Readme.it in English  home page
Readme.it in Italiano  pagina iniziale
readme.it by logo SoftwareHouse.it

Ebook in formato Kindle (mobi) - Kindle File Ebook (mobi)

Formato per Iphone, Ipad e Ebook (epub) - Ipad, Iphone and Ebook reader format (epub)

Versione ebook di Readme.it powered by Softwarehouse.it


THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

by Sir Richard Burton

STORY OF KING SHAHRYAR AND HIS BROTHER -

In the Name of Allah

the Compassionatingthe Compassionate! - PRAISE BE TO ALLAH - THE BENEFICENTKING - THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE - LORD OF THE THREE WORLDS - WHO SET UP THEFIRMAMENT WITHOUT PILLARS IN ITS STEAD - AND WHO STRETCHED OUT THE EARTH EVEN ASA BED - AND GRACEAND PRAYER-BLESSING BE UPON OUR LORD MOHAMMED - LORD OFAPOSTOLIC MEN - AND UPON HIS FAMILY AND COMPANION TRAIN -PRAYER AND BLESSINGSENDURING AND GRACE WHICH UNTO THE DAY OF DOOM SHALL REMAIN - AMEN! - O THOU OFTHE THREE WORLDS SOVEREIGN! -

AND AFTERWARD. Verily the works and words of those gone before us have becomeinstances and examples to men of our modern daythat folk may view whatadmonishing chances befell other folk and may therefrom take warning; and thatthey may peruse the annals of antique peoples and all that hath betided themand be thereby ruled and restrained. Praisethereforebe to Him who hath madethe histories of the past an admonition unto the present! Now of such instancesare the tales called "A Thousand Nights and a Night" together withtheir far-famed legends and wonders.

Therein it is related (but Allah it is All-knowing of His hidden things andAll-ruling and All-honored and All-giving and All-gracious and All-merciful!)that in tide of yore and in time long gone beforethere was a King of the Kingsof the Banu Sasan in the islands of India and Chinaa Lord of armies and guardsand servants and dependents. He left only two sonsone in the prime of manhoodand the other yet a youthwhile both were knights and bravesalbeit the elderwas a doughtier horseman than the younger. So he succeeded to the empirewhenhe ruled the land and lorded it is over his lieges with justice so exemplarythat he was beloved by all the peoples of his capital and of his kingdom. Hisname was King Shahryarand he made his younger brotherShah Zaman hightKingof Samarkand in Barbarian land. These two ceased not to abide in their severalrealms and the law was ever carried out in their dominions. And each ruled hisown kingdom with equity and fair dealing to his subjectsin extreme solace andenjoymentand this condition continually endured for a score of years.

But at the end of the twentieth twelvemonth the elder King yearned for asight of his younger brother and felt that he must look upon him once more. Sohe took counsel with his Wazir about visiting himbut

the Ministerfinding the project unadvisablerecommended that a letter bewritten and a present be sent under his charge to the younger brotherwith aninvitation to visit the elder. Having accepted this advicethe King forthwithbade prepare handsome giftssuch as horses with saddles of gem-encrusted gold;Mamelukesor white slaves; beautiful handmaidshigh-breasted virginsandsplendid stuffs and costly. He then wrote a letter to Shah Zaman expressing hiswarm love and great wish to see himending with these words: "We thereforehope of the favor and affection of the beloved brother that he will condescendto bestir himself and turn his face usward. Furthermorewe have sent our Wazirto make all ordinance for the marchand our one and only desire it is to seethee ere we die. But if thou delay or disappoint uswe shall not survive theblow. Wherewith peace be upon thee!"

Then King Shahryarhaving sealed the missive and given it is to the Wazirwith the offerings aforementionedcommanded him to shorten his skirts andstrain his strength and make all expedition in going and returning. "Harkeningand obedience!" quoth the Ministerwho fell to making ready without stayand packed up his loads and prepared all his requisites without delay. Thisoccupied him three daysand on the dawn of the fourth he took leave of his Kingand marched right awayover desert and hallwaystony waste and pleasant leawithout halting by night or by day. But whenever he entered a realm whose rulerwas subject to his suzerainwhere he was greeted with magnificent gifts of goldand silver and all manner of presents fair and rarehe would tarry there threedaysthe term of the guest rite. And when he left on the fourthhe would behonorably escorted for a whole day's march.

As soon as the Wazir drew near Shah Zaman's court in Samarkand he dispatchedto report his arrival one of his high officialswho presented himself beforethe King andkissing ground between his handsdelivered his message. Hereuponthe King commanded sundry of his grandees and lords of his realm to fare forthand meet his brother's Wazir at the distance of a full day's journey. Which theydidgreeting him respectfully and wishing him all prosperity and forming anescort and a procession. When he entered the cityhe proceeded straightway tothe palacewhere he presented himself in the royal presence; and after kissingground and praying for the King's health and happiness and for victory over allhis enemieshe informed him that his brother was yearning to see himandprayed for the pleasure of a visit.

He then delivered the letterwhich Shah Zaman took from his hand and read.It contained sundry hints and allusions which required thoughtbut when theKing had fully comprehended its importhe said"I hear and I obey thecommands of the beloved brother!" adding to the Wazir"But we willnot march till after the third day's hospitality." He appointed for theMinister fitting quarters of the palace and pitching tents for the troopsrationed them with whatever they might require of meat and drink and othernecessaries. On the fourth day he made ready for wayfare and got togethersumptuous presents befitting his elder brother's majestyand stablished hischief Wazir Viceroy of the land during his absence. Then he caused his tents andcamels and mules to be brought forth and encampedwith their bales and loadsattendants and guardswithin sight of the cityin readiness to set out nextmorning for his brother's capital.

But when the night was half-spent he bethought him that he had forgotten inhis palace somewhat which he should have brought with himso he returnedprivily and entered his apartmentswhere he found the Queenhis wifeasleepon his own carpet bed embracing with both arms a black cook of loathsome aspectand foul with kitchen grease and grime. When he saw this the world waxed blackbefore his sight and he said: "If such case happen while I am yet withinsight of the citywhat will be the doings of this damned whore during my longabsence at my brother's court?" So he drew his scimitarand cutting thetwo in four pieces with a single blowleft them on the carpet and returnedpresently to his camp without letting anyone know of what had happened. Then hegave orders for immediate departure and set out at once and began his travel;but he could not help thinking over his wife's treasonand he kept ever sayingto himself: "How could she do this deed by me? How could she work her owndeath?" till excessive grief seized himhis color changed to yellowhisbody waxed weakand he was threatened with a dangerous maladysuch a one asbringeth men to die. So the Wazir shortened his stages and tarried long at thewatering stationsand did his best to solace the King.

Now when Shah Zaman drew near the capital of his brotherhe dispatchedvaunt-couriers and messengers of glad tidings to announce his arrivalandShahryar came forth to meet him with his wazirs and emirs and lords and grandeesof his realmand saluted him and joyed with exceeding joy and caused the cityto be decorated in his honor. Whenhoweverthe brothers metthe elder couldnot but see the change of complexion in the younger and questioned him of hiscasewhereto he replied: "'Tis caused by the travails of wayfare and mycase needs carefor I have suffered from the change of water and air! But Allahbe praised for reuniting me with a brother so dear and so rare!" On thiswise he dissembled and kept his secretadding: "O King of the Time andCaliph of the Tideonly toil and moil have tinged my face yellow with bile andhath made my eyes sink deep in my head."

Then the two entered the capital in all honorand the elder brother lodgedthe younger in a palace overhanging the pleasure garden. And after a timeseeing his condition still unchangedhe attributed it is to his separation fromhis country and kingdom. So he let him wend his own ways and asked no questionsof him till one day when he again said"O my brotherI see thou art grownweaker of body and yellower of color." "O my brother" repliedShah Zaman"I have an internal wound." Still he would not tell himwhat he had witnessed in his wife. Thereupon Shahryar summoned doctors andsurgeons and bade them treat his brother according to the rules of artwhichthey did for a whole month. But their sherbets and potions naught availedforhe would dwell upon the deed of his wifeand despondencyinstead ofdiminishingprevailedand leechcraft treatment utterly failed.

One day his elder brother said to him: "I am going forth to hunt andcourse and to take my pleasure and pastime. Maybe this would lighten thy heart."Shah Zamanhoweverrefusedsaying: "O my brothermy soul yearneth fornaught of this sortand I entreat thy favor to stiffer me tarry quietly in thisplacebeing wholly taken up with my malady." So King Shah Zaman passed hisnight in the palaceand next morning when his brother had fared forthheremoved from his room and sat him down at one of the lattice windows overlookingthe pleasure grounds. And there he abode thinking with saddest thought over hiswife's betrayaland burning sighs issued from his tortured breast.

And as he continued in this case lo! a postern of the palacewhich wascarefully kept privateswung openand out of it is came twenty slave girlssurrounding his brother's wifewho was wondrous faira model of beauty andcomeliness and symmetry and perfect lovelinessand who paced with the grace ofa gazelle which panteth for the cooling stream. Thereupon Shah Zaman drew backfrom the windowbut he kept the bevy in sightespying them from a place whencehe could not be espied. They walked under the very lattice and advanced a littleway into the garden till they came to a jetting fountain a-middlemost a greatbasin of water. Then they stripped off their clothesand beholdten of themwere womenconcubines of the Kingand the other ten were white slaves. Thenthey all paired offeach with each. But the Queenwho was left alonepresently cried out in a loud voice"Here to meO my lord Saeed!"

And then sprang with a drop leap from one of the trees a big slobberingblackamoor with rolling eyes which showed the whitesa truly hideous sight. Hewalked boldly up to her and threw his arms round her neck while she embraced himas warmly. Then he bussed her and winding his legs round hersas a button loopclasps a buttonhe threw her and enjoyed her. On like wise did the other slaveswith the girls till all had satisfied their passionsand they ceased not fromkissing and clippingcoupling and carousingtill day began to wanewhen theMamelukes rose from the damsels' bosoms and the blackamoor slave dismounted fromthe Queen's breast. The men resumed their disguises and all except the Negrowho swarmed up the treeentered the palace and closed the postern door asbefore.

Now when Shah Zaman saw this conduct of his sister-in-lawhe said to himself:"By Allahmy calamity is lighter than this! My brother is a greater Kingamong the Kings than I amyet this infamy goeth on in his very palaceand hiswife is in love with that filthiest of filthy slaves. But this only showeth thatthey all do it and that there is no woman but who cuckoldeth her husband. Thenthe curse of Allah upon one and alland upon the fools who lean against themfor support or who place the reins of conduct in their hands!" So he putaway his melancholy and despondencyregret and repineand allayed his sorrowby constantly repeating those wordsadding"'Tis my conviction that noman in this world is safe from their malice!"

When suppertime camethey brought him the trays and he ate with voraciousappetitefor he had long refrained from meatfeeling unable to touch any dishhowever dainty. Then he returned grateful thanks to Almighty Allahpraising Himand blessing Himand he spent a most restful nightit having been long sincehe had savored the sweet food of sleep. Next day he broke his fast heartily andbegan to recover health and strengthand presently regained excellent condition.His brother came back from the chase ten days afterwhen he rode out to meethim and they saluted each other. And when King Shahryar looked at King ShahZamanhe saw how the hue of health had returned to himhow his face had waxedruddyand how he ate with an appetite after his late scanty diet. He wonderedmuch and said: "O my brotherI was no anxious that thou wouldst join me inhunting and chasingand wouldst take thy pleasure and pastime in mydominion!" He thanked him and excused himself.

Then the two took horse and rode into the cityand when they were seated attheir ease in the palacethe food trays were set before them and they ate theirsufficiency. After the meats were removed and they had washed their handsKingShahryar turned to his brother and said: "My mind is overcome withwonderment at thy condition. I was desirous to carry thee with me to the chasebut I saw thee changed in huepale and wan to viewand in sore trouble of mindtoo. But nowAlhamdolillah- glory be to God!- I see thy natural color hathreturned to thy face and that thou art again in the best of case. It was mybelief that thy sickness came of severance from thy family and friendsandabsence from capital and countryso I refrained from troubling thee withfurther questions. But now I beseech thee to expound to me the cause of thycomplaint and thy change of colorand to explain the reason of thy recovery andthe return to the ruddy hue of health which I am wont to view. So speak out andhide naught!"

When Shah Zaman heard thishe bowed groundward awhile his headthen raisedit and said: "I will tell thee what caused my complaint and my loss ofcolor. But excuse my acquainting thee with the cause of its return to me and thereason of my complete recovery. Indeed I pray thee not to press me for a reply."Said Shahryarwho was much surprised by these words"Let me hear firstwhat produced thy pallor and thy poor condition." "KnowthenO mybrother" rejoined Shah Zaman"that when thou sentest thy Wazir withthe invitation to place myself between thy handsI made ready and marched outof my city. But presently I minded me having left behind me in the palace astring of jewels intended as a gift to thee. I returned for it aloneand foundmy wife on my carpet bed and in the arms of a hideous black cook. So I slew thetwain and came to theeyet my thoughts brooded over this business and I lost mybloom and became weak. But excuse me if I still refuse to tell thee what was thereason of my complexion returning."

Shahryar shook his headmarveling with extreme marveland with the fire ofwrath flaming up from his hearthe cried"Indeedthe malice of woman ismighty!" Then he took refuge from them with Allah and said: "In verysoothO my brotherthou hast escaped many an evil by putting thy wife to deathand right excusable were thy wrath and grief for such mishapwhich never yetbefell crowned king like thee. By Allahhad the case been mineI would nothave been satisfied without slaying a thousand womenand that way madness lies!But now praise be to Allah Who hath tempered to thee thy tribulationand needsmust thou acquaint me with that which so suddenly restored to thee complexionand healthand explain to me what causeth this concealment." "O Kingof the Ageagain I pray thee excuse my so doing!" "Naybut thou must.""I fearO my brotherlest the recital cause thee more anger and sorrowthan afflicted me." "That were but a better reason" quothShahryar"for telling me the whole historyand I conjure thee by Allahnot to keep back aught from me."

Thereupon Shah Zaman told him all he had seenfrom commencement toconclusionending with these words: "When I beheld thy calamity and thetreason of thy wifeO my brotherand I reflected that thou art in years mysenior and in sovereignty my superiormine own sorrow was belittled by thecomparisonand my mind recovered tone and temper. Sothrowing off melancholyand despondencyI was able to eat and drink and sleepand thus I speedilyregained health and strength. Such is the truth and the whole truth." WhenKing Shahryar heard this he waxed wroth with exceeding wrathand rage was liketo strangle him. But presently he recovered himself and said"O my brotherI would not give thee the lie in this matterbut I cannot credit it till I seeit with mine own eyes." "And thou wouldst look upon thy calamity"quoth Shah Zaman"rise at once and make ready again for hunting andcoursingand then hide thyself with me. So shalt thou witness it and thine eyesshall verify it." "True" quoth the King. Whereupon he let makeproclamation of his intent to traveland the troops and tents fared forthwithout the citycamping within sightand Shahryar sallied out with them andtook seat a-midmost his hostbidding the slaves admit no man to him. When nightcame onhe summoned his Wazir and said to him"Sit thou in my steadandlet none wot of my absence till the term of three days."

Then the brothers disguised themselves and returned by night with all secrecyto the palacewhere they passed the dark hours. And at dawn they seatedthemselves at the lattice overlooking the pleasure groundswhen presently theQueen and her handmaids came out as beforeand passing under the windowsmadefor the fountain. Here they strippedten of them being men to ten womenandthe King's wife cried out"Where art thouO Saeed?" The hideousblackamoor dropped from the tree straightwayand rushing into her arms withoutstay or delaycried out"I am Sa'ad al-Din Saood!" The lady laughedheartilyand all fell to satisfying their lustsand remained so occupied for acouple of hourswhen the white slaves rose up from the handmaidens' breasts andthe blackamoor dismounted from the Queen's bosom. Then they went into the basinand after performing the ghuslor complete ablutiondonned their dresses andretired as they had done before.

When King Shahryar saw this infamy of his wife and concubineshe became asone distraughtand he cried out: "Only in utter solitude can man be safefrom the doings of this vile world! By Allahlife is naught but one great wrong."Presently he added"Do not thwart meO my brotherin what Ipropose." And the other answered"I will not." So he said:"Let us up as we are and depart forthright hencefor we have no concernwith kingshipand let us overwander Allah's earthworshiping the Almighty tillwe find someone to whom the like calamity hath happened. And if we find nonethen will death be more welcome to us than life."

So the two brothers issued from a second private postern of the palaceandthey never stinted wayfaring by day and by night until they reached a treea-middle of a meadow hard by a spring of sweet water on the shore of the saltsea. Both drank of it and sat down to take their rest. And when an hour of theday had gone bylo! they heard a mighty roar and uproar in the middle of themain as though the heavens were falling upon the earthand the sea brake withwaves before them and from it towered a black pillarwhich grew and grew tillit rose skyward and began making for that meadow. Seeing itthey waxed fearfulexceedingly and climbed to the top of the treewhich was a loftywhence theygazed to see what might be the matter. And beholdit was a Jinnihuge ofheight and burly of breast and bulkbroad of brow and black of bleebearing onhis head a coffer of crystal. He strode to landwading through the deepandcoming to the tree whereupon were the two Kingsseated himself beneath it. Hethen set down the coffer on its bottom and out of it drew a casket with sevenpadlocks of steelwhich he unlocked with seven keys of steel he took frombeside his thighand out of it a young lady to come was seenwhiteskinned andof winsomest mienof stature fine and thinand bright as though a moon of thefourteenth night she had beenor the sun raining lively sheen. Even so the poetUtayyah hath excellently said:- -

She rose like the morn as she shone through the night

And she gilded the grove with her gracious sight.

From her radiance the sun taketh increase when

She unveileth and shameth the moonshine bright.

Bow down all beings between her hands

As she showeth charms with her veil undight.

And she floodeth cities with torrent tears

When she flasheth her look of levin light. -

The Jinni seated her under the tree by his side and looking at hersaid:"O choicest love of this heart of mine! O dame of noblest linewhom Isnatched away on thy bride night that none might prevent me taking thymaidenhead or tumble thee before I didand whom none save myself hath loved orhath enjoyed. O my sweetheart! I would lief sleep a little while." He thenlaid his head upon the lady's thighsandstretching out hip legswhichextended down to the seaslept and snored and snarked like the roll of thunder.Presently she raised her head toward the treetop and saw the two Kings perchednear the summit. Then she softly lifted off her lap the Jinni's patewhich shewas tired of supportingand placed it upon the groundthenstanding uprightunder the treesigned to the Kings"Come ye downye twoand fear naughtfrom this Ifrit." They were in a terrible fright when they found that shehad seen themand answered her in the same manner"Allah upon thee and bythy modestyO ladyexcuse us from coming down!" But she rejoined bysaying: "Allah upon you both that ye come down forthright. And if ye comenotI will rouse upon you my husbandthis Ifritand he shall do you to die bythe illest of deaths." And she continued making signals to them.

Sobeing afraidthey came down to herand she rose before them and said"Stroke me a strong strokewithout stay or delayotherwise will I arouseand set upon you this Ifritwho shall slay you straightway." They said toher: "O our ladywe conjure thee by Allahlet us off this workfor weare fugitives from suchand in extreme dread and terror of this thy husband.How then can we do it in such a way as thou desirest?" "Leave thistalk. It needs must be so" quoth sheand she swore them by Him who raisedthe skies on high without prop or pillar that if they worked not her willshewould cause them to be slain and cast into the sea. Whereupon out of fear KingShahryar said to King Shah Zaman"O my brotherdo thou what she biddeththee do." But he replied"I will not do it till thou do it before Ido." And they began disputing about futtering her.

Then quoth she to the twain: "How is it I see you disputing anddemurring? If ye do not come forward like men and do the deed of kindye twoIwill arouse upon you the Ifrit." At thisby reason of their sore dread ofthe Jinniboth did by her what she bade them doand when they had dismountedfrom hershe said"Well done!" She then took from her pocket a purseand drew out a knotted string whereon were strung five hundred and seventy sealringsand asked"Know ye what be these?" They answered her saying"We know not!" Then quoth she: "These be the signets of fivehundred and seventy men who have all futtered me upon the horns of this foulthis foolishthis filthy Ifrit. So give me also your two seal ringsye pair ofbrothers."

When they had drawn their two rings from their hands and given them to hershe said to them: "Of a truth this Ifrit bore me off on my bride nightandput me into a casket and set the casket in a cofferand to the coffer heaffixed seven strong padlocks of steel and deposited me on the deep bottom ofthe sea that ravesdashing and clashing with wavesand guarded me so that Imight remain chaste and honestquotha! that none save himself might haveconnection with me. But I have lain under as many of my kind as I pleaseandthis wretched Jinni wotteth not that Destiny may not be averted nor hindered byaughtand that whatso woman willeththe same she fulfilleth however mannilleth. Even so saith one of them: -

"Rely not on women

Trust not to their hearts

Whose joys and whose sorrows

Are hung to their parts!

Lying love they will swear thee

Whence guile ne'er departs.

Take Yusuf for sample

'Ware sleights and 'ware smarts!

Iblis ousted Adam

(See ye not?) thro' their arts." -

Hearing these wordsthey marveled with exceeding marveland she went fromthem to the Ifritand taking up his head on her thigh as beforesaid to themsoftly"Now wend your ways and bear yourselves beyond the bounds of hismalice." So they fared forth saying either to other"Allah!Allah!" and: "There be no Majesty and there be no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Greatand with Him we seek refuge from women's malice andsleightfor of a truth it hath no mate in might. ConsiderO my brothertheways of this marvelous lady with an Ifritwho is so much more powerful than weare. Now since there hath happened to him a greater mishap than that whichbefell us and which should bear us abundant consolationso return we to ourcountries and capitalsand let us decide never to intermarry with womankindand presently we will show them what will be our action."

Thereupon they rode back to the tents of King Shahryarwhich they reached onthe morning of the third day. And having mustered the wazirs and emirsthechamberlains and high officialshe gave a robe of honor to his Viceroy andissued orders for an immediate return to the city. There he sat him upon histhrone andsending for the Chief Ministerthe father of the two damsels who(Inshallah!) will presently be mentionedhe said"I command thee to takemy wife and smite her to deathfor she hath broken her plight and herfaith." So he carried her to the place of execution and did her die. ThenKing Shahryar took brand in hand andrepairing to the seraglioslew all theconcubines and their Mamelukes. He also sware himself by a binding oath thatwhatever wife he married he would abate her maidenhead at night and slay hernext morningto make sure of his honor. "For" said he"therenever was nor is there one chaste woman upon the face of earth."

Then Shah Zaman prayed for permission to fare homewardand he went forthequipped and escorted and traveled till he reached his own country. MeanwhileShahryar commanded his Wazir to bring him the bride of the night that he mightgo in to her. So he produced a most beautiful girlthe daughter of one of theemirsand the King went in unto her at eventide. And when morning dawnedhebade his Minister strike off her headand the Wazir did accordinglyfor fearof the Sultan. On this wise he continued for the space of three yearsmarryinga maiden every night and killing her the next morningtill folk raised anoutcry against him and cursed himpraying Allah utterly to destroy him and hisrule. And women made an uproar and mothers wept and parents fled with theirdaughters till there remained not in the city a young person fit for carnalcopulation.

Presently the King ordered his Chief Wazirthe same who was charged with theexecutionsto bring him a virginas was his wontand the Minister went forthand searched and found none. So he returned home in sorrow and anxietyfearingfor his life from the King. Now he had two daughtersScheherazade andDunyazadehightof whom the elder had perused the booksannalsand legendsof preceding kingsand the storiesexamplesand instances of bygone men andthings. Indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of historiesrelating to antique races and departed rulers. She had purused the works of thepoets and knew them by heartshe had studied philosophy and the sciencesartsand accomplishments. And she was pleasant and politewise and wittywell readand well bred. Now on that day she said to her father: "Why do I see theethus changed and laden with cark and care? Concerning this matter quoth one ofthe poets: -

"Tell whoso hath sorrow

Grief never shall last.

E'en as joy hath no morrow

So woe shall go past." -

When the Wazir heard from his daughter these wordshe related to

herfrom first to lastall that had happened between him and the King.Thereupon said she: "By AllahO my fatherhow long shall this slaughterof women endure? Shall I tell thee what is in my mind in order to save bothsides from destruction?" "Say onO my daughter" quoth heandquoth she: "I wish thou wouldst give me in marriage to this King Shahryar.Either I shall live or I shall be a ransom for the virgin daughters of Moslemsand the cause of their deliverance from his hands and thine." "Allahupon thee!" cried he in wrath exceeding that lacked no feeding. "Oscanty of witexpose not thy life to such peril! How durst thou address me inwords so wide from wisdom and unfar from foolishness? Know that one who lackethexperience in worldly matters readily falleth into misfortuneand whosoconsidereth not the end keepeth not the world to friendand the vulgar say: 'Iwas lying at mine ease. Naught but my officiousness brought me unease'.""Needs must thou" she broke in"make me a doer of this gooddeedand let him kill me an he will. I shall only die a ransom forothers." "O my daughter" asked he"and how shall thatprofit thee when thou shalt have thrown away thy life?" And she answered"O my fatherit must become of it what will!" The Wazir was againmoved to fury and blamed and reproached herending with"In very deed Ifear lest the same befall thee which befell the bull and the ass with thehusbandman." "And what" asked she"befell themO myfather?" Whereupon the Wazir began

THE TALE OF THE BULL AND THE ASS -

KNOWO my daughterthat there was once a merchant who owned much money andmany menand who was rich in cattle and camels. He had also a wife and familyand he dwelt in the countrybeing experienced in husbandry and devoted toagriculture. Now Allah Most High had endowed him with understanding the tonguesof beasts and birds of every kindbut under pain of death if he divulged thegift to any. So he kept it secret for very fear. He had in his cow house a bulland an asseach tethered in his own stallone hard by the other. As themerchant was sitting near-hand one day with his servans and his children wereplaying about himhe heard and bull say to the ass:

"Hail and health to thee O Father of Waking! for that thou enjoyest restand good ministering. All under thee is clean-swept and fresh-sprinkled. Menwait upon thee and feed theeand thy provaunt is sifted barley and thy drinkpure spring waterwhile I (unhappy creature!) am led forth in the middle of thenightwhen they set on my neck the plow and a something called yokeand I tireat cleaving the earth from dawn of day till set of sun. I am forced to do morethan I can and to bear all manner of ill-treatment from night to night. Afterwhich they take me back with my sides tornmy neck flayedmy legs achingandmine eyelids sored with tears. Then they shut me up in the byre and throw mebeans and crushed straw mixed with dirt and chaffand I lie in dung and filthand foul stinks through the livelong night. But thou art ever in a place sweptand sprinkled and cleansedand thou art always lying at easesave when ithappens (and seldom enough!) that the master hath some businesswhen he mountsthee and rides thee to town and returns with thee forthright. So it happens thatI am toiling and distrest while thou takest thine ease and thy rest. Thousleepest while I am sleeplessI hunger still while thou eatest thy filland Iwin contempt while thou winnest goodwill."

When the bull ceased speakingthe ass turned toward him and said: "OBroad-o'-BrowO thou lost one! He lied not who dubbed thee bullheadfor thouO father of a bullhast neither forethought nor contrivance. Thou art thesimplest of simpletonsand thou knowest naught of good advisers. Hast thou notheard the saying of the wise? -

"For others these hardships and labors I bear

And theirs is the pleasure and mine is the care

As the bleacher who blacketh his brow in the sun

To whiten the raiment which other men wear. - But thouO foolart full ofzealand thou toilest and moilest before the masterand thou tearest andwearest and slayest thyself for the comfort of another. Hast thou never heardthe saw that saith 'None to guide and from the way go wide'? Thou wendest forthat the call to dawn prayer and thou returnest not till sundownand through thelivelong day thou endurest all manner hardships: to witbeating and belaboringand bad language.

"Now hearken to meSir Bull! When they tie thee to thy stinking mangerthou pawest the ground with thy forehand and lashest out with thy hind hoofs andpushest with thy horns and bellowest aloudso they deem thee contented. Andwhen they throw thee thy fodderthou fallest on it with greed and hastenest toline thy fair fat paunch. But if thou accept any adviceit will be better fortheeand thou wilt lead an easier life even than mine. When thou goest afieldand they lay the thing called yoke on thy neckbe down and rise not againthough haply they swings thee. And if thou riselie down a second time. Andwhen they bring thee home and offer thee thy beansfall backward and only sniffat thy meat and withdraw thee and taste it notand be satisfied with thycrushed straw and chaff. And on this wise feign thou art sickand cease notdoing thus for a day or two days or even three days; so shalt thou have restfrom toil and moil."

When the Bull heard these wordshe knew the ass to be his friend and thankedhimsaying"Right is thy rede" and prayed that all blessings mightrequite himand cried: "O Father Wakener! Thou hast made up for myfailings." (Now the merchantO my daughterunderstood all that passedbetween them.) Next day the driver took the bull andsettling the plow on hisneckmade him work as wont. But the bull began to shirk his plowingaccordingto the advice of the assand the plowman drubbed him till he broke the yoke andmade off. But the man caught him up and leathered him till he despaired of hislife. Not the lesshoweverwould he do nothing but stand still and drop downtill the evening. Then the herd led him home and stabled him in his stallbuthe drew back from his manger and neither stamped nor ramped nor butted norbellowed as he was wont to dowhereat the man wondered. He brought him thebeans and husksbut he sniffed at them and left them and lay down as far fromthem as he could and passed the whole night fasting. The peasant came nextmorning andseeing the manger full of beansthe crushed straw untastedandthe ox lying on his back in sorriest plightwith legs outstretched and swollenbellyhe was concerned for himand said to himself"By Allahhe hathassuredly sickenedand this is the cause why he would not plow yesterday."

Then he went to the merchant and reported: "O my masterthe bull isailing. He refused his fodder last night- naymorehe hath not tasted a scrapof it this morning." Now the merchant-farmer understood what all thismeantbecause he had overheard the talk between the bull and the assso quothhe"Take that rascal donkeyand set the yoke on his neckand bind him tothe plow and make him do bull's work." Thereupon the plowman took the assand worked him through the livelong day at the bull's task. And when be failedfor weaknesshe made him eat stick till his ribs were sore and his sides weresunken and his neck was rayed by the yoke. And when he came home in the eveninghe could hardly drag his limbs alongeither forehand or hind legs. But as forthe bullhe had passed the day lying at full

lengthand had eaten his fodder with an excellent appetiteand he ceasednot calling down blessings on the ass for his good adviceunknowing what hadcome to him on his account.

So when night set in and the ass returned to the byrethe bull rose upbefore him in honorand said: "May good tidings gladden thy heartOFather Wakener! Through thee I have rested all this dayand I have eaten mymeat in peace and quiet." But the ass returned no replyfor wrath andheartburning and fatigue and the beating he had gotten. And he repented with themost grievous of repentanceand quoth he to himself: "This cometh of myfolly in giving good counsel. As the saw saithI was in joy and gladnessnaught save my officiousness brought me this sadness. And now I must takethought and put a trick upon him and return him to his placeelse I die."Then he went aweary to his manger while the bull thanked him and blessed him.

And even soO my daughter (said the Wazir) thou wilt die for lack of wits.Therefore sit thee still and say naught and expose not thy life to such stressforby AllahI offer thee the best advicewhich cometh of my affection andkindly solicitude for thee. "O my father" she answered"needsmust I go up to this King and be married to him." Quoth he"Do notthis deed" and quoth she"Of a truth I will." Whereat herejoined"If thou be not silent and bide stillI will do with thee evenwhat the merchant did with his wife." "And what did be?" askedshe.

Know then (answered the Wazir) that after the return of the ass the merchantcame out on the terrace roof with his wife and familyfor it was a moonlitnight and the moon at its full. Now the terrace overlooked the cow houseandpresently as he sat there with his children playing about himthe trader heardthe ass say to the bull"Tell meO Father Broad-o'-Browwhat thoupurposest to do tomorrow." The bull answered: "What but continue tofollow thy counselO Aliboron? Indeed it was as good as good could beand ithath given me rest and reposenor will I now depart from it one tittle. So whenthey bring me my meatI will refuse it and blow out my belly and counterfeitcrank." The ass shook his head and said"Beware of so doingO Fatherof a Bull!" The bull asked"Why?" and the ass answered"Know that I am about to give thee the best of counselfor verily I heardour owner say to the herd'If the bull rise not from his place to do his workthis morning and if he retire from his fodder this daymake him over to thebutcher that he may slaughter him and give his flesh to the poorand fashion abit of leather from his hide.' Now I fear for thee on account of this. So takemy advice ere a calamity befall theeand when they bring thee thy foddereatit and rise up and bellow and paw the groundor our master will assuredly slaythee. And peace be with thee!"

Thereupon the bull arose and lowed aloud and thanked the assand said"Tomorrow I will readily go forth with them." And he at once ate upall his meat and even licked the manger. (All this took place and the owner waslistening to their talk.) Next morning the trader and his wife went to thebull's crib and sat downand the driver came and led forth the bullwhoseeing his ownerwhisked his tail and brake windand frisked about so lustilythat the merchant laughed a loud laugh and kept laughing till he fell on hisback. His wife asked him"Whereat laughest thou with such loud laughter asthis?" and he answered her"I laughed at a secret something which Ihave heard and seen but cannot say lest I die my death." She returned"Perforce thou must discover it to meand disclose the cause of thylaughing even if thou come by thy death!" But he rejoined"I cannotreveal what beasts and birds say in their lingo for fear I die." Then quothshe: "By Allahthou liest! This is a mere pretext. Thou laughest at nonesave meand now thou wouldest hide somewhat from me. But by the Lord of theHeavenan thou disclose not the cause I will no longer cohabit with theeIwill leave thee at once." And she sat down and cried.

Whereupon quoth the merchant: "Woe betide thee! What means thy weeping?Fear Allahand leave these words and query me no more questions.""Needs must thou tell me the cause of that laugh" said sheand hereplied: "Thou wettest that when I prayed Allah to vouchsafe meunderstanding of the tongues of beasts and birdsI made a vow never to disclosethe secret to any under pain of dying on the spot." "No matter!"cried she. "Tell me what secret passed between the bull and the ass and diethis very hour an thou be so minded." And she ceased not to importune himtill he was worn-out and clean distraught. So at last he said"Summon thyfather and thy mother and our kith and kin and sundry of our neighbors."Which she didand he sent for the kazi and his assessorsintending to make hiswill and reveal to her his secret and die the death; for he loved her with loveexceeding because she was his cousinthe daughter of his father's brotherandthe mother of his childrenand he had lived with her a life of a hundred andtwenty years.

Thenhaving assembled all the family and the folk of his neighborhoodhesaid to them"By me there hangeth a strange storyand 'tis such that if Idiscover the secret to anyI am a dead man." Therefore quoth every one ofthose present to the woman"Allah upon theeleave this sinful obstinacyand recognize the right of this matterlest haply thy husband and the father ofthy children die." But she rejoined"I will not turn from it till hetell meeven though he come by his death." So they ceased to urge herandthe trader rose from amongst them and repaired to an outhouse to perform thewuzu ablutionand he purposed thereafter to return and to tell them his secretand to die.

NowDaughter Scheherazadethat merchant had in his outhouses some fiftyhens under one cockand whilst making ready to farewell his folk he heard oneof his many farm dogs thus address in his own tongue the cockwho was flappinghis wings and crowing lustily and jumping from one hen's back to another andtreading all in turnsaying: "O Chanticleer! How mean is thy wit and howshameless is thy conduct! Be he disappointed who brought thee up. Art thou notashamed of thy doings on such a day as this?" "And what" askedthe rooster"hath occurred this day?" when the dog answered;"Dost thou not know that our master is this day making ready for his death?His wife is resolved that he shall disclose the secret taught to him by Allahand the moment he so doeth he shall surely die. We dogs are all a-mourningbutthou clappest thy wings and clarionest thy loudest and treadest hen after hen.Is this an hour for pastime and pleasuring? Art thou not ashamed ofthyself?"

"Then by Allah" quoth the cock"is our master a lackwit anda man scanty of sense. If he cannot manage matters with a single wifehis lifeis not worth prolonging. Now I have some fifty dame partletsand I please thisand provoke that and starve one and stuff anotherand through my goodgovernance they are all well under my control. This our master pretendeth to witand wisdomand she hath but one wife and yet knoweth not how to manageher." Asked the dog"What thenO Cockshould the master do to willclear of his strait?" "He should arise forthright" answered thecock"and take some twigs from yon mulberry tree and give her a regularback-basting and ribroasting till she cry: 'I repentO my lord! I will neverask thee a question as Ionas I live!' Then let him beat her once more andsoundlyand when he shall have done thishe shall sleep free from care andenjoy life. But this master of ours owns neither sense nor judgment."

"NowDaughter Scheherazade" continued the Wazir"I will doto thee as did that husband to that wife." Said Scheherazade"Andwhat did he do?" He replied"When the merchant heard the wise wordsspoken by his cock to his doghe arose in haste and sought his wife's chamberafter cutting for her some mulberry twigs and hiding them there. And then hecalled to her"Come into the closetthat I may tell thee the secret whileno one seeth meand then die." She entered with him and he locked the doorand came down upon her with so sound a beating of back and shouldersribsarmsand legssaying the while "Wilt thou ever be asking questions aboutwhat concerneth thee not?" that she was well-nigh senseless. Presently shecried out: "I am of the repentant! By AllahI will ask thee no morequestionsand indeed I repent sincerely and wholesomely." Then she kissedhis hand and feet and he led her out of the room submissiveas a wife shouldbe. Her parents and all the company rejoiced and sadness and mourning werechanged into joy and gladness.

Thus the merchant learnt family discipline from his cock and he and his wifelived together the happiest of lives until death. And thou alsoO my daughter!continued the Wazirunless thou turn from this matter I will do by thee whatthat trader did to his wife. But she answered him with much decision: "Iwill never desistO my fathernor shall this tale change my purpose. Leavesuch talk and tattle. I will not listen to thy words and if thou deny meI willmarry myself to him despite the nose of thee. And first I will go up to the Kingmyself and alone and I will say to him: 'I prayed my father to wive me withtheebut he refusedbeing resolved to disappoint his lordgrudging the likeof me to the like of thee'." Her father asked"Must this needsbe?" and she answered"Even so."

Hereupon the Wazirbeing weary of lamenting and contendingpersuading anddissuading herall to no purposewent up to King Shahryar andafter blessinghim and kissing the ground before himtold him all about his dispute with hisdaughter from first to last and how he designed to bring her to him that night.The King wondered with exceeding wonderfor he had made an especial exceptionof the Wazir's daughterand said to him: "O most faithful of counsellorshow is this? Thou wettest that I have sworn by the Raiser of the Heavens thatafter I have gone into her this night I shall say to thee on the morrow's 'Takeher and slay her!' And if thou slay her notI will slay thee in her steadwithout fail." "Allah guide thee to glory and lengthen thy lifeOKing of the Age" answered the Wazir. "It is she that hath sodetermined. All this have I told her and morebut she will not hearken to meand she persisteth in passing this coming night with the King's Majesty."So Shahryar rejoiced greatly and said"'Tis well. Go get her readyandthis night bring her to me." The Wazir returned to his daughter andreported to her the commandsaying"Allah make not thy father desolate bythy loss!"

But Scheherazade rejoiced with exceeding joy and get ready all she requiredand said to her younger sisterDunyazade: "Note well what directions Ientrust to thee! When I have gone into the King I will send for theeand whenthou comest to me and seest that he hath had his carnal will of medo thou sayto me: 'O my sisteran thou be not sleepyrelate to me some new storydelectable and delightsomethe better to speed our waking hours.' And I willtell thee a tale which shall be our deliveranceif so Allah pleaseand whichshall turn the King from his bloodthirsty custom." Dunyazade answered"With love and gladness."

So when it was nighttheir father the Wazir carried Scheherazade to theKingwho was gladdened at the sight and asked"Hast thou brought me myneed?" And he answered"I have." But when the King took her tohis bed and fell to toying with her and wished to go in to hershe weptwhichmade him ask"What aileth thee?" She replied"O King of theAgeI have a younger sisterand lief would I take leave of her this nightbefore I see the dawn." So he sent at once for Dunyazade and she came andkissed the ground between his handswhen he permitted her to take her seat nearthe foot of the couch. Then the King arose and did away with his bride'smaidenhead and the three fell asleep.

But when it was midnight Scheherazade awoke and signaled to her sisterDunyazadewho sat up and said"Allah upon theeO my sisterrecite to ussome new storydelightsome and delectablewherewith to while away the wakinghours of our latter night." "With joy and goodly gree" answeredScheherazade"if this pious and auspicious King permit me.""Tell on" quoth the Kingwho chanced to be sleepless and restlessand therefore was pleased with the prospect of hearing her story. SoScheherazade rejoicedand thuson the first night of the Thousand Nights and aNightshe began her recitations.

THE FISHERMAN AND THE JINNI -

IT hath reached meO auspicious Kingthat there was a fisherman wellstricken in years who had a wife and three childrenand withal was of poorcondition. Now it was his custom to cast his net every day four timesand nomore. On a day he went forth about noontide to the seashorewhere he laid downhis basket andtucking up his shirt and plunging into the watermade a castwith his net and waited till it settled to the bottom. Then he gathered thecords together and haled away at itbut found it weighty. And however much hedrew it landwardhe could not pull it upso he carried the ends ashore anddrove a stake into the ground and made the net fast to it. Then he stripped anddived into the water all about the netand left not off working hard until hehad brought it up.

He rejoiced thereat anddonning his clotheswent to the netwhen he foundin it a dead jackass which had torn the meshes. Now when he saw ithe exclaimedin his grief"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah theGloriousthe Great!" Then quoth he"This is a strange manner ofdaily bread" and he began reciting in extempore verse: -

"O toiler through the glooms of night in peril and in pain

Thy toiling stint for daily bread comes not by might and main!

Seest thou not the fisher seek afloat upon the sea

His breadwhile glimmer stars of night as set in tangled skein?

Anon he plungeth in despite the buffet of the waves

The while to sight the bellying net his eager glances strain

Till joying at the night's successa fish he bringeth home

Whose gullet by the hook of Fate was caught and cut in twain.

When buys that fish of him a man who spent the hours of night

Reckless of cold and wet and gloom in ease and comfort fain

Laud to the Lord who gives to thisto that denieshis wishes

And dooms one toil and catch the prey and other eat the fishes." - Thenquoth he"Up and to it. I am sure of His beneficenceInshallah!" Sohe continued: -

"When thou art seized of Evil Fateassume

The noble soul's long-suffering. 'Tis thy best.

Complain not to the creaturethis be 'plaint

From one most Ruthful to the ruthlessest." -

The fishermanwhen he had looked at the dead assgot it free of

the toils and wrung out and spread his net. Then he plunged into the seasaying"In Allah's name!" and made a cast and pulled at itbut itgrew heavy and settled down more firmly than the first time. Now he thought thatthere were fish in itand he made it fast anddoffing his clotheswent intothe waterand dived and haled until he drew it up upon dry land. Then found hein it a large earthern pitcher which was full of sand and mudand seeing thishe was greatly troubled. So he prayed pardon of Allah andthrowing away thejarwrung his net and cleansed it and returned to the sea the third time tocast his netand waited till it had sunk. Then he pulled at it and foundtherein potsherds and broken glass. Thenraising his eyes heavenwardhe said:"O my God! Verily Thou wettest that I cast not my net each day save fourtimes. The third is done and as yet Thou hast vouchsafed me nothing. So thistimeO my Goddeign give me my daily bread."

Thenhaving called on Allah's namehe again threw his net and waited itssinking and settlingwhereupon he haled at it but could not draw it in for thatit was entangled at the bottom. He cried out in his vexation"There is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allah!" and he began reciting: -

"Fie on this wretched worldan so it be

I must be whelmed by grief and misery.

Tho' gladsome be man's lot when dawns the morn

He drains the cup of woe ere eve he see.

Yet was I one of whom the world when asked

'Whose lot is happiest?' would say''Tis he!'" -

Thereupon he stripped anddiving down to the netbusied himself with ittill it came to land. Then he opened the meshes and found therein acucumber-shaped jar of yellow copperevidently full of somethingwhose mouthwas made fast with a leaden cap stamped with the seal ring of our Lord Solomonson of David (Allah accept the twain!). Seeing thisthe fisherman rejoiced andsaid"If I sell it in the brass bazaar'tis worth ten goldendinars." He shook itand finding it heavycontinued: "Would toHeaven I knew what is herein. But I must and will open it and look to itscontents and store it in my bag and sell it in the brass market." Andtaking out a knifehe worked at the lead till he had loosened it from the jar.Then he laid the cup on the ground and shook the vase to pour out whatever mightbe inside. He found nothing in itwhereat he marveled with an exceeding marvel.But presently there came forth from the jar a smoke which spired heavenward intoether (whereat he again marveled with mighty marvel)and which trailed alongearth's surface till presentlyhaving reached its full heightthe thick vaporcondensedand became an Ifrit huge of bulkwhose crest touched the cloudswhile his feet were on the ground. His head was as a domehis hands likepitchforkshis legs long as mastsand his mough big as a cave. His teeth werelike large stoneshis nostrils ewershis eyes two lampsand his look wasfierce and lowering.

Now when the fisherman saw the Ifrithis side muscles quiveredhis teethchatteredhis spittle dried upand he became blind about what to do. Upon thisthe Ifrit looked at him and cried"there is no god but the GodandSolomon is the prophet of God" presently adding: "O Apostle of Allahslay me not. Never again will I gainsay thee in word nor sin against thee indeed." Quoth the fisherman"O Mariddiddest thou say Solomon theApostle of Allah? And Solomon is dead some thousand and eight hundred years agoand we are now in the last days of the world! What is thy storyand what is thyaccount of thyselfand what is the cause of thy entering into thiscucurbit?"

Now when the Evil Spirit heard the words of the fishermanquoth he:"There is no god but the God. Be of good cheerO Fisherman!" Quoththe fisherman"Why biddest thou me to be of good cheer?" And hereplied"Because of thy having to die an ill death in this veryhour." Said the fisherman"Thou deservest for thy good tidings thewithdrawal of Heaven's protectionO thou distant one! Wherefore shouldest thoukill meand what thing have I done to deserve deathI who freed thee from thejarand saved thee from the depths of the seaand brought thee up on the dryland?" Replied the Ifrit"Ask of me only what mode of death thou wiltdieand by what manner of slaughter shall I slay thee." Rejoined thefisherman"What is my crimeand wherefore such retribution?" Quoththe Ifrit"Hear my storyO Fisherman!" And he answered"Sayonand be brief in thy sayinigfor of very sooth my life breath is in mynostrils."

Thereupon quoth the Jinni: "Know that I am one among the heretical Jannand I sinned against SolomonDavid-son (on the twain be peace!)I togetherwith the famous Sakhr al-Jinniwhereupon the Prophet sent his MinisterAsafson of Barkhiyato seize me. And this Wazir brought me against my will and ledme in bonds to him (I being downcast despite my nose)and he placed me standingbefore him like a suppliant. When Solomon saw mehe took refuge with Allah andbade me embrace the True Faith and obey his behests. But I refusedsosendingfor this cucurbithe shut me up therein and stopped it over with leadwhereonhe impressed the Most High Nameand gave his orders to the Jannwho carried meoff and cast me into the midmost of the ocean. There I abode a hundred yearsduring which I said in my heart'Whoso shall release mehim will I enrichforever and ever.'

"But the full century went by andwhen no one set me freeI enteredupon the second fivescore saying'Whoso shall release mefor him I will openthe hoards of the earth.' Still no one set me freeand thus four hundred yearspassed away. Then quoth I'Whoso shall release mefor him will I fulfill threewishes.' Yet no one set me free. Thereupon I waxed wroth with exceeding wrathand said to myself'Whoso shall release me from this time forthhim will Islayand I will give him choice of what death he will die.' And nowas thouhast released meI give thee full choice of deaths."

The fishermanhearing the words of the Ifritsaid"O Allah! Thewonder of it that I have not come to free thee save in these days!" adding"Spare my lifeso Allah spare thineand slay me notlest Allah set oneto slay thee." Replied the Contumacious One"There is no help for it.Die thou mustso ask by way of boon what manner of death thou wilt die."Albeit thus certifiedthe fisherman again addressed the Ifritsaying"Forgive me this my death as a generous reward for having freed thee"and the Ifrit"Surely I would not slay thee save on account of that samerelease." "O Chief of the Ifrits" said the fisherman"I dothee good and thou requitest me with evil! In very sooth the old saw lieth notwhen it saith: -

"We wrought them wealthey met our weal with ill

Suchby my life! is every bad man's labor.

To him who benefits unworthy wights

Shall hap what hapt to Ummi-Amir's neighbor." -

Now when the Ifrit heard these words he answered: "No more of this talk.Needs must I kill thee." Upon this the fisherman said to himself:"This is a Jinniand I am a man to whom Allah hath given a passablycunning witso I will now cast about to compass his destruction by mycontrivance and by mine intelligenceeven as he took counsel only of his maliceand his frowardness." He began by asking the Ifrit"Hast thou indeedresolved to kill me?" Andreceiving for all answer "Even so" hecried"Now in the Most Great

Namegraven on the seal ring of Solomon the son of David (peace be with theholy twain!)an I question thee on a certain matterwilt thou give me a trueanswer?" The Ifrit replied "Yea" buthearing mention of theMost Great Namehis wits were troubled and he said with trembling"Askand be brief."

Quoth the fisherman: "How didst thou fit into this bottle which wouldnot hold thy hand- nonor even thy foot- and how came it to be large enough tocontain the whole of thee?" Replied the Ifrit"What! Dost not believethat I was all there?" And the fisherman rejoined"Nay! I will neverbelieve it until I see thee inside with my own eyes." The Evil Spirit onthe instant shook and became a vaporwhich condensed and entered the jar littleand littletill all was well insidewhen lo! the fisherman in hot haste tookthe leaden cap with the seal and stoppered therewith the mouth of the jar andcalled out to the Ifritsaying: "Ask me by way of boon what death thouwilt die! By AllahI will throw thee into the sea before us and here will Ibuild me a lodgeand whoso cometh hither I will warn him against fishing andwill say: 'In these waters abideth an Ifrit who giveth as a last favor a choiceof deaths and fashion of slaughter to the man who saveth him!"'

Now when the Ifrit heard this from the fisherman and saw himself in limbohewas minded to escapebut this was prevented by Solomon's seal. So he knew thatthe fisherman had cozened and outwitted himand he waxed lowly and submissiveand began humbly to say"I did but jest with thee." But the otheranswered"Thou liestO vilest of the Ifritsand meanest andfilthiest!" And he set off with the bottle for the seasidethe Ifritcalling out"Nay! Nay!" and he calling out"Aye! Aye!"Thereupon the Evil Spirit softened his voice and smoothed his speech and abasedhimselfsaying"What wouldest thou do with me. O Fisherman?" "Iwill throw thee back into the sea" he answered"Where thou hast beenhoused and homed for a thousand and eight hundred years. And now I will leavethee therein till Judgment Day. Did I not say to thee`Spare me and Allah shallspare theeand slay me not lest Allah slay thee'? yet thou spurnedst mysupplication and hadst no intention save to deal ungraciously by meand Allahhath now thrown thee into my handsand I am cunninger that thou." Quoththe Ifrit"Open for me that I may bring thee weal." Quoth thefisherman: "Thou liestthou accursed! Nothing would satisfy thee save mydeathso now I will do thee die by hurling thee into this sea." Then theMarid roared aloud and cried: "Allah upon theeO Fishermandon't! Sparemeand pardon my past doingsand as I have been tyrannousso be thougenerousfor it is said among sayings that go current: 'O thou who doest goodto him who hath done thee evilsuffice for the ill-doer his ill deedsand donot deal with me as did Umamah to 'Atikah.'"

Asked the fisherman"And what was their case?" And the Ifritanswered"This is not the time for storytelling and I in this prisonbutset me free and I will tell thee the tale." Quoth the fisherman:"Leave this language. There is no help but that thou be thrown back intothe seanor is there any way for thy getting out of it forever and ever. VainlyI placed myself under thy protectionand I humbled myself to thee with weepingwhile thou soughtest only to slay mewho had done thee no injury deserving thisat thy hands. Nayso far from injuring thee by any evil actI worked theenaught but weal in releasing thee from that jail of thine. Now I knew thee to bean evil-doer when thou diddest to me what thou didstand know that when I havecast thee back into this seaI will warn whosoever may fish thee up of whathath befallen me with theeand I will advise him to toss thee back again. Soshalt thou abide here under these waters till The End of Time shall make an endof thee." But the Ifrit cried aloud: "Set me free. This is a nobleoccasion for generosityand I make covenant with thee and vow never to do theehurt and harm- nayI will help thee to what shall put thee out of want."

The fisherman accepted his promises on both conditionsnot to trouble him asbeforebut on the contrary to do him serviceand after making firm the plightand swearing him a solemn oath by Allah Most Highesthe opened the cucurbit.Thereupon the pillar of smoke rose up till all of it was fully outthen itthickened and once more became an Ifrit of hideous presencewho forthrightadministered a kick to the bottle and sent it flying into the sea. Thefishermanseeing how the cucurbit was treated and making sure of his own deathpiddled in his clothes and said to himself"This promiseth badly"but he fortified his heartand cried: "O IfritAllah hath said: 'Performyour covenantfor the performance of your covenant shall be inquired intohereafter.' Thou hast made a vow to me and hast sworn an oath not to play mefalse lest Allah play thee falsefor verily He is a jealous God who respiteththe sinner but letteth him not escape. I say to thee as said the Sage Duban toKing Yunan'Spare me so Allah may spare thee!'" The Ifrit burst intolaughter and stalked awaysaying to the fisherman"Follow me."

And the man paced after him at a safe distance (for he was not assured ofescape) till they had passed round the suburbs of the city. Thence they struckinto the uncultivated grounds andcrossing themdescended into a broadwildernessand lo! in the midst of it stood a mountain tarn. The Ifrit waded into the middle and again cried"Follow me" and when this was done hetook his stand in the center and bade the man cast his net and catch his fish.The fisherman looked into the water and was much astonished to see thereinvaricolored fisheswhite and redblue and yellow. Howeverhe cast his netandhauling it insaw that he had netted four fishesone of each color.Thereat he rejoiced greatlyand more when the Ifrit said to him: "Carrythese to the Sultan and set them in his presencethen he will give thee whatshall make thee a wealthy man. And now accept my excusefor by Allahat thistime I wot none other way of benefiting theeinasmuch I have lain in this seaeighteen hundred years and have not seen the face of the world save within thishour. But I would not have thee fish here save once a day." The Ifrit thengave him Godspeedsaying"Allah grant we meet again" and struck theearth with one footwhereupon the ground clove asunder and swallowed him up.

The fishermanmuch marveling at what had happened to him with the Ifrittook the fish and made for the cityand as soon as he reached home he filled anearthen bowl with water and therein threw the fishwhich began to struggle andwriggle about. Then he bore off the bowl upon his head andrepairing to theKing's palace (even as the Ifrit had bidden him) laid the fish before thepresence. And the King wondered with exceeding wonder at the sightfor never inhis lifetime had he seen fishes like these in quality or in conformation. So hesaid"Give those fish to the stranger slave girl who now cooketh forus" meaning the bondmaiden whom the King of Roum had sent to him onlythree days beforeso that he had not yet made trial of her talents in thedressing of meat.

Thereupon the Wazir carried the fish to the cook and bade her fry themsaying: O damselthe King sendeth this say to thee: 'I have not treasured theeO tear o' me! save for stress time of me.' Approvethento us this day thydelicate handiwork and thy savory cookingfor this dish of fish is a presentsent to the Sultan and evidently a rarity." The Wazirafter he hadcarefully charged herreturned to the Kingwho commanded him to give thefisherman four hundred dinars. He gave them accordinglyand the man took themto his bosom and ran off home stumbling and falling and rising again and deemingthe whole thing to be a dream. Howeverhe bought for his family all theywantedand lastly he went to his wife in huge joy and gladness. So farconcerning him.

But as regards the cookmaidshe took the fish and cleansed them and set themin the frying panbasting them with oil till one side was dressed. Then sheturned them over and beholdthe kitchen wall clave asunderand therefrom camea young ladyfair of formoval of faceperfect in gracewith eyelids whichkohl lines enchase. Her dress was a silken headkerchief fringed and tasseledwith blue. A large ring hung from either eara pair of bracelets adorned herwristsrings with bezels of priceless gems were on her fingersand she hent inhand a long rod of rattan cane which she thrust into the frying pansaying"O fish! O fish! Be ye constant to your convenant?" When thecookmaiden saw this apparition she swooned away. The young lady repeated herwords a second time and a third timeand at last the fishes raised their headsfrom the panand saying in articulate speech"Yes! Yes!" began withone voice to recite: -

"Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I!

And if ye fain forsakeI'll requite till quits we cry!" -

After this the young lady upset the frying pan and went forth by the way shecame in and the kitchen wall closed upon her. When the cookmaiden recovered fromher fainting fitshe saw the four fishes charred black as charcoaland cryingout"His staff brake in his first bout" she again fell swooning tothe ground. Whilst she was in this case the Wazir came for the fishand lookingupon her as insensible she laynot knowing Sunday from Thursdayshoved herwith his foot and said"Bring the fish for the Sultan!" Thereuponrecovering from her fainting fitshe wept and informed him of her case and allthat had befallen her. The Wazir marveled greatly and exclaiming"This isnone other than a right strange matter!" he sent after the fisher-man andsaid to him"ThouO Fishermanmust needs fetch us four fishes like thosethou broughtest before."

Thereupon the man repaired to the tarn and cast his netand when he landeditlo! four fishes were therein exactly like the first. These he at oncecarried to the Wazirwho went in with them to the cookmaiden and said"Upwith thee and fry these in my presencethat I may see this business." Thedamsel arose and cleansed the fishand set them in the frying pan over thefire. Howeverthey remained there but a little while ere the wall clave asunderand the young lady appearedclad as before and holding in hand the wand whichshe again thrust into the frying pansaying"O fish! O fish! Be yeconstant to your olden convenant?" And beholdthe fish lifted their headsand repeated "Yes! Yes!" and recited this couplet: -

"Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I!

But if ye fain forsakeI'll requite till quits we cry!" -

When the fishes spokeand the young lady upset the frying pan with her rodand went forth by the way she came and the wall closed upthe Wazir cried out"This is a thing not to be hidden from the King." So he went and toldhim what had happenedwhereupon quoth the King"There is no help for itbut that I see this with mine own eyes Then he sent for the fisherman andcommanded him to bring four other fish like the first and to take with him threemen as witnesses. The fisherman at once brought the fishand the Kingafterordering them to give him four hundred gold piecesturned to the Wazir andsaid"Upand fry me the fishes here before me!" The Ministerreplying"To hear is to obey" bade bring the frying panthrewtherein the cleansed fishand set it over the firewhen lo! the wall claveasunderand out burst a black slave like a huge rock or a remnant of the tribeAdbearing in hand a branch of a green tree. And he cried in loud and terribletones"O fish! O fish! Be ye an constant to your antique convenant?"Whereupon the fishes lifted their heads from the frying pan and said"Yes!Yes! We be true to our vow" and they again recited the couplet: -

"Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I!

But if ye fain forsakeI'll requite till quits we cry!" -

Then the huge blackamoor approached the frying pan and upset it with thebranch and went forth by the way he came in. When he vanished from their sightthe King inspected the fishand finding them all charred black as charcoalwasutterly bewilderedand said to the Wazir: "Verily this is a matterwhereanent silence cannot be kept. And as for the fishesassuredly somemarvelous adventure connects with them." So he bade bring the fisherman andasked himsaying: "Fie on theefellow! Whence come these fishes?"And he answered"From a tarn between four heights lying behind thismountain which is in sight of thy city." Quoth the King"How manydays' march?" Quoth he"O our Lord the Sultana walk ofhalf-hour." The King wonderedand straightway ordering his men to marchand horsemen to mountled off the fishermanwho went before as guideprivilydamning the Ifrit.

They fared on till they had climbed the mountain and descended unto a greatdesert which they had never seen during all their lives. And the Sultan and hismerry men marveled much at the wold set in the midst of four mountainsand thetarn and its fishes of four colorsred and whiteyellow and blue. The Kingstood fixed to the spot in wonderment and asked his troops and an present"Hath anyone among you ever seen this piece of water before now?" Andall made answer"O King of the Agenever did we set eyes upon it duringan our days." They also questioned the oldest inhabitants they metmenwell stricken in yearsbut they repliedeach and every"A lakelet likethis we never saw in this place." Thereupon quoth the King"By AllahI will neither return to my capital nor sit upon the throne of my forebears tillI learn the truth about this tarn and the fish therein."

He then ordered his men to dismount and bivouac all around the mountainwhich they didand summoning his Wazira Minister of much experiencesagaciousof penetrating wit and well versed in affairssaid to him:"'Tis in my mind to do a certain thingwhereof I will inform thee. Myheart telleth me to fare forth alone this night and root out the mystery of thistarn and its fishes. Do thou take thy scat at my tent doorand say to the emirsand wazirsthe nabobs and the chamberlainsin fineto all who ask thee'TheSultan is ill at easeand he hath ordered me to refuse all admittance.' And becareful thou let none know my design." And the Wazir could not oppose him.Then the King changed his dress and ornaments andslinging his sword over hisshouldertook a path which led up one of the mountains and marched for the restof the night till morning dawnednor did he cease wayfaring till the heat wastoo much for him. After his long walk he rested for a whileand then resumedhis march and fared on through the second night till dawnwhen suddenly thereappeared a black point in the far distance. Hereat he rejoiced and said tohimself"Haply someone here shall acquaint me with the mystery of the tarnand its fishes."

Presentlydrawing near the dark objecthe found it a palace built of swartstone plated with ironand while one leaf of the gate stood wide-opentheother was shut. The King's spirits rose high as he stood before the gate andrapped a light rapbut hearing no answerhe knocked a second knock and athirdyet there came no sign. Then he knocked his loudestbut still no answerso he said"Doubtless 'tis empty." There upon he mustered upresolution and boldly walked through the main gate into the great hallandthere cried out aloud: "Holloaye people of the palace! I am a strangerand a wayfarer. Have you aught here of victual?" He repeated his cry asecond time and a thirdbut still there came no reply.

Sostrengthening his heart and making up his mindhe stalked through thevestibule into the very middle of the palaceand found no man in it. Yet it wasfurnished with silken stuffs gold-starredand the hangings were let down overthe doorways. In the midst was a spacious court off which sat four open saloonseach with its raised daissaloon facing saloon. A canopy shaded the courtandin the center was a jetting fount with four figures of lions made of red goldspouting from their mouths water clear as pearls and diaphanous gems. Roundabout the palace birds were let looseand over it stretched a net of goldenwirehindering them from flying off. In briefthere was everything but humanbeings. The King marveled mightily thereatyet felt he sad at heart for that hesaw no one to give him an account of the waste and its tarnthe fishesthemountainsand the palace itself. Presently as he sat between the doors in deepthought beholdthere came a voice of lamentas from a heart griefspentand heheard the voice chanting these verses: -

"I hid what I endured of him and yet it came to light

And nightly sleep mine eyelids fled and changed to sleepless night.

O world! O Fate! Withhold thy hand and cease thy hurt and harm

Look and behold my hapless sprite in dolor and affright.

Wilt ne'er show ruth to highborn youth who lost him on the way

Of Loveand fell from wealth and fame to lowest basest wight?

Jealous of Zephyr's breath was I as on your form he breathed

But whenas Destiny descends she blindeth human sight.

What shall the hapless archer do who when he fronts his foe

And bends his bow to shoot the shaft shall find his string undight?

When cark and care so heavy bear on youth of generous soul

How shall he 'scape his lot and where from Fate his place of flight?" -

Now when the Sultan heard the mournful voice he sprang to his feet andfollowing the soundfound a curtain let down over a chamber door. He raised itand saw behind it a young man sitting upon a couch about a cubit above thegroundand he fair to the sighta well-shaped wightwith eloquence dight. Hisforehead was flower-whitehis cheek rosy brightand a mole on his cheekbreadth like an ambergris miteeven as the poet doth indite: -

A youth slim-waisted from whose locks and brow

The world in blackness and in light is set.

Throughout Creation's round no fairer show

No rarer sight thine eye hath ever met.

A nut-brown mole sits throned upon a cheek

Of rosiest red beneath an eye of jet. -

The King rejoiced and saluted himbut he remained sitting in his caftan ofsilken stuff purfled with Egyptian gold and his crown studded with gems ofsorts. But his face was sad with the traces of sorrow. He returned the royalsalute in most courteous wise adding"O my lordthy dignity demandeth myrising to theeand my sole excuse is to crave thy pardon." Quoth the King:"Thou art excusedO youthso look upon me as thy guest come hither on anespecial object. I would thou acquaint me with the secrets of this tarn and itsfishes and of this palace and thy loneliness therein and the cause of thygroaning and wailing." When the young man heard these words he wept withsore weeping till his bosom was drenched with tears. The King marveled and askedhim"What maketh thee weepO young man?" and he answered"Howshould I not weepwhen this is my case!" Thereupon he put out his hand andraised the skirt of his garmentwhen lo! the lower half of him appeared stonedown to his feet while from his navel to the hair of his head he was man. TheKingseeing this his plightgrieved with sore grief and of his compassioncried: "Alack and wellaway! In very soothO youththou heapest sorrowupon my sorrow. I was minded to ask thee the mystery of the fishes onlywhereasnow I am concerned to learn thy story as well as theirs. But there is no Majestyand there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! Lose no timeOyouthbut tell me forthright thy whole tale." Quoth he"Lend methine earsthy sightand thine insight." And quoth the King"Allare at thy service!"

Thereupon the youth began"Right wondrous and marvelous is my case andthat of these fishesand were it graven with gravers upon the eye corners itwere a warner to whoso would be warned." "How is that?" asked theKingand the young man began to tell

THE TALE OF THE ENSORCELED PRINCE -

KNOW thenO my lordthat whilom my sire was King of this cityand his namewas Mahmudentitled Lord of the Black Islandsand owner of what are now thesefour mountains. He ruled threescore and ten yearsafter which he went to themercy of the Lord and I reigned as Sultan in his stead. I took to wife mycousinthe daughter of my paternal uncleand she loved me with such aboundinglove that whenever I was absent she ate not and she drank not until she saw meagain. She cohabited with me for five years till a certain day when she wentforth to the hammam bathand I bade the cook hasten to get ready all requisitesfor our supper. And I entered this palace and lay down on the bed where I waswont to sleep and bade two damsels to fan my faceone sitting by my head andthe other at my feet.

But I was troubled and made restless by my wife's absence and could notsleepfor although my eyes were closedmy mind and thoughts were wide-awake.Presently I heard the slave girl at my head say to her at my feet: "OMas'udahhow miserable is our master and how wasted in his youthand oh! thepity of his being so betrayed by our mistressthe accursed whore!" Theother replied: "Yes indeed. Allah curse all faithless women and adulterous!But the like of our masterwith his fair giftsdeserveth something better thanthis harlot who lieth abroad every night." Then quoth she who sat by myhead"Is our lord dumb or fit only for bubbling that he questioneth hernot!" and quoth the other: "Fie on thee! Doth our lord know her waysor doth she allow him his choice? Naymoredoth she not drug every night thecup she giveth him to drink before sleeptimeand put bhang into it? So hesleepeth and wotteth not whither she goethnor what she doethbut we know thatafter giving him the drugged wineshe donneth her richest raiment and perfumethherself and then she fareth out from him to be away till break of day. Then shecometh to him and burneth a pastille under his nose and he awaketh from hisdeath-like sleep." When I heard the slave girls' wordsthe light becameblack before my sight and I thought night would never fall.

Presently the daughter of my uncle came from the bathsand they set thetable for us and we ate and sat together a fair half-hour quaffing our wineaswas ever our wont. Then she called for the particular wine I used to drinkbefore sleeping and reached me the cupbutseeming to drink it according to mywontI poured the contents into my bosom andlying downlet her hear that Iwas asleep. Thenbeholdshe cried: "Sleep out the nightand never wakeagain! By AllahI loathe thee and I loathe thy whole bodyand my soul turnethin disgust from cohabiting with theeand I see not the moment when Allah shallsnatch away thy life!" Then she rose and donned her fairest dress andperfumed her person and slung my sword over her shoulderand opening the gatesof the palacewent her ill way.

I rose and followed her as she left the palace and she threaded the streetsuntil she came to the city gatewhere she spoke words I understood not and thepadlocks dropped of themselves as if broken and the gate leaves opened. She wentforth (and I after her without her noticing aught) till she came at last to theoutlying mounds and a reed fence built about a round-roofed hut of mud bricks.As she entered the doorI climbed upon the roofwhich commanded a view of theinteriorAnd lo! my fair cousin had gone in to a hideous Negro slave with hisupper lip like the cover of a pot and his lower like an open potlips whichmight sweep up sand from the gravel floor of the cot. He was to boot a leper anda paralyticlying upon a strew of sugar-cane trash and wrapped in an oldblanket and the foulest rags and tatters.

She kissed the earth before himand he raised his head so as to see her andsaid: "Woe to thee! What call hadst thou to stay away all this time? Herehave been with me sundry of the black brethrenwho drank their wine and eachhad his young ladyand I was not content to drink because of thineabsence." Then she: "O my lordmy heart's love and coolth of my eyesknowest thou not that I am married to my cousinwhose very look I loatheandhate myself when in his company? And did not I fear for thy sakeI would notlet a single sun arise before making his city a ruined heap wherein raven shouldcroak and howlet hootand jackal and wolf harbor and loot- nayI had removedits very stones to the back side of Mount Kaf." Rejoined the slave:"Thou liestdamn thee! Now I swear an oath by the valor and honor ofblackamoor men (and deem not our manliness to be the poor manliness of whitemen)from today forth if thou stay away till this hourI will not keep companywith thee nor will I glue my body with thy body. Dost play fast and loose withusthou cracked potthat we may satisfy thy dirty lustsO vilest of the vilewhites?"

When I heard his wordsand saw with my own eyes what passed between thesetwo wretchesthe world waxed dark before my face and my soul knew not in whatplace it was. But my wife humbly stood up weeping before and wheedling theslaveand saying: "O my belovedand very fruit of my heartthere is noneleft to cheer me but thy dear selfandif thou cast me offwho shall take meinO my belovedO light of my eyes?" And she ceased not weeping andabasing herself to him until he deigned be reconciled with her. Then was sheright glad and stood up and doffed her clotheseven to her petticoat trousersand said"O my masterwhat hast thou here for thy handmaiden toeat?" "Uncover the basin" he grumbled"and thou shalt findat the bottom the broiled bones of some rats we dined on. Pick at themand thengo to that slop potwhere thou shalt find some leavings of beer which thoumayest drink." So she ate and drank and washed her handsand went and laydown by the side of the slave upon the cane trash and crept in with him underhis foul coverlet and his rags and tatters.

When I saw my wifemy cousinthe daughter of my uncledo this deedIclean lost my witsand climbing down from the roofI entered and took thesword which she had with her and drew itdetermined to cut down the twain. Ifirst struck at the slave's neck and thought that the death decree had fallen onhimfor he groaned a loud hissing groanbut I had cut only the skin and fleshof the gullet and the two arteries! It awoke the daughter of my uncleso Isheathed the sword and fared forth for the cityand entering the palacelayupon my bed and slept till morningwhen my wife aroused me and I saw that shehad cut off her hair and had donned mourning garments. Quoth she: "O son ofmy uncleblame me not for what I do. It hath just reached me that my mother isdead and my father hath been killed in holy warand of my brothers one hathlost his life by a snake sting and the other by falling down some precipiceandI can and should do naught save weep and lament."

When I heard her words I refrained from all reproach and said only: "Doas thou list. I certainly will not thwart thee." She continued sorrowingweeping and wailing one whole year from the beginning of its circle to the endand when it was finished she said to me: "I wish to build me in thy palacea tomb with a cupolawhich I will set apart for my mourning and will name theHouse of Lamentations." Quoth I again: "Do as thou list!" Thenshe builded for herself a cenotaph wherein to mournand set on its center adome under which showed a tomb like a santon's sepulcher. Thither she carriedthe slave and lodged himbut he was exceeding weak by reason of his woundandunable to do her love service. He could only drink wineand from the day of hishurt he spake not a wordyet he lived on because his appointed hour was notcome. Every daymorning and eveningmy wife went to him and wept and wailedover him and gave him wine and strong soupsand left not off doing after thismanner a second year. And I bore with her patiently and paid no heed to her.

One dayhoweverI went in to her unawaresand I found her weeping andbeating her face and crying: "Why art thou absent from my sightO myheart's delight? Speak to meO my lifetalk with meO my love." When shehad ended for a time her words and her weeping I said to her"O my cousinlet this thy mourning sufficefor in pouring forth tears there is littleprofit!" "Thwart me not" answered she"in aught I door Iwill lay violent hands on myself!" So I held my peace and left her to goher own wayand she ceased not to cry and keen and indulge her affliction foryet another year. At the end of the third year I waxed aweary of this longsomemourningand one day I happened to enter the cenotaph when vexed and angry withsome matter which had thwarted meand suddenly I heard her say: "O mylordI never hear thee vouchsafe a single word to me! Why dost thou not answermeO my master?" and she began reciting: -

"O thou tomb! O thou tomb! Be his beauty set in shade?

Hast thou darkened that countenance all-sheeny as the noon?

O thou tomb! Neither earth nor yet Heaven art to me

Then how cometh it in thee are conjoined my sun and moon?" -

When I heard such verses as these rage was heaped upon my rageI cried out:"Wellaway! How long is this sorrow to last?" and I began repeating: -

"O thou tomb! O thou tomb! Be his horrors set in blight?

Hast thou darkened his countenance that sickeneth the soul?

O thou tomb! Neither cesspool nor pigskin art to me

Then how cometh it in thee are conjoined soil and coal?" - When sheheard my words she sprang to her feet crying: "Fie upon theethou cur! Allthis is of thy doings. Thou hast wounded my heart's darling and thereby workedme sore woeand thou hast wasted his youth so that these three years he hathlain abed more dead than alive!"

In my wrath I cried: "O thou foulest of harlots and filthiest of whoresever futtered by Negro slaves who are hired to have at thee! Yesindeed it wasI who did this good deed." And snatching up my swordI drew it and made ather to cut her down. But she laughed my words and mine intent to scorncrying:"To heelhound that thou art! Alas for the past which shall no more cometo passnor shall anyone avail the dead to raise. Allah hath indeed now giveninto my hand him who did to me this thinga deed that hath burned my heart witha fire which died not a flame which might not be quenched!"

Then she stood upand pronouncing some words to me unintelligibleshe said"By virtue of my egromancy become thou half stone and half man!"Whereupon I became what thou seestunable to rise or to sitand neither deadnor alive. Moreovershe ensorceled the city with all its streets and garthsand she turned by her gramarye the four islands into four mountains around thetarn whereof thou questionest me. And the citizenswho were of four differentfaithsMoslemNazareneJewand Magianshe transformed by her enchantmentsinto fishes. The Moslems are the whitethe Magians redthe Christians blueand the Jews yellow. And every day she tortureth me and scourgeth me with ahundred stripeseach of which draweth floods of blood and cutteth the skin ofmy shoulders to strips. And lastly she clotheth my upper half with a hairclothand then throweth over them these robes. Hereupon the young man again shed tearsand began reciting: -

"In patienceO my GodI endure my lot and fate

I will bear at will of Thee whatsoever be my state.

They oppress methey torture methey make my life a woe

Yet haply Heaven's happiness shall compensate my strait.

Yeastraitened is my life by the bane and hate o' foes

But Mustafa and Murtaza shall ope me Heaven's gate." -

After this the Sultan turned toward the young Prince and said: "O youththou hast removed one grief only to add another grief. But nowO my friendwhere is sheand where is the mausoleum wherein lieth the wounded slave?""The slave lieth under yon dome" quoth the young man"and shesitteth in the chamber fronting yonder door. And every day at sunrise she comethforthand first strippeth meand whippeth me with a hundred strokes of theleathern scourgeand I weep and shriekbut there is no power of motion in mylower limbs to keep her off me. After ending her tormenting me she visiteth theslavebringing him wine and boiled meats. And tomorrow at an early hour shewill be here." Quoth the King: "By AllahO youthI will assuredly dothee a good deed which the world shall not willingly let dieand an act ofderring-do which shall be chronicled long after I am dead and gone by."

Then the King sat him by the side of the young Prince and talked tillnightfallwhen he lay down and slept. But as soon as the false dawn showedhearose anddoffing his outer garmentsbared his blade and hastened to the placewherein lay the slave. Then was he ware of lighted candles and lampsand theperfume of incenses and unguentsand directed by thesehe made for the slaveand struck him one strokekilling him on the spot. After which he lifted him onhis back and threw him into a well that was in the palace. Presently he returnedanddonning the slave's gearlay down at length within the mausoleum with thedrawn sword laid close to and along his side. After an hour or so the accursedwitch cameand first going to her husbandshe stripped off his clothes andtaking a whipflogged him cruelly while he cried out: "Ah! Enough for methe case I am in! Take pity on meO my cousin!" But she replied"Didst thou take pity on me and spare the life of my truelove on whom Idoated?"

Then she drew the cilice over his raw and bleeding skin and threw the robeupon all and went down to the slave with a goblet of wine and a bowl of meatbroth in her hands. She entered under the dome weeping and wailing"Wellaway!" and crying: "O my lord! Speak a word to me! O mymaster! Talk awhile with me!" and began to recite these couplets: -

"How long this harshnessthis unloveshall bide?

Suffice thee not tear floods thou hast espied?

Thou dost prolong our parting purposely

And if wouldst please my foethou'rt satisfied!" - Then she wept againand said: "O my lord! Speak to metalk with me!" The King lowered hisvoice andtwisting his tonguespoke after the fashion of the blackamoors andsaid "'Lack'lack! There be no Majesty and there be no Might save inAllauhthe Gloriosethe Great!"

Now when she heard these words she shouted for joyand fell to the groundfaintingand when her senses returned she asked"O my lordcan it betrue that thou hast power of speech?" And the Kingmaking his voice smalland faintanswered: "O my cuss! Dost thou deserve that I talk to thee andspeak with thee?" "Why and wherefore?" rejoined sheand hereplied: "The why is that all the livelong day thou tormentest thy hubbyand he keeps calling on 'eaven for aid until sleep is strange to me even fromevenin' till mawnin'and he prays and damnscussing us twome and theecausing me disquiet and much bother. Were this not soI should long ago havegot my healthand it is this which prevents my answering thee." Quoth she"With thy leave I will release him from what spell is on him" andquoth the King"Release himand let's have some rest!" She cried"To hear is to obey" andgoing from the cenotaph to the palaceshetook a metal bowl and filled it with water and spake over it certain words whichmade the contents bubble and boil as a caldron seetheth over the fire. With thisshe sprinkled her husband saying"By virtue of the dread words I havespokenif thou becamest thus by my spellscome forth out of that form intothine own former form."

And lo and behold! the young man shook and trembledthen he rose to his feetandrejoicing at his deliverancecried aloud"I testify that there is nogod but the Godand in very truth Mohammed is His Apostlewhom Allah bless andkeep!" Then she said to him"Go forth and return not hitherfor ifthou do I will surely slay thee" screaming these words in his face. So hewent from between her handsand she returned to the dome andgoing down to thesepulchershe said"O my lordcome forth to me that I may look upon theeand thy goodliness!" The King replied in faint low words: "What thinghast thou done? Thou hast rid me of the branchbut not of the root." Sheasked: "O my darling! O my Negroling! What is the root?" And heanswered: "Fie on theeO my cuss! The people of this city and of the fourislands every night when it's half-passed lift their heads from the tank inwhich thou hast turned them to fishes and cry to Heaven and call down its angeron me and theeand this is the reason why my body's balked from health. Go atonce and set them freethen come to me and take my handand raise me upfor alittle strength is already back in me."

When she heard the King's words (and she still supposed him to be the slave)she cried joyously: "O my masteron my head and on my eyes be thy command.Bismillah!" So she sprang to her feet andfull of joy and gladnessrandown to the tarn and took a little of its water in the palm of her hand andspake over it words not to be understoodand the fishes lifted their heads andstood up on the instant like menthe spell on the people of the city havingbeen removed. What was the lake again became a crowded capital. The bazaars werethronged with folk who bought and soldeach citizen was occupied with his owncallingand the four hills became islands as they were whilom.

Then the young womanthat wicked sorceressreturned to the King and (stillthinking he was the Negro) said to him: "O my love! Stretch forth thyhonored hand that I may assist thee to rise." "Nearer to me"quoth the King in a faint and feigned tone. She came close as to embrace himwhen he took up the sword lying hid by his side and smote her across the breastso that the point showed gleaming behind her back. Then he smote her a secondtime and cut her in twain and cast her to the ground in two halves. After whichhe fared forth and found the young mannow freed from the spellawaiting himand gave him joy of his happy release while the Prince kissed his hand withabundant thanks.

Quoth the King"Wilt thou abide in this cityor go with me to mycapital?" Quoth the youth"O King of the Agewettest thou not whatjourney is between thee and thy city?" "Two days and a half"answered hewhereupon said the other: "An thou be sleepingO Kingawake!Between thee and thy city is a year's march for a well-girt walkerand thouhaddest not come hither in two days and a half save that the city was underenchantment. And IO Kingwill never part from thee- nonot even for thetwinkling of an eye." The King rejoiced at his words and said: "Thanksbe to AllahWho hath bestowed thee upon me! From this hour thou art my son andmy only sonfor that in all my life I have never been blessed with issue."Thereupon they embraced and joyed with exceeding great joy. Andreaching thepalacethe Prince who had been spellbound informed his lords and his grandeesthat he was about to visit the Holy Places as a pilgrimand bade them get readyall things necessary for the occasion.

The preparations lasted ten daysafter which he set out with the Sultanwhose heart burned in yearning for his citywhence he had been absent a wholetwelvemonth. They journeyed with an escort of Mamelukes carrying all manners ofprecious gifts and raritiesnor stinted they wayfaring day and night for a fullyear until they approached the Sultan's capitaland sent on messengers toannounce their coming. Then the Wazir and the whole army came out to meet him injoy and gladnessfor they had given up all hope of ever seeing their Kingandthe troops kissed the ground before him and wished him joy of his safety. Heentered and took seat upon his throne and the Minister came before him andwhenacquainted with all that had befallen the young Princehe congratulated him onhis narrow escape.

When order was restored throughout the landthe King gave largess to many ofhis peopleand said to the Wazir"Hither the fisherman who brought us thefishes!" So he sent for the man who had been the first cause of the cityand the citizens being delivered from enchantmentand when he came into thepresencethe Sultan bestowed upon him a dress of honorand questioned him ofhis condition and whether he had children. The fisherman gave him to know thathe had two daughters and a sonso the King sent for them andtaking onedauhter to wifegave the other to the young Prince and made the son his headtreasurer. Furthermorehe invested his Wazir with the Sultanate of the City inthe Black Islands whilom belonging to the young Princeand dispatched with himthe escort of fifty armed slavestogether with dresses of honor for all theemirs and grandees. The Wazir kissed hands and fared forth on his waywhile theSultan and the Prince abode at home in all the solace and the delight of lifeand the fisherman became the richest man of his ageand his daughters wivedwith the Kings until death came to them.

And yetO King! this is not more wondrous than the story of

THE PORTER AND THE THREE LADIES OF BAGHDAD -

ONCE upon a time there was a porter in Baghdad who was a bachelor and whowould remain unmarried. It came to pass on a certain dayas he stood about thestreet leaning idly upon his cratebeholdthere stood before him an honorablewoman in a mantilla of Mosul silk broidered with gold and bordered with brocade.Her walking shoes were also purred with goldand her hair floated in longplaits. She raised her face veil andshowing two black eyes fringed with jettylasheswhose glances were soft and languishing and whose perfect beauty wasever blandishingshe accosted the porter and said in the suavest tones andchoicest language"Take up thy crate and follow me."

The porter was so dazzled he could hardly believe that he heard her arightbut he shouldered his basket in hot hastesaying in himself"O day ofgood luck! O day of Allah's grace!" and walked after her till she stoppedat the door of a house. There she rappedand presently came out to her an oldmana Nazareneto whom she gave a gold piecereceiving from him in returnwhat she required of strained wine clear as olive oiland she set it safely inthe hampersaying"Lift and follow." Quoth the porter"Thisby Allahis indeed an auspicious daya day propitious for the granting of alla man wisheth." He again hoisted up the crate and followed her till shestopped at a fruiterer's shop and bought from him Shami apples and Osmaniquinces and Omani peachesand cucumbers of Nile growthand Egyptian limes andSultani oranges and citronsbesides Aleppine jasminescented myrtle berriesDamascene nenupharsflower of privet and camomileblood-red anemonesvioletsand pomegranate bloomeglantineand narcissusand set the whole in theporter's cratesaying"Up with it."

So he lifted and followed her till she stopped at a butcher's booth and said"Cut me off ten pounds of mutton." She paid him his price and hewrapped it in a banana leafwhereupon she laid it in the crate and said"HoistO Porter." He hoisted accordinglyand followed her as shewalked on till she stopped at a grocer'swhere she bought dry fruits andpistachio kernelsTihamah raisinsshelled almondsand all wanted for dessertand said to the porter"Lift and follow me." So he up with his hamperand after her till she stayed at the confectioner'sand she bought an earthenplatterand piled it with all kinds of sweetmeats in his shopopen-workedtarts and fritters scented with muskand "soap cakes" and lemonloavesand melon preservesand "Zaynab's combs" and "ladies'fingers" and "Kazi's titbits" and goodies of every descriptionand placed the platter in the porter's crate. Thereupon quoth he (being a merryman)"Thou shouldest have told meand I would have brought with me a ponyor a she-camel to carry all this market stuff." She smiled and gave him alittle cuff on the napesaying"Step out and exceed not in wordsfor(Allah willing!) thy wage will not be wanting."

Then she stopped at a perfumer's and took from him ten sorts of watersrosescented with muskorange-flowerwater-lilywillow-flowerviolet and fiveothers. And she also bought two loaves of sugara bottle for perfume-sprayinga lump of male incensealoe woodambergrisand muskwith candles ofAlexandria waxand she put the whole into the basketsaying"Up with thycrate and after me." He did so and followed until she stood before thegreengrocer'sof whom she bought pickled sallower and olivesin brine and inoilwith tarragon and cream cheese and hard Syrian cheeseand she stowed themaway in the cratesaying to the porter"Take up thy basket and followme." He did so and went after her till she came to a fair mansion frontedby a spacious courta tallfine place to which columns gave strength andgrace. And the gate thereof had two leaves of ebony inlaid with plates of redgold. The lady stopped at the door andturning her face veil sidewaysknockedsoftly with her knuckles whilst the porter stood behind herthinking of naughtsave her beauty and loveliness.

Presently the door swung back and both leaves were openedwhereupon helooked to see who had opened itand beholdit was a lady of tall figuresomefive feet higha model of beauty and lovelinessbrilliance and symmetry andperfect grace. Her forehead was flower-whiteher cheeks like the anemoneruddy-bright. Her eyes were those of the wild heifer or the gazellewitheyebrows like the crescent moon which ends Sha'aban and begins Ramazan. Hermouth was the ring of Solomonher lips coral-redand her teeth like a line ofstrung pearls or of camomile petals. Her throat recalled the antelope'sand herbreastslike two pomegranates of even sizestood at bay as it were. Her bodyrose and fell in waves below her dress like the rolls of a piece of brocadeandher navel would hold an ounce of benzoin ointment. In fineshe was like her ofwhom the poet said: -

On Sun and Moon of palace cast thy sight

Enjoy her flowerlike faceher fragrant light.

Thine eyes shall never see in hair so black

Beauty encase a brow so purely white.

The ruddy rosy cheek proclaims her claim

Though fail her name whose beauties we indite.

As sways her gaitI smile at hips so big

And weep to see the waist they bear so slight. -

When the porter looked upon herhis wits were waylaid and his senses werestormed so that his crate went nigh to fall from his headand he said tohimself"Never have I in my life seen a day more blessed than thisday!" Then quoth the lady portress to the lady cateress"Come in fromthe gate and relieve this poor man of his load." So the provisioner wentinfollowed by the portress and the porterand went on till they reached aspacious ground-floor hallbuilt with admirable skill and beautified with allmanner colors and carvingswith upper balconies and groined arches andgalleries and cupboards and recesses whose curtains hung before them. In themidst stood a great basin full of water surrounding a fine fountainand at theupper end on the raised dais was a couch of juniper wood set with gems andpearlswith a canopy like mosquito curtains of red satin-silk looped up withpearls as big as filberts and bigger.

Thereupon sat a lady bright of bleewith brow beaming brilliancythe dreamof philosophywhose eyes were fraught with Babel's gramarye and her eyebrowswere arched as for archery. Her breath breathed ambergris and perfumery and herlips were sugar to taste and carnelian to see. Her stature was straight as theletter l and her face shamed the noon sun's radiancy; and she was even as agalaxyor a dome with golden marquetryor a bride displayed in choicestfineryor a noble maid of Araby. The third ladyrising from the couchsteppedforward with graceful swaying gait till she reached the middle of the saloonwhen she said to her sisters: "Why stand ye here? Take it down from thispoor man's head!" Then the cateress went and stood before him and theportress behind him while the third helped themand they lifted the load fromthe porter's headandemptying it of all that was thereinset everything inits place. Lastly they gave him two gold piecessaying"Wend thy waysOPorter."

But he went notfor he stood looking at the ladies and admiring whatuncommon beauty was theirsand their pleasant manners and kindly dispositions(never had he seen goodlier). And he gazed wistfully at that good store of winesand sweet-scented flowers and fruits and other matters. Also he marveled withexceeding marvelespecially to see no man in the placeand delayed his goingwhereupon quoth the eldest lady: "What aileth thee that goest not? Haplythy wage be too little?" Andturning to her sisterthe cateressshesaid"Give him another dinar!" But the porter answered: "ByAllahmy ladyit is not for the wagemy hire is never more than two dirhamsbut in very sooth my heart and my soul are taken up with you and your condition.I wonder to see you single with ne'er a man about you and not a soul to bear youcompany. And well you wot that the minaret toppleth o'er unless it stand uponfourand you want this same fourthand women's pleasure without man is shortof measureeven as the poet said: -

"Seest not we want for joy four things all told-

The harp and lutethe flute and flageolet-

And be they companied with scents fourfold

Rosemyrtleanemoneand violet.

Nor please all eight an four thou wouldst withhold-

Good wine and youth and gold and pretty pet. -

"You be three and want a fourth who shall be a person of good sense andprudencesmart-wittedand one apt to keep careful counsel." His wordspleased and amused them muchand they laughed at him and said: "And who isto assure us of that? We are maidensand we fear to entrust our secret where itmay not be keptfor we have read in a certain chronicle the lines of one Ibnal-Sumam: -

"Hold fast thy secret and to none unfold

Lost is a secret when that secret's told.

An fail thy breast thy secret to conceal

How canst thou hope another's breast shall hold?" - When the porterheard their wordshe rejoined: "By your lives! I am a man of sense and adiscreetwho hath read books and perused chronicles. I reveal the fair andconceal the foul and I act as the poet adviseth: -

"None but the good a secret keep

And good men keep it unrevealed.

It is to me a well-shut house

With keyless locks and door ensealed." -

When the maidens heard his verse and its poetical application addressed tothemthey said: "Thou knowest that we have laid out all our moneys on thisplace. Now sayhast thou aught to offer us in return for entertainment? Forsurely we will not suffer thee to sit in our company and be our cup companionand gaze upon our faces so fair and so rarewithout paying a round sum. Wettestthou not the saying: -

"Sans hope of gain

Love's not worth a grain"? - Whereto the lady portress added"Ifthou bring anythingthou art a something; if no thingbe off with theethouart a nothing." But the procuratrix interposedsaying: "NayO mysistersleave teasing himfor by Allah he hath not failed us this dayand hadhe been other he never had kept patience with meso whatever be his shot andscot I will take it upon myself."

The porteroverjoyedkissed the ground before her and thanked hersaying"By Allahthese moneys are the first fruits this day hath given me."Hearing thisthey said"Sit thee down and welcome to thee" and theeldest lady added: "By Allahwe may not suffer thee to join us save on oneconditionand this it isthat no questions be asked as to what concerneth theenotand frowardness shall be soundly flogged." Answered the porter:"I agree to thisO my lady. On my head and my eyes be it! Look yeI amdumbI have no tongue." Then arose the provisioneress andtightening hergirdleset the table by the fountain and put the flowers and sweet herbs intheir jarsand strained the wine and ranged the flasks in rows and made readyevery requisite. Then sat she downshe and her sistersplacing amidst them theporterwho kept deeming himself in a dream. And she took up the wine flagon andpoured out the first cup and drank it offand likewise a second and a third.After this she filled a fourth cupwhich she handed to one of her sistersandlastlyshe crowned a goblet and passed it to the portersaying: -

"Drink the dear draughtdrink free and fain

What healeth every grief and pain." -

He took the cup in his hand andTouting lowreturned his best thanks andimprovised: -

"Drain not the bowl save with a trusty friend

A man of worth whose good old blood all know.

For winelike windsucks sweetness from the sweet

And stinks when over stench it haply blow." - Adding: -

"Drain not the bowlsave from dear hand like thine

The cup recalls thy giftsthougifts of wine." - After repeating thiscouplet he kissed their hands and drank and was drunk and sat swaying from sideto side and pursued: -

"All drinks wherein is blood the Law unclean

Doth hold save onethe bloodshed of the vine.

Fill! Fill! Take all my wealth bequeathed or won

Thou fawn! a willing ransome for those eyne." -

Then the cateress crowned a cup and gave it to the portresswho took it fromher hand and thanked her and drank. Thereupon she poured again and passed to theeldest ladywho sat on the couchand filled yet another and handed it to theporter. He kissed the ground before themand after drinking and thanking themhe again began to recite: -

"Here! Here! By Allahhere!

Cups of the sweetthe dear!

Fill me a brimming bowl

The Fount o' Life I speer." - Then the porter stood up before themistress of the house and said"O ladyI am thy slavethy Mamelukethywhite thrallthy very bondsman" and he began reciting: -

"A slave of slaves there standeth at thy door

Lauding thy generous boons and gifts galore.

Beauty! May he come in awhile to 'joy

Thy charms? For Love and I part nevermore!" -

Then the lady took the cup and drank it off to her sisters' healthand theyceased not drinking (the porter being in the midst of them) and dancing andlaughing and reciting verses and singing ballads and ritornellos. All this timethe porter was carrying on with themkissingtoyingbitinghandlinggropingfingering whilst one thrust a dainty morsel in his mouth and anotherslapped himand this cuffed his cheeksand that threw sweet flowers at him.And he was in the very paradise of pleasureas though he were sitting in theseventh sphere among the houris of Heaven. And they ceased not to be after thisfashion till night began to fall. Thereupon said they to the porter"BismillahO our masterup and on with those sorry old shoes of thine andturn thy face and show us the breadth of thy shoulders!" Said he: "ByAllahto part with my soul would be easier for me than departing from you.Comelet us join night to dayand tomorrow morning we will each wend our ownway." "My life on you" said the procuratrix"suffer him totarry with usthat we may laugh at him. We may live out our lives and nevermeet with his likefor surely he is a right merry rogue and a witty." Sothey said: "Thou must not remain with us this night save on condition thatthou submit to our commandsand that whatso thou seestthou ask no questionsthereanentnor inquire of its cause." "All right" rejoined heand they said"Go read the writing over the door."

So he rose and went to the entrance and there found written in letters ofgold wash: WHOSO SPEAKETH OF WHAT CONCERNETH HIM NOT SHALL HEAR WHAT PLEASETHHIM NOT! The porter said"Be ye witnesses against me that I will not speakon whatso concerneth me not." Then the cateress arose and set food beforethem and they ate. After which they changed their drinking place for anotherand she lighted the lamps and candles and burned ambergris and aloe woodandset on fresh fruit and the wine servicewhen they fell to carousing and talkingof their lovers. And they ceased not to eat and drink and chatnibbling dryfruits and laughing and playing tricks for the space of a full hourwhen lo! aknock was heard at the gate.

The knocking in no wise disturbed the seancebut one of them rose and wentto see what it was and presently returnedsaying"Truly our pleasure forthis night is to be perfect." "How is that?" asked theyand sheanswered: "At the gate be three Persian Kalandars with their beards andheads and eyebrows shavenand all three blind of the left eye- which is surelya strange chance. They are foreigners from Roumland with the mark of travelplain upon them. They have just entered Baghdadthis being their first visit toour cityand the cause of their knocking at our door is simply because theycannot find a lodging. Indeed one of them said to me: 'Haply the owner of thismansion will let us have the key of his stable or some old outhouse wherein wemay pass this night.' For evening had surprised them andbeing strangers in thelandthey knew none who would give them shelter. AndO my sisterseach ofthem is a figure o' fun after his own fashionand if we let them in we shallhave matter to make sport of." She gave not over persuading them till theysaid to her: "Let them inand make thou the usual condition with them thatthey speak not of what concerneth them notlest they hear what pleased themnot."

So she rejoiced andgoing to the doorpresently returned with the threemonoculars whose beards and mustachios were clean-shaven. They salaamed andstood afar off by way of respectbut the three ladies rose up to them andwelcomed them and wished them joy of their safe arrival and made them sit down.The Kalandars looked at the

room and saw that it was a pleasant placeclean-swept and garnished withflowersand the lamps were burning and the smoke of perfumes was spiring inairand beside the dessert and fruits and winethere were three fair girls whomight be maidens. So they exclaimed with one voice"By Allah'tisgood!" Then they turned to the porter and saw that he was a merry-facedwightalbeit he was by no means sober and was sore after his slappings. So theythought that he was one of themselves and said"A mendicant like uswhether Arab or foreigner!"

But when the porter heard these wordshe rose up andfixing his eyesfiercely upon themsaid: "Sit ye here without exceeding in talk! Have younot read what is writ over the door? Surely it befitteth not fellows who come tous like paupers to wag your tongues at us." "We crave thy pardonOFakir" rejoined they"and our heads are between thy hands." Theladies laughed consumedly at the squabble andmaking peace between theKalandars and the porterseated the new guests before meatand they ate. Thenthey sat togetherand the portress served them with drinkand as the cup wentround merrilyquoth the porter to the askers"And youO brothers minehave ye no story or rare adventure to amuse us withal?"

Now the warmth of wine having mounted to their headsthey called for musicalinstrumentsand the portress brought them a tambourine of Mosuland a lute ofIrakand a Persian harp. And each mendicant took one and tuned itthis thetambourine and those the lute and the harpand struck up a merry tune while theladies sang so lustily that there was a great noise. And whilst they werecarrying onbeholdsomeone knocked at the gateand the portress went to seewhat was the matter there.

Now the cause of that knockingO King (quoth Scheherazade) was thistheCaliph Harun al-Rashid had gone forth from the palaceas was his wont now andthento solace himself in the city that nightand to see and hear what newthing was stirring. He was in merchant's gearand he was attended by Ja'afarhis Wazirand by Masrurhis Sworder of Vengeance. As they walked about thecitytheir way led them toward the house of the three ladieswhere they heardthe loud noise of musical instruments and singing and merriment. So quoth theCaliph to Ja'afar"I long to enter this house and hear those songs and seewho sing them." Quoth Ja'afar"O Prince of the Faithfulthese folkare surely drunken with wineand I fear some mischief betide us if we getamongst them." "There is no help but that I go in there" repliedthe Caliph"and I desire thee to contrive some pretext for our appearingamong them." Ja'afar replied"I hear and I obey" and knocked atthe doorwhereupon the portress came out and opened. Then Ja'afar came forwardandkissing the ground before hersaid"O my ladywe be merchants fromTiberias town. We arrived at Baghdad ten days ago andalighting at themerchants' caravanseraiwe sold all our merchandise. Now a certain traderinvited us to an entertainment this nightso we went to his house and he setfood before us and we ate. Then we sat at wine and wassail with him for an houror so when he gave us leave to depart. And we went out from him in the shadow ofthe night andbeing strangerswe could not find our way back to our khan. Sohaply of your kindness and courtesy you will suffer us to tarry with you thisnightand Heaven will reward you!"

The portress looked upon them andseeing them dressed like merchants and menof gave looks and solidshe returned to her sisters and repeated to themJa'afar's storyand they took compassion upon the strangers and said to her"Let them enter." She opened the door to themwhen said they to her"Have we thy leave to come in?" "Come in" quoth sheandthe Caliph enteredfollowed by Ja'afar and Masrur. And when the girls saw themthey stood up to them in respect and made them sit down and looked to theirwantssaying"Welcomeand well come and good cheer to the guestsbutwith one condition!" "What is that?" asked theyand one of theladies answered"Speak not of what concerneth you notlest ye hear whatpleaseth you not." "Even so" said theyand sat down to theirwine and drank deep.

Presently the Caliph looked on the three Kalandars andseeing themeach andevery blind of the left eyewondered at the sight. Then he gazed upon thegirlsand he was startled and he marveled with exceeding marvel at their beautyand loveliness. They continued to carouse and to converseand said to theCaliph"Drink!" But he replied"I am vowed to pilgrimage"and drew back from the wine. Thereupon the portress rose andspreading beforehim a tablecloth worked with goldset thereon a porcelain bowl into which shepoured willow-flower water with a lump of snow and a spoonful of sugar candy.The Caliph thanked her and said in himself"By AllahI will recompenseher tomorrow for the kind deed she hath done." The others again addressedthemselves to conversing and carousingand when the wine gat the better ofthemthe eldest ladywho ruled the houserose andmaking obeisance to themtook the cateress by the hand and said"RiseO my sisterand let us dowhat is our devoir." Both answered "Even so!"

Then the portress stood up and proceeded to remove the table service and theremnants of the banquetand renewed the pastilies and cleared the middle of thesaloon. Then she made the Kalandars sit upon a sofa at the side of the estradeand seated the Caliph and Ja'afar and Masrur on the other side of the saloonafter which she called the porterand said: "How scant is thy courtesy!Now thou art no stranger- naythou art one of the household." So he stoodup andtightening his waistclothasked"What would ye I do?" Andshe answered"Stand in thy place." Then the procuratrix rose and setin the midst of the saloon a low chair andopening a closetcried to theporter"Come help me."

So he went to help her and saw two black bitches with chains round theirnecksand she said to him"Take hold of them" and he took them andled them into the middle of the saloon. Then the lady of the house arose andtucked up her sleeves above her wrists andseizing a scourgesaid to theporter"Bring forward one of the bitches." He brought her forwarddragging her by the chainwhile the bitch wept and shook her head at the ladywhohowevercame down upon her with blows on the sconce. And the bitch howledand the lady ceased not beating her till her forearm failed her. Thencastingthe scourge from her handshe pressed the bitch to her bosom andwiping awayher tears with her handskissed her head. Then said she to the porter"Take her away and bring the second." And when he brought hershe didwith her as she had done with the first.

Now the heart of the Caliph was touched at these cruel doings. His cheststraitened and he lost all patience in his desire to know why the two bitcheswere so beaten. He threw a wink at Ja'afarwishing him to askbut theMinisterturning toward himsaid by signs"Be silent!" Then quoththe portress to the mistress of the house"O my ladyarise and go to thyplacethat I in turn may do my devoir." She answered"Even so"andtaking her seat upon the couch of juniper woodpargetted with gold andsilversaid to the portress and cateress"Now do ye what ye have todo." Thereupon the portress sat upon a low seat by the couch sidebut theprocuratrixentering a closetbrought out of it a bag of satin with greenfringes and two tassels of gold. She stood up before the lady of the house andshaking the bagdrew out from it a lute which she tuned by tightening its pegs;and when it was in perfect ordershe began to sing these quatrains:

"Ye are the wishthe aim of me

And whenO lovethy sight I see

The heavenly mansion openeth

But Hell I see when lost thy sight.

From thee comes madnessnor the less

Comes highest joycomes ecstasy.

Nor in my love for thee I fear

Or shame and blameor hate and spite.

When Love was throned within my heart

I rent the veil of modesty

And stints not Love to rend that veil

Garring disgrace on grace to alight.

The robe of sickness then I donned

But rent to rags was secrecy.

Wherefore my love and longing heart

Proclaim your high supremest might.

The teardrop railing adown my cheek

Telleth my tale of ignomy.

And all the hid was seen by all

And all my riddle ree'd aright.

Heal then my maladyfor thou

Art malady and remedy!

But she whose cure is in thy hand

Shall ne'er be free of bane and blight.

Burn me those eyne that radiance rain

Slay me the swords of phantasy.

How many hath the sword of Love

Laid lowtheir high degree despite?

Yet will I never cease to pine

Nor to oblivion will I flee.

Love is my healthmy faithmy joy

Public and privatewrong or right.

O happy eyes that sight thy charms

That gaze upon thee at their gree!

Yeaof my purest wish and will

The slave of Love I'll aye be hight." -

When the damsel heard this elegy in quatrainsshe cried out "Alas!Alas!" and rent her raimentand fell to the ground fainting. And theCaliph saw scars of the palm rod on her back and welts of the whipand marveledwith exceeding wonder. Then the portress arose and sprinkled water on her andbrought her a fresh and very fine dress and put it on her. But when the companybeheld these doingstheir minds were troubledfor they had no inkling of thecase nor knew the story thereof. So the Caliph said to Ja'afar: "Didst thounot see the scars upon the damsel's body? I cannot keep silence or be at resttill I learn the truth of her condition and the story of this other maiden andthe secret of the two black bitches." But Ja'afar answered: "O ourlordthey made it a condition with us that we speak not of what concerneth usnotlest we come to hear what pleaseth us not."

Then said the portress"By AllahO my sistercome to me and completethis service for me." Replied the procuratrix"With joy and goodlygree." So she took the lute and leaned it against her breasts and swept thestrings with her finger tipsand began singing: -

"Give back mine eyes their sleep long ravished

And say me whither be my reason fled.

I learnt that lending to thy love a place

Sleep to mine eyelids mortal foe was made.

They said`We held thee righteous. Who waylaid

Thy soul?' 'Go ask his glorious eyes' I said.

I pardon all my blood he pleased to shed.

Owning his troubles drove him blood to shed.

On my mind's mirror sunlike sheen he cast

Whose keen reflection fire in vitals bred.

Waters of Life let Allah waste at will

Suffice my wage those lips of dewy red.

And thou address my love thou'lt find a cause

For plaint and tears or ruth or lustilied.

In water pure his form shall greet your eyne

When fails the bowl nor need ye drink of wine." - Then she quoted fromthe same ode: -

"I drankbut the draught of his glancenot wine

And his swaying gait swayed to sleep these eyne.

'Twas not grape juice gript me but grasp of Past

'Twas not bowl o'erbowled me but gifts divine.

His coiling curllets my soul ennetted

And his cruel will all my wits outwitted." - After a pause she resumed:-

"If we 'plain of absencewhat shall we say?

Or if pain afflict uswhere wend our way?

An I hire a truchman to tell my tale

The lovers' plaint is not told for pay.

If I put on patiencea lover's life

After loss of love will not last a day.

Naught is left me now but regretrepine

And tears flooding cheeks forever and aye.

O thou who the babes of these eyes hast fled

Thou art homed in heart that shall never stray.

Would Heaven I wot hast thou kept our pact

Long as stream shall flowto have firmest fay?

Or hast forgotten the weeping slave

Whom groans afflict and whom griefs waylay?

Ahwhen severance ends and we side by side

CouchI'll blame thy rigors and chide thy pride!" -

Now when the portress heard her second odeshe shrieked aloud and said:"By Allah! 'Tis right good!" andlaying hands on her garmentstorethem as she did the first timeand fell to the ground fainting. Thereupon theprocuratrix rose and brought her a second change of clothes after she hadsprinkled water on her. She recovered and sat upright and said to her sister thecateress"Onwardand help me in my dutyfor there remains but this onesong." So the provisioneress again brought out the lute and began to singthese verses: -

"How long shall lasthow long this rigor rife of woe

May not suffice thee all these tears thou seest flow?

Our parting thus with purpose fell thou dost prolong

Is't not enough to glad the heart of envious foe?

Were but this lying world once true to lover heart

He had not watched the weary night in tears of woe.

Ohpity me whom overwhelmed thy cruel will

My lordmy king'tis time some ruth to me thou show.

To whom reveal my wrongsO thou who murdered me?

Sadwho of broken troth the pangs must undergo!

Increase wild love for thee and frenzy hour by hour

And days of exile minute by so longso slow.

O Moslemsclaim vendetta for this slave of Love

Whose sleep Love ever wasteswhose patience Love lays low.

Doth law of Love allow theeO my wish! to lie

Lapt in another's arms and unto me cry 'Go!'?

Yet in thy presencesaywhat joys shall I enjoy

When he I love but works my love to overthrow?" -

When the portress heard the third songshe cried aloud andlaying hands onher garmentsrent them down to the very skirt and fell to the ground fainting athird timeagain showing the scars of the scourge. Then said the threeKalandars"Would Heaven we had never entered this housebut had rathernighted on the mounds and heaps outside the city! For verily our visit hath beentroubled by sights which cut to the heart." The Caliph turned to them andasked"Why so?" and they made answer"Our minds are soretroubled by this matter." Quoth the Caliph"Are ye not of thehousehold?" and quoth they"Nonor indeed did we ever set eyes onthe place till within this hour." Hereat the Caliph marveled and rejoined"This man who sitteth by youwould he not know the secret of thematter?" And so saying he winked and made signs at the porter. So theyquestioned the manbut he replied: "By the All-might of Allahin love allare alike! I am the growth of Baghdadyet never in my born days did I darkenthese doors till todayand my companying with them was a curious matter.""By Allah" they rejoined"we took thee for one of them and nowwe see thou art one like ourselves."

Then said the Caliph: "We be seven menand they only three womenwithout even a fourth to help themso let us question them of their case. Andif they answer us notfain we will be answered by force." All of themagreed to this except Ja'afarwho said"This is not my recking. Let thembefor we are their guests andas ye knowthey made a compact and conditionwith us which we accepted and promised to keep. Wherefore it is better that webe silent concerning this matterand as but little of the night remainethleteach and every of us gang his own gait." Then he winked at the Caliph andwhispered to him"There is but one hour of darkness left and I can bringthem before thee tomorrowwhen thou canst freely question them all concerningtheir story." But the Caliph raised his head haughtily and cried out at himin wrathsaying: "I have no patience left for my longing to hear of them.Let the Kalandars question them forthright." Quoth Ja'afar"This isnot my rede."

Then words ran high and talk answered talkand they disputed as to whoshould first put the questionbut at last all fixed upon the porter. And as thejangle increased the house mistress could not but notice it and asked them"O ye folk! On what matter are ye talking so loudly?" Then the porterstood up respectfully before her and said: "O my ladythis companyearnestly desire that thou acquaint them with story of the two bitches and whatmaketh thee punish them so cruellyand then thou fallest to weeping over themand kissing them. And lastlythey want to hear the tale of thy sister and whyshe hath been bastinadoed with palm sticks like a man. These are the questionsthey charge me to putand peace be with thee." Thereupon quoth she who wasthe lady of the house to the guests"Is this true that he saith on yourpart?" and all replied"Yes!" save Ja'afarwho kept silence.

When she heard these words she cried: "By Allahye have wronged usOour guestswith grievous wrongingfor when you came before us we made compactand condition with you that whoso should speak of what concerneth him not shouldhear what pleaseth him not. Sufficeth ye not that we took you into our house andfed you with our best food? But the fault is not so much yours as hers who letyou in." Then she tucked up her sleeves from her wrists and struck thefloor thrice with her handcrying"Come ye quickly!" And lo! acloset door opened and out of it came seven Negro slaves with drawn swords inhandto whom she said"Pinion me those praters' elbows and bind them eachto each." They did her bidding and asked her: "O veiled and virtuous!Is it thy high command that we strike off their heads?" But she answered"Leave them awhile that I question them of their condition before theirnecks feel the sword." "By AllahO my lady!" cried the porter"slay me not for other's sin. All these men offended and deserve thepenalty of crime save myself. Nowby Allahour night had been charming had weescaped the mortification of those monocular Kalandars whose entrance into apopulous city would convert it into a howling wilderness." Then he repeatedthese verses: -

"How fair is ruth the strong man deigns not smother!

And fairest fair when shown to weakest brother.

By Love's own holy tie between us twain

Let one not suffer for the sin of other." -

When the porter ended his versethe lady laughed despite her wrathand cameup to the party and spake thus: "Tell me who ye befor ye have but an hourof life. And were ye not men of rank and perhaps notables of your tribesyouhad not been so froward and I had hastened your doom." Then said theCaliph: "Woe to theeO Ja'afartell her who we are lest we be slain bymistakeand speak her fair before some horror befall us." "'Tis partof thy deserts" replied hewhereupon the Caliph cried out at himsaying"There is a time for witty words and there is a time for seriouswork." Then the lady accosted the three Kalandars and asked them"Areye brothers?" when they answered"Noby Allahwe be naught butfakirs and foreigners." Then quoth she to one among them"Wast thusborn blind of one eye?" and quoth he"Noby Allah'twas a marvelousmatter and a wondrous mischance which caused my eye to be torn outand mine isa tale whichif it were written upon the eye corners with needle graverswerea warner to whoso would be warned." She questioned the second and thirdKalandarbut all replied like the first"By AllahO our mistresseachone of us cometh from a different countryand we are all three the sons ofkingssovereign princes ruling over suzerains and capital cities."

Thereupon she turned toward them and said: "Let each and every of youtell me his tale in due order and explain the cause of his coming to our placeand if his story please uslet him stroke his head and wend his way." Thefirst to come forward was the hammalthe porterwho said: "O my ladyIam a man and a porter. This damethe cateresshired me to carry a load andtook me first to the shop of a vintnerthen to the booth of a butcherthenceto the stall of a fruitererthence to a grocer who also sold dry fruitsthenceto a confectioner and a perfumer-cum-druggistand from him to this placewherethere happened to me with you what happened. Such is my storyand peace be onus all!" At this the lady laughed and said"Rub thy head and wend thyways!" But he cried"By AllahI will not stump it till I hear thestories of my companions!" Then came forward one of the monoculars andbegan to tell her

THE FIRST KALANDAR'S TALE -

KNOWO my ladythat the cause of my beard being shorn and my eye beingouttorn was as follows: My father was a king and he had a brother who was a kingover another city; and it came to pass that I and my cousinthe son of mypaternal unclewere both born on one and the same day. And years and daysrolled on and as we grew up I used to visit my uncle every now and then and tospend a certain number of months with him. Now my cousin and I were swornfriendsfor he ever entreated me with exceeding kindness. He killed for me thefattest sheep and strained the best of his winesand we enjoyed long conversingand carousing. One day when the wine had gotten the better of usthe son of myuncle said to me"O my cousinI have a great service to ask of theeandI desire that thou stay me not in whatso I desire to do!" And I replied"With joy and goodly will."

Then he made me swear the most binding oaths and left mebut after a littlewhile he returned leading a lady veiled and richly appareledwith ornamentsworth a large sum of money. Presently he turned to me (the woman being stillbehind him) and said"Take this lady with thee and go before me to such aburial ground" (describing itso that I knew the place) "and enterwith her into such a sepulcher and there await my coming." The oaths Iswore to him made me keep silence and suffered me not to oppose himso I ledthe woman to the cemetery and both I and she took our seats in the sepulcher.And hardly had we sat down when in came my uncle's sonwith a bowl of waterabag of mortarand an adze somewhat like a hoe. He went straight to the tomb inthe midst of the sepulcher andbreaking it open with the adzeset the stoneson one side. Then he fell to digging into the earth of the tomb till he cameupon a large iron platethe size of a wicket doorand on raising it thereappeared below it a staircase vaulted and winding. Then he turned to the ladyand said to her"Come now and take thy final choice!"

She at once went down by the staircase and disappearedthen quoth he to me"O son of my uncleby way of completing thy kindnesswhen I shall havedescended into this placerestore the trapdoor to where it wasand heap backthe earth upon it as it lay before. And then of thy great goodness mix thisunslaked time which is in the bag with this water which is in the bowl andafter building up the stonesplaster the outside so that none looking upon itshall say: 'This is a new opening in an old tomb'. For a whole year have Iworked at this place whereof none knoweth but Allahand this is the need I haveof thee" presently adding"May Allah never bereave thy friends ofthee nor make them desolate by thine absenceO son of my uncleO my dearcousin!" And he went down the stairs and disappeared for ever.

When he was lost to sightI replaced the iron plate and did all his biddingtill the tomb became as it was beforeand I worked almost unconsciouslyfor myhead was heated with wine. Returning to the palace of my uncleI was told thathe had gone forth a-sporting and huntingso I slept that night without seeinghim. And when the morning dawnedI remembered the scenes of the past eveningand what happened between me and my cousin. I repented of having obeyed him whenpenitence was of no avail. I still thoughthoweverthat it was a dream. So Ifell to asking for the son of my unclebut there was none to answer meconcerning himand I went out to the graveyard and the sepulchersand soughtfor the tomb under which he wasbut could not find it. And I ceased notwandering about from sepulcher to sepulcherand tomb to tomball withoutsuccesstill night set in. So I returned to the cityyet I could neither eatnor drinkmy thoughts being engrossed with my cousinfor that I knew not whatwas become of him. And I grieved with exceeding grief and passed anothersorrowful nightwatching until the morning. Then went I a second time to thecemeterypondering over what the son of mine uncle had done andsorelyrepenting my hearkening to himwent round among all the tombsbut could notfind the tomb I sought. I mourned over the pastand remained in my mourningseven daysseeking the place and ever missing the path.

Then my torture of scruples grew upon me till I well-nigh went madand Ifound no way to dispel my grief save travel and return to my father. So I setout and journeyed homewardbut as I was entering my father's capital a crowd ofrioters sprang upon me and pinioned me. I wondered thereat with all wondermentseeing that I was the son of the Sultanand these men were my father's subjectsand amongst them were some of my own slaves. A great fear fell upon meand Isaid to my soul"Would Heaven I knew what hath happened to myfather!" I questioned those that bound me of the cause of their so doingbut they returned me no answer. Howeverafter a while one of them said to me(and he had been a hired servant of our house)"Fortune hath been false tothy father. His troops betrayed himand the Wazir who slew him now reigneth inhis steadand we lay in wait to seize thee by the bidding of him." I waswell-nigh distraught and felt ready to faint on hearing of my father's deathwhen they carried me off and placed me in presence of the usurper.

Now between me and him there was an olden grudgethe cause of which wasthis: I was fond of shooting with the stone bowand it befell one dayas I wasstanding on the terrace roof of the palacethat a bird lighted on the top ofthe Wazir's house when he happened to be there. I shot at the bird and missedthe markbut I hit the Wazir's eye and knocked it outas fate and fortunedecreed. Now when I knocked out the Wazir's eyehe could not say a single wordfor that my father was King of the citybut he hated me ever afterand direwas the grudge thus caused between us twain. So when I was set before himhand-bound and pinionedhe straightway gave orders for me to be beheaded. Iasked"For what crime wilt thou put me to death?" Whereupon heanswered"What crime is greater than this?" pointing the while to theplace where his eye had been. Quoth I"This I did by accidentnot ofmalice prepense" and quoth he"If thou didst it by accidentI willdo the like by thee with intention." Then cried he"Bring himforward" and they brought me up to himwhen he thrust his finger into myleft eye and gouged it outwhereupon I became one-eyed as ye see me.

Then he bade bind me hand and footand put me into a chestand said to thesworder"Take charge of this fellowand go off with him to the wastelandsabout the city. Then draw thy scimitar and slay himand leave him to feed thebeasts and birds." So the headsman fared forth with meand when he was inthe midst of the deserthe took me out of the chest (and I with both handspinioned and both feet fettered) and was about to bandage my eyes beforestriking off my head. But I wept with exceeding weeping until I made him weepwith me andlooking at him I began to recite these couplets: -

"I deemed you coat o'mail that should withstand

The foeman's shaftsand you proved foeman's brand.

I hoped your aidance in mine every chance

Though fail my left to aid my dexter hand.

Aloof you stand and hear the railer's gibe

While rain their shafts on me the giber band.

But an ye will not guard me from my foes

Stand clearand succor neither these nor those!" - And I also quoted: -

"I deemed my brethren mail of strongest steel

And so they were- from foes to fend my dart!

I deemed their arrows surest of their aim

And so they were- when aiming at my heart!" -

When the headsman heard my lines (he had been sworder to my sire and he owedme a debt of gratitude)he cried"O my lordwhat can I dobeing but aslave under orders?" presently adding"Fly for thy life and nevermorereturn to this landor they will slay thee and slay me with thee." Hardlybelieving in my escapeI kissed his hand and thought the loss of my eye a lightmatter in consideration of my escaping from being slain. I arrived at my uncle'scapitaland going in to himtold him of what had befallen my father andmyselfwhereat he wept with sore weeping and said: "Verily thou addestgrief to my griefand woe to my woefor thy cousin hath been missing thesemany days. I wot not what hath happened to himand none can give me news ofhim." And he wept till he fainted. I sorrowed and condoled with himand hewould have applied certain medicaments to my eyebut he saw that it was becomeas a walnut with the shell empty. Then said he"O my sonbetter to loseeye and keep life!"

After that I could no longer remain silent about my cousinwho was his onlyson and one dearly lovedso I told him all that had happened. He rejoiced withextreme joyance to hear news of his son and said"Come now and show me thetomb." But I replied"By AllahO my uncleI know not its placethough I sought it carefully full many timesyet could not find the site."HoweverI and my uncle went to the graveyard and looked right and lefttill atlast I recognized the tomband we both rejoiced with exceeding joy. We enteredthe sepulcher and loosened the earth about the gravethenupraising thetrapdoordescended some fifty steps till we came to the foot of the staircasewhen lo! we were stopped by a blinding smoke. Thereupon said my uncle thatsaying whose sayer shall never come to shame: "There is no Majesty andthere is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great!" and we advancedtill we suddenly came upon a saloonwhose floor was strewed with flour andgrain and provisions and all manner necessariesand in the midst of it stood acanopy sheltering a couch. Thereupon my uncle went up to the couch andinspecting itfound his son and the lady who had gone down with him into thetomblying in each other's embrace.

But the twain had become black as charred wood. It was as if they had beencast into a pit of fire. When my uncle saw this spectaclehe spat in his son'sface and said: "Thou hast thy desertsO thou hog! This is thy judgment inthe transitory worldand yet remaineth the judgment in the world to comeadurer and a more enduring." I marveled at his hardness of heart andgrieving for my cousin and the ladysaid: "By AllahO my unclecalm thywrath. Dost not see that all my thoughts are occupied with this misfortuneandhow sorrowful I am for what hath befallen thy sonand how horrible it is thatnaught of him remaineth but a black heap of charcoal? And is not that enoughbut thou must smite him with thy slipper?" Answered he: "O son of mybrotherthis youth from his boyhood was madly in love with his own sisterandoften and often I forbade him from hersaying to myself'They are but littleones.' Howeverwhen they grew up sin befell between themand although I couldhardly believe itI confined him and chided him and threatened him with theseverest threatsand the eunuchs and servants said to him: 'Beware of so foul athing which none before thee ever didand which none after thee will ever doand have a care lest thou be dishonored and disgraced among the kings of thedayeven to the end of time.' And I added: 'Such a report as this will bespread abroad by caravansand take heed not to give them cause to talk or Iwill assuredly curse thee and do thee to death.'

After that I lodged them apart and shut her upbut the accursed girl lovedhim with passionate lovefor Satan had got the mastery of her as well as of himand made their foul sin seem fair in their sight. Now when my son saw that Iseparated themhe secretly built this souterrain and furnished it andtransported to it victualseven as thou seestand when I had gone outa-sportingcame here with his sister and hid from me. Then His righteousjudgment fell upon the twain and consumed them with fire from Heavenand verilythe Last Judgment will deal them durer pains and more enduring!" Then hewept and I wept with himand he looked at me and said"Thou art my son inhis stead." And I bethought me awhile of the world and of its chanceshowthe Wazir had slain my father and had taken his place and had put out my eyeand how my cousin had come to his death by the strangest chance. And I weptagain and my uncle wept with me.

Then we mounted the steps and let down the iron plate and heaped up the earthover itand after restoring the tomb to its former conditionwe returned tothe palace. But hardly had we sat down ere we heard the tom-toming of thekettledrum and tantara of trumpets and clash of cymbalsand the rattling of warmen's lancesand the clamors of assailants and the clanking of bits and theneighing of steedswhile the world was canopied with dense dust and sand cloudsraised by the horses' hoofs. We were amazed at sight and soundknowing not whatcould be the matter. So we askedand were told us that the Wazir who hadusurped my father's kingdom had marched his menand that after levying hissoldiery and taking a host of wild Arabs into servicehe had come down upon uswith armies like the sands of the sea. Their number none could telland againstthem none could prevail. They attacked the city unawaresand the citizensbeing powerless to oppose themsurrendered the place. My uncle was slain and Imade for the suburbssaying to myself"If thou fall into this villain'shandshe will assuredly kill thee."

On this wise all my troubles were renewedand I pondered all that hadbetided my father and my uncle and I knew not what to do; for if the city peopleor my father's troops had recognized methey would have done their best to willfavor by destroying me. And I could think of no way to escape save by shavingoff my beard and my eyebrows. So I shore them off andchanging my fine clothesfor a Kalandar's ragsI fared forth from my uncle's capital and made for thiscityhoping that peradventure someone would assist me to the presence of thePrince of the Faithfuland the Caliph who is the Viceregent of Allah uponearth. Thus have I come hither that I might tell him my tale and lay my casebefore him. I arrived here this very nightand was standing in doubt whither Ishould go when suddenly I saw this second Kalandar. So I salaamed to himsaying'I am a stranger' and he answered- 'I too am a stranger!' And as wewere conversingbeholdup came our companionthis third Kalandarand salutedus saying'I am a stranger!' And we answered`We too be strangers!'

Then we three walked on and together till darkness overtook us and Destinydrave us to your house. Suchthen. is the cause of the shaving of my beard andmustachios and eyebrowsand the manner of my losing my left eye. They marveledmuch at this taleand the Caliph said to Ja'afar"By AllahI have notseen nor have I heard the like of what hath happened to this Kalandar!"Quoth the lady of the house"Rub thy head and wend thy ways." But hereplied"I will not go till I hear the history of the two others."Thereupon the second Kalandar came forward andkissing the groundbegan totell

THE SECOND KALANDAR'S TALE -

KNOWO my ladythat I was not born one-eyedand mine is a strange story.And it were graven with needle graver on the eye cornersit were a warner towhoso would be warned. I am a kingson of a king

and was brought up like a prince. I learned intoning the Koran according theseven schoolsand I read all manner booksand held disputations on theircontents with the doctors and men of science. MoreoverI studied star lore andthe fair sayings of poetsand I exercised myself in all branches of learninguntil I surpassed the people of my time. My skill in calligraphy exceeded thatof all the scribesand my fame was bruited abroad over all climes and citiesand all the kings learned to know my name.

Amongst othersthe King of Hind heard of me and sent to my father to inviteme to his courtwith offerings and presents and rarities such as befitroyalties. So my father fitted out six ships for me and my peopleand we put tosea and sailed for the space of a full month till we made the land. Then webrought out the horses that were with us in the shipsand after loading thecamels with our presents for the Princewe set forth inland. But we had marchedonly a little way when beholda dust cloud up flewand grew until it walledthe horizon from view. After an hour or so the veil lifted and discoveredbeneath it fifty horsemenravening lions to the sightin steel armor dight. Weobserved them straightly and lo! they were cutters-off of the highwaywild aswild Arabs. When they saw that we were only four and had with us but the tencamels carrying the presentsthey dashed down upon us with lances at rest. Wesigned to them with our fingersas it were saying"We be messengers ofthe great King of Hindso harm us not!" But they answered on like wise"We are not in his dominions to obey nor are we subject to his sway."

Then they set upon us and slew some of my slaves and put the lave to flight.And I also fled after I had gotten a wounda grievous hurtwhilst the Arabswere taken up with the money and the presents which were with us. I went forthunknowing whither I wenthaving become mean as I was mightyand I fared onuntil I came to the crest of a mountainwhere I took shelter for the night in acave. When day arose I set out againnor ceased after this fashion till Iarrived at a fair city and a well filled. Now it was the season when winter wasturning away with his rime and to greet the world with his flowers came primeand the young blooms were springing and the streams flowed ringingand thebirds were sweetly singingas saith the poet concerning a certain city whendescribing it: -

A place secure from every thought of fear

Safety and peace forever lord it here.

Its beauties seem to beautify its sons

And as in Heaven its happy folk appear. -

I was glad of my arrivalfor I was wearied with the wayand yellow of facefor weakness and wantbut my plight was pitiable and I knew not whither tobetake me. So I accosted a tailor sitting in his little shop and saluted him. Hereturned my salaamand bade me kindly welcome and wished me well and entreatedme gently and asked me of the cause of my strangerhood. I told him all my pastfrom first to lastand he was concerned on my account and said: "O youthdisclose not thy secret to any. The King of this city is the greatest enemy thyfather hathand there is blood wite between them and thou hast cause to fearfor thy life." Then he set meat and drink before meand I ate and drankand he with meand we conversed freely till nightfallwhen he cleared me aplace in a corner of his shop and brought me a carpet and a coverlet. I tarriedwith him three daysat the end of which time he said to me"Knowest thouno calling whereby to will thy livingO my son?" "I am learned in thelaw" I replied"and a doctor of doctrinean adept in art andsciencea mathematicianand a notable pen-man." He rejoined"Thycalling is of no account in our citywhere not a soul understandeth science oreven writingor aught save money-making." Then said I"By AllahIknow nothing but what I have mentioned" and he answered"Gird thymiddle and take thee a hatchet and a cordand go and hew wood in the wold forthy daily bread till Allah send thee reliefand tell none who thou art lestthey slay thee."

Then he bought me an ax and a rope and gave me in charge to certainwoodcuttersand with these guardians I went forth into the forestwhere I cutfuel wood the whole of my day and came back in the evening bearing my bundle onmy head. I sold it for half a dinarwith part of which I bought provisionandlaid by the rest. In such work I spent a whole yearand when this was endedIwent out one dayas was my wontinto the wilderness andwandering away frommy companionsI chanced on a thickly grown lowland in which there was anabundance of wood. So I entered and I found the gnarled stump of a great treeand loosened the ground about it and shoveled away the earth. Presently myhatchet rang upon a copper ringso I cleared away the soil and beholdthe ringwas attached to a wooden trapdoor. This I raisedand there appeared beneath ita staircase.

I descended the steps to the bottom and came to a doorwhich I opened andfound myself in a noble hall strong of structure and beautifully builtwherewas a damsel like a pearl of great pricewhose favor banished from my heart angrief and cark and careand whose soft speech healed the soul in despair andcaptivated the wise and ware. Her figure measured five feet in heightherbreasts were firm and uprighther cheek a very garden of delighther colorlively brighther face gleamed like dawn through curly tresses which gloomedlike nightand above the snows of her bosom glittered teeth of a pearly white.When I looked upon her I prostrated myself before Him who had created herforthe beauty and loveliness He had shaped in herand she looked at me and said"Art thou man or Jinni?" "I am a man" answered Iand she"Now who brought thee to this place where I have abided five-and-twentyyears without even yet seeing man in it?" Quoth I (and indeed I found herwords wondersweetand my heart was melted to the core by them)"O myladymy good fortune led me hither for the dispelling of my cark andcare."

Then I related to her all my mishap from first to lastand my case appearedto her exceeding grievousso she wept and said: "I will tell thee my storyin my turn. I am the daughter of the King Ifitamuslord of the Islands ofAbnuswho married me to my cousinthe son of my paternal uncle. But on mywedding night an Ifrit named Jirjis bin Rajmusfirst cousin- this ismother'ssister's son- of Iblisthe Foul Fiendsnatched me up andflying away with melike a birdset me down in this placewither he conveyed all I needed of finestuffsraiment and jewels and furnitureand meat and drink and other else.Once in every ten days he comes here and lies a single night with meand thenwends his wayfor he took me without the consent of his family. And he hathagreed with me that if ever I need him by night or by dayI have only to passmy hand over yonder two lines engraved upon the alcove and he will appear to mebefore my fingers cease touching. Four days have now passed since he was hereand as there remain six days before he come againsay mewilt thou abide withme five daysand go hence the day before his coming?" I replied "Yesand yes again! O rareif all this be not a dream!"

Hereat she was glad andspringing to her feetseized my hand and carried methrough an arched doorway to a hammam batha fair hall and richly decorate. Idoffed my clothesand she doffed hersthen we bathed and she washed me. Andwhen this was done we left the bathand she seated me by her side upon a highdivanand brought me sherbet scented with musk. When we felt cool after thebathshe set food before me and we ate and fell to talkingbut presently shesaid to me"Lay thee down and take thy restfor surely thou must beweary." So I thanked hermy ladyand lay down and slept soundlyforgetting all that happened to me. When I awoke I found her subbing andshampooing my feetso I again thanked her and blessed her and we sat for awhile talking. Said she"By AllahI was sad at heartfor that I havedwelt alone underground for these five-and-twenty yearsand praise be to AllahWho hath sent me someone with whom I can converse!" Then she asked"Oyouthwhat sayest thou to wine?" and I answered"Do as thouwilt." Whereupon she went to a cupboard and took out a sealed flask ofright old wine and set off the table with flowers and scented herbs and began tosing these lines: -

"Had we known of thy coming we fain had dispread

The cores of our hearts or the balls of our eyes

Our cheeks as a carpet to greet thee had thrown

And our eyelids had strown for thy feet to betread." -

Now when she finished her verse I thanked herfor indeed love of her hadgotten hold of my heartand my grief and anguish were gone. We sat at converseand carousal till nightfalland with her I spent the night- such night neverspent I in all my life! On the morrow delight followed delight till middaybywhich time I had drunken wine so freely that I had lost my witsand stood upstaggering to the right and to the leftand said "ComeO my charmerandI will carry thee up from this underground vault and deliver thee from the spellof thy Jinni." She laughed and replied: "Content thee and hold thypeace. Of every ten days one is for the Ifrit and the other nine arethine." Quoth I (and in good sooth drink had got the better of me)"This very instant will I break down the alcove whereon is graven thetalisman and summon the Ifrit that I may slay himfor it is a practice of mineto slay Ifrits!" When she heard my wordsher color waxed wan and she said"By Allahdo not!" and she began repeating: -

"This is a thing wherein destruction lies.

I rede thee shun it an thy wits be wise." - And these also: -

"O thou who seekest severancedraw the rein

Of thy swift steed nor seek o'ermuch t' advance.

Ah stay! for treachery is the rule of life

And sweets of meeting end in severance." -

I heard her verse but paid no heed to her words- nayI raised my foot andadministered to the alcove a mighty kickand beholdthe air starkened anddarkened and thundered and lightenedthe earth trembled and quakedand theworld became invisible. At once the fumes of wine left my head. I cried to her"What is the matter?" and she replied: "The Ifrit is upon us! DidI not warn thee of this? By Allahthou hast brought ruin upon mebut fly forthy life and go up by the way thou camest down!" So I fled up thestaircasebut in the excess of my fear I forgot sandals and hatchet. And when Ihad mounted two steps I turned to look for themand lo! I saw the earth cleaveasunderand there arose from it an Ifrita monster of hideousnesswho said tothe damsel: "What trouble and pother be this wherewith thou disturbest me?What mishap hath betided thee?" "No mishap hath befallen me" sheanswered"save that my breast was straitened and my heart heavy withsadness. So I drank a little wine to broaden it and to hearten myselfthen Irose to obey a call of naturebut the wine had gotten into my head and I fellagainst the alcove." "Thou liestlike the whore thou art!"shrieked the Ifritand he looked around the hall right and left till he caughtsight of my ax and sandals and said to her"What be these but thebelongings of some mortal who hath been in thy society?" She answered:"I never set eyes upon them till this moment. They must have been broughtby thee hither cleaving to thy garments." Quoth the Ifrit"Thesewords are absurdthou harlot! thou strumpet!"

Then he stripped her stark-naked andstretching her upon the floorboundher hands and feet to four stakeslike one crucifiedand set about torturingand trying to make her confess. I could not bear to stand listening to her criesand groansso I climbed the stair on the quake with fearand when I reachedthe top I replaced the trapdoor and covered it with earth. Then repented I ofwhat I had done with penitence exceedingand thought of the lady and her beautyand lovelinessand the tortures she was suffering at the hands of the accursedIfritafter her quiet life of five-and-twenty yearsand how all that hadhappened to her was for cause of me. I bethought me of my father and his kinglyestate and how I had become a woodcutterand howafter my time had been awhileserenethe world had again waxed turbid and troubled to me. So I wept bitterlyand repeated this couplet: -

"What time Fate's tyranny shall most oppress thee

Perpend! One day shall joy theeone distress thee!" -

Then I walked till I reached the home of my friend the tailorwhom I foundmost anxiously expecting me. Indeed he wasas the saying goeson coals of firefor my account. And when he saw me he said: "All night long my heart hathbeen heavyfearing for thee from wild beasts or other mischances. Now praise beto Allah for thy safety!" I thanked him for his friendly solicitude andretiring to my cornersat pondering and musing on what had befallen meand Iblamed and chided myself for my meddlesome folly and my frowardness in kickingthe alcove. I was calling myself to account when beholdmy friend the tailorcame to me and said: "O youthin the shop there is an old mana Persianwho seeketh thee. He hath thy hatchet and thy sandalswhich he had taken to thewoodcutterssayingI was going out at what time the muezzin began the call todawn prayerwhen I chanced upon these things and know not whose they aresodirect me to their owner. Tie woodcutters recognized thy hatchet and directedhim to thee. He is sitting in my shopso fare forth to him and thank him andtake thine ax and sandals."

When I heard these words I turned yellow with fear and felt stunned as by ablowand before I could recover myselflo! the floor of my private room cloveasunderand out of it rose the Persianwho was the Ifrit. He had tortured thelady with exceeding torturesnatheless she would not confess to him aughtsohe took the hatchet and sandals and said to her"As surely as I am Jirjisof the seed of IblisI will bring thee back the owner of this and these!"Then he went to the woodcutters with the pretense aforesaid andbeing directedto meafter waiting a while in the shop till the fact was confirmedhesuddenly snatched me up as a hawk snatcheth a mouse and flew high in airbutpresently descended and plunged with me under the earth (I being a-swoon thewhile)and lastly set me down in the subterranean palace wherein I had passedthat blissful night.

And there I saw the lady stripped to the skinher limbs bound to four stakesand blood welling from her sides. At the sight my eyes ran over with tearsbutthe Ifrit covered her person and said"O wantonis not this man thylover?" She looked upon me and replied"I wot him notnor have Iever seen him before this hour!" Quoth the Ifrit"What! This tortureand yet no confessing?" And quoth she"I never saw this man in myborn daysand it is not lawful in Allah's sight to tell lies on him.""If thou know him not" said the Ifrit to her"take this swordand strike off his head." She hent the sword in hand and came close up tomeand I signaled to her with my eyebrowsmy tears the while flowing a-down mycheeks. She understood me and made answeralso by signs"How couldestthou bring all this evil upon me?" And I rejoined after the same fashion"This is the time for mercy and forgiveness." And the mute tongue ofmy case spake aloud saying: -

Mine eyes were dragomans for my tongue betied

And told full clear the love I fain would hide.

When last we met and tears in torrents railed

For tongue struck dumb my glances testified.

She signed with eye glance while her lips were mute

I signed with fingers and she kenned th'implied.

Our eyebrows did all duty 'twixt us twain

And we being speechlessLove spake loud and plain. -

ThenO my mistressthe lady threw away the sword and said: "How shallI strike the neck of one I wot notand who hath done me no evil? Such deed werenot lawful in my law!" and she held her hand. Said the Ifrit: "'Tisgrievous to thee to slay thy loverandbecause he hath lain with theethouendurest these torments and obstinately refusest to confess. After this it isclear to me that only like loveth and pitieth Eke." Then he turned to meand asked me"O manhaply thou also dost not know this woman"whereto I answered: "And pray who may she be? Assuredly I never saw hertill this instant." "Then take the sword" said he"andstrike off her head and I will believe that thou wettest her not and will leavethee free to goand will not deal hardly with thee." I replied"Thatwill I do" andtaking the swordwent forward sharply and raised my handto smite. But she signed to me with her eyebrows"Have I failed thee inaught of loveand is it thus that thou requitest me?" I understood whather looks implied and answered her with an eye glance"I will sacrifice mysoul for thee." And the tongue of the case wrote in our hearts these lines:-

How many a lover with his eyebrows speaketh

To his belovedas his passion pleadeth.

With flashing eyne his passion he inspireth

And well she seeth what his pleading needeth.

How sweet the look when each on other gazeth

And with what swiftness and how sure it speedeth.

And this with eyebrows all his passion writeth

And that with eyeballs all his passion readeth. -

Then my eyes filled with tears to overflowing and I cast the sword from myhandsaying: "O mighty Ifrit and heroif a woman lacking wits and faithdeem it unlawful to strike off my headhow can it be lawful for mea mantosmite her neck whom I never saw in my whole life? I cannot do such misdeedthough thou cause me drink the cup of death and perdition." Then said theIfrit"Ye twain show the good understanding between youbut I will letyou see how such doings end." He took the sword and struck off the lady'shands firstwith four strokesand then her feetwhilst I looked on and madesure of death and she farewelled me with her dying eyes. So the Ifrit cried ather"Thou whorest and makest me a wittol with thine eyes" and struckher so that her head went flying. Then turned he to me and said: "O mortalwe have it in our law that when the wife committeth advowtryit is lawful forus to slay her. As for this damselI snatched her away on her bride night whenshe was a girl of twelve and she knew no one but myself. I used to come to heronce in every ten days and lie with her the nightunder the semblance of a mana Persianand when I was well assured that she had cuckolded meI slew her.But as for theeI am not well satisfied that thou hast wronged me in her.Nevertheless I must not let thee go unharmedso ask a boon of me and I willgrant it."

Then I rejoicedO my ladywith exceeding joy and said"What boonshall I crave of thee?" He replied"Ask me this boon- into what shapeI shall bewitch thee? Wilt thou be a dogor an assor an ape?" I rejoined(and indeed I had hoped that mercy might be shown me)"By Allahspare methat Allah spare thee for sparing a Moslem and a man who never wrongedthee." And I humbled myself before him with exceeding humilityandremained standing in his presencesaying"I am sore oppressed bycircumstance." Said the Ifrit: "Lengthen not thy words! As to myslaying theefear it notand as to my pardoning theehope it notbut from mybewitching thee there is no escape." Then he tore me from the groundwhichclosed under my feetand flew with me into the firmament till I saw the earthas a large white cloud or a saucer in the midst of the waters. Presently he setme down on a mountainand taking a little dustover which he muttered somemagical wordssprinkled me therewithsaying"Quit that shape and takethou the shape of an ape!" And on the instant I became an apea taillessbaboonthe son of a century.

Now when he had left me and I saw myself in this ugly and hateful shapeIwept for myselfbut resigned my soul to the tyranny of Time and Circumstancewell weeting that Fortune is fair and constant to no man. I descended themountain and found at the foot a desert plainlong and broadover which Itraveled for the space of a month till my course brought me to the brink of thebriny sea. After standing there awhileI was ware of a ship in the offing whichran before a fair wind making for the shore. I hid myself behind a rock on thebeach and waited till the ship drew nearwhen I leaped on board. I found herfull of merchants and passengersand one of them cried"O Captainthisill-omened brute will bring us ill luck!" And another said"Turn thisill-omened beast out from among us." The Captain said"Let us killit!" Another said"Slay it with the sword" a third"Drownit" and a fourth"Shoot it with an arrow."

But I sprang up and laid hold of the rais's skirtand shed tears whichpoured down my chops. The Captain took pity on meand said"O merchantsthis ape hath appealed to me for protection and I will protect him. Henceforthhe is under my chargeso let none do him aught hurt or harmotherwise therewill be bad blood between us." Then he entreated me kindlyand whatsoeverhe said I understoodand ministered to his every want and served him as aservantalbeit my tongue would not obey my wishesso that he came to love me.The vessel sailed onthe wind being fairfor the space of fifty daysat theend of which we cast anchor under the walls of a great city wherein was a worldof peopleespecially learned men. None could tell their number save Allah. Nosooner had we arrived than we were visited by certain Mameluke officials fromthe King of that citywhoafter boarding usgreeted the merchants andgivingthem joy of safe arrivalsaid: "Our King welcometh youand sendeth youthis roll of paperwhereupon each and every of you must write a line. For yeshall know that the King's Ministera calligrapher of renownis deadand theKing hath sworn a solemn oath that he will make none Wazir in his stead whocannot write as well as he could."

He then gave us the scrollwhich measured ten cubits long by a breadth ofoneand each of the merchants who knew how to write wrote a line thereonevento the last of themafter which I stood up (still in the shape of an ape) andsnatched the roll out of their hands. They feared lest I should tear it or throwit overboardso they tried to stay me and scare mebut I signed to them that Icould writewhereat all marveledsaying"We never yet saw an apewrite." And the Captain cried: "Let him writeand if he scribble andscrabble we will kick him out and kill him. But if he write fair and scholarlyI will adopt him as my sonfor surely I never yet saw a more intelligent andwell-mannered monkey than he. Would Heaven my real son were his match in moralsand manners!"

I took the reed andstretching out my pawdipped it in ink and wroteinthe hand used for lettersthese two couplets: -

Time hath recorded gifts she gave the great

But none recorded thinewhich be far higher.

Allah ne'er orphan men by loss of thee

Who be of Goodness motherBounty's sire. - And I wrote in Rayhani or largerletters elegantly curved: -

Thou hast a reed of rede to every land

Whose driving causeth all the world to thrive.

Nil is the Nile of Misraim by thy boons

Who makest misery smile with fingers five. - Then I wrote in the Sulscharacter: -

There be no writer who from Death shall fleet

But what his hand hath writ men shall repeat.

Writethereforenaught save what shall serve thee when

Thou see't on Judgment Day an so thou see't! - Then I wrote in the characterof Naskh: -

When to sore parting Fate our love shall doom

To distant life by Destiny decreed

We cause the inkhom's lips to 'plain our pains

And tongue our utterance with the talking reed. -

Then I gave the scroll to the officialsand after we all had written ourlinethey carried it before the King. When he saw the paperno writing pleasedhim save my writingand he said to the assembled courtiers: "Go seek thewriter of these lines and dress him in a splendid robe of honor. Then mount himon a she-mulelet a band of music precede himand bring him to thepresence." At these words they smiled and the King was wroth with them andcried "O accursed! I give you an order and you laugh at me?" "OKing" replied they"if we laugh 'tis not at thee and not without acause." "And what is it?" asked heand they answered"OKingthou orderest us to bring to thy presence the man who wrote these lines.Now the truth is that he who wrote them is not of the sons of Adambut an apea tailless baboonbelonging to the ship Captain." Quoth he"Is thistrue that you say?" Quoth they"Yea! by the rights of thymunificence!" The King marveled at their words and shook with mirth andsaid"I am minded to buy this ape of the Captain."

Then he sent messengers to the ship with the mulethe dressthe guardandthe state drumssaying"Not the less do you clothe him in the robe ofhonor and mount him on the muleand let him be surrounded by the guards andpreceded by the band of music." They came to the ship and took me from theCaptain and robed me in the robe of honor andmounting me on the she-mulecarried me in state procession through the streets whilst the people were amazedand amused. And folk said to one another: "Halloo! Is our Sultan about tomake an ape his Minister?" and came all agog crowding to gaze at meandthe town was astir and turned topsy-turvy on my account. When they brought me upto the King and set me in his presenceI kissed the ground before him threetimesand once before the High Chamberlain and great officersand he bade mebe seatedand I sat respectfully on shins and kneesand all who were presentmarveled at my fine mannersand the King most of all.

Thereupon he ordered the lieges to retireand when none remained save theKing's Majestythe eunuch on dutyand a little white slavehe bade them setbefore me the table of foodcontaining all manner of birdswhatever hoppethand flieth and treadeth in nestsuch as quail and sand grouse. Then he signedto me to eat with himso I rose and kissed ground before himthen sat me downand ate with him. Presently they set before the King choice wines in flagons ofglass and he drank. Then he passed on the cup to meand I kissed the ground anddrank and wrote on it: -

With fire they boiled me to loose my tongue

And pain and patience gave for fellowship.

Hence comes it hands of men upbear me high

And honeydew from lips of maid I sip! -

The King read my verse and said with a sigh"Were these gifts in a manhe would excel all the folk of his time and age!" Then he called for thechessboardand said"Saywilt thou play with me?" and I signed withmy head"Yes." Then I came forward and ordered the pieces and playedwith him two gamesboth of which I won. He was speechless with surpriseso Itook the pen case anddrawing forth a reedwrote on the board these twocouplets: -

Two hosts fare fighting thro' the livelong day

Nor is their battling ever finished

Untilwhen darkness girdeth them about

The twain go sleeping in a single bed. -

The King read these lines with wonder and delight and said to his eunuch"O Mukbilgo to thy mistressSitt al-Husnand say her'Comespeak theKingwho biddeth thee hither to take thy solace in seeing this right wondrousape!"' So the eunuch went outand presently returned with the ladywhowhen she saw me veiled her face and said: "O my fatherhast thou lost allsense of honor? How cometh it thou art pleased to send for me and show me tostrange men?" "O Sitt al-Husn" said he"no man is heresave this little foot page and the eunuch who reared thee and Ithy father.From whomthendost thou veil thy face?" She answered"This whomthou deemest an ape is a young mana clever and politea wise and learnedandthe son of a king. But he is ensorceledand the Ifrit Jirjariswho is of theseed of Ibliscast a spell upon himafter putting to death his own wifethedaughter of King Ifitamus lord of the Islands of Abnus." The King marveledat his daughter's words andturning to mesaid"Is this true that shesaith of thee?" and I signed by a nod of my head the answer "Yeaverily" and wept sore.

Then he asked his daughter"Whence knewest thou that he isensorceled?" and she answered: "O my dear Papathere was with me inmy childhood an old womana wily one and a wise and a witch to bootand shetaught me the theory of magic and its practiceand I took notes in writing andtherein waxed perfectand have committed to memory a hundred and seventychapters of egromantic formulasby the least of which I could transport thestones of thy city behind the Mountain Kaf and the Circumambient Mainor makeits site an abyss of the sea and its people fishes swimming in the midst ofit." "O my daughter" said her father"I conjure theebymy lifedisenchant this young manthat I may make him my Wazir and marry theeto himfor indeed he is an ingenious youth and a deeply learned.""With joy and goodly gree" she replied andhending in hand an ironknife whereon was inscribed the name of Allah in Hebrew characters she describeda wide circle in the midst of the palace halland therein wrote in Kuficletters mysterious names and talismans. And she uttered words and mutteredcharmssome of which we understood and others we understood not.

Presently the world waxed dark before our sight till we thought that the skywas falling upon our headsand lo! the Ifrit presented himself in his own shapeand aspect. His hands were like many-pronged pitchforkshis legs like the mastsof great shipsand his eyes like cressets of gleaming fire. We were in terriblefear of himbut the King's daughter cried at him"No welcome to thee andno greetingO dog!" Whereupon he changed to the form of a lion and said"O traitresshow is it thou hast broken the oath we sware that neithershould contraire other?" "O accursed one" answered she"how could there be a compact between me and the like of thee?" Thensaid he"Take what thou hast brought on thyself." And the lion openhis jaws and rushed upon herbut she was too quick for himandplucking ahair from her headwaved it in the air muttering over it the while. And thehair straightway became a trenchant sword bladewherewith she smote the lionand cut him in twain. Then the two halves flew away in air and the head changedto a scorpion and the Princess became a huge serpent and set upon the accursedscorpionand the two foughtcoiling and uncoilinga stiff fight for an hourat least.

Then the scorpion changed to a vulture and the serpent became an eaglewhichset upon the vulture and hunted him for an hour's timetill he became a blacktomcatwhich miauled and grinned and spat. Thereupon the eagle changed into apiebald wolf and these two battled in the palace for a long timewhen the catseeing himself overcomechanged into a worm and crept into a huge redpomegranate which lay beside the jetting fountain in the midst of the palacehall. Whereupon the pomegranate swelled to the size of a watermelon in air andfalling upon the marble pavement of the palacebroke to piecesand all thegrains fell out and were scattered about till they covered the whole floor. Thenthe wolf shook himself and became a snow-white cockwhich fell to picking upthe grainspurposing not to leave onebut by doom of destiny one seed rolledto the fountain edge and there lay hid.

The cock fell to crowing and clapping his wings and signing to us with hisbeak as if to ask"Are any grains left?" But we understood not whathe meantand he cried to us with so loud a cry that we thought the palace wouldfall upon us. Then he ran over all the floor till he saw the grain which hadrolled to the fountain edgeand rushed eagerly to pick it up when beholditsprang into the midst of the water and became a fish and dived to the bottom ofthe basin. Thereupon the cock changed to a big fishand plunged in after theotherand the two disappeared for a while and lo! we heard loud shrieks andcries of pain which made us tremble. After this the Ifrit rose out of the waterand he was as a burning flamecasting fire and smoke from his mouth and eyesand nostrils. And immediately the Princess likewise came forth from the basinand she was one live coal of flaming loweand these twoshe and hebattledfor the space of an houruntil their fires entirely compassed them about andtheir thick smoke filled the palace.

As for uswe panted for breathbeing well-nigh suffocatedand we longed toplunge into the waterfearing lest we be burnt up and utterly destroyed. Andthe King said: "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah theGloriousthe Great! Verily we are Allah's and unto Him are we returning! WouldHeaven I had not urged my daughter to attempt the disenchantment of this apefellowwhereby I have imposed upon her the terrible task of fighing yonaccursed Ifritagainst whom all the Ifrits in the world could not prevail. Andwould Heaven we had never seen this apeAllah never assain nor bless the day ofhis coming! We thought to do a good deed by him before the face of Allahand torelease him from enchantmentand now we have brought this trouble and travailupon our heart." But IO my ladywas tonguetied and powerless to say aword to him.

Suddenlyere we were ware of aughtthe Ifrit yelled out from under theflames andcoming up to us as we stood on the estradeblew fire in our faces.The damsel overtook him and breathed blasts of fire at his faceand the sparksfrom her and from him rained down upon usand her sparks did us no harm. Butone of his sparks alighted upon my eye and destroyed itmaking me a monocularape. And another fell on the King's facescorching the lower halfburning offhis beard and mustachios and causing his underteeth to fall outwhile a thirdlighted on the castrato's breastkilling him on the spot. So we despaired oflife and made sure of death when lo! a voice repeated the saying: "Allah isMost Highest! Allah is Most Highest! Aidance and victory to all who the Truthbelieveand disappointment and disgrace to all who the religion of Mohammedthe Moon of Faithunbelieve." The speaker was the Princesswho had burntthe Ifritand he was become a heap of ashes. Then she came up to us and said"Reach me a cup of water." They brought it to her and she spoke overit words we understood not andsprinkling me with itcried"By virtue ofthe Truthand by the Most Great Name of AllahI charge thee return to thyformer shape!" And beholdI shook and became a man as beforesave that Ihad utterly lost an eye.

Then she cried out: "The fire! The fire! O my dear Papaan arrow fromthe accursed hath wounded me to the deathfor I am not used to fight with theJann. Had he been a manI had slain him in the beginning. I had no trouble tillthe time when the pomegranate burst and the grains scatteredbut I overlookedthe seed wherein was the very life of the Jinni. Had I picked it uphe had diedon the spotbut as Fate and Fortune decreedI saw it notso he came upon meall unawares and there befell between him and me a sore struggle under the earthand high in air and in the water. And as often as I opened on him a gateheopened on me another gate and a strongertill at last he opened on me the gateof fireand few are saved upon whom the door of fire openeth. But Destinywilled that my cunning prevail over his cunningand I burned him to death afterI vainly exhorted him to embrace the religion of Al-Islam. As for meI am adead woman. Allah supply my place to you!"

Then she called upon Heaven for help and ceased not to implore relief fromthe firewhen lo! a black spark shot up from her robed feet to her thighsthenit flew to her bosom and thence to her face. When it reached her faceshe weptand said"I testify that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed isthe Apostle of God!" And we looked at her and saw naught but a heap ofashes by the side of the heap that had been the Ifrit. We mourned for herand Iwished I had been in her placeso had I not seen her lovely face who had workedme such weal become ashesbut there is no gainsaying the will of Allah.

When the King saw his daughter's terrible deathhe plucked out what was leftof his beard and beat his face and rent his raimentand I did as he did and weboth wept over her. Then came in the chamberlains and grandeesand were amazedto find two heaps of ashes and the Sultan in a fainting fit. So they stood roundhim till he revived and told them what had befallen his daughter from the Ifritwhereat their grief was right grievous and the women and the slave girlsshrieked and keenedand they continued their lamentations for the space ofseven days. Moreoverthe King bade build over his daughter's ashes a vastvaulted tomband burn therein wax tapers and sepulchral lamps. But as for theIfrit's ashesthey scattered them on the windsspeeding them to the curse ofAllah.

Then the Sultan fell sick of a sickness that well-nigh brought him to hisdeath for a month's spaceand when health returned to him and his beard grewagain and he had been converted by the mercy of Allah to Al-Islamhe sent forme and said: "O youthFate had decreed for us the happiest of livessafefrom all the chances and changes of Timetill thou camest to uswhen troublesfell upon us. Would to Heaven we had never seen thee and the foul face of thee!For we took pity on theeand thereby we have lost our all. I have on thyaccount first lost my daughterwho to me was well worth a hundred mensecondlyI have suffered that which befell me by reason of the fire and theloss of my teethand my eunuch also was slain. I blame thee notfor it was outof thy power to prevent this. The doom of Allah was on thee as well as on usand thanks be to the Almighty for that my daughter delivered theealbeitthereby she lost her own life! Go forth nowO my sonfrom this my cityandsuffice thee what hath befallen us through theeeven although 'twas decreed forus. Go forth in peaceand if I ever see thee again I will surely slaythee." And he cried out at me.

So I went forth from his presenceO my ladyweeping bitterly and hardlybelieving in my escape and knowing not whither I should wend. And I recalled allthat had befallen memy meeting the tailormy love for the damsel in thepalace beneath the earthand my narrow escape from the Ifriteven after he haddetermined to do me dieand how I had entered the city as an ape and was nowleaving it a man once more. Then I gave thanks to Allah and said"My eyeand not my life!" And before leaving the place I entered the bath andshaved my poll and beard and mustachios and eyebrowsand cast ashes on my headand donned the coarse black woolen robe of a Kalandar.

Then I journeyed through many regions and saw many a cityintending forBaghdadthat I might seek audience in the House of Peace with the Commander ofthe Faithfuland tell him all that had befallen me. I arrived here this verynight and found my brother in Allahthis first Kalandarstanding about as oneperplexedso I saluted him with "Peace be upon thee" and enteredinto discourse with him. Presently up came our brotherthis third Kalandarandsaid to us: "Peace be with you! I am a stranger" whereto we replied"And we too be strangerswho have come hither this blessed night."

So we all three walked on togethernone of us knowing the other's historytill Destiny drave us to this door and we came in to you. Such then is my storyand my reason for shaving my beard and mustachiosand this is what caused theloss of my eye. Said the house mistress"Thy tale is indeed a rareso rubthy head and wend thy ways." But he replied"I will not budge till Ihear my companions' stories."

Then came forward the third Kalandarand said"O illustrious ladymyhistory is not like that of these my comradesbut more wondrous and far moremarvelous. In their case Fate and Fortune came down on them unawaresbut I drewdown Destiny upon my own head and brought sorrow on mine own souland shaved myown beard and lost my own eye. Hear then

THE THIRD KALANDAR'S TALE -

KNOWO my ladythat I also am a king and the son of a king and my name isAjib son of Khazib. When my father died I succeeded himand I ruled and didjustice and dealt fairly by all my lieges. I delighted in sea tripsfor mycapital stood on the shorebefore which the ocean stretched far and wideandnear hand were many great islands with sconces and garrisons in the midst of themain. My fleet numbered fifty merchantmenand as many yachts for pleasanceanda hundred and fifty sail ready fitted for holy war with the unbelievers.

It fortuned that I had a mind to enjoy myself on the islands aforesaidso Itook ship with my people in ten keel andcarrying with me a month's victualIset out on a twenty days' voyage. But one night a head wind struck usand thesea rose against us with huge waves. The billows sorely buffeted us and a densedarkness settled round us. We gave ourselves up for lostand I said"Whoso endangereth his dayse'en an he 'scape deserveth no praise."Then we prayed to Allah and besought Himbut the storm blasts ceased not toblow against us nor the surges to strike us till morning brokewhen the galefellthe seas sank to mirrory stillnessand the sun shone upon us kindlyclear. Presently we made an islandwhere we landed and cooked somewhat of foodand ate heartily and took our rest for a couple of days. Then we set out againand sailed other twenty daysthe seas broadening and the land shrinking.

Presently the current ran counter to usand we found ourselves in strangewaterswhere the Captain had lost his reckoningand was wholly bewildered inthis seaso said we to the lookout man"Get thee to the masthead and keepthine eyes open." He swarmed up the mast and looked out and cried aloud"O RaisI espy to starboard something darkvery like a fish floating onthe face of the seaand to larboard there is a loom in the midst of the mainnow black and now bright." When the Captain heard the lookout's wordshedashed his turban on the deck and plucked out his beard and beat his facesaying: "Good news indeed! We be all dead mennot one of us can besaved." And he fell to weeping and all of us wept for his weeping and alsofor our livesand I said"O Captaintell us what it is the lookoutsaw."

"O my Prince" answered he"know that we lost our course onthe night of the stormwhich was followed on the morrow by a two days' calmduring which we made no wayand we have gone astray eleven days' reckoning fromthat nightwith ne'er a wind to bring us back to our true course. Tomorrow bythe end of the day we shall come to a mountain of black stone hight the MagnetMountainfor thither the currents carry us willy-nilly. As soon as we are underits leathe ship's sides will open and every nail in plank will fly out andcleave fast to the mountainfor that Almighty Allah hath gifted the loadstonewith a mysterious virtue and a love for ironby reason whereof all which isiron traveleth toward it. And on this mountain is much ironhow much noneknoweth save the Most Highfrom the many vessels which have been lost theresince the days of yore. The bright spot upon its summit is a dome of yellowlaton from Andalusiavaulted upon ten columns. And on its crown is a horsemanwho rideth a horse of brass and holdeth in hand a lance of latonand therehangeth on his bosom a tablet of lead graven with names and talismans." Andhe presently added"AndO Kingnone destroyeth folk save the rider onthat steednor will the egromancy be dispelled till he fall from hishorse."

ThenO my ladythe Captain wept with exceeding weeping and we all made sureof death doom and each and every one of us farewelled his friend and charged himwith his last will and testament in case he might be saved. We slept not thatnightand in the morning we found ourselves much nearer the Loadstone Mountainwhither the waters drave us with a violent send. When the ships were close underits leathey opened and the nails flew out and all the iron in them sought theMagnet Mountain and clove to it like a networkso that by the end of the day wewere all struggling in the waves round about the mountain. Some of us weresavedbut more were drownedand even those who had escaped knew not oneanotherso stupefied were they by the beating of the billows and the raving ofthe winds.

As for meO my ladyAllah (be His name exalted!) preserved my life that Imight suffer whatso He willed to me of hardshipmisfortuneand calamityfor Iscrambled upon a plank from one of the ships and the wind and waters threw it atthe feet of the mountain. There I found a practicable path leading by stepscarven out of the rock to the summitand I called on the name of Allah Almightyand breasted the ascentclinging to the steps and notches hewn in the stoneand mounted little by little. And the Lord stilled the wind and aided me in theascentso that I succeeded in reaching the summit. There I found no restingplace save the domewhich I enteredjoying with exceeding joy at my escapeand made the wudu ablution and prayed a two-bow prayera thanksgiving to Godfor my preservation.

Then I fell asleep under the domeand heard in my dream a mysterious voicesaying"O son of Khazib! When thou wakest from thy sleepdig under thyfeet and thou shalt find a bow of brass and three leaden arrows inscribed withtalismans and characts. Take the bow and shoot the arrows at the horseman on thedome top and free mankind from this sore calamity. When thou hast shot him heshall fall into the seaand the horse will also drop at thy feet. Then bury itin the place of the bow. This donethe main will swell and rise till it islevel with the mountain headand there will appear on it a skiff carrying a manof laton (other than he thou shalt have shot) holding in his hand a pair ofpaddles. He will come to theeand do thou embark with himbut beware of sayingBismillah or of otherwise naming Allah Almighty. He will row thee for a space often daystill he bring thee to certain islands called the Islands of Safetyand thence thou shalt easily reach a port and find those who will convey thee tothy native land. And all this shall be fulfilled to thee so thou call not on thename of Allah."

Then I started up from my sleep in joy and gladness andhastening to do thebidding of the mysterious voicefound the bow and arrows and shot at thehorseman and tumbled him into the mainwhilst the horse dropped at my feetsoI took it and buried it. Presently the sea surged up and rose till it reachedthe top of the mountainnor had I long to wait ere I saw a skiff in the offingcoming toward me. I gave thanks to Allahand when the skiff came up to meIsaw therein a man of brass with a tablet of lead on his breast inscribed withtalismans and charactsand I embarked without uttering a word. The boatmanrowed on with me through the first day and the second and the thirdin all tenwhole daystill I caught sight of the Islands of Safetywhereat I joyed withexceeding joy and for stress of gladness exclaimed"Allah! Allah! In thename of Allah! There is no god but the God and Allah is Almighty."Thereupon the skiff forthwith upset and cast me upon the seathen it rightedand sank deep into the depths.

Now I am a fair swimmerso I swam the whole day till nightfallwhen myforearms and shoulders were numbed with fatigue and I felt like to dieso Itestified to my faithexpecting naught but death. The sea was still surgingunder the violence of the windsand presently there came a billow like ahillock andbearing me up high in airthrew me with a long cast on dry landthat His will might be fulfilled. I crawled upon the beach and doffing myraimentwrung it out to dry and spread it in the sunshine. Then I lay me downand slept the whole night. As soon as it was dayI donned my clothes and roseto look whither I should walk. Presently I came to a thicket of low trees andmaking a cast round itfound that the spot whereon I stood was an isleta mereholmgirt on all sides by the oceanwhereupon I said to myself"Whatsofreeth me from one great calamity casteth me into a greater!"

But while I was pondering my case and longing for deathbeholdI saw afaroff a ship making for the islandso I clomb a tree and hid myself among thebranches. Presently the ship anchored and landed ten slavesblackamoorsbearing iron hoes and basketswho walked on till they reached the middle of theisland. Here they dug deep into the ground until they uncovered a plate ofmetalwhich they liftedthereby opening a trapdoor. After this they returnedto the ship and thence brought bread and flourhoney and fruitsclarifiedbutterleather bottles containing liquorsand many household stuffs; alsofurnituretable serviceand mirrors; rugscarpetsand in fact all needed tofurnish a dwelling. And they kept going to and froand descending by thetrapdoortill they had transported into the dwelling all that was in the ship.

After this the slaves again went on board and brought back with them garmentsas rich as may beand in the midst of them came an old old manof whom verylittle was leftfor Time had dealt hardly and harshly with himand all thatremained of him was a bone wrapped in a rag of blue stuffthrough which thewinds whistled west and east. As saith the poet of him: -

Time gars me tremble. Ahhow sore the balk!

While Time in pride of strength doth ever stalk.

Time was I walked nor ever felt I tired

Now am I tired albe' I never walk! - And the Sheikh held by the hand a youthcast in beauty's moldall elegance and perfect graceso fair that hiscomeliness deserved to be proverbialfor he was as a green bough or the tenderyoung of the roeravishing every heart with his loveliness and subduing everysoul with his coquetry and amorous ways. They stinted not their goingO myladytill all went down by the trapdoor and did not reappear for an hourorrather more; at the end of which time the slaves and the old man came up withoutthe youth andreplacing the iron plate and carefully closing the door slab asit was beforethey returned to the ship and made sail and were lost to mysight.

When they turned away to departI came down from the tree andgoing to theplace I had seen them fin upscraped off and removed the earthand in patiencepossessed my soul till I had cleared the whole of it away. Then appeared thetrapdoorwhich was of woodin shape and size like a millstoneand when Ilifted it upit disclosed a winding staircase of stone. At this I marveled anddescending the steps tier I reached the lastfound a fair hallspread withvarious kinds of carpets and silk stuffswherein was a youth sitting upon araised couch and leaning back on a round cushion with a fan in his hand andnosegays and posies of sweet scented herbs and flowers before him. But he wasalone and not a soul near him in the great vault. When he saw me he turned palebut I saluted him courteously and said: "Set thy mind at ease and calm thyfears. No harm shall come near thee. I am a man like thyself and the son of aking to bootwhom the decrees of Destiny have sent to bear thee company andcheer thee in thy loneliness. But now tell mewhat is thy story and whatcauseth thee to dwell thus in solitude under the ground?"

When he was assured that I was of his kind and no Jinnihe rejoiced and hisfine color returnedandmaking me draw near to himhe said: "O mybrothermy story is a strange story and 'tis this. My father is a merchantjeweler possessed of great wealthwho hath white and black slaves traveling andtrading on his account in ships and on camelsand trafficking with the mostdistant citiesbut he was not blessed with a childnot even one. Now on acertain night he dreamed a dream that he should be favored with a sonwho wouldbe short-livedso the morning dawned on my fatherbringing him woe andweeping. On the following night my mother conceived and my father noted down thedate of her becoming pregnant. Her time being fulfilledshe bare mewhereat myfather rejoiced and made banquets and called together the neighbors and fed thefakirs and the poorfor that he had been blessed with issue near the end of hisdays. Then he assembled the astrologers and astronomers who knew the places ofthe planetsand the wizards and wise ones of the timeand men learned inhoroscopes and nativitiesand they drew out my birth scheme and said to myfather: "Thy son shall live to fifteen yearsbut in his fifteenth there isa sinister aspect. An he safely tide it overhe shall attain a great age. Andthe cause that threateneth him with death is this. In the Sea of Peril standeththe Mountain Magnet highton whose summit is a horseman of yellow laton seatedon a horse also of brass and bearing on his breast a tablet of lead. Fifty daysafter this rider shall fall from his steed thy son will die and his slayer willbe he who shoots down the horsemana Prince named Ajib son of KingKhazib."

My father grieved with exceeding grief to hear these wordsbut reared me intenderest fashion and educated me excellently well till my fifteenth year wastold. Ten days ago news came to him that the horseman had fallen into the seaand he who shot him down was named Ajib son of King Khazib." My fatherthereupon wept bitter tears at the need of parting with me and became like onepossessed of a Jinni. Howeverbeing in mortal fear for mehe built me thisplace under the earthand stocking it with all required for the few days stillremaininghe brought me hither in a ship and left me here. Ten are alreadypastand when the forty shall have gone by without danger to mehe will comeand take me awayfor he hath done all this only in fear of Prince Ajib. Suchthenis my story and the cause of my loneliness."

When I heard his history I marveled and said in my mind"I am thePrince Ajib who hath done all thisbut as Allah is with me I will surely notslay him!" So said I to him: "O my lordfar from thee be this hurtand harm and thenplease Allahthou shalt not suffer cark nor care nor aughtdisquietudefor I will tarry with thee and serve thee as a servantand thenwend my ways. And after having borne thee company during the forty daysI willgo with thee to thy homewhere thou shalt give me an escort of some of thyMamelukes with whom I may journey back to my own cityand the Almighty shallrequite thee for me." He was glad to hear these wordswhen I rose andlighted a large wax candle and trimmed the lamps and the three lanternsand Iset on meat and drink and sweetmeats. We ate and drank and sat talking overvarious matters till the greater part of the night was gonewhen he lay down torest and I covered him up and went to sleep myself.

Next morning I arose and warmed a little waterthen lifted him gently so asto awake him and brought him the warm waterwherewith he washed his faceandsaid to me: "Heaven requite thee for me with every blessingO youth! ByAllahif I get quit of this danger and am saved from him whose name is Ajib binKhazibI will make my father reward thee and send thee home healthy andwealthy. And if I diethen my blessing be upon thee." I answered"May the day never dawn on which evil shall betide theeand may Allah makemy last day before thy last day!" Then I set before him somewhat of foodand we ateand I got ready perfumes for fumigating the hallwherewith he waspleased. Moreover I made him a mankalah cloth; and we played and ate sweetmeatsand we played again and took our pleasure till nightfallwhen I rose andlighted the lampsand set before him somewhat to eatand sat telling himstories till the hours of darkness were far spent. Then he lay down to rest andI covered him up and rested also.

And thus I continued to doO my ladyfor days and nightsand affection forhim took root in my heart and my sorrow was easedand I said to myself:"The astrologers lied when they predicted that he should be slain by Ajibbin Khazib. By AllahI will not slay him." I ceased not ministering to himand conversing and carousing with him and telling him all manner tales forthirty-nine days. On the fortieth night the youth rejoiced and said: "O mybrotherAlhamdolillah!- praise be to Allah- who hath preserved me from deathand this is by thy blessing and the blessing of thy coming to meand I prayedGod that He restore thee to thy native land. But nowO my brotherI would thouwarm me some water for the ghusl ablution and do thou kindly bathe me and changemy clothes." I replied"With love and gladness" and I heatedwater in plenty and carrying it in to himwashed his body all overthe washingof healthwith meal of lupinsand rubbed him well and changed his clothes andspread him a high bed whereon he lay down to restbeing drowsy after bathing.

Then said he"O my brothercut me up a watermelonand sweeten it witha little sugar candy." So I went to the storeroom and bringing out a finewatermelonI found thereset it on a platter and laid it before him saying"O my masterhast thou not a knife?" "Here it is" answeredhe"over my head upon the high shelf." So I got up in haste andandtaking the knifedrew it from its sheathbut my foot slipped in stepping downand I fell heavily upon the youth holding in my hand the knifewhich hastenedto fulfill what had been written on the Day that decided the destinies of manand buried itselfas if plantedin the youth's heart. He died on the instant.When I saw that he was slain and knew that I had slain himmauger myself Icried out with an exceeding loud and bitter cry and beat my face and rent myraiment and said: "Verily we be Allah's and unto Him we be returningOMoslems! O folk fain of Allah! There remained for this youth but one day of theforty dangerous days which the astrologers and the learned had foretold for himand the predestined death of this beautiful one was to be at my hand. WouldHeaven I had not tried to cut the watermelon! What dire misfortune is this Imust bearlief or loath? What a disaster! What an affliction! O Allah mineIimplore thy pardon and declare to Thee my innocence of his death. But what Godwillethlet that come to pass."

When I was certified that I had slain himI arose andascending the stairsreplaced the trapdoor and covered it with earth as before. Then I looked outseaward and saw the ship cleaving the waters and making for the islandwherefore I was afeard and said"The moment they come and see the youthdone to deaththey will know 'twas I who slew him and will slay me withoutrespite." So I climbed up into a high tree and concealed myself among itsleavesand hardly had I done so when the ship anchored and the slaves landedwith the ancient manthe youth's fatherand made direct for the placeandwhen they removed the earth they were surprised to see it soft. Then they raisedthe trapdoor and went down and found the youth lying at full lengthclothed infair new garmentswith a face beaming after the bathand the knife deep in hisheart. At the sight they shrieked and wept and beat their facesloudly cursingthe murdererwhilst a swoon came over the Sheikh so that the slaves deemed himdeadunable to survive his son. At last they wrapped the slain youth in hisclothes and carried him up and laid him on the groundcovering him with ashroud of silk.

Whilst they were making for the ship the old man revivedandgazing on hisson who was stretched outfell on the ground and strewed dust over his head andsmote his face and plucked out his beardand his weeping redoubled as hethought of his murdered son and he swooned away once more. After a while a slavewent and fetched a strip of silk whereupon they lay the old man and sat down athis head. All this took place and I was on the tree above them watchingeverything that came to passand my heart became hoary before my head waxedgrayfor the hard lot which was mineand for the distress and anguish I hadundergoneand I fell to reciting: -

"How many a joy by Allah's will hath fled

With flight escaping sight of wisest head!

How many a sadness shall begin the day

Yet grow right gladsome ere the day is sped!

How many a weal trips on the heels of ill

Causing the mourner's heart with joy to thrill!" -

But the old manO my ladyceased not from his swoon till near sunsetwhenhe came to himself andlooking upon his dead sonhe recalled what hadhappenedand how what he had dreaded had come to passand he beat his face andhead. Then he sobbed a single sob and his soul fled his flesh. The slavesshrieked aloud"Alasour lord!" and showered dust on their heads andredoubled their weeping and wailing. Presently they carried their dead master tothe ship side by side with his dead son andhaving transported all the stufffrom the dwelling to the vesselset sail and disappeared from mine eyes. Idescended from the tree andraising the trapdoorwent down into theunderground dwellingwhere everything reminded me of the youthand I lookedupon the poor remains of him and began repeating these verses: -

"Their tracks I seeand pine with pain and pang

And on deserted hearths I weep and yearn.

And Him I pray who doomed them depart

Some day vouchsafe the boon of safe return." -

ThenO my ladyI went up again by the trapdoorand every day I used towander round about the island and every night I returned to the undergroundhall. Thus I lived for a monthtill at lastlooking at the western side of theislandI observed that every day the tide ebbedleaving shallow water forwhich the flow did not compensateand by the end of the month the sea showeddry land in that direction. At this I rejoicedmaking certain of my safetysoI arose andfording what little was left of the watergot me to the mainlandwhere I fell in with great heaps of loose sand in which even a camel's hoofwould sink up to the knee. HoweverI emboldened my soul andwading through thesandbeholda fire shone from afar burning with a blazing light. So I made forit hoping haply to find succor and broke out into these verses: -

"Belike my Fortune may her bridle turn

And Time bring weal although he's jealous hight

Forward my hopesand further all my needs

And passed ills with present weals requite." -

And when I drew near the fire aforesaidlo! it was a palace with gates ofcopper burnished red whichwhen the rising sun shone thereongleamed andglistened from afarshowing what had seemed to me a fire. I rejoiced in thesightand sat down over against the gatebut I was hardly settled in my seatbefore there met me ten young men clothed in sumptuous gearand all were blindof the left eyewhich appeared as plucked out. They were accompanied by aSheikhan oldold manand much I marveled at their appearanceand their allbeing blind in the same eye. When they saw methey saluted me with the salaamand asked me of my case and my historywhereupon I related to them all what hadbefallen me and what full measure of misfortune was mine. Marveling at my talethey took me to the mansionwhere I saw ranged round the hall ten couches eachwith its blue bedding and coverlet of blue stuff and a-middlemost stood asmaller couch furnished like them with blue and nothing else.

As we entered each of the youths took his seat on his own couch and the oldman seated himself upon the smaller one in the middlesaying to me"Oyouthsit thee down on the floorand ask not of our case nor of the loss ofour eyes." Presently he rose up and set before each young man some meat ina charger and drink in a larger mazertreating me in like mannerand afterthat they sat questioning me concerning my adventures and what had betided me.And I kept telling them my tale till the night was far spent. Then said theyoung men: "O our Sheikhwilt not thou set before us our ordinary? Thetime is come." He replied"With love and gladness" and roseandentering a closetdisappearedbut presently returned bearing on his headten trays each covered with a strip of blue stuff. He set a tray before eachyouth andlighting ten wax candleshe stuck one upon each trayand drew offthe covers and lo! under them was naught but ashes and powdered charcoal andkettle soot. Then all the young men tucked up their sleeves to the elbows andfell a-weeping and wailing and they blackened their faces and smeared theirclothes and buffeted their brows and beat their breastscontinually exclaiming"We were sitting at our easebut our frowardness brought us unease!"They ceased not to do thus till dawn drew nighwhen the old man rose and heatedwater for themand they washed their face and donned other and clean clothes.

Now when I saw thisO my ladyfor very wonderment my senses left me and mywits went wild and heart and head were full of thoughttill I forgot what hadbetided me and I could not keep silencefeeling I fain must speak out andquestion them of these strangenesses. So I said to them: "How come ye to dothis after we have been so openhearted and frolicsome? Thanks be to Allahye beall sound and saneyet actions such as these befit none but madmen or thosepossessed of an evil spirit. I conjure you by all that is dearest to youwhystint ye to tell me your historyand the cause of your losing your eyes andyour blackening your faces with ashes and soot?" Hereupon they turned to meand said"O young manhearken not to thy youthtide's suggestionsandquestion us no questions." Then they slept and I with themand when theyawoke the old man brought us somewhat oi food. And after we had eaten and theplates and goblets had been removedthey sat conversing till nightfallwhenthe old man rose and lit the wax candles and lamps and set meat and drink beforeus.

After we had eaten and drunken we sat conversing and carousing incompanionage till the noon of nightwhen they said to the old man"Bringus our ordinaryfor the hour of sleep is at hand!" So he rose and broughtthem the trays of soot and ashesand they did as they had done on the precedingnightnor morenor less. I abode with them after this fashion for the space ofa monthduring which time they used to blacken their faces with ashes everynightand to wash and change their raiment when the morn was youngand I butmarveled the more and my scruples and curiosity increased to such a point that Ihad to forgo even food and drink.

At last I lost command of myselffor my heart was aflame with fireunquenchable and lowe unconcealableand I said"O young menwill ye notrelieve my trouble and acquaint me with the reason of thus blackening your facesand the meaning of your words'We were sitting at our easebut our frowardnessbrought us unease'?" Quoth they"'Twere better to keep these thingssecret." Still I was bewildered by their doings to the point of abstainingfrom eating and drinking and at last wholly losing patiencequoth I to them:"There is no help for it. Ye must acquaint me with what is the reason ofthese doings." They replied: "We kept our secret only for thy good. Togratify thee will bring down evil upon thee and thou wilt become a monoculareven as we are." I repeated"There is no help for itand if ye willnotlet me leave you and return to mine own people and be at rest from seeingthese thingsfor the proverb saith: -

"Better ye 'bide and I take my leave;

For what eye sees not heart shall never grieve." -

Thereupon they said to me"RememberO youththat should ill befalltheewe will not again harbor thee nor suffer thee to abide amongst us."And bringing a ramthey slaughtered it and skinned it. Lastly they gave me aknifesaying: "Take this skin and stretch thyself upon it and we will sewit around thee. Presently there shall come to thee a certain birdhight roethat will catch thee up in his pounces and tower high in air and then set theedown on a mountain. When thou feelest he is no longer flyingrip open the peltwith this blade and come out of it. The bird will be scared and will fly awayand leave thee free. After this fare for half a dayand the march will placethee at a palace wondrous fair to beholdtowering high in air and builded ofkhalanjlign aloes and sandalwoodplated with red goldand studded with allmanner emeralds and costly gems fit for seal rings. Enter it and thou shalt willto thy wishfor we have all entered that palaceand such is the cause of ourlosing our eyes and of our blackening our faces. Were we now to tell thee ourstories it would take too long a timefor each and every of us lost his lefteye by an adventure of his own."

I rejoiced at their wordsand they did with me as they saidand the birdroc bore me off and set me down on the mountain. Then I came out of the skin andwalked on till I reached the palace. The door stood open as I entered and foundmyself in a spacious and goodly hallwide exceedinglyeven as a horse course.And around it were a hundred chambers with doors of sandal and aloe woods platedwith red gold and furnished with silver rings by way of knockers. At the head orupper end of the hall I saw forty damselssumptuously dressed and ornamentedand one and all bright as moons. None could ever tire of gazing upon themandall so lovely that the most ascetic devotee on seeing them would become theirslave and obey their will. When they saw me the whole bevy came up to me andsaid: "Welcome and well come and good cheer to theeO our lord! This wholemonth have we been expecting thee. Praised be Allah Who hath sent us one who isworthy of useven as we are worthy of him!"

Then they made me sit down upon a high divan and said to me"This daythou art our lord and masterand we are thy servants and thy handmaidssoorder us as thou wilt." And I marveled at their case. Presently one of themarose and set meat before me and I ate and they ate with me whilst others warmedwater and washed my hands and feet and changed my clothesand others made readysherbets and gave us to drinkand all gathered around mebeing full of joy andgladness at my coming. Then they sat down and conversed with me till nightfallwhen five of them arose and laid the trays and spread them with flowers andfragrant herbs and fruitsfresh and driedand confections in profusion. Atlast they brought out a fine wine service with rich old wineand we sat down todrink and some sang songs and others played the lute and psaltery and recordersand other instrumentsand the bowl went merrily round. Hereupon such gladnesspossessed me that I forgot the sorrows of the world one and all and said:"This is indeed life. O sad that 'tis fleeting!"

I enjoyed their company till the time came for restand our heads were allwarm with winewhen they said"O our lordchoose from amongst us her whoshall be thy bedfellow this night and not lie with thee again till forty days bepast." So I chose a girl fair of face and perfect in shapewith eyeskohl-edged by nature's handhair long and jet-blackwith slightly parted teethand joining brows. 'Twas as if she were some limber graceful branchlet or theslender stalk of sweet basil to amaze and to bewilder man's fancy. So I lay withher that night. None fairer I ever knew. And when it was morningthe damselscarried me to the hammam bath and bathed me and robed me in fairest apparel.Then they served up foodand we ate and drank and the cup went round tillnightfallwhen I chose from among them one fair of form and facesoft-sidedand a model of gracesuch a one as the poet described when he said: -

On her fair bosom caskets twain I scanned

Sealed fast with musk seals lovers to withstand.

With arrowy glances stand on guard her eyes

Whose shafts would shoot who dares put forth a hand. -

With her I spent a most goodly nightandto be briefO my mistressIremained with them in all solace and delight of lifeeating and drinkingconversing and carousingand every night lying with one or other of them. Butat the head of the New Year they came to me in tears and bade me farewellweeping and crying out and clinging about mewhereat I wondered and said:"What may be the matter? Verily you break my heart!" They exclaimed"Would Heaven we had never known theefor though we have companied withmanyyet never saw we a pleasanter than thou or a more courteous." Andthey wept again. "But tell me more clearly" asked I"whatcauseth this weeping which maketh my gall bladder like to burst?" And theyanswered: "O lord and masterit is severance which maketh us weepandthouand thou onlyart the cause of our tears. If thou hearken to us we neednever be partedand if thou hearken not we part foreverbut our hearts tell usthat thou wilt not listen to our words and this is the cause of our tears andcries." "Tell me how the case standeth."

"KnowO our lordthat we are the daughters of kings who have met hereand have lived together for yearsand once in every year we are perforce absentfor forty days. And afterward we return and abide here for the rest of thetwelvemonth eating and drinking and taking our pleasure and enjoying delights.We are about to depart according to our customand we fear lest after we begone thou contraire our charge and disobey our injunctions. Here now we committo thee the keys of the palacewhich containeth forty chambersand thou mayestopen of these thirty and ninebut beware (and we conjure thee by Allah and bythe lives of us!) lest thou open the fortieth doorfor therein is that whichshall separate us for ever." Quoth I"Assuredly I will not open it ifit contain the cause of severance from you." Then one among them came up tome and falling on my neck wept and recited these verses: -

"If Time unite us after absent-whileThe world harsh-frowning on ourlot shall smile

And if thy semblance deign adorn mine eyes

I'll pardon Time past wrongs and bygone guile." - And I recited thefollowing: -

"When drew she near to bid adieu with her heart unstrung

While care and longing on that day her bosom wrung

Wet pearls she wept and mine like red camelians rolled

Andjoined in sad rivierearound her neck they hung." - When I saw herweeping I said"By AllahI will never open that fortieth doornever andnowise!" and I bade her farewell. Thereupon all departed flying away likebirdssignaling with their hands farewells as they went and leaving me alone inthe palace. When evening drew near I opened the door of the first chamber andentering it found myself in a place like one of the pleasaunces of Paradise. Itwas a garden with trees of freshest green and ripe fruits of yellow sheenandits birds were singing clear and keen and rills ran wimpling through the fairterrene. The sight and sounds brought solace to my spriteand I walked amongthe treesand I smelt the breath of the flowers on the breeze and heard thebirdies sing their melodies hymning the Onethe Almightyin sweetest litaniesand I looked upon the apple whose hue is parcel red and parcel yellowas saidthe poet: -

Apple whose hue combines in union mellow

My fair's red cheekher hapless lover's yellow. - Then I looked upon thepear whose taste surpasseth sherbet and sugarand the apricot whose beautystriketh the eye with admirationas if she were a polished ruby.

Then I went out of the place and locked the door as it was before. When itwas the morrow I opened the second doorand entering found myself in a spaciousplain set with tall date palms and watered by a running stream whose banks wereshrubbed with bushes of rose and jasminewhile privet and eglantineoxeyeviolet and lilynarcissusoriganeand the winter gilliflower carpeted theborders. And the breath of the breeze swept over these sweet-smelling growthsdiffusing their delicious odors right and leftperfuming the world and fillingmy soul with delight. After taking my pleasure there awhile I went from it andhaving closed the door as it was beforeopened the third doorwherein I saw ahigh open hall pargetted with particolored marbles and pietra dura of price andother precious stonesand hung with cages of sandalwood and eagle woodfull ofbirds which made sweet musicsuch as the "thousand-voiced" and thecushatthe merlethe turtledoveand the Nubian ringdove. My heart was filledwith pleasure therebymy grief was dispelledand I slept in that aviary tilldawn.

Then I unlocked the door of the fourth chamberand therein found a grandsaloon with forty smaller chambers giving upon it. All their doors stood openso I entered and found them full of pearls and jacinths and beryls and emeraldsand corals and carbunclesand all manner precious gems and jewelssuch astongue of man may not describe. My thought was stunned at the sight and I saidto myself"These be things methinks united which could not be found savein the treasuries of a King of Kingsnor could the monarchs of the world havecollected the like of these!" And my heart dilated and my sorrows ceased."For" quoth I"now verily am I the Monarch of the Agesince byAllah's grace this enormous wealth is mineand I have forty damsels under myhandnor is there any to claim them save myself." Then I gave not overopening place after place until nine and thirty days were passedand in thattime I had entered every chamber except that one whose door the Princesses hadcharged me not to open.

But my thoughtsO my mistressever ran on that forbidden fortiethandSatan urged me to open it for my own undoingnor had I patience to forbearalbeit there wanted of the trusting time but a single day. So I stood before thechamber aforesaid andafter a moment's hesitationopened the doorwhich wasplated with red goldand entered. I was met by a perfume whose like I had neverbefore smeltand so sharp and subtle was the odor that it made my sensesdrunken as with strong wineand I fell to the ground in a fainting fit whichlasted a full hour. When I came to myself I strengthened my heartand enteringfound myself in a chamber whose floor was bespread with saffron and blazing withlight from branched candelabra of gold and lamps fed with costly oilswhichdiffused the scent of musk and ambergris. I saw there also two great censerseach big as a mazer bowlflaming with lign aloesnadd perfumeambergrisandhoneyed scentsand the place was full of their fragrance.

PresentlyO my ladyI espied a noble steedblack as the murks of nightwhen murkieststanding ready saddled and bridled (and his saddle was of redgold) before two mangersone of clear crystal wherein was husked sesameandthe other also of crystal containing water of the rose scented with musk. When Isaw this I marveled and said to myself"Doubtless in this animal must besome wondrous mystery." And Satan cozened me so I led him without thepalace and mounted himbut he would not stir from his place. So I hammered hissides with my heelsbut he moved notand then I took the rein whip and struckhim withal. When he felt the blowhe neighed a neigh with a sound likedeafening thunder andopening a pair of wingsflew up with me in the firmamentof heaven far beyond the eyesight of man. After a full hour of flight hedescended and alighted on a terrace roof and shaking me off his backlashed meon the face with his tad and gouged out my left eyecausing it roll along mycheek.

Then he flew away. I went down from the terrace and found myself againamongst the ten one-eyed youths sitting upon their ten couches with blue coversand they cried out when they saw me: "No welcome to theenor aught of goodcheer! We all lived of lives the happiest and we ate and drank of the best. Uponbrocades and cloths of gold we took our restand we slept with our heads onbeauty's breastbut we could not await one day to gain the delights of ayear!" Quoth I"BeholdI have become one like unto you and now Iwould have you bring me a tray full of blacknesswherewith to blacken my faceand receive me into your society." "Noby Allah" quoth they"thou shalt not sojourn with usand now get thee hence!" So theydrove me away.

Finding them reject me thusI foresaw that matters would go hard with meand I remembered the many miseries which Destiny had written upon my foreheadand I fared forth from among them heavy-hearted and tearful-eyedrepeating tomyself these words: "I was sitting at mine easebut my frowardness broughtme to unease." Then I shaved beard and mustachios and eyebrowsrenouncingthe world. and wandered in Kalandar garb about Allah's earthand the Almightydecreed safety for me till I arrived at Baghdadwhich was on the evening ofthis very night. Here I met these two other Kalandars standing bewilderedso Isaluted them saying"I am a stranger!" and they answered"Andwe likewise be strangers!" By the freak of Fortune we were like to likethree Kalandars and three monoculars all blind of the left eye.

SuchO my ladyis the cause of the shearing of my beard and the manner ofmy losing an eye. Said the lady to him"Rub thy head and wend thyways" but he answered"By AllahI will not go until I hear thestories of these others." Then the ladyturning toward the Caliph andJa'afar and Masrursaid to them"Do ye also give an account ofyourselvesyou men!" Whereupon Ja'afar stood forth and told her what hehad told the portress as they were entering the houseand when she heard hisstory of their being merchants and Mosul men who had outrun the watchshe said"I grant you your lives each for each sakeand now away with youall." So they all went outand when they were in the streetquoth theCaliph to the Kalandars"O companywhither go ye nowseeing that themorning hath not yet dawned?" Quoth they"By AllahO our lordweknow not where to go." "Come and pass the rest of the night withus" said the Caliph andturning to Ja'afar"Take them home withtheeand tomorrow bring them to my presence that we may chronicle theiradventures."

Ja'afar did as the Caliph bade him and the Commander of the Faithful returnedto his palacebut sleep gave no sign of visiting him that night and he layawake pondering the mishaps of the three Kalandar Princesand impatient to knowthe history of the ladies and the two black bitches. No sooner had morningdawned than he went forth and sat upon the throne of his sovereignty andturning to Ja'afarafter all his grandees and officers of state were gatheredtogetherhe said"Bring me the three ladies and the two bitches and thethree Kalandars."

So Ja'afar fared forth and brought them all before him (and the ladies wereveiled). Then the Minister turned to them and said in the Caliph's name:"We pardon you your maltreatment of us and your want of courtesyinconsideration of the kindness which forewent itand for that ye knew us not.Now however I would have you to know that ye stand in presence of the fifth ofthe sons of AbbasHarun al-Rashidbrother of Caliph Musa al-Hadison ofAl-Mansurson of Mohammed the brother of Al-Saffah bin Mohammed who was firstof the royal house. Speak ye therefore before him the truth and the wholetruth!" When the ladies heard Ja'afar's words touching the Commander of theFaithfulthe eldest came forward and said"O Prince of True Believersmystory is one which were it graven with needle gravers upon the eye cornerswerea warner for whoso would be warned and an example for whoso can take profit fromexample." And she began to tell

THE ELDEST LADY'S TALE -

VERILY a strange tale is mine and 'tis this: Yon two black bitches are myeldest sisters by one mother and fatherand these two others she who bearethupon her the signs of stripes and the third our procuratrixare my sisters byanother mother. When my father diedeach took her share of the heritage andafter a while my mother also deceasedleaving me and my sisters german threethousand dinarsso each daughter received her portion of a thousand dinars andI the samealbe' the youngest. In due course of time my sisters married withthe usual festivities and lived with their husbandswho bought merchandise withtheir wives' moneys and set out on their travels together. Thus they threw meoff. My brothers-in-law were absent with their wives five yearsduring whichperiod they spent all the money they had andbecoming bankruptdeserted mysisters in foreign parts amid stranger folk.

After five years my eldest sister returned to me in beggar's gear with herclothes in rags and tatters and a dirty old mantillaand truly she was in thefoulest and sorriest plight. At first sight I did not know my own sisterbutpresently I recognized her and said"What state is this?" "O oursister" she replied"words cannot undo the doneand the reed ofDestiny hath run through what Allah decreed." Then I sent her to the bathand dressed her in a suit of mine ownand boiled for her a bouillon and broughther some good wineand said to her: "O my sisterthou art the eldestwhostill standest to us in the stead of father and motherand as for theinheritance which came to me as to you twainAllah hath blessed it andprospered it to me with increaseand my circumstances are easyfor I have mademuch money by spinning and cleaning silk. And I and you will share my wealthalike."

I entreated her with all kindliness and she abode with me a whole yearduring which our thoughts and fancies were always full of our other sister.Shortly after she too came home in yet fouler and sorrier plight than that of myeldest sisterand I dealt by her still more honorably than I had done by thefirstand each of them had a share of my substance. After a time they said tome"O our sisterwe desire to marry againfor indeed we have notpatience to drag on our days without husbands and to lead the lives of widowsbewitched" and I replied: "O eyes of me! Ye have hitherto seen scantyweal in wedlockfor nowadays good men and true are become rareties andcuriositiesnor do I deem your projects advisableas ye have already madetrial of matrimony and have failed." But they would not accept my adviceand married without my consent. Nevertheless I gave them outfit and dowries outof my moneyand they fared forth with their mates.

In a mighty little time their husbands played them false andtaking whateverthey could lay hands uponlevanted and left them in the lurch. Thereupon theycame to me ashamed and in abject case and made their excuses to mesaying:"Pardon our fault and be not wroth with usfor although thou art youngerin years yet art thou older in wit. Henceforth we will never make mention ofmarriageso take us back as thy handmaidens that we may eat our mouthful."Quoth I"Welcome to youO my sistersthere is naught dearer to me thanyou." And I took them in and redoubled my kindness to them. We ceased notto live after this loving fashion for a full yearwhen I resolved to sell mywares abroad and first to fit me a conveyance for Bassorah. So I equipped alarge shipand loaded her with merchandise and valuable goods for traffic andwith provaunt and all needful for a voyageand said to my sisters"Willye abide at home whilst I travelor would ye prefer to accompany me on thevoyage?" "We will travel with thee" answered they"for wecannot bear to be parted from thee." So I divided my moneys into two partsone to accompany me and the other to be left in charge of a trusty personforas I said to myself"Haply some accident may happen to the ship and yet weremain alivein which case we shall find on our return what may stand us ingood stead."

I took my two sisters and we went a-voyaging some days and nightsbut themaster was careless enough to miss his courseand the ship went astray with usand entered a sea other than the sea we sought. For a time we knew naught ofthisand the wind blew fair for us ten daysafter which the lookout man wentaloft to see about him and cried"Good news!" Then he came downrejoicing and said"I have seen what seemeth to be a city as 'twere apigeon." Hereat we rejoicedand ere an hour of the day had passedthebuildings showed plain in the offingand we asked the Captain"What isthe name of yonder city?" and he answered: "By AllahI wot notfor Inever saw it before and never sailed these seas in my life. But since ourtroubles have ended in safetyremains for you only to land where with yourmerchandiseand if you find selling profitablesell and make your market ofwhat is thereand if notwe will rest here two days and provision ourselvesand fare away."

So we entered the port and the Captain went up town and was absent awhileafter which he returned to us and said"Arisego up into the city andmarvel at the works of Allah with His creaturesand pray to be preserved fromHis righteous wrath!" So we landedand going up into the citysaw at thegate men hending staves in handbut when we drew near thembeholdthey hadbeen translated by the anger of Allah and had become stones. Then we entered thecity and found all who therein woned into black stones enstoned. Not aninhabited house appeared to the espiernor was there a blower of fire. We wereawe-struck at the sightand threaded the market streetswhere we found thegoods and gold and silver left lying in their placesand we were glad and said"Doubtless there is some mystery in all this."

Then we dispersed about the thoroughfares and each busied himself withcollecting the wealth and money and rich stuffstaking scanty heed of friend orcomrade.

As for myselfI went up to the castlewhich was strongly fortifiedandentering the King's palace by its gate of red goldfound all the vaiselle ofgold and silverand the King himself seated in the midst of his chamberlainsand nabobs and emirs and wazirsan clad in raiment which confounded man's art.I drew nearer and saw him sitting on a throne encrusted and inlaid with pearlsand gemsand his robes were of gold cloth adorned with jewels of every kindeach one flashing like a star. Around him stood fifty Mamelukeswhite slavesclothed in silks of divers sortsholding their drawn swords in their hands. Butwhen I drew near to themlo! all were black stones. My understanding wasconfounded at the sightbut I walked on and entered the great hall of theharemwhose walls I found hung with tapestries of gold-striped silkand spreadwith silken carpets embroidered with golden flowers. Here I saw the Queen lyingat full length arrayed in robes purfled with fresh young pearls. On her head wasa diadem set with many sorts of gems each fit for a ringand around her neckhung collars and necklaces. All her raiment and her ornaments were in naturalstatebut she had been turned into a black stone by Allah's wrath.

Presently I espied an open doorfor which I made straightand found leadingto it a flight of seven steps. So I walked up and came upon a place pargetedwith marble and spread and hung with gold-worked carpets and tapestrya-middlemost of which stood a throne of juniper wood inlaid with pearls andprecious stones and set with bosses of emeralds. In the further wall was analcove whose curtainsbestrung with pearlswere let down and I saw a lightissuing therefromso I drew near and perceived that the light came from aprecious stone as big as an ostrich eggset at the upper end of the alcove upona little chryselephantine couch of ivory and gold. And this jewelblazing likethe suncast its rays wide and side. The couch also was spread with all mannerof silken stuffs amazing the gazer with their richness and beauty. I marveledmuch at all thisespecially when seeing in that place candies ready lightedand I said in my mind"Needs must someone have lighted thesecandles." Then I went forth and came to the kitchen and thence to thebuttery and the King's treasure chambersand continued to explore the palaceand to pace from place to place. I forgot myself in my awe and marvel at thesematters and I was drowned in thought till the night came on.

Then I would have gone forthbut knowing not the gateI lost my wayso Ireturned to the alcove whither the lighted candles directed me and sat down uponthe couchand wrapping myself in a coverletafter I had repeated somewhat fromthe KoranI would have slept but could notfor restlessness possessed me. Whennight was at its noon I heard a voice chanting the Koran in sweetest accentsbut the tone thereof was weak. So I roseglad to hear the silence brokenandfollowed the sound until I reached a closet whose door stood ajar. Thenpeepingthrough a chinkI considered the place and lo! it was an oratory wherein was aprayer niche with two wax candles burning and lamps hanging from the ceiling. Init too was spread a prayer carpet whereupon sat a youth fair to seeand beforehim on its stand was a copy of the Koranfrom which he was reading. I marveledto see him alone alive amongst the people of the city and enteringsaluted him.Whereupon he raised his eyes and returned my salaam. Quoth I"Now by thetruth of what thou readest in Allah's Holy BookI conjure thee to answer myquestion." He looked upon me with a smile and said: "O handmaid ofAllahfirst tell me the cause of thy coming hitherand I in turn will tellwhat hath befallen both me and the people of this cityand what was the reasonof my escaping their doom." So I told him my storywhereat he wonderedand I questioned him of the people of the citywhen he replied"Havepatience with me for awhileO my sister!" andreverently closing the HolyBookhe laid it up in a satin bag. Then he seated me by his sideand I lookedat him and beholdhe was as the moon at its fullfair of face and rare offormsoft-sided and slightof well-proportioned heightand cheek smoothlybright and diffusing light. I glanced at him with one glance of eyes whichcaused me a thousand sighsand my heart was at once taken captive-wiseso Iasked him"O my lord and my lovetell me that whereof I questionedthee" and he answered:

"Hearing is obeying! KnowO handmaid of Allahthat this city was thecapital of my father who is the King thou sawest on the throne transfigured byAllah's wrath to a black stoneand the Queen thou foundest in the alcove is mymother. They and all the people of the city were Magians who fire adored in lieuof the Omnipotent Lord and were wont to swear by lowe and heat and shade andlightand the spheres revolving day and night. My father had ne'er a son tillhe was blest with me near the last of his daysand he reared me till I grew upand prosperity anticipated me in all things. Now it is fortuned there was withus an old woman well stricken in yearsa Moslemah whoinwardly believing inAllah and His Apostleconformed outwardly with the religion of my people. Andmy father placed thorough confidence in her for that he knew her to betrustworthy and virtuousand he treated her with ever-increasing kindnessbelieving her to be of his own belief.

"So when I was well-nigh grown up my father committed me to her chargesaying: 'Take him and educate him and teach him the rules of our faith. Let himhave the best instructions and cease not thy fostering care of him.' So she tookme and taught me the tenets of Al-Islam with the divine ordinances of the wuzuablution and the five daily prayers and she made me learn the Koran by roteoften repeating'Serve none save Allah Almighty!' When I had mastered this muchof knowledgeshe said to me'O my sonkeep this matter concealed from thysire and reveal naught to himlest he slay thee." So I hid it from himand I abode on this wise for a term of dayswhen the old woman diedand thepeople of the city redoubled in their impiety and arrogance and the error oftheir ways.

"One day while they were as wontbeholdthey heard a loud and terriblesound and a crier crying out with a voice like roaring thunder so every earcould hearfar and near: 'O folk of this cityleave ye your fire-worshipingand adore Allah the All-compassionate King!" At thisfear and terror fellupon the citizens and they crowded to my father (he being King of the city) andasked him: 'What is this awesome voice we have heard; for it hath confounded uswith the excess of its terror?' And he answered: 'Let not a voice fright you norshake your steadfast sprite nor turn you back from the faith which is right.'Their hearts inclined to his words and they ceased not to worship the fire andthey persisted in rebellion for a full year from the time they heard the firstvoice. And on the anniversary came a second cryand a third at the head of thethird yeareach year once.

Still they persisted in their malpractices till one day at break of dawnjudgment and the wrath of Heaven descended upon them with all suddennessand bythe visitation of Allah all were metamorphosed into black stonesthey and theirbeasts and their cattleand none was saved save myselfwho at the time wasengaged in my devotions. From that day to this I am in the case thou seestconstant in prayer and fasting and reading and reciting the Koranbut I amindeed grown weary by reason of my lonelinesshaving none to bear mecompany."

Then said I to him (for in very sooth he had won my heart and was the lord ofmy life and soul): "O youthwilt thou fare with me to Baghdad city andvisit the Ulema and men teamed in the law and doctors of divinity and get theeincrease of wisdom and understanding and theology? And know that she whostandeth in thy presence will be thy handmaidalbeit she be head of her familyand mistress over men and eunuchs and servants and slaves. Indeed my life was nolife before it fell in with thy youth. I have here a ship laden withmerchandiseand in very truth Destiny drove me to this city that I might cometo the knowledge of these mattersfor it was fated that we should meet."And I ceased not to persuade him and speak him fair and use every art till heconsented. I slept that night at his feet and hardly knowing where I was forexcess of joy.

As soon as the next morning dawned (she pursuedaddressing the Caliph)Iarose and we entered the treasuries and took thence whatever was light in weightand great in worth. Then we went down side by side from the castle to the citywhere we were met by the Captain and my sisters and slaveswho had been seekingfor me. When they saw methey rejoiced and asked what had stayed meand I toldthem all I had seen and related to them the story of the young Prince and thetransformation wherewith the citizens had been justly visited. Hereat allmarveledbut when my two sisters (these two bitchesO Commander of theFaithful!) saw me by the side of my young loverthey jaloused me on his accountand were wroth and plotted mischief against me. We awaited a fair wind and wenton board rejoicing and ready to fly for joy by reason of the goods we hadgottenbut my own greatest joyance was in the youth. And we waited awhile tillthe wind blew fair for us and then we set sail and fared forth.

Now as we sat talkingmy sisters asked me"And what wilt thou do withthis handsome young man?" and I answered"I purpose to make him myhusband!" Then I turned to him and said: "O my lordI have that topropose to thee wherein thou must not cross meand this it is thatwhen wereach Baghdadmy native cityI offer thee my life as thy handmaiden in holymatrimonyand thou shalt be to me baron and I will be femme to thee." Heanswered"I hear and I obey! Thou art my lady and my mistress and whatsothou doest I will not gainsay." Then I turned to my sisters and said:"This is my gain. I content me with this youth and those who have gottenaught of my propertylet them keep it as their gain with my goodwill.""Thou sayest and doest well" answered the twainbut they imaginedmischief against me.

We ceased not spooning before a fair wind till we had exchanged the sea ofperil for the seas of safetyand in a few days we made Bassorah citywhosebuildings loomed clear before us as evening fell. But after we had retired torest and were sound asleepmy two sisters arose and took me upbed and alland threw me into the sea. They did the same with the young Princewhoas hecould not swimsank and was drownedand Allah enrolled him in the noble armyof martyrs. As for mewould Heaven I had been drowned with himbut Allahdeemed that I should be of the savedso when I awoke and found myself in thesea and saw the ship making off like a flash of lightningHe threw in my way apiece of timberwhich I bestridedand the waves tossed me to and fro till theycast me upon an island coasta high land and an uninhabited. I landed andwalked about the island the rest of the nightand when morning dawnedI saw arough track barely fit for child of Adam to treadleading to what proved ashallow ford connecting island and mainland.

As soon as the sun had risen I spread my garments to dry in its raysand ateof the fruits of the island and drank of its waters. Then I set out along thefoot track and ceased not walking till I reached the mainland. Now when thereremained between me and the city but a two hours' journeybeholda greatserpentthe bigness of a date palmcame fleeing toward me in all hastegliding along now to the rightthen to the lefttill she was close upon mewhilst her tongue lolled groundward a span long and swept the dust as she went.She was pursued by a dragon who was not longer than two lancesand of slenderbuild about the bulk of a spearand although her terror lent her speed and shekept wriggling from side to sidehe overtook her and seized her by the tailwhereat her tears streamed down and her tongue was thrust out in her agony. Itook pity on her andpicking up a stone and calling upon Allah for aidthrewit at the dragon's head with such force that he died then and thereand theserpentopening a pair of wingsflew into the lift and disappeared from beforemy eyes.

I sat down marveling over that adventurebut I was weary anddrowsinessovercoming meI slept where I was for a while. When I awoke I found a jet-blackdamsel sitting at my feet shampooing themand by her side stood two blackbitches (my sistersO Commander of the Faithful!). I was ashamed before herandsitting upasked her"O my sisterwho and what art thou?" andshe answered: "How soon hast thou forgotten me! I am she for whom thouwroughtest a good deed and sowedest the seed of gratitude and slewest her foefor I am the serpent whom by Allah's aidance thou didst just now deliver fromthe dragon. I am a Jinniyah and he was a Jinn who hated meand none saved mylife from him save thou. As soon as thou freedest me from him I flew on the windto the ship whence thy sisters threw theeand removed all that was therein tothy house. Then I ordered my attendant Marids to sink the shipand Itransformed thy two sisters into these black bitchesfor I know all that hathpassed between them and thee. But as for the youthof a truth he isdrowned."

So sayingshe flew up with me and the bitchesand presently set us down onthe terrace roof of my housewherein I found ready stored the whole of whatproperty was in my shipnor was aught of it missing. "Now (continued theserpent that was)I swear by all engraven on the seal ring of Solomon (withwhom be peace!) unless thou deal to each of these bitches three hundred stripesevery day I will come and imprison thee forever under the earth." Ianswered"Hearkening and obedience!" and away she flew. But beforegoing she again charged me saying"I again swear by Him who made the twoseas flow (and this be my second oath)if thou gainsay me I will come andtransform thee like thy sisters." Since then I have never failedOCommander of the Faithfulto beat them with that number of blows till theirblood flows with my tearsI pitying them the whileand well they wot thattheir being scourged is no fault of mine and they accept my excuses. And this ismy tale and my history!

THE TALE OF THE THREE APPLES -

THEY relateO King of the Age and Lord of the Time and of these daysthatthe Caliph Harun al-Rashid summoned his Wazir Ja'afar one night and said to him:"I desire to go down into the city and question the common folk concerningthe conduct of those charged with its governanceand those of whom theycomplain we will depose from office and those whom they commend we willpromote." Quoth Ja'afar"Hearkening and obedience!"

So the Caliph went down with Ja'afar and the eunuch Masrur to the town andwalked about the streets and marketsand as they were threading a narrow alleythey came upon a very old man with a fishing net and crate to carry small fishon his headand in his hands a staffand as he walked at a leisurely paceherepeated these lines: -

"They say me: 'Thou shinest a light to mankind

With thy lore as the night which the Moon doth uplight!'

I answer'A truce to your jests and your gibes.

Without luck what is learning?- a poor-devil wight!

If they take me to pawn with my lore in my pouch

With my volumes to read and my ink case to write

For one day's provision they never could pledge me

As likely on Doomsday to draw bill at sight.'

How poorlyindeeddoth it fare wi' the poor

With his pauper existence and beggarly plight.

In summer he faileth provision to find

In winter the fire pot's his only delight.

The street dogs with bite and with bark to him rise

And each losel receives him with bark and with bite.

If he lift up his voice and complain of his wrong

None pities or heeds himhowever he's right

And when sorrows and evils like these he must brave

His happiest homestead were down in the grave." -

When the Caliph heard his verseshe said to Ja'afar"See this poor manand note his versesfor surely they point to his necessities." Then heaccosted him and asked"O Sheikhwhat be thine occupation?" And thepoor man answered: "O my lordI am a fisherman with a family to keep and Ihave been out between midday and this timeand not a thing hath Allah made myportion wherewithal to feed my family. I cannot even pawn myself to buy them asupperand I hate and disgust my life and I hanker after death." Quoth theCaliph"Say mewilt thou return with us to Tigris' bank and cast thy neton my luckand whatsoever turneth up I will buy of thee for a hundred goldpieces?" The man rejoiced when he heard these words and said: "On myhead be it! I will go back with you" andreturning with them riverwardmade a cast and waited a while.

Then he hauled in the rope and dragged the net ashore and there appeared init a chestpadlocked and heavy. The Caliph examined it and lifted itfindingit weightyso he gave the fisherman two hundred dinars and sent him about hisbusiness whilst Masruraided by the Caliphcarried the chest to the palace andset it down and lighted the candles. Ja'afar and Masrur then broke it open andfound therein a basket of palm leaves corded with red worsted. This they cutopen and saw within it a piece of carpetwhich they lifted outand under itwas a woman's mantilla folded in fourwhich they pulled outand at the bottomof the chest they came upon a young ladyfair as a silver ingotslain and cutinto nineteen pieces. When the Caliph looked upon her he cried"Alas!" and tears ran down his cheeks and turning to Ja'afarhe said:"O dog of Wazirsshall folk be murdered in our reign and be cast into theriver to be a burden and a responsibility for us on the Day of Doom? By Allahwe must avenge this woman on her murdererand he shall be made die the worst ofdeaths!"

And presently he added: "Nowas surely as we are descended from theSons of Abbasif thou bring us not him who slew herthat we do her justice onhimI will hang thee at the gate of my palacethee and forty of thy kith andkin by thy side." And the Caliph was wroth with exceeding rage. QuothJa'afar"Grant me three days' delay" and quoth the Caliph"Wegrant thee this." So Ja'afar went out from before him and returned to hisown housefull of sorrow and saying to himself: "How shall I find him whomurdered this damselthat I may bring him before the Caliph? If I bring otherthan the murdererit will be laid to my charge by the Lord. In very sooth I wotnot what to do." He kept his house three daysand on the fourth day theCaliph sent one of the chamberlains for himand as he came into the presenceasked him"Where is the murderer of the damsel?" To which answeredJa'afar"O Commander of the Faithfulam I inspector of murdered folk thatI should ken who killed her?" The Caliph was furious at his answer and badehang him before the palace gateand commanded that a crier cry through thestreets of Baghdad: "Whoso would see the hanging of Ja'afarthe BarmakiWazir of the Caliphwith forty of the Barmecideshis cousins and kinsmenbefore the palace gatelet him come and let him look!" The people flockedout from all the quarters of the city to witness the execution of Ja'afar andhis kinsmennot knowing the cause.

Then they set up the gallows and made Ja'afar and the others stand underneathin readiness for executionbut whilst every eye was looking for the Caliph'ssignaland the crowd wept for Ja'afar and his cousins of the Barmecideslo andbehold! a young man fair of face and neat of dress and of favor like the moonraining fightwith eyes black and brightand brow flower-whiteand cheeks redas rose and young down where the beard growsand a mole like a grain ofambergrispushed his way through the people till he stood immediately beforethe Wazir and said to him: "Safety to thee from this straitO Prince ofthe Emirs and Asylum of the Poor! I am the man who slew the woman ye found inthe chestso hang me for her and do her justice on me!" When Ja'afar heardthe youth's confession he rejoiced at his own deliverancebut grieved andsorrowed for the fair youth.

And whilst they were yet talkingbeholdanother man well stricken in yearspressed forward through the people and thrust his way amid the populace till hecame to Ja'afar and the youthwhom he salutedsaying: "Hothou the Wazirand Prince sans peer! Believe not the words of this youth. Of a surety nonemurdered the damsel but I. Take her wreak on me this momentfor an thou do notthusI will require it of thee before Almighty Allah." Then quoth theyoung man: "O Wazirthis is an old man in his dotage who wotteth notwhatso he saith everand I am he who murdered herso do thou avenge her onme!" Quoth the old man: "O my sonthou art young and desirest thejoys of the world and I am old and weary and surfeited with the world. I willoffer my life as a ransom for thee and for the Wazir and his cousins. No onemurdered the damsel but Iso Allah upon theemake haste to hang mefor nolife is left in me now that hers is gone."

The Wazir marveled much at all this strangeness and taking the young man andthe old mancarried them before the Caliphwhereafter kissing the groundseven times between his handshe said"O Commander of the FaithfulIbring thee the murderer of the damsel!" "Where is he?" asked theCaliphand Ja'afar answered: "This young man saith'I am the murderer'and this old mangiving him the liesaith'I am the murderer' and beholdhere are the twain standing before thee." The Caliph looked at the old manand the young man and asked"Which of you killed the girl?" The youngman replied"No one slew her save I" and the old man answered"Indeed none killed her but myself." Then said the Caliph to Ja'afar"Take the twain and hang them both." But Ja'afar rejoined"Sinceone of them was the murdererto hang the other were mere injustice.""By Him who raised the firmament and dispread the earth like acarpet" cried the youth"I am he who slew the damsel" and hewent on to describe the manner of her murder and the basketthe mantillaandthe bit of carpet- in factall that the Caliph had found upon her.

So the Caliph was certified that the young man was the murdererwhereat hewondered and asked him: "What was the cause of thy wrongfully doing thisdamsel to dieand what made thee confess the murder without the bastinadoandwhat brought thee here to yield up thy lifeand what made thee say 'Do herwreak upon me'?" The youth answered: "KnowO Commander of theFaithfulthat this woman was my wife and the mother of my childrenalso myfirst cousin and the daughter of my paternal unclethis old manwho is myfather's own brother. When I married her she was a maidand Allah blessed mewith three male children by her. She loved me and served me and I saw no evil inherfor I also loved her with fondest love. Now on the first day of this monthshe fell ill with grievous sickness and I fetched in physicians to herbutrecovery came to her little by littleand when I wished her to go to the hammambathshe said'There is something I long for before I go to the bathand Ilong for it with an exceeding longing.' 'To hear is to comply' said I. 'Andwhat is it?' Quoth she'I have a queasy craving for an appleto smell it andbite a bit of it.' I replied'Hadst thou a thousand longingsI would try tosatisfy them!' So I went on the instant into the city and sought for applesbutcould find noneyet had they cost a gold piece eachwould I have bought them.I was vexed at this and went home and said'O daughter of my uncleby Allah Ican find none!' She was distressedbeing yet very weaklyand her weaknessincreased greatly on her that night and I felt anxious and alarmed on heraccount.

"As soon as morning dawned I went out again and made the round of thegardensone by onebut found no apples anywhere. At last there met me an oldgardenerof whom I asked about them and he answered'O my sonthis fruit is ararity with us and is not now to be found save in the garden of the Commander ofthe Faithful at Bassorahwhere the gardener keepeth it for the Caliph'seating.' I returned to my house troubled by my ill successand my love for mywife and my affection moved me to undertake the journeySo I at me ready andset out and traveled fifteen days and nightsgoing and comingand brought herthree appleswhich I bought from the gardener for three dinars. But when I wentin to my wife and set them before hershe took no pleasure in them and let themlie by her sidefor her weakness and fever had increased on herand her maladylasted without abating ten daysafter which she began to recover health.

"So I left my house and betaking me to my shopsat there buying andselling. And about middaybeholda great ugly black slavelong as a lance andbroad as a benchpassed by my shop holding in hand one of the three appleswherewith he was playingQuoth I`O my good slavetell me whence thou tookestthat applethat I may get the like of it?' He laughed and answered: `I got itfrom my mistressfor I had been absent and on my return I found her lying illwith three apples by her sideand she said to me"My horned wittol of ahusband made a journey for them to Bassorah and bought them for threedinars." 'So I ate and drank with her and took this one from her.' When Iheard such words from the slaveO Commander of the Faithfulthe world grewblack before my faceand I arose and locked up my shop and went home besidemyself for excess of rage. I looked for the apples and findingonly two of thethreeasked my wife`O my cousinwhere is the third apple?' And raising herhead languidlyshe answered`I wot notO son of my unclewhere 'tis gone!'This convinced me that the slave had spoken the truthso I took a knife andcoming behind hergot upon her breast without a word said and cut her throat.Then I hewed off her head and her limbs in pieces andwrapping her in hermantilla and a rag of carpethurriedly sewed up the wholewhich I set in achest andlocking it tightloaded it on my he-mule and threw it into theTigris with my own hands.

"So Allah upon theeO Commander of the Faithfulmake haste to hang meas I fear lest she appeal for vengeance on Resurrection Day. For when I hadthrown her into the river and one knew aught of itas I went back home I foundmy eldest son cryingand yet he knew naught of what I had done with his mother.I asked him'What hath made thee weepmy boy?' and he answered'I took one ofthe three apples which were by my mammy and went down into the lane to play withmy brethren when beholda big long black slave snatched it from my hand andsaid"Whence hadst thou this?" Quoth I"My father traveled farfor itand brought it from Bassorah for my motherwho was illand two otherapples for which he paid three ducats." 'He took no heed of my words and Iasked for the apple a second and a third timebut he cuffed me and kicked meand went off with it. I was afraid lest my mother should swinge me on account ofthe appleso for fear of her I went with my brother outside the city and stayedthere till evening closed in upon usand indeed I am in fear of her. And nowby AllahO my fathersay nothing to her of this or it may add to herailment!"

"When I heard what my child saidI knew that the slave was he who hadfoully slandered my wifethe daughter of my uncleand was certified that I hadslain her wrongfully. So I wept with exceeding weeping and presently this oldmanmy paternal uncle and her fathercame inand I told him what had happenedand he sat down by my side and weptand we ceased not weeping till midnight. Wehave kept up mourning for her these last five days and we lamented her in thedeepest sorrow for that she was unjustly done to die. This came from thegratuitous lying of the slavethe blackamoorand this was the manner of mykilling her. So I conjure theeby the honor of thine ancestorsmake haste tokill me and do her justice upon meas there is no living for me afterher!"

The Caliph marveled at his words and said: "By Allahthe young man isexcusable. I will hang none but the accursed slaveand I will do a deed whichshall comfort the ill-at-ease and sufferingand which shall please theAll-glorious King." Then he turned to Ja'afar and said to him: "Bringbefore me this accursed slave who was the sole cause of this calamityand ifthou bring him not before me within three daysthou shalt be slain in hisstead." So Ja'afar fared forth weeping and saying: "Two deaths havealready beset menor shall the crock come off safe from every shock. In thismatter craft and cunning are of no availbut He who preserved my life the firsttime can preserve it a second time. By AllahI will not leave my house duringthe three days of life which remain to meand let the Truth (whose perfectionbe praised!) do e'en as He will." So he kept his house three daysand onthe fourth day he summoned the kazis and legal witnesses and made his last willand testamentand took leave of his children weeping.

Presently in came a messenger from the Caliph and said to him: "TheCommander of the Faithful is in the most violent rage that can beand hesendeth to seek thee and he sweareth that the day shall certainly not passwithout thy being hanged unless the slave be forthcoming" When Ja'afarheard this he weptand his children and slaves and all who were in the housewept with him. After he had bidden adieu to everybody except this youngestdaughterhe proceeded to farewell herfor he loved this wee onewho was abeautiful childmore than all his other children. And he pressed her to hisbreast and kissed her and wept bitterly at parting from herwhen he feltsomething round inside the bosom of her dress and asked her"O my littlemaidwhat is in the bosom pocket?" "O my father" she replied"it is an apple with the name of our Lord the Caliph written upon it.Rayhan our slave brought it to me four days agoand would not let me have ittill I gave him two dinars for it." When Ja'afar heard speak of the slaveand the applehe was glad and put his hand into his child's pocket and drew outthe apple and knew it and rejoicedsaying"O ready Dispeller oftrouble!"

Then he bade them bring the slave and said to him"Fie upon theeRayhan! Whence haddest thou this apple?" "By AllahO my master"he replied"though a he may get a man once offyet may truth get him offand well offagain and again. I did not steal this apple from thy palace norfrom the gardens of the Commander of the Faithful. The fact is that five daysagoas I was walking along one of the alleys of this cityI saw some littleones at play and this apple in hand of one of them. So I snatched it from himand beat himand he cried and said'O youththis apple is my mother's and sheis ill. She told my father how she longed for an appleso he traveled toBassorah and bought her three apples for three gold piecesand I took one ofthem to play withal.' He wept againbut I paid no heed to what he said andcarried it off and brought it hereand my little lady bought it of me for twodinars of gold. And this is the whole story."

When Ja'afar heard his words he marveled that the murder of the damsel andall this misery should have been caused by his slave. He grieved for therelation of the slave to himself while rejoicing over his own deliveranceandhe repeated these lines: -

"If ill betide thee through thy slave

Make him forthright thy sacrifice.

A many serviles thou shalt find

But life comes once and never twice." - Then he took the slave's handandleading him to the Caliphrelated the story from first to lastand theCaliph marveled with extreme astonishmentand laughed till he fell on his backand ordered that the story be recorded and be made public amongst the people.

But Ja'afar said"Marvel notO Commander of the Faithfulat thisadventurefor it is not more wondrous than the History of the Wazir Nur al-DinAli of Egypt and his brother Shams al-Din Mohammed." Quoth the Caliph"Out with itbut what can be stranger than this story?" And Ja'afaranswered"O Commander of the FaithfulI will not tell it thee save oncondition that thou pardon my slave." And the Caliph rejoined"If itbe indeed more wondrous than that of the three applesI grant thee his bloodand if not I will surely slay thy slave." So Ja'afar began in these wordsthe

TALE OF NUR AL-DIN ALI AND HIS SON BADR AL-DIN HASAN -

KNOWO Commander of the Faithfulthat in times of yore the land of Egyptwas ruled by a Sultan endowed with justice and generosityone who loved thepious poor and companied with the Ulema and learned men. And he had a Wazirawise and an experiencedwell versed in affairs and in the art of government.This Ministerwho was a very old manhad two sonsas they were two moons.Never man saw the like of them for beauty and grace- the elder called Shamsal-Din Mohammed and the younger Nur al-Din Ali. But the younger excelled theelder in seemliness and pleasing semblanceso that folk heard his fame in farcountries and men flocked to Egypt for the purpose of seeing him.

In course of time their fatherthe Wazirdied and was deeply regretted andmourned by the Sultanwho sent for his two sons andinvesting them withdresses of honorsaid to them"Let not your hearts be troubledfor yeshall stand in your father's stead and be joint Ministers of Egypt." Atthis they rejoiced and kissed the ground before him and performed the ceremonialmourning for their father during a full monthafter which time they enteredupon the wazirate and the power passed into their hands as it had been in thehands of their fathereach doing duty for a week at a time. They lived underthe same roof and their word was oneand whenever the Sultan desired to travelthey took it by turns to be in attendance on him.

It fortuned one night that the Sultan purposed setting out on a journey nextmorningand the elderwhose turn it was to accompany himwas sittingconversing with his brother and said to him: "O my brotherit is my wishthat we both marryI and thoutwo sistersand go in to our wives on one andthe same night." "DoO my brotheras thou desirest" theyounger replied"for right is thy recking and surely I will comply withthee in whatso thou sayest." So they agreed upon thisand quoth Shamsal-Din: "If Allah decree that we marry two damsels and go in to them on thesame nightand they shall conceive on their bride nights and bear children tous on the same dayand by Allah's will thy wife bear thee a son and my wifebear me a daughterlet us wed them either to otherfor they will becousins." Quoth Nur al-Din: "O my brotherShams al-Dinwhat dowerwilt thou require from my son for thy daughter?" Quoth Shams al-Din:"I will take three thousand dinars and three pleasure gardens and threefarmsand it would not be seemly that the youth make contract for less thanthis."

When Nur al-Din heard such demandhe said: "What manner of dower isthis thou wouldest impose upon my son? Wottest thou not that we are brothers andboth by Allah's grace Wazirs and equal in office? It behooveth thee to offer thydaughter to my son without marriage settlementorif one need beit shouldrepresent a mere nominal value by way of show to the world. For thou knowestthat the masculine is worthier than the feminineand my son is a male and ourmemory will be preserved by himnot by thy daughter." "Butwhat" said Shams al-Din"is she to have?" And Nur al-Dincontinued"Through her we shall not be remembered among the emirs of theearthbut I see thou wouldest do with me according to the saying'An thouwouldst bluff of a buyerask him high price and higher' or as did a man whothey say went to a friend and asked something of him being in necessity and wasanswered'Bismillahin the name of AllahI will do all what thou requirestbut come tomorrow!' Whereupon the other replied in this verse: -

'When he who is asked a favor saith "Tomorrow"

The wise man wots 'tis vain to beg or borrow.' -

Quoth Shams al-Din: "Basta! I see thee fail in respect to me by makingthy son of more account than my daughterand 'tis plain that thineunderstanding is of the meanest and that thou lackest manners. Thou remindest meof thy partnership in the waziratewhen I admitted thee to share with me onlyin pity for theeand not wishing to mortify theeand that thou mightest helpme as a manner of assistant. But since thou talkest on this wiseby AllahIwill never marry my daughter to thy son- nonot for her weight in gold!"When Nur al-Din heard his brother's wordshe waxed wroth and said: "And ItooI will nevernever marry my son to thy daughter- nonot to keep from mylips the cup of death." Shams al-Din replied: "I would not accept himas a husband for herand he is not worth a paring of her nail. Were I not aboutto travelI would make an example of thee. Howeverwhen I return thou shaltseeand I will show theehow I can assert my dignity and vindicate my honor.But Allah doeth whatso He willeth."

When Nur al-Din heard this speech from his brotherhe was filled with furyand lost his wits for ragebut he hid what he felt and held his peace; and eachof the brothers passed the night in a place far apartwild with wrath againstthe other.

As soon as morning dawned the Sultan fared forth in state and crossed overfrom Cairo to Jizah and made for the Pyramidsaccompanied by the Wazir Shamsal-Dinwhose turn of duty it waswhilst his brother Nur al-Dinwho passed thenight in sore ragerose with the light and prayed the dawn prayer. Then hebetook himself to his treasury andtaking a small pair of saddlebagsfilledthem with gold. And he called to mind his brother's threats and the contemptwherewith he had treated himand he repeated these couplets: -

"Travel! And thou shalt find new friends for old ones left behind.

Toil! For the sweets of human life by toil and moil are found.

The stay-at-home no honor winsnor aught attains but want

So leave thy place of birth and wander all the world around!

I've seenand very oft I've seenhow standing water stinks

And only flowing sweetens it and trotting makes it sound.

And were the moon forever full and ne'er to wax or wane

Man would not strain his watchful eyes to see its gladsome round.

Except the lion leave his lairhe ne'er would fell his game

Except the arrow leave the bowne'er had it reached its bound.

Gold dust is dust the while it lies untraveled in the mine

And aloes wood mere fuel is upon its native ground.

And gold shall win his highest worth when from his goal ungoaled

And aloes sent to foreign parts grows costlier than gold." -

When he ended his versehe bade one of his pages saddle him his Nubian maremule with her padded selle. Now she was a dapple-graywith ears like reed pensand legs like columns and a back high and strong as a dome builded on pillars.Her saddle was of gold cloth and her stirrups of Indian steeland her housingof Ispahan velvet. She had trappings which would serve the Chosroesand she waslike a bride adorned for her wedding night. Moreoverhe bade lay on her back apiece of silk for a seatand a prayer carpet under which were his saddlebags.When this was donehe said to his pages and slaves: "I purpose going fortha-pleasuring outside the city on the road to Kalyub townand I shall be threenights abroadso let none of you follow mefor there is something straitenethmy breast." Then he mounted the mule in haste andtaking with him someprovaunt for the wayset out from Cairo and faced the open and uncultivatedcountry lying around it.

About noontide he entered Bilbays citywhere he dismounted and stayed awhileto rest himself and his mule and ate some of his victual. He bought at Bilbaysall he wanted for himself and forage for his mule and then fared on the way ofthe waste. Toward nightfall he entered a town called Sa'adiyahwhere healighted and took out somewhat of his viaticum and ate. Then he spread his stripof silk on the sand and set the saddlebags under his head and slept in the openairfor he was still overcome with anger. When morning dawned he mounted androde onward till he reached the Holy CityJerusalemand thence he made Aleppowhere he dismounted at one of the caravanserais and abode three days to resthimself and the mule and to smell the air. Thenbeing determined to travel afarand Allah having written safety in his fatehe set out againmending withoutwotting whither he was going. And having fallen in with certain couriershestinted not traveling till he had reached Bassorah cityalbeit he knew not whatthe place was.

It was dark night when he alighted at the khanso he spread out his prayercarpet and took down the saddlebags from the back of the mule and gave her withher furniture in charge of the doorkeeper that he might walk her about. The mantook her and did as he was bid. Now it so happened that the Wazir of Bassorahaman shot in yearswas sitting at the lattice window of his palace opposite thekhan and he saw the porter walking the mule up and down. He was struck by hertrappings of priceand thought her a nice beast fit for the riding of wazirs oreven of royaltiesand the more he lookedthe more was he perplexedtill atlast he said to one of his pages"Bring hither yon doorkeeper." Thepage went and returned to the Wazir with the porterwho kissed the groundbetween his handsand the Minister asked him"Who is the owner of yondermuleand what manner of man is he?" and he answered"O my lordtheowner of this mule is a comely young man of pleasant mannerswithal grave anddignifiedand doubtless one of the sons of the merchants."

When the Wazir heard the doorkeeper's words he arose forthright andmountinghis horserode to the khan and went in to Nur al-Dinwhoseeing the Ministermaking toward himrose to his feet and advanced to meet him and saluted him.The Wazir welcomed him to Bassorah and dismountingembraced him and made himsit down by his sideand said"O my sonwhence comest thouand whatdost thou seek?" "O my lord" Nur al-Din replied"I havecome from Cairo cityof which my father was whilom Wazirbut he hath beenremoved to the grace of Allah." And he informed him of all that hadbefallen him from beginning to endadding"I am resolved never to returnhome before I have seen all the cities and countries of the world." Whenthe Wazir heard thishe said to him: "O my sonhearken not to the voiceof passion lest it cast thee into the pitfor indeed many regions be wasteplacesand I fear for thee the turns of Time." Then he let load thesaddlebags and the silk and prayer carpets on the mule and carried Nur al-Din tohis own housewhere he lodged him in a pleasant place and entreated himhonorably and made much of himfor he inclined to love him with exceeding love.

After a while he said to him: "O my sonhere am I left a man in yearsand have no male childrenbut Allah hath blessed me with a daughter who eveneththee in beautyand I have rejected all her many suitorsmen of rank andsubstance. But affection for thee hath entered into my heart. Say methenwiltthou be to her a husband? If thou accept thisI will go with thee to the Sultanof Bassorah and will tell him that thou art my nephewthe son of my brotherand bring thee to be appointed Wazir in my place that I may keep the houseforby AllahO my sonI am stricken in years and aweary." When Nur al-Dinheard the Wazir's wordshe bowed his head in modesty and said"To hear isto obey!" At this the Wazir rejoiced and bade his servants prepare a feastand decorate the great assembly hall wherein they were wont to celebrate themarriages of emirs and grandees. Then he assembled his friends and the notablesof the reign and the merchants of Bassorahand when all stood before him hesaid to them: "I had a brother who was Wazir in the land of EgyptandAllah Almighty blessed him with two sonswhilst to meas well ye wotHe hathgiven a daughter. My brother charged me to marry my daughter to one of his sonswhereto I assentedand when my daughter was of age to marryhe sent me one ofhis sonsthe young man now presentto whom I purpose marrying herdrawing upthe contract and celebrating the night of unveiling with due ceremony. For he isnearer and dearer to me than a strangerand after the weddingif he please heshall abide with meor if he desire to travelI will forward him and his wifeto his father's home." Hereat one and all replied"Right is thyrecking" and they looked at the bridegroom and were pleased with him.

So the Wazir sent for the kazi and legal witnesses and they wrote out themarriage contractafter which the slaves perfumed the guests with incenseandserved them with sherbet of sugar and sprinkled rose-water on themand all wenttheir ways. Then the Wazir bade his servants take Nur al-Din to the hammam bathsand sent him a suit of the best of his own especial raimentand napkins andtowelry and bowls and perfume-burners and all else that was required. And afterthe bathwhen he came out and donned the dresshe was even as the full moon onthe fourteenth nightand he mounted his mule and stayed not till he reached theWazir's palace. There he dismounted and went in to the Minister and kissed hishandsand the Wazir bade him welcomesaying: "Arise and go in to thy wifethis nightand on the morrow I will carry thee to the Sultanand pray Allahbless thee with all manner of weal." So Nur al-Din left him and went in tohis wife the Wazir's daughter.

Thus far concerning himbut as regards his elder brotherShams al-Dinhewas absent with the Sultan a long timeand when he returned from his journey hefound not his brotherand he asked of his servants and slaveswho answered:"On the day of thy departure with the Sultanthy brother mounted his mulefully caparisoned as for state procession saying'I am going towards Kalyubtownand I shall be absent one day or at most two daysfor my breast isstraitenedand let none of you follow me.' Then he fared forthand from thattime to this we have heard no tidings of him." Shams al-Din was greatlytroubled at the sudden disappearance of his brother and grieved with exceedinggrief at the lossand said to himself: "This is only because I chided andupbraided him the night before my departure with the Sultan. Haply his feelingswere hurtand he fared forth a-travelingbut I must send after him." Thenhe went in to the Sultan and acquainted him with what had happened and wroteletters and dispatcheswhich he sent by running footmen to his deputies inevery province. But during the twenty days of his brother's absence Nur al-Dinhad traveled far and had reached Bassorahso after diligent search themessengers failed to come at any news of him and returned. Thereupon Shamsal-Din despaired of finding his brother and said: "Indeed I went beyond allbounds in what I said to him with reference to the marriage of our children.Would that I had not done so! This all cometh of my lack of wit and want ofcaution."

Soon after this he sought in marriage the daughter of a Cairene merchantanddrew up the marriage contractand went in to her. And it so chanced that on thevery same night when Shams al-Din went in to his wifeNur al-Din also went into his wifethe daughter of the Wazir of Bassorahthis being in accordancewith the will of Almighty Allahthat He might deal the decrees of Destiny toHis creatures. Furthermoreit was as the two brothers had saidfor their twowives became pregnant by them on the same night and both were brought to bed onthe same daythe wife of Shams al-DinWazir of Egyptof a daughternever inCairo was seen a fairerand the wife of Nur al-Din of a sonnone morebeautiful was ever seen in his timeas one of the poets said concerning thelike of him: -

That jetty hairthat glossy brow

My slender waisted youthof thine

Can darkness round creation throw

Or make it brightly shine.

The dusky mole that faintly shows

Upon his cheekah! blame it not.

The tulip flower never blows

Undarkened by its spot. -

They named the boy Badr al-Din Hasan and his grandfatherthe Wazir ofBassorahrejoiced in himand on the seventh day after his birth madeentertainments and spread banquets which would befit the birth of kings' sonsand heirs. Then he took Nur al-Din and went up with him to the Sultanand hisson-in-lawwhen he came before the presence of the Kingkissed the groundbetween his hands and repeated these versesfor he was ready of speechfirm ofsprite and good in heartas he was goodly in form: -

"The world's best joys long be thy lotmy lord!

And last while darkness and the dawn o'erlap.

O thou who makestwhen we greet thy gifts

The world to dance and Time his palms to clap." -

Then the Sultan rose up to honor them andthanking Nur al-Din for his finecomplimentasked the Wazir"Who may be this young man?" And theMinister answered"This is my brother's son" and related his talefrom first to last. Quoth the Sultan"And how comes he to be thy nephewand we have never heard speak of him?" Quoth the Minister: "O our lordthe SultanI had a brother who was Wazir in the land of Egypt and he diedleaving two sonswhereof the elder hath taken his father's place and theyoungerwhom thou seestcame to me. I had sworn I would not marry my daughterto any but himso when he came I married him to her. Now he is young and I amoldmy hearing is dulled and my judgment is easily fooledwherefore I wouldsolicit our lord the Sultan to set him in my steadfor he is my brother's sonand my daughter's husbandand he is fit for the waziratebeing a man of goodcounsel and ready contrivance."

The Sultan looked at Nur al-Din and liked himso he stablished him in officeas the Wazir had requested and formally appointed himpresenting him with asplendid dress of honor and a she-mule from his private studand assigning tohim soldestipendsand supplies. Nur al-Din kissed the Sultan's hand and wenthomehe and his father-in-lawjoying with exceeding joy and saying"Allthis followeth on the heels of the boy Hasan's birth!" Next day hepresented himself before the King andkissing the groundbegan repeating: -

"Grow thy weal and thy welfare day by day

And thy luck prevail o'er the envier's spite

And ne'er cease thy days to be white as day

And thy foeman's day to be black as night!" -

The Sultan bade him be seated on the Wazir's seatso he sat down and appliedhimself to the business of his office and went into the cases of the lieges andtheir suitsas is the wont of Ministerswhile the Sultan watched him andwondered at his wit and good sensejudgment and insight. Wherefor he loved himand took him into intimacy. When the Divan was dismissedNur al-Din returned tohis house and related what had passed to his father-in-lawwho rejoiced. Andthenceforward Nur al-Din ceased not so to administer the wazirate that theSultan would not be parted from him night or dayand increased his stipends andsupplies till his means were ample and he became the owner of ships that madetrading voyages at his commandas well as of Mamelukes and blackamoor slaves.And he laid out many estates and set up Persian wheels and planted gardens.

When his son Hasan was four years of agethe old Wazir deceasedand he madefor his father-in-law a sumptuous funeral ceremony ere he was laid in the dust.Then he occupied himself with the education of this sonand when the boy waxedstrong and came to the age of sevenhe brought him a fakira doctor of law andreligionto teach him in his own houseand charged him to give him a goodeducation and instruct him in politeness and good manners. So the tutor made theboy read and retain all varieties of useful knowledgeafter he had spent someyears in learning the Koran by heartand he ceased not to grow in beauty andstature and symmetry. The professor brought him up in his father's palaceteaching him readingwriting and cipheringtheologyand belles lettres. Hisgrandfatherthe old Wazirhad bequeathed to him the whole of his property whenhe was but four years of age.

Now during all the time of his earliest youth he had never left the housetill on a certain day his fatherthe Wazir Nur al-Dinclad him in his bestclothes andmounting him on a she-mule of the finestwent up with him to theSultan. The King gazed at Badr al-Din Hasan and marveled at his comeliness andloved him. As for the city folkwhen he first passed before them with hisfatherthey marveled at his exceeding beauty and sat down on the road expectinghis returnthat they might look their fill on his beauty and loveliness andsymmetry and perfect grace. And they blessed him aloud as he passed and calledupon Almighty Allah to bless him. The Sultan entreated the lad with especialfavor and said to his father"O Wazirthou must needs bring him daily tomy presence." Whereupon he replied"I hear and I obey."

Then the Wazir returned home with his son and ceased not to carry him tocourt till he reached the age of twenty. At that time the Minister sickened andsending for Badr al-Din Hasansaid to him: "KnowO my sonthat the worldof the present is but a house of mortalitywhile that the future is a house ofeternity. I wishbefore I dieto bequeath thee certain chargesand do thoutake heed of what I say and incline thy heart to my words." Then he gavehim his last instructions as to the properest way of dealing with his neighborsand the due management of his affairsafter which he called to mind his brotherand his home and his native land and wept over his separation from those he hadfirst loved.

Then he wiped away his tears andturning to his sonsaid to him:"Before I proceedO my sonto my last charges and injunctionsknow thatI have a brotherand thou hast an uncleShams al-Din hightthe Wazir ofCairowith whom I partedleaving him against his will. Now take thee a sheetof paper and write upon it whatso I say to thee." Badr al-Din took a fairleaf and set about doing his father's biddingand he wrote thereon a fullaccount of what had happened to his sire first and last: the dates of hisarrival at Bassorah and of his forgathering with the Wazirof his marriageofhis going in to the Minister's daughterand of the birth of his son- briefhislife of forty years from the day of his dispute with his brotheradding thewords: "And this is written at my dictationand may Almighty Allah be withhim when I am gone!" Then he folded the paper and sealed it and said:"O HasanO my sonkeep this paper with all carefor it will enable theeto establish thine origin and rank and lineageand if anything contrary befalltheeset out for Cairo and ask for thine uncle and show him this paperand sayto him that I died a stranger far from mine own people and full of yearning tosee him and them." So Badr al-Din Hasan took the document and folded itandwrapping it up in a piece of waxed clothsewed it like a talisman betweenthe inner and outer cloth of his skullcap and wound his light turban round it.And he fell to weeping over his father and at parting with himand he but aboy.

Then Nur al-Din lapsed into a swoonthe forerunner of deathbut presentlyrecovering himselfhe said: "O HasanO my sonI will now bequeath tothee five last behests. The FIRST BEHEST is: Be overintimate with nonenorfrequent anynor be familiar with any. So shalt thou be safe from his mischieffor security lieth in seclusion of thought and a certain retirement from thesociety of thy fellowsand I have heard it said by a poet: -

"In this world there is none thou mayst count upon

To befriend thy case in the nick of need.

So live for thyself nursing hope of none.

Such counsel I give thee-enowtake heed! -

"The SECOND BEHEST isO my son: Deal harshly with none lest fortunewith thee deal hardlyfor the fortune of this world is one day with thee andanother day against theeand all worldly goods are but a loan to be repaid. AndI have heard a poet say: -

"Take thought nor haste to will the thing thou wilt

Have ruth on manfor ruth thou mayst require.

No hand is there but Allah's hand is higher

No tyrant but shall rue worse tyrant's ire! -

"The THIRD BEHEST is: Learn to be silent in society and let thine ownfaults distract thine attention from the faults of other menfor it is said'In silence dwelleth safety' and thereon I have heard the lines that tell us: -

"Reserve's a jewelSilence safety is.

Whenas thou speakestmany a word withhold

For an of Silence thou repent thee once

Of speech thou shalt repent times manifold. -

"The FOURTH BEHESTO My sonis: Beware of winebibbingfor wine is thehead of all frowardness and a fine solvent of human wits. So shunand again Isay shunmixing strong liquorfor I have heard a poet say: -

"From wine I turn and whoso wine cups swill

Becoming one of those who deem it ill.

Wine driveth man to miss salvation way

And opes the gateway wide to sins that kill. -

"The FIFTH BEHESTO My Sonis: Keep thy wealth and it will keep theeguard thy money and it will guard theeand waste not thy substance lest haplythou come to want and must fare a-begging from the meanest of mankind. Save thydirhams and deem them the sovereignest salve for the wounds of the world. Andhere again I have heard that one of the poets said: -

"When fails my wealth no friend will deign befriend.

When wealth abounds all friends their friendship tender.

How many friends lent aid my wealth to spend

But friends to lack of wealth no friendship render." -

On this wise Nur al-Din ceased not to counsel his son Badr al-Din Hasan tillhis hour came andsighing one sobbing sighhis life went forth. Then the voiceof mourning and keening rose high in his house and the Sultan and all thegrandees grieved for him and buried him. But his son ceased not lamenting hisloss for two months

during which he never mounted horsenor attended the Divannor presentedhimself before the Sultan. At last the Kingbeing wroth with himstablished inhis stead one of his chamberlains and made him Wazirgiving orders to seize andset seals on all Nur al-Din's houses and goods and domains. So the new Wazirwent forth with a mighty posse of chamberlains and people of the Divanandwatchmen and a host of idlersto do this and to seize Badr al-Din Hasan andcarry him before the Kingwho would deal with him as he deemed fit.

Now there was among the crowd of followers a Mameluke of the deceased Wazirwhowhen he had heard this orderurged his horse and rode at full speed to thehouse of Badr al-Din Hasanfor he could not endure to see the ruin of his oldmaster's son. He found him sitting at the gate with head hung down andsorrowingas was his wontfor the loss of his fatherso he dismounted andkissing his handsaid to him"O my lord and son of my lordhaste ereruin come and lay waste!" When Hasan heard this he trembled and asked"What may be the matter?" and the man answered: "The Sultan isangered with thee and hath issued a warrant against theeand evil cometh hardupon my trackso flee with thy life!" At these words Hasan's heart flamedwith the fire of baleand his rose-red cheek turned paleand he said to theMameluke: "O my brotheris there time for me to go in and get some worldlygear which may stand me in stead during my strangerhood?" But the slavereplied"O my lordup at once and save thyself and leave this house whileit is yet time." And he quoted these lines: -

"Escape with thy lifeif oppression betide thee

And let the house tell of its builder's fate!

Country for country thou'lt findif thou seek it

Life for life neverearly or late.

It is strange men should dwell in the house of abjection

When the plain of God's earth is so wide and so great!" -

At these words of the MamelukeBadr al-Din covered his head with the skirtof his garment and went forth on foot till he stood outside of the citywherehe heard folk saying: "The Sultan hath sent his new Wazir to the house ofthe old Wazirnow no moreto seal his property and seize his son Badr al-DinHasan and take him before the presencethat he may put him to death." Andall cried"Alas for his beauty and his loveliness!" When he heardthishe fled forth at hazardknowing not whither he was goingand gave notover hurrying onward till Destiny drove him to his father's tomb. So he enteredthe cemetery andthreading his way through the gravesat last he reached thesepulcherwhere he sat down and let fall from his head the skirt of his longrobewhich was made of brocade with a gold-embroidered hem whereon were workedthese couplets: -

O thou whose foreheadlike the radiant East

Tells of the stars of Heaven and bounteous dews

Endure thine honor to the latest day

And Time thy growth of glory ne'er refuse! -

While he was sitting by his father's tombbeholdthere came to him a Jew ashe were a shroffa money-changerwith a pair of saddlebags containing muchgoldwho accosted him and kissed his handsaying: "Whither boundO mylord? 'Tis late in the dayand thou art clad but lightlyand I read signs oftrouble in thy face." "I was sleeping within this very hour"answered Hasan"when my father appeared to me and chid me for not havingvisited his tomb. So I awoke trembling and came hither forthright lest the dayshould go by without my visiting himwhich would have been grievous tome." "O my lord" rejoined the Jew"thy father had manymerchantmen at seaand as some of them are now dueit is my wish to buy ofthee the cargo of the first ship that cometh into port with this thousand dinarsof gold." "I concent" quoth Hasanwhereupon the Jew took out abag full of gold and counted out a thousand sequinswhich he gave to Hasantheson of the Wazirsaying"Write me a letter of sale and seal it."

So Hasan took a pen and paper and wrote these words in duplicate: "ThewriterHasan Badr al-Dinson of Wazir Nur al-Dinhath sold to Isaac the Jewall the cargo of the first of his father's ships which cometh into portfor athousand dinarsand he hath received the price in advance." And after hehad taken one copythe Jew put it into his pouch and went awaybut Hasan fella-weeping as he thought of the dignity and prosperity which had erst been hisand night came upon him. So he leant his head against his father's gave andsleep overcame him- glory to Him who sleepeth not! He ceased not slumbering tillthe moon rosewhen his head slipped from off the tomb and he lay on his backwith limbs outstretchedhis face shining bright in the moonlight. Now thecemetery was haunted day and night by Jinns who were of the True Believersandpresently came out a Jinniyah whoseeing Hasan asleepmarveled at his beautyand loveliness and cried: "Glory to God! This youth can be none other thanone of the Wuldan of Paradise." Then she flew firmamentward to circle itas was her customand met an Ifrit on the wingwho saluted herand said tohim"Whence comest thou?" "From Cairo" he replied."Wilt thou come with me and look upon the beauty of a youth who sleepeth inyonder burial place?" she askedand he answered"I will."

So they flew till they lighted at the tomb and she showed him the youth andsaid"Now diddest thou ever in thy born days see aught like this?"The Ifrit looked upon him and exclaimed: "Praise be to Him that hath noequal! ButO my sistershall I tell thee what I have seen this day?"Asked she"What is that?" and he answered: "I have seen thecounterpart of this youth in the land of Egypt. She is the daughter of the WazirShams al-Din and she is a model of beauty and lovelinessof fairest favor andformous formand dight with symmetry and perfect grace. When she had reachedthe age of nineteenthe Sultan of Egypt heard of her andsending for the Wazirher fathersaid to him`Hear meO Wazir. It hath reached mine ear that thouhast a daughterand I wish to demand her of thee in marriage.' The Wazirreplied:

"`O our lord the Sultandeign accept my excuses and take compassion onmy sorrowsfor thou knowest that my brotherwho was partner with me in thewaziratedisappeared from amongst us many years ago and we wot not where he is.Now the cause of his departure was that one nightas we were sitting togetherand talking of wives and children to comewe had words on the matter and hewent off in high dudgeon. But I swore that I would marry my daughter to nonesave to the son of my brother on the day her mother gave her birthwhich wasnigh upon nineteen years ago. I have lately heard that my brother died atBassorahwhere he had married the daughter of the Wazir and that she bare him asonand I will not marry my daughter but to him in honor of my brother'smemory. I recorded the date of my marriage and the conception of my wife and thebirth of my daughterand from her horoscope I find that her name is conjoinedwith that of her cousinand there are damsels in foison for our lord theSultan.'

"The Kinghearing his Minister's answer and refusalwaxed wroth withexceeding wrath and cried: 'When the like of me asketh a girl in marriage of thelike of theehe conferreth an honorand thou rejectest me and puttest me offwith cold excuses! Nowby the life of my headI will marry her to the meanestof my men in spite of the nose of thee!' There was in the palace a horse groomwhich was a Gobbo with a bunch to his breast and a hunch to his backand theSultan sent for him and married him to the daughter of the Wazirlief or lothand hath ordered a pompous marriage procession for him and that he go in to hisbride this very night. I have not just flown hither from Cairowhere I left thehunchback at the door of the hammam bath amidst the Sultan's white slaveswhowere waving lighted flambeaux about him. As for the Minister's daughtershesitteth among her nurses and tirewomenweeping and wailingfor they haveforbidden her father to come near her. Never have I seenO my sistermorehideous being than this hunchbackwhilst the young lady is the likest of allfolk to this young manalbeit even fairer than he."

At this the Jinniyah cried at him: "Thou liest! This youth is handsomerthan anyone of his day." The Ifrit gave her the he againadding: "ByAllahO my sisterthe damsel I speak of is fairer than this. Yet none but hedeserveth herfor they resemble each other like brother and sisteror at leastcousins. Andwellawayhow she is wasted upon that hunchback!" Then saidshe"O my brotherlet us get under him and lift him up and carry him toCairothat we may compare him with the damsel of whom thou speakest and sodetermine whether of the twain is the fairer." "To hear is toobey!" replied he. "Thou speakest to the pointnor is there a righterrecking than this of thineand I myself will carry him." So he raised himfrom the ground and flew with him like a bird soaring in upper airthe Ifritahkeeping close by his side at equal speedtill be alighted with him in the cityof Cairo and set him down on a stone bench and woke him up. He roused himselfand finding that he was no longer at his father's tomb in Bassorah cityhelooked right and left and saw that he was in a strange placeand he would havecried outbut the Ifrit gave him a cuff which persuaded him to keep silence.Then he brought him rich raiment and clothed him therein andgiving him alighted flambeausaid:

"Know that I have brought thee hither meaning to do thee a good turn forthe love of Allah. So take this torch and mingle with the people at the hammamdoor and walk on with them without stopping till thou reach the house of thewedding festival. Then go boldly forward and enter the great saloonand fearnonebut take thy stand at the right hand of the hunchback bridegroom. And asoften as any of the nurses and tirewomen and singing girls come up to theeputthy hand into thy pocketwhich thou wilt find filled with gold. Take it out andthrow to them and spare notfor as often as thou thrustest fingers in pouchthou shalt find it full of coin. Give largess by handfuls and fear nothingbutset thy trust upon Him who created theefor this is not by thine own strengthbut by that of Allah Almightythat His decrees may take effect upon Hiscreatures."

When Badr al-Din Hasan heard these words from the Ifrithe said to himself"Would Heaven I knew what all this means and what is the cause of suchkindness!" Howeverhe mingled with the people andlighting his flambeaumoved on with the bridal procession till he came to the bathwhere he found thehunchback already on horseback. Then he pushed his way in among the crowdaveritable beauty of a man in the finest apparelwearing tarboosh and turban anda long-sleeved robe purfled with gold. And as often as the singing women stoppedfor the people to give him largesshe thrust his hand into his pocket andfinding it full of goldtook out a handful and threw it on the tambourine tillhe had filled it with gold pieces for the music girls and the tirewomen. Thesingers were amazed by his bounty and the people marveled at his beauty andloveliness and the splendor of his dress. He ceased not to do thus till hereached the mansion of the Wazir (who was his uncle)where the chamberlainsdrove back the people and forbade them to go forwardbut the singing girls andthe tirewomen said"By Allahwe will not enter unless this young manenter with usfor he hath given us length o' life with his largessand we willnot display the bride unless he be present."

Therewith they carried him into the bridal hall and made him sit downdefying the evil glances of the hunchbacked bridegroom. The wives of the emirsand wazirs and chamberlains and courtiers all stood in double lineeach holdinga massy cierge ready lighted. All wore thin face veilsand the two rows rightand left extended from the bride's throne to the head of the hall adjoining thechamber whence she was to come forth. When the ladies saw Badr al-Din Hasan andnoted his beauty and loveliness and his face that shone like the new moontheirhearts inclined to him and the singing girls said to all that were present"Know that this beauty crossed our hands with naught but red goldso benot chary to do him womanly service and comply with all he saysno matter whathe ask." So all the women crowded round Hasan with their torches and gazedon his loveliness and envied him his beautyand one and all would gladly havelain on his bosom an houror rather a year. Their hearts were so troubled thatthey let fall their veils from before their faces and said"Happy she whobelongeth to this youth or to whom he belongeth!" And they called downcurses on the crooked groom and on him who was the cause of his marriage to thegirl beautyand as often as they blessed Badr al-Din Hasan they damned thehunchbacksaying"Verily this youth and none else deserveth our bride.Ahwellaway for such a lovely one with this hideous Quasimodo! Allah's curselight on his head and on the Sultan who commanded the marriage!"

Then the singing girls beat their tabrets and lullilooed with joyannouncingthe appearing of the brideand the Wazir's daughter came in surrounded by hertirewomenwho had made her goodly to look upon. For they had perfumed her andincensed her and adorned her hairand they had robed her in raiment andornaments befitting the mighty Chosroes kings. The most notable part of herdress was a loose robe worn over her other garments. It was diapered in red goldwith figures of wild beastsand birds whose eyes and beaks were of gems andclaws of red rubies and green beryl. And her neck was graced with a necklace ofYamani workworth thousands of gold pieceswhose bezels were great roundjewels of sortsthe like of which was never owned by Kaysar or by Tobba king.And the bride was as the full moon when at fullest on fourteenth nightand asshe paced into the hall she was like one of the houris of Heaven- praise be toHim who created her in such splendor of beauty! The ladies encompassed her asthe white contains the black of the eyethey clustering like stars whilst sheshone amongst them like the moon when it eats up the clouds.

Now Badr al-Din Hasan of Bassorah was sitting in full gaze of the folk whenthe bride came forward with her graceful swaying and swimming gaitand herhunchbacked bridegroom stood up to meet and receive her. Shehoweverturnedaway from the wight and walked forward till she stood before her cousin Hasanthe son of her uncle. Whereat the people laughed. But when the wedding guestssaw her thus attracted toward Badr al-Dinthey made a mighty clamor and thesinging women shouted their loudest. Whereupon he put his hand into his pocketandpulling out a handful of goldcast it into their tambourinesand thegirls rejoiced and said"Could we will our wishthis bride werethine!" At this he smiled and the folk came round himflambeaux in handlike the eyeball round the pupilwhile the Gobbo bridegroom was left sittingalone much like a tailless baboon. For every time they lighted a candle for himit went out willy-nillyso he was left in darkness and silence and looking atnaught but himself.

When Badr al-Din Hasan saw the bridegroom sitting lonesome in the darkandall the wedding guests with their flambeaux and wax candles crowding abouthimselfhe was bewildered and marveled muchbut when he looked at his cousinthe daughter of his unclehe rejoiced and felt an inward delight. He longed togreet herand gazed intently on her facewhich was radiant with light andbrilliancy. Then the tirewomen took off her veil and displayed her in all herseven toilettes before Badr al-Din Hasanwholly neglecting the Gobbowho satmoping aloneand when she opened her eyesshe said"O Allahmake thisman my goodman and deliver me from the evil of this hunchbacked groom." Assoon as they had made an end of this part of the ceremony they dismissed thewedding guestswho went forthwomenchildren and alland none remained saveHasan and the hunchbackwhilst the tirewomen led the bride into an inner roomto change her garb and gear and get her ready for the bridegroom.

Thereupon Quasimodo came up to Badr al-Din Hasan and said: "O my lordthou hast cheered us this night with thy good company and overwhelmed us withthy kindness and courtesybut now why not get thee up and go?""Bismillah" he answered. "In Allah's nameso be it!" Andrisinghe went forth by the doorwhere the Ifrit met him and said"Stayin thy steadO Badr al-Dinand when the hunchback goes out to the closet ofeasego in without losing time and seat thyself in the alcoveand when thebride comes say to her: ''Tis I am thy husbandfor the King devised this trickonly fearing for thee the evil eyeand he whom thou sawest is but a syceagroomone of our stablemen.' Then walk boldly up to her and unveil her facefor jealousy hath taken us of this matter."

While Hasan was still talking with the Ifritbeholdthe groom fared forthfrom the hall and entering the closet of easesat down on the stool. Hardly hadhe done this when the Ifrit came out of the tankwherein the water wasinsemblance of a mouse and squeaked out "Zeek!" Quoth the hunchback"What ails thee?" And the mouse grew and grew till it became acoal-black cat and caterwauled "Miaowl! Miaow!" Then it grew stillmore and more till it became a dog and barked out"Owh! Owh!" Whenthe bridegroom saw thishe was frightened and exclaimed "Out with theeOunlucky one!" But the dog grew and swelled till it became an ass colt thatbrayed and snorted in his face"Hauk! Hauk!" Whereupon the hunchbackquaked and cried"Come to my aidO people of the house!" But beholdthe ass colt grew and became big as a buffalo and walled the way before him andspake with the voice of the sons of Adamsaying"Woe to theeO thouhunchbackthou stinkardO thou filthiest of grooms!"

Hearing thisthe groom was seized with a colic and he sat down on the jakesin his clothes with teeth chattering and knocking together. Quoth the Ifrit"Is the world so strait to thee thou findest none to marry save myladylove?" But as he was silent the Ifrit continued"Answer me or Iwill do thee dwell in the dust!" "By Allah" replied the Gobbo"O King of the Buffaloesthis is no fault of minefor they forced me towed herand verily I wot not that she had a lover amongst the buffaloes. Butnow I repentfirst before Allah and then before thee." Said the Ifrit tohim: "I swear to thee that if thou fare forth from this placeor thouutter a word before sunriseI assuredly will wring thy neck. When the sunriseswend thy went and never more return to this house." So sayingtheIfrit took up the Gobbo bridegroom and set him head downward and feet upward inthe slit of the privyand said to him: "I will leave thee herebut Ishall be on the lookout for thee till sunriseand if thou stir before thenIwill seize thee by the feet and dash out thy brains against the wall. So lookout for thy life!"

Thus far concerning the hunchbackbut as regards Badr al-Din Hasan ofBassorahhe left the Gobbo and the Ifrit jangling and wrangling andgoing intothe housesat him down in the very middle of the alcove. And beholdin camethe bride attended by an old womanwho stood at the door and said"OFather of Uprightnessarise and take what God giveth thee." Then the oldwoman went away and the brideSitt al-Husn or the Lady of Beauty hightenteredthe inner part of the alcove brokenhearted and saying in herself"ByAllahI will never yield my person to him- nonot even were he to take mylife!"

But as she came to the further end she saw Badr al-Hasan and she said"Dearling! Art thou still sitting here? By AllahI was wishing that thouwert my bridegroomor at least that thou and the hunchbacked horsegroom werepartners in me." He replied"O beautiful ladyhow should the sycehave access to theeand how should he share in thee with me?""Then" quoth she"who is my husbandthou or he?""Sitt al-Husn" rejoined Hasan"we have not done this for merefunbut only as a device to ward off the evil eye from thee. For when thetirewomen and singers and wedding guests saw thy beauty being displayed to methey feared fascinationand thy father hired the horsegroom for ten dinars anda porringer of meat to take the evil eye off usand now he hath received hishire and gone his gait."

When the Lady of Beauty heard these words she smiled and rejoiced and laugheda pleasant laugh. Then she whispered him: "By the Lordthou hast quencheda fire which tortured me and nowby AllahO my little dark-haired darlingtake me to thee and press me to thy bosom!" Then she began singing: -

"By Allahset thy foot upon my soul

Since longlong years for this alone I long.

And whisper tale of love in ear of me

To me 'tis sweeter than the sweetest song!

No other youth upon my heart shall lie

So do it oftendearand do it long." -

Then she stripped off her outer gear and she threw open her chemise from theneck downward and showed her person and all the rondure of her hips. When Badral-Din saw the glorious sighthis desires were rousedand he arose and doffedhis clothesand wrapping up in his bamtrousers the purse of gold which he hadtaken from the Jew and which contained the thousand dinarshe laid it under theedge of the bedding. Then he took off his turban and set it upon the settle atopof his other clothesremaining in his skullcap and fine shirt of blue silklaced with gold. Whereupon the Lady of Beauty drew him to her and he didlikewise. Then he took her to his embrace and found her a pearl unpiercedandhe abaged her virginity and had joyance of her youth in his virility; and sheconceived by him that very night. Then he laid his hand under her head and shedid the same and they embraced and fell asleep in each other's armsas acertain poet said of such lovers in these couplets: -

Visit thy loverspurn what envy told

No envious churl shall smile on love ensouled.

Merciful Allah made no fairer sight

Than coupled lovers single couch doth hold

Breast pressing breast and robed in joys their own

With pillowed forearms cast in finest mold.

And when heart speaks to heart with tongue of love

Folk who would part them hammer steel ice-cold.

If a fair friend thou find who cleaves to thee

Live for that friendthat friend in heart enfold.

O ye who blame for love us lover-kind

Saycan ye minister to diseased mind? -

This much concerning Badr al-Din Hasan and Sitt al-Husn his cousinbut asregards the Ifritas soon as he saw the twain asleephe said to the Ifritah:"Ariseslip thee under the youthand let us carry him back to his placeere dawn overtake usfor the day is near-hand." Thereupon she came forwardand getting under him as he lay asleeptook him up clad only in his fine blueshirtleaving the rest of his garmentsand ceased not flying (and the Ifritvying with her in flight) till the dawn advised them that it had come upon themmidwayand the muezzin began his call from the minaret: "Haste ye tosalvation! Haste ye to salvation!" Then Allah suffered His angelic host toshoot down the Ifrit with a shooting starso he was consumedbut the Ifritahescapedand she descended with Badr al-Din at the place where the Ifrit wasburntand did not carry him back to Bassorahfearing lest he come to harm.

Now by the order of Him who predestineth all thingsthey alighted atDamascus of Syriaand the Ifritah set down her burden at one of the city gatesand flew away. When day arose and the doors were openedthe folk who came forthsaw a handsome youthwith no other raiment but his blue shirt ofgold-embroidered silk and skullcaplying upon the ground drowned in sleep afterthe hard labor of the nightwhich had not suffered him to take his rest. So thefolklooking at himsaid: "Ohher luck with whom this one spent thenight! But would he had waited to don his garments!" Quoth another: "Asorry lot are the sons of great families! Haply he but now came forth of thetavern on some occasion of his own and his wine flew to his headwhereby hehath missed the place he was making for and strayed till he came to the gate ofthe cityand finding it shutlay him down and went to by-by!"

As the people were bandying guesses about himsuddenly the morning breezeblew upon Badr al-Din and raising his shirt to his middleshowed a stomach andnavel with something below itand legs and thighs clear as crystal and smoothas cream. Cried the people"By Allahhe is a pretty fellow!" and atthe cry Badr al-Din awoke and found himself lying at a city gate with a crowdgathered around him. At this he greatly marveled and asked: "Where am IOgood folkand what causeth you thus to gather round meand what have I had todo with you?" and they answered: "We found thee lying here asleepduring the call to dawn prayerand this is all we know of the matter. But wherediddest thou lie last night?" "By AllahO good people" repliedhe"I lay last night in Cairo." Said somebody"Thou hast surelybeen eating hashish" and another"He is a fool" and a third"He is a citrouille" and a fourth asked him: "Art thou out ofthy mind? Thou sleepest in Cairo and thou wakest in the morning at the gate ofDamascus city!" Cried he: "By Allahmy good peopleone and allIlie not to you. Indeed I lay yesternight in the land of Egypt and yesternoon Iwas at Bassorah." Quoth one"Well! well!" and quoth another"Ho! ho!" and a third"So! so!" and a fourth cried"This youth is madis possessed of the Jinni!" So they clapped handsat him and said to one another: "Alasthe pity of it for his youthl ByAllaha madman! And madness is no respecter of persons."

Then said they to him: "Collect thy wits and return to thy reason! Howcouldest thou be in Bassorah yesterday and in Cairo yesternight and withal awakein Damascus this morning?" But he persisted"Indeed I was abridegroom in Cairo last night." "Belike thou hast beendreaming" rejoined they"and sawest all this in thy sleep." SoHasan took thought for a while and said to them: "By Allahthis is nodreamnor visionlike doth it seem! I certainly was in Cairowhere theydisplayed the bride before mein presence of a third personthe hunchbackgroomwho was sitting hard by. By AllahO my brotherthis be no dreamand ifit were a dreamwhere is the bag of gold I bore with meand where are myturban and my robeand my trousers?"

Then he rose and entered the citythreading its highways and byways andbazaar streetsand the people pressed upon him and jeered at himcrying out"Madman! Madman!" till hebeside himself with ragetook refuge in acook's shop. Now that cook had been a trifle too clever- that isa rogue andthief- but Allah had made him repent and turn from his evil ways and open acookshopand all the people of Damascus stood in fear of his boldness and hismischief. So when the crowd saw the youth enter his shopthey dispersedbeingafraid of himand went their ways. The cook looked at Badr al-Din andnotinghis beauty and lovelinessfell in love with him forthright and said:"Whence comest thouO youth? Tell me at once thy talefor thou art becomedearer to me than my soul." So Hasan recounted to him all that had befallenhim from beginning to end (but in repetition there is no fruition) and the cooksaid: "O my lord Badr al-Dindoubtless thou knowest that this case iswondrous and this story marvelous. ThereforeO my sonhide what hath betidetheetill Allah dispel what ills be thineand tarry with me here themeanwhilefor I have no child and I will adopt thee." Badr al-Din replied"Be it as thou wiltO my uncle!" Whereupon the cook went to thebazaar and bought him a fine suit of clothes and made him don itthen faredwith him to the kaziand formally declared that he was his son. So Badr al-DinHasan became known in Damascus city as the cook's sonand he sat with him inthe shop to take the silverand on this wise he sojourned there for a time.

Thus far concerning himbut as regards his cousinthe Lady of Beautywhenmorning dawned she awoke and missed Badr al-Din Hasan from her side; but shethought that he had gone to the privy and she sat expecting him for an hour orsowhen beholdentered her father Shams al-Din MohammedWazir of Egypt. Nowhe was disconsolate by reason of what had befallen him through the Sultanwhohad entreated him harshly and had married his daughter by force to the lowest ofhis menials and he too a lump of a groom hunchbacked withaland he said tohimself"I will slay this daughter of mine if her own free she had yieldedher person to this accursed carle." So he came to the door of the bride'sprivate chamberand said"Ho! Sitt al-Husn." She answered him:"Here am I! Here am I! O my lord" and came out unsteady of pit afterthe pains and pleasures of the night. And she kissed his handher face showingredoubled brightness and beauty for having lain in the arms of that gazellehercousin.

When her fatherthe Wazirsaw her in such casehe asked her"O thouaccursedart thou rejoicing because of this horse groom?" And Sitt al-Husnsmiled sweetly and answered: "By Allahdon't ridicule me. Enough of whatpassed yesterday when folk laughed at meand evened me with that groom fellowwho is not worthy to bring my husband's shoes or slippers- naywho is not worththe paring of my husband's nails! By the Lordnever in my life have I nighted anight so sweet as yesternightso don't mock by reminding me of the Gobbo."When her parent heard her words he was filled with furyand his eyes glared andstaredso that little of them showed save the whites and he cried: "Fieupon thee! What words are these? 'Twas the hunchbacked horse groom who passedthe night with thee!" "Allah upon thee" replied the Lady ofBeauty"do not worry me about the Gobbo- Allah damn his father- and leavejesting with mefor this groom was only hired for ten dinars and a porringer ofmeat and he took his wage and went his way. As for meI entered the bridalchamberwhere I found my true bridegroom sittingafter the singer women haddisplayed me to him- the same who had crossed their hands with red gold tillevery pauper that was present waxed wealthy. And I passed the night on thebreast of my bonny mana most lively darlingwith his black eyes and joinedeyebrows."

When her parent heard these wordsthe light before his face became nightand he cried out at hersaying: "O thou whore! What is this thou tellestme? Where be thy wits?" "O my father" she rejoined"thoubreakest my heart. Enough for thee that thou hast been so hard upon me! Indeedmy husband who took my virginity is but just now gone to the draught-houseandI feel that I have conceived by him." The Wazir rose in much marvel andentered the privywhere he found the hunchbacked horse groom with his head inthe hole and his heels in the air. At this sight he was confounded and said"This is none other than hethe rascal hunchback!" So he called tohim"HoHunchback!" The Gobbo grunted out"Taghum!Taghum!" thinking it was the Ifrit spoke to himso the Wazir shouted athim and said"Speak outor I'll strike off thy pate with thissword." Then quoth the hunchback"By AllahO Sheikh of the Ifritsever since thou settest me in this place I have not lifted my headso Allahupon theetake pity and entreat me kindly!"

When the Wazir heard this he asked: "What is this thou sayest? I'm thebride's father and no Ifrit." "Enough for thee that thou hastwell-nigh done me die" answered Quasimodo. "Now go thy ways before hecome upon thee who hath served me thus. Could ye not marry me to any save theladylove of buffaloes and the beloved of Ifrits? Allah curse herand curse himwho married me to her and was the cause of this my case." Then said theWazir to him"Up and out of this place!" "Am I mad" criedthe groom"that I should go with thee without leave of the Ifrit whoselast words to me were: 'When the sun risesarise and go thy gait.' So hath thesun risenor no? For I dare not budge from this place till then." Askedthe Wazir"Who brought thee hither?" And he answered"I camehere yesternight for a call of nature and to do what none can do for mewhenlo! a mouse came out of the waterand squeaked at me and swelled and waxedgross till it was big as a buffaloand spoke to me words that entered my ears.Then he left me here and went away. Allah curse the bride and him who married meto her!"

The Wazir walked up to him and lifted his head out of the cesspool holeandhe fared forth running for dear life and hardly crediting that the sun hadrisenand repaired to the Sultanto whom he told all that had befallen himwith the Ifrit. But the Wazir returned to the bride's private chambersoretroubled in spirit about herand said to her"O my daughterexplain thisstrange matter to me!" Quoth she: "'Tis simply this. The bridegroom towhom they displayed me yestereve lay with me all nightand took my virginityand I am with child by him. He is my husbandand if thou believe me notthereare his turban twisted as it waslying on the settle and his dagger and histrousers beneath the bed with a somethingI wot not whatwrapped up inthem."

When her father heard thishe entered the private chamber and found theturban which had been left there by Badr al-Din Hasanhis brother's sonand hetook it in hand and turned it oversaying"This is the turban worn byWazirssave that it is of Mosul stuff." So he opened it andfinding whatseemed to be an amulet sewn up in the fezhe unsewed the lining and took itout. Then he lifted up the trouserswherein was the purse of the thousand goldpieces and opening that alsofound in it a written paper. This he readand itwas the sale receipt of the Jew in the name of Badr al-Din Hasan son of Nural-Din Allthe Egyptianand the thousand dinars were also there.

No sooner had Shams al-Din read this than he cried out with a loud cry andfell to the ground faintingand as soon as he revived and understood the gistof the matter he marveled and said: "There is no god but the GodwhoseAll-might is over all things! Knowest thouO my daughterwho it was thatbecame the husband of thy virginity?" "No" answered sheand hesaid: "Verily he is the son of my brotherthy cousinand this thousanddinars is thy dowry. Praise be to Allah! And would I wot how this matter cameabout!" Then opened he the amulet which was sewn up and found therein apaper in the handwriting of his deceased brotherNur al-Din the Egyptianfather of Badr al-Din Hasan. And when he saw the handwritinghe kissed it againand againand he wept and wailed over his dead brother. Then he read the scrolland found in it recorded the dates of his brother's marriage with the daughterof the Wazir of Bassorahand of his going in to herand her conceptionandthe birth of Badr al-Din Hasanand all his brother's history and doings up tohis dying day.

So he marveled much and shook with joy andcomparing the dates with his ownmarriage and going in unto his wife and the birth of his daughterSitt al-Husnhe found that they perfectly agreed. So he took the document andrepairing withit to the Sultanacquainted him with what had passedfrom first to lastwhereat the King marveled and commanded the case to be at once recorded. TheWazir abode that day expecting to see his brother's sonbut he came notand hewaited a second daya third dayand so on to the seventh day without anytidings of him. So he said"By AllahI will do a deed such as none hathever done before me!" And he took reed pen and ink and drew upon a sheet ofpaper the plan of the whole houseshowing whereabouts was the private chamberwith the curtain in such a place and the furniture in such another and so onwith all that was in the room. Then he folded up the sketch andcausing all thefurniture to be collectedhe took Badr al-Din's garments and the turban and fezand robe and purseand carried the whole to his house and locked them upagainst the coming of his nephewBadr al-Din Hasanthe son of his lostbrotherwith an iron padlock on which he set his seal.

As for the Wazir's daughterwhen her tale of months was fulfilledshe barea son like the full moonthe image of his father in beauty and loveliness andfair proportions and perfect grace. They cut his navel string and kohled hiseyelids to strengthen his eyesand gave him over to the nurses and nurserygovernessesnaming him Ajibthe Wonderful. His day was as a month and hismonth was as a yearand when seven years had passed over himhis grandfathersent him to schoolenjoining the master to teach him Koran-readingand toeducate him well. He remained at the school four yearstill he began to bullyhis schoolfellows and abuse them and bash them and thrash them and say:"Who among you is like me? I am the son of the Wazir of Egypt!

At last the boys came in a body to complain to the monitor of what hard usagethey were wont to have from Ajiband he said to them: "I will tell yousomewhat you may do to him so that he shall leave off coming to the schoolandit is this. When he enters tomorrowsit ye down about him and say some one ofyou to some other: 'By Allahnone shall play with us at this game except hetell us the names of his mamma and papafor he who knows not the names of hismother and his father is a bastarda son of adulteryand he shall not playwith us."' When morning dawnedthe boys came to schoolAjib being one ofthemand all flocked round him saying: "We will play a game wherein noneshall join save he can tell the name of his mamma and his papa." And theyall cried"By Allahgood!" Then quoth one of them"My name isMajid and my mammy's name is Alawiyah and my daddy's Izz al-Din." Anotherspoke in like guise and yet a thirdtill Ajib's turn cameand he said"My name is Ajiband my mother's is Sitt al-Husnand my father's Shamsal-Dinthe Wazir of Cairo." "By Allah" cried they"theWazir is not thy true father." Ajib answered"The Wazir is my fatherin very deed." Then the boys all laughed and clapped their hands at himsaying: "He does not know who is his papa. Get out from among usfor noneshall play with us except he know his father's name."

Thereupon they dispersed from around him and laughed him to scornso hisbreast was straitened and he well-nigh choked with tears and hurt feelings. Thensaid the monitor to him: "We know that the Wazir is thy grandfatherthefather of thy motherSitt al-Husnand not thy father. As for thy fatherneither dost thou know him nor yet do wefor the Sultan married thy mother tothe hunchbacked horse groombut the Jinni came and slept with her and thou hastno known father. Leavethencomparing thyself too advantageously with thelittles ones of the schooltill thou know that thou hast a lawful fatherforuntil then thou wilt pass for a child of adultery amongst them. Seest thou notthat even a huckster's son knoweth his own sire? Thy grandfather is the Wazir ofEgyptbut as for thy fatherwe wot him not and we say indeed that thou hastnone. So return to thy sound senses!"

When Ajib heard these insulting words from the monitor and the schoolboys andunderstood the reproach they put upon himhe went out at once and ran to hismotherSitt al-Husnto complainbut he was crying so bitterly that his tearsprevented his speech for a while. When she heard his sobs and saw his tearsherheart burned as though with fire for himand she said: "O my sonwhy dostthou weep? Allah keep the tears from thine eyes! Tell me what hath betidedthee." So he told her all that he heard from the boys and from the monitorand ended with asking"And whoO my motheris my father?" Sheanswered"Thy father is the Wazir of Egypt." But he said: "Donot lie to me. The Wazir is thy fathernot mine! Who then is my father? Exceptthou tell me the very truth I will kill myself with this hanger."

When his mother heard him speak of his father she weptremembering hercousin and her bridal night with him and all that occurred there and thenandshe repeated these couplets: -

"Love in my heart they lit and went their ways

And all I love to furthest lands withdrew

And when they left me sufferance also left

And when we parted Patience bade adieu.

They fled and flying with my joys they fled

In very constancy my spirit flew.

They made my eyelids flow with severance tears

And to the parting pang these drops are due.

And when I long to see reunion dayruth I sue.

My groans prolonging sore for ruth I sue.

Then in my heart of hearts their shapes I trace

And love and longing care and cark renew.

O ye whose names cling round me like a cloak

Whose love yet closer than a shirt I drew

Beloved oneshow long this hard despite?

How long this severance and this coy shy flight?" -

Then she wailed and shrieked aloud and her son did the likeand beholdincame the Wazirwhose heart burnt within him at the sight of their lamentationsand he said"What makes you weep?" So the Lady of Beauty acquaintedhim with what happened between her son and the schoolboysand he also weptcalling to mind his brother and what had past between them and what had betidedhis daughter and how be had failed to find out what mystery there was in thematter. Then he rose at once andrepairing to the audience hallwent straightto the King and told his tale and craved his permission to travel eastward tothe city of Bassorah and ask after his brother's son. Furthermorehe besoughtthe Sultan to write for him letters patentauthorizing him to seize upon Badral-Dinhis nephew and son-in-lawwheresoever he might find him. And he weptbefore the Kingwho had pity on him and wrote royal autographs to his deputiesin all climes and countries and citieswhereat the Wazir rejoiced and prayedfor blessings on him.

Thentaking leave of his sovereignhe returned to his housewhere heequipped himself and his daughter and his adopted child Ajib with all thingsmeet for a long marchand set out and traveled the first day and the second andthe third and so forth till he arrived at Damascus city. The Wazir encamped onthe open space called AlHasaand after pitching tentssaid to his servants"A halt here for two days!" So they went into the city upon theirseveral occasionsthis to sell and that to buythis to go to the hammam andthat to visit the cathedral mosque of the Banu Umayyahthe Ommiadeswhose likeis not in this world. Ajib also wentwith his attendant eunuchfor solace anddiversion to the cityand the servant followed with a quarterstaff of almondwood so heavy that if he struck a camel therewith the beast would never riseagain.

When the people of Damascus saw Ajib's beauty and brilliancy and perfectgrace and symmetry (for he was a marvel of comeliness and winning lovelinesssofter than the cool breeze of the Northsweeter than limpid waters to man indroughtand pleasanter than the health for which sick man sueth)a mighty manyfollowed himwhilst others ran on before and sat down on the road until heshould come upthat they might gaze on himtillas Destiny stopped oppositethe shop of Ajib's fatherBadr al-Din Hasan. Now his beard had grown long andthick and his wits had ripened during the twelve years which had passed overhimand the cook and ex-rogue having diedthe so-called Hasan of Bassorah hadsucceeded to his goods and shopfor that he had been formally adopted beforethe kazi and witnesses. When his son and the eunuch stepped before himhe gazedon Ajib andseeing how very beautiful he washis heart fluttered and throbbedand blood drew to blood and natural affection spake out and his bowels yearnedover him. He had just dressed a conserve of pomegranate grains with sugarandHeaven implanted love wrought within himso he called to his son Ajib and said:"O my lordO thou who hast gotten the mastery of my heart and my veryvitals and to whom my bowels yearnsay mewilt thou enter my house and solacemy soul by eating of my meat?"

Then his eyes streamed with tears which he could not stayfor he bethoughthim of what he had been and what he had become. When Ajib heard his father'swordshis heart also yearned himwardand he looked at the eunuch and said tohim: "Of a truthO my good guardmy heart yearns to this cook. He is asone that hath a son far away from him. So let us enter and gladden his heart bytasting of his hospitality. Perchance for our so doing Allah may reunite me withmy father." When the eunuch heard these wordshe cried: "A fine thingthisby Allah! Shall the sons of Wazirs be seen eating in a common cookshop?Indeed I keep off the folk from thee with this quarterstaff lest they even lookupon theeand I dare not suffer thee to enter this shop at all."

When Hasan of Bassorah heard his speech he marveled and turned to the eunuchwith the tears pouring down his cheeksand Ajib said"Verily my heartloves him!" But he answered: "Leave this talk. Thou shalt not goin." Thereupon the father turned to the eunuch and said"O worthysirwhy wilt thou not gladden my soul by entering

my shop? O thou who art like a chestnutdark without but white of heartwithin! O thou of the likeof whom a certain poet said..." The eunuchburst out a-laughing and asked: "Said what? Speak outby Allahand bequick about it." So Hasan the Bassorite began reciting these couplets: -

"If not master of manners or aught but discreet

In the household of kings no trust could he take

And then for the harem! What eunuch is he

Whom angels would serve for his service' sake?" -

The eunuch marveled and was pleased at these wordsso he took Ajib by thehand and went into the cook's shop; whereupon Hasan the Bassorite ladled into asaucer some conserve of pomegranate grains wonderfully gooddressed withalmonds and sugarsaying: "You have honored me with your company. Eatthenand health and happiness to you!" Thereupon Ajib said to his father"Sit thee down and eat with usso perchance Allah may unite us with him welong for." Quoth Hasan"O my sonhast thou then been afflicted inthy tender years with parting from those thou lovest?" Quoth Ajib:"Even soO nuncle mine. My heart burns for the loss of a beloved one whois none other than my fatherand indeed I come forthI and my grandfathertocircle and search the world for him. Ohthe pity of itand how I long to meethim!" Then he wept with exceeding weepingand his father also wept seeinghim weep and for his own bereavementwhich recalled to him his long separationfrom dear friends and from his motherand the eunuch was moved to pity for him.

Then they ate together till they were satisfiedand Ajib and the slave roseand left the shop. Hereat Hasan the Bassorite felt as though his soul haddeparted his body and had gone with themfor he could not lose sight of the boyduring the twinkling of an eyealbeit he knew not that Ajib was his son. So helocked up his shop and hastened after themand he walked so fast that he cameup with them before they had gone out of the western gate. The eunuch turned andasked him"What ails thee?" and Badr al-Din answered"When yewent from memeseemed my soul had gone with youand as I had business withoutthe city gateI purposed to bear you company till my matter was orderedand soreturn." The eunuch was angeredand said to Ajib: "This is just whatI feared! We ate that unlucky mouthful (which we are bound to respect)and hereis the fellow following us from place to placefor the vulgar are ever thevulgar."

Ajibturning and seeing the cook just behind himwas wrothand his facereddened with rage and he said to the servant: "Let him walk the highway ofthe Moslemsbut when we turn off it to our tents and find that he still followsuswe will send him about his business with a flea in his ear." Then hebowed his head and walked onthe eunuch walking behind him. But Hasan ofBassorah followed them to the plain Al-Hasaand as they drew near to the tentsthey turned round and saw him close on their heelsso Ajib was very angryfearing that the eunuch might tell his grandfather what had happened. Hisindignation was the hotter for apprehension lest any say that after he hadentered a cookshop the cook had followed him. So he turned and looked at Hasanof Bassorah and found his eyes fixed on his ownfor the father had become abody without a souland it seemed to Ajib that his eye was a treacherous eye orthat he was some lewd fellow.

So his rage redoubled andstooping downhe took up a stone weighing half apound and threw it at his father. It struck him on the foreheadcutting it openfrom eyebrow to eyebrow and causing the blood to stream downand Hasan fell tothe ground in a swoon whilst Ajib and the eunuch made for the tents. When thefather came to himselfhe wiped away the blood and tore off a strip from histurban and bound up his headblaming himself the whileand saying"Iwronged the lad by shutting up my shop and followingso that he thought I wassome evil-minded fellow." Then he returned to his placewhere he busiedhimself with the sale of his sweetmeatsand he yeamed after his mother atBassorahand wept over her and broke out repeating: -

"Unjust it were to bid the world be just

And blame her not. She ne'er was made for justice.

Take what she gives theeleave all grief aside

For now to fair and then to foul her lust is." -

So Hasan of Bassorah set himself steadily to sell his sweetmeatsbut theWazirhis unclehalted in Damascus three days and then marched upon Emesaandpassing through that townhe made inquiry thereand at every place where herested. Thence he fared on by way of Hamah and Aleppo and thence through DiyarBakr and Maridin and Mosulstill inquiringtill he arrived at Bassorah city.Hereas soon as he had secured a lodginghe presented himself before theSultanwho entreated him with high honor and the respect due to his rankandasked the cause of his coming. The Wazir acquainted him with his history andtold him that the Minister Nur al-Din was his brotherwhereupon the Sultanexclaimed"Allah have mercy upon him!" and added: "My goodSahibhe was my Wazir for fifteen years and I loved him exceedingly. Then hedied leaving a son who abode only a single month after his father's deathsincewhich time he has disappeared and we could gain no tidings of him. But hismotherwho is the daughter of my former Ministeris still among us."

When the Wazir Shams al-Din heard that his nephew's mother was alive andwellhe rejoiced and said"O KingI much desire to meet her." TheKing on the instant gave him leave to visit herso he betook himself to themansion of his brother Nur al-Din and cast sorrowful glances on all things inand around it and kissed the threshold. Then he bethought him of his brother Nural-Din Aliand how he had died in a strange land far from kith and kin andfriendsand he wept and repeated these lines: -

"I wander 'mid these wallsmy Lavla's walls

And kissing this and other wall I roam.

'Tis not the walls or roof my heart so loves

But those who in this house had made their home." -

Then he passed through the gate into a courtyard and found a vaulted doorwaybuilded of hardest syenite inlaid with sundry kinds of multicolored marble. Intothis he walkedand wandered about the house andthrowing many a glance aroundsaw the name of his brother Nur al-Din written in gold wash upon the walls. Sohe went up to the inscription and kissed it and wept and thought of how he hadbeen separated from his brother and had now lost him forever.

Then he walked on till he came to the apartment of his brother's widowthemother of Badr al-Din Hasanthe Egyptian. Now from the time of her son'sdisappearance she had never ceased weeping and wailing through the light hoursand the darkand when the years grew longsome with hershe built for him atomb of marble in the midst of the saloon and there used to weep for him day andnightnever sleeping save thereby. When the Wazir drew near her apartmentheheard her voice and stood behind the door while she addressed the sepulcher inverse and said: -

"Answerby Allah! Sepulcherare all his beauties gone?

Hath change the power to blight his charmsthat beauty's paragon?

Thou art not earthO Sepulcher! Nor art thou sky to me.

How comes itthenin thee I see conjoint the branch and moon?" -

While she was bemoaning herself after this fashionbeholdthe Wazir went into her and saluted her and informed her that he was her husband's brotherandtelling her all that had passed beween themlaid open before her the wholestory- how her son Badr al-Din Hasan had spent a whole night with his daughterfull ten years agobut had disappeared in the morning. And he ended withsaying: "My daughter conceived by thy son and bare a male child who is nowwith meand he is thy son and thy son's son by my daughter." When sheheard the tidings that her boy Badr al-Din was still alive and saw herbrother-in-lawshe rose up to him and threw herself at his feet and kissedthem. Then the Wazir sent for Ajib and his grandmother stood up and fell on hisneck and weptbut Shams al-Din said to her: "This is no time for weeping.This is the time to get thee ready for traveling with us to the land of Egypt.Haply Allah will reunite me and thee with thy son and my nephew." Repliedshe"Hearkening and obedience" andrising at oncecollected herbaggage and treasures and her jewelsand equipped herself and her slave girlsfor the marchwhilst the Wazir went to take his leave of the Sultan ofBassorahwho sent by him presents and rarities for the Sultan of Egypt.

Then he set out at once upon his homeward march and journeyed till he came toDamascus citywhere he alighted in the usual place and pitched tentsand saidto his suite"We will halt a sennight here to buy presents and rare thingsfor the Sultan." Now Ajib bethought him of the pastso he said to theeunuch: "O LaikI want a little diversion. Comelet us go down to thegreat bazaar of Damascus and see what hath become of the cook whose sweetmeatswe ate and whose head we brokefor indeed he was kind to us and we entreatedhim scurvily." The eunuch answered"Hearing is obeying!" So theywent forth from the tentsand the tie of blood drew Ajib toward his fatherandforthwith they passed through the gatewayBab al-Faradis hightand entered thecity and ceased not walking through the streets till they reached the cookshopwhere they found Hasan of Bassorah standing at the door. It was near the time ofmidafternoon prayerand it so fortuned that he had just dressed a confection ofpomegranate grains.

When the twain drew near to him and Ajib saw himhis heart yearned towardhimand noticing the scar of the blowwhich time had darkened on his browhesaid to him: "Peace be on theeO man! Know that my heart is withthee." But when Badr al-Din looked upon his sonhis vitals yearned and hisheart flutteredand he hung his head earthward and sought to make his tonguegive utterance to his wordsbut he could not. Then he raised his head humblyand suppliant-wise toward his boy and repeated these couplets: -

"I longed for my belovedbut when I saw his face

Abashed I held my tongue and stood with downcast eye

And hung my head in dread and would have hid my love

But do whatso I wouldhidden it would not he.

Volumes of plaints I had preparedreproach and blame

But when we metno single word remembered I." - And then said he tothem: "Heal my broken heart and eat of my sweetmeatsforby AllahIcannot look at thee but my heart flutters. Indeed I should not have followedthee the other day but that I was beside myself." "By Allah"answered Ajib"thou dost indeed love us! We ate in thy house a mouthfulwhen we were here before and thou madest us repent for itfor that thoufollowedst us and wouldst have disgraced usso now we will not eat aught withthee save on condition that thou make oath not to go out after us nor dog us.Otherwise we will not visit thee again during our present stayfor we shallhalt a week here whilst my grandfather buys certain presents for the King."Quoth Hasan of Bassorah"I promise you this."

So Ajib and the eunuch entered the shopand his father set before them asaucerful of conserve of pomegranate grains. Said Ajib: "Sit thee down andeat with us. So haply shall Allah dispel our sorrows." Hasan the Bassoritewas joyful and sat down and ate with thembut his eyes kept gazing fixedly onAjib's facefor his very heart and vitals clove to himand at last the boysaid to him: "Did I not tell thee thou art a most noyous dotard? So dostint thy staring in my face!" Hansan kept putting morsels into Ajib'smouth at one time and at another time did the same by the eunuchand they atetill they were satisfied and could no more. Then all rose up and the cook pouredwater on their handsand loosing a silken waist shawldried them and sprinkledthem with rose-water from a casting bottle he had by him. Then he went out andpresently returned with a gugglet of sherbet flavored with rose-waterscentedwith muskand cooled with snowand he set this before them saying"Complete your kindness to me!" So Ajib took the gugglet and drank andpassed it to the eunuchand it went round till their stomachs were full andthey were surfeited with a meal larger than their wont.

Then they went away and made haste in walking till they reached the tentsand Ajib went in to his grandmotherwho kissed him andthinking of her sonBadr al-Din Hasangroaned aloud and wept. Then she asked Ajib: "O my son!Where hast thou been?" And he answered"In Damascus city."Whereupon she rose and set before him a bit of scone and a saucer of conserve ofpomegranate grains (which was too little sweetened)and she said to the eunuch"Sit down with thy master!" Said the servant to himself: "ByAllahwe have no mind to eat. I cannot bear the smell of bread." But hesat downand so did Ajibthough his stomach was full of what he had eatenalready and drunken. Nevertheless he took a bit of the bread and dipped it inthe pomegranate conserve and made shift to eat itbut he found it too littlesweetenedfor he was cloyed and surfeitedso he said"Faughwhat bethis wild-beast stuff?" "O my son" cried his grandmother"dost thou find fault with my cookery? I cooked this myself and none cancook it as nicely as I cansave thy fatherBadr al-Din Hasan." "ByAllahO my lady" Ajib answered"this dish is nasty stufffor wesaw but now in the city of Bassorah a cook who so dresseth pomegranate grainsthat the very smell openeth a way to the heart and the taste would make a fullman long to eat. And as for this mess compared with his'tis not worth eithermuch or little."

When his grandmother heard his wordsshe waxed wroth with exceeding wrathand looked at the servant and said: "Woe to thee! Dost thou spoil my sonand dost take him into common cookshops?" The eunuch was frightened anddeniedsaying"We did not go into the shopwe only passed by it.""By Allah" cried Ajib"but we did go inand we ate till itcame out of our nostrilsand the dish was better than thy dish!" Then hisgrandmother rose and went and told her brother-in-lawwho was incensed againstthe eunuchand sending for himasked him"Why didst thou take my soninto a cookshop?" And the eunuchbeing frightenedanswered"We didnot go in." But Ajib said"We did go inside and ate conserve ofpomegranate grains till we were falland the cook gave us to drink of iced andsugared sherbet."

At this the Wazir's indignation redoubled and he questioned the castratobutas he still deniedthe Wazir said to him"If thou speak soothsit downand eat before us." So he came forward and tried to eatbut could notandthrew away the mouthful crying: "O my lord! I am surfeited sinceyesterday." By this the Wazir was certified that he had eaten at thecook'sand bade the slaves throw himwhich they did. Then they came down onhim with a rib-basting which burned him till he cried for mercy and help fromAllahsaying"O my masterbeat me no more and I will tell thee thetruth." Whereupon the Wazir stopped the bastinado and said"Now speakthou sooth." Quoth the eunuch"Know then that we did enter the shopof a cook while he was dressing conserve of pomegranate grainsand he set someof it before us. By Allah! I never ate in my life its likenor tasted aughtnastier than this stuff which is now before us." Badr al-Din Hasan's motherwas angry at this and said"Needs must thou go back to the cook and bringme a saucer of conserved pomegranate grains from that which is in his shop andshow it to thy masterthat he may say which be the better and the nicermineor his." Said the unsexed"I will."

So on the instant she gave him a saucer and a half-dinar and he returned tothe shop and said to the cook"O Sheikh of all Cookswe have laid a wagerconcerning thy cookery in my lord's housefor they have conserve of pomegranategrains there also. So give me this half-dinar's worth and look to itfor I haveeaten a full meal of stick on account of thy cookeryand so do not let me eataught more thereof." Hasan of Bassorah laughed and answered: "ByAllahnone can dress this dish as it should be dressed save myself and mymotherand she at this time is in a far country." Then he ladled out asaucerful andfinishing it off with musk and rose-waterput it in a clothwhich he sealedand gave it to the eunuchwho hastened back with it. No soonerhad Badr al-Din Hasan's mother tasted it and perceived its fine flavor and theexcellence of the cookery then she knew who had dressed itand she screamed andfell down fainting.

The Wazirsorely startledsprinkled rose-water upon herand after a timeshe recovered and said: "If my son be yet of this worldnone dressed thisconserve of pomegranate grains but heand this cook is my very son Badr al-DinHasan. There is no doubt of itnor can there be any mistakefor only I and heknew how to prepare it and I taught him." When the Wazir heard her wordshe joyed with exceeding joy and said: "Ohthe longing of me for a sight ofmy brother's son! I wonder if the days will ever unite us with him! Yet it is toAlmighty Allah alone that we look for bringing about this meeting." Then herose without stay or delay andgoing to his suitesaid to them"Be offsome fifty of youwith sticks and staves to the cook's shop and demolish itthen pinion his arms behind him with his own turbansaying'It was thou madestthat foul mess of pomegranate grains!' And drag him here perforcebut withoutdoing him a harm." And they replied"It is well."

Then the Wazir rode off without losing an instant to the palace andforgathering with the Viceroy of Damascusshowed him the Sultan's orders. Aftercareful perusal he kissed the letter and placing it upon his headsaid to hisvisitor"Who is this offender-of thine?" Quoth the Wazir"A manwhich is a cook." So the Viceroy at once sent his apparitors to the shopwhich they found demolished and everything in it broken to piecesfor whilstthe Wazir was riding to the palace his men had done his bidding. Then theyawaited his return from the audienceand Hasan of Bassorahwho was theirprisonerkept saying"I wonder what they have found in the conserve ofpomegranate grains to bring things to this pass!"

When the Wazir returned to them after his visit to the Viceroywho had givenhim formal permission to take up his debtor and depart with himon entering thetents he called for the cook. They brought him forward pinioned with his turbanandwhen Badr al-Din Hasan saw his unclehe wept with exceeding weeping andsaid"O my lordwhat is my offense against thee?" "Art thou theman who dressed that conserve of pomegranate grains?" asked the Wazirandhe answered "Yes! Didst thou find in it aught to call for the cutting offof my head?" Quoth the Wazir"That were the least of thydeserts!" Quoth the cook"O my lordwilt thou not tell me my crimeand what aileth the conserve of pomegranate grains?" "Presently"replied the Wazirand called aloud to his mensaying "Bring hither thecamels."

So they struck the tents and by the Wazir's orders the servants took Badral-Din Hasan and set him in a chest which they padlocked and put on a camel.Then they departed and stinted not journeying till nightfallwhen they haltedand ate some victualand took Badr al-Din Hasan out of his chest and gave him ameal and locked him up again. They set out once more and traveled till theyreached Kimrahwhere they took him out of the box and brought him before theWazirwho asked him"Art thou he who dressed that conserve of pomegranategrains?" He answered "YesO my lord!" and the Wazir said"Fetter him!" So they fettered him and returned him to the chest andfared on again till they reached Cairo and lighted at the quarter calledAl-Raydaniyah. Then the Wazir gave order to take Badr al-Din Hasan out of thechest and sent for a carpenter and said to him"Make me a cross of woodfor this fellow!" Cried Badr al-Din Hasan"And what wilt thou do withit?" and the Wazir replied"I mean to crucify thee thereonand nailthee thereto and parade thee all about the city."

"And why wilt thou use me after this fashion?" "Because of thyvillainous cookery of conserved pomegranate grains. How durst thou dress it andsell it lacking pepper?" "And for that it lacked pepperwilt thou doall this to me? Is it not enough that thou hast broken my shop and smashed mygear and boxed me up in a chest and fed me only once a day?" "Toolittle pepper! Too little pepper! This is a crime which can be expiated onlyupon the cross!" Then Badr al-Din Hasan marveled and fell a-mourning forhis lifewhereupon the Wazir asked him"Of what thinkest thou?" andhe answered him"Of maggoty heads like thinefor an thou had one ounce ofsensethou hadst not treated me thus." Quoth the Wazir"It is ourduty to punish theelest thou do the like again." Quoth Badr al-Din Hasan"Of a truth my offense were overpunished by the least of what thou hastalready done to meand Allah damn all conserve of pomegranate grains and cursethe hour when I cooked itand would I had died ere this!" But the Wazirrejoined"There is no help for it. I must crucify a man who sells conserveof pomegranate grains lacking pepper."

All this time the carpenter was shaping the wood and Badr al-Din looked onand thus they did till nightwhen his uncle took him and clapped him into thechestsaying"The thing shall be done tomorrow!" Then he waited tillhe knew Badr al-Din Hasan to be asleepwhen he mounted andtaking the chest upbefore himentered the city and rode on to his own housewhere he alighted andsaid to his daughterSitt al-Husn"Praised be Allah Who hath reunitedthee with thy husbandthe son of thine uncle! Up nowand order the house as itwas on thy bridal night." So the servants arose and lit the candlesandthe Wazir took out his plan of the nuptial chamberand directed them what to dotill they had set everything in its steadso that whoever saw it would have nodoubt but it was the very night of the marriage. Then he bade them put down Badral-Din Hasan's turban on the settleas he had deposited it with his own handand in like manner his bag trousers and the purse which were under the mattressand told his daughter to undress herself and go to bed in the private chamber ason her wedding nightadding: "When the son of thine uncle comes in to theesay to him'Thou hast loitered while going to the privy' and call him to lieby thy side and keep him in converse till daybreakwhen we will explain thewhole matter to him."

Then he bade take Badr al-Din Hasan out of the chestafter loosing thefetters from his feet and stripping off all that was on him save the fine shirtof blue silk in which he had slept on his wedding nightso that he waswell-nigh nakedand trouserless. All this was done whilst he was sleeping onutterly unconscious. Thenby doom of DestinyBadr al-Din Hasan turned over andawokeand finding himself in a lighted vestibulesaid to himself"SurelyI am in the mazes of some dream." So he rose and went on a little to aninner door and looked inand lo! he was in the very chamber wherein the bridehad been displayed to himand there he saw the bridal alcove and the settle andhis turban and all his clothes.

When he saw thishe was confoundedand kept advancing with one foot andretiring with the othersaying"Am I sleeping or waking?" And hebegan rubbing his forehead and saying (for indeed he was thoroughly astounded):"By Allahverily this is the chamber of the bride who was displayed beforeme! Where am Ithen? I was surely but now in a box!" Whilst he was talkingwith himselfSitt al-Husn suddenly lifted the corner of the chamber curtain andsaid"O my lordwilt thou not come in? Indeed thou hast loitered long inthe watercloset." When he heard her words and saw her facehe burst outlaughing and said"Of a truth this is a very nightmare among dreams!"Then he went in sighingand pondered what had come to pass with him and wasperplexed about his caseand his affair became yet more obscure to him when hesaw his turban and bag trousers and whenfeeling the pockethe found the pursecontaining the thousand gold pieces. So he stood still and muttered: "Allahis All-knowing! Assuredly I am dreaming a wild waking dream!"

Then said the Lady of Beauty to him"What ails thee to look puzzled andperplexed?" adding"Thou wast a very different man during the firstof the night!" He laughed and asked her"How long have I been awayfrom thee?" and she answered him: "Allah preserve thee and His HolyName be about thee! Thou didst but go out an hour ago for an occasion andreturn. Are thy wits clean gone?" When Badr al-Din Hasan heard thishelaughed and said: "Thou hast spoken truthbut when I went out from theeIforgot myself awhile in the draughthouse and dreamed that I was a cook atDamascus and abode there ten yearsand there came to me a boy who was of thesons of the greatand with him a eunuch." Here he passed his hand over hisforehead andfeeling the scarcried: "By AllahO my ladyit must havebeen truefor he struck my forehead with a stone and cut it open from eyebrowto eyebrowand here is the markso it must have been on wake." Then headded: "But perhaps I dreamt it when we fell asleepI and thouin eachother's armsfor meseems it was as though I traveled to Damascus withouttarboosh and trousers and set up as a cook there."

Then he was perplexed and considered for a whileand said: "By AllahIalso fancied that I dressed a conserve of pomegranate grains and put too littlepepper in it. By AllahI must have slept in the numero-cent and have seen thewhole of this is a dreambut how long was that dream!" "Allah uponthee" said Sitt al-Husn"and what more sawest thou?" So herelated all to herand presently said"By Allahhad I not woke uptheywould have nailed me to a cross of wood!" "Wherefore?" asked sheand he answered: "For putting too little pepper in the conserve ofpomegranate grainsand meseemed they demolished my shop and dashed to pieces mypots and pansdestroyed all my stuffand put me in a box. Then they sent forthe carpenter to fashion a cross for me and would have crucified me thereon. NowAlhamdolillah! thanks be to Allahfor that all this happened to me in sleepand not on wake." Sitt al-Husn laughed and clasped him to her bosom and heher to his.

Then he thought again and said: "By Allahit could not be save while Iwas awake. Truly I know not what to think of it." Then he lay downand allthe night he was bewildered about his casenow saying"I wasdreaming!" and then saying"I was awake!" till morningwhen hisuncle Shams al-Dinthe Wazircame too him and saluted him. When Badr al-DinHasan saw him he said: "By Allahart thou not he who bade bind my handsbehind me and smash my shop and nail me to a cross on a matter of conservedpomegranate grains because the dish lacked a sufficiency of pepper?"Whereupon the Wazir said to him: "KnowO my sonthat truth hath shown itsoothfast and the concealed hath been revealed! Thou art the son of my brotherand I did all this with thee to certify myself that thou wast indeed he who wentin unto my daughter that night. I could not be sure of this till I saw that thouknewest the chamber and thy turban and thy trousers and thy gold and the papersin thy writing and in that of thy fathermy brotherfor I had never seen theeafore that and knew thee not. And as to thy motherI have prevailed upon her tocome with me from Bassorah."

So sayinghe threw himself on his nephew's breast and wept for joyand Badral-Din Hasanhearing these words from his unclemarveled with exceeding marveland fell on his neck and also shed tears for excess of delight. Then said theWazir to him"O my sonthe sole cause of all this is what passed betweenme and thy sire" and he told him the manner of his father wayfaring toBassorah and all that had occurred to part them. Lastly the Wazir sent for Ajiband when his father saw him he cried"And this is he who struck me withthe stone!" Quoth the Wazir"This is thy son!" And Badr al-DinHasan threw himself upon his boy and began repeating: -

"Long have I wept o'er severance' ban and bane

Long from mine eyelids tear rills rail and rain.

And vowed I if Time reunion bring

My tongue from name of "Severance" I'll restrain.

Joy hath o'ercome me to this stress that I

From joy's revulsion to shed tears am fain.

Ye are so trained to tearsO eyne of me!

You weep with pleasure as you weep in pain." - When he had ended hisverse his mother came in and threw herself upon him and began reciting: -

"When we met we complained

Our hearts were sore wrung.

But plaint is not pleasant

Fro' messenger's tongue." - Then she wept and related to him what hadbefallen her since his departureand he told her what he had sufferedand theythanked Allah Almighty for their reunion.

Two days after his arrival the Wazir Shams al-Din went in to the Sultan andkissing the ground between his handsgreeted him with the greeting due tokings. The Sultan rejoiced at his return and his face brightened andplacinghim hard by his sideasked him to relate all he had seen in his wayfaring andwhatso had betided him in his going and coming. So the Wazir told him all thathad passed from first to last and the Sultan said: "Thanks be to Allah forthy victory and the winning of thy wish and thy safe return to thy children andthy people! And now I needs must see the son of thy brotherHasan of Bassorahso bring him to the audience hall tomorrow." Shams al-Din replied"Thy slave shall stand in thy presence tomorrowInshallahif it be God'swill." Then he saluted him andreturning to his own houseinformed hisnephew of the Sultan's desire to see himwhereto replied Hasanwhilom theBassorite"Me slave is obedient to the orders of his lord." And theresult was that next day he accompanied his uncleShams al-Dinto the Divanand after saluting the Sultan and doing him reverence in most ceremoniousobeisance and with most courtly obsequiousnesshe began improvising theseverses: -

"The first in rank to kiss the ground shall deign

Before youand all ends and aims attain.

You are Honor's fountand all that hope of you

Shall gain more honor than Hope hoped to gain." -

The Sultan smiled and signed to him to sit down. So he took a seat close tohis uncleShams al-Dinand the King asked him his name. Quoth Badr al-DinHasan"The meanest of thy slaves is known as Hasan the Bassoritewho isinstant in prayer for thee day and night." The Sultan was pleased at hiswords andbeing minded to test his learning and prove his good breedingaskedhim"Dost thou remember any verses in praise of the mole on thecheek?" He answered"I do" and began reciting: -

"When I think of my love and our parting smart

My groans go forth and my tears upstart.

He's a mole that reminds me in color and charms

O' the black o' the eye and the grain of the heart." - The King admiredand praised the two couplets and said to him: "Quote something else. Allahbless thy sireand may thy tongue never tire!" So he began: -

That cheek mole's spot they evened with a grain

Of Musknor did they here the simile strain.

Naymarvel at the face comprising all

Beautynor falling short by single grain." - The King shook withpleasure and said to him: "Say more. Allah bless thy days!" So bebegan: -

"O you whose mole on cheek enthroned recalls

A dot of musk upon a stone of ruby

Grant me your favors! Be not stone at heart!

Core of my heartwhose only sustenance you be!" -

Quoth the King: "Fair comparisonO Hasan! Thou hast spoken excellentlywell and hast proved thyself accomplished in every accomplishment! Now explainto me how many meanings be there in the Arabic language for the word khal ormole." He replied"Allah keep the King! Seven and fiftyand some bytradition say fifty." Said the Sultan"Thou sayest sooth"presently adding"Hast thou knowledge as to the points of excellence inbeauty?" "Yes" answered Badr al-Din Hasan. "Beautyconsisteth in brightness of faceclearness of complexionshapeliness of nosegentleness of eyessweetness of mouthcleverness of speechslenderness ofshapeand seemliness of all attributes. But the acme of beauty is in the hairand indeed al-Shihab the Hijazi hath brought together all these items in hisdoggrel verse of the meter Rajazand it is this: -

"Say thou to skin 'Be soft' to face 'Be fair'

And gazenor shall they blame howso thou stare.

Fine nose in Beauty's list is high esteemed

Nor less an eye fullbright and debonnair.

Eke did they well to laud the lovely lips

(Which e'en the sleep of me will never spare)

A winning tonguea stature tall and straight

A seemly union of gifts rarest rare.

But Beauty's acme in the hair one views it

So hear my strain and with some few excuse it!" -

The Sultan was captivated by his converse andregarding him as a friendasked"What meaning is there in the saw 'Shurayh is foxier than thefox'?" And he answered"KnowO King (whom Almighty Allah keep!)that the legist Shurayh was wontduring the days of the plagueto make avisitation to Al-Najafand whenever he stood up to praythere came a fox whichwould plant himself facing him and whichby mimicking his movementsdistractedhim from his devotions. Now when this became longsome to himone day he doffedhis shirt and set it upon a cane and shook out the sleeves. Thenplacing histurban on the top and girding its middle with a shawlhe stuck it up in theplace where he used to pray. Presently up trotted the fox according to hiscustom and stood over against the figurewhereupon Shurayh came behind himandtook him. Hence the sayer saith'Shurayh is foxier than the fox.'" Whenthe Sultan heard Badr al-Din Hasan's explanation he said to his uncleShamsal-Din"Truly this the son of thy brother is perfect in courtly breedingand I do not think that his like can be found in Cairo." At this Hasanarose and kissed the ground before him and sat down again as a Mameluke shouldsit before his master.

When the Sultan had thus assured himself of his courtly breeding and bearingand his knowledge of the liberal arts and belles-lettreshe joyed withexceeding joy and invested him with a splendid robe of honor and promoted him toan office whereby he might better his condition. Then Badr al-Din Hasan aroseandkissing the ground before the Kingwished him continuance of glory andasked leave to retire with his unclethe Wazir Shams al-Din. The Sultan gavehim leave and he issued forthand the two returned homewhere food was setbefore them and they ate what Allah had given them. After finishing his mealHasan repaired to the sitting chamber of his wifethe Lady of Beautyand toldher what had past between him and the Sultanwhereupon quoth she: "Hecannot fail to make thee a cup companion and give thee largess in excess andload thee with favors and bounties. So shalt thouby Allah's blessingdispreadlike the greater lightthe rays of thy perfection wherever thou beon shore or on sea." Said he to her"I purpose to recite a Kasidahan odein his praisethat he may redouble in affection for me.""Thou art right in thine intent" she answered"so gather thywits together and weigh thy wordsand I shall surely see my husband favoredwith his highest favor." Thereupon Hasan shut himself up and composed thesecouplets on a solid base and abounding in inner grace and copied them out in ahandwriting of the nicest taste. They are as follows: -

Mine is a Chief who reached most haught estate

Treading the pathways of the good and great.

His justice makes all regions safe and sure

And against froward foes bars every gate.

Bold lionherosainte'en if you call

Seraph or Sovran he with an may rate!

The poorest suppliant rich from him returns

All words to praise him were inadequate.

He to the day of peace is saffron Morn

And murky Night in furious warfare's bate

Bow 'neath his gifts our necksand by his deeds

As King of freeborn souls he 'joys his state.

Allah increase for us his term of years

And from his lot avert all risks and fears! -

When he had finished transcribing the lineshe dispatched them in charge ofone of his uncle's slaves to the Sultanwho perused themand his fancy waspleasedso he read them to those present and all praised them with the highestpraise. Thereupon he sent for the writer to his sitting chamber and said to him:"Thou art from this day forth my boon companionand I appoint to thee amonthly solde of a thousand dirhamsover and above that I bestowed on theeaforetime." So Hasan rose andkissing the ground before the King severaltimesprayed for the continuance of his greatness and glory and length of lifeand strength. Thus Badr al-Din Hasan the Bassorite waxed high in honor and hisfame flew forth to many regionsand he abode in all comfort and solace anddelight of life with his uncle and his own folk till death overtook him.

When the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard this story from the mouth of his WazirJa'afar the Barmecidehe marveled much and said"It behooves that thesestories be written in letters of liquid gold." Then he set the slaves atliberty and assigned to the youth who had slain his wife such a monthly stipendas sufficed to make his life easy. He also gave him a concubine from amongst hisown slave girlsand the young man became one of his cup companions.

THE CITY OF MANY-COLUMNED IRAM AND ABDULLAH SON OF ABI KILABAH -

IT is related that Abdullah bin Abi Kilabah went forth in quest of ashe-camel which had strayed from himand as he was wandering in the deserts ofAl-Yaman and the district of Sababeholdhe came a great city girt by a vastcastle around which were palaces and pavilions that rose high into middle air.He made for the place thinking to find there folk of whom he might askconcerning his she-camel. But when he reached ithe found it desolatewithouta living soul in it. So (quoth he) I alighted andhobbling my dromedaryandcomposing my mindentered into the city.

Now when I came to the castleI found it had two vast gates (never in theworld was seen their like for size and height) inlaid with all manner jewels andjacinthswhite and redyellow and green. Beholding thisI marveled with greatmarvel and thought the case mighty wondrous. Thenentering the citadel in aflutter of fear and dazed with surprise and affrightI found it long and wideabout equaling Al-Medinah in point of size. And therein were lofty palaces laidout in pavilions all built of gold and silver and inlaid with many coloredjewels and jacinths and chrysolites and pearls. And the door leaves in thepavilions were like those of the castle for beautyand their floors were strewnwith great pearls and ballsno smaller than hazelnutsof musk and ambergrisand saffron.

Now when I came within the heart of the city and saw therein no createdbeings of the Sons of AdamI was near swooning and dying for fear. MoreoverIlooked down from the great roofs of the pavilion chambers and their balconiesand saw rivers running under themand in the main streets were fruit-ladentrees and tall palmsand the manner of their building was one brick of gold andone of silver. So I said to myself"Doubtless this is the Paradisepromised for the world to come." Then I loaded me with the jewels of itsgravel and the musk of its dust as much as I could carryand returned to my owncountrywhere I told the folk what I had seen.

After a time the news reached Mu'awiyahson of Abu Sufyanwho was thenCaliph in Al-Hijazso he wrote to his lieutenant in San'a of Al-Yaman to sendfor the teller of the story and question him of the truth of the case.Accordingly the lieutenant summoned me and questioned me of my adventure and ofall appertaining to itand I told him what I had seenwhereupon he dispatchedme to Mu'awiyahbefore whom Irepeated the story of the strange sightsbut hewould not credit it. So I brought out to him some of the pearls and balls ofmusk and ambergris and saffronin which latter there was still some sweetsavorbut the pearls were grown yellow and had lost pearly color.

Now Mu'awiyah wondered at this andsending for Ka'ab al-Ahbarsaid to him"O Ka'abI have sent for thee to ascertain the truth of a certain matterand hope that thou wilt be able to certify me thereof." Asked Ka'ab"What is itO Commander of the Faithful?" and Mu'awiyah answered"Wottest thou of any city founded by man which is builded of gold andsilverthe pillars whereof are of chrysolite and rubies and its gravel pearlsand bans of musk and ambergris and saffron?" He replied"YesOCommander of the Faithfulthis is 'Iram with pillars decked and dightthe likeof which was never made in the lands' and the builder was Shaddad son of Ad theGreater." Quoth the Caliph'Tell us something of its history" andKa'ab said:

"Ad the Greater had two sonsShadid and Shaddadwho when their fatherdied ruled conjointly in his steadand there was no King of the Kings of theearth but was subject to them. After awhile Shadid died and his brother Shaddadreigned over the earth alone. Now he was fond of reading in antique booksandhappening upon the description of the world to come and of Paradisewith itspavilions and pileries and trees and fruits and so forthhis soul move him tobuild the like thereof in this worldafter the fashion aforesaid. Now under hishand were a hundred thousand kingseach ruling over a hundred thousand chiefscommanding each a hundred thousand warriorsso he called these all before himand said to them: 'I find in ancient books and annals a description of Paradiseas it is to be in the next worldand I desire to build me its like in thisworld. Go ye forth therefore to the goodliest tract on earth and the mostspaciousand build me there a city of gold and silverwhose gravel shall bechrysolite and rubies and pearlsand for support of its vaults make pillars ofjasper. Fill it with palaceswhereon ye shall set galleries and balconiesandplant its lanes and thoroughfares with all manner trees bearing yellow-ripefruitsand make rivers to run through it in channels of gold and silver.'

"Whereat said one and all'How are we able to do this thing thou hastcommandedand whence shall we get the chrysolites and rubies and pearls whereofthou speakest?' Quoth he'What! Weet ye not that the kings of the world aresubject to me and under my hand and that none therein dare gainsay my word?'Answered they'Yeswe know that.' Whereupon the King rejoined'Fare ye thento the mines of chrysolites and rubies and pearls and gold and silver andcollect their produce and gather together all of value that is in the worldandspare no pains and leave naught. And take also for me such of these things as bein men's hands and let nothing escape you. Be diligent and beware ofdisobedience.' And thereupon he wrote letters to all the kings of the world andbade them gather together whatso of these things was in their subjects' handsand get them to the mines of precious stones and metalsand bring forth allthat was thereineven from the abysses of the seas.

"This they accomplished in the space of twenty yearsfor the number ofrulers then reigning over the earth was three hundred and sixty kings. AndShaddad presently assembled from all lands and countries architects andengineers and men of art and laborers and handicraftsmenwho dispersed over theworld and explored all the wastes and wolds and tracts and holds. At last theycame to an uninhabited spota vast and fair open plain clear of sand hills andmountainswith founts flushing and rivers rushingand they said'This is themanner of place the King commanded us to seek and ordered us to find.' So theybusied themselves in building the city even as bade them ShaddadKing of thewhole earth in its length and breadthleading the fountains in channels andlaying the foundations after the prescribed fashion. Moreoverall the kings ofearth's several reigns sent thither jewels and precious stones and pearls largeand small and carnelian and refined gold and virgin silver upon camels by landand in great ships over the watersand there came to the builders' hands of allthese materials so great a quantity as may neither be told nor counted norconceived.

"So they labored at the work three hundred yearsand when they hadbrought it to endthey went to King Shaddad and acquainted him therewith. Thensaid he: 'Depart and make thereon an impregnable castlerising and toweringhigh in airand build around it a thousand pavilionseach upon a thousandcolumns of chrysolite and ruby and vaulted with goldthat in each pavilion awazir may dwell.' So they returned forthwith and did this in other twenty yearsafter which they again presented themselves before King Shaddad and informed himof the accomplishment of his will. Then he commanded his wazirswho were athousand in numberand his chief officers and such of his troops and others ashe put trust into prepare for departure and removal to Many-columned Iraminthe suite and at the stirrup of Shaddadson of AdKing of the worldand hebade also such as he would of his women and his harem and of his handmaids andeunuchs make them ready for the journey.

"They spent twenty years in preparing for departureat the end of whichtime Shaddad set out with his hostrejoicing in the attainment of his desiretill there remained but one day's journey between him and Iram of the Pillars.Then Allah sent down on him and on the stubborn unbelievers with him a mightyrushing sound from the Heavens of His powerwhich destroyed them all with itsvehement clamorand neither Shaddad nor any of his company set eyes on thecity. MoreoverAllah blotted out the road which led to the cityand it standsin its stead unchanged until the Resurrection Day and the Hour ofJudgment."

So Mu'awiyah wondered greatly at Ka'ab al-Ahbar's storyand said to him"Hath any mortal ever made his way to that city?" He replied"Yesone of the companions of Mohammed (on whom be blessing and peace!)reached itdoubtless and for sure after the same fashion as this man hereseated." And (quoth Al-Sha'abi) it is relatedon the authority of learnedmen of Himyar in Al-Yaman that Shaddadwhen destroyed with all his host by thesoundwas succeeded in his kingship by his son Shaddad the Lesswhom he leftviceregent in Hazramaut and Saba when he and his marched upon Many-columnedIram. Now as soon as he heard of his father's death on the roadhe caused hisbody to be brought back from the desert to Hazramaut and bade them hew him out atomb in a cavewhere he laid the body on a throne of gold and threw over thecorpse threescore and ten robes of cloth of goldpurfled with precious stones.Lastly at his sire's head he set up a tablet of gold whereon were graven theseverses: -

Take warning O proud

And in length o' life vain!

I'm Shaddad son of Ad

Of the forts castellain

Lord of pillars and power

Lord of tried might and main

Whom all earth sons obeyed

For my mischief and bane

And who held East and West

In mine awfulest reign.

He preached me salvation

Whom God did assain

But we crossed him and asked

"Can no refuge be ta'en?"

When a Cry on us cried

From th' horizon plain

And we fell on the field

Like the harvested grain

And the Fixt Day await

Wein earth's bosom lain! -

Al-Sa'alibi also relateth: It chanced that two men once entered this cave andfound steps at its upper endso they descended and came to an undergroundchambera hundred cubits long by forty wide and a hundred high. In the midststood a throne of goldwhereon lay a man of huge bulkfilling the whole lengthand breadth of the throne. He was covered with jewels and raimentgold-and-silver wroughtand at his head was a tablet of gold bearing aninscription. So they took the tablet and carried it offtogether with as manybars of gold and silver and so forth as they could bear away.

And men also relate the tale of

THE SWEEP AND THE NOBLE LADY -

DURING the season of the Meccan pilgrimagewhilst the people were makingcircuit about the Holy House and the place of compassing was crowdedbeholdaman laid hold of the covering of the Ka'aba and cried out from the bottom of hisheartsaying"I beseech theeO Allahthat she may once again be wrothwith her husband and that I may know her!" A company of the pilgrims heardhim and seized him and carried him to the Emir of the pilgrimsafter asufficiency of blowsandsaid they"O Emirwe found this fellow in theHoly Placessaying thus and thus." So the Emir commanded to hang himbuthe cried"O EmirI conjure theeby the virtue of the Apostle (whom Allahbless and preserve!)hear my story and then do with me as thou wilt."Quoth the Emir"Tell thy tale forthright."

"Know thenO Emir" quoth the man"that I am a sweep whoworks in the sheep slaughterhouses and carries off the blood and the offal tothe rubbish heaps outside the gates. And it came to pass as I went along one daywith my ass loadedI saw the people running away and one of them said to me'Enter this alleylest haply they slay thee.' Quoth I'What aileth the folkrunning away?' and one of the eunuchs who were passing said to me'This is theharem of one of the notablesand her eunuchs drive the people out of her wayand beat them allwithout respect to persons.' So I turned aside with thedonkey and stood still awaiting the dispersal of the crowdand I saw a numberof eunuchs with staves in their handsfollowed by nigh thirty women slavesandamongst them a lady as she were a willow wand or a thirsty gazelleperfect inbeauty and grace and amorous languorand all were attending upon her.

"Now when she came to the mouth of the passage where I stoodshe turnedright and left and calling one of the castratoswhispered in his earandbeholdhe came up to me and laid hold of mewhilst another eunuch took my assand made off with it. And when the spectators fledthe first eunuch bound mewith a rope and dragged me after himtill I knew not what to doand the peoplefollowed us and cried outsaying: 'This is not allowed of Allah! What hath thispoor scavenger done that he should be bound with ropes?' and praying theeunuchs'Have pity on him and let him goso Allah have pity on you!' And I thewhile said in my mind: 'Doubtless the eunuchry seized me because their mistresssmelt the stink of the offal and it sickened her. Belike she is with child orailingbut there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in AllahtheGloriousthe Great!"

"So I continued walking on behind them till they stopped at the door ofa great houseandentering before mebrought me into a big hall- I know nothow I shall describe its magnificence- furnished with the finest furniture. Andthe women also entered the halland I bound and held by the eunuch and sayingto myself'Doubtless they will torture me here till I die and none know of mydeath.' Howeverafter a while they carried me into a neat bathroom leading outof the halland as I sat therebeholdin came three slave girlswho seatedthemselves round me and said to me'Strip off thy rags and tatters.' So Ipulled off my threadbare clothes and one of them fell a-rubbing my legs and feetwhilst another scrubbed my head and a third shampooed my body. When they hadmade an end of washing methey brought me a parcel of clothes and said to me'Put these on' and I answered'By AllahI know not how!' So they came up tome and dressed melaughing together at me the while. After which they broughtcasting bottles full of rose-waterand sprinkled me therewith.

"Then I went out with them into another saloon- by AllahI know not howto praise its splendor for the wealth of paintings and furniture therein- andentering itI saw a person seated on a couch of Indian rattan with ivory feetand before her a number of damsels. When she saw meshe rose to me and calledmeso I went up to her and she seated me by her side. Then she bade her slavegirls bring foodand they brought all manner of rich meatssuch as I never sawin all my life. I do not even know the names of the dishesmuch less theirnature. So I ate my filland when the dishes had been taken away and we hadwashed our handsshe called for fruitswhich came without stay or delayandordered me eat of them. And when we had ended eating she bade one of the waitingwomen bring the wine furniture. So they set on flagons of divers kinds of wineand burned perfumes in all the censerswhat while a damsel like the moon roseand served us with wine to the sound of the smitten strings. And I drankandthe lady dranktill we were swized with wine and the whole time I doubted notbut that all this was an illusion of sleep.

"Presentlyshe signed to one of the damsels to spread us a bed in sucha placewhich being doneshe rose and took me by the hand and led me thitherand lay down and I lay with her till the morningand as often as I pressed herto my breast I smelt the delicious fragrance of musk and other perfumes thatexaled from herand could not think otherwise but that I was in Paradiseor inthe vain phantasies of a dream. Now when it was dayshe asked me where I lodgedand I told her'In such a place' whereupon she gave me leave to departhanding to me a kerchief worked with gold and silver and containing somewhattied in itand took leave of mesaying'Go to the bath with this.' I rejoicedand said to myself'If there be but five coppers hereit will buy me this daymy morning meal.'

"Then I left heras though I were leaving Paradiseand returned to mypoor cribwhere I opened the kerchief and found in it fifty miskals of gold. SoI buried them in the ground andbuying two farthings' worth of bread and"kitchen" seated me at the door and broke my fast. After which I satpondering my caseand continued so doing till the time of afternoon prayerwhen lo! a slave girl accosted me saying'My mistress calleth for thee.' Ifollowed her to the house aforesaid andafter asking permissionshe carried meinto the ladybefore whom I kissed the groundand she commanded me to sit andcalled for meat and wine as on the previous day. After which I again lay withher all night. On the morrowshe gave me a second kerchiefwith other fiftydinars thereinand I took it andgoing homeburied this also. In suchpleasant condition I continued eight days runninggoing in to her at the hourof afternoon prayer and leaving her at daybreakbut on the eighth nightas Ilay with herbeholdone of her slave girls came running in and said to me'Arisego up into yonder closet.'

"So I rose and went into the closetwhich was over the gateandpresently I heard a great clamor and tramp of horseandlooking out of thewindow which gave on the street in front of the houseI saw a young man as hewere the rising moon on the night of fullness come riding up attended by anumber of servants and soldiers who were about him on foot. He alighted at thedoor and entering the saloonfound the lady seated on the couch. So he kissedthe ground between her handsthen came up to her and kissed her handsbut shewould not speak to him. Howeverhe continued patiently to humble himselfandsoothe her and speak her fairtill he made his peace with herand they laytogether that night. Now when her husband had made his peace with the youngladyhe lay with her that nightand next morning the soldiers came for him andhe mounted and rode awaywhereupon she drew near to me and said'Sawest thouyonder man?' I answered'Yes' and she said'He is my husbandand I will tellthee what befell me with him.'

"It came to pass oneday that we were sittinghe and Iin the gardenwithin the houseand beholdhe rose from my side and was absent a long whiletill I grew tired of waiting and said to myself'Most likehe is in theprivy.' So I arose and went to the waterclosetbut not finding him therewentdown to the kitchenwhere I saw a slave girland when I enquired for himsheshowed him to me lying with one of the cookmaids. Hereupon I swore a great oaththat I assuredly would do adultery with the foulest and filthiest man inBaghdadand the day the eunuch laid hands on theeI had been four days goinground about the city in quest of one who should answer to this descriptionbutfound none fouler nor filthier than thy good self. So I took thee and therepassed between us that which Allah foreordained to usand now I am quit of myoath.'

"Then she added'Ifhowevermy husband return yet a pin to thecookmaid and lie with herI will restore thee to thy lost place in my favors.'Now when I heard these words from her lipswhat while she pierced my heart withthe shafts of her glancesmy tears streamed forth till my eyelids were chafedsore with weeping. Then she made them give me other fifty dinars (making in allfour hundred gold pieces I had of her) and bade me depart. So I went out fromher and came hitherthat I might pray Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) tomake her husband return to the cookmaidthat haply I might be again admitted toher favors."

When the Emir of the pilgrims heard the man's storyhe set him free and saidto the bystanders"Allah upon youpray for himfor indeed he isexcusable."

THE MAN WHO STOLE THE DISH OF GOLD WHEREIN THE DOG ATE -

SOME time erst there was a man who had accumulated debtsand his case wasstraitened upon him so that he left his people and family and went forth indistractionand he ceased not wandering on at random till he came after a timeto a city tall of walls and firm of foundations. He entered it in a state ofdespondency and despairharried by hunger and worn with the weariness of hisway. As he passed through one of the main streetshe saw a company of the greatgoing alongso he followed them till they reached a house like to a royalpalace. He entered with themand they stayed not faring forward till they camein presence of a person seated at the upper end of a saloona man of the mostdignified and majestic aspectsurrounded by pages and eunuchsas he were ofthe sons of the wazirs. When he saw the visitorshe rose to greet them andreceived them with honorbut the poor man aforesaid was confounded at his ownboldness when beholding the goodliness of the place and the crowd of servantsand attendantsso drawing back in perplexity and fear for his lifesat downapart in a place afar offwhere none should see him.

Now it chanced that whilst he was sittingbeholdin came a man with foursporting dogswhereon were various kinds of raw silk and brocade and wearinground their necks collars of gold with chains of silverand tied up each dog ina place set privy for him. After which he went out and presently returned withfour dishes of goldfull of rich meatswhich he set severally before the dogsone for each. Then he went away and left themwhilst the poor man began to eyethe food for stress of hungerand longed to go up to one of the dogs and eatwith him. But fear of them withheld him. Presentlyone of the dogs looked athim and Allah Almighty inspired the dog with a knowledge of his caseso he drewback from the platter and signed to the manwho came and ate till he wasfilled. Then he would have withdrawnbut the dog again signed to him to takefor himself the dish and what food was left in itand pushed it toward him withhis forepaw. So the man took the dish and leaving the housewent his wayandnone followed him.

Then he journeyed to another citywhere he sold the dish and buying with theprice a stock in tradereturned to his own town. There he sold his goods andpaid his debtsand he throve and became affluent and rose to perfectprosperity. He abode in his own landbut after some years had passed he said tohimself"Needs must I repair to the city of the owner of the dishandcarry him a fit and handsome present and pay him the money value of that whichhis dog bestowed upon me." So he took the price of the dish and a suitablegiftand setting outjourneyed day and night till he came to that city. Heentered it and sought the place where the man livedbut he found there naughtsave ruins moldering in row and croak of crowand house and home desolate andall conditions in changed state. At thishis heart and soul were troubledandhe repeated the saying of him who saith: -

"Void are the private rooms of treasury.

As void were hearts of fear and piety.

Changed is the wadynor are its gazelles

Those fawnsnor sand hills those I wont to see." -

Now when the man saw these moldering ruins and witnessed what the hand oftime had manifestly done with the placeleaving but traces of the substantialthings that erewhiles had beena little reflection made it needless for him toinquire of the caseso he turned away. Presentlyseeing a wretched manin aplight which made him shudder and feel goose skinand which would have movedthe very rock to ruthhe said to him: "Hothou! What have time andfortune done with the lord of this place? Where are his lovely faceshisshining full moons and splendid stars? And what is the cause of the ruin that iscome upon his abodeso that nothing save the walls thereof remain?" Quoththe other: "He is the miserable thou seest mourning that which hath lefthim naked. But knowest thou not the words of the Apostle (whom Allah bless andkeep!)wherein is a lesson to him who will learn by it and a warning to whosowill be warned thereby and guided in the right way'Verily it is the way ofAllah Almighty to raise up nothing of this worldexcept He cast it down again'?

"If thou question of the cause of this accidentindeed it is no wonderconsidering the chances and changes of Fortune. I was the lord of this place andI builded it and founded it and owned itand I was the proud possessor of itsfull moons lucent and its circumstance resplendent and its damsels radiant andits garniture magnificentbut Time turned and did away from me wealth andservants and took from me what it had lent (not given)and brought upon mecalamities which it held in store hidden. But there must needs be some reasonfor this thy questionso tell it me and leave wondering."

Thereupon the man who had waxed wealthybeing sore concernedtold him thewhole storyand added: "I have brought thee a presentsuch as soulsdesireand the price of thy dish of gold which I took; for it was the cause ofmy affluence after povertyand of the replenishment of my dwelling place afterdesolationand of the dispersion of my trouble and straitness." But theman shook his head and weeping and groaning and complaining of his lotanswered: "Hothou! Methinks thou art madfor this is not the way of aman of sense. How should a dog of mine make generous gift to thee of a dish ofgold and I meanly take back the price of what a dog gave? This were indeed astrange thing! Were I in extremest unease and miseryby AllahI would notaccept of thee aught- nonot the worth of a nail paring! So return whence thoucamest in health and safety." Whereupon the merchant kissed his feet andtaking leave of himreturned whence he camepraising him and reciting thiscouplet: -

"Men and dogs together are all gone by

So peace be with all of themdogs and men!" - And Allah is All-knowing!

Again men tell the tale of

THE RUINED MAN WHO BECAME RICH AGAIN THROUGH A DREAM -

THERE lived once in Baghdad a wealthy man and made of moneywho lost all hissubstance and became so destitute that he could earn his living only by hardlabor. One night he lay down to sleep dejected and heavyheartedand saw in adream a speaker who said to him"Verily thy fortune is in Cairo. Gothither and seek it." So he set out for Cairobut when he arrived thereevening overtook him and he lay down to sleep in a mosque. Presentlyby decreeof Allah Almighty a band of bandits entered the mosque and made their way thenceinto an adjoining housebut the ownersbeing aroused by the noise of thethievesawoke and cried out. Whereupon the Chief of Police came to their aidwith his officers.

The robbers made offbut the Wali entered the mosqueand finding the manfrom Baghdad asleep therelaid hold of him and beat him with palm rods sogrievous a beating that he was well-nigh dead. Then they cast him into jailwhere he abode three daysafter which the Chief of Police sent for him andasked him"Whence art thou?" and he answered"FromBaghdad." Quoth the Wali"And what brought thee to Cairo?" andquoth the Baghdadi"I saw in a dream One who said to me'Thy fortune isin Cairo. Go thither to it.' But when I came to Cairo the fortune which hepromised me proved to be the palm rods thou so generously gavest to me."

The Wali laughed till he showed his wisdom teeth and said"O man oflittle witthrice have I seen in a dream one who said to me: 'There is inBaghdad a house in such a district and of such a fashion and its courtyard islaid out gardenwiseat the lower end whereof is a jetting fountain and underthe same a great sum of money lieth buried. Go thither and take it.' Yet I wentnotbut thouof the briefness of thy withast journeyed from place to placeon the faith of a dreamwhich was but an idle galimatias of sleep."

Then he gave him moneysaying"Help thee back herewith to thine owncountry" and he took the money and set out upon his homeward march. Nowthe house the Wali had described was the man's own house in Baghdadso thewayfarer returned thither anddigging underneath the fountain in his gardendiscovered a great treasure. And thus Allah gave him abundant fortuneand amarvelous coincidence occurred.

And a story is also current of

THE EBONY HORSE -

THERE was once in times of yore and ages long gone beforea great andpuissant Kingof the kings of the PersiansSabur by namewho was the richestof all the kings in store of wealth and dominion and surpassed each and every inwit and wisdom. He was generousopenhanded and beneficentand he gave to thosewho sought him and repelled not those who resorted to himand he comforted thebrokenhearted and honorably entreated those who fled to him for refuge.Moreoverhe loved the poor and was hospitable to strangers and did theoppressed justice upon the oppressor. He had three daughterslike full moons ofshining light or flower gardens blooming brightand a son as he were the moon.And it was his wont to keep two festivals in the twelvemonththose of theNau-Rozor New Yearand Mihrganthe Autumnal Equinoxon which occasions hethrew open his palaces and gave largess and made proclamation of safety andsecurity and promoted his chamberlains and viceroys. And the people of his realmcame in to him and saluted him and gave him joy of the holy daybringing himgifts and servants and eunuchs.

Now he loved science and geometryand one festival day as he sat on hiskingly throne there came in to him three wise mencunning artificers and pastmasters in all manner of craft and inventionsskilled in making things curiousand raresuch as confound the witand versed in the knowledge of occult truthsand perfect in mysteries and subtleties. And they were of three differenttongues and countries: the first a Hindi or Indianthe second a Roumi or Greekand the third a Farsi or Persian. The Indian came forward andprostratinghimself before the Kingwished him joy of the festival and laid before him apresent befitting his dignity; that is to saya man of goldset with preciousgems and jewels of price and hending in hand a golden trumpet. When Sabur sawthishe asked"O sagewhat is the virtue of this figure?" and theIndian answered: "O my lordif this figure be set at the gate of thy cityit will be a guardian over it; for if an enemy enter the placeit will blowthis clarion against him and he will be seized with a palsy and drop downdead." Much the King marveled at this and cried"By AllahO sageanthis thy word be trueI will grant thee thy wish and thy desire."

Then came forward the Greek andprostrating himself before the Kingpresented him with a basin of silver in whose midst was a peacock of goldsurrounded by four and twenty chicks of the same metal. Sabur looked at them andturning to the Greeksaid to him"O sagewhat is the virtue of thispeacock?" "O my lord" answered he"as often as an hour ofthe day or night passethit pecketh one of its young and crieth out andflappeth its wingtill the four and twenty hours are accomplished. And when themonth cometh to an endit will open its mouth and thou shalt see the crescenttherein." And the King said"An thou speak soothI will bring theeto thy wish and thy desire."

Then came forward the Persian sage andprostrating himself before the Kingpresented him with a horse of the blackest ebony wood inlaid with gold andjewelsand ready harnessed with saddlebridleand stirrups such as befitkingswhich when Sabur sawhe marveled with exceeding marvel and wasconfounded at the beauty of its form and the ingenuity of its fashion. So heasked"What is the use of this horse of woodand what is its virtue andwhat the secret of its movement?" and the Persian answered"O mylordthe virtue of this horse is that if one mount himit will carry himwhither he will and fare with its rider through the air and cover the space of ayear in a single day."

The King marveled and was amazed at these three wondersfollowing thus hardupon one another on the same dayand turning to the sagesaid to him: "ByAllah the Omnipotentand our Lord the Beneficentwho created all creatures andfeedeth them with meat and drinkan thy speech be veritable and the virtue ofthy contrivance appearI will assuredly give thee whatsoever thou lustest forand will bring thee to thy desire and thy wish!" Then he entertained thesages three daysthat he might make trial of their giftsafter which theybrought the figures before him and each took the creature he had wroughten andshowed him the mystery of its movement. The trumpeter blew the trumpthepeacock pecked its chicksand the Persian sage mounted the ebony horsewhereupon it soared with him high in air and descended again. When King Sabursaw all thishe was amazed and perplexed and felt like to fly for joy and saidto the three sages: "Now I am certified of the truth of your words and itbehooveth me to quit me of my promise. Ask yethereforewhat ye willand Iwill give you that same."

Now the report of the King's daughters had reached the sagesso theyanswered: "If the King be content with us and accept of our gifts and allowus to prefer a request to himwe crave of him that he give us his threedaughters in marriagethat we may be his sons-inlawfor that the stability ofkings may not be gainsaid." Quoth the King"I grant you that whichyou wish and you desire" and bade summon the kazi forthrightthat hemight marry each of the sages to one of his daughters. Now it fortuned that thePrincesses were behind a curtainlooking onand when they heard thistheyoungest considered her husband-to-be and beholdhe was an old mana hundredyears of agewith hair frostedforehead droopingeyebrows mangyearsslittenbeard and mustachios stained and dyedeyes red and gogglecheeksbleached and hollowflabby nose like a brinjall or eggplantface like acobblees apronteeth overlapping and lips like camel's kidneysloose andpendulous- in briefa terrora horrora monsterfor he was of the folk ofhis time the unsightliest and of his age the frightfulest. Sundry of hisgrinders had been knocked out and his eyeteeth were like the tusks of the Jinniwho frighteneth poultry in henhouses.

Now the girl was the fairest and most graceful of her timemore elegant thanthe gazellehowever tenderthan the gentlest zephyr blanderand brighter thanthe moon at her fullfor amorous fray right suitableconfounding in gracefulsway the waving bough and outdoing in swimming gait the pacing roe- in fineshe was fairer and sweeter by far than all her sisters. So when she saw hersuitorshe went to her chamber and strewed dust on her head and tore her

clothes and fell to buffeting her face and weeping and walling. Now thePrinceher brotherKamar al-Akmaror the Moon of Moons hightwas then newlyreturned from a journey andhearing her weeping and cryingcame in to her (forhe loved her with fond affectionmore than his other sisters) and asked her:"What aileth thee? What hath befallen thee? Tell meand conceal naughtfrom me." So she smote her breast and answered: "O my brother and mydear oneI have nothing to hide. If the palace be straitened upon thy fatherIwill go outand if he be resolved upon a foul thingI will separate myselffrom himthough he consent not to make provision for meand my Lord willprovide." Quoth he"Tell me what meaneth this talk and what hathstraitened thy breast and troubled thy temper." "O my brother and mydear one" answered the Princess"know that my father hath promisedme in marriage to a wicked magician who brought him as a gift a horse of blackwoodand hath bewitched him with his craft and his egromancy. But as for meIwill none of himand wouldbecause of himI had never come into thisworld!"

Her brother soothed her and solaced herthen fared to his sire and said:"What be this wizard to whom thou hast given my youngest sister inmarriageand what is this present which he hast brought theeso that thou hastkilled my sister with chagrin? It is not right that this should be." Nowthe Persian was standing byand when he heard the Prince's wordshe wasmortified and filled with furyand the King said"O my sonan thousawest this horsethy wit would be confounded and thou wouldst be amated withamazement." Then he bade the slaves bring the horse before him and they didsoandwhen the Prince saw itit pleased him. So (being an accomplishedcavalier) he mounted it forthright and struck its sides with the shovelshapedstirrup irons. But it stirred notand the King said to the sage"Go showhim its movementthat he also may help thee to win thy wish."

Now the Persian bore the Prince a grudge because he willed not he should havehis sisterso he showed him the pin of ascent on the right side of the horseand saying to him"Trill this" left him. Thereupon the Princetrilled the pin and lo! the horse forthwith soared with him high in etheras itwere a birdand gave not over flying till it disappeared from men's espyingwhereat the King was troubled and perplexed about his case and said to thePersian"O Sagelook how thou mayst make him descend." But hereplied"O my lordI can do nothingand thou wilt never see him againtill Resurrection Dayfor heof his ignorance and prideasked me not of thepin of descentand I forgot to acquaint him therewith." When the Kingheard thishe was enraged with sore rageand bade bastinado the sorcerer andclap him in jailwhilst he himself cast the crown from his head and beat hisface and smote his breast. Moreoverhe shut the doors of his palaces and gavehimself up to weeping and keeninghe and his wife and daughters and all thefolk of the cityand thus their joy was turned to annoy and their gladnesschanged into sore affliction and sadness.

Thus far concerning thembut as regards the Princethe horse gave not oversoaring with him till he drew near the sunwhereat he gave himself up for lostand saw death in the sidesand was confounded at his caserepenting him ofhaving mounted the horse and saying to himself: "Verilythis was a deviceof the sage to destroy me on account of my youngest sister. But there is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! I am lostwithout recoursebut I wonderdid not he who made the ascent pin make also adescent pin?" Now he was a man of wit and knowledge and intelligenceso hefell to feeling all the parts of the horsebut saw nothing save a screw like acock's head on its right shoulder and the like on the leftwhen quoth he tohimself"I see no sip save these things like button."

Presently he turned the right-hand pinwhereupon the horse flew heavenwardwith increased speed. So he left itand looking at the sinister shoulder andfinding another pinhe wound it up and immediately the steed's upward motionslowed and ceased and it began to descendlittle by littletoward the face ofthe earthwhile the rider became yet more cautious and careful of his life. Andwhen he saw this and knew the uses of the horsehis heart was filled with joyand gladness and he thanked Almighty Allah for that He had deigned deliver himfrom destruction. Then he began to turn the horse's head whithersoever he wouldmaking it rise and fall at pleasuretill he had gotten complete mastery overits every movement. He ceased not to descend the whole of that dayfor that thesteed's ascending flight had borne him afar from the earthand as he descendedhe diverted himself with viewing the various cities and countries over which hepassed and which he knew notnever having seen them in his life.

Amongst the resthe decried a city ordered after the fairest fashion in themidst of a verdant and riant landrich in trees and streamswith gazellespacing daintily over the plainswhereat he fell a-musing and said to himself"Would I knew the name of yon town and in what land it is!" And hetook to circling about it and observing it right and left. By this timethe daybegan to decline and the sun drew near to its downingand he said in his mind"Verily I find no goodlier place to night in than this cityso I willlodge hereand early on the morrow I will return to my kith and kin and mykingdom and tell my father and family what hath passed and acquaint him withwhat mine eyes have seen.

Then he addressed himself to seeking a place wherein he might safely bestowhimself and his horse and where none should descry himand presentlybeholdhe espied a-middlemost of the city a palace rising high in upper air surroundedby a great wall with lofty crenelles and battlementsguarded by forty blackslaves clad in complete mail and armed with spears and swordsbows and arrows.Quoth he"This is a goodly place" and turned the descent pinwhereupon the horse sank down with him like a weary birdand alighted gently onthe terrace roof of the palace. So the Prince dismounted and ejaculating"Alhamdolillah- praise be to Allah" he began to go round about thehorse and examine itsaying: "By Allahhe who fashioned thee with theseperfections was a cunning craftsmanand if the Almighty extend the term of mylife and restore me to my country and kinsfolk in safety and reunite me with myfatherI will assuredly bestow upon him all manner bounties and benefit himwith the utmost beneficence."

By this time night had overtaken him and he sat on the roof till he wasassured that all in the palace sleptand indeed hunger and thirst were soreupon him for that he had not tasted food nor drunk water since he parted fromhis sire. So he said within himself"Surely the like of this palace willnot lack of victual" andleaving the horse abovewent down in search ofsomewhat to eat. Presently he came to a staircase anddescending it to thebottomfound himself in a court paved with white marble and alabasterwhichshone in the light of the moon. He marveled at the place and the goodliness ofits fashionbut sensed no sound of speaker and saw no living soul and stood inperplexed surpriselooking right and left and knowing not whither he shouldwend. Then said he to himself"I may not do better than return to where Ileft my horse and pass the night by itand as soon as day shall dawn I willmount and ride away."

Howeveras he tarried talking to himselfhe espied a light within thepalaceand making toward itfound that it came from a candle that stood beforea door of the haremat the head of a sleeping eunuchas he were one of theIfrits of Solomon or a tribesman of the Jinnlonger than lumber and broaderthan a bench. He lay before the doorwith the pommel of his sword gleaming inthe flame of the candleand at his head was a bag of leather hanging from acolumn of granite. When the Prince saw thishe was affrighted and said"Icrave help from Allah the Supreme! O mine Holy Oneeven as Thou hast alreadydelivered me from destructionso vouchsafe me strength to quit myself of theadventure of this palace!" So sayinghe put out his hand to the budget andtaking itcarried it aside and opened it and found in it food of the best.

He ate his fill and refreshed himself and drank waterafter which he hung upthe provision bag in its place and drawing the eunuch's sword from its sheathtook itwhilst the slave slept onknowing not whence Destiny should come tohim. Then the Prince fared forward into the palace and ceased not till he cameto a second doorwith a curtain drawn before it. So he raised the curtain andbeholdon entering he saw a couch of the whitest ivory inlaid with pearls andjacinths and jewelsand four slave girls sleeping about it. He went up to thecouchto see what was thereonand found a young lady lying asleepchemisedwith her hair as she were the full moon rising over the eastern horizonwithflower-white brow and shining hair parting and cheeks like blood-red anemonesand dainty moles thereon. He was amazed at her as she lay in her beauty andlovelinessher symmetry and graceand he recked no more of death.

So he went up to hertrembling in every nerveandshuddering withpleasurekissed her on the right cheekwhereupon she awoke forthright andopened her eyesand seeing the Prince standing at her headsaid to him"Who art thouand whence comest thou?" Quoth he"I am thy slaveand thy lover." Asked she"And who brought thee hither?" and heanswered"My Lord and my fortune." Then said Shams al-Nahar (for suchwas her name) "Haply thou art he who demanded me yesterday of my father inmarriage and he rejected theepretending that thou wast foul of favor. ByAllahmy sire lied in his throat when he spoke this thingfor thou art notother than beautiful." Now the son of the King of Hind had sought her inmarriagebut her father had rejected him for that he was ugly and uncouthandshe thought the Prince was he. So when she saw his beauty and grace (for indeedhe was like the radiant moon) the syntheism of love gat hold of her heart as itwere a flaming fireand they fell to talk and converse.

Suddenlyher waiting women awoke andseeing the Prince with their mistresssaid to her"O my ladywho is this with thee?" Quoth she: "Iknow not. I found him sitting by me when I woke up. Haply 'tis he who seeketh mein marriage of my sire." Quoth they"O my ladyby Allah theAll-Fatherthis is not he who seeketh thee in marriagefor he is hideous andthis man is handsome and of high degree. Indeedthe other is not fit to be hisservant." Then the handmaidens went out to the eunuchand finding himslumberingawoke himand he started up in alarm. Said they"How happethit that thou art on guard at the palace and yet men come in to us whilst we areasleep?" When the black heard thishe sprang in haste to his swordbutfound it notand fear took himand trembling. Then he went inconfoundedtohis mistress and seeing the Prince sitting at talk with hersaid to him"O my lordart thou man or Jinni?" Replied the Prince: "Woe totheeO unluckiest of slaves. How darest thou even the sons of the royalChosroes with one of the unbelieving Satans?" And he was as a raging lion.

Then he took the sword in his hand and said to the slave"I am theKing's son-in-lawand he hath married me to his daughter and bidden me go in toher." And when the eunuch heard these words he replied"O my lordifthou be indeed of kind a man as thou avouchestshe is fit for none but fortheeand thou art worthier of her than any other." Thereupon the eunuchran to the Kingshrieking loud and rending his raiment and heaving dust uponhis head. And when the King heard his outcryhe said to him: "What hathbefallen thee? Speak quickly and be brieffor thou hast fluttered myheart." Answered the eunuch"O Kingcome to thy daughter's succorfor a devil of the Jinnin the likeness of a King's son hath got possession ofherso up and at him!"

When the King heard thishe thought to kill him and said"How camestthou to be careless of my daughter and let this demon come at her?" Then hebetook himself to the Princess's palacewhere he found her slave women standingto await himand asked them"What is come to my daughter?" "OKing" answered they"slumber overcame us and when we awokewe founda young man sitting upon her couch in talk with heras he were the full moon.Never saw we aught fairer of favor than he. So we questioned him of his case andhe declared that thou hadst given him thy daughter in marriage. More than thiswe know notnor do we know if he be a man or a Jinnibut he is modest andwell-bredand doth nothing unseemly or which leadeth to disgrace."

Now when the King heard these wordshis wrath cooledand he raised thecurtain little by little and looking insaw sitting at talk with his daughter aPrince of the goodliestwith a face like the full moon for sheen. At this sighthe could not contain himselfof his jealousy for his daughter's honorandputting aside the curtainrushed in upon them drawn sword in hand like afurious Ghul. Now when the Prince saw him he asked the Princess"Is thisthy sire?" and she answered"Yes." Whereupon he sprangto hisfeet andseizing his swordcried out at the King with so terrible a cry thathe was confounded. Then the youth would have fallen on him with the swordbutthe Kingseeing that the Prince was doughtier than hesheathed his scimitarand stood till the young man came up to himwhen he accosted him courteouslyand said to him"O youthart thou a man or a Jinni?" Quoth thePrince: "Did I not respect thy right as mine host and thy daughter's honorI would spill thy blood! How darest thou fellow me with devilsme that am aPrince of the sons of the royal Chosroeswhohad they wished to take thykingdomcould shake thee like an earthquake from thy glory and thy dominionsand spoil thee of all thy possessions?"

Now when the King heard his wordshe was confounded with awe and bodily fearof him and rejoined: "If thou indeed be of the sons of the Kingsas thoupretendesthow cometh it that thou enterest my palace without my permissionand smirchest mine honormaking thy way to my daughter and feigning that thouart her husband and claiming that I have given her to thee to wifeI that haveslain kings and king's sons who sought her of me in marriage? And now who shallsave thee from my might and majesty whenif I cried out to my slaves andservants and bade them put thee to the vilest of deathsthey would slay theeforthright? Who shall deliver thee out of my hand?"

When the Prince heard this speech of the Kinghe answered: "VerilyIwonder at thee and at the shortness and denseness of thy wit! Say mecanstcovet for thy daughter a mate comelier than myselfand hast ever seen astouter-hearted man or one better fitted for a Sultan or a more glorious in rankand dominion than I?" Rejoined the King: "Nayby Allah! But I wouldhave had theeO youthact after the custom of kings and demand her from me towife before witnessesthat I might have married her to thee publicly. And noweven were I to marry her to thee privilyyet hast thou dishonored me in herperson." Rejoined the Prince: "Thou sayest soothO Kingbut if thousummon

thy slaves and thy soldiers and they fall upon me and slay meas thoupretendestthou wouldst but publish thine own disgraceand the folk would bedivided between belief in thee and disbelief in thee. WhereforeO Kingthouwilt do wellmeseemethto turn from this thought to that which I shall counselthee." Quoth the King"Let me hear what thou hast to advise"and quoth the Prince:

"What I have to propose to thee is this: Either do thou meet me incombat singularI and thouand he who slayeth his adversary shall be held theworthier and having a better title to the kingdom; or else let me be this nightand whenas dawns the morndraw out against me thy horsemen and footmen andservantsbut first tell me their number." Said the King"They areforty thousand horsebesides my own slaves and their followerswho are thelike of them in number." Thereupon said the Prince: "When the dayshall breakdo thou array them against me and say to them: 'This man is asuitor to me for my daughter's handon condition that he shall do battlesinglehanded against you all; for he pretendeth that he will overcome you andput you to the routand indeed that ye cannot prevail against him.' Afterwhichleave me to do battle with them. If they slay methen is thy secret thesurer guarded and thine honor the better wardedand if I overcome them and seetheir backsthen is it the like of me a king should covet to hisson-in-law."

So the King approved of his opinion and accepted his propositiondespite hisawe at the boldness of his speech and amaze at the pretensions of the Prince tomeet in fight his whole hostsuch as he had described it to himbeing at heartassured that he would perish in the fray and so he should be quit of him andfreed from the fear of dishonor. Thereupon he called the eunuch and bade him goto his Wazir without stay and delay and command him to assemble the whole of thearmy and cause them don their arms and armor and mount their steeds. So theeunuch carried the King's order to the Ministerwho straightway summoned thecaptains of the host and the lords of the realm and bade them don their harnessof derring-do and mount horse and sally forth in battle array.

Such was their casebut as regards the Kinghe sat a long while conversingwith the young Princebeing pleased with his wise speech and good sense andfine breeding. And when it was daybreakhe returned to his palace andseatinghimself on his thronecommanded his merry men to mountand bade them saddleone of the best of the royal steeds with handsome selle and housings andtrappings and bring it to the Prince. But the youth said"O KingI willnot mount horse till I come in view of the troops and review them.""Be it as thou wilt" replied the King. Then the two repaired to theparade ground where the troops were drawn upand the young Prince looked uponthem and noted their great number. After which the King cried out to themsaying: "Hoall ye menthere is come to me a youth who seeketh mydaughter in marriageand in very sooth never have I seen a goodlier than he-nonor a stouter of heart nor a doughtier of armfor he pretendeth that he canovercome you singlehandedand force you to flight and thatwere ye a hundredthousand in numberyet for him would ye be but few. Now when he chargeth downon youdo ye receive him upon point of pike and sharp of saberfor indeed hehath undertaken a mighty matter."

Then quoth the King to the Prince"UpO my sonand do thy devoir onthem." Answered he: "O Kingthou dealest not justly and fairly by me.How shall I go forth against themseeing that I am afoot and the men bemounted?" The King retorted"I bade thee mountand thou refusedstbut choose thou which of my horses thou wilt." Then he said"Not oneof thy horses pleaseth meand I will ride none but that on which I came."Asked the King"And where is thy horse?" "Atop of thypalace." "In what part of my palace?" "On the roof."Now when the King heard these wordshe cried: "Out on thee! This is thefirst sip thou hast given of madness. How can the horse be on the roof.? But weshall at once see if thou speak truth or lies." Then he turned to one ofhis chief officers and said to him"Go to my palace and bring me what thoufindest on the roof." So all the people marveled at the young Prince'swordssaying one to other"How can a horse come down the steps from theroof.? Verily this is a thing whose like we never heard."

In the meantime the King's messenger repaired to the palace andmounting tothe rooffound the horse standing thereand never had he looked on ahandsomer. But when he drew near and examined ithe saw that it was made ofebony and ivory. Now the officer was accompanied by other high officerswhoalso looked onand they laughed to one anothersaying: "Was it of thelike of this horse that the youth spake? We cannot deem him other than mad.Howeverwe shall soon see the truth of his case. Peradventure herein is somemighty matterand he is a man of high degree." Then they lifted up thehorse bodilycarrying it to the Kingset it down before him. And all thelieges flocked round to look at itmarveling at the beauty of its proportionsand the richness of its saddle and bridle. The King also admired itandwondered at it with extreme wonderand he asked the Prince"O youthisthis thy horse?" He answered"YesO Kingthis is my horseand thoushalt soon see the marvel it showeth." Rejoined the King"Then takeand mount it" and the Prince retorted"I will not mount till thetroops withdraw afar from it."

So the King bade them retire a bowshot from the horsewhereupon quoth itsowner: "O Kingsee thouI am about to mount my horse and charge upon thyhost and scatter them right and left and split their hearts asunder." Saidthe King"Do as thou wiltand spare not their livesfor they will notspare thine." Then the Prince mountedwhilst the troops ranged themselvesin ranks before himand one said to another"When the youth comethbetween the rankswe will take him on the points of our pikes and the sharps ofour sabers." Quoth another: "By Allahthis is a mere misfortune. Howshall we slay a youth so comely of face and shapely of form?" And a thirdcontinued: "Ye will have hard work to get the better of himfor the youthhad not done this but for what he knew of his own prowess and pre-eminence ofvalor."

Meanwhilehaving settled himself in his saddlethe Prince turned the pin ofascent whilst an eyes were strained to see what he would dowhereupon the horsebegan to heave and rock and sway to and fro and make the strangest of movementssteed ever madetill its belly was filled with air and it took flight with itsrider and soared high into the sky. When the King saw thishe cried out to hismensaying: "Woe to you! Catch himcatch himere he 'scape you!"But his Wazirs and viceroys said to him: "O Kingcan a man overtake theflying bird? This is surely none but some mighty magician or Marid of theJinnor deviland Allah save thee from him! So praise thou the Almighty fordeliverance of thee and of all thy host from his hand."

Then the King returned to his palace after seeing the feat of the Princeandgoing in to his daughteracquainted her with what had befallen them both on theparade ground. He found her grievously afflicted for the Prince and bewailingher separation from himwherefore she fell sick with violent sickness and tookto her pillow. Now when her father saw her on this wisehe pressed her to hisbreast and kissing her between the eyessaid to her: "O my daughterpraise Allah Almighty and thank Him for that He hath delivered us from thiscrafty enchanterthis villianthis low fellowthis thief who thought only ofseducing thee!" And he repeated to her the story of the Prince and how hehad disappeared in the firmamentand he abused him and cursed himknowing nothow dearly his daughter loved him. But she paid no heed to his words and did butredouble in her tears and wailssaying to herself"By AllahI willneither eat meat nor drain drink till Allah reunite me with him!" Herfather was greatly concerned for her case and mourned much over her plightbutfor all he could do to soothe herlove longing only increased on her.

Thus far concerning the King and Princess Shams al-Naharbut as regardsPrince Kamar al-Akmarwhen he had risen high in airhe turned his horse's headtoward his native landand being alonemused upon the beauty of the Princessand her loveliness. Now he had inquired of the King's people the name of thecity and of its King and his daughterand men had told him that it was the cityof Sana'a. So he journeyed with all speed till he drew near his father's capitalandmaking an airy circuit about the cityalighted on the roof of the King'spalacewhere he left his horse whilst he descended into the palaceand seeingits threshold strewn with ashesthought that one of his family was dead. Thenhe enteredas of wontand found his father and mother and sisters clad inmourning raiment of blackall pale of faces and lean of frames. When his siredescried him and was assured that it was indeed his sonhe cried out with agreat cry and fell down in a fitbut after a timecoming to himselfthrewhimself upon him and embraced himclipping him to his bosom and rejoicing inhim with exceeding joy and extreme gladness. His mother and sisters heard thisso they came inand seeing the Princefell upon himkissing him and weepingand joying with exceeding joyance.

Then they questioned him of his caseso he told them all that had past fromfirst to lastand his father said to him"Praised be Allah for thysafetyO coolth of my eyes and core of my heart!" Then the King bade holdhigh festivaland the glad tidings flew through the city. So they beat drumsand cymbals anddoffing the weed of mourningthey donned the gay garb ofgladness and decorated the streets and marketswhilst the folk vied with oneanother who should be the first to give the King joyand the King proclaimed ageneral pardonand opening the prisonsreleased those who were thereinprisoned. Moreoverhe made banquets for the peoplewith great abundance ofeating and drinkingfor seven days and nightsand all creatures weregladsomest. And he took horse with his son and rode out with himthat the folkmight see him and rejoice.

After a while the Prince asked about the maker of the horsesaying"Omy fatherwhat hath fortune done with him?" and the King answered:"Allah never bless him nor the hour wherein I set eyes on him! For he wasthe cause of thy separation from usO my sonand he hath lain in jail sincethe day of thy disappearance." Then the King bade release him from prisonandsending for himinvested him in a dress of satisfaction and entreated himwith the utmost favor and munificencesave that he would not give him hisdaughter to wife. Whereat the sage raged with sore rage and repented of thatwhich he had doneknowing that the Prince had secured the secret of the steedand the manner of its motion. Moreoverthe King said to his son: "I reckthou wilt do well not to go near the horse henceforthand more especially notto mount it after this day; for thou knowest not its propertiesand belike thouart in error about it."

Now the Prince had told his father of his adventure with the King of Sana'aand his daughterand he said"Had the King intended to kill theehe haddone sobut thine hour was not yet come." When the rejoicings were at anendthe people returned to their places and the King and his son to the palacewhere they sat down and fell to eatingdrinkingand making merry. Now the Kinghad a handsome handmaiden who was skilled in playing the luteso she took itand began to sweep the strings and sing thereto before the King and his son ofseparation of loversand she chanted the following verses: -

"Deem not that absence breeds in me aught of forgetfulness.

What should remember I did you fro' my remembrance wane?

Time dies but never dies the fondest love for you we bear

And in your love I'll die and in your love I'll arise again." -

When the Prince heard these versesthe fires of longing flamed up in hisheartand pine and passion redoubled upon him. Grief and regret were sore uponhim and his bowels yeamed in him for love of the King's daughter of Sana'a. Sohe rose forthright andescaping his father's noticewent forth the palace tothe horse and mounting itturned the pin of ascentwhereupon birdlike it flewwith him high in air and soared toward the upper regions of the sky. In earlymorning his father missed himand going up to the pinnacle of the palace ingreat concernsaw his son rising into the firmamentwhereat he was soreafflicted and repented in all penitence that he had not taken the horse andhidden it. And he said to himself"By Allahif but my son returned to meI will destroy the horsethat my heart may be at rest concerning my son."And he fell again to weeping and bewailing himself.

Such was his casebut as regards the Princehe ceased not flying on throughair till he came to the city of Sana'a and alighted on the roof as before. Thenhe crept down stealthily andfinding the eunuch asleepas of wontraised thecurtain and went on little by little till he came to the door of the Princess'salcove chamber and stopped to listenwhen lo! he heard her shedding plenteoustears and reciting verseswhilst her women slept round her. Presentlyoverhearing her weeping and wailingquoth they"O our mistresswhy wiltthou mourn for one who mourneth not for thee?" Quoth she"O ye littleof witis he for whom I mourn of those who forget or who are forgotten?"And she fell again to wailing and weepingtill sleep overcame her.

Hereat the Prince's heart melted for her and his gall bladder was like toburstso he entered andseeing her lying asleep without coveringtouched herwith his handwhereupon she opened her eyes and espied him standing by her.Said he"Why all this crying and mourning?" And when she knew himshe threw herself upon him and took him around the neck and kissed him andanswered"For thy sake and because of my separation from thee." Saidhe"O my ladyI have been made desolate by thee all this long time!"But she replied"'Tis thou who hast desolated meand hadst thou tarriedlongerI had surely died!" Rejoined he: "O my ladywhat thinkestthou of my case with thy fatherand how he dealt with me? Were it not for mylove of theeO temptation and seduction of the Three WorldsI had certainlyslain him and made him a warning to all beholdersbut even as I love theeso Ilove him for thy sake." Quoth she: "How couldst thou leave me? Can mylife be sweet to me after thee?" Quoth he: "Let what hath happenedsuffice. I am now hungryand thirsty." So she bade her maidens make readymeat and drinkand they sat eating and drinking and conversing till night waswell-nigh ended; and when day broke he rose to take leave of her and depart erethe eunuch should awake.

Shams al-Nahar asked him"Whither goest thou?" and he answered"To my father' houseand I plight thee my troth that I will come to theeonce in every week." But she wept and said: "I conjure theeby Allahthe Almightytake me with thee whereso thou wendest and make me not taste anewthe bitter gourd of separation from thee." Quoth he"Wilt thou indeedgo with me?" and quoth she"Yes." "Then" said he"arisethat we depart." So she rose forthright and going to a chestarrayed herself in what was richest and dearest to her of her trinkets of goldand jewels of priceand she fared forthher handmaids recking naught. So hecarried her up to the roof of the palace andmounting the ebony horsetook herup behind him and made her fast to himselfbinding her with strong bonds. Afterwhich he turned the shoulder pin of ascent and the horse rose with him high inair.

When her slave women saw thisthey shrieked aloud and told her father andmotherwho in hot haste ran to the palace roof and looking upsaw the magicalhorse flying away with the Prince and Princess. At this the King was troubledwith ever-increasing trouble and cried outsaying"O King's sonIconjure theeby Allahhave ruth on me and my wife and bereave us not of ourdaughter!" The Prince made him no replybutthinking in himself that themaiden repented of leaving father and motherasked her"O ravishment ofthe agesay mewilt thou that I restore thee to thy mother and father?"Whereupon she answered: "By AllahO my lordthat is not my desire. Myonly wish is to be with theewherever thou artfor I am distracted by the loveof thee from all elseeven from my father and mother." Hearing thesewordsthe Prince joyed with great joyand made the horse fly and fare softlywith themso as not to disquiet her. Nor did they stay their flight till theycame in sight of a green meadowwherein was a spring of running water. Herethey alighted and ate and drankafter which the Prince took horse again and sether behind himbinding her in his fear for her safetyafter which they faredon till they came in sight of his father's capital.

At thisthe Prince was filled with joy and bethought himself to show hisbeloved the seat of his dominion and his father's power and dignity and give herto know that it was greater than that of her sire. So he set her down in one ofhis father's gardens without the city where his parent was wont to take hispleasureand carrying her into a domed summerhouse prepared there for the Kingleft the ebony horse at the door and charged the damsel keep watch over itsaying"Sit here till my messenger come to theefor I go now to my fatherto make ready a palace for thee and show thee my royal estate." She wasdelighted when she heard these words and said to him"Do as thouwilt" for she thereby understood that she should not enter the city butwith due honor and worshipas became her rank.

Then the Prince left her and betook himself to the palace of the King hisfatherwho rejoiced in his return and met him and welcomed himand the Princesaid to him: "Know that I have brought with me the King's daughter of whomI told theeand have left her without the city in such a garden and come totell theethat thou mayest make ready the procession of estate and go forth tomeet her and show her the royal dignity and troops and guards." Answeredthe King"With joy and gladness" and straightway bade decorate thetown with the goodliest adornment. Then he took horse and rode out in allmagnificence and majestyhe and his hosthigh officersand householdwithdrums and kettledrumsfifes and clarions and all manner instrumentswhilst thePrince drew forth of his treasuries jewelry and apparel and what else of thethings which kings hoard and made a rare display of wealth-and splendor.Moreover he got ready for the Princess a canopied litter of brocadesgreenredand yellowwherein he set Indian and Greek and Abyssinian slave girls.Then he left the litter and those who were therein and preceded them to thepavilion where he had set her downand searched but found naughtneitherPrincess nor horse.

When he saw thishe beat his face and rent his raiment and began to wanderround about the garden as he had lost his witsafter which he came to hissenses and said to himself: "How could she have come at the secret of thishorseseeing I told her nothing of it? Maybe the Persian sage who made thehorse hath chanced upon her and stolen her awayin revenge for my father'streatment of him." Then he sought the guardians of the garden and askedthem if they had seen any pass the precinctsand said: "Hath anyone comein here? Tell me the truth and the whole truthor I will at once strike offyour heads." They were terrified by his threatsbut they answered with onevoice"We have seen no man enter save the Persian sagewho came to gatherhealing herbs." So the Prince was certified that it was indeed he that hadtaken away the maidenand abode confounded and perplexed concerning his case.And he was abashed before the folk andturning to his siretold him what hadhappened and said to him: "Take the troops and march them back to the city.As for meI will never return till I have cleared up this affair."

When the King heard thishe wept and beat his breast and said to him:"O my soncalm thy choler and master thy chagrin and come home with us andlook what Idng's daughter thou wouldst fain havethat I may marry thee toher." But the Prince paid no heed to his words and farewelling himdepartedwhilst the King returned to the cityand their joy was changed intosore annoy. Nowas Destiny issued her decreewhen the Prince left the Princessin the garden house and betook himself to his father's palace for the orderingof his affairthe Persian entered the garden to pluck certain simples andscenting the sweet savor of musk and perfumes that exhaled from the Princess andimpregnated the whole placefollowed it till he came to the pavilion and sawstanding at the door the horse which he had made with his own hands. His heartwas filled with joy and gladnessfor he had bemourned its loss much since ithad gone out of his hand. So he went up to it andexamining its every partfound it whole and soundwhereupon he was about to mount and ride away when hebethought himself and said"Needs must I first look what the Prince hathbrought and left here with the horse." So he entered the pavilion andseeing the Princess sitting thereas she were the sun shining sheen in the skysereneknew her at the first glance to be some highborn ladyand doubted notbut the Prince had brought her thither on the horse and left her in the pavilionwhilst he went to the city to make ready for her entry in state procession withall splendor.

Then he went up to her and kissed the earth between her handswhereupon sheraised her eyes to him andfinding him exceedingly foul of face and favorasked"Who art thou?"and he answered"O my ladyI am amessenger sent by the Princewho hath bidden me bring thee to another pleasancenearer the cityfor that my lady the Queen cannot walk so far and is unwillingof her joy in theethat another should forestall her with thee." Quothshe"Where is the Prince?" and quoth the Persian"He is in thecitywith his sireand forthwith he shall come for thee in great state."Said she: "O thou! Say mecould he find none handsomer to send tome?" Whereat loud laughed the sage and said: "Yea verilyhe hath nota Mameluke as ugly as I ambutO my ladylet not the ill favor of my face andthe foulness of my form deceive thee. Hadst thou profited of me as hath thePrinceverily thou wouldst praise my affair. Indeedhe chose me as hismessenger to thee because of my uncomeliness and loathsomeness in his jealouslove of thee. Else hath he Mamelukes and Negro slavespageseunuchsandattendants out of numbereach goodlier than other."

Whenas she heard thisit commended itself to her reason and she believedhimso she rose forthright andputting her hand in hissaid"O myfatherwhat hast thou brought me to ride?" He replied"O my ladythou shalt ride the horse thou camest on" and she"I cannot ride itby myself." Whereupon he smiled and knew that he was her master and said"I will ride with thee myself." So he mounted andtaking her upbehind himbound her to himself with firm bondswhile she knew not what hewould with her. Then he turned the ascent pinwhereupon the belly of the horsebecame full of wind and it swayed to and fro like a wave of the seaand rosewith them high in airnor slackened in its flight till it was out of sight ofthe city. Now when Shams al-Nahar saw thisshe asked him: "Hothou! Whatis become of that thou toldest me of my Princemaking me believe that he sentthee to me?" Answered the Persian"Allah damn the Prince! He is amean and skinflint knave." She cried: "Woe to thee! How darest thoudisobey thy lord's commandment?" Whereto the Persian replied: "He isno lord of mine. Knowest thou who I am?" Rejoined the Princess"Iknow nothing of thee save what thou toldest me" and retorted he:"What I told thee was a trick of mine against thee and the King's son. Ihave long lamented the loss of this horse which is under usfor I constructedit and made myself master of it. But now I have gotten firm hold of it and ofthee tooand I will burn his heart even as he hath burnt minenor shall heever have the horse again- nonever! So be of good cheer and keep thine eyescool and clearfor I can be of more use to thee than he. And I am generous as Iam wealthy. My servants and slaves shall obey thee as their mistress. I willrobe thee in finest raiment and thine every wish shall be at thy will."

When she heard thisshe buffeted her face and cried outsaying: "Ahwellaway! I have not won my beloved and I have lost my father and mother!"And she wept bitter tears over what had befallen herwhilst the sage fared onwith herwithout ceasingtill he came to the land of the Greeks and alightedin a verdant meadabounding in streams and trees. Now this meadow lay near acity wherein was a King of high puissanceand it chanced that he went forththat day to hunt and divert himself. As he passed by the meadowhe saw thePersian standing therewith the damsel and the horse by his sideand beforethe sage was warethe King's slaves fell upon him and carried him and the ladyand the horse to their masterwhonoting the foulness of the man's favor andhis loathsomeness and the beauty of the girl and her lovelinesssaid"Omy ladywhat kin is this oldster to thee?" The Persian made haste toreplysaying"She is my wife and the daughter of my father'sbrother." But the lady at once gave him the lie and said: "O KingbyAllahI know him notnor is he my husband. Nayhe is a wicked magician whohath stolen me away by force and fraud." Thereupon the King bade bastinadothe Persianand they beat him till he was well-nigh deadafter which the Kingcommanded to carry him to the city and cast him into jail; andtaking from himthe damsel and the ebony horse (though he knew not its properties nor the secretof its motion)set the girl in his seraglio and the horse amongst his hoards.

Such was the case with the sage and the ladybut as regards Prince Kamaral-Akmarhe garbed himself in traveling gear and taking what he needed ofmoneyset out tracking their trail in very sorry plightand journeyed from thecountry to country and city to city seeking the Princess and inquiring after theebony horsewhilst all who heard him marveled at him and deemed his talkextravagant. Thus he continued doing a long whilebut for all his inquiry andquesthe could hit on no news of her. At last he came to her father's city ofSana'a and there asked for herbut could get no tidings of her and found herfather mourning her loss. So he turned back and made for the land of the Greekscontinuing to inquire concerning the twain as he went tillas chance would haveithe alighted at a certain khan and saw a company of merchants sitting attalk. So he sat down near them and heard one say"O my friendsI latelywitnessed a wonder of wonders." They asked"What was that?" andhe answered: "I was visiting such a district in such a city (naming thecity wherein was the Princess)and I heard its people chatting of a strangething which had lately befallen. It was that their King went out one day huntingand coursing with a company of his courtiers and the lords of his realmandissuing from the citythey came to a green meadow where they espied an old manstandingwith a woman sitting hard by a horse of ebony. The man was foulestfoul of face and loathly of formbut the woman was a marvel of beauty andloveliness and elegance and perfect graceand as for the wooden horseit was amiracle- never saw eyes aught goodlier than it nor more gracious than itsmake." Asked the others"And what did the King with them?" andthe merchant answered; "As for the manthe King seized him and questionedhim of the damsel and he pretended that she was his wife and the daughter of hispaternal unclebut she gave him the lie forthright and declared that he was asorcerer and a villian. So the King took her from the old man and bade beat himand cast him into the trunk house. As for the ebony horseI know not whatbecame of it."

When the Prince heard these wordshe drew near to the merchant and beganquestioning him discreetly and courteously touching the name of the city and ofits Kingwhich when he knewhe passed the night full of joy. And as soon asdawned the day he set out and traveled sans surcease till he reached that city.But when he would have enteredthe gatekeepers laid hands on himthat theymight bring him before the King to question him of his condition and the craftin which he skilled and the cause of his coming thither- such being the usageand custom of their ruler. Now it was suppertime when he entered the cityandit was then impossible to go in to the King or take counsel with him respectingthe stranger. So the guards carried him to the jailthinking to lay him by theheels there for the night. But when the warders saw his beauty and lovelinessthey could not find it in their hearts to imprison him. They made him sit withthem without the wallsand when food came to themhe ate with them whatsufficed him.

As soon as they had made an end of eatingthey turned to the Prince andsaid"What countryman art thou?" "I come from Fars"answered he"the land of the Chosroes." When they heard thistheylaughed and one of them said: "O ChosroanI have heard the talk of men andtheir histories and I have looked into their conditionsbut never saw I orheard I a bigger liar than the Chosroan which is with us in the jail."Quoth another"And never did I see aught fouler than his favor or morehideous than his visnomy." Asked the Prince"What have ye seen of hislying?" and they answered: "He pretendeth that he is one of the wise!Now the King came upon him as he went a-huntingand found with him a mostbeautiful woman and a horse of the blackest ebony- never saw I a handsomer. Asfor the damselshe is with the Kingwho is enamored of her and would fainmarry her. But she is madand were this man a leechas he claimeth to behewould have healed herfor the King doth his utmost to discover a cure for hercase and a remedy for her diseaseand this whole year past hath he spenttreasures upon physicians and astrologers on her accountbut none can avail tocure her. As for the horseit is in the royal hoard houseand the ugly man ishere with us in prisonand as soon as night fallethhe weepeth and bemoanethhimself and will not let us sleep."

When the warders had recounted the case of the Persian egromancer they heldin prison and his weeping and wailingthe Prince at once devised a devicewhereby he might compass his desireand presently the guards of the gatebeingminded to sleepled him into the jail and locked the door. So he overheard thePersian weeping and bemoaning himself in his own tongueand saying:"Alackand alas for my sinthat I sinned against myself and against theKing's sonin that which I did with the damselfor I neither left her nor wonmy will of her! All this cometh of my lack of sensein that I sought for myselfthat which I deserved not and which befitted not the like of me. For whososeeketh what suiteth him not at allfalleth with the like of my fall." Nowwhen the King's son heard thishe accosted him in Persiansaying: "Howlong will this weeping and wailing last? Say methinkest thou that hathbefallen thee that which never befell other than thou?"

Now when the Persian heard thishe made friends with him and began tocomplain to him of his case and misfortunes. And as soon as the morningmorrowedthe warders took the Prince and carried him before their Kinginforming him that he had entered the city on the previous nightat a time whenaudience was impossible. Quoth the King to the Prince"Whence comest thouand what is thy name and tradeand why hast thou traveled hither?" Hereplied: "As to my nameI am called in Persian Harjah. As to my countryIcome from the land of Farsand I am of the men of art and especially of the artof medicine and healing the sick and those whom the Jinns drive mad. For this Igo round about all countries and citiesto profit by adding knowledge to myknowledgeand whenever I see a patient I heal himand this is my craft."Now when the King heard thishe rejoiced with exceeding joy and said"Oexcellent sagethou hast indeed come to us at a time when we need thee."Then he acquainted him with the case of the Princessadding"If thou cureher and recover her from her madnessthou shalt have of me everything thouseekest." Replied the Prince"Allah save and favor the King. Describeto me all thou hast seen of her insanityand tell me how long it is since theaccess attacked heralso how thou camest by her and the horse and thesage."

So the King told him the whole storyfrom first to lastadding"Thesage is in jail." Quoth the Prince"O auspicious Kingand what hastthou done with the horse?" Quoth the King"O youthit is with meyetlaid up in one of my treasure chambers." Whereupon said the Princewithin himself: "The best thing I can do is first to see the horse andassure myself of its condition. If it be whole and soundall will be well andend well. But if its motor works be destroyedI must find some other way ofdelivering my beloved." Thereupon he turned to the King and said to him:"O KingI must see the horse in question. Haply I may find in it somewhatthat will serve me for the recovery of the damsel." "With all myheart" replied the Kingand taking him by the handshowed him into theplace where the horse was. The Prince went round about itexamining itsconditionand found it whole and soundwhereat he rejoiced greatly and said tothe King: "Allah save and exalt the King! I would fain go in to the damselthat I may see how it is with herfor I hope in Allah to heal her by my healinghand through means of the horse." Then he bade them take care of the horseand the King carried him to the Princess's apartmentwhere her lover found herwringing her hands and writhing and beating herself against the groundandtearing her garments to tatters as was her wont. But there was no madness ofJinn in herand she did this but that none might approach her.

When the Prince saw her thushe said to her"No harm shall betidetheeO ravishment of the Three Worlds" and went on to soothe her andspeak her fairtill he managed to whisper"I am Kamar al-Akmar"whereupon she cried out with a loud cry and fell down fainting for excess ofjoy. But the King thought this was epilepsy brought on by her fear of himandby her suddenly being startled. Then the Prince put his mouth to her ear andsaid to her: "O Shams al-NaharO seduction of the universehave a carefor thy life and mine and be patient and constant; for this our position needethsufferance and skillful contrivance to make shift for our delivery from thistyrannical King. My first move will be now to go out to him and tell him thatthou art possessed of a Jinn and hence thy madnessbut that I will engage toheal thee and drive away the evil spirit if he will at once unbind thy bonds. Sowhen he cometh in to theedo thou speak him smooth wordsthat he may think Ihave cured theeand all will be done for us as we desire." Quoth she"Hearkening and obedience" and he went out to the King in joy andgladnessand said to him: "O august KingI haveby thy good fortunediscovered her disease and its remedyand have cured her for thee. So now dothou go in to and speak her softly and treat her kindlyand promise her whatthou desirest of her be accomplished to thee."

Thereupon the King went in to herand when she saw himshe rose and kissingthe ground before himbade him welcome and said"I admire how thou hastcome to visit thy handmaid this day." Whereat he was ready to fly for joyand bade the waiting women and the eunuchs attend her and carry her to thehammam and make ready for her dresses and adornment. So they went in to her andsaluted herand she returned their salaams with the goodliest language andafter the pleasantest fashion. Whereupon they clad her in royal apparel andclasping a collar of jewels about her neckcarried her to the bath and servedher there. Then they brought her forth as she were the full moonand when shecame into the King's presenceshe saluted him and kissed ground before him.Whereupon he joyed in her with joy exceeding and said to the Prince: "OSageO Philosopherall this is of thy blessing. Allah increase to us thebenefit of thy healing breath!" The Prince replied: "O Kingfor thecompletion of her cure it behooveth that thou go forththou and all thy troopsand guardsto the place where thou foundest hernot forgetting the beast ofblack wood which was with her. For therein is a deviland unless I exorcisehimhe will return to her and afflict her at the head of every month.""With love and gladness" cried the King"O thou Prince of allphilosophers and most learned of all who see the light of day."

Then he brought out the ebony horse to the meadow in question and rodethither with all his troops and the Princesslittle weeting the purpose of thePrince. Now when they came to the appointed placethe Princestill habited asa leechbade them set the Princess and the steed as far as eye could reach fromthe King and his troopsand said to him: "With thy leaveand at thy wordI will now proceed to the fumigations and conjurationsand here imprison theadversary of mankindthat he may never more return to her. After thisI shallmount this wooden horsewhich seemeth to be made of ebonyand take the damselup behind mewhereupon it will shake and sway to and fro and fare forward tillit come to theewhen the affair will be at an end. And after this thou mayestdo with her as thou wilt." When the King heard his wordshe rejoiced withextreme joyso the Prince mounted the horseand taking the damsel up behindhimwhilst the King and his troops watched himbound her fast to him. Then heturned the ascending pin and the horse took flight and soared with them high inairtill they disappeared from every eye.

After this the King abode half the day expecting their returnbut theyreturned not. So when he despaired of themrepenting him greatly of that whichhe had done and grieving sore for the loss of the damselhe went back to thecity with his troops. He then sent for the Persian who was in prison and said tohim: "O thou traitorO thou villainwhy didst thou hide from me themystery of the ebony horse? And now a sharper hath come to me and hath carriedit offtogether with a slave girl whose ornaments are worth a mint of moneyand I shall never see anyone or anything of them again!" So the Persianrelated to him all his pastfirst and lastand the King was seized with a fitof by which well-nigh ended his life. He shut himself up in his palace for awhilemourning and afflicted. But at last his Wazirs came in to him and appliedthemselves to comfort himsaying: "Verilyhe who took the damsel is anenchanterand praised be Allah who hath delivered thee from his craft andsorcery!" And they ceased not from him till he was comforted for her loss.

Thus far concerning the the Kingbut as for the Princehe continued hiscareer toward his father's capital in joy and cheerand stayed not till healighted on his own palacewhere he set the lady in safety. After which he wentin to his father and mother and saluted them and acquainted them with hercomingwhereat they were filled with solace and gladness. Then he spread greatbanquets for the townsfolk and they held high festival a whole monthat the endof which time he went in to the Princess and they took their joy of each otherwith exceeding joy. But his father brake the ebony horse in pieces and destroyedits mechanism for flight.

Moreoverthe Prince wrote a letter to the Princess's fatheradvising him ofall that had befallen her and informing him how she was now married to him andin all health and happinessand sent it by a messengertogether with costlypresents and curious rarities. And when the messenger arrived at the city whichwas Sana'a and delivered the letter and the presents to the Kinghe read themissive and rejoiced greatly thereat and accepted the presentshonoring andrewarding the bearer handsomely. Moreoverhe forwarded rich gifts to hisson-in-law by the same messengerwho returned to his master and acquainted himwith what had passedwhereat he was much cheered. And after this the Princewrote a letter every year to his father-in-law and sent him presents tillincourse of timehis sire King Sabur deceased and he reigned in his steadrulingjustly over his lieges and conducting himself well and righteously toward themso that the land submitted to him and his subjects did him loyal service. AndKamar al-Akmar and his wife Shams al-Nahar abode in the enjoyment of allsatisfaction and solace of life till there came to them the Destroyer ofdelights and Sunderer of societiesthe Plunderer of palacesthe Caterer forcemeteriesand the Garnerer of graves. And now glory be to the Living One whodieth not and in whose hand is the dominion of the worlds visible and invisible!

Moreover I have heard tell the tale of

THE ANGEL OF DEATH WITH THE PROUD AND THE DEVOUT MAN -

IT is relatedO auspicious Kingthat one of the olden monarchs was onceminded to ride out in state with the officers of his realm and the grandees ofhis retinue and display to the folk the marvels of his magnificence. So heordered his lords and emirs equip them therefor and commanded his keeper of thewardrobe to bring him of the richest of raimentsuch as befitted the King inhis stateand he bade them bring his steeds of the finest breeds and pedigreesevery man heeds. Which being donehe chose out of the raiment what rejoiced himmost and of the horses that which he deemed bestand donning the clothestogether with a collar set with margarites and rubies and all manner jewelsmounted and set forth in statemaking his destrier prance and curvet among histroops and glorying in his pride and despotic power.

And Iblis came to him andlaying his hand upon his noseblew into hisnostrils the breath of hauteur and conceitso that he magnified and glorifiedhimself and said in his heart"Who among men is like unto me?" And hebecame so pulled up with arrogance and self-sufficiencyand so taken up withthe thought of his own splendor and magnificencethat he would not vouchsafe aglance to any man. Presently there stood before him one clad in tattered clothesand saluted himbut he returned not his salaamwhereupon the stranger laidhold of his horse's bridle. "Lift thy hand!" cried the King."Thou knowest not whose bridle rein it is whereof thou takest hold."Quoth the other"I have a need of thee." Quoth the King"Waittill I alightand then name thy need." Rejoined the stranger"It isa secret and I will not tell it but in thine ear." So the King bowed hishead to him and he said"I am the Angel of Death and I purpose to take thysoul." Replied the King"Have patience with me a littlewhilst Ireturn to my house and take leave of my people and children and neighbors andwife." "By no means so" answered the Angel. "Thou shaltnever return nor look on them againfor the fated term of thy life ispast."

So sayinghe took the soul of the King (who fell off his horse's back dead)and departed thence. Presently the Death Angel met a devout manof whomAlmighty Allah had acceptedand saluted him. He returned the saluteand theAngel said to him"O pious manI have a need of thee which must be keptsecret." "Tell it in my ear" quoth the devoteeand quoth theother"I am the Angel of Death." Replied the man: "Welcome tothee! And praised be Allah for thy coming! I am aweary of awaiting thinearrivalfor indeed long hath been thine absence from the lover which longethfor thee." Said the Angel"If thou have any businessmake an end ofit" but the other answeredsaying"There is nothing so urgent to meas the meeting with my Lordto whom be honor and glory!" And the Angelsaid"How wouldst thou fain have me take thy soul? I am bidden to take itas thou willest and choosest." He replied"Tarry till I make the wuzuablution and prayand when I prostrate myselfthen take my soul while my bodyis on the ground." Quoth the Angel"Verilymy Lord (be He extolledand exalted!) commanded me not to take thy soul but with thy consent and as thoushouldst wishso I will do thy will." Then the devout man made the minorablution and prayedand the Angel of Death took his soul in the act ofprostration and Almighty Allah transported it to the place of mercy andacceptance and forgiveness.

And they tell another tale of the adventures of

SINDBAD THE SEAMAN AND SINDBAD THE LANDSMAN -

THERE lived in the city of Baghdad during the reign of the Commander of theFaithfulHarun al-Rashida man named Sindbad the Hammalone in poor case whobore burdens on his head for hire. It happened to him one day of great heat thatwhilst he was carrying a heavy loadhe became exceeding weary and sweatedprofuselythe heat and the weight alike oppressing him. Presentlyas he waspassing the gate of a merchant's house before which the ground was swept andwateredand there the air was temperatehe sighted a broad bench beside thedoorso he set his load thereonto take rest and smell the air. He sat down onthe edge of the benchand at once heard from within the melodious sound oflutes and other stringed instrumentsand mirth-exciting voices singing andrecitingtogether with the song of birds warbling and glorifying Almighty Allahin various tunes and tonguess- turtlesmocking birdsmerlesnightingalescushatsand stone curlews- whereat he marveled in himself and was moved tomighty joy and solace.

Then he went up to the gate and saw within a great flower garden wherein werepages and black slaves and such a train of servants and attendants and so forthas is found only with kings and sultans. And his nostrils were greeted with thesavory odours of an manner meats rich and delicateand delicious and generouswines. So he raised his eyes heavenward and said"Glory to TheeO LordOCreator and ProviderWho providest whomso Thou wilt without count or stint! Omine Holy OneI cry Thee pardon for an sins and turn to Thee repenting of alloffenses! -

"How many by my laborsthat evermore endure

All goods of life enjoy and in cooly shade recline?

Each morn that dawns I wake in travail and in woe

And strange is my condition and my burden gars me pine.

Many others are in luck and from miseries are free

And Fortune never load them with loads the like o' mine.

They live their happy days in all solace and delight

Eatdrinkand dwell in honor 'mid the noble and the digne.

All living things were made of a little drop of sperm

Thine origin is mine and my provenance is thine

Yet the difference and distance 'twixt the twain of us are far

As the difference of savor 'twixt vinegar and wine.

But at TheeO God All-wise! I venture not to rail

Whose ordinance is just and whose justice cannot fail." -

When Sindbad the Porter had made an end of reciting his verseshe bore uphis burden and was about to fare on when there came forth to him from the gate alittle foot pagefair of face and shapely of shape and dainty of dresswhocaught him by the hand saying"Come in and speak with my lordfor hecalleth for thee." The porter would have excused himself to the pagebutthe lad would take no refusalso he left his load with the doorkeeper in thevestibule and followed the boy into the housewhich he found to be a goodlymansionradiant and full of majestytill he brought him to a grand sittingroom wherein he saw a company of nobles and great lords seated at tablesgarnished with all manner of flowers and sweet-scented herbsbesides greatplenty of dainty viands and fruits dried and fresh and confections and wines ofthe choicest vintages. There also were instruments of music and mirth and lovelyslave girls playing and singing. All the company was ranged according to rankand in the highest place sat a man of worshipful and noble aspect whose beardsides hoariness had strickenand he was stately of stature and fair of favoragreeable of aspect and full of gravity and dignity and majesty. So Sindbad thePorter was confounded at that which he beheld and said in himself"ByAllahthis must be either a piece of Paradise or some king's palace!"

Then he saluted the company with much respectpraying for their prosperityand kissing the ground before themstood with his head bowed down in humbleattitude. The master of the house bade him draw near and be seated and bespokehim kindlybidding him welcome. Then he set before him various kinds of viandsrich and delicate and deliciousand the porterafter saying his Bismillahfell to and ate his fillafter which he exclaimed"Praised be Allahwhatso be our case!" andwashing his handsreturned thanks to the companyfor his entertainment. Quoth the host: "Thou art welcomeand thy day is ablessed. But what thy name and calling?" Quoth the other"O my lordmy name is Sindbad the Hammaland I carry folk's goods on my head forhire." The housemaster smiled and rejoined: "KnowO Porterthat thyname is even as minefor I am Sindbad the Seaman. And nowO PorterI wouldhave thee let me hear the couplets thou recitedst at the gate anon.' The porterwas abashed and replied: "Allah upon thee! Excuse mefor toil and travailand lack of luck when the hand is empty teach a man ill manners and boorishways." Said the host: "Be not ashamed. Thou art become my brother. Butrepeat to me the versesfor they pleased me whenas I heard thee recite them atthe gate."

Hereupon the Porter repeated the couplets and they delighted the merchantwho said to him: "KnowO Hammalthat my story is a wonderful oneandthou shalt hear all that befell me and all I underwent ere I rose to this stateof prosperity and became the lord of this place wherein thou seest me. For Icame not to this high estate save after travail sore and perils galoreand howmuch toil and trouble have I not suffered in days of yore! I have made sevenvoyagesby each of which hangeth a marvelous talesuch as confoundeth thereasonand all this came to pass by doom of Fortune and Fate. For from whatDestiny doth write there is neither refuge nor flight. Knowthengood mylords" continued he"that I am about to relate the

FIRST VOYAGE OF SINDBAD HIGHT THE SEAMAN -

MY father was a merchantone of the notables of my native placea moneyedman and ample of meanswho died whilst I was yet a childleaving me muchwealth in money and lands and farmhouses. When I grew upI laid hands on thewhole and ate of the best and drank freely and wore rich clothes and livedlavishlycompanioning and consorting with youths of my own ageand consideringthat this course of life would continue forever and ken no change. Thus did Ifor a long timebut at last I awoke from my heedlessness andreturning to mysensesI found my wealth had become unwealth and my condition ill-conditionedand all I once hent had left my hand. And recovering my reasonI was strickenwith dismay and confusion and bethought me of a saying of our lord Solomonsonof David (on whom be peace!)which I had heard aforetime from my father: thingsare better than other three. The day of death is better than the day of birthalive dog is better than a dead lionand the grave is better than want."Then I got together my remains of estates and property and sold alleven myclothesfor three thousand dirhamswith which I resolved to travel to foreignpartsremembering the saying of the poet: -

By means of toil man shall scale the height

Who to fame aspires mustn't sleep o' night.

Who seeketh pearl in the deep must dive

Winning weal and wealth by his main and might.

And who seeketh Fame without toil and strife

Th' impossible seeketh and wasteth life. -

Sotaking heartI bought me goodsmerchandise and all needed for a voyageand impatient to be at seaI embarkedwith a company of merchantson board aship bound for Bassorah. There we again embarked and sailed many days andnightsand we passed from isle to isle and sea to sea and shore to shorebuying and selling and bartering everywhere the ship touchedand continued ourcourse till we came to an island as it were a garth of the gardens of Paradise.Here the captain cast anchor andmaking fast to the shoreput out the landingplanks. So all on board landed and made furnacesand lighting fires thereinbusied themselves in various wayssome cooking and some washingwhilst othersome walked about the island for solaceand the crew fell to eating anddrinking and playing and sporting. I was one of the walkersbut as we were thusengagedbehold the masterwho was standing on the gunwalecried out to us atthe top of his voicesaying: "Ho there! Passengersrun for your lives andhasten back to the ship and leave your gear and save yourselves fromdestructionAllah preserve you!. For this island whereon ye stand is no trueislandbut a great fish stationary a-middlemost of the seawhereon the sandhath settled and trees have sprung up of old timeso that it is become likeunto an island. But when ye lighted fires on itit felt the heat and movedandin a moment it will sink with you into the sea and ye will all be drowned. Soleave your gear and seek your safety ere ye die!"

All who heard him left gear and goodsclothes washed and unwashedfire potsand brass cooking potsand fled back to the ship for their livesand somereached it while others (amongst whom was I) did notfor suddenly the islandshook and sank into the abysses of the deepwith all that were thereonand thedashing sea surged over it with clashing waves. I sank with the others downdown into the deepbut Almighty Allah preserved me from drowning and threw inmy way a great wooden tub of those that had served the ship's company fortubbing. I gripped it for the sweetness of life andbestriding it like oneridingpaddled with my feet like oarswhilst the waves tossed me as in sportright and left. Meanwhile the captain made sail and departed with those who hadreached the shipregardless of the drowning and the drowned. And I ceased notfollowing the vessel with my eyes till she was hid from sight and I made sure ofdeath.

Darkness closed in upon me while in this plightand the winds and waves boreme on all that night and the next daytill the tub brought to with me under thelee of a lofty island with trees overhanging the tide. I caught hold of a branchand by its aid clambered up onto the landafter coming nigh upon death. Butwhen I reached the shoreI found my legs cramped and numbed and my feet boretraces of the nibbling of fish upon their soleswithal I had felt nothing forexcess of anguish and fatigue. I threw myself down on the island ground like adead manand drowned in desolationswooned awaynor did I return to my sensestill next morningwhen the sun rose and revived me. But I found my feetswollenso made shift to move by shuffling on my breech and crawling on mykneesfor in that island were found store of fruits and springs of sweet water.I ate of the fruitswhich strengthened me. And thus I abode days and nightstill my life seemed to return and my spirits began to revive and I was betterable to move about. Soafter due considerationI fell to exploring the islandand diverting myself with gazing upon all things that Allah Almighty had createdthereand rested under the treesfrom one of which I cut me a staff to leanupon.

One day as I walked along the marge I caught sight of some object in thedistance and thought it a wild beast or one of the monster creatures of the seabut as I drew near itlooking hard the whilesaw that it was a noble maretethered on the beach. Presently I went up to herbut she cried out against mewith a great cryso that I trembled for fear and turned to go awaywhen therecame forth man from under the earth and followed mecrying out and saying"Who and whence art thouand what caused thee to come hither?""O my lord" answered I"I am in very sooth a waifa strangerand was left to drown with sundry others by the ship we voyaged in. But Allahgraciously sent me a wodden tubso I saved myself thereon and it floated withmetill the waves cast me up on this island." When he heard thishe tookmy hand and saying"Come with me" carried me into a great sardaborunderground chamberwhich was spacious as a saloon.

He made me sit down at its upper endthen he brought me somewhat of foodandbeing a-hungeredI ate till I was satisfied and refreshed. And when he hadput me at mine easehe questioned me of myselfand I told him all that hadbefallen me from first to last. And as he wondered at my adventureI said:"By AllahO my lordexcuse meI have told thee the truth of my case andthe accident which betided meand now I desire that thou tell me who thou artand why thou abidest here under the earth and why thou hast tethered yonder mareon the brink of the sea." Answered he: "Know that I am one of theseveral who arestationed in different parts of this islandand we are of thegrooms of King Mihrjanand under our hand are all his horses. Every month aboutnew-moon tide we bring hither our best mares which have never been coveredandpicket them on the seashore and hide ourselves in this place under the groundso that none may espy us. Presently the stallions of the sea scent the mares andcome up out of the water andseeing no oneleap the mares and do their will ofthem. When they have covered themthey try to drag them away with thembutcannotby reason of the leg ropes. So they cry out at them and butt at them andkick themwhich we hearingknow that the stallions have dismountedso we runout and shout at themwhereupon they are startled and return in fear to thesea. Then the mares conceive by them and bear colts and fillies worth a mint ofmoneynor is their like to be found on earth's face.

This is the time of the coming forth of the sea stallionsand Inshallah! Iwill bear thee to King Mihrjan and show thee our country. And know that hadstthou not happened on usthou hadst perished miserably and none had known ofthee. But I will be the means of the saving of thy life and of thy return tothine own land." I called down blessings on him and thanked him for hiskindness and courtesy. And while we were yet talkingbeholdthe stallion cameup out of the seaand giving a great crysprang upon the mare and covered her.When he had done his will of herhe dismounted and would have carried her awaywith himbut could not by reason of the tether. She kicked and cried out athimwhereupon the groom took a sword and target and ran out of the undergroundsaloonsmiting the buckler with the blade and calling to his companywho cameup shouting and brandishing spears. And the stallion took fright at them andplunging into the sea like a buffalodisappeared under the waves.

After this we sat awhile till the rest of the grooms came upeach leading amareand seeing me with their fellow sycequestioned me of my caseand Irepeated my story to them. Thereupon they drew near me and spreading the tableate and invited me to eat. So I ate with themafter which they took horse andmounting me on one of the maresset out with me and fared on without ceasingtill we came to the capital city of King Mihrjanand going in to himacquainted him with my story. Then he sent for meand when they set me beforehim and salaams had been exchangedhe gave me a cordial welcome and wishing melong lifebade me tell him my tale. So I related to him all that I had seen andall that had befallen me from first to lastwhereat he marveled and said to me:"By AllahO my sonthou hast indeed been miraculously preserved! Were notthe term of thy life a long onethou hadst not escaped from these straits. Butpraised be Allah for safety!" Then he spoke cheerily to me and entreated mewith kindness and consideration. Moreoverhe made me his agent for the port andregistrar of all ships that entered the harbor. I attended him regularlytoreceive his commandmentsand he favored me and did me all manner of kindnessand invested me with costly and splendid robes. IndeedI was high in creditwith him as an intercessor for the folk and an intermediary between them and himwhen they wanted aught of him.

I abode thus a great whileand as often as I passed through the city to theportI questioned the merchants and travelers and sailors of the city ofBaghdadso haply I might hear of an occasion to return to my native landbutcould find none who knew it or knew any who resorted thither. At this I waschagrinedfor I was weary of long strangerhoodand my disappointment enduredfor a time till one daygoing in to King MihrjanI found with him a company ofIndians. I saluted them and they returned my salaamand politely welcomed meand asked me of my country. When they asked me of my countryI questioned themof theirs and they told me that they were of various castessome being calledshakiriyahwho are the noblest of their casts and neither oppress nor offerviolence to anyand others Brahmansa folk who abstain from wine but live indelight and solace and merriment and own camels and horses and cattle. Moreoverthey told me that the people of India are divided into two and seventy castesand I marveled at this with exceeding marvel.

Amongst other things that I saw in King Mihrijan's dominions was an islandcalled Kasilwherein all night is heard the beating of drums and tabretsbutwe were told by the neighboring islanders and by travelers that the inhabitantsare people of diligence and judgment. In this sea I saw also a fish two hundredcubits long and the fishermen fear itso they strike together pieces of woodand put it to flight. I also saw another fish with a head like that of an owlbesides many other wonders and raritieswhich it would be tedious to recount. Ioccupied myself thus in visiting the islands till one day as I stood in the portwith a staff in my handaccording to my custombeholda great shipwhereinwere many merchantscame sailing for the harbor. When it reached the smallinner port where ships anchor under the citythe master furled his sails andmaking fast to the shoreput out the landing plankswhereupon the crew fell tobreaking bulk and landing cargo whilst I stood bytaking written note of them.

They were long in bringing the goods ashoreso I asked the master"Isthere aught left in thy ship?" and he answered: "O my lordthere aredivers bales of merchandise in the holdwhose owner was drowned from amongst usat one of the islands on our course; so his goods remained in our charge by wayof trustand we purpose to sell them and note their pricethat we may conveyit to his people in the city of Baghdadthe Home of Peace." "What wasthe merchant's name?" quoth Iand quoth he"Sindbad theSeaman" whereupon I straitly considered him and knowing himcried out tohim with a great crysaying: "O CaptainI am that Sindbad the Seaman whotraveled with other merchantsand when the fish heaved and thou calledst to ussome saved themselves and others sankI being one of them. But Allah Almightythrew in my way a great tub of woodof those the crew had used to wash withaland the winds and waves carried me to this islandwhere by Allah's grace I fellin with King Mihrjan's grooms and they brought me hither to the King theirmaster. When I told him my storyhe entreated me with favor and made me hisharbor-masterand I have prospered in his service and found acceptance withhim. These bales therefore are minethe goods which God hath given me."

The other exclaimed: "There is no Majesty and there is no Mihgt save inAllahthe Gloriousthe Great! Verilythere is neither conscience nor goodfaith left among men!" Said I"O Raiswhat mean these wordsseeingthat I have told thee my case?" And he answered"Because thouheardest me say that I had with me goods whose owner was drownedthou thinkestto take them without right. But this is forbidden by law to theefor we saw himdrown before our eyestogether with many other passengersnor was one of themsaved. So how canst thou pretend that thou art the owner of the goods?""O Captain" said I"listen to my story and give heed to mywordsand my truth will be manifest to theefor lying and leasing are theletter marks of the hypocrites." Then I recounted to him all that hadbefallen me since I sailed from Baghdad with him to the time when we came to thefish island where we were nearly drownedand I reminded him of certain matterswhich had passed between us. Whereupon both he and the merchants were certifiedof the truth of my story and recognized me and gave me joy of my deliverancesaying: "By Allahwe thought not that thou hadst escaped drowning! But theLord hath granted thee new life."

Then they delivered my bales to meand I found my name written thereonnorwas aught thereof lacking. So I opened them and making up a present for KingMihrjan of the finest and costliest of the contentscaused the sailors carry itup to the palacewhere I went in to the King and laid my present at his feetacquainting him with what had happenedespecially concerning the ship and mygoodswhereat he wondered with exceeding wonderand the truth of an that I hadtold him was made manifest to him. His affection for me redoubled after that andhe showed me exceeding honor and bestowed on me a great present in return formine. Then I sold my bales and what other matters I ownedmaking a great profiton themand bought me other goods and gear of the growth and fashion of theisland city.

When the merchants were about to start on their homeward voyageI embarkedon board the ship all that I possessedand going in to the Kingthanked himfor all his favors and friendship and craved his leave to return to my own landand friends. He farewelled me and bestowed on me great store of the countrystuffs and produceand I took leave of him and embarked. Then we set sail andfared on nights and daysby the permission of Allah Almightyand Fortuneserved us and Fate favored usso that we arrived in safety at Bassorah citywhere I landed rejoiced at my safe return to my natal soil. After a short stayI set out for Baghdadthe House of Peacewith store of goods and commoditiesof great price. Reaching the city in due timeI went straight to my own quarterand entered my housewhere all my friends and kinsfolk came to greet me.

Then I bought me eunuchs and concubinesservants and Negro slavestill Ihad a large establishmentand I bought me housesand lands and gardenstill Iwas richer and in better case than beforeand returned to enjoy the society ofmy friends and familiars more assiduously than everforgetting all I hadsuffered of fatigue and hardship and strangerhood and every peril of travel. AndI applied myself to all manner joys and solaces and delightseating thedaintiest viands and drinking the deliciousest winesand my wealth allowed thisstate of things to endure.

Thisthenis the story of my first voyageand tomorrowInshallah! I willtell you the tale of the second of my seven voyages. (Saith he who telleth thetale): Then Sindbad the Seaman made Sindbad the Landsman sup with him and badegive him a hundred gold piecessaying"Thou hast cheered us with thycompany this day." The porter thanked him andtaking the giftwent hiswaypondering that which he had heard and marveling mightily at what thingsbetide mankind. He passed the night in his own place and with early morningrepaired to the abode of Sindbad the Seamanwho received him with honor andseated him by his side. As soon as the rest of the company was assembledhe setmeat and drink before themand when they had well eaten and drunken and weremerry and in cheerful casehe took up his discourse and recounted to them inthese words the narrative of SECOND_VOYAGE

THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

KNOWO my brotherthat I was living a most comfortable and enjoyable lifein all solace and delightas I told you yesterdayuntil one day my mind becamepossessed with the thought of traveling about the world of men and seeing theircities and islandsand a longing seized me to traffic and to make money bytrade. Upon this resolve I took a great store of cash and buying goods and gearfit for travelbound them up in bales. Then I went down to the riverbankwhereI found a noble ship and brand-new about to sail equipped with sails of finecloth and well manned and provided. So I took passage in herwith a number ofother merchantsand after embarking our goodswe weighed anchor the same day.Right fair was our voyageand we sailed from place to place and from isle toisleand whenever we anchored we met a crowd of merchants and notables andcustomersand we took to buying and selling and bartering.

At last Destiny brought us to an islandfair and verdantin trees abundantwith yellow-ripe fruits luxuriantand flowers fragrant and birds warbling softdescantand streams crystalline and radiant. But no sign of man showed to thedescrier- nonot a blower of the fire. The captain made fast with us to thisislandand the merchants and sailors landed and walked aboutenjoying theshade of the trees and the song of the birdsthat chanted the praises of theOnethe Victoriousand marveling at the works of the Omnipotent King. I landedwith the restandsitting down by a spring of sweet water that welled up amongthe treestook out some vivers I had with me and ate of that which AllahAlmighty had allotted unto me. And so sweet was the zephyr and so fragrant werethe flowers that presently I waxed drowsy andlying down in that placewassoon drowned in sleep.

When I awokeI found myself alonefor the ship had sailed and left mebehindnor had one of the merchants or sailors bethought himself of me. Isearched the island right and leftbut found neither man nor Jinnwhereat Iwas beyond measure troubledand my gall was like to burst for stress of chagrinand anguish and concernbecause I was left quite alonewithout aught ofworldly gear or meat or drinkweary and heartbroken. So I gave myself up forlost and said: "Not always doth the crock escape the shock. I was saved thefirst time by finding one who brought me from the desert island to an inhabitedplacebut now there is no hope for me." Then I fell to weeping and wailingand gave myself up to an access of rageblaming myself for having againventured upon the perils and hardships of voyagewhenas I was at my ease inmine own house in mine own landtaking my pleasure with good meat and gooddrink and good clothes and lacking nothingneither money nor goods. And Irepented me of having left Baghdadand this the more after all the travails anddangers I had undergone in my first voyagewherein I had so narrowly escapeddestructionand exclaimed"Verily we areAllah'sand unto Him we arereturning!"

I was indeed even as one mad and Jinn-struckand presently I rose and walkedabout the islandright and left and every whitherunable for trouble to sit ortarry in ay one place. Then I climbed a tall tree and looked in all directionsbut saw nothing save sky and sea and trees and birds and isles and sands.Howeverafter a while my eager glances fell upon some great white thingafaroff in the interior of the island. So I came down from the tree and made forthat which I had seenand beholdit was a huge white dome rising high in airand of vast compass. I walked all around itbut found no door theretonorcould I muster strength or nimbleness by reason of its exceeding smoothness andslipperiness. So I marked the spot where I stood and went round about the dometo measure its circumferencewhich I found fifty good paces. And as I stoodcasting about how to gain an entrancethe day being near its fall and the sunbeing near the horizonbeholdthe sun was suddenly hidden from me and the airbecame dull and dar! Methought a cloud had come over the sunbut it was theseason of summerso I marveled at this andlifting my headlooked steadfastlyat the skywhen I saw that the cloud was none other than an enormous birdofgigantic girth and inordinately wide of wingwhich as it flew through the airveiled the sun and hid it from the island.

At this sight my wonder redoubled and I remembered a story I had heardaforetime of pilgrims and travelershow in a certain island dwelleth a hugebirdcalled the "roc" which feedeth its young on elephantsand Iwas certified that the dome which caught my sight was none other than a roc'segg. As I looked and wondered at the marvelous works of the Almightythe birdalighted on the dome and brooded over it with its wings covering it and its legsstretched out behind it on the groundand in this posture it fell asleepglorybe to Him who sleepeth not! When I saw thisI arose andunwinding my turbanfrom my headdoubled it and twisted it into a ropewith which I girt my middleand bound my waist fast to the legs of the rocsaying in myself"Peradventure this bird may carry me to a land of cities and inhabitantsand that will be better than abiding in this desert island." I passed thenight watching and fearing to sleeplest the bird should fly away with meunawaresand as soon as the dawn broke and morn shonethe roc rose off its eggand spreading its wings with a great cryflew up into the air dragging me withitnor ceased it to soar and to tower till I thought it had reached the limitof the firmament. After which it descended earthwardlittle by littletill itlighted on the top of a high hill.

As soon as I found myself on the hard groundI made haste to unbind myselfquaking for fear of the birdthough it took no heed of me nor even felt meandloosing my turban from its feetI made off with my best speed. Presently I sawit catch up in its huge claws something from the earth and rise with it high inairand observing it narrowlyI saw it to be a serpent big of bulk andgigantic of girthwherewith it flew away clean out of sight. I marveled atthisand faring forwardfound myself on a peak overlooking a valleyexceedinggreat and wide and deep and bounded by vast mountains that spired high in air.None could descry their summits for the excess of their heightnor was any ableto climb up thereto. When I saw thisI blamed myself for that which I had doneand said: "Would Heaven I had tarried in the island! It was better thanthis wild desertfor there I had at least fruits to eat and water to drinkandhere are neither trees nor fruits nor streams. But there is no Majesty and thereis no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! Verilyas often as I amquit of one peril I fall into a worse danger and a more grievous."

HoweverI took courage and walking along the wadyfound that its soil wasof diamondthe stone wherewith they pierce minerals and precious stones andporcelain and onyxfor that it is a dense stone and a durewhereon neitheriron nor hardhed hath effectneither can we cut off aught therefrom nor breakitsave by means of loadstone. Moreoverthe valley swarmed with snakes andviperseach big as a palm treethat would have made but one gulp of anelephant. And they came out by nighthiding during the day lest the rocs andeagles pounce on them and tear them to piecesas was their wontwhy I wot not.And I repented of what I had done and AllahI have made haste to bringdestruction upon myself!" The day began to wane as I went alongand Ilooked about for a place where I might pass the nightbeing in fear of theserpentsace for my and I took no thought of meat and drink in my concern formy life. PresentlyI caught sight of a cave near-handwith a narrow doorwayso I enteredand seeing a great stone close to the mouthI rolled it up andstopped the entrancesaying to myself"I am safe here for the nightandas soon as it is dayI will go forth and see what Destiny will do." Then Ilooked within the cave and saw at the upper end a great serpent brooding on hereggsat which my flesh quaked and my hair stood on endbut I raised my eyes toHeaven andcommitting my case to fate and lotabode all that night withoutsleep till daybreakwhen I rolled back the stone from the mouth of the cave andwent forthstaggering like a drunken man and giddy with watching and fear andhunger.

As in this sore case I walked along the valleybeholdthere fell downbefore me a slaughtered beast. But I saw no onewhereat I marveled with greatmarvel and presently remembered a story I had heard aforetime of traders andpilgrims and travelers- how the mountains where are the diamonds are full ofperils and terrorsnor can any fare through thembut the merchants who trafficin diamonds have a device by which they obtain them; that is to saythey take asheep and slaughter and skin it and cut it in pieces and cast them down from themountaintops into the valley solewherethe meat being fresh and sticky withbloodsome of the gems cleave to it. Then they leave it till middaywhen theeagles and vultures swoop down upon it and carry it in their claws to themountain summitswhereupon the merchants come and shout at them and scare themaway from the meat. Then they comeand taking the diamonds which they findsticking to itgo their ways with them and leave the meat to the birds andbeastsnor can any come at the diamonds but by this device.

So when I saw the slaughtered beast fall (he pursued) and bethought me of thestoryI went up to it and filled my pockets and shawl girdle and turban and thefolds of my clothes with the choicest diamondsand as I was thus engageddownfell before me another great piece of meat. Then with my unrolled turban andlying on my backI set the bit on my breast so that I was hidden by the meatwhich was thus raised above the ground. Hardly had I gripped it when an eagleswooped down upon the flesh andseizing it with his talonsflew up with ithigh in air and me clinging theretoand ceased not its flight till it alightedon the head of one of the mountainswheredropping the carcass he fell torending it. Butbeholdthere arose behind him a great noise of shouting andclattering of woodwhereat the bird took fright and flew away. Then I loosedoff myself the meatwith clothes daubed with blood therefromand stood up byits side. Whereupon up came the merchant who had cried out at the eagleandseeing me standing therebespoke me notbut was affrighted at me and shookwith fear.

Howeverhe went up to the carcass andturning it overfound no diamondssticking to itwhereat he gave a great cry and exclaimed: "Harrowmydisappointment! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah withWhom we seek refuge from Satan the stoned!" And he bemoaned himself andbeat hand upon handsaying: "Alasthe pity of it! How cometh this?"Then I went up-to him and he said to me"Who art thouand what causeththee to come hither?" And I: "Fear notI am a man and a good man anda merchant. My story is a wondrous and my adventures marvelous and the manner ofmy coming hither is prodigious. So be of good cheer. Thou shalt receive of mewhat shall rejoice theefor I have with me great plenty of diamonds and I willgive thee thereof what shall suffice theefor each is better than aught thoucouldst get otherwise. So fear nothing." The man rejoiced thereat andthanked and blessed me. Then we talked together till the other merchantshearing me in discourse with their fellowcame up and saluted mefor each ofthem had thrown down his piece of meat.

And as I went off with them and told them my whole storyhow I had sufferedhardships at sea and the fashion of my reaching the valley. But I gave the ownerof the meat a number of the stones I had by meso they all wished me joy of myescapesaying: "By Allaha new life hath been decreed to theefor noneever reached yonder valley and came off thence alive before theebut praised beAllah for thy safety!" We passed the night together in a safe and pleasantplacebeyond measure rejoiced at my deliverance from the valley of Serpents andmy arrival in an inhabited land. And on the morrow we set out and journeyed overthe mighty range of mountainsseeing many serpents in the valleytill we cameto a fair great island wherein was a garden of huge champhor trees under each ofwhich a hundred men might take shelter. When the folk have a mind to getcamphorthey bore into the upper part of the bole with a long ironwhereuponthe liquid camphorwhich is the sap of the treefloweth out and they catch itin vesselswhere it concreteth like gum; but after this the tree dieth andbecometh firewood.

Moreoverthere is in this island a kind of wild beastcalled rhinocerosthat pastureth as do steers and buffaloes with us; but it is a huge brutebigger of body than the cameland like it feedeth upon the leaves and twigs oftrees. It is a remarkable animal with a great and thick hornten cubits longa-middleward its headwhereinwhen cleft in twainis the likeness of a man.Voyagers and pilgrims and travelers declare that this beast called karkadan willcarry off a great elephant on its horn and graze about the island and theseacoast therewith and take no heed of it till the elephant dieth and its fatmelting in the sunrunneth down into the rhinoceros's eyes and blindeth himsothat he lieth down on the shore. Then comes the bird roc and carrieth off boththe rhinoceros and that which is on its hornto feed its young withal.MoreoverI saw in this island many kinds of oxen and buffaloeswhose like arenot found in our country.

Here I sold some of the diamonds which I had by me for gold dinars and silverdirhams and bartered others for the produce of the countryand loading themupon beasts of burdenfared on with the merchants from valley to valley andtown to townbuying and selling and viewing foreign countries and the works andcreatures of Allah till we came to Bassorah citywhere we abode a few daysafter which I continued my journey to Baghdad. I arrived at home with greatstore of diamonds and money and goodsand forgathered with my friends andrelations and gave alms and largess and bestowed curious gifts and made presentsto all my friends and companions. Then I betook myself to eating well anddrinking well and wearing fine clothes and making merry with my fellowsandforgot all my sufferings in the pleasures of return to the solace and delight oflifewith light heart and broadened breast. And everyone who heard of my returncame and questioned me of my adventures and of foreign countriesand I relatedto them all that had befallen meand the much I had sufferedwhereat theywondered and gave me joy of my safe return.

Thisthenis the end of the story of my second voyageand tomorrowInshallah! I will tell you what befell me in my third voyage. The companymarveled at his story and supped with himafter which he ordered a hundreddinars of gold to be given to the porterwho took the sum with many thanks andblessings (which he stinted not even when he reached home) and went his waywondering at what he had heard. Next morning as soon as day came in its sheenand shonehe rose andpraying the dawn prayerrepaired to the house ofSindbad the Seamaneven as he had bidden himand went in and gave him goodmorrow. The merchant welcomed him and made him sit with him till the rest of thecompany arrivedand when they had well eaten and drunken and were merry withjoy and jollitytheir host began by saying: HearkenO my brothersto what Iam about to tell youfor it is even more wondrous than what you have alreadyheard. But Allah alone kenneth what things His Omniscience concealed from man!And listen to THE THIRD VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

AS I told you yesterdayI returned from my second voyage overjoyed at mysafety and with great increase of wealthAllah having requited me all that Ihad wasted and lostand I abode awhile in Baghdad city savoring the utmost easeand prosperity and comfort and happinesstill the carnal man was once moreseized with longing for travel and diversion and adventureand yearned aftertraffic and lucre and emolumentfor that the human heart is naturally prone toevil. Somaking up my mindI laid in great plenty of goods suitable for a seavoyage and repairing to Bassorahwent down to the shore and found there a fineship ready to sailwith a full crew and a numerous company of merchantsmen ofworth and substancefaithpietyand consideration. I embarked with them andwe set sail on the blessing of Allah Almighty and on His aidance and His favorto bring our voyage to a safe and prosperous issueand already we congratulatedone another on our good fortune and boon voyage.

We fared on from sea to sea and from island to island and city to cityinall delight and contentmentbuying and selling wherever we touchedand takingour solace and our pleasuretill one day when as we sailed athwart the dashingsea swollen with clashing billowsbeholdthe master (who stood on the gunwaleexamining the ocean in all directions) cried out with a great cryand buffetedhis face and pluckt out his beard and rent his raimentand bade furl the sailand cast the anchors. So we said to him"O Raiswhat is the matter?""KnowO my brethren (Allah preserve you!) that the wind hath gotten thebetter of us and hath driven us out of our course into midoceanand Destinyfor our ill luckhath brought us to the Mountain of the Zughba hairy folklike apesamong whom no man ever fell and came forth alive. And my heartpresageth that we all be dead men."

Hardly had the master made an end of his speech when the apes were upon us.They surrounded the ship on all sidesswarming like locusts and crowding theshore. They were the most frightful of wild creaturescovered with black hairlike feltfoul of favor and small of staturebeing but four spans highyellow-eyed and black-faced. None knoweth their language nor what they areandthey shun the company of men. We feared to slay them or strike them or drivethem awaybecause of their inconceivable multitudelest if we hurt onetherest fall on us and slay usfor numbers prevail over courage. So we let them dotheir willalbeit we feared they would plunder our goods and gear. They swarmedup the cables and gnawed them asunderand on like wise they did with all theropes of the shipso that if fell off from the wind and stranded upon theirmountainous coast. Then they laid hands on all the merchants and crewandlanding us on the islandmade off with the ship and its cargo and went theirwayswe wot not whither.

We were thus left on the islandeating of its fruits and potherbs anddrinking of its streams till one day we espied in its midst what seemed aninhabited house. So we made for it as fast as our feet could carry us andbeholdit was a castle strong and tallcompassed about with a lofty wallandhaving a two-leaved gate of ebony woodboth of which leaves open stood. Weentered and found within a space wide and bare like a great squareround whichstood many high doors open thrownand at the farther end a long bench of stoneand brazierswith cooking gear hanging thereon and about it great Plenty ofbones. But we saw no one and marveled thereat with exceeding wonder. Then we satdown in the courtyard a little whileand presently falling asleepslept fromthe forenoon till sundownwhen lo! the earth trembled under our feet and theair rumbled with a terrible tone.

Then there came down upon usfrom the top of the castlea huge creature inthe likeness of a manblack of colortall and big of bulkas he were a greatdate treewith eyes like coals of fire and eyeteeth like boar's tusks and avast big gape like the mouth of a well. Moreoverhe had long loose lips likecamel's hanging down upon his breastand ears like two jarms falling over hisshoulder bladesand the nails of his hands were like the claws of a lion. Whenwe saw this frightful giantwe were like to faint and every moment increasedour fear and terrorand we became as dead men for excess of horror andaffright. And after trampling upon the earthhe sat awhile on the bench. Thenhe arose and coming to usseized me by the armchoosing me out from among mycomrades the merchants. He took me up in his hand and turning me overfelt meas a butcher feeleth a sheep he is about to slaughterand I but a littlemouthful in his hands. But finding me lean and fleshless for stress of toil andtrouble and wearinesslet me go and took up anotherwhom in like manner heturned over and felt and let go. Nor did he cease to feel and turn over the restof usone after anothertill he came to the master of the ship.

Now he was a sturdystoutbroad-shouldered wightfat and in full vigorsohe pleased the giantwho seized him as a butcher seizeth a beastand throwinghim downset his foot on his neck and brake itafter which he fetched a longspit and thrusting it up his backsidebrought it forth of the crown of hishead. Thenlighting a fierce firehe set over it the spit with the raisthereonand turned it over the coals till the flesh was roastedwhen he tookthe spit off the fire and set it like a kobab stick before him. Then he tare thebodylimb from limbas one jointeth a chicken andrending the fresh with hisnailsfell to eating of it and gnawing the bonestill there was nothing leftbut some of thesewhich he threw on one side of the wall. This donehe sat fora whilethen he lay down on the stone bench and fell asleepsnarking andsnoring like the gurgling of a lamb or a cow with its throat cutnor did heawake till morningwhen he rose and fared forth and went his ways.

As soon as we were certified that he was gonewe began to talk with oneanotherweeping and bemoaning ourselves for the risk we ranand saying:"Would Heaven we had been drowned in the sea or that the apes had eaten us!That were better than to be roasted over the coals. By Allahthis is a vilefoul death! But whatso the Lord willeth must come-to passand there is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Himthe Gloriousthe Great! We shallassuredly perish miserably and none will know of usas there is no escape forus from this place." Then we arose and roamed about the islandhoping thathaply we might find a place to hide us in or a means of flightfor indeed deathwas a light matter to usprovided we were not roasted over the fire and eaten.Howeverwe could find no hiding placeand the evening overtook ussoof theexcess of our terrorwe returned to the castle and sat down awhile.

Presentlythe earth trembled under our feet and the black ogre came up to usand turning us overfelt one after other till he found a man to his likingwhom he took and served as he had done the captainkilling and roasting andeating him. After which he lay down on the bench and slept and nightsnarlingand snoring like a beast with its throat cuttill daybreakwhen he arose andwent out as before. Then we drew together and conversed and add one to other"By Allahwe had better throw ourselves into the sea and be drowned thandie roasted for this is an abominable death!" Quoth one of us: "Hearye my words! Let us cast about to kill himand be at peace from the grief ofhim and rid the Moslems of his barbarity and tyranny." Then said I:"Hear meO my brothers. If there is nothing for it but to slay himlet uscarry some of this firewood and planks down to the seashore and make us a boatwhereinif we succeed in slaughtering himwe may either embark and let thewaters carry us whither Allah willethor else abide here till some ship passwhen we will take passage in it. If we fail to kill himwe will embark in theboat and put out to sea. And if we be drownedwe shall at least escape beingroasted over a kitchen fire with sliced weasandswhilst if we escapeweescapeand if we be drownedwe die martyrs." "By Allah" saidthey all"this rede is a right" and we agreed upon thisand setabout carrying it out. So we haled down to the beach the pieces of wood whichlay about the benchand making a boatmoored it to the strandafter which westowed therein somewhat of victual and returned to the castle.

As soon as evening fell the earth trembled under our feet and in came theblackamoor upon ussnarling like a dog about to bite. He came up to usandfeeling us and turning us over one by onetook one of us and did with him as hehad done before and ate himafter which he lay down on the bench and snored andsnorted like thunder. As soon as we were assured that he sleptwe arose andtaking two iron spits of those standing thereheated them in the fiercest ofthe fire till they were red-hotlike burning coalswhen we gripped fast holdof themand going up to the giant as he lay snoring on the benchthrust theminto his eyes and pressed upon themall of uswith our united mightso thathis eyeballs burst and he became stone-blind. Thereupon he cried with a greatcrywhereat our hearts trembledand springing up from the benchhe fella-groping after usblindfold. We fled from him right and left and he saw usnotfor his sight was altogether blentbut we were in terrible fear of him andmade sure we were dead men despairing of escape. Then he found the doorfeelingfor it with his handsand went out roaring aloudand beholdthe earth shookunder us for the noise of his roaringand we quaked for fear. As he quitted thecastle we followed him and betook ourselves to the place where we had moored ourboatsaying to one another: "If this accursed abide absent till the goingdown of the sun and come not to the castlewe shall know that he is dead; andif he come backwe will embark in the boat and paddle till we escapecommitting our affair to Allah."

But as we spokebeholdup came the blackamoor with other two as they wereGhulsfouler and more frightful than hewith eyes like red-hot coalswhichwhen we sawwe hurried into the boat and casting off the mooringspaddledawayand pushed out to sea. As soon as the ogres caught sight of usthey criedout at usand running down to the seashorefell a-pelting us with rockswhereof some fell amongst us and others fell into the sea. We paddled with allour might till we were beyond their reachbut the most part of us were slain bythe rock-throwingand the winds and waves sported with us and carried us intothe midst of the dashing seaswollen with billows clashing. We knew not whitherwe wentand my fellows died one after another till there remained but threemyself and two othersfor as often as one diedwe threw him into the sea. Wewere sore exhausted for stress of hungerbut we took courage and heartened oneanother and worked for dear lifeand paddled with main and might till the windscast us upon an islandas we were dead men for fatigue and fear and famine.

We landed on the island and walked about it for a whilefinding that itabounded in trees and streams and birdsand we ate of the fruits and rejoicedin our escape from the black and our deliverance from the perils of the sea. Andthus we did till nightfallwhen we lay down and fell asleep for excess offatigue. But we had hardly closed our eyes before we were aroused by a hissingsoundlike the sough of windand awakeningsaw a serpent like a dragonaseldseen sightof monstrous make and belly of enormous bulkwhich lay in acircle around us. Presently it reared its headand seizing one of mycompanionsswallowed him up to his shoulders. Then it gulped down the rest ofhimand we heard his ribs crack in its belly. Presently it went its wayand weabode in sore amazement and grief for our comrade and mortal fear for ourselvessaying: "By Allahthis is a marvelous thing! Each kind of death thatthreateneth us is more terrible than the last We were rejoicing in our escapefrom the black ogre and our deliverance from the perils of the seabut now wehave fallen into that which is worse. There is no Majesty and there is no Mightsave in Allah! By the Almightywe have escaped from the blackamoor and fromdrowningbut how shall we escape from this abominable and viperishmonster?" Then we walked about the islandeating of its fruits anddrinking of its streams till duskwhen we climbed up into a high tree and wentto sleep thereI being on the topmost bough.

As soon as it was dark nightup came the serpentlooking right and leftand making for the tree whereon we wereclimbed up to my comrade and swallowedhim down to his shoulders. Then it coiled about the bole with himwhilst Iwhocould not take my eyes off the sightheard his bones crack in its bellyand itswallowed him wholeafter which it slid down from the tree. When the day brokeand the light showed me that the serpent was goneI came downas I were a deadman for stress of fear and anguishand thought to cast myself into the sea andbe at rest from the woes of the worldbut could not bring myself to thisforverily life is dear. So I took five pieces of woodbroad and longand boundone crosswise to the soles of my feet and others in like fashion on my right andleft sides and over my breastand the broadest and largest I bound across myhead and made them fast with ropes. Then I lay down on the ground on my backsothat I was completely fenced in by the pieces of woodwhich enclosed me like abier.

So as soon as it was darkup came the serpent as usualand made toward mebut could not get at me to swallow me for the wood that fenced me in. So itwriggled round me on every side whilst I looked on like one dead by reason of myterrorand every now and then it would glide awayand come back. But as oftenas it tried to come at meit was hindered by the pieces of wood wherewith I hadbound myself on every side. It ceased not to beset me thus from sundown tilldawnbut when the light of day shone upon the beast it made offin the utmostfury and extreme disappointment. Then I put out my hand and unbound myselfwell-nigh down among the dead men for fear and sufferingand went down to theisland shorewhence a ship afar off in the midst of the waves suddenly struckmy sight. So I tore off a great branch of a tree and made signs with it to thecrewshouting out the whilewhich when the ship's company saw they said to oneanother: "We must stand in and see what this is. Peradventure 'tis aman." So they made for the island and presently heard my crieswhereuponthey took me on board and questioned me of my case. I told them all myadventures from first to lastwhereat they marveled mightily and covered myshame with some of their clothes. Moreoverthey set before me somewhat of foodand I ate my fill and I drank cold sweet water and was mightily refreshedandAllah Almighty quickened me after I was virtually dead. So I praised the MostHighest and thanked Him for His favors and exceeding merciesand my heartrevived in me after utter despairtill meseemed as if all I had suffered werebut a dream I had dreamed.

We sailed on with a fair wind the Almighty sent us till we came to an islandcalled Al-Salahitahwhich aboundeth in sandalwoodwhen the captain castanchor. And when we had cast anchorthe merchants and the sailors landed withtheir goods to sell and to buy. Then the captain turned to me and said:"Hark'eethou art a stranger and a pauper and tellest us that thou hastundergone frightful hardshipswherefore I have a mind to benefit thee withsomewhat that may further thee to thy native landso thou wilt ever bless meand pray for me." "So be it" answered I. "Thou shalt havemy prayers." Quoth he: "Know then that there was with us a manatravelerwhom we lostand we know not if he be alive or deadfor we had nonews of him. So I purpose to commit his bales of goods to thy chargethat thoumayst sell them in this island. A part of the proceeds we will give thee as anequivalent for thy pains and serviceand the rest we will keep till we returnto Baghdadwhere we will inquire for his family and deliver it to themtogether with the unsold goods. Say me thenwilt thou undertake the charge andland and sell them as other merchants do?" I replied"Hearkening andobedience to theeO my lordand great is thy kindness to me" and thankedhim. Whereupon he bade the sailors and porters bear the bales in questionashoreand commit them to my charge.

The ship's scribe asked him"O masterwhat bales are theseand whatmerchant's name shall I write upon them?" and he answered: "Write onthem the name of Sindbad the Seamanhim who was with us in the ship and whom welost at the roc's islandand of whom we have no tidings. For we mean thisstranger to sell themand we will give him a part of the price for his painsand keep the rest till we return to Baghdadwhere if we find the owner we willmake it over to himand if notto his family." And the clerk said"Thy words are apposite and thy rede is right." Now when I heard thecaptain give orders for the bales to be inscribed with my nameI said tomyself"By AllahI am Sindbad the Seaman!" So I armed myself withcourage and patience and waited till all the merchants had landed and weregathered togethertalking and chattering about buying and selling. Then I wentup to the captain and asked him"O my lordknowest thou what manner ofman was this Sindbad whose goods thou hast committed to me for sale?" andhe answered"I know of him naught save that he was a man from BaghdadcitySindbad hight the Seamanwho was drowned with many others when we layanchored at such an islandand I have heard nothing of him since then."

At this I cried out with a great cry and said: "O Captainwhom Allahkeep! know that I am that Sindbad the Seaman and that I was not drownedbutwhen thou castest anchor at the islandI landed with the rest of the merchantsand crew. And I sat down in a pleasant place by myself and ate somewhat of foodI had with me and enjoyed myself till I became drowsy and was drowned in sleep.And when I awokeI found no shipand none near me. These goods are my goodsand these bales are my balesand all the merchants who fetch jewels from theValley of Diamonds saw me there and will bear me witness that I am the verySindbad the Seaman; for I related to them everything that had befallen me andtold them how you forgot me and left me sleeping on the islandand that betidedme which betided me." When the passengers and crew heard my wordstheygathered about me and some of them believed me and others disbelievedbutpresentlybeholdone of the merchantshearing me mention the Valley ofDiamondscame up to me and said to them: "Hear what I saygood people!When I related to you the most wonderful things in my travelsand I told youthat at the time we cast down our slaughtered animals into the Valley ofSerpents (I casting with the rest as was my wont)there came up a man hangingto mineye believed me not and live me the lie." "Yes" quoththey"thou didst tell us some such talebut we had no call to creditthee." He resumed: "Now this is the very manby token that he gave mediamonds of great value and high price whose like are not to be foundrequitingme more than would have come up sticking to my quarter of meat. And I companiedwith him to Bassorah citywhere he took leave of us and went on to his nativestead whilst we returned to our own land. This is heand he told us his nameSindbad the Seamanand how the ship left him on the desert island. And know yethat Allah hath sent him hitherso might the truth of my story be made manifestto you. Moreoverthese are his goodsfor when he first forgathered with ushetold us of them; and the truth of his words is patent."

Hearing the merchant's speechthe captain came up to me and considered mestraitly awhileafter which he said"What was the mark on thybales?" "Thus and thus" answered Iand reminded him of somewhatthat had passed between him and me when I shipped with him from Bassorah.Thereupon he was convinced that I was indeed Sindbad the Seaman and took meround the neck and gave me joy of my safetysaying: "By AllahO my lordthy case is indeed wondrous and thy tale marvelous. But lauded be Allah Who hathbrought thee and me together againand Who hath restored to thee thy goods andgear!" Then I disposed of my merchandise to the best of my skillandprofited largely on themwhereat I rejoiced with exceeding joy andcongratulated myself on my safety and the recovery of my goods. We ceased not tobuy and sell at the several islands till we came to the land of Hindwhere webought cloves and ginger and all manner spices. And thence we fared on to theland of Sindwhere also we bought and sold.

In these Indian seas I saw wonders without number or countamongst others afish like a cow which bringeth forth its young and suckleth them like humanbeingsand of its skin bucklers are made. There were eke fishes like asses andcamels and tortoises twenty cubits wide. And I saw also a bird that cometh outof a sea shell and layeth eggs and hatcheth her chicks on the surface of thewaternever coming up from the sea to the land. Then we set sail again with afair wind and the blessing of Almighty Allahand after a prosperous voyagearrived safe and sound at Bassorah. Here I abode a few daysand presentlyreturned to Baghdadwhere I went at once to my quarter and my house and salutedmy family and familiars and friends. I had gained on this voyage what was beyondcount and reckoningso I gave alms and largess and clad the widow and orphanby way of thanksgiving for my happy returnand fell to feasting and makingmerry with my companions and intimates and forgot while eating well and drinkingwell and dressing well everything that had befallen me and all the perils andhardships I had suffered.

Thesethenare the most admirable things I sighted on my third voyageandtomorrowan it be the will of Allahyou shall come to me and I will relate theadventures of my fourth voyagewhich is still more wonderful than those youhave already heard. (Saith he who telleth the tale): Then Sindbad the Seamanbade give Sindbad the Landsman a hundred golden dinars as of wontand calledfor food. So they spread the tables and the company ate the night meal and wenttheir waysmarveling at the tale they had heard. The porter after taking hisgold passed the night in his own housealso wondering at what his namesake theseaman had told himand as soon as day broke and the morning showed with itssheen and shonehe rose and praying the dawn prayerbetook himself to Sindbadthe Seamanwho returned his salute and received him with an open breast andcheerful favor and made him sit with him till the rest of the company arrivedwhen he caused set on food and they ate and drank and made merry. Then Sindbadthe Seaman bespake them and related to them the narrative of THE FOURTH VOYAGEOF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

KNOWO my brethrenthat after my return from my third voyage andforgathering with my friendsand forgetting all my perils and hardships in theenjoyment of ease and comfort and reposeI was visited one day by a company ofmerchants who sat down with me and talked of foreign travel and traffic till theold bad man within me yearned to go with them and enjoy the sight of strangecountriesand I longed for the society of the various races of mankind and fortraffic and profit. So I resolved to travel with them andbuying thenecessaries for a long voyage and great store of costly goodsmore than everbeforetransported them from Baghdad to Bassorahwhere I took ship with themerchants in questionwho were of the chief of the town. We set outtrustingin the blessing of Almighty Allahand with a favoring breeze and the bestconditions we salled from island to island and sea to sea till one day therearose against us a contrary wind and the captain cast out his anchors andbrought the ship to a standstillfearing lest she should founder in midocean.

Then we all fell to prayer and humbling ourselves before the Most Highbutas we were thus engaged there smote us a furious squall which tore the sails torags and tatters. The anchor cable parted andthe ship founderingwe were castinto the seagoods and all. I kept myself afloat by swimming half the day tillwhen I had given myself up for lostthe Almighty threw in my way one of theplanks of the shipwhereon I and some others of the merchants scrambled andmounting it as we would a horsepaddled with our feet in the sea. We abode thusa day and a nightthe wind and waves helping us onand on the second dayshortly before the midtime between sunrise and noon the breeze freshened and thesea wrought and the rising waves cast us upon an islandwell-nigh dead bodiesfor weariness and want of sleepcold and hunger and fear and thirst. We walkedabout the shore and found abundance of herbswhereof we ate enough to keepbreath in body and to stay our failing spiritsthen lay down and slept tillmorning hard by the sea. And when morning came with its sheen and shonewearose and walked about the island to the right and left till we came in sight ofan inhabited house afar off. So we made toward itand ceased not walking tillwe reached the door thereof when lo! a number of naked men issued from itandwithout saluting us or a word saidlaid hold of us masterfully and carried usto their Kingwho signed us to sit. So we sat down and they set food before ussuch as we knew not and whose like we had never seen in all our lives. Mycompanions ate of itfor stress of hungerbut my stomach revolted from it andI would not eatand my refraining from it wasby Allah's favorthe cause ofmy being alive till now. For no sooner had my comrades tasted of it than theirreason fled and their condition changed and they began to devour it like madmenpossessed of an evil spirit. Then the savages give them to drink of coconut oiland anointed them therewithand straightway after drinking thereof their eyesturned into their heads and they fell to eating greedilyagainst their wont.

When I saw thisI was confoundedand concerned for themnor was I lessanxious about myselffor fear of the naked folk. So I watched them narrowlyand it was not long before I discovered them to be a tribe of Magian cannibalswhose King was a Ghul. All who came to their country or whoso they caught intheir valleys or on their roads they brought to this King and fed them upon thatfood and anointed them with that oilwhereupon their stomachs dilated that theymight eat largelywilst their reason fled and they lost the power of thoughtand became idiots. Then they stuffed them with coconut oil and the aforesaidfood till they became fat and grosswhen they slaughtered them by cutting theirthroats and roasted them for the King's eatingbut as for the savagesthemselvesthey ate human flesh raw. When I saw thisI was sore dismayed formyself and my comradeswho were now become so stupefied that they knew not whatwas done with them. And the naked folk committed them to one who used every dayto lead them out and pasture them on the island like cattle. And they wanderedamongst the trees and rested at willthus waxing very fat.

As for meI wasted away and became sickly for fear and hunger and my fleshshriveled on my boneswhich when the savages sawthey left me alone and tookno thought of me and so far forgot me that one day I gave them the slip andwalking out of their placemade for the beachwhich was distantand thereespied a very old man seated on a high place girt by the waters. I looked at himand knew him for the herdsman who had charge of pasturing my fellowsand withhim were many others in like case. As soon as he saw mehe knew me to be inpossession of my reason and not afflicted like the rest whom he was pasturingso signed to me from afaras who should say"Turn back and take theright-hand roadfor that will lead thee into the King's highway." So Iturned backas he bade meand followed the right-hand roadnow running forfear and then walking leisurely to rest metill I was out of the old man'ssight. By this time the sun had gone down and the darkness set inso I sat downto rest and would have sleptbut sleep came not to me that night for stress offear and famine and fatigue.

When the night was half spentI rose and walked on till the day broke in allits beauty and the sun rose over the heads of the lofty hills and athwart thelow gravelly plains. Now I was weary and hungry and thirstyso I ate my fill ofherbs and grasses that grew in the island and kept life in body and stayed mystomachafter which I set out again and fared on all that day and the nextnightstaying my greed with roots and herbs. Nor did I cease walking for sevendays and their nightstill the morn of the eighth daywhen I caught sight of afaint object in the distance. So I made toward itthough my heart quaked forall I had suffered first and lastandbeholdit was a company of mengathering pepper grains. As soon as they saw methey hastened up to me andsurrounding me on all sidessaid to me"Who art thouand whencecome?" I replied"KnowO folkthat I am a poor stranger" andacquainted them with my case and all the hardships and perils I had sufferedwhereat they marveled and gave me joy of my safetysaying: "By Allahthisis wonderful! But how didst thou escape from these blacks who swarm in theisland and devour all who fall in with themnor is any safe from themnor canany get out of their clutches?"

And after I had told them the fate of my companionsthey made me sit by themtill they got quit of their workand fetched me somewhat of good foodwhich Iatefor I was hungryand rested awhile. After which they took ship with me andcarrying me to their island homebrought me before their Kingwho returned mysalute and received me honorably and questioned me of my case. I told him allthat had befallen me from the day of my leaving Baghdad citywhereupon hewondered with great wonder at my adventureshe and his courtiersand bade mesit by him. Then he called for food and I ate with him what sufficed me andwashed my hands and returned thanks to Almighty Allah for all His favorspraising Him and glorifying Him. Then I left the King and walked for solaceabout the citywhich I found wealthy and populousabounding in market streetswell stocked with food and merchandise and full of buyers and sellers. So Irejoiced at having reached so pleasant a place and took my ease there after myfatiguesand I made friends with the townsfolknor was it long before I becamemore in honor and favor with them and their King than any of the chief men ofthe realm.

Now I saw that all the citizensgreat and smallrode fine horseshigh-priced and thoroughbredwithout saddles or housingswhereat I wonderedand said to the King: "WhereforeO my lorddost thou not ride with asaddle? Therein is ease for the rider and increase of power." "What isa saddle?" asked he. "I never saw nor used such a thing in all mylife." And I answered"With thy permission I will make thee a saddlethat thou mayst ride on it and see the comfort thereof." And quoth he"Do so." So quoth I to him"Furnish me with some woods."which being broughtI sought me a clever carpenter and sitting by himshowedhim how to make the saddletreeportraying for him the fashion thereof in ink onthe wood. Then I took wool and teased it and made felt of itandcovering thesaddletree with leatherstuffed itand polished itand attached the girth andstirrup leathers. After which I fetched a blacksmith and described to him thefashion of the stirrups and bridle bit. So he forged a fine pair of stirrups anda bitand filed them smooth and tinned them. MoreoverI made fast to themfringes of silk and fitted bridle leathers to the bit. Then I fetched one of thebest of the royal horses and saddling and bridling himhung the stirrups to thesaddle and led him to the King. The thing took his fancy and he thanked methenhe mounted and rejoiced greatly in the saddle and rewarded me handsomely for mywork.

When the King's Wazir saw the saddlehe asked of me one like itand I madeit for him. Furthermoreall the grandees and officers of state came for saddlesto meso I fell to making saddles (having taught the craft to the carpenter andblacksmith) and selling them to all who soughttill I amassed great wealth andbecame in high honor and great favor with the King and his household andgrandees. I abode thus till one dayas I was sitting with the King in allrespect and contentmenthe said to me: "Know thouO such a onethou artbecome one of usdear as a brotherand we hold thee in such regard andaffection that we cannot part with thee nor suffer thee to leave our city.Wherefore I desire of thee obedience in a certain matterand I will not havethee gainsay me." Answered I: "O Kingwhat is it thou desirest of me?Far be it from me to gainsay thee in aughtfor I am indebted to thee for manyfavors and bounties and much kindnessand (praised be Allah!) I am become oneof thy servants." Quoth he: "I have a mind to marry thee to a faircleverand agreeable wife who is wealthy as she is beautifulso thou mayest benaturalized and domiciled with us. I will lodge thee with me in my palacewherefore oppose me not neither cross me in this." When I heard these wordsI was ashamed and held my peace nor could make him any answerby reason of mymuch bashfulness before him. Asked he"Why dost thou not reply to meO myson?" and I answeredsaying"O my masterit is thine to commandOKing of the Age!" So he summoned the kazi and the witnesses and married mestraightway to a lady of a noble tree and high pedigreewealthy in moneys andmeansthe flower of an ancient raceof surpassing beauty and graceand theowner of farms and estates and many a dwelling place.

Now after the King my master had married me to this choice wifehe also gaveme a great and goodly house standing alonetogether with slaves and officersand assigned me pay and allowances. So I became in all ease and contentment anddelight and forgot everything which had befallen me of weariness and trouble andhardship. For I loved my wife with fondest love and she loved me no lessand wewere as oneand abode in the utmost comfort of life and in its happiness. And Isaid in myself"When I return to my native landI will carry her withme." But whatso is predestined to a manthat needs must beand noneknoweth what shall befall him. We lived thus a great whiletill Almighty Allahbereft one of my neighbors of his wife. Now he was a gossip of mineso hearingthe cry of the keenersI went in to condole him on his loss and found him invery ill plightfull of trouble and weary of soul and mind. I condoled with himand comforted himsaying: "Mourn not for thy wifewho hath now found themercy of Allah. The Lord will surely give thee a better in her steadand thyname shall be great and thy life shall be long in the landInshallah!"

But he wept bitter tears and replied: "O my friendhow can I marryanother wifeand how shall Allah replace her to me with a better than shewhenas I have but one day left to live?" "O my brother" said I"return to thy senses and announce not glad tidings of thine own deathforthou art wellsoundand in good case." "By thy lifeO myfriend" rejoined he"tomorrow thou wilt lose meand wilt never seeme again till the Day of Resurrection." I asked"How so?" and heanswered: "This very day they bury my wifeand they bury me with her inone tomb. For it is the custom with usif the wife die firstto bury thehusband alive with herand in like manner the wife if the husband die firstsothat neither may enjoy life after losing his or her mate." "ByAllah" cried I"this is a most vilelewd customand not to beendured of any!" Meanwhilebeholdthe most part of the townsfolk came inand fell to condoling with my gossip for his wife and for himself.

Presently they laid the dead woman outas was their wontand setting her ona biercarried her and her husband without the city till they came to a placein the side of a mountain at the end of the island by the sea. And here theyraised a great rock and discovered the mouth of a stone-riveted pit or wellleading down into a vast underground cavern that ran beneath the mountain. Intothis pit they threw the corpsethentying a rope of palm fibers under thehusband's armpitsthey let him down into the cavernand with him a greatpitcher of fresh water and seven scones by way of viaticum. When he came to thebottomhe loosed himself from the rope and they drew it upand stopping themouth of the pit with the great stonethey returned to the cityleaving myfriend in the cavern with his dead wife. When I saw thisI said to myself"By Allahthis fashion of death is more grievous than the first!" AndI went in to the King and said to him"O my lordwhy do ye bury the quickwith the dead?" Quoth he: "It hath been the customthou must knowofour forebears and our olden kings from time immemorialif the husband diefirstto bury his wife with himand the like with the wifeso we may notsever themalive or dead." I asked"O King of the Ageif the wifeof a foreigner like myself die among youdeal ye with him as with yonderman?" and he answered"Assuredly we do with him even as thou hastseen." When I heard thismy gall bladder was like to burstfor theviolence of my dismay and concern for myself. My wit became dazedI felt as ifin a vile dungeonand hated their societyfor I went about in fear lest mywife should die before me and they bury me alive with her. Howeverafter awhile I comforted myselfsaying"Haply I shall predecease heror shallhave returned to my own land before she diefor none knoweth which shall gofirst and which shall go last."

Then I applied myself to diverting my mind from this thought with variousoccupationsbut it was not long before my wife sickened and complained and tookto her pillow and fared after a few days to the mercy of Allah. And the King andthe rest of the folk cameas was their wontto condole with me and her familyand to console us for her lossand not less to condole with me for myself. Thenthe women washed herand arraying her in her richest raiment and goldenornamentsnecklacesand jewelrylaid her on the bier and bore her to themountain aforesaidwhere they lifted the cover of the pit and cast her in.After which all my intimates and acquaintances and my wife's kith and kin cameround meto farewell me in my lifetime and console me for my own deathwhilstI cried out among themsaying: "Almighty Allah never made it lawful tobury the quick with the dead! I am a strangernot one of your kindand Icannot abear your customand had I known it I never would have wedded amongyou!" They heard me not and paid no heed to my wordsbut laying hold ofmebound me by force and let me down. into the cavernwith a large gugglet ofsweet water and seven cakes of breadaccording to their custom. When I came tothe bottomthey called out to me to cast myself loose from the cordsbut Irefused to do soso they threw them down on me andclosing the mouth of thepit with the stones aforesaidwent their ways.

I looked about me and found myself in a vast cave full of dead bodies thatexhaled a fulsome and loathsome smelland the air was heavy with the groans ofthe dying. Thereupon I fell to blaming myself for what I had donesaying:"By AllahI deserve all that hath befallen me and all that shall befallme! What curse was upon me to take a wife in this city? There is no Majesty andthere is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! As often as I say Ihave escaped from one calamityI fall into a worse. By Allahthis is anabominable death to die! Would Heaven I had died a decent death and been washedand shrouded like a man and a Moslem. Would I had been drowned at seaorperished in the mountains! It were better than to die this miserabledeath!" And on such wise I kept blaming my own folly and greed of gain inthat black holeknowing not night from dayand I ceased not to ban the FoulFiend and to bless the Almighty Friend. Then I threw myself down on the bones ofthe dead and lay thereimploring Allah's helpand in the violence of mydespair invoking deathwhich came not to metill the fire of hunger burned mystomach and thirst set my throat aflamewhen I sat up and feeling for thebreadate a morsel and upon it swallowed a mouthful of water.

After thisthe worst night I ever knewI aroseand exploring thecavernfound that it extended a long way with hollows in its sidesand its floor wasstrewn with dead bodies and rotten bones that had lain there from olden time. SoI made myself a place in a cavity of the cavernafar from the corpses latelythrown downand there slept. I abode thus a long whiletill my provision waslike to give outand yet I ate not save once every day or second daynor did Idrink more than an occasional draughtfor fear my victual should fail me beforemy death. And I said to myself: "Eat little and drink little. Belike theLord shall vouchsafe deliverance to thee!" One day as I sat thusponderingmy case and bethinking me how I should do when my bread and water should beexhaustedbeholdthe stone that covered the opening was suddenly rolled awayand the light streamed down upon me. Quoth I: "I wonder what is the matter.Haply they have brought another corpse." Then I espied folk standing aboutthe mouth of the pitwho presently let down a dead man and a live womanweeping and bemoaning herselfand with her an ampler supply of bread and waterthan usual. I saw her and she was a beautiful womanbut she saw me not. Andthey closed up the opening and went away. Then I took the leg bone of a dead manandgoing up to the womansmote her on the crown of the headand she criedone cry and fell down in a swoon. I smote her a second and a third timetillshe was deadwhen I laid hands on her bread and water and found on her greatplenty of ornaments and rich apparelnecklacesjewels and gold trinketsforit was their custom to bury women in all their finery. I carried the vivers tomy sleeping place in the cavern side and ate and drank of them sparinglynomore than sufficed to keep the life in melest the provaunt come speedily to anend and I perish of hunger and thirst.

Yet did I never wholly lose hope in Almighty Allah. I abode thus a greatwhilekilling all the live folk they let down into the cavern and taking theirprovisions of meat and drinktill one dayas I sleptI was awakened bysomething scratching and burrowing among the bodies in a corner of the cave andsaid"What can this be?" fearing wolves or hyenas. So I sprang upand seizing the leg bone aforesaidmade for the noise. As soon as the thing wasware of meit fled from me into the inward of the cavernand lo! it was a wildbeast. HoweverI followed it to the further endtill I saw afar off a point oflight not bigger than a starnow appearing and then disappearing. So I made foritand as I drew nearit grew larger and brightertill I was certified thatit was a crevice in the rockleading to the open countryand I said to myself:"There must be some reason for this opening. Either it is the mouth of asecond pit such as that by which they let me downor else it is a naturalfissure in the stonery." So I bethought me awhileand nearing the lightfound that it came from a breach in the back side of the mountainwhich thewild beasts had enlarged by burrowingthat they might enter and devour the deadand freely go to and from. When I saw thismy spirits revived and hope cameback to me and I made sure of lifeafter having died a death. So I went onasin a dreamand making shift to scramble through the breachfound myself on theslope of a high mountain overlooking the salt sea and cutting off all accessthereto from the islandso that none could come at that part of the beach fromthe city. I praised my Lord and thanked Himrejoicing greatly and hearteningmyself with the prospect of deliverance.

Then I returned through the crack to the cavern and brought out all the foodand water I had saved upand donned some of the dead folk's clothes over myown. After which I gathered together all the collars and necklaces of pearls andjewels and trinkets of gold and silver set with precious stones and otherornaments and valuables I could find upon the corpsesand making them intobundles with the graveclothes and raiment of the deadcarried them out to theback of the mountain facing the seashorewhere I established myselfpurposingto wait there till it should please Almighty Allah to send me relief by means ofsome passing ship. I visited the cavern dailyand as often as I found folkburied alive thereI killed them all indifferentlymen and womenand tooktheir victual and valuables and transported them to my seat on the seashore.

Thus I abode a long while till one day I caught sight of a ship passing inthe midst of the clashing sea swollen with dashing billows. So I took a piece ofa white shroud I had with meand tying it to a staffran along the seashoremaking signals therewith and calling to the people in the shiptill they espiedmeand hearing my shoutssent a boat to fetch me off. When it drew nearthecrew called out to mesaying"Who art thouand how camest thou to be onthis mountainwhereon never saw we any in our born days?" I answered:"I am a gentleman and a merchant who hath been wrecked and saved myself onone of the planks of the shipwith some of my goods. And by the blessing of theAlmighty and the decrees of Destiny and my own strength and skillafter muchtoil and moil I have landed with my gear in this placewhere I awaited somepassing ship to take me off." So they took me in their boattogether withthe bundles I had made of the jewels and valuables from the caverntied up inclothes and shroudsand rowed back with me to the shipwhere the captain saidto me: "How camest thouO manto yonder place on yonder mountain behindwhich lieth a great city? All my life I have sailed these seas and passed to andfro hard by these heightsyet never saw I here any living thing save wildbeasts and birds." I repeated to him the story I had told the sailorsbutacquainted him with nothing of that which had befallen me in the city and thecavernlest there should be any of the islandry in the ship.

Then I took out some of the best pearls I had with me and offered them to thecaptainsaying: "O my lordthou hast been the means of saving me off thismountain. I have no ready moneybut take this from me in requital of thykindness and good offices.-But he refused to accept it of mesaying: "Whenwe find a shipwrecked man on the seashore or on an islandwe take him up andgive him meat and drinkand if he be naked we clothe himnor take we aughtfrom him- naywhen we reach a port of safetywe set him ashore with a presentof our own money and entreat him kindly and charitablyfor the love of Allahthe Most High." So I prayed that his life be long in the land and rejoicedin my escapetrusting to be delivered from my stress and to forget my pastmishapsfor every time I remembered being let down into the cave with my deadwife I shuddered in horror.

Then we pursued our voyage and sailed from island to island and sea to seatill we arrived at the Island of the Bell which containeth a city two days'journey in extentwhence after a six days' ran we reached the Island Kalahardby the land of Hind. This place is governed by a potent and puissant Kingandit produceth excellent camphor and an abundance of the Indian rattan. Here alsois a lead mine. At last by the decree of Allah we arrived in safety at Bassorahtownwhere I tarried a few daysthen went on to Baghdad cityand finding myquarterentered my house with lively pleasure. There I forgathered with myfamily and friendswho rejoiced in my happy return and give me joy of mysafety. I laid up in my storehouses all the goods I had brought with meandgave alms and largess to fakirs and beggars and clothed the widow and theorphan. Then I gave myself up to pleasure and enjoymentreturning to my oldmerry mode of rife.

Suchthenbe the most marvelous adventures of my fourth voyagebuttomorrowif you will kindly come to meI will tell you that which befell me inmy fifth voyagewhich was yet rarer and more marvelous than those whichforewent it. And thouO my brother Sindbad the Landsmanshalt sup with me asthou art wont. (Saith he who telleth the tale): When Sindbad the Seaman had madean end of his storyhe called for supperso they spread the table and theguests ate the evening mealafter which he gave the porter a hundred dinars asusualand he and the rest of the company went their waysglad at heart andmarveling at the tales they had heardfor that each story was moreextraordinary than that which forewent it. The porter Sindbad passed the nightin his own housein all joy and cheer and wondermentand as soon as morningcame with its sheen and shonehe prayed the dawn prayer and repaired to thehouse of Sindbad the Seamanwho welcomed him and bade him sit with him till therest of the company arrivedwhen they ate and drank and made merry and the talkwent round amongst them. Presentlytheir host began the narrative of

THE FIFTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

KNOWO my brothersthat when I had been awhile on shore after my fourthvoyageand whenin my comfort and pleasures and merrymakings and in myrejoicing over my large gains and profitsI had forgotten all I had endured ofperils and sufferingsthe carnal man was again seized with the longing totravel and to see foreign countries and islands. Accordingly I bought costlymerchandise suited to my purpose andmaking it up into balesrepaired toBassorahwhere I walked about the river quay till I found a fine tall shipnewly buildedwith gear unused and fitted ready for sea. She pleased meso Ibought her andembarking my goods in herhired a master and crewover whom Iset certain of my slaves and servants as inspectors. A number of merchants alsobrought their outfits and paid me freight and passage money. Thenafterreciting the fatihahwe set sail over Allah's pool in all joy and cheerpromising ourselves a prosperous voyage and much profit.

We sailed from city to city and from island to island and from sea to seaviewing the cities and countries by which we passedand selling and buying innot a fewtill one day we came to a great uninhabited islanddeserted anddesolatewhereon was a white dome of biggest bulk half buried in the sands. Themerchants landed to examine this domeleaving me in the shipand when theydrew nearbeholdit was a huge roc's egg. They fell a-beating it with stonesknowing not what it wasand presently broke it openwhereupon much water ranout of it and the young roc appeared within. So they pulled it forth of theshell and cut its throat and took of it great store of meat. Now I was in theship and knew not what they didbut presently one of the passengers came up tome and said"O my lordcome and look at the egg that we thought to be adome." So I lookedand seeing the merchants beating it with stonescalledout to them: "Stopstop! Do not meddle with that eggor the bird roc willcome out and break our ship and destroy us." But they paid no heed to meand gave not over smiting upon the eggwhen beholdthe day grew dark and dunand the sun was hidden from usas if some great cloud had passed over thefirmament. So we raised our eyes and saw that what we took for a cloud was theroc poised between us and the sunand it was his wings that darkened the day.When he came and saw his egg brokenhe cried a loud crywhereupon his matecame flying up and they both began circling about the shipcrying out at uswith voices louder than thunder. I called to the rais and crew"Put out tosea and seek safety in flightbefore we be all destroyed!" So themerchants came on board and we cast off and made haste from the island to gainthe open sea.

When the rocs saw thisthey flew offand we crowded all sail on the shipthinking to get out of their countrybut presently the two reappeared and flewafter us and stood over useach carrying in its claws a huge boulder which ithad brought from the mountains. As soon as the he-roc came up with ushe letfall upon us the rock he held in his pouncesbut the master put about shipsothat the rock missed her by some small matter and plunged into the waves withsuch violence that the ship pitched high and then sank into the trough of theseaand the bottom the ocean appeared to us. Then the she-roc let fall herrockwhich was bigger than that of her mateand as Destiny had decreeditfell on the poop of the ship and crushed itthe rudder flying into twentypieces. Whereupon the vessel foundered and all and everything on board were castinto the main. As for meI struggled for sweet life till Almighty Allah threwin my way one of the planks of the shipto which I clung and bestriding itfell a-paddling with my feet.

Now the ship had gone down hard by an island in the midst of the mainandthe winds and waves bore me on tillby permission of the Most Highthey castme up on the shore of the islandat the last gasp for toil and distress andhalf-dead with hunger and thirst. So I landed more like a corpse than a livemanand throwing myself down on the beachlay there awhile till I began torevive and recover spiritswhen I walked about the islandand found it as itwere one of the garths and gardens of Paradise. Its treesin abundance dightbore ripe-yellow fruit for freightits streams ran clear and brightitsflowers were fair to scent and to sightand its birds warbled with delight thepraises of Him to whom belong Permanence and All-might. So I ate my fill of thefruits and slaked my thirst with the water of the streams till I could no moreand I returned thanks to the Most High and glorified Himafter which I sat tillnightfall hearing no voice and seeing none inhabitant. Then I lay downwell-nigh dead for travail and trouble and terrorand slept without surceasetill morningwhen I arose and walked about under the trees till I came to thechannel of a draw well fed by a spring of running waterby which well sat anold man of venerable aspectgirt about with a waistcloth made of the fiber ofpalm fronds. Quoth I to myself. "Haply this Sheikh is of those who werewrecked in the ship and hath made his way to this island."

So I drew near to him and saluted himand he returned my salaam by signsbut spoke notand I said to him"O nuncle minewhat causeth thee to sithere?" He shook his head and moaned and signed to me with his hand as whoshould say"Take me on thy shoulders and carry me to the other side of thewell channel." And quoth I in my mind: "I will deal kindly with himand do what he desireth. It may be I shall win me a reward in Heavenfor he maybe a paralytic." So I took him on my backand carrying him to the placewhereat he pointedsaid to him"Dismount at thy leisure." But hewould not get off my backand wound his legs about my neck. I looked at themand seeing that they were like a buffalo's hide for blackness and roughnesswasaffrighted and would have cast him offbut he clung to me and gripped my neckwith his legs till I was well-nigh chokedthe world grew black in my sight andI fell senseless to the ground like one dead.

But he still kept his seat and raising his legsdrummed with his heels andbeat harder than palm rods my back and shoulderstill he forced me to rise forexcess of pain. Then he signed to me with his hand to carry him hither andthither among the trees which bore the best fruitsand if ever I refused to dohis bidding or loitered or took my leisurehe beat me with his feet moregrievously than if I had been beaten with whips. He ceased not to signal withhis hand wherever he was minded to goso I carried him about the islandlike acaptive slaveand he dismounted not night or day. And whenas he wished tosleephe wound his legs about my neck and leaned back and slept awhilethenarose and beat mewhereupon I sprang up in hasteunable to gainsay him becauseof the pain he inflicted on me. And indeed I blamed myself and sore repented meof having taken compassion on himand continued in this conditionsufferingfatigue not to be describedtill I said to myself: "I wrought him a wealand he requited me with my ill. By Allahnever more will I do any man a serviceso long as I live!" And again and again I besought the Most High that Imight diefor stress of weariness and misery.

And thus I abode a long while till one day I came with him to a place whereinwas abundance of gourdsmany of them dry. So I took a great dry gourd andcutting open the headscooped out the inside and cleaned itafter which Igathered grapes from a vine which grew hard by and squeezed them into the gourdtill it was full of the juice. Then I stopped up the mouth and set it in thesunwhere I left it for some days until it became strong wineand every day Iused to drink of itto comfort and sustain me under my fatigues with thatfroward and obstinate fiend. And as often as I drank myself drunkI forgot mytroubles and took new heart. One day he saw me and signed to me with his handas who should say"What is that?" Quoth I"It is an excellentcordialwhich cheereth the heart and reviveth the spirits." Thenbeingheated with wineI ran and danced with him among the treesclapping my handsand singing and making merryand I staggered under him by design.

When he saw thishe signed to me to give him the gourd that he might drinkand I feared him and gave it him. So he took itand draining it to the dregscast it on the groundwhereupon he grew frolicsome and began to clap hands andjig to and fro on my shouldersand he made water upon me so copiously that allmy dress was drenched. But presentlythe fumes of the wine rising to his headhe became helplessly drunk and his side muscles and limbs relaxed and he swayedto and fro on my back. When I saw that he had lost his senses for drunkennessIput my hand to his legs andloosing them from my neckstooped down well-nighto the ground and threw him at full length. Then I took up a great stone fromamong the trees and coming up to himsmote him therewith on the head with allmy might and crushed in his skull as he lay dead-drunk. Thereupon his flesh andfat and blood being in a pulphe died and went to his desertsThe Firenomercy of Allah be upon him!

I then returnedwith a heart at easeto my former station on the seashoreand abode in that island many dayseating of its fruits and drinking of itswaters and keeping a lookout for passing shipstill one dayas I sat on thebeach recalling all that had befallen me and saying"I wonder if Allahwill save me alive and restore me to my home and family and friends!"beholda ship was making for the island through the dashing sea and clashingwaves. Presently it cast anchor and the passengers landedso I made for themand when they saw me all hastened up to me and gathering round mequestioned meof my case and how I came thither. I told them all that had betided mewhereatthey marveled with exceeding marvel and said: "He who rode on thy shoulderis called the Sheikh-al-Bahr or Old Man of the Seaand none ever felt his legson neck and came off alive but thouand those who die under him he eateth. Sopraised be Allah for thy safety!" Then they set somewhat of food before mewhereof I ate my filland gave me somewhat of clotheswherewith I clad myselfanew and covered my nakedness. After which they took me up into the ship and wesailed days and nights till Fate brought us to a place called the City of Apesbuilded with lofty housesall of which gave upon the seaand it had a singlegate studded and strengthened with iron nails.

Now every night as soon as it is dusk the dwellers in this city used to comeforth of the gates andputting out to sea in boats and shipspass the nightupon the waters in their fear lest the apes should come down on them from themountains. Hearing thisI was sore troubledremembering what I had beforesuffered from the ape kind. Presently I landed to solace myself in the citybutmeanwhile the ship set sail without meand I repented of having gone ashoreand calling to mind my companions and what had befallen me with the apesfirstand aftersat down and fell aweeping and lamenting. Presently one of thetownsfolk accosted me and said to me"O my lordmeseemeth thou art astranger to these parts?" "Yes" answered I"I am indeed astranger and a poor onewho came hither in a ship which cast anchor hereand Ilanded to visit the town. But when I would have gone on board againI foundthey had sailed without me." Quoth he"Come and embark with usforif thou lie the night in the citythe apes will destroy thee.""Hearkening and obedience" replied Iand risingstraightwayembarked with him in one of the boatswhereupon they pushed off from shoreandanchoring a mile or so from the landthere passed the night. At daybreak theyrowed back to the cityand landingwent each about his business. Thus they didevery nightfor if any tarried in the town by night the apes came down on himand slew him. As soon as it was daythe apes left the place and ate of thefruits of the gardensthen went back to the mountains and slept there tillnightfallwhen they again came down upon the city.

Now this place was in the farthest part of the country of the blacksand oneof the strangest things that befell me during my sojourn in the city was on thiswise. One of the company with whom I passed the night in the boat asked me:"O my lordthou art apparently a stranger in these parts. Hast thou anycraft whereat thou canst work?" and I answered: "By AllahO mybrotherI have no trade nor know I any handicraftfor I was a merchant and aman of money and substance and had a ship of my ownladen with great store ofgoods and merchandise. But it foundered at sea and all were drowned exceptingmewho saved myself on a piece of plank which Allah vouchsafed to me of Hisfavor."

Upon this he brought me a cotton bag and giving it to mesaid: "Takethis bag and fill it with pebbles from the beach and go forth with a company ofthe townsfolk to whom I will give a charge respecting thee. Do as they do andbelike thou shalt gain what may further thy return voyage to thy nativeland." Then he carried me to the beachwhere I filled my bag with pebbleslarge and smalland presently we saw a company of folk issue from the towneach bearing a bag like minefilled with pebbles. To these he committed mecommending me to their careand saying: "This man is a strangerso takehim with you and teach him how to gatherthat he may get his daily breadandyou will earn your reward and recompense in Heaven." "On our head andeyes be it!" answered theyand bidding me welcomefared on with me tillwe came to a spacious wadyfull of lofty trees with trunks so smooth that nonemight climb them.

Now sleeping under these trees were many apeswhich when they saw us roseand fled from us and swarmed up among the brancheswhereupon my companionsbegan to pelt them with what they had in their bagsand the apes fell toplucking of the fruit of the trees and casting them at the folk. I looked at thefruits they cast at us and found them to be Indian or coconutsso I chose out agreat tree full of apesand going up to itbegan to pelt them with stonesandthey in return pelted me with nutswhich I collectedas did the rest. So thateven before I had made an end of my bagful of pebblesI had gotten great plentyof nuts. And as soon as my companions had in like manner gotten as many nuts asthey could carrywe returned to the citywhere we arrived at the fag end ofday. Then I went in to the kindly man who had brought me in company with thenut-gatherers and gave him all I had gottenthanking him for his kindnessbuthe would not accept themsaying"Sell them and make profit by theprice" and presently he added (giving me the key of a closet in hishouse): "Store thy nuts in this safe place and go thou forth every morningand gather them as thou hast done todayand choose out the worst for sale andsupplying thyself; but lay up the rest hereso haply thou mayst collect enoughto serve thee for thy return home." "Allah requite thee!"answered Iand did as he advised megoing out daily with the coconutgathererswho commended me to one another and showed me the best-stocked trees.Thus did I for some timetill I had laid up great store of excellent nutsbesides a large sum of moneythe price of those I had sold. I became thus at myease and bought all I saw and had a mind toand passed my time pleasantlygreatly enjoying my stay in the citytill as I stood on the beach one day agreat ship steering through the heart of the sea presently cast anchor by theshore and landed a company of merchantswho proceeded to sell and buy andbarter their goods for coconuts and other commodities.

Then I went to my friend and told him of the coming of the ship and how I hada mind to return to my own countryand he said" 'Tis for thee todecide." So I thanked him for his bounties and took leave of him. Thengoing to the captain of the shipI agreed with him for my passage and embarkedmy coconuts and what else I possessed. We weighed anchor the same day and sailedfrom island to island and sea to seaand whenever we stoppedI sold and tradedwith my coconutsand the Lord requited me more than I erst had and lost.

Amongst other placeswe came to an island abounding in cloves and cinnamonand pepperand the country people told me that by the side of each pepper bunchgroweth a great leaf which shadeth it from the sun and casteth the water off itin the wet season; but when the rain ceaseththe leaf turneth over and droopethdown by the side of the bunch. Here I took in great store of pepper and clovesand cinnamonin exchange for coconutsand we passed thence to the Island ofAl-Usiratwhence cometh the Comorin aloes woodand thence to another islandfive days' journey in lengthwhere grows the Chinese lign aloeswhich isbetter than the Comorin. But the people of this island are fouler of conditionand religion than those of the otherfor that they love fornication and winebibbingand know not prayer nor call to prayer.

Thence we came to the pearl fisheriesand I gave the divers some of mycoconuts and said to them"Dive for my luck and lot!" They did so andbrought up from the deep bright great store of large and priceless pearlsandthey said to me"By AllahO my masterthy luck is a lucky!" Then wesailed onwith the blessing of Allah (Whose name be exalted!)and ceased notsailing till we arrived safely at Bassorah. There I abode a little and then wenton to Baghdadwhere I entered my quarter and found my house and forgatheredwith my family and saluted my friendswho gave me joy of my safe returnand Ilaid up all my goods and valuables in my storehouses. Then I distributed almsand largess and clothed the widow and the orphan and made presents to myrelations and comradesfor the Lord had requited me fourfold that I had lost.After which I returned to my old merry way of life and forgot all I had sufferedin the great profit and gain I had made.

Suchthenis the history of my fifth voyage and its wondermentsand now tosupperand tomorrowcome again and I will tell you what befell me in my sixthvoyagefor it was still more wonderful than this. (Saith he who telleth thetale): Then he called for foodand the servants spread the tableand when theyhad eaten the evening mealhe bade give Sindbad the Porter a hundred goldendinars and the landsman returned home and lay him down to sleepmuch marvelingat all he had heard. Next morningas soon as it was lighthe prayed the dawnprayerandafter blessing Mohammed the Cream of all creaturesbetook himselfto the house of Sindbad the Seaman and wished him a good day. The merchant badehim sitand talked with him till the rest of the company arrived. Then theservants spread the tableand when they had well eaten and drunken and weremirthful and merrySindbad the Seaman began in these words the narrative of

THE SIXTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

KNOWO my brothers and friends and companions allthat I abode some timeafter my return from my fifth voyagein great solace and satisfaction and mirthand merrimentjoyance and enjoymentand I forgot what I had sufferedseeingthe great gain and profit I had madetill one day as I sat making merry andenjoying myself with my friendsthere came in to me a company of merchantswhose case told tales of traveland talked with me of voyage and adventure andgreatness of pelf and lucre. Hereupon I remembered the days of my return abroadand my joy at once more seeing my native land and forgathering with my familyand friendsand my soul yearned for travel and traffic. Socompelled by Fateand FortuneI resolved to undertake another voyageandbuying me fine andcostly merchandise meet for foreign trademade it up into baleswith which Ijourneyed from Baghdad to Bassorah.

Here I found a great ship ready for sea and full of merchants and notableswho had with them goods of priceso I embarked my bales therein. And we leftBassorah in safety and good spirits under the safeguard of the KingthePreserverand continued our voyage from place to place and from city to citybuying and selling and profiting and diverting ourselves with the sight ofcountries where strange folk dwell. And Fortune and the voyage smiled upon ustill one dayas we went alongbeholdthe captain suddenly cried with a greatcry and cast his turban on the deck. Then he buffeted his face like a woman andplucked out his beard and fell down in the waist of the ship well-nigh faintingfor stress of grief and rageand crying"Ohand alas for the ruin of myhouse and the orphanship of my poor children!" So all the merchants andsailors came round about him and asked him"O masterwhat is thematter?" For the light had become night beforetheir sight. And heansweredsaying: "KnowO folkthat we have wandered from our course andleft the sea whose ways we wotand come into a sea whose ways I know notandunless Allah vouchsafe us a means of escapewe are all dead men. Wherefore prayye to the Most High that He deliver us from this strait. Haply amongst you isone righteous whose prayers the Lord will accept." Then he arose and clombthe mast to see an there were any escape from that strait. And he would haveloosed the sailsbut the wind redoubled upon the ship and whirled her roundthrice and drave her backwardwhereupon her rudder brake and she fell offtoward a high mountain.

With this the captain came down from the mastsaying: "There is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Greatnor canman prevent that which is foreordained of Fate! By Allahwe are fallen on aplace of sure destructionand there is no way of escape for usnor can any ofus be saved!" Then we all fill a-weeping over ourselves and bidding oneanother farewell for that our days were come to an endand we had lost an hopesof life. Presently the ship struck the mountain and broke upand all andeverything on board of her were plunged into the sea. Some of the merchants weredrowned and others made shift to reach the shore and save themselves upon themountainI amongst the number. And when we got ashorewe found a great islandor rather peninsulawhose base was strewn with wreckage and crafts and goodsand gear cast up by the sea from broken ships whose passengers had been drownedand the quantity confounded count and calculation. So I climbed the cliffs intothe inward of the isle and walked on inland till I came to a stream of sweetwater that welled up at the nearest foot of the mountains and disappeared in theearth under the range of hills on the opposite side. But all the otherpassengers went over the mountains to the inner tractsanddispersing hitherand thitherwere confounded at what they saw and became like madmen at thesight of the wealth and treasures wherewith the shores were strewn.

As for meI looked into the bed of the stream aforesaid and saw thereingreat plenty of rubiesand great royal pearls and all kinds of jewels andprecious stoneswhich were as gravel in the bed of the rivulets that ranthrough the fieldsand the sands sparkled and glittered with gems and preciousores. Moreoverwe found in the island abundance of the finest lign aloesbothChinese and Comorin. And there also is a spring of crude ambergriswhichfloweth like wax or gum over the stream banksfor the great heat of the sunand runneth down to the seashorewhere the monsters of the deep come up andswallowing itreturn into the sea. But it burneth in their belliesso theycast it up again and it congealeth on the surface of the waterwhereby itscolor and quantities are changedand at last the waves cast it ashoreand thetravelers and merchants who know it collect it and sell it. But as to the rawambergris which is not swallowedit floweth over the channel and congealeth onthe banksand when the sun shineth on itit melteth and scenteth the wholevalley with a musk-like fragrance. Then when the sun ceaseth from ititcongealeth again. But none can get to this place where is the crude ambergrisbecause of the mountains which enclose the island on all sides and which foot ofman cannot ascend.

We continued thus to explore the islandmarveling at the wonderful works ofAllah and the riches we found therebut sore troubled for our own caseanddismayed at our prospects. Now we had picked up on the beach some small matterof victual from the wreck and husbanded it carefully eating but once every dayor twoin our fear lest it should fail us and we die miserably of famine andaffright. Moreoverwe were weak for colic brought on by seasickness and lowdietand my companions deceasedone after othertill there was but a smallcompany of us left. Each that died we washed and shrouded in some of the clothesand linen cast ashore by the tidesand after a littlethe rest of my fellowsperished one by onetill I had buried the last of the party and abode alone onthe islandwith but a little provision leftI who was wont to have so much.And I wept over myselfsaying: "Would Heaven I had died before mycompanions and they had washed me and buried me! It had been better than Ishould perish and none wash me and shroud me and bury me. But there is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe gloriousthe Great!" Nowafter I had buried the last of my party and abode alone on the islandI aroseand dug me a deep grave on the seashoresaying to myself: "Whenas I growweak and know that death cometh to meI will cast myself into the grave and diethereso the wind may drift the sand over me and cover me and I be buriedtherein."

Then I fell to reproaching myself for my little wit in leaving my native landand betaking me again to travel after all I had suffered during my first fivevoyagesand when I had not made a single one without suffering more horribleperils and more terrible hardships than in its forerunnersand having no hopeof escape from my present stress. And I repented me of my folly and bemoanedmyselfespecially as I had no need of moneyseeing that I had enough and couldnot spend what I had- nonor a half of it in all my life. Howeverafter awhile Allah sent me a thoughtand I said to myself: "By Godneeds mustthis stream have an end as well as a beginningergo an issue somewhereandbelike its course may lead to some inhabited place. So my best plan is to makeme a little boat big enough to sit inand carry it andlaunching it on theriverembark therein and drop down the stream. If I escapeI escapeby God'sleaveand if I perishbetter die in the river than here." Thensighingfor myselfI set to work collecting a number of pieces of Chinese and Comorinaloes wood and I bound them together with ropes from the wreckage. Then I choseout from the broken-up ships straight planks of even size and fixed them firmlyupon the aloes woodmaking me a boat raft a little narrower than the channel ofthe streamand I tied it tightly and firmly as though it were nailed. Then Iloaded it with the goodsprecious ores and jewelsand the union pearls whichwere like graveland the best of the ambergris crude and puretogether withwhat I had collected on the island and what was left me of victual and wildherbs. Lastly I lashed a piece of wood on either sideto serve me as oarsandlaunched itand embarkingdid according to the saying of the poet: -

Flyfly with life whenas evils threat

Leave the house to tell of its builder's fate!

Land after land shalt thou seek and find

But no other life on thy wish shall wait.

Fret not thy soul in thy thoughts o' night

All woes shall end or sooner or late.

Whoso is born in one land to die

There and only there shall gang his pit.

Nor trust great things to another wight

Soul hath only soul for confederate. -

My boat raft drifted with the streamI pondering the issue of my affairandthe drifting ceased not till I came to the place where it disappeared beneaththe mountain. I rowed my conveyance into the placewhich was intensely darkand the current carried the raft with it down the underground channel. The thinstream bore me on through a narrow tunnel where the raft touched either side andmy head rubbed against the roofreturn therefrom being impossible. Then Iblamed myself for having thus risked my lifeand said"If this passagegrow any straiterthe raft will hardly passand I cannot turn backso I shallinevitably perish miserably in this place." And I threw myself down upon myface on the raftby reason of the narrowness of the channelwhilst the streamceased not to carry me alongknowing not night from day for the excess of thegloom which encompassed me about and my terror and concern for myself lest Ishould perish. And in such condition my course continued down the channelwhichnow grew wider and then straiter. Sore a-weary by reason of the darkness whichcould be feltI feel asleep as I lay prone on the craftand I slept knowingnot an the time were long or short.

When I awoke at lastI found myself in the light of Heaven and opening myeyesI saw myself in a broad of the stream and the raft moored to an island inthe midst of a number of Indians and Abyssinians. As soon as these blackamoorssaw that I was awakethey came up to me and bespoke me in their speech. But Iunderstood not what they said and thought that this was a dream and a visionwhich had betided me for stress of concern and chagrin. But I was delighted atmy escape from the river. When they saw I understood them not and made them noanswerone of them came forward and said to me in Arabic: "Peace be withtheeO my brother! Who art thouand whence faredst thou hither? How camestthou into this riverand what manner of land lies behind yonder mountainsfornever knew we anyone make his way thence to us?" Quoth I: "And uponthee be peace and the ruth of Allah and His blessing! Who are yeand whatcountry is this?" "O my brother" answered he"we arehusbandmen and tillers of the soilwho came out to water our fields andplantationsand finding thee asleep on this raftlaid hold of it and made itfast by usagainst thou shouldst awake at thy leisure. So tell us how thoucamest hither." I answered"For Allah's sakeO my lordere I speakgive me somewhat to eatfor I am starvingand after ask me what thouwilt."

So he hastened to fetch me food and I ate my filltill I was refreshed andmy fear was calmed by a good bellyful and my life returned to me. Then Irendered thanks to the Most High for mercies great and smallglad to be out ofthe river and rejoicing to be amongst themand I told them all my adventuresfrom first to lastespecially my troubles in the narrow channel. They consultedamong themselves and said to one another"There is no help for it but wecarry him with us and present him to our Kingthat he may acquaint him with hisadventures." So they took metogether with raft boat and its lading ofmoneys and merchandisejewelsmineralsand golden gearand brought me totheir Kingwho was King of Sarandibtelling him what had happened. Whereuponhe saluted me and bade me welcome. Then he questioned me of my condition andadventures through the man who had spoken Arabicand I repeated to him my storyfrom beginning to endwhereat he marveled exceedingly and gave me joy of mydeliverance. After which I arose and fetched from the raft great store ofprecious ores and jewels and ambergris and lip aloes and presented them to theKingwho accepted them and entreated me with the utmost honorappointing me alodging in his own palace. So I consorted with the chief of the islandersandthey paid me the utmost respect. And I quitted not the royal palace.

Now the Island Sarandib lieth under the equinoctial lineits night and dayboth numbering twelve hours. It measureth eighty leagues long by a breadth ofthirty and its width is bounded by a lofty mountain and a deep valley. Themountain is conspicuous from a distance of three daysand it containeth manykinds ofrubies and other mineralsand spice trees of all sorts. The surfaceis covered with emerywherewith gems are cut and fashioned; diamonds are in itsrivers and pearls are in its valleys. I ascended that mountain and solacedmyself with a view of its marvelswhich are indescribableand afterward Ireturned to the King. Thereupon all the travelers and merchants who came to theplace questioned me of the affairs of my native land and of the Caliph Harunal-Rashid and his ruleand I told them of him and of that wherefor he wasrenownedand they praised him because of thiswhilst I in turn questioned themof the manners and customs of their own countries and got the knowledge Idesired.

One day the King himself asked me of the fashions and form of government ofmy countryand I acquainted him with the circumstance of the Caliph's sway inthe city of Baghdad and the justice of his rule. The King marveled at my accountof his appointments and said: "By Allahthe Caliph's ordinances are indeedwise and his fashions of praiseworthy guiseand thou hast made me love him bywhat thou tellest me. Wherefore I have a mind to make him a present and send itby thee." Quoth I: "Hearkening and obedienceO my lord. I will bearthy gift to him and inform him that thou art his sincere lover and truefriend." Then I abode with the King in great honor and regard andconsideration for a long while till one dayas I sat in his palaceI heardnews of a company of merchants that were fitting out ship for Bassorahand saidto myself"I cannot do better than voyage with these men." So I rosewithout stay or delay and kissed the King's hand and acquainted him with mylonging to set out with the merchantsfor that I pined after my people and mineown land. Quoth he"Thou art thine own masteryet if it be thy will toabide with uson our head and eyes be itfor thou gladdenest us with thycompany." "By AllahO my lord" answered I"thou hastindeed overwhelmed me with thy favors and well-doingsbut I weary for a sightof my friends and family and native country."

When he heard thishe summoned the merchants in question and commended me totheir carepaying my freight and passage money. Then he bestowed on me greatriches from his treasuries and charged me with a magnificent present for theCaliph Harun al-Rashid. Moreoverhe gave me a sealed lettersaying"Carry this with thine own hand to the Commander of the Faithfuland givehim many salutations from us!" "Hearing and obedience" Ireplied. The missive was written on the skin of the khawi (which is finer thanlamb parchment and of yellow color)with ink of ultramarineand the contentswere as follows: "Peace be with thee from the King of Al-Hindbefore whomare a thousand elephants and upon whose palace crenelles are a thousand jewels.But after (laud to the Lord and praises to His Prophet!) we send thee a triflinggiftwhich be thou pleased to accept. Thou art to us a brother and a sincerefriendand great is the love we bear for thee in heart. Favor us therefore witha reply. The gift besitteth not thy dignitybut we beg of theeO our brothergraciously to accept itand peace be with thee." And the present was a cupof

ruby a span highthe inside of which was adorned with precious pearls; and abed covered with the skin of the serpent which swalloweth the elephantwhichskin hath spots each like a dinar and whoso sitteth upon it never sickeneth; anda hundred thousand miskals of Indian lign aloes and a slave girl like a shiningmoon.

Then I took leave of him and of all my intimates and acquaintances in theislandand embarked with the merchants aforesaid. We sailed with a fair windcommitting ourselves to the care of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!)and byHis permission arrived at Bassorahwhere I passed a few days and nightsequipping myself and packing up my bales. Then I went on to Baghdad citytheHouse of Peacewhere I sought an audience of the Caliph and laid the King'spresents before him. He asked me whence they cameand I said to him"ByAllahO Commander of the FaithfulI know not the name of the city nor the waythither!" He then asked me"O Sindbadis this true which the Kingwriteth?" and I answeredafter kissing the ground: "O my lordI sawin his kingdom much more than he hath written in his letter. For stateprocessions a throne is set for him upon a huge elephant eleven cubits highandupon this he sitteth having his great lords and officers and guests standing intwo rankson his right hand and on his left. At his head is a man hending inhand a golden javelin and behind him another with a great mace of gold whosehead is an emerald a span long and as thick as a man's thumb. And when hemounteth horse there mount with him a thousand horsemen clad in gold brocade andsilkand as the King proceedeth a man precedeth himcrying'This is the Kingof great dignityof high authority!' And he continueth to repeat his praises inwords I remember notsaying at the end of his panegyric'This is the Kingowning the crown whose like nor Solomon nor the Mihraj ever possessed.' Then heis silent and one behind him proclaimethsaying'He will die! Again I say hewill die!' and the other addeth'Extolled be the perfection of the Living whodieth not!' Moreoverby reason of his justice and ordinance and intelligencethere is no kazi in his cityand all his lieges distinguish between truth andfalsehood." Quoth the Caliph: "How great is this King! His letter hathshown me thisand as for the mightiness of his dominion thou hast told us whatthou hast eyewitnessed. By Allahhe hath been endowed with wisdomas with widerule."

Then I related to the Commander of the Faithful all that had befallen me inmy last voyageat which he wondered exceedingly and bade his historians recordmy story and store it up in his treasuriesfor the edification of all who mightsee it. Then he conferred on me exceeding great favorsand I repaired to myquarter and entered my homewhere I warehoused all my goods and possessions.Presently my friends came to me and I distributed presents among my family andgave alms and largessafter which I yielded myself to joyance and enjoymentmirth and merrymakingand forgot all that I had suffered.

SuchthenO my brothersis the history of what befell me in my sixthvoyageand tomorrowInshallah! I will tell you the story of my seventh andlast voyagewhich is still more wondrous and marvelous than that of the firstsix. (Saith he who telleth the tale): Then be bade lay the tableand thecompany supped with himafter which he gave the porter a hundred dinarsas ofwontand they all went their waysmarveling beyond measure at that which theyhad heard. Sindbad the Landsman went home and slept as of wont. Next day he roseand prayed the dawn prayer and repaired to his namesake's housewhereafterthe company was all assembledthe host began to relate

THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SEAMAN -

KNOWO companythat after my return from my sixth voyagewhich brought meabundant profitI resumed my former life in all possible joyance and enjoymentand mirth and making merry day and night. And I tarried sometime in this solaceand satisfactiontill my soul began once more to long to sail the seas and seeforeign countries and company with merchants and hear new things. Sohavingmade up my mindI packed up in bales a quantity of precious stuffs suited forsea trade and repaired with them from Baghdad city to Bassorah townwhere Ifound a ship ready for seaand in her a company of considerable merchants. Ishipped with them andbecoming friendswe set forth on our venture in healthand safetyand sailed with a wind till we came to a city called Madinat-al-Sin.

But after we had left itas we fared on in all cheer and confidencedevising of traffic and travelbeholdthere sprang up a violent head wind anda tempest of rain fell on us and drenched us and our goods. So we covered thebales with our cloaks and garments and drugget and canvaslest they be spoiledby the rainand betook ourselves to prayer and supplication to Almighty Allahand humbled ourselves before Him for deliverance from the peril that was uponus. But the captain arose andtightening his girdletucked up his skirtsandafter taking refuge with Allah from Satan the Stonedclomb to the mastheadwhence he looked out right and leftand gazing at the passengers and crewfellto buffeting his face and plucking out his beard. So we cried to him"ORaiswhat is the matter?" and he repliedsaying: "Seek yedeliverance of the Most High from the strait into which we have fallenandbemoan yourselves and take leave of one another. For know that the wind hathgotten the mastery of usand hath driven us into the uttermost of the seasworld." Then he came down from the masthead and opening his sea chestpulled but a bag of blue cottonfrom which he took a powder like ashes. This heset in a saucer wetted with a little waterand after waiting a short timesmelt and tasted it. And then he took out of the chest a bookletwherein heread awhileand saidweeping:

"KnowO ye passengersthat in this book is a marvelous matterdenoting that whoso cometh hither shall surely diewithout hope of escape. Forthat this ocean is called the Sea of the Clime of the Kingwherein is thesepulcher of our lord Solomonson of David (on both be peace!)and therein areserpents of vast bulk and fearsome aspect. And what ship soever cometh to theseclimesthere riseth to her a great fish out of the sea and swalloweth her upwith all and everything on board her." Hearing these words from thecaptaingreat was our wonderbut hardly had he made an end of speaking whenthe ship was lifted out of the water and let fall againand we applied topraying the death prayer and committing our souls to Allah.

Presently we heard a terrible great cry like the loud-pealing thunder whereatwe were terror-struck and became as dead mengiving ourselves up for lost.Thenbeholdthere came up to us a huge fishas big as a tall mountainatwhose sight we became wild for affright andweeping soremade ready for deathmarveling at its vast size and gruesome semblance. When lo! a second fish madeits appearancethan which we had seen naught more monstrous. So we bemoanedourselves of our lives and farewelled one another. But suddenly up came a thirdfish bigger than the two firstwhereupon we lost the power of thought andreason and were stupefied for the excess of our fear and horror. Then the threefish began circling round about the ship and the third and biggest opened hismouth to swallow itand we looked into its mouth andbeholdit was wider thanthe gate of a city and its throat was like a long valley. So we besought theAlmighty and called for succor upon His Apostle (on whom be blessing andpeace!)when suddenly a violent squall of wind arose and smote the shipwhichrose out of the water and settled upon a great reefthe haunt of sea monsterswhere it broke up and fell asunder into planksand all and everything on boardwere plunged into the sea.

As for meI tore off all my clothes but my gownand swam a little waytillI happened upon one of the ship's plankswhereto I clung and bestrode it like ahorsewhilst the winds and the waters sported with me and the waves carried meup and cast me down. And I was in most piteous plight for fear and distress andhunger and thirst. Then I reproached myself for what I had done and my soul wasweary after a life of ease and comfortand I said to myself: "O SindbadOSeamanthou repentest not and yet thou art ever suffering hardships andtravailsyet wilt thou not renounce sea travelor an thou say'I renounce'thou liest in thy renouncement. Endure then with patience that which thousufferestfor verily thou deservest all that betideth thee!" And I ceasednot to humble myself before Almighty Allah and weep and bewail myselfrecallingmy former estate of solace and satisfaction and mirth and merriment and joyance.And thus I abode two daysat the end of which time I came to a great islandabounding in trees and streams. There I landed and ate of the fruits of theisland and drank of its waterstill I was refreshed and my life returned to meand my strength and spirits were restored and I recited: -

"Oft when thy case shows knotty and tangled skein

Fate downs from Heaven and straightens every ply.

In patience keep thy soul till clear thy lot

For He who ties the knot can eke untie." -

Then I walked about till I found on the further side a great river of sweetwaterrunning with a strong currentwhereupon I called to mind the boat raft Ihad made aforetime and said to myself: "Needs must I make another. Haply Imay free me from this strait. If I escapeI have my desire and I vow to AllahAlmighty to foreswear travel. And if I perishI shall be at peace and shallrest from toil and moil." So I rose up and gathered together great store ofpieces of wood from the trees (which were all of the finest sandalwoodwhoselike is not albe' I knew it not)and made shift to twist creepers and treetwigs into a kind of ropewith which I bound the billets together and socontrived a raft. Then saying"An I be saved'tis of God's grace" Iembarked thereon and committed myself to the currentand it bore me on for thefirst day and the second and the third after leaving the island whilst I lay inthe rafteating not and drinkingwhen I was athirstof the water of therivertill I was weak and giddy as a chicken for stress of fatigue and famineand fear.

At the end of this time I came to a high mountainwhereunder ran the riverwhich when I sawI feared for my life by reason of the straitness I hadsuffered in my former journeyand I would fain have stayed the raft and landedon the mountainside. But the current overpowered me and drew it into thesubterranean passage like an archwaywhereupon I gave myself up for lost andsaid"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in AllahtheGloriousthe Great!" Howeverafter a little the raft glided into open airand I saw before me a wide valleywhereinto the river fell with a noise likethe rolling of thunder and a swiftness as the rushing of the wind. I held ontothe raftfor fear of falling off itwhilst the waves tossed me right and leftand the craft continued to descend with the currentnor could I avail to stopit nor turn it shoreward till it stopped me at a great and goodly citygrandlyedified and containing much people. And when the townsfolk saw me on the raftdropping down with the currentthey threw me out ropeswhich I had notstrength enough to hold. Then they tossed a net over the craft and drew itashore with mewhereupon I fell to the ground amidst themas I were a deadmanfor stress of fear and hunger and lack of sleep.

After a whilethere came up to me out of the crowd an old man of reverendaspectwell stricken in yearswho welcomed me and threw over me abundance ofhandsome clotheswherewith I covered my nakedness. Then he carried me to thehammam bath and brought me cordial sherbets and delicious perfumes. Moreoverwhen I came outhe bore me to his housewhere his people made much of me andseating me in a pleasant placeset rich food before mewhereof I ate my filland returned thanks to God the Most High for my deliverance. Thereupon his pagesfetched me hot waterand I washed my handsand his handmaids brought me silkennapkinswith which I dried them and wiped my mouth. Also the Sheikh set apartfor me an apartment in a part of his houseand charged his pages and slavegirls to wait upon me and do my will and supply my wants. They were assiduous inmy serviceand I abode with him in the guest chamber three daystaking my easeof good eating and good drinking and good scents till life returned to me and myterrors subsided and my heart was calmed and my mind was eased.

On the fourth day the Sheikhmy hostcame in to me and said: "Thoucheerest us with thy companyO my sonand praised be Allah for thy safety!Saywilt thou now come down with me to the beach and the bazaar and sell thygoods and take their price? Belike thou mayest buy thee wherewithal to traffic.I have ordered my servants to remove thy stock in trade from the seaand theyhave piled it on the shore." I was silent awhile and said to myself"What mean these wordsand what goods have I?" Then said he: "Omy sonbe not troubled nor carefulbut come with me to the marketand if anyoffer for thy goods what price contenteth theetake it. But an thou be notsatisfiedI lay em up for thee in my warehouseagainst a fitting occasion forsale." So I bethought me of my case and said to myself"Do hisbidding and see what are these goods!" and I said to him: "O my nunclethe Sheikh I hear and obey. I may not gainsay thee in aughtfor Allah'sblessing is on all thou dost."

Accordingly he guided me to the market streetwhere I found that he hadtaken in pieces the raft which carried me and which was of sandalwoodand Iheard the broker crying it for sale. Then the merchants came and opened the gateof bidding for the wood and bid against one another till its price reached athousand dinarswhen they left bidding and my host said to me: "HearO mysonthis is the current price of thy goods in hard times like these. Wilt thousell them for thisor shall I lay them up for thee in my storehouses till suchtime as prices rise?" "O my lord" answered I"the businessis in thy hands. Do as thou wilt." Then asked he: "Wilt thou sell thewood to meO my sonfor a hundred gold pieces over and above what themerchants have bidden for it?" and I answered"YesI have sold it tothee for monies received." So he bade his servants transport the wood tohis storehousesandcarrying me back to his houseseated meand counted outto me the purchase money. After which he laid it in bags andsetting them in aprivy placelocked them up with an iron padlock and gave me its key.

Some days after this the Sheikh said to me"O my sonI have somewhatto propose to theewherein I trust thou wilt do my bidding." Quoth I"What is it?" Quoth he: "I am a very old manand have no sonbut I have a daughter who is young in years and fair of favor and endowed withabounding wealth and beauty. Now I have a mind to marry her to theethat thoumayest abide with her in this our country. And I will makethee master of all Ihave in handfor I am an old man and thou shalt stand in my stead." I wassilent for shame and made him no answerwhereupon he continued: "Do mydesire in thisO my sonfor I wish but thy weal. And if thou wilt but as Isaythou shalt have her at once and be as my sonand all that is under my handor that cometh to me shall be thine. If thou have a mind to traffic and travelto thy native landnone shall hinder theeand thy property will be at thy soledisposal. So do as thou wilt." "By AllahO my uncle" replied I"thou art become to me even as my fatherand I am a stranger and haveundergone many hardshipswhile for stress of that which I have suffered naughtof judgment or knowledge is left to me. It is for theethereforeto decidewhat I shall do."

Hereupon he sent his servants for the kazi and the witnesses and married meto his daughtermaking for us a noble marriage feast and high festival. When Iwent in to herI found her perfect in beauty and loveliness and symmetry andgraceclad in rich raiment and covered with a profusion of ornaments andnecklaces and other trinkets of gold and silver and precious stonesworth amint of moneya price none could pay. She pleased meand we loved each otherand I abode with her in all solace and delight of life till her father was takento the mercy of Allah Almighty. So we shrouded him and buried himand I laidhands on the whole of his property and all his servants and slaves became mine.Moreoverthe merchants installed me in his officefor he was their sheikh andtheir chiefand none of them purchased aught but with his knowledge and by hisleave. And now his rank passed on to me.

When I became acquainted with the townsfolkI found that at the beginning ofeach month they were transformedin that their faces changed and they becamelike unto birds and they put forth wings wherewith they flew unto the upperregions of the firmament; and none remained in the city save the women andchildren. And I said in my mind"When the first of the month comethIwill ask one of them to carry me with themwhither they go." So when thetime came and their complexion changed and their forms alteredI went in to oneof the townsfolk and said to him: "Allah upon thee! Carry me with theethat I might divert myself with the rest and return with you." "Thismay not be" answered he. But I ceased not to solicit himand I importunedhim till he consented. Then I went out in his companywithout telling any of myfamily or servants or friendsand he took me on his back and flew up with me sohigh in air that I heard the angels glorifying God in the heavenly domewhereatI wondered and exclaimed: "Praised be Allah! Extolled be the perfection ofAllah!"

Hardly had I made an end of pronouncing the tasbih- praised be Allah!- whenthere came out a fire from Heaven and all but consumed the company. Whereuponthey fied from it and descended with curses upon me andcasting me down on ahigh mountainwent away exceeding wroth with meand left me there alone. As Ifound myself in this plightI repented of what I had done and reproached myselffor having undertaken that for which I was unablesaying: "There is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! No sooneram I delivered from one affliction than I fall into a worse." And Icontinued in this caseknowing not whither I should gowhen lo! there came uptwo young menas they were moonseach using as a staff a rod of red gold. So Iapproached them and saluted them; and when they returned my salaamI said tothem: Allah upon you twain. Who are yeand what are ye?" Quoth they"We are of the servants of the Most High Allahabiding in thismountain" and giving me a rod of red gold they had with themwent theirways and left me.

I walked on along the mountain ridgestaying my steps with the staff andpondering the case of the two youthswhen beholda serpent came forth fromunder the mountainwith a man in her jaws whom she had swallowed even to belowhis naveland he was crying out and saying"Whoso delivereth meAllahwill deliver him from all adversity!" So I went up to the the serpent andsmote her on the head with the golden staffwhereupon she cast the man forth ofher mouth. Then I smote her a second timeand she turned and fledwhereupon hecame up to me and said"Since my deliverance from yonder serpent hath beenat thy hands I will never leave theeand thou shalt be my comrade on thismountain." "And welcome" answered I. So we fared on along themountain till we fell in with a company of folkand I looked and saw amongstthem the very man who had carried me and cast me down there. I went up to himand spake him fairexcusing to him and saying"O my comradeit is notthus that friend should deal with friend." Quoth he"It was thou whowell-nigh destroyed us by thy tasbih and thy glorifying God on my back."Quoth I"Pardon mefor I had no knowledge of this matterbut if thouwilt take me with theeI swear not to say a word."

So he relented and consented to carry me with himbut he made an expresscondition that so long as I abode on his backI should abstain from pronouncingthe tasbih or otherwise glorifying God. Then I gave the wand of gold to him whomI had delivered from the serpent and bade him farewelland my friend took me onhis back and flew with me as beforetill he brought me to the city and set medown in my own house. My wife came to meet me andsaluting megave me joy ofmy safety and then said: "Beware of going forth hereafter with yonder folkneither consort with themfor they are brethren of the devilsand know not howto mention the name of Allah Almightyneither worship they Him." "Andhow did thy father with them?" asked Iand she answered: "My fatherwas not of themneither did he as they. And as now he is deadmethinks thouhadst better sell all we have and with the price buy merchandise and journey tothine own country and peopleand I with thee; for I care not to tarry in thiscitymy father and my mother being dead." So I sold all the Sheikh'sproperty piecemealand looked for one who should be journeying thence toBassorah that I might join myself to him.

And while thus doing I heard of a company of townsfolk who had a mind to makethe voyage but could not find them a shipso they bought wood and built them agreat shipwherein I took passage with themand paid them all the hire. Thenwe embarkedI and my wifewith all our movablesleaving our houses anddomains and so forthand set sailand ceased not sailing from island to islandand from sea to seawith a fair wind and a favoringtill we arrived atBassorah safe and sound. I made no stay therebut freighted another vessel andtransferring my goods to herset out forthright for Baghdad citywhere Iarrived in safetyand entering my quarter and repairing to my houseforgathered with my family and friends and familiars and laid up my goods in mywarehouses.

When my peoplewhoreckoning the period of my absence on this my seventhvoyagehad found it to be seven and twenty years and had given up all hope ofmeheard of my returnthey came to welcome me and to give me joy of my safety.And I related to them all that had befallen mewhereat they marveled withexceeding marvel. Then I foreswore travel and vowed to Allah the Most High Iwould venture no more by land or seafor that this seventh and last voyage hadsurfeited me of travel and adventureand I thanked the Lord (be He praised andglorified!)and blessed Him for having restored me to my kith and kin andcountry and home. "ConsiderthereforeO SindbadO Landsman"continued Sindbad the Seaman"what sufferings I have undergone and whatperils and hardships I have endured before coming to my present state.""Allah upon theeO my Lord!" answered Sindbad theLandsman."Pardon me the wrong I did thee." And they ceased not from friendshipand fellowshipabiding in all cheer and pleasures and

solace of life till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and theSunderer of Societiesand the Shatterer of palaces and the Caterer forCemeteries; to witthe Cup of Deathand glory be to the Living One who diethnot! And there is a tale touching

THE LADY AND HER FIVE SUITORS -

A WOMAN of the daughters of the merchants was married to a man who was agreat traveler. It chanced once that he set out for a far country and was absentso long that his wifefor pure ennuifell in love with a handsome young man ofthe sons of the merchantsand they loved each other with exceeding love. Oneday the youth quarreled with another manwho lodged a complaint against himwith the Chief of Policeand he cast into prison. When the news came to themerchant's wife his mistressshe well-nigh lost her wits. Then she arose anddonning her richest clothesrepaired to the house of the Chief of Police. Shesaluted him and presented a written petition to this purport: "He thou hastclapped in jail is my brother Such-and-suchwho fell out with Such-a-oneandthose who testified against him bore false witness. He hath been wrongfullyimprisonedand I have none other to come in to me nor to provide for mysupporttherefore I beseech thee of thy grace to release him." When themagistrate had read the paperhe cast his eyes on her and fell in love with herforthrightso he said to her: "Go into the houses till I bring him beforeme. Then I will send for thee and thou shalt take him." "O mylord" replied she"I have none to protect me save Almighty Allah! Iam a stranger and may not enter any man's abode." Quoth the Wali"Iwill not let him go except thou come to my home and I take my will ofthee." Rejoined she"If it must be sothou must needs come to mylodging and sit and sleep the siesta and rest thewhole day there.""And where is thy abode?" asked heand she answered"In such aplace" and appointed him for such a time.

Then she went out from himleaving his heart taken with love of herand sherepaired to the Kazi of the cityto whom she said"O our lord theKazi!" He exclaimed"Yes!" and she continued"Look into mycaseand thy reward be with Allah the Most High!" Quoth he"Who hathwronged thee?" and quoth she"O my lordI have a brother and I havenone but that oneand it is on his account that I come to theebecause theWali hath imprisoned him for a criminal and men have borne false witness againsthim that he is a wrongdoerand I beseech thee to intercede for him with theChief of Police."

When the Kazi looked on herhe fell in love with her forthright and said toher: "Enter the house and rest awhile with my handmaids whilst I send tothe Wali to release thy brother. If I knew the money fine which is upon himIwould pay it out of my own purseso I may have my desire of theefor thoupleaseth me with thy sweet speech." Quoth she"If thouO my lorddothuswe must not blame others." Quoth he"An thou wilt not come inwend thy ways." Then said she"An thou wilt have it soO our lordit will be privier and better in my place than in thinefor here are slavegirls and eunuchs and goers-in and comers-outand indeed I am a woman whowotteth naught of this fashionbut need compelleth." Asked the Kazi"And where is thy house?" and she answered"In such aplace" and appointed him for the same day and time as the Chief of Police.

Then she went out from him to the Wazirto whom she preferred her petitionfor the release from prison of her brotherwho was absolutely necessary to her.But he also required her of herselfsaying"Suffer me to have my will ofthee and I will set thy brother free." Quoth she: "An thou wilt haveit sobe it in my housefor there it will be privier both for me and for thee.It is not far distantand thou knowest that which behooveth us women ofcleanliness and adornment." Asked he"Where is thy house?""In such a place" answered sheand appointed him for the same timeas the two others.

Then she went out from him to the King of the city and told him her story andsought of him her brother's release. "Who imprisoned him?" enquiredheand she replied"'Twas thy Chief of Police." When the King heardher speechit transpierced his heart with the arrows of love and he bade herenter the palace with himthat he might send to the Kazi and release herbrother. Quoth she: "O Kingthis thing is easy to theewhether I will ornilland if the King will indeed have this of meit is of my good fortune. Butif he come to my househe will do me the more honor by setting step thereineven as saith the poet: -

"O my friendshave ye seen or have ye heard

Of his visit whose virtues I hold so high?" - Quoth the King"Wewill not cross thee in this." So she appointed him for the same time as thethree othersand told him where her house was.

Then she left himand betaking herself to man which was a carpentersaid tohim: "I would have thee make me a cabinet with four compartments one aboveothereach with its door for locking up. Let me know thy hire and I will giveit thee." Replied he: "My price will be four dinars. ButO noble ladyand well-protectedif thou wilt vouchsafe me thy favorsI will ask nothing ofthee. Rejoined she"An there be no help but that thou have it sothenmake thou five compartments with their padlocks." And she appointed him tobring it exactly on the day required. Said he"It is well. Sit downO myladyand I will make it for thee forthrightand after I will come to thee atmy leisure." So she sat down by him whilst he fell to work on the cabinetand when he had made an end of itshe chose to see it at once carried home andset up in the sitting chamber. Then she took four gowns and carried them to thedyerwho dyed them each of a different colorafter which she applied herselfto making ready meat and drinkfruitsflowersand perfumes.

Now when the appointed trysting day cameshe donned her costliest dress andadorned herself and scented herselfthen spread the sitting room with variouskinds of rich carpetsand sat down to await who should come. And beholdtheKazi was the first to appeardevancing restand when she saw himshe rose toher feet and kissed the ground before himthentaking him by the handmadehim sit down by her on the couch and lay with him and fell to jesting and toyingwith him. By and by he would have her do his desirebut she said"O mylorddoff thy clothes and turban and assume this yellow cassock and thisheadkerchiefwhilst I bring thee meat and drinkand after thou shalt win thywill." So sayingshe took his clothes and turban and clad him in thecassock and the kerchief. But hardly she done this when lo! there came aknocking at the door. Asked he"Who is that rapping at the door?" andshe answered"My husband." Quoth the Kazi"What is to be doneand where shall I go?" Quoth she"Fear nothing. I will hide thee inthis cabinet" and he"Do as seemeth good to thee."

So she took him by the hand and pushing him into the lowest compartmentlocked the door upon him. Then she went to the house doorwhere she found theWaliso she bussed ground before him and taking his handbrought him into thesaloonwhereshe made him sit down and said to him: "O my lordthishouse is thy housethis place is thy placeand I am thy handmaid. Thou shaltpass all this day with mewherefore do thou doff thy clothes and don this redgownfor it is a sleeping gown." So she took away his clothes and made himassume the red gown and set on his head an old patched rag she had by her. Afterwhich she sat by him on the divan and she sported with him while he toyed withher awhiletill he put out his hand to her. Whereupon she said to him: "Oour lordthis day is thy day and none shall share in it with thee. But firstof thy favor and benevolencewrite me an order for my brother's release fromgaolthat my heart may be at ease." Quoth he"Hearkening andobedience. On my head and eyes be it!" and wrote a letter to his treasurersaying: "As soon as this communication shall reach theedo thou setSuch-a-onefreewithout stay or delayneither answer the bearer a word."Then he sealed it and she took it from himafter which she began to toy againwith him on the divan whenbeholdsomeone knocked at the door. He asked"Who is that?" and she answered"My husband." "Whatshall I do?" said heand she"Enter this cabinettill I send himaway and return to thee." So she clapped him into the second compartmentfrom the bottom and padlocked the door on himand meanwhile the Kazi heard allthey said.

Then she went to the house door and opened itwhereupon lo! the Wazirentered. She bussed the ground before him and received him with all honor andworshipsaying: "O my lordthou exaltest us by thy coming to our house.Allah never deprive us of the light of thy countenance!" Then she seatedhim on the divan and said to him"O my lorddoff thy heavy dress andturban and don these lighter vestments." So he put off his clothes andturban and she clad him in a blue cassock and a tall red bonnetand said tohim: "Erst thy garb was that of the wazirateso leave it to its own timeand don this light gownwhich is better fitted for carousing and making merryand sleep." Thereupon she began to play with him and he with herand hewould have done his desire of herbut she put him offsaying"O my lordthis shall not fail us." As they were talking there came a knocking at thedoorand the Wazir asked her"Who is that?" to which she answered"My husband." Quoth he"What is to be done?" Qhoth she"Enter this cabinettill I get rid of him and come back to theeand fearthou nothing."

So she put him in the third compartment and locked the door on after whichshe went out and opened the house door when lo and behold! in came the King. Assoon as she saw him she kissed ground before himand taking him by the handled him into the saloon and seated him on the divan at the upper end. Then saidshe to him"VerilyO Kingthou dost us high honorand if we broughtthee to gift the world and all that therein isit would not be worth a singleone of thy steps usward." And when he had taken his seat upon the divan shesaid"Give me leave to speak one word." "Say what thouwilt." answered heand she said"O my lordtake thine ease and doffthy dress and turban." Now his clothes were worth a thousand dinarsandwhen he put them off she clad him in a patched gownworth at the very most tendirhamsand fell to talking and jesting with himall this while the folk inthe cabinet hearing everything that passedbut not daring to say a word.Presently the King put his hand to her neck and sought to do his design of herwhen she said"This thing shall not fail usbut I had first promisedmyself to entertain thee in this sitting chamberand I have that which shallcontent thee." Now as they were speakingsomeone knocked at the door andhe asked her"Who is that?" "My husband" answered sheandhe"Make him go away of his own goodwillor I will fare forth to him andsend him away perforce." Replied she"NayO my lordhave patiencetill I send him away by my skillful contrivance." "And Ihow shall Ido!" inquired the King. Whereupon she took him by the hand and making himenter the fourth compartment of the cabinetlocked it upon him.

Then she went out and opened the house doorwhen beholdthe carpenterentered and saluted her. Quoth she"What manner of thing is this cabinetthou hast made me?" "What aileth itO my lady?" asked heandshe answered"The top compartment is too strait." Rejoined he"Not so" and she"Go in thyself and see. It is not wide enoughfor thee." Quoth he"It is wide enough for four." and enteredthe fifth compartmentwhereupon she locked the door on him. Then she took theletter of the Chief of Police and carried it to the Treasurerwhohaving readand understood itkissed it and delivered her lover to her. She told him allshe had done and he said"And how shall we act now?" She answered"We will remove hence to another cityfor after this work there is notarrying for us here."

So the twain packed up what goods they had andloading them on camelssetout forthright for another city. Meanwhilethe five abode each in hiscompartment of the cabinet without eating or drinking three whole daysduringwhich time they held their water until at last the carpenter could retain his nolongerso he staled on the King's headand the King urined on the Wazir'sheadand the Wazir piddled on the Walland the Wali pissed on the head of theKazi. Whereupon the Judge cried out and said: "What nastiness is this? Dothnot what strait we are in suffice usbut you must make water upon us?" TheChief of Police recognized the Kazi's voice and answeredsaying aloud"Allah increase thy rewardO Kazi!" And when the Kazi heard him heknew him for the Wali. Then the Chief of Police lifted up his voice and said"What means this nastiness?" and the Wazir answeredsaying"Allah increase thy rewardO Wali!" whereupon he knew him to be theMinister. Then the Wazir lifted up his voice and said"What means thisnastiness?" But when the King heard and recognized his Minister's voiceheheld his peace and concealed his affair.

Then said the Wazir: "May Allah damn this woman for her dealing with us!She hath brought hither all the chief officers of the stateexcept the King.Quoth the King"Hold your peacefor I was the first to fall into thetoils of this lewd strumpet." Whereat cried the carpenter: "And Iwhat have I done? I made her a cabinet for four gold piecesand when I came toseek my hireshe tricked me into entering this compartment and locked the dooron me." And they fell to talking with one anotherdiverting the King anddoing away his chagrin. Presently the neighbors came up to the house andseeingit desertedsaid one to other: "But yesterday our neighborthe wife ofSuch-a-onewas in itbut now no sound is to be heard therein nor is soul to beseen. Let us break open the doors and see how the case standslest it come tothe ears of the Wali or the King and we be cast into prison and regret not doingthis thing before."

So they broke open the doors and entered the saloonwhere they saw a largewooden cabinet and heard men within groaning for hunger and thirst. Then saidone of them"Is there a Jinni in this cabinet?-and his fellow"Letus heap fuel about it and burn it with fire." When the Kazi heard thishebawled out to them"Do it not!" And they said to one another"Verily the Jinn make believe to be mortals and speak with men's voices."Thereupon the Kazi repeated somewhat of the Sublime Koran and said to theneighbors"Draw near to the cabinet wherein we are." So they drewnearand he said"I am So-and-so the Kaziand ye are Such-a-one andSuch-a-oneand we are here a company." Quoth the neighbors"Whobrought you here?" And he told them the whole case from beginning to end.Then they fetched a carpenterwho opened the five doors and let out KaziWazirWaliKingand carpenter in their queer disguises; and eachwhen he sawhow the others were accouteredfell a-laughing at them. Now she had taken awayall their clothesso every one of them sent to his people for fresh clothes andput them on and went outcovering himself therewith from the sight of the folk.Considerthereforewhat a trick this woman played off upon the folk!

And I have heard tell also a tale of

KHALIFAH THE FISHERMAN OF BAGHDAD -

THERE was once in tides of yore and in ages and times long gone before in thecity of Baghdad a fishermanKhalifah highta pauper wightwho had never oncebeen married in all his days. It chanced one morning that he took his net andwent with it to the river as was his wontwith the view of fishing before theothers came. When he reached the bankhe girt himself and tucked up his skirts.Then stepping into the waterhe spread his net and cast it a first cast and asecondbut it brought up naught. He ceased not to throw it till he had made tencastsand still naught came up thereinwherefore his breast was straitened andhis mind perplexed concerning his case and he said: "I crave pardon of Godthe Greatthere is no god but Hethe Livingthe Eternaland unto Him Irepent. There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! Whatso He willeth is and whatso He nilleth is not! Upon Allah (toWhom belong Honor and Glory!) dependeth daily bread! When as He giveth to Hisservantnone denieth him; and when as He denieth a servantnone giveth tohim." And of the excess of his distresshe recited these two couplets: -

"An Fate afflict theewith grief manifest

Prepare thy patience and make broad thy breast;

For of His grace the Lord of all the worlds

Shall send to wait upon unrest sweet Rest." -

Then he said in his mind"I will make this one more casttrusting inAllahso haply He may not disappoint my hope." And he roseand castinginto the river the net as far as his arm availedgathered the cords in hishands and waited a full hourafter which he pulled at it andfinding it heavyhandled it gently and drew it inlittle by littletill he got it ashorewhenlo and behold! he saw in it a one-eyedlame-legged ape. Seeing thisquothKhalifah: "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah Verilywe are Allah's and to Him we are returning! What meaneth this heartbreakingmiserable ill luck and hapless fortune? What is come to me this blessed day? Butall this is of the destinies of Almighty Allah!" Then he took the ape andtied him with a cord to a tree which grew on the riverbankand grasping a whiphe had with himraised his arm in the airthinking to bring down the scourgeupon the quarrywhen Allah made the ape speak with a fluent tonguesaying:"O Khalifahhold thy hand and beat me notbut leave me bounden to thistree and go down to the river and cast thy netconfiding in Allah; for He willgive thee thy daily bread."

Hearing thisKhalifah went down to the riverand casting his netlet thecords run out. Then he pulled it in and found it heavier than beforeso heceased not to tug at it till he brought it to landwhenbeholdthere wasanother ape in itwith front teeth wide apartkohl-darkened eyesand handsstained with henna dyes; and he was laughingand wore a tattered waistclothabout his middle. Quoth Khalifah"Praised be Allah Who hath changed thefish of the river into apes!" Thengoing up to the first apewho wasstill tied to the treehe said to him: "SeeO unluckyhow fulsome wasthe counsel thou gavest me! None but thou made me light on this second ape; andfor that thou gavest me good morrow with thy one eye and thy lamenessI ambecome distressed and wearywithout dirham or dinar."

So sayinghe hent in hand a stick and flourishing it thrice in the airwasabout to come down with it upon the lame apewhen the creature cried out formercy and said to him: "I conjure theeby Allahspare me for the sake ofthis my fellowand seek of him thy need; for he will guide thee to thydesire!" So he held his hand from himand throwing down the stickwent upto and stood by the second apewho said to him: "O Khalifahthis myspeech will profit thee naught except thou hearken to what I say to thee; but anthou do my bidding and cross me notI will be the cause of thineenrichment." Asked Khalifah"And what hast thou to say to me that Imay obey thee therein?" The ape answered"Leave me bound on the bankand hie thee down to the riverthen cast thy net a third timeand after I willtell thee what to do."

So he took his netand going down to the rivercast it once more and waitedawhile. Then he drew it inand finding it heavylabored at it and ceased nothis travail till he got it ashorewhen he found in it yet another ape. But thisone was redwith a blue waistcloth about his middle; his hands and feet werestained with henna and his eyes blackened with kohl When Khalifah saw thisheexclaimed: "Glory to God the Great! Extolled be the perfection of the Lordof Dominion! Verilythis is a blessed day from first to last Its ascendant wasfortunate in the countenance of the first apeand the scroll is known by itssuperscription! Verilytoday is a day of apes. There is not a single fish leftin the riverand we are come out today but to catch monkeys!"

Then he turned to the third ape and said"And what thing thou alsoOunlucky?" Quoth the ape"Dost thou not know meO Khalifah!" andquoth he"Not I!" The ape cried"I am the ape of Abu al-Sa'adatthe Jewthe shroff." Asked Khalifah"And what dost thou forhim?" and the ape answered"I give him good morrow at the first ofthe dayand he gaineth five ducats; and again at the end of the dayI give himgood evenand he gaineth other five ducats." Whereupon Khalifah turned tothe first ape and said to him: "SeeO unluckywhat fine apes other folkhave! As for theethou givest me good morrow with thy one eye and thy lamenessand thy ill-omened phizand I become poor and bankrupt and hungry!" Sosayinghe took the cattle stickand flourishing it thrice in the airwasabout to come down with it on the first apewhen Abu al-Sa'adat's ape said tohim: "Let him beO Khalifah. Hold thy hand and come hither to methat Imay tell thee what to do."

So Khalifah threw down the stickand walking up to him'cried'And whathast thou to say to meO monarch of all monkeys?" Replied the ape:"Leave me and the other two apes hereand take thy not and cast it intothe river; and whatever cometh upbring it to meand I will tell thee whatshall gladden thee." He replied"I hear and obey" and took thenet and gathered it on his shoulderreciting these couplets: -

"When straitened is my breast I will of my Creator pray

Who may and can the heaviest weight lighten in easiest way

For ere man's glance can turn or close his eye by God His grace

Waxeth the broken whole and yieldeth jail its prison prey.

Therefore with Allah one and all of thy concerns commit

Whose grace and favor men of wit shall nevermore gainsay." -

Now when Khalifah had made an end of his versehe went down to the riverand casting his netwaited awhile. After which he drew it up and found thereina fine young fishwith a big heada tail like a ladleand eyes like two goldpieces. When Khalifah saw this fishhe rejoicedfor he had never in his lifecaught its likeso he took itmarvelingand carried it to the ape of Abual-Sa'adat the Jewas 'twere he had gotten possession of the universal world.Quoth the ape"O Khalifahwhat wilt thou do with thisand with thineape?" and quoth the fisherman: "I will tell theeO monarch ofmonkeysall I am about to do. Know then that firstI will cast about to makeaway with yonder accursedmy apeand take thee in his steadand give theeevery day to eat of whatso thou wilt." Rejoined the ape: "Since thouhast made choice of meI will tell thee how thou shalt do whereinif it pleaseAllah Almightyshall be the mending of thy fortune. Lend thy mindthentowhat I say to thee and 'tis this! Take another cord and tie me also to a treewhere leave me and go to the midst of the dike and cast thy net into the Tigris.Then after waiting awhiledraw it up and thou shalt find therein a fish thanwhich thou never sawest a finer in thy whole life. Bring it to me and I willtell thee how thou shalt do after this."

So Khalifah rose forthrightand casting his net into the Tigrisdrew up agreat catfish the bigness of a lamb. Never had he set eyes on its likefor itwas larger than the first fish. He carried it to the apewho said to him:"Gather thee some green grass and set half of it in a basket; lay the fishtherein and cover it with the other moiety. Thenleaving us here tiedshoulderthe basket and betake thee to Baghdad. If any bespeak thee or question thee bythe wayanswer him notbut fare on till thou comest to the market street ofthe money-changersat the upper end whereof thou wilt find the shop of MasterAbu al-Sa'adat the JewSheikh of the shroffsand wilt see him sitting on amattresswith a cushion behind him and two collersone for gold and one forsilverbefore himwhile around him stand his Mamelukes and Negro slaves andservant lads. Go up to him and set the basket before himsaying: 'O Abual-Sa'adatverily I went out today to fish and cast my net in thy nameandAllah Almighty sent me this fish.' He will ask'Hast thou shown it to any butme?' and do thou answer'Noby Allah!' Then will he take it of thee and givethee a dinar. Give it him back and he will give thee two dinars; but do thoureturn them alsoand so do with everything he may offer thee; and take naughtfrom himthough he give thee the fish's weight in gold.

Then will he say to thee'Tell me what thou wouldst haveand do thou reply'By AllahI will not sell the fish save for two words!' He will ask'What arethey?' And do thou answer'Stand up and say"Bear witnessO ye who arepresent in the marketthat I give Khalifah the fisherman my ape in exchange forhis apeand that I barter for his lot my lot and luck for his luck." Thisis the price of the fishand I have no need of gold.' If he do thisI willevery day give thee good morrow and good evenand every day thou shalt gain tendinars of good gold; whilst this one-eyedlame-legged ape shall daily give theJew good morrowand Allah shall afflict him every day with an avanie which hemust needs paynor will he cease to be thus afflicted till he is reduced tobeggary and hath naught. Hearken then to my wordsso shalt thou prosper and beguided aright."

Quoth Khalifah: "I accept thy counselO monarch of all the monkeys! Butas for this unluckymay Allah never bless him! I know not what to do withhim." Quoth the ape"Let him go into the waterand let me goalso." "I hear and obey" answered Khalifahand unbound thethree apesand they went down into the river. Then he took up the catfishwhich he washedthen laid it in the basket upon some green grassand coveredit with otherand lastlyshouldering his loadset out with the basket uponhis shoulder and ceased not faring till he entered the city of Baghdad. And ashe threaded the streets the folk knew him and cried out to himsaying"What hast thou thereO Khalifah?" But he paid no heed to them andpassed on till he came to the market street of the money-changers and faredbetween the shopsas the ape had charged himtill he found the Jew seated atthe upper endwith his servants in attendance upon himas he were a King ofthe Kings of Khorasan. He knew him at first sight; so he went up to him andstood before himwhereupon Abu al-Sa'adat raised his eyes and recognizing himsaid: "WelcomeO Khalifah! What wantest thouand what is thy need? If anyhave missaid thee or spited theetell me and I will go with thee to the Chiefof Policewho shall do thee justice on him." Replied Khalifah: "Nayas thy head livethO chief of the Jewsnone hath missaid me. But I went forththis morning to the river andcasting my net into the Tigris on thy luckbrought up this fish."

Therewith he opened the basket and threw the fish before the Jewwho admiredit and saidthe Pentateuch and the Ten CommandmentsI dreamt last night thatthe Virgin came to me and said'KnowO Abu al-Sa'adatthat I have sent thee apretty present!' And doubtless 'tis this fish." Then he turned to Khalifahand said to him"By thy faithhath any seen it but I?" Khalifahreplied"Noby Allahand by Abu Bakr the Veridicalnone hath seen itsave thouO chief of the Jews!" Whereupon the Jew turned to one of hislads and said to him: "Comecarry this fish to my house and bid Sa'adahdress it and fry and broil itagainst I make an end of my business and hie mehome." And Khalifah said"GoO my ladlet the master's wife frysome of it and broil the rest." Answered the boy"I hear and I obeyO my lord" andtaking the fishwent away with it to the house.

Then the Jew put out his hand and gave Khalifah the fisherman a dinarsaying"Take this for thyselfO Khalifahand spend it on thyfamily." When Khalifah saw the dinar on his palmhe took itsaying"Laud to the Lord of Dominion!" as if he had never seen aught of goldin his lifeand went somewhat away. But before he had gone farhe was mindedof the ape's charge and turning backthrew down the ducatsaying: "Takethy gold and give folk back their fish! Dost thou make a laughingstock offolk?" The Jewhearing thisthought he was jestingand offered him twodinars upon the otherbut Khalifah said: "Give me the fishand nononsense. How knewest thou I would sell it at this price?" Whereupon theJew gave him two more dinars and said"Take these five ducats for thy fishand leave greed." So Khalifah hent the five dinars in hand and went awayrejoicingand gazing and marveling at the gold and saying: "Glory be toGod! There is not with the Caliph of Baghdad what is with me this day!"

Then he ceased not faring on till he came to the end of the market streetwhen he remembered the words of the ape and his chargeand returning to theJewthrew him back the gold. Quoth he: "What aileth theeO Khalifah? Dostthou want silver in exchange for gold?" Khalifah replied: "I want nordirhams nor dinars. I only want thee to give me back folk's fish." Withthis the Jew waxed wroth and shouted out at himsaying: "O Fishermanthoubringest me a fish not worth a sequin and I give thee five for ityet art thounot content! Art thou Jinn-mad? Tell me for how much thou wilt sell it."Answered Khalifah"I will not sell it for silver nor for goldonly fortwo sayings thou shalt say me."

When the Jew heard speak of the "two sayings" his eyes sank intohis headhe breathed hard and ground his teeth for rageand said to him"O nail paring of the Moslemswilt thou have me throw off my faith for thesake of thy fishand wilt thou debauch me from my religion and stultify mybelief and my conviction which I inherited of old from my forebears?" Thenhe cried out to the servants who were in waiting and said: "Out on you!Bash me this unlucky rogue's neck and bastinado him soundly!" So they camedown upon him with blows and ceased not beating him till he fell beneath theshopand the Jew said to them"Leave him and let him rise."Whereupon Khalifah

jumped up as if naught ailed himand the Jew said to him: "Tell me whatprice thou asketh for this fish and I will give it thee; for thou hast gottenbut scant good of us this day." Answered the fisherman"Have no fearfor meO masterbecause of the beatingfor I can eat ten donkeys' rations ofstick."

The Jew laughed at his words and said"Allah upon theetell me whatthou wilt have and by the right of my faithI will give it thee!" Thefisherman replied"Naught from thee will remunerate me for this fish savethe two words whereof I spake." And the Jew said"Meseemeth thouwouldst have me become a Moslem." Khalifah rejoined: "By AllahO Jewan thou Islamize'twill nor advantage the Moslems nor damage the Jews. And inlike manneran thou hold to thy misbelief 'twill nor damage the Moslems noradvantage the Jews. But what I desire of thee is that thou rise to thy feet andsay: 'Bear witness against meO people of the marketthat I barter my ape forthe ape of Khalifah the fisherman and my lot in the world for his lot and myluck for his luck'." Quoth the Jew"If this be all thou desirest'twill sit lightly upon me." So he rose without stay or delay and standingon his feetrepeated the required words. After which he turned to the fishermanand asked him"Hast thou aught else to ask of me?" "No"answered heand the Jew said"Go in peace!"

Hearing this Khalifah sprung to his feet forthrighttook up his basket andnetand returned straight to the Tigriswhere he threw his net and pulled itin. He found it heavy and brought it not ashore but with travailwhen he foundit full of fish of all kinds. Presently up came a woman with a dishwho gavehim a dinarand he gave her fish for itand after her a eunuchwho alsobought a dinar's worth of fishand so forth till he had sold ten dinars' worth.And he continued to sell ten dinars' worth of fish daily for ten daystill hehad gotten a hundred dinars.

Now Khalifah the fisherman had quarters in the Passage of the Merchantsandas he lay one night in his lodging much bemused with hashishhe said tohimself: "O Khalifahthe folk all know thee for a poor fishermanand nowthou hast gotten a hundred golden dinars. Needs must the Commander of theFaithfulHarun al-Rashidhear of this from someoneand haply he will bewanting money and will send for thee and say to thee: 'I need a sum of money andit hath reached me that thou hast an hundred dinarsso do thou lend them to methose same.' I shall answer'O Commander of the FaithfulI am a poor manandwhoso told thee that I had a hundred dinars lied against mefor I have naughtof this.' Thereupon be will commit me to the Chief of Policesaying'Strip himof his clothes and torment him with the bastinado till he confess and give upthe hundred dinars in his possession.' Whereforemeseemeth to provide againstthis predicamentthe best thing I can do is to rise forthright and bash myselfwith the whipso to use myself to beating." And his hashish said to him"Risedoff thy dress."

So he stood upand putting off his clothestook a whip he had by him andset handy a leather pillow. Then he fell to lashing himselflaying every otherblow upon the pillow and roaring out the while-: "Alas! Alas! By Allah'tis a false sayingO my lordand they have lied against mefor I am a poorfisherman and have naught of the goods of the world!" The noise of the whipfalling on the pillow and on his person resounded in the still of night and thefolk heard itand amongst others the merchantsand they said: "Whatevercan ail the poor fellowthat he crieth and we hear the noise of blows fallingon him? 'Twould seem robbers have broken in upon him and are tormentinghim." Presently they all came forth of their lodgings at. the noise of theblows and the cryingand repaired to Khalifah's roombut they found the doorlocked and said one to other: "Belike the robbers have come in upon himfrom the back of the adjoining saloon. It behooveth us to climb over by theroofs."

So they clomb over the roofsand coming down through the skylightsaw himnaked and flogging himselfand asked him"What aileth theeOKhalifah?" He answered: "KnowO folkthat I have gained some dinarsand fear lest my case be carried up to the Prince of True BelieversHarunal-Rashidand he send for me and demand of me those same gold pieces; whereuponI should denyand I fear that if I denyhe will torture meso I am torturingmyselfby way of accustoming me to what may come." The merchants laughedat him and said: "Leave this fooling. May Allah not bless thee and thedinars thou hast gotten! Verily thou hast disturbed us this night and hasttroubled our hearts."

So Khalifah left flogging himself and slept till the morningwhen he roseand would have gone about his businessbut bethought him of his hundred dinarsand said in his mind: "An I leave them at homethieves will steal themand if I put them in a belt about my waistperadventure someone will see me andlay in wait for me till he come upon me in some lonely place and slay me andtake the money. But I have a device that should serve me wellright well."So he jumped up forthright and made him a pocket in the collar of his gabardineand tying the hundred dinars up in a purselaid them in the collar pocket. Thenhe took his net and basket and staff and went down to the Tigriswhere he madea castbut brought up naught. So he removed from that place to another andthrew againbut once more the net came up empty. And he went on removing fromplace to place till he had gone half a day's journey from the cityever castingthe netwhich kept bringing up naught. So he said to himself"By AllahIwill throw my net a-stream but this once morewhether ill come of it orweal!"

Then he hurled the net with all his forceof the excess of his wrathandthe purse with the hundred dinars flew out of his collar pocket andlighting inmidstreamwas carried away by the strong current. Whereupon he threw down thenetand doffing his clothesleft them on the bank and plunged into the waterafter the purse. He dived for it nigh a hundred timestill his strength wasexhausted and he came up for sheer fatiguewithout chancing on it. When hedespaired of finding the pursehe returned to the shorewhere he saw nothingbut staffnetand basket and sought for his clothes but could light on notrace of them. So he said in himself: "O vilest of those wherefor was madethe byword: 'The pilgrimage is not perfected save by copulation with thecamel!"' Then he wrapped the net about himand taking staff in one handand basket in otherwent trotting about like a camel in rutrunning right andleft and backward and forwarddisheveled and dustyas he were a rebel Maridlet loose from Solomon's prison.

So far for what concerns the fisherman Khalifah; but as regards the CaliphHarun al-Rashidhe had a frienda jeweler called Ibn al-Kirnasand all thetradersbrokersand middlemen knew him for the Caliph's merchant. Whereforethere was naught sold in Baghdad by way of rarities and things of price orMamelukes or handmaidens but was first shown to him. As he sat one day in hisshopbeholdthere came up to him the Sheikh of the brokerswith a slave girlwhose like seers never sawfor she was of passing beauty and lovelinesssymmetry and perfect graceand among her gifts that she knew all arts andsciences and could make verses and play upon all manner musical instruments. SoIbn al-Kirnas bought her for five thousand golden dinars and clothed her withother thousand. After which he carried her to the Prince of True Believerswithwhom she lay the nightand who made trial of her in every kind of knowledge andaccomplishment and found her versed in all sorts of arts and scienceshaving noequal in her time. Her name was Kut al-Kulub and she was even as saith the poet:-

I fix my glance on herwhene'er she wends

And nonacceptance of my glance breeds pain.

She favors graceful-necked gazelle at gaze

And "Graceful as gazelle" to say we're fain. -

On the morrow the Caliph sent for Ibn al-Kirnasthe jewelerand bade himreceive ten thousand dinars to her price. And his heart was taken up with theslave girl Kut al-Kulub and he forsook the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasimfor allshe was the daughter of his father's brotherand he abandoned all his favoriteconcubines and abode a whole month without stirring from Kut al-Kulub's sidesave to go to the Friday prayers and return to her all in haste. This wasgrievous to the lords of the realm and they complained thereof to the WazirJa'afar the Barmecidewho bore with the Commander of the Faithful and waitedtill the next Fridaywhen he entered the cathedral mosque andforgatheringwith the Caliphrelated to him all that occurred to him of extraordinarystories anent seld-seen love and loverswith intent to draw out what was in hismind.

Quoth the Caliph"By AllahO Ja'afarthis is not of my choicebut myheart is caught in the snare of love and wot I not what is to be done!" TheWazir Ja'afar replied: "O Commander of the Faithfulthou knowest how thisgirl Kut al-Kulub is become at thy disposal and of the number of thy servantsand that which hand possesseth soul coveteth not. MoreoverI will tell theeanother thingwhich is that the highest boast of kings and princes is inhunting and the pursuit of sport and victory; and if thou apply thyself to thisperchance it will divert thee from herand it may be thou wilt forgether." Rejoined the Caliph: "Thou sayest wellO Ja'afar. Come let usgo a-hunting forthrightwithout stay or delay." So soon as Friday prayerswere prayedthey left the mosqueand at once mounting their she-mulesrodeforth to the chaseoccupied with talkand their attendants outwent them.

Presently the heat became overhot and Al-Rashid said to his Wazir"OJa'afarI am sore athirst." Then he looked aroundand espying a figure inthe distance on a high moundasked Ja'afar"Seest thou what I see?"Answered the Wazir: "Yes; O Commander of the Faithful. I see a dim figureon a high mound. Belike he is the keeper of a garden or of a cucumber plotandin whatso wise water will not be lacking in his neighborhood" presentlyadding"I will go to him and fetch thee some." But Al-Rashid said:"My mule is swifter than thy muleso do thou abide hereon account of thetroopswhilst I go myself to him and get of this person drink and return."So sayinghe urged his she-mulewhich started off like racing wind or railingwaterand in the twinkling of an eye made the moundwhere he found the figurehe hadseen to be none other than Khalifah the fishermannaked and wrapped inthe net.

And indeed he was horrible to beholdas to and fro he rolled with eyes forvery redness like cresset gleam and dusty hair in disheveled trimas he wereIfrit or a lion grim. Al-Rashid saluted him and he returned his salutationbuthe was wrothand fires might have been lit at his breath. Quoth the Caliph"O manhast thou any water?" and quote Khalifah: "Howthouartthou blindor Jinnmad? Get thee to the river Tigrisfor 'tis behind thismound." So Al-Rashid went around the moundand going down to the riverdrank and watered his mule. Then without a moment's delay he returned toKhalifah and said to him"What aileth theeO manto stand hereand whatis thy calling.?" The fisherman cried: "This is a stranger and sillierquestion than that about the water! Seest thou not the gear of my craft on myshoulder?" Said the Caliph"Belike thou art a fisherman?" and hereplied"Yes." Asked Al-Rashid"Where is thy gabardineandwhere are thy waistcloth and girdleand where be the rest of thy raiment?"

Now these were the very things which had been taken from Khalifahlike forlikeso when he heard the Caliph name themhe got into his head that it was hewho had stolen his clothes from the riverbankand coming down from the top ofthe moundswiftlier than the blinding levinlaid hold of the mule's bridlesaying"Hark yemanbring me back my things and leave jesting andjoking." Al-Rashid replied"By AllahI have not seen thy clothesnor know aught of them!" Now the Caliph had large cheeks and a small mouthso Khalifah said to him: "Belike thou art by trade a singeror a piper onpipes? But bring me back my clothes fairly and without more adoor I will bashthee with this my staff till thou bepiss thyself and befoul thy clothes."When Al-Rashid saw the staff in the fisherman's hand and that he had the vantageof himhe said to himself"By AllahI cannot brook from this mad beggarhalf a blow of that staff!" Now he had on a satin gownso he pulled it offand gave it to Khalifahsaying"O mantake this in place of thyclothes." The fisherman took it and turned it about and said"Myclothes are worth ten of this painted aba cloak" and rejoined the Caliph"Put it on till I bring thee thy gear."

So Khalifah donned the gownbut finding it too long for himtook a knife hehad with him tied to the handle of his basketand cut off nigh a third of theskirtso that it fell only beneath his knees. Then he turned to Al-Rashid andsaid to him"Allah upon theeO pipertell me what wage thou gettestevery month from thy masterfor thy craft of piping." Replied the Caliph"My wage is ten dinars a month" and Khalifah continued: "ByAllahmy poor fellowthou makest me sorry for thee! WhyI make thy ten dinarsevery day! Hast thou a mind to take service with meand I will teach thee theart of fishing and share my gain with thee? So shalt thou make five dinars a dayand be my slavey and I will protect thee against thy master with thisstaff." Quoth Al-Rashid"I will well" and quoth Khalifah:"Then get off thy she-ass and tie her upso she may serve us to carry thefish hereafterand come hitherthat I may teach thee to fish forthright."

So Al-Rashid alightedand hobbling his muletucked his skirts into hisgirdleand Khalifah said to him"O piperlay hold of the net thus andput it over thy forearm thus and cast it into the Tigris thus." Accordinglythe Caliph took heart of grace anddoing as the fisherman showed himthrew thenet and pulled at itbut could not draw it up. So Khalifah came to his aid andtugged at it with himbut the two together could not hale it up. Whereupon saidthe fisherman: "O piper of ill-omenfor the first time I took thy gown inplace of my clothesbut this second time I will have thine ass and will beatthee to boot till thou bepiss and beskit thyselfan I find my net torn."Quoth Al-Rashid"Let the twain of us pull at once." So they bothpulled togetherand succeeded with difficulty in hauling that net ashorewhenthey found it full of fish of all kinds and colorsand Khalifah said toAl-Rashid: "By AllahO piperthou art foul of favor but an thou applythyself to fishingthou wilt make a mighty fine fisherman. But now 'twere bestthou bestraddle thine ass and make for the market and fetch me a pair of frailsand I will look after the fish till thou returnwhen I and thou will load it onthine ass's back. I have scales and weights and all we wantso we can take themwith usand thou wilt have nothing to do but to hold the scales and punch theprice. For here we have fish worth twenty dinars. So be fast with the frails andloiter not."

Answered the Caliph"I hear and obey" and mountingleft him withhis fishand spurred his mulein high good humorand ceased not laughing overhis adventure with the fisherman till he came up to Ja'afarwho said to him"O Commander of the Faithfulbelike when thou wentest down to drinkthoufoundest a pleasant flower garden and enteredst and tookest thy pleasure thereinalone?" At this Al-Rashid fell a laughing again and all the Barmecides roseand kissed the ground before himsaying: "O Commander of the FaithfulAllah make joy to endure for thee and do away annoy from thee! What was thecause of thy delaying when thou faredst to drinkand what hath befallenthee?" Quoth the Caliph"Verilya right wondrous tale and a joyousadventure and a wondrous hath befallen me.

And he repeated to them what had passed between himself and the fisherman andhis words"Thou stolest my clothes!" and how he had given him hisgown and how he had cut off a part of itfinding it too long for him. SaidJa'afar"By AllahO Commander of the FaithfulI had it in mind to begthe gown of theebut now I will go straight to the fisherman and buy it ofhim." The Caliph replied"By Allahhe hath cut off a third part ofthe skirt and spoilt it! ButO Ja'afarI am tired with fishing in the riverfor I have caught great store of fishwhich I left on the bank with my masterKhalifahand he is watching them and waiting for me to return to him with acouple of frails and a matchet. Then we are to goI and heto the market andsell the fish and share the price." Ja'afar rejoined"O Commander ofthe FaithfulI will bring you a purchaser for your fish." And Al-Rashidretorted: "O Ja'afarby the virtue of my holy forefatherswhoso bringethme one of the fish that are before Khalifahwho taught me anglingI will givehim for it a gold dinar!" So the crier proclaimed among the troops thatthey should go forth and buy fish for the Caliphand they all arose and madefor the riverside.

Now while Khalifah was expecting the Caliph's return with the two frailsbeholdthe Mamelukes swooped down upon him like vultures and took the fish andwrapped them in gold-embroidered kerchiefsbeating one another in theireagerness to get at the fisherman Whereupon quoth Khalifah"Doubtlessthese are the fish of Paradise!" and hending two fish right hand and leftplunged into the water up to his neck and fell a-saying"O Allahby thevirtue of these fishlet Thy servant the pipermy partnercame to me at thisvery moment." And suddenly up to him came a black slave which was the chiefof the Caliph's Negro eunuchs. He had tarried behind the restby reason of hishorse having stopped to make water by the wayand finding that naught remainedof the fishlittle or muchlooked right and left till he espied Khalifahstanding in the stream with a fish in either handand said to him"ComehitherO Fisherman!" But Khalifah replied"Begone and none of yourimpudence!" So the eunuch went up to him and said"Give me the fishand I will pay thee their price." Replied the fisherman: "Art thoulittle of wit? I will not sell them." Therewith the eunuch drew his maceupon himand Khalifah cried outsaying: "Strike notO loon! Betterlargess than the mace."

So sayinghe threw the two fishes to the eunuchwho took them and laid themin his kerchief. Then he put hand in pouchbut found not a single dirhamandsaid to Khalifah: "O fishermanverily thou art out of luck forby AllahI have not a silver about me! But come tomorrow to the palace of the Caliphateand ask for the eunuch Sandalwhereupon the castratos will direct thee to meand by coming thither thou shalt get what falleth to thy lot and therewith wendthy ways." Quoth Khalifah"Indeedthis is a blessed dayand itsblessedness was manifest from the first of it!"

Then he shouldered his net and returned to Baghdadand as he passed throughthe streetsthe folk saw the Caliph's gown on him and stared at him till hecame to the gate of his quarterby which was the shop of the Caliph's tailor.When the man saw him wearing dress of the apparel of the Caliphworth athousand dinarshe said to him"O Khalifahwhence hadst thou thatgown?" Replied the fisherman: "What aileth thee to be impudent? I hadit of one whom I taught to fish and who is become my apprentice. I forgave himthe cutting off of his hand for that he stole my clothes and gave me this capein their place." So the tailor knew that the Caliph had come upon him as hewas fishing and jested with him and given him the gown.

Such was his casebut as regards Harun al-Rashidhe had gone out a-huntingand a-fishing only to divert his thoughts from the damsel Kut al-Kulub. But whenZubaydah heard of her and of the Caliph's devotion to herthe lady was firedwith the jealousy which the more especially fireth womenso that she refusedmeat and drink and rejected the delights of sleepand awaited the Caliph'sgoing forth on a journey or what notthat she might set a snare for the damsel.So when she learnt that he was gone hunting and fishingshe bade her womenfurnish the palace fairly and decorate it splendidly and serve up viands andconfections. And amongst the rest she made a China dish of the daintiestsweetmeats that can be madewherein she had put bhang.

Then she ordered one of her eunuchs go to the damsel Kut al-Kulub and bid herto the banquetsaying: "The Lady Zubaydah bint alKasimthe wife of theCommander of the Faithfulhath drunken medicine todayand having heard tell ofthe sweetness of thy singinglongeth to divert herself with somewhat of thineart." Kut al-Kulub replied"Hearing and obedience are due to Allahand the Lady Zubaydah" and rose without stay or delayunknowing what washidden for her in the secret purpose. Then she took with her what instrumentsshe needed andaccompanying the eunuchceased not faring till she stood in thepresence of the Princess. When she entered she kissed the ground before heragain and againthen rising to her feetsaid: "Peace be on the Lady ofthe exalted seat and the presence whereto none may availdaughter of the houseAbbasi and scion of the Prophet's family! May Allah fulfill thee of peace andprosperity in the days and the years!"

Then she stood with the rest of the women and eunuchsand presently the LadyZubaydah raised her eyes and considered her beauty and loveliness. She saw adamsel with cheeks smooth as rose and breasts like granadoa face moon-brighta brow flower-whiteand great eyes black as night. Her eyelids werelanguor-dight and her face beamed with lightas if the sun from her foreheadarose and the murks of the night from the locks of her brow. And the fragranceof musk from her breath strayedand flowers bloomed in her lovely face inlaid.The moon beamed from her forehead and in her slender shape the branches swayed.She was like the full moon shining in the nightly shade. Her eyes wantonedhereyebrows were like a bow archedand her lips of coral molded. Her beauty amazedall who espied her and her glances amated all who eyed her. Glory be to Him Whoformed her and fashioned her and perfected her!

Quoth the Lady Zubaydah: "Well comeand welcome and fair cheer to theeO Kut al-Kulub! Sit and divert us with thine art and the goodliness of thineaccomplishments." Quoth the damsel"I hear and I obey" and roseand exhibited tricks of sleight of hand and legerdemain and all manner pleasingartstill the Princess came near to fall in love with her and said to herself"Verilymy cousin Al-Rashid is not to blame for loving her!" Then thedamsel kissed ground before Zubaydah and sat downwhereupon they set foodbefore her. Presently they brought her the drugged dish of sweetmeats and sheate thereofand hardly had it settled in her stomach when her head fellbackward and she sank on the ground sleeping. With thisthe lady said to herwomen"Carry her up to one of the chamberstill I summon her" andthey replied"We hear and we obey. Then said she to one of her eunuchs"Fashion me a chest and bring it hitherto to me!" And shortlyafterward she bade make the semblance of a tomb and spread the report that Kutal-Kulub had choked and diedthreatening her familiars that she would smite theneck of whoever should say"She is alive."

Nowbeholdthe Caliph suddenly returned from the chaseand the firstinquiry he made was for the damsel. So there came to him one of his eunuchswhom the Lady Zubaydah had charged to declare she was dead if the Caliph shouldask for her andkissing ground before himsaid: "May thy head liveO mylord! Be certified that Kut al-Kulub choked in eating and is dead."Whereupon cried Al-Rashid"God never gladden thee with good newsO thoubad slave!" and entered the palacewhere he heard of her death fromeveryone and asked"Where is her tomb?" So they brought him to thesepulcher and showed him the pretended tombsaying"This is her burialplace." The Caliphweeping sore for herabode by the tomb a full hourafter which he arose and went awayin the utmost distress and the deepestmelancholy.

So the Lady Zubaydah saw that her plot had succeededand forthright sent forthe eunuch and said"Hither with the chest!" He set it before herwhen she bade bring the damseland locking her up thereinsaid to the eunuch:"Take all pains to sell this chestand make it a condition with thepurchaser that he buy it locked. Then give alms with its price." So he tookit and went forth to do her bidding.

Thus fared it with thesebut as for Khalifah the fishermanwhen morningmorrowed and shone with its light and sheenhe said to himself"I cannotdo aught better today than visit the eunuch who bought the fish of mefor heappointed me to come to him in the palace of the Caliphate." So he wentforth of his lodgingintending for the palaceand when he came thitherhefound MamelukesNegro slavesand eunuchs standing and sittingand looking atthembeholdseated amongst them was the eunuch who had taken the fish of himwith the white slaves waiting on him. Presentlyone of the Mameluke lads calledout to himwhereupon the eunuch turned to see who he was and lo! it was thefisherman. Now when Khalifah was ware that he saw him and recognized himhesaid to him: "I have not failed theeO my little Tulip! On this wise aremen of their word." Hearing his addressSandal the eunuch laughed andreplied"By Allahthou art rightO Fisherman" and put his hand tohis pouchto give him somewhat. But at that moment there arose a great clamor.So he raised his head to see what was to doand finding that it was the WazirJa'afar the Barmecide coming forth from the Caliph's presencehe rose to himand forewent himand they walked about conversing for a longsome time.

Khalifah the fisherman waited awhilethengrowing weary of standingandfinding that the eunuch took no heed of himhe set himself in his way andbeckoned to him from afarsaying"O my lord Tulipgive me my due and letme go!" The eunuch heard himbut was ashamed to answer him because of theMinister's presenceso he went on talking with Ja'afar and took no noticewhatever of the fisherman. Whereupon quoth Khalifah: "O slow o' pay! MayAllah put to shame all churls and all who take folk's goods and are niggardlywith them! I put myself under thy protectionO my lord Bran-bellyto give memy due and let me go!" The eunuch heard himbut was ashamed to answer himbefore Ja'afarand the Minister saw the fisherman beckoning and talking to himthough he knew not what he was saying. So he said to Sandalmisliking hisbehavior"O Eunuchwhat would yonder beggar with thee?" Sandalreplied"Dost thou not know himO my lord the Wazir?" and Ja'afaranswered: "By Allah I know him not! How should I know a man I have neverseen but at this moment?"

Rejoined the Eunuch: "O my lordthis is the fisherman whose fish weseized on the banks of the Tigris. I came too late to get any and was ashamed toreturn to the Prince of True Believers emptyhanded when all the Mamelukes hadsome. Presently I espied the fisherman standing in midstreamcalling on Allahwith four fishes in his handsand said to him'Give me what thou hast thereand take their worth.' He handed me the fish and I put my hand into my pocketpurposing to gift him with somewhatbut found naught therein and said'Come tome in the palaceand I will give thee wherewithal to aid thee in thy poverty.'So he came to me today and I was putting hand to pouchthat I might give himsomewhatwhen thou camest forth and I rose to wait on thee and was divertedwith thee from himtill he grew tired of waiting. And this is the whole storyhow he cometh to be standing here."

The Wazirhearing this accountsmiled and said: "O Eunuchhow is itthat this fisherman cometh in his hour of need and thou satisfiest him not? Dostthou not know himO chief of the eunuchs?" "No" answeredSandaland Ja'afar said. "This is the master of the Commander of theFaithfuland his partner and our lord the Caliph hath arisen this morningstrait of breastheavy of heartand troubled in thoughtnor is there aughtwill broaden his breast save this fisherman. So let him not go till I crave theCaliph's pleasure concerning him and bring him before him. Perchance Allah willrelieve him of his oppression and console him for the loss of Kut al-Kulub bymeans of the fisherman's presenceand he will give him wherewithal to? betterhimselfand thou wilt be the cause of this." Replied Sandal: "O mylorddo as thou wiltand may Allah Almighty long continue thee a pillar of thedynasty of the Commander of the Faithfulwhose shadow Allah perpetuate andprosper itroot and branch!"

Then the Wazir Ja'afar rose up and went in to the Caliphand Sandal orderedthe Mamelukes not to leave the fishermanwhereupon Khalifah cried: "Howgoodly is thy bountyO Tulip! The seeker is become the sought. I come to seekmy dueand they imprison me for debts in arrears!" When Ja'afar came intothe presence of the Caliphhe found him sitting with his head bowed earthwardbreast straitened and mind melancholyhumming the verses of the poet: -

My blamers instant bid that I for her become consoled

But Iwhat can I dowhose heart declines to be controlled?

And how can I in patience bear the loss of lovely maid

When fails me patience for a love that holds with firmest hold!

Ne'er I'll forget her nor the bowl that 'twixt us both went round

And wine of glances maddened me with drunkenness ensouled. -

Whenas Ja'afar stood in the presencehe said: "Peace be upon theeOCommander of the FaithfulDefender of the honor of the Faith and descendant ofthe uncle of the Prince of the ApostlesAllah assain him and save him and hisfamily one and an!" The Caliph raised his head and answered"And onthee be. peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings!" Quoth Ja'afar"With leave of the Prince of True Believershis servant would speakwithout restraint." Asked the Caliph: "And when was restraint put uponthee in speechand thou the Prince of Wazirs? Say what thou wilt."Answered Ja'afar: "When I went outO my lordfrom before theeintendingfor my houseI saw standing at the door thy master and teacher and partnerKhalifah the fishermanwho was aggrieved at thee and complained of theesaying: 'Glory be to God! I taught him to fish and he went away to fetch me apair of frailsbut never came back. And this is not the way of a good partneror of a good apprentice.' Soif thou hast a mind to partnershipwell and good;and if nottell himthat he may take to partner another."

Now when the Caliph heard these wordshe smiled and his straitness of breastwas done away with and he said"My life on theeis this the truth thousayestthat the fisherman standeth at the door?" and Ja'afar replied"By thy lifeO Commander of the Faithfulhe standeth at the door."Quoth the Caliph: "O Ja'afarby AllahI will assuredly do my best to givehim his due! If Allah at my hands send him miseryhe shall have itand ifprosperityhe shall have it." Then he took a piece of paperand cuttingit in piecessaid to the Wazir: "O Ja'afarwrite down with thine own handtwenty sums of moneyfrom one dinar to a thousandand the names of all kindsof offices and dignities from the least appointment to the Caliphate; alsotwenty kinds of punishmentfrom the hightest beating to death." "Ihear and I obeyO Commander of the Faithful" answered Ja'afarand did ashe was bidden.

Then said the Caliph: "O Ja'afarI swear by my holy forefathers and bymy kinship to Hamzah and Akilthat I mean to summon the fisherman and bid himtake one of these paperswhose contents none knoweth save thou and I. Andwhatsoever is written in the paper which he shall chooseI will give it to him.Though it be the CaliphateI will divest myself thereof and invest himtherewith and grudge it not to him. And on the other handif there be writtentherein hanging or mutilation or deathI will execute it upon him. Now go andfetch him to me." When Ja'afar heard thishe said to himself: "Thereis no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great' Itmay be somewhat will fall to this poor wretch's lot that will bring about hisdestruction and I shall be the cause. But the Caliph hath swornso nothingremains now but to bring him inand naught will happen save whatso Allahwilleth." Accordingly he went out to Khalifah the fisherman and laid holdof his handto carry him in to the Caliphwhereupon his reason fled and hesaid in himself: "What a stupid I was to come after yonder ill-omenedslaveTulipwhereby he hath brought me in company with Bran-belly!"Ja'afar fared on with himwith Mamelukes before and behindwhilst he said"Doth not arrest sufficebut these must go behind and before meto hindermy making off?" till they had traversed seven vestibuleswhen the Wazirsaid to him: "Mark my wordsO Fisherman! Thou standest before theCommander of the Faithful and Defender of the Faith!"

Then he raised the great curtain and Khalifah's eyes fell on the Caliphwhowas seated on his couchwith the lords of the realm standing in attendance uponhim. As soon as he knew himhe went up to him and said: "Well comeandwelcome to theeO piper! 'Twas not right of thee to make thyself a fishermanand go awayleaving me sitting to guard the fishand never to return! Forbefore I was awarethere came up Mamelukes on beasts of all manner colorsandsnatched away the fish from meI standing alone. And this was all of thy faultfor hadst thou returned with the frails forthrightwe had sold a hundreddinars' worth of fish. And now I come to seek my dueand they have arrested me.But thouwho hath imprisoned thee also in this place?" The Caliph smiledand raising a corner of the curtainput forth his head and said to thefisherman"Come hither and take thee one of these papers." QuothKhalifah the fisherman: "Yesterday thou wast a fishermanand today thouhast become an astrologerbut the more trades a man haththe poorer hewaxeth." Thereupon Ja'afar said: "Take the paper at onceand do asthe Commander of the Faithful biddeth theewithout prating."

So he came forward and put forth his hand saying"Far be it from methat this piper should ever again be my knave and fish with me!" Thentaking the paperhe handed it to the Caliphsaying: "O piperwhat hathcome out for me therein? Hide naught thereof." So Al-Rashid received it andpassed it on to Ja'afar and said to him"Read what is therein." Helooked at it and said"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save inAllahthe Gloriousthe Great!" Said the Caliph: "Good newsOJa'afar? What seest thou therein?" Answered the Wazir: "O Commander ofthe Faithful there came up from the paper'Let the Fisherman receive a hundredblows with a stick.'" So the Caliph commanded to beat the Fisherman andthey gave him a hundred sticksafter which he rosesaying: "Allah damnthisO Branbelly! Are jail and sticks part of the game?"

Then said Ja'afar: " O Commander of the Faithfulthis poor devil iscome to the riverand how shall he go away thirsting? We hope that among thealms deeds of the Commander of the Faithful he may have leave to take anotherpaperso haply somewhat may come out wherewithal he may succor hispoverty." Said the Caliph: "By AllahO Ja'afarif he take anotherpaper and death be written thereinI will assuredly kill himand thou wilt bethe cause." Answered Ja'afar"If he die he will be at rest." ButKhalifah the fisherman said to him: "Allah ne'ergladden thee with goodnews! Have I made Baghdad strait upon youthat ye seek to slay me?" QuothJa'afar"Take thee a paperand crave the blessing of AllahAlmighty!"

So he put out his handand taking a papergave it to Ja'afarwho read itand was silent. The Caliph asked"Why art thou silentO son ofYahya?" and he answered: "O Commander of the Faithfulthere hath comeout on this paper'Naught shall be given to the fisherman."' Then said theCaliph: "His daily bread will not come from us. Bid him fare forth frombefore our face." Quoth Ja'afar: "By the claims of thy piousforefatherslet him take a third paper. It may be it will bring himalimony" and quoth the Caliph"Let him take one and no more."

So he put out his hand and took a third paperand beholdtherein waswritten"Let the Fisherman be given one dinar." Ja'afar cried to him"I sought good fortune for theebut Allah willed not to thee aught savethis dinar." And Khalifah answered: "Verilya dinar for every hundredsticks were rare good luck. May Allah not send thy body health!" The Caliphlaughed at him and Ja'afar took him by the hand and led him out. When he reachedthe doorSandal the eunuch saw him and said to him: "HitherO Fisherman!Give us portion of that which the Commander of the Faithful hath bestowed onthee whilst jesting with thee." Replied Khalifah: "By AllahO Tulipthou art right! Wilt thou share with meO nigger? IndeedI have eaten stick tothe tune of a hundred blows and have earned one dinarand thou art but toowelcome to it." So sayinghe threw him the dinar and went outwith thetears flowing down the plain of his cheeks.

When the eunuch saw him in this plighthe knew that he had spoken sooth andcalled to the lads to fetch him back. So they brought him back and Sandalputting his hand to his pouchpulled out a red pursewhence he emptied ahundred golden dinars into the fisherman's handsaying"Take this gold inpayment of thy fishand wend thy ways." So Khalifahin high good humortook the hundred ducats and the Caliph's one dinar and went his wayand forgotthe beating.

Now as Allah willed it for the furthering of that which He had decreedhepassed by the mart of the handmaidensand seeing there a mighty ring where manyfolks were forgatheringsaid to himself"What is this crowd?" So hebrake through the merchants and otherswho said"Make wide the way forSkipper Rapscallionand let him

pass." Then he lookedand beholdhe saw a chestwith a eunuch seatedthereon and an old man standing by it-and the Sheikh was crying: "OmerchantsO men of moneywho will hasten and hazard his coin for this chest ofunknown contents from the palace of the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasimwife of theCommander of the Faithful? How much shall I say for you? Allah bless youall!" Quoth one of the merchants; "By Allahthis is a risk! But Iwill say one wordand no blame to me. Be it mine for twenty dinars." Quothanother"Fifty" and they went on biddingone against othertillthe price reached a hundred ducats.

Then said the crier"Will any of you bid moreO merchants?" AndKhalifah the fisherman said"Be it mine for a hundred dinars and onedinar." The merchantshearing these wordsthought he was jesting andlaughed at himsaying"O Eunuchsell it to Khalifah for a hundred dinarsand one dinar!" Quoth the eunuch: "By AllahI will sell it to nonebut him! Take itO Fisherman. The Lord bless thee in itand here with thygold." So Khalifah pulled out the ducats and gave them to the eunuchwhothe bargain being duly madedelivered to him the chest and bestowed the pricein alms on the spotafter which he returned to the palace and acquainted theLady Zubaydah with what he had donewhereat she rejoiced. Meanwhile thefisherman hove the chest on shoulderbut could not carry it on this wise forthe excess of its weightso he lifted it onto his head and thus bore it to thequarter where he lived. Here he set it downand being wearysat awhilebemusing what had befallen him and saying in himself"Would Heaven I knewwhat is in this chest!"

Then he opened the door of his lodging and haled the chest till he got itinto his closetafter which he strove to open itbut failed. Quoth he:"What folly possessed me to buy this chest? There is no help for it but tobreak it open and see what is herein." So he applied himself to the lockbut could not open itand said to himself"I will leave it tilltomorrow." Then he would have stretched him out to sleepbut could find noroomfor the chest filled the whole closet. So he got upon it and lay him down.But when he had lain awhilebeholdhe felt something stir under himwhereatsleep forsook him and his reason fled. So he arose and cried: "Meseemsthere be Jinns in the chest. Praise to Allah Who suffered me not to open it! Forhad I done sothey had risen against me in the dark and slain meand from themwould have befallen me naught of good."

Then he lay down againwhen lo! the chest moved a second timemore thanbeforewhereupon he sprang to his feet and said: "There it goes again. Butthis is terrible!" And he hastened to look for the lampbut could not findit and had not the wherewithal to buy another. So he went forth and cried out"Hopeople of the quarter!" Now the most part of the folk wereasleepbut they awoke at his crying and asked"What aileth theeOKhalifah?" He answered"Bring me a lampfor the Jinn are uponme." They laughed at him and gave him a lampwherewith he returned to hiscloset. Then he smote the lock of the chest with a stone and broke itandopening itsaw a damsel like a houri lying asleep within. Now she had beendrugged with bhangbut at that moment she threw up the stuff and awoke. Thenshe opened her eyesand feeling herself confined and crampedmoved. At thissight quoth Khalifah"By AllahO my ladywhence art thou?" andquoth she"Bring me jessamineand narcissus." And Khalifah answered"There is naught here but henna flowers."

Thereupon she came to herselfand considering Khalifahsaid to him"What art thou?" presently adding"And where am I?" Hesaid"Thou art in my lodging." Asked she"Am I not in thepalace of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid?" And quoth he: "What manner ofthing is Al-Rashid? O madwomanThou art naught but my slave girl. I bought theethis very day for a hundred dinars and one dinarand brought thee homeandthou wast asleep in this here chest." When she heard these words she saidto him"What is thy name?" Said he: "My name is Khalifah. Howcomes my star to have grown propitiouswhen I know my ascendant to have beenotherwise?" She laughed and cried: "Spare me this talk! Hast thouanything to eat?" Replied he: "Noby Allahnor yet to drink! I havenot eaten these two daysand am now in want of a morsel." She asked"Hast thou no money?" and he said: "Allah keep this chest whichhath beggared me. I gave all I had for it and am become bankrupt."

The damsel laughed at him and said: "Up with thee and seek of thyneighbors somewhat for me to eatfor I am hungry." So he went forth andcried out"Hopeople of the quarter!" Now the folk were asleepbutthey awoke and asked"What aileth theeO Khalifah?" Answered he"O my neighborsI am hungry and have nothing to eat." So one camedown to him with a bannock and another with broken meats and a third with abittock of cheese and a fourth with a cucumberand so on till his lap was fulland he returned to his closet and laid the whole between her handssaying"Eat." But she laughed at himsaying: "How can I eat of thiswhen I have not a mug of water whereof to drink? I fear to choke with a mouthfuland die." Quoth he"I will fill thee this pitcher." So he tookthe pitcherand going forthstood 'm the midst of the street and cried outsaying"Hopeople of the quarter!" Quoth they"What calamityis upon thee tonightO Khalifah!" And he said"Ye gave me food and Iatebut now I am athirstso give me to drink."

Thereupon one came down to him with a mug and another with an ewer and athird with a guggletand he filled his pitcherand bearing it backsaid tothe damsel"O my ladythou lackest nothing now." Answered she"TrueI want nothing more at this present." Quoth he"Speak tome and say me thy story." And quoth she: "Fie upon thee! An thouknowest me notI will tell thee who I am. I am Kut al-Kulubthe Caliph'shandmaidenand the Lady Zubaydah was jealous of meso she drugged me withbhang and set me in this chest" presently adding: "Alhamdolillah-praised be God- for that the matter hath come to easy issue and no worse! Butthis befell me not save for thy good luckfor thou wilt certainly get of theCaliph Al-Rashid money galorethat will be the means of thine enrichment."Quoth Khalifah"Is not Al-Rashid he in whose palace I wasimprisoned?" "Yes" answered sheand he said: "By Allahnever saw I more niggardly wight than hethat piper little of good and wit! Hegave me a hundred blows with a stick yesterday and but one dinarfor all Itaught him to fish and made him my partnerbut he played me false."Replied she: "Leave this unseemly talkand open thine eyes and look thoubear thyself respectfully whenas thou seest him after thisand thou shalt winthy wish."

When he heard her wordsit was if he had been asleep and awokeand Allahremoved the veil from his judgmentbecause of his good luckand he answered"O my head and eyes!" Then said he to her"Sleepin the name ofAllah." So she lay down and fell asleep (and he afar from her) till themorningwhen she sought of him ink case and paperand when they were broughtwrote to Ibn al-Kirnasthe Caliph's friendacquainting him with her case andhow at the end of all that had befallen her she was with Khalifah the fishermanwho had bought her. Then she gave him the scrollsaying-"Take this and hiethee to the jewel market and ask for the shop of Ibn al-Kirnas the Jeweler andgive him this paperand speak not." "I hear and I obey"answered Khalifahand going with the scroll to the marketinquired for theshop of Ibn al-Kirnas. They directed him thitherand on entering it he salutedthe merchantwho returned his salaam with contempt and said to him"Whatdost thou want?" Thereupon he gave him the letter

and he took itbut read it notthinking the fisherman a beggar who soughtan alms of himand said to one of his lads"Give him half a dirham."Quoth Khalifah: "I want no alms. Read the paper."

So Ibn al-Kirnas took the letter and read itand no sooner knew its importthan he kissed it and laid it on his head. Then he arose and said to Khalifah"O my brotherwhere is thy house?" Asked Khalifah: "What wantestthou with my house? Wilt thou go thither and steal my slave girl?" Then Ibnal-Kirnas answered: "Not so. On the contraryI will buy thee somewhatwhereof you may eatthou and she." So he said"My house is in such aquarter" and the merchant rejoined: "Thou hast done well. May Allahnot give thee healthO unlucky one!" Then he called out to two of hisslaves and said to them: "Carry this man to the shop of Mohsin the shroffand say to him'O Mohsingive this man a thousand dinars of gold' then bringhim back to me in haste."

So they carried him to the money-changerwho paid him the moneyandreturned with him to their masterwhom they found mounted on a dapple she-muleworth a thousand dinarswith Mamelukes and pages about himand by his sideanother mule like his ownsaddled and bridled. Quoth the jeweler to Khalifah"Bismillahmount this mule." Replied he"I won'tfor by AllahI fear she throw me" and quoth Ibn al-Kirnas"By Godneeds mustthou mount." So he came upand mounting herface to cruppercaught holdof her tail and cried outwhereupon she threw him on the ground and theylaughed at him. But he rose and said"Did I not tell thee I would notmount this great jenny-ass?" Thereupon Ibn al-Kirnas left him in themarketand repairing to the Caliphtold him of the damselafter which hereturned and removed her to his own house.

Meanwhile Khalifah went home to look after the handmaid and found the peopleof the quarter forgathering and saying: "VerilyKhalifah is today in aterrible pickle! Would we knew whence he can have gotten this damsel!"Quoth one of them: "He is a mad pimp. Haply he found her lying on the roaddrunkenand carried her to his own houseand his absence showeth that heknoweth his offense." As they were talkingbeholdup came Khalifahandthey said to him: "What a plight is thineO unhappy! Knowest thou not whatis come to thee?" He replied"Noby Allah!" and they said:"But just now there came Mamelukes and took away thy slave girl whom thoustolestand sought for theebut found thee not." Asked Khalifah"And how came they to take my slave girl?" and quoth one"Had hefallen in their waythey had slain him."

But heso far from heeding themreturned running to the shop of Ibnal-Kirnaswhom he met ridingand said to him: "By Allah'twas not rightof thee to wheedle me and meanwhile send thy Mamelukes to take my slavegirl!" Replied the jeweler"O idiotcome with meand hold thytongue." So he took him and carried him into a house handsomely buildedwhere he found the damsel seated on a couch of goldwith ten slave girls likemoons round her. Sighting herIbn al-Kirnas kissed ground before herand shesaid"What hast thou done with my new masterwho bought me with all heowned?" He replied"O my ladyI gave him a thousand golden dinars'and related to her Khalifah's history from first to lastwhereat she laughedand said: "Blame him notfor he is but a common wight. These otherthousand dinars are a gift from me to himand Almighty Allah willinghe shallwin of the Caliph what shall enrich him."

As they were talkingthere came a eunuch from the Commander of the Faithfulin quest of Kut al-Kulubfor when he knew that she was in the house of Ibnal-Kirnashe could not endurethe severancebut bade bring her forthwith. Soshe repaired to the Palacetaking Khalifah with herand going into thepresencekissed ground before the Caliphwho rose to hersaluting andwelcoming herand asked her how she had fared with him who had brought her. Shereplied: "He is a manKhalifah the fisherman hightand there he standethat the door. He telleth me that he hath an account to settle with the Commanderof the Faithfulby reason of a partnership between him and the Caliph infishing." Asked Al-Rashid"Is he at the door?" and she answered"Yes." So the Caliph sent for him and he kissed ground before him andwished him endurance of glory and prosperity. The Caliph marveled at him andlaughed at himand said to him"O Fishermanwast thou in very deed mypartner yesterday?" Khalifah took his meaningand heartening his heart andsummoning spiritreplied: "By Him who bestowed upon thee the succession tothy cousinI know her not in anywise and have had no commerce with her save byway of sight and speech!"

Then he repeated to him all that had befallen him since he last saw himwhereat the Caliph laughed and his breast broadened and he said to Khalifah"Ask of us what thou wiltO thou who bringest to owners their own!"But he was silentso the Caliph ordered him fifty thousand dinars of gold and acostly dress of honor such as great sovereigns donand a she-muleand gave himblack slaves of the Sudan to serve himso that he became as he were one of thekings of that time. The Caliph was rejoiced at the recovery of his favorite andknew that all this was the doing of his cousin-wifethe Lady Zubaydahwherefore hewas sore enraged against her and held aloof from her a greatwhilevisiting her notneither inclining to pardon her. When she was certifiedof thisshe was sore concerned for his wrathand her facethat was wont to berosywaxed pale and wan tillwhen her patience was exhaustedshe sent aletter to her cousinthe Commander of the Faithfulmaking her excuses to himand confessing her offensesand ending with these verses: -

I long once more the love that was between us to regain

That I may quench the fire of grief and bate the force of bane.

O lord of mehave ruth upon the stress my passion deals

Enough to me is what you doled of sorrow and of pain.

'Tis life to me an deign you keep the troth you deigned to plight

'Tis death to me an troth you break and fondest vows profane.

Given I've sinned a sorry sinyet grant me ruthfor naught

By Allahsweeter is than friend who is of pardon fain. - When the LadyZubaydah's letter reached the Caliphand reading ithe saw that she confessedher offense and sent her excuses to him thereforhe said to himself"Verilyall sins doth Allah forgive-ayeGraciousMerciful is He!"And he returned her an answer expressing satisfaction and pardon and forgivenessfor what was pastwhereat she rejoiced greatly.

As for Khalifah the fishermanthe Caliph assigned him a monthly solde offifty dinarsand took him into especial favorwhich would lead to rank anddignityhonor and worship. Then he kissed ground before the Commander of theFaithful and went forth with stately gait. When he came to the doorthe eunuchSandalwho had given him the hundred dinarssaw himand knowing himsaid tohim"O Fishermanwhence all this?" So he told him all that hadbefallen himfirst and lastwhereat Sandal rejoicedbecause he had been thecause of his enrichmentand said to him"Wilt thou not give me largess ofthis wealth which is now become thine?" So Khalifah put hand to pouch andtaking out a purse containing a thousand dinarsgave it to the eunuchwhosaid"Keep thy coinsand Allah bless thee therein!" and marveled athis manliness and at the liberality of his soulfor all his late poverty.

Thenleaving the eunuchKhalifah mounted his she-mule and rodewith theslaves' hands on her cruppertill he came to his lodging at the khanwhilstthe folk stared at him in surprise for that which had betided him ofadvancement. When he alighted from his beastthey accosted him and inquired thecause of his change from poverty to prosperityand he told them an that hadhappened to him from incept to conclusion. Then he bought a fine mansion andlaid out thereon much moneytill it was perfect in all points. And he took uphis abode therein and was wont to recite thereon these two couplets: -

Behold a house that's like the Dwelling of Delight

Its aspect heals the sick and banishes despite.

Its sojourn for the great and wise appointed is

And Fortune fair therein abideth day and night. -

Thenas soon as he was settled in his househe sought him in marriage thedaughter of one of the chief men of the citya handsome girland went in untoher and led a life of solace and satisfactionjoyaunce and enjoyment; and herose to passing affluence and exceeding prosperity. So when he found himself inthis fortunate conditionhe offered up thanks to Allah (extolled and excelledbe He!) for what He had bestowed on him of wealth exceeding and of favors eversucceedingpraising his Lord with the praise of the grateful. And thereafterKhalifah continued to pay frequent visits to the Caliph Harun al-Rashidwithwhom he found acceptance and who ceased not to overwhelm him with boons andbounty. And he abode in the enjoyment of the utmost honor and happiness and joyand gladnessand in riches more than sufficing and in rank ever rising- briefa sweet life and a savorypure as pleasurabletill there came to him dieDestroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. And extolled be theperfection of Him to whom belong glory and permanence and He is the LivingtheEternalwho shall never die!

And amongst the tales theytell is one of

ABU KIR THE DYER AND ABU SIR THE BARBER -

THERE dwelt oncein Alexander citytwo menof whom one was a dyerby nameof Abu Kirand the other a barberAbu Sirand they were neighbors in themarket streetwhere their shops stood side by side. The dyer was a swindler anda liaran exceeding wicked wightas if indeed his head temples were hewn outof a boulder rock or fashioned of the threshold of a Jewish synagoguenor washe ashamed of any shameful work he wrought amongst the folk. It was his wontwhen any brought him cloth for stainingfirst to require of him payment underpretense of buying dyestuffs therewith. So the customer would give him the wagein advance and wend his waysand the dyer would spend all he received on meatand drinkafter which he would sell the cloth itself as soon as ever its ownerturned his back and waste its worth in eating and drinking not elsefor he atenot but of the daintiest and most delicate viands nor drank but of the best ofthat which doth away the wit of man. And when the owner of the cloth came tohimhe would say to him"Return to me tomorrow before sunrise and thoushalt find thy stuff dyed."

So the customer would go awaysaying to himself"One day is nearanother day" and return next day at the appointed timewhen the dyerwould say to him: "Come tomorrow. Yesterday I was not at workfor I hadwith me guests and was occupied with doing what their wants required till theywentbut tomorrow before sunrise come and take thy cloth dyed." So hewould fare forth and return on the third daywhen Abu Kir would say to him:"Indeed yesterday I was excusablefor my wife was brought to bed in thenightand all day I was busy with manifold mattersbut tomorrowwithout failcome and take thy cloth dyed." When the man came again at the appointedtimehe would put him off with some other pretenseit mattered little whatand would swear to himas often as he cametill the customer lost patience andsaid"How often wilt thou say to me'Tomorrow?' Give me my stuffI willnot have it dyed." Whereupon the dyer would make answer: "By AllahOmy brotherI am abashed at theebut I must tell the truth and may Allah harmall who harm folk in their goods!" The other would exclaim"Tell mewhat hath happened" and Abu Kir would reply: "As for thy stuffIdyed that same on matchless wise and hung it on the drying ropebut 'twasstolen and I know not who stole it." If the owner of the stuff were of thekindly he would say"Allah will compensate me" and if he were of theill-conditionedhe would haunt him with exposure and insultbut would getnothing of himthough he complained of him to the judge.

He ceased not doing thus till his report was noised abroad among the folk andeach used to warn other against Abu Kirwho became a byword amongst them. Sothey all held aloof from him and none would be entrapped by him save those whowere ignorant of his character; but for all thishe failed not daily to sufferinsult and exposure from Allah's creatures. By reason of this his trade becameslackand he used to go to the shop of his neighbor the barber Abu Sir and sittherefacing the dyery and with his eyes on the door. Whenever he espied anyonewho knew him not standing at the dyery door with a piece of stuff in his handhe would leave the barber's booth and go up to him saying"What seekestthouO thou?" and the man would reply"Take and dye me thisthing." So the dyer would ask"What color wilt thou have it?"Forwith all his knavish trickshis hand was in all manner of dyes. But he wasnever true to anyonewherefore poverty had gotten the better of him. Then hewould take the stuff and say"Give me my wage in advanceand cometomorrow and take the stuff." So the stranger would advance him the moneyand wend his waywhereupon Abu Kir would carry the cloth to the market streetand sell it and with its price buy meat and vegetables and tobacco and fruit andwhat not else he needed. But whenever he saw anyone who had given him stuff todye standing at the door of his shophe would not come forth to him or evenshow himself to him.

On this wise he abode years and yearstill it fortuned one day that hereceived cloth to dye from a man of wrathand sold it and spent the proceeds.The owner came to him every daybut found him not in his shop; for whenever heespied anyone who had claim against himhe would flee from him into the shop ofthe barberAbu Sir. At last that angry manfinding that he was not to be seenand growing weary of such workrepaired to the kaziand bringing one of hissergeants to the shopnailed up the doorin presence of a number of Moslemsand sealed itfor that he saw therein naught save some broken pans ofearthenwareto stand him instead of his stuff. After which the sergeant tookthe keysaying to the neighbors"Tell him to bring back this man's cloththen come to me and take his shop-key" and went his wayhe and the man.

Then said Abu Sir to Abu Kir: "What ill business is this? Whoeverbringeth thee aughtthou losest it for him. What hath become of this angryman's stuff.?" Answered the dyer"O my neighbor'twas stolen fromme." "Prodigious!" exclaimed the barber. "Whenever anyonegiveth thee aughta thief stealeth it from thee! Art thou then the meetingplace of every rogue upon town? But I doubt me thou liestso tell me thetruth." Replied Abu Kir"O my neighbornone hath stolen aught fromme." Asked Abu Sir"What then dost thou with the people'sproperty?" and the dyer answered"Whenever anyone giveth me aught todyeI sell it and spend the price." Quoth Abu Sir"Is this permittedthee of Allah?" and quoth Abu Kir"I do this only out of povertybecause business is slack with me and I am poor and have nothing." And hewent on to complain to him of the dullness of his trade and his lack of means.

Abu Sir in like manner lamented the little profit of his own callingsaying:"I am a master of my craft and have not my equal in this citybut no onecometh to me to be polledbecause I am a pauper. And I loathe this art andmysteryO my brother." Abu Kir replied: "And I also loathe my owncraftby reason of its slackness. ButO my brotherwhat call is there for ourabiding in this town? Let us depart from itI and thouand solace ourselves inthe lands of mankindcarrying in our hands our crafts which are in demand allthe world over. So shall we breathe the airand rest from this grievoustrouble." And he ceased not to command travel to Abu Sir till the barberbecame wishful to set outso they agreed upon their route. When they agreed totravel togetherAbu Kir said to Abu Sir: "O my neighborwe are becomebrethren and there is no difference between usso it behooveth us to recite thefatihah that he of us who gets work shall of his gain feed him who is out ofworkand whatever is leftwe will lay in a chest. And when we return toAlexandriawe will divide it fairly and equally." "So be it"replied Abu Sirand they repeated the opening chapter of the Koran on thisunderstanding.

Then Abu Sir locked up his shop and gave the key to its ownerwhilst Abu Kirleft his door locked and sealed and let the key lie with the kazi's sergeant.After which they took their baggage and embarked on the morrow in a galleon uponthe salt sea. They set sail the same day and fortune attended themforof AbuSir's great good luckthere was not a barber in the shipalbeit it carried ahundred and twenty menbesides captain and crew. So when they loosed the sailsthe barber said to the dyer: "O my brotherthis is the seaand we shallneed meat and drink. We have but little provaunt with us and haply the voyagewill be long upon uswherefore methinks I will shoulder my budget and passamong the passengersand maybe someone will say to me'Come hitherO barberand shave me' and I will shave him for a scone or a silver bit or a draught ofwater. So shall we profit by thisI and thou too." "There's no harmin that" replied the dyerand laid down his head and sleptwhilst thebarber took his gear and water tasseand throwing over his shoulder a rag toserve as napkin (because he was poor)passed among the passengers.

Quoth one of them"Homastercome and shave me." So he shavedhimand the man gave him a half-dirhamwhereupon quoth Abu Sir: "O mybrotherI have no use for this bit. Hadst thou given me a scone'twere moreblessed to me in this seafor I have a shipmateand we are short ofprovision." So he gave him a loaf and a slice of cheese and filled him thetasse with sweet water. The barber carried all this to Abu Kir and said"Eat the bread and cheese and drink the water." Accordingly he ate anddrankwhilst Abu Sir again took up his shaving gear andtasse in hand and ragon shoulderwent round about the deck among the passengers. One man he shavedfor two scones and another for a bittock of cheeseand he was in demandbecause there was no other barber on board. Also he bargained with everyone whosaid to him"Homastershave me!" for two loaves and a half-dirhamand they gave him whatever he soughtso that by sundown he had collected thirtyloaves and thirty silvers with store of cheese and olives and botargos. Andbesides these he got from the passengers whatever he asked for and was soon inpossession of things galore.

Amongst the resthe shaved the captainto whom he complained of his lack ofvictual for the voyageand the skipper said to him"That art welcome tobring thy comrade every night and sup with meand have no care for that so longas ye sail with us." Then he returned to the dyerwhom he found asleep. Sohe roused himand when Abu Kir awokehe saw at his head an abundance of breadand cheese and olives and botargos and said"Whence gottest thou allthis?" "From the bounty of Allah Almighty" replied Abu Sir. ThenAbu Kir would have fallen tobut the barber said to him: "Eat not of thisO my brotherbut leave it to serve us another time. For know that I shaved thecaptain and complained to him of our lack of victualwhereupon quoth he:'Welcome to thee! Bring thy comrade and sup both of ye with me every night.' Andthis night we sup with him for the first time."

But Abu Kir replied"My head goeth round with seasickness and I cannotrise from my steadso let me sup off these things and fare thou alone to thecaptain." Abu Sir replied"There is no harm in that" and satlooking at the other as he ateand saw him hew off gobbets as the quarrymanheweth stone from the hill quarries and gulp them down with the gulp of anelephant which hath not eaten for daysbolting another mouthful ere he hadswallowed the previous one and glaring the while at that which was before himwith the glowering of a Ghuland blowing as bloweth the hungry bull over hisbeans and bruised straw. Presently up came a sailor and said to the barber"O craftsmasterthe captain biddeth thee come to supper and bring thycomrade." Quoth the barber to the dyer"Wilt thou come with us?"but quoth he"I cannot walk." So the barber went by himself and foundthe captain sitting before a tray whereon were a score or more of dishesandall the company were awaiting him and his mate.

When the captain saw himhe asked"Where is thy friend?" and AbuSir answered"O my lordhe is seasick." Said the skipper"Thatwill do him no harmhis sickness will soon pass offbut do thou carry him hissupper and come backfor we tarry for thee." Then he set apart a porringerof kababs and putting therein some of each dishtill there was enough for tengave it to Abu Sirsaying"Take this to thy chum." He took it andcarried it to the dyerwhom he found grinding away with his dog teeth at thefood which was before himas he were a cameland heaping mouthful on mouthfulin his hurry. Quoth Abu Sir"DidI not say to thee'Eat not of this'?Indeed the captain is a kindly man. See what he hath sent theefor that I toldhim thou wast seasick." "Give it here" cried the dyer. So thebarber gave him the platterand he snatched it from him and fell upon his foodravening for it and resembling a grinning dog or a raging lion or a roc pouncingon a pigeon or one well-nigh dead for hunger whoseeing meatfalls ravenouslyto eat.

Then Abu Sir left himand going back to the captainsupped and enjoyedhimself and drank coffee with himafter which he returned to Abu Kir and foundthat he had eaten all that was in the porringer and thrown it asideempty. Sohe took it up and gave it to one of the captain's servantsthen went back toAbu Kir and slept till the morning. On the morrow he continued to shaveand allhe got by way of meat and drink he gave to his shipmatewho ate and drank andsat stillrising not save to do what none could do for himand every night thebarber brought him a full porringer from the captain's table.

They fared thus twenty days until the galleon cast anchor in the harbor of acitywhereupon they took leave of the skipperand landingentered the townand hired them a closet in a khan. Abu Sir furnished itand buying a cookingpot and a platter and spoons and what else they neededfetched meat and cookedit. But Abu Kir fell asleep the moment he entered the caravanserai and awoke nottill Abu Sir aroused him and set the tray of food before him. When he awokeheateand saying to Abu Sir"Blame me notfor I am giddy" fellasleep again. Thus he did forty dayswhilst every day the barber took his gearand making the round of the citywrought for that which fell to his lotandreturningfound the dyer asleep and aroused him. The moment he awoke he fellravenously upon the foodeating as one who cannot have his fill nor besatisfiedafter which he went asleep again.

On this wise he passed other forty daysand whenever the barber said to him"Sit up and be comfortable and go forth and take an airing in the cityfor'tis a gay place and a pleasant and hath not its equal among the cities"he would reply"Blame me notfor I am giddy." Abu Sir cared not tohurt his feelings nor give him hard wordsbut on the forty-first dayhehimself fell sick and could not go abroadso he engaged the porter of the khanto serve them bothand he did the needful for them and brought them meat anddrink whilst Abu Kir would do nothing but eat and sleep. The man ceased not towait upon them on this wise for four daysat the end of which time the barbeesmalady redoubled on himtill he lost his senses for stress of sickness; and AbuKirfeeling the sharp pangs of hungerarose and sought in his comrade'sclotheswhere he found a thousand silver bits. He took them andshutting thedoor of the closet upon Abu Sirfared forth without telling anyand thedoorkeeper was then at market and thus saw him not go out.

Presently Abu Kir betook himself to the bazaar and clad himself in costlyclothesat a price of five hundred half-dirhams. Then he proceeded to walkabout the streets and divert himself by viewing the citywhich he found to beone whose like was not among cities. But he noted that all its citizens wereclad in clothes of white and bluewithout other color. Presently he came to adyer'sand seeing naught but blue in his shoppulled out to him a kerchief andsaid"O mastertake this and dye it and win thy wage." Quoth thedyer"The cost of dyeing this will be twenty dirhams" and quoth AbuKir"In our country we dye it for two." "Then go and dye it inyour own country! As for memy price is twenty dirhams and I will not bate atittle thereof." "What color wilt thou dye it?" "I will dyeit blue." "But I want it dyed red." "I know not how to dyered." "Then dye it green." "I know not how to dye itgreen." "Yellow." "Nor yet yellow." Thereupon Abu Kirwent on to name the different tints to himone after othertill the dyer said:"We are here in this city forty master dyersnot one more nor one lessand when one of us diethwe teach his son the craft. If he leave no sonweabide lacking oneand if he leave two sonswe teach one of them the craftandif he diewe teach his brother. This our craft is strictly orderedand we knowhow to dye but blue and no other tint whatsoever."

Then said Abu Kir: "Know that I too am a dyerand wot how to dye allcolorsand I would have thee take me into thy service on hireand I will teachthee everything of my artso thou mayst glory therein over all the company ofdyers." But the dyer answered"We never admit a stranger into ourcraft." Asked Abu Kir"And what if I open a dyery for myself?"whereto the other answered"We will not suffer thee to do that on anywise." Whereupon he left himand going to a second dyermade him the likeproposalbut he returned him the same answer as the first. And he ceased not togo from one to other till he had made the round of the whole forty mastersbutthey would not accept him either to master or apprentice. Then he repaired tothe Sheikh of the dyers and told what had passedand he said"We admit nostrangers into our craft."

Hereupon Abu Kir became exceeding wrothand going up to the King of thatcitymade complaint to himsaying"O King of the AgeI am a strangerand a dyer by trade" and he told him whatso had passed between himself andthe dyers of the townadding: "I can dye various kinds of redsuch asrose-color and jujubel-color and various kinds of greensuch as grass-green andpistachio-green and olive and parrot's wingand various kinds of blacksuch ascoal-black and kohl-blackand various shades of yellowsuch as orange andlemon-color" and went on to name to him the rest of the colors. Then saidhe"O King of the Ageall the dyers in thy city cannot turn out of handany one of these tintsfor they know not how to dye aught but blue. Yet theywill not admit me amongst themeither to master or apprentice." Answeredthe King: "Thou sayst sooth for that matterbut I will open to thee adyery and give thee capitaland have thou no care anent them; for whosooffereth to do thee let or hindranceI will hang him over his shop door."

Then he sent for builders and said to them"Go round about the citywith this master dyerand whatsoever place pleaseth himbe it shop or khan orwhat notturn out its occupier and build him a dyery after his wish. Whatsoeverhe biddeth youthat do yeand oppose him not in aught." And he clad himin a handsome suit and gave him two white slaves to serve himand a horse withhousings of brocade and a thousand dinarssaying"Expend this uponthyself against the building be completed." Accordingly Abu Kir donned thedressand mounting the horsebecame as he were an emir. Moreover the Kingassigned him a houseand bade furnish itso they furnished it for him and hetook up his abode therein. On the morrow he mounted and rode through the citywhilst the architects went before himand he looked about him till he saw aplace which pleased him and said"This stead is seemly" whereuponthey turned out the owner and carried him to the Kingwho gave him as the priceof his holdingwhat contented him and more.

Then the builders fell to workwhilst Abu Kir said to them"Build thusand thus and do this and that" till they built him a dyery that had notits like. Whereupon he presented himself before the King and informed him thatthey had done building the dyery and that there needed but the price of thedyestuffs and gear to set it going. Quoth the King"Take these fourthousand dinars to thy capital and let me see the first fruits of thydyery." So he took the money and went to the market wherefindingdyestuffs plentiful and well-nigh worthlesshe bought all he needed ofmaterials for dyeing; and the King sent him five hundred pieces of stuffwhichhe set himself to dye of all colorsand then he spread them before the door ofhis dyery.

When the folk passed by the shopthey saw a wonder sight whose like they hadnever in their lives seenso they crowded about the entranceenjoying thespectacle and questioning the dyer and saying"O masterwhat are thenames of these colors?" Quoth he"This is red and that yellow and theother green" and so onnaming the rest of the colors. And they fell tobringing him longcloth and saying to him"Dye it for us like this andthatand take what hire thou seekest." When he had made an end of dyeingthe King's stuffshe took them and went up with them to the Divanand when theKing saw them he rejoiced in them and bestowed abundant bounty on the dyer.Furthermoreall the troops brought him stuffssaying"Dye for us thusand thus" and he dyed for them to their likingand they threw him goldand silver. After this his fame spread abroadand his shop was called theSultan's Dyery. Good came in to him at every door and none of the other dyerscould say a word to himbut they used to come to him kissing his hands andexcusing themselves to him for past affronts they had offered him and saying"Take us to thine apprentices." But he would none of themfor he hadbecome the owner of black slaves and handmaids and had amassed store of wealth.

On this wise fared it with Abu Kirbut as regards Abu Sirafter closet doorhad been locked on him and his money had been stolenhe abode prostrate andunconscious for three successive daysat the end of which the concierge of thekhanchancing to look at the doorobserved that it was lockedand bethoughthimself that he had not seen and heard aught of the two companions for sometime. So he said in his mind: "Haply they have made off without payingrentor perhaps they are deador what is to do with them?" And he waitedtill sunsetwhen he went up to the door and heard the barber groaning within.He saw the key in the lockso he opened the doorand enteringfound Abu Sirlying groaningand said to him: "No harm to thee. Where is thyfriend?" Replied Abu Sir: "By AllahI came to my senses only this dayand called outbut none answered my call. Allah upon theeO my brotherlookfor the purse under my head and take from it five half-dirhams and buy mesomewhat nourishingfor I am sore a-hungered." The porter put out hishandand taking the pursefound it empty and said to the barber"Thepurse is emptythere is nothing in it." Whereupon Abu Sir knew that AbuKir had taken that which was therein and had fledand he asked the porter"Hast thou not seen my friend?" Answered the doorkeeper"I havenot seen him for these three daysand indeed methought you had departedthouand he." The barber cried"Not sobut he coveted my money and tookit and fledseeing me sick."

Then he fell a-weeping and a-wailingbut the doorkeeper said to him"No harm shall befall theeand Allah will requite him his deed." Sohe went away and cooked him some brothwhereof he ladled out a plateful andbrought it to him. Nor did he cease to tend him and maintain him with his ownmoneys for two months' spacewhen the barber sweated and the Almighty made himwhole of his sickness. Then he stood up and said to the porter: "An everthe Most High Lord enable meI will surely requite thee thy kindness to me. Butnone requiteth save the Lord of His bounty!" Answered the porter:"Praised be He for thy recovery! I dealt not thus with am but of desire forthe face of Allah the Bountiful."

Then the barber went forth of the khan and threaded the market streets of thetown till Destiny brought him to the bazaar wherein was Abu Kir's dyeryand hesaw the varicolored stuffs dispread before the shop and a jostle of folkcrowding to look upon them. So he questioned one of the townsmen and asked him"What place is thisand how cometh it that I see the folk crowdingtogether?" whereto the man answeredsaying: "This is the Sultan'sDyerywhich he set up for a foreignerAbu Kir high! And whenever he dyeth newstuffwe all flock to him and divert ourselves by gazing upon his handiworkfor we have no dyers in our land who know how to stain with these colors. Andindeed there befell him with the dyers who are in the city that whichbefell." And he went on to tell him all that had passed between Abu Kir andthe master dyers and how he had complained of them to the Sultanwho took himby the hand and built him that dyery and gave him this and that- briefherecounted to him all that had occurred.

At this the barber rejoiced and said in himself: "Praised be Allah Whohath prospered himso that he is become a master of his craft! And the man isexcusablefor of a surety he hath been diverted from thee by his work and hathforgotten thee; but thou actedst kindly by him and entreatedst him generouslywhat time he was out of workso when he seeth theehe will rejoice in thee andentreat thee generouslyeven as thou entreatedst him." According he madefor the door of the dyeryand saw Abu Kir seated on a high mattress spread upona bench beside the doorwayclad in royal apparel and attended by fourblackamoor slaves and four white Mamelukes all robed in the richest of raiment.Moreoverhe saw the workmenten Negro slavesstanding at work; for when AbuKir bought themhe taught them the craft of dyeingand he himself sat amongsthis cushions as he were a grand wazir or a mighty monarchputting his hand tonaught but only saying to the men"Do this and do that." So thebarber went up to him and stood before himdeeming he would rejoice in him whenhe saw him and salute him and entreat him with honor and make much of him. Butwhen eye fell upon eyethe dyer said to him: "O scoundrel how many a timehave I bidden thee stand not at the door of the workshop? Hast thou a mind todisgrace me with the folkthief that thou art? Seize him."

So the blackamoors ran at him and laid hold of himand the dyer rose up fromhis seat and said"Throw him." Accordingly they threw him down andAbu Kir took a stick and dealt him a hundred strokes on the backafter whichthey turned him over and he beat him other hundred blows on his belly. Then hesaid to him: "O scoundrelO villainif ever again I see thee standing atthe door of this dyeryI will forthwith send thee to the Kingand he willcommit thee to the Chief of Policethat he may strike thy neck. BegonemayAllah not bless thee!" So Abu Sir departed from himbrokenhearted byreason of the beating and shame that had betided himwhilst the bystandersasked Abu Kir"What hath this man done?" He answered: "Thefellow is a thiefwho stealeth the stuffs of folk. He hath robbed me of clothhow many a time! And I still said to myself'Allah forgive him!' He is a poormanand I cared not to deal roughly with himso I used to give my customersthe worth of their goods and forbid him gentlybut he would not be forbidden.And if he come againI will send him to the Kingwho will put him to death andrid the people of his mischief." And the bystanders fell to abusing thebarber after his back was turned.

Such was the behavior of Abu Kirbut as regards Abu Sirhe returned to thekhanwhere he sat pondering that which the dyer had done by himand heremained seated till the burning of the beating subsidedwhen he went out andwalked about the markets of the city. Presently he bethought him to go to thehammam bathso he said to one of-the townsfolk"O my brotherwhich isthe way to the baths?" Quoth the man"And what manner of thing maythe baths be?" and quoth Abu Sir"'Tis a place where people washthemselves and do away their dirt and defilementsand it is of the best of thegood things of the world." Replied the townsman"Get thee to thesea" but the barber rejoined"I want the hammam baths." Criedthe other: "We know not what manner of thing is the hammamfor we allresort to the sea. Even the Kingwhen he would washbetaketh himself to thesea."

When Abu Sir was assured that there was no bath in the city and that the folkknew not the baths nor the fashion thereofhe betook himself to the King'sDivan andkissing ground between his handscalled down blessings on him andsaid: "I am a stranger and a bathman by tradeand I entered thy city andthought to go to the hammambut found not one therein. How cometh a city ofthis comely quality to lack a hammamseeing that the bath is of the highest ofthe delights of this world?" Quoth the King"What manner of thing isthe hammam?" So Abu Sir proceeded to set forth to him the quality of thebathsaying"Thy capital will not be a perfect city till there be ahammam therein." "Welcome to thee!" said the King and clad him ina dress that had not its like and gave him a horse and two blackamoor slavespresently adding four handmaids and as many white Mamelukes. He also appointedhim a furnished house and honored him yet more abundantly than he had honoredthe dyer.

After this he sent builders with himsaying to them"Build him ahammam in what place soever shall please him." So he took them and wentwith them through the midst of the city till he saw a stead that suited him. Hepointed it out to the builders and they set to workwhilst he directed themand they wrought till they builded him a hammam that had not its like. Then hebade them paint itand they painted it rarelyso that it was a delight to thebeholders. After which Abu Sir went up to the King and told him that they hadmade an end of building and decorating the hammamadding"There lackethnaught save the furniture." The King gave him ten thousand dinars wherewithhe furnished the bath and ranged the napkins on the ropesand all who passed bythe door stared at it and their mind was confounded at its decorations. So thepeople crowded to this spectaclewhose like they had never in their lives seenand solaced themselves by staring at it and saying"What is thisthing?" To which Abu Sir replied"This is a hammam" and theymarveled thereat. Then he heated water and set the bath a-workingand he made ajetting fountain in the great basinwhich ravished the wit of an who saw it ofthe people of the city.

Furthermorehe sought of the King ten Mamelukes not yet come to manhoodandhe gave him ten boys like moonswhereupon Abu Sir proceeded to shampoo themsaying"Do in this wise with the bathers." Then he burnt perfumes andsent out a crier to cry aloud in the citysaying"O creatures of Allahget ye to the baths which be called the Sultan's Hammam!" So the liegescame thither and Abu Sir bade the slave boys wash their bodies. The folk wentdown into the tank and coming forthseated themselves on the raised pavementwhilst the boys shampooed themeven as Abu Sir had taught them. And theycontinued to enter the hammam and do their need therein gratis and go outwithout payingfor the space of three days.

On the fourth day the barber invited the Kingwho took horse with hisgrandees and rode to the bathswhere he put off his clothes and entered. ThenAbu Sir came in to him and rubbed his body with the bag glovespeeling from hisskin dirt rolls like lampwicks and showing them to the Kingwho rejoicedthereinand clapping his hand upon his limbsheard them ring again for verysmoothness and cleanliness. After which thorough washing Abu Sir mingledrosewater with the water of the tank and the King went down therein. When hecame forthhis body was refreshed and he felt a lightness and liveliness suchas he had never known in his life. Then the barber made him sit on the dais andthe boys proceeded to shampoo himwhilst the censers fumed with the finest lignaloes.

Then said the King"O masteris this the hammam?" and Abu Sirsaid"Yes." Quoth the King; "As my head livethmy city is notbecome a city indeed but by this bath" presently adding"But whatpay takest thou for each person?" Quoth Abu Sir"That which thoubiddest will I take" whereupon the King cried"Take a thousand goldpieces for everyone who washeth in thy hammam." Abu Sirhoweversaid:"PardonO King of the Age! All men are not alikebut there are amongstthem rich and poorand if I take of each a thousand dinarsthe hammam willstand emptyfor the poor man cannot pay this price." Asked the King"How then wilt thou do for the price?" and the barber answered:"I will leave it to their generosity. Each who can afford aught shall paythat which his soul grudgeth not to giveand we will take from every man afterthe measure of his means. On this wise will the folk come to usand he who iswealthy shall give according to his station and he who is wealthless shall givewhat he can afford. Under such condition the hammam will still be at work andprosper exceedingly. But a thousand dinars is a monarch's giftand not everyman can avail to this."

The lords of the realm confirmed Abu Sir's wordssaying: "This is thetruthO King of the Age! Thinkest thou that all folk are like unto theeOglorious King?" The King replied: "Ye say soothbut this man is astranger and poorand 'tis incumbent on us to deal generously with himforthat he hath made in our city this hammam whose like we have never in our livesseen and without which our city were not adorned nor hath gotten importance.Whereforean we favor him with increase of fee'twill not be much." Butthe grandees said: "An thou wilt guerdon himbe generous with thine ownmoneysand let the King's bounty be extended to the poor by means of the lowprice of the hammamso the lieges may bless thee. But as for the thousanddinarswe are the lords of thy landyet do our souls grudge to pay itand howthen should the poor be pleased to afford it?" Quoth the King: "O myGrandeesfor this time let each of you give him a hundred dinars and aMamelukea slave girland a blackamoor" and quoth they: "'Tis well.We will give itbut after today whoso entereth shall give him only what he canaffordwithout grudging." "No harm in that" said the Kingandthey gave him the thousand gold pieces and three chattels.

Now the number of the nobles who were washed with the King that day was fourhundred soulsso that the total of that which they gave him was forty thousanddinarsbesides four hundred Mamelukes and a like number of Negroes and slavegirls. Moreoverthe King gave him ten thousand dinarsbesides ten white slavesand ten handmaidens and a like number of blackamoorswhereuponcoming forwardAbu Sir kissed the ground before him and said: "O auspicious Sovereignlord of justicewhat place will contain me all these women and slaves?"Quoth the King: "O weak o' witI bade not my nobles deal thus with theebut that we might gather together unto thee wealth galore; for maybe thou wiltbethink thee of thy country and family and repine for them and be minded toreturn to thy mother land- so shalt thou take from our country muchel of moneyto maintain thyself withalwhat while thou livest in thine own country."And quoth Abu Sir: "O King of the Age (Allah advance thee!)these whiteslaves and women and Negroes befit only kingsand hadst thou ordered me readymoneyit were more profitable to me than this army; for they must eat and drinkand dressand whatever betideth me of wealthit will not suffice for theirsupport."

The King laughed and said: "By Allahthou speaketh sooth! They areindeed a mighty hostand thou hast not the wherewithal to maintain them; butwilt thou sell them to me for a hundred dinars a head?" Said Abu Sir"I sell them to thee at that price." So the King sent to his treasurerfor the coin and he brought it and gave Abu Sir the whole of the price withoutabatement and in full taleafter which the King restored the slaves to theirownerssaying"Let each of you who knoweth his slaves take themfor theyare a gift from me to you." So they obeyed his bidding and took each whatbelonged to himwhilst Abu Sir said to the King: "Allah ease theeO Kingof the Ageeven as thou hast eased me of these Ghulswhose bellies none mayfill save Allah!" The King laughedand said he spake sooth. Thentakingthe grandees of his realm from the hammamreturned to his palace. But thebarber passed the night in counting out his gold and laying it up in bags andsealing themand he had with him twenty black slaves and a like number ofMamelukes and four slave girls to serve him.

Now when morning morrowedhe opened the hammam and sent out a crier to crysaying: "Whoso entereth the baths and washeth shall give that which he canafford and which his generosity requireth him to give." Then he seatedhimself by the pay chest and customers flocked in upon himeach putting downthat which was easy to himnor had eventide evened ere the chest was full ofthe good gifts of Allah the Most High. Presently the Queen desired to go to thehammamand when this came to Abu Sir's knowledgehe divided the day on heraccount into two partsappointing that between dawn and noon to men and thatbetween midday and sundown to women. As soon as the Queen camehe stationed ahandmaid behind the pay chestfor he had taught four slave girls the service ofthe hammamso that they were become expert bathwomen and tirewomen. When theQueen enteredthis pleased herand her breast waxed broadand she laid down athousand dinars.

Thus his report was noised abroad in the cityand all who entered the bathhe entreated with honorwere they rich or poor. Good came in upon him at everydoorand he made acquaintance with the royal guards and got him friends andintimates. The King himself used to come to him one day in every weekleavingwith him a thousand dinarsand the other days were for rich and poor alike; andhe was wont to deal courteously with the folk and use them with the utmostrespect. It chanced that the King's sea captain came in to him one day in thebathso Abu Sir did off his dress and going in with himproceeded to shampoohimand entreated him with exceeding courtesy. When he came forthhe made himsherbet and coffeeand when he would have given him somewhathe swore that hewould not accept from him aught. So the captain was under obligation to himbyreason of his exceeding kindness and courtesyand was perplexed how to requitethe bathman his generous dealing.

Thus fared it with Abu Sirbut as regards Abu Kirhearing an the peoplerecounting wonders of the baths and saying"Verilythis hammam is theParadise of this world! InshallahO Such-a-onethou shalt go with us tomorrowto this delightful bath" he said to himself"Needs must I fare likethe rest of the worldand see this bath that hath taken folk's wits." Sohe donned his richest dressand mounting a she-mule and bidding the attendanceof four white slaves and four blackswalking before and behind himhe rode tothe hammam. When he alighted at the doorhe smelt the scent of burning aloeswood and found people going in and out and the benches full of great and small.So he entered the vestibuleand saw Abu Sirwho rose to him and rejoiced inhimbut the dyer said to him: "Is this the way of well-born men? I haveopened me a dyery and am become master dyer of the city and acquainted with theKing and have risen to prosperity and authorityyet camest thou not to me noraskest of me nor saidst'Where's my comrade?' For my partI sought thee invain and sent my slaves and servants to make search for thee in all the khansand other placesbut they knew not whither thou hadst gonenor could anyonegive me tidings of thee."

Said Abu Sir"Did I not come to theeand didst thou not make me out athief and bastinado me and dishonor me before the world?" At this Abu Kirmade a show of concern and asked: "What manner of talk is this? Was it thouwhom I beat?" and Abu Sir answered"Yes'twas I." Whereupon AbuKir swore to him a thousand oaths that he knew him not and said: "There wasa fellow like theewho used to come every day and steal the people's stuffandI took thee for him." And he went on to pretend penitencebeating handupon hand and saying: "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save inAllahthe Gloriousthe Great. Indeed we have sinned against theebut wouldthat thou hadst discovered thyself to and said'I am Such-a-one!' Indeed thefault is with theefor that thou madest not thyself known unto memoreespecially seeing that I was distracted for much business." Replied AbuSir: "Allah pardon theeO my comrade! This was foreordained in the secretpurposeand reparation is with Allah. Enter and put off thy clothes and batheat thine ease." Said the dyer"I conjure theeby AllahO mybrotherforgive me!" and said Abu Sir: "Allah acquit thee of blameand forgive thee! Indeed this thing was decreed to me from an eternity."

Then asked Abu Kir"Whence gottest thou this high degree?" andanswered Abu Sir: "He who prospered thee prospered mefor I went up to theKing and described to him the fashion of the hammamand he bade me buildone." And the dyer said: "Even as thou art beknown of the Kingsoalso am IandInshallah- God willing- I will make him love and favor thee morethan everfor my sake. He knoweth not that thou art my comradebut I willacquaint him of this and commend thee to him." But Abu Sir said:"There needeth no commendationfor He who moveth man's heart to love stilllivethand indeed the King and all his Court affect me and have given me thisand that." And he told him the whole taleand said to him: "Put offthy clothes behind the chest and enter the hammamand I will go in with theeand rub thee down with the glove." So he doffed his dressand Abu Sirentering the bath with himsoaped him and gloved him and then dressed him andbusied himself with his service till he came forthwhen he brought him dinnerand sherbetswhilst all the folk marveled at the honor he did him.

Then Abu Kir would have given him somewhatbut he swore that he would notaccept aught from himand said to him: "Shame upon such doing! Thou art mycomradeand there is no diference between us." Then Abu Kir observed:"By AllahO my comradethis is a mighty fine hammam of thinebut therelacketh somewhat in its ordinance." Asked Abu Sir"And what isthat?" and Abu Kir answered: "It is the depilatoryto witthe pastecompounded of yellow arsenic and quicklime which removeth the hair with comfort.Do thou prepare itand next time the King comethpresent it to himteachinghim how he shall cause the hair to fall off by such meansand he will love theewith exceeding love and honor thee." Quoth Abu Sir"Thou speakethsoothand InshallahI will at once make it."

Then Abu Kir left him and mounted his muleand going to the Kingsaid tohim"I have a warning to give theeO King of the Age!" "Andwhat is thy warning?" asked the Kingand Abu Kir answered"I hearthat thou hast built a hamman." Quoth the King: "Yes. There came to mea stranger and I builded the baths for even as I builded the dyery for theeandindeed 'tis a mighty fine hammam and an ornament to my city" and he wenton to describe to him the virtues of the bath. Quoth the dyer"Hast thouentered therein?" and quoth the King"Yes." Thereupon cried AbuKir: "Alhamdolillah- praised be God- who saved thee from the mischief ofyonder villian and foe of the Faith- I mean the bathkeeper!" The Kinginquired"And what of him?" and Abu Kir replied: "KnowO Kingof the Agethat an thou enter the hammam again after this daythou wilt surelyperish." "How so?" said the Kingand the dyer said: "Thisbathkeeper is thy foe and the foe of the Faithand he induced thee not tostablish this bath but because he designed therein to poison thee. He hath madefor thee somewhatand he will present it to thee when thou enterest the hammamsaying'This is a drug whichif one apply to his parts below the waistwillremove the hair with comfort." Now it is no drugbut a drastic dreg and adeadly poisonfor the Sultan of the Christians hath promised this obscenefellow to release to him his wife and children an he will kill thee. For theyare prisoners in the hands of that Sultan. I myself was captive with him intheir landbut I opened a dyery and dyed for them various colorsso that theyconciliated the King's heart to me and he bade me ask a boon of him. I sought ofhim freedom and he set me at libertywhereupon I made my way to this cityandseeing yonder man in the hammamsaid to him'How didst thou effect thineescape and win free with thy wife and children?' Quoth he: 'We ceased not to bein captivityI and my wife and childrentill one day the King of the Nazarenesheld a Court whereat I was presentamongst a number of others. And as I stoodamongst the folkI heard them open out on the kings and name themone afterothertill they came to the name of the King of this citywhereupon the Kingof the Christians cried out "Alas!" and said"None vexeth me inthe worldbut the King of such a city! Whosoever will contrive me his slaughterI will give him all. he shall ask." So I went up to him and said"AnI compass for thee his slaughterwilt thou set me freeme and my wife and mychildren?" The King replied"Yesand I will give thee to boot whatsothou shalt desire." So we agreed upon thisand he sent me in a galleon tothis citywhere I presented myself to the King and he built me this hammam.

"'NowthereforeI have naught to do but to slay him and return to theKing of the Nazarenesthat I may redeem my children and my wife and ask a boonof him.' Quoth I: 'And how wilt thou go about to kill him?' and quoth he'Bythe simplest of all devicesfor I have compounded him somewhat wherein ispoisonso when he cometh to the bathI shall say to him "Take this pasteand anoint therewith thy parts below the waist for it will cause the hair todrop off." So he will take it and apply it to himselfand the poison willwork in him a day and a nighttill it reacheth his heart and destroyeth him.And meanwhile I shall have made off and none will know that it was I slew him.'When I heard this" added Abu Kir"I feared for theemy benefactorwherefore I have told thee of what is doing.

As soon as the King heard the dyer's storyhe was wroth with exceeding wrathand said to him"Keep this secret." Then he resolved to visit thehammamthat he might dispel doubt by supplying certaintyand when he enteredAbu Sir doffed his dressand betaking himself as of wont to the service of theKingproceeded to glove himafter which he said to him"O King of theAgeI have made a drug which assisteth in plucking out the lower hair."Cried the King"Bring it to me." So the barber brought it to him andthe Kingfinding it nauseous of smellwas assured that it was poisonwherefore he was incensed and called out to his guardssaying"Seizehim!" Accordingly they seized himand the King donned his dress andreturned to his palace; boiling with furywhilst none knew the cause of hisindignationforof the excess of his wrath he had acquainted no one therewithand none dared ask him.

Then he repaired to the audience chamberand causing Abu Sir to be broughtbefore him with his elbows pinionedsent for his sea captain and said to him:"Take this villian and set him in a sack with two quintals of lime unslakedand tie its mouth over his head. Then lay him in a cockboat and row out with himin front of my palacewhere thou wilt see me sitting at the lattice. Do thousay to me'Shall I cast him in?' and if I answer'Cast him!' throw the sackinto the seaso the quicklime may be slacked on him to the intent that he shalldie drowned and burnt." "Hearkening and obeying" quoth thecaptainand taking Abu Sir from the presencecarried him to an island facingthe King's palacewhere he said to him: "HothouI once visited thyhammam and thou entreatedst me with honor and accomplishedst all my needs and Ihad great pleasure of thee. Moreoverthou swarest that thou wouldst take no payof meand I love thee with a great love. So tell me how the case standethbetween thee and the Kingand what abominable deed thou hast done with him thathe is wroth with thee and hath commanded me that thou shouldst die this fouldeath."

Answered Abu Sir"I have done nothingnor weet I of any crime I havecommitted against him which merited this!" Rejoined the captain:"Verilythou wast high in rank with the Kingsuch as none ever won beforetheeand all who are prosperous are envied. Haply someone was jealous of thygood fortune and threw out certain hints concerning thee to the Kingby reasonwhereof he is become enraged against thee with rage so violent. But be of goodcheerno harm shall befall thee. For even as thou entreatedst me generouslywithout acquaintanceship between me and theeso now I will deliver thee. But anI release theethou must abide with me on this island till some galleon sailfrom our city to thy native landwhen I will send thee thither therein."

Abu Sir kissed his hand and thanked him for thatafter which the captainfetched the quicklime and set it in a sacktogether with a great stonethesize of a mansaying"I put my trust in Allah!" Then he gave thebarber a netsaying: "Cast this net into the seaso haply thou mayesttake somewhat of fish. For I am bound to supply the King's kitchen with fishevery daybut today I have been distracted from fishing by this calamity whichhath befallen theeand I fear lest the cook's boys come to me in quest of fishand find none. Soan thou take aughtthey will find it and thou wilt veil myfacewhilst I go and play off my practice in front of the palace and feign tocast thee into the sea." Answered Abu Sir: "I will fish the while. Gothouand God help thee!" So the captain set the sack in the boat andpaddled till it came under the palacewhere he saw the King seated at thelattice and said to him"O King of the Ageshall I cast him in?""Cast him!" cried the Kingand signed to him with his handwhen loand behold! something flashed like levin and fell into the sea. Now that whichhad fallen into the water was the King's seal ringand the same was enchantedin such way that when the King was wroth with anyone and was minded to slay himhe had but to sign to him with his right handwhereon was the signet ringandtherefrom issued a flash of lightningwhich smote the objectand thereupon hishead fell from between his shoulders. And the troops obeyed him notnor did heovercome the men of mightsave by means of the ring. So when it dropped fromhis fingerhe concealed the matter and kept silencefor that he dared not say"My ring is fallen into the sea" for fear of the troopslest theyrise against him and slay him.

On this wise it befell the King. But as regards Abu Sirafter the captainhad left him on the island he took the net and casting it into the seapresently drew it up full of fishnor did he cease to throw it and pull it upfull till there was a great mound of fish before him. So he said in himself"By Allahthis long while I have not eaten fish!" and chose himself alarge fat fishsaying"When the captain cometh backI will bid him fryit for meso I may dine on it." Then he cut its throat with a knife he hadwith himbut the knife stuck in its gillsand there he saw the King's signetringfor the fish had swallowed it and Destiny had driven it to that islandwhere it had fallen into the net. He took the ring and drew it on his littlefingernot knowing its peculiar properties. Presently up came two of the cook'sboys in quest of fishand seeing Abu Sirsaid to him"O manwhither isthe captain gone?" "I know not" said heand signed to them withhis right handwhenbeholdthe heads of both underlings dropped off frombetween their shoulders. At this Abu Sir was amazed and said"Would I wotwho slew them!"

And their case was grievous to himand he was still pondering it when thecaptain suddenly returnedand seeing the mound of fishes and two man lying deadand the seal ring on Abu Sir's fingersaid to him: "O my brothermove notthy hand whereon is the signet ringelse thou wilt kill me." Abu Sirwondered at this speech and kept his hand motionlesswhereupon the captain cameup to him and said"Who slew these two men?" "By AllahO mybrotherI wot not!" "Thou sayest soothbut tell mewhence hadstthou that ring?" "I found it in this fish's gills.""True" said the captain"for I saw it fall flashing from theKing's palace and disappear in the seawhat time he signed toward theesaying'Cast him in.' So I cast the sack into the waterand it was then that the ringslipped from his finger and fell into the seawhere this fish swallowed itandAllah drave it to theeso that thou madest it thy preyfor this ring was thylot. But kennest thou its property?"

Said Abu Sir"I knew not that it had any properties peculiar to

it" and the captain said: "Learnthenthat the King's troopsobey him not save for fear of this signet ringbecause it is spelledand whenhe was wroth with anyone and had a mind to kill he would sign at him therewithand his head would drop from between his shouldersfor there issued a flash oflightning from the ring and its ray smote the object of his wrathwho diedforthright." At thisAbu Sir rejoiced with exceeding joy and said to thecaptain"Carry me back to the city" and he said"That will Inow that I no longer fear for thee from the Kingfor wert thou to sip at himwith thy handpurposing to kill himhis head would fall down between thyhands. And if thou be minded to slay him and all his hostthou mayst slaughterthem without let or hindrance."

So sayinghe embarked him in the boat and bore him back to the cityso AbuSir landedand going up to the palaceentered the council chamberwhere hefound the King seated facing his officersin sore cark and care by reason ofthe seal ring and daring not tell any of his folk anent its loss. When he sawAbu Sirhe said to him: "Did we not cast thee into the sea? How hast thoucontrived to come forth of it?" Abu Sir replied: "O King of the Agewhenas thou badest throw me into the seathy captain carried me to an islandand asked me of the cause of thy wrath against mesaying'What hast thou donewith the Kingthat he should decree thy death?' I answered'By AllahI knownot that I have wrought him any wrong!' Quoth he: 'Thou wast high in rank withthe Kingand haply someone envied thee and threw out certain hints concerningthee to himso that he is become incensed against thee. But when I visited theein thy hammamthou entreatedst me honorablyand I will requite thee thyhospitality to me by setting thee free and sending thee back to thine own land.'Then he set a great stone in the sack in my stead and cast it into the seatbutwhen thou signedst to him to throw me inthy seal ring dropped from thy fingerinto the mainand a fish swallowed it.

"Now I was on the island a-fishingand this fish came up in the netwith otherswhereupon I took itintending to broil it. But when I opened itsbellyI found the signet ring thereinso I took it and put it on my finger.Presently up came two of the servants of the kitchenquesting fishand Isigned to them with my handknowing not the property of the seal ringandtheir heads fell off. Then the captain came backand seeing the ring on myfingeracquainted me with its spell. AndbeholdI have brought it back totheefor that thou dealtest kindly by me and entreatedst me with the utmosthonornor is that which thou hast done me of kindness lost upon me. Here is thyringtake it! But an I have done with thee aught deserving of deathtell me mycrime and slay me and thou shalt be absolved of sin in shedding my blood."

So sayinghe pulled the ring from his finger and gave it to the Kingwhoseeing Abu Sir's noble conducttook the ring and put it on and felt life returnto him afresh. Then he rose to his feetand embracing the barbersaid to him:"O manthou art indeed of the flower of the well-born! Blame me notbutforgive me the wrong I have done thee. Had any but thou gotten hold of thisringhe had never restored it to me." Answered Abu Sir: "O King ofthe Agean thou wouldst have me forgive theetell me what was my fault whichdrew down thine anger upon meso that thou commandedst to do me die."Rejoined the King: "By Allah'tis clear to me that thou art free andguiltless in all things of offensesince thou hast done this good deed. Onlythe dyer denounced thee to me in such and such words" and he told him allthat Abu Kir had said. Abu Sir replied: "By AllahO King of the AgeIknow no King of the Nazarenesnor during my days have ever journeyed to aChristian countrynor did it ever come into my mind to kill thee. But this dyerwas my comrade and neighbor in the city of Alexandriawhere life was straitenedupon us. Therefore we departed thenceto seek our fortunesby reason of thenarrowness of our means at homeafter we had recited the opening chapter of theKoran togetherpledging ourselves that he who got work should feed him wholacked work. And there befell me with him such-and-such things."

Then he went on to relate to the King all that had betided him with Abu Kirthe dyer: how he had robbed him of his dirhams and had left him alone and sickin the khan closetand how the door keeper had fed him of his own moneys tillAllah recovered him of his sicknesswhen he went forth and walked about thecity with his budgetas was his wonttill his espied a dyeryabout which thefolk were crowding; so he looked at the doorand seeing Abu Kir seated on abench therewent in to salute himwhereupon he accused him of being a thiefand beat him a grievous beating- briefhe told him his whole talefrom firstto lastand added: "O King of the Age'twas he who counseled me to makethe depilatory and present it to theesaying: 'The hammam is perfect in allthings but that it lacketh this.' And knowO King of the Agethat this drug isharmless and we use it in our landwhere 'tis one of the requisites bathbut Ihad forgotten it. So when the dyer visited the hammamI entreated him withhonor and he reminded me of itand enjoined me to make it forthwith. But dothou send after the porter of such a khan and the workmen of the dyery andquestion them all of that which I have told thee."

Accordingly the King sent for them and questioned them one and all and theyacquainted him with the truth of the matter. Then he summoned the dyersaying"Bring him barefootedbareheadedand with elbows pinioned!" Now hewas sitting in his houserejoicing in Abu Sir's deathbut ere he could bewarethe King's guards rushed in upon him and cuffed him on the napeafterwhich they bound him and bore him into the presencewhere he saw Abu Sir seatedby the King's side and the doorkeeper of the khan and workmen of the dyerystanding before him. Quoth the doorkeeper to him: "Is not this thy comradewhom thou robbedst of his silvers and leftest with me sick in the closet doingsuch-and-such by him?" And the workmen said to him"Is not this hewhom thou badest us seize and beat?" Therewith Abu Kir's baseness was mademanifest to the Kingand he was certified that he merited torture yet sorerthan the torments of Munkar and Nakir. So he said to his guards: "Take himand parade him about the city and the markets; then set him in a sack and casthim into the sea." Whereupon quoth Abu Sir: "O King of the Ageacceptmy intercession for himfor I pardon him all he hath done with me." Butquoth the King: "An thou pardon him all his offenses against theeI cannotpardon him his offenses against me." And he cried outsaying"Takehim."

So they took him and paraded him about the cityafter which they set him ina sack with quicklime and cast him into the seaand he dieddrowned and burnt.Then said the King to the barber"O Abu Sirask of me what thou wilt andit shall be given thee." And he answeredsaying"I ask of thee tosend me back to my own countryfor I care no longer to tarry here." Thenthe King gifted him great store of giftsover and above that which he hadwhilom bestowed on himand amongst the rest a galleon freighted with goods. Andthe crew of this galleon were Mamelukesso he gave him these alsoafteroffering to make him his Wazirwhereto the barber consented not. Presently hefarewelled the King and set sail in his own ship manned by his own crewnor didhe cast anchor till he reached Alexandria and made fast to the shore there. Theylandedand one of his Mamelukesseeing a sack on the beachsaid to Abu Sir:"O my lordthere is a great heavy sack on the seashorewith the mouthtied upand I know not what therein."

So Abu Sir came upand opening the sackfound therein the remains of AbuKirwhich the sea had borne thither. He took it forthand burying it nearAlexandriabuilt over the grave a place of visitation. After this Abu Sir abodeawhiletill Allah took him to Himselfand they buried him hard by the tomb ofhis comrade Abu Kirwherefore that place was called Abu Kir and Abu Sirbut itis now known as Abu Kir only. Thisthenis that which hath reached us of theirhistoryand glory be to Him Who endureth forever and aye and by Whose willenterchange the night and the day.

And of the stories they tell is one anent

THE SLEEPER AND THE WAKER -

IT hath reached meO auspicious Kingthat there was once at Baghdadin thecaliphate of Harun al-Rashida man and a merchant who had a son Abu al-Hasanal-Khali'a by name. The merchant died leaving great store of wealth to his heirwho divided it into two equal partswhereof he laid up one and spent of theother half. And he fell to companying with Persians and with the sons of themerchantsand he gave himself up to good drinking and good eating till all thewealth he had with him was wasted and wantoned. Whereupon he betook himself tohis friends and comrades and cup companions and expounded to them his casediscovering to them the failure of that which was in his hand of wealth. But notone of them took heed of him or even deigned answer him.

So he returned to his mother (and indeed his spirit was broken) and relatedto her that which had happened to him and what had befallen him from hisfriendshow they had neither shared with him nor requited him with speech.Quoth she: "O Abu al-Hasanon this wise are the sons of this time: Andthou have aughtthey draw thee near to themand if thou have naughtthey putthee away from them." And she went on to condole with himwhat while hebewailed himself and his tears flowed and he repeated these lines: -

"An wane my wealthno man will succor me

When my wealth waxeth all men friendly show.

How many a friend for wealth showed friendliness

Whowhen my wealth departedturned to foe!" -

Then he sprang upand going to the place wherein was the other half of hisgoodstook it and lived with it well. And he sware that he would never againconsort with a single one of those he had knownbut would company only with thestrangernor entertain even him but one nightand that when it morrowedhewould never know him more. Accordingly he fell to sitting every eventide on thebridge over Tigris and looking at each one who passed by him. And if he saw himto be a strangerhe made friends with him and carried him to his housewherehe conversed and caroused with him all night till morning. Then he dismissedhimand would never more salute him with the salaam nor ever more drew nearunto himneither invited him again.

Thus he continued to do for the space of a full yeartill one day while hesat on the bridgeas was his wontexpecting who should come to him so he mighttake him and pass the night with himbeholdup came the Caliph and MasrurtheSworder of his vengeancedisguised in merchants' dressaccording to theircustom. So Abu al-Hasan looked at themand risingbecause he knew them notasked them: "What say ye? Will ye go with me to my dwelling placeso yemay eat what is ready and drink what is at hand; to witplatter bread and meatcooked and wine strained?" The Caliph refused thisbut he conjured him andsaid to him: "Allah upon theeO my lord. Go with mefor thou art my guestthis nightand balk not my hopes of thee!" And he ceased not to press himtill he consentedwhereat Abu al-Hasan rejoicedand walking on before himgave not over talking with him till they came to his house and he carried theCaliph into the saloon.

Al-Rashid entered a hall such as an thou sawest it and gazedst upon itswallsthou hadst beheld marvelsand hadst thou looked narrowly at its waterconduitsthou wouldst have seen a fountain cased with gold. The Caliph made hisman abide at the doorand as soon as he was seatedthe host brought himsomewhat to eat. So he ateand Abu al-Hasan ate with himthat eating might begrateful to him. Then he removed the tray and they washed their hands and theCommander of the Faithful sat down again. Whereupon Abu al-Hasan set on thedrinking vesselsand seating himself by his sidefell to filling and givinghim to drink and entertaining him with discourse. And when they had drunk theirsufficiency the host called for a slave girl like a branch of banwho took alute and sang to it these two couplets: -

"O thou aye dwelling in my heart

Whileas thy form is far from sight

Thou art my sprite by me unseen

Yet nearest near art thoumy sprite." -

His hospitality pleased the Caliphand the goodliness of his mannersand hesaid to him: "O youthwho art thou? Make me acquainted with thyselfso Imay requite thee thy kindness." But Abu al-Hasan smiled and said: 'O mylordfar be italas! that what is past should again come to pass and that Icompany with thee at other time than this time!" The Prince of TrueBelievers asked: "Why so? And why wilt thou not acquaint me with thycase?" and Abu al-Hasan answered"KnowO my lordthat my story isstrange and that there is a cause for this affair." Quoth Al-Rashid"And what is the cause?" and quoth he"The cause hath atail." The Caliph laughed at his words and Abu al-Hasan said"I willexplain to thee this saying by the tale of the larrikin and the cook. So hearthouO my lordthe

STORY OF THE LARRIKIN AND THE COOK" -

ONE of the ne'er do-wells found himself one fine morning without aughtandthe world was straitened upon him and patience failed him. So he lay down tosleepand ceased not slumbering till the sun stang him and the foam came outupon his mouthwhereupon he aroseand he was penniless and had not even somuch as a single dirham. Presently he arrived at the shop of a cookwho had sethis pots and pans over the fire and washed his saucers and wiped his scales andswept his shop and sprinkled it. And indeed his fats and oils were clear andclarified and his spices fragrantand he himself stood behind his cooking potsready to serve customers. So the larrikinwhose wits had been sharpened byhungerwent in to him and saluting himsaid to him"Weigh me half adirham's worth of meat and a quarter of a dirham's worth of boiled grainandthe like of bread." So the kitchener weighed it out to him and thegood-for-naught entered the shopwhereupon the man set the food before him andhe ate till he had gobbled up the whole and licked the saucers and satperplexedknowing not how he should do with the cook concerning the price ofthat he had eatenand turning his eyes about upon everything in the shop.

And as he lookedbeholdhe caught sight of an earthen pan lying arsy-versyupon its mouthso he raised it from the ground and found under it a horse'stailfreshly cut off and the blood oozing from itwhereby he knew that thecook adulterated his meat with horseflesh. When he discovered this defaultherejoiced thereinand washing his handsbowed his head and went out. And whenthe kitchener saw that he went and gave him naughthe cried outsaying"StayO pestO burglar!" So the larrikin stopped and said to him"Dost thou cry out upon me and call to me with these wordsO comute?"Whereat the cook was angryand coming down from the shopcried: "Whatmeanest thou by thy speechO low fellowthou that devourest meat and milletand bread and kitchen and goest forth with 'the peace be on thee!' as it werethe thing had not been and down naught for it?" Quoth the lackpenny"Thou liestO accursed son of a cuckold!" Whereupon the cook criedoutand laying hold of his debtor's collarsaid"O Moslemsthis fellowis my first customer this dayand he hath eaten my food and given menaught."

So the folk gathered about them and blamed the ne'er-do-well and said to him"Give him the price of that which thou hast eaten." Quoth he"Igave him a dirham before I entered the shop" and quoth the cook: "Beeverything I sell this day forbidden to meif he gave me so much as the name ofa coin! By Allahhe gave me naughtbut ate my food and went out and would havemade offwithout aught said." Answered the larrikin"I gave thee adirham" and he reviled the kitchenerwho returned his abusewhereupon hedealt him a buffet and they gripped and grappled and throttled each other. Whenthe folk saw them fightingthey came up to them and asked them"What isthis strife between youand no cause for it?" and the lackpenny answered"Ayby Allahbut there is a cause for itand the cause hath atail!" Whereupon cried the cook: "Yeaby Allahnow thou mindest meof thyself and thy dirham! Yeshe gave me a dirhamand but a quarter of thecoin is spent. Come back and take the rest of the price of thy dirham." Forhe understood what was to doat the mention of the tail.

"And IO my brother" added Abu al-Hasan"my story hath acausewhich I will tell thee." The Caliph laughed at his speech and said:"By Allahthis is none other than a pleasant tale! Tell me thy story andthe cause."

Replied the host: "With love and goodly gree! KnowO my lordthat myname is Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a and that my father died and left me abundantwealthof which I made two parts. One I laid upand with the other I betookmyself to enjoying the pleasures of friendship and conviviality and consortingwith intimates and boon companions and the sons of the merchantsnor did Ileave one but I caroused with him and he with me. And I lavished all my money oncomrades and good cheertill there remained with me naught. Whereupon I betookmyself to the friends and fellow topers upon whom I wasted my wealthso perhapsthey might provide for my casebut when I visited them and went round about tothem allI found no vantage in one of themnor would any so much as break abittock of bread in my face. So I wept for myselfand repairing to my mothercomplained to her of my case. Quoth she: 'Such are friends. An thou have aughtthey frequent thee and devour theebut an thou have naughtthey cast thee offand chase thee away.' Then I brought out the other half of my money and boundmyself by an oath that I would never more entertain any save one single nightafter which I would never again salute him nor notice him. Hence my saying tothee: 'Far be italas! that what is past should again come to passfor I willnever again company with thee after this night."'

When the Commander of the Faithful heard thishe laughed a loud laugh andsaid: "By AllahO my brotherthou art indeed excused in this matternowthat I know the cause and that the cause hath a tail. NeverthelessInshallahIwill not sever myself from thee." Replied Abu al-Hasan: "O my guestdid I not say to thee'Far be italas! that what is past should again come topass?' For indeed I will never again forgather with any!" Then the Caliphrose and the host set before him a dish of roast goose and a bannock of firstbreadand sitting downfell to cutting off morsels and morseling the Caliphtherewith. They gave not over eating till they were filledwhen Abu al-Hasanbrought basin and ewer and potash and they washed their hands. Then he lightedthree wax candles and three lampsand spreading the drinking clothbroughtstrained wineclearoldand fragrantwhose scent was as that of virgin musk.He filled the first cup and saying"O my boon companionbe ceremony laidaside between us by thy leave! Thy slave is by theemay I not be afflicted withthy loss!" drank if off and filled a second cupwhich he handed to theCaliph with due reverence.

His fashion pleased the Commander of the Faithfuland the goodliness of hisspeechand he said to himself"By AllahI will assuredly requite him forthis!" Then Abu al-Hasan filled the cup again and handed it to the Cahphreciting these two couplets: -

"Had we thy coming knownwe would for sacrifice

Have poured thee out heart's blood or blackness of the eyes.

Ayand we would have spread our bosoms in thy way

That so thy feet might fare on eyelidscarpet-wise." - When the Caliphheard his verseshe took the cup from his hand and kissed it and drank it offand returned it to Abu al-Hasanwho made him an obeisance and filled and drank.Then he filled againand kissing the cup thricerecited these lines: -

"Your presence honoreth the base

And we confess the deed of grace.

An you absent yourself from us

No freke we find to fill your place." -

Then he gave the cup to the Caliphsaying: "Drink it in health andsoundness! It doeth away malady and bringeth remedy and setteth the runnels ofhealth to flow free." So they ceased not carousing and conversing tillmiddle nightwhen the Caliph said to his host"O my brotherhast thou inthy heart a concupiscence thou wouldst have accomplishedor a contingency thouwouldst avert?" Said he: "By Allahthere is no regret in my heartsave that I am not empowered with bidding and forbiddingso I might manage whatis in my mind!" Quoth the Commander of the Faithful"By Allahandagain by AllahO my brothertell me what is in thy mind!" And quoth Abual-Hasan: "Would Heaven I might be Caliph for one day and avenge myself onmy neighborsfor that in my vicinity is a mosqueand therein four sheikhswhohold it a grievance when there cometh a guest to meand they trouble me withtalk and worry me in words and menace me that they will complain of me to thePrince of True Believersand indeed they oppress me exceedingly. And I crave ofAllah the Most High power for one daythat I may beat each and every of themwith four hundred lashesas well as the imam of the mosqueand parade themround about the city of Baghdad and bid cry before them: 'This is the reward andthe least of the reward of whoso exceedeth in talk and vexeth the folk andturneth their joy to annoy.' This is what I wishand no more."

Said the Caliph: "Allah grant thee that thou seekest! Let us crack onelast cup and rise ere the dawn draw nearandtomorrow night I will be withthee again." Said Abu al-Hasan"Far be it!" Then the Caliphcrowned a cupand putting therein a piece of Cretan bhanggave it to his hostand said to him"My life on theeO my brotherdrink this cup from myhand!" and Abu al-Hasan answered"Ayby thy lifeI will drink itfrom thy hand." So he took it and drank it offbut hardly had it settledin his stomach when his head forewent his heels and he fell to the ground likeone slain. Whereupon the Caliph went out and said to his slave Masrur: "Goin to yonder young manthe housemasterand take him up and bring him to me atthe palace. And when thou goest outshut the door." So sayinghe wentawaywhilst Masrur enteredand taking up Abu al-Hasanshut the door behindhimand made after his master till he reached with him the palace what whilethe night drew to an end and the cocks began crowingand set him down beforethe Commander of the Faithfulwho laughed at him.

Then he sent for Ja'afar the Barmecide and when he came before himsaid tohim"Note thou yonder young man" pointing to Abu al-Hasan"andwhen thou shalt see him tomorrow seated in my place of estate and on the throneof my caliphate and clad in my royal clothingstand thou in attendance uponhimand enjoin the emirs and grandees and the folk of my household and theofficers of my realm to be upon their feetas in his serviceand obey him inwhatso he shall bid them do. And thouif he speak to thee of aughtdo itandhearken unto his say and gainsay him not in anything during this comingday." Ja'afar acknowledged the order with "Hearkening andobedience" and withdrewwhilst the Prince of True Believers went in to thepalace womenwho came up to himand he said to them: "When this sleepershall awake tomorrowkiss ye the ground between his handsand do ye wait uponhim and gather round about him and clothe him in the royal clothing and servehim with the service of the caliphateand deny not aught of his estatebut sayto him'Thou art the Caliph."' Then he taught them what they should say tohim and how they should do with himand withdrawing to a retired roomlet downa curtain before himself and slept.

Thus fared it with the Caliphbut as regards Abu al-Hasanhe gave not oversnoring in his sleep till the day brake clear and the rising of the sun drewnearwhen a woman in waiting came up to him and said to him"O our lordthe morning prayer!" Hearing these wordshe laughedand opening his eyesturned them about the palace and found himself in an apartment whose walls werePainted with gold and lapis lazuli and its ceiling dotted and starred with redgold. Around it were sleeping chambers with curtains of gold-embroidered silklet down over their doorsand all about vessels of gold and porcelain andcrystal and furniture and carpets dispread and lamps burning before the nichewherein men prayedand slave girls and eunuchs and Mamelukes and black slavesand boys and pages and attendants.

When he saw thishe was bewildered in his wit and said: "By Allaheither I am dreaming a dreamor this is Paradise and the Abode of Peace!"And he shut his eyes and would have slept again. Quoth one of the eunuchs"O my lordthis is not of thy wontO Commander of the Faithful!"Then the rest of the handmaids of the palace came up to him and lifted him intoa sitting posturewhen he found himself upon a mattress raised a cubit's heightfrom the ground and all stuffed with floss silk. So they seated him upon it andpropped his elbow with a pillowand he looked at the apartment and its vastnessand saw those eunuchs and slave girls in attendance upon him and standing abouthis headwhereupon he laughed at himself and said"By Allah'tis not asI were on wakeyet I am not asleep!" And in his perplexity he bowed hischin upon his bosomand then opened his eyeslittle by littlesmilingandsaying"What is this state wherein I find myself?" Then he arose andsat upwhilst the damsels laughed at him privilyand he was bewildered in hiswitand bit his fingerand as the bite pained himhe cried "Oh!"and was vexed. And the Caliph watched him whence he saw him notand laughed.

Presently Abu al-Hasan turned to a damsel and called to herwhereupon sheanswered"At thy serviceO Prince of True Believers!" Quoth he"What is thy name?" and quoth she"Shajarat al-Durr." Thenhe said to her"By the protection of AllahO damselam I Commander ofthe Faithful?" She replied"Yesindeedby the protection of Allahthou in this time art Commander of the Faithful." Quoth he"By Allahthou liestO thousandfold whore!" Then he glanced at the chief eunuch andcalled to himwhereupon he came to him and kissing the ground before himsaid"YesO Commander of the Faithful." Asked Abu al-Hasan"Who isCommander of the Faithful?" and the eunuch answered "Thou." AndAbu al-Hasan said"Thou Hestthousandfold he-whore that thou art!"Then he turned to another eunuch and said to him"O my chiefby theprotection of Allaham I Prince of the True Believers?" Said he: "Ayby AllahO my lordthou art in this time Commander of the Faithful andViceregent of the Lord of the Three Worlds."

Abu al-Hasan laughed at himself and doubted of his reason and was bewilderedat what he beheldand said: "In one night do I become Caliph? Yesterday Iwas Abu al-Hasan the Wagand today I am Commander of the Faithful." Thenthe Chief Eunuch came up to him and said: "O Prince of True Believers (thename of Allah encompass thee!)thou art indeed Commander of the Faithful andViceregent of the Lord of the Three Worlds!" And the slave girls andeunuchs flocked round about himtill he arose and abode wondering at his case.Hereupon the eunuch brought him a pair of sandals wrought with raw silk andgreen silk and purfled with red goldand he took them and after examining themset them in his sleeve. Whereat the castrato cried out and said: "Allah!Allah! O my lordthese are sandals for the treading of thy feetso thou maystwend to the wardrobe." Abu al-Hasan was confoundedand shaking the sandalsfrom his sleeveput them on his feetwhilst the Caliph died of laughter athim. The slave forewent him to the chapel of easewhere he enteredand doinghis jobcame out into the chamberwhereupon the slave girls brought him abasin of gold and a ewer of silver and poured water on his handsand he madethe wuzu ablution. Then they spread him a prayer carpet and he prayed.

Now he knew not how to prayand gave not over bowing and prostrating fortwenty inclinationspondering in himself the while and saying: "By AllahI am none other than the Commander of the Faithful in very truth! This isassuredly no dreamfor all these things happen not in a dream." And he wasconvinced and determined in himself that he was Prince of True Believersso hepronounced the salaam and finished his prayerswhereupon the Mamelukes andslave girls came round about him with bundled suits of silken and linen stuffsand clad him in the costume of the caliphate and gave the royal dagger in hishand.

Then the chief eunuch came in and said"O Prince of True BelieverstheChamberlain is at the door craving permission to enter." Said he"Lethim enter!" whereupon he came inand after kissing groundoffered thesalutation"Peace be upon theeO Commander of the Faithful!" At thisAbu al-Hasan rose and descended from the couch to the floorwhereupon theofficial exclaimed: "Allah! Allah! O Prince of True Believerswottest thounot that all men are thy lieges and under thy rule and that it is not meet forthe Caliph to rise to any man?" Presently the eunuch went out before himand the little white slaves behind himand they ceased not going till theyraised the curtain and brought him into the hall of judgment and the throne roomof the caliphate. There he saw all curtains and the forty doors

and Al-'Ijli and Al-Rakashi the poetand 'Ibdan and Jadim and Abu Ishak thecup companionand beheld swords drawn and the lions compassing the throne asthe white of the eye encircleth the blackand gilded glaives and death-dealingbows and Ajams and Arabs and Turks and Daylamites and folk and peoples and emirsand wazirs and captains and grandees and lords of the land and men of war inbandand in very sooth there appeared the might of the House of Abbas and themajesty of the Prophet's family.

So he sat down upon the throne of the caliphate and set the dagger on hislapwhereupon all present came up to kiss ground between his hands and calleddown on him length of life and continuance of weal. Then came forward Ja'afarthe Barmecide andkissing the groundsaid: "Be the wide world of Allahthe treading of thy feetand may Paradise be thy dwelling place and the firethe home of thy foes! Never may neighbor defy theenor the lights of fire dieout for theeO Caliph of all cities and ruler of all countries!"Therewithal Abu al-Hasan cried out at him and said"O dog of the sons ofBarmakgo down forthrightthou and the chief of the city policeto such aplace in such a streetand deliver a hundred dinars of gold to the mother ofAbu al-Hasan the Wagand bear her my salutation. Then go to such a mosque andtake the four Sheikhs and the imam and scourge each of them with a thousandlashes and mount them on beastsface to tailand parade them round about allthe city and banish them to a place other than this city. And bid the crier makecry before themsaying: 'This is the reward and the least of the reward ofwhoso multiplieth words and molesteth his neighbors and damageth their delightsand stinteth their eating and drinking!'"

Ja'afar received the command and answered "With obedience" afterwhich he went down from before Abu al-Hasan to the city and did all he hadordered him to do. MeanwhileAbu al-Hasan abode in the caliphatetaking andgivingbidding and forbidding and carrying out his command till the end of thedaywhen he gave leave and permission to withdrawand the emirs and officersof state departed to their several occupations and he looked toward theChamberlain and the rest of the attendants and said"Begone!" Thenthe eunuchs came to himand calling down on him length of life and continuanceof wealwalked in attendance upon him and raised the curtainand he enteredthe pavilion of the haremwhere he found candles lighted and lamps burning andsinging women smiting on instrumentsand ten slave girlshigh-bosomed maids.When he saw thishe was confounded in his wit and said to himself"ByAllahI am in truth Commander of the Faithful!" presently adding: "Orhaply these are of the Jannand he who was my guest yesternight was one oftheir kings who saw no way to requite my favors save by commanding his Ifrits toaddress me as Prince of True Believers. But an these be of the Jannmay Allahdeliver me in safety from their mischief!"

As soon as he appearedthe slave girls rose to himand carrying him up onto the daisbrought him a great tray bespread with the richest viands. So heate thereof with all his might and maintill he had gotten his fillwhen hecalled one of the handmaids and said to her"What is thy name?"Replied she"My name is Miskah" and he said to another"Whatis thy name?" Quoth she"My name is Tarkah." Then he asked athird"What is thy name?" who answered"My name isTohfah." And he went on to question the damsels of their namesone afterothertill he had learned the tenwhen he rose from that place and removed tothe wine chamber. He found it every way completeand saw therein ten greattrayscovered with all fruits and cates and every sort of sweetmeats. So he satdown and ate thereof after the measure of his competencyand finding therethree troops of singing girlswas amazedand made the girls eat.

Then he sat and the singers also seated themselveswhilst the black slavesand the white slaves and the eunuchs and pages and boys stoodand of the slavegirls some sat and others stood. The damsels sang and warbled all varieties ofmelodies and the place rang with the sweetness of the songswhilst the pipescried out and the lutes with them wailedtill it seemed to Abu al-Hasan that hewas in Paradiseand his heart was heartened and his breast broadened. So hesportedand joyaunce grew on him and he bestowed robes of honor on the damselsand gave and bestowedchallenging this girl and kissing that and toying with athirdplying one with wine and morseling another with meattill nightfall.

All this while the Commander of the Faithful was diverting himself withwatching him and laughingand when night fell he bade one of the slave girlsdrop a piece of bhang in the cup and give it to Abu al-Hasan to drink. So shedid his bidding and gave him the cupwhich no sooner had he drunk than his headforewent his feet. Therewith the Caliph came forth from behind the curtainlaughingand calling to the attendant who had brought Abu al-Hasan to thepalacesaid to him"Carry this man to his own place." So Masrur tookhim upand carrying him to his own houseset him down in the saloon. Then hewent forth from himand shutting the saloon door upon himreturned to theCaliphwho slept till the morrow.

As for Abu al-Hasanhe gave not over slumbering till Almighty Allah broughton the morningwhen he recovered from the drug and awokecrying out andsaying: "HoTuffahah! HoRahat al-Kulub! HoMiskah! HoTohfah!"And he ceased not calling upon the palace handmaids till his mother heard himsummoning strange damselsand risingcame to him and said: "Allah's nameencompass thee! Up with theeO my sonO Abu al-Hasan! Thou dreamest." Sohe opened his eyesand finding an old woman at his headraised his eyes andsaid to her"Who art thou?" Quoth she"I am thy mother"and quoth he: "Thou liest! I am the Commander of the Faithful theViceregent of Allah." Whereupon his mother shrieked aloud and said to him:"Heaven preserve thy reason! Be silentO my sonand cause not the loss ofour lives and the wasting of thy wealthwhich will assuredly befall us if anyhear this talk and carry it to the Caliph."

So he rose from his sleepand finding himself in his own saloon and hismother by himhad doubts of his witand said to her: "By AllahO mymotherI saw myself in a dream in a palacewith slave girls and Mamelukesabout me and in attendance upon meand I sat upon the throne of the Caliphateand ruled. By AllahO my motherthis is what I sawand in very sooth it wasno dream!" Then he bethought himself awhile and said: "AssuredlyI amAbu al-Hasan al-Khali'aand this that I saw was only a dream when I was madeCaliph and bade and forbade." Then he bethought himself again and said:"Naybut 'twas not a dreamand I am none other than the Caliphandindeed I gave gifts and bestowed honor robes." Quoth his mother to him:"O my sonthou sportest with thy reason. Thou wilt go to the madhouse andbecome a gazingstock. Indeedthat which thou hast seen is only from the FoulFiendand it was an imbroglio of dreamsfor at times Satan sporteth with men'swits in all manner of ways."

Then said she to him"O my sonwas there anyone with theeyesternight?" And he reflected and said: "Yesone lay the night withme and I acquainted him with my case and told him my tale. Doubtlesshe was ofthe devilsand IO my mothereven as thou sayst trulyam Abu al-Hasanal-Khali'a." She rejoined: "O my sonrejoice in tidings of all goodfor yesterday's record is that there came the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide andhis manyand beat the Sheikhs of the mosque and the imameach a thousandlashesafter which they paraded them round about the citymaking proclamationbefore them and saying'This is the reward and the least of the reward of whosofaileth in goodwill to his neighbors and troubleth on them their lives!' And hebanished them from Baghdad. Moreoverthe Caliph sent me a hundred dinars andsent to salute me."

Whereupon Abu al-Hasan cried out and said to her: "O ill-omened cronewilt thou contradict me and tell me that I am not the Prince of True Believers?'Twas I who commanded Ja'afar the Barmecide to beat the Sheikhs and parade themabout the city and make proclamation before themand 'twas Ivery Iwho sentthee the hundred dinars and sent to salute theeand IO beldam of ill luckamin very deed the Commander of the Faithfuland thou art a liarwho would makeme out an idiot." So sayinghe rose up and fell upon her and beat her witha staff of almond woodtill she cried out "HelpO Moslems!" And heincreased the beating upon her till the folk heard her criesand coming to herfound Abu al-Hasan bashing his mother and saying to her: "Old woman of illomenam I not the Commander of the Faithful? Thou hast ensorceled me!"When the folk heard his wordsthey said"This man raveth" anddoubted not of his madness.

So they came in upon himand seizing himpinioned his elbowsand bore himto the bedlam. Quoth the superintendant"What aileth this youth?" andquoth they"This is a madmanafflicted of the Jinn." "ByAllah" cried Abu al-Hasan"they lie against me! I am no madmanbutthe Commander of the Faithful." And the superintendent answered himsaying"None lieth but thouO foulest of the Jinn-maddened!" Then hestripped him of his clothesand clapping on his neck a heavy chainbound himto a high lattice and fell to beating him two bouts a day and two a-nightsandhe ceased not abiding on this wise the space of ten days. Then his mother cameto him and said: "O my sonO Abu al-Hasanreturn to thy right reasonforthis is the Devil's doing." Quoth he: "Thou sayest soothO my motherand bear thou witness of me that I repeat me of that talk and turn me from mymadness. So do thou deliver mefor I am nigh upon death." Accordingly hismother went out to the superintendent and procured his releaseand he returnedto his own house.

Now this was at the beginning of the monthand when it endedAbu al-Hasanlonged to drink liquor andreturning to his former habitfurnished his saloonand made ready food and bade bring wine. Thengoing forth to the bridgehe satthereexpecting one whom he should converse and carouse withaccording to hiscustom. As he sat thusbeholdup came the Caliph and Masrur to himbut Abual-Hasan saluted them not and said to Al-Rashid"No friendly welcome totheeO King of the Jann!" Quoth Al-Rashid"What have I done tothee?" and quoth Abu al-Hasan"What more couldst thou do than whatthou hast done to meO foulest of the Jann? I have been beaten and thrown intobedlamwhere all said I was Jinn-madand this was caused by none save thyself.I brought thee to my house and fed thee with my bestafter which thou distempower thy Satans and Marids to disport themselves with my wits from morning toevening. So avaunt and aroynt thee and wend thy ways!"

The Caliph smiled andseating himself by his sidesaid to him"O mybrotherdid I not tell thee that I would return to thee?" Quoth Abual-Hasan"I have no need of theeand as the byword sayeth in verse: -

"Fro' my friend'twere meeter and wiser to part

For what eye sees not born shall ne'er sorrow heart." - And indeedO mybrotherthe night thou camest to me and we conversed and caroused togetherIand thou'twas as if the Devil came to me and troubled me that night."Asked the Caliph"And who is hethe Devil?" and answered Abual-Hasan"He is none other than thou." Whereat the Caliph laughed andcoaxed him and spake him fairsaying: "O my brotherwhen I went out fromtheeI forgot the door and left it openand perhaps Satan came in tothee." Quoth Abu al-Hasan: "Ask me not of that which hath betided me.What possessed thee to leave the door openso that the Devil came in to me andthere befell me with him this and that?" And he related to him all that hadbetided himfirst and last (and in repetition is no fruition)what while theCaliph laughed and hid his laughter.

Then said he to Abu al-Hasan: "Praised be Allah who hath done away fromthee whatso irked theeand that I see thee once more in weal!" And Abual-Hasan said: "Never again will I take thee to cup companion or sittingcomradefor the proverb saith'Whoso stumbleth on a stone and theretoreturnethupon him be blame and reproach.' And thouO my brothernevermorewill I entertain thee nor company with theefor that I have not found thy heelpropitious to me." But the Caliph coaxed him and said"I have beenthe means of thy winning to thy wish anent the imam and the Sheikhs." Abual-Hasan replied"Thou hast" and Al-Rashid continued"Andhaply somewhat may betide which shall gladden thy heart yet more." Abual-Hasan asked"What dost thou require of me?" and the Commander ofthe Faithful answered: "VerilyI am thy guest. Reject not the guest."Quoth Abu al-Hasan: "On condition that thou swear to me by the characts onthe seal of SolomonDavid's son (on the twain be the peace!) that thou wilt notsuffer thine Ifrits to make fun of me." He replied"To hear is toobey!"

Whereupon the wag took him and brought him into the saloon and set foodbefore him and entreated him with friendly speech. Then he told him all that hadbefallen himwhilst the Caliph was like to die of stifled laughter. After whichAbu al-Hasan removed the tray of foodand bringing the wine servicefilled acup and cracked it three timesthen gave it to the Caliphsaying: "O booncompanion mineI am thy slaveand let not that which I am about to say offendtheeand be thou not vexedneither do thou vex me." And he recited theseverses: -

"Hear one that wills thee well! Lips none shall bless

Save those who drink for drunk and all transgress.

Ne'er will I cease to swill while night falls dark

Till lout my forehead low upon my tass.

In wine like liquid sun is my delight

Which clears all care and gladdens allegresse." -

When the Caliph heard these his verses and saw how apt he was at coupletshewas delighted with exceeding delightand taking the cupdrank it offand thetwain ceased not to converse and carouse till the wine rose to their heads. Thenquoth Abu al-Hasan to the Caliph: "O boon companion mineof a truth I amperplexed concerning my affairfor meseemed I was Commander of the Faithful andruled and gave gifts and largessand in very deedO my brotherit was not adream." Quoth the Caliph"These were the imbroglios of sleep"and crumbling a bit of bhang into the cupsaid to him"By my lifedothou drink this cup" and said Abu al-Hasan"Surely I will drink itfrom thy hand." Then he took the cup and drank it offand no sooner had itsettled in his stomach than his head fell to the ground before his feet. Now hismanners and fashions pleased the Caliphand the excellence of his compositionand his franknessand he said in himself"I will assuredly make him mycup companion and sitting comrade." So he rose forthrightand saying toMasrur"Take him up" returned to the palace.

Accordinglythe eunuch took up Abu al-Hasanand carrying him to the palaceof the caliphateset him down before Al-Rashidwho bade the slaves and slavegirls compass him aboutwhilst he himself hid in a place where Abu al-Hasancould not see him. Then he commanded one of the handmaidens to take the lute andstrike it over the wag's headwhilst the rest smote upon their instruments. Sothey played and sangtill Abu al-Hasan awoke at the last of the night and heardthe symphony of lutes and tambourines and the sound of the flutes and thesinging of the slave girlswhereupon he opened eyesand finding himself in thepalacewith the handmaids and eunuchs about himexclaimed: "There is noMajesty and there is no Might save in Allahthe Gloriousthe Great! Come to myhelp this nightwhich meseems more unlucky than the former! VerilyI amfearful of the madhouse and of that which I suffered therein the first timeandI doubt not but the Devil is come to me againas before. O Allahmy Lordputthou Satan to shame!" Then he shut his eyes and laid his head in hissleeveand fell to laughing softly and raising his head betimesbut stillfound the apartment lighted and the girls singing.

Presently one of the eunuchs sat down at his head and said to him"SitupO Prince of True Believersand look on thy palace and thy slavegirls." Said Abu al-Hasan: "Under the veil of Allaham I in truthCommander of the Faithfuland dost thou not lie? Yesterday I rode not forthneither ruledbut drank and sleptand this eunuch cometh to make merise." Then he sat up and recalled to thought that which had betided himwith his mother and how he had beaten her and entered the bedlamand he saw themarks of the beating wherewith the superintendant had beaten himand wasperplexed concerning his affair and pondered in himselfsaying"By AllahI know not how my case is nor what is this that betideth me!" Thengazingat the scene around himhe said privily"All these are of the Jann inhuman shapeand I commit my case to Allah."

Presently he turned to one of the damsels and said to her"Who amI?" Quoth she"Thou art the Commander of the Faithful" andquoth he: "Thou liestO calamity! If I be indeed the Commander of theFaithfulbite my finger." So she came to him and bit it with all hermightand he said to her"It doth suffice." Then he asked the chiefeunuch"Who am I?" and he answered"Thou art the Commander ofthe Faithful." So he left him and returned to his wonderment. Thenturningto a little white slavesaid to him"Bite my ear" and he bent hishead low down to him and put his ear to his mouth. Now the Mameluke was youngand lacked senseso he closed his teeth upon Abu al-Hasan's ear with all hismighttill he came near to sever it. And he knew not Arabicso as often as thewag said to him"It doth suffice" he concluded that he said"Bite like a vice" and redoubled his bite and made his teeth meet inthe earwhilst the damsels were diverted from him with hearkening to thesinging girlsand Abu al-Hasan cried out for succor from the boy and the Caliphlost his senses for laughter.

Then he dealt the boy a cuffand he let go his earwhereupon all presentfell down with laughter and said to the little Mameluke"Art mad that thoubitest the Caliph's ear on this wise?" And Abu al-Hasan cried to them:"Sufficeth ye notO ye wretched Jinnsthat which hath befallen me? Butthe fault is not yours. The fault is of your chiefwho transmewed you from Jinnshape to mortal shape. I seek refuge against you this night by the Throne Verseand the Chapter of Sincerity and the Two Preventives!" So sayingthe wagput off his clothes till he was nakedwith prickle and breech exposedanddanced among the slave girls. They bound his hands and he wantoned among themwhile they died of laughing at him and the Caliph swooned away for excess oflaughter.

Then he came to himselfand going forth the curtain to Abu al-Hasansaid tohim: "Out on theeO Abu al-Hasan! Thou slayest me with laughter." Sohe turned to himand knowing himsaid to him"By Allah'tis thouslayest me and slayest my mother and slewest the Sheikhs and the imam of themosque!" After which he kissed ground before him and prayed for thepermanence of his prosperity and the endurance of his days. The Caliph at oncerobed him in a rich robe and gave him a thousand dinarsand presently he tookthe wag into especial favor and married him and bestowed largess on him andlodged him with himself in the palace and made him of the chief of his cupcompanionsand indeed he was preferred with him above themand the Caliphadvanced him over them allso that he sat with him and the Lady Zubaydah bintal-Kasimwhose treasuressNuzhat al-Fuad hightwas given to him in marriage.

After this Abu al-Hasan the wag abode with his wife in eating and drinkingand all delight of lifetill whatso was with them went the way of moneywhenhe said to her"HarkyeO Nuzhat al-Fuad!" Said she"At thyservice" and he continued"I have it in mind to play a trick on theCaliphand thou shalt do the like with the Lady Zubaydahand we will take ofthem at onceto begin withtwo hundred dinars and two pieces of silk."She rejoined"As thou willestbut what thinkest thou to do?" And hesaid: "We will feign ourselves deadand this is the trick. I will diebefore thee and lay myself outand do thou spread over me a silken napkin andloose my turban over me and tie my toes and lay on my stomach a knife and alittle salt. Then let down thy hair and betake thyself to thy mistress Zubaydahtearing thy dress and slapping thy face and crying out. She will ask thee'Whataileth thee?' and do thou answer her'May thy head outlive Abu al-Hasan thewagfor he is dead.' She will mourn for me and weep and bid her new treasuressgive thee a hundred dinars and a piece of silk and will say to thee'Golayhim out and carry him forth.' So do thou take of her the hundred dinars and thepiece of silk and come backand when thou returnest to meI will rise up andthou shalt lie down in my placeand I will go to the Caliph and say to him'May thy head outlive Nuzhat al-Fuad' and rend my raiment and pluck out mybeard. He will mourn for thee and say to his treasurer'Give Abu al-Hasan ahundred dinars and a piece of silk.' Then he will say to me'Golay her outand carry her forth' and I will come back to thee."

Therewith Nuzhat al-Fuad rejoiced and said"Indeedthis is anexcellent device." Then Abu al-Hasan stretched himself out forthright andshe shut his eyes and tied his feet and covered him with the napkin and didwhatso her lord had bidden her. After which she tare her gear and bared her headand letting down her hairwent in to the Lady Zubaydahcrying out and weeping.When the Princess saw her in this stateshe cried: "What plight is this?What is thy storyand what maketh thee weep?" And Nuzhatal-Fuad answeredweeping and loud-wailing the while: "O my ladymay thy head live and maystthou survive Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'afor he is dead!" The Lady Zubaydahmourned for him and said"Alaspoor Abu al-Hasan the wag!" and sheshed tears for him awhile. Then she bade her treasuress give Nuzhat al-Fuad ahundred dinars and a piece of silk and said to her"O Nuzhat al-Fuadgolay him out and carry him forth."

So she took the hundred dinars and the piece of silk and returned to herdwellingrejoicingand went in to her spouse and acquainted him what hadbefallenwhereupon he arose and rejoiced and girdled his middle and danced andtook the hundred dinars and the piece of silk and laid them up. Then he laid outNuzhat al-Fuad and did with her as she had done with himafter which he renthis raiment and plucked out his beard and disordered his turban and ran outnorceased running till he came in to the Caliphwho was sitting in the judgmenthalland he in this plightbeating his breast. The Caliph asked him"What aileth theeO Abu al-Hasan?" and he wept and answered"Would Heaven thy cup companion had never beenand would his hour hadnever come!" Quoth the Caliph"Tell me thy case" and quoth Abual-Hasan"O my lordmay thy head outlive Nuzhat al-Fuad!" The Caliphexclaimed"There is no god but God" and smote hand upon hand. Thenhe comforted Abu al-Hasan and said to him"Grieve notfor we will bestowupon thee a bedfellow other than she." And he ordered the treasurer to givehim a hundred dinars and a piece of silk. Accordingly the treasurer did what theCaliph bade himand Al-Rashid said to him"Golay her out and carry herforth and make her a handsome funeral."

So Abu al-Hasan took that which he had given him and returning to his houserejoicingwent in to Nuzhat al-Fuad and said to her"Arisefor ourwish" is won." Hereat she arose and he laid before her the hundredducats and the piece of silkwhereat she rejoicedand they added the gold tothe gold and the silk to the silk and sat talking and laughing each to other.

Meanwhilewhen Abu al-Hasan fared forth the presence of the Caliph and wentto lay out Nuzhat al-Fuadthe Commander of the Faithful mourned for heranddismissing the Divanarose and betook himselfleaning upon Masrurthe Sworderof his vengeanceto the Lady Zubaydahthat he might condole with her for herhandmaid. He found her sitting weeping and awaiting his comingso she mightcondole with him for his boon companion Abu al-Hasan the wag. So he said to her"May thy head outlive thy slave girl Nuzhat al-Fuad!" and said she:"O my lordAllah preserve my slave girl! Mayst thou live and long survivethy boon companion Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'afor he is dead." The Caliphsmiled and said to his eunuch: "O Masrurverily women are little of wit.Allah upon theesaywas not Abu al-Hasan with me but now?" Quoth the LadyZubaydahlaughing from a heart full of wrath: "Wilt thou not leave thyjesting? Sufficeth thee not that Abu al-Hasan is deadbut thou must put todeath my slave girl also and bereave us of the twainand style me little ofwit?" The Caliph answered"Indeed'tis Nuzhat al-Fuad who isdead." And the Lady Zubaydah said: "Indeed he hath not been with theenor hast thou seen himand none was with me but now save Nuzhat al-Fuadandshe sorrowfulweepingwith her clothes torn to tatters. I exhorted her topatience and gave her a hundred dinars and a piece of silkand indeed I wasawaiting thy comingso I might console thee for thy cup companion Abu al-Hasanal-Khali'aand was about to send for thee." The Caliph laughed and said"None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad" and she"Nonogood mylord; none is dead but Abu al-Hasan the wag."

With this the Caliph waxed wrothand the hashimi vein started out frombetween his eyes and throbbedand he cried out to Masrur and said to him"Fare thee forth to the house of Abu al-Hasan the wagand see which ofthem is dead." So Masrur went outrunningand the Caliph said to the LadyZubaydah"Wilt thou lay me a wager?" And said she"YesI willwagerand I say that Abu al-Hasan is dead." Rejoined the Caliph: "AndI wager and say that none is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuadand the stake between meand thee shall be the Garden of Pleasaunce against thy palace and the Pavilionof Pictures." So they agreed upon this and sat awaiting Masrur's returnwith the news.

As for the eunuchhe ceased not running till he came to the by-streetwherein was the stead of Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a. Now the wag was comfortablyseated and leaning back against the latticeand chancing to look roundsawMasrur running along the street and said to Nuzhat al-Fuad"Meseemeth theCaliphwhen I went forth from himdismissed the Divan and went in to the LadyZubaydah to condole with herwhereupon she arose and condoled with himsaying'Allah increase thy recompense for the loss of Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a!' And hesaid to her'None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuadmay thy head outlive her!' Quothshe''Tis not she who is deadbut Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'athy booncompanion.' And quoth he'None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad.' And they waxed soobstinate that the Caliph became wroth and they laid a wagerand he hath sentMasrur the Sworder to see who is dead. Nowtherefore'twere best that thou liedownso he may sight thee and go and acquaint the Caliph and confirm mysaying."

So Nuzhat al-Fuad stretched herself out and Abu al-Hasan covered her with hermantilla and sat weeping at her head. PresentlyMasrurthe eunuchsuddenlycame in to him and saluted himand seeing Nuzhat al-Fuad stretched outuncovered her face and said: "There is no god but God! Our sister Nuzhatal-Fuad is dead indeed. How sudden was the stroke of Destiny! Allah have ruth onthee and acquit thee of all charge!" Then he returned and related what hadpassed before the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydahand he laughing as he spoke."O accursed one" cried the Caliph: "this is no time forlaughter! Tell us which is dead of them." Masrur replied: "By AllahOmy lordAbu al-Hasan is welland none is dead but Nuzhat al-Fuad." Quoththe Caliph to Zubaydah"Thou hast lost thy pavilion in thy play" andhe jeered at her. and said"O Masrurtell her what thou sawest."

Quoth the eunuch: "VerilyO my ladyI ran without ceasing till I camein to Abu al-Hasan in his houseand found Nuzhat al-Fuad lying dead and Abual-Hasan sitting tearful at her head. I saluted him and condoled with him andsat down by his side and uncovered the face of Nuzhat al-Fuad and saw her deadand her face swollen. So I said to him'Carry her out forthwithso we may prayover her.' He replied''Tis well' and I left him to lay her out and camehitherthat I might tell you the news." The Prince of True Believerslaughed and said"Tell it again and again to thy lady Little-wits."When the Lady Zubaydah heard Masrur's words and those of the Caliph she waswroth and said"None is little of wit save he who believeth a blackslave." And she abused Masrurwhilst the Commander of the Faithfullaughed; and the eunuchvexed at thissaid to the Caliph"He spake soothwho said'Women are little of wits and lack religion."'

Then said the Lady Zubaydah to the Caliph: "O Commander of the Faithfulthou sportest and jestest with meand this slave hoodwinketh methe better toplease thee. But I will send and see which of them be dead." And heansweredsaying"Send one who shall see which of them is dead." Sothe Lady Zubaydah cried out to an old duennaand said to her: "Hie thee tothe house of Nuzhat al-Fuad in haste and see who is deadand loiter not."And she used hard words to her. So the old woman went out runningwhilst thePrince of True Believers and Masrur laughedand she ceased not running till shecame into the street. Abu al-Hasan saw herand knowing hersaid to his wife:"O Nuzhat al-Fuadmeseemeth the Lady Zubaydah hath sent to us to see whois dead and hath not given credit to Masrur's report of thy death. Accordinglyshe hath dispatched the old croneher duennato discover the truth. So itbehooveth me to be dead in my turn for the sake of thy credit with the LadyZubaydah."

Hereat he lay down and stretched himself outand she covered him and boundhis eyes and feet and sat in tears at his head. Presently the old woman came into her and saw her sitting at Abu al-Hasan's headweeping and recounting hisfine qualities; and when she saw the old trotshe cried out and said to her:"See what hath befallen me! Indeed Abu al-Hasan is dead and hath left melone and lorn!" Then she shrieked out and rent her raiment and said to thecrone"O my motherhow very good he was to me!" Quoth the other"Indeed thou art excusedfor thou wast used to him and he to thee."

Then she considered what Masrur had reported to the Caliph and the LadyZubaydah and said to her"IndeedMasrur goeth about to cast discordbetween the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah." Asked Nuzhat al-Fuad"Andwhat is the cause of discordO my mother?" and the other replied: "Omy daughterMasrur came to the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah and gave them newsof thee that thou wast dead and that Abu al-Hasan was well." Nuzhat al-Fuadsaid to her: "O naunty mineI was with my lady just now and she gave me ahundred dinars and a piece of silkand now see my case and that which hathbefallen me! Indeed I am bewilderedand how shall I doand I lone and lorn?Would Heaven I had died and he had lived!" Then she wept and with her weptthe old womanwhogoing up to Abu al-Hasan and uncovering his facesaw hiseyes bound and swollen for the swathing. So she covered him again and said"IndeedO Nuzhat al-Fuadthou art afflicted in Abu al-Hasan!"

Then she condoled with herand going out from herran along the street tillshe came into the Lady Zubaydah and related to her the storyand the Princesssaid to herlaughing: "Tell it over again to the Caliphwho maketh me outlittle of witand lacking of religionand who made this ill-omened liar of aslave presume to contradict me." Quoth Masrur"This old woman liethfor I saw Abu al-Hasan well and Nuzhat al-Fuad it was who lay dead." Quoththe duenna"'Tis thou that liestand wouldst fain cast discord-betweenthe Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah." And Masrur cried"None lieth butthouO old woman of ill omenand thy lady believeth theeand she must be inher dotage." Whereupon the Lady Zubaydah cried out at himand in verysooth she was enraged with him and with his speech and shed tears.

Then said the Caliph to her: "I lie and my eunuch liethand thou liestand thy waiting-woman liethso 'tis my rede we goall four of us togetherthat we may see which of us telleth the truth." Masrur said: "Comelet us gothat I may do to this ill-omened old woman evil deeds and deal her asound drubbing for her lying." And the duenna answered him: "O dotardis thy wit like into my wit? Indeed thy wit is as the hen's wit." Masrurwas incensed at her words and would have laid violent hands on herbut the LadyZubaydah pushed him away from her and said to him"Her truthspeaking willpresently be distinguished from thy truth-speaking and her leasing from thyleasing." Then they all four aroselaying wagers one with otherand wentforth afoot from the palace gate and hied on till they came in at the gate ofthe street where Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a dwelt.

He saw themand said to his wifeNuzhat al-Fuad: "Verilyall that issticky is not a pancake they cooknor every time shall the crock escape theshock. It seemeth the old woman hath gone and told her lady and acquainted herwith our case and she hath disputed with Masrurthe eunuchand they have laidwagers each with other about our death and are come to usall fourthe Caliphand the eunuch and the Lady Zubaydah and the old trot." When Nuzhat al-Fuadheard thisshe started up from her outstretched posture and asked"Howshall we do?" whereto he answered"We will both feign ourselves deadtogether and stretch ourselves out and hold out breath." So she hearkenedunto him and they both lay down on the place where they usually slept the siestaand bound their feet and shut their eyes and covered themselves with the veiland held their breath.

Presently up came the CaliphZubaydahMasrurand the old womanandenteringfound Abu al-Hasan the wag and wife both stretched out as deadwhichwhen the Lady sawshe wept and said: "They ceased not to bring ill news ofmy slave girl till she died. Methinketh Abu al-Hasan's death was grievous to herand that she died after him." Quoth the Caliph: "Thou shalt notprevent me with thy prattle and prate. She certainly died before Abu al-Hasanfor he came to me with his raiment rent and his beard plucked outbeating hisbreast with two bits of unbaked brickand I gave him a hundred dinars and apiece of silk and said too him'Gobear her forthand I will give thee abedfellow other than she and handsomerand she shall be instead of her.' But itwould appear that her death was no light matter to him and he died after hersoit is I who have beaten thee and gotten thy stake." The Lady Zubaydahanswered him in words galoreand the dispute between them waxed sore.

At last the Caliph sat down at the heads of the pair and said: "By thetomb of the Apostle of Allah (whom may He save and assain!) and the sepulchersof my fathers and forefatherswhoso will tell me which of them died before theotherI will willingly give him a thousand dinars!" When Abu al-Hasanheard the Caliph's wordshe sprang up in haste and said: "I died firstOCommander of the Faithful! Here with the thousand dinarsand acquit thee ofthine oath and the swear thou sworest." Nuzhat al-Fuad rose also and stoodup before the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydahwho both rejoiced in this and intheir safetyand the Princess chid her slave girl. Then the Caliph and Zubaydahgave them joy of their well-being and knew that this death was a trick to getthe goldand the Lady said to Nuzhat al-Fuad: "Thou shouldst have soughtof me that which thou neededstwithout this fashionand not have burned myheart for thee." And she"VerilyI was ashamedO my lady."

As for the Caliphhe swooned away for laughing and said"O Abual-Hasanthou wilt never cease to be a wag and do peregrine things andprodigious!" Quoth he: "O Commander of the Faithfulthis trick Iplayed off for that the money which thou gavest me was exhaustedand I wasashamed to ask of thee again. When I was singleI could never keep money inhandbut since thou marriedst me to this damselif I possessed even thywealthI should lay it waste. Wherefore when all that was in my hand was spentI wrought this sleight so I might get of thee the hundred dinars and the pieceof silkand all this is an alms from our lord. But now make haste to give methe thousand dinars and acquit thee of thine oath." The Caliph and the LadyZubaydah laughed and returned to the palaceand he gave Abu al-Hasan thethousand dinars saying"Take them as a douceur for thy perservation fromdeath" whilst her mistress did the like with Nuzhat al-Fuadhonoring herwith the same words. Moreoverthe Caliph increased the wag in his solde andsuppliesand he and his wife ceased not to live in joy and contentment tillthere came to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societiesthePlunderer of palacesand the Gamerer of graves.

And among tales they tell is one touching

ALADDIN; ORTHE WONDERFUL LAMP -

IT hath reached meO King of the Agethat there dwelt in a city of thecities of China a man which was a tailorwithal a pauperand he had one sonAladdin hight. Now this boy had been from his babyhood a ne'er-do-wellascapegrace. And when he reached his tenth yearhis father inclined to teach himhis own tradeandfor that he was overindigent to expend money upon hislearning other work or craft or apprenticeshiphe took the lad into his shopthat he might be taught tailoring. Butas Aladdin was a scapegrace and ane'er-do-well and wont to play at all times with the gutter boys of the quarterhe would not sit in the shop for a single day. Nayhe would await his father'sleaving it for some purposesuch as to meet a creditorwhen he would run offat once and fare forth to the gardens with the other scapegraces and lowcompanionshis fellows. Such was his case- counsel and castigation were of noavailnor would he obey either parent in aught or learn any trade. Andpresentlyfor his sadness andsorrowing because of his son's viciousindolencethe tailor sickened and died.

Aladdin continued in his former ill coursesand when his mother saw that herspouse had deceased and that her son was a scapegrace and good for nothing atallshe sold the shop and whatso was to be found therein and fell to spinningcotton yarn. By this toilsome industry she fed herself and found food for herson Aladdin the scapegracewhoseeing himself freed from bearing theseverities of his sireincreased in idleness and low habits. Nor would he everstay at home save at meal hours while his miserable wretched mother lived onlyby what her hands could spin until the youth had reached his fifteenth year. Itbefell one day of the days that as he was sitting about the quarter at play withthe vagabond boysbeholda dervish from the Maghribthe Land of the SettingSuncame up and stood gazing for solace upon the lads. And he looked hard atAladdin and carefully considered his semblancescarcely noticing his companionsthe while. Now this dervish was a Moorman from Inner Moroccoand he was amagician who could upheap by his magic hill upon hilland he was also an adeptin astrology. So after narrowly considering Aladdinhe said in himself"Verilythis is the lad I need and to find whom I have left my natalland." Presently he led one of the children apart and questioned him anentthe scapegrace saying"Whose son is he?" And he sought allinformation concerning his condition and whatso related to him.

After this he walked up to Aladdinand drawing him asideasked"O mysonhaply thou art the child of Such-a-one the tailor?" and the ladanswered"YesO my lordbut 'tis long since he died." The Maghrabithe magicianhearing these wordsthrew himself upon Aladdin and wound his armsaround his neck and fell to bussing himweeping the while with tears tricklinga-down his cheeks. But when the lad saw the Moorman's casehe was seized withsurprise thereat and questioned himsaying"What causeth thee weepO mylordand how camest thou to know my father?" "How canst thouO myson" replied the Moormanin a soft voice saddened by emotion"question me with such query after informing me that thy father and mybrother is deceased? For that he was my brother germanand now I come from myadopted country and after long exile I rejoiced with exceeding joy in the hopeof looking upon him once more and condoling with him over the past. And now thouhast announced to me his demise. But blood hideth not from bloodand it hathrevealed to me that thou art my nephewson of my brotherand I knew theeamongst all the ladsalbeit thy fatherwhen I parted from himwas yetunmarried."

Then he again clasped Aladdin to his bosomcrying: "O my sonI havenone to condole with now save thyself. And thou standest in stead of thy sirethou being his issue and representative and 'whoso leaveth issue dieth not' Omy child!" So sayingthe magician put hand to purseand pulling out tengold piecesgave them to the ladasking"O my sonwhere is your houseand where dwelleth shethy mother and my brother's widow?" PresentlyAladdin arose with him and showed him the way to their homeand meanwhile quoththe wizard: "O my sontake these moneys and give them to thy mothergreeting her from meand let her know that thine unclethy father's brotherhath reappeared from his exile and that Inshallah- God willing- on the morrow Iwill visit her to salute her with the salaam and see the house wherein mybrother was homed and look upon the place where he lieth buried." ThereuponAladdin kissed the Maghrabi's handand after running in his joy at fullestspeed to his mother's dwelling entered to her clean contrariwise to his custominasmuch as he never came near her save at mealtimes only.

And when he found herthe lad exclaimed in his delight: "O my motherIgive thee glad tidings of mine uncle who hath returned from his exileand whonow sendeth me to salute thee." "O my son" she replied"meseemeth thou mockest me! Who is this uncleand how canst thou have anuncle in the bonds of life?" He rejoined: "How sayest thouO mymotherthat I have no living uncles nor kinsmenwhen this man is my father'sown brother? Indeed he embraced me and bussed meshedding tears the whileandbade me acquaint thee herewith." She retorted"O my sonwell I wotthou haddest an unclebut he is now deadnor am I ware that thou hast othereme."

The Moroccan magician fared forth next morning and fell to finding outAladdinfor his heart no longer permitted him to part from the lad. And as hewas to-ing and fro-ing about the city highwayshe came face to face with himdisporting himselfas was his wontamongst the vagabonds and the scapegraces.So he drew near to himand taking his handembraced him and bussed him. Thenpulled out of his poke two dinars and said: "Hie thee to thy mother andgive her these couple of ducats and tell her that thine uncle would eat theevening meal with you. So do thou take these two gold pieces and prepare for usa succulent supper. But before all thingsshow me once more the way to yourhome." "On my head and mine eyes be itO my uncle" replied thelad and forewent himpointing out the street leading to the house. Then theMoorman left him and went his ways and Aladdin ran home andgiving the news andthe two sequins to his parentsaid"My uncle would sup with us."

So she arose straightway andgoing to the market streetbought all sherequired. Thenreturning to her dwellingshe borrowed from the neighborswhatever was needed of pans and plattersand so forthand when the meal wascooked and suppertime came she said to Aladdin: "O my childthe meat isreadybut peradventure thine uncle wotteth not the way to our dwelling. So dothou fare forth and meet him on the road." He replied"To hear is toobey" and before the twain ended talking a knock was heard at the door.Aladdin went out and openedwhenbeholdthe Maghrabithe magiciantogetherwith a eunuch carrying the wine and the dessert fruits. So the lad led them inand the slave went about his business. The Moorman on entering saluted hissister-in-law with the salaamthen began to shed tears and to question hersaying"Where be the place whereon my brother went to sit?" Sheshowed it to himwhereat he went up to it and prostrated himself in prayer andkissed the floorcrying: how scant is my satisfaction and how luckless is mylotfor that I have lost theeO my brotherO vein of my eye!" And aftersuch fashion he continued weeping and wailing till he swooned away for excess ofsobbing and lamentationwherefor Aladdin's mother was certified of hissoothfastness. Socoming up to himshe raised him from the floor and said"What gain is there in slaying thyself?"

As soon as he was seated at his easeand before the food trays were serveduphe fell to talking with her and saying: "O wife of my brotherit mustbe a wonder to thee how in all thy days thou never sawest me nor learnst thouaught of me during the lifetime of my brother who hath found mercy. Now thereason is that forty years ago I left this town and exiled myself from mybirthplace and wandered forth over all the lands of Al-Hind and Al-Sind andentered Egypt and settled for a long time in its magnificent citywhich is oneof the world wonderstill at last I fared to the regions of the setting sun andabode for a space of thirty years in the Moroccan interior. Now one day of thedaysO wife of my brotheras I was sitting alone at homeI fell to thinkingof mine own country and of my birthplace and of my brother (who hath foundmercy). And my yearning to see him waxed excessive and I bewept and bewailed mystrangerhood and distance from him. And at last my longings drave me homewarduntil I resolved upon traveling to the region which was the falling place of myhead and my homesteadto the end that I might again see my brother. Then quothI to myself: 'O manhow long wilt thou wander like a wild Arab from thy placeof birth and native stead? Moreoverthou hast one brother and no moreso upwith thee and travel and look upon him ere thou diefor who wotteth the woes ofthe world and the changes of the days? 'Twould be saddest regret an thou liedown to die without beholding thy brother. And Allah (laud be to the Lord!) hathvouchsafed thee ample wealthand belike he may be straitened and in poor casewhen thou wilt aid thy brother as well as see him.'

"So I arose at once and equipped me for wayfare and recited the fatihah.Thenwhenas Friday prayers endedI mounted and traveled to this townaftersuffering manifold toils and travails which I patiently endured whilst the Lord(to Whom be honor and glory!) veiled me with the veil of His protection. So Ienteredand whilst wandering about the streets the day before yesterday Ibeheld my brother's son Aladdin disporting himself with the boys andby God theGreatO wife of my brotherthe moment I saw him this heart of mine went forthto him (for blood yearneth unto blood!)and my soul felt and informed me thathe was my very nephew. So I forgot all my travails and troubles at once onsighting himand I was like to fly for joy. But when he told me of the dearone's departure to the ruth of Allah AlmightyI fainted for stress of distressand disappointment. Perchancehowevermy nephew hath informed thee of thepains which prevailed upon me. But after a fashion I am consoled by the sight ofAladdinthe legacy bequeathed to us by him who hath found mercy for that 'whosoleaveth issue is not wholly dead.'"

And when he looked at his sister-in-lawshe wept at these his wordsso heturned to the ladthat he might cause her to forget the mention of her mateasa means of comforting her and also of completing his deceitand asked himsaying: "O my son Aladdinwhat hast thou learned in the way of workandwhat is thy business? Say mehast thou mastered any craft whereby to earn alivelihood for thyself and for thy mother?" The lad was abashed and put toshame and he hung down his head and bowed his brow groundward. But his parentspake out: "Howforsooth? By Allahhe knoweth nothing at alla child soungracious as this I never yet saw- nonever! All the day long he idleth awayhis time with the sons of the quartervagabonds like himselfand his father (Oregret of me!) died not save of dolor for him. And I also am now in piteousplight. I spin cotton and toil at my distant night and daythat I may earn me acouple of scones of bread which we eat together. This is his conditionO mybrother-in-lawandby the life of theehe cometh not near me save atmealtimesand none other. IndeedI am thinking to lock the house doornorever open to him againbut leave him to go and seek a livelihood whereby he canlivefor that I am now grown a woman in years and have no longer strength totoil and go about for a maintenance after this fashion. O AllahI am compelledto provide him with daily bread when I require to be provided!"

Hereat the Moorman turned to Aladdin and said: "Why is thisO son of mybrotherthou goest about in such ungraciousness? 'Tis a disgrace to thee andunsuitable for men like thyself. Thou art a youth of senseO my sonand thechild of honest folkso 'tis for thee a shame that thy mothera woman inyearsshould struggle to support thee. And now that thou hast grown to man'sestateit becometh thee to devise thee some device whereby thou canst liveOmy child. Look around thee and Alhamdolillah- praise be to Allah- in this ourtown are many teachers of all manner of craftsand nowhere are they morenumerous. So choose thee some calling which may please thee to the end that Istablish thee thereinand when thou growest upO my sonthou shalt have somebusiness whereby to live. Haply thy father's industry may not be to thy likingand if so it bechoose thee some other handicraft which suiteth thy fancy. Thenlet me know and I will aid thee with all I canO my son." But when theMaghrabi saw that Aladdin kept silence and made him no replyhe knew that thelad wanted none other occupation than a scapegrace lifeso he said to him:"O son of my brotherlet not my words seem hard and harsh to theefor ifdespite all I say thou still dislike to learn a craftI will open thee amerchant's store furnished with costliest stuffs and thou shalt become famousamongst the folk and take and give and buy and sell and be well known in thecity."

Now when Aladdin heard the words of his uncle the Moormanand the design ofmaking him a khwajah- merchant and gentleman- he joyed exceedinglyknowing thatsuch folk dress handsomely and fare delicately. So he looked at the Maghrabismiling and drooping his head groundward and saying with the tongue of the casethat he was content. The Maghrabi the magicianlooked at Aladdin and saw himsmiling whereby he understood that the lad was satisfied to become a trader. Sohe said to him: "Since thou art content that I open thee a merchant's storeand make thee a gentlemando thouO son of my brotherprove thyself a man andInshallah- God willing- tomorrow I will take thee to the bazaar in the firstplace have a fine suit of clothes cut out for theesuch gear as merchants wear;and secondlyI will look after a store for thee and keep my word."

Now Aladdin's mother had somewhat doubted the Moroccan being herbrother-in-lawbut as soon as she heard his promise of opening a merchant'sstore for her son and setting him up with stuffs and capital and so forththewoman decided and determined in her mind that this Maghrabi was in very soothher husband's brotherseeing that no stranger man would do such goodly deed byher son. So she began directing the lad to the right road and teaching him tocast ignorance from out his head and to prove himself a man. Moreovershe badehim ever obey his excellent uncle as though he were his sonand to make up forthe time he had wasted in frowardnes with his fellows. After this she arose andspread the tablethen served up supperso all sat down and fell to eating anddrinking while the Maghrabi conversed with Aladdin upon matters of business andthe likerejoicing him to such degree that he enjoyed no sleep that night. Butwhen the Moorman saw that the dark hours were passing byand the wine wasdrunkenhe arose and sped to his own stead. But ere going he agreed to returnnext morning and take Aladdin and look to his suit of merchant's clothes beingcut out for him.

And as soon as it was dawnbeholdthe Maghrabi rapped at the doorwhichwas opened by Aladdin's mother. The Moormanhoweverwould not enterbut askedto take the lad with him to the market street. Accordingly Aladdin went forth tohis uncle andwishing him good morningkissed his handand the Moroccan tookhim by the hand and fared with him to the bazaar. There he entered a clothier'sshop containing all kinds of clothesand called for a suit of the mostsumptuouswhereat the merchant brought him out his needall wholly fashionedand ready sewnand the Moorman said to the lad"ChooseO my childwhatso pleaseth thee." Aladdin rejoiced exceedinglyseeing that his unclehad given him his choiceso he picked out the suit most to his own liking andthe Moroccan paid to the merchant the price thereof in ready money. Presently heled the lad to the hammam bathswhere they bathed. Then they came out and dranksherbetsafter which Aladdin arose anddonning his new dress in huge joy anddelightwent up to his uncle and kissed his hand and thanked him for hisfavors.

The Maghrabithe magicianafter leaving the hammam with Aladdintook himand trudged with him to the merchants' bazaarand having diverted him byshowing the market and its sellings and buyingsand to him: "O my sonitbesitteth thee to become familiar with the folkespecially with the merchantsso thou mayest learn of them merchant craftseeing that the same hath nowbecome thy calling." Then he led him forth and showed him the city and itscathedral mosquestogether with all the pleasant sights thereinand lastlymade him enter a cook's shop. Here dinner was served to them on platters ofsilver and they dined well and ate and drank their sufficiencyafter which theywent their ways. Presently the Moorman pointed out to Aladdin the pleasauncesand noble buildingsand went in with him to the Sultan's palace and divertedhim with displaying all the apartmentswhich were mighty fine and grandandled him finally to the khan of stranger merchantswhere he himself had hisabode. Then the Moroccan invited sundry traders which were in the caravanseraiand they came and sat down to supperwhen he notified to them that the youthwas his nephewAladdin by name. And after they had eaten and drunken and nighthad fallenhe rose upand taking the lad with himled him back to his motherwho no sooner saw her boy as he were one of the merchants than her wits tookflight and she waxed sad for very gladness.

Then she fell to thanking her false connectionthe Moormanfor all hisbenefits and said to him: "O my brother-in-lawI can never say enoughthough I expressed my gratitude to thee during the rest of thy days and praisedthee for the good deeds thou hast done by this my child." Thereupon quoththe Moroccan: "O wife of my brotherdeem this not mere kindness of meforthat the lad is mine own sonand 'tis incumbent on me to stand in the stead ofmy brotherhis sire. So be thou fully satisfied!" And quoth she: "Ipray Allah by the honor of the Hallowsthe ancients and the modernsthat Hepreserve thee and cause thee continueO my brother-in-lawand prolong for methy life. So shalt thou be a wing overshadowing this orphan ladand he shallever be obedient to thine ordersnor shall he do aught save whatso thou biddesthim thereunto."

The Maghrabi replied: "O wife of my brotherAladdin is now a man ofsense and the son of goodly folkand I hope to Allah that he will follow in thefootsteps of his sire and cool thine eyes. But I regret thattomorrow beingFridayI shall not be able to open his shopas 'tis meeting day when all themerchantsafter congregational prayergo forth to the gardens and pleasaunces.On the SabbathhoweverInshallah!- an it please the Creator- we will do ourbusiness. Meanwhile tomorrow I will come to thee betimes and take Aladdin for apleasant stroll to the gardens and pleasaunces without the citywhich haply hemay hitherto not have beheld. There also he shall see the merchants and notableswho go forth to amuse themselvesso shall he become acquainted with them andthey with him."

The Maghrabi went away and lay that night in his quartersand early nextmorning he came to the tailor's house and rapped at the door. Now Aladdin (forstress of his delight in the new dress he had donned and for the past day'senjoyment in the hammam and in eating and drinking and gazing at the folkexpecting futhermore his uncle to come at dawn and carry him off on pleasuringto the gardens) had not slept a wink that nightnor-closed his eyelidsandwould hardly believe it when day broke. But hearing the knock at the doorhewent out at once in hot hastelike a spark of fireand opened and saw hisunclethe magicianwho embraced him and kissed him. Thentaking his handtheMoorman said to him as they fared forth together"O son of my brotherthis day will I show thee a sight thou never sawest in all thy life" andhe began to make the lad laugh and cheer him with pleasant talk. So doingtheyleft the city gateand the Moroccan took to promenading with Aladdin amongstthe gardens and to pointing out for his pleasure the mighty fine pleasaunces andthe marvelous high-builded pavilions. And whenever they stood to stare at agarth or a mansion or a palacethe Maghrabi would say to his companion"Doth this please theeO son of my brother?"

Aladdin was nigh to fly with delight at seeing sights he had never seen inall his born daysand they ceased not to stroll about and solace themselvesuntil they waxed a-wearythen they entered a mighty grand garden which wasnear-handa place that the heart delighted and the sight belightedfor thatits swift-running rills flowed amidst the flowers and the waters jetted from thejaws of lions molded in yellow brass like unto gold. So they took seat overagainst a lakelet and rested a little whileand Aladdin enjoyed himself withjoy exceeding and fell to jesting with his uncle and making merry with him asthough the magician were really his father's brother.

Presently the Maghrabi aroseand loosing his girdledrew forth fromthereunder a bag full of victualdried fruits and so forthsaying to Aladdin:"O my nephewhaply thou art become a-hungeredso come forward and eatwhat thou needest." Accordingly the lad fell upon the food and the Moormanate with himand they were gladdened and cheered by rest and good cheer. Thenquoth the magician: "AriseO son of my brotheran thou be reposedandlet us stroll onward a little and reach the end of our walk." ThereuponAladdin arose and the Moroccan paced with him from garden to garden until theyleft all behind them and reached the base of a high and naked hillwhen theladwho during all his days had never issued from the city gate and never inhis life had walked such a walk as thissaid to the Maghrabi: "O uncleminewhither are we wending? We have left the gardens behind us one and all andhave reached the barren hill country. And if the way be still longI have nostrength left for walking. Indeed I am ready to fall with fatigue. There are nogardens before usso let us hark back and return to town." Said themagician: "NoO my son. This is right roadnor are the gardens endedforwe are going to look at one which hath ne'er its like amongst those of thekingsand all thou hast beheld are naught in comparison therewith. Then girdthy courage to walk. Thou art now a manAlhamdolillah- praise be toAllah!"

Then the Maghrabi fell to soothing Aladdin with soft words and telling himwondrous taleslies as well as truthuntil they reached the site intended bythe African magicianwho had traveled from the sunset land to the regions ofChina for the sake thereof. And when they made the placethe Moorman said toAladdin: "O son of my brothersit thee down and take thy restfor this isthe spot we are now seeking andInshallahsoon will I divert thee bydisplaying marvel matters whose like not one in the world ever sawnor hath anysolaced himself with gazing upon that which thou art about to behold. But whenthou art restedarise and seek some wood chips and fuel sticks which be smalland drywherewith we may kindle a fire. Then will I show theeO son of mybrothermatters beyond the range of matter." Now when the lad heard thesewordshe longed to look upon what his uncle was about to do andforgetting hisfatiguehe rose forthright and fell to gathering small wood chips and drysticksand continued until the Moorman cried to him"EnoughO son of mybrother!"

Presently the magician brought out from his breast pocker a casketwhich heopenedand drew from it all he needed of incense. Then he fumigated andconjured and adjuredmuttering words none might understand. And the groundstraightway clave asunder after thick gloom and quake of earth and bellowings ofthunder. Hereat Aladdin was startled and so affrighted that he tried to flybutwhen the African magician saw his designhe waxed wroth with exceeding wrathfor that without the lad his work would profit him naughtthe hidden hoardwhich he sought to open being not to be opened save by means of Aladdin. Sonoting this attempt to run awaythe magician aroseand raising his handsmoteAladdin on the head a buffet so sore that well-nigh his back teeth were knockedoutand he fell swooning to the ground. But after a time he revived by themagic of the magicianand criedweeping the while: "O my unclewhat haveI done that deserveth from thee such a blow as this?" Hereat the Maghrabifell to soothing himand said: "O my son'tis my intent to make thee aman. Therefore do thou not gainsay mefor that I am thine uncle and like untothy father. Obey methereforein all I bid theeand shortly thou shalt forgetall this travail and toil whenas thou shalt look upon the marvel matters I amabout to show thee."

And soon after the ground had cloven asunder before the Moroccanitdisplayed a marble slab wherein was fixed a copper ring. The Maghrabistrikinga geomantic tableturned to Aladdin and said to him: "An thou do all Ishall bid theeindeed thou shalt become wealthier than any of the kings. Andfor this reasonO my sonI struck theebecause here lieth a hoard which isstored in thy nameand yet thou designedst to leave it and to levant. But nowcollect thy thoughtsand behold how I opened earth by my spells andadjurations. Under yon stone wherein the ring is set lieth the treasurewherewith I acquainted thee. So set thy hand upon the ring and raise the slabfor that none other amongst the folkthyself exceptedhath power to open itnor may any of mortal birth save thyself set foot within this enchanted treasurywhich hath been kept for thee. But 'tis needful that thou learn of me allwherewith I would charge theenor gainsay e'en a single syllable of my words.All thisO my childis for thy goodthe hoard being of immense valuewhoselike the kings of the world never accumulatedand do thou remember that 'tisfor thee and me."

So poor Aladdin forgot his fatigue and buffet and tear-sheddingand he wasdumbed and dazed at the Maghrabi's words and rejoiced that he was fated tobecome rich in such measure that not even the sultans would be richer thanhimself. Accordingly he cried: "O my unclebid me do all thou pleasestfor I will be obedient unto thy bidding." The Maghrabi replied: "O mynephewthou art to me as my own child and even dearerfor being my brother'sson and for my having none other kith and kin except thyself. And thouO mychildart my heir and successor." So sayinghe went up to Aladdin andkissed him and said: "For whom do I intend these my labors? Indeedeachand every are for thy sakeO my sonto the end that I may leave thee a richman and one of the very greatest. So gainsay me not in all I shall say to theeand now go up to yonder ring and uplift it as I bade thee." Aladdinanswered: "O uncle minethis ring is overheavy for me. I cannot raise itsingle-handedso do thou also come forward and lend me strength and aidancetoward uplifting itfor indeed I am young in years." The Moorman replied:"O son of my brotherwe shall find it impossible to do aught if I assisttheeand all our efforts would be in vain. But do thou set thy hand upon thering and pull it upand thou shalt raise the slab forthrightand in very soothI told thee that none can touch it save thyself. But whilst haling at it ceasenot to pronounce thy name and the names of thy father and motherso 'twill riseat once to theenor shalt thou feel its weight."

Thereupon the lad mustered up strength and girt the loins of resolution anddid as the Moroccan had bidden himand hove up the slab with all ease when hepronounced his name and the names of his parentseven as the magician hadbidden him. And as soon as the stone was raised he threw it asideand thereappeared before him a sardaba souterrainwhereunto led a case of some twelvestairsand the Maghrabi said: "O Aladdincollect thy thoughts and dowhatso I bid thee to the minutest detailnor fail in aught thereof. Go downwith all care into yonder vault until thou reach the bottomand there shaltthou find a space divided into four hallsand in each of these thou shalt seefour golden jars and others of virgin or and silver. Bewarehoweverlest thoutake aught therefrom or touch themnor allow thy gown or its skirts even tobrush the jars or the walls. Leave them and fare forward until thou reach thefourth hallwithout lingering for a single moment on the way. And if thou doaught contrary theretothou wilt at once be transformed and become a blackstone. When reaching the fourth hallthou wilt find therein a doorwhich dothou openand pronouncing the names thou spakest over the slabentertherethrough into a garden adorned everywhere with fruit-bearing trees. Thisthou must traverse by a path thou wilt see in front of thee measuring some fiftycubits long beyond which thou wilt come upon an open saloonand herein a ladderof some thirty rungs. Thou shalt there find a lamp hanging from its ceilingsomount the ladder and take that lamp and place it in thy breast pocket afterpouring out its contents. Nor fear evil from it for thy clothesbecause itscontents are not common oil. And on return thou art allowed to pluck from thetrees whoso thou pleasestfor all is thine so long as the lamp is in thyhand."

Now when the Moorman ended his charge to Aladdinhe drew off a seal ring andput it upon the lad's forefingersaying: "O my sonverily this signetshall free thee from all hurt and fear which may threaten theebut only oncondition that thou bear in mind all I have told thee. So arise straightway andgo down the stairsstrengthening thy purpose and girding the loins ofresolution. Moreoverfear notfor thou art now a man and no longer a child.And in shortest timeO my sonthou shalt will thee immense riches and thoushalt become the wealthiest of the world."

AccordinglyAladdin arose and descended into the souterrainwhere he foundthe four jarseach containing four jars of goldand these he passed by as theMoroccan had bidden himwith the utmost care and caution. Thence he fared intothe garden and walked along its length until he entered the saloonwhere hemounted the ladder and took the lampwhich he extinguishedpouring out the oilwhich was thereinand placed it in his breast pocket. Presentlydescending theladderhe returned to the gardenwhere he fell to gazing at the treeswhereupon sat birds glorifying with loud voices their Great Creator. Now he hadnot observed them as he went inbut all these trees bare for fruitage costlygems. Moreovereach had its own kind of growth and jewels of its peculiar sortand these were of every colorgreen and whiteyellowredand other suchbrilliant huesand the radiance flashing from these gems paled the rays of thesun in forenoon sheen. Furthermore the size of each stone so far surpasseddescription that no King of the Kings of the World owned a single gem equal tothe larger sortnor could boast of even one half the size of the smaller kindof them. Aladdin walked amongst the trees and gazed upon them and other thingswhich surprised the sight and bewildered the witsand as he considered themhesaw that in lieu of common fruits the produce was of mighty fine jewels andprecious stonessuch as emeralds and diamondsrubiesspinelsand balasespearls and similar gemsastounding the mental vision of man.

And forasmuch as the lad had never beheld things like these during his borndaysnor had reached those years of discretion which would teach him the worthof such valuables (he being still but a little lad)he fancied that all thesejewels were of glass or crystal. So he collected them until he had filled hisbreast pocketsand began to certify himself if they were or were not commonfruitssuch as grapesfigsand suchlike edibles. But seeing them of glassysubstancehein his ignorance of precious stones and their pricesgatheredinto his breast pockets every kind of growth the trees affordedand havingfailed of his purpose in finding them foodhe said in his mind"I willcollect a portion of these glass fruits for playthings at home." So he fellto plucking them in quantities and cramming them in his pokes and breast pocketstill these were stuffed full. After which he picked others which he placed inhis waist shawl and thengirding himself therewithcarried off all he availedtopurposing to place them in the house by way of ornaments andas hath beenmentionednever imagining that they were other than glass.

Then he hurried his pace in fear of his unclethe Maghrabiuntil he hadpassed through the four halls and lastly on his return reached the souterrainwhere he cast not a look at the jars of goldalbeit he was able and allowed totake of the contents on his way back. But when he came to the souterrain stairsand clomb the steps till naught remained but the lastand finding this higherthan an the othershe was unable alone and unassistedburthened moreover as hewasto mount it. So he said to the Maghrabi"O my unclelend me thy handand aid me to climb." But the Moorman answered: "O my songive me thelamp and lighten thy load. Belike 'tis that weighteth thee down." The ladrejoined: "O my uncle'tis not the lamp downweigheth me at allbut dothou lend me a handand as soon as I reached ground I will give it tothee." Hereat the Moroccanthe magicianwhose only object was the lampand none otherbegan to insist upon Aladdin giving it to him at once. But thelad (forasmuch as he had placed it at the bottom of his breast pocket and hisother pouchesbeing full of gemsbulged outward) could not reach it with hisfingers to hand it overso the wizard after much vain persistency in requiringwhat his nephew was unable to give fell to raging with furious rage and todemanding the lampwhilst Aladdin could not get at it. Yet had the lad promisedtruthfully that he would give it up as soon as he might reach groundwithoutlying thought or ill intent. But when the Moorman saw that he would not hand itoverhe waxed wroth with wrath exceeding and cut off all his hopes of winningit. So he conjured and adjured and cast incense a-middlemost the firewhenforthright the slab made a cover of itselfand by the might of magic lidded theentrance. The earth buried the stone as it was aforetimeand Aladdinunable toissue forthremained underground.

Now the sorcerer was a stranger andas we have mentionedno uncle ofAladdin'sand he had misrepresented himself and preferred a lying claimto theend that he might obtain the lamp by means of the lad for whom this hoard hadbeen upstored. So the accursed heaped the earth over him and left him to die ofhunger. For this Maghrabi was an African of Afrikiyah properborn in the innerSunset Landand from his earliest age upward he had been addicted to witchcraftand had studied and practiced every manner of occult sciencefor which unholylore the city of Africa is notorious. And he ceased not to read and hearlectures until he had become a past master in all such knowledge. And of theabounding skill in spells and conjurations which he had acquired by the perusingand the lessoning of forty yearsone day of the days he discovered by devilishinspiration that there lay in an extreme city of the cities of ChinanamedAl-Kal'asan immense hoardthe like whereof none of the kings in this worldhad ever accumulated. Moreoverthat the most marvelous article in thisenchanted treasure was a wonderful lampwhich whoso possessed could notpossibly be surpassed by any man upon eartheither in high degree or in wealthand opulencenor could the mightiest monarch of the universe attain to theall-sufficiency of this lamp with its might of magical means. When the Maghrabiassured himself by his science and saw that this hoard could be opened only bythe presence of a lad named Aladdinof pauper family and abiding in that verycityand learnt how taking it would be easy and without hardshipshestraightway and without stay or delay equipped himself for a voyage to China (aswe have already told)and be did what he did with Aladdin fancying that hewould become Lord of the Lamp. But his attempt and his hopes were baffled andhis work was clean wasted. Whereupondetermining to do the lad diehe heapedup the earth over him by gramarye to the end that the unfortunate might perishreflecting that "The live man hath no murtherer." Secondlyhe did sowith the design thatas Aladdin could not come forth from undergroundhe wouldalso be impotent to bring out the lamp from the souterrain. So presently hewended his ways and retired to his own landAfricaa sadder man anddisappointed of all his expectations.

Such was the case with the wizardbut as regards Aladdinwhen the earth washeaped over himhe began shouting to the Moormanwhom he believed to be hisuncleand praying him to lend a hand that he might issue from the souterrainand return to earth's surface. But however loudly he criednone was found toreply. At that moment he comprehended the sleight which the Moroccan had playedupon himand that the man was no unclebut a liar and a wizard. Then theunhappy despaired of lifeand learned to his sorrow that there was no escapefor himso he fell to beweeping with sore weeping the calamity had befallenhim. And after a little while he stood up and descended the stairs to see ifAllah Almighty had lightened his grief load by leaving a door of issue. So heturned him to the right and to the leftbut he saw naught save darkness andfour walls closed upon himfor that the magician had by his magic locked allthe doors and had shut up even the garden wherethrough the lad erst had passedlest it offer him the means of issuing out upon earth's surfaceand that hemight surely die. Then Aladdin's weeping waxed sorer and his wailing louderwhenas he found all the doors fast shutfor he had thought to solace himselfawhile in the garden. But when he felt that all were lockedhe fell to sheddingtears and lamenting like unto one who hath lost his every hopeand he returnedto sit upon the stairs of the flight whereby he had entered the souterrain.

But it is a light matter for Allah (be He exalted and extolled!) whenas Hedesigneth aught to say"Be" and it becomethfor that He createthjoy in the midst of annoy. And on this wise it was with Aladdin. Whilst theMaghrabithe magicianwas sending him down into the souterrainhe set uponhis finger by way of gift a seal ring and said: "Verily this signet shallsave thee from every strait an thou fall into calamity and ill shifts of timeand it shall remove from thee all hurt and harmand aid thee with a strong armwhereso thou mayest be set." Now this was by Destiny of God the Greatthatit might be the means of Aladdin's escape. For whilst he sat wailing and weepingover his case and cast away all hope of lifeand utter misery overwhelmed himhe rubbed his hands together for excess of sorrowas is the wont of the woeful.Thenraising them in supplication to Allahhe cried"I testify thatthere is no God save Thou alonethe Most Greatthe OmnipotenttheAll-conqueringQuickener of the deadCreator of man's need and GranterthereofResolver of his difficulties and duress and Bringer of joynot ofannoy. Thou art my sufficiency and Thou art the Truest of Trustees. And I bearmy witness that Mohammed is Thy servant and Thine Apostleand I supplicateTheeO my Godby his favor with Thee to free me from this my foulplight."

And whilst implored the Lord and was chafing his hands in the soreness of hissorrow for that had befallen him of calamityhis fingers chanced to rub theringwhenlo and behold! forthright its familiar rose upright before him andcried: "Adsum! Thy slave between thy hands is come! Ask whatso thouwantestfor that I am the thrall of him on whose hand is the ringthe signetof my lord and master." Hereat the lad looked at him and saw standingbefore him a Marid like unto an Ifrit of our lord Solomon's Jinns. He trembledat the terrible sightbuthearing the Slave of the Ring say"Ask whatsothou wantest. VerilyI am thy thrall seeing that the signet of my lord be uponthy finger" he recovered his spirits and remembered the Moorman's sayingwhen giving him the ring. So he rejoiced exceedingly and became brave and cried"Hothou slave of the Lord of the RingI desire thee to set me upon theface of the earth." And hardly had he spoken this speech when suddenly theground clave asunder and he found himself at the door of the hoard and outsideit in full view of the world. Now for three whole days he had been sitting inthe darkness of the treasury undergroundand when the sheen of day and theshine of sun smote his face he found himself unable to keep his eyes open; so hebegan to unclose the lids a little and to close them a little until his eyeballsregained force and got used to the light and were purged of the noisome murk.Withal he was astounded at finding himself without the hoard door whereby he hadpassed in when it was opened by the Maghrabithe magicianespecially as theadit had been lidded and the ground had been smoothedshowing no sign whateverof entrance.

Thereat his surprise increased until he fancied himself in another placenorwas his mind convinced that the stead was the same until he saw the spotwhereupon they had kindled the fire of wood chips and dried sticksand wherethe African wizard had conjured over the incense. Then he turned him rightwardand leftward and sighted the gardens from afar and his eyes recognized the roadwhereby he had come. So he returned thanks to Allah AlmightyWho had restoredhim to the face of earth and had freed him from death after he had cut off allhopes of life. Presently he arose and walked along the way to the townwhichnow he knew welluntil he entered the streets and passed on to his own home.Then he went in to his motherand on seeing herof the overwhelming stress ofjoy at his escape and the memory of past affright and the hardships he had borneand the pangs of hungerhe fell to the ground before his parent in a faintingfit. Now his mother had been passing sad since the time of his leaving herandhe found her moaning and crying about him. Howeveron sighting him enter thehouse she joyed with exceeding joybut soon was overwhelmed with woe when hesank upon the ground swooning before her eyes. Stillshe did not neglect thematter or treat it lightlybut at once hastened to sprinkle water upon hisfaceand after she asked of the neighbors some scents which she made him snuffup. And when he came round a littlehe prayed her to bring him somewhat of foodsaying"O my mother'tis now three days since I ate anything atall." Thereupon she arose and brought him what she had by herthensetting it before himsaid: "Come forwardO my son. Eat and be cheeredand when thou shalt have restedtell me what hath betided and affected theeOmy child. At this present I will not question theefor thou art aweary in verydeed." Aladdin ate and drank and was cheeredand after he had rested andhad recovered spirits he cried:

"AhO my motherI have a sore grievance against thee for leaving me tothat accursed wight who strave to compass my destruction and designed to take mylife. Know thou that I beheld death with mine own eyes at the hand of thisdamned wretchwhom thou didst to be my uncleand had not Almighty Allahrescued me from himI and thouO my motherhad been cozened by the excess ofthis accursed's promises to work my welfareand by the great show of affectionwhich he manifested to us. LearnO my motherthat this fellow is a sorcereraMoormanan accurseda liara traitora hypocritenor deem I that the devilsunder the earth are damnable as he. Allah abase him in his every book! HearthenO my motherwhat this abominable one didand all that I shall tell theewill be soothfast and certain. See how the damned villain brake every promise hemadecertifying that he would soon work all good with me. And do thou considerthe fondness which he displayed to me and the deeds which he did by meand allthis only to win his wishfor his design was to destroy me. And Alhamdolillah-laud to the Lord- for my deliverance. Listen and learnO my motherhow thisaccursed entreated me."

Then Aladdin informed his mother of all that had befallen himweeping thefor stress of gladness- how the Maghrabi had led him to a hill wherein washidden the hoard and how he had conjured and fumigatedadding: "AfterwhichO my mothermighty fear gat hold of me when the hill split and the earthgaped before me by his wizardry. And I trembled with terror at the rolling ofthunder in mine ears and the murk which fell upon us when he fumigated andmuttered spells. Seeing these horrorsI in mine affright desiped to flybutwhen he understood mine intenthe reviled me and smote me a buffet so sore thatit caused me swoon. Howeverinasmuch as the treasury was to be opened only bymeans of meO my motherhe could not descend therein himselfit being in myname and not in his. And for that he is an ill-omened magicianhe understoodthat I was necessary to him and this was his need of me." Aladdinacquainted his mother with all that had befallen him from the Maghrabithemagicianand said:

"After he had buffeted mehe judged it advisable to soothe me in orderthat he might send me down into the enchanted treasuryand first he drew fromhis finger a ringwhich he placed upon mine. So I descended and found fourhalls all full of gold and silverwhich counted as naughtand the accursed hadcharged me not to touch aught thereof. Then I entered a mighty fine flowergarden everywhere bedecked with tall trees whose foilage and fruitage bewilderedthe witsfor allO my motherwere of varicolored glassand lastly I reachedthe hall wherein hung this lamp. So I took it straightway and put it out andpoured forth its contents." And so sayingAladdin drew the lamp from hisbreast pocket and showed it to his mothertogether with the gems and jewelswhich he had brought from the garden. And there were two large bag pockets fullof precious stoneswhereof not one was to be found amongst the kings of theworld. But the lad knew naught anent their worthdeeming them glass or crystal.And presently he resumed:

"After thisO mother mineI reached the hoard door carrying the lampand shouted to the accursed sorcerer which called himself my uncle to lend me ahand and hale me upI being unable to mount of myself the last step for theoverweight of my burthen. But he would not and said only'First hand me thelamp!' AshoweverI had placed it at the bottom of my breast pocket and theother pouches bulged out beyond itI was unable to get at it and said'O myuncleI cannot reach thee the lampbut I will give it to thee when outside thetreasury.' His only need was the lampand he designedO my motherto snatchit from me and after that slay meas indeed he did his best to do by heapingthe earth over my head. Such then is what befell me from this foulsorcerer." Hereupon Aladdin fell to abusing the magician in hot wrath andwith a burning heartand crying: "Wellaway! I take refuge from this damnedwightthe forswearer the wrongdoerthe forswearerthe lost to all humanitythe archtraitorthe hyprocritethe annihilator of ruth and mercy." WhenAladdin's mother heard his words and what had befallen him from the Maghrabithe magicianshe said: "YeaverilyO my sonhe is a miscreantahypocrite who murthereth the folk by his magic. But 'twas the grace of AllahAlmightyO my childthat saved thee from the tricks and the treachery of thisaccursed sorcerer whom I deemed to be truly thine uncle."Thenas the ladhad not slept a wink for three days and found himself noddinghe sought hisnatural resthis mother doing on like wisenor did he awake till about noon onthe second day. As soon as he shook off slumber he called for somewhat of foodbeing sore a-hungeredbut said his mother: "O my sonI have no victualfor theeinasmuch as yesterday thou atest all that was in the house. But waitpatiently a while. I have spun a trifle of yarn which I will carry to the marketstreet and sell it and buy with what it may be worth some victual forthee." "O my mother" said he"keep your yarn and sell itnotbut fetch me the lamp I brought hither that I may go vend itand with itsprice purchase provauntfor that I deem 'twill bring more money than thespinnings." So Aladdin's mother arose and fetched the lamp for her sonbutwhile so doing she saw that it was dirty exceedinglyso that said: "O mysonhere is the lampbut 'tis very foul. After we shall have washed it andpolished it 'twill sell better." Thentaking a handful of sandshe beganto rub therewithbut she had only begun when appeared to her one of the Jannwhose favor was frightful and whose bulk was horrible bigand he was giganticas one of the Jababirah. And forthright he cried to her: "Say whatso thouwantest of me. Here am Ithy slave and slave to whoso holdeth the lampand notI alonebut all the Slaves of the Wonderful Lamp which thou hendest inhand."

She quaked and terror was sore upon her when she looked at that frightfulformand her tongue being tiedshe could not return aught replynever havingbeen accustomed to espy similar semblances. Now her son was standing afar offand he had already seen the Jinni of the ring which he had rubbed within thetreasuryso when he heard the slave speaking to his parenthe hastenedforwardand snatching the lamp from her handsaid: "O Slave of the LampI am a-hungeredand 'tis my desire that thou fetch me somewhat to eatand letit be something toothsome beyond our means." The Jinni disappeared for aneye twinkle and returned with a mighty fine tray and precious of pricefor that'twas all in virginal silverand upon it stood twelve golden platters of meatsmanifold and dainties delicatewith bread snowier than snow; also two silverncups and as many black jacks full of wine clear-strained and long-stored. Andafter setting all these before Aladdinhe vanished from vision.

Thereupon the lad went and sprinkled rose-water upon his mother's face andcaused her snuff up perfumes pure and pungentand said to her when she revived:"RiseO mother mineand let us eat of these meats wherewith AlmightyAllah hath eased our poverty." But when she saw that mighty fine silverntray she fell to marveling at the matterand quoth she: "O my sonwho bethis generousthis beneficent one who hath abated our hunger pains and ourpenury? We are indeed under obligation to himand meseemeth 'tis the Sultanwhohearing of our mean condition and our miseryhath sent us this foodtray." Quoth he: "O my motherthis be no time for questioning. Arousethee and let us eatfor we are both a-famished." Accordingly they sat downto the tray and fell to feedingwhen Aladdin's mother tasted meats whose likein all her time she had never touched. So they devoured them with sharpenedappetites and all the capacity engendered by stress of hunger. And secondlythefood was such that marked the tables of the kings. But neither of them knewwhether the tray was or was not valuablefor never in their born days had theylooked upon aught like it.

As soon as they had finished the meal (withal leaving victual enough forsupper and eke for the next day)they arose and washed their hands and sat atchatwhen the mother turned to her son and said: "Tell meO my childwhat befell thee from the slavethe Jinninow that Alhamdolillah- laud to theLord!- we have eaten our full of the good things wherewith He hath favored usand thou hast no pretext for saying to me'I am a-hungered."' So Aladdinrelated to her all that took place between him and the slave what while she hadsunk upon the ground a-swoon for sore terrorand at this shebeing seized withmighty great surprisesaid: "'Tis truefor the Jinns do presentthemselves before the sons of Adambut IO my sonnever saw them in all mylifeand meseemeth that this be the same who saved thee when thou wast withinthe enchanted hoard." "This is not heO my mother. This who appearedbefore thee is the Slave of the Lamp!" "Who may this beO myson?" "This be a slave of sort and shape other than he. That was thefamiliar of the ringand this his fellow thou sawest was the Slave of the Lampthou hendest in hand." And when his parent heard these words she cried:"There! there! So this accursedwho showed himself to me and went nighunto killing me with affrightis attached to the lamp." "Yes"he repliedand she rejoined: "Now I conjure theeO my sonby the milkwherewith I suckled theeto throw away from thee this lamp and this ringbecause they can cause us only extreme terrorand I especially can never a-beara second glance at them. Moreoverall intercourse with them is unlawfulforthat the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!) warned us against them withthreats."

He replied: "Thy commandsO my motherbe upon my head and mine eyesbut as regards this saying thou saidest'tis impossible that I part or withlamp or with ring. Thou thyself hast seen what good the slave wrought us whenaswe were famishingand knowO my motherthat the Maghrabithe liarthemagicianwhen sending me down into the hoardsought nor the silver nor thegold wherewith the four halls were fulfilledbut charged me to bring him onlythe lamp (naught else)because in very deed he had learned its priceless value.And had he not been certified of ithe had never endured such toil and troublenor had he traveled from his own land to our land in search thereofneither hadhe shut me up in the treasury when he despaired of the lamp which I would nothand to him. Therefore it besitteth usO my motherto keep this lamp and takeall care thereofnor disclose its mysteries to anyfor this is now our meansof livelihood and this it is shall enrich us. And likewise as regards the ringI will never withdraw it from my fingerinasmuch as but for this thou hadstnevermore seen me on life- nayI should have died within the hoard underground.How then can I possibly remove it from my finger? And who wotteth that which maybetide me by the lapse of timewhat trippings or calamities or injuriousmishaps wherefrom this ring may deliver me? Howeverfor regard to thy feelingsI will stow away the lampnor ever suffer it to be seen of theehereafter." Now when his mother heard his words and pondered themshe knewthey were true and said to him: "DoO my sonwhatso thou willest. For mypartI wish never to see them nor ever sight that frightful spectacle I erstsaw."

Aladdin and his mother continued eating of the meats brought them by theJinni for two full told days till they were finished. But when he learned thatnothing of food remained for themhe arose and took a platter of the platterswhich the slave had brought upon the tray. Now they were all of the finest goldbut the lad knew naught thereofso he bore it to the bazaar and thereseeing aman which was a Jewa viler than the Satansoffered it to him for sale. Whenthe Jew espied ithe took the lad aside that none might see himand he lookedat the platter and considered it till he was certified that it was of goldrefined. But he knew not whether Aladdin was acquainted with its value or he wasin such matters a raw laddieso he asked him"For how muchO my lordthis platter?" and the other answered"Thou wottest what be itsworth." The Jew debated with himself as to how much he should offerbecause Aladdin had returned him a craftsmanlike replyand he thought of thesmallest valuation. At the same time he feared lest the ladhaply knowing itsworthshould expect a considerable sum. So he said in his mind"Belikethe fellow is an ignoramus in such mattersnor is ware of the price of theplatter." Whereupon he pulled out of his pocket a dinarand Aladdin eyedthe gold piece lying in his palm andhastily taking itwent his waywherebythe Jew was certified of his customer's innocence of all such knowledgeandrepented with entire repentance that he had given him a golden dinar in lieu ofa copper carata bright-polished groat.

HoweverAladdin made no delaybut went at once to the baker'swhere hebought him bread and changed the ducat. Thengoing to his motherhe gave herthe scones and the remaining small coin and said"O my motherhie theeand buy thee all we require." So she arose and walked to the bazaar andlaid in the necessary stockafter which they ate and were cheered. And wheneverthe price of the platter was expendedAladdin would take another and carry itto the accursed Jewwho brought each and every at a pitiful price; and eventhis he would have minished butseeing how he had paid a dinar for the firsthe feared to offer a lesser sumlest the lad go and sell to some rival in tradeand thus he lose his usurious gains. Now when all the golden platters were soldthere remained only the silver tray whereupon they stoodand for that it waslarge and weightyAladdin brought the Jew to his house and produced the articlewhen the buyerseeing its sizegave him ten dinarsand these being acceptedwent his ways.

Aladdin and his mother lived upon the sequins until they were spentthen hebrought out the lamp and rubbed itand straightway appeared the slave who hadshown himself aforetime. And said the lad: "I desire that thou bring me atray of food like unto that thou broughtest me erewhilesfor indeed I amfamisht." Accordinglyin the glance of an eye the slave produced a similartray supporting twelve platters of the most sumptuousfurnished with requisitecatesand thereon stood clean bread and sundry glass bottles of strained wine.Now Aladdin's mother had gone out when she knew he was about to rub the lampthat she might not again look upon the Jinni; but after a while she returnedand when she sighted the tray covered with silvern platters and smelt the savorof the rich meats diffused over the houseshe marveled and rejoiced. Thereuponquoth he: "LookO my mother! Thou badest me throw away the lamp. See nowits virtues" and quoth she"O my sonAllah increase his wealbut Iwould not look upon him." Then the lad sat down with his parent to the trayand they ate and drank until they were satisfiedafter which they removed whatremained for use on the morrow.

As soon as the meats had been consumedAladdin arose and stowed away underhis clothes a platter of the platters and went forth to find the Jewpurposingto sell it to himbut by fiat of Fate he passed by the shop of an ancientjeweleran honest man and a pious who feared Allah. When the Sheikh saw theladhe asked himsaying: "O my sonwhat dost thou want? For that timesmanifold have I seen thee passing hereby and having dealings with a Jewish manand I have espied thee handing over to him sundry articles. Now also I fancythou hast somewhat for sale and thou seekest him as a buyer thereof. But thouwottest notO my childthat the Jews ever hold lawful to them the good ofMoslemsthe confessors of Allah Almighty's unityand always defraud themespecially this accursed Jew with whom thou hast relations and into whose handsthou hast fallen. If thenO my sonthou have aught thou wouldest sellshowthe same to me and never fearfor I will give thee its full priceby the truthof Almighty Allah."

Thereupon Aladdin brought out the platterwhich when the ancient goldsmithsawhe took and weighed it in his scales and asked the ladsaying"Wasit the fellow of this thou soldest to the Jew?" "Yesits fellow andits brother" he answeredand quoth the old man"What price did hepay thee?" Quoth the lad"One dinar." The ancient goldsmithhearing from Aladdin how the Jew used to give only one dinar as the price of theplattercried"Ah! I take refuge from this accursed who cozeneth theservants of Allah Almighty!" Thenlooking at the ladhe exclaimed:"O my sonverily yon tricksy Jew hath cheated thee and laughed at theethis platter being pure silver and virginal. I have weighed it and found itworth seventy dinarsandif thou please to take its value-take it."Thereupon the Sheikh counted out to him seventy gold pieceswhich he acceptedand presently thanked him for his kindness in exposing the Jew's rascality.

And after thiswhenever the price of a platter was expendedhe would bringanotherand on such wise he and his mother were soon in better circumstances.Yet they ceased not to live after their olden fashion as middle-class folkwithout spending on diet overmuch or squandering money. But Aladdin had nowthrown off the ungraciousness of his boyhood. He shunned the society ofscapegraces and he began to frequent good men and truerepairing daily to themarket street of the merchants and there companying with the great and small ofthemasking about matters of merchandise and learning the price of investmentsand so forth. He likewise frequented the bazaars of the goldsmiths and thejewelerswhere he would sit and divert himself by inspecting their preciousstones and by noting how jewels were sold and bought therein. Accordinglyhepresently became ware that the tree truits wherewith he had filled his pocketswhat time he entered the enchanged treasury were neither glass nor crystalbutgems rich and rareand he understood that he had acquired immense wealth suchas the kings never can possess. He then considered all the precious stones whichwere in the jewelers' quarterbut found that their biggest was not worth hissmallest.

On this wise he ceased not every day repairing to the bazaar and makinghimself familiar with the folk and winning their loving willand inquiringanent selling and buyinggiving and takingthe dear and the cheapuntil oneday of the days whenafter rising at dawn and donning his dress he went forthas was his wontto the jewelers' bazaar and as he passed along it he heard thecrier crying as follows: "By command of our magnificent masterthe King ofthe Time and the Lord of the Age and the Tidelet all the folk lock up theirshops and stores and retire within their housesfor that the Lady Badral-Budurdaughter of the Sultandesigneth to visit the hammam. And whosogainsayeth the order shall be punished with death penaltyand be his blood uponhis own neck!" But when Aladdin heard the proclamationhe longed to lookupon the King's daughter and said in his mind"Indeed all the lieges talkof her beauty and lovelinessand the end of my desires is to see her."Then Aladdin fell to contriving some means whereby he might look upon thePrincess Badr al-Budurand at last judged best to take his station behind thehammam doorwhence he might see her face as she entered. Accordinglywithoutstay or delay he repaired to the baths before she was expected and stood a-rearof the entrancea place whereat none of the folk happened to be looking.

Now when the Sultan's daughter had gone the rounds of the city and its mainstreets and had solaced herself by sight-seeingshe finally reached the hammamand whilst entering she raised her veil and Aladdin saw her favorhe said:"In very truth her fashion magnifieth her Almighty Fashionerand glory beto Him Who created her and adorned her with this beauty and loveliness."His strength was struck down from the moment he saw her and his thoughts weredistraught. His gaze was dazedthe love of her gat hold of the whole of hisheartand when he returned home to his motherhe was as one in ecstasy. Hisparent addressed himbut he neither replied nor deniedandwhen she setbefore him the morning meal he continued in like caseso quoth she: "O mysonwhat is't may have befallen thee? Say medoth aught ail thee? Let me knowwhat ill hath betided theeforunlike thy customthou speakest not when Ibespeak thee." Thereupon Aladdin (who used to think that all womenresembled his mother and whoalbeit he had heard of the charms of Badral-Budurdaughter of the Sultanyet knew not what "beauty" and"loveliness" might signify) turned to his parent and exclaimed"Let me be!" Howevershe persisted in praying him to come forward andeatso he did her biddingbut hardly touched food. After which he lay at fulllength on his bed all the night through in cogitation deep until morningmorrowed.

The same was his condition during the next daywhen his mother was perplexedfor the case of her son and unable to learn what had happened to him. Sothinking that belike he might be ailingshe drew near him and asked himsaying: "O my sonan thou sense aught of pain or suchlikelet me knowthat I may fare forth and fetch thee the physician. And today there be in thisour city a leech from the land of the Arabs whom the Sultan hath sent to summonand the bruit abroad reporteth him to be skillful exceedingly. Soan be thouilllet me go and bring him to thee." Aladdinhearing his parent's offerto summon the medicinersaid: "O my motherI am well in body and on nowise ill. But I ever thought that all women resembled thee until yesterdaywhenI beheld the Lady Badr al-Budurdaughter of the Sultanas she was faring forthe baths."

Then he related to her all and everything that had happened to himadding:"Haply thou also hast heard the crier a-crying: 'Let no man open shop orstand in street that the Lady Badr al-Budur may repair to the hammam without eyeseeing her.' But I have looked upon her even as she isfor she raised her veilat the doorand when I viewed her favor and beheld that noble work of theCreatora sore fit of ecstasyO my motherfell upon me for love of herandfirm resolve to win her hath opened its way into every limb of menor is reposepossible for me except I win her. Wherefor I purpose asking her to wife from theSultanher sirein lawful wedlock." When Aladdin's mother heard her son'swordsshe belittled his wits and cried: "O my childthe name of Allahupon thee! Meseemeth thou hast lost thy senses. But be thou rightly guidedO mysonnor be thou as the men Jinn-maddened!" He replied: "NayO motherof mineI am not out of my mindnor am I of the maniacsnor shall this thysaying alter one jot of what is in my thoughts. For rest is impossible to meuntil I shall have won the dearling of my heart's corethe beautiful Lady Badral-Budur. And now I am resolved to ask her of her sire the Sultan."

She rejoined: "O my sonby my life upon theespeak not such speechlest any overhear thee and say thou be insane. So cast away from thee suchnonsense! Who shall undertake a matter like thisor make such request to theKing? IndeedI know not howsupposing thy speech to be soothfastthou shaltmanage to crave such grace of the Sultanor through whom thou desirest topropose it." He retorted: "Through whom shall I ask itO my motherwhen thou art present? And who is there fonder and more faithful to me thanthyself? So my design is that thou thyself shalt proffer this my petition."Quoth she: "O my sonAllah remove me far therefrom! What! Have I lost mywitslike thyself? Cast the thought awayand a long wayfrom thy heart.Remember whose son thou artO my childthe orphan boy of a tailorthe poorestand meanest of the tailors toiling in this city; and Ithy motheram also comeof pauper folk and indigent. How then durst thou ask to wife the daughter of theSultanwhose sire would not deign marry her with the sons of the kings and thesovereignsexcept they were his peers in honor and grandeur and majestyandwere they but one degree lowerhe would refuse his daughter to them."Aladdin took patience until his parent had said her saywhen quoth he: "Omy mothereverything thou hast called to mind is known to me. Moreover'tisthoroughly well known to me that I am the child of pauper parentswithal do notthese words of thee divert me from my design at allat all. Nor the less do Ihope of theean I be thy son and thou truly love methat thou grant me thisfavor. Otherwise thou wilt destroy meand present death hovereth over my headexcept I win my will of heart's dearling. And IO my motheram in every casethy child."

Hearing these wordshis parent wept of her sorrow for him and said: "Omy child! Yesin very deed I am thy mothernor have I any son or life's bloodof my liver except thyselfand the end of my wishes is to give thee a wife andrejoice in thee. But suppose that I would seek a bride of our likes and equalsher people will at once ask an thou have any land or gardenmerchandise orhandicraftwherewith thou canst support herand what is the reply I canreturn? Thenif I cannot possibly answer the poor like ourselveshow shall Ibe bold enoughO my sonto ask for the daughter of the Sultan of China landwho hath no peer or behind or before him? Therefore do thou weigh this matter inthy mind. Also who shall ask her to wife for the son of a snip? Well indeed Iwot that my saying aught of this kind will but increase our misfortunesforthat it may be the cause of our incurring mortal danger from the Sultan-peradventure even death for thee and me.

"Andas concerneth myselfhow shall I venture upon such rash deed andperilousO my son? And in what way shall I ask the Sultan for his daughter tobe thy wifeand indeed how ever shall I even get access to him? And should Isucceed thereinwhat is to be my answer an they ask me touching thy means?Haply the King will hold me to be a madwoman. And lastlysuppose that I obtainaudience of the Sultanwhat offering is there I can submit to the King'smajesty? 'Tis trueO my childthat the Sultan is mild and mercifulneverrejecting any who approach him to require justice or ruth or protectionnor anywho pray him for a presentfor he is liberal and lavisheth favor upon near andfar. But he dealeth his boons to those deserving themto men who have done somederring-do in battle under his eyes or have rendered as civilians great serviceto his estate. But thou! Do thou tell me what feat thou hast performed in hispresence or before the public that thou meritest from him such grace? Andsecondlythis boon thou ambitionest is not for one of our conditionnor is itpossible that the King grant to thee the bourne of thine aspiration. For whosogoeth to the Sultan and craveth of him a favorhim it besitteth to take in handsomewhat that suiteth the royal majestyas indeed I warned thee aforetime. Howthenshalt thou risk thyself to stand before the Sultan and ask his daughter inmarriage when thou hast with thee naught to offer him of that which beseemethhis exalted station?"

Hereto Aladdin replied: "O my motherthou speakest to the point andhast reminded me arightand 'tis meet that I revolve in mind the whole of thyremindings. ButO my motherthe love of Princess Badr al-Budur hath enteredinto the core of my heartnor can I rest without I win her. Howeverthou hastalso recalled to me a matter which I forgotand 'tis this emboldeneth me to askhis daughter of the King. Albeit thouO my motherdeclarest that I have nogift which I can submit to the Sultanas is the wont of the worldyet in verysooth I have an offering and a present whose equalO my motherI hold none ofthe kings to possess- noeven aught like it. Because verily that which I deemedglass or crystal was nothing but precious stonesand I hold that all the kingsof the world have never possessed anything like one of the smallest thereof. Forby frequenting the jeweler folk I have learned that they are the costliest gemsand these are what I brought in my pockets from the hoardwhereuponan thoupleasecompose thy mind.

"We have in our house a bowl of China porcelainso arise thou and fetchitthat I may fill it with these jewelswhich thou shalt carry as a gift tothe Kingand thou shalt stand in his presence and solicit him for myrequirement. I am certified that by such means the matter will become easy totheeand if thou be unwillingO my motherto strive for the winning of mywish as regards the Lady Badr al-Budurknow thou that surely I shall die. Nordo thou imagine that this gift is of aught save the costliest of stonesand beassuredO my motherthat in my many visits to the jewelers' bazaar I haveobserved the merchants selling for sums man's judgment may not determine jewelswhose beauty is not worth one quarter-carat of what we possessseeing which Iwas certified that ours are beyond all price. So ariseO my motheras I badetheeand bring me the porcelain bowl aforesaidthat I may arrange therein someof these gemsand we will see what semblance they show."

So she brought him the china bowlsaying in herself"I shall know whatto do when I find out if the words of my child concerning these jewels besoothfast or not." And she set it before her sonwho pulled the stones outof his pockets and disposed them in the bowland ceased not arranging thereingems of sorts till such time as he had filled it. And when it was brimfulshecould not fix her eyes firmly upon it; on the contraryshe winked and blinkedfor the dazzle of the stones and their radiance and excess of lightninglikeglanceand her wits were bewildered thereat. Only she was not certified oftheir value being really of the enormous extent she had been told. Withal shereflected that possibly her son might have spoken aright when he declared thattheir like was not to be found with the kings. Then Aladdin turned to her andsaid: "Thou hast-seenO my motherthat this present intended for theSultan is magnificentand I am certified that it will procure for thee highhonor with himand that he will receive thee with all respect. And nowO mymotherthou hast no excuseso compose thy thoughts and arise. Take thou thisbowland away with it to the palace."

His mother rejoined: "O my son'tis true that the present is highpricedexceedingly and the costliest of the costlyalso that according to thy wordnone owneth its like. But who would have the boldness to go and ask the Sultanfor his daughterthe Lady Badr al-Budur? I indeed dare not say to him'I wantthy daughter!' when he shall ask me'What is thy want?' For know thouO mysonthat my tongue will be tied. And granting that Allah assist me and Iembolden myself to say to him'My wish is to become a connection of thinethrough the marriage of thy daughter the Lady Badr al-Budurto my son Aladdin'they will surely decide at once that I am demented and will thrust me forth indisgrace and despised. I will not tell thee that I shall thereby fall intodanger of deathfor 'twill not be I onlybut thou likewise. HoweverO my sonof my regard for thine inclination I needs must embolden myself and hie thither.YetO my. childif the King receive me and honor me on account of the gift andinquire of me what thou desirestand in reply I ask of him that which thoudesirest in the matter of thy marriage with his daughterhow shall I answer himand he ask meas is man's wont'What estates hast thouand what income?' AndperchanceO my sonhe will question me of this before questioning me ofthee."

Aladdin replied: "'Tis not possible that the Sultan should make suchdemand what time he considereth the jewels and their magnificencenor is itmeet to think of such things as thesewhich may never occur. Now do thou butarise and set before him this present of precious stones and ask of him hisdaughter for meand sit not yonder making much of the difficulty in thy fancy.Ere this thou hast learnedO mother minethat the lamp which we possess hathbecome to us a stable incomeand that whatso I want of it the same is suppliedto me. And my hope is that by means thereof I shall learn how to answer theSultan should he ask me of that thou sayest." Then Aladdin and his motherfell to talking over the subject all that night longand when morning morrowedthe dame arose and heartened her heartespecially as her son had expounded toher some little of the powers of the lamp and the virtues thereof; to witthatit would supply all they required of it. Aladdinhoweverseeing his parenttake courage when he explained to her the workings of the lampfeared lest shemight tattle to the folk thereofso he said to her: "O my motherbewarehow thou talk to any of the properties of the lamp and its profitas this isour one great good. Guard thy thoughts lest thou speak overmuch concerning itbefore otherswhoso they be. Haply we shall lose it and lose the boon fortunewe possess and the benefits we expectfor that 'tis of him." His motherreplied"Fear not thereforO my son" and she arose and took thebowl full of jewelswhich she wrapped up in a fine kerchiefand went forthbetimes that she might reach the Divan ere it became crowded.

When she passed into the palacethe levee not being fully attendedshe sawthe wazirs and sundry of the lords of the land going into the presence roomandafter a short timewhen the Divan was made complete by the Ministers and highofficials and chieftains and emirs and grandeesthe Sultan appearedand thewazirs made their obeisance and likewise did the nobles and the notables. TheKing seated himself upon the throne of his kingshipand all present at thelevee stood before him with crossed arms awaiting his commandment to sitandwhen they received iteach took his place according to his degree. Then theclaimants came before the Sultanwho delivered sentenceafter his wonted wayuntil the Divan was endedwhen the King arose and withdrew into the palace andthe others all went their ways. And when Aladdin's mother saw the throne emptyand the King passing into his haremshe also wended her ways and returned home.But as soon as her son espied herbowl in handhe thought that haply somethinguntoward had befallen herbut he would not ask of aught until such time as shehad set down the bowlwhen she acquainted him with that had occurred and endedby adding: "Alhamdolillah- laud to the Lord!- O my childthat I foundcourage enough and secured for myself standing place in the levee this day. Andalbe' I dreaded to bespeak the King yet (Inshallah!) on the morrow I willaddress him. Even today were many wholike myselfcould not get audience ofthe Sultan. But be of good cheerO my sonand tomorrow needs must I bespeakhim for thy sakeand what happened not may happen." When Aladdin heard hisparent's wordshe joyed with excessive joyandalthough he expected thematter to be managed hour by hourfor excess of his love and longing to theLady Badr al-Buduryet he possessed his soul in patience.

They slept well that nightand betimes next morning the mother of Aladdinarose and went with her bowl to the King's Courtwhich she found closed. So sheasked the people and they told her that the Sultan did not hold a levee everydaybut only thrice in the sennightwherefor she determined to return home.And after thiswhenever she saw the Court open she would stand before the Kinguntil the reception endedand when it was shut she would go to make

sure thereofand this was the case for the whole month. The Sultan was wontto remark her presence at every leveebut on the last day when she took herstationas was her wontbefore the Councilshe allowed it to closeandlacked boldness to come forward and speak even a syllable. Now as the Kinghaving risenwas making for his harem accompanied by the Grand Wazirhe turnedto him and said: "O Wazirduring the last six or seven levee days I seeyonder old woman present herself at every receptionand I also note that shealways carrieth a something under her mantilla. Say mehast thouO Waziranyknowledge of her and her intention?" "O my lord the Sultan" saidthe other"verily women be weakly of witsand haply this goodwife comethhither to complain before thee against her goodman or some of her people."But this reply was far from satisfying the Sultan- nayhe bade the Wazirincase she should come againset her before himand forthright the Ministerplaced hand on head and exclaimed"To hear is to obeyO our lord theSultan!"

Now one day of the dayswhen she did according to her customthe Sultancast his eyes upon her as she stood before him and said to his Grand Wazir:"This be the very woman whereof I spake to thee yesterdayso do thoustraightway bring her before methat I may see what be her suit and fulfill herneed." Accordingly the Minister at once introduced herand when in thepresence she saluted the King by kissing her finger tips and raising them to herbrowandpraying for the Sultan's glory and continuance and the permanence ofhis prosperitybussed ground before him. Thereupon quoth he: "O womanforsundry days I have seen thee attend the levee sans a word saidso tell me anthou have any requirement I may grant." She kissed ground a second time andafter blessing himanswered: "Yeaverilyas thy head livethO King ofthe AgeI have a want. But first of all do thou deign grant me a promise ofsafetythat I may prefer my suit to the ears of our lord the Sultanfor haplythy Highness may find it a singular." The Kingwishing to know her needand being a man of unusual mildness and clemencygave his word for her immunityand bade forthwith dismiss all about himremaining without other but the GrandWazir. Then he turned toward his suppliant and said: "Inform me of thysuit. Thou hast the safeguard of Allah Almighty." "O King of theAge" replied she"I also require of thee pardon" and quoth he"Allah pardon thee even as I do."

Then quoth she: "O our lord the SultanI have a sonAladdin hightandheone day of the dayshaving heard the crier commanding all men to shut shopand shun the streets for that the Lady Badr al-Budurdaughter of the Sultanwas going to the hammamfelt an uncontrollable longing to look upon herandhid himself in a stead whence he could sight her right welland that place wasbehind the door of the baths. When she enteredhe beheld her and considered heras he wishedand but too wellfor since the time he looked upon herO King ofthe Ageunto this hourlife hath not been pleasant to him. And he hathrequired of me that I ask her to wife for him from thy Highnessnor could Idrive this fancy from his mindbecause love of her hath mastered his vitals andto such degree that he said to me'Know thouO mother minethat an I win notmy wish surely I shall die.' Accordingly I hope that thy Highness will deign bemild and merciful and pardon this boldness on the part of me and my child andrefrain to punish us therefor."

When the Sultan heard her talehe regarded her with kindness andlaughingaloudasked her"What may be that thou carriestand what be in yonderkerchief?" And sheseeing the Sultan laugh in lieu of waxing wroth at herwordsforthright opened the wrapper and set before him the bowl of jewelswhereby the audience hall was illumined as it were by lusters and candelabra.And he was dazed and amazed at the radiance of the rare gemsand he fell tomarveling at their size and beauty and excellence and cried: "Never at alluntil this day saw I anything like these jewels for size and beauty andexcellencenor deem I that there be found in my Treasury a single one likethem." Then he turned to his Minister and asked: "What sayest thouOWazir? Tell mehast thou seen in thy time such mighty fine jewels asthese?" The other answered: "Never saw I suchO our lord the Sultannor do I think that there be in the treasures of my lord the Sultan the fellowof the least thereof." The King resumed: "Now indeed whoso hathpresented to me such jewels meriteth to become bridegroom to my daughterBadral-Budurbecauseas far as I seenone is more deserving of her than he."When the Wazir heard the Sultan's wordshe was tongue-tied with concernand hegrieved with sore grieffor the King had promised to give the Princess inmarriage to his son. So after a little while he said: "O King of the Agethy Highness deigned promise me that the Lady Badr al-Budur should be spouse tomy sonso 'tis but right that thine Exalted Highness vouchsafe us a delay ofthree monthsduring which timeInshallah! my child may obtain and present anoffering yet costlier than this." Accordingly the Kingalbeit he knew thatsuch a thing could not be doneor by the Wazir or by the greatest of hisgrandeesyet of his grace and kindness granted him the required delay.

Then he turned to the old womanAladdin's motherand said: "Go to thyson and tell him I have pledged my word that my daughter shall be in his name.Only 'tis needful that I make the requisite preparations of nuptial furniturefor her useand 'tis only meet that he take patience for the next threemonths." Receiving this replyAladdin's mother thanked the Sultan andblessed himthengoing forth in hottest hasteas one flying for joyshe wenthome. And when her son saw her entering with a smiling facehe was gladdened atthe sip of good newsespecially because she had returned without delayas onthe past daysand had not brought back the bowl. Presently he asked her saying:"Inshallahthou bearest meO my motherglad tidingsand peradventurethe jewels and their value have wrought their workand belike thou hast beenkindly received by the King and he hath shown thee grace and hath given ear tothy request?" So she told him the whole talehow the Sultan had entreatedher well and had marveled at the extraordinary size of the gems and theirsurpassing wateras did also the Waziradding: "And he promised that hisdaughter should be thine. OnlyO my childthe Wazir spake of a secret contractmade with him by the Sultan before he pledged himself to me andafter speakingprivilythe King put me off to the end of three months. Therefore I have becomefearful lest the Wazir be evilly disposed to theeand perchance he may attemptto change the Sultan's mind."

When Aladdin heard his mother's words and how the Sultan had promised him hisdaughterdeferringhoweverthe wedding until after the third monthhis mindwas gladdened and he rejoiced exceedingly and said: Inasmuch as the King hathgiven his word after three months (wellit is a long time!)at all events mygladness is mighty great." Then he thanked his parentshowing her how hergood work had exceeded her toil and travailand said to her: "By AllahOmy motherhitherto I was as 'twere in my grave and therefrom thou hastwithdrawn me. And I praise Allah Almighty because I am at this moment certifiedthat no man in the world is happier than Ior more fortunate." Then hetook patience until two of the three months had gone by.

Now one day of the days his mother fared forth about sundown to the bazaarthat she might buy somewhat of oiland she found all the market shops fast shutand the whole city decoratedand the folk placing waxen tapers and flowers attheir casements. And she beheld the soldiers and household troops and agasriding in processionand flambeaux and lusters flaming and flaringand shewondered at the marvelous sight and the glamour of the scene. So she went in toan ouman's store which stood open still and bought her need of him and said:"By thy lifeO uncletell me what be the tidings in town this daythatpeople have made all these decorations and every house and market street areadorned and the troops all stand on guard?" The oilman asked her"OwomanI suppose thou art a strangerand not one of this city?" and sheanswered"NayI am thy townswoman." He rejoined: "Thou atownswomanand yet wottest not that this very night the son of the Grand Wazirgoeth in to the Lady Badr al-Budurdaughter of the Sultan! He is now in thehammamand all this power of soldiery is on guard and standing under arms toawait his coming forthwhen they will bear him in bridal procession to thepalacewhere the Princess expecteth him."

As the mother of Aladdin heard these wordsshe grieved and was distraught inthought and perplexed how to inform her son of this sorrowful eventwellknowing that the poor youth was lookinghour by hourto the end of the threemonths. But she returned straightway home to himand when she entered she said"O my sonI would give thee certain tidingsyet hard to me will be thesorrow they shall occasion thee." He cried"Let me know what be thynews" and she replied: "Verily the Sultan hath broken his promise tothee in the matter of the Lady Badr al-Budurand this very night the GrandWazir's son goeth in to her. And for some timeO my sonI have suspected thatthe Minister would change the King's mindeven as I told thee how he had spokenprivily to him before me." Aladdin asked: "How learnedst thou that theWazir's son is this night to pay his first visit to the Princess?" So shetold him the whole talehow when going to buy oil she had found the citydecorated and the eunuch officials and lords of the land with the troops underarms awaiting the bridegroom from the bathsand that the first visit wasappointed for that very night.

Hearing thisAladdin was seized with a fever of jealousy brought on by hisgrief. Howeverafter a short while he remembered the lamp andrecovering hisspiritssaid: "By thy lifeO my motherdo thou believe that the Wazir'sson will not enjoy her as thou thinkest. But now leave we this discourseandarise thou and serve up supperand after eating let me retire to my own chamberand all will be well and happy." After he had supped Aladdin retired to hischamber andlocking the doorbrought out the lamp and rubbed itwhenasforthright appeared to him its familiarwho said: "Ask whatso thouwantestfor I am thy slave and slave to him who holdeth the lamp in handI andall the Slaves of the Lamp." He replied: "Hear me! I prayed the Sultanfor his daughter to wife and he plighted her to me after three monthsbut hehath not kept his word- nayhe hath given her to the son of the Wazirand thisvery night the bridegroom will go in to her. Therefore I command thee (an thoube a trusty servitor to the lamp)when thou shalt see bride and bridegroombedded together this nightat once take them up and bear them hither abed. Andthis be what I want of thee." The Marid replied"Hearing and obeyingand if thou have other service but thisdo thou demand of me all thoudesirest." Aladdin rejoined"At the present time I require naughtsave that I bade thee do."

Hereupon the slave disappeared and Aladdin returned to pass the rest of theevening with his mother. But at the hour when he knew that the servitor would becominghe arose and retired to his chamberand after a little whilebeholdthe Marid camebring to him the newly wedded couple upon their bridal bed.Aladdin rejoiced to see them with exceeding joythen he cried to the slave"Carry yonder gallowsbird hence and lay him at full length in theprivy." His bidding was done straightwaybut before leaving himthe slaveblew upon the bridegroom a blast so cold that it shriveled himand the plightof the Wazir's son became piteous. Then the servitorreturning to Aladdinsaidto him"An thou require aught elseinform me thereof" and said theother"Return a-mornthat thou mayest restore them to their stead"whereto"I hear and obey" quoth the Maridand evanished.

Presently Aladdin arosehardly believing that the affair had been such asuccess for himbut whenas he looked upon the Lady Badr al-Budur lying underhis own roofalbeit he had long burned with her loveyet he preserved respectfor her and said: "O Princess of fair onesthink not that I brought theehither to minish thy honor. Heaven forfend! Nay'twas only to prevent the wrongman enjoying theefor that thy sirethe Sultanpromised thee to me. So dothou rest in peace." When the Lady Badr al-Budurdaughter of the Sultansaw herself in that mean and darksome lodgingand heard Aladdin's wordsshewas seized with fear and trembling and waxed clean distraughtnor could shereturn aught of reply. Presently the youth aroseand stripping off his outerdressplaced a scimitar between them and lay upon the bed beside the Princess.And he did no villain deedfor it sufficed him to prevent the consummation ofher nuptials with the Wazir's son. On the other handthe Lady Badr al-Budurpassed a night the evilest of all nightsnor in her born days had she seen aworse. And the same was the case with the Minister's sonwho lay in the chapelof ease and who dared not stir for the fear of the Jinni which overwhelmed him.

As soon as it was morning the slave appeared before Aladdin without the lampbeing rubbedand said to him: "O my lordan thou require aughtcommandme thereforthat I may do it upon my head and mine eyes." Said the other:"Gotake up and carry the bride and bridegroom to their ownapartment." So the servitor did his bidding in an eye glance and bore awaythe pair and placed them in the palace as whilom they were and without theirseeing anyone. But both died of affright when they found themselves beingtransported from stead to stead. And the Marid had barely time to set them downand wend his ways ere the Sultan came on a visit of congratulation to hisdaughter. And when the Wazir's son heard the doors thrown openhe sprangstraightway from his couch and donned his dressfor he knew that none save theKing could enter at that hour. Yet it was exceedingly hard for him to leave hisbedwherein he wished to warm himself a trifle after his cold night in thewatercloset which he had lately left. The Sultan went in to his daughterBadral-Budurandkissing her between the eyesgave her good morning and asked herof her bridegroom and whether she was pleased and satisfied with him. But shereturned no reply whatever and looked at him with the eye of angerand althoughhe repeated his words again and againshe held her peacenor bespake him witha single syllable.

So the King quitted her andgoing to the Queeninformed her of what hadtaken placebetween him and his daughterand the motherunwilling to leavethe Sultan angered with their childsaid to him: "O King of the Agethisbe the custom of most newly married couplesat least during their first days ofmarriagefor that they are bashful and somewhat coy. So deign thou excuse herand after a little while she will again become herself and speak with the folkas beforewhereas now her shameO King of the Agekeepeth her silent.However'tis my wish to fare forth and see her." Thereupon the Queen aroseand donned her dressthengoing to her daughterwished her good morning andkissed her between the eyes. Yet would the Princess make no answer at allwhereat quoth the Queen to herself: "Doubtless some strange matter hathoccurred to trouble her with such trouble as this." So she asked hersaying: "O my daughterwhat hath caused this thy case? Let me know whathath betided thee that when I come and give thee good morniingthou hast not aword to say to me." Thereat the Lady Badr al-Budur raised her head andsaid: "Pardon meO my mother'twas my duty to meet thee with all respectand worshipseeing that thou hast honored me by this visit. HoweverI praythee to hear the cause of this my condition and see how the night I have justspent hath been to me the evilest of the nights. Hardly had we lain downO mymotherthan one whose form I wot not uplifted our bed and transported it to adarksome placefulsome and mean."

Then the Princess related to the Queen Mother all that had befallen her thatnight- how they had taken away her bridegroomleaving her lone and lonesomeand how after a while came another youth who lay beside her in lieu of herbridegroomafter placing his scimitar between her and himself. "And in themorning" she continued"he who carried us off returned and bore usstraight back to our own stead. But at once when he arrived hither he left usand suddenly my sirethe Sultanentered at the hour and moment of our comingand I had nor heart nor tongue to speak him withalfor the stress of the terrorand trembling which came upon me. Haply such lack of duty may have proved soreto himso I hopeO my motherthat thou wilt acquaint him with the cause ofthis my conditionand pardon me for not answering him and blame me notacceptmy excuses."

When the Queen heard these words of Princess Badr al-Budurshe said to her:"O my childcompose thy thoughts. An thou tell such tale before anyhaplyshall he say'Verilythe Sultan's daughter hath lost her wits.' And thou hastdone right well in not choosing to recount thine adventure to thy fatherandbewareand again I say bewareO my daughterlest thou inform himthereof." The Princess replied: "O my motherI have spoken to theelike one sound in sensesnor have I lost my wits. This be what befell meandif thou believe it not because coming from meask my bridegroom." To whichthe Queen replied: "Rise up straightwayO my daughterand banish from thythoughts such fancies as these. And robe thyself and come forth to glance at thebridal feasts and festivities they are making in the city for the sake of theeand thy nuptialsand listen to the drumming and the singing and look at thedecorations all intended to honor thy marriageO my daughter."

So sayingthe Queen at once summoned the tirewomanwho dressed and preparedthe Lady Badr al-Budurand presently she went in to the Sultan and assured himthat their daughter had suffered during all her wedding night from swevens andnightmareand said to him"Be not severe with her for not answeringthee." Then the Queen sent privily for the Wazir's son and asked of themattersaying"Tell meare these words of the Lady Badr al-Budursoothfast or not?" But hein his fear of losing his bride out of handanswered"O my ladyI have no knowledge of that whereof thouspeakest." Accordingly the mother made sure that her daughter had seenvisions and dreams. The marriage feasts lasted throughout that day with almesand singers and the smiting of all manner instruments of mirth and merrimentwhile the Queen and the Wazir and his son strave right strenuously to enhancethe festivities that the Princess might enjoy herself. And that day they leftnothing of what exciteth to pleasure unrepresented in her presenceto the endthat she might forget what was in her thoughts and derive increase of joyance.

Yet did naught of this take any effect upon her- nayshe sat in silencesadof thoughtsore perplexed at what had befallen her during the last night. It istrue that the Wazir's son had suffered even more he had passed his sleepinghours lying in the watercloset. Hehowever had falsed the story and had castout remembrance of the nightin the first place for his fear of losing hisbride and with her the honor of a connection which brought him such excess ofconsideration and for which men envied him so muchand secondlyon account ofthe wondrous loveliness of the Lady Badr al-Budur and her marvelous beauty.

Aladdin also went forth that day and looked at the merrymakingswhichextended throughout the city as well as the palaceand he fell a-laughingespecially when he heard the folk prating of the high honor which had accrued tothe son of the Wazir and the prosperity of his fortunes in having becomeson-in-law to the Sultanand the high consideration shown by the wedding fetes.And he said in his mind: "Indeed ye wot notO ye miserableswhat befellhim last nightthat ye envy him!" But after darkness fell and it was timefor sleepAladdin arose andretiring to his chamberrubbed the lampwhereupon the slave incontinently appeared and was bidden to bring him theSultan's daughtertogether with her bridegroomas on the past nightere theWazir's son could abate her maidenhead. So the Marid without stay or delayevanished for a little while until the appointed timewhen he returned carryingthe bed whereon lay the Lady Badr al-Budur and the Wazir's son. And he did withthe bridegroom as he had done before; to withe took him and laid him at fulllength in the jakes and there left him dried-up for excess of fear andtrembling. Then Aladdin arose andplacing the scimitar between himself and thePrincesslay down beside herand when day broke the slave restored the pair totheir own placeleaving Aladdin filled with delight at the state of theMinister's son.

Now when the Sultan woke up a-mornhe resolved to visit his daughter and seeif she would treat him as on the past day. Soshaking off his sleephe sprangup and arrayed himself in his raimentand going to the apartment of thePrincessbade open the door. Thereat the son of the Wazir arose forthright andcame down from his bed and began donning his dress whilst his ribs were wrungwith cold. For when the King entered the slave had but just brought him back.The Sultanraising the arrasdrew near his daughter as she lay abed and gaveher good morning. Thenkissing her between the eyeshe asked her of her case.But he saw her looking sour and sadand she answered him not at all onlyglowering at him as one in angerand her plight was pitiable. Hereat the Sultanwaxed wroth with her for that she would not replyand he suspected thatsomething evil had befallen herwhereupon he bared his blade and cried to herbrand in handsaying: "What be this hath betided thee? Either acquaint mewith what happened or this very moment I will take thy life! Is such conduct thetoken of honor and respect I expect of theethat I address thee and thouanswerest me not a word?"

When the Lady Badr al-Budur saw her sire in high dudgeon and the naked glaivein his gripshe was freed from her fear of the pastso she raised her head andsaid to him: "O my beloved fatherbe not wroth with menor be hasty inthy hot passionfor I am excusable in what thou shalt see of my case. So dothou lend an ear to what occurred to meand well I wot that after hearing myaccount of what befell to me during these two last nightsthou wilt pardon meand thy Highness will be softened to pitying me even as I claim of theeaffection for thy child." Then the Princess informed her father of all thathad betided heradding: "O my sirean thou believe me notask mybridegroom and he will recount to thy Highness the whole adventure. Nor did Iknow either what they would do with him when they bore him away from my side orwhere they would place him." When the Sultan heard his daughter's wordshewas saddened and his eyes brimmed with tearsthen he sheathed his saber andkissed hersaying: "O my daughterwherefore didst thou not tell me whathappened on the past nightthat I might have guarded thee from this torture andterror which visited thee a second time? But now 'tis no matter. Rise and castout all such careand tonight I will set a watch to ward theenor shall anymishap again make thee miserable."

Then the Sultan returned to his palace and straightway bade summon the GrandWazir and asked him as he stood before him in his service: "O Wazirhowdost thou look upon this matter? Haply thy son hath informed thee of whatoccurred to him and to my daughter." The Minister replied"O King ofthe AgeI have not seen my son or yesterday or today." Hereat the Sultantold him all that had afflicted the Princessadding: "'Tis my desire thatthou at once seek tidings of thy son concerning the facts of the case.Peradventure of her fear my daughter may not be fully aware of what reallybefell herwithal I hold all her words to be truthful." So the Grand Waziraroseand going forthbade summon his son and asked him anent all his lord hadtold him whether it be true or untrue. The youth replied: "O my father theWazirHeaven forbid that the Lady Badr al-Budur speak falsely. Indeed all shesaid was soothand these two nights proved to us the evilest of our nightsinstead of being nights of pleasure and marriage joys. But what befell me wasthe greater evilbecause instead of sleeping abed with my brideI lay in thewardrobea black holefrightfulnoisome of stenchtruly damnableand myribs were bursten with cold." In finethe young man told his father thewhole taleadding as he ended it: "O dear father mineI implore thee tospeak with the Sultan that he may set me free from this marriage. Yesindeed'tis a high honor for me to be the Sultan's son-in-lawand especially the loveof the Princess hath gotten hold of my vitalsbut I have no strength left toendure a single night like unto these two last."

The Wazirhearing the words of his sonwas saddened and sorrowfulexceedinglyfor it was his desire to advance and promote his child by makinghim son-in-law to the Sultan. So he became thoughtful and perplexed about theaffair and the device whereby to manage itand it was sore grievous for him tobreak off the marriageit having been a rare enjoyment to him that he hadfallen upon such high good fortune. Accordingly he said: "Take patienceOmy sonuntil we see what may happen this nightwhen we will set watchmen toward you. Nor do thou give up the exalted distinction which hath fallen to nonesave to thyself." Then the Wazir left him andreturning to the sovereignreported that all told to him by the Lady Badr al-Budur was a true tale.Whereupon quoth the Sultan"Since the affair is on this wisewe requireno delay" and he at once ordered all the rejoicings to cease and themarriage to be broken off. This caused the folk and the citizens to marvel atthe matterespecially when they saw the Grand Wazir and his son leaving thepalace in pitiable plight for grief and stress of passionand the people fellto asking"What hath happenedand what is the cause of the wedding beingmade null and void?"

Nor did any know aught of the truth save Aladdinthe lover who claimed thePrincess's handand he laughed in his sleeve. But even after the marriage wasdissolvedthe Sultan forgot nor even recalled to mind his promise made toAladdin's motherand the same was the case with the Grand Wazirwhile neitherhad any inkling of whence befell them that which had befallen. So Aladdinpatiently awaited the lapse of the three months after which the Sultan hadpledged himself to give him to wife his daughter. But soon as ever the termcamehe sent his mother to the Sultan for the purpose of requiring him to keephis covenant. So she went to the palaceand when the King appeared in the Divanand saw the old woman standing before himhe remembered his promise to herconcerning the marriage after a term of three monthsand he turned to theMinister and said: "O Wazirthis be the ancient dame who presented me withthe jewels and to whom we pledged our word that when the three months hadelapsed we would summon her to our presence before all others." So theMinister went forth and fetched herand when she went in to the Sultan'spresence she saluted him and prayed for his glory and permanence of prosperity.Hereat the King asked her if she needed aughtand she answered: "O King ofthe Agethe three months' term thou assignedst to me is finishedand this isthy time to my son Aladdin with thy daughterthe Lady Badr al-Budur."

The Sultan was distraught at this demandespecially when he saw the oldwoman's pauper conditionone of the meanest of her kindand yet the offeringshe had brought to him was of the most magnificentfar beyond his power to paythe price. Accordingly he turned to the Grand Wazir and said: "What deviceis there with thee? In very sooth I did pass my wordyet meseemeth that they bepauper folkand not persons of high condition." The Grand Wazirwho wasdying of envy and who was especially saddened by what had befallen his sonsaidto himself"How shall one like this wed the King's daughter and my sonlose this highmost honor?" Accordingly he answered his sovereignspeakingprivily: "O my lord'tis an easy matter to keep off a poor devil such asthisfor he is not worthy that thy Highness give his daughter to a fellow whomnone knoweth what he may be." "By what means" inquired theSultan"shall we put off the man when I pledged my promiseand the wordof the kings is their bond?" Replied the Wazir: "O my lordmy rede isthat thou demand of him forty platters made of pure sand gold and full of gems(such as the woman brought thee aforetime)with forty white slave girls tocarry the platters and forty black eunuch slaves." The King rejoined:"By AllahO Wazirthou hast spoken to the purposeseeing that such thingis not possibleand by this way we shall be freed."

Then quoth he to Aladdin's mother: "Do thou go and tell thy son that Iam a man of my word even as I plighted it to himbut on condition that he havepower to pay the dower of my daughter. And that which I require of him is asettlement consisting of twoscore platters of virgin goldall brimming withgems the like of those thou broughtest to meand as many white handmaids tocarry them and twoscore black eunuch slaves to serve and escort the bearers. Anthy son avail heretoI will marry him with my daughter." Thereupon shereturned home wagging her head and saying in her mind: "Whence can my poorboy procure these platters and such jewels? And granted that he return to theenchanted treasury and pluck them from the trees- whichhoweverI holdimpossible- yet given that he bring themwhence shall he come by the girls andthe blacks?" Nor did she leave communing with herself till she reached herhomewhere she found Aladdin awaiting herand she lost no time in saying:"O my sondid I not tell thee never to fancy that thy power would extendto the Lady Badr al-Budurand that such a matter is not possible to folk likeourselves?"

"Recount to me the news" quoth heso quoth she: "O my childverily the Sultan received me with all honor according to his customandmeseemeth his intentions toward us be friendly. But thine enemy is that accursedWazirfor after I addressed the King in thy name as thou badest me say'Invery sooth the promised term is past' adding"Twere well an thy Highnesswould deign issue commandment for the espousals of thy daughter the Lady Badral-Budur to my son Aladdin' he turned to and addressed the Ministerwhoanswered privilyafter which the Sultan gave me his reply." Then sheenumerated the King's demand and said: "O my sonhe indeed expecteth ofthee an instant replybut I fancy that we have no answer for him." WhenAladdin heard these wordshe laughed and said: "O my motherthouaffirmest that we have no answer and thou deemest the case difficultexceedinglybut compose thy thoughts and arise and bring me somewhat we mayeat. And after we have dinedan the Compassionate be willingthou shalt see myreply. Also the Sultan thinketh like thyself that he hath demanded a prodigiousdower in order to divert me from his daughterwhereas the fact is that he hathrequired of me a matter far less than I expected. But do thou fare forth at onceand purchase the provision and leave me to procure thee a reply."

So she went out to fetch her needful from the bazaar and Aladdin retired tohis chamber andtaking the lamprubbed itwhen forthright appeared to him itsslave and said"AskO my lordwhatso thou wantest." The otherreplied: "I have demanded of the Sultan his daughter to wifeand he hathrequired of me forty bowls of purest gold each weighing ten pounds and all to befilled with gems such as we find in the gardens of the hoard; furthermorethatthey be borne on the heads of as many white handmaidseach attended by herblack eunuch slavealso forty in full rate. So I desire that thou bring allthese into my presence." "Hearkening and obeyingO my lord"quoth the slave anddisappearing for the space of an hour or sopresentlyreturned bringing the platters and jewelshandmaids and eunuchs. Thensettingthem before himthe Marid cried: "This be what thou demandest of me.Declare now an thou want any matter or service other than this." Aladdinrejoined: "I have need of naught elsebut an I doI will summon thee andlet thee know."

The slave now disappearedand after a little whileAladdin's motherreturned homeand on entering the housesaw the blacks and the handmaids.Hereat she wondered and exclaimed"All this proceedeth from the lamp whichAllah perpetuate to my son!" But ere she doffed her mantilla Aladdin saidto her: "O my motherthis be thy time. Before the Sultan enter hisseraglio palace do thou carry to him what he requiredand wend thou with it atonceso may he know that I avail to supply all he wanteth and yet more. Alsothat he is beguiled by his Grand wazirand the twain imagined vainly that theywould baffle me." Then he arose forthright and opened the house doorwhenthe handmaids and blackamoors paced forth in pairseach girl with her eunuchbesider heruntil they crowded the quarterAladdin's mother foregoing them.And when the folk of that ward sighted such mighty fine sight and marvelousspectacleall stood at gaze and they considered the forms and figures of thehandmaidsmarveling at their beauty and lovelinessfor each and every worerobes inwrought with gold and studded with jewelsno dress being worth lessthan a thousand dinars. They stared as intently at the bowlsand albeit thesewere covered with pieces of brocadealso orfrayed and dubbed with preciousstonesyet the sheen outshot from them dulled the shine of sun.

Then Aladdin's mother walked forward and all the handmaids and eunuchs pacedbehind her in the best of ordinance and dispositionand the citizens gatheredto gaze at the beauty of the damselsglorifying God the Most Greatuntil thetrain reached the palace and entered it accompanied by the tailor's widow. Nowwhen the agas and chamberlains and army officers beheld themall were seizedwith surprisenotably by seeing the handmaidswho each and every would ravishthe reason of an anchorite. And albeit the royal chamberlains and officials weremen of familythe sons of grandees and emirsyet they could not but especiallywonder at the costly dresses of the girls and the platters borne upon theirheadsnor could they gaze at them open-eyed by reason of the exceedingbrilliance and radiance. Then the nabobs went in and reported to the Kingwhoforthright bade admit them to the presence chamberand Aladdin's mother went inwith them.

When they stood before the Sultanall saluted him with every sign of respectand worship and prayed for his glory and prosperity. Then they set down fromtheir heads the bowls at his feet andhaving removed the brocade coversrestedwith arms crossed behind them. The Sultan wondered with exceeding wonderandwas distraught by the beauty of the handmaids and their lovelinesswhich passedpraise. And his wits were wildered when he considered the golden bowls brimfulof gems which captured man's visionand he was perplexed at the marvel until hebecame like the dumbunable to utter a syllable for the excess of his wonder.Also his sense was stupefied the more when he bethought him that within an houror so all these treasures had been collected. Presently he commanded the slavegirls to enterwith what loads they borethe dower of the Princessand whenthey had done his biddingAladdin's mother came forward and said to the Sultan:"O my lordthis be not much wherewith to honor the Lady Badr al-Budurforthat she meriteth these things multiplied times manifold."

Hereat the sovereign turned to the Minister and asked: "What sayestthouO Wazir? Is not he who could produce such wealth in a time so briefis henotI sayworthy to become the Sultan's son-in-law and take the King'sdaughter to wife?" Then the Minister (although he marveled at these richeseven more than did the Sultan)whose envy was killing him and growing greaterhour by hourseeing his liege lord satisfied with the moneys and the dower andyet being unable to fight against factmade answer"'Tis not worthy ofher." Withal he fell to devising a device against the Kingthat he mightwithhold the Lady Badr al-Budur from Aladdinand accordingly he continued:"O my liegethe treasures of the universe all of them are not worth a nailparing of thy daughter. Indeed thy Highness hath prized these things overmuch incomparison with her."

When the King heard the words of his Grand Wazirhe knew that the speech wasprompted by excess of envysoturning to the mother of Aladdinhe said:"O womango to thy son and tell him that I have accepted of him the dowerand stand to my bargainand that my daughter be his bride and he my son-in-law.Furthermorebid him at once make act of presence that I may become familiarwith him. He shall see naught from me save all honor and considerationand thisnight shall be the beginning of the marriage festivities. Onlyas I said totheelet him come to me and tarry not." Thereupon Aladdin's motherreturned home with the speed of the storm winds that she might hasten her utmostto congratulate her sonand she flew with joy at the thought that her boy wasabout to become son-in-law to the Sultan.

After her departure the King dismissed the Divan andentering the palace ofthe Princessbade them bring the bowls and the handmaids before him and beforeherthat she also might inspect them. But when the Lady Badr al-Budurconsidered the jewelsshe waxed distraught and cried: "Meseemeth that inthe treasuries of the world there be not found one jewel rivaling thesejewels." Then she looked at the handmaids and marveled at their beauty andlovelinessand knew that all this came from her new bridegroomwho had sentthem in her service. So she was gladdenedalbeit she had been grieved andsaddened on account of her former husbandthe Wazir's sonand she rejoicedwith exceeding joy when she gazed upon the damsels and their charms. Nor was hersirethe Sultanless pleased and inspirited when he saw his daughter relievedof an her mourning and melancholyand his own vanished at the sight of herenjoyment. Then he asked her: "O my daughterdo these things divert thee?Indeed I deem that this suitor of thine be more suitable to thee than the son ofthe Wazirand right soonInshallah! O my daughterthou shalt have fuller joywith him."

Such was the case with the Kingbut as regards Aladdinas soon as he sawhis mother entering the house with face laughing for stress of joy he rejoicedat the sign of glad tidings and cried: "To Allah alone be lauds! Perfectedis an I desired." Rejoined his mother: "Be gladdened at my good newsO my sonand hearten thy heart and cool thine eyes for the winning of thy wish.The Sultan hath accepted thine offering- I mean the moneys and the dower of theLady Badr al-Budurwho is now thine affianced bride. And this very nightO mychildis your marriage and thy first visit to herfor the Kingthat he mightassure me of his wordhath proclaimed to the world thou art his son-in-lawandpromised this night to be the night of going in. But he also said to me'Letthy son come hither forthright that I may become familiar with him and receivehim with all honor and worship.' And now here am IO my sonat the end of mylabors. Happen whatso may happenthe rest is upon thy shoulders."

Thereupon Aladdin arose and kissed his mother's hand and thanked herenhancing her kindly service. Then he left her andentering his chambertookthe lamp and rubbed itwhenlo and behold! its slave appeared and cried:"Adsum! Ask whatso thou wantest." The young man replied: "'Tis mydesire that thou take me to a hammam whose like is not in the world. Then fetchme a dress so costly and kingly that no royalty ever owned its fellow." TheMarid replied"I hear and I obey" and carried him to baths such aswere never seen by the Kings of the Chosroesfor the building was all ofalabaster and camelianand it contained marvelous limnings which captured thesightand the great hall was studded with precious stones. Not a soul wasthereinbut when Aladdin enteredone of the Jann in human shape washed him andbathed him to the best of his desire. Aladdin after having been washed andbathedleft the baths and went into the great hallwhere he found that his olddress had been removed and replaced by a suit of the most precious and princely.Then he was served with sherbets and ambergrised coffeeand after drinking hearose and a party of black slaves came forward and clad him in the costliest ofclothingthen perfumed and fumigated him. It is known that Aladdin was the sonof a tailora pauperyet now would none deem him to be such- nayall wouldsay: "This be the greatest that is of the progeny of the kings. Praise beto Him Who changeth and Who is not changed!"

Presently came the Jinni andlifting him upbore him to his homeandasked"O my lordtell mehast thou aught of need?" He answered:"Yes'tis my desire that thou bring me eight and forty Mamelukesof whomtwo dozen shall forego me and the rest follow methe whole number with theirwar chargers and clothing and accouterments. And all upon them and their steedsmust be of naught save of highest worth and the costliestsuch as may not befound in treasuries of the kings. Then fetch me a stallion fit for the riding ofthe Chosroes and let his furnitureall thereofbe of gold crusted with thefinest gems. Fetch me also eight and forty thousand dinarsthat each whiteslave may carry a thousand gold pieces. 'Tis now my intent to fare to theSultanso delay thou notfor that without an these requisites whereof Ibespake thee I may no visit him. Moreoverset before me a dozen slave girlsunique in beauty and dight with the most magnificent dressesthat they wendwith my mother to the royal palaceand let every handmaid be robed in raimentthat befitteth Queen's wearing." The slave replied"To hear is toobey" anddisappearing for an eye twinklingbrought all he was biddenbringand led by hand a stallion whose rival was not amongst the Arabian Arabsand its saddlecloth was of splendid brocade gold-in-wrought.

Thereuponwithout stay or delayAladdin sent for his mother and gave herthe garments she should wear and committed to her charge the twelve slave girlsforming her suite to the palace. Then he sent one of the Mamelukes whom theJinni had brought to see if the Sultan had left the seraglio or not. The whiteslave went forth lighter than the lightning andreturned in like hastesaid"O my lordthe Sultan awaiteth thee!" Hereat Aladdin arose and tookhorsehis Mamelukes riding a-van and arear of himand they were such that allmust cry"Laud to the Lord Who created them and clothed them with suchbeauty and loveliness!" And they scattered gold amongst the crowd in frontof their masterwho surpassed them all in comeliness and nor needest thou askconcerning the sons of the kings- praise be to the Bountifulthe Eternal! Allthis was of the virtues of the wonderful lampwhich whoso possessedhim itgifted with fairest favor and finest figurewith wealth and with wisdom. Thefolk admired Aladdin's liberality and exceeding generosityand all weredistraught seeing his charms and elegancehis gravity and his good manners.They glorified the Creator for this noble creationthey blessed him each andeveryand albeit they knew him for the son of Such-a-onethe tailoryet noman envied him- nayall owned that he deserved his great good fortune.

Now the Sultan had assembled the lords of the land andinforming them of thepromise he had passed to Aladdin touching the marriage of his daughterhadbidden them await his approach and then go forthone and allto meet him andgreet him. Hereupon the emirs and wazirsthe chamberlainsthe nabobs and thearmy officerstook their stations expecting him at the palace gate. Aladdinwould fain have dismounted at the outer entrancebut one of the nobleswhomthe King had deputed for such dutyapproached him and said"O my lord'tis the royal command that thou enter riding thy steednor dismount except atthe Divan door." Then they all forewent him in a body and conducted him tothe appointed placewhere they crowded about himthese to hold his stirrup andthose supporting him on either side whilst others took him by the hands andhelped him dismount. After which all the emirs and nobles preceded him into theDivan and led him close up to the royal throne.

Thereupon the Sultan came down forthright from his seat of estate andforbidding him to buss the carpetembraced and kissed and seated him to theright of and beside himself. Aladdin did whatso is suitable in the case of thekings of salutation and offering of blessingsand said: "O our lord theSultanindeed the generosity of thy Highness demanded that thou deign vouchsafeto me the hand of thy daughterthe Lady Badr al-Buduralbeit I undeserve thegreatness of such giftI being but the humblest of thy slaves. I pray Allahgrant thee prosperity and perpetuancebut in very soothO Kingmy tongue ishelpless to thank thee for the fullness of the favorpassing all measurewhichthou hast bestowed upon me. And I hope of thy Highness that thou wilt give me apiece of ground fitted for a pavilion which shall besit thy daughterthe LadyBadr al-Budur." The Sultan was struck with admiration when he saw Aladdinin his princely suit and looked upon him and considered his beauty andlovelinessand noted the Mamelukes standing to serve him in their comelinessand seemlihed. And still his marvel grew when the mother of Aladdin approachedhim in costly raiment and sumptuousclad as though she were a queenand whenhe gazed upon the twelve handmaids standing before her with crossed arms andwith all worship and reverence doing her service. He also considered theeloquence of Aladdin and his delicacy of speechand he was astounded thereathe and all his who were present at the levee.

Thereupon fire was kindled in the Grand Wazir's heart for envy of Aladdinuntil he was like to die. And it was worse when the Sultanafter hearing theyouth's succession of prayers and seeing his high dignity of demeanorrespectful withaland his eloquence and elegance of languageclasped him tohis bosom and kissed him and cried"AlasO my sonthat I have notenjoyed thy converse before this day!" He rejoiced in him with mighty greatjoy and straightway bade the music and the bands strike up. Then he arose andtaking the yotithled him into the palacewhere supper had been preparedandthe eunuchs at once laid the tables. So the sovereign sat down and seated hisson-in-law on his right sideand the wazirs and high officials and lords of theland took places each according to his degreewhereupon the bands played and amighty fine marriage feast was dispread in the palace. The King now appliedhimself to making friendship with Aladdin and conversed with the youthwhoanswered him with all courtesy and eloquenceas though he had been bred in thepalaces of the kings or he had lived with them his daily life. And the more thetalk was prolonged between themthe more did the Sultan's pleasure and delightincreasehearing his son-in-law's readiness of reply and his sweet flow oflanguage.

But after they had eaten and drunken and the trays were removedthe Kingbade summon the kazis and witnesseswho presently attended and knitted the knotand wrote out the contract writ between Aladdin and the Lady Badr al-Budur. Andpresently the bridegroom arose and would have fared forthwhen hisfather-in-law withheld him and asked: "Whither awayO my child? The bridefetes have begun and the marriage is made and the tie is tied and the writ iswritten." He replied: "O my lord the King'tis my desire to edifyfor the Lady Badr al-Budura pavilion befitting her station and high degreenor can I visit her before so doing. ButInshallah! the building shall befinished within the shortest timeby the utmost endeavor of thy slave and bythe kindly regard of thy Hihgness. And although I do (yes indeed!) long to enjoythe society of the Lady Badr al-Buduryet 'tis incumbent of me first to serveherand it becometh me to set about the work forthright." "Lookaround theeO my son" replied the Sultan"for what ground thoudeemest suitable to thy designand do thou take all things into thy hands. ButI deem the best for thee will be yonder broad plain facing my palaceand if itplease theebuild thy pavilion thereupon." "And this" answeredAladdin"is the sum of my wishesthat I may be near-hand to thy Highness.

So sayinghe farewelled the King and took horsewith his Mamelukes ridingbefore him and behind himand all the world blessed him and cried"ByAllah he is deserving" until such time as he reached his home. Then healighted from his stallion and repairing to his chamberrubbed the lamp andbeholdthe slave stood before him and said"AskO my lordwhatso thouwantest" and Aladdin rejoined: "I require thee of a service grave andimportant which thou must do for meand 'tis that thou build me with allurgency a pavillion fronting the palace of the Sultan. And it must be a marvelfor it shall be provided with every requisitesuch as royal furniture and soforth." The slave replied"To hear is to Obey" and evanishedand before the next dawn brake returned to Aladdin and said: "O my lordthe pavilion is finished to the fullest of thy fancyand if thou wouldstinspect itarise forthright and fare with me."

Accordingly he rose upand the slave carried him in the space of an eyeglance to the pavilionwhich when looked upon it struck him with surprise atsuch buildingall its stones being of jasper and alabasterSumaki marble andmosaicwork. Then the slave led him into the treasurywhich was full of allmanner of gold and silver and costly gemsnot to be counted or computedpricedor estimated. Thence to another placewhere Aladdin saw all requisites for thetableplates and dishesspoons and ladlesbasins and coverscups and tassesthe whole of precious metal. Thence to the kitchenwhere they found thekitcheners provided with their needs and cooking batterieslikewise golden andsilvern. Thence to a warehouse piled up with chests full-packed of royalraimentstuffs that captured the reasonsuch as gold-wrought brocades fromIndia and China and kimcobs or orfrayed cloths. Thence to many apartmentsreplete with appointments which beggar description. Thence to the stablescontaining coursers whose like was not to be met with amongst the kings of theuniverse. And lastly they went to the harness rooms all hung with housingscostly saddlesand other furnitureeverywhere studded with pearls and preciousstones. And all this was the work of one night.

Aladdin was wonder-struck and astounded by that magnificent display ofwealthwhich not even the mightiest monarch on earth could produceand more soto see his pavilion fully provided with eunuchs and handmaids whose beauty wouldreduce a saint. Yet the Prime marvel of the pavilion was an upper kiosque orbelvedere of four and twenty windows all made of emeralds and rubies and othergemsand one window remained unfinished at the requirement of Aladdinthat theSultan might prove him impotent to complete it. When the youth had inspected thewhole edificehe was pleased and gladdened exceedingly. Thenturning to theslavehe said: "I require of thee still one thing which is yet wanting andwhereof I had forgotten to tell thee." "AskO my lordthywant" quoth the servitorand quoth the other: "I demand of thee acarpet of the primest brocade all gold-inwrought whichwhen unrolled andoutstretchedshall extend hence to the Sultan's palacein order that the LadyBadr al-Budur maywhen coming hitherpace upon it and not tread commonearth." The slave departed for a short while and said on his return"O my lordverily that which thou demandest is here." Then he tookhim and showed him a carpetwhich wildered the witsand it extended frompalace to pavillion. And after this the servitor bore off Aladdin and set himdown in his own home.

Now day was brighteningso the Sultan rose from his sleep and throwing openthe casementlooked out and espied opposite his palace a palatial pavilionready edified. Thereupon he fell to rubbing his eyes and opening them theirwidest and considering the sceneand he soon was certified that the new edificewas mighty fineand grand enough to bewilder the wits. Moreoverwith amazementas great he saw the carpet dispread between palace and pavilion. Like theirlordalso the royal doorkeepers and the householdone and allwere dazed andamazed at the spectacle. Meanwhile the Wazir came inand as he enteredespiedthe newly builded pavilion and the carpetwhereat he also wondered. And when hewent in to the Sultanthe twain fell to talking on this marvelous matter withgreat surprise at a sight which distracted the gazer and attracted the heart.They said finally"In very truthof this pavilion we deem that none ofthe royalties could build its fellow" and the Kingturning to theMinisterasked him: "Hast thou seen now that Aladdin is worthy to be thehusband of the Princessmy daughter? Hast thou looked upon and considered thisright royal buildingthis magnificence of opulencewhich thought of man cannotcontain?" But the Wazir in his envy of Aladdin replied: "O King of theAgeindeed this foundation and this building and this opulence may not be saveby means of magicnor can any man in the worldbe he the richest in good orthe greatest in governanceavail to found and finish in a single night suchedifice as this." The Sultan rejoined: "I am surprised to see in theehow thou dost continually harp on evil opinion of Aladdinbut I hold that 'tiscaused by thine envy and jealousy. Thou wast present when I gave him the groundat his own prayer for a place whereon he might build a pavilion wherein to lodgemy daughterand I myself favored him with a site for the sameand that toobefore thy very face. But however that beshall one who could send me as dowerfor the Princess such store of such stones whereof the kings never obtained evena fewshall heI saybe unable to edify an edifice like this?" When theWazir heard the Sultan's wordshe knew that his lord loved Aladdin exceedinglyso his envy and malice increased. onlyas he could do nothing against theyouthhe sat silentand impotent to return a reply.

But Aladdinseeing that it was broad day and the appointed time had come forhis repairing to the Place (where his wedding was being celebrated and the emirsand wazirs and grandees were gathered together about the Sultan to be present atthe ceremony)arose and rubbed the lampand when its slave appeared and said"O my lordask whatso thou wantestfor I stand before thee and at thyservice" said he: "I mean forthright to seek the palacethis daybeing my wedding festivaland I want thee to supply me with ten thousanddinars." The slave evanished for an eye twinkling and returned bringing themoneyswhen Aladdin took horse with his Mamelukes a-van and arear and passed onhis wayscattering as he went gold pieces upon the lieges until all were fondlyaffected toward him and his dignity was enhanced. But when he drew near thepalaceand the emirs and agas and army officers who were standing to await himnoted his approachthey hastened straightway to the King and gave him thetidings thereofwhereupon the Sultan rose and met his son-in-law andafterembracing and kissing himled himstill holding his handinto his ownapartmentwhere he sat down and seated him by his right side.

The city was all decorated and music rang through the palace and the singerssang until the King bade bring the noon mealwhen the eunuchs and Mamelukeshastened to spread the tables and trays which are such as are served to thekings. Then the Sultan and Aladdin and the lords of the land and the grandees ofthe realm took their seats and ate and drank until they were satisfied. And itwas a mighty fine wedding in city and palaceand the high nobles all rejoicedtherein and the commons of the kingdom were equally gladdenedwhile thegovernors of provinces and nabobs of districts flocked from far regions towitness Aladdin's marriage and its processions and festivities. The Sultan alsomarveled in his mind to look at Aladdin's mother and recall to mind how she waswont to visit him in pauper plight while her son could command an this opulenceand magnificence. And when the spectators who crowded the royal palace to enjoythe wedding feasts looked upon Aladdin's pavilion and beauties of the buildingthey were seized with an immense surprisethat so vast an edifice as this couldbe reared on high during a single nightand they blessed the youth and cried:"Allah gladden him: By Allahhe deserveth all this! Allah bless hisdays!"

When dinner was doneAladdin rose andfarewelling the Sultantook horsewith his Mamelukes and rode to his own pavilionthat he might prepare toreceive therein his bridethe Lady Badr al-Budur. And as he passedall thefolk shouted their good wishes with one voice and their words were: "Allahgladden thee! Allah increase thy glory! Allah grant thee length of life!"while immense crowds of people gathered to swell the marriage processionandthey conducted him to his new homehe showering gold upon them during the wholetime. When he reached his pavilionhe dismounted and walked in and sat him downon the divanwhilst his Mamelukes stood before him with arms afolded. Alsoafter a short delay they brought him sherbetsand when these were drunkheordered his white slaves and handmaids and eunuchs and all who were in thepavilion to make ready for meeting the Lady Badr al-Budur. Moreoveras soon asmidafternoon came and the air had cooled and the great heat of the sun wasabatedthe Sultan bade his army officers and emirs and wazirs go down into themaydan plainwhither he likewise rode. And Aladdin also took horse with hisMamelukeshe mounting a stallion whose like was not among the steeds of theArab al-Arbaand he showed his horsemanship in the hippodromeand so playedwith the jarid that none could withstand himwhile his bride sat gazing uponhim from the latticed balcony of her bower andseeing in him such beauty andcavalariceshe fell headlong in love of him and was like to fly for joy. Andafter they had ringed their horses on the maydan and each had displayed whatsohe could of horsemanshipAladdin proving himself the best man of allthey rodein a body to the Sultan's palace and the youth also returned to his ownpavilion.

But when it was eveningthe wazirs and nobles took the bridegroom andfalling inescorted him to the royal hamman (known as the Sultani)when he wasbathed. and perfumed. As soon as he came out he donned a dress more magnificentthan the former and took horse with the emirs and the soldier officers ridingbefore him and forming a grand cortegewherein four of the wazirs bore nakedswords round about him. All the citizens and the strangers and the troopsmarched before him in ordered throng carrying wax candles and kettledrums andpipes and other instruments of mirth and merrimentuntil they conducted him tohis pavilion. Here he alighted andwalking intook his seat and seated thewazirs and emirs who had escorted himand the Mamelukes brought sherbets andsugared drinkswhich they also passed to the people who had followed in histrain. It was a world of folk whose tale might not be told. Withal Aladdin badehis Mamelukes stand without the pavilion doors and shower gold upon the crowd.

When the Sultan returned from the maydan plain to his palacehe ordered thehouseholdmen as well as womenstraightway to form a cavalcade for hisdaughterwith all ceremonyand bear her to her bridegroom's pavilion. So thenobles and soldier officers who had followed and escorted the bridegroom at oncemountedand the handmaids and eunuchs went forth with wax candles and made amighty fine procession for the Lady Badr al-Budurand they paced on precedingher till they entered the pavilion of Aladdinwhose mother walked beside thebride. In front of the Princess also fared the wives of the wazirs and emirsgrandees and notablesand in attendance on her were the eight and forty slavegirls presented to her aforetime by her bridegroomeach hending in hand a hugecierge scented with camphor and ambergris and set in a candlestick ofgem-studded gold. And reaching Aladdin's pavilionthey led her to her bower inthe upper story and changed her robes and enthroned her. Thenas soon as thedisplaying was endedthey accompanied her to Aladdin's apartmentsandpresently he paid her the first visit. Now his mother was with the brideandwhen the bridegroom came up and did off her veilthe ancient dame fell toconsidering the beauty of the Princess and her lovelinessand she looked aroundat the pavilionwhich was all litten up by gold and gems besides the manifoldcandelabra of precious metals encrusted with emeralds and jacinthsso she saidin her mind: "Once upon a time I thought the Sultan's palace mighty finebut this pavilion is a thing apart. Nor do I deem that any of the greatest kingsof Chosroes attained in his day to aught like thereof. Also am I certified thatall the world could not build anything evening it." Nor less did the LadyBadr al-Budur fall to gazing at the pavilion and marveling for its magnificence.

Then the tables were spread and they all ate and drank and were gladdenedafter which fourscore damsels came before themeach holding in hand aninstrument of mirth and merriment. Then they deftly moved their finger tips andtouched the stringssmiting them into song most musical most melancholytillthey rent the hearts of the hearers.

Hereat the Princess increased in marveland quoth she to herself"Inall my life ne'er heard I songs like these" till she forsook foodthebetter to listen. And at last Aladdin poured out for her wine and passed it toher with his own hand. So great joy and jubilee went round amongst themand itwas a notable nightsuch a one as IskandarLord of the Two Hornshad neverspent in his time. When they had finished eating and drinking and the tableswere removed from before themAladdin arose and went in to his bride.

As soon as morning morrowed he left his bedand the treasurer brought him acostly suit and a mighty fineof the most sumptuous robes worn by the kings.Thenafter drinking coffee flavored with ambergrishe ordered the horses besaddled andmounting with his Mamelukes before and behind himrode to theSultan's palaceand on his entering its court the eunuchs went in and reportedhis coming to their lord. When the Sultan heard of Aladdin's approachhe roseup forthright to receive him and embraced and kissed him as though he were hisown son. Thenseating him on his righthe blessed and prayed for himas didthe wazirs and emirsthe lords of the land and the grandees of the realm.Presently the King commanded bring the morning mealwhich the attendants servedupand all broke their fast togetherand when they had eaten and drunken theirsufficiency and the tables were removed by the eunuchsAladdin turned to theSultan and said: "O my lordwould thy Highness deign honor me this day atdinner in the house of the Lady Badr al-Budurthy beloved daughterand comeaccompanied by all thy Ministers and grandees of the reign?" The Kingreplied (and he was delighted with his son-in-law)"Thou art surpassing inliberalityO my son!"

Then he gave orders to all invited and rode forth with them (Aladdin alsoriding beside him) till they reached the pavilionand as he entered it andconsidered its constructionits architecture and its stoneryall jasper andcamelianhis sight was dazed and his wits were amazed at such grandeur andmagnificence of opulence. Thenturning to the Ministerhe thus addressed him:"What sayest thou? Tell mehast thou seen in all thy time aught like thisamongst the mighties of earth's monarchs for the abundance of gold and gems weare now beholding?" The Grand Wazir replied: "O my lord the Kingthisbe a feat which cannot be accomplished by might of monarch amongst Adam's sonsnor could the collected peoples of the universal world build a palace like untothis- nayeven builders could not be found to make aught resembling itsave(as I said to thy Highness) by force of sorcery." These words certified theKing that his Minister spake not except in envy and jealousy of Aladdinandwould stablish in the royal mind that all this splendor was not made of manbutby means of magic and with the aid of the black art. So quoth he to him:"Suffice thee so muchO Wazir. Thou hast none other word to speakandwell I know what cause urgeth thee to say this say."

Then Aladdin preceded the Sultan till he conducted him to the upper kiosquewhere he saw its skylightswindowsand latticed casements and jalousies whollymade of emeralds and rubies and other costly gemswhereat his mind wasperplexed and his wits were bewildered and his thoughts were distraught.Presently he took to strolling round the kiosque and solacing himself with thesesights which captured the visiontill he chanced to cast a glance at the windowwhich Aladdin by design had left unwrought and not finished like the rest. Andwhen he noted its lack of completionhe cried"Woe and wellaway for theeO windowbecause of thine imperfection" andturning to his Ministerheasked"Knowest thou the reason of leaving incomplete this window and itsframework?" The Wazir said: "O my lordI conceive that the want offinish in this window resulteth from thy Highness having pushed on Aladdin'smarriageand he lacked the leisure to complete it." Now at that timeAladdin had gone in to his bridethe Lady Badr al-Budurto inform her of herfather's presenceand when he returnedthe King asked him: "O my sonwhat is the reason why the window of this kiosque was not made perfect?""O King of the Ageseeing the suddenness of my wedding" answered he"I failed to find artists for finishing it." Quoth the Sultan"Ihave a mind to complete it myself" and quoth Aladdin: "Allahperpetuate thy gloryO thou the King. So shall thy memory endure in thydaughter's pavilion."

The Sultan forthright bade summon jewelers and goldsmithsand ordered themhe supplied from the treasury with all their needs of gold and gems and nobleoresand when they were gathered togetherhe commanded them to complete thework still wanting in the kiosque window. Meanwhile the Princess came forth tomeet her sirethe Sultanwho noticed as she drew near her smiling faceso heembraced her and kissed herthen led her to the pavilionand all entered in abody. Now this was the time of the noonday meal and one table had been spreadfor the sovereignhis daughterand his son-in-law and a second for the wazirsthe lords of the landthe grandees of the realmthe chief officers of thehostthe chamberlains and the nabobs. The King took seat between the Princessand her husbandand when he put forth his hand to the food and tasted ithewas struck with surprise by the flavor of the dishes and their savory andsumptuous cooking. Moreoverthere stood before him the fourscore damselseachand every saying to the full moon"Rise that I may seat myself in thystead!" All held instruments of mirth and merrimentand they tuned thesame and deftly moved their finger tips and smote the srings into song mostmusicalmost melodiouswhich expanded the mourner's heart. Hereby the Sultanwas gladdenedand time was good to himand for high enjoyment he exclaimed"In very sooth the thing is beyond the compass of King and Caesar."

Then they fell to eating and drinkingand the cup went round until they haddrunken enoughwhen sweetmeats and fruits of sorts and other such edibles wereservedthe dessert being laid out in a different salonwhither they removedand enjoyed of these pleasures their sufficiency. Presently the Sultan arosethat he might see if the produce of his jewelers and goldsmiths favored that ofthe pavilion. So he went upstairs to them and inspected their work and how theyhad wroughtbut he noted a mighty great differenceand his men were far frombeing able to make anything like the rest of Aladdin's pavilion. They informedhim how all the gems stored in the lesser Treasury had been brought to them andused by thembut that the whole had proved insufficient. Wherefor he bade openthe greater Treasuryand gave the workmen all they wanted of him. Moreoverheallowed theman it sufficed notto take the jewels wherewith Aladdin hadgifted him. They carried off the whole and pushed on their laborsbut theyfound the gems fail themalbeit had they not finished half the part wanting tothe kiosque window. Herewith the King commanded them to seize all the preciousstones owned by the wazirs and grandees of the realmbut although they did hisbiddingthe supply still fell short of their requirements.

Next morning Aladdin arose to look at the jewelers' work and remarked thatthey had not finished a moiety of what was wanting to the kiosque window. So heat once ordered them to undo all they had done and restore the jewels to theirowners. Accordingly they pulled out the precious stones and sent the Sultan's tothe Sultan and the wazirs' to the wazirs. Then the jewelers went to the King andtold him of what Aladdin had biddenso he asked them: "What said he toyouand what was his reasonand wherefore was he not content that the windowbe finishedand why did he undo the work ye wrought?" They answered"O our lordwe know not at allbut he bade us deface whatso we haddone." Hereupon the Sultan at once called for his horseand mountingtookthe way pavillonwardwhen Aladdinafter dismissing the goldsmiths and jewelershad retired into his closet and had rubbed the lamp. Hereat straightway itsservitor appeared to him and said: "Ask whatso thou wantest. Thy slave isbetween thy hands" and said Aladdin"'Tis my desire that thou finishthe window which was left unfinished." The Marid replied"On my headbe itand also upon mine eyes!" Then he vanishedand after a little whilereturnedsaying"O my lordverily that thou commandedst me do iscompleted." So Aladdin went upstairs to the kiosque and found the wholewindow in wholly finished stateand whilst he was he was still considering itbeholda castrato came in to him and said: "O my lordthe Sultan hathridden forth to visit thee and is passing through the pavilion gate."

So Aladdin at once went down and received his father-in-law. The Sultanonsighting his son-in-lawcried to him: "WhereforeO my childhast thouwrought on this wise and sufferedst not the jewelers to complete the kiosquewindowleaving in the pavilion an unfinished place?" Aladdin replied:"O King of the AgeI left it not imperfect save for a design of mine ownnor was I incapable of perfecting itnor could I purpose that thy Highnessshould honor me with visiting a pavilion wherein was aught of deficiency. Andthat thou mayest know I am not unable to make it perfectlet thy Highness deignwalk upstairs with me and see if anything remain to be done therewith ornot." So the Sultan went up with him andentering the kiosquefell tolooking right and leftbut he saw no default at all in any of the windows- nayhe noted that all were perfect. So he marveled at the sight and embraced Aladdinand kissed himsaying: "O my sonwhat be this singular feat? Thou canstwork in a single night what in months the jewelers could not do. By AllahIdeem thou hast nor brother nor rival in this world." Quoth Aladdin:"Allah prolong thy life and preserve thee to perpetuity! Thy slavedeserveth not this encomium." And quoth the King: "By AllahO mychildthou meritest all praise for a feat whereof all the artists of the worldwere incapable." Then the Sultan came down and entered the apartments ofhis daughterthe Lady Badr al-Budurto take rest beside herand he saw herjoyous exceedingly at the glory and grandeur wherein she was. Thenafterreposing awhilehe returned to his palace.

Now Aladdin was wont every day to thread the city streets with his Mamelukesriding a-van and arear of him showering rightward and leftward gold upon thefolkand all the worldstranger and neighborfar and nearwere fulfilled ofhis love for the excess of his liberality and generosity. Moreoverhe increasedthe pensions of the poor Religious and the paupersand he would distribute almsto them with his own handby which good deed he won high renown throughout therealm and most of the lords of the land and emirs would eat at his tableandmen swore not at all save by his precious life. Nor did he leave faring to thechase and the maydan plain and the riding of horses and playing at javelin playin presence of the Sultan. And whenever the Lady Badr al-Budur beheld himdisporting himself on the backs of steedsshe loved him much the moreandthought to herself that Allah had wrought her abundant good by causing to happenwhatso happened with the son of the Wazir and by preserving her virginity intactfor her true bridegroomAladdin. Aladdin won for himself day by day a fairerfame and a rarer reportwhile affection for him increased in the hearts of allthe lieges and he waxed greater in the eyes of men.

Moreoverit chanced that in those days certain enemies took horse andattacked the Sultanwho armed and accoutered an army to repel them and madeAladdin commander thereof. So he marched with his mennor ceased marching untilhe drew near the foewhose forces were exceeding manyand presently when theaction beganhe bared his brand and charged home upon the enemy. Then battleand slaughter befell and violent was the hurly-burlybut at last Aladdin brokethe hostile host and put all to flightslaying the best part of them andpillaging their coin and cattleproperty and possessionsand he despoiled themof spoils that could not be counted nor computed. Then he returned victoriousafter a noble victory and entered the capitalwhich had decorated herself inhis honorof her delight in him. And the Sultan went forth to meet him andgiving him joyembraced him and kissed him. And throughout the kingdom was heldhigh festival with great joy and gladness. Presently the sovereign and hisson-in-law repaired to the pavilionwhere they were met by the Princess Badral-Budurwho rejoiced in her husband andafter kissing him between the eyesled him to her apartments. After a time the Sultan also came and they sat downwhile the slave girls brought them sherbets and confectionswhich they ate anddrank. Then the Sultan commanded that the whole kingdom be decorated for thetriumph of his son-in-law and his victory over the invaderand the subjects andsoldiery and all the people knew only Allah in Heaven and Aladdin on earthforthat their lovewon by his liberalitywas increased by his noble horsemanshipand his successful battling for the country and putting to flight the foe.

Such then was the high fortune of Aladdinbut as regards the Maghrabithemagicianafter returning to his native country he passed all this space of timein bewailing what he had borne of toil and travail to will the lampand mostlythat his trouble had gone vain and that the morsel when almost touching his lipshad flown from his grasp. He pondered all this and mourned and reviled Aladdinfor the excess of his rage against himand at times he would exclaim: "Forthis bastard's death underground I am well satisfiedand hope only that sometime or other I may obtain the lampseeing how 'tis yet safe." Now one dayof the days he struck a table of sand and dotted down the figures and carefullyconsidered their consequencethen he transferred them to paper that he mightstudy them and make sure of Aladdin's destruction and the safety of the lamppreserved beneath the earth. Presently he firmly stablished the sequence of thefiguresmothers as well as daughtersbut still he saw not the lamp. Thereuponrage overrode him and he made another trial to be assured of Aladdin's deathbut he saw him not in the enchanted treasure.

Hereat his wrath still grewand it waxed greater when he ascertained thatthe youth had issued from underground and was now upon earth's surface alive andalert. Furthermorethat he had become owner of the lampfor which he hadhimself endured such toil and travail and troubles as man may not bear save forso great an object. Accordingly quoth he to himself: "I have suffered sorepains and penalties which none else could have endured for the lamp's sake inorder that other than that I may carry it offand this accursed hath taken itwithout difficulty. And who knoweth an he wot the virtues of the lampthanwhose owner none in the world should be wealthier? There is no help but that Iwork for his destruction." He then struck another geomantic table andexamining the figuressaw that the lad had won for himself unmeasurable richesand had wedded the daughter of his Kingso of his envy and jealousy he wasfired with the flame of wrathand rising without let or stayhe equippedhimself and set forth for China landwhere he arrived in due season.

Now when he had reached the King's capital wherein was Aladdinhe alightedat one of the khansand when he had rested from the weariness of wayfarehedonned his dress and went down to wander about the streetswhere he neverpassed a group without hearing them prate about the pavilion and its grandeurand vaunt the beauty of Aladdin and his lovesomenesshis liberality andgenerosityhis fine manners and his good morals. Presently he entered anestablishment wherein men were drinking a certain warm beverageand going up toone of those who were loud in their laudshe said to him"O fair youthwho may be the man ye describe and commend?" "Apparently thou art aforeignerO man" answered the other"and thou comest from a farcountry. But even this grantedhow happeneth it thou hast not heard of the EmirAladdinwhose renownI fancyhath filled the universeand whose pavilionknown by report to far and nearis one of the wonders of the world? Howthennever came to thine ears aught of this or the name of Aladdin (whose glory andenjoyment Our Lord increase!) and his fame?" The Moorman replied: "Thesum of my wishes is to look upon this pavilionand if thou wouldest do me afavorprithee guide me thereuntofor I am a foreigner." The man rejoined"To hear is to obey" andforegoing himpointed out Aladdin'spavilionwhereupon the Moroccan fell to considering itand at once understoodthat it was the work of the lamp. So he cried: "Ah! Ah! needs must I dig apit for this accursedthis son of a snipwho could not earn for himself evenan evening meal. And if the Fates abet meI will assuredly destroy his life andsend his mother back to spinning at her wheele'en as she was wont erewhiles todo."

So sayinghe returned to his caravanserai in a sore state of grief andmelancholy and regret bred by his envy and hate of Aladdin. He took hisastrological gear and geomantic table to discover where might he the lampandhe found that it was in the pavilion and not upon Aladdin's person. So herejoiced thereat with joy exceeding and exclaimed: "Now indeed 'twill he aneasy task to take the life of this accursed and I see my way to getting thelamp." Then he went to a coppersmith and said to him: "Do thou make mea set of lampsand take from me their full price and moreonly I would havethee hasten to finish them." Replied the smith"Hearing andobeying" and fell a-working to keep his word. And when they were readythe Moorman paid him what price he requiredthentaking themhe carried themto the khan and set them in a basket. Presently he began wandering about thehighways and market streets of the capital crying aloud: "Ho! Who willexchange old lamps for new lamps?" But when the folk heard him cry on thiswisethey derided him and said"Doubtless this man is Jinnmadfor thathe goeth about offering new for old." And a world followed himand thechildren of the quarter caught him up from place to placelaughing at him thewhilenor did he forbid them or care for their maltreatment. And he ceased notstrolling about the streets till he came under Aladdin's pavilionwhere heshouted with his loudest voiceand the boys screamed at him: "A madman! Amadman!"

Now Destiny had decreed that the Lady Badr al-Budur be sitting in herkiosquewhence she heard one crying like a crierand the children bawling athim. Only she understood not what was going onso she gave orders to one of herslave girlssaying"Go thou and see who 'tis that criethand what be hiscry." The girl fared forth and looked onwhen she beheld a man crying"Ho! Who will exchange old lamps for new lamps?" and the little onespursuing and laughing at him. And as loudly laughed the Princess when thisstrange case was told to her. Now Aladdin had carelessly left the lamp in hispavilion without hiding it and locking it up in his strongboxand one of theslave girls who had seen it said: "O my ladyI think to have noticed inthe apartment of my lord Aladdin an old lampso let us give it in change for anew lamp to this manand see if his cry he truth or lie." Whereupon thePrincess said to the slave girl"Bring the old lamp which thou saidst tohave seen in thy lord's apartment."

Now the Lady Badr al-Budur knew naught of the lamp and of the specialitiesthereof which had raised Aladdinher spouseto such high degree and grandeurand her only end and aim was to understand by experiment the mind of a man whowould give in exchange the new for the old. So the handmaid fared forth and wentup to Aladdin's apartment and returned with the lamp to her ladywholike allthe othersknew nothing of the Maghrabi's cunning tricks and his crafty device.Then the Princess bade an aga of the eunuchry go down and barter the old lampfor a new lamp. So he obeyed her bidding andafter taking a new lamp from themanhe returned and laid it before his ladywho looking at it and seeing thatit was brand-newfell to laughing at the Moorman's wits.

But the Moroccanwhen he held the article in hand and recognized it for thelamp of the enchanted treasuryat once placed it in his breast pocket and leftall the other lamps to the folk who were barteringof him. Then he went forthrunning till he was clear of the citywhen he walked leisurely over the levelgroundsand he took patience until night fell on him in desert groundwherewas none other but himself. There he brought out the lampwhen suddenlyappeared to him the Maridwho said: "Adsum! Thy slave between thy hands iscome. Ask of me whatso thou wantest." "'Tis my desire" theMoorman replied"that thou upraise from its present place Aladdin'spavilionwith its inmates and all that be thereinnot forgetting myselfandset it down upon my own landAfrica. Thou knowest my townand I want thebuilding placed in the gardens hard by it." The Marid slave replied:"Hearkening and obedience. Close thine eyes and open thine eyeswhenasthou shalt find thyself together with the pavilion in thine own country."This was doneand in an eye twinkling the Moroccan and the pavilionwith allthereinwere transported to the African land.

Such then was the work of the Maghrabithe magicianbut now let us returnto the Sultan and his son-in-law. It was the custom of the Kingbecause of hisattachment to and his affection for his daughterevery morning when he hadshaken off sleep to open the latticed casement and look out therefromthat hemight catch sight of her abode. So that day he arose and did as he was wont. Butwhen he drew near the latticed casement of his palace and looked out atAladdin's pavilionhe saw naught- naythe site was smooth as a well-troddenhighway and like unto what it had been aforetimeand he could find nor edificenor offices. So astonishment clothed him as with a garmentand his wits werewildered and he began to rub his eyeslest they he dimmed or darkenedand togaze intently. But at last he was certified that no trace of the pavilionremainednor sign of its beingnor wist he the why and the wherefore of itsdisappearance. So his surprise increased and he smote hand upon hand and thetears trickled down his cheeks over his beardfor that he knew not what hadbecome of his daughter.

Then he sent out officials forthright and summoned the Grand Wazirwho atonce attendedand seeing him in this piteous plightsaid: "PardonO Kingof the Agemay Allah avert from thee every ill! Wherefore art thou in suchsorrow?" Exclaimed the sovereign"Methinketh thou wettest not mycase." And quoth the Minister: "Oh no wiseO our lord. By AllahIknow of it nothing at all." "Then" resumed the Sultan"'tis manifest thou hast not looked this day in the direction of Aladdin'spavilion." "TrueO my lord" quoth the Wazir. "It muststill be locked and fast shut" and quoth the King: "Forasmuch as thouhast no inkling of aughtarise and look out at the window and see Aladdin'spavilionwhereof thou sayest 'tis locked and fast shut." The Ministerobeyed his biddingbut could not see

anythingor pavilion or other place. So with mind and thoughts soreperplexed he returned to his liege lordwho asked him: "Hast now learnedthe reason of my distressand noted yon locked-up palace and fast shut?"Answered the Wazir: "O King of the Ageerewhile I represented to thyHighness that this pavilion and these matters be all magical." Hereat theSultanfired with wrathcried"Where be Aladdin?" and the Ministerreplied"He hath gone a-hunting" when the King commanded withoutstay or delay sundry of his agas and army officers to go and bring to him hisson-in-law chained and with pinioned elbows.

So they fared forth until they found Aladdinwhen they said to him: "Oour lord Aladdinexcuse usnor be thou wroth with usfor the King hathcommanded that we carry thee before him pinioned and fetteredand we hopepardon from theebecause we are under the royal orders which we cannotgainsay." Aladdinhearing these wordswas seized with surpriseand notknowing the reason of thisremained tonguetied for a timeafter which heturned to them and asked: "O assemblyhave you naught of knowledgeconcerning the motive of the royal mandate? Well I wot my soul to be innocentand that I never sinned against King or against kingdom." "O ourlord" answered they"we have no inkling whatever." So Aladdinalighted from his horse and said to them: "Do ye whatso the Sultan bade youdofor that the King's command is upon the head and the eyes." The agashaving bound Aladdin in bonds and pinioned his elbows behind his backhaled himin chains and carried him into the city. But when the lieges saw him pinionedand ironedthey understood that the Sultan purposed to strike off his headandforasmuch as he was loved of them exceedinglyall gathered together and seizedtheir weaponsthenswarming out of their housesfollowed the soldiery to seewhat was to do. And when the troops arrived with Aladdin at the palacetheywent in and informed the Sultan of thiswhereat he forthright commanded thesworder to cut off the head of his son-in-law.

Now as soon as the subjects were aware of this orderthey barricaded thegates and closed the doors of the palace and sent a message to the King saying:"At this very moment we will level thine abode over the heads of all itcontainethand over thine ownif the least hurt or harm befall Aladdin."So the Wazir went in and reported to the Sultan: "O King of the Agethycommandment is about to seal the roll of our livesand 'twere more suitablethat thou pardon thy son-in-lawlest there chance to us a sore mischanceforthat the lieges do love him far more than they love us." Now the Sworderhad already dispread the carpet of blood andhaving seated Aladdin thereonhadbandaged his eyes. Moreoverhe had walked round him three several timesawaiting the last orders of his lordwhen the King looked out of the window andsaw his subjectswho had suddenly attacked himswarming up the walls intendingto tear them down. So forthright he bade the Sworder stay his hand from Aladdinand commanded the crier fare forth to the crowd and cry aloud that he hadpardoned his son-in-law and received him back into favor.

But when Aladdin found himself free and saw the Sultan seated on his thronehe went up to him and said: "O my lordinasmuch as thy Highness hathfavored me throughout my lifeso of thy grace now deign let me know the how andthe wherein I have sinned against thee." "O traitor" cried theKing"unto this present I knew not any sin of thine." Thenturningto the Wazirhe said: "Take him and make him look out at the windowandafter let him tell us where be his pavilion." And when the royal order wasobeyedAladdin saw the place level as a well-trodden roadeven as it had beenere the base of the building was laidnor was there the faintest trace ofedifice. Hereat he was astonished and perplexedknowing not what had occurred.But when he returned to the presencethe King asked him: "What is it thouhast seen? Where is thy pavilionand where is my daughterthe core of myheartmy only childthan whom I have none other?" Aladdin answered"O King of the AgeI wot naught thereof nor aught of what hathbefallen" and the Sultan rejoined: "Thou must knowO AladdinI havepardoned thee only that thou go forth and look into this affair and inquire forme concerning my daughter. Nor do thou ever show thyself in my presence exceptshe be with theeand if thou bring her notby the life of my head I will cutoff the head of thee." The other replied: "To hear is to obey. Onlyvouchsafe me a delay and respite of some forty daysafter whichan I produceher notstrike off my head and do with me whatso thou wishest." The Sultansaid to Aladdin: "VerilyI have granted thee thy requesta delay of fortydays. But think not thou canst fly from my handfor I would bring thee backeven if thou wert above the clouds instead of being only upon earth'ssurface." Replied Aladdin: "O my lord the Sultanas I said to thyHighnessan I fail to bring her within the term appointedI will presentmyself for my head to he stricken off."

Now when the folk and the lieges all saw Aladdin at libertythey rejoicedwith joy exceeding and were delighted for his releasebut the shame of histreatment and bashfulness before his friends and the envious exultation of hisfoes had bowed down Aladdin's head. So he went forth a wandering through thecity waysand he was perplexed concerning his case and knew not what hadbefallen him. He lingered about the capital for two daysin saddest statewotting not what to do in order to find his wife and his pavilionand duringthis time sundry of the folk privily brought him meat and drink. When the twodays were donehe left the city to stray about the waste and open landsoutlying the wallswithout a notion as to whither he should wend. And he walkedon aimlessly until the path led him beside a riverwhereof the stress ofsorrow that overwhelmed himhe abandoned himself to despair and thought ofcasting himself into the water. Beinghowevera good Moslem who professed theunity of the Godheadhe feared Allah in his souland standing upon the marginhe prepared to perform the wuzu ablution.

But as he was bailing up the water in his right hand and rubbing his fingersit so chanced that he also rubbed the ring. Hereat its Marid appearedand saidto him: "Adsum! Thy thrall between thy hands is come. Ask of me whatso thouwantest." Seeing the MaridAladdin rejoiced with exceeding joy and cried:"O SlaveI desire of thee that thou bring before me my pavilion andtherein my wifethe Lady Badr al-Budurtogether with all and everything itcontaineth." "O my lord" replied the Marid"'tis righthard upon me that thou demandest a service whereto I may not avail. This matterdependeth upon the Slave of the Lampnor dare I even attempt it." Aladdinrejoined: "Forasmuch as the matter is beyond thy competenceI require itnot of theebut at least do thou take me up and set me down beside my pavilionin what land soever that may be." The slave exclaimed"Hearing andobeyingO my lord" and uplifting him high in airwithin the space of aneye glance set him down beside his pavilion in the land of Africaand upon aspot facing his wife's apartment.

Now this was at fall of nightyet one look enabled him to recognize hishomewhereby his cark and care were cleared away and he recovered trust inAllah after cutting off all his hope to look upon his wife once more. Then hefell to pondering the secret and mysterious favors of the Lord (glorified he Hisomnipotence!)and how after despair had mastered him the ring had come togladden himand how when all his hopes were cut offAllah had deigned blesshim with the services of its slave. So he rejoiced and his melancholy left him.Thenas he had passed four days without sleep for the excess of his cark andcare and sorrow and stress of thoughthe drew near his pavilion and slept undera tree hard by the buildingwhich (as we mentioned) had been set down amongstthe gardens outlying the city of Africa. He slumbered till morning showed herfaceand when awakened by the warbling of the small birdshe arose and wentdown to the bank of the river which flowed thereby into the cityand here heagain washed hands and face and after finished his wuzu ablution. Then he prayedthe dawn prayerand when he had ended his orisons he returned and sat downunder the windows of the Princess's bower.

Now the Lady Badr al-Budurof her exceeding sorrow for severance from herhusband and her sirethe Sultanand for the great mishap which had happened toher from the Maghrabithe magicianthe accursedwas wont to rise during themurk preceding dawn and to sit in tearsinasmuch as she could not sleep o'nights and had forsworn meat and drink. Her favorite slave girl would enter herchamber at the hour of prayer salutation in order to dress herand this timeby decree of Destinywhen she threw open the window to let her lady comfort andconsole herself by looking upon the trees and rillsand she herself peered outof the latticeshe caught sight of her master sitting belowand informed thePrincess of thissaying: "O my lady! O my lady! Here's my lord Aladdinseated at the foot of the wall!" So her mistress arose hurriedly and gazingfrom the casementsaw himand her husbandraising his headsaw herso shesaluted him and he saluted herboth being like to fly for joy. Presently quothshe"Up and come in to me by the private posternfor now the accursed isnot here" and she gave orders to the slave girlwho went down and openedfor him. Then Aladdin passed through it and was met by his wifewhen theyembraced and exchanged kisses with all delight until they wept for overjoy.

After this they sat downand Aladdin said to her: "O my ladybeforeall things 'tis my desire to ask thee a question. 'Twas my wont to place an oldcopper lamp in such a part of my pavilion. What became of that same?" Whenthe Princess heard these wordsshe sighed and cried"O my dearling'twasthat very lamp which garred us fall into this calamity!" Aladdin asked her"How befell the affair?" and she answered by recounting to him allthat passedfirst and lastespecially how they had given in exchange an oldlamp for a new lampadding: "And next day we hardly saw one another atdawn before we found ourselves in this landand he who deceived us and took thelamp by way of barter informed me that he had done the deed by might of hismagic and by means of the lamp; that he is a Moorman from Africa; and that weare now in his native country."

When the Lady Badr al-Budur ceased speakingAladdin resumed: "Tell methe intent of this accursed in thy respectalso what he sayeth to thee and whathe his will of thee." She replied: "Every day he cometh to visit meonce and no more. He would woo me to his loveand he sueth that I take him tospouse in lieu of thee and that I forget thee and he consoled for the loss ofthee. And he telleth me that the Sultanmy sirehath cut off my husband'sheadadding that thouthe son of pauper parentswast by him enriched. And hesootheth me with talkbut he never seeth aught from me save weeping andwailingnor hath he heard from me one sugar-sweet word." Quoth Aladdin:"Tell me where he hath placed the lampan thou know anythingthereof" and quoth she: "He beareth it about on his body alwaynoris it possible that he leave it for a single hour. Moreoveronce when herelated what I have now recounted to theehe brought it out of his breastpocket and allowed me to look upon it." When Aladdin heard these wordshejoyed with exceeding joy and said: "O my ladydo thou lend ear to me. 'Tismy design to go from thee forthright and to return only after doffing this mydressso wonder not when thou see me changedbut direct one of thy women tostand by the private postern alwayand whenever she espy me comingat once toopen. And now I will devise a device whereby to slay this damned loon."

Herewith he arose andissuing from the pavilion doorwalked till he met onthe way a fellahto whom he said"O mantake my attire and give me thygarments." But the peasant refusedso Aladdin stripped him of his dressperforce and donned itleaving to the man his own rich gear by way of gift.Then he followed the highway leading to the neighboring city and entering itwent to the perfumers' bazaarwhere he bought of one some rarely potent bhangthe son of a minutepaying two dinars for two drachms thereofand he returnedin disguise by the same road till he reached the pavilion. Here the slave girlopened to him the private posternwherethrough he went in to the Lady Badral-Budurand said: "Hear me! I desire of thee that thou dress and dightthyself in thy best and thou cast off all outer show and semblance of care. Alsowhen the accursedthe Maghrabishall visit theedo thou receive him with a'Welcome and fair welcome' and meet him with smiling face and invite him tocome and sup with thee. Moreoverlet him note that thou hast forgotten Aladdinthy belovedlikewise thy fatherand that thou hast learned to love him withexceeding lovedisplaying to him all manner joy and pleasure. Then ask him forwinewhich must be redand pledge him to his secret in a significant draught.And when thou hast given him two or three cups full and hast made him waxcarelessthen drop these drops into his cup and fill it up with wine. No soonershall he drink of it than he will fall upon his back senseless as onedead." Hearing these wordsthe Princess exclaimed: "'Tis exceedinglysore to me that I do such deedwithal must I do it that we escape thedefilement of this accursed who tortured me by severance from thee and from mysire. Lawful and right therefore is the slaughter of this accursed."

Then Aladdin ate and drank with his wife what hindered his hungerthenrising without stay or delayfared forth the pavilion. So the Lady Badral-Budur summoned the tirewomanwho robed and arrayed her in her finest raimentand adorned her and perfumed her. And as she was thusbeholdthe accursedMaghrabi entered. He joyed much seeing her in such case and yet more when sheconfronted himcontrary to her customwith a laughing faceand his lovelonging increasedand his desire to have her. Then she took him andseatinghim beside hersaid: "O my dearlingdo thou (an thou be willing) come tome this night and let us sup together. Sufficient to me hath been my sorrowforwere I to sit mourning through a thousand years or even two thousandAladdinwould not return to me from the tomb. And I depend upon thy say of yesterday; towitthat my sirethe Sultanslew him in his stress of sorrow for serverancefrom me.

"Nor wonder thou an I have changed this day from what I was yesterdayand the reason thereof is I have determined upon taking thee to friend andplayfellow in lieu of and succession to Aladdinfor that now I have none otherman but thyself. So I hope for thy presence this nightthat we may sup togetherand we may carouse and drink somewhat of wine each with otherand especially'tis my desire that thou cause me taste the wine of thy natal soilthe Africanlandbecause belike 'tis better than aught of the wine of China we drink. Ihave with me some winebut 'tis the growth of my country and I vehemently wishto taste the wine produced by thine."

When the Maghrabi saw the love lavisht upon him by the Lady Badr al-Budurand noted her change from the sorrowfulmelancholy woman she was wont to behethought that she had cut off her hope of Aladdinand he joyed exceedingly andsaid to her: "I hear and obeyO my ladywhatso thou wishest and all thoubiddest. I have at home a jar of our country winewhich I have carefully keptand stored deep in earth for a space of eight yearsand I will now fare andfill from it our need and will return to thee in all haste." But thePrincessthat she might wheedle him the more and yet morereplied: "O mydarlinggo not thouleaving me alonebut send one of the eunuchs to fill forus thereofand do thou remain sitting beside methat I may find in thee myconsolation." He rejoined: "O my ladynone wotteth where the jar beburied save myselfnor will I tarry from thee." So sayingthe Moormanwent outand after a short time he brought back as much wine as they wantedwhereupon quoth the Princess to him: "Thou hast been at pains and troubleto serve meand I have suffered for thy sakeO my beloved." Quoth he:"On no wiseO eyes of me. I hold myself enhonored by thy service."

Then the Lady Badr al-Budur sat with him at tableand the twain fell toeatingand presently the Princess expressed a wish to drinkwhen the handmaidfilled her a cup forthright and then crowned another for the Moroccan. So shedrank to his long life and his secret wishesand he also drank to her life.Then the Princesswho was unique in eloquence and delicacy of speechfell tomaking a cup companion of him and beguiled him by addressing him in the sweetestterms of hidden meaning. This was done only that he might become more madlyenamored of herbut the Maghrabi thought that it resulted from her trueinclination for himnor knew that it was a snare set up to slay him. So hislonging for her increasedand he was dying of love for when he saw her addresshim in such tenderness of words and thoughtsand his head began to swim and anthe world seemed as nothing in his eyes. But when they came to the last of thesupper and the wine had mastered his brains and the Princess saw this in himshe said: "With us there be a custom throughout our countrybut I know notan it be the usage of yours or not." The Moorman replied"And whatmay that be?" So she said to him: "At the end of supper each lover inturn taketh the cup of the beloved and drinketh it off." And at once shecrowned one with wine and bade the handmaid carry to him her cupwherein thedrink was blended with the bhang.

Now she had taught the slave girl what to doand all the handmaids andeunuchs in the pavilion longed for the sorcerer's slaughter and in that matterwere one with the Princess. Accordingly the damsel handed him the cup and hewhen he heard her words and saw her drinking from his cup and passing hers tohim and noted all that show of lovefancied himself IskandarLord of the TwoHorns. Then said she to himthe while swaying gracefully to either side andputting her hand within his hand: "O my lifehere is thy cup with me andmy cup with theeand on this wise do lovers drink from each other's cups."Then she bussed the brim and drained it to the dregsand again she kissed itslip and offered it to him. Thereat he flew for joy andmeaning to do the likeraised her cup to his mouth and drank off the whole contentswithoutconsidering whether there was therein aught harmful or not. And forthright herolled upon his back in deathlike condition and the cup dropped from his graspwhereupon the Lady Badr al-Budur and the slave girls ran hurriedly and openedthe pavilion door to their lord Aladdinwhodisguised as a fellahenteredtherein.

He went up to the apartment of his wifewhom he found still sitting attableand facing her lay the Maghrabi as one slaughtered. So he at once drewnear to her and kissed her and thanked her for this. Thenrejoicing with joyexceedinghe turned to her and said: "Do thou with thy handmaids betakethyself to the inner rooms and leave me alone for the presentthat I may takecounsel touching mine affair." The Princess hesitated not but went away atonceshe and her women. Then Aladdin aroseand after locking the door uponthemwalked up to the Moorman and put forth his hand to his breast pocket andthence drew the lampafter which he unsheathed his sword and slew the villain.Presently he rubbed the lamp and the Marid slave appeared and said: "AdsumO my lord! What is it thou wantest?" "I desire of thee" saidAladdin"that thou take up my pavilion from this country and transport itto the land of China and there set it down upon the site where it was whilomfronting the palace of the Sultan." The Marid replied"Hearing andobeyingO my lord."

Then Aladdin went and sat down with his wife and throwing his arms round herneckkissed her and she kissed himand they set in converse what while theJinni transported the pavilion and all therein to the place appointed. PresentlyAladdin bade the handmaids spread the table before himand he and the Lady Badral-Budur took seat thereat and fell to eating and drinkingin all joy andgladnesstill they had their sufficiencywhenremoving to the chamber of wineand cup conversethey sat there and caroused in fair companionship and eachkissed other with all love liesse. The time had been long and longsome sincethey enjoyed aught of pleasureso they ceased not doingthus until the winesun arose in their heads and sleep gat hold of themat which time they went totheir bed in all ease and comfort. Early on the next morning Aladdin woke andawoke his wifeand the slave girls came in and donned her dress and preparedher and adorned her whilst her husband arrayed himself in his costliest raimentand the twain were ready to fly for joy at reunion after parting. MoreoverthePrincess was especially joyous and gladsome because on that day she expected tosee her beloved father.

Such was the case of Aladdin and the Lady Badr al-Budurbut as regards theSultanafter he drove away his son-in-law he never ceased to sorrow for theloss of his daughterand every hour of every day he would sit and weep for heras women weepbecause she was his only child and he had none other to take toheart. And as he shook off sleep morning after morning he would hasten to thewindow and throw it open and peer in the direction where formerly stoodAladdin's pavilion and pour forth tears until his eyes were dried up and theirlids were ulcered. Now on that day he arose at dawn andaccording to hiscustomlooked outwhen lo and behold! he saw before him an edificeso herubbed his eyes and considered it curiouslywhen he became certified that itwas the pavilion of his son-in-law. So he called for a horse without let ordelayand as soon as his beast was saddledhe mounted and made for the placeand Aladdinwhen he saw his father-in-law approachingwent down and met himhalfwaythentaking his handaided him to step upstairs to the apartment ofhis daughter. And the Princessbeing as earnestly desirous to see her siredescended and greeted him at the door of the staircase fronting the ground-floorhall. Thereupon the King folded her in his arms and kissed hershedding tearsof joyand she did likewisetill at last Aladdin led them to the upper saloonwhere they took seats and the Sultan fell to asking her case and what hadbetided her.

The Lady Badr al-Budur began to inform the Sultan of all which had befallenhersaying: "O my fatherI recovered not life save yesterday when I sawmy husbandand he it was who freed me from the thraldom of that Maghrabithatmagicianthat accursedthan whom I believe there be none viler on the face ofearth. And but for my belovedI had never escaped himnor hadst thou seen meduring the rest of my days. But mighty sadness and sorrow gat about meO myfathernot only for losing thee but also for the loss of a husband under whosekindness I shall be all the length of my lifeseeing that he freed me from thatfulsome sorcerer." Then the Princess began repeating to her sire everythingthat happened to herand relating to him how the Moorman had tricked her in theguise of a lamp-seller who offered in exchange new for oldhow she had givenhim the lamp whose worth she knew notand how she had bartered it away only tolaugh at the lampman's folly.

"And next morningO my father" she continued"we foundourselves and whatso the pavilion contained in Africa landtill such time as myhusband came to us and devised a device whereby we escaped. And had it not beenfor Aladdin's hastening to our aidthe accursed was determined to enjoy meperforce." Then she told him of the bhang drops administered in wine to theAfrican and concluded: "Then my husband returned to meand how I know notbut we were shifted from Africa land to this place." Aladdin in his turnrecounted howfinding the wizard dead-drunkenhe had sent away his wife andher women from the poluted place into the inner apartments; how he had taken thelamp from the sorcerer's breast pocketwhereto he was directed by his wife; howhe had slaughtered the villain; and finally howmaking use of the lamphe hadsummoned its slave and ordered him to transport the pavilion back to its propersiteending his tale with: "Andif thy Highness have any doubt anent mywordsarise with me and look upon the accursed magician." The King didaccordingly andhaving considered the Moormanbade the carcass be carried awayforthright and burned and its ashes scattered in air.

Then he took to embracing Aladdin andkissing himsaid: "Pardon meOmy sonfor that I was about to destroy thy life through the foul deeds of thisdamned enchanterwho cast thee into such pit of peril. And I may be excusedOmy childfor what I did by theebecause I found myself forlorn of my daughtermy only onewho to me is dearer than my very kingdom. Thou knowest how thehearts of parents yearn unto their offspringespecially when like myself theyhave but one and none other to love." And on this wise the Sultan took toexcusing himself and kissing his son-in-law. Aladdin said to the Sultan: "OKing of the timethou didst naught to me contrary to Holy Lawand I alsosinned not against theebut all the trouble came from that Maghrabitheimpurethe magician." Thereupon the Sultan bade the city be decoratedandthey obeyed him and held high feast and festivities. He also commanded the crierto cry about the streets saying: "This day is a mighty great fatewhereinpublic rejoicings must be held throughout the realmfor a full month of thirtydaysin honor of the Lady Badr al-Budur and her husband Aladdin's return totheir home."

On this wise befell it with Aladdin and the Maghrabibut withal the King'sson-in-law escaped not wholly from the accursedalbeit the body had been burntand the ashes scattered in air. For the villain had a brother yet morevillainous than himselfand a greater adept in necromancygeomancyandastromancy. And even as the old saw saith"A bean and 'twas split"so each one dwelt in his own quarter of the globe that he might fill it with hissorceryhis fraudand his treason. Now one day of the days it fortuned thatthe Moorman's brother would learn how it fared with himso he brought out hissandboard and dotted it and produced the figures whichwhen he had consideredand carefully studied themgave him to know that the man he sought was dead andhoused in the tomb. So he grieved and was certified of his diseasebut hedotted a second time seeking to learn the manner of the death and where it badtaken place. So he found that the site was the China land and that the mode wasthe foulest of slaughter. Furthermorethat he who did him die was a young manAladdin hight. Seeing thishe straightway arose and equipped himself forwayfarethen he set out and cut across the wilds and wolds and heights for thespace of many a month until he reached China and the capital of the Sultanwherein was the slayer of his brother.

He alighted at the so-called strangers' khan andhiring himself a celltookrest therein for a whilethen he fared forth and wandered about the highwaysthat he might discern some path which would aid him unto the winning of hisill-minded wish; to witof wreaking upon Aladdin blood revenge for his brother.Presently he entered a coffeehousea fine building which stood in the marketplace and which collected a throng of folk to playsome at the mankalahothersat the backgammonand others at the chess and what not else. There he sat downand listened to those seated beside himand they chanced to be conversing aboutan ancient dame and a holyby name Fatimahwho dwelt away at her devotions ina hermitage without the townand this she never entered save only two days eachmonth. They mentioned also that she had performed many saintly miracleswhichwhen the Maghrabithe necromancerheard he said in himself: "Now have Ifound that which I sought. Inshallah- God willing- by means of this crone will Iwill to my wish."

The necromancer went up to the folk who were talking of the miraclesperformed by the devout old woman and said to one of them: "O my uncleIheard you an chatting about the prodigies of a certain saintess named Fatimah.Who is sheand where may be her abode?" "Marvelous!" exclaimedthe man. "How canst thou be in our city and yet never have heard about themiracles of the Lady Fatimah? EvidentlyO thou poor fellowthou art aforeignersince the fastings of this devotee and her asceticism in worldlymatters and the beauties of her piety never came to thine ears." TheMoorman rejoined: "'Tis trueO my lord. YesI am a strangerand came tothis your city only yesternight. And I hope thou wilt inform me concerning thesaintly miracles of this virtuous woman and where may be her wonefor that Ihave fallen into a calamityand 'tis my wish to visit her and crave herprayersso haply Allah (to Whom be honor and glory!) willthrough herblessingsdeliver me from mine evil." Hereat the man recounted to him themarvels of Fatimahthe devoteeand her piety and the beauties of her worshipthentaking him by the handwent with him without the city and showed him theway to her abodea cavern upon a hillock's head. The necromancer acknowledgedhis kindness in many words andthanking him for his good officesreturned tohis cell in the caravanserai.

Now by the fiat of Fate on the very next day Fatimah came down to the cityand the Maghrabithe necromancerhappened to leave his hostelry a-mornwhenhe saw the folk swarming and crowding. Wherefore he went up to discover what wasto doand found the devotee standing a-middlemost the throngand all whosuffered from pain or sickness flocked to her soliciting a blessingand prayingfor her prayersand each and every she touched became whole of his illness. TheMoroccanthe necromancerfollowed her about until she returned to her antre.Thenawaiting till the evening evenedhe arose and repaired to a vintner'sstorewhere he drank a cup of wine. After this he fared forth the cityandfinding the devotee's cavernentered it and saw her lying prostrate with herback upon a strip of matting. So he came forward and mounted upon her bellythen he drew his dagger and shouted at herand when she awoke and opened hereyesshe espied a Moorish man with an unsheathed poniard sitting upon hermiddle as though about to kill her.

She was troubled and sore terrifiedbut he said to her: "Hearken! Andthou cry out or utter a wordI will slay thee at this very moment. Arise nowand do all I bid thee." Then he sware to her an oath that if she obeyed hisorderswhatever they might behe would not do her die. So sayinghe rose upfrom off her and Fatimah also arosewhen he said to her"Give me thy gearand take thou my habit" whereupon she gave him her clothing and headfilletsher face kerchief and her mantilla. Then quoth he"'Tis alsorequisite that thou anoint me with somewhat shall make the color of my face likeunto thine." Accordingly she went into the inner cavernand bringing out agallipot of ointmentspread somewhat thereof upon her palm and with itbesmeared his face until its hue favored her own. Then she gave him her staffandshowing him how to walk and what to do when he entered the cityhung herrosary around his neck. Lastly she handed to him a mirror and said"Nowlook! Thou differest from me in naught" and he saw himself Fatimah'scounterpart as thou she had never gone or come. But after obtaining his everyobject he falsed his oath and asked for a cordwhich she brought to him. Thenhe seized her and strangled her in the cavernand presentlywhen she was deadhaled the corpse outside and threw it into a pit hard by and went back to sleepin her cavern. And when broke the dayhe roseand repairing to the towntookhis stand under the walls of Aladdin's pavilion.

Hereupon flocked the folk about himall being certified that he was Fatimahthe devoteeand he fell to doing whatso she was wont to do. He laid hands onthese in pain and recited for those a chapter of the Koran and made orisons fora third. Presently the thronging of the folk and the clamoring of the crowd wereheard by the Lady Badr al-Budurwho said to her handmaidens. "Look what isto doand what he the cause of this turmoil!" Thereupon the aga of theeunuchry fared forth to see what might be the matter andpresently returningsaid: "O my ladythis clamor is caused by the Lady Fatimahand if thou bepleased to commandI will bring her to thee. So shalt thou gain through her ablessing." The Princess answered: "Go bring herfor since many a dayI am always hearing of her miracles and her virtuesand I do long to see herand get a blessing by her interventionfor the folk recount her manifestationsin many cases of difficulty."

The aga went forth and brought in the Moroccanthe necromancerhabited inFatimah's clothingand when the wizard stood before the Lady Badr al-Budurhebegan at first sight to bless her with a string of prayersnor did any one ofthose present doubt at all but that he was the devotee herself. The Princessarose and salaamed to himthenseating him beside hersaid: "O my LadyFatimah'tis my desire that thou abide with me alwayso might I be blessedthrough theeand also learn of thee the paths of worship and piety and followthine example making for salvation." Now all this was a foul deceit of theaccursed Africanand he designed furthermore to complete his guileso hecontinued: "O my LadyI am a poor woman and a religious that dwelleth inthe desertand the like of me deserveth not to abide in the palaces of thekings." But the Princess replied: "Have no care whateverO my LadyFatimah. I will set apart for thee an apartment of my pavilion that thou mayestworship thereinand none shall ever come to trouble thee. Also thou shalt availto worship Allah in my place better than in thy cavern." The Moroccanrejoined: "Hearkening and obedienceO my lady. I will not oppose thineorderfor that the commands of the children of the kings may not be gainsaidnor renounced. Only I hope of thee that my eating and my drinking and sittingmay be within my own chamberwhich shall be kept wholly private. Nor do Irequire or desire the delicacies of dietbut do thou favor me by se