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Full text of "The Dabistan"

109

ci speech." When Shidosh came to the image of
the sun, he found himself afflicted with a malady,
and returned ashamed. Afterwards he went to the
King, who, having seen him the night before in
company with Shuker, said: " Shidosh, if thou
' speakest not the truth, thou shalt be put to
" death: what didst thou mean by saying that a
" woman fears nobody? Shidosh replied:

" A woman is a king; her strength is that of an ocean;
" It opens its passage, and has fear of nobody."

The King was pleased with this speech, and be-
stowed Shuker on him as a gift; whatever excuses
Shidosh offered, the sovereign did not listen to
them ; wherefore the poet brought the king's wife
to his house. But, from disease, his flesh began to
diminish, and he was so far reduced as to be un-
able to leave his house. Thus it was, until the son
of the king came to visit his father, and requested
to see the royal poets. The King, having convoked
six of them, ordered that Shidosh should recite his
verses sitting behind a curtian. Shidosh, having
heard this order, demanded at the very moment
that a fire should be kindled, and in the midst an
iron chain adjusted to suspend a seat above the
flames. He resolved to himself from thence to ad-
dress his praises to the majesty of the great fire, the
sun; if he received them with favor, so much the
better; if not, to throw himself into the fire, and so