The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 03

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Title: The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 03

Translator: Jonathan Scott

Release date: May 1, 2004 [eBook #5666]
Most recently updated: December 29, 2020

Language: English


This eBook was produced by JC Byers.

Text scanned by JC Byers and proofread by JC Byers, Sally
Gellert, Renate Preuss, and Christine Sturrock.

The "Aldine" Edition of

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Illustrated by S. L. Wood


In Four Volumes

Volume 3

                      Pickering and Chatto

Contents of Volume III.

The Story of Beder, Prince of Persia, and Jehaunara, Prince of
     Samandal, or Summunder
The History of Prince Zeyn Alasnam and the Sultan of the Genii
The History of Codadad, and His Brothers
     The History of the Princess of Deryabar
The Story of Abu Hassan, or the Sleeper Awakened
The Story of Alla Ad Deen; Or, the Wonderful Lamp
Adventure of the Caliph Haroon Al Rusheed
     The Story of Baba Abdoollah
     The Story of Syed Naomaun
     The Story of Khaujeh Hassan Al Hubbaul
The Story of Ali Aba and the Forty Robbers Destroyed by a Slave
The Story of Ali Khujeh, a Merchand of Bagdad


Persia was an empire of such vast extent, that its ancient monarchs, not without reason, assumed the haughty title of King of kings. For not to mention those subdued by their arms, there were kingdoms and provinces whose kings were not only tributary, but also in as great subjection as governors in other nations are to the monarchs.

One of these kings, who in the beginning of his reign had signalized himself by many glorious and successful conquests, enjoyed so profound a peace and tranquillity, as rendered him the happiest of princes. The only point in which he thought himself unfortunate was, that amongst all his wives, not one had brought him a son; and being now far advanced in years, he was desirous of an heir. He had above a hundred ladies, all lodged in separate apartments, with women-slaves to wait upon and eunuchs to guard them; yet, notwithstanding all his endeavours to please their taste, and anticipate their wishes, there was not one that answered his expectation. He had women frequently brought him from the most remote countries; and if they pleased him, he not only gave the merchants their full price, but loaded them with honours and benedictions, in hopes that at last he might be so happy as to meet with one by whom he might have a son. There was scarcely an act of charity but he performed, to prevail with heaven. He gave immense sums to the poor, besides large donations to the religious; building for their use many noble colleges richly endowed, in hopes of obtaining by their prayers what he so earnestly desired.

One day, according to the custom of his royal predecessors, during their residence in their capital, he held an assembly of his courtiers, at which all the ambassadors and strangers of quality about the court were present; and where they not only entertained one another with news and politics, but also by conversing on the sciences, history, poetry, literature, and whatever else was capable of diverting the mind. On that day a eunuch came to acquaint him with the arrival of a certain merchant from a distant country, who, having brought a slave with him, desired leave to shew her to his majesty. "Give him admittance instantly," said the king, "and after the assembly is over I will talk with him." The merchant was introduced, and seated in a convenient place, from whence he might easily have a full view of the king, and hear him talk familiarly to those that stood near his person. The king observed this rule to all strangers, in order that by degrees they might grow acquainted with him; so that, when they saw with what freedom and civility he addressed himself to all, they might be encouraged to talk to him in the same manner, without being abashed at the pomp and splendour of his appearance, which was enough to deprive those of their power of speech who were not used to it. He treated the ambassadors also after the same manner. He ate with them, and during the repast asked them several questions concerning their health, their journey, and the peculiarities of their country. After they had been thus encouraged, he gave them audience.

When the assembly was over, and all the company had retired, the merchant, who was the only person left, fell prostrate before the king's throne, with his face to the earth, wishing his majesty an accomplishment of all his desires As soon as he arose, the king asked him if the report of his having brought a slave for him was true, and whether she were handsome.

"Sire," replied the merchant, "I doubt not but your majesty has many very beautiful women, since you search every corner of the earth for them; but I may boldly affirm, without overvaluing my merchandise, that you never yet saw a woman that could stand in competition with her for shape and beauty, agreeable qualifications, and all the perfections that she is mistress of." "Where is she?" demanded the king; "bring her to me instantly." "Sire," replied the merchant, "I have delivered her into the hands of one of your chief eunuchs; and your majesty may send for her at your pleasure."

The fair slave was immediately brought in; and no sooner had the king cast his eyes on her, but he was charmed with her beautiful and easy shape. He went directly into a closet, and was followed by the merchant and a few eunuchs. The fair slave wore, over her face, a red satin veil striped with gold; and when the merchant had taken it off, the king of Persia beheld a female that surpassed in beauty, not only his present ladies, but all that he had ever had before. He immediately fell passionately in love with her, and desired the merchant to name his price.

"Sire," said he, "I gave a thousand pieces of gold to the person of whom I bought her; and in my three years' journey to your court, I reckon I have spent as much more: but I shall forbear setting any price to so great a monarch; and therefore, if your majesty likes her, I humbly beg you would accept of her as a present." "I am highly obliged to you," replied the king; "but it is never my custom to treat merchants, who come hither for my pleasure, in so ungenerous a manner; I am going to order thee ten thousand pieces of gold; will that be sufficient?" "Sire," answered the merchant, "I should have esteemed myself happy in your majesty's acceptance of her; yet I dare not refuse so generous an offer. I will not fail to publish your liberality in my own country, and in every place through which I may pass." The money was paid; and before he departed, the king made him put on a rich suit of cloth of gold.

The king caused the fair slave to be lodged in the apartment next his own, and gave particular orders to the matrons, and the female slaves appointed to attend her, that after bathing they should dress her in the richest habit they could find, and carry her the finest pearl necklaces, the brightest diamonds, and other richest precious stones, that she might choose those she liked best.

The officious matrons, whose only care was to please the king, were astonished at her beauty; and being good judges, they told his majesty, that if he would allow them but three days, they would engage to make her so much handsomer than she was at present, that he would scarcely know her again. The king could hardly prevail with himself to delay so long the pleasure of seeing her, but at last he consented.

The king of Persia's capital was situated in an island; and his palace, which was very magnificent, was built on the shore: his apartment looked on the water; the fair slave's, which was near it, had also the same prospect, and was the more agreeable, on account of the sea's beating almost against the walls.

At the three days' end, the fair slave, magnificently dressed, was alone in her chamber, sitting on a sofa, and leaning against one of the windows that faced the sea, when the king, being informed that he might visit her, came in. The slave, hearing somebody walk in the room with an air quite different from that of the female slaves, who had hitherto attended her, immediately turned her head about to see who it was. She knew him to be the king, but without discovering the least surprise, or so much as rising from her seat to salute or receive him, as if he had been the most indifferent person in the world, she put herself in the same posture again.

The king of Persia was extremely surprised to see a slave of so beauteous a form so ignorant of the world. He attributed this to the narrowness of her education, and the little care that had been taken to instruct her in the first rules of civility. He went to her at the window, where, notwithstanding the coldness and indifference with which she had received him, she suffered herself to be admired, caressed, and embraced, as much as he pleased.

In the midst of these amorous embraces and tender endearments, the king paused awhile, to gaze upon, or rather to devour her with his eyes. "My lovely fair one! my charmer!" exclaimed he; "whence came you, and where do those happy parents live who brought into the world so surprising a masterpiece of nature? How do I love thee, and shall always continue to do. Never did I feel for a woman what I now feel for you; and though I have seen, and every day behold a vast number of beauties, yet never did my eyes contemplate so many charms in one person—charms which have so transported me, that I shall entirely devote myself to you. My dearest life," continued he, "you neither answer, nor by any visible token give me the least reason to believe that you are sensible of the demonstrations I have given you of the ardour of my passion; neither will you turn your eyes on me, to afford mine the pleasure of meeting them, and to convince you that it is impossible to love in a higher degree than I do you. Why will you still preserve this obstinate silence, which chills me, and whence proceeds the seriousness, or rather sorrow, that torments me to the soul? Do you mourn for your country, your friends or your relations? Alas! Is not the king of Persia, who loves and adores you, capable of comforting you, and making you amends for every loss?"

Notwithstanding all the protestations of love the king of Persia made the fair slave, and all he could say to induce her to speak to him, she remained unaltered; and keeping her eyes still fixed upon the ground, would neither look at him, nor utter a word.

The king of Persia, delighted with the purchase he had made of a slave that pleased him so well, pressed her no farther, in hopes that by treating her kindly he might prevail upon her to change her behaviour. He clapped his hands; and the women who waited in an outward room entered: he commanded them to bring in supper. When it was arranged, "My love," said he to the slave, "come hither and sup with me." She rose from her seat; and being seated opposite the king, his majesty helped her, before he began eating himself; and did so of every dish during supper. The slave ate as well as the king, but still with downcast eyes, and without speaking a word; though he often asked her how she liked the entertainment, and whether it was dressed according to her taste.

The king, willing to change the conversation, asked her what her name was, how she liked the clothes and the jewels she had on, what she thought of her apartment and the rich furniture, and whether the prospect of the sea was not very agreeable? But to all these questions she made no reply; so that the king was at a loss what to think of her silence. He imagined at first, that she might perhaps be dumb: "But then," said he to himself, "can it be possible that heaven should forge a creature so beautiful, so perfect, and so accomplished, and at the same time with so great an imperfection? Were it however so, I could not love her with less passion than I do." When the king of Persia rose, he washed his hands on one side, while the fair slave washed hers on the other. He took that opportunity to ask the woman who held the basin and napkin, if ever they had heard her speak. One of them replied, "Sire, we have neither seen her open her lips, nor heard her speak any more than your majesty has; we have rendered her our services in the bath; we have dressed her head, put on her clothes, and waited upon her in her chamber; but she has never opened her lips, so much as to say, that is well, or I like this. We have often asked her, "Madam, do you want anything? Is there anything you wish for? Do but ask, and command us," but we have never been able to draw a word from her. We cannot tell whether her sorrow proceeds from pride, sorrow, stupidity, or dumbness."

The king was more astonished at hearing this than he had been before: however, believing the slave might have some cause of sorrow, he was willing to endeavour to divert and amuse her. Accordingly he appointed a very splendid assembly, which all the ladies of the court attended; and those who were skilful in playing upon musical instruments performed their parts, while others sung or danced, or did both together: they played at all sorts of games, which much diverted the king. The fair slave was the only person who took no pleasure in these attempts to amuse her; she never moved from her place, but remained with her eyes fixed on the ground with so much indifference, that all the ladies were not less surprised than the king. After the assembly was over, every one retired to her apartment; and the king was left alone with the fair slave.

The next morning the king of Persia rose more pleased than he had been with all the women he had seen before, and more enamoured with the fair slave than ever. Indeed, he soon made it appear, by resolving henceforth to attach himself to her alone; and performed his resolution. On the same day he dismissed all his other women, giving every one of them their jewels, and other valuables, besides a considerable fortune, with free leave to marry whom they thought fit; and only kept the matrons and a few other elderly women to wait upon the fair slave. However, for a whole year together, she never afforded him the pleasure of one single word; yet the king continued his assiduities to please her, and to give her the most signal proofs of sincere love.

After the expiration of the year, the king sitting one day by his mistress, protested to her that his love, instead of being diminished, grew every day more violent. "My queen," said he, "I cannot divine what your thoughts are; but nothing is more true, and I swear to you, that having the happiness of possessing you, there remains nothing for me to desire. I esteem my kingdom, great as it is, less than an atom, when I have the pleasure of beholding you, and of telling you a thousand times that I adore you. I desire not that my words alone should oblige you to believe me. Surely you can no longer doubt of my devotion to you after the sacrifice which I have made to your beauty of so many women, whom I before kept in my palace. You may remember it is about a year since I sent them all away; and I as little repent of it now, as I did the moment of their departure; and I never shall repent. Nothing would be wanting to complete my happiness and crown my joy, would you but speak one single word to me, by which I might be assured that you thought yourself at all obliged. But how can you speak to me if you are dumb? and alas! I feel but too apprehensive that this is the case. How can I doubt, since you still torment me with silence, after having for a whole year in vain supplicated you to speak? If it is possible for me to obtain of you that consolation, may heaven at least grant me the blessing of a son by you, to succeed me. I every day find myself growing old, and I begin already to want one to assist me in bearing the weight of my crown. Still I cannot conceal the desire I have of hearing you speak; for something within me tells me you are not dumb: and I beseech, I conjure you, dear madam, to break through this long silence, and speak but one word to me; after that I care not how soon I die."

At this discourse the fair slave, who, according to her usual custom, had hearkened to the king with downcast eyes, and had given him cause to believe not only that she was dumb, but that she had never laughed, began to smile. The king of Persia perceived it with a surprise that made him break forth into an exclamation of joy; and no longer doubting but that she was going to speak, he waited for that happy moment with an eagerness and attention that cannot easily be expressed

At last the fair slave thus addressed herself to the king: "Sire, I have so many things to say to your majesty, that, having once broken silence, I know not where to begin. However, in the first place, I think myself bound to thank you for all the favours and honours you have been pleased to confer upon me, and to implore heaven to bless and prosper you, to prevent the wicked designs of your enemies, and not suffer you to die after hearing me speak, but to grant you a long life. After this, sire, I cannot give you greater satisfaction than by acquainting you that I am with child; and I wish, as you do, it may be a son. Had it never been my fortune to be pregnant, I was resolved (I beg your majesty to pardon the sincerity of my intention) never to have loved you, and to have kept an eternal silence; but now I love you as I ought to do."

The king of Persia, ravished to hear the fair slave not only speak, but tell him tidings in which he was so nearly concerned, embraced her tenderly. "Staining light of my eyes," said he, "it is impossible for me to receive greater delight than you have now given me: you have spoken to me, and you have declared your being with child, which I did not expect. After these two occasions of joy I am transported out of myself."

The king of Persia, in the transport of his feelings, said no more to the fair slave. He left her, but in such a manner as made her perceive his intention was speedily to return: and being willing that the occasion of his joys should be made public, he declared it to his officers, and sent for the grand vizier. As soon as he came, he ordered him to distribute a thousand pieces of gold among the holy men of his religion, who made vows of poverty; as also among the hospitals and the poor, by way of returning thanks to heaven: and his will was obeyed by the direction of that minister.

After the king of Persia had given this order, he returned to the fair slave again. "Madam," said he, "pardon me for leaving you so abruptly, since you have been the occasion of it; but I hope you will indulge me with some conversation, since I am desirous to know of you several things of much greater consequence. Tell me, my dearest soul, what were the powerful reasons that induced you to persist in that obstinate silence for a whole year together, though every day you saw me, heard me talk to you, ate and drank with me, and every night slept with me? I shall pass by your not speaking; but how you could carry yourself so as that I could never discover whether you were sensible of what I said to you or no, I confess, surpasses my understanding; and I cannot yet comprehend how you could contain yourself so long; therefore I must conclude the occasion of it to be very extraordinary."

"To satisfy the king of Persia's curiosity," replied the lady, "think whether or no to be a slave, far from my own country, without any hopes of ever seeing it again, to have a heart torn with grief, at being separated forever from my mother, my brother, my friends, and my acquaintance, are not these sufficient reasons for the silence your majesty has thought so strange and unaccountable?

The love of our native country is as natural to us as that of our parents; and the loss of liberty is insupportable to everyone who is not wholly destitute of common sense, and knows how to set a value on it. The body indeed may be enslaved, and under the subjection of a master, who has the power and authority in his hands; the will can never be conquered, but remains free and unconfined, depending on itself alone, as your majesty has found in my case; and it is a wonder that I have not followed the example of many unfortunate wretches, whom the loss of liberty has reduced to the melancholy resolution of procuring their own deaths in a thousand ways, by a liberty which cannot be taken from them."

"Madam," replied the king, "I am convinced of the truth of what you say; but till this moment I was of opinion, that a person beautiful, of good understanding, like yourself, whom her evil destiny had condemned to be a slave, ought to think herself very happy in meeting with a king for her master."

"Sire," replied the lady, "whatever the slave be, as I have already observed to your majesty, there is no king on earth can tyrannize over her will. When indeed you speak of a slave mistress of charms sufficient to captivate a monarch, and induce him to love her; if she be of a rank infinitely below him, I am of your opinion, she ought to think herself happy in her misfortunes: still what happiness can it be, when she considers herself only as a slave, torn from a parent's arms, and perhaps from those of a lover, her passion for whom death only can extinguish; but when this very slave is in nothing inferior to the king who has purchased her, your majesty shall judge yourself of the rigour of her destiny, her misery and her sorrow, and to what desperate attempts the anguish of despair may drive her."

The king of Persia, astonished at this discourse, "Madam," said he, "can it be possible that you are of royal blood, as by your words you seem to intimate? Explain the whole secret to me, I beseech you, and no longer augment my impatience. Let me instantly know who are the happy parents of so great a prodigy of beauty; who are your brothers, your sisters, and your relations; but, above all, tell me your name?"

"Sire," said the fair slave, "my name is Gulnare of the Sea: and my father, who is dead, was one of the most potent monarchs of the ocean. When he died, he left his kingdom to a brother of mine, named Saleh, and to the queen, my mother, who is also a princess, the daughter of another puissant monarch of the sea. We enjoyed profound peace and tranquillity through the whole kingdom, till a neighbouring prince, envious of our happiness, invaded our dominions with a mighty army; and penetrating as far as our capital, made himself master of it; and we had but just time to save ourselves in an impenetrable and inaccessible place, with a few trusty officers, who did not forsake us in our distress.

"In this retreat my brother was not negligent in contriving means to drive the unjust invaders from our dominions. One day taking me into his closet, 'Sister,' said he, 'the events of the smallest undertakings are always dubious. For my own part, I may fail in the attempt I design to make to recover my kingdom; and I shall be less concerned for my own disgrace than what may possibly happen to you. To secure you from all accident, I would fain see you married. But in the present miserable condition of our affairs, I see no probability of matching you to any of the princes of the sea; and therefore I should be glad if you would concur in my opinion, and think of marrying one of the princes of the earth. I am ready to contribute all that lies in my power towards accomplishing this; and am certain there is not one of them, however powerful, but, considering your beauty, would be proud of sharing his crown with you.'

"At this discourse of my brother's, I fell into a violent passion. 'Brother,' said I, 'you know that I am descended, as well as you, from the kings and queens of the sea, without any mixture of alliance with those of the earth; therefore I do not design to marry below myself, and I have taken an oath to that effect. The condition to which we are reduced shall never oblige me to alter my resolution; and if you perish in the execution of your design, I am prepared to fall with you, rather than follow the advice I so little expected from you.'

"My brother, who was still earnest for my marriage, however improper for me, endeavoured to make me believe that there were kings of the earth who were no ways inferior to those of the sea. This put me into a more violent passion, which occasioned him to say several bitter reflecting things, that nettled me to the quick. He left me, as much dissatisfied with myself as he could possibly be with me; and in this peevish mood I gave a spring from the bottom of the sea up to the Island of the Moon.

"Notwithstanding the violent discontent that made me cast myself upon that island, I lived content in retirement. But in spite of all my precautions, a person of distinction, attended by his servants, surprised me sleeping, and carried me to his own house. He expressed much love to me, and omitted nothing which he thought might induce me to return his passion. When he saw that fair means would not prevail upon me, he attempted to use force: but I soon made him repent of his insolence. He resolved to sell me, which he did to the merchant who brought me hither, and sold me to your majesty. He was a prudent, courteous, humane man; and during the whole of the long journey, never gave me the least reason to complain.

"As for your majesty," continued the princess Gulnare, "if you had not shown me all the respect you have hitherto done (for which I am extremely obliged to your goodness), and given me such undeniable marks of your affection, that I can no longer doubt of it; if you had not immediately sent away your women; I hesitate not to tell you, that I should not have remained with you. I would have thrown myself into the sea out of this window, where you accosted me when you first came into this apartment; and have gone in search of my mother, my brother, and the rest of my relations. I should have persisted in that design, and would have put it in execution, if after a certain time I had found myself deceived in the hopes of being with child; but in the condition I am in, all I could say to my mother or my brother would never convince them that I have been a slave to a king like your majesty. They would never believe it, but would for ever upbraid me with the crime I have voluntarily committed against my honour. However, sire, be it a prince or princess that I may bring into the world, it will be a pledge to engage me never to be parted from your majesty; and therefore I hope you will no longer regard me as a slave, but as a princess worthy your alliance."

In this manner the Princess Gulnare discovered herself to the king of Persia, and finished her story. "My charming, my adorable princess," cried he, "what wonders have I heard! and what ample matter for my curiosity, to ask a thousand questions concerning those strange and unheard of things which you have related! But first, I ought to thank you for your goodness and patience in making trial of the truth and constancy of my passion. I thought it impossible for me to love you more than I did; but since I know you to be a princess, I love you a thousand times more. Princess! did I say, madam? you are no longer so; but you are my queen, the queen of Persia; and by that title you shall soon be proclaimed throughout the whole kingdom. To-morrow the ceremony shall be performed in my capital with a pomp and magnificence never yet beheld; which will plainly shew that you are my queen and my lawful wife. This should long ago have been done, had you sooner convinced me of my error: for from the first moment of my seeing you, I have been of the same opinion as now, to love you always, and never to place my affections on any other.

"But that I may satisfy myself, and pay you all the respect that is your due, I beseech you, madam, to inform me more particularly of the kingdom and people of the sea, who are altogether unknown to me. I have heard much talk, indeed, of the inhabitants of the sea, but I always looked upon such accounts merely as tales or fables; by what you have told me, I am convinced there is nothing more true; and I have a proof of it in your own person, who are one of them, and are pleased to condescend to be my wife; which is an honour no other inhabitant on the earth can boast. There is one point however which yet perplexes me; therefore I must beg the favour of you to explain it; that is, I cannot comprehend how it is possible for you to live or move in water without being drowned. There are few amongst us who have the art of staying under water; and they would surely perish, if, after a certain time, according to their activity and strength, they did not come up again."

"Sire," replied the Queen Gulnare, "I shall with pleasure satisfy the king of Persia. We can walk at the bottom of the sea with as much ease as you can upon land; and we can breathe in the water as you do in the air; so that instead of suffocating us, as it does you, it absolutely contributes to the preservation of our lives. What is yet more remarkable is, that it never wets our clothes; so that when we wish to visit the earth, we have no occasion to dry them. Our language is the same with that of the writing engraved upon the seal of the great prophet Solomon the son of David.

"I must not forget to inform you further, that the water does not in the least hinder us from seeing: for we can open our eyes without any inconvenience: and as we have quick, piercing sight, we can discern any objects as clearly in the deepest part of the sea as upon land. We have also there a succession of day and night; the moon affords us her light; and even the planets and the stars appear visible to us. I have already spoken of our kingdoms; but as the sea is much more spacious than the earth, so there are a great number of them, and of great extent. They are divided into provinces; and in each province are several great cities well peopled. In short there is an infinite number of nations differing in manners and customs, as they do on the earth.

"The palaces of the kings and princes are sumptuous and magnificent. Some of them are constructed of marble of various colours; others of rock-crystal, with which the sea abounds, mother of pearl, coral, and of other materials more valuable; gold, silver, and all sorts of precious stones are more plentiful there than on earth. I say nothing of the pearls, since the largest that ever were seen upon earth would not be valued amongst us; and none but the very lowest rank of citizens would wear them.

"As we have a marvellous and incredible agility to transport ourselves whither we please in the twinkling of an eye, we have no occasion for carriages or horses; not but the king has his stables and his stud of sea horses; but they are seldom used, except upon public feasts or rejoicing days. Some, after they have trained them, take delight in riding and shewing their skill and dexterity in races; others put them to chariots of mother of pearl, adorned with an infinite number of shells of all sorts, of the liveliest colours. These chariots are open; and in the middle is a throne on which the king sits, and shows himself to the public view of his subjects. The horses are trained to draw by themselves; so that there is no occasion for a charioteer to guide them. I pass over a thousand other curious particulars relating to these submarine countries, which would be very entertaining to your majesty; but you must permit me to defer them to a future opportunity, to speak of something of much greater consequence, which is, that the method of delivering, and the way of managing the women of the sea in their lying-in, is very different from those of the women of the earth; and I am afraid to trust myself in the hands of the midwives of this country: therefore, since my safe delivery equally concerns us both, with your majesty's permission, I think it proper, for greater security, to send for my mother and my cousins, to assist at my labour; at the same time to desire the king my brother's company, to whom I have a great desire to be reconciled. They will be glad to see me again, when they understand I am wife to the mighty king of Persia. I beseech your majesty to give me leave to send for them. I am sure they will be happy to pay their respects to you; and I venture to say you will be pleased to see them."

"Madam," replied the king of Persia, "you are mistress; do whatever you please; I will endeavour to receive them with all the honours they deserve. But I would fain know how you will acquaint them with what you desire, and when they will arrive, that I may give orders to make preparation for their reception, and go myself in person to meet them." "Sire," replied the Queen Gulnare, "there is no need of these ceremonies; they will be here in a moment; and if your majesty will but step into the closet, and look through the lattice, you shall see the manner of their arrival."

As soon as the king of Persia was in the closet, Queen Gulnare ordered one of her women to bring her a fire-pan with a little fire. After that she bade her retire, and shut the door. When she was alone, she took a piece of aloes-wood out of a box, and put it into the fire-pan. As soon as she saw the smoke rise, she repeated some words unknown to the king of Persia, who observed with great attention all that she did. She had no sooner ended, than the sea began to be disturbed. The closet the king was in was so contrived, that looking through the lattice on the same side with the windows that faced the sea, he could plainly perceive it.

At length the sea opened at some distance; and presently there arose out of it a tall, handsome young man, with whiskers of a sea-green colour; a little behind him, a lady, advanced in years, but of a majestic air, attended by five young ladies, nothing inferior in beauty to the Queen Gulnare.

Queen Gulnare immediately came to one of the windows, and saw the king her brother, the queen her mother, and the rest of her relations, who at the same time perceived her also. The company advanced, supported, as it were, upon the waves. When they came to the edge, they nimbly, one after another, sprung in at the window. King Saleh, the queen her mother, and the rest of her relations, embraced her tenderly on their first entrance, with tears in their eyes.

After Queen Gulnare had received them with all imaginable honour, and made them sit down upon a sofa, the queen her mother addressed herself to her: "Daughter," said she, "I am overjoyed to see you again after so long an absence; and I am confident that your brother and your relations are no less so. Your leaving us without acquainting any one with your intention, involved us in inexpressible concern; and it is impossible to tell you how many tears we have shed on your account. We know of no reason that could induce you to take such a resolution, but what your brother related to us respecting the conversation that passed between him and you. The advice he gave you seemed to him at that time advantageous for settling you in the world, and suitable to the then posture of our affairs. If you had not approved of his proposal, you ought not to have been so much alarmed; and give me leave to tell you, you took his advice in a different light from what you ought to have done. But no more of this; it serves only to renew the occasion of our sorrow and complaint, which we and you ought to bury forever in oblivion; give us now an account of all that has happened to you since we saw you last, and of your present situation, but especially let us know if you are married."

Gulnare immediately threw herself at her mother's feet, and kissing her hand, "Madam," said she, "I own I have been guilty of a fault, and I am indebted to your goodness for the pardon which you are pleased to grant me. What I am going to say, in obedience to your commands, will soon convince you, that it is often in vain for us to have an aversion for certain measures; I have myself experienced that the only thing I had an abhorrence to, is that to which my destiny has led me." She then related the whole of what had befallen her since she quitted the sea for the earth. As scon as she had concluded, and acquainted them with her having been sold to the king of Persia, in whose palace she was at present; "Sister," said the king her brother, "you have been wrong to suffer so many indignities, but you can properly blame nobody but yourself; you have it in your power now to free yourself, and I cannot but admire your patience, that you could endure so long a slavery. Rise, and return with us into my kingdom, which I have reconquered from the proud usurper who had made himself master of it."

The king of Persia, who heard these words from the closet where he stood, was in the utmost alarm; "Ah!" said he to himself, "I am ruined, and if my queen, my Gulnare, hearken to this advice, and leave me, I shall surely die, for it is impossible for me to live without her." Queen Gulnare soon put him out of his fears.

"Brother," said she smiling, "what I have just heard gives me a greater proof than ever of the sincerity of your affection; I could not brook your proposing to me a match with a prince of the earth: now I can scarcely forbear being angry with you for advising me to break the engagement I have made with the most puissant and most renowned monarch in the world. I do not speak here of an engagement between a slave and her master; it would be easy to return the ten thousand pieces of gold he gave for me; but I speak now of a contract between a wife and a husband—and a wife who has not the least reason to complain. He is a religious, wise, and temperate king, and has given me the most essential demonstrations of his love. What can be a greater proof of the sincerity of his passion, than sending away all his women (of which he had a great number) immediately upon my arrival, and confining himself to me alone? I am now his wife, and he has lately declared me queen of Persia, to share with him in his councils; besides, I am pregnant, and if heaven permit me to give him a son, that will be another motive to engage my affections to him the more."

"So that, brother," continued the queen Gulnare, "instead of following your advice, you see I have all the reason in the world, not only to love the king of Persia as passionately as he loves me, but also to live and die with him, more out of gratitude than duty. I hope then neither my mother, nor you, nor any of my cousins, will disapprove of the resolution or the alliance I have made, which will do equal honour to the kings of the sea and earth. Excuse me for giving you the trouble of coming hither from the bottom of the deep, to communicate it to you; and to enjoy the pleasure of seeing you after so long a separation."

"Sister," replied King Saleh, "the proposal I made you of going back with us into my kingdom, upon the recital of your adventures (which I could not hear without concern), was only to let you see how much we all love you, and how much I in particular honour you, and that nothing is so dear to me as your happiness. Upon the same account then, for my own part, I cannot condemn a resolution so reasonable and so worthy of yourself, after what you have told us of the king of Persia your husband, and the great obligations you owe him; and I am persuaded that the queen our mother will be of the same opinion."

The queen confirmed what her son had spoken, and addressing herself to Gulnare, said, "I am glad to hear you are pleased; and I have nothing to add to what your brother has said. I should have been the first to condemn you, had you not expressed all the gratitude you owe to a monarch. that loves you so passionately."

As the king of Persia had been extremely concerned under the apprehension of losing his beloved queen, so now he was transported with joy at her resolution never to forsake him; and having no room to doubt of her love after so open a declaration, he resolved to evince his gratitude in every possible way.

While the king was indulging incredible pleasure, Queen Gulnare clapped her hands, and immediately some of her slaves entered, whom she had ordered to bring in a collation: as soon as it was served up, she invited the queen her mother, the king her brother, and her cousins to partake. They began to reflect that they were in the palace of a mighty king, who had never seen or heard of them, and that it would be rudeness to eat at his table without him. This reflection raised a blush in their faces, and in their emotion, their eyes glowing like fire, they breathed flames at their mouths and nostrils.

This unexpected sight put the king of Persia, who was totally ignorant of the cause of it, into a dreadful consternation. Queen Gulnare, suspecting this, and understanding the intention of her relations, rose from her seat, and told them she would be back in a moment. She went directly to the closet, and by her presence recovered the king of Persia from his surprise; "Sir," said she, "I doubt not but that your majesty is well pleased with the acknowledgment I have made of the many favours for which I am indebted to you. I might have complied with the wishes of my relations, and gone back with them into their dominions; but I am not capable of such ingratitude, for which I should have been the first to condemn myself." "Ah! my queen,"cried the king of Persia, "speak no more of your obligations to me; you have none; I am under so many to you, that I shall never be able to repay them. I never thought it possible you could have loved me so tenderly as you do, and as you have made appear to me in the most endearing manner." "Ah! sir," replied Gulnare "could I do less? I fear I have not done enough, considering all the honours that your majesty has heaped upon me; and it is impossible for me to remain insensible of your love, after so many convincing proofs as you have given me."

"But, sir," continued Gulnare, "let us drop this subject, and give me leave to assure you of the sincere friendship the queen my mother and the king my brother are pleased to honour you with; they earnestly desire to see you, and tell you so themselves: I intended to have had some conversation with them by ordering a banquet for them, before I introduced them to your majesty; but they are impatient to pay their respects to you; and therefore I beseech your majesty to be pleased to honour them with your presence."

"Madam," said the king of Persia, "I should be glad to salute persons who have the honour to be so nearly related to you, but I am afraid of the flames they breathe at their mouths and nostrils." "Sir," replied the queen laughing, "you need not in the least fear those flames, which are nothing but a sign of their unwillingness to eat in your palace, without your honouring them with your presence, and eating with them."

The king of Persia, encouraged by these words, rose and went into the apartment with his Queen Gulnare She presented him to the queen her mother, to the king her brother, and to her other relations; who instantly threw themselves at his feet, with their faces to the ground. The king of Persia ran to them, and lifting them up, embraced them one after another. After they were all seated, King Saleh began: "Sir;" said he to the king of Persia, "we are at a loss for words to express our joy, to think that the queen my sister, in her disgrace, should have the happiness of falling under the protection of so powerful a monarch. We can assure you, she is not unworthy of the high rank to which you have been pleased to raise her; and we have always had so much love and tenderness for her, that we could never think or parting with her to any of the puissant princes of the sea, who have often demanded her in marriage before she came of age. Heaven has reserved her for you, and we have no better way of testifying our gratitude for the favour it has done her, than beseeching it to grant your majesty a long and happy life with her, and to crown you with prosperity and satisfaction.

"Certainly," replied the king of Persia, "heaven reserved her for me, as you observe. I love her with so tender and ardent a passion, that I am satisfied I never loved any woman till I saw her. I cannot sufficiently thank either the queen her mother or you, prince, or your whole family, for the generosity with which you have consented to receive me into an alliance so glorious to me as yours." So saying he invited them to take part of the collation, and he and his queen sat down with them. After the collation, the king of Persia conversed with them till it was very late; and when they thought it convenient to retire, he waited upon them himself to the several apartments he had ordered to be prepared for them.

The king of Persia treated his illustrious guests with continual feasts; in which he omitted nothing that might shew his grandeur and magnificence, and insensibly prevailed with them to stay with him till the queen was brought to bed. When the time of her lying-in drew near, he gave particular orders that nothing should be wanting proper for such an occasion. At length she was brought to bed of a son, to the great joy of the queen her mother, who assisted at the labour, and presented him to the king.

The king of Persia received this present with a joy easier to be imagined than expressed. The young prince being of a beautiful countenance, he thought no name so proper for him as that of Beder, which in the Arabian language signifies the Full Moon. To return thanks to heaven, he was very liberal in his alms to the poor, caused the prison doors to be set open, and gave all his slaves of both sexes their liberty. He distributed vast sums among the ministers and holy men of his religion. He also gave large donations to his courtiers, besides a considerable sum that was thrown amongst the people; and by proclamation, ordered rejoicings to be kept for several days through the whole city.

One day, after the queen was recovered, as the king of Persia, Gulnare, the queen her mother, King Saleh her brother, and the princesses their relations, were discoursing together in her majesty's bed-chamber, the nurse came in with the young prince Beder in her arms. King Saleh as soon as he saw him, ran to embrace him, and taking him in his arms, kissed and caressed him with the greatest demonstrations of tenderness. He took several turns with him about the room, dancing and tossing him about, when all of a sudden, through a transport of joy, the window being open, he sprung out, and plunged with him into the sea.

The king of Persia, who expected no such sight, believing he should either see the prince his son no more, or else that he should see him drowned, was overwhelmed in affliction. "Sir," said queen Gulnare (with a quiet and undisturbed countenance, the better to comfort him), "let your majesty fear nothing; the young prince is my son as well as yours, and I do not love him less than yourself. You see I am not alarmed; neither in truth ought I to be. He runs no risk, and you will soon see the king his uncle appear with him again, and bring him back safe. Although he be born of your blood, he is equally of mine, and will have the same advantage his uncle and I possess, of living equally in the sea, and upon the land." The queen his mother and the princesses his relations affirmed the same thing; yet all they said had no effect on the king, who could not recover from his alarm till he again saw prince Beder.

The sea at length became troubled, when immediately King Saleh arose with the young prince in his arms, and holding him up in the air, reentered at the window from which he had leaped. The king of Persia being overjoyed to see Prince Beder again, and astonished that he was as calm as before he lost sight of him; King Saleh said, "Sir, was not your majesty in alarm, when you first saw me plunge into the sea with the prince my nephew?" "Alas prince," answered the king of Persia, "I cannot express my concern. I thought him lost from that very moment, and you now restore life to me by bringing him again." "I thought as much," replied King Saleh, "though you had not the least reason to apprehend danger; for before I plunged into the sea, I pronounced over him certain mysterious words, which were engraved on the seal of the great Solomon the son of David. We practise the like in relation to all those children that are born in the regions at the bottom of the sea, by virtue whereof they receive the same privileges as we have over those people who inhabit the earth. From what your majesty has observed, you may easily see what advantage your son Prince Beder has acquired by his birth on the part of his mother Gulnare my sister: for as long as he lives, and as often as he pleases, he will be at liberty to plunge into the sea, and traverse the vast empires it contains in its bosom."

Having so spoken, King Saleh, who had restored Prince Beder to his nurse's arms, opened a box he had fetched from his palace in the little time he had disappeared, which was filled with three hundred diamonds, as large as pigeons' eggs; a like number of rubies of extraordinary size; as many emerald wands, each half a foot long, and thirty strings or necklaces of pearl consisting each of ten feet. "Sir," said he to the king of Persia, presenting him with this box, "when I was first summoned by the queen my sister, I knew not what part of the earth she was in, or that she had the honour to be married to so great a monarch. This made us come without a present. As we cannot express how much we have been obliged to your majesty, I beg you to accept this small token of gratitude in acknowledgment of the many favours you have been pleased to shew her, wherein we take equal interest."

It is impossible to express how greatly the king of Persia was surprised at the sight of so much riches, enclosed in so little compass. "What! prince," cried he, "do you call so inestimable a present a small token of your gratitude, when you never have been indebted to me? I declare once more you have never been in the least obliged to me, neither the queen your mother nor you. I esteem myself but too happy in the consent you have given to the alliance I have contracted with you. Madam," continued he, turning to Gulnare, "the king your brother has put me into the greatest confusion; and I would beg of him to permit me to refuse his present, were I not afraid of disobliging him: do you therefore endeavour to obtain his leave that I may be excused accepting it."

"Sir," replied King Saleh, "I am not at all surprised that your majesty thinks this present so extraordinary. I know you are not accustomed upon earth to see precious stones of this quality and number: but if you knew, as I do, the mines whence these jewels were taken, and that it is in my power to form a treasure greater than those of all the kings of the earth, you would wonder we should have the boldness to make you so small a present. I beseech you therefore not to regard its trifling value, but consider the sincere friendship which obliges us to offer it to you, and not give us the mortification of refusing it." These engaging expressions obliged the king of Persia to accept the present, for which he returned many thanks both to King Saleh and the queen his mother.

A few days after, King Saleh gave the king of Persia to understand, that the queen his mother, the princesses his relations, and himself, could have no greater pleasure than to spend their whole lives at his court; but that having been so long absent from their own kingdom, where their presence was absolutely necessary, they begged of him to excuse them if they took leave of him and Queen Gulnare. The king of Persia assured them, he was sorry it was not in his power to return their visit in their own dominions; but added, "As I am persuaded you will not forget Gulnare, I hope I shall have the honour to see you again more than once."

Many tears were shed on both sides upon their separation. King Saleh departed first; but the queen his mother and the princesses his relations were obliged to force themselves from the embraces of Gulnare, who could not prevail with herself to let them go. This royal company were no sooner out of sight, than the king of Persia said to Gulnare, "Madam, I should have looked upon the person who had pretended to pass those upon me for true wonders, of which I myself have been eye-witness from the time I have been honoured with your illustrious family at my court, as one who would have abused my credulity. But I cannot refuse to believe my senses; and shall remember them while I live, and never cease to bless heaven for directing you to me, in preference to any other prince."

Beder was brought up and educated in the palace under the care of the king and queen of Persia, who both saw him grow and increase in beauty to their great satisfaction. He gave them yet greater pleasure as he advanced in years, by his continual sprightliness, his agreeable manners, and the justness and vivacity of his wit; and this satisfaction was the more sensible, because King Saleh his uncle, the queen his grandmother, and the princesses his relations, came from time to time to partake of it.

He was easily taught to read and write, and was instructed with the same facility in all the sciences that became a prince of his rank.

When he arrived at the age of fifteen, he acquitted himself in all his exercises with infinitely better address and grace than his masters. He was withal wise and prudent. The king, who had almost from his cradle discovered in him virtues so necessary for a monarch, and who moreover began to perceive the infirmities of old age coming upon himself every day, would not stay till death gave him possession of his throne, but purposed to resign it to him. He had no great difficulty to make his council consent to this arrangement: and the people heard his resolution with so much the more joy, as they conceived Prince Beder worthy to govern them. In a word, as the king had not for a long time appeared in public, they had the opportunity of observing that he had not that disdainful, proud, and distant air, which most princes have, who look upon all below them with scorn and contempt. They saw, on the contrary, that he treated all mankind with that goodness which invited them to approach him; that he heard favourably all who had anything to say to him; that he answered everybody with a goodness that was peculiar to him; and that he refused nobody any thing that had the least appearance of justice.

The day for the ceremony was appointed, when in the midst of the whole assembly, which was then more numerous than ordinary, the king of Persia came down from his throne, took the crown from his head, put it on that of Prince Beder, and having seated him in his place, kissed his hand as a token that he resigned his authority to him. After which he took his place among the crowd of viziers and emirs below the throne.

Hereupon the viziers, emirs, and other principal officers, came immediately and threw themselves at the new king's feet, taking each the oath of fidelity according to their rank. Then the grand vizier made a report of divers important matters, on which the young king gave judgment with that admirable prudence and sagacity that surprised all the council. He next turned out several governors convicted of mal-administration, and put others in their room, with such wonderful and just discernment, as exalted the acclamations of every body, which were so much the more honourable, as flattery had no share in them. He at length left the council, accompanied by his father, and went to wait on his mother Queen Gulnare at her apartment. The queen no sooner saw him coming with his crown upon his head, than she ran to him and embraced him with tenderness, wishing him a long and prosperous reign.

The first year of his reign King Beder acquitted himself of all his royal functions with great assiduity. Above all, he took care to inform himself of the state of his affairs, and all that might any way contribute towards the happiness of his people. Next year, having left the administration to his council, under the direction of his father, he left his capital, under pretence of diverting himself with hunting; but his real intention was to visit all the provinces of his kingdom, that he might reform abuses, establish good order, and deprive all ill-minded princes, his neighbours, of any opportunities of attempting anything against the security and tranquillity of his subjects, by shewing himself on his frontiers.

It required no less than a whole year for the young monarch to execute a design so worthy of him. Soon after his return, the old king his father fell so dangerously ill, that he knew at once he should never recover. He waited for his last moment with great tranquillity, and his only care was to recommend to the ministers and other lords of his son's court, to persevere in the fidelity they had sworn to him: and there was not one but willingly renewed his oath as freely as at first. He died at length, to the great grief of King Beder and Queen Gulnare, who caused his corpse to be borne to a stately mausoleum, worthy of his rank and dignity.

The funeral obsequies ended, King Beder found no difficulty to comply with that ancient custom in Persia to mourn for the dead a whole month and not to be seen by anybody during that time. He had mourned the death of his father his whole life, had he yielded to his excessive affliction, and had it been right for a great prince thus to abandon himself to sorrow. During this interval the Queen Gulnare's mother, and King Saleh, together with the princesses their relations, arrived at the Persian court to condole with their relations.

When the month was expired, the king could not refuse admittance to the grand vizier and the other lords of his court, who besought him to lay aside his mourning, to shew himself to his subjects, and take upon him the administration of affairs as before.

He shewed so much reluctance to comply with their request, that the grand vizier was forced to take upon himself to say; "Sir, it were needless to represent to your majesty, that it belongs only to women to persist in perpetual mourning. We doubt not but you are fully convinced of this, and that it is not your intention to follow their example. Neither our tears nor yours are capable of restoring life to the good king your father, though we should lament him all our days. He has submitted to the common law of all men, which subjects them to pay the indispensable tribute of death. Yet we cannot say absolutely that he is dead, since we see in him your sacred person. He did not himself doubt, when he was dying, but he should revive in you, and to your majesty it belongs to show that he was not deceived."

King Beder could no longer oppose such pressing instances; he laid aside his mourning; and after he had resumed the royal habit and ornaments, began to provide for the necessities of his kingdom and subjects with the same assiduity as before his father's death. He acquitted himself with universal approbation: and as he was exact in maintaining the ordinances of his predecessor, the people did not perceive they had changed their sovereign.

King Saleh, who was returned to his dominions in the sea with the queen his mother and the princesses, no sooner saw that King Beder had resumed the government, but he at the end of the year came alone to visit him; and King Beder and Queen Gulnare were overjoyed to see him. One evening, talking of various matters, King Saleh fell insensibly on the praises of the king his nephew, and expressed to the queen his sister how glad he was to see him govern so prudently, as to acquire such high reputation, not only among his neighbours, but more remote princes. King Beder, who could not bear to hear himself so well spoken of, and not being willing, through good manners, to interrupt the king his uncle, turned on one side, and feigned to be asleep, leaning his head against a cushion that was behind him.

From these commendations, which regarded only the conduct and genius of Beder, King Saleh came to speak of the perfections of his person, which he extolled as prodigies, having nothing equal to them upon earth, or in all the kingdoms under the waters, with which he was acquainted.

"Sister," said he, "I wonder you have not thought of marrying him: if I mistake not, he is in his twentieth year; and, at that age, no prince ought to be suffered to be without a wife. I will think of a match for him myself, since you will not, and marry him to some princess of our lower world that may be worthy of him."

"Brother," replied queen Gulnare, "you call to my attention what I must own has never occurred to me. As he discovered no inclination for marriage, I never thought of mentioning it to him. I like your proposal of one of our princesses; and I desire you to name one so beautiful and accomplished that the king my son may be obliged to love her."

"I know one," replied king Saleh, softly; "but before I tell you who she is, let us see if the king my nephew be asleep, and I will tell you afterwards why it is necessary we should take that precaution." Queen Gulnare turned about and looked at her son, and thought she had no reason to doubt but he was in a profound sleep. King Beder, nevertheless, far from sleeping, redoubled his attention, unwilling to lose any thing the king his uncle said with so much secrecy. "There is no necessity for your speaking so low," said the queen to the king her brother; "you may speak out with freedom, without fear of being heard."

"It is by no means proper," replied King Saleh, "that the king my nephew should as yet have any knowledge of what I am going to say. Love, you know, sometimes enters at the ear, and it is not necessary he should thus conceive a passion for the lady I am about to name. Indeed I see many difficulties to be surmounted, not on the lady's part, as I hope, but on that of her father. I need only mention to you the princess Jehaun-ara, daughter of the king of Samandal."

"How! brother," replied Queen Gulnare, "is not the princess yet married? I remember to have seen her before I left your palace; she was then about eighteen months old, surprisingly beautiful, and must needs be the wonder of the world, if her charms have increased with her years. The few years she is older than the king my son ought not to prevent us from doing our utmost to effect the match. Let me but know the difficulties in the way, and we will surmount them."

"Sister," replied King Saleh, "the greatest difficulty is, that the king of Samandal is insupportably vain, looking upon all others as his inferiors: it is not likely we shall easily get him to enter into this alliance. I will however go to him in person, and demand of him the princess his daughter; and, in case he refuses her, we will address ourselves elsewhere, where we shall be more favourably heard. For this reason, as you may perceive," added he, "it is as well for the king my nephew not to know any thing of our design, till we have the consent of the king of Samandal." They discoursed a little longer upon this point and, before they parted, agreed that King Saleh should forthwith return to his own dominions, and demand the princess for the king of Persia his nephew.

This done, Queen Gulnare and King Saleh, who believed King Beder asleep, agreed to awake him before they retired; and he dissembled so well that he seemed to awake from a profound sleep. He had heard every word, and the character they gave of the princess had inflamed his heart with a new passion. He had conceived such an idea of her beauty, that the desire of possessing her made him pass the night very uneasy without closing his eyes.

Next day King Saleh proposed taking leave of Gulnare and the king his nephew. The young king, who knew his uncle would not have de- parted so soon but to go and promote without loss of time his happiness, changed colour when he heard him mention his departure. His passion was become so violent, it would not suffer him to wait so long for the sight of his mistress as would be required to accomplish the marriage. He more than once resolved to desire his uncle to bring her away with him: but as he did not wish to let the queen his mother understand he knew anything of what had passed, he desired him only to stay with him one day more, that they might hunt together, intending to take that opportunity to discover his mind to him.

The day for hunting was fixed, and King Beder had many opportunities of being alone with his uncle; but he had not courage to acquaint him with his design.

In the heat of the chase, when King Saleh was separated from him, and not one of his officers or attendants was near him, he alighted by a rivulet; and having tied his horse to a tree, which, with several others growing along the banks, afforded a very pleasing shade, he laid himself on the grass, and gave free course to his tears, which flowed in great abundance, accompanied with many sighs.

He remained a good while in this condition, absorbed in thought, without speaking a word. King Saleh, in the meantime, missing the king his nephew, began to be much concerned to know what was become of him; but could meet no one who could give any tidings of him. He therefore left his company to seek for him, and at length perceived him at a distance. He had observed the day before, and more plainly that day, that he was not so lively as he used to be; and that, if he was asked a question, he either answered not at all, or nothing to the purpose; but never in the least suspected the cause. As soon as he saw him dying in that disconsolate posture, he immediately guessed he had not only heard what had passed between him and Queen Gulnare, but was become passionately in love. He alighted at some distance from him, and having tied his horse to a tree, came upon him so softly, that he heard him pronounce the following words:

"Amiable princess of the kingdom of Samandal, I have no doubt had but an imperfect sketch of your incomparable beauty; I hold you to be still more beautiful in preference to all the princesses in the world, and to excel them as much as the sun does the moon and stars. I would this moment go and offer you my heart, if I knew where to find you; it belongs to you, and no princess shall be possessor of it but yourself!"

King Saleh would hear no more; he advanced immediately, and discovered himself to Beder. "From what I see, nephew," said he, "you heard what the queen your mother and I said the other day of the princess Jehaun-ara. It was not our intention you should have known any thing respecting her, and we thought you were asleep." "My dear uncle," replied King Beder, "I heard every word, and have sufficiently experienced the effect you foretold; which it was not in your power to prevent. I detained you on purpose to acquaint you with my love before your departure; but the shame of disclosing my weakness, if it be any to love a princess so worthy of my affection, sealed up my mouth. I beseech you then, by the friendship you profess for a prince who has the honour to be so nearly allied to you, that you would pity me, and not wait to procure me the consent of the divine Jehaun-ara, till you have gained that of the king of Samandal that I may marry his daughter, unless you had rather see me die with love, before I behold her."

These words of the king of Persia greatly embarrassed King Saleh. He represented to him how difficult it was to give him the satisfaction he desired, and that he could not do it without carrying him along with him; which might be of dangerous consequence, since his presence was so absolutely necessary in his kingdom. He conjured him, therefore, to moderate his passion, till such time as he had put things into a train to satisfy him, assuring him he would use his utmost diligence, and would come to acquaint him in a few days. But these reasons were not sufficient to satisfy the king of Persia. "Cruel uncle," said he. "I find you do not love me so much as you pretended, and that you had rather see me die than grant the first request I ever made."

"I am ready to convince your majesty," replied King Saleh, "that I would do any thing to serve you; but as for carrying you along with me, I cannot do that till I have spoken to the queen your mother. What would she say of you and me? If she consents, I am ready to do all you would have me, and will join my entreaties to yours." "You cannot be ignorant," replied the king of Persia, "that the queen my mother would never willingly part with me; and therefore this excuse does but farther convince me of your unkindness. If you really love me, as you would have me believe, you must return to your kingdom immediately, and take me with you."

King Saleh, finding himself obliged to yield to his nephew's importunity, drew from his finger a ring, on which were engraved the same mysterious names of God that were upon Solomon's seal, which had wrought so many wonders by their virtue. "Here, take this ring," said he, "put it on your finger, and fear neither the waters of the sea, nor their depth." The king of Persia took the ring, and when he had put it on his finger, King Saleh said to him, "Do as I do." At the same time they both mounted lightly up into the air, and made towards the sea, which was not far distant, and they both plunged into it.

The sea-king was not long in arriving at his palace, with the king of Persia, whom he immediately carried to the queen's apartments, and presented to her. The king of Persia kissed the queen his grandmother's hands, and she embraced him with great demonstrations of joy. "I do not ask you how you do," said she, "I see you are very well, and am rejoiced at it; but I desire to know how my daughter your mother Queen Gulnare does." The king of Persia took great care not to let her know that he had come away with out taking leave of her; on the contrary he told her, the queen his mother was in perfect health, and had enjoined him to pay her duty to her. The queen then presented him to the princesses; and while he was in conversation with them, she left him, and went with King Saleh into a closet, who told her how the king of Persia was fallen in love with the Princess Jehaun-ara, upon the bare relation of her beauty, and contrary to his intention; that he had, against his own wishes, brought him along with him, and that he was going to concert measures to procure the princess for him in marriage.

Although King Saleh was, to do him justice, perfectly innocent of the king of Persia's passion, yet the queen could hardly forgive his indiscretion in mentioning the princess Jehaun- ara before him, "Your imprudence is not to be forgiven," said she; "can you think that the king of Samandal, whose character is so well known, will have greater consideration for you, than the many other kings to whom he has refused his daughter, with such evident contempt? Would you have him send you away with the same confusion?

"Madam," replied King Saleh, "I have already told you it was contrary to my intention that the king my nephew heard what I related of the beauty of the princess to the queen my sister. The fault is committed, and we must consider what a violent passion he has for this princess, and that he will die with grief and affliction, if we do not speedily obtain her for him. For my part, I shall omit nothing that can contribute to effect their union: since I was, though innocently, the cause of the malady, I will do all I can to remedy it. I hope, madam, you will approve of my resolution, to go myself and wait on the king of Samandal, with a rich present of precious stones, and demand the princess his daughter of him for the king of Persia. I have some reason to believe he will not refuse, but will be pleased with an alliance with one of the greatest potentates of the earth."

"It were to have been wished," replied the queen, "that we had not been under a necessity of making this demand, since the success of our attempt is not so certain as we could desire; but since my grandson's peace and content depend upon it, I freely give my consent. But, above all, I charge you, since you well know the humour of the king of Samandal, that you take care to speak to him with due respect, and in a manner that cannot possibly offend him."

The queen prepared the present herself, composing it of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and strings of pearl, all which she put into a rich box. Next morning King Saleh took leave of her majesty and the king of Persia, and departed with a chosen and small troop of officers, and attendants. He soon arrived at the kingdom, and the palace of the king of Samandal, who delayed not to give him audience. He rose from his throne as soon as he perceived him; and King Saleh, forgetting his character for some moments, knowing whom he had to deal with, prostrated himself at his feet, wishing him the accomplishment of all his desires. The king of Samandal stooped to raise him, and after he had placed him on his left hand, told him he was welcome, and asked him if there was any thing he could do to serve him.

"Sir," answered King Saleh, "though I should have no other motive than that of paying my respects to the most potent, most prudent, and most valiant prince in the world, feeble would be my language to express how much I honour your majesty. Could you penetrate into my inmost soul, you would be convinced of the great veneration I have for you, and of my ardent desire to testify my attachment." Having spoke these words, he took the box of jewels from one of his servants, and having opened it, presented it to the king, imploring him to accept of it for his sake.

"Prince," replied the king of Samandal, "you would not make me such a present unless you had a request proportionable to it to propose. If there be any thing in my power to grant, you may freely command me, and I shall feel the greatest pleasure in complying with your wishes. Speak, and tell me frankly, wherein I can serve you?"

"I must own ingenuously," replied King Saleh, "I have a boon to ask of your majesty; and I shall take care to ask nothing but what is in your power to bestow. The thing depends so absolutely on yourself, that it would be to no purpose to ask it of any one else. I ask it then with all possible earnestness, and I beg of you not to refuse me." "If it be so," replied the king of Samandal, "you have nothing to do but acquaint me what it is, and you shall see after what manner I can oblige when it is in my power."

"Sir," said King Saleh, "after the confidence with which your majesty has been pleased to inspire me, I will not dissemble any longer, that I came to beg of you to honour our house with your alliance by the marriage of your daughter, and to strengthen the good understanding that has so long subsisted between our two crowns."

At these words the king of Samandal burst into a loud laugh, falling back in his throne against a cushion that supported him, and with an imperious and scornful air, said, "King Saleh, I have always hitherto thought you a prince of great wisdom, and prudence; but what you say convinces me I was mistaken. Tell me, I beseech you, where was your wit or discretion, when you formed to yourself such a chimera as you have proposed to me? Could you conceive a thought of aspiring in marriage to a princess, the daughter of so powerful a monarch as myself? You ought to have considered the great distance between us, and not run the risk of losing in a moment the esteem I always had for you."

King Saleh was hurt at this affronting answer, and could scarcely restrain his resentment; however he replied with all possible moderation, "God reward your majesty as you deserve! I have the honour to inform you, I do not demand the princess your daughter in marriage for myself; had I done even that, your majesty and the princess, so far from being offended, should have thought it an honour done to both. Your majesty well knows I am one of the kings of the sea as well as yourself; that my ancestors yield not in antiquity to any royal house; and that the kingdom I inherit is no less potent and flourishing than your own. If your majesty had not interrupted me, you had soon understood that the favour I asked was not for myself, but for the young king of Persia my nephew, whose power and grandeur, no less than his personal good qualities, cannot be unknown to you. Everybody acknowledges the Princess Jehaun-ara to be the most beautiful under ocean: but it is no less true, that the king of Persia is the handsomest and most accomplished prince on earth. Thus the favour that is asked being likely to redound to the honour both of your majesty and the princess your daughter, you ought not to doubt that your consent to an alliance so equal will be unanimously approved in all the kingdoms of the sea. The princess is worthy of the king of Persia, and the king of Persia is no less worthy of her."

The king of Samandal had not permitted King Saleh to speak so long, but that rage deprived him of all power of speech. At length, however, he broke out into outrageous and insulting expressions, unworthy of a great king. "Dog," cried he, "dare you talk to me after this manner, and so much as mention my daughter's name in my presence Can you think the son of your sister Gulnare worthy to come in competition with my daughter? Who are you? Who was your father? Who is your sister? And who your nephew? Was not his father a dog, and the son of a dog, like you? Guards, seize the insolent wretch, and strike off his head."

The few officers who were about the king of Samandal were immediately going to obey his orders, when King Saleh, who was in the flower of his age, nimble and vigorous, got from them, before they could draw their sabres; and having reached the palace-gate, found there a thousand men of his relations and friends, well armed and equipped, who were just arrived. The queen his mother having considered the small number of attendants he had taken with him, and foreseeing the reception he would probably meet from the king of Samandal, had sent these troops to protect and defend him in case of danger, ordering them to make haste. Those of his relations who were at the head of this troop had reason to rejoice at their seasonable arrival, when they beheld him and his attendants running in great disorder, and pursued. "Sire," cried his friends, the moment he joined them, "who has insulted you? We are ready to revenge you: you need only command us."

King Saleh related his case to them in few words, and putting himself at the head of a troop, while some seized the gates, he re-entered the palace. The few officers and guards who had pursued him, being soon dispersed, he forced the king of Samandal's apartment, who, being abandoned by his attendants, was soon seized. King Saleh left sufficient guards to secure his person, and then went from apartment to apartment, to search after the Princess Jehaun-ara. But she, on the first alarm, had, together with her women, sprung up to the surface of the sea, and escaped to a desert island.

While this passed in the palace of the king of Samandal, those of King Saleh's attendants who had fled at the first menaces of that king, put the queen mother into terrible consternation, on relating the danger of her son. King Beder, who was present at the time, was the more concerned, as he looked upon himself as the principal author of the mischief that might ensue: therefore, not caring to abide the queen's presence any longer, whilst she was giving the orders necessary at that conjuncture, he darted up from the bottom of the sea; and not knowing how to find his way to the kingdom of Persia, happened to land on the island where the Princess Jehaun-ara had saved herself.

The prince, not a little disturbed in mind, seated himself under the shade of a large tree, surrounded by others. Whilst he was endeavouring to recover himself, he heard somebody talking, but was too far off to understand what was said. He arose, and advanced softly towards the place whence the sound proceeded, where, among the branches, he perceived a beauty that dazzled him. "Doubtless," said he, within himself, stopping and considering her with great attention, "this must be the princess Jehaun-ara, whom fear has obliged to abandon her father's palace; or if it be not, she no less deserves my love." This said, he came forward, and discovering himself, approached the princess with profound reverence. "Madam," said he, "I can never sufficiently thank Heaven for the favour it has done me in presenting to my eyes so much beauty. A greater happiness could not have befallen me than this opportunity to offer you my services. I beseech you, therefore, madam, to accept them, it being impossible that a lady in this solitude should not want assistance."

"True, my lord," replied Jehaun-ara, sorrowfully; "it is not a little extraordinary for a lady of my quality to be in this situation. I am a princess, daughter of the king of Samandal, and my name is Jehaun-ara. I was at ease in my father's palace, in my apartment, when suddenly I heard a dreadful noise: news was immediately brought me, that king Saleh, I know not for what reason, had forced the palace, seized the king my father, and murdered all the guards who made any resistance. I had only time to save myself, and escape hither from his violence."

At these words King Beder began to be concerned that he had quitted his grandmother so hastily, without staying to hear from her an explanation of the news that had been brought. But he was, on the other hand, overjoyed to find that the king his uncle had rendered himself master of the king of Samandal's person, not doubting but he would consent to give up the princess for his liberty. "Adorable princess," continued he, "your concern is most just, but it

is easy to put an end both to that and your father's captivity. You will agree with me, when I shall tell you that I am Beder, king of Persia, and King Saleh is my uncle: I assure you, madam, he has no design to seize the king your father's dominions; his only intention is to obtain your father's consent, that I may have the honour and happiness of being his son-in- law. I had already given my heart to you, upon the bare relation of your beauty and charms; and now, far from repenting, I beg of you to accept it, and to be assured that I will love you as long as I live. I dare flatter myself you will not refuse this favour, but be ready to acknowledge that a king, who quitted his dominions purely on your account, deserves some acknowledgment. Permit me then, beauteous princess! to have the honour to present you to the king my uncle; and the king your father shall no sooner have consented to our marriage, than King Saleh will leave him sovereign of his dominions as before."

This declaration of King Beder did not produce the effect he expected. It is true, the princess no sooner saw him, than his person, air, and the grace wherewith he accosted her, led her to regard him as one who would not have been disagreeable to her; but when she heard that he had been the occasion of all the ill treatment her father had suffered, of the grief and fright she had endured, and especially the necessity she was reduced to of flying her country; she looked upon him as an enemy with whom she ought to have no connection. Whatever inclination she might have to agree to the marriage which he desired, she determined never to consent, reflecting that one of the reasons her father might have against this match might be, that King Beder was son of a king of the earth.

She would not, however, let King Beder know her resentment; but sought an occasion to deliver herself dexterously out of his hands; and seeming in the meantime to have a great kindness for him, "Are you then," said she, with all possible civility, "son of the Queen Gulnare, so famous for her wit and beauty? I am glad of it, and rejoice that you are the son of so worthy a mother. The king my father was much in the wrong so strongly to oppose our union: had he but seen you, he must have consented to make us happy." Saying so, she reached forth her hand to him as a token of friendship.

King Beder, believing himself arrived at the very pinnacle of happiness, held forth his hand, and taking that of the princess, stooped down to kiss it, when she, pushing him back, and spitting in his face for want of water to throw at him, said, "Wretch, quit the form of a man, and take that of a white bird, with a red bill and feet." Upon her pronouncing these words, King Beder was immediately changed into a bird of that description, to his great surprise and mortification. "Take him," said she to one of her women, "and carry him to the Dry Island." This island was only one frightful rock, where not a drop of water was to be had.

The waiting-woman took the bird, but in executing her princess's orders, had compassion on King Beder's misfortune. "It would be great pity," said she to herself, "to let a prince so worthy to live die of hunger and thirst. The princess, who is good and gentle, will, it may be, repent of this cruel order, when she comes to herself; it were better that I carried him to a place where he may die a natural death." She accordingly carried him to a well-frequented island, and left him in a charming plain, planted with all sorts of fruit- trees, and watered by divers rivulets.

Let us return to King Saleh. After he had sought for the princess Jehaun-ara to no purpose, he caused the king of Samandal to be shut up in his own palace, under a strong guard; and having given the necessary orders for governing the kingdom in his absence, returned to give the queen his mother an account of what he had done. The first question he asked on his arrival was, "Where was the king his nephew?" and he learned with great surprise and vexation that he could not be found. "News being brought me," said the queen, "of the danger you were in at the palace of the king of Samandal, whilst I was giving orders to send you other troops to avenge you, he disappeared. He must have been alarmed at hearing of your being in such great danger, and did not think himself in sufficient security with us."

This news exceedingly afflicted King Saleh, who now repented being so easily wrought upon by King Beder as to carry him away with him without his mother's consent. He sent everywhere to seek for him, but could hear no tidings of him; and instead of the joy he felt at having carried on so far the marriage, which he looked upon as his own work, his grief for this accident was more mortifying. Whilst he was under this suspense about his nephew, he left his kingdom under the administration of his mother, and went to govern that of the king of Samandal, whom he continued to keep with great vigilance, though with all due respect to his character.

The same day that King Saleh returned to the kingdom of Samandal, Queen Gulnare arrived at the court of the queen her mother. The princess was not at all surprised to find her son did not return the same day he set out: it being not uncommon for him to go farther than he proposed in the heat of the chase; but when she saw he neither returned the next day, nor the day after, she began to be alarmed, as may easily be imagined from her affection for him. This alarm was augmented, when the officers, who had accompanied the king, and were obliged to return after they had for a long time sought in vain both for him and his uncle, came and told her majesty they must of necessity have come to some harm, or must be together in some place which they could not guess; since, notwithstanding all the diligence they had used, they could hear no tidings of them. Their horses indeed they had found, but as for their persons, they knew not where to look for them. The queen hearing this, had resolved to dissemble and conceal her affliction, bidding the officers to search once more with their utmost diligence; but in the meantime she plunged into the sea, to satisfy herself as to the suspicion she had entertained that king Saleh must have carried his nephew with him.

This great queen would have been more affectionately received by her mother, had she not, on first seeing her, guessed the occasion of her coming. "Daughter," said she, "I plainly perceive you are not come hither to visit me; you come to inquire after the king your son; and the only news I can tell you will augment both your grief and mine. I no sooner saw him arrive in our territories, than I rejoiced; yet when I came to understand he had come away without your knowledge, I began to participate with you the concern you must needs suffer." Then she related to her with what zeal King Saleh went to demand the Princess Jehaun-ara in marriage for King Beder, and what had happened, till her son disappeared. "I have sought diligently after him," added she, "and the king my son, who is but just gone to govern the kingdom of Samandal, has done all that lay in his power. All our endeavours have hitherto proved unsuccessful, but we must hope nevertheless to see him again, perhaps when we least expect it."

Queen Gulnare was not satisfied with this hope: she looked upon the king her son as lost, and lamented him bitterly, laying all the blame on the king his uncle. The queen her mother made her consider the necessity of not yielding too much to grief. "The king your brother," said she, "ought not, it is true, to have talked to you so inconsiderately about that marriage, nor ever have consented to carry away the king my grandson, without acquainting you; yet, since it is not certain that the king of Persia is absolutely lost, you ought to neglect nothing to preserve his kingdom for him: lose then no more time, but return to your capital; your presence there will be necessary, and it will not be difficult for you to preserve the public peace, by causing it to be published, that the king of Persia was gone to visit his grandmother."

This was sufficient to oblige Queen Gulnare to yield. She took leave of the queen her mother, and returned to the palace of the capital of Persia before she had been missed. She immediately despatched persons to recall the officers she had sent after the king, to tell them that she knew where his majesty was, and that they should soon see him again. She also caused the same report to be spread throughout the city, and governed, in concert with the prime minister and council, with the same tranquillity as if the king had been present.

To return to King Beder, whom the Princess Jehaun-ara's waiting-woman had left in the island before mentioned; that monarch was not a little surprised when he found himself alone, and under the form of a bird. He esteemed himself yet more unhappy, in that he knew not where he was, or in what part of the world the kingdom of Persia lay. But if he had known, and had tried the force of his wings, to hazard the traversing so many extensive watery regions, and had reached it, what could he have gained, but the mortification to continue still in the same form, and not to be accounted even a man, much less acknowledged king of Persia? He was forced to remain where he was, live upon such food as birds of his kind were wont to have, and to pass the night on a tree.

A few days afterwards, a peasant, skilled in taking birds with nets, chanced to come to the place where he was; when perceiving so fine a bird, the like of which he had never seen, though he had followed that employment for a long while, he began greatly to rejoice. He employed all his art to ensnare him; and at length succeeded and took him. Overjoyed at so great a prize, which he looked upon to be of more worth than all the other birds he commonly took, he shut it up in a cage, and carried it to the city. As soon as he was come into the market, a citizen stops him, and asked how much he would have for his bird?

Instead of answering, the peasant demanded of the citizen what he would do with him in case he should buy him? "What wouldst thou have me to do with him," answered the citizen, "but roast and eat him?" "If that be the case," replied the peasant, "I suppose you would think me very well paid, if you should give me the smallest piece of silver for him. I set a much higher value upon him, and you should not have him for a piece of gold. Although I am advanced in years, I never saw such a bird in my life. I intend to make a present of him to the king; he will know its value better than you."

Without staying any longer in the market, the peasant went directly to the palace, and placed himself exactly before the king's apartment. His majesty, being at a window where he could see all that passed in the court, no sooner cast his eyes on this beautiful bird, than he sent an officer of his eunuchs to buy it for him. The officer going to the peasant, demanded of him how much he would have for the bird? "If it be for his majesty," answered the. peasant, "I humbly beg of him to accept it of me as a present, and I desire you to carry it to him." The officer took the bird to the king, who found it so great a rarity, that he ordered the same officer to take ten pieces of gold, and carry them to the peasant, who departed very well satisfied. The king ordered the bird to be put into a magnificent cage, and gave it corn and water in rich vessels.

The king being then ready to mount on horseback to go a hunting, had not time to consider the bird, therefore had it brought to him as soon as he returned. The officer brought the cage, and the king, that he might the better view the bird, took it out himself; and perched it upon his hand. Looking earnestly upon it, he demanded of the officer, if he had seen it eat. "Sir," replied the officer, "your majesty may observe the vessel with his food is still full, and I have not observed that he has touched any of it." Then the king ordered him meat of divers sorts, that he might take what he liked best.

The table being spread, and dinner served up just as the king had given these orders, as soon as the dishes were placed, the bird, clapping his wings, leaped off the king's hand, flew upon the table, where he began to peck the bread and victuals, sometimes on one plate and sometimes on another. The king was so surprised that he immediately sent the officer of the eunuchs to desire the queen to come and see this wonder. The officer related it to her majesty, and she came forthwith; but she no sooner saw the bird, than she covered her face with her veil, and would have retired. The king, surprised at her proceeding, as there was none present in the chamber but the eunuchs and the women who attended her, asked the reason of her conduct.

"Sir," answered the queen, "your majesty will no longer be surprised, when you understand, that this is not as you suppose a bird, but a man." "Madam," said the king, more astonished than before, "you mean to banter me; but you shall never persuade me that a bird can be a man." "Sir," replied the queen, "far be it from me to banter your majesty; nothing is more certain than what I have had the honour to tell you. I can assure your majesty, it is the king of Persia, named Beder, son of the celebrated Gulnare, princess of one of the largest kingdoms of the sea, nephew of Saleh, king of that kingdom, and grandson of Queen Farasche, mother of Gulnare and Saleh; and it was the Princess Jehaun-ara, daughter of the king of Samandal, who thus metamorphosed him into a bird." That the king might no longer doubt of what she affirmed, she told him the whole story, and stated that the Princess Jehaun-ara had thus revenged herself for the ill treatment which King Saleh had used towards the king of Samandal her father.

The king had the less difficulty to believe this assertion of the queen, as he knew her to be a skilful magician. And as she knew everything which passed in every part of the world, he was always by her means timely informed of the designs of the kings his neighbours against him, and prevented them. His majesty had compassion on the king of Persia, and earnestly besought his queen to break the enchantment, that he might return to his own form.

The queen consented with great willingness. "Sir," said she to the king, "be pleased to take the bird into your closet, and I will shew you a king worthy of the consideration you have for him." The bird, which had ceased eating, and attended to what the king and queen said, would not give his majesty the trouble to take him, but hopped into the closet before him; and the queen came in soon after, with a vessel full of water in her hand. She pronounced over the vessel some words unknown to the king, till the water began to boil; when she took some of it in her hand, and sprinkling a little upon the bird, said, "By virtue of those holy and mysterious words I have just pronounced, and in the name of the Creator of heaven and earth, who raises the dead, and supports the universe, quit the form of a bird, and re-assume that received from thy Creator."

The words were scarcely out of the queen's mouth, when, instead of a bird, the king saw a young prince of good shape, air, and mien. King Beder immediately fell on his knees, and thanked God for the favour that had been bestowed upon him. He then took the king's hand, who helped him up, and kissed it in token of gratitude; but the king embraced him with great joy, and testified to him the satisfaction he had to see him. He would then have made his acknowledgments to the queen, but she was already retired to her apartment. The king made him sit at the table with him, and prayed him to relate how the Princess Jehaun-ara could have the inhumanity to transform into a bird so amiable a prince; and the king of Persia immediately satisfied him. When he had ended, the king, provoked at the proceeding of the princess, could not help blaming her. "It was commendable," said he, "in the princess of Samandal not to be insensible of the king her father's ill treatment; but to carry her vengeance so far, and especially against a prince who was not culpable, was what she could never be able to ,justify herself for. But let us have done with this subject, and tell me, I beseech you, in what I can farther serve you."

"Sir," answered King Beder, "my obligation to your majesty is so great, that I ought to remain with you all my life to testify my gratitude; but since your majesty sets no limits to your generosity, I entreat you to grant me one of your ships to transport me to Persia, where I fear my absence, which has been but too long, may have occasioned some disorder, and that the queen my mother, from whom I concealed my departure, may be distracted under the uncertainty whether I am alive or dead."

The king readily granted what he desired, and immediately gave orders for equipping one of his largest ships, and the best sailors in his numerous fleet. The ship was soon furnished with all its complement of men, provisions, and ammunition; and as soon as the wind became fair, King Beder embarked, after having taken leave of the king, and thanked him for all his favours.

The ship sailed before the wind for ten days together, but on the eleventh the wind changed, and there followed a furious tempest. The ship was not only driven out of its course, but so violently tossed, that all its masts were brought by the board; and driving along at the pleasure of the wind, it at length struck against a rock and bulged.

The greatest part of the people were instantly drowned. Some few were saved by swimming, and others by getting on pieces of the wreck. King Beder was among the latter, when, after having been tossed about for some time by the waves and torrents, under great uncertainty of his fate, he at length perceived himself near the shore, and not far from a city that seemed of great extent. He exerted his remaining strength to reach the land, and was at length so fortunate as to be able to touch the ground with his feet. He immediately abandoned his piece of wood, which had been of such great service to him; but when he came pretty near the shore, was greatly surprised to see horses, camels, mules, asses, oxen, cows, bulls, and other animals crowding to the shore, and putting themselves in a posture to oppose his landing. He had the utmost difficulty to conquer their obstinacy and force his way, but at length he succeeded, and sheltered himself among the rocks till he had recovered his breath, and dried his clothes in the sun.

When the prince advanced to enter the city, he met with the same opposition from these animals, who seemed to intend to make him forego his design, and give him to understand it was dangerous to proceed.

King Beder, however, entered the city, and saw many fair and spacious streets, but was surprised to find no human beings. This made him think it was not without cause that so many animals had opposed his passage. Going forward, nevertheless, he observed divers shops open, which gave him reason to believe the place was not so destitute of inhabitants as he imagined. He approached one of these shops, where several sorts of fruits were exposed for sale, and saluted very courteously an old man who was sitting within.

The old man, who was busy about something, lifted up his head, and seeing a youth who had an appearance of grandeur in his air, started, asked him whence he came, and what business had brought him there? King Beder satisfied him in a few words; and the old man farther asked him if he had met anybody on the road? "You are the first person I have seen," answered the king, "and I cannot comprehend how so fine and large a city comes to be without inhabitants." "Come in, sir; stay no longer upon the threshold," replied the old man, "or peradventure some misfortune may happen to you. I will satisfy your curiosity at leisure, and give you a reason why it is necessary you should take this precaution."

King Beder entered the shop, and sat down by the old man. The latter, who had received from him an account of his misfortunes, knew he must want nourishment, therefore immediately presented him what was necessary to recover his strength; and although King Beder was very earnest to know why he had taken the precaution to make him enter the shop, he would nevertheless not be prevailed upon to tell him anything till he had done eating, for fear the sad things he had to relate might spoil his appetite. When he found he ate no longer, he said to him, "You have great reason to thank God that you got hither without any accident." "Alas! why?" demanded King Beder, much surprised and alarmed.

"Because," answered he, "this city is the City of Enchantments, and is governed by a queen, who is not only one of the finest of her sex, but likewise a notorious and dangerous sorceress. You will be convinced of this," added he, "when you know that these horses, mules, and other animals which you have seen, are so many men, like ourselves, whom she has transformed by her diabolical art. And when young men, like you, enter the city, she has persons planted to stop and bring them, either by fair means or force, before her. She receives them in the most obliging manner; caresses them, regales them, lodges them magnificently, and gives them so many reasons to believe that she loves them, that she never fails of success. But she does not suffer them long to enjoy this happiness. There is not one of them but she has transformed into some animal or bird at the end of forty days. You told me all these animals presented themselves to oppose your landing, and hinder you entering the city. This was the only way in which they could make you comprehend the danger you were going to expose yourself to, and they did all in their power to prevent you."

This account exceedingly afflicted the young king of Persia: "Alas!" cried he, "to what extremities has my ill fortune reduced me! I am hardly freed from one enchantment, which I look back upon with horror, but I find myself exposed to another much more terrible." This gave him occasion to relate his story to the old man more at length, and to acquaint him of his birth, quality, his passion for the princess of Samandal, .and her cruelty in changing him into a bird the very moment he had seen her and declared his love to her.

When the prince came to speak of his good fortune in finding a queen who broke the enchantment, the old man to encourage him said, "Notwithstanding all I have told you of the magic queen is true, that ought not to give you the least disquiet, since I am generally beloved throughout the city, and am not unknown to the queen herself, who has much respect for me; therefore it was your peculiar good fortune which led you to address yourself to me rather than to anyone else. You are secure in my house, where I advise you to continue, if you think fit; and, provided you .do not stray from hence, I dare assure you, you will have no just cause to complain of my insincerity."

King Beder thanked the old man for his kind reception, and the protection he was pleased so readily to afford him. He sat down at the entrance of the shop, where he no sooner appeared, but his youth and good person attracted the eyes of all who passed that way. Many stopped and complimented the old man on his having acquired so fine a slave, as they imagined the king to be; and they were the more surprised as they could not comprehend how so beautiful a youth could escape the queen's knowledge. "Believe not," said the old man, "this is a slave: you all know that I am not rich enough nor of rank to have one of this consequence. He is my nephew, son of a brother of mine who is dead; and as I had no children of my own, I sent for him to keep me company." They congratulated his good fortune in having so fine a young man for his relation; but could not help telling him they feared the queen would take him from him. "You know her well," said they to him, "and you cannot be ignorant of the danger to which you are exposed, after all the examples you have seen. How grieved would you be if she should serve him as she has done so many others whom we knew."

"I am obliged to you," replied the old man, "for your good will towards me, and I heartily thank you for the care you seem to take of my interest; but I shall never entertain the least thought that the queen will do me any injury, after all the kindness she has professed for me. In case she happens to hear of this young man, and speaks to me about him, I doubt not she will cease to think of him, as soon as she comes to know he is my nephew."

The old man was exceedingly glad to hear the commendations they bestowed on the young king of Persia. He was as much affected with them as if he had been his own son, and he conceived a kindness for him, which augmented every day during the stay he made with him.

They had lived about a month together, when, as King Beder was sitting at the shop-door, after his ordinary manner, Queen Labe (so was this magic queen named) happened to come by with great pomp. The young king no sooner perceived the guards advancing before her, than he arose, and going into the shop, asked the old man what all that show meant. "The queen is coming by," answered he, "but stand still and fear nothing."

The queen's guards, clothed in purple uniform, and well armed and mounted, marched to the number of a thousand in four files, with their sabres drawn, and every one of their officers, as they passed by the shop, saluted the old man. Then followed a like number of eunuchs, habited in brocaded silk, and better mounted, whose officers did the old man the like honour. Next came as many young ladies on foot, equally beautiful, richly dressed, and ornamented with precious stones. They marched gravely, with half pikes in their hands; and in the midst of them appeared Queen Labe, on a horse glittering with diamonds, with a golden saddle, and a housing of inestimable value. All the young ladies saluted the old man as they passed him; and the queen, struck with the good mien of King Beder, stopped as soon as she came before the shop. "Abdallah," (so was the old man named) said she to him, "tell me, I beseech thee, does that beautiful and charming slave belong to thee? and hast thou long been in possession of him?"

Abdallah, before he answered the queen, threw himself on the ground, and rising again, said, "Madam, he is my nephew, son of a brother, who has not long been dead. Having no children, I look upon him as my son, and sent for him to come and comfort me, intending to leave him what I have when I die."

Queen Labe, who had never yet seen any one to compare with King Beder, began to conceive a passion for him, and thought immediately of getting the old man to abandon him to her. "Father," said she, "will you not oblige me so far as to make me a present of this young man? Do not refuse me, I conjure you; and I swear by the fire and the light, I will make him so great and powerful, that no individual in the world ever arrived at such good fortune. Although my purpose be to do evil to all mankind, he shall be an exception. I trust you will grant me what I desire, more on account of the friendship I am assured you have for me, than for the esteem you know I always had, and shall ever have for you."

"Madam," replied the good Abdallah, "I am infinitely obliged to your majesty for all the kind- ness you have for me, and the honours you propose to do my nephew. He is not worthy to approach so great a queen, and I humbly beseech your majesty to excuse him."

"Abdallah," replied the queen, "I all along flattered myself you loved me, and I could never have thought you would have shewn me so much disrespect as to slight my request. But I here swear once more by the fire and light, and even by whatsoever is most sacred in my religion, that I will pass on no farther till I have conquered your obstinacy. I understand well what raises your apprehensions; but I promise, you shall never have any occasion to repent having obliged me in so sensible a manner."

Old Abdallah was exceeding grieved, both on his own account and King Beder's, at being in a manner forced to obey the queen. "Madam," replied he, "I would not willingly have your majesty entertain an ill opinion of the respect I have for you, and my zeal always to contribute whatever I can to oblige you. I put entire confidence in your royal word, and I do not in the least doubt you will keep it. I only beg of your majesty, to delay doing this great honour to my nephew till you shall again pass this way." "That shall be to-morrow," said the queen; who inclined her head, as a token of her being pleased, and so went forward towards her palace.

When queen Labe and all her attendants were out of sight, the good Abdallah said to King Beder, "Son" (for so he was wont to call him, for fear of some time or other discovering him when he spoke of him in public), "it has not been in my power, as you may have observed, to refuse the queen what she demanded of me with so much earnestness, to the end I might not force her to employ her magic against both you and myself openly or secretly, and treat you as much from resentment to you as to me with more signal cruelty than all those she has had in her power, as I have already told you. But I have some reason to believe she will use you well, as she promised me, on account of that particular esteem she professes for me. This you may have seen by the respect shewn, and the honours paid, me by all her court. She would be a vile creature indeed, if she should deceive me; but she shall not deceive me unpunished, for I know how to revenge myself."

These assurances, which appeared very doubtful, were not sufficient to support King Beder's spirits. "After all you have told me of this queen's wickedness," replied he, "you cannot wonder if I am somewhat fearful to approach her: I should, it may be, slight all you could tell me of her, and suffer myself to be dazzled by the lustre of grandeur that surrounds her, did I not know by experience what it is to be at the mercy of a sorceress. The condition I was in, through the enchantment of the Princess Jehaun-ara, and from which I was delivered only to fall almost immediately into the power of another, has made me look upon such a fate with horror." His tears hindered him from going on, and sufficiently shewed with what repugnance he beheld himself under the fatal necessity of being delivered to queen Labe.

"Son," replied old Abdallah, "do not afflict yourself; for though I must own, there is no great stress to be laid upon the promises and oaths of so perfidious a queen, yet I must withal acquaint you, her power extends not to me. She knows this full well; and that is the reason, and no other, why she pays me so much respect. I can quickly hinder her from doing you the least harm, if she should be perfidious enough to attempt it. You may depend upon me, and, provided you follow exactly the advice I shall give you, before I abandon you to her, she shall have no more power over you than she has over myself."

The magic queen did not fail to pass by the old man's shop the next day, with the same pomp as the preceding, and Abdallah waited for her with great respect. "Father," cried she, "you may judge of my impatience to have your nephew with me, by my punctually coming to remind you of your promise. I know you are a man of your word, and I cannot think you will break it with me."

Abdallah, who fell on his face as soon as he saw the queen approaching, rose up when she had done speaking; and as he would have no one hear what he had to say to her, he advanced with great respect as far as her horse's head, and then said softly, "Puissant queen! I am persuaded your majesty will not be offended at my seeming unwillingness to trust my nephew with you yesterday, since you cannot be ignorant of the reasons I had for it; but I conjure you to lay aside the secrets of that art which you possess in so wonderful a degree. I regard my nephew as my own son; and your majesty would reduce me to despair, if you should deal with him as you have done with others."

"I promise you I will not," replied the queen; "and I once more repeat the oath I made yesterday, that neither you nor your nephew shall have any cause to be offended at me. I see plainly," added she, "you are not yet well enough acquainted with me; you never saw me yet but through my veil; but as I find your nephew deserving of my friendship, I will shew you I am not any ways unworthy of his." With that she threw off her veil, and discovered to King Beder, who came near her with Abdallah, an incomparable beauty. But King Beder was little charmed: "It is not enough," said he within himself, "to be beautiful; one's actions ought to correspond in regularity with one's features."

Whilst King Beder was making these reflections with his eyes fixed on queen Labe, the old man turned towards him, and taking him by the arm, presented him to her: "Madam," said he, "I beg of your majesty once more to remember he is my nephew, and to let him come and see me sometimes." The queen promised he should; and to give a further mark of her gratitude, she caused a bag of a thousand pieces of gold to be given him. He excused himself at first from receiving them, but she insisted absolutely upon it, and he could not refuse. She had caused a horse to be brought as richly caparisoned as her own, for the king of Persia. Whilst he was mounting, "I forgot," said the queen to Abdallah, "to ask you your nephew's name; pray how is he called?" He answering his name was Beder (the full moon), her majesty replied, "Surely your ancestors were mistaken, they ought to have given you the name of Shems (the sun)."

When King Beder was mounted, he would have taken his station behind the queen, but she would not suffer him, and made him ride on her left hand. She looked at Abdallah, and after having made him an inclination with her head, departed.

Instead of observing a satisfaction in the people's faces, at the sight of their sovereign, King Beder took notice that they looked at her with contempt, and even cursed her. "The sorceress," said some, "has got a new subject to exercise her wickedness upon; will heaven never deliver the world from her tyranny?" "Poor stranger!" exclaimed others, "thou art much deceived, if thou thinkest thy happiness will last long. It is only to render thy fall more terrible, that thou art raised so high." These exclamations gave King Beder to understand Abdallah had told him nothing but the truth of Queen Labe; but as it now depended no longer on himself to escape the mischief, he committed himself to the will of heaven.

The magic queen arrived at her palace, immediately alighted, and giving her hand to King Beder, entered with him, accompanied by her women and the officers of her eunuchs. She herself shewed him all her apartments, where there was nothing to be seen but massive gold, precious stones, and furniture of wonderful magnificence. When she had carried him into her closet, she led him out into a balcony, from whence he observed a garden of surprising beauty. King Beder commended all he saw, but nevertheless so that he might not be discovered to be any other than old Abdallah's nephew. They discoursed of indifferent matters, till the queen was informed that dinner was served.

The queen and King Beder arose, and went to place themselves at the table, which was of massive gold, and the dishes of the same metal. They began to eat, but drank hardly at all till the dessert came, when the queen caused a cup to be filled for her with excellent wine. She took it and drank to King Beder's health; then without putting it out of her hand, caused it to be filled again, and presented it to him. King Beder received it with profound respect, and by a very low bow signified to her majesty that he in return drank to her health.

At the same time, ten of Queen Labe's women entered with musical instruments, with which and their voices they made an agreeable concert, while they continued drinking till late at night. At length both began so to be heated with wine; that King Beder insensibly forgot he had to do with a magic queen, and looked upon her only as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. As soon as the queen perceived she had wrought him to the pitch she desired, she made a sign to her eunuchs and women to retire.

Next morning the queen and King Beder went to the bath; the women who had served the king there, presented him with fine linen and a magnificent habit. The queen likewise, who was more splendidly dressed than the day before, came to receive him, and they went together to her apartments, where they had a repast brought them, and spent the remainder of the day in walking in the garden and in various other amusements.

Queen Labe treated King Beder after this manner for forty days, as she had been accustomed to do all her lovers. The fortieth night, as they were in bed together, she, believing he was really asleep, arose without making any noise; but he was awake, and perceiving she had some design upon him watched all her motions. Being up, she opened a chest, from whence she took a little box full of a yellow powder; taking some of the powder, she Iaid a train of it across the chamber, and it immediately flowed in a rivulet of water, to the great astonishment of King Beder. He trembled with fear, but still pretended to sleep.

Queen Labe next took up some of the water in a vessel, poured it into a basin that contained some flour; with which she made a paste, and kneaded it for a long time: then she mixed with it certain drugs which she took from different boxes, and made a cake, which she put into a covered baking-pan. As she had taken care first of all to make a good fire, she took some of the coals, and set the pan upon them; and while the cake was baking, she put up the vessels and boxes in their places again; and on her pronouncing certain words, the rivulet disappeared. When the cake was baked, she took it off the coals, carried it into her closet, and afterwards returned to King Beder, who dissembled so well, that she had not the least suspicion of his having seen what she had done.

King Beder, whom the pleasures and amusements of a court had made to forget his good host Abdallah, began now to think of him again, and believed he had more than ordinary occasion for his advice, after all he had seen the queen do that night. As soon as he was up, therefore, he expressed a great desire to go and see his uncle, and begged of her majesty to permit him. "What! my dear Beder," cried the queen, "are you then already tired, I will not say with living in so superb a palace as mine is, where you must find so many pleasures, but with the company of a queen, who loves you so passionately as I do, and has given you so many marks of affection?"

"Great queen!" answered king Beder, "how can I be tired of so many favours and graces as your majesty perpetually heaps upon me? So far from it, I desire this permission, madam, purely to go and give my uncle an account of the mighty obligations I have to your majesty. I must own, likewise, that my uncle loving me so tenderly, as I well know he does, having been absent from him now forty days, I would not give him reason to think, that I consent to remain longer without seeing him." "Go," said the queen, "you have my consent; but you will not be long before you return, if you consider I cannot possibly live without you." This said, she ordered him a horse richly caparisoned, and he departed.

Old Abdallah was overjoyed to see king Beder. Without regard to his quality, he embraced him tenderly, and King Beder returned his embrace, that nobody might doubt but that he was his nephew. As soon as they were sat down, "well," said Abdallah to the king, "and how have you passed your time with that abominable sorceress"

"Hitherto," answered King Beder, "I must needs own she has been extraordinarily kind to me, and has done all she could to persuade me that she loves me faithfully; but I observed something last night, which gives me just reason to suspect that all her kindness was but dissimulation. Whilst she thought me asleep, although I was really awake, she stole from me with a great deal of precaution, which made me suspect her intention, and therefore I resolved to watch her, still feigning myself asleep." He then related to Abdallah in what manner he had seen her make the cake; and then added, "Hitherto," said he, "I must needs confess, I had almost forgotten, not only you, but all the advice you gave me concerning the wickedness of this queen; but this last action of hers gives me reason to fear she intends to observe none of her promises or solemn oaths .to you. I thought of you immediately, and I esteem myself happy that I have obtained permission to come to you."

"You are not mistaken," replied old Abdallah with a smile, which showed he did not himself believe she would have acted otherwise; "nothing is capable of obliging a perfidious woman to amend. But fear nothing. I know how to make the mischief she intends you fall upon herself. You are alarmed in time; and you could not have done better than to have recourse to me. It is her ordinary practice to keep her lovers only forty days; and after that time, instead of seeding them home, to turn them into animals, to stock her forests and parks; but I thought of measures yesterday to prevent her doing you the same harm. The earth has borne this monster long enough, and it is now high time she should be treated as she deserves."

So saying, Abdallah put two cakes into king Beder's hands, bidding him keep them to be used as he should direct. "You told me," continued he, "the sorceress made a cake last night; it was for you to eat; but do not touch it. Nevertheless, do not refuse to receive it, when she offers it you; but instead of tasting it, break off part of one of the two I shall give you, unobserved, and eat that. As soon as she thinks you have swallowed it, she will not fail to attempt transforming you into some animal, but she shall not succeed; when she sees that she has failed, she will immediately turn her proceeding into pleasantry, as if what she had done was only out of joke to frighten you; but she will conceal a mortal grief in her heart, and think she has omitted something in the composition of her cake. As for the other cake, you shall make a present of it to her, and press her to eat it; which she will not refuse to do, were it only to convince you she does not mistrust you, though she has given you so much reason to mistrust her. When she has eaten of it, take a little water in the hollow of your hand, and throwing it in her face, say, "Quit that form you now wear, and take that of such or such animal," as you shall think fit; which done, come to me with the animal, and I will tell you what you shall do afterwards."

King Beder expressed to Abdallah, in the warmest terms, his great obligations to him, for his endeavours to defend him from the power of a pestilent sorceress; and after some further conversation took his leave of him, and returned to the palace. Upon his arrival, he understood that the queen waited for him with great impatience in the garden. He went to her, and she no sooner perceived him, than she came in great haste to meet him. "My dear Beder!" exclaimed she, "it is said, with a great deal of reason, that nothing more forcibly shews the excess of love than absence from the object beloved. I have had no quiet since I saw you, and it seems ages since I have been separated from you. If you had stayed ever so little longer, I was preparing to come and fetch you once more to my arms."

"Madam," replied king Beder, "I can assure your majesty, I was no less impatient to rejoin you; but I could not refuse to stay with an uncle who loves me, and had not seen me for so long a time. He would have kept me still longer, but I tore myself away from him, to come where love calls me. Of all the collations he prepared for me, I have only brought away this cake, which I desire your majesty to accept." King Beder, having wrapped up one of the two cakes in a handkerchief, took it out, and presented it to the queen, saying, "I beg your majesty to accept of it."

"I do accept it with all my heart," replied the queen, receiving it, "and will eat it with pleasure for yours and your good uncle's sake; but before I taste of it, I desire you will, for my sake, eat a piece of this, which I have made for you during your absence." "Fair queen," answered king Beder, receiving it with great respect, "such hands as your majesty's can never make anything but what is excellent, and I cannot sufficiently acknowledge the favour you do me."

King Beder then artfully substituted in the place of the queen's cake the other which old Abdallah had given him, and having broken off a piece, he put it in his mouth, and cried, while he was eating, "Ah! queen, I never tasted anything so excellent in my life." They being near a cascade, the sorceress seeing him swallow one bit of the cake, and ready to eat another, took a little water in the palm of her hand, and throwing it in the king's face, said, "Wretch! quit that form ofa man, and take that of a vile horse, blind and lame."

These words not having the desired effect, the sorceress was strangely surprised to find King Beder still in the same form, and that he only started for fear. Her cheeks reddened; and as she saw that she had missed her aim, "Dear Beder," cried she, "this is nothing; recover yourself. I did not intend you any harm; I only did it to see what you would say. I should be the most miserable and most execrable of women, should I attempt so black a deed; not only on account of all the oaths I have sworn, but also of the many testimonies of love I have given you."

"Puissant queen," replied King Beder, "persuaded as I am, that what your majesty did was only to divert yourself, I could not help being surprised. What could hinder me from being a little moved at the pronouncing of so strange a transformation? But, madam," continued he, "let us drop this discourse; and since I have eaten of your cake, would you do me the favour to taste mine?"

Queen Labe, who could not better justify herself than by showing this mark of confidence in the king of Persia, broke off a piece of his cake and ate it. She had no sooner swallowed it than she appeared much troubled, and remained as it were motionless. King Beder lost no time, but took water out of the same basin, and throwing it in her face, cried, "Abominable sorceress ! quit the form of woman, and be turned instantly into a mare."

The same moment, Queen Labe was transformed into a very beautiful mare; and her confusion was so great to find herself in that condition, that she shed tears in great abundance. She bowed her head to the feet of King Beder, thinking to move him to compassion; but though he could have been so moved, it was absolutely out of his power to repair the mischief he had done. He led her into the stable belonging to the palace, and put her into the hands of a groom, to bridle and saddle; but of all the bridles which the groom tried upon her, not one would fit. This made him cause two horses to be saddled, one for the groom and the other for himself; and the groom led the mare after him to old Abdallah's.

Abdallah seeing at a distance King Beder coming with the mare, doubted not but he had done what he had advised him. "Cursed sorceress!" said he immediately to himself in a transport of joy, "heaven has at length punished thee as thou deservest." King Beder alighted at Abdallah's door and entered with him into the shop, embracing and thanking him for all the signal services he had done him. He related to him the whole matter, with all its circumstances, and moreover told him, he could find no bridle fit for the mare. Abdallah bridled the mare himself, and as soon as King Beder had sent back the groom with the two horses, he said to him, "My lord, you have no reason to stay any longer in this city: mount the mare, and return to your kingdom. I have but one thing more to recommend to you; and that is, if you should ever happen to part with the mare, be sure not to give up the bridle." King Beder promised to remember this; and having taken leave of the good old man, he departed.

The young king of Persia had no sooner got out of the city, than he began to reflect with joy on his deliverance, and that he had the sorceress in his power, who had given him so much cause to tremble. Three days after he arrived at a great city, where, entering the suburbs, he met a venerable old man, walking towards a pleasure- house. "Sir," said the old man, stopping him, "may I presume to ask from what part of the world you come?" The king halted to satisfy him, and as they were conversing together, an old woman came up; who, stopping likewise, wept and sighed heavily at the sight of the mare.

King Beder and the old man left off discoursing, to look at the old woman, whom the king asked, what cause she had to be so much afflicted? "Alas ! sir," replied she, "it is because your mare resembles so perfectly one my son had, and which I still mourn the loss of on his account, and should think yours were the same, did I not know she was dead. Sell her to me, I beseech you; I will give you more than she is worth and thank you too.'

"Good woman," replied King Beder, "I am heartily sorry I cannot comply with your request: my mare is not to be sold." "Alas! sir," continued the old woman, "do not refuse me this favour for the love of God. My son and I shall certainly die with grief, if you do not grant it." "Good mother," replied the king, "I would grant it with all my heart, if I were disposed to part with so good a beast; but if I were so disposed, I believe you would hardly give a thousand pieces of gold for her, and I could not sell her for less." "Why should I not give so much?" replied the old woman: "if that be the lowest price, you need only say you will take it, and I will fetch you the money."

King Beder, seeing the old woman so poorly dressed, could not imagine she could find such a sum; and said, to try her, "Go, fetch me the money, and the mare is yours." The old woman immediately unloosed a purse she carried fastened to her girdle, and desiring him to alight, bade him tell over the money, and in case he found it came short of the sum demanded, she said her house was not far off; and she could quickly fetch the rest.

The surprise of King Beder, at the sight of the purse, was not small. "Good woman," said he, "do you not perceive I have bantered you all this while? I assure you my mare is not to be sold."

The old man, who had been witness to all that had passed, now began to speak. "Son," said he to King Beder, "it is necessary you should know one thing, which I find you are ignorant of; and that is, that in this city it is not permitted to any one to tell a lie, on any account whatsoever, on pain of death. You cannot refuse taking this good woman's money, and delivering your mare, when she gives you the sum according to the agreement; and this you had better do without any noise, than expose yourself to what may ensue."

King Beder, mortified to find himself thus trapped by his rash proffer, alighted with great regret. The old woman stood ready to seize the reins, immediately unbridled the mare, and taking some water in her hand, from a stream that ran in the middle of the street, threw it in the mare's face, uttering these words, "Daughter, quit that strange shape, and re-assume thy own." The transformation was effected in a moment, and king Beder, who swooned as soon as he saw Queen Labe appear, would have fallen to the ground, if the old man had not hindered him.

The old woman, who was the mother of queen Labe, and had instructed her in all her magic secrets, had no sooner embraced her daughter, than to shew her fury, she in an instant by whistling, caused to rise a genie of a gigantic form and stature. This genie immediately took King Beder on one shoulder, and the old woman with the magic queen on the other, and transported them in a few minutes to the palace of Queen Labe in the City of Enchantments.

The magic queen immediately fell upon King Beder, reproaching him violently. "Is it thus," said she, "ungrateful wretch! that thy unworthy uncle and thou repay me for all the kindnesses I have done you? I shall soon make you both feel what you deserve." She said no more, but taking water in her hand, threw it in his face with these words, "Quit the form of man, and take that of an owl." These words were soon followed by the effect, and immediately she commanded one of her women to shut up the owl in a cage, and give him neither meat nor drink.

The woman took the cage, but without regarding what the queen had ordered, gave him both meat and drink; and being old Abdallah's friend, sent him word privately how the queen had treated his nephew, and apprised him of her design to destroy both him and King Beder, that he might take measures to prevent her intentions, and secure himself.

Abdallah knew no common means would do with Queen Labe: he therefore whistled in a peculiar manner, and there immediately arose a giant, with four wings, who presenting himself before him, asked what he would have?" Lightning," said Abdallah to him (for so was the genie called), "I command you to preserve the life of King Beder, son of Queen Gulnare. Go to the palace of the magic queen, and transport immediately to the capital of Persia the compassionate woman who has the cage in custody, to the end she may inform Queen Gulnare of the danger the king her son is in, and the occasion he has for her assistance. Take care not to frighten her when you come before her, and acquaint her from me what she ought to do."

Lightning immediately disappeared, and in an instant reached the palace of the magic queen. He instructed the woman, lifted her up into the air, and transported her to the capital of Persia, where he placed her on the terrace of Gulnare's palace. She descended into her apartment, and there found Queen Gulnare and Queen Farasche her mother lamenting their mutual misfortunes. She made them a profound reverence, and by the relation she gave them, they soon understood the great need King Beder had of their assistance.

Queen Gulnare was so overjoyed at the news, that rising from her seat, she went and embraced the good woman, telling her how much she was obliged to her for the service she had done her. Then going immediately out, she commanded the trumpets to sound, and the drums to beat, to acquaint the city, that the king of Persia would suddenly return safe to his kingdom. She then went, and found King Saleh her brother, whom Farasche had caused to come speedily thither by a certain fumigation. "Brother," said she to him, "the king your nephew, my dear son, is in the City of Enchantments, under the power of Queen Labe. Both you and I must go to deliver him, for there is no time to be lost."

King Saleh forthwith assembled a puissant body of his marine troops, who soon rose out of the sea. He also called to his assistance the genii his allies, who appeared with a much more numerous army than his own. As soon as the two armies were joined, he put himself at the head of them, with Queen Farasche, Queen Gulnare, and the princesses, who would all have their share in this enterprize. They then ascended into the air, and soon poured down on the palace and City of Enchantments, where the magic queen, her mother, and all the adorers of fire, were destroyed in an instant.

Queen Gulnare had ordered the woman who brought the account of queen Labe's transforming and imprisoning her son, to follow her close, and bade her, in the confusion, go and seize the cage, and bring it to her. This order was executed as she wished, and queen Gulnare was no sooner in possession of the cage, than she opened it, and took out the owl, saying, as she sprinkled a little water upon him, "My dear son, quit that strange form, and resume thy natural one of a man."

In a moment Queen Gulnare, instead of the hideous owl, beheld King Beder her son. She immediately embraced him with an excess of joy, her tears supplying more forcibly the place of words. She could not let him go; and Queen Farasche was obliged to force him from her in her turn. After her, he was likewise embraced by the king his uncle and his relations.

Queen Gulnare's first care was to look out for old Abdallah, to whom she had been obliged for the recovery of the king of Persia; and who being brought to her, she said to him, "My obligations to you have been so great, that there is nothing within my power but I would freely do for you, as a token of my acknowledgment. Do but inform me in what I can serve you." "Great queen," replied Abdallah, "if the lady whom I sent to your majesty will but consent to the marriage I offer her, and the king of Persia will give me leave to reside at his court, I will spend the remainder of my days in his service." The queen then turned to the lady who was present, and finding by her modest shame that she was not averse to the match proposed, she caused them to join hands, and the king of Persia and she took care of their fortune.

This marriage occasioned the king of Persia to speak thus to the queen: "Madam," said he, "I am heartily glad of this match which your majesty has just made. There remains one more, which I desire you to think of." Queen Gulnare did not at first comprehend what marriage he meant; but after a little considering, she said, "Of yours, you mean, son. I consent to it with all my heart." Then turning, and looking at her brother's sea attendants, and the genii who were still present, "Go," said she, "and traverse both sea and land, to seek the most lovely and amiable princess, worthy of the king my son, and when you have found her, come and tell us."

"Madam," replied king Beder, "it is to no purpose for them to take all that trouble. You have no doubt heard that I have already given my heart to the princess of Samandal upon the bare relation of her beauty. I have seen her, and do not repent of the present I then made her. In a word, neither earth nor sea, in my opinion, can furnish a princess like her. It is true upon my declaring my love, she treated me in a way that would have extinguished any flame less strong than mine. But I hold her excused; she could not treat me with less rigour, after your imprisoning the king her father, of which I was the innocent cause. But the king of Samandal may, perhaps, have changed his resolution; and his daughter the princess may consent to love me, when she sees her father has agreed to it."

"Son," replied queen Gulnare, "if only the Princess Jehaun-ara can make you happy, it is not my design to oppose you. The king your uncle need only have the king of Samandal brought, and we shall see whether he be still of the same untractable temper."

Strictly as the king of Samandal had been kept during his captivity by King Saleh's orders, yet he always had great respect shewn him. King Saleh caused a chafing-dish of coals to be brought, into which he threw a certain composition, uttering at the same time some mysterious words. As soon as the smoke began to arise, the palace shook, and immediately the king of Samandal, with King Saleh's officers, appeared. The king of Persia cast himself at the king of Samandal's feet, and, kneeling, said, "It is no longer King Saleh that demands of your majesty the honour of your alliance for the king of Persia; it is the king of Persia himself that humbly begs that boon; and I persuade myself your majesty will not persist in being the cause of the death of a king, who can no longer live if he does not share life with the amiable Princess Jehaun-ara."

The king of Samandal did not long suffer the king of Persia to remain at his feet. He embraced him, and obliging him to rise, said, "I shall be sorry to have contributed in the least to the death of a monarch who is so worthy to live. If it be true that so precious a life cannot be preserved without the possession of my daughter, live, sir, she is yours. She has always been obedient to my will, and I cannot think she will now oppose it." Speaking these words, he ordered one of his officers, whom King Saleh had permitted to attend him, to go for the princess, and bring her to him immediately.

The princess continued where the king of Persia had left her. The officer perceived her, and brought her soon with her women. The king of Samandal embraced her, and said, "Daughter, I have provided a husband for you; it is the king of Persia, the most accomplished monarch at present in the universe. The preference he has given you over all other princesses obliges us both to express our gratitude."

"Sir," replied the princess Jehaun-ara, "your majesty well knows I never have presumed to disobey your will: I shall always be ready to obey you; and I hope the king of Persia will forget my ill treatment of him, and consider it was duty, not inclination, that forced me to it."

The nuptials were celebrated in the palace of the City of Enchantments, with the greatest solemnity, as all the lovers of the magic queen, who had resumed their pristine forms as soon as she ceased to live, assisted at them, and came to return their thanks to the king of Persia, Queen Gulnare, and King Saleh. They were all sons of kings, princes, or persons of high rank.

King Saleh conducted the king of Samandal to his dominions, and put him again in possession of his throne. The king of Persia, at the height of his wishes, returned to his capital with Queen Gulnare, Queen Farasche, and the princesses; the Queen Farasche and the princesses continued there till King Saleh came to reconduct them to his kingdom under the waves of the sea.


A sultan of Bussorah, who possessed great wealth, and was well beloved by his subjects, had no children, which occasioned him great affliction; and therefore he made presents to all the holy persons in his dominions, to engage them to beg a son for him of Heaven: and their prayers being effectual, the queen proved with child, and was happily delivered of a prince who was named Zeyn Alasnam, which signifies Ornament of the Statues.

The sultan caused all the astrologers in his kingdom to be assembled, and ordered them to calculate the infant's nativity. They found by their observations that he would live long, and be very brave; but that all his courage would be little enough to carry him through the misfortunes that threatened him. The sultan was not daunted at this prediction: "My son," said he, "is not to be pitied, since he will be brave: it is fit that princes should have a taste of misfortunes; for adversity tries virtue, and they are the better qualified to reign."

He rewarded the astrologers, and dismissed them; and caused Zeyn to be educated with the greatest care, appointing him able masters as soon as he was of age to receive their instructions. In short, he proposed to make him an accomplished prince, when on a sudden this good sultan fell sick of a disorder, which all the skill of his physicians could not cure. Perceiving his disease was mortal, he sent for his son, and among other things advised him rather to endeavour to be loved, than to be feared by his people; not to give ear to flatterers; to be as slow in rewarding as in punishing, because it often happens that monarchs misled by false appearances, load wicked men with favours, and oppress the innocent.

As soon as the sultan was dead, prince Zeyn went into mourning, which he wore seven days, and on the eighth he ascended the throne, taking his father's seal off the royal treasury, and putting on his own, beginning thus to taste the sweets of ruling, the pleasure of seeing all his courtiers bow down before him, and make it their whole study to shew their zeal and obedience. In a word, the sovereign power was too agreeable to him. He only regarded what his subjects owed to him, without considering what was his duty towards them, and consequently took little care to govern them well. He revelled in all sorts of debauchery among the voluptuous youth, on whom he conferred the prime employments in the kingdom. He lost all command of his power. Being naturally prodigal, he set no bounds to his grants, so that his women and his favourites insensibly drained his treasury.

The queen his mother was still living, a discreet, wise princess. She had several times unsuccessfully tried to check her son's prodigality and debauchery, giving him to understand, that, if he did not soon take another course, he would not only squander his wealth, but also alienate the minds of his people, and occasion some revolution, which perhaps might cost him his crown and his life. What she had predicted had nearly happened: the people began to murmur against the government, and their murmurs had certainly been followed by a general revolt, had not the queen had the address to prevent it. That princess being acquainted with the ill posture of affairs, informed the sultan, who at last suffered himself to be prevailed upon. He committed the government to discreet aged men, who knew how to keep the people within the bounds of duty.

Zeyn, seeing all his wealth consumed, repented that he had made no better use of it. He fell into a profound melancholy, and nothing could comfort him. One night he saw in a dream a venerable old man coming towards him, who with a smiling countenance said, "Know, Zeyn, that there is no sorrow but what is followed by mirth, no misfortune but what in the end brings some happiness. If you desire to see the end of your affliction, set out for Egypt, go to Grand Cairo, where great prosperity awaits you."

The young sultan was struck with his dream, and spoke of it very seriously to his mother, who only laughed at it. "My son," said she to him, "would you go into Egypt on the faith of an illusive dream?" "Why not, madam," answered Zeyn, "do you imagine all dreams are chimerical? No, no, some of them are mysterious. My preceptors have told me a thousand incidents, which will not permit me to doubt of it. Besides, though I were not otherwise convinced, I could not forbear giving some credit to my dreams. The old man who appeared to me had something supernatural, he was not one of those men whom nothing but age makes venerable; there appeared a divine air about his person. In short, he was such a one as our great prophet is represented; and if you will have me tell you what I think, I believe it was he, who, pitying my affliction, designs to relieve it. I rely on the confidence he has inspired me with. I am full of his promises, and have resolved to follow his advice." The queen endeavoured to dissuade him, but in vain. The sultan committed to her the government of the kingdom, set out one night very privately from his palace, and took the road to Cairo, without suffering any person to attend him.

After much trouble and fatigue, he arrived at that famous city, like which there are few in the world, either for extent or beauty. He alighted at the gate of a mosque, where, being spent with weariness, he lay down. No sooner was he fallen asleep, than he saw the same old man, who said to him, "I am pleased with you, my son, you have given credit to my words. You are come hither, without being deterred by the length or the difficulties of the way: but know I have not put you upon undertaking such a long journey, with any other design than to try you. I find you have courage and resolution. You deserve I should make you the richest and happiest prince in the world. Return to Bussorah, and you shall find immense wealth in your palace. No king ever possessed so rich a treasure."

The sultan was not pleased with this dream. "Alas!" thought he to himself, when he awoke, "how much was I mistaken? That old man, whom I took for our prophet, is no other than the production of my disturbed imagination. My fancy was so full of him, that it is no wonder I have seen him again. I had best return to Bussorah; what should I do here any longer? It is fortunate that I told none but my mother the motive of my journey: I should become a jest to my people, if they knew it."

Accordingly, he set out again for his kingdom, and as soon as he arrived there, the queen asked him, whether he returned well pleased? He told her all that had happened, and was so much concerned for having been so credulous, that the queen, instead of adding to his vexation, by reproving or laughing at him, comforted him. "Forbear afflicting yourself, my son," said she; "if God has appointed you riches, you will have them without any trouble. Be contented; all that I recommend to you is, to be virtuous; renounce the delights of dancing, music, and wine: shun all these pleasures, they have already almost ruined you; apply yourself to make your subjects happy; by securing their happiness, you will establish your own."

Sultan Zeyn vowed that he would for the future follow his mother's advice, and be directed by the wise viziers she had chosen to assist him in supporting the weight of government. But the very night after he returned to his palace, he saw the old man the third time in a dream, who said to him, "The time of your prosperity is come, brave Zeyn: to-morrow morning, as soon as you are up, take a little pick-axe, and dig in the late sultan's closet; you will there find a rich treasure."

As soon as the sultan awoke, he got up, ran to the queen's apartment, and with much eagerness told her the new dream of that night. "Really, my son," said the queen smiling, "this is a very positive old man; he is not satisfied with having deceived you twice: have you a mind to believe him again?" "No, madam," answered Zeyn, "I give no credit to what he has said; but I will, for my own satisfaction, search my father's closet." "I really fancied so," cried the queen, laughing heartily: "go, my son, satisfy yourself; my comfort is, that work is not so fatiguing as the journey to Egypt."

"Well madam," answered the sultan, "I must own, that this third dream has restored my confidence, for it is connected with the two others; let us examine the old man's words. He first directed me to go into Egypt; there he told me, he had put me upon taking that journey, only to try me. 'Return to Bussorah,' said he, 'that is the place where you are to find treasures;' this night he has exactly pointed out to me the place where they are: these three dreams in my opinion, are connected. After all, they may be chimerical: but I would rather search in vain, than blame myself as long as I live, for having perhaps missed great riches, by being unseasonably incredulous."

Having spoken thus, he left the queen's apartment, caused a pick-axe to be brought him, and went alone into the late sultan's closet. He immediately began to break up the ground, and took up above half the square stones it was paved with, but yet saw not the least appearance of what he sought. He ceased working to take a little rest, thinking within himself, "I am much afraid my mother had cause enough to laugh at me." However, he took heart, and went on with his labour, nor had he cause to repent; for on a sudden he discovered a white slab, which he took up, and under it found a door, made fast with a steel padlock, which he broke with the pick-axe, and opened the door, which covered a staircase of white marble. He immediately lighted a lamp, and went down the stairs into a room, the floor whereof was laid with tiles of chinaware, and the roof and walls were of crystal; but he particularly fixed his eyes on four shelves, a little raised above the rest of the floor, on each of which were ten urns of porphyry. He fancied they were full of wine: "Well," said he, "that wine must be very old, I do not question but it is excellent." He went up to one of the urns, took off the cover, and with no less joy than surprise perceived it was full of pieces of gold. He searched all the forty, one after another, and found them full of the same coin, took out a handful, and carried it to the queen.

The princess, it may be imagined, was amazed, when the sultan gave her an account of what he had discovered. "O! my son," said she, "take heed you do not lavish away all this wealth foolishly, as you have already done the royal treasure. Let not your enemies have so much occasion to rejoice." "No, madam," answered Zeyn, "I will from henceforward live in such a manner as shall be pleasing to you."

The queen desired her son to conduct her to the wonderful subterraneous place, which the late sultan her husband had made with such secrecy, that she had never heard of it. Zeyn led her to the closet, down the marble stairs, and into the chamber where the urns were. She observed every thing with the eye of curiosity, and in a corner spied a little urn of the same sort of stone as the others. The prince had not before taken notice of it, but opening, found in it a golden key. "My son," said the queen, "this key certainly belongs to some other treasure; let us search well, perhaps we may discover the use it is designed for."

They examined the chamber with the utmost exactness, and at length found a key-hole in one of the panels of the wall. The sultan immediately tried, and as readily opened the door, which led into a chamber, in the midst of which were nine pedestals of massive gold, on eight of which stood as many statues, each of them made of a single diamond, and from them darted such a brightness, that the whole room was perfectly light.

"O Heavens!" cried Zeyn, in astonishment, "where could my father find such rarities?" The ninth pedestal redoubled this amazement, for it was covered with a piece of white satin, on which were written these words, "Dear son, it cost me much toil to procure these eight statues; but though they are extraordinarily beautiful, you must understand that there is a ninth in the world, which surpasses them all: that alone is worth more than a thousand such as these: if you desire to be master of it, go to the city of Cairo in Egypt; one of my old slaves, whose name is Mobarec, lives there, you will easily find him; the first person you meet will shew you his house; visit him, and tell him all that has befallen you: he will know you to be my son, and conduct you to the place where that wonderful statue is, which you will obtain with safety."

The young sultan having read these words, said to the queen, "I should be sorry to be without that ninth statue; it must certainly be a very rare piece, since all these together are not of so much value. I will set out for Grand Cairo; nor do I believe, madam, that you will now oppose my design." "No, my son," answered the queen, "I am not against it: you are certainly under the special protection of our great prophet, he will not suffer you to perish in this journey. Set out when you think fit: your viziers and I will take care of the government during your absence." The prince made ready his equipage, but would take only a small number of slaves with him.

Nothing remarkable befell him by the way, but arriving at Cairo, he inquired for Mobarec. The people told him he was one of the wealthiest inhabitants of the city; that he lived like a great lord, and that his house was open, especially for strangers. Zeyn was conducted thither, knocked at the gate, which a slave opened, and demanded, "What is it you want, and who are you?" "I am a stranger," answered the prince, "and having heard much of the lord Mobarec's generosity, am come to take up my lodging with him." The slave desired Zeyn to wait while he went to acquaint his master, who ordered him to request the stranger to walk in. The slave returned to the gate, and told the prince he was welcome.

Zeyn went in, crossed a large court, and entered a hall magnificently furnished, where Mobarec expected him, and received him very courteously, returning thanks for the honour he did him in accepting a lodging in his house. The prince, having answered his compliment, said to Mobarec, "I am the son of the late sultan of Bussorah, and my name is Zeyn Alasnam." "That sovereign," said Mobarec, "was formerly my master; but, my lord, I never knew of any children he had: what is your age?" "I am twenty years old," answered the sultan. "How long is it since you left my father's court?" "Almost two-and-twenty years," replied Mobarec; "but how can you convince me that you are his son?" "My father," rejoined Zeyn, "had a subterraneous place under his closet, in which I have found forty porphyry urns full of gold." "And what more is there?" said Mobarec. "There are," answered the prince, "nine pedestals of massive gold: on eight whereof are as many diamond statues; and on the ninth a piece of white satin, on which my father has written what I am to do to procure another statue, more valuable than all those together. You know where that statue is; for it is mentioned on the satin, that you will conduct me to it."

As soon as he had spoke these words, Mobarec fell down at his feet, and kissing one of his hands several times, said, "I bless God for having brought you hither: I know you to be the sultan of Bussorah's son. If you will go to the place where the wonderful statue is, I will conduct you; but you must first rest here a few days. This day I treat the great men of the court; we were at table when word was brought me of your being at the door. Will you vouchsafe to come and be merry with us?" "I shall be very glad," replied Zeyn, "to be admitted to your feast." Mobarec immediately led him under a dome where the company was, seated him at the table, and served him on the knee. The nobles of Cairo were surprised, and whispered to one another, "Who is this stranger, to whom Mobarec pays so much respect?"

When they had dined, Mobarec directing his discourse to the company, said, "Nobles of Cairo, do not think much to see me serve this young stranger in this manner: know that he is the son of the sultan of Bussorah, my master. His father purchased me, and died without making me free; so that I am still a slave, and consequently all I have of right belongs to this young prince, his sole heir." Here Zeyn interrupted him: "Mobarec," said he, "I declare, before all these lords, that I make you free from this moment, and that I renounce all right to your person, and all you possess. Consider what you would have me do more for you." Mobarec kissed the ground, and returned the prince most hearty thanks. Wine was then brought in, they drank all day, and towards evening presents were distributed among the guests, who departed.

The next day Zeyn said to Mobarec, "I have taken rest enough. I came not to Cairo to take my pleasure; my design is to obtain the ninth statue; it is time for us to set out in search of it." "Sir," said Mobarec, "I am ready to comply with your desires; but you know not what dangers you must encounter to make this precious acquisition." "Whatsoever the danger may be," answered the prince, "I have resolved to make the attempt; I will either perish or succeed. All that happens in this world is by God's direction. Do you but bear me company, and let your resolution be equal to mine."

Mobarec, finding him determined to set out, called his servants, and ordered them to make ready his equipage. The prince and he then performed the ablution, and the prayer enjoined, which is called Farz; and that done, they set out. On their way they took notice of abundance of strange and wonderful things, and travelled many days, at length, being come to a delightful spot, they alighted from their horses. Mobarec then said to all the servants that attended them, "Do you remain in this place, and take care of our equipage till we return." Then he said to Zeyn, "Now, sir, let us advance by ourselves. We are near the dreadful place, where the ninth statue is kept. You will stand in need of all your courage."

They soon came to a vast lake: Mobarec set down on the brink of it, saying to the prince, "We must cross this sea." "How can we," answered Zeyn, "when we have no boat?" "You will see one appear in a moment," replied Mobarec; "the enchanted boat of the sultan of the genii will come for us. But do not forget what I am going to say to you: you must observe a profound silence: do not speak to the boatman, though his figure seem strange to you: whatever extraordinary circumstance you observe, say nothing; for I tell you beforehand, that if you utter one word when we are embarked, the boat will sink." "I shall take care to hold my peace," said the prince; "you need only tell me what I am to do, and I will strictly comply."

Whilst they were talking, he spied on a sudden a boat in the lake, made of red sandal wood. It had a mast of fine amber, and a blue satin flag: there was only one boatman in it, whose head was like an elephant's, and his body like that of a tiger. When the boat was come up to the prince and Mobarec, the monstrous boatman took them up one after another with his trunk, put them into his boat, and carried them over the lake in a moment. He then again took them up with his trunk, set them ashore, and immediately vanished with his boat.

"Now we may talk," said Mobarec: "the island we are in belongs to the sultan of the genii. Look round you, prince; can there be a more delightful spot? It is certainly a lively representation of the charming place God has appointed for the faithful observers of our law. Behold the fields adorned with all sorts of flowers and odoriferous plants: admire those beautiful trees whose delicious fruit makes the branches bend down to the ground; enjoy the pleasure of those harmonious songs formed in the air by a thousand birds of as many various sorts, unknown in other countries." Zeyn could not sufficiently admire the beauties with which he was surrounded, and still found something new, as he advanced farther into the island.

At length they came before a palace built of emeralds, encompassed by a wide moat, on the banks whereof, at certain distances, were planted such tall trees, that they shaded the whole palace. Before the gate, which was of massive gold, was a bridge, formed of one single shell of a fish, though it was at least six fathoms long, and three in breadth. At the head of the bridge stood a company of genii, of a prodigious height, who guarded the entrance into the castle with great clubs of China steel.

"Let us at present proceed no farther," said Mobarec, "these genii will destroy us: and in order to prevent their coming to us, we must perform a magical ceremony." He then drew out of a purse which he had under his garment, four long slips of yellow taffety; one he put about his middle, and laid the other on his back, giving the other two to the prince, who did the like. Then Mobarec laid on the ground two large table-cloths, on the edges whereof he scattered some precious stones, musk, and amber. Afterwards he sat down on one of the cloths, and Zeyn on the other; and Mobarec said to the prince, "I shall now, sir, conjure the sultan of the genii, who lives in the palace that is before us; may he come in a peaceable mood to us! I confess I am not without apprehension about the reception he may give us. If our coming into this island is displeasing to him, he will appear in the shape of a dreadful monster; but if he approves of your design, he will shew himself in the shape of a handsome man. As soon as he appears before us, you must rise and salute him, without going off your cloth; for you would certainly perish, should you stir from it. You must say to him, 'Sovereign lord of the genii, my father, who was your servant, has been taken away by the angel of death; I wish your majesty may protect me, as you always protected my father.' If the sultan of the genii," added Mobarec, "ask you what favour you desire of him, you must answer, 'I most humbly beg of you to give me the ninth statue.'"

Mobarec, having thus instructed prince Zeyn, began his conjuration. Immediately their eyes were dazzled by a long flash of lightning, which was followed by a clap of thunder. The whole island was covered with a thick darkness, a furious storm of wind blew, a dreadful cry was heard, the island felt a shock, and there was such an earthquake, as that which Asrayel is to cause on the day of judgment.

Zeyn was startled, and began to regard these concussions of the elements as a very ill omen, when Mobarec, who knew better than he what to judge, began to smile, and said, "Take courage, my prince, all goes well." In short, that very moment, the sultan of the genii appeared in the shape of a very handsome man, yet there was something of a sternness in his air.

As soon as sultan Zeyn had made him the compliment he had been taught by Mobarec, the sultan of the genii smiling, answered, "My son, I loved your father, and every time he came to pay me his respects, I presented him with a statue, which he carried away with him. I have no less kindness for you. I obliged your father, some days before he died, to write that which you read on the piece of white satin. I promised him to receive you under my protection, and to give you the ninth statue, which in beauty surpasses those you have already. I had begun to perform my promise to him. It was I whom you saw in a dream in the shape of an old man; I caused you to open the subterraneous place, where the urns and the statues are deposited: I have a great share in all that has befallen you, or rather am the occasion of all. I know the motive that brought you hither; you shall obtain what you desire. Though I had not promised your father to give it, I would willingly grant it to you: but you must first swear to me by all that is sacred, that you will return to this island, and that you will bring me a maid who is in her fifteenth year, has never loved, nor desired to. She must also be perfectly beautiful: and you so much a master of yourself, as not even to desire her as you are conducting her hither."

Sultan Zeyn took the rash oath demanded of him. "But, my lord," said he, "suppose I should be so fortunate as to meet with such a maid as you require, how shall I know that I have found her?" "I own," answered the sultan of the genii, smiling, "that you might be mistaken in her appearance: that knowledge is above the sons of Adam, and therefore I do not mean to depend upon your judgment in that particular: I will give you a looking-glass which will be more certain than your conjectures. When you shall have seen a maiden fifteen years of age, perfectly beautiful, you need only look into the glass in which you shall see her figure. If she be chaste, the glass will remain clean and unsullied; but if, on the contrary, it sullies, that will be a certain sign that she has not always been prudent, or at least that she has desired to cease to be so. Do not forget the oath you have taken: keep it like a man of honour; otherwise I will take away your life, notwithstanding the kindness I have for you." Zeyn Alasnam protested again that he would faithfully keep his word. The sultan of the genii then delivered to him a looking-glass, saying, "My son, you may return when you please, there is the glass you are to use." Zeyn and Mobarec took leave of the sultan of the genii, and went towards the lake. The boatman with the elephant's head brought the boat, and ferried them over the lake as he had done before. They joined their servants, and returned with them again to Cairo.

The young sultan rested a few days at Mobarec's house, and then said to him, "Let us go to Bagdad, to seek a maiden for the sovereign of the genii." "Why, are we not at Grand Cairo?" said Mobarec: "shall we not there find beautiful maidens?" "You are in the right," answered the prince; "but how shall we explore where they are?" "Do not trouble yourself about that," answered Mobarec; "I know a very shrewd old woman, whom I will entrust with the affair, and she will acquit herself well."

Accordingly the old woman found means to shew the sultan a considerable number of beautiful maidens of fifteen years of age; but when he had viewed them, and came to consult his looking-glass, the fatal touchstone of their virtue, the glass always appeared sullied. All the maidens in the court and city, who were in their fifteenth year, underwent the trial one after another, but the glass never remained bright and clear.

When they saw there were no chaste maidens to be found in Cairo, they went to Bagdad, where they hired a magnificent palace in one of the chief quarters of the city, and began to live splendidly. They kept open house; and after all people had eaten in the palace, the fragments were carried to the dervises, who by that means had comfortable subsistence.

There lived in that quarter a pedant, whose name was Boubekir Muezin, a vain, haughty, and envious person: he hated the rich, only because he was poor, his misery making him angry at his neighbour's prosperity. He heard talk of Zeyn Alasnam, and of the plenty his house afforded. This was enough for him to take an aversion to that prince; and it proceeded so far, that one day after the evening prayer in the mosque, he said to the people, "Brethren, I have been told there is come to live in our ward a stranger, who every day gives away immense sums. How do we know but that this unknown person is some villain, who has committed a robbery in his own country, and comes hither to enjoy himself? Let us take care, brethren; if the caliph should be informed that such a man is in our ward, it is to be feared he will punish us for not acquainting him with it. I declare for my part I wash my hands of the affair, and if any thing should happen amiss, it shall not lie at my door." The multitude, who are easily led away, with one voice cried to Boubekir, "It is your business, do you acquaint the council with it." The muezin went home well pleased, and drew up a memorial, resolving to present it to the caliph next day.

But Mobarec, who had been at prayers, and heard all that was said by the muezin, put five hundred pieces of gold into a handkerchief, made up with a parcel of several silks, and went to Boubekir's house. The muezin asked him in a harsh tone what he wanted. "Holy father," answered Mobarec with an obliging air, and at the same time putting into his hand the gold and the silk, "I am your neighbour and your servant: I come from prince Zeyn, who lives in this ward: he has heard of your worth, and has ordered me to come and tell you, that he desires to be acquainted with you, and in the mean time desires you to accept of this small present." Boubekir was transported with joy, and answered Mobarec thus: "Be pleased, sir, to beg the prince's pardon for me: I am ashamed I have not yet been to see him, but I will atone for my fault, and wait on him to-morrow."

Accordingly the next day after morning prayer he said to the people, "You must know from your own experience, brethren, that no man is without some enemies: envy pursues those chiefly who are very rich. The stranger I spoke to you about yesterday in the evening is no bad man, as some ill-designing persons would have persuaded me: he is a young prince, endowed with every virtue. It behoves us to take care how we give any injurious report of him to the caliph."

Boubekir having thus wiped off the impression he had the day before given the people concerning Zeyn, returned home, put on his best apparel and went to visit the young prince, who gave him a courteous reception. After several compliments had passed on both sides, Boubekir said to the prince, "Sir, do you design to stay long at Bagdad?" "I shall stay," answered Zeyn, "till I can find a maid fifteen years of age, perfectly beautiful, and so chaste, that she has not only never loved a man, but even never desired to do so." "You seek after a great rarity," replied the muezin; "and I should be apt to fear your search would prove unsuccessful, did I not know where there is a maid of that character. Her father was formerly vizier; but has left the court, and lived a long time in a lone house, where he applies himself solely to the education of his daughter. If you please, I will ask her of him for you: I do not question but he will be overjoyed to have a son-in-law of your quality." "Not so fast," said the prince, "I shall not marry the maid before I know whether I like her. As for her beauty, I can depend on you; but what assurance can you give me in relation to her virtue?" "What assurance do you require?" said Boubekir. "I must see her face," answered Zeyn; "that is enough to determine my resolution." "You are skilled then in physiognomy?" replied the muezin, smiling. "Well, come along with me to her father's: I will desire him to let you see her one moment in his presence."

The muezin conducted the prince to the vizier's; who, as soon as he was acquainted with the prince's birth and design, called his daughter, and made her take off her veil. Never had the young sultan of Bussorah beheld such a perfect and striking beauty. He stood amazed; and since he could then try whether the maid was as chaste as fair, he pulled out his glass, which remained bright and unsullied.

When he perceived he had at length found such a person as he desired, he entreated the vizier to grant her to him. Immediately the cauzee was sent for, the contract signed, and the marriage prayer said. After this ceremony, Zeyn conducted the vizier to his house, where he treated him magnificently, and gave him considerable presents. Next day he sent a prodigious quantity of jewels by Mobarec, who conducted the bride home, where the wedding was kept with all the pomp that became Zeyn's quality. When all the company was dismissed Mobarec said to his master, "Let us begone, sir, let us not stay any longer at Bagdad, but return to Cairo: remember the promise you made the sultan of the genii." "Let us go," answered the prince; "I must take care to perform it exactly; yet I must confess, my dear Mobarec, that, if I obey the sultan of the genii, it is not without reluctance. The damsel I have married is so charming, that I am tempted to carry her to Bussorah, and place her on the throne." "Alas! sir," answered Mobarec, "take heed how you give way to your inclination: make yourself master of your passions, and whatever it costs you, be as good as your word to the sultan of the genii." "Well, then, Mobarec," said the prince, "do you take care to conceal the lovely maid from me; let her never appear in my sight; perhaps I have already seen too much of her."

Mobarec made all ready for their departure; they returned to Cairo, and thence set out for the island of the sultan of the genii. When they were arrived, the maid who had performed the journey in a horse-litter, and whom the prince had never seen since his wedding-day, said to Mobarec, "Where are we? Shall we be soon in the dominions of the prince my husband?" "Madam," answered Mobarec, "it is time to undeceive you. Prince Zeyn married you only in order to get you from your father: he did not engage his faith to make you sovereign of Bussorah, but to deliver you to the sultan of the genii, who has asked of him a virgin of your character." At these words, she began to weep bitterly, which moved the prince and Mobarec. "Take pity on me," said she; "I am a stranger, you will be accountable to God for your treachery towards me."

Her tears and complaints were of no effect, for she was presented to the sultan of the genii, who having gazed on her with attention, said to Zeyn, "Prince, I am satisfied with your behaviour; the virgin you have brought me is beautiful and chaste, and I am pleased with the restraint you have put upon yourself to be as good as your promise to me. Return to your dominions, and when you shall enter the subterraneous room, where the eight statues are, you shall find the ninth which I promised you. I will make my genii carry it thither." Zeyn thanked the sultan, and returned to Cairo with Mobarec, but did not stay long in Egypt, for his impatience to see the ninth statue made him hasten his departure. However, he could not but often think regretfully of the young virgin he had married; and blaming himself for having deceived her, he looked upon himself as the cause and instrument of her misfortune. "Alas!" said he to himself, "I have taken her from a tender father, to sacrifice her to a genie. O incomparable beauty! you deserve a better fate."

Sultan Zeyn, disturbed with these thoughts, at length reached Bussorah, where his subjects made extraordinary rejoicings for his return. He went directly to give an account of his journey to his mother, who was in a rapture to hear that he had obtained the ninth statue. "Let us go, my son," said she, "let us go and see it, for it is certainly in the subterraneous chamber, since the sultan of the genii told you you should find it there." The young sultan and his mother, being both impatient to see the wonderful statue, went down into the room of the statues; but how great was their surprise, when, instead of a statue of diamonds, they beheld on the ninth pedestal a most beautiful virgin, whom the prince knew to be the same whom he had conducted into the island of the genii! "Prince," said the young maid, "you are surprised to see me here; you expected to have found something more precious than me, and I question not but that you now repent having taken so much trouble: you expected a better reward." "Madam," answered Zeyn, "heaven is my witness, that I more than once had nearly broken my word with the sultan of the genii, to keep you to myself. Whatever be the value of a diamond statue, is it worth the satisfaction of having you mine? I love you above all the diamonds and wealth in the world."

Just as he had done speaking, a clap of thunder was heard, which shook the subterranean place. Zeyn's mother was alarmed, but the sultan of the genii immediately appearing, dispelled her fear. "Madam," said he to her, "I protect and love your son: I had a mind to try, whether, at his age, he could subdue his passions. I know the charms of this young lady have wrought on him, and that he did not punctually keep the promise he had made me, not to desire her; but I am well acquainted with the frailty of human nature. This is the ninth statue I designed for him; it is more rare and precious than the others. "Live," said he (directing his discourse to the young prince), "live happy, Zeyn, with this young lady, who is your wife; and if you would have her true and constant to you, love her always, and love her only. Give her no rival, and I will answer for her fidelity." Having spoken these words, the sultan of the genii vanished, and Zeyn, enchanted with the young lady, the same day caused her to be proclaimed queen of Bussorah, over which they reigned in mutual happiness to an advanced age.


Those who have written the history of Diarbekir inform us that there formerly reigned in the city of Harran a most magnificent and potent sultan, who loved his subjects, and was equally beloved by them. He was endued with all virtues, and wanted nothing to complete his happiness but an heir. Though he had the finest women in the world in his seraglio, yet was he destitute of children. He continually prayed to heaven for them; and one night in his sleep, a comely person, or rather a prophet, appeared to him, and said, "Your prayers are heard; you have obtained what you have desired; rise as soon as you awake, go to your prayers, and make two genuflexions, then walk into the garden of your palace, call your gardener, and bid him bring you a pomegranate, eat as many of the seeds as you please, and your wishes shall be accomplished."

The sultan calling to mind his dream when he awoke, returned thanks to heaven, got up, prayed, made two genuflexions, and then went into his garden, where he took fifty pomegranate seeds, which he counted, and ate. He had fifty wives who shared his bed; they all proved with child; but there was one called Pirouzč, who did not appear to be pregnant. He took an aversion to this lady, and would have her put to death. "Her barrenness," said he, "is a certain token that heaven does not judge Pirouzč worthy to bear a prince; it is my duty to deliver the world from an object that is odious to the Lord." He would have executed his cruel purpose had not his vizier prevented him; representing to him that all women were not of the same constitution, and that it was not impossible but that Pirouzč might be with child, though it did not yet appear. "Well," answered the sultan, "let her live; but let her depart my court; for I cannot endure her." "Your majesty," replied the vizier, "may send her to sultan Samer, your cousin." The sultan approved of this advice; he sent Pirouzč to Samaria, with a letter, in which he ordered his cousin to treat her well, and, in case she proved with child, to give him notice of her being brought to bed.

No sooner was Pirouzč arrived in that country, than it appeared that she was pregnant, and at length she was delivered of a most beautiful prince. The prince of Samaria wrote immediately to the sultan of Harran, to acquaint him with the birth of a son, and to congratulate him on the occasion. The sultan was much rejoiced at this intelligence, and answered prince Samer as follows: "Cousin, all my other wives have each been delivered of a prince. I desire you to educate that of Pirouzč, to give him the name of Codadad, and to send him to me when I may apply for him."

The prince of Samaria spared nothing that might improve the education of his nephew. He taught him to ride, draw the bow, and all other accomplishments becoming the son of a sovereign; so that Codadad, at eighteen years of age, was looked upon as a prodigy. The young prince, being inspired with a courage worthy of his birth, said one day to his mother, "Madam, I begin to grow weary of Samaria; I feel a passion for glory; give me leave to seek it amidst the perils of war. My father, the sultan of Harran, has many enemies. Why does he not call me to his assistance? Why does he leave me here so long in obscurity? Must I spend my life in sloth, when all my brothers have the happiness to be fighting by his side?" "My son," answered Pirouzč, "I am no less impatient to have your name become famous; I could wish you had already signalized yourself against your father's enemies; but we must wait till he requires it." "No, madam," replied Codadad, "I have already waited but too long. I burn to see the sultan, and am tempted to offer him my service, as a young stranger: no doubt but he will accept of it, and I will not discover myself, till I have performed some glorious actions: I desire to merit his esteem before he knows who I am." Pirouzč approved of his generous resolutions, and Codadad departed from Samaria, as if he had been going to the chase, without acquainting prince Samer, lest he should thwart his design.

He was mounted on a white charger, who had a bit and shoes of gold, his housing was of blue satin embroidered with pearls; the hilt of his scimitar was of one single diamond, and the scabbard of sandal-wood, adorned with emeralds and rubies, and on his shoulder he carried his bow and quiver. In this equipage, which greatly set off his handsome person, he arrived at the city of Harran, and soon found means to offer his service to the sultan; who being charmed with his beauty and promising appearance, and perhaps indeed by natural sympathy, gave him a favourable reception, and asked his name and quality. "Sir," answered Codadad, "I am son to an emir of Grand Cairo; an inclination to travel has made me quit my country, and understanding, in my passage through your dominions, that you were engaged in war, I am come to your court to offer your majesty my service." The sultan shewed him extraordinary kindness, and gave him a command in his army.

The young prince soon signalized his bravery. He gained the esteem of the officers, and was admired by the soldiers. Having no less wit than courage, he so far advanced himself in the sultan's esteem, as to become his favourite. All the ministers and other courtiers daily resorted to Codadad, and were so eager to purchase his friendship, that they neglected the sultan's sons. The princes could not but resent this conduct, and imputing it to the stranger, all conceived an implacable hatred against him; but the sultan's affection daily increasing, he was never weary of giving him fresh testimonies of his regard. He always would have him near his person; admired his conversation, ever full of wit and discretion; and to shew his high opinion of his wisdom and prudence, committed to his care the other princes, though he was of the same age as they; so that Codadad was made governor of his brothers.

This only served to heighten their hatred. "Is it come to this," said they, "that the sultan, not satisfied with loving a stranger more than us, will have him to be our governor, and not allow us to act without his leave? this is not to be endured. We must rid ourselves of this foreigner." "Let us go together," said one of them, "and dispatch him." "No, no," answered another; "we had better be cautious how we sacrifice ourselves. His death would render us odious to the sultan, who in return would declare us all unworthy to reign. Let us destroy him by some stratagem. We will ask his permission to hunt, and when at a distance from the palace, proceed to some other city, and stay there some time. The sultan will wonder at our absence, and perceiving we do not return, perhaps put the stranger to death, or at least will banish him from court, for suffering us to leave the palace."

All the princes applauded this artifice. They went together to Codadad, and desired him to allow them to take the diversion of hunting, promising to return the same day. Pirouzč's son was taken in the snare, and granted the permission his brothers desired. They set out, but never returned. They had been three days absent, when the sultan asked Codadad where the princes were, for it was long since he had seen them. "Sir," answered Codadad, after making a profound reverence, "they have been hunting these three days, but they promised me they would return sooner." The sultan grew uneasy, and his uneasiness increased when he perceived the princes did not return the next day. He could not check his anger: "Indiscreet stranger," said he to Codadad, "why did you let my sons go without bearing them company? Is it thus you discharge the trust I have reposed in you? Go, seek them immediately, and bring them to me, or your life shall be forfeited."

These words chilled with alarm Pirouzč's unfortunate son. He armed himself, departed from the city, and like a shepherd, who had lost his flock, searched the country for his brothers, inquiring at every village whether they had been seen: but hearing no news of them, abandoned himself to the most lively grief. "Alas! my brothers," said he, "what is become of you? Are you fallen into the hands of our enemies? Am I come to the court of Harran to be the occasion of giving the sultan so much anxiety?" He was inconsolable for having given the princes permission to hunt, or for not having borne them company.

After some days spent in fruitless search, he came to a plain of prodigious extent, in the midst whereof was a palace built of black marble. He drew near, and at one of the windows beheld a most beautiful lady; but set off with no other ornament than her own charms; for her hair was dishevelled, her garments torn, and on her countenance appeared all the marks of the greatest affliction. As soon as she saw Codadad, and judged he might hear her, she directed her discourse to him, saying, "Young man, depart from this fatal place, or you will soon fall into the hands of the monster that inhabits it: a black, who feeds only on human blood, resides in this palace; he seizes all persons whom their ill-fate conducts to this plain, and shuts them up in his dark dungeons, whence they are never released, but to be devoured by him."

"Madam," answered Codadad, "tell me who you are, and be not concerned for myself." "I am a young woman of quality of Grand Cairo," replied the lady; "I was passing by this castle yesterday, in my way to Bagdad, and met with the black, who killed all my attendants, and brought me hither; I wish I had nothing but death to fear, but to add to my calamity, this monster would persuade me to love him, and, in case I do not yield to-morrow to his brutality, I must expect the last violence. Once more," added she, "make your escape: the black will soon return; he is gone out to pursue some travellers he espied at a distance on the plain. Lose no time; I know not whether you can escape him by a speedy flight."

She had scarcely done speaking before the black appeared. He was of monstrous bulk, and of a dreadful aspect, mounted on a large Tartar horse, and bore such a heavy scimitar, that none but himself could wield. The prince seeing him, was amazed at his gigantic stature, directed his prayers to heaven to assist him, then drew his scimitar, and firmly awaited his approach. The monster, despising so inconsiderable an enemy, called to him to submit without fighting. Codadad by his conduct shewed that he was resolved to defend his life; for rushing upon him, he wounded him on the knee. The black, feeling himself wounded, uttered such a dreadful yell as made all the plain resound. He grew furious and foamed with rage, and raising himself on his stirrups, made at Codadad with his dreadful scimitar. The blow was so violent, that it would have put an end to the young prince, had not he avoided it by a sudden spring. The scimitar made a horrible hissing in the air: but, before the black could have time to make a second blow, Codadad struck him on his right arm, with such force, that he cut it off. The dreadful scimitar fell with the hand that held it, and the black yielding under the violence of the stroke, lost his stirrups, and made the earth shake with the weight of his fall. The prince alighted at the same time, and cut off his enemy's head. Just then, the lady, who had been a spectator of the combat, and was still offering up her earnest prayers to heaven for the young hero, whom she admired, uttered a shriek of joy, and said to Codadad, "Prince (for the dangerous victory you have obtained, as well as your noble air, convinces me that you are of no common rank), finish the work you have begun; the black has the keys of this castle, take them and deliver me out of prison." The prince searched the wretch as he lay stretched on the ground, and found several keys.

He opened the first door, and entered a court, where he saw the lady coming to meet him; she would have cast herself at his feet, the better to express her gratitude, but he would not permit her. She commended his valour, and extolled him above all the heroes in the world. He returned her compliments; and she appeared still more lovely to him near, than she had done at a distance. I know not whether she felt more joy at being delivered from the desperate danger she had been in, than he for having done so considerable a service to so beautiful a person.

Their conversation was interrupted by dismal cries and groans. "What do I hear?" said Codadad: "Whence come these miserable lamentations, which pierce my ears?" "My lord," said the lady to him, pointing to a little door in the court, "they come from thence. There are I know not how many wretched persons whom fate has thrown into the hands of the black. They are all chained, and the monster drew out one every day to devour."

"It is an addition to my joy," answered the young prince, "to understand that my victory will save the lives of those unfortunate beings. Come along with me, madam, to partake in the satisfaction of giving them their liberty. You may judge by your own feelings how welcome we shall be to them." Having so said, they advanced towards the door of the dungeon, and the nearer they drew, the more distinctly they heard the lamentations of the prisoners. Codadad pitying them, and impatient to put an end to their sufferings, presently put one of the keys into the lock. The noise made all the unfortunate captives, who concluded it was the black coming, according to custom, to seize one of them to devour, redouble their cries and groans. Lamentable voices were heard, which seemed to come from the centre of the earth.

In the mean time, the prince had opened the door; he went down a very steep staircase into a large and deep vault, which received some feeble light from a little window, and in which there were above a hundred persons, bound to stakes, and their hands tied. "Unfortunate travellers," said he to them, "wretched victims, who only expected the moment of an approaching cruel death, give thanks to heaven, which has this day delivered you by my means. I have slain the black by whom you were to be devoured, and am come to knock off your chains." The prisoners hearing these words, gave a shout of mingled joy and surprise. Codadad and the lady began to unbind them; and as soon as any of them were loose, they helped to take off the fetters from the rest; so that in a short time they were all at liberty.

They then kneeled down, and having returned thanks to Codadad for what he had done for them, went out of the dungeon; but when they were come into the court, how was the prince surprised to see among the prisoners, those he was in search of, and almost without hopes to find! "Princes," cried he, "am I not deceived? Is it you whom I behold? May I flatter myself that it may be in my power to restore you to the sultan your father, who is inconsolable for the loss of you? But will he not have some one to lament? Are you all here alive? Alas! the death of one of you will suffice to damp the joy I feel for having delivered you!"

The forty-nine princes all made themselves known to Codadad, who embraced them one after another, and told them how uneasy their father was on account of their absence. They gave their deliverer all the commendations he deserved, as did the other prisoners, who could not find words expressive enough to declare their gratitude. Codadad, with them, searched the whole castle, where was immense wealth; curious silks, gold brocades, Persian carpets, China satins, and an infinite quantity of other goods, which the black had taken from the caravans he had plundered, a considerable part whereof belonged to the prisoners Codadad had then liberated. Every man knew and claimed his property. The prince restored them their own, and divided the rest of the merchandise among them. Then he said to them, "How will you carry away your goods? We are here in a desert place, and there is no likelihood of your getting horses." "My lord," answered one of the prisoners, "the black robbed us of our camels as well as our goods, and perhaps they may be in the stables of this castle." "This is not unlikely," replied Codadad; "let us examine." Accordingly they went to the stables, where they not only found the camels, but also the horses belonging to the sultan of Harran's sons. There were some black slaves in the stables, who seeing all the prisoners released, and guessing thereby that their master had been killed, fled through by-ways well known to them. Nobody minded to pursue them. All the merchants, overjoyed that they had recovered their goods and camels, together with their liberty, thought of nothing but prosecuting their journey; but first repeated their thanks to their deliverer.

When they were gone, Codadad, directing his discourse to the lady, said, "What place, madam, do you desire to go to? Whither were you bound when you were seized by the black? I intend to bear you company to the place you shall choose for your retreat, and I question not but that all these princes will do the same." The sultan of Harran's sons protested to the lady, that they would not leave her till she was restored to her friends.

"Princes," said she, "I am of a country too remote from hence; and, besides that, it would be abusing your generosity to oblige you to travel so far. I must confess that I have left my native country for ever. I told you that I was a lady of Grand Cairo; but since you have shewn me so much favour, and I am so highly obliged to you," added she, looking upon Codadad, "I should be much in the wrong in concealing the truth from you; I am a sultan's daughter. An usurper has possessed himself of my father's throne, after having murdered him, and I have been forced to fly to save my life."

Codadad and his brothers requested the princess to tell them her story, assuring her they felt a particular interest in her misfortunes, and were determined to spare nothing that might contribute to render her more happy. After thanking them for their repeated protestations of readiness to serve her, she could not refuse to satisfy their curiosity, and began the recital of her adventures in the following manner.

The History of the Princess of Deryabar.

There was in a certain island a great city called Deryabar, governed by a potent, magnificent, and virtuous sultan, who had no children, which was the only blessing wanting to make him happy. He continually addressed his prayers to heaven, but heaven only partially granted his requests, for the queen his wife, after a long expectation, brought forth a daughter.

I am the unfortunate princess; my father was rather grieved than pleased at my birth; but he submitted to the will of God, and caused me to be educated with all possible care, being resolved, since he had no son, to teach me the art of ruling, that I might supply his place after his death.

One day when he was taking the diversion of hunting, he espied a wild ass, which he chased, lost his company, and was carried away so far by his eagerness as to ride on till night. He then alighted, and sat down at the entrance of a wood, in which the ass had sheltered. No sooner was the day shut in than he discovered among the trees a light, which made him conclude that he was not far from some village; he rejoiced at this, hoping that he might pass the night there, and find some person to send to his followers and acquaint them where he was; accordingly he rose and walked towards the light, which served to guide him.

He soon found he had been deceived, the light being no other than a fire blazing in a hut; however, he drew near, and, with amazement, beheld a black man, or rather a giant, sitting on a sofa. Before the monster was a great pitcher of wine, and he was roasting an ox he had newly killed. Sometimes he drank out of the pitcher, and sometimes cut slices off the ox and greedily devoured them. But what most attracted my father's attention was a beautiful woman whom he saw in the hut. She seemed overwhelmed with grief; her hands were bound, and at her feet was a little child about two or three years old, who, as if he was sensible of his mother's misfortunes, wept without ceasing, and rent the air with his cries.

My father, moved with this pitiable object, thought at first to enter the hut and attack the giant; but considering how unequal the combat would be, he stopped, and resolved, since he had not strength enough to prevail by open force, to use art. In the mean time, the giant having emptied the pitcher, and devoured above half the ox, turned to the woman and said, "Beautiful princess, why do you oblige me by your obstinacy to treat you with severity? It is in your own power to be happy. You need only resolve to love, and be true to me, and I shall treat you with more mildness." "Thou hideous satyr," answered the lady, "never expect that time should wear away my abhorrence of thee. Thou wilt ever be a monster in my eyes." To these words she added so many reproaches, that the giant grew enraged. "This is too much," cried he, in a furious tone; "my love despised is turned into rage. Your hatred has at last excited mine; I find it triumphs over my desires, and that I now wish your death more ardently than your enjoyment." Having spoken these words, he took the wretched lady by the hair, held her up with one hand in the air, and drawing his scimitar with the other, was just going to strike off her head, when the sultan my father let fly an arrow which pierced the giant's breast, so that he staggered, and dropped down dead.

My father entered the hut, unbound the lady's hands, inquired who she was, and how she came thither. "My lord," said she, "there are along the sea-coast some families of Saracens, who live under a prince who is my husband; this giant you have killed was one of his principal officers. The wretch fell desperately in love with me, but took care to conceal his passion, till he could put in execution the design he had formed of forcing me from home. Fortune oftener favours wicked designs than virtuous resolutions. The giant one day surprised me and my child in a by-place. He seized us both, and to disappoint the search he well knew my husband would cause to be made for me, removed from the country inhabited by those Saracens, and brought us into this wood, where he has kept me some days. Deplorable as my condition is, it is still a great satisfaction to me to think that the giant, though so brutal, never used force to obtain what I always refused to his entreaties. Not but that he has a hundred times threatened that he would have recourse to the worst of extremities, in case he could not otherwise prevail upon me; and I must confess to you, that awhile ago, when I provoked his anger by my words, I was less concerned for my life than for my honour.

"This, my lord," said the prince of the Saracens' wife, "is the faithful account of my misfortunes, and I question not but you will think me worthy of your compassion, and that you will not repent having so generously relieved me." "Madam," answered my father, "be assured your troubles have affected me, and I will do all in my power to make you happy. To-morrow, as soon as day appears, we will quit this wood, and endeavour to fall into the road which leads to the great city of Deryabar, of which I am sovereign; and if you think fit, you shall be lodged in my palace, till the prince your husband comes to claim you."

The Saracen lady accepted the offer, and the next day followed the sultan my father, who found all his retinue upon the skirts of the wood, they having spent the night in searching for him, and being very uneasy because they could not find him. They were no less rejoiced to meet with, than amazed to see him with a lady, whose beauty surprised them. He told them how he had found her, and the risk he had run in approaching the hut, where he must certainly have lost his life had the giant discovered him. One of his servants took up the lady behind him, and another carried the child.

Thus they arrived at the palace of my father, who assigned the beautiful Saracen lady an apartment, and caused her child to be carefully educated. The lady was not insensible of the sultan's goodness to her, and expressed as much gratitude as he could desire. She had at first appeared very uneasy and impatient that her husband did not claim her; but by degrees she lost that uneasiness. The respect my father paid her dispelled her impatience; and I am of opinion she would at last have blamed fortune more for restoring her to her kindred, than she did for removing her from them.

In the mean time the lady's son grew up; he was very handsome, and not wanting ability, found means to please the sultan my father, who conceived a great friendship for him. All the courtiers perceived it, and guessed that the young man might in the end be my husband. In this idea, and looking on him already as heir to the crown, they made their court to him, and every one endeavoured to gain his favour. He soon saw into their designs, grew conceited of himself, and forgetting the distance there was between our conditions, flattered himself with the hopes that my father was fond enough of him, to prefer him before all the princes in the world. He went farther; for the sultan not offering me to him as soon as he could have wished, he had the boldness to ask me of him. Whatever punishment his insolence deserved, my father was satisfied with telling him he had other thoughts in relation to me, and shewed him no further resentment. The youth was incensed at this refusal; he resented the contempt, as if he had asked some maid of ordinary extraction, or as if his birth had been equal to mine. Nor did he stop here, but resolved to be revenged on the sultan, and with unparalleled ingratitude conspired against him. In short, he murdered him, and caused himself to be proclaimed sovereign of Deryabar. The first thing he did after the murder of my father was to come into my apartment, at the head of a party of the conspirators. His design was either to take my life or oblige me to marry him. The grand vizier, however, who had been always loyal to his master, while the usurper was butchering my father, came to carry me away from the palace, and secured me in a friend's house, till a vessel he had provided was ready to sail. I then left the island, attended only by a governess and that generous minister, who chose rather to follow his master's daughter, and share her misfortunes, than to submit to a tyrant.

The grand vizier designed to carry me to the courts of the neighbouring sultans, to implore their assistance, and excite them to revenge my father's death; but heaven did not concur in a resolution we thought so just. When we had been but a few days at sea, there arose such a furious storm, that, in spite of all the mariners' art, our vessel, carried away by the violence of the winds and waves, was dashed in pieces against a rock. I will not spend time in describing our shipwreck. I can but faintly represent to you how my governess, the grand vizier, and all that attended me, were swallowed up by the sea. The dread I was seized with did not permit me to observe all the horror of our condition. I lost my senses; and whether I was thrown upon the coast upon any part of the wreck, or whether heaven, which reserved me for other misfortunes, wrought a miracle for my deliverance, I found myself on shore when my senses returned.

Misfortunes very often make us forget our duty. Instead of returning thanks to God for so singular a favour shewn me, I only lifted up my eyes to heaven, to complain because I had been preserved. I was so far from bewailing the vizier and my governess, that I envied their fate, and dreadful imaginations by degrees prevailing over my reason, I resolved to cast myself into the sea; I was on the point of doing so, when I heard behind me a great noise of men and horses. I looked about to see what it might be, and espied several armed horsemen, among whom was one mounted on an Arabian horse. He had on a garment embroidered with silver, a girdle set with precious stones, and a crown of gold on his head. Though his habit had not convinced me that he was chief of the company, I should have judged it by the air of grandeur which appeared in his person. He was a young man extraordinarily well shaped, and perfectly beautiful. Surprised to see a young lady alone in that place, he sent some of his officers to ask who I was. I answered only by weeping. The shore being covered with the wreck of our ship, they concluded that I was certainly some person who had escaped from the vessel. This conjecture, and my inconsolable condition, excited the curiosity of the officers, who began to ask me a thousand questions, with assurances, that their master was a generous prince, and that I should receive protection at his court.

The sultan, impatient to know who I was, grew weary of waiting the return of his officers, and drew near to me. He gazed on me very earnestly, and observing that I did not cease weeping and afflicting myself, without being able to return an answer to their questions, he forbad them troubling me any more; and directing his discourse to me, "Madam," said he, "I conjure you to moderate your excessive affliction. Though heaven in its dispensations has laid this calamity upon you, it does not behove you to despair. I beseech you shew more resolution. Fortune, which has hitherto persecuted you, is inconstant, and may soon change. I dare assure you, that, if your misfortunes are capable of receiving any relief, you shall find it in my dominions. My palace is at your service. You shall live with the queen my mother, who will endeavour by her kindness to ease your affliction. I know not yet who you are; but I find I already take an interest in your welfare."

I thanked the young sultan for his goodness to me, accepted his obliging offers; and to convince him that I was not unworthy of them, told him my condition. I described to him the insolence of the young Saracen, and found it was enough to recount my misfortunes, to excite compassion in him and all his officers, who heard me. When I had done speaking, the prince began again, assuring me that he was deeply concerned at my misfortunes. He then conducted me to his palace, and presented me to the queen his mother, to whom I was obliged again to repeat my misfortunes and to renew my tears. The queen seemed very sensible of my trouble, and conceived extreme affection for me. On the other hand, the sultan her son fell desperately in love with me, and soon offered me his person and his crown. I was so taken up with the thoughts of my calamities, that the prince, though so lovely a person, did not make so great an impression on me as he might have done at another time. However, gratitude prevailing, I did not refuse to make him happy, and our nuptials were concluded with all imaginable splendour.

While the people were taken up with the celebration of their sovereign's nuptials, a neighbouring prince, his enemy, made a descent by night on the island with a great number of troops. That formidable enemy was the king of Zanguebar. He surprised and cut to pieces my husband's subjects. He was very near taking us both. We escaped very narrowly, for he had already entered the palace with some of his followers, but we found means to slip away, and to get to the seacoast, where we threw ourselves into a fishing boat which we had the good fortune to meet with. Two days we were driven about by the winds, without knowing what would become of us. The third day we espied a vessel making towards us under sail. We rejoiced at first, believing it had been a merchant ship which might take us aboard; but what was our consternation, when, as it drew near, we saw ten or twelve armed pirates appear on the deck. Having boarded, five or six of them leaped into our boat, seized us, bound the prince, and conveyed us into their ship, where they immediately took off my veil. My youth and features touched them, and they all declared how much they were charmed at the sight of me. Instead of casting lots, each of them claimed the preference, and me as his right. The dispute grew warm, they came to blows, and fought like madmen. The deck was soon covered with dead bodies, and they were all killed but one, who being left sole possessor of me, said, "You are mine. I will carry you to Grand Cairo, to deliver you to a friend of mine, to whom I have promised a beautiful slave. But who," added he, looking upon the sultan my husband, "is that man? What relation does he bear to you? Are you allied by blood or love?" "Sir," answered I, "he is my husband." "If so," replied the pirate, "in pity I must rid myself of him: it would be too great an affliction to him to see you in my friend's arms." Having spoken these words, he took up the unhappy prince, who was bound, and threw him into the sea, notwithstanding all my endeavours to prevent him.

I shrieked in a dreadful manner at the sight of what he had done, and had certainly cast myself headlong into the sea, but that the pirate held me. He saw my design, and therefore bound me with cords to the main-mast, then hoisting sail, made towards the land, and got ashore. He unbound me and led me to a little town, where he bought camels, tents, and slaves, and then set out for Grand Cairo, designing, as he still said, to present me to his friend, according to his promise.

We had been several days upon the road, when, as we were crossing this plain yesterday, we descried the black who inhabited this castle. At a distance we took him for a tower, and when near us, could scarcely believe him to be a man. He drew his huge scimitar, and summoned the pirate to yield himself prisoner, with all his slaves, and the lady he was conducting. The pirate was daring; and being seconded by his slaves, who promised to stand by him, he attacked the black. The combat lasted a considerable time; but at length the pirate fell under his enemy's deadly blows, as did all his slaves, who chose rather to die than forsake him. The black then conducted me to the castle, whither he also brought the pirate's body, which he devoured that night. After his inhuman repast, perceiving that I ceased not weeping, he said to me, "Young lady, prepare to love me, rather than continue thus to afflict yourself. Make a virtue of necessity, and comply. I will give you till to-morrow to consider. Let me then find you comforted for all your misfortunes, and overjoyed at having been reserved for me." Having spoken these words, he conducted me to a chamber, and withdrew to his own, after locking up the castle gates. He opened them this morning, and presently locked them after him again, to pursue some travellers he perceived at a distance; but it is likely they made their escape, since he was returning alone, and without any booty, when you attacked him.

As soon as the princess had finished the recital of her adventures, Codadad declared to her that he was deeply concerned at her misfortunes. "But, madam," added he, "it shall be your own fault if you do not live at ease for the future. The sultan of Harran's sons offer you a safe retreat in the court of their father; be pleased to accept of it. You will be there cherished by that sovereign, and respected by all; and if you do not disdain the affection of your deliverer, permit me to assure you of it, and to espouse you before all these princes; let them be witnesses to our contract." The princess consented, and the marriage was concluded that very day in the castle, where they found all sorts of provisions. The kitchens were full of flesh and other eatables the black used to feed on, when he was weary of feeding on human bodies. There was also a variety of fruits, excellent in their kinds; and, to complete their pleasure, abundance of delicious wine and other liquors.

They all sat down at table; and after having eaten and drunk plentifully, took with them the rest of the provisions, and set out for the sultan of Harran's court: they travelled several days, encamping in the pleasantest places they could find, and were within one day's journey of Harran, when having halted and drunk all their wine, being under no longer concern to make it hold out, Codadad directing his discourse to all his company, said "Princes, I have too long concealed from you who I am. Behold your brother Codadad! I have received my being, as well as you, from the sultan of Harran, the prince of Samaria brought me up, and the princess Pirouzč is my mother. Madam," added he, addressing himself to the Princess of Deryabar, "do you also forgive me for having concealed my birth from you? Perhaps, by discovering it sooner, I might have prevented some disagreeable reflections, which may have been occasioned by a match you may have thought unequal." "No, sir," answered the princess, "the opinion I at first conceived of you heightened every moment, and you did not stand in need of the extraction you now discover to make me happy."

The princes congratulated Codadad on his birth, and expressed much satisfaction at being made acquainted with it. But in reality, instead of rejoicing, their hatred of so amiable a brother was increased. They met together at night, whilst Codadad and the princess his wife lay asleep in their tent. Those ungrateful, those envious brothers, forgetting that had it not been for the brave son of Pirouzč they must have been devoured by the black, agreed among themselves to murder him. "We have no other course to choose," said one of them, "for the moment our father shall come to understand that this stranger of whom he is already so fond, is our brother, and that he alone has been able to destroy a giant, whom we could not all of us together conquer, he will declare him his heir, to the prejudice of all his brothers, who will be obliged to obey and fall down before him." He added much more, which made such an impression on their envious and unnatural minds, that they immediately repaired to Codadad, then asleep, stabbed him repeatedly, and leaving him for dead in the arms of the princess of Deryabar, proceeded on their journey for the city of Harran, where they arrived the next day.

The sultan their father conceived the greater joy at their return, because he had despaired of ever seeing them again: he asked what had been the occasion of their stay? But they took care not to acquaint him with it, making no mention either of the black or of Codadad; and only said, that, being curious to see different countries, they had spent some time in the neighbouring cities.

In the mean time Codadad lay in his tent weltering in his blood, and little differing from a dead man, with the princess his wife, who seemed to be in not much better condition than himself. She rent the air with her dismal shrieks, tore her hair, and bathing her husband's body with her tears, "Alas! Codadad, my dear Codadad," cried she, "is it you whom I behold just departing this life? What cruel hands have put you into this condition? Can I believe these are your brothers who have treated you so unmercifully, those brothers whom thy valour had saved? No, they are rather devils, who under characters so dear came to murder you. O barbarous wretches! how could you make so ungrateful a return for the service he has done you? But why should I complain of your brothers, unfortunate Codadad! I alone am to blame for your death. You would join your fate with mine, and all the ill fortune that has attended me since I left my father's palace has fallen upon you. O Heaven! which has condemned me to lead a life of calamities, if you will not permit me to have a consort, why did you permit me to find one? Behold you have now robbed me of two, just as I began to be attached to them."

By these and other moving expressions, the afflicted princess of Deryabar vented her sorrow, fixing her eyes on the unfortunate Codadad, who could not hear her; but he was not dead, and his consort observing that he still breathed, ran to a large town she espied in the plain, to inquire for a surgeon. She was directed to one, who went immediately with her; but when they came to the tent, they could not find Codadad, which made them conclude he had been dragged away by some wild beast to be devoured. The princess renewed her complaints and lamentations in a most affecting manner. The surgeon was moved and being unwilling to leave her in so distressed a condition, proposed to her to return to the town offering her his house and service.

She suffered herself to be prevailed on. The surgeon conducted her to his house, and without knowing, as yet, who she was, treated her with all imaginable courtesy and respect. He used all his endeavours to comfort her, but it was vain to think of removing her sorrow, which was rather heightened than diminished. "Madam," said he to her one day, "be pleased to recount to me your misfortunes; tell me your country and your condition. Perhaps I may give you some good advice, when I am acquainted with all the circumstances of your calamity. You do nothing but afflict yourself, without considering that remedies may be found for the most desperate diseases."

The surgeon's words were so efficacious, that they wrought on the princess, who recounted to him all her adventures: and when she had done, the surgeon directed his discourse to her; "Madam," said he, "you ought not thus to give way to your sorrow; you ought rather to arm yourself with resolution, and perform what the name and the duty of a wife require of you. You are bound to avenge your husband. If you please, I will wait on you as your attendant. Let us go to the sultan of Harran's court; he is a good and a just prince. You need only represent to him in lively colours, how prince Codadad has been treated by his brothers. I am persuaded he will do you justice." "I submit to your reasons," answered the princess; "it is my duty to endeavour to avenge Codadad; and since you are so generous as to offer to attend me, I am ready to set out." No sooner had she fixed this resolution, than the surgeon ordered two camels to be made ready, on which the princess and he mounted, and repaired to Harran.

They alighted at the first caravanserai they found, and inquired of the host the news at court. "It is," said he, "in very great perplexity. The sultan had a son, who lived long with him as a stranger, and none can tell what is become of the young prince. One of the sultan's wives, named Pirouzč, is his mother; she has made all possible inquiry, but to no purpose. All are concerned at the loss of this prince, because he had great merit. The sultan has forty-nine other sons, all by different mothers, but not one of them has virtue enough to comfort him for the death of Codadad; I say, his death, because it is impossible he should be still alive, since no intelligence has been heard of him, notwithstanding so much search has been made."

The surgeon having heard this account from the host, concluded that the best course the princess of Deryabar could take was to wait upon Pirouzč; but that step was not without some danger, and required much precaution: for it was to be feared, that if the sultan of Harran's sons should happen to hear of the arrival of their sister-in-law, and her design, they might cause her to be conveyed away before she could discover herself to Codadad's mother. The surgeon weighed all these circumstances, considered what risk he might run himself, and therefore, that he might manage matters with discretion, desired the princess to remain in the caravanserai, whilst he repaired to the palace, to observe which might be the safest way to conduct her to Pirouzč.

He went accordingly into the city, and was walking towards the palace, like one led only by curiosity to see the court, when he beheld a lady mounted on a mule richly accoutred. She was followed by several ladies mounted also on mules, with a great number of guards and black slaves. All the people formed a lane to see her pass along, and saluted her by prostrating themselves on the ground. The surgeon paid her the same respect, and then asked a calender, who happened to stand by him, "Whether that lady was one of the sultan's wives?" "Yes, brother," answered the calender, "she is, and the most honoured and beloved by the people, because she is the mother of prince Codadad, of whom you must have heard."

The surgeon asked no more questions, but followed Pirouzč to a mosque, into which she went to distribute alms, and assist at the public prayers which the sultan had ordered to be offered up for the safe return of Codadad. The people, who were highly concerned for that young prince, ran in crowds to join their vows to the prayers of the priests, so that the mosque was quite full. The surgeon broke through the throng, and advanced to Pirouzč's guards. He waited the conclusion of the prayers, and when the princess went out, stepped up to one of her slaves, and whispered him in the ear, "Brother, I have a secret of moment to impart to the princess Pirouzč; may not I, by your means, be introduced into her apartment?" "If that secret," answered the slave, "relate to prince Codadad, I dare promise you shall have audience of her this very day; but if it concern not him, it is needless for you to endeavour to be introduced; for her thoughts are all engrossed by her son, and she will not hear of any other subject." "It is only about that dear son," replied the surgeon, "that I wish to speak to her." "If so," said the slave, "you need only follow us to the palace, and you shall soon have the opportunity."

Accordingly, as soon as Pirouzč was returned to her apartment, the slave acquainted her that a person unknown had some important information to communicate to her, and that it related to prince Codadad. No sooner had he uttered these words, than Pirouzč expressed her impatience to see the stranger. The slave immediately conducted him into the princess's closet, who ordered all her women to withdraw, except two, from whom she concealed nothing. As soon as she saw the surgeon, she asked him eagerly, what news he had to tell her of Codadad? "Madam," answered the surgeon, after having prostrated himself on the ground, "I have a long account to give you, and such as will surprise you." He then related all the particulars of what had passed between Codadad and his brothers, which she listened to with eager attention; but when he came to speak of the murder, the tender mother fainted away on her sofa, as if she had herself been stabbed like her son. Her two women used proper means, and soon brought her to herself. The surgeon continued his relation; and when he had concluded, Pirouzč said to him, "Go back to the princess of Deryabar, and assure her from me that the sultan shall soon own her for his daughter-in-law; and as for yourself, be satisfied, that your services shall be rewarded as liberally as they deserve."

When the surgeon was gone, Pirouzč remained on the sofa, in such a state of affliction as may easily be imagined; and yielding to her tenderness at the recollection of Codadad, "O my son," said she, "I must never then expect to see you more! Alas! when I gave you leave to depart from Samaria, and you took leave of me, I did not imagine that so unfortunate a death awaited you at such a distance from me. Unfortunate Codadad! Why did you leave me? You would not, it is true, have acquired so much renown, but you had been still alive, and not have cost your mother so many tears." While she uttered these words, she wept bitterly, and her two attendants moved by her grief, mingled their tears with hers.

Whilst they were all three in this manner vying in affliction, the sultan came into the closet, and seeing them in this condition, asked Pirouzč whether she had received any bad news concerning Codadad? "Alas! sir," said she, "all is over, my son has lost his life, and to add to my sorrow, I cannot pay him the funeral rites; for, in all probability, wild beasts have devoured him." She then told him all she had heard from the surgeon, and did not fail to enlarge on the inhuman manner in which Codadad had been murdered by his brothers.

The sultan did not give Pirouzč time to finish her relation, but transported with anger, and giving way to his passion, "Madam," said he to the princess, "those perfidious wretches who cause you to shed these tears, and are the occasion of mortal grief to their father, shall soon feel the punishment due to their guilt." The sultan having spoken these words, with indignation in his countenance, went directly to the presence-chamber where all his courtiers attended, and such of the people as had petitions to present to him. They were alarmed to see him in passion, and thought his anger had been kindled against his people. Their hearts were chilled with fear. He ascended the throne, and causing his grand vizier to approach, "Hassan," said he, "go immediately, take a thousand of my guards, and seize all the princes, my sons; shut them up in the tower used as a prison for murderers, and let this be done in a moment." All who were present trembled at this extraordinary command; and the grand vizier, without uttering a word, laid his hand on his head, to express his obedience, and hastened from the hall to execute his orders. In the mean time the sultan dismissed those who attended for audience, and declared he would not hear of any business for a month to come. He was still in the hall when the vizier returned. "Are all my sons," demanded he, "in the tower?" "They are, sir," answered the vizier, "I have obeyed your orders." "This is not all," replied the sultan, "I have further commands for you;" and so saying he went out of the hall of audience, and returned to Pirouzč's apartment, the vizier following him. He asked the princess where Codadad's widow had taken up her lodging? Pirouzč's women told him, for the surgeon had not forgotten that in his relation. The sultan then turning to his minister, "Go," said he, "to this caravanserai, and conduct a young princess who lodges there, with all the respect due to her quality, to my palace."

The vizier was not long in performing what he was ordered. He mounted on horseback with all the emirs and courtiers, and repaired to the caravanserai, where the princess of Deryabar was lodged, whom he acquainted with his orders; and presented her, from the sultan, a fine white mule, whose saddle and bridle were adorned with gold, rubies, and diamonds. She mounted, and proceeded to the palace. The surgeon attended her, mounted on a beautiful Tartar horse which the vizier had provided for him. All the people were at their windows, or in the streets, to see the cavalcade; and it being given out that the princess, whom they conducted in such state to court, was Codadad's wife, the city resounded with acclamations, the air rung with shouts of joy, which would have been turned into lamentations had that prince's fatal adventure been known; so much was he beloved by all.

The princess of Deryabar found the sultan at the palace-gate, waiting to receive her: he took her by the hand, and led her to Pirouzč's apartment, where a very moving scene took place. Codadad's wife found her affliction redouble at the sight of her husband's father and mother; as, on the other hand, those parents could not look on their son's wife without being much affected. She cast herself at the sultan's feet, and having bathed them with tears, was so overcome with grief, that she was not able to speak. Pirouzč was in no better state. And the sultan, moved by these affecting objects, gave way to his own feelings, and wept. All three, mingling their tears and sighs, for some time observed a silence, equally tender and pitiful. At length the princess of Deryabar, being somewhat recovered, recounted the adventure of the castle, and Codadad's disaster. Then she demanded justice for the treachery of the princes. "Yes, madam," said the sultan, "those ungrateful wretches shall perish; but Codadad's death must be first made public, that the punishment of his brothers may not cause my subjects to rebel; and though we have not my son's body, we will not omit paying him the last duties." This said, he directed his discourse to the vizier, and ordered him to cause to be erected a dome of white marble, in a delightful plain, in the midst of which the city of Harran stands. Then he appointed the princess of Deryabar a suitable apartment in his palace, acknowledging her for his daughter-in-law.

Hassan caused the work to be carried on with such diligence, and employed so many workmen, that the dome was soon finished. Within it was erected a tomb, which was covered with gold brocade. When all was completed, the sultan ordered prayers to be said, and appointed a day for the obsequies of his son.

On that day all the inhabitants of the city went out upon the plain to see the ceremony performed, which was after the following manner. The sultan, attended by his vizier and the principal lords of the court, proceeded towards the dome, and being come to it, he went in and sat down with them on carpets of black satin embroidered with gold flowers. A great body of horse-guards hanging their heads, drew up close about the dome, and marched round it twice, observing a profound silence; but at the third round they halted before the door, and all of them with a loud voice pronounced these words: "O prince! son to the sultan, could we by dint of sword, and human valour, repair your misfortune, we would bring you back to life; but the King of kings has commanded, and the angel of death has obeyed." Having uttered these words, they drew off, to make way for a hundred old men, all of them mounted on black mules, and having long grey beards. These were anchorites, who had lived all their days concealed in caves. They never appeared in sight of the world, but when they were to assist at the obsequies of the sultans of Harran, and of the princes of their family. Each of these venerable persons carried on his head a book, which he held with one hand. They took three turns round the dome without uttering a word; then stopping before the door, one of them said, "O prince! what can we do for thee? If thou couldst be restored to life by prayer or learning, we would rub our grey beards at thy feet, and recite prayers; but the King of the universe has taken thee away for ever."

This said, the old men moved to a distance from the dome, and immediately fifty beautiful young maidens drew near to it; each of them mounted on a little white horse; they wore no veils, and carried gold baskets full of all sorts of precious stones. They also rode thrice round the dome, and halting at the same place as the others had done, the youngest of them spoke in the name of all, as follows: "O prince! once so beautiful, what relief can you expect from us? If we could restore you to life by our charms, we would become your slaves. But you are no longer sensible to beauty, and have no more occasion for us."

When the young maids were withdrawn, the sultan and his courtiers arose, and having walked thrice around the tomb, the sultan spoke as follows: "O my dear son, light of my eyes, I have then lost thee for ever!" He accompanied these words with sighs, and watered the tomb with his tears; his courtiers weeping with him. The gate of the dome was then closed, and all the people returned to the city. Next day there were public prayers in all the mosques, and the same was continued for eight days successively. On the ninth the king resolved to cause the princes his sons to be beheaded. The people incensed at their cruelty towards Codadad, impatiently expected to see them executed. The scaffolds were erecting, but the execution was respited, because, on a sudden, intelligence was brought that the neighbouring princes, who had before made war on the sultan of Harran, were advancing with more numerous forces than on the first invasion, and were then not far from the city. It had been long known that they were preparing for war, but their preparations caused no alarm. This news occasioned general consternation, and gave new cause to lament the loss of Codadad, who had signalized himself in the former war against the same enemies. "Alas!" said they, "were the brave Codadad alive, we should little regard those princes who are coming to surprise us." The sultan, nothing dismayed, raised men with all possible speed, formed a considerable army, and being too brave to await the enemy's coming to attack him within his walls, marched out to meet them. They, on their side, being informed by their advanced parties that the sultan of Harran was marching to engage them, halted in the plain, and formed their army.

As soon as the sultan discovered them, he also drew up his forces, and ranged them in order of battle. The signal was given and he attacked them with extraordinary vigour; nor was the opposition inferior. Much blood was shed on both sides, and the victory remained long dubious; but at length it seemed to incline to the sultan of Harran's enemies, who, being more numerous, were upon the point of surrounding him, when a great body of cavalry appeared on the plain, and approached the two armies. The sight of this fresh party daunted both sides, neither knowing what to think of them: but their doubts were soon cleared; for they fell upon the flank of the sultan of Harran's enemies with such a furious charge, that they soon broke and routed them. Nor did they stop here; they pursued them, and cut most of them in pieces.

The sultan of Harran, who had attentively observed all that passed, admired the bravery of this strange body of cavalry, whose unexpected arrival had given the victory to his army. But, above all, he was charmed with their chief, whom he had seen fighting with a more than ordinary valour. He longed to know the name of the generous hero. Impatient to see and thank him, he advanced towards him, but perceived he was coming to prevent him. The two princes drew near, and the sultan of Harran discovering Codadad in the brave warrior who had just assisted him, or rather defeated his enemies, became motionless with joy and surprise. "Father," said Codadad to him, "you have sufficient cause to be astonished at the sudden appearance before your majesty of a man, whom perhaps you concluded to be dead. I should have been so had not heaven preserved me still to serve you against your enemies." "O my son!" cried the sultan, "is it possible that you are restored to me? Alas! I despaired of seeing you more." So saying he stretched out his arms to the young prince, who flew to such a tender embrace.

"I know all, my son," said the sultan again, after having long held him in his arms. "I know what return your brothers have made you for delivering them out of the hands of the black; but you shall be revenged to-morrow. Let us now go to the palace where your mother, who has shed so many tears on your account, expects me to rejoice with us for the defeat of our enemies. What a joy will it be to her to be informed, that my victory is your work!" "Sir," said Codadad, "give me leave to ask how you could know the adventure of the castle? Have any of my brothers, repenting, owned it to you?" "No," answered the sultan; "the princess of Deryabar has given us an account of every thing, for she is in my palace and came thither to demand justice against your brothers." Codadad was transported with joy, to learn that the princess his wife was at the court. "Let us go, sir," cried he to his father in rapture, "let us go to my mother, who waits for us. I am impatient to dry up her tears, as well as those of the princess of Deryabar."

The sultan immediately returned to the city with his army, and re-entered his palace victorious, amidst the acclamations of the people, who followed him in crowds, praying to heaven to prolong his life, and extolling Codadad to the skies. They found Pirouzč and her daughter-in-law waiting to congratulate the sultan; but words cannot express the transports of joy they felt, when they saw the young prince with him: their embraces were mingled with tears of a very different kind from those they had before shed for him. When they had sufficiently yielded to all the emotions that the ties of blood and love inspired, they asked Codadad by what miracle he came to be still alive?

He answered, that a peasant mounted on a mule happening accidentally to come into the tent, where he lay senseless, and perceiving him alone, and stabbed in several places, had made him fast on his mule, and carried him to his house, where he applied to his wounds certain herbs chewed, which recovered him. "When I found myself well," added he, "I returned thanks to the peasant, and gave him all the diamonds I had. I then made for the city of Harran; but being informed by the way, that some neighbouring princes had gathered forces, and were on their march against the sultan's subjects, I made myself known to the villagers, and stirred them up to undertake his defence. I armed a great number of young men, and heading them, happened to arrive at the time when the two armies were engaged."

When he had done speaking, the sultan said, "Let us return thanks to God for having preserved Codadad; but it is requisite that the traitors, who would have destroyed him, should perish." "Sir," answered the generous prince, "though they are wicked and ungrateful, consider they are your own flesh and blood: they are my brothers; I forgive their offence, and beg you to pardon them." This generosity drew tears from the sultan, who caused the people to be assembled and declared Codadad his heir. He then ordered the princes, who were prisoners, to be brought out loaded with irons. Pirouzč's son struck off their chains, and embraced them all successively, with as much sincerity and affection as he had done in the court of the black's castle. The people were charmed with Codadad's generosity, and loaded him with applause. The surgeon was next nobly rewarded in requital of the services he had done the princess of Deryabar.


In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there lived at Bagdad a very rich merchant, who, having married a woman advanced in years, had but one son, whom he named Abou Hassan, and educated with great restraint: when his son was thirty years old, the merchant dying, left him his sole heir, and master of great riches, amassed together by much frugality and close application to business. Abou Hassan, whose views and inclinations were very different from those of his father, determined to make another use of his wealth; for as his father had never allowed him any money but what was just necessary for subsistence, and he had always envied those young persons of his age who wanted for nothing, and who debarred themselves from none of those pleasures to which youth are so much addicted, he resolved in his turn to distinguish himself by extravagancies proportionable to his fortune. To this end he divided his riches into two parts; with one half he bought houses in town, and land in the country, with a resolution never to touch the income of his real estate, which was considerable enough to live upon .very handsomely, but lay it all by as he received it. With the other half, which consisted of ready money, he designed to make himself amends for the time he had lost by the severe restraint in which his father had always kept him.

With this intent, Abou Hassan formed a society with youths of his own age and condition, who thought of nothing but how to make their time pass agreeably. Every day he gave them splendid entertainments, at which the most delicate viands were served up, and the most exquisite wines flowed in profusion, while concerts of the best vocal and instrumental music by performers of both sexes heightened their pleasures, and this young band of debauchees with the glasses in their hands, joined their songs with the music. These feasts were accompanied by ballets, for which the best dancers of both sexes were engaged. These entertainments, renewed every day, were so expensive to Abou Hassan, that he could not support the extravagance above a year: and the great sum which he had appropriated to this prodigality and the year ended together. As soon as he discontinued keeping this table, his friends forsook him; whenever they saw him they avoided him, and if by chance he met any of them, and went to stop them, they always excused themselves on some presence or other.

Abou Hassan was more affected by this behaviour of his friends, who had forsaken him so basely and ungratefully, after all the protestations they had made him, of inviolable attachment, than by the loss of all the money he had so foolishly squandered. He went melancholy and thoughtful, his countenance expressive of deep vexation, into his mother's apartment, and sat down on the end of a sofa at a distance from her. "What is the matter with you, son?" said his mother, seeing him thus depressed. "Why are you so altered, so dejected, and so different from yourself? You could not certainly be more concerned, if you had lost all you had. I know you have lived very extravagantly, and believe all your money is spent; you have still, however, a good estate; and the reason that I did not so much oppose your irregular way of living was, that I knew the wise precaution you had taken to preserve half your property. I do not, therefore, see why you should plunge yourself into this deep melancholy."

At these words Abou Hassan melted into tears; and in the midst of his sighs exclaimed, "Ah! mother, I see at last how insupportable poverty must be; I am sensible that it deprives us of joy, as the setting of the sun does of light. As poverty makes us forget all the commendations passed upon us before our fall, it makes us endeavour to conceal ourselves, and spend our nights in tears and sorrow. In short, a poor man is looked upon, both by friends and relations, as a stranger. You know, mother, how I have treated my friends for this year past; I have entertained them with all imaginable generosity, till I have spent all my money, and now they have left me, when they suppose I can treat them no longer. For my real estate, I thank heaven for having given me grace to keep the oath I made not to encroach upon that. I shall now know how to use what is left. But I will, however, try how far my friends, who deserve not that I should call them so, will carry their ingratitude. I will go to them one after another, and when I have represented to them what I have done on their account, ask them to make up a sum of money, to relieve me, merely to try if I can find any sentiment of gratitude remaining in them."

"I do not pretend, son," said Abou Hassan's mother, "to dissuade you from your design; but I can tell you beforehand, that you have no ground for hope. Believe me, you will kind no relief but from the estate you have reserved. I see you do not, but will soon, know those people, who, among persons of your sort, are generally called friends, and I wish to heaven you may know it in the manner I desire, for your own good." "Mother," replied Abou Hassan, "I am persuaded of the truth of what you say, but shall be more certain of a fact which concerns me so nearly, when I shall have informed myself fully of their baseness and insensibility." Abou Hassan went immediately to his friends, whom he found at home; represented to them the great need he was in, and begged of them to assist him. He promised to give bonds to pay them the money they might lend him; giving them to understand at the same time, that it was, in a great measure, on their account that he was so distressed. That he might the more powerfully excite their generosity, he forgot not to allure them with the hopes of being once again entertained in the same manner as before.

Not one of his companions was affected with the arguments which the afflicted Abou Hassan used to persuade them; and he had the mortification to find, that many of them told him plainly they did not know him.

He returned home full of indignation; and going into his mother's apartment, said, "Ah! madam, you were right; instead of friends, I have found none but perfidious ungrateful wretches, who deserve not my friendship; I renounce them, and promise you I will never see them more." He resolved to be as good as his word, and took every precaution to avoid falling again into the inconvenience which his former prodigality had occasioned; taking an oath never to give an inhabitant of Bagdad any entertainment while he lived. He drew the strong box into which he had put the rents received from his estates from the recess where he had placed it in reserve, put it in the room of that he had emptied, and resolved to take out every day no more than was sufficient to defray the expense of a single person to sup with him, who, according to the oath he had taken, was not of Bagdad, but a stranger arrived in the city the same day, and who must take his leave of him the following morning.

Conformably to this plan, Abou Hassan took care every morning to provide whatever was necessary, and towards the close of the evening, went and sat at the end of Bagdad bridge; and as soon as he saw a stranger, accosted him civilly invited him to sup and lodge with him that night, and after having informed him of the law he had imposed upon himself, conducted him to his house. The repast with which Abou Hassan regaled his guests was not costly, but well dressed, with plenty of good wine, and generally lasted till the night was pretty far advanced; instead of entertaining his guests with the affairs of state, his family, or business, as is too frequent, he conversed on different agreeable subjects. He was naturally of so gay and pleasant a temper, that he could give the most agreeable turns to every subject, and make the most melancholy persons merry. When he sent away his guest the next morning, he always said, "God preserve you from all sorrow wherever you go; when I invited you yesterday to come and sup with me, I informed you of the law I have imposed on myself; therefore do not take it ill if I tell you that we must never see one another again, nor drink together, either at home or any where else, for reasons best known to myself: so God conduct you."

Abou Hassan was very exact in the observance of this oath, and never looked upon or spoke to the strangers he had once entertained; if he met them afterwards in the streets, the squares, or any public assemblies, he affected not to see them, and turned away to avoid them, that they might not speak to him, or he have any communication with them. He had acted for a long time in this manner, when, one afternoon, a little before sunset, as he sat upon the bridge according to custom, the caliph Haroon al Rusheed came by, but so disguised that it was impossible to know him; for that monarch, though his chief ministers and officers of justice acquitted themselves of their duty very punctually, would nevertheless inform himself of every thing, and for that purpose often disguised himself in different ways, and walked through the city and suburbs of Bagdad, sometimes one way and sometimes another. That day, being the first of the month, he was dressed like a merchant of Moussul, and was followed by a tall stout slave.

As the caliph had in his disguise a grave and respectable appearance, Abou Hassan, who thought him to be a Moussul merchant, rose up, and after having saluted him with a graceful air, said to him, "Sir, I congratulate you on your happy arrival in Bagdad, I beg you to do me the honour to sup with me, and repose yourself at my house for this night, after the fatigue of your journey." He then told him his custom of entertaining the first stranger he met with. The caliph found something so odd and singular in Abou Hassan's whim, that he was very desirous to know the cause; and told him that he could not better merit a civility, which he did not expect as a stranger, than by accepting the obliging offer made him; that he had only to lead the way, and he was ready to follow him.

Abou Hassan treated the caliph as his equal, conducted him home, and led him into a room very neatly furnished, where he set him on a sofa, in the most honourable place. Supper was ready, and the cloth laid. Abou Hassan's mother, who took upon herself the care of the kitchen, sent up three dishes; the first contained a capon and four large pullets, which was set in the middle; and the second and third, placed on each side, contained, one a fat roasted goose, and the other broiled pigeons. This was all; but they were good of the kind and well flavoured, with proper sauces.

Abou Hassan sat down opposite his guest, and he and the caliph began to eat heartily of what they liked best, without speaking or drinking, according to the custom of the country. When they had done eating, the caliph's slave brought them water to wash their hands: and in the mean time Abou Hassan's mother cleared the table, and brought up a dessert of all the various sorts or fruits then in season; as grapes, peaches, apples, pears, and various pastes of dried almonds, &c. As soon as it grew dark, wax candles were lighted, and Abou Hassan, after requesting his mother to take care of the caliph's slave, set on bottles and glasses.

Abou Hassan sitting down with the pretended Moussul merchant again, filled out a glass of wine before he touched the fruit; and holding it in his hand, said to the caliph, "You know, sir, that the cock never drinks before he calls to his hens to come and drink with him; I invite you to follow my example. I do not know what you may think; but, for my part, I cannot reckon him a wise man who does not love wine. Let us leave that sort of people to their dull melancholy humours, and seek for mirth, which is only to be found in a bumper."

While Abou Hassan was drinking' the caliph taking the glass that was set for him, said, "You are an honest fellow; I like your pleasant temper, and expect you will fill me as much." Abou Hassan, as soon as he had drunk, filled the caliph's glass, and giving it to him, "Taste this wine, sir," said he, "I will warrant it good." "I am well persuaded of that," replied the caliph, laughing, "you know how to choose the best." "O," replied Abou Hassan, while the caliph was drinking his glass, "one need only look in your face to be assured that you have seen the world, and know what good living is. If," added he in Arabic verse, "my house could think and express its joy, how happy would it be to possess you, and, bowing before you, would exclaim, ‘How overjoyed am I to see myself honoured with the company of so accomplished and polite a personage, and for meeting with a man of your merit.'"

The caliph, naturally fond of merriment, was highly diverted with these sallies of Abou Hassan, and artfully promoted drinking, often asking for wine, thinking that when it began to operate, he might from his talkativeness satisfy his curiosity. He asked him his name, his business, and how he spent his life. "My name, sir," replied he, "is Abou Hassan. I lost my father, who was a merchant of Bagdad, and though not the richest, yet lived very comfortably. When he died, he left me money enough to live free from business; but as he always kept a very strict hand over me, I was willing, when he was gone, to make up for the time I thought I had lost. Notwithstanding this," continued Abou Hassan, "I was more prudent than most young people who give themselves up to debauchery, without any thought, pursue it till they reduce themselves to the utmost poverty, and are forced to do penance during the rest of their lives. To avoid this misfortune, I divided what I had left me into two parts, landed estate and ready money. I destined the ready money to supply the expenses of entertaining my acquaintance. I meditated, and took a fixed resolution not to touch my rents. I associated with young people of my own age, and with my ready money, which I spent profusely, treated them splendidly every day; and in short, spared for no sort of pleasure. But this course did not last long; for by the time the year was out, I had got to the bottom of my box, and then all my table-friends vanished. I made a visit to every one of them successively, and represented to them the miserable condition I was in, but none of them offered to relieve me. Upon this I renounced their friendship, and retrenched so far, as to live within the compass of my income, bound myself to keep company with none but the first stranger I might meet with coming every day into Bagdad, and to entertain him but one day and one night. I have told you the rest before; and I thank my good fortune this day for having met with a stranger of so much worth."

The caliph was well satisfied with this information, and said to Abou Hassan, "I cannot enough commend the measures you have taken, and the prudence with which you have acted, by forsaking your debauchery; a conduct rarely to be met with in young persons; and I esteem you the more for being steady to your resolution. It was a slippery path you trod in, and I cannot but admire your self-command, that, after having seen the end of your ready money, you could so far refrain as not to enter upon your rents, or even your estate. In short, I must own, I envy your situation. You are the happiest man in the world, to enjoy every day the company of some one with whom you can discourse freely and agreeably, and to whom you give an opportunity to declare, wherever he goes, how handsome he was received by you. But we talk too long without drinking; come, drink, and pour out a glass for me."

In this manner the caliph and Abou Hassan conversed together, drinking and talking of indifferent subjects, till the night was pretty far advanced; when the caliph, pretending to be fatigued after his journey, told his host he stood in need of a little rest. "But," added he, "as I would not deprive you of yours on my account, before we part (because to-morrow I may be gone before you are stirring), I should be glad to shew you how sensible I am of your civility, and the good cheer and hospitality you have strewn me. The only thing that troubles me is, that I know not which way to make you any acknowledgment. I beg of you, therefore, to let me understand how I may do it' and you shall see I will not be ungrateful; for it is impossible but a man like you must have some business, some want, or wish for something agreeable to you. Speak freely, and open your mind; for though I am but a merchant, it may be in my power to oblige you myself, or by some friend."

To these offers of the caliph, Abou Hassan, taking him still for a Moussul merchant, replied, "I am very well persuaded, sir, that it is not out of compliment that you make me these generous tenders; but upon the word of an honest man, I assure you, I have nothing that troubles me, no business, nor desires, and I ask nothing of any body. I have not the least ambition, as I told you before; and am satisfied with my condition: therefore, I can only thank you for your obliging proffers, and the honour you have done me in condescending to partake of my frugal fare. Yet I must tell you," pursued Abou Hassan, "there is one thing gives me uneasiness, without, however, disturbing my rest. You must know the town of Bagdad is divided into quarters, in each of which there is a mosque with an imaum to perform service at certain hours, at the head of the quarter which assembles there. The imaum of the division I live in is a surly curmudgeon, of an austere countenance, and the greatest hypocrite in the world. Four old men of this neighbourhood, who are people of the same stamp, meet regularly every day at this imaum's house. There they vent their slander, calumny, and malice against me and the whole quarter, to the disturbance of the peace of the neighbourhood, and the promotion of dissension. Some they threaten, others they frighten; and, in short, would be lords paramount, and have every one govern himself according to their caprice, though they know not how to govern themselves. Indeed, I am sorry to see that they meddle with any thing but their Koraun, and will not let the world live quietly."

"Well, I suppose," said the caliph, "you wish to have a stop put to this disorder?" "You have guessed right," answered Abou Hassan; "and the only thing I should pray for, would be to be caliph but for one day, in the stead of our sovereign lord and master Haroon al Rusheed, commander of the faithful." "What would you do if you were?" said the caliph. "I would make examples of them," answered Abou Hassan, "to the satisfaction of all honest men. I would punish the four old men with each a hundred bastinadoes on the soles of their feet, and the imaum with four hundred, to teach them not to disturb and abuse their neighbours in future."

The caliph was extremely pleased with this thought of Abou Hassan's; and as he loved adventures, resolved to make this a very singular one. "Indeed," said he, "I approve much of your wish, which proceeds from an upright heart, that cannot bear the malice of such officious hypocrites; I could like to see it realized, and it is not so impossible as you may imagine. I am persuaded that the caliph would willingly put his authority for twenty-four hours into your hands if he knew your intentions, and the good use you would make of it. Though a foreign merchant, I have credit enough to contribute in some degree to the execution of this plan." "I see," said Abou Hassan, "you laugh at my foolish fancy, and the caliph himself would laugh at my extravagance if he knew it: yet it would be a means of informing him of the behaviour of the imaum and his companions, and induce him to chastise them."

"Heaven forbid," replied the caliph, "that I, who have been so handsomely entertained by you, should laugh at you; neither do I believe, as much a stranger as I am to you, that the caliph would be displeased: but let us leave off talking; it is almost midnight, and time to go to bed." "With all my heart," said Abou Hassan; "I would not be any hindrance to your going to rest; but there is still some wine in the bottle, and if you please we will drink it off first, and then retire. The only thing that I have to recommend to you is, that when you go out in the morning, if I am not up, you will not leave the door open, but give yourself the trouble of shutting it after you." This the caliph promised to do: and while Abou Hassan was talking, took the bottle and two glasses, filled his own first, saying, "Here is a cup of thanks to you," and then filling the other, put into it artfully a little opiate powder, which he had about him and giving it to Abou Hassan, said, "You have taken the pains to fill for me all night, and it is the least I can do to save you the trouble once: I beg you to take this glass; drink it off for my sake."

Abou Hassan took the glass, and to shew his guest with how much pleasure he received the honour, drank it off at once; but had scarcely set the glass upon the table, when the powder began to operate; he fell into so sound a sleep, and his head knocked against his knees so suddenly, that the caliph could not help laughing. The caliph commanded the slave he had brought with him, who entered the room as soon as he had supped, and had waited to receive orders, to take Abou Hassan upon his back, and follow him; but to be sure to observe the house, that he might know it again. In this manner the caliph, followed by the slave with his sleeping load, went out of the house, but without shutting the door after him as he had been desired, went directly to his palace, and by a private door into his own apartment, where the officers of his chamber were in waiting, whom he ordered to undress Abou Hassan, and put him into his bed, which they immediately performed.

The caliph then sent for all the officers and ladies of the palace, and said to them, "I would have all those whose business it is to attend my levee wait to-morrow morning upon the man who lies in my bed, pay the same respect to him as to myself, and obey him in whatever he may command; let him be refused nothing that he asks, and be addressed and answered as if he were the commander of the faithful. In short, I expect that you attend to him as the true caliph, without regarding me; and disobey him not in the least circumstance."

The officers and ladies, who understood that the caliph meant to divert himself, answered by low bows, and then withdrew, every one preparing to contribute to the best of their power to perform their respective parts adroitly.

The caliph next sent for the grand vizier: "Jaaffier," said he, "I have sent for you to instruct you, and to prevent your being surprised to-morrow when you come to audience, at seeing this man seated on my throne in the royal robes: accost him with the same reverence and respect as you pay to myself: observe and punctually execute whatever he bids you do, the same as if I commanded you. He will exercise great liberality, and commission you with the distribution of it. Do all he commands; even if his liberality should extend so far as to empty all the coffers in my treasury; and remember to acquaint all my emirs, and the officers without the palace, to pay him the same honour at audience as to myself, and to carry on the matter so well, that he may not perceive the least thing that may interrupt the diversion which I design myself."

After the grand vizier had retired, the caliph went to bed in another apartment, and gave Mesrour, the chief of his eunuchs, the orders which he was to execute, that every thing should succeed as he intended, so that he might see how Abou Hassan would use the power and authority of the caliph for the short time he had desired to have it. Above all, he charged him not to fail to awaken him at the usual hour, before he awakened Abou Hassan, because he wished to be present when he arose.

Mesrour failed not to do as the caliph had commanded, and as soon as the caliph went into the room where Abou Hassan lay, he placed himself in a little raised closet, from whence he could see all that passed. All the officers and ladies, who were to attend Abou Hassan's levee, went in at the same time, and took their posts according to their rank, ready to acquit themselves of their respective duties, as if the caliph himself had been going to rise.

As it was just day-break, and time to prepare for the morning prayer before sun rise, the officer who stood nearest to the head of the bed put a sponge steeped in vinegar to Abou Hassan's nose, who immediately turning his head about, without opening his eyes, discharged a kind of phlegm, which was received in a little golden basin before it fell on the carpet. This was the usual effect of the caliph's powder, the sleep lasting longer or shorter, in proportion to the dose. When Abou Hassan laid down his head on the bolster, he opened his eyes; and by the dawning light that appeared, found himself in a large room, magnificently furnished, the ceiling of which was finely painted in Arabesque, adorned with vases of gold and silver, and the floor covered with a rich silk tapestry. He saw himself surrounded by many young and handsome ladies, many of them having instruments of music in their hands, and black eunuchs richly clothed, all standing with great modesty and respect. After casting his eyes on the covering of the bed, he perceived it was cloth of gold richly embossed with pearl and diamonds; and near the bed lay, on a cushion, a habit of tissue embroidered with jewels, with a caliph's turban.

At the sight of these glittering objects, Abou Hassan was in the most inexpressible amazement, and looked upon all he saw as a dream; yet a dream he wished it not to be. "So," said he to himself, "I am caliph; but," added he, recollecting himself, "it is only a dream, the effect of the wish I entertained my guest with last night ;" and then he turned himself about and shut his eyes to sleep. At the same time the eunuch said very respectfully, "Commander of the faithful, it is time for your majesty to rise to prayers, the morning begins to advance."

These words very much surprised Abou Hassan. "Am I awake, or do I sleep?" said he to himself. "Ah, certainly I am asleep!" continued he, keeping his eyes shut; "there is no reason to doubt of it."

Immediately the eunuch, who saw he had no inclination to get up, said again, "Your majesty must permit me to repeat once more that it is time to rise to morning prayer, unless you choose to let it pass; the sun is just rising, and you never neglect this duty." "I am mistaken," said Abou Hassan immediately, "I am not asleep, but awake; for those who sleep do not hear, and I hear somebody speak to me;" then opening his eyes again, he saw plainly by broad day-light, what he had seen but indistinctly before; and started up, with a smiling countenance, like a man overjoyed at sudden promotion. The caliph, from his recess, penetrated his thoughts with great delight.

The young ladies of the palace now prostrated themselves with their faces to the ground before Abou Hassan, and those who had instruments of music in their hands wished him a good morrow, by a concert of soft flutes, hautboys, theorboes, and other harmonious instruments, with which he was enchanted, and in such an ecstacy, that he knew not whether he was himself; but reverting to his first idea, he still doubted whether what he saw and heard was a dream or reality. He clapped his hands before his eyes, and lowering his head, said to himself, "What means all this? Where am I? and to whom does this palace belong? What can these eunuchs, handsome well-dressed officers, beautiful ladies, and musicians mean: How is it possible for me to distinguish whether I am in my right senses or in a dream?"

When he took his hands from his eyes, opened them, and lifted up his head, the sun shone full in at the chamber window; and at that instant Mesrour, the chief of the eunuchs, came in, prostrated himself before Abou Hassan, and said, "Commander of the faithful, your majesty will excuse me for representing to you, that you used not to rise so late, and that the time of prayer is over. If your majesty has not had a bad night, it is time to ascend your throne and hold a council as usual; all your generals, governors, and other great officers of state, wait your presence in the council-hall."

At this discourse, Abou Hassan was persuaded that he was neither asleep nor in a dream; but at the same time was not less embarrassed and confused under his uncertainty what steps to take: at last, looking earnestly at Mesrour, he said to him in a serious tone, "Whom is it you speak to, and call the commander of the faithful? I do not know you, and you must mistake me for somebody else."

Any person but Mesrour would have been puzzled at these questions of Abou Hassan; but he had been so well instructed by the caliph, that he played his part admirably. "My imperial lord and master," said he, "your majesty only speaks thus to try me. Is not your majesty the commander of the faithful, monarch of the world from east to west, and vicar on earth to the prophet sent of God? Mesrour, your poor slave, has not forgotten you, after so many years that he has had the honour and happiness to serve and pay his respects to your majesty. He would think himself the most unhappy of men, if he has incurred your displeasure, and begs of you most humbly to remove his fears; but had rather suppose that you have been disturbed by some troublesome dream."

Abou Hassan burst out laughing at these words, and fell backwards upon the bolster, which pleased the caliph so much that he would have laughed as loud himself, if he had not been afraid of putting a stop too soon to the pleasant scene he had promised himself.

Abou Hassan, when he had tired himself with laughing, sat up again, and speaking to a little eunuch that stood by him, black as Mesrour, said, "Hark ye, tell me whom I am?" "Sir," answered the little boy, modestly, "your majesty is the commander of the believers, and God's vicar on earth." "You are a little liar, black face," said Abou Hassan. Then he called the lady that stood nearest to him; "Come hither, fair one," said he, holding out his hand, "bite the end of my finger, that I may feel whether I am asleep or awake."

The lady, who knew the caliph saw all that passed, was overjoyed to have an opportunity of strewing her power of diverting him, went with a grave countenance, and putting his finger between her teeth, bit it so hard that she put him to violent pain. Snatching his hand quickly back again, he said, "I find I am awake and not asleep. But by what miracle am I become caliph in a night's time! this is certainly the most strange and surprising event in the world!" Then addressing himself to the same lady, he said, "I conjure you, by the protection of God, in whom you trust as well as I, not to hide the truth from me; am I really the commander of the faithful?" "It is so true," answered the lady, "that we who are your slaves are amazed to find that you will not believe yourself to be so." "You are a deceiver," replied Abou Hassan: "I know very well who I am."

As the chief of the eunuchs perceived that Abou Hassan now wished to rise, he offered him his hand, and helped him to get out of bed. No sooner were his feet set on the floor, than the chamber rang with the repeated acclamations of the officers and ladies, who cried out all together, "Commander of the faithful, God give your majesty a good day." "O heaven!" cried Abou Hassan, "what a strange thing this is! Last night I was Abou Hassan, and this morning I am the commander of the believers! I cannot comprehend this sudden and surprising change." Presently some of the officers began to dress him; and when they had done, Mesrour led him through all the eunuchs and ladies, who were ranged on both sides, quite to the council chamber door, which was opened by one of the officers. Mesrour walked before him to the foot of the throne, where he stopped, and putting one hand under one arm, while another officer who followed did the same by the other, they helped him to ascend the throne. Abou Hassan sat down amidst the acclamations of the officers, who wished him all happiness and prosperity, and turning to the right and left he saw the officers of the guards ranged in order, and making a fine appearance.

The caliph in the mean time came out of the closet, and went into another, which looked into the hall, from whence he could see and hear all that passed in council, where his grand vizier presided in his place. What pleased him highly, was to see Abou Hassan fill his throne with almost as much gravity as himself.

As soon as Abou Hassan had seated himself, the grand vizier prostrated himself at the foot of the throne, and rising, said, "Commander of the faithful, God shower down blessings on your majesty in this life, receive you into his paradise in the other world, and confound your enemies."

Abou Hassan, after all that had happened that morning, at these words of the grand vizier, never doubted but that he was caliph, as he wished to be; and without examining any farther, how or by what adventure, or sudden change of fortune, he had become so, immediately began to exercise his power, and looking very gravely at the vizier, asked him what he had to say? "Commander of the faithful," replied the grand vizier, "the emirs, Vizier, and other officers of your council, wait without till your majesty gives them leave to pay their accustomed respects." Abou Hassan ordered the door to be opened, and the grand vizier addressing himself to the officers in waiting, said, "Chief of the door- keepers, the commander of the faithful orders you to do your duty."

When the door was opened, the viziers, emirs, and principal officers of the court, all dressed magnificently in their habits of ceremony, went in their order to the foot of the throne, paid their respects to Abou Hassan; and bowing their heads down to the carpet, saluted him with the title of commander of the faithful, according to the instructions of the grand vizier, and afterwards took their seats.

When this ceremony was over, and they were all placed, there was a profound silence. The grand vizier always standing before the throne, began according to the order of papers in his hand to make his report of affairs, which at that time were of very little consequence. Nevertheless, the caliph could not but admire how Abou Hassan acquitted himself in his exalted station without the least hesitation or embarrassment, and decided well in all matters, as his own good sense suggested. But before the grand vizier had finished his report, Abou Hassan perceived the judge of the police, whom he knew by sight, sitting in his place. "Stop," said he, to the grand vizier, interrupting him; "I have an order of consequence to give to the judge of the police." The judge of the police perceiving that Abou Hassan looked at him, and hearing his name mentioned, arose from his seat, and went gravely to the foot of the throne, where he prostrated himself with his face to the ground. "Judge of the police," said Abou Hassan, "go immediately to such a quarter, where you will find a mosque, seize the imaum and four old grey beards, give each of the old men a hundred bastinadoes, and the imaum four hundred. After that, mount them all five, clothed in rags, on camels, with their faces to the tails, and lead them through the whole city, with a crier before them, who shall proclaim with a loud voice, ‘This is the punishment of all those who trouble their heads with other people's affairs, make it their business to create disturbances and misunderstandings in families in their neighbourhood, and do them all the mischief in their power.' My intention is also, that you enjoin them to leave that quarter, and never to set foot in it more: and while your lieutenant is conducting them through the town, return, and give me an account of the execution of my orders." The judge of the police laid his hand upon his head, to shew his obedience, and prostrating himself a second time retired to execute the mandate.

The caliph was highly pleased at the firmness with which this order was given, and perceived that Abou Hassan was resolved not to lose the opportunity of punishing the imaum and the other four old hypocrites of his quarter. In the mean time the grand vizier went on with his report, and had just finished, when the judge of the police came back from executing his commission. He approached the throne with the usual ceremony, and said, "Commander of the faithful, I found the imaum and his four companions in the mosque, which your majesty pointed out; and as a proof that I have punctually obeyed your commands, I have brought an instrument signed by the principal inhabitants of the ward." At the same time he pulled a paper out of his bosom, and presented it to the pretended caliph.

Abou Hassan took the paper, and reading it over cautiously with the names of the witnesses, who were all people he knew, said to the judge of the police, smiling, "It is well; I am satisfied; return to your seat." "These old hypocrites," said he to himself, with an air of satisfaction "who thought fit to censure my actions, and find fault with my entertaining honest people, deserved this punishment." The caliph all the time penetrated his thoughts, and felt inconceivable delight at his frolic.

Abou Hassan, then addressing himself to the grand vizier, said, "Go to the high treasurer for a purse of a thousand pieces of gold, and carry it to the mother of one Abou Hassan, who is known by the name of the debauchee; she lives in the same quarter to which I sent the judge of the police. Go, and return immediately."

The grand vizier, after laying his hand upon his head, and prostrating himself before the throne, went to the high treasurer, who gave him the money, which he ordered a slave to take, and to follow him to Abou Hassan's mother, to whom he gave it, saying only, "The caliph makes you this present." She received it with the greatest surprise imaginable.

During the grand vizier's absence, the judge of the police made the usual report of his office, which lasted till the vizier returned. As soon as he came into the council-chamber, and had assured Abou Hassan that he had executed his orders, Mesrour, the chief of the eunuchs, made a sign to the viziers, the emirs, and other officers, that the council was over, and that they might all retire; which they did, by making the same prostration at the foot of the throne as when they entered.

Abou Hassan descended from the caliph's throne, and Mesrour went before him, to shew him the way into an inner apartment, where there was a table spread; several eunuchs ran to tell the musicians that the sham caliph was coming, when they immediately began a concert of vocal and instrumental music, with which Abou Hassan was so charmed and transported, that he could not tell what to think of all he saw and heard. "If this is a dream," said he, "it is a long one. But certainly," continued he, "it is no dream; for I can see and feel, walk and hear, and argue reasonably; whatever it is, I trust in God; I cannot but believe that I am the commander of the faithful, for no other person could live in this splendour. The honour and respect that has been strewn me, and the obedience paid to my commands, are sufficient proofs of my exaltation."

In short, Abou Hassan took it for granted that he was the commander of the faithful; but was still more convinced of it when he entered a magnificent and spacious hall, which was finely painted with the brightest colours intermixed with gold. Seven bands of female musicians, more beautiful than the others, were placed round the hall, and as many gold chandeliers hung from the ceiling, which was painted with blue and gold, intermixed with wonderful effect. In the middle of the hall was spread a table covered with massive gold plates and dishes, which scented the apartment with the spices and amber wherewith the meat was seasoned; and seven young and most beautiful ladies, dressed in the richest habits of the most vivid colours, stood round this table, each with a fan in her hand, to fan Abou Hassan when at dinner.

If ever mortal was charmed, Abou Hassan was when he entered this stately hall. At every step he took, he could not help stopping to contemplate at leisure all the wonders that regaled his eyes, and turned first to one side, and then to the other; which gave the caliph, who viewed him with attention, very great pleasure. At last he sat down at the table, and presently all the ladies began to fan the new caliph. He looked first at one, then at another, and admired the grace with which they acquitted themselves. He told them with a smile, that he believed one of them was enough to give him all the air he wanted, and would have six of the ladies sit at table with him, three on his right hand, and three on his left; and he placed them so, that as the table was round, which way soever he turned, his eyes might be saluted with agreeable objects.

The six ladies obeyed; and Abou Hassan taking notice, that out of respect they did not eat, helped them himself, and invited them to eat in the most pressing and obliging terms. Afterwards he asked their names, which they told him were Alabaster Neck, Coral Lips, Moon Face, Sunshine, Eye's Delight, Heart's Delight, and she who fanned him was Sugar Cane. The many soft things he said upon their names shewed him to be a man of sprightly wit, and it is not to be conceived how much it increased the esteem which the caliph (who saw every thing) had already conceived for him.

When the ladies observed that Abou Hassan had done eating, one of them said to the eunuchs who waited, "The commander of the faithful will go into the hall where the dessert is laid; bring some water;" upon which they all rose from the table, and taking from the eunuch, one a gold basin, another an ewer of the same metal, and a third a towel, kneeled before Abou Hassan, and presented them to him to wash his hands. As soon as he had done, he got up, and after an eunuch had opened the door, went, preceded by Mesrour, who never left him, into another hall, as large as the former, adorned with paintings by the best masters, and furnished with gold and silver vessels, carpets, and other rich furniture. There seven different bands of music began a concert as soon as Abou Hassan appeared. In this hall there were seven large lustres, a table in the middle covered with dried sweetmeats, the choicest and most exquisite fruits of the season, raised in pyramids, in seven gold basins; and seven ladies more beautiful than the others standing round it, each with a fan in her hand.

These new objects raised still greater admiration in Abou Hassan; who, after he had made a full stop, and given the most sensible marks of surprise and astonishment, went directly to the table, where sitting down, he gazed a considerable time at the seven ladies, with an embarrassment that plainly shewed he knew not to which to give the preference. At last he ordered them all to lay aside their fans and sit down, and eat with him, telling them that it was not so hot, but he could spare them that trouble.

When the ladies were all placed about him, the first thing he did was to ask their names, which were different from the other seven, and expressed some perfection of mind or body, which distinguished them from one another: upon which he took an opportunity, when he presented them with fruit, &c., to say something gallant. "Eat this fig for my sake," said he to Chain of Hearts, who sat on his right hand; "and render the fetters, with which you loaded me the first moment I saw you, more supportable." Then, presenting a bunch of grapes to Soul's Torment, "Take this cluster of grapes," said he, "on condition you instantly abate the torments which I suffer for your sake;" and so on to the rest. By these sallies Abou Hassan more and more amused the caliph, who was delighted with his words and actions, and pleased to think he had found in him a man who diverted him so agreeably.

After Abou Hassan had tasted all the fruits in the basin, he got up and followed Mesrour into a third hall, much more magnificently furnished than the other two; where he was received by the same number of musicians and ladies, who stood round a table covered with all manner of wet sweetmeats. After he had looked about him with new wonder, he advanced to the table, the music playing all the time till he sat down. The seven ladies, by his order, sat down with him, helped themselves, as he desired, to what they liked best; and he afterwards informed himself of their names, which pleased him as much as the others had done, and led him to say as many soft things to them, to the great diversion of the caliph, who lost not a word.

By this time the day beginning to close, Abou Hassan was conducted into a fourth hall, much more superb and magnificently furnished, lighted with wax in seven gold lustres, which gave a splendid light. Abou Hassan found the same number of musicians here as he had done in the three other halls, performing in concert in the most agreeable manner, and seeming to inspire greater joy; and he saw as many ladies standing round a table covered with seven gold basins filled with cakes, dried sweetmeats, and all such relishes as were calculated to promote drinking. There he saw, which he had not observed in any of the other halls, a sideboard set out with seven large silver flagons full of the choicest wines, and by them seven crystal glasses of the finest workmanship.

Hitherto, in the three first halls, Abou Hassan had drunk nothing but water, according to the custom observed at Bagdad, from the highest to the lowest and at the caliph's court, never to drink wine till the evening; all who transgress this rule being accounted debauchees, who dare not shew themselves in the day- time. This custom is the more laudable, as it requires a clear head to apply to business in the course of the day; and as no wine is drunk till evening, no drunken people are seen in the streets in open day creating disturbance in the city.

As soon as Abou Hassan entered the fourth hall, he went to the table, sat down, and was a long time in a kind of ecstasy at the sight of the seven ladies who surrounded him, and were much more beautiful than any he had beheld in the other halls. He was very desirous to know their names; but as the music played so loud, and particularly the tambour, that he could not hear them speak, he clapped his hands for the musicians to cease, when a profound silence ensued. Taking by the hand the lady who stood on the right next to him, he made her sit down by him, and presenting her with a cake, asked her name. "Commander of the faithful," said the lady, "I am called Cluster of Pearls." "No name," replied Abou Hassan, "could have more properly expressed your worth; and indeed your teeth exceed the finest pearls. Cluster of Pearls," added he, "since that is your name, oblige me with a glass of wine from your fair hand." The lady went to the sideboard and brought him a glass of wine, which she presented to him with a pleasant air. Abou Hassan took the glass with a smile, and looking passionately at her, said, "Cluster of Pearls, I drink your health; I desire you to fill out as much for yourself, and pledge me." She ran to the sideboard, and returned with a glass in her hand; but before she drank, she sung a song, which charmed him as much by the sweetness of her voice as by its novelty.

After Abou Hassan had drunk, he made another lady sit down by him, and presenting her with what she chose in the basins, asked her name, which she told him was Morning Star. "Your bright eyes," said he, "shine with greater lustre than that star whose name you bear. Do me the pleasure to bring me some wine," which she did with the best grace in the world. Then turning to the third lady, whose name was Day-light, he ordered her to do the same, and so on to the seventh, to the extreme satisfaction of the caliph.

When they had all filled him a glass round, Cluster of Pearls, whom he had just addressed, went to the sideboard, poured out a glass of wine, and putting in a pinch of the same powder the caliph had used the night before, presented it to Abou Hassan; "Commander of the faithful," said she, "Il beg of your majesty to take this glass of wine, and before you drink it, do me the favour to hear a song I have composed to-day, and which I flatter myself will not displease you. I never sung it before." "With all my heart," said Abou Hassan, taking the glass, "and, as commander of the faithful, I command you to sing it; for I am persuaded that so beautiful a lady cannot compose a song which does not abound with wit and pleasantry." The lady took a lute, and tuning it to her voice, sung with so much justness, grace, and expression, that Abou Hassan was in perfect ecstasy all the time, and was so much delighted, that he ordered her to sing it again, and was as much charmed with it as at first.

When the lady had concluded, Abou Hassan drank off his glass, and turned his head towards her to give her those praises which he thought she merited, but was prevented by the opiate, which operated so suddenly, that his mouth was instantly wide open, and his eyes close shut, and dropping his head on the cushions, he slept as profoundly as the day before when the caliph had given him the powder. One of the ladies stood ready to catch the glass, which fell out of his hand; and then the caliph, who enjoyed greater satisfaction in this scene than he had promised himself, and was all along a spectator of what had passed, came into the hall to them, overjoyed at the success of his plan. He ordered Abou Hassan to be dressed in his own clothes, and carried back to his house by the slave who had brought him, charging him to lay him on a sofa in the same room, without making any noise, and to leave the door open when he came away.

The slave took Abou Hassan upon his shoulders, carried him home by a back door of the palace, placed him in his own house as he was ordered, and returned with speed, to acquaint the caliph. "Well," said the caliph, "Abou Hassan wished only to be caliph for one day, to punish the imaum of the mosque of his quarter, and the four old men who had displeased him: I have procured him the means of doing this, and he ought to be content."

In the mean time, Abou Hassan, who was laid upon his sofa by the slave, slept till very late the next morning. When the powder was worked off, he awoke, opened his eyes, and finding himself at home, was in the utmost surprise. "Cluster of Pearls! Morning Star! Coral Lips! Moon Face!" cried he, calling the ladies of the palace by their names, as he remembered them; "where are you? come hither."

Abou Hassan called so loud, that his mother, who was in her own apartment, heard him, and running to him upon the noise he made, said "What ails you, son? what has happened to you?" At these words Abou Hassan lifted up his head, and looking haughtily at his mother, said, "Good woman! who is it you call son?" "Why you," answered his mother very mildly; "are not you Abou Hassan my son? It is strange that you have forgotten yourself so soon." "I your son! old bull!" replied Abou Hassan; "you are a liar, and know not what you say! I am not Abou Hassan, I tell you, but the commander of the faithful!"

"Hold your tongue, son," answered the mother "one would think you are a fool, to hear you talk thus." "You are an old fool yourself," replied Abou Hassan; "I tell you once more I am the commander of the faithful, and God's vicar on earth!" "Ah! child," cried the mother, "is it possible that I should hear you utter such words that shew you are distracted! What evil genius possesses you, to make you talk at this rate? God bless you, and preserve you from the power of Satan. You are my son Abou Hassan, and I am your mother."

After she had used all the arguments she could think of to bring him to himself, and to shew how great an error he was in, she said, "Do not you see that the room you are now in is your own, and is not like a chamber in a palace fit for the commander of the believers? and that you have never left it since you were born, but lived quietly at home with me. Think seriously of what I say, and do not fancy things that are not, nor ever can be. Once more, my son, think seriously of it."

Abou Hassan heard all these remonstrances of his mother very patiently, holding down his eyes, and clapping his hands under his chin, like a man recollecting himself, to examine the truth of what he saw and heard. At last, he said to his mother, just as if he was awaking out of a deep sleep, and with his hand in the same posture, "I believe you are right, methinks I am Abou Hassan, you are my mother, and I am in my own room." Then looking at her again, and at every object before him, he added, "I am Abou Hassan, there is no doubt of it, and I cannot comprehend how this fancy came into my head."

The mother really believed that her son was cured of the disorder of his mind, which she ascribed to a dream, began to laugh with him, and ask him questions about it; when suddenly he started up, and looking crossly at his mother, said, "Old sorceress, you know not what you say. I am not your son, nor you my mother. You deceive yourself and would deceive me. I tell you I am the commander of the faithful, and you shall never persuade me to the contrary!" "For heaven's sake, son," said the mother, "let us leave off this discourse; recommend yourself to God, for fear some misfortune should happen to us; let us talk of something else. I will tell you what happened yesterday in our quarter to the imaum of the mosque, and the four scheiks our neighbours: the judge of the police came and seized them, and gave each of them I know not how many strokes with a bastinado, while a crier proclaimed, ‘That such was the punishment of all those who troubled themselves about other people's business, and employed themselves in setting their neighbours at variance:' he afterwards led them through all the streets, and ordered them never to come into our quarter again." Abou Hassan's mother little thought her son had any share in this adventure, and therefore had turned the discourse on purpose to put him out of the conceit of being the commander of the faithful; but instead of effacing that idea, she recalled it, and impressed the more deeply in his mind, that it was not imaginary but real.

Abou Hassan no sooner heard this relation, but he cried out, "I am neither thy son, nor Abou Hassan, but certainly the commander of the believers. I cannot doubt after what you have told me. Know then that it was by my order the imaum and the four scheiks were punished, and I tell you I am certainly the commander of the faithful: therefore say no more of its being a dream. I was not asleep, but as much awake as I am now. You do me much pleasure to confirm what the judge of the police told me he had executed punctually according to my order; I am overjoyed that the imaum and the four scheiks, those great hypocrites, were so chastised, and I should be glad to know how I came here. God be praised for all things! I am certainly commander of the faithful, and all thy arguments shall not convince me of the contrary."

The mother, who could not imagine why her son so strenuously and positively maintained himself to be caliph, no longer doubted but that he had lost his senses, when she found he insisted so much on a thing that was so incredible; and in this thought said, "I pray God, son, to have mercy upon you! Pray do not talk so madly. Beseech God to forgive you, and give you grace to talk more reasonably. What would the world say to hear you rave in this manner? Do you not know that ‘walls have ears?'"

These remonstrances only enraged Abou Hassan the more; and he was so provoked at his mother, that he said, "Old woman, I have desired you once already to hold your tongue. If you do not, I shall rise and give you cause to repent all your lifetime. I am the caliph and the commander of the believers; and you ought to credit me when I say so."

The good woman supposing that he was more distracted than ever, abandoned herself to tears, and beating her face and breast, expressed the utmost grief and astonishment to see her son in such a state. Abou Hassan, instead of being appeased or moved by his mother's tears, lost all the respect due from a son to his mother. Getting up hastily, and laying hold of a switch, he ran to his mother in great fury, and in a threatening manner that would have frightened any one but a mother so partial to him, said, "Tell me directly, wicked woman, who I am." "I do not believe, son," replied she, looking at him tenderly, and without fear, "that you are so abandoned by God as not to know your mother, who brought you into the world, and to mistake yourself. You are indeed my son Abou Hassan, and are much in the wrong to arrogate to yourself the title which belongs only to our sovereign lord the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, especially after the noble and generous present the monarch made us yesterday. I forgot to tell you, that the grand vizier Jaaffier came to me yesterday, and putting a purse of a thousand pieces of gold into my hands, bade me pray for the commander of the faithful, who had sent me that present; and does not this liberality concern you more than me, who have but a short time to live?"

At these words Abou Hassan grew quite mad. The circumstance of the caliph's liberality persuaded him more than ever that he was caliph, remembering that he had sent the vizier. "Well, old hag," cried he, "will you be convinced when I tell you that I sent you those thousand pieces of gold by my grand vizier Jaaffier, who obeyed my commands, as I was commander of the faithful? But instead of believing me, you endeavour to distract me by your contradictions, and maintain with obstinacy that I am your son; but you shall not go long unpunished." After these words, he was so unnatural, in the height of his frenzy, as to beat her cruelly with his cane.

The poor mother, who could not have thought that her son would have come so soon from words to blows, called out for help so loud, that the neighbours ran in to her assistance. Abou Hassan continued to beat her, at every stroke asking her if he was the commander of the faithful? to which she always answered tenderly, that he was her son.

By the time the neighbours came in Abou Hassan's rage began to abate. The first who entered the room got between him and his mother, and taking the switch out of his hand, said to him, "What are you doing, Abou Hassan? have you lost all fear of God and your reason? Did ever a son so well brought up as you dare to strike his mother? are you not ashamed so to treat yours, who loves you so tenderly?" Abou Hassan, still full of fury, looked at him who spoke without returning an answer; and then staring on all the rest of his neighbours who had followed, said, "Who is that Abou Hassan you speak of? Is it me you call by that name?"

This question disconcerted the neighbours. "How!" said he who spoke first, "do not you know your mother who brought you up, and with whom you have always lived?" "Be gone, you are impertinent vagabonds," replied Abou Hassan; "I neither knew her nor you, and will not know her. I am not Abou Hassan; I am the commander of the faithful, and will make you feel it to your cost."

At this speech the neighbours no longer doubted that he was mad: and to prevent his repeating his outrages, seized him, notwithstanding his resistance, and bound him hand and foot, But though apparently disabled from doing any mischief, they did not choose to leave him alone with his mother. Two of them ran for the keeper of the hospital for insane persons, who came presently with chains, handcuffs, a bastinado, and many attendants. When they entered the room, Abou Hassan, who little expected such treatment, struggled to unloose himself; but after his keeper had given him two or three smart strokes upon the shoulders, he lay so quiet, that the keeper and his people did what they pleased with him. As soon as they had bound and manacled him, they took him with them to the hospital. When he was got out of the house into the street, the people crowded round him, one buffeted him, another boxed him, and others called him fool and madman. To all this treatment he replied, "There is no greatness and power but in God most high and almighty. I am treated as a fool, though I am in my right senses. I suffer all these injuries and indignities for the love of God." He was conducted to the hospital, where he was lodged in a grated cell; but before he was shut up, the keeper, who was hardened to such terrible execution, regaled him without pity with fifty strokes of the bastinado on his shoulders, which he repeated every day for three weeks, bidding him remember that he was not the commander of the faithful. "I am not mad," said Abou Hassan, "but if I wanted your assistance, nothing would so effectually make me mad as your cruel treatment. I want not your advice."

Abou Hassan's mother went every day to visit her son, and could not forbear weeping at beholding him fall away, and sigh and complain at the hardships he endured. In short, his shoulders, back, and sides were so black and bruised, that he could not turn himself. His mother would willingly have talked with him, to comfort him, and to sound him whether he still retained the notion of being caliph; but whenever she opened her mouth, he stopped her with so much fury, that she was forced to leave him, and return home inconsolable at his obstinacy.

By degrees, however, those strong and lively ideas, which Abou Hassan had entertained, of having been clothed in the caliph's habit, having exercised his authority, and been punctually obeyed and treated like the true caliph, the assurance of which had persuaded him that he was so, began to wear away. Sometimes he would say to himself, "If I was the caliph and commander of the believers, how came I, when I awoke, to find myself at home dressed in my own apparel? Why should I not have been attended by eunuchs, and their chief, and a crowd of beautiful ladies? Why should the grand vizier, and all those emirs and governors of provinces, who prostrated themselves at my feet, forsake me? Undoubtedly if I had any authority over them, they would have delivered me long ago out of the miserable condition I am in; certainly I ought to look upon all as a dream. It is true, however, that I commanded the judge of the police to punish the imaum, and the four old men his companions; I ordered the grand vizier to carry my mother a thousand pieces of gold; and my commands were executed. All these points are obstacles to my believing it a dream; but there are so many things that I cannot comprehend, nor ever shall, that I will put my trust in God, who knows all things."

Abou Hassan was taken up with these thoughts and reflections when his mother came to see him. She found him so much altered and emaciated that she shed a torrent of tears; in the midst of which she saluted him as she used to do, and he returned her salutation, which he had never done before since he had been in the hospital. This she looked upon to be a good sign. "Well, my son," said she, wiping her tears, "how do you do, and how do you find yourself? Have you renounced all those whims and fancies which the devil had put into your head?" "Indeed, mother," replied Abou Hassan, very rationally and calmly, and in a tone expressive of his grief for the excesses he had been transported to against her, "I acknowledge my error, and beg of you to forgive the execrable crime which I have been guilty of towards you, and which I detest. I ask pardon also of my neighbours whom I have abused. I have been deceived by a dream; but by so extraordinary a one, and so like to truth, that I venture to affirm any other person, to whom such a thing might have happened, would have been guilty of as great or greater extravagancies; and I am this instant so much perplexed about it, that while I am speaking I can hardly persuade myself but that what befell me was matter of fact, so like was it to what happens to people who are broad awake. But whatever it was, I do, and shall always regard it as a dream and an illusion. I am convinced that I am not that shadow of a caliph and commander of the faithful, but Abou Hassan your son, the son of a person whom I always honoured till that fatal day, the remembrance of which will cover me with confusion, and whom in future I shall honour and respect all my life as I ought."

At this rational declaration, the tears of sorrow and affliction which the mother of Abou Hassan had so long shed were changed into those of joy. "My son!" cried she, transported with pleasure, "my satisfaction and comfort to hear you talk so reasonably is inexpressible: and it gives me as much joy as if I had brought you into the world a second time; but I must tell you my opinion of this adventure, and observe one thing which you may not have noticed; the stranger whom you brought home the evening before your illness to sup with you went away without shutting your chamber-door after him, as you desired; which I believe gave the devil an opportunity to enter, and throw you into the horrible illusion you have been in: therefore, my son, you ought to return God thanks for your deliverance, and beseech him to keep you from falling again into the snares of the evil spirit."

"You have found out the source of our misfortunes," answered Abou Hassan. "It was that very night I had this dream which turned my brain. I bade the merchant expressly to shut the door after him; and now I find he did not do it. I am persuaded, as well as you, the devil finding it open came in, and filled my head full of these fancies. The people of Moussul, from whence this merchant came, may not know how we at Bagdad are convinced from experience that the devil is the cause of troublesome dreams when we leave our chamber-doors open. But since, mother, you see I am, by the grace of God, so well recovered, for God's sake get me out of this horrible place, which will infallibly shorten my days if I stay here any longer." The mother, glad to hear her son was so well cured of his foolish imagination of being caliph, went immediately to the keeper, and assuring him that he was very sensible and well, he came, examined, and released him in her presence.

When Abou Hassan came home, he stayed within doors some days to recover his health by better living than he had found at the hospital. But when he had recovered his strength, and felt no longer the effect of the harsh treatment he had suffered in his confinement, he began to be weary of spending his evenings alone. He accordingly entered again upon the same plan as he had before pursued; which was, to provide enough every day to regale a stranger at night.

The day on which Abou Hassan renewed his custom of going about sun-set to the end of Bagdad bridge to stop the first stranger thee offered, and invite him to do him the honour of supping with him, happened to be the first day of the month, that which the caliph always set apart to go in disguise out of some one of the gates to observe what was committed contrary to the good government of the city, as established and regulated at the beginning of his reign. Abou Hassan had not been long arrived at the bridge, when, looking about him, he perceived the Moussul merchant, followed by the same slave. Persuaded that all his misfortunes were owing to the merchant's having left his door open, he shuddered at the sight of him. "God preserve me," said he to himself; "if I am not deceived, there is again the magician who enchanted me!" He trembled with agitation, and looked over the side railing into the river, that he might not see him till he was past.

The caliph, who wished to renew the diversion he had received, had taken care to inform himself of all that had happened to Abou Hassan, and enjoyed much pleasure at the relation given him, especially at his being sent to a mad-house. But as this monarch was both just and generous, and had taken a great liking to Abou Hassan, as capable of contributing further to his amusement, and had doubted whether, after renouncing his frenzied character of a caliph, he would return to his usual manner of living; with a view therefore to bring him to his palace, he disguised himself again like a merchant of Moussul, the better to execute his plan. He perceived Abou Hassan at the same time that he saw him, and presently guessed by his action that he was angry, and wished to shun him. This made him walk close to the side railing; and when he came nigh him, he put his head over to look him in the face. "Ho, brother Abou Hassan," said he, "is it you? I greet you! Give me leave to embrace you?"

"Not I," replied Abou Hassan, pettishly, without looking at the pretended Moussul merchant; "I do not greet you; I will have neither your greeting nor your embraces. Go along!"

"What!" answered the caliph, "do you not know me? Do you not remember the evening we spent together at your house this day month, where you did me the honour to treat me very generously?" "No," replied Abou Hassan in the same tone, "I do not know you, nor what you talk about; go, I say again, about your business."

The caliph was not to be diverted from his purpose by this rude behaviour. He well knew the law Abou Hassan had imposed on himself, never to have commerce again with a stranger he had once entertained; but pretended to be ignorant of it. "I cannot believe," said he, "but you must know me again; it is not possible that you should have forgotten me in so short a time. Certainly some misfortune has befallen you, which inspires you with this aversion for me. However, you ought to remember, that I shewed my gratitude by my good wishes, and that I offered you my interest, which is not to be slighted, in an affair which you had much at heart."

"I do not know," replied Abou Hassan, "what your interest may be, and I have no desire to make use of it: but I am sensible the utmost of your good wishes ended in making me mad. In God's name, I say once more, go your way, and trouble me no more."

"Ah! brother Abou Hassan," replied the caliph, embracing him, "I do not intend to part with you thus, since I have had the good fortune to meet with you a second time; you must exercise the same hospitality towards me again that you shewed me a month ago, when I had the honour to drink with you."

"I have protested against this," said Abou Hassan, "and have so much power over myself, as to decline receiving a second time as my guest, a man like you who carries misfortunes with him. You know the proverb, ‘Take up your drum and begone.' Make the application to yourself. How often must I repeat my refusal. God be with you! You have been the cause of my sufferings, and I will not trust myself with you again." "My good friend Abou Hassan," said the caliph, embracing him, "you treat me in a way I little expected. I beg of you not to speak to me thus harshly, but be persuaded of my friendship. Do me the favour to tell me what has happened to you; for I assure you I wished you well, and still do so; and would be glad of an opportunity to make you any amends for the trouble I have caused you, if it has been really my fault." Abou Hassan yielded to the solicitations of the caliph. "Your incredulity and importunity," said he, "have tired my patience; and what I am going to relate will shew you that I do not accuse you wrongfully."

The caliph seated himself by Abou Hassan, while he told him all that had happened to him, from his waking in the palace to his waking again in his own house, all which he described as a mere dream, and recounted all the circumstances, which the caliph knew as well as himself, and which renewed his pleasure. He enlarged afterwards on the impression which the dream of being caliph and commander of the faithful had made upon him, which, he said, threw him into such extravagancies, that his neighbours were obliged to carry him to a mad-house, where he was treated in a manner which he deemed most barbarous and inhuman. "But," said he, "what will surprise you, and what you little think of, is, that it was altogether your fault that these things happened to me; for, if you remember, I desired you to shut the door after you, which you neglected, and the devil, finding it open, entered and put this dream into my head, which, though it was very agreeable, was the cause of the misfortune I complain of: you therefore, for your negligence, are answerable for the horrid and detestable crime I have committed in lifting my hand against my mother, whom I might have killed (I blush for shame when I think of it), because she said I was her son, and would not acknowledge me for commander of the faithful, as I thought and positively insisted on to her that I was. You are the cause of the offence I have given my neighbours, when, running in at the cries of my poor mother, they surprised me in the horrid act of felling her at my feet; which would never have happened, if you had taken care to shut my door when you went away, as I desired you. They would not have come into my house without my leave; and, what troubles me most of all, they would not have been witnesses of my folly. I should not have been obliged to strike them in my own defence, and they would not have bound and fettered me, to carry and shut me up in the hospital for madmen, where I assure you every day that I remained confined in that hell, I received a score of strokes with a bastinado." Abou Hassan recounted his complaints with great warmth and vehemence to the caliph, who knew as well as himself what had passed, and was delighted to find that he had succeeded so well in his plan to throw him into the vagaries from which he still was not entirely free. He could not help laughing at the simplicity wherewith he related them.

Abou Hassan, who thought that his story should rather have moved compassion, and that every one ought to be as much concerned at it as himself, warmly resented the pretended Moussul merchant's laughter. "What!" said he, "do you make a jest of me and laugh in my face, or do you believe I laugh at you when I speak seriously? If you want proof of what I advance, look yourself and see whether or no I tell you the truth ;" with that, stooping down and baring his shoulders, he shewed the caliph the scars and weals which the bastinado had left.

The caliph could not behold these marks of cruelty without horror. He pitied Abou Hassan, and felt sorry he had carried the jest so far. "Come, rise, dear brother," said he to him eagerly, and embracing Abou Hassan heartily in his arms; "let me go to your house, and enjoy the happiness of being merry with you to- night; and to-morrow, if it please God, all things will go well."

Abou Hassan, notwithstanding his resolution never to admit the same stranger a second time, could not resist the caresses of the caliph, whom he still took for a merchant of Moussul. "I will consent," said he, "if you will swear to shut my door after you, that the devil may not come in to distract my brain again." The caliph promised that he would; upon which they both arose, walked towards the city, and, followed by the caliph's slave, reached Abou Hassan's house by the time it was dark.

The caliph, the more to blind Abou Hassan, said to him, "Place confidence in me; I promise you on my honour I will not break my word. You need not hesitate to trust a person who wishes you all happiness and prosperity, of which confidence you will see the effects." "I desire not that," said Abou Hassan, stopping him short. "I yield to your importunity; but I dispense with your good wishes, and beg you in God's name to form none for me. All the mischief that has hitherto befallen me arose from those you expressed for me, and from your leaving the door open." "Well," replied the caliph, still laughing at the misguided imagination of Abou Hassan, "since you will have it so, I promise you I will form none." "You give me pleasure by speaking so," said Abou Hassan; "I desire no more; I shall be more than satisfied provided you keep your word, and I shall forgive you all the rest."

As soon as Abou Hassan entered his house, he called for his mother and for candles, desired his guest to sit down upon a sofa, and then placed himself by him. A little time after, supper was brought up, and they both began to eat without ceremony. When they had done, Abou Hassan's mother cleared the table, set on a small dessert of fruit, wine, and glasses by her son, then withdrew, and appeared no more. Abou Hassan first filled out his own glass, and then the caliph's: and after they had drunk some time, and talked of indifferent matters, the caliph, perceiving that his host grew warm with liquor, began to talk of love, and asked him if he had ever felt that passion.

"Brother," replied Abou Hassan, familiarly thinking his guest was his equal, "I never looked upon love or marriage but as a slavery, to which I was always unwilling to submit; and must own to you, that I never loved any thing but good cheer and good wine; in short, to divert and entertain myself agreeably with my friends. Yet I do not tell you that I am indifferent to marriage, or incapable of attachment, if I could meet with a woman of such beauty and sweetness of temper as her I saw in my dream that fatal night in which I first received you into my house, and you, to my misfortune, left my door open, who would pass the whole night with me drinking, singing, and playing on some instrument, and in agreeable conversation, and who would study to please and divert me: I believe, on the contrary, I should change all my indifference into a perfect attachment to such a person, and, I think, should live very happily with her. But where is such a woman to be found except in the caliph's palace, or in those of the grand vizier or some great lords of the court, who want not money to provide them? I choose therefore to stick to my bottle, which is a much cheaper pleasure, and which I can enjoy as well as the greatest." Saying these words, he filled out his own and the caliph's glass, and said, "Come, take your glass, and let us pursue this charming pleasure."

When they had drunk off their wine, "It is great pity," said the caliph, "that so gallant a man as you, who owns himself not insensible of love, should lead so solitary a life." "I prefer the easy quiet life I live," replied Abou Hassan, "before the company of a wife, whose beauty might not please me, and who, besides, might create me a great deal of trouble by her imperfections and ill-humour." The conversation lasted a long time, and the caliph seeing Abou Hassan had drunk to the pitch he desired, said, "Let me alone, since you have the same good taste as every other honest man, I warrant you I will find you a wife that shall please you." Then taking Abou Hassan's glass, and putting a pinch of the same powder into it, filled him up a bumper, and presenting it to him, said, "Come, let us drink beforehand the fair lady's health, who is to make you happy. I am sure you will like her."

Abou Hassan took the glass laughing, and shaking his head, said, "Be it so; since you desire it, I cannot be guilty of so great a piece of incivility, nor disoblige a guest of so much merit in such a trifling matter. I will drink the health of the lady you promise me, though I am very well contented as I am, and do not rely on your keeping your word." No sooner had Abou Hassan drank off his bumper, than he was seized with as deep a sleep as before; and the caliph ordered the same slave to take him and carry him to the palace. The slave obeyed, and the caliph, who did not intend to send back Abou Hassan as before, shut the door after him, as he had promised, and followed.

When they arrived at the palace, the caliph ordered Abou Hassan to be laid on a sofa, in the fourth hall, from whence he had been carried home fast asleep a month before; but first he bade the attendants to put him on the same habit in which he had acted the caliph, which was done. He then charged all the eunuchs, officers, ladies, and musicians who were in the hall, when he drank the last glass of wine which had put him to sleep, to be there by daybreak, and to take care to act their parts well when he should awake. He then retired to rest, charging Mesrour to awake him before they went into the hall, that he might conceal himself in the closet as before.

Mesrour, at the hour appointed, awakened the caliph, who immediately rose, and went to the hall where Abou Hassan lay still asleep, and when he had placed himself in his closet, Mesrour and the other officers, ladies, and musicians, who waited for him, went in, and placed themselves about the sofa, so as not to hinder the caliph from seeing what passed, and noticing all his actions.

Things being thus disposed, and the caliph's powder having had its effect, Abou Hassan began to awake without opening his eyes, and threw off the phlegm, which was received in a gold basin as before. At that instant, the seven bands of singers joined their voices to the sound of hautboys, fifes, flutes, and other instruments, forming a very agreeable concert. Abou Hassan was in great surprise to hear the delightful harmony; but when he opened his eyes, and saw the ladies and officers about him, whom he thought he recognized, his amazement increased. The hall that he was in seemed to be the same he had seen in his first dream, and he observed the same lustres, and the same furniture and ornaments.

The concert ceased, to give the caliph an opportunity of attending to the countenance of his guest, and all that he might say in his surprise. The ladies, Mesrour, and all the officers of the chamber, waited in profound and respectful silence. Abou Hassan bit his finger, and cried loud enough for the caliph to hear him, "Alas! I am fallen again into the same dream and illusion that happened to me a month ago, and must expect again the bastinado and grated cell at the mad-house. Almighty God," added he, "I commit myself into the hands of thy divine providence. He was a wicked man that I entertained at my house last night, who has been the cause of this illusion, and the hardships I must again undergo. The base wretch swore to shut the door after him, but did not, and the devil came in and has turned my brain with this wicked dream of being commander of the faithful, and other phantoms which bewitch my eyes. God confound thee, Satan? and crush thee under some mountain of stones."

After these words, Abou Hassan closed his eyes, and remained some time thoughtful and much perplexed; then opening them again, and looking about him, cried out a second time with less surprise, and smiling at the various objects before him, "Great God! I commit myself into the hands of thy providence, preserve me from the temptation of Satan." Then shutting them again, he said, "I will go to sleep until Satan leaves me, and returns as he came, were I to wait till noon." They did not give him time to go to sleep again as he promised himself; for Strength of Hearts, one of the ladies whom he had seen before, approached, and sitting down on the sofa by him, said to him respectfully, "Commander of the faithful, I entreat your majesty to forgive me for taking the liberty to tell you not to go to sleep; day appears, and it is time to rise." "Begone, Satan!" answered Abou Hassan, raising his voice; but looking at the lady, he said, "Is it me you call the commander of the faithful? Certainly you take me for somebody else." "It is to your majesty I give that title," replied the lady, "to whom it belongs, as you are sovereign of the world, and I am your most humble slave. Undoubtedly," added she, "your majesty means to divert yourself by pretending to have forgotten yourself, or this is the effect of some troublesome dream; but if you would but open your eyes, the mists which disturb your imagination would soon be dispelled, and you would find yourself in your own palace, surrounded by your officers and slaves, who all wait your commands: and that your majesty may not be surprised to find yourself in this hall, and not in bed, I beg leave to inform you, that you fell so suddenly asleep last night, that we were unwilling to awake you, to conduit you to your chamber, but laid you carefully upon this sofa." In short, she said to him so many things which appeared probable, that at last he sat up, opened his eyes, and recollected her and all the ladies again. They all approached him, and she who spoke first, resuming the discourse, said, "Commander of the faithful, and vicar of the prophet on earth, be not displeased if I acquaint your majesty once more that it is time to rise, for day appears."

"You are very troublesome and importunate," replied Abou Hassan, rubbing his eyes; "I am not the commander of the faithful, but Abou Hassan; I know it well, and you shall not persuade me otherwise." "We do not know that Abou Hassan you majesty speaks of, nor desire to know him," answered the lady; "but we know you to be the commander of the believers, and you cannot persuade us to the contrary."

Abou Hassan looking about, and finding himself in the same hall, attributed all he saw and heard to such a dream as he had had before, and greatly feared the dreadful consequences. "Allah have mercy on me!" said he, lifting up his hands and eyes, like a man who knew not where he was; "I commit myself into his hands. I cannot doubt, after what I have seen, but that the devil, who came into my chamber, possesses me, and fills my imagination full of all these visions."

The caliph, who saw him all the time, and heard these exclamations, began to shake so heartily, that he had much difficulty to forbear bursting into loud laughter.

Abou Hassan laying himself down again, and shutting his eyes, the same lady said, "Commander of the faithful, since your majesty does not rise, after we have, according to our duty, informed you it is day, and the dispatch of business requires your presence, we shall use the liberty you give us in such cases." Then taking him by one arm, and calling to one of the other ladies to do the same by the other, they lifted him up, and carried him into the middle of the hall, where they seated him, and all taking hands, danced and skipped round him while the music played and sounded loudly in his ears.

Abou Hassan was in inexpressible perplexity, and exclaimed, "What! am I indeed caliph, and commander of the faithful!" And in his uncertainty, would have said more, but the music was so loud, that he could not be heard. At last he made a sign to String of Pearls and Morning Star, two of the ladies who were dancing, that he wanted to speak with them; upon which they forbore, and went to him. "Do not lie now," said he, "but tell me truly who I am?"

"Commander of the faithful," replied Morning Star, "your majesty means either to surprise us, by asking this question, as if you did not know that you are commander of the faithful, and vicar on earth of the prophet of God, master of both worlds, that whereon we now are and that to come after death, or else you must have had some extraordinary dream that has made you forget who you are; which may well be, considering that your majesty has slept longer than ordinary; however, if you will give me leave, I will refresh your memory with what passed yesterday." She then told him how he went to council, punished the imaum, and the four old men, and had sent a present by his grand vizier of a thousand pieces of gold to the mother of one Abou Hassan; what he did in the inner part of the palace, and what passed at the three meals which he took in the three halls, adding, "In the fourth your majesty did us the honour to make us sit down by you, to hear our songs, and received wine from our hands, until your majesty fell asleep, as Strength of Hearts has told you. From that time your majesty has continued, contrary to custom, in a sound sleep until now. Strength of Hearts, all your other slaves, and the officers present, can confirm what I say, and it is now time you should go to prayers."

"Very well," replied Abou Hassan, shaking his head, "you would have me believe all this; but I tell you, you are all fools, or mad, and that is great pity, for you are very handsome. Since I saw you I have been at home, where I used my mother so ill that they sent me to a mad-house, and kept me there three weeks against my will, beat me unmercifully every day, and yet you would make me believe all this to be a dream." "Commander of the faithful," answered Morning Star, "you are mistaken, we are ready to swear by all your majesty holds most dear, that all you relate can be only a dream. You have never stirred out of this hall since yesterday, but slept here all night."

The confidence with which the lady assured Abou Hassan that all she said was truth, and that he had never been out of the hall since that time, bewildered his senses so that he was at a loss what to believe. "O Heaven!" said he to himself, "am I Abou Hassan, or the commander of the faithful! Almighty God, enlighten my understanding, and inform me of the truth, that I may know what to trust." He then uncovered his shoulders, and shewed the ladies the livid weals of the blows he had received. "Look," said he, "judge whether these strokes could come to me in a dream, or when I was asleep. For my part, I can affirm, that they were real blows; I feel the smart of them yet, and that is a testimonial there is no room to doubt. Now if I received these strokes in my sleep, it is the most extraordinary thing in the world, and surpasses my comprehension."

In this uncertainty Abou Hassan called to one of the officers that stood near him: "Come hither," said he, "and bite the tip of my ear, that I may know whether I am asleep or awake." The officer obeyed, and bit so hard, that he made him cry out loudly with the pain; the music struck up at the same time, and the officers and ladies all began to sing, dance, and skip about Abou Hassan, and made such a noise, that he was in a perfect ecstasy, and played a thousand ridiculous pranks. He threw off his caliph's habit, and his turban, jumped up in his shirt and drawers, and taking hold of two of the ladies' hands, began singing, jumping and cutting capers, so that the caliph could not contain himself, but burst into such violent laughter, that he fell backwards, and was heard above the noise of all the musicians. He was so long before he could check himself, that it had like to have been fatal. At last he got up, opened the lattice, and putting out his head, cried "Abou Hassan, Abou Hassan, have you a mind to kill me with laughing?"

As soon as the caliph's voice was heard, every body was silent, and Abou Hassan, among the rest, who, turning his head to see from whence the voice came, knew the caliph, and in him recognised the Moussul merchant, but was not in the least daunted; on the contrary he became convinced that he was awake, and that all that had happened to him had been real, and not a dream. He entered into the caliph's pleasantry. "Ha! ha!" said he, looking at him with good assurance, "you are a merchant of Moussul, and complain that I would kill you; you have been the occasion of my using my mother so ill, and of my being sent to a mad-house. It was you who treated the imaum and the four scheiks in the manner they were used, and not me; I wash my hands of it. It is you who have been the cause of all my disorders and sufferings: in short, you are the aggressor, and I the injured person."

"Indeed, you are in the right, Abou Hassan," answered the caliph, laughing all the while; "but to comfort you, and make you amends for all your troubles, I call Heaven to witness, I am ready and willing to make you what reparation you please to ask." After these words, he came out of the closet into the hall, ordered one of his most magnificent habits to be brought, commanded the ladies to dress Abou Hassan in it, and when they had done, he said, embracing him, "Thou art my brother; ask what thou wilt, and thou shalt have it."

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "I beg of your majesty to do me the favour to tell me what you did to disturb my brain in this manner, and what was your design; for it is a thing of the greatest importance for me to know, that I may perfectly recover my senses."

The caliph was ready to give him this satisfaction, and said, "First, you are to know, that I often disguise myself, and particularly at night, to observe if all goes right in Bagdad; and as I wish to know what passes in its environs, I set apart the first day of every month to make an excursion, sometimes on one side, sometimes on another, and always return by the bridge. The evening that you invited me to supper, I was beginning my rounds, and in our conversation you told me, that the only thing you wished for was to be caliph for four-and-twenty hours, to punish the imaum of your mosque and his four counsellors. I fancied that this desire of yours would afford me diversion, and thought immediately how I might procure you the satisfaction you wished. I had about me a certain powder, which immediately throws the person who takes it into a sound sleep for a certain time. I put a dose of it, without being perceived by you, into the last glass I presented to you, upon which you fell fast asleep, and I ordered my slave to carry you to my palace, and came away without shutting the door. I have no occasion to repeat what happened when you awoke, nor during the whole day till evening, but after you had been regaled by my orders, one of the ladies put another dose of the same powder into a glass she gave you; you fell asleep as before, and the same slave carried you home, and left the door open. You have told me all that happened to you afterwards. I never imagined that you could have suffered so much as you have done. But as I have a great regard for you, I will do every thing to comfort you, and make you forget all your sufferings; think of what I can do to serve you, and ask me boldly what you wish."

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "how great soever my tortures may have been, they are all blotted out of my remembrance, since I understand my sovereign lord and master had a share in them. I doubt not in the least of your majesty's bounty; but as interest never governed me, and you give me liberty to ask a favour, I beg that it may be that of having access to your person, to enjoy the happiness of admiring, all my lifetime, your virtues."

This proof of disinterestedness in Abou Hassan confirmed the esteem the caliph had entertained for him. "I am pleased with your request," said he, "and grant you free access to my person at all times and all hours." At the same time he assigned him an apartment in the palace, and, in regard to his pension, told him, that he would not have him apply to his treasurer, but come always to him for an order upon him, and immediately commanded his private treasurer to give him a purse containing a thousand pieces of gold. Abou Hassan made a low prostration, and the caliph left him to go to council.

Abou Hassan took this opportunity to go and inform his mother of his good fortune, and that what had happened was not a dream; for that he had actually been caliph, had acted as such, and received all the honours; and that she had no reason to doubt of it, since he had this confirmed by the caliph himself.

It was not long before this story of Abou Hassan was spread throughout Bagdad, and carried into all the provinces both far and near, without the omission of a single circumstance.

The new favourite Abou Hassan was always with the caliph; for, as he was a man of a pleasent temper, and created mirth wherever he went by his wit and drollery, the caliph formed no party of diversion without him, and sometimes carried him to visit his consort Zobeide, to whom he had related his story. Zobeide, who observed that every time he came with the caliph, he had his eyes always fixed upon one of her slaves, called Nouzhatoul-aouadat, resolved to tell the caliph of it. "Commander of the faithful," said she one day, "you do not observe that every time Abou Hassan attends you in your visits to me, he never keeps his eyes off Nouzhatoul-aouadat, and makes her blush, which is almost a certain sign that she entertains no aversion for him. If you approve of it, we will make a match between them."

"Madam," replied the caliph, "you remind me of what I ought to have done before. I know Abou Hassan's opinion respecting marriage from himself, and have always promised him a wife that should please him. I am glad you mentioned the circumstance; for I know not how I came to forget it. But it is better that Abou Hassan should follow his own inclination, and choose for himself. If Nouzhatoul-aouadat is not averse to it, we ought not to hesitate upon their marriage; and since they are both present, they have only to say that they consent."

Abou Hassan threw himself at the caliph's and Zobeide's feet, to shew the sense he had of their goodness; and rising up, said, "I cannot receive a wife from better hands, but dare not hope that Nouzhatoul-aouadat will give me her hand as readily as I give her mine." At these words he looked at the princess's slave, who shewed by her respectful silence, and the sudden blush that arose in her cheeks, that she was disposed to obey the caliph and her mistress Zobeide.

The marriage was solemnized, and the nuptials celebrated in the palace, with great rejoicings, which lasted several days. Zobeide made her slave considerable presents, and the caliph did the same to Abou Hassan. The bride was conducted to the apartment the caliph had assigned Abou Hassan, who waited for her with all the impatience of a bridegroom, and received her with the sound of all sorts of instruments, and musicians of both sexes, who made the air echo with their concert.

After these feasts and rejoicings, which lasted several days, the newly-married couple were left to pursue their loves in peace. Abou Hassan and his spouse were charmed with each other, lived together in perfect union, and seldom were asunder, but when either he paid his respects to the caliph, or she hers to Zobeide. Indeed, Nouzhatoul-aouadat was endued with every qualification capable of gaining Abou Hassan's love and attachment, was just such a wife as he had described to the caliph, and fit to sit at the head of his table. With these dispositions they could not fail to pass their lives agreeably. They kept a good table covered with the nicest and choicest rarities in season, by an excellent cook, who took upon him to provide every thing. Their sideboard was always stored with exquisite wines placed within their reach when at table, where they enjoyed themselves in agreeable conversation, and afterwards entertained each other with some pleasantry or other, which made them laugh more or less, as they had in the day met with something to divert them; and in the evenings, which they consecrated to mirth, they had generally some slight repast of dried sweetmeats, choice fruits, and cakes, and at each glass invited each other by new songs to drink, and sometimes accompanied their voices with a lute, or other instruments which they could both touch.

Abou Hassan and Nouzhatoul-aouadat led this pleasant life unattentive to expense, until at length the caterer, who had disbursed all his and their money for these expenses, brought them in a long bill in hope of having an advance of cash. They found the amount to be so considerable, that all the presents which the caliph and Zobeide had given them at their marriage were but just enough to pay him. This made them reflect seriously on what was passed, which, however, was no remedy for the present evil. But they agreed to pay the caterer; and having sent for him, gave him all they owed him, without considering the difficulty they should be in immediately after.

The caterer went away highly pleased at receiving so large a sum, though Abou Hassan and his wife were not so well satisfied with seeing the bottom of their purse, but remained a long time silent, and very much embarrassed, to find themselves reduced to poverty the very first year of their marriage. Abou Hassan remembered that the caliph, when he took him into the palace, had promised never to let him want. But when he considered how prodigal he had been of his money, was unwilling to expose himself to the shame of letting the caliph know the ill use he had made of his bounty, and that he wanted a supply. Besides, he had made over his patrimony to his mother, when the caliph had received him near his person, and was afraid to apply to her, lest she should discover that he had returned to the same extravagance he had been guilty of after his father's death. His wife, on the other hand, regarded Zobeide's generosity, and the liberty she had given her to marry, as more than a sufficient recompense for her service, and thought she had no right to ask more.

Abou Hassan at last broke silence, and looking at his wife, said, "I see you are in the same embarrassment as myself, and thinking what we must do in this unhappy juncture, when our money fails us so unexpectedly. I do not know what your sentiments may be; but mine are, let what will happen, not to retrench our expenses in the least; and I believe you will come into my opinion. The point is, how to support them without stooping to ask the caliph or Zobeide: and I think I have fallen on the means; but we must assist each other."

This discourse of Abou Hassan very much pleased his wife, and gave her some hopes. "I was thinking so as well as you," said she; "but durst not explain my thoughts, because I do not know how we can help ourselves; and must confess, that what you tell me gives me a revival of pleasure. Since you say you have found out a resource, and my assistance is necessary, you need but tell me in what way, and I will do all that lies in my power."

"I was sure," replied Abou Hassan, "that you would not fail me in a business which concerns us both; and therefore I must tell you, this want of money has made me think of a plan which will supply us, at least for a time. It consists in a little trick we must put, I upon the caliph and you upon Zobeide, and at which, as I am sure they will both be diverted, it will answer advantageously for us. You and I will both die." "Not I indeed," interrupted Nouzhatoul-aouadat; "you may die by yourself, if you please, but I am not so weary of this life; and whether you are pleased or not, will not die so soon. If you have nothing else to propose, you may die by yourself; for I assure you I shall not join you."

"You are a woman of such vivacity and wonderful quickness," replied Abou Hassan, "that you scarcely give me time to explain my design. Have but a little patience, and you shall find that you will be ready enough to die such a death as I intend; for surely you could not think I meant a real death?" "Well," said his wife, "if it is but a sham death you design, I am at your service, and you may depend on my zeal to second you in this manner of dying; but I must tell you truly, I am very unwilling to die, as I apprehended you at first."

"Be but silent a little," said Abou Hassan, "and I will tell you what I promise. I will feign myself dead, and you shall lay me out in the middle of my chamber, with my turban upon my face, my feet towards Mecca, as if ready to be carried out to burial. When you have done this, you must lament, and weep bitterly, as is usual in such cases, tear your clothes and hair, or pretend to do it, and go all in tears, with your locks dishevelled, to Zobeide. The princess will of course inquire the cause of your grief; and when you have told her, with words intermixed with sobs, she will pity you, give you money to defray the expense of my funeral, and a piece of good brocade to cover my body, that my interment may be the more magnificent, and to make you a new dress in the room of that you will have torn. As soon as you return with the money and the brocade, I will rise, lay you in my place, and go and act the same part with the caliph, who I dare say will be as generous to me as Zobeide will have been to you."

Nouzhatoul-aouadat highly approved the project, and said to Abou Hassan, "Come, lose no time; strip to your shirt and drawers, while I prepare a winding sheet. I know how to bury as well as any body; for while I was in Zobeide's service, when any of my fellow-slaves died, I had the conducting of the funeral." Abou Hassan did as his wife mentioned, and laid himself on the sheet which she had spread on the carpet in the middle of the room. As soon as he had crossed his arms, his wife wrapped him up, turned his feet towards Mecca, and put a piece of fine muslin and his turban upon his face, so that nothing seemed wanting but to carry him out to be buried. After this she pulled off her head-dress, and with tears in her eyes, her hair dishevelled, and seeming to tear it off, with a dismal cry and lamentation, beating her face and breast with all the marks of the most lively grief, ran across the court to Zobeide's apartments, who, hearing the voice of a person crying very loud, commanded some of her women to see who it was; they returned and told her that it was Nouzhatoul- aouadat, who was approaching in a deplorable condition.

The princess, impatient to know what had happened to her, rose up immediately, and went to meet her at the door of her ante- chamber. Nouzhatoul-aouadat played her part to perfection. As soon as she saw Zobeide, who held the door open, she redoubled her cries, tore her hair off by handfuls, beat her face and breast, and threw herself at her feet, bathing them with her tears.

Zobeide, amazed to see her slave in such extraordinary affliction, asked what had happened; but, instead of answering, she continued her sobs; and at last feigning to strive to check them, said, with words interrupted with sighs, "Alas! my most honoured lady and mistress, what greater misfortune could have befallen me than this, which obliges me to throw myself at your highness's feet)' God prolong your days, my most respectable princess, in perfect health, and grant you many happy years! Abou Hassan! poor Abou Hassan! whom you honoured with your esteem, and gave me for a husband, is no more!"

At these words Nouzhatoul-aouadat redoubled her tears and sighs, and threw herself again at the princess's feet. Zobeide was extremely concerned at this news. "Abou Hassan dead!" cried she; "that agreeable, pleasant man! I did not expect his death so soon; he seemed to promise a long life, and well deserved to enjoy it!" She then also burst into tears, as did all her women, who had been often witnesses of Abou Hassan's pleasantries when the caliph brought him to amuse the princess Zobeide, and all together continued for some time bewailing his loss. At length the princess Zobeide broke silence: "Wicked woman!" cried she, addressing herself to the false widow, "perhaps you may have occasioned his death. Your ill temper has given him so much vexation, that you have at last brought him to his grave." Nouzhatoul-aouadat seemed much hurt at the reproaches of Zobeide: "Ah, madam," cried she, "I do not think I ever gave your majesty, while I was your slave, reason to entertain so disadvantageous an opinion of my conduct to a husband who was so dear to me. I should think myself the most wretched of women if you were persuaded of this. I behaved to Abou Hassan as a wife should do to a husband for whom she has a sincere affection; and I may say, without vanity, that I had for him the same regard he had for me. I am persuaded he would, were he alive, justify me fully to your majesty; but, madam," added she, renewing her tears, "his time was come, and that was the only cause of his death."

Zobeide, as she had really observed in her slave a uniformly equal temper, mildness, great docility and zeal for her service, which shewed she was rather actuated by inclination than duty, hesitated not to believe her on her word, and ordered her treasurer to fetch a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of rich brocade.

The slave soon returned with the purse and piece of brocade, which, by Zobeide's order, she delivered to Nouzhatoul-aouadat, who threw herself again at the princess's feet, and thanked her with great self-satisfaction at finding she had succeeded so well. "Go," said Zobeide, "use that brocade to cover the corpse of your husband, and with the money bury him handsomely, as he deserves. Moderate the transport of your afflictions: I will take care of you."

As soon as Nouzhatoul-aouadat got out of the princess's presence, she dried up her tears, and returned with joy to Abou Hassan, to give him an account of her good success. When she came home she burst out a laughing on seeing her husband still stretched out in the middle of the floor; she ran to him, bade him rise and see the fruits of his stratagem. He arose, and rejoiced with his wife at the sight of the purse and brocade. Unable to contain herself at the success of her artifice, "Come, husband," said she, laughing, "let me act the dead part, and see if you can manage the caliph as well as I have done Zobeide."

"That is the temper of all women," replied Abou Hassan, "who, we may well say, have always the vanity to believe they can do things better than men, though at the same time what good they do is by their advice. It would be odd indeed, if I, who laid this plot myself, could not carry it on as well as you. But let us lose no time in idle discourse; lie down in my place, and witness if I do not come off with as much applause."

Abou Hassan wrapped up his wife as she had done him, and with his turban unrolled, like a man in the greatest affliction, ran to the caliph, who was holding a private council with Jaaffier and other confidential viziers. He presented himself at the door, and the officer, knowing he had free access, opened it. He entered holding with one hand his handkerchief before his eyes, to hide the feigned tears, which trickled down his cheeks, and striking his breast with the other, with exclamations expressing extraordinary grief.

The caliph, always used to see Abou Hassan with a merry countenance, was very much surprised to behold him in so much distress. He interrupted the business of the council to inquire the cause of his grief. "Commander of the faithful," answered Abou Hassan, with repeated sighs and sobs, "God preserve your majesty on the throne, which you fill so gloriously! a greater calamity could not have befallen me than what I now lament. Alas! Nouzhatoul-aouadat whom you in your bounty gave me for a wife to gladden my existence, alas!" at this exclamation Abou Hassan pretended to have his heart so full, that he could not utter more, but poured forth a flood of tears.

The caliph, who now understood that Abou Hassan came to tell him of the death of his wife, seemed much concerned, and said to him with an air which shewed how much he regretted her loss, "God be merciful to her: she was a good slave, and we gave her to you with an intention to make you happy: she deserved a longer life." The tears then ran down his face, so that he was obliged to pull out his handkerchief to wipe them off. The grief of Abou Hassan, and the tears of the caliph, excited those of Jaaffier and the other viziers. They bewailed the death of Nouzhatoul- aouadat, who, on her part, was only impatient to hear how Abou Hassan succeeded.

The caliph had the same suspicion of the husband that Zobeide had of the wife, and imagined that he had occasioned her death. "Wretch!" said he, in a tone of indignation, "have not you been the cause of your wife's death by your ill treatment of her? You ought at least to have had some regard for the princess my consort, who loved her more than the rest of her slaves, yet consented to give her to you. What a return for her kindness!"

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, affecting to weep more bitterly than before, "can your majesty for a moment suppose that Abou Hassan, whom you have loaded with your favours and kindness, and on whom you have conferred honours he could never have aspired to, can have been capable of such ingratitude? I loved Nouzhatoul-aouadat my wife as much on these accounts, as for the many good qualities she possessed, and which drew from me all the attachment, tenderness, and love she deserved. But, my lord," added he, "she was to die, and God would no longer suffer me to enjoy a happiness for which I was indebted to your majesty and your beloved consort."

Abou Hassan dissembled so well, that the caliph, who had never heard how extravagantly he and his wife had lived, no longer doubting his sincerity, ordered his treasurer, who was present, to give Abou Hassan a purse of a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of brocade. Abou Hassan immediately cast himself at the caliph's feet, and thanked him for his present. "Follow the treasurer," said the monarch; "throw the brocade over the corpse, and with the money shew the last testimony of thy love for thy wife."

Abou Hassan made no reply to these obliging words of the caliph, but retiring with a low prostration, followed the treasurer; and as soon as he had got the purse and piece of brocade, went home, well pleased with having found out so quick and easy a way of supplying the necessity which had given him so much uneasiness.

Nouzhatoul-aouadat, weary with lying so long in one posture, waited not till Abou Hassan bade her rise; but as soon as she heard the door open, sprang up, ran to her husband, and asked him if he had imposed on the caliph as cleverly as she had done on Zobeide. "You see," said he, shewing her the stuff, and shaking the purse, "that I can act a sorrowful husband for a living wife, as well as you can a weeping widow for a husband not dead." Abou Hassan, however, was not without his fears that this double plot might be attended with some ill consequences. He thought it would not be amiss to put his wife on her guard as to what might happen, that they might aft in concert. "For," added he, "the better we succeed in embarrassing the caliph and Zobeide, the more they will be pleased at last, and perhaps may shew their satisfaction by greater liberality." This last consideration induced them to carry on their stratagem farther.

The caliph, though he had important affairs to decide, was so impatient to condole with the princess on the death of her slave, that he rose up as soon as Abou Hassan was gone, and put off the council to another day. "Follow me," said he to Mesrour, who always attended him wherever he went, and was in all his councils, "let us go and share with the princess the grief which the death of her slave Nouzhatoul-aouadat must have occasioned."

Accordingly they went to Zobeide's apartment, whom the caliph found sitting on a sofa, much afflicted, and still in tears. "Madam," said the caliph, going up to her, "it is unnecessary to tell you how much I partake with you in your affliction; since you must be sensible that what gives you pleasure or trouble, has the same effect on me. But we are all mortal, and must surrender up to God that life he has given us, when he requires it. Nouzhatoul-aouadat, your faithful slave, was endued with qualifications that deserved your esteem, and I cannot but approve your expressing it after her death; but consider all your grief will not restore her to life. Therefore, madam, if you love me, and will take my advice, be comforted for this loss, take care of a life which you know is precious to me, and constitutes all the happiness of mine. "

If the princess was charmed with these tender sentiments which the caliph expressed in his compliments, she was amazed to hear of Nouzhatoulaouadat's death. This news threw her into such astonishment, that she was not able to return an answer for some time. At last recovering, she replied with an air expressive of surprise, "Commander of the faithful, I am very sensible of all your tender sentiments; but give me leave to say, I cannot comprehend the news you tell me of the death of my slave, who is in perfect health. My affliction is for the death of Abou Hassan, her husband, your favourite, whom I esteemed, as much for the regard you had for him, as his having so often diverted me agreeably, and for whom I had as great a value as yourself. But the little concern you shew for his death, and your so soon forgetting a man in whose company you have so often told me you took so much pleasure, surprises me; and this insensibility seems the greater, from the deception you would put upon me in changing his death for that of my slave."

The caliph, who thought that he was perfectly well informed of the death of the slave, and had just reason to believe so, because he had both seen and heard Abou Hassan, laughed, and shrugged up his shoulders, to hear Zobeide talk in this manner. "Mesrour," said he, to the eunuch, "what do you think of the princess's discourse? Do not women sometimes lose their senses; for you have heard and seen all as well as myself?" Then turning to Zobeide, "Madam," said he, "shed no more tears for Abou Hassan, for I can assure you he is well; but rather bewail the death of your dear slave. It is not many moments since her husband came in the most inexpressible affliction, to tell me of the death of his wife. I gave him a purse of a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of brocade, to comfort him, and bury her; and Mesrour, who was present, can tell you the same."

The princess took this discourse of the caliph's to be all a jest, and thought he had a mind to impose upon her. "Commander of the faithful," replied she, "though you are used to banter, I must tell you, this is not a proper time for pleasantry. What I tell you is very serious; I do not talk of my slave's death, but of Abou Hassan's, her husband, whose fate I bewail, and so ought you too." "Madam," said the caliph, putting on a grave countenance, "I tell you without raillery that you are deceived; Nouzhatoul-aouadat is dead, and Abou Hassan is alive, and in perfect health."

Zobeide was much piqued at this dry answer of the caliph. "Commander of the faithful," replied she smartly, "God preserve you from continuing longer in this mistake, surely you would make me think your mind is not as usual. Give me leave to repeat to you once more, that it is Abou Hassan who is dead, and that my slave Nouzhatoul-aouadat, his widow, is living. It is not an hour since she went from hence. She came here in so disconsolate a state, that the sight of her was enough to have drawn tears from my eyes, if she had not told me her affliction. All my women, who wept with me, can bear me witness, and tell you also that I made her a present of a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of brocade; the grief which you found me in, was on account of the death of her husband; and just at the instant you entered, I was going to send you a compliment of condolence."

At these words of Zobeide, the caliph cried out in a fit of laughter, "This, madam, is a strange piece of obstinacy; but," continued he seriously, "you may depend upon Nouzhatoul-aouadat's being dead." "I tell you no, sir," replied Zobeide sharply; "it is Abou Hassan that is dead, and you shall never make me believe otherwise."

Upon this the caliph's anger rose in his countenance. He seated himself on the sofa at some distance from the princess, and speaking to Mesrour, said, "Go immediately, see which it is, and bring me word; for though I am certain that it is Nouzhatoul- aouadat, I would rather take this method than be any longer obstinately positive about the matter, though of its certainty I am perfectly satisfied." No sooner had the caliph commanded than Mesrour was gone. "You will see," continued he, addressing himself to Zobeide, "in a moment, which of us is right." "For my part," replied Zobeide, "I know very well that I am in the right, and you will find it to be Abou Hassan." "And for myself," returned the caliph, "I am so sure that it is Nouzhatoul-aouadat, that I will lay you what wager you please that Abou Hassan is well."

"Do not think to come off so," said Zobeide; "I accept your wager, and I am so well persuaded of his death, that I would willingly lay the thing dearest to me in the world against what you will, though it were of less value. You know what I have in my disposal, and what I value most; propose the bet, and I will stand to it."

"Since it is so," said the caliph, "I will lay my garden of pleasures against your palace of paintings, though the one is worth much more than the other." "Is the question at present," replied Zobeide, "if your garden is more valuable than my palace? That is not the point. You have made choice of what you thought fit belonging to me, as an equivalent against what you lay; I accept the wager, and that I will abide by it, I take God to witness." The caliph took the same oath, and both waited Mesrour's return.

While the caliph and Zobeide were disputing so earnestly, and with so much warmth, Abou Hassan, who foresaw their difference, was very attentive to whatever might happen. As soon as he perceived Mesrour through a window, at which he sat talking with his wife, and observed that he was coming directly to their apartment, he guessed his commission, and bade his wife make haste to act the dead part once more, as they had agreed, without loss of time; but they were so pressed, that Abou Hassan had much ado to wrap up his wife, and lay the piece of brocade which the caliph had given him upon her, before Mesrour reached the house. This done, he opened the door of his apartment, and with a melancholy, dejected countenance, and his handkerchief before his eyes, went and sat down at the head of the pretended deceased.

By the time he was seated, Mesrour came into the room. The dismal sight which met his eyes, gave him a secret joy on account of the errand the caliph had sent him on. Abou Hassan rose up to meet him, and kissing his hand out of respect, said, sighing and sobbing, "You see me under the greatest calamity that ever could have befallen me the death of my dear wife, Nouzhatoul-aouadat, whom you honoured with your favours."

Mesrour, affected by this discourse, could not refuse some tears to the memory of the deceased. He lifted up the cloth a little at the head, and peeping under it, let it down again, and said, with a deep sigh, "There is no other God but Allah, we must all submit to his will, and every creature must return to him. Nouzhatoul- aouadat, my good sister," added he, sighing, "thy days have been few: God have mercy on thee." Then turning to Abou Hassan, who was all the time in tears, "We may well say," added he, "that women sometimes have whims, and lose their senses in a most unpardonable manner; for Zobeide, good mistress as she is, is in that situation at present; she will maintain to the caliph that you are dead, and not your wife; and whatever the caliph can say to the contrary, he cannot persuade her otherwise. He called me to witness and confirm this truth; for you know I was present when you came and told him the sorrowful news: but all signifies nothing. They are both positive; and the caliph, to convince Zobeide, has sent me to know the truth, but I fear I shall not be believed; for when women once take up a thing, they are not to be beaten out of it."

"God keep the commander of the faithful in the possession and right use of his senses," replied Abou Hassan, still sighing and weeping; "you see how it is, and that I have not imposed upon his majesty. And I wish to Heaven," continued he, to dissemble the better, "that I had no occasion to have told him the melancholy and afflicting news. Alas! I cannot enough express my irreparable loss!" "That is true," replied Mesrour, "and I can assure you I take a great share in your affliction; but you must be comforted, and not abandon yourself to your grief. I leave you with reluctance, to return to the caliph; but I beg the favour of you not to bury the corpse till I come again; for I will assist at the interment, and accompany it with my prayers." Mesrour went to give an account of his visit. Abou Hassan attended him to the door, told him he did not deserve the honour he intended him: and for fear Mesrour should return to say something else, followed him with his eyes for some time, and when he saw him at a distance, returned to his wife and released her. "This is already," said he, "a new scene of mirth, but I fancy it will not be the last; for certainly the princess Zobeide will not believe Mesrour, but will laugh at him, since she has too substantial a reason to the contrary; therefore we must expect some new event." While Abou Hassan was talking thus, Nouzhatoul-aouadat had time to put on her clothes again, and both went and sat down on a sofa opposite to the window, where they could see all that passed.

In the mean time, Mesrour reached Zobeide's apartment, and going into her closet laughing, clapped his hands like one who had something very agreeable to tell.

The caliph, naturally impatient, and piqued a little at the princess's contradiction, as soon as he saw Mesrour, "Vile slave," said he, "is this a time to laugh? Why do not you tell me which is dead, the husband or the wife?"

"Commander of the faithful," answered Mesrour, putting on a serious countenance, "it is Nouzhatoul-aouadat who is dead, for the loss of whom About Hassan is as much afflicted as when he appeared before your majesty." The caliph not giving him time to pursue his story, interrupted him, and cried out, laughing heartily, "Good news! Zobeide, your mistress, was a moment ago possessed of the palace of paintings, and now it is mine. She staked it against my garden of pleasures, since you went; therefore you could not have done me greater pleasure. I will take care to reward you: but give me a true account of what you saw."

"Commander of the faithful," said Mesrour, "when I came to Abou Hassan's apartment, I found the door open, and he was bewailing the death of his wife. He sat at the head of the deceased, who was laid out in the middle of the room, with her feet towards Mecca, and was covered with the piece of brocade which your majesty presented to Abou Hassan. After I had expressed the share I took in his grief, I went and lifted up the pall at the head, and knew Nouzhatoul-aouadat, though hr face was much swelled and changed. I exhorted Abou Hassan in the best manner I could to be comforted; and when I came away, told him I would attend at his wife's funeral, and desired him not to remove the corpse till I came. This is all I can tell your majesty." "I ask no more," said the caliph, laughing heartily, "and I am well satisfied with your exactness." Then addressing himself to Zobeide, "Well, madam," said he, "have you yet any thing to say against so certain a truth? Will you still believe that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is alive, and that Abou Hassan is dead? And will you not own that you have lost your wager?"

"How, sir," replied Zobeide, who would not believe one word Mesrour said, "do you think that I regard that impertinent fellow of a slave, who knows not what he says? I am not blind or mad. With these eyes I saw Nouzhatoul-aouadat in the greatest affliction; I spoke to her myself, and she told me that her husband was dead." "Madam," replied Mesrour, "I swear to you by your own life, and that of the commander of the faithful, which are both dear to me, that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is dead, and Abou Hassan is living."

"Thou liest, base despicable slave," said Zobeide in a rage, "and I will confound thee immediately." Clapping her hands together, she called her women, who all approached. "Come hither," said the princess to them, "and speak the truth. Who was that who came and spoke with me a little before the caliph entered?" The women all answered that it was poor afflicted Nouzhatoul-aouadat. "And what," added she, addressing herself to her treasurer, "did I order you to give her?" "Madam," answered the treasurer, "I gave Nouzhatoul-aouadat, by your orders, a purse of a hundred pieces of gold and a piece of brocade, which she carried away with her." "Well, then, sorry slave," said Zobeide to Mesrour, in passion, "what have you to say to all this? Whom do you think now I ought to believe, you or my treasurer, my women, and myself?"

Mesrour did not want for arguments to contradict the princess; but, as he was afraid of provoking her too much, chose rather to be silent, though he was satisfied that the wife was dead, and not the husband.

During the whole of this dispute between Zobeide and Mesrour, the caliph, who heard the evidence on both sides, and was persuaded of the contrary of what the princess asserted, because he had himself seen and spoken to Abou Hassan, and from what Mesrour had told him, laughed heartily to see Zobeide so exasperated. "Madam," said he to her, "once more I repeat that I know not who was the author of that saying, that ‘Women sometimes lose their wits,' but I am sure you make it good. Mesrour has just come from Abou Hassan's, and tells you that he saw Nouzhatoul-aouadat lying dead in the middle of the room, Abou Hassan alive, and sitting by her; and yet you will not believe this evidence, which nobody can reasonably refuse; I cannot comprehend this conduit."

Zobeide would not hear the caliph. "Pardon me, commander of the faithful," replied she, "if I suspect you: I see that you have contrived with Mesrour to vex me, and to try my patience. And as I perceive that this report was concerted between you, I beg leave to send a person to Abou Hassan's, to know whether or not I am in the wrong."

The caliph consented, and the princess charged with this important commission an old nurse, who had lived with her from her infancy. "Hark you nurse," said she, "you see my dispute with the commander of the faithful, and Mesrour; I need tell you no more. Go to Abou Hassan's or rather to Nouzhatoul-aouadat's, for Abou Hassan is dead, and clear up this matter for me. If you bring me good news, a handsome present is your reward: make haste, and return immediately."

The nurse set out, to the great joy of the caliph, who was delighted to see Zobeide in this embarrassment; but Mesrour, extremely mortified to find the princess so angry with him, did all he could to appease her, and to make her and the caliph both satisfied with him. He was overjoyed when Zobeide sent the nurse; because he was persuaded that the report she must make would agree with his, justify him, and restore him to her favour.

In the mean time Abou Hassan, who watched at the window, perceived the nurse at a distance, and guessing that she was sent by Zobeide, called his wife, and told her that the princess's nurse was coming to know the truth. "Therefore," said he, "make haste and lay me out." Accordingly Nouzhatoul-aouadat covered him with the brocade Zobeide had given her, and put his turban upon his face. The nurse, eager to acquit herself of her commission, hobbled as fast as age would allow her, and entering the room, perceived Nouzhatoul-aouadat in tears, her hair dishevelled, and seated at the head of her husband, beating her breast, with all the expressions of violent grief.

The good old nurse went directly to the false widow. "My dear Nouzhatoul-aouadat," said she, with a sorrowful countenance, "I come not to interrupt your grief and tears for a husband whom you loved so tenderly." "Ah! good mother," replied the counterfeit widow, "you see my misfortune, and how unhappy I am from the loss of my beloved Abou Hassan. Abou Hassan, my dear husband!" cried she, "what have I done that you should leave me so soon? Have I not always preferred your will to my own? Alas! what will become of poor Nouzhatoul-aouadat?"

"This black-faced Mesrour," cried the nurse, lifting up her hands, "deserves to be punished for having caused so great a difference between my good mistress and the commander of the faithful, by the falsehood he has told them. Daughter," continued she, "that villain Mesrour has asserted, with inconceivable impudence, before our good mistress, that you were dead, and Abou Hassan was alive."

"Alas! my good mother," cried Nouzhatoul-aouadat, "I wish to Heaven that it was true! I should not be in this sorrowful state, nor bewail a husband so dear to me!" At these words she wept afresh, and with redoubled tears and cries feigned the deepest sorrow.

The nurse was so much moved by her tears, that she sat down by her, and cried too. Then gently lifting up the turban and cloth, looked at the face of the corpse. "Ah! poor Abou Hassan," she cried, covering his face again, "God have mercy upon thee. Adieu, child," said she to Nouzhatoul-aouadat: "if I could stay longer with you, I would with all my heart; but I am obliged to return immediately, to deliver my mistress from the uneasiness that black villain has occasioned her, by his impudent lie, assuring her with an oath that you were dead."

As soon as the nurse was gone, Nouzhatoul-aouadat wiped her eyes and released Abou Hassan; they both went and sat down on a sofa against the window, expecting what would be the end of this stratagem, and to be ready to act according as circumstances might require.

The nurse, in the mean time, made all the haste she could to Zobeide. The pleasure of carrying the princess news favourable to her wager, but still more the hopes of a good reward, added wings to her feet, and running into the princess's closet quite out of breath, she gave her a true account of all she had seen. Zobeide hearkened to the old woman's relation with a most sensible pleasure; and when she had done, said, with a tone which shewed triumph at having, as she supposed, won her wager: "Repeat it once more before the caliph, who looks upon us all to be fools, would make us believe we have no sense of religion, nor fear of God; and tell your story to that wicked black slave, who had the insolence to assert a wilful falsehood."

Mesrour, who expected the nurse's report would prove favourable on his side, was much mortified to find it so much the contrary, and so vexed at the anger Zobeide expressed against him, for a thing which he thought himself surer of than any body, that he was glad of an opportunity of speaking his mind freely to the old women, which he durst not do to the princess. "Old toothless," said he to the nurse, "you are a liar, and there is no truth in what you say; for I saw with my own eyes Nouzhatoul-aouadat laid out in the middle of the room."

"You are a notorious liar yourself," replied the nurse, with an insulting air, "to dare maintain so great a falsity before my face, who am just come from seeing Abou Hassan dead, laid out, and have left his wife alive." "I am not an impostor," replied Mesrour; "it is you who endeavour to lead us all into error."

"What impudence," said the nurse, "to dare tell me I lie in the presence of their majesties, when I saw just now with my own eyes what I have had the honour to tell them." "Indeed, nurse," answered Mesrour again, "you had better hold your tongue, for you certainly doat."

Zobeide, who could no longer endure this want of respect in Mesrour, who, without any regard to her, treated her nurse so injuriously in her presence, without giving the old lady time to reply to so gross an affront, said to the caliph, "Commander of the faithful, I demand justice for this insolence to us both." She was so enraged she could say no more, but burst into tears.

The caliph, who had heard all the dispute, thought it very intricate. He mused some time, and could not tell what to think of so many contradictions. The princess on her part, as well as Mesrour, the nurse, and all the women slaves, who were present, were as much puzzled, and remained silent. At last the caliph, addressing himself to Zobeide, said, "I see we are all liars; myself first, then you, Mesrour, and you, nurse; or at least it seems not one can be believed more than the other; therefore let us go ourselves to examine the truth, for I can see no other way to clear up these doubts."

So saying, the caliph arose, the princess followed him, and Mesrour went before to open the doors. "Commander of the faithful," said he, "I am overjoyed that your majesty has taken this course; and shall be much more, when I shall make it plainly appear to the nurse, not that she doats, since the expression is unfortunately displeasing to my good mistress, but that her report is not true."

The nurse wanted not a reply; "Hold your tongue, black face," said she; "you doat yourself."

Zobeide, who was much provoked at Mesrour, could not bear to hear him attack her nurse again without taking her part: "Vile slave," said she, "say what you will, I maintain my nurse speaks the truth, and look upon you as a mere liar." "Madam," replied Mesrour, "if nurse is so very certain that Nouzhatoul-aouadat is alive, and Abou Hassan dead, I will lay her what she dares of it." The nurse was as ready as he; "I dare," said she, "take you at your word: let us see if you dare unsay it." Mesrour stood to his word; and they laid a piece of gold brocade with silver flowers before the caliph and the princess.

The apartment from which the caliph and Zobeide set out, though distant from Abou Hassan's, was nevertheless just opposite, so that he perceived them coming, and told his wife that he was much mistaken if the caliph and Zobeide, preceded by Mesrour, and followed by a great number of women, were not about to do them the honour of a visit. She looked through a lattice and saw them, seemed frightened, and cried out, "What shall we do? we are ruined." "Fear nothing," replied Abou Hassan. "Have you forgotten already what we agreed on? We will both feign ourselves dead, and you shall see all will go well. At the slow rate they are coming, we shall be ready before they reach the door." Accordingly, Abou Hassan and his wife wrapped up and covered themselves with the pieces of brocade, and waited patiently for their visitors.

Mesrour, who came first, opened the door, and the caliph and Zobeide, followed by their attendants, entered the room; but were struck with horror, and stood motionless, at the spectacle which presented itself to their view, not knowing what to think. At length Zobeide breaking silence, said to the caliph, "Alas! they are both dead! You have done much," continued she, looking at the caliph and Mesrour, "to endeavour to make me believe that my dear slave was dead, and I find it is true: grief at the loss of her husband has certainly killed her." "Say rather, madam," answered the caliph, prepossessed to the contrary, that Nouzhatoul-aoudat died first, "the afflicted Abou Hassan sunk under his grief, and could not survive his dear wife; you ought, therefore, to confess that you have lost your wager, and that your palace of paintings is mine."

"Hold there," answered Zobeide, warmed at being contradicted by the caliph; "I will maintain you have lost your garden of pleasures. Abou Hassan died first; since my nurse told you, as well as me, that she saw her alive, and weeping for the death of her husband."

The dispute of the caliph and Zobeide brought on another between Mesrour and the nurse, who had wagered as well as they; each affirmed to have won, and at length they proceeded to abuse each other very grossly.

At last the caliph, reflecting on what had passed, began to think that Zobeide had as much reason as himself to maintain that she had won. In this embarrassment of not being able to find out the truth, he advanced towards the corpses, and sat down at the head, searching for some expedient that might gain him the victory over Zobeide. "I swear," cried he presently after, "by the holy name of God, that I will give a thousand pieces of gold to him who can tell me which of these two died first."

No sooner were these words out of the caliph's mouth, than he heard a voice under Abou Hassan's piece of brocade say, "Commander of the faithful, I died first, give me the thousand pieces of gold." At the same instant Abou Hassan threw off the piece of brocade, and springing up, prostrated himself at his feet, while his wife did the same to Zobeide, keeping on her piece of brocade out of decency. The princess at first shrieked out, but recovering herself, expressed great joy to see her dear slave rise again, just when she was almost inconsolable at having seen her dead. "Ah! wicked Nouzhatoul-aouadat," cried she, "what have I suffered for your sake? However, I forgive you from my heart, since you are not dead."

The caliph was not so much surprised, when he heard Abou Hassan's voice: but thought he should have died with laughing at this unravelling of the mystery, and to hear Abou Hassan ask so seriously for the thousand pieces of gold. "What, Abou Hassan," said he, continuing to laugh aloud, "hast thou conspired against my life, to kill me a second time with laughing? How came this thought into your head, to surprise Zobeide and me thus, when we least thought of such a trick?"

"Commander of the faithful," replied Abou Hassan, "I will declare to your majesty the whole truth, without the least reserve. Your majesty knows that I always loved to eat and drink well' and the wife you gave me rather increased than restrained this propensity. With these dispositions your majesty may easily suppose we might spend a good estate; and to make short of my story, we were not sparing of what your majesty so generously gave us. This morning, accounting with our caterer, who took care to provide every thing for us, and paying what we owed him, we found we had nothing left. Then, reflections on what was past, and resolutions to manage better for the future, crowded into our thoughts; we formed a thousand projects, all of which we rejected. At last, the shame of seeing ourselves reduced to so low a condition, and not daring to tell your majesty, made us contrive this stratagem to relieve our necessities, and to divert you, which we hope your majesty will be pleased to pardon."

The caliph was satisfied with Abou Hassan's sincerity, and Zobeide, who had till now been very serious, began to laugh at the thought of Abou Hassan's scheme. The caliph, who had not ceased laughing at the singularity of the adventure, rising, said to Abou Hassan and his wife, "Follow me; I will give you the thousand pieces of gold I promised, for joy to find you are not dead." Zobeide desired him to let her make her slave a present of the same sum, for the same reason. By this means Abou Hassan and his wife Nouzhatoul-aouadat preserved the favour of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed and the princess Zobeide, and by their liberalities were enabled to pursue their pleasures.


In the capital of one of the large and rich provinces of the kingdom of China, the name of which I do not recollect, there lived a tailor, named Mustapha, who was so poor, that he could hardly, by his daily labour, maintain himself and his family, which consisted of a wife and son.

His son, who was called Alla ad Deen, had been brought up in a very careless and idle manner, and by that means had contracted many vicious habits. He was wicked, obstinate, and disobedient to his father and mother, who, when he grew up, could not keep him within doors. He was in the habit of going out early in the morning, and would stay out all day, playing in the streets and public places with idle children of his own age.

When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father not being able to put him out to any other, took him into his own shop, and taught him how to use his needle: but neither fair words nor the fear of chastisement were capable of fixing his lively genius. All his father's endeavours to keep him to his work were in vain; for no sooner was his back turned, than he was gone for that day. Mustapha chastised him, but Alla ad Deen was incorrigible, and his father, to his great grief, was forced to abandon him to his idleness: and was so much troubled at not being able to reclaim him, that it threw him into a fit of sickness, of which he died in a few months.

The mother, finding that her son would not follow his father's business, shut up the shop, sold off the implements of trade, and with the money she received for them, and what she could get by spinning cotton, thought to maintain herself and her son. Alla ad Deen, who was now no longer restrained by the fear of a father, and who cared so little for his mother, that whenever she chid him, he would abuse her, gave himself entirely over to his idle habits, and was never out of the streets from his companions. This course he followed till he was fifteen years old, without giving his mind to any useful pursuit, or the least reflection on what would become of him. In this situation, as he was one day playing according to custom in the street, with his vagabond associates, a stranger passing by stood to observe him.

This stranger was a sorcerer, called by the writer of this story, the African magician; he was a native of Africa, and had been but two days arrived from thence.

The African magician, who was a good physiognomist, observing in Alla ad Deen's countenance something absolutely necessary for the execution of the design he was engaged in, inquired artfully about his family, who he was, and what were his inclinations; and when he had learned all he desired to know, went up to him, and taking him aside from his comrades, said, "Child, was not your father called Mustapha the tailor?" "Yes, sir," answered the boy; "but he has been dead a long time."

At these words, the African magician threw his arms about Alla ad Deen's neck, and kissed him several times with tears in his eyes. Alla ad Deen, who observed his tears, asked him what made him weep. "Alas! my son," cried the African magician with a sigh, "how can I forbear?

"I am your uncle; your worthy father was my own brother. I have been many years abroad, and now I am come home with the hopes of seeing him, you tell me he is dead. I assure you it is a sensible grief to me to be deprived of the comfort I expected. But it is some relief to my affliction, that as far as I can remember him, I knew you at first sight, you are so like him; and I see I am not deceived." Then he asked Alla ad Deen, putting his hand into his purse, where his mother lived; and as soon as he had informed him, gave him a handful of small money, saying, "Go, my son, to your mother, give my love to her, and tell her that I will visit her to-morrow, if I have time, that I may have the satisfaction of seeing where my good brother lived so long, and ended his days."

As soon as the African magician left his newly-adopted nephew, Alla ad Deen ran to his mother, overjoyed at the money his uncle had given him. "Mother," said he, "have I an uncle?" "No, child," replied his mother, "you have no uncle by your father's side, or mine." "I am just now come," said Alla ad Deen, "from a man who says he is my uncle by my father's side, assuring me that he is his brother. He cried and kissed me when I told him my father was dead; and to shew you that what I tell you is truth," added he, pulling out the money, "see what he has given me. He charged me to give his love to you, and to tell you, if he has any time to- morrow, he will come and pay you a visit, that he may see the house my father lived and died in." "Indeed, child," replied the mother, "your father had a brother, but he has been dead a long time, and I never heard of another."

The mother and son talked no more then of the African magician; but the next day Alla ad Deen's uncle found him playing in another part of the town with other children, and embracing him as before, put two pieces of gold into his hand, and said to him, "Carry this, child, to your mother, tell her that I will come and see her tonight, and bid her get us something for supper; but first shew me the house where you live."

After Alla ad Deen had shewed the African magician the house, he carried the two pieces of gold to his mother, and when he had told her of his uncle's intention, she went out and bought provisions; and considering she wanted various utensils, borrowed them of her neighbours. She spent the whole day in preparing the supper; and at night when it was ready, said to her son, "Perhaps your uncle knows not how to find our house; go and bring him if you meet with him."

Though Alla ad Deen had shewed the magician the house, he was ready to go, when somebody knocked at the door, which he immediately opened: and the magician came in loaded with wine, and all sorts of fruits, which he brought for a dessert.

After the African magician had given what he brought into Alla ad Deen's hands, he saluted his mother, and desired her to shew him the place where his brother Mustapha used to sit on the sofa; and when she had so done, he fell down and kissed it several times, crying out with tears in his eyes, "My poor brother! How unhappy am I, not to have come soon enough to give you one last embrace." Alla ad Deen's mother desired him to sit down in the same place, but he declined. "No," said he, "I shall take care how I do that; but give me leave to sit opposite to it, that although I am deprived of the satisfaction of seeing the master of a family so dear to me, I may at least have the pleasure of beholding the place where he used to sit." The widow pressed him no farther, but left him at liberty to sit where he pleased.

When the magician had made choice of a place, and sat down, he began to enter into discourse with Alla ad Deen's mother. "My good sister," said he, "do not be surprised at your never having seen me all the time you have been married to my brother Mustapha of happy memory. I have been forty years absent from this country, which is my native place, as well as my late brother's; and during that time have travelled into the Indies, Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, have resided in the finest towns of those countries; and afterwards crossed over into Africa, where I made a longer stay. At last, as it is natural for a man, how distant soever it may be, to remember his native country, relations, and acquaintance, I was desirous to see mine again, and to embrace my dear brother; and finding I had strength enough to undertake so long a journey, I immediately made the necessary preparations, and set out. I will not tell you the length of time it took me, all the obstacles I met with, and what fatigues I have endured, to come hither; but nothing ever mortified and afflicted me so much, as hearing of my brother's death, for whom I always had a brotherly love and friendship. I observed his features in the face of my nephew, your son, and distinguished him among a number of children with whom he was at play; he can tell you how I received the most melancholy news that ever reached my ears. But God be praised for all things! It is a comfort for me to find, as it were, my brother in a son, who has his most remarkable features."

The African magician perceiving that the widow began to weep at the remembrance of her husband, changed the conversation, and turning towards her son, asked him his name. "I am called Alla ad Deen," said he. "Well, Alla ad Deen," replied the magician, "what business do you follow? Are you of any trade?"

At this question the youth hung down his head, and was not a little abashed when his mother answered, "Alla ad Deen is an idle fellow; his father, when alive, strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not succeed; and since his death, notwithstanding all I can say to him, he does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, as you saw him, without considering he is no longer a child; and if you do not make him ashamed of it, I despair of his ever coming to any good. He knows that his father left him no fortune, and sees me endeavour to get bread by spinning cotton; for my part, I am resolved one of these days to turn him out of doors, and let him provide for himself."

After these words, Alla ad Deen's mother burst into tears; and the magician said, "This is not well, nephew; you must think of helping yourself, and getting your livelihood. There are many sorts of trades, consider if you have not an inclination to some of them; perhaps you did not like your father's, and would prefer another: come, do not disguise your sentiments from me; I will endeavour to help you." But finding that Alla ad Deen returned no answer, "If you have no mind," continued he, "to learn any handicraft, I will take a shop for you, furnish it with all sorts of fine stuffs and linens; and with the money you make of them lay in fresh goods, and then you will live in an honourable way. Consult your inclination, and tell me freely what you think of my proposal: you shall always find me ready to keep my word."

This plan greatly flattered Alla ad Deen, who hated work, but had sense enough to know that such shops were much frequented, and the owners respected. He told the magician he had a greater inclination to that business than to any other, and that he should be much obliged to him for his kindness. "Since this profession is agreeable to you," said the African magician, "I will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and afterwards we will think of opening a shop as I mentioned."

The widow, who never till then could believe that the magician was her husband's brother, no longer doubted after his promises of kindness to her son. She thanked him for his good intentions; and after having exhorted Alla ad Deen to render himself worthy of his uncle's favour by good behaviour, served up supper, at which they talked of several indifferent matters; and then the magician, who saw that the night was pretty far advanced, took his leave, and retired.

He came again the next day, as he had promised, and took Alla ad Deen with him to a merchant, who sold all sorts of clothes for different ages and ranks ready made, and a variety of fine stuffs. He asked to see some that suited Alla ad Deen in size; and after choosing a suit for himself which he liked best, and rejecting others which he did not think handsome enough, he bade Alla ad Deen choose those he preferred. Alla ad Deen, charmed with the liberality of his new uncle, made choice of one, and the magician immediately paid for it.

When Alla ad Deen found himself so handsomely equipped, he returned his uncle thanks; who promised never to forsake him, but always to take him along with him; which he did to the most frequented places in the city, and particularly where the principal merchants kept their shops.

When he brought him into the street where they sold the richest stuffs, and finest linens, he said to Alla ad Deen, "As you are soon to be a merchant, it is proper you should frequent these shops, and be acquainted with them." He then shewed him the largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans or inns where the merchants and travellers lodged, and afterwards to the sultan's palace, where he had free access; and at last brought him to his own khan, where meeting with some merchants he had become acquainted with since his arrival, he gave them a treat, to bring them and his pretended nephew acquainted.

This entertainment lasted till night, when Alla ad Deen would have taken leave of his uncle to go home; the magician would not let him go by himself, but conducted him to his mother, who, as soon as she saw him so well dressed, was transported with joy, and bestowed a thousand blessings upon the magician, for being at so great an expense upon her child. "Generous relation!" said she, "I know not how to thank you for your liberality! I know that my son is not deserving of your favours; and were he ever so grateful, and answered your good intentions, he would be unworthy of them. I thank you with all my soul, and wish you may live long enough to witness my son's gratitude, which he cannot better shew than by regulating his conduct by your good advice." "Alla ad Deen," replied the magician, "is a good boy, and I believe we shall do very well; but I am sorry for one thing, which is, that I cannot perform to-morrow what I promised, because, as it is Friday, the shops will be shut up, and therefore we cannot hire or furnish one, but must wait till Saturday. I will, however, call on him to-morrow and take him to walk in the gardens, where people of the best fashion generally resort. Perhaps he has never seen these amusements, he has only hitherto been among children; but now he must see men." The African magician took his leave of the mother and the son, and retired. Alla ad Deen, who was overjoyed to be so well clothed, anticipated the pleasure of walking in the gardens. He had never been out of the town, nor seen the environs, which were very beautiful and pleasant.

Alla ad Deen rose early the next morning, dressed himself, to be ready when his uncle called on him; and after he had waited some time, began to be impatient, and stood watching at the door; but as soon as he perceived him coming, he told his mother, took his leave of her, and ran to meet him.

The magician caressed Alla ad Deen, and said, "Come, my dear child, and I will shew you fine things." He then led him out at one of the gates of the city, to some magnificent houses, or rather palaces, to each of which belonged beautiful gardens, into which anybody might enter. At every building he came to, he asked Alla ad Deen if he did not think it fine; and the youth was ready to answer when any one presented itself, crying out, "Here is a finer house, uncle, than any we have seen yet." By this artifice, the cunning magician led Alla ad Deen some way into the country; and as he meant to carry him farther, to execute his design, he took an opportunity to sit down in one of the gardens on the brink of a fountain of clear water, which discharged itself by a lion's mouth of bronze into a basin, pretending to be tired. "Come, nephew," said he, "you must be weary as well as I; let us rest ourselves, and we shall be better able to pursue our walk."

After they had sat down, the magician pulled from his girdle a handkerchief with cakes and fruit, which he had provided, and laid them on the edge of the basin. He broke a cake in two, gave one half to Alla ad Deen, and ate the other himself; and in regard to the fruit, left him at liberty to take which sort he liked best. During this short repast, he exhorted his nephew to leave off keeping company with vagabonds, and seek that of wise and prudent men, to improve by their conversation. "For," said he, "you will soon be at man's estate, and you cannot too early begin to imitate their example." When they had eaten as much as they liked, they got up, and pursued their walk through gardens separated from one another only by small ditches, which marked out the limits without interrupting the communication; so great was the confidence the inhabitants reposed in each other. By this means, the African magician drew Alla ad Deen insensibly beyond the gardens, and crossed the country, till they nearly reached the mountains.

Alla ad Deen, who had never been so far before, began to find himself much tired with so long a walk, and said to the magician, "Where are we going, uncle? We have left the gardens a great way behind us, and I see nothing but mountains; if we go much further, I do not know whether I shall be able to reach the town again?" "Never fear, nephew," said the false uncle; "I will shew you another garden which surpasses all we have yet seen; it is not far off; and when we come there, you will say that you would have been sorry to have been so nigh, and not seen it." Alla ad Deen was soon persuaded; and the magician, to make the way seem shorter and less fatiguing, told him a great many stories.

At last they arrived between two mountains of moderate height, and equal size, divided by a narrow valley, which was the place where the magician intended to execute the design that had brought him from Africa to China. "We will go no farther now," said he to Alla ad Deen: "I will shew you here some extraordinary things, which, when you have seen, you will thank me for: but while I strike a light, gather up all the loose dry sticks you can see, to kindle a fire with."

Alla ad Deen found so many dried sticks, that before the magician had made a light, he had collected a great heap. The magician presently set them on fire, and when they were in a blaze, threw in some incense which raised a cloud of smoke. This he dispersed on each side, by pronouncing several magical words which Alla ad Deen did not understand.

At the same time the earth trembling, opened just before the magician, and uncovered a stone, laid horizontally, with a brass ring fixed into the middle. Alla ad Deen was so frightened at what he saw, that he would have run away; but the magician caught hold of him, abused him, and gave him such a box on the ear, that he knocked him down. Alla ad Deen got up trembling, and with tears in his eyes, said to the magician, "What have I done, uncle, to be treated in this severe manner?" "I have my reasons," answered the magician: "I am your uncle, I supply the place of your father, and you ought to make no reply. But, child," added he, softening, "do not be afraid; for I shall not ask any thing of you, but that you obey me punctually, if you would reap the advantages which I intend you." These fair promises calmed Alla ad Deen's fears and resentment; and when the magician saw that he was appeased, he said to him, "You see what I have done by virtue of my incense, and the words I pronounced. Know then, that under this stone there is hidden a treasure, destined to be yours, and which will make you richer than the greatest monarch in the world: no person but yourself is permitted to lift this stone, or enter the cave; so you must punctually execute what I may command, for it is a matter of great consequence both to you and me."

Alla ad Deen, amazed at all he saw and heard the magician say of the treasure which was to make him happy, forgot what was past, and rising, said, "Well, uncle, what is to be done? Command me, I am ready to obey." "I am overjoyed, child," said the African magician, embracing him; "take hold of the ring, and lift up that stone." "Indeed, uncle," replied Alla ad Deen, "I am not strong enough, you must help me." "You have no occasion for my assistance," answered the magician; "if I help you, we shall be able to do nothing; take hold of the ring, pronounce the names of your father and grandfather, then lift it up, and you will find it will come easily." Alla ad Deen did as the magician bade him, raised the stone with ease, and laid it on one side.

When the stone was pulled up, there appeared a cavity of about three or four feet deep, with a little door, and steps to go down lower. "Observe, my son," said the African magician, "what I direct. Descend into the cave, and when you are at the bottom of those steps you will find a door open, which will lead you into a spacious vault, divided into three great halls, in each of which you will see four large brass cisterns placed on each side, full of gold and silver; but take care you do not meddle with them. Before you enter the first hall, be sure to tuck up your vest, wrap it about you, and then pass through the second into the third without stopping. Above all things, have a care that you do not touch the walls, so much as with your clothes; for if you do, you will die instantly. At the end of the third hall, you will find a door which opens into a garden planted with fine trees loaded with fruit; walk directly across the garden by a path which will lead you to five steps that will bring you upon a terrace, where you will see a niche before you, and in that niche a lighted lamp. Take the lamp down, and extinguish it: when you have thrown away the wick, and poured out the liquor, put it in your vestband and bring it to me. Do not be afraid that the liquor will spoil your clothes, for it is not oil; and the lamp will be dry as soon as it is thrown out. If you should wish for any of the fruit of the garden, you may gather as much as you please."

After these words, the magician drew a ring off his finger, and put it on one of Alla ad Deen's, telling him that it was a preservative against all evil, while he should observe what he had prescribed to him. After this instruction he said, "Go down boldly, child, and we shall both be rich all our lives."

Alla ad Deen jumped into the cave, descended the steps, and found the three halls just as the African magician had described. He went through them with all the precaution the fear of death could inspire; crossed the garden without stopping, took down the lamp from the niche, threw out the wick and the liquor, and, as the magician had desired, put it in his vestband. But as he came down from the terrace, seeing it was perfectly dry, he stopped in the garden to observe the fruit, which he only had a glimpse of in crossing it. All the trees were loaded with extraordinary fruit, of different colours on each tree. Some bore fruit entirely white, and some clear and transparent as crystal; some pale red, and others deeper; some green, blue, and purple, and others yellow: in short, there was fruit of all colours. The white were pearls; the clear and transparent, diamonds; the deep red, rubies; the paler, rubies; the green, emeralds; the blue, turquoises; the purple, amethysts; and those that were of yellow cast, sapphires. Alla ad Deen was altogether ignorant of their worth, and would have preferred figs and grapes, or any other fruits. But though he took them only for coloured glass of little value, yet he was so pleased with the variety of the colours, and the beauty and extraordinary size of the seeming fruit, that he resolved to gather some of every sort; and accordingly filled the two new purses his uncle had bought for him with his clothes. Some he wrapped up in the skirts of his vest, which was of silk, large and wrapping, and crammed his bosom as full as it could hold.

Alla ad Deen, having thus loaded himself with riches he knew not the value of, returned through the three halls with the same precaution, made all the haste he could, that he might not make his uncle wait, and soon arrived at the mouth of the cave, where the African magician expected him with the utmost impatience. As soon as Alla ad Deen saw him, he cried out, "Pray, uncle, lend me your hand, to help me out." "Give me the lamp first," replied the magician; "it will be troublesome to you." "Indeed, uncle," answered Alla ad Deen, "I cannot now; it is not troublesome to me: but I will as soon as I am up." The African magician was so obstinate, that he would have the lamp before he would help him up; and Alla ad Deen, who had encumbered himself so much with his fruit that he could not well get at it, refused to give it to him till he was out of the cave. The African magician, provoked at this obstinate refusal, flew into a passion, threw a little of his incense into the fire, which he had taken care to keep in, and no sooner pronounced two magical words, than the stone which had closed the mouth of the cave moved into its place, with the earth over it in the same manner as it lay at the arrival of the magician and Alla ad Deen.

This action of the African magician's plainly shewed him to be neither Alla ad Deen's uncle, nor Mustapha the tailor's brother; but a true African. Africa is a country whose inhabitants delight most in magic of any in the whole world, and he had applied himself to it from his youth. After forty years' experience in enchantments, geomancy, fumigations, and reading of magic books, he had found out that there was in the world a wonderful lamp, the possession of which would render him more powerful than any monarch; and by a late operation of geomancy, he had discovered that this lamp lay concealed in a subterraneous place in the midst of China, in the situation already described. Fully persuaded of the truth of this discovery, he set out from the farthest part of Africa; and after a long and fatiguing journey, came to the town nearest to this treasure. But though he had a certain knowledge of the place where the lamp was, he was not permitted to take it himself, nor to enter the .subterraneous place, but must receive it from the hands of another person. For this reason he had addressed himself to Alla ad Deen, whom he looked upon as a young lad whose life was of no consequence, and fit to serve his purpose, resolving, as soon as he should get the lamp into his hands, to sacrifice him to his avarice and wickedness, by making the fumigation mentioned before, and repeating two magical words, the effect of which would remove the stone into its place, so that no witness would remain of the transaction.

The blow he had given Alla ad Deen was intended to make him obey the more readily, and give him the lamp as soon as he should ask for it. But his too great precipitation, and his fear lest somebody should come that way during their dispute, and discover what he wished to keep secret, produced an effect quite contrary to what he had proposed to himself.

When the African magician saw that all his hopes were frustrated forever, he returned the same day for Africa; but went quite round the town, and at some distance from it, lest some persons who had observed him walk out with the boy, on seeing him come back without him, should entertain any suspicions, and stop him.

According to all appearances, there was no prospects of Alla ad Deen being any more heard of. But the magician, when he had contrived his death, forgot the ring he had put upon his finger, which preserved him, though he knew not its virtue. It may seem astonishing that the loss of that, together with the lamp, did not drive the magician to despair; but magicians are so much used to misfortunes, and events contrary to their wishes, that they do not lay them to heart, but still feed themselves, to the end of life, with unsubstantial notions and chimeras.

The surprise of Alla ad Deen, who had never suspected this treachery from his pretended uncle, after all his caresses and what he had done for him, is more easily to be imagined than expressed. When he found himself buried alive, he cried, and called out to his uncle, to tell him he was ready to give him the lamp; but in vain, since his cries could not be heard. He descended to the bottom of the steps, with a design to get into the garden, but the door, which was opened before by enchantment, was now shut by the same means. He then redoubled his cries and tears, sat down on the steps, without any hopes of ever seeing light again, and in a melancholy certainty of passing from the present darkness into that of a speedy death.

Alla ad Deen remained in this state two days, without eating or drinking, and on the third looked upon death as inevitable. Clasping his hands with an entire resignation to the will of God, he said, "There is no strength or power but in the great and high God." In this action of joining his hands he rubbed the ring which the magician had put on his finger, and of which he knew not yet the virtue. Immediately a genie of enormous size and frightful aspect rose out of the earth, his head reaching the roof of the vault, and said to him, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all who may possess the ring on thy finger; I, and the other slaves of that ring."

At another time, Alla ad Deen, who had not been used to such appearances, would have been so frightened at the sight of so extraordinary a figure that he would not have been able to speak; but the danger he was in made him answer without hesitation, "Whoever thou art, deliver me from this place, if thou art able." He had no sooner spoken these words, than he found himself on the very spot where the magician had caused the earth to open.

It was some time before his eyes could bear the light, after being so long in total darkness: but after he had endeavoured by degrees to support it, and began to look about him, he was much surprised not to find the earth open, and could not comprehend how he had got so soon out of its bowels. There was nothing to be seen but the place where the fire had been, by which he could nearly judge the situation of the cave. Then turning himself towards the town, he perceived it at a distance in the midst of the gardens that surrounded it, and saw the way by which the magician had brought him. Returning God thanks to find himself once more in the world, he made the best of his way home. When he got within his mother's door, the joy to see her and his weakness for want of sustenance for three days made him faint, and he remained for a long time as dead. His mother, who had given him over for lost, seeing him in this condition, omitted nothing to bring him to himself. As soon as he recovered, the first words he spoke, were, "Pray, mother, give me something to eat, for I have not put a morsel of anything into my mouth these three days." His mother brought what she had, and set it before him. "My son," said she, "be not too eager, for it is dangerous; eat but little at a time, and take care of yourself. Besides, I would not have you talk; you will have time enough to tell me what has happened to you when you are recovered. It is a great comfort to me to see you again, after the affliction I have been in since Friday, and the pains I have taken to learn what was become of you."

Alla ad Deen took his mother's advice, and ate and drank moderately. When he had done, "Mother," said he to her, "I cannot help complaining of you, for abandoning me so easily to the discretion of a man who had a design to kill me. and who at this very moment thinks my death certain. You believed he was my uncle, as well as I; and what other thoughts could we entertain of a man who was so kind to me, and made such advantageous proffers? But I must tell you, mother, he is a rogue and a cheat, and only made me those promises to accomplish my death; but for what reason neither you nor I can guess. For my part, I can assure you, I never gave him any cause to justify the least ill treatment from him. You shall judge yourself, when you have heard all that passed from the time I left you, till he came to the execution of his wicked design."

Alla ad Deen then related to his mother all that had happened to him from the Friday, when the magician took him to see the palaces and gardens about the town, and what fell out in the way, till they came to the place between the two mountains where the great prodigy was to be performed; how, with incense which the magician threw into the fire, and some magical words which he pronounced, the earth opened, and discovered a cave, which led to an inestimable treasure. He forgot not the blow the magician had given him, in what manner he softened again, and engaged him by great promises, and putting a ring to his finger, to go down into the cave. He did not omit the least circumstance of what he saw in crossing the three halls and the garden, and his taking the lamp, which he pulled out of his bosom and shewed to his mother, as well as the transparent fruit of different colours, which he had gathered in the garden as he returned. But, though these fruits were precious stones, brilliant as the sun, and the reflection of a lamp which then lighted the room might have led them to think they were of great value, she was as ignorant of their worth as her son, and cared nothing for them. She had been bred in a low rank of life, and her husband's poverty prevented his being possessed of jewels, nor had she, her relations, or neighbours, ever seen any; so that we must not wonder that she regarded them as things of no value, and only pleasing to the eye by the variety of their colours.

Alla ad Deen put them behind one of the cushions of the sofa, and continued his story, telling his mother, that when he returned to the mouth of the cave, upon his refusal to give the magician the lamp till he should get out, the stone, by his throwing some incense into the fire, and using two or three magical words, shut him in, and the earth closed. He could not help bursting into tears at the representation of the miserable condition he was in, at finding himself buried alive in a dismal cave, till by the touching of his ring, the virtue of which he was till then an entire stranger to, he, properly speaking, came to life again. When he had finished his story, he said to his mother, "I need say no more, you know the rest. This is my adventure, and the danger I have been exposed to since you saw me."

Alla ad Deen's mother heard with so much patience as not to interrupt him this surprising and wonderful relation, notwithstanding it could be no small affliction to a mother, who loved her son tenderly: but yet in the most moving part which discovered the perfidy of the African magician, she could not help shewing, by marks of the greatest indignation, how much she detested him; and when her son had finished his story, she broke out into a thousand reproaches against that vile impostor. She called him perfidious traitor, barbarian, assassin, deceiver, magician, and an enemy and destroyer of mankind. "Without doubt, child," added she, "he is a magician, and they are plagues to the world, and by their enchantments and sorceries have commerce with the devil. Bless God for preserving you from his wicked designs; for your death would have been inevitable, if you had not called upon him, and implored his assistance." She said a great deal more against the magician's treachery; but finding that whilst she talked, Alla ad Deen, who had not slept for three days and nights, began to doze, she left him to his repose and retired.

Alla ad Deen, who had not closed his eyes while he was in the subterraneous abode, slept very soundly till late the next morning; when the first thing he said to his mother was that he wanted something to eat, and that she could not do him a greater kindness than to give him his breakfast. "Alas! child," said she, "I have not a bit of bread to give you, you ate up all the provisions I had in the house yesterday; but have a little patience, and it shall not be long before I will bring you some: I have a little cotton, which I have spun; I will go and sell it, buy bread, and something for our dinner." "Mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "keep your cotton for another time, and give me the lamp I brought home with me yesterday; I will go and sell it, and the money I shall get for it will serve both for breakfast and dinner, and perhaps supper too."

Alla ad Deen's mother took the lamp, and said to her son, "Here it is, but it is very dirty; if it was a little cleaner I believe it would bring something more." She took some fine sand and water to clean it; but had no sooner begun to rub it, than in an instant a hideous genie of gigantic size appeared before her, and said to her in a voice like thunder, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those who have that lamp in their hands; I and the other slaves of the lamp."

Alla ad Deen's mother, terrified at the sight of the genie, fainted; when Alla ad Deen, who had seen such a phantom in the cavern, snatched the lamp out of his mother's hand, and said to the genie boldly, "I am hungry, bring me something to eat." The genie disappeared immediately, and in an instant returned with a large silver tray, holding twelve covered dishes of the same metal, which contained the most delicious viands; six large white bread cakes on two plates, two flagons of wine, and two silver cups. All these he placed upon a carpet, and disappeared; this was done before Alla ad Deen's mother recovered from her swoon.

Alla ad Deen had fetched some water, and sprinkled it in her face, to recover her: whether that or the smell of the meat brought her to life again, it was not long before she came to herself. "Mother," said Alla ad Deen, "do not mind this; get up, and come and eat; here is what will put you in heart, and at the same time satisfy my extreme hunger: do not let such delicious meat get cold."

His mother was much surprised to see the great tray, twelve dishes, six loaves, the two flagons and cups, and to smell the savoury odour which exhaled from the dishes. "Child," said she, "to whom are we obliged for this great plenty and liberality? Has the sultan been made acquainted with our poverty, and had compassion on us?" "It is no matter, mother," said Alla ad Deen, "let us sit down and eat; for you have almost as much need of a good breakfast as myself; when we have done, I will tell you." Accordingly both mother and son sat down, and ate with the better relish as the table was so well furnished. But all the time Alla ad Deen's mother could not forbear looking at and admiring the tray and dishes, though she could not judge whether they were silver or any other metal, and the novelty more than the value attracted her attention.

The mother and son sat at breakfast till it was dinner-time, and then they thought it would be best to put the two meals together; yet after this they found they should have enough left for supper, and two meals for the next day.

When Alla ad Deen's mother had taken away and set by what was left, she went and sat down by her son on the sofa, saying, "I expect now that you should satisfy my impatience, and tell me exactly what passed between the genie and you while I was in a swoon;" which he readily complied with.

She was in as great amazement at what her son told her, as at the appearance of the genie; and said to him, "But, son, what have we to do with genii? I never heard that any of my acquaintance had ever seen one. How came that vile genie to address himself to me, and not to you, to whom he had appeared before in the cave?" "Mother," answered Alla ad Deen, "the genie you saw is not the one who appeared to me, though he resembles him in size; no, they had quite different persons and habits; they belong to different masters. If you remember, he that I first saw, called himself the slave of the ring on my finger; and this you saw, called himself the slave of the lamp you had in your hand: but I believe you did not hear him, for I think you fainted as soon as he began to speak."

"What!" cried the mother, "was your lamp then the occasion of that cursed genie addressing himself rather to me than to you?" Ah my son, take it out of my sight, and put it where you please. I will never touch it. I had rather you would sell it, than run the hazard of being frightened to death again by touching it: and if you would take my advice, you would part also with the ring, and not have any thing to do with genii, who, as our prophet has told us, are only devils."

"With your leave, mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "I shall now take care how I sell a lamp, which may be so serviceable both to you and me. Have not you been an eye-witness of what it has procured us? and it shall still continue to furnish us with subsistence and maintenance. You may suppose as I do, that my false and wicked uncle would not have taken so much pains, and undertaken so long and tedious a journey, if it had not been to get into his possession this wonderful lamp, which he preferred before all the gold and silver which he knew was in the halls, and which I have seen with my own eyes. He knew too well the worth of this lamp, not to prefer it to so great a treasure; and since chance hath discovered the virtue of it to us, let us make a profitable use of it, without making any great shew, and exciting the envy and jealousy of our neighbours. However, since the genii frighten you so much, I will take it out of your sight, and put it where I may find it when I want it. The ring I cannot resolve to part with; for without that you had never seen me again; and though I am alive now, perhaps, if it was gone, I might not be so some moments hence; therefore I hope you will give me leave to keep it, and to wear it always on my finger. Who knows what dangers you and I may be exposed to, which neither of us can foresee, and from which it may deliver us." As Alla ad Deen's arguments were just, his mother had nothing to say against them; she only replied, that he might do what he pleased, for her part, she would have nothing to do with genii, but would wash her hands of them, and never say anything more about them.

By the next night they had eaten all the provisions the genie had brought; and the next day Alla ad Deen, who could not bear the thoughts of hunger, putting one of the silver dishes under his vest, went out early to sell it, and addressing himself to a Jew whom he met in the streets, took him aside, and pulling out the plate, asked him if he would buy it. The cunning Jew took the dish, examined it, and as soon as he found that it was good silver, asked Alla ad Deen at how much he valued it. Alla ad Deen, who knew not its value, and never had been used to such traffic, told him he would trust to his judgment and honour. The Jew was somewhat confounded at this plain dealing; and doubting whether Alla ad Deen understood the material or the full value of what he offered to sell, took a piece of gold out of his purse and gave it him, though it was but the sixtieth part of the worth of the plate. Alla ad Deen, taking the money very eagerly, retired with so much haste, that the Jew, not content with the exorbitancy of his profit, was vexed he had not penetrated into his ignorance, and was going to run after him, to endeavour to get some change out of the piece of gold; but he ran so fast, and had got so far, that it would have been impossible for him to overtake him.

Before Alla ad Deen went home, he called at a baker's, bought some cakes of bread, changed his money, and on his return gave the rest to his mother, who went and purchased provisions enough to last them some time. After this manner they lived, till Alla ad Deen had sold the twelve dishes singly, as necessity pressed, to the Jew, for the same money; who, after the first time, durst not offer him less, for fear of losing so good a bargain. When he had sold the last dish, he had recourse to the tray, which weighed ten times as much as the dishes, and would have carried it to his old purchaser, but that it was too large and cumbersome; therefore he was obliged to bring him home with him to his mother's, where, after the Jew had examined the weight of the tray, he laid down ten pieces of gold, with which Alla ad Deen was very well satisfied.

They lived on these ten pieces in a frugal manner, and Alla ad Deen, though used to an idle life, had left off playing with young lads of his own age ever since his adventure with the African magician. He spent his time in walking about, and conversing with decent people, with whom he gradually got acquainted. Sometimes he would stop at the principal merchants' shops, where people of distinction met, and listen to their discourse, by which he gained some little knowledge of the world.

When all the money was spent, A]la ad Deen had recourse again to the lamp. He took it in his hand, looked for the part where his mother had rubbed it with the sand, rubbed it also, when the genie immediately appeared, and said, "What wouldst thou have?" I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those who have that lamp in their hands; I, and the other slaves of the lamp." "I am hungry," said Alla ad Deen, "bring me something to eat." The genie disappeared, and presently returned with a tray, the same number of covered dishes as before, set them down, and vanished.

Alla ad Deen's mother, knowing what her son was going to do, went out about some business, on purpose to avoid being in the way when the genie came; and when she returned, was almost as much surprised as before at the prodigious effect of the lamp. However, she sat down with her son, and when they had eaten as much as they liked, she set enough by to last them two or three days.

As soon as Alla ad Deen found that their provisions were expended, he took one of the dishes, and went to look for his Jew chapman; but passing by a goldsmith's shop, who had the character of a very fair and honest man, the goldsmith perceiving him, called to him, and said, "My lad, I have often observed you go by, loaded as you are at present, and talk with such a Jew, and then come back again empty handed. I imagine that you carry something which you sell to him; but perhaps you do not know that he is the greatest rogue even among the Jews, and is so well known, that nobody of prudence will have anything to do with him. What I tell you is for your own good. If you will shew me what you now carry, and it is to be sold, I will give you the full worth of it; or I will direct you to other merchants who will not cheat you."

The hopes of getting more money for his plate induced Alla ad Deen to pull it from under his vest, and shew it to the goldsmith, who at first sight saw that it was made of the finest silver, asked him if he had sold such as that to the Jew, when Alla ad Deen told him that he had sold him twelve such, for a piece of gold each. "What a villain!" cried the goldsmith; "but," added he, "my son, what is passed cannot be recalled. By shewing you the value of this plate, which is of the finest silver we use in our shops, I will let you see how much the Jew has cheated you."

The goldsmith took a pair of scales, weighed the dish, and after he had mentioned how much an ounce of fine silver cost, assured him that his plate would fetch by weight sixty pieces of gold, which he offered to pay down immediately. "If you dispute my honesty," said he, "you may go to any other of our trade, and if he gives you more, I will be bound to forfeit twice as much; for we gain only the fashion of the plate we buy, and that the fairest dealing Jews are not contented with."

Alla ad Deen thanked him for his fair dealing, so greatly to his advantage, took the gold, and never after went to any other person, but sold him all his dishes and the tray, and had as much for them as the weight came to.

Though Alla ad Deen and his mother had an inexhaustible treasure in their lamp, and might have had whatever they wished for, yet they lived with the same frugality as before, except that Alla ad Deen dressed better; as for his mother, she wore no clothes but what she earned by spinning cotton. After their manner of living, it may easily be supposed, that the money for which Alla ad Deen had sold the dishes and tray was sufficient to maintain them some time.

During this interval, Alla ad Deen frequented the shops of the principal merchants, where they sold cloth of gold and silver, linens, silk stuffs, and jewellery, and oftentimes joining in their conversation, acquired a knowledge of the world, and respectable demeanour. By his acquaintance among the jewellers, he came to know that the fruits which he had gathered when he took the lamp were, instead of coloured glass, stones of inestimable value; but he had the prudence not to mention this to any one, not even to his mother.

One day as Alla ad Deen was walking about the town, he heard an order proclaimed, commanding the people to shut up their shops and houses, and keep within doors, while the princess Buddir al Buddoor, the sultan's daughter, went to the baths and returned.

This proclamation inspired Alla ad Deen with eager curiosity to see the princess's face, which he could not do without admission into the house of some acquaintance, and then only through a window; which did not satisfy him, when he considered that the princess, when she went to the baths, would be closely veiled; but to gratify his curiosity, he presently thought of a scheme, which succeeded; it was to place himself behind the door of the bath, which was so situated that he could not fail of seeing her face.

Alla ad Deen had not waited long before the princess came, and he could see her plainly through a chink of the door without being discovered. She was attended by a great crowd of ladies, slaves and eunuchs, who walked on each side, and behind her. When she came within three or four paces of the door of the baths, she took off her veil, and gave Alla ad Deen an opportunity of a full view.

As soon as Alla ad Deen had seen the princess, his heart could not withstand those inclinations so charming an object always inspires. The princess was the most beautiful brunette in the world; her eyes were large, lively, and sparkling; her looks sweet and modest; her nose was of a just proportion and without a fault, her mouth small, her lips of a vermilion red and charmingly agreeable symmetry; in a word, all the features of her face were perfectly regular. It is not therefore surprising that Alla ad Deen, who had never before seen such a blaze of charms, was dazzled, and his senses ravished by such an assemblage. With all these perfections the princess had so fine a form, and so majestic an air, that the sight of her was sufficient to inspire love and admiration.

After the princess had passed by, and entered the baths, Alla ad Deen remained some time astonished, and in a kind of ecstacy, retracing and imprinting the idea of so charming an object deeply in his mind. But at last, considering that the princess was gone past him, and that when she returned from the bath her back would be towards him, and then veiled, he resolved to quit his hiding place and go home. He could not so far conceal his uneasiness but that his mother perceived it, was surprised to see him so much more thoughtful and melancholy than usual; and asked what had happened to make him so, or if he was ill? He returned her no answer, but sat carelessly down on the sofa, and remained silent, musing on the image of the charming Buddir al Buddoor. His mother, who was dressing supper, pressed him no more. When it was ready, she served it up, and perceiving that he gave no attention to it, urged him to eat, but had much ado to persuade him to change his place; which when he did, he ate much less than usual, all the time cast down his eyes, and observed so profound a silence, that she could not obtain a word in answer to all the questions she put, in order to find the reason of so extraordinary an alteration.

After supper, she asked him again why he was so melancholy, but could get no information, and he determined to go to bed rather than give her the least satisfaction. Without examining how he passed the night, his mind full as it was with the charms of the princess, I shall only observe that as he sat next day on the sofa, opposite his mother, as she was spinning cotton, he spoke to her in these words: "I perceive, mother, that my silence yesterday has much troubled you; I was not, nor am I sick, as I fancy you believed; but I assure you, that what I felt then, and now endure, is worse than any disease. I cannot explain what ails me; but doubt not what I am going to relate will inform you.

"It was not proclaimed in this quarter of the town, and therefore you could know nothing of it, that the sultan's daughter was yesterday to go to the baths. I heard this as I walked about the town, and an order was issued that all the shops should be shut up in her way thither, and everybody keep within doors, to leave the streets free for her and her attendants. As I was not then far from the bath, I had a great curiosity to see the princess's face; and as it occurred to me that the princess, when she came nigh the door of the bath, would pull her veil off, I resolved to conceal myself behind the door. You know the situation of the door, and may imagine that I must have had a full view of her. The princess threw off her veil, and I had the happiness of seeing her lovely face with the greatest security. This, mother, was the cause of my melancholy and silence yesterday; I love the princess with more violence than I can express; and as my passion increases every moment, I cannot live without the possession of the amiable Buddir al Buddoor, and am resolved to ask her in marriage of the sultan her father."

Alla ad Deen's mother listened with surprise to what her son told her; but when he talked of asking the princess in marriage, she could not help bursting out into a loud laugh. Alla ad Deen would have gone on with his rhapsody, but she interrupted him. "Alas! child," said she, "what are you thinking of? you must be mad to talk thus."

"I assure you, mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "that I am not mad, but in my right senses; I foresaw that you would reproach me with folly and extravagance; but I must tell you once more that I am resolved to demand the princess of the sultan in marriage, and your remonstrances shall not prevent me."

"Indeed, son," replied the mother seriously, "I cannot help telling you that you have forgotten yourself; and if you would put this resolution of yours in execution, I do not see whom you can prevail upon to venture to make the proposal for you." "You yourself," replied he immediately. "I go to the sultan!" answered the mother, amazed and surprised. "I shall be cautious how I engage in such an errand. Why, who are you, son," continued she, "that you can have the assurance to think of your sultan's daughter? Have you forgotten that your father was one of the poorest tailors in the capital, and that I am of no better extraction; and do not you know that sultans never marry their daughters but to princes, sons of sovereigns like themselves?"

"Mother," answered Alla ad Deen, "I have already told you that I foresaw all that you have said, or can say: and tell you again, that neither your discourse nor your remonstrances shall make me change my mind. I have told you that you must ask the princess in marriage for me: it is a favour I desire of you, and I beg of you not to refuse, unless you would rather see me in my grave, than by your compliance give me new life."

The good old woman was much embarrassed, when she found Alla ad Deen obstinately persisting in so wild a design. "My son," said she again, "I am your mother, who brought you into the world, and there is nothing that is reasonable but I would readily do for you. If I were to go and treat about your marriage with some neighbour's daughter, whose circumstances were equal with yours, I would do it with all my heart; and even then they would expect you should have some little estate or fortune, or be of some trade. When such poor folks as we are wish to marry, the first thing they ought to think of, is how to live. But without reflecting on the meanness of your birth, and the little merit and fortune you have to recommend you, you aim at the highest pitch of exaltation; and your pretensions are no less than to demand in marriage the daughter of your sovereign, who with one single word can crush you to pieces. I say nothing of what respects yourself. I leave you to reflect on what you have to do, if you have ever so little thought. I come now to consider what concerns myself. How could so extraordinary a thought come into your head, as that I should go to the sultan and make a proposal to him to give his daughter in marriage to you? Suppose I had, not to say the boldness, but the impudence to present myself before the sultan, and make so extravagant a request, to whom should I address myself to be introduced to his majesty? Do you not think the first person I should speak to would take me for a mad woman, and chastise me as I should deserve? Suppose, however, that there is no difficulty in presenting myself for an audience of the sultan, and I know there is none to those who go to petition for justice, which he distributes equally among his subjects; I know too that to those who ask a favour he grants it with pleasure when he sees it is deserved, and the persons are worthy of it. But is that your case? Do you think you have merited the honour you would have me ask for you? Are you worthy of it? What have you done to claim such a favour, either for your prince or country? How have you distinguished yourself? If you have done nothing to merit so high a distinction, nor are worthy of it, with what face shall I ask it? How can I open my mouth to make the proposal to the sultan? His majestic presence and the lustre of his court would absolutely confound me, who used even to tremble before my dear husband your father, when I asked him for any thing. There is another reason, my son, which you do not think of, which is that nobody ever goes to ask a favour of the sultan without a present. But what presents have you to make? And if you had any that were worthy of the least attention of so great a monarch, what proportion could they bear to the favour you would ask? Therefore, reflect well on what you are about, and consider, that you aspire to an object which it is impossible for you to obtain."

Alla ad Deen heard very calmly all that his mother could say to dissuade him from his design, and after he had weighed her representations in all points, replied: "I own, mother, it is great rashness in me to presume to carry my pretensions so far; and a great want of consideration to ask you with so much heat and precipitancy to go and make the proposal to the sultan, without first taking proper measures to procure a favourable reception, and therefore beg your pardon. But be not surprised that through the violence of my passion I did not at first see every measure necessary to procure me the happiness I seek. I love the princess, or rather I adore her, and shall always persevere in my design of marrying her. I am obliged to you for the hint you have given me, and look upon it as the first step I ought to take to procure the happy issue I promise myself.

"You say it is not customary to go to the sultan without a present, and that I have nothing worthy of his acceptance. As to the necessity of a present, I agree with you, and own that I never thought of it; but as to what you say that I have nothing fit to offer, do not you think, mother, that what I brought home with me the day on which I was delivered from an inevitable death, may be an acceptable present? I mean what you and I both took for coloured glass: but now I am undeceived, and can tell you that they are jewels of inestimable value, and fit for the greatest monarchs. I know the worth of them by frequenting the shops; and you may take my word that all the precious stones which I saw in the most capital jewellers' possessions were not to be compared to those we have, either for size or beauty, and yet they value theirs at an excessive price. In short, neither you nor I know the value of ours; but be it as it may, by the little experience I have, I am persuaded that they will be received very favourably by the sultan: you have a large porcelain dish fit to hold them; fetch it, and let us see how they will look, when we have arranged them according to their different colours."

Alla ad Deen's mother brought the china dish, when he took the jewels out of the two purses in which he had kept them, and placed them in order according to his fancy. But the brightness and lustre they emitted in the day-time, and the variety of the colours, so dazzled the eyes both of mother and son, that they were astonished beyond measure; for they had only seen them by the light of a lamp; and though the latter had beheld them pendant on the trees like fruit beautiful to the eye, yet as he was then but a boy, he looked on them only as glittering playthings.

After they had admired the beauty of the jewels some time, Alla ad Deen said to his mother, "Now you cannot excuse yourself from going to the sultan, under pretext of not having a present to make him, since here is one which will gain you a favourable reception."

Though the good widow, notwithstanding the beauty and lustre of the precious stones, did not believe them so valuable as her son estimated them, she thought such a present might nevertheless be agreeable to the sultan, but still she hesitated at the request. "My son," said she, "I cannot conceive that your present will have its desired effect, or that the sultan will look upon me with a favourable eye; I am sure, that if I attempt to deliver your strange message, I shall have no power to open my mouth; therefore I shall not only lose my labour, but the present, which you say is so invaluable, and shall return home again in confusion, to tell you that your hopes are frustrated. I have represented the consequence, and you ought to believe me; but," added she, "I will exert my best endeavour to please you, and wish I may have power to ask the sultan as you would have me; but certainly he will either laugh at me, send me back like a fool, or be in so great a rage, as to make us both the victims of his fury."

She used many other arguments to endeavour to make him change his mind; but the charms of the princess had made too great an impression on his heart for him to be dissuaded from his design. He persisted in importuning his mother to execute his resolution, and she, as much out of tenderness as for fear he should be guilty of greater extravagance, complied with his request.

As it was now late, and the time for admission to the palace was passed, it was put off till the next day. The mother and son talked of different matters the remaining part of the day; and Alla ad Deen strove to encourage her in the task she had undertaken; while she, notwithstanding all his arguments, could not persuade herself she should succeed; and it must be confessed she had reason enough to doubt. "Child," said she to Alla ad Deen, "if the sultan should receive me as favourably as I wish for your sake, should even hear my proposal with calmness, and after this scarcely-to-be-expected reception should think of asking me where lie your riches and your estate (for he will sooner inquire after these than your person), if, I say, he should ask me these questions, what answer would you have me return him?"

"Let us not be uneasy, mother," replied Alla ad Deen, "about what may never happen. First, let us see how the sultan receives, and what answer he gives you. If it should so fall out, that he desires to be informed of what you mention, I have thought of an answer, and am confident that the lamp which hath supported us so long will not fail me in time of need."

The tailor's widow could not say any thing against what her son then proposed; but reflected that the lamp might be capable of doing greater wonders than just providing victuals for them. This consideration satisfied her, and at the same time removed all the difficulties which might have prevented her from undertaking the service she had promised her son with the sultan. Alla ad Deen, who penetrated into his mother's thoughts, said to her, "Above all things, mother, be sure to keep secret our possession of the lamp, for thereon depends the success we have to expect;" and after this caution, Alla ad Deen and his mother parted to go to rest. But violent love, and the great prospect of so immense a fortune, had so much possessed the son's thoughts, that he could not repose himself so well as he could have wished. He rose before day-break, awakened his mother, pressing her to get herself dressed to go to the sultan's palace, and to get admittance, if possible, before the grand vizier, the other viziers, and the great officers of state went in to take their seats in the divan, where the sultan always assisted in person.

Alla ad Deen's mother took the china dish, in which they had put the jewels the day before, wrapped in two napkins, one finer than the other, which was tied at the four corners for more easy carriage, and set forward for the sultan's palace. When she came to the gates, the grand vizier, the other viziers and most distinguished lords of the court, were just gone in; but, notwithstanding the crowd of people who had business was great, she got into the divan, a spacious hall, the entrance into which was very magnificent. She placed herself just before the sultan, grand vizier, and the great lords, who sat in council, on his right and left hand. Several causes were called, according to their order, pleaded and adjudged, until the time the divan generally broke up, when the sultan rising, returned to his apartment, attended by the grand vizier; the other viziers and ministers of state then retired, as also did those whose business had called them thither; some pleased with gaining their causes, others dissatisfied at the sentences pronounced against them, and some in expectation of theirs being heard the next sitting.

Alla ad Deen's mother, seeing the sultan retire, and all the people depart, judged rightly that he would not sit again that day, and resolved to go home. When Alla ad Deen saw her return with the present designed for the sultan, he knew not what to think of her success, and in his fear lest she should bring him some ill news, had not courage to ask her any questions; but she, who had never set foot in the sultan's palace before, and knew not what was every day practised there, freed him from his embarrassment, and said to him, with a great deal of simplicity, "Son, I have seen the sultan, and am very well persuaded he has seen me too; for I placed myself just before him; but he was so much taken up with those who attended on all sides of him, that I pitied him, and wondered at his patience. At last I believe he was heartily tired, for he rose up suddenly, and would not hear a great many who were ready prepared to speak to him, but went away, at which I was well pleased, for indeed I began to lose all patience, and was extremely fatigued with staying so long. But there is no harm done; I will go again to-morrow; perhaps the sultan may not be so busy."

Though his passion was very violent, Alla ad Deen was forced to be satisfied with this delay, and to fortify himself with patience. He had at least the satisfaction to find that his mother had got over the greatest difficulty, which was to procure access to the sultan, and hoped that the example of those she saw speak to him would embolden her to acquit herself better of her commission when a favourable opportunity might offer to speak to him.

The next morning she repaired to the sultan's palace with the present, as early as the day before, but when she came there, she found the gates of the divan shut, and understood that the council sat but every other day, therefore she must come again the next. This news she carried to her son, whose only relief was to guard himself with patience. She went six times afterwards on the days appointed, placed herself always directly before the sultan, but with as little success as the first morning, and might have perhaps come a thousand times to as little purpose, if luckily the sultan himself had not taken particular notice of her: for only those who came with petitions approached the sultan, when each pleaded their cause in its turn, and Alla ad Deen's mother was not one of them.

On the sixth day, however, after the divan was broken up, when the sultan returned to his own apartment, he said to his grand vizier, "I have for some time observed a certain woman, who attends constantly every day that I give audience, with something wrapped up in a napkin: she always stands up from the beginning to the breaking up of the audience, and affects to place herself just before me. Do you know what she wants?"

"Sir," replied the grand vizier, who knew no more than the sultan what she wanted, but did not wish to seem uninformed, "your majesty knows that women often make complaints on trifles; perhaps she may come to complain to your majesty that somebody has sold her some bad flour, or some such trifling matter." The sultan was not satisfied with this answer, but replied, "If this woman comes to our next audience, do not fail to call her, that I may hear what she has to say." The grand vizier made answer by lowering his hand, and then lifting it up above his head, signifying his willingness to lose it if he failed.

By this time, the tailor's widow was so much used to go to audience, and stand before the sultan, that she did not think it any trouble, if she could but satisfy her son that she neglected nothing that lay in her power to please him: the next audience day she went to the divan, placed herself in front of the sultan as usual; and before the grand vizier had made his report of business, the sultan perceived her, and compassionating her for having waited so long, said to the vizier, "Before you enter upon any business, remember the woman I spoke to you about; bid her come near, and let us hear and dispatch her business first." The grand vizier immediately called the chief of the mace-bearers who stood ready to obey his commands; and pointing to her, bade him go to that woman, and tell her to come before the sultan.

The chief of the officers went to Alla ad Deen's mother, and at a sign he gave her, she followed him to the foot of the sultan's throne, where he left her, and retired to his place by the grand vizier. The old woman, after the example of others whom she saw salute the sultan, bowed her head down to the carpet, which covered the platform of the throne, and remained in that posture till the sultan bade her rise, which she had no sooner done, than he said to her, "Good woman, I have observed you to stand a long time, from the beginning to the rising of the divan; what business brings you here?"

After these words, Alla ad Deen's mother prostrated herself a second time; and when she arose, said, "Monarch of monarchs, before I tell your majesty the extraordinary and almost incredible business which brings me before your high throne, I beg of you to pardon the boldness or rather impudence of the demand I am going to make, which is so uncommon, that I tremble, and am ashamed to propose it to my sovereign." In order to give her the more freedom to explain herself, the sultan ordered all to quit the divan but the grand vizier, and then told her she might speak without restraint.

Alla ad Deen's mother, not content with this favour of the sultan's to save her the trouble and confusion of speaking before so many people, was notwithstanding for securing herself against his anger, which, from the proposal she was going to make, she was not a little apprehensive of; therefore resuming her discourse, she said, "I beg of your majesty, if you should think my demand the least injurious or offensive, to assure me first of your pardon and forgiveness." "Well," replied the sultan, "I will forgive you, be it what it may, and no hurt shall come to you: speak boldly."

When Alla ad Deen's mother had taken all these precautions, for fear of the sultan's anger, she told him faithfully how Alla ad Deen had seen the princess Buddir al Buddoor, the violent love that fatal sight had inspired him with, the declaration he had made to her of it when he came home, and what representations she had made "to dissuade him from a passion no less disrespectful," said she, "to your majesty, as sultan, than to the princess your daughter. But," continued she, "my son, instead of taking my advice and reflecting on his presumption, was so obstinate as to persevere, and to threaten me with some desperate act, if I refused to come and ask the princess in marriage of your majesty; and it was not without the greatest reluctance that I was led to accede to his request, for which I beg your majesty once more to pardon not only me, but also Alla ad Deen my son, for entertaining so rash a project as to aspire to so high an alliance."

The sultan hearkened to this discourse with mildness, and without shewing the least anger; but before he gave her any answer, asked her what she had brought tied up in the napkin. She took the china dish, which she had set down at the foot of the throne, before she prostrated herself before him; untied it, and presented it to the sultan.

The sultan's amazement and surprise were inexpressible, when he saw so many large, beautiful, and valuable jewels collected in the dish. He remained for some time motionless with admiration. At last, when he had recovered himself, he received the present from Alla ad Deen's mother's hand, crying out in a transport of joy, "How rich, how beautiful!" After he had admired and handled all the jewels, one after another, he turned to his grand vizier, and shewing him the dish, said, "Behold, admire, wonder, and confess that your eyes never beheld jewels so rich and beautiful before." The vizier was charmed. "Well," continued the sultan, "what sayst thou to such a present? Is it not worthy of the princess my daughter? And ought I not to bestow her on one who values her at so great price?"

These words put the grand vizier into extreme agitation. The sultan had some time before signified to him his intention of bestowing the princess on a son of his; therefore he was afraid, and not without grounds, that the sultan, dazzled by so rich and extraordinary a present, might change his mind. Therefore going to him, and whispering him in the ear, he said, "I cannot but own that the present is worthy of the princess; but I beg of your majesty to grant me three months before you come to a final resolution. I hope, before that time, my son, on whom you have had the goodness to look with a favourable eye, will be able to make a nobler present than Alla ad Deen, who is an entire stranger to Your majesty."

The sultan, though he was fully persuaded that it was not possible for the vizier to provide so considerable a present for his son to make the princess, yet as he had given him hopes, hearkened to him, and granted his request. Turning therefore to the old widow, he said to her, "Good woman, go home, and tell your son that I agree to the proposal you have made me; but I cannot marry the princess my daughter, till the paraphernalia I design for her be got ready, which cannot be finished these three months; but at the expiration of that time come again."

Alla ad Deen's mother returned home much more gratified than she had expected, since she had met with a favourable answer, instead of the refusal and confusion she had dreaded. From two circumstances Alla ad Deen, when he saw his mother returning, judged that she brought him good news; the one was, that she returned sooner than ordinary; and the other, the gaiety of her countenance. "Well, mother," said he, "may I entertain any hopes, or must I die with despair?" When she had pulled off her veil, and had seated herself on the sofa by him, she said to him, "Not to keep you long in suspense, son, I will begin by telling you, that instead of thinking of dying, you have every reason to be well satisfied." Then pursuing her discourse, she told him, that she had an audience before everybody else which made her come home so soon; the precautions she had taken lest she should have displeased the sultan, by making the proposal of marriage between him and the princess Buddir al Buddoor, and the condescending answer she had received from the sultan's own mouth; and that as far as she could judge, the present had wrought a powerful effect. "But when I least expected it," said she, "and he was going to give me an answer, and I fancied a favourable one, the grand vizier whispered him in the ear, and I was afraid might be some obstacle to his good intentions towards us, and so it happened, for the sultan desired me to come to audience again this day three months."

Alla ad Deen thought himself the most happy of all men at hearing this news, and thanked his mother for the pains she had taken in the affair, the good success of which was of so great importance to his peace. Though from his impatience to obtain the object of his passion, three months seemed an age, yet he disposed himself to wait with patience, relying on the sultan's word, which he looked upon to be irrevocable. But all that time he not only counted the hours, days, and weeks, but every moment. When two of the three months were past, his mother one evening going to light the lamp, and finding no oil in the house, went out to buy some, and when she came into the city, found a general rejoicing. The shops, instead of being shut up, were open, dressed with foliage, silks, and carpeting, every one striving to show their zeal in the most distinguished manner according to his ability. The streets were crowded with officers in habits of ceremony, mounted on horses richly caparisoned, each attended by a great many footmen. Alla ad Deen's mother asked the oil-merchant what was the meaning of all this preparation of public festivity." Whence came you, good woman," said he, "that you don't know that the grand vizier's son is to marry the princess Buddir al Buddoor, the sultan's daughter, to-night? She will presently return from the baths; and these officers whom you see are to assist at the cavalcade to the palace, where the ceremony is to be solemnized."

This was news enough for Alla ad Deen's mother. She ran till she was quite out of breath home to her son, who little suspected any such event. "Child," cried she, "you are undone! You depend upon the sultan's fine promises, but they will come to nothing." Alla ad Deen was alarmed at these words. "Mother," replied he, "how do you know the sultan has been guilty of a breach of promise?" "This night," answered the mother, "the grand vizier's son is to marry the princess Buddir al Buddoor." She then related how she had heard it; so that from all circumstances, he had no reason to doubt the truth of what she said.

At this account, Alla ad Deen was thunder-struck. Any other man would have sunk under the shock; but a sudden hope of disappointing his rival soon roused his spirits, and he bethought himself of the lamp, which had on every emergence been so useful to him; and without venting his rage in empty words against the sultan, the vizier, or his son, he only said, "Perhaps, mother, the vizier's son may not be so happy to-night as he promises himself: while I go into my chamber a moment, do you get supper ready." She accordingly went about it, but guessed that her son was going to make use of the lamp, to prevent, if possible, the consummation of the marriage.

When Alla ad Deen had got into his chamber, he took the lamp, rubbed it in the same place as before, when immediately the genie appeared, and said to him, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those who have that lamp in their possession; I and the other slaves of the lamp." "Hear me," said Alla ad Deen; "thou hast hitherto brought me whatever I wanted as to provisions; but now I have business of the greatest importance for thee to execute. I have demanded the princess Buddir al Buddoor in marriage of the sultan her father; he promised her to me, only requiring three months delay; but instead of keeping that promise, has this night married her to the grand vizier's son. What I ask of you is, that as soon as the bride and bridegroom are retired, you bring them both hither in their bed." "Master," replied the genie, "I will obey you. Have you any other commands?" "None at present," answered Alla ad Deen; the genie then disappeared.

Alla ad Deen having left his chamber, supped with his mother, with the same tranquillity of mind as usual; and after supper talked of the princess's marriage as of an affair wherein he had not the least concern'; he then retired to his own chamber again, and left his mother to go to bed; but sat up waiting the execution of his orders to the genie.

In the meantime, everything was prepared with the greatest magnificence in the sultan's palace to celebrate the princess's nuptials; and the evening was spent with all the usual ceremonies and great rejoicings till midnight, when the grand vizier's son, on a signal given him by the chief of the princess's eunuchs, slipped away from the company, and was introduced by that officer into the princess's apartment, where the nuptial bed was prepared. He went to bed first, and in a little time after, the sultaness, accompanied by her own women, and those of the princess, brought the bride, who, according to the custom of new- married ladies, made great resistance. The sultaness herself helped to undress her, put her into bed by a kind of violence: and after having kissed her, and wished her good night, retired with the women to her own apartments.

No sooner was the door shut, than the genie, as the faithful slave of the lamp, and punctual in executing the command of those who possessed it, without giving the bridegroom the least time to caress his bride, to the great amazement of them both, took up the bed, and transported it in an instant into Alla ad Deen's chamber, where he set it down.

Alla ad Deen, who had waited impatiently for this moment, did not suffer the vizier's son to remain long in bed with the princess. "Take this new-married man," said he to the genie, "shut him up in the out-house, and come again tomorrow morning before day- break." The genie instantly forced the vizier's son out of bed, carried him whither Alla ad Deen had commanded him; and after he had breathed upon him, which prevented him stirring, left him there.

Passionate as was Alla ad Deen's love for the princess, he did not talk much to her when they were alone; but only said with a respectful air, "Fear nothing, adorable princess, you are here in safety; for, notwithstanding the violence of my passion, which your charms have kindled, it shall never exceed the bounds of the profound adoration I owe you. If I have been forced to come to this extremity, it is not with any intention of affronting you, but to prevent an unjust rival's possessing you, contrary to the sultan your father's promise in favour of myself."

The princess, who knew nothing of these particulars, gave very little attention to what Alla ad Deen could say. The fright and amazement of so surprising and unexpected an adventure had alarmed her so much that he could not get one word from her. However, he undressed himself, took the bridegroom's place, but lay with his back to the princess, putting a sabre between himself and her, to shew that he deserved to be put to death, if he attempted anything against her honour. Alla ad Deen, satisfied with having thus deprived his rival of the happiness he had flattered himself with, slept very soundly, though the princess Buddir al Buddoor never passed a night so ill in her life; and if we consider the condition in which the genie left the grand vizier's son, we may imagine that the new bridegroom spent it much worse.

Alla ad Deen had no occasion the next morning to rub the lamp to call the genie; who appeared at the hour appointed, just when he had done dressing himself, and said to him, "I am here, master, what are your commands?" "Go," said Alla ad Deen, "fetch the vizier's son out of the place where you left him, put him into his bed again, and carry it to the sultan's palace, from whence you brought it." The genie presently returned with the vizier's son. Alla ad Deen took up his sabre, the bridegroom was laid by the princess, and in an instant the nuptial-bed was transported into the same chamber of the palace from whence it had been brought. But we must observe, that all this time the genie never was visible either to the princess or the grand vizier's son. His hideous form would have made them die with fear. Neither did they hear any thing of the discourse between Alla ad Deen and him; they only perceived the motion of the bed, and their transportation from one place to another; which we may well imagine was enough to alarm them.

As soon as the genie had set down the nuptial bed in its proper place, the sultan tapped at the door to wish her good morning. The grand vizier's son, who was almost perished with cold, by standing in his thin under garment all night, and had not had time to warm himself in bed, no sooner heard the knocking at the door than he got out of bed, and ran into the robing-chamber, where he had undressed himself the night before.

The sultan having opened the door, went to the bed-side, kissed the princess between the eyes, according to custom, wishing her a good morrow, but was extremely surprised to see her so melancholy. She only cast at him a sorrowful look, expressive of great affliction or great dissatisfaction. He said a few words to her; but finding that he could not get a word from her, attributed it to her modesty, and retired. Nevertheless, he suspected that there was something extraordinary in this silence, and thereupon went immediately to the sultaness's apartment, told her in what a state he had found the princess, and how she had received him. "Sir," said the sultaness, "your majesty ought not to be surprised at this behaviour; new-married people have naturally a reserve about them; two or three days hence she will receive the sultan her father as she ought: but I will go and see her," added she; "I am much deceived if she receives me in the same manner."

As soon as the sultaness was dressed, she went to the princess's apartment, who was still in bed. She undrew the curtain, wished her good morrow, and kissed her. But how great was her surprise when she returned no answer; and looking more attentively at her, she perceived her to be much dejected, which made her judge that something had happened, which she did not understand "How comes it, child," said the sultaness, "that you do not return my caresses? Ought you to treat your mother after this manner? I am induced to believe something extraordinary has happened; come, tell me freely, and leave me no longer in a painful suspense."

At last the princess broke silence with a deep sigh, and said, "Alas! most honoured mother, forgive me if I have failed in the respect I owe you. My mind is so full of the extraordinary circumstances which have befallen me this night, that I have not yet recovered my amazement and alarm." She then told her, how the instant after she and her husband were together, the bed was transported into a dark dirty room, where he was taken from her and carried away, but where she knew not; and that she was left alone with a young man, who, after he had said something to her, which her fright did not suffer her to hear, laid himself in her husband's place, but first put his sabre between them; and in the morning her husband was brought to her again, when the bed was transported back to her own chamber in an instant. "All this," said she, "was but just done, when the sultan my father came into my chamber. I was so overwhelmed with grief, that I had not power to speak, and am afraid that he is offended at the manner in which I received the honour he did me; but I hope he will forgive me, when he knows my melancholy adventure, and the miserable state I am in at present."

The sultaness heard all the princess told her very patiently, but would not believe it. "You did well, child," said she, "not to speak of this to your father: take care not to mention it to anybody; for you will certainly be thought mad if you talk in this manner." "Madam," replied the princess, "I can assure you I am in my right senses; ask my husband, and he will tell you the same circumstances." "I will," said the sultaness, "but if he should talk in the same manner, I shall not be better persuaded of the truth. Come, rise, and throw off this idle fancy; it will be a strange event, if all the feasts and rejoicings in the kingdom should be interrupted by such a vision. Do not you hear the trumpets of congratulation, and concerts of the finest music? Cannot these inspire you with joy and pleasure, and make you forget the fancies of an imagination disturbed by what can have been only a dream?" At the same time the sultaness called the princess's women, and after she had seen her get up, and begin dressing, went to the sultan's apartment, told him that her daughter had got some odd notions in her head, but that there was nothing in them but idle phantasy.

She then sent for the vizier's son, to know of him something of what the princess had told her; but he, thinking himself highly honoured to be allied to the sultan, and not willing to lose the princess, denied what had happened. "That is enough," answered the sultaness, "I ask no more, I see you are wiser than my daughter."

The rejoicings lasted all that day in the palace, and the sultaness, who never left the princess, forgot nothing to divert her, and induce her to take part in the various diversions and shows; but she was so struck with the idea of what had happened to her in the night, that it was easy to see her thoughts were entirely taken up with it. Neither was the grand vizier's son in less tribulation, though his ambition made him disguise his feelings so well, that nobody doubted of his being a happy bridegroom.

Alla ad Deen, who was well acquainted with what passed in the palace, was sure the new-married couple were to sleep together again, notwithstanding the troublesome adventure of the night before; and therefore, having as great an inclination to disturb them, had recourse to his lamp, and when the genie appeared, and offered his service, he said to him, "The grand vizier's son and the princess Buddir al Buddoor are to sleep together again to- night: go, and as soon as they are in bed, bring the bed hither, as thou didst yesterday."

The genie obeyed as faithfully and exactly as the day before; the grand vizier's son passed the night as coldly and disagreeably, and the princess had the mortification again to have Alla ad Deen for her bed-fellow, with the sabre between them. The genie, according to orders, came the next morning, brought the bridegroom, laid him by his bride, and then carried the bed and new-married couple back again to the palace.

The sultan, after the reception the princess had given him, was very anxious to know how she had passed the second night, and therefore went into her chamber as early as the morning before. The grand vizier's son, more ashamed and mortified with the ill success of this last night, no sooner heard him coming, than he jumped out of bed, and ran hastily into the robing-chamber. The sultan went to the princess's bed-side, and after the same caresses he had given her the former morning, bade her good morrow. "Well daughter," said he, "are you in a better humour than yesterday?" Still the princess was silent, and the sultan perceiving her to be more troubled, and in greater confusion than before, doubted not that something very extraordinary was the cause; but provoked that his daughter should conceal it, he said to her in a rage, with his sabre in his hand, "Daughter, tell me what is the matter, or I will cut off your head immediately."

The princess, more frightened at the menaces and tone of the enraged sultan than at the sight of the drawn sabre, at last broke silence, and said with tears in her eyes, "My dear father and sultan, I ask your majesty's pardon if I have offended you, and hope, that out of your goodness and clemency you will have compassion on me, when I shall have told you in what a miserable condition I have spent this last night, as well as the preceding."

After this preamble, which appeased and affected the sultan, she told him what had happened to her in so moving a manner, that he, who loved her tenderly, was most sensibly grieved. She added, "If your majesty doubts the truth of this account, you may inform yourself from my husband, who, I am persuaded, will tell you the same thing."

The sultan immediately felt all the extreme uneasiness so surprising an adventure must have given the princess. "Daughter," said he, "you are much to blame for not telling me this yesterday, since it concerns me as much as yourself. I did not marry you with an intention to make you miserable, but that you might enjoy all the happiness you deserve and might hope for from a husband who to me seemed agreeable to you. Efface all these troublesome ideas from your memory; I will take care that you shall have no more disagreeable and insupportable nights."

As soon as the sultan had returned to his own apartment, he sent for the grand vizier: "Vizier," said he, "have you seen your son, and has he told you anything?" The vizier replied, "No." The sultan related all the circumstances of which the princess had informed him, and afterwards said, "I do not doubt but that my daughter has told me the truth; but nevertheless I should be glad to have it confirmed by your son, therefore go and ask him how it was."

The grand vizier went immediately to his son, communicated what the sultan had told him, and enjoined him to conceal nothing, but to relate the whole truth. "I will disguise nothing from you, father," replied the son, "for indeed all that the princess has stated is true; but what relates particularly to myself she knows nothing of. Since my marriage, I have passed two nights beyond imagination or expression disagreeable, not to mention the fright I was in at finding my bed lifted four times, transported from one place to another, without being able to guess how it was done. You may judge of the miserable condition I was in, passing two whole nights in nothing but my under vestments, standing in a kind of closet, unable to stir out of the place or to make the least movement, though I could not perceive any obstacle to prevent me. Yet I must tell you, that all this ill usage does not in the least lessen those sentiments of love, respect, and gratitude I entertain for the princess, and of which she is so deserving; but I must confess, that notwithstanding all the honour and splendour that attends marrying my sovereign's daughter, I would much rather die, than continue in so exalted an alliance if I must undergo nightly much longer what I have already endured. I do not doubt but that the princess entertains the same sentiments, and that she will readily agree to a separation, which is so necessary both for her repose and mine. Therefore, father, I beg, by the same tenderness which led you to procure me so great an honour, to obtain the sultan's consent that our marriage may be declared null and void."

Notwithstanding the grand vizier's ambition to have his son allied to the sultan, the firm resolution he saw he had formed to be separated from the princess made him not think it proper to propose to him to have patience for a few days, to see if this disappointment would not have an end; but he left him to give an account of what he had related to him, and without waiting till the sultan himself, whom he found disposed to it, spoke of setting aside the marriage, he begged of him to give his son leave to retire from the palace, alleging it was not just that the princess should be a moment longer exposed to so terrible a persecution upon his son's account.

The grand vizier found no great difficulty to obtain what he asked, as the sultan had determined already; orders were given to put a stop to all rejoicings in the palace and town, and expresses dispatched to all parts of his dominions to countermand them; and, in a short time, all rejoicings ceased.

This sudden and unexpected change gave rise both in the city and kingdom to various speculations and inquiries; but no other account could be given of it, except that both the vizier and his son went out of the palace very much dejected. Nobody but Alla ad Deen knew the secret. He rejoiced within himself at the happy success procured by his lamp, which now he had no more occasion to rub, to produce the genie to prevent the consummation of the marriage, as he had certain information it was broken off, and that his rival had left the palace. Neither the sultan nor the grand vizier, who had forgotten Alla ad Deen and his request, had the least thought that he had any concern in the enchantment which caused the dissolution of the marriage.

Alla ad Deen waited till the three months were completed, which the sultan had appointed for the consummation of the marriage between the princess Buddir al Buddoor and himself; and the next day sent his mother to the palace, to remind the sultan of his promise.

Alla ad Deen's mother went to the palace, and stood in the same place as before in the hall of audience. The sultan no sooner cast his eyes upon her than he knew her again, remembered her business, and how long he had put her off: therefore when the grand vizier was beginning to make his report, the sultan interrupted him, and said, "Vizier, I see the good woman who made me the present of jewels some months ago; forbear your report, till I have heard what she has to say." The vizier looking about the divan, perceived the tailor's widow, and sent the chief of the mace-bearers to conduct her to the sultan.

Alla ad Deen's mother came to the foot of the throne, prostrated herself as usual, and when she rose, the sultan asked her what she would have. Sir," said she, "I come to represent to your majesty, in the name of my son Alla ad Deen, that the three months, at the end of which you ordered me to come again, are expired; and to beg you to remember your promise."

The sultan, when he had fixed a time to answer the request of this good woman, little thought of hearing any more of a marriage, which he imagined must be very disagreeable to the princess, when he considered the meanness and poverty of her dress and appearance; but this summons for him to fulfill his promise was somewhat embarrassing; he declined giving an answer till he had consulted his vizier, and signified to trim the little inclination he had to conclude a match for his daughter with a stranger, whose rank he supposed to be very mean.

The grand vizier freely told the sultan his thoughts, and said to him, "In my opinion, sir, there is an infallible way for your majesty to avoid a match so disproportionable, without giving Alla ad Deen, were he known to your majesty, any cause of complaint; which is, to set so high a price upon the princess, that, however rich he may be, he cannot comply with. This is the only evasion to make him desist from so bold, not to say rash, an undertaking, which he never weighed before he engaged in it."

The sultan, approving of the grand vizier's advice, turned to the tailor's widow, and said to her, "Good woman, it is true sultans ought to abide by their word, and I am ready to keep mine, by making your son happy in marriage with the princess my daughter. But as I cannot marry her without some further valuable consideration from your son, you may tell him, I will fulfill my promise as soon as he shall send me forty trays of massive gold, full of the same sort of jewels you have already made me a present of, and carried by the like number of black slaves, who shall be led by as many young and handsome white slaves, all dressed magnificently. On these conditions I am ready to bestow the princess my daughter upon him; therefore, good woman, go and tell him so, and I will wait till you bring me his answer."

Alla ad Deen's mother prostrated herself a second time before the sultan's throne, and retired. In her way home, she laughed within herself at her son's foolish imagination. "Where," says she, "can he get so many large gold trays, and such precious stones to fill them? Must he go again to that subterraneous abode, the entrance into which is stopped up, and gather them off the trees? But where will he get so many such slaves as the sultan requires? It is altogether out of his power, and I believe he will not be much pleased with my embassy this time." When she came home, full of these thoughts, she said to her son, "Indeed, child, I would not have you think any farther of your marriage with the princess. The sultan received me very kindly, and I believe he was well inclined to you; but if I am not much deceived the grand vizier has made him change his mind, as you will guess from what I have to tell you. After I had represented to his majesty that the three months were expired, and begged of him to remember his promise, I observed that he whispered with his grand vizier before he gave me his answer." She then gave her son an exact account of what the sultan had said to her, and the conditions on which he consented to the match. Afterwards she said to him, "The sultan expects your answer immediately; but," continued she, laughing, "I believe he may wait long enough."

"Not so long, mother, as you imagine," replied Alla ad Deen: "the sultan is mistaken, if he thinks by this exorbitant demand to prevent my entertaining thoughts of the princess. I expected greater difficulties, and that he would have set a higher price upon her incomparable charms. I am very well pleased; his demand is but a trifle to what I could have done for her. But while I think of satisfying his request, go and get something for our dinner, and leave the rest to me."

As soon as his mother was gone out to market, Alla ad Deen took the lamp, and rubbing it, the genie appeared, and offered his service as usual. "The sultan," said Alla ad Deen to him, "gives me the princess his daughter in marriage; but demands first forty large trays of massive gold, full of the fruits of the garden from whence I took this lamp; and these he expects to have carried by as many black slaves, each preceded by a young handsome white slave, richly clothed. Go, and fetch me this present as soon as possible, that I may send it to him before the divan breaks up."

The genie told him his command should be immediately obeyed, and disappeared.

In a little time afterwards the genie returned with forty black slaves, each bearing on his head a heavy tray of pure gold, full of pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and every sort of precious stones, all larger and more beautiful than those presented to the sultan. Each tray was covered with silver tissue, embroidered with flowers of gold; these, together with the white slaves, quite filled the house, which was but a small one, the little court before it, and a small garden behind. The genie asked if he had any other commands, and Alla ad Deen telling him that he wanted nothing farther, he disappeared.

When Alla ad Deen's mother came from market, she was much surprised to see so many people and such vast riches. As soon as she had laid down her provisions, she was going to pull off her veil; but he prevented her, and said, "Mother, let us lose no time; before the sultan and the divan rise, I would have you return to the palace with this present as the dowry demanded for the princess, that he may judge by my diligence and exactness of the ardent and sincere desire I have to procure myself the honour of this alliance." Without waiting for his mother's reply, Alla ad Deen opened the street-door, and made the slaves walk out; each white slave followed by a black with a tray upon his head. When they were all out, the mother followed the last black slave; he shut the door, and then retired to his chamber, full of hopes that the sultan, after this present, which was such as he required, would receive him as his son-in-law.

The first white slave who went out made all the people who were going by stop; and before they were all clear of the house, the streets were crowded with spectators, who ran to see so extraordinary and magnificent a procession. The dress of each slave was so rich, both for the stuff and the jewels, that those who were dealers in them valued each at no less than a million of money; besides the neatness and propriety of the dress, the noble air, fine shape and proportion of each slave were unparalleled; their grave walk at an equal distance from each other, the lustre of the jewels curiously set in their girdles of gold, in beautiful symmetry, and the egrets of precious stones in their turbans, which were of an unusual but elegant taste, put the spectators into such great admiration, that they could not avoid gazing at them, and following them with their eyes as far as possible; but the streets were so crowded with people, that none could move out of the spot they stood on. As they had to pass through several streets to the palace, a great part of the city had an opportunity of seeing them. As soon as the first of these slaves arrived at the palace gate, the porters formed themselves into order, taking him for a prince from the richness and magnificence of his habit, and were going to kiss the hem of his garment; but the slave, who was instructed by the genie, prevented them, and said, "We are only slaves, our master will appear at a proper time."

The first slave, followed by the rest, advanced into the second court, which was very spacious, and in which the sultan's household was ranged during the sitting of the divan. The magnificence of the officers, who stood at the head of their troops, was considerably eclipsed by the slaves who bore Alla ad Deen's present, of which they themselves made a part. Nothing was ever seen so beautiful and brilliant in the sultan's palace; and all the lustre of the lords of his court was not to be compared to them.

As the sultan, who had been informed of their march, and approach to the palace, had given orders for them to be admitted, they met with no obstacle, but went into the divan in regular order, one part filing to the right, and the other to the left. After they were all entered, and had formed a semicircle before the sultan's throne, the black slaves laid the golden trays on the carpet, prostrated themselves, touching the carpet with their foreheads, and at the same time the white slaves did the same. When they rose, the black slaves uncovered the trays, and then all stood with their arms crossed over their breasts.

In the meantime Alla ad Deen's mother advanced to the foot of the throne, and having paid her respects, said to the sultan, "Sir, my son is sensible this present, which he has sent your majesty, is much below the princess Buddir al Buddoor's worth; but hopes, nevertheless, that your majesty will accept of it, and make it agreeable to the princess, and with the greater confidence since he has endeavoured to conform to the conditions you were pleased to impose."

The sultan was not able to give the least attention to this compliment. The moment he cast his eyes on the forty trays, full of the most precious, brilliant, and beautiful jewels he had ever seen, and the fourscore slaves, who appeared by the elegance of their persons, and the richness and magnificence of their dress, like so many princes, he was so struck, that he could not recover from his admiration. Instead of answering the compliment of Alla ad Deen's mother, he addressed himself to the grand vizier, who could not any more than the sultan comprehend from whence such a profusion of richness could come. "Well, vizier," said he aloud, "who do you think it can be that has sent me so extraordinary a present, and neither of us know? Do you think him worthy of the princess Buddir al Buddoor, my daughter?"

The vizier, notwithstanding his envy and grief to see a stranger preferred to be the sultan's son-in-law before his son, durst not disguise his sentiments. It was too visible that Alla ad Deen's present was more than sufficient to merit his being received into royal alliance; therefore, consulting his master's feelings, he returned this answer: "I am so far from having any thoughts that the person who has made your majesty so noble a present is unworthy of the honour you would do him, that I should say he deserved much more, if I was not persuaded that the greatest treasure in the world ought not to be put in competition with the princess your majesty's daughter." This speech was applauded by all the lords who were then in council.

The sultan made no longer hesitation, nor thought of informing himself whether Alla ad Deen was endowed with all the qualifications requisite in one who aspired to be his son-in-law. The sight alone of such immense riches, and Alla ad Deen's quickness in satisfying his demand, without starting the least difficulty at the exorbitant conditions he had imposed, easily persuaded him, that he could want nothing to render him accomplished, and such as he desired. Therefore, to send Alla ad Deen's mother back with all the satisfaction she could desire, he said to her, "My good lady, go and tell your son that I wait with open arms to embrace him, and the more haste he makes to come and receive the princess my daughter from my hands, the greater pleasure he will do me."

As soon as the tailor's widow had retired, overjoyed as a woman in her condition must have been, to see her son raised beyond all expectations to such exalted fortune, the sultan put an end to the audience; and rising from his throne, ordered that the princess's eunuchs should come and carry the trays into their mistress's apartment, whither he went himself to examine them with her at his leisure. The fourscore slaves were conducted in to the palace; and the sultan, telling the princess of their magnificent appearance, ordered them to be brought before her apartment, that she might see through the lattices he had not exaggerated in his account of them.

In the meantime Alla ad Deen's mother got home, and shewed in her air and countenance the good news she brought her son "My son," said she to him, "you have now all the reason in the world to be pleased: you are, contrary to my expectations, arrived at the height of your desires. Not to keep you too long in suspense, the sultan, with the approbation of the whole court, has declared that you are worthy to possess the princess Buddir al Buddoor, waits to embrace you and conclude your marriage; therefore, you must think of making some preparations for your interview, which may answer the high opinion he has formed of your person; and after the wonders I have seen you do, I am persuaded nothing can be wanting. But I must not forget to tell you the sultan waits for you with great impatience, therefore lose no time in paying your respects."

Alla ad Deen, enraptured with this news, and full of the object which possessed his soul, made his mother very little reply, but retired to his chamber. There, after he had rubbed his lamp, which had never failed him in whatever he wished for, the obedient genie appeared. "Genie," said Alla ad Deen, "I want to bathe immediately, and you must afterwards provide me the richest and most magnificent habit ever worn by a monarch." No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the genie rendered him, as well as himself, invisible, and transported him into a hummum of the finest marble of all sorts of colours; where he was undressed, without seeing by whom, in a magnificent and spacious hall. From the hall he was led to the bath, which was of a moderate heat, and he was there rubbed and washed with various scented waters. After he had passed through several degrees of heat, he came out, quite a different man from what he was before. His skin was clear white and red, his body lightsome and free; and when he returned into the hall, he found, instead of his own, a suit, the magnificence of which astonished him. The genie helped him to dress, and when he had done, transported him back to his own chamber, where he asked him if he had any other commands. "Yes," answered Alla ad Deen, "I expect you to bring me as soon as possible a charger, that surpasses in beauty and goodness the best in the sultan's stables, with a saddle, bridle, and other caparisons worth a million of money. I want also twenty slaves, as richly clothed as those who carried the present to the sultan, to walk by my side and follow me, and twenty more to go before me in two ranks. Besides these, bring my mother six women slaves to attend her, as richly dressed at least as any of the princess Buddir al Buddoor's, each carrying a complete dress fit for any sultaness. I want also ten thousand pieces of gold in ten purses; go, and make haste."

As soon as Alla ad Deen had given these orders, the genie disappeared, but presently returned with the horse, the forty slaves, ten of whom carried each a purse containing ten thousand pieces of gold, and six women slaves, each carrying on her head a different dress for Alla ad Deen's mother, wrapped up in a piece of silver tissue, and presented them all to Alla ad Deen.

Of the ten purses Alla ad Deen took four, which he gave to his mother, telling her, those were to supply her with necessaries; the other six he left in the hands of the slaves who brought them, with an order to throw them by handfuls among the people as they went to the sultan's palace. The six slaves who carried the purses he ordered likewise to march before him, three on the right hand and three on the left. Afterwards he presented the six women slaves to his mother, telling her they were her slaves, and that the dresses they had brought were for her use.

When Alla ad Deen had thus settled matters, he told the genie he would call for him when he wanted him, and thereupon the genie disappeared. Alla ad Deen's thoughts now were only upon answering, as soon as possible, the desire the sultan had shown to see him. He dispatched one of the forty slaves to the palace, with an order to address himself to the chief of the porters, to know when he might have the honour to come and throw himself at the sultan's feet. The slave soon acquitted himself of his commission, and brought for answer, that the sultan waited for him with impatience.

Alla ad Deen immediately mounted his charger, and began his march, in the order we have already described; and though he never was on horseback before, appeared with such extraordinary grace, that the most experienced horseman would not have taken him for a novice. The streets through which he was to pass were almost instantly filled with an innumerable concourse of people, who made the air echo with acclamations, especially every time the six slaves who carried the purses threw handfuls of gold among the populace. Neither did these acclamations and shouts of joy come from those alone who scrambled for the money, but from a superior rank of people, who could not forbear applauding Alla ad Deen's generosity. Not only those who knew him when he played in the streets like a vagabond did not recollect him, but those who saw him but a little while before hardly recognised him, so much were his features altered: such were the effects of the lamp, as to procure by degrees to those who possessed it perfections suitable to the rank to which the right use of it advanced them. Much more attention was paid to Alla ad Deen's person than to the pomp and magnificence of his attendants, as a similar show had been seen the day before when the slaves walked in procession with the present to the sultan. Nevertheless the horse was much admired by good judges, who knew how to discern his beauties, without being dazzled by the jewels and richness of the furniture. When the report was everywhere spread, that the sultan was going to give the princess in marriage to Alla ad Deen, nobody regarded his birth, nor envied his good fortune, so worthy he seemed of it in the public opinion.

When he arrived at the palace, everything was prepared for his reception; and when he came to the gate of the second court, he would have alighted from his horse, agreeably to the custom observed by the grand vizier, the commander in chief of the empire, and governors of provinces of the first rank; but the chief of the mace-bearers who waited on him by the sultan's order prevented him, and attended him to the grand hall of audience, where he helped him to dismount; though Alla ad Deen endeavoured to prevent him, but could not prevail. The officers formed themselves into two ranks at the entrance of the hall. The chief put Alla ad Deen on his right hand, and through the midst of them led him to the sultan's throne.

As soon as the sultan perceived Alla ad Deen, he was no less surprised to see him more richly and magnificently habited than ever he had been himself, than struck at his good mien, fine shape, and a certain air of unexpected dignity, very different from the meanness of his mother's late appearance.

But, notwithstanding, his amazement and surprise did not hinder him from rising off his throne, and descending two or three steps, quick enough to prevent Alla ad Deen's throwing himself at his feet. He embraced him with all the demonstrations of joy at his arrival. After this civility Alla ad Deen would have thrown himself at his feet again; but he held him fast by the hand, and obliged him to sit close to the throne.

Alla ad Deen then addressed the sultan, saying, "I receive the honour which your majesty out of your great condescension is pleased to confer; but permit me to assure you, that I have not forgotten that I am your slave; that I know the greatness of your power, and that I am not in sensible how much my birth is below the splendour and lustre of the high rank to which I am raised. If any way," continued he, "I could have merited so favourable a reception, I confess I owe it merely to the boldness which chance inspired in me to raise my eyes, thoughts, and desires to the divine princess, who is the object of my wishes. I ask your majesty's pardon for my rashness, but I cannot dissemble, that I should die with grief were I to lose my hopes of seeing them accomplished."

"My son," answered the sultan, embracing him a second time, "you would wrong me to doubt for a moment of my sincerity: your life from this moment is too dear to me not to preserve it, by presenting you with the remedy which is at my disposal. I prefer the pleasure of seeing and hearing you before all your treasure added to my own."

After these words, the sultan gave a signal, and immediately the air echoed with the sound of trumpets, hautboys, and other musical instruments: and at the same time the sultan led Alla ad Deen into a magnificent hall, where was laid out a most splendid collation. The sultan and Alla ad Deen ate by themselves, while the grand vizier and the great lords of the court, according to their dignity and rank, sat at different tables. The conversation turned on different subjects; but all the while the sultan took so much pleasure in looking at his intended son-in-law, that he hardly ever took his eyes off him; and throughout the whole of their conversation Alla ad Deen showed so much good sense, as confirmed the sultan in the high opinion he had formed of him.

After the feast, the sultan sent for the chief judge of his capital, and ordered him to draw up immediately a contract of marriage between the princess Buddir al Buddoor his daughter and Alla ad Deen. In the mean time the sultan and he entered into another conversation on various subjects, in the presence of the grand vizier and the lords of the court, who all admired the solidity of his wit, the great ease and freedom wherewith he delivered himself, the justness of his remarks, and his energy in expressing them.

When the judge had drawn up the contract in all the requisite forms, the sultan asked Alla ad Deen if he would stay in the palace, and solemnize the ceremonies of marriage that day. To which he answered, "Sir, though great is my impatience to enjoy your majesty's goodness, yet I beg of you to give me leave to defer it till I have built a palace fit to receive the princess; therefore I petition you to grant me a convenient spot of ground near your palace, that I may the more frequently pay my respects, and I will take care to have it finished with all diligence." "Son," said the sultan, "take what ground you think proper, there is space enough on every quarter round my palace; but consider, I cannot see you too soon united with my daughter, which alone is wanting to complete my happiness." After these words he embraced Alla ad Deen again, who took his leave with as much politeness as if he had been bred up and had always lived at court.

Alla ad Deen returned home in the order he had come, amidst the acclamations of the people, who wished him all happiness and prosperity. As soon as he dismounted, he retired to his own chamber, took the lamp, and called the genie as before, who in the usual manner made him a tender of his service. "Genie," said Alla ad Deen, "I have every reason to commend your exactness in executing hitherto punctually whatever I have demanded; but now if you have any regard for the lamp your protector, you must show, if possible, more zeal and diligence than ever. I would have you build me, as soon as you can, a palace opposite, but at a proper distance from the sultan's, fit to receive my spouse the princess Buddir al Buddoor. I leave the choice of the materials to you, that is to say, porphyry, jasper, agate, lapis lazuli, or the finest marble of various colours, and also the architecture of the building. But I expect that on the terraced roof of this palace you will build me a large hall crowned with a dome, and having four equal fronts; and that instead of layers of bricks, the walls be formed of massive gold and silver, laid alternately; that each front shall contain six windows, the lattices of all which, except one, which must be left unfinished, shall be so enriched in the most tasteful workmanship, with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, that they shall exceed every thing of the kind ever seen in the world. I would have an inner and outer court in front of the palace, and a spacious garden; but above all things, take care that there be laid in a place which you shall point out to me a treasure of gold and silver coin. Besides, the edifice must be well provided with kitchens and offices, storehouses, and rooms to keep choice furniture in, for every season of the year. I must have stables full of the finest horses, with their equerries and grooms, and hunting equipage. There must be officers to attend the kitchens and offices, and women slaves to wait on the princess. You understand what I mean; therefore go about it, and come and tell me when all is finished."

By the time Alla ad Deen had instructed the genie resetting the building of his palace, the sun was set. The next morning, before break of day, our bridegroom, whose love for the princess would not let him sleep, was up, when the genie presented himself, and said, "Sir, your palace is finished, come and see how you like it." Alla ad Deen had no sooner signified his consent, than the genie transported him thither in an instant, and he found it so much beyond his expectation, that he could not enough admire it. The genie led him through all the apartments, where he met with nothing but what was rich and magnificent, with officers and slaves, all habited according to their rank and the services to which they were appointed. The genie then showed him the treasury, which was opened by a treasurer, where Alla ad Deen saw heaps of purses, of different sizes, piled up to the top of the ceiling, and disposed in most excellent order. The genie assured him of the treasurer's fidelity, and thence led him to the stables, where he showed him some of the finest horses in the world, and the grooms busy in dressing them; from thence they went to the store-houses, which were filled with all things necessary, both for food and ornament.

When Alla ad Deen had examined the palace from top to bottom, and particularly the hall with the four-and-twenty windows, and found it much beyond whatever he could have imagined, he said, "Genie, no one can be better satisfied than I am; and indeed I should be much to blame if I found any fault. There is only one thing wanting which I forgot to mention; that is, to lay from the sultan's palace to the door of the apartment designed for the princess, a carpet of fine velvet for her to walk upon." The genie immediately disappeared, and Alla ad Deen saw what he desired executed in an instant. The genie then returned, and carried him home before the gates of the sultan's palace were opened.

When the porters, who had always been used to an open prospect, came to open the gates, they were amazed to find it obstructed, and to see a carpet of velvet spread from the grand entrance. They did not immediately look how far it extended; but when they could discern Alla ad Deen's palace distinctly, their surprise was increased. The news of so extraordinary a wonder was presently spread through the palace. The grand vizier, who arrived soon after the gates were open, being no less amazed than others at this novelty, ran and acquainted the sultan, but endeavoured to make him believe it to be all enchantment. "Vizier," replied the sultan, "why will you have it to be enchantment? You know as well as I that it must be Alla ad Deen's palace, which I gave him leave to build, for the reception of my daughter. After the proof we have had of his riches, can we think it strange, that he should raise a palace in so short a time? He wished to surprise us, and let us see what wonders are to be done with money in only one night. Confess sincerely that the enchantment you talk of proceeds from a little envy on account of your son's disappointment." The hour of going to council put an end to the conversation.

When Alla ad Deen had been conveyed home, and had dismissed the genie, he found his mother up, and dressing herself in one of those suits which had been brought her. By the time the sultan rose from the council, Alla ad Deen had prepared his mother to go to the palace with her slaves, and desired her, if she saw the sultan, to tell him she should do herself the honour to attend the princess towards evening to her palace. Accordingly she went; but though she and the women slaves who followed her were all dressed like sultanesses, yet the crowd was not near so great as the preceding day, because they were all veiled, and had each an upper garment on agreeable to the richness and magnificence of their habits. Alla ad Deen mounted his horse, and took leave of his paternal house forever, taking care not to forget his wonderful lamp, by the assistance of which he had reaped such advantages, and arrived at the utmost height of his wishes, and went to the palace in the same pomp as the day before.

As soon as the porters of the sultan's palace saw Alla ad Deen's mother, they went and informed the sultan, who immediately ordered the bands of trumpets, cymbals, drums, fifes and hautboys, placed in different parts of the palace, to play, so that the air resounded with concerts which inspired the whole city with joy: the merchants began to adorn their shops and houses with fine carpets and silks, and to prepare illuminations against night. The artisans of every description left their work, and the populace repaired to the great space between the royal palace and that of Alla ad Deen; which last drew all their attention, not only because it was new to them, but because there was no comparison between the two buildings. But their amazement was to comprehend by what unheard-of miracle so magnificent a palace could have been so soon erected, it being apparent to all that there were no prepared materials, or any foundations laid the day before.

Alla ad Deen's mother was received in the palace with honour, and introduced into the princess Buddir al Buddoor's apartment by the chief of the eunuchs. As soon as the princess saw her, she rose, saluted, and desired her to sit down on a sofa; and while her women finished dressing and adorning her with the jewels which Alla ad Deen had presented to her, a collation was served up. At the same time the sultan, who wished to be as much with his daughter as possible before he parted with her, came in and paid the old lady great respect. Alla ad Deen's mother had talked to the sultan in public, but he had never seen her with her veil off, as she was then; and though she was somewhat advanced in years, she had the remains of a good face, which showed what she had been in her youth. The sultan, who had always seen her dressed very meanly, not to say poorly, was surprised to find her as richly and magnificently attired as the princess his daughter. This made him think Alla ad Deen equally prudent and wise in whatever he undertook.

When it was night, the princess took her leave of the sultan her father: their adieus were tender, and accompanied with tears. They embraced each other several times, and at last the princess left her own apartment for Alla ad Deen's palace, with his mother on her left hand carried in a superb litter, followed by a hundred women slaves, dressed with surprising magnificence. All the bands of music, which had played from the time Alla ad Deen's mother arrived, being joined together, led the procession, followed by a hundred state ushers, and the like number of black eunuchs, in two files, with their officers at their head. Four hundred of the sultan's young pages carried flambeaux on each side, which, together with the illuminations of the sultan's and Alla ad Deen's palaces, made it as light as day.

In this order the princess proceeded in her litter on the carpet, which was spread from the sultan's palace, preceded by bands of musicians, who, as they advanced, joining with those on the terraces of Alla ad Deen's palace, formed a concert, which increased the joyful sensations not only of the crowd assembled in the great square, but of the metropolis and its environs.

At length the princess arrived at the new palace. Alla ad Deen ran with all imaginable joy to receive her at the grand entrance. His mother had taken care to point him out to the princess, in the midst of the officers who surrounded him, and she was charmed with his person. "Adorable princess," said Alla ad Deen, accosting her, and saluting her respectfully, as soon as she had entered her apartment, "if I have the misfortune to have displeased you by my boldness in aspiring to the possession of so lovely a princess, and my sultan's daughter, I must tell you, that you ought to blame your bright eyes and charms, not me." "Prince (as I may now call you)," answered the princess, "I am obedient to the will of my father; and it is enough for me to have seen you to tell you that I obey without reluctance."

Alla ad Deen, charmed with so agreeable and satisfactory an answer, would not keep the princess standing; but took her by the hand, which he kissed with the greatest demonstration of joy, and led her into a large hall, illuminated with an infinite number of wax candles, where, by the care of the genie, a noble feast was served up. The dishes were of massive gold, and contained the most delicate viands. The vases, basins, and goblets, were gold also, and of exquisite workmanship, and all the other ornaments and embellishments of the hall were answerable to this display. The princess, dazzled to see so much riches collected in one place, said to Alla ad Deen, "I thought, prince, that nothing in the world was so beautiful as the sultan my father's palace, but the sight of this hall alone is sufficient to show I was deceived."

Alla ad Deen led the princess to the place appointed for her, and as soon as she and his mother were seated, a band of the most harmonious instruments, accompanied with the voices of beautiful ladies, began a concert, which lasted without intermission to the end of the repast. The princess was so charmed, that she declared she had never heard anything like it in the sultan her father's court; but she knew not that these musicians were fairies chosen by the genie, the slave of the lamp.

When the supper was ended, there entered a company of female dancers, who performed, according to the custom of the country, several figure dances, singing at the same time verses in praise of the bride and bridegroom. About midnight Alla ad Deen's mother conducted the bride to the nuptial apartment, and he soon after retired.

The next morning when Alla ad Deen left the bridal chamber, his attendants presented themselves to dress him, and brought him another habit as rich and magnificent as that worn the day before. He then ordered one of the horses appointed for his use to be got ready, mounted him, and went in the midst of a large troop of slaves to the sultan's palace. The sultan received him with the same honours as before, embraced him, placed him on the throne near him, and ordered a collation. Alla ad Deen said, "I beg your majesty will dispense with my eating with you to-day; I came to entreat you to take a repast in the princess's palace, attended by your grand vizier, and all the lords of your court." The sultan consented with pleasure, rose up immediately, and, preceded by the principal officers of his palace, and followed by all the great lords of his court, accompanied Alla ad Deen.

The nearer the sultan approached Alla ad Deen's palace, the more he was struck with its beauty, but was much more amazed when he entered it; and could not forbear breaking out into exclamations of approbation. But when he came into the hall, and cast his eyes on the windows, enriched with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, all large perfect stones, he was so much surprised, that he remained some time motionless. After he recovered himself, he said to his vizier, "Is it possible that there should be such a stately palace so near my own, and I be an utter stranger to it till now?" "Sir," replied the grand vizier, "your majesty may remember that the day before yesterday you gave Alla ad Deen, whom you accepted for your son-in-law, leave to build a palace opposite your own, and that very day at sunset there was no palace on this spot, but yesterday I had the honour first to tell you that the palace was built and finished." "I remember," replied the sultan, "but never imagined that the palace was one of the wonders of the world; for where in all the world besides shall we find walls built of massive gold and silver, instead of brick, stone, or marble; and diamonds, rubies, and emeralds composing the windows!"

The sultan would examine and admire the beauty of all the windows, and counting them, found that there were but three-and- twenty so richly adorned, and he was greatly astonished that the twenty-fourth was left imperfect. "Vizier," said he, for that minister made a point of never leaving him, "I am surprised that a hall of this magnificence should be left thus imperfect." "Sir," replied the grand vizier, "without doubt Alla ad Deen only wanted time to finish this window like the rest; for it is not to be supposed but that he has sufficient jewels for the purpose, or that he will not complete it the first opportunity."

Alla ad Deen, who had left the sultan to go and give some orders, returned just as the vizier had finished his remark. "Son," said the sultan to him, "this hall is the most worthy of admiration of any in the world; there is only one thing that surprises me, which is to find one of the windows unfinished. Is it from the forgetfulness or negligence of the workmen, or want of time, that they have not put the finishing stroke to so beautiful a piece of architecture?" "Sir," answered Alla ad Deen, "it was for none of these reasons that your majesty sees it in this state. The omission was by design, it was by my orders that the workmen left it thus, since I wished that your majesty should have the glory of finishing this hall, and of course the palace." "If you did it with this intention," replied the sultan, "I take it kindly, and will give orders about it immediately." He accordingly sent for the most considerable jewellers and goldsmiths in his capital.

Alla ad Deen then conducted the sultan into the saloon where he had regaled his bride the preceding night. The princess entered immediately afterwards, and received the sultan her father with an air that showed how happy she was with her marriage. Two tables were immediately spread with the most delicious meats, all served up in gold dishes. The sultan, princess, Alla ad Deen, his mother, and the grand vizier, sat down at the first, and all the lords of the court at the second, which was very long. The sultan was much pleased with the cookery, and owned he had never eaten anything more excellent. He said the same of the wines, which were delicious; but what he most of all admired, were four large sideboards, profusely furnished with large flagons, basins, and cups, all of massive gold, set with jewels. He was besides charmed with several bands of music, which were ranged along the hall, and formed most agreeable concerts.

When the sultan rose from table, he was informed that the jewellers and goldsmiths attended; upon which he returned to the hall, and showed them the window which was unfinished. "I sent for you," said he, "to fit up this window in as great perfection as the rest; examine them well and make all the dispatch you can."

The jewellers and goldsmiths examined the three-and-twenty windows with great attention, and after they had consulted together, to know what each could furnish, they returned, and presented themselves before the sultan, whose principal jeweller, undertaking to speak for the rest, said, "Sir, we are all willing to exert our utmost care and industry to obey your majesty; but among us all we cannot furnish jewels enough for so great a work." "I have more than are necessary," said the sultan; "come to my palace, and you shall choose what may answer your purpose."

When the sultan returned to his palace, he ordered his jewels to be brought out, and the jewellers took a great quantity, particularly those Alla ad Deen had made him a present of, which they soon used, without making any greet advance in their work. They came again several times for more, and in a month's time had not finished half their work. In short, they used all the jewels the sultan had, and borrowed of the vizier, but yet the work was not half done.

A]]a ad Deen, who knew that all the sultan's endeavours to make this window like the rest were in vain, sent for the jewellers and goldsmiths, and not only commanded them to desist from their work, but ordered them to undo what they had begun, and to carry all their jewels back to the sultan and to the vizier. They undid in a few hours what they had been six weeks about, and retired, leaving Alla ad Deen alone in the hall. He took the lamp which he carried about him, rubbed it, and presently the genie appeared. "Genie," said Alla ad Deen, "I ordered thee to leave one of the four-and-twenty windows of this hall imperfect, and thus hast executed my commands punctually; now I would have thee make it like the rest." The genie immediately disappeared. Alla ad Deen went out of the hall, and returning soon after, found the window, as he wished it to be, like the others.

In the meantime, the jewellers and goldsmiths repaired to the palace, and were introduced into the sultan's presence; where the chief jeweller, presenting the precious stones which he had brought back, said, in the name of all the rest, "Your majesty knows how long we have been upon the work you were pleased to set us about, in which we used all imaginable industry. It was far advanced, when prince Alla ad Deen commanded us not only to leave off, but to undo what we had already begun, and bring your majesty your jewels back." The sultan asked them if Alla ad Deen had given them any reason for so doing, and they answering that he had given them none, he ordered a horse to be brought, which he mounted, and rode to his son-in law's palace, with some few attendants on foot. When he came there, he alighted at the stair- case, which led up to the hall with the twenty-four windows, and went directly up to it, without giving previous notice to Alla ad Deen; but it happened that at that very juncture Alla ad Deen was opportunely there, and had just time to receive him at the door.

The sultan, without giving Alla ad Deen time to complain obligingly of his not having given notice, that he might have acquitted himself with the more becoming respect, said to him, "Son, I come myself to know the reason why you commanded the jewellers to desist from work, and take to pieces what they had done."

Alla ad Deen disguised the true reason, which was, that the sultan was not rich enough in jewels to be at so great an expense, but said, "I beg of you now to see if any thing is wanting."

The sultan went directly to the window which was left imperfect, and when he found it like the rest, fancied that he was mistaken, examined the two windows on each side, and afterwards all the four-and-twenty; but when he was convinced that the window which several workmen had been so long about was finished in so short a time, he embraced Alla ad Deen, and kissed him between his eyes. "My son," said he, "what a man you are to do such surprising things always in the twinkling of an eye; there is not your fellow in the world; the more I know, the more I admire you."

Alla ad Deen received these praises from the sultan with modesty, and replied in these words: "Sir, it is a great honour to me to deserve your majesty's good-will and approbation, and I assure you, I shall study to deserve them more."

The sultan returned to his palace, but would not let Alla ad Deen attend him. When he came there, he found his grand vizier waiting, to whom he related the wonder he had witnessed, with the utmost admiration, and in such terms as left the minister no room to doubt but that the facet was as the sultan related it; though he was the more confirmed in his belief, that Alla ad Deen's palace was the effect of enchantment, as he had told the sultan the first moment he saw it. He was going to repeat the observation, but the sultan interrupted him, and said, "You told me so once before; I see, vizier, you have not forgotten your son's espousals to my daughter." The frank vizier plainly saw how much the sultan was prepossessed, therefore avoided disputes and let him remain in his own opinion. The sultan as soon as he rose every morning went into the closet, to look at Alla ad Deen's palace, and would go many times in a day to contemplate and admire it.

Alla ad Deen did not confine himself in his palace; but took care to shew himself once or twice a week in the town, by going sometimes to one mosque, and sometimes to another, to prayers, or to visit the grand vizier, who affected to pay his court to him on certain days, or to do the principal lords of the court the honour to return their visits after he had regaled them at his palace. Every time he went out, he caused two slaves, who walked by the side of his horse, to throw handfuls of money among the people as he passed through the streets and squares, which were generally on those occasions crowded. Besides, no one came to his palace gates to ask alms, but returned satisfied with his liberality. In short, he so divided his time, that not a week passed but he went either once or twice a hunting, sometimes in the environs of the city, sometimes farther off; at which time the villages through which he passed felt the effects of his generosity, which gained him the love and blessings of the people: and it was common for them to swear by his head. Thus, without giving the ]east umbrage to the sultan, to whom he paid all imaginable respect, Alla ad Deen, by his affable behaviour and liberality, had won the affections of the people, and was more beloved than the sultan himself. With all these good qualities he shewed a courage and a zeal for the public good which could not be sufficiently applauded. He gave sufficient proofs of both in a revolt on the borders of the kingdom; for he no sooner understood that the sultan was levying an army to disperse the rebels than he begged the command of it, which he found not difficult to obtain. As soon as he was empowered, he marched with so much expedition, that the sultan heard of the defeat of the rebels before he had received an account of his arrival in the army. And though this action rendered his name famous throughout the kingdom, it made no alteration in his disposition; but he was as affable after his victory as before.

Alla ad Deen had conducted himself in this manner several years, when the African magician, who undesignedly had been the instrument of raising him to so high a pitch of prosperity, recalled him to his recollection in Africa, whither, after his expedition, he had returned. And though he was almost persuaded that Alla ad Deen must have died miserably in the subterraneous abode where he had left him, yet he had the curiosity to inform himself about his end with certainty; and as he was a great geomancer, he took out of a cupboard a square covered box, which he used in his geomantic observations: then sat himself down on the sofa, set it before him, and uncovered it. After he had prepared and levelled the sand which was in it, with an intention to discover whether or no Alla ad Deen had died in the subterraneous abode, he cast the points, drew the figures, and formed a horoscope, by which, when he came to examine it, he found that Alla ad Deen, instead of dying in the cave, had made his escape, lived splendidly, was in possession of the wonderful lamp, had married a princess, and was much honoured and respected.

The magician no sooner understood by the rules of his diabolical art, that Alla ad Deen had arrived to this height of good fortune, than his face became inflamed with anger, and he cried out in a rage, "This sorry tailor's son has discovered the secret and virtue of the lamp! I believed his death to be certain; but find that he enjoys the fruit of my labour and study! I will, however, prevent his enjoying it long, or perish in the attempt." He was not a great while deliberating on what he should do, but the next morning mounted a barb, set forwards, and never stopped but to refresh himself and horse, till he arrived at the capital of China. He alighted, took up his lodging in a khan, and stayed there the remainder of the day and the night, to refresh himself after so long a journey.

The next day, his first object was to inquire what people said of Alla ad Deen; and, taking a walk through the town, he went to the most public and frequented places, where persons of the best distinction met to drink a certain warm liquor, which he had drunk often during his former visit.

As soon as he had seated himself, he was presented with a cup of it, which he took; but listening at the same time to the discourse of the company on each side of him, he heard them talking of Alla ad Deen's palace. When he had drunk off his liquor, he joined them, and taking this opportunity, inquired particularly of what palace they spoke with so much commendation. "From whence come you?" said the person to whom he addressed himself; "you must certainly be a stranger not to have seen or heard talk of Prince Alla ad Deen's palace" (for he was called so after his marriage with the princess). "I do not say," continued the man, "that it is one of the wonders of the world, but that it is the only wonder of the world; since nothing so grand, rich, and magnificent was ever beheld. Certainly you must have come from a great distance, or some obscure corner, not to have heard of it, for it must have been talked of all over the world. Go and see it, and then judge whether I have told you more than the truth." "Forgive my ignorance," replied the African magician; "I arrived here but yesterday, and came from the farthest part of Africa, where the fame of this palace had not reached when I came away. The business which brought me hither was so urgent, that my sole objets was to arrive as soon as I could, without stopping anywhere, or making any acquaintance. But I will not fail to go and see it; my impatience is so great, I will go immediately and satisfy my curiosity, if you will do me the favour to shew me the way thither."

The person to whom the African magician addressed himself took a pleasure in shewing him the way to Alla ad Deen's palace, and he got up and went thither instantly. When he came to the palace, and had examined it on all sides, he doubted not but that Alla ad Deen had made use of the lamp to build it. Without attending to the inability of a poor tailor's son, he knew that none but the genii, the slaves of the lamp, the attaining of which he had missed, could have performed such wonders; and piqued to the quick at Alla ad Deen's happiness and splendour, he returned to the khan where he lodged.

The next point was to ascertain where the lamp was; whether Alla ad Deen carried it about with him, or where he kept it; and this he was to discover by an operation of geomancy. As soon as he entered his lodging, he took his square box of sand, which he always carried with him when he travelled, and after he had performed some operations, he found that the lamp was in Alla ad Deen's palace, and so great was his joy at the discovery that he could hardly contain himself. "Well," said he, "I shall have the lamp, and defy Alla ad Deen's preventing my carrying it off, and making him sink to his original meanness, from which he has taken so high a flight."

It was Alla ad Deen's misfortune at that time to be absent in the chase for eight days, and only three were expired, which the magician came to know by this means. After he had performed the magical operation, which gave him so much joy, he went to the superintendent of the khan, entered into conversation with him on indifferent subjects, and among the rest, told him he had been to see Alla ad Deen's palace; and after exaggerating on all that he had seen most worthy of observation, added, "But my curiosity leads me farther, and I shall not be satisfied till I have seen the person to whom this wonderful edifice belongs." "That will be no difficult matter," replied the master of the khan, "there is not a day passes but he gives an opportunity when he is in town, but at present he is not at the palace, and has been gone these three days on a hunting-match, which will last eight.

The magician wanted to know no more; he took his leave of the superintendent of the khan, and returning to his own chamber, said to himself, "This is an opportunity I ought by no means to neglect, but must make the best use of it." To that end, he went to a coppersmith, and asked for a dozen copper lamps: the master of the shop told him he had not so many by him, but if he would have patience till the next day, he would have them ready. The magician appointed his time, and desired him to take care that they should be handsome and well polished. After promising to pay him well, he returned to his inn.

The next day the magician called for the twelve lamps, paid the man his full price, put them into a basket which he bought on purpose, and with the basket hanging on his arm, went directly to Alla ad Deen's palace: as he approached he began crying, "Who will change old lamps for new ones?" As he went along, a crowd of children collected, who hooted, and thought him, as did all who chanced to be passing by, a madman or a fool, to offer to change new lamps for old ones.

The African magician regarded not their scoffs, hootings, or all they could say to him, but still continued crying, "Who will change old lamps for new?" He repeated this so often, walking backwards and forwards in front of the palace, that the princess, who was then in the hall with the four-and-twenty windows, hearing a man cry something, and not being able to distinguish his words, owing to the hooting of the children and increasing mob about him, sent one of her women slaves to know what he cried.

The slave was not long before she returned, and ran into the hall, laughing so heartily, that the princess could not forbear herself. "Well, giggler," said the princess, "will you tell me what you laugh at?" "Madam," answered the slave, laughing still, "who can forbear laughing, to see a fool with a basket on his arm, full of fine new lamps, ask to change them for old ones; the children and mob, crowding about him so that he can hardly stir, make all the noise they can in derision of him."

Another female slave hearing this, said, "Now you speak of lamps, I know not whether the princess may have observed it, but there is an old one upon a shelf of the prince's robing-room, and whoever owns it will not be sorry to find a new one in its stead. If the princess chooses, she may have the pleasure of trying if this fool is so silly as to give a new lamp for an old one, without taking any thing for the exchange."

The lamp this slave spoke of was the wonderful lamp, which Alla ad Deen had laid upon the shelf before he departed for the chase; this he had done several times before; but neither the princess, the slaves, nor the eunuchs, had ever taken notice of it. At all other times except when hunting he carried it about his person.

The princess, who knew not the value of this lamp, and the interest that Alla ad Deen, not to mention herself, had to keep it safe, entered into the pleasantry, and commanded a eunuch to take it, and make the exchange. The eunuch obeyed, went out of the hall, and no sooner got to the palace gates than he saw the African magician, called to him, and shewing him the old lamp, said, "Give me a new lamp for this."

The magician never doubted but this was the lamp he wanted. There could be no other such in this palace, where every utensil was gold or silver. He snatched it eagerly out of the eunuch's hand, and thrusting it as far as he could into his breast, offered him his basket, and bade him choose which he liked best. The eunuch picked out one, and carried it to the princess; but the exchange was no sooner made than the place rung with the shouts of the children, deriding the magician's folly.

The African magician gave everybody leave to laugh as much as they pleased; he stayed not long near the palace, but made the best of his way, without crying any longer, "New lamps for old ones." His end was answered, and by his silence he got rid of the children and the mob.

As soon as he was out of the square between the two palaces, he hastened down the streets which were the least frequented; and having no more occasion for his lamps or basket, set all down in an alley where nobody saw him: then going down another street or two, he walked till he came to one of the city gates, and pursuing his way through the suburbs, which were very extensive, at length reached a lonely spot, where he stopped for a time to execute the design he had in contemplation, never caring for his horse which he had left at the khan, but thinking himself perfectly compensated by the treasure he had acquired.

In this place the African magician passed the remainder of the day, till the darkest time of night, when he pulled the lamp out of his breast and rubbed it. At that summons the genie appeared, and said, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those who have that lamp in their hands; both I and the other slaves of the lamp." "I command thee," replied the magician, "to transport me immediately and the palace which thou and the other slaves of the lamp have built in this city, with all the people in it, to Africa." The genie made no reply, but with the assistance of the other genii, the slaves of the lamp immediately transported him and the palace entire, to the spot whither he was desired to convey it.

As soon as the sultan rose the next morning, according to custom, he went into his closet, to have the pleasure of contemplating and admiring Alla ad Deen's palace; but when he first looked that way, and instead of a palace saw an empty space such as it was before the palace was built, he thought he was mistaken, and rubbed his eyes; but when he looked again, he still saw nothing more the second time than the first, though the weather was fine, the sky clear, and the dawn advancing had made all objects very distinct. He looked again in front, to the right and left, but beheld nothing more than he had formerly been used to see from his window. His amazement was so great, that he stood for some time turning his eyes to the spot where the palace had stood, but where it was no longer to be seen. He could not comprehend how so large a palace as Alla ad Deen's, which he had seen plainly every day for some years, and but the day before, should vanish so soon, and not leave the least remains behind. "Certainly," said he to himself, "I am not mistaken; it stood there: if it had fallen, the materials would have lain in heaps; and if it had been swallowed up by an earthquake, there would be some mark left." At last, though he was convinced that no palace stood now opposite his own, he could not help staying some time at his window, to see whether he might not be mistaken. At last he retired to his apartment, not without looking behind him before he quitted the spot ordered the grand vizier to be sent for with expedition, and in the meantime sat down, his mind agitated by so many different conjectures that he knew not what to resolve.

The grand vizier did not make the sultan wait long for him, but came with so much precipitation, that neither he nor his attendants, as they passed, missed Alla ad Deen's palace; neither did the porters, when they opened the palace gates observe any alteration.

When he came into the sultan's presence, he said to him, ‘"The haste in which your majesty sent for me makes me believe something extraordinary has happened, since you know that this is a day of public audience, and I should not have failed of attending at the usual time." "Indeed," said the sultan, "it is something very extraordinary, as you say, and you will allow it to be so: tell me what is become of Alla ad Deen's palace?" "His palace!" replied the grand vizier, in amazement, "I thought as I passed it stood in its usual place; such substantial buildings are not so easily removed." "Go into my closet," said the sultan, "and tell me if you can see it."

The grand vizier went into the closet, where he was struck with no less amazement than the sultan had been. When he was well assured that there was not the least appearance of this palace, he returned to the sultan. "Well," said the sultan, :have you seen Alla ad Deen's palace?" "No," answered the vizier; "but your majesty may remember that I had the honour to tell you, that palace, which was the subject of your admiration, with all its immense riches, was only the work of magic and a magician; but your majesty would not pay the least attention to what I said."

The sultan, who could not deny what the grand vizier had represented to him, flew into the greater passion: "Where is that impostor, that wicked wretch," said he, "that I may have his head taken off immediately?" "Sir," replied the grand vizier, "it is some days since he came to take his leave of your majesty, on pretence of hunting; he ought to be sent for, to know what is become of his palace, since he cannot be ignorant of what has been transacted." "That is too great an indulgence," replied the sultan: "command a detachment of horse to bring him to me loaded with chains." The grand vizier gave orders for a detachment, and instructed the officer who commanded them how they were to act, that Alla ad Deen might not escape. The detachment pursued their orders; and about five or six leagues from the town met him returning from the chase. The officer advanced respectfully, and informed him the sultan was so impatient to see him, that he had sent his party to accompany him home.

Alla ad Deen had not the least suspicion of the true reason of their meeting him; but when he came within half a league of the city, the detachment surrounded him, when the officer addressed himself to him, and said, "Prince, it is with great regret that I declare to you the sultan's order to arrest you, and to carry you before him as a criminal: I beg of you not to take it ill that we acquit ourselves of our duty, and to forgive us."

Alla ad Deen, who felt himself innocent, was much surprised at this declaration, and asked the officer if he knew what crime he was accused of; who replied, he did not. Then Alla ad Deen, finding that his retinue was much interior to this detachment, alighted off his horse, and said to the officers, "Execute your orders; I am not conscious that I have committed any offence against the sultan's person or government." A heavy chain was immediately put about his neck, and fastened round his body, so that both his arms were pinioned down; the officer then put himself at the head of the detachment, and one of the troopers taking hold of the end of the chain and proceeding after the officer, led Alla ad Deen, who was obliged to follow him on foot, into the city.

When this detachment entered the suburbs, the people, who saw Alla ad Deen thus led as a state criminal, never doubted but that his head was to be cut off; and as he was generally beloved, some took sabres and other arms; and those who had none gathered stones, and followed the escort. The last division faced about to disperse them; but their numbers presently increased so much, that the soldiery began to think it would be well if they could get into the sultan's palace before Alla ad Deen was rescued; to prevent which, according to the different extent of the streets, they took care to cover the ground by extending or closing. In this manner they with much difficulty arrived at the palace square, and there drew up in a line, till their officer and troopers with Alla ad Deen had got within the gates, which were immediately shut.

Alla ad Deen was carried before the sultan, who waited for him, attended by the grand vizier, in a balcony; and as soon as he saw him, he ordered the executioner, who waited there for the purpose, to strike off his head without hearing him or giving him leave to clear himself.

As soon as the executioner had taken off the chain that was fastened about Alla ad Deen's neck and body, and laid down a skin stained with the blood of the many he had executed, he made the supposed criminal kneel down, and tied a bandage over his eyes. Then drawing his sabre, took his aim by flourishing it three times in the air, waiting for the sultan's giving the signal to strike.

At that instant the grand vizier perceiving that the populace had forced the guard of horse, crowded the great square before the palace, and were scaling the walls in several places, and beginning to pull them down to force their way in; he said to the sultan, before he gave the signal, "I beg of your majesty to consider what you are going to do, since you will hazard your palace being destroyed; and who knows what fatal consequence may follow?" "My palace forced!" replied the sultan; "who can have that audacity?" "Sir," answered the grand vizier, "if your majesty will but cast your eyes towards the great square, and on the palace walls, you will perceive the truth of what I say."

The sultan was so much alarmed when he saw so great a crowd, and how enraged they were, that he ordered the executioner to put his sabre ;immediately into the scabbard, to unbind Alla ad Deen, and at the same time commanded the porters to declare to the people that the sultan had pardoned him, and that they might retire.

Those who had already got upon the walls, and were witnesses of what had passed, abandoned their design and got quickly down, overjoyed that they had saved the life of a man they dearly loved, and published the news amongst the rest, which was presently confirmed by the mace-bearers from the top of the terraces. The justice which the sultan had done to Alla ad Deen soon disarmed the populace of their rage; the tumult abated, and the mob dispersed.

When Alla ad Deen found himself at liberty, he turned towards the balcony, and perceiving the sultan, raised his voice, and said to him in a moving manner, "I beg of your majesty to add one favour more to that which I have already received, which is, to let me know my crime?" "Your crime," answered the sultan; "perfidious wretch! Do you not know it? Come hither, and I will shew it you."

Alla ad Deen went up, when the sultan, going before him without looking at him, said, "Follow me;" and then led him into his closet. When he came to the door, he said, "Go in; you ought to know whereabouts your palace stood: look round and tell me what is become of it?"

Alla ad Deen looked, but saw nothing. He perceived the spot upon which his palace had stood; but not being able to divine how it had disappeared, was thrown into such great confusion and amazement, that he could not return one word of answer.

The sultan growing impatient, demanded of him again, "Where is your palace, and what is become of my daughter?" Alla ad Deen, breaking silence, replied, "Sir, I perceive and own that the palace which I have built is not in its place, but is vanished; neither can I tell your majesty where it may be, but can assure you I had no concern in its removal."

"I am not so much concerned about your palace," replied the sultan, "I value my daughter ten thousand times more, and would have you find her out, otherwise I will cause your head to be struck off, and no consideration shall divert me from my purpose."

"I beg of your majesty," answered Alla ad Deen, "to grant me forty days to make my inquiries; and if in that time I have not the success I wish, I will offer my head at the foot of your throne, to be disposed of at your pleasure." "I give you the forty days you ask," said the sultan; "but think not to abuse the favour I shew you, by imagining you shall escape my resentment; for I will find you out in whatsoever part of the world you may conceal yourself."

Alla ad Deen went out of the sultan's presence with great humiliation, and in a condition worthy of pity. He crossed the courts of the palace, hanging down his head, and in such great confusion, that he durst not lift up his eyes. The principal officers of the court, who had all professed themselves his friends, and whom he had never disobliged, instead of going up to him to comfort him, and offer him a retreat in their houses, turned their backs to avoid seeing him. But had they accosted him with a word of comfort or offer of service, they would have no more known Alla ad Deen. He did not know himself, and was no longer in his senses, as plainly appeared by his asking everybody he met, and at every house, if they had seen his palace, or could tell him any news of it.

These questions made the generality believe that Alla ad Deen was mad. Some laughed at him, but people of sense and humanity, particularly those who had had any connection of business or friendship with him, really pitied him. For three days he rambled about the city in this manner, without coming to any resolution, or eating anything but what some compassionate people forced him to take out of charity.

At last, as he could no longer in his unhappy condition stay in a city where he had lately been next to the sultan, he took the road to the country; and after he had traversed several fields in wild uncertainty, at the approach of night came to the bank of a river. There, possessed by his despair, he said to himself, "Where shall I seek my palace? In what province, country, or part of the world, shall I find that and my dear princess, whom the sultan expects from me? I shall never succeed; I had better free myself at once from fruitless endeavours, and such bitter grief as preys upon me." He was just going to throw himself into the river, but, as a good Moosulmaun, true to his religion, he thought he should not do it without first saying his prayers. Going to prepare himself, he went to the river's brink, in order to perform the usual ablutions. The place being steep and slippery, from the water beating against it, he slid down, and had certainly fallen into the river, but for a little rock which projected about two feet out of the earth. Happily also for him he still had on the ring which the African magician had put on his finger before he went down into the subterraneous abode to fetch the precious lamp. In slipping down the bank he rubbed the ring so hard by holding on the rock, that immediately the same genie appeared whom he had seen in the cave where the magician had left him. "What wouldst thou have?" said the genie. "I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those that have that ring on their finger; both I and the other slaves of the ring."

Alla ad Deen, agreeably surprised at an apparition he so little expected in his present calamity, replied, "Save my life, genie, a second time, either by shewing me to the place where the palace I caused to be built now stands, or immediately transporting it back where it first stood." "What you command me," answered the genie, "is not wholly in my power; I am only the slave of the ring; you must address yourself to the slave of the lamp." "If that be the case," replied Alla ad Deen, "I command thee, by the power of the ring, to transport me to the spot where my palace stands, in what part of the world soever it may be, and set me down under the window of the princess Buddir al Buddoor." These words were no sooner out of his mouth, than the genie transported him into Africa, to the midst of a large plain, where his palace stood, at no great distance from a city, and placing him exactly under the window of the princess's apartment, left him. All this was done almost in an instant.

Alla ad Deen, notwithstanding the darkness of the night, knew his palace and the princess Buddir al Buddoor's apartment again; but as the night was far advanced, and all was quiet in the palace, he retired to some distance, and sat down at the foot of a large tree. There, full of hopes, and reflecting on his happiness, for which he was indebted to chance, he found himself in a much more comfortable situation than when he was arrested and carried before the sultan; being now delivered from the immediate danger of losing his life. He amused himself for some time with these agreeable thoughts; but not having slept for two days, was not able to resist the drowsiness which came upon him, but fell fast asleep.

The next morning, as soon as day appeared, Alla ad Deen was agreeably awakened by the singing not only of the birds which had roosted in the tree under which he had passed the night, but also of those which frequented the thick groves of the palace garden. When he cast his eyes on that wonderful edifice, he felt inexpressible joy at thinking he might possibly soon be master of it again, and once more possess his dear princess Buddir al Buddoor. Pleased with these hopes, he immediately arose, went towards the princess's apartment, and walked some time under her window in expectation of her rising, that he might see her. During this expectation, he began to consider with himself whence the cause of his misfortune had proceeded; and after mature reflection, no longer doubted that it was owing to having trusted the lamp out of his sight. He accused himself of negligence in letting it be a moment away from him. But what puzzled him most was, that he could not imagine who had been so envious of his happiness. He would soon have guessed this, if he had known that both he and his palace were in Africa, the very name of which would soon have made him remember the magician his declared enemy; but the genie, the slave of the ring, had not made the least mention of the name of the country, nor had Alla ad Deen inquired.

The princess rose earlier that morning than she had done since her transportation into Africa by the magician, whose presence she was forced to support once a day, because he was master of the palace; but she had always treated him so harshly that he dared not reside in it. As she was dressing, one of the women looking through the window, perceived Alla ad Deen, and instantly told her mistress. The princess, who could not believe the joyful tidings, hastened herself to the window, and seeing Alla ad Deen, immediately opened it. The noise of opening the window made Alla ad Deen turn his head that way, and perceiving the princess he saluted her with an air that expressed his joy. "To lose no time," said she to him, "I have sent to have the private door opened for you; enter, and come up."

The private door, which was just under the princess's apartment, was soon opened, and Alla ad Deen conducted up into the chamber. It is impossible to express the joy of both at seeing each other, after so cruel a separation. After embracing and shedding tears of joy, they sat down, and Alla ad Deen said, "I beg of you, princess, in God's name, before we talk of anything else, to tell me, both for your own sake, the sultan your father's, and mine, what is become of an old lamp which I left upon a shelf in my robing-chamber, when I departed for the chase."

"Alas! dear husband," answered the princess, "I was afraid our misfortune might be owing to that lamp: and what grieves me most is, that I have been the cause of it." "Princess," replied Alla ad Deen, "do not blame yourself, since it was entirely my fault, for I ought to have taken more care of it. But let us now think only of repairing the loss; tell me what has happened, and into whose hands it has fallen."

The princess then related how she had changed the old lamp for a new one, which she ordered to be fetched, that he might see it, and how the next morning she found herself in the unknown country they were then in, which she was told was Africa, by the traitor, who had transported her thither by his magic art.

"Princess," said Alla ad Deen, interrupting her, "you have informed me who the traitor is, by telling me we are in Africa. He is the most perfidious of men; but this is neither a time nor place to give you a full account of his villanies. I desire you only to tell me what he has done with the lamp, and where he has put it?" "He carries it carefully wrapped up in his bosom," said the princess; "and this I can assure you, because he pulled it out before me, and shewed it to me in triumph."

"Princess," said Alla ad Deen, "do not be displeased that I trouble you with so many questions, since they are equally important to us both. But to come to what most particularly concerns me; tell me, I conjure you, how so wicked and perfidious a man treats you?" "Since I have been here," replied the princess, "he repairs once every day to see me; and I am persuaded the little satisfaction he receives from his visits makes him come no oftener. All his addresses tend to persuade me to break that faith I have pledged to you, and to take him for my husband; giving me to understand, I need not entertain hopes of ever seeing you again, for that you were dead, having had your head struck off by the sultan my father's order. He added, to justify himself, that you were an ungrateful wretch; that your good fortune was owing to him, and a great many other things of that nature which I forbear to repeat: but as he received no other answer from me but grievous complaints and tears, he was always forced to retire with as little satisfaction as he came. I doubt not his intention is to allow me time to overcome my grief, in hopes that afterwards I may change my sentiments; and if I persevere in an obstinate refusal, to use violence. But my dear husband's presence removes all my apprehensions."

"I am confident my attempts to punish the magician will not be in vain," replied Alla ad Deen, "since my princess's fears are removed, and I think I have found the means to deliver you from both your enemy and mine; to execute this design, it is necessary for me to go to the town. I shall return by noon, will then communicate my design, and what must be done by you to ensure success. But that you may not be surprised, I think it proper to acquaint you, that I shall change my apparel, and beg of you to give orders that I may not wait long at the private door, but that it may be opened at the first knock;" all which the princess promised to observe.

When Alla ad Deen was out of the palace, he looked round him on all sides, and perceiving a peasant going into the country, hastened after him; and when he had overtaken him, made a proposal to him to change habits, which the man agreed to. When they had made the exchange, the countryman went about his business, and Alla ad Deen to the city. After traversing several streets, he came to that part of the town where all descriptions of merchants and artisans had their particular streets, according to their trades. He went into that of the druggists; and going into one of the largest and best furnished shops, asked the druggist if he had a certain powder which he named.

The druggist, judging Alla ad Deen by his habit to be very poor, and that he had not money enough to pay for it, told him he had it, but that it was very dear; upon which Alla ad Deen penetrated his thoughts, pulled out his purse, and shewing him some gold, asked for half a dram of the powder; which the druggist weighed, wrapped up in paper, and gave him, telling him the price was a piece of gold. Alla ad Deen put the money into his hand, and staying no longer in the town than just to get a little refreshment, returned to the palace, where he waited not long at the private door. When he came into the princess's apartment, he said to her, "Princess, perhaps the aversion you tell me you have for your ravisher may be an objection to your executing what I am going to propose; but permit me to say it is proper that you should at this juncture dissemble a little, and do violence to your inclinations, if you would deliver yourself from him, and give my lord the sultan your father the satisfaction of seeing you again. "If you will take my advice," continued he, "dress yourself this moment in one of your richest habits, and when the African magician comes, make no difficulty to give him the best reception; receive him with a cheerful countenance, so that he may imagine time has removed your affliction and disgust at his addresses. In your conversation, let him understand that you strive to forget me; and that he may be the more fully convinced of your sincerity, invite him to sup with you, and tell him you should be glad to taste of some of the best wines of his country. He will presently go to fetch you some. During his absence, put into one of the cups you are accustomed to drink out of this powder, and setting it by, charge the slave you may order that night to attend you, on a signal you shall agree upon, to bring that cup to you. When the magician and you have eaten and drunk as much as you choose, let her bring you the cup, and then change cups with him. He will esteem it so great a favour that he will not refuse, but eagerly quaff it off; but no sooner will he have drunk, than you will see him fall backwards. If you have any reluctance to drink out of his cup, you may pretend only to do it, without fear of being discovered; for the effect of the powder is so quick, that he will not have time to know whether you drink or not."

When Alla ad Deen had finished, "I own," answered the princess, "I shall do myself great violence in consenting to make the magician such advances as I see are absolutely necessary; but what cannot one resolve to do against a cruel enemy? I will therefore follow your advice, since both my repose and yours depend upon it. "After the princess had agreed to the measures proposed by Alla ad Deen, he took his leave, and went and spent the rest of the day in the neighbourhood of the palace till it was night, and he might safely return to the private door.

The princess, who had remained inconsolable at being separated not only from her husband, whom she had loved from the first moment, and still continued to love more out of inclination than duty, but also from the sultan her father, who had always showed the most tender and paternal affection for her, had, ever since their cruel separation, lived in great neglect of her person. She had almost forgotten the neatness so becoming persons of her sex and quality, particularly after the first time the magician paid her a visit; and she had understood by some of the women, who knew him again, that it was he who had taken the old lamp in exchange for a new one, which rendered the sight of him more abhorred. However, the opportunity of taking the revenge he deserved made her resolve to gratify Alla ad Deen. As soon, therefore, as he was gone, she sat down to dress, and was attired by her women to the best advantage in the richest habit of her wardrobe. Her girdle was of the finest and largest diamonds set in gold, her necklace of pearls, six on a side, so well proportioned to that in the middle, which was the largest ever seen, and invaluable, that the greatest sultanesses would have been proud to have been adorned with only two of the smallest. Her bracelets, which were of diamonds and rubies intermixed, corresponded admirably to the richness of the girdle and necklace.

When the princess Buddir al Buddoor was completely dressed, she consulted her glass and women upon her adjustment; and when she found she wanted no charms to flatter the foolish passion of the African magician, she sat down on a sofa expecting his arrival.

The magician came at the usual hour, and as soon as he entered the great hall where the princess waited to receive him, she rose with an enchanting grace and smile, and pointed with her hand to the most honourable place, waiting till he sat down, that she might sit at the same time which was a civility she had never shown him before.

The African magician, dazzled more with the lustre of the princess's eyes than the glittering of the jewels with which she was adorned, was much surprised. The smiling and graceful air with which she received him, so opposite to her former behaviour, quite fascinated his heart.

When he was seated, the princess, to free him from his embarrassment, broke silence first, locking at him all the time in such a manner as to make him believe that he was not so odious to her as she had given him to understand hitherto and said, "You are doubtless amazed to find me so much altered to-day; but your surprise will not be so great when I acquaint you, that I am naturally of a disposition so opposite to melancholy and grief, sorrow and uneasiness, that I always strive to put them as far away as possible when I find the subject of them is past. I have reflected on what you told me of Alla ad Deen's fate, and know my father's temper so well, that I am persuaded with you he could not escape the terrible effects of the sultan's rage; therefore, should I continue to lament him all my life, my tears cannot recall him. For this reason, since I have paid all the duties decency requires of me to his memory, now he is in the grave I think I ought to endeavour to comfort myself. These are the motives of the change you see in me; I am resolved to banish melancholy entirely; and, persuaded that you will bear me company tonight, I have ordered a supper to be prepared; but as I have no wines but those of China, I have a great desire to taste of the produce of Africa, and doubt not your procuring some of the best."

The African magician, who had looked upon the happiness of getting so soon and so easily into the princess Buddir al Buddoor's good graces as impossible, could not think of words expressive enough to testify how sensible he was of her favours: but to put an end the sooner to a conversation which would have embarrassed him, if he had engaged farther in it, he turned it upon the wines of Africa, and said, "Of all the advantages Africa can boast, that of producing the most excellent wines is one of the principal. I have a vessel of seven years old, which has never been broached; and it is indeed not praising it too much to say it is the finest wine in the world. If my princess," added he, "will give me leave, I will go and fetch two bottles, and return again immediately." "I should be sorry to give you that trouble," replied the princess; "you had better send for them." "It is necessary I should go myself," answered the African magician; "for nobody but myself knows where the key of the cellar is laid, or has the secret to unlock the door." "If it be so," said the princess, "make haste back; for the longer you stay, the greater will be my impatience, and we shall sit down to supper as soon as you return."

The African magician, full of hopes of his expected happiness, rather flew than ran, and returned quickly with the wine. The princess, not doubting but he would make haste, put with her own hand the powder Alla ad Deen had given her into the cup set apart for that purpose. They sat down at the table opposite to each other, the magician's back towards the sideboard. The princess presented him with the best at the table, and said to him, "If you please, I will entertain you with a concert of vocal and instrumental music; but, as we are only two, I think conversation maybe more agreeable." This the magician took as a new favour.

After they had eaten some time, the princess called for some wine, drank the magician's health, and afterwards said to him, "Indeed you had a full right to commend your wine, since I never tasted any so delicious." "Charming princess," said he, holding in his hand the cup which had been presented to him," my wine becomes more exquisite by your approbation." "Then drink my health," replied the princess; "you will find I understand wines." He drank the princess's health, and returning the cup, said, "I think myself fortunate, princess, that I reserved this wine for so happy an occasion; and own I never before drank any in every respect so excellent."

When they had each drunk two or three cups more, the princess, who had completely charmed the African magician by her civility and obliging behaviour, gave the signal to the slave who served them with wine, bidding her bring the cup which had been filled for her, and at the same time bring the magician a full goblet. When they both had their cups in their hands, she said to him, "I know not how you express your loves in these parts when drinking together? With us in China the lover and his mistress reciprocally exchange cups, and drink each other's health." At the same time she presented to him the cup which was in her hand, and held out her hand to receive his. He hastened to make the exchange with the more pleasure, because he looked upon this favour as the most certain token of an entire conquest over the princess, which raised his rapture to the highest pitch. Before he drank, he said to her, with the cup in his hand, "Indeed, princess, we Africans are not so refined in the art of love as you Chinese: and your instructing me in a lesson I was ignorant of, informs me how sensible I ought to be of the favour done me. I shall never, lovely princess, forget my recovering, by drinking out of your cup, that life, which your cruelty, had it continued, must have made me despair of."

The princess, who began to be tired with this impertinent declaration of the African magician, interrupted him, and said, "Let us drink first, and then say what you will afterwards;" at the same time she set the cup to her lips, while the African magician, who was eager to get his wine off first, drank up the very last drop. In finishing it, he had reclined his head back to shew his eagerness, and remained some time in that state. The princess kept the cup at her lips, till she saw his eyes turn in his head, when he fell backwards lifeless on the sofa.

The princess had no occasion to order the private door to be opened to Alla ad Deen; for her women were so disposed from the great hall to the foot of the staircase, that the word was no sooner given that the African magician was fallen backwards, than the door was immediately opened.

As soon as Alla ad Deen entered the hall, he saw the magician stretched backwards on the sofa. The princess rose from her seat, and ran overjoyed to embrace him; but he stopped her, and said, "Princess, it is not yet time; oblige me by retiring to your apartment; and let me be left alone a moment, while I endeavour to transport you back to China as speedily as you were brought from thence."

When the princess, her women and eunuchs, were gone out of the hall, Alla ad Deen shut the door, and going directly to the dead body of the magician, opened his vest, took out the lamp, which was carefully wrapped up, as the princess had told him, and unfolding and rubbing it, the genie immediately appeared. "Genie," said Alla ad Deen, "I have called to command thee, on the part of thy good mistress this lamp, to transport this palace instantly into China, to the place from whence it was brought hither." The genie bowed his head in token of obedience, and disappeared. Immediately the palace was transported into China, and its removal was only felt by two little shocks, the one when it was lifted up, the other when it was set down, and both in a very short interval of time.

Alla ad Deen went to the princess's apartment, and embracing her, said, "I can assure you, princess, that your joy and mine will be complete tomorrow morning." The princess, guessing that Alla ad Deen must be hungry, ordered the dishes, served up in the great hall, to be brought down. The princess and Alla ad Deen ate as much as they thought fit, and drank of the African magician's old wine; during which time their conversation could not be otherwise than satisfactory, and then they retired to their own chamber.

>From the time of the transportation of Alla ad Deen's palace, the princess's father had been inconsolable for the loss of her. He could take no rest, and instead of avoiding what might continue his affliction, he indulged it without restraint. Before the disaster he used to go every morning into his closet to please himself with viewing the palace, he went now many times in the day to renew his tears, and plunge himself into the deepest melancholy, by the idea of no more seeing that which once gave him so much pleasure, and reflecting how he had lost what was most dear to him in this world.

The very morning of the return of Alla ad Deen's palace, the sultan went, by break of day, into his closet to indulge his sorrows. Absorbed in himself, and in a pensive mood, he cast his eyes towards the spot, expecting only to see an open space; but perceiving the vacancy filled up, he at first imagined the appearance to be the effect of a fog; looking more attentively, he was convinced beyond the power of doubt it was his son-in- law's palace. Joy and gladness succeeded to sorrow and grief. He returned immediately into his apartment, and ordered a horse to be saddled and brought to him without delay, which he mounted that instant, thinking he could not make haste enough to the palace.

Alla ad Deen, who foresaw what would happen, rose that morning by day-break, put on one of the most magnificent habits his wardrobe afforded, and went up into the hall of twenty-four windows, from whence he perceived the sultan approaching, and got down soon enough to receive him at the foot of the great staircase, and to help him to dismount. "Alla ad Deen," said the sultan, "I cannot speak to you till I have seen and embraced my daughter."

He led the sultan into the princess's apartment. The happy father embraced her with his face bathed in tears of joy; and the princess, on her side, shewed him all the testimonies of the extreme pleasure the sight of him afforded her.

The sultan was some time before he could open his lips, so great was his surprise and joy to find his daughter again, after he had given her up for lost; and the princess, upon seeing her father, let fall tears of rapture and affection.

At last the sultan broke silence, and said, "I would believe, daughter, your joy to see me makes you seem as little changed as if no misfortune had befallen you; yet I cannot be persuaded but that you have suffered much alarm; for a large palace cannot be so suddenly transported as yours has been, without causing great fright and apprehension I would have you tell me all that has happened, and conceal nothing from me."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Story of Baba Abdoollah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Story of Syed Naomaun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Story of Khaujeh Hassan al Hubbaul.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fisherman was so much rejoiced to see the lead, which he so little expected, that he much approved his wife's promise. He finished mending his nets, and went a-fishing two hours before day, according to custom. At the first throw he caught but one fish, about a yard long, and proportionable in thickness; but afterwards had a great many successful casts; though of all the fish he took none equalled the first in size.

When the fisherman had done fishing, he went home, where his first care was to think of me. I was extremely surprised, when at my work, to see him come to me with a large fish in his hand. "Neighbour," said he, "my wife promised you last night, in return for your kindness, whatever fish I should catch at my first throw; and I approved her promise. It pleased God to send me no more than this one for you, which, such as it is, I desire you to accept. I wish it had been better. Had he sent me my net full, they should all have been yours."

"Neighbour," said I, "the bit of lead which I sent you was such a trifle, that it ought not to be valued at so high a rate: neighbours should assist each other in their little wants. I have done no more for you than I should have expected from you had I been in your situation; therefore I would refuse your present, if I were not persuaded you gave it me freely, and that I should offend you; and since you will have it so, I take it, and return you my hearty thanks."

After these civilities, I took the fish, and carried it home to my wife. "Here," said I, "take this fish, which the fisherman our neighbour has made me a present of, in return for the bit of lead he sent to us for last night: I believe it is all we can expect from the present Saad made me yesterday, promising me that it would bring me good luck;" and then I told her what had passed between the two friends.

My wife was much startled to see so large a fish. "What would you have me do with it?" said she. "Our gridiron is only fit to broil small fish; and we have not a pot big enough to boil it." "That is your business," answered I; "dress it as you will, I shall like it either way." I then went to my work again.

In gutting the fish, my wife found a large diamond, which, when she washed it, she took for a piece of glass: indeed she had heard talk of diamonds, but if she had ever seen or handled any she would not have known how to distinguish them. She gave it to the youngest of our children for a plaything, and his brothers and sisters handed it about from one to another, to admire its brightness and beauty.

At night when the lamp was lighted, and the children were still playing with the diamond, they perceived that it gave a light, when my wife, who was getting them their supper, stood between them and the lamp; upon which they snatched it from one another to try it; and the younger children fell a-crying, that the elder would not let them have it long enough. But as a little matter amuses children, and makes them squabble and fall out, my wife and I took no notice of their noise, which presently ceased, when the bigger ones supped with us, and my wife had given the younger each their share.

After supper the children got together again, and began to make the same noise. I then called to the eldest to know what was the matter, who told me it was about a piece of glass, which gave a light when his back was to the lamp. I bade him bring it to me, made the experiment myself, and it appeared so extraordinary, that I asked my wife what it was. She told me it was a piece of glass, which she had found in gutting the fish.

I thought no more than herself but that it was a bit of glass, but I was resolved to make a farther experiment of it; and therefore bade my wife put the lamp in the chimney, which she did, and still found that the supposed piece of glass gave so great a light, that we might see to go to bed without the lamp. So I put it out, and placed the bit of glass upon the chimney to light us. "Look," said I, "this is another advantage that Saad's piece of lead procures us: it will spare us the expense of oil."

When the children saw the lamp was put out, and the bit of glass supplied the place, they cried out so loud, and made so great a noise from astonishment, that it was enough to alarm the neighbourhood; and before my wife and I could quiet them we were forced to make a greater noise, nor could we silence them till we had put them to bed; where after talking a long while in their way about the wonderful light of a bit of glass, they fell asleep. After they were asleep, my wife and I went to bed by them; and next morning, without thinking any more of the glass, I went to my work as usual; which ought not to seem strange for such a man as I, who had never seen any diamonds, or if I had, never attended to their value.

But before I proceed, I must tell your majesty that there was but a very slight partition-wall between my house and my next neighbour's, who was a very rich Jew, and a jeweller; and the chamber that he and his wife lay in joined to ours. They were both in bed, and the noise my children made awakened them.

The next morning the jeweller's wife came to mine to complain of being disturbed out of their first sleep. "Good neighbour Rachel," (which was the Jew's wife's name,) said my wife, "I am very sorry for what happened, and hope you will excuse it: you know it was caused by the children, and they will laugh and cry for a trifle. Come in, and I will shew you what was the occasion of the noise."

The Jewess went in with her, and my wife taking the diamond (for such it really was, and a very extraordinary one) out of the chimney, put it into her hands. "See here," said she, "it was this piece of glass that caused all the noise;" and while the Jewess, who understood all sorts of precious stones, was examining the diamond with admiration, my wife told her how she found it in the fish's belly, and what happened.

"Indeed, Ayesha," (which was my wife's name,) said the jeweller's wife, giving her the diamond again, "I believe as you do it is a piece of glass; but as it is more beautiful than common glass, and I have just such another piece at home, I will buy it, if you will sell it."

The children, who heard them talking of selling their plaything, presently interrupted their conversation, crying and begging their mother not to part with it, who, to quiet them, promised she would not.

The Jewess being thus prevented in her intended swindling bargain by my children, went away, but first whispered my wife, who followed her to the door, if she had a mind to sell it, not to shew it to anybody without acquainting her.

The Jew went out early in the morning to his shop in that part of the town where the jewellers sell their goods. Thither his wife followed, and told him the discovery she had made. She gave him an account of the size and weight of the diamond as nearly as she could guess, also of its beauty, water, and lustre, and particularly of the light which it gave in the night according to my wife's account, which was the more credible as she was uninformed.

The Jew sent his wife immediately to treat, to offer her a trifle at first, as she should think fit, and then to raise her price by degrees; but be sure to bring it, cost what it would. Accordingly his wife came again to mine privately, and asked her if she would take twenty pieces of gold for the piece of glass she had shown her.

My wife, thinking the sum too considerable for a mere piece of glass as she had thought it, would not make any bargain; but told her, she could not part with it till she had spoken to me. In the mean time I came from my work to dinner. As they were talking at the door, my wife stopped me, and asked if I would sell the piece of glass she had found in the fish's belly for twenty pieces of gold, which our neighbour offered her. I returned no answer; but reflected immediately on the assurance with which Saad, in giving me the piece of lead, told me it would make my fortune. The Jewess, fancying that the low price she had offered was the reason I made no reply, said, "I will give you fifty, neighbour, if that will do."

As soon as I found that she rose so suddenly from twenty to fifty, I told her that I expected a great deal more. "Well, neighbour," said she, "I will give you a hundred, and that is so much, I know not whether my husband will approve my offering it." At this new advance, I told her I would have a hundred thousand pieces of gold for it; that I saw plainly that the diamond, for such I now guessed it must be, was worth a great deal more, but to oblige her and her husband, as they were neighbours, I would limit myself to that price, which I was determined to have; and if they refused to give it, other jewellers should have it, who would give a great deal more.

The Jewess confirmed me in this resolution, by her eagerness to conclude a bargain; and by coming up at several biddings to fifty thousand pieces, which I refused. "I can offer you no more," said she, "without my husband's consent. He will be at home at night; and I would beg the favour of you to let him see it, which I promised."

At night when the Jew came home, his wife told him what she had done; that she had got no forwarder with my wife or me; that she offered, and I had refused, fifty thousand pieces of gold; but that I had promised to stay till night at her request. He observed the time when I left off work, and came to me. "Neighbour Hassan", said he, "I desire you would shew me the diamond your wife shewed to mine." I brought him in, and shewed it to him. As it was very dark, and my lamp was not lighted, he knew instantly, by the light the diamond gave, and by the lustre it cast in my hand, that his wife had given him a true account of it. He looked at and admired it a long time. "Well, neighbour," said he, "my wife tells me she offered you fifty thousand pieces of gold: I will give you twenty thousand more."

"Neighbour," said I, "your wife can tell you that I valued my diamond at a hundred thousand pieces, and I will take nothing less." He haggled a long time with me, in hopes that I would make some abatement: but finding at last that I was positive, and for fear that I should shew it to other jewellers, as I certainly should have done, he would not leave me till the bargain was concluded on my own terms. He told me that he had not so much money at home, but would pay it all to me on the morrow, that very instant fetched two bags of a thousand pieces each, as an earnest; and the next day, though I do not know how he raised the money, whether he borrowed it of his friends, or let some other jewellers into partnership with him, he brought me the sum we had agreed for at the time appointed, and I delivered to him the diamond.

Having thus sold my diamond, and being rich, infinitely beyond my hopes, I thanked God for his bounty; and would have gone and thrown myself at Saad's feet to express my gratitude, if I had known where he lived; as also at Saadi's, to whom I was first obliged, though his good intention had not the same success.

Afterwards I thought of the use I ought to make of so considerable a sum. My wife, with the vanity natural to her sex, proposed immediately to buy rich clothes for herself and children; to purchase a house, and furnish it handsomely. I told her we ought not to begin with such expenses; "for," said I, "money should only be spent, so that it may produce a fund from which we may draw without its failing. This I intend, and shall begin to-morrow."

I spent all that day and the next in going to the people of my own trade, who worked as hard every day for their bread as I had done; and giving them money beforehand, engaged them to work for me in different sorts of rope-making, according to their skill and ability, with a promise not to make them wait for their money, but to pay them as soon as their work was done.

By this means I engrossed almost all the business of Bagdad, and everybody was pleased with my exactness and punctual payment.

As so great a number of workmen produced, as your majesty may judge, a large quantity of work, I hired warehouses in several parts of the town to hold my goods, and appointed over each a clerk, to sell both wholesale and retail; and by this economy received considerable profit and income. Afterwards, to unite my concerns in one spot, I bought a large house, which stood on a great deal of ground, but was ruinous, pulled it down, and built that your majesty saw yesterday, which, though it makes so great an appearance, consists, for the most part, of warehouses for my business, with apartments absolutely necessary for myself and family.

Some time after I had left my old mean habitation, and removed to this, Saad and Saadi, who had scarcely thought of me from the last time they had been with me, as they were one day walking together, and passing by our street, resolved to call upon me: but great was their surprise when they did not see me at work. They asked what was become of me, and if I was alive or dead. Their amazement was redoubled, when they were told I was become a great manufacturer, and was no longer called plain Hassan, but Khaujeh Hassan al Hubbaul, and that I had built in a street, which was named to them, a house like a palace.

The two friends went directly to the street, and in the way, as Saadi could not imagine that the bit of lead which Saad had given me could have been the raising of my fortune, he said to him, "I am overjoyed to have made Hassan's fortune: but I cannot forgive the two lies he told me, to get four hundred pieces instead of two; for I cannot attribute it to the piece of lead you gave him."

"So you think," replied Saad: "but so do not I. I do not see why you should do Khaujeh Hassan so much injustice as to take him for a liar. You must give me leave to believe that he told us the truth, disguised nothing from us, that the piece of lead which I gave him is the cause of his prosperity: and you will find he will presently tell us so."

During their discourse the two friends came into the street where I lived, asked whereabouts my house stood; and being shewn it, could hardly believe it to be mine.

They knocked at the door, and my porter opened it; when Saadi, fearing to be guilty of rudeness in taking the house of a nobleman for that he was inquiring after, said to the porter, "We are informed that this is the house of Khaujeh Hassan al Hubbaul: tell us if we are mistaken." "You are very right, sir," said the porter, opening the door wider; "it is the same; come in; he is in the hall, and any of the slaves will point him out to you."

I had no sooner set my eyes upon the two friends, than I knew them. I rose from my seat, ran to them, and would have kissed the hem of their garments; but they would not suffer it, and embraced me. I invited them to a sofa made to hold four persons, which was placed full in view of my garden. I desired them to sit down, and they would have me take the place of honour. I assured them I had not forgotten that I was poor Hassan the ropemaker, nor the obligations I had to them; but were this not the case, I knew the respect due to them, and begged them not to expose me. They sat down in the proper place, and I seated myself opposite to them.

Then Saadi, addressing himself to me, said, "Khaujeh Hassan, I cannot express my joy to see you in the condition I wished you, when I twice made you a present of two hundred pieces of gold, for I mean not to upbraid you; though I am persuaded that those four hundred pieces have made this wonderful change in your fortune, which I behold with pleasure. One thing only vexes me, which is, that you should twice disguise the truth from me, pretending that your losses were the effect of misfortunes which now seem to me more than ever incredible. Was it not because, when we were together the last time, you had so little advanced your small income with the four hundred pieces of gold, that you were ashamed to own it? I am willing to believe this, and wait to be confirmed in my opinion."

Saad heard this speech of Saadi's with impatience, not to say indignation, which he shewed by casting down his eyes and shaking his head: he did not, however, interrupt him. When he had done, he said to him, "Forgive me, Saadi, if I anticipate Khaujeh Hassan, before he answers you, to tell you, that I am vexed at your prepossession against his sincerity, and that you still persist in not believing the assurances he has already given you. I have told you before, and I repeat it once more, that I believe those two accidents which befell him, upon his bare assertion; and whatever you may say, I am persuaded they are true; but let him speak himself, and say which of us does him justice."

After this discourse of the two friends, I said, addressing myself to them both, "Gentlemen, I should condemn myself to perpetual silence, on the explanation you ask of me, if I were not certain the dispute you have had on my account cannot break that friendship which subsists between you; therefore I will declare to you the truth, since you require it; and with the same sincerity as before." I then told them every circumstance your majesty has heard, without forgetting the least.

All my protestations had no effect on Saadi, to cure him of his prejudice. "Khaujeh Hassan," replied he, "the adventure of the fish, and diamond found in his belly, appears to me as incredible as the vulture's flying away with your turban, and the exchange of the scouring earth. Be it as it may, I am equally convinced that you are no longer poor, but rich as I intended you should be, by my means; and I rejoice sincerely."

As it grew late, they arose up to depart; when I stopped them, and said, "Gentlemen, there is one favour I have to ask; I beg of you not to refuse to do me the honour to stay and take a slight supper with me, also a bed to-night, and to-morrow I will carry you by water to a small country-house, which I bought for the sake of the air, and we will return the same day on my horses."

"If Saad has no business that calls him elsewhere," said Saadi, "I consent." Saad told him that nothing should prevent his enjoying his company. We have only to send a slave to my house, that we may not be waited for. I provided a slave; and while they were giving him their orders, I went and ordered supper.

While it was getting ready, I shewed my benefactors my house, and all my offices, which they thought very extensive considering my fortune: I call them both benefactors without distinction, because without Saadi, Saad would never have given me the piece of lead; and without Saad, Saadi would not have given me the four hundred pieces of gold. Then I brought them back again into the hall, where they asked me several questions about my concerns; and I gave them such answers as satisfied them.

During this conversation, my servants came to tell me that supper was served up. I led them into another hall, where they admired the manner in which it was lighted, the furniture, and the entertainment I had provided. I regaled them also with a concert of vocal and instrumental music during the repast, and afterwards with a company of dancers, and other entertainments, endeavouring as much as possible to shew them my gratitude.

The next morning, as we had agreed to set out early to enjoy the fresh air, we repaired to the river-side by sun-rise, and went on board a pleasure-boat well carpeted that waited for us; and in less than an hour and a half, with six good rowers, and the stream, we arrived at my country house.

When we went ashore, the two friends stopped to observe the beauty of the architecture of my house, and to admire its advantageous situation for prospects, which were neither too much limited nor too extensive, but such as made it very agreeable. I then conducted them into all the apartments, and shewed them the out-houses and conveniences; with all which they were very well pleased

Afterwards we walked in the gardens, where what they were most struck with was a grove of orange and lemon trees, loaded with fruit and flowers, which were planted at equal distances, and watered by channels cut from a neighbouring stream. The close shade, the fragrant smell which perfumed the air, the soft murmurings of the water, the harmonious notes of an infinite number of birds, and many other agreeable circumstances, struck them in such a manner, that they frequently stopped to express how much they were obliged to me for bringing them to so delightful a place, and to congratulate me on my great acquisitions, with other compliments. I led them to the end of the grove, which was very long and broad, where I shewed them a wood of large trees, which terminated my garden, and afterwards a summer-house, open on all sides, shaded by a clump of palm-trees, but not so as to injure the prospect; I then invited them to walk in, and repose themselves on a sofa covered with carpets and cushions.

Two of my boys, whom I had sent into the country, with a tutor, for the air, had gone just then into the wood, and seeing a nest which was built in the branches of a lofty tree, they attempted to get at it; but as they had neither strength nor skill to accomplish their object, they shewed it to the slave who waited on them, and bade him climb the tree for it. The slave, when he came to it, was much surprised to find it composed of a turban: however he took it, brought it down, and shewed it to my children; and as he thought that I might like to see a nest that was so uncommon, he gave it to the eldest boy to bring to me.

I saw the children at a distance, coming back to us, overjoyed to have procured a nest. "Father," said the eldest, "we have found a nest in a turban." The two friends and I were very much surprised at the novelty; but I much more, when I recognized the turban to be that which the vulture had flown away with. After I had examined it well, and turned it about, I said to my guests, "Gentlemen, have you memories good enough to remember the turban I had on the day you did me the honour first to speak to me?" "I do not think," said Saad, "that either my friend or I gave any attention to it; but if the hundred and ninety pieces of gold are in it, we cannot doubt of it."

"Sir," replied I, "there is no doubt but it is the same turban; for besides that I know it perfectly well, I feel by the weight it is too heavy to be any other, and you will perceive this if you give yourself the trouble to take it in your hand." Then after taking out the birds, and giving them to the children, I put it into his hands, and he gave it to Saadi. "Indeed," said Saadi, "I believe it to be your turban; which I shall, however, be better convinced of when I see the hundred and ninety pieces of gold."

"Now, sir," added I, taking the turban again, "observe well before I unwrap it, that it is of no very fresh date in the tree; and the state in which you see it, and the nest so neatly made in it, without having been touched by the hand of man, are sufficient proofs that the vulture drops or laid it in the tree upon the day it was seized; and that the branches hindered it from falling to the ground. Excuse my making this remark, since it concerns me so much to remove all suspicions of fraud." Saad backed me in what I urged; and said, "Saadi, this regards you and not me, for I am verily persuaded that Khaujeh Hassan does not impose upon us."

While Saad was talking, I pulled off the linen cloth which was wrapped about the cap of the turban, and took out the purse, which Saadi knew to be the same he had given me. I emptied it on the carpet before them, and said, "There, gentlemen, there is the money, count it, and see if it be right;" which Saad did, and found it to be one hundred and ninety pieces of gold. Then Saadi, who could not deny so manifest a truth, addressing himself to me said, "I agree, Khaujeh Hassan, that this money could not serve to enrich you; but the other hundred and ninety pieces, which you would make me believe you hid in a pot of bran, might." "Sir," answered I, "I have told you the truth in regard to both sums: you would not have me retract, to make myself a liar."

"Khaujeh Hassan," said Saad, "leave Saadi to his own opinion; I consent with all my heart that he believes you are obliged to him for one part of your good fortune, by means of the last sum he gave you, provided he will agree that I contributed to the other half by the bit of lead, and will not pretend to dispute the valuable diamond found in the fish's belly." "I agree to it," answered Saadi, "but still you must give me liberty to believe that money is not to be amassed without money."

"What," replied Saad, "if chance should throw a diamond in my way worth fifty thousand pieces of gold, and I should have that sum given me for it, can it be said I got that sum by money?"

They disputed no farther at this time; we rose, and went into the house, just as dinner was serving up. After dinner, I left my guests together, to pass away the heat of the day more at their liberty, and with great composure, while I went to give orders to my housekeeper and gardener,

Afterwards I returned to them again, and we talked of indifferent matters till it grew a little cooler; when we returned into the garden for fresh air, and stayed till sun-set. We then mounted on horseback, and got to Bagdad by moonlight, two hours after, followed by one of my slaves.

It happened, I know not by what negligence of my servants, that we were then out of grain for the horses, and the storehouses were all shut up; when one of my slaves seeking about the neighbourhood for some, met with a pot of bran in a shop; bought the bran, and brought the pot along with him, promising to carry it back again the next day. The slave emptied the bran, and dividing it with his hands among the horses, felt a linen cloth tied up, and very heavy; he brought the cloth to me in the condition that he found it, and presented it to me, telling me, that it might perhaps be the cloth he had often heard me talk of among my friends.

Overjoyed, I said to my two benefactors, "Gentlemen, it has pleased God that you should not part from me without being fully convinced of the truth of what I have assured you. There are the other hundred and ninety pieces of gold which you gave me," continued I, addressing myself to Saadi; "I know it well by the cloth, which I tied up with my own hands;" and then I told out the money before them. I ordered the pot to be brought to me, knew it to be the same; and sent to my wife to ask if she recognized it, ordering them to say nothing to her of what had happened. She knew it immediately, and sent me word that it was the same pot she had exchanged full of bran for the scouring- earth.

Saadi readily submitted, renounced his incredulity; and said to Saad, "I yield to you, and acknowledge that money is not always the means of becoming rich."

When Saadi had spoken, I said to him, "I dare not propose to return you the three hundred and eighty pieces of gold which it hath pleased God should be found, to undeceive you as to the opinion of my honesty. I am persuaded that you did not give them to me with an intention that I should return them; but as I ought to be content with what Providence has sent me from other quarters, and I do not design to make use of them; if you approve of my proposal, to-morrow I will give them to the poor, that God may bless us both."

The two friends lay at my house that night also; and next day, after embracing me, returned home, well pleased with the reception I had given them, and to find I did not make an improper use of the riches Heaven had blessed me with. I thanked them both, and regarded the permission they gave me to cultivate their friendship, and to visit them, as a great honour.

The caliph was so attentive to Khaujeh Hassan's story, that he had not perceived the end of it, but by his silence. "Khaujeh Hassan," said he, "I have not for a long time heard any thing that has given me so much pleasure, as having been informed of the wonderful ways by which God gave thee thy riches to make thee happy in this world. Thou oughtest to continue to return him thanks by the good use thou makest of his blessings. I am glad I can tell thee, that the same diamond which made thy fortune is now in my treasury; and I am happy to learn how it came there: but because there may remain in Saadi some doubts on the singularity of this diamond, which I esteem the most precious and valuable jewel I possess, I would have you carry him with Saad to my treasurer, who shall shew it them, to remove Saadi's unbelief, and to let him see that money is not the only means of making a poor man rich in a short time, without labour. I would also have you tell the keeper of my treasury this story, that he may have it put into writing, and that it may be kept with the diamond."

After these words the caliph signified to Khaujeh Hassan, Syed Naomaun, and Baba Abdoollah, by bowing of his head, that he was satisfied with them; they all took their leaves, by prostrating themselves at the throne, and then retired.


In a town in Persia, there lived two brothers, one named Cassim, the other Ali Baba. Their father left them scarcely any thing; but as he had divided his little property equally between them, it should seem their fortune ought to have been equal; but chance determined otherwise.

Cassim married a wife who soon after became heiress to a large sum, and a warehouse full of rich goods; so that he all at once became one of the richest and most considerable merchants, and lived at his ease.

Ali Baba on the other hand, who had married a woman as poor as himself, lived in a very wretched habitation, and had no other means to maintain his wife and children but his daily labour of cutting wood, and bringing it upon three asses, which were his whole substance, to town to sell.

One day, when Ali Baba was in the forest, and had just cut wood enough to load his asses, he saw at a distance a great cloud of dust, which seemed to be driven towards him: he observed it very attentively, and distinguished soon after a body of horse. Though there had been no rumour of robbers in that country, Ali Baba began to think that they might prove such, and without considering what might become of his asses, was resolved to save himself. He climbed up a large, thick tree, whose branches, at a little distance from the ground, were so close to one another that there was but little space between them. He placed himself in the middle, from whence he could see all that passed without being discovered; and the tree stood at the base of a single rock, so steep and craggy that nobody could climb up it.

The troop, who were all well mounted and armed, came to the foot of this rock, and there dismounted. Ali Baba counted forty of them, and, from their looks and equipage, was assured that they were robbers. Nor was he mistaken in his opinion: for they were a troop of banditti, who, without doing any harm to the neighbourhood, robbed at a distance, and made that place their rendezvous; but what confirmed him in his opinion was, that every man unbridled his horse, tied him to some shrub, and hung about his neck a bag of corn which they brought behind them. Then each of them took his saddle wallet, which seemed to Ali Baba to be full of gold and silver from its weight. One, who was the most personable amongst them, and whom he took to be their captain, came with his wallet on his back under the tree in which Ali Baba was concealed, and making his way through some shrubs, pronounced these words so distinctly, "Open, Sesame," that Ali Baba heard him. As soon as the captain of the robbers had uttered these words, a door opened in the rock; and after he had made all his troop enter before him, he followed them, when the door shut again of itself.

The robbers stayed some time within the rock, and Ali Baba, who feared that some one, or all of them together, might come out and catch him, if he should endeavour to make his escape, was obliged to sit patiently in the tree. He was nevertheless tempted to get down, mount one of their horses, and lead another, driving his asses before him with all the haste he could to town; but the uncertainty of the event made him choose the safest course.

At last the door opened again, and the forty robbers came out. As the captain went in last, he came out first, and stood to see them all pass by him; when Ali Baba heard him make the door close by pronouncing these words, "Shut, Sesame." Every man went and bridled his horse, fastened his wallet, and mounted again; and when the captain saw them all ready, he put himself at their head, and they returned the way they had come.

Ali Baba did not immediately quit his tree; for, said he to himself, they may have forgotten something and may come back again, and then I shall be taken. He followed them with his eyes as far as he could see them; and afterwards stayed a considerable time before he descended. Remembering the words the captain of the robbers used to cause the door to open and shut, he had the curiosity to try if his pronouncing them would have the same effect. Accordingly, he went among the shrubs, and perceiving the door concealed behind them, stood before it, and said, "Open, Sesame." The door instantly flew wide open.

Ali Baba, who expected a dark dismal cavern, was surprised to see it well lighted and spacious, in form of a vault, which received the light from an opening at the top of the rock. He saw all sorts of provisions, rich bales of silk, stuff, brocade, and valuable carpeting, piled upon one another; gold and silver ingots in great heaps, and money in bags. The sight of all these riches made him suppose that this cave must have been occupied for ages by robbers, who had succeeded one another.

Ali Baba did not stand long to consider what he should do, but went immediately into the cave, and as soon as he had entered, the door shut of itself. But this did not disturb him, because he knew the secret to open it again. He never regarded the silver, but made the best use of his time in carrying out as much of the gold coin, which was in bags, at several times, as he thought his three asses could carry. He collected his asses, which were dispersed, and when he had loaded them with the bags, laid wood over in such a manner that they could not be seen. When he had done he stood before the door, and pronouncing the words, "Shut, Sesame," the door closed after him, for it had shut of itself while he was within, but remained open while he was out. He then made the best of his way to town.

When Ali Baba got home, he drove his asses into a little yard, shut the gates very carefully, threw off the wood that covered the bags, carried them into his house, and ranged them in order before his wife, who sat on a sofa.

His wife handled the bags, and finding them full of money, suspected that her husband had been robbing, insomuch that she could not help saying, "Ali Baba, have you been so unhappy as to______." "Be quiet, wife," interrupted Ali Baba, "do not frighten yourself, I am no robber, unless he may be one who steals from robbers. You will no longer entertain an ill opinion of me, when I shall tell you my good fortune." He then emptied the bags, which raised such a great heap of gold, as dazzled his wife's eyes; and when he had done, told her the whole adventure from beginning to end; and, above all, recommended her to keep it secret.

The wife, cured of her fears, rejoiced with her husband at their good fortune, and would count all the gold, piece by piece. "Wife," replied Ali Baba, "you do not know what you undertake, when you pretend to count the money; you will never have done. I will dig a hole, and bury it; there is no time to be lost". "You are in the right, husband," replied she; "but let us know, as nigh as possible, how much we have. I will borrow a small measure in the neighbourhood, and measure it, while you dig the hole." "What you are going to do is to no purpose, wife," said Ali Baba; "if you would take my advice, you had better let it alone, but keep the secret, and do what you please."

Away the wife ran to her brother-in-law Cassim, who lived just by, but was not then at home; and addressing herself to his wife, desired her to lend her a measure for a little while. Her sister- in-law asked her, whether she would have a great or a small one? The other asked for a small one. She bade her stay a little, and she would readily fetch one.

The sister-in-law did so, but as she knew Ali Baba's poverty, she was curious to know what sort of grain his wife wanted to measure, and artfully putting some suet at the bottom of the measure, brought it to her with an excuse, that she was sorry that she had made her stay so long, but that she could not find it sooner.

Ali Baba's wife went home, set the measure upon the heap of gold, filled it and emptied it often upon the sofa, till she had done: when she was very well satisfied to find the number of measures amounted to so many as they did, and went to tell her husband, who had almost finished digging the hole. While Ali Baba was burying the gold, his wife, to shew her exactness and diligence to her sister-in-law, carried the measure back again, but without taking notice that a piece of gold had stuck to the bottom. "Sister," said she, giving it to her again, "you see that I have not kept your measure long; I am obliged to you for it, and return it with thanks."

As soon as Ali Baba's wife was gone, Cassim's looked at the bottom of the measure, and was in inexpressible surprise to find a piece of gold stuck to it. Envy immediately possessed her breast. "What!" said she, "has Ali Baba gold so plentiful as to measure it? Where has that poor wretch got all this wealth? "Cassim, her husband, was not at home, but at his counting-house, which he left always in the evening. His wife waited for him, and thought the time an age; so great was her impatience to tell him the circumstance, at which she guessed he would be as much surprised as herself.

When Cassim came home, his wife said to him, "Cassim, I know you think yourself rich, but you are much mistaken; Ali Baba is infinitely richer than you; he does not count his money but measures it." Cassim desired her to explain the riddle, which she did, by telling him the stratagem she had used to make the discovery, and shewed him the piece of money, which was so old that they could not tell in what prince's reign it was coined.

Cassim, instead of being pleased, conceived a base envy at his brother's prosperity; he could not sleep all that night, and went to him in the morning before sun-rise. Cassim, after he had married the rich widow, had never treated Ali Baba as a brother, but neglected him. "All Baba," said he, accosting him, "you are very reserved in your affairs; you pretend to be miserably poor, and yet you measure gold." "How, brother?" replied Ali Baba; "I do not know what you mean: explain yourself." "Do not pretend ignorance," replied Cassim, shewing him the piece of gold his wife had given him. "How many of these pieces," added he, "have you? My wife found this at the bottom of the measure you borrowed yesterday."

By this discourse, Ali Baba perceived that Cassim and his wife, through his own wife's folly, knew what they had so much reason to conceal; but what was done could not be recalled; therefore, without shewing the least surprise or trouble, he confessed all, told his brother by what chance he had discovered this retreat of the thieves, in what place it was; and offered him part of his treasure to keep the secret. "I expect as much," replied Cassim haughtily; "but I must know exactly where this treasure is, and how I may visit it myself when I choose; otherwise I will go and inform against you, and then you will not only get no more, but will lose all you have, and I shall have a share for my information."

Ali Baba, more out of his natural good temper, than frightened by the insulting menaces of his unnatural brother, told him all he desired, and even the very words he was to use to gain admission into the cave.

Cassim, who wanted no more of Ali Baba, left him, resolving to be beforehand with him, and hoping to get all the treasure to himself. He rose the next morning, long before the sun, and set out for the forest with ten mules bearing great chests, which he designed to fill; and followed the road which Ali Baba had pointed out to him. He was not long before he reached the rock, and found out the place by the tree, and other marks which his brother had given him. When he reached the entrance of the cavern, he pronounced the words, "Open, Sesame," the door immediately opened, and when he was in, closed upon him. In examining the cave, he was in great admiration to find much more riches than he had apprehended from Ali Baba's relation. He was so covetous, and greedy of wealth, that he could have spent the whole day in feasting his eyes with so much treasure, if the thought that he came to carry some away had not hindered him. He laid as many bags of gold as he could carry at the door of the cavern, but his thoughts were so full of the great riches he should possess, that he could not think of the necessary word to make it open, but instead of Sesame, said "Open, Barley," and was much amazed to find that the door remained fast shut. He named several sorts of grain, but still the door would not open.

Cassim had never expected such an incident, and was so alarmed at the danger he was in, that the more he endeavoured to remember the word Sesame, the more his memory was confounded, and he had as much forgotten it as if he had never heard it mentioned. He threw down the bags he had loaded himself with, and walked distractedly up and down the cave, without having the least regard to the riches that were round him.

About noon the robbers chanced to visit their cave, and at some distance from it saw Cassim's mules straggling about the rock, with great chests on their backs. Alarmed at this novelty, they galloped full speed to the cave. They drove away the mules, which Cassim had neglected to fasten, and they strayed through the forest so far, that they were soon out of sight. The robbers never gave themselves the trouble to pursue them, being more concerned to know who they belonged to. And while some of them searched about the rock, the captain and the rest went directly to the door, with their naked sabres in their hands, and pronouncing the proper words, it opened.

Cassim, who heard the noise of the horses' feet from the middle of the cave, never doubted of the arrival of the robbers, and his approaching death; but was resolved to make one effort to escape from them. To this end he rushed to the door, and no sooner heard the word Sesame, which he had forgotten, and saw the door open, than he ran out and threw the leader down, but could not escape the other robbers, who with their sabres soon deprived him of life.

The first care of the robbers after this was to examine the cave. They found all the bags which Cassim had brought to the door, to be ready to load his mules, and carried them again to their places, without missing what Ali Baba had taken away before. Then holding a council, and deliberating upon this occurrence, they guessed that Cassim, when he was in, could not get out again; but could not imagine how he had entered. It came into their heads that he might have got down by the top of the cave; but the aperture by which it received light was so high, and the rock so inaccessible without, besides that nothing shewed that he had done so, that they gave up this conjecture. That he came in at the door they could not believe however, unless he had the secret of making it open. In short, none of them could imagine which way he had entered; for they were all persuaded nobody knew their secret, little imagining that Ali Baba had watched them. It was a matter of the greatest importance to them to secure their riches. They agreed therefore to cut Cassim's body into four quarters, to hang two on one side and two on the other, within the door of the cave, to terrify any person who should attempt the same thing, determining not to return to the cave till the stench of the body was completely exhaled. They had no sooner taken this resolution than they put it in execution, and when they had nothing more to detain them, left the place of their hoards well closed. They mounted their horses, went to beat the roads again, and to attack the caravans they might meet.

In the mean time, Cassim's wife was very uneasy when night came, and her husband was not returned. She ran to Ali Baba in alarm, and said, "I believe, brother-in-law, that you know Cassim, your brother, is gone to the forest, and upon what account; it is now night, and he is not returned; I am afraid some misfortune has happened to him." Ali Baba, who had expected that his brother, after what he had said, would go to the forest, had declined going himself that day, for fear of giving him any umbrage; therefore told her, without any reflection upon her husband's unhandsome behaviour, that she need not frighten herself, for that certainly Cassim would not think it proper to come into the town till the night should be pretty far advanced.

Cassim's wife, considering how much it concerned her husband to keep the business secret, was the more easily persuaded to believe her brother-in-law. She went home again, and waited patiently till midnight. Then her fear redoubled, and her grief was the more sensible because she was forced to keep it to herself. She repented of her foolish curiosity, and cursed her desire of penetrating into the affairs of her brother and sister- in-law. She spent all the night in weeping; and as soon as it was day, went to them, telling them, by her tears, the cause of her coming.

Ali Baba did not wait for his sister-in-law to desire him to go to see what was become of Cassim, but departed immediately with his three asses, begging of her first to moderate her affliction. He went to the forest, and when he came near the rock, having seen neither his brother nor the mules in his way, was seriously alarmed at finding some blood spilt near the door, which he took for an ill omen; but when he had pronounced the word, and the door had opened, he was struck with horror at the dismal sight of his brother's quarters. He was not long in determining how he should pay the last dues to his brother, but without adverting to the little fraternal affection he had shown for him, went into the cave, to find something to enshroud his remains, and having loaded one of his asses with them, covered them over with wood. The other two asses he loaded with bags of gold, covering them with wood also as before; and then bidding the door shut, came away; but was so cautious as to stop some time at the end of the forest, that he might not go into the town before night. When he came home, he drove the two asses loaded with gold into his little yard, and left the care of unloading them to his wife, while he led the other to his sister-in-law's house.

Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened by Morgiana, an intelligent slave, fruitful in inventions to insure success in the most difficult undertakings: and Ali Baba knew her to be such. When he came into the court, he unloaded the ass, and taking Morgiana aside, said to her, "The first thing I ask of you is an inviolable secrecy, which you will find is necessary both for your mistress's sake and mine. Your master's body is contained in these two bundles, and our business is, to bury him as if he had died a natural death. Go, tell your mistress I want to speak with her; and mind what I have said to you."

Morgiana went to her mistress, and Ali Baba followed her. "Well, brother," said she, with great impatience, "what news do you bring me of my husband? I perceive no comfort in your countenance." "Sister," answered Ali Baba, "I cannot satisfy your inquiries unless you hear my story from the beginning to the end, without speaking a word; for it is of as great importance to you as to me to keep what has happened secret." "Alas!" said she, "this preamble lets me know that my husband is not to be found; but at the same time I know the necessity of the secrecy you require, and I must constrain myself: say on, I will hear you."

Ali Baba then detailed the incidents of his journey, till he came to the finding of Cassim's body. "Now," said he, "sister, I have something to relate which will afflict you the more, because it is perhaps what you so little expect; but it cannot now be remedied; if my endeavours can comfort you, I offer to put that which God hath sent me to what you have, and marry you: assuring you that my wife will not be jealous, and that we shall live happily together. If this proposal is agreeable to you, we mast think of acting so as that my brother should appear to have died a natural death. I think you may leave the management of the business to Morgiana, and I will contribute all that lies in my power to your consolation."

What could Cassim's widow do better than accept of this proposal? For though her first husband had left behind him a plentiful substance, his brother was now much richer, and by the discovery of this treasure might be still more so. Instead, therefore, of rejecting the offer, she regarded it as the sure means of comfort; and drying up her tears, which had begun to flow abundantly, and suppressing the outcries usual with women who have lost their husbands, shewed Ali Baba that she approved of his proposal. Ali Baba left the widow, recommended to Morgiana to act her part well, and then returned home with his ass.

Morgiana went out at the same time to an apothecary, and asked for a sort of lozenges, which he prepared, and were very efficacious in the most dangerous disorders. The apothecary inquired who was ill at her master's? She replied with a sigh, "Her good master Cassim himself: that they knew not what his disorder was, but that he could neither eat nor speak." After these words, Morgiana carried the lozenges home with her, and the next morning went to the same apothecary's again, and with tears in her eyes, asked for an essence which they used to give to sick people only when at the last extremity. "Alas!" said she, taking it from the apothecary, "I am afraid that this remedy will have no better effect than the lozenges; and that I shall lose my good master."

On the other hand, as Ali Baba and his wife were often seen to go between Cassim's and their own house all that day, and to seem melancholy, nobody was surprised in the evening to hear the lamentable shrieks and cries of Cassim's wife and Morgiana, who gave out every where that her master was dead.

The next morning, soon after day appeared, Morgiana, who knew a certain old cobbler that opened his stall early, before other people, went to him, and bidding him good morrow, put a piece of gold into his hand. "Well," said Baba Mustapha, which was his name, and who was a merry old fellow, looking at the gold, though it was hardly day-light, and seeing what it was, "this is good hansel: what must I do for it? I am ready."

"Baba Mustapha," said Morgiana, "you must take with you your sewing tackle, and go with me; but I must tell you, I shall blindfold you when you come to such a place."

Baba Mustapha seemed to hesitate a little at these words. "Oh! oh!" replied he, "you would have me do something against my conscience, or against my honour?" "God forbid!" said Morgiana, putting another piece of gold into his hand, "that I should ask any thing that is contrary to your honour; only come along with me, and fear nothing."

Baba Mustapha went with Morgiana, who, after she had bound his eyes with a handkerchief at the place she had mentioned, conveyed him to her deceased master's house, and never unloosed his eyes till he had entered the room where she had put the corpse together. "Baba Mustapha," said she, "you must make haste and sew these quarters together; and when you have done, I will give you another piece of gold."

After Baba Mustapha had finished his task, she blindfolded him again, gave him the third piece of gold as she had promised, and recommending secrecy to him, carried him back to the place where she first bound his eyes, pulled off the bandage, and let him go home, but watched him that he returned towards his stall, till he was quite out of sight, for fear he should have the curiosity to return and dodge her; she then went home.

By the time Morgiana had warmed some water to wash the body, Ali Baba came with incense to embalm it, after which it was sewn up in a winding sheet. Not long after, the joiner, according to Ali Baba's orders, brought the bier, which Morgiana received at the door, and helped Ali Baba to put the body into it; when she went to the mosque to inform the imaum that they were ready. The people of the mosque, whose business it was to wash the dead, offered to perform their duty, but she told them that it was done already.

Morgiana had scarcely got home before the imaum and the other ministers of the mosque arrived. Four neighbours carried the corpse on their shoulders to the burying-ground, following the imaum, who recited some prayers. Morgiana, as a slave to the deceased, followed the corpse, weeping, beating her breast, and tearing her hair: and Ali Baba came after with some neighbours, who often relieved the others in carrying the corpse to the burying-ground.

Cassim's wife stayed at home mourning, uttering lamentable cries with the women of the neighbourhood, who came according to custom during the funeral, and joining their lamentations with hers, filled the quarter far and near with sorrow.

In this manner Cassim's melancholy death was concealed, and hushed up between Ali Baba, his wife, Cassim's widow, and Morgiana, with so much contrivance, that nobody in the city had the least knowledge or suspicion of the cause of it.

Three or four days after the funeral, Ali Baba removed his few goods openly to the widow's house; but the money he had taken from the robbers he conveyed thither by night; soon after the marriage with his sister-in-law was published, and as these marriages are common, nobody was surprised.

As for Cassim's warehouse, Ali Baba gave it to his own eldest son, promising that if he managed it well, he would soon give him a fortune to marry very advantageously according to his situation.

Let us now leave Ali Baba to enjoy the beginning of his good fortune, and return to the forty robbers.

They came again at the appointed time to visit their retreat in the forest; but great was their surprise to find Cassim's body taken away, with some of their bags of gold. "We are certainly discovered," said the captain, "and if we do not speedily apply some remedy, shall gradually lose all the riches which our ancestors and ourselves have, with so much pains and danger, been so many years amassing together. All that we can think of the loss which we have sustained is, that the thief whom we surprised had the secret of opening the door, and we came luckily as he was coming out: but his body being removed, and with it some of our money, plainly shews that he had an accomplice; and as it is likely that there were but two who had discovered our secret, and one has been caught, we must look narrowly after the other. What say you, my lads?"

All the robbers thought the captain's proposal so advisable, that they unanimously approved of it, and agreed that they must lay all other enterprises aside, to follow this closely, and not give it up till they had succeeded.

"I expected no less," said the captain, "from your fidelity to our cause: but, first of all, one of you who is bold, artful, and enterprising, must go into the town, disguised as a traveller and a stranger, to try if he can hear any talk of the strange death of the man whom we have killed, as he deserved; and endeavour to find out who he was, and where he lived. This is a matter of the first importance for us to ascertain, that we may do nothing which we may have reason to repent of, by discovering ourselves in a country where we have lived so long unknown, and where we have so much reason to continue: but to warn him who shall take upon himself this commission, and to prevent our being deceived by his giving us a false report, which may be the cause of our ruin; I ask you all, if you do not think that in case of treachery, or even error of judgment, he should suffer death?"

Without waiting for the suffrages of his companions, one of the robbers started up, and said, "I submit to this condition, and think it an honour to expose my life, by taking the commission upon me; but remember, at least, if I do not succeed, that I neither wanted courage nor good will to serve the troop."

After this robber had received great commendations from the captain and his comrades, he disguised himself so that nobody would take him for what he was; and taking his leave of the troop that night, went into the town just at day-break; and walked up and down, till accidentally he came to Baba Mustapha's stall, which was always open before any of the shops.

Baba Mustapha was seated with an awl in his hand, just going to work. The robber saluted him, bidding him good morrow; and perceiving that he was old, said, "Honest man, you begin to work very early: is it possible that one of your age can see so well? I question, even if it were somewhat lighter, whether you could see to stitch."

"Certainly," replied Baba Mustapha," you must be a stranger, and do not know me; for old as I am, I have extraordinary good eyes; and you will not doubt it when I tell you that I sewed a dead body together in a place where I had not so much light as I have now."

The robber was overjoyed to think that he had addressed himself, at his first coming into the town, to a man who in all probability could give him the intelligence he wanted. "A dead body!" replied he with affected amazement, to make him explain himself. "What could you sew up a dead body for? You mean, you sewed up his winding sheet." "No, no," answered Baba Mustapha, "I perceive your meaning; you want to have me speak out, but you shall know no more."

The robber wanted no farther assurance to be persuaded that he had discovered what he sought. He pulled out a piece of gold, and putting it into Baba Mustapha's hand, said to him, "I do not want to learn your secret, though I can assure you I would not divulge it, if you trusted me with it. The only thing which I desire of you is, to do me the favour to shew me the house where You stitched up the dead body."

"If I were disposed to do you that favour," replied Baba Mustapha, holding the money in his hand, ready to return it, "I assure you I cannot; and you may believe me, on my word. I was taken to a certain place, where I was blinded, I was then led to the house, and afterwards brought back again in the same manner; you see, therefore, the impossibility of my doing what you desire."

"Well," replied the robber, "you may, however, remember a little of the way that you were led blindfolded. Come, let me blind your eyes at the same place. We will walk together; perhaps you may recognize some part; and as every body ought to be paid for their trouble, there is another piece of gold for you; gratify me in what I ask you." So saying, he put another piece of gold into his hand.

The two pieces of gold were great temptations to Baba Mustapha. He looked at them a long time in his hand, without saying a word, thinking with himself what he should do; but at last he pulled out his purse, and put them in. "I cannot assure you," said he to the robber, "that I can remember the way exactly; but since you desire, I will try what I can do." At these words Baba Mustapha rose up, to the great joy of the robber, and without shutting his shop, where he had nothing valuable to lose, he led the robber to the place where Morgiana had bound his eyes. "It was here," said Baba Mustapha, "I was blindfolded; and I turned as you see me." The robber, who had his handkerchief ready, tied it over his eyes, walked by him till he stopped, partly leading, and partly guided by him. "I think," said Baba Mustapha, "I went no farther," and he had now stopped directly at Cassim's house, where Ali Baba then lived. The thief, before he pulled off the band, marked the door with a piece of chalk, which he had ready in his hand; and then asked him if he knew whose house that was? to which Baba Mustapha replied, that as he did not live in that neighbourhood he could not tell.

The robber, finding he could discover no more from Baba Mustapha, thanked him for the trouble he had taken, and left him to go back to his stall, while he returned to the forest, persuaded that he should be very well received.

A little after the robber and Baba Mustapha had parted, Morgiana went out of Ali Baba's house upon some errand, and upon her return, seeing the mark the robber had made, stopped to observe it. "What can be the meaning of this mark?" said she to herself; "somebody intends my master no good: however, with whatever intention it was done, it is advisable to guard against the worst." Accordingly, she fetched a piece of chalk, and marked two or three doors on each side, in the same manner, without saying a word to her master or mistress.

In the mean time the thief rejoined his troop in the forest, and recounted to them his success; expatiating upon his good fortune, in meeting so soon with the only person who could inform him of what he wanted to know. All the robbers listened to him with the utmost satisfaction; when the captain, after commending his diligence, addressing himself to them all, said, "Comrades, we have no time to lose: let us set off well armed, without its appearing who we are; but that we may not excite any suspicion, let only one or two go into the town together, and join at our rendezvous, which shall be the great square. In the mean time our comrade, who brought us the good news, and I, will go and find out the house, that we may consult what had best be done."

This speech and plan were approved of by all, and they were soon ready. They filed off in parties of two each, after some interval of time, and got into the town without being in the least suspected. The captain and he who had visited the town in the morning as spy, came in the last. He led the captain into the street where he had marked Ali Baba's residence; and when they came to the first of the houses which Morgiana had marked, he pointed it out. But the captain observed that the next door was chalked in the same manner, and in the same place; and shewing it to his guide, asked him which house it was, that, or the first? The guide was so confounded, that he knew not what answer to make; but still more puzzled, when he and the captain saw five or six houses similarly marked. He assured the captain, with an oath, that he had marked but one, And could not tell who had chalked the rest, so that he could not distinguish the house which the cobbler had stopped at.

The captain, finding that their design had proved abortive, went directly to the place of rendezvous, and told the first of his troops whom he met that they had lost their labour, and must return to their cave. He himself set them the example, and they all returned as they had come.

When the troop was all got together, the captain told them the reason of their returning; and presently the conductor was declared by all worthy of death. He condemned himself, acknowledging that he ought to have taken better precaution, and prepared to receive the stroke from him who was appointed to cut off his head.

But as the safety of the troop required that an injury should not go unpunished, another of the gang, who promised himself that he should succeed better, presented himself, and his offer being accepted, he went and corrupted Baba Mustapha, as the other had done; and being shewn the house, marked it in a place more remote from sight, with red chalk.

Not long after Morgiana, whose eyes nothing could escape, went out, and seeing the red chalk, and arguing with herself as she had done before, marked the other neighbours' houses in the same place and manner.

The robber, at his return to his company, valued himself much on the precaution he had taken, which he looked upon as an infallible way of distinguishing Ali Baba's house from the others; and the captain and all of them thought it must succeed. They conveyed themselves into the town with the same precaution as before; but when the robber and his captain came to the street, they found the same difficulty; at which the captain was enraged, and the robber in as great confusion as his predecessor.

Thus the captain and his troop were forced to retire a second time, and much more dissatisfied; while the robber, who had been the author of the mistake, underwent the same punishment; which he willingly submitted to.

The captain, having lost two brave fellows of his troop, was afraid of diminishing it too much by pursuing this plan to get information of the residence of their plunderer. He found by their example that their heads were not so good as their hands on such occasions; and therefore resolved to take upon himself the important commission.

Accordingly he went and addressed himself to Baba Mustapha, who did him the same service he had done to the other robbers. He did not set any particular mark on the house, but examined and observed it so carefully, by passing often by it, that it was impossible for him to mistake it.

The captain, well satisfied with his attempt, and informed of what he wanted to know, returned to the forest; and when he came into the cave, where the troop waited for him, said, "Now, comrades, nothing can prevent our full revenge, as I am certain of the house, and in my way hither I have thought how to put it into execution, but if any one can form a better expedient, let him communicate it." He then told them his contrivance; and as they approved of it, ordered them to go into the villages about, and buy nineteen mules, with thirty-eight large leather jars, one full of oil, and the others empty.

In two or three days' time the robbers had purchased the mules and jars, and as the mouths of the jars were rather too narrow for his purpose, the captain caused them to be widened; and after having put one of his men into each, with the weapons which he thought fit, leaving open the seam which had been undone to leave them room to breathe, he rubbed the jars on the outside with oil from the full vessel.

Things being thus prepared, when the nineteen mules were loaded with thirty-seven robbers in jars, and the jar of oil, the captain, as their driver, set out with them, and reached the town by the dusk of the evening, as he had intended. He led them through the streets till he came to Ali Baba's, at whose door he designed to have knocked; but was prevented by his sitting there after supper to take a little fresh air. He stopped his mules, addressed himself to him, and said, "I have brought some oil a great way, to sell at to-morrow's market; and it is now so late that I do not know where to lodge. If I should not be troublesome to you, do me the favour to let me pass the night with you, and I shall be very much obliged by your hospitality."

Though Ali Baba had seen the captain of the robbers in the forest, and had heard him speak, it was impossible to know him in the disguise of an oil-merchant. He told him he should be welcome, and immediately opened his gates for the mules to go into the yard. At the same time he called to a slave, and ordered him, when the mules were unloaded, not only to put them into the stable, but to give them fodder; and then went to Morgiana, to bid her get a good supper for his guest.

He did more. To make his guest as welcome as possible, when he saw the captain had unloaded his mules, and that they were put into the stables as he had ordered, and he was looking for a place to pass the night in the air, he brought him into the hall where he received his company, telling him he would not suffer him to be in the court. The captain excused himself on pretence of not being troublesome; but really to have room to execute his design, and it was not till after the most pressing importunity that he yielded. Ali Baba, not content to keep company with the man who had a design on his life till supper was ready, continued talking with him till it was ended, and repeating his offer of service.

The captain rose up at the same time with his host; and while Ali Baba went to speak to Morgiana he withdrew into the yard, under pretence of looking at his mules. Ali Baba, after charging Morgiana afresh to take care of his guest, said to her, "To- morrow morning I design to go to the bath before day; take care my bathing-linen be ready, give them to Abdoollah," which was the slave's name, "and make me some good broth against I return." After this he went to bed.

In the mean time the captain of the robbers went from the stable to give his people orders what to do; and beginning at the first jar, and so on to the last, said to each man: "As soon as I throw some stones out of the chamber window where I lie, do not fail to cut the jar open with the knife you have about you for the purpose, and come out, and I will immediately join you." After this he returned into the house, when Morgiana taking up a light, conducted him to his chamber, where she left him; and he, to avoid any suspicion, put the light out soon after, and laid himself down in his clothes, that he might be the more ready to rise.

Morgiana, remembering Ali Baba's orders, got his bathing-linen ready, and ordered Abdoollah to set on the pot for the broth; but while she was preparing it, the lamp went out, and there was no more oil in the house, nor any candles. What to do she did not know, for the broth must be made. Abdoollah seeing her very uneasy, said, "Do not fret and teaze yourself, but go into the yard, and take some oil out of one of the jars."

Morgiana thanked Abdoollah for his advice, took the oil-pot, and went into the yard; when as she came nigh the first jar, the robber within said softly, "Is it time?"

Though the robber spoke low, Morgiana was struck with the voice the more, because the captain, when he unloaded the mules, had taken the lids off this and all the other jars to give air to his men, who were ill enough at their ease, almost wanting room to breathe.

As much surprised as Morgiana naturally was at finding a man in a jar instead of the oil she wanted, many would have made such a noise as to have given an alarm, which would have been attended with fatal consequences; whereas Morgiana comprehending immediately the importance of keeping silence, from the danger Ali Baba, his family, and herself were in, and the necessity of applying a speedy remedy without noise, conceived at once the means, and collecting herself without shewing the least emotions, answered, "Not yet, but presently." She went in this manner to all the jars, giving the same answer, till she came to the jar of oil.

By this means, Morgiana found that her master Ali Baba, who thought that he had entertained an oil merchant, had admitted thirty-eight robbers into his house, regarding this pretended merchant as their captain. She made what haste she could to fill her oil-pot, and returned into her kitchen; where, as soon as she had lighted her lamp, she took a great kettle, went again to the oil-jar, filled the kettle, set it on a large wood-fire, and as soon as it boiled went and poured enough into every jar to stifle and destroy the robber within.

When this action, worthy of the courage of Morgiana, was executed without any noise, as she had projected, she returned into the kitchen with the empty kettle; and having put out the great fire she had made to boil the oil, and leaving just enough to make the broth, put out the lamp also, and remained silent; resolving not to go to rest till she had observed what might follow through a window of the kitchen, which opened into the yard.

She had not waited long before the captain of the robbers got up, opened the window, and finding no light, and hearing no noise, or any one stirring in the house, gave the appointed signal, by throwing little stones, several of which hit the jars, as he doubted not by the sound they gave. He then listened, but not hearing or perceiving any thing, whereby he could judge that his companions stirred, he began to grow very uneasy, threw stones again a second and also a third time, and could not comprehend the reason that none of them should answer his signal. Much alarmed, he went softly down into the yard, and going to the first jar, whilst asking the robber whom he thought alive if he was in readiness, smelt the hot boiled oil, which sent forth a steam out of the jar. Hence he suspected that his plot to murder Ali Baba and plunder his house was discovered. Examining all the jars one after another, he found that all his gang were dead; and by the oil he missed out of the last jar guessed the means and manner of their death. Enraged to despair at having failed in his design, he forced the lock of a door that led from the yard to the garden, and climbing over the walls, made his escape.

When Morgiana heard no noise, and found, after waiting some time, that the captain did not return, she concluded that he had chosen rather to make his escape by the garden than the street-door, which was double locked. Satisfied and pleased to have succeeded so well, in saving her master and family, she went to bed.

Ali Baba rose before day, and, followed by his slave, went to the baths, entirely ignorant of the important event which had happened at home; for Morgiana had not thought it safe to wake him before, for fear of losing her opportunity; and after her successful exploit she thought it needless to disturb him.

When he returned from the baths, the sun was risen; he was very much surprised to see the oil-jars, and that the merchant was not gone with the mules. He asked Morgiana, who opened the door, and had let all things stand as they were, that he might see them, the reason of it? "My good master," answered she, "God preserve you and all your family; you will be better informed of what you wish to know when you have seen what I have to shew you, if you will but give yourself the trouble to follow me."

As soon as Morgiana had shut the door, Ali Baba followed her; when she requested him to look into the first jar and see if there was any oil. Ali Baba did so, and seeing a man, started back in alarm, and cried out. "Do not be afraid," said Morgiana, "the man you see there can neither do you nor any body else any harm. He is dead." "Ah, Morgiana!" said Ali Baba, "what is it you shew me? Explain yourself." "I will," replied Morgiana; "moderate your astonishment, and do not excite the curiosity of your neighbours; for it is of great importance to keep this affair secret. Look into all the other jars."

Ali Baba examined all the other jars, one after another: and when he came to that which had the oil in, found it prodigiously sunk, and stood for some time motionless, sometimes looking at the jars, and sometimes at Morgiana, without saying a word, so great was his surprise: at last, when he had recovered himself, he said, "And what is become of the merchant?"

"Merchant!" answered she, "he is as much one as I am; I will tell you who he is, and what is become of him; but you had better hear the story in your own chamber; for it is time for your health that you had your broth after your bathing."

While Ali Baba retired to his chamber, Morgiana went into the kitchen to fetch the broth, but before he would drink it, he first entreated her to satisfy his impatience, and tell him what had happened, with all the circumstances; and she obeyed him.

"Last night, sir," said she, "when you were gone to bed, I got your bathing- linens ready, and gave them to Abdoollah; afterwards I set on the pot for the broth, but as I was preparing the materials, the lamp, for want of oil, went out; and as there was not a drop more in the house, I looked for a candle, but could not find one: Abdoollah seeing me vexed, put me in mind of the jars of oil which stood in the yard. I took the oil-pot, went directly to the jar which stood nearest to me; and when I came to it, heard a voice within, saying, ‘Is it time?' Without being dismayed, and comprehending immediately the malicious intention of the pretended oil-merchant, I answered, ‘Not yet, but presently.' I then went to the next, when another voice asked me the same question, and I returned the same answer; and so on, till I came to the last, which I found full of oil; with which I filled my pot.

"When I considered that there were thirty seven robbers in the yard, who only waited for a signal to be given by the captain, whom you took to be an oil-merchant, and entertained so handsomely, I thought there was no time to be lost; I carried my pot of oil into the kitchen, lighted the lamp, afterwards took the biggest kettle I had, went and filled it full of oil, set it on the fire to boil, and then poured as much into each jar as was sufficient to prevent them from executing the pernicious design they had meditated: after this I retired into the kitchen, and put out the lamp; but before I went to bed, waited at the window to know what measures the pretended merchant would take.

"After I had watched some time for the signal, he threw some stones out of the window against the jars, but neither hearing nor perceiving any body stirring, after throwing three times, he came down, when I saw him go to every jar, after which, through the darkness of the night, I lost sight of him. I waited some time longer, and finding that he did not return, doubted not but that, seeing he had missed his aim, he had made his escape over the walls of the garden. Persuaded that the house was now safe, I went to bed.

"This," said Morgiana, "is the account you asked of me; and I am convinced it is the consequence of what I observed some days ago, but did not think fit to acquaint you with: for when I came in one morning early, I found our street door marked with white chalk, and the next morning with red; upon which, both times, without knowing what was the intention of those chalks, I marked two or three neighbours' doors on each side in the same manner. If you reflect on this, and what has since happened, you will find it to be a plot of the robbers of the forest, of whose gang there are two wanting, and now they are reduced to three: all this shews that they had sworn your destruction, and it is proper you should be upon your guard, while there is one of them alive: for my part I shall neglect nothing necessary to your preservation, as I am in duty bound."

When Morgiana had left off speaking, Ali Baba was so sensible of the great service she had done him, that he said to her, "I will not die without rewarding you as you deserve: I owe my life to you, and for the first token of my acknowledgment, give you your liberty from this moment, till I can complete your recompense as I intend. I am persuaded with you, that the forty robbers have laid snares for my destruction. God, by your means, has delivered me from them as yet, and I hope will continue to preserve me from their wicked designs, and by averting the danger which threatened me, will deliver the world from their persecution and their cursed race. All that we have to do is to bury the bodies of these pests of mankind immediately, and with all the secrecy imaginable, that nobody may suspect what is become of them. But that labour Abdoollah and I will undertake."

Ali Baba's garden was very long, and shaded at the farther end by a great number of large trees. Under these he and the slave dug a trench, long and wide enough to hold all the robbers, and as the earth was light, they were not long in doing it. Afterwards they lifted the bodies out of the jars, took away their weapons, carried them to the end of the garden, laid them in the trench, and levelled the ground again. When this was done, Ali Baba hid the jars and weapons; and as he had no occasion for the mules, he sent them at different times to be sold in the market by his slave.

While Ali Baba took these measures to prevent the public from knowing how he came by his riches in so short a time, the captain of the forty robbers returned to the forest with inconceivable mortification; and in his agitation, or rather confusion, at his ill success, so contrary to what he had promised himself, entered the cave, not being able, all the way from the town, to come to any resolution how to revenge himself of Ali Baba.

The loneliness of the gloomy cavern became frightful to him. "Where are you, my brave lads," cried he, "old companions of my watchings, inroads, and labour? What can I do without you? Did I collect you only to lose you by so base a fate, and so unworthy of your courage! Had you died with your sabres in your hands, like brave men, my regret had been less! When shall I enlist so gallant a troop again? And if I could, can I undertake it without exposing so much gold and treasure to him who hath already enriched himself out of it? I cannot, I ought not to think of it, before I have taken away his life. I will undertake that alone which I could not accomplish with your powerful assistance; and when I have taken measures to secure this treasure from being pillaged, I will provide for it new masters and successors after me, who shall preserve and augment it to all posterity." This resolution being taken, he was not at a loss how to execute his purpose; but easy in his mind, and full of hopes, slept all that night very quietly.

When he awoke early next morning, he dressed himself, agreeably to the project he had formed, went to the town, and took a lodging in a khan. As he expected what had happened at Ali Baba's might make a great noise, he asked his host what news there was in the city? Upon which the inn-keeper told him a great many circumstances, which did not concern him in the least. He judged by this, that the reason why Ali Baba kept his affairs so secret, was for fear people should know where the treasure lay; and because he knew his life would be sought on account of it. This urged him the more to neglect nothing to rid himself of so cautious an enemy.

The captain now assumed the character of a merchant, and conveyed gradually a great many sorts of rich stuffs and fine linen to his lodging from the cavern, but with all the necessary precautions imaginable to conceal the place whence he brought them. In order to dispose of the merchandizes, when he had amassed them together, he took a warehouse, which happened to be opposite to Cassim's, which Ali Baba's son had occupied since the death of his uncle.

He took the name of Khaujeh Houssain, and as a new-comer, was, according to custom, extremely civil and complaisant to all the merchants his neighbours. Ali Baba's son was from his vicinity one of the first to converse with Khaujeh Houssain, who strove to cultivate his friendship more particularly, when, two or three days after he was settled, he recognized Ali Baba, who came to see his son, and stopped to talk with him as he was accustomed to do. When he was gone, the impostor learnt from his son who he was. He increased his assiduities, caressed him in the most engaging manner, made him some small presents, and often asked him to dine and sup with him; when he treated him very handsomely.

Ali Baba's son did not choose to lie under such obligation to Khaujeh Houssain, without making the like return; but was so much straitened for want of room in his house, that he could not entertain him so well as he wished; he therefore acquainted his father Ali Baba with his intention, and told him that it did not look well for him to receive such favours from Khaujeh Houssain, without inviting him in return.

Ali Baba, with great pleasure, took the treat upon himself. "Son," said he, "to-morrow being Friday, which is a day that the shops of such great merchants as Khaujeh Houssain and yourself are shut, get him to take a walk with you, and as you come back, pass by my door, and call in. It will look better to have it happen accidentally, than if you gave him a formal invitation. I will go and order Morgiana to provide a supper."

The next day Ali Baba's son and Khaujeh Houssain met by appointment, took their walk, and as they returned, Ali Baba's son led Khaujeh Houssain through the street where his father lived; and when they came to the house, stopped and knocked at the door. "This, sir," said he, "is my father's house; who, from the account I have given him of your friendship, charged me to procure him the honour of your acquaintance; and I desire you to add this pleasure to those for which I am already indebted to you."

Though it was the sole aim of Khaujeh Houssain to introduce himself into Ali Baba's house, that he might kill him without hazarding his own life or making any noise; yet he excused himself, and offered to take his leave. But a slave having opened the door, Ali Baba's son took him obligingly by the hand, and in a manner forced him in.

Ali Baba received Khaujeh Houssain with a smiling countenance, and in the most obliging manner he could wish. He thanked him for all the favours he had done his son; adding withal, the obligation was the greater, as he was a young man not much acquainted with the world, and that he might contribute to his information.

Khaujeh Houssain returned the compliment, by assuring Ali Baba, that though his son might not have acquired the experience of older men, he had good sense equal to the experience of many others. After a little more conversation on different subjects, he offered again to take his leave; when Ali Baba, stopping him, said, "Where are you going, sir, in so much haste? I beg you would do me the honour to sup with me, though what I have to give you is not worth your acceptance; but such as it is, I hope you will accept it as heartily as I give it." "Sir," replied Khaujeh Houssain, "I am thoroughly persuaded of your good-will; and if I ask the favour of you not to take it ill that I do not accept your obliging invitation, I beg of you to believe that it does not proceed from any slight or intention to affront, but from a reason which you would approve if you knew it."

"And what may that reason be, sir," replied Ali Baba, "if I may be so bold as to ask you?" "It is," answered Khaujeh Houssain, "that I can eat no victuals that have any salt in them; therefore judge how I should feel at your table." "If that is the only reason," said Ali Baba, "it ought not to deprive me of the honour of your company at supper; for, in the first place, there is no salt ever put into my bread, and as to the meat we shall have to- night, I promise you there shall be none in that. Therefore you must do me the favour to stay. I will return immediately."

Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and ordered Morgiana to put no salt to the meat that was to be dressed that night; and to make quickly two or three ragouts besides what he had ordered, but be sure to put no salt in them.

Morgiana, who was always ready to obey her master, could not help, this time, seeming somewhat dissatisfied at his strange order. "Who is this difficult man," said she, "who eats no salt with his meat? Your supper will be spoiled, if I keep it back so long." "Do not be angry, Morgiana," replied Ali Baba: "he is an honest man; therefore do as I bid you."

Morgiana obeyed, though with no little reluctance, and had a curiosity to see this man who ate no salt. To this end, when she had finished what she had to do in the kitchen, she helped Abdoollah to carry up the dishes; and looking at Khaujeh Houssain, knew him at first sight, notwithstanding his disguise, to be the captain of the robbers, and examining him very carefully, perceived that he had a dagger under his garment. "I am not in the least amazed," said she to herself, "that this wicked wretch, who is my master's greatest enemy, would eat no salt with him, since he intends to assassinate him; but I will prevent him".

Morgiana, while they were eating, made the necessary preparations for executing one of the boldest acts ever meditated, and had just determined, when Abdoollah came for the dessert of fruit, which she carried up, and as soon as Abdoollah had taken the meat away, set it upon the table; after that, she placed three glasses by Ali Baba, and going out, took Abdoollah with her to sup, and to give Ali Baba the more liberty of conversation with his guest.

Khaujeh Houssain, or rather the captain of the robbers, thought he had now a favourable opportunity of being revenged on Ali Baba. "I will," said he to himself, "make the father and son both drunk: the son, whose life I intend to spare, will not be able to prevent my stabbing his father to the heart; and while the slaves are at supper, or asleep in the kitchen, I can make my escape over the gardens as before."

Instead of going to supper, Morgiana, who had penetrated the intentions of the counterfeit Khaujeh Houssain, would not give him time to put his villanous design into execution, but dressed herself neatly with a suitable head-dress like a dancer, girded her waist with a silver-gilt girdle, to which there hung a poniard with a hilt and guard of the same metal, and put a handsome mask on her face. When she had thus disguised herself, she said to Abdoollah, "Take your tabor, and let us go and divert our master and his son's guest, as we do sometimes when he is alone."

Abdoollah took his tabor and played all the way into the hall before Morgiana, who, when she came to the door, made a low obeisance, with a deliberate air, in order to draw attention, and by way of asking leave to exhibit her skill. Abdoollah, seeing that his master had a mind to say something, left off playing. "Come in, Morgiana," said Ali Baba, "and let Khaujeh Houssain see what you can do, that he may tell us what he thinks of you." "But, sir," said he, turning towards his guest, "do not think that I put myself to any expense to give you this diversion, since these are my slave and my cook and housekeeper; and I hope you will not find the entertainment they give us disagreeable."

Khaujeh Houssain, who did not expect this diversion after supper, began to fear he should not be able to improve the opportunity he thought he had found; but hoped, if he now missed his aim, to secure it another time, by keeping up a friendly correspondence with the father and son; therefore, though he could have wished Ali Baba would have declined the dance, he pretended to be obliged to him for it, and had the complaisance to express his satisfaction at what he saw pleased his host.

As soon as Abdoollah saw that Ali Baba and Khaujeh Houssain had done talking, he began to play on the tabor, and accompanied it with an air; to which Morgiana, who was an excellent performer, danced in such a manner as would have created admiration in any other company besides that before which she now exhibited, among whom, perhaps, none but the false Khaujeh Houssain was in the least attentive to her, the rest having seen her so frequently.

After she had danced several dances with equal propriety and grace, she drew the poniard, and holding it in her hand, began a dance, in which she outdid herself, by the many different figures, light movements, and the surprising leaps and wonderful exertions with which she accompanied it. Sometimes she presented the poniard to one's breast, sometimes to another's, and oftentimes seeming to strike her own. At last, as if she was out of breath, she snatched the tabor from Abdoollah with her left hand, and holding the dagger in her right, presented the other side of the tabor, after the manner of those who get a livelihood by dancing, and solicit the liberality of the spectators.

Ali Baba put a piece of gold into the tabor, as did also his son; and Khaujeh Houssain seeing that she was coming to him, had pulled his purse out of his bosom to make her a present; but while he was putting his hand into it, Morgiana, with a courage and resolution worthy of herself, plunged the poniard into his heart.

Ali Baba and his son, shocked at this action, cried out aloud. "Unhappy wretch!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what have you done to ruin me and my family?" "It was to preserve, not to ruin you," answered Morgiana; "for see here," continued she (opening the pretended Khaujeh Houssain's garment, and shewing the dagger), "what an enemy you had entertained! Look well at him, and you will find him to be both the fictitious oil-merchant, and the captain of the gang of forty robbers. Remember, too, that he would eat no salt with you; and what would you have more to persuade you of his wicked design? Before I saw him I suspected him as soon as you told me you had such a guest. I knew him, and you now find that my suspicion was not groundless."

Ali Baba, who immediately felt the new obligation he had to Morgiana for saving his life a second time, embraced her: "Morgiana," said he, "I gave you your liberty, and then promised you that my gratitude should not stop there, but that I would soon give you higher proofs of its sincerity, which I now do by making you my daughter-in-law." Then addressing himself to his son, he said, "I believe you, son, to be so dutiful a child, that you will not refuse Morgiana for your wife. You see that Khaujeh Houssain sought your friendship with a treacherous design to take away my life; and, if he had succeeded, there is no doubt but he would have sacrificed you also to his revenge. Consider, that by marrying Morgiana you marry the preserver of my family and your own."

The son, far from shewing any dislike, readily consented to the marriage; not only because he would not disobey his father, but also because it was agreeable to his inclination.

After this, they thought of burying the captain of the robbers with his comrades, and did it so privately that nobody discovered their bones till many years after, when no one had any concern in the publication of this remarkable history.

A few days afterwards, Ali Baba celebrated the nuptials of his son and Morgiana with great solemnity, a sumptuous feast, and the usual dancing and spectacles; and had the satisfaction to see that his friends and neighbours, whom he invited, had no knowledge of the true motives of the marriage; but that those who were not unacquainted with Morgiana's good qualities commended his generosity and goodness of heart.

Ali Baba forbore, after this marriage, from going again to the robbers' cave, as he had done from the time he had brought away his brother Cassim's mangled remains, for fear of being surprised. He kept away after the death of the thirty-seven robbers and their captain, supposing the other two, whom he could get no account of, might be alive.

At the year's end, when he found they had not made any attempt to disturb him, he had the curiosity to make another journey, taking the necessary precautions for his safety. He mounted his horse, and when he came to the cave, and saw no footsteps of men or horses, looked upon it as a good sign. He alighted, tied his horse to a tree, then approaching the entrance, and pronouncing the words, Open, Sesame, the door opened. He entered the cavern, and by the condition he found things in, judged that nobody had been there since the false Khaujeh Houssain, when he had fetched the goods for his shop, that the gang of forty robbers was completely destroyed, and no longer doubted that he was the only person in the world who had the secret of opening the cave, so that all the treasure was at his sole disposal. Having brought with him a wallet, he put into it as much gold as his horse would carry, and returned to town.

Afterwards Ali Baba carried his son to the cave, taught him the secret, which they handed down to their posterity, who, using their good fortune with moderation, lived in great honour and splendour.


In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there lived at Bagdad a merchant whose name was Ali Khaujeh, who was neither one of the richest nor poorest of his line. He was a bachelor, and lived in the house which had been his father's, independent and content with the profit he made by his trade. But happening to dream for three successive nights that a venerable old man came to him, and, with a severe look, reprimanded him for not having made a pilgrimage to Mecca, he was much troubled.

As a good Mussulmaun, he knew he was obliged to undertake a pilgrimage; but as he had a house, shop, and goods, he had always believed that they might stand for a sufficient reason to excuse him, endeavouring by his charity, and other good works, to atone for that neglect. After this dream, however, his conscience was so much pricked, that the fear lest any misfortune should befall him made him resolve not to defer it any longer; and to be able to go that year, he sold off his household goods, his shop, and with it the greatest part of his merchandize, reserving only some articles, which he thought might turn to a better account at Mecca; and meeting with a tenant for his house, let that also.

His affairs being thus disposed, he was ready to depart when the Bagdad caravan set out for Mecca: the only thing he had to do was to lodge in some place of security a sum of a thousand pieces of gold, which would have been troublesome to carry with him, with the money he had set apart to defray his expenses on the road, and for other purposes. To this end, he made choice of a jar of a suitable size, put the thousand pieces of gold into it, and covered them over with olives. When he had closed the mouth of the jar, he carried it to a merchant, a particular friend of his, and said to him, "You know, brother, that in a few days I mean to depart with the caravan, on my pilgrimage to Mecca. I beg the favour of you to take charge of a jar of olives, and keep it for me till I return." The merchant promised him he would, and in an obliging manner said, "Here, take the key of my warehouse, and set your jar where you please. I promise you shall find it there when you return."

On the day the caravan was to set out Ali Khaujeh joined it, with a camel loaded with what goods he had thought fit to carry, which also served him to ride on. He arrived safe at Mecca, where he visited, with other pilgrims, the temple so much celebrated and frequented by the faithful of all nations every year, who came from all parts of the world, and observed religiously the ceremonies prescribed them. When he had acquitted himself of the duties of his pilgrimage, he exposed the merchandize he had brought with him for sale or barter, as might be most profitable.

Two merchants passing by, and seeing Ali Khaujeh's goods, thought them so choice, that they stopped some time to look at, though they had no occasion for them; and when they had satisfied their curiosity, one of them said to the other, as they were going away, "If this merchant knew to what profit these goods would turn at Cairo he would carry them thither, and not sell them here, though this is a good mart."

Ali Khaujeh heard these words; and as he had often heard talk of the beauties of Egypt, he was resolved to take the opportunity of seeing them, by performing a journey thither. Therefore, after having packed up his goods again, instead of returning to Bagdad, he set out for Egypt, with the caravan of Cairo. When he came thither, he found his account in his journey, and in a few days sold all his goods to a greater advantage than he had hoped for. With the money he bought others, with an intent to go to Damascus: and while he waited for the opportunity of a caravan, which was to depart in six weeks, visited all the curiosities of Cairo, as also the pyramids, and sailing up the Nile, viewed the famous towns on each side of that river.

As the Damascus caravan took Jerusalem in their way, our Bagdad merchant had the opportunity of visiting the temple, regarded by the Mussulmauns to be the most holy, after that of Mecca, whence this city takes its name of Biel al Mukkuddus, or most sacred mansion.

Ali Khaujeh found Damascus so delicious a place, being environed by verdant meadows, pleasantly watered, and delightful gardens, that it exceeded the descriptions given of it in the journals of travellers. Here he made a long abode, but, nevertheless, did not forget his native Bagdad: for which place he at length set out, and arrived at Aleppo, where he made some stay; and from thence, after having passed the Euphrates, he bent his course to Moussoul, with an intention, in his return, to come by a shorter way down the Tigris.

When Ali Khaujeh came to Moussoul, some Persian merchants, with whom he had travelled from Aleppo, and with whom he had contracted a great friendship, had obtained so great an influence over him by their civilities and agreeable conversation, that they easily persuaded him not to leave them till he should have visited Sheerauz, from whence he might easily return to Bagdad with a considerable profit. They led him through the towns of Sultania, Rei, Coam, Caschan, Ispahan, and from thence to Sheerauz; from whence he had the complaisance to bear them company to Hindoostan, and then returned with them again to Sheerauz; insomuch, that including the stay made in every town, he was seven years absent from Bagdad, whither he then resolved to return.

All this time his friend, with whom he had left his jar of olives, neither thought of him nor them; but at the time when he was on the road with a caravan from Sheerauz, one evening as this merchant was supping with his family, the discourse happened to fall upon olives, and his wife was desirous to eat some, saying, she had not tasted any for a long while. "Now you speak of olives," said the merchant, "you put me in mind of a jar which Ali Khaujeh left with me seven years ago, when he went to Mecca; and put it himself in my warehouse to be kept for him against he returned. What is become of him I know not; though, when the caravan came back, they told me he was gone for Egypt. Certainly he must be dead, since he has not returned in all this time; and we may eat the olives, if they prove good. Give me a plate and a candle, I will go and fetch some of them, and we will taste them."

"For God's sake, husband," said the wife, "do not commit so base an action; you know that nothing is more sacred than what is committed to one's care and trust. You say Ali Khaujeh has left Mecca, and is not returned; but you have been told that he is gone into Egypt; and how do you know but that he may be gone farther? As you have no intelligence of his death, he may return to-morrow for any thing you can tell: and what a disgrace would it be to you and your family if he should come, and you not restore him his jar in the same condition he left it? I declare I have no desire for the olives, and will not taste them, for when I mentioned them it was only by way of conversation; besides, do you think that they can be good, after they have been kept so long? They most be all mouldy, and spoiled; and if Ali Khaujeh should return, as I have a strong persuasion he will, and should find they had been opened, what will he think of your honour? I beg of you to let them alone."

The wife had not argued so long with her husband, but that she read his obstinacy in his face. In short, he never regarded what she said, but got up, took a candle and a plate, and went into the warehouse. "Well, husband," said the wife again, "remember I have no hand in this business; and that you cannot lay any thing to my charge, if you should have cause to repent of your conduit."

The merchant's ears were deaf to these remonstrances of his wife, and he persisted in his design. When he came into the warehouse, he opened the jar, and found the olives mouldy; but to see if they were all so to the bottom, he turned some of them upon the plate; and by shaking the jar, some of the gold tumbled out.

At the sight of the gold, the merchant, who was naturally covetous, looked into the jar, perceived that he had shaken out almost all the olives, and what remained was gold coin. He immediately put the olives into the jar again, covered it up, and returned to his wife. "Indeed, wife," said he, "you were in the right to say that the olives were all mouldy; for I found them so, and have made up the jar just as Ali Khaujeh left it; so that he will not perceive that they have been touched, if he should return." "You had better have taken my advice," said the wife, "and not have meddled with them. God grant no mischief happens in consequence!"

The merchant was not more affected with his wife's last words than he had been by her former, but spent almost the whole night in thinking how he might appropriate Ali Khaujeh's gold to his own use, and keep possession of it in case he should return and ask him for the jar. The next morning he went and bought some olives of that year, took out the old with the gold, and filled the jar with the new, covered it up, and put it in the place where Ali Khaujeh had left it.

About a month after the merchant had committed this unworthy action, Ali Khaujeh arrived at Bagdad; and as he had let his house, alighted at a khan, choosing to stay there till he had announced his arrival to his tenant, and given him time to provide himself with another residence.

The next morning Ali Khaujeh went to pay a visit to the merchant his friend, who received him in the most obliging manner; and expressed great joy at his return, after so many years absence; telling him, that he had begun to lose all hopes of ever seeing him again.

After the usual compliments on both sides on such a meeting, Ali Khaujeh desired the merchant to return him the jar of olives which he had left. with him, and to excuse the liberty he had taken in giving him so much trouble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of Volume 3.