide we bring hither our best mares which have never been covered, and picket them on the sea-shore and hide ourselves in this place under the ground, so that none may espy us. Presently, the stallions of the sea scent the mares and come up out of the water and seeing no one, leap the mares and do their will of them. When they have covered them, they try to drag them away with them, but cannot, by reason of the leg-ropes; so they cry out at them and butt at them and kick them, which we hearing, know that the stallions have dismounted; so we run out and shout at them, whereupon they are startled and return in fear to the sea. Then the mares conceive by them and bear colts and fillies worth a mint of money, nor is their like to be found on earth’s face. This is the time of the coming forth of the sea-stallions; and Inshallah! I will bear thee to King Mihrjan”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Syce[FN#11] said to Sindbad the Seaman, “I will bear thee to King Mihrjan and show thee our country. And know that hadst thou not happened on us thou hadst perished miserably and none had known of thee: but I will be the means of the saving of thy life and of thy return to thine own land.” I called down blessings on him and thanked him for his kindness and courtesy; and, while we were yet talking, behold, the stallion came up out of the sea; and, giving a great cry, sprang upon the mare and covered her. When he had done his will of her, he dismounted and would have carried her away with him, but could not by reason of the tether. She kicked and cried out at him, whereupon the groom took a sword and target[FN#12] and ran out of the underground saloon, smiting the buckler with the blade and calling to his company, who came up shouting and brandishing spears; and the stallion took fright at them and plunging into the sea, like a buffalo, disappeared under the waves.[FN#13] After this we sat awhile, till the rest of the grooms came up, each leading a mare, and seeing me with their fellow-Syce, questioned me of my case and I repeated my story to them. Thereupon they drew near me and spreading the table, ate and invited me to eat; so I ate with them, after which they took horse and mounting me on one of the mares, set out with me and fared on without ceasing, till we came to the capital city of King Mihrjan, and going in to him acquainted him with my story. Then he sent for me, and when they set me before him and salams had been exchanged, he gave me a cordial welcome and wishing me long life bade me tell him my tale. So I related to him all that I had seen and all that had befallen me from first to last, whereat he marvelled and said to me, “By Allah, O my son, thou hast indeed been miraculously preserved! Were not the term of thy life a long one, thou hadst not escaped from these straits; but praised by Allah for safety!” Then he spoke cheerily to me and entreated me with kindness and consideration: moreover, he made me his agent for the port and registrar of all ships that entered the harbour. I attended him regularly, to receive his commandments, and he favoured me and did me all manner of kindness and invested me with costly and splendid robes. Indeed, I was high in credit with him, as an intercessor for the folk and an intermediary between them and him, when they wanted aught of him. I abode thus a great while and, as often as I passed through the city to the port, I questioned the merchants and travellers and sailors of the city of Baghdad; so haply I might hear of an occasion to return to my native land, but could find none who knew it or knew any who resorted thither. At this I was chagrined, for I was weary of long strangerhood; and my disappointment endured for a time till one day, going in to King Mihrjan, I found him with a company of Indians. I saluted them and they returned my salam; and politely welcomed me and asked me of my country.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman said:—When they asked me of my country I questioned them of theirs and they told me that they were of various castes, some being called Shakiriyah[FN#14] who are the noblest of their castes and neither oppress nor offer violence to any, and others Brahmans, a folk who abstain from wine, but live in delight and solace and merriment and own camels and horses and cattle. Moreover, they told me that the people of India are divided into two-and-seventy castes, and I marvelled at this with exceeding marvel. Amongst other things that I saw in King Mihrjan’s dominions was an island called Kásil,[FN#15] wherein all night is heard the beating of drums and tabrets; but we were told by the neighbouring islanders and by travellers that the inhabitants are people of diligence and judgment.[FN#16] In this sea I saw also a fish two hundred cubits long and the fishermen fear it; so they strike together pieces of wood and put it to flight.[FN#17] I also saw another fish, with a head like that of an owl, besides many other wonders and rarities, which it would be tedious to recount. I occupied myself thus in visiting the islands till, one day, as I stood in the port, with a staff in my hand, according to my custom, behold, a great ship, wherein were many merchants, came sailing for the harbour. When it reached the small inner port where ships anchor under the city, the master furled his sails and making fast to the shore, put out the landing-planks, whereupon the crew fell to breaking bulk and landing cargo whilst I stood by, taking written note of them. They were long in bringing the goods ashore so I asked the master, “Is there aught left in thy ship?”; and he answered, “O my lord, there are divers bales of merchandise in the hold, whose owner was drowned from amongst us at one of the islands on our course; so his goods remained in our charge by way of trust and we purpose to sell them and note their price, that we may convey it to his people in the city of Baghdad, the Home of Peace.” “What was the merchant’s name?” quoth I, and quoth he, “Sindbad the Seaman;” whereupon I straitly considered him and knowing him, cried out to him with a great cry, saying, “O captain, I am that Sindbad the Seaman who travelled with other merchants; and when the fish heaved and thou calledst to us some saved themselves and others sank, I being one of them. But Allah Almighty threw in my way a great tub of wood, of those the crew had used to wash withal, and the winds and waves carried me to this island, where by Allah’s grace, I fell in with King Mihrjan’s grooms and they brought me hither to the King their master. When I told him my story, he entreated me with favour and made me his harbour-master, and I have prospered in his service and found acceptance with him. These bales, therefore are mine, the goods which God hath given me.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sindbad the Seaman said to the captain, “These bales are mine, the goods which Allah hath given me,” the other exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily, there is neither conscience nor good faith left among men!” said I, “O Rais,[FN#18] what mean these words, seeing that I have told thee my case?” And he answered, “Because thou heardest me say that I had with me goods whose owner was drowned, thou thinkest to take them without right; but this is forbidden by law to thee, for we saw him drown before our eyes, together with many other passengers, nor was one of them saved. So how canst thou pretend that thou art the owner of the goods?” “O captain,” said I, “listen to my story and give heed to my words, and my truth will be manifest to thee; for lying and leasing are the letter-marks of the hypocrites.” Then I recounted to him all that had befallen me since I sailed from Baghdad with him to the time when we came to the fish-island where we were nearly drowned; and I reminded him of certain matters which had passed between us; whereupon both he and the merchants were certified at the truth of my story and recognized me and gave me joy of my deliverance, saying, “By Allah, we thought not that thou hadst escaped drowning! But the Lord hath granted thee new life.” Then they delivered my bales to me, and I found my name written thereon, nor was aught thereof lacking. So I opened them and making up a present for King Mihrjan of the finest and costliest of the contents, caused the sailors carry it up to the palace, where I went in to the King and laid my present at his feet, acquainting him with what had happened, especially concerning the ship and my goods; whereat he wondered with exceeding wonder and the truth of all that I had told him was made manifest to him. His affection for me redoubled after that and he showed me exceeding honour and bestowed on me a great present in return for mine. Then I sold my bales and what other matters I owned making a great profit on them, and bought me other goods and gear of the growth and fashion of the island-city. When the merchants were about to start on their homeward voyage, I embarked on board the ship all that I possessed, and going in to the King, thanked him for all his favours and friendship and craved his leave to return to my own land and friends. He farewelled me and bestowed on me great store of the country-stuffs and produce; and I took leave of him and embarked. Then we set sail and fared on nights and days, by the permission of Allah Almighty; and Fortune served us and Fate favoured us, so that we arrived in safety at Bassorah-city where I landed rejoiced at my safe return to my natal soil. After a short stay, I set out for Baghdad, the House of Peace, with store of goods and commodities of great price. Reaching the city in due time, I went straight to my own quarter and entered my house where all my friends and kinsfolk came to greet me. Then I bought me eunuchs and concubines, servants and negro slaves till I had a large establishment, and I bought me houses, and lands and gardens, till I was richer and in better case than before, and returned to enjoy the society of my friends and familiars more assiduously than ever, forgetting all I had suffered of fatigue and hardship and strangerhood and every peril of travel; and I applied myself to all manner joys and solaces and delights, eating the dantiest viands and drinking the deliciousest wines; and my wealth allowed this state of things to endure. “This, then, is the story of my first voyage, and to-morrow, Inshallah! I will tell you the tale of the second of my seven voyages.” (Saith he who telleth the tale), Then Sindbad the Seaman made Sindbad the Landsman sup with him and bade give him an hundred gold pieces, saying, “Thou hast cheered us with thy company this day.”[FN#19] The Porter thanked him and, taking the gift, went his way, pondering that which he had heard and marvelling mightily at what things betide mankind. He passed the night in his own place and with early morning repaired to the abode of Sindbad the Seaman, who received him with honour and seated him by his side. As soon as the rest of the company was assembled, he set meat and drink before them and, when they had well eaten and drunken and were merry and in cheerful case, he took up his discourse and recounted to them in these words the narrative of

The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

Know, O my brother, that I was living a most comfortable and enjoyable life, in all solace and delight, as I told you yesterday,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sindbad the Seaman’s guests were all gathered together he thus bespake them:—I was living a most enjoyable life until one day my mind became possessed with the thought of travelling about the world of men and seeing their cities and islands; and a longing seized me to traffic and to make money by trade. Upon this resolve I took a great store of cash and, buying goods and gear fit for travel, bound them up in bales. Then I went down to the river-bank, where I found a noble ship and brand-new about to sail, equipped with sails of fine cloth and well manned and provided; so I took passage in her, with a number of other merchants, and after embarking our goods we weighed anchor the same day. Right fair was our voyage and we sailed from place to place and from isle to isle; and whenever we anchored we met a crowd of merchants and notables and customers, and we took to buying and selling and bartering. At last Destiny brought us to an island, fair and verdant, in trees abundant, with yellow-ripe fruits luxuriant, and flowers fragrant and birds warbling soft descant; and streams crystalline and radiant; but no sign of man showed to the descrier, no, not a blower of the fire.[FN#20] The captain made fast with us to this island, and the merchants and sailors landed and walked about, enjoying the shade of the trees and the song of the birds, that chanted the praises of the One, the Victorious, and marvelling at the works of the Omnipotent King.[FN#21] I landed with the rest; and, sitting down by a spring of sweet water that welled up among the trees, took out some vivers I had with me and ate of that which Allah Almighty had allotted unto me. And so sweet was the zephyr and so fragrant were the flowers, that presently I waxed drowsy and, lying down in that place, was soon drowned in sleep. When I awoke, I found myself alone, for the ship had sailed and left me behind, nor had one of the merchants or sailors bethought himself of me. I seared the island right and left, but found neither man nor Jinn, whereat I was beyond measure troubled and my gall was like to burst for stress of chagrin and anguish and concern, because I was left quite alone, without aught of worldly gear or meat or drink, weary and heart-broken. So I gave myself up for lost and said, “Not always doth the crock escape the shock. I was saved the first time by finding one who brought me from the desert island to an inhabited place, but now there is no hope for me.” Then I fell to weeping and wailing and gave myself up to an access of rage, blaming myself for having again ventured upon the perils and hardships of voyage, whenas I was at my ease in mine own house in mine own land, taking my pleasure with good meat and good drink and good clothes and lacking nothing, neither money nor goods. And I repented me of having left Baghdad, and this the more after all the travails and dangers I had undergone in my first voyage, wherein I had so narrowly escaped destruction, and exclaimed “Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him we are returning!” I was indeed even as one mad and Jinn-struck and presently I rose and walked about the island, right and left and every whither, unable for trouble to sit or tarry in any one place. Then I climbed a tall tree and looked in all directions, but saw nothing save sky and sea and trees and birds and isles and sands. However, after a while my eager glances fell upon some great white thing, afar off in the interior of the island; so I came down from the tree and made for that which I had seen; and behold, it was a huge white dome rising high in air and of vast compass. I walked all around it, but found no door thereto, nor could I muster strength or nimbleness by reason of its exceeding smoothness and slipperiness. So I marked the spot where I stood and went round about the dome to measure its circumference which I found fifty good paces. And as I stood, casting about how to gain an entrance the day being near its fall and the sun being near the horizon, behold, the sun was suddenly hidden from me and the air became dull and dark. Methought a cloud had come over the sun, but it was the season of summer; so I marvelled at this and lifting my head looked steadfastly at the sky, when I saw that the cloud was none other than an enormous bird, of gigantic girth and inordinately wide of wing which, as it flew through the air, veiled the sun and hid it from the island. At this sight my wonder redoubled and I remembered a story,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued in these words:—My wonder redoubled and I remembered a story I had heard aforetime of pilgrims and travellers, how in a certain island dwelleth a huge bird, called the “Rukh”[FN#22] which feedeth its young on elephants; and I was certified that the dome which caught my sight was none other than a Rukh’s egg. As I looked and wondered at the marvellous works of the Almighty, the bird alighted on the dome and brooded over it with its wings covering it and its legs stretched out behind it on the ground, and in this posture it fell asleep, glory be to Him who sleepeth not! When I saw this, I arose and, unwinding my turband from my head, doubled it and twisted it into a rope, with which I girt my middle and bound my waist fast to the legs of the Rukh, saying in myself, “Peradventure, this bird may carry me to a land of cities and inhabitants, and that will be better than abiding in this desert island.” I passed the night watching and fearing to sleep, lest the bird should fly away with me unawares; and, as soon as the dawn broke and morn shone, the Rukh rose off its egg and spreading its wings with a great cry flew up into the air dragging me with it; nor ceased it to soar and to tower till I thought it had reached the limit of the firmament; after which it descended, earthwards, little by little, till it lighted on the top of a high hill. As soon as I found myself on the hard ground, I made haste to unbind myself, quaking for fear of the bird, though it took no heed of me nor even felt me; and, loosing my turband from its feet, I made off with my best speed. Presently, I saw it catch up in its huge claws something from the earth and rise with it high in air, and observing it narrowly I saw it to be a serpent big of bulk and gigantic of girth, wherewith it flew away clean out of sight. I marvelled at this and faring forwards found myself on a peak overlooking a valley, exceeding great and wide and deep, and bounded by vast mountains that spired high in air: none could descry their summits, for the excess of their height, nor was any able to climb up thereto. When I saw this, I blamed myself for that which I had done and said, “Would Heaven I had tarried in the island! It was better than this wild desert; for there I had at least fruits to eat and water to drink, and here are neither trees nor fruits nor streams. But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily, as often as I am quit of one peril, I fall into a worse danger and a more grievous.” However, I took courage and walking along the Wady found that its soil was of diamond, the stone wherewith they pierce minerals and precious stones and porcelain and the onyx, for that it is a dense stone and a dure, whereon neither iron nor hardhead hath effect, neither can we cut off aught therefrom nor break it, save by means of leadstone.[FN#23] Moreover, the valley swarmed with snakes and vipers, each big as a palm tree, that would have made but one gulp of an elephant; and they came out by night, hiding during the day, lest the Rukhs and eagles pounce on them and tear them to pieces, as was their wont, why I wot not. And I repented of what I had done and said, “By Allah, I have made haste to bring destruction upon myself!” The day began to wane as I went along and I looked about for a place where I might pass the night, being in fear of the serpents; and I took no thought of meat and drink in my concern for my life. Presently, I caught sight of a cave nearhand, with a narrow doorway; so I entered and seeing a great stone close to the mouth, I rolled it up and stopped the entrance, saying to myself, “I am safe here for the night; and as soon as it is day, I will go forth and see what destiny will do.” Then I looked within the cave and saw to the upper end a great serpent brooding on her eggs, at which my flesh quaked and my hair stood on end; but I raised my eyes to Heaven and, committing my case to fate and lot, abode all that night without sleep till daybreak, when I rolled back the stone from the mouth of the cave and went forth, staggering like a drunken man and giddy with watching and fear and hunger. As in this sore case I walked along the valley, behold, there fell down before me a slaughtered beast; but I saw no one, whereat I marvelled with great marvel and presently remembered a story I had heard aforetime of traders and pilgrims and travellers; how the mountains where are the diamonds are full of perils and terrors, nor can any fare through them; but the merchants who traffic in diamonds have a device by which they obtain them, that is to say, they take a sheep and slaughter and skin it and cut it in pieces and cast them down from the mountain-tops into the valley-sole, where the meat being fresh and sticky with blood, some of the gems cleave to it. There they leave it till mid-day, when the eagles and vultures swoop down upon it and carry it in their claws to the mountain-summits, whereupon the merchants come and shout at them and scare them away from the meat. Then they come and, taking the diamonds which they find sticking to it, go their ways with them and leave the meat to the birds and beasts; nor can any come at the diamonds but by this device,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued his relation of what befel him in the Mountain of Diamonds, and informed them that the merchants cannot come at the diamonds save by the device aforesaid. So, when I saw the slaughtered beast fall (he pursued) and bethought me of the story, I went up to it and filled my pockets and shawl-girdle and turband and the folds of my clothes with the choicest diamonds; and, as I was thus engaged, down fell before me another great piece of meat. Then with my unrolled turband and lying on my back, I set the bit on my breast so that I was hidden by the meat, which was thus raised above the ground. Hardly had I gripped it, when an eagle swooped down upon the flesh and, seizing it with his talons, flew up with it high in air and me clinging thereto, and ceased not its flight till it alighted on the head of one of the mountains where, dropping the carcass he fell to rending it; but, behold, there arose behind him a great noise of shouting and clattering of wood, whereat the bird took fright and flew away. Then I loosed off myself the meat, with clothes daubed with blood therefrom, and stood up by its side; whereupon up came the merchant, who had cried out at the eagle, and seeing me standing there, bespoke me not, but was affrighted at me and shook with fear. However, he went up to the carcass and turning it over, found no diamonds sticking to it, whereat he gave a great cry and exclaimed, “Harrow, my disappointment! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah with whom we seek refuge from Satan the stoned!” And he bemoaned himself and beat hand upon hand, saying, “Alas, the pity of it! How cometh this?” Then I went up to him and he said to me, “Who art thou and what causeth thee to come hither?” And I, “Fear not, I am a man and a good man and a merchant. My story is a wondrous and my adventures marvellous and the manner of my coming hither is prodigious. So be of good cheer, thou shalt receive of me what shall rejoice thee, for I have with me great plenty of diamonds and I will give thee thereof what shall suffice thee; for each is better than aught thou couldst get otherwise. So fear nothing.” The man rejoiced thereat and thanked and blessed me; then we talked together till the other merchants, hearing me in discourse with their fellow, came up and saluted me; for each of them had thrown down his piece of meat. And as I went off with them I told them my whole story, how I had suffered hardships at sea and the fashion of my reaching the valley. But I gave the owner of the meat a number of the stones I had by me, so they all wished me joy of my escape, saying, “By Allah a new life hath been decreed to thee, for none ever reached yonder valley and came off thence alive before thee; but praised be Allah for thy safety!” We passed the night together in a safe and pleasant place, beyond measure rejoiced at my deliverance from the Valley of Serpents and my arrival in an inhabited land; and on the morrow we set out and journeyed over the mighty range of mountains, seeing many serpents in the valley, till we came to a fair great island, wherein was a garden of huge camphor trees under each of which an hundred men might take shelter. When the folk have a mind to get camphor, they bore into the upper part of the bole with a long iron; whereupon the liquid camphor, which is the sap of the tree, floweth out and they catch it in vessels, where it concreteth like gum; but, after this, the tree dieth and becometh firewood.[FN#24] Moreover, there is in this island a kind of wild beast, called “Rhinoceros,”[FN#25] that pastureth as do steers and buffalos with us; but it is a huge brute, bigger of body than the camel and like it feedeth upon the leaves and twigs of trees. It is a remarkable animal with a great and thick horn, ten cubits long, amiddleward its head; wherein, when cleft in twain, is the likeness of a man. Voyagers and pilgrims and travellers declare that this beast called “Karkadan” will carry off a great elephant on its horn and graze about the island and the sea-coast therewith and take no heed of it, till the elephant dieth and its fat, melting in the sun, runneth down into the rhinoceros’s eyes and blindeth him, so that he lieth down on the shore. Then comes the bird Rukh and carrieth off both the rhinoceros’s eyes and blindeth him, so that he lieth down on the shore. Then comes the bird Rukh and carrieth off both the rhinoceros and that which is on its horn to feed its young withal. Moreover, I saw in this island many kinds of oxen and buffalos, whose like are not found in our country. Here I sold some of the diamonds which I had by me for gold dinars and silver dirhams and bartered others for the produce of the country; and, loading them upon beasts of burden, fared on with the merchants from valley to valley and town to town, buying and selling and viewing foreign countries and the works and creatures of Allah, till we came to Bassorah-city, where we abode a few days, after which I continued my journey to Baghdad.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sindbad the Seaman returned from his travel to Baghdad, the House of Peace, he arrived at home with great store of diamonds and money and goods. (Continued he) I foregathered with my friends and relations and gave alms and largesse and bestowed curious gifts and made presents to all my friends and companions. Then I betook myself to eating well and drinking well and wearing fine clothes and making merry with my fellows, and forgot all my sufferings in the pleasures of return to the solace and delight of life, with light heart and broadened breast. And every one who heard of my return came and questioned me of my adventures and of foreign countries, and I related to them all that had befallen me, and the much I had suffered, whereat they wondered and gave me joy of my safe return. “This, then is the end of the story of my second voyage; and to-morrow, Inshallah! I will tell you what befel me in my third voyage.” The company marvelled at his story and supped with him; after which he ordered an hundred dinars of gold to be given to the Porter, who took the sum with many thanks and blessings (which he stinted not even when he reached home) and went his way, wondering at what he had heard. Next morning as soon as day came in its sheen and shone, he rose and praying the dawn-prayer, repaired to the house of Sindbad the Seaman, even as he had bidden him, and went in and gave him good-morrow. The merchant welcomed him and made him sit with him, till the rest of the company arrived; and when they had well eaten and drunken and were merry with joy and jollity, their host began by saying, “Hearken, O my brothers, to what I am about to tell you; for it is even more wondrous than what you have already heard; but Allah alone kenneth what things His Omniscience concealed from man! And listen to

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

As I told you yesterday, I returned from my second voyage overjoyed at my safety and with great increase of wealth, Allah having requited me all that I had wasted and lost, and I abode awhile in Baghdad-city savouring the utmost ease and prosperity and comfort and happiness, till the carnal man was once more seized with longing for travel and diversion and adventure, and yearned after traffic and lucre and emolument, for that the human heart is naturally prone to evil. So making up my mind I laid in great plenty of goods suitable for a sea-voyage and repairing to Bassorah, went down to the shore and found there a fine ship ready to sail, with a full crew and a numerous company of merchants, men of worth and substance; faith, piety and consideration. I embarked with them and we set sail on the blessing of Allah Almighty and on His aidance and His favour to bring our voyage to a safe and prosperous issue and already we congratulated one another on our good fortune and boon voyage. We fared on from sea to sea and from island to island and city to city, in all delight and contentment, buying and selling wherever we touched, and taking our solace and our pleasure, till one day when, as we sailed athwart the dashing sea, swollen with clashing billows, behold, the master (who stood on the gunwale examining the ocean in all directions) cried out with a great cry, and buffeted his face and pluckt out his beard and rent his raiment, and bade furl the sail and cast the anchors. So we said to him, “O Rais, what is the matter?” “Know, O my brethren (Allah preserve you!), that the wind hath gotten the better of us and hath driven us out of our course into mid-ocean, and destiny, for our ill luck, hath brought us to the Mountain of the Zughb, a hairy folk like apes,[FN#26] among whom no man ever fell and came forth alive; and my heart presageth that we all be dead men.” Hardly had the master made an end of his speech when the apes were upon us. They surrounded the ship on all sides swarming like locusts and crowding the shore. They were the most frightful of wild creatures, covered with black hair like felt, foul of favour and small of stature, being but four spans high, yellow-eyed and black-faced; none knoweth their language nor what they are, and they shun the company of men. We feared to slay them or strike them or drive them away, because of their inconceivable multitude; lest, if we hurt one, the rest fall on us and slay us, for numbers prevail over courage; so we let them do their will, albeit we feared they would plunder our goods and gear. They swarmed up the cables and gnawed them asunder, and on like wise they did with all the ropes of the ship, so that it fell off from the wind and stranded upon their mountainous coast. Then they laid hands on all the merchants and crew, and landing us on the island, made off with the ship and its cargo and went their ways, we wot not whither. We were thus left on the island, eating of its fruits and pot-herbs and drinking of its streams till, one day, we espied in its midst what seemed an inhabited house. So we made for it as fast as our feet could carry us and behold, it was a castle strong and tall, compassed about with a lofty wall, and having a two-leaved gate of ebony-wood both of which leaves open stood. We entered and found within a space wide and bare like a great square, round which stood many high doors open thrown, and at the farther end a long bench of stone and brasiers, with cooking gear hanging thereon and about it great plenty of bones; but we saw no one and marvelled thereat with exceeding wonder. Then we sat down in the courtyard a little while and presently falling asleep, slept from the forenoon till sundown, when lo! the earth trembled under our feet and the air rumbled with a terrible tone. Then there came down upon us, from the top of the castle, a huge creature in the likeness of a man, black of colour, tall and big of bulk, as he were a great date-tree, with eyes like coals of fire and eye-teeth like boar’s tusks and a vast big gape like the mouth of a well. Moreover, he had long loose lips like camel’s, hanging down upon his breast and ears like two Jarms[FN#27] falling over his shoulder-blades and the nails of his hands were like the claws of a lion.[FN#28] When we saw this frightful giant, we were like to faint and every moment increased our fear and terror; and we became as dead men for excess of horror and affright.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—When we saw this frightful giant we were struck with exceeding terror and horror. And after trampling upon the earth, he sat awhile on the bench; then he arose and coming to us seized me by the arm choosing me out from among my comrades the merchants. He took me up in his hand and turning me over felt me, as a butcher feeleth a sheep he is about to slaughter, and I but a little mouthful in his hands; but finding me lean and fleshless for stress of toil and trouble and weariness, let me go and took up another, whom in like manner he turned over and felt and let go; nor did he cease to feel and turn over the rest of us, one after another, till he came to the master of the ship. Now he was a sturdy, stout, broad-shouldered wight, fat and in full vigour; so he pleased the giant, who seized him, as a butcher seizeth a beast, and throwing him down, set his foot on his neck and brake it; after which he fetched a long spit and thrusting it up his backside, brought it forth of the crown of his head. Then, lighting a fierce fire, he set over it the spit with the Rais thereon, and turned it over the coals, till the flesh was roasted, when he took the spit off the fire and set it like a Kabáb-stick before him. Then he tare the body, limb from limb, as one jointeth a chicken and, rending the flesh with his nails, fell to eating of it and gnawing the bones, till there was nothing left but some of these, which he threw on one side of the wall. This done, he sat for a while; then he lay down on the stone-bench and fell asleep, snarking and snoring like the gurgling of a lamb or a cow with its throat cut; nor did he awake till morning, when he rose and fared forth and went his ways. As soon as we were certified that he was gone, we began to talk with one another, weeping and bemoaning ourselves for the risk we ran, and saying, “Would Heaven we had been drowned in the sea or that the apes had eaten us! That were better than to be roasted over the coals; by Allah, this is a vile, foul death! But whatso the Lord willeth must come to pass and there is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Him, the Glorious, the Great! We shall assuredly perish miserably and none will know of us; as there is no escape for us from this place.” Then we arose and roamed about the island, hoping that haply we might find a place to hide us in or a means of flight, for indeed death was a light matter to us, provided we were not roasted over the fire[FN#29] and eaten. However, we could find no hiding-place and the evening overtook us; so, of the excess of our terror, we returned to the castle and sat down awhile. Presently, the earth trembled under our feet and the black ogre came up to us and turning us over, felt one after other, till he found a man to his liking, whom he took and served as he had done the captain, killing and roasting and eating him: after which he lay down on the bench[FN#30] and slept all night, snarking and snoring like a beast with its throat cut, till daybreak, when he arose and went out as before. Then we drew together and conversed and said one to other, “By Allah, we had better throw ourselves into the sea and be drowned than die roasted; for this is an abominable death!” Quoth one of us, “Hear ye my words! let us cast about to kill him, and be at peace from the grief of him and rid the Moslems of his barbarity and tyranny.” Then said I, “Hear me, O my brothers; if there is nothing for it but to slay him, let us carry some of this firewood and planks down to the sea-shore and make us a boat wherein, if we succeed in slaughtering him, we may either embark and let the waters carry us whither Allah willeth, or else abide here till some ship pass, when we will take passage in it. If we fail to kill him, we will embark in the boat and put out to sea; and if we be drowned, we shall at least escape being roasted over a kitchen fire with sliced weasands; whilst, if we escape, we escape, and if we be drowned, we die martyrs.” “By Allah,” said they all, “this rede is a right;” and we agreed upon this, and set about carrying it out. So we haled down to the beach the pieces of wood which lay about the bench; and, making a boat, moored it to the strand, after which we stowed therein somewhat of victual and returned to the castle. As soon as evening fell the earth trembled under our feet and in came the blackamoor upon us, snarling like a dog about to bite. He came up to us and feeling us and turning us over one by one, took one of us and did with him as he had done before and ate him, after which he lay down on the bench and snored and snorted like thunder. As soon as we were assured that he slept, we arose and taking two iron spits of those standing there, heated them in the fiercest of the fire, till they were red-hot, like burning coals, when we gripped fast hold of them and going up to the giant, as he lay snoring on the bench, thrust them into his eyes and pressed upon them, all of us, with our united might, so that his eyeballs burst and he became stone blind. Thereupon he cried with a great cry, whereat our hearts trembled, and springing up from the bench, he fell a-groping after us, blind-fold. We fled from him right and left and he saw us not, for his sight was altogether blent; but we were in terrible fear of him and made sure we were dead men despairing of escape. Then he found the door, feeling for it with his hands and went out roaring aloud; and behold, the earth shook under us, for the noise of his roaring, and we quaked for fear. As he quitted the castle we followed him and betook ourselves to the place where we had moored our boat, saying to one another, “If this accursed abide absent till the going down of the sun and come not to the castle, we shall know that he is dead; and if he come back, we will embark in the boat and paddle till we escape, committing our affair to Allah.” But, as we spoke, behold, up came the blackamoor with other two as they were Ghuls, fouler and more frightful than he, with eyes like red-hot coals; which when we saw, we hurried into the boat and casting off the moorings paddled away and pushed out to sea.[FN#31] As soon as the ogres caught sight of us, they cried out at us and running down to the sea-shore, fell a-pelting us with rocks, whereof some fell amongst us and others fell into the sea. We paddled with all our might till we were beyond their reach, but the most part of us were slain by the rock-throwing, and the winds and waves sported with us and carried us into the midst of the dashing sea, swollen with billows clashing. We knew not whither we went and my fellows died one after another, till there remained but three, myself and two others;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman thus continued:—Most part of us were slain by the rock-thowing and only three of us remained on board the boat for, as often as one died, we threw him into the sea. We were sore exhausted for stress of hunger, but we took courage and heartened one another and worked for dear life and paddled with main and might, till the winds cast us upon an island, as we were dead men for fatigue and fear and famine. We landed on the island and walked about it for a while, finding that it abounded in trees and streams and birds; and we ate of the fruits and rejoiced in our escape from the black and our deliverance from the perils of the sea; and thus we did till nightfall, when we lay down and fell asleep for excess of fatigue. But we had hardly closed our eyes before we were aroused by a hissing sound like the sough of wind, and awaking, saw a serpent like a dragon, a seld-seen sight, of monstrous make and belly of enormous bulk which lay in a circle around us. Presently it reared its head and, seizing one of my companions, swallowed him up to his shoulders; then it gulped down the rest of him, and we heard his ribs crack in its belly. Presently it went its way, and we abode in sore amazement and grief for our comrade and mortal fear for ourselves, saying, “By Allah, this is a marvellous thing! Each kind of death that threatened us is more terrible than the last. We were rejoicing in our escape from the black ogre and our deliverance from the perils of the sea; but now we have fallen into that which is worse. There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! By the Almighty, we have escaped from the blackamoor and from drowning: but how shall we escape from this abominable and viperish monster?” Then we walked about the island, eating of its fruits and drinking of its streams till dusk, when we climbed up into a high tree and went to sleep there, I being on the topmost bough. As soon as it was dark night, up came the serpent, looking right and left; and, making for the tree whereon we were, climbed up to my comrade and swallowed him down to his shoulders. Then it coiled about the bole[FN#32] with him, whilst I, who could not take my eyes off the sight, heard his bones crack in its belly, and it swallowed him whole, after which it slid down from the tree. When the day broke and the light showed me that the serpent was gone, I came down, as I were a dead man for stress of fear and anguish, and thought to cast myself into the sea and be at rest from the woes of the world; but could not bring myself to this, for verily life is dear. So I took five pieces of wood, broad and long, and bound one crosswise to the soles of my feet and others in like fashion on my right and left sides and over my breast; and the broadest and largest I bound across my head and made them fast with ropes. Then I lay down on the ground on my back, so that I was completely fenced in by the pieces of wood, which enclosed me like a bier.[FN#33] So as soon as it was dark, up came the serpent, as usual, and made towards me, but could not get at me to swallow me for the wood that fenced me in. So it wriggled round me on every side, whilst I looked on, like one dead by reason of my terror; and every now and then it would glide away and come back; but as often as it tried to come at me, it was hindered by the pieces of wood wherewith I had bound myself on every side. It ceased not to beset me thus from sundown till dawn, but when the light of day shone upon the beast it made off, in the utmost fury and extreme disappointment. Then I put out my hand and unbound myself, well-nigh down among the dead men for fear and suffering; and went down to the island-shore, whence a ship afar off in the midst of the waves suddenly struck my sight. So I tore off a great branch of a tree and made signs with it to the crew, shouting out the while; which when the ship’s company saw they said to another, “We must stand in and see what this is; peradventure ’tis a man.” So they made for the island and presently heard my cries, whereupon they took me on board and questioned me of my case. I told them all my adventures from first to last, whereat they marvelled mightily and covered my shame[FN#34] with some of their clothes. Moreover, they set before me somewhat of food and I ate my fill and I drank cold sweet water and was mightily refreshed; and Allah Almighty quickened me after I was virtually dead. So I praised the Most Highest and thanked Him for His favours and exceeding mercies, and my heart revived in me after utter despair, till meseemed as if all I had suffered were but a dream I had dreamed. We sailed on with a fair wind the Almighty sent us till we came to an island, called Al-Saláhitah,[FN#35] which aboundeth in sandal-wood when the captain cast anchor,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—And when we had cast anchor, the merchants and the sailors landed with their goods to sell and to buy. Then the captain turned to me and said, “Hark’ee, thou art a stranger and a pauper and tellest us that thou hast undergone frightful hardship; wherefore I have a mind to benefit thee with somewhat that may further thee to thy native land, so thou wilt ever bless me and pray for me.” “So be it,” answered I; “thou shalt have my prayers.” Quoth he, “Know then that there was with us a man, a traveller, whom we lost, and we know not if he be alive or dead, for we had no news of him; so I purpose to commit his bales of goods to thy charge, that thou mayst sell them in this island. A part of the proceeds we will give thee as an equivalent for thy pains and service, and the rest we will keep till we return to Baghdad, where we will enquire for his family and deliver it to them, together with the unsold goods. Say me then, wilt thou undertake the charge and land and sell them as other merchants do?” I replied “Hearkening and obedience to thee, O my lord; and great is thy kindness to me,” and thanked him; whereupon he bade the sailors and porters bear the bales in question ashore and commit them to my charge. The ship’s scribe asked him, “O master, what bales are these and what merchant’s name shall I write upon them?”; and he answered, “Write on them the name of Sindbad the Seaman, him who was with us in the ship and whom we lost at the Rukh’s island, and of whom we have no tidings; for we mean this stranger to sell them; and we will give him a part of the price for his pains and keep the rest till we return to Baghdad where, if we find the owner we will make it over to him, and if not, to his family.” And the clerk said, “Thy words are apposite and thy rede is right.” Now when I heard the captain give orders for the bales to be inscribed with my name, I said to myself, “By Allah, I am Sindbad the Seaman!” So I armed myself with courage and patience and waited till all the merchants had landed and were gathered together, talking and chaffering about buying and selling; then I went up to the captain and asked him, “O my lord, knowest thou what manner of man was this Sindbad, whose goods thou hast committed to me for sale?”; and he answered, “I know of him naught save that he was a man from Baghdad-city, Sindbad hight the Seaman, who was drowned with many others when we lay anchored at such an island and I have heard nothing of him since then.” At this I cried out with a great cry and said, “O captain, whom Allah keep! know that I am that Sindbad the Seaman and that I was not drowned, but when thou castest anchor at the island, I landed with the rest of the merchants and crew; and I sat down in a pleasant place by myself and ate somewhat of food I had with me and enjoyed myself till I became drowsy and was drowned in sleep; and when I awoke, I found no ship and none near me. These goods are my goods and these bales are my bales; and all the merchants who fetch jewels from the Valley of Diamonds saw me there and will bear me witness that I am the very Sindbad the Seaman; for I related to them everything that had befallen me and told them how you forgot me and left me sleeping on the island, and that betided me which betided me.” When the passengers and crew heard my words, they gathered about me and some of them believed me and others disbelieved; but presently, behold, one of the merchants, hearing me mention the Valley of Diamonds, came up to me and said to them, “Hear what I say, good people! When I related to you the most wonderful thing in my travels, and I told you that, at the time we cast down our slaughtered animals into the Valley of Serpents (I casting with the rest as was my wont), there came up a man hanging to mine, ye believed me not and gave me the lie.” “Yes,” quoth they, “thou didst tell us some such tale, but we had no call to credit thee.” He resumed, “Now this is the very man, by token that he gave me diamonds of great value, and high price whose like are not to be found, requiting me more than would have come up sticking to my quarter of meat; and I companied with him to Bassorah-city, where he took leave of us and went on to his native stead, whilst we returned to our own land. This is he; and he told us his name, Sindbad the Seaman, and how the ship left him on the desert island. And know ye that Allah hath sent him hither, so might the truth of my story be made manifest to you. Moreover, these are his goods for, when he first foregathered with us, he told us of them; and the truth of his words is patent.” Hearing the merchant’s speech the captain came up to me and considered me straitly awhile, after which he said, “What was the mark on thy bales?” “Thus and thus,” answered I, and reminded him of somewhat that had passed between him and me, when I shipped with him from Bassorah. Thereupon he was convinced that I was indeed Sindbad the Seaman and took me round the neck and gave me joy of my safety, saying, “By Allah, O my lord, thy case is indeed wondrous and thy tale marvellous; but lauded be Allah who hath brought thee and me together again, and who hath restored to thee thy goods and gear!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman thus continued:—“Alhamdolillah!” quoth the captain, “lauded be Allah who hath restored unto thee thy goods and gear.” Then I disposed of my merchandise to the best of my skill, and profited largely on them whereat I rejoiced with exceeding joy and congratulated myself on my safety and the recovery of my goods. We ceased not to buy and sell at the several islands till we came to the land of Hind, where we bought cloves and ginger and all manner spices; and thence we fared on to the land of Sind, where also we bought and sold. In these Indian seas, I saw wonders without number or count, amongst others a fish like a cow which bringeth forth its young and suckleth them like human beings; and of its skin bucklers are made.[FN#36] There were eke fishes like asses and camels[FN#37] and tortoises twenty cubits wide.[FN#38] And I saw also a bird that cometh out of a sea-shell and layeth eggs and hatcheth her chicks on the surface of the water, never coming up from the sea to the land.[FN#39] Then we set sail again with a fair wind and the blessing of Almighty Allah; and, after a prosperous voyage, arrived safe and sound at Bassorah. Here I abode a few days and presently returned to Baghdad where I went at once to my quarter and my house and saluted my family and familiars and friends. I had gained on this voyage what was beyond count and reckoning, so I gave alms and largesse and clad the widow and the orphan, by way of thanksgiving for my happy return, and fell to feasting and making merry with my companions and intimates and forgot, while eating well and drinking well and dressing well, everything that had befallen me and all the perils and hardships I had suffered. “These, then, are the most admirable things I sighted on my third voyage, and to-morrow, an it be the will of Allah, you shall come to me and I will relate the adventures of my fourth voyage, which is still more wonderful than those you have already heard.” (Saith he who telleth the tale), Then Sindbad the Seaman bade give Sindbad the Landsman an hundred golden dinars as of wont and called for food. So they spread the tables and the company ate the night-meal and went their ways, marvelling at the tale they had heard. The Porter after taking his gold passed the night in his own house, also wondering at what his namesake the Seaman had told him, and as soon as day broke and the morning showed with its sheen and shone, he rose and praying the dawn-prayer betook himself to Sindbad the Seaman, who returned his salute and received him with an open breast and cheerful favour and made him sit with him till the rest of the company arrived, when he caused set on food and they ate and drank and made merry. Then Sindbad the Seaman bespake them and related to them the narrative of

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

Know, O my brethren that after my return from my third voyage and foregathering with my friends, and forgetting all my perils and hardships in the enjoyment of ease and comfort and repose, I was visited one day by a company of merchants who sat down with me and talked of foreign travel and traffic, till the old bad man within me yearned to go with them and enjoy the sight of strange countries, and I longed for the society of the various races of mankind and for traffic and profit. So I resolved to travel with them and buying the necessaries for a long voyage, and great store of costly goods, more than ever before, transported them from Baghdad to Bassorah where I took ship with the merchants in question, who were of the chief of the town. We set out, trusting in the blessing of Almighty Allah; and with a favouring breeze and the best conditions we sailed from island to island and sea to sea, till, one day, there arose against us a contrary wind and the captain cast out his anchors and brought the ship to a standsill, fearing lest she should founder in mid-ocean. Then we all fell to prayer and humbling ourselves before the Most High; but, as we were thus engaged there smote us a furious squall which tore the sails to rags and tatters: the anchor-cable parted and, the ship foundering, we were cast into the sea, goods and all. I kept myself afloat by swimming half the day, till, when I had given myself up for lost, the Almighty threw in my way one of the planks of the ship, whereon I and some others of the merchants scrambled.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued as follows:—And when the ship foundered I scrambled on to a plank with some others of the merchants and, mounting it as we would a horse, paddled with our feet in the sea. We abode thus a day and a night, the wind and waves helping us on, and on the second day shortly before the mid-time between sunrise and noon[FN#40] the breeze freshened and the sea wrought and the rising waves cast us upon an island, well-nigh dead bodies for weariness and want of sleep, cold and hunger and fear and thirst. We walked about the shore and found abundance of herbs, whereof we ate enough to keep breath in body and to stay our failing spirits, then lay down and slept till morning hard by the sea. And when morning came with its sheen and shone, we arose and walked about the island to the right and left, till we came in sight of an inhabited house afar off. So we made towards it, and ceased not walking till we reached the door thereof when lo! a number of naked men issued from it and without saluting us or a word said, laid hold of us masterfully and carried us to their king, who signed us to sit. So we sat down and they set food before us such as we knew not[FN#41] and whose like we had never seen in all our lives. My companions ate of it, for stress of hunger, but my stomach revolted from it and I would not eat; and my refraining from it was, by Allah’s favour, the cause of my being alive till now: for no sooner had my comrades tasted of it than their reason fled and their condition changed and they began to devour it like madmen possessed of an evil spirit. Then the savages gave them to drink of cocoa-nut oil and anointed them therewith; and straightway after drinking thereof, their eyes turned into their heads and they fell to eating greedily, against their wont. When I saw this, I was confounded and concerned for them, nor was I less anxious about myself, for fear of the naked folk. So I watched them narrowly, and it was not long before I discovered them to be a tribe of Magian cannibals whose King was a Ghul.[FN#42] All who came to their country or whoso they caught in their valleys or on their roads they brought to this King and fed them upon that food and anointed them with that oil, whereupon their stomachs dilated that they might eat largely, whilst their reason fled and they lost the power of thought and became idiots. Then they stuffed them with cocoa-nut oil and the aforesaid food, till they became fat and gross, when they slaughtered them by cutting their throats and roasted them for the King’s eating; but, as for the savages themselves, they ate human flesh raw.[FN#43] When I saw this, I was sore dismayed for myself and my comrades, who were now become so stupefied that they knew not what was done with them and the naked folk committed them to one who used every day to lead them out and pasture them on the island like cattle. And they wandered amongst the trees and rested at will, thus waxing very fat. As for me, I wasted away and became sickly for fear and hunger and my flesh shrivelled on my bones; which when the savages saw, they left me alone and took no thought of me and so far forgot me that one day I gave them the slip and walking out of their place made for the beach which was distant and there espied a very old man seated on a high place, girt by the waters. I looked at him and knew him for the herdsman, who had charge of pasturing my fellows, and with him were many others in like case. As soon as he saw me, he knew me to be in possession of my reason and not afflicted like the rest whom he was pasturing; so signed to me from afar, as who should say, “Turn back and take the right-hand road, for that will lead thee into the King’s highway.” So I turned back, as he bade me, and followed the right-hand road, now running for fear and then walking leisurely to rest me, till I was out of the old man’s sight. By this time, the sun had gone down and the darkness set in; so I sat down to rest and would have slept, but sleep came not to me that night, for stress of fear and famine and fatigue. When the night was half spent, I rose and walked on, till the day broke in all its beauty and the sun rose over the heads of the lofty hills and athwart the low gravelly plains. Now I was weary and hungry and thirsty; so I ate my fill of herbs and grasses that grew in the island and kept life in body and stayed my stomach, after which I set out again and fared on all that day and the next night, staying my greed with roots and herbs; nor did I cease walking for seven days and their nights, till the morn of the eighth day, when I caught sight of a faint object in the distance. So I made towards it, though my heart quaked for all I had suffered first and last, and behold it was a company of men gathering pepper-grains.[FN#44] As soon as they saw me, they hastened up to me and surrounding me on all sides, said to me, “Who art thou and whence come?” I replied, “Know, O folk, that I am a poor stranger,” and acquainted them with my case and all the hardships and perils I had suffered,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—And the men gathering pepper in the island questioned me of my case, when I acquainted them with all the hardships and perils I had suffered and how I had fled from the savages; whereat they marvelled and gave me joy of my safety, saying, “By Allah, this is wonderful! But how didst thou escape from these blacks who swarm in the island and devour all who fall in with them; nor is any safe from them, nor can any get out of their clutches?” And after I had told them the fate of my companions, they made me sit by them, till they got quit of their work; and fetched me somewhat of good food, which I ate, for I was hungry, and rested awhile, after which they took ship with me and carrying me to their island-home brought me before their King, who returned my salute and received me honourably and questioned me of my case. I told him all that had befallen me, from the day of my leaving Baghdad-city, whereupon he wondered with great wonder at my adventures, he and his courtiers, and bade me sit by him; then he called for food and I ate with him what sufficed me and washed my hands and returned thanks to Almighty Allah for all His favours praising Him and glorifying Him. Then I left the King and walked for solace about the city, which I found wealthy and populous, abounding in market-streets well stocked with food and merchandise and full of buyers and sellers. So I rejoiced at having reached so pleasant a place and took my ease there after my fatigues; and I made friends with the townsfolk, nor was it long before I became more in honour and favour with them and their King than any of the chief men of the realm. Now I saw that all the citizens, great and small, rode fine horses, high-priced and thorough-bred, without saddles or housings, whereat I wondered and said to the King, “Wherefore, O my lord, dost thou not ride with a saddle? Therein is ease for the rider and increase of power.” “What is a saddle?” asked he: “I never saw nor used such a thing in all my life;” and I answered, “With thy permission I will make thee a saddle, that thou mayest ride on it and see the comfort thereof.” And quoth he, “Do so.” So quoth I to him, “Furnish me with some wood,” which being brought, I sought me a clever carpenter and sitting by him showed him how to make the saddle-tree, portraying for him the fashion thereof in ink on the wood. Then I took wool and teased it and made felt of it, and, covering the saddle-tree with leather, stuffed it and polished it and attached the girth and stirrup leathers; after which I fetched a blacksmith and described to him the fashion of the stirrups and bridle-bit. So he forged a fine pair of stirrups and a bit, and filed them smooth and tinned[FN#45] them. Moreover, I made fast to them fringes of silk and fitted bridle-leathers to the bit. Then I fetched one of the best of the royal horses and saddling and bridling him, hung the stirrups to the saddle and led him to the King. The thing took his fancy and he thanked me; then he mounted and rejoiced greatly in the saddle and rewarded me handsomely for my work. When the King’s Wazir saw the saddle, he asked of me one like it and I made it for him. Furthermore, all the grandees and officers of state came for saddles to me; so I fell to making saddles (having taught the craft to the carpenter and blacksmith), and selling them to all who sought, till I amassed great wealth and became in high honour and great favour with the King and his household and grandees. I abode thus till, one day, as I was sitting with the King in all respect and contentment, he said to me, “Know thou, O such an one, thou art become one of us, dear as a brother, and we hold thee in such regard and affection that we cannot part with thee nor suffer thee to leave our city; wherefore I desire of thee obedience in a certain matter, and I will not have thee gainsay me.” Answered I, “O King, what is it thou desirest of me? Far be it from me to gainsay thee in aught, for I am indebted to thee for many favours and bounties and much kindness, and (praised be Allah!) I am become one of thy servants.” Quoth he, “I have a mind to marry thee to a fair, clever and agreeable wife who is wealthy as she is beautiful; so thou mayst be naturalised and domiciled with us: I will lodge thee with me in my palace; wherefore oppose me not neither cross me in this.” When I heard these words I was ashamed and held my peace nor could make him any answer,[FN#46] by reason of my much bashfulness before him. Asked he, “Why dost thou not reply to me, O my son?”; and I answered saying, “O my master, it is thine to command, O King of the age!” So he summoned the Kazi and the witnesses and married me straightway to a lady of a noble tree and high pedigree; wealthy in moneys and means; the flower of an ancient race; of surpassing beauty and grace, and the owner of farms and estates and many a dwelling-place.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued in these words:—Now after the King my master had married me to this choice wife, he also gave me a great and goodly house standing alone, together with slaves and officers, and assigned me pay and allowances. So I became in all ease and contentment and delight and forgot everything which had befallen me of weariness and trouble and hardship; for I loved my wife with fondest love and she loved me no less, and we were as one and abode in the utmost comfort of life and in its happiness. And I said in myself, “When I return to my native land, I will carry her with me.” But whatso is predestined to a man, that needs must be, and none knoweth what shall befal him. We lived thus a great while, till Almighty Allah bereft one of my neighbours of his wife. Now he was a gossip of mine; so hearing the cry of the keeners I went in to condole with him on his loss and found him in very ill plight, full of trouble and weary of soul and mind. I condoled with him and comforted him, saying, “Mourn not for thy wife who hath now found the mercy of Allah; the Lord will surely give thee a better in her stead and thy name shall be great and thy life shall be long in the land, Inshallah!”[FN#47] But he wept bitter tears and replied, “O my friend, how can I marry another wife and how shall Allah replace her to me with a better than she, whenas I have but one day left to live?” “O my brother,” said I, “return to thy senses and announce not the glad tidings of thine own death, for thou art well, sound and in good case.” “By thy life, O my friend,” rejoined he, “to-morrow thou wilt lose me and wilt never see me again till the Day of Resurrection.” I asked, “How so?” and he answered, “This very day they bury my wife, and they bury me with her in one tomb; for it is the custom with us, if the wife die first, to bury the husband alive with her and in like manner the wife, if the husband die first; so that neither may enjoy life after losing his or her mate.” “By Allah,” cried I, “this is a most vile, lewd custom and not to be endured of any!” Meanwhile, behold, the most part of the townsfolk came in and fell to condoling with my gossip for his wife and for himself. Presently they laid the dead woman out, as was their wont; and, setting her on a bier, carried her and her husband without the city, till they came to a place in the side of the mountain at the end of the island by the sea; and here they raised a great rock and discovered the mouth of a stone-rivetted pit or well,[FN#48] leading down into a vast underground cavern that ran beneath the mountain. Into this pit they threw the corpse, then tying a rope of palm-fibres under the husband’s armpits, they let him down into the cavern, and with him a great pitcher of fresh water and seven scones by way of viaticum.[FN#49] When he came to the bottom, he loosed himself from the rope and they drew it up; and, stopping the mouth of the pit with the great stone, they returned to the city, leaving my friend in the cavern with his dead wife. When I saw this, I said to myself, “By Allah, this fashion of death is more grievous than the first!” And I went in to the King and said to him, “O my lord, why do ye bury the quick with the dead?” Quoth he, “It hath been the custom, thou must know, of our forbears and our olden Kings from time immemorial, if the husband die first, to bury his wife with him, and the like with the wife, so we may not sever them, alive or dead.” I asked, “O King of the age, if the wife of a foreigner like myself die among you, deal ye with him as with yonder man?”; and he answered, “Assuredly, we do with him even as thou hast seen.” When I heard this, my gall-bladder was like to burst, for the violence of my dismay and concern for myself: my wit became dazed; I felt as if in a vile dungeon; and hated their society; for I went about in fear lest my wife should die before me and they bury me alive with her. However, after a while, I comforted myself, saying, “Haply I shall predecease her, or shall have returned to my own land before she die, for none knoweth which shall go first and which shall go last.” Then I applied myself to diverting my mind from this thought with various occupations; but it was not long before my wife sickened and complained and took to her pillow and fared after a few days to the mercy of Allah; and the King and the rest of the folk came, as was their wont, to condole with me and her family and to console us for her loss and not less to condole with me for myself. Then the women washed her and arraying her in her richest raiment and golden ornaments, necklaces and jewellery, laid her on the bier and bore her to the mountain aforesaid, where they lifted the cover of the pit and cast her in; after which all my intimates and acquaintances and my wife’s kith and kin came round me, to farewell me in my lifetime and console me for my own death, whilst I cried out among them, saying, “Almighty Allah never made it lawful to bury the quick with the dead! I am a stranger, not one of your kind; and I cannot abear your custom, and had I known it I never would have wedded among you!” They heard me not and paid no heed to my words, but laying hold of me, bound me by force and let me down into the cavern, with a large gugglet of sweet water and seven cakes of bread, according to their custom. When I came to the bottom, they called out to me to cast myself loose from the cords, but I refused to do so; so they threw them down on me and, closing the mouth of the pit with the stones aforesaid, went their ways,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—When they left me in the cavern with my dead wife and, closing the mouth of the pit, went their ways, I looked about me and found myself in a vast cave full of dead bodies, that exhaled a fulsome and loathsome smell and the air was heavy with the groans of the dying. Thereupon I fell to blaming myself for what I had done, saying, “By Allah, I deserve all that hath befallen me and all that shall befal me! What curse was upon me to take a wife in this city? There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! As often as I say, I have escaped from one calamity, I fall into a worse. By Allah, this is an abominable death to die! Would Heaven I had died a decent death and been washed and shrouded like a man and a Moslem. Would I had been drowned at sea or perished in the mountains! It were better than to die this miserable death!” And on such wise I kept blaming my own folly and greed of gain in that black hole, knowing not night from day; and I ceased not to ban the Foul Fiend and to bless the Almighty Friend. Then I threw myself down on the bones of the dead and lay there, imploring Allah’s help and in the violence of my despair, invoking death which came not to me, till the fire of hunger burned my stomach and thirst set my throat aflame when I sat up and feeling for the bread, ate a morsel and upon it swallowed a mouthful of water. After this, the worst night I ever knew, I arose, and exploring the cavern, found that it extended a long way with hollows in its sides; and its floor was strewn with dead bodies and rotten bones, that had lain there from olden time. So I made myself a place in a cavity of the cavern, afar from the corpses lately thrown down and there slept. I abode thus a long while, till my provision was like to give out; and yet I ate not save once every day or second day; nor did I drink more than an occasional draught, for fear my victual should fail me before my death; and I said to myself, “Eat little and drink little; belike the Lord shall vouchsafe deliverance to thee!” One day, as I sat thus, pondering my case and bethinking me how I should do, when my bread and water should be exhausted, behold, the stone that covered the opening was suddenly rolled away and the light streamed down upon me. Quoth I, “I wonder what is the matter: haply they have brought another corpse.” Then I espied folk standing about the mouth of the pit, who presently let down a dead man and a live woman, weeping and bemoaning herself, and with her an ampler supply of bread and water than usual.[FN#50] I saw her and she was a beautiful woman; but she saw me not; and they closed up the opening and went away. Then I took the leg-bone of a dead man and, going up to the woman, smote her on the crown of the head; and she cried one cry and fell down in a swoon. I smote her a second and a third time, till she was dead, when I laid hands on her bread and water and found on her great plenty of ornaments and rich apparel, necklaces, jewels and gold trinkets;[FN#51] for it was their custom to bury women in all their finery. I carried the vivers to my sleeping place in the cavern-side and ate and drank of them sparingly, no more than sufficed to keep the life in me, lest the provaunt come speedily to an end and I perish of hunger and thirst. Yet did I never wholly lose hope in Almighty Allah. I abode thus a great while, killing all the live folk they let down into the cavern and taking their provisions of meat and drink; till one day, as I slept, I was awakened by something scratching and burrowing among the bodies in a corner of the cave and said, “What can this be?” fearing wolves or hyaenas. So I sprang up and seizing the leg-bone aforesaid, made for the noise. As soon as the thing was ware of me, it fled from me into the inward of the cavern, and lo! it was a wild beast. However, I followed it to the further end, till I saw afar off a point of light not bigger than a star, now appearing and then disappearing. So I made for it, and as I drew near, it grew larger and brighter, till I was certified that it was a crevice in the rock, leading to the open country; and I said to myself, “There must be some reason for this opening: either it is the mouth of a second pit, such as that by which they let me down, or else it is a natural fissure in the stonery.” So I bethought me awhile and nearing the light, found that it came from a breach in the back side of the mountain, which the wild beasts had enlarged by burrowing, that they might enter and devour the dead and freely go to and fro. When I saw this, my spirits revived and hope came back to me and I made sure of life, after having died a death. So I went on, as in a dream, and making shift to scramble through the breach found myself on the slope of a high mountain, overlooking the salt sea and cutting off all access thereto from the island, so that none could come at that part of the beach from the city.[FN#52] I praised my Lord and thanked Him, rejoicing greatly and heartening myself with the prospect of deliverance; then I returned through the crack to the cavern and brought out all the food and water I had saved up and donned some of the dead folk’s clothes over my own; after which I gathered together all the collars and necklaces of pearls and jewels and trinkets of gold and silver set with precious stones and other ornaments and valuables I could find upon the corpses; and, making them into bundles with the grave clothes and raiment of the dead, carried them out to the back of the mountain facing the sea-shore, where I established myself, purposing to wait there till it should please Almighty Allah to send me relief by means of some passing ship. I visited the cavern daily and as often as I found folk buried alive there, I killed them all indifferently, men and women, and took their victual and valuables and transported them to my seat on the sea-shore. Thus I abode a long while,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—And after carrying all my victuals and valuables from the cavern to the coast I abode a long while by the sea, pondering my case, till one day I caught sight of a ship passing in the midst of the clashing sea, swollen with dashing billows. So I took a piece of a white shroud I had with me and, tying it to a staff, ran along the sea-shore, making signals therewith and calling to the people in the ship, till they espied me and hearing my shouts, sent a boat to fetch me off. When it drew near, the crew called out to me, saying, “Who art thou and how camest thou to be on this mountain, whereon never saw we any in our born days?” I answered, “I am a gentleman[FN#53] and a merchant, who hath been wrecked and saved myself on one of the planks of the ship, with some of my goods; and by the blessing of the Almighty and the decrees of Destiny and my own strength and skill, after much toil and moil I have landed with my gear in this place where I awaited some passing ship to take me off.” So they took me in their boat together with the bundles I had made of the jewels and valuables from the cavern, tied up in clothes and shrouds, and rowed back with me to the ship, where the captain said to me, “How camest thou, O man, to yonder place on yonder mountain behind which lieth a great city? All my life I have sailed these seas and passed to and fro hard by these heights; yet never saw I here any living thing save wild beasts and birds.” I repeated to him the story I had told the sailors,[FN#54] but acquainted him with nothing of that which had befallen me in the city and the cavern, lest there should be any of the islandry in the ship. Then I took out some of the best pearls I had with me and offered them to the captain, saying, “O my lord, thou hast been the means of saving me off this mountain. I have no ready money; but take this from me in requital of thy kindness and good offices.” But he refused to accept it of me, saying, “When we find a shipwrecked man on the sea-shore or on an island, we take him up and give him meat and drink, and if he be naked we clothe him; nor take we aught from him; nay, when we reach a port of safety, we set him ashore with a present of our own money and entreat him kindly and charitably, for the love of Allah the Most High.” So I prayed that his life be long in the land and rejoiced in my escape, trusting to be delivered from my stress and to forget my past mishaps; for every time I remembered being let down into the cave with my dead wife I shuddered in horror. Then we pursued our voyage and sailed from island to island and sea to sea, till we arrived at the Island of the Bell, which containeth a city two days’ journey in extent, whence after a six days’ run we reached the Island Kala, hard by the land of Hind.[FN#55] This place is governed by a potent and puissant King and it produceth excellent camphor and an abundance of the Indian rattan: here also is a lead mine. At last by the decree of Allah, we arrived in safety at Bassorah-town where I tarried a few days, then went on to Baghdad-city, and, finding my quarter, entered my house with lively pleasure. There I foregathered with my family and friends, who rejoiced in my happy return and gave my joy of my safety. I laid up in my storehouses all the goods I had brought with me, and gave alms and largesse to Fakirs and beggars and clothed the widow and the orphan. Then I gave myself up to pleasure and enjoyment, returning to my old merry mode of life. “Such, then, be the most marvellous adventures of my fourth voyage, but to-morrow if you will kindly come to me, I will tell you that which befel me in my fifth voyage, which was yet rarer and more marvellous than those which forewent it. And thou, O my brother Sindbad the Landsman, shalt sup with me as thou art wont.” (Saith he who telleth the tale), When Sindbad the Seaman had made an end of his story, he called for supper; so they spread the table and the guests ate the evening meal; after which he gave the Porter an hundred dinars as usual, and he and the rest of the company went their ways, glad at heart and marvelling at the tales they had heard, for that each story was more extraordinary than that which forewent it. The porter Sindbad passed the night in his own house, in all joy and cheer and wonderment; and, as soon as morning came with its sheen and shone, he prayed the dawn-prayer and repaired to the house of Sindbad the Seaman, who welcomed him and bade him sit with him till the rest of the company arrived, when they ate and drank and made merry and the talk went round amongst them. Presently, their host began the narrative of the fifth voyage,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the host began in these words the narrative of

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

Know, O my brothers, that when I had been awhile on shore after my fourth voyage; and when, in my comfort and pleasures and merry-makings and in my rejoicing over my large gains and profits, I had forgotten all I had endured of perils and sufferings, the carnal man was again seized with the longing to travel and to see foreign countries and islands.[FN#56] Accordingly I bought costly merchandise suited to my purpose and, making it up into bales, repaired to Bassorah, where I walked about the river-quay till I found a fine tall ship, newly builded with gear unused and fitted ready for sea. She pleased me; so I bought her and, embarking my goods in her, hired a master and crew, over whom I set certain of my slaves and servants as inspectors. A number of merchants also brought their outfits and paid me freight and passage-money; then, after reciting the Fatihah we set sail over Allah’s pool in all joy and cheer, promising ourselves a prosperous voyage and much profit. We sailed from city to city and from island to island and from sea to sea viewing the cities and countries by which we passed, and selling and buying in not a few till one day we came to a great uninhabited island, deserted and desolate, whereon was a white dome of biggest bulk half buried in the sands. The merchants landed to examine this dome, leaving me in the ship; and when they drew near, behold, it was a huge Rukh’s egg. They fell a-beating it with stones, knowing not what it was, and presently broke it open, whereupon much water ran out of it and the young Rukh appeared within. So they pulled it forth of the shell and cut its throat and took of it great store of meat. Now I was in the ship and knew not what they did; but presently one of the passengers came up to me and said, “O my lord, come and look at the egg we thought to be a dome.” So I looked and seeing the merchants beating it with stones, called out to them, “Stop, stop! do not meddle with that egg, or the bird Rukh will come out and break our ship and destroy us.”[FN#57] But they paid no heed to me and gave not over smiting upon the egg, when behold, the day grew dark and dun and the sun was hidden from us, as if some great cloud had passed over the firmament.[FN#58] So we raised our eyes and saw that what we took for a cloud was the Rukh poised between us and the sun, and it was his wings that darkened the day. When he came and saw his egg broken, he cried a loud cry, whereupon his mate came flying up and they both began circling about the ship, crying out at us with voices louder than thunder. I called to the Rais and crew, “Put out to sea and seek safety in flight, before we be all destroyed.” So the merchants came on board and we cast off and made haste from the island to gain the open sea. When the Rukhs saw this, they flew off and we crowded all sail on the ship, thinking to get out of their country; but presently the two re-appeared and flew after us and stood over us, each carrying in its claws a huge boulder which it had brought from the mountains. As soon as the he-Rukh came up with us, he let fall upon us the rock he held in his pounces; but the master put about ship, so that the rock missed her by some small matter and plunged into the waves with such violence, that the ship pitched high and then sank into the trough of the sea and the bottom of the ocean appeared to us. Then the she-Rukh let fall her rock, which was bigger than that of her mate, and as Destiny had decreed, it fell on the poop of the ship and crushed it, the rudder flying into twenty pieces; whereupon the vessel foundered and all and everything on board were cast into the main.[FN#59] As for me I struggled for sweet life, till Almighty Allah threw in my way one of the planks of the ship, to which I clung and bestriding it, fell a-paddling with my feet. Now the ship had gone down hard by an island in the midst of the main and the winds and waves bore me on till, by permission of the Most High, they cast me up on the shore of the island, at the last gasp for toil and distress and half dead with hunger and thirst. So I landed more like a corpse than a live man and throwing myself down on the beach, lay there awhile, till I began to revive and recover spirits, when I walked about the island and found it as it were one of the garths and gardens of Paradise. Its trees, in abundance dight, bore ripe-yellow fruit for freight; its streams ran clear and bright; its flowers were fair to scent and to sight and its birds warbled with delight the praises of Him to whom belong permanence and all-might. So I ate my fill of the fruits and slaked my thirst with the water of the streams till I could no more and I returned thanks to the Most High and glorified Him;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—So when I escaped drowning and reached the island which afforded me fruit to eat and water to drink, I returned thanks to the Most High and glorified Him; after which I sat till nightfall, hearing no voice and seeing none inhabitant. Then I lay down, well-nigh dead for travail and trouble and terror, and slept without surcease till morning, when I arose and walked about under the trees, till I came to the channel of a draw-well fed by a spring of running water, by which well sat an old man of venerable aspect, girt about with a waist-cloth[FN#60] made of the fibre of palm-fronds.[FN#61] Quoth I to myself, “Haply this Shaykh is one of those who were wrecked in the ship and hath made his way to this island.” So I drew near to him and saluted him, and he returned my salam by signs, but spoke not; and I said to him, “O nuncle mine, what causeth thee to sit here?” He shook his head and moaned and signed to me with his hands as who should say, “Take me on thy shoulders and carry me to the other side of the well-channel.” And quoth I in my mind, “I will deal kindly with him and do what he desireth; it may be I shall win me a reward in Heaven for he may be a paralytic.” So I took him on my back and carrying him to the place whereat he pointed, said to him, “Dismount at thy leisure.” But he would not get off my back and wound his legs about my neck. I looked at them and seeing that they were like a buffalo’s hide for blackness and roughness,[FN#62] was affrighted and would have cast him off; but he clung to me and gripped my neck with his legs, till I was well-nigh choked, the world grew black in my sight and I fell senseless to the ground like one dead. But he still kept his seat and raising his legs drummed with his heels and beat harder than palm-rods my back and shoulders, till he forced me to rise for excess of pain. Then he signed to me with his hand to carry him hither and thither among the trees which bore the best fruits; and if ever I refused to do his bidding or loitered or took my leisure he beat me with his feet more grievously than if I had been beaten with whips. He ceased not to signal with his hand wherever he was minded to go; so I carried him about the island, like a captive slave, and he bepissed and conskited my shoulders and back, dismounting not night nor day; and whenas he wished to sleep he wound his legs about my neck and leaned back and slept awhile, then arose and beat me; whereupon I sprang up in haste, unable to gainsay him because of the pain he inflicted on me. And indeed I blamed myself and sore repented me of having taken compassion on him and continued in this condition, suffering fatigue not to be described, till I said to myself, “I wrought him a weal and he requited me with my ill; by Allah, never more will I do any man a service so long as I live!” And again and again I besought the Most High that I might die, for stress of weariness and misery; and thus I abode a long while till, one day, I came with him to a place wherein was abundance of gourds, many of them dry. So I took a great dry gourd and, cutting open the head, scooped out the inside and cleaned it; after which I gathered grapes from a vine which grew hard by and squeezed them into the gourd, till it was full of the juice. Then I stopped up the mouth and set it in the sun, where I left it for some days, until it became strong wine; and every day I used to drink of it, to comfort and sustain me under my fatigues with that froward and obstinate fiend; and as often as I drank myself drunk, I forgot my troubles and took new heart. One day he saw me drinking and signed to me with his hand, as who should say, “What is that?” Quoth I, “It is an excellent cordial, which cheereth the heart and reviveth the spirits.” Then, being heated with wine, I ran and danced with him among the trees, clapping my hands and singing and making merry; and I staggered under him by design. When he saw this, he signed to me to give him the gourd that he might drink, and I feared him and gave it him. So he took it and, draining it to the dregs, cast it on the ground, whereupon he grew frolicsome and began to clap hands and jig to and fro on my shoulders and he made water upon me so copiously that all my dress was drenched. But presently the fumes of the wine rising to his head, he became helplessly drunk and his side-muscles and limbs relaxed and he swayed to and fro on my back. When I saw that he had lost his senses for drunkenness, I put my hand to his legs and, loosing them from my neck, stooped down well-nigh to the ground and threw him at full length,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—So I threw the devil off my shoulders, hardly crediting my deliverance from him and fearing lest he should shake off his drunkenness and do me a mischief. Then I took up a great stone from among the trees and coming up to him smote him therewith on the head with all my might and crushed in his skull as he lay dead drunk. Thereupon his flesh and fat and blood being in a pulp, he died and went to his deserts, The Fire, no mercy of Allah be upon him! I then returned, with a heart at ease, to my former station on the sea-shore and abode in that island many days, eating of its fruits and drinking of its waters and keeping a look-out for passing ships; till one day, as I sat on the beach, recalling all that had befallen me and saying, “I wonder if Allah will save me alive and restore me to my home and family and friends!” behold, a ship was making for the island through the dashing sea and clashing waves. Presently, it cast anchor and the passengers landed; so I made for them, and when they saw me all hastened up to me and gathering round me questioned me of my case and how I came thither. I told them all that had betided me, whereat they marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, “He who rode on thy shoulder is called the ‘Shaykh al-Bahr’ or Old Man of the Sea,[FN#63] and none ever felt his legs on neck and came off alive but thou; and those who die under him he eateth: so praised be Allah for thy safety!” Then they set somewhat of food before me, whereof I ate my fill, and gave me somewhat of clothes wherewith I clad myself anew and covered my nakedness; after which they took me up into the ship, and we sailed days and nights, till fate brought us to a place called the City of Apes, builded with lofty houses, all of which gave upon the sea and it had a single gate studded and strengthened with iron nails. Now every night, as soon as it is dusk the dwellers in this city use to come forth of the gates and, putting out to sea in boats and ships, pass the night upon the waters in their fear lest the apes should come down on them from the mountains. Hearing this I was sore troubled remembering what I had before suffered from the ape-kind. Presently I landed to solace myself in the city, but meanwhile the ship set sail without me and I repented of having gone ashore, and calling to mind my companions and what had befallen me with the apes, first and after, sat down and fell a-weeping and lamenting. Presently one of the townsfolk accosted me and said to me, “O my lord, meseemeth thou art a stranger to these parts?” “Yes,” answered I, “I am indeed a stranger and a poor one, who came hither in a ship which cast anchor here, and I landed to visit the town; but when I would have gone on board again, I found they had sailed without me.” Quoth he, “Come and embark with us, for if thou lie the night in the city, the apes will destroy thee.” “Hearkening and obedience,” replied I, and rising, straightway embarked with him in one of the boats, whereupon they pushed off from shore and anchoring a mile or so from the land, there passed the night. At daybreak, they rowed back to the city and landing, went each about his business. Thus they did every night, for if any tarried in the town by night the apes came down on him and slew him. As soon as it was day, the apes left the place and ate of the fruits of the gardens, then went back to the mountains and slept there till nightfall, when they again came down upon the city.[FN#64] Now this place was in the farthest part of the country of the blacks, and one of the strangest things that befel me during my sojourn in the city was on this wise. One of the company with whom I passed the night in the boat, asked me, “O my lord, thou art apparently a stranger in these parts; hast thou any craft whereat thou canst work?”; and I answered, “By Allah, O my brother, I have no trade nor know I any handicraft, for I was a merchant and a man of money and substance and had a ship of my own, laden with great store of goods and merchandise; but it foundered at sea and all were drowned excepting me who saved myself on a piece of plank which Allah vouchsafed to me of His favour.” Upon this he brought me a cotton bag and giving it to me, said, “Take this bag and fill it with pebbles from the beach and go forth with a company of the townsfolk to whom I will give a charge respecting thee. Do as they do and belike thou shalt gain what may further thy return voyage to thy native land.” Then he carried me to the beach, where I filled my bag with pebbles large and small, and presently we saw a company of folk issue from the town, each bearing a bag like mine, filled with pebbles. To these he committed me, commending me to their care, and saying, “This man is a stranger, so take him with you and teach him how to gather, that he may get his daily bread, and you will earn your reward and recompense in Heaven.” “On our head and eyes be it!” answered they and bidding me welcome, fared on with me till we came to a spacious Wady, full of lofty trees with trunks so smooth that none might climb them. Now sleeping under these trees were many apes, which when they saw us rose and fled from us and swarmed up among the branches; whereupon my companions began to pelt them with what they had in their bags, and the apes fell to plucking of the fruit of the trees and casting them at the folk. I looked at the fruits they cast at us and found them to be Indian[FN#65] or cocoa-nuts; so I chose out a great tree, full of apes, and going up to it, began to pelt them with stones, and they in return pelted me with nuts, which I collected, as did the rest; so that even before I had made an end of my bagful of pebbles, I had gotten great plenty of nuts; and as soon as my companions had in like manner gotten as many nuts as they could carry, we returned to the city, where we arrived at the fag-end of day. Then I went in to the kindly man who had brought me in company with the nut-gatherers and gave him all I had gotten, thanking him for his kindness; but he would not accept them, saying, “Sell them and make profit by the price;” and presently he added (giving me the key of a closet in his house) “Store thy nuts in this safe place and go thou forth every morning and gather them as thou hast done to-day, and choose out the worst for sale and supplying thyself; but lay up the rest here, so haply thou mayst collect enough to serve thee for thy return home.” “Allah requite thee!” answered I and did as he advised me, going out daily with the cocoa-nut gatherers, who commended me to one another and showed me the best-stocked trees.[FN#66] Thus did I for some time, till I had laid up great store of excellent nuts, besides a large sum of money, the price of those I had sold. I became thus at my ease and bought all I saw and had a mind to, and passed my time pleasantly greatly enjoying my stay in the city, till, as I stood on the beach, one day, a great ship steering through the heart of the sea presently cast anchor by the shore and landed a company of merchants, who proceeded to sell and buy and barter their goods for cocoa-nuts and other commodities. Then I went to my friend and told him of the coming of the ship and how I had a mind to return to my own country; and he said, “’Tis for thee to decide.” So I thanked him for his bounties and took leave of him; then, going to the captain of the ship, I agreed with him for my passage and embarked my cocoa-nuts and what else I possessed. We weighed anchor,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—So I left the City of the Apes and embarked my cocoa-nuts and what else I possessed. We weighed anchor the same day and sailed from island to island and sea to sea; and whenever we stopped, I sold and traded with my cocoa-nuts, and the Lord requited me more than I erst had and lost. Amongst other places, we came to an island abounding in cloves[FN#67] and cinnamon and pepper; and the country people told me that by the side of each pepper-bunch groweth a great leaf which shadeth it from the sun and casteth the water off it in the wet season; but, when the rain ceaseth the leaf turneth over and droopeth down by the side of the bunch.[FN#68] Here I took in great store of pepper and cloves and cinnamon, in exchange for cocoa-nuts, and we passed thence to the Island of Al-Usirat,[FN#69] whence cometh the Comorin aloes-wood and thence to another island, five days’ journey in length, where grows the Chinese lign-aloes, which is better than the Comorin; but the people of this island[FN#70] are fouler of condition and religion than those of the other, for that they love fornication and wine-bibbing, and know not prayer nor call to prayer. Thence we came to the pearl-fisheries, and I gave the divers some of my cocoa-nuts and said to them, “Dive for my luck and lot!” They did so and brought up from the deep bight[FN#71] great store of large and priceless pearls; and they said to me, “By Allah, O my master, thy luck is a lucky!” Then we sailed on, with the blessing of Allah (whose name be exalted!); and ceased not sailing till we arrived safely at Bassorah. There I abode a little and then went on to Baghdad, where I entered my quarter and found my house and foregathered with my family and saluted my friends who gave me joy of my safe return, and I laid up all my goods and valuables in my storehouses. Then I distributed alms and largesse and clothed the widow and the orphan and made presents to my relations and comrades; for the Lord had requited me fourfold that I had lost. After which I returned to my old merry way of life and forgot all I had suffered in the great profit and gain I had made. “Such, then, is the history of my fifth voyage and its wonderments, and now to supper; and to-morrow, come again and I will tell you what befel me in my sixth voyage; for it was still more wonderful than this.” (Saith he who telleth the tale), Then he called for food; and the servants spread the table, and when they had eaten the evening-meal, he bade give Sindbad the porter an hundred golden dinars and the Landsman returned home and lay him down to sleep, much marvelling at all he had heard. Next morning, as soon as it was light, he prayed the dawn-prayer; and, after blessing Mohammed the Cream of all creatures, betook himself to the house of Sindbad the Seaman and wished him a good day. The merchant bade him sit and talked with him, till the rest of the company arrived. Then the servants spread the table and when they had well eaten and drunken and were mirthful and merry, Sindbad the Seaman began in these words the narrative of

The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

Know, O my brothers and friends and companions all, that I abode some time, after my return from my fifth voyage, in great solace and satisfaction and mirth and merriment, joyance and enjoyment; and I forgot what I had suffered, seeing the great gain and profit I had made till, one day, as I sat making merry and enjoying myself with my friends, there came in to me a company of merchants whose case told tales of travel, and talked with me of voyage and adventure and greatness of pelf and lucre. Hereupon I remembered the days of my return from abroad, and my joy at once more seeing my native land and foregathering with my family and friends; and my soul yearned for travel and traffic. So compelled by Fate and Fortune I resolved to undertake another voyage; and, buying me fine and costly merchandise meet for foreign trade, made it up into bales, with which I journeyed from Baghdad to Bassorah. Here I found a great ship ready for sea and full of merchants and notables, who had with them goods of price; so I embarked my bales therein. And we left Bassorah in safety and good spirits under the safeguard of the King, the Preserver.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—And after embarking my bales and leaving Bassorah in safety and good spirits, we continued our voyage from place to place and from city to city, buying and selling and profiting and diverting ourselves with the sight of countries where strange folk dwell. And Fortune and the voyage smiled upon us, till one day, as we went along, behold, the captain suddenly cried with a great cry and cast his turband on the deck. Then he buffeted his face like a woman and plucked out his beard and fell down in the waist of the ship will nigh fainting for stress of grief and rage, and crying, “Oh and alas for the ruin of my house and the orphanship of my poor children!” So all the merchant and sailors came round about him and asked him, “O master, what is the matter?”; for the light had become night before their sight. And he answered, saying, “Know, O folk, that we have wandered from our course and left the sea whose ways we wot, and come into a sea whose ways I know not; and unless Allah vouchsafe us a means of escape, we are all dead men; wherefore pray ye to the Most High, that He deliver us from this strait. Haply amongst you is one righteous whose prayers the Lord will accept.” Then he arose and clomb the mast to see an there were any escape from that strait; and he would have loosed the sails; but the wind redoubled upon the ship and whirled her round thrice and drave her backwards; whereupon her rudder brake and she fell off towards a high mountain. With this the captain came down from the mast, saying, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great; nor can man prevent that which is fore-ordained of fate! By Allah, we are fallen on a place of sure destruction, and there is no way of escape for us, nor can any of us be saved!” Then we all fell a-weeping over ourselves and bidding one another farewell for that our days were come to an end, and we had lost all hopes of life. Presently the ship struck the mountain and broke up, and all and everything on board of her were plunged into the sea. Some of the merchants were drowned and others made shift to reach the shore and save themselves upon the mountain; I amongst the number, and when we got ashore, we found a great island, or rather peninsula[FN#72] whose base was strewn with wreckage of crafts and goods and gear cast up by the sea from broken ships whose passengers had been drowned; and the quantity confounded compt and calculation. So I climbed the cliffs into the inward of the isle and walked on inland, till I came to a stream of sweet water, that welled up at the nearest foot of the mountains and disappeared in the earth under the range of hills on the opposite side. But all the other passengers went over the mountains to the inner tracts; and, dispersing hither and thither, were confounded at what they saw and became like madmen at the sight of the wealth and treasures wherewith the shores were strewn. As for me I looked into the bed of the stream aforesaid and saw therein great plenty of rubies, and great royal pearls[FN#73] and all kinds of jewels and precious stones which were as gravel in the bed of the rivulets that ran through the fields, and the sands sparkled and glittered with gems and precious ores. Moreover we found in the island abundance of the finest lign-aloes, both Chinese and Comorin; and there also is a spring of crude ambergris[FN#74] which floweth like wax or gum over the stream-banks, for the great heat of the sun, and runneth down to the sea-shore, where the monsters of the deep come up and swallowing it, return into the sea. But it burneth in their bellies; so they cast it up again and it congealeth on the surface of the water, whereby its color and quantities are changed; and at last, the waves cast it ashore, and the travellers and merchants who know it, collect it and sell it. But as to the raw ambergris which is not swallowed, it floweth over the channel and congealeth on the banks and when the sun shineth on it, it melteth and scenteth the whole valley with a musk-like fragrance: then, when the sun ceaseth from it, it congealeth again. But none can get to this place where is the crude ambergris, because of the mountains which enclose the island on all sides and which foot of man cannot ascend.[FN#75] We continued thus to explore the island, marvelling at the wonderful works of Allah and the riches we found there, but sore troubled for our own case, and dismayed at our prospects. Now we had picked up on the beach some small matter of victual from the wreck and husbanded it carefully, eating but once every day or two, in our fear lest it should fail us and we die miserably of famine or affright. Moreover, we were weak for colic brought on by sea-sickness and low diet, and my companions deceased, one after other, till there was but a small company of us left. Each that died we washed and shrouded in some of the clothes and linen cast ashore by the tides; and after a little, the rest of my fellows perished, one by one, till I had buried the last of the party and abode alone on the island, with but a little provision left, I who was wont to have so much. And I wept over myself, saying, “Would Heaven I had died before my companions and they had washed and buried me! It had been better than I should perish and none wash me and shroud me and bury me. But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued in these words:—Now after I had buried the last of my party and abode alone on the island, I arose and dug me a deep grave on the sea-shore, saying to myself, “Whenas I grow weak and know that death cometh to me, I will cast myself into the grave and die there, so the wind may drift the sand over me and cover me and I be buried therein.”[FN#76] Then I fell to reproaching myself for my little wit in leaving my native land and betaking me again to travel, after all I had suffered during my first five voyages, and when I had not made a single one without suffering more horrible perils and more terrible hardships than in its forerunner and having no hope of escape from my present stress; and I repented me of my folly and bemoaned myself, especially as I had no need of money, seeing that I had enough and more than enough and could not spend what I had, no, nor a half of it in all my life. However, after a while Allah sent me a thought and I said to myself, “By God, needs must this stream have an end as well as a beginning; ergo an issue somewhere, and belike its course may lead to some inhabited place; so my best plan is to make me a little boat[FN#77] big enough to sit in, and carry it and launching it on the river, embark therein and drop down the stream. If I escape, I escape, by God’s leave; and if I perish, better die in the river than here.” Then, sighing for myself, I set to work collecting a number of pieces of Chinese and Comorin aloes-wood and I bound them together with ropes from the wreckage; then I chose out from the broken-up ships straight planks of even size and fixed them firmly upon the aloes-wood, making me a boat-raft a little narrower than the channel of the stream; and I tied it tightly and firmly as though it were nailed. Then I loaded it with the goods, precious ores and jewels: and the union pearls which were like gravel and the best of the ambergris crude and pure, together with what I had collected on the island and what was left me of victual and wild herbs. Lastly I lashed a piece of wood on either side, to serve me as oars; and launched it, and embarking, did according to the saying of the poet,

“Fly, fly with life whenas evils threat; * Leave the house to
     tell of its builder’s fate!
Land after land shalt thou seek and find * But no other life on
     thy wish shall wait:
Fret not thy soul in thy thoughts o’ night; * All woes shall end
     or sooner or late.
Whoso is born in one land to die, * There and only there shall
     gang his gait:
Nor trust great things to another wight, * Soul hath only soul
     for confederate.”[FN#78]

My boat-raft drifted with the stream, I pondering the issue of my affair; and the drifting ceased not till I came to the place where it disappeared beneath the mountain. I rowed my conveyance into the place which was intensely dark; and the current carried the raft with it down the underground channel.[FN#79] The thin stream bore me on through a narrow tunnel where the raft touched either side and my head rubbed against the roof, return therefrom being impossible. Then I blamed myself for having thus risked my life, and said, “If this passage grow any straiter, the raft will hardly pass, and I cannot turn back; so I shall inevitably perish miserably in this place.” And I threw myself down upon my face on the raft, by reason of the narrowness of the channel, whilst the stream ceased not to carry me along, knowing not night from day, for the excess of the gloom which encompassed me about and my terror and concern for myself lest I should perish. And in such condition my course continued down the channel which now grew wide and then straiter till, sore aweary by reason of the darkness which could be felt, I fell asleep, as I lay prone on the raft, and I slept knowing not an the time were long or short. When I awoke at last, I found myself in the light of Heaven and opening my eyes I saw myself in a broad stream and the raft moored to an island in the midst of a number of Indians and Abyssinians. As soon as these blackamoors[FN#80] saw that I was awake, they came up to me and bespoke me in their speech; but I understood not what they said and thought that this was a dream and a vision which had betided me for stress of concern and chagrin. But I was delighted at my escape from the river. When they saw I understood them not and made them no answer, one of them came forward and said to me in Arabic, “Peace be with thee, O my brother! Who art thou and whence faredst thou thither? How camest thou into this river and what manner of land lies behind yonder mountains, for never knew we any one make his way thence to us?” Quoth I, “And upon thee be peace and the ruth of Allah and his blessing! Who are ye and what country is this?” “O my brother,” answered he, “we are husbandmen and tillers of the soil, who came out to water our fields and plantations; and, finding thee asleep on this raft, laid hold of it and made it fast by us, against thou shouldst awake at thy leisure. So tell us how thou camest hither?” I answered, “For Allah’s sake, O my lord, ere I speak give me somewhat to eat, for I am starving, and after ask me what thou wilt.” So he hastened to fetch me food and I ate my fill, till I was refreshed and my fear was calmed by a good belly-full and my life returned to me. Then I rendered thanks to the Most High for mercies great and small, glad to be out of the river and rejoicing to be amongst them, and I told them all my adventures from first to last, especially my troubles in the narrow channel.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—When I landed and found myself amongst the Indians and Abyssinians and had taken some rest, they consulted among themselves and said to one another, “There is no help for it but we carry him with us and present him to our King, that he may acquaint him with his adventures.” So they took me, together with the raft-boat and its lading of monies and merchandise; jewels, minerals and golden gear, and brought me to their King, who was King of Sarandib,[FN#81] telling him what had happened; whereupon he saluted me and bade me welcome. Then he questioned me of my condition and adventures through the man who had spoken Arabic and I repeated to him my story from beginning to end, whereat he marvelled exceedingly and gave me joy of my deliverance; after which I arose and fetched from the raft great store of precious ores and jewels and ambergris and lign-aloes and presented them to the King, who accepted them and entreated me with the utmost honour, appointing me a lodging in his own palace. So I consorted with the chief of the islanders, and they paid me the utmost respect. And I quitted not the royal palace. Now the Island Sarandib lieth under the equinoctial line, its night and day both numbering twelve house. It measureth eighty leagues long by a breadth of thirty and its width is bounded by a lofty mountain[FN#82] and a deep valley, The mountain is conspicuous from a distance of three days and it containeth many kinds of rubies and other minerals, and spice-trees of all sorts. The surface is covered with emery wherewith gems are cut and fashioned; diamonds are in its rivers and pearls are in its valleys. I ascended that mountain and solaced myself with a view of its marvels which are indescribable and afterwards I returned to the King.[FN#83] Thereupon, all the travellers and merchants who came to the place questioned me of the affairs of my native land and of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid and his rule and I told them of him and of that wherefor he was renowned, and they praised him because of this; whilst I in turn questioned them of the manners and customers of their own countries and got the knowledge I desired. One day, the King himself asked me of the fashions and form of government of my country, and I acquainted him with the circumstance of the Caliph’s sway in the city of Baghdad and the justice of his rule. The King marvelled at my account of his appointments and said, “By Allah, the Caliph’s ordinances are indeed wise and his fashions of praiseworthy guise and thou hast made me love him by what thou tellest me; wherefore I have a mind to make him a present and send it by thee.” Quoth I, “Hearkening and obedience, O my lord; I will bear thy gift to him and inform him that thou art his sincere lover and true friend.” Then I abode with the King in great honour and regard and consideration for a long while till, one day, as I sat in his palace, I heard news of a company of merchants, that were fitting out a ship for Bassorah, and said to myself, “I cannot do better than voyage with these men.” So I rose without stay or delay and kissed the King’s hand and acquainted him with my longing to set out with the merchants, for that I pined after my people and mine own land. Quoth he, “Thou art thine own master; yet, if it be thy will to abide with us, on our head and eyes be it, for thou gladdenest us with thy company.” “By Allah, O my lord,” answered I, “thou hast indeed overwhelmed me with thy favours and well-doings; but I weary for a sight of my friends and family and native country.” When he heard this, he summoned the merchants in question and commended me to their care, paying my freight and passage-money. Then he bestowed on me great riches from his treasuries and charged me with a magnificent present for the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Moreover he gave me a sealed letter, saying, “Carry this with thine own hand to the Commander of the Faithful and give him many salutations from us!” “Hearing and obedience,” I replied. The missive was written on the skin of the Kháwi[FN#84] (which is finer than lamb-parchment and of yellow colour), with ink of ultramarine and the contents were as follows. “Peace be with thee from the King of Al-Hind, before whom are a thousand elephants and upon whose palace-crenelles are a thousand jewels. But after (laud to the Lord and praises to His Prophet!): we send thee a trifling gift which be thou pleased to accept. Thou art to us a brother and a sincere friend; and great is the love we bear for thee in heart; favour us therefore with a reply. The gift besitteth not thy dignity: but we beg of thee, O our brother, graciously to accept it and peace be with thee.” And the present was a cup of ruby a span high[FN#85] the inside of which was adorned with precious pearls; and a bed covered with the skin of the serpent which swalloweth the elephant, which skin hath spots each like a dinar and whoso sitteth upon it never sickeneth;[FN#86] and an hundred thousand miskals of Indian lign-aloes and a slave-girl like a shining moon. Then I took leave of him and of all my intimates and acquaintances in the island and embarked with the merchants aforesaid. We sailed with a fair wind, committing ourselves to the care of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) and by His permission arrived at Bassorah, where I passed a few days and nights equipping myself and packing up my bales. Then I went on to Baghdad-city, the House of Peace, where I sought an audience of the Caliph and laid the King’s presents before him. He asked me whence they came and I said to him, “By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I know not the name of the city nor the way thither!” He then asked me, “O Sindbad, is this true which the King writeth?”; and I answered, after kissing the ground, “O my lord, I saw in his kingdom much more than he hath written in his letter. For state processions a throne is set for him upon a huge elephant, eleven cubits high: and upon this he sitteth having his great lords and officers and guests standing in two ranks, on his right hand and on his left. At his head is a man hending in hand a golden javelin and behind him another with a great mace of gold whose head is an emerald[FN#87] a span long and as thick as a man’s thumb. And when he mounteth horse there mount with him a thousand horsemen clad in gold brocade and silk; and as the King proceedeth a man precedeth him, crying, ‘This is the King of great dignity, of high authority!’ And he continueth to repeat his praises in words I remember not, saying at the end of his panegyric, ‘This is the King owning the crown whose like nor Solomon nor the Mihraj[FN#88] ever possessed.’ Then he is silent and one behind him proclaimeth, saying, ‘He will die! Again I say he will die!;’ and the other addeth, ‘Extolled be the perfection of the Living who dieth not!’[FN#89] Moreover by reason of his justice and ordinance and intelligence, there is no Kazi in his city, and all his lieges distinguish between Truth and Falsehood.” Quoth the Caliph, “How great is this King! His letter hath shown me this; and as for the mightiness of his dominion thou hast told us what thou hast eye-witnessed. By Allah, he hath been endowed with wisdom as with wide rule.” Then I related to the Commander of the Faithful all that had befallen me in my last voyage; at which he wondered exceedingly and bade his historians record my story and store it up in his treasuries, for the edification of all who might see it. Then he conferred on me exceeding great favours, and I repaired to my quarter and entered my home, where I warehoused all my goods and possessions. Presently, my friends came to me and I distributed presents among my family and gave alms and largesse; after which I yielded myself to joyance and enjoyment, mirth and merry-making, and forgot all that I had suffered. “Such, then, O my brothers, is the history of what befel me in my sixth voyage, and to-morrow, Inshallah! I will tell you the story of my seventh and last voyage, which is still more wondrous and marvellous than that of the first six.” (Saith he who telleth the tale), Then he bade lay the table, and the company supped with him; after which he gave the Porter an hundred dinars, as of wont, and they all went their ways, marvelling beyond measure at that which they had heard.— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sindbad the Seaman had related the history of what befel him in his sixth voyage, and all the company had dispersed, Sindbad the Landsman went home and slept as of wont. Next day he rose and prayed the dawn-prayer and repaired to his namesake’s house where, after the company was all assembled, the host began to relate

The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman.

Know, O company, that after my return from my sixth voyage, which brought me abundant profit, I resumed my former life in all possible joyance and enjoyment and mirth and making merry day and night; and I tarried some time in this solace and satisfaction till my soul began once more to long to sail the seas and see foreign countries and company with merchants and hear new things. So having made up my mind, I packed up in bales a quantity of precious stuffs suited for sea-trade and repaired with them from Baghdad-city to Bassorah-town, where I found a ship ready for sea, and in her a company of considerable merchants. I shipped with them and becoming friends, we set forth on our venture, in health and safety; and sailed with a fair wind, till we came to a city called Madínat-al-Sín; but after we had left it, as we fared on in all cheer and confidence, devising of traffic and travel, behold, there sprang up a violent head-wind and a tempest of rain fell on us and drenched us and our goods. So we covered the bales with our cloaks and garments and drugget and canvas, lest they be spoiled by the rain, and betook ourselves to prayer and supplication to Almighty Allah and humbled ourselves before Him for deliverance from the peril that was upon us. But the captain arose and tightening his girdle tucked up his skirts and, after taking refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned, clomb to the mast-head, whence he looked out right and left and gazing at the passengers and crew fell to buffeting his face and plucking out his beard. So we cried to him, “O Rais, what is the matter?”; and he replied saying, “Seek ye deliverance of the Most High from the strait into which we have fallen and bemoan yourselves and take leave of one another; for know that the wind hath gotten the mastery of us and hath driven us into the uttermost of the seas of the world.” Then he came down from the mast-head and opening his sea-chest, pulled out a bag of blue cotton, from which he took a powder like ashes. This he set in a saucer wetted with a little water and, after waiting a short time, smelt and tasted it; and then he took out of the chest a booklet, wherein he read awhile and said weeping, “Know, O ye passengers, that in this book is a marvellous matter, denoting that whoso cometh hither shall surely die, without hope of escape; for that this ocean is called the Sea of the Clime of the King, wherein is the sepulchre of our lord Solomon, son of David (on both be peace!) and therein are serpents of vast bulk and fearsome aspect: and what ship soever cometh to these climes there riseth to her a great fish[FN#90] out of the sea and swalloweth her up with all and everything on board her.” Hearing these words from the captain great was our wonder, but hardly had he made an end of speaking, when the ship was lifted out of the water and let fall again and we applied to praying the death-prayer[FN#91] and committing our souls to Allah. Presently we heard a terrible great cry like the loud-pealing thunder, whereat we were terror-struck and became as dead men, giving ourselves up for lost. Then behold, there came up to us a huge fish, as big as a tall mountain, at whose sight we became wild for affright and, weeping sore, made ready for death, marvelling at its vast size and gruesome semblance; when lo! a second fish made its appearance than which we had seen naught more monstrous. So we bemoaned ourselves of our lives and farewelled one another; but suddenly up came a third fish bigger than the two first; whereupon we lost the power of thought and reason and were stupefied for the excess of our fear and horror. Then the three fish began circling round about the ship and the third and biggest opened his mouth to swallow it, and we looked into its mouth and behold, it was wider than the gate of a city and its throat was like a long valley. So we besought the Almighty and called for succour upon His Apostle (on whom be blessing and peace!), when suddenly a violent squall of wind arose and smote the ship, which rose out of the water and settled upon a great reef, the haunt of sea-monsters, where it broke up and fell asunder into planks and all and everything on board were plunged into the sea. As for me, I tore off all my clothes but my gown and swam a little way, till I happened upon one of the ship’s planks whereto I clung and bestrode it like a horse, whilst the winds and the waters sported with me and the waves carried me up and cast me down; and I was in most piteous plight for fear and distress and hunger and thirst. Then I reproached myself for what I had done and my soul was weary after a life of ease and comfort; and I said to myself, “O Sindbad, O Seaman, thou repentest not and yet thou art ever suffering hardships and travails; yet wilt thou not renounce sea-travel; or, an thou say, ‘I renounce,’ thou liest in thy renouncement. Endure then with patience that which thou sufferest, for verily thou deservest all that betideth thee!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman continued:—But when I had bestridden the plank, quoth I to myself, “Thou deservest all that betideth thee. All this is decreed to me of Allah (whose name be exalted!), to turn me from my greed of gain, whence ariseth all that I endure, for I have wealth galore.” Then I returned to my senses and said, “In very sooth, this time I repent to the Most High, with a sincere repentance, of my lust for gain and venture; and never will I again name travel with tongue nor in thought.” And I ceased not to humble myself before Almighty Allah and weep and bewail myself, recalling my former estate of solace and satisfaction and mirth and merriment and joyance; and thus I abode two days, at the end of which time I came to a great island abounding in trees and streams. There I landed and ate of the fruits of the island and drank of its waters, till I was refreshed and my life returned to me and my strength and spirits were restored and I recited,

“Oft when thy case shows knotty and tangled skein, * Fate downs
     from Heaven and straightens every ply:
In patience keep thy soul till clear thy lot * For He who ties
     the knot can eke untie.”

Then I walked about, till I found on the further side, a great river of sweet water, running with a strong current; whereupon I called to mind the boat-raft I had made aforetime and said to myself, “Needs must I make another; haply I may free me from this strait. If I escape, I have my desire and I vow to Allah Almighty to foreswear travel; and if I perish I shall be at peace and shall rest from toil and moil.” So I rose up and gathered together great store of pieces of wood from the trees (which were all of the finest sanders-wood, whose like is not albe I knew it not), and made shift to twist creepers and tree-twigs into a kind of rope, with which I bound the billets together and so contrived a raft. Then saying, “An I be saved, ’tis of God’s grace,” I embarked thereon and committed myself to the current, and it bore me on for the first day and the second and the third after leaving the island; whilst I lay in the raft, eating not and drinking, when I was athirst, of the water of the river, till I was weak and giddy as a chicken, for stress of fatigue and famine and fear. At the end of this time I came to a high mountain, whereunder ran the river; which when I saw, I feared for my life by reason of the straitness I had suffered in my former journey, and I would fain have stayed the raft and landed on the mountain-side; but the current overpowered me and drew it into the subterranean passage like an archway; whereupon I gave myself up for lost and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” However, after a little, the raft glided into open air and I saw before me a wide valley, whereinto the river fell with a noise like the rolling of thunder and a swiftness as the rushing of the wind. I held on to the raft, for fear of falling off it, whilst the waves tossed me right and left; and the craft continued to descend with the current nor could I avail to stop it nor turn it shorewards, till it stopped with me at a great and goodly city, grandly edified and containing much people. And when the townsfolk saw me on the raft, dropping down with the current, they threw me out ropes which I had not strength enough to hold; then they tossed a net over the craft and drew it ashore with me, whereupon I fell to the ground amidst them, as I were a dead man, for stress of fear and hunger and lack of sleep. After awhile, there came up to me out of the crowd an old man of reverend aspect, well stricken in years, who welcomed me and threw over me abundance of handsome clothes, wherewith I covered my nakedness. Then he carried me to the Hammam-bath and brought me cordial sherbets and delicious perfumes; moreover, when I came out, he bore me to his house, where his people made much of me and, seating me in a pleasant place, set rich food before me, whereof I ate my fill and returned thanks to God the Most High for my deliverance. Thereupon his pages fetched me hot water, and I washed my hands, and his handmaids brought me silken napkins, with which I dried them and wiped my mouth. Also the Shaykh set apart for me an apartment in a part of his house and charged his pages and slave-girls to wait upon me and do my will and supply my wants. They were assiduous in my service, and I abode with him in the guest-chamber three days, taking my ease of good eating and good drinking and good scents till life returned to me and my terrors subsided and my heart was calmed and my mind was eased. On the fourth day the Shaykh, my host, came in to me and said, “Thou cheerest us with thy company, O my son, and praised be Allah for thy safety! Say: wilt thou now come down with me to the beach and the bazar and sell thy goods and take their price? Belike thou mayst buy thee wherewithal to traffic. I have ordered my servants to remove thy stock-in-trade from the sea and they have piled it on the shore.” I was silent awhile and said to myself, “What mean these words and what goods have I?” Then said he, “O my son, be not troubled nor careful, but come with me to the market and if any offer for thy goods what price contenteth thee, take it; but, an thou be not satisfied, I will lay them up for thee in my warehouse, against a fitting occasion for sale.” So I bethought me of my case and said to myself, “Do his bidding and see what are these goods!”; and I said to him, “O my nuncle the Shaykh, I hear and I obey; I may not gainsay thee in aught for Allah’s blessing is on all thou dost.” Accordingly he guided me to the market-street, where I found that he had taken in pieces the raft which carried me and which was of sandal-wood and I heard the broker calling it for sale.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman thus resumed his tale:—I found that the Shaykh had taken to pieces my raft which lay on the beach and the broker was crying the sandal-wood for sale. Then the merchants came and opened the gate of bidding for the wood and bid against one another till its price reached a thousand dinars, when they left bidding and my host said to me, “Hear, O my son, this is the current price of thy goods in hard times like these: wilt thou sell them for this or shall I lay them up for thee in my storehouses, till such time as prices rise?” “O my lord,” answered I, “the business is in thy hands: do as thou wilt.” Then asked he, “Wilt thou sell the wood to me, O my son, for an hundred gold pieces over and above what the merchants have bidden for it?” and I answered, “Yes, I have sold it to thee for monies received.”[FN#92] So, he bade his servants transport the wood to his storehouses and, carrying me back to his house, seated me and counted out to me the purchase money; after which he laid it in bags and setting them in a privy place, locked them up with an iron padlock and gave me its key. Some days after this, the Shaykh said to me, “O my son, I have somewhat to propose to thee, wherein I trust thou wilt do my bidding.” Quoth I, “What is it?” Quoth he, “I am a very old man and have no son; but I have a daughter who is young in years and fair of favour and endowed with abounding wealth and beauty. Now I have a mind to marry her to thee, that thou mayst abide with her in this our country, and I will make thee master of all I have in hand for I am an old man and thou shalt stand in my stead.” I was silent for shame and made him no answer, whereupon he continued, “Do my desire in this, O my son, for I wish but thy weal; and if thou wilt but do as I say, thou shalt have her at once and be as my son; and all that is under my hand or that cometh to me shall be thine. If thou have a mind to traffic and travel to thy native land, none shall hinder thee, and thy property will be at thy sole disposal; so do as thou wilt.” “By Allah, O my uncle,” replied I, “thou art become to me even as my father, and I am a stranger and have undergone many hardships: while for stress of that which I have suffered naught of judgment or knowledge is left to me. It is for thee, therefore, to decide what I shall do.” Hereupon he sent his servants for the Kazi and the witnesses and married me to his daughter making us for a noble marriage-feast[FN#93] and high festival. When I went in to her, I found her perfect in beauty and loveliness and symmetry and grace, clad in rich raiment and covered with a profusion of ornaments and necklaces and other trinkets of gold and silver and precious stones, worth a mint of money, a price none could pay. She pleased me and we loved each other; and I abode with her in solace and delight of life, till her father was taken to the mercy of Allah Almighty. So we shrouded him and buried him, and I laid hands on the whole of his property and all his servants and slaves became mine. Moreover, the merchants installed me in his office, for he was their Shaykh and their Chief; and none of them purchased aught but with his knowledge and by his leave. And now his rank passed on to me. When I became acquainted with the townsfolk, I found that at the beginning of each month they were transformed, in that their faces changed and they became like birds and they put forth wings wherewith they flew unto the upper regions of the firmament and none remained in the city save the women and children; and I said in my mind, “When the first of the month cometh, I will ask one of them to carry me with them, whither they go.” So when the time came and their complexion changed and their forms altered, I went in to one of the townsfolk and said to him, “Allah upon thee! carry me with thee, that I might divert myself with the rest and return with you.” “This may not be,” answered he; but I ceased not to solicit him and I importuned him till he consented. Then I went out in his company, without telling any of my family[FN#94] or servants or friends, and he took me on his back and flew up with me so high in air, that I heard the angels glorifying God in the heavenly dome, whereat I wondered and exclaimed, “Praised be Allah! Extolled be the perfection of Allah!” Hardly had I made an end of pronouncing the Tasbih—praised be Allah!—when there came out a fire from heaven and all but consumed the company; whereupon they fled from it and descended with curses upon me and, casting me down on a high mountain, went away, exceeding wroth with me, and left me there alone. As I found myself in this plight, I repented of what I had done and reproached myself for having undertaken that for which I was unable, saying, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! No sooner am I delivered from one affliction than I fall into a worse.” And I continued in this case knowing not whither I should go, when lo! there came up two young men, as they were moons, each using as a staff a rod of red gold. So I approached them and saluted them; and when they returned my salam, I said to them, “Allah upon you twain; who are ye and what are ye?” Quoth they, “We are of the servants of the Most High Allah, abiding in this mountain;” and, giving me a rod of red gold they had with them, went their ways and left me. I walked on along the mountain-ridge staying my steps with the staff and pondering the case of the two youths, when behold, a serpent came forth from under the mountain, with a man in her[FN#95] jaws, whom she had swallowed even to below his navel, and he was crying out and saying, “Whoso delivereth me, Allah will deliver him from all adversity!” So I went up to the serpent and smote her on the head with the golden staff, whereupon she cast the man forth of her mouth.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the Seaman thus continued:—When I smote the serpent on the head with my golden staff she cast the man forth of her mouth. Then I smote her a second time, and she turned and fled; whereupon he came up to me and said, “Since my deliverance from yonder serpent hath been at thy hands I will never leave thee, and thou shalt be my comrade on this mountain.” “And welcome,” answered I; so we fared on along the mountain, till we fell in with a company of folk, and I looked and saw amongst them the very man who had carried me and cast me down there. I went up to him and spake him fair, excusing myself to him and saying, “O my comrade, it is not thus that friend should deal with friend.” Quoth he, “It was thou who well-nigh destroyed us by thy Tasbih and thy glorifying God on my back.” Quoth I, “Pardon me, for I had no knowledge of this matter; but, if thou wilt take me with thee, I swear not to say a word.” So he relented and consented to carry me with him, but he made an express condition that, so long as I abode on his back, I should abstain from pronouncing the Tasbih or otherwise glorifying God. Then I gave the wand of gold to him whom I had delivered from the serpent and bade him farewell, and my friend took me on his back and flew with me as before, till he brought me to the city and set me down in my own house. My wife came to meet me and saluting me gave me joy of my safety and then said, “Beware of going forth hereafter with yonder folk, neither consort with them, for they are brethren of the devils, and know not how to mention the name of Allah Almighty; neither worship they Him.” “And how did thy father with them?” asked I; and she answered, “My father was not of them, neither did he as they; and as now he is dead methinks thou hadst better sell all we have and with the price buy merchandise and journey to thine own country and people, and I with thee; for I care not to tarry in this city, my father and my mother being dead.” So I sold all the Shaykh’s property piecemeal, and looked for one who should be journeying thence to Bassorah that I might join myself to him. And while thus doing I heard of a company of townsfolk who had a mind to make the voyage, but could not find them a ship; so they bought wood and built them a great ship wherein I took passage with them, and paid them all the hire. Then we embarked, I and my wife, with all our moveables, leaving our houses and domains and so forth, and set sail, and ceased not sailing from island to island and from sea to sea, with a fair wind and a favouring, till we arrived at Bassorah safe and sound. I made no stay there, but freighted another vessel and, transferring my goods to her, set out forthright for Baghdad-city, where I arrived in safety, and entering my quarter and repairing to my house, foregathered with my family and friends and familiars who laid up my goods in my warehouses. When my people who, reckoning the period of my absence on this my seventh voyage, had found it to be seven and twenty years, and had given up all hope of me, heard of my return, they came to welcome me and to give me joy of my safety; and I related to them all that had befallen me; whereat they marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then I forswore travel and vowed to Allah the Most High I would venture no more by land or sea, for that this seventh and last voyage had surfeited me of travel and adventure; and I thanked the Lord (be He praised and glorified!), and blessed Him for having restored me to my kith and kin and country and home. “Consider, therefore, O Sindbad, O Landsman,” continued Sindbad the Seaman, “what sufferings I have undergone and what perils and hardships I have endured before coming to my present state.” “Allah upon thee, O my Lord!” answered Sindbad the Landsman, “pardon me the wrong I did thee.”[FN#96] “And they ceased not from friendship and fellowship, abiding in all cheer and pleasures and solace of life till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of Societies, and the Shatterer of palaces and the Caterer for Cemeteries to wit, the Cup of Death, and glory be to the Living One who dieth not!”[FN#97]

A Translation of
The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman

according to
the version of the
Calcutta Edition

which differs in essential form
from the preceding

Know, O my brothers and friends and companions all, that when I left voyaging and commercing, I said in myself, “Sufficeth me that hath befallen me;” and I spent my time in solace and pleasure. One day as I sat at home there came a knock at the door, and when the porter opened a page entered and said, “The Caliph biddeth thee to him.” I went with him to the King’s majesty and kissed ground and saluted him; whereupon he welcomed me and entreated me with honour and said, “O Sindbad, I have an occasion for thee: wilt thou do it?” So I kissed his hand and asked him, saying, “O my lord, what occasion hath the master for the slave?”; whereto he answered me, “I am minded that thou travel to the King of Sarandib and carry to him our writ and our gift, for that he hath sent to us a present and a letter.” I trembled at these words and rejoined, “By Allah the Omnipotent, O my lord, I have taken a loathing to wayfare, and when I hear the words ‘Voyage’ or ‘Travel,’ my limbs tremble for what hath befallen me of hardships and horrors. Indeed I have no desire whatever for this; more by token as I have bound myself by oath not to quit Baghdad.” Then I informed the Caliph of all I had passed through from first to last, and he marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, “By the Almighty, O Sindbad, from ages of old such mishaps as happened to thee were never known to happen to any, and thou dost only right never even to talk of travel. For our sake, however, thou wilt go this time and carry our present and our letter to him of Sarandib; and Inshallah—by God’s leave!—thou shalt return quickly; and on this wise we shall be under no obligation to the said King.” I replied that I heard and obeyed, being unable to oppose his command, so he gave me the gifts and the missive with money to pay my way and I kissed hands and left the presence. Then I dropped down from Baghdad to the Gulf, and with other merchants embarked, and our ship sailed before a fair wind many days and nights till, by Allah’s aid, we reached the island of Sarandib. As soon as we had made fast we landed and I took the present and the letter; and, going in with them to the King, kissed ground before him. When he saw me, he said, “Well come, O Sindbad! By Allah Omnipotent we were longing to see thee, and glory be to God who hath again shown us thy face!” Then taking me by the hand he made me sit by his side, rejoicing, and he welcomed me with familiar kindness again and entreated me as a friend. After this he began to converse with me and courteously addressed me and asked, “What was the cause of thy coming to us, O Sindbad?” So after kissing his hand and thanking him I answered, “O my lord, I have brought thee a present from my master, the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid;” and offered him the present and the letter which he read and at which he rejoiced with passing joy. The present consisted of a mare worth ten thousand ducats, bearing a golden saddle set with jewels; a book; a sumptuous suit of clothes and an hundred different kinds of white Cairene cloths and silks of Suez,[FN#98] Cufa and Alexandria; Greek carpets and an hundred maunds[FN#99] weight of linen and raw silk. Moreover there was a wondrous rarety, a marvellous cup of crystal middlemost of which was the figure of a lion faced by a kneeling man grasping a bow with arrow drawn to the very head, together with the food-tray[FN#100] of Sulayman the son of David (on whom be peace!). The missive ran as follows, “Peace from King Al-Rashid, the aided of Allah (who hath vouchsafed to him and his forefathers noble rank and wide-spread glory), be on the fortunate Sultan. But after. Thy letter came to our hands and we rejoiced thereat; and we have sent the book entitled ‘Delight of the Intelligent and for Friends the Rare Present,’[FN#101] together with sundry curiosities suitable for Kings; so do thou favour us by accepting them: and peace be with thee!” Then the King lavished upon me much wealth and entreated me with all honour; so I prayed for him and thanked him for his munificence. Some days after I craved his leave to depart, but could not obtain it except by great pressing, whereupon I farewelled him and fared forth from his city, with merchants and other companions, homewards-bound without any desire for travel or trade. We continued voyaging and coasting along many islands; but, when we were half-way, we were surrounded by a number of canoes, wherein were men like devils armed with bows and arrows, swords and daggers; habited in mail-coats and other armoury. They fell upon us and wounded and slew all who opposed them; then, having captured the ship and her contents, carried us to an island, where they sold us at the meanest price. Now I was bought by a wealthy man who, taking me to his house, gave me meat and drink and clothing and treated me in the friendliest manner; so I was heartened and I rested a little. One day he asked me, “Dost thou know any art or craft?” and I answered him, “O my lord, I am a merchant and know nothing but trade and traffic.” “Dost thou know,” rejoined he, “how to use bow and arrow?” “Yes,” replied I, “I know that much.” Thereupon he brought me a bow and arrows and mounted me behind him upon an elephant: then he set out as night was well nigh over and, passing through a forest of huge growths, came to a tall and sturdy tree up which he made me climb. Then he gave me the bow and arrows, saying, “Sit here now, and when the elephants troop hither in early morning, shoot at them; belike thou wilt hit one; and, if he fall, come and tell me.” With this he left me. I hid myself in the tree being in sore terror and trembled till the sun arose; and, when the elephants appeared and wandered about among the trees, I shot my arrows at them and continued till I had shot down one of them. In the evening I reported my success to my master who was delighted in me and entreated me with high honour; and next morning he removed the slain elephant. In this wise I continued, every morning shooting an elephant which my master would remove till, one day, as I was perched in hiding on the tree there came on suddenly and unexpectedly an innumerable host of elephants whose screaming and trumpeting were such that I imagined the earth trembled under them. All surrounded my tree, whose circumference was some fifty cubits,[FN#102] and one enormous monster came up to it and winding his trunk round the bole haled it up by the roots, and dashed it to the ground. I fell down fainting amongst the beasts when the monster elephant wound his trunk about me and, setting me on his back, went off with me, the others accompanying us. He carried me still unconscious till he reached the place for which he was making, when he rolled me off his back and presently went his ways followed by the others. So I rested a little; and, when my terror had subsided, I looked about me and I found myself among the bones of elephants, whereby I concluded that this was their burial-place, and that the monster elephant had led me thither on account of the tusks.[FN#103] So I arose and walked a whole day and night till I arrived at the house of my master, who saw my colour changed by stress of affright and famine. He rejoiced in my return and said to me, “By Allah, thou hast made my heart sore! I went when thou wast missing and found the tree torn up, and thought that the elephants had slain thee. Tell me how it was with thee.” I acquainted him with all that had betided me; whereat he wondered greatly, and rejoiced and at last asked me, “Dost thou know the place?”; whereto I answered, “Yes, O my master!” So we mounted an elephant and fared until we came to the spot and, when my master beheld the heaps of tusks, he rejoiced greatly; then carrying away as many as he wanted he returned with me home. After this, he entreated me with increased favour and said, “O my son, thou hast shown us the way to great gain, wherefore Allah requite thee! Thou art freed for the Almighty’s sake and before His face! The elephants used to destroy many of us on account of our hunting them for their ivories and sorivellos; but Allah hath preserved thee from them, and thou hast profited us by the heaps to which thou hast led us.” “O my master,” replied I, “God free thy neck from the fire! And do thou grant me, O my master, thy gracious leave to return to my own country.” “Yes” quoth he, “thou shalt have that permission. But we have a yearly fair, when merchants come to us from various quarters to buy up these ivories. The time is drawing near; and, when they shall have done their business, I will send thee under their charge and will give thee wherewithal to reach thy home.” So I blessed and thanked him and remained with him, treated with respect and honour, for some days, when the merchants came as he had foretold, and bought and sold and bartered; and when they had made their preparations to return, my master came to me and said, “Rise and get thee ready to travel with the traders en route to thy country.” They had bought a number of tusks which they had bound together in loads and were embarking them when my master sent me with them, paying for my passage and settling all my debts; besides which he gave me a large present in goods. We set out and voyaged from island to island till we had crossed the sea and landed on the shores of the Persian Gulf, when the merchants brought out and sold their stores: I also sold what I had at a high profit; and I bought some of the prettiest things in the place for presents and beautiful rarities and everything else I wanted. I likewise bought for myself a beast and we fared forth and crossed the deserts from country to country till I reached Baghdad. Here I went in to the Caliph and, after saluting him and kissing hands, informed him of all that had befallen me; whereupon he rejoiced in my safety and thanked Almighty Allah; and he bade my story be written in letters of gold. I then entered my house and met my family and brethren: and such is the end of the history that happened to me during my seven voyages. Praise be to Allah, the One, the Creator, the Maker of all things in Heaven and Earth!—

Now when Shahrazad had ended her story of the two Sindbads, Dinarzad exclaimed, “O my sister, how pleasant is thy tale and how tasteful! How sweet and how grateful!” She replied, “And what is this compared with that I could tell thee to-morrow night?” Quoth the King, “What may it be?” And she said:—It is a tale touching


It is related that there was, in tide of yore and in times and years long gone before, at Damascus of Syria, a Caliph known as Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, the fifth of the Ommiade house. As this Commander of the Faithful was seated one day in his palace, conversing with his Sultans and Kings and the Grandees of his empire, the talk turned upon the legends of past peoples and the traditions of our lord Solomon, David’s son (on the twain be peace!), and on that which Allah Almighty had bestowed on him of lordship and dominion over men and Jinn and birds and beasts and reptiles and the wind and other created things; and quoth the Caliph, “Of a truth we hear from those who forewent us that the Lord (extolled and exalted be He!) vouchsafed unto none the like of that which He vouchsafed unto our lord Solomon and that he attained unto that whereto never attained other than he, in that he was wont to imprison Jinns and Marids and Satans in cucurbites of copper and to stop them with lead and seal[FN#105] them with his ring.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marwan sat conversing with his Grandees concerning our lord Solomon, and these noted what Allah had bestowed upon him of lordship and dominion, quoth the Commander of the Faithful, “Indeed he attained unto that whereto never attained other than he, in that he was wont to imprison Jinns and Marids and Satans in cucurbites of copper and stop them with lead and seal them with his ring.” Then said Talib bin Sahl (who was a seeker after treasures and had books that discovered to him hoards and wealth hidden under the earth), “O Commander of the Faithful,—Allah make thy dominion to endure and exalt thy dignity here and hereafter!—my father told me of my grandfather, that he once took ship with a company, intending for the island of Sikiliyah or Sicily, and sailed until there arose against them a contrary wind, which drove them from their course and brought them, after a month, to a great mountain in one of the lands of Allah the Most High, but where that land was they wot not. Quoth my grandfather:—This was in the darkness of the night and as soon as it was day, there came forth to us, from the caves of the mountain, folk black of colour and naked of body, as they were wild beasts, understanding not one word of what was addressed to them; nor was there any of them who knew Arabic, save their King who was of their own kind. When he saw the ship, he came down to it with a company of his followers and saluting us, bade us welcome and questioned us of our case and our faith. We told him all concerning ourselves and he said, Be of good cheer for no harm shall befal you. And when we, in turn, asked them of their faith, we found that each was of one of the many creeds prevailing before the preaching of Al-Islam and the mission of Mohammed, whom may Allah bless and keep! So my shipmates remarked, We wot not what thou sayest. Then quoth the King, No Adam-son hath ever come to our land before you: but fear not, and rejoice in the assurance of safety and of return to your own country. Then he entertained us three days, feeding us on the flesh of birds and wild beasts and fishes, than which they had no other meat; and, on the fourth day, he carried us down to the beach, that we might divert ourselves by looking upon the fisher-folk. There we saw a man casting his net to catch fish, and presently he pulled them up and behold, in them was a cucurbite of copper, stopped with lead and sealed with the signet of Solomon, son of David, on whom be peace! He brought the vessel to land and broke it open, when there came forth a smoke, which rose a-twisting blue to the zenith, and we heard a horrible voice, saying, I repent! I repent! Pardon, O Prophet of Allah! I will never return to that which I did aforetime. Then the smoke became a terrible Giant frightful of form, whose head was level with the mountain-tops, and he vanished from our sight, whilst our hearts were well-nigh torn out for terror; but the blacks thought nothing of it. Then we returned to the King and questioned him of the matter; whereupon quoth he, Know that this was one of the Jinns whom Solomon, son of David, being wroth with them, shut up in these vessels and cast into the sea, after stopping the mouths with melted lead. Our fishermen ofttimes, in casting their nets, bring up such bottles, which being broken open, there come forth of them Jinnis who, deeming that Solomon is still alive and can pardon them, make their submission to him and say, I repent, O Prophet of Allah!” The Caliph marvelled at Talib’s story and said, “Glory be to God! Verily, to Solomon was given a mighty dominion.” Now al-Nábighah al-Zubyání[FN#106] was present, and he said, “Talib hath spoken soothly as is proven by the saying of the All-wise, the Primćval One,

And Solomon, when Allah to him said, * ‘Rise, be thou Caliph,
     rule with righteous sway:
Honour obedience for obeying thee; * And who rebels imprison him
     for aye’

Wherefore he used to put them in copper-bottles and cast them into the sea.” The poet’s words seemed good to the Caliph, and he said, “By Allah, I long to look upon some of these Solomonic vessels, which must be a warning to whoso will be warned.” “O Commander of the Faithful,” replied Talib, “it is in thy power to do so, without stirring abroad. Send to thy brother Abd al-Aziz bin Marwán, so he may write to Músá bin Nusayr,[FN#107] governor of the Maghrib or Morocco, bidding him take horse thence to the mountains whereof I spoke and fetch thee therefrom as many of such cucurbites as thou hast a mind to; for those mountains adjoin the frontiers of his province.” The Caliph approved his counsel and said “Thou hast spoken sooth, O Talib, and I desire that, touching this matter, thou be my messenger to Musa bin Nusayr; wherefore thou shalt have the White Flag[FN#108] and all thou hast a mind to of monies and honour and so forth; and I will care for thy family during thine absence.” “With love and gladness, O Commander of the Faithful!” answered Talib. “Go, with the blessing of Allah and His aid,” quoth the Caliph, and bade write a letter to his brother, Abd al-Aziz, his viceroy in Egypt, and another to Musa bin Nusayr, his viceroy in North Western Africa, bidding him go himself in quest of the Solomonic bottles, leaving his son to govern in his stead. Moreover, he charged him to engage guides and to spare neither men nor money, nor to be remiss in the matter as he would take no excuse. Then he sealed the two letters and committed them to Talib bin Sahl, bidding him advance the royal ensigns before him and make his utmost speed and he gave him treasure and horsemen and footmen, to further him on his way, and made provision for the wants of his household during his absence. So Talib set out and arrived in due course at Cairo.[FN#109]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Talib bin Sahl set out with his escort and crossed the desert country between Syria and Egypt, where the Governor came out to meet him and entreated him and his company with high honour whilst they tarried with him. Then he gave them a guide to bring them to the Sa’íd or Upper Egypt, where the Emir Musa had his abiding-place; and when the son of Nusayr heard of Talib’s coming, he went forth to meet him and rejoiced in him. Talib gave him the Caliph’s letter, and he took it reverently and, laying it on his head, cried, “I hear and I obey the Prince of the Faithful.” Then he deemed it best to assemble his chief officers and when all were present he acquainted them with the contents of the Caliph’s letter and sought counsel of them how he should act. “O Emir,” answered they, “if thou seek one who shall guide thee to the place summon the Shaykh ’Abd al-Samad, ibn ’Abd al-Kuddús, al-Samúdí;[FN#110] for he is a man of varied knowledge, who hath travelled much and knoweth by experience all the seas and wastes and words and countries of the world and the inhabitants and wonders thereof; wherefore send thou for him and he will surely guide thee to thy desire.” So Musa sent for him, and behold, he was a very ancient man shot in years and broken down with lapse of days. The Emir saluted him and said, “O Shaykh Abd al-Samad, our lord the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan’ hath commanded me thus and thus. I have small knowledge of the land wherein is that which the Caliph desireth; but it is told me that thou knowest it well and the ways thither. Wilt thou, therefore, go with me and help me to accomplish the Caliph’s need? So it please Allah the Most High, thy trouble and travail shall not go waste.” Replied the Shaykh, “I hear and obey the bidding of the Commander of the Faithful; but know, O Emir, that the road thither is long and difficult and the ways few.” “How far is it?” asked Musa, and the Shaykh answered, “It is a journey of two years and some months going and the like returning; and the way is full of hardships and terrors and things wondrous and marvellous. Now thou art a champion of the Faith[FN#111] and our country is hard by that of the enemy; and peradventure the Nazarenes may come out upon us in thine absence; wherefore it behoveth thee to leave one to rule thy government in thy stead.” “It is well,” answered the Emir and appointed his son Hárún Governor during his absence, requiring the troops to take the oath of fealty to him and bidding them obey him in all he should command. And they heard his words and promised obedience. Now this Harun was a man of great prowess and a renowned warrior and a doughty knight, and the Shaykh Abd al-Samad feigned to him that the place they sought was distant but four months’ journey along the shore of the sea, with camping-places all the way, adjoining one another, and grass and springs, adding, “Allah will assuredly make the matter easy to us through thy blessing, O Lieutenant of the Commander of the Faithful!” Quoth the Emir Musa, “Knowest thou if any of the Kings have trodden this land before us?”; and quoth the Shaykh, “Yes, it belonged aforetime to Darius the Greek, King of Alexandria.” But he said to Musa privily, “O Emir, take with thee a thousand camels laden with victual and store of gugglets.”[FN#112] The Emir asked, “And what shall we do with these?”, and the Shaykh answered. “On our way is the desert of Kayrwán or Cyrene, the which is a vast wold four days’ journey long, and lacketh water; nor therein doth sound of voice ever sound nor is soul at any time to be seen. Moreover, there bloweth the Simoon[FN#113] and other hot winds called Al-Juwayb, which dry up the water-skins; but if the water be in gugglets, no harm can come to it.” “Right,” said Musa and sending to Alexandria, let bring thence great plenty of gugglets. Then he took with him his Wazir and two thousand cavalry, clad in mail cap-à-pie and set out, without other to guide them but Abd al-Samad who forewent them, riding on his hackney. The party fared on diligently, now passing through inhabited lands, then ruins and anon traversing frightful wolds and thirsty wastes and then mountains which spired high in air; nor did they leave journeying a whole year’s space till, one morning, when the day broke, after they had travelled all night, behold, the Shaykh found himself in a land he knew not and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” Quoth the Emir, “What is to do, O Shaykh?”; and he answered, saying, “By the Lord of the Ka’abah, we have wandered from our road!” “How cometh that?” asked Musa, and Abd al-Samad replied, “The stars were overclouded and I could not guide myself by them.” “Where on God’s earth are we now?” asked the Emir, and the Shaykh answered, “I know not; for I never set eyes on this land till this moment.” Said Musa, “Guide us back to the place where we went astray”, but the other, “I know it no more.” Then Musa, “Let us push on; haply Allah will guide us to it or direct us aright of His power.” So they fared on till the hour of noon-prayer, when they came to a fair champaign, and wide and level and smooth as it were the sea when calm, and presently there appeared to them, on the horizon some great thing, high and black, in whose midst was as it were smoke rising to the confines of the sky. They made for this, and stayed not in their course till they drew near thereto, when, lo! it was a high castle, firm of foundations and great and gruesome, as it were a towering mountain, builded all of black stone, with frowning crenelles and a door of gleaming China steel, that dazzled the eyes and dazed the wits. Round about it were a thousand steps and that which appeared afar off as it were smoke was a central dome of lead an hundred cubits high. When the Emir saw this, he marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel and how this place was void of inhabitants; and the Shaykh, after he had certified himself thereof, said, “There is no god but the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God!” Quoth Musa, “I hear thee praise the Lord and hallow Him, and meseemeth thou rejoicest.” “O Emir,” answered Abd al-Samad, “Rejoice, for Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath delivered us from the frightful wolds and thirsty wastes.” “How knowest thou that?” said Musa, and the other, “I know it for that my father told me of my grandfather that he said, We were once journeying in this land and, straying from the road, we came to this palace and thence to the City of Brass; between which and the place thou seekest is two full months’ travel; but thou must take to the sea-shore and leave it not, for there be watering-places and wells and camping-grounds established by King Zú al-Karnayn Iskandar who, when he went to the conquest of Mauritania, found by the way thirsty deserts and wastes and wilds and dug therein water-pits and built cisterns.’” Quoth Musa, “Allah rejoice thee with good news!” and quoth the Shaykh, “Come, let us go look upon yonder palace and its marvels, for it is an admonition to whose will be admonished.” So the Emir went up to the palace, with the Shaykh and his officers, and coming to the gate, found it open. Now this gate was builded with lofty columns and porticoes whose walls and ceilings were inlaid with gold and silver and precious stones; and there led up to it flights of steps, among which were two wide stairs of coloured marble, never was seen their like; and over the doorway was a tablet whereon were graven letters of gold in the old ancient Ionian character. “O Emir,” asked the Shaykh, “Shall I read?”; and Musa answered, “Read and God bless thee!; for all that betideth us in this journey dependeth upon thy blessing.” So the Shaykh, who was a very learned man and versed in all tongues and characters, went up to the tablet and read whatso was thereon and it was verse like this,

“The signs that here their mighty works portray * Warn us that
     all must tread the self-same way:
O thou who standest in this stead to hear * Tidings of folk,
     whose power hath passed for aye,
Enter this palace-gate and ask the news * Of greatness fallen
     into dust and clay:
Death has destroyed them and dispersed their might * And in the
     dust they lost their rich display;
As had they only set their burdens down * To rest awhile, and
     then had rode away.”

When the Emir Musa heard these couplets, he wept till he lost his senses and said, “There is no god but the God, the Living, the Eternal, who ceaseth not!” Then he entered the palace and was confounded at its beauty and the goodliness of its construction. He diverted himself awhile by viewing the pictures and images therein, till he came to another door, over which also were written verses, and said to the Shaykh, “Come read me these!” So he advanced and read as follows,

“Under these domes how many a company * Halted of old and fared
     with-outen stay:
See thou what might displays on other wights * Time with his
     shifts which could such lords waylay:
They shared together what they gathered * And left their joys and
     fared to Death-decay:
What joys they joyed! what food they ate! and now * In dust
     they’re eaten, for the worm a prey.”

At this the Emir Musa wept bitter tears; and the world waxed yellow before his eyes and he said, “Verily, we were created for a mighty matter!”[FN#114] Then they proceeded to explore the palace and found it desert and void of living thing, its courts desolate and dwelling places waste laid. In the midst stood a lofty pavilion with a dome rising high in air, and about it were four hundred tombs, builded of yellow marble. The Emir drew near unto these and behold, amongst them was a great tomb, wide and long; and at its head stood a tablet of white marble, whereon were graven these couplets,

“How oft have I fought! and how many have slain! * How much have
     I witnessed of blessing and bane!
How much have I eaten! how much have I drunk! * How oft have I
     hearkened to singing-girl’s strain!
How much have I bidden! how oft have forbid! * How many a castle
     and castellain
I have sieged and have searched, and the cloistered maids * In
     the depths of its walls for my captives were ta’en!
But of ignorance sinned I to win me the meeds * Which won proved
     naught and brought nothing of gain:
Then reckon thy reck’ning, O man, and be wise * Ere the goblet of
     death and of doom thou shalt drain;
For yet but a little the dust on thy head * They shall strew, and
     thy life shall go down to the dead.”

The Emir and his companions wept; then, drawing near unto the pavilion, they saw that it had eight doors of sandal-wood, studded with nails of gold and stars of silver and inlaid with all manner precious stones. On the first door were written these verses,

“What I left, I left it not for nobility of soul, * But through
     sentence and decree that to every man are dight.
What while I lived happy, with a temper haught and high, * My
     hoarding-place defending like a lion in the fight,
I took no rest, and greed of gain forbad me give a grain * Of
     mustard seed to save from the fires of Hell my sprite,
Until stricken on a day, as with arrow, by decree * Of the Maker,
     the Fashioner, the Lord of Might and Right.
When my death was appointed, my life I could not keep * By the
     many of my stratagems, my cunning and my sleight:
My troops I had collected availed me not, and none * Of my
     friends and of my neighbours had power to mend my plight:
Through my life I was weaned in journeying to death * In stress
     or in solace, in joyance or despight:
So when money-bags are bloated, and dinar unto dinar * Thou
     addest, all may leave thee with fleeting of the night:
And the driver of a camel and the digger of a grave[FN#115] * Are
     what thine heirs shall bring ere the morning dawneth bright:
And on Judgment Day alone shalt thou stand before thy Lord, *
     Overladen with thy sins and thy crimes and thine affright:
Let the world not seduce thee with lurings, but behold * What
     measure to thy family and neighbours it hath doled.”

When Musa heard these verses, he wept with such weeping that he swooned away; then, coming to himself, he entered the pavilion and saw therein a long tomb, awesome to look upon, whereon was a tablet of China steel and Shaykh Abd al-Samad drew near it and read this inscription: “In the name of Ever-lasting Allah, the Never-beginning, the Never-ending; in the name of Allah who begetteth not nor is He begot and unto whom the like is not; in the name of Allah the Lord of Majesty and Might; in the name of the Living One who to death is never dight!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shaykh Abd al-Samad, having read the aforesaid, also found the following, “O thou who comest to this place, take warning by that which thou seest of the accidents of Time and the vicissitudes of Fortune and be not deluded by the world and its pomps and vanities and fallacies and falsehoods and vain allurements, for that it is flattering, deceitful and treacherous, and the things thereof are but a loan to us which it will borrow back from all borrowers. It is like unto the dreams of the dreamer and the sleep-visions of the sleeper or as the mirage of the desert, which the thirsty take for water;[FN#116] and Satan maketh it fair for men even unto death. These are the ways of the world; wherefore put not thou thy trust therein neither incline thereto, for it betrayeth him who leaneth upon it and who committeth himself thereunto in his affairs. Fall not thou into its snares neither take hold upon its skirts, but be warned by my example. I possessed four thousand bay horses and a haughty palace, and I had to wife a thousand daughters of kings, high-bosomed maids, as they were moons: I was blessed with a thousand sons as they were fierce lions, and I abode a thousand years, glad of heart and mind, and I amassed treasures beyond the competence of all the Kings of the regions of the earth, deeming that delight would still endure to me. But there fell on me unawares the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies, the Desolator of domiciles and the Spoiler of inhabited spots, the Murtherer of great and small, babes and children and mothers, he who hath no ruth on the poor for his poverty, or feareth the King for all his bidding or forbidding. Verily, we abode safe and secure in this palace, till there descended upon us the judgment of the Lord of the Three Worlds, Lord of the Heavens, and Lord of the Earths, the vengeance of the Manifest Truth[FN#117] overtook us, when there died of us every day two, till a great company of us had perished. When I saw that destruction had entered our dwellings and had homed with us and in the sea of deaths had drowned us, I summoned a writer and bade him indite these verses and instances and admonitions, the which I let grave, with rule and compass, on these doors and tablets and tombs. Now I had an army of a thousand thousand bridles, men of warrior mien with forearms strong and keen, armed with spears and mail-coats sheen and swords that gleam; so I bade them don their long-hanging hauberks and gird on their biting blades and mount their high-mettled steeds and level their dreadful lances; and whenas there fell on us the doom of the Lord of heaven and earth, I said to them, Ho, all ye soldiers and troopers, can ye avail to ward off that which is fallen on me from the Omnipotent King?’ But troopers and soldiers availed not unto this and said, How shall we battle with Him to whom no chamberlain barreth access, the Lord of the door which hath no doorkeeper?’ Then quoth I to them, Bring me my treasures’ Now I had in my treasuries a thousand cisterns in each of which were a thousand quintals[FN#118] of red gold and the like of white silver, besides pearls and jewels of all kinds and other things of price, beyond the attainment of the kings of the earth. So they did that and when they had laid all the treasure in my presence, I said to them, Can ye ransom me with all this treasure or buy me one day of life therewith?’ But they could not! So they resigned themselves to fore-ordained Fate and fortune and I submitted to the judgment of Allah, enduring patiently that which he decreed unto me of affliction, till He took my soul and made me to dwell in my grave. And if thou ask of my name, I am Kúsh, the son of Shaddád son of Ád the Greater.” And upon the tablets were engraved these lines,

“An thou wouldst know my name, whose day is done * With shifts of
     time and chances ’neath the sun,
Know I am Shaddád’s son, who ruled mankind * And o’er all earth
     upheld dominion!
All stubborn peoples abject were to me; * And Shám to Cairo and
     to Adnanwone;[FN#119]
I reigned in glory conquering many kings; * And peoples feared my
     mischief every one.
Yea, tribes and armies in my hand I saw; * The world all dreaded
     me, both friends and fone.
When I took horse, I viewed my numbered troops, * Bridles on
     neighing steeds a million.
And I had wealth that none could tell or count, * Against
     misfortune treasuring all I won;
Fain had I bought my life with all my wealth, * And for a
     moment’s space my death to shun;
But God would naught save what His purpose willed; * So from my
     brethren cut I ’bode alone:
And Death, that sunders man, exchanged my lot * To pauper hut
     from grandeur’s mansion
When found I all mine actions gone and past * Wherefor I’m
     pledged[FN#120] and by my sin undone.
Then fear, O man, who by a brink dost range, * The turns of
     Fortune and the chance of Change.”

The Emir Musa was hurt to his heart and loathed his life for what he saw of the slaughtering-places of the folk; and, as they went about the highways and byeways of the palace, viewing its sitting-chambers and pleasaunces, behold they came upon a table of yellow onyx, upborne on four feet of juniper-wood,[FN#121] and there-on these words graven, “At this table have eaten a thousand kings blind of the right eye and a thousand blind of the left and yet other thousand sound of both eyes, all of whom have departed the world and have taken up their sojourn in the tombs and the catacombs.” All this the Emir wrote down and left the palace, carrying off with him naught save the table aforesaid. Then he fared on with his host three days’ space, under the guidance of the Shaykh Abd al-Samad, till they came to a high hill, whereon stood a horseman of brass. In his hand he held a lance with a broad head, in brightness like blinding leven, whereon was graven, “O thou that comest unto me, if thou know not the way to the City of Brass, rub the hand of this rider and he will turn round and presently stop. Then take the direction whereto he faceth and fare fearless, for it will bring thee, without hardship, to the city aforesaid.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Emir Musa rubbed the horseman’s hand he revolved like the dazzling lightning, and stopped facing in a direction other than that wherein they were journeying. So they took the road to which he pointed (which was the right way) and, finding it a beaten track, fared on through their days and nights till they had covered a wide tract of country. Then they came upon a pillar of black stone like a furnace chimney wherein was one sunken up to his armpits. He had two great wings and four arms, two of them like the arms of the sons of Adam and other two as they were lion’s paws, with claws of iron, and he was black and tall and frightful of aspect, with hair like horses’ tails and eyes like blazing coals, slit upright in his face. Moreover, he had in the middle of his forehead a third eye, as it were that of a lynx, from which flew sparks of fire, and he cried out saying, “Glory to my Lord, who hath adjudged unto me this grievous torment and sore punishment until the Day of Doom!” When the folk saw him, they lost their reason for affright and turned to flee; so the Emir Musa asked the Shaykh Abd al-Samad, “What is this?”; and he answered, “I know not.” Whereupon quoth Musa, “Draw near and question him of his condition; haply he will discover to thee his case.” “Allah assain thee, Emir! Indeed, I am afraid of him;” replied the Shaykh; but the Emir rejoined, saying, “Fear not; he is hindered from thee and from all others by that wherein he is.” So Abd al-Samad drew near to the pillar and said to him which was therein, “O creature, what is thy name and what art thou and how camest thou here in this fashion?” “I am an Ifrit of the Jinn,” replied he, “by name Dáhish, son of Al-A’amash,[FN#122] and am confined here by the All-might, prisoned here by the Providence and punished by the judgement of Allah, till it pleases Him, to whom belong Might and Majesty, to release me.” Then said Musa, “Ask him why he is in durance of this column?” So the Shaykh asked him of this, and the Ifrit replied, saying,—Verily my tale is wondrous and my case marvellous, and it is this. One of the sons of Iblis had an idol of red carnelian, whereof I was guardian, and there served it a King of the Kings of the sea, a Prince of puissant power and prow of prowess, over-ruling a thousand thousand warriors of the Jann who smote with swords before him and answered his summons in time of need. All these were under my commandment and obeyed my behest, being each and every rebels against Solomon, son of David, on whom be peace! And I used to enter the belly of the idol and thence bid and forbid them. Now this King’s daughter loved the idol and was frequent in prostration to it and assiduous in its service; and she was the fairest woman of her day, accomplished in beauty and loveliness, elegance and grace. She was described unto Solomon and he sent to her father, saying, “Give me thy daughter to wife and break thine idol of carnelian and testify saying, There is no god but the God and Solomon is the Prophet of Allah! an thou do this, our due shall be thy due and thy debt shall be our debt, but, if thou refuse, make ready to answer the summons of the Lord and don thy grave-gear, for I will come upon thee with an irresistible host, which shall fill the waste places of earth and make thee as yesterday that is passed away and hath no return for aye. When this message reached the King, he waxed insolent and rebellious, pride-full and contumacious and he cried to his Wazirs, What say ye of this? Know ye that Solomon son of David hath sent requiring me to give him my daughter to wife, and break my idol of carnelian and enter his faith!’ And they replied, O mighty King, how shall Solomon do thus with thee? Even could he come at thee in the midst of this vast ocean, he could not prevail against thee, for the Marids of the Jann will fight on thy side and thou wilt ask succour of thine idol whom thou servest, and he will help thee and give thee victory over him. So thou wouldst do well to consult on this matter thy Lord,’ (meaning the idol aforesaid) and hear what he saith. If he say, Fight him, fight him, and if not, not.’ So the King went in without stay or delay to his idol and offered up sacrifices and slaughtered victims; after which he fell down before him, prostrate and weeping, and repeated these verses,

“O my Lord, well I weet thy puissant hand: * Sulaymán would break      thee and see thee bann’d.
O my Lord, to crave succour here I stand * Command and I bow to      thy high command!”

Then I (continued the Ifrit addressing the Shaykh and those about him), of my ignorance and want of wit and recklessness of the commandment of Solomon and lack of knowledge anent his power, entered the belly of the idol and made answer as follows.

“As for me, of him I feel naught affright, * For my lore and my      wisdom are infinite:
If he wish for warfare I’ll show him fight * And out of his body      I’ll tear his sprite!”

When the King heard my boastful reply, he hardened his heart and resolved to wage war upon the Prophet and to offer him battle; wherefore he beat the messenger with a grievous beating and returned a foul answer to Solomon, threatening him and saying, Of a truth, thy soul hath suggested to thee a vain thing; dost thou menace me with mendacious words? But gird thyself for battle; for, an thou come not to me, I will assuredly come to thee.’ So the messenger returned to Solomon and told him all that had passed and whatso had befallen him, which when the Prophet heard, he raged like Doomsday and addressed himself to the fray and levied armies of men and Jann and birds and reptiles. He commanded his Wazir Al-Dimiryát, King of the Jann, to gather together the Marids of the Jinn from all parts, and he collected for him six hundred thousand thousand of devils.[FN#123] Moreover, by his order, his Wazir Ásaf bin Barkhiyá levied him an army of men, to the number of a thousand thousand or more. These all he furnished with arms and armour and mounting, with his host, upon his carpet, took flight through air, while the beasts fared under him and the birds flew overhead, till he lighted down on the island of the refractory King and encompassed it about, filling earth with his hosts.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit continued, “So when Solomon the prophet (with whom be peace!) lighted down with his host on the island he sent to our King, saying, Behold, I am come: defend thy life against that which is fallen upon thee, or else make thy submission to me and confess my apostleship and give me thy daughter to lawful wife and break thine idol and worship the one God, the alone Worshipful; and testify, thou and thine, and say, There is no God but the God, and Solomon is the Apostle of Allah![FN#124] This if thou do, thou shalt have pardon and peace; but if not, it will avail thee nothing to fortify thyself in this island, for Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath bidden the wind obey me; so I will bid it bear me to thee on my carpet and make thee a warning and an example to deter others.’ But the King made answer to his messenger, saying, It may not on any wise be as he requireth of me; so tell him I come forth to him,’ With this reply the messenger returned to Solomon, who thereupon gathered together all the Jinn that were under his hand, to the number of a thousand thousand, and added to them other than they of Marids and Satans from the islands of the sea and the tops of the mountains and, drawing them up on parade, opened his armouries and distributed to them arms and armour. Then the Prophet drew out his host in battle array, dividing the beasts into two bodies, one on the right wing of the men and the other on the left, and bidding them tear the enemies’ horses in sunder. Furthermore, he ordered the birds which were in the island to hover over their heads and, whenas the assault should be made, that they should swoop down and tear out the foe’s eyes with their beaks and buffet their faces with their wings; and they answered, saying, We hear and we obey Allah and thee, O Prophet of Allah!’ Then Solomon seated himself on a throne of alabaster, studded with precious stones and plated with red gold; and, commanding the wind to bear him aloft, set his Wazir Asaf bin Barkhiya[FN#125] and the kings of mankind on his right and his Wazir Al-Dimiryat and the kings of the Jinn on his left, arraying the beasts and vipers and serpents in the van. Thereupon they all set on us together, and we gave them battle two days over a vast plain; but, on the third day, disaster befel us, and the judgment of Allah the Most High was executed upon us. Now the first to charge upon them were I and my troops, and I said to my companions, Abide in your places, whilst I sally forth to them and provoke Al-Dimiryat to combat singular.’ And behold, he came forth to the duello as he were a vast mountain, with his fires flaming and his smoke spireing, and shot at me a falling star of fire; but I swerved from it and it missed me. Then I cast at him in my turn, a flame of fire, and smote him; but his shaft[FN#126] overcame my fire and he cried out at me so terrible a cry that meseemed the skies were fallen flat upon me, and the mountains trembled at his voice. Then he commanded his hosts to charge; accordingly they rushed on us and we rushed on them, each crying out upon other, and battle reared its crest rising in volumes and smoke ascending in columns and hearts well nigh cleaving. The birds and the flying Jinn fought in the air and the beasts and men and the foot-faring Jann in the dust and I fought with Al-Dimiryat, till I was aweary and he not less so. At last, I grew weak and turned to flee from him, whereupon my companions and tribesmen likewise took to flight and my hosts were put to the rout, and Solomon cried out, saying, Take yonder furious tyrant, the accursed, the infamous!’ Then man fell upon man and Jinn upon Jinn and the armies of the Prophet charged down upon us, with the wild beasts and lions on their right hand and on their left, rending our horses and tearing our men; whilst the birds hovered over-head in air pecking out our eyes with their claws and beaks and beating our faces with their wings, and the serpents struck us with their fangs, till the most of our folk lay prone upon the face of the earth, like the trunks of date-trees. Thus defeat befel our King and we became a spoil unto Solomon. As to me, I fled from before Al-Dimiryat, but he followed me three months’ journey, till I fell down for weariness and he overtook me, and pouncing upon me, made me prisoner. Quoth I, By the virtue of Him who hath exalted thee and abased me, spare me and bring me into the presence of Solomon, on whom be peace!’ So he carried me before Solomon, who received me after the foulest fashion and bade bring this pillar and hollow it out. Then he set me herein and chained me and sealed me with his signet-ring, and Al-Dimiryat bore me to this place wherein thou seest me. Moreover, he charged a great angel to guard me, and this pillar is my prison until Judgment-day.” Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Jinni who was prisoned in the pillar had told them his tale, from first to last, the folk marvelled at his story and at the frightfulness of his favour, and the Emir Musa said, “There is no God but the God! Soothly was Solomon gifted with a mighty dominion.” Then said the Shaykh Abd al-Samad to the Jinni, “Ho there! I would fain ask thee of a thing, whereof do thou inform us.” “Ask what thou wilt,” answered the Ifrit Dahish and the Shaykh said, “Are there hereabouts any of the Ifrits imprisoned in bottles of brass from the time of Solomon (on whom be peace!)?” “Yes,” replied the Jinni; “there be such in the sea of al-Karkar[FN#127] on the shores whereof dwell a people of the lineage of Noah (on whom be peace!); for their country was not reached by the Deluge and they are cut off there from the other sons of Adam.” Quoth Abd al-Samad, “And which is the way to the City of Brass and the place wherein are the cucurbites of Solomon, and what distance lieth between us and it?” Quoth the Ifrit, “It is near at hand,” and directed them in the way thither. So they left him and fared forward till there appeared to them afar off a great blackness and therein two fires facing each other, and the Emir Musa asked the Shaykh, “What is yonder vast blackness and its twin fires?”; and the guide answered, “Rejoice O Emir, for this is the City of Brass, as it is described in the Book of Hidden Treasures which I have by me. Its walls are of black stone and it hath two towers of Andalusian brass,[FN#128] which appear to the beholder in the distance as they were twin fires, and hence is it named the City of Brass.” Then they fared on without ceasing till they drew near the city and behold, it was as it were a piece of a mountain or a mass of iron cast in a mould and impenetrable for the height of its walls and bulwarks; while nothing could be more beautiful than its buildings and its ordinance. So they dismounted down and sought for an entrance, but saw none neither found any trace of opening in the walls, albeit there were five-and-twenty portals to the city, but none of them was visible from without. Then quoth the Emir, “O Shaykh, I see to this city no sign of any gate;” and quoth he, “O Emir, thus is it described in my Book of Hidden Treasures; it hath five-and-twenty portals; but none thereof may be opened save from within the city.” Asked Musa, “And how shall we do to enter the city and view its wonders?” and Talib son of Sahl, his Wazir, answered, “Allah assain the Emir! let us rest here two or three days and, God willing, we will make shift to come within the walls.” Then said Musa to one of his men, “Mount thy camel and ride round about the city, so haply thou may light upon a gate or a place somewhat lower than this fronting us, or Inshallah! a breach whereby we can enter.” Accordingly he mounted his beast, taking water and victuals with him, and rode round the city two days and two nights, without drawing rein to rest, but found the wall thereof as it were one block, without breach or way of ingress; and on the third day, he came again in sight of his companions, dazed and amazed at what he had seen of the extent and loftiness of the place, and said, “O Emir, the easiest place of access is this where you have alighted.” Then Musa took Talib and Abd al-Samad and ascended the highest hill which overlooked the city. When they reached the top, they beheld beneath them a city, never saw eyes a greater or a goodlier, with dwelling-places and mansions of towering height, and palaces and pavilions and domes gleaming gloriously bright and sconces and bulwarks of strength infinite; and its streams were a-flowing and flowers a-blowing and fruits a glowing. It was a city with gates impregnable; but void and still, without a voice or a cheering inhabitant. The owl hooted in its quarters; the bird skimmed circling over its squares and the raven croaked in its great thoroughfares weeping and bewailing the dwellers who erst made it their dwelling.[FN#129] The Emir stood awhile, marvelling and sorrowing for the desolation of the city and saying, “Glory to Him whom nor ages nor changes nor times can blight, Him who created all things of His Might!” Presently, he chanced to look aside and caught sight of seven tablets of white marble afar off. So he drew near them and finding inscriptions graven thereon, called the Shaykh and bade him read these. Accordingly he came forward and, examining the inscriptions, found that they contained matter of admonition and warning and instances and restraint to those of understanding. On the first tablet was inscribed, in the ancient Greek character: “O son of Adam, how heedless art thou of that which is before thee! Verily, thy years and months and days have diverted thee therefrom. Knowest thou not that the cup of death is filled for thy bane which in a little while to the dregs thou shalt drain? Look to thy doom ere thou enter thy tomb. Where be the Kings who held dominion over the lands and abased Allah’s servants and built these palaces and had armies under their commands? By Allah, the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies and the Devastator of dwelling-places came down upon them and transported them from the spaciousness of their palaces to the staitness of their burial-places.” And at the foot of the tablet were written the following verses,

“Where are the Kings earth-peopling, where are they? * The built
     and peopled left they e’er and aye!
They’re tombed yet pledged to actions past away * And after death
     upon them came decay.
Where are their troops? They failed to ward and guard! * Where
     are the wealth and hoards in treasuries lay?
Th’ Empyrean’s Lord surprised them with one word, * Nor wealth
     nor refuge could their doom delay!”

When the Emir heard this, he cried out and the tears ran down his cheeks and he exclaimed, “By Allah, from the world abstaining is the wisest course and the sole assaining!” And he called for pen-case and paper and wrote down what was graven on the first tablet. Then he drew near the second tablet and found these words graven thereon, “O son of Adam, what hath seduced thee from the service of the Ancient of Days and made thee forget that one day thou must defray the debt of death? Wottest thou not that it is a transient dwelling wherein for none there is abiding; and yet thou taketh thought unto the world and cleavest fast thereto? Where be the kings who Irak peopled and the four quarters of the globe possessed? Where be they who abode in Ispahan and the land of Khorasan? The voice of the Summoner of Death summoned them and they answered him, and the Herald of Destruction hailed them and they replied, Here are we! Verily, that which they builded and fortified profited them naught; neither did what they had gathered and provided avail for their defence.” And at the foot of the tablet were graven the following verses,

Where be the men who built and fortified * High places never man      their like espied?
In fear of Fate they levied troops and hosts, * Availing naught      when came the time and tide,
Where be the Kisrás homed in strongest walls? * As though they      ne’er had been from home they tried!

The Emir Musa wept and exclaimed, “By Allah, we are indeed created for a grave matter!” Then he copied the inscription and passed on to the third tablet,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Emir Musa passed on to the third tablet, whereon was written, “O son of Adam, the things of this world thou lovest and prizest and the hest of thy Lord thou spurnest and despisest. All the days of thy life pass by and thou art content thus to aby. Make ready thy viaticum against the day appointed for thee to see and prepare to answer the Lord of every creature that be!” And at the foot were written these verses,

“Where is the wight who peopled in the past * Hind land and Sind;
     and there the tyrant played?
Who Zanj[FN#130] and Habash bound beneath his yoke, * And Nubia
     curbed and low its puissance laid.
Look not for news of what is in his grave. * Ah, he is far who
     can thy vision aid!
The stroke of death fell on him sharp and sure; * Nor saved him
     palace, nor the lands he swayed.”

At this Musa wept with sore weeping and, going on to the fourth tablet, he read inscribed thereon, “O son of Adam, how long shall thy Lord bear with thee and thou every day sunken in the sea of thy folly? Hath it then been stablished unto thee that some day thou shalt not die? O son of Adam, let not the deceits of thy days and nights and times and hours delude thee with their delights; but remember that death lieth ready for thee ambushing, fain on thy shoulders to spring, nor doth a day pass but he morneth with thee in the morning and nighteth with thee by night. Beware, then, of his onslaught and make provision there-against. As was with me, so it is with thee; thou wastest thy whole life and squanderest the joys in which thy days are rife. Hearken, therefore, to my words and put thy trust in the Lord of Lords; for in the world there is no stability; it is but as a spider’s web to thee.” And at the foot of the tablet were written these couplets,

“Where is the man who did those labours ply * And based and built
     and reared these walls on high?
Where be the castles’ lords? Who therein dwelt * Fared forth and
     left them in decay to lie.
All are entombed, in pledge against the day * When every sin
     shall show to every eye.
None but the Lord Most High endurance hath, * Whose Might and
     Majesty shall never die.”

When the Emir read this, he swooned away and presently coming to himself marvelled exceedingly and wrote it down. Then he drew near the fifth tablet and behold, thereon was graven, “O son of Adam, what is it that distracteth thee from obedience of thy Creator and the Author of thy being, Him who reared thee whenas thou west a little one, and fed thee whenas thou west full-grown? Thou art ungrateful for His bounty, albeit He watcheth over thee with His favours, letting down the curtain of His protection over thee. Needs must there be for thee an hour bitterer than aloes and hotter than live coals. Provide thee, therefore, against it; for who shall sweeten its gall or quench its fires? Bethink thee who forewent thee of peoples and heroes and take warning by them, ere thou perish.” And at the foot of the tablet were graven these couplets,

“Where be the Earth-kings who from where they bode, * Sped and
     to grave yards with their hoardings yode:
Erst on their mounting-days there hadst beheld * Hosts that
     concealed the ground whereon they rode:
How many a king they humbled in their day! * How many a host they
     led and laid on load!
But from th’ Empyrean’s Lord in haste there came * One word, and
     joy waxed grief ere morning glowed.”

The Emir marvelled at this and wrote it down; after which he passed on to the sixth tablet and behold, was inscribed thereon, “O son of Adam, think not that safety will endure for ever and aye, seeing that death is sealed to thy head alway. Where be thy fathers, where be thy brethren, where thy friends and dear ones? They have all gone to the dust of the tombs and presented themselves before the Glorious, the Forgiving, as if they had never eaten nor drunken, and they are a pledge for that which they have earned. So look to thyself, ere thy tomb come upon thee.” And at the foot of the tablet were these couplets,

“Where be the Kings who ruled the Franks of old? * Where be the
     King who peopled Tingis-wold[FN#131]?
Their works are written in a book which He, * The One, th’ All-
    father shall as witness hold.”

At this the Emir Musa marvelled and wrote it down, saying, “There is no god but the God! Indeed, how goodly were these folk!” Then he went up to the seventh tablet and behold, thereon was written, “Glory to Him who fore-ordaineth death to all He createth, the Living One, who dieth not! O son of Adam, let not thy days and their delights delude thee, neither thine hours and the delices of their time, and know that death to thee cometh and upon thy shoulder sitteth. Beware, then, of his assault and make ready for his onslaught. As it was with me, so it is with thee; thou wastest the sweet of thy life and the joyance of thine hours. Give ear, then, to my rede and put thy trust in the Lord of Lords and know that in the world is no stability, but it is as it were a spider’s web to thee and all that is therein shall die and cease to be. Where is he who laid the foundation of Amid[FN#132] and builded it and builded Fárikín[FN#133] and exalted it? Where be the peoples of the strong places? Whenas them they had inhabited, after their might into the tombs they descended. They have been carried off by death and we shall in like manner be afflicted by doom. None abideth save Allah the Most High, for He is Allah the Forgiving One.” The Emir Musa wept and copied all this, and indeed the world was belittled in his eyes. Then he descended the hill and rejoined his host, with whom he passed the rest of tile day, casting about for a means of access to the city. And he said to his Wazir Talib bin Sahl and to the chief officers about him, “How shall we contrive to enter this city and view its marvels?: haply we shall find therein wherewithal to win the favour of the Commander of the Faithful.” “Allah prolong the Emir’s fortune!” replied Talib, “let us make a ladder and mount the wall therewith, so peradventure we may come at the gate from within.” Quoth the Emir, “This is what occurred to my thought also, and admirable is the advice!” Then he called for carpenters and blacksmiths and bade them fashion wood and build a ladder plated and banded with iron. So they made a strong ladder and many men wrought at it a whole month. Then all the company laid hold of it and set it up against the wall, and it reached the top as truly as if it had been built for it before that time. The Emir marvelled and said, “The blessing of Allah be upon you. It seems as though ye had taken the measure of the mure, so excellent is your work.” Then said he to his men, “Which of you will mount the ladder and walk along the wall and cast about for a way of descending into the city, so to see how the case stands and let us know how we may open the gate?” Whereupon quoth one of them, “I will go up, O Emir, and descend and open to you”; and Musa answered, saying, “Go and the blessing of Allah go with thee!” So the man mounted the ladder; but, when he came to the top of the wall, he stood up and gazed fixedly down into the city, then clapped his hands and crying out, at the top of his voice, “By Allah, thou art fair!” cast himself down into the place, and Musa cried, “By Allah, he is a dead man!” But another came up to him and said, “O Emir, this was a madman and doubtless his madness got the better of him and destroyed him. I will go up and open the gate to you, if it be the will of Allah the Most High.” “Go up,” replied Musa, “and Allah be with thee! But beware lest thou lose thy head, even as did thy comrade.” Then the man mounted the ladder, but no sooner had he reached the top of the wall than he laughed aloud, saying, “Well done! well done!”; and clapping palms cast himself down into the city and died forthright. When the Emir saw this, he said, “An such be the action of a reasonable man, what is that of the madman? If all our men do on this wise, we shall have none left and shall fail of our errand and that of the Commander of the Faithful. Get ye ready for the march: verily we have no concern with this city.” But a third one of the company said, “Haply another may be steadier than they.” So a third mounted the wall and a fourth and a fifth and all cried out and cast themselves down, even as did the first, nor did they leave to do thus, till a dozen had perished in like fashion. Then the Shaykh Abd al-Samad came forward and heartened himself and said, “This affair is reserved to none other than myself; for the experienced is not like the inexperienced.” Quoth the Emir, “Indeed thou shalt not do that nor will I have thee go up: an thou perish, we shall all be cut off to the last man since thou art our guide.” But he answered, saying, “Peradventure, that which we seek may be accomplished at my hands, by the grace of God Most High!” So the folk all agreed to let him mount the ladder, and he arose and heartening himself, said, “In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!” and mounted the ladder, calling on the name of the Lord and reciting the Verses of Safety.[FN#134] When he reached the top of the wall, he clapped his hands and gazed fixedly down into the city; whereupon the folk below cried out to him with one accord, saying “O Shaykh Abd al-Samad, for the Lord’s sake, cast not thyself down!”; and they added, “Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him we are returning! If the Shaykh fall, we are dead men one and all.” Then he laughed beyond all measure and sat a long hour, reciting the names of Allah Almighty and repeating the Verses of Safety; then he rose and cried out at the top of his voice, saying, “O Emir, have no fear; no hurt shall betide you, for Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) hath averted from me the wiles and malice of Satan, by the blessing of the words, ‘In the name of Allah the Compassionating the Compassionate!’” Asked Musa, “What didst thou see, O Shaykh?”; and Abd al-Samad answered, “I saw ten maidens, as they were Houris of Heaven calling to me with their hands”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh Abd al-Samad answered, “I saw ten maidens like Houris of Heaven,[FN#135] and they calling and signing,[FN#136] Come hither to us’; and meseemed there was below me a lake of water. So I thought to throw myself down, when behold, I espied my twelve companions lying dead; so I restrained myself and recited somewhat of Allah’s Book, whereupon He dispelled from me the damsels’ witchlike wiles and malicious guiles and they disappeared. And doubtless this was an enchantment devised by the people of the city, to repel any who should seek to gaze upon or to enter the place. And it hath succeeded in slaying our companions.” Then he walked on along the wall, till he came to the two towers of brass aforesaid and saw therein two gates of gold, without pad locks or visible means of opening. Hereat he paused as long as Allah pleased[FN#137] and gazed about him awhile, till he espied in the middle of one of the gates, a horseman of brass with hand outstretched as if pointing, and in his palm was somewhat written. So he went up to it and read these words, “O thou who comest to this place, an thou wouldst enter turn the pin in my navel twelve times and the gate will open.” Accordingly, he examined the horseman and finding in his navel a pin of gold, firm-set and fast fixed, he turned it twelve times, whereupon the horseman revolved like the blinding lightning and the gate swung open with a noise like thunder. He entered and found himself in a long passage,[FN#138] which brought him down some steps into a guard-room furnished with goodly wooden benches, whereon sat men dead, over whose heads hung fine shields and keen blades and bent bows and shafts ready notched. Thence, he came to the main gate of the city; and, finding it secured with iron bars and curiously wrought locks and bolts and chains and other fastenings of wood and metal, said to himself, “Belike the keys are with yonder dead folk.” So he turned back to the guard-room and seeing amongst the dead an old man seated upon a high wooden bench, who seemed the chiefest of them, said in his mind, “Who knows but they are with this Shaykh? Doubtless he was the warder of the city and these others were under his hand.” So he went up to him and lifting his gown, behold, the keys were hanging to his girdle; whereat he joyed with exceeding joy and was like to fly for gladness. Then he took them and going up to the portal, undid the padlocks and drew back the bolts and bars, whereupon the great leaves flew open with a crash like the pealing thunder by reason of its greatness and terribleness. At this he cried out saying, “Allaho Akbar—God is most great!” And the folk without answered him with the same words, rejoicing and thanking him for his deed. The Emir Musa also was delighted at the Shaykh’s safety and the opening of the city-gate, and the troops all pressed forward to enter; but Musa cried out to them, saying, “O folk, if we all go in at once we shall not be safe from some ill-chance which may betide us. Let half enter and other half tarry without.” So he pushed forwards with half his men, bearing their weapons of war, and finding their comrades lying dead, they buried them; and they saw the doorkeepers and eunuchs and chamberlains and officers reclining on couches of silk and all were corpses. Then they fared on till they came to the chief market-place, full of lofty buildings whereof none overpassed the others, and found all its shops open, with the scales hung out and the brazen vessels ordered and the caravanserais full of all manner goods; and they beheld the merchants sitting on the shop-boards dead, with shrivelled skin and rotted bones, a warning to those who can take warning; and here they saw four separate markets all replete with wealth. Then they left the great bazar and went on till they came to the silk market, where they found silks and brocades, orfrayed with red gold and diapered with white silver upon all manner of colours, and the owners lying dead upon mats of scented goats’ leather, and looking as if they would speak; after which they traversed the market-street of pearls and rubies and other jewels and came to that of the schroffs and money-changers, whom they saw sitting dead upon carpets of raw silk and dyed stuffs in shops full of gold and silver. Thence they passed to the perfumers’ bazar where they found the shops filled with drugs of all kinds and bladders of musk and ambergris and Nadd-scent and camphor and other perfumes, in vessels of ivory and ebony and Khalanj-wood and Andalusian copper, the which is equal in value to gold; and various kinds of rattan and Indian cane; but the shopkeepers all lay dead nor was there with them aught of food. And hard by this drug-market they came upon a palace, imposingly edified and magnificently decorated; so they entered and found therein banners displayed and drawn sword blades and strung bows and bucklers hanging by chains of gold and silver and helmets gilded with red gold. In the vestibules stood benches of ivory, plated with glittering gold and covered with silken stuffs, whereon lay men, whose skin had dried up on their bones; the fool had deemed them sleeping; but, for lack of food, they had perished and tasted the cup of death. Now when the Emir Musa saw this, he stood still, glorifying Allah the Most High and hallowing Him and contemplating the beauty of the palace and the massiveness of its masonry and fair perfection of its ordinance, for it was builded after the goodliest and stablest fashion and the most part of its adornment was of green[FN#139] lapis-lazuli, and on the inner door, which stood open, were written in characters of gold and ultramarine, these couplets,

“Consider thou, O man, what these places to thee showed * And be      upon thy guard ere thou travel the same road:
And prepare thee good provision some day may serve thy turn * For      each dweller in the house needs must yede wi’ those who yode
Consider how this people their palaces adorned * And in dust have      been pledged for the seed of acts they sowed
They built but their building availed them not, and hoards * Nor      saved their lives nor day of Destiny forslowed:
How often did they hope for what things were undecreed. * And      passed unto their tombs before Hope the bounty showed
And from high and awful state all a sudden they were sent * To      the straitness of the grave and oh! base is their abode:
Then came to them a Crier after burial and cried, * What booted      thrones or crowns or the gold to you bestowed:
Where now are gone the faces hid by curtain and by veil, * Whose      charms were told in proverbs, those beauties à-la-mode?
The tombs aloud reply to the questioners and cry, * Death’s      canker and decay those rosy cheeks corrode’
Long time they ate and drank, but their joyaunce had a term, *      And the eater eke was eaten, and was eaten by the worm.”

When the Emir read this, he wept, till he was like to swoon away—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred ante Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Emir wept till he was like to swoon away, and bade write down the verses, after which he passed on into the inner palace and came to a vast hall, at each of whose four corners stood a pavilion lofty and spacious, washed with gold and silver and painted in various colours. In the heart of the hall was a great jetting-fountain of alabaster, surmounted by a canopy of brocade, and in each pavilion was a sitting-place and each place had its richly-wrought fountain and tank paved with marble and streams flowing in channels along the floor and meeting in a great and grand cistern of many-coloured marbles. Quoth the Emir to the Shaykh Abd al-Samad, “Come let us visit yonder pavilion!” So they entered the first and found it full of gold and silver and pearls and jacinths and other precious stones and metals, besides chests filled with brocades, red and yellow and white. Then they repaired to the second pavilion, and, opening a closet there, found it full of arms and armour, such as gilded helmets and Davidean[FN#140] hauberks and Hindi swords and Arabian spears and Chorasmian[FN#141] maces and other gear of fight and fray. Thence they passed to the third pavilion, wherein they saw closets padlocked and covered with curtains wrought with all manner of embroidery. They opened one of these and found it full of weapons curiously adorned with open work and with gold and silver damascene and jewels. Then they entered the fourth pavilion, and opening one of the closets there, beheld in it great store of eating and drinking vessels of gold and silver, with platters of crystal and goblets set with fine pearls and cups of carnelian and so forth. So they all fell to taking that which suited their tastes and each of the soldiers carried off what he could. When they left the pavilions, they saw in the midst of the palace a door of teak-wood marquetried with ivory and ebony and plated with glittering gold, over which hung a silken curtain purfled with all manner of embroideries; and on this door were locks of white silver, that opened by artifice without a key. The Shaykh Abd al-Samad went valiantly up thereto and by the aid of his knowledge and skill opened the locks, whereupon the door admitted them into a corridor paved with marble and hung with veil-like[FN#142] tapestries embroidered with figures of all manner beasts and birds, whose bodies were of red gold and white silver and their eyes of pearls and rubies, amazing all who looked upon them. Passing onwards they came to a saloon builded all of polished marble, inlaid with jewels, which seemed to the beholder as though the floor were flowing water[FN#143] and whoso walked thereon slipped. The Emir bade the Shaykh strew somewhat upon it, that they might walk over it; which being done, they made shift to fare forwards till they came to a great domed pavilion of stone, gilded with red gold and crowned with a cupola of alabaster, about which were set lattice-windows carved and jewelled with rods of emerald,[FN#144] beyond the competence of any King. Under this dome was a canopy of brocade, reposing upon pillars of red gold and wrought with figures of birds whose feet were of smaragd, and beneath each bird was a network of fresh-hued pearls. The canopy was spread above a jetting fountain of ivory and carnelian, plated with glittering gold and thereby stood a couch set with pearls and rubies and other jewels and beside the couch a pillar of gold. On the capital of the column stood a bird fashioned of red rubies and holding in his bill a pearl which shone like a star; and on the couch lay a damsel, as she were the lucident sun, eyes never saw a fairer. She wore a tight-fitting body-robe of fine pearls, with a crown of red gold on her head, filleted with gems, and on her forehead were two great jewels, whose light was as the light of the sun. On her breast she wore a jewelled amulet, filled with musk and ambergris and worth the empire of the Caesars; and around her neck hung a collar of rubies and great pearls, hollowed and filled with odoriferous musk And it seemed as if she gazed on them to the right and to the left.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel seemed to be gazing at the folk to the right and to the left. The Emir Musa marvelled at her exceeding beauty and was confounded at the blackness of her hair and the redness of her cheeks, which made the beholder deem her alive and not dead, and said to her, “Peace be with thee, O damsel!” But Talib ibn Sahl said to him, “Allah preserve thee, O Emir, verily this damsel is dead and there is no life in her; so how shall she return thy salam?” adding, “Indeed, she is but a corpse embalmed with exceeding art; her eyes were taken out after her death and quicksilver set under them, after which they were restored to their sockets. Wherefore they glisten and when the air moveth the lashes, she seemeth to wink and it appeareth to the beholder as though she looked at him, for all she is dead.” At this the Emir marvelled beyond measure and said, “Glory be to God who subjugateth His creatures to the dominion of Death!” Now the couch on which the damsel lay, had steps, and thereon stood two statues of Andalusian copper representing slaves, one white and the other black. The first held a mace of steel[FN#145] and the second a sword of watered steel which dazzled the eye; and between them, on one of the steps of the couch, lay a golden tablet, whereon were written, in characters of white silver, the following words: “In the name of God, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! Praise be to Allah, the Creator of mankind; and He is the Lord of Lords, the Causer of Causes! In the name of Allah, the Never beginning, the Everlasting, the Ordainer of Fate and Fortune! O son of Adam! what hath befooled thee in this long esperance? What hath unminded thee of the Death-day’s mischance? Knowest thou not that Death calleth for thee and hasteneth to seize upon the soul of thee? Be ready, therefore, for the way and provide thee for thy departure from the world; for, assuredly, thou shalt leave it without delay. Where is Adam, first of humanity? Where is Noah with his progeny? Where be the Kings of Hind and Irak-plain and they who over earth’s widest regions reign? Where do the Amalekites abide and the giants and tyrants of olden tide? Indeed, the dwelling-places are void of them and they have departed from kindred and home. Where be the Kings of Arab and Ajam? They are dead, all of them, and gone and are become rotten bones. Where be the lords so high in stead? They are all done dead. Where are Kora and Haman? Where is Shaddad son of Ad? Where be Canaan and Zul-Autad,[FN#146] Lord of the Stakes? By Allah, the Reaper of lives hath reaped them and made void the lands of them. Did they provide them against the Day of Resurrection or make ready to answer the Lord of men? O thou, if thou know me not, I will acquaint thee with my name: I am Tadmurah,[FN#147] daughter of the Kings of the Amalekites, of those who held dominion over the lands in equity and brought low the necks of humanity. I possessed that which never King possessed and was righteous in my rule and did justice among my lieges; yea, I gave gifts and largesse and freed bondsmen and bondswomen. Thus lived I many years in all ease and delight of life, till Death knocked at my door and to me and to my folk befel calamities galore; and it was on this wise. There betided us seven successive years of drought, wherein no drop of rain fell on us from the skies and no green thing sprouted for us on the face of earth.[FN#148] So we ate what was with us of victual, then we fell upon the cattle and devoured them, until nothing was left. Thereupon I let bring my treasures and meted them with measures and sent out trusty men to buy food. They circuited all the lands in quest thereof and left no city unsought, but found it not to be bought and returned to us with the treasure after a long absence; and gave us to know that they could not succeed in bartering fine pearls for poor wheat, bushel for bushel, weight for weight. So, when we despaired of succour, we displayed all our riches and things of price and, shutting the gates of the city and its strong places, resigned ourselves to the deme of our Lord and committed our case to our King. Then we all died,[FN#149] as thou seest us, and left what we had builded and all we had hoarded. This, then, is our story, and after the substance naught abideth but the trace.” Then they looked at the foot of the tablet and read these couplets,

“O child of Adam, let not hope make mock and flyte at thee, *      from all thy hands have treasuréd, removéd thou shalt be;
I see thou covetest the world and fleeting worldly charms, * And      races past and gone have done the same as thou I see.
Lawful and lawless wealth they got; but all their hoarded store,      * Their term accomplished, naught delayed of Destiny’s      decree.
Armies they led and puissant men and gained them gold galore; *      Then left their wealth and palaces by Pate compelled to      flee,
To straitness of the grave-yard and humble bed of dust * Whence,      pledged for every word and deed, they never more win free:
As a company of travellers had unloaded in the night * At house      that lacketh food nor is o’erfain of company:
Whose owner saith, O folk, there be no lodging here for you;’ *      So packed they who had erst unpacked and faréd hurriedly:
Misliking much the march, nor the journey nor the halt * Had      aught of pleasant chances or had aught of goodly greet
Then prepare thou good provision for to-morrow’s journey stored,      * Naught but righteous honest life shall avail thee with the      Lord!”

And the Emir Musa wept as he read, “By Allah, the fear of the Lord is the best of all property, the pillar of certainty and the sole sure stay. Verily, Death is the truth manifest and the sure behest, and therein, O thou, is the goal and return place evident. Take warning, therefore, by those who to the dust did wend and hastened on the way of the predestined end. Seest thou not that hoary hairs summon thee to the tomb and that the whiteness of thy locks maketh moan of thy doom? Wherefore be thou on the wake ready for thy departure and thine account to make. O son of Adam, what hath hardened thy heart in mode abhorred? What hath seduced thee from the service of thy Lord? Where be the peoples of old time? They are a warning to whoso will be warned! Where be the Kings of al-Sín and the lords of majestic mien? Where is Shaddad bin Ad and whatso he built and he stablished? Where is Nimrod who revolted against Allah and defied Him? Where is Pharaoh who rebelled against God and denied Him? Death followed hard upon the trail of them all, and laid them low sparing neither great nor small, male nor female; and the Reaper of Mankind cut them off, yea, by Him who maketh night to return upon day! Know, O thou who comest to this place, that she whom thou seest here was not deluded by the world and its frail delights, for it is faithless, perfidious, a house of ruin, vain and treacherous; and salutary to the creature is the remembrance of his sins; wherefore she feared her Lord and made fair her dealings and provided herself with provaunt against the appointed marching day. Whoso cometh to our city and Allah vouchsafeth him competence to enter it, let him take of the treasure all he can, but touch not aught that is on my body, for it is the covering of my shame[FN#150] and the outfit for the last journey; wherefore let him fear Allah and despoil naught thereof; else will he destroy his own self. This have I set forth to him for a warning from me and a solemn trust to be; wherewith, peace be with ye and I pray Allah to keep you from sickness and calamity.” And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Emir Musa read this, he wept with exceeding weeping till he swooned away and presently coming to himself, wrote down all he had seen and was admonished by all he had witnessed. Then he said to his men, “Fetch the camels and load them with these treasures and vases and jewels.” “O Emir,” asked Talib, “shall we leave our damsel with what is upon her, things which have no equal and whose like is not to be found and more perfect than aught else thou takest; nor couldst thou find a goodlier offering wherewithal to propitiate the favour of the Commander of the Faithful?” But Musa answered, “O man, heardest thou not what the Lady saith on this tablet? More by token that she giveth it in trust to us who are no traitors.” “And shall we,” rejoined the Wazir Talib, “because of these words, leave all these riches and jewels, seeing that she is dead? What should she do with these that are the adornments of the world and the ornament of the worldling, seeing that one garment of cotton would suffice for her covering? We have more right to them than she.” So saying he mounted the steps of the couch between the pillars, but when he came within reach of the two slaves, lo! the mace-bearer smote him on the back and the other struck him with the sword he held in his hand and lopped off his head, and he dropped down dead. Quoth the Emir, “Allah have no mercy on thy resting-place! Indeed there was enough in these treasures, and greed of gain assuredly degradeth a man.” Then he bade admit the troops; so they entered and loaded the camels with those treasures and precious ores; after which they went forth and the Emir commanded them to shut the gate as before. They fared on along the sea-shore a whole month, till they came in sight of a high mountain overlooking the sea and full of caves, wherein dwelt a tribe of blacks, clad in hides, with burnooses also of hide and speaking an unknown tongue. When they saw the troops they were startled like shying steeds and fled into the caverns, whilst their women and children stood at the cave doors, looking on the strangers. “O Shaykh Abd al-Samad,” asked the Emir, “what are these folk?” and he answered, “They are those whom we seek for the Commander of the Faithful.” So they dismounted and setting down their loads, pitched their tents; whereupon, almost before they had done, down came the King of the blacks from the mountain and drew near the camp. Now he understood the Arabic tongue; so, when he came to the Emir he saluted him with the salam and Musa returned his greeting and entreated him with honour. Then quoth he to the Emir, “Are ye men or Jinn?” “Well, we are men,” quoth Musa; “but doubtless ye are Jinn, to judge by your dwelling apart in this mountain which is cut off from mankind, and by your inordinate bulk.” “Nay,” rejoined the black; “we also are children of Adam, of the lineage of Ham, son of Noah (with whom be peace!), and this sea is known as Al-Karkar.” Asked Musa, “O King, what is your religion and what worship ye?”; and he answered, saying, “We worship the God of the heavens and our religion is that of Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!” “And how came ye by the knowledge of this,” questioned the Emir, “seeing that no prophet was inspired to visit this country?” “Know, Emir,” replied the King, “that there appeared to us whilere from out the sea a man, from whom issued a light that illumined the horizons and he cried out, in a voice which was heard of men far and near, saying, O children of Ham, reverence to Him who seeth and is not seen and say ye, There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is the messenger of God!’ And he added, I am Abu al-Abbás al-Khizr.’ Before this we were wont to worship one another, but he summoned us to the service of the Lord of all creatures; and he taught us to repeat these words, There is no god save the God alone, who hath for partner none, and His is the kingdom and His is the praise. He giveth life and death and He over all things is Almighty.’ Nor do we draw near unto Allah (be He exalted and extolled!) except with these words, for we know none other; but every eve before Friday[FN#151] we see a light upon the face of earth and we hear a voice saying, Holy and glorious, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit! What He willeth is, and what He willeth not, is not. Every boon is of His grace and there is neither Majesty nor is there Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!’ But ye,” quoth the King, “who and what are ye and what bringeth you to this land?” Quoth Musa, “We are officers of the Sovereign of Al-Islam, the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, who hath heard tell of the lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be peace!) and of that which the Most High bestowed upon him of supreme dominion; how he held sway over Jinn and beast and bird and was wont when he was wroth with one of the Marids, to shut him in a cucurbite of brass and, stopping its mouth on him with lead, whereon he impressed his seal ring, to cast him into the sea of Al-Karkar. Now we have heard tell that this sea is nigh your land; so the Commander of the Faithful hath sent us hither, to bring him some of these cucurbites, that he may look thereon and solace himself with their sight. Such, then, is our case and what we seek of thee, O King, and we desire that thou further us in the accomplishment of our errand commanded by the Commander of the Faithful.” “With love and gladness,” replied the black King, and carrying them to the guest house, entreated them with the utmost honour and furnished them with all they needed, feeding them upon fish. They abode thus three days, when he bade his divers fetch from out the sea some of the vessels of Solomon. So they dived and brought up twelve cucurbites, whereat the Emir and the Shaykh and all the company rejoiced in the accomplishment of the Caliph’s need. Then Musa gave the King of the blacks many and great gifts; and he, in turn, made him a present Of the wonders of the deep, being fishes in human form,[FN#152] saying “Your entertainment these three days hath been of the meat of these fish.” Quoth the Emir, “Needs must we carry some of these to the Caliph, for the sight of them will please him more than the cucurbites of Solomon.” Then they took leave of the black King and, setting out on their homeward journey, travelled till they came to Damascus, where Musa went in to the Commander of the Faithful and told him all that he had sighted and heard of verses and legends and instances, together with the manner of the death of Talib bin Sahl; and the Caliph said, “Would I had been with you, that I might have seen what you saw!” Then he took the brazen vessels and opened them, cucurbite after cucurbite, whereupon the devils came forth of them, saying, “We repent, O Prophet of Allah! Never again will we return to the like of this thing; no never!” And the Caliph marvelled at this. As for the daughters of the deep presented to them by the black King, they made them cisterns of planks, full of water, and laid them therein; but they died of the great heat. Then the Caliph sent for the spoils of the Brazen City and divided them among the Faithful,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph marvelled much at the cucurbites and their contents; then he sent for the spoils and divided them among the Faithful, saying, “Never gave Allah unto any the like of that which he bestowed upon Solomon David-son!” Thereupon the Emir Musa sought leave of him to appoint his son Governor of the Province in his stead, that he might be take himself to the Holy City of Jerusalem, there to worship Allah. So the Commander of the Faithful invested his son Harun with the government and Musa repaired to the Glorious and Holy City, where he died. This, then, is all that hath come down to us of the story of the City of Brass, and God is All-knowing! Now (continued Shahrazad) I have another tale to tell anent the


There was, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before, a puissant King among the Kings of China, the crown of crowned heads, who ruled over many men of war and vassals with wisdom and justice, might and majesty; equitable to his Ryots, liberal to his lieges and dearly beloved by the hearts of his subjects. He was wealthy as he was powerful, but he had grown old without being blessed with a son, and this caused him sore affliction. He could only brood over the cutting off of his seed and the oblivion that would bury his name and the passing of his realm into the stranger’s hands. So he secluded himself in his palace, never going in and out or rising and taking rest till the lieges lost all tidings of him and were sore perplexed and began to talk about their King. Some said, “He’s dead”; others said, “No, he’s not”; but all resolved to find a ruler who could reign over them and carry out the customs of government. At last, utterly despairing of male issue, he sought the intercession of the Prophet (whom Allah bless and keep!) with the Most High and implored Him, by the glory of His Prophets and Saints and Martyrs and others of the Faithful who were acceptable to Heaven that he would grant him a son, to be the coolth of his eyes and heir to the kingdom after him. Then he rose forthright and, withdrawing to his sitting-saloon, sent for his wife who was the daughter of his uncle. Now this Queen was of surpassing beauty and loveliness, the fairest of all his wives and the dearest to him as she was the nearest: and to boot a woman of excellent wit and passing judgement. She found the King dejected and sorrowful, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted; so she kissed ground between his hands and said, “O King, may my life ransom thy life! may Time never prove thy foe, nor the shifts of Fortune prevail over thee; may Allah grant thee every joy and ward off from thee all annoy! How is it I see thee brooding over thy case and tormented by the displeasures of memory?” He replied, “Thou wottest well that I am a man now shotten in years, who hath never been blessed with a son, a sight to cool his eyes; so I know that my kingdom shall pass away to the stranger in blood and my name and memory will be blotted out amongst men. ’Tis this causeth me to grieve with excessive grief.” “Allah do away with thy sorrows,” quoth she: “long ere this day a thought struck me; and yearning for issue arose in my heart even as in thine. One night I dreamed a dream and a voice said to me, ‘The King thy husband pineth for progeny: if a daughter be vouchsafed to him, she will be the ruin of his realm; if a son, the youth will undergo much trouble and annoy but he will pass through it without loss of life. Such a son can be conceived by thee and thee only and the time of thy conception is when the moon conjoineth with Gemini!’ I woke from my dream, but after what I heard that voice declare I refrained from breeding and would not consent to bear children.” “There is no help for it but that I have a son, Inshallah, —God willing!” cried the King. Thereupon she soothed and consoled him till he forgot his sorrows and went forth amongst the lieges and sat, as of wont, upon his throne of estate. All rejoiced to see him once more and especially the Lords of his realm. Now when the conjunction of the moon and Gemini took place, the King knew his wife carnally and, by order of Allah Almighty she became pregnant. Presently she anounced the glad tidings to her husband and led her usual life until her nine months of pregnancy were completed and she bare a male child whose face was as the rondure of the moon on its fourteenth night. The lieges of the realm congratulated one another thereanent and the King commanded an assembly of his Olema and philosophers, astrologers and horoscopists, whom he thus addressed, “I desire you to forecast the fortune of my son and to determine his ascendant[FN#154] and whatever is shown by his nativity.” They replied “’Tis well, in Allah’s name, let us do so!” and cast his nativity with all diligence. After ascertaining his ascendant, they pronounced judgement in these words, “We see his lot favourable and his life viable and durable; save that a danger awaiteth his youth.” The father was sorely concerned at this saying, when they added “But, O King, he shall escape from it nor shall aught of injury accrue to him!” Hereupon the King cast aside all cark and care and robed the wizards and dismissed them with splendid honoraria; and he resigned himself to the will of Heaven and acknowledged that the decrees of destiny may not be countervailed. He committed his boy to wet nurses and dry nurses, handmaids and eunuchs, leaving him to grow and fill out in the Harim till he reached the age of seven. Then he addressed letters to his Viceroys and Governors in every clime and by their means gathered together Olema and philosophers and doctors of law and religion, from all countries, to a number of three hundred and three score. He held an especial assembly for them and, when all were in presence, he bade them draw near him and be at their ease while he sent for the food-trays and all ate their sufficiency. And when the banquet ended and the wizards had taken seats in their several degrees, the King asked them, “Wot ye wherefore I have gathered ye together?”; whereto all answered, “We wot not, O King!” He continued, “It is my wish that you select from amongst you fifty men, and from these fifty ten, and from these ten one, that he may teach my son omnem rem scibilem; for whenas I see the youth perfect in all science, I will share my dignity with the Prince and make him partner with me in my possessions.” “Know, O King,” they replied, “that among us none is more learned or more excellent than Al-Sindibad,[FN#155] hight the Sage, who woneth in thy capital under thy protection. If such be thy design, summon him and bid him do thy will.” The King acted upon their advice and the Sage, standing in the presence, expressed his loyal sentiments with his salutation, whereupon his Sovereign bade him draw nigh and thus raised his rank, saying, “I would have thee to know, O Sage, that I summoned this assembly of the learned and bade them choose me out a man to teach my son all knowledge; when they selected thee without dissenting thought or voice. If, then, thou feel capable of what they claimed for thee, come thou to the task and understand that a man’s son and heir is the very fruit of his vitals and core of his heart and liver. My desire of thee is thine instruction of him; and to happy issue Allah guideth!” The King then sent for his son and committed him to Al-Sindibad conditioning the Sage to finish his education in three years. He did accordingly but, at the end of that time, the young Prince had learned nothing, his mind being wholly occupied with play and disport; and when summoned and examined by his sire, behold, his knowledge was as nil. Thereupon the King turned his attention to the learned once more and bade them elect a tutor for his youth; so they asked, “And what hath his governor, Al-Sindibad, been doing?” and when the King answered, “He hath taught my son naught;” the Olema and philosophers and high officers summoned the instructor and said to him, “O Sage, what prevented thee from teaching the King’s son during this length of days?” “O wise men,” he replied, “the Prince’s mind is wholly occupied with disport and play; yet, an the King will make with me three conditions and keep to them, I will teach him in seven months what he would not learn (nor indeed could any other lesson him) within seven years.” “I hearken to thee,” quoth the King, “and I submit myself to thy conditions;” and quoth Al-Sindibad, “Hear from me, Sire, and bear in mind these three sayings, whereof the first is, ‘Do not to others what thou wouldst not they do unto thee’;[FN#156] and second, ‘Do naught hastily without consulting the experienced’; and thirdly, ‘Where thou hast power show pity.’[FN#157] In teaching this lad I require no more of thee but to accept these three dictes and adhere thereto.” Cried the King, “Bear ye witness against me, O all ye here assembled, that I stand firm by these conditions!”; and caused a proces verbal to be drawn up with his personal security and the testimony of his courtiers. Thereupon the Sage, taking the Prince’s hand, led him to his place, and the King sent them all requisites of provaunt and kitchen-batteries, carpets and other furniture. Moreover the tutor bade build a house whose walls he lined with the whitest stucco painted over with ceruse,[FN#158] and, lastly, he delineated thereon all the objects concerning which he proposed to lecture his pupil. When the place was duly furnished, he took the lad’s hand and installed him in the apartment which was amply furnished with belly-timber; and, after stablishing him therein, went forth and fastened the door with seven padlocks. Nor did he visit the Prince save every third day when he lessoned him on the knowledge to be extracted from the wall-pictures and renewed his provision of meat and drink, after which he left him again to solitude. So whenever the youth was straitened in breast by the tedium and ennui of loneliness, he applied himself diligently to his object-lessons and mastered all the deductions therefrom. His governor seeing this turned his mind into other channel and taught him the inner meanings of the external objects; and in a little time the pupil mastered every requisite. Then the Sage took him from the house and taught him cavalarice and Jerid play and archery. When the pupil had thoroughly mastered these arts, the tutor sent to the King informing him that the Prince was perfect and complete in all things required to figure favourably amongst his peers. Hereat the King rejoiced; and, summoning his Wazirs and Lords of estate to be present at the examination, commanded the Sage to send his son into the presence. Thereupon Al-Sindibad consulted his pupil’s horoscope and found it barred by an inauspicious conjunction which would last seven days; so, in sore affright for the youth’s life, he said, “Look into thy nativity-scheme.” The Prince did so and, recognising the portent, feared for himself and presently asked the Sage, saying, “What dost thou bid me do?” “I bid thee,” he answered, “remain silent and speak not a word during this se’nnight; even though thy sire slay thee with scourging. An thou pass safely through this period, thou shalt win to high rank and succeed to thy sire’s reign; but an things go otherwise then the behest is with Allah from the beginning to the end thereof.” Quoth the pupil, “Thou art in fault, O preceptor, and thou hast shown undue haste in sending that message to the King before looking into my horoscope. Hadst thou delayed till the week had passed all had been well.” Quoth the tutor, “O my son, what was to be was; and the sole defaulter therein was my delight in thy scholarship. But now be firm in thy resolve; rely upon Allah Almighty and determine not to utter a single word.” Thereupon the Prince fared for the presence and was met by the Wazirs who led him to his father. The King accosted him and addressed him but he answered not; and sought speech of him but he spake not. Whereupon the courtiers were astounded and the monarch, sore concerned for his son, summoned Al-Sindibad. But the tutor so hid himself that none could hit upon his trace nor gain tidings of him; and folk said, “He was ashamed to appear before the King’s majesty and the courtiers.” Under these conditions the Sovereign heard some of those present saying, “Send the lad to the Serraglio where he will talk with the women and soon set aside this bashfulness;” and, approving their counsel, gave orders accordingly. So the Prince was led into the palace, which was compassed about by a running stream whose banks were planted with all manner of fruit-trees and sweet-smelling flowers. Moreover, in this palace were forty chambers and in every chamber ten slave-girls, each skilled in some instrument of music, so that whenever one of them played, the palace danced to her melodious strains. Here the Prince passed one night; but, on the following morning, the King’s favourite concubine happened to cast eyes upon his beauty and loveliness, his symmetrical stature, his brilliancy and his perfect grace, and love gat hold of her heart and she was ravished with his charms.[FN#159] So she went up to him and threw herself upon him, but he made her no response; whereupon, being dazed by his beauty, she cried out to him and required him of himself and importuned him; then she again threw herself upon him and clasped him to her bosom kissing him and saying, “O King’s son, grant me thy favours and I will set thee in thy father’s stead; I will give him to drink of poison, so he may die and thou shalt enjoy his realm and wealth.” When the Prince heard these words, he was sore enraged against her and said to her by signs, “O accursed one, so it please Almighty Allah, I will assuredly requite thee this thy deed, whenas I can speak; for I will go forth to my father and will tell him, and he shall kill thee.” So signing, he arose in rage, and went out from her chamber; whereat she feared for herself. Thereupon she buffeted her face and rent her raiment and tare her hair and bared her head, then went in to the King and cast herself at his feet, weeping and wailing. When he saw her in this plight, he was sore concerned and asked her, “What aileth thee, O damsel? How is it with thy lord, my son? Is he not well?”; and she answered, “O King, this thy son, whom thy courtiers avouch to be dumb, required me of myself and I repelled him, whereupon he did with me as thou seest and would have slain me; so I fled from him, nor will I ever return to him, nor to the palace again, no, never again!” When the King heard this, he was wroth with exceeding wrath and, calling his seven Wazirs, bade them put the Prince to death. However, they said one to other, “If we do the King’s commandment, he will surely repent of having ordered his son’s death, for he is passing dear to him and this child came not to him save after despair; and he will round upon us and blame us, saying, ‘Why did ye not contrive to dissuade me from slaying him?’” So they took counsel together, to turn him from his purpose, and the chief Wazir said, “I will warrant you from the King’s mischief this day.” Then he went in to the presence and prostrating himself craved leave to speak. The King gave him permission, and he said, “O King, though thou hadst a thousand sons, yet were it no light matter to thee to put one of them to death, on the report of a woman, be she true or be she false; and belike this is a lie and a trick of her against thy son; for indeed, O King, I have heard tell great plenty of stories of the malice, the craft and perfidy of women.” Quoth the King, “Tell me somewhat of that which hath come to thy knowledge thereof.” And the Wazir answered, saying, ‘Yes, there hath reached me, O King, a tale entitled

The King and his Wazir’s Wife.[FN#160]

There was once a King of the Kings, a potent man and a proud, who was devoted to the love of women and one day being in the privacy of his palace, he espied a beautiful woman on the terraceroof of her house and could not contain himself from falling consumedly in love with her.[FN#161] He asked his folk to whom the house and the damsel belonged and they said, “This is the dwelling of the Wazir such an one and she is his wife.” So he called the Minister in question and despatched him on an errand to a distant part of the kingdom, where he was to collect information and to return; but, as soon as he obeyed and was gone, the King contrived by a trick to gain access to his house and his spouse. When the Wazir’s wife saw him, she knew him and springing up, kissed his hands and feet and welcomed him. Then she stood afar off, busying herself in his service, and said to him, “O our lord, what is the cause of thy gracious coming? Such an honour is not for the like of me.” Quoth he, “The cause of it is that love of thee and desire thee-wards have moved me to this.” Whereupon she kissed ground before him a second time and said, “By Allah, O our lord, indeed I am not worthy to be the handmaid of one of the King’s servants; whence then have I the great good fortune to be in such high honour and favour with thee?” Then the King put out his hand to her intending to enjoy her person, when she said, “This thing shall not escape us; but take patience, O my King, and abide with thy handmaid all this day, that she may make ready for thee somewhat to eat and drink.” So the King sat down on his Minister’s couch and she went in haste and brought him a book wherein he might read, whilst she made ready the food. He took the book and, beginning to read, found therein moral instances and exhortations, such as restrained him from adultery and broke his courage to commit sin and crime. After awhile, she returned and set before him some ninety dishes of different kinds of colours, and he ate a mouthful of each and found that, while the number was many, the taste of them was one. At this, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and said to her, “O damsel, I see these meats to be manifold and various, but the taste of them is simple and the same.” “Allah prosper the King!” replied she, “this is a parable I have set for thee, that thou mayst be admonished thereby.” He asked, “And what is its meaning?”; and she answered, “Allah amend the case of our lord the King!; in thy palace are ninety concubines of various colours, but their taste is one.”[FN#162] When the King heard this, he was ashamed and rising hastily, went out, without offering her any affront and returned to his palace; but, in his haste and confusion, he forgot his signet-ring and left it under the cushion where he had been sitting and albeit he remembered it he was ashamed to send for it. Now hardly had he reached home when the Wazir returned and, presenting himself before the King, kissed the ground and made his report to him of the state of the province in question. Then he repaired to his own house and sat down on his couch and chancing to put his hand under the cushion, behold, he found the King’s seal-ring. So he knew it and taking the matter to heart, held aloof in great grief from his wife for a whole year, not going in unto her nor even speaking to her, whilst she knew not the reason of his anger. —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir held aloof from his wife, whilst she knew not the cause of his wrath. At last, being weary of the longsome neglect, she sent for her sire and told him the case; whereupon quoth he, “I will complain of him to the King, at some time when he is in the presence.” So, one day, he went in to the King and, finding the Wazir and the Kazi of the army before him,[FN#163] complained thus saying, “Almighty Allah amend the King’s case! I had a fair flower-garden, which I planted with mine own hand and thereon spent my substance till it bare fruit; and its fruitage was ripe for plucking, when I gave it to this thy Wazir, who ate of it what seemed good to him, then deserted it and watered it not, so that its bloom wilted and withered and its sheen departed and its state changed.” Then said the Wazir, “O my King, this man saith sooth. I did indeed care for and guard the garden and kept it in good condition and ate thereof, till one day I went thither and I saw the trail of the lion there, wherefore I feared for my life and withdrew from the garden.” The King understood him that the trail of the lion meant his own seal-ring, which he had forgotten in the woman’s house; so he said, “Return, O Wazir, to thy flower-garden and fear nothing, for the lion came not near it. It hath reached me that he went thither; but, by the honour of my fathers and forefathers, he offered it no hurt.” “Hearkening and obedience,” answered the Minister and, returning home sent for his wife and made his peace with her and thenceforth put faith in her chastity. “This I tell thee, O King (continued the Wazir), for no other purpose save to let thee know how great is their craft and how precipitancy bequeatheth repentance.[FN#164] And I have also heard the following

Story of the Confectioner, his Wife, and the Parrot.

Once upon a time there dwelt in Egypt a confectioner who had a wife famed for beauty and loveliness; and a parrot which, as occasion required, did the office of watchman and guard, bell and spy, and flapped her wings did she but hear a fly buzzing about the sugar. This parrot caused abundant trouble to the wife, always telling her husband what took place in his absence. Now one evening, before going out to visit certain friends, the confectioner gave the bird strict injunctions to watch all night and bade his wife make all fast, as he should not return until morning. Hardly had he left the door than the woman went for her old lover, who returned with her and they passed the night together in mirth and merriment, while the parrot observed all. Betimes in the morning the lover fared forth and the husband, returning, was informed by the parrot of what had taken place; whereupon he hastened to his wife’s room and beat her with a painful beating. She thought in herself, “Who could have informed against me?” and she asked a woman that was in her confidence whether it was she. The woman protested by the worlds visible and invisible that she had not betrayed her mistress; but informed her that on the morning of his return home, the husband had stood some time before the cage listening to the parrot’s talk. When the wife heard this, she resolved to contrive the destruction of the bird. Some days after, the husband was again invited to the house of a friend where he was to pass the night; and, before departing, he enjoined the parrot with the same injunctions as before; wherefore his heart was free from care, for he had his spy at home. The wife and her confidante then planned how they might destroy the credit of the parrot with the master. For this purpose they resolved to counterfeit a storm; and this they did by placing over the parrot’s head a hand-mill (which the lover worked by pouring water upon a piece of hide), by waving a fan and by suddenly uncovering a candle hid under a dish. Thus did they raise such a tempest of rain and lightning, that the parrot was drenched and half-drowned in a deluge. Now rolled the thunder, then flashed the lightning; that from the noise of the hand-mill, this from the reflection of the candle; when thought the parrot to herself, “In very sooth the flood hath come on, such an one as belike Noah himself never witnessed.” So saying she buried her head under her wing, a prey to terror. The husband, on his return, hastened to the parrot to ask what had happened during his absence; and the bird answered that she found it impossible to describe the deluge and tempest of the last night; and that years would be required to explain the uproar of the hurricane and storm. When the shopkeeper heard the parrot talk of last night’s deluge, he said: “Surely O bird, thou art gone clean daft! Where was there, even in a dream, rain or lightning last night? Thou hast utterly ruined my house and ancient family. My wife is the most virtuous woman of the age and all thine accusations of her are lies.” So in his wrath he dashed the cage upon the ground, tore off the parrot’s head, and threw it from the window. Presently his friend, coming to call upon him, saw the parrot in this condition with head torn off, and without wings or plumage. Being informed of the circumstances he suspected some trick on the part of the woman, and said to the husband, “When your wife leaves home to go to the Hammam-bath, compel her confidante to disclose the secret.” So as soon as his wife went out, the husband entered his Harim and insisted on the woman telling him the truth. She recounted the whole story and the husband now bitterly repented having killed the parrot, of whose innocence he had proof. “This I tell thee, O King (continued the Wazir), that thou mayst know how great are the craft and malice of women and that to act in haste leadeth to repent at leisure.” So the King turned from slaying his son: but, next day, the favourite came in to him and, kissing the ground before him, said, “O King, why dost thou delay to do me justice? Indeed, the Kings have heard that thou commandest a thing and thy Wazir countermandeth it. Now the obedience of Kings is in the fulfilment of their commandments, and every one knows thy justice and equity: so do thou justice for me on the Prince. I also have heard tell a tale concerning

The Fuller and his Son.

There was once a man which was a fuller, and he used every day to go forth to the Tigris-bank a-cleaning clothes; and his son was wont to go with him that he might swim whilst his father was fulling, nor was he forbidden from this. One day, as the boy was swimming,[FN#165] he was taken with cramp in the forearms and sank, whereupon the fuller plunged into the water and caught hold of him; but the boy clung about him and pulled him down and so father and son were both drowned. “Thus it is with thee, O King. Except thou prevent thy son and do me justice on him, I fear lest both of you sink together, thou and he.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it Was the Five Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the favourite had told her tale of the Fuller and his son, she ended with, “I fear lest both of you sink together, thou and he. Moreover,” continued she, “for an instance of the malice of men, I have heard tell a tale concerning

The Rake’s Trick against the Chaste Wife.

A certain man loved a beautiful and lovely woman, a model of charms and grace, married to a man whom she loved and who loved her. Moreover, she was virtuous and chaste, like unto me, and her rake of a lover found no way to her; so when his patience was at an end, he devised a device to win his will. Now the husband had a young man, whom he had brought up in his house and who was in high trust with him as his steward. So the rake addressed himself to the youth and ceased not insinuating himself into his favour by presents and fair words and deeds, till he became more obedient to him than the hand to the mouth and did whatever he ordered him. One day, he said to him, “Harkye, such an one; wilt thou not bring me into the family dwelling-place some time when the lady is gone out?” “Yes,” answered the young steward so, when his master was at the shop and his mistress gone forth to the Hammam, he took his friend by the hand and, bringing him into the house, showed him the sitting-rooms and all that was therein. Now the lover was determined to play a trick upon the woman; so he took the white of an egg which he had brought with him in a vessel, and spilt it on the merchant’s bedding, unseen by the young man; after which he returned thanks and leaving the house went his way. In an hour or so the merchant came home; and, going to the bed to rest himself, found thereon something wet. So he took it up in his hand and looked at it and deemed it man’s seed; whereat he stared at the young man with eyes of wrath, and asked him, “Where is thy mistress?”; and he answered, “She is gone forth to the Hammam and will return forthright after she has made her ablutions.”[FN#166] When the man heard this, his suspicion concerning the semen was confirmed; and he waxed furious and said, “Go at once and bring her back.” The steward accordingly fetched her and when she came before her husband, the jealous man sprang upon her and beat her a grievous beating; then, binding her arms behind her, offered to cut her throat with a knife; but she cried out to the neighbours, who came to her, and she said to them, “This my man hath beaten me unjustly and without cause and is minded to kill me, though I know not what is mine offence.” So they rose up and asked him, “Why hast thou dealt thus by her?” And he answered, “She is divorced.” Quoth they, “Thou hast no right to maltreat her; either divorce her or use her kindly, for we know her prudence and purity and chastity. Indeed, she hath been our neighbour this long time and we wot no evil of her.” Quoth he, “When I came home, I found on my bed seed like human sperm, and I know not the meaning of this.” Upon this a little boy, one of those present, came forward and said, “Show it to me, nuncle mine!” When he saw it, he smelt it and, calling for fire and a frying-pan, he took the white of egg and cooked it so that it became solid. Then he ate of it and made the husband and the others taste if it, and they were certified that it was white of egg. So the husband was convinced that he had sinned against his wife’s innocence, she being clear of all offence, and the neighbours made peace between them after the divorce, and he prayed her pardon and presented her with an hundred gold pieces. And so the wicked lover’s cunning trick came to naught. “And know, O King, that this is an instance of the malice of men and their perfidy.” When the King heard this, he bade his son be slain; but on the next day the second Wazir came forward for intercession and kissed ground in prostration. Whereupon the King said, “Raise thy head: prostration must be made to Allah only.”[FN#167] So the Minister rose from before him and said, “O King, hasten not to slay thy son, for he was not granted to his mother by the Almighty but after despair, nor didst thou expect such good luck; and we hope that he will live to become a guerdon to thy reign and a guardian of thy good. Wherefore, have patience, O King; belike he will offer a fit excuse; and, if thou make haste to slay him, thou wilt surely repent, even as the merchant-wight repented.” Asked the King, “And how was it with the merchant, O Wazir?”; and the Wazir answered, “O King, I have heard a tale of

The Miser and the Loaves of Bread.

There was once a merchant, who was a niggard and miserly in his eating and drinking. One day, he went on a journey to a certain town and as he walked in the market-streets, behold, he met an old trot with two scones of bread which looked sound and fair, He asked her, “Are these for sale?”; and she answered, “Yes!” So he beat her down and bought them at the lowest price and took them home to his lodging, where he ate them that day. When morning morrowed, he returned to the same place and, finding the old woman there with other two scones, bought these also; and thus he ceased not during twenty-five days’ space when the old wife disappeared. He made enquiry for her, but could hear no tidings of her, till, one day as he was walking about the high streets, he chanced upon her: so he accosted her and, after the usual salutation and with much praise and politeness, asked why she had disappeared from the market and ceased to supply the two cakes of bread? Hearing this, at first she evaded giving him a reply; but he conjured her to tell him her case; so she said, “Hear my excuse, O my lord, which is that I was attending upon a man who had a corroding ulcer on his spine, and his doctor bade us knead flour with butter into a plaster and lay it on the place of pain, where it abode all night. In the morning, I used to take that flour and turn it into dough and make it into two scones, which I cooked and sold to thee or to another; but presently the man died and I was cut off from making cakes.”[FN#168] When the merchant heard this, he repented whenas repentance availed him naught, saying, “Verily, we are Allah’s and verily unto Him we are returning! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Him, the Glorious, the Great!” —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old trot told the merchant the provenance of the scones, he cried, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” And he repeated the saying of the Most High, “Whatever evil falleth to thee it is from thyself;”[FN#169] and vomited till he fell sick and repented whenas repentance availed him naught. “Moreover, O King” (continued the second Wazir), “I have heard tell, of the malice of women, a tale of

The Lady and her Two Lovers.

Once upon a time there was a man, who was sword-bearer to one of the Kings, and he loved a damsel of the common sort. One day, he sent his page to her with a message, as of wont between them, and the lad sat down with her and toyed with her. She inclined to him and pressed him to her breast and groped him and kissed him whereupon he sought carnal connection of her and she consented; but, as the two were thus, lo! the youth’s master knocked at the door. So she pushed the page through a trapdoor into an underground chamber there and opened the door to his lord, who entered hending sword in hand and sat down upon her bed. Then she came up to him and sported and toyed with him, kissing him and pressing him to her bosom, and he took her and lay with her. Presently, her husband knocked at the door and the gallant asked her, “Who is that?”; whereto she answered, “My husband.” Quoth he, “How shall I do?” Quoth she, “Draw thy sword and stand in the vestibule and abuse me and revile me; and when my husband comes in to thee, do thou go forth and wend thy ways.” He did as she bade him; and, when the husband entered, he saw the King’s sword-bearer standing with naked brand in hand, abusing and threatening his wife; but, when the lover saw him, he was ashamed and sheathing his scymitar, went forth the house. Said the man to his wife, “What means this?”; and she replied, “O man, how blessed is the hour of thy coming! Thou hast saved a True Believer from slaughter, and it happed after this fashion. I was on the house-terrace, spinning,[FN#170] when behold, there came up to me a youth, distracted and panting for fear of death, fleeing from yonder man, who followed upon him as hard as he could with his drawn sword. The young man fell down before me, and kissed my hands and feet, saying, “O Protector, of thy mercy, save me from him who would slay me wrongously!” So I hid him in that underground chamber of ours and presently in came yonder man to me, naked brand in hand, demanding the youth. But I denied him to him, whereupon he fell to abusing and threatening me as thou sawest. And praised be Allah who sent thee to me, for I was distraught and had none to deliver me!” “Well hast thou done, O woman!” answered the husband. “Thy reward is with Allah the Almighty, and may He abundantly requite thy good deed!” Then he went to the trap door and called to the page, saying, “Come forth and fear not; no harm shall befal thee.” So he came out, trembling for fear, and the husband said, “Be of good cheer: none shall I hurt thee;” condoling with him on what had befallen him; whilst the page called down blessings on his head. Then they both went forth, nor was that Cornuto nor was the page aware of that which the woman had contrived. “This, then, O King,” said the Wazir, “is one of the tricks of women; so beware lest thou rely upon their words.” The King was persuaded and turned from putting his son to death; but, on the third day, the favourite came in to him and, kissing the ground before him, cried, “O King, do me justice on thy son and be not turned from thy purpose by thy Ministers’ prate, for there is no good in wicked Wazirs, and be not as the King of Baghdad, who relied on the word of a certain wicked counsellor of his.” Quoth he, “And how was that?” Quoth she, “There hath been told me, O auspicious and well-advised King, a tale of

The Kings Son and the Ogress.[FN#171]

A certain King had a son, whom he loved and favoured with exceeding favour, over all his other children; and this son said to him one day, “O my father, I have a mind to fare a-coursing and a-hunting.” So the King bade furnish him and commanded one of his Wazirs to bear him company and do all the service he needed during his trip. The Minister accordingly took everything that was necessary for the journey and they set out with a retinue of eunuchs and officers and pages, and rode on, sporting as they went, till they came to a green and well-grassed champaign abounding in pasture and water and game. Here the Prince turned to the Minister and told him that the place pleased him and he purposed to halt there. So they set down in that site and they loosed the falcons and lynxes and dogs and caught great plenty of game, whereat they rejoiced and abode there some days, in all joyance of life and its delight. Then the King’s son gave the signal for departure; but, as they went along, a beautiful gazelle, as if the sun rose shining from between her horns, that had strayed from her mate, sprang up before the Prince, whereupon his soul longed to make prize of her and he coveted her. So he said to the Wazir, “I have a mind to follow that gazelle;” and the Minister replied, “Do what seemeth good to thee.” Thereupon the Prince rode single-handed after the gazelle, till he lost sight of his companions, and chased her all that day till dusk, when she took refuge in a bit of rocky ground[FN#172] and darkness closed in upon him. Then he would have turned back, but knew not the way; whereat he was sore concerned and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” He sat his mare all night till morning dawned, in quest of relief, but found none; and, when the day appeared, he fared on at hazard fearful, famished, thirsty, and knowing not whither to wend till it was noon and the sun beat down upon him with burning heat. By that time he came in sight of a great city, with massive base and lofty bulwarks; but it was ruined and desolate, nor was there any live thing therein save owl and raven. As he stood among the buildings, marvelling at their ordinance, lo! his eyes fell on a damsel, young, beautiful and lovely, sitting under one of the city walls wailing and weeping copious tears. So he drew nigh to her and asked, “Who art thou and who brought thee hither?” She answered, “I am called Bint al-Tamimah, daughter of Al-Tiyakh, King of the Gray Country. I went out one day to obey a call of nature,[FN#173] when an Ifrit of the Jinn snatched me up and soared with me between heaven and earth; but as he flew there fell on him a shooting-star in the form of a flame of fire and burned him, and I dropped here, where these three days I have hungered and thirsted; but when I saw thee I longed for life.” —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince when addressed by the daughter of King Al-Tiyakh who said to him, “When I saw thee I longed for life,” was smitten with ruth and grief for her and took her up on his courser’s crupper, saying, “Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear; for, if Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) restore me to my people and family, I will send thee back to thine own folk.” Then he rode on, praying for deliverance, and presently the damsel said to him, “O King’s son, set me down, that I may do an occasion under this wall.” So he drew bridle and she alighted. He waited for her a long while as she hid herself behind the wall; and she came forth, with the foulest of favours; which when he saw, his hair stood on end and he quaked for fear of her and he turned deadly pale. Then she sprang up on his steed, behind him, wearing the most loathly of aspects, and presently she said to him, “O King’s son, what ails thee that I see thee troubled and thy favour changed?” “I have bethought me of somewhat that troubles me.” “Seek aid against it of thy father’s troops and his braves.” “He whom I fear careth naught for troops, neither can braves affright him.” “Aid thyself against him with thy father’s monies and treasures.” “He whom I fear will not be satisfied with wealth.” “Ye hold that ye have in Heaven a God who seeth and is not seen and is Omnipotent and Omniscient.” “Yes, we have none but Him.” “Then pray thou to Him; haply He will deliver thee from me thine enemy!” So the King’s son raised his eyes to heaven and began to pray with his whole heart, saying, “O my God, I implore Thy succour against that which troubleth me.” Then he pointed to her with his hand, and she fell to the ground, burnt black as charcoal. Therewith he thanked Allah and praised Him and ceased not to fare forwards; and the Almighty (extolled and exalted be He!) of His grace made the way easy to him and guided him into the right road, so that he reached his own land and came upon his father’s capital, after he had despaired of life. Now all this befel by the contrivance of the Wazir, who travelled with him, to the end that he might cause him to perish on the way; but Almighty Allah succoured him. “And this” (said the damsel) “have I told thee, O King, that thou mayst know that wicked Wazirs deal not honestly by nor counsel with sincere intent their Kings; wherefore be thou wise and ware of them in this matter.” The King gave ear to her speech and bade put his son to death; but the third Wazir came in and said to his brother Ministers, “I will warrant you from the King’s mischief this day” and, going in to him, kissed the ground between his hands and said, “O King, I am thy true counsellor and solicitous for thee and for thine estate, and indeed I rede thee the best of rede; it is that thou hasten not to slay thy son, the coolth of thine eyes and the fruit of thy vitals. Haply his sin is but a slight slip, which this damsel hath made great to thee; and indeed I have heard tell that the people of two villages once destroyed one another, because of a drop of honey.” Asked the King, “How was that?”; and the Wazir answered, saying, “Know, O King, that I have heard this story anent

The Drop of Honey.[FN#174]

A certain hunter used to chase wild beasts in wold, and one day he came upon a grotto in the mountains, where he found a hollow full of bees’ honey. So he took somewhat thereof in a water-skin he had with him and, throwing it over his shoulder, carried it to the city, followed by a hunting dog which was dear to him. He stopped at the shop of an oilman and offered him the honey for sale and he bought it. Then he emptied it out of the skin, that he might see it, and in the act a drop fell to the ground, whereupon the flies flocked to it and a bird swooped down upon the flies. Now the oilman had a cat, which sprang upon the bird, and the huntsman’s dog, seeing the cat, sprang upon it and slew it; whereupon the oilman sprang upon the dog and slew it, and the huntsman in turn sprang upon the oilman and slew him. Now the oilman was of one village and the huntsman of another; and when the people of the two places heard what had passed, they took up arms and weapons and rose one on other in wrath and the two lines met; nor did the sword leave to play amongst them, till there died of them much people, none knoweth their number save Almighty Allah. “And amongst other stories of the malice of women” (continued the Wazir) “I have heard tell, O King, one concerning

The Woman who made her Husband Sift Dust.[FN#175]

A man once gave his wife a dirham to buy rice; so she took it and went to the rice-seller, who gave her the rice and began to jest with her and ogle her, for she was dowered with beauty and loveliness, saying, “Rice is not good but with sugar which if thou wilt have, come in with me for an hour.” So, saying, “Give me sugar,” she went in with him into his shop and he won his will of her and said to his slave, “Weigh her out a dirham’s worth of sugar.” But he made the slave a privy sign, and the boy, taking the napkin, in which was the rice, emptied it out and put in earth and dust in its stead, and for the sugar set stones, after which he again knotted up the napkin and left it by her. His object, in doing this, was that she should come to him a second time; so, when she went forth of the shop, he gave her the napkin and she took it, thinking to have in it rice and sugar, and ganged her gait; but when she returned home and, setting it before her husband, went for a cooking-pot, he found in it earth and stones. So, as soon as she came back bringing the pot, he said to her, “Did I tell thee I had aught to build, that thou bringest me earth and stones?” When she saw this; she knew that the rice-seller’s slave had tricked her; so she said to her husband, “O man, in my trouble of mind for what hath befallen me, I went to fetch the sieve and brought the cooking-pot.” “What hath troubled thee?” asked he; and she answered, “O husband, I dropped the dirham thou gavest me in the market-street and was ashamed to search for it before the folk; yet I grudged to lose the silver, so I gathered up the earth from the place where it fell and brought it away, thinking to sift it at home. Wherefore I went to fetch the sieve, but brought the cooking-pot instead.” Then she fetched the sieve and gave it to her husband, saying, “Do thou sift it; for thine eyes are sharper than mine.” Accordingly he sat, sifting the clay, till his face and beard were covered with dust; and he discovered not her trick, neither knew what had befallen her. “This then, O King,” said the Wazir, “is an instance of the malice of women, and consider the saying of Allah Almighty,—Surely the cunning of you (women) is great![FN#176] And again, ‘Indeed, the malice of Satan is weak in comparison with the malice of women.’”[FN#177] The King gave ear to his Wazir’s speech and was persuaded thereby and was satisfied by what he cited to him of the signs of Allah[FN#178]; and the lights of good counsel arose and shone in the firmament of his understanding and he turned from his purpose of slaying his son. But on the fourth day, the favourite came in to him weeping and wailing and, kissing the ground before him, said, “O auspicious King, and lord of good rede, I have made plainly manifest to thee my grievance and thou hast dealt unjustly by me and hast forborne to avenge me on him who hath wronged me, because he is thy son and the darling of thy heart; but Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) will presently succour me against him, even as He succoured the King’s son against his father’s Wazir.” “And how was that?” asked the King; and she answered, “I have heard tell, O King, a tale of

The Enchanted String.[FN#179]

There was once in times gone by a King who had one son and none other; and, when the Prince grew up to man’s estate, he contracted him in marriage to another King’s daughter. Now the damsel was a model of beauty and grace and her uncle’s son had sought her in wedlock of her sire, but she would none of him. So, when he knew that she was to be married to another, envy and jealousy gat hold of him and he bethought himself and sent a noble present to the Wazir of the bridegroom’s father and much treasure, desiring him to use craft for slaying the Prince or contrive to make him leave his intent of espousing the girl and adding, “O Wazir, indeed jealousy moveth me to this for she is my cousin.”[FN#180] The Wazir accepted the present and sent an answer, saying, “Be of good cheer and of eyes cool and clear, for I will do all that thou wishest.” Presently, the bride’s father wrote to the Prince, bidding him to his capital, that he might go in to his daughter; whereupon the King his father gave him leave to wend his way thither, sending with him the bribed Wazir and a thousand horse, besides presents and litters, tents and pavilions. The Minister set out with the Prince, plotting the while in his heart to do him a mischief; and when they came into the desert, he called to mind a certain spring of running water in the mountains there, called Al-Zahra,[FN#181] whereof whosoever drank from a man became a woman. So he called a halt of the troops near the fountain and presently mounting steed again, said to the Prince, “Hast thou a mind to go with me and look upon a spring of water near hand?” The Prince mounted, knowing not what should befal him in the future,[FN#182] and they rode on, unattended by any, and without stopping till they came to the spring. The Prince being thirsty said to the Wazir, “O Minister, I am suffering from drouth,” and the other answered, “Get thee down and drink of this spring!” So he alighted and washed his hands and drank, when behold, he straightway became a woman. As soon as he knew what had befallen him, he cried out and wept till he fainted away, and the Wazir came up to him as if to learn what had befallen him and cried, “What aileth thee?” So he told him what had happened, and the Minister feigned to condole with him and weep for his affliction, saying, “Allah Almighty be thy refuge in thine affliction! How came this calamity upon thee and this great misfortune to betide thee, and we carrying thee with joy and gladness, that thou mightest go in to the King’s daughter? Verily, now I know not whether we shall go to her or not; but the rede[FN#183] is thine. What dost thou command me to do?” Quoth the Prince, “Go back to my sire and tell him what hath betided me, for I will not stir hence till this matter be removed from me or I die in my regret.” So he wrote a letter to his father, telling him what had happened, and the Wazir took it and set out on his return to the city, leaving what troops he had with the Prince and inwardly exulting for the success of his plot. As soon as he reached the King’s capital, he went in to him and, telling him what had passed, delivered the letter. The King mourned for his son with sore mourning and sent for the wise men and masters of esoteric science, that they might discover and explain to him this thing which had befallen his son, but none could give him an answer. Then the Wazir wrote to the lady’s cousin, conveying to him the glad news of the Prince’s misfortune, and he when he read the letter rejoiced with great joy and thought to marry the Princess and answered the Minister sending him rich presents and great store of treasure and thanking him exceedingly. Meanwhile, the Prince abode by the stream three days and three nights, eating not nor drinking and committing himself, in his strait, unto Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) who disappointeth not whoso relieth on him. On the fourth night, lo! there came to him a cavalier on a bright-bay steed[FN#184] with a crown on his head, as he were of the sons of the Kings, and said to him, “Who brought thee hither, O youth?” The Prince told him his mishap, how he was wending to his wedding, and how the Wazir had led him to a spring whereof he drank and incurred what had occurred; and as he spoke his speech was broken by tears. Having heard him the horseman pitied his case and said, “It was thy father’s Wazir who cast thee into this strait, for no man alive save he knoweth of this spring;” presently adding, “Mount thee behind me and come with me to my dwelling, for thou art my guest this night.” “Acquaint me who thou art ere I fare with thee,” quoth the Prince; and quoth the other, “I am a King’s son of the Jánn, as thou a King’s son of mankind; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear of tear, for I will surely do away thy cark and care; and this is a slight thing unto me.” So the Prince mounted him behind the stranger, and they rode on, leaving the troops, from the first of the day till midnight, when the King’s son of the Jinn asked the Prince, “Knowest thou how many days’ march we have covered in this time?” “Not I.” “We have come a full year’s journey for a diligent horseman.” The Prince marvelled at this and said, “How shall I do to return to my people?” “That is not thine affair, but my business. As soon as thou art quit of thy complaint, thou shalt return to thy people in less than the twinkling of an eye; for that is an easy matter to me.” When the Prince heard these words he was ready to fly for excess of joy; it seemed to him as he were in the imbroglio of a dream and he exclaimed, “Glory be to Him who can restore the unhappy to happiness!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince of the Jinn said to the Prince of mankind, “When thou art quit of thy complaint, thou shalt return to thy folk in less than the twinkling of an eye;” and the King’s son rejoiced. They fared on all that night till the morning morrowed when lo! they found themselves in a green and smiling country, full of trees spireing and birds quiring and garths fruit-growing and palaces highshowing and waters a-flowing and odoriferous flowers a-blowing. Here the King’s son of the Jinn alighted from his steed and, bidding the Prince do the like, took him by the hand and carried him into one of the palaces, where he found a great King and puissant Sultan; and abode with him all that day eating and drinking, till nightfall. Then the King’s son of the Jinn mounted his courser and taking the Prince up behind him, fared on swiftly through the murks and glooms until morning, when lo, they found themselves in a dark land and a desert, full of black rocks and stones, as it were a piece of Hell; and the Prince asked the Jinni, “What is the name of this land?” Answered the other, “It is called the Black Country, and belongs to one of the Kings of the Jinn, by name Zu’l Janahayn, against whom none of the other Kings may prevail, neither may any enter his dominions save by his permit; so tarry thou here, whilst I go ask leave.” So saying, he went away and, returning after awhile, they fared on again, till they landed at a spring of water welling forth of a black rock, and the King’s son of the Jinn said to the King’s son of men, “Alight!” He dismounted and the other cried, “Drink of this water!” So he drank of the spring without stay or delay; and, no sooner had he done so than, by grace of Allah, he became a man as before. At this he joyed with exceeding joy and asked the Jinni, “O my brother, how is this spring called?” Answered the other, “It is called the Women’s Spring, for that no woman drinketh thereof but she becometh a man: wherefore do thou praise Allah the Most High and thank Him for thy restoration and mount.” So the Prince prostrated himself in gratitude to the Almighty, after which he mounted again and they fared on diligently all that day, till they returned to the Jinni’s home, where the Prince passed the night in all solace of life. They spent the next day in eating and drinking till nightfall, when the King’s son of the Jinn asked the Prince, “Hast thou a mind to return to thy people this very night?” “Yes,” he answered; “for indeed I long for them.” Then the Jinni called one of his father’s slaves, Rajiz[FN#185] hight, and said to him, “Take this young man mounted on thy shoulders, and let not the day dawn ere he be with his father-in-law and his wife.” Replied the slave, “Hearkening and obedience, and with love and gladness, and upon my head and eyes!” then, withdrawing awhile, re-appeared in the form of an Ifrit. When the Prince saw this, he lost his senses for affright, but the Jinni said to him, “Fear not; no harm shall befal thee. Mount thy horse and leap him on to the Ifrit’s shoulders.” “Nay,” answered he, “I will leave my horse with thee and bestride his shoulders myself.” So he bestrode the Ifrit’s shoulders and, when the Jinni cried, “Close thine eyes, O my lord, and be not a craven!” he strengthened his heart and shut his eyes. Thereupon the Ifrit rose with him into the air and ceased not to fly between sky and earth, whilst the Prince was unconscious, nor was the last third of the night come before he alighted down with him on the terrace-roof of his father-in-law’s palace. Then said the Ifrit, “Dismount and open thine eyes; for this is the palace of thy father-in-law and his daughter.” So he came down and the Ifrit flew away and left him on the roof of the palace. When the day broke and the Prince recovered from his troubles, he descended into the palace and as his father-in-law caught sight of him, he came to meet him and marvelled to see him descend from the roof of the palace, saying, “We see folk enter by the doors; but thou comest from the skies.” Quoth the Prince, “Whatso Allah (may He be extolled and exalted!) willeth that cometh to pass.” And he told him all that had befallen him, from first to last, whereat the King marvelled and rejoiced in his safety; and, as soon as the sun rose, bade his Wazir make ready splendid bride-feasts. So did he and they held the marriage festival: after which the Prince went in unto his bride and abode with her two months, then departed with her for his father’s capital. As for the damsel’s cousin, he died forthright of envy and jealousy. When the Prince and his bride drew near his father’s city, the King came out to meet them with his troops and Wazirs, and so Allah (blessed and exalted be He!) enabled the Prince to prevail against his bride’s cousin and his father’s Minister. “And I pray the Almighty” (added the damsel) “to aid thee against thy Wazirs, O King, and I beseech thee to do me justice on thy son!” When the King heard this, he bade put his son to death;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When is was the Five Hundred and Eighty-forth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the favourite had told her tale to the King she said, “I beseech thee to do me justice by putting thy son to death.” Now this was the fourth day, so the fourth Wazir entered and, kissing the ground before him, said, “Allah stablish and protect the King! O King, be deliberate in doing this thou art resolved upon, for the wise man doth naught till he hath considered the issue thereof, and the proverb saith, ‘Whoso looketh not to his actions’ end, hath not the world to friend; and whoso acteth without consideration, there befalleth him what befel the Hammam-keeper with his wife.’” “And what betided him?” asked the King. And the Wazir answered, “I have heard tell, O King, a tale of the

Wazir’s Son and the Hammam-Keepeer’s Wife.”[FN#186]

There was once a bath-keeper, to whom resorted the notables of the folk and head men, and one day there came in to him a handsome youth of the sons of Wazirs who was fat and bulky of body. So he stood to serve him and when the young man put off his clothes[FN#187] he saw not his yard, for that it was hidden between his thighs, by reason of the excess of his fat, and there appeared thereof but what was like unto a filbert.[FN#188] At this the bath-keeper fell a-lamenting and smiting hand upon hand, which when the youth saw, he said to him, “What ails thee, O bath-keeper, to lament thus?” And he answered, saying, “O my lord, my lamentation is for thee, because thou art in sore straits, for all thy fair fortune and goodliness and exceeding comeliness, seeing thou hast naught wherewithal to do and receive delight, like unto other men.” Quoth the youth, “Thou sayst sooth, but thou mindest me of somewhat I had forgotten.” “What is that?” asked the bathkeeper, and the youth answered, “Take this gold piece and fetch me a pretty woman, that I may prove my nature on her.” So he took the money and betaking himself to his wife, said to her, “O woman, there is come to me in the bath a young man of the sons of the Wazirs, as he were the moon on the fullest night; but he hath no prickle like other men, for that which he hath is but some small matter like unto a filbert. I lamented over his youth and he gave me this dinar and asked me to fetch him a woman on whom he might approve himself. Now thou art worthier of the money than another, and from this no harm shall betide us, for I will protect thee. So do thou sit with him awhile and laugh at him and take this dinar from him.” So the good wife took the dinar and rising, adorned herself and donned the richest of her raiment. Now she was the fairest woman of her time. Then she went out with her husband and he carried her in to the Wazir’s son in a privy place. When she came in to him, she looked at him and finding him a handsome youth, fair of favour as he were the moon at full, was confounded at his beauty and loveliness; and on like wise his heart and wit were amazed at the first sight of her and the sweetness of her smile. So he rose forthright and locking the door, took the damsel in his arms and pressed her to his bosom and they embraced, whereupon the young man’s yard swelled and rose on end, as it were that of a jackass, and he rode upon her breast and futtered her, whilst she sobbed and sighed and writhed and wriggled under him. Now the bathkeeper was standing behind the door, awaiting what should betide between them, and he began to call her saying, “O Umm Abdillah, enough! Come out, for the day is long upon thy sucking child.” Quoth the youth, “Go forth to thy boy and come back;” but quoth she, “If I go forth from thee, my soul will depart my body; as regards the child, so I must either leave him to die of weeping or let him be reared an orphan, without a mother.” So she ceased not to abide with him till he had done his desire of her ten times running, while her husband stood at the door, calling her and crying out and weeping and imploring succour. But none came to aid him and he ceased not to do thus, saying, “I will slay myself!”; till at last, finding no way of access to his wife, and being distraught with rage and jealousy, to hear her sighing and murmuring and breathing hard under the young man, he went up to the top of the bath and, casting himself down therefrom, died. “Moreover, O King” (continued the Wazir), “there hath reached me another story of the malice of women.” “What is that?” asked the King, and the Wazir said, “Know, O King, that it is anent

The Wife’s Device to Cheat her Husband.”

There was once a woman who had no equal in her day for beauty and loveliness and grace and perfection; and a certain lewd youth and an obscene setting eyes on her, fell in love with her and loved her with exceeding passion, but she was chaste and inclined not to adultery. It chanced one day that her husband went on a journey to a certain town, whereupon the young man fell to sending to her many times a day; but she made him no reply. At last, he resorted to an old woman, who dwelt hard by, and after saluting her he sat down and complained to her of his sufferings for love of the woman and his longing to enjoy her. Quoth she, “I will warrant thee this; no harm shall befal thee, for I will surely bring thee to thy desire, Inshallah, —an it please Allah the Most High!” At these words he gave her a dinar and went his way. When the morning morrowed she appeared before the woman and, renewing an old acquaintance with her, fell to visiting her daily, eating the undertime with her and the evening meal and carrying away food for her children. Moreover, she used to sport and jest with her, till the wife became corrupted[FN#189] and could not endure an hour without her company. Now she was wont, when she left the lady’s house, to take bread and fat wherewith she mixed a little pepper and to feed a bitch, that was in that quarter; and thus she did day by day, till the bitch became fond of her and followed her wherever she went. One day she took a cake of dough and, putting therein an overdose of pepper, gave it to the bitch to eat, whereupon the beast’s eyes began to shed tears, for the heat of the pepper, and she followed the old woman, weeping. When the lady saw this she was amazed and asked the ancient, “O my mother, what ails this bitch to weep?” Answered she, “Learn, O my heart’s love, that hers is a strange story. Know that she was once a close friend of mine, a lovely and accomplished young lady, a model of comeliness and perfect grace. A young Nazarene of the quarter fell in love with her and his passion and pining increased on him, till he took to his pillow, and he sent to her times manifold, begging her to have compassion on him and show him mercy, but she refused, albeit I gave her good counsel, saying,—O my daughter, have pity on him and be kind and consent to all he wisheth. She gave no heed to my advice, until, the young man’s patience failing him, he complained at last to one of his friends, who cast an enchantment on her and changed her human shape into canine form. When she saw what transformation had befallen her and that there was none to pity her case save myself, she came to my house and began to fawn on me and buss my hands and feet and whine and shed tears, till I recognised her and said to her, ‘How often did I not warn thee?; but my advice profited thee naught.’”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old trot related to the young lady the tale of the bitch and recounted the case in her cunning and deceit, with the view to gain her consent and said to her, “When the enchanted beast came to me and wept I reminded her, ‘How often did I not warn thee?; but my advice profited thee naught.’ However, O my daughter, seeing her misery, I had compassion on her case and kept her by me; and as often as she bethinketh herself of her former estate, she weepeth thus, in pity for herself.” When the lady heard this, she was taken with great alarm and said, “O my mother, by Allah, thou affrightest me with this thy story.” “Why so?” asked the old woman. Answered the lady, “Because a certain handsome young man fell in love with me and hath sent many times to me, but hitherto I have repelled him; and now I fear lest there befal me the like of what befel this bitch.” “O my daughter,” rejoined the old woman, “look thou to what I counsel thee and beware of crossing me, for I am in great fear for thee. If thou know not his abiding-place, describe his semblance to me, that I may fetch him to thee, and let not any one’s heart be angered against thee.” So the lady described him to her, and she showed not to know him and said, “When I go out, I will ask after him.” But when she left the lady, she went straight to the young man and said to him, “Be of good cheer, for I have played with the girl’s wits; so to-morrow at noon wait thou at the head of the street, till I come and carry thee to her house, where thou shalt take thine ease with her the rest of the day and all night long.” At this the young man rejoiced with exceeding joy and gave her two dinars, saying, “When I have won my wish of her, I will give thee ten gold pieces.” Then she returned to the lady and said to her, “I have seen him and spoken with him on this matter. I found him exceeding wroth with thee and minded to do thee a harm, but I plied him with fair words till he agreed to come to-morrow at the time of the call to noon-prayer.” When the lady heard this she rejoiced exceedingly and said, “O my mother, if he keep his promise, I will give thee ten dinars.” Quoth the old woman, “Look to his coming from none but from me.” When the next morn morrowed she said to the lady, “Make ready the early meal and forget not the wine and adorn thyself and don thy richest dress and decoration, whilst I go and fetch him to thee.” So she clad herself in her finest finery and prepared food, whilst the old woman went out to look for the young man, who came not. So she went around searching for him, but could come by no news of him, and she said to herself, “What is to be done? Shall the food and drink she hath gotten ready be wasted and I lose the gold pieces she promised me? Indeed, I will not allow my cunning contrivance to come to naught, but will look her out another man and carry him to her.” So she walked about the highways till her eyes fell on a pretty fellow, young and distinguished-looking, to whom the folk bowed and who bore in his face the traces of travel. She went up to him and saluting him, asked, “Hast thou a mind to meat and drink and a girl adorned and ready?” Answered he, “Where is this to be had?” “At home, in my house,” rejoined she and carrying him to his own house, knocked at the door. The lady opened to them and ran in again, to make an end of her dressing and perfuming; whilst the wicked old woman brought the man, who was the husband and house-master, into the saloon and made him sit down congratulating herself on her cunning contrivance. Presently in walked the lady, who no sooner set eyes on her husband sitting by the old trot than she knew him and guessed how the case stood; nevertheless, she was not taken aback and without stay or delay bethought her of a device to hoodwink him. So she pulled off her outer boot and cried at her husband, “Is this how thou keepest the contract between us? How canst thou betray me and deal thus with me? Know that, when I heard of thy coming, I sent this old woman to try thee and she hath made thee fall into that against which I warned thee: so now I am certified of thine affair and that thou hast broken faith with me. I thought thee chaste and pure till I saw thee, with my own eyes, in this old woman’s company and knew that thou didst frequent loose baggages.” So saying, she fell to beating him with her slipper about the head, and crying out, “Divorce me! Divorce me!”; whilst he excused himself and swore to her, by Allah the Most High, that he had never in his life been untrue to her nor had done aught of that whereof she suspected him. But she stinted not to weep and scream and bash him, crying out and saying, “Come to my help, O Moslems!”; till he laid hold of her mouth with his hand and she bit it. Moreover, he humbled himself to her and kissed her hands and feet, whilst she would not be appeased and continued to cuff him. At last, she winked at the old woman to come and hold her hand from him. So she came up to her and kissed her hands and feet, till she made peace between them and they sat down together; whereupon the husband began to kiss her hands, saying, “Allah Almighty requite thee with all good, for that thou hast delivered me from her!” And the old woman marvelled at the wife’s cunning and ready wit. “This, then, O King” (said the Wazir) “is one of many instances of the craft and malice and perfidy of women.” When the King heard this story, he was persuaded by it and turned from his purpose to slay his son;— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the fourth Wazir had told his tale, the King turned from his purpose to slay his son; but, on the fifth day, the damsel came in to him hending a bowl of poison in hand, calling on Heaven for help and buffeting her cheeks and face, and said to him, “O King, either thou shalt do me justice and avenge me on thy son, or I will drink up this poison-cup and die, and the sin of my blood shall be on thy head at the Day of Doom. These thy Ministers accuse me of malice and perfidy, but there be none in the world more perfidious than men. Hast thou not heard the story of the Goldsmith and the Cashmere[FN#190] singing-girl?” “What befel the twain, O damsel?” asked the King; and she answered, saying, “There hath come to my knowledge, O august King, a tale of the

Goldsmith and the Cashmere Singing-Girl.

There lived once, in a city of Persia a goldsmith who delighted in women and in drinking wine. One day, being in the house of one of his intimates, he saw painted on the wall the figure of a lutanist, a beautiful damsel, beholder never beheld a fairer or a more pleasant. He looked at the picture again and again, marvelling at its beauty, and fell so desperately in love with it, that he sickened for passion and came near to die. It chanced that one of his friends came to visit him and sitting down by his side, asked how he did and what ailed him, whereto the goldsmith answered, “O my brother, that which ails me is love, and it befel on this wise. I saw a figure of a woman painted on the house-wall of my brother such an one and became enamoured of it.” Hereupon the other fell to blaming him and said, “This was of thy lack of wit; how couldst thou fall in love with a painted figure on a wall, that can neither harm nor profit, that seeth not neither heareth, that neither taketh nor withholdeth.” Said the sick man, “He who painted yonder picture never could have limned it save after the likeness of some beautiful woman.” “Haply,” rejoined his friend, “he painted it from imagination.” “In any case,” replied the goldsmith, “here am I dying for love of the picture, and if there live the original thereof in the world, I pray Allah Most High to protect my life till I see her.” When those who were present went out, they asked for the painter of the picture and, finding that he had travelled to another town, wrote him a letter, complaining of their comrade’s case and enquiring whether he had drawn the figure of his own inventive talents or copied it from a living model; to which he replied, “I painted it after a certain singing-girl belonging to one of the Wazirs in the city of Cashmere in the land of Hind.” When the goldsmith heard this, he left Persia for Cashmere-city, where he arrived after much travail. He tarried awhile there till one day he went and clapped up an acquaintance with a certain of the citizens who was a druggist, a fellow of a sharp wit, keen, crafty; and, being one even-tide in company with him, asked him of their King and his polity; to which the other answered, saying, “Well, our King is just and righteous in his governance, equitable to his lieges and beneficent to his commons and abhorreth nothing in the world save sorcerers; but, whenever a sorcerer or sorceress falls into his hands, he casteth them into a pit without the city and there leaveth them in hunger to die.” Then he questioned him of the King’s Wazirs, and the druggist told him of each Minister, his fashion and condition, till the talk came round to the singing-girl and he told him, “She belongeth to such a Wazir.” The goldsmith took note of the Minister’s abiding place and waited some days, till he had devised a device to his desire; and one night of rain and thunder and stormy winds, he provided himself with thieves’ tackle and repaired to the house of the Wazir who owned the damsel. Here he hanged a rope-ladder with grappling-irons to the battlements and climbed up to the terrace-roof of the palace. Thence he descended to the inner court and, making his way into the Harim, found all the slave-girls lying asleep, each on her own couch; and amongst them reclining on a couch of alabaster and covered with a coverlet of cloth of gold a damsel, as she were the moon rising on a fourteenth night. At her head stood a candle of ambergris, and at her feet another, each in a candlestick of glittering gold, her brilliancy dimming them both; and under her pillow lay a casket of silver, wherein were her Jewels. He raised the coverlet and drawing near her, considered her straitly, and behold, it was the lutanist whom he desired and of whom he was come in quest. So he took out a knife and wounded her in the back parts, a palpable outer wound, whereupon she awoke in terror; but, when she saw him, she was afraid to cry out, thinking he came to steal her goods. So she said to him, “Take the box and what is therein, but slay me not, for I am in thy protection and under thy safe-guard[FN#191] and my death will profit thee nothing.” Accordingly, he took the box and went away.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When is was the Five Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the goldsmith had entered the Wazir’s palace he wounded the damsel slightly in the back parts and, taking the box which contained her jewels, wended his way. And when morning morrowed he donned clothes after the fashion of men of learning and doctors of the law and, taking the jewel-case went in therewith to the King of the city, before whom he kissed the ground and said to him, “O King, I am a devout man; withal a loyal well-wisher to thee and come hither a pilgrim to thy court from the land of Khorasan, attracted by the report of thy just governance and righteous dealing with thy subjects and minded to be under thy standard. I reached this city at the last of the day and finding the gate locked and barred, threw me down to sleep without the walls; but, as I lay betwixt sleep and wake, behold, I saw four women come up; one riding on a broom-stick, another on a wine-jar, a third on an oven-peel and a fourth on a black bitch,[FN#192] and I knew that they were witches making for thy city. One of them came up to me and kicked me with her foot and beat me with a fox’s tail she had in her hand, hurting me grievously, whereat I was wroth and smote her with a knife I had with me, wounding her in the back parts, as she turned to flee from me. When she felt the wound, she fled before me and in her flight let drop this casket, which I picked up and opening, found these costly jewels therein. So do thou take it, for I have no need thereof, being a wanderer in the mountains[FN#193] who hath rejected the world from my heart and renounced it and all that is in it, seeking only the face of Allah the Most High.” Then he set the casket before the King and fared forth. The King opened the box and emptying out all the trinkets it contained, fell to turning them over with his hand, till he chanced upon a necklace whereof he had made gift to the Wazir to whom the girl belonged. Seeing this, he called the Minister in question and said to him, “This is the necklace I gave thee?” He knew it at first sight and answered, “It is; and I gave it to a singing girl of mine.” Quoth the King, “Fetch that girl to me forthwith.” So he fetched her to him, and he said, “Uncover her back parts and see if there be a wound therein or no.” The Wazir accordingly bared her backside and finding a knife-wound there, said, “Yes, O my lord, there is a wound.” Then said the King, “This is the witch of whom the devotee told me, and there can be no doubt of it,” and bade cast her into the witches’ well. So they carried her thither at once. As soon as it was night and the goldsmith knew that his plot had succeeded, he repaired to the pit, taking with him a purse of a thousand dinars, and, entering into converse with the warder, sat talking with him till a third part of the night was passed, when he broached the matter to him, saying, “Know, O my brother, that this girl is innocent of that they lay to her charge and that it was I brought this calamity upon her.” Then he told him the whole story, first and last, adding, “Take, O my brother, this purse of a thousand dinars and give me the damsel, that I may carry her to my own land, for these gold pieces will profit thee more than keeping her in prison; moreover Allah will requite thee for us, and we too will both offer up prayers for thy prosperity and safety.” When the warder heard this story, he marvelled with exceeding marvel at that device and its success; then taking the money, he delivered the girl to the goldsmith, conditioning that he should not abide one hour with her in the city. Thereupon the goldsmith took the girl and fared on with her, without ceasing, till he reached his own country and so he won his wish. “See, then, O King” (said the damsel), “the malice of men and their wiles. Now thy Wazirs hinder thee from doing me justice on thy son; but to-morrow we shall stand, both thou and I, before the Just Judge, and He shall do me justice on thee, O King.” When the King heard this, he commanded to put his son to death; but the fifth Wazir came in to him and kissing the ground before him, said, “O mighty King, delay and hasten not to slay thy son: speed will oftentimes repentance breed; and I fear for thee lest thou repent, even as did the man who never laughed for the rest of his days.” “And how was that, O Wazir?” asked the King. Quoth he, “I have heard tell, O King, this tale concerning

The Man who never Laughed during the Rest of his Days.

There was once a man who was rich in lands and houses and monies and goods, eunuchs and slaves, and he died and went to the mercy of Allah the Most High; leaving a young son, who, when he grew up, gave himself to feasting and carousing and hearing music and singing and the loud laughter of parasites; and he wasted his substance in gifts and prodigality till he had squandered all the money his father left him, —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man, when he had squandered all the money his father had left him and naught thereof remained to him, betook himself to selling his slaves and handmaids, lands and houses and spent the proceeds on like wise, till he was reduced to beggary and must needs labour for his living. He abode thus a year’s space, at the end of which time he was sitting one day under a wall, awaiting who should hire him when behold, there came up to him an old man of comely aspect and apparel and saluted him. The young man asked, “O uncle, hast thou known me aforetime?” and the other answered, “Not so, O my son, I know thee not at all, at all; but I see the trace of gentle breeding on thee despite thy present case.” “O uncle,” rejoined the poor man, “needs must Fate and Fortune be accomplished; but, O uncle, O bright of blee, hast thou any occasion wherein thou wouldst employ me?” Said the other, “I wish, O my son, to employ thee in a slight matter.” “What is it?” quoth the young man, and quoth the stranger, “We are eleven old men in one house, but we have none to serve us; so an thou wilt stay and take service with us, thou shalt have food and clothing to thy heart’s content, besides what cometh to thee of coin and other good; and haply Allah will restore thee thy fortune by our means.” Replied the youth, “Hearkening and obedience!” “But I have a condition to impose on thee.” “What is that?” “O my son, it is that thou keep our secret in what thou seest us do, and if thou see us weep, that thou question us not of the cause of our weeping.” “It is well, O uncle;” “Come with me, O my son, with the blessing of Allah Almighty.” So he followed him to the bath, where the old man caused cleanse his body of the crusted dirt, after which he sent one to fetch a handsome garment of linen and clad him therein. Then he carried him to his company which was in his domicile and the youth found a house lofty and spacious and strongly builded, wherein were sitting-chambers facing one another; and saloons, in each one a fountain of water, with the birds warbling over it, and windows on every side, giving upon a fair garden within the house. The old man brought him into one of the parlours, which was variegated with many-coloured marbles, the ceiling thereof being decorated with ultramarine and glowing gold; and the floor bespread with silken carpets. Here he found ten Shaykhs in mourning apparel, seated one opposite other, weeping and wailing. He marvelled at their case and purposed to ask the reason, when he remembered the condition and held his peace. Then he who had brought him delivered to him a chest containing thirty thousand dinars and said to him, “O my son, spend freely from this chest what is fitting for our entertainment and thine own; and be thou faithful and remember that wherewith I charged thee.” “I hear and I obey,” answered he and served them days and nights, till one of them died, whereupon his fellows washed him and shrouded him and buried him in a garden behind the house,[FN#194] nor did death cease to take them, one after other, till there remained but the Shaykh who had hired the youth for service. Then the two men, old and young, dwelt together in that house alone for years and years, nor was there with them a third save Allah the Most High, till the elder fell sick; and when the younger despaired of his life, he went up to him and condoling with him, said, “O nuncle mine, I have waited upon you twelve years and have not failed of my duties a single hour, but have been loyal and faithful to you and served you with my might and main.” “Yes, O my son,” answered the old man, “thou hast served us well until all my comrades are gone to the mercy of Allah (to whom belong honour and glory!) and needs must I die also.” “O my lord,” said the other, “thou art in danger of death and I would fain have thee acquaint me with the cause of your weeping and wailing and of your unceasing mourning and lamentation and regrets.” “O my son,” answered the old man, “it concerns thee not to know this, so importune me not of what I may not do: for I have vowed to Almighty Allah that I would acquaint none of His creatures with this, lest he be afflicted with what befel me and my comrades. If, then, thou desire to be delivered from that into which we fell, look thou open not yonder door,”[FN#195] and pointed to a certain part of the house; “but, if thou have a mind to suffer what we have suffered, then open it and thou shalt learn the cause of that thou hast seen us do; and whenas thou knowest it, thou shalt repent what time repentance will avail thee not.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the surviving Shaykh of the ten said to the youth, “Beware how thou open yonder door or thou shalt repent what time repentance will avail thee not.” Then his sickness grew on him and he accomplished his term and departed life to the presence of his Lord; and the young man washed him with his own hands and shrouded him and buried him by the side of his comrades; after which he abode alone in the place and took possession of whatsoever was therein. Withal he was uneasy and troubled concerning the case of the old men, till, one day, as he sat pondering the words of his dead master and his injunction not to open the door, he suddenly bethought himself to go and look for it. So he rose up and repaired to the part whither the dead man had pointed and sought till, in a dark unfrequented corner, he found a little door, over which the spider had spun her webs and which was fastened with four padlocks of steel. Seeing this he recalled the old man’s warning and restrained himself and went away; and he held aloof from it seven days, whilst all the time his heart prompted him to open it. On the eighth day his curiosity got the better of him and he said, “Come what will, needs must I open the door and see what will happen to me therefrom. Nothing can avert what is fated and fore-ordained of Allah the Most High; nor doth aught befal but by His will.” So saying, he rose and broke the padlocks and opening the door saw a narrow passage, which he followed for some three hours when lo! he came out on the shore of a vast ocean[FN#196] and fared on along the beach, marvelling at this main, whereof he had no knowledge and turning right and left. Presently, a great eagle swooped down upon him from the lift and seizing him in its talons, flew away with him betwixt heaven and earth, till it came to an island in the midst of the sea, where it cast him down and flew away. The youth was dazed and knew not whither he should wend, but after a few days as he sat pondering his case, he caught sight of the sails of a ship in the middlemost of the main, as it were a star in the sky; and his heart clave to it, so haply his deliverance might be therein. He continued gazing at the ship, until it drew nigh, when he saw that it was a foyst builded all of ivory and ebony, inlaid with glistening gold made fast by nails of steel, with oars of sandal and lign-aloes. In it were ten damsels, high-bosomed maids, as they were moons; and when they saw him, they came ashore to him and kissed his hands, saying, “Thou art the King, the Bridegroom!” Then there accosted him a young lady, as she were the sun shining in sky serene bearing in hand a silken napkin, wherein were a royal robe and a crown of gold set with all manner rubies and pearls. She threw the robe over him and set the crown upon his head, after which the damsels bore him on their arms to the foyst, where he found all kinds of silken carpets and hangings of various colours. Then they spread the sails and stretched out into mid-ocean. Quoth the young man, “Indeed, when they put to sea with me, meseemed it was a dream and I knew not whither they were wending with me. Presently, we drew near to land, and I saw the shore full of troops none knoweth their number save Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and all were magnificently arrayed and clad in complete steel. As soon as the vessel had made fast to the land, they brought me five marked[FN#197] horses of noble breeds, housed and saddled with gold, inlaid with all manner pearls and high-priced bezel stones. I chose out one of them and mounted it, whilst they led the four others before me. Then they raised the banners and the standards over my head, whilst the troops ranged themselves right and left, and we set out, with drums beating and cymbals clashing, and rode on; whilst I debated in myself whether I were in sleep or on wake; and we never ceased faring, I believing not in that my estate, but taking all this for the imbroglio of a dream, till we drew near to the green mead, full of palaces and gardens and trees and streams and blooms and birds chanting the praises of Allah the One, the Victorious. Hereupon, behold, an army sallied out from amid the palaces and gardens, as it were the torrent when it poureth down,[FN#198] and the host overflowed the mead. These troops halted at a little distance from me and presently there rode forth from amongst them a King, preceded by some of his chief officers on foot.” When he came up to the young man (saith the tale-teller) he dismounted also, and the two saluted each other after the goodliest fashion. Then said the King, “Come with us, for thou art my guest.” So they took horse again and rode on stirrup touching stirrup in great and stately procession, conversing as they went, till they came to the royal palace, where they alighted together.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two rode together in stately procession till they entered the palace, when the King taking the young man by the hand, led him into a domed room followed by his suite, and making him sit down on a throne of gold, seated himself beside him. Then he unbound the swathe from his lower face; and behold, the King was a young lady, like the splendid sun shining in the sheeny sky, perfect in beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and grace, arrogance[FN#199] and all perfection. The youth looked upon this singular blessing and embodied boon and was lost in wonder at her charms and comeliness and seemlihead and at the splendour and affluence he saw about him, when she said “Know, O King, that I am the Queen of this land and that all the troops thou hast seen, whether horse or foot, are women, there is no man amongst them; for in this our state the men delve and sow and ear and occupy themselves with the tillage of the earth and the building of towns and other mechanical crafts and useful arts, whilst the women govern and fill the great offices of state and bear arms.” At this the youth marvelled with exceeding marvel and, as they were in discourse, behold, in came the Wazir who was a tall gray-haired old woman of venerable semblance and majestic aspect, and it was told him that this was the Minister. Quoth the Queen to her, “Bring us the Kazi and witnesses.” So she went out to do this, and the Queen, turning to him, conversed with him in friendly fashion, and enforced herself to reassure his awe of her and do away his shame with speech blander than the zephyr, saying, “Art thou content to be to me baron and I to thee feme?” Thereupon he arose and would have kissed ground between her hands, but she forbade him and he replied, saying, “O my lady, I am the least of thy slaves who serve thee.” “Seest thou all these servants and soldiers and riches and hoards and treasures?” asked she, and he answered, “Yes!” Quoth she, “All these are at thy commandment to dispose of them and give and bestow as seemeth good to thee.” Then she pointed to a closed door and said, “All these things are at thy disposal, save yonder door; that shalt thou not open, and if thou open it thou shalt repent when repentance will avail thee naught. So beware! and again I say, beware!” Hardly had she made an end of speaking when the Waziress entered followed by the Kazii and witnesses, all old women, with their hair streaming over their shoulders and of reverend and majestic presence; and the Queen bade them draw up the contract of marriage between herself and the young man. Accordingly, they performed the marriage-ceremony and the Queen made a great bride-feast, to which she bade all the troops; and after they had eaten and drunken, he went in unto his bride and found her a maid virginal. So he did away her hymen and abode with her seven years in all joyance and solace and delight of life, till, one day of the days, he bethought himself of the forbidden door and said in himself, “Except there were therein treasures greater and grander than any I have seen, she had not forbidden me therefrom.” So he rose and opened the door, when, lo! behind it was the very bird which had brought him from the sea-shore to the island, and it said to him, “No welcome to a face that shall never prosper!” When he saw it and heard what it said, he fled from it; but it followed him and seizing him in its talons, flew with him an hour’s journey betwixt heaven and earth, till it set him down in the place whence it had first carried him off and flew away. When he came to his senses, he remembered his late estate, great, grand and glorious, and the troops which rode before him and his lordly rule and all the honour and fair fortune he had lost and fell to weeping and wailing.[FN#200] He abode two months on the sea-shore, where the bird had set him down, hoping yet to return to his wife, till, as he sat one night wakeful, mourning and musing, behold, he heard one speaking, albeit he saw no one, and saying, “How great were the delights! Alas, far from thee is the return of that which is past!” When he heard this, he redoubled in his regrets and despaired of recovering his wife and his fair estate that was; so he returned, weary and broken-hearted, to the house where he had dwelt with the old men and knew that they had fared even as he and that this was the cause of their shedding tears and lamenting their lot; wherefore he ever after held them excused. Then, being overcome with chagrin and concern, he took to his chamber and gave himself up to mourning and lamentation; and he ceased not crying and complaining and left eating and drinking and pleasant scents and merriment; nor did he laugh once till the day of his death, when they buried him beside the Shaykhs. “See, then, O King,” continued the Wazir “what cometh of precipitance; verily, it is unpraiseworthy and bequeatheth repentance; and in this I give thee true advice and loyal counsel.” When the King heard this story, he turned from slaying his son;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King heard this story he turned from slaying his son; but, on the sixth day, the favourite came in to him hending a naked knife in hand, and said to him, “Know, O my lord, that except thou hearken to my complaint and protect thy right and thine honour against these thy Ministers, who are banded together against me, to do me wrong, I will kill myself with this knife, and my blood will testify against thee on the Day of Doom. Indeed, they pretend that women are full of tricks and malice and perfidy; and they design thereby to defeat me of my due and hinder the King from doing me justice; but, behold, I will prove to thee that men are more perfidious than women by the story of a King among the Kings and how he gained access to the wife of a certain merchant.” “And what passed between them?” asked the King, and she answered, “I have heard tell, O august King, a tale of

The King’s Son and the Merchant’s Wife.

A certain merchant, who was addicted to jealousy, had a wife that was a model of beauty and loveliness; and of the excess of his fear and jealousy of her, he would not abide with her in any town, but built her a pavilion without the city, apart from all other buildings. And he raised its height and strengthened its doors and provided them with curious locks; and when he had occasion to go into the city, he locked the doors and hung the keys about his neck.[FN#201] One day, when the merchant was abroad, the King’s son of that city came forth, to take his pleasure and solace in the open country without the walls, and seeing the solitary pavilion, stood still to examine it for a long while. At last he caught sight of a charming lady looking and leaning out of one of the windows,[FN#202] and being smitten with amazement at her grace and charms, cast about for a means of getting to her, but could find none. So he called up one of his pages, who brought him ink-case[FN#203] and paper and wrote her a letter, setting forth his condition for love of her. Then he set it on the pile-point of an arrow and shot it at the pavilion, and it fell in the garden, where the lady was then walking with her maidens. She said to one of the girls, “Hasten and bring me yon letter,” for she could read writing;[FN#204] and, when she had read it and understood what he said in it of his love and passion, yearning and longing, she wrote him a merciful reply, to the effect that she was smitten with a yet fiercer desire for him; and then threw the letter down to him from one of the windows of the pavilion. When he saw her, he picked up the reply and after reading it, came under the window and said to her, “Let me down a thread, that I may send thee this key; which do thou take and keep by thee.” So she let down a thread and he tied the key to it.[FN#205] Then he went away and repairing to one of his father’s Wazirs, complained to him of his passion for the lady and that he could not live without her; and the Minister said, “And how dost thou bid me contrive?” Quoth the Prince, “I would have thee set me in a chest[FN#206] and commit it to the merchant, feigning to him that it is thine and desiring him to keep it for thee in his country-house some days, that I may have my will of her; then do thou demand it back from him.” The Wazir answered, “With love and gladness.” So the Prince returned to his palace and fixing the padlock, the key whereof he had given the lady, on a chest he had by him, entered therein. Then the Wazir locked it upon him and setting it on a mule, carried it to the pavilion of the merchant, who, seeing the Minister, came forth to him and kissed his hands, saying, “Belike our lord the Wazir hath some need or business which we may have the pleasure and honour of accomplishing for him?” Quoth the Minister, “I would have thee set this chest in the safest and best place within thy house and keep it till I seek it of thee.” So the merchant made the porters carry it inside and set it down in one of his store-closets, after which he went out on business. As soon as he was gone, his wife arose and went up to the chest and unlocked it with the key the King’s son had given her, whereupon there came forth a youth like the moon. When she saw him, she donned her richest raiment and carried him to her sitting-saloon, where they abode seven days, eating and drinking and making merry: and as often as her husband came home, she put the Prince back into the chest and locked it upon him. One day the King asked for his son and the Wazir hurried off to the merchant’s place of business and sought of him the chest.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir reached the merchant’s counting-house he asked for the box. The man accordingly repaired in haste to his pavilion, contrary to his custom and knocked at the door. When his wife was ware of him, she hurried the Prince back into the chest, but, in her confusion, forgot to lock it. The merchant bade the porters take it up and carry it to his house in the town. So they took up the box by the lid, whereupon it flew open and lo! the Prince was lying within. When the merchant saw him and knew him for the King’s son, he went out to the Wazir and said to him, “Go in, thou, and take the King’s son; for none of us may lay hands on him.” So the Minister went in and taking the Prince, went away with him. As soon as they were gone, the merchant put away his wife and swore that he would never marry again. “And,” continued the damsel, “I have heard tell, also, O King, a tale of

The Page who Feigned to Know the Speech of Birds.[FN#207]

A certain man of rank once entered the slave-market and saw a page being cried for sale; so he bought him and carrying him home, said to his wife, “Take good care of him.” The lad abode there for a while till, one day, the man said to his wife, “Go forth to-morrow to the garden and take thy solace therein and amuse thyself and enjoy thyself.” And she replied, “With love and gladness!” Now when the page heard this, he made ready in secret meat and drink and fruits and desert, and sallied forth with them privily that night to the garden, where he laid the meat under one tree, the wine under another and the fruit and conserves under a third, in the way his mistress must pass. When morning morrowed the husband bade him accompany the lady to that garden carrying with him all the provisions required for the day; so she took horse and riding thither with him, dismounted and entered. Presently, as they were walking about, a crow croaked,[FN#208] and the page said, “Thou sayst sooth;” whereupon his mistress asked him, “Dost thou know what the crow said?”; and he answered, “Yes, O my lady, he said, Under yonder tree is meat; go and eat it.” So she said, “I see thou really dost understand them;” then she went up to the tree and, finding a dish of meat ready dressed, was assured that the youth told the truth and marvelled with exceeding marvel. They ate of the meat and walked about awhile, taking their pleasure in the garden, till the crow croaked a second time, and the page again replied, “Thou sayst sooth.” “What said he?” quoth the lady, and quoth the page, “O my lady, he saith that under such a tree are a gugglet of water flavoured with musk and a pitcher of old wine.” So she went up with him to the tree and, finding the wine and water there, redoubled in wonderment and the page was magnified in her eyes. They sat down and drank, then arose and walked in another part of the garden. Presently the crow croaked again and the page said, “Thou sayst sooth.” Said the lady, “What saith he now?” and the page replied, “He saith that under yonder tree are fruits, fresh and dried.” So they went thither and found all as he said and sat down and ate. Then they walked about again till the crow croaked a fourth time, whereupon the page took up a stone and threw it at him. Quoth she, “What said he, that thou shouldst stone him?” “O my lady,” answered he, “he said what I cannot tell thee.” “Say on,” rejoined she, “and be not abashed in my presence, for there is naught between me and thee.” But he ceased not to say, “No,” and she to press him to speak, till at last she conjured him to tell her, and he answered, “The crow said to me, ‘Do with thy lady even as doth her husband.’” When she heard his words she laughed till she fell backward and said, “This is a light matter, and I may not gainsay thee therein.” So saying, she went up to a tree and, spreading the carpet under it, lay down, and called to him to come and do her need, when, lo! her husband, who had followed them unawares and saw this, called out to the page, saying, “Harkye, boy! What ails thy mistress to lie there, weeping?” Answered the page, “O my lord, she fell off the tree and was killed;[FN#209] and none but Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) restored her to thee. Wherefore she lay down awhile to recover herself by rest.” When the lady saw her husband standing by her head, she rose and made a show of weakness and pain, saying, “O my back! O my sides! Come to my help, O my friends! I shall never survive this.” So her husband was deceived and said to the page, “Fetch thy mistress’s horse and set her thereon.” Then he carried her home, the boy holding one stirrup and the man the other and saying, “Allah vouchsafe thee ease and recovery!” “These then, O King,” (said the damsel) “are some instances of the craft of men and their perfidy; wherefore let not thy Wazirs turn thee from succouring me and doing me justice.” Then she wept, and when the King saw her weeping (for she was the dearest to him of all his slave-girls) he once more commanded to put his son to death; but the sixth Minister entered and kissing ground before him, said, “May the Almighty advance the King! Verily I am a loyal counsellor to thee, in that I counsel thee to deal deliberately in the matter of thy son;”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the sixth Wazir said, “O King, deal deliberately in the matter of thy son; for falsehood is as smoke and fact is built on base which shall not be broken; yea, and the light of sooth dispelleth the night of untruth. Know that the perfidy of women is great, even as saith Allah the Most High in His Holy Book, “Verily, the malice of you is great.[FN#210] And indeed a tale hath reached me that a certain woman befooled the Chiefs of the State on such wise as never did any before her.” Asked the King, “And how was that?” And the Wazir answered, “I have heard tell a tale, O King, as follows concerning

The Lady and her Five Suitors.[FN#211]

A woman of the daughters of the merchants was married to a man who was a great traveller. It chanced once that he set out for a far country and was absent so long that his wife, for pure ennui, fell in love with a handsome young man of the sons of the merchants, and they loved each other with exceeding love. One day, the youth quarrelled with another man, who lodged a complaint against him with the Chief of Police, and he cast him into prison. When the news came to the merchant’s wife his mistress, she wellnigh lost her wits; then she arose and donning her richest clothes repaired to the house of the Chief of Police. She saluted him and presented a written petition to this purport, “He thou hast clapped in jail is my brother, such and such, who fell out with such an one; and those who testified against him bore false witness. He hath been wrongfully imprisoned, and I have none other to come in to me nor to provide for my support; therefore I beseech thee of thy grace to release him.” When the magistrate had read the paper, he cast his eyes on her and fell in love with her forthright; so he said to her, “Go into the house, till I bring him before me; then I will send for thee and thou shalt take him.” “O my lord,” replied she, “I have none to protect me save Almighty Allah!: I am a stranger and may not enter any man’s abode.” Quoth the Wali, “I will not let him go, except thou come to my home and I take my will of thee.” Rejoined she, “If it must be so, thou must needs come to my lodging and sit and sleep the siesta and rest the whole day there.” “And where is thy abode?” asked he; and she answered, “In such a place,” and appointed him for such a time. Then she went out from him, leaving his heart taken with love of her, and she repaired to the Kazi of the city, to whom she said, “O our lord the Kazi!” He exclaimed, “Yes!” and she continued, “Look into my case, and thy reward be with Allah the Most High!” Quoth he, “Who hath wronged thee?” and quoth she, “O my lord, I have a brother and I have none but that one, and it is on his account that I come to thee; because the Wali hath imprisoned him for a criminal and men have borne false witness against him that he is a wrong-doer; and I beseech thee to intercede for him with the Chief of Police.” When the Kazi looked on her, he fell in love with her forthright and said to her, “Enter the house and rest awhile with my handmaids whilst I send to the Wali to release thy brother. If I knew the money-fine which is upon him, I would pay it out of my own purse, so I may have my desire of thee, for thou pleasest me with thy sweet speech.” Quoth she, “If thou, O my lord, do thus, we must not blame others.” Quoth he, “An thou wilt not come in, wend thy ways.” Then said she, “An thou wilt have it so, O our lord, it will be privier and better in my place than in thine, for here are slave-girls and eunuchs and goers-in and comers-out, and indeed I am a woman who wotteth naught of this fashion; but need compelleth.” Asked the Kazi, “And where is thy house?”; and she answered, “In such a place,” and appointed him for the same day and time as the Chief of Police. Then she went out from him to the Wazir, to whom she preferred her petition for the release from prison of her brother who was absolutely necessary to her: but he also required her of herself, saying, “Suffer me to have my will of thee and I will set thy brother free.” Quoth she, “An thou wilt have it so, be it in my house, for there it will be privier both for me and for thee. It is not far distant and thou knowest that which behoveth us women of cleanliness and adornment.” Asked he, “Where is thy house?” “In such a place,” answered she and appointed him for the same time as the two others. Then she went out from him to the King of the city and told him her story and sought of him her brother’s release. “Who imprisoned him?” enquired he; and she replied, “Twas thy Chief of Police.” When the King heard her speech, it transpierced his heart with the arrows of love and he bade her enter the palace with him, that he might send to the Kazi and release her brother. Quoth she, “O King, this thing is easy to thee, whether I will or nill; and if the King will indeed have this of me, it is of my good fortune; but, if he come to my house, he will do me the more honour by setting step therein, even as saith the poet,

‘O my friends, have ye seen or have ye heard * Of his visit whose virtues I hold so high?’”

Quoth the King, “We will not cross thee in this.” So she appointed him for the same time as the three others, and told him where her house was.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the woman told the King where her house was and appointed him for the same time as the Wali, the Kazi and the Wazir. Then she left him and betaking herself to a man which was a carpenter, said to him, “I would have thee make me a cabinet with four compartments one above other, each with its door for locking up. Let me know thy hire and I will give it thee.” Replied he, “My price will be four dinars; but, O noble lady and well-protected, if thou wilt vouchsafe me thy favours, I will ask nothing of thee.” Rejoined she, “An there be no help but that thou have it so, then make thou five compartments with their padlocks;” and she appointed him to bring it exactly on the day required. Said he, “It is well; sit down, O my lady, and I will make it for thee forthright, and after I will come to thee at my leisure.” So she sat down by him, whilst he fell to work on the cabinet, and when he had made an end of it she chose to see it at once carried home and set up in the sitting-chamber. Then she took four gowns and carried them to the dyer, who dyed them each of a different colour; after which she applied herself to making ready meat and drink; fruits, flowers and perfumes. Now when the appointed trysting day came, she donned her costliest dress and adorned herself and scented herself, then spread the sitting-room with various kinds of rich carpets and sat down to await who should come. And behold, the Kazi was the first to appear, devancing the rest, and when she saw him, she rose to her feet and kissed the ground before him; then, taking him by the hand, made him sit down by her on the couch and lay with him and fell to jesting and toying with him. By and by, he would have her do his desire, but she said, “O my lord, doff thy clothes and turband and assume this yellow cassock and this head-kerchief,[FN#212] whilst I bring thee meat and drink; and after thou shalt win thy will.” So saying, she took his clothes and turband and clad him in the cassock and the kerchief; but hardly had she done this, when lo! there came a knocking at the door. Asked he, “Who is that rapping at the door?” and she answered, “My husband.” Quoth the Kazi, “What is to be done, and where shall I go?” Quoth she, “Fear nothing, I will hide thee in this cabinet;” and he, “Do as seemeth good to thee.” So she took him by the hand and pushing him into the lowest compartment, locked the door upon him. Then she went to the house-door, where she found the Wali; so she bussed ground before him and taking his hand brought him into the saloon, where she made him sit down and said to him, “O my lord, this house is thy house; this place is thy place, and I am thy handmaid: thou shalt pass all this day with me; wherefore do thou doff thy clothes and don this red gown, for it is a sleeping gown.” So she took away his clothes and made him assume the red gown and set on his head an old patched rag she had by her; after which she sat by him on the divan and she sported with him while he toyed with her awhile, till he put out his hand to her. Whereupon she said to him, “O our lord, this day is thy day and none shall share in it with thee; but first, of thy favour and benevolence, write me an order for my brother’s release from gaol that my heart may be at ease.” Quoth he, “Hearkening and obedience: on my head and eyes be it!”; and wrote a letter to his treasurer, saying, “As soon as this communication shall reach thee, do thou set such an one free, without stay or delay; neither answer the bearer a word.” Then he sealed it and she took it from him, after which she began to toy again with him on the divan when, behold, some one knocked at the door. He asked, “Who is that?” and she answered, “My husband.” “What shall I do?” said he, and she, “Enter this cabinet, till I send him away and return to thee.” So she clapped him into the second compartment from the bottom and padlocked the door on him; and meanwhile the Kazi heard all they said. Then she went to the house-door and opened it, whereupon lo! the Wazir entered. She bussed the ground before him and received him with all honour and worship, saying, “O my lord, thou exaltest us by thy coming to our house; Allah never deprive us of the light of thy countenance!” Then she seated him on the divan and said to him, “O my lord, doff thy heavy dress and turband and don these lighter vestments.” So he put off his clothes and turband and she clad him in a blue cassock and a tall red bonnet, and said to him, “Erst thy garb was that of the Wazirate; so leave it to its own time and don this light gown, which is better fitted for carousing and making merry and sleep.” Thereupon she began to play with him and he with her, and he would have done his desire of her; but she put him off, saying, “O my lord, this shall not fail us.” As they were talking there came a knocking at the door, and the Wazir asked her, “Who is that?”: to which she answered, “My husband.” Quoth he, “What is to be done?” Quoth she, “Enter this cabinet, till I get rid of him and come back to thee and fear thou nothing.” So she put him in the third compartment and locked the door on him, after which she went out and opened the house-door when lo and behold! in came the King. As soon as she saw him she kissed ground before him, and taking him by the hand, led him into the saloon and seated him on the divan at the upper end. Then said she to him, “Verily, O King, thou dost us high honour, and if we brought thee to gift the world and all that therein is, it would not be worth a single one of thy steps us-wards.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King entered the lady’s house she said to him, “Had we brought thee to gift the world and all which is therein, it would not be worth a single one of thy steps us-wards.” And when he had taken his seat upon the divan she said, “Give me leave to speak one word.” “Say what thou wilt,” answered he, and she said, “O my lord, take thine ease and doff thy dress and turband.” Now his clothes were worth a thousand dinars; and when he put them off she clad him in a patched gown, worth at the very most ten dirhams, and fell to talking and jesting with him; all this while the folk in the cabinet hearing everything that passed, but not daring to say a word. Presently, the King put his hand to her neck and sought to do his desire of her; when she said, “This thing shall not fail us, but I had first promised myself to entertain thee in this sitting-chamber, and I have that which shall content thee.” Now as they were speaking, some one knocked at the door and he asked her, “Who is that?” “My husband,” answered she, and he, “Make him go away of his own good will, or I will fare forth to him and send him away perforce.” Replied she, “Nay, O my lord, have patience till I send him away by my skilful contrivance.” “And I, how shall I do!” enquired the King; whereupon she took him by the hand and making him enter the fourth compartment of the cabinet, locked it upon him. Then she went out and opened the house-door when behold, the carpenter entered and saluted her. Quoth she, “What manner of thing is this cabinet thou hast made me?” “What aileth it, O my lady?” asked he, and she answered, “The top compartment is too strait.” Rejoined he, “Not so;” and she, “Go in thyself and see; it is not wide enough for thee.” Quoth he, “It is wide enough for four,” and entered the fifth compartment, whereupon she locked the door on him. Then she took the letter of the Chief of Police and carried it to the treasurer who, having read and understood it, kissed it and delivered her lover to her. She told him all she had done and he said, “And how shall we act now?” She answered, “We will remove hence to another city, for after this work there is no tarrying for us here.” So the twain packed up what goods they had and, loading them on camels, set out forthright for another city. Meanwhile, the five abode each in his compartment of the cabinet without eating or drinking three whole days, during which time they held their water until at last the carpenter could retain his no longer; so he staled on the King’s head, and the King urined on the Wazir’s head, and the Wazir piddled on the Wali and the Wali pissed on the head of the Kazi; whereupon the Judge cried out and said, “What nastiness[FN#213] is this? Doth not what strait we are in suffice us, but you must make water upon us?” The Chief of Police recognised the Kazi’s voice and answered, saying aloud, “Allah increase thy reward, O Kazi!” And when the Kazi heard him, he knew him for the Wali. Then the Chief of Police lifted up his voice and said, “What means this nastiness?” and the Wazir answered, saying, “Allah increase thy reward, O Wali!” whereupon he knew him to be the Minister. Then the Wazir lifted up his voice and said, “What means this nastiness?” But when the King heard and recognised his Minister’s voice, he held his peace and concealed his affair. Then said the Wazir, “May God damn[FN#214] this woman for her dealing with us! She hath brought hither all the Chief Officers of the state, except the King.” Quoth the King, “Hold your peace, for I was the first to fall into the toils of this lewd strumpet.” Whereat cried the carpenter, “And I, what have I done? I made her a cabinet for four gold pieces, and when I came to seek my hire, she tricked me into entering this compartment and locked the door on me.” And they fell to talking with one another, diverting the King and doing away his chagrin. Presently the neighbours came up to the house and, seeing it deserted, said one to other, “But yesterday our neighbour, the wife of such an one, was in it; but now no sound is to be heard therein nor is soul to be seen. Let us break open the doors and see how the case stands, lest it come to the ears of the Wali or the King and we be cast into prison and regret not doing this thing before.” So they broke open the doors and entered the saloon, where they saw a large wooden cabinet and heard men within groaning for hunger and thirst. Then said one of them, “Is there a Jinni in this cabinet?” and his fellow, “Let us heap fuel about it and burn it with fire.” When the Kazi heard this, he bawled out to them, “Do it not!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the neighbours proposed to heap fuel about the cabinet and to burn it the Kazi bawled out to them, “Do it not!” And they said to one another, “Verily the Jinn make believe to be mortals and speak with men’s voices.” Thereupon the Kazi repeated somewhat of the Sublime Koran and said to the neighbours, “Draw near to the cabinet wherein we are.” So they drew near, and he said, “I am so and so the Kazi, and ye are such an one and such an one, and we are here a company.” Quoth the neighbours, “Who brought you here?” And he told them the whole case from beginning to end. Then they fetched a carpenter, who opened the five doors and let out Kazi, Wazir, Wali, King and carpenter in their queer disguises; and each, when he saw how the others were accoutred, fell a-laughing at them. Now she had taken away all their clothes; so every one of them sent to his people for fresh clothes and put them on and went out, covering himself therewith from the sight of the folk. “Consider, therefore, O our lord the King” (said the Wazir), “what a trick this woman played off upon the folk! And I have heard tell also a tale of

The Three Wishes,[FN#215] or the Man who Longed to see the Night of Power.

A certain man had longed all his life to look upon the Night of Power,[FN#216] and one night it befel that he gazed at the sky and saw the angels, and Heaven’s gates thrown open; and he beheld all things prostrating themselves before their Lord, each in its several stead. So he said to his wife, “Harkye, such an one, verily Allah hath shown me the Night of Power, and it hath been proclaimed to me, from the invisible world, that three prayers will be granted unto me; so I consult thee for counsel as to what shall I ask.” Quoth she, “O man, the perfection of man and his delight is in his prickle; therefore do thou pray Allah to greaten thy yard and magnify it.” So he lifted up his hands to heaven and said, “O Allah, greaten my yard and magnify it.” Hardly had he spoken when his tool became as big as a column and he could neither sit nor stand nor move about nor even stir from his stead; and when he would have carnally known his wife, she fled before him from place to place. So he said to her, “O accursed woman, what is to be done? This is thy list, by reason of thy lust.” She replied, “No, by Allah, I did not ask for this length and huge bulk, for which the gate of a street were too strait. Pray Heaven to make it less.” So he raised his eyes to Heaven and said, “O Allah, rid me of this thing and deliver me therefrom.” And immediately his prickle disappeared altogether and he became clean smooth. When his wife saw this, she said, “I have no occasion for thee, now thou are become pegless as a eunuch, shaven and shorn;” and he answered her, saying, “All this comes of thine ill-omened counsel and thine imbecile judgment. I had three prayers accepted of Allah, wherewith I might have gotten me my good, both in this world and in the next, and now two wishes are gone in pure waste, by thy lewd will, and there remaineth but one.” Quoth she, “Pray Allah the Most High to restore thee thy yard as it was.” So he prayed to his Lord and his prickle was restored to its first estate. Thus the man lost his three wishes by the ill counsel and lack of wit in the woman; “And this, O King” (said the Wazir), “have I told thee, that thou mightest be certified of the thoughtlessness of women and their inconsequence and silliness and see what cometh of hearkening to their counsel. Wherefore be not persuaded by them to slay thy son, thy heart’s core, who shall cause thy remembrance to survive thee.” The King gave ear to his Minister’s words and forbore to put his son to death; but, on the seventh day, the damsel came in, shrieking, and after lighting a great fire in the King’s presence, made as she would cast herself therein; whereupon they laid hands on her and brought her before him. He asked her, “Why hast thou done this?”; and she answered, “Except thou do me justice on thy son, I will cast myself into this very fire and accuse thee of this on the Day of Resurrection, for I am a-weary of my life, and before coming into thy presence I wrote my last will and testament and gave alms of my goods and resolved upon death. And thou wilt repent with all repentance, even as did the King of having punished the pious woman who kept the Hammam.” Quoth the King, “How was that?” and quoth she, “I have heard tell, O King, this tale concerning

The Stolen Necklace.

There was once a devotee, a recluse, a woman who had devoted herself to religion. Now she used to resort to a certain King’s palace,[FN#217] whose dwellers were blessed by her presence and she was held of them in high honour. One day she entered that palace according to her custom and sat down beside the King’s wife. Presently the Queen gave her a necklace, worth a thousand dinars, saying, “Keep this for me, O woman, whilst I go to the Hammam.” So she entered the bath, which was in the palace, and the pious woman remaining in the place where the Queen was and awaiting her return laid the necklace on the prayer-carpet and stood up to pray. As she was thus engaged, there came a magpie[FN#218] which snatched up the necklace, while she went out to obey a call of nature and carrying it off, hid it inside a crevice in a corner of the palace-walls. When the Queen came out of the bath, she sought the necklace of the recluse, who also searched for it, but found it not nor could light on any trace of it; so she said to the King’s wife, “By Allah, O my daughter, none hath been with me. When thou gavest me the necklace, I laid it on the prayer-carpet, and I know not if one of the servants saw it and took it without my heed, whilst I was engaged in prayer. Almighty Allah only knoweth what is come of it!” When the King heard what had happened, he bade his Queen put the bath-woman to the question by fire and grievous blows, —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King bade his Queen question the bath-woman with fire and grievous blows, they tortured her with all manner tortures, but could not bring her to confess or to accuse any. Then he commanded to cast her into prison and manacle and fetter her; and they did as he bade. One day, after this, as the King sat in the inner court of his palace, with the Queen by his side and water flowing around him, he saw the pie fly into a crevice in a corner of the wall and pull out the necklace, whereupon he cried out to a damsel who was with him, and she caught the bird and took the necklace from it. By this the King knew that the pious bath-woman had been wronged and repented of that he had done with her. So he sent for her to the presence and fell to kissing her head and with many tears sought pardon of her. Moreover, he commanded much treasure to be given to her, but she refused and would none of it. However, she forgave him and went away, swearing never again to enter any one’s house. So she betook herself to wandering in the mountains and valleys and worshipped God until she died, and Almighty Allah have mercy upon her! “And for an instance of the malice of the male sex” (continued the damsel), “I have heard, O King, tell this tale of

The Two Pigeons.[FN#219]

A pair of pigeons once stored up wheat and barley in their nest during the winter, and when the summer came, the grain shrivelled and became less; so the male pigeon said to his wife, “Thou hast eaten of this grain.” Replied she, “No, by Allah, I have never touched it!” But he believed not her words and beat her with his wings and pecked her with his bill, till he killed her. When the cold season returned, the corn swelled out and became as before, whereupon he knew that he had slain his wife wrongously and wickedly, and he repented whenas repentance availed him naught. Then he lay down by her side, mourning over her and weeping for grief, and left meat and drink, till he fell sick and died. “But” (added the damsel), “I know a story of the malice of men more extraordinary than either of these.” Quoth the King, “Let us hear what thou hast to tell;” and quoth she, “I have heard tell, O King, this

Story of Prince Behram and the Princess Al-Datma.

There was once a King’s daughter, who had no equal in her time for beauty and loveliness and symmetrical stature and grace, brilliancy, amorous lace and the art of ravishing the wits of the masculine race and her name was Al-Datmá. She used to boast, “Indeed there is none like me in this age.” Nor was there one more accomplished than she in horsemanship and martial exercises and all that behoveth a cavalier. So all the Kings’ sons sought her to wife; but she would take none of them, saying, “No man shall marry me except he overcome me at lunge of lance and stroke of sword in fair field and patent plain. If any can do this, I will willingly wed him; but, if I overcome him, I will take his horse and clothes and arms and write with fire upon his forehead, ‘This is the freed man of Al-Datma.’” Now the sons of the Kings flocked to her from every quarter far and near, and she overcame them and put them to shame, stripping them of their arms and branding them with fire. Presently the son of a King of the Kings of the Persians, by name Behram ibn Tájí, heard of her and journeyed from afar to her father’s court, bringing with him men and horses and great store of wealth and royal treasures. When he drew near the city, he sent her parent a rich present and the King came out to meet him and honoured him with the utmost honour. Then the King’s son sent a message to him by his Wazir, demanding his daughter’s hand in marriage; but the King answered, saying, “O my son, as regards my daughter Al-Datma, I have no power over her, for she hath sworn by her soul to marry none except he overcome her in the listed field.” Quoth the Prince, “I journeyed hither from my father’s court with no other object but this; I came here to woo and for thine alliance to sue;” quoth the King, “Thou shalt meet her to-morrow.” So next day he sent to bid his daughter who, making ready for battle, donned her harness of war, and the folk, hearing of the coming joust, flocked from all sides to the field. Presently the Princess rode into the lists, armed cap-à-pie and belted and with vizor down, and the Persian King’s son came out singlehanded to meet her, equipped at all points after the fairest of fashions. Then they drove at each other and fought a great while, wheeling and falsing, advancing and retreating, till the Princess, finding in him such courage and cavalarice as she had seen in none else, began to fear for herself lest he put her to shame before the bystanders and knew that he would assuredly overcome her. So she resolved to trick him and, raising her vizor, lo! her face appeared more brilliant than the full moon, which when he saw, he was confounded by her beauty and his strength failed and his spirit faltered. When she perceived this, she fell upon him unawares in his moment of weakness, and tare him from his saddle, and he became in her hands as he were a sparrow in the clutches of an eagle, knowing not what was done with him for amazement and confusion. So she took his steed and clothes and armour and, branding him with fire, let him wend his ways. When he recovered from his stupor, he abode several days without meat or drink or sleep for despite and love of the girl which had taken hold upon his heart. Then he sent a letter by certain of his slaves to his father, advising him that he could not return home till he had won his will of the Princess or died for want of her. When his sire got the letter, he was sore concerned for his son and would have succoured him by sending troops and soldiers; but his Wazirs dissuaded him from this and exhorted him to patience; so he committed his affair to Almighty Allah. Meanwhile, the Prince cast about for a means of coming to his desire; and presently, disguising himself as a decrepit old man, with a white beard over his own black beard repaired to a garden of the Princess wherein she used to walk most of her days. Here he sought out the gardener and said to him, “I am a stranger from a far country and from my youth upwards I have been a gardener, and in the grafting of trees and the culture of fruits and flowers and care of the vine none is more skilled than I.” When the gardener heard this, he rejoiced in him with exceeding joy and carried him into the garden, where he commended him to his underlings, and the Prince betook himself to the service of the garden and the tending of the trees and the bettering of their fruits and improving the Persian water-wheels and disposing the irrigation-channels. One day, as he was thus employed, lo! he saw some slaves enter the garden, leading mules laden with carpets and vessels, and asked them the meaning of this, to which they answered, “The Princess is minded to take her pleasure.” When he heard these words he hastened to his lodging and, fetching some of the jewels and ornaments he had brought with him from home, sat down in the garden and spread somewhat of them out before him, shaking and making a show of extreme old age,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the son of the Persian King, after disguising himself as an old man shotten in years and taking a seat in the garden, spread out somewhat of the jewels and ornaments before him and made a show of shaking and trembling as if for decrepitude and the weakness of extreme senility. After an hour or so a company of damsels and eunuchs entered with the Princess in their midst, as she were the moon among the stars, and dispersed about the garden, plucking the fruits and diverting themselves. Presently they espied a man sitting under one of the trees; and, making towards him (who was the Prince), found him a very old man, whose hands and feet trembled for decrepitude, and before him store of precious jewels and royal ornaments. So they marvelled at his case and asked him what he did there with the jewels; when he answered, “With these trinkets I would fain buy me to wife one of you.” They laughed together at him and said, “If one of us marry thee, what wilt thou do with her?” Said he, “I will give her one kiss and divorce her.” Then quoth the Princess, “I give thee this damsel to wife.” So he rose and coming up to her, leaning on his staff and shivering and staggering, kissed her and gave her the jewels and ornaments; whereat she rejoiced and they, laughing at him, went their way. Next day, they came again to the garden, and finding him seated in the same place, with more jewels and ornaments than before spread in front of him, asked him, “O Shaykh, what wilt thou do with this jewellery?”; and he answered, saying, “I wish therewith to take one of you to wife even as yesterday.” So the Princess said, “I marry thee to this damsel;” and he came up to her and kissed her and gave her the jewels, and they all went their ways. But, seeing such generosity to her handmaids, the Princess said in herself, “I have more right to all these fine things than these baggages, and no harm can betide me.” So when morning morrowed she went down from her chamber singly into the garden, in the habit of one of her damsels, and presenting herself privily before the Prince, said to him, “O Shaykh, the King’s daughter hath sent me to thee, that thou mayst marry me.” He looked at her and knew her; so he answered, “With love and gladness,” and gave her jewels and ornaments of the finest and costliest. Then he rose to kiss her, and she off her guard and fearing nothing but, when he came up to her, he suddenly laid hold of her with a strong hand and instantly throwing her down, on the ground abated her maidenhead.[FN#220] Then he pulled the beard from his face and said to her, “Dost thou not know me?” Asked she, “Who art thou?” and he answered, “I am Behram, the King’s son of Persia, who have changed my favour and am become a stranger to my people and estate for thy sake and have lavished my treasures for thy love.” So she rose from under him in silence and answered not his address nor spake a word of reply to him, being dazed for what had befallen her and seeing nothing better than to be silent, for fear of shame; and she bethought herself and said, “If I kill myself it will be useless and if I do him die, his death will profit me naught;” and presently added, “Nothing will serve me but that I elope with him to his own country.” Then she gathered together her monies and treasures and sent to him, acquainting him therewith, to the intent that he also might equip himself with his wealth and needs; and they agreed upon a night on which to depart. So, at the appointed time, they mounted race-horses and set out under cover of the gloom, nor did morning morrow till they had traversed a great distance; and they ceased not faring forwards till they drew near his father’s capital in the land of the Persians. When the King heard of his son’s coming, he rode out to meet him with his troops and rejoiced in him with exceeding joy. Then, after a few days, he sent the Princess’s father a splendid present, and a letter to the effect that his daughter was with him and demanding her wedding equipage. Al-Datma’s father came out to meet the messengers with the greatest gladness (for that he had deemed his daughter lost and had grieved sore for her loss): after which he made bride-feasts and, summoning the Kazi and the witnesses, let draw up the marriage-contract between his daughter and the Prince of Persia. He invested the envoys with robes of honour, then he made ready her equipage and despatched it to her; and Prince Behram abode with her till death sundered their union. “See therefore, O King” (continued the favourite), “the malice of men in their dealing with women. As for me, I will not go back from my due till I die.” So the King once more commanded to put his son to death; but the seventh Wazir came in to him and kissing the ground before him, said, “O King, have patience with me whilst I speak these words of good counsel to thee; how many patient and slow-moving men unto their hope attain, and how many who are precipitate fall into shameful state! Now I have seen how this damsel hath profligately excited the King by lies to horrible and unnatural cruelties; but I his Mameluke, whom he hath overwhelmed with his favours and bounties, do proffer him true and loyal rede; for that I, O King, know of the malice of women that which none knoweth save myself; and in particular there hath reached me, on this subject, the story of the old woman and the son of the merchant with its warning instances.” Asked the King, “And what fell out between them, O Wazir?” and the seventh Wazir answered, “I have heard tell, O King, the tale of

The House with the Belvedere.[FN#221]

A wealthy merchant had a son who was very dear to him and who said to him one day, “O my father, I have a boon to beg of thee.” Quoth the merchant, “O my son, what is it, that I may give it thee and bring thee to thy desire, though it were the light of mine eyes.” Quoth the youth, “Give me money, that I may journey with the merchants to the city of Baghdad and see its sights and sail on the Tigris and look upon the palace of the Caliphs[FN#222]; for the sons of the merchants have described these things to me and I long to see them for myself.” Said the father, “O my child, O my little son, how can I endure to part from thee?” But the youth replied, “I have said my say and there is no help for it but I journey to Baghdad with thy consent or e’en without it: such a longing for its sight hath fallen upon me as can only be assuaged by the going hither.” —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the merchant’s son said to his sire, “There is no help for it but that I journey to Baghdad.” Now when the father saw that there was no help for it, he provided his son with goods to the value of thirty thousand gold pieces and sent him with certain merchants in whom he trusted, committing him to their charge. Then he took leave of the youth, who journeyed with his friends the merchants till they reached Baghdad, the House of Peace, where he entered the market and hired him a house, so handsome and delectable and spacious and elegant that on seeing it he well nigh lost his wits for admiration; for therein were pavilions facing one another, with floors of coloured marbles and ceilings inlaid with gold and lapis lazuli, and its gardens were full of warbling birds. So he asked the door keeper[FN#223] what was its monthly rent, and he replied, “Ten dinars.” Quoth the young man, “Speakest thou soothly or dost thou but jest with me?” Quoth the porter, “By Allah, I speak naught but the truth, for none who taketh up his abode in This house lodgeth in it more than a week[FN#224] or two.” “And how is that?” quoth the youth; and quoth the porter, “O my son, whoso dwelleth in this house cometh not forth of it, except sick or dead, wherefore it is known amongst all the folk of Baghdad so that none offereth to inhabit it, and thus cometh it that its rent is fallen so low.” Hearing this the young merchant marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, “Needs must there be some reason for this sickening and perishing.” However after considering awhile and seeking refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned, he rented the house and took up his abode there. Then he put away apprehension from his thought and busied himself with selling and buying; and some days passed by without any such ill case befalling him in the house, as the doorkeeper had mentioned. One day as he sat upon the bench before his door, there came up a grizzled crone, as she were a snake speckled white and black, calling aloud on the name of Allah, magnifying Him inordinately and, at the same time, putting away the stones and other obstacles from the path.[FN#225] Seeing the youth sitting there, she looked at him and marvelled at his case; where upon quoth he to her, “O woman, dost thou know me or am I like any thou knowest?” When she heard him speak, she toddled up to him and saluting him with the salaam, asked, “How long hast thou dwelt in this house?” Answered he, “Two months, O my mother;” and she said, “It was hereat I marvelled; for I, O my son, know thee not, neither dost thou know me, nor yet art thou like unto any one I know; but I marvelled for that none other than thou hath taken up his abode in this house but hath gone forth from it, dead or dying, saving thee alone. Doubtless, O my son, thou hast periled thy young years; but I suppose thou hast not gone up to the upper story neither looked out from the belvedere there.” So saying, she went her way and he fell a pondering her words and said to himself, “I have not gone up to the top of the house; nor did I know that there was a belvedere there.” Then he arose forthright and going in, searched the by ways of the house till he espied, in a wall corner among the trees, a narrow door between whose posts[FN#226] the spider had woven her webs, and said in himself, “Haply the spider hath not webbed over the door, but because death and doom is within.” However, he heartened himself with the saying of God the Most High, “Say, nothing shall befall us but what Allah hath written for us;”[FN#227] and opening the door, ascended a narrow flight of stairs, till he came to the terrace roof, where he found a belvedere, in which he sat down to rest and solace himself with the view. Presently, he caught sight of a fine house and a well cared for hard by, surmounted by a lofty belvedere, over looking the whole of Baghdad, in which sat a damsel fair as a Houri. Her beauty took possession of his whole heart and made away with his reason, bequeathing to him the pains and patience of Job and the grief and weeping of Jacob. And as he looked at her and considered her curiously, an object to enamour an ascetic and make a devotee lovesick, fire was lighted in his vitals and he cried, “Folk say that whoso taketh up his abode in this house dieth or sickeneth. An this be so, yon damsel is assuredly the cause. Would Heaven I knew how I shall win free of this affair, for my wits are clean gone!” Then he descended from the terrace, pondering his case, and sat down in the house, but being unable to rest, he went out and took his seat at the door, absorbed in melancholy thought when, behold, up came the old woman afoot, praising and magnifying Allah as she went. When he saw her, he rose and accosting her with a courteous salaam and wishes for her life being prolonged said to her, “O my mother, I was healthy and hearty till thou madest mention to me of the door leading to the belvedere; so I opened it and ascending to the top Of the house, saw thence what stole away my senses; and now methinks I am a lost man, and I know no physician for me but thyself.” When she heard this, she laughed and said, “No harm shall befall thee Inshallah so Allah please!” Whereupon he rose and went into the house and coming back with an hundred dinars in his sleeve, said to her, “Take this, O my mother, and deal with me the dealing of lords with slaves and succour me quickly for, if I die, a claim for my blood will meet thee on the Day of Doom.” Answered she, “With love and gladness; but, O my son, I expect thou lend me thine aid in some small matter, whereby hangs the winning of thy wish.” Quoth he, “What wouldst thou have me do, O my mother?” Quoth she, “Go to the silk market and enquire for the shop of Abú al-Fath bin Kaydám. Sit thee down on his counter and salute him and say to him, ‘Give me the face veil[FN#228] thou hast by thee orfrayed with gold:’ for he hath none handsomer in his shop. Then buy it of him, O my son, at his own price however high and keep it till I come to thee to morrow, Allah Almighty willing.” So saying, she went away and he passed the night upon live coals of the Ghazá[FN#229]-wood. Next morning he took a thousand ducats in his pocket and repairing to the silk market, sought out the shop of Abu al-Fath to whom he was directed by one of the merchants. He found him a man of dignified aspect, surrounded by pages, eunuchs and attendants; for he was a merchant of great wealth and consideration befriended by the Caliph; and of the blessings which Allah the Most High had bestowed upon him was the damsel who had ravished the young man’s heart. She was his wife and had not her match for beauty, nor was her like to be found with any of the sons of the Kings. The young man saluted him and Abu al-Fath returned his salaam and bade him be seated. So he sat down by him and said to him, “O merchant, I wish to look at such a face veil.” Accordingly he bade his slave bring him a bundle of silk from the inner shop And opening it, brought out a number of veils, whose beauty amazed the youth. Among them was the veil he sought; so he bought it for fifty gold pieces and bore it home well pleased.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth after buying the veil of the merchant bore it home; but hardly had he reached the house when lo! up came the old woman. He rose to her and gave her his purchase when she bade him bring a live coal, with which she burnt one of the corners of the veil, then folded it up as before and, repairing to Abu al-Fath’s house, knocked at the door. Asked the damsel, “Who is there?”; and she answered, “I, such an one.” Now the damsel knew her for a friend of her mother so, when she heard her voice, she came out and opening the door to her, said, “What brought thee here, O my mother? My mamma hath left me and gone to her own house.” Replied the old woman, “O my daughter, I know thy mother is not with thee, for I have been with her in her home, and I come not to thee, but because I fear to pass the hour of prayer; wherefore I desire to make my Wuzu-ablution with thee, for I know thou art clean and thy house pure.”[FN#230] The damsel admitted the old trot who saluted her and called down blessings upon her. Then she took the ewer and went into the wash house, where she made her ablutions and prayed in a place there. Presently, she came out again and said to the damsel, “O my daughter, I suspect thy handmaidens have been in yonder place and defiled it; so do thou show me another place where I may pray, for the prayer I have prayed I account null and void.” Thereupon the damsel took her by the hand and said to her, “O my mother, come and pray on my carpet, where my husband sits.” So she stood there and prayed and worshipped, bowed and prostrated; and presently, she took the damsel unawares and made shift to slip the veil under the cushion, unseen of her. Then she blessed her and went her ways. Now as the day was closing Abu al-Fath came home and sat down upon the carpet, whilst his wife brought him food and he ate of it his sufficiency and washed his hands; after which he leant back upon the cushion. Presently, he caught sight of a corner of the veil protruding from under the cushion; so he pulled it out and considered it straitly, when, knowing it for that he had sold to the young man, he at once suspected his wife of unchastity. Thereupon he called her and said, “Whence hadst thou this veil?” And she swore an oath to him, saying, “None hath come to me but thou.” The merchant was silent for fear of scandal, and said to himself, “If I open up this chapter, I shall be put to shame before all Baghdad;” for he was one of the intimates of the Caliph and so he could do nothing save hold his peace. So he asked no questions, but said to his wife, whose name was Mahzíyah, “It hath reached me that thy mother lieth ill of heart ache[FN#231] and all the women are with her, weeping over her; wherefore I order thee to go to her.” Accordingly, she repaired to her mother’s house and found her in the best of health; and she asked her daughter, “What brings thee here at this hour?” So she told her what her husband had said and sat with her awhile; when behold, up came porters, who brought her clothes from her husband’s house, and transporting all her paraphernalia and what not else belonged to her of goods and vessels, deposited them in her mother’s lodging. When the mother saw this, she said to her daughter, “Tell me what hath passed between thee and thy husband, to bring about this.” But she swore to her that she knew not the cause thereof and that there had befallen nothing between them to call for this conduct. Quoth her mother, “Needs must there be a cause for this.” And she answered, saying, “I know of none, and after this, with Almighty Allah be it to make provision!” Whereupon her mother fell a weeping and lamented her daughter’s separation from the like of this man, by reason of his sufficiency and fortune and the greatness of his rank and dignity. On this wise things abode some days, after which the curst, ill omened old woman, whose name was Miryam the Koranist,[FN#232] paid a visit to Mahziyah, in her mother’s house and saluted her cordially, saying, “What ails thee, O my daughter, O my darling? Indeed, thou hast troubled my mind.” Then she went in to her mother and said to her, “O my sister, what is this business about thy daughter and her husband? It hath reached me that he hath divorced her! What hath she done to call for this?” Quoth the mother, “Belike her husband will return to her by the blessed influence of thy prayers, O Háfizah; so do thou pray for her, O my sister, for thou art a day faster and a night prayer.” Then the three fell to talking together and the old woman said to the damsel, “O my daughter, grieve not for, if Allah please, I will make peace between thee and thy husband before many days.” Then she left them and going to the young merchant, said to him, “Get ready a handsome entertainment for us, for I will bring her to thee this very night.” So he sprang up and went forth and provided all that was fitting of meat and drink and so forth, then sat down to await the twain; whilst the old woman returned to the girl’s mother and said to her, “O my sister, we have a splendid bride feast to night; so let thy daughter go with me, that she may divert herself and make merry with us and throw off her cark and care, and forget the ruin of her home. I will bring her back to thee even as I took her away.” The mother dressed her daughter in her finest dress and costliest jewels and accompanied her to the door, where she commended her to the old woman’s charge, saying, “’Ware lest thou let any of Almighty Allah’s creatures look upon her, for thou knowest her husband’s rank with the Caliph; and do not tarry, but bring her back to me as soon as possible.” The old woman carried the girl to the young man’s house which she entered, thinking it the place where the wedding was to be held: but as soon as she came into the sitting saloon,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as the damsel entered the sitting saloon, the youth sprang up to her and flung his arms round her neck and kissed her hands and feet. She was confounded at his loveliness, as well as at the beauty of the place and the profusion of meat and drink, flowers and perfumes that she saw therein, and deemed all was a dream. When the old woman saw her amazement, she said to her, “The name of Allah be upon thee, O my daughter! Fear not; I am here sitting with thee and will not leave thee for a moment. Thou art worthy of him and he is worthy of thee.” So the damsel sat down shame-fast and in great confusion; but the young man jested and toyed with her and entertained her with laughable stories and loving verses, till her breast broadened and she became at her ease. Then she ate and drank and growing warm with wine, took the lute and sang these couplets,

“My friend who went hath returned once more; * Oh, the welcome
     light that such beauty shows!
 And but for the fear of those arrowy eyes, * From his lovely
     cheek I had culled the rose.”

And when the youth saw that she to his beauty did incline he waxt drunken without wine and his life was a light matter to him compared with his love.[FN#233] Presently the old woman went out and left them alone together to enjoy their loves till the next morning, when she went into them and gave them both good morrow[FN#234] and asked the damsel, “How hast thou passed the night, O my lady?” Answered the girl, “Right well, thanks to thy adroitness and the excellence of thy going between.”[FN#235] Then said the old woman, “Up, let us go back to thy mother.” At these words the young man pulled out an hundred sequins and gave them to her, saying, “Take this and leave her with me to night.” So she left them and repaired to the girl’s mother, to whom quoth she, “Thy daughter saluteth thee, and the bride’s mother hath sworn her to abide with her this night.” Replied the mother, “O my sister, bear her my salaam, and, if it please and amuse the girl, there is no harm in her staying the night; so let her do this and divert herself and come back to me at her leisure, for all I fear for her is chagrin on account of an angry husband.” The old woman ceased not to make excuse after excuse to the girl’s mother and to put off cheat upon cheat upon her, till Mahziyah had tarried seven days with the young man, of whom she took an hundred dinars each day for herself; while he enjoyed all the solace of life and coition. But at the end of this time, the girl’s mother said to her, “Bring my daughter back to me forthright; for I am uneasy about her, because she hath been so long absent, and I misdoubt me of this.” So the old woman went out saying, “Woe to thee! shall such words be spoken to the like of me?”; and, going to the young man’s house, took the girl by the hand and carried her away (leaving him lying asleep on his bed, for he was drunken with wine) to her mother. She received her with pleasure and gladness and seeing her in redoubled beauty and brilliancy rejoiced in her with exceeding joy, saying, “O my daughter, my heart was troubled about thee and in my uneasiness I offended against this my sister the Koranist with a speech that wounded her.” Replied Mahziyah, “Rise and kiss her hands and feet, for she hath been to me as a servant in my hour of need, and if thou do it not thou art no mamma of mine, nor am I thy girl.” So the mother went up at once to the old woman and made her peace with her. Meanwhile, the young man recovered from his drunkenness and missed the damsel, but congratulated himself on having enjoyed his desire. Presently Miryam the old Koranist came in to him and saluted him, saying, “What thinkest thou of my feat?” Quoth he, “Excellently well conceived and contrived of thee was that same.” Then quoth she, “Come, let us mend what we have marred and restore this girl to her husband, for we have been the cause of their separation and it is unrighteous.” Asked he, “How shall I do?” and she answered, “Go to Abu al-Fath’s shop and salute him and sit down by him, till thou seest me pass by, when do thou rise in haste and catch hold of my dress and abuse me and threaten me, demanding of me the veil. And do thou say to the merchant, ‘Thou knowest, O my lord, the face veil I bought of thee for fifty dinars? It so chanced that my handmaid put it on and burnt a corner of it by accident; so she gave it to this old woman, who took it, promising to get it fine-drawn[FN#236] and return it, and went away, nor have I seen her from that day to this.’” “With joy and good will,” replied the young man, and rising forthright, walked to the shop of the silk merchant, with whom he sat awhile till behold, the old woman passed telling her beads on a rosary she held in hand; whereupon he sprang up and laying hold of her dress began to abuse and rail at her, whilst she answered him with fair words, saying, “Indeed, my son, thou art excusable.” So the people of the bazaar flocked round the two, saying, “What is the matter?” and he replied, “O folk, I bought of this merchant a veil for fifty dinars and gave it to my slave girl, who wore it awhile, then sat down to fumigate it with perfume. Presently a spark flew out of the censer and, lighting on the edge of the veil, burnt a hole in it. So we committed it to this pestilent old woman, that she might give it to who should fine-draw it and return it to us; but from that time we have never set eyes on her again till this day.” Answered the old woman, “This young man speaks sooth. I had the veil from him, but I took it with me into one of the houses where I am wont to visit and forgot it there, nor do I know where I left it; and, being a poor woman, I feared its owner and dared not face him.” Now the girl’s husband was listening to all they said,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the young man seized the old woman and spoke to her of the veil as she had primed him, the girl’s husband was listening to all they said, from beginning to end, and when he heard the tale which the crafty old woman had contrived with the young man, he rose to his feet and said, “Allah Almighty! I crave pardon of the Omnipotent One for my sins and for what my heart suspected!” And he praised the Lord who had discovered to him the truth. Then he accosted the old woman and said to her, “Dost thou use to visit us?”[FN#237] Replied she, “O my son, I visit you and other than you, for the sake of alms; but from that day to this, none hath given me news of the veil.” Asked the merchant, “Hast thou enquired at my house?” and she answered, “O my lord, I did indeed go to thy house and ask; but they told me that the person of the house[FN#238] had been divorced by the merchant; so I went away and asked no farther; nor have I enquired of anybody else until this day.” Hereupon the merchant turned to the young man and said, “Let the old woman go her way; for the veil is with me.” So saying he brought it out from the shop and gave it to the fine-drawer before all present. Then he betook himself to his wife and, giving her somewhat of money, took her to himself again, after making abundance of excuses to her and asking pardon of Allah, because he knew not what the old woman had done. (Said the Wazir), “This then, O King, is an instance of the malice of women and for another to the same purport, I have heard tell the following tale anent

The King’s Son and the Ifrit’s Mistress[FN#239]

A certain King’s son was once walking alone for his pleasure, when he came to a green meadow, abounding in trees laden with fruit and birds singing on the boughs, and a river running athwart it. The place pleased him; so he sat down there and taking out some dried fruits he had brought with him, began to eat, when lo! he espied a great smoke rising up to heaven and, taking fright, he climbed up into a tree and hid himself among the branches. Thence he saw an Ifrit rise out of the midst of the stream bearing on his head a chest of marble, secured by a padlock. He set down the chest on the meadow-sward and opened it and there came forth a damsel of mortal race like the sun shining in the sheeny sky. After seating her he solaced himself by gazing on her awhile, then laid his head in her lap and fell asleep, whereupon she lifted up his head and laying it on the chest, rose and walked about. Presently, she chanced to raise her eyes to the tree wherein was the Prince, and seeing him, signed to him to come down. He refused, but she swore to him, saying, “Except thou come down and do as I bid thee, I will wake the Ifrit and point thee out to him, when he will straightway kill thee.” The King’s son fearing she would do as she said, came down, whereupon she kissed his hands and feet and besought him to do her need. To this he consented and, when he had satisfied her wants, she said to him, “Give me this seal ring I see on thy finger.” So he gave her his signet and she set it in a silken kerchief she had with her, wherein were more than four score others. When the Prince saw this, he asked her, “What dost thou with all these rings?”; and she answered, “In very sooth this Ifrit carried me off from my father’s palace and shut me in this box, which he beareth about on his head wherever he goeth, with the keys about him; and he hardly leaveth me one moment alone of the excess of his jealousy over me, and hindereth me from what I desire. When I saw this, I swore that I would deny my last favours to no man whatsoever, and these rings thou seest are after the tale of the men who have had me; for after coition I took from each a seal ring and laid it in this kerchief.” Then she added, “And now go thy ways, that I may look for another than thyself, for the Ifrit will not awake yet awhile.” Hardly crediting what he had heard, the Prince returned to his father’s palace, but the King knew naught of the damsel’s malice (for she feared not this and took no count thereof), and seeing that his son had lost his ring, he bade put him to death.[FN#240] Then he rose from his place and entered his palace; but his Wazirs came in to him and prevailed with him to abandon his purpose. The same night, the King sent for all of them and thanked them for having dissuaded him from slaying his son; and the Prince also thanked them, saying, “It was well done of you to counsel my father to let me live and Inshallah! I will soon requite you abundantly.” Then he related to them how he had lost the ring, and they offered up prayers for his long life and advancement and withdrew. “See then, O King,” (said the Wazir), “the malice of women and what they do unto men.” The King hearkened to the Minister’s counsel and again countermanded his order to slay his son. Next morning, it being the eighth day, as the King sat in his audience chamber in the midst of his Grandees and Emirs and Wazirs and Olema, the Prince entered, with his hand in that of his governor, Al Sindibad, and praised his father and his Ministers and lords and divines in the most eloquent words and thanked them for having saved his life; so that all who were present wondered at his eloquence and fluency of speech. His father rejoiced in him with exceeding, all surpassing joy, and calling him to him, kissed him between the eyes. Then he called his preceptor, al-Sindibad, and asked him why his son had kept silence these seven days, to which he replied, “O our lord, the truth is, it was I who enjoined him to this, in my fear for him of death: I knew this from the day of his birth; and, when I took his nativity, I found it written in the stars that, if he should speak during this period, he would surely die; but now the danger is over, by the King’s fortune.” At this the King was glad and said to his Wazirs, “If I had killed my son, would the fault have fallen on me or the damsel or on the preceptor, al-Sindibad?” But all present refrained from replying, and al-Sindibad said to the Prince, “Answer thou, O my son.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al-Sindibad said, “Answer thou, O my son,” the Prince replied, “I have heard tell that a merchant at whose house certain guests once alighted sent his slave girl to the market to buy a jar of clotted milk.[FN#241] So she bought it and set out on her return home; but on the way there passed over her a kite, holding and squeezing a serpent in its claws, and a drop of the serpent’s venom fell into the milk jar, unknown of the girl. So, when she came back, the merchant took the milk from her and drank of it, he and his guests; but hardly had it settled in their stomachs when they all died.[FN#242] Now consider, O King, whose was the fault in this matter?” Thereupon some present said, “It was the fault of the company who drank the milk without examining it.” And other some, “That of the girl, who left the jar without cover.” But al-Sindibad asked the Prince, “What sayest thou, O my son?” Answered he, “I say that the folk err; it was neither the fault of the damsel nor of the company, for their appointed hour was come, their divinely decreed provision was exhausted and Allah had fore ordained them to die thus.”[FN#243] When the courtiers heard this, they marvelled greatly and lifted up their voices, blessing the King’s son, and saying, “O our lord, thou hast made a reply sans peur, and thou art the sagest man of thine age sans reproche.” “Indeed, I am no sage,” answered the Prince; “the blind Shaykh and the son of three years and the son of five years were wiser than I.” Said the bystanders, “O youth, tell us the stories of these three who were wiser than thou art, O youth.” Answered he, “With all my heart. I have heard tell this tale concerning the

Sandal-Wood Merchant and the Sharpers.[FN#244]

There once lived an exceeding rich merchant, who was a great traveller and who visited all manner of places. One day, being minded to journey to a certain city, he asked those who came thence, saying, “What kind of goods brought most profit there?” and they answered, “Chanders-wood; for it selleth at a high price.” So he laid out all his money in sandal and set out for that city; and arriving there at close of day, behold, he met and old woman driving her sheep. Quoth she to him, “Who art thou, O man?” and quoth he, “I am a stranger, a merchant.” “Beware of the townsfolk,” said she, “for they are cheats, rascals, robbers who love nothing more than imposing on the foreigner that they may get the better of him and devour his substance. Indeed I give thee good counsel.” Then she left him and on the morrow there met him one of the citizens who saluted him and asked him, “O my lord, whence comest thou?” Answered the merchant, “From such a place.” “And what merchandise hast thou brought with thee?” enquired the other; and replied he, “Chanders-wood, for it is high of price with you.” Quoth the townsman, “He blundered who told thee that; for we burn nothing under our cooking-pots save sandal-wood, whose worth with us is but that of fuel.” When the merchant heard this he sighed and repented and stood balanced between belief and unbelief. Then he alighted at one of the khans of the city, and, when it was night, he saw a merchant make fire of chanders-wood under his cooking pot. Now this was the man who had spoken with him and this proceeding was a trick of his. When the townsman saw the merchant looking at him, he asked, “Wilt thou sell me thy sandal-wood for a measure[FN#245] of whatever thy soul shall desire?” “I sell it to thee,” answered the merchant; and the buyer transported all the wood to his own house and stored it up there; whilst the seller purposed to take an equal quantity of gold for it. Next morning the merchant, who was a blue-eyed man, went out to walk in the city but, as he went along, one of the townsfolk, who was blue-eyed and one-eyed to boot, caught hold of him, saying, “Thou are he who stole my eye and I will never let thee go.”[FN#246] The merchant denied this, saying, “I never stole it: the thing is impossible.” Whereupon the folk collected round them and besought the one-eyed man to grant him till the morrow, that he might give him the price of his eye. So the merchant procured one to be surety for him, and they let him go. Now his sandal had been rent in the struggle with the one-eyed man; so he stopped at a cobbler’s stall and gave it to him, saying, “Mend it and thou shalt have of me what shall content thee.” Then he went on, till he came to some people sitting at play of forfeits and sat down with them, to divert his cark and care. They invited him to play with them and he did so; but they practised on him and overcoming him, offered him his choice,[FN#247] either to drink up the sea or disburse all the money he had. “Have patience with me till to-morrow,” said he, and they granted him the delay he sought; whereupon he went away, sore concerned for what had betided him and knowing not how he should do, and sat down in a solitary place heart-heavy, care-full, thought-opprest. And behold, the old woman passed by and seeing him thus, said to him, “Peradventure the townsfolk have gotten the better of thee, for I see the troubled at that which hath befallen thee: recount to me what aileth thee.” So he told her all that had passed from first to last, and she said, “As for him who diddled thee in the matter of the chanders-wood, thou must know that with us it is worth ten gold pieces a pound. But I will give thee a rede, whereby I trust thou shalt deliver thyself; and it is this. Go to such and such a gate whereby lives a blind Shaykh, a cripple, who is knowing, wise as a wizard and experienced; and all resort to him and ask him what they require, when he counsels them what will be their advantage; for he is versed in craft[FN#248] and magic and trickery. Now he is a sharper and the sharpers resort to him by night; therefore, I repeat, go thou to his lodging and hide thyself from thine adversaries, so thou mayst hear what they say, unseen of them; for he telleth them which party got the better and which got the worse; and haply thou shalt learn from them some plan which may avail to deliver thee from them.” —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman said to the merchant, “Go this night to that expert who is frequented by the townsfolk and hide thine identity: haply shalt thou hear from him some plea which shall deliver thee from thine adversaries.” So he went to the place she mentioned and hid himself albeit he took seat near the blind man. Before long, up came the Shaykh’s company who were wont to choose him for their judge: they saluted the oldster and one another and sat down round him, whereupon the merchant recognised his four adversaries. The Chief set somewhat of food before them and they ate; then each began to tell what had befallen him during his day, and amongst the rest came forward he of the chanders-wood and told the Shaykh how he had bought of one man sandal below its price, and had agreed to pay for it a Sá’a or measure of whatever the seller should desire.[FN#249] Quoth the old man, “Thine opponent hath the better of thee.” Asked the other, “How can that be?”; and the Shaykh answered, “What if he say, I will take the measure full of gold or silver, wilt thou give it to him?” “Yes,” replied the other, “I will give it to him and still be the gainer.” And the Shaykh answered, “And if he say, I will take the measure full of fleas,[FN#250] half male and half female, what wilt thou do?” So the sharper knew that he was worsted. Then came forward the one-eyed man and said, “O Shaykh, I met to-day a blue-eyed man, a stranger to the town; so I picked a quarrel with him and caught hold of him, saying, ‘’Twas thou robbedst me of my eye’; nor did I let him go, till some became surety for him that he should return to me to-morrow and satisfy me for my eye.” Quoth the oldster, “If he will he may have the better of thee and thou the worse.” “How so?” asked the sharper; and the Chief said, “he may say to thee, ‘Pluck out thine eye, and I will pluck out one of mine; then we will weigh them both, and if thine eye be of the same weight as mine, thou sayest sooth in what thou avouchest.’ So wilt thou owe him the legal price of his eye and be stone blind, whilst he will still see with his other eye.” So the sharper knew that the merchant might baffle him with such plea. Then came the cobbler; and said, “O Shaykh, a man brought me his sandal-shoe to-day, saying, ‘Mend this;’ and I asked him, ‘What wage wilt thou give me?’; when he answered, ‘Thou shalt have of me what will content thee.’ Now nothing will content me but all the wealth he hath.” Quoth the oldster, “And he will, he may take his sandal from thee and give thee nothing.” “How so?” quoth the cobbler, and quoth the Shaykh, “He has but to say to thee, ‘The Sultan’s enemies are put to the rout; his foes are waxed weak and his children and helpers are multiplied. Art thou content or no?’ If thou say, ‘I am content,’[FN#251] he will take his sandal and go away; and if thou say, ‘I am not content,’ he will take his sandal and beat thee therewith over the face and neck.” So the cobbler owned himself worsted. Then came forward the gamester and said, “O Shaykh, I played at forfeits with a man to-day and beat him and quoth I to hime, ‘If thou drink the sea I will give thee all my wealth; and if not I will take all that is thine.’” Replied the Chief, “An he will he may worst thee.” “How so?” asked the sharper, and the Shaykh answered, “He hath but to say, ‘Hold for me the mouth of the sea in thine hand and give it me and I will drink it.’ But thou wilt not be able to do this; so he will baffle thee with this plea.” When the merchant heard this, he knew how it behoved him to deal with his adversaries. Then the sharpers left the Shaykh and the merchant returned to his lodging. Now when morning morrowed, the gamester came to him and summoned him to drink the sea; so he said to him, “Hold for me its mouth and I will drink it up.” Whereupon he confessed himself beaten and redeemed his forfeit by paying an hundred gold pieces. Then came the cobbler and sought of him what should content him. Quoth the merchant, “Our lord the Sultan hath overcome his foes and hath destroyed his enemies and his children are multiplied. Art thou content or no?” “I am content,” replied the cobbler and, giving up the shoe[FN#252] without wage, went away. Next came the one-eyed man and demanded the legal price of his eye. Said the merchant, “Pluck out thine eye, and I will pluck out mine: then we will weigh them, and if they are equal in weight, I will acknowledge thy truth, and pay thee the price of thine eye; but, if they differ, thou liest and I will sue thee for the price of mine eye.” Quoth the one-eyed man, “Grant me time;” but the merchant answered, saying, “I am a stranger and grant time to none, nor will I part from thee till thou pay.” So the sharper ransomed his eye by paying him an hundred ducats and went away. Last of all came the buyer of the chanders-wood and said, “Take the price of thy ware.” Asked the merchant, “What wilt thou give me?”; and the other answered, “We agreed for a Sá’a-measure of whatever thou shouldst desire; so, if thou wilt, take it full of gold and silver.” “Not I,” rejoined the merchant, “Not I! nothing shall serve me but I must have it full of fleas, half male and half female.” Said the sharper, “I can do nothing of the kind;” and, confessing himself beaten, returned him his sandal-wood and redeemed himself from him with an hundred sequins, to be off his bargain. Then the merchant sold the chanders-wood at his own price and, quitting the city of sharpers, returned to his own land,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Fifth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the merchant had sold his chanders-wood and had taken the money he quitted that city and returned to his own land. Then the Prince continued, “But this is not more wondrous than the tale of the three-year-old child.” “What may that be?” asked the King, and the Prince answered, “I have heard tell this tale of

The Debauchee and the Three-Year-Old Child.

Know, O King that a certain profligate man, who was addicted to the sex, once heard of a beautiful and lovely woman who dwelt in a city other than his own. So he journeyed thither, taking with him a present, and wrote her a note, setting forth all that he suffered of love-longing and desire for her and how his passion for her had driven him to forsake his native land and come to her; and he ended by praying for an assignation. She gave him leave to visit her and, as he entered her abode, she stood up and received him with all honour and worship, kissing his hands and entertaining him with the best entertainment of meat and drink. Now she had a little son, but three years old, whom she left and busied herself in cooking rice.[FN#253] Presently the man said to her, “Come, let us go and lie together;” but she replied, “My son is sitting looking at us.” Quoth the man, “He is a little child, understanding not neither knowing how to speak.” Quoth the woman, “Thou wouldst not say thus, and thou knew his intelligence.” When the boy saw that the rice was done, he wept with bitter weeping and his mother said to him, “What gars thee weep, O my son?” “Ladle me out some rice,” answered he, “and put clarified butter in it.” So she ladled him out somewhat of rice and put butter therein; and the child ate a little, then began to weep again. Quoth she, “What ails thee now, O my son?”; and quoth he, “O mother mine, I want some sugar with my rice.” At this said the man, who was an-angered, “Thou art none other than a curst child.” “Curst thyself, by Allah,” answered the boy, “seeing thou weariest thyself and journeyest from city to city, in quest of adultery. As for me, I wept because I had somewhat in my eye, and my tears brought it out; and now I have eaten rice with butter and sugar and am content; so which is the curst of us twain?” The man was confounded at this rebuke from a little child and forthright grace entered him and he was reclaimed. Wherefor he laid not a finger on the woman, but went out from her and returned to his own country, where he lived a contrite life till he died. “As for the story of the five-year-old child” (continued the Prince), “I have heard tell, O King, the following anent

The Stolen Purse.

Four merchants once owned in common a thousand gold pieces; so they laid them mingled together in one purse and set out to buy merchandise therewith. They happened as they wended their way on a beautiful garden; so they left the purse with a woman who had care of the garden, saying to here, “Mind thee, thou shalt not give it back save when all four of us in person demand it of thee.” She agreed to this and they entered and strolled awhile about the garden-walks and ate and drank and made merry, after which one of them said to the others, “I have with me scented fuller’s-earth; come, let us wash our heads therewith in this running water.” Quoth another, “We lack a comb;” and a third, “Let us ask the keeper; belike she hath a comb.” Thereupon one of them arose and accosting the care-taker, said to her, “Give me the purse.” Said she, “Not until ye be all present or thy fellows bid me give it thee.” Then he called to his companions (who could see him but not hear him) saying, “She will not give it me;” and they said to her, “Give it him,” thinking he meant the comb. So she gave him the purse and he took it and made off as fast as he could. When the three others were wary of waiting, they went to the keeper and asked her, “Why wilt thou not give him the comb?” Answered she, “He demanded naught of me save the purse, and I gave not that same but with your consent, and he went his way with it.” When they heard her words they buffeted their faces and, laying hands upon her, said, “We authorized thee only to give him the comb;” and she rejoined, “He named not a comb to me.” Then they seized her and haled her before the Kazi, to whom they related their claim and he condemned her to make good the purse and bound over sundry of her debtors to answer for her.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Sixth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazi condemned the care-taker to make good the purse and bound over sundry of her debtors to answer for her. So she went forth, confounded and knowing not her way out of difficulty. Presently she met a five-year-old boy who, seeing her troubled, said to her, “What ails thee, O my mother?” But she gave him no answer, contemning him because of his tender age, and he repeated his question a second time and a third time till, at last, she told him all that had passed,[FN#254] not forgetting the condition that she was to keep the purse until all four had demanded it of her. Said the boy, “Give me a dirham to buy sweetmeats withal and I will tell the how thou mayst acquit thyself.” So she gave him a silver and said to him, “What hast thou to say?” Quoth he, “Return to the Kazi, and say to him, It was agreed between myself and them that I should not give them the purse, except all four of them were present. Let them all four come and I will give them the purse, as was agreed.” So she went back to the Kazi and said to him as the boy had counselled; and he asked the merchants, “Was it thus agreed between you and this woman?”; and they answered, “Yes.” Quoth the Kazi, “Then bring me your comrade and take the purse.” So they went in quest of their fellow, whilst the keeper came off scot-free and went her way without let or hindrance. And Allah is Omniscient![FN#255] When the King and his Wazir and those present in the assembly heard the Prince’s words they said to his father, “O our lord the King, in very sooth thy son is the most accomplished man of his time;” and they called down blessings upon the King and the Prince. Then the King strained his son to his bosom and kissed him between the eyes and questioned him of what had passed between the favourite and himself; and the Prince sware to him, by Almighty Allah and by His Holy Prophet that it was she who had required him of love which he refused, adding, “Moreover, she promised me that she would give thee poison to drink and kill thee, so should the kingship be mine; whereupon I waxed wroth and signed to her, ‘O accursed one, whenas I can speak I will requite thee!’ So she feared me and did what she did.” The King believed his words and sending for the favourite said to those present, “How shall we put this damsel to death?” Some counselled him to cut out her tongue and other some to burn it with fire; but, when she came before the King, she said to him, “My case with thee is like unto naught save the tale of the fox and the folk.” “How so?” asked he; and she said, “I have heard, O King, tell a

Story of the Fox and the Folk.[FN#256]

A fox once made his way into a city by the wall and, entering a currier’s store-house, played havoc with all therein and spoiled the skins for the owner. One day, the currier set a trap for him and taking him, beat him with the hides, till he fell down senseless, whereupon the man deeming him to be dead, cast him out into the road by the city-gate. Presently, an old woman who was walking by, seeing the fox said, “This is a fox whose eye, hung about a child’s neck, is salutary against weeping.” So she pluckt out his right eye and went away. Then passed a boy, who said, “What does this tail on this fox?”; and cut off his brush. After a while, up came a man and saying, “This is a fox whose gall cleareth away film and dimness from the eyes, if they be anointed therewith like kohl,” took out his knife to slit up the fox’s paunch. But Reynard said in himself, “We bore with the plucking out of the eye and the cutting off of the tail; but, as for the slitting of the paunch, there is no putting up with that!” So saying, he sprang up and made off through the gate of the city, hardly believing in his escape. Quoth the King, “I excuse her, and in my son’s hands be her doom. If he will, let him torture her, and if he will, let him kill her.” Quoth the Prince, “Pardon is better than vengeance and mercy is of the quality of the noble;” and the King repeated, “’Tis for thee to decide, O my son.” So the Prince set her free, saying, “Depart from our neighbourhood and Alla pardon what is past!” Therewith the King rose from his throne of estate and seating his son thereon, crowned him with his crown and bade the Grandees of his realm swear fealty and commanded them do homage to him. And he said, “O folk, indeed, I am stricken in years and desire to withdraw apart and devote myself only to the service of my Lord; and I call you to witness that I divest myself of the kingly dignity, even as I have divested myself of my crown and set it on my son’s head.” So the troops and officers swore fealty to the Prince, and his father gave himself up to the worship of his Lord nor stinted from this, whilst his son abode in his kingship, doing justice and righteousness; and his power was magnified and his sultanate strengthened and he abode in all delight and solace of life, till there came to him the Certainty.


There was once a man and a merchant named Omar and he had for issue three sons, the eldest called Sálim, the youngest Júdar and the cadet Salím. He reared them all till they came to man’s estate, but the youngest he loved more than his brothers, who seeing this, waxed jealous of Judar and hated him. Now when their father, who was a man shotten in years, saw that his two eldest sons hated their brother, he feared lest after his death trouble should befall him from them. So he assembled a company of his kinsfolk, together with divers men of learning and property distributors of the Kazi’s court, and bidding bring all his monies and cloth, said to them, “O folk, divide ye this money and stuff into four portions according to the law.” They did so, and he gave one part to each of his sons and kept the fourth himself, saying, “This was my good and I have divided it among them in my lifetime; and this that I have kept shall be for my wife, their mother, wherewithal to provide for her subsistence whenas she shall be a widow.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the merchant had divided his money and stuff into four portions he said, “This share shall be for my wife, their mother, wherewithal to provide for her subsistence whenas she shall be a widow.” A little while after this he died, and neither of the two elder brothers was content with his share,[FN#258] but sought more of Judar, saying, “Our father’s wealth is in thy hands.” So he appealed to the judges; and the Moslems who had been present at the partition came and bore witness of that which they knew, wherefore the judge forbade them from one another; but Judar and his brothers wasted much money in bribes to him. After this, the twain left him awhile; presently, however, they began again to plot against him and he appealed a second time to the magistrate, who once more decided in his favour; but all three lost much money which went to the judges. Nevertheless Sálim and Salím forbore not to seek his hurt and to carry the case from court to court,[FN#259] he and they losing till they had given all their good for food to the oppressors and they became poor, all three. Then the two elder brothers went to their mother and flouted her and beat her, and seizing her money crave her away. So she betook herself to her son Judar and told him how his brothers had dealt with her and fell to cursing the twain. Said he, “O my mother, do not curse them, for Allah will requite each of them according to his deed. But, O mother mine, see, I am become poor, and so are my brethren, for strife occasioneth loss ruin rife, and we have striven amain, and fought, I and they, before the judges, and it hath profited us naught: nay, we have wasted all our father left us and are disgraced among the folk by reason of our testimony one against other. Shall I then con tend with them anew on thine account and shall we appeal to the judges? This may not be! Rather do thou take up thine abode with me, and the scone I eat I will share with thee. Do thou pray for me and Allah will give me the means of thine alimony. Leave them to receive of the Almighty the recompense of their deed, and console thyself with the saying of the poet who said,

‘If a fool oppress thee bear patiently; * And from Time expect      thy revenge to see:
Shun tyranny; for if mount oppressed * A mount, ’twould be      shattered by tyranny.’”

And he soothed and comforted her till she consented and took up her dwelling with him. Then he get him a net and went a fishing every day in the river or the banks about Bulák and old Cairo or some other place in which there was water; and one day he would earn ten coppers,[FN#260] another twenty and another thirty, which he spent upon his mother and himself, and they ate well and drank well. But, as for his brothers, they plied no craft and neither sold nor bought; misery and ruin and overwhelming calamity entered their houses and they wasted that which they had taken from their mother and became of the wretched naked beggars. So at times they would come to their mother, humbling themselves before her exceedingly and complaining to her of hunger; and she (a mother’s heart being pitiful) would give them some mouldy, sour smelling bread or, if there were any meat cooked the day before, she would say to them, “Eat it quick and go ere your brother come; for ’twould be grievous to him and he would harden his heart against me, and ye would disgrace me with him.” So they would eat in haste and go. One day among days they came in to their mother, and she set cooked meat and bread before them. As they were eating, behold, in came their brother Judar, at whose sight the parent was put to shame and confusion, fearing lest he should be wroth with her; and she bowed her face earthwards abashed before her son. But he smiled in their faces, saying, “Welcome, O my brothers! A blessed day![FN#261] How comes it that ye visit me this blessed day?” Then he embraced them both and entreated them lovingly, saying to them, “I thought not that ye would have left me desolate by your absence nor that ye would have forborne to come and visit me and your mother.” Said they, “By Allah, O our brother, we longed sore for thee and naught withheld us but abashment because of what befell between us and thee; but indeed we have repented much. ’Twas Satan’s doing, the curse of Allah the Most High be upon him! And now we have no blessing but thyself and our mother.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Judar entered his place and saw his brothers, he welcomed them both, saying, “And I have no blessing but you twain.” And his mother exclaimed, “Allah whiten thy face, and increase thy prosperity, for thou art the most generous of us all, O my son!” Then he said “Welcome to you both! Abide with me; for the Lord is bountiful and good aboundeth with me.” So he made peace with them, and they supped and righted with him; and next morning, after they had broken their fast, Judar shouldered his net and went out, trusting in The Opener[FN#262] whilst the two others also went forth and were absent till midday, when they returned and their mother set the noon meal before them. At nightfall Judar came home, bearing meat and greens, and they abode on this wise a month’s space, Judar catching fish and selling it and spending their price on his mother and his brothers, and these eating and frolicking till, one day, it chanced he went down to the river bank and throwing his net, brought it up empty. He cast it a second time, but again it came up empty and he said in himself, “No fish in this place!” So he removed to another and threw the net there, but without avail. And he ceased not to remove from place to place till night fall, but caught not a single sprat[FN#263] and said to himself, “Wonderful! Hath the fish fled the river or what?” Then he shouldered the net and made for home, chagrined, concerned, feeling for his mother and brothers and knowing not how he should feed them that night. Presently, he came to a baker’s oven and saw the folk crowding for bread, with silver in their hands, whilst the baker took no note of them. So he stood there sighing, and the baker said to him, “Welcome to thee, O Judar! Dost thou want bread?” But he was silent and the baker continued, “An thou have no dirhams, take thy sufficiency and thou shalt get credit.” So Judar said, “Give me ten coppers’ worth of bread and take this net in pledge.” Rejoined the baker, “Nay, my poor fellow, the net is thy gate of earning thy livelihood, and if I take it from thee, I shall close up against thee the door of thy subsistence. Take thee ten Nusfs’ worth of bread and take these other ten, and to morrow bring me fish for the twenty.” “On my head and eyes be it!” quoth Judar and took the bread and money saying, “To morrow the Lord will dispel the trouble of my case and will provide me the means of acquittance.” Then he bought meat and vegetables and carried them home to his mother, who cooked them and they supped and went to bed. Next morning he arose at daybreak and took the net, and his mother said to him, “Sit down and break thy fast.” But he said, “Do thou and my brothers break fast,” and went down to the river about Bulak where he ceased not to cast once, twice, thrice; and to shift about all day, without aught falling to him, till the hour of mid afternoon prayer, when he shouldered his net and went away sore dejected. His way led him perforce by the booth of the baker who, when he saw him counted out to him the loaves and the money, saying, “Come, take it and go; an it be not to-day, ’twill be to-morrow.” Judar would have excused himself, but the baker said to him, “Go! There needeth no excuse; an thou had netted aught, it would be with thee; so seeing thee empty handed, I knew thou hadst gotten naught; and if to-morrow thou have no better luck, come and take bread and be not abashed, for I will give thee credit.” So Judar took the bread and money and went home. On the third day also he sallied forth and fished from tank to tank until the time of afternoon prayer, but caught nothing; so he went to the baker and took the bread and silver as usual. On this wise he did seven days running, till he became disheartened and said in himself, “To day I go to the Lake Kárún.”[FN#264] So he went thither and was about to cast his net, when there came up to him unawares a Maghrabí, a Moor, clad in splendid attire and riding a she mule with a pair of gold embroidered saddle bags on her back and all her trappings also orfrayed. The Moor alighted and said to him, “Peace be upon thee, O Judar, O son of Omar!” “And on thee likewise be peace, O my lord the pilgrim!” replied the fisherman. Quoth the Maghrabi, “O Judar, I have need of thee and, given thou obey me, thou shalt get great good and shalt be my companion and manage my affairs for me.” Quoth Judar, “O my lord, tell me what is in thy mind and I will obey thee, without demur.” Said the Moor, “Repeat the Fatihah, the Opening Chapter of the Koran.”[FN#265] So he recited it with him and the Moor bringing out a silken cord, said to Judar, “Pinion my elbows behind me with this cord, as fast as fast can be, and cast me into the lake; then wait a little while; and, if thou see me put forth my hands above the water, raising them high ere my body show, cast thy net over me and drag me out in haste; but if thou see me come up feet foremost, then know that I am dead; in which case do thou leave me and take the mule and saddle bags and carry them to the merchants’ bazaar, where thou wilt find a Jew by name Shamáyah. Give him the mule and he will give thee an hundred dinars, which do thou take and go thy ways and keep the matter secret with all secrecy.” So Judar tied his arms tightly behind his back and he kept saying, “Tie tighter.” Then said he “Push me till I fall into the lake:” so he pushed him in and he sank. Judar stood waiting some time till, behold, the Moor’s feet appeared above the water, whereupon he knew that he was dead. So he left him and drove the mule to the bazaar, where seated on a stool at the door of his storehouse he saw the Jew who spying the mule, cried, “In very sooth the man hath perished,” adding, “and naught undid him but covetise.” Then he took the mule from Judar and gave him an hundred dinars, charging him to keep the matter secret. So Judar went and bought what bread he needed, saying to the baker, “Take this gold piece!”; and the man summed up what was due to him and said, “I still owe thee two days’ bread”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Ninth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar, when the baker after summing up what was due to him said, “I still owe thee two days’ bread,” replied, “Good,” and went on to the butcher, to whom he gave a gold piece and took meat, saying, “Keep the rest of the dinar on account.” Then he bought vegetables and going home, found his brothers importuning their mother for victual, whilst she cried, “Have patience till your brother come home, for I have naught.” So he went in to them and said, “Take and eat;” and they fell on the food like cannibals. Then he gave his mother the rest of his gold saying, “If my brothers come to thee, give them wherewithal to buy food and eat in my absence.” He slept well that night and next morning he took his net and going down to Lake Karun stood there and was about to cast his net, when behold, there came up to him a second Maghribi, riding on a she mule more handsomely accoutred than he of the day before and having with him a pair of saddle bags of which each pocket contained a casket. “Peace be with thee, O Judar!” said the Moor: “And with thee be peace, O my lord, the pilgrim!” replied Judar. Asked the Moor, “Did there come to thee yesterday a Moor riding on a mule like this of mine?” Hereat Judar was alarmed and answered, “I saw none,” fearing lest the other say, “Whither went he?” and if he replied, “He was drowned in the lake,” that haply he should charge him with having drowned him; wherefore he could not but deny. Rejoined the Moor, “Hark ye, O unhappy![FN#266] this was my brother, who is gone before me.” Judar persisted, “I know naught of him.” Then the Moor enquired, “Didst thou not bind his arms behind him and throw him into the lake, and did he not say to thee, ‘If my hands appear above the water first, cast thy net over me and drag me out in haste; but, if my feet show first, know that I am dead and carry the mule to the Jew Shamayah, who shall give thee an hundred dinars?’” Quoth Judar, “Since thou knowest all this why and wherefore dost thou question me?”; and quoth the Moor, “I would have thee do with me as thou didst with my brother.” Then he gave him a silken cord, saying, “Bind my hands behind me and throw me in, and if I fare as did my brother, take the mule to the Jew and he will give thee other hundred dinars.” Said Judar, “Come on;” so he came and he bound him and pushed him into the lake, where he sank. Then Judar sat watching and after awhile, his feet appeared above the water and the fisher said, “He is dead and damned! Inshallah, may Maghribis come to me every day, and I will pinion them and push them in and they shall die; and I will content me with an hundred dinars for each dead man.” Then he took the mule to the Jew, who seeing him asked, “The other is dead?” Answered Judar, “May thy head live!”; and the Jew said, “This is the reward of the covetous!” Then he took the mule and gave Judar an hundred dinars, with which he returned to his mother. “O my son,” said she, “whence hast thou this?” So he told her, and she said, “Go not again to Lake Karun, indeed I fear for thee from the Moors.” Said he, “O my mother, I do but cast them in by their own wish, and what am I to do? This craft bringeth me an hundred dinars a day and I return speedily; wherefore, by Allah, I will not leave going to Lake Karun, till the race of the Magháribah[FN#267] is cut off and not one of them is left.” So, on the morrow which was the third day, he went down to the lake and stood there, till there came up a third Moor, riding on a mule with saddle bags and still more richly accoutred than the first two, who said to him, “Peace be with thee, O Judar, O son of Omar!” And the fisherman saying in himself, “How comes it that they all know me?” returned his salute. Asked the Maghribi, “Have any Moors passed by here?” “Two,” answered Judar. “Whither went they?” enquired the Moor, and Judar replied, “I pinioned their hands behind them and cast them into the lake, where they were drowned, and the same fate is in store for thee.” The Moor laughed and rejoined, saying, “O unhappy! Every life hath its term appointed.” Then he alighted and gave the fisherman the silken cord, saying, “Do with me, O Judar, as thou didst with them.” Said Judar, “Put thy hands behind thy back, that I may pinion thee, for I am in haste, and time flies.” So he put his hands behind him and Judar tied him up and cast him in. Then he waited awhile; presently the Moor thrust both hands forth of the water and called out to him, saying, “Ho, good fellow, cast out thy net!” So Judar threw the net over him and drew him ashore, and lo! in each hand he held a fish as red as coral. Quoth the Moor, “Bring me the two caskets that are in the saddle bags.” So Judar brought them and opened them to him, and he laid in each casket a fish and shut them up. Then he pressed Judar to his bosom and kissed him on the right cheek and the left, saying, “Allah save thee from all stress! By the Almighty, hadst thou not cast the net over me and pulled me out, I should have kept hold of these two fishes till I sank and was drowned, for I could not get ashore of myself.” Quoth Judar, “O my lord the pilgrim, Allah upon thee, tell me the true history of the two drowned men and the truth anent these two fishes and the Jew.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Tenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Judar asked the Maghribi, saying, “Prithee tell me first of the drowned men,” the Maghribi answered, “Know, O Judar, that these drowned men were my two brothers, by name Abd al-Salám and Abd al-Ahad. My own name is Abd al-Samad, and the Jew also is our brother; his name is Abd al-Rahim and he is no Jew but a true believer of the Maliki school. Our father, whose name was Abd al-Wadúd,[FN#268] taught us magic and the art of solving mysteries and bringing hoards to light, and we applied ourselves thereto, till we compelled the Ifrits and Marids of the Jinn to do us service. By and by, our sire died and left us much wealth, and we divided amongst us his treasures and talismans, till we came to the books, when we fell out over a volume called ‘The Fables of the Ancients,’ whose like is not in the world, nor can its price be paid of any, nor is its value to be evened with gold and jewels; for in it are particulars of all the hidden hoards of the earth and the solution of every secret. Our father was wont to make use of this book, of which we had some small matter by heart, and each of us desired to possess it, that he might acquaint himself with what was therein. Now when we fell out there was in our company an old man by name Cohen Al-Abtan,[FN#269] who had reared our sire and taught him divination and gramarye, and he said to us, ‘Bring me the book.’ So we gave it him and he continued,—Ye are my son’s sons, and it may not be that I should wrong any of you. So whoso is minded to have the volume, let him address himself to achieve the treasure of Al-Shamardal[FN#270] and bring me the celestial planisphere and the Kohl phial and the seal ring and the sword. For the ring hath a Marid that serveth it called Al-Ra’ad al-Kásif;[FN#271] and whoso hath possession thereof, neither King nor Sultan may prevail against him; and if he will, he may therewith make himself master of the earth, in all the length and breadth thereof. As for the brand, if its bearer draw it and brandish it against an army, the army will be put to the rout; and if he say the while, ‘Slay yonder host,’ there will come forth of that sword lightning and fire, that will kill the whole many. As for the planisphere, its possessor hath only to turn its face toward any country, east or west, with whose sight he hath a mind to solace himself, and therein he will see that country and its people, as they were between his hands and he sitting in his place; and if he be wroth with a city and have a mind to burn it, he hath but to face the planisphere towards the sun’s disc, saying, ‘Let such a city be burnt,’ and that city will be consumed with fire. As for the Kohl phial, whoso pencilleth his eyes therefrom, he shall espy all the treasures of the earth. And I make this condition with you which is that whoso faileth to hit upon the hoards shall forfeit his right; and that none save he who shall achieve the treasure and bring me the four precious things which be therein shall have any claim to take this book.’ So we all agreed to this condition, and he continued, ‘O my sons, know that the treasure of Al-Shamardal is under the commandment of the sons of the Red King, and your father told me that he had himself essayed to open the treasure, but could not; for the sons of the Red King fled from him into the land of Egypt and took refuge in a lake there, called Lake Karun, whither he pursued them, but could not prevail over them, by reason of their stealing into that lake, which was guarded by a spell.’”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Cohen al-Abtan had told the youths this much, he continued his tale as follows, “So your father returned empty handed and unable to win to his wish; and after failing he complained to me of his ill-success, whereupon I drew him an astrological figure and found that the treasure could be achieved only by means of a young fisherman of Cairo, highs Judar bin Omar, the place of foregathering with whom was at Lake Karun, for that he should be the means of capturing the sons of the Red King and that the charm would not be dissolved, save if he should bind the hands of the treasure seeker behind him and cast him into the lake, there to do battle with the sons of the Red King. And he whose lot it was to succeed would lay hands upon them; but, if it were not destined to him he should perish and his feet appear above water. As for him who was successful, his hands would show first, whereupon it behoved that Judar should cast the net over him and draw him ashore.” Now quoth my brothers Abd al-Salam and Abd al-Ahad, “We will wend and make trial, although we perish;” and quoth I, “And I also will go;” but my brother Abd al-Rahim (he whom thou sawest in the habit of a Jew) said, “I have no mind to this.” Thereupon we agreed with him that he should repair to Cairo in the disguise of a Jewish merchant, so that, if one of us perished in the lake, he might take his mule and saddle bags and give the bearer an hundred dinars. The first that came to thee the sons of the Red King slew, and so did they with my second brother; but against me they could not prevail and I laid hands on them. Cried Judar, “And where is thy catch?” Asked the Moor, “Didst thou not see me shut them in the caskets?” “Those were fishes,” said Judar. “Nay,” answered the Maghribi, “they are Ifrits in the guise of fish. But, O Judar,” continued he, “thou must know that the treasure can be opened only by thy means: so say, wilt thou do my bidding and go with me to the city Fez and Mequinez[FN#272] where we will open the treasure?; and after I will give thee what thou wilt and thou shalt ever be my brother in the bond of Allah and return to thy family with a joyful heart.” Said Judar, “O my lord the pilgrim, I have on my neck a mother and two brothers,”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar said to the Maghribi, “I have on my neck a mother and two brothers, whose provider I am; and if I go with thee, who shall give them bread to eat?” Replied the Moor, “This is an idle excuse! if it be but a matter of expenditure, I will give thee a thousand ducats for thy mother, wherewith she may provide her self till thou come back: and indeed thou shalt return before the end of four months.” So when Judar heard mention of the thousand diners, he said, “Here with them, O Pilgrim, and I am thy man;” and the Moor, pulling out the money, gave it to him, whereupon he carried it to his mother and told her what had passed between them, saying, “Take these thousand diners and expend of them upon thyself and my brothers, whilst I journey to Marocco with the Moor, for I shall be absent four months, and great good will betide me; so bless me, O my mother!” Answered she, “O my son, thou desolatest me and I fear for thee.” “O my mother,” rejoined he, “no harm can befall him who is in Allah’s keeping, and the Maghribi is a man of worth;” and he went on to praise his condition to her. Quoth she, “Allah incline his heart to thee! Go with him, O my son; peradventure, he will give thee somewhat.” So he took leave of his mother and rejoined the Moor Abd al-Samad, who asked him, “Hast thou consulted thy mother?” “Yes,” answered Judar; “and she blessed me.” “Then mount behind me,” said the Maghribi. So Judar mounted the mule’s crupper and they rode on from noon till the time of mid afternoon prayer, when the fisherman was an hungered; but seeing no victual with the Moor, said to him, “O my lord the pilgrim, belike thou hast forgotten to bring us aught to eat by the way?” Asked the Moor, “Art thou hungry?” and Judar answered, “Yes.” So Abd al-Samad alighted and made Judar alight and take down the saddle bage[FN#273]; then he said to him, “What wilt thou have, O my brother?” “Anything.” “Allah upon thee, tell me what thou hast a mind to.” “Bread and cheese.” “O my poor fellow! bread and cheese besit thee not; wish for some thing good.” “Just now everything is good to me.” “Dost thou like nice browned chicken?” “Yes!” “Dost thou like rice and honey?” “Yes!” And the Moor went on to ask him if he liked this dish and that dish till he had named four and twenty kinds of meats; and Judar thought to himself, “He must be daft! Where are all these dainties to come from, seeing he hath neither cook nor kitchen? But I’ll say to him, ‘’Tis enough!’” So he cried, “That will do: thou makest me long for all these meats, and I see nothing.” Quoth the Moor, “Thou art welcome, O Judar!” and, putting his hand into the saddle bags, pulled out a golden dish containing two hot browned chickens. Then he thrust his hand a second time and drew out a golden dish, full of kabobs[FN#274]; nor did he stint taking out dishes from saddle bags, till he had brought forth the whole of the four and twenty kinds he had named, whilst Judar looked on. Then said the Moor, “Fall to poor fellow!”, and Judar said to him, “O my lord, thou carriest in yonder saddle bags kitchen and kitcheners!” The Moor laughed and replied, “These are magical saddle bags and have a servant, who would bring us a thousand dishes an hour, if we called for them.” Quoth Judar, “By Allah, a meat thing in saddle bags’” Then they ate their fill and threw away what was left; after which the Moor replaced the empty dishes in the saddle bags and putting in his hand, drew out an ewer. They drank and making the Wuzu ablution, prayed the mid afternoon prayer; after which Abd al-Samad replaced the ewer and the two caskets in the saddle bags and throwing them over the mule’s back, mounted and cried “Up with thee and let us be off,” presently adding, “O Judar, knowest thou how far we have come since we left Cairo?” “Not I, by Allah,” replied he, and Abd al-Samad, “We have come a whole month’s journey.” Asked Judar, “And how is that?”; and the Moor answered, “Know, O Judar, that this mule under us is a Marid of the Jinn who every day performeth a year’s journey; but, for thy sake, she hath gone an easier pace.” Then they set out again and fared on westwards till nightfall, when they halted and the Maghribi brought out supper from the saddle bags, and in like manner, in the morning, he took forth wherewithal to break their fast. So they rode on four days, journeying till midnight and then alighting and sleeping until morning, when they fared on again; and all that Judar had a mind to, he sought of the Moor, who brought it out of the saddle bags. On the fifth day, they arrived at Fez and Mequinez and entered the city, where all who met the Maghribi saluted him and kissed his hands; and he continued riding through the streets, till he came to a certain door, at which he knocked, whereupon it opened and out came a girl like the moon, to whom said he, “O my daughter, O Rahmah,[FN#275] open us the upper chamber.” “On my head and eyes, O my papa!” replied she and went in, swaying her hips to and fro with a graceful and swimming gait like a thirsting gazelle, movements that ravished Judar’s reason, and he said, “This is none other than a King’s daughter.” So she opened the upper chamber, and the Moor, taking the saddle bags from the mule’s back, said, “Go, and God bless thee!” when lo! the earth clove asunder and swallowing the mule, closed up again as before. And Judar said, “O Protector! praised be Allah, who hath kept us in safety on her back!” Quoth the Maghribi, “Marvel not, O Judar. I told thee that the mule was an Ifrit; but come with us into the upper chamber.” So they went up into it, and Judar was amazed at the profusion of rich furniture and pendants of gold and silver and jewels and other rare and precious things which he saw there. As soon as they were seated, the Moor bade Rahmah bring him a certain bundle[FN#276] and opening it, drew out a dress worth a thousand diners, which he gave to Judar, saying, “Don this dress, O Judar, and welcome to thee!” So Judar put it on and became a fair en sample of the Kings of the West. Then the Maghribi laid the saddle bags before him, and, putting in his hand, pulled out dish after dish, till they had before them a tray of forty kinds of meat, when he said to Judar, “Come near, O my master! eat and excuse us”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Maghribi having served up in the pavilion a tray of forty kinds of meat, said to Judar, “Come near, O my master, and excuse us for that we know not what meats thou desirest; but tell us what thou hast a mind to, and we will set it before thee without delay.” Replied Judar, “By Allah, O my lord the pilgrim, I love all kinds of meat and unlove none; so ask me not of aught, but bring all that cometh to thy thought, for save eating to do I have nought.” After this he tarried twenty days with the Moor, who clad him in new clothes every day, and all this time they ate from the saddle bags; for the Maghribi bought neither meat nor bread nor aught else, nor cooked, but brought everything out of the bags, even to various sorts of fruit. On the twenty first day, he said, “O Judar up with thee; this is the day appointed for opening the hoard of Al-Shamardal.” So he rose and they went afoot[FN#277] without the city, where they found two slaves, each holding a she mule. The Moor mounted one beast and Judar the other, and they ceased not riding till noon, when they came to a stream of running water, on whose banks Abd al-Samad alighted saying, “Dismount, O Judar!” Then he signed with his hand to the slaves and said, “To it!” So they took the mules and going each his own way, were absent awhile, after which they returned, one bearing a tent, which he pitched, and the other carpets, which he spread in the tent and laid mattresses, pillows and cushions there around. Then one of them brought the caskets containing the two fishes; and another fetched the saddle bags; whereupon the Maghribi arose and said, “Come, O Judar!” So Judar followed him into the tent and sat down beside him; and he brought out dishes of meat from the saddle bags and they ate the undurn meal. Then the Moor took the two caskets and conjured over them both, whereupon there came from within voices that said’ “Adsumus, at thy service, O diviner of the world! Have mercy upon us!” and called aloud for aid. But he ceased not to repeat conjurations and they to call for help, till the two caskets flew in sunder, the fragments flying about, and there came forth two men, with pinioned hands saying, “Quarter, O diviner of the world! What wilt thou with us?” Quoth he, “My will is to burn you both with fire, except ye make a covenant with me, to open to me the treasure of Al-Shamardal.” Quoth they, “We promise this to thee, and we will open the tree sure to thee, so thou produce to us Judar bin Omar, the fisherman, for the hoard may not be opened but by his means, nor can any enter therein save Judar.” Cried the Maghribi “Him of whom ye speak, I have brought, and he is here, listening to you and looking at you.” Thereupon they covenanted with him to open the treasure to him, and he released them. Then he brought out a hollow wand and tablets of red carnelian which he laid on the rod; and after this he took a chafing dish and setting charcoal thereon, blew one breath into it and it kindled forthwith. Presently he brought incense and said, “O Judar, I am now about to begin the necessary conjurations and fumigations, and when I have once begun, I may not speak, or the charm will be naught; so I will teach thee first what thou must do to win thy wish.” “Teach me,” quoth Judar. “Know,” quoth the Moor, “that when I have recited the spell and thrown on the incense, the water will dry up from the river’s bed and discover to thee, a golden door, the bigness of the city gate, with two rings of metal thereon; whereupon do thou go down to the door and knock a light knock and wait awhile; then knock a second time a knock louder than the first and wait another while; after which give three knocks in rapid succession, and thou wilt hear a voice ask, ‘Who knocketh at the door of the treasure, unknowing how to solve the secrets?’ Do thou answer, ‘I am Judar the fisherman son of Omar’: and the door will open and there will come forth a figure with a brand in hand who will say to thee: ‘If thou be that man, stretch forth thy neck, that I may strike off thy head.’ Then do thou stretch forth thy neck and fear not; for, when he lifts his hand and smites thee with the sword, he will fall down before thee, and in a little thou wilt see him a body sans soul; and the stroke shall not hurt thee nor shall any harm befall thee; but, if thou gainsay him, he will slay thee. When thou hast undone his enchantment by obedience, enter and go on till thou see another door, at which do thou knock, and there will come forth to thee a horseman riding a mare with a lance on his shoulder and say to thee, ‘What bringeth thee hither, where none may enter ne man ne Jinni?’ And he will shake his lance at thee. Bare thy breast to him and he will smite thee and fall down forthright and thou shalt see him a body without a soul; but if thou cross him he will kill thee. Then go on to the third door, whence there will come forth to thee a man with a bow and arrows in his hand and take aim at thee. Bare thy breast to him and he will shoot at thee and fall down before thee, a body without a soul; but if thou oppose him, he will kill thee. Then go on to the fourth door”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per misted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Maghribi said to Judar, “Go on to the fourth door and knock and it shall be opened to thee, when there will come forth to thee a lion huge of bulk which will rush upon thee, opening his mouth and showing he hath a mind to devour thee. Have no fear of him, neither flee from him: but when he cometh to thee, give him thy hand and he will bite at it and fall down straightway, nor shall aught of hurt betide thee. Then enter the fifth door, where thou shalt find a black slave, who will say to thee, ‘Who art thou?’ Say, ‘I am Judar!’ and he will answer, ‘If thou be that man, open the sixth door.’ Then do thou go up to the door and say, ‘O Isa, tell Musa to open the door’; whereupon the door will fly open and thou wilt see two dragons, one on the left hand and another on the right, which will open their mouths and fly at thee, both at once. Do thou put forth to them both hands and they will bite each a hand and fall down dead; but an thou resist them, they will slay thee. Then go on to the seventh door and knock, whereupon there will come forth to thee thy mother and say, ‘Welcome, O my son! Come, that I may greet thee!’ But do thou reply, ‘Hold off from me and doff thy dress.’ And she will make answer, ‘O my son, I am thy mother and I have a claim upon thee for suckling thee and for rearing thee: how then wouldst thou strip me naked?’ Then do thou say, ‘Except thou put off thy clothes, I will kill thee!’ and look to thy right where thou wilt see a sword hanging up. Take it and draw it upon her, saying, ‘Strip!’ where upon she will wheedle thee and humble herself to thee; but have thou no ruth on her nor be beguiled, and as often as she putteth off aught, say to her, ‘Off with the rave’; nor do thou cease to threaten her with death, till she doff all that is upon her and fall down, whereupon the enchantment will be dissolved and the charms undone, and thou wilt be safe as to thy life. Then enter the hall of the treasure, where thou wilt see the gold lying in heaps; but pay no heed to aught thereof, but look to a closet at the upper end of the hall, where thou wilt see a curtain drawn. Draw back the curtain and thou wilt descry the enchanter, Al-Shamardal, lying upon a couch of gold, with something at his head round and shining like the moon, which is the celestial planisphere. He is baldrick’d with the sword[FN#278]; his finger is the ring and about his neck hangs a chain, to which hangs the Kohl phial. Bring me the four talismans, and beware lest thou forget aught of that which I have told thee, or thou wilt repent and there will be fear for thee.” And he repeated his directions a second and a third and a fourth time, till Judar said, “I have them by heart: but who may face all these enchantments that thou namest and endure against these mighty terrors?” Replied the Moor, “O Judar, fear not, for they are semblances without life;” and he went on to hearten him, till he said, “I put my trust in Allah.” Then Abd al-Samad threw perfumes on the chafing dish, and addressed himself to reciting conjurations for a time when, behold, the water disappeared and uncovered the river bed and discovered the door of the treasure, whereupon Judar went down to the door and knocked. Therewith he heard a voice saying, “Who knocketh at the door of the treasure, unknowing how to solve the secrets?” Quoth he, “I am Judar son of Omar;” whereupon the door opened and there came forth a figure with a drawn sword, who said to him, “Stretch forth thy neck.” So he stretched forth his neck and the species smote him and fell down, lifeless. Then he went on to the second door and did the like, nor did he cease to do thus, till he had undone the enchantments of the first six doors and came to the seventh door, whence there issued forth to him his mother, saying, “I salute thee, O my son!” He asked, “What art thou?”, and she answered, “O my son, I am thy mother who bare thee nine months and suckled thee and reared thee.” Quoth he, “Put off thy clothes.” Quoth she, “Thou art my son, how wouldst thou strip me naked?” But he said “Strip, or I will strike off thy head with this sword;” and he stretched out his hand to the brand and drew it upon her saying, “Except thou strip, I will slay thee.” Then the strife became long between them and as often as he redoubled on her his threats, she put off somewhat of her clothes and he said to her, “Doff the rest,” with many menaces; while she removed each article slowly and kept saying, “O my son, thou hast disappointed my fosterage of thee,” till she had nothing left but her petticoat trousers Then said she, “O my son, is thy heart stone? Wilt thou dishonour me by discovering my shame? Indeed, this is unlawful, O my son!” And he answered, “Thou sayest sooth; put not off thy trousers.” At once, as he uttered these words, she cried out, “He hath made default; beat him!” Whereupon there fell upon him blows like rain drops and the servants of the treasure flocked to him and dealt him a funding which he forgot not in all his days; after which they thrust him forth and threw him down without the treasure and the hoard doors closed of themselves, whilst the waters of the river returned to their bed.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the servants of the treasure beat Judar and cast him out and the hoard doors closed of themselves, whilst the river waters returned to their bed, Abd al-Samad the Maghribi took Judar up in haste and repeated conjurations over him, till he came to his senses but still dazed as with drink, when he asked him, “What hast thou done, O wretch?” Answered Judar, “O my brother, I undid all the opposing enchantments, till I came to my mother and there befell between her and myself a long contention. But I made her doff her clothes, O my brother, till but her trousers remained upon her and she said to me, ‘Do not dishonour me; for to discover one’s shame is forbidden.’ So I left her her trousers out of pity, and behold, she cried out and said, ‘He hath made default; beat him!’ Whereupon there came out upon me folk, whence I know not, and funding me with a belabouring which was a Sister of Death, thrust me forth; nor do I know what befell me after this.” Quoth the Moor, “Did I not warn thee not to swerve from my directions? Verily, thou hast injured me and hast injured thyself: for if thou hadst made her take off her petticoat trousers, we had won to our wish; but now thou must abide with me till this day next year.” Then he cried out to the two slaves, who struck the tent forthright and loaded it on the beasts; then they were absent awhile and presently returned with the two mules; and the twain mounted and rode back to the city of Fez, where Judar tarried with the Maghribi, eating well and drinking well and donning a grand dress every day, till the year was ended and the anniversary day dawned. Then the Moor said to him, “Come with me, for this is the appointed day.” And Judar said, “’Tis well.” So the Maghribi carried him without the city, where they found the two slaves with the mules, and rode on till they reached the river. Here the slaves pitched the tent and furnished it; and the Moor brought forth the tray of food and they ate the morning meal; after which Abd al-Samad brought out the wand and the tablets as before and, kindling the fire in the chafing dish, made ready the incense. Then said he, “O Judar, I wish to renew my charge to thee.” “O my lord the pilgrim,” replied he, “if I have forgotten the bastinado, I have forgotten the injunctions.”[FN#279] Asked the Moor, “Dost thou indeed remember them?” and he answered, “Yes.” Quoth the Moor, “Keep thy wits, and think not that the woman is thy very mother; nay, she is but an enchantment in her semblance, whose purpose is to find thee defaulting. Thou camest off alive the first time; but, an thou trip this time, they will slay thee.” Quoth Judar, “If I slip this time, I deserve to be burnt of them.” Then Abd al-Samad cast the perfumes into the fire and recited the conjurations, till the river dried up; whereupon Judar descended and knocked. The door opened and he entered and undid the several enchantments, till he came to the seventh door and the semblance of his mother appeared before him, saying, “Welcome,[FN#280] O my son!” But he said to her, “How am I thy son, O accursed? Strip!” And she began to wheedle him and put off garment after garment, till only her trousers remained; and he said to her, “Strip, O accursed!” So she put off her trousers and became a body without a soul. Then he entered the hall of the treasures, where he saw gold lying in heaps, but paid no heed to it and passed on to the closet at the upper end, where he saw the enchanter Al-Shamardal lying on a couch of gold, baldrick’d with the sword, with the ring on his finger, the Kohl phial on his breast and the celestial planisphere hanging over his head. So he loosed the sword and taking the ring, the Kohl phial and the planisphere, went forth, when behold, a band of music sounded for him and the servants of the treasure cried out, saying, “Mayest thou be assained with that thou hast gained, O Judar!” Nor did the music leave sounding, till he came forth of the treasure to the Maghribi, who gave up his conjurations and fumigations and rose up and embraced him and saluted him. Then Judar made over to him the four hoarded talismans, and he took them and cried out to the slaves, who carried away the tent and brought the mules. So they mounted and returned to Fez-city, where the Moor fetched the saddle bags and brought forth dish after dish of meat, till the tray was full, and said, “O my brother, O Judar, eat!” So he ate till he was satisfied, when the Moor emptied what remained of the meats and other dishes and returned the empty platters to the saddle bags. Then quoth he, “O Judar, thou hast left home and native land on our account and thou hast accomplished our dearest desire; wherefore thou hast a right to require a reward of us. Ask, therefore, what thou wilt, it is Almighty Allah who giveth unto thee by our means.[FN#281] Ask thy will and be not ashamed, for thou art deserving.” “O my lord,” quoth Judar, “I ask first of Allah the Most High and then of thee, that thou give me yonder saddle bags.” So the Maghribi called for them and gave them to him, saying, “Take them, for they are thy due; and, if thou hadst asked of me aught else instead, I had given it to thee. Eat from them, thou and thy family; but, my poor fellow, these will not profit thee, save by way of provaunt, and thou hast wearied thyself with us and we promised to send thee home rejoicing. So we will join to these other saddle bags, full of gold and gems, and forward thee back to thy native land, where thou shalt become a gentleman and a merchant and clothe thyself and thy family; nor shalt thou want ready money for thine expenditure. And know that the manner of using our gift is on this wise. Put thy hand therein and say, ‘O servant of these saddle bags, I conjure thee by the virtue of the Mighty Names which have power over thee, bring me such a dish!’ And he will bring thee whatsoever thou askest, though thou shouldst call for a thousand different dishes a day.” So saying, he filled him a second pair of saddle bags half with gold and half with gems and precious stones; and, sending for a slave and a mule, said to him, “Mount this mule, and the slave shall go before thee and show thee the way, till thou come to the door of thy house, where do thou take the two pair of saddle bags and give him the mule, that he may bring it back. But admit none into thy secret; and so we commend thee to Allah!” “May the Almighty increase thy good!” replied Judar and, laying the two pairs of saddle bags on the mule’s back, mounted and set forth. The slave went on before him and the mule followed him all that day and night, and on the morrow he entered Cairo by the Gate of Victory,[FN#282] where he saw his mother seated, saying, “Alms, for the love of Allah!” At this sight he well nigh lost his wits and alighting, threw himself upon her: and when she saw him she wept. Then he mounted her on the mule and walked by her stirrup,[FN#283] till they came to the house, where he set her down and, taking the saddle bags, left the she mule to the slave, who led her away and returned with her to his master, for that both slave and mule were devils. As for Judar, it was grievous to him that his mother should beg; so, when they were in the house, he asked her, “O my mother, are my brothers well?”; and she answered, “They are both well.” Quoth he, “Why dost thou beg by the wayside?” Quoth she, “Because I am hungry, O my son,” and he, “Before I went away, I gave thee an hundred dinars one day, the like the next and a thousand on the day of my departure.” “O my son, they cheated me and took the money from me, saying, ‘We will buy goods with it.’ Then they drove me away, and I fell to begging by the wayside, for stress of hunger.” “O my mother, no harm shall befall thee, now I am come; so have no concern, for these saddle bags are full of gold and gems, and good aboundeth with me.” “Verily, thou art blessed, O my son! Allah accept of thee and increase thee of His bounties! Go, O my son, fetch us some victual, for I slept not last night for excess of hunger, having gone to bed supperless.” “Welcome to thee, O my mother! Call for what thou wilt to eat, and I will set it before thee this moment; for I have no occasion to buy from the market, nor need I any to cook. “O my son, I see naught with thee.” “I have with me in these saddle bags all manner of meats.” “O my son, whatever is ready will serve to stay hunger.” “True, when there is no choice, men are content with the smallest thing; but where there is plenty, they like to eat what is good: and I have abundance; so call for what thou hast a mind to.” “O my son, give me some hot bread and a slice of cheese.” “O my mother, this befitteth not thy condition.” “Then give me to eat of that which besitteth my case, for thou knowest it.” “O my mother,” rejoined he, “what suit thine estate are browned meat and roast chicken and peppered rice and it becometh thy rank to eat of sausages and stuffed cucumbers and stuffed lamb and stuffed ribs of mutton and vermicelli with broken almonds and nuts and honey and sugar and fritters and almond cakes.” But she thought he was laughing at her and making mock of her; so she said to him, “Yauh! Yauh![FN#284] what is come to thee? Dost thou dream or art thou daft?” Asked he, “Why deemest thou that I am mad?” and she answered, “Because thou namest to me all manner rich dishes. Who can avail unto their price, and who knoweth how to dress them?” Quoth he, “By my life! thou shalt eat of all that I have named to thee, and that at once;” and quoth she, “I see nothing;” and he, “Bring me the saddle bags.” So she fetched them and feeling them, found them empty. However, she laid them before him and he thrust in his hand and pulled out dish after dish, till he had set before her all he had named. Whereupon asked she, “O my son, the saddle bags are small and moreover they were empty; yet hast thou taken thereout all these dishes. Where then were they all?”; and he answered, “O my mother, know that these saddle bags, which the Moor gave me, are enchanted and they have a servant whom, if one desire aught, he hath but to adjure by the Names which command him, saying, ‘O servant of these saddle bags, bring me such a dish!’ and he will bring it.” Quoth his mother, “And may I put out my hand and ask of him?” Quoth he, “Do so.” So she stretched out her hand and said, “O servant of the saddle bags, by the virtue of the Names which command thee, bring me stuffed ribs.” Then she thrust in her hand and found a dish containing delicate stuffed ribs of lamb. So she took it out, and called for bread and what else she had a mind to: after which Judar said to her, “O my mother, when thou hast made an end of eating, empty what is left of the food into dishes other than these, and restore the empty platters to the saddle bags carefully.” So she arose and laid them up in a safe place. “And look, O mother mine, that thou keep this secret,” added he; “and whenever thou hast a mind to aught, take it forth of the saddle bags and give alms and feed my brothers, whether I be present or absent.” Then he fell to eating with her and behold, while they were thus occupied, in came his two brothers, whom a son of the quarter[FN#285] had apprised of his return, saying, “Your brother is come back, riding on a she mule, with a slave before him, and wearing a dress that hath not its like.” So they said to each other, “Would to Heaven we had not evilly entreated our mother! There is no hope but that she will surely tell him how we did by her, and then, oh our disgrace with him!” But one of the twain said, “Our mother is soft hearted, and if she tell him, our brother is yet tenderer over us than she; and, given we excuse ourselves to him, he will accept our excuse.” So they went in to him and he rose to them and saluting them with the friendliest salutation, bade them sit down and eat. So they ate till they were satisfied, for they were weak with hunger; after which Judar said to them, “O my brothers, take what is left and distribute it to the poor and needy.” “O brother,” replied they, “let us keep it to sup withal.” But he answered, “When supper time cometh, ye shall have more than this.” So they took the rest of the victual and going out, gave it to every poor man who passed by them, saying, “Take and eat,” till nothing was left. Then they brought back the dishes and Judar said to his mother, “Put them in the saddle bags.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar, when his brethren had finished their under meal, said to his mother, “Put back the platters in the saddle bags.” And when it was eventide, he entered the saloon and took forth of the saddle bags a table of forty dishes; after which he went up to the upper room and, sitting down between his brothers, said to his mother, “Bring the supper.”[FN#286] So she went down to the saloon and, finding there the dishes ready, laid the tray and brought up the forty dishes, one after other. Then they ate the evening meal, and when they had done, Judar said to his brothers, “Take and feed the poor and needy.” So they took what was left and gave alms thereof, and presently he brought forth to them sweetmeats, whereof they ate, and what was left he bade them give to the neighbours. On the morrow, they brake their fast after the same fashion, and thus they fared ten days, at the end of which time quoth Sálim to Salím, “How cometh it that our brother setteth before us a banquet in the morning, a banquet at noon, and a banquet at sundown, besides sweetmeats late at night, and all that is left he giveth to the poor? Verily, this is the fashion of Sultans. Yet we never see him buy aught, and he hath neither kitchener nor kitchen, nor doth he light a fire. Whence hath he this great plenty? Hast thou not a mind to discover the cause of all this?” Quoth Salím, “By Allah, I know not: but knowest thou any who will tell us the truth of the case?” Quoth Sálim, “None will tell us save our mother.” So they laid a plot and repairing to their mother one day, in their brother’s absence, said to her, “O our mother, we are hungry.” Replied she, “Rejoice, for ye shall presently be satisfied;” and going into the saloon, sought of the servant of the saddle bags hot meats, which she took out and set before her sons. “O our mother,” cried they, “this meat is hot; yet hast thou not cooked, neither kindled a fire.” Quoth she, “It cometh from the saddle bags;” and quoth they, “What manner of thing be these saddle bags?” She answered, “They are enchanted; and the required is produced by the charm:” she then told her sons their virtue, enjoining them to secrecy. Said they, “The secret shall be kept, O our mother, but teach us the manner of this.” So she taught them the fashion thereof and they fell to putting their hands into the saddle bags and taking forth whatever they had a mind to. But Judar knew naught of this. Then quoth Sálim privily to Salím, “O my brother, how long shall we abide with Judar servant wise and eat of his alms? Shall we not contrive to get the saddle bags from him and make off with them?” “And how shall we make shift to do this?” “We will sell him to the galleys.” “How shall we do that?” “We two will go to the Raís, the Chief Captain of the Sea of Suez and bid him to an entertainment, with two of his company. What I say to Judar do thou confirm, and at the end of the night I will show thee what I will do.” So they agreed upon the sale of their brother and going to the Captain’s quarters said to him, “O Rais, we have come to thee on an errand that will please thee.” “Good,” answered he; and they continued, “We two are brethren, and we have a third brother, a lewd fellow and good for nothing. When our father died, he left us some money, which we shared amongst us, and he took his part of the inheritance and wasted it in frowardness and debauchery, till he was reduced to poverty, when he came upon us and cited us before the magistrates, avouching that we had taken his good and that of his father, and we disputed the matter before the judges and lost the money. Then he waited awhile and attacked us a second time, until he brought us to beggary; nor will he desist from us, and we are utterly weary of him; wherefore we would have thee buy him of us.” Quoth the Captain, “Can ye cast about with him and bring him to me here? If so, I will pack him off to sea forthright.” Quoth they “We cannot manage to bring him here; but be thou our guest this night and bring with thee two of thy men, not one more; and when he is asleep, we will aid one another to fall upon him, we five, and seize and gag him. Then shalt thou carry him forth the house, under cover of the night, and after do thou with him as thou wilt.” Rejoined the Captain, “With all my heart! Will ye sell him for forty dinars?” and they, “Yes, come after nightfall to such a street, by such a mosque, and thou shalt find one of us awaiting thee.” And he replied, “Now be off.” Then they repaired to Judar and waited awhile, after which Sálim went up to him and kissed his hand. Quoth Judar, “What ails thee, O my brother?” And he made answer, saying, “Know that I have a friend, who hath many a time bidden me to his house in thine absence and hath ever hospitably entreated me, and I owe him a thousand kindnesses, as my brother here wotteth. I met him to day and he invited me to his house, but I said to him, ‘I cannot leave my brother Judar.’ Quoth he, ‘Bring him with thee’; and quoth I, ‘He will not consent to that; but if ye will be my guests, thou and thy brothers’[FN#287] * * * * * (for his brothers were sitting with him); and I invited them thinking that they would refuse. But he accepted my invitation for all of them, saying, ‘Look for me at the gate of the little mosque,[FN#288] and I will come to thee, I and my brothers.’ And now I fear they will come and am ashamed before thee. So wilt thou hearten my heart and entertain them this night, for thy good is abundant, O my brother? Or if thou consent not, give me leave to take them into the neighbours’ houses.” Replied Judar, “Why shouldst thou carry them into the neighbours’ houses? Is our house then so strait or have we not wherewith to give them supper? Shame on thee to consult me! Thou hast but to call for what thou needest and have rich viands and sweetmeats and to spare. Whenever thou bringest home folk in my absence, ask thy mother, and she will set before thee victual more than enough. Go and fetch them; blessings have descended upon us through such guests.” So Sálim kissed his hand and going forth, sat at the gate of the little mosque till after sundown, when the Captain and his men came up to him, and he carried them to the house. When Judar saw them he bade them welcome and seated them and made friends of them, knowing not what the future had in store for him at their hands. Then he called to his mother for supper, and she fell to taking dishes out of the saddlebags, whilst he said, “Bring such and such meats,” till she had set forty different dishes before them. They ate their sufficiency and the tray was taken away, the sailors thinking the while that this liberal entertainment came from Sálim. When a third part of the night was past, Judar set sweetmeats before them and Sálim served them, whilst his two brothers sat with the guests, till they sought to sleep. Accordingly Judar lay down and the others with him, who waited till he was asleep, when they fell upon him together and gagging and pinioning him, before he was awake, carried him forth of the house,[FN#289] under cover of the night,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they seized Judar and carrying him forth of the house under cover of the night, at once packed him off to Suez, where they shackled him and set him to work as a galley slave; and he ceased not to serve thus in silence a whole year.[FN#290] So far concerning Judar; but as for his brothers, they went in next morning to his mother and said to her, “O our mother, our brother Judar is not awake.” Said she, “Do ye wake him.” Asked they, “Where lieth he?” and she answered, “With the guests.” They rejoined, “Haply he went away with them whilst we slept, O mother. It would seem that he had tasted of strangerhood and yearned to get at hidden hoards; for we heard him at talk with the Moors, and they said to him, ‘We will take thee with us and open the treasure to thee.’” She enquired, “Hath he then been in company with Moors?;” and they replied, saying, “Were they not our guests yester night?” And she, “Most like he hath gone with them, but Allah will direct him on the right way; for there is a blessing upon him and he will surely come back with great good.” But she wept, for it was grievous to her to be parted from her son. Then said they to her, “O accursed woman, dost thou love Judar with all this love, whilst as for us, whether we be absent or present, thou neither joyest in us nor sorrowest for us? Are we not thy sons, even as Judar is thy son?” She said, “Ye are indeed my sons: but ye are reprobates who deserve no favour of me, for since your father’s death I have never seen any good in you; whilst as for Judar, I have had abundant good of him and he hath heartened my heart and entreated me with honour; wherefore it behoveth me to weep for him, because of his kindness to me and to you.” When they heard this, they abused her and beat her; after which they sought for the saddle bags, till they found the two pairs and took the enchanted one and all the gold from one pouch and jewels from the other of the unenchanted, saying, “This was our father’s good.” Said their mother, “Not so, by Allah!, it belongeth to your brother Judar, who brought it from the land of the Magharibah.” Said they, “Thou liest, it was our father’s property; and we will dispose of it, as we please.” Then they divided the gold and jewels between them; but a brabble arose between them concerning the enchanted saddle bags, Sálim saying, “I will have them;” and Salím, saying, “I will take them;” and they came to high words. Then said she, “O my sons, ye have divided the gold and the jewels, but this may not be divided, nor can its value be made up in money; and if it be cut in twain, its spell will be voided; so leave it with me and I will give you to eat from it at all times and be content to take a morsel with you. If ye allow me aught to clothe me, ’twill be of your bounty, and each of you shall traffic with the folk for himself. Ye are my sons and I am your mother; wherefore let us abide as we are, lest your brother come back and we be disgraced.” But they accepted not her words and passed the night, wrangling with each other. Now it chanced that a Janissary[FN#291] of the King’s guards was a guest in the house adjoining Judar’s and heard them through the open window. So he looked out and listening, heard all the angry words that passed between them and saw the division of the spoil. Next morning he presented himself before the King of Egypt, whose name was Shams al-Daulah,[FN#292] and told him all he had heard, whereupon he sent for Judar’s brothers and put them to the question, till they confessed; and he took the two pairs of Saddle bags from them and clapped them in prison, appointing a sufficient daily allowance to their mother. Now as regards Judar, he abode a whole year in service at Suez, till one day, being in a ship bound on a voyage over the sea, a wind arose against them and cast the vessel upon a rock projecting from a mountain, where she broke up and all on board were drowned and none get ashore save Judar. As soon as he landed he fared on inland, till he reached an encampment of Badawi, who questioned him of his case, and he told them he had been a sailor.[FN#293] Now there was in camp a merchant, a native of Jiddah, who took pity on him and said to him, “Wilt thou take service with me, O Egyptian, and I will clothe thee and carry thee with me to Jiddah?” So Judar took service with him and accompanied him to Jiddah, where he showed him much favour. After awhile, his master the merchant set out on a pilgrimage to Meccah, taking Judar with him, and when they reached the city, the Cairene repaired to the Haram temple, to circumambulate the Ka’abah. As he was making the prescribed circuits,[FN#294] he suddenly saw his friend Abd al-Samad the Moor doing the like;— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar, as he was making the circuits, suddenly saw his friend Abd al-Samad also circumambulating; and when the Maghribi caught sight of him, he saluted him and asked him of his state; whereupon Judar wept and told him all that had befallen him. So the Moor carried him to his lodging and entreated him with honour, clothing him in a dress of which the like was not, and saying to him, “Thou hast seen the end of thine ills, O Judar.” Then he drew out for him a geomantic figure, which showed what had befallen Sálim and Salím and said to Judar, “Such and such things have befallen thy brothers and they are now in the King of Egypt’s prison; but thou art right welcome to abide with me and accomplish thine ordinances of pilgrimage and all shall be well.” Replied Judar, “O my lord, let me go and take leave of the merchant with whom I am and after I will come back to thee.” “Dost thou owe money?” asked the Moor, and he answered, “No.” Said Abd al-Samad, “Go thou and take leave of him and come back forth right, for bread hath claims of its own from the ingenuous.” So Judar returned to the merchant and farewelled him, saying, “I have fallen in with my brother.”[FN#295] “Go bring him here,” said the merchant, “and we will make him an entertainment.” But Judar answered, saying, “He hath no need of that; for he is a man of wealth and hath many servants.” Then the merchant gave Judar twenty dinars, saying, “Acquit me of responsibility”;[FN#296] and he bade him adieu and went forth from him. Presently, he saw a poor man, so he gave him the twenty ducats and returned to the Moor, with whom he abode till they had accomplished the pilgrimage rites when Abd al-Samad gave him the seal ring, that he had taken from the treasure of Al-Shamardal, saying, “This ring will win thee thy wish, for it enchanteth and hath a servant, by name Al-Ra’ad al-Kásif; so whatever thou hast a mind to of the wants of this world, rub this ring and its servant will appear and do all thou biddest him.” Then he rubbed the ring before him, whereupon the Jinni appeared, saying, “Adsum, O my lord! Ask what thou wilt and it shall be given thee. Hast thou a mind to people a ruined city or ruin a populous one? to slay a king or to rout a host?” “O Ra’ad,” said Abd al-Samad, “this is become thy lord; do thou serve him faithfully.” Then he dismissed him and said to Judar, “Rub the ring and the servant will appear and do thou command him to do whatever thou desirest, for he will not gainsay thee. Now go to thine own country and take care of the ring, for by means of it thou wilt baffle thine enemies; and be not ignorant of its puissance.” “O my lord,” quoth Judar, “with thy leave, I will set out homewards.” Quoth the Maghribi, “Summon the Jinni and mount upon his back; and if thou say to him, ‘Bring me to my native city this very day,’ he will not disobey thy commandment.” So he took leave of Moor Abd al-Samad and rubbed the ring, whereupon Al-Ra’ad presented himself, saying, “Adsum; ask and it shall be given to thee.” Said Judar, “Carry me to Cairo this day;” and he replied, “Thy will be done;” and, taking him on his back, flew with him from noon till midnight, when he set him down in the courtyard of his mother’s house and disappeared. Judar went in to his mother, who rose weeping, and greeted him fondly, and told him how the King had beaten his brothers and cast them into gaol and taken the two pairs of saddle bags; which when he heard, it was no light matter to him and he said to her, “Grieve not for the past; I will show thee what I can do and bring my brothers hither forth right.” So he rubbed the ring, whereupon its servant appeared, saying, “Here am I! Ask and thou shalt have.” Quoth Judar, “I bid thee bring me my two brothers from the prison of the King.” So the Jinni sank into the earth and came not up but in the midst of the gaol where Sálim and Salím lay in piteous plight and sore sorrow for the plagues of prison,[FN#297] so that they wished for death, and one of them said to the other, “By Allah, O my brother, affliction is longsome upon us! How long shall we abide in this prison? Death would be relief.” As he spoke, behold, the earth clove in sunder and out came Al-Ra’ad, who took both up and plunged with them into the earth. They swooned away for excess of fear, and when they recovered, they found themselves in their mother’s house and saw Judar seated by her side. Quoth he, “I salute you, O my brothers! you have cheered me by your presence.” And they bowed their heads and burst into tears. Then said he, “Weep not, for it was Satan and covetise that led you to do thus. How could you sell me? But I comfort myself with the thought of Joseph, whose brothers did with him even more than ye did with me, because they cast him into the pit.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar said to his brothers, “How could you do with me thus? But repent unto Allah and crave pardon of Him, and He will forgive you both, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Merciful. As for me, I pardon you and welcome you: no harm shall befall you.” Then he comforted them and set their hearts at ease and related to them all he had suffered, till he fell in with Shaykh Abd al-Samad, and told them also of the seal ring. They replied, “O our brother, forgive us this time; and, if we return to our old ways, do with us as thou wilt.” Quoth he, “No harm shall befall you; but tell me what the King did with you.” Quoth they, “He beat us and threatened us with death and took the two pairs of saddle bags from us.” “Will he not care?”[FN#298] said Judar, and rubbed the ring, whereupon Al-Ra’ad appeared. When his brothers saw him, they were frighted and thought Judar would bid him slay them; so they fled to their mother, crying, “O our mother, we throw our selves on thy generosity; do thou intercede for us, O our mother!” And she said to them, “O my sons, fear nothing!” Then said Judar to the servant, “I command thee to bring me all that is in the King’s treasury of goods and such; let nothing remain and fetch the two pairs of saddle bags he took from my brothers.” “I hear and I obey,” replied Al-Ra’ad; and, disappearing straight way gathered together all he found in the treasury and returned with the two pairs of saddle bags and the deposits therein and laid them before Judar, saying, “O my lord, I have left nothing in the treasury.” Judar gave the treasure to his mother bidding her keep it and laying the enchanted saddle bags before him, said to the Jinni, “I command thee to build me this night a lofty palace and overlay it with liquid gold and furnish it with magnificent furniture: and let not the day dawn, ere thou be quit of the whole work.” Replied he, “Thy bidding shall be obeyed;” and sank into the earth. Then Judar brought forth food and they ate and took their ease and lay down to sleep. Meanwhile, Al-Ra’ad summoned his attendant Jinn and bade them build the palace. So some of them fell to hewing stones and some to building, whilst others plastered and painted and furnished; nor did the day dawn ere the ordinance of the palace was complete; whereupon Al-Ra’ad came to Judar and said to him, “O my lord, the palace is finished and in best order, an it please thee to come and look on it.” So Judar went forth with his mother and brothers and saw a palace, whose like there was not in the whole world; and it confounded all minds with the goodliness of its ordinance. Judar was delighted with it while he was passing along the highway and withal it had cost him nothing. Then he asked his mother, “Say me, wilt thou take up thine abode in this palace?” and she answered, “I will, O my son,” and called down blessings upon him. Then he rubbed the ring and bade the Jinni fetch him forty handsome white hand maids and forty black damsels and as many Mamelukes and negro slaves. “Thy will be done,” answered Al-Ra’ad and betaking himself, with forty of his attendant Genii to Hind and Sind and Persia, snatched up every beautiful girl and boy they saw, till they had made up the required number. Moreover, he sent other four score, who fetched comely black girls, and forty others brought male chattels and carried them all to Judar’s house, which they filled. Then he showed them to Judar, who was pleased with them and said, “Bring for each a dress of the finest.” “Ready!” replied the servant. Then quoth he, “Bring a dress for my mother and another for myself, and also for my brothers.” So the Jinni fetched all that was needed and clad the female slaves, saying to them, “This is your mistress: kiss her hands and cross her not, but serve her, white and black.” The Mamelukes also dressed them selves and kissed Judar’s hands; and he and his brothers arrayed themselves in the robes the Jinni had brought them and Judar became like unto a King and his brothers as Wazirs. Now his house was spacious; so he lodged Sálim and his slave girls in one part thereof and Salím and his slave girls in another, whilst he and his mother took up their abode in the new palace; and each in his own place was like a Sultan. So far concerning them; but as regards the King’s Treasurer, thinking to take something from the treasury, he went in and found it altogether empty, even as saith the poet,

“’Twas as a hive of bees that greatly thrived; * But, when the bee swarm fled, ’twas clean unhived.”[FN#299]

So he gave a great cry and fell down in a fit. When he came to himself, he left the door open and going in to King Shams al-Daulah, said to him, “O Commander of the Faithful,[FN#300] I have to inform thee that the treasury hath become empty during the night.” Quoth the King, “What hast thou done with my monies which were therein?” Quoth he, “By Allah, I have not done aught with them nor know I what is come of them! I visited the place yesterday and saw it full; but to day when I went in, I found it clean empty, albeit the doors were locked, the walls were unpierced[FN#301] and the bolts[FN#302] are unbroken; nor hath a thief entered it.” Asked the King, “Are the two pairs of saddle bags gone?” “Yes,” replied the Treasurer; whereupon the King’s reason flew from his head,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Treasurer informed the King that all in the treasury had been plundered, including the two pairs of saddlebags, the King’s reason flew from his head and he rose to his feet, saying, “Go thou before me.” Then he followed the Treasurer to the treasury and he found nothing there, whereat he was wroth with him; and he said to them, “O soldiers! know that my treasury hath been plundered during the night, and I know not who did this deed and dared thus to outrage me, without fear of me.” Said they, “How so?”; and he replied, “Ask the Treasurer.” So they questioned him, and he answered, saying, “Yesterday I visited the treasury and it was full, but this morning when I entered it I found it empty, though the walls were unpierced and the doors unbroken.” They all marvelled at this and could make the King no answer, when in came the Janissary, who had denounced Sálim and Salím, and said to Shams al-Daulah, “O King of the age, all this night I have not slept for that which I saw.” And the King asked, “And what didst thou see?” “Know, O King of the age,” answered the Kawwás, “that all night long I have been amusing myself with watching builders at work; and, when it was day, I saw a palace ready edified, whose like is not in the world. So I asked about it and was told that Judar had come back with great wealth and Mamelukes and slaves and that he had freed his two brothers from prison, and built this palace, wherein he is as a Sultan.” Quoth the King, “Go, look in the prison.” So they went thither and not finding Sálim and Salím, returned and told the King, who said, “It is plain now who be the thief; he who took Sálim and Salím out of prison it is who hath stolen my monies.” Quoth the Wazir, “O my lord, and who is he?”; and quoth the King, “Their brother Judar, and he hath taken the two pairs of saddle bags; but, O Wazir do thou send him an Emir with fifty men to seal up his goods and lay hands on him and his brothers and bring them to me, that I may hang them.” And he was sore enraged and said, “Ho, off with the Emir at once, and fetch them, that I may put them to death.” But the Wazir said to him, “Be thou merciful, for Allah is merciful and hasteth not to punish His servants, whenas they sin against Him. More over, he who can build a palace in a single night, as these say, none in the world can vie with him; and verily I fear lest the Emir fall into difficulty for Judar. Have patience, therefore, whilst I devise for thee some device of getting at the truth of the case, and so shalt thou win thy wish, O King of the age.” Quoth the King, “Counsel me how I shall do, O Wazir.” And the Minister said, “Send him an Emir with an invitation; and I will make much of him for thee and make a show of love for him and ask him of his estate; after which we will see. If we find him stout of heart, we will use sleight with him, and if weak of will, then do thou seize him and do with him thy desire.” The King agreed to this and despatched one of his Emirs, Othman highs, to go and invite Judar and say to him, “The King biddeth thee to a banquet;” and the King said to him, “Return not, except with him.” Now this Othman was a fool, proud and conceited; so he went forth upon his errand, and when he came to the gate of Judar’s palace, he saw before the door an eunuch seated upon a chair of gold, who at his approach rose not, but sat as if none came near, though there were with the Emir fifty footmen. Now this eunuch was none other than Al-Ra’ad al-Kasif, the servant of the ring, whom Judar had commanded to put on the guise of an eunuch and sit at the palace gate. So the Emir rode up to him and asked him, “O slave, where is thy lord?”; whereto he answered, “In the palace;” but he stirred not from his leaning posture; whereupon the Emir Othman waxed wroth and said to him, “O pestilent slave, art thou not ashamed, when I speak to thee, to answer me, sprawling at thy length, like a gallows bird?” Replied the eunuch “Off and multiply not words.” Hardly had Othman heard this, when he was filled with rage and drawing his mace[FN#303] would have smitten the eunuch, knowing not that he was a devil; but Al-Ra’ad leapt upon him and taking the mace from him, dealt him four blows with it. Now when the fifty men saw their lord beaten, it was grievous to them; so they drew their swords and ran to slay the slave; but he said, “Do ye draw on us, O dogs?” and rose at them with the mace, and every one whom he smote, he broke his bones and drowned him in his blood. So they fell back before him and fled, whilst he followed them, beating them, till he had driven them far from the palace gate; after which he returned and sat down on his chair at the door, caring for none.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the eunuch having put to flight the Emir Othman, the King’s officer, and his men, till they were driven far from Judar’s gate, returned and sat down on his chair at the door, caring for none. But as for the Emir and his company, they returned, discomfited and funded, to King Shams al-Daulah, and Othman said, “O King of the age, when I came to the palace gate, I espied an eunuch seated there in a chair of gold and he was passing proud for, when he saw me approach, he stretched himself at full length albeit he had been sitting in his chair and entreated me contumeliously, neither offered to rise to me. So I began to speak to him and he answered without stirring, whereat wrath get hold of me and I drew the mace upon him, thinking to smite him. But he snatched it from me and beat me and my men therewith and overthrew us. So we fled from before him and could not prevail against him.” At this, the King was wroth and said, “Let an hundred men go down to him.” Accordingly, the hundred men went down to attack him; but he arose and fell upon them with the mace and ceased not smiting them till he had put them to the rout; when he regained his chair; upon which they returned to the King and told him what had passed, saying, “O King of the age, he beat us and we fled for fear of him.” Then the King sent two hundred men against him, but these also he put to the rout, and Shams Al-Daulah said to his Minister, “I charge thee, O Wazir, take five hundred men and bring this eunuch in haste, and with him his master Judar and his brothers.” Replied the Wazir, “O King of the age, I need no soldiers, but will go down to him alone and unarmed.” “Go,” quoth the King, “and do as thou seest suitable.” So the Wazir laid down his arms and donning a white habit,[FN#304] took a rosary in his hand and set out afoot alone and unattended. When he came to Judar’s gate, he saw the slave sitting there; so he went up to him and seating himself by his side courteously, said to him, “Peace be with thee!”; whereto he replied, “And on thee be peace, O mortal! What wilt thou?” When the Wazir heard him say “O mortal,” he knew him to be of the Jinn and quaked for fear; then he asked him, “O my lord, tell me, is thy master Judar here?” Answered the eunuch, “Yes, he is in the palace.” Quoth the Minister, “O my lord, go thou to him and say to him, ‘King Shams Al-Daulah saluteth thee and biddeth thee honour his dwelling with thy presence and eat of a banquet he hath made for thee;’” Quoth the eunuch, “Tarry thou here, whilst I consult him.” So the Wazir stood in a respectful attitude, whilst the Marid went up to the palace and said to Judar, “Know, O my lord, that the King sent to thee an Emir and fifty men, and I beat them and drove them away. Then he sent an hundred men and I beat them also; then two hundred, and these also I put to the rout. And now he hath sent thee his Wazir unarmed, bidding thee visit him and eat of his banquet. What sayst thou?” Said Judar, “Go, bring the Wazir hither.” So the Marid went down and said to him, “O Wazir, come speak with my lord.” “On my head be it.”, replied he and going in to Judar, found him seated, in greater state than the King, upon a carpet, whose like the King could not spread, and was dazed and amazed at the goodliness of the palace and its decoration and appointments, which made him seem as he were a beggar in comparison. So he kissed the ground before Judar and called down blessings on him; and Judar said to him, “What is thy business, O Wazir?” Replied he, “O my lord, thy friend King Shams Al-Daulah saluteth thee with the salaam and longeth to look upon thy face; wherefore he hath made thee an entertainment. So say, wilt thou heal his heart and eat of his banquet?” Quoth Judar, “If he be indeed my friend, salute him and bid him come to me.” “On my head be it,” quoth the Minister. Then Judar bringing out the ring rubbed it and bade the Jinni fetch him a dress of the best, which he gave to the Wazir saying, “Don this dress and go tell the King what I say.” So the Wazir donned the dress, the like whereof he had never donned, and returning to the King told him what had passed and praised the palace and that which was therein, saying, “Judar biddeth thee to him.” So the King called out, “Up, ye men; mount your horses and bring me my steed, that we may go to Judar!” Then he and his suite rode off for the Cairene palace. Meanwhile Judar summoned the Marid and said to him, “It is my will that thou bring me some of the Ifrits at thy command in the guise of guards and station them in the open square before the palace, that the King may see them and be awed by them; so shall his heart tremble and he shall know that my power and majesty be greater than his.” Thereupon Al-Ra’ad brought him two hundred Ifrits of great stature and strength, in the guise of guards, magnificently armed and equipped, and when the King came and saw these tall burly fellows his heart feared them. Then he entered the palace, and found Judar sitting in such state as nor King nor Sultan could even. So he saluted him and made his obeisance to him, yet Judar rose not to him nor did him honour nor said “Be seated,” but left him standing,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King entered, Judar rose not to him, nor did him honour nor even said “Be seated!”; but left him standing,[FN#305] so that fear entered into him and he could neither sit nor go away and said to himself, “If he feared me, he would not leave me thus unheeded peradventure he will do me a mischief, because of that which I did with his brothers.” Then said Judar, “O King of the age, it beseemeth not the like of thee to wrong the folk and take away their good.” Replied the King, “O my lord, deign excuse me, for greed impelled me to this and fate was thereby fulfilled; and, were there no offending, there would be no forgiving.” And he went on to excuse himself for the past and pray to him for pardon and indulgence till he recited amongst other things this poetry,

“O thou of generous seed and true nobility, * Reproach me not for
     that which came from me to thee
We pardon thee if thou have wrought us any wrong * And if I
     wrought the wrong I pray thee pardon me!”

And he ceased not to humble himself before him, till he said, “Allah pardon thee!” and bade him be seated. So he sat down and Judar invested him with garments of pardon and immunity and ordered his brothers spread the table. When they had eaten, he clad the whole of the King’s company in robes of honour and gave them largesse; after which he bade the King depart. So he went forth and thereafter came every day to visit Judar and held not his Divan save in his house: wherefore friendship and familiarity waxed great between them, and they abode thus awhile, till one day the King, being alone with his Minister, said to him, “O Wazir, I fear lest Judar slay me and take the kingdom away from me.” Replied the Wazir, “O King of the age, as for his taking the kingdom from thee, have no fear of that, for Judar’s present estate is greater than that of the King, and to take the kingdom would be a lowering of his dignity; but, if thou fear that he kill thee, thou hast a daughter: give her to him to wife and thou and he will be of one condition.” Quoth the King, “O Wazir, be thou intermediary between us and him”; and quoth the Minister, “Do thou invite him to an entertainment and pass the night with him in one of thy saloons. Then bid thy daughter don her richest dress and ornaments and pass by the door of the saloon. When he seeth her, he will assuredly fall in love with her, and when we know this, I will turn to him and tell him that she is thy daughter and engage him in converse and lead him on, so that thou shalt seem to know nothing of the matter, till he ask her to thee to wife. When thou hast married him to the Princess, thou and he will be as one thing and thou wilt be safe from him; and if he die, thou wilt inherit all he hath, both great and small.” Replied the King, “Thou sayst sooth, O my Wazir,” and made a banquet and invited thereto Judar who came to the Sultan’s palace and they sat in the saloon in great good cheer till the end of the day. Now the King had commanded his wife to array the maiden in her richest raiment and ornaments and carry her by the door of the saloon. She did as he told her, and when Judar saw the Princess, who had not her match for beauty and grace, he looked fixedly at her and said, “Ah!”; and his limbs were loosened; for love and longing and passion and pine were sore upon him; desire and transport get hold upon him and he turned pale. Quoth the Wazir, “May no harm befall thee, O my lord! Why do I see thee change colour and in suffering?” Asked Judar, “O Wazir, whose daughter is this damsel? Verily she hath enthralled me and ravished my reason.” Replied the Wazir, “She is the daughter of thy friend the King; and if she please thee, I will speak to him that he marry thee to her.” Quoth Judar, “Do so, O Wazir, and as I live, I will bestow on thee what thou wilt and will give the King whatsoever he shall ask to her dowry; and we will become friends and kinsfolk.” Quoth the Minister, “It shall go hard but thy desire be accomplished.” Then he turned to the King and said in his ear, “O King of the age, thy friend Judar seeketh alliance with thee and will have me ask of thee for him the hand of thy daughter, the Princess Asiyah; so disappoint me not, but accept my intercession, and what dowry soever thou askest he will give thee.” Said the King, “The dowry I have already received, and as for the girl, she is his handmaid; I give her to him to wife and he will do me honour by accepting her.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir whispered the King, “Judar seeketh alliance with thee by taking thy daughter to wife,” the other replied, “The dowry I have already received, and the girl is his handmaid: he will do me honour by accepting her.” So they spent the rest of that night together and on the morrow the King held a court, to which he summoned great and small, together with the Shaykh al-Islam.[FN#306] Then Judar demanded the Princess in marriage and the King said, “The dowry I have received.” Thereupon they drew up the marriage contract and Judar sent for the saddle bags containing the jewels and gave them to the King as settlement upon his daughter. The drums beat and the pipes sounded and they held high festival, whilst Judar went in unto the girl. Thenceforward he and the King were as one flesh and they abode thus for many days, till Shams al-Daulah died; whereupon the troops proclaimed Judar Sultan, and he refused; but they importuned him, till he consented and they made him King in his father in law’s stead. Then he bade build a cathedral mosque over the late King’s tomb in the Bundukániyah[FN#307] quarter and endowed it. Now the quarter of Judar’s house was called Yamániyah; but, when he became Sultan he built therein a congregational mosque and other buildings, wherefore the quarter was named after him and was called the Judariyah[FN#308] quarter. Moreover, he made his brother Sálim his Wazir of the right and his brother Salím his Wazir of the left hand; and thus they abode a year and no more; for, at the end of that time, Sálim said to Salím, “O my brother, how long is this state to last? Shall we pass our whole lives in slavery to our brother Judar? We shall never enjoy luck or lordship whilst he lives,” adding, “so how shall we do to kill him and take the ring and the saddle bags?” Replied Salím, “Thou art craftier than I; do thou devise, whereby we may kill him.” “If I effect this,” asked Sálim, “wilt thou agree that I be Sultan and keep the ring and that thou be my right hand Wazir and have the saddle bags?” Salím answered, “I consent to this;” and they agreed to slay Judar their brother for love of the world and of dominion. So they laid a snare for Judar and said to him, “O our brother, verily we have a mind to glory in thee and would fain have thee enter our houses and eat of our entertainment and solace our hearts.” Replied Judar, “So be it, in whose house shall the banquet be?” “In mine,” said Sálim “and after thou hast eaten of my victual, thou shalt be the guest of my brother.” Said Judar, “’Tis well,” and went with him to his house, where he set before him poisoned food, of which when he had eaten, his flesh rotted from his bones and he died.[FN#309] Then Sálim came up to him and would have drawn the ring from his finger, but it resisted him; so he cut off the finger with a knife. Then he rubbed the ring and the Marid presented himself, saying, “Adsum! Ask what thou wilt.” Quoth Sálim, “Take my brother Salím and put him to death and carry forth the two bodies, the poisoned and the slaughtered, and cast them down before the troops.” So the Marid took Salím and slew him; then, carrying the two corpses forth, he cast them down before the chief officers of the army, who were sitting at table in the parlour of the house. When they saw Judar and Salím slain, they raised their hands from the food and fear get hold of them and they said to the Marid, “Who hath dealt thus with the Sultan and the Wazir?” Replied the Jinni, “Their brother Sálim.” And behold, Sálim came up to them and said, “O soldiers, eat and make merry, for Judar is dead and I have taken to me the seal ring, whereof the Marid before you is the servant; and I bade him slay my brother Salím lest he dispute the kingdom with me, for he was a traitor and I feared lest he should betray me. So now I am become Sultan over you; will ye accept of me? If not, I will rub the ring and bid the Marid slay you all, great and small.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sálim said to the officers, “Will ye accept me as your Sultan, otherwise I will rub the ring and the Marid shall slay you all, great and small?”; they replied, “We accept thee to King and Sultan.” Then he bade bury his brothers and summoned the Divan; and some of the folk followed the funeral, whilst others forewent him in state procession to the audience hall of the palace, where he sat down on the throne and they did homage to him as King; after which he said, “It is my will to marry my brother Judar’s wife.” Quoth they, “Wait till the days of widowhood are accomplished.”[FN#310] Quoth he, “I know not days of widowhood nor aught else. As my head liveth, I needs must go in unto her this very night.” So they drew up the marriage contract and sent to tell the Princess Asiyah, who replied, “Bid him enter.” Accordingly, he went in to her and she received him with a show of joy and welcome; but by and by she gave him poison in water and made an end of him. Then she took the ring and broke it, that none might possess it thenceforward, and tore up the saddle bags; after which she sent to the Shaykh al-Islam and other great officers of state, telling them what had passed and saying to them, “Choose you out a King to rule over you.” And this is all that hath come down to us of the Story of Judar and his Brethren.[FN#311] But I have also heard, O King, a tale called the


There was once in olden time a King of might, Kundamir highs, who had been a brave and doughty man of war, a Kahramán,[FN#313] in his day, but was grown passing old and decrepit. Now it pleased Allah to vouchsafe him, in his extreme senility, a son, whom he named Ajíb[FN#314]—the Wonderful—because of his beauty and loveliness; so he committed the babe to the midwives and wet-nurses and handmaids and serving-women, and they reared him till he was full seven years old, when his father gave him in charge to a divine of his own folk and faith. The priest taught him the laws and tenets of their Misbelief and instructed him in philosophy and all manner of other knowledge, and it needed but three full told years ere he was proficient therein and his spirit waxed resolute and his judgment mature; and he became learned, eloquent and philosophic[FN#315]; consorting with the wise and disputing with the doctors of the law. When his father saw this of him, it pleased him and he taught him to back the steed and stab with spear and smite with sword, till he grew to be an accomplished cavalier, versed in all martial exercises; and, by the end of his twentieth year, he surpassed in all things all the folk of his day. But his skill in weapons made him grow up a stubborn tyrant and a devil arrogant, using to ride forth a-hunting and a-chasing amongst a thousand horsemen and to make raids and razzias upon the neighbouring knights, cutting off caravans and carrying away the daughters of Kings and nobles; wherefore many brought complaints against him to his father, who cried out to five of his slaves and when they came said, “Seize this dog!” So they seized Prince Ajib and, pinioning his hands behind him, beat him by his father’s command till he lost his senses; after which the King imprisoned him in a chamber so dark one might not know heaven from earth or length from breadth; and there he abode two days and a night. Then the Emirs went in to the King and, kissing the ground between his hands, interceded with him for the Prince, and he released him. So Ajib bore with his father for ten days, at the end of which he went in to him as he slept by night and smote his neck. When the day rose, he mounted the throne of his sire’s estate and bade his men arm themselves cap-à-pie in steel and stand with drawn swords in front of him and on his right hand and on his left. By and by, the Emirs and Captains entered and finding their King slain and his son Ajib seated on the throne were confounded in mind and knew not what to do. But Ajib said to them, “O folk, verily ye see what your King hath gained. Whoso obeyeth me, I will honour him, and whoso gainsayeth me I will do with him that which I did with my sire.” When they heard these words they feared lest he do them a mischief; so they replied, “Thou art our King and the son of our King;” and kissed ground before him; whereupon he thanked them and rejoiced in them. Then he bade bring forth money and apparel and clad them in sumptuous robes of honour and showered largesse upon them, wherefore they all loved him and obeyed him. In like manner he honoured the governors of the Provinces and the Shaykhs of the Badawin, both tributary and independent, so that the whole kingdom submitted to him and the folk obeyed him and he reigned and bade and forbade in peace and quiet for a time of five months. One Night, however, he dreamed a dream as he lay slumbering; whereupon he awoke trembling, nor did sleep visit him again till the morning. As soon as it was dawn he mounted his throne and his officers stood before him, right and left. Then he called the oneiromants and the astrologers and said to them “Expound to me my dream!” “What was the dream?” asked they; and he answered, “As I slept last Night, I saw my father standing before me, with his yard uncovered, and there came forth of it a thing the bigness of a bee, which grew till it became as a mighty lion, with claws like hangers. As I lay wondering at this lo! it ran upon me and smiting me with its claws, rent my belly in sunder; whereupon I awoke startled and trembling. So expound ye to me the meaning of this dream.” The interpreters looked one at other; and, after considering, said, “O mighty King, this dream pointeth to one born of thy sire, between whom and thee shall befal strife and enmity, wherein he shall get the better of thee: so be on thy guard against him, by reason of this thy vision.” When Ajib heard their words, he said, “I have no brother whom I should fear; so this your speech is mere lying.” They replied, “We tell thee naught save what we know;” but he was an angered with them and bastinadoed them. Then he rose and, going in to the paternal palace, examined his father’s concubines and found one of them seven months gone with child; whereupon he gave an order to two of his slaves, saying, “Take this damsel, ye twain, and carry her to the sea-shore and drown her.” So they took her forthright and, going to the sea-shore, designed to drown her, when they looked at her and seeing her to be of singular beauty and loveliness said to each other, “Why should we drown this damsel? Let us rather carry her to the forest and live with her there in rare love-liasse.” Then they took her and fared on with her days and nights till they had borne her afar off and had brought her to a bushy forest, abounding in fruit-trees and streams, where they both thought at the same time to win their will of her; but each said, “I will have her first.” So they fell out one with the other concerning this, and while so doing a company of blackamoors came down upon them, and they drew their swords and both sides fell to laying on load. The mellay waxed hot with cut and thrust; and the two slaves fought their best; but the blacks slew them both in less than the twinkling of an eye. So the damsel abode alone and wandered about the forest, eating of its fruits and drinking of its founts, till in due time she gave birth to a boy, brown but clean limbed and comely, whom she named Gharíb, the Stranger, by reason of her strangerhood. Then she cut his navel-string and wrapping him in some of her own clothes, gave him to suck, harrowed at heart, and with vitals sorrowing for the estate she had lost and its honour and solace. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel abode in the bush harrowed at heart and a-sorrowed; but she suckled her babe albeit she was full of grief and fear for her loneliness. Now behold, one day, there came horsemen and footmen into the forest with hawks and hounds and horses laden with partridges and cranes and wild geese and divers and other waterfowl; and young ostriches and hares and gazelles and wild oxen and lynxes and wolves and lions.[FN#316] Presently, these Arabs entered the thicket and came upon the damsel, sitting with her child on her breast a-suckling him: so they drew near and asked her, “Say art thou a mortal or a Jinniyah?” Answered she, “I am a mortal, O Chiefs of the Arabs.” Thereupon they told their Emir, whose name was Mardás, Prince of the Banú Kahtán,[FN#317] and who had come forth that day to hunt with five hundred of his cousins and the nobles of his tribe, and who in the course of the chase had happened upon her. He bade them bring her before him, which they did and she related to him her past from first to last, whereat he marvelled. Then he cried to his kinsmen and escort to continue the chase, after which they took her and returned to their encampment, where the Emir appointed her a separate dwelling-place and five damsels to serve her; and he loved her with exceeding love and went in to her and lay with her. She conceived by him straightway, and, when her months were accomplished, she bare a man child and named him Sahím al-Layl.[FN#318] He grew up with his brother Gharib among the nurses and throve and waxed upon the lap of the Emir Mardas who, in due time committed the two boys to a Fakih for instruction in the things of their faith; after which he gave them in charge to valiant knights of the Arabs, for training them to smite with sword and lunge with lance and shoot with shaft; so by the time they reached the age of fifteen, they knew all they needed and surpassed each and every brave of their tribe; for Gharib would undertake a thousand horse and Sahim al-Layl no fewer. Now Mardas had many enemies, and the men of his tribe were the bravest of all the Arabs, being doughty cavaliers, none might warm himself at their fire.[FN#319] In his neighbourhood was an Emir of the Arabs, Hassan bin Sábit hight, who was his intimate friend; and he took to wife a noble lady of his tribe and bade all his friends to the wedding, amongst them Mardas lord of the Banu Kahtan, who accepted his invitation and set forth with three hundred riders of his tribe, leaving other four hundred to guard the women. Hassan met him with honour and seated him in the highest stead. Then came all the cavaliers to the bridal and he made them bride-feasts and held high festival by reason of the marriage, after which the Arabs departed to their dwelling-places. When Mardas came in sight of his camp, he saw slain men lying about and birds hovering over them right and left; and his heart sank within him at the sight. Then he entered the camp and was met by Gharib, clad in complete suit of ring-mail, who gave him joy of his safe return. Quoth Mardas, “What meaneth this case, O Gharib?”; and quoth Gharib, “Al-Hamal bin Májid attacked us with five hundred horsemen of his tribe.” Now the reason of this was that the Emir Mardas had a daughter called Mahdíyah, seer never saw fairer than she, and Al-Hamal, lord of the Banu Nabhán,[FN#320] heard of her charms; whereupon he took horse with five hundred of his men and rode to Mardas to demand her hand; but he was not accepted and was sent away disappointed.[FN#321] So he awaited till Mardas was absent on his visit to Hassan, when he mounted with his champions and, falling upon the camp of the Banu Kahtan, slew a number of their knights and the rest fled to the mountains. Now Gharib and his brother had ridden forth a-hunting and chasing with an hundred horse and returned not till midday, when they found that Al-Hamal had seized the camp and all therein and had carried off the maidens, among whom was Mahdiyah, driving her away with the captives. When Gharib saw this, he lost his wits for rage and cried out to Sahim, saying, “O my brother, O son of an accursed dam,[FN#322] they have plundered our camp and carried off our women and children! Up and at the enemy, that we may deliver the captives!” So Gharib and Sahim and their hundred horse rushed upon the foe, and Gharib’s wrath redoubled, and he reaped a harvest of heads slain, giving the champions death-cup to drain, till he won to Al-Hamal and saw Mahdiyah among the captives. Then he drave at the lord of the Banu Nabhan braves; with his lance lunged him and from his destrier hurled him; nor was the time of mid-afternoon prayer come before he had slain the most part of the foe and put to rout the rest and rescued the captives; whereupon he returned to the camp in triumph, bearing the head of Al-Hamal on the point of his lance and improvising these couplets,

“I am he who is known on the day of fight, * And the Jinn of
     earth at my shade take fright:
And a sword have I when my right hand wields, * Death hastens
     from left on mankind to alight;
I have eke a lance and who look thereon * See a crescent head of
     the liveliest light.[FN#323]
And Gharib I’m highs of my tribe the brave * And if few my men I
     feel naught affright.”

Hardly had Gharib made an end of these verses when up came Mardas who, seeing the slain and the vultures, was sore troubled and with fluttering heart asked the cause. The youth, after due greetings, related all that had befallen the tribe in his step-sire’s absence. So Mardas thanked him and said, “Thou hast well requited our fosterage-pains in rearing thee, O Gharib!”; then he alighted and entered his pavilion, and the men stood about him, all the tribe praising Gharib and saying, “O our Emir, but for Gharib, not one of the tribe had been saved!” And Mardas again thanked him.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mardas, hearing the tribesmen’s praises of Gharib, again thanked him for his derring-do. But the youth, when he had delivered Mahdiyah from Al-Hamal whom he slew, was smitten by the shaft of her glances and fell into the nets of her allurements, wherefore his heart could not forget her and he became drowned in love and longing and the sweets of sleep forsook him and he had no joy of drink or meat. He would spur his horse up to the mountain tops, where he would spend the day in composing verses and return at nightfall; and indeed manifest upon him were the signs of affection and distraction. He discovered his secret to one of his companions and it became noised abroad in the camp, till it reached the ears of Mardas, who thundered and lightened and rose up and sat down and sparked and snorted and reviled the sun and the moon, saying, “This is the reward of him who reareth the sons of adultery! But except I kill Gharib, I shall be put to shame.”[FN#324] Then he consulted one of the wise men of his tribe and after telling his secret took counsel with him of killing the youth. Quoth the elder, “O Emir, ’twas but yesterday that he freed thy daughter from captivity. If there be no help for it but thou must slay him, let it be by the hand of another than thyself, so none of the folk may misdoubt of thee.” Quoth Mardas, “Advise me how I may do him die, for I look to none but to thee for his death.” “O Emir,” answered the other, “wait till he go forth to hunt and chase, when do thou take an hundred horse and lie in wait for him in some cave till he pass; then fall upon him unawares and cut him in pieces, so shalt thou be quit of his reproach.” Said Mardas, “This should serve me well;” and chose out an hundred and fifty of his furious knights and Amalekites[FN#325] whom he lessoned to his will. Then he watched Gharib till one day, he went forth to hunt and rode far away amongst the dells and hills; whereupon Mardas followed him with his men, ill-omened wights, and lay in wait for him by the way against he should return from the chase that they might sally forth and slay him. But as they lay in ambush among the trees behold, there fell upon them five hundred true Amalekites, who slew sixty of them and made fourscore and ten prisoners and trussed up Mardas with his arms behind his back. Now the reason of this was that when Gharib put Al-Hamal and his men to the sword, the rest fled and ceased not flying till they reached their lord’s brother and told him what had happened, whereat his Doom-day rose and he gathered together his Amalekites and choosing out five hundred cavaliers, each fifty ells high,[FN#326] set out with them in quest of blood-revengement for his brother. By the way he fell in with Mardas and his companions and there happened between them what happened; after which he bade his men alight and rest, saying, “O folk, the idols have given us an easy brood-wreak; so guard ye Mardas and his tribesmen, till I carry them away and do them die with the foulest of deaths.” When Mardas saw himself a prisoner, he repented of what he had done and said, “This is the reward of rebelling against the Lord!” Then the enemy passed the night rejoicing in their victory, whilst Mardas and his men despaired of life and made sure of doom. So far concerning them; but as regards Sahim al-Layl, who had been wounded in the fight with Al-Hamal, he went in to his sister Mahdiyah, and she rose to him and kissed his hands, saying, “May thy two hands ne’er wither nor thine enemies have occasion to be blither! But for thee and Gharib, we had not escaped captivity among our foes. Know, however, O my brother, that thy father hath ridden forth with an hundred and fifty horse, purposing to slaughter Gharib; and thou wottest it would be sore loss and foul wrong to slay him, for that it was he who saved your shame and rescued your good.” When Sahim heard this, the light in his sight became Night, he donned his battle-harness; and, mounting steed, rode for the place where Gharib was a-hunting. He presently came up with him and found that he had taken great plenty of game; so he accosted him and saluted him and said, “O my brother, why didst thou go forth without telling me?” Replied Gharib, “By Allah, naught hindered me but that I saw thee wounded and thought to give thee rest.” Then said Sahim, “O my brother, beware of my sire!” and told him how Mardas was abroad with an hundred and fifty men, seeking to slay him. Quoth Gharib, “Allah shall cause his treason to cut his own throat.” Then the brothers set out campwards, but night overtook them by the way and they rode on in the darkness, till they drew near the Wady wherein the enemy lay and heard the neighing of steeds in the gloom; whereupon said Sahim, “O my brother, my father and his men are ambushed in yonder valley; let us flee from it.” But Gharib dismounted and throwing his bridle to his brother, said to him, “Stay in this stead till I come back to thee.” Then he went on till he drew in sight of the folk, when he saw that they were not of his tribe and heard them naming Mardas and saying, “We will not slay him, save in his own land.” Wherefore he knew that nuncle Mardas was their prisoner, and said, “By the life of Mahdiyah, I will not depart hence till I have delivered her father, that she may not be troubled!” Then he sought and ceased not seeking till he hit upon Mardas and found him bound with cords; so he sat down by his side and said to him, “Heaven deliver thee, O uncle, from these bonds and this shame!” When Mardas saw Gharib his reason fled, and he said to him, “O my son, I am under thy protection: so deliver me in right of my fosterage of thee!” Quoth Gharib, “If I deliver thee, wilt thou give me Mahdiyah?” Quoth the Emir, “O my son, by whatso I hold sacred, she is thine to all time!” So he loosed him, saying, “Make for the horses, for thy son Sahim is there:” and Mardas crept along like a snake till he came to his son, who rejoiced in him and congratulated him on his escape. Meanwhile, Gharib unbound one after another of the prisoners, till he had freed the whole ninety and they were all far from the foe. Then he sent them their weapons and war horses, saying to them, “Mount ye and scatter yourselves round about the enemy and cry out, Ho, sons of Kahtan! And when they awake, do ye remove from them and encircle them in a thin ring.”[FN#327] So he waited till the last and third watch of the Night, when he cried out, “Ho, sons of Kahtan!” and his men answered in like guise, crying, “Ho, sons of Kahtan,” as with one voice; and the mountains echoed their slogan, so that it seemed to the raiders as though the whole tribe of Banu Kahtan were assailing them; wherefore they all snatched up their arms and fell upon one another,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the raiders[FN#328] awoke from sleep and heard Gharib and his men crying out, “Ho, sons of Kahtan!”; they imagined that the whole tribe was assailing them; wherefore they snatched up their arms and fell one upon other with mighty slaughter. Gharib and his men held aloof, and they fought one another till daybreak, when Gharib and Mardas and their ninety warriors came down upon them and killed some of them and put the rest to flight. Then the Banu Kahtan took the horses of the fugitives and the weapons of the slain and returned to their tribal camp, whilst Mardas could hardly credit his deliverance from the foe. When they reached the encampment, the stay-at-home folk all came forth to meet them and rejoiced in their safe return. Then they alighted and betook them to their tents; and all the youths of the tribe flocked to Gharib’s stead and great and small saluted him and did him honour. But when Mardas saw this and the youths encircling his stepson he waxed more jealous of Gharib than before and said to his kinsfolk, “Verily, hatred of Gharib groweth on my heart, and what irketh me most is that I see these flocking about him! And to-morrow he will demand Mahdiyah of me.” Quoth his confidant, “O Emir, ask of him somewhat he cannot avail to do.” This pleased Mardas who passed a pleasant night and on the morrow, as he sat on his stuffed carpet, with the Arabs about him, Gharib entered, followed by his men and surrounded by the youth of the tribe, and kissed the ground before Mardas who, making a show of joy, rose to do him honour and seated him beside himself. Then said Gharib, “O uncle, thou madest me a promise; do thou fulfil it.” Replied the Emir, “O my son, she is thine to all time; but thou lackest wealth.” Quoth Gharib, “O uncle, ask of me what thou wilt, and I will fall upon the Emirs of the Arabs in their houses and on the Kings in their towns and bring thee fee[FN#329] enough to fence the land from East to West.” “O my son,” quoth Mardas, “I have sworn by all the Idols that I would not give Mahdiyah save to him who should take my blood-wite of mine enemy and do away my reproach.” “O uncle,” said Gharib, “tell me with which of the Kings thou hast a feud, that I may go to him and break his throne upon his pate.” “O my son,” replied Mardas, “I once had a son, a champion of champions, and he went forth one day to chase and hunt with an hundred horse. They fared on from valley to valley, till they had wandered far away amongst the mountains and came to the Wady of Blossoms and the Castle of Hám bin Shays bin Shaddád bin Khalad. Now in this place, O my son, dwelleth a black giant, seventy cubits high, who fights with trees from their roots uptorn; and when my son reached his Wady, the tyrant sallied out upon him and his men and slew them all, save three braves, who escaped and brought me the news. So I assembled my champions and fared forth to fight the giant, but could not prevail against him; wherefore I was baulked of my revenge and swore that I would not give my daughter in marriage save to him who should avenge me of my son.” Said Gharib, “O uncle, I will go to this Amalekite and take the wreak of thy son on him with the help of Almighty Allah.” And Mardas answered, saying, “O Gharib, if thou get the victory over him, thou wilt gain of him such booty of wealth and treasures as fires may not devour.” Cried Gharib, “Swear to me before witnesses thou wilt give me her to wife, so that with heart at ease I may go forth to find my fortune.” Accordingly, Mardas swore this to him and took the elders of the tribe to witness; whereupon Gharib fared forth, rejoicing in the attainment of his hopes, and went in to his mother, to whom he related what had passed. “O my son,” said she, “know that Mardas hateth thee and doth but send thee to this mountain, to bereave me of thee; then take me with thee and let us depart the tents of this tyrant.” But he answered, “O my mother, I will not depart hence till I win my wish and foil my foe.” Thereupon he slept till morning arose with its sheen and shone, and hardly had he mounted his charger when his friends, the young men, came up to him; two hundred stalwart knights armed cap-à-pie and cried out to him, saying, “Take us with thee; we will help thee and company thee by the way.” And he rejoiced in them and cried, “Allah requite you for us with good!” adding, “Come, my friends, let us go.” So they set out and fared on the first day and the second day till evening, when they halted at the foot of a towering mount and baited their horses. As for Gharib, he left the rest and walked on into that mountain, till he came to a cave whence issued a light. He entered and found, at the higher facing end of the cave a Shaykh, three hundred and forty years old, whose eyebrows overhung his eyes and whose moustachios hid his mouth. Gharib at this sight was filled with awe and veneration, and the hermit said to him, “Methinks thou art of the idolaters, O my son, stone-worshipping[FN#330] in the stead of the All-powerful King, the Creator of Night and Day and of the sphere rolling on her way.” When Gharib heard his words, his side muscles quivered and he said, “O Shaykh, where is this Lord of whom thou speakest, that I may worship him and take my fill of his sight?” Replied the Shaykh, “O my son, this is the Supreme Lord, upon whom none may look in this world. He seeth and is not seen. He is the Most High of aspect and is present everywhere in His works. He it is who maketh all the made and ordereth time to vade and fade; He is the Creator of men and Jinn and sendeth the Prophets to guide His creatures into the way of right. Whoso obeyeth Him, He bringeth into Heaven, and whoso gainsayeth Him, He casteth into Hell.” Asked Gharib, “And how, O uncle, saith whoso worshippeth this puissant Lord who over all hath power?” “O my son,” answered the Shaykh, “I am of the tribe of Ad, which were transgressors in the land and believed not in Allah. So He sent unto them a Prophet named Húd, but they called him liar and he destroyed them by means of a deadly wind; but I believed together with some of my tribe, and we were saved from destruction.[FN#331] Moreover, I was present with the tribe of Thamúd and saw what befel them with their Prophet Sálih. After Salih, the Al-mighty sent a prophet, called Abraham the Friend,[FN#332] to Nimrod son of Canaan, and there befel what befel between them. Then my companions died in the Saving Faith and I continued in this cave to serve Allah the Most High, who provideth my daily bread without my taking thought.” Quoth Gharib, “O uncle, what shall I say, that I may become of the troop of this mighty Lord?” “Say,” replied the old man,—“There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.” So Gharib embraced the Faith of Submission[FN#333] with heart and tongue and the Shaykh said to him, “May the sweetness of belief and devotion be stablished in thy heart!” Then he taught him somewhat of the biblical ordinances and scriptures of Al-Islam and said to him, “What is thy name?”; and he replied, “My name is Gharib.” Asked the old man, “Whither art thou bound, O Gharib?” So he told him all his history, till he came to the mention of the Ghúl of the Mountain whom he sought,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib became a Moslem and told the Shaykh his past, from first to last, till he came to the mention of the Mountain-Ghul whom he sought, the old man asked him, “O Gharib, art thou mad that thou goest forth against the Ghul of the Mountain single handed?”; and he answered, “O my lord, I have with me two hundred horse.” “O Gharib,” rejoined the hermit, “hadst thou ten thousand riders yet shouldst thou not prevail against him, for his name is The-Ghul-who-eateth-men-we-pray-Allah-for-safety, and he is of the children of Ham. His father’s name was Hindi who peopled Hind and named it, and he left this son after him, whom he called Sa’adan the Ghul. Now the same was, O my son, even in his sire’s lifetime, a cruel tyrant and a rebellious devil and had no other food than flesh of the sons of Adam. His father when about to die forbade him from this, but he would not be forbidden and he redoubled in his forwardness, till Hindi banished him and drove him forth the Land of Hind, after battles and sore travail. Then he came to this country and fortifying himself herein, established his home in this place, whence he is wont to sally forth and cut the road of all that come and go, presently returning to the valley he haunteth. Moreover, he hath begotten five sons, warlike warlocks, each one of whom will do battle with a thousand braves, and he hath flocked the valley with his booty of treasure and goods besides horses and camels and cattle and sheep. Wherefore I fear for thee from him; so do thou implore Almighty Allah to further thee against him by the Tahlíl, the formula of Unity, and when thou drivest at the Infidels, cry, God is most Great!’ for, saying, There is no god but the God’ confoundeth those who misbelieve.” Then the Shaykh gave him a steel mace, an hundred pounds in weight, with ten rings which clashed like thunder whenas the wielder brandished it, and a sword forged of a thunderbolt,[FN#334] three ells long and three spans broad, wherewith if one smote a rock, the stroke would cleave it in sunder. Moreover he gave him a hauberk and target and a book and said to him, “Return to thy tribe and expound unto them Al-Islam.” So Gharib left him, rejoicing in his new Faith, and fared till he found his companions, who met him with salams, saying, “What made thee tarry thus?” Whereupon he related to them that which had befallen him and expounded to them Al-Islam, and they all islamised. Early next morning, Gharib mounted and rode to the hermit to farewell him, after which he set out to return to his camp when behold, on his way, there met him a horseman cap-à-pie armed so that only his eyes appeared, who made at him, saying, “Doff what is on thee, O scum[FN#335] of the Arabs; or I will do thee die!” Therewith Gharib crave at him and there befel between them a battle such as would make a new-born child turn grey and melt the flinty rock with its sore affray; but presently the Badawi did off his face-veil, and lo! it was Gharib’s half-brother Sahim al-Layl. Now the cause of his coming thither was that when Gharib set out in quest of the Mountain-Ghul, Sahim was absent and on his return, not seeing his brother, he went in to his mother, whom he found weeping. He asked the reason of her tears and she told him what had happened of his brother’s journey, whereupon, without allowing himself aught of rest, he donned his war-gear and mounting rode after Gharib, till he overtook him and there befel between them what befel. When, therefore. Sahim discovered his face, Gharib knew him and saluted him, saying, “What moved thee to do this?” Quoth Sahim, “I had a mind to measure myself with thee in the field and make trial of my lustihood in cut and thrust.” Then they rode together and on the way Gharib expounded Al-Islam to Sahim, who embraced the Faith; nor did they cease riding till they were hard upon the valley. Meanwhile, the Mountain-Ghul espied the dust of their horses’ feet and said to his sons, “O my sons, mount and fetch me yonder loot.” So the five took horse and made for the party. When Gharib saw the five Amalekites approaching, he plied shovel-iron upon his steed’s flank and cried out, saying, “Who are ye, and what is your race and what do ye require?” Whereupon Falhún bin Sa’adan, the eldest of the five, came out and said, “Dismount ye and bind one another[FN#336] and we will drive you to our father, that he may roast various of you and boil various, for it is long since he has tasted the flesh of Adam-son.” When Gharib heard these words he drove at Falhun, shaking his mace, so that the rings rang like the roaring thunder and the giant was confounded. Then he smote him a light blow with the mace between the shoulders, and he fell to the ground like a tall-trunked palm-tree; whereupon Sahim and some of his men fell upon him and pinioned him; then, putting a rope about his neck, they haled him along like a cow. Now when his brothers saw him a prisoner they charged home upon Gharib, who took three[FN#337] of them captive and the fifth fled back to his sire, who said to him, “What is behind thee and where are the brothers of thee?” Quoth he “Verily, a beardless youth, forty cubits high, hath taken them prisoner.” Quoth Sa’adan, “May the sun pour no blessing on you!” and, going down from his hold, tore up a huge tree, with which he went in quest of Gharib and his folk; and he was on foot, for that no horse might carry him, because of the bigness of his body. His son followed him and the twain went on till they came up with Gharib and his company, when the Ghul fell upon them, without word said, and slew five men with his club. Then he made at Sahim and struck at him with his tree, but Sahim avoided the blow and it fell harmless; whereat Sa’adan was wroth and throwing down the weapon, sprang upon Sahim and caught him in his pounces as the sparrow hawk catcheth up the sparrow. Now when Gharib saw his brother in the Ghul’s clutches, he cried out, saying, “Allaho Akbar God is most Great! Oh the favour of Abraham the Friend, the Muhammad,[FN#338] the Blessed One (whom Allah keep and assain!)”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib saw his brother in the clutches of the Ghul, he cried out, saying “Oh the favour of Ibrahim, the Friend, the Blessed One (whom Allah keep and assain!)”; and crave his charger at Sa’adan, shaking his mace, till the rings loud rang. Then he cried out again, “God is most Great!” and smote the Ghul on the flat of the ribs with his mace, whereupon he fell to the ground, insensible, and loosed his grip on Sahim; nor did he come to himself ere he was pinioned and shackled. When his son saw this, he turned and fled; but Gharib drove steed after him and smiting him with his mace between the shoulders, threw him from his horse. So they bound him with his father and brethren and haltering them with ropes, haled them all six along like baggage-camels, till they reached the Ghul’s castle, which they found full of goods and treasures and things of price; and there they also came upon twelve hundred Ajamis, men of Persia, bound and shackled. Gharib sat down on Sa’adan’s chair, which had aforetime belonged to Sásá[FN#339] bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Ad causing Sahim to stand on his right and his companions on his either hand, and sending for the Ghul of the Mountain, said to him, “How findest thou thyself, O accursed?” Replied Sa’adan, “O my lord, in the sorriest of plights for abasement and mortification; my sons and I, we are bound with ropes like camels.” Quoth Gharib, “It is my will that you enter my faith, the faith Al-Islam highs, and acknowledge the Unity of the All knowing King whose All-might created Light and Night and every thing, there is no God but He, the Requiting King! and confess the mission and prophethood of Abraham the Friend (on whom be peace!).” So the Ghul and his sons made the required profession after the goodliest fashion, and Gharib bade loose their bonds; whereupon Sa’adan wept and would have kissed his feet, he and his sons: but Gharib forbade them and they stood with the rest who stood before him. Then said Gharib, “Harkye, Sa’adan!”; and he replied, “At thy service, O my lord!” Quoth Gharib, “What are these captives?” “O my lord,” quoth the Ghul, “these are my game from the land of the Persians and are not the only ones.” Asked Gharib, “And who is with them?”; and Sa’adan answered, “O my lord, there is with them the Princess Fakhr Táj, daughter of King Sabúr of Persia,[FN#340] and an hundred damsels like moons.” When Gharib heard this, he marvelled and said, “O Emir, how came ye by these?” Replied Sa’adan, “I went forth one night with my sons and five of my slaves in quest of booty, but finding no spoil in our way, we dispersed over wilds and words and fared on, hoping we might happen on somewhat of prey and not return emptyhanded, till we found ourselves in the land of the Persians. Presently, we espied a dust cloud and sent on to reconnoitre one of our slaves, who was absent a while and presently returned and said, O my lord, this is the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians, Turcomans and Medes; and she is on a journey, attended by two thousand horse.’ Quoth I, Thou hast gladdened us with good news! We could have no finer loot than this.’ Then I and my sons fell upon the Persians and slew of them three hundred men and took the Princess and twelve hundred cavaliers prisoners, together with all that was with her of treasure and riches and brought them to this our castle.” Quoth Gharib, “Hast thou offered any violence to the Princess Fakhr Taj?” Quoth Sa’adan, “Not I, as thy head liveth and by the virtue of the Faith I have but now embraced!” Gharib replied “It was well done of thee, O Sa’adan, for her father is King of the world and doubtless he will despatch troops in quest of her and lay waste the dwellings of those who took her. And whoso looketh not to issue and end hath not Fate to friend. But where is the damsel?” Said Sa’adan, “I have set apart a pavilion for her and her damsels;” and said Gharib, “Show me her lodging,” whereto Sa’adan rejoined, “Hearkening and obedience!” So he carried him to the pavilion, and there he found the Princess mournful and cast down, weeping for her former condition of dignity and delight. When Gharib saw her, he thought the moon was near him and magnified Allah, the All-hearing, the All-seeing. The Princess also looked at him and saw him a princely cavalier, with velour shining from between his eyes and testifying for him and not against him; so she rose and kissed his hands, then fell at his feet, saying, “O hero of the age, I am under thy protection; guard me from this Ghul, for I fear lest he do away my maidenhead and after devour me. So take me to serve thine handmaidens.” Quoth Gharib, “Thou art safe and thou shalt be restored to thy father and the seat of thy worship.” Whereupon she prayed that he might live long and have advancement in rank and honour. Then he bade unbind the Persians and, turning to the Princess, said to her, “What brought thee forth of thy palace to the wilds and wastes, so that the highway-robbers made prize of thee?” She replied, “O my lord, my father and all the people of his realm, Turks and Daylamites, are Magians, worshipping fire, and not the All-powerful King. Now in our country is a monastery called the Monastery of the Fire, whither every year the daughters of the Magians and worshippers of the Fire resort at the time of their festival and abide there a month, after which they return to their houses. So I and my damsels set out, as of wont, attended by two thousand horse, whom my father sent with me to guard me; but by the way this Ghul came out against us and slew some of us and, taking the rest captive, imprisoned us in this hold. This, then, is what befel me, O valiant champion, whom Allah guard against the shifts of Time!” And Gharib said, “Fear not; for I will bring thee to thy palace and the seat of thy honours.” Wherefore she blessed him and kissed his hands and feet. Then he went out from her, after having commanded to treat her with respect, and slept till morning, when he made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed a two-bow prayer, after the rite of our father Abraham the Friend (on whom be peace!), whilst the Ghul and his sons and Gharib’s company all did the like after him. Then he turned to the Ghul and said to him, “O Sa’adan, wilt thou not show me the Wady of Blossoms?”[FN#341] “I will, O my lord,” answered he. So Gharib and his company and Princess Fakhr Taj and her maidens all rose and went forth, whilst Sa’adan commanded his slaves and slave-girls to slaughter and cook and make ready the morning-meal and bring it to them among the trees. For the Giant had an hundred and fifty handmaids and a thousand chattels to pasture his camels and oxen and sheep. When they came to the valley, they found it beautiful exceedingly and passing all degree; and birds on tree sang joyously and the mocking-nightingale trilled out her melody, and the cushat filled with her moan the mansions made by the Deity,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and his merry men and the Giant and his tribe reached the Wady of Blossoms they found birds flying free; the cushat filling with her moan the mansions made by the Deity, the bulbul singing as if ’twere human harmony and the merle whom to describe tongue faileth utterly; the turtle, whose plaining maddens men for loveecstasy and the ringdove and the popinjay answering her with fluency. There also were trees laden with all manner of fruitery, of each two kinds,[FN#342] the pomegranate, sweet and sour upon branches growing luxuriantly, the almond-apricot,[FN#343] the camphor-apricot[FN#344] and the almond Khorasan highs; the plum, with whose branches the boughs of the myrobalan were entwined tight; the orange, as it were a cresses flaming light, the shaddock weighed down with heavy freight; the lemon, that cures lack of appetite, the citron against jaundice of sovereign might, and the date, red and yellow-bright, the especial handiwork of Allah the Most High. Of the like of this place saith the enamoured poet,

“When its birds in the lake make melody, * The lorn lover
     yearneth its sight to see:
’Tis as Eden breathing a fragrant breeze, * With its shade and
     fruits and rills flowing free.”

Gharib marvelled at the beauty of that Wady and bade them set up there the pavilion of Fakhr Taj the Chosroite; so they pitched it among the trees and spread it with rich tapestries. Then he sat down and the slaves brought food and they ate their sufficiency; after which quoth Gharib, “Harkye, Sa’adan!”: and quoth he, “At thy service, O my lord.” “Hast thou aught of wine?” asked Gharib, and Sa’adan answered, “Yes, I have a cistern full of old wine.” Said Gharib, “Bring us some of it.” So Sa’adan sent ten slaves, who returned with great plenty of wine, and they ate and drank and were mirthful and merry. And Gharib bethought him of Mahdiyah and improvised these couplets,

“I mind our union days when ye were nigh, * And flames my heart      with love’s consuming lowe.
By Allah, Ne’er of will I quitted you: * But shifts of Time from      you compelled me go:
Peace and fair luck and greetings thousand-fold * To you, from      exiled lover’s pining woe.”

They abode eating and drinking and taking their pleasure in the valley for three days, after which they returned to the castle. Then Gharib called Sahim and said to him, “Take an hundred horse and go to thy father and mother and thy tribe, the Banu Kahtan, and bring them all to this place, here to pass the rest of their days, whilst I carry the Princess of Persia back to her father. As for thee, O Sa’adan, tarry thou here with thy sons, till I return to thee.” Asked Sa’adan, “And why wilt thou not carry me with thee to the land of the Persians?”; and Gharib answered, “Because thou stolest away King Sabur’s daughter and if his eye fall on thee, he will eat thy flesh and drink thy blood.” When the Ghul heard this, he laughed a loud laugh, as it were the pealing thunder, and said, “O my lord, by the life of thy head, if the Persians and Medes united against me, I would make them quaff the cup of annihilation.” Quoth Gharib, “’Tis as thou sayest;[FN#345] but tarry thou here in fort till I return to thee;” and quoth the Ghul, “I hear and I obey.” Then Sahim departed with his comrades of the Banu Kahtan for the dwelling places of their tribe, and Gharib set out with Princess Fakhr Taj and her company, intending for the cities of Sabur, King of the Persians. Thus far concerning them; but as regards King Sabur, he abode awaiting his daughter’s return from the Monastery of the Fire, and when the appointed time passed by and she came not, flames raged in his heart. Now he had forty Wazirs, whereof the oldest, wisest and chiefest was highs Daydán: so he said to him, “O Minister, verily my daughter delayeth her return and I have no news of her though the appointed time is past; so do thou send a courier to the Monastery of the Fire to learn what is come of her.” “Hearkening and obedience,” replied Daydan; and, summoning the chief of the couriers, said to him, “Wend thou forthright to the Monastery.” So he lost no time and when he reached it, he asked the monks of the King’s daughter, but they said, “We have not seen her this year.” So the courier returned to the city of Isbánír[FN#346] and told the Wazir, who went in to the King and acquainted him with the message. Now when Sabur heard this, he cast his crown on the ground, tore his beard and fell down in a trance. They sprinkled water upon him, and presently he came to himself, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, and repeated the words of the poet,

“When I far-parted patience call and tears, * Tears came to call
     but Patience never hears:
What, then, if Fortune parted us so far? * Fortune and Perfidy
     are peers

Then he called ten of his captains and bade them mount with a thousand horse and ride in different directions, in quest of his daughter. So they mounted forthright and departed each with his thousand; whilst Fakhr Taj’s mother clad herself and her women in black and strewed ashes on her head and sat weeping and lamenting. Such was their case;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Sabur sent his troops in quest of his daughter, whose mother clad herself and her women in black. Such was their case; but as regards the strange adventures of Gharib and the Princess, they journeyed on ten days, and on the eleventh day, appeared a dust cloud which rose to the confines of the sky; whereupon Gharib called the Emir of the Persians and said to him, “Go learn the cause thereof.” “I hear and obey,” replied he and crave his charger, till he came under the cloud of dust, where he saw folk and enquired of them. Quoth one of them, “We are of the Banu Hattál and are questing for plunder; our Emir is Samsam bin Al-Jiráh and we are five thousand horse.” The Persians returned in haste and told their saying to Gharib, who cried out to his men of the Banu Kahtan and to the Persians, saying, “Don your arms!” They did as he bade them and presently up came the Arabs who were shouting, “A plunder! a plunder!” Quoth Gharib, “Allah confound you, O dogs of Arabs!” Then he loosed his horse and drove at them with the career of a right valiant kNight, shouting, “Allaho Akbar! Ho for the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be peace!” And there befel between them great fight and sore fray and the sword went round in sway and there was much said and say; nor did they leave fighting till fled the day and gloom came, when they drew from one another away. Then Gharib numbered his tribesmen and found that five of the Banu Kahtan had fallen and three-and-seventy of the Persians; but of the Banu Hattal they had slain more than five hundred horse. As for Samsam, he alighted and sought nor meat nor sleep, but said, “In all my life I never saw such a fighter as this youth! Anon he fighteth with the sword and anon with the mace; but, to-morrow I will go forth on champion wise and defy him to combat of twain in battle plain where edge and point are fain and I will cut off these Arabs.” Now, when Gharib returned to his camp, the Princess Fakhr Taj met him, weeping and affrighted for the terror of that which had befallen, and kissed his foot in the stirrup, saying, “May thy hands never wither nor thy foes be blither, O champion of the age! Alhamdolillah—Praise to God—who hath saved thee alive this day! Verily, I am in fear for thee from yonder Arabs.” When Gharib heard this, he smiled in her face and heartened and comforted her, saying, “Fear not, O Princess! Did the enemy fill this wild and wold yet would I scatter them, by the might of Allah Almighty.” She thanked him and prayed that he might be given the victory over his foes; after which she returned to her women and Gharib went to his tent, where he cleansed himself of the blood of the Infidels, and they lay on guard through the night. Next morning, the two hosts mounted and sought the plain where cut and thrust ruled sovereign. The first to prick into the open was Gharib, who crave his charger till he was near the Infidels and cried out, “Who is for jousting with me? Let no sluggard or weakling come out to me!” Whereupon there rushed forth a giant Amalekite of the lineage of the tribe of Ad, armed with an iron flail twenty pounds in weight, and drove at Gharib, saying, “O scum of the Arabs, take what cometh to thee and learn the glad tidings that thy last hour is at hand!” So saying, he aimed a blow at Gharib, but he avoided it and the flail sank a cubit into the ground. Now the badawi was bent double with the blow, so Gharib smote him with his mace and clove his forehead in sunder and he fell down dead and Allah hurried his soul to Hell-fire. Then Gharib charged and wheeled and called for champions; so there came out to him a second and a third and a fourth and so on, till ten had come forth to him and he slew them all. When the Infidels saw his form of fight and his smashing blows they hung back and forebore to fare forth to him, whereupon Samsam looked at them and said, “Allah never bless you! I will go forth to him.” So he donned his battle-gear and driving his charger into mid-field where he fronted the foe and cried out to Gharib saying, “Fie on thee, O dog of the Arabs! hath thy strength waxed so great that thou shouldst defy me in the open field and slaughter my men?” And Gharib replied, “Up and take bloodrevenge for the slaughter of thy braves!” So Samsam ran at Gharib who awaited him with broadened breast and heart enheartened, and they smote each at other with maces, till the two hosts marvelled and every eye was fixed on them. Then they wheeled about in the field and struck at each other two strokes; but Gharib avoided Samsam’s stroke which wreak had wroke and dealt with a buffet that beat in his breastbone and cast him to the ground—stone dead. Thereupon all his host ran at Gharib as one man, and he ran at them, crying, “God is most Great! Help and Victory for us and shame and defeat for those who misbelieve the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be peace!”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sam sam’s tribesmen rushed upon Gharib as one man, he ran at them crying, “God is most Great! Help and Victory for us and shame and defeat for the Miscreant!” Now when the Infidels heard the name of the All-powerful King, the One, the All-conquering, whom the sight comprehendeth not, but He comprehendeth the sight,[FN#347] they looked at one another and said, “What is this say that maketh our side-muscles tremble and weakeneth our resolution and causeth the life to fail in us? Never in our lives heard we aught goodlier than this saying!” adding, “Let us leave fighting, that we may ask its meaning.” So they held their hands from the battle and dismounted; and their elders assembled and held counsel together, seeking to go to Gharib and saying, “Let ten of us repair to him!” So they chose out ten of their best, who set out for Gharib’s tents. Now he and his people had alighted and returned to their camp, marvelling at the withdrawal of the Infidels from the fight. But, presently, lo and behold! the ten came up and seeking speech of Gharib, kissed the earth before him and wished him glory and lasting life. Quoth he to them, “What made you leave fighting?”; and quoth they, “O, my lord, thou didst affright us with the words thou shoutest out at us.” Then asked Gharib, “What calamity do ye worship?”; and they answered, “We worship Wadd and Suwá’a and Yaghús,[FN#348] lords of the tribe of Noah”; and Gharib, “We serve none but Allah Almighty, Maker of all things and Provider of all livings. He it is who created the heavens and the earth and stablished the mountains, who made water to well from the stones and the trees to grow and feedeth wild beasts in word; for He is Allah, the One, the All-powerful Lord.” When they heard this, their bosoms broadened to the words of Unity-faith, and they said, “Verily, this be a Lord high and great, compassionating and compassionate!”; adding, “And what shall we say, to become of the Moslems, of those which submit themselves to Him?” Quoth Gharib, “Say, There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.’” So the ten made veracious profession of the veritable religion and Gharib said to them, “An the sweet savour of Al-Islam be indeed stablished in your hearts, fare ye to your tribe and expound the faith to them; and if they profess, they shall be saved, but if they refuse we will burn them with fire.” So the ten elders returned and expounded Al-Islam to their people and set forth to them the path of truth and creed, and they embraced the Faith of Submission with heart and tongue. Then they repaired on foot to Gharib’s tent and kissing ground between his hands wished him honour and high rank, saying, “O our lord, we are become thy slaves; so command us what thou wilt, for we are to thee audient and obedient and we will never depart from thee, since Allah hath guided us into the right way at thy hands.” Replied he, “Allah abundantly requite you! Return to your dwellings and march forth with your good and your children and forego me to the Wady of Blossoms and the castle of Sásá bin Shays,[FN#349] whilst I carry the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians, back to her father and return to you.” “Hearkening and obedience,” said they and straightway returned to their encampment, rejoicing in Al-Islam, and expounded the True Faith to their wives and children, who became Believers. Then they struck their tents and set forth, with their good and cattle, for the Wady of Blossoms. When they came in sight of the castle of Shays, Sa’adan and his sons sallied forth to them, but Gharib had charged them, saying, “If the Ghul of the Mountain come out to you and offer to attack you, do ye call upon the name of Allah the All-creator, and he will leave his hostile intent and receive you hospitably.” So when he would have fallen upon them they called aloud upon the name of Almighty Allah and straightway he received them kindly and asked them of their case. They told him all that had passed between Gharib and themselves, whereupon he rejoiced in them and lodged them with him and loaded them with favours. Such was their case; but as regards Gharib, he and his, escorting the Princess fared on five days’ journey towards the City of Isbanir, and on the sixth day they saw a dust-cloud. So Gharib sent one of the Persians to learn the meaning of this and he went and returned, swiftlier than bird in flight, saying, “O my lord, these be a thousand horse of our comrades, whom the King hath sent in quest of his daughter Fakhr Taj.” When Gharib heard this, he commanded his company to halt and pitch the tents. So they halted and waited till the new comers reached them, when they went to meet them and told Túmán, their captain, that the Princess was with them; whereupon he went in to Gharib and kissing the ground before him, enquired for her. Gharib sent him to her pavilion, and he entered and kissed her hands and feet and acquainted her with what had befallen her father and mother. She told him in return all that had betided her and how Gharib had delivered her from the Ghul of the Mountain,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King’s daughter, Fakhr Taj, had told Tuman all that had befallen her from the Mountain-Ghul, and how he had imprisoned her and would have devoured her but for Gharib, adding, “And indeed, it behoveth my sire to give him the half of his reign,” Tuman arose and returned to Gharib and kissed his hands and feet and thanked him for his good dealing, saying, “With thy leave, O my lord, I will return to Isbanir City and deliver to our King the good news of his daughter’s approach.” “Go,” replied Gharib, “and take of him the gift of glad tidings.” So Tuman returned with all diligence to Isbanir, the Cities, and entering the palace, kissed ground before the King, who said to him, “What is there of new, O bringer of good news?” Quoth Tuman, “I will not speak thee, till thou give me the gift of glad tidings.” Quoth the King, “Tell me thy glad tidings and I will content thee.” So Tuman said, “O King, I bring thee joyful intelligence of the return of Princess Fakhr Taj.” When Sabur heard his daughter’s name, he fell down fainting and they sprinkled rose-water on him, till he recovered and cried to Tuman, “Draw near to me and tell me all the good which hath befallen her.” So he came forward and acquainted him with all that had betided the Princess; and Sabur beat hand upon hand, saying, “Unhappy thou, O Fakhr Taj!”[FN#350] And he bade give Tuman ten thousand gold pieces and conferred on him the government of Isfáhán City and its dependencies. Then he cried out to his Emirs, saying, “Mount, all of you, and fare we forth to meet the Princess Fakhr Taj!”; and the Chief Eunuch went in to the Queen-mother and told her and all the Harim the good news, whereat she rejoiced and gave him a robe of honour and a thousand dinars. Moreover, the people of the city heard of this and decorated the market streets and houses. Then the King and Tuman took horse and rode till they had sight of Gharib, when Sabur footed it and made some steps towards Gharib, who also dismounted and advanced to meet him; and they embraced and saluted each other, and Sabur bent over Gharib’s hand and kissed it and thanked him for his favours.[FN#351] They pitched their pavilions in face of each other and Sabur went in to his daughter, who rose and embracing him told him, all that had befallen her and how Gharib had rescued her from the clutches of the Ghul of the Mountain. Quoth the King, “By thy life, O Princess of fair ones, I will overwhelm him with gifts!”; and quoth she, “O my papa, make him thy son-in-law, that he may be to thee a force against thy foes, for he is passing valiant.” Her father replied, “O my daughter, knowest thou not that King Khirad Sháh seeketh thee in marriage and that he hath cast the brocade[FN#352] and hath given an hundred thousand dinars in settlement, and he is King of Shiraz and its dependencies and is lord of empire and horsemen and footmen?” But when the Princess heard these words she said, “O my papa! I desire not that whereof thou speakest, and if thou constrain me to that I have no mind to, I will slay myself.” So Sabur left her and went in to Gharib, who rose to him; and they sat awhile together; but the King could not take his fill of looking upon him; and he said in his mind, “By Allah, my daughter is excusable if she love this Badawi!” Then he called for food and they ate and passed the night together. On the morrow, they took horse and rode till they arrived at the City of Isbanir and entered, stirrup to stirrup, and it was for them a great day. Fakhr Taj repaired to her palace and the abiding-place of her rank, where her mother and her women received her with cries of joy and loud lullilooings. As for King Sabur, he sat down on his throne and seated Gharib on his right hand, whilst the Princes and Chamberlains, the Emirs, Wazirs and Nabobs stood on either hand and gave him joy of the recovery of his daughter. Said Sabur, “Whoso loveth me let him bestow a robe of honour on Gharib,” and there fell dresses of honour on him like drops of rain. Then Gharib abode the King’s guest ten days, when he would have departed, but Sabur clad him in an honourable robe and swore him by his faith that he should not march for a whole month. Quoth Gharib, “O King, I am plighted to one of the girls of the Arabs and I desire to go in to her.” Quoth the King, “Whether is the fairer, thy betrothed or Fakhr Taj?” “O King of the age,” replied Gharib, “what is the slave beside the lord?” And Sabur said, “Fakhr Taj is become thy handmaid, for that thou didst rescue her from the pounces of the Ghul, and she shall have none other husband than thyself.” Thereupon Gharib rose and kissed ground, saying, “O King of the age, thou art a sovereign and I am but a poor man, and belike thou wilt ask a heavy dowry.” Replied the King, “O my son, know that Khirad Shah, lord of Shiraz and dependencies thereof, seeketh her in marriage and hath appointed an hundred thousand dinars to her dower; but I have chosen thee before all men, that I may make thee the sword of my kingship and my shield against vengeance.”[FN#353] Then he turned to his Chief Officers and said to them, “Bear witness[FN#354] against me, O Lords of mine Empire, that I marry my daughter Fakhr Taj to my son Gharib.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sabur, King of Ajam-land said to his Chief Officers, “Bear ye witness against me that I marry my daughter Fakhr Taj, to my son Gharib!” With that he joined palms[FN#355] with him and she became his wife. Then said Gharib, “Appoint me a dower and I will bring it to thee, for I have in the Castle of Sasa wealth and treasures beyond count.” Replied Sabur, “O my son, I want of thee neither treasure nor wealth and I will take nothing for her dower save the head of Jamrkán King of Dasht and the city of Ahwáz.[FN#356]” Quoth Gharib, “O King of the age, I will fetch my folk forthright and go to thy foe and spoil his realm.” Quoth Sabur, “Allah requite thee with good!” and dismissed the lords and commons, thinking, “If Gharib go forth against Jamrkan, he will never more return.” When morning morrowed the King mounted with Gharib and bidding all his troops take horse rode forth to the plain, where he said to his men, “Do ye tilt with spears and gladden my heart.” So the champions of Persia land played one against other, and Gharib said, “O King of the age, I have a mind to tilt with the horsemen of Ajam-land, but on one condition.” Asked the King, “What is that?”; and answered Gharib, “It is that I shall don a light tunic and take a headless lance, with a pennon dipped in saffron, whilst the Persian champions sally forth and tilt against me with sharp spears. If any conquer me, I will render myself to him: but, if I conquer him I will mark him on the breast and he shall leave the plain.” Then the King cried to the commander of the troops to bring forward the champions of the Persians; so he chose out from amongst the Princes one thousand two hundred of his stoutest champions, and the King said to them, in the Persian tongue, “Whoso slayeth this Badawi may ask of me what he will.” So they strove with one another for precedence and charged down upon Gharib and truth was distinguished from falsehood and jest from earnest. Quoth Gharib, “I put my trust in Allah, the God of Abraham the Friend, the Deity who hath power over all and from whom naught is hidden, the One, the Almighty, whom the sight comprehendeth not!” Then an Amalekite-like giant of the Persian champions rushed out to him, but Gharib let him not stand long before him ere he marked him and covered his breast with saffron and as he turned away, he smote him on the nape with the shaft of his lance, and he fell to the ground and his pages bore him from the lists.[FN#357] Then a second champion came forth against him and he overcame him and marked him on the breast; and thus did he with a third and a fourth and a fifth; and there came out against him champion after champion till he had overcome them all and marked them on the breast; for Almighty Allah gave him the victory over them and they fared forth vanquish from the plain. Then the servants set food and strong wine before them! and they ate and drank, till Gharib’s wits were dazed by the drink. By and by, he went out to obey a call of Nature and would have returned, but lost his way and entered the palace of Fakhr Taj. When she saw him, her reason fled and she cried out to her women saying, “Go forth from me to your own places!” So they withdrew and she rose and kissed Gharib’s hand, saying “Welcome to my lord, who delivered me from the Ghul! Indeed I am thine handmaid for ever and ever.” Then she drew him to her bed and embraced him, whereupon desire was hot upon him and he broke her seal and lay with her till the morning. Meanwhile the King thought that he had departed; but on the morrow he went in to him and Sabur rose to him and made him sit by his side. Then entered the tributary kings and kissing the ground stood ranged in rows on the right and left and fell to talking of Gharib’s velour and saying, “Extolled be He who gave him such prowess albeit he is so young in years!” As they were thus engaged, behold all espied from the palace-windows the dust of horse approaching and the King cried out to his scouts, saying, “Woe to you! Go and bring me news of yonder dust!” So a cavalier took horse and riding off, returned after a while, and said “O King, we found under that dust an hundred horse belonging to an Emir highs Sahim al-Layl.” Gharib hearing these words, cried out, “O my lord, this is my brother, whom I had sent on an errand, and I will go forth to meet him.” So saying, he mounted, with his hundred men of the Banu Kahtan and a thousand Persians, and rode to meet his brother in great state, but greatness belongeth to God alone.[FN#358] When the two came up with each other, they dismounted and embraced, and Gharib said to Sahim, “O my brother, hast thou brought our tribe to the Castle of Sasa and the Wady of Blossoms?” “O my brother,” replied Sahim, “when the perfidious dog Mardas heard that thou hadst made thee master of the stronghold belonging to the Mountain-Ghul, he was sore chagrined and said, Except I march hence, Gharib will come and carry off my daughter Mahdiyah without dower.’ So he took his daughter and his goods and set out with his tribe for the land of Irak, where he entered the city of Cufa and put himself under the protection of King Ajib, seeking to give him his daughter to wife.” When Gharib heard his brother’s story, he well-nigh gave up the ghost for rage and said, “By the virtue of the faith of Al-Islam, the faith of Abraham the Friend, and by the Supreme Lord, I will assuredly go to the land of Irak and fierce war upon it I will set on foot.” Then they returned to the city and going in to the King, kissed ground before him. He rose to Gharib and saluted Sahim; after which the elder brother told him what had happened and he put ten captains at his commandment, under each one’s hand ten thousand horse of the doughtiest of the Arabs and the Ajams, who equipped themselves and were ready to depart in three days. Then Gharib set out and journeyed till he reached the Castle of Sasa whence the Ghul and his sons came forth to meet him and dismounting, kissed his feet in the stirrups. He told them all that had passed and the giant said, “O my lord, do thou abide in this thy castle, whilst I with my sons and servants repair to Irak and lay waste the city Al-Rusták[FN#359] and bring to thy hand all its defenders bound in straitest bond.” But Gharib thanked him and said, “O Sa’adan, we will all go.” So he made him ready and the whole body set out for Irak, leaving a thousand horse to guard the Castle. Thus far concerning them; but as regards Mardas, he arrived with his tribe in the land of Irak bringing with him a handsome present and fared for Cufa-city which he entered. Then, he presented himself before Ajib and kissed ground between his hands and, after wishing him what is wished to kings, said, “O my lord, I come to place myself under thy protection.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that Mardas coming into the presence of Ajib, said to him, “I come to place myself under thy protection!” Quoth Ajib, “Tell me who hath wronged thee, that I may protect thee against him, though it were Sabur, King of the Persians and Turcomans and Daylamites.” Quoth Mardas, “O King of the Age, he who hath wronged me is none other than a youth whom I reared in my bosom. I found him in his mother’s lap in a certain valley and took her to wife She brought me a son, whom I named Sahim al-Layl, and her own son, Gharib highs, grew up on my knees and became a blasting thunderbolt and a lasting calamity,[FN#360] for he smote Al-Hamal,[FN#361] Prince of the Banu Nabhan, and slew footmen and threw horsemen. Now I have a daughter, who befitteth thee alone, and he sought her of me; so I required of him the head of the Ghul of the Mountain, wherefore he went to him and, after engaging him in singular combat, made the master his man and took the Castle of Sasa bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Ad, wherein are the treasures of the ancients and the hoards of the moderns. Moreover, I hear that, become a Moslem, he goeth about, summoning the folk to his faith. He is now gone to bear the Princess of Persia, whom he delivered from the Ghul, back to her father, King Sabur, and will not return but with the treasures of the Persians.” When Ajib heard the story of Mardas he changed colour to yellow and was in ill case and made sure of his own destruction; then he said, “O Mardas, is the youth’s mother with thee or with him?”; and Mardas replied, “She is with me in my tents.” Quoth Ajib, “What is her name?”; quoth Mardas, “Her name is Nusrah.” “’Tis very she,” rejoined Ajib and sent for her to the presence. Now when she came before him, he looked on her and knew her and asked her, “O accursed, where are the two slaves I sent with thee?”; and she answered, “They slew each other on my account;” whereupon Ajib bared his blade and smote her and cut her in twain. Then they dragged her away and cast her out; but trouble and suspicion entered Ajib’s heart and he cried, “O Mardas, give me thy daughter to wife.” He rejoined, “She is one of thine handmaids: I give her to thee to wife, and I am thy slave.” Said Ajib, “I desire to look upon this son of an adulteress, Gharib, that I may destroy him and cause him taste all manner of torments.” Then he bade give Mardas, to his daughter’s dowry, thirty thousand dinars and an hundred pieces of silk-brocaded and fringed with gold and an hundred pieces of silk bordered stuffs and kerchiefs and golden collars. So he went forth with this mighty fine dowry and set himself to equip Mahdiyah in all diligence. Such was their case; but as regards Gharib, he fared on till he came to Al-Jazírah, which is the first town of Al-Irak[FN#362] and is a walled and fortified city and he hard by it called a halt. When the townsfolk saw his army encamped before it, they bolted the gates and manned the walls, then went to the King of the city, who was called Al-Dámigh, the Brainer, for that he used to brain the champions in the open field of fight, and told him what was come upon them. So he looked forth from the battlements of the palace and seeing a conquering host, all of them Persians, encamped before the city, said to the citizens, “O folk, what do yonder Ajams want?”; and they replied, “We know not.” Now Al-Damigh had among his officers a man called Saba’ al-Kifár, the Desert-lion, keen of wit and penetrating as he were a flame of fire; so he called him and said to him, “Go to this stranger host and find out who they be and what they want and return quickly.” Accordingly, he sped like the wind to the Persian tents, where a company of Arabs rose up and met him saying, “Who art thou and what dost thou require?” He replied, “I am a messenger and an envoy from the lord of the city to your chief.” So they took him and carried him through the lines of tents, pavilions and standards, till they came to Gharib’s Shahmiyánah and told him of the mission. He bade them bring him in and they did so, whereupon he kissed ground before Gharib and wished him honour and length of days. Quoth Gharib, “What is thine errand?” and quoth Saba’ al-Kifar, “I am an envoy from the lord of the city of Al-Jazirah, Al-Damigh, brother of King Kundamir, lord of the city of Cufa and the land of Irak.” When Gharib heard his father’s name, the tears railed from his eyes in rills and he looked at the messenger and said, “What is thy name?”; and he replied, “My name is Saba’ al-Kifar.” Said Gharib, “Return to thy lord and tell him that the commander of this host is called Gharib, son of Kundamir, King of Cufa, whom his son Ajib slew, and he is come to take blood-revenge for his sire on Ajib the perfidious hound.” So Saba’ al-Kifar returned to the city and in great joy kissed the ground, when Al-Damigh said, “What is going on there, O Saba’ al-Kifar?” He replied, “O my master, the leader of yon host is thy nephew, thy brother’s son,” and told him all. The King deemed himself in a dream and asked the messenger, “O Saba’ al-Kifar, is this thou tellest me true?” and the Desert-lion answered, “As thy head liveth, it is sooth!” Then Al-Damigh bade his chief officers take horse forthright and all rode out to the camp, whence Gharib came forth and met him and they embraced and saluted each other; after which Gharib carried him to his tents and they sat down on beds of estate. Al-Damigh rejoiced in Gharib, his brother’s son, and presently turning to him, said, “I also have yearned to take blood-revenge for thy father, but could not avail against the dog thy brother; for that his troops are many and my troops are few.” Replied Gharib, “O uncle, here am I come to avenge my sire and blot out our shame and rid the realm of Ajib.” Said Al-Damigh, “O son of my brother, thou hast two blood-wreaks to take, that of thy father and that of thy mother.” Asked Gharib, “And what aileth my mother?” and Al-Damigh answered, “Thy brother Ajib hath slain her.”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib heard these words of his uncle Al-Damigh, “Verily thy brother Ajib hath slain her!”, he asked what was the cause thereof and was told of all that had happened, especially how Mardas had married his daughter to Ajib who was about to go into her. Thereupon Gharib’s reason fled from his head and he swooned away and was nigh upon death. No sooner did he come to himself than he cried out to the troops, saying, “To horse!” But Al-Damigh said to him, “O son of my brother, wait till I make ready mine affairs and mount among my men and fare with thee at thy stirrup.” Replied Gharib “I have no patience to wait; do thou equip thy troops and join me at Cufa.” Thereupon Gharib mounted with his troops and rode, till he came to the town of Babel,[FN#363] whose folk took fright at him. Now there was in this town a King called Jamak, under whose hand were twenty thousand horsemen, and there gathered themselves together to him from the villages other fifty thousand horse, who pitched their tents facing the city. Then Gharib wrote a letter and sent it to King Jamak by a messenger, who came up to the city-gate and cried out, saying, “I am an envoy;” whereupon the Warder of the Gate went in and told Jamak, who said, “Bring him to me.” So he led in the messenger, who kissing the ground before the King, gave him the letter, and Jamak opened it and read its contents as follows: “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Three Worlds, Lord of all things, who giveth to all creatures their daily bread and who over all things is Omnipotent! These from Gharib, son of King Kundamir, lord of Irak and Cufa, to Jamak. Immediately this letter reacheth thee, let not thy reply be other than to break thine idols and confess the unity of the All-knowing King, Creator of light and darkness, Creator of all things, the All-powerful; and except thou do as I bid thee, I will make this day the blackest of thy days. Peace be on those who follow in the way of Salvation, fearing the issues of fornication, and obey the hest of the Most High King, Lord of this world and the next, Him who saith to a thing, Be’; and it becometh!” Now when Jamak read this letter, his eyes paled and his colour failed and he cried out to the messenger, “Go to thy lord and say to him, To-morrow, at daybreak there shall be fight and conflict and it shall appear who is the conquering hero.’” So he returned and told Gharib, who bade his men make ready for battle, whilst Jamak commanded his tents to be pitched in face of Gharib’s camp; and his troops poured forth like the surging sea and passed the night with intention of slaughter. As soon as dawned the day, the two hosts mounted and drew up in battle array and beat their drums amain and drave their steeds of swiftest strain; and they filled the whole earthly plain; and the champions to come out were fain. Now the first who sallied forth a championing to the field was the Ghul of the Mountain, bearing on shoulder a terrible tree, and he cried out between the two hosts, saying, “I am Sa’adan the Ghul! Who is for fighting, who is for jousting? Let no sluggard come forth to me nor weakling.” And he called out to his sons, saying, “Woe to you! Bring me fuel and fire, for I am an-hungered.” So they cried upon their slaves who brought firewood and kindled a fire in the heart of the plain. Then there came out to him a man of the Kafirs, an Amalekite of the unbelieving Amalekites, bearing on his shoulder a mace like the mast of a ship, and drove at Sa’adan the Ghul, saying, “Woe to thee, O Sa’adan!” When the giant heard this, he waxed furious beyond measure and raising his tree club, aimed at the Infidel a blow, that hummed through the air. The Amalekite met the stroke with his mace, but the tree beat down his guard and descending with its own weight, together with the weight of the mace upon his head, beat in his brain pan, and he fell like a long-stemmed palm-tree. Thereupon Sa’adan cried to his slaves, saying, “Take this fatted calf and roast him quickly.” So they hastened to skin the Infidel and roasted him and brought him to the Ghul, who ate his flesh and crunched his bones.[FN#364] Now when the Kafirs saw how Sa’adan did with their fellow, their hair and pile stood on end; their skins quaked, their colour changed, their hearts died within them and they said to one another, “Whoso goeth out against this Ghul, he eateth him and cracketh his bones and causeth him to lack the zephyr-wind of the world.” Wherefore they held their hands, quailing for fear of the Ghul and his sons and turned to fly, making for the town; but Gharib cried out to his troops, saying, “Up and after the runaways!” So the Persians and the Arabs crave after the King of Babel and his host and caused sword to smite them, till they slew of them twenty thousand or more. Then the fugitives crowded together in the city gate and they killed of them much people; and they could not avail to shut the gate. So the Arabs and the Persians entered with them, fighting, and Sa’adan, snatching a mace from one of the slain, wielded it in the enemy’s face and gained the city race-course. Thence he fought his way through the foe and broke into the King’s palace, where he met with Jamak and so smote him with the mace, that he toppled senseless to the ground. Then he fell upon those who were in the palace and pounded them into pieces, till all that were left cried out, “Quarter! Quarter!” and Sa’adan said to them, “Pinion your King.”—And Shahrazad saw the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

End of Vol 6.

                    Arabian Nights, Volume 6

[FN#1] Lane (vol. iii. 1) calls our old friend “Es-Sindibád of the Sea,” and Benfey derives the name from the Sanskrit “Siddhapati”=lord of sages. The etymology (in Heb. Sandabar and in Greek Syntipas) is still uncertain, although the term often occurs in Arab stories; and some look upon it as a mere corruption of “Bidpai” (Bidyápati). The derivation offered by Hole (Remarks on the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, by Richard Hole, LL.D. London, Cadell, 1797) from the Persian ábád (a region) is impossible. It is, however, not a little curious that this purely Persian word (=a “habitation”) should be found in Indian names as early as Alexanders’ day, e.g. the “Dachina bades” of the Periplus is “Dakhsin-ábád,” the Sansk. being “Dakshinapatha.”

[FN#2] A porter like the famous Armenians of Constantinople. Some edits, call him “Al-Hindibád.”

[FN#3] Arab. “Karawán” (Charadrius dicnemus, Linn.): its shrill note is admired by Egyptians and hated by sportsmen.

[FN#4] This ejaculation, still popular, averts the evil eye. In describing Sindbad the Seaman the Arab writer seems to repeat what one reads of Marco Polo returned to Venice.

[FN#5] Our old friend must not be confounded with the eponym of the “Sindibád-námah;” the Persian book of Sindbad the Sage. See Night dlxxviii.

[FN#6] The first and second are from Eccles. chaps. vii. 1, and ix. 4. The Bul. Edit. reads for the third, “The grave is better than the palace.” None are from Solomon, but Easterns do not “verify quotations.”

[FN#7] Arab. “Kánún”; a furnace, a brasier before noticed (vol. v., p. 272); here a pot full of charcoal sunk in the ground, or a little hearth of clay shaped like a horseshoe and opening down wind.

[FN#8] These fish-islands are common in the Classics, e.g. the Pristis of Pliny (xvii. 4), which Olaus Magnus transfers to the Baltic (xxi. 6) and makes timid as the whales of Nearchus. C. J. Solinus (Plinii Simia) says, “Indica maria balćnas habent ultra spatia quatuor jugerum.” See also Bochart’s Hierozoicon (i. 50) for Job’s Leviathan (xli. 16-17). Hence deemed an island. A basking whale would readily suggest the Krakan and Cetus of Olaus Magnus (xxi. 25). Al-Kazwíni’s famous treatise on the “Wonders of the World” (Ajáib al-Makhlúkát) tells the same tale of the “Sulahfah” tortoise, the colossochelys, for which see Night dl.

[FN#9] Sindbad does not say that he was a shipwrecked man, being a model in the matter of “travellers’ tales,” i.e. he always tells the truth when an untruth would not serve him.

[FN#10] Lane (iii. 83) would make this a corruption of the Hindu “Maharáj”=great Rajah: but it is the name of the great autumnal fęte of the Guebres; a term composed of two good old Persian words “Mihr” (the sun, whence “Mithras”) and “ján”=life. As will presently appear, in the days of the Just King Anushirwán, the Persians possessed Southern Arabia and East Africa south of Cape Guardafui (Jird Háfún). On the other hand, supposing the word to be a corruption of Maharaj, Sindbad may allude to the famous Narsinga kingdom in Mid-south India whose capital was Vijaya-nagar; or to any great Indian Rajah even he of Kachch (Cutch), famous in Moslem story as the Balhará (Ballaba Rais, who founded the Ballabhi era; or the Zamorin of Camoens, the Samdry Rajah of Malabar). For Mahrage, or Mihrage, see Renaudot’s “Two Mohammedan Travellers of the Ninth Century.” In the account of Ceylon by Wolf (English Transl. p. 168) it adjoins the “Ilhas de Cavalos” (of wild horses) to which the Dutch merchants sent their brood-mares. Sir W. Jones (Description of Asia, chapt. ii.) makes the Arabian island Soborma or Mahráj=Borneo.

[FN#11] Arab. “Sáis”; the well-known Anglo-Indian word for a groom or rather a “horse-keeper.”

[FN#12] Arab. “Darakah”; whence our word.

[FN#13] The myth of mares being impregnated by the wind was known to the Classics of Europe; and the “sea-stallion” may have arisen from the Arab practice of picketing mare asses to be covered by the wild ass. Colonel J. D. Watson of the Bombay Army suggests to me that Sindbad was wrecked at the mouth of the Ran of Kachch (Cutch) and was carried in a boat to one of the Islands there formed during the rains and where the wild ass (Equus Onager, Khar-gadh, in Pers. Gor-khar) still breeds. This would explain the “stallions of the sea” and we find traces of the ass blood in the true Kathiawár horse, with his dun colour, barred legs and dorsal stripe.

[FN#14] The second or warrior caste (Kshatriya), popularly supposed to have been annihilated by Battle-axe Ramá (Parashu Ráma); but several tribes of Rajputs and other races claim the honourable genealogy. Colonel Watson would explain the word by “Shakháyát” or noble Káthis (Kathiawar-men), or by “Shikári,” the professional hunter here acting as stable-groom.

[FN#15] In Bul. Edit. “Kábil.” Lane (iii. 88) supposes it to be the “Bartail” of Al-Kazwini near Borneo and quotes the Spaniard B. L. de Argensola (History of the Moluccas), who places near Banda a desert island, Poelsatton, infamous for cries, whistlings, roarings and dreadful apparitions, suggesting that it was peopled by devils (Stevens, vol. i., p. 168).

[FN#16] Some texts substitute for this last phrase, “And the sailors say that Al-Dajjál is there.” He is a manner of Moslem Antichrist, the Man of Sin per excellentiam, who will come in the latter days and lay waste the earth, leading 70,000 Jews, till encountered and slain by Jesus at the gate of Lud. (Sale’s Essay, sect. 4.)

[FN#17] Also from Al-Kazwini: it is an exaggerated description of the whale still common off the East African Coast. My crew was dreadfully frightened by one between Berberah and Aden. Nearchus scared away the whales in the Persian Gulf by trumpets (Strabo, lib. xv.). The owl-faced fish is unknown to me: it may perhaps be a seal or a manatee. Hole says that Father Martini, the Jesuit (seventeenth century), placed in the Canton Seas, an “animal with the head of a bird and the tail of a fish,”—a parrot-beak?

[FN#18] The captain or master (not owner) of a ship.

[FN#19] The kindly Moslem feeling, shown to a namesake, however humble.

[FN#20] A popular phrase to express utter desolation.

[FN#21] The literature of all peoples contains this physiological perversion. Birds do not sing hymns; the song of the male is simply to call the female and when the pairing-season ends all are dumb.

[FN#22] The older “roc.” The word is Persian, with many meanings, e.g. a cheek (Lalla “Rookh”); a “rook” (hero) at chess; a rhinoceros, etc. The fable world-wide of the wundervogel is, as usual, founded upon fact: man remembers and combines but does not create. The Egyptian Bennu (Ti-bennu=phoenix) may have been a reminiscence of gigantic pterodactyls and other winged monsters. From the Nile the legend fabled by these Oriental “putters out or five for one” overspread the world and gave birth to the Eorosh of the Zend, whence the Pers. “Símurgh” (=the “thirty-fowl-like”), the “Bar Yuchre” of the Rabbis, the “Garuda” of the Hindus; the “Anká” (“long-neck”) of the Arabs; the “Hathilinga bird,” of Buddhagosha’s Parables, which had the strength of five elephants; the “Kerkes” of the Turks; the “Gryps” of the Greeks; the Russian “Norka”; the sacred dragon of the Chinese; the Japanese “Pheng” and “Kirni”; the “wise and ancient Bird” which sits upon the ash-tree yggdrasil, and the dragons, griffins, basilisks, etc. of the Middle Ages. A second basis wanting only a superstructure of exaggeration (M. Polo’s Ruch had wing-feathers twelve paces long) would be the huge birds but lately killed out. Sindbad may allude to the Ćpyornus of Madagascar, a gigantic ostrich whose egg contains 2.35 gallons. The late Herr Hildebrand discovered on the African coast, facing Madagascar, traces of another huge bird. Bochart (Hierozoicon ii. 854) notices the Avium Avis Ruch and taking the pulli was followed by lapidation on the part of the parent bird. A Persian illustration in Lane (iii. 90) shows the Rukh carrying off three elephants in beak and pounces with the proportions of a hawk and field mice: and the Rukh hawking at an elephant is a favourite Persian subject. It is possible that the “Twelve Knights of the Round Table” were the twelve Rukhs of Persian story. We need not go, with Faber, to the Cherubim which guarded the Paradise-gate. The curious reader will consult Dr. H. H. Wilson’s Essays, edited by my learned correspondent, Dr. Rost, Librarian of the India House (vol. i. pp. 192-3).

[FN#23] It is not easy to explain this passage unless it be a garbled allusion to the steel-plate of the diamond-cutter. Nor can we account for the wide diffusion of this tale of perils unless to enhance the value of the gem. Diamonds occur in alluvial lands mostly open and comparatively level, as in India, the Brazil and the Cape. Archbishop Epiphanius of Salamis (ob. A.D. 403) tells this story about the jacinth or ruby (Epiphanii Opera, a Petaio, Colonić 1682); and it was transferred to the diamond by Marco Polo (iii. 29, “of Eagles bring up diamonds”) and Nicolo de Conti, whose “mountain Albenigaras” must be Vijayanagar in the kingdom of Golconda. Major Rennel places the famous mines of Pauna or Purna in a mountain-tract of more than 200 miles square to the southwest of the Jumna. Al-Kazwini locates the “Chaos” in the “Valley of the Moon amongst the mountains of Serendib” (Ceylon); the Chinese tell the same tale in the campaigns of Hulaku; and it is known in Armenia. Col. Yule (M. P. ii. 349) suggests that all these are ramifications of the legend told by Herodotus concerning the Arabs and their cinnamon (iii. 3). But whence did Herodotus borrow the tale?

[FN#24] Sindbad correctly describes the primitive way of extracting camphor, a drug unknown to the Greeks and Romans, introduced by the Arabs and ruined in reputation by M. Raspail. The best Laurus Camphora grows in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo: although Marsden (Marco Polo) declares that the tree is not found South of the Equator. In the Calc. Edit. of two hundred Nights the camphor-island (or peninsula) is called “Al-Ríhah” which is the Arab name for Jericho-town.

[FN#25] In Bul. Edit. Kazkazan: Calc. Karkaddan and others Karkand and Karkadan; the word being Persian, Karg or Kargadan; the {Greek letters} of Ćlian (Hist. Anim. xvi. 21). The length of the horn (greatly exaggerated) shows that the white species is meant; and it supplies only walking-sticks. Cups are made of the black horn (a bundle of fibres) which, like Venetian glass, sweat at the touch of poison. A section of the horn is supposed to show white lines in the figure of a man, and sundry likenesses of birds; but these I never saw. The rhinoceros gives splendid sport and the African is perhaps the most dangerous of noble game. It has served to explain away and abolish the unicorn among the Scientists of Europe. But Central Africa with one voice assures us that a horse-like animal with a single erectile horn on the forehead exists. The late Dr. Baikic, of Niger fame, thoroughly believed in it and those curious on the subject will read about Abu Karn (Father of a Horn) in Preface (pp. xvi.-xviii.) of the Voyage au Darfour, by Mohammed ibn Oman al-Tounsy (Al-Tunisi), Paris, Duprat, 1845.

[FN#26] Ibn al-Wardi mentions an “Isle of Apes” in the Sea of China and Al-Idrísi places it two days’ sail from Sukutra (Dwipa Sukhatra, Socotra). It is a popular error to explain the Homeric and Herodotean legend of the Pygmies by anthropoid apes. The Pygmy fable (Pygmći Spithamai=1 cubit=3 spans) was, as usual, based upon fact, as the explorations of late years have proved: the dwarfs are homunculi of various tribes, the Akka, Doko, Tiki-Tiki, Wambilikimo (“two-cubit men”), the stunted race that share the central regions of Intertropical Africa with the abnormally tall peoples who speak dialects of the Great South African tongue, miscalled the “Bantu.” Hole makes the Pygmies “monkeys,” a word we have borrowed from the Italians (monichio à mono=ape) and quotes Ptolemy, (Ape-Islands) East of Sunda.

[FN#27] A kind of barge (Arab. Bárijah, plur. Bawárij) used on the Nile of sub-pyriform shape when seen in bird’s eye. Lane translates “ears like two mortars” from the Calc. Edit.

[FN#28] This giant is distinctly Polyphemus; but the East had giants and cyclopes of her own (Hierozoicon ii. 845). The Ajáib al-Hind (chapt. cxxii.) makes Polyphemus copulate with the sheep. Sir John Mandeville (if such person ever existed) mentions men fifty feet high in the Indian Islands; and Al-Kazwini and Al-Idrisi transfer them to the Sea of China, a Botany Bay for monsters in general.

[FN#29] Fire is forbidden as a punishment amongst Moslems, the idea being that it should be reserved for the next world. Hence the sailors fear the roasting more than the eating: with ours it would probably be the reverse. The Persian insult “Pidar-sokhtah”=(son of a) burnt father, is well known. I have noted the advisability of burning the Moslem’s corpse under certain circumstances: otherwise the murderer may come to be canonised.

[FN#30] Arab. “Mastabah”=the bench or form of masonry before noticed. In olden Europe benches were much more used than chairs, these being articles of luxury. So King Horne “sett him abenche;” and hence our “King’s Bench” (Court).

[FN#31] This is from the Bresl. Edit. vol. iv. 32: the Calc. Edit gives only an abstract and in the Bul. Edit. the Ogre returned “accompanied by a female, greater than he and more hideous.” We cannot accept Mistress Polyphemus.

[FN#32] This is from Al-Kazwini, who makes the serpent “wind itself round a tree or a rock, and thus break to pieces the bones of the breast in its belly.”

[FN#33] “Like a closet,” in the Calc. Edit. The serpent is an exaggeration of the python which grows to an enormous size. Monstrous Ophidia are mentioned in sober history, e.g. that which delayed the army of Regulus. Dr. de Lacerda, a sober and sensible Brazilian traveller, mentions his servants sitting down upon a tree-trunk in the Captaincy of San Paulo (Brasil), which began to move and proved to be a huge snake. F. M. Pinto (the Sindbad of Portugal though not so respectable) when in Sumatra takes refuge in a tree from “tigers, crocodiles, copped adders and serpents which slay men with their breath.” Father Lobo in Tigre (chapt. x.) was nearly killed by the poison-breath of a huge snake, and healed himself with a bezoar carried ad hoc. Maffććus makes the breath of crocodiles suavissimus, but that of the Malabar serpents and vipers “adeo teter ac noxius ut afflatu ipso necare perhibeantur.”

[FN#34] Arab. “Aurat”: the word has been borrowed by the
Hindostani jargon, and means a woman, a wife.

[FN#35] So in Al-Idrísi and Langlčs: the Bresl. Edit. has “Al-Kalásitah”; and Al-Kazwini “Al-Salámit.” The latter notes in it a petrifying spring which Camoens (The Lus. x. 104), places in Sunda, i.e. Java-Minor of M. Polo. Some read Salabat-Timor, one of the Moluccas famed for sanders, cloves, cinnamon, etc. (Purchas ii. 1784.)

[FN#36] Evidently the hippopotamus (Pliny, viii. 25; ix. 3 and xxiii. 11). It can hardly be the Mulaccan Tapir, as shields are not made of the hide. Hole suggests the buffalo which found its way to Egypt from India viâ Persia; but this would not be a speciosum miraculum.

[FN#37] The ass-headed fish is from Pliny (ix. cap. 3): all those tales are founded upon the manatee (whose dorsal protuberance may have suggested the camel), the seal and the dugong or sea calf. I have noticed (Zanzibar i. 205) legends of ichthyological marvels current on the East African seaboard; and even the monsters of the Scottish waters are not all known: witness the mysterious “brigdie.” See Bochart De Cetis i. 7; and Purchas iii. 930.

[FN#38] The colossal tortoise is noticed by Ćlian (De Nat. Animal. xvi. 17), by Strabo (Lib. xv.), by Pliny (ix. 10) and Diodorus Siculus (iv. 1) who had heard of a tribe of Chelonophagi. Ćlian makes them 16 cubits long near Taprobane and serving as house-roofs; and others turn the shell into boats and coracles. A colossochelys was first found on the Scwalik Hills by Dr. Falconer and Major (afterwards Sir Proby) Cantley. In 1867 M. Emile Blanchard exhibited to the Academie des Sciences a monster crab from Japan 1.20 metres long (or 2.50 including legs); and other travellers have reported 4 metres. These crustaceć seem never to cease growing and attain great dimensions under favourable circumstances, i.e. when not troubled by man.

[FN#39] Lane suggests (iii. 97), and with some probability, that the “bird” was a nautilus; but the wild traditions concerning the barnacle-goose may perhaps have been the base of the fable. The albatross also was long supposed never to touch land. Possible the barnacle, like the barometz of Tartarean lamb, may be a survivor of the day when the animal and vegetable kingdoms had not yet branched off into different directions.

[FN#40] Arab. “Zahwah,” also meaning a luncheon. The five daily prayers made all Moslems take strict account of time, and their nomenclature of its division is extensive.

[FN#41] This is the “insane herb.” Davis, who visited Sumatra in 1599 (Purchas i. 120) speaks “of a kind of seed, whereof a little being eaten, maketh a man to turn foole, all things seeming to him to be metamorphosed.” Linschoten’s “Dutroa” was a poppy-like bud containing small kernels like melons which stamped and administered as a drink make a man “as if he were foolish, or out of his wits.” This is Father Lobo’s “Vanguini” of the Cafres, called by the Portuguese dutro (Datura Stramonium) still used by dishonest confectioners. It may be Dampier’s Ganga (Ganjah) or Bang (Bhang) which he justly describes as acting differently “according to different constitutions; for some it stupefies, others it makes sleepy, others merry and some quite mad.” (Harris, Collect. ii. 900.) Dr. Fryer also mentions Duty, Bung and Post, the Poust of Bernier, an infusion of poppy-seed.

[FN#42] Arab. “Ghul,” here an ogre, a cannibal. I cannot but regard the “Ghul of the waste” as an embodiment of the natural fear and horror which a man feels when he faces a really dangerous desert. As regards cannibalism, Al-Islam’s religion of common sense freely allows it when necessary to save life, and unlike our mawkish modern sensibility, never blames those who

     Alimentis talibus usi
     Produxere animos.

[FN#43] For Cannibals, see the Massagetć of Herod (i.), the Padći of India (iii.), and the Essedones near Mćotis (iv.); Strabo (lib. iv.) of the Luci; Pomponious Mela (iii. 7) and St. Jerome (ad Jovinum) of Scoti. M. Polo locates them in Dragvia, a kingdom of Sumatra (iii. 17), and in Angaman (the Andamanian Isles?), possibly the ten Maniolai which Ptolemy (vii.), confusing with the Nicobars, places on the Eastern side of the Bay of Bengal; and thence derives the Heraklian stone (magnet) which attracts the iron of ships (See Serapion, De Magnete, fol. 6, Edit. of 1479, and Brown’s Vulgar Errors, p. 74, 6th Edit.). Mandeville finds his cannibals in Lamaray (Sumatra) and Barthema in the “Isle of Gyava” (Java). Ibn Al-Wardi and Al-Kazwini notice them in the Isle Saksar, in the Sea of the Zanj (Zanzibar): the name is corrupted Persian “Sag-Sar” (Dogs’-heads) hence the dog-descended race of Camoens in Pegu (The Lus. x. 122). The Bresl. Edit. (iv. 52) calls them “Khawárij”=certain sectarians in Eastern Arabia. Needless to say that cocoa-nut oil would have no stupefying effect unless mixed with opium or datura, hemp or henbane.

[FN#44] Black pepper is produced in the Goanese but we must go south to find the “Bilád al-Filfil” (home of pepper) i.e. Malabar. The exorbitant prices demanded by Venice for this spice led directly to the discovery of The Cape route by the Portuguese; as the “Grains of Paradise” (Amomum Granum Paradisi) induced the English to explore the West African Coast.

[FN#45] Arab. “Kazdír.” Sansk. “Kastír.” Gr. “Kassiteron.” Lat. “Cassiteros,” evidently derived from one root. The Heb. is “Badih,” a substitute, an alloy. “Tanakah” is the vulg. Arab. word, a congener of the Assyrian “Anaku,” and “Kala-i” is the corrupt Arab. term used in India.

[FN#46] Our Arabian Ulysses had probably left a Penelope or two at home and finds a Calypso in this Ogygia. His modesty at the mention of womankind is notable.

[FN#47] These are the commonplaces of Moslem consolation on such occasions: the artistic part is their contrast with the unfortunate widower’s prospect.

[FN#48] Lit. “a margin of stone, like the curb-stone of a well.”

[FN#49] I am not aware that this vivisepulture of the widower is the custom of any race, but the fable would be readily suggested by the Sati (Suttee)-rite of the Hindus. Simple vivisepulture was and is practised by many people.

[FN#50] Because she was weaker than a man. The Bresl. Edit. however, has “a gugglet of water and five scones.”

[FN#51] The confession is made with true Eastern sang-froid and probably none of the hearers “disapproved” of the murders which saved the speaker’s life.

[FN#52] This tale is evidently taken from the escape of Aristomenes the Messenian from the pit into which he had been thrown, a fox being his guide. The Arabs in an early day were eager students of Greek literature. Hole (p. 140) noted the coincidence.

[FN#53] Bresl. Edit. “Khwájah,” our “Howajee,” meaning a schoolmaster, a man of letters, a gentleman.

[FN#54] And he does repeat at full length what the hearers must have known right well. I abridge.

[FN#55] Island of the Bell (Arab. “Nákús”=a wooden gong used by
Christians but forbidden to Moslems). “Kala” is written “Kela,”
“Kullah” and a variety of ways. Baron Walckenaer places it at
Keydah in the Malay peninsula opposite Sumatra. Renaudot
identifies it with Calabar, “somewhere about the point of

[FN#56] Islands, because Arab cosmographers love to place their speciosa miracula in such places.

[FN#57] Like the companions of Ulysses who ate the sacred oxen
(Od. xii.).

[FN#58] So the enormous kingfisher of Lucian’s True History (lib. ii.).

[FN#59] This tale is borrowed from Ibn Al-Wardi, who adds that the greybeards awoke in the morning after eating the young Rukh with black hair which never turned white. The same legend is recounted by Al-Dimiri (ob. A.H. 808=1405-6) who was translated into Latin by Bochart (Hierozoicon ii. p. 854) and quoted by Hole and Lane (iii. 103). An excellent study of Marco Polo’s Rukh was made by my learned friend the late Prof. G. G. Bianconi of Bologna, “Dell’Uccello Ruc,” Bologna, Gamberini, 1868. Prof. Bianconi predicted that other giant birds would be found in Madagascar on the East African Coast opposite; but he died before hearing of Hildebrand’s discovery.

[FN#60] Arab. “Izár,” the earliest garb of Eastern man; and, as such preserved in the Meccan pilgrimage. The “waist-cloth” is either tucked in or kept in place by a girdle.

[FN#61] Arab. “Líf,” a succedaneum for the unclean sponge, not unknown in the “Turkish Baths” of London.

[FN#62] The Persians have a Plinian monster called “Tasmeh-pá”=Strap-legs without bones. The “Old Man” is not an ourang-outang nor an Ifrít as in Sayf al-Mulúk, Night dcclxxi., but a jocose exaggeration of a custom prevailing in parts of Asia and especially in the African interior where the Tsetse-fly prevents the breeding of burden-beasts. Ibn Batútah tells us that in Malabar everything was borne upon men’s backs. In Central Africa the kinglet rides a slave, and on ceremonious occasions mounts his Prime Minister. I have often been reduced to this style of conveyance and found man the worst imaginable riding: there is no hold and the sharpness of the shoulder-ridge soon makes the legs ache intolerably. The classicists of course find the Shaykh of the Sea in the Tritons and Nereus, and Bochart (Hiero. ii. 858, 880) notices the homo aquaticus, Senex Judćus and Senex Marinus. Hole (p. 151) suggests the inevitable ouran-outan (man o’ wood), one of “our humiliating copyists,” and quotes “Destiny” in Scarron’s comical romance (Part ii. chapt. i) and “Jealousy” enfolding Rinaldo. (O.F. lib. 42).

[FN#63] More literally “The Chief of the Sea (-Coast),” Shaykh being here a chief rather than an elder (eoldermann, alderman). So the “Old Man of the Mountain,” famous in crusading days, was the Chief who lived on the Nusayriyah or Ansári range, a northern prolongation of the Libanus. Our “old man” of the text may have been suggested by the Koranic commentators on chapt. vi. When an Infidel rises from the grave, a hideous figure meets him and says, “Why wonderest thou at my loathsomeness? I am thine Evil Deeds: thou didst ride upon me in the world and now I will ride upon thee.” (Suiting the action to the words.)

[FN#64] In parts of West Africa and especially in Gorilla-land there are many stories of women and children being carried off by apes, and all believe that the former bear issue to them. It is certain that the anthropoid ape is lustfully excited by the presence of women and I have related how at Cairo (1856) a huge cynocephalus would have raped a girl had it not been bayonetted. Young ladies who visited the Demidoff Gardens and menagerie at Florence were often scandalised by the vicious exposure of the baboons’ parti-coloured persons. The female monkey equally solicits the attentions of man and I heard in India from my late friend, Mirza Ali Akbar of Bombay, that to his knowledge connection had taken place. Whether there would be issue and whether such issue would be viable are still disputed points: the produce would add another difficulty to the pseudo-science called psychology, as such mule would have only half a soul and issue by a congener would have a quarter-soul. A traveller well known to me once proposed to breed pithecoid men who might be useful as hewers of wood and drawers of water: his idea was to put the highest races of apes to the lowest of humanity. I never heard what became of his “breeding stables.”

[FN#65] Arab. “Jauz al-Hindi”: our word cocoa is from the Port. “Coco,” meaning a “bug” (bugbear) in allusion to its caricature of the human face, hair, eyes and mouth. I may here note that a cocoa-tree is easily climbed with a bit of rope or a handkerchief.

[FN#66] Tomb-pictures in Egypt show tame monkeys gathering fruits and Grossier (Description of China, quoted by Hole and Lane) mentions a similar mode of harvesting tea by irritating the monkeys of the Middle Kingdom.

[FN#67] Bresl. Edit. Cloves and cinnamon in those days grew in widely distant places.

[FN#68] In pepper-plantations it is usual to set bananas (Musa Paradisiaca) for shading the young shrubs which bear bunches like ivy-fruit, not pods.

[FN#69] The Bresl. Edit. has “Al-Ma’arat.” Langlčs calls it the
Island of Al-Kamárí. See Lane, iii. 86.

[FN#70] Insula, pro. peninsula. “Comorin” is a corrupt. of “Kanyá” (=Virgo, the goddess Durgá) and “Kumári” (a maid, a princess); from a temple of Shiva’s wife: hence Ptolemy’s {Greek letters} and near it to the N. East {Greek letters}, “Promontorium Cori quod Comorini caput insulć vocant,” says Maffćus (Hist. Indic. i. p. 16). In the text “Al’úd” refers to the eagle-wood (Aloekylon Agallochum) so called because spotted like the bird’s plume. That of Champa (Cochin-China, mentioned in Camoens, The Lus. x. 129) is still famous.

[FN#71] Arab. “Birkat”=tank, pool, reach, bight. Hence Birkat
Far’aun in the Suez Gulf. (Pilgrimage i. 297.)

[FN#72] Probably Cape Comorin; to judge from the river, but the text names Sarandib (Ceylon Island) famous for gems. This was noticed by Marco Polo, iii. cap. 19; and ancient authors relate the same of “Taprobane.”

[FN#73] I need hardly trouble the reader with a note on pearl-fisheries: the descriptions of travellers are continuous from the days of Pliny (ix. 35), Solinus (cap. 56) and Marco Polo (iii. 23). Maximilian of Transylvania, in his narrative of Magellan’s voyage (Novus Orbis, p. 532) says that the Celebes produce pearls big as turtle-doves’ eggs; and the King of Porne (Borneo) had two unions as great as goose’s eggs. Pigafetta (in Purchas) reduces this to hen’s eggs and Sir Thomas Herbert to dove’s eggs.

[FN#74] Arab. “Anbar” pronounced “Ambar;” wherein I would derive “Ambrosia.” Ambergris was long supposed to be a fossil, a vegetable which grew upon the sea-bottom or rose in springs; or a “substance produced in the water like naphtha or bitumen”(!): now it is known to be the egesta of a whale. It is found in lumps weighing several pounds upon the Zanzibar Coast and is sold at a high price, being held a potent aphrodisiac. A small hollow is drilled in the bottom of the cup and the coffee is poured upon the bit of ambergris it contains; when the oleaginous matter shows in dots amidst the “Kaymagh” (coffee-cream), the bubbly froth which floats upon the surface and which an expert “coffee servant” distributes equally among the guests. Argensola mentions in Ceylon, “springs of liquid bitumen thicker than our oil and some of pure balsam.”

[FN#75] The tale-teller forgets that Sindbad and his companions have just ascended it; but this inconséquence is a characteristic of the Eastern Saga. I may note that the description of ambergris in the text tells us admirably well what it is not.

[FN#76] This custom is alluded to by Lane (Mod Egypt, ch. xv.): it is the rule of pilgrims to Meccah when too ill to walk or ride (Pilgrimage i. 180). Hence all men carry their shrouds: mine, after being dipped in the Holy Water of Zemzem, was stolen from me by the rascally Somal of Berberah.

[FN#77] Arab. “Fulk;” some Edits. read “Kalak” and “Ramaz” (=a raft).

[FN#78] These lines occur in modified form in Night xi.

[FN#79] These underground rivers (which Dr. Livingstone derided) are familiar to every geographer from Spenser’s “Mole” to the Poika of Adelberg and the Timavo near Trieste. Hence “Peter Wilkins” borrowed his cavern which let him to Grandevolet. I have some experience of Sindbad’s sorrows, having once attempted to descend the Poika on foot. The Classics had the Alpheus (Pliny v. 31; and Seneca, Nat. Quae. vi.), and the Tigris-Euphrates supposed to flow underground: and the Medićvals knew the Abana of Damascus and the Zenderúd of Isfahan.

[FN#80] Abyssinians can hardly be called “blackamoors,” but the arrogance of the white skin shows itself in Easterns (e.g. Turks and Brahmans) as much as, if not more than, amongst Europeans. Southern India at the time it was explored by Vasco da Gama was crowded with Abyssinian slaves imported by the Arabs.

[FN#81] “Sarandib” and “Ceylon” (the Taprobane of Ptolemy and Diodorus Siculus) derive from the Pali “Sihalam” (not the Sansk. “Sinhala”) shortened to Silam and Ilam in old Tamul. Van der Tunk would find it in the Malay “Pulo Selam”=Isle of Gems (the Ratna-dwípa or Jewel Isle of the Hindus and the Jazirat al-Yakút or Ruby-Island of the Arabs); and the learned Colonel Yule (Marco Polo ii 296) remarks that we have adopted many Malayan names, e.g. Pegu, China and Japan. Sarandib is clearly “Selan-dwípa,” which Mandeville reduced to “Silha.”

[FN#82] This is the well-known Adam’s Peak, the Jabal al-Ramun of the Arabs where Adam fell when cast out of Eden in the lowest or lunar sphere. Eve fell at Jeddah (a modern myth) and the unhappy pair met at Mount Arafat (i.e. recognition) near Meccah. Thus their fall was a fall indeed. (Pilgrimage iii. 259.)

[FN#83] He is the Alcinous of our Arabian Odyssey.

[FN#84] This word is not in the dictionaries; Hole (p. 192) and Lane understand it to mean the hog-deer; but why, one cannot imagine. The animal is neither “beautiful” nor “uncommon” and most men of my day have shot dozens in the Sind-Shikárgahs.

[FN#85] M. Polo speaks of a ruby in Seilan (Ceylon) a palm long and three fingers thick: William of Tyre mentions a ruby weighing twelve Egyptian drams (Gibbon ii. 123), and Mandeville makes the King of Mammera wear about his neck a “rubye orient” one foot long by five fingers large.

[FN#86] The fable is from Al-Kazwini and Ibn Al-Wardi who place the serpent (an animal sacred to Ćsculapius, Pliny, xxix. 4) “in the sea of Zanj” (i.e. Zanzibar). In the “garrow hills” of N. Eastern Bengal the skin of the snake Burrawar (?) is held to cure pain. (Asiat. Res. vol. iii.)

[FN#87] For “Emerald,” Hole (p. 177) would read emery or adamantine spar.

[FN#88] Evidently Maháráj=Great Rajah, Rajah in Chief, an Hindu title common to the three potentates before alluded to, the Narsinga, Balhara or Samiry.

[FN#89] This is probably classical. So the page said to Philip of Macedon every morning, “Remember, Philip, thou art mortal”; also the slave in the Roman Triumph,

“Respice poste te: hominem te esse memento!”

And the dying Severus, “Urnlet, soon shalt thou enclose what hardly a whole world could contain.” But the custom may also have been Indian: the contrast of external pomp with the real vanity of human life suggests itself to all.

[FN#90] Arab. “Hút”; a term applied to Jonah’s whale and to monsters of the deep, “Samak” being the common fishes.

[FN#91] Usually a two-bow prayer.

[FN#92] This is the recognised formula of Moslem sales.

[FN#93] Arab. “Walímah”; like our wedding-breakfast but a much more ceremonious and important affair.

[FN#94] i.e. his wife (euphemistically). I remember an Italian lady being much hurt when a Maltese said to her “Mia moglie con rispetto parlando” (my wife, saving your presence). “What,” she cried, “he speaks of his wife as he would of the sweepings!”

[FN#95] The serpent in Arabic is mostly feminine.

[FN#96] i.e. in envying his wealth, with the risk of the evil eye.

[FN#97] I subjoin a translation of the Seventh Voyage from the Calc. Edit. of the two hundred Nights which differs in essential points from the above. All respecting Sindbad the Seaman has an especial interest. In one point this world-famous tale is badly ordered. The most exciting adventures are the earliest and the falling off of the interest has a somewhat depressing effect. The Rukh, the Ogre and the Old Man o’ the Sea should come last.

[FN#98] Arab. “Al-Suways:” this successor of ancient Arsinoë was, according to local tradition, founded by a Santon from Al-Sús in Marocco who called it after his name “Little Sús” (the wormlet).

[FN#99] Arab. “Mann,” a weight varying from two to six pounds: even this common term is not found in the tables of Lane’s Mod. Egyptians, Appendix B. The “Maund” is a well-known Anglo-Indian weight.

[FN#100] This article is not mentioned elsewhere in The Nights.

[FN#101] Apparently a fancy title.

[FN#102] The island is evidently Ceylon, long famed for elephants, and the tree is the well known “Banyan” (Ficus Indica). According to Linschoten and Wolf, the elephants of all lands do reverence and honour to those of Ceylon.

[FN#103] “Tusks” not “teeth” which are not valued. As Hole remarks, the elephants of Pliny and Sindbad are equally conscious of the value of ivory. Pliny (viii. 3) quotes Herodotus about the buying of ivories and relates how elephants, when hunted, break their “cornua” (as Juba called them) against a tree trunk by way of ransom. Ćlian, Plutarch, and Philostratus speak of the linguistic intelligence and religious worship of the “half-reason with the hand,” which the Hindus term “Háthí”=unimanus. Finally, Topsell’s Gesner (p. 152) makes elephants bury their tusks, “which commonly drop out every tenth year.” In Arabian literature the elephant is always connected with India.

[FN#104] This is a true “City of Brass.” (Nuhás asfar=yellow copper), as we learn in Night dcclxxii. It is situated in the “Maghrib” (Mauritania), the region of magic and mystery; and the idea was probably suggested by the grand Roman ruins which rise abruptly from what has become a sandy waste. Compare with this tale “The City of Brass” (Night cclxxii.). In Egypt Nuhás is vulg. pronounced Nihás.

[FN#105] The Bresl. Edit. adds that the seal-ring was of stamped stone and iron, copper and lead. I have borrowed copiously from its vol. vi. pp. 343, et seq.

[FN#106] As this was a well-known pre-Islamitic bard, his appearance here is decidedly anachronistic, probably by intention.

[FN#107] The first Moslem conqueror of Spain whose lieutenant,
Tárik, the gallant and unfortunate, named Gibraltar (Jabal al-

[FN#108] The colours of the Banú Umayyah (Ommiade) Caliphs were white, of the Banú Abbás (Abbasides) black, and of the Fatimites green. Carrying the royal flag denoted the generalissimo or plenipotentiary.

[FN#109] i.e. Old Cairo, or Fustat: the present Cairo was then a Coptic village founded on an old Egyptian settlement called Lui-Tkeshroma, to which belonged the tanks on the hill and the great well, Bir Yusuf, absurdly attributed to Joseph the Patriarch. Lui is evidently the origin of Levi and means a high priest (Brugsh ii. 130) and his son’s name was Roma.

[FN#110] I cannot but suspect that this is a clerical error for “Al-Samanhúdi,” a native of Samanhúd (Wilkinson’s “Semenood”) in the Delta on the Damietta branch, the old Sebennytus (in Coptic Jem-nuti=Jem the God), a town which has produced many distinguished men in Moslem times. But there is also a Samhúd lying a few miles down stream from Denderah and, as its mounds prove, it is an ancient site.

[FN#111] Egypt had not then been conquered from the Christians.

[FN#112] Arab. “Kízán fukká’a,” i.e. thin and slightly porous earthenware jars used for Fukká’a, a fermented drink, made of barley or raisins.

[FN#113] I retain this venerable blunder: the right form is
Samúm, from Samm, the poison-wind.

[FN#114] i.e. for worship and to prepare for futurity.

[FN#115] The camel carries the Badawi’s corpse to the cemetery which is often distant: hence to dream of a camel is an omen of death.

[FN#116] Koran xxiv 39. The word “Saráb” (mirage) is found in Isaiah (xxxv. 7) where the passage should be rendered “And the mirage (sharab) shall become a lake” (not, “and the parched ground shall become a pool”). The Hindus prettily call it “Mrigatrishná” = the thirst of the deer.

[FN#117] A name of Allah.

[FN#118] Arab. “Kintár”=a hundredweight (i.e. 100 Ibs.), about 98¾ Ibs. avoir. Hence the French quintal and its congeners (Littré).

[FN#119] i.e. “from Shám (Syria) to (the land of) Adnan,” ancestor of the Naturalized Arabs that is, to Arabia.

[FN#120] Koran lii. 21. “Every man is given in pledge for that which he shall have wrought.”

[FN#121] There is a constant clerical confusion in the texts between “Arar” (Juniperus Oxycedrus used by the Greeks for the images of their gods) and “Marmar” marble or alabaster, in the Talmud “Marmora” = marble. evidently from {Greek letters} = brilliant, the brilliant stone.

[FN#122] These Ifritical names are chosen for their bizarrerie. “Al-Dáhish” = the Amazed; and “Al-A’amash” = one with weak eyes always watering.

[FN#123] The Arabs have no word for million; so Messer Marco Miglione could not have learned it from them. On the other hand the Hindus have more quadrillions than modern Europe.

[FN#124] This formula, according to Moslems, would begin with the beginning “There is no iláh but Allah and Adam is the Apostle (rasúl = one sent, a messenger, not nabí = prophet) of Allah.” And so on with Noah, Moses, David (not Solomon as a rule) and Jesus, to Mohammed.

[FN#125] This son of Barachia has been noticed before. The text embroiders the Koranic chapter No. xxvii.

[FN#126] The Bresl. Edit. (vi. 371) reads “Samm-hu”=his poison, prob. a clerical error for “Sahmhu”=his shaft. It was a duel with the “Shiháb” or falling stars, the meteors which are popularly supposed, I have said, to be the arrows shot by the angels against devils and evil spirits when they approach too near Heaven in order to overhear divine secrets.

[FN#127] A fancy sea from the Lat. “Carcer” ( ?).

[FN#128] Andalusian = Spanish, the Vandal-land, a term accepted by the Moslem invader.

[FN#129] This fine description will remind the traveller of the old Haurani towns deserted since the sixth century, which a silly writer miscalled the “Giant Cities of Bashan.” I have never seen anything weirder than a moonlight night in one of these strong places whose masonry is perfect as when first built, the snowy light pouring on the jet-black basalt and the breeze sighing and the jackal wailing in the desert around.

[FN#130] “Zanj,” I have said, is the Arab. form of the Persian “Zang-bar” (=Black-land), our Zanzibar. Those who would know more of the etymology will consult my “Zanzibar,” etc., chaps. i.

[FN#131] Arab. “Tanjah”=Strabo {Greek letters} (derivation uncertain), Tingitania, Tangiers. But why the terminals ?

[FN#132] Or Amidah, by the Turks called “Kara (black) Amid” from the colour of the stones and the Arabs “Diyar-bakr” (Diarbekir), a name which they also give to the whole province—Mesopotamia.

[FN#133] Mayyáfárikín, an episcopal city in Diyar-bakr: the natives are called Fárikí; hence the abbreviation in the text.

[FN#134] Arab. “Ayát al-Naját,” certain Koranic verses which act as talismans, such as, “And wherefore should we not put our trust in Allah ?” (xiv. 15); “Say thou, Naught shall befall us save what Allah hath decreed for us,’” (ix. 51), and sundry others.

[FN#135] These were the “Brides of the Treasure,” alluded to in the story of Hasan of Bassorah and elsewhere.

[FN#136] Arab. “Ishárah,” which may also mean beckoning. Easterns reverse our process: we wave hand or finger towards ourselves; they towards the object; and our fashion represents to them, Go away!

[FN#137] i.e. musing a long time and a longsome.

[FN#138] Arab. “Dihlíz” from the Persian. This is the long dark passage which leads to the inner or main gate of an Eastern city, and which is built up before a siege. It is usually furnished with Mastabah-benches of wood and masonry, and forms a favourite lounge in hot weather. Hence Lot and Moses sat and stood in the gate, and here man speaks with his enemies.

[FN#139] The names of colours are as loosely used by the Arabs as by the Classics of Europe; for instance, a light grey is called a “blue or a green horse.” Much nonsense has been written upon the colours in Homer by men who imagine that the semi-civilised determine tints as we do. They see them but they do not name them, having no occasion for the words. As I have noticed, however, the Arabs have a complete terminology for the varieties of horse-hues. In our day we have witnessed the birth of colours, named by the dozen, because required by women’s dress.

[FN#140] For David’s miracles of metallurgy see vol. i. 286.

[FN#141] Arab. “Khwárazm,” the land of the Chorasmioi, who are mentioned by Herodotus (iii. 93) and a host of classical geographers. They place it in Sogdiana (hod. Sughd) and it corresponds with the Khiva country.

[FN#142] Arab. “Burka’,” usually applied to a woman’s face-veil and hence to the covering of the Ka’abah, which is the “Bride of Meccah.”

[FN#143] Alluding to the trick played upon Bilkís by Solomon who had heard that her legs were hairy like those of an ass: he laid down a pavement of glass over flowing water in which fish were swimming and thus she raised her skirts as she approached him and he saw that the report was true. Hence, as I have said, the depilatory.

[FN#144] I understand the curiously carved windows cut in arabesque-work of marble. (India) or basalt (the Haurán) and provided with small panes of glass set in emeralds where tin would be used by the vulgar.

[FN#145] Arab. “Bulád” from the Pers. “Pulád.” Hence the name of the famous Druze family “Jumblat,” a corruption of “Ján-pulád”=Life o’ Steel.

[FN#146] Pharaoh, so called in Koran (xxxviii. 11) because he tortured men by fastening them to four stakes driven into the ground. Sale translates “the contriver of the stakes” and adds, “Some understand the word figuratively, of the firm establishment of Pharaoh’s kingdom, because the Arabs fix their tents with stakes; but they may possibly intend that prince’s obstinacy and hardness of heart.” I may note that in “Tasawwuf,” or Moslem Gnosticism, Pharaoh represents, like Prometheus and Job, the typical creature who upholds his own dignity and rights in presence and despight of the Creator. Sáhib the Súfí declares that the secret of man’s soul (i.e. its emanation) was first revealed when Pharaoh declared himself god; and Al-Ghazálí sees in his claim the most noble aspiration to the divine, innate in the human spirit. (Dabistan, vol. iii.)

[FN#147] In the Calc. Edit. “Tarmuz, son of the daughter,” etc.
According to the Arabs Tadmur (Palmyra) was built by Queen
Tadmurah, daughter of Hassán bin Uzaynah.

[FN#148] It is only by some such drought that I can account for the survival of those marvellous Haurani cities in the great valley S. E. of Damascus.

[FN#149] So Moses described his own death and burial.

[FN#150] A man’s “aurat” (shame) extends from the navel (included) to his knees, a woman’s from the top of the head to the tips of her toes. I have before noticed the Hindostaní application of the word.

[FN#151] Arab. “Jum’ah” ( = the assembly) so called because the General Resurrection will take place on that day and it witnessed the creation of Adam. Both these reasons are evidently after-thoughts; as the Jews received a divine order to keep Saturday, and the Christians, at their own sweet will, transferred the weekly rest-day to Sunday, wherefore the Moslem preferred Friday. Sabbatarianism, however, is unknown to Al-Islam and business is interrupted, by Koranic order ([xii. 9-10]), only during congregational prayers in the Mosque. The most a Mohammedan does is not to work or travel till after public service. But the Moslem hardly wants a “day of rest;” whereas a Christian, especially in the desperately dull routine of daily life and toil, without a gleam of light to break the darkness of his civilised and most unhappy existence, distinctly requires it.

[FN#152] Mankind, which sees itself everywhere and in everything, must create its own analogues in all the elements, air (Sylphs), fire (Jinns), water (Mermen and Mermaids) and earth (Kobolds), These merwomen were of course seals or manatees, as the wild women of Hanno were gorillas.

[FN#153] Here begins the Sindibad-namah, the origin of Dolopathos (thirteenth century by the Trouvčre Harbers); of the “Seven Sages” (John Holland in 1575); the “Seven Wise Masters” and a host of minor romances. The Persian Sindibád-Námah assumed its present shape in A.D. 1375: Professor Falconer printed an abstract of it in the Orient. Journ. (xxxv. and xxxvi. 1841), and Mr. W. A. Clouston reissued the “Book of Sindibad,” with useful notes in 1884. An abstract of the Persian work is found in all edits. of The Nights; but they differ greatly, especially that in the Bresl. Edit. xii. pp. 237-377, from which I borrow the introduction. According to Hamzah Isfahání (ch. xli.) the Reguli who succeeded to Alexander the Great and preceded Sapor caused some seventy books to be composed, amongst which were the Liber Maruc, Liber Barsínas, Liber Sindibad, Liber Shimás, etc., etc.

[FN#154] Eusebius De Praep. Evang. iii. 4, quotes Prophesy concerning the Egyptian belief in the Lords of the Ascendant whose names are given {Greek letters}: in these “Almenichiaka” we have the first almanac, as the first newspaper in the Roman “Acta Diurna.”

[FN#155] “Al-Mas’údi,” the “Herodotus of the Arabs,” thus notices Sindibad the Sage (in his Murúj, etc., written about A.D. 934). “During the reign of Kurúsh (Cyrus) lived Al-Sindibad who wrote the Seven Wazirs, etc.” Al-Ya’akúbi had also named him, circ. A.D. 880. For notes on the name Sindibad, see Sindbad the Seaman, Night dxxxvi. I need not enter into the history of the “Seven Sages,” a book evidently older than The Nights in present form; but refer the reader to Mr. Clouston, of whom more in a future page.

[FN#156] Evidently borrowed from the Christians, although the latter borrowed from writers of the most remote antiquity. Yet the saying is the basis of all morality and in few words contains the highest human wisdom.

[FN#157] It is curious to compare the dry and business-like tone of the Arab style with the rhetorical luxuriance of the Persian: p.10 of Mr. Clouston’s “Book of Sindibad.”

[FN#158] In the text “Isfídáj,” the Pers. Isped (or Saféd) áb,
lit. = white water, ceruse used for women’s faces suggesting our
“Age of Bismuth,” Blanc Rosati, Cręme de l’Impératrice, Perline,
Opaline, Milk of Beauty, etc., etc.

[FN#159] Commentators compare this incident with the biblical story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife and with the old Egyptian romance and fairy tale of the brothers Anapon and Saton dating from the fourteenth century, the days of Pharaoh Ramses Miamun (who built Pi-tum and Ramses) at whose court Moses or Osarsiph is supposed to have been reared (Cambridge Essays 1858). The incident would often occur, e.g. Phćdra-cum-Hippolytus; Fausta-cum-Crispus and Lucinian; Asoka’s wife and Kunála, etc., etc. Such things happen in every-day life, and the situation has recommended itself to the folk lore of all peoples.

[FN#160] Another version of this tale is given in the Bresl. Edit. (vol. viii. pp. 273-8: Night 675-6). It is the “Story of the King and the Virtuous Wife” in the Book of Sindibad. In the versions Arabic and Greek (Syntipas) the King forgets his ring; in the Hebrew Mishlé Sandabar, his staff, and his sandals in the old Spanish Libro de los Engannos et los Asayamientos de las Mugeres.

[FN#161] One might fancy that this is Biblical, Bathsheba and Uriah. But such “villanies” must often have occurred in the East, at different times and places, without requiring direct derivation. The learned Prof. H. H. Wilson was mistaken in supposing that these fictions “originate in the feeling which has always pervaded the East unfavourable to the dignity of women.” They belong to a certain stage of civilisation when the sexes are at war with each other; and they characterise chivalrous Europe as well as misogynous Asia; witness Jankins, clerk of Oxenforde; while Ćsop’s fable of the Lion and the Man also explains their frequency.

[FN#162] The European form of the tale is “Toujours perdrix,” a sentence often quoted but seldom understood. It is the reproach of M. l’Abbé when the Count (proprietor of the pretty Countess) made him eat partridge every day for a month; on which the Abbé says, “Alway partridge is too much of a good thing!” Upon this text the Count speaks. A correspondent mentions that it was told by Horace Walpole concerning the Confessor of a French King who reproved him for conjugal infidelities. The degraded French (for “toujours de la perdrix” or “des perdrix”) suggests a foreign origin. Another friend refers me to No. x. of the “Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles” (compiled in A.D. 1432 for the amusement of the Dauphin, afterwards Louis XI.) whose chief personage “un grand seigneur du Royaulme d’Angleterre,” is lectured upon fidelity by the lord’s mignon, a “jeune et gracieux gentil homme de son hostel.” Here the partridge became pastés d’anguille. Possibly Scott refers to it in Redgauntlet (chapt. iv.); “One must be very fond of partridge to accept it when thrown in one’s face.” Did not Voltaire complain at Potsdam of “toujours perdrix” and make it one of his grievances? A similar story is that of the chaplain who, weary of the same diet, uttered “grace” as follows:—

          Rabbits hot, rabbits cold,
             Rabbits tender, and rabbits tough,
          Rabbits young, and rabbits old
             I thank the Lord I’ve had enough.

And I as cordially thank my kind correspondents.

[FN#163] The great legal authority of the realm.

[FN#164] In all editions the Wazir here tells the Tale of the Merchant’s Wife and the Parrot which, following Lane, I have transferred to vol. i. p. 52. But not to break the tradition I here introduce the Persian version of the story from the “Book of Sindibad.” In addition to the details given in the note to vol. i., 52; I may quote the two talking-birds left to watch over his young wife by Rajah Rasálú (son of Shaliváhana the great Indian monarch circ. A.D. 81), who is to the Punjab what Rustam is to Persia and Antar to Arabia. In the “Seven Wise Masters” the parrot becomes a magpie and Mr. Clouston, in some clever papers on “Popular Tales and Fictions” contributed to the Glasgow Evening Times (1884), compares it with the history, in the Gesta Romanorum, of the Adulteress, the Abigail, and the Three Cocks, two of which crowed during the congress of the lady and her lover. All these evidently belong to the Sindibad cycle.

[FN#165] In the days of the Caliph Al-Mustakfí bi llah (A.H. 333=944) the youth of Baghdad studied swimming and it is said that they could swim holding chafing-dishes upon which were cooking-pots and keep afloat till the meat was dressed. The story is that of “The Washerman and his Son who were drowned in the Nile,” of the Book of Sindibad.

[FN#166] Her going to the bath suggested that she was fresh from coition.

[FN#167] Taken from the life of the Egyptian Mameluke Sultan (No. viii, regn. A.H., 825= A.D. 1421) who would not suffer his subjects to prostrate themselves or kiss the ground before him. See D’Herbelot for details.

[FN#168] This nauseous Joe Miller has often been told in the hospitals of London and Paris. It is as old as the Hitopadesa.

[FN#169] Koran iv. 81, “All is from Allah;” but the evil which befals mankind, though ordered by Allah, is yet the consequence of their own wickedness (I add, which wickedness was created by Allah).

[FN#170] The Bresl. Edit. (xii. 266) says “bathing.”

[FN#171] This tale is much like that told in the Fifth Night (vol. i. 54). It is the story of the Prince and the Lamia in the Book of Sindibad wherein it is given with Persian rhetoric and diffuseness.

[FN#172] Arab. “Wa’ar”= rocky, hilly, tree-less ground unfit for riding. I have noted that the three Heb. words “Year” (e.g. Kiryath-Yearin=City of forest), “Choresh” (now Hirsh, a scrub), and “Pardes” ({Greek letters} a chase, a hunting-park opposed to {Greek letters}, an orchard) are preserved in Arabic and are intelligible in Palestine. (Unexplored Syria, i. 207.)

[FN#173] The privy and the bath are favourite haunts of the

[FN#174] Arab history is full of petty wars caused by trifles. In Egypt the clans Sa’ad and Harám and in Syria the Kays and Yaman (which remain to the present day) were as pugnacious as Highland Caterans. The tale bears some likeness to the accumulative nursery rhymes in “The House that Jack Built,” and “The Old Woman and the Crooked Sixpence;” which find their indirect original in an allegorical Talmudic hymn.

[FN#175] This is “The Story of the Old Man who sent his Young Wife to the Market to buy Rice,” told with Persian reflections in the “Book of Sindibad.”

[FN#176] Koran xii. 28. The words were spoken by Potiphar to

[FN#177] Koran iv. 78. A mis-quotation, the words are, “Fight therefore against the friends of Satan, for the craft of Satan shall be weak.”

[FN#178] i.e. Koranic versets.

[FN#179] In the Book of Sindibad this is the “Story of the Prince who went out to hunt and the stratagem which the Wazir practised on him.”

[FN#180] I have noted that it is a dire affront to an Arab if his first cousin marry any save himself without his formal leave.

[FN#181] i.e. the flowery, the splendid; an epithet of Fatimah, the daughter of the Apostle “the bright blooming.” Fátimah is an old Arab name of good omen, “the weaner:” in Egypt it becomes Fattúmah (an incrementative= “great weaner”); and so Amínah, Khadíjah and Nafísah on the banks of the Nile are barbarised to Ammúnah, Khaddúgah and Naffúsah.

[FN#182] i.e. his coming misfortune, the phrase being euphemistic.

[FN#183] Arab. “Ráy:” in theology it means “private judgment” and “Ráyí” (act. partic.) is a Rationalist. The Hanafí School is called “Asháb al-Ráy” because it allows more liberty of thought than the other three orthodox.

[FN#184] The angels in Al-Islam ride piebalds.

[FN#185] In the Bresl. Edit. “Zájir” (xii. 286).

[FN#186] This is the “King’s Son and the Merchant’s Wife” of the
Hitopadesa (chapt. i.) transferred to all the Prakrit versions of
India. It is the Story of the Bath-keeper who conducted his Wife
to the Son of the King of Kanuj in the Book of Sindibad.

[FN#187] The pious Caliph Al-Muktadi bi Amri llah (A.H. 467=A.D. 1075) was obliged to forbid men entering the baths of Baghdad without drawers.

[FN#188] This peculiarity is not uncommon amongst the so-called Aryan and Semitic races, while to the African it is all but unknown. Women highly prize a conformation which (as the prostitute described it) is always “either in his belly or in mine.”

[FN#189] Easterns, I have said, are perfectly aware of the fact that women corrupt women much more than men do. The tale is the “Story of the Libertine Husband” in the Book of Sindibad; blended with the “Story of the Go-between and the Bitch” in the Book of Sindibad. It is related in the “Disciplina Clericalis” of Alphonsus (A.D. 1106); the fabliau of La vieille qui seduisit la jeune fille; the Gesta Romanorum (thirteenth century) and the “Cunning Siddhikari” in the Kathá-Sarit-Ságara.

[FN#190] The Kashmir people, men and women, have a very bad name in Eastern tales, the former for treachery and the latter for unchastity. A Persian distich says:

  If folk be scarce as food in dearth ne’er let three lots come
near ye:
  First Sindi, second Jat, and third a rascally Kashmeeree.

The women have fair skins and handsome features but, like all living in that zone, Persians, Sindis, Afghans, etc., their bosoms fall after the first child and become like udders. This is not the case with Hindú women, Rajpúts, Maráthís, etc.

[FN#191] By these words she appealed to his honour.

[FN#192] These vehicles suggest derivation from European witchery. In the Bresl. Edit. (xii. 304) one of the women rides a “Miknasah” or broom.

[FN#193] i.e. a recluse who avoids society.

[FN#194] “Consecrated ground” is happily unknown to Moslems.

[FN#195] This incident occurs in the “Third Kalandar’s Tale.” See vol. i. 157 {Vol 1, FN#290}; and note to p. 145. {Vol 1, FN#264}

[FN#196] The Mac. Edit. has “Nahr”= river.

[FN#197] i.e. marked with the Wasm or tribal sign to show their blood. The subject of Wasm is extensive and highly interesting, for many of these brands date doubtless from prehistoric ages. For instance, some of the great Anazah nation (not tribe) use a circlet, the initial of their name (an Ayn-letter), which thus shows the eye from which it was formed. I have given some specimens of Wasm in The Land of Midian (i. 320) where, as amongst the “Sinaitic” Badawin, various kinds of crosses are preserved long after the death and burial of Christianity.

[FN#198] i.e. from the heights. The “Sayl” is a dangerous feature in Arabia as in Southern India, where many officers have lost their lives by trying to swim it.

[FN#199] Arab. “’Ujb” I use arrogance in the Spanish sense of “arrogante,” gay and gallant.

[FN#200] In this rechauffé Paul Pry escapes without losing an eye.

[FN#201] Eastern tale-tellers always harp upon this theme, the cunning precautions taken by mankind and their utter confusion by “Fate and Fortune.” In such matters the West remarks, “Ce que femme veut, Dieu veut.”

[FN#202] As favourite an occupation in Oriental lands as in Southern Europe and the Brazil, where the Quinta or country villa must be built by the road-side to please the mistress.

[FN#203] The ink-case would contain the pens; hence called in India Kalamdán=reed (pen) box. I have advised travellers to prefer the strong Egyptian article of brass to the Persian, which is of wood or papier-mâché, prettily varnished, but not to wear it in the waist-belt, as this is a sign of being a scribe. (Pilgrimage i. 353.)

[FN#204] The vulgar Eastern idea is that women are quite knowing enough without learning to read and write; and at all events they should not be taught anything beyond reading the Koran, or some clearly-written book. The contrast with modern Europe is great; greater still in Anglo-America of our day, and greatest with the new sects which propose “biunes” and “bisexuals” and “women robed with the sun.”

[FN#205] In the Bresl. Edit. the Prince ties a key to a second arrow and shoots it into the pavilion.

[FN#206] The “box-trick” has often been played with success, by Lord Byron amongst a host of others. The readiness with which the Wazir enters into the scheme is characteristic of oriental servility: an honest Moslem should at least put in a remonstrance.

[FN#207] This story appears familiar, but I have not found it easy to trace. In “The Book of Sindibad” (p. 83) it is apparently represented by a lacuna. In the Squire’s Tale of Chaucer Canace’s ring enables the wearer to understand bird-language, not merely to pretend as does the slave-boy in the text.

[FN#208] The crow is an ill-omened bird in Al-lslam and in Eastern Christendom. “The crow of cursed life and foul odour,” says the Book of Kalilah and Dimna (p. 44). The Hindus are its only protectors, and in this matter they follow suit with the Guebres. I may note that the word belongs to the days before “Aryan” and “Semitic” speech had parted; we find it in Heb. Oreb; Arab. Ghurab; Lat. Corvus; Engl. Crow, etc.

[FN#209] Again in the Hibernian sense of being “kilt.”

[FN#210] Quoted in Night dlxxxii.; said by Kitfír or Itfír (Potiphar) when his wife (Ráil or Zulaykha) charged Joseph with attempting her chastity and he saw that the youth’s garment was whole in front and rent in rear. (Koran, chapt. xii.)

[FN#211] This witty tale, ending somewhat grossly here, has over-wandered the world. First we find it in the Kathá (S. S.) where Upakoshá, the merry wife of Vararuchi, disrobes her suitors, a family priest, a commander of the guard and the prince’s tutor, under plea of the bath and stows them away in baskets which suggest Falstaff’s “buck-basket.” In Miss Stokes’ “Indian Fairy Tales” the fair wife of an absent merchant plays a similar notable prank upon the Kotwal, the Wazir, the Kazi and the King; and akin to this is the exploit of Temal Rámákistnan, the Madrasi Tyl Eulenspiegel and Scogin who by means of a lady saves his life from the Rajah and the High Priest. Mr. G. H. Damant (pp. 357-360 of the “Indian Antiquary” of 1873) relates the “Tale of the Touchstone,” a legend of Dinahpur, wherein a woman “sells” her four admirers. In the Persian Tales ascribed to the Dervish “Mokles” (Mukhlis) of Isfahan, the lady Aruyá tricks and exposes a Kazi, a doctor and a governor. Boccaccio (viii. 1) has the story of a lady who shut up her gallant in a chest with her husband’s sanction; and a similar tale (ix. 1) of Rinuccio and Alexander with the corpse of Scannadeo (Throkh-god). Hence a Lydgate (circ. A.D. 1430) derived the plot of his metrical tale of “The Lady Prioress and her Three Sisters”; which was modified in the Netherlandish version by the introduction of the Long Wapper, a Flemish Robin Goodfellow. Followed in English the metrical tale of “The Wright’s Chaste Wife,” by Adam of Cobham (edited by Mr. Furnivall from a MS. of circ. A.D. 1460) where the victims are a lord, a steward and a proctor. See also “The Master-Maid” in Dr. (now Sir George) Dasent’s “Popular Tales from the Norse,” Mr. Clouston, who gives these details more fully, mentions a similar Scottish story concerning a lascivious monk and the chaste wife of a miller.

[FN#212]When Easterns sit down to a drinking bout, which means to get drunk as speedily and pleasantly as possible, they put off dresses of dull colours and robe themselves in clothes supplied by the host, of the brightest he may have, especially yellow, green and red of different shades. So the lady’s proceeding was not likely to breed suspicion: al-though her tastes were somewhat fantastic and like Miss Julia’s—peculiar.

[FN#213] Arab. “Najásah,” meaning anything unclean which requires ablution before prayer. Unfortunately mucus is not of the number, so the common Moslem is very offensive in the matter of nose.

[FN#214] Here the word “la’an” is used which most Moslems express by some euphemism. The vulgar Egyptian says “Na’al” (Sapré and Sapristi for Sacré and Sacristie), the Hindostani express it “I send him the three letters”—lám, ayn and nún.

[FN#215] The Mac. Edit. is here very concise; better the Bresl. Edit. (xii. 326). Here we have the Eastern form of the Three Wishes which dates from the earliest ages and which amongst us has been degraded to a matter of “black pudding.” It is the grossest and most brutal satire on the sex, suggesting that a woman would prefer an additional inch of penis to anything this world or the next can offer her. In the Book of Sindibad it is the story of the Peri and Religious Man; his learning the Great Name; and his consulting with his wife. See also La Fontaine’s “Trois Souhaits,” Prior’s “Ladle,” and “Les quatre Souhaits de Saint-Martin.”

[FN#216] Arab. “Laylat al-Kadr”= Night of Power or of Divine Decrees. It is “better than a thousand months” (Koran xcvii. 3), but unhappily the exact time is not known although all agree that it is one of the last ten in Ramazan. The latter when named by Kiláb ibn Murrah, ancestor of Mohammed, about two centuries before Al-lslam, corresponded with July-August and took its name from “Ramzá” or intense heat. But the Prophet, in the tenth Hijrah year, most unwisely forbade “Nasy”= triennial intercalation (Koran ix. 36) and thus the lunar month went round all the seasons. On the Night of Power the Koran was sent down from the Preserved Tablet by Allah’s throne, to the first or lunar Heaven whence Gabriel brought it for opportunest revelation to the Apostle (Koran xcvii.). Also during this night all Divine Decrees for the ensuing year are taken from the Tablet and are given to the angels for execution whilst, the gates of Heaven being open, prayer (as in the text) is sure of success. This mass of absurdity has engendered a host of superstitions everywhere varying. Lane (Mod. Egypt, chapt. xxv.) describes how some of the Faithful keep tasting a cup of salt water which should become sweet in the Night of Nights. In (Moslem) India not only the sea becomes sweet, but all the vegetable creation bows down before Allah. The exact time is known only to Prophets; but the pious sit through the Night of Ramazan 27th (our 26th) praying and burning incense-pastilles. In Stambul this is officially held to be the Night of Power. So in medićval Europe on Christmas Eve the cattle worshipped God in their stalls and I have met peasants in France and Italy who firmly believed that brute beasts on that night not only speak but predict the events of the coming year.

[FN#217] Hence the misfortune befel her; the pious especially avoid temporal palaces.

[FN#218] This is our tale of “The Maid and the Magpie;” the Mac. Edit. does not specify the “Tayr” (any bird) but the Bresl. Edit. has Ak’ak, a pie. The true Magpie (C. Pica) called Buzarái (?) and Zaghzaghán Abú Mássah (=the Sweeper, from its tail) is found on the Libanus and Anti-Libanus (Unexplored Syria ii. 77-143), but I never saw it in other parts of Syria or in Arabia. It is completely ignored by the Reverend Mr. Tristram in his painfully superficial book “The Natural History of the Bible,” published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (or rather Ignorance), London, 1873.

[FN#219] This is “The Story of the Two Partridges,” told at great length in the Book of Sindibad. See De Sacy’s text in the Kalilah wa Damnah, quoted in the “Book of Kalilah and Damnah” (p. 306).

[FN#220] This extremely wilful young person had rendered rape excusable. The same treat-ment is much called for by certain heroines of modern fiction—let me mention Princess Napraxine.

[FN#221] The Story of the Hidden Robe, in the Book of Sindibad; where it is told with all manner of Persian embellishments.

[FN#222] Now turned into Government offices for local administration; a “Tribunal of Commerce,” etc.

[FN#223] Arab. “Bawwáb,” a personage as important as the old French concierge and a man of trust who has charge of the keys and with letting vacant rooms. In Egypt the Berber from the Upper Nile is the favourite suisse; being held more honest or rather less rascally than the usual Egyptian. These Berbers, however, are true barbarians, overfond of Búzah (the beer of Osiris) and not unfrequently dangerous. They are supposed by Moslems to descend from the old Syrians expelled by Joshua. For the favourite chaff against them, eating the dog (not the puppy-pie), see Pilgrimage i. 93. They are the “paddies’, of Egypt to whom all kinds of bulls and blunders are attributed.

[FN#224] Arab. “Juma’ah,” which means either Friday or a week. In pre-Moslem times it was called Al-Arúbah (the other week-days being Shiyár or Saturday, Bawal, Bahan Jabar, Dabar and Fámunís or Thursday). Juma’ah, literally = “Meeting” or Congregation (-day), was made to represent the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday because on that day Allah ended the work of creation; it was also the date of Mohammed’s entering Al-Medinah. According to Al-Bayzáwí, it was called Assembly day because Ka’ab ibn Lowa, one of the Prophet’s ancestors, used to gather the people before him on Fridays. Moslems are not forbidden to do secular work after the congregational prayers at the hour when they must “hasten to the commemoration of Allah and leave merchandising.” (Koran, chaps. Ixii. 9.)

[FN#225] This is done only by the very pious: if they see a bit of bread they kiss it, place it upon their heads and deposit it upon a wall or some place where it will not be trodden on. She also removed the stones lest haply they prove stumbling-blocks to some Moslem foot.

[FN#226] Arab. “Ashjár,” which may mean either the door-posts or the wooden bolts. Lane (iii. 174) translates it “among the trees” in a room!

[FN#227] Koran (ix. 51), when Mohammed reproaches the unbelievers for not accompanying him to victory or martyrdom.

[FN#228] Arab. “Kiná,” a true veil, not the “Burká” or “nose bag” with the peep-holes. It is opposed to the “Tarkah” or “head veil.” Europeans inveigh against the veil which represents the loup of Louis Quatorze’s day: it is on the contrary the most coquettish of contrivances, hiding coarse skins, fleshy noses, wide mouths and vanishing chins, and showing only lustrous and liquid black eyes. Moreover a pretty woman, when she wishes, will always let you see something under the veil. (Pilgrimage i. 337.)

[FN#229] A yellow-flowered artemisia or absinthe whose wood burns like holm-oak. (Unexplored Syria ii. 43.) See vol. ii. 24 for further details.

[FN#230] The Farz or obligatory prayers, I have noted, must be recited (if necessary) in the most impure place; not so the other orisons. Hence the use of the “Sajjádah” or prayer-rug an article too well known to require description.

[FN#231] Anglicč a stomach-ache, a colic.

[FN#232] Arab. “Al-Háfizah” which has two meanings. Properly it signifies the third order of Traditionists out of a total of five or those who know 300,000 traditions and their ascriptions. Popularly “one who can recite the Koran by rote.” There are six great Traditionists whose words are held to be prime authorities; (1) Al-Bokhári, (2) Muslim, and these are entitled Al-Sahíhayn, The (two true) authorities. After them (3) Al-Tirmidi; and (4) Abu Daúd: these four being the authors of the “Four Sunan,” the others are (5) Al-Nasái and (6) Ibn Májah (see Jarrett’s Al-Siyuti pp. 2, 6; and, for modern Arab studies, Pilgrimage i. 154 et seq.).

[FN#233] Lane (iii. 176) marries the amorous couple, thus making the story highly proper and robbing it of all its point.

[FN#234] Arab. “Sabbahat,” i.e. Sabbah-ak’ Allah bi’l khayr =
Allah give thee good morning: still the popular phrase.

[FN#235] Arab. “Ta’rísak,” with the implied hint of her being a “Mu’arrisah” or she pander. The Bresl. Edit. (xii. 356) bluntly says “Kivádatak” thy pimping.

[FN#236] Arab. “Rafw”: the “Rafu-gar” or fine-drawer in India, who does this artistic style of darning, is famed for skill.

[FN#237] The question sounds strange to Europeans, but in the Moslem East a man knows nothing, except by hearsay, of the women who visit his wife.

[FN#238] Arab. “Ahl al-bayt,” so as not rudely to say “wife.”

[FN#239] This is a mere abstract of the tale told in the Introduction (vol. i. 10-12). Here however, the rings are about eighty; there the number varies from ninety to five hundred and seventy.

[FN#240] The father suspected the son of intriguing with one of his own women.

[FN#241] Arab. and Heb. “Laban” (opp. to “laban-halíb,” or simply “halíb” = fresh milk), milk artificially soured, the Dahin of India, the Kisainá of the Slavs and our Corstophine cream. But in The Nights, contrary to modern popular usage, “Laban” is also applied to Fresh milk. The soured form is universally in the East eaten with rice and enters into the Salátah or cucumber-salad. I have noted elsewhere that all the Galactophagi, the nomades who live on milk, use it in the soured never in the fresh form. The Badawi have curious prejudices about it: it is a disgrace to sell it (though not to exchange it), and “Labbán,” or “milk-vendor,” is an insult. The Bráhni and Beloch pomades have the same pundonor possibly learnt from the Arabs (Pilgrimage i. 363). For Igt (Akit), Mahir, Saribah, Jamídah and other lacteal preparations, see ibid. i. 362.

[FN#242] I need hardly say that the poison would have been utterly harmless, unless there had been an abrasion of the skin. The slave-girl is blamed for carrying the jar uncovered because thus it would attract the evil eye. In the Book of Sindibad the tale appears as the Story of the Poisoned Guest; and the bird is a stork.

[FN#243] The Prince expresses the pure and still popular Moslem feeling; and yet the learned and experienced Mr. Redhouse would confuse this absolute Predestination with Providence. A friend tells me that the idea of absolute Fate in The Nights makes her feel as if the world were a jail.

[FN#244] In the Book of Sindibad this is the Story of the Sandal-wood Merchant and the Advice of the Blind Old Man. Mr. Clouston (p. 163) quotes a Talmudic joke which is akin to the Shaykh’s advice and a reply of Tyl Eulenspiegel, the arch-rogue, which has also a family resemblance.

[FN#245] Arab. “Sá’a,” a measure of corn, etc., to be given in alms. The Kamus makes it = four mudds (each being ⅓ lbs.); the people understand by it four times the measure of a man’s two open hands.

[FN#246] i.e. till thou restore my eye to me. This style of prothesis without apodosis is very common in Arabic and should be preserved in translation, as it adds a naďveté to the style. We find it in Genesis iii. 2, “And now lest he put forth his hand,” etc.

[FN#247] They were playing at Muráhanah, like children amongst us. It is also called “Hukm wa Rizá” = order and consent. The penalty is usually something ridiculous, but here it was villainous.

[FN#248] Every Moslem capital has a “Shaykh of the thieves” who holds a regular levées and who will return stolen articles for consideration; and this has lasted since the days of Diodorus Siculus (Pilgrimage i. 91).

[FN#249] This was not the condition; but I have left the text as it is characteristic of the writer’s inconsequence.

[FN#250] The idea would readily occur in Egypt where the pulex is still a plague although the Sultan is said to hold his court at Tiberias. “Male and female” says the rouge, otherwise it would be easy to fill a bushel with fleas. The insect was unknown to older India according to some and was introduced by strangers. This immigration is quite possible. In 1863 the jigger (P. penetrans) was not found in Western Africa; when I returned there in 1882 it had passed over from the Brazil and had become naturalised on the equatorial African seaboard. the Arabs call shrimps and prawns “sea-fleas” (bargúth al-bahr) showing an inland race. (See Pilgrimage i. 322.)

[FN#251] Submission to the Sultan and the tidings of his well-being should content every Eastern subject. But, as Oriental history shows, the form of government is a Despotism tempered by assassination. And under no rule is man socially freer and his condition contrasts strangely with the grinding social tyranny which characterises every mode of democracy or constitutionalism, i.e. political equality.

[FN#252] Here the text has “Markúb” = a shoe; elsewhere “Na’al” = a sandal, especially with wooden sole. In classical Arabia, however, “Na’al” may be a shoe, a horse-shoe (iron-plate, not rim like ours). The Bresl. Edit. has “Watá,” any foot-gear.

[FN#253] Water-melons (batáyikh) says the Mac. Edit. a misprint for Aruz or rice. Water-melons are served up raw cut into square mouthfuls, to be eaten with rice and meat. They serve excellently well to keep the palate clean and cool.

[FN#254] The text recounts the whole story over again—more than European patience can bear.

[FN#255] The usual formula when telling an improbable tale. But here it is hardly called for: the same story is told (on weak authority) of the Alewife, the Three Graziers and Attorney-General Nay (temp. James II. 1577-1634) when five years old (Journ. Asiat. Soc. N.S. xxx. 280). The same feat had been credited to Thomas Egerton, Lord Chancellor in A.D. 1540-1617 (Chalmers, Biographical Dictionary xxiii. 267-68). But the story had already found its way into the popular jest-books such as “Tales and Quick Answers, very Mery and Pleasant to Rede” (1530); “Jacke of Dover’s Quest of Inquirie for the Foole of all Fooles” (1604) under the title “The Foole of Westchester”, and in “Witty and Entertaining Exploits of George Buchanan, commonly called the King’s Fool.” The banker-bard Rogers (in Italy) was told a similar story concerning a widow of the Lambertini house (xivth century). Thomas Wright (Introduction to the Seven Sages) says he had met the tale in Latin( xiiith-xivth centuries) and a variant in the “Nouveaux Contes à rire” (Amsterdam 1737), under the title “Jugement Subtil du Duc d’Ossone contre Deux Marchands.” Its origin is evidently the old Sindibád-namah translated from Syriac into Greek (“Syntipas,” xith century); into Hebrew (Mishlé Sandabar, xiith century) and from the Arabian version into old Castilian, “Libro de los Engannos et los Asayamientos de las Mugeres” (A.D. 1255), whereof a translation is appended to Professor Comparetti’s Society. The Persian metrical form (an elaboration of one much older) dates from 1375; and gave rise to a host of imitations such as the Turkish Tales of the Forty Wazirs and the Canarese “Kathá Manjari,” where four persons contend about a purse. See also Gladwin’s “Persian Moonshee,” No. vi. of “Pleasing Stories;” and Mr. Clouston’s paper, “The Lost Purse,” in the Glasgow Evening Times. All are the Eastern form of Gavarni’s “Enfants Terribles,” showing the portentous precocity for which some children (infant phenomena, calculating boys, etc. etc.) have been famous.

[FN#256] From the Bresl. Edit. xii. 381. The Sa’lab or Abu Hosayn (Father of the Fortlet) is the fox, in Marocco Akkáb: Talib Yusuf and Wa’wi are the jackal. Arabas have not preserved “Jakal” from the Heb. Shu’al and Persian Shaghal and Persian Shaghál (not Shagul) as the Rev. Mr. Tristram misinforms his readers. (Nat. Hist. p. 85)

[FN#257] The name is old and classical Arabic: in Antar the young Amazon Jaydá was called Judar in public (Story of Jaydá and Khálid). It is also, as will be seen, the name of a quarter in Cairo, and men are often called after such places, e.g. Al-Jubní from the Súk al Jubn in Damascus. The story is exceedingly Egyptian and the style abounds in Cairene vulgarisms, especially in the Bresl. Edit. ix. 311.

[FN#258] Had the merchant left his property to be divided after his death and not made a will he widow would have had only one-eighth instead of a fourth.

[FN#259] Lit. “from tyrant to tyrant,” i.e. from official to official, Al-Zalamah, the “tyranny” of popular parlance.

[FN#260] The coin is omitted in the text but it is evidently the “Nusf” or half-dirham. Lane (iii.235), noting that the dinar is worth 170 “nusfs” in this tale, thinks that it was written (or copied?) after the Osmanh Conquest of Egypt. Unfortunately he cannot tell the precise period when the value of the small change fell so low.

[FN#261] Arab “Yaum mubárak!” still a popular exclamation.

[FN#262] i.e. of the door of daily bread.

[FN#263] Arab. “Sírah,” a small fish differently described (De Sacy, “Relation de l’Egypte par Abd allatif,” pp. 278-288: Lane, Nights iii. 234). It is not found in Sonnini’s list.

[FN#264] A tank or lakelet in the southern parts of Cairo, long ago filled up; Von Hammer believes it inherited the name of the old Charon’s Lake of Memphis, over which corpses were ferried.

[FN#265] Thus making the agreement a kind of religious covenant, as Catholics would recite a Pater or an Ave Maria.

[FN#266] Arab. “Yá miskím”=O poor devil; mesquin, meschino, words evidently derived from the East.

[FN#267] Plur. of Maghribí a Western man, a Moor. I have already derived the word through the Lat. “Maurus” from Maghribiyún. Europeans being unable to pronounce the Ghayn (or gh like the modern Cairenes) would turn it into “Ma’ariyún.” They are mostly of the Maliki school (for which see Sale) and are famous as magicians and treasure-finders. Amongst the suite of the late Amir Abd al-Kadir, who lived many years and died in Damascus, I found several men profoundly versed in Eastern spiritualism and occultism.

[FN#268] The names are respectively, Slave of the Salvation, of the One (God), of the Eternal; of the Compassionate; and of the Loving.

[FN#269] i.e. “the most profound”; the root is that of “Bátiní,” a gnostic, a reprobate.

[FN#270] i.e. the Tall One.

[FN#271] The loud pealing or (ear-) breaking Thunder.

[FN#272] Arab. “Fás and Miknás” which the writer evidently regards as one city. “Fás” means a hatchet, from the tradition of one having been found, says Ibn Sa’íd, when digging the base under the founder Idrís bin Idrís (A.D. 808). His sword was placed on the pinnacle of the minaret built by the Imám Abu Ahmad bin Abi Bakr enclosed in a golden étui studded with pearls and precious stones. From the local pronunciation “Fes” is derived the red cap of the nearer Moslem East (see Ibn Batutah p. 230).

[FN#273] Arab. “Al-Khurj,” whence the Span. Las Alforjas.

[FN#274] Arab. “Kebáb,” mutton or lamb cut into small squares and grilled upon skewers: it is the roast meat of the nearer East where, as in the West, men have not learned to cook meat so as to preserve all its flavour. This is found in the “Asa’o” of the Argentine Gaucho who broils the flesh while still quivering and before the fibre has time to set. Hence it is perfectly tender, if the animal be young, and has a “meaty” taste half lost by keeping

[FN#275] Equivalent to our puritanical “Mercy.”

[FN#276] Arab. “Bukjah,” from the Persian Bukcheh: a favourite way of keeping fine clothes in the East is to lay them folded in a piece of rough long-cloth with pepper and spices to drive away moths.

[FN#277] This is always specified, for respectable men go out of town on horse-back, never on “foot-back,” as our friends the Boers say. I have seen a Syrian put to sore shame when compelled by politeness to walk with me, and every acquaintance he met addressed him “Anta Zalamah!” What! afoot?

[FN#278] This tale, including the Enchanted Sword which slays whole armies, was adopted in Europe as we see in Straparola (iv. 3), and the “Water of Life” which the Grimms found in Hesse, etc., “Gammer Grethel’s German Popular Stories,” Edgar Taylor, Bells, 1878; and now published in fuller form as “Grimm’s Household Tales,” by Mrs. Hunt, with Introduction by A. Lang, 2 vols. 8vo, 1884. It is curious that so biting and carping a critic, who will condescend to notice a misprint in another’s book, should lay himself open to general animadversion by such a rambling farrago of half-digested knowledge as that which composes Mr. Andrew Lang’s Introduction.

[FN#279] These retorts of Judar are exactly what a sharp Egyptian
Fellah would say on such occasions.

[FN#280] Arab. “Salámát,” plur. of Salam, a favourite Egyptian welcome.

[FN#281] This sentence expresses a Moslem idea which greatly puzzles strangers. Arabic has no equivalent of our “Thank you” (Kassara ’llah Khayr-ak being a mere blessing Allah increase thy weal!), nor can Al-lslam express gratitude save by a periphrase. The Moslem acknowledges a favour by blessing the donor and by wishing him increase of prosperity. “May thy shadow never be less!” means, Mayest thou always extend to me thy shelter and protection. I have noticed this before but it merits repetition. Strangers, and especially Englishmen, are very positive and very much mistaken upon a point, which all who have to do with Egyptians and Arabs ought thoroughly to understand. Old dwellers in the East know that the theory of ingratitude in no way interferes with the sense of gratitude innate in man (and beast) and that the “lively sense of favours to come,” is as quick in Orient land as in Europe.

[FN#282] Outside this noble gate, the Bab al-Nay, there is a great cemetery wherein, by the by, lies Burckhardt, my predecessor as a Hájj to Meccah and Al-Medinah. Hence many beggars are always found squatting in its neighbourhood.

[FN#283] Friends sometimes walk alongside the rider holding the stirrup in sign of affection and respect, especially to the returning pilgrim.

[FN#284] Equivalent to our Alas! It is woman’s word never used by men; and foreigners must be most careful of this distinction under pain of incurring something worse than ridicule. I remember an officer in the Bombay Army who, having learned Hindostani from women, always spoke of himself in the feminine and hugely scandalised the Sepoys.

[FN#285] i.e. a neighbour. The “quarters” of a town in the East are often on the worst of terms. See Pilgrimage.

[FN#286] In the patriarchal stage of society the mother waits upon her adult sons. Even in Dalmatia I found, in many old-fashioned houses, the ladies of the family waiting upon the guests. Very pleasant, but somewhat startling at first.

[FN#287] Here the apodosis would be “We can all sup together.”

[FN#288] Arab. “Záwiyah” (=oratory), which is to a Masjid what a chapel is to a church.

[FN#289] Arab. “Kasr,” prop. a palace: so the Tuscan peasant speaks of his “palazzo.”

[FN#290] This sale of a free-born Moslem was mere felony. But many centuries later Englishmen used to be sold and sent to the plantations in America.

[FN#291] Arab. “Kawwás,” lit. an archer, suggesting les archers de la Sainte Hermandade. In former days it denoted a sergeant, an apparitor, an officer who executed magisterial orders. In modern Egypt he became a policeman (Pilgrimage i. 29). As “Cavass” he appears in gorgeous uniform and sword, an orderly attached to public offices and Consulates.

[FN#292] A purely imaginary King.

[FN#293] The Bresl. Edit. (ix. 370) here and elsewhere uses the word “Nútiyá”=Nauta, for the common Bahríyah or Malláh.

[FN#294] Arab. “Tawaf,” the name given to the sets (Ashwat) of seven circuits with the left shoulder presented to the Holy House, that is walking “widdershins” or “against the sun” (“with the sun” being like the movement of a watch). For the requisites of this rite see Pilgrimage iii. 234.

[FN#295] Arab. “Akh”; brother has a wide signification amongst
Moslems and may be used to and of any of the Saving Faith.

[FN#296] Said by the master when dismissing a servant and meaning, “I have not failed in my duty to thee!” The answer is, “Allah acquit thee thereof!”

[FN#297] A Moslem prison is like those of Europe a century ago; to think of it gives gooseflesh. Easterns laugh at our idea of penitentiary and the Arabs of Bombay call it “Al-Bistán” (the Garden) because the court contains a few trees and shrubs. And with them a garden always suggests an idea of Paradise. There are indeed only two efficacious forms of punishment all the world over, corporal for the poor and fines for the rich, the latter being the severer form.

[FN#298] i.e. he shall answer for this.

[FN#299] A pun upon “Khalíyah” (bee hive) and “Khaliyah” (empty). Khalíyah is properly a hive of bees with a honey-comb in the hollow of a tree-trunk, opposed to Kawwárah, hive made of clay or earth (Al-Hariri; Ass. of Tiflis). There are many other terms, for Arabs are curious about honey. Pilgrimage iii. 110.

[FN#300] Lane (iii. 237) supposes by this title that the author referred his tale to the days of the Caliphate. “Commander of the Faithful” was, I have said, the style adopted by Omar in order to avoid the clumsiness of “Caliph” (successor) of the Caliph (Abu Bakr) of the Apostle of Allah.

[FN#301] eastern thieves count four modes of housebreaking, (1)picking out burnt bricks; (2) cutting through unbaked bricks; (3) wetting a mud wall and (4) boring through a wooden wall (Vikram and the Vampire p. 172).

[FN#302] Arab. “Zabbat,” lit. a lizard (fem.) also a wooden lock, the only one used throughout Egypt. An illustration of its curious mechanism is given in Lane (M. E. Introduction)

[FN#303] Arab. “Dabbús.” The Eastern mace is well known to English collectors, it is always of metal, and mostly of steel, with a short handle like our facetiously called “life-preterver” The head is in various forms, the simplest a ball, smooth and round, or broken into sundry high and angular ridges like a melon, and in select weapons shaped like the head of some animal. bull, etc. See Night dcxlvi.

[FN#304] The red habit is a sign of wrath and vengeance and the Persian Kings like Fath Al Shah, used to wear it when about to order some horrid punishment, such as the “Shakk”; in this a man was hung up by his heels and cut in two from the fork downwards to the neck, when a turn of the chopper left that untouched. White robes denoted peace and mercy as well as joy. The “white” hand and “black” hand have been explained. A “white death” is quiet and natural, with forgiveness of sins. A “black death” is violent and dreadful, as by strangulation; a “green death” is robing in rags and patches like a dervish, and a “red death” is by war or bloodshed (A. P. ii. 670). Among the mystics it is the resistance of man to his passions.

[FN#305] This in the East is the way “pour se faire valoir”; whilst Europeans would hold it a mere “bit of impudence.” aping dignity.

[FN#306] The Chief Mufti or Doctor of the Law, an appointment first made by the Osmanli Mohammed II., when he captured Constantinople in A.D. 1453. Before that time the functions were discharged by the Kázi al-Kuzat (Kazi-in-Chief), the Chancellor.

[FN#307] So called because here lived the makers of crossbows (Arab. Bunduk now meaning a fire piece, musket, etc.). It is the modern district about the well-known Khan al-Hamzawi.

[FN#308] Pronounced “Goodareeyyah,” and so called after one of the troops of the Fatimite Caliphs. The name “Yamániyah” is probably due to the story-teller’s inventiveness.

[FN#309] I have noted that as a rule in The Nights poetical justice is administered with much rigour and exactitude. Here, however, the tale-teller allows the good brother to be slain by the two wicked brothers as he permitted the adulterous queens to escape the sword of Kamar al-Zaman. Dr. Steingass brings to my notice that I have failed to do justice to the story of Sharrkán (vol. ii., p. 172), where I note that the interest is injured by the gratuitous incest But this has a deeper meaning and a grander artistic effect. Sharrkán begins with most unbrotherly feelings towards his father’s children by a second wife. But Allah’s decree forces him to love his half-sister despite himself, and awe and repentance convert the savage, who joys at the news of his brother’s reported death, to a loyal and devoted subject of the same brother. But Judar with all his goodness proved himself an arrant softy and was no match for two atrocious villains. And there may be overmuch of forgiveness as of every other good thing.

[FN#310] In such case the “’iddah” would be four months and ten days.

[FN#311] Not quite true. Weil’s German version, from a MS. in the Ducal Library of Gotha gives the “Story of Judar of Cairo and Mahmud of Tunis” in a very different form. It has been pleasantly “translated (from the German) and edited” by Mr. W. F. Kirby, of the British Museum, under the title of “The New Arabian Nights” (London: W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co.), and the author kindly sent me a copy. “New Arabian Nights” seems now to have become a fashionable title applied without any signification: such at least is the pleasant collection of Nineteenth Century Novelettes, published under that designation by Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly, 1884.

[FN#312] Von Hammer holds this story to be a satire on Arab superstition and the compulsory propagation, the compelle intrare, of Al-Islam. Lane (iii. 235) omits it altogether for reasons of his own. I differ with great diffidence from the learned Baron whose Oriental reading was extensive; but the tale does not seem to justify his explanations. It appears to me simply one of the wilder romances, full of purposeful anachronisms (e.g. dated between Abraham and Moses, yet quoting the Koran) and written by someone familiar with the history of Oman. The style too is peculiar, in many places so abrupt that much manipulation is required to make it presentable: it suits, however, the rollicking, violent brigand-like life which it depicts. There is only one incident about the end which justifies Von Hammer’s suspicion.

[FN#313] The Persian hero of romance who converses with the
Simurgh or Griffin.

[FN#314] The word is as much used in Egypt as wunderbar in
Germany. As an exclamation is equivalent to “mighty fine!”

[FN#315] In modern days used in a bad sense, as a freethinker, etc. So Dalilah the Wily is noted to be a philosopheress.

[FN#316] The game is much mixed up after Arab fashion. The
“Tufat” is the Siyáhgosh= Black-ears, of India (Felis caracal),
the Persian lynx, which gives very good sport with Dachshunds.
Lynxes still abound in the thickets near Cairo

[FN#317] The “Sons of Kahtán,” especially the Ya’arubah tribe, made much history in Oman. Ya’arub (the eponymus) is written Ya’arab and Ya’arib; but Ya’arub (from Ya’arubu Aorist of ’Aruba) is best, because according to all authorities he was the first to cultivate primitive Arabian speech and Arabic poetry. (Caussin de Perceval’s Hist. des Arabes i.50, etc.)

[FN#318] He who shooteth an arrow by night. See the death of Antar shot down in the dark by the archer Jazár, son of Jábír, who had been blinded by a red hot sabre passed before his eyes. I may note that it is a mere fiction of Al-Asma’i, as the real ’Antar (or ’Antarah) lived to a good old age, and probably died the “straw death.”

[FN#319] See vol. ii., p. 77, for a reminiscence of masterful
King Kulayb and his Himá or domain. Here the phrase would mean,
“None could approach them when they were wroth; none were safe
from their rage.”

[FN#320] The sons of Nabhán (whom Mr. Badger calls Nebhán) supplied the old Maliks or Kings of Oman. (History of the Imams and Sayyids of Oman, etc., London, Hakluyt Soc. 1871.)

[FN#321] This is a sore insult in Arabia, where they have not dreamt of a “Jawab-club,” like that of Calcutta in the old days, to which only men who had been half a dozen times “jawab’d” (= refused in Anglo-lndian jargon) could belong. “I am not a stallion to be struck on the nose,” say the Arabs.

[FN#322] Again “inverted speech”: it is as if we said, “Now, you’re a damned fine fellow, so,” etc. “Allah curse thee! Thou hast guarded thy women alive and dead;” said the man of Sulaym in admiration after thrusting his spear into the eye of dead Rabi’ah.

[FN#323] The Badawi use javelins or throw-spears of many kinds, especially the prettily worked Mizrák (Pilgrimage i. 349); spears for footmen (Shalfah, a bamboo or palm-stick with a head about a hand broad), and the knightly lance, a male bamboo some 12 feet long with iron heel and a long tapering point often of open work or damascened steel, under which are tufts of black ostrich feathers, one or two. I never saw a crescent-shaped head as the text suggests. It is a “Pundonor” not to sell these weapons: you say, “Give me that article and I will satisfy thee!” After which the Sons of the Sand will haggle over each copper as if you were cheapening a sheep. (Ibid. iii. 73.)

[FN#324] The shame was that Gharib had seen the girl and had fallen in love with her beauty instead of applying for her hand in recognised form. These punctilios of the Desert are peculiarly nice and tetchy; nor do strangers readily realise them.

[FN#325] The Arabs derive these Noachidć from Imlik, great-grandson of Shem, who after the confusion of tongues settled at Sana’a, then moved North to Meccah and built the fifth Ka’abah. The dynastic name was Arkam, M. C. de Perceval’s “Arcam,” which he would identify with Rekem (Numbers xxxi. 8). The last Arkam fell before an army sent by Moses to purge the Holy Land (Al-Hijaz) of idolatry. Commentators on the Koran (chaps. vii.) call the Pharaoh of Moses Al-Walid and derive him from the Amalekites: we have lately ascertained that this Mene-Ptah was of the Shepherd-Kings and thus, according to the older Moslems, the Hyksos were of the seed of Imlik. (Pilgrimage ii. 116, and iii. 190.) In Syria they fought with Joshua son of Nun. The tribe or rather nationality was famous and powerful: we know little about it and I may safely predict that when the Amalekite country shall have been well explored, it will produce monuments second in importance only to the Hittites. “A nomadic tribe which occupied the Peninsula of Sinai” (Smith’s Dict. of the Bible) is peculiarly superficial, even for that most superficial of books.

[FN#326] The Amalekites were giants and lived 500 years.
(Pilgrimage, loc. cit.)

[FN#327] His men being ninety against five hundred.

[FN#328] Arab. “Kaum” (pron. Gúm) here=a razzia, afterwards=a tribe. Relations between Badawi tribes are of three kinds; (1) Asháb, allies offensive and defensive, friends who intermarry; (2) Kímán (plur. of Kaum) when the blood-feud exists, and (3) Akhwan= brothers. The last is a complicated affair, “Akháwat” or brotherhood, denotes the tie between patron and client (a noble and an ignoble tribe) or between the stranger and the tribe which claims an immemorial and unalienable right to its own lands. Hence a small fee (Al-Rifkah) must be paid and the traveller and his beast become “dakhíl,” or entitled to brother-help. The guardian is known in the West as Rafík; Rabí’a in Eastern Arabia; Ghafír in “Sinai ;” amongst the Somal, Abbán and the Gallas Mogásá. Further details are given in Pilgrimage iii. 85-87.

[FN#329] Arab. “Mál,” here=Badawi money, flocks and herds, our “fee” from feoh, vieh, cattle; as pecunia from pecus, etc., etc.

[FN#330] The litholatry of the old Arabs is undisputed: Manát the goddess-idol was a large rude stone and when the Meccans sent out colonies these carried with them stones of the Holy Land to be set up and worshipped like the Ka’abah. I have suggested (Pilgrimage iii. 159) that the famous Black Stone of Meccah, which appears to me a large aerolite, is a remnant of this worship and that the tomb of Eve near Jeddah was the old “Sakhrah tawílah” or Long Stone (ibid. iii. 388). Jeddah is now translated the grandmother, alluding to Eve, a myth of late growth: it is properly Juddah=a plain lacking water.

[FN#331] The First Adites, I have said, did not all perish: a few believers retired with the prophet Hud (Heber ?) to Hazramaut. The Second Adites, who had Márib of the Dam for capital and Lukman for king, were dispersed by the Flood of Al-Yaman. Their dynasty lasted a thousand years, the exodus taking place according to De Sacy in A.D. 150-170 or shortly after A.D. 100 (C. de Perceval), and was overthrown by Ya’arub bin Kahtán, the first Arabist; see Night dcxxv.

[FN#332] This title has been noticed: it suggests the “Saint Abraham” of our medaeval travellers. Every great prophet has his agnomen: Adam the Pure (or Elect) of Allah, Noah the Nájiy (or saved) of Allah; Moses (Kalím) the Speaker with Allah; Jesus the Rúh (Spirit breath) or Kalám (the word) of Allah. For Mohammed’s see Al-Busiri’s Mantle-poem vv. 31-58.

[FN#333] Koran (chaps. iii. 17), “Verily the true religion in the
sight of Allah is Islam” i.e. resigning or devoting myself to the
Lord, with a suspicion of “Salvation” conveyed by the root
Salima, he was safe.

[FN#334] Arab. “Sá’ikah,” which is supposed to be a stone. The allusion is to Antar’s sword, “Dhámi,” made of a stone, black, brilliant and hard as a rock (an aerolite), which had struck a camel on the right side and had come out by the left. The blacksmith made it into a blade three feet long by two spans broad, a kind of falchion or chopper, cased it with gold and called it Dhámi (the “Trenchant”) from its sharpness. But he said to the owner:—

     The sword is trenchant, O son of the Ghalib clan,
     Trenchant in sooth, but where is the sworder-man?

Whereupon the owner struck off the maker’s head, a most satisfactory answer to all but one.

[FN#335] Arab. “Kutá’ah”: lit. a bit cut off, fragment, nail-paring, and here un diminutif. I have described this scene in Pilgrimage iii. 68. Latro often says, “Thy gear is wanted by the daughter of my paternal uncle” (wife), and thus parades his politeness by asking in a lady’s name.

[FN#336] As will appear the two brothers were joined by a party of horsemen.

[FN#337] “Four” says the Mac. Edit. forgetting Falhun with characteristic inconsequence.

[FN#338] Muhammad (the deserving great praise) is the name used by men; Ahmad (more laudable) by angels, and Mahmúd (praised) by devils. For a similar play upon the name, “Allah Allah Muhammad ast” (God is God the praiseworthy) see Dabistan ii. 416.

[FN#339] The Mac. Edit. here gives “Sás,” but elsewhere “Sásá,” which is the correct form

[FN#340] Sapor the Second (A.D. 310-330) was compelled to attack the powerful Arab hordes of Oman, most of whom, like the Tayy, Aus and Khazraj, the Banu Nabhán and the Hináwi left Al-Yaman A.D. 100-170, and settled in the north and northeast of Al-Najd This great exodus and dispersion of the tribes was caused, as has been said, by the bursting of the Dam of Márib originally built by Abd al-Shams Sabá, father of Himyar. These Yamanian races were plunged into poverty and roamed northwards, planting themselves amongst the Arabs of Ma’add son of Adnán. Hence the kingdom of Ghassan in Syria whose phylarchs under the Romans (i.e. Greek Emperors of Constantinople) controlled Palestine Tertia, the Arabs of Syria and Palestine, and the kingdom of Hárah, whose Lakhmite Princes, dependent upon Persia, managed the Arabs of the Euphrates, Oman and Al-Bahrayn. The Ma’addites still continued to occupy the central plateau of Arabia, a feature analogous with India “above the Ghauts.”

[FN#341] I have described (Pilgrimage i. 370) the grisly spot which a Badawi will dignify by the name of Wady al-Ward=Vale of Roses.

[FN#342] Koran xiii. 3, “Of every fruit two different kinds” i.e. large and small, black and white, sweet and sour.

[FN#343] A graft upon an almond tree, which makes its kernel sweet and gives it an especial delicacy of favour. See Russell’s (excellent) Natural History of Aleppo, p. 21.

[FN#344] So called from the flavour of the kernel it is well-known at Damascus where a favourite fruit is the dried apricot with an almond by way of kernel. There are many preparations of apricots, especially the “Mare’s skin” (Jild al-fares or Kamar al-din) a paste folded into sheets and exactly resembling the article from which it takes a name. When wanted it is dissolved in water and eaten as a relish with bread or biscuit (Pilgrimage i. 289).

[FN#345] “Ante Kamá takúl”=the vulgarest Cairene.

[FN#346] This may be Ctesiphon, the ancient capital of the
Chosroës, on the Tigris below Baghdad; and spoken of elsewhere in
The Nights; especially as, in Night dclxvii., it is called
Isbanir Al-Madáin; Madáin Kisrá (the cities of Chosroës) being
the Arabic name of the old dual city.

[FN#347] Koran vi. 103. The translation is Sale’s which I have generally preferred, despite many imperfections: Lane renders this sentence, “The eyes see not Him, but He seeth the eyes ;” and Mr. Rodwell, “No vision taketh in Him ( ?), but He taketh in all vision ,” and (better) “No eyesight reacheth to Him.”

[FN#348] Sale (sect. 1.) tells us all that was then known of these three which with Yá’úk and Nasr and the three “daughters of God,” Goddesses or Energies (the Hindu Saktis) Allát Al-Uzzá and Manát mentioned in the Koran were the chiefs of the pre-lslamitic Pantheon. I cannot but suspect that all will be connected with old Babylonian worship. Al-Baydáwi (in Kor. Ixxi. 22) says of Wadd, Suwá’a, Yaghus, Ya’úk and Nasr that they were names of pious men between Adam and Noah, afterwards deified: Yaghús was the giant idol of the Mazhaj tribe at Akamah of Al-Yaman and afterwards at Najrán Al-Uzzá was widely worshipped: her idol (of the tree Semurat) belonging to Ghatafán was destroyed after the Prophet’s order by Khálid bin Walíd. Allát or Al-Lát is written by Pocock (spec. 110) “Ilahat” i.e. deities in general. But Herodotus evidently refers to one god when he makes the Arabs worship Dionysus as {Greek letters} and Urania as {Greek letters} and the “tashdid” in Allát would, to a Greek ear, introduce another syllable (Alilat). This was the goddess of the Kuraysh and Thakíf whose temple at Taíf was circuited like the Ka’abah before Mohammed destroyed it.

[FN#349] Shays (Shayth) is Ab Seth (Father Seth,) of the Hebrews, a name containing the initial and terminal letters of the Egypto-Phoenico-Hebrew Alphabet and the “Abjad” of the Arabs. Those curious about its connection with the name of Allah (El), the Zodiacal signs and with the constellations, visions but not wholly uninteresting, will consult “Unexplored Syria” (vol. i. 33).

[FN#350] The exclamation of an honest Fellah.

[FN#351] This is Antar with the Chosroë who “kissed the Absian hero between the eyes and bade him adieu, giving him as a last token a rich robe.” The coarser hand of the story-teller exaggerates everything till he makes it ridiculous.

[FN#352] The context suggests thee this is a royal form of “throwing the handkerchief;” but it does not occur elsewhere. In face, the European idea seems to have arisen from the oriental practice of sending presents in napkins or kerchiefs.

[FN#353] i.e. if the disappointed suitor attack me.

[FN#354] i.e. if ever I be tempted to deny it.

[FN#355] Arab. “Musáfahah,” the Arab fashion of shaking hands. The right palms are applied flat to each other; then the fingers are squeezed and the hand is raised to the forehead (Pilgrimage ii. 332).

[FN#356] A city and province of Khuzistán the old Susiana. Dasht may be either the town in Khorasan or the “forests” (dasht) belonging to Ahwáz (Ahuaz in D’Herbelot).

[FN#357] This is the contest between “Antar and the Satrap Khosrewan at the Court of Monzer.” but without its tragical finish.

[FN#358] Elliptical “he rode out in great state, that is to say if greatness can truly be attributed to man,” for, etc.

[FN#359] According to D’Herbelot (s.v. Rostac) it is a name given to the villages of Khorasan as “Souad” (Sawád) to those of Irak and Makhlaf to those of Al-Yaman: there is, how ever, a well-known Al-Rustak (which like Al-Bahrayn always takes the article) in the Province of Oman West of Maskat, and as it rhymes with “Irak” it does well enough. Mr. Badger calls this ancient capital of the Ya’arubah Imams “er-Rasták” (Imams of Oman).

[FN#360] i.e. a furious knight.

[FN#361] In the Mac. Edit. “Hassán,” which may rhyme with Nabhán, but it is a mere blunder.

[FN#362] In Classical Arabic Irak (like Yaman, Bahrayn and
Rusták) always takes the article.

[FN#363] The story-teller goes back from Kufah founded in Omar’s day to the times of Abraham.

[FN#364] This manuvre has often been practiced; especially by the first Crusaders under Bohemond (Gibbon) and in late years by the Arab slavers in Eastern Intertropical Africa. After their skirmishes with the natives they quartered and “bristled” the dead like game, roasted and boiled the choice pieces and pretended to eat the flesh. The enemy, who was not afraid of death, was struck with terror by the idea of being devoured, and this seems instinctive to the undeveloped mind.