The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 04

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Title: The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 04

Translator: Jonathan Scott

Release date: May 1, 2004 [eBook #5667]
Most recently updated: December 29, 2020

Language: English

Credits: This eBook was produced by JC Byers


This eBook was produced by JC Byers.

Text scanned by JC Byers and proofread by the Distributed

The "Aldine" Edition of

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Illustrated by S. L. Wood


In Four Volumes

Volume 4

                      Pickering and Chatto

Contents of Volume IV.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and presently afterwards the crier arrived. The merchant called him by his name, and pointing to the prince, said to him, "Tell that gentleman, who asked me if you were in your right senses, what you mean by crying that ivory tube, which seems not to be worth much, at forty purses? I should indeed be much amazed myself, if I did not know you were a sensible man." The crier, addressing himself to prince Ali, said, "Sir, you are not the only person that takes me for a madman, on account of this tube; you shall judge yourself whether I am or no, when I have told you its property; and I hope you will value it at as high a price as those I have shewed it to already, who had as bad an opinion of me as you have.

"First, sir," pursued the crier, presenting the ivory tube to the prince, "observe, that this tube is furnished with a glass at both ends; by looking through one of them, you will see whatever object you wish to behold." "I am," said the prince, "ready to make you all proper reparation for the reflection I have cast upon you, if you can make the truth of what you advance appear; and" (as he had the ivory tube in his hand, after he had looked at the two glasses), he said, "shew me at which of these ends I must look, that I may be satisfied." The crier presently shewed him, and he looked through; wishing, at the same time, to see the sultan his father, whom he immediately beheld in perfect health, sitting on his throne, in the midst of his council. Next, as there was nothing in the world so dear to him, after the sultan, as the princess Nouronnihar, he wished to see her; and instantly beheld her laughing, and in a gay humour, with her women about her.

Prince All wanted no other proof to persuade him that this tube was the most valuable article, not only in the city of Sheerauz, but in all the world; and believed, that if he should neglect to purchase it, he should never meet with an equally wonderful curiosity. He said to the crier, "I am very sorry that I have entertained so erroneous an opinion of you, but hope to make amends by buying the tube, for I should be sorry if any body else had it; so tell me the lowest price the owner has fixed; and do not give yourself any farther trouble to hawk it about, but go with me and I will pay you the money." The crier assured him, with an oath, that his last orders were to take no less than forty purses; and if he disputed the truth of what he said, he would carry him to his employer. The prince believed him, took him to the khan where he lodged, told him out the money, and received the tube.

Prince Ali was overjoyed at his purchase; and persuaded himself, that as his brothers would not be able to meet with any thing so rare and admirable, the princess Nouronnihar must be the recompense of his fatigue and travels. He thought now of only visiting the court of Persia incognito, and seeing whatever was curious in and about Sheerauz, till the caravan with which he came might be ready to return to the Indies. He satisfied his curiosity, and when the caravan took its departure, the prince joined the former party of merchants his friends, and arrived happily without any accident or trouble, further than the length of the journey and fatigue of travelling, at the place of rendezvous, where he found prince Houssain, and both waited for prince Ahmed.

Prince Ahmed took the road of Samarcand, and the day after his arrival, went, as his brothers had done, into the bezestein; where he had not walked long before he heard a crier, who had an artificial apple in his hand, cry it at five-and-thirty purses. He stopped the crier, and said to him, "Let me see that apple, and tell me what virtue or extraordinary property it possesses, to be valued at so high a rate?" "Sir," replied the crier, giving it into his hand, "if you look at the mere outside of this apple it is not very remarkable; but if you consider its properties, and the great use and benefit it is of to mankind, you will say it is invaluable, and that he who possesses it is master of a great treasure. It cures all sick persons of the most mortal diseases, whether fever, pleurisy, plague, or other malignant distempers; for even if the patient is dying, it will recover him immediately, and restore him to perfect health: and this merely by the patient's smelling to it."

"If one may believe you," replied prince Ahmed, "the virtues of this apple are wonderful, and it is indeed invaluable: but what ground has the purchaser to be persuaded that there is no exaggeration in the high praises you bestow on it?" "Sir," replied the crier, "the truth is known by the whole city of Samarcand; but without going any farther, ask all these merchants you see here, and hear what they say; you will find several of them will tell you they had not been alive this day had they not made use of this excellent remedy; and that you may the better comprehend what it is, I must tell you it is the fruit of the study and experience of a celebrated philosopher of this city, who applied himself all his lifetime to the knowledge of the virtues of plants and minerals, and at last attained to this composition, by which he performed such surprising cures, as will never be forgotten; but died suddenly himself, before he could apply his own sovereign remedy; and left his wife and a great many young children behind in very indifferent circumstances, who, to support her family, and to provide for her children, has resolved to sell it."

While the crier was detailing to prince Ahmed the virtues of the artificial apple, many persons came about them, and confirmed what he declared; and one amongst the rest said he had a friend dangerously ill, whose life was despaired of; which was a favourable opportunity to shew the experiment. Upon which prince Ahmed told the crier he would give him forty purses for the apple if it cured the sick person by smelling to it.

The crier, who had orders to sell it at that price, said to prince Ahmed, "Come, sir, let us go and make the experiment, and the apple shall be yours; and I say this with the greater confidence, as it is an undoubted fact that it will always have the same effect, as it already has had whenever it has been applied to save from death so many persons whose lives were despaired of." In short, the experiment succeeded; and the prince, after he had counted out to the crier forty purses, and had received the apple from him, waited with the greatest impatience for the departure of a caravan for the Indies. In the mean time he saw all that was curious at and about Samarcand, and principally the valley of Sogd, which is reckoned by the Arabians one of the four paradises of this world, for the beauty of its fields, gardens, and palaces, and for its fertility in fruit of all sorts, and all the other pleasures enjoyed there in the fine season.

Ahmed joined himself to the first caravan that set out for the Indies, and notwithstanding the inevitable inconveniences of so long a journey, arrived in perfect health at the caravanserai, where the princes Houssain and Ali waited for him.

Ali, who had arrived some time before Ahmed, asked Houssain how long he had been there? who told him, "Three months;" to which he replied, "Then certainly you have not been very far." "I will tell you nothing now," said prince Houssain, "of where I have been, but only assure you, I was above three months travelling to the place I went to." "But then," replied prince Ali, "you made a short stay there." "Indeed, brother," said prince Houssain, "you are mistaken; I resided at one place above four months, and might have stayed longer." "Unless you flew back," returned Ali again, "I cannot comprehend how you can have been three months here, as you would make me believe."

"I tell you the truth," added Houssain, "and it is a riddle which I shall not explain to you, till our brother Ahmed joins us; when I will let you know what rarity I have purchased in my travels. I know not what you have got, but believe it to be some trifle, because I do not perceive that your baggage is increased." "And pray what have you brought?" demanded prince Ali, "for I can see nothing but an ordinary piece of carpeting, with which you cover your sofa; and therefore I think I may return your raillery; and as you seem to make what you have brought a secret, you cannot take it amiss that I do the same with respect to what I have procured."

"I consider the rarity I have purchased," replied Houssain, "to excel all others whatever, and should not make any difficulty to shew it you, and make you allow that it is so, and at the same time tell you how I came by it, without being in the least apprehensive that what you have got is to be preferred to it: but it is proper that we should wait till our brother Ahmed arrives, when we may communicate our good fortune to each other."

Prince All would not enter into a dispute with prince Houssain on the preference he gave his rarity, but was persuaded, that if his perspective glass was not preferable, it was impossible it should be inferior to it; and therefore agreed to stay till prince Ahmed arrived, to produce his purchase.

When prince Ahmed joined his brothers, they embraced with tenderness, and complimented each other on the happiness of meeting together at the same place they had set out from. Houssain, as the eldest brother, then assumed the discourse, and said to them, "Brothers, we shall have time enough hereafter to entertain ourselves with the particulars of our travels. Let us come to that which is of the greatest importance for us to know; and as I do not doubt you remember the principal motive which engaged us to travel, let us not conceal from each other the curiosities we have brought, but shew them, that we may do ourselves justice beforehand, and judge to which of us the sultan our father may give the preference.

"To set the example," continued Houssain, "I will tell you, that the rarity which I have brought from the kingdom of Bisnagar is the carpeting on which I sit, which looks but ordinary, and makes no shew; but when I have declared its virtues, you will be struck with admiration, and confess you never heard of any thing like it. Whoever sits on it, as we do, and desires to be transported to any place, be it ever so far distant, he is immediately carried thither. I made the experiment myself, before I paid the forty purses, which I most readily gave for it; and when I had fully satisfied my curiosity at the court of Bisnagar, and wished to return here, I made use of no other conveyance than this wonderful carpet for myself and servant, who can tell you how long we were on our journey. I will shew you both the experiment whenever you please. I expect now that you should tell me whether what you have brought is to be compared with this carpet."

Here prince Houssain finished his commendations of the excellency of his carpet; and prince Ali, addressing himself to him, said, "I must own, brother, that your carpet is one of the most surprising curiosities, if it has, as I do not doubt, the property you speak of. But you must allow that there may be other rarities, I will not say more, but at least as wonderful, in another way; and to convince you there are, here is an ivory tube, which appears to the eye no more a prodigy than your carpet; it cost me as much, and I am as well satisfied with my purchase as you can be with yours; and you will be so just as to own that I have not been imposed upon, when you shall know by experience, that by looking at one end you see whatever object you wish to behold. I would not have you take my word," added prince Ali, presenting the tube to him; "take it, make trial of it yourself."

Houssain took the ivory tube from prince Ali, and put that end to his eye which Ali directed, with an intention to see the princess Nouronnihar; when Ali and prince Ahmed, who kept their eyes fixed upon him, were extremely surprised to see his countenance change in such a manner, as expressed extraordinary alarm and affliction. Prince Houssain did not give them time to ask what was the matter, but cried out, "Alas! princes, to what purpose have we undertaken such long and fatiguing journeys, but with the hopes of being recompensed by the possession of the charming Nouronnihar, when in a few moments that lovely princess will breathe her last. I saw her in her bed, surrounded by her women and eunuchs, all in tears, who seem to expect her death. Take the tube, behold yourselves the miserable state she is in, and mingle your tears with mine."

Prince Ali took the tube out of Houssain's hand, and after he had seen the same object with sensible grief, presented it to Ahmed, who took it, to behold the melancholy sight which so much concerned them all.

When prince Ahmed had taken the tube out of Ali's hands, and saw that the princess Nouronnihar's end was so near, he addressed himself to his two brothers, and said, "Princes, the princess Nouronnihar, equally the object of our vows, is indeed just at death's door; but provided we make haste and lose no time, we may preserve her life." He then took the artificial apple out of his bosom, and shewing it to his brothers, resumed, "This apple cost me as much and more than either the carpet or tube. The opportunity which now presents itself to shew you its wonderful property makes me not regret the forty purses I gave for it. But not to keep you longer in suspense, it has this virtue; if a sick person smells to it, though in the last agonies, it will restore him to perfect health immediately. I have made the experiment, and can show you its wonderful effect on the person of the princess Nouronnihar, if we hasten to assist her."

"If that be all," replied prince Houssain, "we cannot make more dispatch than by transporting ourselves instantly into her chamber by means of my carpet. Come, lose no time, sit down, it is large enough to hold us all: but first let us give orders to our servants to set out immediately, and join us at the palace."

As soon as the order was given, the princes Ali and Ahmed sat down by Houssain, and as their interest was the same, they all framed the same wish, and were transported instantaneously into the princess Nouronnihar's chamber.

The presence of the three princes, who were so little expected, alarmed the princess's women and eunuchs, who could not comprehend by what enchantment three men should be among them; for they did not know them at first; and the eunuchs were ready to fall upon them, as people who had got into a part of the palace where they were not allowed to come; but they presently found their mistake.

Prince Ahmed no sooner saw himself in Nouronnihar's chamber, and perceived the princess dying, but he rose off the carpet, as did also the other two princes, went to the bed-side, and put the apple to her nostrils. The princess instantly opened her eyes, and turned her head from one side to another, looking at the persons who stood about her; she then rose up in the bed, and asked to be dressed, with the same freedom and recollection as if she had awaked out of a sound sleep. Her women presently informed her, in a manner that shewed their joy, that she was obliged to the three princes her cousins, and particularly to prince Ahmed, for the sudden recovery of her health. She immediately expressed her joy at seeing them, and thanked them all together, but afterwards prince Ahmed in particular. As she desired to dress, the princes contented themselves with telling her how great a pleasure it was to them to have come soon enough to contribute each in any degree towards relieving her from the imminent danger she was in, and what ardent prayers they had offered for the continuance of her life; after which they retired.

While the princess was dressing, the princes went to throw themselves at the sultan their father's feet; but when they came to him, they found he had been previously informed of their unexpected arrival by the chief of the princess's eunuchs, and by what means the princess had been so suddenly cured. The sultan received and embraced them with the greatest joy, both for their return, and the wonderful recovery of the princess his niece, whom he loved as if she had been his own daughter, and who had been given over by the physicians. After the usual compliments, the princes presented each the rarity which he had brought: prince Houssain his carpet, prince Ali his ivory tube, and prince Ahmed the artificial apple; and after each had commended his present, as he put it into the sultan's hands, they begged of him to pronounce their fate, and declare to which of them he would give the princess Nouronnihar, according to his promise.

The sultan of the Indies having kindly heard all that the princes had to say in favour of their rarities, without interrupting them, and being well informed of what had happened in relation to the princess Nouronnihar's cure, remained some time silent, considering what answer he should make. At last he broke silence, and said to them in terms full of wisdom, "I would declare for one of you, my children, if I could do it with justice; but consider whether I can? It is true, Ahmed, the princess my niece is obliged to your artificial apple for her cure: but let me ask you, whether you could have been so serviceable to her if you had not known by Ali's tube the danger she was in, and if Houssain's carpet had not brought you to her so soon? Your tube, Ali, informed you and your brothers that you were likely to lose the princess your cousin, and so far she is greatly obliged to you. You must also grant, that the knowledge of her illness would have been of no service without the artificial apple and the carpet. And as for you, Houssain, the princess would be very ungrateful if she did not show her sense of the value of your carpet, which was so necessary a means towards effecting her cure. But consider, it would have been of little use, if you had not been acquainted with her illness by Ali's tube, or if Ahmed had not applied his artificial apple. Therefore, as neither the carpet, the ivory tube, nor the artificial apple has the least preference to the other articles, but as, on the contrary, their value has been perfectly equal, I cannot grant the princess to any one of you; and the only fruit you have reaped from your travels is the glory of having equally contributed to restore her to health.

"As this is the case," added the sultan, "you see that I must have recourse to other means to determine me with certainty in the choice I ought to make; and as there is time enough between this and night, I will do it to-day. Go and procure each of you a bow and arrow, repair to the plain where the horses are exercised; I will soon join you, and will give the princess Nouronnihar to him who shoots the farthest.

"I do not, however, forget to thank you all in general, and each in particular, for the present you have brought me. I have many rarities in my collection already, but nothing that comes up to the miraculous properties of the carpet, the ivory tube, and the artificial apple, which shall have the first places among them, and shall be preserved carefully, not only for curiosity, but for service upon all proper occasions."

The three princes had nothing to object to the decision of the sultan. When they were dismissed his presence, they each provided themselves with a bow and arrow, which they delivered to one of their officers, and went to the plain appointed, followed by a great concourse of people.

The sultan did not make them wait long for him: as soon as he arrived, prince Houssain, as the eldest, took his bow and arrow, and shot first. Prince Ali shot next, and much beyond him; and prince Ahmed last of all; but it so happened, that nobody could see where his arrow fell; and notwithstanding all the search made by himself and all the spectators, it was not to be found. Though it was believed that he had shot the farthest, and had therefore deserved the princess Nouronnihar, it was however necessary that his arrow should be found, to make the matter more evident and certain; but notwithstanding his remonstrances, the sultan determined in favour of prince Ali, and gave orders for preparations to be made for the solemnization of the nuptials, which were celebrated a few days after with great magnificence.

Prince Houssain would not honour the feast with his presence; his passion for the princess Nouronnihar was so sincere and ardent, that he could scarcely support with patience the mortification of seeing her in the arms of prince Ali: who, he said, did not deserve her better nor love her more than himself. In short, his grief was so violent and insupportable, that he left the court, and renounced all right of succession to the crown, to turn dervish, and put himself under the discipline of a famous chief, who had gained great reputation for his exemplary life; and had taken up his abode, and that of his disciples, whose number was great, in an agreeable solitude.

Prince Ahmed, urged by the same motive, did not assist at prince Ali and the princess Nouronnihar's nuptials, any more than his brother Houssain, yet did not renounce the world as he had done. But as he could not imagine what could have become of his arrow, he resolved to search for it, that he might not have any thing to reproach himself with. With this intent he went to the place where the princes Houssain's and Ali's were gathered up, and proceeding straight forwards from thence looked carefully on both sides as he advanced. He went so far, that at last he began to think his labour was in vain; yet he could not help proceeding till he came to some steep craggy rocks, which would have obliged him to return, had he been ever so desirous to continue his course.

As he approached these rocks, he perceived an arrow, which he took up, looked earnestly at it, and was in the greatest astonishment to find it was the same he had shot. "Certainly," said he to himself, "neither I, nor any man living, could shoot an arrow so far; and finding it laid flat, not sticking into the ground, he judged that it had rebounded from the rock. There must be some mystery in this, said he to himself again, and it may be to my advantage. Perhaps fortune, to make amends for depriving me of what I thought the greatest happiness of my life, may have reserved a greater blessing for my comfort."

As these rocks were full of sharp points and indentures between them, the prince meditating, entered into one of the cavities, and looking about, beheld an iron door, which seemed to have no lock. He feared it was fastened; but pushing against it, it opened, and discovered an easy descent, which he walked down with his arrow in his hand. At first he thought he was going into a dark place, but presently a light quite different from that which he had quitted succeeded; and entering into a spacious square, he, to his surprise, beheld a magnificent palace, the admirable structure of which he had not time to look at: for at the same instant, a lady of majestic air, and of a beauty to which the richness of her habit and the jewels which adorned her person added no advantage, advanced, attended by a troop of ladies, or whom it was difficult to distinguish which was the mistress, as all were so magnificently dressed.

As soon as Ahmed perceived the lady, he hastened to pay his respects; and the lady seeing him coming, prevented him. Addressing him first, she said, "Come near, prince Ahmed, you are welcome."

It was with no small surprise that the prince heard himself named in a palace he had never heard of, though so nigh to his father's capital, and he could not comprehend how he should be known to a lady who was a stranger to him. At last he returned the lady's compliment, by throwing himself at her feet, and rising up, said to her, "Lady, I return you a thousand thanks for the assurance you give me of welcome to a place where I had reason to believe my imprudent curiosity had made me penetrate too far. But may I, without being guilty of rudeness, presume to inquire by what adventure you know me? and how you who live in the same neighbourhood should be so little known by me?" "Prince," said the lady, "let us go into the hall; there I will gratify you in your request more commodiously for us both."

After these words, the lady led prince Ahmed into the hall, the noble structure of which, displaying the gold and azure which embellished the dome, and the inestimable richness of the furniture, appeared so great a novelty to him, that he could not forbear his admiration, but exclaimed, that he had never beheld its equal. "I can assure you," replied the lady, "that this is but a small part of my palace, as you will judge when you have seen all the apartments." She then sat down on a sofa; and when the prince at her entreaty had seated himself by her, she continued, "You are surprised, you say, that I know you, and am not known by you; but you will be no longer surprised when I inform you who I am. You cannot be ignorant, as the Koran informs you, that the world is inhabited by genii as well as men: I am the daughter of one of the most powerful and distinguished of these genii, and my name is Perie Banou; therefore you ought not to wonder that I know you, the sultan your father, the princes your brothers, and the princess Nouronnihar. I am no stranger to your loves or your travels, of which I could tell you all the circumstances, since it was I myself who exposed to sale the artificial apple which you bought at Samarcand, the carpet which prince Houssain purchased at Bisnagar, and the tube which prince Ali brought from Sheerauz. This is sufficient to let you know that I am not unacquainted with every thing that relates to you. I have to add, that you seemed to me worthy of a more happy fate than that of possessing the princess Nouronnihar; and that you might attain to it, I was present when you drew your arrow, and foresaw it would not go beyond prince Houssain's. I seized it in the air, and gave it the necessary motion to strike against the rocks near which you found it. It is in your power to avail yourself of the favourable opportunity which presents itself to make you happy."

As the fairy Perie Banou pronounced the last words with a different tone, and looked at the same time tenderly at the prince, with downcast eyes and a modest blush upon her cheeks, it was not difficult for him to comprehend what happiness she meant. He reflected that the princess Nouronnihar could never be his, saw that Perie Banou excelled her infinitely in beauty and accomplishments, and, as far as he could conjecture by the magnificence of the palace, in immense riches. He blessed the moment that he thought of seeking after his arrow a second time, and yielding to his inclination, which drew him towards the new object which had fired his heart: he then replied, "Should I, all my life, have the happiness of being your slave, and the admirer of the many charms which ravish my soul, I should think myself the happiest of men. Pardon the presumption which inspires me to ask this favour, and do not refuse to admit into your court a prince who is entirely devoted to you."

"Prince," answered the fairy, "as I have been, long my own mistress, and have no dependence on a parent's consent, it is not as a slave that I would admit you into my court, but as master of my person, and all that belongs to me, by pledging your faith to me, and taking me as your wife. I hope you will not think it indecorous, that I anticipate you in this proposal. I am, as I said, mistress of my will; and must add, that the same customs are not observed among fairies as with human-kind, in whom it would not have been decent to have made such advances: but it is what we do, and we suppose we confer obligation by the practice."

Ahmed made no answer to this declaration, but was so penetrated with gratitude, that he thought he could not express it better than by prostration to kiss the hem of her garment; which she would not give him time to do, but presented her hand, which he kissed a thousand times, and kept fast locked in his. "Well, prince Ahmed," said she, "will you pledge your faith to me, as I do mine to you?" "Yes, madam," replied the prince, in an ecstacy of joy. "What can I do more fortunate for myself, or with greater pleasure? Yes, my sultaness, I give it you with my heart without the least reserve." "Then," answered the fairy, "you are my husband, and I am your wife. Our fairy marriages are contracted with no other ceremonies, and yet are more firm and indissoluble than those among men, with all their formalities. But as I suppose," pursued she, "that you have eaten nothing to-day, a slight repast shall be served up for you while preparations are making for our nuptial feast this evening, and then I will shew you the apartments of my palace."

Some of the fairy's women who came into the hall with them, and guessed her intentions, went immediately out, and returned with some excellent viands and wines.

When Ahmed had refreshed himself, the fairy led him through all the apartments, where he saw diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and all sorts of fine jewels, intermixed with pearls, agate, jasper, porphyry, and all kinds of the most precious marbles; not to mention the richness of the furniture, which was inestimable; the whole disposed in such elegant profusion, that the prince acknowledged there could not be any thing in the world equal to it. "Prince," said the fairy, "if you admire my humble abode so much, what would you say to the palaces of the chiefs of our genii, which are much more beautiful, spacious, and magnificent? I could also shew you my garden; but we will leave that till another time. Night draws near, and it will be time to go to supper."

The next hall which the fairy led the prince into, where the cloth was laid for the feast, was the only apartment he had not seen, and it was not in the least inferior to the others. At his entrance, he admired the infinite number of wax candles perfumed with amber, the multitude of which, instead of being confused, were placed with so just a symmetry, as to form an agreeable and pleasant light. A large beaufet was set out with all sorts of gold plate, so finely wrought, that the workmanship was much more valuable than the weight of the gold. Several bands of beautiful women richly dressed, and whose voices were ravishing, began a concert, accompanied by the most harmonious instruments he had ever heard. When they were seated, the fairy took care to help prince Ahmed to the most delicious meats, which she named as she invited him to eat of them, and which the prince had never heard of, but found so exquisite, that he commended them in the highest terms, saying, that the entertainment which she gave him far surpassed those among men. He found also the same excellence in the wines, which neither he nor the fairy tasted till the dessert was served up, which consisted of the choicest sweetmeats and fruits.

After the dessert, the fairy Perie Banou and prince Ahmed rose and repaired to a sofa, with cushions of fine silk, curiously embroidered with all sorts of large flowers, laid at their backs. Presently after a great number of genii and fairies danced before them to the chamber where the nuptial bed was prepared; and when they came to the entrance, divided themselves into two rows, to let them pass, after which they made obeisance and retired.

The nuptial festivity was renewed the next day; or rather, every day following the celebration was a continued feast, which the fairy Perie Banou knew how to diversify, by new delicacies, new concerts, new dances, new shows, and new diversions; which were all so gratifying to his senses, that Ahmed, if he had lived a thousand years among men, could not have experienced equal enjoyment.

The fairy's intention was not only to give the prince convincing proofs of the sincerity of her love, by so many attentions; but to let him see, that as he had no pretensions at his father's court, he could meet with nothing comparable to the happiness he enjoyed with her, independently of her beauty and attractions, and to attach him entirely to herself. In this attempt she succeeded so well, that Ahmed's passion was not in the least diminished by possession; but increased so much, that if he had been so inclined, it was not in his power to forbear loving her.

At the end of six months, prince Ahmed, who always loved and honoured the sultan his father, felt a great desire to know how he was; and as that desire could not be satisfied without his absenting himself, he mentioned his wish to the fairy, and requested she would give him leave to visit the sultan.

This request alarmed the fairy, and made her fear it was only an excuse to leave her. She said to him, "What disgust can I have given to you to ask me this permission? Is it possible you should have forgotten that you have pledged your faith to me, or have you ceased to love one who is so passionately fond of you? Are not the proofs I have repeatedly given you of my affection sufficient?"

"My queen," replied the prince, "I am perfectly convinced of your love, and should be unworthy of it, if I did not testify my gratitude by a reciprocal affection. If you are offended at the permission I solicit, I entreat you to forgive me, and I will make all the reparation in my power. I did not make the request with any intention of displeasing you, but from a motive of respect towards my father, whom I wish to free from the affliction in which my so long absence must have overwhelmed him, and which must be the greater, as, I have reason to presume, he believes that I am dead. But since you do not consent that I should go and afford him that comfort, I will deny myself the pleasure, as there is nothing to which I would not submit to please you."

Ahmed did not dissemble, for he loved her at heart as much as he had assured her by this declaration; and the fairy expressed her satisfaction. But as he could not absolutely abandon his design, he frequently took an opportunity to speak to her of the great qualifications of the sultan his father: and above all, of his particular tenderness towards himself, in hopes he might at length be able to move her.

As the prince had supposed, the sultan of the Indies, in the midst of the rejoicings on account of the nuptials of prince Ali and the princess Nouronnihar, was sensibly afflicted at the absence of the other two princes his sons, though it was not long before he was informed of the resolution Houssain had taken to forsake the world, and the place he had chosen for his retreat. As a good father, whose happiness consists in seeing his children about him, especially when they are deserving of his tenderness, he would have been better pleased had he stayed at his court, near his person; but as he could not disapprove of his choice of the state of perfection which he had entered, he supported his absence more patiently. He made the most diligent search after Ahmed, and dispatched couriers to all the provinces of his dominions, with orders to the governors to stop him, and oblige him to return to court: but all the pains he took had not the desired success, and his affliction, instead of diminishing, increased. He would make it the subject of his conversation with his grand vizier; and would say to him, "Vizier, thou knowest I always loved Ahmed the most of all my sons; and thou art not insensible of the means I have in vain used to find him out. My grief is so heavy, I shall sink under it, if thou hast not compassion on me; if thou hast any regard for the preservation of my life, I conjure thee to assist and advise me."

The grand vizier, no less attached to the person of the sultan than zealous to acquit himself well of the administration of the affairs of state, considering how to give his sovereign some ease, recollected a sorceress, of whom he had heard wonders, and proposed to send for and consult her. The sultan consented, and the grand vizier, upon her arrival, introduced her into the presence.

The sultan said to the sorceress, "The affliction I have been in since the marriage of my son prince Ali to the princess Nouronnihar, my niece, on account of the absence of prince Ahmed, is so well known, and so public, that thou canst be no stranger to it. By thy art and skill canst thou tell me what is become of him? If he be alive, where he is? what he is doing? and if I may hope ever to see him again?" To this the sorceress replied, "It is impossible, sir, for me, however skilful in my profession, to answer immediately the questions your majesty asks; but if you allow me till to-morrow, I will endeavour to satisfy you." The sultan granted her the time, and permitted her to retire, with a promise to recompense her munificently, if her answer proved agreeable to his hopes.

The sorceress returned the next day, and the grand vizier presented her a second time to the sultan. "Sir," said she, "notwithstanding all the diligence I have used in applying the rules of my art to obey your majesty in what you desire to know, I have not been able to discover any thing more than that prince Ahmed is alive. This is certain, and you may depend upon it; but as to where he is I cannot discover."

The sultan of the Indies was obliged to remain satisfied with this answer; which left him in the same uneasiness as before as to the prince's situation.

To return to prince Ahmed. He so often entertained the fairy Perie Banou with talking about his father, though without speaking any more of his desire to visit him, that she fully comprehended what he meant; and perceiving the restraint he put upon himself, and his fear of displeasing her after her first refusal, she inferred, from the repeated proofs he had given her, that his love for her was sincere; and judging by herself of the injustice she committed in opposing a son's tenderness for his father, and endeavouring to make him renounce that natural affection, she resolved to grant him the permission which she knew he so ardently desired. One day she said to him, "Prince, the request you made to be allowed to go and see the sultan your father gave me apprehension that it was only a pretext to conceal inconstancy, and that was the sole motive of my refusal; but now, as I am fully convinced by your actions and words that I can depend on your honour and the fidelity of your love, I change my resolution, and grant you the permission you seek, on condition that you will first swear to me that your absence shall not be long. You ought not to be uneasy at this condition, as if I asked it out of distrust. I impose it only because I know that it will give you no concern, convinced, as I have already told you I am, of the sincerity of your love."

Prince Ahmed would have thrown himself at the fairy's feet to shew his gratitude, but she prevented him. "My sultaness," said he, "I am sensible of the great favour you grant me; but want words to express my thanks. Supply this defect, I conjure you, by your own feelings, and be persuaded I think much more. You may believe that the oath will give me no uneasiness, and I take it more willingly, since it is not possible for me to live without you. I go, but the haste I will make to return shall shew you, that it is not the fear of being foresworn, but my inclination, which is to live with you for ever, that urges me; and if with your consent I now and then deprive myself of your society, I shall always avoid the pain a too long absence would occasion me."

"Prince," replied Perie Banou, delighted with his sentiments, "go when you please; but do not take it amiss that I give you some advice how you shall conduct yourself. First, I do not think it proper for you to inform your father of our marriage, neither of my quality, nor the place of our residence. Beg of him to be satisfied with knowing that you are happy, that you want nothing from him, and let him know that the sole end of your visit is to make him easy respecting your fate."

Perie Banou then appointed twenty horsemen, well mounted and equipped, to attend him. When all was ready, prince Ahmed took his leave of the fairy, embraced her, and renewed his promise to return soon. A charger, which was most richly caparisoned, and as beautiful a creature as any in the sultan of the Indies' stables, was brought to him, which he mounted with extraordinary grace, which gave great pleasure to the fairy; and after he had bidden her adieu, he set forward on his journey.

As it was no great distance to his father's capital, prince Ahmed soon arrived there. The people, rejoiced to see him again, received him with acclamations, and followed him in crowds to the palace. The sultan received and embraced him with great joy; complaining at the same time, with a fatherly tenderness, of the affliction his long absence had occasioned; which, he said, was the more distressing, as fortune having decided in favour of prince Ali his brother, he was afraid he might have committed some act of despair.

"Sir," replied prince Ahmed, "I leave it to your majesty to consider, if after having lost the princess Nouronnihar, who was the only object of my desires, I could bear to be a witness of Ali's happiness. If I had been capable of such unworthy apathy, what would the court and city have thought of my love, or what your majesty? Love is a passion we cannot suppress at our will; while it lasts, it rules and governs us in spite of our boasted reason. Your majesty knows, that when I shot my arrow, the most extraordinary accident that ever befell mortal happened to me, for surely it was such, that in so large and level a plain as that where the horses are exercised, it should not be possible to find my arrow. I lost your decision in my favour, which was as much due to my love, as to that of the princes my brothers. Though thus vanquished by the caprice of fate, I lost no time in vain complaints; but to satisfy my perplexed mind, upon what I could not comprehend, I left my attendants, and returned alone to look for my arrow. I sought all about the place where Houssain's and Ali's arrows were found, and where I imagined mine must have fallen, but all my labour was in vain. I was not discouraged, but continued my search in a direct line, and after this manner had gone above a league, without being able to meet with any thing like an arrow, when I reflected that it was not possible that mine should have flown so far. I stopped, and asked myself whether I was in my right senses, to flatter myself with having had strength to shoot an arrow so much farther than any of the strongest archers in the world were able to do. After I had argued thus with myself, I was ready to abandon my enterprise; but when on the point of putting my resolution in execution, I found myself drawn forward against my will; and after having gone four leagues, to that part of the plain where it is bounded by rocks, I perceived an arrow. I ran, took it up, and knew it to be the same which I had shot. Far from thinking your majesty had done me any injustice in declaring for my brother Ali, I interpreted what had happened to me quite otherwise, and never doubted there was a mystery in it to my advantage; the discovery of which I ought not to neglect, and which I found out without going from the spot. But as to this mystery I beg your majesty will not be offended if I remain silent, and that you will be satisfied to know from my own mouth that I am happy, and content with my fate.

"In the midst of my happiness, the only thing that troubled me, or was capable of disturbing me, was the uneasiness I feared your majesty would experience on account of my leaving the court, and your not knowing what was become of me. I thought it my duty to satisfy you in this point. This was the only motive which brought me hither; the only favour I ask of your majesty is to give me leave to come occasionally to pay you my duty, and inquire after your health."

"Son," answered the sultan of the Indies, "I cannot refuse you the permission you ask, but I should much rather you would resolve to stay with me. At least tell me where I may hear of you, if you should fail to come, or when I may think your presence necessary." "Sir," replied the prince, "what your majesty requires is part of the mystery I spoke of. I beg of you to allow me to remain silent on this head; for I shall come so frequently where my duty calls, that I am afraid I shall sooner be thought troublesome than be accused of negligence, when my presence may be necessary."

The sultan of the Indies pressed Ahmed no more, but said to him, "Son, I wish to penetrate no farther into your secrets, but leave you at your liberty. I can only tell you, that you could not have done me greater pleasure than by your presence, having restored to me the joy I have not felt for a long time; and that you shall always be welcome when you can come, without interrupting your business or your pleasure."

Prince Ahmed stayed but three days at his father's court, and on the fourth returned to the fairy Perie Banou, who received him with the greater joy, as she did not expect him so soon. His expedition made her condemn herself for suspecting his want of fidelity. She never dissembled, but frankly owned her weakness to the prince, and asked his pardon. So perfect was the union of the two lovers, that they had but one will.

A month after prince Ahmed's return from visiting his father, as the fairy had observed that since the time when he gave her an account of his journey, and his conversation with his father, in which he asked his permission to come and see him from time to time, he had never spoken of the sultan, whereas before he was frequently mentioning him, she thought he forebore on her account, and therefore took an opportunity to say to him one day, "Tell me, prince, have you forgotten the sultan your father? Do not you remember the promise you made to pay your duty to him occasionally? I have not forgotten what you told me at your return, and put you in mind of it, that you may acquit yourself of your promise when you may feel inclined."

"Madam," replied Ahmed, with equal animation, "as I know I am not guilty of the forgetfulness you lay to my charge, I rather choose to be thus reproached, however undeservedly, than expose myself to a refusal, by manifesting a desire for what it might have given you pain to grant." "Prince," said the fairy, "I would not have you in this affair have so much consideration for me, since it is a month since you have seen the sultan your father. I think you should not be longer in renewing your visits. Pay him one to-morrow, and after that, go and visit once a month, without speaking to me, or waiting for my permission. I readily consent to such an arrangement."

Prince Ahmed went the next morning with the same attendants as before, but much more magnificently mounted, equipped, and dressed, and was received by the sultan with the same joy and satisfaction. For several months he constantly paid him visits, and always in a richer and more brilliant equipage.

At last the sultan's favourites, who judged of prince Ahmed's power by the splendour of his appearance, abused the privilege the sultan accorded them of speaking to him with freedom, to make him jealous of his son. They represented that it was but common prudence to discover where the prince had retired, and how he could afford to live so magnificently, since he had no revenue assigned for his expenses; that he seemed to come to court only to insult him, by affecting to shew that he wanted nothing from his father to enable him to live like a prince; and that it was to be feared he might court the people's favour and dethrone him.

The sultan of the Indies was so far from thinking that prince Ahmed could be capable of so wicked a design, that he said to them in displeasure, "You are mistaken, my son loves me, and I am the more assured of his tenderness and fidelity, as I have given him no reason to be disgusted."

At these words, one of the favourites took an opportunity to say, "Your majesty, in the opinion of the most sensible people, could not have taken a better method than you did with the three princes, respecting their marriage with the princess Nouronnihar; but who knows whether prince Ahmed has submitted to his fate with the same resignation as prince Houssain? May not he imagine that he alone deserved her; and that your majesty, by leaving the match to be decided by chance, has done him injustice?

"Your majesty may say," added the malicious favourite, "that prince Ahmed has manifested no appearance of dissatisfaction; that our fears are vain; that we are too easily alarmed, and are to blame in suggesting to you suspicions of this kind, which may, perhaps, be unfounded, against a prince of your blood. But, sir," pursued the favourite, "it may be also, that these suspicions are well grounded. Your majesty must be sensible, that in so nice and important an affair you cannot be too much on your guard, and should take the safest course. Consider, it is the prince's interest to dissemble, amuse, and deceive you; and the danger is the greater, as he resides not far from your capital; and if your majesty give but the same attention that we do, you may observe that every time he comes his attendants are different, their habits new, and their arms clean and bright, as if just come from the maker's hands; and their horses look as if they had only been walked out. These are sufficient proofs that prince Ahmed does not travel far, so that we should think ourselves wanting in our duty did we not make our humble remonstrances, in order that, for your own preservation and the good of your people, your majesty may take such measures as you shall think advisable."

When the favourite had concluded these insinuations, the sultan said, "I do not believe my son Ahmed is so wicked as you would persuade me he is; however, I am obliged to you for your advice, and do not doubt that it proceeds from good intention and loyalty to my person."

The sultan of the Indies said this, that his favourites might not know the impressions their observations had made on his mind. He was, however, so much alarmed by them, that he resolved to have prince Ahmed watched, unknown to his grand vizier. For this end he sent for the sorceress, who was introduced by a private door into his closet. "You told me the truth," said he, "when you assured me my son Ahmed was alive, for which I am obliged to you. You must do me another kindness. I have seen him since, and he comes to my court every month; but I cannot learn from him where he resides, and do not wish to force his secret from him; but believe you are capable of satisfying my curiosity, without letting him, or any of my court, know any thing of the discovery. You know that he is at this time with me, and usually departs without taking leave of me, or any of my court. Place yourself immediately upon the road, and watch him so as to find out where he retires, and bring me information."

The sorceress left the sultan, and knowing the place where prince Ahmed had found his arrow, went immediately thither, and concealed herself near the rocks, so as not to be seen.

The next morning prince Ahmed set out by daybreak, without taking leave either of the sultan or any of his court, according to custom. The sorceress seeing him coming, followed him with her eyes, till suddenly she lost sight of him and his attendants.

The steepness of the rocks formed an insurmountable barrier to men, whether on horseback or on foot, so that the sorceress judged that the prince retired either into some cavern, or some subterraneous place, the abode of genies or fairies. When she thought the prince and his attendants must have far advanced into whatever concealment they inhabited, she came out of the place where she had hidden herself, and explored the hollow way where she had lost sight of them. She entered it, and proceeding to the spot where it terminated after many windings, looked carefully on all sides. But notwithstanding all her acuteness she could perceive no opening, nor the iron gate which prince Ahmed had discovered. For this door was to be seen by or opened to none but men, and only to those whose presence was agreeable to the fairy Perie Banou, but not at all to women.

The sorceress, who saw it was in vain for her to search any farther, was obliged to be satisfied with the insufficient discovery she had made, and returned to communicate it to the sultan. When she had told him what she had explored, she added, "Your majesty may easily understand, after what I have had the honour to tell you, that it will be no difficult matter to obtain you the satisfaction you desire concerning prince Ahmed's conduct. To do this, I only ask time, that you will have patience, and give me leave to act, without inquiring what measures I design to take."

The sultan was pleased with the conduct of the sorceress, and said to her, "Do you as you think fit; I will wait patiently the event of your promises:" and to encourage her, he presented her with a diamond of great value, telling her, it was only an earnest of the ample recompense she should receive when she should have performed the important service which he left to her management.

As prince Ahmed, after he had obtained the fairy Perie Banou's leave, never failed once a month to visit his father, the sorceress knowing the time, went a day or two before to the foot of the rock where she had lost sight of him and his attendants, and waited there to execute the project she had formed.

The next morning prince Ahmed went out as usual at the iron gate, with the same attendants as before, passed the sorceress, and seeing her lie with her head on the rock, complaining as if she was in great pain, he pitied her, turned his horse, and asked what he could do to relieve her?

The artful sorceress, without lifting up her head, looked at the prince in such a manner as to increase his compassion, and answered in broken accents and sighs, as if she could hardly breathe, that she was going to the city; but in the way was taken with so violent a fever, that her strength failed her, and she was forced to stop and lie down where he saw her, far from any habitation, and without any hopes of assistance.

"Good woman," replied the prince, "you are not so far from help as you imagine. I will assist you, and convey you where you shall not only have all possible care taken of you, but where you will find a speedy cure: rise, and let one of my people take you behind him."

At these words, the sorceress, who pretended sickness only to explore where the prince resided, and his situation, did not refuse the charitable offer, and to shew her acceptance rather by her actions than her words, made many affected efforts to rise, pretending that the violence of her illness prevented her. At the same time, two of the prince's attendants alighting, helped her up, and placed her behind another. They mounted their horses again, and followed the prince, who turned back to the iron gate, which was opened by one of his retinue. When he came into the outward court of the fairy's palace, without dismounting himself, he sent to tell her he wanted to speak with her.

The fairy came with all imaginable haste, not knowing what had made prince Ahmed return so soon; who, not giving her time to ask, said, "My princess, I desire you would have compassion on this good woman," pointing to the sorceress, who was taken off the horse by two of his retinue; "I found her in the condition you see her, and promised her the assistance she requires. I recommend her to your care, and am persuaded that you, from inclination, as well as my request, will not abandon her."

The fairy, who had her eyes fixed on the pretended sick woman all the time the prince was speaking, ordered two of her women to take her from the men who supported her, conduct her into an apartment of the palace, and take as much care of her as they would of herself.

Whilst the two women were executing the fairy's commands, she went up to prince Ahmed, and whispering him in the ear, said, "Prince, I commend your compassion, which is worthy of you and your birth. I take great pleasure in gratifying your good intention; but permit me to tell you I am afraid it will be but ill rewarded. This woman is not so sick as she pretends to be; and I am much mistaken if she is not sent hither on purpose to occasion you great trouble. But do not be concerned, let what will be devised against you; be persuaded that I will deliver you out of all the snares that shall be laid for you. Go and pursue your journey."

This address of the fairy's did not in the least alarm prince Ahmed. "My princess," said he, "as I do not remember I ever did, or designed to do, any body injury, I cannot believe any one can have a thought of injuring me; but if they have, I shall not forbear doing good whenever I have an opportunity." So saying, he took leave of the fairy, and set forward again for his father's capital, where he soon arrived, and was received as usual by the sultan, who constrained himself as much as possible, to disguise the anxiety arising from the suspicions suggested by his favourites.

In the mean time, the two women to whom Perie Banou had given her orders conveyed the sorceress into an elegant apartment, richly furnished. They first set her down upon a sofa, with her back supported by a cushion of gold brocade, while they made a bed on the same sofa, the quilt of which was finely embroidered with silk, the sheets of the finest linen, and the coverlid cloth of gold. When they had put her into bed (for the old sorceress pretended that her fever was so violent she could not help herself in the least), one of the women went out, and returned soon with a china cup in her hand, full of a certain liquor, which she presented to the sorceress, while the other helped her to sit up. "Drink this," said the attendant, "it is the water of the fountain of lions, and a sovereign remedy against fevers. You will find the effect of it in less than an hour's time."

The sorceress, the better to dissemble, took it, after a great deal of entreaty, as if she did it with reluctance. When she was laid down again, the two women covered her up: "Lie quiet," said she, who brought her the china cup, "and get a little sleep, if you can: we will leave you, and hope to find you perfectly recovered when we return an hour hence."

The sorceress, who came not to act a sick part long, but to discover prince Ahmed's retreat, being fully satisfied in what she wanted to know, would willingly have declared that the potion had then had its effect, so great was her desire to return to the sultan, to inform him of the success of her commission: but as she had been told that the potion did not operate immediately, she was forced to wait the women's return.

The two women came again at the time they had mentioned, and found the sorceress seated on the sofa; who, when she saw them open the door of the apartment, cried out, "O the admirable potion! it has wrought its cure much sooner than you told me it would, and I have waited with impatience to desire you to conduct me to your charitable mistress, to thank her for her kindness, for which I shall always feel obliged; but being thus cured as by a miracle, I would not lose time, but prosecute my journey."

The two women, who were fairies as well as their mistress, after they had told the sorceress how glad they were that she was cured so soon, walked before her, and conducted her through several apartments, all more superb than that wherein she had lain, into a large hall, the most richly and magnificently furnished of all the palace.

Perie Banou was seated in this hall, upon a throne of massive gold, enriched with diamonds, rubies, and pearls of an extraordinary size, and attended on each hand by a great number of beautiful fairies, all richly dressed. At the sight of so much splendour, the sorceress was not only dazzled, but so struck, that after she had prostrated herself before the throne, she could not open her lips to thank the fairy, as she had proposed. However, Perie Banou saved her the trouble, and said, "Good woman, I am glad I had an opportunity to oblige you, and that you are able to pursue your journey. I will not detain you; but perhaps you may not be displeased to see my palace: follow my women, and they will shew it you."

The old sorceress, who had not power nor courage to say a word, prostrated herself a second time, with her head on the carpet that covered the foot of the throne, took her leave, and was conducted by the two fairies through the same apartments which were shewn to prince Ahmed at his first arrival, and at sight of their uncommon magnificence she made frequent exclamations. But what surprised her most of all was, that the two fairies told her, that all she saw and so much admired was a mere sketch of their mistress's grandeur and riches; for that in the extent of her dominions she had so many palaces that they could not tell the number of them, all of different plans and architecture, but equally magnificent. In speaking of many other particulars, they led her at last to the iron gate at which prince Ahmed had brought her in; and after she had taken her leave of them, and thanked them for their trouble, they opened it, and wished her a good journey.

After the sorceress had gone a little way, she turned to observe the door, that she might know it again, but all in vain; for, as was before observed, it was invisible to her and all other women. Except in this circumstance, she was very well satisfied with her success, and posted away to the sultan. When she came to the capital, she went by many by-ways to the private door of the palace. The sultan being informed of her arrival, sent for her into his apartment, and perceiving a melancholy hang upon her countenance, thought she had not succeeded, and said to her, "By your looks, I guess that your journey has been to no purpose, and that you have not made the discovery I expected from your diligence." "Sir," replied the sorceress, "your majesty must give me leave to represent that you ought not to judge by my looks whether or no I have acquitted myself well in the execution of the commands you were pleased to honour me with; but by the faithful report I shall make you of all that has happened to me, and by which you will find that I have not neglected any thing that could render me worthy of your approbation. The melancholy you observe proceeds from another cause than the want of success, which I hope your majesty will have ample reason to be satisfied with. I do not tell you the cause; the relation I shall give will inform you."

The sorceress now related to the sultan of the Indies how, pretending to be sick, prince Ahmed compassionating her, had her carried into a subterraneous abode, and presented and recommended her to a fairy of incomparable beauty, desiring her by her care to restore her health. She then told him with how much condescension the fairy had immediately ordered two women to take care of her, and not to leave her till she was recovered; which great condescension, said she, could proceed from no other female, but from a wife to a husband. Afterwards the old sorceress failed not to dwell on her surprise at the front of the palace, which she said had not its equal for magnificence in the world. She gave a particular account of the care they took of her, after they had led her into an apartment; of the potion they made her drink, and of the quickness of her cure; which she had pretended as well as her sickness, though she doubted not the virtue of the draught; the majesty of the fairy seated on a throne, brilliant with jewels, the value of which exceeded all the riches of the kingdom of the Indies, and all the other treasures beyond computation contained in that vast palace.

Here the sorceress finishing the relation of the success of her commission, and continuing her discourse, said, "What does your majesty think of these unheard-of riches of the fairy? Perhaps you will say, you are struck with admiration, and rejoice at the good fortune of prince Ahmed your son, who enjoys them in common with the fairy. For my part, sir, I beg of your majesty to forgive me if I take the liberty to say that I think otherwise, and that I shudder when I consider the misfortunes which may happen to you from his present situation. And this is the cause of the melancholy which I could not so well dissemble, but that you soon perceived it. I would believe that prince Ahmed, by his own good disposition, is incapable of undertaking anything against your majesty; but who can answer that the fairy, by her attractions and caresses, and the influence she has over him, may not inspire him with the unnatural design of dethroning your majesty, and seizing the crown of the Indies? This is what your majesty ought to consider as of the utmost importance."

Though the sultan of the Indies was persuaded that prince Ahmed's natural disposition was good, yet he could not help being moved at the representations of the old sorceress, and said, "I thank you for the pains you have taken, and your wholesome caution. I am so sensible of its great importance that I shall take advice upon it."

He was consulting with his favourites, when he was told of the sorceress's arrival. He ordered her to follow him to them. He acquainted them with what he had learnt, communicated to them the reason he had to fear the fairy's influence over the prince, and asked them what measures they thought most proper to be taken to prevent so great a misfortune as might possibly happen. One of the favourites, taking upon himself to speak for the rest, said, "Your majesty knows who must be the author of this mischief. In order to prevent it, now he is in your court, and in your power, you ought not to hesitate to put him under arrest; I will not say take away his life, for that would make too much noise; but make him a close prisoner." This advice all the other favourites unanimously applauded.

The sorceress, who thought it too violent, asked the sultan leave to speak, which being granted, she said, "I am persuaded it is the zeal of your counsellors for your majesty's interest that makes them propose arresting prince Ahmed. But they will not take it amiss if I offer to your and their consideration, that if you arrest the prince you must also detain his retinue. But they are all genies. Do they think it will be so easy to surprise, seize, and secure their persons? will they not disappear, by the property they possess of rendering themselves invisible, and transport themselves instantly to the fairy, and give her an account of the insult offered her husband? And can it be supposed she will let it go unrevenged? Would it not be better, if by any other means which might not make so great a noise, the sultan could secure himself against any ill designs prince Ahmed may have, and not involve his majesty's honour? If his majesty has any confidence in my advice, as genies and fairies can do things impracticable to men, he will rather trust prince Ahmed's honour, and engage him by means of the fairy to procure certain advantages, by flattering his ambition, and at the same time narrowly watching him. For example; every time your majesty takes the field, you are obliged to be at a great expense, not only in pavilions and tents for yourself and army, but likewise in mules and camels, and other beasts of burden, to carry their baggage. Request the prince to procure you a tent, which can be carried in a man's hand, but so large as to shelter your whole army.

"I need say no more to your majesty. If the prince brings such a tent, you may make other demands of the same nature, so that at last he may sink under the difficulties and the impossibility of executing them, however fertile in means and inventions the fairy, who has enticed him from you by her enchantments, may be; so that in time he will be ashamed to appear, and will be forced to pass the rest of his life with the fairy, excluded from any commerce with this world; when your majesty will have nothing to fear from him, and cannot be reproached with so detestable an action as the shedding of a son's blood, or confining him for life in a prison."

When the sorceress had finished her speech, the sultan asked his favourites if they had any thing better to propose; and finding them all silent, determined to follow her advice, as the most reasonable and most agreeable to his mild manner of government.

The next day when the prince came into his father's presence, who was talking with his favourites, and had sat down by him, after a conversation on different subjects, the sultan, addressing himself to prince Ahmed, said, "Son, when you came and dispelled those clouds of melancholy which your long absence had brought upon me, you made the place you had chosen for your retreat a mastery. I was satisfied with seeing you again, and knowing that you were content with your condition, sought not to penetrate into your secret, which I found you did not wish I should. I know not what reason you had thus to treat a father, who ever was and still continues anxious for your happiness. I now know your good fortune. I rejoice with you, and much approve of your conduct in marrying a fairy so worthy of your love, and so rich and powerful as I am informed she is. Powerful as I am, it was not possible for me to have procured for you so great a match. Now you are raised to so high a rank, as to be envied by all but a father, I not only desire to preserve the good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between us, but request that you will use your influence with your wife, to obtain her assistance when I may want it. I will therefore make a trial of your interest this day.

"You are not insensible at what a great expense, not to say trouble to my generals, officers, and myself, every time I take the field, they provide tents, mules, camels, and other beasts of burden, to carry them. If you consider the pleasure you would do me, I am persuaded you could easily procure from the fairy a pavilion that might be carried in a man's hand, and which would extend over my whole army; especially when you let her know it is for me. Though it may be a difficult thing to procure, she will not refuse you. All the world knows fairies are capable of executing most extraordinary undertakings."

Prince Ahmed never expected that the sultan his father would have made a demand like this, which appeared to him so difficult, not to say impossible. Though he knew not absolutely how great the power of genii and fairies was, he doubted whether it extended so far as to furnish such a tent as his father desired. Moreover, he had never asked any thing of the fairy Perie Banou, but was satisfied with the continual proofs she had given him of her passion, and had neglected nothing to persuade her that his heart perfectly corresponded without any views beyond maintaining himself in her good graces: he was therefore in the greatest embarrassment what answer to make. At last he replied, "If, sir, I have concealed from your majesty what has happened to me, and what course I took after finding my arrow, the reason was, that I thought it of no great importance to you to be informed of such circumstances; and though I know not how this mystery has been revealed to you, I cannot deny but your information is correct. I have married the fairy you speak of. I love her, and am persuaded she loves me in return. But I can say nothing as to the influence your majesty believes I have over her. It is what I have not yet proved, nor thought of trying, but could wish you would dispense with my making the experiment, and let me enjoy the happiness of loving and being beloved, with all that disinterestedness I had proposed to myself. However, the demand of a father is a command upon every child, who, like me, thinks it his duty to obey him in every thing. And though it is with the greatest reluctance, I will not fail to ask my wife the favour your majesty desires, but cannot promise you to obtain it; and if I should not have the honour to come again to pay you my respects, it will be the sign that I have not been able to succeed in my request: but beforehand, I desire you to forgive me, and consider that you yourself have reduced me to this extremity."

"Son," replied the sultan of the Indies, "I should be sorry that what I ask should oblige you to deprive me of the gratification of seeing you as usual. I find you do not know the power a husband has over a wife; and yours would shew that her love to you was very slight, if, with the power she possesses as a fairy, she should refuse so trifling a request as that I have begged you to make. Lay aside your fears, which proceed from your believing yourself not to be loved so well as you love her. Go; only ask her. You will find the fairy loves you better than you imagine; and remember that people, for want of requesting, often lose great advantages. Think with yourself, that as you love her, you could refuse her nothing; therefore, if she loves you, she will not deny your requests."

All these representations of the sultan of the Indies could not satisfy prince Ahmed, who would rather he had asked anything else than, as he supposed, what must expose him to the hazard of displeasing his beloved Perie Banou; and so great was his vexation that he left the court two days sooner than he used to do.

When he returned, the fairy, to whom he always before had appeared with a gay countenance, asked him the cause of the alteration she perceived in his looks; and finding that instead of answering he inquired after her health, to avoid satisfying her, she said to him, "I will answer your question when you have answered mine." The prince declined a long time, protesting that nothing was the matter with him; but the more he denied the more she pressed him, and said, "I cannot bear to see you thus: tell me what makes you uneasy, that I may remove the cause, whatever it may be; for it must be very extraordinary if it is out of my power, unless it be the death of the sultan your father; in that case, time, with all that I will contribute on my part, can alone comfort you."

Prince Ahmed could not long withstand the pressing instances of the fairy. "Madam," said he, "God prolong the sultan my father's life, and bless him to the end of his days. I left him alive and in perfect health; therefore that is not the cause of the melancholy you perceive in me. The sultan, however, is the occasion of it, and I am the more concerned because he has imposed upon me the disagreeable necessity of importuning you. You know the care I have at your desire taken to conceal from him the happiness I have enjoyed in living with you, and of having received the pledge of your faith after having pledged my love to you. How he has been informed of it I cannot tell."

Here the fairy interrupted prince Ahmed, and said, "But I know. Remember what I told you of the woman who made you believe she was sick, on whom you took so much compassion. It is she who has acquainted your father with what you have taken so much care to hide from him. I told you that she was no more sick than you or I, and she has made it appear so; for, in short, after the two women, whom I charged to take care of her, had given her the water sovereign against all fevers, but which however she had no occasion for, she pretended that it had cured her, and was brought to take her leave of me that she might go the sooner to give an account of the success of her undertaking. She was in so much haste, that she would have gone away without seeing my palace if I had not, by bidding my two women shew it her, given her to understand that it was worth her seeing. But proceed and tell me what is the necessity your father has imposed on you to be so importunate, which, be persuaded, however, you can never be to your affectionate wife."

"Madam," pursued prince Ahmed, "you may have observed that hitherto I have been content with your love, and have never asked you any other favour: for what, after the possession of so amiable a wife, can I desire more? I know how great your power is, but I have taken care not to make proof of it to please myself. Consider then, I conjure you, that it is not myself, but the sultan my father, who, indiscreetly as I think, asks of you a pavilion large enough to shelter him, his court, and army, from the violence of the weather, when he takes the field, and which a man may carry in his hand. Once more remember it is not I, but the sultan my father who asks this favour."

"Prince," replied the fairy smiling, "I am sorry that so trifling a matter should disturb and make you so uneasy as you appear. I see plainly two things have contributed towards it: one is, the law you have imposed on yourself, to be content with loving me, being beloved by me, and deny yourself the liberty of soliciting the least favour that might try my power. The other, I do not doubt, whatever you may say, was, that you thought that what your father asked was out of my power. As to the first, I commend you, and shall love you the better, if possible, for it; and for the second, I must tell you that what the sultan your father requests is a trifle; as upon occasion I can do him more important service. Therefore be easy in your mind, and persuaded that far from thinking myself importuned I shall always take real pleasure in performing whatever you can desire." Perie Banou then sent for her treasurer, to whom, when she came, she said, "Noor-Jehaun" (which was her name), "bring me the largest pavilion in my treasury." Noor-Jehaun returned presently with a pavilion, which could not only be held, but concealed in the palm of the hand, when it was closed, and presented it to her mistress, who gave it prince Ahmed to look at.

When prince Ahmed saw the pavilion, which the fairy called the largest in her treasury, he fancied she had a mind to banter him, and his surprise soon appeared in his countenance; which Perie Banou perceiving, she burst out a laughing. "What! prince," cried she, "do you think I jest with you? You will see that I am in earnest. Noor-Jehaun," said she to her treasurer, taking the tent out of prince Ahmed's hands, "go and set it up, that he may judge whether the sultan his father will think it large enough."

The treasurer went out immediately with it from the palace, and carried it to such a distance, that when she had set it up, one end reached to the palace. The prince, so far from thinking it small, found it large enough to shelter two armies as numerous as that of the sultan his father; and then said to Perie Banou, "I ask my princess a thousand pardons for my incredulity: after what I have seen, I believe there is nothing impossible to you." "You see," said the fairy, "that the pavilion is larger than your father may have occasion for; but you are to observe that it has one property, that it becomes larger or smaller, according to the extent of the army it is to cover, without applying any hands to it."

The treasurer took down the tent again, reduced it to its first size, brought it and put it into the prince's hands. He took it, and without staying longer than till the next day, mounted his horse, and went with the usual attendants to the sultan his father.

The sultan, who was persuaded that such a tent as he had asked for was beyond all possibility, was in great surprise at the prince's speedy return. He took the tent, but after he had admired its smallness, his amazement was so great that he could not recover himself when he had set it up in the great plain before-mentioned, and found it large enough to shelter an army twice as large as he could bring into the field. Regarding this excess in its dimension as what might be troublesome in the use, prince Ahmed told him that its size would always be proportionable to his army.

To outward appearance the sultan expressed great obligation to the prince for so noble a present, desiring him to return his thanks to the fairy; and to shew what a value he set upon it, ordered it to be carefully laid up in his treasury. But within himself he felt greater jealousy than his flatterers and the sorceress had suggested to him; considering, that by the fairy's assistance the prince his son might perform things infinitely above his own power, notwithstanding his greatness and riches; therefore, more intent upon his ruin, he went to consult the sorceress again, who advised him to engage the prince to bring him some of the water of the fountain of lions.

In the evening, when the sultan was surrounded as usual by all his court, and the prince came to pay his respects among the rest, he addressed himself to him in these words: "Son, I have already expressed to you how much I am obliged for the present of the tent you have procured me, which I esteem the most valuable curiosity in my treasury: but you must do one thing more, which will be no less agreeable to me. I am informed that the fairy your spouse makes use of a certain water, called the water of the fountain of lions, which cures all sorts of fevers, even the most dangerous; and as I am perfectly well persuaded my health is dear to you, I do not doubt but you will ask her for a bottle of that water, and bring it me as a sovereign remedy, which I may use as I have occasion. Do me this important service, and complete the duty of a good son towards a tender father."

Prince Ahmed, who believed that the sultan his father would have been satisfied with so singular and useful a tent as that which he had brought, and that he would not have imposed any new task upon him which might hazard the fairy's displeasure, was thunderstruck at this new request, notwithstanding the assurance she had given him of granting him whatever lay in her power. After a long silence, he said, "I beg of your majesty to be assured, that there is nothing I would not undertake to procure which may contribute to the prolonging of your life, but I could wish it might not be by the means of my wife. For this reason I dare not promise to bring the water. All I can do is, to assure you I will request it of her; but it will be with as great reluctance as I asked for the tent."

The next morning prince Ahmed returned to the fairy Perie Banou, and related to her sincerely and faithfully all that had passed at his father's court from the giving of the tent, which he told her he received with the utmost gratitude, to the new request he had charged him to make. He added: "But, my princess, I only tell you this as a plain account of what passed between me and my father. I leave you to your own pleasure, whether you will gratify or reject this his new desire. It shall be as you please."

"No, no," replied the fairy, "I am glad that the sultan of the Indies knows that you are not indifferent to me. I will satisfy him, and whatever advice the sorceress may give him (for I see that he hearkens to her counsel), he shall find no fault with you or me. There is much wickedness in this demand, as you will understand by what I am going to tell you. The fountain of lions is situated in the middle of a court of a great castle, the entrance into which is guarded by four fierce lions, two of which sleep alternately, while the other two are awake. But let not that frighten you. I will supply you with means to pass by them without danger."

The fairy Perie Banou was at that time at work with her needle; and as she had by her several clues of thread, she took up one, and presenting it to prince Ahmed, said, "First take this clue of thread, I will tell you presently the use of it. In the second place, you must have two horses; one you must ride yourself, and the other you must lead, which must be loaded with a sheep cut into four quarters, that must be killed to-day. In the third place, you must be provided with a bottle, which I will give you, to bring the water in. Set out early to-morrow morning, and when you have passed the iron gate throw before you the clue of thread, which will roll till it reaches the gates of the castle. Follow it, and when it stops, as the gates will be open, you will see the four lions. The two that are awake will, by their roaring, wake the other two. Be not alarmed, but throw each of them a quarter of the sheep, and then clap spurs to your horse, and ride to the fountain. Fill your bottle without alighting, and return with the same expedition. The lions will be so busy eating they will let you pass unmolested."

Prince Ahmed set out the next morning at the time appointed him by the fairy, and followed her directions punctually. When he arrived at the gates of the castle, he distributed the quarters of the sheep among the four lions, and passing through the midst of them with intrepidity, got to the fountain, filled his bottle, and returned safe. When he had got a little distance from the castle gates, he turned about; and perceiving two of the lions coming after him, drew his sabre, and prepared himself for defence. But as he went forwards, he saw one of them turn out of the road at some distance, and shewed by his head and tail that he did not come to do him any harm, but only to go before him, and that the other stayed behind to follow. He therefore put his sword again into its scabbard. Guarded in this manner he arrived at the capital of the Indies; but the lions never left him till they had conducted him to the gates of the sultan's palace; after which they returned the way they had come, though not without alarming the populace, who fled or hid themselves to avoid them, notwithstanding they walked gently and shewed no signs of fierceness.

A number of officers came to attend the prince while he dismounted, and conduct him to the sultan's apartment, who was at that time conversing with his favourites. He approached the throne, laid the bottle at the sultan's feet, kissed the rich carpet which covered the footstool, and rising, said, "I have brought you, sir, the salutary water which your majesty so much desired to store up among other rarities in your treasury; but at the same time wish you such health as never to have occasion to make use of it."

After the prince had concluded his compliment, the sultan placed him on his right hand, and said, "Son, I am much obliged to you for this valuable present; as also for the great danger you have exposed yourself to on my account (which I have been informed of by the sorceress, who knows the fountain of lions); but do me the pleasure, continued he, to inform me by what address, or rather by what incredible power, you have been preserved."

"Sir," replied prince Ahmed, "I have no share in the compliment your majesty is pleased to make me; all the honour is due to the fairy my spouse, and I take no other merit than that of having followed her advice." Then he informed the sultan what that advice was, by the relation of his expedition, and how he had conducted himself. When he had done, the sultan, who shewed outwardly all the demonstrations of joy, but secretly became more and more jealous, retired into an inward apartment, whence he sent for the sorceress.

The sorceress, on her arrival, saved the sultan the trouble of telling her of the success of prince Ahmed's journey, which she had heard before she came, and therefore was prepared with a new request. This she communicated to the sultan, who declared it the next day to the prince, in the midst of all his courtiers, in these words: "Son, I have one thing yet to ask of you; after which, I shall expect nothing more from your obedience, nor your interest with your wife. This request is, to bring me a man not above a foot and a half high, whose beard is thirty feet long, who carries upon his shoulders a bar of iron of five hundred weight, which he uses as a quarter-staff, and who can speak."

Prince Ahmed, who did not believe that there was such a man in the world as his father had described, would gladly have excused himself; but the sultan persisted in his demand, and told him the fairy could do more incredible things.

Next day the prince returned to the subterraneous kingdom of Perie Banou, to whom he related his father's new demand, which, he said, he looked upon to be a thing more impossible than the two first. "For," added he, "I cannot imagine there is or can be such a man in the world; without doubt he has a mind to try whether I am silly enough to search, or if there is such a man he seeks my ruin. In short, how can we suppose that I should lay hold of a man so small, armed as he describes? what arms can I use to reduce him to submission? If there are any means, I beg you will tell me how I may come off with honour this time also."

"Do not alarm yourself, prince," replied the fairy: "you ran a risk in fetching the water of the fountain of the lions for your father; but there is no danger in finding this man. It is my brother Schaibar, who is so far from being like me, though we both had the same father, that he is of so violent a nature, that nothing can prevent his giving bloody marks of his resentment for a slight offence; yet, on the other hand, is so liberal as to oblige any one in whatever they desire. He is made exactly as the sultan your father has described him; and has no other arms than a bar of iron of five hundred pounds weight, without which he never stirs, and which makes him respected. I will send for him, and you shall judge of the truth of what I tell you; but prepare yourself not to be alarmed at his extraordinary figure." "What! my queen," replied prince Ahmed, "do you say Schaibar is your brother? Let him be ever so ugly or deformed I shall be so far from being frightened at his appearance, that I shall love and honour him, and consider him as my nearest relation."

The fairy ordered a gold chafing-dish to be set with a fire in it under the porch of her palace, with a box of the same metal: out of the latter she took some incense, and threw it into the fire, when there arose a thick cloud of smoke.

Some moments after, the fairy said to prince Ahmed, "Prince, there comes my brother; do you see him?" The prince immediately perceived Schaibar, who was but a foot and a half high, coming gravely with his heavy bar on his shoulder; his beard thirty feet long, which supported itself before him, and a pair of thick moustaches in proportion, tucked up to his ears, and almost covering his face: his eyes were very small, like a pig's, and deep sunk in his head, which was of an enormous size, and on which he wore a pointed cap: besides all this, he had a hump behind and and before.

If prince Ahmed had not known that Schaibar was Perie Banou's brother, he would not have been able to behold him without fear; but knowing who he was, he waited for him with the fairy, and received him without the least concern.

Schaibar, as he came forwards, looked at the prince with an eye that would have chilled his soul in his body, and asked Perie Banou, when he first accosted her, who that man was? To which she replied, "He is my husband, brother; his name is Ahmed; he is a son of the sultan of the Indies. The reason why I did not invite you to my wedding was, I was unwilling to divert you from the expedition you were engaged in, and from which I heard with pleasure you returned victorious; on his account I have taken the liberty now to call for you."

At these words, Schaibar, looking at prince Ahmed with a favourable eye, which however diminished neither his fierceness nor savage look, said, "Is there any thing, sister, wherein I can serve him? he has only to speak. It is enough for me that he is your husband, to engage me to do for him whatever he desires." "The sultan his father," replied Perie Banou, "has a curiosity to see you, and I desire he may be your guide to the sultan's court." "He needs but lead the way; I will follow him," replied Schaibar. "Brother," resumed Perie Banou, "it is too late to go to-day, therefore stay till to-morrow morning; and in the mean time, as it is fit you should know all that has passed between the sultan of the Indies and prince Ahmed since our marriage, I will inform you this evening."

The next morning, after Schaibar had been informed of all that was proper for him to know, he set out with prince Ahmed, who was to present him to the sultan. When they arrived at the gates of the capital, the people, as soon as they saw Schaibar, ran and hid themselves in their shops and houses, shutting their doors, while others taking to their heels, communicated their fear to all they met, who stayed not to look behind them; insomuch, that Schaibar and prince Ahmed, as they went along, found all the streets and squares desolate, till they came to the palace, where the porters, instead of preventing Schaibar from entering, ran away too; so that the prince and he advanced without any obstacle to the council-hall, where the sultan was seated on his throne and giving audience. Here likewise the officers, at the approach of Schaibar, abandoned their posts, and gave them free admittance.

Schaibar, carrying his head erect, went fiercely up to the throne, without waiting to be presented by prince Ahmed, and accosted the sultan of the Indies in these words: "You have asked for me," said he; "see, here I am, what would you have with me?"

The sultan, instead of answering, clapped his hands before his eyes, and turned away his head, to avoid the sight of so terrible an object. Schaibar was so much provoked at this uncivil and rude reception, after he had given him the trouble to come so far, that he instantly lifted up his iron bar, saying, "Speak, then;" let it fall on his head, and killed him, before prince Ahmed could intercede in his behalf. All that he could do was to prevent his killing the grand vizier, who sat not far from him on his right hand, representing to him that he had always given the sultan his father good advice. "These are they then," said Schaibar, "who gave him bad;" and as he pronounced these words, he killed all the other viziers on the right and left, flatterers and favourites of the sultan, who were prince Ahmed's enemies. Every time he struck he crushed some one or other, and none escaped but those who, not rendered motionless by fear, saved themselves by flight.

When this terrible execution was over, Schaibar came out of the council-hall into the court-yard with the iron bar upon his shoulder, and looking at the grand vizier, who owed his life to prince Ahmed, said, "I know there is here a certain sorceress, who is a greater enemy of the prince my brother-in-law than all those base favourites I have chastised; let her be brought to me immediately." The grand vizier instantly sent for her, and as soon as she was brought, Schaibar, knocking her down with his iron bar, said, "Take the reward of thy pernicious counsel, and learn to feign sickness again;" he left her dead on the spot.

After this he said, "This is not yet enough; I will treat the whole city in the same manner, if they do not immediately acknowledge prince Ahmed my brother-in-law as sultan of the Indies." Then all who were present made the air ring with the repeated acclamations of "Long life to sultan Ahmed;" and immediately after, he was proclaimed through the whole metropolis. Schaibar caused him to be clothed in the royal vestments, installed him on the throne, and after he had made all swear homage and fidelity, returned to his sister Perie Banou, whom he brought with great pomp, and made her to be owned sultaness of the Indies.

As for prince Ali and princess Nouronnihar, as they had no concern in the conspiracy, prince Ahmed assigned them a considerable province, with its capital, where they spent the rest of their lives. Afterwards he sent an officer to Houssain, to acquaint him with the change, and make him an offer of any province he might choose; but that prince thought himself so happy in his solitude, that he desired the officer to return his brother thanks for the kindness he designed him, assuring him of his submission; but that the only favour he desired was, to be indulged with leave to live retired in the place he had chosen for his retreat.


There was an emperor of Persia named Khoosroo Shaw, who, when he first came to his crown, in order to obtain a knowledge of affairs, took great pleasure in night adventures, attended by a trusty minister. He often walked in disguise through the city, and met with many adventures.

After the ceremonies of his father's funeral-rites and his own inauguration were over, the new sultan, as well from inclination as duty, went out one evening attended by his grand vizier, disguised like himself, to observe what was transacting in the city. As he was passing through a street in that part of the town inhabited only by the meaner sort, he heard some people talking very loud; and going close to the house whence the noise proceeded, and looking through a crack in the door, perceived a light, and three sisters sitting on a sofa, conversing together after supper. By what the eldest said, he presently understood the subject of their conversation was wishes: "For," said she, "since we have got upon wishes, mine shall be to have the sultan's baker for my husband, for then I shall eat my fill of that bread, which by way of excellence is called the sultan's: let us see if your tastes are as good as mine." "For my part," replied the second sister, "I wish I was wife to the sultan's chief cook, for then I should eat of the most excellent dishes; and as I am persuaded that the sultan's bread is common in the palace, I should not want any of that; therefore you see," addressing herself to her eldest sister, "that I have a better taste than you."

The youngest sister, who was very beautiful, and had more charms and wit than the two elder, spoke in her turn: "For my part, sisters," said she, "I shall not limit my desires to such trifles, but take a higher flight; and since we are upon wishing, I wish to be the emperor's queen consort. I would make him father of a prince, whose hair should be gold on one side of his head, and silver on the other; when he cried, the tears from his eyes should be pearl; and when he smiled, his vermilion lips should look like a rose-bud fresh blown."

The three sisters' wishes, particularly that of the youngest, seemed so singular to the sultan, that he resolved to gratify them in their desires; but without communicating his design to his grand vizier, he charged him only to take notice of the house, and bring the three sisters before him the following day.

The grand vizier, in executing the emperor's orders, would but just give the sisters time to dress themselves to appear before him, without telling them the reason. He brought them to the palace, and presented them to the emperor, who said to them, "Do you remember the wishes you expressed last night, when you were all in so pleasant a mood? Speak the truth; I must know what they were."

At these unexpected words of the emperor, the three sisters were much confounded. They cast down their eyes and blushed, and the colour which rose in the cheeks of the youngest quite captivated the emperor's heart. Modesty, and fear lest they might have offended the emperor by their conversation, kept them silent. The emperor perceiving their confusion, said, to encourage them, "Fear nothing, I did not send for you to distress you; and since I see that is the effect of the question I asked, without my intending it, as I know the wish of each, I will relieve you from your fears. You," added he, "who wished to be my wife shall have your desire this day; and you," continued he, addressing himself to the two elder sisters, "shall also be married to my chief baker and cook."

As soon as the sultan had declared his pleasure, the youngest sister, setting her eldest an example, threw herself at the emperor's feet, to express her gratitude. "Sir," said she, "my wish, since it is come to your majesty's knowledge, was expressed only in the way of conversation and amusement. I am unworthy of the honour you do me, and supplicate your pardon for my presumption." The two other sisters would have excused themselves also; but the emperor interrupting them, said, "No, no; it shall be as I have declared; every one's wish shall be fulfilled."

The nuptials were all celebrated that day, as the emperor had resolved, but in a different manner. The youngest sister's were solemnized with all the rejoicings usual at the marriages of the emperors of Persia; and those of the other two sisters according to the quality and distinction of their husbands; the one as the sultan's chief baker, and the other as head cook.

The two elder felt strongly the disproportion of their marriages to that of their younger sister. This consideration made them far from being content, though they were arrived at the utmost height of their late wishes, and much beyond their hopes. They gave themselves up to an excess of jealousy, which not only disturbed their joy, but was the cause of great troubles and afflictions to the queen consort their younger sister. They had not an opportunity to communicate their thoughts to each other on the preference the emperor had given her, but were altogether employed in preparing themselves for the celebration of their marriages. Some days afterwards, when they had an opportunity of seeing each other at the public baths, the eldest said to the other, "Well, what say you to our sister's great fortune? Is not she a fine person to be a queen!" "I must own," said the other sister, "I cannot conceive what charms the emperor could discover to be so bewitched by the young gipsy. Was it a reason sufficient for him not to cast his eyes on you, because she was somewhat younger? You were as worthy of his bed; and in justice he ought to have preferred you."

"Sister," said the elder, "I should not have regretted if his majesty had but pitched upon you; but that he should choose that hussy really grieves me. But I will revenge myself; and you, I think, are as much concerned as me; therefore I propose that we should contrive measures, and act in concert in a common cause: communicate to me what you think the likeliest way to mortify her, while I, on my side, will inform you what my desire of revenge shall suggest to me."

After this wicked agreement, the two sisters saw each other frequently, and consulted how they might disturb and interrupt the happiness of the queen. They proposed a great many ways, but in deliberating about the manner of executing them, found so many difficulties, that they durst not attempt them. In the mean time, they often went together to make her visits with a detestable dissimulation, and every time shewed her all the marks of affection they could devise, to persuade her how overjoyed they were to have a sister raised to so high a fortune. The queen, on her part, constantly received them with all the demonstrations of esteem they could expect: from a sister who was not puffed up with her high dignity, and loved them as cordially as before.

Some months after her marriage, the queen found herself to be with child. The emperor expressed great joy, which was communicated to all the court, and spread throughout the empire of Persia. Upon this news the two sisters came to pay their compliments, and proffered their service to deliver her, desiring her, if not provided with a midwife, to accept of them.

The queen said to them most obligingly, "Sisters, I should desire nothing more, if it was absolutely in my power to make the choice. I am however obliged to you for your good-will, but must submit to what the emperor shall order on this occasion. Let your husbands employ their friends to make interest, and get some courtier to ask this favour of his majesty; and if he speaks to me about it, be assured that I shall not only express the pleasure he does me, but thank him for making choice of you."

The two husbands applied themselves to some courtiers their patrons, and begged of them to use their interest to procure their wives the honour they aspired to. Those patrons exerted themselves so much in their behalf, that the emperor promised them to consider of the matter, and was as good as his word; for in conversation with the queen, he told her, that he thought her sisters were the most proper persons to assist her in her labour; but would not name them before he had asked her consent. The queen, sensible of the deference the emperor so obligingly paid her, said to him, "Sir, I was prepared to do as your majesty might please to command. But since you have been so kind as to think of my sisters, I thank you for the regard you have shewn them for my sake; and therefore I shall not dissemble, that I had rather have them than strangers."

The emperor named the queen's two sisters to be her midwives; and from that time they went frequently to the palace, overjoyed at the opportunity they should have of executing the detestable wickedness they had meditated against the queen.

When the queen's time was up she was safely delivered of a young prince, as bright as the day; but neither his innocence nor beauty could move the cruel hearts of the merciless sisters. They wrapped him up carelessly in his cloths, and put him into a basket, which they abandoned to the stream of a small canal, that ran under the queen's apartment, and declared that she was delivered of a little dead dog, which they produced. This disagreeable intelligence was announced to the emperor, who became so angry at the circumstance, that he was likely to have occasioned the queen's death, if his grand vizier had not represented to him, that he could not, without injustice, make her answerable for the caprices of nature.

In the mean time, the basket in which the little prince was exposed was carried by the stream beyond a wall, which bounded the prospect of the queen's apartment, and from thence floated with the current down the gardens. By chance the intendant of the emperor's gardens, one of the principal and most considerable officers of the kingdom, was walking in the garden by the side of this canal, and perceiving a basket floating, called to a gardener, who was not far off, to bring it to shore, that he might see what it contained. The gardener, with a rake which he had in his hand, drew the basket to the side of the canal, took it up, and gave it to him.

The intendant of the gardens was extremely surprised to see in the basket a child, which, though he knew it could be but just born, had very fine features. This officer had been married several years, but though he had always been desirous of having children, Heaven had never blessed him with any. This accident interrupted his walk: he made the gardener follow him with the child; and when he came to his own house, which was situated at the entrance into the gardens of the palace, went into his wife's apartment. "Wife," said he, "as we have no children of our own, God has sent us one. I recommend him to you; provide him a nurse, and take as much care of him as if he were our own son; for, from this moment, I acknowledge him as such." The intendant's wife received the child with great joy, and took particular pleasure in the care of him. The intendant himself would not inquire too narrowly whence the child came. He saw plainly it came not far off the queen's apartment; but it was not his business to examine too closely into what had passed, nor to create disturbances in a place where peace was so necessary.

The following year the queen consort was brought to bed of another prince, on whom the unnatural sisters had no more compassion than on his brother; but exposed him likewise in a basket, and set him adrift in the canal, pretending this time that the sultaness was delivered of a cat. It was happy also for this child that the intendant of the gardens was walking by the canal side, who had it carried to his wife, and charged her to take as much care of it as of the former; which was as agreeable to her inclination as it was to that of the intendant.

The emperor of Persia was more enraged this time against the queen than before, and she had felt the effects of his anger if the grand vizier's remonstrances had not prevailed.

The third time the queen lay in she was delivered of a princess, which innocent babe underwent the same fate as the princes her brothers; for the two sisters being determined not to desist from their detestable schemes, till they had seen the queen their younger sister at least cast off, turned out, and humbled, exposed this infant also on the canal. But the princess, as well as the two princes her brothers, was preserved from death by the compassion and charity of the intendant of the gardens.

To this inhumanity the two sisters added a lie and deceit as before. They produced a piece of wood, and affirmed it to be a false birth of which the queen had been delivered.

Khoosroo Shaw could no longer contain himself, when he was informed of the new extraordinary birth. "What!" said he; "this woman, unworthy of my bed, will fill my palace with monsters, if I let her live any longer! No, it shall not be; she is a monster herself, and I must rid the world of her." He pronounced sentence of death, and ordered the grand vizier to see it executed.

The grand vizier and the courtiers who were present cast themselves at the emperor's feet, to beg of him to revoke the sentence. "Your majesty, I hope, will give me leave," said the grand vizier, "to represent to you, that the laws which condemn persons to death were made to punish crimes; the three extraordinary labours of the queen are not crimes; for in what can she be said to have contributed towards them? Many other women have had, and have the same every day, and are to be pitied, but not punished. Your majesty may abstain from seeing her, but let her live. The affliction in which she will spend the rest of her life, after the loss of your favour, will be a punishment sufficiently distressing."

The emperor of Persia considered with himself, and reflecting that it was unjust to condemn the queen to death for what had happened, said, "Let her live then; I will spare her life; but it shall be on this condition, that she shall desire to die more than once every day. Let a wooden shed be built for her at the gate of the principal mosque, with iron bars to the windows, and let her be put into it, in the coarsest habit; and every Mussulmaun that shall go into the mosque to prayers shall spit in her face. If any one fail, I will have him exposed to the same punishment; and that I maybe punctually obeyed, I charge you, vizier, to appoint persons to see this done."

The emperor pronounced his sentence in such a tone that the grand vizier durst not further remonstrate; and it was executed, to the great satisfaction of the two envious sisters. A shed was built, and the queen, truly worthy of compassion, was put into it, and exposed ignominiously to the contempt of the people; which usage, as she did not deserve it, she bore with a patient resignation that excited the admiration as well as compassion of those who judged of things better than the vulgar.

The two princes and the princess were, in the mean time, nursed and brought up by the intendant of the gardens and his wife with all the tenderness of a father and mother; and as they advanced in age, they all shewed marks of superior dignity, but the princess in particular, which discovered itself every day by their docility and inclinations above trifles, different from those of common children, and by a certain air which could only belong to exalted birth. All this increased the affections of the intendant and his wife, who called the eldest prince Bahman, and the second Perviz, both of them names of the most ancient emperors of Persia, and the princess, Perie-zadeh, which name also had been borne by several queens and princesses of the kingdom.

As soon as the two princes were old enough, the intendant provided proper masters to teach them to read and write; and the princess their sister, who was often with them, shewing a great desire to learn, the intendant, pleased with her quickness, employed the same master to teach her also. Her emulation, vivacity, and piercing wit, made her in a little time as great a proficient as her brothers.

From that time the brothers and sister had the same masters in geography, poetry, history, and even the secret sciences; and made so wonderful a progress, that their tutors were amazed, and frankly owned that they could teach them no farther. At the hours of recreation, the princess learned to sing and play upon all sorts of instruments; and when the princes were learning to ride she would not permit them to have that advantage over her, but went through all the exercises with them, learning to ride also, to bend the bow, and dart the reed or javelin, and often-times outdid them in the race, and other contests of agility.

The intendant of the gardens was so overjoyed to find his adopted children so accomplished in all the perfections of body and mind, and that they so well requited the expense he had been at in their education, that he resolved to be at a still greater: for as he had till then been content only with his lodge at the entrance of the garden, and kept no country house, he purchased a country seat at a short distance from the city, surrounded by a large tract of arable land, meadows, and woods. As the house was not sufficiently handsome nor convenient, he pulled it down, and spared no expense in building a mansion more magnificent. He went every day to hasten, by his presence, the great number of workmen he employed; and as soon as there was an apartment ready to receive him, passed several days together there when his presence was not necessary at court; and by the same exertions, the interior was furnished in the richest manner, answerably to the magnificence of the edifice. Afterwards he made gardens, according to a plan drawn by himself. He took in a large extent of ground, which he walled round, and stocked with fallow deer, that the princes and princess might divert themselves with hunting when they chose.

When this country seat was finished and fit for habitation, the intendant of the gardens went and cast himself at the emperor's feet, and after representing how long he had served, and the infirmities of age which he found growing upon him, begged he would permit him to resign his charge into his majesty's disposal, and retire. The emperor gave him leave, with the more pleasure because he was satisfied with his long services, both in his father's reign and his own; and when he granted it, asked what he should do to recompense him? "Sir," replied the intendant of the gardens, "I have received so many obligations from your majesty and the late emperor your father of happy memory, that I desire no more than the honour of dying in your favour."

He took his leave of the emperor, and retired with the two princes and the princess to the country retreat he had built. His wife had been dead some years, and he himself had not lived above six months with them before he was surprised by so sudden a death, that he had not time to give them the least account of the manner in which he had discovered them.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, who knew no other father than the intendant of the emperor's gardens, regretted and bewailed him as such, and paid all the honours in his funeral obsequies which love and filial gratitude required of them. Satisfied with the plentiful fortune he had left them, they lived together in perfect union, free from the ambition of distinguishing themselves at court, or aspiring to places of honour and dignity, which they might easily have obtained.

One day when the two princes were hunting, and the princess had remained at home, a religious old woman came to the gate, and desired leave to go in to say her prayers, it being then the hour. The servants asked the princess's permission, who ordered them to shew her into the oratory, which the intendant of the emperor's gardens had taken care to fit up in his house, for want of a mosque in the neighbourhood. She bade them also, after the good woman had finished her prayers, shew her the house and gardens, and then bring her to her.

The old woman went into the oratory, said her prayers, and when she came out two of the princess's women invited her to see the house and gardens; which civility she accepted, followed them from one apartment to another, and observed, like a person who understood what belonged to furniture, the nice arrangement of every thing. They conducted her also into the garden, the disposition of which she found so well planned, that she admired it, observing that the person who had formed it must have been an excellent master of his art. Afterwards she was brought before the princess, who waited for her in the great hall, which in beauty and richness exceeded all that she had admired in the other apartments.

As soon as the princess saw the devout woman, she said to her, "My good mother, come near and sit down by me. I am overjoyed at the happiness of having the opportunity of profiting for some moments by the good example and conversation of such a person as you, who have taken the right way by dedicating yourself to the service of God. I wish every one were as wise."

The devout woman, instead of sitting on a sofa, would only sit upon the edge of one. The princess would not permit her to do so, but rising from her seat,'and taking her by the hand, obliged her to come and sit by her. The good woman, sensible of the civility, said, "Madam, I ought not to have so much respect shewn me; but since you command, and are mistress of your own house, I will obey you." When she had seated herself, before they entered into any conversation, one of the princess's women brought a little low stand of mother of pearl and ebony, with a china dish full of cakes upon it, and many others set round it full of fruits in season, and wet and dry sweetmeats.

The princess took up one of the cakes, and presenting her with it, said, "Eat, good mother, and make choice of what you like best; you had need to eat after coming so far." "Madam," replied the good woman, "I am not used to eat such delicacies; but will not refuse what God has sent me by so liberal a hand as yours."

While the devout woman was eating, the princess ate a little too, to bear her company, and asked her many questions upon the exercise of devotion which she practised, and how she lived: all which she answered with great modesty. Talking of several things, at last she asked her what she thought of the house, and how she liked it.

"Madam," answered the devout woman, "I must certainly have very bad taste to disapprove any thing in it, since it is beautiful, regular, and magnificently furnished with exactness and judgment, and all its ornaments adjusted in the best manner. Its situation is an agreeable spot, and no garden can be more delightful; but yet if you will give me leave to speak my mind freely, I will take the liberty to tell you, that this house would be incomparable if it had three things which are wanting to complete it." "My good mother," replied the princess Perie-zadeh, "what are those? I conjure you, in God's name, to tell me what they are: I will spare nothing to get them, if it be possible."

"Madam," replied the devout woman, "the first of these three things is the speaking bird, so singular a creature, that it draws round it all the singing birds of the neighbourhood, which come to accompany his song. The second is the singing tree, the leaves of which are so many mouths, which form an harmonious concert of different voices, and never cease. The third is the yellow water of a gold colour, a single drop of which being poured into a vessel properly prepared, it increases so as to fill it immediately, and rises up in the middle like a fountain, which continually plays, and yet the basin never overflows."

"Ah! my good mother," cried the princess, "how much am I obliged to you for the knowledge of these curiosities! They are surprising, and I never before heard there were such wonderful rarities in the world; but as I am persuaded that you know, I expect that you should do me the favour to inform me where they are to be found."

"Madam," replied the good woman, "I should be unworthy the hospitality you have with so much goodness shewn me, if I should refuse to satisfy your curiosity in that point; and am glad to have the honour to tell you, that these curiosities are all to be met with in the same spot on the confines of this kingdom, towards India. The road to it lies before your house, and whoever you send needs but follow it for twenty days, and on the twentieth let him only ask the first person he meets where the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water are, and he will be informed." After saying this, she rose from her seat, took her leave, and went her way.

The princess Perie-zadeh's thoughts were so taken up with what the devout woman had told her of the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water, that she never perceived her departure, till she wanted to ask her some question for her better information; for she thought that what she had told her was not a sufficient reason for exposing herself by undertaking a long journey, possibly to no purpose. However, she would not send after her, but endeavoured to remember all she had told her; and when she thought she had recollected every word, took real pleasure in thinking of the satisfaction she should have if she could get these wonderful curiosities into her possession; but the difficulties she apprehended, and the fear of not succeeding, made her very uneasy.

She was absorbed in these thoughts when her brothers returned from hunting; who, when they entered the great hall, instead of finding her lively and gay, as she used to be be, were amazed to see her so pensive, and hanging down her head as if something troubled her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman, "what is become of all your mirth and gaiety? Are you not well? or has some misfortune befallen you? Has any body given you reason to be so melancholy? Tell us, that we may know how to act, and give you some relief. If any one has affronted you, we will resent his insolence."

The princess remained in the same posture some time without answering; but at last lifted up her eyes to look at her brothers, and then held them down again, telling them nothing disturbed her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman, "you conceal the truth from us; there must be something of consequence. It is impossible we could observe so sudden a change if nothing was the matter with you. You would not have us satisfied with the evasive answer you have given: do not conceal any thing, unless you would have us suspect that you renounce the strict union which has hitherto subsisted between us from our infancy."

The princess, who had not the smallest intention to offend her brothers, would not suffer them to entertain such a thought, but said, "When I told you nothing disturbed me, I meant nothing that was of importance to you; but to me it is of some consequence; and since you press me to tell you by our strict union and friendship, which are so dear to me, I will. You think, and I always believed so too, that this house was so complete that nothing was wanting. But this day I have learned that it wants three rarities, which would render it so perfect that no country seat in the world could be compared with it. These three things are, the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water." After she had informed them wherein consisted the excellency of these rarities, "A devout woman," added she, "has made this discovery to me, told me the place where they are to be found, and the way thither. Perhaps you may imagine these things to be trifles, and of little consequence to render our house complete, that without these additions it will always be thought sufficiently elegant with what it already contains, and that we can do without them. You may think as you please; but I cannot help telling you that I am persuaded they are absolutely necessary, and I shall not be easy without them. Therefore, whether you value them or not, I desire you to consider what person you may think proper for me to send in search of the curiosities I have mentioned."

"Sister," replied prince Bahman, "nothing can concern you in which we have not an equal interest. It is enough that you have an earnest desire for the things you mention to oblige us to take the same interest; but if you had not, we feel ourselves inclined of our own accord and for our own individual satisfaction. I am persuaded my brother is of the same opinion, and therefore we ought to undertake this conquest; for the importance and singularity of the undertaking deserve that name. I will take that charge upon myself; only tell me the place, and the way to it, and I will defer my journey no longer than till to-morrow."

"Brother," said prince Perviz, "it is not proper that you, who are the head and director of our family, should be absent. I desire my sister would join with me to oblige you to abandon your design, and allow me to undertake it. I hope to acquit myself as well as you, and it will be a more regular proceeding." "I am persuaded of your good-will, brother," replied prince Bahman, "and that you would succeed as well as myself in this journey; but I have resolved, and will undertake it. You shall stay at home with our sister, and I need not recommend her to you." He spent the remainder of the day in making preparations for his journey, and informing himself from the princess of the directions which the devout woman had left her.

The next morning Bahman mounted his horse, and Perviz and the princess embraced, and wished him a good journey. But in the midst of their adieus, the princess recollected what she had not thought of before. "Brother," said she, "I had quite forgotten the accidents which attend travellers. Who knows whether I shall ever see you again? Alight, I beseech you, and give up this journey. I would rather be deprived of the sight and possession of the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water, than run the risk of never seeing you more."

"Sister," replied Bahman, smiling at the sudden fears of the princess, "my resolution is fixed, but were it not, I should determine upon it now, and you must allow me to execute it. The accidents you speak of befall only those who are unfortunate; but there are more who are not so. However, as events are uncertain, and I may fail in this undertaking, all I can do is to leave you this knife."

Bahman, pulling a knife from his vestband, and presenting it in the sheath to the princess, said, "Take this knife, sister, and give yourself the trouble sometimes to pull it out of the sheath: while you see it clean as it is now, it will be a sign that I am alive; but if you find it stained with blood, then you may believe me dead, and indulge me with your prayers."

The princess could obtain nothing more of Bahman. He bade adieu to her and prince Perviz for the last time, and rode away. When he got into the road he never turned to the right hand nor to the left, but went directly forward towards India. The twentieth day he perceived on the road side a hideous old man, who sat under a tree some small distance from a thatched house, which was his retreat from the weather.

His eye-brows were as white as snow, as was also the hair of his head; his whiskers covered his mouth, and his beard and hair reached down to his feet. The nails of his hands and feet were grown to an extensive length; a flat broad umbrella covered his head. He had no clothes, but only a mat thrown round his body.

This old man was a dervish, for many years retired from the world, to give himself up entirely to the service of God; so that at last he became what we have described.

Prince Bahman, who had been all that morning very attentive to see if he could meet with any body who could give him information of the place he was in search of, stopped when he came near the dervish, alighted, in conformity to the directions which the devout woman had given the princess Perie-zadeh, and leading his horse by the bridle, advanced towards him, and saluting him, said, "God prolong your days, good father, and grant you the accomplishment of your desires."

The dervish returned the prince's salutation, but so unintelligibly that he could not understand one word he said: prince Bahman perceiving that this difficulty proceeded from the dervish's whiskers hanging over his mouth, and unwilling to go any farther without the instructions he wanted, pulled out a pair of scissors he had about him, and having tied his horse to a branch of the tree, said, "Good dervish, I want to have some talk with you: but your whiskers prevent my understanding what you say: and if you will consent, I will cut off some part of them and of your eye-brows, which disfigure you so much that you look more like a bear than a man."

The dervish did not oppose the offer; and when the prince had cut off as much hair as he thought fit, he perceived that the dervish had a good complexion, and that he did not seem so old as he really was. "Good dervish," said he, "if I had a glass I would shew you how young you look: you are now a man, but before nobody could tell what you were."

The kind behaviour of prince Bahman made the dervish smile, and return his compliment. "Sir," said he, "whoever you are, I am obliged by the good office you have performed, and am ready to shew my gratitude by doing any thing in my power for you. You must have alighted here upon some account or other. Tell me what it is, and I will endeavour to serve you."

"Good dervish," replied prince Bahman, "I am in search of the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water; I know these three rarities are not far from hence, but cannot tell exactly the place where they are to be found; if you know, I conjure you to shew me the way, that I may not lose my labour after so long a journey."

The prince, while he spoke, observed that the dervish changed countenance, held down his eyes, looked very serious, and instead of making any reply, remained silent; which obliged him to say to him again, "Good father, I fancy you heard me; tell me whether you know what I ask you, that I may not lose my time, but inform myself somewhere else."

At last the dervish broke silence. "Sir," said he to prince Bahman, "I know the way you ask of me; but the regard which I conceived for you the first moment I saw you, and which is grown stronger by the service you have done me, kept me in suspense, whether I should give you the satisfaction you desire." "What motive can hinder you?" replied the prince; "and what difficulties do you find in so doing?" "I will tell you," replied the dervish; "the danger you are going to expose yourself to is greater than you may suppose. A number of gentlemen of as much bravery and courage as you can possibly possess have passed this way, and asked me the same question. When I had used all my endeavours to persuade them to desist, they would not believe me; at last, I yielded, to their importunities; I was compelled to shew them the way, and I can assure you they have all perished, for I have not seen one come back. Therefore, if you have any regard for your life, take my advice, go no farther, but return home."

Prince Bahman persisted in his resolution. "I will not suppose," said he to the dervish, "but that your advice is sincere. I am obliged to you for the friendship you express for me; but whatever may be the danger, nothing shall make me change my intention: whoever attacks me, I am well armed, and can say I am as brave as any one." "But they who will attack you are not to be seen," replied the dervish; "how will you defend yourself against invisible persons?" "It is no matter," answered the prince; "all you say shall not persuade me to do any thing contrary to my duty. Since you know the way, I conjure you once more to inform me."

When the dervish found he could not prevail upon prince Bahman, and that he was obstinately bent to pursue his journey notwithstanding his friendly remonstrance, he put his hand into a bag that lay by him and pulled out a bowl, which he presented to him. "Since I cannot prevail on you to attend to my advice," said he, "take this bowl; when you are on horseback throw it before you, and follow it to the foot of a mountain, where it will stop. As soon as the bowl stops, alight, leave your horse with the bridle over his neck, and he will stand in the same place till you return. As you ascend you will see on your right and left a great number of large black stones, and will hear on all sides a confusion of voices, which will utter a thousand injurious abuses to discourage you, and prevent your reaching the summit of the mountain. Be not afraid; but above all things, do not turn your head to look behind you; for in that instant you will be changed into such a black stone as those you see, which are all youths who have failed in this enterprise. If you escape the danger of which I give you but a faint idea, and get to the top of the mountain, you will see a cage, and in that cage is the bird you seek; ask him which are the singing tree and the yellow water, and he will tell you. I have nothing more to say; this is what you have to do, and the danger you have to avoid; but if you are prudent, you will take my advice, and not expose your life. Consider once more while you have time that the difficulty is almost insuperable."

"I am obliged to you for your repeated advice," replied prince Bahman, after he had received the bowl, "but cannot follow it. However, I will endeavour to conform myself to that part of it which bids me not look behind me as I shall ascend the mountain, and I hope to come and see you again soon, and thank you when I have obtained what I am seeking." After these words, to which the dervish made no other answer than that he should be overjoyed to see him again, the prince mounted his horse, took his leave of the dervish with a respectful salute, and threw the bowl before him.

The bowl rolled away unceasingly with as much swiftness as when prince Bahman first hurled it from his hand, which obliged him to put his horse to the same pace to avoid losing sight of it, and when it had reached the foot of the mountain it stopped. The prince alighted from his horse, laid the bridle on his neck; and having first surveyed the mountain, and seen the black stones, began to ascend; but had not gone four steps, before he heard the voices mentioned by the dervish, though he could see nobody. Some said, "Where is that fool going? where is he going? what would he have? do not let him pass." Others, "Stop him, catch him, kill him;" and others with a voice like thunder, "Thief! assassin! murderer!" while some in a gibing tone cried, "No, no, do not hurt him; let the pretty fellow pass, the cage and bird are kept for him."

Notwithstanding all these troublesome voices, prince Bahman ascended with courage and resolution for some time, but the voices redoubled with so loud a din near him, both behind and before, that at last he was seized with dread, his legs trembled under him, he staggered, and finding that his strength failed him, he forgot the dervish's advice, turned about to run down the hill, and was that instant changed into a black stone; a metamorphosis which had happened to many before him, who had attempted the ascent. His horse likewise underwent the same change.

From the time of prince Bahman's departure, the princess Perie-zadeh always wore the knife and sheath in her girdle, and pulled it out several times in a day, to know whether her brother was alive. She had the consolation to understand he was in perfect health, and to talk of him frequently with prince Perviz, who sometimes prevented her by asking her what news.

On the fatal day that prince Bahman was transformed into a stone, as prince Perviz and the princess were talking together in the evening, as usual, the prince desired his sister to pull out the knife to know how their brother did. The princess readily complied, and seeing the blood run down the point was seized with so much horror that she threw it down. "Ah! my dear brother," cried she, "I have been the cause of your death, and shall never see you more! Why did I tell you of the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water; or rather, of what importance was it to me to know whether the devout woman thought this house ugly or handsome, or complete or not? I wish to Heaven she had never addressed herself to me? Deceitful hypocrite!" added she, "is this the return you have made for the kind reception I gave you? Why did you tell me of a bird, a tree, and a water, which, imaginary as I am persuaded they are, by my dear brother's death, yet disturb me by your enchantment?"

Prince Perviz was as much afflicted at the death of prince Bahman as the princess; but not to waste time in needless regret, as he knew that she still passionately desired possession of the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the golden water, he interrupted her, saying, "Sister, our regret for our brother is vain and useless; our grief and lamentations cannot restore him to life; it is the will of God, we must submit to it, and adore the decrees of the Almighty without searching into them. Why should you now doubt of the truth of what the holy woman told you? do you think she spoke to you of three things that were not in being? and that she invented them on purpose to deceive you, who had given her no cause to do so, but received her with so much goodness and civility? Let us rather believe that our brother's death is owing to some error on his part, or some accident which we cannot conceive. It ought not therefore to prevent us from pursuing our object. I offered to go this journey, and am now more resolved than ever; his example has no effect upon my resolution; to-morrow I will depart."

The princess did all she could to dissuade prince Perviz, conjuring him not to expose her to the danger of losing two brothers; but he was obstinate, and all the remonstrances she could urge had no effect upon him. Before he went, that she might know what success he had, he left her a string of a hundred pearls, telling her, that if they would not run when she should count them upon the string, but remain fixed, that would be a certain sign he had undergone the same fate as his brother; but at the same time told her he hoped it would never happen, but that he should have the happiness to see her again to their mutual satisfaction.

Prince Perviz, on the twentieth day after his departure, met the same dervish in the same place as his brother Bahman had done before him. He went directly up to him, and after he had saluted, asked him, if he could tell him where to find the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the golden water? The dervish urged the same difficulties and remonstrances as he had done to prince Bahman, telling him, that a young gentleman, who very much resembled him, was with him a short time before; that, overcome by his importunity and pressing instances, he had shewn him the way, given him a guide, and told him how he should act to succeed; but that he had not seen him since, and doubted not but he had shared the same fate as all other adventurers.

"Good dervish," answered prince Perviz, "I know whom you speak of; he was my elder brother, and I am informed of the certainty of his death, but know not the cause." "I can tell you," replied the dervish; "he was changed into a black stone, as all I speak of have been; and you must expect the same transformation, unless you observe more exactly than he has done the advice I gave him, in case you persist in your resolution, which I once more entreat you to renounce."

"Dervish," said prince Perviz, "I cannot sufficiently express how much I am obliged for the concern you take in my life, who am a stranger to you, and have done nothing to deserve your kindness: but I thoroughly considered this enterprise before I undertook it, and I cannot now relinquish it: therefore I beg of you to do me the same favour you have done my brother. Perhaps I may have better success in following your directions." "Since I cannot prevail with you," said the dervish, "to give up your obstinate resolution, if my age did not prevent me, and I could stand, I would get up to reach you a bowl I have here, which will shew you the way."

Without giving the dervish time to say more, the prince alighted from his horse and went to the dervish, who had taken a bowl out of his bag, in which he had a great many, and gave it him, with the same directions he had given prince Bahman; and after warning him not to be discouraged by the voices he should hear without seeing any body, however threatening they might be, but to continue his way up the hill till he saw the cage and bird, he let him depart.

Prince Perviz thanked the dervish, and when he had remounted, and taken leave, threw the bowl before his horse, and spurring him at the same time, followed it. When the bowl came to the bottom of the hill it stopped, the prince alighted, and stood some time to recollect the dervish's directions. He encouraged himself, and began to walk up with a resolution to reach the summit; but before he had gone above six steps, he heard a voice, which seemed to be near, as of a man behind him, say in an insulting tone, "Stay, rash youth, that I may punish you for your presumption."

Upon this affront the prince, forgetting the dervish's advice, clapped his hand upon his sword, drew it, and turned about to revenge himself; but had scarcely time to see that nobody followed him before he and his horse were changed into black stones.

In the mean time the princess Perie-zadeh, several times a day after her brother's departure, counted her chaplet. She did not omit it at night, but when she went to bed put it about her neck; and in the morning when she awoke counted over the pearls again to see if they would slide.

The day that prince Perviz was transformed into a stone, she was counting over the pearls as she used to do, when all at once they became immoveably fixed, a certain token that the prince her brother was dead. As she had determined what to do in case it should so happen, she lost no time in outward demonstrations of grief, which she concealed as much as possible; but having disguised herself in man's apparel, armed and equipped, she mounted her horse the next morning, having told her servants she should return in two or three days, and took the same road her brothers had done.

The princess, who had been used to ride on horseback in hunting, supported the fatigue of so long a journey better than most ladies could have done; and as she made the same stages as her brothers, she also met with the dervish on the twentieth day. When she came near him, she alighted off her horse, leading him by the bridle, went and sat down by the dervish, and after she had saluted him, said, "Good dervish, give me leave to rest myself; and do me the favour to tell me if you have not heard that there are somewhere in this neighbourhood a speaking bird, a singing tree, and golden water."

"Princess," answered the dervish, "for so I must call you, since by your voice I know you to be a woman disguised in man's apparel, I thank you for your compliment, and receive the honour you do me with great pleasure. I know the place well where these things are to be found: but what makes you ask me this question?"

"Good dervish," replied the princess, "I have had such a flattering relation of them given me, that I have a great desire to possess them." "Madam," replied the dervish, "you have been told the truth. These curiosities are more singular and surprising than they have been represented to you: but you have not been made acquainted with the difficulties which must be surmounted in order to obtain them. If you had been fully informed of these, you would not have undertaken so troublesome and dangerous an enterprise. Take my advice, go no farther, return, and do not urge me to contribute towards your ruin."

"Good father," said the princess, "I have travelled a great way, and should be sorry to return without executing my design. You talk of difficulties, and danger of life; but you do not tell me what those difficulties are, and wherein the danger consists. This is what I desire to know, that I may consider and judge whether I can trust my courage and strength to brave them."

The dervish repeated to the princess what he had said to the princes Bahman and Perviz, exaggerating the difficulties of climbing up to the top of the mountain, where she was to make herself mistress of the bird, which would inform her of the singing tree and golden water. He magnified the noise and din of the terrible threatening voices which she would hear on all sides of her, without seeing any body, and the great number of black stones, alone sufficient to strike terror. He entreated her to reflect that those stones were so many brave gentlemen, so metamorphosed for having omitted to observe the principal condition of success in the perilous undertaking, which was not to look behind them before they had got possession of the cage.

When the dervish had done, the princess replied, "By what I comprehend from your discourse, the difficulties of succeeding in this affair are, first, the getting up to the cage without being frightened at the terrible din of voices I shall hear; and secondly, not to look behind me: for this last, I hope I shall be mistress enough of myself to observe it. As to the first, I own that those voices, such as you represent them to be, are capable of striking terror into the most undaunted; but as in all enterprises and dangers every one may use stratagem, I desire to know of you if I may use any in one of so great importance." "And what stratagem is it you would employ?" said the dervish. "To stop my ears with cotton," answered the princess, "that the voices, however loud and terrible, may make the less impression upon my imagination, and my mind remain free from that disturbance which might cause me to lose the use of my reason."

"Princess," replied the dervish, "of all the persons who have addressed themselves to me for information, I do not know that ever one made use of the contrivance you propose. All I know is, that they all perished. If you persist in your design, you may make the experiment. You will be fortunate if it succeeds; but I would advise you not to expose yourself to the danger."

"My good father," replied the princess, "nothing can hinder my persisting in my design. I am sure my precaution will succeed, and am resolved to try the experiment. Nothing remains for me but to know which way I must go; I conjure you not to deny me the favour of that information." The dervish exhorted her again, for the last time, to consider well what she was going to do; but finding her resolute, he took out a bowl, and presenting it to her, said, "Take this bowl; mount your horse again, and when you have thrown it before you, follow it through all its windings, till it stops at the bottom of the mountain, there alight, and ascend the hill. Go; you know the rest."

After the princess had thanked the dervish, and taken her leave of him, she mounted her horse, threw the bowl before her, and followed it till it stopped at the foot of the mountain.

The princess alighted, stopped her ears with cotton; and after she had well examined the path leading to the summit, began with a moderate pace, and walked up with intrepidity. She heard the voices, and perceived the great service the cotton was to her. The higher she went, the louder and more numerous the voices seemed; but they were not capable of making any impression upon her. She heard a great many affronting speeches and raillery very disagreeable to a woman, which she only laughed at. "I mind not," said she to herself, "all that can be said, were it worse; I only laugh at them, and shall pursue my way." At last she got so high, that she could perceive the cage and the bird, which endeavoured, with the voices, to frighten her, crying in a thundering tone, notwithstanding the smallness of its size, "Retire, fool, and approach no nearer."

The princess, encouraged by this object, redoubled her speed, and by effort gained the summit of the mountain, where the ground was level; then running directly to the cage, and clapping her hand upon it, cried, "Bird, I have you, and you shall not escape me."

While Perie-zadeh was pulling the cotton out of her ears, the bird said to her, "Heroic princess, be not angry with me for joining with those who exerted themselves to preserve my liberty. Though in a cage, I was content with my condition; but since I am destined to be a slave, I would rather be yours than any other person's, since you have obtained me so courageously. From this instant, I swear inviolable fidelity, and an entire submission to all your commands. I know who you are; you do not: but the time will come when I shall do you essential service, which I hope you will think yourself obliged to me for. As a proof of my sincerity, tell me what you desire, and I am ready to obey you."

The princess's joy was the more inexpressible, because the conquest she had made had cost her the lives of two beloved brothers, and given her more trouble and danger than she could have imagined, notwithstanding what the dervish had represented to her. "Bird," said she, "it was my intention to have told you that I wish for many things which are of importance; but I am overjoyed that you have shewn your good-will and prevented me. I have been told that there is not far off a golden water, the property of which is very wonderful; before all things, I ask you to tell me where it is." The bird shewed her the place, which was just by, and she went and filled a little silver flagon which she had brought with her. She returned to the bird and said, "Bird, this is not enough; I want also the singing tree; tell me where it is." "Turn about," said the bird, "and you will see behind you a wood, where you will find this tree." The princess went into the wood, and by the harmonious concert she heard soon knew the tree among many others, but it was very large and high. She came back to the bird, and said to it, "Bird, I have found the singing tree, but I can neither pull it up by the roots, nor carry it." The bird replied, "It is not necessary that you should take it up by the roots; it will be sufficient to break off a branch, and carry it to plant in your garden; it will take root as soon as it is put into the earth, and in a little time will grow to as fine a tree as that you have seen."

When the princess had obtained possession of the three things which the devout woman had told her of, and for which she had conceived so great a desire, she said again to the bird, "Bird, what you have yet done for me is not sufficient. You have been the cause of the death of my two brothers, who must be among the black stones which I saw as I ascended the mountain. I wish to take them home with me."

The bird seemed reluctant to satisfy the princess in this point, and indeed made some difficulty to comply. "Bird," said the princess, "remember you told me that you were my slave. You are so; and your life is in my disposal." "That I cannot deny," answered the bird; "but although what you now ask is more difficult than all the rest, yet I will do it for you. Cast your eyes around," added he, "and look if you can see a little pitcher." "I see it already," said the princess. "Take it then," said he, "and as you descend the mountain, sprinkle a little of the water that is in it upon every black stone."

The princess took up the pitcher accordingly, carried with her the cage and bird, the flagon of golden water, and the branch of the singing tree, and as she descended the mountain, threw a little of the water on every black stone, which was changed immediately into a man; and as she did not miss one stone, all the horses, both of the princes her brothers, and of the other gentlemen, resumed their natural forms. She instantly recognized Bahman and Perviz, as they did her, and ran to embrace her. She returned their embraces, and expressed her amazement. "What do you here, my dear brothers?" said she; they told her they had been asleep. "Yes," replied she, "and if it had not been for me, perhaps you might have slept till the day of judgment. Do not you remember that you came to fetch the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water? and did not you see, as you came along, the place covered with black stones? Look and see if there be any now. The gentlemen and their horses who surround us, and you yourselves, were these black stones. If you desire to know how this wonder was performed," continued she, shewing the pitcher, which she set down at the foot of the mountain, having no further use for it, "it was done by virtue of the water which was in this pitcher, with which I sprinkled every stone. After I had made the speaking bird (which you see in this cage) my slave, by his directions I found out the singing tree, a branch of which I have now in my hand; and the yellow water, which this flagon is filled with; but being still unwilling to return without taking you with me, I constrained the bird, by the power I had over him, to afford me the means. He told me where to find this pitcher, and the use I was to make of it."

The princes Bahman and Perviz learnt by this relation the obligation they had to the princess their sister; as did all the other gentlemen, who were collected round, and expressed to the princess, that, far from envying her happiness in the conquest she had made, and which they all had aspired to, they thought they could not any otherwise acknowledge the favour she had done them, or better express their gratitude to her for restoring them to life again, than by declaring themselves all her slaves, and that they were ready to obey her in whatever she should command.

"Gentlemen," replied the princess, "if you had given any attention to my words you might have observed that I had no other intention in what I have done than to recover my brothers; therefore, if you have received any benefit, you owe me no obligation, and I have no further share in your compliment than your politeness towards me, for which I return you my thanks. In other respects, I regard each of you individually as free as you were before your misfortunes, and I rejoice with you at the happiness which has accrued to you by my means. Let us however stay no longer in a place where we have nothing to detain us; but mount our horses, and return to our respective homes."

The princess took her horse, which stood in the place where she had left him.—Before she mounted, prince Bahman desired her to give him the cage to carry. "Brother," replied the princess, "the bird is my slave, and I will carry him myself; if you will take the pains to carry the branch of the singing tree, there it is; only hold the cage while I get on horseback." When she had mounted her horse; and prince Bahman had given her the cage, she turned about and said to prince Perviz, "I leave the flagon of golden water to your care, if it will not be too much trouble for you to carry it." Prince Perviz took charge of it with pleasure.

When Bahman, Perviz, and all the gentlemen had mounted their horses, the princess waited for some of them to lead the way. The two princes paid that compliment to the gentlemen, and they again to the princess, who, finding that none of them would accept of the honour, but that it was reserved for her, addressed herself to them and said, "Gentlemen, I expect that some of you should lead the way;" to which one who was nearest to her, in the name of the rest, replied, "Madam, were we ignorant of the respect due to your sex, yet after what you have done for us there is no deference we would not willingly pay you, notwithstanding your modesty; we entreat you no longer to deprive us of the happiness of following you."

"Gentlemen," said the princess, "I do not deserve the honour you do me, and accept it only because you desire it." At the same time she led the way, and the two princes and the gentlemen followed.

This illustrious company called upon the dervish as they passed, to thank him for his reception and wholesome advice, which they had all found to be sincere. But he was dead: whether of old age, or because he was no longer necessary to shew the way to the obtaining the three rarities which the princess Perie-zadeh had secured, did not appear. They pursued their route, but lessened in their numbers every day. The gentlemen who, as we said before, had come from different countries, after severally repeating their obligations to the princess and her brothers, took leave of them one after another as they approached the road they had come.

As soon as the princess reached home, she placed the cage in the garden; and the bird no sooner began to warble than he was surrounded by nightingales, chaffinches, larks, linnets, goldfinches, and every species of birds of the country. And the branch of the singing tree was no sooner set in the midst of the parterre, a little distance from the house, than it took root, and in a short time became a large tree, the leaves of which gave as harmonious a concert as those of the tree from which it was gathered. A large basin of beautiful marble was placed in the garden; and when it was finished, the princess poured into it all the yellow water from the flagon, which instantly increased and swelled so much that it soon reached up to the edges of the basin, and afterwards formed in the middle a fountain twenty feet high, which fell again into the basin perpetually without running over.

The report of these wonders was presently spread abroad, and as the gates of the house and those of the gardens were shut to nobody, a great number of people came to admire them.

Some days after, when the princes Bahman and Perviz had recovered from the fatigue of their journey, they resumed their former way of living; and as their usual diversion was hunting, they mounted their horses and went for the first time since their return, not to their own demesne, but two or three leagues from their house. As they pursued their sport, the emperor of Persia came in pursuit of game upon the same ground. When they perceived by the number of horsemen in different places that he would soon be up, they resolved to discontinue their chase, and retire to avoid encountering him; but in the very road they took they chanced to meet him in so narrow a way that they could not retreat without being seen. In their surprise they had only time to alight, and prostrate themselves before the emperor, without lifting up their heads to look at him. The emperor, who saw they were as well mounted and dressed as if they had belonged to his court, had the curiosity to see their faces. He stopped, and commanded them to rise. The princes rose up, and stood before him with an easy and graceful air, accompanied with respectful modest countenances. The emperor took some time to view them before he spoke: and after he had admired their good air and mien, asked them who they were, and where they lived.

"Sir," said prince Bahman, "we are the sons of the late intendant of your majesty's gardens: and live in a house which he built a little before he died, till we should be fit to serve your majesty, and ask of you some employ when opportunity offered."

"By what I perceive," replied the emperor, "you love hunting." "Sir," replied prince Bahman, "it is our common exercise, and what none of your majesty's subjects who intend to bear arms in your armies ought, according to the ancient custom of the kingdom, to neglect." The emperor, charmed with so prudent an answer, said, "Since it is so, I should be glad to see your expertness in the chase; choose your own game."

The princes mounted their horses again, and followed the emperor; but had not gone far before they saw many wild beasts together. Prince Bahman chose a lion, and prince Perviz a bear; and pursued them with so much intrepidity, that the emperor was surprised. They came up with their game nearly at the same time, and darted their javelins with so much skill and address, that they pierced, the one the lion, and the other the bear, so effectually, that the emperor saw them fall one after the other. Immediately afterwards prince Bahman pursued another bear, and prince Perviz another lion, and killed them in a short time, and would have beaten out for fresh game, but the emperor would not let them, and sent to them to come to him. When they approached he said, "If I would have given you leave, you would soon have destroyed all my game: but it is not that which I would preserve, but your persons; for I am so well assured your bravery may one time or other be serviceable to me, that from this moment your lives will be always dear to me."

The emperor, in short, conceived so great a kindness for the two princes, that he invited them immediately to make him a visit: to which prince Bahman replied, "Your majesty does us an honour we do not deserve; and we beg you will excuse us."

The emperor, who could not comprehend what reason the princes could have to refuse this token of his favour, pressed them to tell him why they excused themselves. "Sir," said prince Bahman, "we have a sister younger than ourselves, with whom we live in such perfect union, that we undertake nothing before we consult her, nor she any thing without asking our advice." "I commend your brotherly affection," answered the emperor. "Consult your sister, meet me here tomorrow, and give me an answer."

The princes went home, but neglected to speak of their adventure in meeting the emperor, and hunting with him, and also of the honour he had done them, by asking them to go home with him; yet did not the next morning fail to meet him at the place appointed. "Well," said the emperor, "have you spoken to your sister? And has she consented to the pleasure I expect of seeing you?" The two princes looked at each other and blushed. "Sir," said prince Bahman, "we beg your majesty to excuse us: for both my brother and I forgot." "Then remember to-day," replied the emperor, "and be sure to bring me an answer to-morrow."

The princes were guilty of the same fault a second time, and the emperor was so good-natured as to forgive their negligence; but to prevent their forgetfulness the third time, he pulled three little golden balls out of a purse, and put them into prince Bahman's bosom. "These balls," said he, smiling, "will prevent your forgetting a third time what I wish you to do for my sake; since the noise they will make by falling on the floor, when you undress, will remind you, if you do not recollect it before." The event happened just as the emperor foresaw; and without these balls the princes had not thought of speaking to their sister of this affair. For as prince Bahman unloosed his girdle to go to bed the balls dropped on the floor, upon which he ran into prince Perviz's chamber, when both went into the princess Perie-zadeh's apartment, and after they had asked her pardon for coming at so unseasonable a time, they told her all the circumstances of their meeting the emperor.

The princess was somewhat surprised at this intelligence. "Your meeting with the emperor," said she, "is happy and honourable, and may in the end be highly advantageous to you, but it is very disagreeable and distrustful to me. It was on my account, I know, you refused the emperor, and I am infinitely obliged to you for doing so. I know by this your affection is equal to my own, since you would rather be guilty of incivility towards the emperor than violate the brotherly union we have sworn to each other. You judge right, for if you had once gone you would insensibly have been engaged to leave me, to devote yourselves to him. But do you think it an easy matter absolutely to refuse the emperor what he seems so earnestly to desire? Monarchs will be obeyed in their desires, and it may be dangerous to oppose them; therefore, if to follow my inclination I should dissuade you from shewing the complaisance he expects from you, it may expose you to his resentment, and may render myself and you miserable. These are my sentiments: but before we conclude upon any thing let us consult the speaking bird, and hear what he says; he is penetrating, and has promised his assistance in all difficulties."

The princess sent for the cage, and after she had related the circumstances to the bird in the presence of her brothers, asked him what they should do in this perplexity? The bird answered, "The princes your brothers must conform to the emperor's pleasure, and in their turn invite him to come and see your house."

"But, bird," replied the princess, "my brothers and I love one another, and our friendship is yet undisturbed. Will not this step be injurious to that friendship?" "Not at all," replied the bird; "it will tend rather to cement it." "Then," answered the princess, "the emperor will see me." The bird told her it was necessary he should, and that everything would go better afterwards.

Next morning the princes met the emperor hunting, who, at as great a distance as he could make himself be heard, asked them if they had remembered to speak to their sister? Prince Bahman approached, and answered, "Sir, your majesty may dispose of us as you please; we are ready to obey you; for we have not only obtained our sister's consent with great ease, but she took it amiss that we should pay her that deference in a matter wherein our duty to your majesty was concerned. But if we have offended, we hope you will pardon us." "Do not be uneasy on that account," replied the emperor; "so far from taking amiss what you have done, I highly approve of your conduct, and hope you will have the same deference and attachment to my person, if I have ever so little share in your friendship." The princes, confounded at the emperor's goodness, returned no other answer but a low obeisance, to shew the great respect with which they received it.

The emperor, contrary to his usual custom, did not hunt long that day. Presuming that the princes possessed wit equal to their courage and bravery, he longed with impatience to converse with them more at liberty. He made them ride on each side of him, an honour which, without speaking of the principal courtiers who accompanied him, was envied by the grand vizier, who was much mortified to see them preferred before him.

When the emperor entered his capital, the eyes of the people, who stood in crowds in the streets, were fixed upon the two princes Bahman and Perviz; and they were earnest to know who they might be, whether foreigners or natives.

All, however, agreed in wishing that the emperor had been blessed with two such handsome princes, and said, "He might have had children as old, if the queen, who had suffered the punishment of her misfortune, had been more fortunate in her lyings-in."

The first thing that the emperor did when he arrived at his palace was to conduct the princes into the principal apartments; who praised without affectation, like persons conversant in such matters, the beauty and symmetry of the rooms, and the richness of the furniture and ornaments. Afterwards a magnificent repast was served up, and the emperor made them sit with him, which they at first refused; but finding it was his pleasure, they obeyed.

The emperor, who had himself much learning, particularly in history, foresaw that the princes, out of modesty and respect, would not take the liberty of beginning any conversation. Therefore, to give them an opportunity, he furnished them with subjects all dinner-time. But whatever subject he introduced, they shewed so much wit, judgment, and discernment, that he was struck with admiration. "Were these my own children," said he to himself, "and I had improved their talents by suitable education, they could not have been more accomplished or better informed." In short, he took such great pleasure in their conversation, that after having sat longer than usual he led them into his closet, where he pursued his conversation with them, and at last said, "I never supposed that there were among my subjects in the country youths so well brought up, so lively, so capable; and I never was better pleased with any conversation than yours: but it is time now we should relax our minds with some diversion; and as nothing is more capable of enlivening the mind than music, you shall hear a vocal and instrumental concert which may not be disagreeable to you."

The emperor had no sooner spoken for them than the musicians, who had orders to attend, entered, and answered fully the expectations the princes had been led to entertain of their abilities. After the concerts, an excellent farce was acted, and the entertainment was concluded by dancers of both sexes.

The two princes seeing night approach, prostrated themselves at the emperor's feet; and having first thanked him for the favours and honours he had heaped upon them, asked his permission to retire; which was granted by the emperor, who, in dismissing them, said, "I give you leave to go; but remember I brought you to the palace myself only to shew you the way; you will be always welcome, and the oftener you come the greater pleasure you will do me."

Before they went out of the emperor's presence, prince Bahman said, "Sir, may we presume to request that your majesty will do us and our sister the honour to pass by our house, and rest and refresh yourself after your fatigue, the first time you take the diversion of hunting in that neighbourhood? It is not worthy your presence; but monarchs sometimes have vouchsafed to take shelter in a cottage." "My children," replied the emperor; "your house cannot be otherwise than beautiful, and worthy of its owners. I will call and see it with pleasure, which will be the greater for having for my hosts you and your sister, who is already dear to me from the account you give me of the rare qualities with which she is endowed; and this satisfaction I will defer no longer than to-morrow. Early in the morning I will be at the place where I shall never forget that I first saw you. Meet me, and you shall be my guides."

When the princes Bahman and Perviz had returned home, they gave the princess an account of the distinguished reception the emperor had given them; and told her that they had invited him to do them the honour, as he passed by, to call at their house; and that he had appointed the next day.

"If it be so," replied the princess, "we must think of preparing a repast fit for his majesty; and for that purpose I think it would be proper we should consult the speaking bird, he will tell us perhaps what meats the emperor likes best." The princes approved of her plan, and after they had retired she consulted the bird alone. "Bird," said she, "the emperor will do us the honour to-morrow to come and see our house, and we are to entertain him; tell us what we shall do to acquit ourselves to his satisfaction."

"Good mistress," replied the bird, "you have excellent cooks, let them do the best they can; but above all things, let them prepare a dish of cucumbers stuffed full of pearls, which must be set before the emperor in the first course before all the other dishes."

"Cucumbers stuffed full of pearls!" cried princess Perie-zadeh, with amazement; "surely, bird, you do not know what you say; it is an unheard-of dish. The emperor may admire it as a piece of magnificence, but he will sit down to eat, and not to admire pearls; besides, all the pearls I possess are not enough for such a dish."

"Mistress," said the bird, "do what I say, and be not uneasy about what may happen. Nothing but good will follow. As for the pearls, go early to-morrow morning to the foot of the first tree on your right hand in the park, dig under it, and you will find more than you want."

That night the princess ordered a gardener to be ready to attend her, and the next morning early led him to the tree which the bird had told her of, and bade him dig at its foot. When the gardener came to a certain depth, he found some resistance to the spade, and presently discovered a gold box about a foot square, which he shewed the princess. "This," said she, "is what I brought you for; take care not to injure it with the spade."

When the gardener took up the box, he gave it into the princess's hands, who, as it was only fastened with neat little hasps, soon opened it, and found it full of pearls of a moderate size, but equal, and fit for the use that was to be made of them. Very well satisfied with having found this treasure, after she had shut the box again she put it under her arm, and went back to the house, while the gardener threw the earth into the hole at the foot of the tree as it had been before.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, who, as they were dressing themselves in their own apartments, saw the princess their sister in the garden earlier than usual, as soon as they could get out went to her, and met her as she was returning, with a gold box under her arm, which much surprised them. "Sister," said Bahman, "you carried nothing with you when we saw you before with the gardener, and now we see you have a golden box: is this some treasure found by the gardener, and did he come and tell you of it?"

"No, brother," answered the princess; "I took the gardener to the place where this casket was concealed, and shewed him where to dig: but you will be more amazed when you see what it contains."

The princess opened the box, and when the princes saw that it was full of pearls, which, though small, were of great value; they asked her how she came to the knowledge of this treasure? "Brothers," said she, "if nothing more pressing calls you elsewhere, come with me, and I will tell you." "What more pressing business," said prince Perviz, "can we have than to be informed of what concerns us so much? We have nothing to do to prevent our attending you." The princess, as they returned to the house, gave them an account of her having consulted the bird, as they had agreed she should, and the answer he had given her; the objection she had raised to preparing a dish of cucumbers stuffed full of pearls, and how he had told her where to find this box. The princes and princess formed many conjectures to penetrate into what the bird could mean by ordering them to prepare such a dish; and after much conversation, though they could not by any means guess at his reason, they nevertheless agreed to follow his advice exactly.

As soon as the princess entered the house, she called for the head cook; and after she had given him directions about the entertainment for the emperor, said to him, "Besides all this, you must dress an extraordinary dish for the emperor's own eating, which nobody else must have any thing to do with besides yourself. This dish must be of cucumbers stuffed with these pearls;" and at the same time she opened him the box, and shewed him the pearls.

The chief cook, who had never heard of such a dish, started back, and shewed his thoughts by his looks; which the princess penetrating, said, "I see you take me to be mad to order such a dish, which you never heard of, and which one may say with certainty was never made. I know this as well as you; but I am not mad, and give you these orders with the most perfect recollection. You must invent and do the best you can, and bring me back what pearls are left." The cook could make no reply, but took the box and retired: and afterwards the princess gave directions to all the domestics to have every thing in order, both in the house and gardens, to receive the emperor.

Next day the two princes went to the place appointed; and as soon as the emperor of Persia arrived the chase began, which lasted till the heat of the sun obliged him to leave off. While prince Bahman stayed to conduit the emperor to their house, prince Perviz rode before to shew the way, and when he came in sight of the house, spurred his horse, to inform the princess Perie-zadeh that the emperor was approaching; but she had been told by some servants whom she had placed to give notice, and the prince found her waiting ready to receive him.

When the emperor had entered the court-yard, and alighted at the portico, the princess came and threw herself at his feet, and the two princes informed him she was their sister, and besought him to accept her respects.

The emperor stooped to raise her, and after he had gazed some time on her beauty, struck with her fine person and dignified air, he said, "The brothers are worthy of the sister, and she worthy of them; since, if I may judge of her understanding by her person, I am not amazed that the brothers would do nothing without their sister's consent; but," added he, "I hope to be better acquainted with you, my daughter, after I have seen the house."

"Sir," said the princess, "it is only a plain country residence, fit for such people as we are, who live retired from the great world. It is not to be compared with houses in great cities, much less with the magnificent palaces of emperors." "I cannot perfectly agree with you in opinion," said the emperor very obligingly, "for its first appearance makes me suspect you; however, I will not pass my judgment upon it till I have seen it all; therefore be pleased to conduct me through the apartments."

The princess led the emperor through all the rooms except the hall; and, after he had considered them very attentively and admired their variety, "My daughter," said he to the princess, "do you call this a country house? The finest and largest cities would soon be deserted, if all country houses were like yours. I am no longer surprised that you take so much delight in it, and despise the town. Now let me see the garden, which I doubt not is answerable to the house."

The princess opened a door which led into the garden; and the first object which presented itself to the emperor's view was the golden fountain. Surprised at so rare an object, he asked from whence that wonderful water, which gave so much pleasure to behold, had been procured; where was its source; and by what art it was made to play so high, that he thought nothing in the world was to be compared to it? He said he would presently take a nearer view of it.

The princess then led him to the spot where the harmonious tree was planted; and there the emperor heard a concert, different from all he had ever heard before; and stopping to see where the musicians were, he could discern nobody far or near; but still distinctly heard the music, which ravished his senses. "My daughter," said he to the princess, "where are the musicians whom I hear? Are they under ground, or invisible in the air? Such excellent performers will hazard nothing by being seen; on the contrary, they would please the more."

"Sir," answered the princess smiling, "they are not musicians, but the leaves of the trees your majesty sees before you, which form this concert; and if you will give yourself the trouble to go a little nearer, you will be convinced, and the voices will be the more distinct."

The emperor went nearer, and was so charmed with the sweet harmony, that he would never have been tired with hearing it, but that his desire to have a nearer view of the fountain of yellow water forced him away. "Daughter," said he, "tell me, I pray you, whether this wonderful tree was found in your garden by chance, or was a present made to you, or have you procured it from some foreign country? It must certainly have come from a great distance, otherwise, curious as I am after natural rarities, I should have heard of it. What name do you call it by?"

"Sir," replied the princess, "this tree has no other name than that of the singing tree, and is not a native of this country. It would at present take up too much time to tell your majesty by what adventures it came here; its history is connected with the yellow water, and the speaking bird, which came to me at the same time, and which your majesty may see after you have taken a nearer view of the golden water. But if it be agreeable to your majesty, after you have rested yourself, and recovered the fatigue of hunting, which must be the greater because of the sun's intense heat, I will do myself the honour of relating it to you."

"My daughter," replied the emperor, "my fatigue is so well recompensed by the wonderful things you have shewn me, that I do not feel it the least. I think only of the trouble I give you. Let us finish by seeing the yellow water. I am impatient to see and admire the speaking bird."

When the emperor came to the yellow water, his eyes were fixed so steadfastly upon the fountain, that he could not take them off. At last, addressing himself to the princess, he said, "As you tell me, daughter, that this water has no spring or communication, I conclude that it is foreign, as well as the singing tree."

"Sir," replied the princess, "it is as your majesty conjectures; and to let you know that this water has no communication with any spring, I must inform you that the basin is one entire stone, so that the water cannot come in at the sides or underneath. But what your majesty will think most wonderful is, that all this water proceeded but from one small flagon, emptied into this basin, which increased to the quantity you see, by a property peculiar to itself, and formed this fountain." "Well," said the emperor, going from the fountain, "this is enough for one time. I promise myself the pleasure to come and visit it often; but now let us go and see the speaking bird."

As he went towards the hall, the emperor perceived a prodigious number of singing birds in the trees around, filling the air with their songs and warblings, and asked, why there were so many there, and none on the other trees in the garden? "The reason, sir," answered the princess, "is, because they come from all parts to accompany the song of the speaking bird, which your majesty may see in a cage in one of the windows of the hall we are approaching; and if you attend, you will perceive that his notes are sweeter than those of any of the other birds, even the nightingale."

The emperor went into the hall; and as the bird continued singing, the princess raised her voice, and said, "My slave, here is the emperor, pay your compliments to him." The bird left off singing that instant, when all the other birds ceased also, and it said, "The emperor is welcome; God prosper him, and prolong his life." As the entertainment was served on the sofa near the window where the bird was placed, the sultan replied, as he was taking his seat, "Bird, I thank you, and am overjoyed to find in you the sultan and king of birds."

As soon as the emperor saw the dish of cucumbers set before him, thinking it was stuffed in the best manner, he reached out his hand and took one; but when he cut it, was in extreme surprise to find it stuffed with pearls. "What novelty is this?" said he "and with what design were these cucumbers stuffed thus with pearls, since pearls are not to be eaten?" He looked at the two princes and princess to ask them the meaning: when the bird interrupting him, said, "Can your majesty be in such great astonishment at cucumbers stuffed with pearls, which you see with your own eyes, and yet so easily believe that the queen your wife was delivered of a dog, a cat, and a piece of wood?" "I believed these things," replied the emperor, "because the midwives assured me of the facts." "Those midwives, sir," replied the bird, "were the queen's two sisters, who, envious of her happiness in being preferred by your majesty before them, to satisfy their envy and revenge, have abused your majesty's credulity. If you interrogate them, they will confess their crime. The two brothers and the sister whom you see before you are your own children, whom they exposed, and who were taken in by the intendant of your gardens, who provided nurses for them, and took care of their education."

This speech of the bird's presently cleared up the emperor's understanding. "Bird," cried he, "I believe the truth which you discover to me. The inclination which drew me to them told me plainly they must be my own blood. Come then, my sons, come, my daughter, let me embrace you, and give you the first marks of a father's love and tenderness." The emperor then rose, and after having embraced the two princes and the princess, and mingled his tears with theirs, said, "It is not enough, my children; you must embrace each other, not as the children of the intendant of my gardens, to whom I have been so much obliged for preserving your lives, but as my own children, of the royal blood of the monarchs of Persia, whose glory, I am persuaded, you will maintain."

After the two princes and princess had embraced mutually with new satisfaction, the emperor sat down again with them, and finished his meal in haste; and when he had done, said, "My children, you see in me your father; to-morrow I will bring the queen your mother, therefore prepare to receive her."

The emperor afterwards mounted his horse, and returned with expedition to his capital. The first thing he did, as soon as he had alighted and entered his palace, was to command the grand vizier to seize the queen's two sisters. They were taken from their houses separately, convicted, and condemned to be quartered; which sentence was put in execution within an hour.

In the mean time the emperor Khoosroo Shaw, followed by all the lords of his court who were then present, went on foot to the door of the great mosque; and after he had taken the queen out of the strict confinement she had languished under for so many years, embracing her in the miserable condition to which she was then reduced, said to her with tears in his eyes, "I come to entreat your pardon for the injustice I have done you, and to make you the reparation I ought; which I have begun, by punishing the unnatural wretches who put the abominable cheat upon me; and I hope you will look upon it as complete, when I present to you two accomplished princes, and a lovely princess, our children. Come and resume your former rank, with all the honours which are your due." All this was done and said before great crowds of people, who flocked from all parts at the first news of what was passing, and immediately spread the joyful intelligence through the city.

Next morning early the emperor and queen, whose mournful humiliating dress was changed for magnificent robes, went with all their court to the house built by the intendant of the gardens, where the emperor presented the princes Bahman and Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, to their enraptured mother. "These, much injured wife," said he, "are the two princes your sons, and this princess your daughter; embrace them with the same tenderness I have done, since they are worthy both of me and you." The tears flowed plentifully down their cheeks at these tender embraces, especially the queen's, from the comfort and joy of having two such princes for her sons, and such a princess for her daughter, on whose account she had so long endured the severest afflictions.

The two princes and the princess had prepared a magnificent repast for the emperor and queen, and their court. As soon as that was over, the emperor led the queen into the garden, and shewed her the harmonious tree and the beautiful effect of the yellow fountain. She had seen the bird in his cage, and the emperor had spared no panegyric in his praise during the repast.

When there was nothing to detain the emperor any longer, he took horse, and with the princes Bahman and Perviz on his right hand, and the queen consort and the princess at his left, preceded and followed by all the officers of his court, according to their rank, returned to his capital. Crowds of people came out to meet them, and with acclamations of joy ushered them into the city, where all eyes were fixed not only upon the queen, the two princes, and the princess, but also upon the bird, which the princess carried before her in his cage, admiring his sweet notes, which had drawn all the other birds about him, which followed him, flying from tree to tree in the country, and from one house-top to another in the city. The princes Bahman and Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, where at length brought to the palace with this pomp, and nothing was to be seen or heard all that night but illuminations and rejoicings both in the palace and in the utmost parts of the city, which lasted many days, and were continued throughout the empire of Persia, as intelligence of the joyful event reached the several provinces.


There was in the land of Yemen (Arabia Felix) a sultan, under whom were three tributary princes. He had four children, three sons and a daughter. He possessed greater treasures than could be estimated, as well as innumerable camels, horses, and flocks of sheep; and was held in awe by all contemporary sovereigns.

After a long and prosperous reign, age brought with it infirmity, and he at length became incapable of appearing in his hall of audience; upon which he commanded his sons to his presence, and said to them, "My wish is to divide among you, before my death, all my possessions, that you may be satisfied, and live in unanimity and brotherly affection with each other, and in obedience to my dying commands." They exclaimed, "To hear is to obey."

The sultan then said, "My will is, that the eldest be sovereign in my room; that the second possess my treasures; and the third every description of animals. Let no, one encroach upon another, but all assist each other." He then caused them to sign an agreement to abide by his bequests, and shortly afterwards was received into the mercy of the Almighty; upon which his sons prepared what was suitable to his dignity for his funeral. They washed the corpse, enshrouded it, prayed over it, and having committed it to the earth, returned to their palaces; where the viziers, officers of state, and inhabitants of the metropolis, high and low, rich and poor, attended to console with them on the loss of their father. The news of the death of the sultan was soon spread abroad into all the provinces, and deputations from every city came to condole with the princes.

After these ceremonies, the eldest prince demanded that he should be inaugurated sultan in the room of the deceased monarch, agreeably to his will; but this was not possible, as each of the other brothers was ambitious of being sovereign. Contention and disputes now arose between them for the government, till at length the elder brother, wishing to avoid civil war, said, "Let us go and submit to the arbitration of one of the tributary sultans, and to let him whom he adjudges the kingdom peaceably enjoy it." To this they assented, as did also the viziers; and they departed, unattended, towards the capital of one of the tributary sultans.

When the princes had proceeded about half way on their journey, they reached a verdant spot, abounding in herbage and flowers, with a clear rivulet running through it, the convenience of which made them halt to refresh themselves. They sat down and were eating, when one of the brothers casting his eyes on the grass, said, "A camel has lately passed this way loaded, half with sweetmeats and half with grain." "True," cried another, "and he was blind of one eye." "Yes," exclaimed the third, "and he had lost his tail." They had scarcely concluded their remarks, when the owner of the camel came up to them (for he had heard what they had said, and was convinced, as they had described the beast and his load, that they must have stopped him), crying out, that they had stolen his camel. "We have not seen him," answered the princes, "nor touched him." "By Allah!" replied he, "none but you can have taken him; and if you will not deliver him up, I will complain of you to the sultan." They rejoined, "It is well; let us go to the sultan."

When all four had reached the palace, information was given of the arrival of the princes, and they were admitted to an audience, the owner of the camel following, who bawled out, "These men, my lord, by their own confession, have stolen my property, for they described him and the load he carried."

The man then related what each of the princes, had said; upon which the sultan demanded if it was true. They answered, "My lord, we have not seen the camel; but we chanced, as we were sitting on the grass taking some refreshment, to observe that part of the pasture had been grazed; upon which we supposed that the camel must have been blind of an eye, as the grass was only eaten on one side. We then observed the dung of a camel in one heap on the ground, which made us agree that its tail must have been cut off, as it is the custom for camels to shake their tails, and scatter it abroad. On the grass where the camel had lain down, we saw on one side flies collected in great numbers, but none on the other: this made us conclude that one of the panniers must have contained sweets, and the other only grain." Upon hearing the above, the sultan said to the complainant, "Friend, go and look for thy camel, for these observations do not prove the theft on the accused, but only the strength of their understandings and penetration."

The sultan now ordered apartments for the princes, and directed that they should be entertained in a manner befitting their rank; after which he left them to their repose. In the evening, when the usual meal was brought in, the elder prince having taken up a cake of bread, said, "This bread, I am sure, was made by a sick woman." The second, on tasting some kid, exclaimed, "This kid was suckled by a bitch:" and the third cried out, "Certainly this sultan must be illegitimate." At this instant the sultan, who had been listening, entered hastily, and exclaimed, "Wherefore utter ye these affronting speeches?" "Inquire," replied the princes, "into what you have heard, and you will find all true."

The sultan now retired to his haram, and on inquiry, found that the woman who had kneaded the bread was sick. He then sent for the shepherd, who owned that the dam of the kid having died, he had suckled it upon a bitch. Next, in a violent passion, he proceeded to the apartments of the sultana mother, and brandishing his cimeter—threatened her with death, unless she confessed whether he was son to the late sultan or not.

The sultana was alarmed, and said, "To preserve my life, I must speak truth. Know then that thou art the son of a cook. Thy father had no male offspring, at which he was uneasy: on the same day myself and the wife of the cook lay in, I of a daughter and she of a son. I was fearful of the coolness of the sultan, and imposed upon him the son of the cook for his own: that son art thou, who now enjoyest an empire."

The spurious sultan left the sultana in astonishment at the penetration of the brothers, whom he summoned to his presence, and inquired of them on what grounds they had founded their just suspicions respecting the bread, the kid, and himself. "My lord," replied the elder prince, "when I broke the cake, the flour fell out in lumps; and hence I guessed that she who made it had not strength to knead it sufficiently, and must have been unwell." "It is as thou hast said," replied the sultan. "The fat of the kid," continued the second brother, "was all next the bone, and the flesh of every other animal but the dog has it next the skin. Hence my surmise that it must have been suckled by a bitch." "Thou wert right," answered the sultan; "but now for myself."

"My reason for supposing thee illegitimate," said the youngest prince, "was, because thou didst not associate with us, who are of the same rank with thyself. Every man has properties which he inherits from his father, his grandfather, or his mother. From his father, generosity, or avarice; from his grandfather, valour or cowardice; from his mother, bashfulness or impudence." "Thou hast spoken justly," replied the sultan; "but why came ye to ask judgment of me, since ye are so much better able to decide difficult questions than myself? Return home, and agree among yourselves." The princes did so; and obeyed the will of their father.


Three very ingenious sharpers who associated together, being much distressed, agreed, in hopes of obtaining immediate relief, that they would go to the sultan, and pretend each to superior ability in some occupation. Accordingly they proceeded to the metropolis, but found admission to the presence difficult; the sultan being at a garden palace surrounded by guards, who would not let them approach. Upon this they consulted, and agreed to feign a quarrel, in hopes that their clamour would draw the notice of the sultan. It did so: he commanded them to be brought before him, inquired who they were, and the cause of their dispute. "We were disputing," said they, "concerning the superiority of our professions; for each of us possesses complete skill in his own." "What are your professions?" replied the sultan. "I am," said one, "O sovereign, a lapidary of wonderful skill." "I fear thou art an astonishing rascal," exclaimed the sultan.

"I am," said the second sharper, "a genealogist of horses." "And I," continued the third, "a genealogist of mankind, knowing every one's true descent; an art much more wonderful than that of either of my companions, for no one possesses it but myself, nor ever did before me." The sultan was astonished, but gave little credit to their pretensions: yet he said to himself, "If these men speak truth, they are worthy of encouragement. I will keep them near me till I have occasion to try them; when, if they prove their abilities, I will promote them; but if not, I will put them to death." He then allotted them an apartment, with an allowance of three cakes of bread and a mess of pottage daily; but placed spies over them, fearing lest they might escape.

Not long after this, a present of rarities was brought to the sultan, among which were two precious stones; one of them remarkably clear in its water, and the other with a flaw. The sultan now bethought himself of the lapidary, and sent for him to his presence, when he gave him the clear jewel to examine, and demanded what he thought it was worth.

The sharper took the stone, and with much gravity turned it backwards and forwards in his hands, examining it with minute attention on every part; after which he said, "My lord, this jewel has a flaw in the very centre of it." When the sultan heard this, he was enraged against the sharper, and gave orders to strike off his head; saying, "This stone is free from blemish, and yet thou pretendest it hath a flaw." The executioner now advanced, laid hold of the sharper, bound him, and was going to strike, when the vizier entered, and seeing the sultan enraged, and the sharper under the cimeter, inquired the cause. Being informed, he advanced towards the sultan, and said, "My lord, act not thus, but first break the stone: should a flaw appear in it, the words of this man are true; but if it be found free from blemish, put him to death." The sultan replied, "Thy advice is just:" and broke it in two with his mace. In the middle he found a flaw, at which he was astonished, and exclaimed to the sharper, "By what means couldst thou discover the blemish?" He replied, "By the acuteness of my sight." The sultan then released him, and said, "Take him back to his companions, allow him a mess of pottage to himself, and two cakes of bread."

Some time after this a tribute came from one of the provinces, part of which consisted of a beautiful black colt, in colour resembling the hue of the darkest night. The sultan was delighted with the animal, and spent whole days in admiring him. At length he bethought himself of the sharper who had pretended to be a genealogist of horses, and commanded him to his presence. When he appeared, the sultan said, "Art thou a judge of horses?" He replied, "Yes, my lord," upon which the sultan exclaimed, "It is well! but I swear by him who appointed me guardian of his subjects, and said to the universe, Be! and it was, that should I find untruth in thy declaration, I will strike off thy head." The man replied, "To hear is to submit." After this they brought out the colt, that he might examine him.

The sharper desired the groom to mount the colt and pace him before him, which he did backwards and forwards, the fiery animal all the while plunging and rearing. At length the genealogist said, "It is enough:" and turning to the sultan exclaimed, "My lord, this colt is singularly beautiful, of true blood by his sire, his paces exquisite and proportions just; but in him there is one blemish; could that be done away, he would be all perfection; nor would there be upon the face of the earth his equal among all the various breeds of horses." "What can that blemish be?" said the sultan. "His sire," rejoined the genealogist, "was of true blood, but his dam of another species of animal; and, if commanded, I will inform you." "Speak," said the sultan. "The dam of this beautiful colt," continued the genealogist, "was a buffalo."

When the sultan heard this he flew into a rage, and commanded an executioner to strike off the head of the sharper; exclaiming, "Thou accursed dog! how could a buffalo bring forth a colt?" "My lord," replied the sharper, "the executioner is in attendance; but send for the person who presented the colt, and inquire of him the truth. If my words prove just, my skill will be ascertained; but if what I have said be false, then let my head pay the forfeit for my tongue." Upon this the sultan sent for the master of the colt to attend his presence.

When the master of the colt appeared before him, the sultan inquired whether it was purchased of another person, or had been bred by himself? To which the man replied, "My lord, I will relate nothing but the truth. The production of this colt is surprising. His sire belonged to me, and was of the true breed of sea-horses: he was always kept in an enclosure by himself, as I was fearful of his being injured; but it happened one day in the spring, that the groom took him for air into the country, and picqueted him in the plain. By chance a cow-buffalo coming near the spot, the stallion became outrageous, broke his heel-ropes, joined the buffalo, which after the usual period of gestation, produced this colt, to our great astonishment."

The sultan was surprised at this relation. He commanded the genealogist to be sent for, and upon his arrival said, "Thy words have proved true, and thy wonderful skill in the breed of horses is ascertained; but by what mark couldst thou know that the dam of this colt was a buffalo?" The man replied, "My lord, the mark is visible in the colt itself. It is not unknown to any person of observation, that the hoof of a horse is nearly round, but the hoof of a buffalo thick and longish, like this colt's: hence I judged that the dam must certainly have been a buffalo." The sultan now dismissed him graciously, and commanded that he should be allowed daily a mess of pottage, and two cakes of bread.

Not long after this the sultan bethought himself of the third sharper, who pretended that he was the genealogist of man, and sent for him to the presence. On his appearance he said, "Thou canst trace the descent of man?" "Yes, my lord," replied the genealogist. Upon this the sultan commanded an eunuch to take him into his haram, that he might examine the descent of his favourite mistress. Upon his introduction, he looked at the lady on this side and on that, through her veil, till he was satisfied, when he came out; and the sultan exclaimed, "Well, what hast thou discovered in my mistress?" He replied, "My lord, she is all perfect in elegance, beauty, grace, stature, bloom, modesty, accomplishments, and knowledge, so that every thing desirable centres in herself; but still there is one point that disgraces her, from which if she was free, it is not possible she could be excelled in anything among the whole of the fair sex." When the sultan had heard this, he rose up angrily, and drawing his cimeter, ran towards the genealogist, intending to strike off his head.

Just as he was going to strike, some of the attendants said, "My lord, put not the man to death before thou art convinced of his falsehood." Upon which the sultan exclaimed, "What fault appeared to thee in my mistress?" "O sultan," replied the man, "she is, as to herself, all perfect; but her mother was a rope-dancer." Upon this the sultan immediately sent for the father of the lady, and said, "Inform me truly who was the mother of thy daughter, or I will put thee to death." "Mighty prince," replied the father, "there is no safety for man but in the truth. Her mother was a rope-dancer, whom I took when very young from a company of strolling mummers, and educated. She grew up most beautiful and accomplished: I married her, and she produced me the girl whom thou hast chosen."

When the sultan heard this, his rage cooled, but he was filled with astonishment; and said to the genealogist, "Inform me what could shew thee that my mistress was the daughter of a rope-dancer?" "My lord," replied the man, "this cast of people have always their eyes very black, and their eyebrows bushy; such are hers: and from them I guessed her descent." The sultan was now convinced of his skill, dismissed him graciously, and commanded that he should be allowed a mess of pottage and three cakes of bread daily, which was done accordingly.

Some time after this the sultan reflected on the three sharpers, and said to himself, "These men have proved their skill in whatever I have tried them. The lapidary was singularly excellent in his art, the horse genealogist in his, and the last has proved his upon my mistress. I have an inclination to know my own descent beyond a doubt." He then ordered the genealogist into his presence, and said, "Dost thou think thou canst prove my descent?" "Yes, my lord," replied the man, "but on condition that you spare my life after I shall have informed you; for the proverb says, 'When the sultan is present, beware of his anger, as there is no delay when he commands to strike.'" "There shall be safety for thee," exclaimed the sultan, "in my promise, an obligation that can never be forfeited."

"O sultan," continued the genealogist, "when I shall inform thee of thy parentage and descent, let not there be any present who may hear me." "Wherefore?" replied the sultan. "My lord," answered the sharper, "you know the attributes of the Deity should be veiled in mystery." The sultan now commanded all his attendants to retire, and when they were alone, the genealogist advanced and said, "Mighty prince, thou art illegitimate, and the son of an adulteress."

As soon as the sultan heard this, his colour changed, he turned pale, and fainted away. When he was recovered, he remained some time in deep contemplation, after which he exclaimed, "By him who constituted me the guardian of his people, I swear that if thy assertion be found true I will abdicate my kingdom, and resign it to thee, for royalty cannot longer become me; but should thy words prove void of foundation, I will put thee to instant death." "To hear is to assent," replied the sharper.

The sultan now arose, entered the haram, and bursting into his mother's apartment with his cimeter drawn, exclaimed, "By him who divided the heavens from the earth, shouldst thou not answer faithfully to what I shall inquire, I will cut thee to pieces with this cimeter." The queen, trembling with alarm, said, "What dost thou ask of me?" "Inform me," replied the sultan, "of whom am I the son?" "Since truth only can save me," cried the princess, "know that thou art the offspring of a cook. My husband had no children either male or female, on which account he became sad, and lost his health and appetite. In a court of the haram we had several sorts of birds, and one day the sultan fancying he should relish one of them, ordered the cook to kill and dress it. I happened then to be in the bath alone.

"As I was in the bath," continued the sultana, "I saw the cook endeavouring to catch the birds. At that instant it occurred to my mind from the instigation of Satan, that if I bore not a son, after the death of the sultan my influence would be lost. I tempted the man, and thou art the produce of my crime. The signs of my pregnancy soon appeared; and when the sultan was informed of them, he recovered his health, and rejoiced exceedingly, and conferred favours and presents on his ministers and courtiers daily, till the time of my delivery. On that day he chanced to be upon a hunting excursion at a country palace; but when intelligence was brought him of the birth of a son, he instantly returned to me, and issued orders for the city to be decorated, which was done for forty days together, out of respect to the sultan. Such was my crime, and such was thy birth."

The sultan now returned to the adventurer, and commanded him to pull off his clothes, which he did; when the sultan, disrobing himself, habited him in the royal vestments, after which he said, "Inform me whence thou judgest that I was a bastard?"

"My lord," replied the adventurer, "when each of us shewed our skill in what was demanded, you ordered him only an allowance of a mess of pottage and three cakes of bread. Hence I judged you to be the offspring of a cook, for it is the custom of princes to reward the deserving with wealth and honours, but you only gratified us with victuals from your kitchen." The sultan replied, "Thou hast spoken truly." He then made him put on the rest of the royal robes and ornaments, and seated him upon the throne; after which he disguised himself in the habit of a dervish, and wandered from his abdicated dominions. When the lucky adventurer found himself in possession of the throne, he sent for his companions; and finding they did not recognize him in his royal habiliments, dismissed them with liberal presents, but commanded them to quit his territories with the utmost expedition, lest they should discover him. After this, with a satisfied mind, he fulfilled the duties of his new station with a liberality and dignity that made the inhabitants of the metropolis and all the provinces bless him, and pray for the prolongation of his reign.

The Adventures of the Abdicated Sultan.

The abdicated prince, disguised as a dervish, did not cease travelling in a solitary mood till he came to the city of Cairo, which he perceived to be in repose and security, and well regulated. Here he amused himself with walking through several streets, till he had reached the royal palace, and was admiring its magnificent architecture and extent, and the crowds passing in and out, when the sultan with his train appeared in sight returning from a hunting excursion, upon which he retired to one side of the road. The sultan observing his dignified demeanour, commanded one of his attendants to invite him to the palace, and entertain him till he should inquire after him.

When the sultan had reposed himself from the fatigue of his exercise, he sent for the supposed dervish to his presence, and said, "From what kingdom art thou arrived?" He answered, "I am, my lord, a wandering dervish." "Well," replied the sultan, "but inform me on what account thou art come here." On which he said, "My lord, this cannot be done but in privacy." "Let it be so," rejoined the sultan; and rising up, led him into a retired apartment of the palace. The supposed dervish then related what had befallen him, the cause of his having abdicated his kingdom, and taken upon himself the character of a religious. The sultan was astonished at his self-denial, and exclaimed, "Blessed be his holy name, who exalteth and humbleth whom he will by his almighty power; but my history is more surprising than thine. I will relate it to thee, and conceal nothing."

History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo.

At my first outset in the world I was an indigent man, and possessed none of the conveniences of life, till at length I became possessed of ten pieces of silver, which I resolved to expend in amusing myself. With this intention, I one day walked into the principal market, intending first to purchase somewhat delicate to feast upon. While I was looking about me, a man passed by, with a great crowd following and laughing at him, for he led in an iron chain a monstrous baboon, which he cried for sale at the price of ten pieces of silver. Something instinctively impelled me to purchase the creature, so I paid him the money, and took my bargain to my lodging; but on my arrival, was at a loss how to procure a meal for myself or the baboon. While I was considering what I should do, the baboon having made several springs, became suddenly transformed into a handsome young man, beautiful as the moon at the fourteenth night of its appearance, and addressed me, saying, "Shekh Mahummud, thou hast purchased me for ten pieces of silver, being all thou hadst, and art now thinking how thou canst procure food for me and thyself." "That is true," replied I; "but in the name of Allah, from whence dost thou come?" "Ask no questions," replied my companion, "but take this piece of gold, and purchase us somewhat to eat and drink." I took the gold, did as he had desired, and we spent the evening merrily together in feasting and conversation, till it was time to repose.

In the morning the young man said, "My friend, this lodging is not fitting for us; go, and hire a better." "To hear is to obey," replied I, and departed to the principal serai, where I hired an upper apartment, to which we removed. He then gave me ten deenars, with orders to purchase carpets and cushions, which I did, and on my return found before him a package, containing princely vestments. These he gave to me, desiring that I would go to the bath, and, after bathing, put them on. I obeyed his commands, dressed myself, and found in each pocket a hundred deenars. I was not a little proud of my improved appearance in the rich robes. On my return, he praised my figure, and seated me by him, when we refreshed ourselves, and chatted on various subjects. At length he gave me a bundle, desiring that I would present it to the sultan, and at the same time demand his daughter in marriage for myself, assuring me that my request would meet a ready compliance.

The young man commanded a slave he had bought to attend me, who carried the bundle, and I set out for the palace; near which I found a great crowd of grandees, officers, and guards, who seeing me so richly habited, inquired respectfully what I wanted. Upon my replying that my business was with the sultan, they informed the ushers, who introduced me to the presence. I made the customary obeisance, and the sultan returned my salute; after which I presented the bundle before him, saying, "Will my lord accept this trifle, becoming my humble situation to offer, but certainly not worthy the royal dignity to receive?" The sultan commanded the package to be opened; when, lo! it contained a complete dress of royal apparel, richer than had ever been before seen, at which the sultan was astonished, and exclaimed, "Heavens! I have nothing like this, nor ever possessed so magnificent a suit; it shall be accepted: but inform me, Shekh, what thou requirest in return for so valuable an offering." "Mighty sovereign," replied I, "my wish is to become thy relation by espousing that precious gem of the casket of beauty, thy incomparable daughter."

When the sultan had heard this request, he turned towards his vizier and said, "Advise me how I should act in this affair." Upon which the minister replied, "Shew him, my lord, your most valuable diamond, and inquire if he has any one equally precious to match it as a marriage present for your daughter." The sultan did so; when I said, "If I present two, will you give me your daughter?" To which he assented, and I took my leave, carrying with me the diamond, to shew the young man as a model. Upon my arrival at our serai, I informed him of what passed, when he examined the diamond, and said, "The day is now far spent, but tomorrow I will procure ten like it, which thou shalt present to the sultan." Accordingly in the morning he walked out, and in the space of an hour returned with ten diamonds, which he gave me, and I hastened with them to the sultan. When he beheld the precious stones he was enraptured at their brilliancy, and again consulted his vizier how he should act in this business. "My lord," replied the minister, "you only required one diamond of the Shekh, and he has presented you with ten: it is therefore incumbent upon you to give him your daughter."

The sultan now sent for the cauzees and effendis, who drew up the deed of espousals, which they gave me, when I returned to our serai, and shewed it to the young man, who said, "It is well; go and complete thy marriage; but I entreat that thou wilt not consummate thy nuptials till I shall give thee permission." "To hear is to obey," replied I. When it was night I entered the princess's apartment, but sat down at a distance from her, and did not speak till morning, when I bade her farewell, and took my leave for the day. I observed the same conduct the second night and the third, upon which, offended at my coldness, she complained to her mother, who informed the sultan of my affronting behaviour.

The sultan sent for me to his presence, and with much anger threatened, if I should continue my coldness to the princess another evening, that he would put me to death. Upon this I hastened to inform my friend at the serai, who commanded, that when I should next be alone with my wife I should demand of her a bracelet which she wore upon her right arm, and bring it to him, after which I might consummate my nuptials. I replied, "To hear is to obey;" and the next evening, when I entered the apartment, said to my wife, "If thou desirest that we should live happily together, give me the bracelet on thy right arm." She did so immediately, when I carried it to the young man, and, returning to the palace, slept, as I supposed, with the princess till morning. Guess, however, what was my surprise, when on awaking I found myself lying in my first humble lodging, stripped of my rich vestments, and saw on the ground my former mean attire; namely, an old vest, a pair of tattered drawers, and a ragged turban, as full of holes as a sieve. When I had somewhat recovered my senses, I put them on and walked out in a melancholy mood, regretting my lost happiness, and not knowing what I should do to recover it. As I strolled towards the palace, I beheld sitting in the street a fortune-teller, who had some written papers before him, and was casting omens for the bystanders. I advanced, and made him a salute, which he returned kindly; and after looking attentively in my face, exclaimed, "What! has that accursed wretch betrayed thee, and torn thee from thy wife?" I replied, "Yes." Upon this he desired me to wait a little, and seated me by him. When his employers were departed, he said, "My friend, the ape which you purchased for ten pieces of silver, and who soon after was transformed into a young man, is not of human race, but a genie deeply in love with the princess whom you married. However, he could not approach her while she wore the bracelet, containing a powerful charm, upon her right arm, and therefore made use of thee to obtain it. He is now with her, but I will soon effect his destruction, that genii and men may be secure from his wickedness, for he is one of the rebellious and accursed spirits who disobeyed our lord Solomon, son of David."

After this, the fortune-teller wrote a note, which having sealed and directed, he gave it to me, saying, "Go to a certain spot, wait there, and observe those who may approach. Fortify thy mind, and when thou shall see a great personage attended by a numerous train, present to him this letter, when he will accomplish thy desires." I took the note, immediately departed for the place to which the fortune-teller had directed me, and after travelling all night and half the next day reached it, and sat down to wait for what might happen. The evening shut in, and about a fourth part of the night had passed, when a great glare of lights appeared advancing towards me from a distance; and as it shone nearer, I perceived persons carrying flambeaux and lanterns, also a numerous train of attendants, as if belonging to some mighty sultan. My mind was alarmed, but I recovered myself, and resolved to stay where I was. A great concourse passed by me, marching two and two, and at length there appeared a sultan of the genii, surrounded by a splendid attendance; upon which I advanced as boldly as I could, and having prostrated myself, presented the letter, which he opened, and read aloud, as follows:

"Be it known unto thee, O sultan of the genii, that the bearer of this is in distress, from which thou must relieve him by destroying his enemy. Shouldst thou not assist him, beware of thy own safety. Farewell."

When the sultan of the genii had read the note, he called out to one of his messengers, who immediately attended before him, and commanded him to bring into his presence without delay the genie who had enchanted the daughter of the sultan of Cairo. "To hear is to obey," replied the messenger, and instantly disappearing, was absent for about an hour, when he returned with the criminal, and placed him before the sultan of the genii, who exclaimed, "Accursed wretch, hast thou ill-treated this man?"

"Mighty sovereign," replied the genie, "my crime proceeded from love of the princess, who wore a charm in her bracelet which prevented my approaching her, and therefore I made use of this man. He procured me the charm, and I now have her in my power; but I love her tenderly, and have not injured her." "Return the bracelet instantly," replied the sultan of the genii, "that the man may recover his wife, or I will command an executioner to strike off thy head." The offending genie, who was of an accursed and obstinate race, upon hearing these words was inflamed with passion, and insolently cried out, "I will not return the bracelet, for no one shall possess the princess but myself." Having said thus, he attempted to fly away, but in vain.

The sultan of the genii now commanded his attendants to bind the criminal in chains, which they did, and having forced the bracelet from him, struck off his head. The sultan then presented me the charm, which was no sooner in my hand than all the genii vanished from my sight, and I found myself dressed as before, in the rich habit given me by the pretended young man. I proceeded to the city, which I entered, and when I came near the palace was recognized by the guards and courtiers, who cried out in raptures of joy, "Our lost prince is at length returned." They paid their respects, and I entered the apartment of the princess, whom I found in a deep sleep, in which state she had been ever since my departure. On my replacing the bracelet on her arm, she awoke. After this we lived together in all happiness till the death of her father, who appointed me his successor, having no son, so that I am what I am.

When the sultan of Cairo had finished his narrative, the abdicated prince expressed his surprise at his adventures: upon which the sultan said, "Wonder not, my brother, at the dispensations of the Almighty, for he worketh in secret, and when he pleaseth revealeth his mysteries. Since thou hast quitted thy kingdom, if thou choosest, thou shalt be my vizier, and we will live together as friends and brothers." "To hear is to obey," replied the prince. The sultan then constituted him vizier, enrobed him in a rich uniform, and committed to him his seal, the inkstand, and other insignia of office, at the same time conferring upon him a magnificent palace, superbly furnished with gorgeous carpets, musnuds, and cushions: belonging to it were also extensive gardens. The vizier entered immediately upon his new office; held his divans regularly twice every day, and judged so equitably on all appeals brought before him, that his fame for justice and impartiality was soon spread abroad; insomuch, that whoever had a cause or dispute willingly referred it to his decision, and was satisfied with it, praying for his life and prosperity. In this state he remained for many years, the sovereign pleased with him, and he happy under the protection of the sultan of Cairo, so that he did not regret his abdicated kingdom.

It happened one evening that the mind of the sultan was depressed, upon which he sent for the vizier, who attended; when he said, "Vizier, my mind is so uneasy that nothing will amuse me." "Enter then," replied the minister, "into thy cabinet, and look at thy jewels, the examination of which may perhaps entertain thee." The sultan did so, but it had no effect on his lassitude; when he said, "Vizier, this dispiritedness will not quit me, and nothing gives me pleasure within my palace; let us, therefore, walk out in disguise." "To hear is to obey," replied the vizier. They then retired into a private chamber, and putting on the habits of dervishes of Arabia, strolled through the city till they reached a hospital for lunatics, which they entered. Here they beheld two men, one reading and the other listening to him; when the sultan said to himself, "This is surprising;" and addressed the men, saying, "Are you really mad?" They replied, "We are not mad, but our stories are so wonderful, that were they recorded on a tablet of adamant, they would remain for examples to them who would be advised." "Let us hear them," said the sultan; upon which, the man who had been reading exclaimed, "Hear mine first!" and thus began.

Story of the First Lunatic.

I was a merchant, and had a warehouse in which were Indian goods of all sorts, and of the highest value, and I bought and sold to great advantage. One day as I was sitting in my warehouse, according to custom, busy in buying and selling, an old woman came in, telling her beads, and greeted me. I returned her salute, when she sat down, and said, "Sir, have you any choice Indian cloths?" "Yes, my mistress," replied I, "of all sorts that you can possibly wish for." "Bring them," said she. I showed her a piece of great value, with which she was highly pleased, and inquired the price. "Five hundred deenars," replied I: she took out her purse, paid me the money, and went away with the cloth; upon which I had a profit of one hundred and fifty deenars. She returned the next day, bought another piece, paid for it, and, in short, did the same for fifteen days successively, paying me regularly for each purchase. On the sixteenth day she came to my shop as usual, chose the cloth and was going to pay me, but missed her purse; upon which she said, "Sir, I have unfortunately left my purse at home." "Mistress," replied I, "it is of no consequence; take the cloth, and if you return, well, if not, you are welcome to this trifle:" she would not take it: I pressed her, but in vain. Much friendly argument passed between us, till at length she said, "Sir, you contradict, and I contradict, but we shall never agree unless you will favour me by accompanying me to my house to receive the value of your goods; so lock up your warehouse, lest any thing should be lost in your absence." Accordingly I fastened my doors, and accompanied her; we walked on conversing, till we came near her house, when she pulled out a handkerchief from her girdle, and said, "My desire is to tie this over thy eyes." "On what account?" replied I. "Because," said she, "in our way are several houses, the gates of which are open, and the women sitting in their balconies, so that possibly thy eyes may glance upon some one of them, and thy heart be distracted with love; for in this part are many beautiful damsels, who would fascinate even a religious, and therefore I am alarmed for thy peace."

Upon this I said to myself, "This old woman advises me properly," and I consented to her demand; when she bound the handkerchief over my eyes, and we proceeded till we arrived at her house. She knocked at the door, which was opened by a damsel, and we entered. The old lady then took the handkerchief from my eyes, when I looked around me, and perceived that I was in a mansion having several quadrangles, highly ornamented, and resembling the palaces of the sultan.

The old lady now desired me to retire into a room, which I did, and there beheld heaped together all the pieces of cloth which she had purchased of me, at which I was surprised, but still more so when two damsels beautiful as resplendent moons approached, and having divided a piece of cloth into halves, each took one, and wrapped it round her hand. They then sprinkled the floor with rose water and other scents, wiping it with the cloth, and rubbing it till it became bright as silver; after which they withdrew into an adjoining room, and brought out at least fifty stools, which they set down, and placed over each a rich covering, with cushions of tissue. They then fetched a large stool of gold, and having put upon it a carpet and cushions of gold brocade, retired. Not long after this, there descended from the staircase by two and two, as many damsels in number as the stools; upon each of which one sat down. At last descended a lady attended by ten damsels, who placed herself upon the larger stool. When I beheld her, my lord, my senses forsook me, and I was in raptures at her beauty, her stature, and elegance, as she chatted and laughed with her companions.

At length she exclaimed, "My dear mother!" when the old woman entered; to whom she said, "Hast thou brought the young man?" She replied, "Yes, my daughter, he is ready to attend thee." Upon which the lady said, "Introduce him to me." When I heard this I was alarmed, and said to myself, "There is no refuge but in the most high God; doubtless she has discovered my being here, and will command me to be put to death." The old woman came to me, and leading me by the hand, took me before the lady seated on the golden stool, who, on seeing me, smiled, made a graceful salute, and waved her hand for a seat to be brought, which was done, and placed close to her own. She then commanded me to sit down, which I did with much confusion.

When I was seated, the lady began to chat and joke with me, saying, "What think you of my appearance and my beauty, do you judge me worthy of your affection? shall I be your partner and you mine?" When I had heard these words, I replied, "How, dear lady, dare I presume, who am not worthy to be your servant, to arrive at such an honour?" Upon this, she said, "Young man, my words have no evasion in them; be not discouraged, or fearful of returning me an answer, for my heart is devoted to thy love." I now perceived, my lord, that the lady was anxious to marry me; but could not conceive on what account, or who could have given her intelligence concerning me. She continued to shew me so many pleasing attentions, that at length I was emboldened to say, "Lady, if your words to me are sincere, according to the proverb, no time is so favourable as the present." "There cannot," said she, "be a more fortunate day than this for our union." Upon this I replied, "My dear lady, how can I allot for you a proper dowry?" "The value of the cloth you intrusted to the old lady, who is my mother," answered she, "is sufficient." "That cannot be enough," rejoined I. "Nothing more shall be added," exclaimed the lady; "and my intention is this instant to send for the cauzee and witnesses, and I will choose a trustee, that they may unite us without delay. We will celebrate our nuptials this very evening, but upon one condition." "What is that?" replied I. She answered, "That you bind yourself not to address or hold conversation with any woman but myself." My lord, I was eager to be in possession of so beautiful a woman, and therefore said to her, "I agree, and will never contradict thee either by my words or actions." She then sent for the cauzee and witnesses, and appointed a trustee, after which we were married. After the ceremony, she ordered coffee and sherbet, gave money to the cauzee, a dress of honour to her trustee, and they departed.

I was lost in astonishment, and said to myself, "Do I dream, or am I awake?" She now commanded her damsels to empty the warm bath, fill it afresh, and prepare cloths and necessaries for bathing. When they had done as she desired, she ordered the eunuchs in waiting to conduct me to the hummaum, and gave them a rich dress. They led me into an elegant apartment, difficult for speech to describe. They spread many-coloured carpets, upon which I sat down and undressed; after which I entered the hummaum, and perceived delightful odours from sandal wood, of comorin, and other sweets diffusing from every part. Here they seated me, covered me with perfumed soaps, and rubbed me till my body became bright as silver; when they brought the basins, and I washed with warm water, after which they gave me rose-water, and I poured it over me. They next brought in sweet-smelling salves, which I rubbed over me, and then repaired to the hummaum, where I found a royal dress, in which the eunuchs arrayed me; and after perfuming me with incense of sandal wood, brought in confections, coffee, and sherberts of various sorts, with which I refreshed myself. I then left the bath with my attendants, who shewed me into the grand hall of the palace, which was spread with most magnificent carpets, stools, and cushions. Here the lady met me, attired in a new habit, more sumptuous than I had seen her in before.

When I beheld my bride, she appeared to me, from the richness of her ornaments, like a concealed treasure from which the talisman had just been removed. She sat down by me, and smiled so fascinatingly upon me, I could no longer contain my rapture. In a short time she retired, but soon returned again in a dress richer than her last. I again embraced her, and in short, my lord, we remained together for ten days in the height of happiness and enjoyment. At the end of this period I recollected my mother, and said to my wife, "It is so long since I have been absent from home, and since my mother has not seen me, that I am certain she must be anxious concerning me. Will you permit me to visit her and look after my warehouse?" "There can be no impediment," replied she; "you may visit your mother daily, and employ yourself in your warehouse, but the old woman must conduct you and bring you back;" to which I assented.

The old lady then came in, tied a handkerchief over my eyes, conducted me to the spot where she had first blindfolded me, and said, "You will return here about the time of evening prayer, and will find me waiting." I left her, and repaired to my mother, whom I found in great affliction at my absence, and weeping bitterly. Upon seeing me, she ran and embraced me with tears of joy. I said, "Weep not, my dear mother, for my absence has been owing to the highest good fortune." I then informed her of my lucky adventure, when she exclaimed, "May Allah protect thee, my son, but visit me at least every two days, that my affection for thee may be gratified." I then went to my warehouse, and employed myself as usual till evening, when I returned to the place appointed, where I found the old lady, who blindfolded me as before, and conducted me to the palace of my wife, who received me with fondness. For three months I continued to go and come in this manner, but I could not help wishing to know whom I had married, and wondering at the affluence, splendour, and attendance that appeared around her.

At length I found an opportunity of being in private with one of her black slaves, and questioned her concerning her mistress. "My lord," replied she, "the history of my mistress is wonderful; but I dare not relate it, lest she should put me to death." Upon this, I assured her, that if she would inform me, no one should know it but myself, and I took an oath of secrecy, when she began as follows:

"My mistress one day went to a public bath, intending to amuse herself, for which purpose she made such preparations of delicacies and rarities, as were worth a camel's load of treasure, and when she left the hummaum, made an excursion to a garden, where a splendid collation was laid out. Here she continued enjoying herself till evening, when she ordered her retinue to make ready for departure, and the fragments of the entertainment to be distributed among the poor. On her return, she passed through the street in which is your warehouse. It was upon a Friday, when you were sitting in conversation with a friend, arrayed in your best attire. She beheld you, her heart was stricken with love, but no one perceived her emotion. However, she had no sooner reached her palace than she became low and melancholy, and her appetite failed her. At length she took to her bed, her colour left her, sleep forsook her, and she became very weak. Upon this her mother went to call in a physician, that he might consider what might be the cause of her daughter's indisposition; but on the way she met a skilful old lady, with whom she returned home.

"The old lady on feeling the pulse of her patient, and after asking several questions, could perceive in her no bodily ailment or pain; upon which she judged she was in love, but did not venture to speak to her before her mother of her suspicions. She took leave, and said, 'By God's blessing thou wilt soon recover; I will return tomorrow, and bring with me an infallible medicine.' She then took her mother aside, and said, 'My good lady, be not angry at what I shall remark, but thy daughter has no bodily disorder; she is in love, and there can be no cure for her but by a union with her beloved.' The mother, on the departure of the old lady, repaired to her daughter, and with much difficulty, after twenty days of denial (for my mistress's modesty was hurt), obtained from her a description of your person, and the street in which you lived; upon which she behaved to you in the manner you are well acquainted with, brought you here, and you know what followed. Such is her history," concluded the black slave, "which you must not reveal." "I will not," replied I; and after this I continued to live very happily with my wife, going daily to see my mother, to attend in my warehouse, and return in the evening, conducted as usual by the old lady my mother-in-law.

One day, after the expiration of some months, as I was sitting in my warehouse, a damsel came into the street with the image of a cock, composed of jewelry. It was set with pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones, and she offered it to the merchants for sale; when they began bidding for it at five hundred deenars, and went to nine hundred and fifty; all which I observed in silence and did not interfere by speaking or bidding. At length the damsel came up to me, and said, "My lord, all the merchants have increased in bidding for my precious toy, but you have neither bidden, nor taken any notice of me." "I have no occasion for it," replied I. "Nay," exclaimed she, "but you must bid something more." "Since I must," I answered, "I will give fifty deenars more, which will be just a thousand." She accepted the price, and I went into my warehouse to fetch the money to pay her, saying to myself, "I will present this curiosity to my wife, as it may please her." When I was going to pay the money, the damsel would not take it, but said, "My lord, I have a request to make, which is, that I may snatch one kiss from your cheek as the price of my jewelry, for I want nothing else." Upon this, I thought to myself, a single kiss of my cheek is an easy price for the value of a thousand deenars, and consented; when she came up to me and gave me a kiss, but at the same time a most severe bite; left the piece of jewelry, and went away with the greatest haste.

In the evening I repaired to the house of my wife, and found the old lady waiting as usual at the accustomed spot. She tied the handkerchief over my eyes, and when she had conducted me home, took it off. I found my wife sitting upon her golden stool, but dressed in scarlet, and with an angry countenance; upon which I said to myself, "God grant all may be well." I approached her, took out the toy set with diamonds and rubies (thinking that on sight of it her ill-humour would vanish), and said, "My mistress, accept this, for it is curious, and I purchased it for thee." She took it into her hand, and examined it on all sides; after which she exclaimed, "Didst thou really purchase this on my account?" "By heavens," replied I, "I bought it for thy sake, for a thousand deenars." Upon this she frowned angrily upon me, and exclaimed, "What means that wound upon thy cheek?" I was overwhelmed with confusion.

While I was in this state, she called out to her attendants, who immediately descended the staircase, carrying the headless corpse of a young girl, the head placed upon the middle of the body. I looked, and knew it to be the head of the damsel who had sold me the piece of jewelry for a kiss, and had bitten my cheek. My wife now exclaimed, "I had no occasion for such baubles, for I have many of them; but I wished to know if thou wert so faithful to thy agreement with me, as not to address another woman than myself, and sent the girl to try thee. Since thy promise has been broken, begone, and return no more."

When my wife had finished her speech, the old woman took me by the hand, tied the handkerchief over my eyes, and conducted me to the usual spot, when she said, "Begone!" and disappeared. I was so overcome by the sad adventure, and the loss of my wife, that I ran through the streets like one frantic, crying, "Ah, what beauty, what grace, what elegance did she possess!" upon which, the people, supposing me distracted, conducted me to this hospital, and bound me in fetters, as you see.

When the sultan had heard the young man's story, he was much affected, inclined his head for some instants in deep thought, then said to his vizier, "By Allah, who has intrusted me with sovereignty, if thou dost not discover the lady who married this young man, thy head shall be forfeited." The vizier was alarmed, but recovering himself, replied, "Allow me three days to search," to which the sultan consented. The vizier then took with him the young man, and for two days was at a loss how to find out the house. At length he inquired if he should know the spot where the handkerchief was tied over his eyes, and the gateway at which it was taken off, of both which the youth professed to be certain. He conducted the minister to the street where he was blindfolded, and they reached a gateway, at which the vizier knocked. It was opened by the domestics, who knowing the vizier, and seeing the young man with him, were alarmed, and ran to communicate the quality of the visitants to their mistress. She desired to know the commands of the vizier, who informed her, that it was the sultan's pleasure she should be reconciled to her husband; to which she replied, "Since the sultan hath commanded, my duty is obedience." The young man was reunited to his wife, who was the daughter of a former sultan of Cairo.

Such were the adventures of the young man who was reading in the hospital. We now recite those of the youth who was listening to him. Upon the sultan's inquiring his story, he began as follows.

Story of the Second Lunatic.

My lord, I was by profession a merchant, and on my commencing business the youngest of my trade, having but just entered my sixteenth year. As I was one day busy in my warehouse, a damsel entering, put into my hands a packet, which, on opening, I found to contain several copies of verses in praise of myself, with a letter expressive of ardent affection for my person. Supposing them meant only as banter, I foolishly flew into a passion, seized the bearer, and beat her severely. On her departure, I reflected on my improper behaviour, dreaded lest she should complain to her relations, and that they might revenge themselves upon me by some sudden assault. I repented of what I had done, but alas! it was when repentance would not avail.

Ten days had passed, when, as I was sitting in my warehouse as usual, a young lady entered most superbly dressed, and odoriferously perfumed. She resembled in brightness the moon on its fourteenth night, so that when I gazed upon her my senses forsook me, and I was incapable of attention to any thing but herself. She addressed me, saying, "Young man, have you in your warehouse any female ornaments?" to which I replied, "Of all sorts, my lady, that you can possibly require." Upon this she desired to see some bracelets for the ankles, which I shewed her, when holding out her foot, she desired me to try them on. I did so. After this, she asked for a necklace, and opening her veil, made me tie it on. She then chose a pair of bracelets, and extending her hands, desired me to put them on her wrists, which I did; after which, she inquired the amount of the whole, when I exclaimed, "Fair lady, accept them as a present, and inform me whose daughter thou art." She replied, "I am the daughter of the chief magistrate;" when I said, "My wish is to demand thee in marriage of thy father." She consented that I should, but observed, "When you ask me of my father, he will say, I have only one daughter, who is a cripple, and wretchedly deformed. Do thou, however, reply, that thou art willing to accept her, and if he remonstrates, still insist upon wedding her." I then asked when I should make my proposals. She replied, "The best time to visit my father is on the Eed al Koorbaun, which is three days hence, as thou wilt then find with him all his relations and friends, and our espousals will add to his festivity."

Agreeably to the lady's instructions, on the third day following I repaired with several of my friends to the house of the chief magistrate, and found him sitting in state, receiving the compliments of the day from the chief inhabitants of the city. We made our obeisance, which he graciously noticed, received us with kindness, and entered familiarly into conversation. A collation was brought in, the cloth spread, and we partook with him of the viands, after which we drank coffee. I then stood up, saying, "My lord, I am desirous of espousing the chaste lady your daughter, more precious than the richest gem."

When the chief magistrate heard my speech, he inclined his head for some time towards the earth in deep thought, after which he said, "Son, my daughter is an unfortunate cripple, miserably deformed." To this I replied, "To have her for my wife is all I wish." The magistrate then said, "If thou wilt have a wife of this description, it must be on condition that she shall not be taken from my house, that thou shalt consummate the marriage here, and abide with me." I replied, "To hear is to obey;" believing that she was the beautiful damsel who had visited my warehouse, and whose charms I had so rapturously beheld. In short, the nuptial ceremony was performed, when I said to myself, "Heavens! is it possible that I am become master of this beautiful damsel, and shall possess her charms!"

When night set in, the domestics of the chief magistrate introduced me into the chamber of my bride. I ran eagerly to gaze upon her beauty, but guess my mortification when I beheld her a wretched dwarf, a cripple, and deformed, as her father had represented. I was overcome with horror at the sight of her, distracted with disappointment, and ashamed of my own foolish credulity, but I dared not complain, as I had voluntarily accepted her as my wife from the magistrate: I sat down silently in one corner of the chamber, and she in another, for I could not bring myself to approach her, as she was disgusting to the sight of man, and my soul could not endure her company.

At day-break I left the house of my father-in-law, repaired to my warehouse, which I opened, and sat down much distressed in mind, with my head dizzy, like one suffering from intoxication, when lo! who should appear before me but the lady who had put upon me so mortifying a trick. She entered, and paid me the customary salute. I was enraged, and began to abuse her, saying, "Wherefore hast thou put upon me such a stratagem?" when she replied, "Wretch, recollect the day that I brought thee a packet, in return for which you seized, beat, reviled, and drove me scornfully away. In retaliation for such treatment, I have taken revenge by giving thee such a delectable bride." I now fell at her feet, entreated her forgiveness, and expressed my repentance; upon which, smiling upon me, she said, "Be not uneasy, for as I have plunged thee into a dilemma, I will also relieve thee from it. Go to the aga of the leather-dressers, give him a sum of money, and desire him to call thee his son; then repair with him, attended by his followers and musicians, to the house of the chief magistrate. When he inquires the cause of their coming, let the aga say, 'My lord, we are come to congratulate thy son-in-law, who is my beloved child, on his marriage with thy daughter, and to rejoice with him.' The magistrate will be furiously enraged, and exclaim, 'Dog, is it possible that, being a leather-dresser, thou durst marry the daughter of the chief magistrate?' Do thou then reply, 'My lord, my ambition was to be ennobled by your alliance, and as I have married your lordship's daughter, the mean appellation of leather-dresser will soon be forgotten and lost in the glorious title of the son-in-law of your lordship; I shall be promoted under your protection, and purified from the odour of the tan-pit, so that my offspring will smell as sweet as that of a syed."

I did as the lady had directed me, and having bribed the chief of the leather-dressers, he accompanied me with the body of his trade, and a numerous party of musicians, vocal and instrumental, to my father-in-law's house, before which they began to sing and dance with great clamour every now and then crying out, "Long live our noble kinsman! Long live the son-in-law of the chief magistrate!" The magistrate inquired into the cause of our intrusive rejoicing, when I told him my kinsfolk were congratulating me upon my alliance with his illustrious house, and come to thank him for the honour he had done the whole body of leather-dressers in my person. The chief magistrate on hearing this was passionately enraged, and abused me; but reflecting that without my consent the supposed disgrace of his noble house could not be done away, he became calm, and offered me money to divorce his daughter. At first I pretended unwillingness, but at length affecting to be moved by his earnest entreaties, accepted forty purses of gold, which he gave me to repudiate my deformed wife, and I returned home with a lightened heart. The day following, the lady came to my warehouse, when I thanked her for having freed me from my ridiculous marriage, and begged her to accept of me as a husband. To this she consented, but said she was, she feared, too meanly born for me to marry, as her father was but a cook, though of eminence in his way, and very rich. I replied, "Even though he were a leather-dresser, thy charms would grace a throne." In short, my lord, we were married, and have lived together very happily from the day of our union to the present time.

Such is my story, but it is not so surprising as that of the learned man and his pupil, whose adventures were among the miracles of the age, which I will relate.

Story of the retired Sage and his Pupil, related to the Sultan by the Second Lunatic,

There was a learned and devout sage, who in order to enjoy his studies and contemplations uninterrupted, had secluded himself from the world in one of the cells of the principal mosque of the city, which he never left but upon the most pressing occasions. He had led this retired life some years, when a boy one day entered his cell, and earnestly begged to be received as his pupil and domestic. The sage liked his appearance, consented to his request, inquired who were his parents, and whence he came; but the lad could not inform him, and said, "Ask not who I am, for I am an orphan, and know not whether I belong to heaven or earth." The shekh did not press him, and the boy served him with the most undeviating punctuality and attention for twelve years, during which he received his instructions in every branch of learning, and became a most accomplished youth. At the end of the twelve years, the youth one day heard some young men praising the beauty of the sultan's daughter, and saying that her charms were unequalled by those of all the princesses of the age. This discourse excited his curiosity to behold so lovely a creature. He repaired to his master, saying, "My lord, I understand that the sultan hath a most beautiful daughter, and my soul longs ardently for an opportunity of beholding her, if only for an instant." The sage exclaimed, "What have such as we to do, my son, with the daughters of sovereigns or of others? We are a secluded order, and should refrain ourselves from associating with the great ones of this world." The old man continued to warn his pupil against the vanities of the age, and to divert him from his purpose; but the more he advised and remonstrated, the more intent the youth became on his object, which affected his mind so much, that he grew very uneasy, and was continually weeping.

The sage observing his distress was afflicted at it, and at length said to the youth, "Will one look at the princess satisfy thy wishes?" "It shall," replied the pupil. The sage then anointed one of his eyes with a sort of ointment; when lo! he became to appearance as a man divided into half, and the sage ordered him to go and hop about the city. The youth obeyed his commands, but he had no sooner got into the street than he was surrounded by a crowd of passengers, who gazed with astonishment at his appearance. The report of so strange a phenomenon as a half man soon spread throughout the city, and reached the palace of the sultan, who sent for the supposed monster to the presence. The youth was conveyed to the palace, where the whole court gazed upon him with wonder; after which he was taken into the haram, to gratify the curiosity of the women. He beheld the princess, and was fascinated by the brilliancy of her charms, insomuch, that he said to himself, "If I cannot wed her, I will put myself to death."

The youth being at length dismissed from the palace, returned home; his heart tortured with love for the daughter of the sultan. On his arrival, the sage inquired if he had seen the princess. "I have," replied the youth, "but one look is not enough, and I cannot rest until I shall sit beside her, and feast my eyes till they are wearied with gazing upon her." "Alas! my son," exclaimed the old man, "I fear for thy safety: we are religious men, and should avoid temptations; nor does it become us to have any thing to do with the sultan." To this the youth replied, "My lord, unless I shall sit beside her, and touch her neck with my hands, I shall, through despair, put myself to death."

At these words, the sage was alarmed for the safety of his pupil, and said to himself, "I will, if possible, preserve this amiable youth, and perchance Allah may gratify his wishes." He then anointed both his eyes with an ointment, which had the effect of rendering him invisible to human sight. After this, he said, "Go, my son, and gratify thy wishes, but return again, and be not too long absent from thy duty."

The youth hastened towards the royal palace, which he entered unperceived, and proceeded into the haram, where he seated himself near the daughter of the sultan. For some time he contented himself with gazing on her beauty, but at length extending his hands, touched her softly on the neck. As soon as she felt his touch, the princess, alarmed, shrieked out violently, and exclaimed, "I seek refuge with Allah, from Satan the accursed." Her mother and the ladies present, affrighted at her outcries, eagerly inquired the cause; when she said, "Eblees, or some other evil spirit, hath this instant touched me on the neck."

Upon this, the mother was alarmed and sent for her nurse, who, when informed of what had happened, declared, "That nothing was so specific to drive away evil spirits as the smoke of camel's hair;" a quantity of which was instantly brought, and being set fire to, the smoke of it filled the whole apartment, and so affected the eyes of the young man, that they watered exceedingly, when he unthinkingly wiped them with his handkerchief, so that with his tears the ointment was soon washed off.

The ointment was no sooner wiped away from his eyes than the young man became visible, and the princess, her mother, and the ladies, all at once uttered a general cry of astonishment and alarm; upon which the eunuchs rushed into the apartment. Seeing the youth, they surrounded him, beat him unmercifully, then bound him with cords, and dragged him before the sultan, whom they informed of his having been found in the royal haram. The sultan, enraged, sent for an executioner, and commanded him to seize the culprit, to clothe him in a black habit patched over with flame colour, to mount him upon a camel, and after parading with him through the streets of the city, to put him to death.

The executioner took the young man, dressed him as he had been directed, placed him upon the camel, and led him through the city, preceded by guards and a crier, who bawled out, "Behold the merited punishment of him who has dared to violate the sanctuary of the royal haram." The procession was followed by an incalculable crowd of people, who were astonished at the beauty of the young man, and the little concern he seemed to feel at his own situation.

At length the procession arrived in the square before the great mosque, when the sage, disturbed by the noise and concourse of the people, looked from the window of his cell, and beheld the disgraceful situation of his pupil. He was moved to pity, and instantly calling upon the genii (for by his knowledge of magic and every abstruse science he had them all under his control), commanded them to bring him the youth from the camel, and place in his room, without being perceived, some superannuated man. They did so, and when the multitude saw the youth, as it were, transformed into a well-known venerable shekh, they were stricken with awe, and said, "Heavens! the young man turns out to be our reverend chief of the herb-sellers;" for the old man had long been accustomed to dispose of greens and sugarcane at the college gate near the great mosque, and was the oldest in his trade.

The executioner, on beholding the change of appearance in his prisoner, was confounded. He returned to the palace with the old man upon the camel, and followed by the crowd. He hastened or contrive my death to the sultan, and said, "My lord, the young man is vanished, and in his room became seated upon the camel this venerable shekh, well known to the whole city." On hearing this, the sultan was alarmed, and said to himself, "Whoever has been able to perform this, can do things much more surprising He may depose me from my kingdom."

The sultan's fears increased so much, that he was at a loss how to act. He summoned his vizier, and said, "Advise me what to do in the affair of this strange youth, for I am utterly confounded." The vizier for some time inclined his head towards the ground in profound thought, then addressing the sultan, said, "My lord, no one could have done this but by the help of genii, or by a power which we cannot comprehend, and he may possibly, if irritated, do you in future a greater injury respecting your daughter. I advise, therefore, that you cause it to be proclaimed throughout the city, that whoever has done this, if he will appear before you shall have pardon on the word of a sultan, which can never be broken. Should he then surrender himself, espouse him to your daughter, when perhaps his mind may be reconciled by her love. He has already beheld her, and seen the ladies of the haram, so that nothing can save your honour but his union with the princess."

The sultan approved the advice of his vizier, the proclamation was issued, and the crier proceeded through several streets, till at length he reached the square of the great mosque. The pupil hearing the proclamation, was enraptured, and running to his patron, declared his intention of surrendering himself to the sultan. "My son," said the sage, "why shouldst thou do so? Hast thou not already suffered sufficiently?" The youth replied, "Nothing shall prevent me." Upon which the sage exclaimed, "Go then, my son, and my midnight prayers shall attend thee."

The youth now repaired to the hummaum, and having bathed, dressed himself in his richest habit; after which he discovered himself to the crier, who conducted him to the palace. He made a profound obeisance to the sultan, at the same time uttering an eloquent prayer for his long life and prosperity. The sultan was struck with his manly beauty, the gracefulness of his demeanour, and the propriety of his delivery, and said, "Young stranger, who art thou, and from whence dost thou come?" "I am," replied the youth, "the half man whom you saw, and have done what you are already acquainted with."

The sultan now requested him to sit in the most honourable place, and entered into conversation on various subjects. He put to him several difficult questions in science, to which the youth replied with such judgment, that his abilities astonished him, and he said to himself, "This young man is truly worthy of my daughter." He then addressed him, saying, "Young man, my wish is to unite thee to my daughter, for thou hast already seen her, also her mother, and after what has passed no one will marry her." The youth replied, "I am ready in obedience, but must advise with my friends." "Go then," said the sultan, "consult with thy friends, and return quickly."

The young man repaired to the sage, and having informed him of what had passed between himself and the sultan, signified his wish to marry the princess, when the shekh replied, "Do so, my son; there can be in the measure no crime, as it is a lawful alliance." "But I wish," said the youth, "to invite the sultan to visit you." "By all means," answered the sage. "My lord," rejoined the pupil, "since I first came, and you honoured me in your service, I have beheld you in no other residence but this confined cell, from which you have never stirred night or day. How can I invite the sultan here?" "My son," exclaimed the shekh, "go to the sultan, rely upon Allah, who can work miracles in favour of whom he chooseth, and say unto him, 'My patron greets thee, and requests thy company to an entertainment five days hence.'" The youth did as he was directed, and having returned to his master, waited upon him as before, but anxiously wishing for the fifth day to arrive.

On the fifth day, the sage said to his impatient pupil, "Let us remove to our own house, that we may prepare for the reception of the sultan, whom you must conduct to me." They arose, and walked, till on coming to a ruinous building about the middle of the city, the walls of which were fallen in heaps, the shekh said, "My son, this is my mansion, hasten and bring the sultan." The pupil, in astonishment, exclaimed, "My lord, this abode is a heap of ruins, how can I invite the sultan here, it would only disgrace us?" "Go," repeated the sage, "and dread not the consequences." Upon this the youth departed, but as he went on could not help saying to himself, "Surely my master must be insane, or means to make a jest of us." When he had reached the palace he found the sultan expecting him; upon which he made his obeisance, and said, "Will my lord honour me by his company?"

The sultan arose, mounted his horse, and attended by his whole court, followed the youth to the place chosen by the venerable shekh. It now appeared a royal mansion, at the gates of which were ranged numerous attendants in costly habits, respectfully waiting. The young man, at sight of this transformed appearance, was confounded in such a manner that he could hardly retain his senses. He said to himself, "It was but this instant that I beheld this place a heap of ruins, yet now it is a palace far more magnificent than any belonging to this sultan. I am astonished, but must keep the secret to myself."

The sultan alighted, as did also his courtiers, and entered the palace. They were surprised and delighted at the splendour of the first court, but much more so at the superior magnificence of a second; into which they were ushered, and introduced into a spacious hall, where they found the venerable shekh sitting to receive them. The sultan made a low obeisance; upon which the sage just moved his head, but did not rise. The sultan then sat down, when the shekh greeted him, and they entered into conversation on various subjects; but the senses of the sultan were confounded at the dignified demeanour of his host, and the splendid objects around him. At length the shekh desired his pupil to knock at a door and order breakfast to be brought in, which he did: when lo! the door opened, and there entered a hundred slaves, bearing upon their heads golden trays, on which were placed dishes of agate, cornelian, and other stones, filled with various eatables, which they arranged in order before the sultan. He was astonished, for he had nothing so magnificent in his own possession. He then partook of the sumptuous collation, as did also the venerable shekh, and all the courtiers, till they were satisfied; after which they drank coffee and sherbets of various sorts, when the sultan and the sage conversed on religious and literary subjects, and the former was edified by the remarks of the latter.

When it was noon the shekh again desired his pupil to knock at another door, and order dinner to be brought in. He had no sooner done so, than immediately a hundred slaves, different from the former, entered, bearing trays of the richest viands. They spread the cloth before the sultan, and arranged the dishes, which were each thickly set with precious stones, at which he was more astonished than before. When all had eaten till they were satisfied, basins and ewers, some of gold and others of agate, were carried round, and they washed their hands; after which the shekh said to the sultan, "Have you fixed what my son must give as the dower of your daughter?" To this, the sultan replied, "I have already received it." This he said out of compliment; but the shekh replied, "My lord, the marriage cannot be valid without a dower." He then presented a vast sum of money, with many jewels, for the purpose to his pupil; after which he retired with the sultan into a chamber, and arrayed him in a splendid habit; rich dresses were also given to each of his attendants according to their rank. The sultan then took leave of the shekh, and returned with his intended son-in-law to the palace.

When evening arrived the young man was introduced into the apartment of the princess, which he found spread with the richest carpets, and perfumed with costly essences, but his bride was absent: at which he was somewhat surprised, but supposed her coming was put off till midnight, for which he waited with impatience. Midnight came, but no bride appeared; when a thousand uneasy sensations afflicted his mind, and he continued in restless anxiety till morning: nor were the father and mother of the princess less impatient; for supposing she was with her husband, they waited anxiously, and were mortified at the delay.

At daylight, the mother, unable to bear longer suspense, entered the chamber; when the young man, rather angrily, inquired what had delayed the coming of his bride. "She entered before thee," replied the mother. "I have not seen her," answered the bridegroom. Upon this the sultana shrieked with affright, calling aloud on her daughter, for she had no other child but her. Her cries alarmed the sultan, who rushing into the apartment, was informed that the princess was missing, and had not been seen since her entrance in the evening. Search was now made in every quarter of the palace, but in vain; and the sultan, sultana, and the bridegroom, were involved in the deepest distress.

To account for the sudden disappearance of the princess, be it known, that a genie used often to divert himself with visiting the haram of the sultan; and happening to be there on the marriage night, was so captivated by the charms of the bride, that he resolved to steal her away. Accordingly, having rendered himself invisible, he waited in the nuptial chamber, and upon her entering bore her off, and soared into the air. At length he alighted with his prey in a delightful garden, far distant from the city; placed the princess in a shady arbour, and set before her delicious fruits; but contented himself with gazing upon her beauty.

The young bridegroom, when recovered from his first alarm, bethought himself of his tutor, and, together with the sultan, repaired to the palace where the splendid entertainment had been given. Here they found every thing in the same order as on the day of festivity, and were kindly received by the venerable shekh; who on hearing of the loss of the princess, desired them to be comforted. He then commanded a chafing-dish of lighted charcoal to be set before him, and after some moments of contemplation, cast into it some perfumes, over which he pronounced incantations. He had scarcely ended them, when lo! the earth shook, whirlwinds arose, lightnings flashed, and clouds of dust darkened the air, from which speedily descended winged troops, bearing superb standards and massive spears. In the centre of them appeared three sultans of the genii, who bowing low before the shekh, exclaimed all at once, "Master, hail! we are come to obey thy commands."

The shekh now addressed them, saying, "My orders are, that you instantly bring me the accursed spirit who hath carried off the bride of my son;" when the genii replied, "To hear is to obey:" and immediately detached fifty of their followers to reconduct the princess to her chamber, and drag the culprit to the presence of the sage. These commands were no sooner issued than they were performed. Ten of the genii carefully conveyed the bride to her apartment, while the rest having seized the offending genie, dragged him before the sage, who commanded the three sultans to burn him to ashes, which was executed in an instant. All this was done in the presence of the sultan, who was wrapt in astonishment, and viewed with awe the tremendously gigantic figures of the genii, wondering at the submissive readiness with which they obeyed the commands of the venerable shekh. When the offending genie was consumed to ashes, the shekh renewed his incantations; during which the sultans of the genii, with their followers, bowed themselves before him, and when he had ended, vanished from sight.

The sultan and the bridegroom having taken leave of the shekh, returned to the palace, where all was now gladness for the safe return of the princess. The marriage was consummated, and the young man was so happy with his bride, that he did not quit the haram for seven days. On the eighth, the sultan ordered public rejoicings to be made, and invited all the inhabitants of the city to feast at the royal cost; causing it to be proclaimed, that no one, either rich or poor, should for three days presume to eat at home, light a fire, or burn a lamp in his own house, but all repair to the nuptial festival of the daughter of the sultan. Ample provision was made for all comers in the courts of the palace, and the officers of the household attended day and night to serve the guests according to their quality. During one of the nights of this grand festival, the sultan being anxious to know if his proclamation was generally obeyed, resolved to walk through the city in disguise. Accordingly he and his vizier, in the habit of dervishes of Persia, having quitted the palace privately, began their excursion, and narrowly examined several streets. At length they came to a close alley, in one of the houses of which they perceived a light, and heard the sound of voices. When they had reached the door, they heard a person say to another, "Our sultan understands not how to treat properly, nor is he liberal, since the poor have it not in their option to partake of the costly feast he has prepared for his daughter's nuptials. He should have distributed his bounty among the wretched, who dare not presume to enter the palace in their ragged garments, by sending it to their home."

The sultan, upon hearing this, said to the vizier, "We must enter this house;" and knocked at the door, when a person cried out, "Who is there?" "Guests," replied the sultan. "You shall be welcome to what we have," answered the person, and opened the door. On entering, the sultan beheld three mean-looking old men, one of whom was lame, the second broken-backed, and the third wry-mouthed. He then inquired the cause of their misfortunes; to which they answered, "Our infirmities proceeded from the weakness of our understandings." The sultan upon this replied in a whisper to his vizier, that at the conclusion of the festival he should bring the three men to his presence, in order that he might learn their adventures.

When they had tasted of their homely fare, the sultan and vizier rose up, and having presented the three maimed companions with a few deenars, took leave and departed. They strolled onwards. It was now near midnight when they reached a house in which, through a lattice, they could perceive three girls with their mother eating a slender meal; during which, at intervals, one of them sung, and the other two laughed and talked. The sultan resolved to enter the house, and commanded the vizier to knock at the door, which he did; when one of the sisters cried out, "Who knocks at our door at this advanced time of night?" "We are two foreign dervishes," replied the vizier; to which the ladies answered, "We are women of virtue, and have no men in our house to whom you can be introduced: repair to the festival of the sultan, who will entertain you!" "Alas!" continued the vizier, "we are strangers unacquainted with the way to the palace, and dread lest the magistrate of the police should meet and apprehend us. We beg that you will afford us lodging till daylight: we will then depart, and you need not apprehend from us any improper behaviour."

When the mother of the ladies heard this she pitied the strangers, and commanded them to open the door: upon which the sultan and vizier having entered, paid their respects and sat down; but the former, on observing the beauty of the sisters and their elegant demeanour, could not contain himself, and said, "How comes it that you dwell by yourselves, have no husbands or any male to protect you?" The younger sister replied, "Impertinent dervish, withhold thy inquiries! our story is surprising; but unless thou wert sultan, and thy companion vizier, you could not appreciate our adventures." The sultan upon this remark became silent on the subject, and they discoursed upon indifferent matters till near daylight, when the pretended dervishes took a respectful leave, and departed. At the door the sultan commanded the vizier to mark it, so that he might know it again, being resolved, when the nuptial festivities should be concluded, to send for the ladies and hear their story.

On the last evening of the festival the sultan bestowed dresses of honour on all his courtiers; and on the following day, affairs returning to their usual course, he commanded his vizier to bring before him the three maimed men, and ordered them to relate the cause of their misfortunes, which they did as follows.

Story of the Broken-backed Schoolmaster.

Formerly, O mighty sultan, was a schoolmaster, and had under my tuition nearly seventy scholars, of whose manners I was as careful as of their learning: so much did I make them respect me, that whenever I sneezed they laid down their writing boards, stood up with arms crossed, and with one voice exclaimed, "God have mercy upon our tutor!" to which I replied, "May he have mercy upon me and you, and all who have children." If any one of the boys did not join in this prayer, I used to beat him severely. One fine afternoon my scholars requested leave to visit a certain garden some distance from the town, which I granted; and they clubbed their pittances to purchase sweetmeats and fruits. I attended them on this excursion, and was as much delighted as themselves with the pleasure they enjoyed, and their childish gambols. When evening approached we returned homewards, and on the way, my boys having fatigued themselves with play, as well as eaten much sweets and fruit, were seized with extreme thirst, of which they heavily complained. At length we reached a draw-well, but, alas! it had no bucket or cord. I pitied their situation, and resolved, if possible, to relieve them. I requested them to give me their turbans, which I tied to each other; but as they were altogether not long enough to reach the water, I fixed one of the turbans round my body, and made them let one down into the well, where I filled a small cup I had with me, which they drew up repeatedly till their thirst was satisfied. I then desired them to draw me up again, which they attempted; and I had reached nearly the mouth of the well, when I was unfortunately seized with a fit of sneezing; upon which the boys mechanically, as they had been accustomed to do in school, one and all let go their hold, crossed their arms, and exclaimed, "God have mercy upon our venerable tutor!" while I tumbled at once to the bottom of the well, and broke my back. I cried out from the agony of pain, and the children ran on all sides for help. At length some charitable passengers drew me out, and placing me upon an ass, carried me home; where I languished for a considerable time, and never could recover my health sufficiently again to attend to my school. Thus did I suffer for my foolish pride: for had I not been so tenacious of respect from my scholars, they would not upon my sneezing have let go their hold and broken my back.

When the broken-backed schoolmaster had finished his story, the old man with the wry-mouth thus began:

Story of the Wry-mouthed Schoolmaster.

I also, O sultan, was a schoolmaster; and so strict with my pupils, that I allowed them no indulgence, but even kept them to their studies frequently after the usual hours. At length, one more cunning than the rest resolved, in revenge, to play me a trick. He instructed the lads as they came into school to say to me, "Dear master, how pale you look!" Not feeling myself ill, I, though surprised at their remarks, did not much regard them on the first day; but a second, and so on to a fifth passing, on each of which all the pupils on entrance uttered the same exclamation, I began to think some fatal disorder had seized me, and resolved, by way of prevention, to take physic. I did so the following morning, and remained in my wife's apartments; upon which the unlucky lads, clubbing their pittances together to the amount of about a hundred faloose, requested my acceptance of the money as an offering for my recovery; and I was so pleased with the present that I gave them a holiday. The receipt of cash in so easy a manner was so agreeable to me, that I feigned illness for some days; my pupils made an offering as usual, and were allowed to play. On the tenth day the cunning urchin who had planned the scheme came into my chamber, as customary, with an offering of faloose. I happened then to have before me a boiled egg, which, upon seeing him enter, I clapped into my mouth, supposing, that if he perceived me well enough to eat he might not give me the money. He, however, observed the trick, and coming up to me with affected condolence, exclaimed, "Dear master, how your cheeks are swelled!" at the same time pressing his hands upon my face. The egg was boiling hot, and gave me intolerable pain, while the young wit pretended compassionately to stroke my visage. At length, he pressed my jaws together so hard that the egg broke, when the scalding yolk ran down my throat, and over my beard: upon which the artful lad cried out in seeming joy, "God be praised, my dear master, that the dreadful imposthume has discharged itself; we, your pupils, will all return thanks for your happy recovery." My mouth was contracted by the scald in the manner you behold, and I became so ridiculed for my folly, that I was obliged to shut up my school.

The sultan having heard the other man's story, which was of but little interest, dismissed the three foolish schoolmasters with a present, commanded the vizier to go and recognize the house of the three ladies and their mother, it being his intention to visit them again in disguise and hear their adventures. The vizier hastened to the street, but to his surprise and mortification found all the houses marked in the same manner, for the youngest sister having overheard the sultan's instructions, had done this to prevent a discovery of their residence. The vizier returned to the sultan, and informed him of the trick which had been played. He was much vexed, but the circumstance excited his curiosity in a greater degree. At length the vizier bethought himself of a stratagem, and said, "My lord, let a proclamation be issued for four days successively throughout the city, that whoever presumes after the first watch of the night to have a lamp lighted in his house, shall have his head struck off, his goods confiscated, his house razed to the ground, and his women dishonoured. It is possible, as these ladies did not regard your proclamation at the nuptials of the princess, they may disobey this, and by that means we may discover their residence."

The sultan approved the contrivance of the vizier, caused the proclamation to be made, and waited impatiently for the fourth night, when he and his minister having disguised themselves as before, proceeded to the street in which the ladies lived. A light appeared only in one house, which it being now tolerably certain was that they were in quest of, they knocked at the door.

Immediately on their knocking the youngest sister called out, "Who is at the door?" and they replied, "We are dervishes, and entreat to be your guests." She exclaimed, "What can you want at such a late hour, and where did you lodge last night?" They answered, "Our quarters are at a certain serai, but we have lost our way, and are fearful of being apprehended by the officers of police. Let your kindness then induce you to open the door, and afford us shelter for the remainder of the night: it will be a meritorious act in the eye of heaven." The mother overhearing what was said, ordered the door to be opened.

When they were admitted, the old lady and her daughters rose up, received them respectfully, and having seated them, placed refreshments before them, of which they partook, and were delighted with their treatment. At length the sultan said, "Daughters, you cannot but know of the royal proclamation; how comes it that you alone of all the inhabitants of the city have disobeyed it by having lights in your house after the first watch of the night?" Upon this the youngest sister replied, "Good dervish, even the sultan should not be obeyed but in his reasonable commands, and as this proclamation against lighting our lamps is tyrannical, it ought not to be complied with, consistently with the law of scripture; for the Koraun says, 'Obedience to a creature in a criminal matter, is a sin against the Creator.' The sultan (may God pardon him!) acts against scripture, and obeys the dictates of Satan. We three sisters, with our good mother, make it a rule to spin every night a certain quantity of cotton, which in the morning we dispose of, and of the price of our labour we lay out a part in provisions, and the remainder in a new supply of materials for working to procure us a subsistence."

The sultan now whispered to his vizier, saying, "This damsel astonishes me by her answers; endeavour to think of some question that may perplex her." "My lord," replied the vizier, "we are here in the characters of strangers and dervishes as their guests: how then can we presume to disturb them by improper questions?" The sultan still insisted upon his addressing them: upon which, the vizier said to the ladies, "Obedience to the sultan's orders is incumbent upon all subjects." "It is true he is our sovereign," exclaimed the youngest sister, "but how can he know whether we are starving or in affluence?" "Suppose," replied the vizier, "he should send for you to the presence, and question you concerning your disobedience to his commands, what could you advance in excuse for yourselves?" "I would say to the sultan," rejoined she, "'Your majesty has acted in contradiction to the divine law.'"

The vizier upon this turned towards the sultan, and said in a whisper, "Let us leave off disputing further with this lady on points of law or conscience, and inquire if she understands the fine arts." The sultan put the question; upon which she replied, "I am perfect in all:" and he then requested her to play and sing. She retired immediately, but soon returning with a lute, sat down, tuned it, and played in a plaintive strain, which she accompanied with the following verses:

"It is praiseworthy in subjects to obey their sovereigns, but his reign will continue long who gains their affections by kindness. Be liberal in thy manners, and he who is dependent upon thee will pray for thy life, for the free man alone can feel gratitude. To him who confers gifts man will ever resort, for bounty is fascinating. Sadden not with denial the countenance of the man of genius, for the liberal mind is disgusted at stinginess and haughty demeanour. Not a tenth part of mankind understand what is right, for human nature is ignorant, rebellious, and ungrateful."

When the sultan had heard these verses, he remained for some time immersed in thought; then whispering his vizier, said, "This quotation was certainly meant in allusion to ourselves, and I am convinced they must know that I am their sultan, and thou vizier, for the whole tenor of their conversation shews their knowledge of us." He then addressed the lady, saying, "Your music, your performance, your voice, and the subject of your stanzas have delighted me beyond expression." Upon this she sang the following verse:

"Men endeavour to attain station and riches during an age of toil and oppression, while, alas! their accounts to heaven and their graves are decreed from their very birth."

The sultan, from the purport of these last verses, was more assured than ever that she knew his quality. She did not leave off singing and playing till day-light, when she retired, and brought in a breakfast, of which the sultan and the vizier partook; after which she said, "I hope you will return to us this night at the conclusion of the first watch, and be our guests." The sultan promised, and departed in admiration at the beauty of the sisters, their accomplishments, and graceful manners; saying to the vizier, "My soul is delighted with the charms of these elegant women."

The following evening the sultan and vizier, disguised as usual, repaired to the house of the sisters, taking with them some purses of deenars, and were received with the same respectful welcome. Being seated, supper was set before them, and after it basins and ewers to wash their hands. Coffee was then served up, and conversation on various subjects amused them till the prayer time of the first watch; they then arose, performed their ablutions, and prayed. When, their devotions were ended, the sultan presented a purse of a thousand deenars to the youngest sister, and said, "Expend this upon your necessary occasions." She took the purse with a profound obeisance, kissed his hands, and was convinced, as she had before suspected, that he must be the sultan; at the same time hinting privately to her mother and sisters the quality of their guests, and prostrating herself before him.

The other ladies upon this arose, and followed the example of their sister; when the sultan said aside to his vizier, "They certainly know us:" and then turning to the ladies, addressed them saying, "We are merely dervishes, and you pay us a respect only due to sovereigns; I beseech you refrain." The youngest sister again fell at his feet, and repeated the following verse:

"May prosperous fortune daily accompany thee in spite of the malice of the envious! May thy days be bright and those of thy enemies gloomy!"

"I am convinced thou art the sultan, and thy companion thy vizier." The sultan replied, "What reason have you for such a supposition?" She answered, "From your dignified demeanour and liberal conduct, for the signs of royalty cannot be concealed even in the habit of a recluse."

The sultan replied, "You have indeed judged truly, but inform me how happens it, that you have with you no male protectors?" She answered, "My lord the sultan, our history is so wonderful, that were it written on a tablet of adamant it might serve as an example in future ages to such as would be advised." The sultan requested her to relate it, which she did in the following manner.

Story of the Sisters and the Sultana their Mother.

We are not, my lord the sultan, natives of this city, but of Eerauk, of which country our father was sovereign, and our mother his sultana the most beautiful woman of her time, insomuch that her fame was celebrated throughout distant regions. It chanced that in our infancy our father the sultan marched upon a hunting excursion throughout his dominions, for some months, leaving his vizier to conduct affairs at the capital. Not long after the departure of the sultan, our mother, taking the air on the roof of the palace, which adjoined that of the vizier, who was then sitting upon his terrace, her image was reflected in a mirror which he held in his hand. He was fascinated with her beauty, and resolved, if possible, to seduce her to infidelity and compliance with his wishes.

The day following he sent the female superintendant of his haram with a package, containing a most superb dress, and many inestimable jewels, to the sultana, requesting her acceptance of them, and that she would allow him to see her either at the palace or at his own house. My mother, when the old woman was admitted into her apartments, received her with kindness, supposing that she must be intrusted with some confidential message from the vizier respecting the affairs of her husband, or with letters from him.

The old woman having paid her obeisance, opened the bundle, and displayed the rich dress and dazzling jewels; when my mother, admiring them much, inquired the value, and what merchant had brought them to dispose of. The wretched old woman, supposing that the virtue of the sultana would not be proof against such a valuable present, impudently disclosed the passion of the vizier: upon which my mother, indignant with rage at this insult offered to her virtue and dignity, drew a sabre, which was near, and exerting all her strength, struck off the head of the procuress, which, with the body, she commanded her attendants to cast into the common sewer of the palace.

The vizier finding his messenger did not return, the next day despatched another, to signify that he had sent a present to the sultana, but had not heard whether it had been delivered. My mother commanded the infamous wretch to be strangled, and the corpse to be thrown into the same place as that of the old woman, but she did not make public the vizier's baseness, hoping that he would reform. He, however, continued every day to send a female domestic, and my mother to treat her in the same way as the others till the sultan's return; but my mother, not wishing to destroy the vizier, and still trusting that he would repent of his conduct, for in other respects he was a faithful and prudent minister, kept his treachery a secret from my father.

Some years after this, the sultan my father resolved on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and having, as before, left the vizier in charge of his kingdom, departed. When he had been gone ten days, the vizier, still rapturously in love, and yet presumtuously hoping to attain his wishes, sent a female domestic, who, being admitted into the apartment of the sultana, said, "For Heaven's sake have compassion on my master, for his heart is devoted to love, his senses are disturbed, and his body is wasted away. Pity his condition, revive his heart, and restore his health by the smiles of condescension."

When my mother heard this insolent message, she in a rage commanded her attendants to seize the unfortunate bearer, and having strangled her, to leave the carcase for public view in the outer court of the palace, but without divulging the cause of her displeasure. Her orders were obeyed. When the officers of state and others saw the body they informed the vizier, who, resolving to be revenged, desired them for the present to be silent, and on the sultan's return he would make known on what account the sultana had put to death his domestic, of which they could bear testimony.

When the time of the sultan's return from Mecca approached, and the treacherous vizier judged he was on his march, he wrote and despatched to him the following letter:

"After prayers for thy health, be it known, that since thy absence the sultana has sent to me five times, requesting improper compliances, to which I would not consent, and returned for answer, that however she might wish to abuse my sovereign, I could not do it, for I was left by him guardian of his honour and his kingdom: to say more would be superfluous."

The messenger reached the sultan's camp when distant eight days' journey from the city, and delivered the letter. On reading it the countenance of my father became pale, his eyes rolled with horror, he instantly ordered his tents to be struck, and moved by forced marches till he arrived within two days' journey of his capital. He then commanded a halting day, and despatched two confidential attendants with orders to conduct our innocent and unfortunate mother, with us three sisters, a day's distance from the city, and then to put us to death. They accordingly dragged us from the haram, and carried us into the country; but on arriving at the spot intended for our execution, their hearts were moved with compassion, for our mother had conferred many obligations on these men and their families. They said one to another, "By heavens, we cannot murder them!" and informed us of what the vizier had written to our father: upon which the sultana exclaimed, "God knows that he hath most falsely accused me;" and she then related to them all that she had done, with the strictest fidelity.

The men were moved even to tears at her misfortunes, and said, "We are convinced that thou hast spoken truly." They then caught some fawns of the antelope, killed them, and having required an under garment from each of us, dipped it in the blood, after which they broiled the flesh, with which we satisfied our hunger. Our preservers now bade us farewell, saying, "We intrust you to the protection of the Almighty, who never forsaketh those who are committed to his care;" and then departed from us. We wandered for ten days in the desert, living on such fruits as we could find, without beholding any signs of population, when, at length, fortunately we reached a verdant spot, abounding in various sorts of excellent vegetables and fruits. Here also was a cave, in which we resolved to shelter ourselves till a caravan might pass by. On the fourth day of our arrival one encamped near our asylum. We did not discover ourselves, but when the caravan marched, speedily followed its track at some distance, and after many days of painful exertion reached this city, where, having taken up our lodging in a serai, we returned thanks to the almighty assister of the distressed innocent for our miraculous escape from death and the perils of the desert.

We must now quit for awhile the unfortunate sultana and her daughters, to learn the adventures of the sultan her husband. As he drew near his capital, the treacherous vizier, attended by the officers of government and the principal inhabitants of the city, came out to meet him; and both high and low congratulated his safe return from the sacred pilgrimage.

The sultan, as soon as he had alighted at his palace, retired with the vizier alone, and commanded him to relate the particulars of the atrocious conduct of his wife; upon which he said, "My lord, the sultana in your absence despatched to me a slave, desiring me to visit her, but I would not, and I put the slave to death that the secret might be hidden; hoping she might repent of her weakness, but she did not, and repeated her wicked invitation five times. On the fifth I was alarmed for your honour, and acquainted you of her atrocious behaviour."

The sultan, on hearing the relation of the vizier, held down his head for some time in profound thought, then lifting it up, commanded the two attendants whom he had despatched with orders to put his wife and children to death to be brought before him. On their appearance, he said, "What have you done in execution of the charge I gave you?" they replied, "We have performed that which you commanded to be done, and as a testimony of our fidelity, behold these garments dyed with the blood of the offenders!" The sultan took the garments; but the recollection of his beauteous consort, her former affectionate endearments, of the happiness he had enjoyed with her, and of the innocence of his guiltless children, so affected his mind, that he wept bitterly and fainted away. On his recovery he turned to the vizier, and said, "Is it possible thou canst have spoken the truth?" He replied, "I have."

The sultan, after a long pause, again said to the two attendants, "Have you really put to death my innocent children with their guilty mother?" They remained silent. The sultan exclaimed, "Why answer ye not, and wherefore are ye silent?" They replied, "My lord, the honest man cannot support a lie, for lying is the distinction of traitors." When the vizier heard these words his colour changed, his whole frame was disordered, and a trembling seized him, which the sultan perceiving, he said to the attendants, "What mean you by remarking that lying is the distinction of traitors? Is it possible that ye have not put them to death? Declare the truth instantly, or by the God who hath appointed me guardian of his people, I will have you executed with the most excruciating torments."

The two men now fell at the feet of the sultan, and said, "Dread sovereign, we conveyed, as thou commandest us, the unfortunate sultana and thy daughters to the middle of the desert, when we informed them of the accusation of the vizier and thy orders concerning them. The sultana, after listening to us with fortitude, exclaimed, 'There is no refuge or asylum but with the Almighty; from God we came, and to God we must return; but if you put us to death, you will do it wrongfully, for the treacherous vizier hath accused me falsely, and he alone is guilty.' She then informed us of his having endeavoured to corrupt her by rich presents, and that she had put his messengers to death."

The sultan at these words exclaimed in agony, "Have ye slain them, or do they yet live?" "My lord," replied the attendants, "We were so convinced of the innocence of the sultana, that we could not put her to death. We caught some fawn antelopes, killed them, and having dipped these garments belonging to the abused mother and your children in their blood, dressed the flesh, and gave it to our unfortunate mistress and thy daughters, after which we said to them, 'We leave you in charge of a gracious God who never deserts his trust; your innocence will protect you.' We then left them in the midst of the desert, and returned to the city."

The sultan turned in fury towards the vizier, and exclaimed, "Wretched traitor! and is it thus thou hast estranged from me my beloved wife and innocent children?" The self-convicted minister uttered not a word, but trembled like one afflicted with the palsy. The sultan commanded instantly an enormous pile of wood to be kindled, and the vizier, being bound hand and foot, was forced into an engine, and cast from it into the fire, which rapidly consumed him to ashes. His house was then razed to the ground, his effects left to the plunder of the populace, and the women of his haram and his children sold for slaves.

We now return to the three princesses and their mother. When the sultan had heard their adventures, he sympathized with their misfortunes, and was astonished at the fortitude with which they had borne their afflictions, saying to his vizier, "How sad has been their lot! but blessed be Allah, who, as he separateth friends, can, when he pleaseth, give them a joyful meeting." He then caused the sultana and the princesses to be conveyed to his palace, appointed them proper attendants and apartments suitable to their rank, and despatched couriers to inform the sultan their father of their safety. The messengers travelled with the greatest expedition, and on their arrival at the capital, being introduced, presented their despatches. The sultan opened them, and began to read; but when he perceived the contents, was so overcome with joy, that, uttering a loud exclamation of rapture, he fell to the ground and fainted away. His attendants were alarmed, lifted him up, and took means for his recovery. When he was revived, he informed them of his sultana and daughters being still alive, and ordered a vessel to be prepared to convey them home.

The ship was soon ready, and being laden with every necessary for the accommodation of his family, also rich presents for the friendly sultan who had afforded them protection, sailed with a favourable wind, and speedily arrived at the desired haven.

The commander of the vessel was welcomely received by the sultan, who issued orders for his entertainment and that of his whole crew at the royal cost, and at the expiration of three days the sultana and her daughters, being anxious to return home after so long an absence, and that so unfortunate, took leave and embarked. The sultan made them valuable presents, and the wind being fair they set sail. For three days the weather was propitious, but on the evening of the last a contrary gale arose, when they cast anchor, and lowered their topmasts. At length the storm increased to such violence that the anchor parted, the masts fell overboard, and the crew gave themselves over for lost. The vessel was driven about at the mercy of the tempest till midnight, all on board weeping and wailing, when at length she struck upon the rocks, and went to pieces. Such of the crew whose deaths were decreed perished, and those whose longer life was predestined escaped to shore, some on planks, some on chests, and some on the broken timbers of the ship, but all separated from each other.

The sultana mother was tossed about till daylight on a plank, when she was perceived by the commander of the vessel, who with three of his crew had taken to the ship's boat. He took her in, and after three days' rowing they reached a mountainous coast, on which they landed, and advanced into the country. They had not proceeded far when they perceived a great dust, which clearing up, displayed an approaching army. To their joyful surprise it proved to be that of the sultan, who, after the departure of the vessel, dreading lest an accident might happen, had marched in hopes of reaching the city where they were before his wife and daughters should sail, in order to conduct them home by land. It is impossible to describe the meeting of the sultan and his consort, but their joy was clouded by the absence of their daughters, and the dreadful uncertainty of their fate. When the first raptures of meeting were over, they wept together, and exclaimed, "We are from God, and to God we must return." After forty days' march they arrived at their capital, but continually regretting the princesses, saying, "Alas, alas! most probably they have been drowned, but even should they have escaped to shore, perhaps they may have been separated; and ah! what calamities may have befallen them!" Constantly did they bemoan together in this manner, immersed in grief, and taking no pleasure in the enjoyments of life.

The youngest princess, after struggling with the waves till almost exhausted, was fortunately cast ashore on a pleasant coast, where she found some excellent fruits and clear fresh water. Being revived, she reposed herself awhile, and then walked from the beach into the country; but she had not proceeded far, when a young man on horseback with some dogs following him met her, and upon hearing that she had just escaped shipwreck, mounted her before him, and having conveyed her to his house, committed her to the care of his mother. She received her with compassionate kindness, and during a whole month assiduously attended her, till by degrees she recovered her health and beauty.

The young man was legal heir to the kingdom, but his succession had been wrested from him by a usurper, who, however, dying soon after the arrival of the princess, he was reinstated in his rights and placed on the throne, when he offered her his hand; but she said, "How can I think of marriage while I know not the condition of my unfortunate family, or enjoy repose while my mother and sisters are perhaps suffering misery? When I have intelligence of their welfare I will be grateful to my deliverer."

The young sultan was so much in love with the princess, that the most distant hope gave him comfort, and he endeavoured to wait patiently her pleasure; but the nobles of the country were anxious to see him wedded, he being the last of his race, and importuned him to marry. He promised to conform to their wishes, but much time elapsing, they became importunate and discontented, when his mother, dreading a rebellion, earnestly entreated the princess to consent to a union as the only measure that could prevent disturbances. The princess, who really loved her preserver, was unwilling to endanger the safety of one to whom she owed such important obligations, and at length consented, when the marriage was celebrated with the greatest pomp and rejoicings. At the expiration of three years the sultana was delivered of two sons, whose birth added to the felicity of the union.

The second princess, after being long driven about by the waves upon a plank, was at length cast on shore near a large city, which she entered, and was fortunately compassionated by a venerable matron, who invited her to her house, and adopted her as a daughter in the room of her own, who had lately died. Here she soon recovered her health and beauty. It chanced that the sultan of this city, who was much beloved for his gentle government and liberality, was taken ill, and not withstanding the skill of the most celebrated physicians, daily became worse, insomuch that his life was despaired of, to the general grief of the people. The princess having heard her venerable protectress lament the danger of the sultan, said, "My dear mother, I will prepare a dish of pottage, which, if you will carry to the sultan, and he can be prevailed upon to eat it, will, by the blessing of Allah, recover him from his disorder." "I fear," replied the matron, "I shall hardly be allowed admittance to the palace, much less to present him the pottage." "You can but try," answered the princess; "and even the attempt at a good action is acceptable to God." "Well," rejoined the old woman, "prepare your pottage, my dear daughter, and I will endeavour to get admission."

The princess prepared the dish of pottage, composed of various minerals, herbs, and perfumes, and when it was ready the old woman took it to the sultan's palace. The guards and eunuchs inquired what she had brought, when she said, "A dish of pottage, which I request you will present to the sultan, and beg him to eat as much of it as he can, for by God's help it will restore him to health." The eunuchs introduced her into the chamber of their sick sovereign, when the old woman taking off the cover of the dish, such a grateful perfume exhaled from the contents as revived his spirits. Being informed what the venerable matron had brought, he thanked her and tasted the pottage, which was so agreeably flavoured that he ate part of it with an appetite to which he had been long a stranger. He then presented the bearer with a purse of deenars, when she returned home, informed the princess of her welcome reception, and of the present she had received.

The sultan had no sooner eaten part of the pottage than he felt an inclination to repose, and sunk into a refreshing sleep, which lasted for some hours. On his awakening he found himself wonderfully revived, and having a desire afresh to eat, finished the whole. He now wished for more, and inquired after the old woman, but none of his attendants could inform him where she lived. However, in the evening she brought another mess, which the princess had prepared, and the sultan ate it with renewed appetite; after which, though before quite helpless, he was now able to sit up and even to walk. He inquired of the old woman if it was her own preparation; to which she replied, "No, my lord, but my daughter dressed it, and entreated me to bring it." The sultan exclaimed, "She cannot be thy own daughter, as her skill shews her of much higher quality." He then made her a present, and requested that she would bring him every morning a fresh supply, to which she said, "To hear is to obey;" and retired.

The princess sent regularly for seven mornings successively a dish of pottage, and the sultan as regularly presented her adopted mother with a purse of deenars; for such was the rapidity of his recovery, that at the expiration of the sixth day he was perfectly well, and on the seventh he mounted his horse and repaired to his country palace to make the absolution of health and enjoy the fresh air. During her visits he had questioned the old lady concerning her adopted daughter, and she so described her beauty, virtues, and accomplishments, that his heart was smitten, and he became anxious to see her.

The sultan, in order to gratify his curiosity, disguised himself one day in the habit of a dervish, and repairing to the house of the old woman, knocked at the door. On being questioned what he wanted, he replied, "I am a wandering dervish, a stranger in this city, and distressed with hunger." The old woman being fearful of admitting an unknown person, would have sent him away, but the princess exclaimed, "Hospitality to strangers is incumbent upon us, especially to the religious poor." Upon this he was admitted, and the princess having seated him respectfully, set victuals before him, of which he ate till he was satisfied, and having washed, rose up, thanked the old woman and her supposed daughter for their bounty, and retired, but his sight was fascinated with her beauty, and his heart devoted to her love.

The sultan on his return to the palace sent for the old woman, and on her arrival presented her with a rich dress and valuable jewels, desiring that she would give them to her daughter, and prevail upon her to put them on. The old lady promised obedience, and as she walked homewards, said to herself, "If this adopted daughter of mine is wise, she will comply with the sultan's desires, and put on the dress, but if she does not, I will expel her from my house." When she reached home, she displayed the superb habit and the dazzling ornaments; but the princess at first refused to accept them, till at length, moved by the entreaties of her protectress, whom she could not disoblige, she put them on, and the old lady was delighted with her appearance.

The sultan, who had slipped on a female dress, having covered himself with a close veil, followed the old woman to her house, and listened at the door to know if the daughter would accept his present. When he found that she had put on the dress, he was overcome with rapture, and hastening back to his palace, sent again for the old lady, to whom he signified his wish to marry her daughter. When the princess was informed of the offer she consented, and the sultan, attended by a splendid cavalcade, conducted her that evening to his palace, where the cauzee united them in marriage. A general feast was made for all the inhabitants of the city for seven days successively, and the sultan and the princess enjoyed the height of felicity. In the course of five years the Almighty blessed them with a son and two daughters.

The eldest princess on the wreck of the ship having clung to a piece of timber, was after much distress floated on shore, where she found a man's habit, and thinking it a safe disguise for the protection of her honour, she dressed herself in it, and proceeded to a city which appeared near the coast. On her entrance she was accosted by a maker of cotton wallets for travelling, who observing that she was a stranger, and supposing her a man, asked if she would live with him, as he wanted an assistant. Being glad to secure any asylum, she accepted his offer of maintenance, and daily wages of half a dirhem. He conducted her to his house, and treated her with kindness. The next day she entered upon her business, and so neat was the work she executed, that in a short time her master's shop was more frequented than any other.

It happened that the shop was situated near the palace of the sultan. One morning the princess his daughter looking through the lattice of a balcony beheld the seeming young man at work, with the sleeves of his vest drawn up to his shoulder: his arms were white and polished as silver, and his countenance brilliant as the sun unobscured by clouds. The daughter of the sultan was captivated in the snare of love.

The sultan's daughter continued gazing at the supposed young man till he withdrew from work, when she retired to her apartment; but so much was she fascinated by his charms, that she became restless, and at length indisposed. Her nurse who attended her felt her pulse, and asked her several questions, but could find no symptoms of bodily illness upon her. She said, "My dear daughter, I am convinced that nothing has afflicted thee but desire of some youth with whom thou art in love." The princess exclaimed, "My dear mother, as thou hast discovered my secret, thou wilt, I trust, not only keep it sacred, but bring to me the man I love." The nurse replied, "No one can keep a secret closer than myself, so that you may safely confide it to my care." The princess then said, "Mother, my heart is captivated by the young man who works in the shop opposite my windows, and if I cannot meet him I shall die of grief."

The nurse replied, "My dear mistress, he is the most beautiful youth of the age, and the women of the whole city are distracted with his charms; yet he is so bashful as to answer no advances, and shrinks from notice like a school-boy, but I will endeavour to overcome his shyness, and procure you a meeting." Having said thus, she went immediately to the wallet-maker's, and giving him a piece of gold, desired he would let his assistant accompany her home with two of his best wallets. The man was pleased with her generosity, and selecting his choicest manufacture, commanded his journeyman to accompany the nurse.

The old woman led the disguised princess through by-paths to a private passage of the palace, and introduced her into the apartments of the daughter of the sultan, who received her supposed beloved with emotions of joy too violent to be concealed. Pretending to admire the goods, she asked some questions, and giving him twenty pieces of gold, desired him to return with more goods on the following evening, to which the seeming journeyman replied, "To hear is to obey."

The disguised princess on her return home delivered the twenty pieces of gold to her employer, who was alarmed, and inquired from whence they came: upon which she informed him of her adventure, when the wallet-maker was in greater terror than before, and said to himself, "If this intrigue goes on, the sultan will discover it, I shall be put to death, and my family ruined on account of this young man and his follies." He then besought him not to repeat his visit, but he answered, "I cannot forbear, though I dread my death may be the consequence." In short, the disguised princess went every evening with the old nurse to the apartments of the sultan's daughter, till at length the sultan one night suddenly entered, and perceiving, he supposed, a man with the princess, commanded him to be seized and bound hand and foot.

The sultan then sent for an executioner, resolved to put the culprit to death. The executioner on his arrival seized the disguised princess; but what was the surprise of all present, when, on taking off the turban and vest, they discovered her sex. The sultan commanded her to be conducted to his haram, and inquired her story, when having no resource but the truth, she related her adventures.

When the princess had informed the sultan of the treachery of the vizier, the consequent conduct of her father, the distress of her mother, her sisters and herself, their being relieved, and her escape from shipwreck, with what had happened since, he was filled with wonder and compassion, and ordered his daughter to accommodate her in the haram. The love of the latter was now changed to sincere friendship, and under her care and attentions the unfortunate princess in a few months recovered her former beauty. It chanced that the sultan visiting his daughter was fascinated with the charms of the princess, but unwilling to infringe the rules of hospitality concealed his love, till at length he became dangerously ill, when the daughter suspecting the matter, prevailed upon him to reveal the cause of his complaint. She then informed her friend, and entreated her to accept her father in marriage; but the princess said, at the same time weeping bitterly, "Misfortune hath separated me from my family; I know not whether my sisters, my father and my mother, are living, or, if so, what is their condition. How can I be happy or merry, while they are perhaps involved in misery?"

The daughter of the sultan did not refrain from comforting the unfortunate princess, at the same time representing the hopeless condition of her father, till at length she consented to the marriage. This joyful intelligence speedily revived the love-lorn sultan, and the nuptials were celebrated with the utmost joy and magnificence.

The aged sultan and sultana continued to lament the loss of their daughters for some years, when at length the former resolved to travel in search of them, and having left the government in charge of his wife, departed, attended only by his vizier. They both assumed the habit of dervishes, and after a month's uninterrupted travelling reached a large city extending along the sea coast, close upon which the sultan of it had erected a magnificent pleasure house, where the pretended dervishes beheld him sitting in one of the pavilions with his two sons, one six and the other seven years old. They approached, made their obeisance, and uttered a long invocation, agreeably to the usage of the religious, for his prosperity. The sultan returned their compliment, desired them to be seated, and having conversed with them till evening, dismissed them with a present, when they repaired to a caravanserai, and hired an apartment. On the following day, after amusing themselves with viewing the city, they again repaired to the beach, and saw the sultan sitting with his children, as before. While they were admiring the beauty of the structure, the younger prince, impelled by an unaccountable impulse, came up to them, gazed eagerly at them, and when they retired followed them to their lodging, which they did not perceive till he had entered with them and sat down. The old sultan was astonished at the child's behaviour, took him in his arms, kissed and fondled him, after which he desired him to return to his parents, but the boy insisted upon staying, and remained four days, during which the pretended dervishes did not stir from their caravanserai.

The sultan missing his son, supposed that he had gone to his mother, and she imagined that he was still with his father; but on the latter entering the haram the loss was discovered. Messengers were despatched every way, but no tidings of the boy could be obtained. The miserable parents now supposed that he had fallen into the sea and was drowned. Nets were dragged, and divers employed for three days, but in vain. On the fifth day orders were issued to search every house in the city, when the infant prince was at length discovered at the caravanserai in the apartment of the pretended dervishes, who were ignominiously dragged before the sultan.

The sultan was transported with joy at the recovery of his son, but supposing the dervishes had meant to steal him away, he ordered them instantly to be put to death. The executioners seized them, bound their hands behind them, and were going to strike, when the child with loud outcries ran up, and clinging to the knees of the elder victim could not be forced away. The sultan was astonished, and ordering the execution for the present to be delayed, went and informed the mother of the child of his wonderful behaviour.

The sultana, on hearing it, was no less surprised than the sultan, and felt a curiosity to hear from the dervish himself on what account he had enticed away her son. She said, "It is truly extraordinary that the boy should express such affection for a strange dervish. Send for him to your closet, and order him to relate his adventures, to which I will listen from behind a curtain."

The sultan sent for the supposed dervish, and commanding all his attendants to retire, withdrew with him into his closet, and desired him to be seated; after which he said, "Wicked dervish, what could have induced thee to entice away my son, or to visit my kingdom?" He replied, "Heaven knows, O sultan, I did not entice him. The boy followed me to my lodging, when I said, 'My son, return to thy father,' but he would not; and I remained in continual dread till what was decreed occurred." The sultan was softened, spoke kindly to him, and begged him to relate his adventures, when the pretended dervish wept, and said, "My history is a wonderful one. I had a friend whom I left as my agent and guardian to my family, while I was performing a pilgrimage to Mecca; but had scarcely left my house ten days, when accidently seeing my wife he endeavoured to debauch her, and sent an old woman with a rich present to declare his adulterous love. My wife was enraged, and put the infamous messenger to death. He sent a second, and a third, whom she also killed."

These last words were scarcely spoken, when the sultana bursting from her concealment ran up to the dervish, fell upon his neck, and embraced him: upon which, the sultan her husband was enraged, put his hand to his cimeter, and exclaimed, "What means this shameless behaviour?" The sultana, at once laughing and crying with rapture, informed him that the supposed dervish was her father: upon which the sultan also fell at his feet and welcomed him. He then ordered the other dervish his vizier to be released, commanded royal robes to be brought for his father-in-law, and a suite of apartments in the palace to be prepared for his reception, with an attendance befitting his dignity.

When the old sultan had spent some time with his youngest daughter thus happily recovered, he became anxious to search after the others, and signified his intention of departing; but his son-in-law declared that he would accompany him on the expedition with a number of his nobles, and an army, lest some fatal accident might occur from his being unattended. Preparations were accordingly made for march, the two sultans encamped without the city, and in a few days began their expedition, which proved successful to their wishes. The aged monarch having recovered his children retired to his own kingdom, where he reigned prosperously till the angel of death summoned him to Paradise.


In a certain city there was a vagabond fellow much addicted to the use of bang, who got his livelihood by fishing. When he had sold the product of his day's labour, he laid part of it out in provisions and part in bang, with which (his day's, work over) he solaced himself till he became intoxicated, and such was his constant practice. One night, having indulged more than ordinary, his senses were unusually stupefied; and in this, condition he had occasion to come down into the square in which was his lodging. It happened to be the fourteenth night of the moon, when she shone uncommonly bright, and shed such a lustre upon the ground, that the bang-eater from the dizziness of his head mistook the bright undulations of her reflection on the pavement for water, and fancied he was upon the brink of the river. He returned to his chamber, and brought down his line, supposing that he should catch his usual prey.

The bang-eater threw out his line, made of strong cord, and baited on several hooks with bits of flesh, into the square, when a dog, allured by the scent, swallowed one of the pieces, and feeling pain from the hook which stuck in his throat, pulled strongly at the cord. The bang-eater, supposing he had caught a monstrous fish, lugged stoutly, but in vain. The dog, agonized by the hook, resisted; at the same time yelping hideously, when the bang-eater, unwilling to quit his prey, yet fearing he should be dragged into the imaginary river, bellowed aloud for help. The watch came up, seized him, and perceiving him intoxicated, carried him bound to the cauzee.

It happened that the cauzee often privately indulged himself with bang. Seeing the intoxicated situation of the fisherman, he pitied his condition, and ordered him to be put into a chamber to sleep off his disorder; at the same time saying to himself, "This is a man after my own heart, and to-morrow evening I will enjoy myself with him." The fisherman was well taken care of during the day, and at night the cauzee sent for him to his apartment; where, after eating, they took each a powerful dose of bang, which soon operating upon their brains, they began to sing, dance, and commit a thousand extravagancies.

The noise which they made attracted the notice of the sultan, who with his vizier was traversing the city, disguised as merchants. Finding the doors open, they entered, and beheld the cauzee and his companion in the height of their mirth, who welcomed them, and they sat down. At length, after many ridiculous tricks, the fisherman starting up, exclaimed, "I am the sultan!" "And I," rejoined the cauzee, "am my lord the bashaw!" "Bashaw!" continued the fisherman, "if I choose I can strike off thy head." "I know it," returned the cauzee, "but at present I am not worth beheading; give me first a rich government, that I may be worth punishing." "Thou sayest true," answered the fisherman; "I must make thee fat before thou wilt be fit for killing."

The sultan laughed at their extravagancies, and said to his vizier, "I will amuse myself with these vagabonds to-morrow evening:" then rising up, he and his minister departed.

The next evening the cauzee and the fisherman indulged themselves as before, and while they were making merry, the sultan and his vizier entered, but in different disguises from those they had worn on the former night. They brought with them a strong confection of opium, which they presented to their hosts, who, highly delighted, greedily devoured it, and such were the effects that they became madder than ever. At length, the fisherman starting up, exclaimed, "The sultan is deposed, and I am sovereign in his stead." "Suppose the sultan should hear thee," replied the prince. "If he opposes me," cried the fisherman, "I will order my bashaw to strike off his head; but I will now punish thee for thy insolent question." He then ran up and seized the sultan by the nose, the cauzee at the same time attacking the vizier: it was with difficulty that they made their escape from the house.

The sultan, notwithstanding his tweak by the nose, resolved to divert himself further with the bang-eaters, and the next evening putting on a fresh disguise, repaired to the cauzee's house with his vizier; where he found the happy companions in high glee. They had taken it into their heads to dance, which they did with such vehemence, and for so long a time, that at length they fell down with fatigue. When they had rested a little, the fisherman perceiving the sultan, said, "Whence comest thou?" "We are strangers," replied the sultan, "and only reached this city to-night; but on our way through the streets, hearing your mirth, we made bold to enter, that we might participate it with you. Are ye not, however, fearful lest the sultan should hear you on his rounds, and punish you for an infringement of the laws?" "How should the sultan hear us?" answered the fisherman; "he is in his palace, and we in our own house, though, perhaps, much merrier than he, poor fellow, with the cares of state upon his mind, notwithstanding his splendour."

"How comes it," rejoined the sovereign, "that you have not visited the sultan? for you are merry fellows, and I think he would encourage you." "We fear," replied the fisherman, "his guards would beat us away." "Never mind them," said the sultan; "if you choose I will give you a letter of recommendation, which I am sure he will pay attention to, for we were intimate when youths." "Let us have it," cried the fisherman. The sultan wrote a note, directed to himself, and departed.

In the morning the cauzee and the fisherman repaired to the palace, and delivered the note to one of the guards, who, on sight of it, placed it on his head, prostrated himself to the ground, and then introduced them to the sultan. Having read the letter, the sultan commanded them to be led into separate apartments, and to be treated respectfully. At noon a handsome collation was served up to each, and at sunset a full service, after which they were presented with coffee. When about two hours of the night had passed, the sultan ordered them into his presence, and on their making their obeisance returned their salutes, and desired them to be seated, saying, "Where is the person who gave you this letter?"

"Mighty sultan," replied the fisherman, "two men who last night visited our house inquired why we did not repair to your majesty, and partake of your bounty. We replied, that we feared the guards would drive us away; when one of them gave us this note, saying, 'Fear not; take this recommendation to the sultan, with whom in my youth I was intimate.' We followed his direction, and have found his words to be true. We inquired whence they came; but they would not tell us more than that they were strangers in this city." "It is," continued the sultan, "absolutely necessary that you should bring them to my presence, for it is long since I have beheld my old friends." "Permit us then to return home, where they may possibly visit us again," said the fisherman, "and we will oblige them to come with us." "How can you do that," replied the sultan, "when the other evening you could not prevent your guest escaping, though you had him by the nose?"

The poor fisherman, and his companion the cauzee, were now confounded at the discovery that it was the sultan himself who had witnessed their intoxication and ridiculous transports. They trembled, turned pale, and fell prostrate to the ground, crying, "Pardon, pardon, gracious sovereign, for the offences we have committed, and the insult which in our madness we offered to the sacred person of your majesty."

The sultan, after laughing heartily at their distress, replied, "Your pardon is granted, for the insult was involuntary, though deserved, as I was an impertinent intruder on your privacy; make yourselves easy, and sit down; but you must each of you relate to me your adventures, or some story that you have heard." The cauzee and the fisherman, having recovered from their confusion, obeyed the commands of the sultan, and being seated, the latter related the following tale.

Story of the Bang-eater and His Wife.

There lived formerly, near Bagdad, a half-witted fellow, who was much addicted to the use of bang. Being reduced to poverty, he was obliged to sell his stock. One day he went to the market to dispose of a cow; but the animal being in bad order, no one would bid for it, and after waiting till he was weary he returned homewards. On the way he stopped to repose himself under a tree, and tied the cow to one of the branches while he ate some bread, and drank of an infusion of his beloved bang, which he always carried with him. In a short time it began to operate, so as to bereave him of the little sense he possessed, and his head was filled with ridiculous reveries. While he was musing, a magpie beginning to chatter from her nest in the tree, he fancied it was a human voice, and that some woman had asked to purchase his cow: upon which he said, "Reverend mother of Solomon, dost thou wish to buy my cow?" The bird croaked again. "Well," replied he, "what wilt thou give if I will sell her a bargain." The bird repeated her croak. "Never mind," said the foolish fellow, "for though thou hast forgotten to bring thy purse, yet, as I dare say thou art an honest woman, and hast bidden me ten deenars, I will trust thee with the cow, and call on Friday for the money." The bird renewed her croaking, which he fancied to be thanks for his confidence; so leaving the cow tied to the branch of the tree, he returned home exulting in the good bargain he had made for the animal.

When he entered the house, his wife inquired what he had gotten for the cow; to which he replied, that he had sold her to an honest woman named Am Solomon, who had promised to pay him on the next Friday ten pieces of gold. The wife was contented, and when Friday arrived, her idiot of a husband having, as usual, taken a dose of bang, repaired to the tree, and hearing the bird chattering, as before, said, "Well, my good mother, hast thou brought the gold?" The bird croaked. Supposing the imaginary woman refused to pay him, he became angry, and threw up his spade, which frightening the bird, it flew from the nest, and alighted on a heap of soil at some distance. He fancied that Am Solomon had desired him to take his money from the heap, into which he dug with his spade, and found a brazen vessel full of gold coin. This discovery convinced him he was right, and being, notwithstanding his weakness, naturally honest, he only took ten pieces; then replacing the soil, said, "May Allah requite thee for thy punctuality, good mother!" and returned to his wife, to whom he gave the money, informing her at the same time of the great treasure his friend Am Solomon possessed, and where it was concealed. The wife waited till night, when she went and brought away the pot of gold; which her husband observing, said, "It is dishonest to rob one who has paid us so punctually, and if thou dost not return it to its place, I will inform the (walee) officer of police."

The wife laughed at his folly; but fearing the ill consequences of his executing his threat, she planned a stratagem to prevent them. Going to the market, she purchased some broiled meat and fish ready dressed, which she brought privately home, and concealed in the house. At night, the husband having regaled himself with his beloved bang, retired to sleep off his intoxication; but about midnight she strewed the provisions she had brought at the door, and awakening her partner, cried out, in pretended astonishment, "Dear husband, a most wonderful phenomenon has occurred; there has been a violent storm while you slept, and, strange to tell, it has rained pieces of broiled meat and fish, which now lie at the door!" The husband, still in a state of stupefaction from the bang, got up, went to the door, and seeing the provisions, was persuaded of the truth of his wife's story. The fish and flesh were gathered up, and he partook with much glee of the miraculous treat; but he still threatened to inform the walee of her having stolen the treasure of the good old woman Am Solomon.

In the morning the foolish bang-eater actually repaired to the walee, and informed him that his wife had stolen a pot of gold, which she had still in her possession. The walee upon this apprehended the woman, who denied the accusation, when she was threatened with death. She then said, "My lord, the power is in your hands; but I am an injured woman, as you will find by questioning my unfortunate husband; who, alas! is deranged in his intellects. Ask him when I committed the theft." The walee did so; to which he replied, "It was on the evening of that night on which it rained broiled flesh and fish ready dressed." "Wretch!" exclaimed the walee, "dost thou dare to utter falsehoods before me? Who ever saw it rain any thing but water?" "As I hope for life, my lord," replied the bang-eater, "I speak the truth; for my wife and myself ate of the fish and flesh which fell from the clouds." The woman being appealed to, denied the assertion of her husband.

The walee being now convinced that the man was crazy, released his wife, and sent the husband to the madhouse; where he remained some days, till the wife, pitying his condition, contrived to get him released by the following stratagem. She visited her husband, and desired him when any one inquired of him if he had seen it rain flesh and fish, to answer, "No: who ever saw it rain any thing but water?" She then informed the keeper that he was come to his senses, and desired him to put the question. On his answering properly he was released.

The fisherman had not long been in the service of the sultan, when walking one day near the house of a principal merchant, his daughter chanced to look through a window, and the buffoon was so struck with her beauty that he became devoted to love. Daily did he repair to the same spot for weeks together in hopes of once seeing her, but in vain; for she did not again appear at the window. At length, his passion had such an effect upon him that he fell sick, kept his bed, and began to rave, exclaiming, "Ah! what charming eyes, what a beautiful complexion, what a graceful stature has my beloved!" In this situation he was attended by an old woman, who, compassionating his case, desired him to reveal the cause of his uneasiness.

"My dear mother," replied he, "I thank thee for thy kindness; but unless thou canst assist me I must soon die." He then related what he had seen, and described to her the house of the merchant. When she said, "Son, be of good cheer; for no one could so readily have assisted thee in this dilemma as myself. Have patience, and I will speedily return with intelligence of thy beloved." Having spoken thus, she departed, and upon reaching her own house disguised herself as a devotee. Throwing over her shoulders a coarse woollen gown, holding in one hand a long string of beads, in the other a walking staff, she proceeded to the merchant's house, at the gate of which she cried, "God is God, there is no God but God; may his holy name be praised, and may God be with you," in a most devout tone.

The merchant's daughter, on hearing this devout ejaculation, came to the door, saluted the old woman with great respect, and said, "Dear mother, pray for me:" when she exclaimed, "May Allah protect thee, my beloved child, from all injury!" The young lady then introduced her into the house, seated her in the most honourable place, and with her mother sat down by her. They conversed on religious subjects till noon, when the old woman called for water, performed her ablutions, and recited prayers of an unusual length: upon which the mother and daughter remarked to one another that the aged matron must certainly be a most religious character. When prayers were ended, they set a collation before her; but she declined partaking, saying, "I am to day observing a fast." This increased their respect and admiration of her sanctity, so that they requested her to remain with them till sunset, and break her fast with them, to which she consented. At sunset she prayed again, after which she ate a little, and then uttered many pious exhortations. In short, the mother and daughter were so pleased with her, that they invited her to stay all night. In the morning, she rose early, made her ablutions, prayed for a considerable time, and concluded with a blessing upon her entertainers in learned words, which they could not understand. When she rose up, they supported her by the arms respectfully, and entreated her longer stay; but she declined it, and having taken leave, departed; promising, however, with the permission of Allah, to make them soon another visit.

On the second day following, the old woman repaired again to the merchant's house, and was joyfully received by the mother and daughter; who, kissing her hands and feet, welcomed her return. She behaved the same as before, and inspired them with stronger veneration for her sandity. Her visits now grew frequent, and she was always a welcome guest in the merchant's family. At length, one evening she entered, and said, "I have an only daughter, whose espousals are now celebrating, and this night the bride goes in state to her husband's house. My desire is that my good young lady should attend the ceremony, and receive the benefit of my prayers." The mother replied, "I am unwilling to let her go, lest some accident should befall her:" upon which the pretended religious exclaimed, "What canst thou fear, while I and other devout women shall be with her?" The daughter expressing great eagerness to attend the nuptials, her mother at length consented.

When the merchant's daughter had adorned herself in her richest habit, she accompanied the old woman; who, after leading her through several streets, conducted her to the lodging of the late fisherman, but now favourite to the sultan, who was eagerly expecting her arrival. The young lady was astonished on her entrance at beholding a comely looking man; who, she saw, could hardly restrain his raptures at the sight of her. Her first alarm was great at finding herself betrayed into such a snare by the hypocritical beldam; but having naturally much presence of mind, she concealed her fears, and considered how she might escape. She sat down, and after looking round the apartment affected to laugh, saying to the gallant, "It is commonly usual when a lover invites his mistress to his house to have an entertainment prepared; for what is love without the accompaniment of a feast? If you wish, therefore, that I should spend the evening here, go and bring in some good cheer, that our joy may be complete. I will with my good mother wait your return."

The gallant, rejoiced at her commands, exclaimed, "Thou hast spoken truly, and to hear is to obey;" after which, he went towards the market to order a splendid entertainment. When he was gone, the young lady locked the door after him, and thanking the old woman for introducing her to so handsome a lover, threw her off her guard, while she walked about the apartment meditating her escape. At length she found in one corner of it a sharp sabre, and drawing up her sleeve to her elbow, she grasped the weapon, which she struck with such force at her false friend, who was reclining on a sofa, as to cleave the head of the abandoned procuress in two, and she fell down weltering in her blood, to rise no more.

The merchant's daughter now searched the room, and finding a rich dress which the favourite usually wore when he visited the sultan, rolled it up in a bundle, and carrying it under her veil, unlocked the door, and hastened homewards. Luckily she reached her father's house without interruption. Her mother welcomed her with joy; but on perceiving the bundle, said, "My dear daughter, what can have been given thee at the nuptials of a poor religious?" The daughter, whose mind had been over agitated with her late adventure, was not able to answer; her spirits sunk at the recollection of her narrow escape, and she fainted away. The mother shrieked aloud with affright, which brought in her husband and attendants, who used various means for the young lady's recovery; and at length, having regained her senses, she related what had passed. The merchant having cursed the memory of the old woman for her hypocritical deception, comforted his virtuous daughter, and taking up the dress which he knew, and to whom it belonged, hastened to make his complaint to the sultan.

When the sultan had heard the complaint of the merchant, he was enraged against his unworthy favourite, and commanded him to be apprehended; but he could no where be found, for having on his return home seen the old woman weltering in her blood, he guessed what had happened; and apprehensive of being called to an account, putting on a mean disguise, made his escape from the city. Fortunately for him a caravan was just taking its departure, and with it he travelled for five days successively, with a mind tortured by disappointed love, and the fear of discovery. At length the caravan passed the confines of his late master, and encamped before a large city, which he entered, and having hired a room at a caravanserai, he resolved to repose, and seek out for some employment less dangerous than making love, or serving princes.

When he had rested himself for some days, he repaired to a market, where labourers stood to be hired; and had not waited long, when a woman coming up asked if he wanted work, to which he replied in the affirmative. She then said, "Part of the wall round the court of my house is so much decayed, that I must have it taken down and rebuilt, and if thou art willing to undertake the job I will employ thee." On his consenting, she led him to her house, and shewing him the wall, gave him a pick-axe, directing him as he went on to place the stones in one heap and the rubbish in another. He replied, "To hear is to obey." She then brought him some provision and water, when he refreshed himself, and having thanked God that he had escaped, and was able to get his living, began his task, which he continued till sunset. His employer paid him ten pieces of silver for his day's work, and he returned contented to his lodging.

The following morning he again went to labour, and was treated with the same kindness as before. About noon, as he was stocking up the foundation of the wall he found a copper vessel, which upon examination proved to be full of golden coin. He carried the vessel to his lodging, where he counted the money, upwards of a hundred deenars, and returned to his work. As he was coming home in the evening, he saw a crowd following a man who carried upon his head a large chest, which he offered for sale at a hundred deenars, but refused to mention the contents.

The fisherman was seized with an irresistible impulse to purchase the chest, and having a small silver coin of not more value than a silver penny, said to himself, "I will try my fate, possibly it may contain something valuable; but if not, I will disregard the disappointment;" ordered it to be conveyed to his lodging, and paid the price demanded. He then locked his door and opened the chest, when, to his astonishment, he beheld in it a beautiful girl very richly dressed, but apparently lifeless. However, on putting his hand to her mouth, he perceived that she breathed, and was only in a deep sleep, from which he endeavoured to awake her, but in vain. He then took her out of the chest, laid her gently on his carpet, and continued to gaze at her charms; till at length about midnight she awoke, and in an exclamation of alarm and surprise exclaimed, "Gracious Allah, where am I?"

When the lady's first alarm had subsided, she asked the fisherman how he had brought her to his lodging, and on being informed of the circumstances her mind became easy; for he behaved towards her with respectful attention. Concealing for the present her condition and adventures, she said, "This lodging is too mean, on the morrow you must hire a better. Serve me with fidelity, do as I desire, and you shall be amply rewarded." The fisherman, who, cautioned by his last love adventure, was fearful of taking liberties, and awed by her dignified demeanour, made a profound obeisance, and professed himself her slave. He set before her the best refreshments he could procure, and when she had supped left her, and retired to sleep in a separate chamber.

Early the next morning he went and hired a decent house, to which he conveyed her in a covered litter, and did not cease to attend upon her in all her commands for twenty days, she supplying him with money to purchase necessaries.

It is proper now to mention, that the lady bought by the fisherman in the chest was the favourite mistress of the sultan: having deserted for her all his other women, they had become envious; but the sultana, who, before the arrival of Koout al Koolloob (for such was her name) had presided over the haram, was more mortified than the rest, and had resolved to effect her removal. For this a favourable opportunity soon occurred, owing to the sultan's departure for twenty days upon a hunting excursion. In a day or two after his absence, the sultana invited Koout al Koolloob to an entertainment, and having mixed a strong soporific in some sherbet, presented it her to drink. The effect of the potion was instantaneous, and she sunk into a trance; when the sultana putting her into the chest, commanded it to be given to a broker, and sold without examination of the contents, for a hundred deenars; hoping, that whoever might be the purchaser, he would be so fascinated with the charms of the beautiful Koout al Koolloob, as to enjoy his good fortune in secrecy; and that she should thus get rid of a rival without the crime of assassination.

When the sultan returned from his excursion, immediately on entering the palace he inquired for his favourite; when the sultana entering with affected sadness, said, "Alas! my lord, the beautiful and affectionate Koout al Koolloob, unable to bear the pangs of absence, three days after your departure fell sick, and having lingered for seven days, was gathered to the mercy of the Almighty." The sultan, on hearing this, burst into an agony of grief, and exclaimed, "There is no asylum or refuge but with God; from God we came, and to God we must return." He was overcome with affliction, and remained the whole night involved in melancholy. In the morning he sent for his vizier, and commanded him to look out for a spot on the bank of the river for the erection of a building in which he might sit retired, and meditate on his beloved Koout al Koolloob.

The vizier replied, "To hear is to obey;" and taking with him an architect, fixed upon a pleasant spot, on which he ordered him to mark out a space of ninety yards in length and seventy in breadth for the intended building. The necessary materials, of stone and marbles, were soon collected, and the work was begun upon; which the minister for two days superintended in person. On the third the sultan came to view the progress. He approved of the plan, and said, "It is truly beautiful; but, alas! only worthy of the residence of Koout al Koolloob;" after which he wept bitterly. Seeing the distress of the sultan, his vizier said, "My lord, be resigned under distress; for the wise have written, 'Be moderate when prosperity occurs, and when calamity afflicts thee exercise patience.'"

The sultan replied, "It is true, O vizier, that resignation is praiseworthy, and impatience blamable; for a poet has justly said, 'Be calm under adversity; for calmness can alone extricate from danger.' To affliction joy often succeeds, and after trouble we generally enjoy repose; but, alas! human nature cannot divest itself of feeling; and Koout al Koolloob was so dear to me, and so delighted my soul, that I dread I shall never find another mistress her equal in beauty and accomplishments." The vizier consoled his master, and at length prevailed upon him to submit to his misfortune with some degree of resignation.

The sultan and vizier daily repaired to view the progress of the new edifice, the report of which had spread through the city, and at length reached Koout al Koolloob, who said to the fisherman, "We are every day expending our money, and getting nothing: suppose, therefore, you seek employment in the building which the sultan is erecting. Report says that he is liberal, so that possibly advantage may accrue." The fisherman replied, "My dear mistress, how shall I bear the least absence from you?" for he loved her, and she perceiving it, often dreaded that he would have made advances; but the remembrance of what he had endured from the conduct of the merchant's daughter had made him cautious. She replied, "Dost thou really love me?" "Canst thou doubt it?" answered he; "thou art my life, and the light of my eyes!" "If so," exclaimed she, "take this necklace, and when you think of me as you are working, look at it, and it will console you till your return home."

The fisherman obeyed the commands of Koout al Koolloob, repaired to the spot where the edifice was erecting, and beheld the sultan and vizier observing the workmen. The former inquired if he wanted employment, to which he replied in the affirmative, and was hired. He began his labour; but so much was his mind engaged with his mistress, that every now and then, dropping his implements, he drew out the necklace, and looking upon it heaved a deep sigh, which the sultan observing, said to his vizier, "This man, perchance, is more unhappy than myself; let us call him to us, and inquire into his circumstances." The vizier brought him to the presence, and desired him to tell honestly why he had sighed so deeply. "Alas!" replied he, "I am absent from my beloved, who gave me this necklace to look at whenever I might think upon her; and my mind is so taken up with her, that I cannot help laying down my tools, and admiring it constantly."

When the sultan saw the necklace, he recollected that it was one which he had purchased for Koout al Koolloob for a thousand deenars. He concealed his agitation, and said, "To whom does this necklace belong?" "To my slave," replied the labourer, "whom I purchased for a hundred deenars." "Canst thou admit us to thy lodging," rejoined the sultan, "that we may see her?" "I dread," answered the labourer, "that her modesty may be offended; but I will consult her, and if she assents, I will invite you to my lodging." "That is but just," said the sultan, "and no more than what is proper."

The labourer at sunset returned home, and informed Koout al Koolloob of his adventure, when she desired him on the morrow to purchase what was requisite for a decent entertainment, at the same time giving him five deenars. In the morning he bought what she had desired, and going to his work, informed the sultan and vizier that they were welcome to his homely fare, and to see his slave; or rather, said he, "My divinity, for as such I have at humble distance adored her."

The sultan and vizier accompanied the labourer to his house where they were astonished to find prepared an elegant collation, of which they partook; after which they drank sherbet and coffee. The sultan then desired to see his slave, who just made her appearance, but retired immediately. However, the sultan knew her; and said to the labourer, "Wilt thou dispose of this damsel?" "I cannot, my lord," replied the labourer, "for my soul is wholly occupied with her love, though as yet unreturned." "May thy love be rewarded!" exclaimed the sultan; "but bring her with thee at sunset to the palace." "To hear is to obey," replied the labourer.

At sunset the labourer conducted his slave to the palace, when the eunuchs attended, and would have led her into the haram; but he clung round her, and exclaimed, "She is my beloved, and I cannot part with her." Upon this the sultan related the circumstances of his having lost her; and requested him to give her up. Knowing that he durst not oppose the sovereign, he submitted to his commands with resignation, when the sultan presented him with fifteen hundred deenars, and a beautiful slave, also a rich dress, at the same time receiving him among the most distinguished of his officers. So well did he conduct himself in his new station, that in a short time he was promoted to the rank of prime minister, and fulfilled the duties of it with such ability and integrity, that he became celebrated by the title of the Just Vizier.

Such was the celebrity of the vizier's decisions, that in a short time appeals were made from the most distant provinces to his judgment. One of the most remarkable cases was the following. Two women belonging to one man conceived on the same day, and were delivered, one of a boy, the other of a girl, at the same time, and in one apartment. The female infant died, when each laid claim to the male child. The magistrates, unable to decide between the mothers, referred the decision to the just vizier; who, on hearing the circumstances, commanded two eggs to be brought, and the contents to be drawn out without breaking the shells; after which he ordered them to be filled with milk from the breast of each woman. This being done, he placed the shells in separate scales, and finding one outweigh the other, declared that she whose milk was heaviest must be the mother of the male child; but the other woman was not satisfied with this decision, and still affirmed she was the mother of the boy.

The vizier, vexed at her obstinacy, now commanded the infant to be cut in two; when she, whom he had said was the mother, fell into agonies, and besought its life; but the other was unmoved, and assented to the death of the child. He then ordered her to be severely punished, and committed the boy to its afflicted mother. On being asked on what proofs he had grounded his decision, he replied, "On two: the first, because the milk of a woman having produced a male child is always heavier than that of the mother of a female infant: the second, because the pretended mother consented to the boy's death; and I supposed it impossible for a woman to agree to the destruction of her offspring, which is a part of herself."


There was a sultan, who one evening being somewhat low-spirited, sent for his vizier, and said, "I know not the cause, but my mind is uneasy, and I want something to divert it." "If so," replied the vizier, "I have a friend, named Mhamood al Hyjemmee, a celebrated traveller, who has witnessed many wonderful occurrences, and can relate a variety of astonishing narratives. Shall I send for him to the presence?" "By all means," answered the sultan, "that I may hear his relations." The minister departed, and informed his friend that the sultan desired to see him. "To hear is to obey," replied Mhamood, and hastened with the vizier to the palace.

When they had entered the palace, Mhamood made the obeisance usual to the caliphs, and uttered a poetical invocation for the prosperity of the sultan, who returned his salute; and after desiring him to be seated, said, "Mhamood, my mind is uneasy, and as I hear you are acquainted with many curious events, I wish you to relate some of them to amuse me." Mhamood replied, "To hear is to obey;" and thus began an adventure of his own.

The Koord Robber.

Some years ago I took a journey from my own country to the land of Yemen, accompanied by a slave, who was a lad of much ready wit, and who carried a wallet containing a few necessaries. As we were entering a town, a rascally koord snatched the wallet from his hands, and asserted that it was his own, which we had stolen from him: upon which, I called out to some passengers to assist me in the recovery of my property, and they helped me to carry the sharper before the cauzee, to whom I complained of his assault. The magistrate asked the koord what he had to allege in his defence; to which he replied, "My lord, I lost this wallet some days since, and found it in possession of the complainant, who pretends that it is his own, and will not resign it." "If it be thine," rejoined the cauzee, "describe to me what it contains, when I shall be satisfied that thou speakest the truth."

The koord assented, and with a loud voice cried out, "In this wallet, my lord, are two chests, in which are collyrium for the eyes, a number of rich napkins, drinking vessels of gold, lamps, cooking utensils, dishes, basins, and ewers; also bales of merchandize, jewels, gold, silks, and other precious articles, with a variety of wearing apparel, carpets, cushions, eating cloths, and other things too tedious to enumerate; besides, I can bring a number of my brother koords to testify to the truth of what I have said, and that the wallet is mine."

When the koord had finished, the cauzee smiled, and asked me and my slave what we could describe to be in the wallet: upon which, my slave said, "My lord, there is nothing in it of what the koord has mentioned, for it contains only both worlds, with all their lands, seas, cities, habitations, men, animals, and productions of every kind." The cauzee laughed, and turning to the koord, said, "Friend, thou hast heard what has past; what further canst thou say?" "The bag is mine," continued the koord: upon which, the cauzee ordered it to be emptied; when, lo! there were found in it some cakes of bread, a few limes, a little pepper, and a cruet of oil. Seeing this, the koord exclaimed, "Pardon me, my lord the cauzee, I have been mistaken, the wallet is not mine; but I must away and search for the thief who has stolen my valuable property." Having said this, he ran off, leaving the cauzee, myself, and the spectators bursting with laughter at his impudent knavery.

The sultan was much diverted with the relation of Mhamood, and requested him to relate another story, which he did as follows.

Story of the Husbandman.

A certain husbandman having reared some choice vegetables and fruits earlier than usual, resolved to present them to the sultan, in hopes of receiving a handsome present. He accordingly loaded his ass and set off for the capital, on the road to which he met the sultan, whom he had never before seen; and who being on a hunting excursion had separated from his attendants. The sultan inquired where he was going, and what he carried. "I am repairing," said the husbandman, "to our lord the sultan, in hopes that he will reward me with a handsome price for my fruits and vegetables, which I have reared earlier than usual." "What dost thou mean to ask him?" replied the sultan. "A thousand deenars," answered the husbandman; "which if he refuses to give, I will demand five hundred; should he think that sum too much, I will come down to two hundred; and if he declines to give so much, I will ask thirty deenars, from which price I will not depart."

The sultan now left the husbandman, and hastening to the city, entered the palace, where the latter soon after arrived with his fruits, and was introduced to the presence. Having made his obeisance, the sultan returning his salute, said, "Father, what hast thou brought with thee?" "Fruits, reared earlier than usual," answered the husbandman: to which the sultan replied, "They are acceptable," and uncovering them, sent a part by the eunuchs into his haram, and distributed the rest to his courtiers, excepting a few which he ate himself, talking all the while to the countryman, whose sensible remarks gave him much pleasure. He presented him with two hundred deenars, and the ladies of the haram sent him a present of half that sum. The sultan then desired him to return home, give the money to his family, and come back with speed, as he wished to enjoy his conversation. The husbandman having replied, "To hear is to obey," blessed the sultan for his bounty, and hastening home gave the deenars to his wife, informing her that he was invited to spend the evening at court, and took his leave. It was sunset when he arrived at the palace, and the sultan being at his evening meal invited him to partake. When they were satisfied, they performed their ablutions, and having said the evening prayer, and read a portion of the Koraun, the sultan, desiring him to be seated, commanded the husbandman to relate him some narrative. The husbandman being seated, thus began.

Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird.

It has been lately related that there was formerly a sovereign of the East who had three sons, the eldest of whom had heard some traveller describe a particular country where there was a bird called Bulbul al Syach, who transformed any passenger who came near him into stone. The prince resolved to see this wonderful bird; and requested leave to travel from his father, who endeavoured in vain to divert him from his purpose. He took leave, and on his departure, pulling off a ring set with a magical gem, gave it to his second brother, saying, "Whenever you perceive this ring press hard upon your finger, be assured that I am lost beyond recovery." Having begun his journey, he did not cease travelling till he reached the spot where was the bird's cage, in which it used to pass the night, but in the daytime it flew about for exercise and food.

It was the custom of the bird to return about sunset to the cage; when, if it perceived any person near, it would cry out in a plaintive tone, "Who will say to a poor wanderer, Lodge? who will say to an unhappy Bulbul, Lodge?" and if the person replied, "Lodge, poor bird!" it immediately hovered over his head, and scattering upon him some earth from its bill, the person became transformed into a stone. Such proved the fate of the unfortunate prince.

The transformation of the eldest prince had no sooner taken place than the ring pressed hard upon the finger of the second, who exclaimed, "Alas! alas! my brother is lost; but I will travel, and endeavour to find out his condition." It was in vain that the sultan his father, and the sultana his mother, remonstrated. He departed after he had delivered the magical ring to his younger brother, and journeyed till he reached the cage of the bird; who having ensnared him to pronounce the word lodge, scattered some earth upon his head, when he, also, immediately became transformed into stone.

At this instant the youngest prince was sitting at a banquet with his father; when the ring pressed so hard to his finger, as to put him to much pain. He rose up, and exclaimed, "There is no refuge or asylum but with God; for his we are, and to him we must return." The sultan, upon this, inquired the cause of his grief; when he said, "My brother has perished."

The old sultan was loudly lamenting the loss of his two children, when the youngest continued, "I will travel and learn the fate of my brothers." "Alas!" said the father, "is it not enough that I have lost them, but thou also wilt rush into destruction? I entreat thee not to leave me." "Father," replied the prince, "fate impels me to search for my brothers, whom, perhaps, I may recover; but if I fail, I shall only have done my duty." Having said this, he departed, in spite of the tears and lamentations of his parents, and travelled till he had reached the residence of the bird; where he found his brothers transformed into images of stone. At sunset the bird began its usual tone; but the prince suspecting some deceit, forbore to speak, till at length the Bulbul retired to his cage, and fell asleep; when watching the opportunity, the prince darted upon it, and fastened the door. The bird awoke at the noise, and seeing himself caught, said, "Thou hast won the prize, O glorious son of a mighty sultan!" "If so," exclaimed the prince, "inform me by what means thou hast enchanted so many persons as I see around me changed into images of marble, and how I may release them from their unhappy state." "Behold," replied the bird, "yonder two heaps of earth, one white and the other blue. The blue enchants, and the other will recover from transformation."

The prince immediately took up handfuls of the white earth, and scattering it over the numerous images, they instantly became animated and restored to all their functions. He embraced his two brothers, and received their thanks; also those of the sons of many sultans, bashaws, and great personages, for giving them new life. They informed him that near the spot was a city, all the inhabitants of which had been, like them, transformed into stone. To this he repaired, and having relieved them from their enchantment, the people out of gratitude made him rich presents, and would have chosen him for their sovereign, but he declined their offer, and resolved to conduct his brothers in safety to their father.

The two elder princes, notwithstanding they owed the restoration of their lives to their brother, became envious of the valuable presents he had received, and of the fame he would acquire at home for his achievement. They said to one another, "When we reach the capital the people will applaud him, and say, 'Lo! the two elder brothers have been rescued from destruction by the youngest.'"

The youngest prince being supplied with horses, camels, and carriages, for himself and companions, began his march homewards, and proceeded by easy stages towards the capital of his father; within one day's journey of which was a reservoir of water lined with marble. On the brink of this he ordered his tents to be pitched, resolving to pass the night and enjoy himself in feasting with his brothers. An elegant entertainment was prepared, and he sat with them till it was time to repose; when they retired to their tents, and he lay down to sleep, having on his finger a ring, which he had found in the cage of the Bulbul.

The envious brothers thinking this a fit opportunity to destroy their generous preserver, arose in the dead of night, and taking up the prince, cast him into the reservoir, and escaped to their tents undiscovered. In the morning they issued orders of march, the tents were struck, and the camels loaded; but the attendants missing the youngest prince, inquired after him; to which the brothers replied, that being asleep in his tent, they were unwilling to disturb him. This satisfied them, and having pursued their march they reached the capital of their father, who was overjoyed at their return, and admired the beauty of the Bulbul, which they had carried with them; but he inquired with eagerness what was become of their brother.

The brothers replied, "We know nothing of him, and did not till now hear of his departure in search of the bird, which we have brought with us." The sultan dearly loved his youngest son; and on hearing that his brothers had not seen him, beat his hands together, exclaiming, "Alas! alas! there is no refuge or asylum but with the Almighty, from whom we came, and to whom we must return."

We must now return to the youngest brother. When he was cast into the reservoir he awoke, and finding himself in danger, exclaimed, "I seek deliverance from that God who relieveth his servants from the snares of the wicked." His prayer was heard, and he reached the bottom of the reservoir unhurt; where he seated himself on a ledge, when he heard persons talking. One said to another, "Some son of man is near." "Yes," replied the other, "he is the youngest son of our virtuous sultan; who, after having delivered his two brothers from enchantment, hath been treacherously cast into this reservoir." "Well," answered the first voice, "he may easily escape, for he has a ring upon his finger, which if he will rub a genie will appear to him and perform whatever he may command."

The prince no sooner heard these words than he rubbed his hand over the ring, when a good genie appearing, said, "Prince, what are thy commands?"

"I command," replied the prince, "that thou instantly prepare me tents, camels, domestics, guards, and every thing suitable to my condition." "All is ready," answered the genie; who, at the same instant taking him from the ledge, conducted him into a splendid encampment, where the troops received him with acclamations. He ordered signals of march to be sounded, and proceeded towards the capital of his father. When he had arrived near the city, he commanded his tents to be pitched on the plain. Immediately his orders were obeyed, the tents were raised (a most magnificent one for himself), before which the servants raised a gorgeous awning, and sprinkled water to lay the dust. The cooks lighted their fires, and a great smoke ascended, which filled the plain.

The inhabitants of the city were astonished at the approach of the army, and when they saw the encampment pitched, supposed it to be that of a powerful enemy preparing for assaulting them. Intelligence of this unexpected host was conveyed to the sultan; who, on hearing it, instead of alarm, felt a pleasure which he could not account for, and said, "Gracious Allah! my heart is filled with delight; but why I know not." Immediately he commanded his suite to attend, and repaired to the encampment of his son, to whom he was introduced; but the prince being habited very richly, and differently from what he had seen him in, was not known by the sultan.

The prince received his father with the honours due to his rank, and when they were seated, and had entered into conversation, said, "What is become of thy youngest son?" The words were scarcely uttered, when the old sultan fell fainting to the earth. On his recovery, he exclaimed, "Alas! my son's imprudence led him to travel, and he has fallen a prey to the beasts of the forest." "Be comforted," replied the prince; "the disasters of fortune have not reached thy son, for he is alive and in health." "Is it possible?" cried the sultan; "ah! tell me where I shall find him!" "He is before thee," replied the prince: upon which, the sultan looking more closely, knew him, fell upon his neck, wept, and sunk to the earth overpowered with ecstacy.

When the sultan had recovered, he desired his son to relate his adventures, which he did from first to last. Just as he had finished the elder brothers arrived, and seeing him in such splendour, hung down their heads, abashed and unable to speak; but yet more envious than ever. The old sultan would have put them to death for their treachery, but the youngest prince said, "Let us leave them to the Almighty, for whoever commits sin will meet its punishment in himself."

When the husbandman had concluded the above story, the sultan was so highly pleased that he presented him with a large sum of money, and a beautiful slave, inquiring at the same time if he could divert him with another story, to which he replied in the affirmative.

On another night, when the sultan and the countryman had sat down to converse, the former desired him to relate some ancient story, when the latter began as follows.

Story of a Sultan of Yemen and his three Sons.

It has been related, that in the kingdom of Yemen there was a sultan who had three sons, two of whom were born of the same mother, and the third of another wife, with whom becoming disgusted from some caprice, and having degraded her to the station of a domestic, he suffered her and her son to live unnoticed among the servants of the haram. The two former, one day, addressed their father, requesting his permission to hunt: upon which he presented them each with a horse of true blood, richly caparisoned, and ordered proper domestics to attend them to the chase.

When they had departed, the unfortunate youngest brother repaired to his unhappy mother, and expressed his wishes to enjoy, like the elder princes, the pleasures of the field. "My son," replied she, "it is not in my power to procure thee a horse or other necessaries." Upon this he wept bitterly; when she gave him some of her silver ornaments, which he took, and having sold them, with the price purchased a foundered steed. Having mounted it, and provided himself with some bread, he followed the track of his brothers for two days, but on the third lost his way. After wandering two days more he beheld upon the plain a string of emeralds and pearls, which shone with great lustre. Having taken it up, he wreathed it round his turban, and returned homewards exulting in his prize; but when he had arrived near the city his brothers met him, pulled him from his horse, beat him, and forced it from him. He excelled them both in prowess and vigour, but he was fearful of the sultan's displeasure, and his mother's safety, should he punish his insulters. He therefore submitted to the indignity and loss, and retired.

The two cowardly princes entered the palace, and presented the string of jewels to the sultan; who, after admiring it, said, "I shall not rest satisfied till the bird arrives to whom this certainly must have belonged:" upon which the brothers replied, "We will travel in search of it, and bring it to our august father and sultan."

Preparations being made, the brothers departed, and the youngest prince having mounted his lame steed followed them. After three days' journey he reached an arid desert, which having passed over by great exertion, he arrived almost exhausted at a city; which on entering he found resounding with the shrieks of lamentation and woe. At length he met with a venerable old man, to whom having made a respectful salute, he inquired of him the cause of such universal mourning. "My son," replied the old man, "on a certain day during the last forty-three years, a terrible monster has appeared before our city, demanding a beautiful virgin to be delivered up to him, threatening to destroy it in case of refusal. Unable to defend ourselves, we have complied with his demand, and the damsels of the city have drawn lots for the dreadful sacrifice; but this year the chance has fallen upon the beautiful daughter of our sultan. This is the day of the monster's usual arrival, and we are involved in universal lamentation for her unhappy fate."

When the young prince heard the above, he, under the direction of the old man, repaired to the place of the monster's resort, resolved to conquer him or die. Scarcely had he reached it, when the princess approached it, splendidly habited, but with a dejected head, and drowned in tears. He made a respectful salute, which she returned, saying, "Hasten, young man, from this spot, for a monster will soon appear, to whom, by my unhappy fate, I am destined. Should he discover thee, he will tear thee in pieces." "Princess," replied he, "I know the circumstance, and am resolved to become a ransom for thy beauty."

The prince had hardly uttered these words, when a column of dust arose; from which with dreadful howlings and fury the monster issued, lashing his gigantic sides with his thick tail. The princess shrieked, and wept in the agonies of fear; but the prince drawing his sabre, put himself in the way of the savage monster; who, enraged, snorted fire from his wide nostrils, and made a spring at the prince. The gallant youth with wonderful agility evaded his talons, and darting from side to side of the monster, watched his opportunity, till rushing upon him, he cleft his head asunder just between his eyes, when the huge creature fell down and growled his last in a tremendous roar.

The princess, on seeing the monster expire, ran to her deliverer, wiped the dust and sweat from his face with her veil, uttering grateful thanks, to which he replied, "Return to thy lamenting parents;" but she would not, and said, "My lord, and light of my eyes, thou must be mine and I thine." "That is perhaps impossible," rejoined the prince; and hastening from her, he returned to the city, where he took up his lodging in an obscure corner. She now repaired to the palace. On her entrance, the sultan and her mother were astonished, and inquired in alarm the cause of her return; fearing that she had escaped from the monster, who would in revenge destroy the city.

The princess related the story of her deliverance by a handsome youth: upon which, the sultan, with his attendants, and most of the inhabitants of the place, repaired to view the monster, whom they found extended dead on the earth. The whole city was now filled with grateful thanksgivings and universal rejoicing. The sultan, eager to shew his gratitude to the gallant youth, said to the princess, "Shouldst thou know thy deliverer wert thou to see him again?" "Certainly!" replied she; for love had impressed his image on her mind too strongly to be ever erased.

The sultan, upon this, issued a proclamation, commanding every male in the city to pass under the windows of his daughter's apartment; which was done successively for three days; but she did not recognize her beloved champion. The sultan then inquired if all the men of the city had obeyed his commands, and was informed that all had done so, except a young man at a certain serai, who was a foreigner, and therefore had not attended. The sultan ordered him to appear; and he had no sooner approached the window than the princess threw down upon his head an embroidered handkerchief, exclaiming, "This is our deliverer from the fangs of the monster."

The sultan now ordered the young prince to be introduced to his presence, to which he advanced, making the obeisances customary to royal personages in a graceful manner. "Art thou the destroyer of the monster?" exclaimed the sultan. "I am," answered the prince. "Tell me how I can reward thee?" replied the sultan. "My request to God and your majesty," answered the prince, "is, that the princess thy daughter may be given me in marriage." "Rather ask me a portion of my treasures," rejoined the sultan. Upon this, the officers of the court observed, that as he had saved the princess from death, he was worthy of her; and the sultan at length consenting, the marriage knot was tied. The young prince received his bride, and the nuptials were consummated. Towards the close of night he arose, and having taken off her ring, put his own in its room on her finger, and wrote upon the palm of her hand, "I am called Alla ad Deen, the son of a potent sultan, who rules in Yemen; if thou canst come to me there, well; otherwise remain with thy father."

When the prince had done as above related, he left his bride asleep, and quitting the palace and city, pursued his travels; during which he married another wife, whom he had saved from an elephant in a similar way: he left her in the same manner as the first.

When the prince had left his second wife, he proceeded in search of the bird to whom the string of emeralds and pearls had belonged, and at length reached the city of its mistress, who was daughter to the sultan, a very powerful monarch. Having entered the capital, he walked through several streets, till at last he perceived a venerable old man, whose age seemed to be, at least, that of a hundred years, sitting alone. He approached him, and having paid his respects, sat down, and entering into conversation, at length said, "Canst thou, my uncle, afford me any information respecting a bird, whose chain is composed of pearls and emeralds, or of its mistress?"

The old man remained silent, involved in thought, for some instants; after which, he said, "My son, many sultans and princes have wished to attain this bird and the princess, but failed in the attempt; however, do thou procure seven lambs, kill them, flay and cut them up into halves. In the palace are eight courts, at the gates of seven of which are placed two hungry lions; and in the latter, where the princess resides, are stationed forty slaves. Go, and try thy fortune."

The prince having thanked the old man, took his leave, procured the lambs, cut them up as directed, and towards midnight, when the step of man had ceased from passing, repaired to the first gate of the palace, before which he beheld two monstrous lions, their eyes flaming like the mouth of a lighted oven. He cast before each half a lamb, and while they were devouring it passed on. By the same stratagem he arrived safely into the eighth court: at the gate of which lay the forty slaves sunk in profound sleep. He entered cautiously, and beheld the princess in a magnificent hall, reposing on a splendid bed; near which hung her bird in a cage of gold wire strung with valuable jewels. He approached gently, and wrote upon the palm of her hand, "I am Alla ad Deen, son of a sultan of Yemen. I have seen thee sleeping, and taken away thy bird. Shouldst thou love me, or wish to recover thy favourite, come to my father's capital." He then departed from the palace, and having reached the plain, stopped to repose till morning.

The prince being refreshed, at day-light having invoked Allah to protect him from discovery, travelled till sunset, when he discovered an Arab encampment, to which he repaired and requested shelter. His petition was readily attended to by the chief; who seeing him in possession of the bird, which he knew, said to himself, "This young man must be a favourite of heaven, or he could not have obtained a prize for which so many potent sultans, princes, and viziers, have vainly fallen sacrifices." He entertained him with hospitality, but asked no questions, and in the morning dismissed him with prayers for his welfare, and a present of a beautiful horse. Alla ad Deen having thanked his generous host took leave, and proceeded unceasingly till he arrived within sight of his father's capital. On the plain he was again overtaken by his two brothers, returning from their unsuccessful expedition, who seeing the bird and splendid cage in his possession, dragged him suddenly from his horse, beat him cruelly, and left him. They entered the city, and presenting the cage to their father, framed an artful tale of danger and escapes that they had undergone in procuring it; on hearing which, the sultan loaded them with caresses and praises, while the unfortunate Alla ad Deen retired bruised and melancholy to his unhappy mother.

The young prince informed his mother of his adventures, complained heavily of his loss, and expressed his resolves to be revenged upon his envious brothers. She comforted him, entreated him to be patient, and wait for the dispensations of Allah; who, in proper season, would shew his power in the revealment of justice. We now return to the princess who had lost her bird.

When she awoke in the morning, and missed her bird, she was alarmed; but on perceiving what was written upon her palm still more so. She shrieked aloud; her attendants ran in, and finding her in a frantic state, informed the sultan; who, anxious for her safety, hastened to the apartment. The princess being somewhat recovered, related the loss of her bird, shewed the writing on her hand, and declared that she would marry no one but him who had seen her asleep. The sultan finding remonstrances vain, agreed to accompany his daughter in search of the prince, and issued orders for his army to prepare for a march to Yemen.

When the troops were assembled, the sultan conducted his daughter to the camp, and on the day following marched; the princess with her ladies being conveyed in magnificent equipages. No halt was made till the army arrived near the city, where Alia ad Deen had delivered the daughter of its sultan by killing the elephant. A friendly ambassador being dispatched to request permission to encamp and purchase a supply of provisions, he was honourably received, and the sultan of the city proceeded in great pomp to visit his brother monarch, who then informed him of the object of his expedition. This convinced the other sultan that the stealer of the bird must also have been the deliverer of his daughter, and he resolved to join in the search. Accordingly, after three days of splendid entertainments and rejoicings, the two sultans, with the two princesses, and their united forces, moved towards Yemen. Their route lay through the capital, the daughter of whose sultan Alla ad Deen had saved from the fangs of the savage monster.

On the arrival of the allies at this city an explanation similar to the last took place, and the third sultan resolved to accompany them in search of the husband of his daughter, who readily agreed to join the other princesses. They marched; and on the route the princess who had lost her bird was fully informed by the others of the beauty, prowess, and manly vigour of Alla ad Deen; which involved her more than ever in anxious impatience to meet him. At length, by continued and uninterrupted movements, the three sultans reached Yemen, and pitched their encampments about sunset on a verdant plain well watered, near the capital.

It was with much dread and apprehension that the sultan of Yemen beheld such a numerous host encamped so near his residence; but he concealed his fears, and gave proper orders for securing it from surprise during the night. With the morning his alarms were removed, as the allied sultans dispatched an ambassador with rich presents, assurances that they had no hostile intentions, and a request that he would honour them by a visit to their camp, and furnish it with supplies. The sultan complied with the invitation, and the suite being prepared, he proceeded, attended by all his courtiers in the highest magnificence, to the encampment; where he was received with due honours. At the outposts the three sultans met him, and after the usual greetings of ceremony conducted him to a splendid tent made of crimson velvet, the fringes and ropes of which were composed of gold threads, the pins of solid silver, and the lining of the richest silver tissue, embroidered with flowers of raised work in silks of all colours, intermixed with foils and gold. It was covered with superb carpets, and at the upper end on a platform spread with gold brocade were placed four stools, the coverings of which, and the cushions, were magnificent beyond description, being made of Persian velvet, fringed and flowered with costly pearls.

When the four sultans were seated, and some conversation had taken place, in which the latter was informed of the occasion of the others having marched into his country, the cloth was spread, and a magnificent entertainment served up in dishes of agate, crystal, and gold. The basins and ewers for washing were of pure gold set with jewels. Such was the richness of every thing, that the sultan with difficulty refrained from shewing his surprise, and inwardly exclaimed, "By Allah, till now I never have beheld such a profusion of splendour, elegance, and valuable furniture!" When the meal was ended, coffee, various sorts of confections, and sherbets were brought in; after which the company conversed. The three sultans inquired of their royal guest if he had any children, to which he replied that he had two sons.

The sultans then requested that he would send for them: upon which, their father dispatched a messenger to summon them to his presence. They repaired to the camp, mounted on chargers richly caparisoned, and most splendidly dressed. On their entering the tent, the princesses, who were seated in a recess concealed from view by blinds of gold wire, gazed eagerly at them; and she who had lost her bird inquired of the other two if either of them was their husband. They replied in the negative, remarking that he was of personal beauty, and dignified appearance, far superior to these princes. The three sultans, also, questioned their daughters on the subject, and received similar answers.

The sultans, upon this, inquired of the father of the princes if he had any other sons; to which he replied that he had one; but that he had long rejected him, and also his mother, from notice; and that they lived among the domestics of the palace. The sultans entreated to see him, and he was introduced, but in a mean habit. The two princesses whom he had delivered from the monsters and married immediately recognized him, and exclaimed together, "This is truly our beloved husband!" He was then embraced by the sultans, and admitted to his wives; who fell upon his neck in transports of joy and rapture, kissing him between his eyes, while the princess who had lost the bird prostrated herself before him, covered with a veil, and kissed his hand.

After this scene the young prince returned to his father, and the other sultans, who received him respectfully, and seated him by them, at which the father was astonished; but more so, when, turning to his brothers, he addressed them, saying, "Which of you first found the string of emeralds and pearls?" To this they made no reply: when he continued, "Who of you killed the monster, destroyed the elephant, or, fortifying his mind, dared to enter the palace of this sultan, and bring away the cage with the bird? When you both, coward-like, rushed upon me, robbed me of my prizes, and wounded me, I could easily have overcome you; but I felt that there was a season appointed by Providence for justice upon you and my wretched father, who rejected my mother and myself, depriving us of our just claims." Having thus spoken, he drew his sabre, and rushing upon the two guilty princes struck them dead, each at one blow. He would, in his rage, have attacked his father; but the sultans prevented him, and having reconciled them, the old sultan promised to leave him his heir, and to restore his mother to her former rank and consequence. His nuptials with the third princess were then celebrated; and their fathers, after participating for forty days in the magnificent entertainments given on the occasion, took leave, and returned to their several kingdoms. The old sultan finding himself, from age, incapable of the cares of government, resigned the throne to his son, whose authority was gladly submitted to by the people, who admired his prowess and gallantry.

Some time after his accession to the kingdom, attended only by some select courtiers, and without the cumbrous appendages of royalty, he left his capital upon a hunting excursion. In the course of the sport, passing over a desert plain, he came to a spot where was the opening of a cave, into which he entered, and observed domestic utensils and other marks of its being inhabited; but no one was then within it.

The curiosity of the sultan being excited, he resolved to wait until the owners of the cave should appear, and cautioned his attendants not to mention his rank. He had not sat long, when a man was seen advancing with a load of provisions and two skins of water. On his coming to the mouth of the cave, the sultan addressed him, saying, "Whence comest thou, where art thou going, and what dost thou carry?" "I am," replied the man, "one of three companions, who inhabit this cave, having fled from our city to avoid imprisonment, and every ten days one of us goes to purchase provisions: to-day was my turn, and my friends will be here presently." "What was the cause of your flight?" rejoined the sultan. "As to that," answered the man, "it can only be communicated by the relation of our adventures, which are curious, and if you wish to hear them, stay with us to-night, and we will each, in our turn, relate his own story."

The sultan upon this, said to himself, "I will not move from this spot until I have heard their adventures;" and immediately dispatched his attendants, excepting a few, with orders to bring from the city some necessaries for the night. "For," thought he, "hearing these stories will be pleasanter than hunting, as they may, perhaps, inform my mind." He remained in the cave with his few followers; and soon after arrived the two other inmates, who were succeeded by the sultan's messengers with the requisites for a substantial repast, of which all partook without ceremony. When it was finished, the sultan desired the owners of the cave to relate their adventures; and they replied, "To hear is to obey:" the first beginning as follows.

Story of the First Sharper in the Cave.

My father died when I was a youth, leaving my mother and myself with little property, but an old she-goat, which we sold, and with the price bought a calf, and nourished her as well as we could for a whole year; when my mother desired me to go and dispose of her in the market. Accordingly I went, and soon perceived that there was not a fatter or finer beast in the market. The company of butchers, composed of forty persons, fixed their eyes upon the calf, and supposing me an ignorant lad, resolved to have her for little or nothing, and feast themselves upon her flesh. After concerting among themselves, one of them coming up, said, "My lad, dost thou mean to sell this she-goat?" "Goat!" replied I, "it is a calf." "Nay," answered he, "surely thou must be blind or under enchantment; but, old as the goat is, if thou wilt sell it, I will give thee a koorsh for her." I angrily refused, and he went away; when presently up came another; and, in short, in regular succession the whole forty, the last of whom was the chief of the butchers. I perceived the connivance to cheat me, and resolving to be revenged, said, "I am convinced I am deceived, so you shall have the goat, if such she is, for the koorsh, provided you let me have her tail." This was agreed to, and it being cut off, I delivered my calf to the chief of the butchers, received the money, and returned home.

On my arrival at home, my mother asked if I had sold the calf; to which I replied, "Yes, for a koorsh, and her tail into the bargain." She thought me stupid or mad, and inquired what I would do with the latter. I answered, "I will be amply revenged on the sharpers, who pretended that my calf was a she-goat, and force from them, at least, a thousand times the price they gave me." After this, I skinned the tail, cut the leather into thongs, and twisted them into a whip with hard thick knots. I then disguised myself in female attire, taking pains to make myself look as handsome as possible with the assistance of my mother, who put soorma into my eyelids, and arranged my eyebrows, stained my hands with hinna, and directed me how to ogle and smile. In short, as I was then a beardless lad, and reckoned comely, I appeared as a very desirable maiden in my disguise.

On my arrival at the house of the chief of the butchers, I found him sitting with his companions in the court. The whole of my calf had been cooked in various ways, and they were just going to spread the cloth and feast upon it. On my entrance I made a profound salutation: upon which they all rose up to return it, and having seated me welcomely, whispered one to another, saying, "By Allah, this will be a night of glorious festivity, illumined by so much beauty! however, our chief must have the preference, this night shall be his; after which we will all cast lots for his turn of enjoyment."

When we had feasted on my calf, and the night was far advanced, the butchers took leave, departed to their homes, and I remained alone with the chief, who began to entertain me with amusing conversation. Observing a rope hanging from the ceiling of an apartment, I, as if ignorant of its purpose, inquired the use of it; when the venerable chief of the butchers informed me it was for suspending animals to cut up; also, occasionally his dependants, whose crimes required the punishment of flogging. Upon this I expressed a great desire to be tied with the rope, drawn up, and swung for amusement. "My dear lady," replied he, "the cord will hurt thy delicate skin; but thou shall put it round me, draw me up, and see the use without injuring thyself."

I consented to the wish of the chief butcher, placed the cord under his arms, and drew him up till the ends of his toes scarcely touched the ground. I then secured the rope, and for some moments kept running playfully round him, and tickling his sides, which made him laugh with delight. At length, tired of his posture, he desired me to release him; but I refused, saying, "My dear chief, I have not yet finished my amusement;" after which I tore the clothes from his back, as if in merriment. When I had done this, I pulled out my whip, which was well knotted, saying, "This is the tail of a she-goat, and not of a calf." The butcher now began to be somewhat alarmed, asking me who I was, and whence I came? to which I replied, "I am the owner of the fat calf, of which thou and thy villanous companions so rascally cheated me." I then bared my arm to my elbow, and so belaboured his back and sides with my whip that he roared in agony; nor did I leave off till his skin was completely flayed, and he fainted from the pain. After this I searched the apartment, found a bag containing three hundred deenars, some handsome dresses, and other valuable articles, all of which I bundled up, and carried off; leaving the chief of the butchers, suspended, to his fate. When I had reached home, I gave my prize to my mother, saying, "This is only part of the value of my calf, which I have just received of the purchaser."

Early in the morning the butchers repaired, as usual, to the residence of their chief, and finding the door of the court-yard locked, joked one with another, saying, "Our old gentleman has been so fatigued with his happiness that he sleeps longer than ordinary." They waited till near noon, when they called out for admittance; but receiving no answer, became apprehensive of some disaster, and forcing the door, found their chief suspended, almost lifeless, and his scars dropping blood. To their inquiries into the cause of his doleful situation, he replied, "That pretended vixen was no woman, but a brawny youth, the owner of the calf; who, in return for our roguery, has flogged me thus, and carried off all he could find in my chamber worth having." The butchers vowed revenge, saying, "We will seize and put him to death;" but their chief requested them for the present to be patient, and carry him to a warm bath, that he might wash and get his wounds dressed.

I observed the chief butcher enter the bathing house alone, while his followers waited at the gate: upon which I went to a slaughter-house, poured over my back the blood of a sheep, dabbed it with plaisters of cotton, and leaning on a crutch, as if in agony of pain, repaired to the bath. At first the butchers refused me admittance, saying their chief was within; but on my entreating their compassion for my miserable condition, they at length permitted me to enter. Passing through the different rooms, I came to the bath, in which I found the unfortunate chief washing his scars. I pulled out my whip, and having said to him, "Shekh, this is the tail of my calf!" flogged him again so severely that he fainted; after which I made my escape by another entrance to the hummaum, which opened into a different street.

The butchers growing impatient at the long stay of their chief in the bath, at length entered, and found him in extreme agony. He informed them of this second revenge of the owner of the calf, and requested that he would take him into the country, pitch a tent for his reception, and remain to guard him till he should be cured of his wounds. They did so; but I watched their motions, and disguising myself, repaired in the evening towards the tent. Here I found a Bedouin Arab, whom I bribed with a piece of gold to cry out, "I am the owner of the calf, and will have the life of your chief!" cautioning him at the same time, after he had so exclaimed, to make his escape as quickly as possible from the butchers, who would pursue him. "I shall not heed them," replied he, "though they may be mounted on the fleetest coursers."

Having said this, the Bedouin went up close to the tents, bawling out vociferously, as I had directed him: upon which all the butchers started up and pursued him, but in vain, to a great distance. I then entered the tent in which the chief was reposing alone, and pulling out my whip, once more flogged him till he roared with agony. When I was tired I bundled up such articles as I could lay my hands on; and returning home, presented them to my mother, saying, "Here is the balance of the price of our calf."

The butchers having attempted to overtake the Bedouin, till they were wearied with running, but in vain, returned to their chief, whom they found in a fainting fit from the pain of his wounds. Having sprinkled water on his face, they recovered him so far that he was able to inform them of what had happened; and to request them to convey him once more to his own house, to give out that he was dead of his wounds, and make a mock funeral; when, possibly, the owner of the calf, believing him departed this life, might cease to torment him.

The butchers obeyed the commands of their chief, and reporting that he was dead, laid him in a litter, and marched in mournful procession towards the burying ground, followed by a great concourse of people. Mixing with the crowd, in disguise, I at length stooped under the litter, and giving the chief, who lay extended in a winding sheet, a smart poke with a pointed stick, up he jumped, to the astonishment of the beholders; who cried out, "A miracle! a miracle! the dead is raised to life!" while I made my escape in the throng; but being fearful that the many tricks I had played, especially this last, might excite inquiry, and lead to a discovery, I fled from the city, and resolved to remain in this cave till curiosity should subside.

The sultan exclaimed, "These adventures are surprising;" when the second inhabitant of the cave said, "My lord, my story is much more wonderful than the last; for I contrived not only to be dead and buried, but to escape from the tomb." "Possibly," said the sultan, "thy adventures may have been stranger than those of this man; but if any of you are acquainted with the memoirs of ancient monarchs, I could wish you to relate them; however, at present, I must take you with me to the palace, that I may make you welcome." When the men heard this proposition, they were alarmed, and cried out, "What, my lord, would you carry us to the city from which we have escaped to save our lives?" "Fear not," replied he, "I am the sultan, and was amusing myself with hunting when I chanced to discover your cave." They bowed themselves before him, and exclaimed, "To hear is to obey;" after which they attended him to the city. On their arrival, the sultan ordered them proper apartments and suitable entertainment, and invested each of them with a rich habit. For some days they remained enjoying themselves; when, at length, one evening the sultan commanded them to his presence, and requested a narrative, when one of them related the following story.

History of the Sultan of Hind.

In ancient days there lived a sultan of Hind, than whom no prince of the age was greater in extent of territory, riches, or force; but Heaven had not allotted to him offspring, either male or female: on which account he was involved in sorrow. One morning, being even more melancholy than usual, he put on a red habit, and repaired to his divan; when his vizier, alarmed at the robes of mourning, said, "What can have occasioned my lord to put on this gloomy habit?" "Alas!" replied the sultan, "my soul is this morning overclouded with melancholy." "Repair then to the treasury," said the vizier, "and view thy wealth; as, perhaps, the lustre of gold, and the brilliant sparkling of jewels, may amuse thy senses and disperse thy sorrow." "Vizier," answered the sultan, "this world to me is all vanity; I regard nothing but the contemplation of the Deity: yet how can I be relieved from melancholy, since I have lived to this age and he has not blessed me with children, either sons or daughters, who are the ornaments of manhood in this world?"

The sultan had scarcely ceased speaking, when a human figure of a dusky hue appeared before him, and said, "My sovereign, here is a confection left me by my ancestors, with an assurance, that whoever might eat of it would have offspring." The sultan eagerly took the confection, and by the blessing of Allah, one of the ladies of his haram conceived that very night. When her pregnancy was made known to him, the sultan was overjoyed, distributed large sums in charity to the poor, and every day comforted the distressed by his bounty.

When the sultana had gone her full time, she was delivered of a son beautiful in aspect, and of graceful person; at which the sultan became overjoyed, and on that day set apart one half of his treasures for the use of the infant prince, who was intrusted to the charge of experienced nurses. After he had thrived sufficiently at the breast he was weaned, and at six years of age put under the care of learned tutors, who taught him to write, to read the Koran, and instructed him in the other several branches of literature. When he had completed his twelfth year, he was accomplished in horsemanship, archery, and throwing the lance, till at length he became a distinguished cavalier, and excelled the most celebrated equestrians.

The young prince being on a certain day hunting in the vicinity of the capital, there suddenly appeared soaring and wheeling in the air a bird, whose plumage was of the most beautiful and glossy green. The prince let fly an arrow, but without effect, and the bird suddenly disappeared. It was in vain that he turned his eye to all quarters, in hopes of again discovering his wished-for prey, for the bird had flown out of sight, and the prince after searching in all directions till the close of day, returned vexed and much disappointed to his father's palace. On his entrance, the sultan and sultana perceiving his countenance gloomy, inquired the cause of his melancholy, when he informed them of the bird: upon which, they said, "Dear son, the creatures of the Almighty are innumerably diversified; and, doubtless, there are many birds as beautiful, and wonderfully more so than this, whose escape you so much regret." "It may be so," replied the prince; "but unless I shall be able to take this, which has so captivated my fancy, I will abstain from food."

On the following morning the prince repaired again to the chase, and having reached the same spot on the plain, to his great joy beheld the green bird. Having taken a cautious aim, he let fly an arrow; but she evaded it, and soared before him in the air. The prince spurred his courser and followed, keeping his desired prey in sight unceasingly till sunset; when both himself and his horse being exhausted he gave up the pursuit, and returned towards the city. As he was riding slowly, and almost fainting with hunger and fatigue, there met him a venerable looking personage, who said, "Prince, both thyself and thy charger seem exhausted; what can have been the cause of such over exercise?" "Father," answered the prince, "I have been pursuing, but in vain, a beautiful green bird, on which I had set my mind." "Son," replied the sage, "if thou wert to follow it for a whole year's journey, thy pursuit would be useless; for thou couldst never take it. This bird comes from a city in the country of Kafoor, in which are most delightful gardens abounding in such birds as this, and many other species still more beautiful, some of which sing enchantingly, and others talk like human beings; but, alas thou canst never reach that happy spot. Give up then all thoughts of the bird, and seek some other object for a favourite that thou mayst enjoy repose, and no longer vex thyself for impossibilities." When the prince heard this from the old man, he exclaimed, "By Allah! nothing shall prevent me from visiting the charming country thou hast mentioned;" and leaving the sage, he rode homewards, his mind wholly taken up in meditating on the land of Kafoor.

When the prince had reached the palace, the sultan perceiving his disordered state, inquired the adventures of the day; and being informed of his fruitless pursuit, and the remarks of the old man, said, "My son, discharge this idle chimera from thy mind, nor perplex thyself longer, since he who wishes for an impossibility may pine himself to death, but can never gain his desires: calm then thy soul, nor vex thyself longer in vain." "By Allah!" answered the prince, "my soul, O my father, is captivated with the desire of possessing this bird more strongly than ever, from the words of the venerable old man; nor is it possible I can enjoy repose till I have travelled to the island of Kafoor, and beheld the gardens containing such a wonderful feathered species." "Alas! my dear son," exclaimed the sultan, "think how afflicting must be to myself and thy mother thy absence from our sight, and for our sakes give up such a fruitless expedition."

The prince, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his father, continued obstinate, and said, "My travelling is inevitable: grant me then permission, or I will put myself to death." "If so," exclaimed the affrighted sultan, "there is no refuge or help but from the omnipotent Allah: well has the proverb remarked, that the nestling would not be restrained from the air, when suddenly the raven pounced upon it and bore it away. Heaven guard my son from the consequences of his imprudence." Having said thus, the sultan commanded preparations for the requisites of travel, and ordered a force to accompany the headstrong prince; who, having taken leave of his afflicted parents, began his expedition towards the country of Kafoor.

The prince pursued his journey without any extraordinary adventure for a whole month, and at the expiration of it arrived at a spot from which branched out three roads. At the junction of them was erected a lofty pyramid, each face fronting one of the roads. On one face was inscribed, "This is named the Path of Safety:" on the second, "This is called the Way of Repentance:" and on the third, "Whoever follows this road will not probably return." "I will pursue this last," said the prince to himself, and accordingly striking into it, proceeded onwards for twenty days, at the end of which he encamped near a desolated city, crumbling into ruin, wholly destitute of inhabitants. He commanded his attendants, as no provisions could be found in the city, to kill five sheep of the flocks he had brought with him, and dress them for their refreshment in various ways. When all were ready, and the simmaut was spread out, having performed his ablutions, he sat down with his principal followers.

The prince and his company had scarcely seated themselves, when, lo! there advanced from the desolated city a Genie, whom the prince seeing, stood up, and thus accosted, "Hail! and welcome to the sovereign of the Aoon, friendly to his brethren, and ruler of this extensive desert." He then addressed him, flatteringly, in fluent language and eloquent expression. The hair of this Oone Genie hung shaggily over his eyes, and flowed in matted tresses upon his shoulders. The prince took out a pair of scissors, and having condescendingly cut his hair, pared his nails, and washed him, seated him at the cloth, and placed before him the dish dressed peculiarly for himself.

The Oone ate, and was delighted with the affability of the prince, whom he addressed, saying, "By Allah, O Mahummud, son of a sultan! I am doomed to death by thy arrival here; but what, my lord, was thy object in coming?" Upon this the prince informed him of his having seen the bird, his vain attempts to take her, the account he had received from the old man, and his resolution, in consequence of his information, to penetrate to the kingdom of Kafoor, to visit the gardens, and bring away some of the wonderful birds.

When the Oone heard this, he said, "O son of a sultan, that country to thee is impenetrable, thou canst not reach it; for the distance from hence is a journey of three hundred years to the most laborious traveller; how then canst thou hope to arrive at it, much more return? But, my son, the good old proverb remarks, that kindness should be returned with kindness, and evil with evil, and that none are so cruel or so benevolent as the inhabitants of the desert. As thou hast treated me kindly, so, God willing, shalt thou have a return for thy goodness; but thou must leave here thy attendants and thy effects. Thou and I only will go together, and I will accomplish thy wish in gratitude for what thou hast done for me." The prince immediately retired from his encampment with the Oone, who said, "Mount upon my shoulders."

The prince obeyed the commands of the Oone, who having first stopped his rider's ears with cotton, mounted into the air, and after soaring for some hours descended; when the prince found himself in the island of Kafoor, and near the desired garden. Having alighted from the shoulders of the generous Oone, he examined the spot, beheld groves, blooming shrubs, flowers bordering clear streams, and beautiful birds chanting various melodies. The Oone said, "Behold the object, of thy search, enter the garden!" Upon this the prince left him, passed the gate, which was open, and entered. He walked on every quarter, and depending from the branches of flowering shrubs saw cages holding a variety of beautiful birds, two birds in each cage.

The prince took down a large cage, and having examined the birds, placed in it such as pleased him to the number of six, with which he was preparing to leave the garden; when at the gate a watchman met him, who cried out loudly, "A robber! a robber!" Instantly numerous guards rushing out, seized the prince, bound, and carried him before the sultan, to whom they complained, saying, "We found in the garden this young man, carrying off a cage with six birds. He must certainly be a robber."

The sultan addressed the prince, saying, "What induced thee, youthful stranger, to violate my property, trespass on the garden, and attempt stealing these birds?" The prince returned no answer: upon which the sultan exclaimed, "Young man, thou art verging upon death; yet still, if thy soul is bent upon having these birds, bring me from the Black Island some bunches of grapes, which are composed of emeralds and diamonds, and I will give thee six birds in addition to those thou hast stolen." Having said this, the sultan released the prince, who repaired to his generous friend the Oone, whom he informed of the unlucky conclusion of his adventure. "Our task is an easy one," answered the Oone; "mount upon my shoulders."

The prince did as he was desired, and after two hours flight the Oone descended and alighted, when the prince found himself in the Black Island. He immediately advanced towards the garden in which was the fruit composed of emeralds and diamonds. On the way a monster met him of terrible appearance.

The monster sprung at the prince, who, with surprising agility, drawing his sword, wounded the furious beast on the forehead with such effect, that, uttering a dreadful groan, he fell dead at his feet. It happened, by divine decree, that the sultan's daughter looking from a window of the haram, beheld the combat, and, stricken with the manly beauty and prowess of the prince, exclaimed, "Who can withstand thy courage, or who resist thy all conquering charms?" But he did not see the princess, or hear her applause.

The prince, after having slain the monster, proceeded to the garden, the gate of which he found open, and on entering, perceived variety of artificial trees composed of precious stones. Among them was one resembling the vine, the fruits of which were of emeralds and diamonds. He plucked off six bunches, and was quitting the garden when a sentinel met him; who, being alarmed, cried out, "A robber! a robber!" The guards rushed out, and having bound him, carried him before the sultan, saying, "My lord, we found this youth stealing the fruit from the garden of jewels."

The sultan was enraged, and on the point of ordering him to be put to death, when a number of persons entered, crying out, "Good tidings to our sovereign." "On what account?" exclaimed the sultan. "The horrible monster," replied they, "who used annually to appear and devour our sons and daughters, we have just now found dead and cloven in two." The sultan was so rejoiced at this happy event, that he refrained from the blood of the prince, and exclaimed, "Whoever has destroyed this monster let him come to me, and I swear by Allah, who has invested me with royalty, that I will give him my daughter in marriage; and whatever else he may desire, even to the half of my empire."

Upon the sultan's declaration being proclaimed, several young men appeared, pretending that they had killed the monster, and gave various accounts of the combat, which made the prince smile. "By Allah! it is strange," said the sultan, "that a youth in such a perilous situation should be so unconcerned as to smile." While the sultan was ruminating on this occurrence, a eunuch entered from the haram, requesting that he would come and speak to the princess his daughter, who had business of importance to communicate; upon which the sultan arose, and retired from the hall of audience.

When the sultan had entered the princess's apartment, he said, "What can have happened which has occasioned you to send for me so suddenly?" She replied, "Is it thy wish to know who slew the monster, and to reward the courageous hero?" "By Allah," answered the sultan, "who created subjects and their sovereigns, if I can discover him, my first offer to him shall be to espouse thee, whatever be his condition, or though he dwell in the most distant region." The princess rejoined, "No one slew the monster but the youth who entered the garden of gems, and was bearing off the fruit, whom thou wast just now on the point of putting to death."

When the sultan heard the above from his daughter, he returned to the divan, and calling the prince before him, said, "Young man, I grant thee thy pardon; art thou he who destroyed the monster?" "I am," replied the prince. The sultan would instantly have summoned the cauzee to perform the espousals; but the prince said, "I have a friend to consult; permit me to retire, and I will soon return." The sultan consented, saying, "Thy request is but reasonable; but come back quickly." The prince having repaired to his friend the Oone, informed him of what had happened to him, and of the offer of the sultan's daughter in marriage: upon which the Oone said, "Accept the princess; but on condition that, if you marry her, you shall be allowed to carry her to your own kingdom." The prince having returned to the sultan, proposed his terms, which were readily agreed to, and the nuptials were celebrated with the most splendid magnificence. After abiding in the palace of the sultan for a month and three days, he requested permission to depart with his bride towards his own country, which was granted.

On the departure of the prince, his father-in-law presented him with a hundred bunches of the grapes composed of emeralds and diamonds, and he repaired to his friend the Oone; who, having first stopped their ears with cotton, mounted them upon his shoulders, and soaring into the air, after two hours descended near the capital of the island of Kafoor. The prince, taking four bunches of the jewelled fruit, hastened to the palace, and laid them before the sultan; who, in astonishment, exclaimed, "Surely, this young stranger must be a powerful magician, or how could he have travelled the distance of three hundred years' journey, and have accomplished his purpose in less time than three months! Such an action is truly miraculous. Hast thou, indeed, young man," said the sultan, "been at the Black Island?" "I have," answered the prince. "Describe it to me," replied the sultan, "its appearance, its buildings, its gardens, and rivers." The prince having answered all his queries, the sultan said, "Noble youth, you may assuredly ask of me whatever you wish!" "I want nothing but the birds," rejoined the prince. "They are thine," returned the sultan; "but annually on a certain day, and this is it, there descends from yonder mountain a monstrous vulture, which tears in pieces our men, women, and children; and having flown away with them in his gigantic talons devours their flesh. I have a beautiful daughter, whom, if thou canst overcome this calamitous monster, I will give to thee in marriage."

The prince replied, "I will consult my friend;" and then returned to the Oone, whom he informed of the offer; but he had scarcely done speaking, when, lo! the vulture appeared: upon which the Oone, ascending into the air, attacked the monster, and after a fierce combat, tore him into halves; after which he descended to the prince, and said, "Go to the sultan, and acquaint him that his destructive enemy is slain."

The prince did as he was directed: upon which the sultan with his train, and an immense crowd of the inhabitants of the city, came out on horseback, and beheld the monstrous vulture, stretched dead on the ground, torn in halves. The sultan then conducted the prince of Hind to the palace; where his marriage with the princess was instantly celebrated, amid the highest festivity and rejoicings; and after remaining a full month at the sultan's court, he requested leave to depart; when his father-in-law presented him with ten cages, in each of which were four of the beautiful birds of variously coloured plumage, and dismissed him, after an affectionate farewell, with his daughter.

The prince having departed from the sultan repaired to his faithful friend the Oone, who welcomed his return; and having mounted him upon his back with his two brides, his jewel fruit, and the cages, immediately ascended into the air, from whence, after soaring for some hours, he gradually descended, and alighted near the ruined city, where the prince had left his tents, cattle, and followers, whom he found anxiously expecting his arrival. The friendly Oone had scarcely set him down, when he said to the prince, "My young friend Mahummud, the obligation already conferred upon me by thy coming here was great; but I have one more favour to request." "What can that be?" replied the prince. "That thou leave not this spot," continued the Oone, "until thou hast washed my corpse, enshrouded, and laid it in the grave." Having said thus, the Oone suddenly uttered one loud groan, and instantly his soul took its flight from the body. The astonished prince stood for some time overpowered with sorrow; but at length recovering himself, he, with the assistance of his domestics, washed the corpse, wrapped it in a winding sheet, and having prayed over it, deposited it in the earth.

The funeral ceremonies of his friend being over, he commenced his march homewards, and after three days arrived in sight of the inscribed pyramid, near which he perceived an extensive encampment, which, on reconnoitring, he found to be that of his father. The aged sultan, unable to bear the absence of his son, had marched from his capital in hopes of overtaking him; but on his arrival at the junction of the three ways, being confounded at the sight of the inscriptions, he had halted, not knowing where to proceed. Great was his joy on discovering the prince advancing towards that face of the pyramid on which was engraved, "Whoever travels this road will probably never return." When the raptures of meeting and mutual congratulations were over, the prince informed the sultan of his wonderful and successful adventures, which overpowered him with astonishment and joy. After reposing a few days, they proceeded towards the capital of the sultan; where tidings having arrived of their approach, the inhabitants ornamented the city with silks, carpets, and transparent paintings; and the nobles and respectable persons issued forth with splendid trains to meet and congratulate their sovereign and the prince, who entered in triumphal procession, amid the greatest rejoicings and prayers for their welfare and prosperity.


A fisherman's son having in company with his father caught a large fish, the latter proposed to present it to the sultan, in hopes of receiving a great reward. While he was gone home to fetch a basket, the son, moved by compassion, returned the fish into the water; but fearful of his father's anger, fled from his country, and repaired to a distant city, where he was entertained by a person as a servant. Strolling one day in the market, he saw a Jew purchase of a lad a cock at a very high price, and send it by his slave to his wife, with orders to keep it safely till his return home. The fisherman's son supposing that as the Jew gave so great a price for the cock it must possess some extraordinary property, resolved to obtain it; and, accordingly, having bought two large fowls, carried them to the Jew's wife, whom he informed that her husband had sent him for the cock, which he had exchanged for the fowls. She gave it him; and he having retired, killed the bird, in whose entrails he found a magical ring; which being rubbed by his touch, a voice proceeded from it demanding what were the commands of its possessor, which should be immediately executed by the genii who were servants of the ring. The fisherman's son was rejoiced at his good fortune, and while meditating what use he should make of his ring, passed by the sultan's palace, at the gates of which were suspended many human heads. He inquired the reason, and was informed that they were those of unfortunate princes, who having failed in performing the conditions on which the sultan's daughter was offered them in marriage, had been put to death. Hoping to be more fortunate than them by the aid of his ring, he resolved to demand the princess's hand. He rubbed the ring, when the voice asked his commands: upon which he required a rich dress, and it was instantly laid before him. He put it on, repaired to the palace, and being introduced to the sultan, demanded his daughter to wife. The sultan consented, on condition that his life should be forfeited unless he should remove a lofty and extensive mound of sand that lay on one side of the palace, which must be done before he could wed the princess. He accepted the condition; but demanded an interval of forty days to perform the task. This being agreed to, he took his leave, and having repaired to his lodging, rubbed his ring, commanded the genii to remove the mound, and erect on the space it covered a magnificent palace, and to furnish it suitably for a royal residence. In fifteen days the task was completed; he was wedded to the princess, and declared heir to the sultan. In the mean while, the Jew whom he had tricked of the cock and the magical ring resolved to travel in search of his lost prize, and at last arrived at the city, where he was informed of the wonderful removal of the mound, and the erection of the palace. He guessed that it must have been done by means of his ring, to recover which he planned the following stratagem. Having disguised himself as a merchant, he repaired to the palace, and cried for sale valuable jewels. The princess hearing him, sent an attendant to examine them and inquire their price, when the Jew asked in exchange only old rings. This being told to the princess, she recollected that her husband kept an old shabby looking ring in his writing stand, and he being asleep, she took it out, and sent it to the Jew; who, knowing it to be the one he had so long sought for, eagerly gave for it all the jewels in his basket. He retired with his prize, and having rubbed the ring, commanded the genii to convey the palace and all its inhabitants, excepting the fisherman's son, into a distant desert island, which was done instantly. The fisherman's son, on awaking in the morning, found himself lying on the mound of sand, which had reoccupied its old spot. He arose, and in alarm lest the sultan should put him to death in revenge for the loss of his daughter, fled to another kingdom as quickly as possible. Here he endured a disconsolate life, subsisting on the sale of some jewels, which he happened to have upon his dress at his flight. Wandering one day through a town, a man offered him for sale a dog, a cat, and a rat, which he purchased, and kept, diverting his melancholy with their tricks, and uncommon playfulness together. These seeming animals proved to be magicians; who, in return for his kindness, agreed to recover for their master his lost prize, and informed him of their intention. He eagerly thanked them, and they all set out in search of the palace, the ring, and the princess. At length they reached the shore of the ocean, after much travel, and descried the island on which it stood, when the dog swam over, carrying on his back the cat and the rat. Being landed, they proceeded to the palace; when the rat entered, and perceived the Jew asleep upon a sofa, with the ring laid before him, which he seized in his mouth, and then returned to his companions. They began to cross the sea, as before, but when about half over the dog expressed a wish to carry the ring in his mouth. The rat refused, lest he should drop it; but the dog threatened, unless he would give it him, to dive and drown them both in the sea. The rat, alarmed for his life, complied with his demand: but the dog missed his aim in snatching at the ring, which fell into the ocean. They landed, and informed the fisherman's son of his loss: upon which he, in despair, resolved to drown himself; when suddenly, as he was going to execute his purpose, a great fish appearing with the ring in his mouth, swam close to shore, and having dropped it within reach of the despairing youth, miraculously exclaimed, "I am the fish which you released from captivity, and thus reward you for your generosity." The fisherman's son, overjoyed, returned to his father-in-law's capital, and at night rubbing the ring, commanded the genii to convey the palace to its old site. This being done in an instant, he entered the palace, and seized the Jew, whom he commanded to be cast alive into a burning pile, in which he was consumed. From this period he lived happily with his princess, and on the death of the sultan succeeded to his dominions.


A person named Abou Neeut, or the well-intentioned, being much distressed in his own country, resolved to seek a better livelihood in another. Accordingly he took with him all he possessed, being only one single sherif, and began his journey. He had not travelled far when there overtook him a man, who entertained him with his conversation; in the course of which it appeared that his name was Abou Neeuteen, or double-minded. Being upon the same scheme, they agreed to seek their fortunes together, and it was settled that Abou Neeut should be the purse-bearer of the common stock. The other possessed ten sherifs.

After some days of toilsome journey they reached a city; on entering which, a beggar accosted them, crying out, "Worthy believers, disburse your alms and ye shall be rewarded ten-fold." Upon this, Abou Neeut gave him a sherif; when his companion, enraged at what he thought prodigality, demanded back his money, which was given him, and he marched off leaving his new friend without any thing. Abou Neeut, resigned to his fate, and relying on Providence, proceeded to a mosque to pay his devotions, hoping to meet some charitable person who would relieve his necessities; but he was mistaken. For a night and day he remained in the mosque, but no one offered him charity. Pressed by hunger, he in the dusk of evening stole out, and wandered with fainting steps through the streets. At length perceiving a servant throwing the fragments from an eating cloth, he advanced, and gathering them up, sat down in a corner, and gnawed the bones and half-eaten morsels with eagerness; after which, lifting up his eyes towards heaven, he thanked God for his scanty meal. The servant, who had observed his motions, was surprised and affected at his wretched condition and devotion, of which he informed his master; who, being a charitable man, took from his purse ten sherifs, which he ordered the servant to give to Abou Neeut.

The servant, through avarice, having retained one sherif as a perquisite, delivered the rest to Abou Neeut; who, having counted the money, thanked God for his bounty; but said, agreeably to the scriptural declaration he ought to have had ten-fold for the sherif he had given to the beggar. The master of the servant overhearing this, called Abou Neeut up stairs; and having seated him, inquired his story, which he faithfully related to his host, who was a capital merchant, and was so much pleased at his pious simplicity, that he resolved to befriend him, and desired him to abide for the present in his house.

Abou Neeut had resided some days with his friendly host, when the season arrived at which the merchant, who was punctual in discharging the duties of religion, having examined his stock, set apart the tenth of it in kind, and bestowed it upon his guest, whom he advised to open a shop and try his fortune in trade. Abou Neeut did so, and was so successful, that in a few years he became one of the most reputable merchants in the place.

At the end of this period, sitting one day in his warehouse, he saw in the streets wretchedly habited, lean, and with eyes sunken and dim, his old companion Abou Neeuteen, begging alms of passengers with the importunate cry of distress. Abou Neeut compassionating his miserable situation, ordered a servant to call him to him; and on his arrival, having seated him, sent for refreshments to relieve his immediate want. He then invited him to spend the night at his house; and in the evening, having shut up his warehouse, conducted him home, where a bath was made warm for him, and when he had bathed, he was presented with a change of handsome apparel. Supper was served, and when they had eaten till they were satisfied they conversed on several subjects. At length Abou Neeut exclaimed, "Dost thou not recollect me, my brother?" "No, by Allah, most liberal host," replied the other; "but who art thou?" "I was," answered Abou Neeut, "the companion of thy travel at such a period; but my disposition is still unchanged, nor have I forgotten our old connection. Half of what I possess is thine."

Having said this, Abou Neeut balanced his accounts, and gave half of his property to his distressed fellow traveller; who with it stocked a warehouse, and traded for himself with good success. For some time the two friends lived near each other in great repute, when Abou Neeuteen growing restless, requested Abou Neeut to quit their present abode, and travel for recreation and profit. "My dear friend," replied Abou Neeut, "why should we travel? have we not here affluence and ease, and what more can we enjoy in any part of the world?" This remonstrance had no effect on Abou Neeuteen, who became so importunate, that at length his kind friend yielded to his whim; they loaded an ample stock of merchandize on mules and camels, and departed for the city of Moussul.

After travelling ten days, they one evening encamped near a deep well, round which they took up their lodging. In the morning Abou Neeut, by his own desire, was let down into the well, more readily to fill the water bags for the use of the caravan, men and cattle, little apprehending what was by Providence decreed to befall him; for his ungrateful friend, who envied his prosperity, and coveted his wealth, having loaded the beasts, cut the rope at the top of the well, and leaving him to his fate, departed.

Abou Neeut remained all day without food, but humbly putting his trust in Allah for deliverance. About the middle of the following night he overheard two Afreets in conversation with each other, when one said, "I am now perfectly happy: for at length I have possessed the beautiful princess of Moussul, and no one can drive me away, unless by sprinkling the infusion of wormwood under her feet on a Friday during divine service in the great mosque, a recipe which will hardly be found out." "I," continued the other Afreet, "have been as fortunate as yourself: for I am in possession of such a hidden treasure of gold and jewels, under the mound near Moussul, as cannot be computed, the talisman of which cannot be opened to any one unless by killing on the mound a white cock, and pouring over it the blood; which secret I judge, will not be found out by man." Having said this, the Afreets took their flight from the well.

Abou Neeut treasured up in his mind the conversation of the Afreets, and at day-light was happily delivered from the well by the arrival of a caravan, some of the followers of which were let down to fill water, and having discovered him, charitably drew him up, and gave him some refreshments. When he was somewhat revived by them, they inquired by what accident he had remained in the well; and he, concealing the treachery of his ungrateful companion, informed them that having reposed to sleep on the edge he had fallen in, and not being missed at the time by his fellow travellers, the caravan had proceeded on its journey. He then begged leave to accompany his generous deliverers to Moussul, to which they agreed, and liberally furnished him with a conveyance.

On entering the city Abou Neeut perceived all the people in motion, and on inquiring the reason, was informed that they were hastening to the great square before the palace, to see the beheading of a physician, who had failed in attempting to expel an evil spirit that had long possessed the daughter of the sultan, and that such had been the fate of many unhappy men who had tried their skill upon the unfortunate princess. Upon this intelligence he hastened with all speed to the palace, and having obtained admission to the sultan, made the usual prostrations; after which he offered to expel the evil spirit, and begged as part of his reward the sparing of the life of the unsuccessful physician. To this the sultan for the present agreed; but declared, that should Abou Neeut fail in his undertaking, he would execute them together, as ignorant pretenders in their art. Abou Neeut then begged that the trial of his skill might be deferred till the Friday, which he requested of the sultan might be solemnly observed, as the devout prayers of all true believers would draw down a blessing on his operations. The sultan consented; the unfortunate physician was released from the executioner, and commanded to be kept in the palace, in which Abou Neeut had also an apartment allotted him. Proclamation was then made through the city for the strict celebration of the approaching sabbath, under pain of the royal displeasure on those who should neglect it.

Friday being arrived, and the whole city assembled at prayers, Abou Neeut prepared his infusion of wormwood, as the Afreet had mentioned. Being introduced into the apartment of the princess, who lay in a melancholy stupor, he poured the infusion upon her feet, when a loud yell was heard near her, and she starting up, as if from sleep, called upon her attendants to assist her in rising. News was immediately conveyed to the sultan of the princess's recovery, and he came overjoyed to witness her returned senses. He commanded public rejoicings to be made, large sums to be distributed in alms, and desired Abou Neeut to demand what he chose in reward for his important service, at the same time ordering the unsuccessful physician to be set at liberty, with a handsome present.

Abou Neeut, who had been captivated by the beauty of the princess, asked, as his reward, her hand in marriage: upon which the sultan consulted with his viziers, who advised him to dismiss the petitioner for the present, with orders to return in the morning, when he should receive the sultan's decision on a request which demanded much consideration. When Abou Neeut had retired, the viziers represented to the sultan, that it was fitting the husband of his daughter should at least possess great wealth: for though Abou Neeut had expelled the evil spirit, yet if he could not support her in a manner becoming her rank, he was not worthy to marry her. They, therefore, advised him to select a number of his most valuable jewels, to shew them to Abou Neeut, and demand as a dowry for the princess some of equal estimation; which if he could produce he was ready to receive him as his son-in-law; but if not, he must accept a compensation for his services more suited to his condition than the royal alliance.

On Abou Neeut's appearance at court the next morning the sultan displayed the jewels, and made the proposal advised by his viziers; when looking with the utmost indifference upon the brilliant stones before him, he assured the sultan that he would the next day present him with ten times the number, of superior value and lustre; which declaration astonished the whole court, as it was known that no prince possessed richer gems than those in possession of the sultan of Moussul.

Abou Neeut having taken leave of the sultan proceeded to the poultry market, and having purchased a cock entirely white and free from blemish, brought it to his lodgings, where he continued till the rising of the moon, when he walked out of the city alone, and speeded to the mound of blueish earth mentioned by the Afreet of the well to contain the invaluable hidden treasure. Being arrived at the mound, he ascended it, cut the throat of the cock, whose blood began to flow, when, lo! the earth shook, and soon made an opening, through which, to his great satisfaction, he perceived such heaps of inestimable precious stones, of all sorts, as are not to be adequately described, Abou Neeut now went back to the city, where, having procured ten camels, with two panniers on each, he returned and loaded them with his treasure, which he conveyed to his lodging, having first filled up the cavity of the mound.

In the morning Abou Neeut repaired with his loaded camels to the palace, and entering the court of the divan, in which the sultan sat expecting him, after a profound obeisance, cried out, "Descend for a moment, my lord, and examine the dowry of the princess." The sultan, arising from his throne, came down the steps of the hall, and the camels being made to kneel, he examined the panniers, and was so astonished at the richness of their contents, being jewels far surpassing his own in size and lustre, that he exclaimed, "By Allah! if the treasuries of all the sultans of the world were brought together they could not afford gems equal to these." When somewhat recovered from his surprise, he inquired of his viziers how he should now act towards Abou Neeut; when they all unanimously cried out, "By all means give him your daughter." The marriage was then immediately celebrated with great splendour, and Abou Neeut conducted himself so well in his high station, that the sultan his father-in-law committed to him the giving public audience in his stead, and the decision of all appeals, three days in each week.

Some time had elapsed after his elevation, when Abou Neeut one day giving audience in the magnificent hall of one of his country palaces, beheld a man among the crowd of a sorrowful aspect, dressed in a wretched habit, who cried, "O true believers, O charitable gentlemen, relieve the distressed!" Abou Neeut commanded one of his mace-bearers to bring him to his presence, and on his appearance recognized his treacherous companion who had left him in the well. Without making himself known, or betraying any emotion but that of compassion, he ordered attendants to conduct him to the warm bath; in which being refreshed, he was arrayed in a magnificent habit, and again brought to the divan. Abou Neeut having retired with him into a closet, said, "Knowest them me not, my old friend?" "No, by Allah," replied the other. "Know then," returned he, "that I am Abou Neeut, thy benefactor and companion, whom you treacherously left in the well." He then related all his adventures, concluding them with an assurance, that so far from resenting his treachery, he regarded his conduit as the impulse of fate, and as the means by which he, himself, had attained his present dignity and affluence, which he would share with him. The envious heart of Abou Neeuteen was unconquerable; and instead of thanking the noble-minded Abou Neeut for his forgiveness and liberality, he exclaimed, "Since the well has been to thee so fortunate, why should it not prove so also to me?" Having said this, he hastily rose up and quitted Abou Neeut, who would not punish such rudeness, even without taking leave.

Abou Neeuteen hastened with all speed to the well, and having descended by a rope, sat down, impatiently expecting the arrival of the Afreets, who about midnight alighted, and resting themselves on the terrace above, began to inquire each other's adventures. "Since we met last," said one, "I have been rendered miserable; for a cunning Mussulmaun found out the secret of overpowering me, and has married my princess, nor can I revenge myself, for he is under the protection of a converted genie, whom the prophet has appointed to watch over him." "I," continued the other Afreet, "have been equally unfortunate with thyself; for the same man who has wedded thy mistress discovered my hidden treasure, and keeps it in spite of my attempts to recover it: but let us fill up this abominable well, which must have been the cause of all our disasters." Having said thus, the two Afreets immediately hurled the terrace and large stones into the well, which crushed the ungrateful and envious Abou Neeuteen to atoms. Some days after this, the good Abou Neeut, finding he did not return, repaired to the well, and seeing it fallen in, ordered it to be cleared; when the discovery of the body proved to him that the malicious spirit of the wretch had been the cause of his own destruction. He with reverence exclaimed, "There is no refuge but with the Almighty; may he preserve us from envy, which is destructive to the envious alone!"

Abou Neeut returned to the capital, where, not long after, his father-in-law the sultan dying, left him heir to his kingdom. His succession was disputed by the husbands of the two elder sisters of his wife; but the ministers and people being in favour of the sultan's will, they resigned their pretensions and submitted to his authority. His wife being brought to bed of a son, her sisters bribed the midwife to pretend that the sultana had produced a dog. They did the same by another son. At the third lying-in of the sultana Abou Neeut resolved to be present, and a beautiful princess appeared. The two infant princes having been thrown at the gate of one of the royal palaces, were taken up by the gardener and his wife, who brought them up as their own. Abou Neeut in visiting the garden with his daughter, who shewed an instinctive affection for them, from this, and their martial play with each other (having made horses of clay, bows and arrows, &c.), was induced to inquire of the gardener whether they were really his own children. The gardener upon this related the circumstance of his having found them exposed at the gate of the palace, and mentioned the times, which agreed exactly with those of the sultana's delivery. Abou Neeut then questioned the midwife, who confessed the imposition and wickedness of the sisters, whom he left to be punished by the pangs of their own consciences, convinced that envy is its own severest tormentor. The young princes were acknowledged; and the good Abou Neeut had the satisfaction of seeing them grow up to follow his example.


It is related by an historian that there was an ameer of the land of Egypt, whose mind being one night unusually disturbed, he sent for one of his courtiers, a convivial companion, and said to him, "To-night my bosom, from what cause I know not, is uncommonly restless, and I wish thee to divert me by some amusing narrative." The courtier replied, "To hear is to obey: I will describe an adventure which I encountered in the youthful part of my life."

When a very young man I was deeply in love with a beautiful Arab maiden, adorned by every elegance and grace, who resided with her parents; and I used frequently to visit their camp, for her family was one of the desert tribes. One day my mind felt uncommonly anxious concerning her, and I resolved to seek relief by a visit; but when I reached the spot found neither my beloved nor any of her kindred. I questioned some passengers, who informed me that the family had removed their encampment from scarcity of forage for their herds and camels. I remained for some time on the ground; but observing no signs of their return, my impatience of absence became intolerable, and my love compelled me to travel in search of my charmer. Though the shades of evening were falling, I replaced the saddle upon my camel, put on my vestments, and girding on my sabre proceeded. I had advanced some distance, when the night became dismally black, and from the darkness I now sunk into sands and hollows, and now ascended declivities, while the yells of wild beasts resounded on every quarter. My heart beat with apprehension, and my tongue did not cease to repeat the attributes of the Almighty, our only defender in time of need. At length stupor overcame my senses, and I slept; while my camel quitted the track, and wandered from the route I had meant to pursue all night. Suddenly my head was violently intercepted by the branch of a tree, and I was awakened by the blow, which gave me infinite pain. As I recovered myself I beheld trees, verdure sprinkled with flowers, and a clear rivulet; also a variety of birds, whose notes were melodiously sweet. I alighted from my camel, and laid the bridle on my arm, as the underwood of the thicket was closely entwined.

I did not cease leading my camel till I was out of the thicket, when I remounted; but at a loss which way to go, and unknowing where Providence might direct me, I reached the desert, and cast my eyes over the expanse; when, lo! at length a smoke appeared in the midst of it. I whipped my camel, and at length reached a fire, and near it observed a handsome tent, before which was a standard planted, surrounded by spears, horses picketted, and camels grazing. I said to myself, "What can mean this tent, which has a grand appearance, in so solitary a plain?" I then went to the rear of the tent, and exclaimed, "Health to you, O inhabitants of this tent, and may the Almighty to you be merciful!" Upon this there advanced from it a youth, seemingly about nineteen, who appeared graceful as the rising moon, and valour and benevolence gleamed upon his aspect. He returned my salutation, and said, "Brother Arab, perchance thou hast missed thy way." I answered, "Yes, shew it, and may God requite thee!" upon which he replied, "My dwelling, brother Arab, is at present in this wild spot; but the night is dreary, and shouldst thou proceed there is no surety against wild beasts tearing thee in pieces. Lodge, then, at present with me in safety, and repose, and when day shall appear I will direct thee on thy way." I alighted, when he took my camel, picketted her, and gave her water and fodder. He then retired for a while; but returned with a sheep, which he killed, flayed, and cut up; then lighted a fire, and when it was of a proper glow broiled part of the sheep, which he had previously seasoned with sundry dried herbs, seeds, and spices, and when ready presented his cookery to me.

During his hospitalities I observed that my kind host sometimes beat his breast and wept, from which I guessed that he was in love, and a wanderer, like myself. My curiosity was raised; but I said within myself, "I am his guest, why should I intrude upon him by painful questions?" and refrained from inquiry. When I had eaten as much as sufficed me, the youth arose, went into his tent, and brought out a basin and ewer, with a napkin embroidered with silk and fringed with gold; also a cruet of rose water, in which musk had been infused. I was astonished at his proceedings, and the politeness of his demeanour, and exclaimed inwardly, "How wonderful is the abode of so accomplished a personage in this wild desert." We made our ablutions, and conversed awhile upon various subjects; after which my gentle host went to his tent, from whence he brought out a piece of red silk damask, which he divided between us, saying, "Brother Arab, go into my tent and choose thy place of repose, for last night and to-day great must have been thy hardship and fatigue."

I entered the tent, and in one partition of it found a mattress of green damask: upon which, having pulled off my upper garments, I lay down, and slept so soundly that I never enjoyed, before or since, so refreshing a repose. At length I awoke, when night was far advanced, and became involved in thought respecting my hospitable host; but knew not what to conjecture, and was sinking again into slumber, when, lo! gentle murmurs struck my ears, than which I never heard sound more soft or tenderly affecting. I lifted up the curtain of my partition, and looked around, when I beheld a damsel more beautiful than any I had ever seen, seated by the generous owner of the tent. They wept and complained of the agonies of love, of separation and interruptions to their desire of frequent meetings. Then I said within myself, "There is a wonderfully dignified appearance in this amiable youth, yet he lives alone, and I have seen no other tent on the plain. What can I conjecture, but that this damsel must be a daughter of one of the good genii, who has fallen in love with him, and upon her account he has retired to this solitary spot?" Respect for their love made me drop the curtain; I drew the coverlid over me, and again fell asleep.

When the morning dawned I awoke, dressed, and having performed my ablutions and prayers, said to the young man, who had already risen, "Brother Arab, if in addition to thy hospitalities already shewn thou wilt put me in my way, my obligations will be complete." He looked kindly, and said, "If convenient, my brother, let me entertain thee as my guest for three days." I could not refuse his hospitable request, and abode with him. On the third day I ventured to inquire his name and family, when he replied, "I am of the noble tribe of Azzra," and I discovered that he was the son of my father's brother. "Son of my uncle," exclaimed I, "what can have induced thee to court the seclusion of this desert spot, and to quit thy kinsmen, neighbours, and dependents?"

Upon hearing these words, the eyes of the youth became suffused with tears, he sighed, and said, "Ah! my cousin, I passionately admired the daughter of my uncle, and was so devoted to her love that I asked her in marriage; but he refused me, and wedded her to another of our tribe richer than myself, who carried her to his abode. When she was thus torn from me, despair agitated my soul, I quitted my relations, friends, and companions, became enamoured of solitude, and retired to this lonely spot."

When he had finished his communication, I said, "But where is the abode of thy beloved and thy successful rival?" He replied, "Near the summit of yonder mountain, from whence, as frequently as opportunity will allow, in the stillness of night, when sleep hath overpowered the eyes of the village, she ventures to my tent, and we enjoy the company of each other; but believe me, my brother, our passion is innocent as devotional love. Hence I dwell here in the manner you have witnessed, and while she visits me delightful will pass the hours, until Allah shall execute his appointed decrees, and reward our constancy in this world, or consign us to the grave together."

When the unfortunate youth had concluded his narration, at which I was affected with sincere compassion for his circumstances, an eager desire to relieve the lovers from their oppressors occupied my mind, and after much consideration I addressed him thus: "If thou choosest, I think I can point out a plan which, under the blessing of Allah, may end the sufferings of thyself and thy beloved." He replied, "O son of my uncle, reveal it to me!" and I continued, saying, "When night shall arrive, and the damsel cometh, let us seat her upon my camel; for she is sure-footed and swift of pace; do thou then mount thy steed, and I will accompany you upon one of your camels. We will travel all night, and ere morning shall have passed the forest, when you will be safe, and thy heart will be rendered happy with thy beloved. The land of God is wide enough to afford us an asylum; and by Heaven I swear, that while life remains I will be thy friend." The youth replied, "Son of my uncle, I will consult upon thy plan with my beloved, for she is prudent and well-informed."

When night had shut in, and the usual hour of the damsel's coming approached, my kind host impatiently expected her arrival; but in vain, for she did not appear. He rose, stood in the doorway of the tent, opened his mouth, and drew in the exhalations of the gale, then returned, sat down pensively for a few minutes, and at last bursting into tears, exclaimed, "Ah! my cousin, there are no tidings of the daughter of my uncle, some, mishap must have befallen her. Remain here while I go in search of intelligence." Having said thus, he took up his sabre, his lance, and departed.

When somewhat more than an hour had elapsed, I heard his footstep, and soon perceived him advancing, bearing something bulky in his arms, while he called loudly upon me in a distressful tone. I hastened towards him, and upon my arrival he exclaimed, "Alas, alas! the beloved daughter of my uncle is no more, and I bear her remains. She was hastening, as usual, to my tent, when suddenly a lion sprung upon her in the path, and tore her in pieces. These relics are all that remain of my beloved." He then laid them down, and, lo! the thigh bones of the damsel and part of her ribs. He wept piteously, and said, "Remain here till I return;" after which he departed with the swiftness of an arrow. In about an hour he returned, and in his hand was the head of the lion, which he threw down, and asked eagerly for water, which I brought him. He then washed his hands, cleansed the mouth of the lion, which he rapturously kissed, and wept bitterly for some moments. He then exclaimed, "By Allah, I conjure thee, O son of my uncle, and by the ties of relationship between us, that thou observe my will; for within this hour I shall follow my beloved; be thou our mourner, and bury her remains with mine in the same grave." Having said this, he retired into the sleeping partition of the tent; where he remained at his devotions for an hour, then came out, beat his breast, sighed deeply, and at length heaved his expiring groan, saying, "I come, I come, my beloved, I come!" and his pure soul took flight for the mansions of Paradise.

When I beheld his corpse, sad indeed was my condition, and from excess of sorrow I found it difficult to perform my promise; but at length I arose, washed, enshrouded, and laid the remains of these constant lovers in the same grave, near which I remained for three days in prayer and lamentation; after which I departed homewards: but have not failed annually to visit the spot, to bedew their grave with my tears, and pray for the mercy of Allah to their souls and my own errors.


Some ages back a certain sultan of Sind had a son by a concubine, who behaved so rudely to his sultana, that she became dispirited and lost her health, which her favourite woman observing, resolved by stratagem to get rid of the prince. She advised her mistress, when he might next insult her, to say to him, "That he would never appear becoming his rank till he was beloved by Fatima, daughter of a sultan named Amir bin Naomaun." The queen having followed the woman's directions, the prince resolved to travel to the country of the princess, and demand her in marriage. Accordingly, having obtained the consent of the sultan his father, he departed with an attendance suitable to his rank. After marching for some time he entered a desert, which was covered with a numberless flight of locusts, that had fallen exhausted for want of food. Pitying their distress, he ordered meal to be spread on the ground, when the locusts having refreshed themselves flew away. Some days after this incident he reached a thick forest crowded with elephants, and herds of wild animals of every description; but as they did not attempt to attack him, and were in a starving condition, he ordered some of his cattle to be killed, and distributed to them for food. Having satisfied themselves they retired, shewing every sign that dumbness would allow of being pleased with his kind treatment. On his march onwards the prince met a venerable old man, of whom he inquired the route to the territories of Amir bin Naomaun, and was informed that they were at no great distance; but only to be entered by a range of rugged and steep mountains composed of iron-stone, and next to impassable; also, that should he succeed in overcoming this difficulty, it was in vain to hope to attain the princess. The prince inquiring the reason, the old man continued, "Sultan Amir bin Naomaun has resolved that no one shall wed his daughter unless he can perform three tasks which he will impose, and these are of so difficult a nature as not to be executed by the labour or ingenuity of man, and many unhappy princes have lost their heads in the attempt; for he puts them to death instantly on failure: be advised, therefore, and give up so fruitless an expedition." The prince, instead of listening to the admonition of the old man, resolved to proceed; and having requested his prayers and benedictions, continued his march. In a short time, having entered the passes of the mountains, he discovered vast caverns inhabited by a species of genii, who were employed in working upon masses of iron-stone, which they dug from the rock. The prince having entertained them with a hospitable feast, they, in return, shewed him the easiest route through the stupendous mountains, and he at length arrived in safety before the capital of sultan Amir bin Naomaun, to whom he sent an envoy, requesting leave to encamp on the plain, and to offer himself as a candidate for the beautiful princess his daughter. The sultan, in reply, acceded to his petition, and invited him to the palace; where, in the evening, he was led into a court, in which was placed an immense vessel filled with three kinds of grain mixed together, which (as his first task towards obtaining the princess) he was to separate entirely from each other, and put into three heaps; which if not accomplished before sunrise, he was then to forfeit his head in punishment for his temerity. It being now too late to recede, the prince resigned himself to Providence; and the gates of the court being locked upon him, he prayed to Allah, and began to separate the grains; but finding his progress vain, his spirits deserted him about midnight, and he left off his fruitless labour in despair, endeavouring to reconcile himself to death. While he was praying for fortitude to bear him up in his last moments, a voice was heard, saying, "Be comforted, and receive the reward of thy charity to famished insects." Immediately after this the heavens were obscured, as if by thick clouds, which descended on the court, when, lo! this phenomenon proved to be myriads of locusts; who, alighting on the vessel, in a few hours emptied it of all the grain, which they disposed of, each in its kind, in three several heaps, and having given a general buzzing of salutation, took flight, and vanished into the air. The prince was overjoyed at the miraculous accomplishment of his task by the grateful locusts, and having offered up thanks to Allah and the prophet for his deliverance from impending destruction, composed himself to rest, doubting not but that they would assist him to overcome the two remaining labours. Great was the surprise of the sultan Amir bin Naomaun, when, on coming at daylight to the court, he beheld his intended victim in a profound sleep, and the grain in three separate heaps, neatly piled up in the form of domes. The prince awaking, saluted him, and demanded to be informed of his next task; but the sultan put him off to the evening, until when he entertained him at the palace with a most magnificent feast; and his obdurate heart was so softened by the noble address and demeanour of his guest, that he wished he might be able to overcome the remaining impositions and become his son-in-law. The princess, also, who had the curiosity to look at him through the blinds of her apartments, was so fascinated with his appearance that she prayed for his success.

When night had set in, the prince was conducted to an open plain in front of the palace, in the centre of which was a large reservoir full of clear water, which the sultan commanded him to drain off before sunrise, or forfeit his life. The prince remained alone on the brink of the reservoir with rather somewhat more hope of success than he had felt of overcoming his task of the preceding night; nor was he disappointed, for about midnight a voice was heard exclaiming, "Prince, benevolence is never unrequited:" and, lo! the plain was filled with elephants, rhinoceroses, camels, dromedaries, lions, tigers, and every species of wild beasts, in such immense droves as could not be numbered, who, advancing in turn to the reservoir, drank in such quantity that it, at length, was completely emptied, and became as dry as if just finished. The beasts then expressing pleasure by their varying natural noises at having served their benefactor departed, and left him to enjoy the deliverance from the labour imposed upon him.

The prince, now more assured than ever that he was the favourite of Allah and the prophet, after offering up prayers with a relieved heart, slept comfortably in a building creeled on the margin of the reservoir, and was only awakened by the call of the sultan at sun-rise, who was more astonished at the accomplishment of this labour than the former, though certainly each was equally difficult. He conducted the prince to his palace, and the day was spent in the highest festivity.

At the approach of night the prince was conducted to his third task, which was to complete and fit up before daylight from a vast mass of planks of the choicest timber ready stored the doors, windows, and balconies of an unfinished palace, much larger than that which the sultan inhabited. The prince at the apprehension of the consequences of failure was somewhat alarmed; but the recollection of his former aids supported him, and after offering up his devotions he sat down, composedly waiting for the decision of Providence on his fate. His resignation was accepted, for at midnight he was roused from his contemplations by the sounds of sawing, planing, hammering, nailing, and the songs of happy work-men. Looking up he perceived his friends of the iron mountains; who, all saluting him, cried out, "Prince, set your heart at rest, for we are come to repay you for your hospitable feast." Before daylight the palace was fitted up in a manner more elegant than can be described, and every door, window, and balcony painted with the most brilliant colours, flowered with silver and gold. The grateful labourers of the iron mountains having finished their work, respectfully saluted the prince and departed.

The prince having taken a grateful leave of his useful friends, walked through the palace, and was eagerly employed in admiring its elegance and the magnificence of their finishing hand, when the sultan Amir bin Naomaun, who from his apartments at sun-rise had observed the miraculous completion, appeared, having hastened to examine the superb workmanship, and to congratulate his son-in-law, for as such he now acknowledged him, and as the favoured of Allah, and of the last of prophets. He conducted the prince to the palace, and the most magnificent preparations being made, the nuptials with his daughter were celebrated in the new edifice, where the bride and bridegroom enjoyed themselves for three months, at the expiration of which the prince begged permission to return to his father's dominions, which he reached just in time to release him from the attack of an inimical sultan, who had invaded the country, and laid close siege to his capital. His father received him with rapture, and the prince having made an apology to the sultana for his former rude behaviour, she received his excuses, and having no child of her own readily adopted him as her son; so that the royal family lived henceforth in the utmost harmony, till the death of the sultan and sultana, when the prince succeeded to the empire.


There formerly dwelt in the city of Damascus two brothers, one poor and the other rich, the former of whom had a son, and the latter a daughter. The poor man dying left his son, just emerging from infancy, to the protection of his wealthy uncle, who behaved to his unfortunate charge with paternal tenderness, till the youth, who had exchanged vows of love with his cousin, requested her in marriage; when the father refused, and expelled him from his house. The young lady, however, who ardently loved him, agreed to elope, and having one night escaped from her father's dwelling, repaired to the object of her affection; who, having had notice of her intentions, had prepared two horses and a mule to carry their baggage. They travelled all night, and by morning reached a sea-port, where they found a ship ready to sail, in which, having secured a passage, the lady immediately embarked; but the lover remained on shore to dispose of the horses and mule. While he was seeking for a purchaser in the market, a fair wind sprung up, and the master of the ship having weighed anchor, hoisted sail and departed: the lady in vain entreating him to wait the return of her beloved, or send her on shore, for he was captivated with her beauty. Finding herself thus ensnared, as she was a woman of strong mind, instead of indulging in unavailing complaint, she assumed a satisfied air; and as the only way to preserve her honour, received the addresses of the treacherous master with pretended complacency, and consented to receive him as a husband at the first port at which the ship might touch. With these assurances he was contented, and behaved to her with honourable deference, and affectionate respect. At length the vessel anchored near a city, to which the captain went to make preparations for his marriage; but the lady, while he was on shore, addressed the ship's crew, setting forth with such force his treacherous conduct to herself, and offering such rewards if they would convey her to her lover at the port they had left, that the honest sailors were moved in her favour, agreed to obey her as their mistress, and hoisting sail, left the master to shift for himself. After some days of favourable weather, a contrary gale blowing hard, the vessel was driven far out of her course, and for shelter obliged to anchor in the first haven that offered, which proved to be that of a large city, the capital of a potent sultan, whose officers came on board to examine the vessel, and inquire into her cargo and destination. These men, to their great surprise, finding it commanded by a lady of exquisite beauty, reported her charms to the sultan, who resolved to possess them, and sent her an offer of marriage; to which she seemingly consented, and the sultan commanded the most splendid preparations to be made for the nuptials. When all was ready, he sent onboard the vessel the daughter of his vizier, with other ladies, thirty-nine in number, magnificently attired, to wait upon his bride, and attend her on shore. They were graciously received by the politic lady, and invited to refresh themselves in the grand cabin, which she had elegantly adorned with costly hangings, and prepared in it a superb collation, to which they sat down. She then dismissed the boats in which they came, sending a message to the sultan that she should entertain the ladies on board till the next morning, when she would repair on shore and conclude their marriage. She behaved towards her new guests with such winning affability, that they one and all admired their expected sultana, and partook of the entertainment with the highest satisfaction; but what was their surprise when, in the middle of the night, she commanded the crew to weigh anchor, having first warned them, on pain of her displeasure and immediate death, to keep silence, and raise no alarm in the harbour. The vessel sailed, and put to sea without being molested, when the intrepid commandress consoled the affrighted ladies, related to them her own adventures, and assured them that when she should have rejoined her lover, they should, if they chose it, be honourably restored to their homes; but in the mean time she hoped they would contentedly share her fortunes. This behaviour, by degrees, so won upon their minds, that the ladies forgot their sorrows, became pleased with their situation, and in a short time were so attached to their new mistress, that they would not have left her had it been in their power. After some weeks sail, it became necessary to steer towards the first coast that should present itself, to lay in a supply of fresh water and provisions, and land appearing, the vessel anchored, when the lady with her companions went on shore. Here they were surrounded by forty robbers, who threatened to take them prisoners; when the heroic lady, desiring her friends to conceal their fears, assumed a smiling countenance, and addressing the chief of the banditti, assured him there would be no occasion for force, as she and her companions were ready to share their love, being women who were above the prejudices of their sex, and had devoted themselves to pleasure, in search of which they roved on board their vessel from one coast to another, and would now stay with them as long as they might wish for their company. This declaration suiting the depraved minds of the robbers, they laid aside their fierce looks and warlike weapons, bringing abundance of all sorts of provisions to regale their expected mistresses, with whom they sat down to a plentiful repast, which was heightened by a store of wines which the lady had brought in her boats from the ship. Mirth and jollity prevailed; but the fumes of the liquors, in which the politic lady had infused strong opiates, suddenly operated upon their senses, and they fell down one and all in a state of stupefaction. She then with her companions drew the sabres of their brutal admirers and put them all to death excepting the chief, whom they bound hand and foot with strong cords, and after cutting off his beard and mustachios, tied his own cimeter round his neck, leaving him to feel mortification worse than death on the recovery of his senses, namely, the sight of his slaughtered fellows, and regret at the loss of his imagined happiness. The ladies then stripped the caves of the robbers of the vast wealth which they had hoarded up from their plunders, and having carried it on board their boats, with a stock of water and provisions, returned to the ship, weighed anchor, and sailed triumphant and rejoicing from such a dangerous coast. After some weeks' sail they again descried land, to which they approached, and discovered a spacious harbour, round which rose a vast city, the buildings of which were sublimely lofty, adorned with flights of marble steps to the water's edge, and crowned with domes and minarets topped with pinnacles of gold. The enterprising lady having anchored, clothed herself and her companions in magnificent male habits; after which she ordered the boats to be hoisted out, and they were rowed ashore by part of their crew richly dressed. On landing, they found all the inhabitants of the city in mourning, and making doleful lamentation for their late sultan, who had died only a few days before. The gallant appearance of a stranger so nobly attended created much surprise, and intelligence of the arrival was instantly conveyed to the vizier, who acted as regent till the election of a new monarch, which ceremony was just on the point of taking place. The minister, who thought he perceived in such a critical arrival the work of fate, immediately waited on the now supposed prince, whom he invited to be present at the election; at the same time informing him that when in this kingdom a sultan died without issue, the laws appointed that his successor should be chosen by the alighting of a bird on his shoulder, which bird would be let fly among the crowd assembled in the square before the palace. The seeming prince accepted the invitation, and with the disguised ladies was conducted to a gorgeous pavilion, open on all sides, to view the ceremony. The ominous bird being loosened from his chain, soared into the air to a great height, then gradually descending, flew round and round the square repeatedly, even with the faces of the spectators. At length it darted into the pavilion, where the lady and her companions were seated, fluttered around her head, and at length rested upon her shoulder, giving at the same time a cry of exultation, stretching its neck, and flapping its wings. Immediately upon this, the viziers and courtiers bowed themselves to the ground, and the assembled crowd prostrated themselves on the earth, crying out, "Long live our glorious sultan, the chosen of Providence, the elected by the decrees of fate!" The disguised lady was instantly conducted to the palace, seated on a splendid throne, and proclaimed amidst the acclamations of the people, sovereign of an extensive empire; nor were the abilities of her mind unequal to the task of government. In a few days the vizier offered to the supposed sultan his daughter in marriage; and his offer being accepted, the nuptials were celebrated with the utmost magnificence; but what was the astonishment of the bride, when, instead of being caressed, the sultan on retiring with her became cold and reserved, rose from her, and spent the night in prayer. In the morning the sultana was questioned by her mother; who, on her relating the behaviour of the husband, observed, that possibly from his youth he might be over reserved; but that love would naturally in time operate its effect. Several evenings past in the same manner, when the bride, mortified at such coldness, could no longer restrain herself, and said, "Why, my lord, if you disliked me, did you take me to wife? but if you love not as other men, tell me so, and I will suffer my misfortune in silence." The lady, moved by this remonstrance, replied, "Most virtuous princess, would that for your sake I were of the sex you suppose me; but, alas! I am like you a woman, disappointed in love." She then related to her the wonderful adventures she had undergone since leaving her father's house, at which the vizier's daughter was so affected that she vowed for her a lasting friendship, agreed to keep her secret, and live with her till such times as chance should restore her lover. In return for this kindness the lady promised that should the object of her affections ever arrive, he should marry them both, and that she should have the precedence in the ceremony of union. The two friends having thus agreed, the vizier's daughter regained her cheerfulness, and means were taken to convince her father, mother, and friends of the consummation of the nuptials. From this time they lived in perfect happiness together, one exercising the authority of sultan to the satisfaction of the subject, and the other acting the part of a satisfied and obedient wife; but still both were anxious to meet their mutual husband. As the capital of the kingdom was a mart for most nations of the world, the pretended sultan formed the following stratagem for discovering her beloved, not doubting but that he would travel over all parts of the world in search of the object of his affection. She erected a most magnificent caravanserai, furnished with baths hot and cold, and every convenience for the weary traveller. When it was finished, she issued a proclamation, that sojourners from all parts should be welcome to lodge in it, and be provided with every necessary till they could accommodate themselves in the city, or pursued, if only travellers, their journey to another part. Over the gate of this edifice she placed an exact statue of herself, and gave orders to the guards that whatever stranger, on looking at it, should shew signs of agitation, or utter words signifying that he knew the original, should be immediately seized and confined in the palace. Many weeks had not passed when the father of this enterprising lady, who had travelled many thousands of miles in search of his daughter, arrived at the gate, and on seeing the statue, exclaimed, "Alas! alas! how like my poor, lost child!" He was immediately carried to the palace, lodged in a magnificent apartment, treated with the highest respect; but kept in complete ignorance as to the cause of his confinement and his future fate. Not long after this, his disconsolate nephew, who, on the departure of the treacherous captain, had wandered from city to city in hopes of finding his mistress, arrived, and repaired to the caravanserai.

On sight of the statue his feelings overcame him; he sighed and fainted: when he was taken up by the guards and lodged in the palace, where being come to himself, he was astonished at the respect and attention paid him by the domestics, and the splendid manner in which he was entertained; but it was in vain that he inquired the cause of his detention, the only answer he could get being, "Have patience, my lord, and repose yourself till Providence shall free you from our confinement." Soon after this the master of the ship, who had visited port after port in hopes of recovering his vessel, reached the city, and hearing of the hospitality with which all strangers were received at the caravanserai of the sultan, repaired to the gateway; but no sooner had he cast his eyes on the statue, than he exclaimed, "Ah! how like to the artful yet virtuous woman who cheated me of my property by stealing my ship." Immediately he was seized by the guards, and conveyed to the palace, but treated with kindness. Many days had not succeeded to this event, when the sultan and the vizier, whose daughter with the thirty-nine ladies had been so artfully carried away from them by the enterprising heroine of this history, made their appearance at the gateway of the caravanserai, and on beholding the statue, cried out, "Surely this is the likeness of her who deprived us of our children; ah! that we could find her and be revenged on her hypocrisy!" On saying this they were apprehended and taken to the palace, where they were conducted to apartments suitable to their rank. In a few days afterwards the chief of the banditti, who, burning with the ireful resolution of revenging the deaths of his associates, had travelled from place to place in hopes of finding the object of his fury, arrived at the gateway, and observing the statue, roared out in a rage, "Surely this is the resemblance of my tormenter; oh! that I could meet thy original, so that I might have the satisfaction of making her blood atone for the murder of my friends!" Instantly, as he had spoken, the guards at the gate rushing upon him, bound him hand and foot, conveyed him to the palace, where he was confined in a loathsome dungeon, and fed on the coarsest viands.

The pretended sultan having now all the parties in her power, one morning ascended her throne in full audience, and commanded them to be brought before her. When they had made their obeisance, she commanded them to relate the cause of their having journeyed to her capital; but the royal presence rendered them incapable of uttering a word: upon which she exclaimed, "Since you cannot speak, I will;" and then discovered to their astonished minds the adventures of each, which had occasioned their travelling. She then discovered herself, and fell upon the necks of her father and lover, with whom she retired into the private apartments. The sultan and his vizier were made happy in the company of the daughter of the latter and the other ladies. The master of the ship, as his troubles had atoned for his irregular behaviour, was received into favour, and had his vessel restored; but the savage chief of the banditti was put to death, by being cast into a burning pile, that no further injury might be offered to mankind. In a few days, the most magnificent preparations being made, the double nuptials of the heroic lady and her friend the vizier's daughter were celebrated with her constant lover, to whom she resigned her throne, and the happy wives lived together in felicity, undisturbed by jealousy of the husband's attention to either, so equally did they share his love. The sultan and vizier, after being long entertained at the court, took leave, and returned, under an escort, to their own country; but the daughter and the thirty-nine ladies could not be prevailed upon to accompany them, only to visit and bid farewell to their parents, for such was their attachment to their gallant mistress, that they came back immediately, and were espoused to the principle nobles of her court. Years of unusual happiness passed over the heads of the fortunate adventurers of this history, until death, the destroyer of all things, conducted them to a grave which must one day be the resting-place for ages of us all, till the receiving angel shall sound his trumpet.


As Hyjauje (the Ommiad caliph) was was one day seated in his hall of audience, surrounded by his nobles and dependents, tremblingly awaiting his commands, for his countenance resembled that of an enraged lion, there suddenly entered, unceremoniously, into the assembly a beardless youth of noble but sickly aspect, arrayed in tattered garments, for misfortune had changed his original situation, and poverty had withered the freshness of his opening youth. He made the customary obeisance to the governor, who returned his salute, and said, "Who art thou, boy? what hast thou to say, and wherefore hast thou intruded thyself into the company of princes, as if thou wert invited? who art thou, and of whom art thou the son?" "Of my father and mother," replied the youth. "But how earnest thou here?" "In my clothes." "From whence?" "From behind me." "Where art thou going?" "Before me." "Upon what dost thou travel?" "Upon the earth" Hyjauje, vexed at the pertness of the youth, exclaimed, "Quit this trifling, and inform me whence thou comest." "From Egypt." "Art thou from Cairo?" "Why askest thou?" said the boy? "Because," replied Hyjauje, "her sands are of gold, and her river Nile miraculously fruitful; but her women are wanton, free to every conqueror, and her men unstable." "I am not from thence, but from Damascus," cried the youth. "Then," said Hyjauje, "thou art from a most rebellious place, filled with wretched inhabitants, a wavering race, neither Jews nor Christians." "But I am not from thence," replied the youth, "but from Khorassan." "That is a most impure country," said Hyjauje, "whose religion is worthless, for the inhabitants are of all barbarians the most savage. Plunderers of flocks, they know not mercy, their poor are greedy, and their rich men misers." "I am not of them," cried the youth, "but of Moussul." "Then," exclaimed Hyjauje, "thou art of an unnatural and adulterous race, whose youths are catamites, and whose old men are obstinate as asses." "But I am from Yemen," said the boy. "If so," answered the tyrant, "thou belongest to a comfortless region, where the most honourable profession is robbery, where the middling ranks tan hides, and where a wretched poor spin wool and weave coarse mantles." "But I am from Mecca," said the boy. "Then," replied Hyjauje, "thou comest from a mine of perverseness, stupidity, ignorance, and slothfulness; for from among its people God raised up his prophet, whom they disbelieved, rejected, and forced away to a strange nation, who loved, venerated, and assisted him in spite of the men of Mecca. But whence comest thou, youth? for thy pertness is become troublesome, and my inclination leads me to punish thee for thy impertinence." "Had I been assured that thou durst kill me," cried the youth, "I should not have appeared before thee; but thou canst not." "Woe to thee, rash boy," exclaimed Hyjauje; "who is he that can prevent my executing thee instantly?" "To thee be thy woe," replied the youth: "he can prevent thee who directs man and his inmost thoughts, and who never falsifieth his gracious promises." "He it is," cried the tyrant, "who instigates me to put thee to death." "Withhold thy blaspheming," replied the youth; "it is not God, but Satan that prompts thy mind to my murder, and with God I hope for refuge from the accursed: but know, that I am from the glorious Medina, the seat of religion, virtue, respectability, and honour, descended of the race of Bin Ghalib, and family of Ali, son of Abou Talib, whom God has glorified and approved, and will protect all his posterity, which you would extirpate; but you cannot root it out, for it will flourish even to the last day of the existence of this world."

The tyrant was now overcome with rage, and commanded the youthful Syed to be slain; but his nobles and officers interceded for him, saying, while they bowed their necks before him, "Pardon, pardon; behold our heads and our lives a ransom for his! For God's sake accept our intercession, O ameer, for this youth is not deserving of death." "Forbear your entreaties," exclaimed the tyrant, "for were an angel to cry from Heaven, 'Do not slay him!' I would not attend." Upon this the young Syed said, "Thou ravest, O Hyjauje; who art thou that an angel should be commissioned for thy sake?" The tyrant, struck with his magnanimity, became calm, and commanding the executioner to release the youth, said, "For the present I forbear, and will not kill thee unless thy answers to my further questions shall deserve it." They then entered on the following dialogue; Hyjauje hoping to entrap him in discourse.

Hyjauje. How can the creature approach the perfection of the

Syed. By prayer, by fasting, by the commanded alms, by pilgrimage, and fighting for the cause of God.

H. I serve him by shedding the blood of infidel man. You pretend that Hassan and Houssain, your ancestors, were descendants of the prophet; but how can that be, when God has declared in the Koran Mahummud was not of your obstinate race; but the prophet of God, and last of divine messengers?

S. Hear the answer to that in the verse following it. "Hath not a prophet come unto you of your own nation? Receive him, and from what he hath forbidden be forbidden." Surely, then, God hath forbidden the shedding of the blood of him whom he sanctified.

H. Thou hast spoken justly, young man; but inform me what God hath daily and nightly commanded us as obligatory to do?

S. To pray five times.

H. What to observe in each year?

S. To keep the month of Ramzaun as a fast.

H. What to perform in the course of life?

S. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the temple of God.

H. Truly said; but what hath mostly dignified and enlightened

S. The tribe of Koreish.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because of our holy prophet's being a member of it.

H. Who were the most skilful in horsemanship in all Arabia, the most valiant, and of best conduct in war?

S. The tribe of Hashim.

H. Why think you so?

S. Because my grandfather Imaum Ali, son of Abou Talib, was one of it.

H. What tribe of Arabs is most famous for benevolence, and celebrated for liberality?

S. The family of Tai.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because Hatim belonged to it.

H. Which of the tribes have been most disgraceful to Arabia, and most oppressive to its inhabitants?

S. The tribe of Sukkeef.

H. Why so?

S. Because thou belongest to it.

The tyrant could scarcely now contain his anger; but said, hoping to cut the youth off from reply, "Tell me, is the Capricorn of the heavens male or female?" To which he answered, "Shew me its tail, that I may inform thee." The tyrant laughed, and continued his questions as follows:

H. Wert thou ever in love?

S. Yes, completely immersed in it.

H. With whom?

S. With my God, who will, I trust, pardon me for my errors, and deliver me from thee this day.

H. Knowest thou thy God?

S. Yes.

H. By what means?

S. By the scriptures, which he caused to descend to his prophet.

H. Dost thou guard the Koran?

S. Does it fly from me, that I should guard it?

H. What dost thou learn from it?

S. That God commanded its rules to be obeyed.

H. Hast thou read and understood it?

S. Yes.

H. If so, tell me, first, What passage in it is most sublime. Secondly, Which most commanding. Thirdly, Which most just. Fourthly, Which most alarming. Fifthly, Which most encouraging. Sixthly, That which Jews and Christians both believe in. Seventhly, That in which God has spoken purely of himself; that where he speaks of the angels; that in which he mentions the prophets; that where he alludes to those destined to Paradise; and that in which he speaks of those devoted to hell; that which includes ten points; and that which Eblis the accursed delivered.

S. By God's help I will answer thee. The most sublime passage is the Koorsee: the most commanding, "God insisteth on justice:" the most just, "Whoever diminishes the least of a measure, God will requite him doubly, and the same to whoever addeth the least:" the most alarming, "All expect to enter Paradise:" the most encouraging, "O my servants, who have mortified yourselves, despair not of the mercy of God!" that in which are ten points, "God created the heavens and the earth, the revolutions of night and day; also, the firmament over the waters that it might profit man:" that which is believed alike by jews and christians, "The Jew saith that the Christian is in error, and the Christian saith that the Jew is mistaken, they both believe so; and both are in error:" that in which God hath spoken purely of himself, "I have not created genii and men but to worship me:" that in which he speaks of the angels, "They said, we have no knowledge, but what thou hast taught us; for thou only art wise and all-knowing:" that which speaks of the prophets, "How could we deliver you a verse without the order of God, on whom the faithful will rely:" that which mentions the devoted to hell, "God hath cast us down from heaven, for we were transgressors:" that which describes the blessed, "Praised be God, who hath divested us of all sorrow, for our Lord is merciful and gracious:" that which satan spoke, "None will profit by thy mercy but thy servants the blessed."

Hyjauje involuntarily exclaimed, "Praised be God, who giveth wisdom to whom it pleaseth him; but I have found none so learned of such tender age." Having thus spoken, he put many other questions to the youth in every science, and he answered them so readily that the tyrant was overcome with admiration, and offered him a residence at his court; but the young man declined it, and requested his dismission, which he granted, conferring upon him a beautiful female slave richly habited, a thousand pieces of gold, and a steed elegantly caparisoned. The courtiers were astonished at the bounty of the tyrant, which he perceiving, said, "Be not surprised, for the advice he hath given me was worthy of reward, and 'Cursed is he who doth not requite a sincere adviser,' declareth our sacred Koran."


Many ages past there was a very powerful sultan who had a vizier named Ibrahim, and this minister had a daughter the most beautiful of her sex and accomplished of her age, so that she became distinguished by the appellation of Wird al Ikmaum, or the rose among flowers. It was the custom of sultan Shamikh to hold annually a general assembly of all the nobles of his kingdom, and persons eminent for science or the arts, during which they were magnificently entertained at the royal expense. The former displayed their prowess in martial exercises before the sovereign, and the latter the productions of their genius and skill; when valuable prizes were bestowed by the arbitration of appointed judges on those who deserved them. On one of the days of this festival, the vizier's daughter from a latticed balcony of the palace, in which she sat to view the sports, was so struck with the manly figure and agility of a young nobleman named Ins al Wujjood (or the perfection of human nature), that love took possession of her mind. She pointed him out to a female confidant, and gave her a letter to convey to the object of her affections. The young nobleman, who had heard her praises, was enraptured by his good fortune, and the next day, having obtained as full a sight of her beauties as could be had through the golden wires of the balcony, retired overcome by love. Letters now passed daily, and almost hourly, between them; but they were impatient for a meeting, which was at length planned; but the note fixing the place and time was unfortunately dropped by the confidant and carried to the vizier; who, alarmed for the honour of his family, sent his daughter the same night to a far distant castle belonging to himself, and situated on an island in a vast lake, surrounded by mountainous deserts thinly inhabited. The unfortunate lady was obliged to submit to her fate, but before her departure contrived to write on the outside of her balcony the following words, "They are carrying me off, but I know not where." In the morning her lover repairing, as usual, in hopes of seeing his mistress in the balcony, read the unwelcome intelligence, which for a time deprived him of his senses. When somewhat recovered he resolved to leave the court, though then the chief favourite of the sultan, and go in search of his beloved. Having put on the habit of a wandering devotee, he, on the following evening, quitted the city, and recommending himself to Providence, set out, but knew not whither. Many weeks did he travel, but could find no traces of his beloved object; when suddenly, passing through a thick forest, there met him a monstrous lion, from whom he thought it impossible to escape, and having uttered a prayer for the happiness of his beloved, and repeated the testimony of martyrdom, he resigned himself to his fate, and waited the spring of his expected devourer. What was his surprise when the majestic animal, instead of making him his prey, on approaching close to him, having looked compassionately in his face, licked his hands, and turning round, walked gently onwards, moving his head, as if to signify the youth should follow him. Ins al Wujjood did so, and was conducted through the forest by the lion; who, ascending a high mountain, suddenly stopped at the entrance of a cave, to which was a door of iron, then moving his head, and once more licking the hands of his companion, the generous animal left him, and retired back to the woods. The youth now went to the cave, and having knocked at the door, it was opened by a venerable hermit, who bade him welcome, brought him warm water to wash his feet, and set before him refreshments of various kinds. When he had eaten, he inquired the cause of his coming to such a desolate country; and Ins al Wujjood having related his adventures, the old man exclaimed, "Thou art a favourite of Heaven, or the lion would have devoured thee; despair not, therefore, of success, for my mind presages that thou wilt be happy, nor shalt thou want my assistance." Ins al Wujjood having thanked him for his hospitality and generous offers, the hermit informed him, that for nearly twenty years past he had not beheld a human face till a few days prior to his coming, when, wandering over the mountains, he had seen an encampment on the margin of the great lake below, in which appeared a crowd of men and women, some very richly habited, part of whom had embarked on board a stately yacht, and the remainder having taken leave of them, struck their tents, and returned by the road they had come. "Most probably," said the hermit, "the yacht may have conveyed thy mistress to the castle which stands on an island in the middle of the lake, and if so thou shalt soon be safely landed: for the rest Providence must be thy guide. I will this night remember thee in my prayers, and meditate on what can be done for thy benefit." Having said this, the hermit conducted the wanderer to a chamber, and left him to his repose.

The beautiful Wird al Ikmaum during this time remained overwhelmed with uneasiness in her confinement, and it was in vain that her attendants tried to amuse her. She wandered melancholy through the magnificent gardens of the castle, the groves of which were filled with every variety of birds, whose harmony was delightful; but the soft cooing of the turtle dove and the plaintive note of the lovelorn nightingale alone caught her attention. To these she would listen for hours together, reclined on a mossy bank, and fancy their pensive strains the language of her beloved. Such was her daily employment, nor would she quit the garden till forced by her attendants to take shelter from the falling dews of night. We now return to her lover.

Fatigue and the consoling assurances of the friendly hermit had greatly composed the mind of Ins al Wujjood, who enjoyed a refreshing sleep, nor did he awake till the sun was mounted high in the heavens, when he joined his venerable host in his devotions; after which they partook of a repast of bread, milk, and fresh fruits. This ended, the old man requested him to fetch from the forest a bundle of the filaments of palm bark, which, when brought to him, he plaited into a shape resembling a little boat, and giving it to Ins al Wujjood, said, "Repair to the lake, and put this into the water, when it will become instantly large enough to hold thee, then embark in it, and trust to Heaven for the rest. Farewell!"

Ins al Wujjood having taken leave of his venerable friend the hermit, with many thanks, did as he had been commanded, and soon arrived on the margin of the lake, into which he launched his little vessel, when, to his great surprise, it instantaneously became a handsome boat with the sails set. He got into it, and a fair wind springing up was soon out of sight of land. For some days he was wafted over the deep; but at length the shore of an island appeared, on which he landed, and made his boat fast to the trunk of a large tree. He then walked into the country, and found it beautifully interspersed with green meadows, clear streams, and shady groves of bending fruit trees, on the branches of which all sorts of birds were warbling in their different strains. Having refreshed himself with several fruits, he proceeded onwards, and at length came in sight of a superb edifice, to the gateway of which he advanced; but found it locked. For three days he waited in hopes of seeing some of its inhabitants, but in vain. However on the fourth morning the gate was opened by a man, who seeing Ins al Wujjood, advanced towards him, and inquired who he was, whence he came, and what was his reason for waiting at the gate. "I am of Ispahaun," replied Ins al Wujjood, "and was shipwrecked in a trading voyage upon this coast, to the shore of which I alone of all my companions had the good fortune to escape." Upon hearing this the man burst into tears, embraced him, and said, "May God preserve thee from future calamities! I am also a native of Ispahaun, where also dwelt my cousin, whom I dearly loved, and by whom I was beloved. At this happy period of my youth a nation stronger than ours made war against us, overcame us, and among other captives forced me from my country; after which they sold me as a slave to my present master: but come, my dear countryman, enter the palace, and repose thyself in my apartment, where we will endeavour to console each other under our misfortunes till Providence shall restore us to our homes."

Ins al Wujjood gladly accepted such a friendly invitation, and on entering the court beheld a lofty and wide-spreading tree, from the branches of which were suspended several golden cages, each inhabited by a beautiful bird, and each striving to rival the other in melody, as if in welcome of his approach. He inquired of his host to whom the splendid edifice belonged, and was informed to the vizier of sultan Shamikh; who, to secure his daughter from the vicissitudes of fortune, had lodged her here, and only visited her annually to inquire after her health, and bring the necessary supplies for her convenience and the support of her attendants in the castle. Upon hearing the above circumstances, Ins al Wujjood was nearly overcome with ecstacy; but restraining his feelings, exclaimed to himself, "At length I have reached the abode of my beloved, and may hope for success;" which was yet, however, afar off. His charming mistress, little thinking that her lover was so near, and weary of absence and the solitude of her abode, had that very evening resolved to escape from confinement. In the darkness of night she accordingly let herself down from the battlements by a silken rope, which she had twisted from slips of various robes, and reached the ground unhurt. With haste she fled towards the sea shore, where she perceived a fishing boat, the owner of which, though at first alarmed, supposing her, from her dazzling appearance (for she was covered with jewels), to be an ensnaring genie, at length, on her assurances that she was really a woman, admitted her into his vessel. She thanked him for his kindness, which she rewarded by the gift of many rich jewels, and requested to be conveyed across the lake. The fisherman hoisted sail, and for some hours the wind was prosperous; but now a heavy tempest arose, which tossed them constantly in imminent danger for three days, and drove them far from their intended course. At length the gale subsided, the sea became assuaged, and land appeared. As they approached the shore a stately city rose to their view, the buildings of which seemed unusually magnificent. Under the terrace of the sultan's palace they safely, at last, cast anchor; and it chanced that the prince, who was named Dara, was then sitting with his daughter in a balcony to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, and the view of the extensive harbour, crowded with the vessels of every country. Perceiving the boat, the sultan commanded his officers to bring the master and his crew to the presence. Great was his surprise at the introduction of the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum. From her rich dress, dignified air, and demeanour, he concluded her to be of superior rank, and having seated her near his daughter, he graciously requested to be informed of the name of her country, and the cause of her having travelled to his capital; to which she replied in eloquent language, giving a summary detail of all her adventures. The sultan consoled her by encouraging assurances of his protection, promised to exert his authority to effect a union with her beloved, and immediately dispatched his vizier with costly presents to sultan Shamikh, requesting him to send Ins al Wujjood to his court.

The vizier, after a prosperous voyage, having reached the capital of sultan Shamikh, presented his offerings, and made known the request of his master; to which the sultan replied, That nearly a year had elapsed since Ins al Wujjood had, to his great regret, absented himself from his court, nor had any tidings been obtained of the place of his retirement; but that he would order his vizier to accompany the ambassador in search of his retreat, being willing to oblige his master the sultan to the utmost of his power. Accordingly, after a repose of some days, the two viziers departed in search of Ins al Wujjood, but without knowing where to bend their journey. At length they reached the shore of the ocean of Kunnooz, on which they embarked in a hired vessel, and sailed to the mountainous island of Tukkalla, of which the vizier of sultan Shamikh gave to his companion the following account. "This island was some ages back inhabited by genii; a princess of whom became violently enamoured of a handsome young man, a son of an ameer of the city of Misr, or Cairo, whom she beheld in her flight sleeping in his father's garden in the heat of the day. She sat down by him, and having gently awoke him, the youth, on looking up, to his astonishment and rapture saw a most beautiful damsel who courted his addresses: he was not backward in offering them; and mutual protestations of love and constancy took place. After some hours of happiness the genie princess took an affectionate leave, promising soon to visit him again, and vanished from sight. The youth remained musing on his fortunate adventure till the dews of night began to fall, when his parents, fearful of some injury, sent attendants to conduct him to their palace, but he refused to go; and talked, as it appeared to them, so incoherently concerning his beloved, that they thought him distracted; seized him roughly, and forced him homewards. His father and mother were alarmed: it was in vain that they courted him to partake of refreshment; he was sullen and gloomy, and at length abruptly retired to his chamber, where he remained in restless anxiety all night, waiting impatiently for morning, that he might revisit the happy spot where his charmer had promised again to meet him.

"At early dawn the ameer's son repaired to the garden, and was soon gratified with the sight of his beloved; but while they were exchanging mutual protestations of regard, the mother of the genie princess, who had suspected from her daughter's conduct that she was carrying on some intrigue, and had followed her in the air unperceived, suddenly appeared. Rushing upon the lovers, she seized her daughter by the hair, beat, and abused her in the harshest language for having disgraced the honour of the genii by an amour with a wretched son of mortality: to all which the genie princess replied, that her remonstrances were vain; she had fixed her affections, and would rather be torn into a thousand pieces than desert the object of her heart. The mother upon this finding the case desperate, and being herself softened by the uncommon beauty of the youth, who had fallen at her feet, entreating mercy for his beloved, at length relented, and agreed to sanctify their loves by her consent to their marriage. It was accordingly celebrated; and this island, which after the name of the genie princess was called Tukkalla, was fixed upon for the place of their residence. Its magnificent palace still remains, after the lapse of many ages, and is at present in my possession. Here I hope to meet my only daughter, whom I brought to reside in it nearly a year ago, to secure her from the attempts of a young courtier, on whom she had, against my consent, fixed her affections."

The two viziers now disembarked, and proceeded up the island; but what was the astonishment and mortification of Ibrahim on learning, when he arrived at the palace, that his daughter had escaped, nor had the attendants heard of her since her departure, though they had repeatedly searched every quarter of the island. Perceiving among his attendants whom he had left at the palace a strange young man of pallid countenance, wasted frame, and melancholy air, the vizier inquired how he had come among them; and received for reply, that he was a shipwrecked merchant of Ispahaun, whom they had taken in for the sake of charity. Ibrahim now requested of the vizier of sultan Dara that he would return to his master, and inform him of their vain search after Ins al Wujjood; at the same time desiring him to receive into his suite the supposed merchant as far as the city of Ispahaun, which lay in his route. To this the vizier of sultan Dara consented: and the two ministers having taken a friendly leave of each other separated, and departed for their several capitals.

The vizier of sultan Dara, in the course of the journey, became so pleased with the agreeable manners of the supposed merchant, that he often conversed with him familiarly; and at length the young man, emboldened by his condescending attention, ventured to inquire the cause of his travels to regions so distant from his own country: upon which he was informed of the arrival of the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum at the court of sultan Dara; of the compassion of that sultan for her misfortunes; his generous protection; and his own fruitless mission in search of her lover Ins al Wujjood. A this happy intelligence, the latter, overcome with ecstacy, could no longer contain himself, but discovered who he was; and the vizier was also overjoyed at knowing, when least expected, that he had found the despaired of object of his long journey. He embraced the young man, congratulated him upon the speedy termination of absence from his beloved, and the happy union which awaited him. He then made him an inmate of his own tents, supplied him with rich attire, and every necessary becoming the condition of a person for whose fortunes he knew his sovereign to be so highly concerned. Ins al Wujjood, now easy in mind, and renovated by the happy prospects before him, daily recovered health and strength, so that by the time of their arrival at the capital of sultan Dara he had regained his pristine manliness and vigour.

When the vizier waited upon his master the sultan Dara to communicate his successful commission, the sultan commanded the youth to his presence. Ins al Wujjood performed the usual obeisance of kissing the ground before the throne, with the graceful demeanour of one who had been used to a court. The sultan graciously returned his salutation, and commanded him to be seated; after which he requested him to relate his adventures, which he did in eloquent language, interspersing in his narrative poetical quotations, and extempore verses applicable to the various incidents and situations. The sultan was charmed with his story; and when he had finished its relation, sent for a cauzee and witnesses to tie the marriage knot between the happy Ins al Wujjood and the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum; at the same time dispatching a messenger to announce the celebration of the nuptials to sultan Shamikh and Ibrahim his vizier, who were bewailing their supposed irrecoverable losses; one that of his favourite, and the latter that of his daughter. Sultan Dara detained the happy couple at his court for some time, after which he dismissed them with valuable presents to their own country, which they reached in safety, and were received with the most heart-felt rejoicings by the sultan and the repentant vizier, who now recompensed them by his kindness for the former cruelty of his behaviour towards them; so that in favour with the sultan, and happy in their own family, the lovers henceforth enjoyed every earthly felicity, sweetened by the reflection on past distresses, till the angel of death summoned them to submit to the final destination of mortality.


In ancient days there resided in the city of Khorassaun a youth named Mazin, who, though brought up by his mother, a poor widow, to the humble occupation of a dyer, was so celebrated for his personal accomplishments and capacity as to become the admiration of crowds, who daily flocked to his shop to enjoy the pleasure of his conversation. This young man was as good as he was able, nor did flattery take away his humility, or make him dissatisfied with his laborious occupation, which he followed with industry unceasing, and maintained his mother and himself decently from the fruits of his labour. So delicate was his taste in the choice of colours, that veils, turbans, and vests of Mazin's dyeing were sought after by all the young and gay of Khorassaun; and many of the females would often cast a wishful glance at him from under their veils as they gave him their orders. Mazin, however, was destined by fate not always to remain a dyer, but for higher fortunes and surprising adventures.

As he was one day busy in his occupation, a man of Hijjem came to his shop, and after looking at him earnestly for some moments, exclaimed, "Alas, that such a noble youth should be confined to drudge at so mean an employment!" "I thank you, father, for your compassion," replied Mazin, "but honest industry can never be disgraceful." "True," said the old man of Hijjem, "yet if Providence puts affluence and distinction in our way, should we refuse it?" "By no means," said Mazin; "canst thou point me out the way to it without making me forfeit my integrity? If so, I assure thee I am not so fond of my trade but I would be glad to live at ease in an honest manner without it; for I should like to enjoy leisure to follow my studies, which have already gained me some little celebrity." "Son," said the Hijjemmee, "thy wishes shall be satisfied: thou hast no father, but I will be one to thee; from this instant I adopt thee as my son. I possess the art of transmuting common metals into gold: be ready at thy shop early in the morning, when I will meet thee. Farewell!" Having thus said, the old man took leave.

Mazin's curiosity and ambition were raised: he shut up his shop sooner than usual, and returned with a full heart to his mother, to whom he communicated the offered kindness of the Hijjemmee. The good woman, after some moments of reflection, said, "Son, I fear some evil lurks under this apparent kindness, for we live in wicked days, when men profess more than they mean to do for the sake of attaining an object; be cautious then, and do not till thou hast proof of his sincerity regard his office. We have at present all we want, and what can riches give more?" Mazin agreed to the propriety of his mother's advice, and promised to be wary. They ate their usual cheerful meal, and retired to rest; but the young man could sleep but little, and he longed with impatience for the morning that was to put him into possession of the art of transmuting metals into gold.

The morning arrived, and Mazin repaired impatiently to his shop, where he had soon after the satisfaction of seeing his adopted father, who came bearing in his hands a crucible. "Welcome, son!" "Welcome, father!" was the mutual salutation; after which the Hijjemmee desired Mazin to kindle a fire: he did so, when the old man inquired of Mazin if he had any old metal, iron, brass, copper, &c. Mazin produced some pieces of an old pot of the latter metal, which were put into the crucible. When melted, the Hijiemmee took from his turban a paper containing powder of a yellowish hue, which he threw into the crucible, over which he repeated some cabalistic words while he stirred the melting metal. At length he took it from the fire, and to his astonishment Mazin beheld a large lump of pure gold, which the Hijiemmee desired him to carry to a goldsmith's and get it exchanged for coin He did did so, and received a handsome sum, with which he returned to his adopted father.

"Well, my son," said the Hijjemmee, "art thou now convinced of my skill, and my sincerity in offering to promote thy fortunes?" "I am," said Mazin, "and am ready to follow wherever thou choosest, in hopes of learning this invaluable secret" "That shall soon be thine," replied the transmuter of metals; "I will sup with thee this evening, and in the privacy of retirement give thee the necessary instruction." Mazin, overjoyed, immediately shut up his shop, and with his adopted father repaired to his own house, where he seated him in his best apartment. He then went to his mother, desiring that she would go and spend the night at a neighbour's, shewing her the gold which his broken copper had procured, as a proof of the sincerity of his new friend. The old lady no longer doubted upon such evidence, and cheerfully took leave and departed to a friend's house.

Mazin next went to a cook's shop, from which he returned laden with every sort of refreshment, nor was wine forgotten, though forbidden to the faithful. The adopted father and son ate heartily, at the same time pushing about the spirit-stirring liquor, till at last Mazin, who had not been used to drink wine, became intoxicated. The wily magician, for such in fact was his pretended friend, watching his opportunity, infused into the goblet of his unsuspecting host a certain potent drug, which Mazin had scarcely drunk oft, when he fell back upon his cushion totally insensible, the treacherous wizard tumbled him into a large chest, and shutting the lid, locked it. He then ransacked the apartments of the house of every thing portable worth having, which, with the gold, he put into another chest, then fetching in porters, he made them take up the chests and follow him to the seaside, where a vessel waited his orders to sail, and embarked with the unfortunate Mazin and his plunder. The anchor was weighed, and the wind being fair, the ship was soon out of sight of the land.

Mazin's mother early in the morning returning to her house found the door open, her son missing, and the rooms ransacked of all her valuables. She gave a loud shriek, tore her hair, beat her bosom, and threw herself on the ground, crying out for her son, who she thought must have been murdered by the treacherous magician, against whose professions she had warned him to be cautious, till the sight of the transmuted gold had deceived her, as well as the unfortunate victim of his accursed arts. Some neighbours hearing her lamentations rushed in, lifted her from the ground, and inquired the cause of her distress; which, when informed of, they endeavoured to alleviate by every consolation in their power, but in vain: the afflicted old lady was not to be comforted. She commanded a tombstone to be raised in the court-yard, over which she sat night and day bewailing her son, taking scarcely food sufficient to preserve her miserable existence.

The infidel Hijjemmee, who was a wicked magician and a worshipper of fire, by name Bharam, hated the true believers, one of whom annually for several years past he had inveigled by his offers of instructing in the science of transmuting metals into his power; and after making him subservient to his purposes in procuring the ingredients necessary for his art, had treacherously put him to death, lest the secret should be divulged: such was now his intention towards the unfortunate Mazin.

On the evening of the second day after the sailing of the vessel, Bharam thought proper to awaken his victim to a sense of his misery. He opened the chest, which had been placed in his cabin, and poured a certain liquid down the throat of Mazin, who instantly sneezed several times; then opening his eyes, gazed for some minutes wildly around him. At length, seeing the magician, observing the sea, and feeling the motion of the ship, his mind surmised to him the misfortune which had happened; and he guessed his having fallen into the snares of the treacherous Bharam, against which his mother had warned him, but in vain. Still, being a virtuous Mussulmaun, he would not complain against the decrees of Heaven; and instead of lamentation uttered the following verse of the sacred Koran: "There is no support or refuge but from the Almighty, whose we are, and to whom we must return. Deal gently with me, O my God, in the dictates of thy omnipotence; and make me resigned under thy chastening, O Lord of all being."

Having finished the above prayer, Mazin turning humbly towards his accursed betrayer, said in a supplicating tone, "What hast thou done, my father? didst thou not promise me enjoyment and pleasure?" The magician, after striking him, with a scowling and malignant sneer, exclaimed, "Thou dog! son of a dog! my pleasure is in thy destruction. Nine and thirty such ill-devoted wretches as thyself have I already sacrificed, and thou shalt make the fortieth victim to my enjoyment, unless thou wilt abjure thy faith, and become, like me, a worshipper of the sacred fire, in which case thou shalt be my son, and I will teach thee the art of making gold." "Cursed be thou, thy religion, and thy art," exclaimed the enraged Mazin: "God forbid that for the pleasures of this world I should apostatize from our holy prophet, and give up the glorious rewards reserved in certain store for his faithful disciples. Thou mayest indeed destroy my body, but my soul despises thy torments" "Vile dog!" roared out the now furious sorcerer, "I will try thy constancy." He then called in his slaves, who held Mazin on the floor of the cabin while their abominable master beat him with a knotted whip till he was covered with a gore of blood, but the resolute youth, instead of complaining, uttered only prayers to Heaven for divine support under his pangs, and strength of fortitude to acquire the glory of martyrdom. At length the magician, exhausted by his cruel exercise, desisted, and making his slaves load his unfortunate victim with heavy fetters, chained him down with only a coarse mat to lie upon in a dark closet, in which was placed some stinking water and coarse bread, just sufficient to keep up his miserable existence. Mazin's courage was not to be overcome He washed his wounds, and comforted himself with the hope that if he died he should enjoy the blisses of Paradise, or if Providence had decreed his continuance in life, that the same Providence would present a mode of relief from his present and future afflictions. In this assurance he took a little of his wretched fare, and in spite of the agony of his wounds fell asleep, but only to awake to fresh misery In the morning he was again persecuted by his cruel tormentor, who for three months daily harassed him with blows, with revilings, and every sort of insult that malice could invent or cruelty devise.

Hitherto the wind had been fair, and the vessel had nearly reached the desired haven, when suddenly it changed, and a most tremendous storm arose The waves threatened to swallow up or dash the vessel in pieces, so that all gave themselves over for lost. At this crisis the sailors, who believed that the tempest was sent by Heaven as a judgment for their suffering the unfortunate Mazin to be so cruelly tormented, went in a body to the accursed Bharam, and accused him of having brought down the wrath of God upon the crew by his persecution of the young Mussulmaun; at the same time threatening to cast him overboard if he did not instantly release the youth from his confinement. To show the seriousness of their resolves, the sailors seized the slaves who had been the instruments of the magician's cruelty, and threw them into the sea, which so alarmed the treacherous Bharam that he immediately released Mazin from his chains, fell at his feet, begging pardon for his hard usage, and promising if they escaped the storm to conduct him safely to his own country, and fulfil his promise of instructing him in the secret of making gold. Wonderful to relate! But no sooner was Mazin freed from his fetters than the violence of the tempest lessened, by degrees the winds subsided, the waves abated their swell, and the sea no longer threatened to overwhelm them: in a few hours all was calm and security, and a prosperous gale enabled the shattered vessel to resume her course.

The sailors now regarding Mazin as one immediately befriended by Heaven, treated him with the greatest respect and attention; and the hypocritical magician pretending sorrow for his late cruelties, strove to procure his forgiveness and good opinion by every art of flattery and affected contrition; which had such an effect on the ingenuous youth that he forgot his treachery, again believed his fair promises and assurances that the torments he had undergone had only been inflicted as trials of his constancy and belief in the true religion, virtues necessary to be proved before the grand secret of transmuting metals could be trusted to his keeping.

The remainder of the voyage was prosperous and happy, and at the expiration of three months more the vessel anchored on the wished for coast, which was rocky, and the beach strewed with pebbles of every colour. The magician having given orders to the master of the vessel to wait a month for their return, disembarked with Mazin, and they proceeded together into the country. When they had got out of sight of the ship the magician sat down, and taking from his vestband a small drum, began to beat upon it with two sticks, when instantly a whirlwind arose, and a thick column of dust rolled towards them from the desert. Mazin was alarmed, and began to repent having left the vessel; when the magician, seeing his colour change, desired him to calm his apprehensions, for which there was no cause, that he had only to obey his orders and be happy. He had scarcely spoken when the wind ceased, the dust dispersed, and three camels stood before them, one of which was laden with water and provisions; the others were bridled and very richly caparisoned. Bharam having mounted one, and, at his desire, Mazin the other, they travelled without ceasing, except to take the necessary refreshment and repose, for seven days and nights successively over a wild and sandy desert.

On the eighth morning they reached a beautifully fertile tract, delightfully watered by clear streams; the ground verdant, shaded by spreading trees laden with fruit, on whose branches various birds warbled melodiously, and beneath them antelopes and other forest animals sported unmolested. At the end of a thick avenue rose to view a capacious dome of blue and green enamel, resting upon four columns of solid gold, each pillar exceeding in value the treasures of the sovereigns of Persia and Greece. They approached the dome, stopped their camels and dismounted, and turned the animals to graze. This splendid building was surrounded by a delightful garden, in which the now happy Mazin and the magician reposed themselves all that day and night. At some distance from this enchanting spot appeared a stupendous fabric, whose numerous turrets and lofty pinnacles glittered to the eye, and denoted a palace of uncommon magnificence, so that the curiosity of Mazin was raised, and he could not help inquiring of his companion to whom such a superb edifice might belong. The magician, rather roughly, desired him for the present to ask no questions concerning a place which belonged to his most bitter enemies, who were evil genii, and of whom at a proper time he would give him the history. Mazim was silent, but from the magician's manner he began to forbode some new treachery.

In the morning Bharam beat his magical drum, and the three camels appealed, when Mazim and his companion mounted, pursuing their journey in the same manner as before for seven days, with a speed more resembling flight than the pace of travel, for their camels were supernatural. On the eighth morning the magician inquired of Mazim what he saw on the horizon. "I behold," said he, "to appearance, a range of thick black clouds extending from east to west." "They are not clouds," replied Bharam, "but lofty mountains, called the Jubbal al Sohaub, or mountains of clouds, from their cloud-like appearance, on their summit lies the object of our journey, which with thy assistance we shall soon obtain, and return to our vessel more enriched than all the sovereigns of the world, but thou must be sure to obey me in whatever I may command." Mazin promised to do so, but his heart trembled within him as he beheld the gloomy prospect before him, and recollected the boast which the accursed magician had made of his having sacrificed thirty-nine youthful victims on these mountains, and also his threat on board the ship to make the fortieth offering of himself. He repented of having trusted himself from the vessel, but it was now too late to recede. He resigned himself to the same Providence who had relieved his sufferings in his voyage, and concealed, as well as he could, his uneasiness from the magician, who now endeavoured to sooth and flatter him with artful promises and caresses.

For four days longer they pursued their route, when it was stopped by the black mountains, which formed, as it were, a wall inaccessible, for the precipices were perpendicular, as if scarped by art, and their tremendous height cast a dark and gloomy shade to a vast distance. They now dismounted, and turned their camels to graze, when the magician took out of his package three loaves and a sum of water, after which he lighted a fire; then having beat his talismanic drum, the camels again appeared, the smallest of which he killed, embowelled, and carefully flayed off the skin, the inside of which he washed with water. Having done thus, he addressed Mazin, saying, "My son, the task must now be thine to crown our labours with success. Enter this skin, with these loaves and this water bag for thy sustenance while thou remainest on the summit of the mountain. Be not afraid, for no harm can happen I will sew up the skin, leaving room enough for the admission of air. By and by a roc will descend, and seizing it in her talons carry thee easily through the air. When she shall have alighted on the table-land of the mountain, rip open the stitches of the skin with thy dagger, and the roc on seeing thee will be instantly scared, and fly far away. Then arise, gather as much as possible of a black dust which thou wilt find thickly strewed on the ground; put it into this bag, and throw it down to me, after which I will contrive an easy means for thy descent, and when thou hast rejoined me we will return to our vessel, and I will convey thee safely back to thy own country. The dust, which has the quality of transmuting metals into gold, we will share between us, and shall each have enough to rival all the treasuries on earth."

Mazim finding it in vain to oppose, allowed himself to be sewn up in the camel's skin with the loaves and water, recommending himself by mental prayer to the protection of Allah and his prophet. The magician having finished his work retired to some distance, when, as he had said, a monstrous roc, darting from a craggy precipice, descended with the rapidity of lightning, grasped the skin in her widely extended talons, and soaring swifter than the eagle soon alighted on the table-land of the mountain; when Mazin, feeling himself on the ground, ripped the stitches of his dangerous enclosure, and the roc being alarmed, uttered a loud scream and flew away. Mazin now arose, and walked upon the surface of the mountain, which he found covered with black dust; but he beheld also the skeletons of the young men whom the accursed Bharam, after they had served his purpose, had left to perish. His blood became chilled with horror at the view, as he apprehended the same unhappy fate: he however filled his bag with the black powder, and advanced to the edge of a precipice, from which he beheld the magician eagerly looking upwards to discover him. Mazin called out; and when the hypocrite saw him, he began dancing and capering for joy, at the same time exclaiming, "Welcome, welcome, my son! my best friend, beloved child! all our dangers are now over, throw me down the bag." "I will not," said Mazin, "but will give it thee when thou hast conveyed me safely from this perilous summit." "That is not in my power," answered Bharam, "till I shall have the bag: cast it down, and I swear by the fire which I worship immediately to procure thee a safe descent." Mazin, relying on his oath, and seeing no other chance of escape, cast down the bag; which having taken up, the accursed sorcerer mounted his camel and was departing. The unhappy Mazin in agony called after him, saying, "Surely thou wilt not forfeit thy oath, nor leave me to perish!" "Perish thou must, Mussulmaun dog!" exclaimed the treacherous magician, "that my secret may be kept, nor can thy boasted prophet save thee from destruction; for around thee are mountains impassable, and below a fathomless sea. I have obtained what I wished, and leave thee to thy fate." Having said thus he speeded onwards, and was soon out of sight.

Mazin was now in an agony of despair, not a ray of hope comforted his mind; he beat his bosom, threw himself on the ground amid the mouldering skeletons of the former victims to the treachery of the magician, and lay for some time in a state of insensibility. At length the calls of hunger and thirst forced him back to a sense of wretched existence; and the love of life, however miserable, made him have recourse to his water and his loaves. Being somewhat revived, religion came to his aid, and he began to pray for resignation to submit to the decrees of Heaven, however painful. He then walked to the edge of the mountain overhanging the sea, which he observed to wash the base of the rock without any beach, at sight of which a desperate chance of escape struck his mind: this was, to throw himself from the precipice into the ocean, in hopes, should he survive the fall and rise to the surface, he might reach land. He commended himself to God, shut his eyes, held in his breath, and giving a desperate spring, plunged headlong into the dreadful abyss, which providentially received him unhurt, and a friendly wave drove him on shore; where, however, he remained some minutes in a lifeless stupor, owing to the rapidity of his descent from the brain-sickening precipice.

When his senses returned Mazin looked wildly around him, at first scarcely able to bear the light from the recollection of the dizzy eminence from which he had plunged; and an uneasy interval elapsed before he could persuade himself that the certainty of death was past. Convinced at length of this, he prostrated himself to the earth, and exclaimed, "In God alone is our refuge and support! I thought I should have perished, but his providence has sustained me." He then wept exceedingly, entreated forgiveness of his offences, read several passages from the Koran, which he had preserved in his vestband, repeated the whole of his rosary, and besought the intercession of the prophet for his deliverance from future dangers. After this he walked onwards till evening, the fruits of the forest his food, his drink the water of the streams, and his resting place the green turf. Such was his progress, that after three days he reached the spot under the mountain where he had been taken up by the roc in the camel's skin. He now recognized the road he had come; and after measuring back his steps for nine days, beheld on the last the superb palace, concerning which he had inquired of the magician, who had informed him it was inhabited by evil genii, his most bitter enemies.

For some time Mazin hesitated whether he should advance to the gates of the palace; but considering that no greater calamity could happen to him than he had already endured, he contemned danger, and boldly advanced to a grand lodge built of white marble exquisitely polished. He entered, and beheld on one of the raised platforms which skirted the passage into the court two beautiful damsels playing at the game of chess; one of whom on beholding him exclaimed, "Surely, sister, this is the young man who passed this way about a month ago with Bharam the magician?" "I am he!" exclaimed Mazin, at the same time throwing himself at her feet, "and entreat your hospitable protection." The lady, raising him from the ground, said, "Stranger, you resemble so much a once beloved brother, that I feel inclined to adopt thee as such, if my sister will also agree to do so." The other lady readily assented. They then embraced Mazin, seated him between them, and requested to be informed of his adventures, of which he gave them a true narration.

When Mazin had concluded his story, the ladies expressed compassion for his misfortunes, and the strongest resentment against the accursed magician, whom they vowed to punish by a tormenting death for having had the insolence to accuse them of being evil genii. They then proceeded to acquaint him with the cause of their residence in this secluded palace, saying, "Brother, for as such we shall henceforward regard you, our father is a most potent sultan of a race of good genii, who were converted by Solomon, the son of David, to the true faith; we are seven daughters by the same mother; but for some cause which we do not know the sultan our father, being fearful of our becoming connected with mankind, has placed us in this solitary spot. This palace was erected by genii for our accommodation; the meadows and forests around it are delightful, and we often amuse ourselves with field sports, there being plenty of every sort of game, as you must have observed. When we want horses or camels we have only to beat a small magical drum, and they instantly attend our call, ready caparisoned. Our five sisters are at present at the chase, but will soon return. Set thy heart at rest, forget thy misfortunes, which are now at an end, and thou shall live with us in ease and pleasure."

The five sisters soon returned, and Mazin's adventures being recounted to them they also adopted him as their brother; and he continued with these ladies, who strove to divert him all in their power by repeated rounds of amusements: one day they hunted, another hawked, another fished, and their indoor pleasures were varied and delightful; so that Mazin soon recovered his health, and was happy to the extent of his wishes. A year had elapsed, when Mazin one day riding out for his amusement to the enamelled dome supported on four golden columns, perceived under it the accursed magician, and with him a youth, whom, like himself, he had inveigled into his snares, and devoted also to destruction. The rage of Mazin was kindled at the sight; he drew his sabre, and rushing unperceived behind the sorcerer, who was in the act of flaying a camel for the purposes already described, seized him by his hair, and exclaimed, "Wretch! the judgment of Heaven at length hath overtaken thee, and soon shall thy impure soul be plunged into that fire thou hast blasphemously adored." The magician struggled, but in vain. He then implored for mercy and forgiveness; but Mazin, convinced by experience that he deserved none, struck off his head at one blow. Then informing the intended victim, who stood near gazing with astonishment, of the wicked arts of the accursed Bharam, and of his own narrow escape from almost certain destruction, he advised the young man to remount his camel, and return to the spot where he had disembarked from the vessel, which would safely convey him back to his own country. The youth, having thanked him for his deliverance, took his leave; and Mazin returned to the palace, carrying with him the head of the magician as a trophy of his victory. He was highly applauded for his prowess by the sisters, who rejoiced in the destruction of so cruel an enemy to mankind.

Many days had not elapsed after this event, when one morning Mazin and the sisters sitting together in a gallery of the palace, observed a thick cloud of dust rising from the desert and approaching towards them. As it came nearer they perceived through it a troop of horsemen; upon which the sisters, desiring Mazin to retire into an inner chamber, went to the gateway to inquire who the strangers might be. They were servants of the genie sultan, father to the ladies, and sent by him to conduct them to his presence, in order to attend the nuptials of a near relation. Upon this summons the sisters prepared for the journey, and at the end of three days departed, assuring Mazin that they would return in a month. At taking leave they gave him the keys of every apartment in the palace, telling him that he might open every door except one, which to enter might be attended with unpleasant consequences, and therefore had better be avoided. Mazin promised to observe their caution; and for many days was so well amused in examining the magnificent rooms and curiosities of the palace, that he did not feel a wish to transgress till the forbidden door alone remained unopened. Having then nothing to divert him, he could not resist the impulse of curiosity, but unlocked the door, which opened on a marble staircase by which he ascended to the terraced roof of the palace, from whence a most delightful prospect feasted his sight. On one side his eye was arrested by an extensive garden, in the centre of which, under shady trees, was a basin of clear water, lined with gems of every colour and description. He resolved to visit this enchanting object; and descending the staircase, explored his way through a long arcade, which led him at length into the garden, in which he diverted himself with the scenery it afforded for some time. He then retired to an alcove on the margin of the basin, and sat down; but had not rested many moments, when to his astonishment he beheld descending from the sky a company of beautiful damsels, whose robes of light green silk floating in the air seemed their only support. Alarmed at such a preternatural appearance, he retired to the end of the alcove, from whence he watched their motions. They alighted on the brink of the water, and having thrown off their robes, stood to the enraptured view of Mazin in native loveliness. Never had he beheld such enchanting beauty; but one even more exquisitely charming than the rest attracted his gaze, and from the instant fixed the affections of his heart. They now plunged into the basin, where for some time they amused themselves by swimming, every now and then playfully dashing the water over themselves and at each other. When satiated with frolic they came out of the water, sat for some time on the verdant margin, then dressed themselves, and adjusting their robes to the air, soared aloft, and were soon far from the sight of the enamoured Mazin, who followed them till his eyes could stretch no farther; then despairing of ever again beholding the object of his affections, he fainted on the grass, and it was some time before he recovered his senses. He returned melancholy to the palace, and spent the night in reposeless agitation.

The following morning the seven sisters returned; and she who had first welcomed him to their abode, and had ever since retained for Mazin the purest affection, ran with eagerness to inquire after his health. Great was her affliction on beholding him upon his bed, pale, and apparently in a state of rapid decay. After many kind questions, to which he returned no answers, she entreated earnestly, by the vow of brotherly and sisterly adoption which had past between them, that he would inform her of the cause of his unhappy dejection; assuring him that she would use every exertion to remove it, and gratify his wishes, be they what they might, however difficult to be obtained. Mazin upon this, in a feeble tone, related his adventure in the garden; and declared that unless the beautiful (he supposed celestial) damsel could be obtained for him he must die of grief. The sister bade him be comforted, for in a short time his desires should be satisfied, which revived his spirits, and he accompanied his kind hostess to welcome home her sisters, who received him with their usual hospitality, but were grieved and alarmed at the sad alteration in his appearance, of which they inquired the reason, and were informed that it was the effect of absence from his generous patronesses.

The next morning the sisters went upon a hunting excursion for ten days, only one (his kindest friend) remained in the palace, under pretence of attending Mazin, whose health, she said, was too delicate to bear the exercise of the chase. When the others were departed, she informed Mazin that the beautiful beings he had seen in the garden were of a race of genie much more powerful than her own, that they inhabited a country surrounded by seas and deserts not to be approached by human exertion, that the ladies he beheld were sisters to the queen of these genii, whose subjects were entirely female, occasionally visited by male genii, with whom they were in alliance for the sake of population, and to whom all the males were sent away as soon as born. She further told him, that these females had the power, from their silken robes, of soaring through the air with a flight an hundred times swifter than that of any bird, that they were fond of recreating in verdant spots, and bathing in the clearest waters, and that the garden he had seen them in was a favourite place of their resort, so that they would probably soon visit it again. "Possibly," continued she, "they may recreate themselves there to-day; we will be on the watch, and if they appear, you must fix your eye on your favourite, mark where she places her robes, and while they are in the water seize and conceal them, for deprived of these she cannot fly away, and you may make her your prisoner. Bring her to the palace, and endeavour by tenderness and endearing attention to gain her affection and consent to marriage; but remember when she is in your power to keep her robes from her, for should she regain possession of them she would certainly return to the Flying Islands, and you would see her no more."

Mazin and his adopted sister now repaired to the garden, and seated themselves in the alcove, nor had they been there long when the fair genii appeared as before, descended on the margin of the basin, and all having undressed, each laying her robes by themselves, rushed playfully into the water, in which they began to swim, dive, and besprinkle playfully each other. Mazin, whose eager eye had ardently watched his beloved, swiftly, but cautiously, snatching up the robes of his mistress, conveyed them to the alcove unobserved by the fair bathers; who, when they had sufficiently amused themselves, quitted the water, and ascending the bank, began to dress; but how can we describe the distressful confusion of the unhappy genie whose robes had been stolen? Big tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks, she beat her bosom, tore her hair, and uttered loud shrieks, while her sisters, instead of consoling her, were concerned only for their own safety, and dressing themselves with confused haste, bade her farewell, mounted into the air, and disappeared. On their departure, Mazin and his adopted sister approached, and saluting the disconsolate genie endeavoured to console her, but for the present in vain, her mind being intent only on the sad captivity she thought awaited her, and the loss of her native country and relations. They led her gently to the palace, and Mazin, retiring respectfully, left her to the care of his adopted sister, who by a thousand endearments and attentions so gained upon her, that in two days the genie began to recover her spirits, and consented to receive Mazin as her husband, when the ladies should return from the chase. On their arrival at the palace they were informed by their sisters of what had happened, and introduced to the fair stranger; who, diverted by their company and attentions, now scarcely regretted her captivity. Preparations were made for the nuptials, and in a short time Mazin was made happy in the possession of his beloved genie. A round of festivities succeeded their marriage, and the seven sisters strove with each other who should by invention of new amusements make their residence among them most delightful to the happy pair Mazin, however, now began to think of his mother and his native city with fond regret, and at length begged leave of his kind patronesses to return home, to which request they, from admiration of his filial love, though unwilling to part, consented, and a day was fixed for his departure. The time being arrived, the sisters beat their magical drum, when several camels appeared at the gates of the palace heavily laden with the richest goods, a large sum of money, valuable jewels, and refreshments for the journey, led by proper attendants. One camel carried a splendid litter for the conveyance of his wife, and another was richly caparisoned for the use of Mazin, who, having taken an affectionate leave of his generous benefactresses, whom he promised to revisit at some future time, departed, and pursued the route back towards the sea shore, where he had disembarked with the magician. On the journey nothing remarkable occurred, and on their arrival at the coast they found a vessel ready to receive them, when the wind proving fair, a short time carried them safely to Bussorah, where Mazin had the satisfaction of finding his mother alive, though greatly wasted with constant grief and lamentation for his loss. To describe the joy of their meeting is impossible, for never was there more tender affection between parent and child than subsisted between Mazin and his mother. She seemed to gain new life from his recovery, and again to grow young. The fair genie, who was now in the way of being a mother, appeared perfectly contented in her situation, and Mazin, so unexpectedly restored to his country, was happy in the possession of all he wished; for the generous sisters had bestowed such wealth upon him, that, in addition to the domestic felicity he enjoyed, he was now one of the richest persons in all Bussorah.

Three years had rolled away in undisturbed happiness, during which the fair genie had borne him two sons, when Mazin thought it grateful to perform his promise to the seven sisters, the benevolent foundresses of his good fortune. Having accordingly made preparations for his journey, he committed his wife's native robes to the care of his mother, giving her the key of a secret recess in which he had lodged them, but with a strict charge not to let the genie put them on, lest an irresistible impulse might inspire her to fly away to her own country; for though in general she had seemed contented, he had heard her now and then express a wish to be again with her own friends and species. The mother promised obedience, and Mazin having taken an affectionate leave of her, his wife and children, with assurances of speedy return, embarked on board a vessel and pursued his voyage, which was uncommonly prosperous. On his landing he found camels waiting his arrival on the beach, for the genie ladies, by magic arts, knew of his coming, and had stationed them for his conveyance to their palace, which he reached in safety, and was received with the most affectionate welcomes and hospitality.

Some time after the departure of Mazin, his wife requested her mother-in-law's permission to amuse herself at a public bath, and the old lady willingly accompanied her and the children to the most celebrated humnaum in the city, which was frequented by the ladies and those of the chief personages of the court, the caliph Haroon al Rusheed then happening to be at Bussorah. When they reached the bath there were then in it some of the principal female slaves, attendants of Zobeide, who, on the entrance of Mazin's wife, were struck with her uncommon beauty, and instantly collecting round her, rapturously gazed upon her as she was undressing.

The slaves of Zobeide did not cease to admire Mazin's wife till she left the hummaum, and even followed her till she entered her own house, when dusk had begun to gloom, and they became apprehensive of their mistress's being displeased at their long absence, and so it happened.

Upon entering into her presence, Zobeide exclaimed, "Where have ye loitered, and what has been the cause of your unusually long stay at the hummaum?" Upon which they looked confusedly at each other, and remained silent. The sultana then said in anger, "Instantly inform me of the cause of your delay!" when they related the wonderful beauty of Mazin's wife, and dwelt so much upon her charms, that Zobeide was overcome by curiosity to behold them. On the following day she sent for the mother of Mazin, who obeyed the summons with fear and trembling, wondering what could have made the caliph's consort desirous of seeing a person of her inferior rank.

Mazin's mother prostrated herself, and kissed the feet of the sultana, who graciously raising her, said, "Am Mazin, our wish is that you introduce to me your son's wife, of whose beauty I have heard such a description, that I long to behold her."

When the mother of Mazin heard these words, her heart sunk within her, she trembled, but dared not refuse the command of Zobeide, and she said, "To hear is to obey!" after which she took leave, with the usual ceremony of prostration before the throne of the sultana.

When the mother of Mazin left the princess Zobeide she returned towards her own house; and when she had reached it, entered to her son's wife, and said, "Our sultana Zobeide hath invited thee to an entertainment." The wife of Mazin was delighted, instantly rose up, arrayed herself in the richest apparel she was mistress of, and dressed her two children in their choicest garments and ornaments Then with them, the mother of her husband, and a black slave, she proceeded, till they reached the palace of the princess Zobeide, which they entered, and found her sitting in impatient expectation. They kissed the ground be fore her, and prayed for her prosperity.

When the sultana Zobeide beheld the wife of Mazin her senses were confounded, her heart fluttered, she was astonished at her beauty, elegance, graceful stature, and blooming complexion, and exclaimed, "Gracious heaven! Where could such a form as this have been created?" Then she seated her guests, and ordered a collation to be brought in, which was done immediately, when they ate and were satisfied, but Zobeide could not keep her eyes from the wife of Mazin of Bussorah. She kissed her, and questioned her concerning what had befallen herself and her husband. Her astonishment was redoubled on the relation of their adventures.

The wife of Mazin then said, "My princess, if you are thus surprised, though you have not seen me in my native robes, how would you be delighted at my appearance in them! If, therefore, you wish to gratify your curiosity by beholding a miracle, you must command the mother of my husband to bring my country dress." Upon this Zobeide commanded the mother of Mazin to fetch the flying robes, and as she dared not disobey the sultana of the caliph, she went home, and speedily returned with them. Zobeide took them into her hands, examined them, and was surprised at their fashion and texture. At length she gave them to the wife of Mazin.

When the wife of Mazin had received the robes, she unfolded them, and going into the open court of the palace, arrayed herself in them, then taking her children in her arms, mounted with them suddenly into the air. When she had ascended to about the height of sixty feet, she called out to the mother of her husband, saying, "Give my adieu, dear mother, to my lord, and tell him, should ardent love for me affect him he may come to me in the islands of Waak al Waak." After this speech she soared towards the clouds, till she was hidden from their eyes, and speeded to her own country.

When the mother of Mazin beheld her in the air, she beat her cheeks, scattered dust upon her head, and cried aloud to the princess Zobeide, "This is thy mischief." Zobeide was not able to answer or reprove her boldness from the excess of her sorrow and regret, which made her repent, when repentance could not avail. The old lady returned in despair to her own habitation.

Thus it happened to the persons above mentioned, but how was it with the affairs of Mazin? He did not cease travelling for some time, till he arrived at the palace of the seven sisters, and paid his respects. They were rejoiced at his arrival, and inquired after his wife, when he informed them she was well, and that God had blessed him with two children, both sons, which added to their satisfaction. He remained with them for some time, after which he entreated their permission to depart. They took a tender leave of him, when he bade them farewell, and returned towards his own country; nor did he halt till he arrived in safety at Bussorah. When he entered his house he found his mother alone, mournfully weeping and lamenting what had happened in his absence. Seeing her in this state, he inquired the cause, upon which she informed him of all that had occurred, from the beginning to the conclusion.

When Mazin had heard the unwelcome intelligence, he cried out in an agony of distress for the loss of his wife and children, fell fainting to the ground, and forgot his own existence. His mother, on beholding his condition, beat her cheeks, and sprinkled water upon his face till he came to himself, when he wept and said to his mother, "Inform me what my wife may have spoken on her departure." She repeated her farewell words: upon hearing which his distress and ardent longing for his wife and children was redoubled. He remained mournfully at home for the space of ten days, after which he resolved upon the journey to the islands of Waak al Waak, distant from Bussorah one hundred and fifty years of travel.

Mazin departed from his mother after he had taken leave and entreated her prayers for his success, but the aged matron was so affected that she ordered her tomb to be prepared, and did nothing but weep and lament night and day for her son, who did not halt till he had reached the palace of the seven sisters. When they saw him they were surprised, and said to one another, "There must be some urgent cause for his returning so speedily." They saluted him, and inquired after his affairs: upon which he informed them of the desertion of his wife, what she had said at going away, and of his resolves to travel to the islands of Waak al Waak. The seven ladies replied, "This expedition is impossible to be accomplished either by thee or any of thy race; for these islands are distant a hundred and fifty years' journey, so that thou canst not live to reach them." Mazin exclaimed, "My attempting it, however, is incumbent upon me, though I may perish on the road: if God has decreed my reunion with my wife I shall meet her again; but if not, I shall die and be received into the mercy of the Almighty." The sisters did not cease to importune him to lay aside the journey, but it was impossible for him to obey them or remain at ease; upon which their grief for his situation increased. They knew that the distance was such as he could never overcome by human aid, or rejoin his wife, but they respected his ardent love for her and his children.

On this account they consulted with one another how to assist him on the journey. He remained with them a month, but unable to repose or enjoy their entertainments. The sisters had two uncles, one named Abd al Kuddoos, and the other Abd al Sulleeb, who lived at three months distance from them, to whom they wrote in recommendation of Mazin as follows.

"The bearer is our friend Mazin of Bussorah. If you can direct him how to reach the islands of Waak al Waak, assist him; but if not, prevent him from proceeding, lest he plunge himself into destruction. At present he will not attend to our advice or reproofs, from excess of love to his wife and children, but through you there may finally occur to him safety and success."

When they had sealed this letter they gave it to Mazin, and bestowed also upon him, of water and provisions, what would suffice for three months' consumption, laden upon camels, and a steed for his conveyance, upon which he took leave of them with many thanks, fully resolved to pursue his journey to the islands of Waak al Waak.

With much pain and difficulty he pursued his journey, nor had he any pleasure either in eating or drinking during the three months of his pilgrimage. At length he reached a verdant pasturage, in which was a variety of flowers, flocks of sheep, and cattle feeding. It was indeed a paradise upon earth. In one part of it he perceived a pleasant eminence on which were buildings: he advanced to them, and entered a court. Within it he beheld a venerable looking personage, his beard flowing to his middle, whom he saluted; when the sage returned his compliments, welcomed him with respectful demeanour, and congratulated him on his arrival. He seated him, and laid before him a collation, of which they both ate till they were satisfied.

Mazin lodged with him that night, and in the morning the sage inquired of him his situation, and the reason of his coming to such a sequestered spot.

Mazin informed him; and, behold! this personage was Abd al Kuddoos; who, when he heard his guest mention particulars of his brother's children, redoubled his attentions to him, and said, "Did they give you any letter?" Mazin replied, "Yes." He eagerly exclaimed, "Give it to me." He gave it him, when he opened it, read it to himself, and considered the contents word byword.

Abd al Kuddoos gazed earnestly at Mazin; reflected on his adventures, at which he was astonished; and how he had plunged himself into danger and difficulty in such a wild pursuit. He then said to him, "My son, my advice is, that thou return by the way which thou hast come, and no longer vex thy soul on account of impossibilities, for this business thou canst not accomplish. I will write to the daughters of my brother what shall make thee happy with them, and restore thy peace. Return then to them, and perplex not thyself farther, for between this spot and the islands of Waak al Waak is the distance of a hundred and fifty years' journey. On the way also are numerous perils, for in it are the abodes of genii, the haunts of wild beasts, and monstrous serpents, and some parts also where food cannot be had or thirst be gratified. Have compassion then, my son, upon thyself, and rush not on destruction."

Abd al Kuddoos continued to dissuade him from his resolution during three days, but he would not hear advice or reproof. On the third he prepared to depart, being sufficiently refreshed; upon which the old man, seeing his steadiness, arose, kindled a fire, cast into it some perfumes, and uttered incantations, to Mazin unintelligible; when suddenly appeared a genie, in stature forty cubits; he was one of the subdued spirits of our lord Solomon. He muttered and growled, saying, "For what, my lord, hast thou summoned me here? shall I tear up this eminence by the roots, and hurl it beyond the mountains of Kaaf?"

Abd al Kuddoos replied, "God be merciful to thee; I have occasion for thee, and request that thou wilt accomplish my wish in one day:" upon which the genie answered, "To hear is to obey."

Abd al Kuddoos then said to the genie, "Take up this young man, and convey him to my brother Abd al Sullecb." He consented, though the distance was a common journey of seventy years. The genie advanced, seized Mazin, and placing him upon his shoulders, soared with him through the air from morning till sunset, when he descended before Abd al Sulleeb, paid his respects, and informed him of the commands of his brother Abd al Kuddoos. Upon this he greeted Mazin, who presented him the letter from the daughters of his brother, which he opened and read. When he had examined the contents, he was astonished at the circumstances which had befallen Mazin, his arrival with him, and his resolve to penetrate to the islands of Waak al Waak. He then said to him, "My son, I advise that thou vex not thyself with these difficulties and dangers, for thou canst never attain thy object, or reach these islands."

Mazin now began to despair, and at the remembrance of his wife and children to weep bitterly, insomuch that he fainted, which, when Abd al Sulleeb beheld, his heart sympathized with his unhappy condition. He perceived that he would not return from his pursuit, or be controlled, and therefore thought it best to assist his progress towards the islands. Going into another apartment, he kindled a fire, over which he sprinkled some perfumes, and uttered incantations; when, lo! ten genii presented themselves before him, and said, "Inform us, my lord, what thou desirest, and we will bring it thee in an instant." He replied, "May God be gracious unto you!" and related to them the story of Mazin, his wife, and children.

When the ten genii had heard the narration, they exclaimed, "This affair is wonderful and miraculous; however, we will take and convey him safely over the mountains and deserts, to the extent of our country and dominion, and leave him there, but cannot promise further assistance, as we dare not pass a step beyond our own territories, for the land belongs to others. In it are innumerable horrors, and we dread the inhabitants." Mazin having heard what they said, exclaimed, "I accept your offer with gratitude."

The ten genii now took up Mazin, soared with him through the air for a night and day, till they came to the limits of their territories, and then set him down in a country called the land of Kafoor, took, their leaves, and vanished from his sight. He walked onwards, and did not neglect to employ his tongue in prayer, beseeching from God deliverance and the attainment of his wishes. Often would he exclaim, "O God, deliverer from bondage, who canst guide in safety over mountains, who feedest the wild beasts of the forest, who decreest life and death, thou canst grant me if thou choosest relief from all my distress, and free me from all my sorrows."

In this manner did he travel onwards during ten days; on the last of which he beheld three persons contending with each other, each man trying to kill his fellow. He was astonished at their conduit, but advanced towards them. Upon his approach they desisted from combat, and one and all exclaimed, "We will be judged before his young man, and whoever contradicts his opinion shall be deemed in the wrong." To this they agreed, and coming up to Mazin, demanded from him a just arbitration in their dispute. They then displayed before him a cap, a small copper drum, and a wooden ball, saying, "We are three brothers, by the same father and mother, who are both received into the mercy of God, leaving behind them these articles. They are three, and we are three; but a dispute hath fallen out among us respecting their allotment, as each of us says, 'I will have the cap.' Our contention made us proceed to blows, but now we are desirous that thou shouldst arbitrate between us, and allot an article to each of us as thou shall judge best, when we will rest satisfied with thy decision, but should either contradict it he shall be adjuged an offender."

When Mazin heard the above he was surprised, and said to himself, "These articles are so paltry and of such trifling value as not to be worth an arbitration; for surely this shabby cap, the drum, and the wooden ball, cannot be worth altogether more than half a deenar; but I will inquire farther about them." He then said, "My brethren, wherein lies the value of these three things about which you were contending, for to me they appear of very little worth." They replied, "Dear uncle, each of them has a property worth treasuries of wealth, and to each of them belongs a tale so wonderful, that wert thou to write it on a tablet of adamant it would remain an example for those who will be admonished."

Mazin then requested that they would relate to him the stories of the three articles, when they said, "The eldest brother shall first deliver the account of one, its properties, what can be gained from them, and we will not conceal any thing from thee."

"This cap," said the elder brother, "is called the cap of invisibility, by which, whoever possesseth it may become sovereign of the world. When he puts it on, he may enter where he pleases, for none can perceive him, either genii or men, so that he may convey away whatever he chooses, unseen, in security. He may enter the cabinets of kings and statesmen, and hear all they converse upon respecting political intrigues. Does he covet wealth, he may visit the royal treasuries, and plunder them at his pleasure; or does he wish for revenge, he can kill his enemy without being detected. In short, he may act as he pleases without fear of discovery."

Mazin now said to himself, "This cap can become nobody but me, to whom it will be most advantageous in the object of my expedition. Perhaps it may conduct me to my wife and children, and I may obtain from its possession all I wish. It is certainly one of the wonders of the world and rarities of the age, not to be found among the riches of kings of the present day." When he had ruminated thus, he said, "I am acquainted with the properties of the cap, what are those of the drum?"

The second brother began, saying, "Whoever has this drum in his possession, should he be involved in a difficult situation, let him take it out of its case, and with the sticks gently beat upon the characters engraven on the copper; when, if his mind be collected and his courage firm, there will appear to him wonderful matters. The virtue of it consists in the words inscribed upon it, which were written by our lord Solomon Bin David in talismanic characters, each of which has control over certain spirits and princes of the genii, and a power that cannot be described in speech. Hence, whoever is master of this drum may become superior to all the monarchs of the present day, for, on his beating it in the manner already described, when he is pressed for help, all the princes of the genii, with their sons, will appear also their troops and followers, ready to obey his commands. Whatever he may order them to execute they will perform by virtue of the talisman of our lord Solomon Bin David."

When Mazin of Bussorah had heard the above, he said to himself, "This drum is fitting only for me, as I have much more need of it than the brothers. It will protect me from all evil in the islands of Waak al Waak, should I reach them, and meet with my wife and children. It is true, if I take only the cap I may be able to enter all places, but this drum will keep injury from me, and with it I shall be secure from all enemies." After this, he said, "I have been informed of the virtues of the cap, and the properties of the drum, there now only remains the account of the wooden ball, that I may give judgment between you, therefore let the third brother speak." He answered, "To hear is to obey."

The third brother said, "My dear uncle, whoever possesses this ball will find in it wonderful properties, for it brings distant parts near, and makes near distant, it shortens long journeys, and lengthens short ones If any person wish to perform one of two hundred years in two days, let him take it from its case, then lay it upon the ground and mention what place he desires to go, it will instantly be in motion, and rush over the earth like the blast of the stormy gale. He must then follow it till he arrives at the place desired, which he will have the power to do with ease."

When the youth had concluded his description of the virtue of the wooden ball, Mazin resolved within himself to take this also from the brothers, and said, "If your wish be that I should arbitrate between you, I must first prove the virtues of these three articles, and afterwards let each take that which may fall to him by decision." The three brothers exclaimed, "We have heard, and we consent; act as thou thinkest best, and may God protect thee in thy undertakings!" Mazin then put on the cap, placed the drum under his vestband, took up the ball and placed it on the ground, when it speeded before him swiftly as the gale. He followed it till it came to the gate of a building which it entered, and Mazin also went in with it. The brothers ran till they were fatigued, and cried out, "Thou hast sufficiently tried them;" but in vain, for by this time there was between him and them the distance of ten years' journey. Mazin now rested, took the drum in his hands, rubbed his fingers over the talismanic characters, hesitated whether he should strike them with the sticks, then labored lightly upon them, when, lo! a voice exclaimed, "Mazin, thou hast gained thy desires.

"Thou wilt not, however," continued the voice, "arrive at thy object till after much trouble, but take care of the ball in this spot, for thou art at present in the land of the evil genii." Upon this, Mazin took up the ball and concealed it in his clothes; but he was overcome with astonishment at hearing words without seeing the speaker, and exclaimed, "Who art thou, my lord?" "I am," replied the voice, "one of the slaves of the characters which thou seest engraved upon the drum, and unremittingly in attendance; but the other servants will not appear except the drum be beaten loudly, when three hundred and sixty chiefs will attend thy commands, each of whom has under his authority ten thousand genii, and every individual of them numerous followers."

Mazin now inquired the distance of the islands of Waak al Waak; to which the voice replied, "Three years' journey:" upon which he struck the ball before him, and followed it. He next arrived in a region infested by serpents, dragons, and ravenous beasts, in the mountains of which were mines of copper. He now again tabored gently upon the drum, when the voice exclaimed, "I am ready to obey thy commands."

"Inform me," said Mazin, "what is the name of this country?" "It is called," answered the voice, "the Land of Dragons and Ravenous Animals. Be careful then of thyself, and make no delay, nor regard fatigue, for these mountains are not to be passed without a chance of trouble from the inhabitants, who are genii, and in their caves are furious wild beasts." Upon this he struck the ball afresh, and followed it unceasingly, till at length he reached the sea shore, and perceived the islands of Waak al Waak at a distance, whose mountains appeared of a fiery red, like the sky gilded by the beams of the setting sun. When he beheld them he was struck with awe and dread; but recovering, he said to himself, "Why should I be afraid? since God has conducted me hither, he will protect me; or, if I die, I shall be relieved from my troubles, and be received into the mercy of God." He then gathered some fruits, which he ate, drank some water, and having performed his devotions, laid himself down to sleep, nor did he awake till the morning.

In the morning Mazin had recourse to his drum, which he rubbed gently, when the voice inquired his commands. "How am I," said he, "to pass this sea, and enter the islands?" "That is not to be done," replied the voice, "without the assistance of a sage who resides in a cell on yonder mountains, distant from hence a day's journey, but the ball will conduct thee there in half an hour. When you reach his abode, knock softly at the door, when he will appear, and inquire whence you come, and what you want. On entering he will receive thee kindly, and desire thee to relate thy adventures from beginning to end. Conceal nothing from him, for he alone can assist thee in passing the sea."

Mazin then struck the ball, and followed it till he arrived at the abode of the hermit, the gate of which he found locked He knocked, when a voice from within said, "Who is at the gate?" "A guest," replied Mazin upon which the sage arose and opened the door, admitted him, and entertained him kindly for a whole night and day, after which Mazin ventured to inquire how he might pass the sea The sage replied, "What occasions thy searching after such an object?" Mazin answered, "My lord, I intend to enter the islands, and with that view have I travelled far distant from my own country." When the sage heard this, he stood up before him, took a book, opened it, and read in it to himself for some time, every now and then casting a look of astonishment upon Mazin. At length he raised his head and said, "Heavens! what troubles, disasters, and afflictions in exile have been decreed to this youth in the search of his object!" Upon this Mazin exclaimed, "Wherefore, my lord, did you look at the book and then at me so earnestly?" The sage replied, "My son, I would instruct thee how to reach the islands, since such is thy desire, but thou canst not succeed in thy desires till after much labour and inconvenience. However, at present relate to me thy adventures from first to last" Mazin rejoined, "My story, my lord, is such a surprising one, that were it engraven on tablets of adamant, it would be an example for such as would take warning."

When he had related his story from beginning to end, the sage exclaimed, "God willing thou wilt attain thy wishes:" upon which Mazin inquired concerning the sea surrounding the islands, and how he could overcome such an impediment to his progress; when the sage answered, "By God's permission, in the morning we will repair to the mountains, and I will shew thee the wonders of the seas."

When God permitted morning to dawn the hermit arose, took Mazin with him, and they ascended the mountains, till they reached a structure resembling a fortress, which they entered, and proceeded into the inmost court, in which was an immense colossal statue of brass, hollowed into pipes, having in the midst of it a reservoir lined with marble, the work of magicians. When Mazin beheld this he was astonished, and began to tremble with fear at the vastness of the statue, and what miraculous power it might contain. The hermit now kindled a fire, threw into it some perfumes, and muttered some unintelligible words, when suddenly dark clouds arose, from which burst out eddies of tempestuous wind, lightnings, claps of thunder, groans, and frightful noises, and in the midst of the reservoir appeared boiling waves, for it was near the ocean surrounding the islands. The hermit did not cease to utter his incantations, until the hurricane and noises had subsided by his authority, for he was more powerful than any of the magicians, and had command over the rebellious genii. He now said to Mazin, "Go out, and look towards the ocean surrounding the islands."

Mazin repaired to the summit of the mountain, and looked towards the sea, but could not discover the smallest trace of its existence: upon which he was astonished at the miraculous power of the hermit. He returned to him, exclaiming, "I can behold no remains of the ocean, and the islands appear joined to the main land;" when the sage said, "My son, place thy reliance on God and pursue thy object," after which he vanished from sight.

Mazin now proceeded into the islands, and did not stop till he had reached a verdant spot watered by clear rivulets, and shaded by lofty trees. It was now sunrise, and among the wonders which he beheld was a tree like the weeping willow, on which hung, by way of fruit, beautiful damsels, who exclaimed, "Praised be God our creator, and former of the islands of Waak al Waak." They then dropped from the tree and expired. At sight of this prodigy his senses were confounded, and he exclaimed, "By heavens, this is miraculously surprising!" When he had recovered himself, he roamed through the groves, and admired the contrivances of the Almighty till sunset, when he sat down to rest.

He had not sat long when there approached towards him a masculinely looking old woman of disagreeable countenance, at sight of whom Mazin was alarmed. The matron guessing that he was in fear of her, said to him, "What is thy name, what are thy wants? art thou of this country? Inform me; be not afraid or apprehensive, for I will request of God that I may be the means of forwarding thy wishes." On hearing these words the heart of Mazin was encouraged, and he rerelated to her his adventures from first to last. When she had heard them, she knew that he must be husband to the sister of her mistress, who was queen of the islands of Waak al Waak, and said, "Thy object is a difficult one, but I will assist thee all in my power."

The old woman now conducted Mazin through by-paths to the capital of the island, and led him unperceived in the darkness of night, when the inhabitants had ceased to pass through the streets, to her own house. She then set before him refreshments, and having eaten and drunk till he was satisfied, he praised God for his arrival; when the matron informed him concerning his wife, that she had endured great troubles and afflictions since her separation, and repented sincerely of her flight. Upon hearing this, Mazin wept bitterly, and fainted with anguish. When revived by the exertions of the old woman, she comforted him by promises of speedy assistance to complete his wishes, and left him to his repose.

Next morning the old woman desiring Mazin to wait patiently for her return, repaired to the palace, where she found the queen and her sisters in consultation concerning the wife of Mazin, and saying, "This wretch hath espoused a man, by whom she has children, but now she is returned, we will put her to death after divers tortures." Upon the entrance of the old lady they arose, saluted her with great respect, and seated her, for she had been their nurse. When she had rested a little, she said, "Were you not conversing about your unfortunate sister? but can ye reverse the decrees of God?" "Dear nurse," replied they, "no one can avoid the will of heaven, and had she wedded one of our own nature there would have been no disgrace, but she has married a human being of Bussorah, and has children by him, so that our species will despise us, and tauntingly say, 'Your sister is a harlot.' Her death is therefore not to be avoided." The nurse rejoined, "If you put her to death your scandal will be greater than hers, for she was wedded lawfully, and her offspring is legitimate; but I wish to see her." The eldest sister answered, "She is now confined in a subterraneous dungeon;" upon which the nurse requested permission to visit her, which was granted, and one of the sisters attended to conduct her to the prison.

The nurse, on her arrival at the prison, found the wife of Mazin in great distress from the cruelty of her sisters. Her children were playing about her, but very pallid, from the closeness of their confinement. On the entrance of the nurse she stood up, made her obeisance, and began to weep, saying, "My dear nurse, I have been long in this dungeon, and know not what in the end may be my fate." The old woman kissed her cheeks, and said, "My dear daughter, God will bring thee relief, perchance on this very day."

When the wife of Mazin heard this, she said, "Good heavens! your words, my dear nurse, recall a gleam of comfort that last night struck across my mind from a voice, which said, 'Be comforted, O wife of Mazin, for thy deliverance is near.'" Upon this the old woman replied, "Thou shalt indeed be comforted, for thy husband is at my abode, and will speedily release thee." The unfortunate prisoner, overcome with joy, fainted away, but was soon restored by the nurse's sprinkling water upon her face, when she opened her eyes and said, "I conjure thee by heaven, my dear nurse, inform me if thou speakest truth, or dissemblest." "I not only speak truth," answered the nurse, "but by God's help thou shalt meet thy husband this day." After this she left her.

The nurse, upon her return home, inquired of Mazin if he had skill to take his wife away, provided he was admitted into the dungeon at night. He replied, "Yes." When night was set in, she conducted him to the spot where she was confined, left him near the gate, and went her way. He then put on his cap of invisibility, and remained unperceived all night by any one. Early in the morning the queen, his wife's eldest sister, advanced, opened the gate of the prison, and entered, when he followed unseen behind her, and seated himself in a corner of the apartment. The queen went up to her sister, and beat her cruelly with a whip, while her children wept around her, till the blood appeared upon her body, when she left her hanging by her hair from a pillar, went out, and locked the door of the dungeon. Mazin now arose, unloosed his wife's hair, and pulling off the cap, appeared before her, when she exclaimed, "From whence didst thou come?" They then embraced each other, and he said. "Ah, why didst thou act thus, leave me in such affliction, and plunge thyself into such distress, which, indeed, thy conduct hath almost deserved?" "It is true," replied she; "but what is past is past, and reproach will not avail, unless thus canst effect our escape:" upon which he exclaimed, "Does thy inclination really lead thee to accompany me to my own country?" She answered,

"Yes; do with me what thou choosest."

They remained in endearment with their children until evening, when the keeper of the dungeon approaching, Mazin put on his cap of invisibility. The keeper having set down the provisions for the night, retired into a recess of the dungeon and fell asleep; when Mazin and his family sat down and refreshed themselves. Perceiving the keeper asleep, Mazin tried the door and found it unlocked; upon which, he, with his wife and children, left the prison, and travelled as quickly as possible all night. When the queen, in the morning, was informed of her sister's escape she was enraged, and made incantations, on which seven thousand genii attended, with whom she marched out in pursuit, resolved to cut the fugitives in pieces.

Mazin, looking behind him, perceived a cloud of dust, and soon appeared the forces of his wife's sister, who cried out on seeing him, with dreadful howls, "Where will ye go, ye wretches, ye accursed? where can ye hide yourselves?" Upon this Mazin took out his drum, and beat it violently, when, lo! there appeared before him legions of genii, in number more than could be reckoned, and they fought with the armies of the queen, who was taken prisoner, with her principal attendants.

When the wife of Mazin beheld her sister in this distress her compassion was moved towards her, and she said to her husband, "Hurt not my sister, nor use her ill, for she is my elder:" upon which he treated her respectfully, and commanded tents to be pitched for her and her court.

Peace being established, the sisters took an affectionate leave, and Mazin, with his family, departed for the residence of Abd al Sulleeb, which they speedily reached with the assistance of the genii, and the directing ball. The old man received him kindly, and inquired his adventures, when he related them to him; at which he was surprised, especially at the account of the cap, the drum, and the ball; of which last Mazin begged his acceptance, being now near home, and having no farther occasion for its use. Abd al Sulleeb was much pleased, and entertained him magnificently for three days, when Mazin wishing to depart, the old man presented him with rich gifts, and dismissed him.

Mazin was continuing his route, when suddenly a band of a hundred banditti appeared, resolved to plunder and put him and his companions to death, with which design they kept advancing. Mazin called out to them, "Brother Arabs, let the covenant of God be between you and me, keep at a distance from me." When they heard this they increased their insolence, surrounded him, and supposed they should easily seize all that he had; but especially when they beheld his wife, and the beauty she was endowed with, they said one to another, "Let us put him to death, and not suffer him to live." Each man resolved within himself, saying, "I will seize this damsel, and not take the plunder."

When Mazin saw that they were bent upon attacking him, to seize his wife and plunder his effects, he took out his drum and beat upon it in a slight manner, when, behold! ten genii appeared before him, requiring his commands. He replied, "I wish the dispersion of yonder horsemen;" upon which one of the ten advanced among the hundred banditti, and uttered such a tremendous yell as made the mountains reverberate the sound. Immediately as he sent forth the yell, the banditti, in alarm, dispersed themselves among the rocks, when such as fell from their horses' backs fled on foot; so that they lost their reputation, and were ridiculed among the chiefs of the Abbasside tribes. Mazin now pursued his journey, and did not halt till he had reached the abode of Abd al Kuddoos, who advanced to meet him and saluted him, but was astonished when he beheld his company, and the wealth he had obtained. Mazin related what had befallen him, of dangers, and hunger, and thirst; his safe arrival in the islands of Waak al Waak; the deliverance of his wife from prison, and the defeat of the army sent to oppose his return. He mentioned also the reconciliation between the sisters of his wife, and whatever had happened to him from first to last.

Abd al Kuddoos was greatly astonished at these adventures, and said to Mazin of Bussorah, "Truly, my son, these events are most surprising, and can have never occurred to any but thyself." Mazin remained three days to repose himself, and was treated with hospitality and respect until the fourth, when he resolved to continue his journey, and took leave. He proceeded towards his own country, and did not halt on the way till he arrived with the seven sisters, the owners of the palace, who had so much befriended him.

When Mazin of Bussorah arrived near the palace of the seven sisters, they came out to meet him, saluted him and his wife, and conducted them within; but they were astonished at his return, and at first could scarcely believe his success, wondering that he had not perished on the road, or been torn in pieces by the wild beasts of the desert; for they had regarded it as impossible that he should ever reach the islands of Waak al Waak.

When they were seated, they requested him to relate to them all that had befallen him, which he did from first to last, and they were more than ever astonished at his uncommon adventures. After this they introduced a collation, and spread the cloth, when they ate till they were satisfied, and then wrote a letter and dispatched it to the mother of Mazin, congratulating her on the health of her son, and his safe return with his wife and children.

Mazin remained with the ladies a month, enjoying himself in feasting and amusements, after which he begged permission to depart to his own country, for his heart was anxious for his mother. They dismissed him, and he travelled unceasingly till he arrived at Bussorah. He entered the city at sunset, and proceeded to his own house, when his mother came out, saluted him, and embraced him. She had erected her tomb in the court of her house, and had wept night and day till she became blind, but when the letter arrived from the sisters, from the rapture of joy her sight returned unto her again. She beheld the children of her son, embraced them, and that night was to her as an eed or festival.

When God had caused the morning to dawn, the chief personages of Bussorah visited Mazin to congratulate him on his return, and the principal ladies came to his mother, and rejoiced with her on the safety of her son. At length intelligence of it reached the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, who sent for Mazin to his presence. Having entered the audience chamber, he made the usual obeisance, when the caliph returned his salute, and commanded him to sit. When he was seated, the caliph demanded that he should relate the whole of what had befallen him, to which he answered, "To hear is to obey."

Mazin then recited his adventures from the time the fire-worshipper who had stolen him from his mother by his stratagems, the mode of his coming to the palace of the seven ladies, the manner in which he obtained his wife, her flight from the palace of the empress Zobeide, his journey to the islands of Waak al Waak, also the dangers and difficulties he had encountered from first to last. The caliph was astonished, and said, "The substance of these adventures must not be lost or concealed, but shall be recorded in writing." He then commanded an amanuensis to attend, and seated Mazin of Bussorah by him, until he had taken down his adventures from beginning to end.


In the capital of a sultan named Rammaud lived a barber, who had a son growing up to manhood, possessing great accomplishments of mind and person, and whose wit and humour drew numerous customers to his shop. One day a venerable dervish entering it, sat down, and calling for a looking glass, adjusted his beard and whiskers, at the same time asking many questions of the young man; after which he laid down a sherif, rose up, and departed. The next day he came again, and for several days following, always finishing his visit by leaving a piece of gold upon the looking-glass, to the great satisfaction of the barber, who from his other customers never usually received more than sonic coppers of little value; but though he liked the gold, his suspicions were raised against the generous donor, supposing him to be a necromancer, who had some evil design against his son, whom, therefore, he cautioned to be upon his guard. The visits of the dervish were continued as usual for some time; when one day he found the barber's son alone in the shop, and was informed that his father had gone to divert himself with viewing some experiments which the sultan was making of the mixture of various metals, being an adept in chemistry, and eager in search of the philosopher's stone. The dervish now invited the young man to accompany him to the spot where the experiments were making, and on their arrival they saw a vast furnace, into which the sultan and his attendants cast pieces of metal of various sorts. The dervish having taken a lump of ore from his wallet threw it into the furnace; then addressing the young barber, said, "I must for the present bid you farewell, as I have a journey to take; but if the sultan should inquire after me, let him know I am to be found in a certain city, and will attend his summons." Having said this, the dervish presented the barber's son with a purse of gold, took his leave, and the youth returned home. Great was the surprise of the sultan, when the metals in the furnace were all melted, to find them converted into a mass of solid gold, which proved, on assay, to be of the purest quality. Every one was questioned as to what he had cast into the furnace, when there appeared no reason to suppose the transmutation could have been effected by such an accidental mixture of metals. At length it was remarked, that a dervish, accompanying the barber's son, had cast in a lump of ore, and immediately disappeared. Upon this the sultan summoned the youth to his presence, and inquiring after his companion, was informed of the place of his residence, and of what, on his departure, he had said to him. The sultan was overjoyed at the welcome intelligence, and dispatched the young man, with an honourable attendance, to conduct the venerable dervish to his presence, where being arrived, he was received with the most distinguishing attention, and the barber's son was promoted to high office. After some days, the sultan requested the dervish to instruct him in the transmutation of metals, which he readily did, as well as in many other occult mysteries; which so gratified his royal patron, that he trusted the administration of government to his care. This disgusted the ministers and courtiers, who could not bear to be controlled by a stranger, and therefore resolved to effect his ruin. By degrees they persuaded their credulous master that the dervish was a magician, who would in time possess himself of his throne, and the sultan, alarmed, resolved to put him to death. With this intention, calling him to the presence, he accused him of sorcery, and commanded an executioner to strike off his head. "Forbear awhile," exclaimed the dervish, "and let me live till I have shown you the most wonderful specimen of my art." To this the sultan consented, when the dervish, with chalk, drew a circle of considerable extent round the sultan and his attendants, then stepping into the middle of it, he drew a small circle round himself, and said, "Now seize me if you can;" and immediately disappeared from sight. At the same instant, the sultan and his courtiers found themselves assaulted by invisible agents, who, tearing off their robes, whipped them with scourges till the blood flowed in streams from their lacerated backs. At length the punishment ceased, but the mortification of the sultan did not end here, for all the gold which the dervish had transmuted returned to its original metals. Thus, by his unjust credulity, was a weak prince punished for his ungrateful folly. The barber and his son also were not to be found, so that the sultan could gain no intelligence of the dervish, and he and his courtiers became the laughingstock of the populace for years after their merited chastisement.


Mherejaun, sultan of Hind, was many years without any progeny, and immersed in melancholy at the thought of his kingdom's passsing to another family. One evening, while indulging his gloomy thoughts, he dropped into a doze, from which he was roused by a voice exclaiming, "Sultan, thy wife this night shall conceive. If she bears a son, he will increase the glory of thy house; but if a daughter, she will occasion thee disgrace and misfortune." In due time the favourite sultana was delivered of a daughter, to the great mortification of the parents, who would have destroyed her had not her infant smiles diverted their anger. She was brought up in the strictest privacy, and at the end of twelve years the sultan had her conveyed to a strong citadel erected in the middle of a deep lake, hoping in such a confinement to prevent her from fulfilling the prediction which had been made concerning her. Nothing could excel the magnificence of her abode, where she was left only with female attendants of the highest accomplishments, but no male was allowed to approach even the borders of the lake, except when supplies were conveyed for the use of its fair inhabitants, who were then restricted to their apartments. The gate of the citadel was entrusted to the care of an old lady, the princess's nurse. For three years the fair Aleefa lived happy in her splendid prison, but the decree of fate was not to be overcome, and an event predestined by heaven overturned the cautious project of sultan Mherejaun.

Eusuff, a dissipated young prince, son to the sultan of Sind, having offended his father, fled from his court, and with a few attendants reached the borders of the lake, in his way to seek an asylum in the territories of Mherejaun. Curious to know who inhabited the citadel in the midst of it, he swam over the lake, and landed at the gate, which he found shut, but no one answered his loudest call for admission. Upon this he wrote a note, requesting compassion to a helpless stranger, and having fixed it to an arrow, shot it over the battlements. It luckily for him fell at the feet of the princess, then walking in one of the courts of her palace. She prevailed upon her nurse to open the gate, and at sight of Eusuff fell in love with him, as he did with her. He was admitted, and the tenderest interviews took place between them. Joy and pleasure prevailed in the citadel, while the prince's attendants remained, expecting his return, on the banks of the lake.

After some time, sultan Sohul wishing to be reconciled to his son, and having learnt the route he had taken, dispatched his nephew named Yiah to assure him of forgiveness, and invite him to return to Sind. Yiah arriving at the lake, was informed by Eusuff's attendants that the prince had entered the citadel, since which they had not seen or heard anything of him. Yiah, upon this, penned a note expressive of the sultan's forgiveness, and his wish to see the prince, which he fixed to an arrow and shot it into the palace, in the garden of which it fell, as Eusuff and Aleefa were walking for their amusement. The prince, on reading the note, overcome with joy at the intelligence of his father's forgiveness of his errors, resolved to return home and pay his duty to his parents. He communicated his design to the princess, who was plunged into the deepest sorrow at the thought of his departure, but he comforted her by assurances of his speedy return, declaring that nothing but filial duty could have torn him from her, even for a moment. She now implored him to to take her with him, but Eusuff prudently represented that such a step could only disgrace her fame and enrage her father, who, on discovery of her flight, would invade the kingdom of Sind with his powerful armies, and a scene of unnecessary bloodshed would ensue. On the contrary, it they waited patiently, sultan Mherejaun might be prevailed upon to consent to their union; but, in the mean time, he would visit her often, while their meetings might, through the fidelity of their mutual attendants, be kept secret. Aleefa, though unwilling, was obliged to acknowledge the justice of his reasoning, and consented to his departure; but on his taking leave, with tears and embraces entreated him not to be long absent, which he promised, and with truth, for his love was sincere, and it was with difficulty he submitted to the call of duty to a forgiving parent.

Eusuff having swam the lake with his bow and quiver upon his head, as before, rejoined his companions, who rejoiced to see him. He was received by his cousin Yiah with transports of affection, and informed of what had happened since his departure from court; after which the prince related his love adventure with the fair Aleefa, at the same time requesting his secrecy, and that he would charge the same on his attendants, as to his having been in the citadel, which he should earnestly beg also of his companions to observe. After a night's repose the two princes marched towards Sind, and when within a day's distance from the capital, dispatched a courier to give notice of their approach. Sultan Sohul, overcome with joy at the recovery of his son, having commanded the city to be ornamented and splendid entertainments to be made for his triumphal entry, with his whole court in their most magnificent array advanced to meet him. The prince, on seeing his father's train, dismounted, fell on his face, then running up, eagerly embraced the stirrup of the old sultan, who threw himself upon his neck in a transport of joy, and wept over him with tears of affectionate rapture. A horse sumptuously caparisoned was now brought for the prince's mounting, and the father and son rode side by side into the city, amid the acclamations of all ranks of people; while, as they proceeded, basins full of silver and gold, coined for the occasion, were showered amongst the assembled crowds in the streets. It is impossible to describe the tender interview between the prince and the queen his mother, whose heart had been nearly broken on the flight of her son, or the glad transports of Eusuff's own ladies, who were in number three wives and forty concubines. Suffice it to say, that all was joy and pleasure in the palace, except in the breast of Eusuff; who mingled with the satisfaction of return to his family an ardent desire to meet again the beautiful Aleefa, so that the caresses of his women gave him no pleasure; and when he retired to his apartment, he did not, as was usual, call any of them to his presence, but passed the night alone, thinking of his beloved. Morning invited him to new scenes of festivity, prepared by his happy parents, who little suspected how soon they were again to lose their son.

Eusuff having sacrificed a few days (to him long as the eve of dissolution) to his sense of duty, could no longer restrain his impatience, but with a faithful slave named Hullaul, mounted on a favourite courser behind him, left the palace undiscovered in the darkness of night, and speeded with the swiftness of the gale towards the citadel of Aleefa. Being arrived on the banks of the lake, he secured his saddle and bridle among some bushes, and was carried with his attendant safely through the water by his noble steed. Unbounded was the joy of the princess at again meeting her faithful lover, nor was his rapture less than hers. Having committed Hullaul to the care of the ladies of Aleefa, they retired to their apartment. Thirty days rolled on almost unperceived by Eusuff, who forgot his parents, his family, and country, in the delights of love.

On the thirtieth evening, as Eusuff and Aleefa were viewing the beautiful prospect from the terrace of the palace, they perceived a boat sailing towards it, which, as it drew nearer, the princess knew to belong to her father the sultan Mherejaun; upon which she requested her lover to keep himself concealed from view, while she received the persons in the vessel. Eusuff accordingly withdrew into a chamber, the lattice of which looked upon the lake; but how can we express his indignant surprise, and furious jealousy, when he beheld landing from the boat two handsome young men, into the arms of one of whom Aleefa threw herself with eager transport, and after mutual embraces they withdrew together into the palace. Without considering that his supposed rival might be a near relation to the princess, as he in fact was, being her first cousin, who had been brought up with her till her confinement to the lake; Eusuff suffered himself to be overcome by unworthy suspicion, and resolved to quit for ever a faithless mistress. Having written an angry letter upraiding her with falsehood, and bidding her farewell, he with his attendant Hullaul mounted his courser; then delivering his note to one of the females, to be given to the princess, he swam over the lake and speeded rapidly to his own country, where he was once more joyfully received by his parents and family; and in order to forget the charms of Aleefa, he indulged himself in mirth and pleasure with his lately forsaken ladies, who, delighted with the long-wished-for return of his affection, strove with each ether who should please him best.

The unsuspecting Aleefa was engaged with her cousin Sohaul and Ali Bin Ibrahim, a faithful eunuch who was his attendant, asking a thousand questions and listening to the news of her father's court, when Eusuff's letter was put into her hands. Rising up, she withdrew into a closet, opened it, and was much vexed at its ungrateful contents; but knowing herself innocent, and trusting that her lover would return when convinced of his mistake, she composed her mind as firmly as she, could till the departure of her cousin, who after some days took leave and returned to the capital of Mherejaun, leaving behind him the eunuch, to the great satisfaction of the princess, who hoped to make him the mediator between her and her beloved. Nor was she mistaken. When unfolding to him the whole of her adventures with Eusuff, he agreed to be the bearer of a letter, and explain to him the cause of his needless suspicion. Having swam the lake with the fair Aleefa's packet wrapped in his clothes upon his head, the faithful Ah in twenty days reached the city of Sind, and demanding an audience in private, which was readily granted, delivered his commission to the prince. Eusuff, whose anger was now calmed, and who had already begun to feel uneasy at absence from the still reigning favourite of his heart, on perusing her letter was overcome with joy. He listened eagerly to the account of his fancied rival by the eloquent Ali Bin Ibrohim, to whom he expressed his conviction of her constancy, his own sorrow for his unreasonable desertion of her, and his intention of departing to visit her the next night, till when he desired the eunuch to repose himself after his fatigue. Ali Bin Ibrahim was then lodged, by the prince's orders, in one of the most splendid apartments of the palace, and respectfully waited upon by the domestics of his court. The night following, Eusuff having ordered his favourite Hullaul to make preparations, departed from Sind as before, with the eunuch mounted on a second courser. They in a few days reached the borders of the lake, swam over, and to the great joy of the once more happy Aleefa arrived at the citadel. The recollection of the pains of absence added a zest to the transports of reunion, and the lovers were, if possible, more delighted with each other than before their separation. The faithful Ali Bin Ibrahim was now dismissed with invaluable presents of precious stones, and returned to the court of Mherejaun, the time for his stay at the citadel of the lake being expired. On his arrival, the sultan, anxious for intelligence of his daughter's health, took him into his closet, and while he was questioning him, by some accident the eunuch's turban unfortunately falling off, the precious stones, which, with a summary of the adventures of Eusuff and Aleefa, and his own embassy to Sind, were wrapped in the folds, tumbled upon the floor. The sultan knew the jewels, and examining the turban, to make farther discoveries, found the paper, which he eagerly read; and furious was his wrath, when from the contents it appeared that all his caution to guard against the decrees of heaven had been vain, that the princess had been seduced, and his house dishonoured. He sternly inquired of the trembling Ali if Eusuff was yet with his daughter, and was answered in the affirmative, when he immediately gave orders for vessels to be prepared for his departure, hoping to take him prisoner, and at the same time commanded his army to march along the banks of the lake and encamp opposite the citadel. The unfortunate eunuch was thrown into a dungeon and loaded with heavy chains, after he had been bastinadoed almost to death; but still faithful to the lovers, he prevailed upon his gaoler by a large bribe during the night to permit him to dispatch a note by a trusty messenger to the princess, apprising her of the misfortune which had happened, in hopes that she would have time to escape with Eusuff towards his own country before her father's arrival. Fortunately for the lovers, this information reached them the next morning, when they consulted what measures to pursue, and it was agreed, that instead of both quitting the citadel, only Eusuff and Hullaul should return to Sind, as the princess was unequal to such a rapid journey, but that in order to ensure her safety, the slaves should, on the sultan's arrival, assure him that she had gone off with her lover, when he would either return home or pursue the prince with his army; who, however, mounted as he was on so swift a courser, could not be overtaken. It was also settled that Eusuff, on his arrival in his own country, should send an embassy to Mherejaun, declaring his marriage with Aleefa, and requesting pardon, and leave to pay his duty as his son-in-law. This stratagem had in part its effect, but no precaution could ward off the fulfilment of the prediction at the princess's birth, which was that she should occasion the disgrace and death of her father.

Mherejaun armed at the citadel a few hours after Eusuff's escape, and was informed by her attendants that she had also accompanied him in his flight; upon which the enraged sultan, hurried on by fate, without stopping to search the palace in which his daughter was concealed, hastened to join his troops on the banks of the lake, and with a vast army pursued the Sindian prince, who, however, reached his capital in safety. On his arrival, having informed his father of his adventures, the old sultan, eager to gratify his son, approved of his additional marriage with the fair Aleefa, and dispatched an embassy to Mherejaun, who by this time was in the territory of Sind, laying it waste with fire and sword, no troops scarcely being opposed to his sudden invasion. He received the ambassador with mortifying haughtiness, bidding him return to his master, and inform him that he never would forgive the seduction of his daughter, in revenge for which he had taken a solemn oath to overturn the kingdom of Sind, raze the capital, and feast his eyes with the blood of the old sultan and his son. On receipt of this ungracious reply to his proposals, the sultan and Eusuff had no alternative but to oppose so inveterate a foe. They collected their troops, by whom they were much beloved, and marched to meet the enemy, whom, after an obstinate battle, they defeated, and Mherejaun was slain in the action. It is impossible to resist the decrees of heaven. From God we came, and to God we must return.

Eusuff, after the action, behaved with the greatest humility to the conquered, and had the body of the unfortunate Mherejaun embalmed and laid in a splendid litter, in which it was conducted by a numerous escort, in respectful solemnity, to the capital of Hind, and deposited with funeral pomp, becoming the rank of the deceased, in a magnificent mausoleum, which had been erected by himself, as is customary among the sovereigns of Asia. The prince, at the same time, dispatched letters of condolence to the mother of Aleefa, lamenting the fate of Mherejaun, whom he had been, much against his will, necessitated to oppose in battle, and expressing his ardent love for her daughter, a marriage with whom was his highest hope, as it was his first wish to console the mother of his beloved in her misfortunes.

The sultana, who had received intelligence of the decisive victory and the death of her husband, and who expected, instead of such conduct, to see the victor besieging her capital, felt some alleviation of her sorrow in the prospect of saving her people from destruction, by consenting to an union between Eusuff and Aleefa. Her answer accordingly was favourable, upon which the prince of Sind repaired to the lake, and conducting his willing bride to the capital of Hind, at the expiration of the stated time of mourning for Mherejaun, their nuptials were celebrated with all possible magnificence, amid the united acclamations of the subjects, who readily acknowledged his authority, and had no cause to repent of their submission to his yoke. His next care was to inform the caliph Mamoon, who was then commander of the faithful at Bagdad, of the events which had happened, accompanying his petition with a great sum of money, and offerings of all the rarities the countries of Hind and Sind afforded; among which were ten beautiful slaves, highly accomplished in singing, dancing, and a talent for poetry. They recited extempore verses before the caliph, but the subject of each was so expressive of their wish to return to their beloved sovereign, and delivered in so affecting a manner, that Mamoon, though delighted with their wit and beauty, sacrificed his own pleasure to their feelings, and sent them back to Eusuff by the officer who carried the edict, confirming him in his dominions, where the prince of Sind and the fair Aleefa continued long, amid a numerous progeny, to live the protectors of their happy subjects.


A sultaness of China being seized with an alarming illness was given over by the physicians, who declared her case incurable by any other means than the water of life, which they feared it was next to impossible to obtain before nature would be exhausted; the country in which, if anywhere, it was to be found, being so very distant. Such, however, was the affection of the sultaness's three sons, that in hopes of saving their mother they resolved to go in search of the precious medicine, and departed immediately in the route pointed out by the physicians. After travelling without success to their inquiries through divers countries, they agreed to separate, in hopes that one of them at least might be fortunate enough to procure the wished-for miraculous liquid, and return home in time to save their mother. Having taken an affectionate farewell, each pursued his journey alone. The eldest prince, after a fatiguing walk (for the brothers had thought it prudent to lay aside their dignity, and as safest to disguise themselves in mean habits) over a wild country, arrived at last within sight of a large city, inhabited by blasphemous Jews, near which, in a superb synagogue, he laid himself down on a carpet to repose, being quite exhausted with toil and hunger. He had not rested long, when a Jew rabbi entering the building, the prince begged for the love of God a little refreshment; but the wicked infidel, who hated true believers, instead of relieving, cruelly put him to death with his sabre, and wrapping the corpse in a mat, threw it into a corner of the synagogue. By ill fortune, on the day following the second prince arrived, and was treated in the same manner by the barbarous Jew, and on the next came also the youngest brother to the same place, where he was met by the base assassin, who would have killed him also, had not the extraordinary beauty of the young prince struck his covetous mind with the idea of making him a slave, and selling him for a large sum of money. Speaking therefore to him in a kind manner he brought him refreshments, and inquired if he was willing to be his servant, and employ himself in cleaning the synagogue and lighting the lamps; to which the prince, being in an exhausted condition, seemingly assented, seeing no other means of present support, but secretly resolved to escape when recovered from his fatigue. The Jew now took him to his house in the city, and showed him, apparently, the same tenderness as he used towards his own children. The next day the prince repaired to his allotted task of cleaning the synagogue, where, to his grief and horror, he presently discovered the bodies of his unfortunate brothers. While he lamented their unhappy fate with showers of tears, the recollection of his own perilous situation, in the power of their murderer, filled his mind with terror; but after the agonies of thought were over, the natural courage of a princely heart rose in his bosom, and he meditated how to revenge the death of his brothers on the savage infidel. An opportunity happened that same night. The prince having composed his mind, finished his work, and when the Jew arrived to examine it, dissembled so well, that no appearance of his inward melancholy was displayed. The Jew applauded his diligence, and taking him home, made him sit down to supper with himself and family, consisting of a wife and two young lads. It being the middle of summer, and the weather sultry, they retired to sleep on the open terrace of the house, which was very lofty. In the dead of night, when the Jew and his family were fast locked in the arms of slumber, the prince, who had purposely kept himself awake, seized the sabre of the treacherous infidel, and with a dexterous blow struck off his head; then snatching up the two children, hurled them headlong from the terrace, so that their brains were dashed out on the stone pavement of the court below. He then uplifted the sabre to destroy the Jew's wife, but the thought that she might be of use to him withheld his hand. He awoke her gently, commanded her to make no noise, and follow him down stairs, where, by degrees, he informed her of his adventures, the discovery he had made of the murder of his brothers, and his revenge on her treacherous husband and ill-fated children, whom, however, he would not have destroyed had he not been apprehensive of their cries alarming the neighbourhood. The Moosulmaun woman, for such she secretly was, did not regard the death of the wicked Jew, who had married her against her will, and often used her with great harshness, and her sorrows for the children were softened by the salvation of her own life. She also felt sentiments of tenderness towards the prince, whose injuries in the murder of his unfortunate brothers had compelled him to revenge, and felt herself obliged to his mercy in letting her live. She now informed him that in the Jew's laboratory were many valuable medicines, and among them the very water of life he was in search of; which intelligence was most gratifying to the prince, who offered to take the woman under his protection, and she willingly consented to accompany him to a country inhabited by true believers. Having packed up the medicines, with some valuable jewels, and put them, with various refreshments and necessaries, on two camels, they mounted and left the city undiscovered, nor did any accident occur on their journey; but on reaching the capital of China, the prince found that his father was dead, while his mother, contrary to expectation, lingered in painful existence. The ministers, who had with difficulty, in hopes of the three brothers' arrival, kept the next relations of the throne from disputing their right to ascend it, were rejoiced at his return; and on being informed of the untimely end of the two elder princes, immediately proclaimed him sultan. His first care was to administer comfort and relief to his afflicted mother, on whom the water of life had an instantaneous effect; his next, to regulate the affairs of his government, which he did with such ability, justice, and moderation, that he became endeared to his subjects, and an example to other sovereigns.

As the sultan, some time after his accession, was one day amusing himself in the chase, he saw a venerable Arab, accompanied by his daughter, travelling on horseback. By accident the young female's veil being blown aside, displayed such beauty to the eyes of the sultan, as instantly fascinated his heart, and made him wish to have her for his sultana. He immediately made offers to her father of his alliance; but great was his mortification and surprise when the Arab rejected them, saying, "That he had sworn not to give his daughter to any one who was not master of some useful trade, by which a livelihood might be earned." "Father," replied the sultan, "what occasion is there that I should learn a mean occupation, when I have the wealth of a kingdom at my command?" "Because," rejoined the Arab, "such are the vicissitudes of the world, that you may lose your kingdom and starve, if not able to work in some way for your living." The sultan, unlike some princes, who would have seized the lady and punished the Arab for his freedom, felt the force of his remark, applauded his wisdom, and requested that he would not betroth her to another, as he was resolved to make himself worthy of becoming his son-in-law by learning some handicraft, till when he hoped they would accept of an abode near the palace. To this the old man readily consented; and in a short time the sultan, eager to possess his bride, became such an adept in the handicraft of making ornamental mats for sofas and cushions of cane and reeds, that the Arab agreed to the nuptials, which were celebrated with all possible splendour and rejoicing, while the subjects admired more than ever the justice and moderation of their sovereign; so true is it, that, unless in depraved states, a good prince makes a good people.

Some years rolled on in uninterrupted felicity to the sultan and his beloved partner. It was the custom of the former frequently to visit in the disguise of a dervish the various quarters of the city, by which means he learnt the opinions of the people, and inspected the conduct of the police. One day in an excursion of this sort he passed by a cook's shop, and being hungry, stepped in to take some refreshment. He was, with seeming respect, conducted to a back room spread with flowered carpeting, over which was a covering of muslin transparently fine. Pulling off his slippers, he entered the room and sat down upon a neat musnud, but to his surprise and terror it instantly sunk under him, and he found himself at the bottom of a dark vault, where by a glimmering light he could discern several naked bodies of unfortunate persons who had been murdered, and presently appeared, descending from a narrow staircase, a black slave of savage countenance, who, brandishing a huge cimeter, cried out, "Wretch, prepare thyself to die!" The sultan was alarmed, but his presence of mind did not forsake him. "What good," said he, "will my death do you or your employers? I have nothing about me but the humble habit I wear; but if you spare my life, I possess an art that will produce your employers considerable wealth." Upon this, the slave going to the master of the house informed him of what the supposed dervish had said, when the treacherous cook came to inquire after the promised riches. "Give me only some reeds and canes, varnished of different colours," said the sultan, "and I will make a mat, which if you carry to the palace and present to the vizier, he will purchase it for a thousand pieces of gold." The desired articles were furnished, and the sultan setting to work, in a few days finished a mat, in which he ingeniously contrived to plait in flowery characters, known only to himself and his vizier, the account of his situation. When finished, he gave it to his treacherous host, who admired the beauty of the workmanship, and not doubting of the reward, carried it to the palace, where he demanded admission, saying he had a curiosity to offer for sale. The vizier, who was then giving audience to petitioners, commanded him to be brought in; but what was his astonishment when the mat was unfolded, to see pourtrayed upon it the imminent danger of the sultan, whom he supposed to be in his haram, and whose absence the sultana had, in order to prevent confusion, commanded to be kept secret, hoping for his speedy return. The vizier instantly summoning his guards seized the villanous cook, and proceeding to his house, released the sultan from his confinement. The house was razed to the ground, and the abominable owner, with his guilty family, put to death. The sultan exultingly felt the use of having learnt a useful art, which had been the means of saving his life.


A certain vizier, though perfectly loyal and of the strictest integrity, having been falsely accused by his enemies, was, without due examination of the charges brought against him, thrown into prison, where, by orders from the sultan, he was confined to a gloomy dungeon, and allowed only bread and water for his daily food. In this wretched abode he lay for seven years, at the expiration of which, the sultan his master, who was in the habit of walking about the city in disguise to amuse himself, chanced to pass by the house of his injured minister, dressed as a dervish. To his surprise he saw it open, and a crowd of domestics busy in cleaning the apartments, and preparing for the reception of the owner, who, they said, had commanded them by a messenger from the prison to put things in order, as he should that day be restored to the sultan's favour, and return home. The sultan, who, so far from intending to release the unfortunate vizier, had almost erased the remembrance of him from his mind, was astonished at the report of the domestics, but thought his long confinement might possibly have disturbed the brain of his prisoner, who in his madness might have fancied his deliverance to be at hand. He resolved however to go and visit the prison disguised as he was, and see the vizier. Having purchased a quantity of bread and cakes, he proceeded to the gaol, and requested, under pretence of fulfilling a vow he had made to feed the prisoners, to be admitted, and allowed to distribute his charity among them. The gaoler granted his request, and permitted him to visit the different cells. At length he came to that of the vizier, who was employed earnestly at his devotions, which on the entrance of the supposed dervish he suspended, and inquired his business. "I come," said he, "for though unknown to you I have always prayed for your welfare, to congratulate you on your approaching deliverance, which I understand you have announced to your domestics, but fear without foundation, not having heard of any orders for the purpose from the sultan." "That may be true, charitable dervish," said the vizier, "but depend upon it before night I shall be released and restored to office." "I wish it may be so," replied the sultan; "but upon what ground do you build an expectation, the gratification of which appears to me so improbable?" "Be seated, good dervish, and I will tell you," rejoined the vizier, and began as follows: "Know then, my friend, experience has convinced me that the height of prosperity is always quickly succeeded by adverse fortune, and the depth of affliction by sudden relief. When I was in office, beloved by the people for my lenient administration, and distinguished by the sultan, whose honour and advantage were the constant objects of my care, and for whose welfare I have never ceased to pray even in this gloomy dungeon, I was one evening taking the air upon the river in a splendid barge with some favourite companions. As we were drinking coffee, the cup I held in my hand, which was made of a single emerald of immense value, and which I highly prized, slipped from it and fell into the water; upon which I ordered the barge to be stopped, and sent for a diver, to whom I promised an ample reward should he recover the cup. He undressed, and desired me to point out the place at which it fell; when I, having in my hand a rich diamond ring, heedlessly, in a fit of absence, threw it into that part of the river. While I was exclaiming against my own stupidity, the diver made a plunge towards where I had cast the ring, and in less than two minutes reappeared with the coffee-cup in his hand, when to my great surprise within it I found also my ring. I rewarded him liberally, and was exulting in the recovery of my jewels, when it suddenly struck my mind, that such unusual good fortune must speedily be followed by some disaster. This reflection made me melancholy, and I returned home with a foreboding sadness, nor without cause, for that very night my enemies accused me falsely of treason to the sultan, who believed the charge, and next morning I was hurried to this gloomy cell, where I have now remained seven years with only bread and water for my support. God, however, has given me resignation to his decrees, and this day an accident occurred which makes me confident of release before night, and restoration to the sultan's favour, which, as I have always done, I will endeavour to deserve. You must know, venerable dervish, that this morning I felt an unconquerable longing to taste a bit of flesh, and earnestly entreated my keeper, giving him at the same time a piece of gold, to indulge my wish. The man, softened by the present, brought me a stew, on which I prepared to make a delicious meal; but while, according to custom before eating, I was performing my ablutions, guess my mortification, when a huge rat running from his hole leaped into the dish which was placed upon the floor. I was near fainting with agony at the sight, and could not refrain from tears; but at length recovering from the poignancy of disappointment, the rays of comfort darted upon my mind, and I reflected that as disgrace and imprisonment had instantaneously followed the fortunate recovery of my cup and ring, so this mortification, a greater than which could not have happened, would be immediately succeeded by returning prosperity. In this conviction I prevailed on the gaoler to order my domestics to make ready my house and expect my return."

The disguised sultan, who, while the vizier was speaking, felt every word impress him more and more with the conviction of his innocence, had much difficulty to support his assumed character; but not choosing his visit to the prison should be known at present, he restrained his feelings, and when the minister had finished took his leave, saying, he hoped his presage would be fulfilled. He then returned undiscovered to the palace, and entering his cabinet, resumed his usual habit; after which he issued orders for the release of the vizier, sending him a robe of honour and splendid attendants to escort him to court, at the same time condemning to confiscation and imprisonment his malicious accusers. On his arrival, the sultan received the vizier with the most gracious distinction; and having presented him with the canopy of state, the seal and the inkstand set with rich jewels, the insignia of office, conducted him to a private chamber, where falling upon his neck he embraced him, and requesting him to forget past oppression, informed him of his disguised visit to the prison; after which he dismissed him to his own palace.


A virtuous lady of Cairo, who seldom left her house but upon urgent business, one day returning from the bath, passed by the tribunal of the cauzee just as it was breaking up, when the magistrate perceived her, and struck with her dignity and elegance of gait, from which he judged of her beauty, called her to him, and in a soft whisper expressed his desire of a private interview. The lady being resolved to punish him for his unworthy conduct, seemingly consented, and desired him to repair to her house that evening, which he gladly promised. She then pursued her route homewards, but was on the way accosted by three other men, who made her similar proposals, all which she accepted, and fixed that evening for receiving their visits. The first of these gallants was the customs tax-collector of Cairo, the second the chief of the butchers, and the third a rich merchant.

When the lady returned to her house she informed her husband of what had happened, and begged him to permit her to execute a stratagem that she had formed to punish their insolence, which would not only afford himself and her much laughable amusement, but solid advantage, as doubtless the lovers would each bring with him a handsome present. The husband, who knew he could trust the virtue of his wife, readily consented, and the lady having prepared a handsome entertainment, adorned herself in her richest apparel, and seated herself to receive her guests. Evening had just shut in, when the venerable cauzee having finished his sunset devotions, impatiently repaired first to his mistress and knocked at the door, which the lady opened and led him upstairs, where he presented her with a rosary of valuable pearl; after which she made him undress, and in place of his robes put on a loose vest of yellow muslin, and a parti-coloured cap, her husband all the while looking at them through the door of a closet, and ready to burst his sides with laughter as he beheld the tender grimaces of the enamoured magistrate. The happiness of the venerable gallant was however soon changed to frightful alarm, for he had scarcely sat down and begun to partake of some refreshment, when a loud rap was heard at the door; upon which the lady starting up in well-affected terror, cried out, "Mahummud protect us! for this is my husband's knock, and if he finds you here, he will put us both to death." The cauzee's heart sank within him, and he became more dead than alive; but the lady somewhat revived him by thrusting him into her bed-chamber, desiring him to remain still, as possibly a way might be found for his escape. He gladly retired, secretly vowing that if spared from his present threatening distress, Satan should no more tempt him to make love or break the sacred law.

The lady having disposed of the cauzee, hastened to the door, where she found the expecting tax-collector, who brought with him, as a present, a set of jewels. She shewed him upstairs, took off his rich clothes, and made him put on a crimson vest, and a green cap with black spots. He had scarcely sat down when the door again resounded, and she played over the same game as she had done with the cauzee, who on his also entering the bed-chamber was somewhat pleased at seeing a brother magistrate in the same ridiculous plight with himself. The venerable lovers condoled by signs with each other, but dared not speak for fear of discovery. The chief of the butchers, on his arrival, was next ushered up stairs, and his present received, then made to undress and put on a blue vest with a scarlet cap, ornamented with sea shells and bits of tinsel; but he had scarce time to finish, when a fourth loud rap was heard at the door, the scene of alarm was renewed, and the frightened gallant hurried into the room to keep company with his rivals. Now appeared the respectable merchant, who presented the cunning lady with several rich veils, pieces of silk, and embroidered muslins, after which he was asked to undress and enrobe himself in a sky coloured vest and a cap striped with red and white; which he had hardly put on when a thundering knock at the gate put an end to his transports, and the wife pretending great alarm, as it was her husband's rap, forced him into the bed-chamber, where, to his surprise he discovered three of his intimate acquaintance.

The husband, who had left his hiding place and knocked at the door, now entered, and after saluting his wife, sat down, when having partaken of the refreshments provided for the gallants, the happy couple entered into conversation loud enough to be overheard by the wretched inamorati, who were quaking for fear of discovery. "Light of my eyes," said the husband, "didst thou meet with any thing amusing to-day in thy visit to the bath? and if so, divert me with an account of it." "I did, indeed," said the lady, "for I met with four antic creatures, whom" (at hearing this the unfortunate lovers gave themselves over for lost) "I had a great inclination to bring home with me" (here they recovered a little from their alarm) "to divert us, but fearful of your displeasure I did not; however, if agreeable, we can send for them to-morrow." The frighted gallants now indulged some hope of escape through the kindness of their cunning mistress, and began to breathe a little freer, but very short was the suspension of their fears. "I am sorry thou didst not bring them," said the husband, "because business will to-morrow call me from home, and I shall be absent for some days." Upon this, the lady laughing, said, "Well, then, you must know that in fact I have brought them, and was diverting myself with them when you came in, but fearful you might suspect something wrong I hurried them into our bed-chamber, in order to conceal them till I had tried your temper, hoping, should you not be in good humour, to find some means of letting them out undiscovered." It is impossible to describe the alarm into which the wretched gallants were now plunged, especially when the husband commanded his wife to bring them out one by one, saying, "Let each entertain us with a dance and then recite a story, but if they do not please me, I will strike off their heads." "Heaven protect us," said the cauzee, "how can men of our gravity dance? but there is no resisting the decrees of fate, nor do I see any chance of escape from this artful baggage and her savage husband but by performing as well as we can." His companions were of the same opinion, and mustered what courage they could to act as they should be ordered.

The wife now entered the chamber, and putting a tambourine into the cauzee's hands, led him out and began to play a merry tune upon her lute, to which the affrighted magistrate danced with a thousand antics and grimaces like an old baboon, beating time with the tambourine, to the great delight of the husband, who every now and then jeeringly cried out, "Really wife, if I did not know this fellow was a buffoon, I should take him for our cauzee; but God forgive me, I know our worthy magistrate is either at his devotions, or employed in investigating cases for to-morrow's decision." Upon this the cauzee danced with redoubled vigour, and more ridiculous gestures, in hopes of evading discovery. At length he was overpowered by such unusual exercise; but the husband had no mercy upon his sufferings, and made him continue capering by threatening the bastinado, till the tired judge was exhausted, and fainted upon the floor in a bath of perspiration, when they held him up, and pouring a goblet of wine down his throat it somewhat revived him. He was now suffered to breathe a little, and something given him to eat, which, with a second cup of liquor, recovered his strength. The husband now demanded his story; and the cauzee, assuming the gesture of a coffee-house droll, began as follows.

The Cauzee's Story.

A young tailor, whose shop was opposite the house of an officer, was so attracted from his work by the appearance of a beautiful young lady, his wife, in her balcony, that he became desperately in love, and would sit whole days waiting her coming, and when she showed herself make signs of his passion. For some time his ridiculous action diverted her, but at length she grew tired of the farce she had kept up by answering his signals, and of the interruption it gave to her taking the fresh air, so that she resolved to punish him for his presumption, and oblige him to quit his stall. Having laid her plan, one day when her husband was gone out for a few hours she dispatched a female slave to invite the tailor to drink coffee. To express the rapture of the happy snip is impossible. He fell at the feet of the slave, which he kissed as the welcome messengers of good tidings, gave her a piece of gold, and uttered some nonsensical verses that he had composed in praise of his beloved; then dressing himself in his best habit, he folded his turban in the most tasty manner, and curled his mustachios to the greatest advantage, after which he hastened exultingly to the lady's house, and was admitted to her presence. She sat upon a rich musnud, and gracefully lifting up her veil welcomed the tailor, who was so overcome that he had nearly fainted away with excess of rapture. She desired him to be seated, but such was his bashfulness that he would not approach farther than the corner of the carpet. Coffee was brought in, and a cup presented him; but not being used to such magnificence and form, and his eyes, also, being staringly fixed on the beauties of the lady, instead of carrying the cup to his mouth, he hit his nose and overthrew the liquid upon his vest. The lady smiled, and ordered him another cup; but while he was endeavouring to drink it with a little more composure, a loud knock was heard at the door, and she starting up, cried out with great agitation, "Good heavens! this is my husband's knock; if he finds us together he will sacrifice us to his fury!" The poor tailor, in terror, fell flat upon the carpet, when the lady and her slave threw some cold water upon his face, and when a little recovered hurried him away to a chamber, into which they forced him, and desired him to remain quiet, as the only means of saving his life. Here he remained quivering and trembling, more alive than dead, but perfectly cured of his love, and vowing never again to look up at a balcony.

When the tailor was disposed of, the lady again sat down upon her stool, and ordered her slave to open the gate. Upon her husband's entering the room he was surprised at beholding things set out for an entertainment, and inquired who had been with her; when she replied tartly, "A lover." "And where is he now?" angrily replied the officer. "In yonder chamber, and if you please you may sacrifice him to your fury, and myself afterwards." The officer demanded the key, which she gave him; but while this was passing, the agony of the unfortunate tailor was worse than death; he fully expecting every moment to have his head struck off: in short, he was in a most pitiable condition. The officer went to the door, and had put the key into the lock, when his wife burst suddenly into a fit of laughter: upon which he exclaimed angrily, "Who do you laugh at?" "Why, at yourself, to be sure, my wise lord," replied the lady; "for who but yourself could suppose a woman serious when she told him where to find out a concealed lover? I wanted to discover how far jealousy would carry you, and invented this trick for the purpose," The officer, upon this, was struck with admiration of his wife's pleasantry and his own credulity, which so tickled his fancy that he laughed immoderately, begged pardon for his foolish conduct, and they spent the evening cheerfully together; after which, the husband going to the bath, his wife charitably released the almost dead tailor, and reproving him for his impertinence, declared if he ever again looked up at her balcony she would contrive his death. The tailor, perfectly cured of love for his superior in life, made the most abject submission, thanked her for his deliverance, hurried home, prayed heartily for his escape, and the very next day took care to move from so dangerous a neighbourhood.

The husband and wife were highly diverted with the cauzee's story, and after another dance permitted him to depart, and get home as well as he could in his ridiculous habit. How he got there, and what excuse he was able to make for so unmagisterial an appearance, we are not informed; but strange whispers went about the city, and the cauzee's dance became the favourite one or the strolling drolls, whom he had often the mortification of seeing taking him off as he passed to and from the tribunal, and not unfrequently in causes of adultery the evidences and culprits would laugh in his face. He, however, never again suffered Satan to tempt him, and was scarcely able to look at a strange woman, so great was his fear of being led astray.

When the cauzee was gone, the lady, repairing to the apartment, brought out the grave tax-collector, whom her husband addressed by name, saying, "Venerable sir, how long have you turned droll? can you favour me with a dance?" The tax-collector made no reply, but began capering, nor was he permitted to stop till quite tired. He was then allowed to sit, some refreshment was given him, and when revived he was desired to tell a story: knowing resistance vain, he complied. After having finished he was dismissed, and the other gallants were brought in and treated in a like manner.


A certain rich merchant was constantly repining, because Providence had not added to his numerous blessings that of a child to inherit his vast wealth. This want destroyed the power of affluence to make him happy, and he importuned heaven with unceasing prayers. At length one evening, just as he had concluded his devotions, he heard a voice, saying, "Thy request has been heard, and thou wilt have a daughter, but she will give thee much uneasiness in her fourteenth year by an amour with the prince of Eerauk, and remember there is no avoiding the decrees of fate."

The merchant's wife that same night conceived, and at the usual time brought forth a daughter, who grew up an exquisite beauty. No pains were spared in her education, so that at thirteen she became most accomplished, and the fame of her charms and perfections was spread throughout the city. The merchant enjoyed the graces of his child, but at the same time his heart was heavy with anxiety for her fate, whenever he called to mind the prediction concerning her; so that at length he determined to consult a celebrated dervish, his friend, on the possible means of averting the fulfilment of the prophecy. The dervish gave him but little hopes of being able to counteract the will of heaven, but advised him to carry the beautiful maiden to a sequestered mansion, situated among unfrequented mountains surrounding it on all sides, and the only entrance to which was by a dark cavern hewn out of the solid rock, which might be safely guarded by a few faithful domestics. "Here," said the dervish, "your daughter may pass the predicted year, and if any human care can avail she may be thus saved from the threatened dishonour; but it is in vain for man to fight against the arms of heaven, therefore prepare thy mind for resignation to its decrees."

The merchant followed the advice of his friend, and having made the necessary preparations, accompanied by him, and attended by some white and black slaves of both sexes, arrived, after a month's journey, with his daughter, at the desired mansion; in which having placed her, he, after a day's repose, took his departure homewards with the dervish. Ample stores of all necessaries for her accommodation had been laid in, and slaves male and female were left for her attendance and protection. Not many days, had elapsed when an incident occurred, clearly proving the emptiness of human caution against the predestination of fate. The prince of Eerauk being upon a hunting excursion outrode his attendants, and missing his way, reached the gate of the cavern leading to the mansion, which was guarded by two black slaves, who seeing a stranger, cried out to him to withdraw. He stopped his horse, and in a supplicating tone requested protection and refreshment for the night, as he had wandered from the road, and was almost exhausted from weariness and want of food. The slaves were moved by the representation of his distress, as well as awed by his noble appearance, and apprehending no danger from a single person, conducted him through the cavern, into the beautiful valley, in which stood the mansion. They then informed their mistress of his arrival, who commanded him to be introduced into an apartment, in which an elegant entertainment was provided, where she gave him the most hospitable reception. To become known to each other was to love; nor was it long ere the prediction respecting the merchant's daughter proved fully verified. Some months passed in mutual happiness; when the prince, becoming anxious to return to his friends, took leave of his mistress, promising when he had seen his family to visit her again, and make her his wife.

On his way he met the merchant, who was coming to see his daughter. Halting at the same spot they fell into conversation, in which each inquired after the other's situation, and the prince, little aware to whom he was speaking, related his late adventure. The merchant, convinced that all his caution had been vain, concealed his uneasiness, resolved to take his daughter home, make the best of what had happened, and never again to struggle against fate. On his arrival at the cavern he found his daughter unwell; and before they reached their own abode she was delivered of a male infant, who, to save her credit, was left exposed in a small tent with a sum of money laid under its pillow, in hopes that the first passenger would take the child under his care. It so happened, that a caravan passing by, the leader of it, on examining the tent and seeing the infant, took it up, and having no children adopted it as his own. The prince of Eerauk having seen his parents, again repaired to visit his beautiful mistress, and on his journey to the cavern once more met the merchant, who, at his daughter's request, was travelling towards Eerauk to acquaint him with her situation. The prince, overjoyed, accompanied the merchant home, married the young lady, and with her parents returned to his dominions. Their exposed son, after long inquiry, was discovered, and liberal rewards bestowed on the leader of the caravan, who at his own request was permitted to reside in the palace of Eerauk, and superintend the education of his adopted son.


In the capital of Bagdad there was formerly a cauzee, who filled the seat of justice with the purest integrity, and who by his example in private life gave force to the strictness of his public decrees. After some years spent in this honourable post, he became anxious to make the pilgrimage to Mecca; and having obtained permission of the caliph, departed on his pious journey, leaving his wife, a beautiful woman, under the protection of his brother, who promised to respect her as his daughter. The cauzee, however, had not long left home, when the brother, instigated by passion, made love to his sister-in-law, which she rejected with scorn; being, however, unwilling to expose so near a relative to her husband, she endeavoured to divert him from his purpose by argument on the heinousness of his intended crime, but in vain. The abominable wretch, instead of repenting, a gain and again offered his love, and at last threatened, if she would not accept his love, to accuse her of adultery, and bring upon her the punishment of the law. This threat having no effect, the atrocious villain suborned evidences to swear that they had seen her in the act of infidelity, and she was sentenced to receive one hundred strokes with a knotted whip, and be banished from the city. Having endured this disgraceful punishment, the unhappy lady was led through Bagdad by the public executioner, amid the taunts and scorns of the populace; after which she was thrust oat of the gates and left to shift for herself. Relying on Providence, and without complaining of its decrees, she resolved to travel to Mecca, in hopes of meeting her husband, and clearing her defamed character to him, whose opinion alone she valued. When advanced some days on her journey she entered a city, and perceived a great crowd of people following the executioner, who led a young man by a rope tied about his neck. Inquiring the crime of the culprit, she was informed that he owed a hundred deenars, which being unable to pay, he was sentenced to be hung, such being the punishment of insolvent debtors in that city. The cauzee's wife, moved with compassion, immediately tendered the sum, being nearly all she had, when the young man was released, and falling upon his knees before her, vowed to dedicate his life to her service. She related to him her intention of making the pilgrimage to Mecca, upon which the young man requested to accompany and protect her, to which she consented. They set out on their journey; but had not proceeded many days, when the youth forgot his obligations, and giving way to impulse, insulted his benefactress by offering her his love. The unfortunate lady reasoned with him on the ingratitude of his conduct, and the youth seemed to be convinced and repentant, but revenge rankled in his heart. Some days after this they reached the sea-shore, where the young man perceiving a ship, made a signal to speak with it, and the master letting down his boat sent it to land; upon which the young man going on board the vessel, informed the master that he had for sale a handsome female slave, for whom he asked a thousand deenars. The master, who had been used to purchase slaves upon that coast, went on shore, and looking at the cauzee's wife, paid the money to the wicked young man, who went his way, and the lady was carried on board the ship, supposing that her companion had taken the opportunity of easing her fatigue, by procuring her a passage to some sea-port near Mecca: but her persecution was not to end here. In the evening she was insulted by attentions of the master of the vessel, who being surprised at her coolness, informed her that he had purchased her as his slave for a thousand deenars. The unfortunate lady told him that she was a free woman, but this had no effect on the brutish sailor, who finding tenderness ineffectual proceeded to force and blows in order to reduce her to submit to his authority. Her strength was almost exhausted, when suddenly the ship struck upon a rock, the master was hurried upon deck, and in a few moments the vessel went to pieces. Providentially the virtuous wife laying hold of a plank was wafted to the shore, after being for several hours buffeted by the waves. Having recovered her senses she walked inland, and found a pleasant country abounding in fruits and clear streams, which satisfied her hunger and thirst. On the second day she arrived at a magnificent city, and on entering it was conducted to the sultan, who inquiring her story, she informed him that she was a woman devoted to a religious life, and was proceeding on the pilgrimage to Mecca, when her vessel was shipwrecked on his coast, and whether any of the crew had escaped she knew not, as she had seen none of them since her being cast ashore on a plank; but as now the hopes of her reaching the sacred house were cut off, if the sultan would allot her a small hut, and a trifling pittance for her support, she would spend the remainder of her days in prayers for the prosperity of himself and his subjects.

The sultan, who was truly devout, and pitied the misfortune of the lady, gladly acceded to her request, and allotted a pleasant garden-house near his palace for her residence, at which he often visited her, and conversed with her on religious topics, to his great edification and comfort, for she was sensibly pious. Not long after her arrival, several refractory vassals who had for years withheld their usual tribute, and against whom the good sultan, unwilling to shed blood, though his treasury much felt the defalcation, had not sent a force to compel payment, unexpectedly sent in their arrears; submissively begged pardon for their late disobedience, and promised in future to be loyal in their duty. The sultan, who attributed this fortunate event to the successful prayers of his virtuous guest, mentioned his opinion to his courtiers in full divan, and they to their dependents. As, according to the proverb, the sheep always follow their leader, so it was in the present instance. All ranks of people on every emergency flocked to beg the prayers and counsel of the sultan's favourite devotee; and such was their efficacy, that her clients every day became more numerous, nor were they ungrateful; so that in a short time the offerings made to her amounted in value to an incalculable sum. Her reputation was not confined to the kingdom of her protector, but spread gradually abroad through all the countries in the possession of true believers, who came from all parts of Asia to solicit her prayers. Her residence was enlarged to a vast extent, in which she supported great numbers of destitute persons, as well as entertained the crowds of poor people who came in pilgrimage to so holy a personage as she was now esteemed. But we must now return to her pious husband.

The good cauzee having finished the ceremonies of his pilgrimage at Mecca, where he resided one year, and visited all the holy spots around, returned to Bagdad: but dreadful was his agony and grief when informed that his wife had played the harlot, and that his brother, unable to bear the disgrace of his family, had left the city, and had not been heard of since. This sad intelligence had such an effect upon his mind, that he resolved to give up worldly concerns, and adopt the life of a wandering religious, to move from place to place, from country to country, and visit the devotees celebrated for sanctity in each. For two years he travelled through various kingdoms, and at length hearing of his wife's fame, though he little supposed the much-talked-of female saint stood in that relation to himself, he resolved to pay his respects to so holy a personage. With this view he journeyed towards the capital of the sultan her protector, hoping to receive benefit from her pious conversation and prayers.

The cauzee on his way overtook his treacherous brother, who, repenting of his wicked life, had turned mendicant, and was going to confess his sins, and ask the prayers for absolution of the far-famed religious woman. Time and alteration of dress, for they were both habited as dervishes, caused the brothers not to know each other. As fellow travellers they entered into conversation; and finding they were both bound the same way, agreed to continue their journey together. They had not proceeded many days when they came up with a driver of camels, who informed them that he was upon the same errand as themselves, having been guilty of a horrid crime, the reflection upon which tormented his conscience, and made life miserable; that he was going to confess his sins to the pious devotee, and consult her on whatever penance could atone for his villany, of which he had heartily repented, and hoped to obtain the mercy of heaven by a sincere reformation of life. The crime of this wretch was no less than murder; the circumstances of which we forgot to detail in its proper place. The cauzee's wife immediately after her expulsion from Bagdad, and before she had met the young man who sold her for a slave, had taken shelter in the hut of a camel breeder, whose wife owed her great obligations, and who received her with true hospitality and kindness; consoling her in her misfortunes, dressing her wounds, and insisting on her stay till she should be fully recovered of the painful effects of her unjust and disgraceful punishment; and in this she was seconded by the honest husband. With this humble couple, who had an infant son, she remained some time, and was recovering her spirits and beauty when the wicked camel breeder, first mentioned, arrived on a visit to her host; and being struck with her beauty made love to her, which she mildly but firmly rejected, informing him that she was a married woman. Blinded by passion, the wretch pressed his addresses repeatedly, but in vain; till at length, irritated by refusal, he changed his love into furious anger, and resolved to revenge his disappointed lust by her death. With this view he armed himself with a poniard; and about midnight, when the family were asleep, stole into the chamber where she reposed, and close by her the infant son of her generous host. The villain being in the dark made a random stroke, not knowing of the infant, and instead of stabbing the object of his revenge, plunged his weapon into the bosom of the child, who uttered loud screams; upon which the assassin, fearful of detection, ran away, and escaped from the house. The cauzee's wife awaking in a fright, alarmed her unhappy hosts, who, striking a light, came to her assistance; but how can we describe their agonizing affliction when they beheld their beloved child expiring, and their unfortunate guest, who had swooned away, bathed in the infant's blood. From such a scene we turn away, as the pen is incapable of description. The unhappy lady at length revived, but their darling boy was gone for ever. Some days after this tragical event she began her pilgrimage, and, as above stated, reached the city where she released the young man from his cruel creditors, and was shortly afterwards ungratefully sold by him as a slave. But to return to the good cauzee and his wicked companions.

They had not travelled far when they overtook a young man, who saluted them, and inquired their course; of which being informed, he begged to join in company, saying, that he also was going to pay his respects to the celebrated religious, in hopes that by her prayers he might obtain pardon of God for a most flagitious ingratitude; the remorse for which had rendered him a burthen to himself ever since the commission of the crime. The four pilgrims pursued their journey, and a few days afterwards overtook the master of a vessel, who told them he had some time back suffered shipwreck; since which he had undergone the severest distress, and was now going to request the aid of the far-famed woman, whose charities and miraculous prayers had been noised abroad through all countries. The companions then invited him to join them, and they proceeded on the pilgrimage together, till at length they reached the capital of the good sultan who protected the cauzee's wife.

The five pilgrims having entered the city, repaired immediately to the abode of the respected devotee; the courts of which were crowded with petitioners from all parts, so that they could with difficulty gain admission. Some of her domestics seeing they were strangers newly arrived, and seemingly fatigued, kindly invited them, into an apartment, and to repose themselves while they informed their mistress of their arrival; which having done, they brought word that she would see them when the crowd was dispersed, and hear their petitions at her leisure. Refreshments were then brought in, of which they were desired to partake, and the pilgrims having make their ablutions, sat down to eat, all the while admiring and praising the hospitality of their pious hostess; who, unperceived by them, was examining their persons and features through the lattice of a balcony, at one end of the hall. Her heart beat with joyful rapture when she beheld her long lost husband, whose absence she had never ceased to deplore, but scarcely expected ever to meet him again; and great was her surprise to find him in company with his treacherous brother, her infamous intending assassin, her ungrateful betrayer the young man, and the master of the vessel to whom he had sold her as a slave. It was with difficulty she restrained her feelings; but not choosing to discover herself till she should hear their adventures, she withdrew into her chamber, and being relieved by tears prostrated herself on the earth, and offered up thanksgivings to the protector of the just, who had rewarded her patience under affliction by succeeding blessings, and at length restored to her the partner of her heart. Having finished her devotions, she sent to the sultan requesting him to send her a confidential officer, who might witness the relations of five visitors whom she was going to examine. On his arrival she placed him where he could listen unseen; and covering herself with a veil, sat down on her stool to receive the pilgrims, who being admitted, bowed their foreheads to the ground; when requesting them to arise, she addressed them as follows: "You are welcome, brethren, to my humble abode, to my counsel and my prayers, which, by God's mercy, have sometimes relieved the repentant sinner; but as it is impossible I can give advice without hearing a case, or pray without knowing the wants of him who entreats me, you must relate your histories with the strictest truth, for equivocation, evasion, or concealment, will prevent my being of any service; and this you may depend upon, that the prayers of a liar tend only to his own destruction." Having said this, she ordered the cauzee to remain, but the other four to withdraw; as she should, to spare their shame before each other, hear their cases separately. The good cauzee having no sins to confess related his pilgrimage to Mecca; the supposed infidelity of his wife; and his consequent resolve to spend his days in visiting sacred places and holy personages, among whom she stood so famous, that to hear her edifying conversation, and entreat the benefit of her prayers for his unhappy wife, was the object of his having travelled to her sacred abode. When he had finished his narrative the lady dismissed him to another chamber, and heard one by one the confessions of his companions; who not daring to conceal any thing, related their cruel conduct towards herself, as above-mentioned; but little suspecting that they were acknowledging their guilt to the intended victim of their evil passions. After this the cauzee's wife commanded the officer to conduct all five to the sultan, and inform him of what he had heard them confess. The sultan, enraged at the wicked behaviour of the cauzee's brother, the camel-driver, the young man, and the master of the vessel, condemned them to death; and the executioner was preparing to put the sentence in force, when the lady arriving at the presence demanded their pardon; and to his unspeakable joy discovered herself to her delighted husband. The sultan complying with her request, dismissed the criminals; but prevailed on the cauzee to remain at his court, where for the remainder of his life this upright judge filled the high office of chief magistrate with honour to himself, and satisfaction to all who had causes tried before him; while he and his faithful partner continued striking examples of virtue and conjugal felicity. The sultan was unbounded in his favour towards them, and would often pass whole evenings in their company in friendly conversation, which generally turned upon the vicissitudes of life, and the goodness of Providence in relieving the sufferings of the faithful, by divine interposition, at the very instant when ready to sink under them and overwhelmed with calamity. "I myself," said the sultan, "am an example of the protection of heaven, as you, my friends, will learn from my adventures." He then began as follows.

The Sultan's Story of Himself.

Though now seated on a throne, I was not born to such exalted rank, but am the son of a rich merchant in a country far distant from this which I now govern. My father brought me up to his own profession; and by instruction and example encouraged me to be virtuous, diligent, and honest. Soon after I had attained to the age of manhood death snatched away this valuable parent, who in his last moments gave me instructions for my future conduct; but particularly requested that nothing might ever prevail upon me to take an oath, though ever so just or necessary to my concerns. I assured him it would not: soon after which he breathed his last, leaving me, my mother, and sister in sincere grief for his loss. After the funeral I examined his property, and found myself in possession of a vast sum of money, besides an ample stock in trade, two-thirds of which I immediately paid to my mother and sister, who retired to a house which they purchased for themselves. Many weeks had not elapsed when a merchant set up a claim on my father's estate for a sum of money equal to nearly the whole that I possessed: I asked him for his bond, but he had none, yet swore solemnly to the justice of his demand. I had no doubt of the falsity of his oath, but as I had promised never to swear, I could not disprove it by mine, and therefore was obliged to pay the money, which I did entirely from my own share, not choosing to distress my mother and sister by lessening theirs. After this, other unjust demands were preferred, and I paid them, rather than falsify my promise to my father, though by so doing I became reduced to the most abject poverty, as still I would not trouble my mother. At length I resolved to quit my native city, and seek for subsistence in a distant country as clerk to a merchant, or in any other way that might offer. I accordingly set out alone, and had travelled some days, when in passing over a sandy desert I met a venerable looking personage dressed in white, who kindly accosting me, inquired the object of my journey: upon which I related my story. The old man blessed me, highly praised the steadfastness of my adherence to the promise I had made to a dying father; and said, "My son, be not dismayed, thy virtuous conduct has been approved by our holy prophet, who has interceded for thee at the throne of bounty: follow me, and reap the reward of thy sufferings." I did as he desired; and we, after some time, reached this city, which was then wholly depopulated, and even this palace in a state of decay. On our entrance my venerable guide bade me welcome, saying, "Here heaven has decreed thee to reign, and thou wilt soon become a powerful sultan." He then conducted me to the palace, and we descended from one of the apartments into a vault, where to my astonishment I beheld vast heaps of gold and silver ingots, large bags of coins of the same metals, and several rich chests filled with jewels of inestimable value, of all which he saluted me master. I was overcome with astonishment; but said, "Of what use is all this wealth in a depopulated city? and how can I be a sultan without subjects?" The old man smiled, and said, "Have patience, my son; this evening a numerous caravan will arrive here composed of emigrants, who are in search of a settlement, and they will elect thee their sovereign." His words proved true; the caravan arrived, when the old man invited them to inhabit the city; his offer was gladly accepted, and by his direction they declared me their sultan. My protector remained with me a whole year, during which he gave me instructions how to govern, and I became what I am. Heaven has prospered my endeavours to do good: the fame of my liberality, justice, and clemency soon spread abroad; the city was soon filled by industrious inhabitants, who repaired the decayed buildings, and erected new ones. The country round became well cultivated, and our port was filled with vessels from every quarter. I shortly after sent for my family, for I had left behind me a wife and two sons; and you may guess from your own joy at meeting after long separation what must have been mine on such an occasion. My venerable patron, at the expiration of the year, one day thus addressed me: "My son, as my mission is completed I must now leave you; but be not alarmed, for provided thou continuest to act as thou hast begun, we shall meet again. Know that I am the prophet Khizzer, and was sent by heaven to protect thee. Mayest thou deserve its blessings!" Having said this he embraced me in his arms, and then vanished, how I know not, from my sight. For some time I continued rapt in astonishment and wonder, which at length gave place to reverential awe and gratitude to heaven; by degrees I recovered myself, and bowed down with fervent devotion. I have endeavoured to follow the admonitions of my holy adviser. It is unnecessary to say more; you see my state and the happiness I enjoy.


The sultan of the Indies could not but admire the prodigious and inexhaustible memory of the sultaness his wife, who had entertained him so many nights with such a variety of interesting stories.

A thousand and one nights had passed away in these innocent amusements, which contributed so much towards removing the sultan's unhappy prejudice against the fidelity of women. His temper was softened. He was convinced of the merit and great wisdom of the sultaness Scheherazade. He remembered with what courage she had offered to be his wife, without fearing the death to which she knew she exposed herself, as so many sultanesses had suffered within her knowledge.

These considerations, and the many other good qualities he knew her to possess, induced him at last to forgive her. "I see, lovely Scheherazade," said he, "that you can never be at a loss for these little stories, which have so long diverted me. You have appeased my anger. I freely renounce the law I had imposed on myself. I restore your sex to my favourable opinion, and will have you to be regarded as the deliverer of the many damsels I had resolved to sacrifice to my unjust resentment."

The sultaness cast herself at his feet, and embraced them tenderly with all the marks of the most lively and perfect gratitude.

The grand vizier was the first who learned this agreeable intelligence from the sultan's own mouth. It was instantly carried to the city, towns, and provinces; and gained the sultan, and the lovely Scheherazade his consort, universal applause, and the blessings of all the people of the extensive empire of the Indies.

End of Volume 4.