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(Puris omDia pura) 

— ArcUt Froverhm 

**NmDa corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole." 

'—"Dtcameron " — conclusioiu 

••Erubait, posuitque meam Lucretia librnm 

Sed coram Bruto. Brute I recede, leget" 

— Martiatm 

•* Mleulx est de ris que de larmes escripre, 

Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes." 

"Tho jieaeui-o w© derive from perusing the Thpusand-and-One 
Storias taa^ces bs re;^^ that we possess only a cotnparafivelf Btnall 
VOfTt o£ tidusM tvttif «Bchammg fictions.'* 

— CAiafTOM's "History cf ArcbiOm, 















A o < 




(or HS10EL»K««), 





(Lane, Vol. III., Chapt. XXII., Story of Es Sindbcd of the Sta and 
Es Sindbad of the Lajid. pp. I-78 J 

a. The First VoYage of Sindbad the Seaman . 

b. The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman 

€. The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman . 

d. The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman 

/. The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman . 

/. The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman . 

g. The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman 

The Seventh Voyage of Sindgad the Seaman (according to the 
version of the Calcutta Edition) 


(Lane, Vol. III., Chapt. XXIII. Story of the City of Brass, pp. Ii8-I52.y 







(Lane, Vol. III., Chapt. XXL, Abstr'act of the Story of the King and his 
Son and the Damsel and the Seven Wezeers. pp. 158-183.^ 

a. The King and His Wazir's Wife 

b. The Confectioner, his Wife, and the Parrot .... 

c. The Fuller and His Son . , 

d. The Rake's Trick against the Chaste Wife .... 


M^ LonUnts. 


/. Thb Ladt AMD HI* Two Lovws . . ^ • . . . tjS 

g, Thx Kino's Son and thb Ocrsss 159 

4. Thb Duo? of Honby . . * 14a 

& Tax Woman who madb Hs& Huibani> Sirr Dust . . . . 14S 

/. Th* Enchanted Sprino 1 • «4S 

i. Tub Wazi&'s Son and thb Hammam>kbepb&'s Wipb . ^ . 150 

I. The Wife's Deyicb to Cheat her Husband . . . , . 152 

01. Thb Goldsmith and thb Cashmb&b Singing-Girl . . . 156 

n. The Man who Never Laughed during the rest op his Days . 160 

#. The Kino's Son and the Merchant's Wife 167 

/. The Pace who feigned to know the Speech op Birds . . 169 

f. The Lady and her Five Suitors 172 

r. The Three Wishes, or the Man who longed to see the Night 

OF Power 180 

». The Stolen Necklace . , i8« 

/. The Two Pigeons . . » • . 183 

u. Prince Behram and the Princess Al-Datma .... 184 

V. The House with the Belvedere .188 

w. The King's Son and the Ifrits Mistress . . . »< . 199 

s. The Sandal- Wood Merchant and the Sharpers . .; . zos 

J. The Debauchee and the Three-Year-Olo Child . . . 20$ 

t. The Stolen Purse 209 

aa. The Fox and the FolR «i« 

judar and his brethren . . . «J 

(Latttt Vol. III., Chapt. XXII., Slory of Joodar. pp. iSj-ajJ^ 


The Book of thi Thousand Nights and a Night. 



There lived In the city of Baghdad, during the reign of the Com* 
mander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, a man named Sindbad 
the Hamm^l,* one in poor case who bore burdens on his head for 
hire. It happened to him one day of great heat that whilst he was 
carrying a heavy load, he became exceeding weary and sweated 
profusely, the heat and the weight alike oppressing him. Pre- 
sently, as he was passing the gate of a merchant's house, before 
which the ground was swept and watered, and there the air was 
temperate, he sighted a broad bench beside the door ; so he set his 

load thereon, to take rest and smell the air, And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Notu fojim It foas tf)e Jpibe |^untr«li anlr ^tirtg^scbcntf) Ni'sJ&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Hammal set his load upon the bench to take rest and smell the 
air, there came out upon him from the court-door a pleasant 
breeze and a delicious fragrance. He sat down on the edge of the 
bench, and at once heard from within the melodious sound of lutes 
and other stringed instruments, and mirth-exciting voices singing 
and reciting, together with the song of birds warbling and glorify- 
ing Almighty Allah in various tunes and tongues ; turtles, mock- 
ing-birds, merles, nightingales, cushats and stone-curlews,' whereat 

• Lane (vol. iii. i) calls our old friend " Es-Sindibad of the Sea," and Benfey 
derives the name from the Sanskrit '< Siddhapati " = lord of sages. The etymology (in 
Heb. Sandabar and in Greek Syntipas) is still uncertain, although the term often occurs 
in Arab stories ; and some look upon it as a mere corruption of " Bidpai " (Bidyapati). 
The derivation offered by Hole (Remarks on the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, by 
Richard Hole, LL.D. London, Cadell, 1797) from the Persian abid (a region) is im- 
possible. It is, however, not a little curious that this purely Persian word («• a "habi. 
lation ") should be found in Indian names as early as Alexander's day, e.g. the ** Dachiua 
bades" of the Periplus is " Dakhshin-£bdd," the Sanskr. being " Dakshinapath*." 

• A porte like the famous Armenians of Constantinople. Some edits, call him " Al^ 

• Arab. *' Karawin " (Charadrius oedicnemus, Linn.) : its shrill note is admired by 
Egyptian* and bated by jporumen* 


2 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

he marvelled in himself and was moved to mighty joy and solace. 
Then he went up to the gate and saw within a great flower-garden 
wherein were pages and black slaves and such a train of servants 
and attendants and so forth as is found only with Kings and 
Sultans ; and his nostrils were greeted with the savoury odours of 
all manner meats rich and delicate, and delicious and generous 
wines. So he raised his eyes heavenwards and said, " Glory to 
Thee, O Lord, O Creator and Provider, who providest whomso 
Thou wilt without count or stint ! O mine Holy One, I cry Thee 
pardon for all sins and turn to Thee repenting of all offences ! O 
Lord, there is no gainsaying Thee in Thine ordinance and Thy 
dominion, neither wilt Thou be questioned of that Thou dost, for 
Thou indeed over all things art Almighty ! Extolled be Thy 
perfection : whom Thou wilt Thou makest poor and whom Thou 
wilt Thou makest rich ! Whom Thou wilt Thou exaltest and 
whom Thou wilt Thou abasest and there is no god but Thou ! 
How mighty is Thy majesty and how enduring Thy dominion and 
how excellent Thy government ! Verily, Thou favourest whom 
Thou wilt of Thy servants, whereby the owner of this place 
abideth in all joyance of life and delighteth himself with pleasant 
scents and delicious meats and exquisite wines of all kinds. For 
indeed Thou appointest unto Thy creatures that which Thou wilt 
and that which Thou hast foreordained unto them ; wherefore are 
some weary and others are at rest and some enjoy fair fortune and 
affluence, whilst others suffer the extreme of travail and misery, 
even as I do." And he fell to reciting : — 

How many by my labours, that evermore endure, o All goods of life enjoy 

and in cooly shade recline ? 
Each mom that dawns I wake in travail and in woe, o And strange is my con* 

dition and my burden gars me pine : 
Many others are in luck and from miseries are free, o And Fortune never loads 

them with loads the like o' mine : 
They live their happy days in all solace and delight; o Eat, drink and dwell in 

honour 'mid the noble and the digne : 
AU living things were made of a little drop of sperm, e Thine origin is mine 

and my provenance is thine ; 
Vet the difference and distance 'twixt the twain of us are far o As the difference 

of savour 'twixt vinegar and wine : 
But at Thee, O God All-wise ! I venture not to rail o Whose ordinance is just 

and whose justice cannot fail. 

When Sindbad the Porter had made an end of redtiog his vene^ 

Sindhad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman, 3 

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

them, stood with his head bowed down in humble attitude. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

Nolo bjfien (t foas tfje Jfi'be f^unlittli anli ©i)ittpct{g|)i§ Wi'sJt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Porter, after kissing ground between their hands, stood with 
his head bowed down in humble attitude. The master of the 
house bade him draw near and be seated and bespoke him kindly, 
bidding him welcome. Then he set before him various kinds of 
viands, rich and delicate and delicious, and the Porter, after saying 
his Bismillah, fell to and ate his fill, after which he exclaimed, 
" Praised be Allah whatso be our case ! ^ " and, washing his hands. 

* This ejaculation, still popular, averts the evil eye. In describing Sindbad the 
Seaman the Arab wtiter seems to repeat what one reads of Marco Polo reUuzted to 

4 Atf Laylah wa Laylak. 

returned thanks to the company for his entertamment. Quoth the 
host, " Thou art welcome and thy day is a blessed. " But what is 
thy name and calling?" Quoth the other, "O my lord, my name 
is Sindbad the Hammal, and I carry folk's goods on my head for 
hire." The house-master smiled and rejoined, " Know, O Porter 
that thy name is even as mine, for I am Sindbad the Seaman ; and 
now, O Porter, I would have thee let me hear the couplets thou 
recitedst at the gate anon.'* The Porter was abashed and replied, 
*' Allah upon thee ! Excuse me, for toil and travail and lack of 
luck when the hand is empty, teach a man ill manners and boorish 
ways." Said the host, " Be not ashamed ; thou art become my 
brother ; but repeat to me the verses, for they pleased me whenas 
I heard thee recite them at the gate. Hereupon the Porter re- 
peated the couplets and they delighted the merchant, who said 
to him : — Know, O Hammal, that my story is a wonderful one, and 
thou shalt hear all that befel me and all 1 underwent ere I rose to 
this state of prosperity and became the lord of this place wherein 
thou seest me ; for I came not to this high estate save after travail 
sore and perils galore, and how much toil and trouble have I not 
suffered in days of yore ! I have made seven voyages, by each of 
which hangeth a marvellous tale, such as confoundeth the reason, 
and all this came to pass by doom of fortune and fate ; for from 
what destiny doth write there is neither refuge nor flight. Know, 
then, good my lords (continued he) that I am about to relate the 


My father was a merchant, one of the notables of my native place, 
a monied man and ample of means, who died whilst I was yet a 
child, leaving me much wealth in money and lands and farm- 
houses. When I grew up, I laid hands on the whole and ate of 
the best and drank freely and wore rich clothes and lived lavishly, 
companioning and consorting with youths of my own age, and 
considering that this course of life would continue for ever and ken 
no change. Thus did I for a long time, but at last I awoke from 
my heedlessness and, returning to my senses, I found my wealth 

* Our old friend must not be confounded with the eponym of the " Siodibad^namab j" 
the Persian book of Sindbad tb« Sage See Night dlxxviii. 

The First Voyage of Sindbad kight the Seaman. 5 

had become unwealth and my condition ill-conditioned and all 1 
once hent had left my hand. And recovering my reason I was 
stricken with dismay and confusion and bethought me of a saying 
of our lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be peace !), which I 
had heard aforetime from my father, " Three things are better than 
other three ; the day of death is better than the day of birth, a live 
dog is better than a dead lion and the grave is better than want."* 
Then I got together my remains of estates and property and sold 
all, even my clothes, for three thousand dirhams, with which I 
resolved to travel to foreign parts, remembering the saying of 
the poet : — 

By means of toil man shall scale the height ; » Who to fame aspires mustn't 

sleep o' night : 
Who seeketh pearl in the deep must dive, * Winning weal and wealth by 

his main and might : 
And who seeketh Fame without toil and strife * Th' impossible s^keth and 

wasteth life. 

So taking heart I bought me goods, merchandise and all needed 
for a voyage and, impatient to be at sea, I embarked, with a com- 
pany of merchants, on board a ship bound for Bassorah. There 
we again embarked and sailed many days and nights, and we 
passed from isle to isle and sea to sea and shore to shore, buying 
and selling and bartering everywhere the ship touched, and con- 
tinued our course till we came to an island as it were a garth 
of the gardens of Paradise. Here the captain cast anchor and 
making fast to the shore, put out the landing planks. So all 
on board landed and made furnaces ^ and lighting fires therein, 
busied themselves in various ways, some cooking and some 
washing, whilst other some walked about the island for solace, 
and the crew fell to eating and drinking and playing and sporting. 
I was one of the walkers but, as we were thus engaged, behold the 
master who was standing on the gunwale cried out to us at the 
top of his voice, saying, " Ho there I passengers, run for your lives 
and hasten back to the ship and leave your gear and save your- 

' The first and second are from Eccles. chapts. vii, i, and ix. 4. The Bui. Edit, 
reads for the third, " The grave is better than the palace." None are from Solomon, 
but Easterns do not " verify quotation^." 

* Arab. " Kanun " ; a furnace, a brasier before noticed (vol. v., p. 272) ; here a pot 
full of charcoal sunk in the ground, or a little hearth of clay shaped like a horseshoe 
aad opening down wind. 

6 Alf Lay f ah toa Laylak. 

schres^from destruction, Allah perserve you ! For this island 
whereon ye stand is no true island, but a great fish stationary 
a-middlemost of the sea, whereon the sand hath settled and trees 
have sprung up of old time, so that it is become like unto an 
island } but, when ye lighted fires on it, it felt the heat and 
moved ; and in a moment it will sink with you into the sea and ye 
will all be drowned. So leave your gear and seek your safety 

ere yc die ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

NotD toficn ft foas tfie Jpibe f^untirEtJ anti ^Ijittp--nmt!) Nigljt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
ship-master cried to the passengers, " Leave your gear and seek 
safety, ere ye die ; " all who heard him left gear and goods, clothes 
washed and unwashed, fire pots and brass cooking-pots, and fled 
back to the ship for their lives, and some reached it while others 
(amongst whom was I) did not, for suddenly the island shook and 
sank into the abysses of the deep, with all that were thereon, and 
the dashing sea surged over it with clashing waves. I sank with 
the others down, down into the deep, but Almighty Allah pre- 
served me from drowning and threw in my way a great wooden 
tub of those that had served the ship's company for tubbing. I 
gripped it for the sweetness of life and, bestriding it like one 
riding, paddled with my feet like oars, whilst the waves tossed me 
as in sport right and left. Meanwhile the captain made sail and 
departed with those who had reached the ship, regardless of the 
drowning and the drowned ; and I ceased not following the vessel 
with my eyes, till she was hid from sight and I made sure of death. 
Darkness closed in upon me while in this plight and the winds and 
waves bore me on all that night and the next day, till the tub 

* These fish-islands are common in the Classics, e.g. the Pristis of Pliny (xvii. 4), 
which Olaus Magnus transfers to the Baltic (xxi. 6) and makes timid as the whales of 
Nearchus. C. J. Solinus {Plinii Si7nia) says, "Indica maria balaenas habenl ultra 
spatia quatuor jugerum." See also Bochart's Hierozoicon (i. 50) for Job's Leviathan 
(xli. 16-17). Hence Boiardo (Orl. Innam, lib. iv.) borrowed his magical whale and 
Milton (P.L. i.) his Leviathan deemed an island. A basking whale would readily 
suggest the Kraken and Cetus of Olaus Magnus (xxi. 25). Al-Kazwini's famous treatise 
on the "Wonders of the World" (Ajdib al-Makhliikal) tells the same tale of the 
*' Sulahfah " tortoise, the colossochelys, for which see Night dL 

The First Voyage of Sindbad hight the Seaman. 7 

brought to with me under the lee of a lofty island, with trees over- 
hanging the tide. I caught hold of a branch and by its aid 
clambered up on to the land, after coming nigh upon death ; but 
when I reached the shore, I found my legs cramped and numbed 
and my feet bore traces of the nibbling of fish upon their soles ; 
withal I had felt nothing for excess of anguish and fatigue. I 
threw myself down on the island ground, like a dead man, and 
drowned in desolation swooned away, nor did I return to my senses 
till next morning, when the sun rose and revived me. But I found 
my feet swollen, so made shift to move by shuffling on my breech 
and crawling on my knees, for in that island were found store 
of fruits and springs of sweet water. I ate of the fruits which 
strengthened me ; and thus I abode days and nights, till my life 
seemed to return and my spirits began to revive and J was better 
able to move about. So, after due consideration, I fell to exploring 
the island and diverting myself with gazing upon all things that 
Allah Almighty had created there ; and rested under the trees 
from one of which I cut me a staff to lean upon. One day as I 
walked along the marge, I caught sight of some object in the dis- 
tance and thought it a wild beast or one of the monster-creatures 
of the sea ; but, as I drew near it, looking hard the while, I saw 
that it was a noble mare, tethered on the beach. Presently I went 
up to her, but she cried out against me with a great cry, so that 
I trembled for fear and turned to go away, when there came forth 
a man from under the earth and followed me, crying out and 
saying, "Who and whence art thou, and what caused thee to 
come hither .? " " O my lord," answered I, " I am in very sooth, 
a waif, a stranger, and was left to drown with sundry others by 
the ship we voyaged in ; ' but Allah graciously sent me a wooden 
tub ; so I saved myself thereon and it floated with me, till the 
waves cast me up on this island." When he heard this, he took 
my hand and saying, " Come with me," carried me into a great 
Sardab, or underground chamber, which was spacious as a saloon. 
He made me sit down at its upper end ; then he brought me some- 
what of food and, being anhungered, I ate till I was satisfied and 
refreshed ; and when he had put me at mine ease he questioned 
me of myself, and I told him all that had befallen me from first 

» Sindbad does not say that he was a shipwrecked man, being a model in the matter 
of •* travellers' tales," i.e. be always tells the truth when an untruth would not serve 

8 Alf Lay I ah wa Lay I ah. 

to last ; and, as he wondered at my adventure, I said, •' By Allah, 
O my lord, excuse me ; I have told thee the truth of my case and 
the accident which betided me ; and now I desire that thou tell 
me who thou art and why thou abidest here under the earth and 
ivhy thou hast tethered yonder mare on the brink of the sea." 
Answered he, " Know, that I am one of the several who are 
stationed in different parts of this island, and we are of the grooms 
of King Mihrjdn ' and under our hand are all his horses. Every 
month, about new-moon tide we bring hither our best mares which 
have never been covered, and picket them on the sea-shore and 
hide ourselves in this place under the ground, so that none may 
espy us. Presently, the stallions of the sea scent the mares and 
come up out of the water and seeing no one, leap the mares and 
do their will of them. When they have covered them, they try to 
drag them away with them, but cannot, by reason of the leg-ropes ; 
so they cry out at them and butt at them and kick them, which 
we hearing, know that the stallions have dismounted ; so we run 
out and shout at them, whereupon they are startled and return in 
fear to the sea. Then the mares conceive by them and bear colts 
and fillies worth a mint of money, nor is their like to be found on 
earth's face. This is the time of the coming forth of the sea- 
stallions ; and Inshallah ! I will bear thee to King Mihrjan " 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

* Lane (iii. 83) would make this a corruption of the Hindu " Mahar^j " = great Rajah: 
but it is the name of the great autumnal fete of the Guebres ; a term composed of two 
good old Persian words •♦ Mihr " (the sun, whence "Mithras") and •' j4n " := life. 
As will presently appear, in the days of the Just King Anushirwdn, the Persians possessed 
Southern Arabia and East Africa south of Cape Guardafui (Jird Hafun.) On the other 
hand, supposing the word to be a corruption of Maharaj, Sindbad may allude to the 
famous Narsinga kingdom in Mid-south India whose capital was Vijaya-nagar ; or to 
any great Indian Rajah even he of Kachch (Cutch), famous in Moslem story as the 
Balhara (Ballaba Rais, who founded the Ballabhi era ; or the Zamorin of Camoens, 
the Samdry Rajah of Malabar). For Mahrage, or Mihrage, see Renaudot's *' Two 
Mohammedan Travellers of the Ninth Century." In the account of Ceylon by Wolf 
(English Transl. p. 168) it adjoins the '« Ilhas deCavalos" (of wild horses) to which 
the Dutch merchants sent their brood-mares. Sir W. Jones (Descriptioo of Asia, 
chapt. ii.) makes the Arabian island Soborma or Mahraj = Borneo. 

The First Voyage of Sindbad hight the Seaman, 9 

'Note tofjEit it teas ffie jfibt |^unU«tJ anti Jpottictl) Nigflt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
^yc^ » said to Sindbad the Seaman, " I will bear thee to King 
Mihrjan and show thee our country. And know that hadst thou 
not happened on us thou hadst perished miserably and none had 
known of thee : but I will be the means of the saving of thy life 
and of thy return to thine own land." I called down blessings on 
him and thanked him for his kindness and courtesy ; and, while 
we were yet talking, behold, the stallion came up out of the sea ; 
and, giving a great cry, sprang upon the mare and covered her. 
When he had done his will of her, he dismounted and would have 
carried her away with him, but could not by reason of the tether. 
She kicked and cried out at him, whereupon the groom took a 
sword and target ^ and ran out of the underground saloon, smiting 
the buckler with the blade and calling to his company, who came 
up shouting and brandishing spears ; and the stallion took fright 
at them and plunging into the sea, like a buffalo, disappeared under 
the waves.^ After this we sat awhile, till the rest of the grooms 
came up, each leading a mare, and seeing me with their fellow- 
Syce, questioned me of my case and I repeated my story to them. 
Thereupon they drew near me and spreading the table, ate and 
invited me to eat ; so I ate with them, after which they took horse 
and mounting me on one of the mares, set out with me and fared 
on without ceasing, till we came to the capital city of King Mihr- 
jan, and going in to him acquainted him with my story. Then 
he sent for me, and when they set me before him and salams had 
been exchanged, he gave me a cordial welcome and wishing me 
long life bade me tell him my tale. So I related to him all that 

' Arab. *' SAis "; the well-known Anglo-Indian word for a groom or rather a '* horse- 

' Arab. "Darakah"; whence our word. 

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

lO Alf Lay! ah wa Lay! ah. 

I had seen and all that had befallen me from first to last, whereat 
he marvelled and said to me, " By Allah, O my son, thou hast 
indeed been miraculously preserved ! Were not the term of thy 
life a long one, thou hadst not escaped from these straits ; but 
praised be Allah for safety ! " Then he spoke cheerily to me and 
entreated mc with kindness and consideration : moreover, he made 
me his agent for the port and registrar of all ships that entered 
the harbour. I attended him regularly, to receive his command- 
ments, and he favoured me and did me all manner of kindness 
and invested me with costly and splendid robes. Indeed, I was 
high in credit with him, as an intercessor for the folk and an 
intermediary between them and him, when they wanted aught of 
him. I abode thus a great while and, as often as I passed through 
the city to the port, I questioned the merchants and travellers 
and sailors of the city of Baghdad ; so haply I might hear of an 
occasion to return to my native land, but could find none who 
knew it or knew any who resorted thither. At this I was chagrined, 
for I was weary of long strangerhood ; and my disappointment 
endured for a time till one day, going in to King Mihrjan, I found 
with him a company of Indians. I saluted them and they returned 
my salam ; and politely welcomed me and asked me of my country. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

tNToto fo!)en it toas t]^e S'\\iz |^unl(relj antJ jfott2--first Nigfjt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
Sindbab the Seaman said :— When they asked me of my country 
I questioned them of theirs and they told me that they were of 
various castes, some being called Shakiriyah^ who are the noblest 
of their castes and neither oppress nor offer violence to any, and 
others Brahmans, a folk who abstain from wine, but live in delight 
and solace and merriment and own camels and horses and cattle. 
Moreover, they told me that the people of India are divided into 
two-and-seventy castes, and I marvelled at this with exceeding 

* The second or warrior caste (Kshalriya), popularly supposed to have been annihilated 
by Battle-axe Rama (Parashu Rama) ; but several tribes of Rajputs and other races 
claim the honourable genealogy. Colonel Watson would explain the word by 
"Shakhayat" or noble Kathis (Kathiawar-men), or by "Shikari," the professional 
hunter here acting as stable-groom. 

The First Voyage of Sindbad kight the Seaman. 1 1 

tnarvel Amongst other things that I saw in King Mihrjan's 
dominions was an island called Kasil,* wherein all night is heard 
the beating of drums and tabrets ; but we were told by the neigh- 
bouring islanders and by travellers that the inhabitants are people 
of diligence and judgment.^ In this sea I saw also a fish two 
hundred cubits long and the fishermen fear it ; so they strike 
together pieces of wood and put it to flight.' I also saw another 
fish, with a head like that of an owl, besides many other wonders 
and rarities, which it would be tedious to recount. I occupied my- 
self thus in visiting the islands till, one day, as I stood in the port, 
■with a staff in my hand, according to my custom, behold, a great 
ship, wherein were many merchants, came sailing for the harbour. 
When it reached the small inner port where ships anchor under 
the city, the master furled his sails and making fast to the shore, 
put out the landing-planks, whereupon the crew fell to breaking 
bulk and landing cargo whilst I stood by, taking written note of 
them. They were long in bringing the goods ashore so I asked 
the master, " Is there aught left in thy ship?"; and he answered, 
*'0 my lord, there are divers bales of merchandise in the hold, 
whose owner was drowned from amongst us at one of the islands 
on our course ; so his goods remained in our charge by way of trust 
and we purpose to sell them and note their price, that we may 
convey it to his people in the city of Baghdad, the Home of 
Peace." " What was the merchant's name } " quoth I, and quoth 
he, " Sindbad the Seaman ; " whereupon I straitly considered him 
and knowing him, cried out to him with a great cry, saying, " O 
captain, I am that Sindbad the Seaman who travelled with other 
merchants ; and when the fish heaved and thou calledst to us 

* In Bui. Edit. *'Kabil." Lane (iii. 8S) supposes it to be the "Bartail" of Al- 
Kazwini near Borneo and quotes the Spaniard B. L. de Argensola (History of the 
Moluccas)' who places near Banda a desert island, Poelsatton, infamous for cries, 
whistlings, roarings and dreadful apparitions, suggesting that it was peopled by devils 
(Stevens, vol. i., p. i68). 

^ Some texts substitute for this last phrase, " And the sailors say that Al-Dajjdl is 
there." He is a manner of Moslem Antichrist, the IVTan of Sin per excellentiam, who 
will come in the latter days and lay waste the earth, leading 70,000 Jews, till encountered 
and slain by Jesus at the gate of Lud. Sale's Essay, sect. 4. 

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

12 Alf Laylak u>a Laylak. 

some saved themselves and others sank, I being one of them. But 
Allah Ahnighty threw in my way a great tub of wood, of those the 
crew had used to wash withal, and the winds and waves carried me 
to this island, where by Allah's grace, I fell in with King Mihrjan's 
grooms and they brought me hither to the King their master. 
When I told him my story, he entreated me with favour and made 
me his harbour-master, and I have prospered in his service and 
found acceptance with him. These bales, therefore are mine, the 

goods which God hath given me." And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto toben it tnas t!)e jpibe l^unlJrelJ nnb jportB--srconti Xigftt, 

She continued, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Sindbad the Seaman said to the captain, "These bales are mine, 
the goods which Allah hath given me," the other exclaimed, 
" There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! Verily, there is neither conscience nor good 
faith left among men ! " said I, '' O Rais,^ what mean these words, 
seeing that I have told thee my case ? " And he answered, 
" Because thou heardest me say that I had with me goods whose 
owner was drowned, thou thinkest to take them without right ; 
but this is forbidden by law to thee, for we saw him drown before 
our eyes, together with many other passengers, nor was one of 
them saved. So how canst thou pretend that thou art the owner 
of the goods V* " O captain." said I, "listen to my story and give 
heed "to my words, and my truth will be manifest to thee; for 
lying and leasing are the letter-marks of the hypocrites." Then 
I recounted to him all that had befallen me since I sailed from 
Baghdad with him to the time when we came to the fish-island 
where we were nearly drowned ; and I reminded him of certain 
matters which had passed between us ; whereupon both he and the 
merchants were certified of the truth of my story and recognized 
me and gave me joy of my deliverance, saying, " By Allah, we 
thought not that thou hadst escaped drowning ! But the Lord 
hath granted thee new life." Then they delivered my bales to me, 
and I found my name written thereon, nor was aught thereof 
lacking. So I opened them and making up a present for King 

' The captain or master (not owner) of a ship. 

The First Voyage of Stndbad hight the Seaman. 1 3 

Mihrjan of the finest and costliest of the contents, caused the 
sailors carry it up to the palace, where I went in to the King 
and laid my present at his feet, acquainting him with what had 
happened, especially concerning the ship and my goods ; whereat 
he wondered with exceeding wonder and the truth of all that I 
had told him was made manifest to him. His affection for me 
redoubled after that and he showed me exceeding honour and be- 
stowed on me a great present in return for mine. Then I sold my 
bales and what other matters I owned making a great profit on them, 
and bought me other goods and gear of the growth and fashion of 
the island-city. When the merchants were about to start on their 
homeward voyage, I embarked on board the ship all that I pos- 
sessed, and going in to the King, thanked him for all his favours and 
friendship and craved his leave to return to my own land and 
friends. He farewelled me and bestowed on me great store of 
the country-stuffs and produce ; and I took leave of him and 
embarked. Then we set sail and fared on nights and days, by 
the permission of Allah Almighty ; and Fortune served us and 
Fate favoured us, so that we arrived in safety at Bassorah-city 
where I landed rejoiced at my safe return to my natal soil. After 
a short stay, I set out for Baghdad, the House of Peace, with store 
of goods and commodities of great prke. Reaching the city in 
due time, I went straight to my own quarter and entered my 
house where all my friends and kinsfolk came to greet me. Then 
I bought me eunuchs and concubines, servants and negro slaves 
till I had a large establishment, and I bought me houses, and lands 
and gardens, till I was richer and in better case than before, and 
returned to enjoy the society of my friends and familiars more 
assiduously than ever, forgetting all I had suffered of fatigue and 
hardship and strangerhood and every peril of travel ; and I applied 
myself to all manner joys and solaces and delights, eating the 
daintiest viands and drinking the deliciousest wines ; and my 
wealth allowed this state of things to endure. This, then, is the 
story of my first voyage, and to-morrow, Inshallah ! I will tell you 
the tale of the second of my seven voyages. (Saith he who telleth 
the tale), Then Sindbad the Seaman made Sindbad the Lands- 
man sup with him and bade him give an hundred gold pieces, 
saying, " Thou hast cheered us with thy company this day."* The 

* The kindly Moslem feeling, shown to a namesake, however humble. 

14 A if Lay I ah wa Laylah^ 

Porter thanked him and, taking the gift, went his way, pondering 
that which he had heard and marvelling mightily at what things 
betide mankind. He passed the night in his own place and with 
early morning repaired to the abode of Sindbad the Seaman, who 
received him with honour and seated him by his side. As soon as 
the rest of the company was assembled, he set meat and drink 
before them and, when they had well eaten and drunken and were 
merry and in cheerful case, he took up his discourse and recounted 
to them in these words the narrative of 


Know, O my brother, that I was living a most comfortable and 
enjoyable life, in all solace and delight, as I told you yesterday, 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

Nob tolbrn it foas tfie S'\\^z f^untJttti anli JForts=tf)ir5 Ntoifit, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Sindbad the Seaman's guests were all gathered together he thus 
bespake them : — I was living a most enjoyable life until one day 
my mind became possessed with the thought of travelling about 
the world of men and seeing their cities and islands ; and a longing 
seized me to traffic and to make money by trade. Upon this 
resolve I took a great store of cash and, buying goods and gear 
fit for travel, bound them up in bales. Then I went down to the 
river-bank, where I found a noble ship and brand-new about to 
sail, equipped with sails of fine cloth and well manned and pro- 
vided ; so I took passage in her, with a number of other merchants, 
and after embarking our goods we weighed anchor the same day. 
Right fair was our voyage and we sailed from place to place and 
from isle to isle ; and whenever we anchored we met a crowd of 
merchants and notables and customers, and we took to buying and 
selling and bartering. At last Destiny brought us to an island, 
fair and verdant, in trees abundant, with yellow-ripe fruits luxuriant, 
and flowers fragrant and birds warbling soft descant ; and streams 
crystalline and radiant ; but no sign of man showed to the descrier^ 

The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 


no, not a blower of the fire.* The captain made fast with us to 
this island, and the merchants and sailors landed and walked 
about, enjoying the shade of the trees and the song of the birds, 
that chanted the praises of the One, the Victorious, and marvelling 
at the works of the Omnipotent King.^ I landed with the rest ; 
and, sitting down by a spring of sweet water that welled up 
among the trees, took out some vivers I had with me and ate of 
that which Allah Almighty had allotted unto me. And so sweet 
was the zephyr and so fragrant were the flowers, that presently 1 
waxed drowsy and, lying down in that place, was soon drowned in 
sleep. When I awoke, I found myself alone, for the ship had 
'sailed and left me behind, nor had one of the merchants or 
sailors bethought himself of me. I searched the island right and 
left, but found neither man nor Jinn, whereat I was beyond measure 
troubled and my gall was like to burst for stress of chagrin and 
anguish and concern, because I was left quite alone, without aught 
of worldly gear or meat or drink, weary and heart-broken. So 
I gave myself up for lost and said, " Not always doth the crock 
escape the shock. I was saved the first time by finding one who 
brought me from the desert island to an inhabited place, but now 
there is no hope for me. Then I fell to weeping and wailing and 
gave myself up to an access of rage, blaming myself for having 
again ventured upon the perils and hardships of voyage, whenas 
I was at my ease in mine own house in mine own land, taking my 
pleasure with good meat and good drink and good clothes and 
lacking nothing, neither money nor goods. And I repented me of 
having left Baghdad, and this the more after all the travails and 
dangers I had undergone in my first voyage, wherein I had so 
narrowly escaped destruction, and exclaimed " Verily we are 
Allah's and unto Him we are returning!" I was indeed even as 
one mad and Jinn-struck and presently I rose and walked about 
the island, right and left and every whither, unable for trouble to 
sit or tarry in any one place. Then I climbed a tall tree and 
looked in all directions, but saw nothing save sky and sea and 
trees and birds and isles and sands. However, after a while my 
eager glances fell upon some great white thing, afar ofif in the 

* A popular phrase to express utter desolation. 

' The literature of all peoples contains this physiological perversion. Birds do not 
sing hymns ; the song of the male is simply to call the female and when the pairing* 
season ends all are dumb. 

t6 Aff Laylah iva Layiun. 

interior of the Island ; so I came down from the tree and! made 
for that which I had seen ; and behold, it was a huge white dome 
rising high in air and of vast compass, I walked all around it, 
but found no door thereto, nor could I muster strength or nimble- 
ness by reason of its exceeding smoothness and slipperiness. So 
I marked the spot where I stood and went round about the dome 
to measure its circumference which I found fifty good paces. 
And as I stood, casting about how to gain an entrance the day 
being near its fall and the sun being near the horizon, behold, the 
sun was suddenly hidden from me and the air became dull and 
dark. Methought a cloud had come over the sun, but it was the 
season of summer; so I marvelled at this and lifting my head 
looked steadfastly at the sky, when I saw that the cloud was none 
other than an enormous bird, of gigantic girth and inordinately 
wide of wing which, as it flew through the air, veiled the sun and 
hid it from the island. At this sight my wonder redoubled and I 

^remembered a story And Shahra/:ad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo toften ft faas t^e Jpioe fi^unUwli anlJ ;(portB-fouTt^ ^ig!)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued in these words : — My wonder redoubled 
and I remembered a story I had heard aforetime of pilgrims and 
travellers, how in a certain island dwelleth a huge bird, called the 
*' Rukh "^ which feedeth its young on elephants ; and I was certi- 

* The older " roc." The word is Persian, with many meanings, e.g. a cheek (Lalla 
** Rookh "); a " rook " (hero) at chess ; a rhinoceros, etc. The fable world-wide of the 
•wundervogel Is, as usual, founded upon fact : man remembers and combines but does not 
create. The Egyptian Bennu (Ti-bennu = phoenix) may have been a reminiscence of 
gigantic perodactyls and other winged monsters. From the Nile the legend fabled by 
these Oriental " putters out or five for one " overspread the world and gave birth to tb« 
Eorosh of the Zend, whence the Pars. " Simurgh " (= the " thirty-fowl-like"), the 
••BarYuchre"of the Rabbis, the "Gamda" of the Hindus; the " Anki" ("long- 
neck") of the Arabs; the Hathilinga bird, of Buddhagosha's Parables, which had the 
strength of five elephants ; the Kerkes of the Turks ; the Gryps of the Greeks ; the 
Russian "Norka"; the sacred dragon of the Chinese; the Japanese " Pheng " and 
" Kirni "; the " wise and ancient Bird " which sits upon the ash-tree yggdrasil, and the 
dragons, griffins, basilisks, etc. of the Middle Ages. A second basis wanting only a 
superstructure of exa^eration (M. Polo's Ruch bad wing-feathers twelve paces long) 
would be the hu?e birds but lately killed ouU Sindbad may allude to the i£pyoraua.of 

The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. \J 

fied that the dome which caught my sight was none other than a 
Rukh's zgg. As I looked and wondered at the marvellous works 
of the Almighty, the bird alighted on the dome and brooded over 
it with its wings covering it and its legs stretched out behind it on 
the ground, and in this posture it fell asleep, glory be to Him who 
sleepeth not! When I saw this, I arose and, unwinding my turband 
from my head, doubled it and twisted it into a rope, with which I 
girt my middle and bound my waist fast to the legs of the Rukh, 
saying in myself, " Peradventure, this bird may carry me to a land 
of cities and inhabitants, and that will be better than abiding in 
this desert island." I passed the night watching and fearing to 
sleep, lest the bird should fly away with me unawares; and, as soon, 
as the dawn broke and morn shone, the Rukh rose off its tgg and 
spreading its wings with a great cry flew up into the air dragging 
me with it ; nor ceased it to soar and to tower till I thought it had 
reached the limit of the firmament ; after which it descended, earth- 
wards, little by little, till it lighted on the top of a high hill. As 
soon as I found myself on the hard ground, I made haste to unbind 
myself, quaking for fear of the bird, though it took no heed of me 
nor even felt me ; and, loosing my turband from its feet, I made 
off with my best speed. Presently, I saw it catch up in its huge 
claws something from the earth and rise with it high in air, and 
observing it narrowly I saw it to be a serpent big of bulk and 
gigantic of girth, wherewith it flew away clean out of sight. I 
marvelled at this and faring forwards found myself on a peak over« 
looking a valley, exceeding great and wide and deep, and bounded 
by vast mountains that spired high in air : none could descry their 
summits, for the excess of their height," nor was any able to climb 
up thereto. When I saw this, I blamed myself for that which I 
had done and said, ** Would Heaven I had tarried in the island ! 

Madagascar, a gigantic ostrich whose egg contains 2.35 gallons. The late Herr Hilde- 
brand discovered on the African coast, facing Madagascar, traces of another huge bird. 
Bochart (Hierozoicon ii. 854) notices the Avium Avis Ruch and taking the pulli was 
followed by lapidation on the part of the parent bird. A Persian illustration in Laae 
(iiu 90) shows the Rukh carrying off three elephants in beak and pounces with the pro- 
portions of a hawk and field mice : and the Rukh hawking at an elephant u a favourite 
Persian subject. It is possible that the " Twelve Knights of the Round Tabl« " ««re the 
twelve Rukhs of Persian story. We need not go, with Faber, to the Cherubim which 
guarded the Paradise-gate, The curious reader will consult Dr. H. H, Wilson's Essays, 
edited by my learned correspondent, Dr. Rost, Librarian of the India House, vol [, 
pp. 192-3. 


1 8 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

It was better than this wild desert ; for there I had at least fruits 
to eat and water to drink, and here are neither trees nor fruits nor 
streams. But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in 
Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! Verily, as often as I am quit of 
one peril, I fall into a worse danger and a more grievous." How* 
ever, I took courage and walking along the Wady found that 
its soil was of diamond, the stone wherewith they pierce minerals 
and precious stones and porcelain and the onyx, for that it is a 
dense stone and a dure, whereon neither iron nor hardhead hath 
effect, neither can we cut off aught therefrom nor break it, save by 
means of leadstone.' Moreover, the valley swarmed with snakes 
and vipers, each big as a palm tree, that would have made but one 
gulp of an elephant ; and they came out by night, hiding during 
the day, lest the Rukhs and eagles pounce on them and tear them 
to pieces, as was their wont, why I wot not And I repented of 
what I had done and said, " By Allah, I have made haste to bring 
destruction upon myself!" The day began to wane as I went 
along and I looked about for a place where I might pass the night, 
being in fear of the serpents ; and I took no thought of meat and 
drink in my concern for my life. Presently, I caught sight of a 
cave nearhand, with a narrow doorway ; so I entered and seeing a 
great stone close to the mouth. I rolled it up and stopped the 
entrance, saying to myself, " I am safe here for the night ; and as 
soon as it is day, I will go forth and see what destiny will do." 
Then I looked within the cave and saw at the upper end a great 
serpent brooding on her eggs, at which my flesh quaked and my 
hair stood on end ; but I raised my eyes to Heaven and, com- 

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

The Second Voyage of Stndhad the Seaman. 19 

tnitting my case to fate and lot, abode all that night without sleep 
till daybreak, when I rolled back the stone from the mouth of the 
cave and went forth, staggering like a drunken man and giddy 
with watching and fear and hunger. As in this sore case I walked 
along the valley, behold, there fell down before me a slaughtered 
beast ; but I saw no one, whereat I marvelled with great marvel 
and presently remembered a story I had heard aforetime of traders 
and pilgrims and travellers ; how the mountains where are the 
diamonds are full of perils and terrors, nor can any fare through 
them ; but the merchants who traffic in diamonds have a device by 
which they obtain them, that is to say, they take a sheep and 
slaughter and skin it and cut it in pieces and cast them down from 
the mountain-tops into the valley-sole, where the meat being fresh 
and sticky with blood, some of the gems cleave to it. There they 
leave it till mid-day, when the eagles and vultures swoop down 
upon it and carry it in their claws to the mountain-summits, 
whereupon the merchants come and shout at them and scare them 
away from the meat. Then they come and, taking the diamonds 
which they find sticking to it, go their ways with them and leave 
/the meat to the birds and beasts ; nor can any come at the 

diamonds but by this device And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

:N'ofo tD^m It tDfls t^e Jpibe l^unUrelJ antJ jport2--fift!) NfgSt, 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sind- 
bad the Seaman continued his relation of what befel him in the 
Mountain of Diamonds, and informed them that the merchants 
cannot come at the diamonds save by the device aforesaid. So, 
when I saw the slaughtered beast fall (he pursued) and bethought 
me of the story, I went up to it and filled my pockets and shawl- 
girdle and turband and the folds of my clothes with the choicest 
diamonds ; and, as I was thus engaged, down fell before me another 
great piece of meat. Then with my unrolled turband and lying 
on my back, I set the bit on my breast so that I was hidden by 
the meat, which was thus raised above the ground Hardly had I 
gripped it, when an eagle swooped down upon the flesh and, 
seizing it with his talons, flew up with it high in air and me cling- 
ing thereto, and ceased not its flight till it alighted on the head of 
one of the mountains where^ dropping the carcass he fell to rending 

20 Alf Laylati wa Laylah. 

it ; but, behold, there arose behind him a great noise of shouting 
and clattering of wood, whereat the bird took fright and flew away. 
Then I loosed off myself the meat, with clothes daubed with blood 
therefrom, and stood up by its side ; whereupon up came the 
merchant, who had cried out at the eagle, and seeing me standing 
there, bespoke me not, but was affrighted at me and shook with 
fear. However, he went up to the carcass and turning it over, 
found no diamonds sticking to it, whereat he gave a great cry and 
exclaimed, " Harrow, my disappointment ! There is no Majesty 
and there is no Might save in Allah with whom we seek refuge 
from Satan the stoned ! " And he bemoaned himself and beat 
hand upon hand, saying, " Alas, the pity of it ! How cometh 
this ? " Then I went up to him and he said to me, " Who art 
thou and what causeth thee to come hither ? " And I, " Fear not, 
I am a man and a good man and a merchant. My story is a 
wondrous and my adventures marvellous and the manner of my 
coming hither is prodigious. So be of good cheer, thou shalt 
receive of me what shall rejoice thee, for I have with me great 
plenty of diamonds and I will give thee thereof what shall suffice 
thee ; for each is better than aught thou couldst get otherwise. So 
fear nothing." The man rejoiced thereat and thanked and blessed 
me ; then we talked together till the other merchants, hearing me 
in discourse with their fellow, came up and saluted me ; for each 
of tliem had thrown down his piece of meat. And as I went off 
with them I told them my whole story, how I had suffered hard- 
ships at sea and the fashion of my reaching the valley. But I 
gave the owner of the meat a number of the stones I had by me, 
so they all wished me joy of my escape, saying, '* By Allah a new 
life hath been decreed to thee, for none ever reached yonder 
valley and came off thence alive before thee ; but praised be Allah 
for thy safety ! " We passed the night together in a safe and 
pleasant place, beyond measure rejoiced at my deliverance from 
the Valley of Serpents and my arrival in an inhabited land ; and 
on the morrow we set out and journeyed over the mighty range 
of mountains, seeing many serpents in the valley, till we came to 
a fair great -island, wherein was a garden of huge camphor trees 
under each of which an hundred men might take shelter. When 
the folk have a mind to get camphor, they bore into the upper 
part of the bole with a long iron ; whereupon the liquid camphor, 
which is the sap of the tree, floweth out and they catch it in 
vessels, where it concreteth like gum ; but, after this, the tree 

Th* Second Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 31 

dieth and becometh firewood. ^ Moreover, there is in this island a 
kind of wild beast, called " Rhinoceros," ' that pastureth as do 
steers and buffalos with us ; but it is a huge brute, bigger of body 
than the camel and like it feedeth upon the leaves and twigs of 
trees. It is a remarkable animal with a great and thick horn, tea 
cubits long, amiddleward its head ; wherein, when cleft in twain, 
is the likeness of a man. Voyagers and pilgrims and travellers 
declare that this beast called " Karkadan " will carry off a great 
elephant on its horn and graze about the island and the sea-coast 
therewith and take no heed of it, till the elephant dieth and its fat, 
melting in the sun, runneth down into the rhinoceros's eyes and 
blindeth him, so that he lieth down on the shore. Then comes 
the bird Rukh and carrieth off both the rhinoceros and that which 
is on its horn to feed its young withal. Moreover, I saw in this 
island many kinds of oxen and buffaloes, whose like are not found 
in our country. Here I sold some of the diamonds which I had 
by me for gold dinars and silver dirhams and bartered others for 
the produce of the country ; and, loading them upon beasts of 
burden, fared on with the merchants from valley to valley and 
town to town, buying and selling and viewing foreign countries 
and the works and creatures of Allah, till we came to Bassorah- 
city, where we abode a few days, after which I continued m/ 

journey to Baghdad. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

' Sindbad correctly describes the primitive way of extracting camphor, a drug un- 
known to the Greeks and Romans, introduced by the Arabs and ruined in reputation by 
M. Raspail. The best Laurus Camphora grows in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and 
Borneo : although Marsden (Marco Polo) declares that the tree is not found Soatb of 
the Equator. In the Calc Edit, of two hundred Nights the camphor -island (or penin- 
sula) is called " Al-Rihah" which is the Arab name for Jericho-town. 

* In Bui. Edit. Kazkazan .• Calc. Karkaddan and others Karkand and Karkadan ; 
the word being Persian, Karg or Kargadan ; the /capra^vvov of .ffilian (Hist. Anim. 
xvi. 2l). The length of the horn (greatly exaggerated) shows that the white species is 
saeant ; and it supplies only walking-sticks. Cups are made of the black horn (a 
bundle of fibres) which, like Venetian glass, sweat at the touch of poison. A section of 
the horn is supposed to show white lines in the figure of a man, and sundry likcnessses of 
birds ; but these I never saw. The rhinoceros gives splendid sport and the African is 
perhaps the most dangerous of noble game. It has served to explain away and abolish 
the unicorn among the Scientists of Europe But Central Africa with one voice assures 
tts that a horse-like animal with a single erectile horn on the forehead exists. The 
late Dr. Baikic, of Niger fame, thoroughly believed in it and those curious on the 
subject will read about Abu Karn (Father of a Horn) in Preface (pp. xri.-xviii.) of 
the Voyage au Darfour, by Mohammed ibn Omar al-Tounsy (Al-Twasi), Paris, 
Duprat, 1845. 

2ft Atf Laytah wa Laylak. 

^otD tD^en It faas \^i Jpibe |^untj«tj anti ^jportg-sfxtl^ i^ifillt, 

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


As I told you yesterday, I returned from my second voyage over- 
joyed at my safety and with great increase of wealth, Allah having^ 
requited me all that I had wasted and lost, and I abode awhile in 
Baghdad-city savouring the utmost ease and prosperity and com* 

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 23 

fort and happiness, till the carnal man was once more seized with 
longing for travel and diversion and adventure, and yearned after 
traffic and lucre and emolument, for that the human heart is natu- 
rally prone to evil. So making up my mind I laid in great plenty 
of goods suitable for a sea-voyage and repairing to Bassorah, went 
down to the shore and found there a fine ship ready to sail, v/ith 
a full crew and a numerous company of merchants, men of worth 
and substance ; faith, piety and consideration. I embarked with 
them and we set sail on the blessing of Allah Almighty and on 
His aidance and His favour to bring our voyage to a safe and 
prosperous issue and already we congratulated one another on our 
good fortune and boon voyage. We fared on from sea to sea and 
from island to island and city to city, in all delight and content- 
ment, buying and selling wherever we touched, and taking our 
solace and our pleasure, till one day when, as we sailed athwart 
the dashing sea, swollen with clashing billows, behold, the master 
(who stood on the gunwale examining the ocean in all directions) 
cried out with a great cry, and buffeted his face and pluckt out 
his beard and rent his raiment, and bade furl the sail and cast the 
anchors. So we said to him, "O Rais, what is the matter .>" 
*' Know, O my brethren (Allah preserve you !), that the wind hath 
gotten the better of us and hath driven us out of our course into 
mid-ocean, and destiny, for our ill luck, hath brought us to the 
Mountain of the Zughb, a hairy folk like apes,* among whom no 
man ever fell and came forth alive ; and my heart presageth that 
we all be dead men." Hardly had the master made an end of his 
speech when the apes were upon us. They surrounded the ship 
on all sides swarming like locusts and crowding the shore. They 
were the most frightful of wild creatures, covered with black hair 
like felt, foul of favour and small of stature, being but four spans 
high, yellow-eyed and black-faced ; none knoweth their language 

* Ibn al-Wardi mentions an " Isle of Apes " in the Sea of China and Al-Idrisi places 
it two days' sail from Sukutra (Dwipa Sukhatra, Socotra). It it a popular error to 
explain the Homeric and Herodotean legend of the Pygmies by anthropoid apes. The 
Pygmy fable (Pygmsei Spithamai =: i cubit = 3 spans) was, as usual, based upon fact, 
as the explorations of late years have proved : the dwarfs are homunculi of various trib««, 
the Akka, Doko, Tiki-Tiki, Wambilikimo (" two-cubit men "), the stunted race that share 
the central regions of Intertropical Africa with the abnormally tall peoples who speak 
•dialects of the Great South African tongue, miscalled the *' Bantu." Hole makes tho 
Pygmies *' monkeys," a word we have borrowed from the Italians (monichio \ moiM> =; 
ape) and quotes Ptolemy, N^ao^ ruv Sarvfuv (Ape«islaads} East of Suada. 

24 A If Lay I ah wa Laylah, 

nor what they are, and they shun the company of men. We feared 
to slay them or strike them or drive them away, because of their 
inconceivable multitude ; lest, if we hurt one, the rest fall on us and 
slay us, for numbers prevail over courage ; so we let them do their 
will, albeit we feared they would plunder our goods and gear. 
TThey swarmed up the cables and gnawed them asunder, and' on 
like wise they did with all the ropes of the ship, so that it fell ofif 
from the wind and stranded upon their mountainous coast. Then 
they laid hands on all the merchants and crew, and landing us on 
the island, made ofif with the ship and its cargo and went their 
ways, we wot not whither. We were thus left on the island, eating 
of its fruits and pot-herbs and drinking of its streams till, one day, 
we espied in its midst what seemed an inhabited house. So we 
made for it as fast as our feet could carry us and behold, it was a 
castle strong and tall, compassed about with a lofty wall, and 
having a two-leaved gate of ebony-wood both of which leaves open 
stood. We entered and found within a space wide and bare like a 
great square, round which stood many high doors open thrown, and 
at the farther end a long bench of stone and brasiers, with cooking 
gear hanging thereon and about it great plenty of bones ; but we 
saw no one and marvelled thereat with exceeding wonder. Then 
we sat down in the courtyard a little while and presently falling 
asleep, slept from the forenoon till sundown, when lo ! the earth 
trembled under our feet and the air rumbled with a terrible tone. 
Then there came down upon us, from the top of the castle, a huge 
creature in the likeness of a man, black of colour, tall and big of 
bulk, as he were a great date-tree, with eyes like coals of fire and 
eye-teeth like boar's tusks and a vast big gape like the mouth of a 
well. Moreover, he had long loose lips like camel's, hanging down 
upon his breast, and ears like two Jarms * falling over his shoulder- 
blades and the nails of his hands were like the claws of a lion.* 
When we saw this frightful giant, we were like to faint and every 
moment increased our fear and terror; and we became as dead 

' A kind of barge (Arab. Barijah, plur. Bawdrij) used on the Nile of sub-pyrifoi-m shape 
when seen in bird's eye. Lane translates "cars like two mortars" from the Calc. 

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

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 25 

men for excess of horror and affright. And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

iEob) hjljen it foas tije dTibe l^untrrcb nnlr jportD-scbentl) jSffgfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the 
Seaman continued : — When we saw this frightful giant we were 
struck with exceeding terror and horror. And after trampling 
upon the earth, he sat awhile on the bench ; then he arose and 
coming to us seized me by the arm choosing me out from among 
my comrades the merchants. He took me up in his hand and 
turning me over felt me, as a butcher feeleth a sheep he is about to 
slaughter, and I but a little mouthful in his hands ; but finding me 
lean and fleshless for stress of toil and trouble and weariness, let 
me go and took up another, whom in like manner he turned over 
and felt and let go ; nor did he cease to feel and turn over the rest 
of us, one after another, till he came to the master of the ship. 
Now he was a sturdy, stout, broad-shouldered wight, fat and in 
full vigour ; so he pleased the giant, who seized him, as a butcher 
seizeth a beast, and throwing him down, set his foot on his neck 
and brake it ; after which he fetched a long spit and thrusting it 
up his backside, brought it forth of the crown of his head. Then, 
lighting a fierce fire, he set over it the spit with the Rais thereon, 
and turned it over the coals, till the flesh was roasted, when he 
took the spit off the fire and set it like a Kabab-stick before him. 
Then he tare the body, limb from limb, as one jointeth a chicken 
"and, rending the flesh with his nails, fell to eating of it and gnawing 
the bones, till there was nothing left but some of these, which he 
threw on one side of the wall. This done, he sat for a while ; then 
he lay down on the stone-bench and fell asleep, snarking and 
snoring like the gurgling of a lamb or a cow with its throat cut ; 
nor did he awake till morning, when he rose and fared forth and 
went his ways. As soon as we were certified that he was gone, 
we began to talk with one another, weeping and bemoaning our- 
selves for the risk we ran, and saying, " Would Heaven we had 
been drowned in the sea or that the apes had eaten us ! That 
were better than to be roasted over the coals ; by Allah, this is a 
vile, foul death ! But whatso the Lord willeth must come to pass 
and there is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Him, the 
Glorious, the Great ! We shall assuredly perish miserably and 

26 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

none ivill kflow of u§ \ as there is no escape for us from this place." 
Then we arose and roamed about the island, hoping that haply we 
might find a place to hide us in or a means of flight, for indeed 
death was a light matter to us, provided we were not roasted over 
the fire^ and eaten. However, we could find no hiding-place and 
the evening overtook us ; so, of the excess of our terror, we re- 
turned to the castle and sat down awhile. Presently, the earth 
trembled under our feet and the black ogre came up to us and 
turning us over, felt one after other, till he found a man to his 
liking, whom he took and served as he had done the captain, 
killing and roasting and eating him : after which he lay down on 
the bench ^ and slept all night, snarking and snoring like a beast 
with its throat cut, till daybreak, when he arose and went out as 
before. Then we drew together and conversed and said one to 
other, " By Allah, we had better throw ourselves into the sea and 
be drowned than die roasted ; for this is an abominable death ! " 
Quoth one of us, " Hear ye my words ! let us cast about to kill 
him, and be at peace from the grief of him and rid the Moslems of his 
barbarity and tyranny." Then said I, " Hear me, O my brothers ; 
if there is nothing for it but to slay him, let us carry some of this 
firewood and planks down to the sea-shore and make us a boat 
wherein, if we succeed in slaughtering him, we may either embark 
and let the waters carry us whither Allah willeth, or else abide here 
till some ship pass, when we will take passage in it. If we fail to 
kill him, we will embark in the boat and put out to sea ; and if we 
be drowned, we shall at least escape being roasted over a kitchen 
fire with sliced weasands ; whilst, if we escape, we escape, and if 
we be drowned, we die martyrs," " By Allah," said they all, " this 
rede is a right ;" and we agreed upon this, and set about carrying" 
it out. So we haled down to the beach the pieces of wood which 
lay about the bench ; and, making a boat, moored it to the strand, 
after which we stowed therein somewhat of victual and returned to 

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

^ Arab. • * Mastabah " =r the bench or form of masonry before noticed. In olden 
Europe benches were much more used thari chairs, these being articles of luxury. So 
King Home *' sett him abeoche ;" and hence our " King's Bench " (Court). 

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 27 

the castle. As soon as evening fell the earth trembled under our 
feet and in came the blackamoor upon us, snarling like a dog about 
to bite. He came up to us and feeling us and turning us over one 
by one, took one of us and did with him as he had done before and 
ate him, after which he lay down on the bench and snored and 
snorted like thunder. As soon as we were assured that he slept, 
we arose and taking two iron spits of those standing there, heated 
them in the fiercest of the fire, till they were red-hot, like burning 
coals, when we gripped fast hold of them and going up to the. 
giant, as he lay snoring on the bench, thrust them into his eyes and 
pressed upon them, all of us, with our united might, so that his eye- 
balls burst and he became stone blind. Thereupon he cried with a 
great cry, whereat our hearts trembled, and springing up from the 
bench, he fell a-groping after us, blind-fold. We fled from hira 
right and left and he saw us not, for his sight was altogether blent ; 
but we were in terrible fear of him and made sure we were dead 
men despairing of escape. Then he found the door, feeling for it 
with his hands and went out roaring aloud ; and behold, the earth 
shook under us, for the noise of his roaring, and we quaked fof 
fear. As he quitted the castle we followed him and betook 
ourselves to the place where we had moored our boat, saying to 
one another, " If this accursed abide absent till the going down of 
the sun and come not to the castle, we shall know that he is dead ; 
and if he come back, we will embark in the boat and paddle till we 
escape, committing our affair to Allah." But, as we spoke, behold, 
Up came the blackamoor with other two as they were Ghuls, 
fouler and more frightful than he, with eyes like red-hot coals ; 
which when we saw, we hurried into the boat and casting off the 
moorings paddled away and pushed out to sea.' As soon as the 
ogres caught sight of us, they cried out at us and running down 
to the sea-shore, fell a-pelting us with rocks, whereof some fell 
amongst us and others fell into the sea. We paddled with all our 
might till we were beyond their reach, but the most part of 
Us were slain by the rock-throwing, and the winds and waves 
sported with us and carried us into the midst of the dashing sea, 
swollen with billows clashing. We knew not whither we went and 
my fellows died one after another, till there remained but three, 

* This is from the Bresl. Edit. vol. iv. 32 : the Calc. Edit, gives only an abstract and 
in the Bui. Edit, the Ogre returned "accompanied by a female, greater than be and 
more hideous." "We cannot accept Mistress Polyphemus. 

28 Alf Laylah iva Lay la k. 

myself and two others ; And Shahrazad perceived the d:.v/n 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto bjbcn It toas il)c jpibc IL^untircn nn^ Jforts^cfgljt^ Xigbt, 

She ?aid, It hath reached me, O auspicious King-, that Sindbad the 
Seaman thus continued : — Most part of us were slain by the rock- 
throwing and only three of us remained on board the boat for, as 
often as one died, we threv/ him into the sea. We were sore 
exhausted for stress of hunger, but we took courage and heartened 
one another and worked for dear life and paddled with main and 
might, till the winds cast us upon an 'sland, as we were dead men 
for fatigue and fear and famine. We landed on the island and 
walked about it for a while, finding that it abounded in trees and 
streams and birds ; and we ate of the fruits and rejoiced in our 
escape from the black and our deliverance from the perils of the 
sea ; and thus we did till nightfall, when we lay down and fell 
asleep for excess of fatigue. But we had hardly closed our eyes 
before we were aroused by a hissing sound, like the sough of wind, 
and awaking, saw a serpent like a dragon, a seld-seen sight, of 
monstrous make and belly of enormous bulk which lay in a circle 
around us. Presently it reared its head and, seizing one of my 
companions, swallowed him up to his shoulders ; then it gulped 
down the rest of him, and we heard his ribs crack in its belly. 
Presently it went its way, and we abode in sore amazement and 
griet for our comrade and mortal fear for ourselves, saying, " By 
Allah, this is a marvellous thing ! Each kind of death that 
threateneth us is more terrible than the last. We were rejoicing 
in our escape from the black ogre and our deliverance from the 
perils of the sea ; but now we have fallen into that which is worse. 
There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah ! By 
the Almighty, we have escaped from the blackamoor and from 
drowning : but how shall we escape from this abominable and 
viperish monster ? " Then we walked about the island, eating of 
its fruits and drinking of its streams till dusk, when we climbed up 
into a high tree and went to sleep there, I being on the topmost 
bough. As soon as it was dark night, up came the serpent, looking 
right and left ; and, making for the tree whereon we were, climbed 
up to my comrade and swallowed him down to his shoulders 

Thi Third Voyage of ^indbad the Seaman. 29 

Then it coiled about the bole* with him, whilst I, who could not 
take my eyes off the sight, heard his bones crack in its belly, and 
it swallowed him whole, after which it slid down from the tree. 
When the day broke and the light showed me that the serpent was 
gone, I came down, as I were a dead man for stress of fear and 
anguish, and thought to cast myself into the sea and be at rest 
from the woes of the world ; but could not bring myself to this, for 
verily life is dear. So I took five pieces of wood, broad and long, 
and bound one crosswise to the soles of my feet and others in like 
fashion on my right and left sides and over my breast ; and the 
broadest and largest I bound across my head and made them fast 
with ropes. Then I lay down on the ground on my back, so that 
I was completely fenced in by the pieces of wood, which enclosed 
me like a bier.* So as soon as it was dark, up came the serpent, 
as usual, and made towards me, but could not get at me to swallow 
me for the wood that fenced me in. So it wriggled round me on 
every side, whilst I looked on, like one dead by reason of my 
terror ; and every now and then it would glide away and come 
back ; but as often as it tried to come at me, it was hindered by 
the pieces of wood wherewith I had bound myself on every side. 
It ceased not to beset me thus from sundown till dawn, but when 
the light of day shone upon the beast it made off, in the utmost 
fury and extreme disappointment. Then I put out my hand and 
unbound myself, well-nigh down among the dead men for fear 
and suffering ; and went down to the island-shore, whence a ship 
afar off in the midst of the waves suddenly struck my sight. So 
I tore off a great branch of a tree and made signs with it to the 
crew, shouting out the while ; which when the ship's company saw 
they said to one another, " We must stand in and see what this 

* This is from Al-Kazwini, who makes the serpent "wind itself round a tree or a 
rock, and thus break to pieces the bones of the breast in its belly." 

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

30 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

is ; peradventure *ds a man.'* So they made for the island and 
presently heard ny cries, whereupon they took me on board and 
questioned me of my case. I told them all my adventures from 
first to last, whereat they marvelled mightily and covered my 
shame * with some of their clothes. Moreover, they set before me 
somewhat of food and I ate my fill and I drank cold sweet water 
and was mightily refreshed ; and Allah Almighty quickened me 
after I was virtually dead. So I praised the Most Highest and 
thanked Him for His favours and exceeding mercies, and my heart 
revived in me after utter despair, till meseemed as if all I had 
suffered were but a dream I had dreamed. We sailed on with a 
fair wind the Almighty sent us till we came to an island, called 
Al-Salahitah,2 which aboundeth in sandal-wood when the captain 

cast anchor, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Noto tntm ft teas tfie Jftbe J^untireH antj JFortn^nini^ Nffitt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — And when we had cast anchor, the 
merchants and the sailors landed with their goods to sell and to 
buy. Then the captain turned to me and said, " Hark'ee, thou art 
a stranger and a pauper and tellest us that thou hast undergone 
frightful hardships ; wherefore I have a mind to benefit thee with 
somewhat that may further thee to thy native land, so thou wilt 
ever bless me and pray for me." . " So be it," answered I ; " thou 
shalt have my prayers." Quoth he, " Know then that there was 
with us a man, a traveller, whom we lost, and we know not if he 
be alive or dead, for we had no news of him ; so I purpose to 
commit his bales of goods to thy charge, that thou mayst sell them 
in this island. A part of the proceeds we will give thee as an 
equivalent for thy pains and service, and the rest we will keep till 
we return to Baghdad, where we will enquire for his family and 

* Arab. " Aurat " : the word has been borrowed by the Hindostani jargon, and means 
a woman, a wife. 

* So in Al-Idrisi and Langles : the Bres. Edit, has " AI-Kalasitah "; and Al-Kazwini 
" Al-Salamit." The latter notes in it a petrifying spring which Camoens (The 
Lus. X. 104), places in Sunda, j.<». Java- Minor of M. Polo. Some read Salabat-Timor» 
one of the Moluccas famed for sanders, cloves, cinnamon, etc. (Parchas ii. \^%^•) 

The Third Voyage of Sindhad the Seaman. 31 

deliver it to them, together with the unsold goods. Say me then, 
wilt thou undertake the charge and land and sell thera as other 
merchants do ? " I replied " Hearkening and obedience to thee, 

my lord ; and great is thy kindness to me," and thanked him ;' 
whereupon he bade the sailors and porters bear the bales in question 
ashore and commit them to my charge. The ship's scribe asked 
him, *' O master, what bales are these and what merchant's namel 
shall I write upon them ? " ; and he answered, " Write on them 
the name of Sindbad the Seaman, him who was with us in the 
ship and whom we lost at the Rukh's island, and of whom we have 
no tidings ; for we mean this stranger to sell them ; and we will 
give him a part of the price for his pains and keep the rest till we 
return to Baghdad where, if we find the owner we will make it 
over to him, and if not, to his family.'* And the clerk said, " Thy 
words are apposite and thy rede is right." Now when I heard 
the captain give orders for the bales to be inscribed with my name, 

1 said to myself, '* By Allah, I am Sindbad the Seaman ! '* So 
I armed myself with courage and patience and waited till all the 
merchants had landed and were gathered together, talking and 
[chaffering about buying and selling ; then I went up to the capiain 
'and asked him, " O my lord, knowest thou what manner of man 
was this Sindbad, whose goods thou hast committed to me for 
sale ? "; and he answered, " I know of him naught save that he 
was a man from Baghdad-city, Sindbad hight the Seaman, who 
was drowned with many others when we lay anchored at such an 
island and I have heard nothing of him since then." At this I 
cried out with a great cry and said, " O captain, whom Allah keep 1 
know that I am that Sindbad the Seaman and that I was not 
drowned, but when thou castest anchor at the island, I landed 
with the rest of the merchants and crew ; and I sat down in a 
pleasant place by myself and ate somewhat of food I had with 
me and enjoyed myself till I became drowsy and was drowned 
in sleep ; and when I awoke, I found no ship and none near me. 
These goods are my goods and these bales are my bales ; and all 
the merchants who fetch jewels from the Valley of Diamonds saw, 
me there and will bear me witness that I am the very Sindbad the 
Seaman ; for I related to them everything that had befallen me 
and told them how you forgot me and left me sleeping on the 
island, and that betided me which betided me." When the pas-! 
sengers and crew heard my words, they gathered about me and 
some of them believed me and others disbelieved ; but presently, 

32 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

behold, one of the merchants, hearing me mention the Valley of 
Diamonds, came up to me and said to them, " Hear what I say, 
good people ! When I related to you the most wonderful thing 
in my travels, and I told you that, at the time we cast down our 
slaughtered animals into the Valley of Serpents (I casting with 
the rest as was my wont), there came up a man hanging to mine, 
ye believed me not and gave me the lie." " Yes," quoth they, 
" thou didst tell us some such tale, but we had no call to credit 
thee." He resumed, " Now this is the very man, by token that 
he gave me diamonds of great value, and high price whose like 
are not to be found, requiting me more than would have come up 
sticking to my quarter of meat ; and I companied with him to 
Bassorah-city, where he took leave of us and went on to his native 
stead, whilst we returned to our own land. This is he; and he told 
us his name, Sindbad the Seaman, and how the ship left him on 
the desert island. And know ye that Allah hath sent him. hither, 
so might the truth of my story be made manifest to you. More- 
over, these are his goods for, when he first foregathered with us, 
he told us of them ; and the truth of his words is patent." Hearing 
the merchant's speech the captain came up to me and considered 
me straitly awhile, after which he said, " What was the mark on 
thy bales ? " " Thus and thus," answered I, and reminded him of 
somewhat that had passed between him and me, when I shipped 
with him from Bassorah. Thereupon he was convinced that I was 
indeed Sindbad the Seaman and took me round the neck and 
gave me joy of my safety, saying, " By Allah, O my lord, thy case 
is indeed wondrous and thy tale marvellous ; but lauded be Allah 
who hath brought thee and me together again, and who hath 
restored to thee thy goods and gear ! " And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman thus continued: — "Alhamdolillah !*' quoth the cap- 
tain, "lauded be Allah who hath restored unto thee thy goods and 
gear." Then I disposed of my merchandise to the best of my 
skill, and profited largely on them whereat I rejoiced with exceed- 
ing joy and congratulated myself on my safety and the recovery 
of my goods. We ceased not to buy and sell at the several islands 

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 33 

till v/e came to the land of Hind, where we bought cloves and 
ginger and all manner spices ; and thence we fared on to the land 
of Sind, where also we bought and sold. In these Indian seas, I 
saw wonders without number or count, amongst others a fish like 
a cow which bringeth forth its young and suckleth them like 
human beings ; and of its skin bucklers are made.^ There were 
eke fishes like asses and camels ^ and tortoises twenty cubits wide.' 
And I saw also a bird that cometh out of a sea-shell and layeth 
eggs and hatcheth her chicks on the surface of the water, never 
coming up from the sea to the land.* Then we set sail again 
with a fair wind and the blessing of Almighty Allah ; and, after a 
prosperous voyage, arrived safe and sound at Bassorah. Here I 
abode a few days and presently returned to Baghdad where I went 
at once to my quarter and my house and saluted my family and 
familiars and friends. I had gained on this voyage what was 
beyond count and reckoning, so I gave alms and largesse and clad 
the widow and the orphan, by way of thanksgiving for my happy 
return, and fell to feasting and making merry with my companions 

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

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

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

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


34 -^^f Laylah wa Laylak. 

and intimates and forgot, while eating well and drinking well and 
dressing well, everything that had befallen me and all the perils 
and hardships I had suffered. These, then, are the most admirable 
things I sighted on my third voyage, and to-morrow, an it be the 
will of Allah, you shall come to me and I will relate the adventures 
of my fourth voyage, which is still more wonderful than those you 
have already heard. (Saith he who telleth the tale), Then Sindbad 
the Seaman bade give Sindbad the Landsman an hundred golden 
dinars as of wont and called for food. So they spread the tables 
and the company ate the night-meal and went their ways, mar- 
velling at the tale they had heard. The Porter after taking his 
gold passed the night in his own house, also wondering at what 
his namesake the Seaman had told him, and as soon as day broke 
and the morning showed with its sheen and shone, he rose and 
praying the dawn-prayer betook himself to Sindbad the Seaman, 
who returned his salute and received him with an open breast and 
cheerful favour and made him sit with him till the rest of the 
company arrived, when he caused set on food and they ate and 
drank and made merry. Then Sindbad the Seaman bespake them 
and related to them the narrative of 


Know, O my brethren that after my return from my third voyage 
and foregathering with my friends, and forgetting all my perils 
and hardships in the enjoyment of ease and comfort and repose, I 
was visited one day by a company of merchants who sat down 
with me and talked of foreign travel and traffic, till the old bad 
man within me yearned to go with them and enjoy the sight of 
strange countries, and I longed for the society of the various races 
of mankind and for traffic and profit. So I resolved to travel with 
them and buying the necessaries for a long voyage, and great store 
of costly goods, more than ever before, transported them from 
Baghdad to Bassorah where I took ship with the merchants in 
question, who were of the chief of the town. We set out, trusting 
in the blessing of Almighty Allah ; and with a favouring breeze 
and the best conditions we sailed from island to island and sea to 

Tke Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 35 

sea, till, one day, there arose against us a contrary wind and the 
captain cast out his anchors and brought the ship to a standstill, 
fearing lest she should founder in mid-ocean. Then we all fell to 
prayer and humbling ourselves before the Most High ; but, as we 
were thus engaged there smote us a furious squall which tore the 
sails to rags and tatters : the anchor-cable parted and, the ship 
foundering, we were cast into the sea, goods and all. I kept my- 
self afloat by swimming half the day, till, when I had given myself 
up for lost, the Almighty threw in my way one of the planks of 
the ship, whereon I and some others of the merchants scrambled. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

ICoh) iDj^m It toas ti)e S'M l^untfrctr anti jp{ftg=first Kig5t# 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued as follows : — And when the ship foundered 
I scrambled on to a plank with some others of the merchants and, 
mounting it as we would a horse, paddled with our feet in the sea. 
We abode thus a day and a night, the wind and waves helping us 
on, and on the second day shortly before the mid-time between 
sunrise and noon ^ the breeze freshened and the sea wrought and 
the rising waves cast us upon an island, well-nigh dead bodies for 
weariness and want of sleep, cold and hunger and fear and thirst. 
We walked about the shore and found abundance of herbs, whereof 
we ate enough to keep breath In body and to stay our failing 
spirits, then lay down and slept till morning hard by the sea. 
And when morning came with its sheen and shone, we arose and 
walked about the island to the right and left, till we came In sight 
of an inhabited house afar off. So we made towards It, and ceased 
not walking till we reached the door thereof when lo ! a number 
of naked men issued from it and without saluting us or a word 
said, laid hold of us masterfully and carried us to their king, who 
signed us to sit. So we sat down and they set food before us such 

^ Arab. "Zahwah," also meaning a luncheon. The five daily prayers made all 
Moslems take strict account of time, and their nomenclature of its division is ex- 

36 Alf Lay! ah wa Laylah, 

as we knew not^ and whose like we had never seen in all our hVes. 
My companions ate of it, for stress of hunger, but my stomach 
revolted from it and I would not eat ; and my refraining from it 
■was, by Allah's favour, the cause of my being alive till now : for 
no sooner had my comrades tasted of it than their reason fled and 
their condition changed and they began to devour it like madmen 
possessed of an evil spirit. Then the savages gave them to drink 
of cocoa-nut oil and anointed them therewith ; and straightway 
after drinking thereof, their eyes turned into their heads and they 
fell to eating greedily, against their wont. When I saw this, I was 
confounded and concerned for them, nor was I less anxious about 
myself, for fear of the naked folk. So I watched them narrowly, 
and it was not long before I discovered them to be a tribe of 
Magian cannibals whose King was a Ghul.^ All who came to their 
country or whoso they caught in their valleys or on their roads 
they brought to this King and fed them upon that food and 
anointed them with that oil, whereupon their stomachs dilated that 
they might eat largely, whilst their reason fled and they lost the 
power of thought and became idiots. Then they stuffed them with 
cocoa-nut oil and the aforesaid food, till they became fat and gross, 
when they slaughtered them by cutting their throats and roasted 
them for the King's eating; but, as for the savages themselves, 
they ate human flesh raw.* When I saw this, I was sore dismayed 

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

' Arab. " Ghul," here an ogre, a cannibal. I cannot but regard the " Ghul of the 
waste " as an embodiment of the natural fear and horror which a man feels when he faces 
a really dangerous desert. As regards cannibalism, Al-Islam's religion of common sense 
freely allows it when necessary to save life, and unlike our mawkish modern sensibility, 
oever blames those who 

Alimentis talibus usi 
Produxere animos. 

» For Cannibals, see the Massagetae of Herod (i.), the Padsei of India (iii.), and the 
Essedones near Maeotis (iv.) j Suabo (lib. Iv.) of the Luci ; Pomponius Mela (iii. j) aad 

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 37 

for myself and my comrades, who were now become so stupefied 
that they knew not what was done with them and the naked folk 
committed them to one who used every day to lead them out and 
pasture them on the island like cattle. And they wandered 
amongst the trees and rested at will, thus waxing very fat. As for 
me, I wasted away and became sickly for fear and hunger and my 
flesh shrivelled on my bones ; which when the savages saw, they 
left me alone and took no thought of me and so far forgot me that 
One day I gave them the slip and walking out of their place made 
for the beach which was distant and there espied a very old man 
seated on a high place, girt by the waters. I looked at him and 
knew him for the herdsman, who had charge of pasturing my 
fellows, and with him were many others in like case. As soon as 
he saw me, he knew me to be in possession of my reason and not 
afiBicted like the rest whom he was pasturing ; so signed to me. 
from afar, as who should say, " Turn back and take the right-hand 
road, for that will lead thee into the King's highway." So I turned 
back, as he bade me, and followed the right-hand road, now run- 
ning for fear and then walking leisurely to rest me, till I was out 
of the old man's sight. By this time, the sun had gone down and 
the darkness set in ; so I sat down to rest and would have slept, 
but sleep came not to me that night, for stress of fear and famine 
and fatigue. When the night was half spent, I rose and walked 
on, till the day broke in all its beauty and the sun rose over the 
heads of the lofty hills and athwart the low gravelly plains. Now 
I was weary and hungry and thirsty ; so I ate my fill of herbs and 
grasses that grew in the island and kept life in body and stayed 
my stomach, after which I set out again and fared on all that day 
and the next night, staying my greed with roots and herbs ; nor 

St. Jerome (ad Jovinum) of Scoti. M. Polo locates them in Dragvia, a kingdom of 
Sumatra (iii. 17), and in Angaman (the Andamanian Isles ?), possibly the ten Maniolai 
which Ptolemy (vii.), confusing with the Nicobars, places on the Eastern side of the Bay 
of Bengal ; and thence derives the Heraklian stone (magnet) which attracts the iron of 
ships (See Serapion, De Magnete, fol. 6, Edit, of 1479, and Brown's Vulgar Errors, p. 74, 
6th Edit.). Mandeville finds his cannibals in Lamaxay (Sumatra) and Barthema in the 
*' Isle of Gyava" (Java). Ibn Al-Wardi and Al-Kazwini notice them in the Isle Saksur, 
in the Sea of the Zanj (Zanzibar): the name is corrupted Persian "Sag-Sar" (Dogs'- 
lieads) hence the dog-descended race of Camoens in Pegu (The Lus. x. 122). The Bresl. 
Edit. (iv. 52) calls them " Khawarij "= certain sectarians in Eastern Arabia. Needless 
to say that cocoa-nut oil would have no ftupefying effect unless mixed with opium or 
datura, hemp or henbane.^ 

A If Laylah iva Laylak, 

did I cease walking for seven days and their nights, till tlie mom 
of the eighth day, when I caught sight of a faint object in the 
distance. So I made towards it, though my heart quaked for 
all I had suffered first and last, and behold it was a company 
^of men gathering pepper-grains.* As soon as they saw me, they 
hastened up to me and surrounding me on all sides, said to me» 
"Who art thou and whence come .?" I replied, " Know, O folk, 
•that I am a poor stranger," and acquainted them with my case 

and all the hardships and perils I had suffered And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

iSofo tofieh It tuas tfie . ijf ibr l^untirtli antJ ^fpiftB-stconti iSifi^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — And the men gathering pepper in the 
island questioned me of my case, when I acquainted them with all 
the hardships and perils I had suffered and how I had fled from the 
'savages ; whereat they marvelled and gave me joy of my safety, 
saying, " By Allah, this is wonderful ! But how didst thou escape 
from these blacks who swarm in the island and devour all who fall 
in with them ; nor is any safe from them, nor can any get out of 
their clutches ? " And after I had told them the fate of my com- 
panions, they made me sit by them, till they got quit of their 
work ; and fetched me somewhat of good food, which I ate, for I 
■was hungry, and rested awhile, after which they took ship with me 
and carrying me to their island-home brought me before their 
King, who returned my sal.u1:e and received me honourably and 
questioned me of my case. \ 'fold him all that had befallen me, 
from the day of my leaving Baghdad-city, whereupon he wondered 
with great wonder at my adventures, he and his courtiers, and 
bade me sit by him ; then he called for food and I ate with him 
what sufficed me and washed my hands and returned thanks to 
Almighty Allah for all His favours praising Him and glorifying 
Him. Then I left the King and walked for solace about the city, 

' Black pepper is produced in the Goanese but we must go south to find the " Bilad 
al-Filfil" (home of pepper) i.^. Malabar. The exorbitant prices demanded by Venice 
for this spice led directly to the discovery of The Cape route by the Portuguese ; as ihe 
" Grains of Paradise' (AiDomua) Cranum Paradisi) induced the English to^xplore the 
West AfricaQ Coast. 

• Fourth Voyage oj Sindbad the Seaman, 39 

arWdi I found wealthy and populous, abounding in market-streets 
well stocked with food and merchandise and full of buyers and 
sellers. So I rejoiced at having reached so pleasant a place and 
took my ease there after my fatigues ; and I made friends with the 
townsfolk, nor was it long before I became more in honour and 
favour with them and their King than any of the chief men of the 
realm. Now I saw that all the citizens, great and small, rode fine 
horses, high-priced and thorough-bred, without saddles or housings, 
whereat I wondered and said to the King, " Wherefore, O my lord, 
dost thou not ride with a saddle ? Therein is ease for the rider 
and increase of power." . "What is a saddle }" asked he : "I never 
saw nor used such a thing in all my life ; " and I answered, " With 
thy permission I will make thee a saddle, that thou mayest ride on 
it and see the comfort thereof." And quoth he, " Do so." So 
quoth I to him, *' Furnish me with some wood," which being 
brought, I sought me a clever carpenter and sitting by him showed 
him how to make the saddle-tree, portraying for him the fashion 
thereof in ink on the wood*' Then I took wool and teased it and 
made felt of it, and, covering the saddle-tree with leather, stuffed it 
and polished it and attached the girth and stirrup leathers ; after 
which I fetched a blacksmith and described to him the fashion of 
the stirrups and bridle-bit So he forged a fine pair of stirrups and 
a bit, and filed them smooth and tinned* them. Moreover, I made 
fast to them fringes of silk and fitted bridle-leathers to the bit 
Then I fetched one of the best of the royal horses and saddling 
and bridling him, hung the stirrups to the saddle and led him toi 
the King. The thing took his fancy and he thanked me ; then he 
mounted and rejoiced greatly in the saddle and rewarded me 
handsomely for my work. When the King's Wazir saw the saddle, 
he asked of me one like it and I made it for him. Furthermore, 
all the grandees and officers of state came for saddles to me ; so I 
fell to making saddles (having taught the craft to the carpenter 
and blacksmith), and selling them to all who sought, till I amassed 
great wealth and became in high honour and great favour with the 
King and his household and grandees. I abode thus till, one day, 
as I was sitting with the King in all respect and contentment, he 

' Arab.'*Kazdir.** Sansk. "KasUr." Gr. "Kassiteron." Lat. "Cassiteros,*' evidently 
derived from one root. The Heb. is*'Badih," a substitute, an alloy. "Tanakah" is 
the vulg. Arab, word, a congener of the Assyrian " Anaku,"and *' Kala i " is the coiuipi 
Arab, term used in India. 

40 Alf Lay I ah wa Laylah. 

said to me, " Know thou, O such an one, thou art become one of 
us, dear as a brother, and we hold thee in such regard and affection 
that we cannot part with thee nor suffer thee to leave our city ; 
wherefore I desire of thee obedience in a certain matter, and I will 
not have thee gainsay me." Answered I, " O King, what is it thou 
desirest of me ? Far be it from me to gainsay tliee in aught, for I am 
indebted to thee for many favours and bounties and much kindness, 
and (praised be Allah !) I am become one of thy servants," Quoth 
he, " I have a mind to marry thee to a fair, clever and agreeable wife 
who is wealthy as she is beautiful ; so thou mayst be naturalised 
and domiciled with us : I will lodge thee with me in my palace ; 
wherefore oppose me not neither cross me in this." When I heard 
these words I was ashamed and held my peace nor could make 
him any answer,* by reason of my much bashfulness before him. 
Asked he, " Why dost thou not reply to me, O my son "i " ; and I 
answered, saying, " O my master, it is thine to command, O King 
of the age I " So he summoned the Kazi and the witnesses and 
married me straightway to a lady of a noble tree and high pedi- 
gree ; wealthy in moneys and means ; the flower of an ancient race ; 
of surpassing beauty and grace, and the owner of farms and estates 

and many a dwelling-place. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say, 

iaofo toftm it teas t!)e jpibe |^unti«ll"anl» jFiftB-tJCA iSifi^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbab the 
Seaman continued in these words : — Now after the King my master 
had married me to this choice wife, he ' also gave me a great and 
goodly house standing alone, together with slaves and officers, and 
assigned me pay and allowances. So I became in all ease and con- 
tentment and delight and forgot everything which had befallen me 
of weariness and trouble and hardship ; for I loved my wife with 
fondest love and she loved me no less, and we were as one and 
abode in the utmost comfort of life and in its happiness. And I 
said in myself, " When I return to my native land, I will carry her 
with me." But whatso is predestined to a man, that needs must 
be, and none knoweth what shall befal him. We lived thus a 

' Our Arabian Ulysses had probably left a Penelope or two at home ond finds a Calypso 
ii> ti)is Ogygia. Kis modesty al ihc- ni ji/.i :p cf womankind is notable. 

Tlie Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 41 

great while, till Almighty Allah bereft one of my neighbours of his 
wife. Now he was a gossip of mine ; so hearing the cry of the 
keeners I went in to condole with him on his loss and found him 
in very ill plight, full of trouble and weary of soul and mind. I 
condoled with him and comforted him, saying, " Mourn not for thy 
wife who hath now found the mercy of Allah ; the Lord will surely 
give thee a better in her stead and thy name shall be great and thy 
life shall be long in the land, Inshallah!"^ But he wept bitter 
tears and replied, " O my friend, how can I marry another wife 
and how shall Allah replace her to me with a better than she, 
whenas I have but one day left to live ? " " O my brother," said I, 
*' return to thy senses and announce not the glad tidings of thine 
own death, for thou art well, sound and in good case." " By thy 
life, O my friend," rejoined he, " to-morrow thou wilt lose me and 
wilt never see me again till the Day of Resurrection." I asked. 
" How so } " and he answered, " This very day they bury my 
■wife, and they bury me with her in one tomb ; for it is the custom 
with us, if the wife die first, to bury the husband alive with her 
and in like manner the wife, if the husband die first; so that 
neither may enjoy life after losing his or her mate." " By Allah," 
cried I, " this is a most vile, lewd custom and not to be endured of 
any !" Meanwhile, behold, the most part of the townsfolk came 
in and fell to condoling with my gossip for his wife and for him- 
self. Presently they laid the dead woman out, as was their wont ; 
and, setting her on a bier, carried her and her husband without the 
city, till they came to a place in the side of a mountain at the end 
of the island by the sea ; and here they raised a great rock and 
discovered the mouth of a stone-rivetted pit or well,^ leading 
down into a vast underground cavern that ran beneath the moun- 
tain. Into this pit they threw the corpse, then tying a rope of 
palm-fibres under the husband's armpits, they let him down into 
the cavern, and with him a great pitcher of fresh water and seven 
scones by way of viaticum.^ When he came to the bottom, he 
loosed himself from the rope and they drew it up ; and, stopping 
the mouth of the pit with the great stone, they returned to the 

' These are the commonplaces of Moslem consolation on such occasions : the artistic 
part is their contrast with the unfortunate widower's prospect. 

2 Lit. " a margin of stone, like the curb-stone of a well" 

* I am not aware that this vlvisepultnre of the widower is the custom of any race , 
bat the fable would be readily suggested by the Sati (Suttee)-rite of the Hindus. Simple 
▼ivisepulture was and is practised by many people. 

42 Alf Laylak wa Lay la k. 

city, leaving my friend in the cavern with his dead wife. When I 
saw this, I said to myself, " By Allah, this fashion of death is more 
grievous than the first !" And I went in to the King and said to 
him, " O my lord, why do ye bury the quick with the dead ?'* 
Quoth he, " It hath been the custom, thou must know, of our 
forbears and our olden Kings from time immemorial, if the 
husband die first, to bury his wife with him, and the like with 
the wife, so we may not sever them, alive or dead." I asked, 
" O King of the age, if the wife of a foreigner like myself die 
among you, deal ye with him as with yonder man ? "; and he 
answered, " Assuredly, we do with him even as thou hast seen." 
When I heard this, my gall-bladder was like to burst, for the 
violence of my dismay and concern for myself: my wit became 
dazed ; I felt as if in a vile dungeon ; and hated their society ; for 
I went about in fear lest my wife should die before me and they 
bury me alive with her. However, after a while, I comforted 
myself, saying, " Haply I shall predecease her, or shall have 
returned to my own land before she die, for none knoweth which 
shall go first and which shall go last." Then I applied myself to 
diverting my mind from this thought with various occupations ; 
but it was not long before my wife sickened and complained and 
took to her pillow and fared after a few days to the mercy of 
Allah ; and the King and the rest of the folk came, as was their 
wont, to condole with me and her family and to console us for 
her loss and not less to condole with me for myself. - Then the 
women washed her and arraying her in her richest raiment and 
golden ornaments, necklaces and jewellery, laid her on the bier 
and bore her to the mountain aforesaid, where they lifted the cover 
of the pit and cast her in ; after which all my intimates and ac- 
quaintances and my wife's kith and kin came round me, to farewell 
me in my lifetime and console me for my own death, whilst I cried 
out among them, saying, "Almighty Allah never made it lawful to 
bury the quick with the dead 1" I am a stranger, not one of your 
kind ; and I cannot abear your custom, and had I known it I 
never would have wedded among you !" They heard me not and 
paid no heed to my words, but laying hold of me, bound me by 
force and let me down into the cavern, with a large gugglet of 
sweet water and seven cakes of bread, according to their custom.' 
When I came to the bottom, they called out to me to cast myself 
loose from the cords, but I refused to do so ; so they threw them 
down on me and, closing the mouth of the pit with the stones 

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 43 

'aforesaid, went their ways, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

cf day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — When they left me in the cavern with 
my dead wife and, closing the mouth of the pit, went their ways, 
I looked about me and found myself in a vast cave full of dead 
bodies, that exhaled a fulsome and loathsome smell and the air 
was heavy with the groans of the dying. Thereupon I fell to 
blaming myself for what I had done, saying, " By Allah, I deserve 
all that hath befallen me and all that shall bcfal me ! What curse 
was upon me to take a wife in this city ? There is no Majesty and 
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! As often 
as I say, I have escaped from one calamity, I fall into a worse. 
By Allah, this is an abominable death to die ! Would Heaven 
I had died a decent death and been washed and shrouded like 
a man and a Moslem. Would I had been drowned at sea 
or perished in the mountains ! It were better than to die this 
miserable death !" And on such wise I kept blaming my own 
folly and greed of gain in that black hole, knowing not night from 
day; and I ceased not to ban the Foul Fiend and to bless the 
Almighty Friend. Then I threw m.yself down on the bones of the 
dead and lay there, imploring Allah's help and in the violence of 
my despair, invoking death which came not to me, till the fire 
of hunger burned my stomach and thirst set my throat aflame 
when I sat up and feeling for the bread, ate a morsel and 
upon it swallowed a mouthful of water. After this, the worst 
night I ever knew, I arose, and exploring the cavern, found that 
it extended a long v/ay with hollows in its sides; and its floor 
was strewn with dead bodies and rotten bones, that had Iain there 
from olden time. So I made myself a place in a cavity of the 
cavern, afar from the corpses lately thrown down and there slept. 
I abode thus a long while, till my provision was like to give 
out ; and yet I ate not save once every day or second day ; 
nor did I drink more than an occasional draught, for fear my 
victual should fail me before my death ; and I said to myself, 
" Eat little and drink little ; belike the Lord shall vouchsafe 
deliverance to thee I" One day, as I sat thus, pondering my case 

44 Alf Laylah wa Lay ink. 

and bethlnklnpr me how I should do, when my bread and water 
should be exhausted, behold, the stone that covered the opening 
»vas suddenly rolled away and the light streamed down upon me; 
Quoth I, " I wonder what is the matter : haply they have brought 
another corpse." Then I espied folk standing about the mouth 
of the pit, who presently let down a dead man and a live wo- 
man, weeping and bemoaning herself, and with her an ampler 
supply of bread and water than usual.* I saw her and she was a 
beautiful woman ; but she saw me not ; and they closed up the 
opening and went away. Then I took the leg-bone of a dead man 
and, going up to the woman, smote her on the crown of the head ; 
and she cried one cry and fell down in a swoon. I smote her 
a second and a third time, till she was dead, when I laid hands on 
her bread and water and found on her great plenty of ornaments 
and rich apparel, necklaces, jewels and gold trinkets;* for it was 
their custom to bury women in all their finery. I carried the 
vivers to my sleeping place in the cavern-side and ate and drank 
of them sparingly, no more than sufficed to keep the life in me, lest 
the provaunt come speedily to an end and I perish of hunger and 
thirst. Yet did I never wholly lose hope in Almighty Allah. I 
abode thus a great while, killing all the live folk they let down into 
the cavern and taking their provisions of meat and drink ; till 
one day, as I slept, I was awakened by something scratching and 
burrowing among the bodies in a corner of the cave and said, 
*' What can this be .' " fearing wolves or hyaenas. So I sprang^ up 
and seizing the leg-bone aforesaid, made for the noise. As soon as 
the thing was ware of me, it fled from me into the inward of the 
cavern, and lo ! it was a wild beast. However, I followed it to the 
further end, till I saw afar off a point of light not bigger than a 
star, now appearing and then disappearing. So I made for it, and 
as I drew near, it grew larger and brighter, till I was certified that 
it was a crevice in the rock, leading to the open country ; and I 
said to myself, "There must be some reason for this opening: 
either it is the mouth of a second pit, such as that by which they 
let me down, or else it is a natural fissure in the stonery. So I 
bethought me awhile and nearing the light, found that it came 

' Because she was weaker than a man. The Bresl. Edit however, has " a gugglet of 
water and five scones." 

' The confession is made with true Eastern sang-froid and probably none of the 
hearers *' disapproved " of the murders which saved the speaker's life. 

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 45 

from a breach in the back side of the mountain, which the wild 
beasts had enlarged by burrowing, that they might enter and 
devour the dead and freely go to and fro. When I saw this, my 
spirits revived and hope came back to me and I made sure of life, 
after having died a death. So I went on, as in a dream, and 
making shift to scramble through the breach found myself on the 
slope of a high mountain, overlooking the salt sea and cutting off 
all access thereto from the island, so that none could come at that 
part of the beach from the city.^ I praised my Lord and thanked 
Him, rejoicing greatly and heartening myself with the prospect of 
deliverance ; then I returned through the crack to the cavern and 
brought out all the food and water I had saved up and donned 
some of the dead folk's clothes over my own ; after which I 
gathered together all the collars and necklaces of pearls and jewels 
and trinkets of gold and silver set with precious stones and other 
ornaments and Valuables I could find upon the corpses ; and, 
making them into bundles with the grave clothes and raiment of 
the dead, carried them out to the back of the mountain facing the 
sea-shore, where I established myself, purposing to wait there till 
it should please Almighty Allah to send me relief by means of 
some passing ship. I visited the cavern daily and as often as I 
found folk buried alive there, I killed them all indifferently, 
men and women, and took their victual and valuables and trans- 
ported them to my seat on the sea-shore. Thus I abode a long 

while And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Noh) to|)£n it teas tbe §M f^untiwli anli if (ftg^fiftl) Kffil^t, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the 
Seaman continued : — And after carrying all my victuals and valu- 
ables from the cavern to the coast I abode a long while by the sea, 
pondering my case, till one day I caught sight of a ship passing in 
tlie midst of the clashing sea, swollen with dashing billows. So I 
took a piece of a white shroud I had with me and, tying it to a 

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

46 Alf Laylak wa Laylah, 

staff, ran along the sea-shore, making signals therewith and catfing 
to the people in the ship, till they espied me and hearing my 
shouts, sent a boat to fetch me off. When it drew near, the crew 
called out to me, saying, " Who art thou and how camest thou to be 
on this mountain, whereon never saw we any in our born days ? " I 
answered, " I am a gentleman * and a merchant, who hath been 
wrecked and saved myself on one of the planks of the ship, with 
some of my goods ; and by the blessing of the Almighty and the 
decrees of Destiny and my own strength and skill, after much toil 
and moil I have landed with my gear in this place where I awaited 
'some passing ship to take me off." So they took me in their boat 
together with the bundles I had made of the jewels and valuables 
from the cavern, tied up in clothes and shrouds, and rowed back 
with me to the ship, where the captain 'said to me, " How camest 
thou, O man, to yonder place on yonder mountain behind which 
lieth a great city ? All my life I have sailed these seas and 
passed to and fro hard by these heights ; yet never saw I here any 
living thing save wild beasts and birds." I repeated to him the 
[story I had told the sailors,^ but acquainted him with nothing of 
Ithat which had befallen me in the city and the cavern, lest there 
should be any of the islandry in the ship. Then I took out some 
of the best pearls I had with me and offered them to the captain, 
saying, " O my lord, thou hast been the means of saving me off 
this mountain. I have no ready money ; but take this from me in 
requital of thy kindness and good offices." But he refused to 
accept it of me, saying, " When we find a shipwrecked man on the 
sea-shore or on an island, we take him up and give him meat and 
drink, and if he be naked we clothe him ; nor take we aught from 
him ; nay, when we reach a port of safety, we set him ashore with 
a present of our own money and entreat him kindly and charitably, 
for the love of Allah the Most High." So I prayed that his life be 
long in the land and rejoiced in my escape, trusting to be delivered 
from my stress and to forget my past mishaps ; for every time I 
remembered being let down into the cave With my dead wife I 
Ishuddered in horror. Then we pursued our voyage and sailed 
ifrom island to island and sea to sea, till we arrived at the Island of 

' Bresl. Edit. " Khwajah,** bur "Howajee," meaning a schoolmaster, a man o( 
letters, a gentleman. 

"^ And he does repeat at full length what the hearers must have known right welL I 

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 47 

the 'Bell, which containeth a city two days* journey in extent, 
whence after a six days' run we reached the Island Kala, hard by 
the land of Hind.^ This place is governed by a potent and 
puissant King- and it produceth excellent camphor and an abun- 
dance of the Indian rattan : here also is a lead mine. At last by 
the decree of Allah, we arrived in safety at Bassorah-town where 
I tarried a few days, then went on to Baghdad-city, and, finding 
my quarter, entered my house with lively pleasure. There I fore- 
gathered with my family and friends, who rejoiced in my happy 
return and gave me joy of my safety. I laid up in my storehouses 
all the goods I had brought with me, and gave alms and largesse to 
Fakirs and beggars and clothed the widow and the orphan. Then 
I gave myself up to pleasure and enjoyment, returning to my old 
merry mode of life. Such, then, be the most marvellous adventures 
of my fourth voyage, but to-morrow if you will kindly come to me, 
I will tell you that which befel me in my fifth voyage, which was 
yet rarer and more marvellous than those which forewent it. And 
thou, O my brother Sindbad the Landsman, shalt sup with me as 
thou art wont. (Saith he who telleth the tale), When Sindbad 
the Seaman had made an end of his story, he called for supper; 
so they spread the table and the guests ate the evening meal ; after 
which he gave the Porter an hundred dinars as usual, and he and 
the rest of the company went their ways, glad at heart and mar- 
velling at the tales they had heard, for that each story was more 
extraordinary than that which forewent it. The porter Sindbad 
passed the night in his own house, in all joy and cheer and wonder- 
ment ; and, as soon as morning came with its sheen and shone, he 
prayed the dawn-prayer and repaired to the house of Sindbad the 
Seaman, who welcomed him and bade hini sit with him till the 
rest of the company arrived, when they ate and drank and made 
merry and the talk went round amongst them. Presently, their host 
began the narrative of the fifth voyage And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Island of the Bell (Arab. " Nakus " = a wooden gong used by Christians but for- 
bidden to Moslems). "Kala" is wiitten " Kela," "KuUah" and a variety of ways. 
Baron Walckenaer places it at Keydah in the Malay peninsula opposite Sumatra* 
Eeaaudot ideotifies it with Calabar, " somewhexe about the point of Malabar.^ 

4^ Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Noto fallen ft foas t^e ^\^i l^unlJRli antj JptftB^sfxt^ Ntgl)t, 

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


Know, O my brothers, that when I had been awhile on shore after 
my fourth voyage; and when, in my comfort and pleasures and 
merry-makings and in my rejoicing over my large gains and profits, 
I had forgotten all I had endured of perils and sufferings, the 
carnal man was again seized with the longing to travel and to 
see foreign countries and islands. ^ Accordingly I bought costly 
merchandise suited to my purpose and, making it up into bales, 
repaired to Bassorah, where I walked about the river-quay till I 
found a fine tall ship, newly builded with gear unused and fitted 
ready for sea. She pleased me ; so I bought her and, embarking 
my goods in her, hired a master and crew, over whom I set certain 
of my slaves and servants as inspectors. A number of merchants 
also brought their outfits and paid me freight and passage-money ; 
then, after reciting the Fatihah we set sail over Allah's pool in all 
Joy and cheer, promising ourselves a prosperous voyage and much 
profit. We sailed from city to city and from island to island and 
from sea to sea viewing the cities and countries by which we passed, 
and selling and buying in not a few till one day we came to a 
great uninhabited island, deserted and desolate, whereon was a 
white dome of biggest bulk half buried in the sands. The mer- 
chants landed to examine this dome, leaving me in the ship ; and 
when they drew near, behold, it was a huge Rukh's ^gg. They 
fell a-beating it with stones, knowing not what it was, and presently 
broke it open, whereupon much water ran out of it and the young 
Rukh appeared within. So they pulled it forth of the shell and 
cut its throat and took of it great store of meat. Now I was in 
the ship and knew not what they did ; but presently one of the 

' Islands, because Arab cosmogiapbeis love to place their s^eeiaia miracula ia such. 

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 4^ 

passengers came up to me and said, " O my lord, come and look 
at the egg that we thought to be a dome." So I looked and seeing 
the merchants beating it with stones, called out to them, " Stop, 
stop ! do not meddle with that egg, or the bird Rukh will come 
out and break our ship and destroy us." ^ But they paid no heed 
to me and gave not over smiting upon the egg, when behold, the 
day grew dark and dun and the sun was hidden from us, as if 
some great cloud had passed over the firmament.^ So we raised 
our eyes and saw that what we took for a cloud was the Rukh 
poised between us and the sun, and it was his wings that darkened 
the day. When he came and saw his egg broken, he cried a loud 
cry, whereupon his mate came flying up and they both began 
circling about the ship, crying out at us with voices louder than 
thunder. I called to the Rais and crew, " Put out to sea and seek 
safety in flight, before we be all destroyed." So the merchants 
came on board and we cast off and made haste from the island to 
gain the open sea. When the Rukhs saw this, they flew off and we 
crowded all sail on the ship, thinking to get out of their country ; 
but presently the two re-appeared and flew after us and stood over 
us, each carrying in its claws a huge boulder which it had brought 
from the mountains. As soon as the he-Rukh came up with us, 
he let fall upon us the rock he held in his pounces ; but the master 
put about ship, so that the rock missed her by some small matter 
and plunged into the waves with such violence, that the ship pitched 
high and then sank into the trough of the sea and the bottom of 
the ocean appeared to us. Then the she-Rukh let fall her rock, 
which was bigger than that of her mate, and as Destiny had decreed, 
it fell on the poop of the ship and crushed it, the rudder flying into 
twenty pieces ; whereupon the vessel foundered and all and every- 
thing on board were cast into the main. ^ As for me I struggled 
for sweet life, till Almighty Allah threw in my way one of the 

* Like the Companions of Ulysses who ate the sacred oxen (Od. xii). 

' So the enormous kingfisher of Lucian's True History (lib. ii.). 

' This tale is borrowed from Ibn Al-Wardi, who adds that the greybeards awoke ia 
the morning after eating the young Rukh with black hair which never turned white. 
The same legend is recounted by Al-Dimiri (ob. A.H. 808 = 1405-6) who was trans- 
lated into Latin by Bochart (Hierozoicon ii. p. 854) and quoted by Hole and Lane 
(iii. 103). An excellent study of Marco Polo's Rukh was made by my learned friend 
the late Prof. G. G. Bianconi of Bologna," DeirUccello Rue," Bologna, Gamberini, iS6S. 
Prof. Bianconi predicted that other giant birds would be found in Madagascar on the 
East African Coast opposite ; but he died before hearing of Hildebrand's discovery. 
VOL. VL p 

50 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

planks of the ship, to which I clung and bestriding it, fell a-paddllng 
with my feet. Now the ship had gone down hard by an island in 
the midst of the main and the winds and waves bore me on till, by 
permission of the Most High, they cast me up on the shore of the 
island, at the last gasp for toil and distress and half dead with 
hunger and thirst. So I landed more like a corpse than a live 
tnan and throwing myself down on the beach, lay there awhile, 
till I began to revive and recover spirits, when I walked about the 
island and found it as it were one of the garths and gardens of 
Paradise. Its trees, in abundance dight, bore ripe-yellow fruit for 
freight ; its streams ran clear and bright ; its flowers were fair to 
scent and to sight and its birds warbled with delight the praises of 
Him to whom belong permanence and all-might. So I ate my fill 
of the fruits and slaked my thirst with the water of the streams 
till I could no more and I returned thanks to the Most High and 

glorified Him ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Xoto bfjen tt toas t!)e jpibe l^unlircU anU jpiftg=scbent]^ Nigfit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — So when I escaped drowning and reached 
the island which afforded me fruit to eat and water to drink, I 
returned thanks to the Most High and glorified Him ; after which 
I sat till nightfall, hearing no voice and seeing none inhabitant. 
Then I lay down, well-nigh dead for travail and trouble and terror, 
and slept without surcease till morning, when I arose and walked 
about under the trees, till I came to the channel of a draw-well fed 
by a spring of running water, by which well sat an old man of 
venerable aspect, girt about with a waist-cloth ^ made of the fibre 
of palm-fronds.2 Quoth I to myself, "Haply this Shaykh is of 
those who were wrecked in the ship and hath made his way to this 
island." So I drew near to him and saluted him, and he returned 
my salam by signs, but spoke not ; and I said to him, " O nuncle 

* Arab. " Izar," the earliest garb of Eastern man ; and, as such preserved in the 
Meccan pilgrimage. The " waist -cloth " is either tucked in or kept in place by a 

* Arab. "Li'f," a succedaneum for the unclean sponge, not unknown in the "Turkish 
Baths " of London. 

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 5 1 

mine, what causeth thee to sit here?" He shook his head and 
moaned and signed to me with his hand as who should say, " Take 
me on thy shoulders and carry me to the other side of the well- 
channel." And quoth I in my mind, ** I will deal kindly with him 
and do what he desireth ; it may be I shall win me a reward in 
Heaven for he may be a paralytic." So I took him on my back 
and carrying him to the place whereat he pointed, said to him, 
** Dismount at thy leisure." But he would not get off my back 
and wound his legs about my neck. I looked at them and seeing 
that they were like a buffalo's hide for blackness and roughness,* 
was affrighted and would have cast him off; but he clung to me 
and gripped my neck with his legs, till I was well-nigh choked, the 
world grew black in my sight and I fell senseless to the ground 
like one dead. But he still kept his seat and raising his legs 
drummed with his heels and beat harder than palm-rods my back 
and shoulders, till he forced me to rise for excess of pain. Then 
he signed to me with his hand to carry him hither and thither 
among the trees which bore the best fruits ; and if ever I refused 
to do his bidding or loitered or took my leisure he beat m.e with 
his feet more grievously than if I had been beaten with whips. 
He ceased not to signal with his hand wherever he was minded to 
go ; so I carried him about the island, like a captive slave, and he 
bepissed and conskited my shoulders and back, dismounting not 
night nor day ; and whenas he wished to sleep he wound his legs 
about my neck and leaned back and slept awhile, then arose and 
beat me ; whereupon I sprang up in haste, unable to gainsay him 
because of the pain he inflicted on me. And indeed I blamed 
myself and sore repented me of having taken compassion on him 

' The Persians have a Plinian monster called " Tasmeh-pa " = Strap-legs without 
bones. The "Old Man" is not an ourang-outang nor an Ifrlt as in Sayf al-Muluk, 
Night dcclxxi., but a jocose exaggeration of a custom prevailing in parts of Asia and 
especially in the African interior where the Tsetse-fly prevents the breeding of burden- 
ber.sts. Ibn Batutah tells us that in Malabar everything was borne upon men's backs. 
In Central Africa the kinglet rides a slave, and on ceremonious occasions mounts his 
Prime Minister. I have often been reduced to this style of conveyance and found man 
the worst imaginable riding : there is no hold and the sharpness of the shoulder-ridge 
soon makes the legs ache intolerably. The classicists of course find the Shaykh of the 
Sea in the Tritons and Nereus, and Bochart (Hiero. ii. 858, S80) notices the homo 
aquaticus, Senex Judseus and Senex Marinus. Hole (p. 151) suggests the inevitable 
ouran-outan (man o' wood), one of "our humiliating copyists," and quotes "Destiny" 
in Scarron's comical romance (Part ii. chapt. i) and "Jealousy" enfolding Rinaldo 
(O.F. Ub, 42). 

5 2 A If Laylah iva Lay I ah. 

and continued in this condition, suffering fatigue not to be de- 
scribed, till I said to myself, " I wrought him a weal and he 
requited me with my ill; by Allah, never more will I do any man 
a service so long as I live ! " And again, and again I besought the 
Most High that I might die, for stress of weariness and misery ; 
and thus I abode a long while till, one day, I came with him to a 
place wherein was abundance of gourds, many of them dry. So I 
took a great dry gourd and, cutting open the head, scooped out 
the inside and cleaned it ; after which I gathered grapes from a 
vine which grew hard by and squeezed them into the gourd, till it 
Vv'as full of the juice. Then I stopped up the mouth and set it in 
the sun, where I left it for some days, until it became strong wine ; 
and every day I used to drink of it, to comfort and sustain me 
under my fatigues with that froward and obstinate fiend ; and as 
often as I drank myself drunk, I forgot my troubles and took new 
heart. One day he saw me drinking and signed to me with his 
hand, as who should say, " What is that ?" Quoth I, " It is an 
excellent cordial, which cheereth the heart and reviveth the spirits." 
Then, being heated with wine, I ran and danced with him among 
the trees, clapping my hands and singing and making merry ; and 
I staggered under him by design. When he saw this, he signed to 
me to give him the gourd that he might drink, and I feared him 
and gave it him. So he took it and, draining it to the dregs, cast 
it on the ground, whereupon he grew frolicsome and began to 
clap hands and jig to and fro on my shoulders and he made water 
upon me so copiously that all my dress was drenched. But pre- 
sently the fumes of the wine rising to his head, he became help- 
lessly drunk and his side-muscles and limbs relaxed and he 
swayed to and fro on my back. When I saw that he had lost his 
senses for drunkenness, I put my hand to his legs and, loosing 
them from my neck, stooped down well-nigh to the ground and 

threw him at full length And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the 
Seaman continued : — So I threw the devil off my shoulders, hardly 
crediting my deliverance from him and fearing lest he should shake 
off his drunkenness and do me a mischief. Then I took up a great 

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 53 

stone from among the trees and coming up to him smote him 
therewith on the head with all my might and crushed in his skull 
as he lay dead drunk. Thereupon his flesh and fat and blood 
being in a pulp, he died and went to his deserts, The Fire, no 
mercy of Allah be upon him ! I then returned, with a heart at 
ease, to my former station on the sea-shore and abode in that 
inland many days, eating of its fruits and drinking of its waters 
and keeping a look-out for passing ships ; till one day, as I sat on 
the beach, recalling all that had befallen me and saying, " I wonder 
if Allah will save me alive and restore me to my home and family 
and friends ! " behold, a ship was making for the island through 
the dashing sea and clashing waves. Presently, it cast anchor and 
the passengers landed ; so I made for them, and when they saw me 
all hastened up to me and gathering round me questioned me of 
my case and how I came thither. I told them all that had betided 
me, whereat they marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, " He 
who rode on thy shoulder is called the * Shaykh al-Bahr ' or Old 
Man of the Sea,' and none ever felt his legs on neck and came off 
alive but thou ; and those who die under him he eateth : so praised 
be Allah for thy safety ! " Then they set somewhat of food before 
me, whereof I ate my fill, and gave me somewhat of clothes 
wherewith I clad myself anew and covered my nakedness ; after 
which they took me up into the ship, and we sailed days and 
nights, till fate brought us to a place called the City of Apes, 
builded with lofty houses, all of which gave upon the sea and it 
had a single gate studded and strengthened with iron nails. Now 
every night, as soon as it is dusk the dwellers in this city use to 
come forth of the gates and, putting out to sea in boats and 
ships, pass the night upon the waters in their fear lest the apes 
should come down on them from the mountains. Hearing this I 
was sore troubled remembering what I had before suffered from 
the ape-kind. Presently I landed to solace myself in the city, but 
meanwhile the ship set sail without me and I repented of having 

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

54 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

gone ashore, and calling to mind my companions and what had 
befallen me with the apes, first and after, sat down and fell 
a-weeping and lamenting. Presently one of the townsfolk accosted 
me and said to me, " O my lord, meseemeth thou art a stranger to 
these parts ? " " Yes," answered I, " I am indeed a stranger and a 
poor one, who came hither in a ship which cast anchor here, and 
I landed to visit the town ; but when I would have gone on board 
again, I found they had sailed without me." Quoth he, " Come 
and embark with us, for if thou lie the night in the city, the apes 
will destroy thee." " Hearkening and obedience," replied I, and 
rising, straightway embarked with him in one of the boats, where- 
upon they pushed off from shore and anchoring a mile or so from 
the land, there passed the night. At daybreak, they rowed back 
to the city and landing, went each about his business. Thus they 
did every night, for if any tarried in the town by night the apes 
came down on him and slew him. As soon as it was day, the 
apes left the place and ate of the fruits of the gardens, then went 
back to the mountains and slept there till nightfall, when they 
again came down upon the city.* Now this place was in the 
farthest part of the country of the blacks, and one of the strangest 
things that befel me during my sojourn in the city was on this 
wise. One of the company with whom I passed the night in the 
boat, asked me, " O my lord, thou art apparently a stranger in 
these parts ; hast thou any craft whereat thou canst work ? "; and 
I answered, " By Allah, O my brother, I have no trade nor know I 
any handicraft, for I was a merchant and a man of money and 
substance and had a ship of my own, laden with great store of 

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

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 5$ 

goods and merchandise; but it foundered at sea and all were 
drowned excepting me who saved myself on a piece of plank 
which Allah vouchsafed to me of His favour." Upon this he 
brought me a cotton bag and giving it to me, said, " Take this 
bag and fill it with pebbles from the beach and go forth with a 
company of the townsfolk to whom I will give a charge respecting 
thee. Do as they do and belike thou shalt gain what may further 
thy return voyage to thy native land." Then he carried me to the 
beach, where I filled my bag with pebbles large and small, and 
presently we saw a company of folk issue from the town, each 
bearing a bag like mine, filled with pebbles. To these he com- 
mitted me, commending jne to their care, and saying, "This man 
is a stranger, so take him with you and teach him how to gather, 
that he may get his daily bread, and you will earn your reward 
and recompense in Heaven." " On our head and eyes be it ! " 
answered they and bidding me welcome, fared on with me till we 
came to a spacious Wady, full of lofty trees with trunks so smooth 
that none might climb them. Now sleeping under these trees 
were many apes, which when they saw us rose and fled from us 
and swarmed up among the branches ; whereupon my companions 
began to pelt them with what they had in their bags, and the apes 
fell to plucking of the fruit of the trees and casting them at the 
folk. I looked at the fruits they cast at us and found them to be 
Indian * or cocoa nuts ; so I chose out a great tree, full of apes, 
and going up to it, began to pelt them with stones, and they m 
return pelted me with nuts, which I collected, as did the rest ; so 
that even before I had made an end of my bagful of pebbles, I 
had gotten great plenty of nuts ; and as soon as my companions 
had in like manner gotten as many nuts as they could carry, we 
returned to the city, where we arrived at the fag-end of day. Then 
I went in to the kindly man who had brought me in company 
with the nut-gatherers and gave him all I had gotten, thanking 
him for his kindness ; . but he would not accept them, saying, ** Sell 
them and make profit by the price ; and presently he added (giving 
me the key of a closet in his house) *' Store thy nuts in this safe 
place and go thou forth every morning and gather them as thou 

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


5 6 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

hast done to-day, and choose out the worst for sale and supplying 
thyself; but lay up the rest here, so haply thou mayst collect 
enough to serve thee for thy return home." " Allah requite thee ! " 
answered I and did as he advised me, going out daily with the 
cocoa-nut gatherers, who commended me to one another and 
showed me the best-stocked trees.^ Thus did I for some time, till 
I had laid up great store of excellent nuts, besides a large sum of 
money, the price of those I had sold. I became thus at my ease 
and bought all I saw and had a mind to, and passed my time 
pleasantly greatly enjoying my stay in the city, till, as I stood on 
the beach, one day, a great ship steering through the heart of the 
sea presently cast anchor by the shore and landed a company of 
merchants, who proceeded to sell and buy and barter their goods 
for cocoa-nuts and other commodities. Then I went to my friend 
and told him of the coming of the ship and how I had a 
mind to return to my own country ; and he said, " 'Tis for thee 
to decide." So I thanked him for his bounties and took leave of 
him ; then, going to the captain of the ship, I agreed with him for 
my passage and embarked my cocoa-nuts and what else I pos- 
sessed. We weighed anchor And Shahrazad perceived th^ 

da'vn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

NohJ toB^n (t hjas tfie §'\^t |t^untfrc>( anif j[f{ftB--nintI) Ki£t)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — So I left the City of the Apes and em- 
barked my cocoa-nuts and what else I possessed. We weighed 
anchor the same day and sailed from island to island and sea to sea ; 
and whenever we stopped, I sold and traded with my cocoa-nuts, 
and the Lord requited me more than I erst had and lost. Amongst 
other places, v/e came to an island abounding in cloves ^ and cinna- 
iiion and pepper ; and the country people told me that by the side 
of each pepper-bunch groweth a great leaf which shadeth it from 
the sun and casteth the water off it in the wet season ; but, when 
the rain ceaseth the leaf turneth over and droopeth down by the 

* Tomb-pictures in Egypt show tame monkeys gathering fruits and Grossier (Descrip- 
tion of China, quoted by Hole and Lane) mentions a similar mode of harvesting tea by 
irritating the monkeys of the Middle Kingdom. 

' Bresl. Edit. Cloves and cinnamon in those days grew in widely distant places. 

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 5/ 

side of the bunch.' Here I took in great store of pepper and 
cloves and cinnamon, in exchange for cocoa-nuts, and we passed 
thence to the Island of Al-Usirdt,' whence cometh the Comorin 
aloes-wood and thence to another island, five days' journey in 
length, where grows the Chinese lign-aloes, which is better than the 
Comorin ; but the people of this island' are fouler of condition 
and religion than those of the other, for that they love fornication 
and wine-bibbing, and know not prayer nor call to prayer. Thence 
we came to the pearl-fisheries, and I gave the divers some of my 
cocoa-nuts and said to them, " Dive for my luck and lot ! " They 
did so and brought up from the deep bight ^ great store of large 
and priceless pearls ; and they said to me, "By Allah, O my master, 
thy luck is a lucky ! " Then we sailed on, with the blessing of 
Allah (whose name be exalted !^ ; and ceased not sailing till we 
arrived safely at Bassorah. There I abode a little and then went on 
to Baghdad, where I entered my quarter and found my house and 
foregathered with my family and saluted my friends who gave me 
joy of my safe return, and I laid up all my goods and valuables 
in my storehouses. Then I distributed alms and largesse and 
clothed the widow and the orphan and made presents to my 
relations and comrades ; for the Lord had requited me fourfold 
that I had lost. After which I returned to my old merry way of 
life and forgot all I had suffered in the great profit and gain I had 
made. Such, then, is the history of my fifth voyage and its 
wonderments, and now to supper ; and to-morrow, come again and 
I will tell you what befel me in my sixth voyage ; for it was still 
more wonderful than this. (Saith he who telleth the tale). Then 
he called for food ; and the servants spread the table, and 
when they had eaten the evening-meal, he bade give Sindbad the 

* In pepper-plantations it is usual to set bananas {Musa Paradisiacd) for shading the 
jroung shrubs which bear bunches like ivy-fruit, not pods. 

■■^ The Bresl. Edit, has " Al-Ma'arat." Langles calls it the Island of Al-Kamari. See 
Lane, iii. 86. 

3 Insula, pro peninsula. *' Comorin " is a corrupt, of " Kanya " (= Virgo, the goddess 
Durga) and " Kumari " (a maid, a princess) ; from a temple of Shiva's wife : hence 
Ptolemy's KaJpv a.Kpov and near it to the N. East KofJiapLa uKpov koL ttoAis^ 
" Promontorium Cori quod Comorini caput insulse vocant," says Maffseus (Hist. Indie, 
i. p. i6). In the text " Al 'ud " refers to the eagle-wood (Aloekylon Agallochum) so called 
because spotted like the bird's plume. That of Champa (Cochin-China, mentioned by 
Camoens, The Lus. x. 129) is still famous. 

* Arab. " Birkat " = tank, pool, reach, bight. Hence Birkat Far'aun ia the Sues 
Culf (Pilgrimage i. 297). 

58 Alf Laytak wa Laylak. 

porter an htmdred golden dinars and the Landsman returned home 
and lay him down to sleep, much marvelling at all he had heard. 
•Next morning, as soon as it was light, he prayed the dawn-prayer; 
and, after blessing Mohammed the Cream of all creatures, betook 
himself to the house of Sindbad the Seaman and wished him a 
good day. The merchant bade him sit and talked with him, till 
the rest of the company arrived. Then the servants spread the 
table and when they had well eaten and drunken and were mirth- 
ful and merry, Sindbad the Seaman began in these words the 
Inarrative of 


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

Preserver. And Shcihrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

XolD h)^£n It tons tbe Jpibt l^untiteti onti Sbtxtiet^ ISfi^ 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued :— And after embarking my bales and 
leaving Bassorah in safety and good spirits, we continued oar 

The Sixth Voyage of Siiidbad the Seaman. 59 

voyage^^from place to place and from city to city, buying and 
selling and profiting and diverting ourselves with the sight of 
countries where strange folk dwell. And Fortune and the voyaga 
smiled upon us, till one day, as we went along, behold, the captain. 
suddenly cried with a great cry and cast his turband on the deck. 
Then he buffeted his face like a woman and plucked out his beard 
and fell down in the waist of the ship well nigh fainting for stress, 
of grief and rage, and crying, " Oh and alas for the ruin of m)r» 
house and the orphanship of my poor children !" So all the mer- 
chants and sailors came round about him and asked him, " O 
master, what is the matter ? "; for the light had become night 
before their sight. And he answered, saying, " Know, O folk, that 
we have wandered from our course and left the sea whose ways we 
wot, and come into a sea whose ways I know not ; and unless 
Allah vouchsafe us a means of escape, we are all dead men ; where- 
fore pray ye to the Most High, that He deliver us from this strait. 
Haply amongst you is one righteous whose prayers the Lord will 
accept." Then he arose and clomb the mast to see an there were 
any escape from that strait ; and he would have loosed the sails ; 
but the wind redoubled upon the ship and whirled her round thrice 
and drave her backwards; whereupon her rudder brake and she 
fell off towards a high mountain. With this the captain came 
down from the mast, saying, " There is no Majesty and there is no 
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ; nor can man prevent 
that which is fore-ordained of fate ! By Allah, we are fallen on a 
place of sure destruction, and there is no way of escape for us, nor 
can any of us be saved !" Then we all fell a-weeping over ourselves 
and bidding one another farewell for that our days were come to 
an end, and we had lost all hopes of life. Presently the ship struck 
the mountain and broke up, and all and everything on board of 
her were plunged into the sea. Some of the merchants were 
drowned and others made shift to reach the shore and save them- 
selves upon the mountain ; I amongst the number, and when we 
got ashore, we found a great island, or rather peninsula^ whose 
base was strewn with wreckage of crafts and goods and gear cast 
up by the sea from broken ships whose passengers had been 
drowned; and the quantity confounded compt and calculation. 

• Probably Cape Comorin ; to judge from the river, but the text names Sarandib 
(Ceylon Island) famous for gems. iThis was noticed by Marco Polo, iii. cap. 19 ; and 
•ncient autiuus relate the same of " Taprobane." 

60 Alf Lay I ah wa Lay I ah. 

So I climbed the cliffs into the inward of the isle and walked on 
inland, till I came to a stream of sweet water, that welled up at the 
nearest foot of the mountains and disappeared in the earth under 
the range of hills on the opposite side. But all the other pas- 
sengers went over the mountains to the inner tracts ; and, dis- 
persing hither and thither, were confounded at what they saw and 
became like madmen at the sight of the wealth and treasures 
wherewith the shores were strewn. As for me I looked into the 
bed of the stream aforesaid and saw therein great plenty of rubies, 
and great royal pearls ' and all kinds of jewels and precious stones 
which were as gravel in the bed of the rivulets that ran through 
the fields, and the sands sparkled and glittered with gems and 
precious ores. Moreover we found in the island abundance of 
the finest lign-aloes, both Chinese and Comorin ; and there also 
is a spring of crude ambergris ^ which floweth like wax or gum 
over the stream-banks, for the great heat of the sun, and runneth 
down to the sea-shore, where the monsters of the deep come up 
and swallowing it, return into the sea. But it burneth in their 
bellies ; so they cast it up again and it congealeth on the surface 
of the water, whereby its colour and quantities are changed ; and 
at last, the waves cast it ashore, and the travellers and merchants 
who know it, collect it and sell it. But as to the raw ambergris 
which is not swallowed, it floweth over the channel and congealeth 
on the banks and when the sun shineth on it, it melteth and 
scenteth the whole valley with a musk-like fragrance : then, when 
the sun ceaseth from it, it congealeth again. But none can get to 
this place where is the crude ambergris, because of the mountains 

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

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

The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 6r 

which enclose the island on all sides and which foot of man cannot 
ascend.' We continued thus to explore the island, marvelling at 
the wonderful works of Allah and the riches we found there, but 
sore troubled for our own case, and dismayed at our prospects. 
Now we had picked up on the beach some small matter of victual 
from the wreck and husbanded it carefully, eating but once every 
day or two, in our fear lest it should fail us and we die miserably 
of famine and affright. Moreover, we were weak for colic brought 
on by sea-sickness and low diet, and my companions deceased, 
one after other, till there was but a small company of us left. 
Each that died we washed and shrouded in some of the clothes 
and linen cast ashore by the tides ; and after a little, the rest of 
my fellows perished, one by one, till I had buried the last of the 
party and abode alone on the island, with but a little provision 
left, I who was wont to have so much. And I wept over myself, 
saying, " Would Heaven I had died before my companions and 
they had washed me and buried me ! It had been better than I 
should perish and none wash me and shroud me and bury me. 
But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 

Glorious, the Great ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sind- 
bad the Seaman continued in these words : — Now after I had 
buried the last of my party and abode alone on the island, 
I arose and dug me a deep grave on the sea-shore, saying 
to myself, ** Whenas I grow weak and know that death cometh 
to me, I will cast myself into the grave and die there, so the 
wind may drift the sand over me and cover me and I be 
buried therein."^ Then I fell to reproaching myself for my 
little wit in leaving my native land and betaking me again to 

* The tale-teller forgets that Sindbad and his companions have just ascended it ; but 
this inconsequence is a characteristic of the Eastern Saga. I may note that the descriptjoa 
cf ambergris in the text tells us admirably well what it is not. 

^ This custom is alluded to by Lane (Mod. Egypt, ch. xv.) : it is the rule of pilgrims 
to Meccah when too ill to walk or ride (Pilgrimage i. i8o). Hence all men carry their 
shrouds : mine, after being dipped in the Holy Water of Zemzem, was stolen from me 
by the rascalljf Somal of Berberah. 

62 Alf LaylaJi wa Laylak. 

travel, after all I had suffered during my first five voyages, and 
when I had not made a single one without suffering more horrible 
perils and more terrible hardships than in its forerunner and 
having no hope of escape from my present stress ; and I repented 
me of my folly and bemoaned myself, especially as I had no need 
of money, seeing that I had enough and more than enough and 
could not spend what I had, no, nor a half of it in all my life. 
However, after a while Allah sent me a thought and I said to 
;fnyself, " By God, needs must this stream have an end as well as 
'e beginning ; ergo an issue somewhere, and belike its course may 
lead to some inhabited place ; so my best plan is to make me a 
little boat* big enough to sit in, and carry it and launching it on 
the river, embark therein and drop down the stream. If I escape, 
I escape, by God's leave ; and if I perish, better die in the river 
than here-" Then, sighing for myself, I set to work collecting 
a number of pieces of Chinese and Comorin aloes-wood and 
I bound them together with ropes from the wreckage ; then I 
chose out from the broken up ships straight planks of even size 
and fixed them firmly upon the aloes-wood, making me a boat- 
raft a little narrower than the channel of the stream ; and I tied 
it tightly and firmly as though it were nailed. Then I loaded it 
with the goods, precious ores and jewels : and the union pearls 
which were like gravel and the best of the ambergris crude and 
pure, together with what I had collected on the island and what 
was left me of victual and wild herbs. Lastly I lashed a piece 
of wood on either side, to serve me as oars ; and launched it» and 
embarking, did according to the saying of the poet : — 

Fly, fly with life whenas evils threat ; o Leave the house to tell of its builder's 

Land after land shalt thou seek and find o But no other life on thy wish shall 

wait : 
Fret not thy soul in thy thoughts o' night ; o All woes shall end or sooner oi 

Whoso is bom in one land to die, o There and only there shall gang his 

gait : 
J^Ior trust great things to another wight, • Soul hath only soul for confederate* 

My boat-raft drifted with the stream, I pondering the issue of my 
affair ; and the drifting ceased not till I came to the place where 

» Arab. " Fulk ;" some Edits, read '* Kalak " and " Ramaz " (= a raft). 
* These lines occur in modified form in Night xi« 

ihe Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 63 

it disappeared beneath the mountain. I rowed my conveyance 
into the place which was intensely dark; and the current carried 
the raft with it down the underground channel.* The thin stream 
bore me on through a narrow tunnel where the raft touched either 
side and my head rubbed against the roof, return therefrom being 
impossible. Then I blamed myself for having thus risked my life, 
and said, " If this passage grow any straiter, the raft will hardly 
pass, and I cannot turn back ; so I shall invitably perish miserably 
in this place." And 1 threw myself down upon my face on the 
raft, by reason of the narrowness of the channel, whilst the stream 
ceased not to carry me along, knowing not night from day, for the 
excess of the gloom which encompassed me about and my terror 
and concern for myself lest I should perish. And in such condi- 
tion my course continued down the channel which now grew wider 
and then straiter till, sore aweary by reason of the darkness which 
could be felt, I fell asleep, as I lay prone on the raft, and I slept 
knowing not an the time were long or short. When I awoke at last, 
I found myself in the light of Heaven and opening my eyes I saw 
myself in a broad of the stream and the raft moored to an island in 
the midst of a number of Indians and Abyssinians. As soon as 
these blackamoors ^ saw that I was awake, they came up to me and 
bespoke me in their speech ; but I understood not what they said 
and thought that this was a dream and a vision which had betided 
me for stress of concern and chagrirU' But I was delighted at my 
escape from the river. When they saw I understood them not and 
made them no answer, one of them came forward and said to me in 
Arabic, " Peace be with thee, O my brother ! Who art thou and 
whence faredst thou hither } How earnest thou into this river and 
what manner of land lies behind yonder mountains, for never 
knew we any one make his way thence to us "i " Quoth I, " And 

' These underground rivers (which Dr. Livingstone derided) are familar to every 
geographer from Spenser's *'Mole" to the Poika of Adelberg and the Timavo near 
Trieste. Hence " Peter Wilkins" borrowed his cavern v/hich led him to Grandevolet. 
I have some experience of Sindbad's sorrows, having once attempted to descend the Poika 
00 foot. The Classics had the Alpheus (Pliny v. 31 ; and Seneca, Nat. Quae, vi.), and 
the Tigris-Euphrates supposed to flow underground : and the Medisevals knew the Abana 
of Damascus and the Zenderud of Isfahan. 

' Abyssinians can hardly be called "blackamoors," but the arrogance of the white 
skin shows itself in Easterns {e.g. Turks and Brahmans) as much as, if not more than, 
amongst Europeans. Southern India at the time it was explored by VaSOO da Gama wr.s 
crowded with Abyssinian slaves imported by the Arabs. 

64 ^V^ Laylah wa Laylak, 

upon thee be peace and the ruth of Allah and his blessing ! Who 
are ye and what country is this ? " " O my brother," answered he, 
" we arc husbandmen and tillers of the soil, who came out to 
water our fields and plantations ; and, finding thee asleep on this 
raft, laid hold of it and made it fast by us, against thou shouldst 
awake at thy leisure. So tell us how thou camest hither ? " I 
answered, " For Allah's sake, O my lord, ere I speak give me some- 
what to eat, for I am starving, and after ask me what thou 
wilt." So he hastened to fetch me food and I ate my fill, till 
I was refreshed and my fear was calmed by a good belly-full 
and my life returned to me. Then I rendered thanks to the 
Most High for mercies great and small, glad to be out of the 
river and rejoicing to be amongst them, and I told them all my 
adventures from first to last, especially my troubles in the narrow 

channel. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

l^otD fof)«n It foas ti)e Jpibe f^unljreif anU ^ixts^seconlr Nfgbt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad the 
Seaman continued : — When I landed and found myself amongst 
the Indians and Abyssinians and had taken some rest, they con- 
sulted among themselves and said to one another, " There is 
no help for it but we carry him with us and present him to our 
King, that he may acquaint him with his adventures." So they 
took me, together with the raft-boat and its lading of monies and 
merchandise ; jewels, minerals and golden gear, and brought me 
to their King, who was King of Sarandib,' telling him what had 
happened ; whereupon he saluted me and bade me welcome 
Then he questioned me of my condition and adventures through 
the man who had spoken Arabic and I repeated to him my story 
from beginning to end, whereat he marvelled exceedingly and gave 
me joy of my deliverance ; after which I arose and fetched from 

» "Sarandib" and "Ceylon" (the Taprobane of Ptolemy and Diodorus Sicalus) 
derive from the Pali " Sihalam " (not the Sansk. "Sinhala") shortened to Silam and 
11am in old Tamul. Van der Tunk would find it in the Malay " Pulo Selam " r: Isle of 
Gems (the Ratna-dwi'pa or Jewel Isle of the Hindus and the Jarirat al-Yakut or Ruby- 
Island of the Arabs) ; and the learned Colonel Yule (Marco Polo ii. 296) remarks that 
we have adopted many Malayan names, e.g. Pegu, China and Japan. Sarandib is clearl7 
" Selan-dwipa," which Mandeville reduced to " Silha." 

The Sixlk Voyagi of Sindbad the Seaman, 63 

tlie raft great store of precious ores and jewels and ambergris and 
lign-aloes and presented them to the King, who accepted them and 
entreated me with the utmost honour, appointing me a lodging in 
his own palace. So I consorted with the chief of the islanders, and 
they paid me the utmost respect. And I quitted not the royal 
palace. Now the Island Sarandib lieth under the equinoctial line, 
its night and day both numbering twelve hours. It measureth 
eighty leagues long by a breadth of thirty and its width is 
bounded by a lofty mountain ^ and a deep valley. The mountain 
is conspicious from a distance of three days and it containeth 
many kinds of rubies and other minerals, and spice-trees of all 
sorts. The surface is covered with emery wherewith gems are cut 
and fashioned ; diamonds are in its rivers and pearls are in its 
valleys. I ascended that mountain and solaced myself with a view 
of its marvels which are indescribable and afterwards I returned to 
the King.2 Thereupon, all the travellers and merchants who came 
to the place questioned me of the affairs of my native land and of 
the Caliph Harun al-Rashid and his rule and I told them of him 
and of that wherefor he was renowned, and they praised him 
because of this ; whilst I in turn questioned them of the manners 
and customs of their own countries and got the knowledge I 
desired. One day, the King himself asked me of the fashions and 
form of government of my country, and I acquainted him with the 
circumstance of the Caliph's sway in the city of Baghdad and the 
justice of his rule. The King marvelled at my account of his 
appointments and said, "By Allah, the Caliph's ordinances are 
indeed wise and his fashions of praiseworthy guise and thou hast 
made me love him by what thou tellest me ; wherefore I have 
a mind to make him a present and send it by thee." Quoth I, 
" Hearkening and obedience, O my lord ; I will bear thy gift to 
him and inform him that thou art his sincere lover and true 
friend." Then I abode with the King in great honour and regard 
and consideration for a long while till, one day, as I sat in his 
palace, I heard news of a company of merchants, that were fitting 
out a ship for Bassorah, and said to myself, " I cannot do better 

* This is the well-known Adam's Peak, the Jabal al-Ramun of the Arabs where Adam 
fell when cast out of Eden in the lowest or lunar sphere. Eve fell at Jeddah (a modera 
myth) and the unhappy pair met at Mount Arafat (ji.e. recognition) near Meccah. That 
their fall was a fall indeed. (Pilgrimage iii. 259). 

' He is the Alcinous of our Arabian Odyssy. 


66 Alf Laylak wa Laylak, 

than voyage with these men." So I rose without stay or delay 
and kissed the King's hand and acquainted him with my longing 
to set out with the merchants, for that I pined after my people 
and mine own land. Quoth he, " Thou art thine own master ; yet, 
if it be thy will to abide with us, on our head and eyes be it, for 
thou gladdenest us with thy company." " By Allah, O my lord,** 
answered I, " thou hast indeed overwhelmed me with thy favours 
and well-doings ; but I weary for a sight of my friends and family 
and native country." When he heard this, he summoned the 
merchants in question and commended me to their care, paying 
my freight and passage-money. Then he bestowed on me great 
riches from his treasuries and charged me with a magnificent 
present for the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Moreover he gave me 
a sealed letter, saying, " Carry this with thine own hand to the 
Commander of the Faithful and give him many salutations fronts 
us ! " " Hearing and obedience," I replied. The missive was 
written on the skin of the Khawi^ (which is finer than lamb- 
parchment and of yellow colour), with ink of ultramarine and the 
contents were as follows. " Peace be with thee from the King of 
Al-Hind, before whom are a thousand elephants and upon whose 
palace-crenelles are a thousand jewels. But after (laud to the 
Lord and praises to His Prophet !) : we send thee a trifling gift 
which be thou pleased to accept. Thou art to us a brother and 
a sincere friend ; and great is the love we bear for thee in heart ; 
favour us therefore with a reply. The gift besitteth not thy dignity: 
but we beg of thee, O our brother, graciously to accept it and peace 
be with thee." And the present was a cup of ruby a span high* 
the inside of which was adorned with precious pearls; and a bed 
covered with the skin of the serpent which swalloweth the elephant^ 
which skin hath spots each like a dinar and whoso sitteth upon 
it never sickeneth ; ' and an hundred thousand miskals of Indian 

* This word is not in the dictionaries ; Hole (p. 192) and Lane understand it to meaa 
the hog-deer; but why, one cannot imagine. The animal is neither " beautiful" not 
" uncommon" and most men of my day have shot dozens in the Sind-Shikirgahs. 

' M. Polo speaks of a ruby in Seilan (Ceylon) a palm long and three fingers thick: 
William of Tyre mentions a ruby weighing twelve Egyptian drams (Gibbon ii. 123), and 
MandeviUe makes the King of Mammera wear about his neck a "rubye orient" on« 
foot long by five fingers large. 

• The fable is from Al-Katwfh? and Ibn Al-Wardi who place the serpent («n animal 
•acred to /Bsculapius, Pliny, xxbc. 4) " in th&sear of 2^nj " {i.e. Zanzibar). In the "garrow 
hills " of N. Eastern Bengal Uie akin of the snake Burrawar (?) is hdd to cure pain (AaiaS» 
Iks. vol. iH.). 

The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman, 67 

lig^-aloes and a slave-girl like a shining moon.. Then I took leave 
of him and of all my intimates and acquaintances in the island and 
embarked with the merchants aforesaid. We sailed with a fair 
wind, committing ourselves to the care of Allah (be He extolled 
and exalted !) and by His permission arrived at Bassorah, where 
I passed a few days and nights equipping myself and packing up 
my bales. Then I went on to Baghdad-city, the House of Peace, 
.where I sought an audience of the Caliph and laid the King's 
presents before him. He asked me whence they came and I said 
to him, " By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I know not the 
name of the city nor the way thither ! " He then asked me, " O 
Sindbad, is this true which the King writeth ? " ; and I answered, 
after kissing the ground, " O my loi-d, I saw in his kingdom much 
more than he hath written in his letter. For state processions a 
throne is set for him upon a huge elephant, eleven cubits high : 
and upon this he sitteth having his great lords and officers and 
guests standing in two ranks, on his right hand and on his left. 
At his head is a man bending in hand a golden javelin and behind 
him another with a great mace of gold whose head is an emerald • 
a span long and as thick as a man's thumb. And when he 
mounteth horse there mount with him a thousand horsemen clad 
in gold brocade and silk ; and as the King proceedeth a man 
precedeth him, crying, This is the King of great dignity, of high 
authority ! And he continueth to repeat his praises in words I 
remember not, saying at the end of his panegyric, This is the 
King owning the crown whose like nor Solomon nor the Mihraj' 
ever possessed. Then he is silent and one behind him proclaimeth, 
saying, He will die ! Again I say he will die ! ; and the other 
addeth, Extolled be the perfection of the Living who dieth not ! ' 
Moreover by reason of his justice and ordinance and intelligence, 
there is no Kazi in his city, and all his lieges distinguish between 
Truth and Falsehood." Quoth the Caliph, " How great is this 

' For " Emerald," Hole (p. 177) would read emery or adamantine spar- 

* Evidently Maharaj = Great Rajah, Rajah in Chief, an Hindu title common to the 

three potentates before alluded to, the Narsinga, Balhara or Samiry. 

3 This is probably classical. So the page said to Philip of Macedon every morning, 

" Remember, Philip, thou art mortal " ; also the slave in the Roman Triumph, 
Respice post te : hominem te esse memento ! 

And the dying Severus, " Umlet, soon shalt thou enclose what hardly a whole world 

could contain." But the custom may also have been Indian : the contrast of external 

pomp with the ceal vanity of human life suggests itself to all. 

68 Alf Laylah wa Layiah. 

King ! His letter hath shown me this ; and as for the mightiness 
of his dominion thou hast told us what thou hast eye- witnessed. 
By Allah, he hath been endowed with wisdom as with wide rule." 
Then I related to the Commander of the Faithful all that had 
befallen me in my last voyage ; at which he wondered exceedingly 
and bade his historians record my story and store it up in his 
treasuries, for the edification of all who might see it. Then he 
conferred on me exceeding great favours, and I repaired to my 
quarter and entered my home, where I warehoused all my goods 
and possessions. Presently, my friends came to me and I dis- 
tributed presents among my family and gave alms and largesse ; 
after which I yielded myself to joyance and enjoyment, mirth 
and merry-making, and forgot all that I had suffered. Such, then, 
O my brothers, is the history of what befel me in my sixth voyagei 
and to-morrow, Inshallah ! I will tell you the story of my seventh 
and last voyage, which is still more wondrous and marvellous than 
that of the first six. (Saith he who telleth the tale). Then he bade 
lay the table, and the company supped with him ; after which he 
gave the Porter an hundred dinars, as of wont, and they all went 
their ways, marvelling beyond measure at that which they had 

heard. And Shahrazad perceived, the dawn of day and teased 

saying her permitted say. 

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


Know, O company, that after my return from my sixth voyage, 
which brought me abundant profit, I resumed my former life in 
all possible joyance and enjoyment and mirth and making merry 
day and night; and I tarried some time in this solace and satis- 

The Seventh ^Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 69 

faction till my soul began once more to long to sail the seas and 
see foreign countries and company with merchants and hear new 
things. So having made up my mind, I packed up in bales a 
quantity of precious stuffs suited for sea-trade and repaired with 
them from Baghdad-city to Bassorah-town, where I found a ship 
ready for sea, and in her a company of considerable merchants. I 
shipped with them and becoming friends, we set forth on our venture, 
in health and safety ; and sailed with a fair wind, till we came to a 
city called Mad{nat-al-Sin ; but after we had left it, as we fared on 
in all cheer and confidence, devising of trafific and travel, behold, 
there sprang up a violent head-wind and a tempest of rain fell on 
us and drenched us and our goods. So we covered the bales with 
our cloaks and garments and drugget and canvas, lest they be 
spoiled by the rain, and betook ourselves to prayer and suppli- 
cation to Almighty Allah and humbled ourselves before Him for 
deliverance from the peril that was upon us.' But the captain 
arose and tightening his girdle tucked up his skirts and, after 
taking refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned, clomb to the 
mast-head, whence he looked out right and left and gazing at the 
passengers and crew fell to buffeting his face and plucking out his 
beard. So we cried to him, " O Rais, what is the matter ? " ; and 
he replied saying, " Seek ye deliverance of the Most High from 
the strait into which we have fallen and bemoan yourselves and 
take leave of one another ; for know that the wind hath gotten the 
mastery of us and hath driven us into the uttermost of the seas of 
the world." Then he came down from the mast-head and opening 
his sea-chest, pulled out a bag of blue cotton, from which he took 
a powder like ashes. This he set in a saucer wetted with a little 
water and, after waiting a short time, smelt and tasted it ; and then 
fcie took out of the chest a booklet, wherein he read awhile and said 
weeping, " Know, O ye passengers, that in this book is a mar- 
vellous matter, denoting that whoso cometh hither shall surely die, 
without hope of escape ; for that this ocean is called the Sea of the 
Clime of the King, wherein is the sepulchre of our lord Solomon, 
son of David (on both be peace !) and therein are serpents of vast 
bulk and fearsome aspect : and what ship soever cometh to these 
climes there riseth to her a great fish > out of the sea and swalloweth 
her ao with all and everything on board her." Hearing these 

' Arab. "Hut"; a term applied to Jonah's whale and to monsters of the deep, 
" Samak " being the common fishes. 

TO Alf Laylak wa Laytak. 

words from the captain great was our wonder, but hardly had he 
made an end of speaking, when the ship was lifted out of the water 
and let fall again and we applied to praying the death-prayer ' and 
committing our souls to Allah. Presently we heard a terrible great 
cry like the loud-pealing thunder, whereat we were terror-struck and 
became as dead men, giving ourselves up for lost. Then behold, 
there came up to us a huge fish, as big as a tall mountain, at whose 
sight we became wild for affright and, weeping sore, made ready 
for death, marvelling at its vast size and gruesome semblance ; 
when lo ! a second fish made its appearance than which we had 
seen naught more monstrous. So we bemoaned ourselves of our 
lives and farewelled one another ; but suddenly up came a third 
fish bigger than the two first ; whereupon we lost the power of 
thought and reason and were stupefied for the excess of our fear 
and horror. Then the three fish began circling round about the 
ship and the third and biggest opened his mouth to swallow it, 
and we looked into its mouth and behold, it was wider than the 
gate of a city and its throat was like a long valley. So we besought 
the Almighty and called for succour upon His Apostle (on whom 
be blessing and peace !), when suddenly a violent squall of wind 
arose and smote the ship, which rose out of the water and settled 
upon a great reef, the haunt of sea-monsters, where it broke up 
and fell asunder into planks and all and everything on board were 
plunged into the sea. As for me, I tore off all my clothes but my 
gown and swam a little way, till I happened upon one of the ship's 
planks whereto I clung and bestrode it like a horse, whilst the 
winds and the waters sported with me and the waves carried mc 
up and cast me down ; and I was in most piteous plight for fear 
and distress and hunger and thirst. Then I reproached myself 
for what I had done and my soul was weary after a life of ease 
and comfort ; and I said to myself, " O Sindbad, O Seaman, thou 
repentest not and yet thou art ever suffering hardships and travails; 
yet wilt thou not renounce sea-travel ; or, an thou say, * I renounce/ 
thou liest in thy renouncement. Endure then with patience that 
which thou sufferest, for verily thou deservest all that betideth 

thee ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

to say her permitted say. 

' Usually a two-bow prayer. 

The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 71 

lifofo fojbfn it foas tjje jpi'be l^unlireti anli Sbixtg-fourt^ Nigtt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman continued : — But when I had bestridden the plank, 
quoth I to myself, " Thou deservest all that betideth thee. All 
this is decreed to me of Allah (whose name be exalted !), to turn 
me from my greed of gain, whence ariseth all that I endure, for I 
have wealth galore." Then I returned to my senses and said, "In 
very sooth, this time I repent to the Most High, with a sincere 
repentance, of my lust for gain and venture ; and never will I again 
name travel with tongue nor in thought" And I ceased not to 
humble myself before Almighty Allah and weep and bewail myself, 
recalling my former estate of solace and satisfaction and mirth an4 
merriment and joyance ; and thus I abode two days, at the end of 
which time I came to a great island abounding in trees and streams. 
There I landed and ate of the fruits of the island and drank of its 
waters, till I was refreshed and my life returned to me and my 
strength and spirits were restored and I recited : — 

Oft when thy case shows knotty and tangled skein, o Fate downs from Heaven 

and straightens every ply : ' 

In patience keep thy soul till clear thy lot © For He who ties the knot 

can eke untie. 

Then I walked about, till I found on the further side, a great river 
of sweet water, running with a strong current ; whereupon I called 
to mind the boat-raft I had made aforetime and said to myself, 
*' Needs must I make another ; haply I may free me from this 
strait. If I escape, I liave my desire and I vow to Allah Almighty 
to forswear travel; and if I perish I shall be at peace and shall 
rest from toil and moil." So I rose up and gathered together great 
store of pieces of wood from the trees (which were all of the finest 
sanders-wood, whose like is not albe I knew it not), and made shift 
to twist creepers and tree-twigs into a kind of rope, with which I 
bound the billets together and so contrived a raft. Then saying, 
"An I be saved, 'tis of God's grace," I embarked thereon and 
committed myself to the current, and it bore me on for the first 
day and the second and the third after leaving the island ; whilst 
I lay in the raft, eating not and drinking, when I was athirst, of 
the water of the river, till I was v/eak and giddy as a chicken, for 

72 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

stress of fatigue and famine and fear. At the end of this time 
I came to a high mountain, whereunder ran the river ; which when 
I saw, I feared for my life by reason of the straitness I had suffered 
in my former journey, and I would fain have stayed the raft and 
landed on the mountain-side ; but the current overpowered me and 
drew it into the subterranean passage like an archway ; whereupon 
I gave myself up for lost and said, " There is no Majesty and there 
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " However, 
after a little, the raft glided into open air and I saw before me a 
wide valley, whereinto the river fell with a noise like the rolling of 
thunder and a swiftness as the rushing of the wind. I held on to 
.the raft, for fear of falling off it, whilst the waves tossed me right 
and Jeft ; and the craft continued to descend with the current nor 
could I avail to stop it nor turn it shorewards, till it stopped with 
me at a great and goodly city, grandly edified and containing much 
people. And when the townsfolk saw me on the raft, dropping 
down with the current, they threw me out ropes which I had not 
jStrength enough to hold ; then they tossed a net over the craft and 
idrew it ashore with me, whereupon I fell to the ground amidst 
them, as I were a dead man, for stress of fear and hunger and lack 
of sleep. After a while, there came up to me out of the crowd an 
old man of reverend aspect, well stricken in years, who welcomed 
,me and threw over me abundance of handsome clothes, wherewith 
11 covered my nakedness. Then he carried me to the Hammam- 
bath and brought me cordial sherbets and delicious perfumes; 
moreover, when I came out, he bore me to his house, where his 
people made much of me and, seating me in a pleasant place, set 
rich food before me, whereof I ate my fill and returned thanks to 
God the Most High for my deliverance. Thereupon his pages 
^fetched me hot water, and I washed my hands, and his handmaids 
^brought me silken napkins, with which I dried them and wiped 
my mouth. Also the Shaykh set apart for me an apartment in a 
part of his house and charged his pages and slave-girls to wait 
upon me and do my will and supply my wants. They were 
assiduous in my service, and I abode with him in the guest- 
chamber three days, taking my ease of good eating and good 
drinking and good scents till life returned to me and my terrors 
subsided and my heart was calmed and my mind was eased. On 
the fourth day the Shaykh, my host, came in to me and said, 
** Thou cheerest us with thy company, O my son, and praised be 
Allah for thy safety ! Say : wilt thou now come down with me to 

The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 73 

the beach and the bazar and sell thy goods and take their price ? 
Belike thou mayst buy thee wherewithal to traffic. I have ordered 
my servants to renaove thy stock-in-trade from the sea and they 
have piled it on the shore." I was silent awhile and said to my- 
self, " What mean these words and what goods have I } " Then 
said he, "O my son, be not troubled nor careful, but come with 
me to the market and if any offer for thy goods what price con- 
tenteth thee, take it ; but, an thou be not satisfied, I will lay them 
up for thee in my warehouse, against a fitting occasion for sale." 
So I bethought me of my case and said to myself, " Do his bidding 
and see what are these goods ! "; and I said to him, " O my nuncle 
the Shaykh, I hear and I obey ; I may not gainsay thee in aught 
for Allah's blessing is on all thou dost." Accordingly he guided 
me to the market-street, where I found that he had taken in pieces 
the raft which carried me and which was of sandal-wood and I 

heard the broker crying it for sale. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say/ 

INTotD fofien it teas t]^e S\\iz l^unlrrelr anli SbixtBsfiftf) Nigbt, 

,She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman thus resumed his tale : — I found that the Shaykh had 
taken to pieces my raft which lay on the beach and the broker was 
crying the sandal-wood for sale. Then the merchants came and 
opened the gate of bidding for the wood and bid against one 
another till its price reached a thousand dinars, when they left 
bidding and my host said to me, *' Hear, O my son, this is the cur- 
rent price of thy goods in hard times like these : wilt thou sell 
them for this or shall I lay them up for thee in my storehouses, till 
such time as prices rise?'* "O my lord," answered I, "the busi- 
ness is in thy hands : do as thou wilt." Then asked he, *' Wilt 
thou sell the wood to me, O my son, for an hundred gold pieces 
over and above what the merchants have bidden for it ? " and I 
answered, " Yes : I have sold it to thee for monies received." ^ So 
he bade his servants transport the wood to his storehouses and, 
carrying me back to his house, seated me and counted out to me 
the purchase money ; after which he laid it in bags and setting 

* This is the recognised formula of Moslem sales. 

74 ^^f Laylak wa Laylak. 

them in a privy place,' locked them up with an iron padlock and 
gave me its key, Some days after this, the Shaykh said to me, 
" O my son, I have somewhat to propose to thee, wherein I trust 
thou wilt do my bidding." Quoth I, " What is it ? " Quoth he, 
*'I am a very old man and have no son ; but I have a daughter 
who is young in years and fair of favour and endowed with 
abounding wealth and beauty. Now I have a mind to marry her 
to thee, that thou mayst abide with her in this our country, and I 
will make thee master of all I have in hand for I am an old man 
and thou shalt stand in my stead." I was silent for shame and 
made him no answer, whereupon he continued, " Do my desire in 
this, O my son, for I wish but thy weal ; and if thou wilt but do 
as I say, thou shalt have her at once and be as my son ; and all 
that is under my hand or that cometh to me shall be thine. If 
thou have a mind to traffic and travel to thy native land, none 
shall hinder thee, and thy property will be at thy sole disposal ; so 
do as thou wilt." ** By Allah, O my uncle," replied I, " thou art 
become to me even as my father, and I am a stranger and have, 
undergone many hardships : while for stress of that which I have 
suffered naught of judgment or knowledge is left to me. It is for 
thee, therefore, to decide what I shall do." Hereupon he sent his 
servants for the Kazi and the witnesses and married me to his 
daughter making for us a noble marriage-feast^ and high festival. 
When I went in to her, I found her perfect in beauty and loveli- 
ness and symmetry and grace, clad in rich raiment and covered 
with a profusion of ornaments and necklaces and other trinkets of 
gold and silver and precious stones, worth a mint of money, a price 
none could pay. She pleased me and we loved each other ; and I 
abode with her in all solace and delight of life, till her father was 
taken to the mercy of Allah Almighty. So we shrouded him and 
buried him, and I laid hands on the whole of his property and all 
his servants and slaves became mine. Moreover, the merchants 
installed me in his office, for he was their Shaykh and their Chief; 
and none of them purchased aught but with his knowledge and by 
his leave. And now his rank passed on to me. When I became 
acquainted with the townsfolk, I found that at the beginning of 
each month they were transformed, in that their faces changed and 
they became like unto birds and they put forth wings wherewith they 

' Arab. " Walimah"; like our wedding-breakfast but a much more ceremonious and 
important affair. 

Tke Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman, 75 

£ew unto the upper regions of the firmament and none remained 
in the city save the women and children ; and I said in my mind, 
"' When the first of the month cometh, I will ask one of them to 
carry me with them, whither they go." So when the time came 
and their complexion changed and their forms altered, I went in 
to one of the townsfolk and said to him, " Allah upon thee ! carry 
me with thee, that I might divert myself with the rest and return 
with you." " This may not be," answered he ; but I ceased not to 
solicit him and I importuned him till he consented. Then I went 
out in his company, without telling any of my family * or servants 
or friends, and he took me on his back and flew up with me so 
high in air, that I heard the angels glorifying God in the heavenly 
dome, whereat I wondered and exclaimed, " Praised be Allah ! 
Extolled be the perfection of Allah ! " Hardly had I made , an 
end of pronouncing the Tasbi'h — praised be Allah ! — when there 
came out a fire from heaven and all but consumed the company ; 
whereupon they fled from it and descended with curses upon me 
and, casting me down on a high mountain, went away, exceeding 
wroth with me, and left me there alone. As I found myself in 
this plight, I repented of what I had done and reproached myself 
for having undertaken that for which I was unable, saying, " There 
is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, 
the Great ! No sooner am I delivered from one affliction than I 
fall into a worse." And I continued in this case knowing not 
whither I should go, when lo ! there came up two young men, as 
they were moons, each using as a staff a rod of red gold. So I 
approached them and saluted them ; and when they returned my 
salam, I said to them, " Allah upon you twain ; who are ye and 
what are ye .-' " Quoth they, " We are of the servants of the Most 
High Allah, abiding in this mountain ;" and, giving me a rod of 
red gold they had with them, went their ways and left me. I 
walked on along the mountain-ridge staying my steps with the 
staff" and pondering the case of the two youths, when behold, a 
serpent came forth from under the mountain, with a man in her* 
jaws, whom she had swallowed even to below his navel, and he 
was crying out and saying, " Whoso delivereth me, Allah will 

' i.e. his wife (euphemistically). I remember an Italian lady being much hart when a 
Maltese said to her '* Mia moglie — con rispetto parlando" (my wife, saving your pre* 
aeoce.) *' What," she cried, " he speaks of his wife as if he would of the sweepings • " 

' The serpent in Arabic is mostly femiaioe. i 

76 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

deliver him from all adversity!" So I went up to the serpent 
and smote her on the head with the golden staff", whereupon she 

cast the man forth of her mouth. ^And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo foj^cn ft b3as tfje jpibe i^untirelj anlj S)ixt5-sixt!) Ij^'k^x, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sindbad 
the Seaman thus continued : — When I smote the serpent on the 
head with my golden staff" she cast the man forth of her mouth. 
Then I smote her a second time, and she turned and fled ; where- 
upon he came up to me and said, "Since my deliverance from 
yonder serpent hath been at thy hands I will never leave thee, and 
thou shalt be my comrade on this mountain." "And welcome," 
answered I ; so we fared on along the mountain, till we fell in 
with a company of folk, and I looked and saw amongst them the 
very man who had carried me and cast me down there. I went 
up to him and spake him fair, excusing myself to him and saying, 
" O my comrade, it is not thus that friend should deal with friend." 
Quoth he, " It was thou who well-nigh destroyed us by thy 
Tasbih and thy glorifying God on my back." Quoth I, " Pardon 
me, for I had no knowledge of this matter ; but, if thou wilt take 
me with thee, I swear not to say a word." So he relented and 
consented to carry me with him, but he made an express condition 
that, so long as I abode on his back, I should abstain from pro- 
nouncing the Tasbih or otherwise glorifying God. Then I gave 
the wand of gold to him whom I had delivered from the serpent 
and bade him farewell, and my friend took me on his back and 
flew with me as before, till he brought me to the city and set me 
down in my own house. My wife came to meet me and saluting 
me gave me joy of my safety and then said, " Beware of going 
forth hereafter with yonder folk, neither consort with them, for 
they are brethren of the devils, and know not how to mention 
the name of Allah Almighty ; neither worship they Him." "And 
how did thy father with them V asked I ; and she answered, " My 
father was not of them, neither did he as they ; and as now he is 
dead methinks thou hadst better sell all we have and with the 
price buy merchandise and journey to thine own country and 
people, and I with thee ; for I care not to tarry in this city, my 
father and my mother being dead." So I sold all the Shakyh's 
property piecemeal, and looked for one who should be journeying 

The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman. 77 

thence to Bassorah that I might join myself to him. And while 
thus doing I heard of a company of townsfolk who had a mind 
to make the voyage, but could not find them a ship ; so they 
bought wood and built them a great ship wherein I took passage 
with them, and paid them all the hire. Then we embarked, I and 
my wife, with all our moveables, leaving our houses and domains 
and so forth, and set sail, and ceased not sailing from island to 
island and from sea to sea, with a fair wind and a favouring, till 
we arrived at Bassorah Safe and sound. I made no stay there, 
but freighted another vessel and, transferring my goods to her, 
set out forthright for Baghdad-city, where I arrived in safety, and 
entering my quarter and repairing to my house, foregathered with 
my family and friends and familiars and laid up my goods in my 
warehouses. When my people who, reckoning the period of my 
absence on this my seventh voyage, had found it to be seven and 
twenty years, and had given up all hope of me, heard of my return, 
they came to welcome me and to give me joy of my safety ; and I 
related to them all that had befallen me ; whereat they mar- 
velled with exceeding marvel. Then I forswore travel and vowed 
to Allah the Most High I would venture no more by land or sea, 
for that this seventh and last voyage had surfeited me of travel 
and adventure ; and I thanked the Lord (be He praised and 
glorified !), and blessed Him for having restored me to my kith 
and kin and country and home. " Consider, therefore, O Sindbad, 

Landsman," continued Sindbad the Seaman, "what sufferings I 
have undergone and what perils and hardships I have endured 
before coming to my present state." '^ Allah upon thee, O my 
Lord ! " answered Sindbad the Landsman, "pardon me the wrong 

1 did thee."* And they ceased not from friendship and fellowship, 
abiding in all cheer and pleasures and solace of life, till there 
came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of 
Societies, and the Shatterer of palaces and the Caterer for Ceme- 
teries to wit, the Cup of Death, and glory be to the Living One 
who dieth not I " ^ 

' i.e. in envying his wealth, with the risk of the evil eye. 

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

AIJ Layiak wa Laylak, 


(According to the version of the Calcutta Edition). 

Know, O my brothers and friends and companions all, that 
when I left voyaging and commercing, I said in myself, " Sufficeth 
me that hath befallen me ; " and I spent my time in solace and 

Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman. 79 

pleasure. One day as I sat at home there came a knock at the door, 

and when the porter opened a page entered and said, " The Cah'ph 

biddeth thee to him." I went with him to the King's majesty and 

kissed ground and saluted him ; whereupon he welcomed me and 

entreated me with honour and said, " O Sindbad, I have an 

occasion for thee : wilt thou do it ? " So I kissed his hand and 

asked him, saying, " O my lord, what occasion hath the master for 

the slave.'"; whereto he answered me, " I am minded that thou 

travel to the King of Sarandib and carry to him our writ and 

our gift, for that he hath sent to us a present and a letter. I 

trembled at these words and rejoined, " By Allah the Omnipotent, 

O my lord, I have taken a loathing to wayfare, and when I hear 

the words * Voyage ' or * Travel,' my limbs tremble for what hath 

befallen me of hardships and horrors. Indeed I have no desire 

whatever for this ; more by token as I have bound myself by oath 

not to quit Baghdad." Then I informed the Caliph of all I had 

passed through from first to last, and he marvelled with exceeding 

marvel and said, " By the Almighty, O Sindbad, from ages of old 

such mishaps as happened to thee were never known to happen to 

any, and thou dost only right never even to talk of travel. For 

our sake, however, thou wilt go this time' and carry our present and 

our letter to him of Sarandib ; and tinshallah — by God's leave ! — 

thou shalt return quickly ; and on this wise we shall be under no 

obligation to the said King." I replied that I heard and obeyed, 

being unable to oppose his command, so he gave me the gifts and 

the missive with money to pay my way and I kissed hands and 

left the presence. Then I dropped down from Baghdad to the 

Gulf, and with other merchants embarked, and our ship sailed 

before a fair wind many days and nights till, by Allah's aid, we 

reached the island of Sarandib. As soon as we had made fast we 

landed and I took the present and the letter ; and, going in with 

them to the King, kissed ground before him. When he saw me, 

he said, " Well come, O Sindbad ! By Allah Omnipotent we were 

longing to see thee, and glory be to God who hath again shown us 

thy face ! " Then taking me by the hand he made me sit by his 

side, rejoicing, and he welcomed me with familiar kindness again 

and entreated me as a friend. After this he began to converse 

with me and courteously addressed me and asked, " What was the 

cause of thy coming to us, O Sindbad.?" So after kissing his 

hand and thanking him I answered, " O my lord, I have brought 

80 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

thee a present from my master, the Cah'ph Harun Al-Rashid ; " 
and offered him the present and the letter which he read and at 
which he rejoiced with passing joy. The present consisted of a 
mare worth ten thousand ducats, bearing a golden saddle set with 
jewels; a book; a sumptuous suit of clothes and an hundred 
different kinds of white Cairene cloths and silks of Suez/ Cufa and 
Alexandria; Greek carpets and an hundred maunds^ weight of 
linen and raw silk. Moreover there was a wondrous rarcty, a 
marvellous cup of crystal middlemost of which was the figure of a 
lion faced by a kneeling man grasping a bow with arrow drawn to 
the very head, together with the food-tray ^ o{ Sulayman the son 
of David (on whom be peace!). The missive ran as follows: — 
Peace from King Al-Rashid, the aided of Allah (who hath vouch- 
safed to him and his forefathers noble rank and wide-spread glory), 
be on the fortunate Sultan. But after. Thy letter came to our 
hands and we rejoiced thereat ; and we have sent the book 
entituled " Delight of the Intelligent and for Friends the Rare 
Present,"^ together with sundry curiosities suitable for Kings ; so 
do thou favour us by accepting them : and peace be with thee ! 
Then the King lavished upon me much wealth and entreated me 
with all honour; so I prayed for him and thanked him for his 
munificence. Some days after I craved his leave to depart, but 
could not obtain it except by great pressing, whereupon I fare- 
welled him and fared forth from his city, with merchants and other 
companions, homewards-bound without any desire for travel or 
trade. We continued voyaging and coasting along many islands ; 
but, when we were half-way, we were surrounded by a number of 
canoes, wherein were men like devils armed with bows and arrows, 
swords and daggers ; habited in mail-coats and other armoury. 
They fell upon us and wounded and slew all who opposed them ; 
then, having captured the ship and her contents, carried us to 
an island, where they sold us at the meanest price. Now I was 

' Arab. Al-Suways : this successor of ancient Arsinoe was, according to local tradition, 
founded by a Santon from Al-Siis in Marocco who called it after his name " Little Siis " 
(the wormlet). 

* Arab. " Mann,'* a weight varying from two to six pounds: even this common term' 
is not found in the tables of Lane's Mod. Egyptians, Appendix B. The " Maund " ift 
a well-known Anglo-Indian weight. 

• This article is not mentioned elsewhere in The Nigbtfc 
' Apparently a fancy title. 

Sindbad the Seaman and Sindhad the Landsman. 8 1 

bought by a wealthy man who, taking me to his house, gave me 
meat and drink and clothing and treated me in the friendliest 
manner ; so I was heartened and I rested a little. One day he 
asked me, " Dost thou know any art or craft ? " and I answered 
him, " O my lord, I am a merchant and know nothing but trade 
and traffic." " Dost thou know," rejoined he, " how to use bow 
and arrow } " " Yes," replied I, " I know that much." Thereupon 
he brought me a bow and arrows and mounted me behind him 
upon an elephant : then he set out as night was well nigh over 
and, passing through a forest of huge growths, came to a tall and 
sturdy tree up which he made me climb. Then he gave me the 
bow and arrows, saying, " Sit here now, and when the elephants 
troop hither in early morning, shoot at them ; belike thou wilt hit 
one ; and, if he fall, come and tell me." With this he left me. 
I hid myself in the tree being in sore terror and trembled till the 
sun arose ; and, when the elephants appeared and wandered about 
among the trees, I shot my arrows at them and continued till 
I had shot down one of them. In the evening I reported my 
success to my master who was .delighted in me and entreated me 
with high honour ; and next morning h6 removed the slain 
elephant. In this wise I :continued, every morning shooting an 
elephant which my master would remove till, one day, as I was 
perched in hiding on the tree there came on suddenly and un- 
expectedly an innumerable host of elephants whose screaming 
and trumpeting were such that I imagined the earth trembled 
under them. All surrounded my tree, whose circumference was 
some fifty cubits,* and one enormous monster came up to it 
and winding his trunk round the bole haled it up by the roots, 
and dashed it to the ground. I fell down fainting amongst the 
beasts when the monster elephant wound his trunk about me 
and, setting me on his back, went off with me, the others ac- 
companying us. He carried me still unconscious till he reached 
the place for which he was making, when he rolled me off his 
back and presently went his ways followed by the others. So 
I rested a little ; and, when my terror had subsided^ I looked 
about me and I found myself among the bones of elephants^ 
whereby I concluded that this was their burial-place, and that 

* The island is evidently Ceylon long famed for elephants and the tree is the well 
known "Banyan " (Ficus Indica). According to Linschoten and Wolf, the elephants 
of all lands do reverence and honour to those of Ceylon. 

VOL VI. p 

82 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

the monster elephant had led me thither on account of the 
tusks.* So I arose and walked a whole day and night till I 
arrived at the house of my master, who saw my colour changed 
by stress of affright and famine. He rejoiced in my return and 
said to me, "By Allah, thou hast made my heart sore! I went 
when thou wast missing and found the tree torn up, and 
thought that the elephants had slain thee. Tell me how it was 
with thee." I acquainted him with all that had betided me ; 
whereat he wondered greatly, and rejoiced and at last asked 
me, "Dost thou know the place?"; whereto I answered, "Yes," 
O my master ! ' So we mounted an elephant and fared until we 
came to the spot ; and, when my master beheld the heaps of 
tusks, he rejoiced greatly ; then carrying away as many as he 
wanted he returned with me home. After this, he entreated me 
with increased favour and said, " O my son, thou hast shown 
us the way to great gain, wherefore Allah requite thee ! Thou 
art freed for the Almighty's sake and before His face ! The 
elephants used to destroy many of us on account of our hunt- 
ing them for their ivories and sorivellos ; but Allah hath pre- 
served thee from them, and thou hast profited us by the heaps 
to which thou hast led us." " O my master," replied I, '* God 
free thy neck from the fire ! And do thou grant me, O my 
master, thy gracious leave to return to my own country." 
" Yes " quoth he, " thou shalt have that permission. But we 
have a yearly fair, when merchants come to us from various 
quarters to buy up these ivories. The time is drawing near ; 
and, when they shall have done their business, I will send thee 
under their charge and will ^\vq thee wherewithal to reach thy 
home." So I blessed and thanked him and remained with him, 
treated with respect and honour, for some days, when the mer- 
chants came as he had foretold, and bought and sold and 
bartered ; and when they had made their preparations to return, 
my master came to me and said, " Rise and get thee ready to 

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

The City of Brass. 8j 

travel with the traders en route to thy country." They had 
bought a number of tusks which they had bound together in 
loads and were embarking them when my master sent me with 
them, paying for my passage and settling all, my debts ; besides 
which he gave me a large present in goods. We set out and 
voyaged from island to island till we had crossed the sea and 
landed on the shores of the Persian Gulf, when the merchants 
brought out and sold their stores : I also sold what I had at 
a high profit ; and I bought some of the prettiest things in the 
place for presents and beautiful rareties and everything else I 
•wanted. I likewise bought for myself a beast and we fared 
forth and crossed the deserts from country to country till I 
reached Baghdad. Here I went in to the Caliph and, after 
saluting him and kissing hands, informed him of all that had 
befallen me ; whereupon he rejoiced in my safety and thanked 
Almighty Allah ; and he bade my story be written in letters 
of gold. I then entered my house and met my family and 
brethren : and such is the end of the history that happened to 
me during my seven voyages. Praise be to Allah, the One, 

the Creator, the Maker of all things in Heaven and Earth! 

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


It is related that there was, in tide of yore and in times and years 
long gone before, at Damascus of Syria, a Caliph known as Abd 
al-Malik bin Marwan, the fifth of the Ommiade house. As this 
Commander of the Faithful was seated one day in his palace, 
conversing with his Sultans and Kings and the Grandees of his 
empire, the talk turned upon the legends of past peoples and 

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

$4 A If Laylak wa Lay I ah. 

the traditions of our Lord Solomon, David's son (on the twain be 
peace !), and on that which Allah Almighty had bestowed on him 
of lordship and dominion over men and Jinn and birds and beasts 
and reptiles and the wind and other created things ; and quoth 
the Caliph, •• Of a truth we hear from those who forewent us that 
the Lord (extolled and exalted be He !) vouchsafed unto none the 
like of that which He vouchsafed unto our lord Solomon and that 
he attained unto that whereto never attained other than he, in that 
he was wont to imprison Jinns and Marids and Satans in cucur- 
bites of copper and to stop them with lead and seal* them with 

his ring." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

iBofa tD^en It foas tj^e jpi'be J^untfwli ano ^ixtg.sebentl) i^iQlit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marwan sat conversing with his 
Grandees concerning our lord Solomon, and these noted what 
Allah had bestowed upon him of lordship and dominion, quoth 
the Commander of the Faithful, " Indeed he attained unto that 
whereto never attained other than he, in that he was wont to im- 
prison Jinns and Marids and Satans in cucurbites of copper and 
stop them with lead and seal them with his ring." Then said 
Tdlib bin Sahl (who was a seeker after treasures and had books 
that discovered to him hoards and wealth hidden under the earth), 
*'0 Commander of the Faithful, — Allah make thy dominion to 
endure and exalt thy dignity here and hereafter ! — my father told 
me of my grandfather, that he once took ship with a company, 
intending for the island of Sikiliyah or Sicily, and sailed until 
there arose against them a contrary wind, which drove them from 
their course and brought them, after a month, to a great mountain 
in one of the lands of Allah the Most High, but where that land 
was they wot not. Quoth my grandfather : — This was in the 
darkness of the night and as soon as it was day, there came forth 
to us, from the caves of the mountain, folk black of colour and 
naked of body, as they were wild beasts, understanding not one 
word of what was addressed to them ; nor was there any of them 

' The Bresl. Edit, adds that the seal-ring was of stamped stone and iroo, copp«ff 
tnd lead. I have borrowed copiously from its vol. vi. pp. 343, tt'Uf. 

The City of Brass. 

who knew Arabic, save their King who was of their own kind 
When he saw the ship, he came down to it with a company of his 
followers and saluting us, bade us welcome and questioned us of 
our case and our faith. We told him all concerning ourselves and 
he said, Be of good cheer for no harm shall befal you. And 
when we, in turn, asked them of their faith, we found that each 
was of one of the many creeds prevailing before the preaching of 
Al-Islam and the mission of Mohammed, whom may Allah bless 
and keep I So my shipmates remarked, We wot not what thou 
sayest. Then quoth the King, No Adam-son hath ever come 
to our land before you : but fear not, and rejoice in the assurance 
of safety and of return to your own country. Then he enter- 
tained us three days, feeding us on the flesh of birds and wild 
beasts and fishes, than which they had no other meat ; and, on the 
fourth day, he carried us down to the beach, that we might divert 
ourselves by looking upon the fisher-folk. There we saw a man 
casting his net to catch fish, and presently he pulled them up and 
behold, in them was a cucurbite of copper, stopped with lead and 
sealed with the signet of Solomon, son of David, on whom be 
peace ! He brought the vessel to land and broke it open, when 
there came forth a smoke, which rose a-twisting blue to the zenith, 
and we heard a horrible voice, saying, I repent ! I repent ! Par- 
don, O Prophet of Allah ! I will never return to that which I did 
aforetime. Then the smoke became a terrible Giant frightful of 
form, whose head was level with the mountain-tops, and he 
vanished from our sight, whilst our hearts were well-nigh torn out 
for terror ; but the blacks thought nothing of it. Then we returned 
to the King and questioned him of the matter ; whereupon quoth 
he. Know that this was one of the Jinns whom Solomon, son of 
David, being wroth with them, shut up in these vessels and cast 
into the sea, after stopping the mouths with melted lead. Our 
fishermen ofttimes, in casting their nets, bring up such bottles, 
which being broken open, there come forth of them Jinnis who, 
deeming that Solomon is still alive and can pardon them, make 
their submission to him and say, I repent, O Prophet of Allah!" 
The Caliph marvelled at Talib's story and said, *' Glory be to God \ 
Verily, to Solomon was given a mighty dominion." Now Al- 
Nabighah al-Zubyani* was present, and he said, "Talib hath 

' As this was a well-known pre-Islamitic bard, his appearance here is decidedly 

anachronistic, probably by intention. 

86 Alf Laylak zva Lay la h. 

spoken eoothly as is proven by the saying of the All-wise, the 
Primaeval One : — 

And Solomon, when Allah to him said, o • Rise, be thou Caliph, rule with 

righteous sway : 
Honour obedience for obeying thee ; o And who rebels imprison him for 

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

' The first Moslem conqueror of Spain whose lieutenant, Tarik, the gallant and un- 
fortunate, named Gibraltar (Jabal al-Tarik>: 

^ The colours of the Banii Umayyah (Ommiade) Caliphs were white ; of the Band 
Abbas (Abbasides) black, and of the Fatimites green. Carrying the royal flag denoted 
the generalissimo or plenipotentiary. 

The City of Brain 87 

during his absence: So Talib set out and arnved in due course 

at Cairo.' And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Talib bin 
Saiil set out with his escort and crossed the desert country between 
Syria and Egypt, where the Governor came out to meet him and 
entreated him and his company with high honour whilst they 
tarried with him. Then he gave them a guide to bring them to 
the Sa'id or Upper Egypt, where the Emir Musa had his abiding- 
place ; and when the son of Nusayr heard of Talib's coming, he 
went forth to meet him and rejoiced in him. Talib gave him the 
Caliph's letter, and he took it reverently and, laying it on his 
head, cried, " I hear and I obey the Prince of the Faithful." 
Then he deemed it best to assemble his chief officers and when all 
were present he acquainted them with the contents of the Caliph's 
letter and sought counsel of them how he should act. *'0 Emir,'* 
answered they, " if thou seek one who shall guide thee to the place 
summon the Shaykh 'Abd al-Samad, ibn 'Abd al-Kuddus, al- 
Samudf ;' for he is a man of varied knowledge, who hath travelled 
much and knoweth by experience all the seas and wastes and wolds 
and countries of the world and the inhabitants and wonders 
thereof; wherefore send thou for him and he will surely guide thee 
to thy desire." So Musa sent for him, and behold, he was a very 
ancient man shot in years and broken down with lapse of days. 
The Emir saluted him and said, " O Shaykh Abd al-Samad, our 
lord the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, 
hath commanded me thus and thus. I have small knowledge of 

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

* I cannot but suspect that this is a clerical error for " Al-Samanhudi," a native of 
Samanhud (Wilkinson's " Semenood ") in the Delta on the Damietta branch, the old 
Sebennytus (in Coptic Jem-nuti = Jem the God), a town which has produced many 
distinguished men in Moslem times. But there is also a Samhi'id lying a few miles dowa 
stream from Denderah and, as its mounds prove, it is an ancient i,i\s„ 

88 Atf Layiak wa Laylak. 

the land Wherein is that which the Cah'ph desiretfi ; but it Is told 
me that thou knowest it well and the ways thither. Wilt thou, 
therefore, go with me and help me to accomplish the Caliph's 
need ? So it please Allah the Most High, thy trouble and travail 
shall not go waste." Replied the Shaykh, " I hear and obey the 
bidding of the Commander of the Faithful ; but know, O Emir, 
that the road thither is long and difficult and the ways few." 
*' How far is it? " asked Musa, and the Shaykh answered, "It is a 
journey of two years and some months going and the like return- 
ing ; and the way is full of hardships and terrors and things 
wondrous and marvellous. Now thou art a champion of the Faith' 
and our country is hard by that of the enemy ; and peradventure 
the Nazarenes may come out upon us in thine absence ; wherefore 
it behoveth thee to leave one to rule thy government in thy stead." 
"It is well," answered the Emir and appointed his son Hdriin 
Governor during his absence, requiring the troops to take the oath 
of fealty to him and bidding them obey him in all he should com- 
mand. And they heard his words and promised obedience. Now 
this Harun was a man of great prowess and a renowned warrior 
and a doughty knight, and the Shaykh Abd al-Samad feigned to 
him that the place they sought was distant but four months' jour- 
ney along the shore of the sea, with camping-places all the way, 
adjoining one another, and grass and springs, adding, "Allah will 
assuredly make the matter easy to us through thy blessing, O 
Lieutenant of the Commander of the Faithful ! " Quoth the Emir 
Musa, " Knowest thou if any of the Kings have trodden this land 
before us > "; and quoth the Shaykh, " Yes, it belonged aforetime 
to Darius the Greek, King of Alexandria." But he said to Musa 
privily, " O Emir, take with thee a thousand camels laden with 
victual and store of gugglets."^ The Emir asked, "And what 
shall we do with these } "; and the Shaykh answered, " On our 
way is the desert of Kayrawdn or Cyrene, the which is a vast 
wold four days' journey long, and lacketh water ; nor therein doth 
sound of voice ever sound nor is soul at any time to be seen. 
Moreover, there bloweth the Simoon ^ and other hot winds called 

' Egypt had not then been conquered from the Christians. 

' Arab. " Kizan fukka'a," i.e. thin and slightly porous earthenware jars used fol 
Fukka'a, a fermented drink, made of barley or raisins. 

* I retain this venerable blunder : the right form is Samum, from Samm, the poisoa* 

The City of Brass. 89 

Al-Juwayb, which dry up the water-skins ; but if the water be in 
gugglets, no harm can come to it." " Right," said Musa and 
sending to Alexandria, let bring thence great plenty of gugglets 
Then he took with him his Wazir and two thousand cavalry, clad 
in mail cap-i-pie and set out, without other to guide them but 
Abd al-Samad who forewent thefn, riding on his hackney. The 
party fared on diligently, now passing through inhabited lands, 
then ruins and anon traversing frightful wolds and thirsty wastes 
and then mountains which spired high in air ; nor did they leave 
journeying a whole year's space till, one morning, when the day 
broke, after they had travelled all night, behold, the Shaykh found 
himself in a land he knew not and said, " There is no Majesty and 
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great I " Quoth 
the Emir, " What is to do, O Shaykh ? "; and he answered, saying. 
" By the Lord of the Ka'abah, we have wandered from our road ! " 
"How Cometh that.^" asked Musa, and Abd al-Samad replied, 
** The stars were overclouded and I could not guide myself by 
them." " Where on God's earth are we now ? " asked the Emir, 
and the Shaykh answered, " I know not ; for I never set eyes on 
this land till this moment." Said Musa, " Guide us back to the 
place where we went astray "; but the other, " I know it no more." 
Then Musa, " Let us push on ; haply Allah will guide us to it or 
direct us aright of His power." So they fared on till the hour of 
noon-prayer, when they came to a fair champaign, and wide and 
level and smooth as it were the sea when calm, and presently there 
appeared to them, on the horizon some great thing, high and black, 
in whose midst was as it were smoke rising to the confines of the 
sky. They made for this, and stayed not in their course till they 
drew near thereto, when, lo ! it was a high castle, firm of foundations 
and great and gruesome, as it were a towering mountain, builded 
all of black stone, with frowning crenelles and a door of gleaming 
China steel, that dazzled the eyes and dazed the wits. Round 
about it were a thousand steps and that which appeared afar off 
as it were smoke was a central dome of lead an hundred cubits 
high. When the Emir saw this, he marvelled thereat with exceed- 
ing marvel and how this place was void of inhabitants ; and the 
Shaykh, after he had certified himself thereof, said, " There is no 
god but the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God ! " Quoth 
Musa," I hear thee praise the Lord and hallow Him, and meseemeth 
thou rejoicest." " O Emir," answered Abd al-Samad, " Rejoice, for 
Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) hath delivered us from the 

^ Atf Laylah wa Layhh. 

frightful wolds and thirsty wastes." " How knowest thou that ?" 
said Musa, and the other, " I know it for that my father told me 
of my grandfather that he said : — We were once journeying in this 
land and, straying from the road, we came to this palace and thence 
to the City of Brass ; between which and the place thou seekest is 
two full months' travel ; but thou must take to the sea-shore and 
leave it not, for there be watering-places and wells and camping- 
grounds established by King Zii al-Karnayn Iskandar who, whea 
he went to the conquest of Mauritania, found by the way thirsty 
deserts and wastes and wilds and dug therein water-pits and built 
cisterns." Quoth Musa, " Allah rejoice thee with good news ! " and 
quoth the Shaykh, " Come, let us go look upon yonder palace and 
its marvels, for it is an admonition to whoso will be admonished.** 
So the Emir went up to the palace, with the Shaykh and his 
officers, and coming to the gate, found it open. Now this gate 
was builded with lofty columns and porticoes whose walls and 
ceilings were inlaid with gold and silver and precious stones ; and 
there led up to it flights of steps, among which were two wide 
Stairs of coloured marble, never was seen their like ; and over the 
doorway was a tablet whereon were graven letters of gold in the 
old ancient Ionian character. " O Emir," asked the Shaykh, 
*' shall I read ?''; and Musa answered, "Read and God bless 
thee ! ; for all that betideth us in this journey dependeth upon thy 
blessing." So the Shaykh, who was a very learned man and versed 
in all tongues and characters, went up to the tablet and read 
whatso was thereon and it was verse like this : — > 

The signs that here their mighty works portray » Warn us that all must tread 

the self-same way : 
O thou who standest in this stead to hear o Tidings of folk, whose power hath 

passed for aye. 
Enter this palace-gate and ask the news o Of greatness fallen into dust and 

clay : 
Death has destroyed them and dispersed their might o And in the dust they 

lost their rich display ; 
As had they only set their burdens down o To rest awhile, and then had rode 


When the Emir Musa heard these couplets, he wept till he lost his 
senses and said, " There is no god but the God, the Living, the 
Eternal, who ceaseth not ! " Then he entered the palace and was 
confounded at its beauty and the goodliness of its construction. 
He diverted himself awhile by viewing the pictures and images 

The City of Brass. 9f 

therein, till he came to another door, over which also were written 
verses, and said to the Shaykh, " Come read me these ! " So he 
advanced and read as follows : — 

Under these domes how many a company o Halted of old and fared withouten 

See thou what might displays on other wights o Time with his shifts which 

could such lords waylay : 
They shared together what they gathered c And left their joys and fared to 

Death-decay : 
What joys they joyed ! what food they ate ! and now o In dust they're eaten, 

for the v/orm a prey. 

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

How oft have I fought ! and how many have slain ! o How much have I wit- 
nessed of blessing and bane ! 

How much have I eaten ! how much have I drunk ! o How oft have I heark- 
ened to singing-girl's strain ! 

How much have I bidden ! how oft have forbid ! o How many a castle and 

I have sieged and have searched, and the cloistered maids o In the depths of 
its walls for my captives were ta'en ! 

But of ignorance sinned I to win me the meeds o Which won proved naught 
and brought nothing of gain : 

Then reckon thy reck'ning, O man, and be wise o Ere the goblet of death and 
of doom thou shalt drain ; 

For yet but a litde the dust on thy head « They shall strew, and thy life shall 
go down to the dead. 

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

• i.e. for worship and to prepare for futurity. 

92 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

What I left, ! left it not for nobility of soul, o But through sentence and decree 

that to every man are dight. 
What while I lived happy, with a temper haught and high, o My hoarding- 
place defending like a lion in the fight, 
I took no rest, and greed of gain forbad me give a grain c Of mustard-seed to 

save from the fires of Hell my sprite. 
Until stricken on a day, as with arrow, by decree o Of the Maker, the Fashioner, 

the Lord of Might and Right. 
When my death was appointed, my life I could not keep o By the many of my 

stratagems, my cunning and my sleight : 
My troops I had collected availed me not, and none o Of my friends and of 

my neighbours had power to mend my plight : 
Through my hfe I was wearied in journeying to death o In stress or in solace, 

in joyance or despight : 
So when money-bags are bloated, and dinar unto dinar o Thou addest, all may 

leave thee with fleeting of the night : 
And the driver of a camel and the digger of a grave' o Are what thine heirs 

shall bring ere the morning dawneth bright : 
And on Judgment Day alone shalt thou stand before thy Lord, o Overladen 

with thy sins and thy crimes and thine affright : 
Let the world not seduce thee with lurings, but behold o What measure to thy 

family and neighbours it hath doled. 

When Musa heard these verses, he wept with such weeping that 
he swooned away ; then, coming to himself, he entered the 
pavilion and saw therein a long tomb, awesome to look upon, 
whereon was a tablet of China steel and Shakyh Abd al-Samad 
drew near it and read this inscription: "In the name of Ever- 
lasting Allah, the Never-beginning, the Never-ending ; in the 
name of Allah who begetteth not nor is He begot and unto whom 
the like is not ; in the name of Allah the Lord of Majesty and 
Might ; in the name of the Living One who to death is never 

dight ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

ilofo fo!)m (t toas tt« S'^ l^uitljreb anli ^ixtg^nintj iBf^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shaykh 
Abd al-Samad, having read the aforesaid, also found the follow- 
ing: — O thou who comest to this place, take warning by that 

* Tbe camel carries the Badawi's corpse to the cemetety which is often distant : hence 
10 dream of a camd is an omea of death. 

Tke City of Brass. 93 

which, thou seest of the accidents of Time and the vicissitudes of 
Fortune and be not deluded by the world and its pomps and 
vanities and fallacies and falsehoods and vain allurements, for that 
it is flattering, deceitful and treacherous, and the things thereof are 
but a loan to us which it will borrow back from all borrowers. It 
is like unto the dreams of the dreamer and the sleep-visions of 
the sleeper or as the mirage of the desert, which the thirsty take 
for water;* and Satan maketh it fair for men even unto death. 
These are the ways of the world ; wherefore put not thou thy 
trust therein neither incline thereto, for it bewrayeth him who 
leaneth upon it and who committeth himself thereunto in his 
affairs. Fall not thou into its snares neither take hold upon its 
skirts, but be warned by my example. I possessed four thou- 
sand bay horses and a haughty palace, and I had to wife a thou- 
sand daughters of kings, high-bosomed maids, as they were 
moons : I was blessed with a thousand sons as they were fierce 
lions, and I abode a thousand years, glad of heart and mind, and 
I amassed treasures beyond the competence of all the Kings of 
the regions of the earth, deeming that delight would still endure 
to me. But there fell on me unawares the Destroyer of delights 
and the Sunderer of societies, the Desolator of domiciles and the 
Spoiler of inhabited spots, the Murtherer of great and small, babes 
and children and mothers, he who hath no ruth on the poor for 
his poverty, or feareth the King for all his bidding or forbidding. 
Verily, we abode safe and secure in this palace, till there de- 
scended upon us the judgement of the L6rd of the Three Worlds, 
Lord of the Heavens, and Lord of the Earths, the vengeance of 
the Manifest Truth ^ overtook us, when there died of us every 
day two, till a great company of us had perished. When I saw 
that destruction had entered our dwellings and had homed with 
us and in the sea of deaths had drowned us, I summoned a writer 
and bade him indite these verses and instances and admonitions, 
the which I let grave, with rule and compass, on these doors and 
tablets and tombs. Now I had an army of a thousand thousand 
bridles, men of warrior mien with forearms strong and keen, armed 

• Koran xxiv. 39. The word "Sarab" (mirage) is found in Isaiah (xxxv. 7) where 
the passage should be rendered "And the mirage (sharab) shall become a lake" (not, 
"and the parched ground shall become a pool"). The Hindus prettily call it 
*' Mrigalrishna " =r the thirst of the deer. 

* A name of Allah. 

94 -^V Lay la k wa Laylah. 

with spears and mail-coats sheen and swords that gleam ; so I 
bade them don their long-hanging hauberks and gird on their 
biting blades and mount their high-mettled steeds and level their 
dreadful lances ; and whenas there fell on us the doom of the 
Lord of heaven and earth, I said to them, " Ho, all ye soldiers 
and troopers, can ye avail to ward off that which is fallen on me 
from the Omnipotent King ? " But troopers and soldiers availed 
not unto this and said, " How shall we battle with Him to whom 
no chamberlain barreth access, the Lord of the door which hath 
no doorkeeper ? " Then quoth I to them, " Bring me my trea- 
sures." Now I had in my treasuries a thousand cisterns in each 
of which were a thousand quintals * of red gold and the like of 
white silver, besides pearls and jewels of all kinds and other 
things of price, beyond the attainment of the kings of the earth. 
So they did that and when they had laid all the treasure in my 
presence, I said to them, " Can ye ransom me with all this trea- 
sure or buy me one day of life therewith ?" But they could not! 
So they resigned themselves to fore-ordained Fate and fortune 
and I submitted to the judgement of Allah, enduring patiently 
that which he decreed unto me of affliction, till He took my soul 
and made me to dwell in my grave. And if thou ask of my name, 
I am Kiish, the son of Shaddad son of Ad the Greater. And 
upon the tablets were engraved these lines : — 

An thou wouldst know my name, whose day is done a With shifts of time and 

changes 'neath the sun. 
Know I am Shadddd's son, who ruled mankind o And o'er all earth upheld 

dominion ! 
All stubborn peoples abject were to me ; o And Shdm to Cairo and to Adnan- 

wone ; * 
I reigned in glory conquenng many kings ; o And peoples feared my mischief 

every one. 
Yea, tribes and armies in my hand I saw ; o The world all dreaded me, both 

friends and fone. 
When I took horse, I viewed my numbered troops, o Bridles on neighing 

steeds a million. 
And I had wealth that none could tell or count, o Against misfortune trea- 
suring all I won ; 

' Arab. "Kintar**=ia hundredweight (/.?. lOO lbs.), about 98? lbs. avoir. Hence 
the French quintal and its congeners (Litlre) 

* i.e. " from Sham (Syria) to (the land oQ Adnan, ancestor of the Naturalized Arab* 
that is, to Arabia. 

The City of Brass. 95 

Fain had I bought my life with all my wealth, o And for a moment's space my 

death to shun ; 
But God would naught save what His purpose willed ; o So from my brethren 

cut I 'bode alone : 
And Death, that sunders- man, exchanged my lot e To pauper hut from 

grandeur's mansion, 
When found I all mine actions gone and past o Wherefor I'm pledged' and by 

my sin undone! 
Then fear, O man, who by a brink dost range, o The turns of Fortune and the 

chance of Change. 

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

aforesaid." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

' Koran lit. 21. "Every man is given in pledge for that which he shall have 

* There is a constant clerical confusion in the texts between "Arar" (Juniperus 
Oxycedrus used by the Greeks for the images of their gods) and " Marmar " marble 
or alabaster, in the Talmud " Marmora " =: marble, evidently from /xa/3/xapos =: bril- 
liant, the brilliant stone. 

96 Alf Laytak wa Laylak. 

Noto toben it fasas tjje Jpibe l^unlJrelr anti Sbfbcntietf) NiQ!)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Emir Musa rubbed the horseman's hand he revolved like the 
dazzling lightning, and stopped facing in a direction other than 
that wherein they were journeying. So they took the road to 
which he pointed (which was the right way) and, finding it a 
beaten track, fared on through their days and nights till they had 
covered a wide tract of country. Then they came upon a pillar of 
black stone like a furnace-chimney wherein was one sunken up to 
his armpits. He had two great wings and four arms, two of them 
like the arms of the sons of Adam and other two as they were 
lion's paws, with claws of iron, and he was black and tall and 
frightful of aspect, with hair like horses' tails and eyes like blazing 
coals, slit upright in his face. Moreover, he had in the middle of 
his forehead a third eye, as it were that of a lynx, from which flew 
sparks of fire, and he cried out saying, " Glory to my Lord, who hath 
adjudged unto me this grievous torment and sore punishment 
until the Day of Doom ! " When the folk saw him, they lost their 
reason for affright and turned to flee; so the Emir Musa asked the 
Shaykh Abd al-Samad, " What is this } " ; and he answered, " I 
know not." Whereupon quoth Musa, " Draw near and question 
him of his condition ; haply he will discover to thee his case." 
" Allah assain thee, Emir ! Indeed, I am afraid of him ; " replied 
the Shaykh ; but the Emir rejoined, saying, " Fear not ; he is 
hindered from thee and from all others by that wherein he is." So 
Abd al-Samad drew near to the pillar and said to him which was 
therein, " O creature, what is thy name and what art thou and how 
camest thou here in this fashion?" "I am an Ifrit of the Jinn," 
replied he, " by name Dahish, son of Al-A'amash,^ and am con- 
fined here by the All-might, prisoned here by the Providence and 
punished by the judgement of Allah, till it pleases Him, to whom 
belong Might and Majesty, to release me." Then said Musa, "Ask 
him why he is in durance of this column ? " So the Shaykh asked 
him of this, and the Ifrit replied, saying : — Verily my tale is 
wondrous and my case marvellous, and it is this. One of the 

' These Ifritical names are chosen for their bixarrtrU. " Al-Ddhish"=:the Amazed ; 
and " Al-A'amash " = one with weak eyes always watering. 

The City of Brass. 97 

sons of Ibljs had an idol of red carnelian, whereof I was guardian, 
and there served it a King of the Kings of the sea, a Prince of 
puissant power and prow of prowess, over-ruh'ng a thousand 
thousand warriors of the Jann who smote with swords before 
him and answered his summons in time of need. All these were 
under my commandment and obeyed my behest, being each and 
every rebels against Solomon, son of David, on whom be peace ! 
And I used to enter the belly of the idol and thence bid and 
forbid them. Now this King's daughter loved the idol and was 
frequent in prostration to it and assiduous in its service ; and she 
was the fairest woman of her day, accomplished in beauty and 
loveliness, elegance and grace. She was described unto Solomon 
and he sent to her father, saying, " Give me thy daughter to wife 
and break thine idol of carnelian and testify saying, There is no 
god but the God and Solomon is the Prophet of Allah !, an thou 
do this, our due shall be thy due and thy debt shall be our debt 
but, if thou refuse, make ready to answer the summons of the 
Lord and don thy grave-gear, for I will come upon thee with an 
irresistible host, which shall fill the waste places of earth and make 
thee as yesterday that is passed away and hath no return for aye," 
When this message reached the King, he waxed insolent and 
rebellious, pride-full and contumacious and he cried to his Wazirs, 
" What say ye of this ? Know ye that Solomon son of David hath 
sent requiring me to give him my daughter to wife, and break 
my idol of carnelian and enter his faith ! ' * And they replied, "O 
mighty King, how shall Solomon do thus with thee ? Even could 
he come at thee in the midst of this vast ocean, he could not 
prevail against thee, for the Marids of the Jann will fight on thy 
side and thou wilt ask succour of thine idol whom thou servest, 
and he will help thee and give thee victory over him. So thou 
wouldst do well to consult on this matter thy Lord," (meaning thci 
idol aforesaid) "and hear what he saith. If he say. Fight him, 
fight him, and if not, not." So the King went in without stay or 
delay to his idol and offered up sacrifices and slaughtered victims ; 
after which he fell down before him, prostrate and weeping, and 
repeated these verses : — 

"0 my Lord, well I weet thy puissant hand : « Sulaymdn would break thee and 

see thee bann'd. 
my Lord, to crave succour here I stand • Command and I bow to thy high 

command ! " 

9^ A If Laylah wa Laylah^ 

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

*' As for me, of him I feel naught affright ; » For my lore and my wisdom are 

infinite : 
If he wish for warfare I'll show him fight « And out of his body I'll tear his 

sprite ! " 

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit 
continued : — So when Solomon the prophet (with whom be peace !) 

e- ■ ' - 

* The Arabs have no word for million; so Messer Marco Miglione could not have 
teamed it from them. On the other hand the Hindus have more quadrillions thai 
modern Europe. 

The City of Brass. 99 

lighted down with his host on the island he sent to our King, say- 
ing, " Behold, I am come : defend thy life against that which is 
fallen upon thee, or else make thy submission to me and confess 
my apostleship and give me thy daughter to lawful wife and break 
thine idol and worship the one God, the alone Worshipful ; and 
testify, thou and thine, and say, There is no God but the God, and 
Solomon is the Apostle of Allah ! ^ This if thou do, thou shalt 
have pardon and peace ; but if not, it will avail thee nothing to 
fortify thyself in this island, for Allah (extolled and exalted be 
He!) hath bidden the Wind obey me; so I will bid it bear me to 
thee on my carpet and make thee a warning and an example 
to deter others." But the King made answer to his messenger, 
saying, " It may not on any wise be as he requireth of me ; so tell 
him I come forth to him." With this reply the messenger returned 
to Solomon, who thereupon gathered together all the Jinn that 
were under his hand, to the number of a thousand thousand, and 
added to them other than they of Marids and Satans from the 
islands of the sea and the tops of the mountains and, drav/ing 
them up on parade, opened his armouries and distributed to them 
arms and armour. Then the Prophet drew out his host in battle 
array, dividing the beasts into two bodies, one on the right wing 
of the men and the other on the left, and bidding them tear the 
enemies' horses in sunder. Furthermore, he ordered the birds 
which were in the island to hover over their heads and, whenas the 
assault should be made, that they should swoop down and tear out 
the foe's eyes with their beaks and buffet their faces with their 
wings ; and they answered, saying, " We hear and we obey Allah 
and thee, O Prophet of Allah ! " Then Solomon seated himself 
on a throne of alabaster, studded with precious stones and plated 
with red gold ; and, commanding the wind to bear him aloft, set 
his Wazir Asaf bin Barkhiya^ and the kings of mankind on his 
right and his Wazir Al-Dimiryat and the kings of the Jinn on his 
left, arraying the beasts and vipers and serpents in the van. There- 
upon they all set on us together, and we gave them battle two days 
over a vast plain ; but, on the third day, disaster befel us, and the 

' This formula, according to Moslems, would begin with the beginning " There is no 
ildh but Allah and Adam is the Apostle {rasul=ione sent, a messenger; not nablr= 
prophet) of Allah." And so on with Noah, Moses, David (not Solomon as a rule) and 
Jesus to Mohammed. 

* This son of Barachia has been noticed tefore. The text embroitfBrs the Koranic 
chapter No. xxvii. 

loo Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

judgment of Allah the Most High was executed upon us. Now 
the first to charge upon them were I and my troops, and I said to 
my companions, "Abide in your places, whilst I sally forth to 
them and provoke AI-Dimiryat to combat singular." And behold, 
he came forth to the duello as he were a vast mountain, with his 
fires flaming and his smoke spireing, and shot at me a falling star 
of fire ; but I swerved from it and it missed me. Then I cast at 
him in my turn, a flame of fire, and it smote him ; but his shaft ' 
overcame my fire and he cried out at me so terrible a cry that 
meseemed the skies were fallen flat upon me, and the mountains 
trembled at his voice. Then he commanded his hosts to charge ; 
accordingly they rushed on us and we rushed on them, each crying 
out upon other, and battle reared its crest rising in volumes and 
smoke ascending in columns and hearts well nigh cleaving. The 
birds and the flying Jinn fought in the air and the beasts and 
men and the foot-faring Jann in the dust and I fought with AI- 
Dimiryat, till I was aweary and he not less so. At last, I grew 
weak and turned to flee from him, whereupon my companions and 
tribesmen likewise took to flight and my hosts were put to the rout, 
and Solomon cried out, saying, " Take yonder furious tyrant, the 
accursed, the infamous !'* Then man fell upon man and Jinn upon 
Jinn and the armies of the Prophet charged down upon us, with 
the wild beasts and lions on their right hand and on their left, 
rending our horses and tearing our men ; whilst the birds hovered 
over-head in air pecking out our eyes with their claws and beaks 
and beating our faces with their wings, and the serpents struck us 
•with their fangs, till the most of our folk lay prone upon the face 
of the earth, like the trunks of date-trees. Thus defeat befel our 
King and we became a spoil unto Solomon. As to me, I fled from 
before AI-Dimiryat ; but he followed me three months' journey, till 
I fell down for weariness and he overtook me, and pouncing upon 
jne, made me prisoner. Quoth I, " By the virtue of Him who hath 
exalted thee and abased me, spare me and bring me into the 
presence of Solomon, on whom be peace ! " So he carried me 
before Solomon, who received me after the foulest fashion and 

' The Bresl. Edit. (vi. 371) reads " Samm-hu "= his poison, prob. a clerical error fof 
*' Sahmhu":=his shaft. It was a duel with the " Shihab" or falling stars, the meteors 
which are popularly supposed, I have said, to be the arrows shot by the angels against 
devils and evil spirits wbea tbey approach too near Heaven in ordtir to overhear divine 

The City of Brass. loi 

bade bring this pillar and hollow it out. Then he set me herein 
and chained me and sealed me with his signet-ring, and Al- 
Dimiryat bore me to this place wherein thou seest me. Moreover, 
he charged a great angel to guard me, and this pilllar is my prison 

until Judgment-day. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

NotD baben it tuas tje Jfibe l^unlrtttr ant)( ^efaentp-stconli Nffil^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Jinni who was prisoned in the pillar had told them his tale, from 
first to last, the folk marvelled at his story and at the Rightfulness 
of his favour, and the Emir Musa said, " There is no God but 
the God ! Soothly was Solomon gifted with a mighty dominion." 
Then said the Shaykh Abd al-Samad to the Jinni, " Ho there ! I 
would fain ask thee of a thing, whereof do thou inform us." "Ask 
what thou wilt," answered the I frit Dahish and the Shaykh said, 
** Are there hereabouts any of the Ifrits imprisoned in bottles ol 
brass from the time of Solomon (on whom be peace !) } " " Yes," 
replied the Jinni ; " there be such in the sea of Al-Karkar' on the 
shores whereof dwell a people of the lineage of Noah (on whom be 
peace !) ; for their country was not reached by the Deluge and 
they are cut off there from the other sons of Adam." Quoth Abd 
al-Samad, "And which is the way to the City of Brass and the 
place wherein are the cucurbites of Solomon, and what distance 
lieth between us and it "i " Quoth the Ifrit, " It is near at hand," 
and directed them in the way thither. So they left him and fared 
forward till there appeared to them afar off a great blackness and 
therein two fires facing each other, and the Emir Musa asked the 
Shaykh, " What is yonder vast blackness and its twin fires ? "; and 
the guide answered, " Rejoice O Emir, for this is the City of Brass, 
as it is described in the Book of Hidden Treasures which I have 
by me. Its walls are of black stone and it hath two towers of 
Andalusian brass,'' which appear to the beholder in the distance as 
they were twin fires, and hence is it named the City of Brass.'* 
Then they fared on without ceasing till they drew near the city 
and behold, it was as it were a piece of a mountain or a mass of 

• A fancy sea from the Lat. *• Career" (?). 

' Andalusian = Spanish, the Vandal-land, a term accepted by the Moslem invader* 

102 Alf Laylah wa Laytak, 

iron cast hi a mould and impenetrable for the height of its walls 
and bulwarks ; while nothing could be more beautiful than its 
buildings and its ordinance. So they dismounted down and 
sought for an entrance, but saw none neither found any trace of 
opening in the walls, albeit there were five-and-twenty portals to 
the city, but none of them was visible from without. Then quoth 
the Emir, " O Shaykh, I see to this city no sign of any gate ; " and 
quoth he, "O Emir, thus is it described in my Book of Hidden 
Treasures ; it hath five-and-twenty portals ; but none thereof may 
be opened save from within the city." Asked Musa, "And how 
shall we do to enter the city and view its wonders ? " and Talib 
son of Sahl, his Wazir^ answered, " Allah assain the Emir ! let us 
rest here two or three days and, God willing, we will make shift 
to come within the walls." Then said Musa to one of his men, 
** Mount thy camel and ride round about the city, so haply thou 
may light upon a gate or a place somewhat lower than this 
fronting us, or Inshallah ! a breach whereby we can enter." 
Accordingly he mounted his beast, taking water and victuals with 
him, and rode round the city two days and two nights, without 
drawing rein to rest, but found the wall thereof as it were one 
block, without breach or way of ingress ; and on the third day, he 
came again in sight of his companions, dazed and amazed at what 
he had seen of the extent and loftiness of the place, and said, " O 
Emir, the easiest place of access is this where you have alighted." 
Then Musa took Talib and Abd al-Samad and ascended the 
highest hill which overlooked the city. When they reached the 
top, they beheld beneath them a city, never saw eyes a greater or a 
goodlier, with dwelling-places and mansions of towering heiglit, 
and palaces and pavilions and domes gleaming gloriously bright 
and sconces and bulwarks of strength infinite ; and its streams 
were a-flowing and flowers a-blowing and fruits a-glowing. It was 
a city with gates impregnable ; but void and still, without a voice 
or a cheering inhabitant. The owl hooted in its quarters ; the bird 
skimmed circling over its squares and the raven croaked in its 
great thoroughfares weeping and bewailing the dwellers who erst 
made it their dwelling.* The Emir stood awhile, marvelling and 

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

The City of Brass. 103 

sorrowing for the desolation of the city and saying, " Glory to Him 
whom nor ages nor changes nor times can blight, Him who created 
all things of His Might ! " Presently, he chanced to look aside and 
caught sight of seven tablets of white marble afar off. So he drew 
near them and finding inscriptions graven thereon, called the 
Shaykh and bade him read these. Accordingly .he came forward 
and, examining the inscriptions, found that they contained matter 
of admonition and warning and instances and restraint to those of 
understanding. On the first tablet was inscribed, in the ancient 
Greek character: " O son of Adam, how heedless art thou of that 
which is before thee ! Verily, thy years and months and days 
have diverted thee therefrom. Knowest thou not that the cup 
of death is filled for thy bane which in a little while to the dregs 
thou shalt drain } Look to thy doom ere thou enter thy tomb. 
Where be the Kings who held dominion over the lands and abased 
Allah's servants and built these palaces and had armies under their , 
commands } By Allah, the Destroyer of delights and the Severer 
of societies and the Devastator of dwelling-places came down upon ( 
them and transported them from the spaciousness of their palaces 
to the staitness of their burial-places." And at the foot of the 
tablet were written the following verses : — 

" Where are the Kings earth-peopling, where are they ?o The built and peopled 

left they e'er and aye ! 
They're tombed yet pledged to actions past away o And after death upon them 

came decay. 
Where are their troops ? They failed to ward and guard ! o Where are the 

wealth and hoards in treasuries lay ? 
Th' Empyrean's Lord surprised them with one word, o Nor wealth nor refuge 

could their doom delay ! " 

When the Emir heard this, he cried out and the tears ran down his 
cheeks and he exclaimed, " By Allah, from the world abstaining 
is the wisest course and the sole assaining ! " And he called for 
pen-case and paper and wrote down what was graven on the first 
tablet Then he drew near the second tablet and found these 
words graven thereon, " O son of Adam, what hath seduced thee 
from the service of the Ancient of Days and made thee forget 
that one day thou must defray the debt of death ? Wottest thou 
not that it is a transient dwelling wherein for none there is 
abiding ; and yet thou takest thought unto the world and cleavest 
fast thereto ? Where be the kings who Irak peopled and the four 

104 ^'f Laylaft wa Layhk. 

quarters of the globe possessed ? Where be they who abode in 
Ispahan and the land of Khorasan ? The voice of the Summoner 
of Death summoned them and they answered him, and the 
Herald of Destruction hailed them and they replied, Here are we ! 
Verily, that which they builded and fortified profited them 
naught ; neither did what they had gathered and provided avail 
for their defence." And at the foot of the tablet were graven 
the following verses •-— 

Where be the men who built and fortified » High places never man 

their like espied ? 
In fear of Fate they levied troops and hosts, • Availing naught when came 

the time and tide. 
Where be the Kisrds homed in strongest walls ? » As though they ne'er had 

been from home they hied ! 

The Emir Musa wept and exclaimed, " By Allah, we are indeed 
Created for a grave matter ! '* Then he copied the inscription 

end passed on to the third tablet, And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Koto toiiett It foas tbe jpifae J^untjwb antj ^£bcntg=tf)itt> Kfgfjt, 

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

^here is the wight who peopled in the past • Hind-land and Sind; and 

there the tyrant played ? 
yrhoZanj ' and Habash bound beneath his yoke, » And Nubia curbed and low 

its puissance laid. 
Look not for news of what is in his grave. » Ah, he is far who can thy 

vision aid ! 
The stroke of death fell on him sharp and sure ; » Nor saved him palace, nor 

the lands he swayed. 

• "Zanj," I have said, is the Arab, form of the Persian "Zang-bar" (= Black-land), 
our Zanzibar. Those who would know more of the etymology will consult my •' Zan- 

tibar," etc., chapt. i. 

The City of Brass. 105 

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

Where is the man who did those labours ply » And based and built and 

reared these walls on high ? 
Where be the castles' lords .•' Who therein dwelt » Fared forth and left them 

in decay to lie. 
All are entombed, in pledge against the day » When every sin shall show 

to every eye. 
None but the Lord Most High endurance hath, * Whose Might and Majesty 

shall never die. 

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

Where be the Earth-kings who from where they 'bode, » Sped and to grave- 
yards with their hoardings yode : 

I06 Alf Laytak wa Laylak, 

Erst on their mounting-days there hadst beheld • Hosts that concealed <h« 

ground whereon they rode : 
How many a king they humbled in their day! • How many a host they 

led and laid on load ! 
But from th'Empyrean's Lord in baste there came • One word, and joy waxed 

grief ere morning glowed. 

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

Where be the Kings who ruled the Franks of old ? • Where be the King who 

peopled Tingis-wold *? 
Their works are written in a book which He, » The One, th* All-father 

shall as witness hold. 

At this the Emir Musa marvelled and wrote it down, saying, 
* There is no god but the God ! Indeed, how goodly were these 
folk ! " Then he went up to the seventh tablet and behold, 
thereon was written, " Glory to Him who fore-ordaineth death to 
all He createth, the Living One, who dieth not ! O son of Adam, 
let not thy days and their delights delude thee, neither thine hours 
and the delices of their time, and know that death to thee cometh 
and upon thy shoulder sitteth. Beware, then, of his assault and 
make ready for his onslaught. As it was with me, so it is with 
thee ; thou wastest the sweet of thy life and the joyance of thine 
hours. Give ear, then, to my rede and put thy trust in the Lord 
of Lords and know that in the world is no stability, but it is as it 
were a spider's web to thee and all that is therein shall die and 
cease to be. Where is he who laid the foundation of Amid ^ and 

* Arab. " Tanjah " =Strabo Ttyyis (derivation uncertain), Tingitania, Tangiers. Bat 
why the terminal s ? 

* Or Amidah, by the Turks called " Kara (black) Amid " from the colour of th« 
Stones ; and the Arabs " Diyar-bakr " (Diarbekir), a name which they also give to the 

whole province — Mesopotaniia. 

The City of Brass. txyj 

builded it and builded Farikfn* and exalted it ? Where be the 
peoples of the strong places ? Whenas them they had inhabited, 
after their might into the tombs they descended. They have 
been carried off by death and we shall in like manner be afflicted 
by doom. None abideth save Allah the Most High, for He is 
Allah the Forgiving One." The Emir Musa wept and copied all 
this, and indeed the world was belittled in his eyes. Then he 
descended the hill and rejoined his host, with whom he passed 
the rest of the day, casting about for a means of access to the 
city. And he said to his Wazir Talib bin Sahl and to the chief 
officers about him, " How shall we contrive to enter this city and 
view its marvels ? : haply we shall find therein wherewithal to win 
the favour of the Commander of the Faithful." "Allah prolong 
the Emir's fortune ! " replied Talib, " let us make a ladder and 
mount the wall therewith, so peradventure we may come at the 
gate from within.'" Quoth the Emir, " This is what occurred to 
my thought also, and admirable is the advice ! " Then he called 
for carpenters and blacksmiths and bade them fashion wood and 
build a ladder plated and banded with iron. So they made a 
strong ladder and many men wrought at it a whole month. Then 
all the company laid hold of it and set it up against the wall, 
and it reached the top as truly as if it had been built for it before 
that time. The Emir marvelled and said, " The blessing of Allah 
be upon you. It seems as though ye had taken the measure of 
the mure, so excellent is your work.'* Then said he to his men, 
" Which of you will mount the ladder and walk along the wall 
and cast about for a way of descending into the city, so to see 
how the case stands and let us know how we may open the 
gate .' " Whereupon quoth one of them, " I will go up, O Emir, 
and descend and open to you "; and Musa answered, saying, 
*' Go and the blessing of Allah go with thee ! " So the man 
mounted the ladder ; but, when he came to the top of the wall, 
he stood up and gazed fixedly down into the city, then clapped 
his hands and crying out, at the top of his voice. " By Allah, thou 
art fair ! " cast himself down into the place, and Musa cried, " By 
Allah, he is a dead man ! " But another came up to him and said, 
** O Emir, this was a madman and doubtless his madness got the 
better of him and destroyed him. I will go up and open the gate 

* Mayydfarikln, an episcopal city in Diyar*bakr : the natives are called F^iki ; heuco 

the abbreviation in the text* 

I08 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

to you, if it be the v/ill of Allah the Most High." " Go up," 
replied Musa, " and Allah be with thee ! But beware lest Ihou 
lose thy head, even as did thy comrade." Then the man mounted 
the ladder, but no sooner had he reached the top of the wall than 
he laughed aloud, saying, " Well done ! well done 1 "; and clapping 
palms cast himself down into the city and died forthright When 
the Emir saw this, he said, " An such be the action of a reason- 
able man, what is that of the madman ? If all our men do on 
this wise, we shall have none left and shall fail of our errand and 
that of the Commander of the Faithful. Get ye ready for the 
march : verily we have no concern with this city." But a third 
one of the company said, " Haply another may be steadier than 
they." So a third mounted the wall and a fourth and a fifth and 
all cried out and cast themselves down, even as did the first ; nor 
did they leave to do thus, till a dozen had perished in like 
fashion. Then the Shaykh Abd al-Samad came forward and 
heartened himself and said, " This affair is reserved to none other 
than myself; for the experienced is not like the inexperienced." 
Quoth the Emir, " Indeed thou shalt not do that nor will I have 
thee go up : an thou perish, we shall all be cut oflf to the last man 
since thou art our guide." But he answered, saying, " Peradven- 
ture, that which we seek may be accomplished at my hands, by 
the grace of God Most High ! " So the folk all agreed to let him 
mount the ladder, and he arose and heartening himself, said, " In 
the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate I " 
and mounted the ladder, calling on the name of the Lord and 
reciting the Verses of Safety.* When he reached the top of the 
wall, he clapped his hands and gazed fixedly down into the city ; 
whereupon the folk below cried out to him with one accord, saying, 
*' O Shaykh Abd al-Samad, for the Lord's sake, cast not thyself 
down I "; and they added, " Verily we are Allah's and unto Him 
we are returning ! If the Shaykh fall, we are dead men one and 
all." Then he laughed beyond all measure and sat a long hour, 
reciting the names of Allah Almighty and repeating the Verses 
of Safety ; then he rose and cried out at the top of his voice, 
saying, " O Emir, have no fear ; no hurt shall betide you, for 

* Aiab. "Ayat al-Najat," certain Koranic verses which act as talismans, such as, 
•*And wherefore should we not put our trust in Allah?" (xiv. 15); "Say thou, 
*NaQghtsb^ befal os save what Allah hath decreed for us."* (ix. 51}, and sundry 

The City of Brass. 109 

Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty !) hath averted from 
me the wiles and malice of Satan, by the blessing of the words, 
' In the name of Allah the Compassionating the Compassionate!'" 
Asked Musa, " What didst thou see, O Shaykh ? "; and Abd aU 
Samad answered, " I saw ten maidens, as they were Houris of 
Heaven calling to me with their hands " And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

jNToto fo^tn it teas tf)C $M l^untrreln an& SbebentB^fourib Nigftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Shaykh Abd al-Samad answered, *' I saw ten maidens like Houris 
of Heaven,* and they calling and signing^ : — Come hither to us ; 
and meseemed there was below me a lake of water. So I thought 
to throw myself down, when behold, I espied my twelve com- 
panions lying dead ; so I restrained myself and recited somewhat 
of Allah's Book, Whereupon He dispelled from me the damsels* 
witchlike wiles and malicious guiles and they disappeared. And 
doubtless this was an enchantment devised by the people of the 
city, to repel any who should seek to gaze upon or to enter the 
place. And it hath succeeded in slaying our companions." Then 
he walked on along the wall, till he came to the two towers of 
brass aforesaid and saw therein two gates of gold, without pad- 
locks or visible means of opening. Hereat he paused as long as 
Allah pleased' and gazed about him awhile, till he espied in the 
middle of one of the gates, a horseman of brass with hand out- 
stretched as if pointing, and in his palm was somewhat written. 
So he went up to it and read these words, " O thou who 
comest to this place, an thou Wouldst enter turn the pin in 
my navel twelve times and the gate will open. Accordingly, 
he examined the horseman and finding in his navel a pin 
of gold, firm-set and fast fixed, he turned it twelve times, 
whereupon the horseman revolved like the blinding lightning 

' These were the *' Brides of the Treasure,*' alluded to in the story of Hasan of 
Bassorah and elsewhere. 

• Arab. " Ishdrah," which may also mean beckofting. Easterns reverse our process : 
we wave band or finger towards ourselves ; they towards the object ; and our £ashioa 
represents to them, Go away ! 

* ('.<. musing a loi^ time and A longsome. 

no Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

and the gate swung open with a noise like thunder. He entered 
and found himself in a long passage,' which brought him down 
some steps into a guard-room furnished with goodly wooden 
benches, whereon sat men dead, over whose heads hung fine 
shields and keen blades and bent bows and shafts ready notched 
Thence, he came to the main gate of the city ; and, finding it 
secured with iron bars and curiously wrought locks and bolts 
and chains and other fastenings of wood and metal, said to 
himself, " Belike the keys are with yonder dead folk." So he 
turned back to the guard-room and seeing amongst the dead 
an old man seated upon a high wooden bench, who seemed the 
chiefest of them, said in his mind, " Who knows but they are 
with this Shaykh } Doubtless he was the warder of the city, 
and these others were under his hand." So he went up to him 
and lifting his gown, behold, the keys were hanging to his girdle ; 
whereat he joyed with exceeding joy and was like to fly for 
gladness. Then he took them and going up to the portal, undid 
the padlocks and drew back the bolts and bars, whereupon the 
great leaves flew open with a crash like the pealing thunder by 
reason of its greatness and terribleness. At this he cried out, 
saying, " AUaho Akbar — God is most great ! " And the folk with- 
out answered him with the same words, rejoicing and thanking 
him for his deed. The Emir Musa also was delighted at the 
Shaykh's safety and the opening of the city-gate, and the troops 
all pressed forward to enter ; but Musa cried out to them, saying» 
*' O folk, if we all go in at once we shall not be safe from some 
ill-chance which may betide us. Let half enter and other half tarry 
without." So he pushed forwards with half his men, bearing their 
weapons of war, and finding their comrades lying dead, they 
buried them ; and they saw the doorkeepers and eunuchs and 
x:hamberlains and officers reclining on couches of silk and all 
■were corpses. Then they fared on till they came to the chief 
market-place, full of lofty buildings whereof none overpassed the 
others, and found all its shops open, with the scales hung out 
and the brazen vessels ordered and the caravanserais full of all 

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

The- City of Brass. 1 1 1 

manner goods ; and they beheld the merchants sitting on the 
shop-boards dead, with shrivelled skin and rotted bones, a warn- 
ing to those who can take warning ; and here they saw four 
separate markets all replete with wealth. Then they left the 
great bazar and went on till they came to the silk market, 
where they found silks and brocades, orfrayed with red gold 
and diapered with white silver upon all manner of colours, and 
the owners lying dead upon mats of scented goats' leather, and 
looking as if they would speak ; after which they traversed the 
market-street of pearls and rubies and other jewels and came to 
that of the schroffs and money-changers, whom they saw sitting 
dead upon carpets of raw silk and dyed stuffs in shops full of 
gold and silver. Thence they passed to the perfumers' bazar 
where they found the shops filled with drugs of all kinds and 
bladders of musk and ambergris and Nadd-scent and camphor 
and other perfumes, in vessels of ivory and ebony and Khalanj- 
wood and Andalusian copper, the which is equal in value to 
gold ; and various kinds of rattan and Indian cane ; but the 
shopkeepers all lay dead nor was there with them aught of 
food. And hard by this drug-market they came upon a palace, 
imposingly edified and magnificently decorated ; so they entered 
and found therein banners displayed and drawn sword-blades 
and strung bows and bucklers hanging by chains of gold atid 
silver and helmets gilded with red gold. In the vestibules stood 
benches of ivory, plated with glittering gold and covered with 
silken stuffs, whereon lay men, whose skin had dried up on their 
bones ; the fool had deemed them sleeping ; but, for lack of food, 
they had perished and tasted the cup of death.. Now when the 
Emir Musa saw this, he stood still, glorifying Allah the Most 
High and hallowing Him and contemplating the beauty of the 
palace and the massiveness of its masonry and fair perfection of 
its ordinance, for it was builded after the goodliest and stablest 
fashion and the most part of its adornment was of green ^ lapis- 

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

112 Alf Laylak wa Laylak, 

lazuli ; and on the inner door, which stood open, were written in 

characters of gold and ultramarine, tlicse couplets : — 

Consider thou, O man, what these places to thcc showed o And be upon thy 

guard ere thou travel the same road : 
And prepare thee good provision some day may serve thy turn o For each 

dweller in the house needs must yede wi' those who yode 
Consider how this people their palaces adorned o And in dust have been 

pledged for the seed of acts they sowed : 
They built but their building availed them not, and hoards o Nor saved their 

lives nor day of Destiny forslowed : 
How often did they hope for what things were undecreed. o And passed unto 

their tombs before Hope the bounty showed : 
And from high and awful state all a-sudden they were sent o To the straiiness 

of the g^ave and oh ! base is their abode : 
Then came to them a Crier after burial and cried, o What booted thrones or 

Crowns or the gold to you bestowed : 
Where now are gone the faces hid by curtain and by veil, o Whose charms 

were told in proverbs, those beauties k-la-mode ? 
The tombs aloud reply to the questioners and cry, o " Death's canker and 

decay those rosy cheeks corrode ! " 
Long time they ate and drank, but their joyaunce had a term ; o And the eater 

eke was eaten, and was eaten by the worm. 

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

Koto fofien if foas (fie jpibe J^untiwlK anti ^cbentg^fiftlb tNfigi^f, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Emir 
wept till he was like to swoon away, and bade write down the 
verses, after which he passed on into the inner palace and came to 
a vast hall, at each of whose four corners stood a pavilion lofty 
and spacious, washed with gold and silver and painted in various 
colours. In the heart of the hall was a great jetting-fountain of 
alabaster, surmounted by a canopy of brocade, and in each pavilion 
was a sitting-place and each place had its richly-wrought fountain 
and tank paved with marble and streams flowing in channels along 
the floor and meeting in a great and grand cistern of many-coloured 
marbles. Quoth the Emir to the Shaykh Abd al-Samad, " Come, 
let us visit yonder pavilion ! " So they entered the first and found 
it full of gold and silver and pearls and jacinths and other precious 

The City of Brass. i r 5 

stones and metals, besides chests filled with brocades, red and yellow 
and white. Then they repaired to the second pavilion, and, opening 
a closet there, found it full of arms and armour, such as gilded 
helmets and Davidean^ hauberks and Hindi swords and Arabian 
spears and Chorasmian ^ maces and other gear of fight and fray. 
Thence they passed to the third pavilion, wherein they saw closets 
padlocked and covered with curtains wrought with all manner of 
embroidery. They opened one of these and found it full of 
weapons curiously adorned with open work and with gold and 
silver damascene and jewels. Then they entered the fourth pavi- 
lion, and opening one of the closets there, beheld in it great store 
of eating" and drinking vessels of gold and silver, with platters of 
crystal and goblets set with fine pearls and cups of carnelian and 
so forth. So they all fell to taking that which suited their tastes 
and each of the soldiers carried off what he could. When they 
left the pavilions, they saw in the midst of the palace a door of 
teak-wood marquetried with ivory and ebony and plated with glit- 
tering gold, over which hung a silken curtain purfled with all 
maner of embroideries ; and on this door were locks of white silver, 
that opened by artifice without a key. The Shaykh Abd al-Samad 
went valiantly up thereto and by the aid of his knowledge and 
skill opened the locks, whereupon the door admitted them into a 
corridor paved with marble and hung with veil-like ^ tapestries em- 
broidered with figures of all manner beasts and birds, whose bodies 
were of red gold and white silver and their eyes of pearls and 
rubies, amazing all who looked upon them. Passing onwards they 
came to a saloon builded all of polished marble, inlaid with jewels, 
which seemed to the beholder as though the floor were flowing 
water* and whoso walked thereon slipped. The Emir bade the 
Shaykh strew somewhat upon it, that they might walk over it ; 
which being done, they made shift to fare forwards till they came 

* For David's miracles of metallurgy see vol. i. 286. 

' Arab. " Khwarazm," the land of the Chorasmioi, who are mentioned by Herodotus 
(iii. 93) and a host of classical geographers. They place it in Sogdiana (hod. Sughd) 
and it corresponds with the Khiva country. 

^ Arab. " Burka'," usually applied to a woman's face- veil and hence to the covering 
of the Ka'abah, which is the " Bride of Meccah." 

* Alluding to the trick played upon Bilkis by Solomon who had heard that her legs 
were hairy like those of an ass : he laid down a pavement of glass over flowing water ia 
which fish were swimming and thus she raised her skirts as she approached him and be 
saw that the report was true. Hence» as I have said* the depilatory (Koraa xxvii.). 


1 14 Alf Laylah zva Laylah, 

CO a great domed pavilion of stone, gilded with red gold and 
crowned with a cupola of alabaster, about which were set lattice- 
windows carved and jewelled with rods of emerald/ beyond the 
competence of any King. Under this dome was a canopy of bro- 
cade, reposing upon pillars of red gold and wrought with figures of 
birds whose feet were of smaragd, and beneath each bird was a 
network of fresh-hued pearls. The canopy was spread above a 
jetting fountain of ivory and carnelian, plated with glittering gold 
and thereby stood a couch set with pearls and rubies and other 
jewels and beside the couch a pillar of gold. On the capital of the 
column stood a bird fashioned of red rubies and holding in his 
bill a pearl which shone like a star ; and on tKe couch lay a damsel, 
as she were the lucident sun, eyes never saw a fairer. She wore a 
tight-fitting body-robe of fine pearls, with a crown of red gold on 
her head, filleted with gems, and on her forehead were two great 
jewels, whose light was as the light of the sun. On her breast she 
wore a jewelled amulet, filled with musk and ambergris and worth 
the empire of the Caesars ; and around her neck hung a collar of 
rubies and great pearls, hollowed and filled with odoriferous musk. 
And it seemed as if she gazed on them to the right and to the 

left. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

BM tobcn It toas tfie §M f^untirctf nnti SEbtntg--sixtf) iEigljt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel 
seemed to be gazing at the folk to the right and to the left. The 
Emir Musa marvelled at her exceeding beauty and was confounded 
at the blackness of her hair and the redness of her cheeks, which 
made the beholder deem her alive and not dead, and said to her, 
" Peace be with thee, O damsel ! " But Talib ibn Sahl said to 
him, " Allah preserve thee, O Emir, verily this damsel is dead and 
there is no life in her ; so how shall she return thy salam } " ; 
adding, " Indeed, she is but a corpse embalmed with exceeding 
art ; her eyes were taken out after her death and quicksilver set 
under them, after which they were restored to their sockets. 
Wherefore they glisten and when the air moveth the lashes, she 

' I understand the curiously carved windows cut in arabesque-work of marble (India) 
or basalt (the Hauran) and provided with small panes of glass set in emeralds where tio» 
foil would be used by the vulgar. 

The City of Brass. 1 1 5 

seemeth to wink and it appeareth to the beholder as though she 
looked at him, for ail she is dead." At this the Emir marvelled 
beyond measure and said, "Glory be to God who subjugateth 
His creatures to the dominion of Death ! " Now the couch on 
which the damsel lay, had steps, and thereon stood two statues 
of Andalusian copper representing slaves, one white and the 
other black. The first held a mace of steel' and the second a 
sword of watered steel which dazzled the eye ; and between 
them, on one of the steps of the couch, lay a golden tablet, 
whereon were written, in characters of white silver, the follow- 
ing words : " In the name of God, the Compassionating, the Com- 
passionate ! Praise be to Allah, the Creator of mankind; and 
He is the Lord of Lords, the Causer of Causes ! In the name of 
Allah, the Never-beginning, the Everlasting, the Ordainer of Fate 
and Fortune ! O son of Adam ! what hath befooled thee in this 
long esperance? What hath unminded thee of the Death-day's 
mischance ? Knowest thou not that Death calleth for thee and 
hasteneth to seize upon the soul of thee } Be ready, therefore, for 
the Vv'ay and provide thee for thy departure from the world ; for, 
assuredly, thou shalt leave it without delay. Where is Adam, first 
of humanity ? Where is Noah with his progeny } Where be the 
Kings of Hind and Irak-plain and they who over earth's widest 
regions reign ? Where do the Amalekites abide and the giants and 
tyrants of olden tide } Indeed, the dwelling-places are void of 
them and they have departed from kindred and home. Where be 
the Kings of Arab and Ajem ? They are dead, all of them, and 
gone and are become rotten bones. Where be the lords so high 
in stead } They are all done dead. Where are Kora and Haman .> 
Where is Shaddad son of Ad ? Where be Canaan and Zu'l- 
Autad,2 Lord of the Stakes .? By Allah, the Reaper of lives hath 

* Arab. "Bulad" from the Pers. "Pulad." Hence the name of the famous Druio 
lamily "Jumblat,"a corruption of "Jan-pulad" ■=. Life o' Steel. 

■'* Pharaoh, so called in Koran (xxxviii. ii) because he tortured men by fastening them 
to four stakes driven into the ground. Sale translates "the contriver of the slakes" 
and adds, "Some understand the word figuratively, of the firm establishment of Pha- 
raoh's kingdom, because the Arabs fix their tents with stakes ; but they may possibly 
intend that prince's obstinacy and hardness of heart." I may note that in " Tasawwuf," 
«r Moslem Gnosticism, Pharaoh represents, like Prometheus and Job, the typical creature 
who upholds his own dignity and rights in presence and despight of the Creator. Sahib 
the Sufi declares that the secret of man's soul {f.e. its emanation) was first revealed when 
Pharnoh declared himself god ; and Al-Ghazali sees in his claim the most noble aspira- 
tion to the divine, ixmate in the human spirit (Dabistan, voL iii.). 

1 16 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

reaped them and made void the lands of them. Did they provide 
them against the Day of Resurrection or make ready to answer 
the Lord of men ? O thou, if thou know me not, I will acquaint 
thee with my name : I am Tadmurah,^ daughter of the Kings of 
the Amalekitcs, of those who held dominion over the lands in 
equity and brought low the necks of humanity. I possessed that 
which never King possessed and was righteous in my rule and 
did justice among my lieges; yea, I gave gifts and largesse and 
freed bondsmen and bondswomen. Thus lived I many years in 
all ease and delight of life, till Death knocked at my door and to 
me and to my folk befel calamities galore ; and it was on this 
wise. There betided us seven successive years of drought, wherein 
no drop of rain fell on us from the skies and no green thing 
sprouted for us on the face of earth.^ So we ate what was with us 
of victual, then we fell upon the cattle and devoured them, until 
nothing was left. Thereupon I let bring my treasures and meted 
them with measures and sent out trusty men to buy food. They 
circuited all the lands in quest thereof and left no city unsought, 
but found it not to be bought and returned to us with the treasure 
after a long absence ; and gave us to know that they could not 
succeed in bartering fine pearls for poor wheat, bushel for bushel, 
weight for weight. So, when we despaired of succour, we dis- 
played all our riches and things of price and, shutting the gates 
of the city and its strong places, resigned ourselves to the deme 
of our Lord and committed our case to our King. Then we all 
died,^ as thou seest us, and left what we had builded and all we 
had hoarded. This, then, is our story, and after the substance 
naught abideth but the trace." Then they looked at the foot of 
the tablet and read these couplets : — 

child of Adam, let not hope make mock and flyte at thee, o From all thy 

hands have treasured, removed thou shalt be ; 

1 see thou covetest the world and fleeting worldly charms, o And races past 

and gone have done the same as thou I see. 
Lawful and lawless wealth they got ; but all their hoarded store, o Their term 
accomplished, naught delayed of Destiny's decree. 

• In the Calc. Edit. "Tarmuz, son of the daughter," etc. According to the Arabs, 
Tadmur (Palmyra) was built by Queen Tadmurah, daughter of Hassan bin Uzaynah. 

• It is only by some such drought that I can account for the survival of those inar» 
vellous Haurani cities in the great valley S. E. of Damascus. 

• So Moses described his own death and burial. 

The City of Brass. 117 

Armies they led and puissant men and gained them gold galore ; Then left 

their wealth and palaces by Fate compelled to flee, 
To straitness of the grave-yard and humble bed of dust o Whence, pledged for 

every word and deed, they never more win free : 
As a company of travellers had unloaded in the night o At house that lacketh 

food nor is o'erfain of company : 
Whose owner saith, ' O folk, there be no lodging here for you ;' o So packed 

they who had erst unpacked and far^d hurriedly : 
Misliking much the march, nor the journey nor the halt o Had aught o£ 

pleasant chances or had aught of goodly gree. 
Then prepare thou good provision for to-morrow's journey stored, o Naught 

but righteous honest life shall avail thee with the Lord ! 

And the Emif Musa wept as he read, *' By Allah, the fear of the 
Lord is the best of all property, the pillar of certainty and the 
sole sure stay. Verily, Death is the truth manifest and the sure 
behest, and therein, O thou, is the goal and return-place evident. 
Take warning, therefore, by those "who- to the dust did wend and 
hastened on the way of the predestined end. Seest thou not that 
hoary hairs summon thee to the tomb and that the whiteness of 
thy locks maketh moan of thy doom ? Wherefore be thou on 
the wake ready for thy departure and thine account to make. O 
son of Adam, what hath hardened thy heart in mode abhorred ? 
What hath seduced thee from the service of thy Lord ? Where 
be the peoples of old time ? They are a warning to whoso will 
be warned ! Where be the Kings of Al-Sfn and the lords of 
majestic mien ? Where is Shaddad bin Ad and whatso he built 
and he stablished ? Where is Nimrod who revolted against 
Allah and defied Him? Where is Pharaoh who rebelled against 
God and denied Him ? Death followed hard upon the trail of 
them all, and laid them low sparing neither great nor small, male 
nor female ; and the Reaper of Mankind cut them off, yea, by 
Him who maketh night to return upon day! Know, O thou who 
comest to this place, that she whom thou seest here was not 
deluded by the world and its frail delights, for it is faithless, 
perfidious, a house of ruin, vain and treacherous ; and salutary 
to the creature is the remembrance of his sins ; wherefore she 
feared her Lord and made fair her dealings and provided herself 
with provaunt against the appointed marching-day. Whoso 
Cometh to our city and Allah vouchsafeth him competence to 
enter it, let him take of the treasure all he can, but touch not 

Ii8 Alf Laylah zva Laylah. 

aught that is on my body, for it is the covering of my shame ' 
and the outfit for the last journey ; wherefore let him fear Allah 
and despoil naught thereof; else will he destroy his own self. 
This have I set forth to him for a warning from me and a solemn 
trust to be ; wherewith, peace be with ye and I pray Allah to 
keep you from sickness and calamity." And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

:^folt) foben it leas t|^c jptbe fl^untirrt an^ ^ebcntB-scbcntlj Nifi|)t, 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Emir Musa read this, he wept with exceeding weeping till he 
swooned away and presently coming to himself, wrote down all 
he had seen and was admonished by all he had witnessed. Then 
he said to his men, " Fetch the camels and load them with these 
treasures and vases and jewels." "O Emir," asked Talib, "shall 
we leave our damsel with what is upon her, things which have no 
equal and whose like is not to be found and more perfect than 
aught else thou takest ; nor couldst thou find a goodlier offering 
wherewithal to propitiate the favour of the Commander of the 
Faithful ? " But Musa answered, " O man, heardest thou not 
what the Lady saith on this tablet ? More by token that she 
giveth it in trust to us who are no traitors." "And shall we," 
rejoined the Wazir Talib, " because of these words, leave all these 
riches and jewels, seeing that she is dead ,? What should she do 
with these that are the adornments of the world and the orna- 
ment of the worldling, seeing that one garment of cotton would 
suffice for her covering } We have more right to them than she.'* 
So saying he mounted the steps of the couch between the pillars, 
but when he came within reach of the two slaves, lo ! the mace- 
bearer smote him on the back and the other struck him with the 
sword he held in his hand and lopped off his head, and he dropped 
down dead. Quoth the Emir, " Allah have no mercy on thy 
resting-place ! Indeed there was enough in these treasures ; and 
greed of gain assuredly degradeth a man." Then he bade admit 

' A man's " aurat " (shame) extends from the navel (included) to his knees ; a 
woman's from the top of the head to the tips of her toes. I have before noticed the 
Hindostanl application of the word. 

The City of Brass. I Iq 

the troops ; so they entered and loaded the camels with those 
treasures and precious ores ; after which they went forth and the 
Emir commanded them to shut the gate as before. They fared 
on along the sea-shore a whole month, till they came in sight 
of a high mountain overlooking the sea and full of caves, wherein 
dwelt a tribe of blacks, clad in hides, with burnooses also of hide 
and speaking an unknown tongue. When they saw the troops they 
were startled like shying steeds and fled into the caverns, whilst 
their women and children stood at the cave-doors, looking on the 
strangers. "O Shaykh Abd al-Samad," asked the Emir, "what 
are these folk ? " and he answered, " They are those whom we seek 
for the Commander of the Faithful." So they dismounted and 
setting down their loads, pitched their tents ; whereupon, almost 
before they had done, down came the King of the blacks from the 
mountain and drew near the camp. Now he understood the 
Arabic tongue ; so, when he came to the Emir he saluted him with 
the salam and Musa returned his greeting and entreated him with 
honour. Then quoth he to the Emir, "Are ye men or Jinn?" 
" Well, we are men," quoth Musa ; " but doubtless ye are Jinn, to 
judge by your dwelling apart in this mountain which is cut off 
from mankind, and by your inordinate bulk." *' Nay," rejoined 
the black ; " we also are children of Adam, of the lineage of Ham, 
son of Noah (with whom be peace !), and this sea is known as 
Al-Karkar." Asked Musa, " O King, what is your religion and 
what worship ye .^"; and he answered, saying, " We worship the 
God of the heavens and our religion is that of Mohammed, whom 
Allah bless and preserve ! " " And how came ye by the knowledge 
of this," questioned the Emir, "seeing that no prophet was inspired 
to visit this country ?" " Know, Emir," replied the King, " that 
there appeared to us wlnlere from out the sea a man, from whom 
issued a light that illumined the horizons and he cried out, in a 
voice which was heard of men far and near, saying : — O children of 
Ham, reverence to Him who seeth and is not seen and say ye, 
There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is the messenger of 
God ! And he added : — I am Abu al-Abbds al-Khizr. Before 
this we were wont to worship one another, but he summoned us to 
the service of the Lord of all creatures ; and he taught us to repeat 
these words. There is no god save the God alone, who hath for 
partner none, and His is the kingdom and His is the praise. He 
giveth life and death and He over all things is Almighty. Nor 

120 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

do we draw near unto Allah (be He exalted and extolled !) except 
with these words, for we know none other ; but every eve before 
Friday » we see a light upon the face of earth and we hear a voice 
saying, Holy and glorious, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit ! 
What He willeth is, and what He willeth not, is not. Every boon 
is of His grace and there is neither Majesty nor is there Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " But ye," quoth the 
King, "who and what are ye and what bringeth you to this land ?" 
Quoth Musa, " We are officers of the Soverign of Al-Islam, the 
Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, who hath 
heard tell of the lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be peace !) 
and of that which the Most High bestowed upon him of supreme 
dominion ; how he held sway over Jinn and beast and bird and 
was wont when he was wroth with one of the Marids, to shut him 
in a cucurbite of brass and, stopping its mouth on him with lead, 
whereon he impressed his seal-ring, to cast him into the sea of 
Al-Karkar. Now we have heard tell that this sea is nigh your 
land ; so the Commander of the Faithful hath sent us hither, to 
bring him some of these cucurbites, that he may look thereon and 
solace himself with their sight. Such, then, is our case and what 
we seek of thee, O King, and we desire that thou further us in the 
accomplishment of our errand commanded by the Commander of 
the Faithful." "With love and gladness," replied the black King, 
and carrying them to the guest-house, entreated them with the 
utmost honour and furnished them with all they needed, feeding 
them upon fish. They abode thus three days, when he bade his 
divers fetch from out the sea some of the vessels of Solomon. So 
they dived and brought up twelve cucurbites, whereat the Emir 
and the Shaykh and all the company rejoiced in the accomplish- 
ment of the Caliph's need. Then Musa gave the King of the 
blacks many and great gifts ; and he, in turn, made him a present 

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

The City of Brass. \zi 

of the wonders of the deep, being fishes in human form,' saying 
"Your entertainment these three days hath been of the meat 
of these fish." Quoth the Emir, " Needs must we carry some of 
these to the Caliph, for the sight of them will please him more 
than the cucurbites of Solomon." Then they took leave of the 
black King and» setting out on their homeward journey, travelled 
till they came to Damascus, where Musa went in to the Com- 
mender of the Faithful and told him all that he had sighted and 
heard of verses and legends and instances, together with the 
manner of the death of Talib bin Sahl ; and the Caliph said, 
*' Would I had been with you, that I might have seen what you 
saw ! " Then he took the brazen vessels and opened them, cucur- 
bite after cucurbite, whereupon the devils came forth of them, 
saying, " We repent, O Prophet of Allah !. Never again will we 
return to the like of this thing ; no never 1 " And the Caliph 
marvelled at this. As for the daughters of the deep presented to 
them by the black King, they made them cisterns of planks, full of 
water, and laid them therein ; but they died of the great heat. 
Then the Caliph sent for the spoils of the Brazen City and divided 

them among the Faithful, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say.. 

iEoto fcofjen tt foa» tfje SM l^untireTi anil S^efaentg-Hgfjtft iEfgtit, 

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

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

1^ Alf Laylak wa Laytah. 

God is All-knowing ! Now (continued Shahrazad) I have 

another tale to tell anent the 




There was, in days~of yore and in ages and times long gone 
before, a puissant King among the Kings of China, the crown of 
crowned heads, who ruled over many men of war and vassals with 
wisdom and justice, might and majesty ; equitable to his Ryots, 
liberal to his lieges and dearly beloved by the hearts of his sub- 
jects. He was wealthy as he was powerful, but he had grown 
old without being blessed with a son, and this caused him sore 
affliction. He could only brood over the cutting off of his seed 
and the oblivion that would bury his name and the passing of 
his realm into the stranger's hands. So he secluded himself 
in his palace, never going in and out or rising and taking rest 
till the lieges lost all tidings of him and were sore perplexed 
and began to talk about their King. Some said, " He's dead "; 
others said, ** No, he's not "; but all resolved to find a ruler who 
could reign over them and carry out the customs of government. 
At last, utterly despairing of male issue, he sought the intercession 
of the Prophet (whom Allah bless and keep !) with the Most 
High and implored Him, by the glory of His Prophets and 
Saints and Martyrs and others of the Faithful who were accept- 
able to Heaven that he would grant him a son, to be the coolth 
of his eyes and heir to the kingdom after him. Then he rose 
forthright and, withdrawing to his sitting-saloon, sent for his wife 

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

The Craft and Malice of Women. 123 

wlio was Ifie daughter of his uncle. Now this Queen was of sur- 
passing beauty and loveliness, the fairest of all his wives and the 
dearest to him as she was the nearest : and to boot a woman 
of excellent wit and passing judgement She found the King 
dejected and sorrowful, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted ; so she 
kissed ground between his hands and said, " O King, may my life 
ransom thy life ! may Time never prove thy foe, nor the shifts of 
Fortune prevail over thee ; may Allah grant thee every joy and 
ward off from thee all annoy ! How is it I see thee brooding over 
thy case and tormented by the displeasures of memory ?" He 
replied, " Thou wottest well that I am a man now shotten in years, 
who hath never been blessed with a son, a sight to cool his eyes ; 
so I know that my kingdom shall pass away to the stranger \n 
blood and my name and memory will be blotted out amongst 
men. *Tis this causeth me to grieve with excessive grief." "Allah 
do away with thy sorrows," quoth she : " long ere this day a 
thought struck me ; and yearning for issue arose in my heart 
even as in thine. One night I dreamed a dream and a voice 
said to me: — The King thy husband pineth for progeny: if a' 
daughter be vouchsafed to him, she will be the ruin of his 
realm ; if a son, the youth will undergo much trouble and 
annoy but he will pass through it without loss of life. Such a 
son can be conceived by thee and thee only and the time of 
thy conception is when the moon conjoineth with Gemini ! I 
woke from my dream, but after what I heard that voice declare 
I refrained from breeding and would not consent to bear chil- 
dren." '"There is no help for it but that I have a son, Inshallah, 
"'— God willing!" cried the King. Thereupon she soothed and 
consoled him till he forgot his sorrows and went forth amongst 
the lieges and sat, as of wont, upon his throne of estate. AH 
rejoiced to see him once more and especially the Lords of his 
realm. Now when the conjunction of the moon and Gemini took 
place, the King knew his wife carnally and, by order of Allah 
Almighty she became pregnant. Presently she announced the 
glad tidings to her husband and led her usual life until her nine 
months of pregnancy were completed and she bare a male child 
whose face was as the rondure of the moon on its fourteenth 
night. The lieges of the realm congratulated one another there- 
anent and the King commanded an assembly of his Olema and 
philosophers, astrologers and horoscopists, whom he thus ad- 
dressed, '* I desire you to forecast the fortune of my son and 

124 A If Laylak wa Lay [ah. 

to determine his ascendant ^ and whatever is shown by his 
nativity." They replied " 'Tis well, in Allah's name, let us do 
so !" and cast his nativity with all diligence. After ascertaining 
his ascendant, they pronounced judgement in these words, " We 
see his lot favourable and his life viable and durable ; save that 
a danger awaiteth his youth." The father was sorely concerned 
at this saying, when they added " But, O King, he shall escape 
from it nor shall aught of injury accrue to him !" Hereupon the 
King cast aside all cark and care and robed the wizards and 
dismissed them with splendid honoraria ; and he resigned himself 
to the will of Heaven and acknowledged that the decrees of 
Destiny may not be countervailed. He committed his boy to 
wet nurses and dry nurses, handmaids and eunuchs, leaving 
him to grow and fill out in the Harim till he reached the 
age of seven. Then he addressed letters to his Viceroys and 
Governors in every clime and by their means gathered together 
Olema and philosophers and doctors of law and religion, from 
all countries, to a number of three hundred and three score. He 
held an especial assembly for them and, when all were in presence, 
he bade them draw near him and be at their ease while he sent for 
the food-trays and all ate their sufficiency. And when the banquet 
ended and the wizards had taken seats in their several degrees^ 
the King asked them, -* Wot ye wherefore I have gathered ye to- 
gether?" ; whereto all answered, " We wot not, O King !" He con- 
tinued, " It is my wish that you select from amongst you fifty men, 
and from these fifty ten, and from these ten one, that he may teach 
my son omnem rem scibilem ; for whenas I see the youth perfect 
in all science, I will share my dignity with the Prince and make 
him partner with me in my possessions." " Know, O King,'* they 
replied, " that among us none is more learned or more excellent 
than Al-Sindibad,2 hight the Sage, who woneth in thy capital 

* Eusebius De Praep. Evang. iii. 4, quotes Prophesy concerning the Egyptian 
belief in the Lords of the Ascendant whose names are given 'tv Tois *aX/jiei/i;^iaKots : 
in these " Almenichiaka " we have the first almanac, as the first newspaper in the 
Roman "Acta Diurna." 

* "Al-Mas'udi,'* the " Herodotus of the Arabs," thus notices Sindibad the Sage (in his 
Muruj etc., written about A.D. 934). *' During the reign of Kurush (Cyrus) lived Al- 
Sindibad who wrote the Seven Wazirs, etc." Al-Ya'akiibi had also named him circ. 
A.D. 880. For notes on the name Sindibad, see Sindbad the Seaman, Night dxxxvi. 
I need not enter into the history of the " Seven Sages," a book evidently older than The 
Nights in present fjorm ; but refer the reader to Mr. Clouston, of whom more in a future 

The Craft and Malice of Women. 125 

under thy protection. If such be thy design, summon him and 
bid him do thy will." The King acted upon their advice and the 
Sage, standing in the presence, expressed his loyal sentiments with 
his salutation, whereupon his Sovereign bade him draw nigh and 
thus raised his rank, saying, " I would have thee to know, O Sage, 
that I summoned this assembly of the learned and bade them 
choose me out a man to teach my son all knowledge ; when they 
selected thee without dissenting thought or voice. If, then, thou 
feel capable of what they claimed for thee, come thou to the task 
and understand that a man's son and heir is the very fruit of his 
vitals and core of his heart and liver. My desire of thee is thine 
instruction of him ; and to happy issue Allah guideth!" The 
King then sent for his son and committed him to Al-Sindibad 
conditioning the Sage to finish his education in three years. He 
did accordingly but, at the end of that time, the young Prince 
had learned nothing, his mind being wholly occupied with play 
and disport ; and when summoned and examined by his sire, 
behold, his knowledge was as nil. Thereupon the King turned 
his attention to the learned once more and bade them elect a tutor 
for his youth ; so they asked, " And what hath his governor, Al- 
Sindibad, been doing ?" and when the King answered, " He hath 
taught my son naught ;" the Olema and philosophers and high 
officers summoned the instructor and said to him, "O Sage, 
what prevented thee from teaching the King's son during this 
length of days ?" " O wise men," he replied, " the Prince's 
mind is wholly occupied with disport and play ; yet, an the 
King will make with me three conditions and keep to them, 
I will teach him in seven months what he would not learn 
(nor indeed could any other lesson him) within seven years," " I 
hearken to thee," quoth the King, " and I submit myself to thy 
conditions;" and quoth Al-Sindibad, "Hear from me. Sire, and 
bear in mind these three sayings, whereof the first is : — Do not to 
others what thou wouldest not they do unto thee ;^ and second : — 
Do naught hastily without consulting the experienced ; and 
thirdly : — Where thou hast power show pity.^ In teaching this 

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

* It is curious to compare the dry and business-like tone of the Arab style with the 
rhetorical luxuriance of the Persian : p. 10 of Mr. Clouston's "Book of Sindibad." 

126 Alf Laytak wa Laylah, 

lad I require no more of thee but to accept these three dictes and 
adhere thereto," Cried the King, " Bear ye witness against me, 
O all ye here assembled, that I stand firm by these conditions ! "; 
and caused a proces verbal to be drawn up with his personal 
security and the testimony of his courtiers. Thereupon the Sage, 
taking the Prince's hand, led him to his place, and the King sent 
them all requisites of provaunt and kitchen-batteries, carpets and 
other furniture. Moreover the tutor bade build a house whose 
walls he lined with the whitest stucco painted over with ceruse,* 
and, lastly, he delineated thereon all the objects concerning which 
he proposed to lecture his pupil. When the place was duly fur- 
nished, he took the lad's hand and installed him in the apartment 
which was amply furnished with belly-timber ; and, after stab- 
lishing him therein, went forth and fastened the door with seven 
padlocks. Nor did he visit the Prince save every third day when 
he lessoned him on the knowledge to be extracted from the 
wall-pictures and renewed his provision of meat and drink, after 
which he left him again to solitude. So whenever the youth was 
straitened in breast by the tedium and ennui of loneliness, he 
applied himself diligently to his object-lessons and mastered all 
the deductions thereform. His governor seeing this turned his 
mind into other channel and taught him the inner meanings of the 
external objects ; and in a little time the pupil mastered every 
requisite. Then the Sage took him from the house and taught him 
cavalaricc and Jen'd play and archery. When the pupil had 
thoroughly mastered these arts, the tutor sent to the King inform- 
ing him that the Prince was perfect and complete in all things 
required to figure favourably amongst his peers. Herat the King 
rejoiced ; and, summoning his Wazirs and Lords of estate to be 
present at the examination, commanded the Sage to send his son 
into the presence. Thereupon Al-Sindibad consulted his pupil's 
horoscope and found it barred by an inauspicious conjunction 
which would last seven days ; so, in sore affright for the youth's 
life, he said, " Look into thy nativity-scheme." The Prince did so 
and, recognising the potent, feared for himself and presently asked 
the Sage, saying, " What dost thou bid mc do ? " " I bid thee,'* 
he answered, " remain silent and speak not a word during this 

* In the text " Isfidaj," the Pers. Isped (or Saf^d) ab, lit. = white water, ceruse used 
for women's faces suggesting our "Age of Bismuth," Blanc Rosati, Creme de I'lmpera* 
Iricei Perline, Opaline, Milk of Beauty, etc, etc., etc 

The Craft aiid Malice of Wovien^ 12/ 

se'nnight ; even though thy sire slay thee with scourging. An thou 
pass safely through this period, thou shalt win to high rank and 
succeed to thy sire's reiga ; but an things go otherwise then the 
behest is with Allah from the beginning to the end thereof.'* 
Quoth the pupil, "Thou art in fault, O preceptor, and thou hast 
shown undue haste in sending that message to the King before 
looking into my horoscope. Hadst thou delayed till the week had 
passed all had been well." Quoth the tutor, " O my son, what was 
to be was ; and the sole defaulter therein was my delight in thy 
scholarship. But now be firm in thy resolve ; rely upon Allah 
Almighty and determine not to utter a single word." Thereupon 
the Prince fared for the presence and was met by the Wazirs who 
led him to his father. The King accosted him and addressed him 
but he answered not ; and sought speech of him but he spake not. 
Whereupon the courtiers were astounded and the monarch, sore 
concerned for his son, summoned Al-Sindibad. But the tutor so 
hid himself that none could hit upon his trace nor gain tidings of 
him ; and folk said, " He was ashamed to appear before the King s 
majesty and the courtiers." Under these conditions the Sovereign 
heard some of those present saying, " Send the lad to the Serraglio 
where he will talk with the women and soon set aside this bashful- 
ness ;" and, approving their counsel, gave orders accordingly. So 
the Prince was led into the palace, which was compassed about by 
a running stream whose banks were planted with all manner of 
fruit-trees and sweet-smelling flowers. Moreover, in this palace 
were forty chambers and in every chamber ten slave-girls, each 
skilled in some instrument of music, so that whenever one of them 
played, the palace danced to her melodious strains. Here the 
Prince passed one night; but, on the following morning, the King's 
favourite concubine happened to cast eyes upon his beauty and 
loveliness, his symmetrical stature, his brilliancy and his perfect 
grace, and love gat hold of her heart and she was ravished with 
his charms.^ So she went up to him and threw herself upon him, 

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

128 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

but he made her no response ; whereupon, being dazed by his 
beauty, she cried out to him and required him of himself and 
importuned him ; then she again threw herself upon him and 
clasped him to her bosom kissing him and saying, " O King's son, 
grant me thy favours and I will set thee in thy father's stead ; I 
will give him to drink of poison, so he may die and thou shalt 
enjoy his realm and wealth." When the Prince heard these words, 
he was sore enraged against her and said to her by signs, "O 
accursed one, so it please Almighty Allah, I will assuredly requite 
thee this thy deed, whenas I can speak ; for I will go forth to my 
father and will tell him, and he shall kill thee." So signing, he 
arose in rage, and went out from her chamber ; whereat she feared 
for herself. Thereupon she buffeted her face and rent her raiment 
and tare her hair and bared her head, then went in to the King 
and cast herself at his feet, weeping and wailing. When he saw 
her in this plight, he was sore concerned and asked her, •' What 
aileth thee, O damsel "i How is it with thy lord, my son 1 Is he not 
well } "; and she answered, " O King, this thy son, whom thy 
courtiers avouch to be dumb, required me of myself and I repelled 
him, whereupon he did with me as thou seest and would have slain 
me ; so I fled from him, nor will I ever return to him, nor to the 
palace again, no, never again 1 " When the King heard this, he 
was wroth with exceeding wrath and, calling his seven Wazirs, 
bade them put the Prince to death. However, they said one to 
other, "If we do the King's commandment, he will surely repent 
of having ordered his son's death, for he is passing dear to him 
and this child came not to him save after despair; and he will 
round upon us and blame us, saying : — Why did ye not contrive to 
dissuade me from slaying him .> " So they took counsel together, 
to turn him from his purpose, and the chief Wazir said, " I will 
warrant you from the King's mischief this day." Then he went 
in to the presence and prostrating himself craved leave to speak. 
The King gave him permission, and he said, " O King, though 
thou hadst a thousand sons, yet were it no light matter to thee 
to put one of them to death, on the report of a woman, be she 
true or be she false ; and belike this is a lie and a trick of her 
against thy son ; for indeed, O King, I have heard tell great plenty 
of stories of the malice, the craft and perfidy of women." Quoth 
the King, "Tell me somewhat of that which hath come to thy 
knowledge thereof.*' And the Wazir answered, saying : — Yes , 
there hath reached me, O King, a tale entituled 

The King and his Wazir's Wife, 129 


There was once a King of the Kings, a potent man and a proud, 
who was devoted to the love of women and one day being in the 
privacy of his palace, he espied a beautiful woman on the terrace- 
roof of her house and could not contain himself from falling 
consumedly in love with her.^ He asked his folk to whom the 
house and the damsel belonged and they said, " This is the dwell- 
ing of the Wazir such an one and she is his wife." So he called 
the Minister in question and despatched him on an errand to a 
distant part of the kingdom, where he was to collect information 
and to return ; but, as soon as he obeyed and was gone, the King 
contrived by a trick to gain access to his house and his spouse. 
When the Wazir's wife saw him, she knew him and springing up, 
kissed his hands and feet and welcomed him. Then she stood 
afar off, busying herself in his service, and said to him, " O our 
lord, what is the cause of thy gracious coming ? Such an honour 
is not for the like of me." Quoth he, " The cause of it is that love 
of thee and desire thee-wards have moved me to this. Where- 
upon she kissed ground before him a second time and said, " By 
Allah, O our lord, indeed I am not worthy to be the handmaid 
of one of the King's servants ; whence then have I the great good 
fortune to be in such high honour and favour with thee ? " Then 
the King put out his hand to her intending to enjoy her person, 
when she said," This thing shall not escape us ; but take patience, 
O my King, and abide with thy handmaid all this day, that she 
iray make ready for thee somewhat to eat and drink." So the 

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

"^ One might fancy that this is Biblical, Bathsheba and Uriah. But such " villanies" 
must often have occurred in the East, at different times and places, without requiring 
direct derivation. The learned Prof. H. H. Wilson was mistaken in supposing that 
these fictions " originate in the feeling which has always pervaded the East unfavourable 
to the dignity of women." They belong to a certain stage of civilisation when the sexes 
are at war with each other.; and they characterise chivalrous Europe as well as misogy- 
nous Asia ; witness Jankins, clerk of Oxenforde; while i^sop's fable of the Lioa aq4 
the Man also explains their frequency, 


130 Alf Laylah wa Lay! ah. 

King sat down on his Minister's couch and she went in haste and 
brought him a book wherein he might read, whilst she made ready 
the food. He took the book and, beginning to read, found therein 
moral instances and exhortations, such as restrained him from 
adultery and broke his courage to commit sin and crime. After 
awhile, she returned and set before him some ninety dishes of 
different kinds and colours, and he ate a mouthful of each and 
found that, while the number was many, the taste of them was 
one. At this, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and said to 
her, " O damsel, I see these meats to be manifold and various, but 
the taste of them is simple and the same." " Allah prosper the 
King ! " replied she, " this is a parable I have set for thee, that 
thou mayst be admonished thereby." He asked, " And what is 
its meaning .'"; and she answered, "Allah amend the case of our 
lord the King ! ; in thy palace are ninety concubines of various 
colours, but their taste is one." ' When the King heard this, he 
was ashamed and rising hastily, went out, without offering her any 
affront and returned to his palace; but, in his haste and confusion. 
he forgot his signet-ring and left it under the cushion where he 
had been sitting and albeit he remembered it he was ashamed to 
send for it. Now hardly had he reached home when the Wazir 
returned and, presenting himself before the King, kissed the ground 
and made his report to him of the state of the province in question. 

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

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

And f u cordially thank my kiad correspondents. 

The King and his Wazir's Wife. I31 

Then he repaired to his own house and sat down on his couch and 
chancing to put his hand under the cushion, behold, he found the 
King's seal-ring. So he knew it and taking the n^^atter to heart, 
held aloof in great grief from his wife for a whole year, not going 
in unto her nor even speaking to her, whilst she knew not the 

reason of his anger. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Koto fol)cn it foas ti)e Jpibe l^uutiwU nnU ^cbcntj)-nint!) Nigbt, 

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

The great I^al authohtjf of the realm. 

132 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

and how precipitancy bequeatheth repentance.' And I have also 
heard the following 



Once upon a time there dwelt in Egypt a confectioner who had a 
wife famed for beauty and loveliness ; and a parrot which, as 
occasion required, did the office of watchman and guard, bell and 
spy, and flapped her wings did she but hear a fly buzzing about 
the sugar. This parrot caused abundant trouble to the wife, 
always telling her husband what took place in his absence. Now 
one evening, before going out to visit certain friends, the con- 
fectioner gave the bird strict injunctions to watch all night and 
bade his wife make all fast, as he should not return until morning. 
Hardly had he left the door than the woman went for her old 
lover, who returned with her and they passed the night together 
in mirth and merriment, while the parrot observed all. Betimes 
in the morning the lover fared forth and the husband, returning, 
was informed by the parrot of what had taken place ; whereupon he 
hastened to his wife's room and beat her with a painful beating. She 
thought in herself, " Who could have informed against me .-' " and she 
asked a woman that was in her confidence whether it was she. 
The woman protested by the worlds visible and invisible that 
she had not betrayed her mistress ; but informed her that on the 
morning of his return home, the husband had stood some time 
before the cage listening to the parrot's talk. When the wife heard 
this, she resolved to contrive the destruction of the bird. Some 
days after, the husband was again invited to the house of a friend 

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

The Confectioner^ his Wife and the Parrot. 1 33 

where he was to pass the night ; and, before departing, he enjoined 
the parrot with the same injunctions as before; wherefore his 
heart was free from care, for he had his spy at home • The wife 
and her confidante then planned how they might destroy the 
credit of the parrot with the master. For this purpose they re- 
solved to counterfeit a storm ; and this they did by placing over 
the parrot's head a hand-mill (which the lover worked by pouring 
water upon a piece of hide), by waving a fan and by suddenly 
uncovering a candle hid under a dish. Thus did they raise such 
a tempest of rain arid lightning, that the parrot was drenched and 
half-drowned in a deluge. Now rolled the thunder, then flashed 
the lightning; that from the noise of the hand-mill, this from the 
reflection of the candle ; when thought the parrot to herself, " In 
very sooth the Flood hath come on, such an one as belike Noah 
himself never witnessed." So saying she buried her head under 
her wing, a prey to terror. The husband, on his return, hastened 
to the parrot to ask what had happened during his absence ; and 
the bird answered that she found it impossible to describe the 
deluge and tempest of the last night ; and that years would be 
required to explain the uproar of the hurricane and storm. When 
the shopkeeper heard the parrot talk of last night's deluge, he 
said : " Surely, O bird, thou art gone clean daft ! Where was 
there, even in a dream, rain or lightning last night ? Thou hast 
utterly ruined my house and ancient family. My wife is the most 
virtuous woman of the age and all thine accusations of her are 
lies." So in his wrath he dashed the cage upon the ground, tore 
off" the parrot's head, and threw it from the window. Presently 
his friend, coming to call upon him, saw the parrot in this condi- 
tion with head torn off, and without wings or plumage. Being 
informed of the circumstances he suspected some trick on the part 
of the woman, and said to the husband, " When your wife leaves 
home to go to the Hammam-bath, compel her confidante to dis- 
close the secret." So as soon as his wife went out, the husband 
entered his Harim and insisted on the woman telling him the 
truth. She recounted the whole story and the husband now 
bitterly repented having killed the parrot, of whose innocence he 
had proof. This I tell thee, O King (continued the Wazir), that 
thou mayst know how great are the craft and malice of women 
and that to act in haste leadeth to repent at leisure. So the King 
turned from slaying his son : but, next day, the favourite came in 
to him and, kissing the ground before him, said, " O King, why 

134 ^If Laylah wa Laylak. 

dost thou delay to do me justice ? Indeed, the Kings have heard 
that thou commandest a thing and thy Wazir countermandeth it. 
Now the obedience of Kings is in the fulfilment of their com- 
mandments, and everyone knows thy justice and equity: so do 
thou justice for me on the Prince. I also have heard tell a talc 


|There was once a man which was a fuller, and he used every 
day to go forth to the Tigris-bank a-cleaning clothes ; and his 
son was wont to go with him that he might swim whilst his 
father was fulling, nor was he forbidden from this. One day, as 
the boy was swimming,* he was taken with cramp in the forearms 
and sank, whereupon the fuller plunged into the water and caught 
hold of him ; but the boy clung about him and pulled him down 
and so father and son were both drowned. Thus it is with thee, 

King. Except thou prevent thy son and do me justice on him, 

1 fear lest both of you sink together, thou and he." And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted 

iSoto tolb^n it teas tbe Jpibe f^unljrtli anij lEigfjtfett) i^igllt, 

!She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
ifavourite had told her tale of the Fuller and his son, she ended 
with, " I fear lest both of you sink together, thou and he. More- 
over,** continued she, "for an instance of the malice of men, I 
have heard tell a tale concerninsr 

' In (he days of the Caliph Al-Mustakfi bi 'Jlah (A.H. 333 = 944) the youth erf 
Baghdad studied swimming and it is said that they could swim holding chafing-dishe* 
opon which were cooking-pots and keep afloat till the meat was dressed. The story is 
that of "The Washerman and his Son who were drowned in the Nile," of the Book, 
©f Sindibad. 

The Rakes Trick against the Chaste Wife. 1 35 


A CERTAIN man loved a beautiful and lovely woman, a model of 
charms and grace, married to a man whom she loved and who 
loved her. Moreover, she was virtuous and chaste, like unto me, 
and her rake of a lover found no way to her ; so when his patience 
was at an end, he devised a device to win his will. Now the 
husband had a young man, whom he had brought up in his house 
and who was in high trust with him as his steward. So the rake 
addressed himself to the youth and ceased not msinuating himself 
into his favour by presents and fair words and deeds, till he be- 
came more obedient to him than the hand to the mouth and did 
whatever he ordered him. One day, he said to him, " Harkye, 
such an one; wilt thou not bring me into the family dwelling-place 
some time when the lady is gone out } " " Yes," answered the 
young steward ; so, when his master was at the shop and his 
mistress gone forth to the Hammam, he took his friend by the 
hand and, bringing him into the house, showed him the sitting- 
rooms and all that was therein. Now the lover was determined 
to play a trick upon the woman ; so he took the white of an e^^'g 
which he had brought with him in a vessel, and spilt it on the 
merchant's bedding, unseen by the young man ; after which he 
returned thanks and leaving the house went his way. In an hour 
or so the merchant came home ; and, going to the bed to rest 
himself, found thereon something wet. So he took it up in his 
hand and looked at it and deemed it man's seed ; whereat he 
stared at the young man with eyes of wrath, and asked him, 
••Where is thy mistress?"; and he answered, " She is gone forth 
to the Hammam and will return forthright after she has made her 
ablutions.*'* When the man heard this, his suspicion concerning 
the semen was confirmed ; and he waxed furious and said, " Go at 
once and bring her back." The steward accordingly fetched her 
and when she came before her husband, the jealous man sprang 
upon her and beat her a grievous beating; then, binding her arms 
behind her, offered to cut her throat with a knife ; but she cried 
out to the neighbours, who came to her, and she said to them, 
* This my man hath beaten me unjustly and without cause and is 

• Her going to ihe bath suggested that she was fresh from coitioa. 

ij6 A If Lay la h wa Laylafu 

minded to km me, though I know not what Is mine offertce." So 
they rose up and asked him, " Why hast thou dealt thus by her ? " 
And he answered, "She is divorced." Quoth they, " Thou hast 
no right to maltreat her; either divorce her or use her kindly, for 
we know her prudence and purity and chastity. Indeed, she hath 
been our neighbour this long time and we wot no evil of her." 
Quoth he, ** When I came home, I found on my bed seed like 
human sperm, and I know not the meaning of this." Upon this 
a little boy, one of those present, came forward and said, " Show it 
to me, nuncle mine ! " When he saw it, he smelt it and, calling 
for fire and a frying-pan, he took the white of ^%% and cooked it so 
that it became solid. Then he ate of it and made the husband and 
the others taste of it, and they were certified that it was white of 
^SS* So the husband was convinced that he had sinned against 
his wife's innocence, she being clear of all offence, and the neigh- 
bours made peace between them after the divorce, and he prayed 
her pardon and presented her with an hundred gold pieces. And 
so the wicked lover's cunning trick came to naught And know, 
O King, that this is an instance of the malice of men and their 
perfidy. When the King heard this, he bade his son be slain ; but 
on the next day the second Wazir came forward for intercession 
and kissed ground in prostration. Whereupon the King said, 
•* Raise thy head : prostration must be made to Allah only."* So 
the Minister rose from before him and said, **0 King, hasten not 
to slay thy son, for he was not granted to his mother by the 
Almighty but after despair, nor didst thou expect such good 
luck ; and we hope that he will live to become a guerdon to 
thy reign and a guardian of thy good. Wherefore, have patience, 
O King ; belike he will offer a fit excuse ; and, if thou make 
haste to slay him, thou wilt surely repent, even as the merchant- 
wight repented." Asked the King, " And how was it with the 
merchant, O Wazir?"; and the Wazir answered: — O King, I have 
heard a tale of 

* Taken from the life of the Egyptian Mameluke Sultan (No. viii. regn. A.H. 825 =: 
A-D. 142 1) who would not suffer his subjects to prostrate themselves or kiss the grouod 
before him. See D"Herbelot for details. 

7^. Miser and the Loaves of Bread. 137 


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

in Him, the Glorious, the Great ! " And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of_day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Noto toben (t foas tfje $M l^unTircU antJ IBigbts-fitst Wfgfitt 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
old trot told the merchant the provenance of the scones, he cried. 

' This nauseous Joe Miller has often been told in the bospiUls of Loodoo aod Piris. 
It U as old as the Hitopadesa. 

138 ^Alf Laylak wa Laylah, 

** There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great !" And he repeated the saying of the Most 
High, "Whatever evil falleth to thee it is from thyself;*** and 
Vomited till he fell sick and repented whenas repentance availed 
him naught. Moreover, O King (continued the second JWa^ir), 
I have heard tell, of the malice of women, a tale of 


Once "upon a time there was a man, who was sword-bearer to one: 
of the Kings, and he loved a damsel of the common sort. One 
day, he sent his page to her with a message, as of wont between 
them, and the lad sat down with her and toyed with her. She 
inclined to him and pressed him to her breast and groped him and 
kissed him whereupon he sought carnal connection of het and 
she consented ; but, as the two were thus, lo ! the youth's master 
knocked at the door So she pushed the page through a trap-! 
door into an underground chamber there and opened the door to 
his lord, who entered hending sword in hand and sat down upon 
her bed. Then she came up to him and sported and toyed with 
him, kissing him and pressing him to her bosom, and he took her 
and lay with her. Presently, her husband knocked at the door 
and the gallant asked her, *' Who is that ?"; whereto she answered, 
" My husband.'* Quoth he, " How shall I do ?" Quoth she, 
** Draw thy sword and stand in the vestibule and abuse me and 
revile me ; and when my husband comes in to thee, do thou go 
forth and wend thy ways." He did as she bade him ; and, whe* 
the husband entered, he saw the King's sword-bearer standing witK 
naked brand in hand, abusing and threatening his wife ; but, when! 
the lover Saw him, he was ashamed and sheathing his scymitar, 
went forth the house. Said the man to his wife, " What means 
this.?"; and she replied, " O man, how blessed is the hour of thy 
coming ! Thou hast saved a True Believer from slaughter, and it 
happed after this fashion. I was on the house-terrace, spinning,' 

• Koran iv. 81, "All is from Allah;" but the evil which befals mankind, tboogjh 
ordered by Allah, is yet the consequence of their own wiclcedness (I add, which wicked* 
sess was created by Allah). 

« The Bresl. Edit.-(xu. 266) say*** bathing." 

The Kings Son and the Ogress. 139 

when behold, there came up to me a youth, distracted and panting 
for fear of deatb, fleeing from yonder man, who followed upon him 
as hard as he aiald witli his drawn sword. The young man fell 
down before me, and kissed my hands and feet, saying, *' O Pro- 
tector, of thy mercy, save me from him who would slay me 
wrongously ! " So I hid him in that underground chamber of 
ours and presently in came yonder man to me, naked brand in 
hand, demanding the youth. But I denied him to him, where- 
upon he fell to abusing and threatening me as thou sawest. And 
praised be Allah who sent thee to me, for I was distraught and 
had none to deliver me ! " -* Well hast thou done, O woman ! " 
answered the husband. *' Thy reward is with Allah the Almighty, 
and may He abundantly requite thy good deed I " Then he went 
to the trap door and called to the page, saying, " Come forth and 
fear not ; no harm shall befal thee." So he came out, trembling 
for fear, and the husband said, " Be of good cheer : none shall 
hurt thee ; *' condoling with him on what had befallen him ; whilst 
the page called down blessings on his head. Then they both went 
forth, nor was that Cornuto nor was the page aware of that which 
the woman had contrived. "This, then, O King," said the Wazir, 
** is one of the tricks of women ; so beware lest thou rely upon their 
words,'* The King was persuaded and turned from putting his 
son to death ; but, on the third day, the favourite came in to him 
and, kissing the ground before him, cried, " O King, do me justice 
©n thy son and be not turned from thy purpose by thy Ministers* 
prate, for there is no good in wicked Wazirs, and be not as the 
King of Baghdad, who relied on the word of a certain wicked 
counsellor of his." Quoth he, *' And how was that ? " Quoth she : — 
There hath been told me, O auspicious and well-advised King, a 
tale of 


A CERTAIN King had a son, whom he loved and favoured'with 
exceeding favour, over all his other children ; and this son said to 
him one day, "O my father, I have a mind to fare a-coursing and 

* This tale is much like that told in the Fifth Night (vol. i. 54). It is the story of the 
Puncc and the Laoiia io the £ook of Sindibad whezein it is givea with PosUo rhetoric 
Aid dif&uenesfc 

140 A If Laylah wa Lay /ah. 

a-hunting." So the King bade furnish him and commanded one of 
his Wazirs to bear him company and do all the service he needed 
during his trip. The Minister accordingly took everything that 
was necessary for the journey and they set out with a retinue of 
eunuchs and officers and pages, and rode on, sporting as they 
went, till they came to a green and well-grassed champaign 
abounding in pasture and water and game. Here the Prince 
turned to the Minister and told him that the place pleased him 
and he purposed to halt there. So they set down in that site and 
they loosed the falcons and lynxes and dogs and caught great 
plenty of game, whereat they rejoiced and abode there some days, 
in all joyance of life and its delight. Then the King's son gave 
the signal for departure ; but, as they went along, a beautiful 
gazelle, as if the sun rose shining from between her horns, that 
had strayed from her mate, sprang up before the Prince, where- 
upon his soul longed to make prize of her and he coveted her. So 
he said to the Wazir, " I have a mind to follow that gazelle ;" and 
the Minister replied, " Do what seemeth good to thee." There- 
upon the Prince rode single-handed after the gazelle, till he lost 
sight of his companions, and chased her all that day till dusk, 
when she took refuge in a bit of rocky ground ' and darkness 
closed in upon him. Then he would have turned back, but knew 
not the way ; whereat he was sore concerned and said, " There is 
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the 
Great I " He sat his mare all night till morning dawned, in quest 
of relief, but found none ; and, when the day appeared, he fared 
on at hazard fearful, famished, thirsty, and knowing not whither 
to wend till it was noon and the sun beat down upon him with 
burning heat. By that time he came in sight of a great city, with 
massive base and lofty bulwarks ; but it was ruined and desolate, 
nor was there any live thing therein save owl and raven. As he 
stood among the buildings, marvelling at their ordinance, lo ! his 
eyes fell on a damsel, young, beautiful and lovely, sitting under 
one of the city walls wailing and weeping copious tears. So he 
drew nigh to her and asked, " Who art thou and who brought thee 

' Arab " Wa'ar" =: rocky, hilly, tree-less ground unfit for nding. I have noted thai 
the three Heb. words " Year" {e.g. Kiryalh-Yearim = City of forest). "Choresh " (now 
Hirsh, a scrub), and " Pard^s " (TrapdBeurcK a chase, a hunting-park opposed to k^o^, an 
orchard) are preserved in Arabic and are intelligible in Palestine (Unexplored Syria, 
I. »7)- 

The Kings Son and the Ogress. 141 

hither?" She answered, " I am called Bint al-Tamfmah, daughter 
of AI-Tiydkh, King of the Gray Country. I went out one day to 
obey a call of nature," when an Ifrit of the Jinn snatched me up 
and soared with me between heaven and eartt ; but as he flew 
there fell on him a shooting-star in the form of a flame of fire and 
burned him, and I dropped here, where these three days I have 
hungered and thirsted ; but when I saw thee I longed for life." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

l^oto foben It tnag ti)e jfibe l^unbrcli anli CBiglUg.seconb Nifl^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince, 
when addressed by the daughter of King^Al-Tiyakh who said to 
him, " When I saw thee I longed for life," was smitten with ruth 
and grief for her and took her up on his courser's crupper, saying, 
" Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear ; for, if 
Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) restore me to my people and 
family, I will send thee back to thine own folk." Then he rode 
on, praying for deliverance, and presently the damsel said to him, 
" O King's son, set me down, that I may do an occasion under 
this wall." So he drew bridle and she alighted. He waited for 
her a long while as she hid herself behind the wall; and she came 
forth, with the foulest of favours ; which when he saw, his hair 
stood on end and he quaked for fear of her and he turned deadly 
pale. Then she sprang up on his steed, behind him, wearing the 
most loathly of aspects, and presently she said to him, "O King's 
son, what ails thee that I see thee troubled and thy favour 
changed } " " I have bethought me of somewhat that troubles 
tne." " Seek aid against it of thy father's troops and his braves." 
*• He whom I fear careth naught for troops, neither can braves 
affright him." " Aid thyself against him with thy father's monies 
and treasures." " He whom I fear will not be satisfied with 
wealth." " Ye hold that ye have in Heaven a God who seeth 
and is not seen and is Omipotent and Omniscient." "Yes, we 
have none but Him.'" " Then pray thou to Him ; haply He will 
deliver thee from me thine enemy ! " So the King's son raised 
his eyes to heaven and began to pray with his whole heart, saying, 

* The privy and ibe bath are (avouiile bauaU of the Jiaos. 

142 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

** O my God, I implore Thy succour against that which troubleth 
me." Then he pointed to her with his hand, and she fell to the 
ground, burnt black as charred coal. Therewith he thanked Allah 
and praised Him and ceased not to fare forwards ; and the 
Almighty (extolled and exalted be He !) of His grace made the 
way easy to him and guided him into the right road, so that he 
reached his own land and came upon his father's capital, after he 
had despaired of life. Now all this befel by the contrivance of 
the Wazir, who travelled with him, to the end that he might cause 
him to perish on the way ; but Almighty Allah succoured him. 
"And this" (said the damsel) "have I told thee, O King, that 
thou mayst know that wicked Wazirs deal not honestly by nor 
counsel with sincere intent their Kings ; wherefore be thou wise 
and ware of them in this matter." The King gave ear to her 
speech and bade put his son to death ; but the third Wazir came 
in and said to his brother Ministers, " I will warrant you from the 
King's mischief this day •" and, going in to him, kissed the ground 
between his hands and said, " O King, I am thy true counsellor 
and solicitous for thee and for thine estate, and indeed I rede thee 
the best of rede ; it is that thou hasten not to slay thy son, the 
coolth of thine eyes and the fruit of thy vitals. Haply his sin is 
but a slight slip, which this damsel hath made great to thee ; and 
indeed I have heard tell that the people of two villages once 
destroyed one another, because of a drop of honey." Asked the 
King, " How was that ?"; and the Wazir answered, saying; — Know, 
O King, that I have heard this story anent 


A CERTAIN hunter used to chase wild beasts in wold, and one day 
he came upon a grotto in the mountains, where he found a hollow 
full of bees' honey. So he took somewhat thereof in a water-skin 
he had with him and, throwing it over his shoulder, carried it to 

* Arab history is full of petty wars caused by trifles. In Egypt the clans Sa'ad and 
Haram and in Syria the Kays and Yaman (which remain to the present day) were as 
pugnacious as Highland Caterans. The tale bears some likeness to the accumula- 
live nursery rliymes in "The House that Jack Built," and "The Old Woman and 
the Crooked Sixpence ;" which find their indirect original in an allegorical Talmudic 

The Woman who made her Husband Sift DusL 143 

the city, followed by a hunting dog which was dear to him. He 
stopped at the shop of an oilman and offered him the honey for 
sale and he bought it. Then he emptied it out of the skin, that 
he might see it, and in the act a drop fell to the ground, where- 
upon the flies flocked to it and a bird swooped down upon the 
flies. Now the oilman had a cat, which sprang upon the bird, 
and the huntsman's dog, seeing the cat, sprang upon it and slew 
it ; whereupon the oilman sprang upon the dog and slew it, and 
the huntsman in turn sprang upon the oilman and slew him. Now 
the oilman was of one village and the huntsman of another ; and 
when the people of the two places heard what had passed, they 
took up arms and weapons and rose one on other in wrath and the 
two lines met ; nor did the sword leave to play amongst them, till 
there died of them much people, none knoweth their number save 
Almighty Allah. And amongst other stories of the malice of 
women (continued the Wazir) I have heard tell, O King, one 


A MAN once gave his wife a dirham to buy rice ; so she took it 
and went to the rice- seller, who gave her the rice and began to 
jest with her and ogle her, for she was dowered with beauty and 
loveliness, saying, " Rice is not good but with sugar which if thou 
wilt have, come in with me for an hour." So, saying, " Give me 
sugar," she went in with him into his shop and he won his will of 
her and said to his slave, " Weigh her out a dirham's worth of 
sugar." But he made the slave a privy sign, and the boy, taking 
the napkin, in which was the rice, emptied it out and put in earth 
and dust in its stead, and for the sugar set stones, after which he 
again knotted up the napkin and left it by her. His object, in 
doing this, was that she should come to him a second time ; so, 
when she went forth of the shop, he gave her the napkin and she 
took it, thinking to have in it rice and sugar, and ganged her gait; 
but when she returned home and, setting it before her husband, 
went for a cooking-pot, he found in it earth and stones. So, as 

* Tliis is "The Story of the Old Man who sent his Young Wife to the Mfttket to boy 
Rice," told with PersuiQ reflections in the *'Book of Sindibad.*' 

144 A If Laylah wa Laylah, 

soon as she came back bringing the pot, he said to her, " Did I 
tell thee I had aught to build, that thou bringest me earth and 
stones?" When she saw this, she knew that the rice-seller's slave 
had tricked her ; so she said to her husband, " O man, in my 
trouble of mind for what hath befallen me, I went to fetch the 
sieve and brought the cooking-pot" " What hath troubled thee?" 
asked he; and she answered, "O husband, I dropped the dirham 
thou gavest me in the market-street and was ashamed to search 
for it before the folk ; yet I grudged to lose the silver, so I 
gathered up the earth from the place where it fell and brought it 
away, thinking to sift it at home. Wherefore I went to fetch the 
sieve, but brought the cooking-pot instead." Then she fetched 
the sieve and gave it to her husband, saying, " Do thou sift it ; for 
thine eyes are sharper than mine." Accordingly he sat, sifting the 
clay, till his face and beard were covered with dust ; and he dis- 
covered not her trick, neither knew what had befallen her. *' This 
then, O King," said the Wazir, " is an instance of the malice of 
women, and consider the saying of Allah Almighty : — Surely the 
cunning of you (women) is great ! * And again : — Indeed, the 
malice of Satan is weak in comparison with the malice of 
women."* The King gave ear to his Wazir's speech and was 
persuaded thereby and was satisfied by what he cited to him of 
the signs of Allah' ; and the lights of good counsel arose and 
shone in the firmament of his understanding and he turned from 
his purpose of slaying his son. But on the fourth day, the fa- 
vourite came in to him weeping and wailing and, kissing the 
ground before him, said, "O auspicious King, and lord of good 
rede, I have made plainly manifest to thee my grievance and thou 
hast dealt unjustly by me and hast forborne to avenge me on him 
who hath wronged me, because he is thy son and the darling of 
thy heart ; but Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) will presently 
succour me against him, even as He succoured the King's son 
against his father's Wazir." " And how was that ? " asked the 
King ; and she answered : — I have heard tell, O King, a tale of 

* Koran xii. 28. The words were spoken by Potiphar to Joseph. 

' Koran iv. 78. A mis-quotation, the words are, ".Fight therefore against the friends 
of Satan, for the craft of Satan shall be weak.'* 

* ut, Koranic versets. 

The Encheutud Spring, 145 


There was once in times gone by a King who had one son and 
none other ; and, when the Prince grew up to man's estate, he 
contracted him in marriage to another King's daughter. Now the 
damsel was a model of beauty and grace and her uncle's son had 
sought her in wedlock of her sire, but she would none of him. So, 
when he knew that she was to be married to another, envy and 
jealousy gat hold of him and he bethought himself and sent a 
noble present to the Wazir of the bridegroom's father and much 
treasure, desiring him to use craft for slaying the Prince or con- 
trive to make him leave his intent of espousing the girl and 
adding, *' O Wazir, indeed jealousy moveth me to this for she is 
my cousin."* The Wazir accepted the present and sent an answer, 
saying, " Be of good cheer and of eyes cool and clear, for I will 
do all that thou wishest.'* Presently, the bride's father wrote to 
the Prince, bidding him to his capital, that he might go in to his 
daughter ; whereupon the King his father gave him leave to wend 
his way thither, sending with him the bribed Wazir and a thou- 
sand horse, besides presents and litters, tents and pavilions. The 
Minister set out with the Prince, plotting the while in his heart 
to do him a mischief; and when they came into the desert, he 
called to mind a certain spring of running water in the mountains 
there, called Al-Zahra,^ whereof whosoever drank from a man 
became a woman. So he called a halt of the troops near the 
fountain and presently mounting steed again, said to the Prince, 
*' Hast thou a mind to go with me and look upon a spring of 
water near hand ? " The Prince mounted, knowing not what 
should befal him in the future,* and they rode on, unattended by 

' In ihe Book of Sindibad this is the " Story of the Prince who went out to hunt and 
the stratagem which the Wazir practised on him." 

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

' i.e. the flowery, the splendid ; an epithet of Fatimah, the daughter of the Apostle 
** the bright blooming." Fatimah is an old Arab name of good omeo« *'the weaner:'* 
in Egypt it becomes Fattumah (an in(irementative = " great weaner") ; and so Aminah, 
Khadijah and Naffsahon the banks of the Nile are barbarised to Ammunah, Khadddgah 
end Naffusah. 

'* i.e. his coming misforUioe, the pbiase being eupbemistic* 



146 A// Laylah wa Laylah, 

any, and without stopping till they came to the spiring. The 
Prince being thirsty said to the Wazir, "O Minister, I am suffering 
from drouth," and the other answered, " Get thee down and drink 
of this spring!" So he alighted and washed his hands and 
drank, when behold, he straightway became a woman. As soon 
as he knew what had befallen him, he cried out and wept til! he 
fainted away, and the Wazir came up to him as if to learn what 
had befallen him and cried, " What aileth thee ? " So he k)ld 
him what had happened, and the Minister feigned to condole with 
him and weep for his affliction, saying, " Allah Almighty be thy 
refuge in thine affliction ! How came this calamity upon thee 
and this great misfortune to betide thee, and we carrying thee 
with joy and gladness, that thou mightest go in to the King's 
daughter ? Verily, now I know not whether we shall go to her or 
not ; but the rede^ is thine. What dost thou command me to 
do ? " Quoth the Prince, " Go back to my sire and tell him what 
hath belided me, for I will not stir hence till this matter be 
removed from me or I die in my regret." So he wrote a letter to 
his father, telling him what had happened, and the Wazir took it 
and set out on his return to the city, leaving what troops he had 
with the Prince and inwardly exulting for the success of his plot. 
As soon as he reached the King's capital, he went in to him and, 
telling him what had passed, delivered the letter. The King 
mourned for his son with sore mourning and sent for the wise 
men and masters of esoteric science, that they might discover and 
explain to him this thing which had befallen his son, but none 
could give him an answer. Then the Wazir wrote to the lady's 
cousin, conveying to him the glad news of the Prince's misfortune, 
and he when he read the letter rejoiced with great joy and thought 
to marry the Princess and answered the Minister sending him 
rich presents and great store of treasure and thanking him ex- 
ceedingly. Meanwhile, the Prince abode by the stream three 
days and three nights, eating not nor drinking and committing 
himself, in his strait, unto Allah (extolled and exalted be He I) 
who disappointeth not whoso relieth on him. On the fourth 
night, lo! there came to him a cavalier on a bright-bay steed* 

* Arab. Ray: in theology it means " private judgment *' and Rayi (act. partic.) is a 
Rationalist. The Hanafi School is called *' Ashib al-Riy" because it allows more 
Mberty of thought than the other three orthodox. 

* The angels in Al- Islam ride piebalds. 

The Enchanted Spring. 147 

wJth » crown on his head, as he were of the sons of the Kings, 
*nd SAid to him, " Who brought thee hither, O youth ? " The 
Prince told him his mishap, how he was wending to his wedding, 
and how the Wazir had led him to a spring whereof he drank 
and incurred what had occxirred ; and as he spoke his speech was 
broken by tears. Having heard him the horseman pitied his case 
and said, " It was thy father's Wazir who cast thee into this 
strait, for no man alive save he knoweth of this spring ; *' pre- 
Si^tly adding, " Mount thee behind me and come with me to my 
dwelling, for thou art my guest this night." Acquaint me who 
thou art ere I fare with thee," quoth the Prince ; and quoth the 
other, " I am a King's son of the Jann, as thou a King's son 
of mankind ; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear of 
tear, for I will surely do away thy cark and care ; and this is \ 
slight thing unto me." So the Prince mounted him behind ^e 
stranger, and they rode on, leaving the troops, from the first of 
the day till midnight, when the King's son of the Jinn asked the 
Prince, " Knowest thou how many days' march we have covered 
in this time.'" " Not I." " We have come a full year's journey 
for a diligent horseman." The Prince marvelled at this and said, 
*' How shall I do to return to my people } " " That is not thine 
affair, but my business. As soon as thou art quit of thy com- 
plaint, thou shalt return to thy people in less than the twinkling 
of an eye ; for that is an easy matter to me." When the Prince 
heard these words he was ready to fly for excess of joy ; it 
seemed to him as he were in the imbroglio of a dream and he 
exclaimed, " Glory be to Him who can restore the unhappy to 

happiness ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince 
of the Jinn said to the Prince of mankind, " When thou art quit of 
thy complaint, thou shalt return to thy folk in less than the 
twinkling of an eye ; " and the King's son rejoiced. They fared 
on all that night till the morning morrowed when lo ! they found 
themselves in a green and smiling country, full of trees spireing 
and birds quiring and garths fruit-growing and palaces high- 
showing and waters a-flowing and odoriferous flowers a-blowing. 

148 Alf Laytah wa Lay I ah. 

Here the King's son of the Jinn ah'ghted from his steed and, 
bidding the Prince do the like, took him by the hand and carried 
him into one of .the palaces, where he found a great King and 
puissant Sultan ; and abode with him all that day eating and 
drinking, till nightfall. Then the King's son of the Jinn mounted 
his courser and taking the Prince up behind him, fared on swiftly 
through the murks and glooms until morning, when lo, they 
found themselves in a dark land and a desert, full of black rocks 
and stones, as it were a piece of Hell ; and the Prince asked the 
Jinni, "What is the name of this land?" Answered the other, 
" It is called the Black Country, and belongs to one of the Kings 
of the Jinn, by name Zu'l Jandhayn, against whom none of the 
other Kings may prevail, neither may any enter his dominions 
save by his permit ; so tarry thou here, whilst I go ask leave." So 
saying, he went away and, returning after awhile, they fared on 
again, till they ended at a spring of water welling forth of a black 
rock, and the King's son of the Jinn said to the King's son of 
men, " Alight ! " He dismounted and the other cried, " Drink of 
this water ! " So he drank of the spring without stay or delay ; 
and, no sooner had he done so than, by grace of Allah, he became 
a man as before. At this he joyed with exceeding joy and asked 
the Jinni, " O my brother, how is this spring called } " Answered 
the other, " It is called the Women's Spring, for that no woman 
drinketh thereof but she becometh a man : wherefore do thou praise 
Allah the Most High and thank Him for thy restoration and 
mount." So the Prince prostrated himself in gratitude to the 
Almighty, after which he mounted again and they fared on dili- 
gently all that day, till they returned to the Jinni's home, where 
the Prince passed the night in all solace of life. They spent the 
next day in eating and drinking till nightfall, when the King's son 
of the Jinn asked the Prince, *' Hast thou a mind to return to thy 
people this very night > " ** Yes," he answered ; " for indeed I 
long for them.'* Then the Jinni called one of his father's slaves, 
Rajiz^ hight, and said to him, "Take this young man mounted on 
thy shoulders, and let not the day dawn ere he be with his father- 
in-law and his wife." Replied the slave. " Hearkening and obedi- 
ence, and with love and gladness, and upon my head and eyes ! ** 
then, withdrawing awhile, re-appeared in the form of an Ifrit 

» CntbcBresI. Edit. "Ziju" (lui. 286). 

The Enchanted Spring, 149 

When the Prince saw this, he lost his senses for affright, but the 
Jinni said to him, " Fear not ; no harm shall befal thee. Mount 
thy horse and leap him on to the Ifrit's shoulders." "Nay." 
answered he, " I will leave my horse with thee and bestride his 
shoulders myself." So he bestrode the Ifrit's shoulders and, 
when the Jinni cried, " Close thine eyes, O my lord, and be not a 
craven ! " he strengthened his heart and shut his eyes. Thereupon 
the Ifrit rose with him into the air and ceased not to fly between 
sky and earth, whilst the Prince was unconscious, nor was the 
last third of the night come before he lighted down with him 
on the terrace-roof of his father-in-law's palace. Then said the 
Ifrit, " Dismount and open thine eyes ; for this is the palace 
of thy father-in-law and his daughter." So he came down 
and the Ifrit flew away and left him on the roof of the palace. 
When the day broke and the Prince recovered from his troubles, 
he descended into the palace and as his father-in-law caught 
sight of him, he came to meet him and marvelled to see him 
descend from the roof of the palace, saying, " We see folk enter 
by the doors ; but thou comest from the skies." Quoth the 
Prince, "Whatso Allah (may He be extolled and exalted !) willeth 
that Cometh to pass." And he told him all that had befallen him, 
from first to last, whereat the King marvelled and rejoiced in 
his safety ; and, as sooa :as the sun rose, bade his Wazir make 
ready splendid bride-feasts. So did he and they held the marriage 
festival : after which the: Prince, went in unto his bride and abode 
with her two months, then departed with her for his father's capital. 
As for the damsel's cousin, he died forthright of envy and jealousy. 
When the Prince and his bride drew near his father s city, the 
King came out to meet them with his troops and Wazirs, and so 
Allah (blessed and exalted be He!) enabled the Prince to prevail 
against his bride's cousin and his father's Minister. " And I pray 
the Almighty" (added the damsel) " to aid thee against thy Wazirs, 
O King, and I beseech thee to do me justice on thy son ! " When 

the King heard this, he bade put his son to death ; And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say, 

jSToh) lTJt)£n It tnas \\i jpibc l^unlrrelr antr lEig^tp-fourtf) Ni'g^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
favourite had told her tale to the King she said, " I beseech thee 

I50 Alf Laylah wa Laylak, 

to do me justice by putting thy son to death." Now this was the 
fourth day, so the fourth Wazir entered and, kissing the ground 
before him, said, "Allah stablish and protect the King! O 
King, be deliberate in doing this thou art resolved upon, for the 
wise man doth naught till he hath considered the issue thereof, 
and the proverb saith : — Whoso looketh not to his actions' end, 
hath not the world to friend ; and whoso acteth withoat considera- 
tion, there befalleth him what befel the Hammam-keeper with his 
wife." "And what betided him?" asked the King. And the 
Wazir answered : — I have heard tell, O King, a tale of the 


There was once a bath-keeper, to whom resorted the notables of 
the folk and head men, and one day there came in to him a hand- 
some youth of the sons of Wazirs who was fat and bulky of body. 
So he stood to serve him and when the young man put off his 
clothes,' he saw not his yard, for that it was hidden between his 
tiiighs, by reason of the excess of his fat, and there appeared 
thereof but what was like unto a filbert.* At this the bath-keeper 
fell a-lamenting and smiting hand upon hand, which when the 
youth saw, he said to him, *' What ails thee, O bath-keeper, to 
lament thus ? " And he answered, saying, " O my lord, my lamen- 
tation is for thee, because thou art in sore straits, for all thy fair 
fortune and goodliness and exceeding comeliness, seeing thou hast 
naught wherewithal to do and receive delight, like unto other men." 
Quoth the youth, " Thou sayst sooth, but thou mindest me of some- 
what I had forgotten." ** What is that ? " asked the bath-keeper, 
and the youth answered, "Take this gold piece and fetch me a 
pretty woman, that I may prove my nature on her.** So he took 
the money and betaking himself to his wife, said to her, ** O 

» TWs b the •* King's Son and the Merchant*s Wife " of the Hitopadesa (chapt. i4 
transferred to all the Prakrit versions of India. It is the Story of the Bath-keeper wb» 
condacted his Wife to the Son of the King of Kanoj in the Book of Sindibad. 

» The pious Caliph Al-Muktadi bi Amri 'Hah (A.H. 467 «■ A.D. 1075) was obliged 
ta forbid men entering the baths of Baghdad without drawers. 

* This peculiarity is not uncommon amongst the so-called Aryan and Semitic racea^ 
while to the African it is all but unknown. Women highly prize a conformation whicb 
^ the prostitute described it) is always '* either is his belly or in mioe.^ 

The Wazir's Son and ike Hammam' Keepers Wife. 1$! 

woman, there is come to me in the bath a young man of the sons 
©f the Wazirs, as he were the moon- on the fullest night ; but he 
fcath no prickle like other men, for that which he hath is but some 
small matter like unto a filbert I lamented over his youth and he 
gave me this dinar and asked me to fetch him a woman on whom 
he might approve himself. Now thou art worthier of the money 
than another, and from this no harm shall betide us, for I will pro- 
tect thee. So do thou sit with him awhile and laugh at him and 
take this dinar from him." So the good wife took the dinar and 
rising, adorned herself and donned the richest of her raiment. 
Now she was the fairest woman of her time. Then she went out 
with her husband and he carried her in to the Wazir's son in a 
privy place. When she came in to him, she looked at him and 
finding him a handsome youth, fair of favour as he were the moon 
at full, was confounded at his beauty and loveliness ; and on like 
wise his heart and wit were amazed at the first sight of her and 
the sweetness of her smile. So he rose forthright and locking 
the door, took the damsel in his arms and pressed her to his 
bosom and they embraced, whereupon the young man's yard 
swelled and rose on end, as it were that of a jackass, and he 
rode upon her breast and futtered her, whilst she sobbed and 
sighed and writhed and wriggled under him. Now the bath- 
keeper was standing behind the door, awaiting what should 
betide between them, and he began to call her saying, ** O Umm 
Abdillah, enough ! Come out, for the day is long upon thy 
sucking child." Quoth the youth, "Go forth to thy boy and 
come back;" but quoth she, "If I go forth from thee, my soul 
will depart my body ; as regards the child, so I must either leave 
him to die of weeping or let him be reared an orphan, without a 
mother." So she ceased not to abide with him till he had done 
his desire of her ten times running, while her husband stood at 
the door, calling her and crying out and weeping and imploring^ 
succour. But none came to aid him and he ceased not to do 
thus, saying, " I will slay myself I " ; till at last, finding no way 
of access to his wife, and being distraught with rage and jealousy, 
to hear sighing and murmuring and breathing hard under the 
young man, he went up to the top of the bath and, casting him- 
self down therefrom, died. " Moreover, O King " (continued the 
Wazir), " there hath reached me another story of the malice of 
women." "What is that?" asked the King, and the Wazir 
said : — Know, O King, that it is anent 

152 Alf Laylah wa L'aylah. 


There was once a woman who had no equal in her day for 
beauty and loveliness and grace and perfection ; and a certain 
lewd youth and an obscene setting eyes on her, fell in love with 
her and loved her with exceeding passion, but she was chaste and 
inclined not to adultery. It chanced one day that her husband 
went on a journey to a certain town, whereupon the young man fell 
to sending to her many times a day ; but she made him no reply 
At last, he resorted to an old woman, who dwelt hard by, and 
after saluting her he sat down and complained to her of his suffer- 
ings for love of the woman and his longing to enjoy her. Quoth 
she, " I will warrant thee this ; no harm shall befal thee, for I will 
surely bring thee to thy desire, Inshallah, — an it please Allah the 
Most High!" At these words he gave her a dinar and went his 
way. When the morning morrowed she appeared before the 
woman and, renewing an old acquaintance with her, fell to visit- 
ing her daily, eating the undertime with her and the evening 
meal and carrying away food for her children. Moreover, she 
used to sport and jest with her, till the wife became corrupted * 
and could not endure an hour without her company. Now she 
was wont, when she left the lady's house, to take bread and fat 
wherewith she mixed a little pepper and to feed a bitch, that was 
in that quarter ; and thus she did day by day, till the bitch 
became fond of her and followed her wherever she went. One 
day she took a cake of dough and, putting therein an overdose of 
pepper, gave it to the bitch to eat, whereupon the beast's eyes 
began to shed tears, for the heat of the pepper, and she followed 
the old woman, weeping. When the lady saw this, she was 
amazed and asked the ancient, " O my mother, what ails this 
bitch to weep .-*" Answered she, "Learn, O my heart's love, that 
hers is a strange story. Know that she was once a close friend of 
mine, a lovely and accomplished young lady, a model of come- 

' Easterns, I have said, are perfectly aware of the fact that women corrupt women 
much more than men do. The tale is the •' Story of the Libertine Husband " in the 
Book of Sindibad ; blended with the " Story of the Go-between and the Bitch" in the 
Book of Sindibad. It is related in the " Disciplina Clericalis " of Alphonsus (A.D. i io6) ; 
the fabliau of La vieille qui seduisit la jeune fille ; the Gesta Romanorum (thirteenth 
century) and the "Cunning Siddhikari" in the Katha-Sarit-Sagara. 

The Wifes Device to Cheat her Husband. .53 

Uness and perfect grace. A young Nazarene of the quarter fell 
in love with her and his passion and pining increased on him, 
till he took to his pillow, and he sent to her times manifold, 
begging her to have compassion on him and show him mercy, 
but she refused, albeit I gave her good counsel, saying : — O my 
daughter, have pity on him and be kind and consent to all he 
wisheth. She gave no heed to my advice, until, the young 
man's patience failing him, he complained at last to one of his 
friends, who cast an enchantment on her and changed her human 
shape into canine form. When she saw what transformation had 
befallen her and that there was none to pity her case save myself, 
she came to my house and began to fawn on me and buss my 
hands and feet and whine and shed tears, till I recognised her 
and said to her: — How often did I not warn thee?; but my 

advice profited thee naught." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Kob) bliett (t teas tf)c jpi'be Ij^untjw^ anli lefgj&tp^fift^ ^tijl)*, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old 
trot related to the young lady the tale of the bitch and recounted 
the case in her cunning and deceit, with the view to gain her 
consent and said to her, "When the enchanted beast came to me 
and wept I reminded her: — How often did I not warn thee ? ; but 
my advice profited thee naught. However, O my daughter, seeing 
her misery, I had compassion on her case and kept her by me ; 
and as often as she bethinketh herself of her former estate, she 
weepeth thus, in pity for herself." When the lady heard this, she 
was taken with great alarm and said, " O my mother, by Allah, 
thou afifrightest me with this thy story." " Why so > " asked the old 
woman. Answered the lady, " Because a certain handsome young 
man fell in love with me and hath sent many times to me, but 
hitherto I have repelled him ; and now I fear lest there befal me 
the like of what befel this bitch." " O my daughter," rejoined the 
old woman, look thou to what I counsel thee and beware of 
crossing me, for I am in great fear for thee. If thou know not 
his abiding-place, describe his semblance to me, that I may fetch 
him to thee, and let not any one's heart be angered against 
thee." So the lady described him to her, and she showed not to 
know him and said, " When I go out, I will ask after him." But 

I $4 A if Laylah wa Laylah^ 

when she left the lady, she went straight to the young man and 
said to him, " Be of good cheer, for I have played with the girl's 
wits ; so to-morrow at noon wait thou at the head of the street, 
till I come and carry thee to her house, where thou shalt take 
thine ease with her the rest of the day and all night long." At 
this the young man rejoiced with exceeding joy and gave her two 
dinars, saying, " When I have won my wish of her, I will give thee 
ten gold pieces." Then she returned to the lady and said to her, 
*' I have seen him and spoken with him on this matter. I found 
him exceeding wroth with thee and minded to do thee a harm, 
but I plied him with fair words till he agreed to come to-morrow 
at the time of the call to noon-prayer." When the lady heard 
this she rejoiced exceedingly and said, " O my mother, if he keep 
his promise, I will give thee ten dinars." Quoth the old woman, 
*' Look to his coming from none but from me." When the next 
morn morrowed she said to the lady, *' Make ready the early meal 
and forget not the wine and adorn thyself and don thy richest 
dress and decoration, whilst I go and fetch him to thee." So she 
clad herself in her finest finery and prepared food, whilst the old 
woman went out to look for the young man, who came not. So 
she went around searching for him, but could come by no news of 
him, and she said to herself, " What is to be done ? Shall the 
food and drink she hath gotten ready be wasted and I lose the 
gold pieces she promised me ? Indeed, I will not allow my cunning 
contrivance to come to naught, but will look her out another man 
and carry him to her." So she walked about the highways till 
her eyes fell on a pretty fellow, young and distinguished-looking, 
to whom the folk bowed and who bore in his face the traces of 
travel. She went up to him and saluting him, asked, " Hast thou 
a mind to meat and drink and a girl adorned and ready V* 
Answered he, " Where is this to be had ? " " At home, in my 
house," rejoined she and carrying him to his own house, knocked 
at the door. The lady opened to them and ran in again, to make 
an end of her dressing and perfuming ; whilst the wicked old 
woman brought the man, who was the husband and house-master, 
into the saloon and made him sit down congratulating herself om 
her cunning contrivance. Presently in walked the lady, who no 
sooner set eyes on her husband sitting by the old trot than she 
knew him and guessed how the case stood ; nevertheless, she wa« 
not taken aback and without stay or delay bethought her of a 
device to hoodwink him. So she pulled off her outer boot and 

Tkt Wife's Device to Cheat her Husband. 155 

crfed at her husband, " Is this how thou keepest the contract 
between us ? How canst thou betray me and deal thus with me ? 
Know that, when I heard of thy coming, I sent this old woman 
to try thee and she hath made thee fall into that against which I 
warned thee : so now I am certified of thine affair and that thou 
hast broken faith with me. I thought thee chaste and pure till I 
saw thee, with my own eves, in this old woman's company and 
knew that thou didst frequent loose baggages^" So saying, she 
fell to beating him with her slipper about the head, and crying 
out, " Divorce me ! Divorce me ! "; whilst he excused himself and 
swore to her, by Allah the Most High, that he had never in his 
life been untrue to her nor had done aught of that whereof she 
suspected him. But she stinted not to weep and scream and bash 
him, crying out and saying, "Come to my help, O Moslems ! "; 
till he laid hold of her mouth with his hand and she bit it. 
Moreover, he humbled himself to her and kissed her hands and 
feet, whilst she would not be appeased and continued to cufT 
him. At last, she winked at the old woman to come and hold 
her hand from him. So she came up to her and kissed her hands 
and feet, till she made peace between them and they sat down 
together ; whereupon the husband began to kiss her hands, saying, 
"Allah Almighty requite thee with all good, for that thou hast 
delivered me from her!" And the old woman marvelled at the 
wife's cunning and ready wit. "This, then, O King" (said the 
Wazir) " is one of many instances of the craft and malice and 
perfidy of women." When the King heard this story, he was 
persuaded by it and turned from his purpose to slay his son ; — — 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Koto fo!)en it toas tfje jpibe l^untireli antj 15ig]^tB»sixt5 Kigbt, 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
fourth Wazir had told his tale, the King turned from his purpose 
to slay his son ; but, on the fifth day, the damsel came in to him 
hending a bowl of poison in hand, calling on Heaven for help and 
buffeting her cheeks and face, and said to him, " O King, either 
thou shalt do me justice and avenge me on thy son, or I will 
drink up this poison-cup and die, and the sin of my blood shall 
be on thy h«ad at the Day of Doom. These thy Ministers accuse 

156 A 1/ Lay la k wa Laylak. 

me of malice and perfidy, but there be none in the world more 
perfidious than men. Hast thou not heard the story of the 
Goldsmith and the Cashmere^ singing-girl ?" " What befel Lhe 
twain, O damsel ?" asked the King ; and she answered, say- 
ing: — There hath come to my knowledge, O august King, a 
tale of 


There lived once, in a city of Persia a goldsmith who delighted 
in women and in drinking wine. One day, being in the house of 
one of his intimates, he saw painted on the wall the figure of a 
lutanist, a beautiful damsel, beholder never beheld a fairer or a 
more pleasant. He looked at the picture again and again, 
marvelling at its beauty, and fell so desperately in love with it, 
that he sickened for passion and came near to die. It chanced 
that one of his friends came to visit him and sitting down by his 
side, asked how he did and what ailed him, whereto the goldsmith 
answered, " O my brother, that which ails me is love, and it befel 
on this wise. I saw the figure of a woman painted on the house- 
wall of my brother such an one and became enamoured of it." 
Hereupon the other fell to blaming him and said, " This was of 
thy lack of wit; how couldst thou fall in love with a painted 
figure on a wall, that can neither harm nor profit, that seeth not 
neither heareth, that neither taketh nor withholdeth,*' Said the 
sick man, " He who painted yonder picture never could have 
limned it save after the likeness of some beautiful woman.' 
" Haply," rejoined his friend, *' he painted it from imagination.'* 
" In any case," replied the goldsmith, " Here am I dying for love 
of the picture, and if there live the original thereof in the world, 
I pray Allah Most High to protect my life till I see her." When 
those who were present went out, they asked for the painter of the 

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

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

The women have fair skins and handsome features but, like all living in that zone» 
Persians, Sindis, Afghans, etc., their bosoms fall after the first child and become like 
udders. This is not the case with Hindu wcunen, Rajputs, Marathis, etCi 

The Goldsmith and the Cashmere Singing-Girl, 157 

picture and, finding that he had travelled to another town, wrote 
him a letter, complaining of their comrade's case and enquiring 
whether he had drawn the figure of his own inventive talents or 
copied it from a living model ; to which he replied, " I painted it 
after a certain singing-girl belonging to one of the Wazirs in 
the city of Cashmere in the land of Hind. When the goldsmith 
heard this, he left Persia for Cashmere-city, where he arrived after 
much travail. He tarried awhile there till one day he went and 
clapped up an acquaintance with a certain of the citizens who was 
a druggist, a fellow of a sharp wit, keen, crafty ; and, being one 
even-tide in company with him, asked him of their King and his 
polity ; to which the other answered, saying, *' Well, our King is 
just and righteous in his governance, equitable to his lieges and 
beneficent to his commons and abhorreth nothing in the world 
save sorcerers ; but, whenever a sorcerer or sorceress falls into his 
hands, he casteth them into a pit without the city and there leaveth 
them in hunger to die." Then he questioned him of the King's 
Wazirs, and the druggist told him of each Minister, his fashion 
and condition, till the talk came round to the singing-girl and he 
told him, " She belongeth to such a Wazir." The goldsmith took 
note of the Minister's abiding place and waited some days, till he 
had devised a device to his desire ; and one night of rain and 
thunder and stormy winds, he provided himself with thieves' 
tackle and repaired to the house of the Wazir who owned the 
damsel. Here he hanged a rope-ladder with grappling-irons tsx 
the battlements and climbed up to the terrace-roof of the palace. 
Thence he descended to the inner court and, making his way into 
the Harim, found all the slave-girls lying asleep, each on her own 
couch ; and amongst them reclining on a couch of alabaster and 
covered with a coverlet of cloth of gold a damsel, as she were the 
moon rising on a fourteenth night. At her head stood a candle 
of ambergris, and at her feet another, each in a candlestick of 
glittering gold, her brilliancy dimming them both ; and under her 
pillow lay a casket of silver, wherein were her jewels. He raised 
the coverlet and drawing near her, considered her straitly, and 
behold, it was the lutanist whom he desired and of whom he was 
come in quest. So he took out a knife and wounded her in the 
back parts, a palpable outer wound, whereupon she awoke in 
terror ; but, when she saw him, she was afraid to cry out, thinking 
he came to steal her goods. So she said to him, " Take the box 
and what is therein, but slay me not, for I am in thy protection 

158 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

and under thy safe-guard* and my death will profit thee nothing.'* 

Accordingly, he took the box and went away. And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

XotD iotien it teas tfie ifibe l^untirel) anH lEfgtns-sebmtf) 2Cigl)t» 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the goldsmith had entered the Wazir's palace he wounded the 
damsel slightly in the back parts and, taking the box which 
contained her jewels, wended his way. And when morning 
morrowed he donned clothes after the fashion of men of learning 
and doctors of the law and, taking the jewel-case went in there- 
with to the King of the city, before whom he kissed the ground 
and said to him, ** O King, I am a devout man ; withal a loyal 
fvell-wisher to thee and come hither a pilgrim to thy court from 
the land of Khorasan, attracted by the report of thy just govern- 
ance and righteous dealing with thy subjects and minded to be 
under thy standard. I reached this city at the last of the day 
and finding the gate locked and barred, threw me down to sleep 
without the walls ; but, as I lay betwixt sleep and wake, behold, 1 
saw four women come up ; one riding on a broom-stick, another 
on a wine-jar, a third on an oven-peel and a fourth on a black 
bitch,* and I knew that they were witches making for thy city. 
One of them came up to me and kicked me with her foot and 
beat me with a fox's tail she had in her hand, hurting mc 
grievously, whereat I was wroth and smote her with a knife I had 
with me, wounding her in the back parts, as she turned to flee 
from me. When she felt the wound, she fled before me and \x\ 
her flight let drop this casket, which I picked up and opening, 
found these costly jewels therein. So do thou take it, for I have 
no need thereof, being a wanderer in the mountains,' who hath 
rejected the world from my heart and renounced it and all that i$ 
in it, seeking only the face of Allah the Most High." Then he 
set the casket before the King and fared forth. The King opened 
the box and emptying out all the trinkets it contained, fell to 

• By these words she appealed to his honour. 

■ ' These vehicles suggest derivation from European witchery. lo the Bresl. Edik 
(xii. 304) one of the women rides a *' Miknasah " or broow. 

* iji. a recluse who avoids society. 

The Goldsmith and the Cashmere Singing-GirL 159 

turning them over with his hand, till he chanced upon a necklace 
whereof he had made gift to the Wazir to whom the girl belonged. 
Seeing this, he called the Minister in question and said to him, 
• This is the necklace I gave thee ? " He knew it at first sight 
and answered, " It is ; and I gave it to a singing girl of mine." 
Quoth the King, " Fetch that girl to me forthwith." So he fetched 
her to him, and he said, " Uncover her back parts and see if there 
,be a wound therein or no." The Wazir accordingly bared her 
backside and finding a knife-wound there, said, " Yes, O my lord, 
there is a wound.'* Then said the King, " This is the witch of 
whom the devotee told me, and there can be no doubt of it," and 
bade cast her into the witches' well. So they carried her thither 
at once. As soon as it was night and the goldsmith knew that 
his plot had succeeded, he repaired to the pit, taking with him a 
purse of a thousand dinars, and, entering into converse with the 
warder, sat talking with him till a third part of the night was 
passed, when he broached the matter to him, saying, " Know, O 
my brother, that this girl is innocent of that they lay to her charge 
and that it was I brought this calamity upon her." Then he told 
him the whole story, first and last, adding, " Take, O my brother, 
this purse of a thousand dinars and give me the damsel, that I 
may carry her to my own land, for these gold pieces will profit 
thee more than keeping her in prison ; moreover Allah will requite 
thee for us, and we too will both offer up prayers for thy prosperity 
and safety." When the warder heard this story, he marvelled with 
exceeding marvel at that device and its success ; then taking the 
money, he delivered the girl to the goldsmith, conditioning that 
he should not abide one hour with her in the city. Thereupon the 
goldsmith took the girl and fared on with her, without ceasing, 
till he reached his own country and so he won his wish. "See, 
then, O King " (said the damsel), " the malice of men and their 
wiles. Now thy Wazirs hinder thee from doing me justice on 
thy son ; but to-morrow we shall stand, both thou and I, before 
the Just Judge, and He shall do me justice on thee, O King.* 
When the King heard this, he commanded to put his son to 
death ; but the fifth Wazir came in to him and kissing the ground 
before him, said, " O mighty King, delay and hasten not to slay 
thy son : speed will oftentimes repentance breed ; and I fear for 
thee lest thou repent, even as did the man who never laughed for 
the rest of his days." "And how was that, O Wazir ?" asked the 
King. Quoth he :— I have heard tell, O King, this tale concerning 

i6o,» Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 



There was once a man who was rich in lands and houses and 
monies and goods, eunuchs and slaves, and he died and went to 
the mercy of Allah the Most High ; leaving a young son, who, 
when he grew up, gave himself to feasting and carousing and 
hearing music and singing and the loud laughter of parasites ; 
and he wasted his substance in gifts and prodigality till he had 

squandered all the money his father left him And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

^NTotu folien it foas tf)e Jpibe l^untrrctr anb iEt8f)tS--tigStf) Nigljt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young 
man, when he had squandered all the money his father had left 
him and naught thereof remained to him, betook himself to selling 
his slaves and handmaids, lands and houses and spent the proceeds 
on like wise, till he was reduced to beggary and must needs labou 
for his living. He abode thus a year's space, at the end of which 
time he was sitting one day under a wall, awaiting who should hire 
him when behold, there came up to him an old man of comely 
aspect and apparel and saluted him. The young man asked, " O 
uncle, hast thou known me aforetime?" and the other answered, 
*' Not so, O my son, I know thee not at all, at all ; but I see the 
trace of gentle breeding on thee despite thy present case." "O 
uncle," rejoined the poor man, "needs must Fate and Fortune be 
accomplished ; but, O uncle, O bright of blee, hast thou any oc- 
casion wherein thou wouldst employ me.-*" Said the other, "I 
wish, O my son, to employ thee in a slight matter." " What is 
it ? " quoth the young man, and quoth the stranger, " We are 
eleven old men in one house, but we have none to serve us ; so 
an thou wilt stay and take service with us, thou shalt have food 
and clothing to thy heart's content, besides what cometh to thee 
of coin and other good ; and haply Allah will restore thee thy 
fortune by our means." Replied the youth, " Hearkening and 
obedience ! " " But I have a condition to impose on thee." *' What 
is that .^" " O my son, it is that thou keep our secret in what thou 

The Man who never Laughed during the Rest of his Days. \6\ 

seest us do, and if thou see us weep, that thou question us not of 
the cause of our weeping." " It is well, O uncle ; " " Come with 
me, O my son, with the blessing of Allah Almighty." So he 
followed him to the bath, where the old man caused cleanse his 
body of the crusted dirt, after which he sent one to fetch a hand- 
some garment of linen and clad him therein. Then he carried 
him to his company which was in his domicile and the youth 
found a house lofty and spacious and strongly builded, wherein 
■were sitting-chambers facing one another ; and saloons, in each 
one a fountain of water, with the birds warbling over it, and 
windows on every side, giving upon a fair garden within the 
house. The old man brought him into one of the parlours, which 
was variegated with many-coloured marbles, the ceiling thereof 
being decorated with ultramarine and glowing gold ; and the floor 
bespread with silken carpets. Here he found ten Shayks in 
mourning apparel, seated one opposite other, weeping and wailing. 
He marvelled at their case and purposed to ask the reason, when 
lie remembered the condition and held his peace. Then he who 
liad brought him delivered to him a chest containing thirty thou- 
sand dinars and said to him, " O my son, spend freely from this 
chest what is fitting for our entertainment and thine own ; and be 
thou faithful and remember that wherewith I charged thee." " I 
hear and I obey," answered he and served them days and nights, 
till one of them died, whereupon his fellows washed him and 
shrouded him and buried him in a garden behind the house ,* nor 
did death cease to take them, one after other, till there remained 
but the Shaykh who had hired the youth for service. Then the 
two men, old and young, dwelt together in that house alone for 
years and years, nor was there with them a third save Allah the 
Most High, till the elder fell sick ; and when the younger despaired 
of his life, he went up to him and condoling with him, said, " O 
nuncle mine, I have waited upon you twelve years and have not 
failed of my duties a single hour, but have been loyal and faithful 
to you and served you with my might and main." " Yes, O my 
son," answered the old man, " thou hast served us well until all my 
comrades are gone to the mercy of Allah (to whom belong honour 
and glory !) and needs must I die also." " O my lord," said the 
other, " thou art in danger of death and I would fain have thee 

* " Coosecrated groQDd " is happily unknown to Moslems. 

l62 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

acquaint me with the cause of your weeping and wailing and of 
your unceasing mourning and lamentation and regrets." *' O my 
son," answered the old man, " it concerns thee not to know this, 
so importune me not of what I may not do : for I have vowed to 
Almighty Allah that I would acquaint none of His creatures with 
this, lest he be afflicted with what befel me and my comrades. If, 
then, thou desire to be delivered from that into which we fell, look 
thou open not yonder door,'" and pointed to a certain part of the 
house ; " but, if thou have a mind to suffer what we have suffered, 
then open it and thou shalt learn the cause of that thou hast seen 
us do ; and whenas thou knowest it, thou shalt repent what time 

repentance will avail thee not." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

:tCotD tobtn {t toas t^e S'M J^anUreH anti 1Eigf)tg-n{ntl^ Nfg^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the sui> 
viving Shaykh of the ten said to the youth, "Beware how thou 
open yonder door or thou shalt repent what time repentance will 
avail thee not.'* Then his sickness grew on him and he accom- 
plished his term and departed life to the presence of his Lord ; 
and the young man washed him with his own hands and shrouded 
him and buried him by the side of his comrades ; after which he 
abode alone in the place and took possession of whatsoever was 
therein. Withal he was uneasy and troubled concerning the case 
of the old men, till, one day, as he sat pondering the words of his 
dead master and his injunction not to open the door, he suddenly 
bethought himself to go and look for it. So he rose up and 
repaired to the part whither the dead man had pointed and sought 
till, in a dark unfrequented corner, he found a little door, ovei 
which the spider had spun her webs and which was fastened with 
four padlocks of steel. Seeing this he recalled the old man's 
warning and restrained himself and went away ; and he held aloof 
from it seven days, whilst all the time his heart prompted him to 
open it. On the eighth day his curiosity got the better of him and 
he said, " Come what will, needs must I open the door and see 
what will happen to me therefrom. Nothing can avert what is 
fated and fore-ordained of Allah the Most High ; nor doth aught 

* This incident oocon in die *' Third Kalandaur's Tale." See vol. i * i$7 ; ud note t» 

The Man who never Laughed during the Rest of his Days, 163 

befal but by PIfs will." So saying, he rose and broke the padlocks 
and opening the door saw a narrow passage, which he followed for 
some three hours when lo ! he came out on the shore of a vast 
■ ocean ^ and fared on along the beach, marvelling at this main, 
whereof he had no knowledge and turning right and left. Presently, 
a great eagle swooped down upon him from the lift and seizing 
him in its talons, flew away with Ixim betwixt heaven and earth, 
till it came to an island in the midst of the sea, where ii: cast him 
down and flew away. The youth v/as dazed and knew not whither 
he should wend, but after a few days as he sat pondering his case, 
he caught sight of the sails of a ship in the middlemost of the 
main, as it were a star in the sky ; and his heart clave to it, so 
haply his deliverance might be therein. He continued gazing at 
the ship, until it drew nigh, when he saw that it was a foyst builded 
all of ivory and ebony, inlaid with glistening gold made fast by 
nails of steel, with oars of sandal and lign-aloes. In it were ten 
damsels, high-bosomed maids, as they were moons; and when 
they saw him, they came ashore to him and kissed his hands, say- 
ing, " Thou art the King, the Bridegroom ! " Then there accosted 
him a young lady, as she were the sun shining in sky serene 
bearing in hand a silken napkin, wherein were a royal robe and a 
crown of gold set with all manner rubies and pearls. She threw 
the robe over him and set the crown upon his head, after which the 
damsels bore him on their arms to the foyst, where he found all 
kinds of silken carpets and hangings of various colours. Then 
they spread the sails and stretched out into mid-ocean. Quoth the 
young man : — Indeed, when they put to sea with me, meseemed it 
was a dream and I knew not whither they were wending with 
me. Presently, v/e drew near to land, and I saw the shore full of 
troops none knoweth their number save Allah (extolled and 
exalted be He !) and all were magnificently arrayed and clad in 
complete steel. As soon as the vessel had made fast to the land, 
they brought me five marked^ horses of noble breeds, housed and 

* The Mac. Edit, has "Nahr"=: river. 

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

i64 Alf Laylah wa Layiak. 

saddled with gold, inlaid with all manner pearls and high-priced 
bezel stones. I chose out one of them and mounted it, whilst they 
led the four others before me. Then they raised the banners and 
the standards over my head, whilst the troops ranged themselves 
right and left, and we set out, with drums beating and cymbals 
clashing, and rode on ; whilst I debated in myself whether I were 
in sleep or on wake; and we never ceased faring, I believing not in 
that my estate, but taking all this for the imbroglio of a dream, 
till we drew near to the green mead, full of palaces and gardens 
and trees and streams and blooms and birds chanting the praises 
of Allah the One, the Victorious. Hereupon, behold, an army 
sallied out from amid the palaces and gardens, as it were the 
torrent when it poureth down,* and the host overflowed the mead. 
These troops halted at a little distance from me and presently 
there rode forth from amongst them a King, preceded by some of 
his chief officers on foot. When he came up to the young man 
(saith the tale-teller) he dismounted also, and the two saluted each 
other after the goodliest fashion. Then sard the King, " Come 
with us, for thou art my guest." So they took horse again and 
rode on stirrup touching stirrup in great and stately procession, 
conversing as they went, till they came to the royal palace, where 

they alighted together. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

tfc^oto foj^en ft teas lit Jpibc |^untj«ti anlr Ninetfet!) l^^i^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two rode 
together in stately procession till they entered the palace, when the 
King taking the young man by 'the hand, led him into a domed 
room followed by his suite, and making him sit down on a throne 
of gold, seated himself beside him. Then he unbound the swathe 
from his lower face ; and behold, the King was a young lady, like 
the splendid sun shining in the sheeny sky, perfect in beauty and 
loveliness, "brilliancy and grace, arrogance ^ and all perfection. The 
youth looked upon this singular blessing and embodied boon and 

' i.e. from the heights. The *' Sayl " is a dangerous feature in Arabia as in Southern 
India, where many officers have lost their lives by trying to swim it. 

^Arab. "'Ujb." I use arrogance in the Spanish sense of "arroganle," gay and, 

The Man who never Laughed during the Rest of his Days. 165 

was lost in wonder at her charms and comeliness and seemlihead 

and at the splendour and affluence he saw about him, when she said 

" Know, O King, that I am the Queen of this land and that all the 

troops thou hast seen, whether horse or foot, are women, there is 

no man amongst them ; for in this our state the men delve and sow 

and ear and occupy themselves with the tillage of the earth and 

the building of towns and other mechanical crafts and useful arts, 

whilst the women govern and fill the great offices of state and bear 

arms." At this the youth marvelled with exceeding marvel and, 

as they were in discourse, behold, in came the Wazir who was 

a tall gray-haired old woman of venerable semblance and majestic 

aspect, and it was told him that this was the Minister. Quoth the 

Queen to her, " Bring us the Kazi and witnesses." So she went 

out to do this, and the Queen, turning to him, conversed with him 

in friendly fashion, and enforced herself to reassure his awe of her 

and do away his shame with speech blander than the zephyr, 

saying, " Art thou content to be to me baron and I to thee feme ?" 

Thereupon he arose and would have kissed ground between her 

hands, but she forbade him and he replied, saying, " O my lady, I 

am the least of thy slaves who serve thee." " Seest thou all these 

servants and soldiers and riches and hoards and treasures ?" asked 

she, and he answered, " Yes ! " Quoth she, " All these are at thy 

commandment to dispose of them and give and bestow as seemeth 

good to thee." Then she pointed to a closed door and said, 

"All these things are at thy disposal, save yonder door; that 

shalt thou not open, and if thou open it thou shalt repent when 

repentance will avail thee naught. So beware ! and again I say, 

beware ! " Hardly had she made an end of speaking when the 

Waziress entered followed by the Kazi and witnesses, all old 

women, with their hair streaming over their shoulders and of 

reverend and majestic presence ; and the Queen bade them 

draw up the contract of marriage between herself and the young 

man. Accordingly, they performed the marriage-ceremony and 

the Queen made a great bride-feast, to which she bade all the 

troops ; and after they had eaten and drunken, he went in unto 

his bride and found her a maid virginal. So he did away her 

hymen and abode with her seven years in all joyance and solace 

and delight of life, till, one day of the days, he bethought himself 

of the forbidden door and said in himself, " Except there were 

therein treasures greater and grander than any I have seen, she 

had not forbidden me therefrom." So he rose and opened the 

t66 Alf Laylak wa Laytah, 

door, when, lo ! behind it was the very bird which had brought 
him from the sea-shore to the island, and it said to him, •' No 
welcome to a face that shall never prosper I " When he saw it 
snd heard what it said, he fled from it ; but it followed him and 
seizing him in its talons, flew with him an hour's journey betwixt 
heaven and earth, till it set him down in the place whence it had 
first carried him off and flew away. When he came to his senses, 
lie remembered his late estate, great, grand and glorious, and the 
troops which rode before him and his lordly rule and all the 
honour and fair fortune he had lost and fell to weeping and 
wailing.* He abode two months on the sea-shore, where the 
bird had set him down, hoping yet to return to his wife, till, as 
he sat one night wakeful, mourning and musing, behold, he heard 
one speaking, albeit he saw no one, and saying, " How great were 
the delights ! Alas, far from thee is the return of that which is 
past ! " When he heard this, he redoubled in his regrets and 
despaired of recovering his wife and his fair estate that was ; so 
he returned, weary and broken-hearted, to the house where he had 
dwelt with the old men and knew that they had fared even as he 
and that this was the cause of their shedding tears and lamenting 
their lot ; wherefore he ever after held them excused. Then, being 
overcome with chagrin and concern, he took to his chamber and 
gave himself up to mourning and lamentation ; and he ceased not 
crying and complaining and left eating and drinking and pleasant 
scents and merriment ; nor did he laugh once till the day of his 
death, when they buried him beside the Shaykhs. " See, then, O 
King," continued the Wazir " what cometh of precipitance ; verily, 
it is unpraiseworthy and bequeatheth repentance ; and in this I 
give thee true advice and loyal counsel." When the King heard 
this story, he turned from slaying his son ;— *-And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

NoiD fD^en (t toas tlie ;fp(be f^untitel) anli l^metj^'ftrst Nf{{^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
King heard this story he turned from slaying his son ; but, on the 
sixth day, the favourite came in to him bending a naked knife in 
hand, and said to him, " Know, O my lord, that except thou 

I'^fc—— ^Wi— ^M — ■ - III. I ■ ■!■■■ ■■ I— .1 ■■ I ■ I I ■■ . — '■>•■■■ ■■^■^■■^^^1 

' Id tbU cechauffe Paul Piy esca|ies without losing an ^ya 

The. Kind's Son and the Merchant's Wife. 167 

hearken fro my complaint and protect thy right and thine honour 
against these thy Ministers, who are banded together against me, 
to do me wrong, I will kill myself with this knife, and my blood 
will testify against thee on the Day of Doom. Indeed, they pre- 
tend that women are full of tricks and malice and perfidy ; and 
they design thereby to defeat me of my due and hinder the 
King from doing me justice ; but, behold, I will prove to thee 
that men are more perfidious than women by the story of a 
King among the Kings and how he gained access to the wife 
of a certain merchant." " And what passed between them } " 
asked the King, and she answered : — I have heard tell, O august 
King, a tale of 


A CERTAIN merchant, who was addicted to jealousy, had a wife 
that was a model of beauty and loveliness ; and of the excess of 
his fear and jealousy of her, he would not abide with her in any 
town, but built her a pavilion without the city, apart from all other 
buildings. And he raised its height and strengthened its doors and 
provided them with curious locks ; and when he had occasion to go 
into the city, he locked the doors and hung the keys about his 
neck/ One day, when the merchant was abroad, the King's son 
of that city came forth, to take his pleasure and solace in the open 
country without the walls, and seeing the solitary pavilion, stood 
still to examine it for a long while. At last he caught sight of a 
charming lady looking and leaning out of one of the windows,^ and 
being smitten with amazement at her grace and charms, cast about 
for a means of getting to her, but could find none. So he called up 
one of his pages, who brought him ink-case ^ and paper and wrote 
her a letter, setting forth his condition for love of her. Then he set 

' Eastern tale-tellers always harp upon this theme, the cunning precautions taken by 
mankind and their utter confusion by "Fate and Fortune." In such matters the West 
remarks, " Ce que femme veut, Dieu veut." 

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

^ The ink-case would contain the pens; hence called in India Kalamddn = reed 
(pen) box. I have advised travellers to prefer the strong Egyptian article of brass to the 
Persian, which is of wood or papier-mach^, prettily varnished, but not to wear U in 
Ihe waist-belt, as thii is a sign of being a scribe (Pilgrimage i. 353). 

168 Alf Laylah iva Laylah. 

it on the pile-point of an arrow and shot it at the pavilion, and it 
fell in the garden, where the lady was then walking with her 
maidens. She said to one of the girls," Hasten and bring me yon 
letter," for she could read writing ;' and, when she had read it and 
understood what he said in it of his love and passion, yearning and 
longing, she wrote him a merciful reply, to the effect that she was 
smitten with a yet fiercer desire for him ; and then threw the letter 
down to him from one of the windows of the pavilion. When he 
saw her, he picked up the reply and after reading it, came under 
the window and said to her, " Let me down a thread, that I may 
send thee this key ; which do thou take and keep by thee." So 
she let down a thread and he tied the key to it.^ Then he went 
away and repairing to one of his father's Wazirs, complained to 
him of his passion for the lady and that he could not live without 
her ; and the Minister said, " And how dost thou bid me contrive ? " 
Quoth the Prince, " I would have thee set me in a chest ^ and com- 
mit it to the merchant, feigning to him that it is thine and desiring 
him to keep it for thee in his country-house some days, that I may 
have my will of her; then do thou demand it back from him." 
The Wazir answered, " With love and gladness." So the Prince 
returned to his palace and fixing the padlock, the key whereof he 
had given the lady, on a chest he had by him, entered therein. 
Then the Wazir locked it upon him and setting it on a mule, 
carried it to the pavilion of the merchant, who, seeing the Minister, 
came forth to him and kissed his hands, saying, " Belike our lord the 
Wazir hath some need or business which we may have the pleasure 
and honour of accomplishing for him V Quoth the Minister, "I 
would have thee set this chest in the safest and best place within 
thy house and keep it till I seek it of thee." So the merchant 
made the porters carry it inside and set it down in one of his store- 
closets, after which he went out on business. As soon as he was 

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

* In the Bresl. Edit, the Prince ties a key to a second arrow and shoots it into the 

' The '• box-trick " has often been played with success, by Lord Byron amongst a 
host of others. The readiness with which the Wazir enters into the scheme is charac- 
teristic of oriental i-erviiity : an honest Moslem should at least put in a remonstrance. 

The Page ivho Feigned to Know the Speech of Birds. 169 

gone, his wife arose and went up to the chest and unlocked it with 
the key the King's son had given her, whereupon there came forth 
a youth like the moon. When she saw him, she donned her richest 
raiment and carried him to her sitting-saloon, where they abode 
seven days, eating and drinking and making merry : and as often 
as her husband came home, she put the Prince back into the chest 
and locked it upon him. One day the King asked for his son and 
the Wazir hurried off to the merchant's place of business and 

sought of him the chest. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fol)en It foas tfic Jpi'be l^untrreti antJ jSTinetg^seconlr N(fi]bt, 

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



A CERTAIN man of rank once entered the slave-market and saw 
a page being cried for sale ; so he bought him and carrying him 
home, said to his wife, "Take good care of him." The lad abode 

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

'I70 Alf Laylak wa Laylah, 

there for a while till, one day, the man said to his wife, "Go forth 
to-morrow to the garden and take thy solace therein and amuse 
tliyself and enjoy thyself." And she replied, " With love and glad- 
ness ! " Now when the page heard this, he made ready in secret 
meat and drink and fruits and dessert, and sallied forth with them 
privily that night to the garden, where he laid the meat under one 
tree, the wine under another and the fruit and conserves under a 
third, in the way his mistress must pass. When morning mor- 
rowed the husband bade him accompany the lady to that garden 
carrying with him all the provisions required for the day ; so she 
took horse and riding thither with him, dismounted and entered. 
Presently, as they were walking about, a crow croaked,^ and the 
page said, "Thou sayst sooth;" whereupon his mistress asked 
him, " Dost thou know what the crow said } "; and he answered, 
** Yes, O my lady, he said, Under yonder tree is meat ; go and eat 
it." So she said, " I see thou really dost understand them ;" then 
she went up to the tree and, finding a dish of meat ready dressed, 
was assured that the youth told the truth and marvelled with ex- 
ceeding marvel. They ate of the meat and walked about awhile, 
taking their pleasure in the garden, till the crow croaked a second 
time, and the page again replied, " Thou sayst sooth." " What 
said he } " quoth the lady, and quoth the page, " O my lady, he 
saith that under such a tree are a gugglet of water flavoured with 
musk and a pitcher of old wine." So she went up with him to the 
tree and, finding the wine and water there, redoubled in wonder- 
ment and the page was magnified in her eyes. They sat down and 
drank, then arose and walked in another part of the garden. Pre- 
sently the crow croaked again and the page said, "Thou sayst sooth." 
Said the lady, " What saith he now ? " and the page replied, " He 
saith that under yonder tree are fruits, fresh and dried." So they 
went thither and found all as he said and sat down and ate. Then 
they walked about again till the crow croaked a fourth time, 
whereupon the page took up a stone and threw it at him. Quoth 
she, " What said he, that thou shouldst stone him ? " " O my 
lady," answered he, " he said what I cannot tell thee." " Say on," 

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

TA€ Page who Feigned to Know the Speech of Birds. \y\ 

rejoined she, " and be not abashed in my presence, for there is 
naught between me and thee." But he ceased not to say, " No," 
and she to press him to speak, till at last she conjured him to tell 
her, and he answered, " The crow said to me : — Do with thy lady 
even as doth her husband.'* When she heard his words she 
laughed till she fell backward and said, " This is a light matter, 
and I may not gainsay thee therein." So saying, she went up to 
a tree and, spreading the carpet under it, lay down, and called to 
him to come and do her need, when, lo ! her husband, who had 
followed them unawares and saw this, called out to the page, 
saying, " Harkye, boy ! What ails thy mistress to lie there, weep- 
ing } " Answered the page, " O my lord, she fell off the tree and 
was killed ; ^ and none but Allah (be He extolled and exalted !) 
restored her to thee. Wherefore she lay down awhile to recover 
herself by rest." When the lady saw her husband standing by her 
head, she rose and made a show of weakness and pain, saying, 
** O my back ! O my sides ! Come to my help, O my friends ! I 
shall never survive this," So her husband was deceived and said 
to the page, " Fetch thy mistress's horse and set her thereon." 
Then he carried her home, the boy holding one stirrup and the man 
the other and saying, "Allah vouchsafe thee ease and recovery!" 
*'' These then, O King," (said the damsel) " are some instances of 
the craft of men and their perfidy ; wherefore let not thy Wazirs 
turn thee from succouring me and doing me justice." Then she 
wept, and when the King saw her weeping (for she was the dearest 
to him of all his slave-girls) he once more commanded to put his 
son to death ; but the sixth Minister entered and kissing ground 
before him, said, " May the Almighty advance the King ! Verily 
I am a loyal counsellor to thee, in that I counsel thee to deal 
deliberately in the matter of thy son ; " And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

iSoto to^m ft toas t^e Jjpifat f^untvElr anlj 1srm£tB=ttitiJ iEfa^t, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the sixth 
Wazir said, " O King, deal deliberately in the matter of thy son ; 
for falsehood is as smoke and fact is built on base which shall not 
be broken ; yea, and the light of sooth dispelleth the night of 

' Again in the Hibernian sense of being " kilt." 

172 Alf Laylah tva Laylah. 

untruth. Know that the perfidy of women is great, even as saith 
Allah the Most High in His Holy Book, " Verily, the malice of 
you is great." ^ And indeed a tale hath reached me that a certain 
woman befooled the Chiefs of the State on such wise as never did 
any before her." Asked the King, " And how was that } " And 
the Wazir answered : — I have heard tell a tale, O King, as follows 


A WOMAN of the daughters of the merchants was married to a man 
who was a great traveller. It chanced once that he set out for a 
far country and was absent so long that his wife, for pure ennui, 
fell in love with a handsome young man of the sons of the mer- 
chants, and they loved each other with exceeding love. One day, 
the youth quarrelled with another man, who lodged a complaint 
against him with the Chief of Police, and he cast him into prison. 
When the news came to the merchant's wife his mistress, she well- 

* Quoted in Night dlxxxii. ; said by Kitfir or Itfir (Potiphar) when his wife (Rail 
or Zulaykha) charged Joseph with attempting her chastity and he saw that the youth's 
garment was whole in front and rent in rear (Koran, chapt. xii.). 

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

The Lady and her Five Suitors. 173 

nigh lost her wits ; then she arose and donning her richest clothes 
repaired to the house of the Chief of Police. She saluted him 
and presented a written petition to this purport : — " He thou hast 
clapped in jail is my brother, such and such, who fell out with 
such an one ; and those who testified against him bore false 
witness. He hath been wrongfully imprisoned, and I have none 
other to come in to me nor to provide for my support ; therefore 
I beseech thee of thy grace to release him." When the magistrate 
had read the paper, he cast his eyes on her and fell in love with 
her forthright ; so he said to her, " Go into the house, till I bring 
him before me ; then I will send for thee and thou shalt take him." 
" O my lord," replied she, " I have none to protect me save Al- 
mighty Allah ! : I am a stranger and may not enter any man's 
abode." Quoth the Wali, " I will not let him go, except thou 
come to my home and I take my will, of thee." Rejoined she, 
" If it must be so, thou must needs come^to my lodging and sit 
and sleep the siesta and rest the whole day there." " And where 
is thy abode } " asked he ; and she answered, " In such a place," 
and appointed him for such a time. Then she went out from him, 
leaving his heart taken with love of her, and she repaired to the 
Kazi of the city, to whom she said, " O our lord the Kazi ! " He 
exclaimed, " Yes ! " and she continued, " Look into my case, and 
thy reward be with Allah the Most High ! " Quoth he, " Who 
hath wronged thee ? " and quoth she, *' O my lord, I have a brother 
and I have none but that one, and it is on his account that I come 
to thee ; because the Wali hath imprisoned him for a criminal and 
men have borne false witness against him that he is a wrong-doer ; 
and I beseech thee to intercede for him with the Chief of Police." 
When the Kazi looked on her, he fell in love with her forthright 
and said to her, " Enter the house and rest awhile with my hand- 
maids whilst I send to the Wali to release thy brother. If I knew 
the money-fine which is upon him, I would pay it out of my own 
purse, so I may have my desire of thee, for thou pleasest me with 
thy sweet speech." Quoth she, "If thou, O my lord, do thus, we 
must not blame others." Quoth he, " An thou wilt not come in, 
wend thy ways." Then said she, " An thou wilt have it so, O our 
lord, it will be privier and better in my place than in thine, for 
here are slave-girls and eunuchs and goers-in and comers-out, and 
indeed I am a woman who wotteth naught of this fashion ; but 
need compelleth.'* Asked the Kazi, " And where is thy house ? "; 
and she answered, " In such a place," and appointed him for the 

174 -^^f Lay I ah wa Laylah. 

same day and time as the Chief of Police. Then she went out 
from him to the Wazir, to whom she preferred her petition for the 
release from prison of her brother who was absolutely necessary to 
her : but he also required her of herself, saying, " Suffer me to 
have my will of thee and I will set thy brother free." Quoth she, 
*' An thou wilt have it so, be it in my house, for there it will be 
privier both for me and for thee. It is not far distant and thou 
knowest that which behoveth us women of cleanliness and adorn- 
ment." Asked he, "Where is thy house ? " "In such a place," 
answered she and appointed him for the same time as the two 
others. Then she went out from him to the King of the city and 
told him her story and sought of him her brother's release. " Who 
imprisoned him } " enquired he ; and she replied, " 'Twas thy 
Chief of Police." When the King heard her speech, it transpierced 
his heart with the arrows of love and he bade her enter the palace 
with him, that he might send to the Kazi and release her brother. 
Quoth she, " O King, this thing is easy to thee, whether I will or 
nill ; and if the King will indeed have this of me, it is of my good 
fortune ; but, if he come to my house, he will do me the more 
honour by setting step therein, even as saith the poet : — 

O my friends, have ye seen or have ye heard o Of his visit whose virtues I 
hold so high ? 

Quoth the King, " We will not cross thee in this." So she 
appointed him for the same time as the three others, and told 

him where her house was. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

ttCofo fobtn ft hjas t|bc Jibt IL^untrrttr anti :Nrmct5.fourt]^ Ni'gbt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the woman 
told the King where her house was and appointed him for the 
same time as the Wali, the Kazi and the Wazir. Then she left 
him and betaking herself to a man which was a carpenter, said to 
him, " I would have thee make me a cabinet with four compart- 
ments one above other, each with its door for locking up. Let 
me know thy hire and I will give it thee." Replied he, " My 
price will be four dinars ; but, O noble lady and well-protected, if 
thou wilt vouchsafe me thy favours, I will ask nothing of thee." 

The Lady and her Five Suitors. 175 

Rejoined she, " An there be no help but that thou have it so, then 
make thou five compartments with their padlocks;" and she 
appointed him to bring it exactly on the day required. Said he, 
" It is well ; sit down, O my lady, and I will make it for thee 
forthright, and after I will come to thee at my leisure," So she 
sat down by him, whilst he fell to work on the cabinet, and when 
he had made an end of it she chose to see it at once carried home 
and set up in the sitting-chamber. Then she took four gowns 
and carried them to the dyer, who dyed them each of a different 
colour ; after which she applied herself to making ready meat and 
drink ; fruits, flowers and perfumes. Now when the appointed 
trysting day came, she donned her costliest dress and adorned 
herself and scented herself, then spread the sitting-room with 
various kinds of rich carpets and sat down to await who should 
come. And behold, the Kazi was the first to appear, devancing 
the rest, and when she saw him, she rose to her feet and kissed 
the ground before him ; then, taking him by the hand, made him 
sit down by her on the couch and lay with him and fell to jesting 
and toying with him. By and by, he would have her do his 
desire, but she said, " O my lord, doff thy clothes and turband and 
assume this yellow cassock and this head-kerchief,^ whilst I bring 
thee meat and drink ; and after thou shalt win thy will." So 
saying, she took his clothes and turband and clad him in the 
cassock and the kerchief; but hardly had she done this, when lo! 
there came a knocking at the door. Asked he, *' Who is that 
rapping at the door .''" and she answered, " My husband." Quoth 
the Kazi, " What is to be done, and where shall I go ? " Quoth 
she, " Fear nothing, I will hide thee in this cabinet ; " and he, 
" Do as seemeth good to thee." So she took him by the hand 
and pushing him into the lowest compartment, locked the door 
upon him. Then she went to the house-door, where she found 
the Wali ; so she bussed ground before him and taking his hand 
brought him into the saloon, where she made him sit down and 
said to him, " O my lord, this house is thy house ; this place is thy 
place, and I am thy handmaid : thou shalt pass all this day with 

^ When Easterns sit down to a drinking bout, which means to get drunk as speedily 
and pleasantly as possible, they put off dresses of dull colours and robe themselves in 
clothes supplied by the host, of the brightest he may have, especially yellow, green and 
red of different shades. So the lady's proceeding was not likely to breed suspicion \ 
although her tastes were somewhat fantastic and like Miss J vUia's— peculiar. 

176 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

me ; wherefore do thou doff thy clothes and don this red gown, 
for it is a sleeping gown." So she took away his clothes and 
made him assume the red gown and set on his head an old 
patched rag she had by her ; after which she sat by him on the 
divan and she sported with him while he toyed with her awhile, 
till he put out his hand to her. Whereupon she said to him, " O 
our lord, this day is thy day and none shall share in it with thee ; 
but first, of thy favour and benevolence, write me an order for my 
brother's release from gaol that my heart may be at ease." 
Quoth he, " Hearkening and obedience : on my head and eyes be 
it ! " ; and wrote a letter to his treasurer, saying : — " As soon as 
this communication shall reach thee, do thou set such an one free, 
without stay or delay ; neither answer the bearer a word.'* Then 
he sealed it and she took it from him, after which she began 
to toy again with him on the divan when, behold, some one 
knocked at the door. He asked, " Who is that ? " and she 
answered, " My husband." '* What shall I do } " said he, and she, 
" Enter this cabinet, till I send him away and return to thee." So 
she clapped him into the second compartment from the bottom 
and padlocked the door on him ; and meanwhile the Kazi heard 
all they said. Then she went to the house-door and opened it, 
whereupon lo ! the Wazir entered. She bussed the ground before 
him and received him with all honour and worship, saying, " O 
my lord, thou exaltest us by thy coming to our house ; Allah never 
deprive us of the light of thy countenance ! " Then she seated 
him on the divan and said to him, " O my lord, doff thy heavy 
dress and turband and don these lighter vestments." So he put 
off his clothes and turband and she clad him in a blue cassock and 
a tall red bonnet, and said to him, " Erst thy garb was that of the 
Wazirate; so leave it to its own time and don this light gown, 
which is better fitted for carousing and making merry and sleep." 
Thereupon she began to play with him and he with her, and he 
would have done his desire of her ; but she put him off, saying, 
*' O my lord, this shall not fail us." As they were talking there 
came a knocking at the door, and the Wazir asked her, "Who is 
that } " : to which she answered, " My husband." Quoth he, 
"What is to be done?" Quoth she, " Enter this cabinet, till I get 
rid of him and come back to thee and fear thou nothing." So she 
put him in the third compartment and locked the door on him, 
after which she went out and opened the house-door when lo and 
behold ! in came the King. As soon as she saw him she kissed 

The Lady and her Five Suitors. 177 

ground before him, and taking him by the hand, led him into the 
saloon and seated him on the divan at the upper end. Then said 
she to him, " Verily, O King, thou dost us high honour, and if we 
brought thee to gift the world and all that therein is, it would not 

be worth a single one of thy steps us-wards." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Koto fo^tn It foas t!)c Jpibc fl^unlfrcti antr Nmctg^fiftt Ntgtt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
King entered the lady's house she said to him, " Had we brought 
thee to gift the world and all which is therein, it would not be 
worth a single one of thy steps us-wards." And when he had 
taken his seat upon the divan she said, *' Give me leave to speak 
one word." " Say what thou wilt," answered he, and she said, 
" O my lord, take thine ease and doff thy dress and turband." 
Now his clothes were worth a thousand dinars ; and when he put 
them off she clad him in a patched gown, worth at the very most 
ten dirhams, and fell to talking and jesting with him ; all this 
while the folk in the cabinet hearing everything that passed, but 
not daring to say a word. Presently, the King put his hand to 
her neck and sought to do his desire of her; when she said, 
♦' This thing shall not fail us, but I had first promised myself to 
entertain thee in this sitting-chamber, and I have that which shall 
content thee." Now as they were speaking, some one knocked at 
the door and he asked her, " Who is that .? " " My husband," 
answered she, and he, " Make him go away of his own good will, 
or I will fare forth to him and send him away perforce." Replied 
she, " Nay, O my lord, have patience till I send him away by my 
skilful contrivance." "And I, how shall I do!" enquired the 
King; whereupon she took him by the hand and making him 
enter the fourth compartment of the cabinet, locked it upon him. 
Then she went out and opened the house door when behold, the 
carpenter entered and saluted her. Quoth she, *' What manner 
of thing is this cabinet thou hast made me ? " " What aileth it, 
O my lady } " asked he, and she answered, " The top compartment 
is too strait." Rejoined he, " Not so ; " and she, " Go in thyself 
and see ; it is not wide enough for thee." Quoth he, " It is wide 
enough for four, " and entered the fifth compartment, whereupon 

178 A If Lay fa h wa Lay la h. 

she locked the door on him. Then she took the letter of the Chief 
of Police and carried it to the treasurer who, having read and 
understood it, kissed it and delivered her lover to her. She told 
him all she had done and he said, " And how shall we act now ? *' 
She answered, "We will remove hence to another city, for after 
this work there is no tarrying for us here." So the twain packed 
up what goods they had and, loading them on camels, set out 
forthright for another city. Meanwhile, the five abode each in his 
compartment of the cabinet without eating or drinking three whole 
days, during which time they held their water until at last the 
carpenter could retain his no longer ; so he staled on the King's 
head, and the King urined on the Wazir's head, and the Wazir 
piddled on the Wali and the Wali pissed on the head of the Kazi ; 
whereupon the Judge cried out and said, " What nastiness' is this ? 
Doth not what strait we are in suffice us, but you must make 
water upon us ? " The Chief of Police recognised the Kazi's voice 
and answered, saying aloud," Allah increase thy reward, O Kazi !" 
And when the Kazi heard him, he knew him for the Wali. Then 
the Chief of Police lifted up his voice and said, " What means this 
nastiness ^ " and the Wazir answered, saying, *' Allah increase thy 
reward, O Wali !" whereupon he knew him to be the Minister. 
Then the Wazir lifted up his voice and said, " What means this 
nastiness ? " But when the King heard and recognised his 
Minister's voice, he held his peace and concealed his afiair. 
Then said the Wazir, " May God damn ^ this woman for her 
dealing with us I She hath brought hither all the Chief Officers of 
the state, except the King." Quoth the King, " Hold your peace, 
for I was the first to fall into the toils of this lewd strumpet." 
Whereat cried the carpenter, " And I, what have I done ? I made 
her a cabinet for four gold pieces, and when I came to seek my 
hire, she tricked me into entering this compartment and locked 
the door on me." And they fell to talking with one another, 
diverting the King and doing away his chagrin. Presently the 

' Arab. " Najasah," meaning anything unclean which requires ablution before prayer. 
Unfortunately mucus is not of the number, so the common Moslem is very offensive ia 
the matter of nose. 

"^ Here the word " la'an " is used which most Moslems express by some euphemism. 
The vulgar Egyptian says " Na'al " (Sa/>re and Sapristi for Sacre and Sacristie) ; the 
Hindostani express it " I send him the three letters" — lam, ayn and nun. 

The Lady ayjd her Five S^H^rs. 179 

neighbours came up to the house and, seeing it deserted, said one 
to other, " But yesterday our neighbour, the wife of such an one, 
was in it ; but now no sound is to be heard therein nor is soul to 
be seen. Let us break open the doors and see how the case 
stands, lest it come to the ears of the Wali or the King and we be 
cast into prison and regret not doing this thing before." So they 
broke open the doors and entered the saloon, where they saw 
a large wooden cabinet and heard men within groaning for 
hunger and thirst. Then said one of them, " Is there a Jinni in 
this cabinet ? " and his fellow, " Let us heap fuel about it and burn 
it with fire." When the Kazi heard this, he bawled out to them, 

"Do it not ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

:t<roto fcoben ft faas tt)e jpibe l^untJitU anti lCm£tB=sixtf) Nigtjt, 

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

I So A If Lay/ah lua Lay I ah. 


A CERTAIN man had longed all his life to look upon the Night of 
Power," and one night it befel that he gazed at the sky and saw 
the angels, and Heaven's gates thrown open ; and he beheld all 
things prostrating themselves before their Lord, each in its several 
stead. So he said to his wife, " Harkye, such an one, verily Allah 
hath shown me the Night of Power, and it hath been proclaimed 
to me, from the invisible world, that three prayers will be granted 
unto me ; so I consult thee for counsel as to what shall I ask." 
Quoth she, " O man, the perfection of man and his delight is in his 
prickle ; therefore do thou pray Allah to greaten thy yard and 
magnify it." So he lifted up his hands to heaven and said, " O 

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

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

The Three Wishes l8l 

Allah, greater! my yard and magnify it." Hardly had he spoken 
when his tool became as big as a column and he could neither 
sit nor stand nor move about nor even stir from his stead ; and 
M'hen he would have carnally known his wife, she fled before him 
from place to place. So he said to her, " O accursed woman, 
what is to be done? This is thy list, by reason of thy lust." 
She replied, " No, by Allah, I did not ask for this length and 
huge bulk, for which the gate of a street were too strait. Pray 
Heaven to make it less." So he raised his eyes to Heaven and 
said, "O Allah, rid me of this thing and deliver me therefrom." 
And immediately his prickle disappeared altogether and he 
became clean smooth. When his wife saw this, she said, " I have 
no occasion for thee, now thou are become pegless as a eunuch, 
shaven and shorn ;" and he answered her, saying, "All this comes 
of thine ill-omened counsel and thine imbecile judgment. I had 
three prayers accepted of Allah, wherewith I might have gotten 
me my good, both in this world and in the next, and now tv/o 
wishes are gone in pure waste, by thy lewd will, and there 
remaineth but one." Quoth she, " Pray Allah the Most High to 
restore thee thy yard as it was." So he prayed to his Lord and his 
prickle was restored to its first estate. Thus the man lost his three 
wishes by the ill counsel and lack of wit in the woman ; " And 
this, O King " (said the Wazir), " have I told thee, that thou 
mightest be certified of the thoughtlessness of women and their 
inconsequence and silliness and see what cometh of hearkening 
to their counsel. Wherefore be not persuaded by them to slay 
thy son, thy heart's core, who shall cause thy remembrance 
to survive thee." The King gave ear to his Minister's words 
and forebore to put his son to death ; but, on the seventh day, 
the damsel came in, shrieking, and after lighting a great fire 
in the King's presence, made as she would cast herself therein ; 
whereupon they laid hands on her and brought her before him. 
He asked her, " Why hast thou done this 1 "; and she answered, 
" Except thou do me justice on thy son, I will cast myself into 
this very fire and accuse thee of this on the Day of Resurrection, 
for I am a-weary of my life, and before coming into thy presence 
I wrote my last will and testament and gave alms of my goods 
and resolved upon death. And thou wilt repent with all repent- 
ance, even as did the King of having punished the pious woman 
who kept the Hammam." Quoth the King, " How was that ? " 
and quoth she: — I have heard tell, O King, this tale concerning 

lS2 Alf Lay la k wa Laylah. 


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

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

' Hence the misfortune befel her : the pious especially avoid temporal palaces. 

' This is our tale of " The Maid and the Magpie ;" the Mac. Edit, does not specify 
the " Tayr" (any bird) but the Bresl. Edit, has Ak'ak, a pie. The true Magpie (C. 
Picd^i called Buzarai (?) and Zagbzaghan Abu Massah (=r the Sweeper, from its tail) is 
found on the Libanus and Anti-Libanus (Unexplored Syria ii. 77-143), but I never saw it 
in other parts of Syria or in Arabia. It is completely ignored by the Reverend Mr. 
Tristram in his painfully superficial book "The Natural History of the Bible,'* 
published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (or rather Ignorance), 
London, 1873. 

The Two Pigeonit 183 

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


A PAIR of pigeons once stored up wheat and barley in their nest 
during the winter, and when the summer came, the grain shrivelled 
and became less ; so the male pigeon said to his wife, " Thou 
hast eaten of this grain." Replied she, " No, by Allah, I have 
never touched it ! " But he believed not her words and beat her 
with his wings and pecked her with his bill, till he killed her. 
When the cold season returned, the corn swelled out and became 
as before, whereupon he knew that he had slain his wife wrong- 

* This is " The Story of *he Two Partridges," told at great length in the Book of 
Sindibad. See De Sacy's text in the Kaiilah wa Damnah, quoted va. the " Book o^ 
Kalilah and Damnah " (p. 306). 

184 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

ously and wickedly, and he repented whenas repentance availed 
him naught. Then he lay down by her side, mourning over her 
and weeping for grief, and left meat and drink, till he fell sick 
and died. " But " (added the damsel), " I know a story of the 
malice of men more extraordinary than either of these." Quoth 
the King, " Let us hear what thou hast to tell ;" and quoth she : — 
I have heard tell, O King, this 



There was once a King's daughter, who had no equal in her 
time for beauty and loveliness and symmetrical stature and grace, 
brilliancy, amorous lace and the art of ravishing the wits of the 
masculine race and her name was Al-Datma. She used to boast, 
*' Indeed there is none like me in this age." Nor was there one 
more accomplished than she in horsemanship and martial exercises 
and all that behoveth a cavalier. So all the Kings' sons sought 
her to wife ; but she would take none of them, saying, "No man 
shall marry me except he overcome me at lunge of lance and 
stroke of sword in fair field and patent plain. If any can do this,. 
I will willingly wed him ; but, if I overcome him, I will take his 
horse and clothes and arms and write with fire upon his forehead : 
— This is the freed man of Al-Datma." Now the sons of the 
Kings flocked to her from every quarter far and near, and she 
overcame them and put them to shame, stripping them of their 
arms and branding them with fire. Presently the son of a King^ 
of the Kings of the Persians, by name Bchram ibn Taji, heard 
of her and journeyed from afar to her father's court, bringing 
with him men and horses and great store of wealth and royal 
treasures. When he drew near the city, he sent her parent a 
rich present and the King came out to meet him and honoured 
him with the utmost honour. Then the King's son sent a message 
to him by his Wazir, demanding his daughter's hand in marriage ; 
but the King answered, saying, " O my son, as regards my daughter 
Al-Datma, I have no power over her, for she hath sworn by her 
£ouI to marry none except he overcome her in the listed field. 
Quoth the Prince, I journeyed hither from my father's court with 
no other object but this ; I came here to woo and for thine 

Prince Behram and the Princess Al-Datma. 185 

alliance to sue ; " quoth the King, *' Thou shalt meet her to- 
morrow." So next day he sent to bid his daughter who, making 
ready for battle, donned her harness of war, and the folk, hearing 
of the coming joust, flocked from all sides to the field. Presently 
the Princess rode into the lists, armed cap-a-pie and belted and 
with vizor down, and the Persian King's son came out single- 
handed to meet her, equipped at all points after the fairest of 
fashions. Then they drove at each other and fought a great while, 
wheeling and falsing, advancing and retreating, till the Princess, 
finding in him such courage and cavalarice as she had seen in 
none else, began to fear for herself lest he put her to shame 
before the bystanders and knew that he would assuredly over- 
come her. So she resolved to trick him and, raising her vizor, lo ! 
her face appeared more brilliant than the full moon, which when 
he saw, he was confounded by her beauty and his strength failed 
and his spirit faltered. When she perceived this, she fell upon 
him at unawares in his moment of weakness, and tare him from 
his saddle, and he became in her hands as he were a sparrow in 
the clutches of an eagle, knowing not what was done with him 
for amazement and confusion. So she took his steed and clothes 
and armour and, branding him with fire, let him wend his ways. 
When he recovered from his stupor, he abode several days without 
meat or drink or sleep for despite and love of the girl which had 
taken hold upon his heart. Then he sent a letter by certain of 
his slaves to his father, advising him that he could not return home 
till he had won his will of the Princess or died for want of her. 
When his sire got the letter, he was sore concerned for his son 
and would have succoured him by sending troops and soldiers ; 
but his Wazirs dissuaded him from this and exhorted him to 
patience ; so he committed his affair to Almighty Allah. Mean- 
while, the Prince cast about for a means of coming to his desire ; 
and presently, disguising himself as a decrepit old man, with a 
white beard over his own black beiard repaired to a garden of the 
Princess wherein she used to walk most of her days. Here he 
sought out the gardener and said to him, " I am a stranger from 
a far country and from my youth upwards I have been a gardener, 
and in the grafting of trees and the culture of fruits and flowers 
and care of the vine none is more skilled than I." When the 
gardener heard this, he rejoiced in him with exceeding joy and 
carried him into the garden, where he commended him to his 
underlings, and the Prince betook himself to the. '•'^rvice of the 

1 86 Alf Laylali wa Laylah. 

garden and the tending of the trees and the bettering of their 
fruits and improving tlie Persian water-wheels and disposing the 
irrigation-channels. One day, as he was thus employed, lo ! he 
saw some slaves enter the garden, leading mules laden with carpets 
and vessels, and asked them the meaning of this, to which they 
answered, " The Princess is minded to take her pleasure." When 
he heard these words he hastened to his lodging and, fetching 
some of the jewels and ornaments he had brought with him from 
home, sat down in the garden and spread somewhat of them out 

before him, shaking and making a show of extreme old age 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Wofo h)i)cn (t teas t^e jpibc l^untireli anU Kftnctp-ciglitlj Niabt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the son of 
the Persian King, after disguising himself as an old man shotten in 
years and taking a seat in the garden, spread out somewhat of the 
jewels and ornaments before him and made a show of shaking and 
trembling as if for decrepitude and the weakness of extreme senility. 
After an hour or so a company of damsels and eunuchs entered 
with the Princess in their midst, as she were the moon among the 
stars, and dispersed about the garden, plucking the fruits and 
diverting themselves. Presently they espied a man sitting under 
one of the trees ; and, making towards him (who was the Prince), 
found him a very old man, whose hands and feet trembled for 
decrepitude, and before him store of precious jewels and royal 
ornaments. So they marvelled at his case and asked him what 
he did there with the jewels ; when he answered, " With these 
trinkets I would fain buy me to wife one of you." They laughed 
together at him and said, " If one of us marry thee, what wilt 
thou do with her > " Said he, " I will give her one kiss and 
divorce her." Then quoth the Princess, " I give thee this damsel 
to wife." So he rose and coming up to her, leaning on a staff 
and shivering and staggering, kissed her and gave her the jewels 
and ornaments ; whereat she rejoiced and they, laughing at 
him, went their way. Next day, they came again to the garden, 
and finding him seated in the same place, with more jewels 
and ornaments than before spread in front of him, asked him, 
<• O Shaykh, what wilt thou do with this jewellery ? "; and he 

Prince BeJirani and the Princess Al-Datma. 187 

answered, saying, '* I wish therewith to take one of you to wife 
even as yesterday." So the Princess said, *' I marry thee to this 
damsel ; " and he came up to her and kissed her and gave her 
the jewels, and they all went their ways. But, seeing such gene- 
rosity to her handmaids, the Princess said in herself, *' I have more 
right to all these fine things than these baggages, and no harm 
can betide me." So when morning morrowed she went down 
from her chamber singly into the garden, in the habit of one of 
her damsels, and presenting herself privily before the Prince, said 
to him, " O Shaykh, the King's daughter hath sent me to thee, 
that thou mayst marry me." He looked at her and knew her ; so 
he answered, " With love and gladness," and gave her jewels and 
ornaments of the finest and costliest. Then he rose to kiss her, 
and she off her guard and fearing nothing but, when he came up 
to her, he suddenly laid hold of her with a strong hand and 
instantly throwing her down, on the ground abated her maiden- 
head.^ Then he pulled the beard from his face and said to her, 
"Dost thou not know me.^" Asked she, "Who art thou.? "and 
he answered, " I am Behram, the King's son of Persia, who have 
changed my favour and am become a stranger to my people and 
estate for thy sake and have lavished my treasures for thy love." 
So she rose from under him in silence and answered not his 
address nor spake a word of reply to him, being dazed for what 
had befallen her and seeing nothing better than to be silent, for 
fear of shame ; and she bethought herself and said, " If I kill 
myself it will be useless and if I do him die, his death will profit 
me naught ;" and presently added, " Nothing will serve me but 
that I elope with him to his own country." Then she gathered 
together her monies and treasures and sent to him, acquainting 
him therewith, to the intent that he also might equip himself with 
his wealth and needs ; and they agreed upon a night on which to 
depart. So, at the appointed time, they mounted race-horses and 
set out under cover of the gloom, nor did morning morrow till 
they had traversed a great distance ; and they ceased not faring 
forwards till they drew near his father's capital in the land of the 
Persians. When the King heard of his son's coming, he rode out 
to meet him with his troops and rejoiced in him with exceeding 

* This exlremely wilful young person had rendered rape excusable. The same treat- 
ment is much called for by certain heroines of modern fiction — let me mention Princess 

1 88 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

joy. Then, after a few days, he sent the Princess's father a 
splendid present, and a letter to the efifect that his daughter was 
with him and demanding her wedding equipage. Al-Datma's 
father came out to meet the messengers with the greatest glad- 
ness (for that he had deemed his daughter lost and had grieved 
sore for her loss) : after which he made bride-feasts and, summon- 
ing the Kazi and the witnesses, let draw up the marriage-contract 
between his daughter and the Prince of Persia. He invested the 
envoys with robes of honour^ then he made ready her equipage 
and despatched it to her ; and Prince Behram abode with her till 
death sundered their union. See therefore, O King (continued the 
favourite), the malice of men in their dealing with women. As 
for me, I will not go back from my due till I die. So the King 
once more commanded to put his son to death ; but the seventh 
Wazir came in to him and kissing the ground before him, said, " O 
King, have patience with me whilst I speak these words of good 
counsel to thee ; how many patient and slow-moving men unto 
their hope attain, and how many who are precipitate fall into 
shameful state ! Now I have seen how this damsel hath profli- 
gately excited the King by lies to horrible and unnatural cruelties; 
but I his Mameluke, whom he hath overwhelmed with his favours 
and bounties, do proffer him true and loyal rede ; for that I, O 
King, know of the malice of women that which none knoweth 
save myself; and in particular there hath reached me, on this 
subject, the story of the old woman and the son of the merchant 
with its warning instances." . Asked the King, " And what fell out 
between them, O Wazir } " and the seventh Wazir answered : — I 
have heard tell, O King, the tale of 


A WEALTHY merchant had a son who was very dear to him and 
who said to him one day, " O my father, I have a boon to beg of 
thee." Quoth the merchant, " O my son, what is it, that I may 
give it thee and bring thee to thy desire, though it were the light 
of mine eyes." Quoth the youth, " Give me money, that I may 

* The Story of the Hidden Robe, in the Book of Sindibad ; where it is told with all 
manner of Persian embellishments. 

The House with the Belvedere. 189 

journey with the merchants to the city of Baghdad and see its 
sig-hts and sail on the Tigris and look upon the palace of the 
Caliphs^ ; for the sons of the merchants have described these 
things to me and I long to see them for myself." Said the 
father, " O my child, O my little son, how can I endure to part 
from thee ? " But the youth replied, " I have said my say and 
there is no help for it but I journey to Baghdad with thy consent 
or e'en without it : such a longing for its sight hath fallen upon 

me as can only be assuaged by the going thither." And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

:Nfolij foSm ft fcoas ti)e jfibe l^untirctJ anU ^STinctB^nintb INigSt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the mer- 
chant's son said to his sire, " There is no help for it but that I 
journey to Baghdad." Now when the father saw that there was no 
help for it, he provided his son with goods to the value of thirty 
thousand gold pieces and sent him with certain merchants in 
whom he trusted, committing him to their charge. Then he took 
leave of the youth, who journeyed with his friends the merchants 
till they reached Baghdad, the House of Peace, where he entered 
the market and hired him a house, so handsome and delectable 
and spacious and elegant that on seeing it he well-nigh lost his 
wits for admiration ; for therein were pavilions facing one another, 
with floors of coloured marbles and ceilings inlaid with gold and 
lapis lazuli, and its gardens were full of warbling birds. So he 
asked the door-keeper^ what was its monthly rent, and he replied, 
" Ten dinars." Quoth the young man, " Speakest thou soothly or 
dost thou but jest with me ? " • Quoth the porter, " By Allah, I 

' Now turned into Government offices for local administration ; a " Tribunal of Com- 
merce," etc. 

* Arab. " Bawwab," a personage as important as the old French concierge and a man 
of trust who has charge of the keys and with letting vacant rooms. In Egypt the 
Berber from the Upper Nile is the favourite Suisse ; being held more honest or rather 
less rascally than the usual Egyptian. These Berbers, however, are true barbarians, 
overfond of Biizah (the beer of Osiris) and not unfrequently dangerous. They are sup- 
posed by Moslems to descend from the old Syrians expelled by Joshua. For the 
favourite chaff against them, eating the dog (not the puppy-pie), see Pilgrimage i. 93, 
They are the " Paddies " of Egypt to whom *11 kinds of bulls and blunders ara 

190 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

speak naught but the truth, for none who taketh up his abode in 
this house lodgeth in it more than a week ' or two." " And how 
is that ? ** quoth the youth ; and quoth the porter, " O my son, 
whoso dwelleth in this house cometh not forth of it, except sick 
or dead, wherefore it is known amongst all the folk of Baghdad^ 
so that none offereth to inhabit it, and thus cometh it that its rent 
is fallen so low." Hearing this the young merchant marvelled with 
exceeding marvel and said, " Needs must there be some reason for 
this sickening and perishing." However after considering awhile 
and seeking refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned, he rented 
the house and took up his abode there. Then he put away appre- 
hension from his thought and busied himself with selling and 
buying ; and some days passed by without any such ill case 
befalling him in the house, as the door-keeper had mentioned. 
One day as he sat upon the bench before his door, there came 
up a grizzled crone, as she were a snake speckled white and 
black, calling aloud on the name of Allah, magnifying Him 
inordinately and, at the same time, putting away the stones 
and other obstacles from the path.' Seeing the youth sitting; 
there, she looked -at him and marvelled at his case; where- 
upon quoth he to her, " O woman, dost thou know me or 
am I like any thou knowest ? " When she heard him speak, 
she toddled up to him and saluting him with the salam, asked^ 
" How long hast thou dwelt in this house ? " Answered he, 
" Two months, O my mother ; " and she said, " It was hereat I 
marvelled; for I, O my son, know thee not, neither dost thoa 
know me, nor yet art thou like unto any one I know ; but I mar- 
velled for that none other than thou hath taken up his abode in 

' Arab. " Juma'ah," which means either Friday or a week. In pre-Moslem times it 
was called Al-Arubah (the other week-days being Shiyir or Saturday, Bawal, Bahan, 
Jabar, Dabar and Famunis or Thursday). Juma'ah, literally = " Meeting " or Congre- 
gation (-day), was made to represent the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday 
because on that day Allah ended the work of creation ; it was also the date of 
Mohammed's entering Al-Medinah. According to Al-Bayzawi, it was called Assembly- 
day because Ka'ab ibn Lowa, one of the Prophet's ancestors, used to gather tbe people 
before him on Fridays. Moslems are not forbidden to do secular work after the con* 
gregational prayers at the hour when they must ' ' hasten to the commemoration of Allah 
and leave merchandising" (Koran, chapt. Ixii. 9). 

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

The House with the Belvedere. 191 

this house but hath gone forth from it, dead or dying, saving thee 
alone. Doubtless, O my son, thou hast perilled thy young years ; 
but I suppose thou hast not gone up to the upper story neither 
looked out from the belvedere there." So saying, she went her 
way and he fell a-pondering her words and said to himself, " I 
have not gone up to the top of the house ; nor did I know that 
there was a belvedere there." Then he arose forthright and going 
in, searched the by-ways of the house till he espied, in a wall- 
corner among the trees, a narrow door between whose posts ^ the 
spider had woven her webs, and said in himself, " Haply the 
spider hath not webbed over the door, but because death and 
doom is within." However, he heartened himself with the saying 
of God the Most High, "Say, nothing shall befal us but what 
Allah hath written for us;"^ and opening the door, ascended a 
narrow flight of stairs, till he came to the terrace-roof, where he 
found a belvedere, in which he sat down to rest and solace himself 
with the view. Presently, he caught sight of a fine house and a 
well-cared for hard by, surmounted by a lofty belvedere, over* 
looking the whole of Baghdad, in which sat a damsel fair as a 
Houri. Her beauty took possession of his whole heart and made 
away with his reason, bequeathing to him the pains and patience 
of Job and the grief and weeping of Jacob. And as he looked at 
her and considered her curiously, an object to enamour an ascetic 
and make a devotee lovesick, fire was lighted in his vitals and he 
cried, " Folk say that whoso taketh up his abode in this house 
dieth or sickeneth. An this be so, yon damsel is assuredly the 
cause. Would Heaven I knew how I shall win free of this affair, 
for my wits are clean gone ! " Then he descended from the ter- 
race, pondering his case, and sat down in the house, but being 
unable to rest, he went out and took his seat at the door, absorbed 
in melancholy thought when, behold, up came the old woman 
a-foot, praising and magnifying Allah as she went. When he saw 
her, he rose and accosting her with a courteous salam and wishes 
for her life being prolonged said to her, " O my mother, I was 
healthy and hearty till thou madest mention to me of the door 
leading to the belvedere ; so I opened it and ascending to the top 

' Arab. " Ashjar," which may mean either the door-posts or the wooden bolts. Lane 
(ill. 174) translates it "among the trees" — in a room ! 

' Koran (ix. 51), when Mohammed reproaches the unbelievers for not accompanying 
him to victory or martyrdom. 

192 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

of the house, saw thence what stole away my senses ; and nov» 
methinks I am a lost man, and I know no physician for me btit 
thyself" When she heard this, she laughed and said, " No harm 
shall befal thee Inshallah — so Allah please ! " Whereupon he 
rose and went into the house and coming back with an hundred 
dinars in his sleeve, said to her, " Take this, O my mother, and 
deal with me the dealing of lords with slaves and succour me 
quickly for, if I die, a claim for my blood will meet thee on the 
Day of Doom.'* Answered she, " With love and gladness ; but, 
O my son, I expect thou lend me thine aid in some small matter, 
whereby hangs the winning of thy wish." Quoth he, "What 
wouldst thou have me do, O my mother .-* " Quoth she, " Go to 
the silk-market and enquire for the shop of Abii al-Fath bin 
Kaydam. Sit thee down on his counter and salute him and say 
to him, " Give me the face-veil ^ thou hast by thee orfrayed with 
gold :" for he hath none handsomer in his shop. Then buy it of 
him, O my son, at his own price however high and keep it till I 
come to thee to-morrow, Allah Almighty willing." So saying, 
she went away and he passed the night upon live coals of the 
Ghazd Wood. Next morning he took a thousand ducats in his 
pocket and repairing to the silk-market, sought out the shop of 
Abu al-Fath to whom he was directed by one of the merchants 
He found him a man of dignified aspect, surrounded by pages, 
eunuchs and attendants ; for he was a merchant of great wealth 
and consideration befriended by the Caliph ; and of the blessings 
which Allah the Most High had bestowed upon him was the 
damsel who had ravished the young man's heart. She was his 
wife and had not her match for beauty, nor was her like to be 
found with any of the sons of the Kings. The young man 
saluted him and Abu al-Fath returned his salam and bade him 
be seated. So he sat down by him and said to him, " O mer- 
chant, I wish to look at such a face-veil." Accordingly he bade 

* Arab. '*Kin4'," a true veil, not the *'Burka"' or "nose-bag" with the peep- 
boles. It is opposed to the " Tarkah " or " head-veil." Europeans inveigh against 
the veil which represents the loup of Louis Quatorze's day: it is on the contrary 
the most coquettish of contrivances, hiding coarse skins, fleshy noses, wide mouths 
and vanishing chins; and showing only lustrous and liquid black eyes. Moreover 
a pretty woman, when she wishes, will always let you see something under the veiL 
(Pilgrimage i. 337). 

* A yellow-flowered artemisia or absinthe whose wood bums like holm-oak. ( Unex- 
plored Syria ii. 43}. See vol. ii. 24 for further details. 

The House with the Beheden, I93 

tiis slave bring him a bundle of silk from the inner shop and 
opening it, brought out a number of veils, whose beauty amazed 
the youth. Among them was the veil he sought ; so he bought 

it for fifty gold pieces and bore it home well pleased. ^And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

^h) blien ft toos t^e Ibix li^untmtt!) yig|f» 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth 
after buying the veil of the merchant bore it home; but hardly 
had he reached the house when lo! up came the old woman. He 
rose to her and gave her his purchase when she bade him bring a 
h've coal, with which she burnt one of the corners of the veil, then 
folded it up as before and, repairing to Abu al- Path's house, 
knocked at the door. Asked the damsel, " Who is there ? " ; and 
she answered, " I, such an one." Now the damsel knew her for a 
friend of her mother so, when she heard her voice, she came out 
and opening the door to her, said, " Wh*t brought thee here, O 
my mother .> My mamma hath left me and gone to her own 
house." Replied the old woman, " O my daughter, I know thy 
mother is not with thee, for I have been with her in her home, and 
I come not to thee, but because I fear to pass the hour of prayer ; 
wherefore I desire to make my Wuzu-ablution with thee, for I 
know thou art clean and thy house pure." * The damsel admitted 
the old trot who saluted her and called down blessings upon her. 
Then she took the ewer and went into the wash-house, where she 
made her ablutions and prayed in a place there. Presently, she 
came out again and said to the damsel, " O my daughter, I suspect 
thy handmaidens have been in yonder place and defiled it ; so do 
thou show me another place where I may pray, for the prayer I 
have prayed I account null and void." Thereupon the damsel 
took her by the hand and said to her, " O my mother, come and 
pray on my carpet, where my husband sits." So she stood there 
and prayed and worshipped, bowed and prostrated ; and presently, 

• The Fare or obligatory prayers, I noted, must be recited (if ncoesiaiy) in Um 
iBost impure place ; not so the other orisons. Hence the twe of the **5aj|jidah" Of 
^«yer •nig, aa article too well knows to feqttue-<iasuipUaD. 


194 ^^f Laylah zva Laylah. 

she took the damsel unawares and made shift to slip the veil 
under the cushion, unseen of her. Then she blessed her and went 
her ways. Now as the day was closing Abu al-Fath came home 
and sat down upon the carpet, whilst his wife brought him food 
and he ate of it his sufficiency and washed his hands ; after which 
he leant back upon the cushion. Presently, he caught sight of a 
corner of the veil protruding from under the cushion ; so he pulled 
it out and considered it straitly, when, knowing it for that he had 
sold to the young man, he at once suspected his wife of unchastity. 
Thereupon he called her and said, "Whence hadst thou this veil }** 
And she swore an oath to him, saying, *' None hath come to me 
but thou." The merchant was silent for fear of scandal, and said 
to himself, " If I open up this chapter, I shall be put to shame 
before all Baghdad ;" for he was one of the intimates of the Caliph 
and so he could do nothing save hold his peace. So he asked no 
questions, but said to his wife, whose name was Mahzi'yah, " It 
hath reached me that thy mother lieth ill of heart-ache ^ and all 
the women are with her, weeping over her; wherefore I order thee 
to go to her." Accordingly, she repaired to her mother's house 
and found her in the best of health ; and she asked her daughter, 
" What brings thee here at this hour .-* '* So she told her what her 
husband had said and sat with her awhile ; when behold, up came 
porters, who brought her clothes from her husband's house, and 
transporting all her paraphernalia and what not else belonged to 
her of goods and vessels, deposited them in her mother's lodging. 
When the mother saw this, she said to her daughter, " Tell me 
what hath passed between thee and thy husband, to bring about 
this." But she swore to her that she knew not the cause thereof 
and that there had befallen nothing between them to call for this 
conduct Quoth her mother, " Needs must there be a cause for 
this." And she answered, saying, " I know of none, and after this, 
with Almighty Allah be it to make provision ! " Whereupon her 
mother fell a-weeping and lamented her daughter's separation 
from the like of this man, by reason of his sufficiency and fortune 
and the greatness of his rank and dignity. On this wise things 
abode some days, after which the curst, ill-omened old woman, 
whose name was Miryam the Koranist,^ paid a visit to Mahziyah 

' Anglici a stomach-ache, a colic. 

" Arab. Al-Hafizah which has two meanings. Properly it signifies the third order of 
Tntditionists oat of a total of five, or those who know 300,000 txadltioas and their 

The House with, the Belvedere. 195 

in her mother's house and saluted her cordially, srivin^, " What ails 
thee, O my daughter, O my darHng ? Indeed, thou hast troubled 
my mind." Then she went in to her mother and said to her, " O 
my sister, what is this business about thy daughter and her hus- 
band ? It hath reached me that he hath divorced her ! What 
hath she done to call for this ? " Quoth the mother, " Belike her 
husband will return to her by the blessed influence of thy prayers, 
O Hafizah ; so do thou pray for her, O my sister, for thou art a 
day-faster and a night-prayer." Then the three fell to talking 
together and the old woman said to the damsel, " O my daughter, 
grieve not for, if Allah please, I will make peace between thee and 
thy husband before many days." Then she left them and going 
to the young merchant, said to him, *' Get ready a handsome 
entertainment for us, for I will bring her to thee this very night." 
So he sprang up and went forth and provided all that was fitting 
of meat and drink and so forth, then sat down to await the twain ; 
^vhiIst the old woman returned to the girl's mother and said to her, 
" O my sister, we have a splendid bride-feast to-night ; so let thy 
daughter go with me, that she may divert herself and make merry 
with us and throw off her cark and care, and forget the ruin of her 
home. I will bring her back to thee even as I took her away.'* 
The mother dressed her daughter in her finest dress and costliest 
jewels and accompanied her to the door, where she commended 
her to the old woman's charge, saying, *' 'Ware lest thou let any of 
Almighty Allah's creatures look upon her, for thou knowest her 
husband's rank with the Caliph ; and do not tarry, but bring her 
back to me as soon as possible." The old woman carried the girl 
to the young man's house which she entered, thinking it the place 
where the wedding was to be held : but as soon as she came into 

the sitting-saloon And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

ascriptions. Popularly "one who can recite the Koran by rote." There are six great 
Traditionists whose words are held to be prime authorities ; (l) Al-Bokhari ; (2) Muslim ; 
and these are entitled Al-Sahihayn, The (two true) authorities. After them (3) Al- 
Tirmidi; and (4) Abu Daud : these four being the authors of the ** Four Sunan;" the 
ethers are (5) Al-Nasai and (6) Ibn Majah (see Jarrett's Al-Siyuti pp. 2, 6; and, for 
modem Arab studies, Pilgriooage i. 154 ct seq.\ 

196 Alf Laylah wa Lmylatu 

Note fDttn a teas t^ ^ix ^unKrt) an)r S'xxiA Nffitt, 

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

My friend who went hath returned once more ; • Oh, the welcome light that 

such beauty shows I 
And but for the fear of those arrowy eyes, • From his lovely check I 

had culled the rose. 

And when the youth saw that she to his beauty did incline he 
■waxt drunken without wine and his life was a. light matter to him 
compared with his love.' Presently the old woman went out and 
left them alone together to enjoy their loves till the next morning, 
when she went into them and gave them both good morrow ^ and 
asked the damsel, " How hast thou passed the night, O my lady?" 
Answered the girl, ** Right well, thanks to thy adroitness and the 
excellence of thy goi ng- between V Then said the old woman, 
*' Up, let us go back to thy mother." At these words the young 
man pulled out an hundred sequins and gave them to her, saying, 
*' Take this and leave her with me to-night." So she left them 

* Laae 0"- l?^) marries th« amorous couple, thus making the story highly proper aad 
robbing it of all its point. 

2 Arab. " Sabbahat," U. Sabbah-ak' Allah bi'l khayr = Allah give thee good 
morning : still the popular phrase. 

» Arab. "Ta'risak," with the implied hint of her being a " Mu'arrisah " or sht^ 
pander. The Bresl. Edit. (xii. 356) bluntly says •* Kiyddatak "—thy pimpiag. 

The House with the Belvedere 197 

and repaired to the girl's mother, to whom quoth she, "Thy 
daughter saluteth thee, and the bride's mother hath sworn her to 
abide with her this night.'* Replied the mother, " O my sister, 
bear her my salam, and, if it please and amuse the girl, there is no 
harm In her staying the night ; so let her do this and divert herself 
and come back to me at her leisure, for all I fear for her is chagrin 
on account of an angry husband." The old woman ceased not to 
make excuse after excuse to the girl's mother and to put off cheat 
upon cheat upon her, till Mahziyah had tarried seven days with 
the young man, of whom she took an hundred dinars each day for 
herself ; while he enjoyed all the solace of life and coition. But 
at the end of this time, the girl's mother said to her, " Bring 
my daughter back to me forthright ; for I am uneasy about her, 
because she hath been so long absent, and I misdoubt me of 
this," So the old woman went out saying, " Woe to thee ! shall 
such words be spoken to the like of me ? "; and, going to the young 
man's house, took the girl by the hand and carried her away 
(leaving him lying asleep on his bed, for he was drunken with 
wine) to her mother. She received her with pleasure and glad- 
ness and seeing her in redoubled beauty and brilliancy rejoiced in 
her with exceeding joy, saying, " O my daughter, my heart was 
troubled about thee and in my uneasiness I offended against this 
my sister the Koranist with a speech that wounded her." Replied 
Mahziyah, " Rise and kiss her hands and feet, for she hath been 
to me as a servant in my hour of need, and if thou do it not thou 
art no mamma of mine, nor am I thy girl." So the mother went 
up at once to the old woman and made her peace with her. 
Meanwhile, the young man recovered from his drunkenness and 
missed the damsel, but congratulated himself on having enjoyed 
his desire. Presently Miryam the old Koranist came in to him 
and saluted him, saying, " What thinkest thou of my feat } ** 
Quoth he,." Excellently well conceived and contrived of thee was 
that same." Then quoth she, " Come, let us mend what we have 
marred and restore this girl to her husband, for we have been the 
cause of their separation and it is unrighteous.** Asked he, " How 
shall I do ? *' and she answered, " Go to Abu al-Fath's shop and 
salute him and sit down by him, till thou seest me pass by, when 
do thou rise in haste and catch hold of my dress and abuse me 
and threaten me, demanding of me the veil And do thou say to 
the merchant :— Thou knowest, O my lord, the face-veil I bought 
of thee for Bfty dinars ? It so chanced that my handmaid put it 

19^ Alf Laylak wa Layldk. 

on and burnt a corner of it by accident ; so she gave it to this old 
woman, who took it, promising to get it fine-drawn ^ and return it, 
and went away, nor have I seen her from that day to this.'* " With 
joy and good will," replied the young man, and rising forthright, 
walked to the shop of the silk merchant, with whom he sat awhile 
till behold, the old woman passed telling her beads on a rosary she 
held in hand ; whereupon he sprang up and laying hold of h er 
dress began to abuse and rail at her, whilst she answered him with 
fair words, saying, " Indeed, my son, thou art excusable.'* So the 
people of the bazar flocked round the two, saying, *' What is the 
matter?" and he replied, " O folk, I bought of this merchant a 
veil for fifty dinars and gave it to my slave-girl, who wore it awhile, 
then sat down to fumigate it with perfume. Presently a spark flew 
out of the censer and, lighting on the edge of the veil, burnt a 
hole in it. So we committed it to this pestilent old woman, that 
she might give it to who should fine-draw it and return it to us ; 
but from that time we have never set eyes on her again till this 
day." Answered the old woman, " This young man speaks sooth. 
I had the veil from him, but I took it with me into one of the 
houses where I am wont to visit and forgot it there, nor do 1 know 
where I left it ; and, being a poor woman, I feared its owner and 
dared not face him." Now the girl's husband was listening to all 

they said, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto fotcn It foas t!)e %\\ l^unbtrt anti SbcconlJ Nifif)!, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
young man seized the old woman and spoke to her of the veil as 
she had primed him, the girl's husband was listening to all they 
said, from beginning to end, and when he heard the tale which the 
crafty old woman had contrived with the young man, he rose to 
his feet and said, *' Allah Almighty ! I crave pardon of the Omni- 
potent One for my sins and for what my heart suspected ! " And 
he praised the Lord who had discovered to him the truth. Then 
he accosted the old woman and said to her, " Dost thou use to visit 

' Arab." Rafw ": the " Rafu-gar " or 6ne-drawer in India, who does this artistic style 
of darning, is famed for skill. 

The King's Son and the Ifrifs Mistress. 1 99 

ws ? " ' Replied she, " O my son, I visit you and other than you, 
for the sake of alms ; but from that day to this, none hath given 
me news of the veil.'* Asked the merchant, " Hast thou enquired 
at my house ? " and she answered, " O my lord, I did indeed go to 
thy house and ask ; but they told me that the person of the house' 
had been divorced by the merchant ; so I went away and asked no 
farther; nor have I enquired of anybody else until this day." 
Hereupon the merchant turned to the young man and said. " Let 
the old woman go her way ; for the veil is with me." So saying 
he brought it out from the shop and gave it to the fine-drawer 
before all present. Then he betook himself to his wife and, giving 
her somewhat of money, took her to himself again, after making 
abundance of excuses to her and asking pardon of Allah, because 
he knew not what the old woman had done. (Said the Wazir), 
This then, O King, is an instance of the malice of women and for 
another to the same purport, I have heard tell the following tale 


A CERTAIN King's son was once walking alone for his pleasure, 
when he came to a green meadow, abounding in trees laden with 
fruit and birds singing on the boughs, and a river running athwart 
it. The place pleased him ; so he sat down there and taking out 
some dried fruits he had brought with him, began to eat, when lo» 
he espied a great smoke rising up to heaven and, taking fright, 
he climbed up into a tree and hid himself among the branches. 
Thence he saw an Ifrit rise out of the midst of the stream bearing 
on his head a chest of marble, secured by a padlock. He set down 
the chest on the meadow-sward and opened it and there came forth 
a damsel of mortal race like the sun shining in the sheeny sky. 
After seating her he solaced himself by gazing on her awhile, then 
laid his head in her lap and fell asleep, whereupon she lifted up 
his head and laying it on the chest, rose and walked about- Pre- 

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

2 Arab. " Ahl al-bayt," so as not rudely to say " wife." 

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

200 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

sently, she chanced to raise her eyes to the tree wherein was the 
Prince, and seeing him, signed to him to come down. He refused, 
but she swore to him, saying, " Except thou come down and do as 
I bid thee, I will wake the I frit and point thee out to him, when 
he will staightway kill thee." The King's son fearing she would do 
as she said, came down, whereupon she kissed his hands and feet and 
besought him to do her need. To this he consented and, when he 
had satisfied her wants, she said to him, " Give me this seal-ring 
I see on thy finger." So he gave her his signet and she set it in 
a silken kerchief she had with her, wherein were more than four- 
score others. When the Prince saw this, he asked her, *^ What dost 
thou with all these rings ?"; and she ajiswered, " In very sooth 
this Ifrit carried me off from my father's palace and shut me in 
this box, which he beareth about on his head wherever he goeth, 
with the keys about him ; and he hardly leaveth me one moment 
alone of the excess of his jealousy over me, and hindereth me 
from what I desire. When I saw this, I swore that I would deny 
my last favours to no man whatsoever, and these rings thou sccst 
are after the tale of the men who have had me ; for after coition I 
took from each a seal-ring and laid it in this kerchief." Then she 
added, " And now go thy ways, that I may look for another than 
thyself, for the Ifrit will not awake yet awhile." Hardly crediting 
what he had heard, the Prince returned to his father's palace, but 
the King knew naught of the damsel's malice (for she feared not 
this and took no count thereof), and seeing that his son had lost 
his ring, he bade put him to death.' Then he rose from his place 
and entered his palace ; but his Wazirs came in to him and pre- 
vailed with him to abandon his purpose. The same night, the 
King sent for all of them and thanked them for having dissuaded 
him from slaying his son ; and the Prince also thanked them, say- 
ing, " It was well done of you to counsel my father to let me live 
and Insliallah ! I will soon requite you abundantly." Then he 
related to them how he had lost the ring, and they offered up 
prayers for his Long life and advancement and withdrew. " See 
then, O King," (said the Wazir), "the malice of women and what 
they do unto men." The King hearkened to the Minister's coun- 
sel and agam countermanded his order to slay his son. Next 
morning, it being the eighth day, as the King sat in his audierice- 
chamber in the midst of his Grandees and Emirs and Wazirs and 

1 The father suspected the son of intriguing with one of his OWtt women. 

The King's Son and the Ifrk's Mistress. 201 

Olema, the Prince entered, with his hand in that of his governor, 
Al-Sindibad, and praised his father and his Ministers and lords 
and divines in the most eloquent words and thanked them for 
having saved his life ; so that all who were present wondered at 
his eloquence and fluency of speech. His father rejoiced in him 
with exceeding, all-surpassing joy, and calling him to him, kissed 
him between the eyes. Then he called his preceptor, Al-Sindibad, 
and asked him why his son had kept silence these seven days, to 
which he replied, " O our lord, the truth is, it was I who enjoined 
him to this, in my fear for him of death : I knew this from the day 
of his birth; and, when I took his nativity, I found it written in the 
stars that, if he should speak during this period, he would surely 
die ; but now the danger is over, by the King's fortune." At this 
the King was glad and said to his Wazirs, " If I had killed my 
son, would the fault have fallen on me or the damsel or on the 
preceptor, Al-Sindibad } " But all present refrained from replying, 

and Al-Sindibad said to the Prince, "Answer thou, O my son." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Al-Sindibad said, " Answer thou, O my son," the Prince replied, 
** I have heard tell that a merchant at whose house certain 
guests en«e alighted sent his slave-girl to the market to buy a 
jar of clotted milk.^ So she bought it and set out on her return 
home ; but on the way there passed over her a kite, holding 
and squeezing a serpent in its claws, and a drop of the serpent's 
venom fell into the milk-jar, unknown of the girl. So, when she 

'Arab, and Heb^ *' Laban " (opp. to " laban-halib," or simply " halib " = fresh 
milk), milk artificially soured, the Dahin of India, the Kisaina of the Slavs and our 
Corstophine cream. But in The Nights, contrary to modern popular usage, " Laban " is 
also applied to fiesh milk. The soured form is universally in the East eaten with rice 
and enters into the Salatah or cucumber-salad. I have noted elsewhere that all the 
Galactophagi, the nomades who live on milk, use it in the soured never in the fresh form. 
The Badawi have curious prejudices about it : it is a disgrace to Sell it (though not to 
exchange it), and " Labban," or " milk-vendor," is an insult. The Brabni and Beloch 
nomades have the same pundonor possibly learnt from the Arabs (Pilgrimage i. 363). 
For 'Igt (Akit), Mahir, Sarlbab, Jamfdab and other lactal preparations, see Hid i. 362 

202 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

came back, the merchant tool: the milk from her and drank of it, 
he and his guest':, ; but hardly had it settled in their stomachs 
when they all died.' Now consider, O King, whose was the fault 
in this matter i " Thereupon some present said, " It was the fault 
of the company who drank the milk without examining it." And 
other .some, " That of the girl, who left the jar without cover." 
But Al-Sindibad asked the Prince, " What sayest thou, O my 
son ? " Answered he, " I say that the folk err ; it was neither the 
fault of the damsel nor of the company, for their appointed hour 
was come, their divinely-decreed provision was exhausted and 
Allah had fore-ordained them to die thus."^ When the courtiers 
heard this, they marvelled greatly and lifted up their voicec, 
blessing the King's son, and saying, " O our lord, thou hast made 
a reply sans peiir^ and thou art the sagest man of thine age sans 
rcproche.'" " Indeed, I am no sage," answered the Prince ; " the 
blind Shaykh and the son of three years and the son of five years 
were wiser than I." Said the bystanders, " O youth, tell us the 
stories of these three who were wiser than thou art, O youth." 
Answered he : — With all my heart. I have heard tell this tale 


There once lived an exceeding rich merchant, v/ho was a great 
traveller and who visited all manner of places. One day, being 
minded to journey to a certain city, he asked those v/ho came 
thence, saying, " What kind of goods brought most profit there } " 
and they answered, " Chanders-wood ; for it sel'eth at a high 

* I need hardly say that the poison would have been utterly hainiless, unless there had 
been an abrasion of the skin. The slave-girl is blamed for cairyir.g the jar uncovered 
because thus it would attract the evil eye. In the Book of Sindibad the ttile appears as 
the Story of the Poisoned Guests ; and the bird is a stork. 

'^ The Prince expresses the pure and still popular Moslem feeling; and yet the learned 
and experienced Mr. Redhouse would confuse this absolute Predestination with Provi- 
dence. A friend tells me that the idea of absolute Fate in The Nights makes her leel as 
if the world were a jail. 

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

The Sandal- Wood Merchant and the Sharpers. 20% 

price." So he laid out all his money in sandal and set out for 
that city ; and arriving there at close of day, behold, he met an 
old woman driving her sheep. Quoth she to him, " Who art 
thou, O man ? " and quoth he, "I am a stranger, a merchant." 
" Beware of the townsfolk,'' said she, " for they are cheats, rascals, 
robbers who love nothing more than imposing on the foreigner 
that they may get the better of him and devour his substance. 
Indeed I give thee good counsel." Then she left him and on the 
morrow there met him one of the citizens who saluted him and 
asked him, "O my lord, whence comest thou ?" Answered the 
merchant, " From such a place." " And what merchandise hast 
thou brought with thee ? " enquired the other ; and replied he, 
"Chanders-wood, for it is high of price with you." Quoth the 
townsman, " He blundered who told thee that ; for we burn 
nothing under our cooking-pots save sandal-wood, whose worth 
with us is but that of fuel." When the merchant heard this he 
sighed and repented and stood balanced between belief and 
imbelief. Then he alighted at one of the khans of the city , 
and, when it was night, he saw a merchant make fire of chan- 
ders-wood under his cooking-pot. Now this was the man who 
had spokcPx with him and this proceeding was a trick of his. 
When the townsman saw the merchant looking at him, he asked, 
" Wilt thou sell me thy sandal-wood for a measure' of whatever 
thy soul shall desire > " " I sell it to thee," answered the mer« 
chant ; and the buyer transported all the wood to his own house 
and stored it up there; whilst the seller purposed to take an 
equal quantity of gold for it. Next morning the merchant, who 
was a blue-eyed man, went out to walk in the city but, as he 
went along, one of the townsfolk, who was blue-eyed and one- 
eyed to boot, caught hold of him, saying, " Thou art he who stole 
my eye and I will never let thee go."^ The merchant denied 
this, saying, " I never stole it : the thing is impossible." Where- 
upon the folk, collected round them and besought the one-eyed 
man to grant him till the morrow, that he might give him the 

' Arab. " Sa'a," a measure of corn, etc, to be given in alms. The Kamus makes it 
=:four mudds (each being 1/3 lbs.) ; the people understand by it four times the measure 
of a man's two open hands. 

' i.e. till thou restore my eye to me. This style of prothesis without apodosis is very 
common in Arabic and should be preserved in translation, as it adds a naivet^ to the 
»tyle. We find it io Genesis iii. 2, " And now lest he put forth his hand," etc. 

204 ^^f -^<yA2.A wa Laylah. 

price of his eye. So the merchant procured one to be surety for 
him, and they let him go. Now his sandal had been rent in the 
struggle with the one-eyed man ; so he stopped at a cobbler's stall 
and gave it to him, saying, " Mend it and thou shalt have of me 
what shall content thee." Then he went on, till he came to some 
people sitting at play of forfeits and sat down with them, to divert 
his cark and care. They invited him to play with them and he 
did so ; but they practised on him and overcoming him, offered 
him his choice,' either to drink up the sea or disburse all the money 
he had. " Have patience with me till to-morrow," said he, and 
they granted him the delay he sought ; whereupon he went away, 
sore concerned for what had betided him and knowing not how 
he should do, and sat down in a solitary place heart-heavy, care- 
full, thought-opprest. And behold, the old woman passed by and 
seeing him thus, said to him, " Peradventure the townsfolk have 
gotten the better of thee, for I see thee troubled at that which hath 
befallen thee : recount to me what aileth thee." So he told her 
all that had passed from first to last, and she said, *' As for him 
who diddled thee in the matter of the chanders-wood, thou must 
know that with us it is worth ten gold pieces a pound. But I will 
give thee a rede, whereby I trust thou shalt deliver thyself; and 
it is this. Go to such and such a gate whereby lives a blind 
Shaykh, a cripple, who is knowing, wise as a wizard and expe- 
rienced ; and all resort to him and ask him what they require, 
when he counsels them what will be for their advantage ; for he 
is versed in craft ^ and magic and trickery. Now he is a sharper 
and the sharpers resort to him by night ; therefore, I repeat, go 
thou to his lodging and hide thyself from thine adversaries, so 
thou mayst hear what they say, unseen of them ; for he telleth 
them which party got the better and which got the worse ; and 
haply thou shalt learn from them some plan which may avail to 

deliver thee from them." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

* Tkey were playing at Murahanah, like children amongst us. It is also called 
" Hukm wa Riza " ■=. order and consent. The penalty is usually something ridiculous, 
but here it was villainous. 

* Every Moslem capital has a "Shaykh of the thieves" who holds regular levees and 
who will return stolen articles (or a consideration ; and this has lasted since the days 
of Diodorus Siculus (Pilgrimage i. 91). 

Tfu Sandal' Wood Merchant and the Sharpers. 20$ 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old 
woman said to the merchant, " Go this night to that expert who 
is frequented by the townsfolk and hide thine identity : hapjy 
shalt thou hear from him some plea which shall deliver thee from 
thine adversaries." So he went to the place she mentioned and 
hid himself albeit he took seat near the blind man. Before long, 
up came the Shaykh's company who were wont to choose him 
for their judge : they saluted the oldster and one another and sat 
down round him, whereupon the merchant recognised his four 
adversaries. The Chief set somewhat of food before them and 
they ate ; then each began to tell what had befallen him during 
his day, and amongst the rest came forward he of the chanders- 
wood and told the Shaykh how he had bought of one man sandal 
below its price, and had agreed to pay for it a Sd'a or measure of 
whatever the seller should desire.* Quoth the old man, "Thine 
opponent hath the better of thee." Asked the other, " How can 
that be 1 "; and the Shaykh answered, " What if he say, I will take 
the measure full of gold or silver, wilt thou give it to him .-* " 
*• Yes," replied the other, " I will give it to him and still be the 
gainer." And the Shaykh answered, "And if he say, I will take 
the measure full of fleas,'^ half male and half female, what wilt 
thou do ? " So the sharper knew that he was worsted Then 
came forward the one-eyed man and said, " O Shaykh, I met 
to-day a blue-eyed man, a stranger to the town ; so I picked a 
quarrel with him and caught hold of him, saying : — 'Twas thou 
robbedst me of my eye ; nor did I let him go, till some became 
surety for him that he sh6uld return to me to-morrow and satisfy 
me for my eye." Quoth the oldster, *' If he will he may have 

' This was not the condition ; but I have left the text as it is characteristic of the 
writer's inconsequence. 

* The idea would readily occur in Egypt where the pulex is still a plague although 
the Sultan is said to hold his court at Tiberias. " Male and female" says the rogue- 
otherwise it would be easy to fill a bushel with fleas. The insect was unknown to older 
India according to some and was introduced by strangers. This immigration is quite 
possible. In 1863 the )igger (P. pen^rans) was not found in Western Africa ; when I 
returned there in 1882 it had passed over from the Brazil and had become naturalised 
on the equatorial African seaboard. The Arabs call shrimps and prawns "seA-flea$'* 
(barguth al-bahr) showing an inland race. (See Pilgrimage i. 322.) 

206 Alf Laylah wa Laylak, 

the better of thee and thou the worse." " How so ? " aslced the 
sharper ; and the Chief said, " He may say to thee, Pluck out 
thine eye, and 1 will pluck out one of mine ; then we will weigh 
them both, and if thine eye be of the same weight as mine, thou 
sayest sooth in what thou avouchest. So wilt thou owe him the 
legal price of his eye and be stone blind, whilst he will still see 
with his other eye." So the sharper knew that the merchant 
might baffle him with such plea. Then came the cobbler ; and 
said, " O Shaykh, a man brought me his sandal-shoe to-day, 
saying, Mend this ; and I asked him. What wage wilt thou give 
me } ; when he answered, Thou shalt have of me what will content 
thee. Now nothing will content me but all the wealth he hath.". 
Quoth the oldster, " An he will, he may take his sandal from thee 
and give thee nothing." •' How so ? " quoth the cobbler, and 
quoth the Shaykh, " He has but to say to thee. The Sultan's 
enemies are put to the rout ; his foes are waxed weak and hfs 
children and helpers are multiplied. Art thou content or no? 
If thou say, I am content,* he will take his sandal and go away; 
and if thou say, I am not content, he will take his sandal and beat 
thee therewith over the face and neck." So the cobbler owned 
himself worsted. Then came forward the gamester and said, " O 
Shaykh, I played at forfeits with a man to-day and beat him and 
quoth I to him : — If thou drink the sea I will give thee all my 
wealth ; and if not I will take all that is thine.** Replied th© 
Chief, "An he will he may worst thee." "How so? "asked the 
sharper, and the Shaykh answered, " He hath but to say, Hold 
for me the mouth of the sea in thine hand and give it me and 
I will drink it. But thou wilt not be able to do this ; so he will 
baffle thee with this plea." When the merchant heard this, he 
knew how it behoved him to deal with his adversaries. Then 
the sharpers left the Shaykh and the merchant returned to his 
lodging. Now when morning morrowed, the gamester came to 
him and summoned him to drink the sea ; so he said to him, 
" Hold for me its mouth and I will drink it up." Whereupon 
he confessed himself beaten and redeemed his forfeit by paying 

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

The Sandal'Wood Mercliant and the Sharpers. 207 

an hundred gold pieces. Then came the cobbler and sought of 
him what should content him. Quoth the merchant, *' Our lord 
the Sultan hath overcome his foes and hath destroyed his enemies 
and his children are multiplied. Art thou content or no ?" *' I 
am content," replied the cobbler and, giving up the shoe ' without 
wage, went away. Next came the one-eyed man and demanded 
the legal price of his eye. Said the merchant, " Pluck out thine 
eye, and I will pluck out mine : then we will weigh them, and 
if they are equal in weight, I will acknowledge thy truth, and 
pay thee the price of thine eye ; but, if they differ, thou liest 
and I will sue thee for the price of mine eye." Quoth the one- 
eyed man, "Grant me time ;" but the merchant answered, saying, 
" I am a stranger and grant time to none, nor will I part from thee 
till thou pay." So the sharper ransomed his eye by paying him 
an hundred ducats and went away. Last of all came the buyer 
of the chanders-wood and said, " Take the price of thy ware." 
Asked the merchant, "What wilt thou give me.?"; and the other 
answered, " We agreed for a Sa'a-measure of whatever thou 
shouldst desire ; so, if thou wilt, take it full of gold and silver." 
" Not I," rejoined the merchant, " Not I ! nothing shall serve me 
but I must have it full of fleas, half male and half female." Said 
the sharper, " I can do nothfng of the kind ;" and, confessing him- 
self beaten, returned him his sandal-wood and redeemed himself 
from him with an hundred sequins, to be off his bargain. Then 
the merchant sold the chanders-wood at his own price and, quitting 
that city of sharpers, returned to his own land — And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

tNoto fofjm (t toas tbe Six l^unUreti anK J^iftf) Nffllbt, 

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

• Here the text has "Markub" = a shoe; elsewhere "Na'al** s= a sandal, 
especially with wooden sole. In classical Arabia, however, ** Na'al " may be a shoe, 
a horse-shoe (iron-plate, not rim like ours). The CresL Edit, has *' Wata," any 
foot gear. 

208 Alf Lajlak wm Layiak 


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

' Water-melons (baULyikh) says the Mac. Edit, a misprint for Anu or rioe. Water* 
melons are served ap raw cut tBto square moutbfuls, to be catea with lioo and aoMt. 
Thqr serve excdlently wcU to keep tbe palate deaa aad tool. 

The Stolen Purse. 209 

own country, where he lived a contrite life till he died. As for 
the story of the 6ve-year-old child (continued the Prince), I have 
hcar4,tell, O King, the following anent 


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

sundry of her debtors to answer for her. And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say ber permitted 

210 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

iaoto lDl)tn ft tons t]&e '^\\ l^untrrcU nntr Jbtxtb i^igbt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazi 
condemned the care-taker to make good the purse and bound over 
sundry of her debtors to answer for her. So she went forth, 
confounded and knowing not her way out of the difficulty. Pre- 
sently she met a five-year-old boy who, seeing her troubled, said 
to her, "What ails thee, O my mother.^" But she gave him no 
answer, contemning him because of his tender age, and he 
repeated his question a second time and a third time till, at 
last, she told him all that had passed,* not forgetting the condition 
that she was to keep the purse until all four had demanded 
it of her. Said the boy, " Give me a dirham to buy sweet- 
meats withal and I will tell thee how thou mayst acquit thyself." 
So she gave him a silver and said to him, " What hast thou to 
say ? " Quoth he, " Return to the Kazi, and say to him, It was 
agreed between myself and them that I should not give them the 
purse, except all four of them were present. Let them all four 
come and I will give them the purse, as was agreed." So she 
went back to the Kazi and said to him as the boy had counselled ; 
and he asked the merchants, " Was it thus agreed between you 
and this woman .-*"; and they answered, "Yes." Quoth the Kazi, 
"Then bring me your comrade and take the purse." So they 
went in quest of their fellow, whilst the keeper came off scot-free 
and went her way without let or hindrance. And Allah is 
Omniscient 1 ^ When the King and his Wazir and those present 

' The text recounts the whole story over again — more than European patience can 

^ The usual formula when telling an improbable tale. But here it is hardly called 
for: the same story is told (on weak authority) of the Alewife, the Three Graziers and 
Attorney-General Nay (temp. James II. 1577-1634) when five years old (Journ. Asiat. 
Soc. N.S. XXX. 2S0). The same feat had been credited to Thomas Egerton, Lord Chan- 
cellor in A.D. 1540-1617 (Chalmers, Biographical Dictionary xxiii. 267-68). But the 
story had already found its way into the popular jest-books such as "Tales and Quick 
Answers, very Mery and Pleasant to Rede" (1530); "Jacke of Dover's Quest of 
Inquirie for the Foole of all Fooles" (1604) under the title "The Foole of Westchester '*, 
and in "Witty and Entertaining Exploits of George Buchanan, commonly called the 
King's Fool." The banker-bard Rogers (in Italy) was told a similar story concerning a 
widow of the Lambertini house (xiv^'' century). Thomas Wright (Introduction to the 
Seven Sages) says he had met the tale in Latin (xiii''''-xiv*'> centuries) and a variant in the 
*' Nouveaux Contes a rire (Amsterdam 1737), under the title " Jogement Subtil du Dae 

Story of ike Fox and the Folk. 2 1 1 

in the assembly heard the Prince's words they said to his father, 
* O our lord the King, in very sooth thy son is the most accom- 
plished man of his time ; " and they called down blessings upon 
the King and the Prince. Then the King strained his son to his 
bosom and kissed him between the eyes and questioned him of 
what had passed between the favourite and himself; and the 
Prince sware to him, by Almighty Allah and by His Holy 
Prophet that it was she who had required him of love which he 
refused, adding, " Moreover, she promised me that she would give 
thee poison to drink and kill thee, so should the kingship be 
mine ; whereupon I waxed wroth and signed to her ; — O ac- 
cursed one, whenas I can speak I will requite thee ! So she 
feared me and did what she did." The King believed his words 
and sending for the favourite said to those present, " How shall we 
put this damsel to death } " Some counselled him to cut out her 
tongue and other some to burn it with fire ; but, when she came 
before the King, she said to him, " My case with thee is like unto 
naught save the tale of the fox and the folk." " How so "i" asked 
he ; and she said ; — I have heard, O King, tell a 


A FOX once made his way into a city by the wall and, entering a 
currier's store-house, played havoc with all therein and spoiled the 

d'Ossone centre Deux Marchands." Its origin is evidently the old Sindibad-namah 
translated from Syriac into Greek ("Syntipas," xi"" century); into Hebrew (Mishle 
Sandabar, xii^'' century), and from the Arabian version into old Castilian, " Libro de lo« 
Engannos et los Asayamientos de las Mugeres" (A.D. 1255), whereof a translation is 
appended to Professor Comparetti's *' Ricerche interne al Libro di Sindibad," trans- 
lated by Mr. H. C, Coote for the Folk-Lore Society. The Persian metrical form (an 
elaboration of one much older) dates from 1375; and gave rise to a host of imitation* 
such as the Turkish Tales of the Forty Wazirs and the Canarese *' Katha Manjari," 
where four persons contend about a purse. See also Gladwin's '• Persian Moonshee," 
No. vi. of " Pleasing Stories;" and Mr. Clouston's paper, "The Lost Purse," in the 
Glasgow Evening Times. All are the Eastern form of Gavarni's "Enfants Terribles," 
showing the portentous precocity for which some children (infant phenomena, calculating 
boys, etc. etc.) have been famous. 

* From the Bresl. Edit. xii. 381. The Sa'lab or Abu Hosayn (Father of the Fortlet)( 
is the fox, in Marocco Akkab : Talib Yusuf and Wa'wi are the jackal. Arabs have 
not preserved "Jakal" from the Heb. Shu'al and Persian Shaghal (not Shagul) as tha 
Rev. Mr. Tristram misinforms his readers (Nat. Hist p. 85). 

212 Alf Laylah wa Laylak, 

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

Judar and kis Brethren, 213 


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

shall be a widow." And Shahrazad perceived the dawp of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

jfcCoh) fojbcn It foas %i ^fx l^unlrrclJ anlj ^ebentb tN'igtt, 

She said, It bath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
merchant had divided his money and stuff into four portions, he 
said, " This share shall be for my wife, their mother, wherewithal 
to provide for her subsistence whenas she shall be a widow.^ A 
little while after this he died, and neither of the two elder brothers 
was content with his share,^ but sought more of Judar, saying, " Our 
father's wealth is in thy hands." So he appealed to the judges ; 
and the Moslems who had been present at the partition came and 
bore witness of that which they knew, wherefore the judge forbade 

' The name is old and classical Arabic : in Antar the young Amazon Jaydi was called 
Judar in public (Story of Jayda and Khdlid). It is also, as will be seen, the name of a 
quarter in Cairo, and men are often called after such places, e.g. A!»Jubnl from the Siik 
al-Jubn in Damascus. The story is exceedingly Egyptian and the style abounds in 
Cairene vulgarisms; especially in the Bresl. Edit, ix, 311. 

2 Had the merchant left his property to be divided after his death and not made a 
will, the widow would have had only one-eighth instead of a fourth. 

SI 4 -Alf Lay la k wa Laylah. 

them from one another ; but Judar and his brothers wasted much 
money in bribes to him. After this, the twain left him awhile ; 
presently, however, they began again to plot against him and he 
appealed a second time to the magistrate, who once more decided 
in his favour ; but all three lost much money which went to the 
judges. Nevertheless S^lim and Sali'm forbore not to seek his 
hurt and to carry the case from court to court,' he and they losing 
till they had given all their good for food to the oppressors and 
they became poor, all three. Then the two elder brothers went to 
their mother and flouted her and beat her, and seizing her money 
drave her away. So she betook herself to her son Judar and told 
him how his brothers had dealt with her and fell to cursing the 
twain Said he, " O my mother, do not curse them, for Allah will 
requite each of them according to his deed. But, O mother mine, 
see, I am become poor, and so are my brethren, for strife occa- 
sioneth loss ruin-rife, and we have striven amain, and fought, I and 
they, before the judges, and it hath profited us naught : nay, we 
have wasted all our father left us and are disgraced among the folk 
by reason of our testimony one against other. Shall I then con- 
tend with them anew on thine account and shall we appeal to the 
judges } This may not be! Rather do thou take up thine abode 
with me, and the scone I eat I will share with thee. Do thou pray 
for me and Allah will give me the means of thine alimony. Leave 
them to receive of the Almighty the recompense of their deed, 
and console thyself with the saying of the poet who said : — 

If a fool oppress thee bear patiently ; o And from Time expect thy revenge to 

see : 
Shun tyranny ; for if mount oppressed o A mount, 'twoirid be shattered by 


And he soothed and comforted her till she consented and took up 
her dwelling with him. Then he gat him a net and went a-fishing 
every day in the river or the banks about Bulak and old Cairo or 
some other place in which there was water ; and one day he would 
earn ten coppers,^ another twenty and another thirty, which he 

' Lit. ** from tyrant to tyrant," i.e. from official to official, Al-Zalamah, the " tyranny *• 
of popular parlance. 

* The coin is omitted In the text but it is evidently the " Nusf "or half-dirham. Lana 
(iii. 235), noting that the dinar is worth 170 "nusfs"in this tale, thinks that it wa» 
written (or copied ?) after the Osmanh Conquest of Egypt. Unfortunately he cannot 
tell the precise period when the value of the small change fell so low. 

Judar and ~kis Brethren. 7 1 $ 

spent upon his mother and himself, and they ate well and drank 
well. But, as for his brothers, they plied no craft and neither sold 
nor bought ; misery and ruin and overwhelming calamity entered 
their houses and they wasted that which they had taken from their 
mother and became of the wretched naked beggars. So at times 
they would come to their mother, humbling themselves before 
her exceedingly and complaining to her of hunger ; and she (a 
mother's heart being pitiful) would give them some mouldy, sour- 
smelling bread or, if there were any meat cooked the day before, 
she would say to them, " Eat it quick and go ere your brother 
come; for 'twould be grievous to him and he would harden his 
heart against me, and ye would disgrace me with him." So they 
would eat in haste and go. One day among days they came in to 
their mother, and she set cooked meat and bread before them. As 
they were eating, behold, in came their brother Judar, at whose 
sight the parent was put to shame and confusion, fearing lest he 
should be wroth with her ; and she bowed her face earthwards 
abashed before her son. But he smiled in their faces, saying, 
* Welcome, O my brothers ! A blessed day ! ' How comes it 
that ye visit me this blessed day ? " Then he embraced them both 
and entreated them lovingly, saying to them, " I thought not that 
ye would have left me desolate by your absence nor that ye would 
have forborne to come and visit me and your mother." Said they, 
•* By Allah, O our brother, we longed sore for thee and naught 
withheld us but abashment because of what befel between us and 
thee ; but indeed we have repented much. 'Twas Satan's doing, 
the curse of Allah the Most High be upon him ! And now we 

have no blessing but thyself and our mother." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto fo!)En it teas tfje ^ix l^untireli anti lEto^tt) Nfgfjt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Judar 
entered his place and saw his brothers, he welcomed them both, 
saying, " And I have no blessing but you twain." And his mother 
exclaimed, " Allah whiten thy face, and increase thy prosperity, for 
thou art the most generous of us all, O my son ! " Then he said 
" Welcome to you both ! Abide with me ; for the Lord is bounti- 

' Arab. " Yaum mubirak ! " still a popular exclamation. 

2i6 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

ful and good aboundeth with me." So he made peace with them, 
and they supped and nighted with him ; and next morning, after 
they had broken their fast, Judar shouldered his net and went out, 
trusting in The Opener » whilst the two others also went forth and 
were absent till midday, when they returned and their mother set 
the noon-meal before them. At nightfall Judar came home, bear- 
ing meat and greens, and they abode on this wise a month's space, 
Judar catching fish and selling it and spending their price on his 
mother and his brothers, and these eating and frolicking till, one 
day, it chanced he went down to the river-bank and throwing his 
net, brought it up empty. He cast it a second time, but again it 
came up empty and he said in himself, " No fish in this place ! '* 
So he removed to another and threw the net there, but without 
avail. And he ceased not to remove from place to place till night- 
fall, but caught not a single sprat ^ and said to himself, " Wonderful ! 
Hath the fish fled the river or what t " Then he shouldered the 
net and made for home, chagrined, concerned, feeling for his mother 
and brothers and knowing not how he should feed them that 
night. Presently, he came to a baker's oven and saw the folk 
crowding for bread, with silver in their hands, whilst the baker 
took no note of them. So he stood there sighing, and the baker 
said to him, " Welcome to thee, O Judar! Dost thou want bread ?" 
But he was silent and the baker continued, "An thou have no 
dirhams, take thy sufficiency and thou shalt get credit." So Judar 
said, " Give me ten coppers' worth of bread and take this net in 
pledge." Rejoined the baker, " Nay, my poor fellow, the net is 
thy gate of earning thy livelihood, and if I take it from thee, I 
shall close up against thee the door of thy subsistence. Take thee 
ten Nusfs' worth of bread and take these other ten, and to-morrow 
bring me fish for the twenty." ** On my head and eyes be it ! '* 
quoth Judar and took the bread and money saying, " To-morrow 
the Lord will dispel the trouble of my case and will provide me 
the means of acquittance." Then he bought meat and vegetables 
and carried them home to his mother, who cooked them and they 
supped and went to bed. Next morning he arose at daybreak 
and took the net, and his mother said to him, " Sit down and 

' z.e. ol the door of daily bread. 

* Arab. "Sirah," a small fish differently described (De Sacy, *' Relation de I'EgyptO 
par Abd-allatif," pp. 278—288 : Lane, Nights iii. 234). It is not found in SouaiQi's 

Judar and his Brethren, 2%f 

break thy fast." But he said, " Do thou and my brothers break- 
fast," and went down to the river about Bulak where he ceased 
not to cast once, twice, thrice ; and to shift about all day, without 
aught falling to him, till the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when 
he shouldered his net auid went away sore dejected. His way led 
him perforce by the booth of the baker who, when he saw him, 
counted out to him the loaves and the money, saying, " Come, 
take it and go ; an it be not to-day, 'twill be to-morrow." Judar 
would have excused himself, but the baker said to him, " Go ? 
There needeth no excuse ; an thou had netted aught, it would be 
with thee ; so seeing thee empty-handed, I knew thou hadst 
gotten naught ; and if to-morrow thou have no better luck, come 
and take bread and be not abashed, for I will give thee credit." 
So Judar took the bread and money and went home. On the 
third day also he sallied forth and fished from tank to tank until 
the time of afternoon-prayer, but caught nothing ; so he went to 
the baker and took the bread and silver as usual. On this wise 
he did seven days running, till he became disheartened and said 
in himself, " To-day I go to the Lake Karun."' So he went thither 
and was about to cast his net, when there came up to him unawares 
a Maghrabi, a Moor, clad in splendid attire and riding a she-mule 
with a pair of gold-embroidered saddle-bags on her back and all 
her trappings also orfrayed. The Moor alighted and said to him, 
" Peace be upon thee, O Judar, O son of Omar ! " " And on thee 
likewise be peace, O my lord the pilgrim ! " replied the fisherman. 
Quoth the Maghrabi, "O Judar, I have need of thee and, given 
thou obey me, thou shalt get great good and shalt be my com- 
panion and manage my affairs for me." Quoth Judar, "O my 
lord, tell me what is in thy mind and I will obey thee, without 
demur." Said the Moor, " Repeat the Fatihah, the Opening 
Chapter of the Koran."^ So he recited it with him and the Moor 
bringing out a silken cord, said to Judar, "Pinion my elbows 
behind me with this cord, as fast as fast can be, and cast me into 
the lake ; then wait a little while ; and, if thou see me put forth 
my hands above the water, raising them high ere my body show, 

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

* Thus making the agreement a kind of religious covenant ; as Catholics would recite 
a Patei oi an Ave Maria. 

21 8 Alf Laylah wa Laytah. 

cast thy net over me and drag me out in haste ; but if thou see 
me come up feet foremost, then know that I am dead ; in which 
case do thou leave me and take the mule and saddle-bags and 
carry them to the merchants' bazar, where thou wilt find a Jew 
by name Shamdyah. Give him the mule and he will give thee an 
hundred dinars, which do thou take and go thy ways and keep the 
matter secret with all secrecy." So Judar tied his arms tightly 
behind his back and he kept saying, " Tie tighter." Then said he, 
** Push me till I fall into the lake : " so he pushed him in and he 
sank. Judar stood waiting some time till, behold, the Moor's feet 
appeared above the water, whereupon he knew that he was dead. 
So he left him and drove the mule to the bazar, where seated on a 
stool at the door of his storehouse he saw the Jew who spying the 
mule, cried, " In very sooth the man hath perished," adding, *' and 
naught undid him but covetise." Then he took the mule from 
Judar and gave him an hundred dinars, charging him to keep the 
matter secret. So Judar went and bought what bread he needed, 
saying to the baker, " Take this gold piece ! "; and the man 
summed up what was due to him and said, "I still owe thee two 

days' bread " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo|)en Ct teas tfte ^\x l^unlJittJ anU X(ntl) Nigt)t» 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar» 
when the baker after summing up what was due to him said, " I 
still owe thee two days* bread," replied, " Good," and went on to 
the butcher, to whom he gave a gold piece and took meat, saying, 
*• Keep the rest of the dinar on account." Then he bought veget- 
ables and going home, found his brothers importuning their mother 
for victual, whilst she cried, " Have patience till your brother come 
home, for I have naught." So he went in to them and said, " Take 
and eat ;" and they fell on the food like cannibals. Then he gave 
his mother the rest of his gold saying, " If my brothers come to 
thee, give them wherewithal to buy food and eat in my absence." 
He slept well that night and next morning he took his net and 
going down to Lake Karun stood there and was about to cast his 
net, when behold, there came up to him a second MaghriS!, riding 
on a she-mule more handsomely accoutred than he of the day 
before and having with him a pair of saddle-bags of which each 

Judar and his Brethren. 21^ 

pocket contained a casket. '' Peace be with thee, O Judar ! " said 
the Moor : " And with thee be peace, O my lord, the pilgrim ! " 
replied Judar. Asked the Moor, " Did there come to thee yester- 
day a Moor riding on a mule like this of mine ? " Hereat Judar 
was alarmed and answered, " I saw none," fearing lest the other 
say, " Whither went he ? " and if he replied, " He was drowned in 
the lake," that haply he should charge him with having drowned 
him ; wherefore he could not but deny. Rejoined the Moor, 
*' Harkye, O unhappy !' this was my brother, who is gone before 
me." Judar persisted, " I know naught of him." Then the Moor 
enquired, *' Didst thou not bind his arms behind him and throw 
him into the lake, and did he not say to thee : — If my hands ap- 
pear above the water first, cast thy net over me and drag me out in 
haste ; but, if my feet show first, know that I am dead and carry 
the mule to the Jew Shamayah, who shall give thee an hundred 
dinars." Quoth Judar, " Since thou knowest all this why and 
wherefore dost thou question me "i "; and quoth the Moor, " I 
would have thee do with me as thou didst with my brother.'* 
Then he gave him a silken cord, saying, " Bind my hands behind 
me and throw me in, and if I fare as did my brother, take the 
mule to the Jew and he will give thee other hundred dinars." 
Said Judar, " Come on ;" so he came and he bound him and 
pushed him into the lake, where he sank. Then Judar sat watch- 
ing and after awhile, his feet appeared above the water and the 
fisher said, " He is dead and damned ! Inshallah, may Maghribis 
come to me every day, and I will pinion them and push them in 
and they shall die ; and I will content me with an hundred dinars 
for each dead man." Then he took the mule to the Jew, who 
seeing him asked, *' The other is dead } " Answered Judar, '* May 
thy head live ! "; and the Jew said, " This is the reward of the 
covetous ! " Then he took the mule and gave Judar an hundred 
dinars, with which he returned to his mother," " O my son," said 
she, "whence hast thou this ? " So he told her, and she said, " Go 
not again to Lake Karun, indeed I fear for thee from the Moors." 
Said he, " O my mother, I do but cast them in by their own wish, 
and what am I to do ? This craft bringeth me an hundred dinars 
a day and I return speedily ; wherefore, by Allah, I will not leave 

' Arab. " Ya miskio " = O poor devil ; mesquio, mescbiao, woxd& evidently derived 
Drom the East. 

220 A If Laylah wa Laylak, 

going to Lake Karun, till the trace of the Maghdribah ' is cut ofl* 
and not one of them is left." So, on the morrow which was the 
third day, he went down to the lake and stood there, till there 
came up a third Moor, riding on a mule with saddle-bags and still 
more richly accoutred than the first two, who said to him, " Peace 
be with thee, O Judar, O son of Omar ! " And the fisherman 
saying in himself, " How comes it that they all know me ? '* 
returned his salute. Asked the Maghribi, *' Have any Moors 
passed by here > " " Two," answered Judar. " Whither went 
they > " enquired the Moor, and Judar replied, " I pinioned their 
hands behind them and cast them into the lake, where they were 
drowned, and the same fate is in store for thee." The Moor 
laughed and rejoined, saying, " O unhappy ! every life hath its 
term appointed." Then he alighted and gave the fisherman the 
silken cord, saying, " Do with me, O Judar, as thou didst with 
them." Said Judar, " Put thy hands behind thy back, that I may 
pinion thee, for I am in haste, and time flies.*' So he put his 
hands behind him and Judar tied him up and cast him in. Then 
he waited awhile ; presently the Moor thrust both hands forth of 
the water and called out to him, saying, " Ho, good fellow, cast 
out thy net ! " So Judar threw the net over him and drew him 
ashore, and lo ! in each hand he held a fish as red as coral. Quoth 
the Moor, " Bring me the two caskets that are in the saddle-bags." 
So Judar brought them and opened them to him, and he laid in 
each casket a fish and shut them up. Then he pressed Judar to 
his bosom and kissed him on the right cheek and the left, saying, 
" Allah save thee from all stress ! By the Almighty, hadst thou 
not cast the net over me and pulled me out, I should have kept 
hold of these two fishes till I sank and was drowned, for I could 
not get ashore of myself." Quoth Judar, " O my lord the pilgrim, 
Allah upon thee, tell me the true history of the two drowned men 

and the truth anent these two fishes and the Jew." And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted 

' Plur. of Maghribi, a Western man, a Moor. I have already derived the word 
through the Lat. ** Maurus " from Maghribiyun. Europeans being unable to pronounce 
the Ghayn (or gh like the modern Cairenes) would turn it into " Ma'ariyun." They 
are mostly of the Maliki school (for which see Sale) and are famous as magicians and 
treasure-finders. Amongst the suite of the late Amir Abd al-Kadir, who lived many 
years and died ia Damascus, I found several men profoundly versed in Eastern spirilualisn? 
and occultisou 

Judar atid his Brethren. 221 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Judar asked the Maghribi, saying, " Prithee tell me first of the 
drowned men," the Maghribi answered : — Know, O Judar, that 
these drowned men were my two brothers, by name Abd al-Salam 
and Abd al-Ahad. My own name is Abd al-Samad, and the Jew 
also is our brother ; his name is Abd al-Rahim and he is no Jew, 
but a true believer of the Maliki school. Our father, whose name 
was Abd al-Wadud,' taught us magic and the art of solving 
mysteries and bringing hoards to light, and we applied ourselves 
thereto, till we compelled the Ifrits and Marids of the Jinn to do 
us service, By-and-by, our sire died and left us much wealth, and 
we divided amongst us his treasures and talismans, till we came to 
the books, when we fell out over a volume called " The Fables 
of the Ancients," whose like is not in the world, nor can its price 
be paid of any, nor is its value to be evened with gold and jewels ; 
for in it are particulars of all the hidden hoards of the earth and 
the solution of every secret. Our father was wont to make use of 
this book, of which we had some small matter by heart, and each 
of us desired to possess it, that he might acquaint himself with 
■what was therein. Now when we fell out there was i-n our com- 
pany an old man by name Cohen Al-Abtan,- who had reared our 
sire and taught him divination and gramarye, and he said to us, 
" Bring me the book." So we gave it him and he continued : — Ye 
are my son's sons, and it may not be that I should wrong any of 
you. So whoso is minded to have the volume, let him address 
himself to achieve the treasure of Al-ShamardaF and bring me the 
celestial planisphere and the Kohl-phial and the seal-ring and the 
sword. For the ring hath a Marid that serveth it called Al-Ra'ad 
al-Kasif;* and whoso hath possession thereof, neither King nor 
Sultan may prevail against him ; and if he will, he may therewith 
make himself master of the earth, in all the length and breadth 
thereof. As for the brand, if its bearer draw it and brandish it 

' The names are respectively, Slave of the Salvation ; of the One (God) ; of the 
Eternal ; of the Compassionate ; and of the Loving. 
' i.e. "the most profound" ; the root is that of "Batini," a gnostic, a reprobate. 
9 i.e. the Tall One. 
■* The loud-pealing or (ear-) breaking Thunder. 

-222 Alf Laytak wa Laylah. 

against an army, the army will be put to the rout ; and if he say the 
while, " Slay yonder host," there will come forth of that sword 
lightning and nre, that will kill the whole many. As for the 
planisphere, its possessor hath only to turn its face toward any 
country, east or west, with whose sight he hath a mind to solace 
himself, and therein he will see that country and its people, as they 
were between his hands and he sitting in his place ; and if he be 
wroth with a city and have a mind to burn it, he hath but to face 
the planisphere towards the sun's disc, saying, " Let such a city be 
burnt," and that city will be consumed with fire. As for the Kohl- 
phial, whoso pencilleth his eyes therefrom, he shall espy all the 
treasures of the earth. And I make this condition with you which 
is that whoso faileth to hit upon the hoards shall forfeit his right ; 
and that none save he who shall achieve the treasure and bring 
me the four precious things which be therein shall have any claim 
to take this book. So we all agreed to this condition, and he 
continued, " O my sons, know that the treasure of Al-Shamardal 
is under the commandment of the sons of the Red King, and your 
father told me that he had himself essayed to open the treasure, 
but could not ; for the sons of the Red King fled from him into 
the land of Egypt and took refuge in a lake there, called Lake 
Karun, whither he pursued them, but could not prevail over them, 
by reason of their stealing into that lake, which was guarded by a 

spell." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Nohj tDf)fn it toas \\z ^ix |l^untJretr anU ISkbtntJ) Nigf)!, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Cohen Al-Abtan had told the youths this much, he continued his 
tale as follows, " So your father returned empty-handed and 
unable to win to his wish ; and after failing he complained to me 
of his ill-success, whereupon I drew him an astrological figure 
and found that the treasure could be achieved only by means of a 
young fisherman of Cairo, hight Judar bin Omar, the place of 
foregathering with whom was at Lake Karun, for that he should 
be the means of capturing the sons of the Red King and that the 
charm would not be dissolved, save if he should bind the hands of 
the treasure-seeker behind him and cast him into the lake, there to do 
battle with the sons of the Red King. And he whose iot it was to 

fudar and his Brethren. 223 

succeed would lay hands upon them ; but, if it were not destined 
to him he should perish and his feet appear above water. As 
for him who was successful, his hands would show first, whereupon 
it behoved that Judar should cast the net over him and draw him 
ashore.'* Now quoth my brothers Abd al-Salam and Abd al- 
Ahad, " We will wend and make trial, although we perish ; " and 
quoth I, " And I also will go ; " but my brother Abd al-Rahfm (he 
whom thou sawest in the habit of a Jew) said, " I have no mind to 
this." Thereupon we agreed with him that he should repair to 
Cairo in the disguise of a Jewish merchant, so that, if one of us 
perished in the lake, he might take his mule and saddle-bags and 
give the bearer an hundred dinars. The first that came to thee 
the sons of the Red King slew, and so did they with my second 
brother; but against me they could not prevail and I laid hands on 
them. Cried Judar, "And where is thy catch .>" Asked the 
Moor, ** Didst thou not see me shut them in the caskets } " " Those 
were fishes," said Judar. '* Nay," answered the Maghribi, " they 
are Ifrits in the guise of fish. But, O Judar," continued he, " thou 
must know that the treasure can be opened only by thy means : so 
say, wilt thou do my bidding and go with me to the city Fez and 
Mequinez' where we will open the treasure ? ; and after I will give 
thee what thou wilt and thou shalt ever be my brother in the bond 
of Allah and return to thy family with a joyful heart." Said 
Judar, " O my lord the pilgrim, I have on my neck a mother and 

two brothers,'* And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nob fDttn It toas t\)i Sbix i^unKttU antj ©todft|> Nfgjt, 

She continued. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar 
said to the Maghribi, "I have on my neck a mother and two 
brothers, whose provider I am ; and if I go with thee, who shall 
give them bread to eat > '* Replied the Moor, " This is an idle 
excuse I if it be but a matter of expenditure, I will give thee a 

' Arab. •' Fis and Miknds " which the writer evidently regards as one city. *' F&s** 
means a hatchet, from the tradition of one having been found, says Ibn Sa'fd, when 
<J>gging the base under the founder Idrfs bin Idrfs (A.D. 808). His sword was placed 
on the pinnacle of the minaret built by the Imdm Abu Ahmad bin Abi Bakr enclosed io 
ft golden 6Uii studded writh pearls and precious stones. From the local pronoDciatioa 
*' Fes " is derived the red cap of the nearer Moslem East (see Ibo Batutah p. ajo). 

224 ^V I'Oylah wa Laylah. 

thousand ducats for thy mother, wherewith she may provide her- 
self till thou come back: and indeed thou shalt return before the 
end of four months." So when Judar heard mention of the 
thousand dinars, he said, " Here with them, O Pilgrim^ and I am 
thy man ;" and the Moor, pulling out the money, gave it to him, 
whereupon he carried it to his mother and told her what had 
passed between them, saying, " Take these thousand dinars and 
expend of them upon thyself and my brothers, whilst I journey to 
Marocco with the Moor, for I shall be absent four months, and 
great good will betide me ; so bless me, O my mother !" An- 
swered she, ** O my son, thou desolatest me and I fear for thee.'* 
" O my mother," rejoined he, " no harm can befal him who is in 
Allah's keeping, and the Maghribi is a man of worth ;" and he went 
on to praise his condition to her. Quoth she, " Allah incline his 
heart to thee ! Go with him, O my son ; peradventure, lie will 
give thee somewhat." So he took leave of his mother and rejoined 
the Moor Abd al-Samad, who asked him, " Hast thou consulted 
thy mother .-• " "Yes," answered Judar; "and she blessed me.'* 
" Then mount behind me," said the Maghribi. So Judar mounted 
the mule's crupper and thdy rode on from noon till the time of 
mid-afternoon prayer, when the fisherman was an-hungered ; but 
seeing no victual with the Moor, said to him, " O my lord the 
pilgrim, belike thou hast forgotten to bring us aught to eat by the 
way.-*" Asked the Moor, *' Art thou hungry?" and Judar an- 
swered, "Yes." So Abd al-Samad alighted and made Judar alight 
and take down the saddle-bags^ ; then he said to him, " What wilt 
thou have, O my brother?" "Anything." "Allah upon thee, 
tell me what thou hast a mind to." " Bread and cheese." " O 
my poor fellow ! bread and cheese besit thee not ; wish for some- 
thing good." " Just now everything is good to me." " Dost thou 
like nice browned chicken ? " " Yes ! " " Dost thou like rice and 
honey ? " " Yes ! " And the Moor went on to ask him if he liked 
this dish and that dish till he had named four-and-twenty kinds of 
meats ; and Judar thought to himself, " He must be daft! Where 
are all these dainties to come from, seeing he hath neither cook 
nor kitchen "i But I'll say to him, 'Tis enough ! '* So he cried, 
" That will do : thou makest me long for all these meats, and I 
see nothing." Quoth the Moor, " Thou art welcome, O Judar! '* 
and, putting his hand into the saddle-bags, pulled out a golden 

*■ Arab. " Al-Khurj," whence the Span. Las Alforjas. 

Judar and kis Bretkntm. 32$, 

dish containing two hot browned chickeas. Then he thrust hjs 
hand a second time and drew out a golden dish, full of kabobs* ; 
nor did he stint taking out dishes from saddle-bags, till he bad 
brought forth the whole of the four-and-twenty kinds he had 
named, whilst Judar looked on. Then said the Moor, " Fall to» 
poor fellow !", and Judar said to Inm, " O my lord, thou carriest in 
yonder saddle-bags kitchen and kitcheners ! " The Moor laughed 
and replied, " These are magical saddle-bags and have a servant,' 
who would bring us a thousand dishes an hour, if we called for 
them," Quoth Judar, " By Allah, a meat thing in saddle-bags ! "| 
Then they ate their fill and threw away what was left ; after which 
the Moor replaced the empty dishes in the saddle-bags and puttings 
in his hand, drew out an ewer. They drank and making the 
Wuzu-ablution, prayed the mid-afternoon prayer ; after which Abd 
al-Samad replaced the ewer and the two caskets in the saddle- 
bags and throwing them over the mule's back, mounted and cried, 
*' Up with thee and let us be off,", presently adding, " O Judar, 
knowest thou how far we have come since we left Cairo ? " " Not 
I, by Allah," replied he, and Abd al-Samad, " We have come a' 
whole month's journey." J Asked Judar, " And how is that ? "; and 
the Moor answered, " Know, O Judar, that this mule under us is a 
Marid of the Jinn who every day performeth a year's journey; 
but, for thy sake, she hath "^ gone an easier pace." Then they 3et 
out again and fared on" westwards till nightfall, when they halted 
and the Maghribi brought out supper from the saddle-bags, and in 
like manner, in the ' morning^ he took forth wherewithal to break 
their fast. So they rode^on" four days, journeying till midnight 
and then alighting and sleeping until morning, when they fared on 
again ; and all that Judar] had a mind to, he sought of the Moor, 
who brought it out of 'the| saddle-bags. On the fifth day, they 
arrived at Fez and Mequinez and entered the city, where all who 
met the Maghribi saluted him and kissed his hands ; and he con- 
tinued riding through the streets, till he came to a certain door, 
at which he knocked, whereupon it opened and out came a girl 

* Arab, " Kabab," mutton or lamb cut into small squares and grilled upon skewers : 
it is the roast meat of the nearer East where, as in the West, men have not learned to 
cook meat so as to preserve all its flavour. This is found in the " Asa'o " of the Argen- 
tine Gaucho who broils the flesh while still quivering and before the fibre has time to 
set. Hence it is perfectly tender, if the animal be young, and it has a ** meaty " taste 
balf lost by keeping. 

VOL. VI. E« 

226 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

like the moon, to whom said he, " O my daughter, O Rahmah/ 
open us the upper chamber." " On my head and eyes, O my 
papa ! " replied she and went in, swaying her hips to and fro with 
a graceful and swimming gait like a thirsting gazelle, movements 
that ravished Judar's reason, and he said, " This is none other than 
a King's daughter." So she opened the upper chamber, and the 
Moor, taking the saddle-bags from the mule's back, said, " Go, and 
God bless thee ! " when lo ! the earth clove asunder and swallow- 
ing the mule, closed up again as before. And Judar said, " O 
Protector ! praised be Allah, who hath kept us in safety on her 
back ! " Quoth the Maghribi, " Marvel not, O Judar. I told thee 
that the mule was an Ifrit ; but come with us into the upper cham- 
ber." So they went up into it, and Judar was amazed at the pro- 
fusion of rich furniture and pendants of gold and silver and jewels 
and other rare and precious things which he saw there. As soon 
as they were seated, the Moor bade Rahmah bring him a certain 
bundle ^ and opening it, drew out a dress worth a thousand dinars, 
which he gave to Judar, saying, " Don this dress, O Judar, and 
welcome to thee!" So Judar put it on and became a fair en- 
sample of the Kings of the West. Then the Maghribi laid the 
saddle-bags before him, and, putting in his hand, pulled out dish 
after dish, till they had before them a tray of forty kinds of meat, 
when he said to Judar, " Come near, O my master ! eat and excuse 
as"— — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
saying her permitted say. 

Nofo toben ft foas tfte S>ii |^unti«ti anlr ^^ftirtetnt]^ Wig^t, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Maghribi having served up in the pavilion a tray of forty kinds 
of meat, said to Judar, " Come near, O my master, and excuse us 
for that we know not what meats thou desirest ; but tell us what 
thou hast a mind to, and we will set it before thee without delay.** 
Replied Judar, " By Allah, O my lord the pilgrim, I love all kinds 
of meat and unlove none ; so ask me not of aught, but bring all 

• Equivalent to our pnritanical " Merqr." 

* Arab. "Bukjah," from the Persian Bokcheh: a favourite waj of keepinc fine 
dothes in the East is to lay them folded io a piece of rough long-cloth with pepper aad 
q>icei to drive away moths. 

Judar and his Brethren. 227 

that Cometh to thy thought, for save eating to do I have nought.** 
After this he tarried twenty days with the Moor, who clad him in new 
clothes every day, and all tliis time they ate from the saddle-bags ; 
for the Maghribi bought neither meat nor bread nor aught else, nor 
cooked, but brought everything out of the bags, even to various 
sorts of fruit. On the twenty-first day, he said, " O Judar, up 
with thee ; this is the day appointed for opening the hoard of Al- 
Shamardal." So he rose and they went afoot ^ without the city, 
where they found two slaves, each holding a she-mule. The Moor 
mounted one beast and Judar the other, and they ceased not riding 
till noon, when they came to a stream of running water, on whose 
banks Abd al-Samad alighted saying, " Dismount, O Judar ! ** 
Then he signed with his hand to the slaves and said, "To it!" 
So they took the mules and going each his own way, were absent 
awhile, after which they returned, one bearing a tent, which he 
pitched, and the other carpets, which he spread in the tent and 
laid mattrasses, pillows and cushions therearound. Then one of 
them brought the caskets containing the two fishes ; and another 
fetched the saddle-bags ; whereupon the Maghribi arose and said, 
" Come, O Judar ! " So Judar followed him into the tent and sat 
down beside him ; and he brought out dishes of meat from the 
saddle-bags and they ate the undurn meal. Then the Moor took 
the two caskets and conjured over them both, whereupon there 
came from within voices that said, " Adsumus, at thy service, O 
diviner of the world ! Have mercy upon us ! " and called aloud for 
aid. But he ceased not to repeat conjurations and they to call for 
help, till the two caskets flew in sunder, the fragments flying about, 
and there came forth two men, with pinioned hands saying, 
" Quarter, O diviner of the world ! What wilt thou with us } " 
Quoth he, " My will is to burn you both with fire, except ye make 
a covenant with me, to open to me the treasure of Al-Shamardal." 
Quoth they, " We promise this to thee, and we will open the trea- 
sure to thee, so thou produce to us Judar bin Omar, the fisherman, 
for the hoard may not be opened but by his means, nor can any 
enter therein save Judar." Cried the Maghribi, " Him of v/hom 
ye speak, I have brought, and he is here, listening to you and 

' This is always specified, for respectable men go out of town on horse-back, never 
on " foot-back," as our friends the Boers say. I have seen a Syrian put to sore shame 
when compelled by politeness to walk with me, and every acquaintance he met ad* 
dressed bim, " AnU Zalamab ! "—What 1 afoot 1 

228 Alf Laylak wet Laylah. 

looking at you." Thereupon they covenanted with him to open; 
the treasure to him, and he released them. Then he brought out 
a hollow wand and tablets of red camelian which he laid on the 
rod ; and after this he took a chafing-dish and setting charcoal 
thereon, blew one breath into it and it kindled forthwith. Pre- 
sently he brought incense and said, " O Judar, I am now about to 
begin the necessary conjurations and fumigations, and when I 
have once begun, I may not speak, or the charm will be naught ; 
so I will teach thee first what thou must do to win thy wish." 
"Teach me," quoth Judar. " Know," quoth the Moor," that when 
I have recited the spell and thrown on the incense, the water, will 
dry up from the river's bed and discover to thee, a golden door, 
the bigness of the city-gate, with two rings of metal thereon ; 
whereupon do thou go down to the door and knock a light knock 
and wait awhile ; then knock a second time a knock louder than 
the first and wait another while ; after which give three knocks in 
rapid succession, and thou wilt hear a voice ask : — Who knocketh 
at the door of the treasure, unknowing how to solve the secrets } 
Do thou answer : — I am Judar the fisherman son of Omar : and 
the door will open and there will come forth a figure with a brand 
in hand who will say to thee : If thou be that man, stretch forth 
thy neck, that I may strike off thy head. Then do thou stretch 
forth thy neck and fear not ; for, when he lifts his hand and smites 
thee with the sword, he will fall down before thee, and in a little 
thou wilt see him a body sans soul ; and the stroke shall not hurt 
thee nor shall any harm befal thee ; but, if thou gainsay him, he 
will slay thee. When thou hast undone his enchantment by obe- 
dience, enter and go on till thou see another door, at which do 
thou knock, and there will come forth to thee a horseman riding 
a mare with a lance on his shoulder and say to thee : — What 
bringeth thee hither, where none may enter ne man ne Jinni.? 
And he will shake his lance at thee. Bare thy breast to him 
and he will smite thee and fall down forthright and thou shalt 
see him a body without a soul ; but if thou cross him he will 
kill thee. Then go on to the third door, whence there will come 
forth to thee a man with a bow and arrows in his hand and take 
aim at thee. Bare thy breast to him and he will shoot at thee and 
fall down before thee, a body without a soul ; but if thou oppose 

him, he will kill thee. Then go on to the fourth door " And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

Judar and his Brethren. 229 

Nofo h3!)En a teas t|)£ %\n |^unl(rtU anli jFourUentf) tNTisfjt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Maghribi said to Judar, " Go on to the fourth door and knock and it 
shall be opened to thee, when there will come forth to thee a lion 
huge of bulk which will rush upon thee, opening his mouth and 
showing he hath a mind to devour thee. Have no fear of him, 
neither flee from him : but when he cometh to thee, give him thy 
hand and he will bite at it and' fall down straightway, nor shall 
aught of hurt betide thee. Then enter the fifth door, where thou 
shalt find a black slave, who will say to thee, Who art thou? Say, I 
am Judar ! and he will answer, If thou be that man, open the sixth 
door. Then do thou go up to the door and say, O Isa, tell Musa 
to open the door ; whereupon the door will fly open and thou 
wilt see two dragons, one on the left hand and another on the 
right, which will open their mouths and fly at thee, both at once. 
Do thou put forth to them both hands and they will bite each a 
hand and fall down dead ; but an thou resist them, they will slay 
thee- Then go on to the seventh door and knock, whereupon there 
will come forth to thee thy mother and say : — Welcome, O my 
son ! Come, that I may greet thee ! But do thou reply, Hold off 
from me and doff thy dress. And she will make answer: — O 
my son, I am thy mother and I have a claim upon thee for 
suckling thee and for rearing thee : how then wouldst thou strip 
me naked } Then do thou say. Except thou put off thy clothes, 
I will kill thee ! and look to thy right where thou wilt see a sword 
hanging up. Take it and draw it upon her, saying, Strip ! where- 
upon she will wheedle thee and humble herself to thee ; but have 
thou no ruth on her nor be beguiled, and as often as she putteth 
off aught, say to her, Off with the lave ; nor do thou cease to 
threaten her with death, till she doff all that is upon her and fall 
down, whereupon the enchantment will be dissolved and the 
charms undone, and thou wilt be safe as to thy life. Then enter 
the hall of the treasure, where thou wilt see the gold lying in 
heaps ; but pay no heed to aught thereof, but look to a closet 
at the upper end of the hall, where thou wilt see a curtain 
drawn. Draw back the curtain and thou wilt descry the en- 
chanter, Al-Shamardal, lying upon a couch of gold, with some- 
thing at his head round and shining like the moon, which is the 

2y> Alf Laytah wa Laylak, 

celestial planisphere. He is baldrick'd with the sword'; on his^ 
finger is the ring and about his neck hangs a chain, to which 
hangs the Kohl-phial. Bring me the four talismans, and beware 
lest thou forget aught of that which I have told thee, or thou wilt 
repent and there will be fear for thee." And he repeated his 
directions a second and a third and a fourth time, till Judar said,. 
" I have them by heart : but who may face all these enchantments 
that thou namest and endure against these mighty terrors ? " 
Replied the Moor, "O Judar, fear not, for they are semblances 
without life ; " and he went on to hearten him, till he said, " I put 
my trust in Allah." Then Abd al-Samad threw perfumes on the 
chafin-g-dish, and addressed himself to reciting conjurations for a 
time when, behold, the water disappeared and uncovered the river- 
bed and discovered the door of the treasure, whereupon Judar 
went down to the door and knocked. Therewith he heard a voice 
saying, " Who knocketh at the door of the treasure, unknowing 
how to solve the secrets ? " Quoth he, " I am Judar son of Omar ;" 
wher'^upon the door opened and there came forth a figure with a 
dravn sword, who said to him, " Stretch forth thy neck." So he 
stretched forth his neck and the species smote him and fell down, 
lifeless. Then he went on to the second door and did the like, nor 
did he cease to do thus, till he had undone the enchantments of the 
first six doors and came to the seventh door, whence there issued 
forth to him his mother, saying, " I salute thee, O my son ! " He 
asked, ** What art thou V\ and she answered, " O my son, I am thy 
mother who bare thee nine months and suckled thee and reared 
thee." Quoth he, " Put off thy clothes." Quoth she, " Thou art 
my son, how wouldst thou strip me naked t " But he said " Strip, 
or I will strike off thy head with this sword ;" and he stretched 
out his hand to the brand and drew it upon her saying, " Except 
thou strip, I will slay thee." Then the strife became long 
between them and as often as he redoubled on her his threats, she 
put off somewhat of her clothes and he said to her, " Doff the rest/* 

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

Judar and his Brethren. 23 1 

with many menaces ; while she removed each article slowly and 
kept saying, " O my son, thou hast disappointed my fosterage of 
thee," till she had nothing left but her petticoat-trousers. Then 
said she, " O my son, is thy heart stone ? Wilt thou dishonour me 
by discovering my shame ? Indeed, this is unlawful, O my son ! " 
And he answered, " Thou sayest sooth ; put not off thy trousers." 
At once, as he uttered these words, she cried out, " He hath made 
default ; beat him ! " Whereupon there fell upon him blows like 
rain-drops and the servants of the treasure flocked to him and 
dealt him a tunding which he forgot not in all his days; after 
which they thrust him forth and threw him down without the 
treasure and the hoard-doors closed of themselves, whilst the 
waters of the river returned to their bed. And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Koto tojben ft toas tjc ^ix l^unbrtti antj jpiftttnt]^ Ni'slbt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
servants of the treasure beat Judar and cast him out and the hoard- 
doors closed of themselves, whilst the river-waters returned to their 
bed, Abd al-Samad the Maghribi took Judar up in haste and 
repeated conjurations over him, till he came to his senses but still 
dazed as with drink, when he asked him, "What hast thou done, O 
wretch } " Answered Judar, " O my brother, I undid all the 
opposing enchantments, till I came to my mother and there befel 
between her and myself a long contention. But I made her doff 
her clothes, O my brother, till but her trousers remained upon her 
and she said to me, Do not dishonour me ; for to discover one's 
shame is forbidden. So I left her her trousers out of pity, and 
behold, she cried out and said. He hath made default ; beat him I- 
Whereupon there came out upon me folk, whence I know not, and 
tunding me with a belabouring which was a Sister of Death, thrust 
me forth ; nor do I know what befel me after this." Quoth the 
Moor, " Did I not warn thee not to swerve from my directions ? 
Verily, thou hast injured me and hast injured thyself: for if thou 
hadst made her take off her petticoat-trousers, we had won to our 
wish ; but now thou must abide with me till this day next year.'* 
Then he cried out to the two slaves, who struck the tent forthright 
and loaded it on the beasts ; then they were absent awhile and 
presently returned with the two mules ; and the twain mounted 

2 32 '.ay/a/i iva Laylalt. 

and rode back to the city of Fez, where Judar tarried with the 
Maghribi, eating well and drinking well and donning a grand dress 
every day, till the year was ended and the anniversary day 
dawned. Then the Moor said to him, " Come with me, for this 
is the appointed day." And Judar said, ^'Tis well." So the 
Maghribi carried him without the city, where they found the two 
slaves with the mules, and rode on till they reached the river. 
Here the slaves pitched the tent and furnished it ; and the Moor 
brought forth the tray of food and they ate the morning meal ; 
after which Abd al-Samad brought out the wand and the tablets 
as before and, kindling the fire in the chafing-dish, made ready the 
incense. Then said he, " O Judar, I wish to renew my charge to 
thee." "O my lord the pilgrim," replied he, " if I have forgotten 
the bastinado, I have forgotten the injunctions.'" Asked the Moor, 
" Dost thou indeed remember them } " and he answered, " Yes." 
Quoth the Moor, " Keep thy wits, and think not that the woman 
is thy very mother ; nay, she is but an enchantment in her sem- 
blance, whose purpose is to find thee defaulting. Thou earnest ofif 
alive the first time ; but, an thou trip this time, they will slay thee." 
Quoth Judar, " If I slip this time, I deserve to be burnt of them.'* 
Then Abd al-Samad cast the perfumes into the fire and recited the 
conjurations, till the river dried up ; whereupon Judar descended 
and knocked. The door opened and he entered and undid the 
several enchantments, till he came to the seventh door and the 
semblance of his mother appeared before him, saying, " Welcome,'^ 
O my son ! " But he said to her, " How am I thy son, O accursed ? 
Strip ! " And she began to wheedle him and put off garment 
after garment, till only her trousers remained ; and he said to her, 
" Strip, O accursed ! " So she put off her trousers and became 
a body without a soul. Then he entered the hall of the treasures, 
where he saw gold lying in heaps, but paid no heed to it and 
passed on to the closet at the upper end, where he saw the 
enchanter Al-Shamardal lying on a couch of gold, baldrick'd with 
the sword, with the ring on his finger, the Kohl-phial on his 
breast and the celestial planisphere hanging over his head. So 
he loosed the sword and taking the ring, the Kohl-phial and the 
planisphere, went forth, when behold, a band of music sounded 

' These retorts of Judar are exactly what a sharp Egyptian Fellah would say on such 

^ Arab. " Saldmat," plur. of Salam, a favourite Egyptian welcome- 

Judar and his Brethren. 233 

for him and the servants of the treasure cried out, saying, " Mayest 
thou be assained with that thou hast gained, O Judar ! " Nor did 
the music leave sounding, till he came forth of the treasure to the 
Maghribi, who gave up his conjurations and fumigations and rose 
up and embraced him and saluted him. Then Judar made over 
to him the four hoarded talismans, and he took them and cried 
out to the slaves, who carrried away the tent and brought the 
mules. So they mounted and returned to Fez-city, where the 
Moor fetched the saddle-bags and brought forth dish after dish 
of meat, till the tray was full, and said, " O my brother, O Judar, 
eat ! " So he ate till he was satisfied, when the Moor emptied 
what remained of the meats and other dishes and returned the 
empty platters to the saddle-bags. Then quoth he, " O Judar, 
thou hast left home and native land on our account and thou 
hast accomplished our dearest desire ; wherefore thou hast a right 
to require a reward of us. Ask, therefore, what thou wilt, it is 
Almighty Allah who giveth unto thee by our means.' Ask thy 
•will and be not ashamed, for thou art deserving." " O my lord,'* 
quoth Judar, " I ask first of Allah the Most High and then of 
thee, that thou give me yonder saddle-bags." So the Maghribi 
called for them and gave them to him, saying, " Take them, for 
they are thy due ; and, if thou hadst asked of me aught else 
instead, I had given it to thee, Eat from them, thou and thy 
family ; but, my poor fellow, these will not profit thee, save by 
way of provaunt, and thou hast wearied thyself with us and we 
promised to send thee home rejoicing. So we will join to these 
other saddle-bags, full of gold and gems, and forward thee back 
to thy native land, where thou shalt become a gentleman and a 
merchant and clothe thyself and thy family ; nor shalt thou want 
ready money for thine expenditure. And know that the manner 

' This sentence expresses a Moslem idea which greatly puzzles strangers. Arabic has 
no equivalent of our "Thank you" (Kassara 'Hah Khayr-ak being a niere blessing — 
Allah increase thy weal !), nor can Al-Islam express gratitude save by a periphrase. 
The Moslem acknowledges a favour by blessing the donor and by wishing him increase 
of prosperity. " May thy shadow never be less ! " means, Mayest thou always extend 
to me thy shelter and protection. 1 have noticed this before but it merits repetition. 
Strangers, and especially Englishmen, are very positive and very much mistaken upon 
a point, which all who have to do with Egyptians and Arabs ought thoroughly to 
understand. Old dwellers in the East know that the theory of ingratitude in no way 
interferes with the sense of gratitude innate in man (and beast) and that the "lively 
sense of favours to come," is as quick in Orient-land as in Europe. 

^34 ^^f Laylah wa Lay! ah. 

of using our gift is on this wise. Put thy hand therein and say : — 
O servant of these saddle-bags, I conjure thee by the virtue of the 
Mighty Names which have pov/er over thee, bring me such a dish ! 
And he will bring thee whatsoever thou askest, though thou 
shouldst call for a thousand different dishes a day." So saying, 
he filled him a second pair of saddle-bags half with gold and half 
with gems and precious stones ; and, sending for a slave and a 
mule, said to him, " Mount this mule, and the slave shall go before 
thee and show thee the way, till thou come to the door of thy 
house, where do thou take the two pair of saddle-bags and give 
him the mule, that he may bring it back. But admit none into 
thy secret; and so we commend thee to Allah!" "May the 
Almighty increase thy good ! " replied Judar and, laying the two 
pairs of saddle-bags on the mule's back, mounted and set forth. 
The slave went on before him and the mule followed him all that 
day and night, and on the morrow he entered Cairo by the Gate 
of Victory,' where he saw his mother seated, saying, " Alms, for 
the love of Allah ! " At this sight he well-nigh lost his wits and 
alighting, threw himself upon her : and when she saw him she 
wept. Then he mounted her on the mule and walked by her 
stirrup,^ till they came to the house, where he set her down and, 
taking the saddle-bags, left the she-mule to the slave, who led her 
away and returned with her to his master, for that both slave and 
mule were devils. As for Judar, it was grievous to him that his 
mother should beg ; so, when they were in the house, he asked 
her, " O my mother, are my brothers well ? "; and she answered, 
" They are both well." Quoth he, " Why dost thou beg by the 
wayside ? " Quoth she, " Because I am hungry, O my son," and 
he, " Before I went away, I gave thee an hundred dinars one day, 
the like the next and a thousand on the day of my departure." 
" O my son, they cheated me and took the money from me, 
saying: — We will buy goods with it. Then they drove me away, 
and I fell to begging by the wayside, for stress of hunger." " O 
my mother, no harm shall befal thee, now I am come ; so have 
no concern, for these saddle-bags are full of gold and gems, and 

' Outside this noble gate, the Bab al-Nasr, there is a great cemetery wherein, by the 
by, lies Burckhardt, my predecessor as a Hajj to Meccah and Al-Medinah. Hence 
many beggars are always found squatting in its neighbourhood. 

* Friends sometimes walk alongside the rider holding the stirrup in sign of affectioB 
and respect, especially to the returning pilgrim. 

Judar and his Brethren. 235 

good aboundeth with me." " Verily, thou art blessed, O my son ! 
Allah accept of thee and increase thee of His bounties ! Go, 
O my son, fetch us some victual, for I slept not last night for 
excess of hunger, having gone to bed supperless." " Welcome to 
thee, O my mother ! Call for what thou wilt to eat, and I will 
set it before thee this moment ; for I have no occasion to buy 
from the market, nor need I any to cook." "O my son, I see 
naught with thee." *' I have with me in these saddle-bags all 
manner of meats." "O my son, whatever is ready will serve to 
stay hunger." " True, when there is no choice, men are content 
with the smallest thing; but where there is plenty, they like to 
eat what is good : and I have abundance ; so call for what thou 
hast a mind to." " O my son, give me some hot bread and a slice 
of cheese." " O my mother, this befitteth not thy condition." 
*' Then give me to eat of that which besitteth my case, for thou 
Icnowest it." " O my mother," rejoined he, " what suit thine 
estate are browned meat and roast chicken and peppered rice and 
it becometh thy rank to eat of sausages and stuffed cucumbers 
and stuffed lamb and stuffed ribs of mutton and vermicelli with 
broken almonds and nuts and honey and sugar and fritters and 
almond cakes." But she thought he was laughing at her and 
making mock of her; so she said to him, "Yauh! Yauh!* what 
is come to thee } Dost thou dream or art thou daft ? " Asked 
he, "Why deemest thou that I am mad?" and she ansv/ered, 
*' Because thou namest to me all manner rich dishes. Who can 
avail unto their price, and who knoweth how to dress them ? " 
Quoth he, *• By my life ! thou shalt eat of all that I have named 
to thee, and that at once ; " and quoth she, ** I see nothing ; " and 
he, " Bring me the saddle-bags." So she fetched them and feeling 
them, found them empty. However, she laid them before him 
and he thrust in his hand and pulled out dish after dish, till he 
had set before her all he had named. Whereupon asked she, " O 
my son, the saddle-bags are small and moreover they were empty; 
yet hast thou taken thereout all these dishes. Where then were 
they all ? "; and he answered, " O my mother, know that these 

* Equivalent to our Alas ! It is woman's word never used by men ; and foreigners 
must be most careful of this distinction under pain of incurring something worse than 
ridicule. I remember an ofl&cer in the Bombay Army who, having learned HindostanI 
from women, always spoke of himself in the feminine and hugely scandalised the 

2^6 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

saddle-bags, which the Moor gave me, are enchanted and they 
have a servant whom, if one desire aught, he hath but to adjure 
by the Names which command him, saying, ** O servant of these 
saddle-bags, bring me such a dish ! and he will bring it." Quoth 
his mother, " And may I put out my hand and ask of him ? '* 
Quoth he, " Do so." So she stretched out her hand and said, 
*' O servant of the saddle-bags, by the virtue of the Names which 
command thee, bring me stuffed ribs." Then she thrust in her 
hand and found a dish containing delicate stuffed ribs of lamb. 
So she took it out, and called for bread and what else she had a 
mind to : after which Judar said to her, " O my mother, when thou 
hast made an end of eating, empty what is left of the food into 
dishes other than these, and restore the empty platters to the 
saddle-bags carefully.'* So she arose and laid them up in a safe 
place. " And look, O mother mine, that thou keep this secret," 
added he ; *' and whenever tliou hast a mind to aught, take it 
forth of the saddle-bags and give alms and feed my brothers, 
whether I be present or absent." Then he fell to eating with her 
and behold, while they were thus occupied, in came his two 
brothers, whom a son of the quarter* had apprised of his return, 
saying, " Your brother is come back, riding on a she-mule, with a 
slave before him, and wearing a dress that hath not its like." So 
they said to each other, " Would to Heaven we had not evilly 
entreated our mother ! There is no hope but that she will surely 
tell him how we did by her, and then, oh our disgrace with him ! " 
But one of the twain said, "Our mother is soft-hearted, and if she 
tell him, our brother is yet tenderer over us than she ; and, given 
we excuse ourselves to him, he will accept our excuse." So they 
went in to him and he rose to them and saluting them with the 
friendliest salutation, bade them sit down and eat. So they ate 
till they were satisfied, for they were weak with hunger ; after 
which Judar said to them, " O my brothers, take what is left and 
distribute it to the poor and needy." " O brother," replied they, 
" let us keep it to sup withal." But he answered, " When supper- 
time cometh, ye shall have more than this." So they took the 
rest of the victual and going out, gave it to every poor man who 
passed by them, saying, " Take and eat," till nothing was left. 
Then they brought back the dishes and Judar said to his mother. 

' i.t. a neighbour. The " quarters" of a town in the East are often on the worst of 
terms. See Pi)fdfla«fe. 

Judar and his Brethren, 237 

** Put them in the saddle-bags." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

:Kroh) tofien it teas tfje Sbtx l^unljrety ant^ ^bixtmttf) 'Wislt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar, 
when his brethren had finished their under-meal, said to his 
mother, " Put back the platters in the saddle-bags." And when 
it was eventide, he entered the saloon and took forth of the saddle- 
bags a table of forty dishes ; after which he went up to the upper 
room and, sitting down between his brothers, said to his mother, 
*' Bring the supper."^ So she went down to the saloon and, finding 
there the dishes ready, laid the tray and brought up the forty 
dishes, one after other. Then they ate the evening meal, and 
when they had done, Judar said to his brothers, " Take and feed 
the poor and needy." So they took what was left and gave alms 
thereof, and presently he brought forth to them sweetmeats, 
whereof they ate, and what was left he bade them give to the 
neighbours. On the morrow, they brake their fast after the same 
fashion, and thus they fared ten days, at the end of which time 
quoth Sdlim to Salfm, " How cometh it that our brother setteth 
before us a ba-nquet in the morning, a banquet at noon, and a 
banquet at sundown, besides sweetmeats late at night, and all that 
is left he giveth to the poor ? Verily, this is the fashion of Sultans. 
Yet we never see him buy aught, and he hath neither kitchener 
nor kitchen, nor doth he light a fire. Whence hath he this great 
plenty "i Hast thou not a mind to discover the cause of all 
this ? " Quoth Sali'm, " By Allah, I know not : but knowest thou 
any who will tell us the truth of the case } " Quoth Silim, 
*' None will tell us save our mother." So they laid a plot and 
repairing to their mother one day, in their brother^s absence, said 
to her, " O our mother, we are hungry." Replied she, " Rejoice, 
for ye shall presently be satisfied ; " and going into the saloon, 
sought of the servant of the saddle-bags hot meats, which she took 
out and set before her sons. " O our mother," cried they, " this 
meat is hot ; yet hast thou not cooked, neither kindled a fire." 

' In the patriarchal stage of society the mother waits upon her adult sons. Even in 
Dalmatia 1 found, in many old-fashioned houses, the ladies (A the familjr waiting apoa 
the guests. Very pleasant, but somewhat startling at fir&t. 

238 Alf Laylak zva Laylak. 

Quoth she, " It cometh from the saddle-bags ; " and quoth they^ 
" What manner of thing be these saddle-bags ? " She answered, 
" They are enchanted ; and the required is produced by the 
charm :" she then told her sons their virtue, enjoining them to 
secrecy. Said they, " The secret shall be kept, O our mother , 
but teach us the manner of this." So she taught them the fashion 
thereof and they fell to putting their hands into the saddle-bags 
and taking forth whatever they had a mind to. But Judar knew 
naught of this. Then quoth Salim privily to Sali'm, " O my 
brother, how long shall we abide with Judar servant-wise and eat 
of his alms > Shall we not contrive to get the saddle-bags from 
him and make off with them?" "And how shall we makeshift 
to do this?" "We will sell him to the galleys.'* "How shall 
we do that ? " " We two will go to the Rai's, the Chief Captain of 
the Sea of Suez and bid him to an entertaiment, with two of his 
company. What I say to Judar do thou confirm, and at the 
end of the night I will show thee what I will do." So they 
agreed upon the sale of their brother and going to the Captain's 
quarters said to him, " O Rais, we have come to thee on an 
errand that will please thee." " Good," answered he ; and they 
continued, " We two are brethren, and we have a third brother, 
a lewd fellow and good-for-nothing. When our father died, he 
left us some money, which we shared amongst us, and he took 
his part of the inheritance and wasted it in frowardness and 
debauchery, till he was reduced to poverty, when he came upon 
us and cited us before the magistrates, avouching that we had 
taken his good and that of his father, and we disputed the matter 
before the judges and lost the money. Then he waited awhile 
and attacked us a second time, until he brought us to beggary ; 
nor will he desist from us, and we are utterly weary of him » 
wherefore we would have thee buy him of us." Quoth the 
Captain, " Can ye cast about with him and bring him to me 
here t If so, I will pack him off to sea forthright." Quoth they 
" We cannot manage to bring him here ; but be thou our guest 
this night and bring with thee two of thy men, not one more ; and 
when he is asleep, we will aid one another to fall upon him, we 
five, and seize and gag him. Then shalt thou carry him forth the 
house, under cover of the night, and after do thou with him as 
thou wilt." Rejoined the Captain, " With all my heart ! Will ye 
sell him for forty dinars "i " and they, " Yes, come after nightfall to 

Jiidar a7id Ids Brethren. 239 

such a street, by such a mosque, and thou shalt find one of us 
awaiting thee." And he replied, " Now be off." Then they 
repaired to Judar and waited awhile, after which Salim went up 
to him and kissed his hand. Quoth Judar, *' What ails thee, O 
my brother t " And he made answer, saying, " Know that I have 
a friend, who hath many a time bidden me to his house in thine 
absence and hath ever hospitably entreated me, and I owe him a 
thousand kindnesses, as my brother here wotteth. I met him to- 
day and he invited me to his house, but I said to him : — I cannot 
leave my brother Judar. Quoth he, Bring him with thee ; and 
quoth I : — He will not consent to that ; but if ye will be my 
guests, thou and thy brothers^ ***** ^fQi- j^js brothers were 
sitting with him) ; and I invited them thinking that they would 
refuse. But he accepted my invitation for all of them, saying. 
Look for me at the gate of the little mosque,^ and I will come to 
thee, I and my brothers. And now I fear they will come and am 
ashamed before thee. So wilt thou hearten my heart and enter- 
tain them this night, for thy good is abundant, O my brother \ 
Or if thou consent not, give me leave to take them into the neigh- 
bours' houses." Replied Judar, "Why shouldst thou carry them 
into the neighbours' houses .<* Is our house then so strait or have 
we not wherewith to give them supper ? Shame on thee to 
consult me ! Thou hast but to call for what thou needest and 
have rich viands and sweetmeats and to spare. Whenever thou 
bringest home folk in my absence, ask thy mothe/, and she will 
set before thee victual more than enough. Go and fetch them ; 
blessings have descended upon us through such guests." So 
Sdlim kissed his hand and going forth, sat at the gate of the 
little mosque till after sundown, when the Captain and his men 
came up to him, and he carried them to the house. When Judar 
saw them he bade them v/elcome and seated them and made 
friends of them, knowing not what the future had in store for 
him at their hands. Then he called to his mother for supper, 
and she fell to taking dishes out of the saddle-bags, whilst 
he said, " Bring such and such meats," till she had set forty 
different dishes before them. They ate their sufficiency and the 
tray was taken away, the sailors thinking the while that this liberal 

^ ! 

' Here the apodosis would be " We can all sup together." 

' Arab. " Ziwiyah " (= oratory), which is to a Mas) id what a chapel is to a chnrcb. 

240 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

entertainment came from Salim. When a third part of the night 
was past, Judar set sweetmeats before them and Sah'm served 
them, whilst his two brothers sat with the guests, till they sought 
to sleep. Accordingly Judar lay down and the others with him, 
who waited till he was asleep, when they fell upon him together 
and gagging and pinioning him, before he was awake, carried him 

forth of the house,^ under cover of the night, And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo^en (t foas t^e ^fx |i^unt(rcb anti *>cbcntccnt]^ Xi'gfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they seized 
Judar and carrying him forth of the house under cover of the 
night, at once packed him off to Suez, where they shackled him 
and set him to work as a galley-slave ; and he ceased not to serve 
thus in silence a whole year.^ So far concerning Judar ; but as 
for his brothers, they went in next morning to his mother and said 
to her, " O our mother, our brother Judar is not awake." Said 
she, " Do ye wake him." Asked they, *' Where lieth he ?" and 
she answered, " With the guests." They rejoined, " Haply he 
went away with them whilst we slept, O mother. It would seem 
that he had tasted of strangerhood and yearned to get at hidden 
hoards ; for we heard him at talk with the Moors, and they said to 
him. We will take thee with us and open the treasure to thee." 
She enquired, " Hath he then been in company with Moors .-* ;'* 
and they replied, saying, " Were they not our guests yester- 
night .> " And she, "Most Hke he hath gone with them, but 
Allah will direct him on the right way ; for there is a blessing 
upon him and he will surely come back with great good." But 
she wept, for it was grievous to her to be parted from her son. 
Then said they to her, *' O accursed woman, dost thou love Judar 
with all this love, whilst as for us, whether we be absent or present, 
thou neither joyest in us nor sorrowest for us 1 Are we not thy 
sons, even as Judar is thy son ? " She said, " Ye are indeed my 
sons : but ye are reprobates who deserve no favour of me, for since 

* Arab. " Kasr," prop, a palace : so the Tuscan peasant speaks of his "palazzo." 
' This sale of a free-born Moslem was mere felony. But many centuries late 
Englishmen used to be sold and sent to the plantations in America. 

Judar and his Brethren. 24,1 

■your father's death I have never seen any good in you ; whilst as 
for Judar, I have had abundant good of him and he hath heartened 
my heart and entreated me with honour ; wherefore it behoveth 
me to weep for him, because of his kindness to me and to you." 
When they heard this, they abused her and beat her ; after which 
they sought for the saddle-bags, till they found the two pairs 
and took the enchanted one and all the gold from one pouch 
and jewels from the other of the unenchanted, saying, " This was 
our father's good." Said their mother, " Not so, by Allah ! ; it 
belongeth to your brother Judar, who brought it from the land of 
■the Magharibah." Said they, " Thou liest, it was our father's 
property ; and we will dispose of it, as we please." Then they 
divided the gold and jewels between them ; but a brabble arose 
between them concerning the enchanted saddle-bags, Salim saying, 
" I will have them ; " and Sali'm, saying, " I will take them ; " and 
they came to high words. Then said she, *' O my sons, ye have 
divided the gold and the jewels, but this may not be divided, nor 
can its value be made up in money ; and if it be cut in twain, its 
spell will be voided ; so leave it with me and I will give you to 
eat from it at all times and be content to take a morsel with you. 
If ye allow me aught to clothe me, 'twill be of your bounty, and 
each of you shall traffic with the folk for himself. Ye are my 
sons and I am your mother ; wherefore let us abide as we are, 
lest your brother come back and we be disgraced." But they 
accepted not her words and passed the night, wrangling with each 
other. Now it chanced that a Janissary' of the King's guards was 
a guest in the house adjoining Judar's and heard them through the 
open window. So he looked out and listening, heard all the angry 
words that passed between them and saw the division of the spoil. 
Next morning he presented himself before the King of Egypt, 
whose name was Shams al-Daulah,^ and told him all he had heard, 
whereupon he sent for Judar's brothers and put them to the ques- 
tion, till they confessed; and he took the two pairs of saddle- 
bags from them and clapped them in prison, appointing a sufficient 

• Arab. " K»wwds," lit. an archer, suggesting Us archers de la Sainte Hermandadt. 
In former days it denoted a sergeant, an apparitor, an officer who executed magisterial 
orders. In modern Egypt he became a policeman (Pilgrimage i. 29). As " Cavass" he 
appears in gorgeous uniform and sword, an orderly attached to public offices and 

' A purely imagioary King. 


242 A If Laytak wa Laylak. 

daily allowance to their mother. Now as regards Judar, he abode 
a whole year in service at Suez, till one day, being in a ship bound 
on a voyage over the sea, a wind arose against them and cast the 
vessel upon a rock projecting from a mountain, where she broke 
up and all on board were drowned and none gat ashore save 
Judar. As soon as he landed he fared on inland, till he reached 
an encampment of Badawi, who questioned him of his case, and 
he told them he had been a sailor.^ Now there was in camp a 
merchant, a native of Jiddah, who took pity on him and said to 
him, " Wilt thou take service with me, O Egyptian, and I will 
clothe thee and carry thee with me to Jiddah?" So Judar took 
service with him and companied him to Jiddah, where he showed 
him much favour. After awhile, his master the merchant set out 
on a pilgrimage to Meccah, taking Judar with him, and when they 
reached the city, the Cairene repaired to the Haram temple, to 
circumambulate the Ka'abah. As he was making the prescribed 
circuits,^ he suddenly saw his friend Abd al-Samad the Moor doing 

the like ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

IN'oto fcoficn ft teas tje §bix l^untfretj antJ lEigljtccntl) Nigljt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar, as he 
was making the circuits, suddenly saw his friend Abd al-Samad 
also circumambulating ; and when the Maghribi caught sight of 
him, he saluted him and asked him of his state ; whereupon Judar 
wept and told him all that had befallen him. So the Moor carried 
him to his lodging and entreated him with honour, clothing him in 
a dress of which the like was not, and saying to him, " Thou hast 
seen the end of thine ills, O Judar." Then he drew out for him a 
geomantic figure, which showed what had befallen Salim and 
Salim and said to Judar, " Such and such things have befallen thy 
brothers and they are now in the King of Egypt's prison ; but 
thou art right welcome to abide with me and acomplish thine 

* The Bresl. Edit. (ix. 370) here and elsewhere uses the word "Nutiya" = Nauta, 
for the common Bahrfyah or Mallah. 

2 Arab. " Tawaf," the name given to the sets (Ashwat) of seven circuits with the left 
shoulder presented to the Holy House; that is walking '* widdershins" or "against the 
sun " (" with the sun " being like the movement of a watch). For the requisites of this 
rite see Pilgrimage iii. 234. 

Judar and Ms Brethren* 243 

ordinances of pilgrimage and all shall be well.'* Replied Judar, 
" O my lord, let me go and take leave of the merchant with whom 
I am and after I will come back to thee." " Dost thou owe 
money ? " asked the Moor, and he answered, " No." Said Abd 
al-Samad, " Go thou and take leave of him and come back forth- 
right, for bread hath claims of its own from the ingenuous." So 
Judar returned to the merchant and farewelled him, saying, "I 
have fallen in with my brother."* " Go bring him here," said the. 
merchant, " and we will make him an entertainment." But Judar 
answered, saying, " He hath no need of that ; for he is a man of 
wealth and hath many servants." Then the merchant gave Judar 
twenty dinars, saying, "Acquit me of responsibility";^ and he 
bade him adieu and went forth from him. Presently, he saw a 
poor man, so he gave him the twenty ducats and returned to the 
Moor, with whom he abode till they had accomplished the pil- 
grimage-rites when Abd al-Samad gave him the seal-ring, that he 
had taken from the treasure of Al-Shamardal, saying, " This ring 
will win thee thy wish, for it enchanteth and hath a servant, by 
name AI-Ra'ad al-Kasif ; so whatever thou hast a mind to of the 
wants of this world; rub this ring and its servant will appear and 
do all thou biddest him." Then he rubbed the ring before him, 
whereupon the Jinni appeared, saying, " Adsum, O my lord ! Ask 
what thou wilt and it shall be given thee. Hast thou a mind to 
people a ruined city or ruin a populous one ? to slay a king or to 
rout a host ? " " O Ra'ad," said Abd al-Samad, " this is become 
thy lord ; do thou serve him faithfully." Then he dismissed him 
and said to Judar, " Rub the ring and the servant will appear ; 
and do thou command him to do whatever thou desirest, for he 
will not gainsay thee. Now go to thine own country and take 
care of the ring, for by means of it thou wilt baffle thine enemies ; 
and be not ignorant of its puissance." " O my lord," quoth Judar, 
*• with thy leave, I will set out homewards." Quoth the Maghribi, 
" Summon the Jinni and mount upon his back ; and if thou say to 
him : — Bring me to my native city this very day, he will not 
disobey thy commandment." So he took leave of Moor Abd al- 
Samad and rubbed the ring, whereupon Al-Ra'ad presented him- 

•* Arab. " Akh " ; broAer has a wide signification amongst Moslems and may be used 
to and of any of the Saving Faith. 

^ Said by the master when dismissing a servant and meaning, *» I have not failed S« 
my duty to thee ! " The answer is, " Allah acquit thee thereof ! " 

244 ^^f Laylah wa Laylah, 

self, saying, " Adsum ; ask and it shall be given to thee." Said 
Judar, " Carry me to Cairo this day ; " and he replied, " Thy will 
be done ; " and, taking him on his back, flew with him from noon 
till midnight, when he set him down in the courtyard of his 
mother's house and disappeared. Judar went in to his mother, 
who rose weeping, and greeted him fondly, and told him how the 
King had beaten his brothers and cast them into goal and taken 
the two pairs of saddle-bags ; which when he heard, it was no 
light matter to him and he said to her, " Grieve not for the past ; 
I will show thee what I can do and bring my brothers hither forth- 
right." So he rubbed the ring, whereupon its servant appeared, 
saying, " Here am I ! Ask and thou shalt have." Quoth Judar, 
" I bid thee bring me my two brothers from the prison of the 
King," So the Jinni sank into the earth and came not up but in 
the midst of the gaol where Silim and Salim lay in piteous plight 
and sore sorrow for the plagues of prison,^ so that they wished for 
death, and one of them said to the other, " By Allah, O my brother, 
affliction is longsome upon us ! How long shall we abide in this 
prison ? Death would be relief." As he spoke, behold, the earth 
clove in sunder and out came Al-Ra'ad, who took both up and 
plunged with them into the earth. They swooned away for excess 
of fear, and when they recovered, they found themselves in their 
mother's house and saw Judar seated by her side. Quoth he, " I 
salute you, O my brothers ! you have cheered me by your pre- 
sence." And they bowed their heads and burst into tears. Then 
said he, " Weep not, for it was Satan and covetise that led you to 
do thus. How could you sell me .-' But I comfort myself with the 
thought of Joseph, whose brothers did with him even more than 

ye did with me, because they cast him into the pit." And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

' A Moslem prison is like those of Europe a century ago ; to think of it gives goose- 
flesh. Easterns laugh at our idea of penitentiary and the Arabs of Bombay call it " Al- 
Bistan " (the Garden) because the court contains a few trees and shrubs. And with them 
a garden always suggests an idea of Paradise. There arc indeed only two efficacious 
forms of punishment all the world over, corporal for the poor and fines for the rich, the 
latter being the Mverer form. 

Judar and his Brethren. 24$ 

Nofo fojbcn ft iDas tj&e §bix l^untreli anlr Kmeteentf) Nigl)!, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Judar 
said to his brothers, " How could you do with me thus ? But 
repent unto Allah and crave pardon of Him, and He will forgive 
you both, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Merciful. As for me, 
I pardon you and welcome you : no harm shall befal you. Then 
he comforted them and set their hearts at ease and related to them 
all he had suffered, till he fell in with Shaykh Abd al-Samad, and 
told them also of the seal-ring. They replied, " O our brother, 
forgive us this time ; and, if we return to our old ways, do with us 
as thou wilt." Quoth he, " No harm shall befal you ; but tell me 
what the King did with you." Quoth they, " He beat us and 
threatened us with death and took the two pairs of saddle-bags 
from us." "Will he not care? "^ said Judar, and rubbed the ring, 
whereupon Al-Ra'ad appeared. When his brothers saw him, they 
were affrighted and thought Judar would bid him slay them ; so 
they fled to their mother, crying, " O our mother, we throw our- 
selves on thy generosity ; do thou intercede for us, O our mother !" 
And she said to them, " O my sons, fear nothing ! " Then said 
Judar to the servant, " I command thee to bring me all that is in 
the King's treasury of goods and such ; let nothing remain and 
fetch the two pairs of saddle-bags he took from my brothers." " I 
hear and I obey," replied Al-Ra'ad ; and, disappearing straight- 
way gathered together all he found in the treasury and returned 
with the two pairs of saddle-bags and the deposits therein and laid 
them before Judar, saying, " O my lord, I have left nothing in the 
treasury." Judar gave the treasure to his mother bidding her keep 
it and laying the enchanted saddle-bags before him, said to the 
Jinni, " I command thee to build me this night a lofty palace and 
overlay it with liquid gold and furnish it with magnificent furni- 
ture : and let not the day dawn, ere thou be quit of the whole 
work." Replied he, " Thy bidding shall be obeyed ;" and sank 
into the earth. Then Judar brought forth food and they ate and 
took ^their ease and lay down to sleep. Meanwhile, Al-Ra'ad 
summoned his attendant Jinn and bade them build the palace. So 
some of them fell to hewing stones and some to building, whilst 
others plastered and painted and furnished ; nor did the day dawn 

* i.e. he shall answer for this. 

246 Alf Laylak wa Laylak, 

ere the ordinance of the palace was complete ; whereupon Al-Ra*ad 
came to Judar and said to him, " O my lord, the palace is finished 
and in best order, an it please thee to come and look on it." So 
Judar went forth with his mother and brothers and saw a palace, 
whose like there was not in the whole world ; and it confounded all 
minds with the goodliness of its ordinance. Judar was delighted 
with it while he was passing along the highway and withal it had 
cost him nothing. Then he asked his mother, " Say me, wilt thou 
take up thine abode in this palace? " and she answered, " I will, O 
my son." and called down blessings upon him. Then he rubbed 
the ring and bade the Jinni fetch him forty handsome white hand- 
maids and forty black damsels and as many Mamelukes and negro 
slaves. " Thy will be done," answered Al-Ra'ad and betaking 
himself, with forty of his attendant Genii to Hind and Sind and 
Persia, snatched up every beautiful girl and boy they saw, till they 
had made up the required number. Moreover, he sent other four- 
score, who fetched comely black girls, and forty others brought 
male chattels and carried them all to Judar's house, which they 
filled. Then he showed them to Judar, who was pleased with 
them and said, ** Bring for each a dress of the finest." " Ready ! '* 
replied the servant. Then quoth he, " Bring a dress for my mother 
and another for myself, and also for my brothers." So the Jinni 
fetched all that was needed and clad the female slaves, saying to 
them, " This is your mistress : kiss her hands and cross her not, but 
serve her, white and black." The Mamelukes also dressed them- , 
selves and kissed Judar*s hands ; and he and his brothers arrayed 
themselves in the robes the Jinni had brought them and Judar 
became like unto a King and his brothers as Wazirs. Now his 
house was spacious ; so he lodged S^lim and his slave-girls in one 
part thereof and Salfm and his slave-girls in another, whilst he and 
his mother took up their abode in the new palace; and each in his 
own place was like a Sultan. So far concerning them; but as 
regards the King's Treasurer, thinking to take something ;*"rom the 
treasury, he went in and found it altogether empty, even *is saith 
the poet : — 

*Twas as a hive of bees that greatly thrived ; » But, when the bee-sw«xm fled, 
'twas clean unhived.' 

^ A pun upon "Khaliyah" (bee-hive) and " Khaliyah " (empty). Khaliyah is 
properly a hive of bees with a honey-comb in the hollow of a tree-trunk, opposed to 
Kavvwarah, hive made of clay or earth (AI-Hariri ; Ass. of Tiflis). There are man/ 
Other terms, for Arab^ are curious about honey. Pilgrimage iii. no. 

Judar and his Brethren. 247 

So he gave a great cry and fell down in a fit. When he came to 
himself, he left the door open and going in to King Shams 
al-DauIah, said to him, " O Commander of the Faithful,' I have 
to inform thee that the treasury hath become empty during the 
night." Quoth the King, " What hast thou done with my monies 
which were therein "i " Quoth he, " By Allah, I have not done 
aught with them nor know I what is come of them ! I visited the 
place yesterday and saw it full ; but to-day when I went in, I found 
it clean empty, albeit the doors were locked, the walls were un- 
pierced* and the bolts' are unbroken ; nor hath a thief entered 
it." Asked the King, " Are the two pairs of saddle-bags gone ? " 
'*^ Yes," replied the Treasurer; whereupon the King's reason flew 

from his head And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Treasurer informed the King that all in the treasury had been 
plundered, including the two pairs of saddle-bags, the King's 
reason flew from his head and he rose to his feet, saying, " Go 
thou before me." Then he followed the Treasurer to the treasury 
and he found nothing there, whereat he was wroth with him ; and 
he said to them, " O soldiers ! know that my treasury hath been 
plundered during the night, and I know not who did this deed 
and dared thus to outrage me, without fear of me." Said they, 
*' How so ? "; and he replied, " Ask the Treasurer." So they ques- 
tioned him, and he answered, saying, "Yesterday I visited the 
treasury and it was full, but this morning when I entered it I 
found it empty, though the walls were unpierced and the doors 
unbroken." They all marvelled at this and could make the King 

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

* Eastern thieves count four modes of housebreaking ; (i) picking out burnt bricks ; 
(2) culling through unbaked bricks ; (3) wetting a mud wall and (4) boring through a 
wooden wall (Vikram and the Vampire p. 172)- 

2 Arab. " Zabbat," lit. a lizard (fern.) also a wooden lock, the only ooe used through^ 
out Egypt. An illustration of its curious mechanism is given in Lane (M. E. Intro- 

248 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

no answer, when in came the Janissary, who had denounced Sdlim 
and Sah'm, and said to Shams al-DauIah, " O King of the age, all 
this night I have not slept for that which I saw." And the Kin^ 
asked, " And what didst thou see ? " " Know, O King of the age," 
answered the Kawwas, " that all night long I have been amusing 
myself with watching builders at work ; and, when it was day, I 
saw a palace ready edified, whose like is not in the world. So I 
asked about it and was told that Judar had come back with great 
wealth and Mamelukes and slaves and that he had freed his two 
brothers from prison, and built this palace, wherein he is as a 
Sultan." Quoth the King, "Go, look in the prison." So they 
went thither and not finding Salim and Sali'm, returned and told 
the King, who said, " It is plain now who be the thief ; he who 
took Salim and Salim out of prison it is who hath stolen my 
monies." Quoth the Wazir, " O my lord, and who is he } "; and 
quoth the King, " Their brother Judar, and he hath taken the two 
pairs of saddle-bags ; but, O Wazir, do thou send him an Emir 
with fifty men to seal up his goods and lay hands on him and his 
brothers and bring them to me, that I may hang them." And 
he was sore enraged and said, " Ho, off with the Emir at once, 
and fetch them, that I may put them to death." But the Wazir 
said to him, " Be thou merciful, for Allah is merciful and hasteth 
not to punish His servants, whenas they sin against Him. More- 
over, he who can build a palace in a single night, as these say, 
none in the world can vie with him ; and verily I fear lest the 
Emir fall into difficulty for Judar. Have patience, therefore, 
whilst I devise for thee some device of getting at the truth of 
the case, and so shalt thou win thy wish, O King of the age." 
Quoth the King, " Counsel me how I shall do, O Wazir." And 
the Minister said, " Send him an Emir with an invitation ; and I 
will make much of him for thee and make a show of love for him 
and ask him of his estate ; after which we will see. If we find 
him stout of heart, we will use sleight with him, and if weak of 
will, then do thou seize him and do with him thy desire." The 
King agreed to this and despatched one of his Emirs, Othman 
hight, to go and invite Judar and say to him, " The King biddeth 
thee to a banquet;" and the King said to him, "Return not, 
except with him." Now this Othman was a fool, proud and 
conceited ; so he went forth upon his errand, and when he came 
to the gate of Judar's palace, he saw before the door an eunuch 
seated upon a chair of gold, who at his approach rose not, but 

Judar and his Brethren. 249 

sat as if none came near, though there were with the Emir fifty 
footmen. Now this eunuch was none other than Al-Ra'ad al- 
Kasif, the servant of the ring, whom Judar had commanded to 
put on the guise of an eunuch and sit at the palace-gate. So 
the Emir rode up to him and asked him, " O slave, where is 
thy lord ? "; whereto he answered, " In the palace ; " but he 
stirred not from his leaning posture; whereupon the Emir 
Othman waxed wroth and said to him, "O pestilent slave, art 
thou not ashamed, when I speak to thee, to answer me, sprawl- 
ing at thy length, like a gallows-bird ? " Replied the eunuch, 
" Off and multiply not words." Hardly had Othman heard 
this, when he was filled with rage and drawing his mace' would 
have smitten the eunuch, knowing not that he was a devil ; 
but Al-Ra'ad leapt upon him and taking the mace from him, 
dealt him four blows with it. Now when the fifty men saw 
their lord beaten, it was grievous to them ; so they drew their 
swords and ran to slay the slave ; but he said, " Do ye draw 
on us, O dogs } " and rose at them with the mace, and every 
one whom he smote, he broke his bones and drowned him in 
his blood. So they fell back before him and fled, whilst he 
followed them, beating them, till he had driven them far from 
the palace-gate ; after which he returned and sat down on his 

chair at the door, caring for none. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

NotD fallen it hjas tjbe ^ix l^untirctJ antJ ^tocntjj^first Nigj^t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the eunuch 
having put to flight the Emir Othman, the King's officer, and his 
men, till they were driven far from Judar's gate, returned and sat 
down on his chair at the door, caring for none. But as for the 
Emir and his company, they returned, discomfited and tunded, to 
King Shams al-Daulah, and Othman said, " O King of the age, 
when I came to the palace gate, I espied an eunuch seated there 

'Arab. "Dabbiis." The Eastern mace is well known to English collectors; it is 
always of metal, and mostly of steel, with a short handle like our facetiously called 
•* life-preserver." The head is in various forms, the simplest a ball, smooth and round, 
or broken into sundry high and angular ridges like a melon, and in select weapons 
shaped like the head of some animal, bull, etc. See Night dcxlvi. 

250 Alf Laylak toa Laylah. 

in a chair of gold and he was passing proud for, when ho saw me 
approach, he stretched himself at full length albeit he had been 
sitting in his chair and entreated me contMmeliously, neither offered 
to rise to me. So I began to speak to him and he answered without 
stirring, whereat wrath gat hold of me and I drew the mace upon 
him, thinking to smite him. But he snatched it from me and beat 
me and my men therewith and overthrew us. So we fled from 
before him and could not prevail against him." At this, the King 
was wroth and said, "Let an hundred men go down to him." 
Accordingly, the hundred men went down to attack him ; but he 
arose and fell upon them with the mace and ceased not smiting 
them till he had put them to the rout ; when he regained his chair ; 
upon which they returned to the King and told him what had 
passed, saying, " O King of the age, he beat us and we fled for 
fear of him." Then the King sent two hundred men against him, 
but these also he put to the rout, and Shams Al-Daulah said to 
his Minister, " I charge thee, O Wazir, take five hundred men 
and bring this eunuch in haste, and with him his master Judar and 
his brothers." Replied the Wazir, " O King of the age, I need no 
soldiers, but will go down to him alone and unarmed." *' Go," 
quoth the King, " and do as thou seest suitable." So the Wazir 
laid down his arms and donning a white habit,' took a rosary in 
his hand and set out afoot alone and unattended. When he came 
to Judar's gate, he saw the slave sitting there ; so he Avent up to 
him and seating himself by his side courteously, said to him, 
*' Peace be with thee ! "; whereto he replied, " And on thee be 
peace, O mortal ! What wilt thou } " When the Wazir heard him 
say " O mortal," he knew him to be of the Jinn and quaked for 
fear ; then he asked him, "O my lord, tell me, is thy master Judar 
here } '* Answered the eunuch, " Yes, he is in the palace." Quoth 
the Minister, " O my lord, go thou to him and say to him : — King 
Shams Al-Daulah saluteth thee and biddeth thee honour his 

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

Judar and his Brethren. 2$1 

dwelling with thy presence and eat of a banquet he hath made for 
thee." Quoth the eunuch, " Tarry thou here, whilst I consult 
him." So the Wazir stood in a respectful attitude, whilst the 
Marid went up to the palace and said to Judar, " Know, O my 
lord, that the King sent to thee an Emir and fifty men, and I beat 
them and drove them away. Then he sent an hundred men and I 
beat them also ; then two hundred, and these also I put to the 
rout. And now he hath sent thee his Wazir unarmed, bidding 
thee visit him and eat of his banquet. What sayst thou .? " Said 
Judar, " Go, bring the Wazir hither." So the Marid went down 
and said to him, " O Wazir, come speak with my lord.'* " On my 
head be it," replied he and going in to Judar, found him seated, in 
greater state than the King, upon a carpet, whose like the King 
could not spread, and was dazed and amazed at the goodliness of 
the palace and its decoration and appointments, which made him 
seem as he were a beggar in comparison. So he kissed the ground 
before Judar and called down blessings on him ; and Judar said to 
him, " What is thy business, O Wazir ? " Replied he, " O my lord, 
thy friend King Shams Al-Daulah saluteth thee with the salam 
and longeth to look upon thy face ; wherefore he hath made thee 
an entertainment. So say, wilt thou heal his heart and eat of his 
banquet } " Quoth Judar, " If he be indeed my friend, salute him 
and bid him come to me.'* " On my head be it," quoth the Minis- 
ter. Then Judar bringing out the ring rubbed it and bade the 
Jinni fetch him a dress of the best, which he gave to the Wazir, 
saying, " Don this dress and go tell the King what I say." So the 
Wazir donned the dress, the like whereof he had never donned, 
and returning to the King told him what had passed and praised 
the palace and that which was therein, saying, "Judar biddeth 
thee to him." So the King called out, " Up, ye men ; mount your 
horses and bring me my steed, that we may go to Judar ! " Then 
he and his suite rode off for the Cairene palace. Meanwhile Judar 
summoned the Marid and said to him, " It is my will that thou 
bring me some of the Ifrits at thy command in the guise of guards 
and station them in the open square before the palace, that the 
King may see them and be awed by them ; so shall his heart 
tremble and he shall know that my power and majesty be greater 
than his." Thereupon Al-Ra'ad brought him two hundred Ifrits 
of great stature and strength, in the guise of guards, magnificently 
armed and equipped, and when the King came and saw these tall 
burly fellows his heart feared them. Then he entered the palace, 

252 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

and found Judar sitting in such state as nor King nor Sultan could 
even. So he saluted him and made his obeisance to him ; yet 
Judar rose not to him nor did him honour nor said " Be seated," 

but left him standing, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nob tol)en (t fcoas tf)e %\i f^unitttlJ anti ^toentg-sccontr Nigt)t, 

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

O thou of generous seed and true nobility, • Reproach me not for that which 

came from me to thee : 
We pardon thee if thou have wrought OS any wrong * And if J wrought the 

wrong I pray thee pardon me ! 

And he ceased not to humble himself before him, till he said, 
" Allah pardon thee ! " and bade him be seated. So he sat down 
and Judar invested him with garments of pardon and immunity 
and ordered his brothers spread the table. When they had eaten, 
he clad the whole of the King's company in robes of honour and 
gave them largesse ; after which he bade the King depart. So he 
went forth and thereafter came every day to visit Judar and held 
not his Divan save in his house : wherefore friendship and famili- 
arity waxed great between them, and they abode thus awhile, 
till one day the King, being alone with his Minister, said to him. 

* This in the East is the way *'pour se /aire valoir''* ', whilst Europeans would hold 
it a mere "bit of impudence," aping dignity- 

Judar and his Brethren. 25JI 

"O Wazir, I fear lest Judar slay me and take the kingdom away 
from me." Replied the Wazir, " O King of the age, as for his 
taking the kingdom from thee, have no fear of that, for Judar's 
present estate is greater than that of the King, and to take the 
kingdom would be a lowering of his dignity ; but, if thou fear that 
he kill thee, thou hast a daughter : give her to him to wife and 
thou and he will be of one condition." Quoth the King, " O 
Wazir, be thou intermediary between us and him "; and quoth the 
Minister, " Do thou invite him to an entertainment and pass the 
night with him in one of thy saloons. Then bid thy daughter 
don her richest dress and ornaments and pass by the door of the 
saloon. When he seeth her, he will assuredly fall in love with 
her, and when we know this, I will turn to him and tell him that 
she is thy daughter and engage him in converse and lead him on, 
so that thou shalt seem to know nothing of the matter, till he ask 
her of thee to wife. WTien thou has married him to the Princess, 
thou and he will be as one thing and thou wilt be safe from him ; 
and if he die, thou wilt inherit all he hath, both great and small." 
Replied the King, " Thou sayst sooth, O my Wazir," and made 
a banquet and invited thereto Judar who came to the Sultan's 
palace and they sat in the saloon in great good cheer till the end 
of the day. Now the King had commanded his wife to array the 
maiden in her richest raiment and ornaments and carry her by the 
door of the saloon. She did as he told her, and when Judar saw 
the Princess, who had not her match for beauty and grace, he looked 
fixedly at her and said, " Ah ! "; and his limbs were loosened ; for 
love and longing and passion and pine were sore upon him ; desire 
and transport gat hold upon him and he turned pale. Quoth the 
Wazir, " May no harm befal thee, O my lord ! Why do I see thee 
change colour and in suffering > " Asked Judar, " O Wazir, whose 
daughter is this damsel "* Verily she hath enthralled me and 
ravished my reason." Replied the Wazir, " She is the daughter 
of thy friend the King ; and if she please thee, I will speak to him 
that he marry thee to her." Quoth Judar, " Do so, O Wazir, and 
as I live, I will bestow on thee what thou wilt and will give the 
King whatsoever he shall ask to her dowry; and we will become 
friends and kinsfolk." Quoth the Minister, * It shall go hard but 
thy desire be accomplished.'* Then he turned to the King and 
said in his ear, " O King of the age, thy friend Jiular sccketh 
alliance with tliee and will have me ask of thee for him the hand 
of thy daughter, the Princess Asiyaifa ; to disappoint ne aot, b%it 

254 ^^f Laylak zva Layiah, 

accept my intercession, and what dowry soever thou askcst he 
will give thee." Said the King, " The dowry I have already 
received, and as for the girl, she is his handmaid ; I give her to 

him to wife and he will do me honour by accepting her.'* 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Wazir whispered the King, "Judar seeketh alliance with thee by 
taking thy daughter to wife," the other replied, " The dowry I have 
aleady received, and the girl is his handmaid ; he will do me honour 
by accepting her." So they spent the rest of that night together 
and on the morrow the King held a court, to which he summoned 
great and small, together with the Shaykh al-Islam.* Then Judar 
demanded the Princess in marriage and the King said, "The dowry 
I have received." Thereupon they drew up the marriage-contract 
and Judar sent for the saddle-bags containing the jewels and gave 
them to the King as settlement upon his daughter. The drums 
beat and the pipes sounded and they held high festival, whilst 
Judar went in unto the girl. Thenceforward he and the King were 
as one flesh and they abode thus for many days, till Shams al- 
Daulah died ; whereupon the troops proclaimed Judar Sultan, 
and he refused ; but they importuned him, till he consented 
and they made him King in his father-in-law's stead. Then he 
bade build a cathedral-mosque over the late King's tomb in the 
Bundukdniyah ^ quarter and endowed it. Now the quarter of 
Judar's house was called Yamdniyah ; but, when he became Sultan 
he built therein a congregational mosque and other buildings, 
wherefore the quarter was named after him and was called the 
Judariyah' quarter. Moreover, he made his brother Salim his 

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

* So called because here lived the makers of crossbows (Arab. Bunduk now meaning 
a fire-piece, musket, etc.) It is the modern district about the well-kr.own Khan 

^ Pronounced " uoodareeyyah," and so called after one of the troops ol the Fatimite 
Caliphs. The name " Yamdniyah" is probably due to the story-teller'* inveotiveaess. 

Judar and his Brethren. 25$ 

Wazir of the right and his brother Sah'm his Wazir of the left 
hand ; and thus they abode a year and no more ; for, at the end 
of that time, Salim said to Sah'm, " O my brother, how long is 
this Stat© to last ? Shall we pass our whole lives in slavery to 
our brother Judar? We shall never enjoy luck or lordship whilst 
he lives," adding, " so how shall we do to kill him and take the 
ring and the saddle-bags ? '* Replied Sah'm, " Thou art craftier 
than I ; do thou device, whereby we may kill him." " If I effect 
this," asked Salim, " wilt thou agree that I be Sultan and keep 
the ring and that thou be my right-hand Wazir and have the 
saddle-bags ? " Sah'm answered, " I consent to this ; " and they 
agreed to slay Judar their brother for love of the world and of do- 
minion. So they laid a snare for Judar and said to him, "O our 
brother, verily we have a mind to glory in thee and would fain 
have thee enter our houses and eat of our entertainment and 
solace our hearts." Replied Judar, '*So be it, in whose house 
shall the banquet be ? " " In mine," said Salim *' and after thou 
hast eaten of my victual, thou shalt be the guest of my brother." 
Said Judar, " *Tis well," and went with him to his house, where 
he set before him poisoned food, of which when he had eaten, his 
flesh rotted from his bones and he died.^ Then Sdlim came up to 
him and would have drawn the ring from his finger, but it resisted 
him ; so he cut off the finger with a knife. Then he rubbed the 
ring and the Marid presented himself, saying, " Adsum ! Ask what 
thou wilt." Quoth Salim, " Take my brother Sah'm and put him 
to death and carry forth the two bodies, the poisoned and the 
slaughtered, and cast them down before the troops." So the 
Mahrid took Sah'm and slew him ; then, carrying the two corpses 
forth, he cast them down before the chief officers of the army, 

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

256 Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 

who were sitting at table in the parlour of the house. When 
they saw Judar and Sali'm slain, they raised their hands from the 
food and fear gat hold of them and they said to the Marid, " Who 
hath dealt thus with the Sultan and the Wazir?" Replied the 
Jinni, "Their brother Scilim." And behold, Silim came up to 
them and said, " O soldiers, eat and make merry, for Judar is 
dead and I have taken to me the seal-ring, whereof the Marid 
before you is the servant ; and I bade him slay my brother SaHm 
lest he dispute the kingdom with me, for he was a traitor and I 
feared lest he should betray me. So now I am become Sultan 
over you ; will ye accept of me ? If not, I will rub the ring and 

bid the Marid slay you all, great and small." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

tfi^oh) tDf)£n ft toas t|)£ ^\x l^unliwtj anb ^fotntg-fourtf) Nfjstt, 

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

* la wch CMC the " 'iddah " wooU b« few moaUM aad Ua dajrt. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib, 257 

all that hath come down to us of the Story of Judar and his 
Brethren,' But I have also heard, O King, a tale called the 


There was once in olden time a King of might, Kundamir hight, 
"who had been a brave and doughty man of war, a Kahram^n,^ in 
his day, but was grown passing old and decrepit. Now it pleased 
Allah to vouchsafe him, in his extreme senility, a son, whom he 
named Aji'b^ — the Wonderful — because of his beauty and loveli- 
ness ; so he committed the babe to the midwives and wet-nurses 
and handmaids and serving-women, and they reared him till he 
was full seven years old, when his father gave him in charge to a 
divine of his own folk and faith. The priest taught him the laws 
and tenets of their Misbelief and instructed him in philosophy 
and all manner of other knowledge, and it needed but three full- 
told years ere he was proficient therein and his spirit waxed reso- 
lute and his judgment mature; and he became learned, eloquent 
and philosophic^; consorting with the wise and disputing with the 

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

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

^ The Persian hero of romance who converses with the Simurgh or Griffin. 

* The word is as much used in Egypt as wunderbar in Germany. As an exclamation 
it is equivalent to " mighty fine!" 

^ In modern days used in a bad sense^ as a freethinker, etc. So Dalilah the Wily U 
noted to be a philosophcress. 


25^ A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

doctors of the law. When his father saw this of him, it pleased 
him and he taught him to back the steed and stab with spear and 
smite with sword, till he grew to be an accomplished cavalier, 
versed in all martial exercises ; and, by the end of his twentieth 
year, he surpassed in all things all the folk of his day. But his 
skill in weapons made him grow up a stubborn tyrant and a devil 
arrogant, using to ride forth a-hunting and a-chasing amongst a 
thousand horsemen and to make raids and razzias upon the neigh- 
bouring knights, cutting off caravans and carrying away the 
daughters of Kings and nobles ; wherefore many brought com- 
plaints against him to his father, who cried out to five of his slaves 
and when they came said, " Seize this dog ! " So they seized 
Prince Ajib and, pinioning his hands behind him, beat him by his 
father's command till he lost his senses; after which the King 
imprisoned him in a chamber so dark one might not know heaven 
from earth or length from breadth ; and there he abode two days 
and a night. Then the Emirs went in to the King and, kissing 
the ground between his hands, interceded with him for the Prince, 
and he released him. So Ajib bore with his father for ten days, 
at the end of which he went in to him as he slept by night and 
smote his neck. When the day rose, he mounted the throne of 
his sire's estate and bade his men arm themselves cap-a-pie in 
steel and stand with drawn swords in front of him and on his right 
hand and on his left. By and by, the Emirs and Captains entered 
and finding their King slain and his son Ajib seated on the throne 
were confounded in mind and knew not what to do. But Ajib 
said to them, " O folk, verily ye see what your King hath gained. 
Whoso obeyeth me, I will honour him, and whoso gainsayeth me, 
I will do with him that which I did with my sire." When they 
heard these words they feared lest he do them a mischief; so they 
replied, " Thou art our King and the son of our King;" and kissed 
ground before him ; whereupon he thanked them and rejoiced in 
them. Then he bade bring forth money and apparel and clad 
them in sumptuous robes of honour and showered largesse upon 
them, wherefore they all loved him and obeyed him. In like 
manner he honoured the governors of the Provinces and the 
Shaykhs of the Badawin, both tributary and independent, so that 
the whole kingdom submitted to him and the folk obeyed him and 
he reigned and bade and forbade in peace and quiet for a time of 
five months. One night, however, he dreamed a dream as he lay 

The History of Gkarib and his Brother A jib. 259 

slumbering ; whereupon he awoke trembling, nor did sleep visit 
him again till the morning. As soon as it was dawn he mounted 
his throne and his officers stood before him, right and left. Then 
he called the oneiromants and the astrologers and said to them, 
*' Expound to me my dream ! " " What was the dream ? " asked 
they ; and he answered, " As I slept last night, I saw my fathcr 
standing before me, with his yard uncovered, and there came forui 
of it a thing the bigness of a bee, which grew till it became as a 
mighty lion, with claws like hangers. As I lay wondering at thi:; 
lo I it ran upon me and smiting me with its claws, rent my belly 
in sunder ; whereupon I awoke startled and trembling. So ex- 
pound ye to me the meaning of this dream." The interpreter ; 
looked one at other ; and, after considering, said," O mighty Kinc, 
this dream pointeth to one born of thy sire, between whom an.l 
thee shall befal strife and enmity, wherein he shall get the better 
of thee : so be on thy guard against him, by reason of this tliy 
vision.'* When Ajib heard their words, he said, " I have no 
brother whom I should fear ; so this your speech is mere lying." 
They replied, " We tell thee naught save what we know ;" but he 
was an-angered with them and bastinadoed them. Then he rose and, 
going in to the paternal palace, examined his father's concubine'> 
and found one of them seven months gone with child ; whereupon 
he gave an order to two of his slaves, saying, " Take this damsel, 
ye twain, and carry her to the sea-shore and drown her." So they 
took her forthright and, going to the sea-shore, designed to drown 
her, when they looked at her and seeing her to be of singular 
beauty and loveliness said to each other, *' Why should we drown 
this damsel } Let us rather carry her to the forest and live with 
her there in rare love-liasse." Then they took her and fared on 
with her days and nights till they had borne her afar off and 
had brought her to a bushy forest, abounding in fruit-trees and 
streams, where they both thought at the same time to win their 
v/ill of her ; but each said, *' I will have her first." So they fell out 
one with the other concerning this, and while so doing a company 
cf blackamoors came down upon them, and they drew their swords 
and both sides fell to laying on load. The mellay waxed hot 
v/ith cut and thrust ; and the two slaves fought their best ; but the 
blacks slew them both in less than the twinkling of an eye. So 
the damsel abode alone and wandered about the forest, eating of 
its fruits and drinking of its founts, till in due time she gave birth 

26o Alf Laylah wa Lmylak. 

to a boy, brown but clean-limbed and comely, whom she named 
Ghari'b, the Stranger, by reason of her strangerhood. Then she 
cut his navel-string and wrapping him in some of her own clothes, 
gave him to suck, harrowed at heart, and with vitals sorrowing for 

the estate she had lost and its honour and solace. And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel 
abode in the bush harrowed at heart and a-sorrowed ; but she 
suckled her babe albeit she was full of grief and fear for her lone- 
liness. Now behold, one day, there came horsemen and footmen 
into the forest with hawks and hounds and horses laden with 
partridges and cranes and wild geese and divers and other water- 
fowl ; and young ostriches and hares and gazelles and wild oxen 
and lynxes and wolves and lions.' Presently, these Arabs entered 
the thicket and came upon the damsel, sitting with her child on 
her breast a-suckling him : so they drew near and asked her, " Say 
art thou a mortal or a Jinniyah }" Answered she, " I am a mortal, 
O Chiefs of the Arabs." Thereupon they told their Emir, whose 
name was Mardds, Prince of the Banvi Kahtdn,* and who had come 
forth that day to hunt with five hundred of his cousins and the 
nobles of his tribe, and who in the course of the chase had hap- 
pened upon her. He bade them bring her before him, which they 
did and she related to him her past from first to last, whereat he 
marvelled. Then he cried to his kinsmen and escort to continue 
the chase, after which they took her and returned to their encamp- 
ment, where the Emir appointed her a separate dwelling-place and 
five damsels to serve her ; and he loved her with exceeding love 

^ The game is mach mixed up after Arab fashion. The " Tufat "^is the Siyahgosh = 
Black-ears, of India (Felit caracal), the Persian lynx, whicli gives very good sport with 
Dachshunds. Lynxes still abound in the thickets near Cairo. 

* The *' Sons of Kahtln,** especially th« Ya'arubah tribe, made much history in 
Oman. Ya'arub (the «poDymus) is written Ya'arab and Ya'arib ; but Ya'arub (from 
Ya'arubu, Aorist of 'Aruba) is best, because according to all authorities he was the* first to 
cultivate primitive Arabian speech aad Arabic poctiy. (Caussin de Perceval's Hlrt. <ks 
Arabes i. 50, etc.) 

The History of Charib and his Brtther Ajib. 76\ 

and went in to her and lay with her. She conceived by him 
straightway, and, when her months were accomplished, she bare a 
man child and named him Sahim al-Layl.* He grew up with his 
brother Gharib among the nurses and throve and waxed upon the 
lap of the Emir Mardas who, in due time committed the two boys 
to a Fakih for instruction in the things of their faith ; after which 
he gave them in charge to valiant knights of the Arabs, for train- 
ing them to smite with sword and lunge with lance and shoot with 
shaft ; so by the time they reached the age of fifteen, they knew 
all they needed and surpassed each and every brave of their tribe ; 
for Gharib would undertake a thousand horse and Sahim al-Layl 
no fewer. Now Mardas had many enemies, and the men of his 
tribe were the bravest of all the Arabs, being doughty cavaliers, 
none might warm himself at their fire.^ In his neighbourhood was 
an Emir of the Arabs, Hassdn bin Sdbit hight, who was his inti- 
mate friend ; and he took to wife a noble lady of his tribe and 
bade all his friends to the wedding, amongst them Mardas lord of 
the Banu Kahtan, who accepted his invitation and set forth with 
three hundred riders of his tribe, leaving other four hundred to 
guard the women. Hassan met him with honour and seated him 
in the highest stead. Then came all the cavaliers to the bridal 
and he made them bride-feasts and held high festival by reason of 
the marriage, after which the Arabs departed to their dwelling- 
places. When Mardas came in sight of his camp, he saw slain men 
lying about and birds hovering over them right and left ; and his 
heart sank within him at the sight. Then he entered the camp 
and was met by Gharib, clad in complete suit of ring-mail, who 
gave him joy of his safe return. Quoth Mardas, " What meaneth 
this case, O Gharib?"; and quoth Gharib, "Al-Hamal bin Majid 
attacked us with five hundred horsemen of his tribe." Now the 
reason of this was that the Emir Mardas had a daughter called 
Mahdfyah, seer never saw fairer than she, and AI-Hamal, lord of 

* He who shcx)teth an arrow by night. See the death of Antar shot down in the dark 
by the archer Jazir, son of Jibir, who had been blinded by a red-hot sabre passed before 
his eyes. I may note that it is a mere fiction of Al-Asma'i, as the real 'Antar (or 
'AnUrah) lived to a good old age, and probably died the "straw-death." 

* See vol. ii., p. 77, for a reminiscence of masterful King Kulayb and his Himi or 
domain, Here the phrase would mean, " None could approach them when they wer* 
wroth ; none were safe from their ra^." 

262 Alf Laylah wa Lay la h. 

the Banu Nabhdn,* heard of her charms ; whereupon he took 
horse with five hundred of his men and rode to Mardas to demand 
her hand ; but he was not accepted and was sent away disap- 
pointed.2 So he awaited till Mardas was absent on his visit to 
Hassan, when he mounted with his champions and, falling upon 
the camp of the Banu Kahtan, slew a number of their knights 
and the rest fled to the mountains. Now Gharib and his brother 
had ridden forth a-hunting and chasing with an hundred horse 
and returned not till midday, when they found that Al-Hamal 
had seized the camp and all therein and had carried off the 
maidens, among whom was Mahdiyah, driving her away with 
the captives. When Gharib saw this, he lost his wits for rage 
and cried out to Sahim, saying, "O my brother, O son of an 
accursed dam,' they have plundered our camp and carried off our 
women and children ! Up and at the enemy, that we may deliver 
the captives ! " So Gharib and Sahim and their hundred horse 
rushed upon the foe, and Gharib's wrath redoubled, and he reaped 
a harvest of heads slain, giving the champions death-cup to drain, 
till he won to Al-Hamal and saw Mahdiyah among the captives. 
Then he drave at the lord of the Banu Nabhan braves ; with his 
lance lunged him and from his destrier hurled him ; nor was the 
time of mid-afternoon prayer come before he had slain the most 
part of the foe and put to rout the rest and rescued the captives ; 
whereupon he returned to the camp in triumph, bearing the head 
of Al-Hamal on the point of his lance and improvising these 
couplets : — 

I am he who is known on the day of fight, • And the Jinn of earth at my 

shade take fright : 
And a sword have I when my right hand wields, » Death hastens from left on 

mankind to alight ; 

• The sons of Nabhdn (whom Mr. Badger calls Nebhdn) supplied the old Maliks or 
Kings of Oman (History of the Imams and Sayyids of Oman, etc., London, Hakluyt 
Soc. 1871). 

* This is a sore insult in Arabia, where they have not dreamt of a * • Jawib-club," 
like that of Calcutta in the old days, to which only men who had been half a dozen times 
"jawab'd" (= refused in Anglo-Indian jargon) could belong. "I am not a stallion 
to be struck on the nose," say the Arabs. 

^ Again "inverted speech": it is as if we said, "Now, you're a damned fine fellow, 
so," etc. "Allah curse thee! Thou hast guarded thy women alive and dead;'* 
said the man of Sulaym in admiration after thrusting his spear into the eye of dead 

The History of Ghatih and his Brother Ajib, 263 

t have eke a lance and who look thereon » See a crescent-head of the liveliest 

And Gharib I'm hight of my tribe the brave • And if few my men 1 feel 

naught affright. 

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

again thanked him. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

iSoto foiien it foas ti)£ §bix f^unlireb null ^tuentg^sixt!) iEifil)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mardas, 
hearing the tribesmen's praises of Gharib, again thanked him for 
his derring-do. But the youth, when he had delivered Mahdiyah 
from Al-Hamal whom he slew, was smitten by the shaft of her 
glances and fell into the nets of her allurements, wherefore his 
heart could not forget her and he became drowned in love and 
longing and the sweets of sleep forsook him and he had no joy of 
drink or meat. He would spur his horse up to the mountain tops» 
where he would spend the day in composing verses and return at 
nightfall ; and indeed manifest upon him were the signs of 
affection and distraction. He discovered his secret to one of 
his companions and it became noised abroad in the camp, till it 
reached the ears of Mardas, who thundered and lightened and 

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

264 ^If Laylah wa Laylah^ 

rose up and sat down and snarked and snorted and reviled the 
sun and the moon, saying, " This is the reward of him who 
reareth the sons of adultery ! But except I kill Gharib, I shall 
be put to shame."^ Then he consulted one of the wise men of 
his tribe and after telling his secret took counsel with him of 
killing the youth. Quoth the elder, *' O Emir, 'twas but yester- 
day that he freed thy daughter from captivity. If there be no 
help for it but thou must slay him, let it be by the hand of another 
than thyself, so none of the folk may misdoubt of thee." Quoth 
Mardas, "Advise me how I may do him die, for I look to none 
but to thee for his death." " O Emir," answered the other, " wait 
till he go forth to hunt and chase, when do thou take an hundred 
horse and lie in wait for him in some cave till he pass ; then fall 
upon him unawares and cut him in pieces, so shalt thou be quit of 
his reproach." Said Mardas, "This should serve me well;" and 
chose out an hundred and fifty of his furious knights and Amale- 
kites'^ whom he lessoned to his will. Then he watched Gharib till 
one day, he went forth to hunt and rode far away amongst the 
dells and hills ; whereupon Mardas followed him with his men, ill- 
omened wights, and lay in wait for him by the way against he 
should return from the chase that they might sally forth and slay 
him. But as they lay in ambush among the trees behold, there fell 
upon them five hundred true Amalekites, who slew sixty of them 
and made fourscore and ten prisoners and trussed up Mardas with 
his arms behind his back. Now the reason of this was that when 
Gharib put Al-Hamal and his men to the sword, the rest fled and 

* The shame was that Gharib had so€n the girl and had fallen in love with her 
beauty ; instead of applying for her hand in recognised form. These punctilios of the 
Pesert are peculiarly nice and tetchy ; nor do strangers readily realise them. 

' The Arabs derive these Noachidae from Imlik, great-grandson of Shcm, whoaAer 
the confusion of tongues settled at Sana'a, then mored North to Meccah and built 
the fifth Ka'ahah. The dynastic name was Arkam, M. C. de Perceval's " Arcam,'* 
which he would identify with Rekem (Numbers xxxi. 8). The last Arkam fell before an 
army sent by Moses to purge the Holy Land (Al-Hijaz) of idolatry. Commentators on 
the Koran (chapt. vii.) call the Pharaoh of Moses Al-Walid and derive him from the 
Amalekites: we have lately ascertained this Mene-Ptah was of the Shepherd- 
Kings and thus, according to the older Moslems, the Hyksos were of the seed of Imlik. 
(Pilgrimage ii. Il6 ; and iii. 190.) In Syria they fought with Joshua son of Nun. The 
tribe or rather nationality was famous and powerful : we know little about it and I may 
safely predict that when the Amalekite country shall have been well explored, it will 
produce monuments second in importance only to the Hittites. " A nomadic tribe 
which occupied the Peninsula of Sinai " (Smith's^ Diet, of the Bible) is peculiarly super- 
ficial, even for that most superficial of books. : 

" '■' ^ ,M :^ , 

.... ' '^Y 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 265 

ceased not flying till they reached their lord's brother and told 
him what had happened, whereat his Doom-day rose and he 
gathered together his Amalekites and choosing out five hundred 
cavaliers, each fifty ells high,^ set out with them in quest of blood- 
revengement for his brother. By the way he fell in with Mardas 
and his companions and there happened between them what hap- 
pened ; after which he bade his men alight and rest, saying, " O 
folk, the idols have given us an easy blood-wreak ; so guard ye 
Mardas and his tribesmen, till I carry them away and do them 
die with the foulest of deaths." When Mardas saw himself a 
prisoner, he repented of what he had done and said, " This is the 
reward of rebelling against the Lord ! " Then the enemy passed 
the night rejoicing in their victory, whilst Mardas and his men 
despaired of life and made sure of doom. So far concerning 
them ; but as regards Sahim al-Layl, who had been wounded in 
the fight with Al-Hamal, he went in to his sister Mahdiyah, and 
she rose to him and kissed his hands, saying, " May thy two hands 
ne'er wither nor thine enemies have occasion to be blither! But 
for thee and Gharib, we had not escaped captivity among our foes. 
Know, however, O my brother, that thy father hath ridden forth 
with an hundred and fifty horse, purposing to slaughter Gharib ; 
and thou wottest it would be sore loss and foul wrong to slay him, 
for that it was he who saved your shame and rescued your good." 
When Sahim heard this, the light in his sight became night, he 
donned his battle-harness ; and, mounting steed, rode for the place 
•where Gharib was a-hunting. He presently came up with him and 
found that he had taken great plenty of game ; so he accosted him 
and saluted him and said, " O my brother, why didst thou go forth 
without telling me "i " Replied Gharib, " By Allah, naught hin- 
dered me but that I saw thee wounded and thought to give thee 
rest." Then said Sahim, " O my brother, beware of my sire ! " and 
told him how Mardas was abroad with an hundred and fifty men, 
seeking to slay him. Quoth Gharib, " Allah shall cause his treason 
to cut his own throat." Then the brothers set out campwards, but 
night overtook them by the way and they rode on in the darkness, 
till they drew near the Wady wherein the enemy lay and heard the 
neighing of steeds in the gloom ; whereupon said Sahim, " O my 
brother, my father and his men are ambushed in yonder valley ; 

• The Amalekites were giants and lived 500 years (PilgrimAge, loc. eiL). 

266 A If Laylah wa Laylak, 

let us flee from it." But Gharib dismounted and throwing his 
bridle to his brother, said to him, " Stay in this stead till I corr.c 
back to thee." Then he went on till he drew in sight of the folk, 
when he saw that they were not of his tribe and heard them 
naming Mardas and saying, " We will not slay him, save in his 
own land." Wherefore he knew that nuncle Mardas was their 
prisoner, and said, " By the life of Mahdiyah, I will not depart 
hence till I have delivered her father, that she may not be 
troubled ! ** Then he sought and ceased not seeking till he hit 
upon Mardas and found him bound with cords; so he sat down 
by his side and said to him, " Heaven deliver thee, O uncle, 
from these bonds and this shame ! " When Mardas saw Gharib 
his reason fled, and he said to him, " O my son, I am under thy 
protection : so deliver me in right of my fosterage of thee 1 " 
Quoth Gharib, "If I deliver thee, wilt thou give me Mahdiyah .••'* 
Quoth the Emir, " O my son, by whatso I hold sacred, she is 
thine to all time ! " So he loosed him, saying, " Make for the 
horses, for thy son Sahim is there :" and Mardas crept along like 
a snake till he came to his son, who rejoiced in him and congratu- 
lated him on his escape. Meanwhile, Gharib unbound one after 
another of the prisoners, till he had freed the whole ninety and 
they were all far from the foe. Then he sent them their weapons 
and war-horses, saying to them, " Mount ye and scatter yourselves 
round about the enemy and cry out, Ho, sons of Kahtan ! And 
when they awake, do ye remove from them and encircle them in a 
thin ring." ' So he waited till the last and third watch of the 
night, when he cried out, " Ho, sons of Kahtan ! " and his men 
answered in like guise, crying, " Ho, sons of Kahtan," as with one 
voice ; and the mountains echoed their slogan, so that it seemed to 
the raiders as though the whole tribe of Banu Kahtan were assail* 
ing them ; wherefore they all snatched up their arms and fell upon 

one another And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
raiders" awoke from sleep and heard Gharib and his men crying 

• His men being ninety against five hundred. 

^ Arab. " Kaum " (pron. Cum) here = a razzia, afterwards = a tribe. Relatioiu 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 267 

out, ** Ho, sons of Kahtan ! "; they imagined that the whole tribe 

was assailing them ; wherefore they snatched up their arms and 
fell one upon other with mighty slaughter. Gharib and his men 
held aloof, and they fought one another till daybreak, when 
Gharib and Mardas and their ninety warriors came down upon 
them and killed some of them and put the rest to flight. Then 
the Banu Kahtan took the horses of the fugitives and the weapons 
of the slain and returned to their tribal camp, whilst Mardas could 
hardly credit his deliverance from the foe. When they reached 
the encampment, the stay-at-home folk all came forth to meet 
them and rejoiced in their safe return. Then they alighted and 
betook them to their tents ; and all the youths of the tribe flocked 
to Gharib's stead and great and small saluted him and did him 
honour. But when Mardas saw this and the youths encircling his 
stepson he waxed more jealous of Gharib than before and said 
to his kinsfolk, " Verily, hatred of Gharib groweth on my heart, and 
what irketh me most is that I see these flocking about him ! And 
to-morrow he will demand Mahdiyah of me." Quoth his confidant, 
" O Emir, ask of him somewhat he cannot avail to do." This 
pleased Mardas who passed a pleasant night and on the morrow, 
as he sat on his stuffed carpet, with the Arabs about him, Gharib 
entered, followed by his men and surrounded by the youth of the 
tribe, and kissed the ground before Mardas who, making a show of 
joy, rose to do him honour and seated him beside himself. Then 
said Gharib, " O uncle, thou madest me a promise ; do thou fulfil 
it." Replied the Emir, " O my son, she is thine to all time ; but 
thou lackest wealth." Quoth Gharib, " O uncle, ask of me what 
thou wilt, and I will fall upon the Emirs of the Arabs in their 
houses and on the Kings in their towns and bring thee fee^ enough 
to fence the land from East to West." " O my son," quoth 

between Badawi tribes are of three kinds ; (l) Ashib, allies offensive and defensive, 
friends who intermarry ; (2) Kiman (plur. of Kaum) when the blood-feud exists, and (3) 
Akhwan = brothers. The last is a complicated affair; "Akhiwat"or brotherhood, 
denotes the tie between patron and client (a noble and an ignoble tribe) or between the 
stianger and the tribe which claims an immemorial and unalienable right to its own lands. 
Hence a small fee (Al-Riikah) must be paid and the traveller and his beast become 
*« dakhll," or entitled to brother-help. The guardian is known in the West as Rafik ; 
Rabl'a in Eastern Arabia ; Ghafir in *' Sinai;" amongst the Soma!, Abbaa and theGallas 
Mogas^. Further details are given in Pilgrimage iii. 85-87. 

• Arab. " Mil," here = Badawi money, flocks and herds, our " fee" from feoh, vieh, 
cattle ; as pecunia from pecus, etc.. etc. 

268 Alf LayUk wa Laylah. 

Mardas, " I have sworn by all the Idols that I would not give 
Mahdiyah save to him who should take my blood-wite of mine 
enemy and do away my reproach." *' O uncle," said Gharib, "tell 
me with which of the Kings thou hast a feud, that I may go to him 
and break his throne upon his pate." " O my son," replied Mardas, 
" I once had a son, a champion of champions, and he went forth 
one day to chase and hunt with an hundred horse. They fared on 
from valley to valley, till they had wandered far away amongst the 
mountains and came to the Wady of Blossoms and the Castle of 
Hdm bin Shays bin Shadddd bin Khalad. Now in this place, 

my son, dwelleth a black giant, seventy cubits high, who fights 
with trees from their roots uptorn ; and when my son reached his 
Wady, the tyrant sallied out upon him and his men and slew them 
all, save three braves, who escaped and brought me the news. So 

1 assembled my champions and fared forth to fight the giant, but 
could not prevail against him ; wherefore I was baulked of my 
revenge and swore that I would not give my daughter in marriage 
save to him who should avenge me of my son." Said Gharib, 
*' O uncle, I will go to this Amalekite and take the wreak of thy 
son on him with the help of Almighty Allah." And Mardas, 
answered, saying, " O Gharib, if thou get the victory over him, 
thou wilt gain of him such booty of wealth and treasures as fires 
may not devour." Cried Gharib, " Swear to me before witnesses 
thou wilt give me her to wife, so that with heart at ease I may go 
forth to find my fortune.'* Accordingly, Mardas swore this to 
him and took the elders of the tribe to witness ; whereupon Gharib 
fared forth, rejoicing in the attainment of his hopes, and went in to 
his mother, to whom he related what had passed. " O my son," 
said she, " know that Mardas hateth thee and doth but send thee 
to this mountain, to bereave me of thee ; then take me with thee 
and let us depart the tents of this tyrant." But he answered, " O 
my mother, I will not depart hence till I win my wish and foil my 
foe." Thereupon he slept till morning arose with its sheen and 
shone, and hardly had he mounted his charger when his friends, 
the young men, came up to him ; two hundred stalwart knights 
armed cap-a-pie and cried out to him, saying, " Take us with thee ; 
we will help thee and company thee by the way." And he rejoiced 
in them and cried, *' Allah requite you for us with good ! " adding, 
" Come, my friends, let us go." So they set out and fared on the 
first day and the second day till evening, when they halted at the 

The History of Charih and his Brother Ajih. 269 

foot of a towering mount and baited their horses. As for Gharib, 
he left the rest and walked on into that mountain, till he came to a 
cave whence issued a light. He entered and found, at the higher 
facing end of the cave a Shaykh, three hundred and forty years 
old, whose eyebrows overhung his eyes and whose moustachios hid 
his mouth. Gharib at this sight was filled with awe and veneration, 
and the hermit said to him, '* Mcthinks thou art of the idolaters, O 
my son, stone-worshipping' in the stead of the All-powerful King, 
the Creator of Night and Day and of the sphere rolling on her 
way." When Gharib heard his words, his side muscles quivered 
and he said, " O Shaykh, where is this Lord of whom thou speakest, 
that I may worship him and take my fill of his sight?" Replied 
the Shaykh, " O my son, this is the Supreme Lord, upon whom 
none may look in this world. He seeth and is not seen. He is 
the Most High of aspect and is present everywhere in His works. 
He it is who maketh all the made and ordereth time to vade and 
fade ; He is the Creator of men and Jinn and sendeth the Prophets 
to guide His creatures into the way of right. Whoso obeyeth Him, 
He bringeth into Heaven, and whoso gainsayeth Him, He casteth 
into Hell." Asked Gharib, " And how, O uncle, saith whoso- 
worshippeth this puissant Lord who over all hath power?'* "O 
my son," answered the Shaykh, " I am of the tribe of Ad, which 
were transgressors in the land and believed not in Allah. So He 
sent unto them a Prophet named Hud, but they called him liar and 
he destroyed them by means of a deadly wind ; but I believed to- 
gether with some of my tribe, and we were saved from destruction.' 
Moreover, I was present with the tribe of Thamud and saw what 
befel them with their Prophet Salih. After Salih, the Almighty 

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

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

270 Alf Laylah iva Laylah. ' 

sent a prophet, called Abraham the Friend,' to NImrod son of 
Canaan, and there befel what befel between them. Then my com- 
panions died in the Saving Faith and I continued in this cave to 
serve Allah the Most High, who provideth my daily bread without 
my taking thought." Quoth Gharib, " O uncle, what shall I say» 
that I may become of the troop of this mighty Lord ? " " Say," 
replied the old man : — '* There is no god but i/te God and 
Abraham is the Friend of God." So Gharib embraced the Faith 
of Submission^ with heart and tongue and the Shaykh said to 
him, " May the sweetness of belief and devotion be stablished in 
thy heart ! " Then he taught him somewhat of the biblical 
ordinances and scriptures of Al-Islam and said to him, " What is 
thy name ? "; and he replied, " My name is Gharib." Asked the 
old man, ** Whither art thou bound, O Gharib } '* So he told him 
all his history, till he came to the mention of the Ghiil of the 

Mountain whom he sought, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

iSofo fcoj^cn it foas tfje S>ix f^untiretf anti ^foentp--tiQ!jti) iSfgbt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib became a Moslem and told the Shaykh his past, from first 
to last, till he came to the mention of the Mountain-Ghul whom 
he sought, the old man asked him, " O Gharib, art thou mad that 
thou goest forth against the Ghul of the Mountain single 
handed ? "; and he answered, " O my lord, I have with me two 
hundred horse." '* O Gharib," rejoined the hermit, " hadst thou 
ten thousand riders yet shouldcst thou not prevail against him, 
for his name is The-Ghul-ivho-eatetk-meii-we-pray-Allah-for-safeiy, 
and he is of the children of Ham. His father's name was Hindi, 
who peopled Hind and named it, and he left this son after him, 
whom he called Sa'adan the Ghul. Now the same was, O my son. 

* This title has been noticed: it suggests the " Saint Abraham " of our niecliseva! 
travellers. Every great prophet has his agnomen : Adam the Pure (or Elect) of Allah ; 
Noah the Najiy (or saved) of Allah | Moses (Kalim) the Speaker with Allah ; Jesus the 
Ruh (Spirit, breath) or Kalam (the vkford) of Allah. For Mohammed's see Al-Buslri'« 
Mantle-poem vv. 31-58. 

^ Koran (chapt. iii. i"j) " Verily the true religion in the sight of Allah is Islam" i.e. 
resigning or devoting myself to the Lord, with a suspicion of " SalvatioD " conveyed by 
the root Salima, he was safe. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 271 

even In his sire's lifetime, a cruel tyrant and a rebellious devil and 
had no other food than flesh of the sons of Adam. His father 
when about to die forbade him from this, but he would not be 
forbidden and he redoubled in his frowardness, till Hindi banished 
him and drove him forth the Land of Hind, after battles and sore 
travail. Then he came to this country and fortifying himself 
herein, established his home in this place, whence he is wont to 
sally forth and cut the road of all that come and go, presently 
returning to the valley he haunteth. Moreover, he hath begotten 
five sons, warlike warlocks, each one of whom will do battle with 
a thousand braves, and he hath flocked the valley with his booty 
of treasure and goods besides horses and camels and cattle and 
sheep. Wherefore I fear for thee from him ; so do thou implore 
Almighty Allah to further thee against him by the Tahh'l, the 
formula of Unity, and when thou drivest at the Infidels, cry : — God 
is most Great ! for, saying, There is no god but the God confoundeth 
those who misbelieve." Then the Shaykh gave him a steel mace, 
an hundred pounds in weight, with ten rings which clashed like 
thunder whenas the wielder brandished it, and a sword forged of 
a thunderbolt,' three ells long and three spans broad, wherewith if 
one smote a rock, the stroke would cleave it in sunder. Moreover 
he gave him a hauberk and target and a book and said to him, 
" Return to thy tribe and expound unto them Al-Islam." So Gha- 
rib left him, rejoicing in his new Faith, and fared till he found his 
companions, who met him with salams, saying, " What made thee 
tarry thus ? " Whereupon he related to them that which had 
befallen him and expounded to them Al-Islam, and they all 
islamised. Early next morning, Gharib mounted and rode to 
the hermit to farewell him, after which he set out to return to 
his camp when behold, on his way, there met him a horseman 
cap-a-pie armed so that only his eyes appeared, who made at him, 

' Arab. " Sa'ikah," which is supposed to be a stone. The allusion is to Antar's sword, 
" Dhami," made of a stone, black, brilliant and hard as a rock (an aerolite), which had 
struck a camel on the right side and had come out by the left. The blacksmith made iC 
into a blade three feet long bj iwQ spans broad, a kind of falchion or chopper, cased it 
with gold and called it Uhimi (the " Trenchant ") from its sharpness. But he said to 
the owner : — 

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

Whereupon the owner struck off the maker's head, a most satisfactoiy answer to all 
but ooe. 

2y2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

saying, " Doff what is on thee, O scum ^ of the Arabs ; or I will 
do thee die ! " Therewith Gharib drave at him and there befel 
between them a battle such as would make a new-born child turn 
grey and melt the flinty rock with its sore affray ; but presently the 
Badawi did off his face-veil, and lo I it was Gharib's half-brother 
Sahim al-Layl. Now the cause of his coming thither was that 
when Gharib set out in quest of the Mountain-Ghul, Sahim was 
absent and on his return, not seeing his brother, he went in to his 
mother, whom he found weeping. He asked the reason of her 
tears and she told him what had happened of his brother's journey, 
whereupon, without allowing himself aught of rest, he donned his 
war-gear and mounting rode after Gharib, till he overtook him and 
there befel between them what befel. When, therefore, Sahim 
discovered his face, Gharib knew him and saluted him, saying, 
*' What moved thee to do this } " Quoth Sahim, " I had a mind 
to measure myself with thee in the field and make trial of my 
lustihood in cut and thrust." Then they rode together and on the 
way Gharib expounded Al-Islam to Sahim, who embraced the 
Faith ; nor did they cease riding till they were hard upon the 
valley. Meanwhile, the Mountain-Ghul espied the dust of their 
horses' feet and said to his sons, " O my sons, mount and fetch me 
yonder loot." So the five took horse and made for the party. 
When Gharib saw the five Amalekites approaching, he plied 
shovel-iron upon his steed's flank and cried out, saying, " Who 
are ye, and what is your race and what do ye require ? " Where- 
upon Falhiin bin Sa'adan, the eldest of the five, came out and 
said, " Dismount ye and bind one another^ and we will drive you 
to our father, that he may roast various of you and boil various, 
for it is long since he has tasted the flesh of Adam-son." When 
Gharib heard these words he drove at Falhun, shaking his mace, 
so that the rings rang like the roaring thunder and the giant was 
confounded. Then he smote him a light blow with the mace 
between the shoulders, and he fell to the ground like a tall-trunked 
palm-tree ; whereupon Sahim and some of his men fell upon him 
and pinioned him ; then, putting a rope about his neck, they haled 

* Arab. " Kuta'ah " : lit. a bit cut off, fragment, nail-paring, and here uh diminulif. 
I have described this scene in Pilgrimage iii. 68. Latro often says, " Thy gear is 
wanted by the daughter of my paternal uncle " (wife), and thus parades his politeness 
by asking in a lady's name. 

* As will appear the two brothers were joined by a patty of horsemen. 

TJie HisUry tf Gkmrih and his Brother Ajih. 27J 

\C\m along like a cow. Now when his brothers saw him a prisoner, 
they charged home upon Gharib, who took three ^ of them captive 
and the fifth fled back to his sire, who said to him, " What is 
behind thee and where are the brothers of thee?" Quoth he, 
" Verily, a beardless youth, forty cubits high, hath taken them 
prisoner." Quoth Sa'adan, " May the sun pour no blessing on 
you ! " and, going down from his hold, tore up a huge tree, with 
which he went in quest of Gharib and his folk ; and he was on 
foot, for that no horse might carry him, because of the bigness 
of his body. His son followed him and the twain went on till 
they came up with Gharib and his company, when the Ghul fell 
upon them, without word said, and slew five men with his club. 
Then he made at Sahim and struck at him with his tree, but 
Sahim avoided the blow and it fell harmless ; whereat Sa'adan 
was wroth and throwing down the weapon, sprang upon Sahim 
and caught him in his pounces as the sparrow-hawk catcheth up 
the sparrow. Now when Gharib saw his brother in the Ghul's 
clutches, he cried out, saying, "Allaho Akbar — God is most Great! 
Oh the favour of Abraham the Friend, the Muhammad,^ the 

Blessed One (whom Allah keep and assain !) " And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

ISToto fajjben it foas tl^e S)ix l^unlJtttif anti ®h)entg=nintf) Nt'gjbt, 

She continued. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib saw his brother in the clutches of the Ghul, he cried out, say- 
ing " Oh the favour of Ibrahim, the Friend, the Blessed one (whom 
Allah keep and assain !)"; and drave his charger at Sa'adan, shak- 
ing his mace, till the rings loud rang. Then he cried out again, 
"God is most Great ! " and smote the Ghul on the flat of the ribs with 
his mace, whereupon he fell to the ground, insensible, and loosed 
his grip on Sahim ; nor did he come to himself ere he was pinioned 
and shackled. When his son saw this, he turned and fled ; but 
Gharib drove steed after him and smiting him with his mace 
between the shoulders, threw him from his horse. So they bound 

^ "Four" says the Mac. Edit, forgetting Falhun with characteristic inconsequence. 

* Muhammad (the deserving great praise) is the name used by men ; Ahmad (more 
laudable) by angels, and Mahmvid (praised) by devils. For a similar play upon the 
name, " Allah, Allah, Muhammad ast " (God is God the praiseworthy), see Dabis* 
tan ii. 416. 


274 ^V Laylah wa Laylak. 

lijm with his father and brethren and haltering them with ropes, 
haled them all six along like baggage-camels, till they reached 
the Ghul's castle, which they found full of goods and treasures and 
things of price; and there they also came upon twelve hundred 
Ajamis, men of Persia, bound and shackled. Gharib sat down on 
Sa'adan's chair, which had aforetime belonged to Sasa^ bin Shays 
bin Shaddad bin Ad causing Sahim to stand on his right and his 
companions on his either hand, and sending for the Ghul of the 
Mountain, said to him, " How findest thou thyself, O accursed?" 
Replied Sa'adan, " O my lord, in the sorriest of plights for abase- 
ment and mortification ; my sons and I, we are bound with ropes 
like camels," Quoth Gharib, " It is my will that you enter my 
faith, the faith Al-Islam hight, and acknowledge the Unity of the 
All-knowing King whose All-might created Light and Night and 
every thing, — there is no God but He, the Requiting King ! — and 
confess the mission and prophethood of Abraham the Friend (on 
whom be peace !)." So the Ghul and his sons made the required 
profession after the goodliest fashion, and Gharib bade loose their 
bonds ; whereupon Sa'adan wept and would have kissed his feet, 
he and his sons : but Gharib forbade them and they stood with 
the rest who stood before him. Then said Gharib, " Harkye, 
Sa'adan ! " ; and he replied, " At thy service, O my lord ! " Quoth 
Gharib, " What are these captives ? " " O my lord," quoth the 
Ghul, " these are my game from the land of the Persians and are 
not the only ones." Asked Gharib, "And who is with them .-*"; 
and Sa'adan answered, " O my lord, there is with them the 
Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabiir of Persia,^ and an 
hundred damsels like moons." When Gharib heard this, he 

' The Mac. Edit, here gives " Sas," but elsewhere " Sasa," which is the correct 

2 Sapor the Second (A.D. 310-330) was compelled to attack the powerful Arab hordes 
of Oman, most of whom, like the Tayy, Aus and Khazraj, the Banu Nabhan and the 
Hinawi left Al-Yaman A.D. 100-170, and settled in the north and north-east of 
Al-Najd. This great exodus and dispersion of the tribes was caused, as has been said, 
by the bursting of the Dam of Marib originally built by Abd al-Shams Saba, father of 
Himyar. These Yamanian races were plunged into poverty and roamed northwards, 
planting themselves amongst the Arabs of Ma'add son of Adnan. Hence the kingdom 
of Ghassaa in Syria whose phylarchs under the Romans {i.e. Greek Emperors of Con- 
stantinople) controlled Palestine Tertia, the Arabs of Syria and Palestine ; and the 
kingdom of Hirah, whose Lakhmite Princes, dependent upon Persia, managed the 
Arabs of the Euphrates, Oman and Al-Bahrayn. The Ma'addites still continued to 
occupy the central plateau of Arabia, a feature analogous with India " above the Ghauts.** 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 275 

marvelled and said, " O Emir, how came ye by these ? '* 
Rephed Sa'adan, " I went forth one night with my sons and 
five of my slaves in quest of booty, but finding no spoil in our 
way, we dispersed over wilds and wolds and fared on, hoping 
we might happen on somewhat of prey and not return empty- 
handed, till we found ourselves in the land of the Persians. 
Presently, we espied a dust-cloud and sent on to reconnoitre one 
of our slaves, who was absent a while and presently returned and 
said : — O my lord, this is the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of 
Sabur, King of the Persians, Turcomans and Medes ; and she is 
©n a journey, attended by two thousand horse. Quoth I, Thou 
hast gladdened us with good news ! We could have no finer loot 
than this. Then I and my sons fell upon the Persians and slew 
of them three hundred men and took the Princess and twelve 
hundred cavaliers prisoners, together with all that was with her of 
treasure and riches and brought them to this our castle." Quoth 
Gharib, " Hast thou offered any violence to the Princess Fakhr 
Taj ? " Quoth Sa'adan, " Not I, as thy head liveth and by the 
virtue of the Faith I have but now embraced ! " Gharib replied, 
•* It was well done of thee, O Sa'adan, for her father is King of the 
world and doubtless he will despatch troops in quest of her and 
lay waste the dwellings of those who took her. And whoso 
looketh not to issue and end hath not Fate to friend. But where 
is the damsel .? " Said Sa'adan, " I have set apart a pavilion for 
her and her damsels ; " and said Gharib, " Show me her lodging," 
whereto Sa'adan rejoined, " Hearkening and obedience ! " So he 
carried him to the pavilion, and there he found the Princess 
mournful and cast down, weeping for her former condition of 
dignity and delight. When Gharib saw her, he thought the moon 
was near him and magnified Allah, the All-hearing, the All-seeing. 
The Princess also looked at him and saw him a princely cavalier, 
witli valour shining from between his eyes and testifying for him 
and not against him ; so she rose and kissed his hands, then fell 
at his feet, saying, " O hero of the age, I am under thy protection ; 
guard me from this Ghul, for I fear lest he do away my maiden- 
head and after devour me. So take me to serve thine hand- 
maidens." Quoth Gharib, " Thou art safe and thou shalt be 
restored to thy father and the seat of thy worship." Whereupon 
she prayed that he might live long and have advancement m rank 
and honour. Then he bade unbind the Persians and, turning to 
the Princess, said to her, " What brought thee forth of thy palace 

276 Alf Laylah zva Laylah. 

to the wilds and wastes, so that the highway-robbers made prize 
of thee ? " She replied, " O my lord, my father and all the people 
of his realm, Turks and Daylamites, are Magians, fire worshipping, 
and not the All-powerful King. Now in our country is a 
monastery called the Monastery of the Fire, whither every year 
the daughters of the Magians and worshippers of the Fire resort 
at the time of their festival and abide there a month, after 
which they return to their houses. So I and my damsels set out, 
as of wont, attended by two thousand horse, whom my father 
sent with me to guard me ; but by the way this Ghul came out 
against us and slew some of us and, taking the rest captive, 
imprisoned us in this hold. This, then, is what befel me, O valiant 
champion, whom Allah guard against the shifts of Time ! " And 
Gharib said, " Fear not ; for I will bring thee to thy palace and the 
seat of thy honours." Wherefore she blessed him and kissed his 
hands and feet. Then he went out from her, after having com- 
manded to treat her with respect, and slept till morning, when he 
made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed a two-bow prayer, after the 
rite of our father Abraham the Friend (on whom be peace !), whilst 
the Ghul and his sons and Gharib's company all did the like after 
him. Then he turned to the Ghul and said to him, " O Sa'adan, 
wilt thou not show me the Wady of Blossoms ?" ^ *' I will, O my 
lord," answered he. So Gharib and his company and Princess 
Fakhr Taj and her maidens all rose and went forth, whilst Sa'adan 
commanded his slaves and slave-girls to slaughter and cook and 
make ready the morning-meal and bring it to them among the 
trees. For the Giant had an hundred and fifty handmaids and 
a thousand chattels to pasture his camels and oxen and sheep. 
When they came to the valley, they found it beautiful exceedingly 
and passing all degree ; and birds on tree sang joyotisly and the 
mocking-nightingale trilled out her melody, and the cushat 

filled with her moan the mansions made by the Deity, And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

* I have described (Pilgrimage i. 370) the grisly spot which a Badawi will dignify by of Wady al-Ward = Vale of Roses. 

The History 0/ Gkmrib and his Brttker Ajih. 977 

'SotB io^tn it kit tf)e Sbfx l^unKrelr axCH tS^Wit^ ^<gS)n 

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

When its birds in the lake make melody, o The lorn lover yeameth its sight 

to see : 
'Tisas Eden breathing a fragrant breeze, o With its shade and fruits and rills 

flowing free. 

Gharib marvelled at the beauty of that Wady and bade them set 
up there the pavilion of Fakhr Taj the Chosroite ; so they pitched 
it among the trees and spread it with rich tapestries. Then he sat 
down and the slaves brought food and they ate their sufficiency ; 
after which quoth Gharib, " Harkye, Sa'adan !'* : and quoth he, 
*' At thy service, O my lord." *' Hast thou aught of wine >" asked 

• Koran xiii. 3, " Of every fruit two different kinds," i.e. large and small, black and 
white, sweet and sour. 

^ A graft upon an almond-tree, which makes its kernel sweet and gives it an especial 
delicacy of flavour. See Russell's (excellent) Natural History of Aleppo, p. 21. 

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

2/8 Alf Laylak tva Laylah. 

Gharib, and Sa'adan answered, " Yes, I have a cistern full of old 
wine." Said Gharib, " Bring us some of it." So Sa*adan sent tea 
slaves, who returned with great plenty of wine, and they ate and 
drank and were mirthful and merry. And Gharib bethought hini 
of Mahdiyah and improvised these couplets : — 

I mind our union days when ye were nigh, o And flames my heart with 

love"'s consuming lowe. 
By Allah, ne'er of will I quitted you : o But shifts of Time from you 

compelled me go : 
Peace and fair luck and greetings thousand-fold o To you, from exiled lover** 

pining woe. 

They abode eating and drinking and taking their pleasure in the 
valley for three days, after which they returned to the castle. Then 
Gharib called Sahim and said to him, *' Take an hundred horse and 
go to thy father and mother and thy tribe, the Banu Kahtan, and 
bring them all to this place, here to pass the rest of their days» 
whilst I carry the Princess of Persia back to her father. As for 
thee, O Sa'adan, tarry thou here with thy sons, till I return to 
thee." Asked Sa'adan, "And why wilt thou not carry me with 
thee to the land of the Persians!*"; and Gharib answered, " Because 
thou stolest away King Sabur's daughter and if his eye fall on thee, 
he will eat thy flesh and drink thy blood." When the Ghul heard 
this, he laughed a loud laugh, as it were the pealing thunder, and 
said, "O my lord, by the life of thy head, if the Persians and 
Medes united against me, I would make them quaff the cup of 
annihilation." Quoth Gharib, " *Tis as thou sayest ; * but tarry 
thou here in fort till I return to thee ;" and quoth the Ghiil, " I 
hear and I obey." Then Sahim departed with his comrades of the 
Banu Kahtan for the dwelling-places of their tribe, and Gharib set 
out with Princess Fakhr Taj and her company, intending for the 
cities of Sabur, King of the Persians. Thus far concerning them ; 
but as regards King Sabur, he abode awaiting his daughter's return 
from the Monastery of the Fire, and when the appointed time passed 
by and she carne not, flames raged in his heart. Now he had forty 
Wazirs, whereof the oldest, wisest and chiefest was hight Daydan: so 
he said to him, " O Minister, verily my daughter delayeth her return 
and I have no news of her though the appointed time is past ; so 
do thou send a courier to the Monastery of the Fire to learn what 

' ** Anta Kama takul " = the vulgarcst Caiieae. 

Tkg History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 279 

is come of her." " Hearkening and obedience," replied Daydan ; 
and, summoning the chief of the couriers, said to him, " Wend 
thou forthright to the Monastery." So he lost no time and when 
he reached it, he asked the monks of the King's daughter, but they 
said, " We have not seen her this year." So the courier returned 
to the city of Isbanir ^ and told the Wazir, who went in to the 
King and acquainted him with the message. Now when Sabur 
heard this, he cast his crown on the ground, tore his beard and 
fell down in a trance. They sprinkled water upon him, and 
presently he came to himself, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, 
and repeated the words of the poet :— 

When I far-parted patience call and tears, * Tears came to call but Patience 

never hears : 
What, then, if Fonune parted us so far ? ♦ Fortune and Perfidy are peers 

and feres ! 

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

Koto fo^en ft foas \\z ^Ci f^untjtrt antj ^{ttp^fitst Nigftt, 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Sabur 
sent his troops in quest of his daughter, whose mother clad herself 
and her women in black. Such was their case ; but as regards 
the strange adventures of Gharib and the Princess, they journeyed 
on ten days, and on the eleventh day, appeared a dust-cloud which 
rose to the confines of the sky; whereupon Gharib called the 
Emir of the Persians and said to him, " Go learn the cause thereof." 
*' I hear and obey," replied he and drave his charger, till he came 
under the cloud of dust, where he saw folk and enquired of them. 

' This may be Ctesiphon, the ancient capital of the Chosroes, on the Tigris below 
Baghdad; and spoken of elsewhere in The Nights; especially as, in Night dclxvii., 
it is called Isbanir Al-Madain ; Madain Kisra (the cities of Chosroes) being the Arabic 
name of the old dual city. 

28o Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Quoth one of them, " We are of the Banu Hattil and are questing 
for plunder ; our Emir is Samsam bin Al-Jirih and we are five 
thousand horse." The Persians returned in haste and told their 
saying to Gharib, who cried out to his men of the Banu Kahtan 
and to the Persians, saying, " Don your arms ! " They did as 
he bade them and presently up came the Arabs who were shout- 
ing, •* A plunder ! a plunder ! " Quoth Gharib, " Allah confound 
you, O dogs of Arabs ! " Then he loosed his horse and drove 
at them with the career of a right valiant knight, shouting, "Allaho 
Akbar ! Ho for the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be 
peace ! " And there befel between them great fight and sore 
fray and the sword went round in sway and there was much said 
and say ; nor did they leave fighting till fled the day and gloom 
came, when they drew from one another away. Then Gharib 
numbered his tribesmen and found that five of the Banu Kahtan 
had fallen and three-and-seventy of the Persians ; but of the 
Banu Hattal they had slain more than five hundred horse. As 
for Samsam, he alighted and sought nor meat nor sleep, but said, 
*' In all my life I never saw such a fighter as this youth ! Anon he 
fighteth with the sword and anon with the mace ; but, to-morrow 
I will go forth on champion wise and defy him to combat of twain 
in battle plain where edge and point are fain and I will cut off 
these Arabs. Now, when Gharib returned to his camp, the Princess 
Fakhr Taj met him, weeping and affrighted for the terror of that 
which had befallen, and kissed his foot in the stirrup, saying, 
" May thy hands never wither nor thy foes be blither, O champion 
of the age ! Alhamdolillah — Praise to God — who hath saved thee 
alive this day ! Verily, I am in fear for thee from yonder Arabs." 
When Gharib heard this, he smiled in her face and heartened and 
comforted her, saying, " Fear not, O Princess ! Did the enemy fill 
this wild and wold yet would I scatter them, by the might of 
Allah Almighty." She thanked him and prayed that he might 
be given the victory over his foes ; after which she returned to her 
women and Gharib went to his tent, where he cleansed himself 
of the blood of the Infidels, and they lay on guard through the 
night. Next morning, the two hosts mounted and sought the plain 
where cut and thrust ruled sovereign. The first to prick into the 
open was Gharib, who drave his charger till he was near the Infidels 
and cried out, " Who is for jousting with me ? Let no sluggard 
or weakling come out to me ! " Whereupon there rushed forth 
a giant Amalekite of the lineage of the tribe of Ad, armed with an 

The Histttry of Ckmrii and his Brothtr Ajtk. 28 1 

iron flail twenty pounds in weight, and drove at Gharib, saying, 
** O scum of the Arabs, take what cometh to thee and learn the 
glad tidings that thy last hour is at hand ! " So saying, he aimed 
a blow at Gharib, but he avoided it and the flail sank a cubit into 
the ground. Now the Badawi was bent double with the blow ; so 
Gharib smote him with his mace and clove his forehead in sunder ; 
and he fell down dead and Allah hurried his soul to Hell-fire. 
Then Gharib charged and wheeled and called for champions ; so 
there came out to him a second and a third and a fourth and so 
on, till ten had come forth to him and he slew them all. When 
the Infidels saw his form of fight and his swashing blows they 
hung back and forebore to fare forth to him, whereupon Samsam 
looked at them and said, " Allah never bless you ! I will go forth 
to him." So he donned his battle-gear and driving his charger 
into mid-field where he fronted the foe and cried out to Gharib, 
saying, " Fie on thee, O dog of the Arabs ! hath thy strength 
waxed so great that thou shouldst defy me in the open field and 
slaughter my men ? " And Gharib replied, *' Up and take blood- 
revenge for the slaughter of thy braves ! " So Samsam ran at 
Gharib who awaited him with broadened breast and heart 
enheartened, and they smote each at other with maces, till the two 
hosts marvelled and every eye was fixed on them. Then they 
wheeled about in the field and struck at each other two strokes ; 
but Gharib avoided Samsam's stroke which wreak had wroke and 
dealt him a buffet that beat in his breastbone and cast him to the 
ground — stone dead. Thereupon all his host ran at Gharib as one 
man, and he ran at them, crying, *' God is most Great ! Help and 
Victory for us and shame and defeat for those who misbelieve 

the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be peace I " And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

iaoto toben i\ hias t^e ^11 ?^unlfretr anti ^!)irtp=secanlr iE^glbt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sam- 
sam's tribesmen rushed upon Gharib as one man, he ran at them 
crying, " God is most Great ! Help and Victory for us and shame 
and defeat for the Miscreant ! " Now when the Infidels heard 
the name of the All-powerful King, the One, the All-conquer- 
ing, whom the sight comprehendeth not, but He comprehendeth 

282 A If Lay la k wa Lay la k. 

the sight,' they looked at one another and said, " What is this 
say that maketh our side-muscles tremble and weakeneth out 
resolution and causeth the life to fail in us? Never in our lives 
heard we aught goodlier than this saying ! " adding, " Let us leave 
fighting, that we may ask its meaning." So they held their hands 
from the battle and dismounted ; and their elders assembled and 
held counsel together, seeking to go to Gharib and saying, " Let 
ten of us repair to him ! " So they chose out ten of their best, 
who set out for Gharib's tents. Now he and his people had 
alighted and returned to their camp, marvelling at the withdrawal 
of the Infidels from the fight. But, presently, lo and behold ! the 
ten came up and seeking speech of Gharib, kissed the earth before 
him and wished him glory and lasting life. Quoth he to them, 
" What made you leave fighting t "; and quoth they, " O, my lord, 
thou didst afifright us with the words thou shoutest out at us." 
Then asked Gharib, " What calamity do ye worship } "; and they 
answered, " We worship Wadd and Suwa'a and Yaghus,^ lords of 
the tribe of Noah "; and Gharib, " We serve none but Allah 
Almighty, Maker of all things and Provider of all livings. He 
it is who created the heavens and the earth and stablished the 
mountains, who made water to well from the stones and the trees 
to grow and feedeth wild beasts in wold ; for He is Allah, the 
One, the All-powerful Lord." When they heard this, their 
bosoms broadened to the words of Unity-faith, and they said, 
" Verily, this be a Lord high and great, compassionating and 

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

* Sale (sect, i.) tells us all that was then known of these three which with Ya'uk and 
Nasr and the three "daughters of God," Goddesses or Energies (the Hindu Saktis) 
Allat, Al-Uzza and Manat mentioned in the Koran were the chiefs of the pre-Islamitic 
Pantheon. I cannot but suspect that all will be connected with old Babylonian 
worship. Al-Baydawi (on Kor. Ixxi. 22) says of Wadd, Suwa'a, Yaghus, Ya'uk and 
Nasr that they were names of pious men between Adam and Noah, afterwards deilied ; 
Yaghus was the giant idol of the Mazhaj tribe at Akamah of Al-Yaman and afterwards 
at Najran Al-Uzza was widely worshipped : her idol (of the tree Semurat) belonging to 
Ghatafan was destroyed after the Prophet's order by Khalid bin VValid. AUat or Al-Lat 
is written by Pocock (spec. 1 10) *' liahat " i.e. deities in general. But Herodotus 
evidently refers to one god when he makes the Arabs worship Dionysus as OpoToA and 
Urania as 'AAiAar and the "tashdid" in Allat would, to a Greek ear, introduce 
another syllable (Alilat). This was the goddess of the Kuraysh and Thakif whose 
temple at Taif was circuited like the Ka'abah before Mohammed destroyed it. 

The History of Gharih and his Brother Ajib. 283 

compassionate ! "; adding, " And what shall we say, to become of 
the Moslems, of those which submit themselves to Him ? " Quoth 
Gharib, " Say : — There is no god but the God and Abraham is the 
Friend of God," So the ten made veracious profession of the 
veritable religion and Gharib said to them, "An the sweet savour 
of Al-Islam be indeed stablished in your hearts, fare ye to your 
tribe and expound the faith to them ; and if they profess, they 
shall be saved, but if they refuse we will burn them with fire." 
So the ten elders returned and expounded Al-Islam to their 
people and set forth to them the path of truth and creed, and they 
embraced the Faith of Submission with heart and tongue. Then 
they repaired on foot to Gharib's tent and kissing ground between 
his hands wished him honour and high rank, saying, " O our lord, 
we are become thy slaves ; so command us what thou wilt, for we 
are to thee audient and obedient and we will never depart from 
thee, since Allah hath guided us into the right way at thy hands." 
Replied he, " Allah abundantly requite you ! Return to your 
dwellings and march forth with your good and your children and 
forego me to the Wady of Blossoms and the castle of Sasd bin 
Shays,^ whilst I carry the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of Sabur, 
King of the Persians, back to her father and return to you." 
*' Hearkening and obedience," said they and straightway returned 
to their encampment, rejoicing in Al-Islam, and expounded the 
True Faith to their wives and children, who became Believers. 
Then they struck their tents and set forth, with their good and 
cattle, for the Wady of Blossoms. When they came in sight of 
the castle of Shays, Sa'adan and his sons sallied forth to them, 
but Gharib had charged them, saying, " If the Ghul of the Moun- 
tain come out to you and offer to attack you, do ye call upon 
the name of Allah the All-creator, and he will leave his hostile 
intent and receive you hospitably." So when he would have 
fallen upon them they called aloud upon the name of Almighty 
Allah and straightway he received them kindly and asked them 
of their case. They told him all that had passed between 
Gharib and themselves, whereupon he rejoiced in them and 

' Shays (Shayth) is Ab Seth (Father Seth) of the Hebrews, a name containing the 
initial and terminal letters of the Egypto-Phcenico-Hebrew Alphabet and the " Abjad " 
of the Arabs. Those curious about its connection with the name of Allah (El), the 
Zodiacal signs and with the constellations, visions but not wholly uninteresting, will 
consult " Unexplored Syria" (vol. i. "i^. 

3S4 ^^f ^*y^*^ ^^ Lmylmk, 

lodged them with him and loaded them with favours. Such was 
their case; but as regards Gharit>» he and his, escorting the^ 
Princess fared on five days' journey towards the City of Isbanir, | 
and on the sixth day they saw a dust-cloud. So Gharib sent one 
of the Persians to learn the meaning of this and he went and 
returned, swiftlier than bird in flight, saying, " O my lord, these 
be a thousand horse of our comrades, whom the King hath sent 
in quest of his daughter Fakhr Taj." When Gharib heard this, he 
commanded his company to halt and pitch the tents. So they 
halted and waited till the new comers reached them, when they 
went to meet them and told Tumdn, their captain, that the Prin- 
cess was wi'th them ; whereupon he went in to Gharib and kissing 
the ground before him, enquired for her. Gharib sent him to 
her pavilion, and he entered and kissed her hands and feet and 
acquainted her with what had befallen her father and mother. 
She told him in return all that had betided her and how Gharib 

had delivered her from the Ghul of the Mountain, And 

Shahrarad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
King's daughter, Fakhr Taj, had told Tuman all that had befallen 
her from the Mountain-Ghul, and how he had imprisoned her and 
would have devoured her but for Gharib, adding, " And indeed, it 
behoveth my sire to give him the half of his reign," Tuman arose 
and returned to Gharib and kissed his hands and feet and thanked 
him for his good dealing, saying, " With thy leave, O my lord, I 
will return to Isbanir City and deliver to our King the good news 
of his daughter's approach." " Go," replied Gharib, " and take of 
him the gift of glad tidings." So Tuman returned with all dili- 
gence to Isbanir, the Cities, and entering the palace, kissed ground 
before the King, who said to him, " What is there of new, O bringer 
of good news ? " Quoth Tuman, " I will not speak thee, till thou 
give me the gift of glad tidings." Quoth the King, " Tell me thy 
glad tidings and I will content thee." So Tuman said, " O King, 
I bring thee joyful intelligence of the return of Princess Fakhr 
Taj." When Sabur heard his daughter's name, he fell down 
fainting and they sprinkled rose-water on him, till he recovered 

Thi History ef Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 285 

and cried to Tuman, " Draw near to me and tell me all the good 
which hath befallen her." So he came forward and acquainted him 
with all that had betided the Princess ; and Sabur beat hand upon 
hand, saying, " Unhappy thou, O Fakhr Taj ! " * And he bade 
give Tuman ten thousand gold pieces and conferred on him the 
government of Isfdhin City and its dependencies. Then he cried 
out to his Emirs, saying, " Mount, all of you, and fare we forth to 
meet the Princess Fakhr Taj ! "; and the Chief Eunuch went in to 
the Queen-mother and told her and all the Harim the good news, 
whereat she rejoiced and gave him a robe of honour and a thou- 
sand dinars. Moreover, the people of the city heard of this and 
decorated the market streets and houses. Then the King and 
Tuman took horse and rode till they had sight of Gharib, when 
Sabur footed it and made some steps towards Gharib, who also 
dismounted and advanced to meet him ; and they embraced and 
saluted each other, and Sabur bent over Gharib's hand and kissed 
it and thanked him for his favours.^ They pitched their pavilions 
in face of each other and Sabur went in to his daughter, who rose 
and embracing him told him, all that had befallen her and how 
Gharib had rescued her from the clutches of the Ghul of the 
Mountain. Quoth the King, " By thy life, O Princess of fair ones, 
I will overwhelm him with gifts ! "; and quoth she, " O my papa, 
make him thy son-in-law, that he may be to thee a force against 
thy foes, for he is passing valiant." Her father replied, " O my 
daughter, knowst thou not that King Khirad Shdh seeketh thee in 
marriage and that he hath cast the brocade' and hath given an 
hundred thousand dinars in settlement, and he is King of Shiraz 
and its dependencies and is lord of empire and horsemen and 
footmen ?" But when the Princess heard these words she said, " O 
my papa ! I desire not that whereof thou speakest, and if thou 
constrain me to that I have no mind to, I will slay myself." So 
Sabur left her and went in to Gharib, who rose to him ; and they 
sat awhile together ; but the King could not take his fill of looking 
upon him ; and he said in his mind, " By Allah, my daughter is 

* The exclamation of an honest Fellah. 

"^ This is Antar with the Chosroe who * ' kissed the Absian hero between the eyes and 
bade him adieu, giving him as a last token a rich robe." The coarser haod of the story* 
teller exaggerates everything till he makes it ridiculous. 

^ The context suggests that this is x royal form of * ' throwing the handkerchief ;" but 
it does not occur elsewhere. In fact, the European idea seems to have arisen from 
the oriental practice of sending presents in napkins or kerchiefs. 

286 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

excusable if she love this Badavvi ! " Then he called for food and 
they ate and passed the night together. On the morrow, they took 
horse and rode till they arrived at the City of Isbanir and entered, 
stirrup to stirrup, and it was for them a great day. Fakhr Taj 
repaired to her palace and the abiding-place of her rank, where her 
mother and her women received her with cries of joy and loud 
lullilooings. As for King Sabur, he sat down on his throne and 
seated Gharib on his right hand, whilst the Princes and Chamber- 
lains, the Emirs, Wazirs and Nabobs stood on either hand and gave 
him joy of the recovery of his daughter. Said Sabur, "Whoso 
loveth me let him bestow a robe of honour on Gharib," and there 
fell dresses of honour on him like drops of rain. Then Gharib 
abode the King's guest ten days, when he would have departed, 
but Sabur clad him in an honourable robe and swore him by his 
faith that he should not march for a whole month. Quoth Gharib» 
** O King, I am plighted to one of the girls of the Arabs and I 
desire to go in to her." Quoth the King, " Whether is the fairer, 
thy betrothed or Fakhr Taj .? " " O King of the age," replied Gharib, 
*' what is the slave beside the lord > " And Sabur said, " Fakhr 
Taj is become thy handmaid, for that thou didst rescue her from 
the pounces of the Ghul, and she shall have none other husband 
than thyself." Thereupon Gharib rose and kissed ground, saying, 
*' O King of the age, thou art a sovereign and I am but a poor 
man, and belike thou wilt ask a heavy dowry." Replied the King, 
" O my son, know that Khirad Shah, lord of Shiraz and depen- 
dencies thereof, seeketh her in marriage and hath appointed an 
hundred thousand dinars to her dower ; but I have chosen thee 
before all men, that I may make thee the sword of my kingship 
and my shield against vengeance." ' Then he turned to his Chief 
Officers and said to them, "Bear witness ^ against me, O Lords of 
mine Empire, that I marry my daughter Fakhr Taj to my son 

Gharib.** And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

i^oto tD|)cn (t teas tfjc ^ix f^untrrcDi anO Sf)ittB--fourt§ iEt'sM, 

She continued. It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
Sabur, King of Ajam-land said to his Chief Officers, " Bear ye 

* i.e. if the disappointed suitor attack me. 

* i.e. if ever I be tempted to deny it. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 287 

witness against me that I marry my daughter, Fakhr Taj, to my 
son Gharib!" With that he joined palms ^ with him and she 
became his wife. Then said Gharib, " Appoint me a dower and 
I will bring it to thee, for I have in the Castle of Sasa wealth 
and treasures beyond count." Replied Sabur, " O my son, I want 
of thee neither treasure nor wealth and I will take nothing for her 
dower save the head of Jamrkan King of Dasht and the city of 
Ahwaz.2" Quoth Gharib, " O King of the age, I will fetch my 
folk forthright and go to thy foe and spoil his realm." Quoth 
Sabur, " Allah requite thee with good i " and dismissed the lords 
and commons, thinking, " If Gharib go forth against Jamrkan, he 
•will never more return." When morning morrowed the King 
mounted with Gharib and bidding all his troops take horse rode 
forth to the plain, where he said to his men, " Do ye tilt with 
spears and gladden my heart." So the champions of Persia-land 
played one against other, and Gharib said, " O King of the age, 
I have a mind to tilt with the horsemen of Ajam-land, but on one 
condition." Asked the King, " What is that } " ; and answered 
Gharib, " It is that I shall don a light tunic and take a headless 
lance, with a pennon dipped in saffron, whilst the Persian cham- 
pions sally forth and tilt against me with sharp spears. If any 
conquer me, I will render myself to him : but, if I conquer him 
I will mark him on the breast and he shall leave the plain.'* 
Then the King cried to the commander of the troops to bring 
forward the champions of the Persians ; so he chose out from 
amongst the Princes one thousand two hundred of his stoutest 
champions, and the King said to them, in the Persian tongue, 
** Whoso slayeth this Badawi may ask of me what he will." So 
they strove with one another for precedence and charged down 
upon Gharib and truth was distinguished from falsehood and jest 
from earnest. Quoth Gharib, " I put my trust in Allah, the God of 
Abraham the Friend, the Deity who hath power over all and from 
whom naught is hidden, the One, the Almighty, whom the sight 
comprehendeth not ! " Then an Amalekite-like giant of the Persian 
champions rushed out to him, but Gharib let him not stand long 

* Arab. *' Musafahah," the Arab fashion of shaking hands. The right palms are 
applied flat to each other ; then the fingers are squeezed and the hand is raised to the 
forehead (Pilgrimage ii. 332). 

* A city and province of Khuzistin, the old Susiana. Dasht may be either the tovm 
in Khorasan or the " forests " (dasht) belonging to Ahwdz (Ahuaz in D'Herbelot). 

3t8 Alf Laylah wa Laytah. 

before him ere he marked him and covered his breast with saffroa, 
and as he turned away, he smote him on the nape with the shaft 
of his lance, and he fell to the ground and his pages bore him 
from the lists.^ Then a second champion came forth against him 
and he overcame him and marked him on the breast ; and thus 
did he with a third and a fourth and a fifth ; and there caa>e out 
against him champion after champion till he had overcome them 
all and marked them on the breast ; for Almighty Allah gave him 
the victory over them and they fared forth vanquisht from the 
plain. Then the servants set food and strong wine before them 
and they ate and drank, till Gharib's wits were dazed by the 
drink. By and by, he went out to obey a call of Nature and 
would have returned, but lost his way and entered the palace 
of Fakhr Taj. When she saw him, her reason fled and she cried 
out to her women saying," Go forth from me to your own places ! ** 
So they withdrew and she rose and kissed Gharib's hand, saying, 
*' Welcome to my lord, who delivered me from the Ghui ! Indeed 
I am thine handmaid for ever and ever." Then she drew him to 
her bed and embraced him, whereupon desire was hot upon him 
and he broke her seal and lay with her till the morning. Mean- 
while the King thought that he had departed ; but on the morrow 
he went in to him and Sabur rose to him and made him sit by his 
side. Then entered the tributary kings and kissing the ground 
stood ranged in rows on the right and left and fell to talking of 
Gharib's valour and saying, " Extolled be He who gave him such 
prowess albeit he is so young in years I " As they were thus 
engaged, behold all espied from the palace-windows the dust of 
horse approaching and the King cried out to his scouts, saying, 
"Woe to you! Go and bring me news of yonder dust!" So a 
cavalier took horse and riding off, returned after a while, and said, 
" O King, we found under that dust an hundred horse belonging to 
an Emir hight Sahlm al-Layl." Gharib hearing these words, cried 
out, " O my lord, this is my brother, whom I had sent on an errand, 
and I will go forth to meet him.'* So saying, he mounted, with 
his hundred men of the Banu Kahtan and a thousand Persians, 
and rode to meet his brother in great state, but greatness belongeth 
to God alone.' When the two came up with each other, they 

* This is the contest betweea " Antar and the Satrap Khosrewan at the Court of 
Monzar," but without il« tragical finish. 

* Elliptical "he rode out in great state, that is to say if greatness atn tmly be sttri* 
bated to man," ibr, etc. 

The History of Gfuirib and his Brother Ajib, 289 

dismounted and embraced, and Gharib said to Sahim, "O my 
brother, hast thou brought our tribe to the Castle of Sasa and the 
Wady of Blossoms ? " " O my brother," replied Sahim, " when the 
perfidious dog Mardas heard that thou hadst made thee master 
of the stronghold belonging to the Mountain-Ghul, he was sore 
chagrined and said '. — Except I march hence, Gharib will come 
and carry off my daughter Mahdiyah without dower. So he took 
his daughter and his goods and set out with his tribe for the land 
of Irak, where he entered the city of Cufa and put himself under 
the protection of King Ajib, seeking to give him his daughter to 
wife." When Gharib heard his brother's story, he well-nigh gave 
up the ghost for rage and said, " By the virtue of the faith of Al« 
Islam, the faith of Abraham the Friend, and by the Supreme 
Lord, I will assuredly go to the land of Irak and fierce war upon 
it I will set on foot." Then they returned to the city and going 
in to the King, kissed ground before him. He rose to Gharib and 
saluted Sahim ; after which the elder brother told him what had 
happened and he put ten captains at his commandment, under 
each one's hand ten thousand horse of the doughtiest of the Arabs 
and the Ajams, who equipped themselves and were ready to depart 
in three days. Then Gharib set out and journeyed till he reached 
the Castle of Sasa whence the Ghul and his sons came forth to 
meet him and dismounting, kissed his feet in the stirrups. He 
told them all that had passed and the giant said, " O my lord, do 
thou abide in this thy castle, whilst I with my sons and servants 
repair to Irak and lay waste the city Al-Rustdk* and bring to 
thy hand all its defenders bound in straitest bond." But Gharib 
thanked him and said, " O Sa'adan, we will all go." So he made 
him ready and the whole body set out for Irak, leaving a thousand 
horse to guard the Castle. Thus far concerning them ; but as 
regards Mardas, he arrived with his tribe in the land of Irak 
bringing with him a handsome present and fared for Cufa-city 
which he entered. Then, he presented himself before Ajib and 
kissed ground between his hands and, after wishing him what is 

' According to D'Herbelot {s.v. Rostac) it is a name given to the village* of Khons&o 
as "Souad" (Sawad) to those of Irak and Makhlaf to those of AJ-Yaman: there is, 
however, a well-known Al-Rustak (which like Al-Bahrayn always takes the article) io 
the Province of Oman West of Maskat ; and as it rhymes with " Irak " it does well 
enougb. Mr. Badger calls this juideat capital of the Ya'arubah Imdms "er^fiAJtik** 
(Imams of Oman). 


290 Alf Laylah iva Laylak. 

wished to kings, said, " O my lord, I come to place myself under 

thy protection." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

N«fo toben (t teas tje ^\x l^unbrrt anli ^ftirtg.fiftft Nffilit. 

She said. It hath reached me, O auspicious King that Mardas, 
coming into the presence of Ajib, said to him, " I come to place 
myself under thy protection ! " Quoth Ajib, " Tell me who hath 
wronged thee, that I may protect thee against him, though it were 
Sabur, King of the Persians and Turcomans and Daylamites.'* 
Quoth Mardas, " O King of the Age, he who hath wronged me 
is none other than a youth whom I reared in my bosom. I found 
him in his mother's lap in a certain valley and took her to wife. 
She brought me a son, whom I named Sahim al-Layl, and her 
own son, Gharib hight, grew up on my knees and became a 
blasting thunderbolt and a lasting calamity,' for he smote Al- 
Hamal,^ Prince of the Banu Nabhan, and slew footmen and threw 
horsemen. Now I have a daughter, who befitteth thee alone, and 
he sought her of me ; so I required of him the head of the Ghul of 
the Mountain, wherefore he went to him and, after engaging him 
in singular combat, made the master his man and took the Castle 
of Sasa bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Ad, wherein are the treasures 
of the ancients and the hoards of the moderns. Moreover, I hear 
that, become a Moslem, he goeth about, summoning the folk to 
his faith. He is now gone to bear the Princess of Persia, whom 
he delivered from the Ghul, back to her father, King Sabur, and 
will not return but with the treasures of the Persians." When 
Ajib heard the story of Mardas he changed colour to yellow and 
was in ill case and made sure of his own destruction ; then he 
said, " O Mardas, is the youth's mother with thee or with him .?"; 
and Mardas replied, " She is with me in my tents." Quoth Ajib,. 
*' What is her name } " ; quoth Mardas, " Her name is Nusrah.'^ 
*' 'Tis very she," rejoined Ajib and sent for her to the presence^ 
Now when she came before him, he looked on her and knew her 
and asked her, " O accursed, where are the two slaves I sent 

' »'./. a furious knight. 

* In the Mac. Edit. "Hassin," which may rbjrine with Nabhio, but it Is a mere 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib, 39 1 

with thee?"; and she answered, " They slew each other on my 
account;** whereupon Ajib bared his blade and smote her and 
cut her in twain. Then they dragged her away and cast her out ; 
but trouble and suspicion entered Ajib's heart and he cried, "O 
Mardas, give me thy daughter to wife." He rejoined, ** She is 
one of thine handmaids : I give her to thee to wife, and I am 
thy slave." Said Ajib, " I desire to look upon this son of an 
adulteress, Gharib, that I may destroy him and cause him taste 
all manner of torments." Then he bade give Mardas, to his 
daughter's dowry, thirty thousand dinars and an hundred pieces 
of silk brocaded and fringed with gold and an hundred pieces of 
silk-bordered stuffs and kerchiefs and golden collars. So he 
went forth with this mighty fine dowry and set himself to equip 
Mahdiyah in all diligence. Such was their case; but as regards 
Gharib, he fared on till he came to Al-Jazirah, which is the first 
town of Al-Irak^ and is a walled and fortified city and he hard by 
it called a halt. When the townsfolk saw his army encamped 
before it, they bolted the gates and manned the walls, then went 
to the King of the city, who was called Al-Damigh, the Brainer, 
for that he used to brain the champions in the open field of fight, 
and told him what was come upon them. So he looked forth 
from the battlements of the palace and seeing a conquering host, 
all of them Persians; encamped before the city, said to the citizens, 
*' O folk, what do yonder Ajams want } "; and they replied, " We 
know not." Now Al-Damigh had among his officers a man called 
Saba* al-Kifar, the Desert-lion, keen of wit and penetrating as he 
were a flame of fire ; so he called him and said to him, " Go to 
this stranger host and find out who they be and what they want 
and return quickly." Accordingly, he sped like the wind to the 
Persian tents, where a company of Arabs rose up and met him 
saying, " Who art thou and what dost thou require ? " He 
replied, " I am a messenger and an envoy from the lord of the 
city to your chief." So they took him and carried him through 
the lines of tents, pavilions and standards, till they came to 
Gharib's Shahmiydnah and told him of the mission. He bade 
them bring him in and they did so, whereupon he kissed ground 
before Gharib and wished him honour and length of days. Quoth 

' In Classicul Arabic Irak, (like Yaman, Bahrayn and Rustik) always takes Um 


292 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

Gharib, "What is thine errand ? " and quoth Saba' al-Kifar, " I am 
an envoy from the lord of the city of Al-Jazirah, Al-Damigh, 
brother of King Kundamir, lord of the city of Cufa and the land 
of Irak.'* When Gharib heard his father's name, the tears railed 
from his eyes in rills and he looked at the messenger and said, 
"What is thy name?"; and he replied, "My name is Saba' al- 
Kifar." Said Gharib, " Return to thy lord and tell him that the 
commander of this host is called Gharib, son of Kundamir, King 
of Cufa, whom his son Ajib slew, and he is come to take blood- 
revenge for his sire on Ajib the perfidious hound." So Saba* al- 
Kifar returned to the city and in great joy kissed the ground, 
when Al-Damigh said, " What is going on there, O Saba' al-Kifar } '* 
He replied, " O my master, the leader of yon host is thy nephew, 
thy brother's son," and told him all. The King deemed himself 
in a dream and asked the messenger, "O Saba* al-Kifar, is this 
thou tellest me true ? " and the Desert-lion answered, " As thy 
head liveth, it is sooth ! " Then Al-Damigh bade his chief 
officers take horse forthright and all rode out to the camp, 
whence Gharib came forth and met him and they embraced 
and saluted each other ; after which Gharib carried him to his 
tents and they sat down on beds of estate. Al-Damigh rejoiced 
in Gharib, his brother's son, and presently turning to him, said, 
" I also have yearned to take blood-revenge for thy father, but 
could not avail against the dog thy brother; for that his troops 
are many and my troops are few." Replied Gharib, " O uncle, 
here am I come to avenge my sire and blot out our shame and 
rid the realm of Ajib." Said Al-Damigh, *' O son of my brother, 
thou hast two blood-wreaks to take, that of thy father and that 
of thy mother." Asked Gharib, "And what aileth my mother .?" 
and Al-Damigh answered, " Thy brother Ajib hath slain her." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

Noh) fofiin (t fcoas ilt ^ix '^wntixtti mtj Ctfrtg-Sfati) Niglit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib heard these words of his uncle Al-Damigh, " Verily thy 
brother Ajib hath slain her ! ", he asked what was the cause 
thereof and was told of all that had happened, especially how 
Mardas had married his daughter to Ajib who was about to go 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib, 293 

into her. Thereupon Gharib's reason fled from his head and 
he swooned away and was nigh upon death. No sooner did 
he come to himself than he cried out to the troops, saying, 
" To horse ! ** But AI-Damigh said to him, " O son of my 
brother, wait till I make ready mine affairs and mount among 
my men and fare with thee at thy stirrup." Replied Gharib, 
*' I have no patience to wait; do thou equip thy troops and join 
me at Cufa." Thereupon Gharib mounted with his troops and 
rode, till he came to the town of Babel,* whose folk took fright 
at him. Now there was in this town a King called Jamak, 
under whose hand were twenty thousand horsemen, and there 
gathered themselves together to him from the villages other 
fifty thousand horse, who pitched their tents facing the city. 
Then Gharib wrote a letter and sent it to King Jamak by a 
messenger, who came up to the city-gate and cried out, saying, 
" I 4m an envoy ;" whereupon the Warder of the Gate went in 
and told Jamak, who said, " Bring him to me." So he led in 
the messenger, who kissing the ground before the King, gave 
him the letter, and Jamak opened it and read its contents as 
follows : " Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Three Worlds, Lord 
of all things, who giveth to all creatures their daily bread and 
who over all things is Omnipotent ! These from Gharib, son of 
King Kundamir, lord of Irak and Cufa, to Jamak. Immediately 
this letter reacheth thee, let not thy reply be other than to 
break thine idols and confess the unity of the All-knowing 
King, Creator of light and darkness, Creator of all things, the 
All-powerful ; and except thou do as I bid thee, I will make 
this day the blackest of thy days. Peace be on those who 
follow in the way of Salvation, fearing the issues of fornication, 
and obey the hest of the Most High King, Lord of this world 
and the next, Him who saith to a thing : — Be ; and it be- 
cometh !" Now when Jamak read this letter, his eyes paled and 
his colour failed and he cried out to the messenger, " Go to thy 
lord and say to him : — To-morrow, at daybreak there shall be 
fight and conflict and it shall appear who is the conquering 
hero." So he returned and told Gharib, who bade his men 
make ready for battle, whilst Jamak commanded his tents to 

* The story-teller goes back from Kufah founded in Omar's day to the limej ol 

294 ^^f Laylah wa Laylah. 

be pitched in face of Gharib's camp ; and his troops poured 
forth like the surging sea and passed the night with intention 
of slaughter. As soon as dawned the day, the two hosts 
mounted and drew up in battle-array and beat their drums 
amain and drave their steeds of swiftest strain ; and they filled 
the whole earthly plain ; and the champions to come out were 
fain. Now the first who sallied forth a-championing to the 
field was the Ghul of the Mountain, bearing on shoulder a 
terrible tree, and he cried out between the two hosts, saying, 
** I am Sa'adan the Ghul ! Who is for fighting, who is for 
jousting ? Let no sluggard come forth to me nor weakling." 
And he called out to his sons, saying, " Woe to you ! Bring me 
fuel and fire, for I am an-hungered." So they cried upon their 
slaves who brought firewood and kindled a fire in the heart of 
the plain. Then there came out to him a man of the Kafirs, 
an Amalekite of the unbelieving Amalekites, bearing on his 
shoulder a mace like the mast of a ship, and drove at Sa'adan 
the Ghul, saying, " Woe to thee, O Sa'adan ! " When the giant 
heard this, he waxed furious beyond measure and raising his 
tree-club, aimed at the Infidel a blow, that hummed through the 
air. The Amalekite met the stroke with his mace, but the tree 
beat down his guard and descending with its own weight, 
;together with the weight of the mace upon his head, beat in 
his brain-pan, and he fell like a long- stemmed palm-tree. 
Thereupon Sa'adan cried to his slaves, saying, "Take this fatted 
calf and roast him quickly." So they hastened to skin the 
Infidel and roasted him and brought him to the Ghul, who ate 
his flesh and crunched his bones.* Now when the Kafirs saw 
how Sa'adan did with their fellow, their hair and pile stood on 
end ; their skins quaked, their colour changed, their hearts died 
within them and they said to one another, " Whoso goeth out 
against this Ghul, he eateth him and cracketh his bones and 
causeth him to lack the zephyr-wind of the world." Wherefore 
they held their hands, quailing for fear of the Ghul and his sons 

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

Tfu History of Charib and his Brother Ajib. 295' 

and turned to fly, making for the town ; but Gharib cried out 
to his troops, saying, " Up and after the runaways ! " So the 
Persians and the Arabs drave after the King of Babel and his 
host and caused sword to smite them, till they slew of them 
twenty thousand or more. Then the fugitives crowded together 
in the city-gate and they killed of them much people ; and 
they could not avail to shut the gate. So the Arabs and the 
Persians entered with them, fighting, and Sa'adan, snatching 
a mace from one of the slain, wielded it in the enemy's face 
and gained the city race-course. Thence he fought his way 
through the foe and broke into the King's palace, where he 
met with Jamak and so smote him with the mace, that he 
toppled senseless to the ground. Then he fell upon those who 
were in the palace and pounded them into pieces, till all that 
were left cried out, " Quarter ! Quarter 1 " and Sa'adan said to 

them, "Pinion your King." And Shahrazad saw the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 



A'amash (Al«) =(me witb watering 

eyes 96 

Abd al'Abad = slave of the One 

(God). . . •. . .221 
Abd aURahIm =: slave of the Com* 

passionate . . . • .211 
Abd al-Salam (Pr. N.) r= slave of 

salvation 211 

Abd aUSaniad = slave of the Eternal 221 
Abd al-Samad al-Satntidi (for Saman* 

hudi?) 87 

Abraham the friend = mediaeval " St. 

Abraham" 270 

Abtan (Al>) = the most profound 

{see Batini) . . . .221 

Abu Karn = Father of the Horn 

(unicorn?) 21 

Abu Hosayn =r Father of the Forllet 

(fox) . . . ... .811 

Abyssinians (hardly to be called 

blackamoors) .... 63 
Acquit me of responsibility (formula 

of dismissing a servant) . . 243 
Adam's Peak (Ar. Jabal al>Ramun) . 65 
Adites (first and second) . . . 269 
Adndn (land of) rr Arabia » . 94 
Ahwiz (city and province of Khu- 

zistan) 287 

Ahl al-Bait r= the person of the house 

(euphemistically for wife) . . 199 
Ajfb (Pr. N.) = wonderful . .257 
Akh r= brother (wide signification of 

the word) 243 

Albatross (supposed eever to touch 

land) 33 

Alcinous (of the Arabian Odyssy) . 65 

Allah (be praised whatso be oar case) 3 

(" the Manifest Truth ") . " 93 

— is omniscient, (formula used 
when telling an improbable tale) • 3tC| 

(the Opener) .... 31^ 

— (it is He who gives by our 
means) 233 

— — (sight comprehendetb Him not) 283 

Almenichiaka 124 

Almond-Apricot .... 277 

Amalekites .... 264 ; 265 
Amid (Amidah). town in Mesopo* 

tamia 106 

Anbar (Ambar) =: ambergris . . 60 
Andalusian = Spanish {t.e. of Van- 

dal-land) . . . . . lOI 

Angels (ride piebalds) . . . 146 

Antar and the Chosroe . . . 285 

— — (contest with Khosrewan) . 289 

A podosis omitted . . • 203; 239 

Apes (isle oQ 23 

(and their lustful propensities) . 54 

— — (gathering fruits) ... 56 
Arab (style compared with Persian) . 1 25 
Arar = Juniper .... 95 
Aristomenes and his fox ... 45 
Arubah (A1-) = Friday . . . 190 
Armenians (porteis of Constanti- 
nople) I 

Asaf bin Backhiya (Solomon's Wazir) 99 


Alf Ix^lah wa Laylah. 

Aaliib aI.IU7 (tpitbet of tb« Haaafl 


Asoka's wife and KodII* . 

Ashj4r £= door>p<MU or wood«« bolu 

Aurat = tbame» nakedness (wottu, 


•— - (of man aad womaa) 

Ajrit al-Najit = Vemt of Sdety . 




BAb al-Nask = Gate of Victory (at 

C^iro) ..... 234 
Bandukdniyah (quarter of Cairo) . 254 
Band Abbds (their colours black) . 86 

• Kahtin 260 

Nabhin 262 

Umayyah (their colours, white) 86 

Banyda = Ficus Indica . . ; 81 
Barge (Ar. Birijah) . . . » 24 
Barijah (pl.bawarij) = Jarm, barge . ib. 
Batiikh (Batilikh) = water-melons) 208 
Bath (suggesting freshness from co- 
Won) 135 

——and privy favourite haunts of 

thejinns 141 

—— (not to be entered by n»ea 

without drawers) . . #150 
Bathsheba and Uriah, and their con* 

geners 129 

B£tini = a gnostic, a reprobate .221 
Bawwdbrr door-keeper . . .189 
Beckoning (Eastern fashion of, there- 

verse of ours) .... 109 
Benches (in olden Europe more usual 

than chairs) . . . .26 
Berbers from the Upper Nile (the 

"Paddies "of Egypt) . . 189 
BilAd al-Filfil = home of pepper 

(Malabar) 35 

Birds (sing only in the pairing season) 1 5 
— (huge ones discovered on the 

African coast) . . . ,17 
— — (left to watch over wives) . 132 
•— (pretended understanding of 

their language) . . . .169 
Birkat = tank, pool, etc. . .57 
Biunes, bisexuals and women robed 

with the sun . . ^ . 168 
Black (colour of the Abbasides) . 86 
Box.trick (and Lord Byron) . .168 
Brass (Ar.»NllhasaSfar) ... 83 
Breath (of crocodiles, serpents, cte.} 29 

Brides of the Treasure . . . 109 
Brother (has a wide signification 

amongst Moslems) . . . 243 
Bukjah =: bundle .... 236 
BuJad (Pcrs. Puldd) = steel . ,115 
Burka' = face-veil) . • . IJI } 19a 

CAiRtNE vulgarism . . . 378 
Gimel (seen in a dream is an omen 

of death ; why ?) . • • 9^ 
Camphor (primitive way of extracting 

it) »I 

Camphor-apricot , . . .277 
Cannibals and cannibalism . . 36 
Ceruse (Ar. Isfldij) . , .126 

Ceylon (Ar. Sarandib) . . 64 ; 81 

City of Brass 83 

Cocoa-nut (Ar. Jauz al- Hindi) . 55 

Colossochelys = colossal tortoise . 33 
Colours (of the Caliphs) ... 86 

(names of) . . . .ill 

Commander of the Faithful (title in- 
troduced by Omar) . . . 247 
Comorin (derivation of the name) . 57 
" Consecrated ground '* (unknown to 

Moslems) 161 

Cousin (first, affronts an Arab if she. 
marries any save him without his 

leave) 14^ 

Created for a mighty matter {i.e. for 

worship and to prepare for futurity) 91 
Crocodiles (breath of) . , .29 
Crow (an ill-omened bird) . . 170 

DabbiJs = mace .... 249 

Ddhish (A1-) = the Amazed . . 96 

Dajjal (AI-) = Moslem Anti -Christ . II 

Darakah = target .... 9 

Datura Stramonium (the insane herb) 36 

*' Daughters of God " (the three) . 282 

David (hauberks of his make) . 113 
Death (manners of, symbolised by 

colours) 250 

Death-prayer (usually a two-bow 

prayer) 70 

Delight of the Intelligent, etc. (fancy 

title of a book) .... 80 

Despotism (tempered by assassination) 206 
Dhiral = the Trenchant (sword of 

Antar) ^71 

Diamonds (occurring in aUavial Und^ li 



DOlKz = passage .... 10 
Do not to others what thou wouldest 

not they do unto thee . . . 125 
Door-keepers ( in Egypt mostly 

Berbers) 1 89 

Drinking bouts (attended in bright 

dresses) ..... 175 

Elliptical expression . . . 288 
Emerald (mace-head of) . . .67 
■ — (rods in lattice-windows) . I17 

•* Enfants Terribles " in Eastern guise 211 
Envying another's wealth wrongs him 77 
Euphemisms . . . • 75 J '45 
Evil (befalling thee is from thyself) . 138 

Family (euphemistically for wife) . 75 
Fas = city of Fez .... 222 
Farikin for Mayyafarikin (city in 

Diyar-bakr) . . . .107 
Farz = obligatory prayer . .193 
Fatihah (repeated to confirm an agree- 
ment) 217 

Fatimah (Pr. N. = the wean er) . 145 
Fatimite (Caliphs, their colours green) 86 
Fausta and Crispus . . . .127 
Fire (there is no blower of = utter 

desolation) . • . . •15 
(forbidden as punishmeirt) . 26 

(none might warm himself at 

their) 261 

Fish (-islands) .... 6 

— (the ass-headed) • ' • Z3 

(great=Hut, commons: Samak) 69 

Flea (still an Egyptian plague) . . 205 

Food-tray of Sulayman ... 80 

Fox (Ar. Abii Hosayn, Sa'lab). . 211 

Fruit of two kinds .... 277 

Fulk = boat 62 

Fustat = Old Cairo . . .87 

Galactophagi (use milk always in 

the soured form) . . . 201 

Gems and their mines ... 18 
Ghaz4-wood = yellow-flowered 

Artemisia . . , . .192 
Ghul = ogre, cannibal ... 36 
" Greatness belongeth to God alone " 

(used elliptically) . . .288 
G reen (colour of the Fatimite Caliphs) 86 
Grimm's " Household Tales " quoted 230 

HXfiz (f. Hafirah)= i, traditionist ; 
2, one who can recite the Koran 

by rote 195 

HaUb = fresh milk .... 201 

Haurani towns (weird aspect of) . 102 

" (their survival ac- 
counted for by some protracted 

drought) 116 

Heart-ache (for stomach-ache) . -194 

Herb (the insane) .... 36 

Hippopotamus • • • • 33 

House-breaking (four modes of) . 247 

Hut = great fish .... 69 

Ichthyological marvels . . 35 

'Iddah (of widowhood) . . . 256 

Imlik (great-grandson of Shem) . 264 
Inconsequence (characteristic of the 

Eastern Saga) . . . .61 
(of writer of The 

Nights) 205 

Insula (for Peninsula) • • • 57 

Inverted speech .... 262 
Irak, etc., used always with the 

article ..... 291 

Isbanir = Ctesiphon (?) . . . 279 
Isfidaj == ceruse . . . .126 

Isharah z=. signing, beckoning . . 109 

Izar = waist cloth . . . . 50 

Jabal al-Ramun ^ Adam's Peak 65 

Jarm (Ar. Barijah) .... 24 

Jauz al- Hindi = cocoa-nut . . 55 

Javelines 263 

Jawab-club 262 

Joseph and Potiphar's wife . . 127 
Judar (Classical Arab name) . . 213 
(and his brethren, version of a 

Gotha MS.) . . . .257 

Judariyah (quarter of Cairo) . . 254 

Jum' ah = assembly (Friday) . I20; 190 
Jumblat (for Jan-pulad, Life o' Steel, 

Pr. N.) IIS 

Justice (poetical in the Nights) . 255 

Kabab (mutton or lamb grilled in 

small squares) .... 225 

Kahraman (Persian hero) . • 257 

Kabtan (sons of) ... . 260 


Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Kala (island) .... 
Kalam-din = reed-box (iok-case) • 
Kanuo = furnace, brazier 
Kaum == razzia ; tribe . 
Karawin = Cbaradrius oedicnemas 
Karkadan, etc. = rhinoceros . 
Karkar (Career ?), Sea of Al- . 
Karun (lake) .... 
Kashmir people (have a bad name in 

Eastern talcs) ^ . 
Kassar* AUah Khayrak = Allah in 

crease thy weal 
Kazdir = tin . . . . 
Kasr = palace, one's house 
Kaww^ = archer, Janissary . 
Kaii of the army (the great legal 

authority of a country) 
Khaliyah = bee-hive ; empty . 
Khdwi (skin of) . . . 
Khuij (Al-) = saddle-bag (las Al 

forjas) .... 
Khwijah (Howajee) = schoolmaster, 

man of letters, etc . 
Khwarazm = land of the Chorasmioi 
Killed (once more = Hibemicc kilt) 
Kini' = veil .... 
Kingfisher (Lucian's) 
Kintar = a hundred weight (qoiatal) 
Kitflr (Itfir) = Potiphar . 
Kizan fokka'a = jars for fnkki'a (a 

kind of beer) . 
Koran quoted (xxiv. 39) . 

(lii. 21) . . . 

(ix. 51 ; xiT. 15) . 

— (xxxviiL 11) 

(iv.8i) . . . 

iv. 78 ; xli 28) . 


(lii. 17) ... 

(xui. 3) . . . 

(vL 103) 

Kulayb (and his domain) 
Kuta'ah = a bit cut off, etc . 





























La'an = curse . . . .178 
Laban z=: milk artifidally soared . 201 
Laban-halib = fresh milk . . ib 
Ladies of the family (waiting up)on 

the guests) 237 

Lake Karun 217 

Lane quoted I ; 8 ; II ; 33 ; 61 ; 66; 80; 

191; 196; 214; 216; 247; 257; 282 
Lasting Calamity = a furious knight 290 
Laylat alKadr = Night of power . 180 
Leaving one stand bg (pour se faire 

valoir) . . . . .. 252 

Llfrz fibre of palm-fionds . . 50 
Litholatry of the old Arabs . . 269 
Living (the, who dieth not) . . 67 

Mace (Ar. Dabbus) . . 249 
Maghinbah (pi. of Maghribi) ^ 

Western man, Moor, "Maurus" 220 
Mahdraj = great Rajah . . 8 ; 67 
Maid and Magpie . . . .182 

Mil = Badawi money, flocks, " fee " 267 
Mankind (creates its analogues in 

all the elements) . . .121 

Mann = from two to six pounds . 80 

Mares (impregnated by the wind) . 9 

Mark ub=: shoe .... 207 

Mannar = marble, alabaster . . 95 

Mastabah = bench of masonry . 26 

Maund, tee Mann .... 80 

Mihraj := Mahiraj q.v., . . 67 

Miknas = town Mequinez . . 223 

Miknasah = broom . . . . 158 

Milk (Ar. Laban, Halib). . . 201 

(by nomadcs always used in the 

soured form) .... ib. 
Million (no Arabic word for, ex- 
pressed by a thousand thousand). 98 
" Mis "-conformation (prized by 

women) 156 

Moses (describes his own death and 

burial) 116 

Moslem (kind feeling shown to a 

namesake) 13 

^— - (corpses should be burnt 

under certain circumstances) . 26 
(commonplaces of condo- 
lence) 41 

(sales, formula of) . -73 

- (consecrated ground unknown 

to them) i6r 

(a free-bom's sale is felony) « 240 

Mother (waiting upon the adult sons) 237 
Mrigatrishni =: the thirst of the deer 

(mirage) 93 

Mufti (Doctor of Law) . . t 254 



Wuljamtnad, Ahmad and Mahmiid 
Murahanah == game of forfeits 
Murders (to save one's life approved 

of) . . . . . 
Musd bin Nusayr (conqueror of 

Spain) .... 
Musafahat = joining palms for shak 

ing hands .... 

Ka'al = sandal, shoe, horse-sboe 

Kabhan (sons of ) . 

Nabigah al-Zubyani (pre-Islamiti' 


Nahr r= river .... 
Kajasah = nastiness (anything un 

clean) .... 

Nakedness (Ar. Aurat) . 
Nakiis = wooden gong (used as bell) 
Neighbours (frequently on the worst 

of terms) .... 
•' New Arabian Nights " . 
Nuhas (vulg. Nihas, Nahas) asfar 

brass .... 
Kusf = half-dirham 

Opener (of the door of daily bread) 
Ophidia (of monstrous size) 

Palace (of the Caliphs of Baghdad) 
Palaces (avoided by the pious) . 
Partridges (story of the tw«) 
Pausing as long as Allah pleased = 

musing a long time . 
Pcpp«r (and the discovery of th 

Cape route) . 
■ (-plantations shaded by 

bananas .... 
Phzedra and Hippolytus . 
Philosophic (used in a bad sense) 
Pidar sokhtah = (son of a) burnt 

father (Persian insult) . 
Pilgrimage quoted (i. 297) 
— — (L 180) . 
(i. 3-» ; iii. 73) 

— (ii. 116; iii. 190) 

(i. 370) 

(i. 298) 

— (ii. 332) 
Poetical justice (administered with 

vigoar in The Nights) . 

























Poison (deadly only in contact with 

abraded skin) .... 202 

Polyphemus (in Arab garb) . . 24 

(no Mistress P. accepted) 27 

Precautions (thwarted by Fate and 

Fortune) 167 

Predestination (not Providence, a 

Moslem belief) .... 202 

Prisons (Moslem) .... 244 
Privy and bath favourite haunts of 

the Jinns ..... 14I 

Property (left by will) . . . 213 

Prophets (and their agnomina) . 270 
Prostration (must be made to Allah 

only) ...... 136 

ProthesJs without apodosis (a favourite 

style in Arabic) . . . 203, 239 

Punctilios of the Desert . . . 264 

Quarter (son of the = neighbour) 2j6 

RA'ADAL-KAsiF(Pr. N. = the loud- 
pealing Thunder) . . . 221 
Rafw = artistic style of darning . 198 
Rahmah (Pr. N. = the puritanical 

"Mercy") .... 226 
Rais = captain, master (not owner) 

of a ship la 

Rape (rendered excusable by wilful- 
ness) 187 

Ray =: rede ("private judgment") . 146 

Rdyi = rationalist .... ib. 

Red habit (sign of wrath) . . . 250 
Refusal of a demand in marriage a 

sore insult ..... 262 

Relations between Badawi tribes . 267 

Retorts (of a sharp Fellah) . . 232 

Ring (in memoriam) . . . 199 

— (lost in the Harim raises jealous 
suspicion) ..... 200 

Rivers (underground) ... 63 

Kobe (the hidden, story of) . . lS8 

Ruby (of exceptional size) . . 66 

Rustak (A1-), city of Oman . . 289 

Rukh (the world-wide Wundervogel) 16 

(study of) by Prof. Bianconi) , 49 

Sa'a (measure of corn, etc.) . • 203 
Sabbahak' Allah bi '1 Khair = Allah 

give thee good morniag . • 196 


Alf Laylaft wa Laylah* 

Sabur = Sapor II 

Safe-guard (I am in tkjT = I appoU 

to thy honour) . . 
£ahm>hu = bis shaft 
Sahim al-Layl (Pr. N. c: he who 

shootetb an arrow bjr night . 
Sail == torrent . . « 
Sd'ikah =: thunderbolt * 

Sailor (Ar. equivalents for) * 
Sais = groom, borsekeepcr (Syce) 
Sajjadah = prayer-rug . . 
Saksar (Pers. Sag-sar = dogs' heads) 
SaMab r= fox . 
Salabitah (A1-), island 
Salimat = Welcome ! 
Sales (formula of) . 
Samak = commoa fish 
Samum r= poisonous triad (Siaoon) 
Sandal (Ar. Na'al) . 
Sarib = mirage . # 
Sarandib = Selan-dwipa (Cejrloo) 
Sasi bin Shays . . * 
Satan (his malice weak iocoapariMa 

with that of women) . 
Se&of Al-Karkar . 
Sea-stallion (mfCtk. of the) 
Serpent (breaks the bone* of ks 

devoured prey by winding aovDd 

a tree or lock) . • . • 
— — — (preserving from ackness) . 
— — — (in Ar. mostly feminine) . 




















Shakiriyah = Kshatriya caste . 
Shamardai (A1-) = the TaU One 
Shams al-Daidah (kaaginaij king of 

Egypt) . . . . • 241 
Shaykh al.Bahr = the Chief of the 

Sea (.eoast) ... 51, 53 
Shaykh of the tlueves (on* of the 

worthies of a Moslem caiMtal) . S04 
Shays = Ab Seth . . . .283 
6hoe (An Mark&b, Na*al) . . ' 207 
Shrouds (carried by the pilgrims to 

Meccah) 61 

Sight comprehendeth Him Mt, etc. . 2S2 
Signs of AJkh = Koranic vcrsets . 144 
Simoon (Ar. Sam6m =: poi a oaoo s 

wind) .*.... S8 
Eindbdd (net to be eonfbonded with 

theepoDymcftheStadib4d-n40kah) 4 
Sindlbad the Safe . . •■24 

6iad!b4d-D4«ah iPeniatt ffosMoer) .' us 

Sindibad-nimah (quoted) 129; 133; 134; 

139 ; 143 ; us ; U© ; «52 ; 169 ; iSo j 

183 ; 188 ; 202. 
Sirah (small fish, fry, sprat) . . 2l6 
Siyaghosh, /// Tufah. 
Sold to thee for moiues recdved 

(formtila of Moslem sales) . 
Solomon (his food-tray) . . 
■■ (his seal-ring) . . 

(the Apostle of Allah) . 

(his Wailr Asaf) . 

— — — (bis trick upon Bilkls) . 






Spears and javelins .... 
Stallion (I amnotODetobeHrackott 

the nose) 26s 

Steel (Ar. BuUtd) . . . •11$ 
Stirrup (walking by the) . . . 234 
Stones (precious, and their mines) . 18 
(removed from the path by 

the pious) 190 

Suet (Ar. Al<Sttways) ... 80 

SuYtrays (A1-) = Suet . . . «^. 

Swimming (studied in Baghdad) . 134 

Sword (the eacha&ted) . . . 230 

TAOMtntAH (founds Tadfflnr or 

Palmyra) iti 

Talking birds (watching over wives) . 132 

Tanjah = Tangiers .... 106 

Target (Ar. darakah) ... 9 
Ta*risak = thy ^fxug between 

(pimpii^ ..... 196 



Tasmeh-pa:= strap-legs . 
Taw&f (circuit of the Ka'abah). 
Thousand thousand = a miUioa • 
Three things are better than other 

three .... 
" Throwing the handkerchief** 
Tin (Ar. Kazdfr) . 
Tingis = Tanjah (Tangiers) 
Torrents (Ar. Sail) a dai^ero«s fea> 

tore in Arabia . . 
Tortoise (the colossal) 
Toujours perdfix . 
Traveller (a model one tells the truth 

when an untruth would not serve 

him) ....*. 
Tribes (relations between) • . 
Tu£d» =s felis cantcal, lynx . . 
Tb^s C^^it teeth) . • . • 













Tyrant (from — , fo tynDt := from 

officiiJ to official) . -314 

UjB = wrogancc (in the Spanish 

MBse offaiety, etc.) . . . 164 

Ulyssei (the Arabian) ... 40 

Unhappy thoQ ! . . . « 285 

Underground riTers .... 63 
Upakosbi (Vararuchi's wife) • .172 

Usirit (AI-), island .... 57 

Venceanoe (of a disappointed suitor 

apprehended) .... 286 

ViTisepultuie 41 

Wa'ar =r rough ground unfit for 

riding I40 

Wadd, Suwi'a and Yaghus . . 282 

Wady al-Ward (the Vale of Roses) . 276 

Walimah = marriage-feast . . 74 

Walking afoot (not dignified) . . 227 
Wanderer in the mountains = a re- 
cluse avoiding society . . .158 
Wars (caused by trifles frequent in 

Arab history) .... 142 

Wasm = tribal sign. . . . 163 
Water-melons (eaten with rice and 

meat) 208 

Week-days (old names for) • . 190 
Whale (still common off the East 

African coast) . . . .11 

White (colour of the Ommiades) . 86 

— ■ robes denote grace and 

mercy « . . . . 250 

Wife (Aurat) 30 

(called "Family"). . . 75 

Will he not care ! = be shall answer 

for this 245 

Windows (looking out of, a favourite 

occupation in the East and South) 167 

Wulket(taleoft}iethrae). . . i8» 
Witches (and their vehicles) . .158 
Witness (bear — , against tne, »./. in 

case of my denial) . . 28$ 

Wives (and their suitors) . . .172 
Woman (in Hindostani jargon =: 

aurat) 30 

■ (her shame extends from 
head to toes) . . . . Ii3 
— — (their cunning and malice) . 144 
— — — (corrupts woman more than 

men do) 152 

— — (knowing enough without 
learning to read and write) . . 168 

(of Kashmir) . . . 156 

' (her female visitors unknown 
to the husband, except by hear- 
ty) 199 

' (words nsed only by them, 
not by men) .... 233 

Ya'arub (eponymus of an Oman 

tribe) 260 

Yi miskin = O poor devil . .219 
Yauh J Yauh ! = Alas . . . 235 
Yaum mubirak ^ a blessed day . 215 

Zabbat = lizard ; bolt . . . 247 
Zughzaghin (Abu Massah = Father 

of the Sweeper) = magpie. . 182 
Zahra = the flowery . . . 145 
Zahwah = mid-time between sun- 
rise and noon • * • • 35 
Zalamah (A1-) = " tyranny " . 214 
Zanj = Zang-bar (Black-land, Zanzi- 
bar) 104 

Zawiyah = oratory . . . 259 
Zu al-Autad = the contriver of the 
stakes (Pharaoh) • . .lit 

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