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Palo AJto. Cal.
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS.
ARABIAN STORY TELLER.
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
NOT INCLUDED BY GALL AND OR LANE-
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
Univ. Library, UC Santa Cruz 1997
Translated and Edited by
W. F. KIRBY.
AUTHOR OF "ED-DIMIRYAHT, AN ORIENTAL ROMANCE," ETC.
Galland translated the "Thousand and
One Nights," he had only a small portion
of the original work before him ; and as all
]> the English editions now obtainable, except
that of Lane, are simply translated from
Galland's version, they are equally incomplete.
The masterly edition of Mr. Lane, made from the
best Egyptian editions, would, however, leave nothing
to be desired if he had not been limited for space,
which forced him to omit several highly interesting
stories. Again, different versions of the original
book include very different tales, and therefore it
occurred to the Editor of the present volume that
a series of the best fairy tales which Galland and
Lane have not included, might not be uninteresting
to English readers ; and should this volume be
favourably received, ample materials exist for a
second series of equal interest, without touching the
stones which are, properly speaking, novelettes
rather than fairy tales. It may be mentioned that
since this volume was first projected, a new and
complete translation from the Arabic of the entire
work has been announced as nearly ready for pub
lication ; but it is obvious that, apart from its bulk
and costliness, the new work is intended for scholars
only, and by no means for the general public.
Of the six stories in the present volume, the first
two are derived from Weil's German version, and
are believed to have never appeared in English
before. The remainder were translated by Jonathan
Scott at the beginning of the present century, the
first from an Indian and the remainder from a
Syrian manuscript. It now remains to make such
preliminary remarks on each of the tales here pub
lished as appear to be absolutely necessary.
I. The Adventures oj ZaJicr and All. This story
is remarkable for its moral tone, which is far higher
than customary in Arabian tales, as well as for the
friendly manner in which Christians are mentioned
in it. There can be little doubt, from the description
of the island to which Zaher was carried by the
genius after leaving King Amrad, that we have
a hyperbolical though not wholly incorrect descrip
tion of the Island of TenerifTe, probably written long
before it was known to Europeans.
II. Joodar of Cairo and Mahmood of Tunis.
Joodar's meeting with the Moors is almost the same
adventure as that related in Lane's " Story of Joo
dar"; but the present tale presents us with no other
points of similarity. The accounts of enchanted
cities and underground passages, etc., in the " Thou
sand and One Nights " appear to reflect the impres
sion made by the fading glories of Egypt upon the
III. The Labourer arid tJie Chair. In the collec
tion of Eastern Tales by Petit de la Croix, called
the " Thousand and One Days," there is a similar
story of an impostor with a flying box, who passes
himself off as the Prophet Mohammed. But he is
more unfortunate than the labourer, for he burns
his box with fireworks, and is thus prevented from
ever returning to the princess.
IV. Mazin of Khorassan. This story is nearly
the same as Lane's " Hasan of El Basrah " ; but the
account of the hero's adventures after setting out in
search of his wife differs so much that it has been
thought worth while to include Scott's story in the
present volume. After the first few pages, Mazin
is always spoken of, without any explanation, as
"Mazin of Bassorah." It therefore seemed better to
add a few words transferring the scene of the flight of
Mazin's wife to Bagdad, a more appropriate locality
The Islands of Wah-wak, seven years' journey
from Bagdad, in the story of Hasan, have receded
to a distance of a hundred and fifty years' journey
in that of Mazin. There is no doubt that the Ara
Islands, near New Guinea, are intended ; for the
wonderful fruits which grow there are birds of Para-
disc, which settle in flocks on the trees at sunset
and sunrise, uttering this very cry.
V. Abu Nent and Abu Naitcen. This story is
chiefly interesting as combining three others; viz.,
"Aboo Kcer and Aboo Seer," "The Envier and
the Envied," and * The Jealous Sisters." But though
containing incidents borrowed from all three, it has
no more than a general resemblance to any of them.
VI. The Fisherman s Son. This story has been
included because it contains the nucleus of the well-
known story of Aladdin, the original of which has
not yet been discovered, while doubts have even
been thrown on its being of Oriental origin at all.
Although the Arabs frequently undertook long
voyages, they never seem to have ventured into the
open sea willingly, but merely to have coasted along
from one country or island to another.
In conclusion, it may be mentioned that transla
tions made from Tunisian and Syrian MSS. of the
"Thousand and One Nights" appear to resemble
each other more closely than the standard Egyptian
MSS. It is possible that they more nearly represent
the original form of a work current throughout the
East, while the more artistic Egyptian editions
represent a later and more modernized form of the
W. F. KiRBY.
ADVENTURES OF ZAHER OF DAMASCUS AND HIS SON.
ALI . ^J"<-~i*
JOODAR OF CAIRO AND MAHMOOD OF TUNIS J t .124
STORY OF THE LABOURER AND THE FLYING CHAIR . 272
STORY OF MAZIN OF KHORASSAN . . . . . 296
ABU NEUT AND ABU NEUTEEN . 7 366
THE FISHERMAN'S SON , 384
THE ADVENTURES OF ZAHER, OF
DAMASCUS, AND HIS SON ALL
AHER was a rich merchant who lived at
Damascus, and was highly esteemed by
his fellow-townsmen for his uprightness and
virtuous qualities. He was in the prime of
life, and notwithstanding his wealth and popu
larity, he was still unmarried.
One night Zaher beheld a beautiful girl in a vision.
She was fairer than the full moon, her lips were like
coral, her teeth when she smiled were like pearls, her
hair was as dark as night, her cheeks were like
anemones, her eyes like those of a gazelle, and her
arched eyebrows were painted with antimony. Zaher
was charmed at her appearance, and cried out, " Praise
to the Creator of so adorable a* being ! O beautiful
lady, are you one of the daughters of men, or of the
genii ? " But she replied, " How should the daugh
ters of the genii compare with Princess Farha, the
daughter of King Mutar, who rules over the Coral
New Arabian Nights.
City, on an island of the Black Sea, which adjoins
the Green Sea ? My father's city abounds in pearls,
corals, sapphires, and other precious stones, and many
powerful kings and wealthy merchants have sought
my hand in marriage, but I found none worthy to
become my husband. My father has therefore given
me permission to travel through the world, but until
I beheld you I saw no one whom I should desire to
marry. If you think me as beautiful as you say, you
must journey to the palace of my father, King Mutar,
in the Coral Islands."
With these words she vanished, and Zaher started
from his sleep. He lay awake for the remainder of
the night pondering over the vision ; but he rose up
the moment the dawn appeared, and ordered his
servants to pack up merchandise, and to prepare
everything necessary for a journey to Bagdad. Zaher
completed his preparations with all possible speed,
and left part of his property behind in charge of a
steward. He reached Bagdad in safety, where he
remained for ten days, exchanging his goods for
whatever merchandise is most prized in India, and he
then took his passage in a vessel bound for the East.
When Zaher left the harbour the wind was favour
able, and drove the ship forward like an arrow from a
bow for the space of three months, but on the first
day of the fourth month the whole sky became
One night Zaher beheld a beautiful girl in a vision.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 5
suddenly overcast, the sea rose, and the wind seemed
to blow from every direction a* once. The sailors
began to weep and to cry to God for help, when all
at once a succession of great waves broke over the
ship and crushed her to pieces. All were swallowed
up by the furious sea except Zaher, who bound him
self to a plank and was driven along by the waves
for three days, until the wind and the sea became
Zaher was completely exhausted, and prayed to
God for deliverance, when lo ! a fine ship with large
sails steered past, and the captain saw him and
cried out, " Now we have attained our end ! Throw
this unfortunate man a rope-ladder." Zaher caught
the ladder and was helped on board, but he was so
overcome with fatigue and with joy at his rescue
that he fainted, and remained insensible till near
sunset. On opening his eyes he found himself in
a splendid cabin, lighted by two wax candles of
enormous size, while a delicious odour of ambergris
and aloes wood arose from a fire burning in a brazier.
A youth sat by the couch on which Zaher was lying,
clothed in silken robes, embroidered with gold.
Round his waist was a golden girdle set with a
variety of large and costly jewels, and he held a
sceptre of emerald in his hand. Zaher was dazzled
by so much splendour, and was about to close his
New Arabian Nights.
eyes again, when the youth perceived that he was
awake, and said, "O Zaher, why is your mind so
troubled ? Know that we have been searching for
you for ten days past, over all mountains and seas ;
and the powerful King Mutar, the lord of the Coral
Islands, has despatched nine other ships besides ours
in search of you, and has offered ten thousand dinars
to any one who would bring you to him. But praise
be to God that we have found you at last ! "
Zaher was much surprised, and said, "I entreat you
to tell me how you knew that I was coming here,
and how you know my name." The youth answered,
" Know that I am an officer of King Mutar. He
sent me to Syria in search of you, and when I heard
that you had gone to Bagdad, I followed you there,
but found that you had already sailed for India. I
heard afterwards that the ship had been wrecked;
and when I informed King Mutar, he immediately
despatched ten ships in search of you, and ordered
the commanding officers to treat you with marked
respect." He then presented Zaher with the robe
and girdle which he himself had worn, and ordered a
table to be prepared, loaded with the choicest roast
and baked meats and sweets.
When Zaher had finished eating he went on deck,
and saw a great light in the distance. The officer
said, " That must be the ship of King Mutar, who is
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 7
aware that we have found you, and is anxious to
welcome you himself." When they approached the
large and brilliantly illuminated vessel of the king, he
smiled a friendly greeting, and summoned Zaher to
follow him to shore. When they landed, Zaher threw
himself at the feet of the king and thanked him for
his rescue. The king welcomed him in the most
friendly manner, and commanded two noble horses
to be brought. They rode side by side through the
city, where the inhabitants received them with joyful
shouts. On reaching the courtyard of the palace all
the officers and attendants dismounted, but the king
made Zaher ride by his side up to the very door of
the palace itself. Here Zaher saw a splendour and
magnificence greater than he had ever seen in his life.
The king led the way to a great hall, where a throng
of attendants awaited his commands. He sat down
on his throne and made Zaher sit beside him, and
when a table was set before them covered with
various dishes, the king said, "In the name of God !"
and picked out the best morsels for Zaher, who kissed
his hand in acknowledgment.
When they had eaten, the attendants handed them
water in golden basins to wash their hands. Presently
the king said, " Do you know, Zaher, why I have
brought you here and showed you so much favour ?
I have a daughter so beautiful and amiable that the
8 New Arabian Nights.
sun has never risen on her equal, and she has become
so skilled in magic through the instructions she has
received from an old nurse, that if she pleased she
could fly through the world from east to west in a
single night. Envoys were often sent from distant
countries to ask her hand in the name of kings and
princes, but she always replied, ' I must first see my
future husband with my own eyes/ She would then
absent herself for a short time, and when she returned
she would say, ' I do not like him, and you can
dismiss the messengers with some excuse.' I would
then answer, 'Do as you please, my daughter; I will
not compel you to marry any one against your will.'
One day she went to see a prince residing at Damas
cus, but as he did not please her she went to the
bazaars and into the town, passing from house to
house by her magic art, until she met with you. You
alone have won her heart, and pleased her so much
that she desires to marry you. She was almost able
to calculate the moment of your arrival; and praise
be to God who has preserved you and brought you
here at the appointed time."
Zaher replied : " O mighty king, I am less than one
of your servants ; but how should I oppose the will of
your daughter if it is also pleasing to yourself! "
The king then retired to a private room, and after
a time he returned smiling, and called for the kaid
The Adventures of Zaher and 'Jits Son. 9
and witnesses. The marriage contract was drawn up,
gold and silver was scattered about, and presents
were made to the attendants, as well as to the kadi
The king then rose up, and all the company with
drew, after which he led Zaher through seven
passages and seven halls, in each of which stood a
thousand pages clothed in silk. At length they
reached the innermost hall, in the midst of which
a fountain was playing. At the upper end stood an
ivory throne set with pearls and jewels, and covered
with satin, embroidered with gold. As they ap
proached the throne, two doors opened, one on the
right side of the hall, and one on the left, and slave-
girls stepped forth, carrying vases of perfume set with
jewels, which filled the whole hall with the odour of
musk and ambergris, and Zaher thought that the
gates of Paradise had opened. Presently a hundred
slave-girls, like moons, entered from a side chamber ;
but there was a maiden who shone like the sun, in
the midst, who was so beautiful that no words could
describe her ; and when Zaher saw her, and recognised
the maiden who had appeared to him in a dream, he
almost lost his senses with delight. He forgot all
the dangers through which he had passed, and praised
God, the creator of so beautiful a creature.
When the king saw the impression which she made
io New Arabian Nights.
upon Zaher, he smiled and said, " Take my daughter,
and may God bless you ! " He then withdrew, and
the slave-girls also retired with Farha, but soon
brought her back wearing a dress still more splendid
than the first. They led her backwards and forwards
till they had displayed her to Zaher in seventy-two
magnificent costumes, each of which seemed to en
hance her incomparable beauty more than the last.
When at length they were left alone, Zaher ex
claimed : " O Light of my Eyes, how little do
I regret leaving home and friends, and incurring the
danger of death on. thy account ! "
" I too," replied Farha, " have passed many
sleepless nights, and I underwent much trouble
and anxiety for your sake. I was compelled to
contend against kings of men and kings of the
genii in order to obtain news of you every hour
until your arrival. But praise be to God who has
granted us our present happiness ! Let us forget all
that we have suffered ; but as no one is secure from
the reverses of fortune, give me at least the ring on
your finger as a token of remembrance." Upon this,
Zaher drew off the ring which he had inherited from
his father, and gave it her, and she gave him a costly
bracelet in return.
Zaher did not awake until the sun was high in the
heavens, but what was his consternation to find him-
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 1 1
self in a horrible desert where no living thing was
visible, nor was there even a blade of grass to refresh
the eye, and no sound was heard but the howling of
ghouls, and the cries of evil genii ! He rose up in
despair and looked around, but could distinguish
nothing but sky and sand, upon which he uttered the
sentence which saves from evil him who pronounces
it, " There is no strength nor protection but in
Almighty God ! " He then raised his eyes to heaven
and exclaimed, " O Lord, who knowest what is secret
as well as what is revealed, pity me for the love of
Mohammed, and look upon me with Thine unsleeping
eyes ! " He had scarcely spoken when he fell sense
less, overcome by the burning sun, and remained in
sensible till evening, when a cool breeze refreshed him.
He rose and walked on in darkness, without knowing,
where, but soon fell down exhausted with hunger,
thirst, and weariness, and fell asleep again, when he
heard a voice, in a dream, crying, " Fear not, Zaher,
for help is near." He awoke strengthened and
comforted, and walked straight on in one direction
till daybreak, when he saw something in the distance
which looked like fire. As he drew nearer he
perceived that it was a lantern, .set on the tower
of an old, strong, and very lofty monastery. The
monastery itself was lit up with a thousand lamps
and candles, and appeared to contain a great num-
12 New Arabian Nights.
her of inhabitants. When Zaher came up close to
the walls, a very old monk clothed in black opened
a window, thrust out his head, and exclaimed, " O
Lord, Creator of the seven earths and the seven
heavens, the salt dews and the rivers of sweet waters,
the darkness and the light ! O Thou who makest the
dead to live and the living to die ; Ruler of this
world and the next ; O God, blessed be Thy holy
name ! Thanks be to Thee for Thy protection and
help in the trials which Thou hast decreed. In Thee
alone is a sure refuge to be found, as when Thou
didst restore his son Joseph to Jacob ! Thou alone
art the true Benefactor, therefore forgive all who
have been disobedient to Thee, and send Thy
heavenly aid to all the unhappy ! "
When Zaher had listened to this prayer, he lay
down at the gate of the monastery, and slept again
from exhaustion. When he awoke he found himself
surrounded by monks whose language he was unable
to understand, nor did any one understand his own
language, except the old monk who had prayed at
the window. He returned Zaher's salutations, and
said, in Arabic, " My friend, by the Messiah, we
have all lived in this desert since we were seven
years of age, and we are now from seventy to
eighty years old ; but up to this time' we have never
seen either a man or a genius here. This island
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 13
is surrounded on all sides by the sea, and the cliffs
are so high that no ship can land. It appears to
those at sea like a white cloud, and the mountain
which surrounds it is called the Diamond Mountain,
but it is as steep and inaccessible as an upturned
bowl. How was it possible for you to reach it ? "
When Zaher heard this, he said, " By the religion
which you profess, I entreat you to tell me how far
it is from here to Damascus ? "
" Damascus ! " replied the astonished monk. " You
are now upon an island of the Black Sea, which en
compasses all other seas, and flows within Mount Kaf.
According to the reports of travellers, it is a ten
years' voyage before you arrive at the Blue Sea, and
it takes full ten years to traverse this again to reach
the Green Sea, after which there is another ten years'
voyage before you can reach the Greek Sea, which
extends to inhabited countries and islands."
Zaher asked the monk how they could obtain
food and drink in so desolate a region. The monk
invited him into the monastery ; and on entering
the courtyard, Zaher behe!4 a spring of water
sweeter than honey and as clear as crystal. Fruit
trees were growing on the banks, and birds were
warbling in the branches. The monk then led
Zaher to the terrace of the monastery, when he was
surprised to see the darkness of night all around
14 New Arabian Nights.
at about the distance of a day's journey, though the
sun was shining brightly overhead. "What you
take for night," said the monk, " is the Black Sea ;
but let us now take some refreshment." The dining-
room was a noble hall, where a golden table stood,
decorated with pearls and jewels, and more magnifi
cent than any in the palace of the Governor of
Damascus. On the table stood four golden dishes
filled with meat, fish, confectionery, and delicious
barley bread. When the monk thought that Zaher
had satisfied his hunger, he offered him fruit, different
in appearance, as well as in smell and taste, from
any he had ever seen before.
" You tell me yourself," said Zaher, " that this
island is inaccessible ; how then can you obtain this
great variety of meats and fruits ? "
"Tell me first how you came here yourself,"
said the monk, " and then I will answer your
question." When Zaher had finished his story,
the monk laughed, and said, " Friend, if you were
not predestined to something extraordinary, you
never could have traversed the distance between
Damascus and this place. The island of King
Mutar lies between the Green and the Greek Seas,
and therefore at an immense distance both from
here and from Damascus. As for your question
respecting our circumstances, follow me."
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 1 5
He led Zaher back to the courtyard and through
a short subterranean passage. When they came
out again into the open air, they found themselves
treading on a soil which shone like silver, and close
to a small lake of delicious water. On the banks
grew beautiful flowering shrubs, and the finest fruit
trees, in the branches of which the birds were
warbling the praises of Almighty God in their own
language. Zaher was bewildered at all this loveli
ness, and almost intoxicated by the odour of the
" Have you any such pleasure gardens in your
own country?" said the monk.
"No, indeed," replied Zaher; "there is nothing so
beautiful anywhere else in the world." Looking
back, he saw something like a cloud in the sky,
and asked what it was.
" That is the mountain on which our monas
tery stands," said the monk ; " it is so far off
that it looks only like a cloud from here, but at
night it resembles a star from the number of lamps
with which we illuminate it. Our corn and fruit
come from this country ; and occasionally the sea
which surrounds us rises to this height, and when
the waters subside they generally leave a quantity
of fish behind them, as well as pearls and jewels
which abound in this sea. We are now at. a distance
1 6 New Arabian Nights.
of ten days' journey from the monastery by any
other route than by the subterranean passage."
They remained sitting by the lake till evening,
when the lights of the monastery began to shine
out above them like small stars. They rose up to
return, when they were alarmed by a terrific cry
which shook the whole island. "By the Messiah!"
said the monk, " I have passed many nights here
alone and never heard .the least noise. Some strange
sea-monsters must have landed on the island and
attacked the wild animals which inhabit it. Let us
climb this high rock by the lake."
They then saw that the air was filled with small
flying lights, which mutually extinguished another,
and armed figures were contending with swords and
lances. After this, two bodies of cavalry rushed on
each other with such a shout that the earth quaked ;
and the battle continued for some time. At length
the two armies separated, and a venerable old man,
blind of one eye, stationed himself between them,
and cried in a loud voice, " Spare your blood, you
foolish people ! Why should you fight about a
stranger who is not even a king or a prince, and of
no exalted position ? " The leader of one of the
armies, who was as huge as an elephant, and whose
name was Tood, stepped up to the old man, and
The Adventures of Zaher ani his Son. 1 7
" Father, I swear by the seal of our lord, Solomon,
the son of David, that our master, King Mutar, is
guiltless of this calamitous war. All the mischief
has been caused by this accursed devil Shulahek, who
invaded our country, violated our sanctuary, and
carried away a stranger named Zaher, whom he left
on this island. All we desired was to carry this
stranger back to the Coral City, by command of Prin
cess Farha, when we were attacked by the army
of Shulahek ; and you have witnessed the battle
The old man, whose name was Abu Tawaif, replied,
" King Tood, Shulahek is not to be so lightly
blamed' as you imagine. Princess Farha, who has
bewitched so many men and genii with her beauty,
drew both Shulahek and his brother Shallook into
the snare of her love. They fought together from
jealousy, and Shulabek slew his brother after a
long struggle. But when he made his suit to Farha,
she rejected him, and preferred a stranger from
Damascus ; so he watched his opportunity, and
carried Zaher away to this desolate island. He did
not venture to kill him, lest Farha and her father
should avenge his death ; but why should you fight
about so insignificant a creature ? "
"You are right," answered Tood; "but Zaher is
altogether innocent, and as a stranger, he deserves
1 8 New Arabian Nights.
our assistance and protection. I only wish to execute
the commands of my mistress, Farha, and I should
be glad if you could make peace between us ; but I
ask you all, by the seal of Solomon, the son of David
(on whom be peace !), who among you would give up
a guest to an enemy ? "
On this all exclaimed, " We would never do so ;
but why should we fight any longer for the sake of
one man ? "
"True," said Abu Tawaif ; "the man has brought
much evil upon us, but as his bitterest enemy was
unwilling to take his life, it would be doubly wrong
for us to kill him ; bring him here to me."
Upon this a messenger sprang towards Zah'er, and
stationed him before Abu Tawaif.
" Are you aware," said Abu Tawaif, " that a whole
army of genii has been slaughtered on your account?
Ho\v could you presume to marry a wife whom so
many kings of men and of the genii have sought in
vain ? " But when he had heard Zaher's story, he
exclaimed, " I beseech you, Tood and Shulahek, to
desist from strife, and dismiss your armies, for you
know the power and artifice of Queen Farha. This
poor man is wholly innocent, and I will send one
of my servants to carry him to his home."
" I cannot .permit this," said Shulahek, " for al
though I did not like to kill him, my mistress would
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 19
soon rejoin him if I allowed him to return to his own
house. Let us throw him into the sea, and if God
pleases He may save him, and if not let him sink.
If Queen Farha threatens us with war, we can tell
her that he took to flight when he saw the battle,
and fell into the sea."
This proposal met with general approval, and was
about to be carried into execution, when suddenly
innumerable lights appeared in the distance, and a
tremendous voice exclaimed, "Forbear, forbear, for
Queen Farha is aware of your design, and has sent
King Sysam to rescue Zaher ! " When Abu Tawaif
heard the name of Sysam, the King of the Valley
of Idols, he turned pale, and said to Shulahek, trem
bling, " Did I not tell you that Queen Farha would
shrink from nothing to regain her lover? She has
now sent my dear son Sysam to his aid, who will
slay you all if you do anything to injure him." " Do
what you think right," said Shulahek, " but I could
not endure that Zaher should return to Farha." Abu
Tawaif then advised Sysam to allow Zaher to be
carried back to his home ; but when they sought for
him and could not find him, Sysam said to Shulahek,
" You have certainly ordered one of your servants
to carry him away, and put him to death secretly ! "
But Shulahek swore by the seal of Solomon that he
did not know what had become of him, and sup-
?o New Arabian Nights.
posed that Sysam himself had sent him back to
Queen Farha. This quarrel would have led to
another battle, if Abu Tawaif had not besought them
to refrain until they could discover what had become
of him, adding, " I will myself punish the offender,
though he were my own son ! "
While the kings were discussing the fate of Zaher,
one of the refractory genii, named Dalhood, who was
indignant at his having been the cause of so terrible
a war, carried him away to his castle, which was
situated on an island in the Sea of Darkness. Here
he loaded him with chains, and cast him into the
deepest dungeon ; and every evening when he was
sitting over his wine, he sent for him, and beat him
for the amusement of his guests, or compelled him
to stand in the corner of the room, exposed to all
manner of contumely and insult. But Zaher was
not quite comfortless, for his gaoler, Mifraj, pitied
him, and instead of putting him to the torture, as
Dalhood had commanded, did his best to relieve his
sufferings and to comfort him.
One day Mifraj said, " I should like to carry you
back to some inhabited region, but we are separated
from the world of light by a distance of ten years'
journey, which could not be traversed without very
great danger ; and even then we should never be
secure from this infidel king, who would follow us to
the ends of the earth."
A fiery arrow struck Mifraj and consumed him.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. s J
But at this moment Dalhood suddenly entered the
prison,, and swore by the Prince of Darkness, that
Mifraj should now suffer for Zaher, and immediately
sentenced him to receive a thousand lashes. Mifraj
pretended to be insensible till Dalhood left the
prison, when he started up suddenly, unbound Zaher,
and seizing him in his arms, flew with him above the
clouds all night, and in the morning he said, " Do
you know, Zaher, that we have already traversed a
space of ten years' journey ? " Zaher was so amazed
that he forgot that his guide would be destroyed by
the mention of the name of God ; and cried out,
"There is but one God, and Mohammed is His pro
phet ! " He had scarcely uttered the profession of
the faith when a fiery arrow flew from heaven, which
struck Mifraj and consumed him ; but Zaher fell to
the ground uninjured.
The unknown country upon which he fell was a
desert, but he wandered on in one direction for half
a day, when he arrived at a fertile and well-watered
district. Here he saw a man on the banks of a
stream performing the ablutions preparatory to
prayer, upon which Zaher did the same, and prayed
by his side, after which he turned to his companion,
and asked in what country he had arrived. " Know,"
replied he, " that this island is inhabited by genii
who have been instructed in the Koran by the
24 New Arabian Nights.
prophet Khidder. It is called the Diamond Island,
and is surrounded by the Green Sea, which extends
to Mount Kaf. Here, too, is the meeting-place of
the angela who wander through the earth every day,
to fulfil the commands of God."
"What is Mount Kaf formed of ? M asked Zaher.
" It consists of a single green pearl. The noblest
creatures of God dwell there, and it is guarded by
mighty angels on every side. No one can pass it
without the special permission of God. But let me
now introduce you to our king."
Thus speaking, he led Zaher to a magnificent and
strongly fortified city. The gates were guarded by
angels having genii under their command who paced
up and down with gold and silver arrows in their
hands. Zaher expressed his surprise at seeing no
minarets, and his guide explained : ' When the time
for prayer arrives, a pillar of light rises from the
mountain under which the city is built, and a thou
sand angels proclaim with a loud voice, ' God is
great ! O creatures of God, bear witness that there is
but one God, and that Mohammed is His prophet ! ' "
Thus conversing, they arrived at the palace of
King Amrad, with which nothing that Zaher had
yet seen could be compared for a moment. Here
his guide left him, but returned immediately, and
informed him that the king wished to hear his own
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 25
account of his arrival in a country which no man had
ever visited before. He then ushered Zaher into the
presence of King Amrad, who was sitting in full
divan, surrounded by his viziers, counsellors, and
Zaher made his obeisance to the king, and com
menced his story, but he had not quite finished when
a tremendous noise was heard, and an innumerable
number of lights and flames appeared in the air.
Immediately afterwards one of the king's lieutenants
entered, and announced : " O mighty king ! a vast
army has encamped before the city, whose numbers
God only can estimate. I have posted our troops
around the city, but would not do more until I
received your orders."
" We must first send an envoy to ascertain
whether they are friends or foes," replied the king,
and he went out on the terrace before his palace.
Perceiving that the army was less numerous than
he had expected, he ordered his chief vizier, Dilhat,
to go on an embassy to the leaders of the army, to
discover who they were, and what was their object
in invading his dominions. Dilhat mounted his
horse and rode out of the city, accompanied by a few
attendants, and requested one of the foreign soldiers
to lead him to the generals. The soldier answered,
" The army before you is headed by the four kings,
26 New Arabian Nights.
Shulahek, Tood, Sysam, and Dalhood. Abu
Tawaif, the most crafty of all the kings of the genii,
is with them, and you will find them at present
assembled in his tent, which is pitched in yonder
green meadow." Dilhat at once proceeded to the
tent, where he was admitted as an envoy from King
We must now go back a little in our story, and
explain that when Dalhood entered the prison on the
day after Zaher's flight, intending to offer him as a
sacrifice to the Prince of Darkness, he found no one
there, and concluded that Mifraj had attempted to
escape with Zaher. He immediately started in
pursuit, and flew across all the seas and islands till he
reached the Diamond Island, where he heard one of
the inhabitants say to another, " I have seen a great
marvel to-day. A genius was carrying a man through
the air, when he was suddenly consumed to ashes, but
the man escaped unhurt, and is now in the king's
palace." Dalhood was glad to hear of the death of
Mifraj ; but as he knew that he could not defy the
power of King Amrad, and seize Zaher, he flew back
homewards. But he found his castle surrounded by
an army as numerous as the sands of the sea, and
thought, " By the night and the darkness, something
very unusual has happened, for I have never seen so
many troops assembled together in my life. I have
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 27
never seen a genius from the world of light here before,
nor has any one previously attempted to besiege my
castle." He then asked a soldier for information, and
learned that the army consisted of three divisions, led
by Shulahek, Tood, and Sysam, and that Abu Tawaif
was also with them.
" How do they know that Zaher was brought
here ? " asked Dalhood.
" They heard it from the wife of Mifraj," replied
the soldier, "who besought King Sysam's protection
for her husband and Zaher."
" Well," thought Dalhood, " as Zaher is still alive,
I have nothing to fear," and he went straight to Abu
Tawaif, whom he thus addressed : "You were rightly
informed that I carried Zaher off, hoping to bring
your quarrels to an end, and to punish the man who
has been the cause of so much evil ; but my gaoler
betrayed me, and Zaher is now in the Diamond
Island, under the protection of King Amrad. But
as you attach so much importance to Zaher, I will
accompany you thither with my troops." Abu Tawaif
accepted his offer, and the united forces encamped
before the city of King Amrad, as already related.
When Dilhat entered the tent he saluted the kings
respectfully, introduced himself as an envoy from
King Amrad, and requested to know their business,
adding, " We doubt not that you come with friendly
28 New Arabian Nights.
intentions, for even if you should overcome the
armies of King Amrad, he could always retreat to
Mount Kaf, where the flaming arrows of the angels
would prevent you from pursuing him any farther, so
that you would have everything to lose and nothing
to gain by making war."
" We are anxious to keep on good terms with your
master," replied Abu Tawaif, " but we demand that
he shall surrender to us a man of Damascus, who is
now with him. Queen Farha loves this Zaher, and
many genii have already perished on his account."
Dilhat then returned to King Amrad, and informed
him of the names of the confederate kings, and the
object of their visit. Amrad immediately summoned
his council, and laid the whole affair before them,
adding, " By the brightness of our Prophet Moham
med ! averse as I am to war, I will never surrender
a true believer who has sought my protection, to
these infidel genii ! I will call Zaher, and if he is
unwilling to go with them, let them try to carry him
off by force, if they dare."
When Zaher was informed of everything, he hung
down his head for a while, and after due consider
ation he replied, " If I should speak truth, great
king, I long most for my friends and relatives at
Damascus. I should not be displeased to remain
here, where the true God is worshipped, whom I
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 29
also worship ; but I have such a horror of these
infidel genii, that I would not willingly accompany
them, even if they promised to reunite me with
The king then sent Dilhat back with a positive
refusal to surrender Zaher.
When the confederate kings heard this reply they
were enraged, and cried out, " What, does King
Amrad threaten us with war on account of this
miserable fellow ? We cannot submit to such an
insult ; let us sack his city, and kill or make prisoners
of all the inhabitants."
But when their first wrath had expended itself,
Abu Tawaif thus addressed them : " Know, my
children, that King Amrad is not so easy to over
come ; he is himself a hero, and his army is like
the raging sea. It will be best for us to with
draw from the country, and to tell the king that we
only came at the desire of Queen Farha, who was
afraid that her husband might meet with further ill-
usage ; but as the king favours him so much that he
is prepared to wage war rather than to surrender him,
she need be under no further anxiety on his account.
But we will leave some invisible genii behind, with
orders to carry Zaher away the moment they find
him alone. Thus we shall attain our end without
risking a battle."
30 New Arabian Nights.
This proposal was received with acclamation, and
a messenger was immediately despatched to King
Amrad to inform him of the proposed withdrawal of
the troops. But Amrad had already been informed
by an angel of the treacherous designs of Abu
Tawaif, and having sent for Zaher, he said to him
privately, " Your life is in danger here, for you are
surrounded by invisible genii, who are ready to carry
you away on the first opportunity. I will, therefore,
order one of "my own servants to carry you back,
either to your own home or to Queen Farha, which
ever you prefer."
" Gracious King," answered Zaher, " I have suffered
so much on her account since I left Damascus, and
she has shown herself so little able to protect me
from her unruly servants, the evil genii, that, much
as I love her, I fear to expose myself to so dangerous
and uneasy a life again. I would rather return to a
country inhabited by men like myself."
The king immediately called one of the flying
genii, and ordered him to carry Zaher to his home,
and to give him a sufficiency of wealth to last him
for his whole life. The genius flew with him for
half the night, and then gave him a bag full of
jewels, and left him on the top of a high mountain,
saying, " I must return home before daybreak, but
you had better remain here till daylight, and when
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 31
you descend the mountain, you will find a great city,
from whence you will easily be able to reach your
home." But Zaher would not wait so long. He set
off immediately, and wandered farther and farther
from the right path until, when morning broke, he
found himself among fearful cliffs and precipices,
where he could penetrate no farther. He then fell
on his face, and prayed to God who had so often
preserved him : " O God, who hast delivered me from
the hands of the unbelieving genii, if my life is at
an end, hasten my death, and let me not wander any
longer among these barren mountains ; but if Thy
mercy grants me a longer life, then show me a way
of deliverance, for there is neither a blade of grass
nor a drop of water to be seen here." When he
raised his head, he saw two sleek foxes near, which
convinced him that there must be some fertile district
in the neighbourhood. He followed the foxes over
the rocks till they disappeared in a cavern. Here
Zaher found a flight of stairs hewn in the rock ; and
as he descended, he soon lost sight of the opening
through which he had entered. Although he was
now in total darkness, the stairs were so broad that
he was able to advance in perfect safety, and he soon
saw daylight shining through an opening in the
opposite direction to that in which he had entered.
When he emerged from the cavern he found himself
32 New Arabian Nights.
overlooking the sea, and in the midst of a most
beautiful and fertile country.
After refreshing himself with fruit and water, both
of which were abundant here, he went up to a copper
statue which he saw near him, which stood on a
marble pedestal sixty feet in height. The right hand
of the statue was extended, and held a gold tablet
bearing the following inscription: "In the name of the
most merciful God! If any wanderer should read
this, let him know that he is at the extreme limits of
the habitable world ; here begins the region of the
genii. This oceanic island is the base of one of the
highest mountains in the world, except Mount Kaf.
When Solomon, the son of David (on both of whom
be peace !), was travelling through the world, and
observed that the summit of this mountain was so
barren and desolate, and its lower slopes so fertile
and beautiful, he said to his attendant genii, ' Would
that there were a path through this mountain, so
that if a man lost his way in this desolate region, he
might not perish with hunger and thirst ! ' One of
the genii replied, ' O Prophet of God, all mountains
have branches and hollow cavities like trees ; and
this mountain like others has a great cavity which
extends from the summit to this island. At thy
command, I will enlarge it, and make it a convenient
path.' Solomon consented, and the work was exe-
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 33
cuted ; and he also caused a large harbour to be
constructed in the neighbourhood, where ships may
anchor in safety during the most violent storms."
When Zaher read this, he went on his way to the
harbour rejoicing; for he reflected that the genii would
never have built the harbour unless ships sometimes
visited the neighbourhood. He had not long to wait
before a ship with sails like the wings of a great bird
drew near, and dropped anchor; and the sailors landed.
But they were startled at the sight of Zaher, whose
long hair, beard, and nails made him look more like a
wild beast than a man. At last one, more courageous
than the rest, observing that his feet were of human
shape, took his sword in his hand, and went boldly up
to Zaher, saying, "If you are a genius, I command
you to depart in the name of God ; but if you are a
man, then peace be with you." Zaher returned his
salutation, saying, " Why should you fear me ? I am
a man of Damascus." " Enter the ship, then," said
the captain, "and tell us what brought you here."
After hearing Zaher's story, the merchants told him
that he might return to Syria with them, for they had
been driven out of the Mediterranean into the ocean
as they were trying to sail from the west towards
Latakia. They provided Zaher with everything
needful, and he rewarded them liberally from the
purse that King Amrad had given him. They
34 New Arabian Nights.
reached Latakia without any serious accident, and
after amusing himself there for a short time, Zaher
returned to his friends and relatives at Damascus,
who received him with the greatest joy.
In the meantime Princess Farha had given birth to
a son, whom she named Ali, and reared with the
utmost care. The king, his grandfather, who loved
him as if he had been his own son, chose the best
masters to teach him reading, writing, philosophy,
history, and astronomy. When Ali was still quite
young, he could not fail to observe the deep distress
of his mother, who would often embrace him ten
derly, look him in the face, and say with tears in her
eyes, " You remind me too much of your father " ,
but when Ali asked who was his father, she always
evaded the question.
Ali was one day beating a slave of his mother's,
whom he always hated, and was scolding him for
not getting out of his way when he saw him coming,
when the slave cried out, " I am only a black slave,
as you say, but every one knows my parents, who
were slaves like myself. But do you know that your
father was a fellow who was drawn up out of the sea,
and whom nobody knew ? May it be your fate to
wander comfortless among strange people who have
as little compassion on you as you have shown for
me." At this the slave fled from Ali, who pursued
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 35
him with his drawn sword, but could not overtake
him, or discover whether he had sunk into the earth
or ascended to heaven.
Ali then went to his mother, who received him with
joy, but he remained gloomy and thoughtful, and at
last exclaimed, " I cannot live longer, without know
ing who was my father, and if you will not tell me,
I will slay both you and myself with this sword, for
I have heard a saying which has turned my hair
The princess wept, and being unable to keep her
secret any longer, she answered, "My son, your father
was one of the best and noblest of his people. Sheath
your sword, and calm yourself, and I will tell you
everything.'' She then related all she knew, up to
the time when Zaher sought the protection of King
Amrad, adding, " Since that time I have never been
able to obtain any tidings of him, for King Amrad is
more powerful than I am, and will not permit any of
the genii to come near him. I have nothing of his
but a seal ring, which he exchanged with me for a
bracelet on our wedding evening."
When AH heard the story he answered, " If such
be the case, there is nothing left but for me to go in
search of my father. Let me go to Syria imme
But Farha said, "My son, I cannot bear to separate
36 New Arabian Nights.
from you, and I fear lest some misfortune may
happen to you on so long a journey."
Ali was angry at her refusal to let him go, though
he was glad to have heard something of his father.
He had not left his mother's room long before his
grandfather, King Mutar, sent for him, and peremp
torily forbade him to think of his proposed voyage.
He then returned to his mother, saying, "Could you
not see that I was only jesting ? I have never seen
more of the world than this castle ; and how should
I venture on a journey to Damascus alone ? I only
wish to wear my father's seal-ring as a remembrance
"Ask anything that I possess, my son," re
turned Farha, and gave him the ring. But Ali
went immediately to a friend of his, named Zaher,
like his father, and told him all that had happened,
adding, that he would never rest until he had found
his father. Zaher agreed to accompany him, and
they went to the port together and engaged a vessel
secretly. Ali then sent Zaher on board with some
clothes, and a purse of gold and jewels which he had
obtained from his mother ; and on the following
evening they set sail. For the first two days the
wind continued favourable, but on the third day it
gradually died away, till there was a complete calm,
and the vessel lay as motionless as in the calmest
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 37
land-locked haven. The captain was greatly alarmed,
and said to the crew, " Be on your guard against the
terrible marine monsters which abound in these seas,
and which sometimes climb on board a vessel, and
devour the crew. Station youselves round the ship,
sword in hand, and drive them back." On the follow
ing night, while half the crew were sleeping, those on
watch saw something like a great mountain approach
ing the ship, and the captain exclaimed, " We are
lost, for neither sword nor lance can pierce the skin
of this monster. If they find one of them dead they
38 New Arabian Nights.
make shields of his hide." In the meantime Zaher
and the others drew their swords, and attempted to
terrify the animal by their shouts and gestures. They
thought at first that they had succeeded in driving it
off; but it returned immediately with more than two
hundred of the same kind, whereupon they took leave
of each other, and commended themselves to God,
being convinced that their last day on earth had
arrived. The animals surrounded the ship, and were
on the point of leaping on board, when a strong wind
suddenly arose, and carried the ship beyond their
reach. All on board were amazed at their unhoped
for escape, and the captain actually tossed up his
turban for joy. The next thirty days passed very
pleasantly. The wind was favourable, and some
sang, while others composed poetry or told tales.
But after this a black spot appeared in the heavens,
no bigger than a drachma, and the air became pierc
ingly cold. The black point extended till it covered
the heavens, so that they thought the last day had
arrived, when a terrific storm of thunder and Light
ning broke over the vessel, and the rain poured down
as if from a waterspout, while the boiling sea drove
the ship round and round in eddies. All were now
busy in baling out the ship, when they were driven
from the deck by a terrific fall of hail, and four waves,
like mountains, overwhelmed the ship from different
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 39
sides, crushed it to atoms, and everything sank into
the abyss of the sea. But AH contrived to grasp a
sack of a peculiar kind of flour, which has the
property of floating on the surface of the water for a
period of forty days, and was driven about for two
days and two nights, sometimes being lifted up to
the stars, and sometimes engulfed in the abysses of
the sea. On the third day, he was so exhausted
with hunger and thirst and cold, that he could no
longer retain his hold of the sack. Nevertheless he
kept himself afloat till evening, and was just on the
point of ceasing his struggles and allowing himself to
sink, when he saw something like a great fire in the
sea. Ali made fresh efforts to reach it, and he
presently perceived that it was not a fire, but a large
golden castle, borne by four giant genii, and so
brilliantly lighted, and set with such a profusion of
dazzling jewels that it shone like the noonday sun.
As Ali approached, he heard some cry out, " Help
this unfortunate man ! " and immediately a genius
flew from the castle and carried Ali to it.
Ali immediately fainted, and did not recover his
consciousness till the following morning, when he
found himself lying on a bed covered with red satin,
a gold-embroidered silken robe was placed by his
side, and a pan of charcoal stood on the marble floor,
which emitted the fragrant odour of aloes. A table
40 New Arabian Nights.
stood near, covered with the choicest viands. As soon
as Ali rose up, two servants who were standing at
the door came forward, washed him with rose water,
and helped him to dress. Ali, who was almost
starved, then sat down at the table and ate till he
was satisfied, when the servants brought him all
kinds of fruits, and sweetmeats, and then water, with
perfumed soap. Afterwards four maidens, resembling
moons, entered, and inquired who he was ; and when
they had heard his story, one of them observed,
" Thank the Creator, who has sent you here, where
there is nothing but peace and joy." Ali then asked
where he was, and why this castle had been built in
the midst of the sea ; and the maiden related as
" Know, my friend, that you are now on the great
ocean which flows round the whole world, and from
which all other seas spring. But this sea is also
inhabited, and there is a round island near us, which
lies between two immense mountains. On their
summits rise castles with golden walls, which shine
in the sunlight like stars. On this island grows the
best aloes-wood ; and there is a spring of dark blue
perfumed water, which contains fish of many different
colours, without bones, but with golden yellow eyes,
and sharp- pointed ears, with which they could break
the hardest rock. Sometimes a thick scum gathers
The Adventures of Zaher and his SOJL. 41
on this spring-, which is driven into the Blue Sea by
the wind blowing from the mountains. Here the
merchants collect it, and call it ambergris. The
town which stands upon this island surpasses all the
other cities of the world in wealth and magnificence,
and is called Asaf (Alas), for every traveller who
beholds it exclaims, ' Alas, how poor is the rest of
the world in comparison ! ' The city is surrounded
with walls of gold, and the battlements are of ruby.
The horsemen who guard it are armed with long
silver lances, pointed with emerald. In the middle
of the city is a castle, ornamented within and without
with the most precious jewels. Among other wonder
ful things, it contains a square hall, supported by four
golden pillars ; and in the midst, a fountain of red
coral sheds a sea of perfume around. Many golden
cages, with silver locks and emerald keys, hang in
this hall, and the birds warble continually in the
sweetest tones. At the end of this hall stands a
throne covered with green silk, on which sits the
most beautiful maiden whom .the Lord has created,
the powerful Queen Turaia, daughter of King Farkad,
surrounded by men and genii.
" But there is another island near, still larger, and
very populous, where King Canas rules. He has a
daughter called the Blue Queen, who is amazingly
proficient in magic. She is very fond of conversing
42 New Arabian Nights.
with foreigners, and has stationed spies everywhere on
the borders of her dominions, who give her immediate
notice of the arrival of any stranger. She then sends
one of her genii to bring him to her presence, and
she gives him a very friendly reception, and talks
with him till she is tired of him, and then she either
puts him to death, or changes him into some animal
or bird by enchantment. In order to save as many
unfortunate travellers as possible from falling into
her hands, Queen Turaia has built this castle on the
frontiers of her empire, and God be praised that you
have been saved in this manner ! "
The slave girls then took Ali in a boat to the
city, and brought him to the palace appointed for
strangers, which was so magnificently built and
furnished that it was fit for the habitation of the
most powerful king in the world. It was dark when
they arrived, and the interior was lit up with in
numerable tapers and fires of aloes wood ; and a
table covered with the choicest viands stood in front
of a very convenient and beautifully decorated divan.
The slave girls waited on Ali while he ate, after
which they retired, and he lay down on the divan,
and slept soundly all rtight. On waking in the
morning, he saw a beautiful maiden, in a gold-
embroidered robe set with pearls, sitting near, and
asked her if she was Queen Turaia ?
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 43
" How can you ask such a question ? " she replied.
" I am the meanest of her slaves, and await your
orders, for I am in charge of this apartment. Queen
Turaia never comes here herself, but after three days
she will send for you, and inquire into your birth
and circumstances, and will treat you according to
your rank. But beware of concealing anything from
her, for the genii inform her of everything before
hand, and if you lie to her, you are lost."
But at this moment four hundred pages entered,
clothed in satin, with golden girdles round their
waists, and drawn swords in their hands. The fore
most saluted Ali respectfully, and said, " My lord,
Queen Turaia has sent us to conduct you to her
The slave girl was astonished, for she had never
known the queen send for a stranger till three days
after his arrival, and again cautioned Ali respecting
his behaviour at court.
Ali then left the palace with the pages, who
brought him a mule, the trappings of which were
worth a kingdom, and conducted him to the castle
through seven courtyards, each guarded by thousands
of genii. When Ali entered the hall of audience, the
queen welcomed him, and all the viziers and generals
rose up to receive him. After Ali had returned her
salutation, and prayed for the continuance of her life
44 New Arabian Nights.
and prosperity, the queen said, " I know who you
are, and know your mother very well, and it is on
this account that I desired to see you. Tell me first
what has happened to you since you left home."
After hearing his story, she welcomed AH still
more heartily, and said, " Look upon my empire and
people as your own." Then she rose up, took the
hand of AH, and led him to her father's castle.
" Why do you visit me so late to-day, dear
daughter ? " said the king.
And she answered, " The youth whom you behold
is the cause of my unusual delay."
The king, who saw that his daughter took an
unusual interest in AH, made him sit by him, and
eat with him. Queen Turaia helped him to the
best, and he tucked up his sleeves, and ate with
the tips of his fingers till he was satisfied. After
they had eaten, and washed their hands in golden
basins with rose-water and scented soap, fresh and
dried fruits, with wine and sweetmeats, were placed
on the table, and presently the king ordered the
singing-girls to be summoned. Upon this, a hundred
gorgeously dressed young girls entered, each of
whom carried a gold-embroidered satin bag in her
hand, with green silk strings, and a diamond key.
They ranged themselves round the hall, took out
their instruments, and began to play and sing, so
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 45
that the whole hall seemed to shake. This lasted
for some hours, and when they were alone again, the
queen asked AH if he would be her husband. And
Ali, who had fallen in love with her at first sight,
answered that it was the dearest wish of his heart.
After King Farkad had consented to the marriage,
and blessed the betrothed pair, they returned to the
queen's castle, when Turaia took a sword and a loaf
of bread, and a Koran, and swore never to take
another husband than Ali, whether present or absent,
or alive or dead ; and she required Ali to take the
same oath with regard to her.
On the following morning, the queen left Ali to
visit her father, warning him not to quit the castle
till her return. When she was gone, he wandered
from one room to another, until he arrived at the
terrace, which commanded a delightful view of the
entire city, and the sea beyond. He was about to
return when a large bird pounced upon him, bore
him to the clouds in its talons, and flew with him all
day. Towards evening, it descended with him upon
a very fertile and thickly populated island, and
changed into a handsome young man, in royal ap
parel. Ali was astonished, and asked him what
creature he was ? and he answered, " I am a man
like you. I am Tarad, the son of Anan, the King of
the Smoking Mountain ; and if you will come with
46 New Arabian Nights.
me, I will tell you my whole history." He then led
Ali to a castle, before the doors of which stood
attendants with golden staves, and pages with Indian
swords, who all bowed themselves before the prince.
They sat down together on a divan in one of the
large rooms of the castle, and Tarad related his
history as follows :
" Know, my friend, that my father, the powerful
King Anan, has twelve sons besides myself, each of
whom rules over a mighty kingdom. But I was
always my father's favourite from my youth, and my
brothers envied and hated me. As my father was
afraid lest my brothers might do me some injury in
his absence, he sent for one of the kings of the genii,
named Danish, who was subject to him, and who
ruled over a vast company of powerful genii, and
said, ' After this day you are not to serve me any
longer, but my son Tarad. Fulfil all his commands,
even if he should order you to tear up a mountain,
or to dry up a sea ; and protect him from the evil
designs of his brothers.' As I was now relieved from
all trouble and anxiety by the guardianship of the
genii, I gave myself up entirely to the study of
magic, of which I had always been exceedingly fond.
I made such progress that I thought I was able to
contend with the most skilful enchanters. When I
had grown to manhood, I called Dahish, and said,
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 47
* I do not care to live alone any longer, but wish to
marry. But I will marry no one but Turaia, the
Queen of the Island of Musk ; for, according to all
that I have heard and read, she surpasses all other
women in beauty, power, wisdom, and learning.
Go to her from me, and say, " King Tarad, the son
of King Anan, the Lord of the Smoking Moun
tain, offers you his hand. If you consent, you shall
be the happiest queen in the world ; but if you
refuse, he will lead armies of men and genii against
you, who will ravage your country, and make you a
" But Dahish answered, ' Do you not know, great
king, that Turaia is so powerful that she could
overturn Mount Kaf ? All the kings of this sea are
her allies, and even Abu Tawaif fears and obeys her.
How is it possible for me to insult her with such a
message ? '
" But I answered angrily, ' Do what I command
you. I am not afraid of her magic arts ; never
theless you had better take a thousand of the most
powerful genii with you as a bodyguard, and return
to me with her answer.'
"Dahish refused no longer, and immediately flew
to the Island of Musk with his attendants. When
Queen Turaia heard of their arrival, she sent one of
her attendant genii to inquire their business. The
48 New Arabian Nights.
genius flew to Dahish, and saluted him, but Danish
did not return his greeting, on which the envoy
concluded that the strangers must be infidels. One
of them then asked rudely, ' What do you want
here?' The genius answered, 'I am an envoy sent
by the great Queen Turaia to inquire who your are,
and what is your business?' Dahish then said, ' I
have come in the name of King Tarad with an offer
of marriage to Queen Turaia.' When the messenger
returned to the queen, she sent him back to invite
Dahish to visit her alone in her castle, to deliver his
message more fully.
" But when Dahish received the message, he was
enraged, and cried out, * You dog, how dare you
bring me such a message ? Who is your mistress,
that I should go to her castle unattended, instead of
her coming out to receive me herself?' Upon this,
he drew his sword, slew the envoy, and then inarched
against the castle with his troops.
" Dahish already made certain of victory, when
Queen Turaia came to meet him, and cast him to
the ground by calling on the sacred name of God.
Her genii now assembled round her by thousands,
and many of the attendants of Dahish were burned,
and the others taken prisoners, and put in chains.
The queen then seated herself on her throne, and
ordered Dahish to be brought before her. He came
The Adventures of Z ether and Jiis Son. 49
forward in his chains, trembling, and abasing himself
in the dust, when she exclaimed ' Woe to you, why
did you slay my envoy ? Nevertheless, let me hear
" ' Pardon me, O queen/ cried Dahish in a trem
bling voice ; ' Tarad, the son of Anan, the King of
the Smoking Mountain, sent me here to ask if you
would deign to grant him your hand.'
" ' What more ? ' asked Turaia.
" Dahish bowed his head to the ground, but made
" ' Did he say no more ? ' asked Turaia again, and
as Dahish still refused to speak, she ordered his head
to be struck off, and all his followers to be put to
death. As soon as this was done, she summoned
Kharoob, one of her officers, and said, 'Bring
Tarad, the son of King Anan, here.'
"Kharoob immediately assumed the form of a
monstrous bird, carried me away from my tower,
and brought me before Queen Turaia.
" ' Welcome to my bridegroom ! ' said she ; ' you
shall serve as a warning to all the kings of these
islands, so that no one shall dare even to mention
my name again ! ' She then said to one of her genii,
' Cast him into the dungeon, and guard him well
until I return from visiting my father, King Farkad,
who will advise me how to treat this dog.'
50 New Arabian Nights.
"But at this moment King Farkad himself entered,
and asked his daughter what had hindered her from
visiting him at the usual hour, and why she seemed
so much agitated. When she told him the story, he
exclaimed, 'May God ever grant you the victory over
all your enemies ! But where is King Tarad ? I
should like to see him.' When Turaia pointed me
out, he added, ' Is that the king who would marry
my daughter ? Why, he is trembling like an old
" He then spurned me from the hall with his foot,
and called for the executioner. I had already
given myself up for lost, when one of the king's
officers entered, and announced, ' King Anan, with
Abu Tawaif and other powerful kings of the genii,
has arrived with an immense army to rescue King
Tarad, and have sent an envoy who waits without.'
" l Show him in/ said Farkad ; and an old man
entered of such venerable appearance that Farkad
gave him a friendly reception, made him sit by him,
and then politely inquired his business.
" The old man replied, ' I am a messenger from
King Anan, who will soon follow me in company
with Abu Tawaif, to beseech your pardon for his
thoughtless and foolhardy son, whom he still loves
tenderly, in spite of all his faults.'
" Farkad immediately ordered one of his servants
The Adventiires of Zaher and his Son. 5 i
to take me into one of the halls of the palace, and
also to show the envoy into an elegant apartment,
and to appoint two genii to wait upon him.
" When he was alone with Turaia, he said, * My
dear daughter, although King Tarad is well worthy
of death, yet we must not forget that he is a king,
and the son of a powerful king, and clemency would
only exalt us still more in the eyes of our equals ;
and, moreover, it would be imprudent for us to in
volve ourselves in a war with King Anan and Abu
Tawaif on account of a headstrong youth ; don't you
think so ? '
" ' I agree with you,' answered Turaia ; * but we
will first await the arrival of King Anan, and see
how he behaves to us. If he acknowledges his son's
guilt, and asks for pardon for him, we will grant it ;
but if he threatens us with violence, we will stand
upon the justice of our cause.'
"A few days after this decision, an officer of
King Farkad entered, and announced the arrival of
King Anan, accompanied by Abu Tawaif, and other
kings of the genii. Farkad and Turaia immediately
mounted their horses, and rode to meet them, accom
panied by an escort of flying genii, whose wings were
as brightly coloured as those of a peacock. They
met King Anan at the gate of the city, who immedi
ately dismounted, and bowed down before Farkad,
52 New Arabian Nights.
who was likewise about to dismount, but King Anan
would not permit it. Turaia declared that she would
not suffer King Anan to walk, and at last he al
lowed himself to be persuaded to remount, and to
ride to the castle between Farkad and Turaia. Every
preparation had been already made to receive Anan
and Abu Tawaif, and a banquet was set before them
such as could only be prepared by the most powerful
kings of the genii, who know where to obtain the
best of everything which creeps, and runs, and swims,
and flies. During the banquet they conversed only
on indifferent subjects, and it was not until the
dessert that Abu Tawaif rose, and said,
"'The great King Farkad has already been in
formed by our messenger of the reason which has
brought King Anan here ; may I have the pleasure
of informing the anxious father that his son will be
restored to him ? '
" Upon this Duha, the vizier of King Farkad, the
most able man of his time, rose up, and requested
permission to speak. This being granted him, he
spoke as follows :
" ' It is well known that King Farkad is one of the
most peaceably disposed rulers of these islands ; but
Tarad made a violent attack on Queen Turaia, con
trary to all justice, and without a shadow of provoca
tion. He himself has fallen into the pit which he
T/ie Adventures of Zahcr and his Son. 5 3
dug for others. He is now the prisoner of the queen
whom he thought to carry off by violence ; and,
although he has been guilty of so great a crime, she
would nevertheless be willing to pardon him at the
request of his father and the venerable Abu Tawaif.
But who will be our security that this foolhardy
youth may not attempt to revenge himself upon the
queen, and devise new plots against her, as soon as
he is set at liberty ? '
"Abu Tawaif rose up, and answered, 'His father
and I will both be security for his good behaviour, and
we ourselves will undertake to chastise him, if he ever
ventures to give the noble Queen Turaia any further
annoyance. Bring him here, and I will speak to him
" I was then brought from my room, and ushered
into the hall where my father, Abu Tawaif, Farkad,
Turaia, D.iha, and several other viziers and kings of
the genii were all assembled. I bowed my head to
the ground, overwhelmed with remorse, vexation,
shame, and love, and would have preferred a thou
sand deaths. I looked so miserable that all pitied
me, but presently Abu Tawaif spoke.
" * Do you not know, perverse boy, that good is
always rewarded 'with good, and that it is best for
him who takes the initiative; and that evil is likewise
rewarded with evil, which falls heaviest on the evil-
54 New Arabian Nights.
doer himself ? Did you think so little of Queen
Turaia, who is feared and respected by all, as to
suppose that you could insult her so*grossly with
impunity ? But as you are only a presumptuous boy,
she has taken compassion on ycu. You must, how
ever, swear in our presence, never to annoy her again,
nor come near her country, nor even mention her
name, for our honour is pledged for your good
behaviour. Remember that the invisible God is
witness to your oath, and that if you break it, you
are lost both in this world and in the next ! '
" Upon this I swore by Him who raised the firma
ment like a tent, and spread out the earth like a
carpet, and who clothed the day with light, and the
night with darkness, that I would never approach
the queen again, nor pronounce her name. I had
scarcely uttered this terrible oath when I fainted, and
remained insensible all night, and when I recovered
my senses in the morning, my father came to me,
and commanded me to follow him. I was obliged
to return with him, without seeing the queen again,
and during the whole journey, he heaped reproaches
on me for my folly, which were even harder to bear
than the loss of my love. When he left me, I was
again compelled to swear that I would completely for
get Turaia; but I was no sooner alone than I thought
the more of Turaia's charms, which surpassed all
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 55
that I had heard reported. I therefore assumed the
form of a bird, and flew round her castle every day
in hopes of seeing her ; and when I saw you on the
terrace, I was seized with the desire to take you with
me, in hopes of hearing some tidings of my love. I
am rery anxious to know how you arrived at Queen
Turaia's island, and what brought you to her castle."
When AH heard this, he reflected that if he
said he was Queen Turaia's husband, the rash and
unprincipled youth would slay him out of jealousy,
and he therefore answered that he was the son of
Queen Farha, the friend of Queen Turaia, and had
come to pay her a short visit at his mother's request.
But when Tarad heard this he said, " Woe to me if
Queen Turaia should miss you and discover that I
carried you away ! She would certainly send to my
father and to Abu Tawaif, and denounce me as a
perjured king, and not only my honour, but even my
life would be in danger ! It will be better for me to
send you back, and I implore you to beseech her
pardon." But he had scarcely spoken when an
officer entered hastily and announced, 4< A messen
ger has arrived from Queen Turaia, accompanied by
more than a hundred black genii, and he desires
to speak with you." As soon as Queen Turaia's
name was mentioned Tarad began to tremble so
much that he was hardly able to stammer out,
56 New Arabian Nights.
" Show him in." When the messenger entered,
Tarad rose up before him, saluted him respectfully,
and inquired what message he brought. The envoy
handed him a sealed letter, which he opened hastily,
and when he had read it he broke out into reproaches
against Queen Turaia saying, " No one would treat
a king in such a manner, no matter how grievously
he might have offended !" Ali was afraid that Tarad
would discover his secret, so he took this opportunity
to escape from his castle, and wandered about in the
island without knowing which way to turn. Aftpr
wandering some distance from the castle he lay down
on the ground in despair. He thought of his father,
and of the anxiety which his mother and Turaia must
suffer on his own account ; and he began to weep
aloud, and to cry to God for aid. Presently he heard
a voice above him saying, " Fear not, Ali, for help is
near." On lifting his eyes he perceived a genius in the
form of a great bird, whom he asked to rescue him
from his danger, and to tell him to what race of genii
The bird flew towards him and replied, " I am one
of the genii of King Tarad, flying from the slaughter
to which we were exposed by the wrath of Queen
Turaia. Soon after your flight from the castle of
King Tarad we perceived a red glow in the atmo
sphere, which increased till we thought that the whole
Tke Adventures of Zaher and his ^on. 57
heaven was wrapped in flames. These were the
flaming armies of Queen Turaia, who surrounded the
castle like a cloud of locusts or a swarm of ants, and
slew or made prisoners of all its inhabitants. The
queen herself, who was at their head, rushed on
Tarad with her drawn sword, and cried out, ' Where
is AH, the son of Queen Farha ? ' But Tarad swore
that he did not know what had become of him, for he
had not seen him since the arrival of the genii, and
supposed that he had hidden himself or taken to
flight from terror. But Turaia called him a liar and
perjurer, spurned him with her foot, and ordered one
of her officers to make him a prisoner. God be
praised that I have found you ! I will take you back
to Queen Turaia, who is overwhelmed with anxiety
about you, and if you assure her that Tarad has done
you no harm, she will no doubt pardon him again."
" Do so, friend," said Ali, " and Turaia, Tarad, and
myself, will all be greatly indebted to you."
He then flew up with Ali to within a hand's
breadth of heaven, and descended on the peak of a
high mountain, where he shook him off, and assumed
the form of a raven, with the head of a lion and the
claws of an eagle. Torrents of fire rushed from his
mouth, and his eyes, which were cleft in the middle,
emitted sparks ; his voice sounded like thunder, and
a suffocating odour spread around him. "What
58 New Arabian Nights.
means this ? " cried Ali ; but the bird struck him a
heavy blow in the face which stunned him, and when
he recovered, he found himself alone on the summit
of a lofty mountain, with so large a stone resting
on his breast that he could not move one way or
the other, and could scarcely breathe. Ali lay thus
for the whole day, and was forced to cover his face
with his hands to protect it from the rays of the sun.
But when he looked up towards evening, he saw
four maidens before him, whose dress, adornments,
and general aspect left no doubt in his mind that
they were princesses. Their appearance dazzled him
still more than the sun, from whose rays he had
previously suffered, and he closed his eyes and pre
tended to sleep. One of the maidens asked presently,
" Who is this handsome youth, and who has brought
him to the top of this mountain and laid a great
stone upon him ? " Another replied, " This youth is
Ali, the son of Queen Farha, and the husband of
Queen Turaia. King Sarech, who himself passion
ately loves Turaia, has left Ali here to perish of
hunger and thirst, but by the seal of Solomon we will
save him, even if Sarech were as powerful as Asaph,
the son of Barachia, the vizier of King Solomon, on
whom be peace ! "
On this, the maiden went up to Ali and lifted the
stone from his breast. He opened his eyes, and as
The bird struck him a heavy blow.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 61
soon as he had recovered himself a little he thanked
his preserver, and asked how she had been able to
climb this inaccessible mountain, and who she was ?
She answered, " My name is Johara, and I am the
daughter of the Blue Queen, who rules over the
White City. The other three maidens are my
sisters. Samarda is my own sister, and Marjana and
Yakuta are my half-sisters. No land is too distant,
no mountain too high, and no sea too deep for us to
explore, for we fly like birds in the air, and dive like
fish in the abysses of the sea. But we came to this
mountain only on your account, seeing you lying
helpless as we were passing by. Come with us, and
refresh yourself a little after all that you have
suffered, and afterwards you may return to Queen
She then took the arm of Ali and flew with him
like lightning to a majestic city lying in a beautiful
valley. She descended on the terrace of a castle, and
led Ali down a marble staircase to a hall which was
as large and splendid as that of Queen Turaia.
Night had already fallen, but the hall was more
brilliantly illuminated than if the sun had been
shining. Johara presently ordered the slave girls
who were in attendance to prepare supper, and they
immediately brought in some elegant little tables laid
out with golden dishes, crystal plates, and silver
62 New Arabian Nights.
spoons. The viands were quite strange to Ali, but
he thought them delicious ; and after supper wine
was placed on the table, with a great variety of fresh
and dried fruits. The wine was poured out by a
hideous old housekeeper, who looked like a speckled
snake, and whose name was Firusad. After this she
called the singing-girls, who came in and accompanied
themselves on all manner of instruments.
Presently Johara and Samarda began to talk over
the adventures of the day, and Samarda claimed to
have saved Ali's life because she had seen him first.
" No, indeed," cried Johara, " I rolled the stone off
his breast, and carried him here ; and I alone saved
his life." This led to a quarrel, and then to a fight,
and in the meantime the other sisters warned Ali that
he had better escape with them, lest the infuriated
combatants should turn upon him. As soon as they
were in the open air, Marjana took him on her
shoulders and flew to her own castle, followed by
But presently the old woman, Firusad, arrived,
and informed them that having separated Johara
and Samarda with difficulty, and reconciled them to
each other, they had missed Ali and their sisters,
and were about to lead an army against Marj ana's
castle, when Firusad persuaded them to wait while
she demanded the surrender of Ali, whom they
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 63
would not permit to leave them without saying
adieu. Both Marjana and Yakuta declared that they
would never consent to his return, for he had
thrown himself upon their protection, and bitterly
reproached the old woman for bringing them such a
message. Firusad excused herself, and promised to
to do her best to avert a war ; but she thought that
cunning would serve her purpose best, and after
acquainting Johara with her sister's reply, she washed
herself with the decoction of a root which made her
appear like a born negress. Then she dressed herself
like one of Marjana's slaves and returned to her
castle, where she mixed unperceived with the
nepresses who were in attendance.
Soon afterwards, Ali went out into the courtyard,
when she followed him, and muttered a spell, upon
which a frightful genius rose from the ground, whom
she ordered to carry AH to Johara's castle. But when
Ali was half way between the two castles, he cried
out, " There is but one God, and Mohammed is His
prophet ! " The genius was instantly consumed to
ashes by a fiery dart, and Ali fell into the sea. He
sank deep, but the sea was so rough that he was soon
cast up to the surface, and was able to keep himself
afloat for a whole day. Towards evening he was so
exhausted that he could scarcely move his arms, and
he was about to sink into the abyss of the ocean,
64 New Arabian Nights.
where neither men nor genii would ever have found
his grave, when a large dead fish floated past upon
which he scrambled, and was thus driven along by
the waves for the first portion of the night. But about
midnight, sea-monsters rose from the deep, many of
them larger than an elephant. They surrounded the
fish, and began to devour it, until at last only the part
on which AH sat was left. Ali was afraid of being
eaten too, so he leaped off, and swam for some distance
till he touched something hard, to which he clung
till morning, when he found he was clinging to a rock,
not far from a great city, and a fine harbour where
ships were lying at anchor. Ali thanked God for his
deliverance, and hoped that some one would see him
from the shore, and bring him to land. He was not
mistaken, for a fishing boat soon left the harbour,
sailed towards him, and took him on board. Ali
thanked the fisherman, and asked where he was ?
The fisherman answered, " This is the White City,
which is also called the Kingdom of Pillars, because
so many private houses, as well as the royal castle,
are supported by pillars. The city and the island on
which it stands are ruled over by the Blue Queen.
She is one of the most powerful queens in the world,
and rules her subjects with great harshness, but is
very hospitable to strangers." The fisherman then
gave Ali a piece of bread, and a draught of fresh
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 65
water; and they sailed about together all day, till the
boat was filled with beautiful fish. As they were ap
proaching the harbour in the evening, the fisherman
said, " I must take the fish to the queen to-morrow,
for I am her favourite fisherman, and will tell her that
a young foreigner, whom I found clinging to a rock,
helped me to catch them ; and I will ask leave to pre
sent you to her." But they had scarcely landed, when
some of the queen's servants came up, and said to the
fisherman, " Let us have the fish which you have
caught at once, for they are wanted for a banquet
to-night." The fisherman handed over the fish to the
servants, and accompanied them to the queen, to
inform her of his meeting with Ali, and she imme
diately commanded him to bring him to the palace.
When Ali entered the palace, he bowed himself to
the ground, and remained standing, but the queen
received him in a friendly manner, and invited him
to sk down. Ali replied that his respect for the queen
would not allow him to remain seated in her presence,
whereupon she pretended sickness, and excused her
self to all her other guests. When she was alone with
Ali, she made him relate his adventures, and then
said, " Poor fellow, you have suffered enough to turn
the hair of a child white ; but be of good cheer, for
you are now in a house of peace and comfort." After
a magnificent supper, Ali was shown into a splendid
66 New Arabian Nights.
sleeping apartment, such as he had never seen in his
life. He lay down on a soft, silken divan, and slept
soundly till the sun was high in the heavens ; and
after he had completed his ablutions and devotions,
four slaves came to his chamber, and said, "Will it
please our lord to enter the bath." Ali rose up, and
followed them into a splendid bathroom, and after
washing him till his skin shone like silver, they
arrayed him in a magnificent robe, put a girdle set
with jewels round his waist, and placed a golden
crown on his head, adorned with all manner of pre
cious stones. They then led him into the presence of
the Blue Queen, who made him sit by her on the
divan, and asked how he had passed the night. Ali
kissed her hand, saluted her and the viziers who were
around her, and thanked her for her kindness. They
sat conversing till noon ; and Ali overheard the queen
say to one of the ladies of the court, " I have never
seen such a handsome young man in my life." After
the midday prayer they sat down to table ; but when
the wine was brought, and the other guests had de
parted, the queen confessed her love to Ali, and asked
him to marry her, and to remain with her for ever.
But the image of Tura'a floated before his eyes, and
he remembered the g*-at oath which he had sworn
to her, and met the queen's advances with coldness.
She was highly indignant, and exclaimed, "What,
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 69
should a queen like myself stoop to your love, and
you despise her ! " Then she murmured some unin
telligible words, and thrust AH out of the room,
saying, " Quit this shape, and assume that of a
toothless dog of miserable appearance ! " When Ali
heard the words, he began to shake and tremble, and
instantly found himself changed into an ugly toothless
dog, and unable to speak a word. He then ran about
the streets, but the other dogs perceived something
strange in him, and pursued him, barking at him, and
worrying him, and driving him from street to street,
till he fled at last into a small passage which had no
outlet. More than a hundred dogs rushed upon him
and began to worry him, but he howled so pitifully
that a woman who lived in the lane took compassion
on him, and fetching a stick drove the other dogs
away. Then she looked into Ali's eyes, and said,
" This is not a dog, but an enchanted man." She
then took him by the ear, and led him into the house.
The woman's name was Diarda, and she was more
skilled in magic than even the Blue Queen. As soon
as she came into the house, she ordered her slaves to
bring her a pan of coals and a bowl of water ; and
after fumigating and sprinkling Ali, she pronounced
some magic words, and said, " By virtue of these holy
names, return to your original form ! " She had
scarcely spoken when Ali became a man as before,
70 New Arabian Nights.
and she led him to her daughters, who covered their
faces with their sleeves, and asked, " Where does this
young man come from, for the house door is closed ? "
" I found him in the street in the shape of a dog,"
said Jarda, " and we will take him to the queen to
morrow ; but now give him something to eat, for he
must be very hungry."
The daughters then spread a plentiful meal, and
afterwards Diarda fetched wine, and they drank to
gether for a time. At length Ali reflected that he
was in just as much danger from these people as from
the queen, since they proposed to take him back to
the palace in the morning. He therefore made the
excuse that he wished for a little fresh air, and fled
from the house. He wandered about the town for
some time, until he found a convenient stone bench
covered with a mat, in front of a handsome house,
and he laid down and fell asleep. But he had scarcely
closed his eyes when he was roused by a handsome
young man of aristocratic appearance, who said,
"Why do you sleep on this hard bench ? Come into
the house with me." Ali found the house beautifully
constructed, and elegantly furnished and decorated ;
and after passing through many large halls where
fountains were playing, they arrived in a small and
neatly furnished room, where the young man made
Ali sit by him on a silken divan, and then inquired
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 71
into his history. When he had heard all, he ex
claimed, " Thank God that you have escaped from
the Blue Queen, and from the yet more dangerous
and malicious Diarda ! You must remain concealed
in my house for a few days, for I am expecting some
foreign merchants from the neighbourhood of the
Smoking Mountain. They will perhaps bring us
some news of King Anan and Queen Turaia, and
we shall then be able to decide on what is best to be
Ali remained three days with this young man, who
treated him with the greatest kindness and consider
ation. On the fourth day a venerable old man
arrived, and the youth gave him a hearty welcome,
saying, " I have been expecting you a long time,
Maher, and your wares are all ready ; what has de
layed you ? "
" Our whole country is so full of soldiers," replied
Maher, "that travelling is very dangerous. King
Anan and many allies are marching against Queen
Turaia, who will not release his son Tarad, until she
finds her husband, a certain Ali, the son of Princess
" If so," said the master of the house, " go quickly
to Queen Turaia with this young man, who is Ali
himself. Perhaps you may arrive in time to avert the
72 New Arabian Nights.
" I will set out early to-morrow," replied Maher.
On the following morning, before sunrise, the
young man presented AH with a purse filled with
gold and jewels, four slaves, two mules loaded with
provisions, and a horse whose trappings were worth
half a kingdom. He accompanied AH beyond the
limits of the city, where Maher was waiting for them,
with a numerous company of mounted men. He then
again commended AH to Maher, took leave of them,
and returned to the city. AH and Maher rode on for
three days through a barren and desolate country,
but on the fourth day they reached a pleasant valley,
with beautiful flowers, murmuring brooks, and sing
ing birds. AH proposed to Maher to pitch a tent,
and to rest here for the day. He immediately dis
mounted from his mule, and ordered his servants
to pitch a large silken tent by the side of a stream,
the water of which resembled the tears of a despairing
lover. Here they spread carpets on the ground, and
arranged divans of ostrich feathers. After AH had
rested awhile, he went into the valley to praise the
Creator of the World, who knows both the number
of the rain drops and the number of the grains
of sand. The cooing of the doves sounded like the
sighing of home-sick wanderers, and the branches
of the trees waved towards each other like friends
who meet after a long absence. All nature seemed
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 73
alive, and everything was so delightful that AH
wandered on without knowing where, till he was
surprised by the shades of evening. He sought in
vain to retrace his steps, and, when the night grew
darker, he climbed a tree, thinking that he would
thus be safe from wild beasts, and that he could find
his way back in the morning, or his companions
would search for him. While Ali was in the tree
he saw two men approaching, one of them riding
an elephant and the other a lion, and many servants
followed, mounted on horses and camels. They
halted near the tree, and one said to the other,
" Shall we pass the night here, Madyad ? "
"If you please, Khydar," answered the other,
" for we are safe from further pursuit."
" What means the royal tent which we passed
just now ? "
" I saw it too ; we will send one of our servants
to spy out to whom it belongs. Perhaps we may
find something to our advantage there."
Ali, hearing this, trembled like the leaves of the
tree on which he sat, and held his breath lest he
should be discovered.
Khydar then sent one of his servants to find
out everything about the tent in the most cautious
manner. He soon returned, and reported,
" The tent belongs to a man from the country
74 New Arabian Nights.
of the Smoking Mountain, who is escorting AH,
the son of Farha, to Queen Turaia ; but Ali has
been missing all the evening, and is supposed to
be somewhere in this valley."
When Madyad heard this, he cried out, " What an
extraordinary event ! God grant that we may dis
cover Ali ! "
As he spoke, he raised his eyes to heaven, and
saw Ali in the tree, behind which the moon was
shining. Ali was so frightened that he almost fell
from the tree, but Madyad called out,
"Come down, Ali, and fear nothing. Praised be
God, who has spared us any further trouble and
danger on your account."
Ali then descended, and asked them who they
were and what they wanted, and begged them to
lead him back to the tent. They called the servant
who had brought the news, and they accompanied
him to Maher's tent. When they arrived, Ali again
asked who they were, and Madyad answered,
" We are the sons of King Anan, and the
brothers of Tarad, who carried you away from the
castle of Queen Turaia. As soon as she missed
you, she led a great army against Tarad, and
took him prisoner. When my father demanded his
release, she answered, ' I will not release him
until Ali is restored to me.' It was useless for
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 75
my father and Tarad to swear that they knew
nothing of you. She only answered, ' I require
you to restore him to me, even if he were beneath
the ground.' My father and we all have been seek
ing for you everywhere, and have sent messengers
to every part of our kingdom ; but as all search
was vain, my father wrote to Queen Turaia,
that if she would not release the innocent Tarad,
he would march against her with all his allies. But
the winged genius who carried the letter did not
return ; and all at once my father saw nothing
but wings in heaven and feet on earth. They were
the flying genii and other troops of Queen Turaia,
who attacked his castle at once, both from above
and from below, took him prisoner, and carried him
away. I and my brothers were just returning from
a journey when this happened, and we were obliged
to take to flight. But God be praised that we have
met with you so unexpectedly, for we will now go
together to Queen Turaia, and when she is con
vinced of the innocence of my father and brother,
she will set them at liberty."
On the following morning Ali took leave of Maher,
and travelled on with the brothers of Tarad to
the Smoking Mountain, where Turaia still occupied
the castle of Anan. On the road they had several
severe combats with robbers, and also with genii,
76 New Arabian Nights.
sent in pursuit of AH by the Blue Queen and the
enchantress Diarda, and if some genii of Queen
Turaia's army had not come to their assistance they
would have been overpowered ; but on the eighth
day after parting with Maher they reached the
castle of King Anan in safety. Turaia was beside
herself with joy at Ali's return, and he also forgot
all the dangers he had suffered since their separa
tion, and sank fainting in her arms. When Ali
recovered, Madyad said to Turaia,
"You see now, great Queen, that neither my
father nor my brother have done your husband any
harm. Let him tell you himself how Tarad treated
him, and how he was carried away from you for
so long a time, and then act justly towards my
father, and mercifully towards Tarad."
Turaia then took Ali into a room by themselves,
and begged him to relate all that had happened
since their separation, and to conceal nothing.
After Turaia had heard the whole story related
several times, she went to her father, and having
told him the story, inquired what should be done
with Tarad and Anan. King Farkad immediately
sent for Anan, Tarad, and Abu Tawaif, and said to
"As you are wholly guiltless of the troubles
which have come upon the unfortunate Ali, we
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 77
can only regret that the folly of your son has
involved you in such a calamitous war. We can
not undo the past, but everything which we have
taken from you shall be restored to you. As for
Tarad, although he himself has done AH no harm,
yet he has been the cause of all the misfortunes
which have come upon these countries. Besides,
he broke his oath by coming to the terrace of my
daughter's castle, and carrying away her guest.
We cannot overlook his offences a second time,
nor can we accept any pledge from you and Abu
Tawaif for his good behaviour. I will keep him
in honourable confinement, and treat him other
wise like a king. I will also keep the Blue Queen
and her daughters in prison, for they pursued Ali
with their armies almost to our own territories."
Farkad then sought to persuade Turaia to return
home with him ; but she could not make up her
mind to leave this beautiful country, for all travellers
agree that the Island of the Smoking Mountain is
the most delightful country in the world ; and
Solomon himself stayed here for a time when he was
on his travels, and called it the Island of Paradise.
Turaia therefore allowed her father to return with
his prisoners and the greater part of the army, and
promised to follow in a short time with Ali.
A -few days afterwards, as Turaia, Ali, and Anan
7 3 New Arabian Nights.
were walking- together in the country, they suddenly
saw something like a white cloud descending from
the sky, and encompassing them on all sides. As it
approached, they perceived that it consisted of an
army of more than two thousand white-winged genii,
headed by the Blue Queen, King Tarad, the old
woman, Firusad, and the enchantress, Diarda.
As soon as Firusad and Diarda heard that the Blue
Queen was taken prisoner, they hastily assembled an
army in the White City, and fell upon the rear
guard of King Farkad's army by night, which
consisted of only a few hundred soldiers who were
guarding the prisoners. They slew the guard to a
man, without any intelligence reaching Farkad, and
then returned to the island of the Smoking Mountain
and fell upon Turaia.
When Turaia saw herself thus surrounded with
enemies, she fought like a lioness, and slew more than
a hundred with her own hand ; but at length she was
enclosed by genii, like a finger by a ring, and was
compelled to surrender. Anan, who attempted to
defend her, was made prisoner, and carried off by his
son, Tarad, while AH was seized upon by Firusad, who
carried him to the top of a high mountain, and said,
" Lest you should cause dissension between the Blue
Queen and her daughters, O destroyer of populous
cities, assume a form which shall mislead no one."
They suddenly saw something like a white cloud.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 81
She then took a little earth, murmured something
over it, and threw it in Ali's face, saying, " Quit this
form, and assume that of a hideous raven, which
wanders about the peaks of the mountains ; and let no
one pity thee till the day of resurrection." She had
scarcely spoken, when Ali found himself transformed
into a raven, as black as night, and he spread his
wings and flew away.
When Queen Turaia was brought before the Blue
Queen, the latter said to her, " Woe to you, impudent
woman, to choose for your husband the handsomest
youth in the world, and to lay waste whole kingdoms
on his account ! If I had yielded to my just resent
ment, you would have been slain on the spot ; but
you will not find it very pleasant in my capital ! "
She then ordered some of the genii to bind Turaia
and carry her to the White City, whither she would
follow immediately. As soon as the Blue Queen
reached home, she entered the bath, and seated her
self on a golden divan in the greatest splendour, with
her daughters and nobles around her, and ordered
Queen Turaia to be brought before her in chains.
Turaia bent her head to the ground with shame,
for this was the first reverse which she had ever
experienced in her life ; but then she stood up
haughtily before the Blue Queen, and said, " Truly
great monarchs are compassionate after war, and you
82 New Arabian Nights.
cannot boast of your victory, for you attacked me
suddenly with an overwhelming army. Your victory
is neither due to your strength nor to my weakness ;
nevertheless, God has so ordained it, and no one can
strive against His decrees. But, remember, that as
soon as my father learns that I am a prisoner here,
he will come upon you with an army which you will
be unable to resist. If my hands and feet were only
free from these chains, I myself would fight out my
quarrel with you !"
When the Blue Queen heard this, she said to her
daughters, "I think Turaia must have lost her reason,
or she would not dare to speak to me in her present
condition. Take her chains off; I am not afraid of
her, and would like to see what she means to do."
Johara had scarcely unfastened her chains, when
she stamped with her foot, and instantly wings
appeared upon her, and she flew homewards through
an open window. But the Blue Queen also assumed
the form of a great bird, and followed her until she
seized her feet, and cried out, " Woe to you, false
woman, did you think it was so easy to escape me ?
I will now put you into a cage from which you will
have no further desire to escape."
But Turaia instantly changed herself into an ant,
fell to the ground, and crept into a hole. The Blue
Queen immediately took the form of a cock with a
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 83
large beak, and turned up the earth till she found the
ant. But just as she was about to pick up the ant,
it changed into a flash of fire, which burned the wings
of the cock, and then rose into the air and fled away.
The Blue Queen then called her daughters and
friends, assembled her army again, and pursued
Turaia until she overtook her.
Turaia was fighting with Firusad and Johara, when
she suddenly saw herself surrounded by enemies,
among whom was the Blue Queen, with cheeks as red
as fire with delight, who exclaimed, " Woe to you,
base woman, for your last hour has arrived ! "
But Turaia cried out with a loud voice, " There is
no strength nor power but in Almighty God ! " and,
behold, her father, King Farkad, came up with a
great army to rescue her from the hands of her
enemies ; for after waiting some days in vain for the
arrival of the troops who should have followed him
with the prisoners, he returned, and found his troops
slaughtered, and the prisoners escaped.
This made him tremble for his daughter's safety,
and he returned with all speed to the Smoking Moun
tain to protect her.
When Turaia saw her father she fell on his neck,
and exclaimed, " Praise be to God that you have
arrived ; for if you had come a little later, I should
no longer have been among the living ! "
84 New Arabian Nights.
They then urged on their army to the battle, and
the genii of the Blue Queen were speedily slain or
taken prisoners. The queen herself was pursued by
Turaia to her capital and slain, but her dominions
were given to King Anan, for Turaia said, " I will
only remain here till I have found Ali, and we will
then return home together."
In the meantime, Ali was flying about in the shape
of a raven, without knowing which way to turn, or
where to obtain food and drink. After three days he
was so exhausted that he fluttered wildly about among
the trees and rocks, and at length fell senseless to the
earth. Upon this, more than a thousand ravens
assembled round him, who beat him with their wings,
and pecked him, and pulled his feathers out, while he
lay as helpless as a sparrow in the claws of an eagle.
After thus torturing him to their heart's content, one
of the ravens, thinking Ali was dead, flung him into a
fowler's net, and flew away. Ali thought he was now
out of danger, and endeavoured to free himself from
the net, but was unable, and when the fowler returned,
he seized him by the legs, saying, " Here is a hideous
raven, the friend of desolation and separation, who
frightens the other birds away from my nets ! " He
then took a pair of shears from his pocket, cut his
wings, tied his legs with a string, and carried him away.
But he soon found that he had made a good catch,
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 85
for Ali enticed many birds around them as they went
along, which fell into the fowler's nets. When they
arrived at an inn in the evening, he stroked Ali's
feathers, saying, " You have been very useful to me,
for I have caught more birds to-day than I ever
caught before in a whole week."
On the following day, seeing that Ali was exhausted,
the fowler took him on his camel, and as often as the
camel stopped, Alj pecked him with his beak till he
went on again. The fowler laughed very much, and
said, " You are a very clever bird."
In the evening they arrived at the city of Nishran,
where the fowler lived. It was a large city, surrounded
with beautiful gardens. The king was named Rihan,
and his three daughters were more skilled in magic
than the angels, Harut and Marut.
When the fowler entered his house, his wife was
astonished to see him come back so soon. However,
he only said, " My speedy return is due to this raven,
who has helped me to great success. Take good care
of him, while I go to the bird-dealer's and sell what I
The fowler's wife brought Ali into a large room,
and gave him food and water. He ate and drank,
hopped about the room, and played with the woman
and her daughters, until the return of the fowler, when
Ali bowed to him, and remained standing respectfully
86 New Arabian Nights.
before him. The fowler and his family soon became
so fond of him that they would not go out without
him. Ali's chief amusement in the streets was to
tease the dogs. Sometimes he beat their faces with
his wings, and sometimes he pecked them on the
back, and when they barked and turned round to
seize him, he jumped away. He teased the cats, too,
till at last they all kept out of his way. He soon
became the talk of the whole town, and many people
visited the fowler to see him and play with him ; and
everybody brought him something good to eat. In
the course of time, the king heard so much of his per
formances, that he sent one of his servants to ask the
fowler to bring him to his castle. The fowler then
took him under his arm, and carried him to the castle.
AH bowed three times before the king, as subjects are
accustomed to do, and all the viziers and officers
exclaimed, " By Allah ! this is a wonderful bird ! "
When the king stretched out his hand to Ali, Ali
kissed it with his beak, but remained sitting respect
fully at his feet till the king lifted him up on his lap,
stroked his feathers, and ordered some sweetmeats to
be brought, saying, " Now, clever bird, eat with me."
Ali shook his head to imply that he was unworthy of
such an honour, but the king said again, " Eat away,
friendly raven." Ali then ate till he had had enough,
when he wiped his beak on his feathers. The king
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 87
was so delighted that he bought the raven, wishing to
keep it always near him.
One day the king went to his harem rather later
than usual, and the queen asked why he had left
her alone so long.
The king answered, " I have a raven which is
the cleverest bird that I have ever seen, and he
amused me so much to-day that I quite forget the
The queen replied, " Why don't you show me the
bird? I have heard so much about him that I
should like to see him very much ; but I did not
wish to ask you till you mentioned him yourself."
The king ordered a slave-girl to fetch Ali, and
when she returned, he said to Ali, " Will you not
amuse these ladies a little ? " Ali then began to play
all sorts of tricks, he kissed the cheek of one, pulled
away the ribbons from the neck of another, shook
the curls of a third, and danced on the knee of a
fourth, till they could scarcely sit upright for laugh
ing at his antics. The queen was so pleased that
she sent a slave to call her daughters to see the
fun. In a short time three beautiful and majestic
maidens entered, and the eldest had no sooner caught
sight of the raven than she said to the two others,
" By Allah, this raven is an enchanted man ! "
The maidens looked sharply into Ali's eyes, and
88 New Arabian Nights.
answered, " You are right, dear sister ; but this is
a strange thing ! " They then asked their mother
to allow them to take AH to their own room, and
when she gave them permission, the eldest princess
said, " Follow me, and I will show you something
worth seeing, that ought not to be forgotten to the
day of resurrection ! " They led Ali to their old
nurse, who was of the race of the Amalekites, and
who had instructed them in magic, and said to her,
"Venerable mother, we bring you a raven whom
some evil-disposed person has enchanted ; will you
not try to help him ? " The old woman asked them
to light some candles, as her sight was failing, and
it was already growing dusk. She then pulled out
some of Ali's feathers, examined his skin, and cried
out, " I recognise the work of old Firusad, who
taught magic to the Blue Queen. There is no
doubt that the queen loved him, and ordered him
to be enchanted because he rejected her." She then
took Ali into an adjacent room where she kept her
magic apparatus, poured some yellow water out of
a sealed flask into a copper basin, and murmured
some unintelligible words over it, upon which it
began to boil up and to foam. She then said
" Stop ! " and the water, which was about to over
flow, sunk below the edge of the basin. She then
set the basin on the ground, and a green plant with
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 89
yellow flowers sprang up from the floor around it.
She gathered a handful of the flowers, and rubbed
Ali's feet and beak with it. She next sprinkled his
head with the water from the basin, and uttered a
fearful cry, upon which Ali recovered his shape, when
the old woman asked him with a friendly smile
what was his name, and whether he did not know
the Blue Queen ? Ali begged her to tell him if he
was far from the Island of Musk. " What do you
mean ? " answered she ; " you are now close to the
regions of darkness, where lies the sea of the two-
horned Alexander, and the Fountain of Life. I
should advise you to stay here under my protection.
I will introduce you to the king as my nephew ;
and after my death, you may inherit my property,
and travel where you please." Ali knew from bitter
experience that he could do nothing against the
will of an enchantress, and although he was most
anxious to return to his wife, notwithstanding the
distance, and the danger, he thanked the old woman
for her kind offer, and consented to remain with
her, secretly hoping that God would open a way
of escape for him. He was not wrong in his de
cision, for she only observed, " If you had opposed
my request, you might have fallen into a worse
misfortune than before." She then led him into
her own room, from which there was a pleasant
9O New Arabian Nights.
view over the city and harbour, and ordered her
servants to prepare a feast for him, and she herself
brought him a bottle of wine, which restored his
health and spirits. He then entered the bath, and
put on the rich clothing provided for him, and when
he returned to her afterwards, his appearance was
so much improved that she hardly knew him again.
In the evening, the princesses came to see what
had become of Ali. They admired him very much ;
one said that he was like one of the kings of the
genii ; and another that he was handsomer than
Joseph. He was about to rise up when they entered,
but the old woman would not allow it, and said,
"A prince like you need not rise before any one.
Ladies, this is Ali, the son of my friend Farha, the
daughter of King Mutar. Remain here, and con
verse with him." The princesses sat down, and
talked for some time, till the old woman said, " You
had better go now, for your father would be angry
if he knew that you had passed the whole evening
in company with this stranger."
The princesses then retired, and Ali, feeling weary,
asked permission to rest. He was shown to a
comfortable room, where he soon fell asleep. He
dreamed that Turaia appeared to him, as slender
as a swaying willow, and with eyes like a young
gazelle. Tears ran down her cheeks, like dewdrops
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 91
on a rose ; she tore her hair, and exclaimed in a
broken voice, "Art thou like other men, Ali, and
canst thou forget me so soon ? Do not rejoice our
enemies by allowing an old witch to keep you back
from me. Thou knowest what I have suffered on
thy account ; break away from the obstacles which
surround you, and strive to meet me again ! "
Ali started up, and went back into the other
room, where he saw the old woman asleep. He
opened the door quietly, and escaped through an
outer door into the city. He ran all night, heedless
whither, and when morning dawned he found him
self in a vast desert, where there was not a blade
of grass nor a drop of water. The sun soon became
so hot to his head, and the earth became so hot
under his feet, that he was unable to go farther;
and was obliged to lie down on the ground. He
lay thus for the whole day, but when the sun set,
a cool breeze sprang up, and Ali ran on again all
night in the darkness. On the following morning,
he saw before him a mountain so lofty that no bird
could fly to its summit. Fruit-trees clothed its sides,
and the most beautiful birds sang their morning
song in the branches, and many brooks meandered
round, or fell in cascades from vast precipices. Ali
bathed in the waters of a brook which was whiter
than milk, cooler than snow, and sweeter than honey,
92 New Arabian Nights.
and sat down under a lofty tree, with such thick
foliage that the rays of the sun could not pierce
through. Ali was so exhausted that he soon fell
asleep, but the old woman appeared to him in a
dream, with a drawn sword in her hand, and looking
still more hideous than she was in reality. She
raised the sword to kill him, when he started up in
terror, and as he found it impossible to sleep again,
he walked on, and began to climb the mountain,
when he suddenly saw two hideous and gigantic
forms before him. Their eyes were in the middle of
their faces, and divided longitudinally, and they had
projecting teeth like the tusks of an elephant.
Ali stood still, and heard one say to the other,
" Misham, did you see the young man who was
sleeping here just now ? What can have become of
him ? I never saw any human creature on this
mountain until to-day."
"Yes, Barari, I saw him," said Misham: "he is a
young man as beautiful as the full moon, and whoever
sees him, loves him."
" He is Ali, the son of Farha," observed Barari.
u If so," returned Misham, " I am at the end of
my troubles, for know, my friend, that I am sent
here by Queen Turaia to seek for Ali, and have
sworn not to return without news of him. I have
been wandering for a long time through all inhabited
The old woman appeared to him in a dream, with a drawn sword
in her hand.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 95
and desert countries, through towns and villages,
and among mountains and valleys everywhere asking
men and genii if they had seen him. At last I
heard that the nurse of the princesses in the neigh
bouring city had restored a raven, who was an en
chanted man, to his proper shape. I inquired at the
castle after the stranger, but was informed that he
had departed secretly, none knew whither. Let us
hasten to find him lest he should escape us again."
AH then cried out, " Stay where you are, for I am
AH, the son of Farha, whom you seek. Will you
take me back to my loved one, Queen Turaia ? "
"Not yet," replied Misham, " for this would impede
my flight, and I must take news of you to the queen
as quickly as possible, lest she should die of grief
and anxiety. Stay here with my friend Barari. I
will hasten to Turaia, and will soon return with
As he spoke, he spread his wings, and disappeared
in an instant. When he was gone, Barari told AH
not to go far from the spot, and flew away too.
In the evening he came back, bringing some pro
visions with him. On the following morning he
again left AH alone. Soon afterwards, one of the
flying genii descended, took AH on his back, and
flew up into the air with him. AH fainted with fear ;
and when he recovered, he found himself in a royal
96 New Arabian Nights.
castle, where a lady was seated on a throne of gold
and jewels ; and attendants stood all around.
The lady said softly to a friend, " This youth is
certainly not worth the furious wars which my sister
Turaia wages with the kings of the genii on his ac
count. Look how dull are his eyes, and how pale
his cheeks, and how insignificant his whole appear
ance ! If I had known that this was the famous
AH, I would never have troubled myself to bring
him here ; but as he is now in my power, he may aid
in effecting a ^reconciliation between myself and my
sister." She then said aloud to her attendants,
" Which of you will fly quickest to my sister Turaia,
who is still in the White City with the daughters
of the Blue Queen, and inform her that Ali, the
son of Farha, is with me here ? "
Upon this a hideous and gigantic genius named
Humarik rose up and answered, " Great queen, I
only await your orders to fly to her like the wind."
She immediately called for paper and ink, and
wrote a letter to her sister, which she gave to
Humarik, who kissed her hand, and set out on his
But the queen soon repented that she had written
to her sister, and sought an occasion to quarrel with
Ali, that she might put him out of the way. She
therefore entertained him royally for that day ; and
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 97
on the following morning, after AH had performed
his ablutions, and prayed, an attendant entered his
room, who announced,
"The queen wishes to speak with you, and is
waiting for you outside the city."
AH left the castle with his guide, and found a mule
waiting. He rode out of the city, and presently
found the queen sitting with an old woman on a
Greek carpet, under the shade of a tree. She asked
AH to sit down, and gave him something to eat and
drink which she had brought with her, and then
said, " Come with me a little way, for the old woman
will take care of everything for us."
The queen guided AH to a green valley, where they
heard nothing but rippling brooks, singing birds, and
" What a beautiful valley ! " he exclaimed, " let us
rest here awhile, great queen."
" If the valley pleases you so much, you need not
leave it very soon," she replied, and when AH dis
mounted, and sat down, she also got down from her
mule, and sat near him. Then she turned to AH,
and exclaimed, " Are you not ashamed, AH, to eat
my food, and drink my wine, and yet to desire to
leave my court immediately*, to return to my sister ? "
She then struck him in the face, and breathed on
him, saying, " AH, son of Farha, become a marble
New Arabian Nights.
statue, speechless and incapable of showing any signs
of life ! "
Ali fainted ; and when he recovered his senses, he
heard the old woman say, " Great queen, it rests
entirely with you whether Ali shall remain a statue
till the day of resurrection ; but what will you say
to your sister, Queen Turaia, when she comes ? "
" What have I to fear from Queen Turaia ? " an
swered she, haughtily. " Is not my army like the
grains of sand in the desert, or as the raindrops that
fall from heaven for multitude ; and are not the most
powerful kings of the genii in the island my allies ? "
The old woman saw that her words made no im
pression, and only said, " You know better than I,
mighty queen ; do what you think right."
Then the queen ordered two of her servants to
carry the statue to a part of the valley where the
trees grew so thick that not a ray of light could
pierce through the shade ; and forbade them on pain
of death to mention the affair to any one. " If Turaia
asks after him," she said to the old woman, " we must
say that he went out alone against our wishes, and
did not return."
In the meantime Queen Turaia was on the point
of starting with Misham'to the place where he had
left Ali, when Humarik arrived with the letter from
Queen Shuba. She opened it hastily, and imme-
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 99
diately asked the messenger if he had seen Ali with
his own eyes ? He swore solemnly that he had seen
Ali himself at the court of Queen Shuba. She then
gave him a friendly reception, and commanded her
troops to prepare to accompany her to the neighbour
ing island where Queen Shuba reigned, as she wished
to visit her sister. This amazed every one, as there
had been bitter enmity between Turaia and Shuba
from their earliest youth. They were their father's
only children, and each wished to be his favourite.
Each of them, too, aspired to be most proficient in
magic, in which they had been instructed by his
orders. Their mutual jealousy at length resulted in
a duel, in which Shuba was severely wounded, and
carried senseless into the castle. Farkad, who had
just returned from a journey, sent hastily for the best
physicians, who scattered a powder over the wound,
and administered wine. This revived Shuba ; and
after a few weeks she perfectly recovered. But the
thought that every one knew that she had been
defeated by the sister whom she hated, preyed so
much upon her mind that she could neither endure
to appear in public, or to remain at home. She
therefore begged her tutor to seek for a distant island,
where she and her adherents could found a new
kingdom. The tutor immediately summoned the
kings of the genii who were subject to him, and
ioo New Arabian Nights.
they traversed the whole world without rinding
any suitable uninhabited island, but one, which they
called the Island of Perfection, from its fertility and
its charming situation. When they brought this
news to the tutor, he ordered them to prepare their
troops for a journey, and he went to King Farkad,
and said, " If the life of your daughter Shuba is dear
to you, you must permit her to leave the country.
You can perceive that her health and strength are
gradually failing ; she requires change of air, and
I have already found a place of abode for her where,
if God wills, she may recover her health."
The king answered, " You know, revered Professor,
that my daughter Shuba is my life and my soul, and
that it would be very painful for me to part with her ;
yet I love her so well that I would rather hear that
she was well and happy at a distance than see her
sick and suffering. I will therefore put no difficulty
in the way of her departure."
He immediately sent for his treasurer, and gave
the tutor as much money as he required ; and he
ordered the admiral to prepare the best ships for his
On the deck of the ship chosen for Shuba herself,
he erected a tent of aloes wood, and spread the
floor with rich carpets. When all was ready, he
summoned the captain, and begged him to use every
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 101
effort to secure his daughter a safe and comfortable
voyage, and not to allow the sailors to make any
unnecessary noise, lest they might disturb her. He
then took leave of his daughter, and the ships set
sail. The captain only spread the smaller sails as
long as the ships were in sight of the harbour, and
the king was still looking after them ; but after
wards he spread the main-sail, and the wind was so
favourable that they soon arrived safely at the Island
of Perfection. Shuba was delighted with her tutor's
choice, for she thought the island a real paradise.
She then selected the most beautiful spot in the
whole island for her castle, and her tutor designed
the plan. A city soon sprang up around it, for the
fertility of the island, and the abundance of precious
stones which it contained, attracted emigrants from
all parts of the world, and Shuba became a mighty
queen, whose power continually increased, until she
thought herself the equal of Turaia.
When Turaia arrived, she sought for Ali every
where in the palace, but in vain, and she did not
like to ask her sister about him. She passed a
sleepless night, and when the great men of the
empire and the captains of the army assembled to
do her honour, she was so exhausted that she was
scarcely able to reply to them. When she was again
alone with Shuba, she asked her to take a walk ;
iO2 New Arabian Nights.
and as soon as they had left the city she said, " My
dear sister, although this island is incomparably
beautiful, and I would like much to stay longer with
you, yet my own imperial duties forbid it, nor must I
leave our father too long alone. I must therefore
ask you where is Ali, the beloved of my heart, whose
arrival at your court was announced to me by your
messenger ? I long to see him very much, and desire
to return home with him."
" Dear sister," replied Shuba ; " a few days after
the departure of my messenger, Ali rode out, and
has never returned. I have made inquiries about
him throughout the whole island, but no one has
discovered any trace of him. I was then sorry that
I had despatched my messenger, but I could not call
" Do not reproach yourself, dear sister," said
Turaia ; " it seems that Ali's troubles are not yet
ended, or he would have remained here. Perhaps
he has missed his way in the forest, and will soon
return. I will wait here for him a few days longer."
On the following day Turaia rose. up early, and
went into the mountains to search for Ali herself,
but she rode about all day calling his name with
out receiving any answer. In the evening she was
quite exhausted, and fell on the ground, and cried,
weeping, " O God, Thou hast decreed that Ali and
Perhaps he has missed his way in the forest."
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 105
I should suffer from this unhappy love, and that so
many troubles should befall us. This has separated
me from my home and my father ; but I have no
hope now. I seek Thy aid, for nothing in heaven or
on earth is hidden from Thee. I implore Thee, for
the sake of Thy messenger Mohammed (peace be
with him !) to show me the place where my beloved
Ali is concealed, and reunite us." As soon as she
had finished her prayer, she heard a voice reply,
" You will soon meet you husband again. Queen
Shuba has changed him into a marble statue, which
lies in this valley. When she sent for him first she
thought to have effected a reconciliation with you
through his means ; but after she had written to you,
she repented of what she had done, so she changed
him into a statue, which she ordered to be thrown
into the wood where the trees are most thickly
Turaia then plunged deeper into the wood, where
she heard two genii contending for the possession
of her beloved. One was Sader, whom she herself
had sent in search of Ali ; and the other was Duha,
a friend of Queen Farha.
Now Sader had searched the hills and valleys
from east to west, for several weeks ; and when he
arrived at the Island of Perfection, he had lost all
hope of finding Ali, and was about to return to
io6 New Arabian Nights.
Turaia, when he saw Duha, who appeared very
much agitated, looking all about her, and running
first one way and then another, and she was so
much heated that fire flew from her nose.
Sader stopped her, and asked her who she was,
and where she was going ?
She answered, " I am Duha, the daughter of a
great king who lives near the Coral Island. I
left my father because he wished to marry me
against my will to an ugly prince from the Island
of Lions, and I fled to Queen Farha. I found her
in great trouble, and when I asked her the reason,
she said, ' I am grieving for the loss of my only
son. I do not know if he is alive or dead, and I
dare not inquire after him, because my father swore
when he heard of his flight that he would cease to
acknowledge me as his daughter if I ever mentioned
my son's name again. I have mourned for him
in secret for a whole year, and dare not speak of
my grief to any one, for every one here fears my
father, and would probably betray me to him. The
Lord be praised who sent you here, for I feel sure
that you will take pity on me, and bring me news
of my son ! ' She then wept bitterly, and fainted, and
I pitied her so much that, as soon as she recovered,
I promised her that I would set out immediately in
search of AH, and would not return until I brought
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 107
him back, or brought news of him. I flew from one
island to another till I arrived in this island, where
I heard that Ali had been changed into a statue
by Queen Shuba. I searched the whole forest in
hopes of finding the statue, in order to take it back
to Queen Farha, who could easily restore her son
to his former shape, but two genii, whom I take to
be the guards of the statue, rushed upon me in
such a threatening manner that I was obliged to
take to flight, and I am still in terror lest they
should overtake me."
When Duha had ended her story, Sader observed,
" By Allah, our meeting here is a wonderful coin
cidence ! We are both seeking the same object; for
Queen Farha is lamenting the loss of her son ; and
Queen Turaia, who is mourning for the loss of her
husband, has sent me in search of him. As we
are engaged in the same quest, we had better
remain together, for we may be useful to each other ;
and when we have once found Ali, we can set the
minds of both queens at rest."
" We may attain our end at once by an easy
stratagem," said Duha ; "bind me with cords, and
lead me back to the two genii who are pursuing me.
Then greet them in a friendly manner, and say,
' Brothers, here is the fugitive who has just escaped
you. She seems to have some evil design, for she
io8 New Arabian Nights.
tried to avoid rne also, and refused to answer my
questions ; but I struck her in the face with my
wings, and felled her to the ground, and now I bring
her back to you, to be dealt with as she deserves.'
Thus you will gain their confidence, and it will be
easy for you, if needful, to protect me from any
Sader admired the trick, and immediately threw
a rope round the neck of Duha, and led her to the
hill where the two genii were standing. As soon as
he saw them, he cried out, " Dear brothers, I bring
you here the suspicious character who has just fled
from you. She wished to avoid me, and refused to
tell me who she was, so I knocked her down, and
bound her fast"
" We had ceased to concern ourselves about her,"
said one of the genii ; " but as you have taken the
trouble to bring her back, she shall be punished as
she deserves ; come with us to the caravansera."
Sader followed them, leading Duha by the rope,
until they reached a very magnificent castle, with
innumerable apartments ; it lay between two high
mountains. When they arrived, the two genii ordered
food and wine, and ate and drank with Sader. In
the course of their conversation, Sader ascertained
that they had really been stationed there by Shuba
to prevent any one from approaching the statue.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 109
This gave him an opportunity to ask to accompany
them next day. Duha was still bound, but she
presently began to weep, and knelt down before
the two genii, saying, " If you wish Well to Shuba,
you must not treat me as an enemy, for I am one
of her friends whom she desired to send to her father
that he might protect her against Turaia, if she heard
of what she had done to Ali ; but if you will send
another messenger, I would gladly stay with you, and
The genii, who were now in a good humour, believed
Duha's story, took the cord from her neck, and
allowed her to accompany them to the wood next
day. When they sat down near the statue, Sader
said, "What can the poor fellow have done, that
Queen Shuba should have changed him into a stone,
which still feels heat and cold and hunger and thirst
but is incapable of movement ? "
"I don't know his offence," answered one of the
guards; "perhaps he forgot his station, and made
love to the queen."
"That is absurd," said Duha, "for Ali loves Queen
Turaia, and has suffered the greatest dangers on her
account ; it is more likely that Shuba was jealous
of Queen Turaia, for Ali is said to be the handsomest
man in the world."
" If so," said the guard, who was himself in love
no New Arabian Nights.
with Shuba, " Shuba may keep watch on him herself,
if she likes," and he and his companion walked off.
Sader immediately went to the statue, took it on
his back, and was about to carry it to Turaia to
disenchant, but Duha interposed, saying, " Not so ;
I must bring him to his mother Farha, for Ali was
rescued by my artifice. Besides, the sorrow of an
unhappy mother for a lost son is more bitter than
that of a wife for her husband."
" I think you must have lost your senses," answered
Sader ; " do you suppose that after I have sought
for Ali so long through all countries, I am going to
give him up to you, when I have found him ? Come
with me to Turaia, and afterwards we will all visit
his mother Farha together."
But when Duha saw that Sader would not yield,
she rushed upon him like lightning, struck him a
blow in , the eye with her wing, which knocked him
down, and exclaimed, " Woe to you, you dog ; I will
teach you not to behave like this to a lady ! "
She snatched the statue out of his hand, and was
about to fly to Queen Farha, when Turaia arrived
on the scene, and cried out, " Halt there, or die ! "
Duha turned round, and seeing Queen Turaia,
answered, " Pardon, gracious queen ! By the seal
of Solomon, I would have done Ali no harm, but
only wished to fulfil my oath by taking him to his
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 1 1 1
mother Farha. Forgive me, and remember that I
have only done my duty as the servant and friend
of Queen Farha."
"You have done your duty," said Turaia, "but
now give Sader the statue, that he may carry it to
some place where we may be safe from interruption ;
and you may either go at once to take Queen Farha
news of her soil ; or you may come with me, until
AH is restored to his former shape."
" Mighty queen," said Duha, " I will send a mes
senger to my mistress immediately ; but I myself
will remain with you for the present."
They then went to a cavern, whither Sader had
already carried the statue. Turaia stroked her
hand over its face, took a little earth which was
sticking to it, pronounced some sacred names, and
scattered the soil on the ground ; whereupon a green
plant with a red flower sprang up immediately.
Turaia gathered the flower, and squeezed an oily
juice from it, which she rubbed over the statue, and
said, "^By the power of these holy names, and the
influence of this wonderful plant, return to your
former shape ! "
Upon this, Ali's tongue was loosed, and he cried
out, "There is but one God, and Mohammed is His
prophet ! God is Almighty, and He raises the dead
again by His will ! "
1 1 2 New Arabian Nights.
When Turaia saw that her husband had regained
his proper form, she ordered Sader to carry him to
her apartments, whither she and Duha followed.
They spent the greater part of the night in feasting
and rejoicing, and in relating their mutual adventures ;
and it was long past midnight when Sader and Duha
withdrew, and they retired to rest. But when Ali
awoke, he found himself between heaven and earth
on the shoulders of one of the flying genii. He
immediately pronounced the sentence which protects
all who use it : " There is no strength nor power but
in Almighty God ! " and then asked his bearer, "Who
are you, and whither are you carrying me ? "
She answered, " Fear nothing, I am Duha, the
friend of your mother Farha, to whom I am carrying
you. I only followed Queen Turaia from policy,
that I might seize the first favourable opportunity
of stealing you from her again ; for your mother
suffers too much from your absence. But as soon
as we are in safety, I will send a messenger to Queen
Turaia, to ask her to follow us."
When Ali recognised Duha, he was satisfied, and
allowed her to proceed on her journey without op
position. He was already rejoicing in the idea of
soon seeing his mother again, and at the approaching
end of all his troubles, when they came to the Island
of Lions, above which they were obliged to pass.
The Adventures of Z alter and his Son. 113
Suddenly a host of flying genii, with King Jahak
at their head, surrounded them as closely as a ring
surrounds a finger.
"We are lost!" exclaimed Duha, "for this is the
prince to whom I was betrothed, and from whom
I fled to your mother. We are alone and unarmed,
and cannot escape him. May God take pity on us
and on your mother ! "
She had scarcely spoken when two genii, as large
as the highest mountains, rushed upon her, and
bound her hands behind her back with a heavy chain.
Then they seized on Ali, and asked, "Who are you ?"
" I am Ali, the son of Farha," he answered.
"If you are Ali," said they, "it is on your account
that so many countries have been devastated, so
many kings dethroned, and so many genii slain !
By the seal of Solomon, you shall pay dearly for
the mischief which you have wrought ! "
A genius from Mount Kaf, at a nod from King
Jahak, was already on the point of putting Ali and
Duha to death, when suddenly a terrific tumult
arose. Two officers rushed forward to reconnoitre,
and then exclaimed to the king, " Fly this instant,
or you are lost ; your best troops are already slain
or made prisoners, for Queen Farha has fallen upon
them as suddenly as the lightning from heaven, to
rescue her son ! "
H4 New Arabian Nig/its.
But before Jahak could resolve on anything, Farha
herself appeared, surrounded by numerous kings of
the genii. Jahak was led into his capital, loaded
with the same chains with which Duha had been
bound, and Farha carried her son thither in her own
The unexpected arrival of Farha happened in the
following manner. When Duha's messenger in
formed her that AH was with Queen Turaia, she
feared that he would be so strongly guarded that
Duha would have no opportunity of carrying him
away. So without informing her father, she set
out on the road to the Island of Perfection with
an escort of several thousand genii ; and she came
near the Island of Lions just at the time that
Jahak and his followers had seized Ali and Duha.
When they arrived at King Jahak's palace, Queen
Farha made Ali sit by her side in full court, and
relate all his adventures. But before he had finished,
Duha entered, and announced the arrival of Queen
Turaia, with an army of genii. When Turaia
awoke in the morning, and missed Ali, she thought
at first that her sister Shuba had played her another
trick; but when she found that Duha had also
disappeared, she concluded that she had carried
Ali away to his mother. Apart from this, she
found her stay with her sister was disagreeable, so
The Adventures of Zaher and 7iis Son. 1 1 5
she summoned her followers who had escorted her,
and commanded them to accompany her to the
Coral Island. When she heard that Farha had
rescued AH and Duha from King Jahak, she fol
lowed to Jahak 's palace, and announced her arrival.
Farha sent Ali to welcome Turaia, and he rushed
out to meet her, and introduced her to his mother
as his wife. They all praised God for this wonderful
meeting ; and they rewarded Duha for her faithful
service by presenting her with the throne of King
They -remained together all day, but towards
evening, Ali, who wished to be alone with Turaia,
asked her to walk with him a short distance from
the towii; leaving Farha and Duha behind. They
were so happy together that they wandered a great
distance through the gardens surrounding the town,
and the moon had long been shining in the heavens
before they thought of returning. In endeavour
ing to return to the town in the darkness, they
lost their way, and wandered about till they saw
a magnificent tent pitched, but no one near. Ali
" Let us pass the night in this tent rather than
in the open air, for we shall not easily find our
way back to the town in this darkness."
Turaia agreed, and they entered the tent, which
ii6 New Arabian Nights.
they found beautifully furnished with carpets and
divans. It was illuminated with perfumed wax-
lights, and the tables were loaded with delicate
food and choice wines ; in short, everything was
fitted to rejoice the heart of a weary traveller. But
they had scarcely sat down when two men entered ;
accompanied by four flying genii. They were
Jahak's brothers, who had fled from the town after
the defeat in the morning, and had pitched their
tent here, intending to fly farther on the following
day. As soon as they recognised Turaia and AH,
they laid hands upon them, exclaiming, " Now we
can avenge our brother." AH was handed over
to one of the genii, with the words, " This fellow
brings ruin and desolation wherever he goes. Carry
him beyond Mount Kaf, that the curse of God
may fall upon him!"
The genius took AH on his back, and flew with
him so high that the smallest stars seemed like
great mountains, and he heard the angels singing
the praises of God in heaven. Upon this, he cried
out, "There is but one God, and Mohammed is
His prophet !" He had scarcely spoken when a
fiery arrow struck the genius, and reduced him to
ashes. AH was driven about in the air by the
winds for a long time, but at length he fell on
the terrace of a house in Damascus. The noise
AT LENGTH HE FELL ON THE TERRACE OF A HOUSE.
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 1 1 9
of his fall awakened the master of the house, and as
his premises had lately been broken into, he roused
his servants, who accompanied him to the terrace.
When they saw Ali, they supposed him to be a
thief, so two on each side rushed upon him at
once, and they bound him with cords, and left him
in the courtyard till morning.
" We have certainly caught the thief who robbed
me the other day," said the master. The police
sergeant asked Ali who he was, and when he
answered that he was Ali, the son of Farha, the
Queen of the Coral Island, he laughed, and ordered
him to be beaten until he should confess his
real name, and should restore the property which
he had stolen. But at this moment Zaher himself
entered, and recognising the seal ring which he
had given to Farha on his wedding night, he started,
and inquired, " Who is this young man ?"
" He is a thief," answered the police sergeant,
"who was seized in the act of breaking into this
" But the young man does not look like a thief,"
persisted Zaher ; " have you asked him his name,
and residence ?"
"He calls himself Ali, the son of Farha, the
Queen of the Coral Island," said the sergeant,
laughing. At this, Zaher fell on Ali's neck, ex-
I2O New Arabian Nights.
claiming, " He has spoken truth, and he is my son ;
I know him by his seal ring." Zaher then asked
Ali to inform the police how he came upon the
terrace. He narrated the history of his life ; and
Zaher reproached the sergeant for his hasty sen
tence, and took Ali to his own house.
On the following day, Zaher introduced his son
to the king, who took such a fancy to him that
he immediately offered him an important post.
Shortly afterwards, Ali was out riding with the
king and talking about the genii, when the king
said, " I should like to see them very much ; what
are they like?"
"My lord," replied Ali, "they are of different
forms ; some are like wild beasts, others like birds,
and others again like men."
Ali had scarcely spoken when the king ex
" Look, Ali, what a dark cloud has suddenly
appeared in the distance, and the sun is already
hidden behind it !"
Ali looked, and replied, " That is no cloud, great
king, but an army of the frying genii which is
Presently the army separated, and surrounded
the city, and a company of about a hundred ap
proached the gate. Ali went up to the leader,
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. \ 2 1
and asked him what he wanted in Damascus ? He
" I desire to announce the arrival of Queen
Farha and Queen Turaia to the king."
" Here is the king," said Ali, and he then asked
permission to go to meet the queens.
The king consented, and rode back alone to the
city, when Ali was conducted to the queens. They
both fainted with joy, when they saw him again,
and after he had revived them by sprinkling them
with rose-water, he asked how they had come to
Damascus to search for him.
"Know," replied Farha, "that when you and
Turaia remained out so late at night on the Island
of Lions, I asked Duha to take some powerful
genii, and go to look for you in the direction
in which you had gone. She flew about in the
gardens for a long time, till at last a pitiful cry
guided her to a handsome tent where Jahak's
brothers were beating Turaia. Duha immediately
overthrew the brothers, and her companions bound
them fast, and brought them to me. I then heard
that they had ordered you to be carried beyond
Mount Kaf. I had little hope of ever seeing you
again, but I begged the faithful Duha to follow
you at once, in case she might possibly overtake you
before you reached your destined place of imprison-
122 New Arabian Nights.
ment. She obeyed, and flew with all her speed
in the direction of Mount Kaf. As she was passing
over Syria, she met an old friend who asked her
what brought her so far from home ?
"'I am pursuing a genius,' replied Duha, 'who
is carrying Ali, the son of Farha, beyond Mount
" ' If that is your quest,' said her friend, ' you
need not go farther, for a genius who was carrying
a man has just been burned by a fiery arrow, and
the man fell into Damascus. Go and inquire after
him there, for it is probably this Ali of whom you
are in search.'
" Duha immediately went to Damascus in a human
form, and passed by a coffee-house, where she heard
the people talking of the arrival of the son of
Zaher from the Coral Island. She immediately
returned to us with the joyful news, and we re
solved to follow you here."
Ali then related to his mother how the wonderful
arrival of his father had rescued him from the
beating, under which he would certainly have died.
After this, they went to the king, who had already
informed Zaher of the arrival of his wife, and had
invited him to his palace. Zaher burst into tears,
when he saw Farha again, and lamented that they
had been separated so long ; but she reproached
The Adventures of Zaher and his Son. 123
him bitterly for never making any attempt to return
to her. The king gave them all a magnificent
reception, and sympathised heartily in their happi
ness. He succeeded in reconciling Farha to her
husband, and she consented to remain three days
at Damascus, but was unwilling to stay longer, on
account of her father's anxiety. But Turaia deter
mined to stay permanently, and contented herself
with sending a messenger to King Farkad to inform
him of her intention. She lived with AH in the
greatest happiness, until death took her from him.
When AH related this story to the Caliph Ab-
delmelik, the son of Merwan, the Caliph asked if
Turaia had left him any family ; upon which he
introduced his two sons to the court. The Caliph
gave each of them a costly robe ; and to AH he
gave a robe of honour, and an important office,
and sent for him to tell him stories whenever he
This is all which has been related to us con
cerning the history of Zaher, of Damascus, and his
son AH. Praise be to the only God, and honour
to our Lord, His apostle Mohammed, with his
relations and companions, until the Day of Judg
JOODAR OF CAIRO, AND MAHMOOD
:ULTAN ZAHER BYBARS was loved and
honoured throughout all Kgypt for his
justice and other good qualities, and especially
for the solicitude which he exhibited for the
prosperity of all his subjects, whether rich or
poor, noble or insignificant. He appointed a police-
inspector to watch over Cairo, who surpassed all his
contemporaries in craftiness and ability. He rested
neither night nor day, but watched over the peace
and safety of the city without intermission ; and
permitted no good deed to remain unrewarded, nor
any crime to escape punishment.
One day, when he was with the Sultan, who was
sitting on his throne, and surrounded by the greatest
dignitaries of the state, five old men with beards
as white as snow entered the divan, and requested
Joodar of Cairo, and Makmood of Tunis. \ 2 5
"Who has wronged you?" asked the police-
They kissed the ground before him, and -one of
them replied : " Know, O my master, that we have
a strange complaint to make, which compels us to
appear in a court of justice for the first time in our
lives. We are five brothers, and live together in
one house near the Lake of Elephants. We lived
formerly in great prosperity, but our property
dwindled away little by little, till we became very
poor. One evening, when we had just eaten the
last scrap, and had come to the sad resolution that
we must go and beg on the morrow, a young man
rode up to our door, on a mule. He dismounted,
gave the mule to his servant to hold, and came
to speak to us. He wore a green robe, red silken
trousers, and a turban such as they wear in Yemen.
After friendly greeting and salutations, we asked if
we could be of any service to him.
" ' I am your neighbour,' he answered ; ' I live on
the other side of the Lake of Elephants, and wish
to be your guest this evening.'
"We replied that he was very welcome, but that we
had nothing to offer him this evening, and would
therefore wish him to defer his visit till to-morrow.
"At this he smiled and said : ' By Allah, you must
be my guests to-night, and come home with me.'
126 New Arabian Nights.
"We put our trust in God and went with him,
though he was a stranger to us. He stopped in front
of a handsome house and knocked gently at the
door, which was immediately opened, when he bade
us enter in God's name. He led us into a hall which
was furnished with the richest divans and carpets,
and said : ' Consider this house as your own, and
myself as your servant/ We kissed his hands and
feet, and answered : ' We are ready to accomplish all
your wishes, and you have only to command us.' He
then went to a closed door on the right of the hall and
called, upon which it opened, and an Indian slave-
girl appeared, with black Babylonian eyes, beautifully
arched eyebrows, cheeks like roses, lips like coral,
and teeth like pearls. As the poet says, ' If an
idolater saw her, he would abandon his idols and
worship her only, and the monk who saw her in the
west would forget to pray towards the east and follow
" This beautiful girl said sweetly to the young man :
' What does my lord desire ? '
" And he answered : ' These men are my guests ;
bring them something to eat/
" The slave-girl disappeared, and soon came back
with fowls, rice, and confectionery, and invited us to
" When we had eaten enough and had thanked God,
Jootlar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 127
the maiden brought us a gold basin and a silver jug,
filled with rose-water ; and after we had washed, she
brought a bundle containing five robes for us to put
on. The young man then invited us to sit on the
divans, but they were of such costly material and so
richly ornamented, that we said : * Such divans are
for kings, and are not suitable for poor people like
" But the young man only gave us a friendly look,
and* said : ' Sit down, and do not waste so many
words. 1 He then went to another door and called,
upon which a Greek slave-girl, looking as if she had
just come from Paradise, entered from an adjoin
ing room. Her beauty was indescribable, but we
especially noticed her slender figure, and her proud
and yet graceful carriage. When she stood before
the youth she said : ' My lord, we have not enjoyed
much of your company to-day ; where have you
tarried so long ? '
"'My guests have taken up much of my time,' he
replied ; ' bring them something to drink.'
" She then retired, but returned immediately, ac
companied by two slave-girls carrying golden cans,
silver goblets, crystal glasses, and Chinese cups.
" The Greek filled the goblets with wine, the glasses
with all sorts of odoriferous flowers, and the cups with
the choicest dried fruits. We were so amazed at all
128 New Arabian Nights.
this luxury that we bit our fingers and thought, 'Are
we asleep or awake ? ' Then the young man went
to another door and called, when a maiden appeared
resembling a moon ; with a shining forehead, deli
cately tinted cheeks, a glance more piercing than the
sharpest sword, and a form as slender as a willow.
She was adorned like a bride, and held an Indian
lute in her hand.
" ' What does my lord desire ? ' she asked.
" 'Sit down and play something to my guests/ he
"Then she began to sing and play so that the whole
house shook. After this the youth called four other
maidens, each of whom brought a different musical
instrument, and we passed the night with wine,
music, and singing, such as we had never enjoyed
in our lives before. But what was still more extra
ordinary, when we were about to take our leave, the
young man presented us with a golden and a silver
dish, filled with the choicest provisions and fruit for
our family, and he gave us another invitation for the
following evening. We kissed his hands and feet,
thanked him for his sumptuous entertainment, and
promised to come again. On the following evening
we carried the dishes with us under our cloaks, and
went back to the rich young man's house. He gave
us as friendly a reception as on the first day, and
Joodar of Cairo, and Makmood of Tunis. 129
entertained us again in the same manner. This
went on for fifty-eight days, which we shall never
forget, for he always entertained us with still more
costly provisions, better wines, and the voices of yet
more beautiful maidens, whose ornaments were worth
more than all the revenues of Egypt. The young
man made such a display of wealth before us that at
last we became suspicious, and thought no one but
a thief or a magician could possess such riches.
Therefore, noble Emir, we come to call your atten
tion to this young man's extravagance."
The police-inspector asked them to show him the
house, and on the following day he stationed a
hundred soldiers round it, while he himself and
an officer entered and requested the young man
to accompany him to the presence of the Sultan.
" Willingly," replied he ; and he locked up his
house, put the key in his pocket, and went with the
On the way the latter said : " If you will tell me
your history, and how you became possessed of such
vast wealth, I will stand your friend with the Sultan."
" I thank you for your friendly intentions," re
turned the young man, " but I wo\ild rather relate
the whole history of my life to the Sultan himself."
When they arrived in the Sultan's presence he
commenced his story as follows :
130 New Arabian Nights.
Know, O mighty Sultan, that when my father
was sixty-five years of age he was attacked with a
dangerous illness, and said to my mother : " O mother
of Joodar" (for I was his only child), " know that my
death is near (praise to Him who alone lives for ever!),
and I quit this transitory world to pass to a better
and everlasting home. I thank God who has kept
me strong and well until now, and has always en
abled me to provide for you and for my son Joodar.
Unfortunately I have not been able to save much,
but I have saved one hundred and ten golden dinars.
Give the hundred dinars to my son, and use the ten
for the necessary funeral expenses. Let my son
employ the hundred dinars in some business, lest he
should become poor, for he who has no money is
despised in Egypt. But if Joodar should become
poor, let him become a fisherman, for this will bring
him good luck. He will find a fishing net in a box in
the cupboard." My father died three days afterwards,
and we mourned for him and buried him, and my
mother fulfilled all his instructions. But as soon as
I received the hundred dinars I spent one day at
Boolak, and another on the island of Rhoda among
the sailors. I did no work, and passed my time in
feasting and idleness, notwithstanding the warnings
of my mother, until at the end of three months I
had nothing left. Then T went to my mother and
Joodar of Cairo, and Makmood of Timis. \ 3 1
complained of my poverty and distress. She replied :
" How is it that you would always keep bad company,
notwithstanding all my warnings?"
" No one can avoid what is decreed for him," said
I ; " what has happened, has happened ; but now
give me some money to buy something to eat."
" I am as poor as yourself," said my mother ; " I
have not enough to buy a morsel of bread, or even
a mustard-seed, and I have nothing whatever in the
house, so you must obey your father's wishes, and
become a fisherman."
I opened the box which my father had left for me,
and took out the net, saying, " We proceed from
God, and to Him do we return."
I took leave of my mother, went to Old Cairo, got
into a boat, and pushed off, trusting in the protection
of God. I cast the net several times, but it always
came up empty, although I tried several places which
were seldom without fish. I was much distressed
on account of my poor mother, and nearly cried
my eyes out of my head. I then folded up my net,
and endeavoured to sell or exchange it among the
fishermen ; but no one would give me anything foi
it. But as I could not make up my mind to beg,
I went to the little Lake of Karoon, which is some
times very shallow. But this time I found it full of
water to the very edge, and it boiled and foamed like
132 New Arabian Nights.
the water in a boiling kettle. I thought I might be
more fortunate here than in the Nile, and cast my
net again. But when I drew it up it was filled with
nothing but stones and rubbish. I cleaned it with
much difficulty, and cast it again, but I found nothing
in it at all. I then thought that I would try my luck
just once more, and if nothing came up this time,
I would give up fishing altogether. But when I
drew up the net for the third time, I brought up a
fish which weighed three pounds. I then folded up
the net, took the fish to my mother, and told her
that I had met with no success in the Nile, but
had found unexpected good luck at the Lake of
" So is it, my son," said she, " that God provides
for men in the vicissitudes of life ; but a very wise
man has said : 'O man, when your future looms before
you, cease vain efforts, for you will attain nothing
but what is decreed. Wealth and happiness often
fall to the lot of him who does not seek them, while
they fly from him who pursues them.' Thus you
see that no one should lose courage, for God never
forgets any one."
My mother then cleaned and cooked the fish, and
we ate with much appetite, and thanked God. On
the following morning I took my net on my shoulder,
and was about to go to Boolak, but my mother said :
I brouglit up a fish which weighed three pounds."
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 135
"You had better go to the Lake of Karoon again,
and if you should catch only one fish, it will be
enough, till God helps us in some other way, or
decrees our death."
I followed my mother's advice, and went to the
Lake of Karoon, and cast my net. When I drew it
up, it was again full of stones, bones, and broken
crockery. I then thought, " What an evil fate pursues
me ; I think that if I wanted to drink the water of
the lake, it would turn to fire ; if I rejoiced in the
course of the sun, the sun would stand still ; and if
I wanted to sail down the river, the river would flow
back to its source."
I sat down in despair on the banks of the lake,
resting my cheek on my hand, when a Moor rode up
to me, mounted on a mule. The mule glided along
like a sparrow ; and although its legs were as thick
as the pillars of a temple, it seemed to float in the
air like a bird. The Moor was very fashionably
dressed, and looked like an Emir. He dismounted,
and saluted me, saying :
" Peace be to my lord the pilgrim ! "
I answered : " May the peace, blessing, and mercy
of God rest on you also ! "
He then asked : " Why do you look so sad ? Have
you lost a friend ? Or have you received news of
the sinking of one of your ships ? "
136 New Arabian Nights.
"Neither, my lord the pilgrim," answered I.
He then asked : " Are you not Joodar, the son of
the fisherman Omar, of Cairo ? "
I looked at him in astonishment, and answered :
He then asked again why I seemed so sorrowful.
I lamented over the poverty of myself and my
mother, and the ill success that seemed to attend my
fishing. When the Moor heard my story, he laughed,
and took from his saddle-bag a silken cord, which
had been steeped in camel's milk for three days, and
appeared to be very strong, and said : " Listen to me,
Joodar ; your poverty will soon come to an end
Bind me with this cord, and throw me into the lake,
then spread your net over me, and throw in a handful
of wheat to attract the fish. If my head comes out
of the water first, you will know that I am dead ;
then bury me on the banks of the lake, and take my
mule to the bazaar, but beware of mounting its back,
or you are lost. On entering the bazaar you will
notice an elevation on your left, where a Jew is
sitting in his shop. He has the largest moustaches
of any man in the whole bazaar. Go up to him, and
lay your hand on his head, when he will immediately
rise up, take the mule from you, and give you a
golden dinar, and when you have received it, you
may leave him. If on the other hand, I should
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 3 7
come out of the lake alive, you will be richly re
When the Moor had spoken thus, he turned round,
holding his hands behind his back, so that I could
see that he was not joking, but really wished me to
bind him. I did as he directed, and threw him into
the lake at the place he indicated to me.
In a short time the Moor's head emerged from the
lake, but his teeth were clenched, and his eyes were
dim. I pulled him out of the water, and buried him
on the bank. I then rose up, took my net on my
back, and the reins of the mule in my hand, and led
the animal to the Jew, who gave me a dinar for it. I
was much pleased, and went to my mother, showed
her the money, and told her how I had obtained it.
She listened with astonishment, and pitied the Moor,
who had been the cause of his own death.
On the following morning I went again to the Lake
of Karoon, and cast the net twice without catching
anything. I was just about to cast it for the third
time, when another Moor appeared, as richly dressed
as the first. His mule had a covering of green silk
over the saddle, a golden bit in the mouth, and a
chain round the neck, in which the most costly jewels
sparkled. I started when I saw him, thinking he
would revenge his brother's death upon me ; but he
only saluted me, and asked :
138 New Arabian Nights.
" Are you Joodar, the son of Omar, the fisher
man ? "
"God forbid, my lord the pilgrim," answered I.
" I am not Joodar, and know nothing about him."
I had scarcely spoken when he dismounted from
his mule, and seized me by the throat, so that I
thought he would strangle me ; his face was red, his
eyes shot fire, and his lips were as black as coal.
"If you do not tell me the truth," cried he, "you
are a dead man ! "
I cried out : " Mercy, my lord the pilgrim : I am
Joodar, the son of Omar, the fisherman of Cairo."
"Why then, wretched man," he exclaimed, " did
you deny your name and place of abode ? By Allah,
if you had refused a moment longer to speak the
truth, you would have been dead already ! But now
tell me if there was not a Moor here yesterday,
who ordered you to bind him and cast him into the
" It is true, my lord the pilgrim," I replied, " but I
am not guilty of his death, for he would have killed
me, if I had refused to do his will."
When the Moor heard this, he laughed, opened his
saddlebags, took out a cord which he gave me, and
said : " Do with me as you did with. my brother, and
if I should die, take the mule to the Jew, who will
give you another dinar for it."
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahrwod of Tunis. 139
I thought that the Moors must be crazy, but I
was obliged to obey this man's commands. I tied
his hands and feet, and threw him into the water ;
but when his head came up, I saw that he was
dead too, so I threw my net over him, drew him
to shore, and buried him. Then I took the mule
to the Jew, who gave me another dinar, and I
returned to my mother.
On the third day I wanted to go to the Nile,
but my steps turned very unwillingly back to
the Lake of Karoon. I cast my net three times
in the water, and drew it up empty every time.
I folded it up, and was about to go away, when
a third Moor rode up to me on a mule, gave
me a friendly salutation, and asked if I was
not Joodar the fisherman ? When I said Yes, he
asked if his two brothers had not both been drowned
in the lake ? I began to tremble, and turned pale,
not knowing what to say ; but when he saw my
confusion, he said : " You have nothing to fear from
me, if you do not try to conceal the truth."
When I had related to the Moor all that had
happened, he laughed, and said : " By Him who
created day and night, air and water, and who
raises the dead, and slays the living, if you had
drawn my two brothers out of the water alive,
your head should fly from your shoulders !" He
140 Neiv Arabian Nights.
then felt in his saddlebags, took out a red silken
cord, and continued : " Bind my hands and feet,
and treat me as you did my brothers ; but if I
should also find my death in the lake, take great
care not to bring my mule to the Jew, or you will
perish, without any one knowing of your death.
You must take it home with you instead, and after
nightfall some one will knock at the door, and
say: 'Joodar, give me the mule of Mahmood the
Moor.' Give him the mule, and he will give you
a purse of a thousand dinars for it. Live happily
afterwards, and do not reproach yourself for the
death of myself and my brothers." I thought to
myself, " He is the best of the three brothers, but
just as crazy as the others." I then took the cord
in my hand, bound the Moor, and threw him into
the lake ; but behold, he did not put his head
out like his brothers, but his hands. He held a
red fish in one hand, and a black one in the other ;
and he cried out : " Joodar, your drum has beaten,
and your star of good luck is in the ascendant,
for I have been successful." I drew him quickly
on shore with the net, and he ran to the mule,
and took a box of red coral from his saddle
bags, in which he put the red fish, and then a
black box in which he put the black fish ; but
the two fishes were scarcely in the boxes when
The mule flew like a bird to the Mokattam mountains.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tmiis. 143
one dissolved to a red and the other to a black
" We are now fast friends," said he, after putting
the boxes back in his saddlebags. " Here are a
hundred dinars for your mother ; take them to
her quickly, and then come back here." When I
returned to the lake some hours afterwards, the
Moor mounted his mule, and told me to mount
behind him, and the mule flew like a bird to the
Mokattam mountains. When we arrived, the Moor
said : " Know, Joodar, that I cannot attain my object
without your assistance, so you must not leave
me, and I promise you riches and honour." When
I promised to remain with him as long as he
needed me, lie tied up his mule, spread a cloth
on the ground, and reached some provisions from
his saddlebags. When we had eaten, I asked him
to give me some explanations respecting the death
of his two brothers, and about the two wonderful
fish which he had caught. He then said :
Know, Joodar, that my name is Mahmood ; I
come from Tunis, where I had a master who taught
me the profoundest secrets of magic. When he had
attained the age of three hundred years, he presented
me with a book, to which a thousand genii are
subject, and said to me : " Take great care of this,
144 New Arabian Nights.
book, for kings, priests, and magicians have envied
me its possession, because a man can accomplish
all his desires with its aid. If you want anything
you have only to call out, ' Winged Sanja !' and
a genius will appear to you who will bring you
whatever you want, even if it were in the seventh
ocean beyond Mount Kaf." I was delighted to
receive such a valuable present, and showed it to
my brothers, the two me:i who were drowned in
the lake. But they envied me, and plotted together
to rob me of it. One day when I wished to test the
virtues of the book in the presence of my brothers, I
cried out : " Winged Sanja ! " Immediately a smoke
rose from the book towards heaven, which presently
condensed itself into a vast human figure, with three
wings, one on each side, and one in the middle of
the back. This extraordinary being cried out : " Here
am I ; what does my master desire ?"
I answered : " I wish to make a little excursion
with my brothers to the Coral Mountain ; bring us
"Certainly," said he. He then spread out his
three wings, took me on the wing on his back,
and my two brothers on his side-wings, and after
a swift flight through the air, he placed us on the
Coral Mountain. When we arrived, I asked Sanja
what lay beyond it ?
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 145
" My lord," answered he, " beyond this mountain
lies the Valley of Gazelles, and the island of King
Numan, the Amalekite, the shores of which are
washed by the waves of the ocean."
" Bring us to this valley," said I, and mounted
on his back once more, while my two brothers
mounted on his side-wings. Sanja waved his wings,
and carried us to the valley, where the soil was
as white as the whitest cotton, and diffused an
odour of the purest musk. A brook meandered
through the valley, the water of which was cooler
than snow and sweeter than honey ; and lilies,
camellias, narcissus, and jasmine were blooming on
the banks. We walked along the banks of the
stream until we reached a gigantic walnut-tree, so
large that a hundred horsemen might have rested
in its shade. Sanja then said : " If you climb this
tree, you can see the charming island of King
Numan." We were glad to have an opportunity
of viewing this famous island, and climbed into the
tree, till the ' island lay spread beneath us in its
whole length and breadth with all its towers and
villages, mountains and valleys, woods and gardens.
When we had looked about us on all sides, and
were about to descend, we saw a red fish as large
as a camel, swim into the brook which emptied
itself into the sea not far from us. The fish then
146 New Arabian Nights.
came ashore, and assumed the form of a beautiful
maiden. She had Babylonian eyes and arched
eyebrows ; her forehead shone like the moon ; her
cheeks were like roses, and her lips like coral, and
her hair, darker than night and finer than silk,
hung down to the ground. We were so charmed
with her appearance that we nearly fell from the
The maiden had scarcely reached the shore, when
she called, and lo, a green fish swam up the brook,
came ashore near her and threw aside the fish-
skin, when another maiden appeared, of such sur
passing beauty that we forgot to look at the first.
" Dear sister," said the former, " my heart is so
heavy to-day that I would like to amuse myself
a little with my companions in this beautiful valley."
She then called again, and a yellow fish swam
towards them, and became a maiden still more
beautiful than the first two ; the moon would hide
her face before her, and the sun would seem like
one of her attendants. Whoever saw her would
have taken her for the sister of the pious and
handsome Joseph. Thus the maidens continued
to call till fourteen were assembled, and each
seemed more beautiful than all her predecessors.
I was so charmed with them that I called Sanja,
and ordered him to carry them away to Tunis.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 147
" I obey," he answered, and vanished ; but he soon
returned, pale and trembling like a reed in the
tempest, and said : " Know, my master, that neither
I nor any of my companions have been able to
approach these maidens ; for, as often as we drew
near, pillars of fire shot up before us, which threa
tened to consume us ; and we only escaped with
We now sat in the tree, watching the maidens
amusing themselves in the valley till they were tired,
when they resumed their fish robes and swam back
to their own island. When they had thus dis
appeared from our eyes, I called Sanja and ordered
him to carry me to Tunis. But he was so exhausted
by his struggle with the genii who guarded the
maidens that he begged for a short rest. Upon this
my brethren said : " Let us sleep a little while under
the tree till Sanja is able to travel." They then lay
down under the tree, and pretended to fall asleep.
When I saw this I thought that I might sleep a
little too, without any danger of losing my book.
But as soon as I fell asleep, my brothers stood up,
summoned two genii, and commanded them to rob
me of the book, which was enclosed in a case of red
silk and hung round my neck by a golden chain.
The two genii took the chain from my neck, and
carried mv brothers to Tunis, but then vanished
148 New Arabian Nights.
with the book, so that my brothers cried out : " Woe
to us ! we have gained nothing by our treachery to
our brother, and no genius will bring him back to
his home again. There is no strength nor power but
in Almighty God !"
This is how it fared with my brothers ; but as for
myself I slept for some time, and when I awoke I
felt for my book and found it gone. I called Sanja
three times, but he did not answer. As I saw
nothing of my brothers, I concluded that it was
they who had stolen my book, and I cried out :
"We are from God, and to Him do we return.
What God wills comes to pass, and what our Lord
decrees not, that does not take place." Then I
thought : "If they had only stolen my book in Tunis,
I should at least have been in my own home, but
what can I do now in this foreign country?" Never
theless I rose up and went along the brook, trusting
in the One God, till I reached a lofty black mountain
where the brook had its source.
I walked ajbng the foot of the mountain for
three days, but found it everywhere so steep that
I could not attempt to ascend it. On the fourth
day I discovered a narrow path which led up
the mountain, and I resolved to follow it, for
I thought : " If no one lived on this mountain,
there would be no path here." I was not mis-
Joodar of Cairo, and Makmood of Jaunts. 149
taken, for after climbing for a couple of hours I
reached a large building surrounded by an iron wall
in which was a gate of brass. I knocked gently, and
immediately some one replied : " Welcome ! You
will attain your desire and put your enemies to
shame." A coal-black slave then opened the door
and asked me to enter, but he looked so frightful
that I was afraid to follow him. When he saw that
I distrusted him, he went back into the building, but
soon came out again and said : " My lord, the owner
of this castle sends me to tell you that if you
are the Moor Mahmood from Tunis you are most
welcome; but if you are some one else who needs
his aid, he will be your friend." I replied that I was
the Moor Mahmood, and followed the slave into the
building. He led me into a richly decorated apart
ment, where an old man was sitting on a silken
divan. His grey beard fell down to his feet ; but
notwithstanding his great age, he was still as vigor
ous as a lion, and his voice was as powerful as
thunder. I kissed his hand and saluted him re
spectfully ; he returned my salutation, and com
manded the slave to bring me something to eat.
When the slave had set a small table before me
covered with the choicest viands, the old man said :
" I know that you have eaten nothing for several
days, so now help yourself."
150 New Arabian Nights.
While I was eating he continued : " I know
your whole history without your telling it me.
Your brothers have robbed you of your book, but
you are thinking more of the beautiful maidens
whom you saw in the Valley of the Gazelles
than of the loss of your book. Know, Mahmood,
that these maidens have been sought after by
sultans and emperors, but hitherto they have re
fused all suitors, whether men or genii, by the
advice of the Dervish Ansarat, who is held in
the highest esteem by their father, King Numan.
Ansarat is a very famous physician and magician,
who is accustomed to spend three days among the
genii and three days at the court of King Numan.
One day when he returned the king was awaiting
him with anxiety, and told him that all his daughters
were ill and needed his advice. After Ansarat had
seen and prescribed for them, he came back and said
cheerfully to King Numan : ' Your daughters will soon
be well if they leave the island for a short time to
enjoy a little sea air. I will arrange them a pleasant
trip to the mainland.' He then left the king and
sent for a fisherman, whom he asked to bring him
the skins of fifteen large fishes. As soon as the
fisherman brought them, he wrote holy names on
the inside, which give them the property of swim
ming about in the sea in any direction desired by
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Timis. 151
the wearer, like live fish. On the following day he
gave one of these skins to each princess in the
king's presence, but he gave the fifteenth to his son,
Didakam, and ordered him to accompany the
maidens to the Valley of the Gazelles. He then
said to the king : ' Be of good courage, and have
confidence in me ; for if any evil should befall your
daughters it would also fall upon my son, who is as
dear to me as are your daughters to you.' * Do what
you think best,' answered the king. Ansarat then
commanded his son to plunge into the sea with the
princesses, and to swinv to the Valley of the Gazelles,
the air of which would soon restore them to health.
' They are safe from both men and genii,' he added,
' for the sacred names which I have written in the
skins will protect them against alT assailants, the
waves of the sea will calm, the hills grow level, and
the trees bow before them.' Didakam and the prin
cesses then plunged into the sea, and they swam to
gether like fish to the great walnut-tree in the Valley
of the Gazelles. There they landed, and spent the
whole day in the valley, and when they returned in
the evening the king found them so strong and well
that he immediately rewarded Ansarat and his son
with robes of honour.
" Since that time, the princesses come every day to
amuse themselves in the valley where you and your
152 New Arabian Nights.
brothers saw them. But now dismiss them from
your thoughts, and turn your attention to the re
covery of your book, which you can only regain with
the aid of your master at Tunis, to whom I will send
you immediately. When you see him, salute him
most respectfully from the Dervish Samuda, the
master of the iron castle with the brazen gate. A
genius is already waiting here from your master, who
brought me a letter informing me of what had be
fallen you, and who is under orders to carry you back
to Tunis. But beware of him, for he is a real demon ;
he can make himself as small as a man's arm, and as
large as the highest date-tree ; he flies like a bird,
and his breath scorches the country over which he
flies. If you fall from his back, you will melt like
heated lead ; so take good care of yourself."
He then called the genius, and helped me on his
back. I took leave of the dervish, and the genius flew
with me for some hours between heaven and earth,
and set me down in Tunis at the door of my tutor,
Abul Ajaib. As I set my feet on the ground, I
heard my master say to his servants, " Go and wel
come Mahmood in my name, and bring him in."
"King Nubian's beautiful daughters nearly cost
you your life," said my master, laughing, as I entered,
"but your brothers also returned unsuccessful from
their excursion, for the genii tricked them as they
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 153
wished to trick you. They have carried the book
into the Eagle's Cleft, which no one can reach except
by passing through seven gates, beyond Mount
Mokattam. They have enclosed it in a brazen coffer
with the magic sword upon which the Dervish
Sintbest has engraved talismans. This dervish was
instructed in the magic art by one of the daughters
of Satik, the master of all the enchanters ; and with
the aid of the magical words which he wrote upon
the sword, he overcame the mightiest kings and the
most numerous armies, and conquered so many
countries and cities that none but God could count
them. Genii as well as men dreaded this sword, for
when he was angry with any one, he only needed
to raise it against him, and a ray of light issued from
it, which divided his adversary into two parts, and
reduced him to ashes. If many assailed him at once,
he had only to touch one with the sword, and all
fell lifeless to the ground. But one day his instruc
tress, the daughter of Satik, who had heard much
of this magic sword, visited him, and said :
" ' Great king, permit me to see the sword which
has wrought so many wonders that it is feared
throughout the world.'
" ' I owe everything to you,' answered Sintbest,
'and can refuse you nothing/ and handed her the
154 New Arabian Nights.
" The daughter of Satik took it in her hand, and
examined it on all sides. After some consideration,
she said :
" ' Dear king, this sword which has cost you so much
trouble and so many sleepless nights to complete,
will fall one day into the hands of a man who will
attain the pinnacle of honour and glory by its means.
He will slay the most powerful kings of the genii
with it, and will hew down the primeval tree of
Bahram the Magian.'
" When Sintbest heard this, he enclosed his sword
in an emerald casket, and ordered a genius to carry
it to the Eagle's Cleft, thinking that no man would
ever be able to reach it. But Sintbest was mistaken,
for I have read in my books of magic that the Eagle's
Cleft will be opened by you, with the help of a fisher
man of Egypt, named Joodar, and that you will
become the master of the sword and of the book.
You will meet the fisherman Joodar on the banks
of a small lake at Cairo, called the Lake of Karoon."
My tutor then went into an inner room, and re
turned with a red and black box, and a silken cord.
He then said :
"Go to Egypt to the Lake of Karoon, and cause
Joodar to bind y^ou and throw you into the lake.
There you will see a man with a white beard, and
a high turban on his head, holding a black fish in one
When you reach the thirty-first step, you will see a passage.
Joodar of Cairo, and M ah mood of Tunis. 1 5 7
hand, and a red one in the other. He will offer them
to you, and you must take them from him, climb on
shore, and put the red fish into the red box, and the
black fish into the black box. Then let Joodar ride
with you to Mount Mokattam, when you will notice
a red hill to the east ; here kindle a fire, and throw
into it about an ounce from the red box, when a
light will rise from it towards heaven, and you will
perceive a trap-door with two rings, leading into a
subterranean passage. Seize the rings and lift up
the trap-door, when you will see a stone staircase ;
descend the stairs with Joodar, and when you reach
the thirty- first step you will see a passage before you
with a floor of lead, and walls of copper. Go along
this passage till you arrive at the door of a hall where
sits a maiden more beautiful than you have ever seen
in your life. You will find her reading a book, and
when you arrive, she will stand up, and put the book
in a red bag. She will then call you by your names,
and hold out her hand to welcome you. But if you
let her seize your hand, the floor will boil beneath
you, and you will sink in melted lead that will scald
your flesh from your bones. But instead of taking
her hand, take about an ounce from the red box, and
sprinkle it against the wall, when the maiden will
suffer you to pass through the hall which she guards.
This will lead you to a marble corridor, at the end
158 New Arabian Nights.
of which you will find another maiden, still more
beautiful than the first, sitting before a door. As
soon as she sees you, she will rise up and salute you,
saying, 'Welcome, Mahmood of Tunis, and Joodar
the fisherman of Cairo.' Return her greeting, for
she is your friend, and will be true to you until you
have won the sword and the book. I need not
give you any further directions, for it is absolutely
necessary for you to obey this maiden's instruc
tions in everything, without hesitation. But know,
Mahmood, that your brothers have been listening
at the door, and have overheard all that I have been
saying, and have ordered two genii to carry them
to Egypt, thinking that if they obey the directions
which I have given you, they will be able to obtain
possession of the sword and the book instead of you ;
but when they sink in the water, they will be killed
by the genii of the lake ; for God alone is all-
After this, my tutor called the genius who had
brought me from the castle to Tunis, and ordered
him to carry me to Egypt. The genius immediately
spread his wings, and carried me to the neighbour
hood of the Lake of Karoon in Egypt, after which
he vanished, and brought me a genius in the form
of a mule, and mounted me upon it. That is all
which I have to relate about my affairs.
Mahmood sprinkled something against the wall.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 6 1
When Mahmood had finished his wonderful story,
I took courage, and did not doubt that the issue
of the adventure would be fortunate for us both.
After talking a long time about genii and enchanters,
we fell asleep, and on the following morning we
journeyed to the east until we arrived at a red hill.
Mahmood was overjoyed to perceive it, and said :
"Joodar, this is the place to which my tutor
He then took a tinderbox from his pocket, struck
a light, poured about an ounce of the contents of
the red box upon it, and behold, a great pillar of
fire shot up, which showed us a trap-door with two
rings. Mahmood took the rings, and lifted it easily,
and we went down thirty steps, when we came to
the passage, and found the first maiden, as Abul
Ajaib had described. She saluted us, and held out
her hand to us, but Mahmood, instead of taking it,
quickly seized hold of the red box, and sprinkled
something from it against the wall. Then the
maiden fell down, and we passed through an empty
hall into a marble corridor, at the end of which sat
a maiden on a golden chair, like the moon in her
fourteenth night. As soon as she saw us, she said
in ravishing tones which might have restored any
sick man to health :
"Welcome, my lord Mahmood from Tunis, and
1 62 New Arabian Nights.
my lord Joodar from Cairo ! Praised be the Lord,
who has sent you to deliver me ! I have been im
prisoned here for twenty years, and I have seen you
for several nights in my dreams as you now appear
before me, and your coming has also been foretold
to me. But if you wish to know who I am, and how
I came here, then listen to me before I guide you
further. I am the daughter of King Sasan, the Lord
of the Mountain of Air, and the Golden Castle, and
my name is Hysa. My father was one of the bravest
kings of the age, and was always the first in battle,
although innumerable armies fought for him. But
as I was his only child, I was brought up to the use
of arms, and distinguished myself so much by my
bravery that our whole army honoured me as much
as they honoured my father. My name soon became
so famous both for my valour and my beauty, that
kings and princes from the most distant countries
sought my hand in marriage. But as I had no desire
to marry, I was forced to take the field against many
disappointed suitors. One day a messenger brought
my father a letter, which ran as follows : ' From King
Sintbest, the greatest king of his age. Know, King
Sasan, that I have heard so much of the valour and
beauty of your daughter, that I love her without
having seen her, and desire to take her as my wife.
I am in hopes that you will not refuse a son-in-law
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 163
of my dignity. Ask any dowry you please ; only
give me a speedy answer, and accept my salutations.'
" When my father had read the letter, he brought
the messenger to me, and I said : ' Let me see the
letter.' When he gave it me, I tore it up, and drew
my sword upon the messenger, and would have
struck off his head, if he had not fled in haste. The
messenger returned to Sintbest, and informed him
of the reception which he had met with. Sintbest
immediately summoned the genius Dilhood, and
commanded him to bring me to him. I was sitting
alone in my room when Dilhood, who was taller
than the loftiest date-tree, rushed upon me, and
before I knew what had happened, he had placed
me on his back, and was flying with me to King
Sinthest. When he saw me, the king cried out :
' Wretched girl, what provoked you to tear my letter
and to ill-use my servant? Do you not know that
the most powerful kings bow before me, and that
even the kings of the genii fear me ? ' But when I
took off my veil, and he saw my face, he said in a
milder tone : ' Nevertheless I will forgive you if you
will return my love, and consent to become my
wife.' ' I would rather be torn in pieces,' I replied.
When he heard this, he ground his teeth with rage
and commanded Dilhood, who was still waiting at
the door, to carry me to the Eagle's Cleft. I have
164 New Arabian Nights.
been exiled here for twenty years, and Dilhood
brings me my food every day. I had quite given up
all hopes of ever regaining my freedom, but ten days
ago an old man of very venerable aspect appeared
to me in a dream, and said : 'Rejoice, Hysa, for the
hour of your deliverance approaches. King Sintbest's
power is on the wane, and you will soon be able to
return home and ascend the throne of your father,
who has long been dead. Have patience for a little
until two men arrive here ; the one is Mahmood of
Tunis, and the other Joodar of Cairo ; and you must
help them till they have obtained possession of the
magic sword and the sacred book, and they will
then send you back to your home ! ' Now that you
know who I am, follow me, and act as I shall advise
After saying this, she took a golden key from a
bag, and opened the hall before which she sat. It
was of enormous size, and was entirely surrounded
with divans, on which sat kings wearing crowns, set
with the most costly diamonds. Each had a golden
chain round his neck, to which was suspended an
engraved silver tablet.
" How do so many kings come here ? " I asked
amazed ; " are they living or dead ? "
" You see only corpses here," answered Hysa ;
"praise to God, who alone is immortal! These
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 165
are kings, and the sons of kings, whose very slaves
were kings themselves."
In the middle of the hall was a fountain with four
golden lions, on which stood four peacocks con
structed of pearls and jewels, and opposite the lions
were four brazen statues, each of which held a
trumpet to his mouth. Near these statues stood
four Greek slaves with tambourines of gazelle-skin ;
and four French slaves with lutes. They were so
skilfully constructed that they seemed to be alive
and you would have expected to hear them speak.
Round the fountain stood thrones on which kings
were sitting, but a higher and handsomer throne was
" This is the throne of King Sintbest," said Hysa ;
and asked me to sit upon it. As soon as I sat down
the lions turned round in a circle three times, stood
up, and fawned upon me, and licked my feet ; the
peacocks opened their mouths, and breathed forth
the finest perfumes ; the brazen statues bowed down ;
and the slave girls began to play upon their instru
ments. I sat still, and listened to them, till Hysa
said : " These maidens would not cease playing, if
you sat for a thousand years on this throne ; they
will never grow weary, for they are not alive, and
only move by virtue of a magical impulse which
King Sintbest has conferred upon them."
1 66 New Arabian Nights.
When I heard this, I rose up, and went to examine
the tablet which hung round the neck of one of the
kings. On the tablet was written, " Wanderer who
readest this, know that I, the powerful King Alex
ander, was conquered by the enchanter Sintbest.
Take example from me, and from other kings, who
have fallen like me from the summit of power to the
deepest degradation. Know that I had a hundred
wives and two hundred sons. I was lord of twenty
capital cities, over which I appointed viceroys. My
armies were innumerable ; my treasuries were filled
with gold, pearls, precious stones, and the most
costly fabrics ; but at length came death, who destroys
every pleasure, dissolves every union, and makes
so many sons and daughters orphans ; and he
desolated our palaces." Underneath were written
the following verses :
" O child of earth, be not blinded by the deceitful
glitter of the world. How many mighty ones are
fallen ; how many strong ones have become weak ;
how many palaces have become desolate ; and how
many a grave has been filled up ! The grave sends
sudden grief to the joyous ; suddenly fills laughing
eyes with tears ; and parts friends when their union
was of the happiest ! "
These verses moved us to tears, and affected me
so much that I did not care to read the other tablets ;
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 167
and Hysa said she would lead us further. She
opened a door opposite to that by which we had
entered ; and after we had passed through another
long passage, we arrived in a hall surrounded with
forty little cabinets, before each of which hung a
silk curtain, embroidered with gold. In the middle
of the hall stood a copper statue, with a pan of coals
in its hand, which diffused the odours of amber, musk,
and frankincense. When I raised one of the curtains,
I beheld a maiden like the shining sun, lying on a
bed ; and ninety-nine other maidens were lying
around her, who appeared to be sunk in a deep
sleep ; but Hysa assured me that they were all dead.
Hysa then pushed aside a throne which stood in the
middle of the hall, and we saw a gold ring on the
floor. She grasped it, and raised a trap-door, which
disclosed a great marble staircase leading into a dark
passage. Hysa led Mahmood -and myself by the
hand, and it took us half a day to reach the end
of the passage. We now found ourselves again in
the open air, and soon reached a beautiful garden,
planted with all kinds of fruit trees, the fruit of which
shone like the most brilliant jewels ; and birds of
every kind were praising their Creator in the
As we were wandering about in the garden, we
perceived in the distance a radiance like the sun ;
1 68 New Arabian Nights.
and when we approached it, behold it was a great
castle set with diamonds of the purest water,
such as no kings or emperors ever possessed.
The castle had neither doors nor windows ; but
before it lay a mass of rock on which sat a genius
with a long beard, clothed in a robe of white silk,
and holding a book in his hand. He looked about
him on every side, until he saw us, when he threw
himself upon the ground, and exclaimed : " Praise to
the Lord of worlds, for the hour of my deliverance
has arrived ! " He then stood up again, gave us a
friendly salutation, and said : " I have been awaiting
you here impatiently for thirty years ; for I have
many children, and know not what has become of
them. God has at last heard my supplications, for I
could not move from this place before you arrived,
because you need my assistance to gain your end.
Do you see the cat up there ? "
We looked, and beheld a white marble pillar rising
from a pond, and a black cat stood on the top,
fastened by a gold chain. I was surprised, and asked
for an explanation.
" The cat," replied the old genius, " has been
bound to the pillar for ten years. It can only be
released by two words from your mouth, and will
then deliver up the magic sword and the sacred book.
He is the most renowned and the most dreaded
Joo J ar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 169
enchanter among the genii, and his name is Shah
Bair. But I am called Black Abdallah, the Kadi
of the Muslim genii. In order to release the cat call
him by his name, and sprinkle the pond with the
liquid from the black box, upon which the cat will
immediately stretch out his paw, unfasten the chain,
and fly away."
When the Kadi of the genii had thus spoken, he
spread his wings and disappeared in an instant.
We then went up to the pond which we sprinkled
with liquid from the black box ; and I cried out,
" Shah Bair, help us to obtain what we desire ! "
I had scarcely spoken when the cat stood up,
expanded to twice the size of the pillar, broke
the chain which was round his neck, and flew up
to the roof of the castle. He soon returned in
a human form, with six horns, one on each side,
two between the eyes, and two on the back. He
carried a brazen chest with the book on his head
and the sword under his arm, and he laid them
both before us, and vanished.
Mahmood was overjoyed when he saw the box
which contained his book. But there was a golden
clasp upon it, and when he attempted to open it
frightful voices were heard, crying : " Seize him !
Hew him to pieces. Dash him to the ground ! "
At the same moment we were completely surrounded
170 New Arabian Nights.
by small flames, which threatened to consume us.
Mahmood tried in vain to open the box ; my blood
ran cold, and all my limbs trembled.
Hysa laughed at our terror, and said to Mah
mood : " Pour some fluid from the black box on
the fires, and you shall see wonders."
Mahmood did so, and a black smoke rose up to
heaven, and we saw and heard no more. Mahmood
kissed Hysa's head and hands, and she said to him :
" Now open the box, and draw the sword from the
scabbard. You have nothing more to fear, for all the
genii whom Sintbest stationed to guard it have fled."
Mahmood then exclaimed, " In the name of God
the all-merciful," and the box opened of itself,
but when he saw the book again he fainted with
joy. We were obliged to sprinkle him with water
for a long time before he recovered. After this
he opened the other casket, which was of emerald,
in which he found a green silk bag, and beside it
a seal ring, which shone like a star on a dark
night. The bag contained three strips of steel,
which Mahmood put together, and formed into a
shining sword. It was covered with very fine
writing, like the tracks of ants, which read as
follows : " I am a noble sword which only the
good can wield ; I protect my possessor, and destroy
his enemies." On the seal ring was inscribed : " This
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis, i 7 i
ring is for Zaher Bybars, the Sultan of Egypt."
When I had read this inscription, I asked Mahmood
to give me the ring, but he answered : " This ring,
which will make Sultan Zaher the mightiest warrior
of his age, and will lead him to the most brilliant
victories over the infidels, cannot come into his
possession until we find the maidens whom I saw
in the Valley of the Gazelles. This we can ac
complish with the aid of the sword " ; and he
then handed the sword to me. He then read a
little in his book, and exclaimed, " Sanja, winged
Sanja ! " A smoke rose from the book up to
heaven, then rolled itself together and assumed the
form of a genius, as tall as the tallest date-
tree. He had three wings, one on each side and
one on the back, and when he spread them they
resembled the sails of a great ship. He kissed
Mahmood's hands and feet, and asked what he
wanted. Hysa then came forward, and said : " You
know that I have already been waiting here twenty
years for you, and you have no further need of me
now. I therefore beseech you to send me back
to my home and my family, from whom I was carried
away by force."
" Sanja," exclaimed Mahmood, " take Hysa on
your back and carry her to the Golden Castle on
the Mountain of Air."
17 2 New Arabian Nights.
Hysa took leave of us, and Sanja flew away with
her. When they had gone we returned by the same
way that had led us into the garden till we
stood again on the red hill on Mount Mokattam.
Mahmood then called his mule, and ordered him to
inform his tutor, Abul Ajaib, of the success of his
undertaking ; but he said to me : " Before all things
let us go first- to your mother, that she may no
longer mourn for you as for one dead. My book
will then tell us what still remains to be done."
" Do you know, Mahmood," said I, as we were walk
ing along, " I am sorry that we sent Hysa back to her
home, for, since she left us, I feel that I love her." ,
" Let us seek first for the daughters of King
Numan," answered Mahmood, " and when we have
found them you shall marry Hysa, or any one else
When we approached my mother's house, we could
hear her mourning and weeping ; for she supposed
that I was dead, because I had left home without
taking leave of her, for I did not know myself that
I should be kept away for several days. When she
saw me return safe she fainted, and it was some
hours before she came to herself. In the evening
Mahmood prepared her for a long absence from me,
but pledged himself solemnly that I should return
home safe and sound.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 173
On the following morning, when we were alone
and had finished our prayers, Mahmood read for
a while in his book, and then said : " Let us not
sit any longer on hot coals ; who knows whether
we may not afterwards repent our delay ; but now
I promise you an easy and fortunate task, if you
will obey my instructions. Go straight to Boolak,
where you will find a ship, which will sail to Alex
andria in four days ; go immediately to the bazaar
which is by the sea, and there you will see a Persian
reclining in a shop, with a white woollen turban on
his head. Four white slaves stand at his right hand,
four black ones at his left, and at his head stands a
beardless boy with a green silken cloth in his hand.
The Persian will salute you if you stop in front of
his shop, and ask you how he can serve you ; ask
him only to stretch out his right hand. If he
does so, pretend to kiss it, but bite his thumb till
he calls out, * There is but one God, and Mohammed
is His Prophet ! Everything takes its appointed
course ! ' He will then close his shop and go to the
shore with you, the slaves, and the boy, and will
embark in a handsome boat. The eight slaves will
row, the boy will steer, and you and the Persian
will sit in the boat Thus you will sail on the
sea for twenty days, until you reach a green island.
But know, Joodar, that if any of the thousand genii
174 New Arabian Nights.
who are in my service could bring me news of the
daughters of Numan, I would not trouble you ;
but if any one but you were to touch the magic
sword, he would be reduced to ashes. You alone,
with this magic sword, can slay the tyrant Hindmar,
the lord of the Raven's Pool and the Castle of
Pillars. With this, too, you can hew down the iron
tree of Bahram the Magian, which brings so much
evil upon the Muslims. Neither you nor I can
obtain the objects of our desires until this is all
He then called Sanja, and asked him if he had
taken Hysa home ? " Yes, my lord," answered Sanja ;
"she is now queen in her own country, for her
father died during her absence, and the detested
Vizier, Dimdiman, who had usurped the throne, was
forced to abdicate the very night that Hysa returned.
She wished me to tell you this, and to salute you
many times from her. I was also to tell you that
she would never forget you, and would always love
These words kindled my hopes. I took leave
of my mother and Mahmood, and found a ship ready
to sail for Alexandria. There I found the Persian
whom Mahmood had described to me. I bit his
finger, and he brought me in twenty days to a
green island. As soon as we neared the land he
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 75
said : " Go on shore ; go straight across the island,
and on the opposite shore you will find a handsomer
vessel than mine, with a Moor at the helm. He
will salute you by your name and the name of your
father, take you on board, and sail with you on the
sea for ten days ; and on the eleventh day he will
land you on a snow-white island, and tell you
what more you have to do ; obey his directions
exactly, for he is your friend."
I then took leave of the Persian, crossed the green
island, and about noon I arrived on the opposite
shore, where I found the Moor, and again set sail.
On the eleventh day he set me on a white island
where no green leaf grew, and said to me :
" I have now fulfilled my part. You must go
straight on through seven valleys, when you will
arrive at a red hill, on which a palace stands. Go
up and knock at the door, and when they ask who
knocks, reply, 'The fisherman Joodar from Cairo/
The door will be opened, and you will pass through
a courtyard into a room, where you will find an ivory
throne with golden legs, on which a beardless youth
is sitting. He is the dervish Shanuda, and he will
tell you what more you have to do."
He then took leave of me and returned, but I went
on to the palace, where I found a dervish with
seven veils over his face, sitting on a throne. When
176 New Arabian Nights.
I approached he did not salute me, but stood up,
turned himself round seven times, drawing away
a veil each time, till at length I saw a very hand
some youthful visage. He then sat down again,
gave me a friendly salutation, and said :
"Know, Joodar, I have been long waiting your
arrival with impatience. Praised be the Lord, who
protected you and Mahmood in the Eagle's Cleft,
where so many men have already lost their lives !
But you owe your preservation solely to the pious
tutor Abul Ajaib, who had also the well-being
of the Muslims in view ; for you are destined to
slay the tyrant Hindmar, and to hew down the
tree of Bahram the Magian. Know also, Joodar,
that just as Sanja is the ruler of a thousand genii
who are subject to the possessor of the sacred book,
so is Misram the ruler of the five hundred genii who
obey the man who carries the magic sword at his
side. When you entered I saw the five hundred
genii behind you, who saluted me one after another.
But Misram was absent, and when I inquired after
him I heard that he was with Queen Daruma in the
Smoking Castle in the Valley of Camellias. As you
cannot accomplish your undertaking without Misram,
you must go to Queen Daruma, salute her from me,
and bring her a small written tablet which I will
give you early to-morrow morning. The queen will
Joortar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 77
be useful to you, but beware of the three hundred
maidens who are with her in the castle or you are
lost, for they are very skilful in the magic art and
have already destroyed many kings and princes."
When he had finished speaking he called for
supper, of which he and several other dervishes par
took. I then went to bed to dream of Hysa, and
recited the following verse in my sleep :
" I am not old yet, but my black hair has turned
white by reason of many tears."
When I awoke in the morning, Shanuda asked me
why I had recited this verse. I was ashamed and
hung down my head for a while, but when he re
peated his question I answered :
" In the night I dreamed of Hysa, my beloved
one, who asked me why my hair had turned grey
so suddenly. I thought she was only joking, for
I had' never noticed a grey hair on my head, but
she held up a mirror before me, and I saw that all
my hair had turned white, except a few hairs in my
beard, which remained, black. I was astonished at
the change, and recited the verse which you seem
to have overheard."
Shanuda fetched a book and read a little, and then
" Be joyful, Joodar, for the dream indicates the
certain fulfilment of your wishes. If the whole of
178 New Arabian Nights.
your hair had turned white you would be already
at the goal ; but the few remaining black hairs
indicate some troubles and hindrances still lying
before you, but which you will certainly surmount
with God's help."
He then fetched some provisions, and said :
"Advance further in this valley till you come to
a black mountain, up which an easy path leads.
Follow this path, which will bring you to the castle
of Queen Daruma."
It took me ten days to climb the black mountain,
and on the eleventh day I arrived in a fertile valley,
where a great castle arose to the clouds. On the
castle stood a copper statue, which blew a trumpet
when I approached. Immediately the door of the
castle opened, and more than a hundred maidens
issued forth, clad in the finest silken robes, with
golden girdles round their waists, and diamond
crowns on their heads. They bowed down before
me as if I were a vizier or a sultan, and led me
into the castle to Queen Daruma, the daughter of
King Kashuk. She sat on a golden throne with
ivory legs, and decorated with many jewels, and
the crown on her head shone so brilliantly that I
could not raise my eyes to it. She was as fair as
the full moon, but her air was imposing and awe-
inspiring. On her right sat a hundred and fifty
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. \ 79
slave- girls, and the same number on her left. As
I entered the hall Daruma rose from her throne,
offered me her hand, saluted me by my name, and
mad-e me sit with her on her throne. I saluted her
from the dervish Shanuda, and handed her the tablet
which he had given me. She received it with much
pleasure and locked it up in a casket.
Daruma then caused food to be set before me,
and drank with me herself. After this she ordered
some of her maidens to sing and play, and then said :
"As you are in love you must have composed
some verses, and I should much like to hear them."
After I had recited a few lines, in which I ex
pressed my passion for Hysa, she observed :
" You are sure to win Hysa, but you must first
think of poor Mahmood, who is nearly mad with love
for the daughters of King Numan. But first of all
you must slay the tyrant Hindmar, who would
certainly endanger my own safety if he lived a year
longer. Know, Joodar, that my father, who was
a powerful king of the genii, had an old sage named
Kandarin living with him. One day, when he re
turned from travelling in a country inhabited by
men, my father asked him if he had seen anything
particularly beautiful on his journey. He answered :
4 When I came to the city of Dalass I found all
the inhabitants in commotion, and the city itself
180 New Arabian Nights.
was decorated. I assumed a human form, and asked
an old man if there was not some great festival going
forward. He replied, " Know that the king of this
city, whose name is Shamkoor, has a daughter so
beautiful that human eyes have never looked upon
her equal. A short time ago the princess was so
ill that she was mourned for as if she was already
dead, but she is now well, and as she is going to
ride out to-day for the first time, her father wished
it to be a public- festival." When I heard this, I
resolved not to leave Dalass until I had seen the
beautiful princess. I had not long to wait before
Shamkoor and his daughter approached on horse
back, accompanied by many officers, and preceded
by musicians and torchbearers. I joined the pro
cession in order to observe the princess longer and
more closely, and found her in truth so perfectly
lovely that I could not attempt to describe her to
you. She is the most beautiful object that I have
seen in the countries inhabited by men.'
" My father admired the daughters of men more
than the daughters of the genii, and when he heard
the story of the wise Kandarin he said : ' I will travel
to Dalass myself in the form of a human king, and
ask king Shamkoor for his daughter. If he consents
it will be for his advantage, but if he refuses me I
will seize her by force.'
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 8 1
" He immediately summoned a detachment of genii,
and commanded them to attend him next day in
human form, mounted on swift coursers, and lightly
armed. On the following day, twenty thousand of
them assembled, as he had ordered, and my father
himself mounted a horse which was rather larger
than those of his attendants, and flew as swiftly as a
raven. He and Kandarin rode to Dalass at the head
of the troops.
" King Shamkoor was alarmed at the sudden arrival
of so large an army before his city, and sent his vizier
to my father to inquire the reason of his coming.
My father bade the vizier inform his master that
King Kashuk had arrived as a suitor for the hand
of his daughter, and if he consented he would be his
friend, and would offer any dowry which he chose to
demand. When the vizier returned with this answer
to King Shamkoor, the king went to his daughter,
and asked her if she would be willing to marry the
powerful King Kashuk.
" The princess answered : ' Let him come to the
race-course, so that I can see him from the castle ;
and if he pleases me I will marry him, but if not, I
would rather let him hew me in pieces than consent
to become his wife ! '
"King Shamkoor himself rode to meet my father,
and gave him his daughter's answer. My father
182 New Arabian Nights.
accepted the conditions, and on the next day he
rode to the* race-course at the head of his troops, and
showed himself so accomplished a horseman that the
princess soon declared to her father that she would
willingly become his wife.
"Shamkoor immediately summoned my father, and
said, ' Take my daughter, for you have won her
heart ! '
" He immediately provided an outfit for his daugh
ter, and when it was completed my father and his
bride rode away together on horseback, while the
trousseau of the princess followed on three hundred
" I was the offspring of this marriage, and I was
renowned for my beauty, even as a child, in whom the
gentleness and modesty of woman was strangely
blended with the strength and majesty of the genii ;
but when I reached the age of fifteen, my beauty
became so famous that the tyrant Hindmar heard of
me, and demanded my hand in marriage. My father
immediately sent for Kandarin, and asked him if he
could refuse Hindmar without bringing destruction
"Kandarin replied: 'Tell him that your daughter is
still too young and delicate to marry, and if he will
wait two years, she shall then become his wife. If
he consents to this delay, you have no cause for
Joodar of Cairo > and Mahmood of Timis. 183
further alarm, for I have read in a book that in a
year's time a fisherman from Cairo, named Joodar,
the son of Omar, will arrive here, and will kill
Hindmar with a magic sword.'
"My father followed this advice, and the messengers
whom he sent to Hindmar with this evasive answer,
returned with a letter from him to the effect that
he was quite willing to wait two years.
" Kandarin said : ' In case Hindmar should change
his mind, I should advise you to secure the safety of
your daughter by sending her to my castle in the
Valley of Camellias. I have prepared a copper statue
with a trumpet in its hand, which will sound the trum
pet as soon as Joodar climbs the hill upon which the
castle stands. Joodar will come here in search of the
genius Misrarn, and in order to invoke him, he must
open a little door in the body of the copper statue.
Here he will find many loose leaves, on which the
letter "Alif " is written ; let him search through them
till he finds one which has nothing written upon it.
If he throws this into the fire, Misram will imme
diately appear, and assist him to slay Hindmar.'
" My father immediately consigned me to the care
of Kandarin, with three hundred maidens, and I have
been living here for three months waiting for the
trumpet to sound, but the statue gave no sign until
vour arrival. This is the reason, Joodar, that I am
184 New Arabian Nights.
so pleased at your arrival, and sent some of my
maidens to meet you. This is all I have to tell you ;
and God alone is omniscient."
When Daruma had finished speaking, she took my
hand and led me to the roof of the castle, where the
copper statue stood. I took the little box, and found
it to contain many loose leaves of gazelle skin, on
which an Alif was written. One only was quite
white, and I threw it on a pan of coals which Daruma
handed to me. Then a smoke rose up to heaven
from the mouth of the statue, which presently con
densed into the form of a tremendous genius, with a
head like a large copper, eyes cleft longitudinally,
and nostrils emitting torrents of fire.
When he stood before me, he exclaimed in a voice
like thunder : " Here am I, my master ; help is at
hand ; the appointed time has come ; and I obey the
possessor of the magic sword, to whom I am subject."
" Behold the power of your sword ! " exclaimed
Daruma ; " this fearful genius trembles in your
presence like a reed in the hurricane."
Misram then turned to Daruma, and asked her
to explain to me the meaning of the other leaves in
Then she said : " Know, Joodar, that Misram has
two sons, one named Mahik, and the other Lahik,
whom he loves so tenderly that he would not live
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tun is. \ 8 5
long if he could not visit them occasionally. When
Sintbest made him subject to this sword, -he asked
as a favour to be allowed to spend three days every
month with his sons. Sintbest granted his request,
prepared these leaves of gazelle-skin, and gave him
one every month as a passport for his journey ; but
as you are now the possessor of the magic sword,
it has become your business to give him leave of
absence for three days every month, by giving him
one of these leaves, without which he cannot quit
you for an instant."
She then said to Misram : " I have no doubt that
you will not find Joodar a harder master than
Sintbest ; and on the other hand, as Joodar is an
ordinary man who has never had any dealings with
genii before, you should assume a more friendly
aspect towards him, that he 'may feel at ease in your
Misram vanished for an instant, and reappeared in
the form of a handsome beardless youth, with mild
black, eyes, rosy checks, white forehead, coral lips,
and a neck as white as crystal.
" Now then, Joodar," said he, as I was looking at
him with astonishment, " we must start at once, if we
wish to encounter Hindmar at the time appointed."
I took leave of Daruma, and followed Misram for
two days, without feeling the slightest fatigue ; and
i86 . New Arabian Nights.
at length we reached a large tent, and heard a lamen
table voice crying out within : " O merciful God, who
brought Job to the end of his sufferings ; have pity
also on mine ! "
I opened the tent hastily, and found a naked man
lying on the ground. He was covered with bleeding
wounds, and his hands and feet were chained to
gether with heavy iron chains. I cried out : " Peace
be with you," and he answered :
" May God's peace, blessing, and mercy rest on
you also. But who are you ? "
" I am a human being."
" And who brought you here ? "
" The Almighty, to whom nothing is difficult. But
tell me how you fell into your present painful
" I am tortured by two black slaves, who have
been ill-using me thus for the last ten days."
" For what reason ? "
" Because I will not renounce my religion and
" When do they usually visit you ? "
" Unfortunately I expect them this very hour.
Escape speedily if you would not share my fate,
for the two slaves carry scourges heavy enough to
kill an elephant."
" Fear nothing more, for I certainly came here
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 187
under Divine guidance to free you from your suffer
ings. What is your name ? "
u My name is Hatim, and I come from the town
of Baser. I was travelling with my bride, who was
taken from me by violence, and I know no more
" Do not be uneasy, trust in God, and have
patience, for patience is the key of deliverance."
After this conversation I left the tent and hid
myself behind a tree near, and waited for the return
of the slaves. When they entered the tent I went
up to the door, ready to assist Hatim at any moment,
took my sword from the case, and put it together.
Presently I heard one of the slaves say :
" Have pity on yourself and renounce your religion,
and adopt that of our king, and exhort your bride
likewise to obey the king, and you will then expe
rience nothing but good treatment at our hands ; but
if you still refuse, both you and your wife will be
tortured until our -great festival, when you will both
be offered up in sacrifice to our crystal idol."
But Hatim replied : " There is only one true
religion, that of Mohammed the son of Abdallah ;
your king may treat me as he pleases, but I will
maintain till the last gasp that there is but one God,
and that Mohammed is His Prophet."
When the slaves heard this they placed themselves
1 88 New Arabian Nights.
one on his right and the other on his left, and
raised their arms till their armpits became visible,
but at the same moment, when they were about
to strike Hatim, I rushed into the tent and cried
" Woe to you, you accursed idolaters ! Let this
man alone, or I will avenge him."
The slaves turned round, and when they saw me
they laughed and cried out :
"Who are you?"
They then raised their scourges against me, but
I sprang forward with my sword, and I had scarcely
touched them with it when their heads flew from
their bodies. I then unbound Hatim, who was over
joyed at his unexpected deliverance, and gave him
something to eat. When he had recovered a little
I asked him how he came to this place.
" My story is wonderful," he replied, "and if it was
written with a needle in the pupil of the eye, it
would serve as a warning to every one. Know that
some years ago -a young king reigned in my native
city of Baser, who was called Kink the Persian, and
who was the wildest young man in the world. I saw
and heard so much of his irregularities that I began
to be alarmed for the safety of my cousin, to whom
I had long been betrothed, and to whom I was
greatly attached We left the town of Baser by
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Timis. \ 9 1
night, thinking only to escape the tyranny of our
king, but without knowing where to travel to, or
what road to follow. We journeyed on beaten roads
for ten days, and then arrived in a great desert,
where we saw a lofty marble pillar on which hung
a steel tablet bearing the following inscription :
' Wanderer, when you reach this place do not turn
to the right or you will be destroyed, nor to the left
or you will meet your death, but keep straight
on through the valley, and you will be secure.' I
said to my bride : ' See what good people do for
travellers ! ' We then entered the valley which was
pointed out to us, and soon arrived at a plain,
through which ran a clear brook bordered with
beautiful fruit trees, in the branches of which birds
sang praises to their Creator.
" ' We are out of our difficulties/ said I, ' and we
will rest here.' I dismounted from my camel, and
helped my bride to descend from her litter. The
camels grazed in the green meadow, while we
gathered some fruit and drank water from the brook.
We were delighted with this place, after having
wandered through" a barren district where for ten
days we could procure very little food. As soon as
we had satisfied our hunger and thirst we lay down
on our carpet and fell asleep. Praise to Him who
never sleeps ! But when we awbke we found our-
192 New Arabian Nights.
selves in the presence of a king who resembled one
of the old Amalekites, for he was more than thirty
feet high. Many officers stood round him, but he
himself sat on a throne, to which four lions were
bound with silver chains.
" ' Do you know me ? ' he asked, when we opened
" ' No, my Lord, we do not know you,' we replied.
" ' Know,' replied he, ' that I am King Mudfil, and
have already subjected many kings to my crystal
idol. He who worships him may demand of me
whatever he desires ; but whoever refuses to worship
him is destroyed. I now command you also to
worship my idol, and if you will do so I will give
you an honourable appointment, and will receive the
damsel into my castle, but if you refuse you will
pay dearly for your disobedience.'
" ' I will never obey your bidding/ I exclaimed
indignantly. ' How shall I bow before an idol that
can neither do good nor harm ? I will only worship
Him who has created me, and has given me ears to
hear with, eyes to see with, and feet to walk with.
There is but one God, who has created the day and
the night, the sun and the moon ; from whom no
thing is hidden, either on earth or in heaven. I there
fore advise you to give up worshipping your idol, and
to worship the only" true God. You will then escape
He sat on a throne to which four lions were bound.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of T^lnis. 195
from hell, and at length come into Paradise, among
hooris and beautiful youths.'
" When Mudfil heard this, he sprang up in a rage
and cried out : ' How dare you insult a king like I
" He then called one of his servants and ordered
him to slaughter one of the four lions and bring it
to him. The slave slaughtered the lion, skinned
it, roasted it, and presented it to the king, who
devoured it in an instant. Then he commanded this
tent to be erected in which we now are, and
ordered the two slaves whom you have slain to
torture me until I should renounce my religion ;
but what has become of my bride I do not know.
That is all I have to tell you."
"Doubt not," answered I, "that He who sent me
to you is also powerful enough to save your bride."
I then called Misram and ordered him to guide
me to Mudfil, and to release the bride of Hatim.
" Follow me," said Misram. 4< Mudfil is now in the
Castle of Leopards, three days' journey from here."
Hatim and I then rose up and followed Misram,
who led us across mountains and valleys without
stopping for three days, and yet we did not feel at
all weary. On the third day, Misram said : " Sit
down here till I come back."
We rested under a tree for some hours, when we
196 New Arabian Nights.
suddenly perceived a cloud of dust in the distance.
Presently five hundred cavaliers appeared, mounted
on Arabian steeds. They bore Indian spears in their
hands and were armed with Davidian coats of mail.
When they neared us a horseman of gigantic size,
and entirely encased in iron, rode forward from their
Hatim cried out : " Woe to us, for this is certainly
Mudfil, and if he sees me he will assuredly slay us
I took the strips of steel hurriedly from the
case, and fitted them together ; but the horseman
cried out to me in a voice of thunder : " Sheath your
sword, my lord Joodar, for I am Misram, and come
with my army to fight against Mudfil to release
Turaia, the bride of Hatim. We are close to his
castle, and you had better wait here till I summon
you." He then returned to his troops, sounded
the trumpets, and unfurled the flags, and marched
against the castle.
When Mudfil heard the clang of arms before his
castle, he sent his vizier to Misram to ask who he was
and what he wanted. Misram answered : " Go and
tell your master that Misram, the son of Akoos,
requires him to surrender Turaia, and if he does not
instantly obey, Misram will strike off his head and
break his crystal idol into a thousand pieces."
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. \ 9 7
When Mudfil received this answer from the vizier,
he foamed with rage, and cursed and threatened.
Then he called all his people together, informed them
of what he had heard from the vizier, and called
upon them to march with him against the insolent
But as soon as Mudfil and his troops left the castle
and formed their ranks in preparation for a general
attack, Misram cried out : " Who will accept my
challenge, and who will dare to match his strength
with mine ? I speak not to those who know me, but
to those who know me not. I declare that I am
Misram, the son of Akoos, who fears neither white
nor black, nor men nor genii."
Upon this challenge, a horseman rode forth from
the army of Mudfil. He was as tall as the tallest
date-tree, and carried a great iron club on his
shoulder. He stopped opposite to Misram, and said
to him : " How dare you defy a king, when your
following is so small ? " He then rushed upon
Misram and smote him with his club, but it had no
more effect upon him than the fall of a feather. All
the spectators supposed that Misram was overthrown,
but a single flash of fire from his mouth sufficed to
stretch his adversary lifeless on the ground.
When Mudfil saw this he turned to his followers
and said : " Who will avenge the fallen warrior ? "
198 New Arabian Nights.
Immediately a second horseman came forward and
rushed upon Misram. But he had scarcely put his
horse to a gallop, when Misram overthrew him like his
predecessor. Eighteen horsemen advanced one after
another, who were all consumed to ashes by Misram.
Mudfil struck himself in the face with rage so violently
that he almost knocked his eyes out of his head, and
then turned to a black slave, who had just arrived
with a reinforcement of a thousand horsemen, and
commanded him to attack Misram, to avenge the
death of his brethren and to uphold the honour of
Jamus, the black warrior, answered : " It is quite
time that I ceased to stand here as a mere spectator.
I will satisfy your thirst for vengeance, and de
liver Misram over alive into your hands that you
may offer him as a sacrifice to your idol." Upon
this he rushed upon Misram, lifting a club which
would have crushed an elephant. Misram did not
stir from his place, and only breathed on Jamus' right
arm, which fell to the ground. Jamus drew his sword
with his left hand and attacked Misram again, but he
only breathed on his left arm, and this also fell to the
ground. Upon this Jamus fled, and Mudfil's troops
who had been looking on cried out together: "We
cannot contend any longer against a hero like
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 99
Then Mudfil said: "If no one else dare contend
with Misram I will attempt it myself, but I must first
consult the idol." But while he was on his knees
before the idol praying for help, Misram ordered him
to be seized by two genii and carried under the tree
where Hatim and I were sitting.
"What help have you received from your idol?"
asked Misram, laughing.
"I think he is angry with me," answered Mudfil.
Misram then said to Hatim : " Here is your enemy,
deal with him as you think best."
Hatim then turned to Mudfil saying : "Tell me the
truth, and all shall be forgiven you ; but if you tell me
a lie, it shall cost you your life. What has become
of my bride Turaia ? "
" She is safe in my castle and kindly treated, but
she sighs for you continually, and weeps without
"Bring her here," said Hatim, "and prove the
truth of your words."
Mudfil rose up and was about to return to his
castle, but Misram said : " You shall not stir from
the spot until you acknowledge that your idol is a
senseless object which can do neither good nor evil,
and that there is but one true God."
When Mudfil heard this he exclaimed : " O my
crystal god, now is thy time to display thy power !
2OO New Arabian Nights.
Remember that I have worshipped thee for fifty
years, and have devoted much time every year to thy
honour. I have sacrificed kings and princes to thee,
therefore save me now in my hour of danger ! "
But Misram had already sent a genius to fetch
the idol, and before Mudfil had finished his prayer
the idol was set before him with its head on the
ground and its feet in the air. Misram dashed it to
pieces, and said to Mudfil : " What help will you get
from your idol now ? "
"I see plainly," answered Mudfil, "that he can
neither help himself nor me, and I must therefore ask
you to teach me a better religion."
"Know then," returned Misram, "that there is but
one God, and that Mohammed is his Prophet."
After Mudfil had repeated the profession of the
faith, to our great joy, we went with him to the castle.
He then assembled all his followers, and related what
had passed between himself and Misram, upon which
they all acknowledged themselves Muslims. He then
sent for Turaia, who fainted with joy when she saw
Hatim again. We remained at Mudfil's castle for
three days, and instructed him in prayer, ablutions,
and fasting, and gave him a description of hell and
paradise, and taught him the other articles of the
faith of Islam. He treated us with kingly hospitality,
and would have made us very costly presents, but I
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 201
thanked him and said : " Do for Hatim what you
propose to do for me."
Mudfil then asked Hatim whether he would
prefer to go to some other country or to remain with
" Give me the tent," said Hatim, " which is pitched
in the beautiful valley, and where I suffered so much,
and give me a few necessaries, and I shall live happily
there with Turaia."
"You shall have all this," answered Mudfil, "and
I will make you an annual allowance that shall
not only suffice for all your needs, but enable you
to entertain all the travellers who come into this
neighbourhood. I owe this reparation to the one
God whom you have taught me to know, for the
many outrages I have inflicted on the travellers whom
the tablet on the marble pillar betrayed into my
King Mudfil himself accompanied Hatim and
Turaia to their tent, and stationed a detachment of
troops in the neighbourhood for their protection.
But Misram and I took leave of them, and travelled
on for another ten days through waste and desert
places, where there was neither a green leaf nor a
living creature to be seen. On the eleventh day we
reached a fertile valley, and Misram asked me for
three days' leave of absence. I gave him one of the
2O2 New Arabian Nights.
parchment leaves and he flew away. But when I
wished to satisfy my hunger with the fruit that grew
in the valley, I found it so bitter that I could not
eat it, and was obliged to fall back on my stock of
provisions, which was so slender that it was already
quite exhausted on the second day. On the third
day I was so hungry that I rose up to go in search
either of provisions or of some inhabited place. At
the end of the valley I perceived a large stone build
ing with a handsome gate of walnut-wood, standing
on a hill. I went up to it and read the following
inscription on the gate : " Traveller, whom fate has
led to this spot, if you are hungry, we will feed you ;
if you are naked, we will clothe you ; if you have lost
your way, we will guide you on your road ; and if
you visit us, we will regard you as the master and
ourselves as your guests."
When I had read this verse, I thought: "What
could be more desirable at this moment than such
a hospitable abode ? I will enter, and appease my
hunger, until Misram returns."
I had scarcely knocked, when a voice from within
cried out : " Who is there ? "
I answered : " I am a poor hungry traveller."
" You are welcome here," responded the voice ;
and the door was opened immediately.
A black slave met me, led me into a cheerful
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 203
room, and made me sit down on a handsome divan.
He then left me for an instant, and returned carry
ing a golden dish, filled with meat and vegetables,
swimming in fat, which he set before me with a
trembling hand, and then withdrew.
As I was nearly dying of hunger, I stretched
out my hand, saying: " In the name of the All-
merciful God ! "
But as I was about to put a morsel to my mouth,
I heard a voice exclaim, " Do not eat ! "
I laid down the piece, and looked round me on
all sides, but saw no one.
I put my hand into the dish again, and took
up a small piece of meat ; but when it approached
my lips, I heard the same voice say again : " Do not
eat ! "
I looked again to the right and left, but saw
But when I was about to eat for the third time,
and again received the same warning, without see
ing anybody, I said: "Whoever you are, who speak
to me, without showing yourself, tell me why I
should not eat, for I am ready to perish with
The voice answered : " Look to your right hand,"
and when I turned round, I beheld Misram, who
said: "My lord Joodar, if you had eaten a single
204 New Arabian Nights.
morsel of this meat, you would have melted like
hot lead, your sword would have been taken from
you, and I should have been forced to work for
ruthless masters for the rest of my life, and Mahmood
would have died of despair. Praise be to God, who
sent me to you at the right moment! Know, Joodar,
that this building belongs to an old enchantress,
who worships the Fire ; and the. inscription on the
door is intended to decoy travellers, all of whom
she sends to her cousin Hindmar, who roasts and
eats them as if they were fowls. I will tell you
more when you have slain the black slave, who
is now sitting on the terrace of the castle. Go up,
and when he hears you, he will spring forward with
a loud cry, then touch him with your sword, and
he will fall down in a heap of ashes. If the
enchantress should return to-morrow in search of
booty, treat her in the same manner, and we will
then go together to attack Hindmar, the scourge
of the Muslims."
I slew the black slave, and then returned to
Misram, who said : " Let us hide ourselves in this
cabinet, lest the sorceress should fly from us when
she sees us, and work more evil in the world."
I followed Misram into a cabinet, close to the
door of the room, and we remained there till the
following day. Then we suddenly heard a great
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 205
noise in the building as if it thundered, and lo,
the enchantress entered the room, and sat down
on a divan at the upper end. She had the head
of a buffalo, but very small eyes and ears ; a neck
as yellow as falling leaves, a mouth like a trumpet,
a body like an ass, teeth like an elephant, and a
tongue hanging down on her breast.
"That is old Jakka," said Misram ; "Hindmar's
When I heard this, I drew my sword, sprang
from the cabinet, and clove her in twain. A thick
smoke rose up to heaven, which then collected
together, and fell down in a heap of ashes.
Misram screamed for joy like a woman, when
he saw the old monster reduced to a heap of ashes,
and said: "All will succeed with us, Joodar, for
Hindmar himself will soon share the fate of his
cousin, and we shall then be near the attainment
of our object."
Misram then collected together all the silver,
gold and jewels, which lay in great heaps in the
palace, loaded ten genii with the booty, and said :
"Go to Egypt to the Eagle's Cleft, where you will
find the Moor Mahmood, who is expecting you.
Kiss his hands and feet, deliver him these treasures,
and tell him that all has gone well with us, and
we hope soon to return to him."
206 New Arabian Nights.
The genii returned in a few hours, with greetings
from Mahmood, and informed us that he had already
read in his book of the destruction of the monster,
and he now prayed continually that we should also
succeed in our undertakings against Hindmar.
" I have still less doubt of our success than I
had before," said Misram, " for on my last journey
I have succeeded in winning the alliance of Shil-
shanum, the son of Jaljamook, the trusted dervish of
Hindmar. No one knows whether Jaljamook is a
Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim, but he is a most
skilful physician, and is therefore in great favour
with Hindmar. Hindmar was once so ill that his
best physicians considered him incurable, and did
not think it worth while to continue to prescribe for
him. When Jaljamook heard this, he asked leave
to see the king, and as soon as he felt his pulse,
he said :
" ' My lord, you have an internal complaint, for
which there is but one cure ; you must eat the
flesh of men, and drink their blood.'
"As soon as Jaljamook said this, Hindmar
ordered one of his subject genii to fetch him a
man. The genius flew like lightning to a country
inhabited by men, carried away a fat man, and
brought him to Hindmar.
"Jaljamook examined him and said: 'That is right'
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of T^m^s. 207
hang him up by the feet with his head hanging
down, for three days, and on the fourth day, cut
off his head, catch the blood in a golden dish, and
drink it quite warm, and you will soon fall asleep.
Meanwhile let them roast the flesh of the victim
for you to eat when you awake, and you will soon
be as well as ever.'
"As Hindmar speedily recovered his health in
this manner, he loaded Jaljamook with royal favours,
and proclaimed through his whole kingdom : ' Let
him who loves and honours Hindmar, also love and
honour Jaljamook, his preserver.'
As Hindmar was subject to frequent attacks of
his old complaint, he used to feed constantly on
men, and sent for them in all directions; if they
were fat, they were slaughtered immediately, but
if not, they were fattened on the flesh of fowls and
geese. That is the reason why his old cousin,
who was devoted to him, built this castle with a
treacherous inscription on the door, and when any
one entered, she gave him a sleeping potion in his
food, and sent him to Hindmar.
" Hindmar has thus lived by rapine and murder
for many years, and he is dreaded everywhere, but
no king dares to make war upon him, for he is as
brave in war as his empire is mighty, and he rules
over an innumerable army. But some months ago
208 New Arabian Nights.
he became suddenly so uneasy without any visible
cause that he sent for Jaljamook, and asked if some
misfortune were not impending over him.
"Jaljamook read in a book for a short time, and
then said : * Beware of a man coming from Egypt,
armed with the magic sword of Sintbest, which is
victorious over both men and genii. I will cast
you a copper statue with a trumpet in its hand,
which it will sound as soon as this man comes
against your castle. When you hear the trumpet
sound, send for me immediately, that I may en
deavour to neutralize the magic of the sword ; but
otherwise you are lost, and all your enemies will
rejoice at your overthrow.'
" Hindmar now felt his mind at ease ; but on the
very day that you set sail for Alexandria, the statue
blew such a blast in the trumpet that the whole
castle shook. Upon this, he sent hastily for Jalja
mook, and said : ' The man with the magic sword
must be near, for the trumpet sounded so loud that
it nearly deafened me.'
" * Fear nothing,' answered Jaljamook, ' for I will
devise four traps for our enemy, from which he can
not escape alive, unless he should be warned of them
by some traitor.' However, he could not make all
his preparations himself, and was forced to take his
son Shilshanum into his confidence. But Shilshanum
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 2oc;
is secretly a Muslim, and has long abhorred the
reckless life of Hind mar, who worships the Fire.
Besides, he and my two sons were friends in their
childhood ; and therefore, when I met him on my
last journey, he told me everything, and promised
to await us on the Bird Mountain, which we must
scale before we can approach Hindmar. He will
there instruct you how to overcome the fourfold
danger which awaits you. But let us not waste any
more time here."
As we left the palace, Misram ordered some genii
to destroy it, and it was instantly reduced to a heap
of ashes. Then we travelled on for another twenty
days, until we came to a very high mountain, as
green as grass.
" This is the Bird Mountain," said Misram, " and
beyond this is the Valley of Fire, and beyond the
Valley of Fire is the castle of Hindmar." We re
mained at the foot of the mountain for two days,
because it was so steep that we were unable to climb
it. On the third day we discovered a flight of steps
cut in the rock, which led us up the mountain. On
the summit stood a castle, with its foundations on
the ground, and its summit in the clouds ; and on
the terrace stood a copper bird as large as an eagle.
The castle door was open, and a maiden stood before
it, who gave us a friendly reception, and asked me
210 New Arabian Nights.
if I was not Joodar. When I assented, she returned,
" A good welcome to one to whom Islam will be
so greatly indebted ! Follow me, with your friend
Misram." She then led us to the terrace of the
castle, to a very aged blind man near the copper
bird. As soon as we came upon the terrace, the
bird turned round three times, and spread its wings.
Then the old man leaped up for joy, and the maiden
cried out. I asked for an explanation, and she said :
"Know, Joodar, that this old ' man is my father.
My mother has long been dead, but I have a sister
named Badia, who, even in her eighth year, was
the most beautiful girl in the world. We lived
happily together for some years after my mother's
death, when one day a genius as high as a date-
palm took Badia on his arm, and flew away with
her. It is twelve years since this misfortune
happened, and we had already lost all hopes of ever
seeing Badia again, when we heard a voice in a
dream yesterday, saying : ' Rejoice, Jirah, for you will
soon see your sister again. To-morrow two strangers
will arrive here, a man named Joodar, and a genius
named Misram, and by their means your sister will
be released. When you see them, lead them to the
terrace, and if the bird turns round three times, and
spreads his wings, accept it as a confirmation of the
truth of my words ! ' This is the reason, my lord
The castle door was open, and a maiden stood before it.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of l^inis. 2 1 3
Joodar, that I was so overjoyed at the movements of
She had scarcely spoken when a white bird flew
up to us, and a genius sprang from its back, upon
" This is Shilshanum," said Misram, " the son of
Jaljamook, who will warn you of the snares that
his father has spread for you in Hindinar's castle."
He then gave him a friendly greeting, and introduced
me as the possessor of the magic sword.
" Do you know, Misram," said Shilshanum, " why
I appointed to meet you here ? I have often heard
this old man lamenting for his lost daughter Badia,
and wished to assure him of her safe return, as soon
as Joodar shall have rid the earth of the monster
Hindmar, who holds her in captivity. But if you
would avoid losing your lives in the pursuit of
Hindmar, you must listen attentively to my words,
and forget nothing that I tell you.
" You must travel from this palace for three days
through the Valley of Fire, and you will then arrive
at a green mountain quite as lofty as this, up
which leads a convenient footpath. When you have
reached the highest point, you will see the Castle
of Pillars, and the Raven's Lake before you. The
castle is of vast size, and is supported by four and
twenty pillars. It is quite smooth, and has neither
214 New Arabian Nights.
doors nor windows, so that it looks like a great
rock from a distance. Close by is a small lake,
near which rises a tall slender pillar, where stands
a golden raven, with his beak to the ground,
and his tail in the air. You, Joodar, must dig where
the raven's beak rests, till you find a bag containing
a bow and three arrows. String the bow, and shoot
at the beak of the raven. If you hit him, he will
turn round three times, and drop three golden keys
from his mouth. If you fail the first time, you will
hear a terrible uproar, and genii of different forms
will threaten you, crying out, ' Seize him, and tear
him to pieces ! ' Do not be afraid, but shoot
another arrow at the raven. If you miss the second
time, the uproar will increase around you ; but seize
the third arrow without fear, and you will certainly
strike the raven's beak at the third shot Take the
keys which fall from the raven's beak, go to the
right wing of the castle, and call out : ' O Abd
Assurer, inhabitant of this castle!' Some one will
reply : ' Here am I, my lord Joodar ; all is accom
plished ! ' Then you will hear a great noise in
the castle, as of people tumbling over one another.
When this subsides, a previously invisible door
will open, and a black slave will salute you, and
ask for one of the leaves which serve as Misram's
passports. Give him one, and he will immediately
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 215
spread his wings and fly away. In the hall of the
castle you will find a door to the left, which one of
the three golden keys will open. You will pass
through a large room into a passage paved with
forty marble slabs, twenty white and twenty black.
If you tread on a white slab, you will melt like heated
lead, though you had fifty magic swords. You must
go through this passage, taking care to touch nothing
but the black slabs, till you reach a door which you
must open with the second golden key. Here you
will find yourself in a large hall, where more than
seventy genii resembling elephants will rush upon
you, but you have only to draw the magic sword
from its sheath, and they will immediately sink upon
the ground. Go through this hall into another, the
door of which you will open with the third golden
key. Here you w 11 see two copper statues, holding
European bows in their hands ; and arrows which
crush the hardest rocks to powder. As soon as they
take aim at you, touch their bows with your sword,
and they will fall from their hands. Then you will
come into another hall, filled with a stifling atmo
sphere, which will parch you up, and you will be
tempted to slake your thirst at the fountain which
plays in the midst of the hall, but a single drop of
that water would kill you. Restrain your thirst,
and go forward, till you reach the open air. You
216 New Arabian Nights.
will see a small lake before you, with an island in
the middle, where a golden tent with cords of red
silk is pitched. On the bank of the lake, stands a
statue on a pedestal, with a leaden ball in his hand.
Touch the ball with your sword, and a pretty boat
which is moored at the island will loosen itself, and
cross over to you. Leap in, and it will take you
across to the island, where Hind mar sits in his tent.
He has been so terrified at your approach for several
days that you will be able to slay him with your
sword without difficulty. Know also, dear Joodar,
that if I did not fear my father, I would gladly
accompany you, till you see Hysa again, and obtain
news of King Numan's daughters for your friend
Mahmood ; but Misram will accompany you, and
you may rely upon the help of God."
Shilshanum then took leave of us, and Misram
said : "My lord Joodar, let us go farther, with God's
blessing." We then said farewell to the old man,
and promised soon to send his daughter Badia back
to him. After three days we reached the green
mountain which Shilshanum had described to us,
and on reaching the summit, we already saw the
Castle of Pillars and the Raven's Lake before us.
Here Misram repeated to me what Shilshanum had
directed me to do, and as I neglected nothing,
everything fell out as Shilshanum had foretold,
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 217
until I reached the tent on the island, where
Hindmar sat upon a golden throne, adorned with
magnificent jacinths and emeralds ; and before him
stood a table spread with flasks of wine and glasses.
He was half intoxicated, and had a face like a
bull, and a head with four horns ; he had a neck
like an ass ; his body was hairy, like that of an
ape, and he had the hands and feet of a man.
As soon as he saw me, he stared at my sword,
gnashed his teeth, and uttered such a cry that the
whole castle shook. I went up to him and had
scarcely touched his neck with my sword, than his
head flew from his body ; a smoke rose into the air,
and the dreaded Hindmar was only a heap of
ashes ; but his soul went to hell, a miserable
When Misram saw this, he embraced me, and
kissed me between the eyes, saying : " Now there
is rest again for men and genii ! Now go into the
castle ; you can pass over dryshod, for the lake
which you crossed is dried up ; but I will remain
here in the tent."
The first room that I entered was empty ; ex
cept for a sealed copper flask' which stood in a
corner. As soon as I entered, I heard a voice,
saying : " O thou who didst release the cat from
his chains, be welcome here ! "
218 New Arabian Nights.
" Who are you ?" cried I, " for I hear a voice,
but see nobody."
"Are you not the fisherman Joodar from Cairo ?"
returned the voice, "and have you forgotten the
cat who gave you the book and the sword in the
Eagle's Cleft ? I have been languishing here for
five months in this copper flask solely on your
account ; and if you have slain Hindmar, then
hasten to set me at liberty."
I tore the seals from the flask, and a thick
smoke rose up into the air, which soon con
densed, and behold, Shah Bair stood before me
as I had seen him in the Eagle's Cleft ; and
thanked me for his deliverance. I then asked him
how he came to be imprisoned in this castle; and
he replied :
" I am the son of Abu Tawaif, who is also
called Iblis, and have a brother named Sham-
hoorish, who lives near Tunis. One day, when
my brother was alone in his house, he was
seized by two genii, and led bound before old
Abul Ajaib. My brother was astonished, and
asked what he had done to deserve such treatment.
But Abul Ajaib Tnerely answered that he might
send for his father Iblis, when he would tell him
what all this meant. Shamhoorish sent a messenger
to his father ; and when he came to Abul Ajaib,
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 2 1 9
and inquired what he wanted, the latter said : ' Know
that I have been working for many years upon a
magic book, until I succeeded in subjecting a
thousand genii to it. I gave the book to my pious
scholar Mahmood, but he was betrayed by his
brothers, and the book now lies in the castle of
Sintbest, in the Eagle's Cleft, with the sword which
five hundred genii obey. Both are entrusted to
the care of your son Shah Bair, who guards them
on a pillar in the form of a black cat. But if.
the life and freedom of your son Shamhoorish are
dear to you, then command your son Shah Bair
to give up the book and the sword to my scholar
Mahmood, who will come with Joodar into the
Ravine of the Eagle's Cleft.
" My father hurried to me, and as soon as
I heard the object of his journey I resolved to
release my brother by carrying out the wishes
of Abul Ajaib. When I had delivered up the
sword and the book to you, I flew to Abul
Ajaib, and informed him of what I had done. He
immediately released my brother, and we travelled
together to my father. But a few days after my
flight, Sintbest inquired after Hysa, and when he
heard that she had been set at liberty by two men,
to whom I had given the sword and the book,
he began to fret and fume, to foam and curse,
22O New Arabian Nights.
and to call on the sun and moon and all his gods
for aid. Then he assembled all his hosts of men
and genii, and marched against us. We could not
long contend with him, for our handful of troops
was sc*m overwhelmed. My father and brother
succeeded in making their escape, but I was taken
prisoner, and carried before Sintbest loaded with
chains. He had already given orders for my
execution, when my friends, among whom was
Hindmar, implored him to take pity on me. But
Sintbest would not pardon me, and commanded
Hindmar to close me up in a copper flask, and
throw me into the sea. But Hindmar begged
Sintbest so long to spare my life, that he at last
permitted him to carry me in the flask to the
Castle of Pillars ; but he was obliged to swear that
he would never release me. I have already spent
five months in the flask, but I did not despair, for
I well knew that you would slay Hindmar with
the magic sword, sooner or later, and would set
me at liberty. Now you know all, my lord Joodar,
and I now ask you to give me leave to return to
my friends and bring them news of the success of
"Depart, and the blessing of God be upon you !"
I exclaimed ; and he spread his wings and flew
I saw a handsome young man hanging by the feet.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 223
When he was gone, I left the empty room,
and went through a long passage into a kitchen,
where four kettles stood over the fire. In one were
pomegranate-seeds, swimming in fat ; in another,
pilaw ; in the third, kulkas ; and in the fourth,
meat. As I was very hungry, I took a golden
spoon, which hung near, and dipped up some meat ;
but behold, it was a human hand ! I flung it back
with horror, and thanked God that I had tasted
none of the other food, which was probably cooked
with human fat. When I left the kitchen, I came
into another passage, and heard some one in a
room on my right cry out, " O my God, what a
heavy trial ! To die alone in so deplorable a manner
in a foreign country !"
I exclaimed : " Who are you, and how can I
find you ?"
The voice answered : " Tread on the golden
scorpion which lies on the slab to your right."
I did so, and a door opened, and I saw a hand
some young man hanging by the feet.
"Who hung you up here?" said I, as I hastened
to unbind him.
" Hindmar's slaves," he answered ; " I have been
hanging here for a week, and to-morrow evening
I am to be slaughtered and devoured by Hind-
224 New Arabian Nights.
" Fear nothing," said I, " for Hindmar is dead ;
but tell me who you are, and how you came here."
"My name is Taj El Mulook," answered the
young man, "and I became king of Tauris three
months ago. I was always a great huntsman, from
my youth up ; and I felt it very hard to be
obliged to relinquish the pleasures of the chase for
some time after my father's death. So as soon
as the first months of mourning were over, I pre
pared for a great hunting excursion ; but we looked
about for a long time without finding anything to
hunt. At last we enclosed a beautiful green valley,
and as our circle became smaller, we found that
we had enclosed three gazelles, more beautiful than
any I had ever seen in my life. We narrowed the
circle still more, but the gazelles dashed through
before any one could take aim at them. I was so
mortified that I ordered my people to stay be
hind, and rode on quite alone in pursuit of the
gazelles. But two of them were already so far
away that I soon lost sight of them. The third
bounded on before me, so that I had it within
bowshot a little before sunset. My arrow pierced
its heart, and it sank down ; but how great was
my astonishment when, instead of a beautiful gazelle,
I found nothing but a heap of ashes ! I was
sorry now that I had left my people so far behind,
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 225
for the night closed in, and I knew not which way
to turn. I wandered about for some time, until I fell
in with a Bedouin camp of about a hundred tents, at
the foot of a mountain. I entered the first tent, where
I saw a youth like the moon in its fourteenth night.
He had an old caftan in his hand which he was
just mending, and he recited the following verse :
" f He who has but few goods the world despises ;
and only he who is wealthy is respected. If a dog
had much money, he would be styled a faithful dog,
out of respect.'
" I looked round the tent, where I saw nothing
but a white cock. As soon as the youth per
ceived me he exclaimed, ' Peace be with you !' 'And
the peace, blessing, and mercy of God be upon you
also,' I replied. ' You seem to have lost you way,'
said he ; ' I am glad that God has directed your steps
here ; be welcome as my guest.' He first bound my
horse to one of the tent-poles ; then he carried the
cock into an adjoining tent, and presently returned
with a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, a dish full of
olives, some Syrian apricots, and a bag of barley.
He gave the barley to the horse, and placed the food
before me, saying, ' In the name of God ! ' We ate
and drank together till we had taken enough, and
when the wine got into his head he recited the follow
ing verse :
226 New Arabian Nights.
" ' Be not uneasy ; you shall not long remain in a
strange place : to-morrow I will release you with my
life. I only tore myself from you to fulfil a sacred
duty. God grant us a happy reunion.'
" I asked him the meaning of this verse, and he
replied : ' I am the bravest and the poorest man in the
whole desert, but I never allow any stranger to pass
my tent without inviting him to enter. When you
honoured me with your visit to-day, I possessed
nothing at all but a white cock which I had reared
in my tent ; and I was obliged to part with him in
order to entertain you. But I heard him crowing all
the time, and then I recited these verses.'
"I admired the man's generosity, and resolved to
reward him richly. During the whole evening I con
cealed my real rank, and conversed with him upon the
chase and Bedouin life, until sleep closed our eyes.
" On the following morning the troops who had ac
companied me on the hunting expedition arrived, and
my host wished to call his people together, lest they
should be surprised by an enemy. Then I said to
him : f Remain quietly in your tent, for these troops
are mine. I am the king of Tauris, and rejoice that I
am able so soon to redeem your cock, and to recom
pense you for the friendly reception which you have
given me ! ' In the meantime my people approached,
and were delighted to find me again ; and I said to
Joodar of Cairo > and Mahmood of Tunis. 227
them: 'I have to thank this man that nothing un
pleasant happened to me during the night. Let him
who loves me, give him a proof of his gratitude.' I had
scarcely spoken when all who had money or articles
of clothing to spare, heaped them upon him ; and I
ordered my treasurer to pay him ten thousand dinars,
and likewise presented him with twenty beautiful
horses, and a hundred slaves. Then I called together
all the Bedouins in the camp, and said to them:
' Know that I am the king of Tauris, and the man
with whom I spent the night is dearer to me than a
brother. I would like to take him with me and give
him an important post, but he cannot make up his
mind to leave you. It is therefore your duty to
recognise him as your chief, and this I require you to
do; but if you should ever be disobedient to him I
will slay you all, and lay waste your dwellings.'
" All the Bedouins exclaimed with one voice, ' We
obey God and thee ! ' I then said to my host, ' If you
should require anything from me, you have only
to send a messenger who shall announce himself as
an envoy from the master of the white cock ; and I
will give you anything you ask, even were it the half
of my kingdom.'
" I then took leave of the Bedouins and returned
to the capital with my people. But when we
reached the gate we heard such a terrible uproar
228 New Arabian Nights.
that we thought the whole city had fallen to
pieces ; and when I asked what was the matter, a
gigantic genius flew towards me, and exclaimed : 'Now
will I avenge the death of my dear son ! ' He
dragged me out of my saddle and flew up into the air
with me ; but I know not how long the journey lasted,
for I soon fainted. When I recovered my senses I
found myself on an island inhabited by different
species of genii. Some were tall, others short ; some
were so covered with hair that no face was visible ;
others were like bones without flesh ; and among
them were heads without bodies, and bodies without
heads. They all seemed very sorrowful, and many
wept and lamented aloud, and beat their faces. After
a long silence, the genius who had brought me to
the island, exclaimed in a voice of thunder : ' Here
is the murderer of my son, what shall we do with
him ? ' Several genii shaped like elephants, cried
out : ' Give him to us, that we may eat his flesh and
drink his blood.' But a genius who was more like a
man, replied : ' None of us have authority to deal
with this man ; he must be brought before our king.'
" I passed the night in a prison, guarded by two
frightful genii, and on the following day I was con
ducted to a large tent in which the king sat surrounded
by his viziers. The king seemed to have heard the
whole story, for as soon as he saw me, he said : ' Are
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 229
you the man who slew the son of this genius ? ' and
he pointed to the genius who had brought me to the
island. 'Pardon, mighty king,' I replied, 'I never saw
his son at all, and I know not whether he is great or
small, black or white.' ' Tell me,' said the king to the
genius, ' in what manner this man slew your son. '
' My son,' replied he, * was amusing himself in the
form of a gazelle, and this man pursued him for
the whole day, and slew him with an arrow. Here is
the arrow,' added he, handing it to the king, 'which
I drew from my poor son's body.' The king looked
at the arrow, and then handed it to one of his viziers.
The vizier turned it about on all sides, and said: 'This
arrow must have been poisoned by a genius, or it
would not have had sufficient force to consume a
genius in the shape of a gazelle to ashes, consequently
the man is innocent ; the life of the genius had
reached its appointed end, and the man was only
an unknowing instrument of destiny ! '
"When the king heard this, he commanded the
father of the deceased to carry me back to my home ;
but instead of doing so, he carried me to King Hindmar,
and laid his complaint before him. Hindmar was
pleased with him, and said : ' He shall atone for his
crime ! I have eight men left, whom I will eat first ;
he shall be fattened till the ninth day, and then his
turn will come/ Upon this, I was hung up by the
230 New Arabian Nights.
feet, and have been hanging thus for eight days.
This is all that I have to tell you. God be praised,
who sent you here at the right moment."
As soon as the young man had finished his story,
I called Misram and ordered him to carry him back
to his home. I then went through several rooms till
I reached a large hall which was surrounded by pretty
little cabinets ; and I found myself in King Hindmar's
harem. In the middle of the aportment stood a
golden throne, on which sat a lady as dazzlingly
beautiful as the rising sun. I thought she must have
escaped from Paradise, through some remissness on the
part of the angel Ridwan. When the lady saw me,
she hastily covered her face, exclaiming : " How was
it possible for you to penetrate into the harem of the
mighty King Hindmar?" " Hindmar is dead," said
I, "and I am now lord of this castle, and of all
therein." " Then you are Joodar the fisherman from
Cairo," she rejoined ; and immediately called her
friends from their cabinets. " Did I not often tell you,"
continued she, " that our slavery would not last for
ever ? My prophecy is now fulfilled ; for the man
whom you see here before you, has slain our tyrant
with his magic sword, and will send us all back to our
homes and families. Know, my lord Joodar," added
she, turning to me, " that all the ladies whom you see
here, and many others who are still in their apart-
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 23 1
ments, were forcibly carried away by Hindmar. A
famous prophet forewarned my father that I should
thus be carried away, several years before it happened.
He also foretold that I should be released from cap
tivity by a fisherman from Cairo, named Joodar, who
should possess the sword of Sintbest."
I then looked at the ladies, who were all very beau
tiful, and asked which of them was Badia, who was
carried away twelve years ago from her father and
sister. A lady like a gazelle then came forward,
and said : " I am she, for whom you ask." I called
Misram, and ordered him to take her back to her
father's house. While Misram flew away with her, I
asked the lady who sat on the throne, who was
named Sakirsad, to assemble all the ladies in the
castle. She then sent several slave-girls to call them,
and the hall became fuller and fuller, and Sakirsad
counted them as they came, up to the number of
ninety-eight. Then she said : " One only remains,
who is so tightly bound that we must set her at
liberty ; but let us first send these ninety-eight back-
to their homes." I called Misram, who had already
returned from his journey with Badia, and asked
him to summon ninety-eight genii. They rose from
the earth in a moment, and each took a lady on his
shoulders, and flew up into the air with her.
Sakirsad then led me to the room where the maiden
2 2 New Arabian Nights.
lay bound, and behold it was Hysa, my betrothed,
whom I had already once released in the Eagles'
Cleft. I fainted with joy at such an unexpected
meeting. When I recovered, Hysa stood unbound
before me. I embraced and kissed her, and asked her
to tell me how she came to this castle.
" Know, Joodar," she replied, " that not long after
Sanja carried me home, and I had mounted the
throne of my father, an army suddenly marched
against my capital, so numerous 'that it was impos
sible for my troops to oppose them. I sent my vizier
to ascertain who they were, and what they wanted.
He returned in consternation, saying, ' It is the army
of Sintbest, and he himself is at their head ! ' When
I heard this, I began to tremble ; I turned pale, and
fainted. Upon this a frightful genius rushed in, terri
fying all my guards, and carried me before Sintbest,
with whom Hindmar was also present. Sintbest was
going to have me thrown into the sea ; but Hindmar
said, ' Give her rather to me, and I will torture her
in my castle till she dies of her sufferings.' Sintbest
consented ; and since then, I have been languishing
in this room in heavy chains ; but nothing was so
hard to me as the separation from my beloved, for
you have been lord of my heart ever since I saw you
in the Eagles' Cleft."
"My sole object," I replied, "in all my under-
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 233
takings has likewise been to call you mine. Now
that God has reunited us, we should be at the goal
of our wishes, but that I have sworn to Mahmood
not to give myrelf up to the enjoyment of my hap
piness, until I can bring him news of the daughters
of King Numan."
She answered : " Let us at least stay here together
for a few days, after which you can fulfil your promise
to Mahmood, and I will wait here with Sakirsad, until
I called Misram, and asked what he would advise
me to do.
"Stay here three days in this castle," said he,
" where you will find an abundance of all the neces
saries of life, and where you have no enemy to fear ;
and in the meantime allow me to visit my two sons,
whom I have not seen for so long a time."
I gave Misram a passport, and spent three days so
pleasantly with Hysa and Sakirsad that Misram's
return on the fourth morning was extremely unwel
come to me. But I thought of what I owed to
Mahmood, and took leave of the two ladies. Misram
led me for ten days through a desert country, until
we arrived at a sea-port. Here we took ship, and as
soon as we had gone aboard, so favourable a breeze
sprang up that the captain embraced us, saying, " We
have been waiting for ten days in vain in the harbour
234 New Arabian Nights.
for a favourable wind, and it seems that you bring us
a fortunate journey." He immediately ordered the
anchor to be raised, and the sail to be spread, and
the ship sped onwards like an arrow, or like light
ning. But the wind soon became so strong that the
helmsman lost control of the ship, and as he was
unable to keep on a direct course, after a few days
the captain knew not where he was. Then he ordered
a sailor to climb the mast, to see if the ship was in
the neighbourhood of some inhabited country. The
sailor climbed to the top of the mainmast, and when
he slid down again on deck, he said : " I saw a red
and a black mountain, near together."
When the captain heard this, he uttered a loud cry,
slapped his face, and exclaimed : " Woe to us, for we
are inevitably lost ; we can do no more than utter
our dying prayers ! " Upon this, all the ship's com
pany flocked together, and Misram and I approached
him, and asked why he was in such fear of death.
" We have no hope of escape," replied the captain ;
" the red mountain which the sailor saw is the Moun
tain of Apes. Two hundred enchanted apes have
inhabited it for a long time, and no man who fell
into their hands has ever escaped them. But what
the sailor supposed was a black mountain, is nothing
but the iron tree with iron leaves and fruit, which
Bahram the Magian planted here by all manner of
" We have no hope of escape," replied the captain.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 237
magic arts, in order to destroy travellers. There was
once a continent here, in the midst of which arose
a very high mountain, which geographers supposed
to have a subterranean communication with Mount
Kaf. This country was inhabited by fire worshippers,
who lived in strong fortresses, from whence they at
tacked and ill-treated travellers. When Bahrain was
travelling through the country, he too was assailed
by the inhabitants of these fortresses ; and in order
to revenge himself, he climbed the high mountain,
opened his magic book, and summoned genii who
dug a canal from the foot of the mountain, and let
in so much water that the whole country was inun
dated. He also planted a great iron tree, with the
magnetic quality of attracting all ships which ap
proach within twenty-four hours' sail. Those in the
ships have no choice but to climb the mountain ;
and as soon as the enchanted apes see them, they
rush upon them and devour them."
When the merchants who were in the ship heard
this, they began to weep and lament like women.
But Misram, who always accompanied me in the
form of a handsome youth, began to laugh and sing
for joy, so that the merchants thought he had gone
mad, and said : " Do you make fun of our danger,
and do you imagine that you alone will escape ? "
" Have no fear," answered Misram, " What the cap-
238 New- Arabian Nights.
tain has told you is quite true ; but we possess a
sword which will cleave the iron tree like a sheet of
paper, and nothing will then prevent us from sailing
in any direction we please."
When the people remem bered the favourable breeze
which sprang up when we came aboard, they were a
little comforted ; but they continually became more
uneasy, the nearer the ship approached the iron tree.
At length, when it touched the mountain close by,
Misram exclaimed : "Whoever leaves the ship will be
devoured by the apes. Joodar alone may go ashore,
for he is protected by his magic sword." But he said
to me : "Go fearlessly up to the tree, and say : 'O Thou
who didst deliver Moses from the waters, made iron
soft for David, and didst reveal the Koran to our
lord Mohammed, grant me Thy aid to hew down this
iron tree, for Thou art omnipotent ! ' ' I did as
Misram commanded, and the iron tree yielded to my
sword like a weak reed, and fell into the sea with a
thundering crash. I then hastened back to the ship,
and had scarcely climbed on board when the wind
blew from the mountain, and carried our ship into
the open sea.
The captain danced about on the deck for joy,
and kissed me several times, and all who were in
the ship thanked me, and apologised for their having
previously shown me so little attention. We now
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahinood of Tunis. 24 1
sailed eastwards for three days, until we arrived at
a green island, which Misram called the Emerald
Isle. Here we two landed, and instructed the captain
in what direction to steer in order to arrive at his
destination. Misram led me for three days along
a green valley, through which flowed a small river,
whose water was sweeter than honey and colder than
snow. Nothing grew here but odoriferous trees and
shrubs, and the trees were covered with the most
beautiful and delicious fruits. At length, when we
arrived at a great walnut-tree, near which the river
emptied itself into the sea, Misram said : " We have
now arrived at our destination, for this is the Valley
of the Gazelles, and here is the tree from which
Mahmood beheld the daughters of King Numan.
You must now climb the tree, and wait for the arrival
of the maidens. When you see them coming, hide
yourself carefully among the branches of the tree,
but as soon as they have laid aside their fish-skins,
spring towards the skins with your sword. It will
then be impossible for them to return home ; and you
can take them to your friend Mahmood, on whose
account you have undertaken the whole journey.
This is the last advice I have to give you ; but God
I had scarcely climbed the tree when three fishes,
a blue, a green, and a yellow one, swam up the river
242 New Arabian Nig Jits.
from the sea till they approached the nut-tree, where
they threw off their fish- skins, and became trans
formed into three maidens, more beautiful than I
had ever seen in my life. I kept myself hidden, for
I thought that more were coming, but I heard one
say to another : " We will not stay here long to-day,
for our sisters have remained at home, and I am
anxious to return to them."
After this, I only waited till they had gone away
from the fish- skins, when I sprang from the tree,
and seized upon the skins. Misram was much
pleased when he saw this, and ordered three genii
to carry the maidens to Hysa and Sakirsad in
Hindmar's castle, and there to await our return.
I thought that I had now done my duty, and had
reached the end of. my labours, so I performed my
ablutions in the river, thanked God for His aid, and
prayed that He would grant me a safe and speedy
return to Egypt. But when I had ended my prayer,
two of the genii whom Misram had sent with the
maidens, returned in consternation ; and when Mis
ram asked what had befallen them, one of them
answered, "Know, my master, that when we came
with the maidens in the neighbourhood of the Black
Mountain, past which the way to Hindmar's castle
led us, ten genii sprang upon us and stopped us.
When I told them that I was a messenger from
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 243
Misram and the Egyptian Joodar, they replied :
'These are they of whom we are in search. One
of you must remain here with us and the maidens,
and the other two must return to Misram and Joodar,
and bring them here.' "
When Misram heard this, he said : " Rise up, Joodar ;
we must not lose any time here, for some important
news certainly awaits us."
We travelled together to the Black Mountain, till
we came to the genii who had intercepted our mes
sengers. Misram asked : " Who are you, and what
do you want of us ? "
One of them answered : " We were sent by Shil-
shanum, the son of Jaljamook, to ask you to wait
for him here, and we detained one of your mes
sengers, with the maidens, to make it more certain
that you would pass this way."
He had scarcely spoken, when Shilshanum himself
appeared in the form of a white bird, and said to
us : "I have been searching everywhere for you for
the last three days, for my heart is like a burning
coal at what I have seen at Hindmar's castle. Soon
after you set out to destroy the iron tree of Bahrain
the Magian, my father sent for me to accompany him
to Hindmar. But as soon as he found the bird on
the pillar overthrown, and the door of the castle open,
he cried out, 'Woe to me; my presentiment is ful-
244 New Arabian Nights.
filled ; for my friend Hindmar is dead, and all my
enchantments have prevailed nothing against the
magic sword of Joodar ; but I will avenge myself.'
He then went into the castle, took all the silver, gold,
jewels, and costly stuffs which he found there, and
commanded some genii to throw everything into
the sea. At last he came into the room where Hysa
and Sakirsad and their slave-girls were sitting, when
he uttered such a cry that I thought the whole castle
had fallen upon us ; and then he said to me : * My
son, Joodar shall now perceive that no one can
contend against me with impunity. Bring me a
golden cup, and a little white sand.' When I gave
it him, he mixed the sand with some liquid which
he had with him, pronounced some unintelligible
words over it, and then cried out with a loud voice,
' Let half your bodies remain human, and let the
other half become stone.' He then sprinkled them
with the liquid from the cup, which began to boil
as if it was standing over the fire ; and behold,
Hysa, Sakirsad, and the eight slave-girls became half
changed into stone, so that they could not stir from
the spot. After this my father drew a book from his
pocket, and read a little ; but he suddenly turned
pale, and began to shake and tremble. * What is the
matter, father?' said I. 'Woe to me,' he answered ;
'I repent of what I have just done, for Joodar will
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 245
certainly outwit me at last, with the aid of one who
is very near to me ; but I will at least make certain
that his betrothed shall never recover her former
shape.' He then wrote her name, and the names of
the other ladies, on a tablet, locked it in an emerald
casket, and commanded the genius Shamhoorish to
deposit it in a statue which stands in the Valley
of Kings not far from the castle of the enchanter
Munkik. ' I myself,' added he, ' will now go to
Munkik, where I shall certainly be safe from the
pursuit of Joodar for a considerable time.' Here
upon he destroyed the whole castle of Hindmar,
except the room where the enchanted ladies were ;
and he then took leave of me. But as soon as he
was gone, I went to the ladies, whom I sincerely
compassionated, told them who I was, and comforted
them by promising to inform you of all that had
taken place ; and assured them that it would not be
such a very difficult matter after all to release them
from their enchantment. I then left them, and took
ten genii with me, whom I commanded to stop any
one coining from the Valley of the Gazelles, for I
knew that you were seeking the daughters of King
Numan. I myself wandered about in search of you ;
and I thank God that I have found you, that you
may come with me to release the unhappy ladies."
When we heard Shilshanum's report, we wept
246 New Arabian Nights.
bitterly, and were so much agitated that we should
have fainted, if we had not taken some wine as a
restorative. We followed Shilshanum in a state of
stupor to the ruined castle of Hindmar, and when
we came to the enchanted ladies, they cursed us, and
exclaimed: "Would that Hindmar were yet alive!
Would that we had never seen you ! "
But Misram calmed them, and swore to them that
he would never see his beloved sons again until he
had restored them to their former shapes, with the aid
of God. He then ordered the three genii to carry
the daughters of King Numan to Mahmood in Egypt,
and then to wait for him in the castle with Hysa.
When this was arranged, Shilshanum took me on
his back, and flew through the air with me from
morning till evening, and then placed me on an
island, and said : " This is the island of the daughter
of the Vizier Shem, whom God created with a red
comb like a cock, tusks like an elephant, and wings
like the sails of a great ship. He has handed over this
island to his daughter, and desires to end his days
with his friend Munkik in the Valley of Kings. A
swift ship takes at least twenty years, if the wind
is always favourable, to sail from here to the Valley
of Kings ; but genii can fly over the distance in two
days, and those to whom the Sacred Name of God
is revealed, in an hour. There is also a species of
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 249
bird which can fly from here to the Valley of Kings
in one day. I will now slaughter a camel, and sew
you up in the skin, when one of these birds will
presently come and carry you to the Valley of Kings,
whither I will follow you. I would willingly h,ave
carried you there on my back, but we should be
obliged to pass over many hostile countries, where
I must be unencumbered in order to repel any attack.
But I will follow you as rapidly as possible, and you
will be just as sa r e as if you were on my back."
He then left me for a time, and returned with
a large camel, which he slaughtered. He stripped
off the skin, sewed me up in hX and withdrew to
a little distance. Immediately a bird as large as
an elephant took me up in his talons, and flew with
me from morning till evening. He then laid me
down, and was about to feast upon me, but Shil-
shanum, who had kept close behind me, frightened
him away, ripped up the skin, and said :
" Rise up, Joodar ; we have reached our des
tination. Praise be to God, who has preserved us
from being attacked by any enemy."
I stood up, and looked round me, and found
myself in one of the most charming valleys in the
world. At every step the odour of musk arose
from the ground, and brooks, trees, and birds united
in praising the Omnipotent Creator.
250 New Arabian Nights.
" This is the Valley of Kings," said Shilshanum,
"and not far from here stands the castle of Munkik,
with its four iron doors. In front of one of these
doors stands a statue, beside which lies a golden
scorpion. Rub the right side of the scorpion, and
a little door in the statue will open, just large
enough for you ft put your hand in. Reach up
to the head of the statue, where you will find a
copper cage, in the middle of which is a golden
pillar, on which stands a sparrow of green emerald ;
seize the sparrow, when it will turn round three
times, after which you must bind it to the
pillar with a silken cord. But take good heed
that the bird does not touch you with its beak
or claws, for the slightest scratch would be fatal to
When I had done everything that Shilshanum
had directed, Jaljamook came to me from the castle,
and said : " Everything has its appointed term, and
I am now your friend. Go and release the spar
row, and then I will inform you of the means
by which you can restore your betrothed to her
former shape. But make haste, for my life is
almost ended, and I cannot speak as long as the
sparrow is bound fast. Behold, I am growing
weaker every instant, my eyes are dim, my hand
stiffens, and my foot cannot move from the spot.
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 25 1
Hasten, then, that I may recover sufficient strength
to aid you to disenchant the ladies, and to return
Jaljamook spoke these words in so piteous a
tone that I was moved with compassion, and for
getting all his former hostility, went to release the
sparrow. But I found Shilshanum standing before
the statue, binding the sparrow faster and faster,
till he nearly strangled it. When he saw me, he
uttered such a cry that I fell down with fright,
and fire flew from his nostrils which would have
consumed me if I had not hastily risen and sprung
on one side.
He then cried out : " But for the old bond between
us, you would now be a dead man ; you allowed
yourself to be deluded by my father, and would
have released the sparrow ; but had you done so,
both you and I, and the ladies in Hindmar's castle,
would all have been lost. My father would then
have acquired an overwhelming power over you,
and you would never have returned to your home.
Go back to my father like a man, and pay no heed
to his lamentations and promises, until you have
compelled him to disenchant the ladies."
I went back to Jaljamook, and found him
stretched on the ground in the last agonies.
When he saw me, he said: "You promised to
252 New Arabian Nights.
ease my sufferings, and now I feel much worse than
" I have discovered your treachery," answered I,
" and you must disenchant the ladies before I can
When he heard this, he laughed with anger, and
said : " Well, my son, you are innocent, for another
has betrayed me. Take this seal ring from my
finger, and give it to my son Shilshanum. He will
guide you to Shamhoorish, who guards the sacred
names by which the ladies were enchanted. Give
him the ring as a token that you are my messenger,
and he will give you a small emerald tablet written
over with many talismans, which you must take to
the ladies. Then take some white sand from a box
which stands on their right hand, and scatter it in
a golden cup filled with water. My son Shilshanum
must first read over seven times what is written on
the tablet, and then he must sprinkle the ladies with
the water from the cup, and say: * By the influence
of these sacred names, and by the power of the
Creator of heaven and earth, resume your former
shapes.' Then the spell will be broken, and the
ladies will be able to walk about on human feet,
and will become still more beautiful than they were
before. When this is accomplished, then deal with
me as I deserve."
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 253
I took the ring to Shilshanum, and when he saw it
he said : " We are now near the end of our troubles ;
come with me."
. He led me to a beautiful garden, full of the most
exquisite fruit. " In this garden," said Shilshanum,
" sits the genius Shamhoorish, with a serpent in his
hand, the venom of which could dissolve the hardest
rocks. He holds it only on your account, that the
serpent may kill you if you approach him. You
must therefore go up to the genius from behind,
and show him my father's ring before he sees you,
and then he will not allow the snake to injure
I then went into the garden, which was filled with
the most beautiful streams, flowers, fruits, and birds
that the tongue can speak of, or the eyes behold.
I stopped on the banks of a stream to perform my
ablutions, and to pray. After I had finished my
devotions, I went on till I came to the middle of the
garden, where I saw a fearfully tall genius, with a
large head, and a neck like a camel, sitting before
a water-course, which was supplied by a wheel of
sandal-wood with an emerald axle, worked by a
golden ox with diamond horns. I stole up to the
genius on tiptoe as stealthily as a thief, till I
could throw my arms round him from behind, and
held up the ring before his eyes, saying, "Jaljamook
254 New Arabian Nights.
sends me to you to disenchant the ladies in Hind-
" Everything takes its appointed course," said
Shamhoorish ; " I thought that the enchantment
would have endured until the day of resurrection,
but God has willed it otherwise. God releases
whom He will, and I shall also be enabled to return
to my friends, from whom Jaljamook has separated
me for the last four-and-twenty years by all -manner
of enchantments. He is a regular devil, who tears
asunder the very skin and bone of the faithful.
But he and his malice must be almost played out ;
for if he still retained his old energy, he would
never have given you this ring. Now listen to me,
and do not forget a word of what I tell you,
or your destruction is inevitable. Leave the gar
den by the gate opposite to that by which you
entered, and you will see a marble pillar in a green
meadow, on the top of which stands a white bird.
Salute him, and say : ' Shamhoorish sends me to
you, and wishes you to give me the tablet, which
he entrusted to you.' Then strike the pillar with
your sword, and if the bird returns you any answer,
he will grant your request. But do not speak to
the bird unless he is standing on one leg. If he
stands on both, return to me at once."
I went in the direction which Shamhoorish pointed
yoodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 257
out until I came to the pillar, and as the bird was
standing on one leg, I saluted him, and asked for
the tablet The bird was silent for a while, and then
he spread his wings, opened his mouth, and said
in a very melodious human voice :
" There is no god but God alone, who accomplishes
everything in His own good time. Last night it was
prophesied in a dream that I should return to my
home upon the arrival of a fisherman from Egypt.
Are you that fisherman ? "
When I answered his question in the affirmative
he flew away, and presently returned with a green
branch, and said :
" Here I bring you from the key tree, which grows
near Mount Kaf, the key of this pillar which contains
the emerald tablet which Shamhoorish entrusted to
He then appeared to me in a human form, but his
aspect made me shudder. He was only two yards
long ; his tongue was half as. long as his whole body,
and hung a long way down over his breast, but his
beard reached to his very feet. He had eyes like
two burning coals, his nostrils were like trumpets, he
.was much broader than he was long ; but the ugliest
part of him was a long tail like that of a monkey.
When he approached me he gave me the key-
shaped branch and said : " There is a marble lock
258 New Arabian Nights.
on the left side of the pillar, open it with the key,
put your hand in and take a green tablet out."
When I brought him the tablet, he said : " Look
what is written upon this tablet"
I looked and saw the names of Hysa, Sakirsad,
and the other damsels who were with them. But
another name was written beneath, which was quite
strange to me, Limping Shimhar ; and when I asked
him what it signified, he answered : " That is my
name, for I was enchanted by the accursed Jal-
jamook, like these ladies ; and but for you I
should have been condemned to stand on the
pillar as guardian of the tablet, as long as the ladies
remained in Hindmar's castle. I still remain as it
were a prisoner, until you shall erase my name from
the tablet. You may do so without risk, for you
have no further need of me, as Shilshanum can now
give you all the assistance which you require."
I wiped the name of Shimhar out, and behold, the
hideous creature before .me became changed again
into a white bird, and flew away, thanking me, and
praying for my happiness. I then put the tablet in
my pocket and carried it to Shilshanum, who was
waiting for me outside the garden.
He was overjoyed when I showed it him, and ex
claimed : " Now we can return and bring comfort to
the ladies ; but as we cannot tell what new snares my
Joodar of Cairo, and Makmood of Timis. 259
father may plan for us, we cannot live secure unless
we help him to leave the world."
He then carried me back to the place where we
had left the sparrow, and strangled it.
" Now go back to the castle, and you will see
something wonderful," he said.
I went to the castle, and behold, Jaljamook was
converted into a black cinder, which gradually dis
solved into a heap of ashes. When I returned to
Shilshanum and told him what I had seen/ he danced
with joy and kissed and embraced me. He then
slaughtered another camel, and stripped off the skin,
which he sewed around me, and a bird then carried
me across the country where Shilshanum dreaded the
attack of some enemy. Then he took me on his
own back and flew with me till we came near
Hindmar's castle. As we approached the harem,
we heard loud sobbing, and then we recognised
Misram's voice comforting the ladies, and assuring
them of our safe and speedy return.
I was too impatient to wait longer, and rushed
into the room half wild with joy ; and taking the
emerald tablet from my pocket I performed the cere
mony which Jaljamook had directed, and behold,
the ladies were fully restored, and became still more
beautiful than before ; and threw themselves into
my arms one after another. I was then obliged to tell
260 New Arabian Nights.
them how I had obtained possession of the tablet ;
and after I had informed them of all the adventures
which had befallen me on my journey, they kissed
me again, and thanked God that I had succeeded
in such a difficult undertaking. I then approached
Hysa, who had not taken her eyes from me during
the whole narrative, but had not yet said a single
loving word to me, and asked her whether she could
not find some word to express her love.
" I am like the poet who composed the following
verse," she replied:
" ' I always longed to see my love, and to speak
loving words to him ; but when I came near him my
tongue grew heavy, and my eyes were unable to lift
themselves to him for awe, and I hid in my heart
what I was unable to express. I had whole volumes
to say, and now I cannot utter a syllable.' "
We spent the evening in drinking wine, and in
singing and dancing, and on the following morning,
Misrain said : " We have nothing further to do in
this castle, and it would be imprudent to remain in
a place where we are exposed to the attacks of
magicians and evil genii at any moment ; therefore
let us now set out for Egypt. I will call eight genii
to carry the slave girls ; I myself will carry Hysa
and Sakirsad, and Shilshanum will take Joodar on
his back.' 1
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 261
- I was delighted to return home, especially as I had
sworn to Mahmood that I would not marry Hysa
until then ; but I asked Misram to permit me first to
ascend to the terrace of the castle that I might take
a last view of this wonderful country. Misram him
self accompanied me up a marble staircase of two
hundred and eighty steps. When I came to the top,
the castle appeared to me like Mount Kaf, and the
earth seemed as far below as the sky was above.
After a while I looked around on all sides, and saw
something in the distance which shone with dazzling
splendour like the sun ; and I asked Misram what it
" It is a golden castle," said he, " adorned with the
most precious diamonds ; the windows are of the
finest crystal, and the doors are of sandal wood. It
is the largest and most beautiful castle in the world,
and was built by Sheddad, the son of Ad, the
founder of Irem of the many pillars. Sheddad ruled
over the whole earth, in its entire length and breadth,
and he had two sons, one named Sheddad, and the
other Sheddid. One day Sheddad called together
the great men of his empire, and said to them : " I
wish to found a city paved with musk and saffron.
Its stones shall shine like the most brilliant jewels,
and streams as clear as silver shall flow through it.
Therefore instruct my lieutenants to buy gold and
262 New Arabian Nights.
silver and jewels in all the countries over which they
are placed, and let them prepare everything three
"Sheddad's orders were executed, and some
months afterwards his messengers returned with four
thousand five hundred laden camels. When all
the necessary silver and gold and jewels was col
lected together, he set out with his troops, and
travelled on for ten days until he arrived in a beau
tiful valley. Here he dismounted and ordered tents
to be pitched for himself and his army, and in one
hour they erected a hundred and fifty thousand tents.
Sheddad then assembled architects, carpenters, gold
smiths, sculptors, painters, and other handicraftsmen
and artists, and ordered them to build a city with
four thousand pillars. In the centre of the city he
ordered a castle to be built, surrounded by gardens
which should eclipse Paradise. Nothing but the
purest gold and the choicest pearls and diamonds
were used in its construction, and the rarest flowers
and fruits from all parts of the world were trans
ported to the gardens. Fruit-trees were brought
from Greece and Persia, violets from Bassorah, roses
from Kufa, basil from Mecca, lilies and jasmine from
Egypt, saffron from Genoa, and aloes and sandal-
wood from China. He also laid out a park, where
the finest gazelles sported, and the most brilliantly
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 263
coloured birds sang. The walls of the garden were
covered with the finest fabrics, on which all kinds
of trees and birds were painted and embroidered.
" When everything was finished, Sheddad richly re
warded the artists and workmen, and took possession
of his castle. But the first night on which he slept
there he had a frightful dream, from which he awoke
in a state of the utmost consternation, and yet he
could not remember what he had dreamed. Early
next morning he sent for Ifrak, his interpreter of
dreams, in whom he placed implicit confidence, and
said to him: ' Dear Ifrak, I had a dreadful dream last
night which I cannot remember ; all I know is, that
I awoke with my heart beating violently. Tell me
what this dream signifies.'
' Ifrak took a tablet from his pocket, scat
tered sand over it, and wrote all kinds of strange
characters thereon. Then he counted on his
fingers for awhile, and said: 'Mighty king, you
dreamed that you were in a ship on the raging sea.
An ugly negro, with a lion's head, came up to you,
took a chain which hung from the prow of the ship,
dived down, and dragged the ship after him into the
abyss. You fell down and fainted, and when you
recovered your senses you found yourself in a great
cavern, from which you could find no way of escape ;
and after wandering about for some time you came
264 New Arabian Nights.
to a great fire blazing up brightly, but without giving
forth any smoke. The fire came up to you and
consumed your left leg like a piece of dfy wood, and
when it rose farther up towards your heart you
" * True,' said Sheddad, ' that was my dream ; but
now tell me what it portends.'
" Ifrak took a book from his pocket, and read in
it for a while, and then uttered a cry at which the
whole castle shook, although it was supported by
so many pillars.
" ' What have you seen ? ' asked Sheddad, overcome
"'Hold me guiltless,' replied Ifrak, 'and I will
conceal nothing from you.'
" Sheddad promised him his protection, and he
said : * In ten days death will overtake both you and
all your people.'
"On the tenth day Sheddad was reviewing his
tioops, when a violent storm arose, and a great
earthquake followed, which swallowed up Sheddad
and his whole army, and they became as yesterday,
which never returns. His castle was afterwards
inhabited by Dydabooj, a very powerful but aggressive
king of the genii, who murdered his father Yajooj,
the king of the City of Lead. But he did not long
reside there in peace, for the magician Busirian, who
yoodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 265
was a faithful friend of Yajooj, and who passionately
loved his daughter Unka, sealed him up in a copper
flask, which he would have thrown into the sea, but
Unka begged him to have compassion on him.
" Dydabooj remained in the flask for many years,
until his cousin Iblis went to the Dervish Jindar, who
had a strong castle on a small island in the ocean,
and begged him for aid against Busirian.
"Jindar read awhile in his magic book, and then
said to Iblis : ' I can do nothing for your cousin,
although I should be very glad to restore him to
liberty. The only man in the world who can help
you is Abul Ajaib, whom I am expecting here in a
few days, and to whom I will explain the affair.'
" Three days afterwards Abul Ajaib arrived at the
castle. He had two faces a man's face before and
an elephant's behind. When he was in good humour
he veiled the last, but when he was angry he showed
only his elephant's face, the aspect of which filled
both men and genii with terror and dismay. As soon
as he heard what had happened to Dydabooj, he said
to Iblis : * Pluck up your courage, for Busirian shall
atone for his cruelty to your cousin.'
" He then summoned a hideous winged genius, and
ordered him to take Busirian prisoner, and to open
the copper flask which stood in his castle.
" * Am I to be shut up in it ? ' inquired the genius,
266 New Arabian Nights.
with a trembling voice ; ' have I deserved this from
you ? Have I ever acted treacherously towards you ?
How can I approach the mighty Busirian ? '
" * Fear nothing/ answered Abul Ajaib, ' I will
follow you myself.'
" Busirian had lost his beloved wife, and was now
mourning for her on a mountain opposite Sheddad's
castle. He was so much grieved for the loss of
Unka that he had forgotten to take his book of
magic with him, without which he was as powerless
as an ordinary mortal.
"Abul Ajaib commanded the winged genius to
carry him to the mountain where Busirian was
mourning for his wife, and took him prisoner. He
then released Dydabooj from the flask, and gave
him the castle of Sheddad, in which Busirian's
daughters were living, whom he married.
" This happened a few months ago, and I do not
know what has since taken place."
Misram had scarcely finished speaking, when a
genius in the form of a roe appeared and handed
Shilshanum a letter from Mahmood, which ran as
" In the name of the All-merciful God ! A respectful
greeting and blessing to the Dervish Shilshanum and
his friends Joodar and Misram, who have toiled with
such superhuman energy for the peace of the good,
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 267
and the happiness of the innocent. There is yet one
honourable enterprise for you to perform before you
return to the bosom of your families in peace. You
must release my friend Busirian and his daughters,
and Joodar must slay my tutor's namesake, the ruth
less Abul Ajaib and the parricide Dydabooj, who are
living in Sheddad's castle. You must then restore
his magic book to Busirian, that he may no longer
flutter about like a bird with broken wings. As soon
as you receive this letter, fly to the castle of Sheddad
with Joodar, Misram, Hysa, and Sakirsad, and there
await the return of its treacherous masters, who are at
present on a journey. God is almighty ! "
When Shilshanum had read the letter he said to the
messenger : " Go back to Mahmood, salute him, and
kiss his hands and feet from me, and tell him we will
carry out his wishes, and will afterwards all pay him
a visit together." Then he turned to us and said :
" You can see from this that what you have heard
about the castle of Sheddad is quite true, and it
seems that some friend or relative of Busirian has
applied to Mahmood for help, or that he has read of
his misfortune in his magic book."
Shilshanum then took me on his back, and Misram
took up the two ladies, and we arrived in a moment
on the terrace of the golden castle of Sheddad. We
then descended into it, and I found the reality far
268 New Arabian Nights.
more beautiful than Misram had described it to me.
We found the five daughters of Busirian in a spacious
saloon beyond the wonderful gardens, and they were
much astonished at the sudden arrival of strangers ;
but while I was telling them who we were and why
we had come, Shilshanum unbound the unhappy
Busirian, who was confined in one of the lower rooms
of the castle, and the damsels fainted for joy when
they beheld their father again. We spent three very
pleasant days in the company of Busirian and his
daughters. On the fourth day, when we saw Abul
Ajaib and Dydabooj returning, we hid ourselves in an
ante-room,' and as soon as they sat down on the divan
beside the ladies, I sprang forward with my magic
sword and both their heads flew from their bodies at
one blow. Misram then collected together all the
valuables in the castle, and ordered several genii to
bring them here. He himself then took Hysa and
Sakirsad in his arms, Shilshanum took me on his
back, we said adieu to Busirian and his daughters,
and after half a day's journey we arrived here. I
then released Misram and Shilshanum for ever from
further attendance on me, and celebrated my marriage
with Hysa on the same day that Mahmood, who was
waiting for me at my house, married the daughters of
The treasures which we took from Sheddad's castle
Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 271
enable me royally to entertain all the poor of Cairo.
This was my constant practice, mighty Sultan, till my
neighbours looked upon me as a suspicious character,
and the chief of the police brought me here. God be
praised that we have met, for I have long waited for
an opportunity to make you a present of the powerful
magic sword and ring, which will doubtless give you
victory in all your wars against the infidels.
The Sultan Zaher gratefully accepted Joodar's
presents, and afterwards lived with him in the most
" I myself," says the poet Hassan, of Andalusia,
the author of this book, " made the acquaintance of
Joodar upon my journey to Cairo, and he gave me an
account himself of all the adventures of his life, and
introduced me to the Sultan Zaher, with whom he
was on terms of brotherly intimacy. I wrote down
everything which Joodar related to me, because it
was deserving of being handed down to posterity."
This is all which we know of the life of Joodar.
Praise to God and to His Prophet Mohammed, and to
his relations and companions.
STORY OF THE LABOURER AND
THE FLYING CHAIR.
'N former times there lived at Bagdad a curly-
pated avaricious fellow, who worked hard
under an herb-seller, and by dint of pen-
uriousness became possessed of fifteen golden
dinars. He laboured all day upon half a clove
of garlic and a dry crust, and then retired to his
lodging, lighted his lamp, ate the remainder of his
garlic and crust, placed before him his fifteen dinars,
and amused himself with counting them over and
over till the middle of the night, when he buried them
under his mat, and laid himself down to sleep. This
was his constant custom.
One day he said to himself, " I will walk to the
caravanserai of Khalil." It happened to be Monday.
He sat down in the square, when lo, a broker passed
by, carrying a chair of wood, which he offered for
sale at seventeen dinars. The labourer offered four
teen, upon which the broker said, " Give me earnest,
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 273
while I consult the owner." He gave him a dinar,
and the broker presently returned and said, " Give me
the money." The labourer paid it down, and took
the chair to his lodging, where he prepared his
supper, lighted his lamp, and ate his dry crust Then
he examined his chair, and sat down upon it, but
found no amusement in it, compared to the counting
of his beloved dinars. After much inward repent
ance, he said to himself, " Foolish fellow that I am !
I had money which cured my sorrow and grief, and
produced me, pleasure and amusement ; but, from my
cursed folly, I have given it for this wooden chair,
which neither profits nor amuses me, but rather dis
gusts me. I will go to the broker and abuse him, and
demand back its value, saying, ' Either tell me the
properties of the chair, or give me back my money ! ' '
Thus he remained fretting and complaining till
morning, when he arose and went to the market,
where the broker was standing. He began to abuse
him, and said, " Tell me the properties of the chair,
and in what consists its advantage."
The broker was much alarmed, and replied, " I
know not its properties, for I am only a broker, and
merely receive the proper commission of a fifth part ;
but come with me to the owner, and ask him what
virtue it contains, for the profit was his."
The broker went with the labourer to the owner
274 New Arabian Nights.
of the chair, who was a Jewish magician ; and said
to him, "Tell us wherein is the advantage of the
chair, or give back the money.' 1
The Jew replied, " The property of the chair is
this. Whoever sits in it must take a green switch
in his hand, and strike upon it, commanding it to
convey him wherever he chooses, and it will do so in
When the labourer heard this, he said, " I have
been wishing for such a curiosity as this all my life ; "
and ran as fast as he could to his lodging. When
night came, he seated himself in his chair, struck it
with a green switch, as directed, and said, " Convey
me to the terrace of the Sultan's palace." Instantly
the chair ascended to the heavens, until he heard the
angels singing their praises to God in the Milky Way.
Then it descended gradually, until it alighted on the
terrace of the king's palace.
The labourer descended from the terrace into a
court, through a window of which he saw a light, and
finding the door of the apartment open, he entered.
Here he beheld the king's daughter lying upon a
divan, and appearing as beautiful as the full moon.
He approached, and kissed her hands, upon which
she started up in terror, and saw the labourer, a tall
and brawny fellow, standing before her with a drawn
dagger in his hand.
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 275
She cried out, " Who are you ? " And the labourer
answered, " I am Azrael, the angel of death, and am
come to take your soul, and those of your father and
mother, and of all the viziers and generals."
When the princess heard this, she shook with fear,
her hair stood on end, and she exclaimed, "Alas,
alas, for what crime hast thou come so suddenly upon
He replied, " It is solely on thy account, for love of
thee ; but if thy father will grant my request, I will
spare thee and all their lives."
" Let me know thy wishes," returned the princess,
" for my father would gratify a thousand, rather than
The labourer then cried out, " If thy father will
marry me to thee, I will spare all your lives ; but if
not, I will seize thy soul, and the souls of thy father
and motherland of all the nobles, viziers, and generals
in a single day."
The princess promised compliance, upon which he
returned to his chair, struck it with the switch, and
said, " Convey me to my own house." It ascended
as before to the sky, and the princess viewed his
departure with astonishment, and believed that he
was really Azrael, the angel of death. She went to
her mother, and informed her of what he had said.
The queen related the adventure to the Sultan, who
276 New Arabian Nig Jits.
consulted his viziers, and told them of the threats
of Azrael, and of his demand of the princess in
marriage. The viziers exclaimed, " Save us, save
us ; and if you make Azrael your son-in-law, the
sovereigns of the world will bow to your authority."
The Sultan then sent for the Kadi and witnesses,
and immediately executed the deed of marriage for
his daughter to Azrael, the angel of death.
On the following night the labourer ascended in
his chair, and repaired to the princess's apartment,
when she showed him the marriage deed, and said,
" When shall we celebrate the nuptials ? "
Azrael replied, " I will not appear during the
preliminary festivities, nor until the evening of the
wedding, which shall be on Friday, so hasten the
Having said this he departed, and ascended in his
chair in sight of the princess till the height concealed
him from view. She now informed her parents of
the pleasure of Azrael not to appear till the wedding
night, and the Sultan commanded the nuptial festivi
ties to be prepared.
While the usual ceremonies were going on at the
palace, the artful labourer employed a carpenter to
fix a wooden canopy over his chair, in the form of a
dome, which he covered over with stripes of green
yellow and red silk, and placed lanterns all over it,
The Labourer and the Flying Chafr. 277
in which he could fix candles. He then put on a
green vest, and a crown set with pearls and dia
monds, which he had stolen from the palace of the
On the appointed evening, the labourer sat down
in his chair, arranged his candles, and took with him
a quantity of sulphur. Then he commanded the
chair to ascend, and to descend gradually into the
court of the palace, where they were celebrating the
nuptial ceremonies. The chair rose swiftly to such a
height that the labourer could hear the angels prais
ing God. Then he lighted the candles in the lanterns,
and gently descended. The Sultan, the viziers, the
great officers of state, and the whole assembly now
beheld Azrael, the angel of death, descending from
the sky in his green vest ; and flashes of light,
caused by the sulphur, darted from the illuminated
The Sultan rose out of respect, and the nobles and
viziers bowed down, and said, " May this good fortune
and pre-eminence be auspicious to our sovereign ! "
Azrael now alighted in the midst of the assembly,
when the Sultan and all present prostrated themselves
before him. He commanded them to depart, and
rising in his machine, retired to the apartment of
the princess. He remained with her in the utmost
bliss, forgot the garden of the herb- seller, and his
278 New Arabian Nights.
mean lodging, and did not imagine that anything
might happen to disturb his felicity.
Some days after this, a cook-maid, looking for
something to light her fire on the terrace of the
palace, found the labourer's chair, which she took
away and converted into fuel. At length recollect
ing the machine, he wished to remove it into the
palace for safety, but on searching the terrace, could
not find it, upon which, in the extravagance of his
grief, he tore his beard, cursed his stars, and scattered
dust upon his head.
The princess observing his conduct, said, "What
has happened to my lord ? If I have displeased him,
let him pardon me."
The labourer roughly inquired, "Who has taken
away my chair, and everything belonging to it ?"
The princess replied, "I do not know;" and im
mediately inquired after it, when the cook confessed,
saying, " I broke it to pieces and burnt it, but
I did not know that it belonged to Azrael, the
angel of death." Upon this, the princess brought a
chair of gold, set with pearls and precious stones,
from her father, and said, " Accept this in the place of
yours, which is irrecoverable."
But her husband was not to be pacified, and
exclaimed angrily, " Do you think that I value an
earthly chair ? Mine was a heavenly one." He
The walls opened, and a monstrous genius appeared.
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 281
continued to storm ; the princess was terrified, and
the unfortunate cook was punished.
The anger of the labourer, however, only proceeded
from fear of his own safety, for he had observed some
of the princess's attendants who knew him looking at
him curiously ; and he feared that his real character
would be discovered. Indeed, they had already in
formed the viziers of their suspicions in regard to
Azrael, the angel of death. He now saw no resource
but to creep out of the palace by stealth under cover
of the night, and to return to his former lodging,
which he reached in safety. He locked his door, and
wept and lamented over his lost grandeur, till he was
near perishing with hunger and thirst, and the fear of
While he was in this situation, suddenly his room
shook, the walls opened, and a monstrous genius ap
peared, whose feet reached to the depth of the earth,
and his head to the clouds. At the sight of him the
labourer shook in his clothes, and said, " Alas, my
death is inevitable ! "
The genius exclaimed, " Knowest thou me ? I will
destroy thee ; but choose what death thou wilt die."
The labourer said in a faint voice, " My lord, who
art thou ? "
The genius replied, " I am the servant of that chair
which conducted thee to such glory, dignity and
282 New Arabian Nights.
honour ; for all which thy return was to expose me
to the burning sun and the wind, till they took the
chair and burnt it in the fire."
When the labourer heard these words he started
up ; but immediately knelt down and kissed the feet
of the genius, saying, " Forgive me, my lord ; pardon
me, O my master, and God will also forgive thee. It
is true that if thou shouldst put me to death, I am
deserving of it ; and death would be more pleasing to
me than disgrace, after I have called myself Azrael,
the angel of death. I dread the vengeance of the
Sultan, and I am enraptured with my wife ; but I am
in the power of God and of thyself."
When the genius heard this speech, and beheld the
distress of the labourer, he was moved with com
passion, and gave him a cap and a ring, saying, " Take
care of these, and do not lose them, or thy life will
be taken away, in whatever country thou mayst be."
The labourer took them, and said," My lord, what
are their properties ? "
The genius replied, " When thou puttest the cap
upon thy head, thou wilt be invisible to all eyes ;
and as for the ring, when distress shall attend thee,
press it, and I will come to thee instantly, and execute
all thy commands."
The labourer expressed his thanks, and kissed the
hands of the genius, who then vanished from his
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 283
sight, leaving the labourer, whom he found in such
distress, highly delighted with his good fortune.
When morning broke, the labourer put on his cap,
and walked through the most frequented streets, but
no one saw him or spoke to him. At this he was
much pleased, and went on to the Sultan's palace, into
which he passed unseen. He passed through all
the apartments, till he reached those of his wife
who was sitting alone, but could not perceive him till
he pulled off his cap, when she ran to him in great
joy, kissed his hands and feet, and embraced him,
saying, " Where has my lord and master been during
his absence ? Alas, my lord ! "
He replied in the character of Azrael, the angel
of death, " I was employed last night in taking the
souls of a thousand men."
The princess said, " How hadst thou such power ?"
And he answered, " I was assisted by my children."
She then said, " Surely, my lord, you must be
weary and hungry with such labour," to which he
assented. Then she set before him cordials of various
sorts, which he drank greedily, and she told him the
names of each. Next she offered him various
kinds of meats, of which he ate till he was satisfied.
The princess then brought out wines, and he drank
till his spirits were perfectly recovered ; after which
they retired to rest.
284 New Arabian Nights.
The labourer remained for some days happy with
his wife, when one day when the Sultan was sitting
with his viziers, they conversed on various subjects,
and at length began to discuss the marriage of the
princess. Some of the attendants of the princess,
who had seen the labourer at the herb-seller's, and
knew him, had informed the viziers of their suspicions ;
and the latter said to the Sultan, " It has been re
ported to us that your Majesty's son-in-law is not
Azrael, the angel of death, but a gardener's labourer,
which, if true, is a disgrace to the dignity of monarchs."
The Sultan answered, " I cannot believe this without
proof;" upon which the viziers returned, "If you
desire proof of our suspicions, it is now the season of
winter : require of him some fresh apples, and if he
fulfils your request, we shall be convinced that he is
Azrael, and that dishonour will not attend you among
The Sultan then went to his daughter, and said, " I
am indisposed, and the physicians have prescribed
for me some fresh apples, as the only medicine
that can remove my disorder ; and I therefore
request that Azrael will procure for me four sorts
She replied, "Most willingly," and immediately in
formed her husband, who said, " To hear is to obey ;
but I am ashamed of so small a matter." Upon this
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 285
the princess retired to inform her father that his
request should be gratified.
The labourer now pressed his ring, and the genius
appeared, saying, "What dost thou want?"
The labourer replied, " I want nothing but some
The genius disappeared for an instant, and then
returned with a large cloth full of apples of
every sort, and of different degrees of ripeness. A
third part were yellow, a third part red, and a third
part white. The genius said to the labourer, " Canst
thou conceive how far I have travelled for these
apples ? " To which he replied, " No." The genius
said, "These apples grow in the country of the
genii, upon trees which are not bare of fruit the
whole year round ; " and having said this, he dis
At this instant the princess returned from visiting
her father, and beheld before her husband a great
quantity of apples, of such beautiful sorts as she had
never before seen ; upon which she said, " My father
only requested a few, and here is a camel's load ! "
Then she fell down and kissed her husband's hands
and feet, and sent for the Sultan, before whom she
strewed the apples. When he saw them he was
astonished, and said to the husband, " I have reigned
in my kingdom forty years, and apples have been
286 New Arabian Nights.
constantly brought me from Syria ; but I have never
beheld such as these."
Then he thanked his son and daughter, and taking
up as much of the fruit as he was able to carry, went
into his hall of audience, and said to the viziers,
" Behold these apples ! Have you ever seen the
like during your whole lives ? "
The viziers were confounded, and said to the
Sultan, " If your daughter's husband was not pos
sessed of supernatural power, he could not have
accomplished this matter."
When the Sultan heard this, he was exceedingly
Not long after this, the Sultan wished to amuse
himself, and went into the streets of the capital in
the disguise of a Persian merchant. He walked to
the caravanserai of Khalil, and sat down in one of
the shops, when a broker passed with a female slave,
" Who will buy the moon of her age ? Who will
buy a resplendent sun? Who will purchase a treasure
for treasure ? "
The merchants now gathered round the broker,
who uncovered the face of the slave, and the place
became illuminated with the splendour of her beauty,
The Sultan instantly fell in love with her. When the
merchants began to bid at two hundred dinars, and
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 287
did not stop till they had offered seven hundred,
the sultan at once bid a thousand, and ten dinars
as a commission to the broker, which was accepted.
The Sultan conveyed the beautiful slave to the
palace, and found her in every way accomplished.
She suddenly took out a purse of brocade, from
which she poured a hundred and twenty small pieces
of ivory and ebony, which she fitted together to form
a lute. Then she fixed the strings, and taking some
thing very small from her pocket, struck with it upon
the lute in twenty-four different modulations. The
Sultan was astonished, and was so enraptured with
her skill and the melody of her voice that he gave
himself up entirely to her society.
It happened one night that the prince of the red
genii, who was celebrating the nuptials of his son,
and had collected all the requisites for festivity on
the occasion, was soaring in the air, when he heard
the sound of the beautiful slave's voice, which
charmed him. He entered the palace, and remained
there invisible, until all were asleep, when he took
up the slave in his arms, flew with her to his own
palace, and placed her among the most honourable
guests assembled to celebrate the marriage. Then
he gently awoke her, and entreated her to sing and
play, which she did so exquisitely as to charm and
astonish all the genii.
288 New Arabian Nights.
Among the guests was a monstrous afreet, who
fell so deeply in love with her that he resolved to
possess her, and while the sultan of the red genii
and the guests were engaged in the bridal procession,
he suddenly seized the slave in his arms, flew away,
and then descended to his cave in the Seventh Earth.
When the Sultan awoke, and missed the beautiful
slave, he eagerly inquired after her, but no one could
give him any intelligence, upon which he tore his
beard, rent his clothes, wept bitterly, and remained
in his chamber without attending the divan.
When the troops came to pay their respects, and
missed him, they said, " He is dead, and they have
concealed his death from us ; " upon which they
demanded their arrears of pay, and began to be
riotous in the city.
The chief vizier now requested an audience, and
being admitted to the presence of the Sultan, kissed
the ground before him, and said, " Your majesty is
given up to grief, while the troops are preparing to
plunder the city. You remain concealed, and they
suppose you to be dead. If this report should reach
your enemies, they will march against your capital,
and take it. Rise up then, compose your counten
ance, and show yourself to the troops, that they may
Upon this, the Sultan repaired to the divan, and
The Labourer and the Flying Chair. 289
the generals and troops attended. They paid their
obeisance, their minds were appeased at the sight
of the Sultan, and they withdrew quietly.
The vizier now addressed the Sultan, saying, " What
can be the cause of your majesty's excessive sorrow ?"
The Sultan then informed the vizier how he had
lost the beautiful slave, and had been unable to
obtain any intelligence concerning her.
Upon this the vizier said to himself, " What have
I to do but to draw the pretended Azrael into this
misfortune ? If he cannot repair it, I shall easily
compass his ruin." He therefore said to the Sultan :
" Why should you grieve, my lord, when Azrael
is so near you ? If he has taken her life he will
inform you, or else he will doubtless be able to tell
you if she is concealed anywhere."
The Sultan then sent for his daughter, and
requested her to ask her husband about the beautiful
slave, which she readily promised, and immediately
went and informed Azrael of the loss. He replied,
" To hear is to obey ; " and the princess returned
to her father.
During her absence, he pressed the ring, and the
genius appeared, and said, " What are your com
mands ? " He informed him of the loss of the
slave, and his wish to recover her, when the genius
promised to find her, and vanished.
2QO New Arabian Nights.
The genius immediately consulted his wife, who
informed him that the king of the red genii had
carried her away during the celebration of his son's
nuptials. He then repaired to the Red King ; but
he assured him that he had lost her, and could not
find her. At length the genius of the chair dis
covered that the afreet had carried her away to
the Seventh Earth. When the Red King heard of
it, he attended him with his followers to the afreet's
cave, where they found the slave bound with four
The genius of the chair instantly unbound her,
took her on his back, and mounted into the air,
where he encountered and slew the afreet after an
obstinate contest. He then carried her to the
labourer, who thanked him for his kindness, and
took her to the princess.
When the princess saw the slave, she was over
joyed, and communicated the glad tidings to her
father, who hastened to Azrael, kissed his feet, and
blessed him for his assistance. He then retired to
his own apartments with his beloved mistress, where
he secluded himself for some time without admitting
any one to his presence.
When the Sultan's neglect of public business
became known abroad, a hostile prince suddenly
invaded the country, and met with no opposition
The Laboiirer and the Flying Chair. 293
until he encamped under the walls of the capital,
in which disorder and confusion arose.
The vizier now informed the Sultan of the critical
position of his affairs, and when he asked his advice,
replied, " Be not alarmed, O king, for is not Azrael,
the angel of death, your son-in-law ? He need only
take the life of the invading prince, and his army
will instantly disperse."
The Sultan replied, " You have spoken truly," and
immediately went to his daughter, to whom he said,
" If your husband will free me from this enemy, I
will resign the crown to him, and become his sub
The princess informed her husband, who said, " To
hear is to obey. Let the Sultan set his mind at ease,
and, God willing, he shall see what will happen."
The labourer waited till evening, when he put
on his cap, pressed his ring, and when the genius
appeared, demanding his pleasure, he asked for
armour and weapons. The genius vanished for a
moment, and then returned with armour as strong as
rock, and weapons to match. Azrael put them on ;
and attended by the genius, who was also invisible,
proceeded to the invader's camp about midnight,
where they dealt their blows so powerfully on all
sides, that the sleeping awakened in consternation,
and those who were awake stood up in alarm, but
294 New Arabian Nights.
could not see from whence the attack came. At
length the army fled in confusion ; brother forgot
brother, and the son forgot his father ; all were
anxious only for their own safety, and slew one
another. Nothing was seen but flying heads, falling
horses, and expiring bodies. Those who preferred
safety, fled, and those who stood their ground, were
The labourer, attended by the genius, then entered
the tent of the invading prince, whom he found
with his slaves in the utmost alarm at the surprise
of the camp. As he was invisible, he seized the
prince in his arms, and threw him into a great chest
which stood in the tent, and locked him up, while
the genius disarmed the slaves. Next he examined
the tents, and found them full of jewels and valuable
effects, which he- loaded upon camels and porters
belonging to the prince. Lastly, he collected all
the horses, tents, and camp equipages, in which the
genius assisted him.
When the morning dawned, lo, the plain was
cleared from the enemy, and the Sultan ventured
from the city to look for his son-in-law, whom he
soon perceived advancing with his spoils ; horses,
mules, camels, and porters all heavily laden, and
obedient to his orders. The Sultan was surprised
to see only Azrael among such a convoy, for the
The Labourer and. the Flying Chair. 295
genius was invisible. He exulted beyond measure,
and with his viziers, nobles, and generals, bowed
down and kissed the ground before his son-in-law,
conducted him respectfully into the city, as if he
had been one of his slaves, and seated him upon the
throne of his kingdom.
Azrael now ordered the captive prince to be taken
from the chest, in which he was nearly stifled. Being
rubbed with vinegar and perfumes, he recovered,
but only to find himself in the hands of his enemies.
The Sultan commanded him to be confined in one of
the towers of the palace, and ordered rejoicings to be
made throughout his dominions. He then gave
himself up entirely to the company of his fair slave,
and resigned his kingdom to his son-in-law, until
death, the destroyer of all, divided them.
THE STORY OF MAZIN OF
"N ancient times there resided in the city
of Khorassan a youth named Mazin, who
was brought up by his mother, a poor
widow, to the humble occupation of a dyer.
He was so handsome and accomplished that
crowds flocked to his shop daily to enjoy the
pleasure of his conversation ; but he was a steady,
virtuous youth, unspoiled by flattery, and he con
tinued his laborious occupation with unceasing
industry, and supported himself and his mother
with the fruits of his labours. His taste was so
correct in the choice of colours that veils, turbans,
and vests of Mazin's dyeing were sought after by
all the young and gay of Khorassan, and many of
his female customers shot a wistful glance at him
from behind their veils as they gave him their
orders. But it was not his fate always to remain
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 297
a dyer, for he was destined for higher fortunes and
One day Mazin was busy at his work as usual,
when a foreigner came into his shop, and after
looking at him earnestly for a short time, ex
" Alas, that such a noble youth should be forced
to labour at so mean an employment ! "
" I thank you, father, for your compassion," re
plied Mazin, '"but honest industry can never be
" True," said the old man ; " but if God should
offer us affluence and distinction, should we refuse
" By no means," returned Mazin ; and presently
he added, " If you can show me how I may become
prosperous without forfeiting my integrity, I am
not so fond of my trade that I would not prefer
to live at ease in an honest manner without it ;
for I would like to enjoy leisure to pursue my
studies, which have already brought me some little
"Son," said the stranger, "your wishes shall be
fulfilled. You have no father, but I will adopt
you as my son, and teach you the art of trans
muting common metals into gold. Farewell till
to-morrow, when I will meet you at your shop
298 New Arabian Nights.
early in the morning," and having said this, the
old man took his leave.
Mazin's curiosity and ambition were roused. He
closed his shop earlier than usual and hastened to
his mother to inform her of the attractive offers of
the old man. She reflected awhile on the story,
and then said, " My son, I fear lest some evil
lurks under this kindness, for we live in evil days
when men promise more than they intend to per
form in order to gain some wicked object. Be
cautious, and do not accept his offers until he has
given proof of his sincerity. We have all we
need at present, and what more would riches give
Mazin saw the propriety of his mother's advice,
and promised to be wary. They ate their supper
cheerfully, and retired to rest ; but the young man
could sleep but little, and waited with impatience
for the morning, when he was to learn the art of
transmuting metals into gold.
When morning came, Mazin hastened impatiently
to the shop, and the old man arrived shortly
afterwards, bearing a crucible in his hands.
" Welcome, son ! " and " Welcome, father ! " was
their mutual salutation, after which the old man
told Mazin to kindle a fire ; and then asked him
if he had any old metal, iron, brass, copper, etc.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 299
Mazin produced some pieces of an old copper pot,
which were put into the crucible. As soon as
they were melted, the old man, whose name was
Bahram, took from his turban a paper containing
a yellowish powder, which he threw into the
crucible, over which he repeated some cabalistic
words as he stirred the melting metal. At length
he took it from the fire, when Mazin was astonished
to see a large lump of pure gold. Bahram told
him to take it to a goldsmith, who paid him a
large sum for it, with which he returned to his
" Well my son," said Bahram, " are you now
convinced of my skill, and of my sincerity in
offering to promote your fortunes ?"
"I am," said Mazin, "and am ready to go with
you anywhere, in order to learn this invaluable
" Good," returned the old man, " I will sup with
you this evening, and when we are quite alone I
will give you all necessary instructions."
Mazin was overjoyed, and immediately closed his
shop, and took the stranger to his own house,
where he seated him in the best apartment. He
then asked his mother to go to spend the night
at a neighbour's, and showed her the money which
he had obtained for the broken copper, as a proof
300 New Arabian Nights.
of the sincerity of his new friend. His mother
was satisfied, and taking leave of her son, went
cheerfully to a friend's house. Mazin then went
out, and returned with all kinds of refreshment,
nor was wine forgotten, though forbidden to the
faithful. They ate and drank heartily, and at
length Mazin, who had not been used to drink
wine, became intoxicated. As soon as the wily
magician perceived this, he threw a powerful drug
into the goblet of Mazin, who no sooner drank,
it ofT than he fell back insensible on his cushion
The magician pushed him into a large chest which
he locked ; after which he filled another chest
with everything in the house which was worth
having, including the gold. He then fetched in
porters, and made them take up the chests, and
follow him to the harbour, where a vessel waited
his orders, in which he embarked with the unfor
tunate Mazin and his plunder. The anchor was
weighed, and the wind being fair, the ship was
soon out of sight of land.
When Mazin's mother returned to her house
early in the morning, she found the door open,
her son missing, and the rooms ransacked of all
her valuables. She gave a loud shriek, tore her
hair, beat her bosom, and threw herself on the
ground, crying out for her son, whom she supposed
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 301
to have been murdered by the treacherous magician,
against whose professions she had warned him to
be cautious, until the sight of gold had allayed
both her own suspicions and those of her son.
Some neighbours hearing her cries rushed in, lifted
her from the ground, and inquired the cause of
her grief. When they had heard the story, they
tried to comfort her by every means in their power ;
but they were unable to soothe her grief. She
commanded a tombstone to be erected in the
courtyard, where she sat night and day be vailing
her son, and scarcely taking sufficient food to
preserve her miserable existence.
The infidel Bahram, who was a wicked magician,
and a worshipper of fire, hated the true believers,
one of whom he inveigled into his power every
year by promising to teach him the art of trans
muting metals into gold. He first made him
subservient to his purposes in procuring the in
gredients necessary for his art, and then treacher
ously put him to death, lest the secret should be
divulged. This was now his intention towards the
On the evening of the second day after the
sailing of the vessel, Bahram thought proper to
awaken his victim to a sense of his misery. He
opened the chest, which had been placed in his
302 New Arabian Nights.
cabin, and poured a certain liquid down the throat
of Mazin, who instantly sneezed several times and
then opened his eyes, and stared wildly around
him. At length seeing the magician, observing
the sea, and feeling the motion of the ship, he
became aware of the misfortune which had befallen
him, and he perceived that he had fallen into the
snares of the treacherous Bahrain, against whom
his mother had warned him in vain. Still, being
a devout Muslim, he would not complain against
the decrees of Providence, but repeated the follow
ing prayer : " There is no support nor refuge but
from Almighty God, from whom we proceed, and
unto whom we must return. Deal gently with
me, O my God, in the dictates of Thy omnipotence,
and make me resigned under Thy chastening, O
Lord of all being."
Having finished his prayer, Mazin turned humbly
towards his accursed betrayer, and said in a supplica
ting tone : " What have you done, my father ? Did
you not promise me pleasure and enjoyment ? "
Upon this, the magician struck him, and exclaimed
with a scowling and malignant sneer : " O dog, and
son of a dog, my pleasure is in your destruction. I
have already sacrificed nine-and-thirty wretches like
yourself, and you shall be the fortieth victim unless
you will abjure your faith, and become, like me, a
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 303
worshipper of the sacred fire, in which case I will
adopt you as my son, and teach you the art of
" Accursed be thou, thy religion, and thy art ! "
exclaimed the enraged Mazin. " God forbid that
for the pleasures of this world I should apostatise
from our holy prophet, and give up the glorious
rewards reserved in certain store for his faithful
disciples ! You may indeed destroy my body but
my soul despises your threats."
" Vile dog," roared the furious sorcerer, " I will
try your constancy." He then called his slaves, who
held Mazin to the floor of the cabin while their
master beat him with a knotted whip till he was
covered with blood ; but the resolute youth, instead
of complaining, only uttered prayers to heaven for
Divine support under his sufferings, and for sufficient
fortitude to acquire the glory of martyrdom. At
length the magician, wearied with his cruel exercise,
desisted ; and making his slaves load his unfortunate
victim with heavy fetters, chained him down in a
dark closet, with only a coarse mat to lie upon, and
with just sufficient dirty water and coarse bread to
keep him alive. But Mazin's courage was invincible.
He washed his wounds, and comforted himself with
the hope that if he died, he should enjoy the bliss
of Paradise; or that if God had decreed his con-
304 New Arabian Nights.
tinuance in life, that He would provide some way
of relief for his present and future afflictions. In
this assurance he took a little of his wretched food
and then fell asleep, notwithstanding the agony of
his wounds ; but only to awaken to fresh misery. In
the morning he was again persecuted by his cruel
tormentor, who harassed him daily for three months,
with blows, revilings, and every sort of insult that
malice could invent, or cruelty devise.
Hitherto the wind had been fair, and the vessel
had nearly reached the desired haven, when it
changed suddenly, and a terrific storm arose. The
waves threatened to swallow up the vessel, or dash
it to pieces, and all on board gave themselves up for
lost. At this crisis, the sailors who believed that
the tempest was sent by heaven as a judgment for
their suffering the unfortunate Mazin to be so cruelly
tormented, went in a body to the accursed Bahram,
and accused him of having brought down the wrath
of God upon the vessel by his persecution of the
young Muslim ; and they threatened to cast him
overboard if he did not instantly release the youth
from his confinement. They then seized upon the
slaves who had been the instruments of the ma
gician's cruelty, and flung them into the sea, which
so terrified the treacherous Bahram that he im
mediately released Mazin from his chains, and fell at
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 305
his feet, entreating him to pardon him for his harsh
treatment, and promising if they escaped the storm
to take him back to his own country, and to teach
him the art of making gold. Wonderful to relate,
no sooner was Mazin freed from his fetters than the
violence of the tempest decreased, the wind gradually
subsided, the waves fell, and the sea no longer
threatened to overwhelm them. In a few hours all
was calm and security, and a prosperous gale enabled
the shattered vessel to resume her course.
The sailors, who now regarded Mazin as a special
favourite of heaven, treated him with the greatest
respect and attention ; and the hypocritical magician,
pretending sorrow for his late cruelty, sought to
procure his forgiveness and good opinion by every
art of flattery, and affected contrition, which had such
an effect on the ingenuous youth, that he forgot his
treachery, and again believed in his promises and
assurances that the torments he had undergone had
only been inflicted as trials of his constancy and
belief in the true religion, and that this probation
was necessary before the great art of transmuting
metals could be safely entrusted to his keeping.
The remainder of the voyage was prosperous and
happy, and after another three months, the vessel
anchored on the wished-for coast, which was rocky
and the beach was strewn with pebbles of every colour
306 New Arabian Nights.
The magician gave orders to the captain to wait
a month for their return, and he and Mazin dis
embarked, and proceeded together into the country.
As soon as they were out of sight of the ship, the
magician sat down, and taking a small drum from
his vestband, began to beat upon it with two sticks,
when instantly a whirlwind arose, and a thick column
of dust rolled towards them from the desert. Mazin
was alarmed, and regretted that he had left the
vessel ; but the magician, seeing his colour change,
assured him that he need be under no apprehen
sions, and that he had only to obey his orders to
be happy. He had scarcely spoken, when the wind
ceased, the dust dispersed, and three camels stood
before them, one of which was loaded with water and
provisions, and the others were bridled and richly
caparisoned. Bah ram and Mazin then mounted, and
travelled for seven days and nights across a wild and
sandy desert, only halting for necessary refreshments
On the eighth morning they reached a beautiful
and fertile tract, delightfully watered by clear
streams. The ground was verdant with grass, and
shaded by spreading trees laden with fruit. Birds
warbled melodiously in the branches, and antelopes
and other animals sported in the shade. At the end
of a thick avenue stood a capacious dome of blue
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 307
and green enamel, resting upon four columns of solid
gold, each pillar exceeding in value the treasures
of the sovereigns of Persia and Greece. They
approached the dome, stopped the camels, and
dismounted, and turned the animals to graze. This
splendid building was surrounded by a delightful
garden, in which Mazin and the magician rested all
that day and night. At some distance from this
enchanting spot appeared a stupendous fabric. Its
numerous turrets and lofty pinnacles glittered in the
sun, and Mazin, perceiving that it must be a palace
of uncommon magnificence, asked his companion to
whom this superb edifice might belong. But the
magician rather abruptly told him to ask no questions
at present ; for the palace belonged to his bitterest
enemies, who were evil genii ; and that he would give
him their history at a more convenient opportunity.
Mazin said nothing ; but he began to suspect some
new treachery, from the magician's manner.
In the morning Bahram beat his magic drum, and
the three camels appeared. He and Mazin then
remounted, and pursued their journey in the same
manner as before, for seven days ; and their speed
more resembled the flight of birds than the ordin
ary rate of travel. On the eighth morning, the
magician inquired of Mazin whether he saw any
thing unusual on the horizon.
308 New Arabian Nights.
" I behold," said he, " an appearance like a range
of black clouds extending from east to west."
"They are not clouds," replied Bahram, "but lofty
mountains, called the Mountains of the Clouds, from
their appearance at a distance. On their summit
lies the object of our journey, which we shall soon
obtain if you will give me your aid, and then we
shall return to the ship richer than all the sovereigns
of the world. But you must be sure to obey me
in whatever I may command."
Mazin promised to do so, but his heart sank
within him when he looked upon the gloomy region
before him, and remembered the magician's boast
of having sacrificed thirty-nine youthful victims on
these mountains, and his threat on board the ship
to make him the fortieth. He repented that he
had ventured to leave the vessel with Bahram ; but
it was now too late to recede. He resigned him
self to the decrees of God, who had already relieved
his sufferings during the voyage, and concealed his
uneasiness as well as he could from the crafty
magician, who on his part endeavoured to soothe
and flatter him with artful promises and caresses.
They pursued their journey for four days longer,
when they arrived at the foot of the black mountains,
which formed a wall of inaccessible precipices, as
perpendicular as if they had been scarped by art ;
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 309
and their tremendous height cast a dark and gloomy
shade to a vast distance. They now dismounted,
and turned the camels to graze, when the magician
took from his wallet three loaves and a skin of
water. He then lit a fire, and beat his drum ; and
when the camels appeared, he chose the smallest,
which he killed, and carefully flayed, washing the
inside of the skin with water. When this was done,
he said to Mazin, " My son, it now rests with you
to crown our labours with success. Enter this skin,
taking with you the three loaves, and the skin of
water for your sustenance while you remain on the
mountain ; and fear nothing, for no harm can happen
to you. I will sew up the skin, leaving room for
the admission of the air ; and presently a roc will
descend, and carry you in her talons to the level
ground on the summit of the mountain. As soon
as she alights, rip. open the stitches of the skin with
your dagger, and the roc will be scared away.
Then arise, and gather as much as possible of a
black dust which you will find thickly strewed on
the ground. Put it into this bag, and throw it down
to me, after which I will contrive an easy means for
your descent. When you have rejoined me, we will
return to the vessel, and I. will convey you safely
back to your own country. We will share the dust
between us, for it has the property of transmuting
310 New Arabian Nights.
metals into gold ; and we shall each have enough
to rival all the treasures on earth."
Mazin finding it in vain to oppose, allowed him
self to be sewed up in the skin, recommending
himself in prayer to the protection of Allah and the
Prophet. When the magician had finished his work,
he withdrew to a distance. Presently a monstrous
roc, darting from a craggy precipice with the rapidity
of lightning, grasped the skin in her vast talons,
and soaring swifter than the eagle, soon alighted on
the summit of the mountain. When Mazin felt
himself on the ground, he ripped open the skin,
and when the roc saw him, she uttered a loud cry,
and flew away. Mazin arose, and walked upon the
summit of the mountain, which he found covered
with black dust ; but he also beheld the skeletons
of the young men whom the accursed Bahram had
left to perish, after they had served his purpose.
His blood froze with horror as he apprehended
the same unhappy fate ; but he filled his bag with
the black powder, and advanced to the edge of a
precipice, from which he beheld the magician eagerly
looking out for him below. Mazin called out, and
when the hypocrite saw him, he began dancing and
capering for joy, and exclaimed, " Welcome, wel
come, my son, my best friend, my beloved child !
All our dangers are over, throw me down the bag."
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 311
" I will not," replied Mazin, " until you have con
veyed me safely from this dangerous place."
" That is out of my power," said Bahram, " until
I have the bag ; but if you will throw it down, I
swear by the fire which I worship, that I will im
mediately procure you a safe descent."
Mazin relied on his oath, and as he saw no other
chance of escape, he threw down the bag. The ac
cursed magician immediately seized it, and mounted
his camel, when the unfortunate Mazin cried out,
" Surely you will not forfeit your oath, and leave
me here to perish."
"Perish you must, Muslim dog," replied the
magician, "that my secret may be kept. Your
Prophet cannot help you, for the mountains around
are impassable, and below is a fathomless sea.
I have obtained my object, and now leave you to
your fate." Having said this, he urged his camel
on, and was soon out of sight.
Mazin was in an agony of despair, and not a ray
of hope comforted his mind. He beat his bosom,
and threw himself on the ground amid the moulder
ing skeletons of the former victims to the treachery
of the magician, and lay for a time in a state of
insensibility. At length he was aroused by the calls
of hunger and thirst, and the love of life, however
miserable, made him have recourse to his bread and
312 New Arabian Nights.
water. This revived him a little, when his religion
came to his aid, and he began to pray for resignation
to submit to the decrees of Heaven, however painful.
He then walked to the edge of the mountain over
hanging the sea, which he perceived to wash the base
of the rock without any beach. At this sight, a
desperate chance of escape struck his mind, and he
resolved to throw himself from the precipice into the
ocean, hoping that if he should survive the fall, and
rise to the surface, he might reach land. He com
mended himself to God, shut his eyes, held in his
breath, and giving a desperate spring, plunged head
long into the dreadful abyss, which providentially
received him unhurt, and a friendly wave drove him
on shore, where he lay for some minutes insensible,
owing to the rapidity of his descent from the brain-
When he recovered his senses, Mazin looked wildly
around him, and was at first scarcely able to bear
the light from the recollection of the dizzy eminence
from which he had plunged ; and an uneasy interval
elapsed before he could persuade himself that the
certainty of death was past. When he was at length
convinced of this, he prostrated himself on the earth,
and exclaimed, " In God alone is our refuge and
support ! I thought I should have perished, but His
providence has sustained me." He then wept ex-
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 3 1 3
ceedingly, entreated forgiveness of his offences, read
several passages from the Koran, which he had
preserved in his vestband, repeated the whole of his
rosary, and besought the intercession of the Prophet
for his deliverance from future dangers. After this,
he walked on till evening ; eating the fruit of the
forest, drinking the waters of the streams, and resting
on the green turf. He proceeded thus for three
days, when he reached the spot under the mountains
where the roc had taken him up in the camel's skin.
He now recognised the road he had come, and after
measuring back his steps for nine days, he at length
came in sight of the superb palace, concerning which
the magician had told him that it was inhabited by
evil genii, his bitterest enemies.
Mazin hesitated for some time whether he should
approach it or not ; but he reflected that no greater
calamity could happen to him than he had already
fared, and despising the imaginary danger, he
advanced boldly to a grand lodge built of white
marble exquisitely polished. He entered, and on
one of the raised platforms which skirted the passage
into the court he beheld two beautiful maidens play
ing at chess. One of them caught sight of him and
exclaimed : " Surely, sister, this is the young man
who passed this way about a month ago with
Bahram the magician I "
314 New Arabian Nights.
" I am he," cried Mazin, throwing himself on the
ground, " and entreat your hospitable protection."
The lady raised him up saying : " Stranger, you so
much resemble a beloved brother whom we have lost,
that I feel moved to adopt you as my brother if my
sister will consent to do so also." The other lady
readily assented, and they seated Mazin between
them and made him give them a full account of his
When Mazin had finished his story the ladies were
moved with compassion for his misfortunes, and were
highly indignant at the insolence of the magician,
who had accused them of being evil genii. They
then proceeded to acquaint him with the cause of
their residence in this secluded place, saying : " Know,
brother, that our father is a powerful king of a race
of good genii, who were converted to the true faith by
Solomon, the son of David. We are seven daughters
by the same mother, but our father being fearful lest
some evil might happen to us, has placed us in this
solitary spot. This palace was built for us by genii,
and it is surrounded by delightful meadows and
forests abounding with game, and we often amuse
ourselves with field-sports. When we want horses or
camels we have only to beat a small magic drum,
and they instantly attend our call, ready caparisoned.
Our five sisters are at present at the chase but will
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 315
soon return. Set your heart at rest, for your mis
fortunes are now at an end, and you shall dwell with
us in ease and pleasure."
The five sisters soon returned, and on hearing
Mazin's adventures, they also adopted him as their
brother, and he remained with them some time,
leading a most pleasant life, for they did all in their
power to divert him with various amusements both at
home and abroad. Mazin soon recovered his health,
and was happy to the extent of his wishes. At the
end of a year, Mazin was riding out to the enamelled
dome, with golden columns, when he perceived under
it the accursed magician, accompanied by a youth
whom he had inveigled into his snares and devoted
to destruction. The rage of Mazin was kindled at
the sight, and drawing his sabre he rushed upon the
sorcerer, who was in the act of flaying a camel, and
seized him by the hair, exclaiming : " Wretch, the
judgment of heaven has at length overtaken thee,
and thy impure soul shall soon be plunged into that
fire thou blasphemously adorest." The magician
struggled to escape, and prayed for mercy and
forgiveness ; but Mazin, convinced by experience
that he deserved none, struck off his head at one
blow. The young man stood near, gazing with
astonishment upon the scene, till Mazin informed
him of the wicked arts of the accursed Bahram, and
316 New Arabian Nights.
of his own narrow escape from almost certain de
struction, and advised him to remount his camel and
return to the spot where he had disembarked from
the vessel, which would safely convey him back to his
own country. The young man thanked him for his
deliverance and took his leave, while Mazin returned
to the palace, carrying with him the head of the
magician as a trophy of his victory. He was highly
applauded for his prowess by the sisters, who rejoiced
at the destruction of so cruel an enemy to mankind.
A few days after this, Mazin and the sisters were
sitting together in a gallery of the palace when they
observed a thick cloud of dust rising from the desert
and approaching them. As it came nearer they
perceived through it a troop of horsemen, upon which
the sisters desired Mazin to retire into an inner
chamber, and went to the gateway to inquire the
business of the strangers. They proved to be
messengers whom their father had sent to escort
them to his presence, in order to attend the nuptials
of a near relative. Upon this summons the sisters
prepared for the journey, and at the end of three
days they departed, promising Mazin that they
would return in a month. When they took leave of
him they gave him the keys of every apartment in
the castle, telling him that he might open every
door but one, which he had better not open lest some
He yielded to the impulse of curiosity, aud unlocked the door.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 3 1 9
misfortune should happen to him. Mazin promised
to obey, and was so well amused for many days in
examining the magnificent rooms and curiosities of
the palace that he did not feel inclined to disobey,
until the forbidden door alone remained unopened.
Having then nothing to divert him, he yielded to the
impulse of curiosity, and unlocked the door, which
led him to a marble staircase, which led to the terrace
roof of the palace, where an enchanting prospect met
his sight. On one side he perceived an extensive
garden, in the centre of which was a basin of clear
water, lined with gems of every description and
surrounded with shady trees. He wished to examine
it more closely, and after descending the staircase,
he explored his way through a long arcade which led
him at length into the garden, where he amused
himself for some time. He then sat down to rest in
an alcove near the basin, when he was astonished to
perceive a company of damsels, like houris, descend
ing from the sky, whose robes of light green silk
floating in the air seemed their only support. Mazin
was alarmed at this unexpected sight, and retired to
the end of the alcove, from whence he watched their
motions. They alighted on the brink of the water,
threw off their robes and plunged into it. They
swam about for some time sporting in the water and
dashing it over each other ; but one among them
320 New Arabian Nights.
was of such surpassing loveliness that her image
became stamped indelibly on the heart of Mazin.
When they were tired they came out of the water,
reassumed their green robes, and after resting for a
few moments on the verdant sward, soared into
the air and were soon far beyond the sight of the
enamoured Mazin, who followed them with his eyes
till he could distinguish them no longer. Despairing
of ever again beholding the object of his affections^
he fainted on the grass, and did not recover himself
for some time. He returned melancholy to the
palace, and spent the night in tears and longing.
On the following morning the seven sisters returned,
and she who had first welcomed Mazin to their abode,
and had ever since retained for him the purest affec
tion, ran eagerly to inquire after his health. Great
was her affliction at beholding him stretched upon
his bed, pale and worn, after his sleepless and weary
night. He returned no answer to her many kind
questions ; and at length she implored him by the
sisterly affection which she bore for him, to inform
her of the cause of his dejection, assuring him that
she would use every exertion to remove it, and to
gratify his wishes, whatever they might be, or what
ever difficulties might stand in the way. Upon this
Mazin in a feeble voice related his adventure in the
garden, and declared that unless he could obtain
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 321
possession of the beautiful damsel whom he thought
must have descended from Paradise, he must die of
grief. His sister then comforted him, saying that his
desire should soon be granted ; and his spirits revived.
He accompanied her to meet the other sisters, who
met him with their usual kindness, but were much
grieved and alarmed at the sad alteration in his ap
pearance. He assured them, however, that it was
only the effect of the prolonged absence of his kind
friends ; and now that they had returned, he would
speedily recover his usual health and cheerfulness.
Next morning the ladies went again upon a hunting
excursion for ten days, but Mazin's adopted sister
remained behind, saying that he was not yet suffi
ciently recovered to bear the exercise ; and that she
would stay at home with him. When the others were
gone, she informed Mazin that the beautiful damsels
he had seen in the garden belonged to a race of genii
much more powerful than her own. They inhab
ited a country surrounded by unapproachable seas
and deserts, and belonged to a nation of females who
only received occasional visits from the neighbouring
tribes, to whom all the male children were sent as
soon as they were born. She likewise told him that
their silken robes gave them the power of soaring
through the air a hundred times swifter than any
bird, that they were fond of amusing themselves in
322 New Arabian Nights.
verdant spots and bathing in the clearest waters, and
that as the garden in which he had seen them was a
favourite place of their resort, they would probably
soon visit it again. " Perhaps," added she, " they may
return to-day. We will be on the watch, and if they
appear, you must watch where your favourite places
her robes, and seize and conceal them while she is
in the water, for she cannot fly away without them.
Then you must bring her to the palace, and endeavour
to gain her affection by constant tenderness and
watchful attentions, that she may consent to a
marriage ; but when she is in your power, remember
to conceal her robes from her, for if she should regain
possession of them, she would certainly return to
the Flying Islands, and you would see her no
Mazin and his sister now repaired to the garden,
and seated themselves in the alcove, and they had not
been there long when the damsels descended the
basin as before, and flinging their robes aside, plunged
into the water. As soon as their attention was fully
occupied with their own diversion, Mazin cautiously
snatched up the robes of his beloved, and conveyed
them to the alcove unperceived by the fair bathers,
who after sufficiently amusing themselves, left the
water, and prepared to take their departure. But
when Mazin's beloved missed her robes, she beat her
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 323
bosom, tore her hair, and uttered loud shrieks, and big
tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks. But her
sisters, instead of consoling her, were concerned only
for their own safety, and hastily assuming their robes,
bade her farewell, mounted into the air, and disap
peared. As soon as they were gone, Mazin and
his sister approached, and saluting the deserted
lady, endeavoured to console her ; but for the present
in vain, as her mind was intent only on the sad cap
tivity which she thought awaited her, and the loss of
her native country and relations. They led her to the
palace, and Mazin respectfully retired, leaving her to
the care of his sister, who by a thousand endearments
and attentions so gained upon her that after two days
she began to recover her spirits, and consented to
receive Mazin as her husband, when the other sisters
should return from the chase. On their arrival at the
palace, they were introduced to the fair stranger, who
was so diverted by their company and attentions that
she almost ceased to regret her captivity. Prepar
ations were now made for the wedding, which was
succeeded by a round of festivities, and the seven
sisters vied with each other in devising new pleasures
for the happy pair.
Mazin at length, however, began to reflect on the
anguish which his mother must experience at his long
absence, and finally begged leave to return home ;
324 New Arabian Nights.
and unwilling as his sisters were to part from him,
they respected his anxiety for his mother, and fixed
a day for his departure. When the time arrived, the
sisters beat their magic drum, when several camels
appeared at the gate of the palace, heavily laden with
the richest stuffs, besides gold, jewels, and refresh
ments for the journey, and accompanied by a sufficient
escort. One camel was richly caparisoned for the use
of Mazin, and another carried a splendid litter for the
conveyance of his wife. He took an affectionate leave
of the sisters, whom he promised to revisit at some
future time, and the caravan then set out towards the
seashore where Maziu had disembarked with the
magician. The journey was prosperous, and on
reaching the coast, they found a vessel ready to re
ceive them, and as the wind was favourable, Mazin
soon arrived at his home, where he had the satisfaction
of finding his mother alive, though greatly wasted
with constant grief and lamentation for his loss. To
describe the joy of their meeting is impossible ; for
never was there a more tender affection between
parent and child than subsisted between Mazin and
his mother. She seemed to gain new life from his
return, and to grow young again. His wife, too,
appeared quite contented with her lot, and Mazin
was happy in the possession of all that he desired ;
but lest his fellow townsmen should take umbrage at
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 325
his sudden prosperity, he decided to remove to Bagdad
with his family.
Three years passed away in undisturbed happi
ness ; and Mazin's wife had presented him with two
sons, when he thought that it would be only an act
of gratitude to pay a visit to the sisters to whom he
owed all his felicity. After making preparations
for his journey, he committed his wife's silken robes
to the care of his mother, giving her the key of a
secret recess in which he had lodged them ; but
with a strict charge to keep them from his wife, lest
an irresistible impulse might inspire her to fly away
to her own country, for although she generally
appeared contented, yet she could not help some
times regretting her absence from her home and
friends. The mother promised obedience, and
Mazin, after taking an affectionate leave of her and
of his wife and children, with promises to return
soon, embarked on board a vessel, and pursued his
voyage. On landing, he found camels awaiting his
arrival, for the sisters knew of his coming by their
magic arts, and had stationed them ready to convey
him to the palace.
Some time after the departure of Mazin, his wife
requested her mother-in-law's permission to visit the
bath ; and the old lady willingly accompanied her
and the children to the most celebrated bath in the
326 New Arabian Nights.
city, which was frequented by the ladies of the Court.
On their arrival, they found some of the principal
slaves of Zobeide, the favourite consort of the Caliph
Haroun al Rashid, who were so much struck with
the uncommon beauty of Mazin's wife, that they
not only crowded round to admire her, but even
followed her until she entered her own house,
when they returned to the palace in apprehension
lest their mistress should be displeased at their
They had not miscalculated ; for when they
entered her presence, Zobeide exclaimed : " Where
have you loitered, and what is the reason of your
staying so unusually long at the bath ? "
Upon this, they looked at each other in confusion,
and remained silent.
The Sultana was angry, and said, " Inform me
instantly of the cause of your delay ; " when they
told her of the wonderful beauty of Mazin's wife,
and talked so much about her, that Zobeide was
seized with curiosity to behold her.
On the following day she sent for Mazin's mother,
who obeyed the summons with fear and trembling,
wondering what the caliph's consort could want
with a person of her inferior rank.
Mazin's mother prostrated herself before the
Sultana, and kissed her feet, but she graciously
The most celebrated bath in the city, which was frequented by the
ladies of the Court.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 329
raised her, saying : " O mother of Mazin, it is my
pleasure that you should introduce me to your son's
wife, of whose beauty I have heard such extra
ordinary accounts, that I long to behold her."
When the old lady heard these words, her heart
sank within her, and she trembled with apprehension,
but did not dare to disobey the commands of
Zobeide ; and saying, " To hear is to obey," she
took leave, with the usual ceremony of prostration
before the throne of the Sultana.
After this, Mazin's mother returned immediately
to her own house, and said to her son's wife, " The
Sultana Zobeide has invited you to an entertain
The lady was delighted, and instantly arrayed
herself in her richest apparel, and dressed her two
children in their richest garments and ornaments.
She then set out with them, accompanied by her
mother-in-law, and a black slave ; and when they
entered the palace of the Sultana Zobeide, they
found her sitting in impatient expectation. They
kissed the ground before her, and prayed for her
When the Sultana Zobeide beheld the wife of
Mazin, her senses were confounded, and her heart
fluttered, for she was astonished at her beauty,
elegance, graceful stature and blooming complexion,
330 New Arabian Nights.
and exclaimed, " Gracious heaven, where could such
a form as this have been created ? "
Then she seated her guests and ordered a colla
tion to be brought in, which was done immediately,
when they ate until they were satisfied ; but Zobeide
could not keep her eyes from Mazin's wife. She
kissed her, and questioned her concerning herself
and her husband. Her surprise was much increased
when she heard their adventures.
The lady then said, " O princess, if you are thus
surprised, though you have not seen me in the dress
which I wear in my own country, how much more
would you be delighted at my appearance then !
If, therefore, you wish to gratify your curiosity by
beholding a miracle, you must command my hus
band's mother to bring my robes of green silk."
Upon this, Zobeide commanded the old lady to
fetch them, and as she dared not disobey, she went
home, and soon returned with them. Zobeide took
them in her own hands, and when she examined
them, she was astonished at their fashion and texture
At length she restored them to their original owner.
As soon as Mazin's wife had received the robes
she unfolded them, and going into the open court
of the palace, arrayed herself in them, and taking
her children in her arms, rose suddenly into the air.
But before taking her final departure* she called out
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 331
to her husband's mother, saying, " Dear mother, give
my adieu to my husband, and tell him that if he
loves me as he pretends, he may come to the islands
of Wauk-al-Wauk to find me."
Having said this, she soared towards the clouds
till she disappeared from their sight, and returned
to her own country.
When the mother of Mazin beheld her in the air,
she beat her face, threw dust upon her head, and
cried out to the Sultana Zobeide, " This is your
mischief ! "
But Zobeide was unable to answer, or to reprove
her boldness, from the excess of her sorrow and
regret, which made her repent, when repentance was
of no avail.
The old lady returned in despair to her own
Meanwhile Mazin continued his journey by land
for some time, until he reached the palace of the
sisters, who were delighted at his arrival, and
inquired after his wife, when he informed them that
she was well, and that God had blessed him with
two sons ; and this good news increased their
pleasure. He remained with them for some time,
alter which he entreated their permission to depart.
They took an affectionate leave of him, and he
returned to his own country, travelling without
33 2 New Arabian Nights.
ceasing until he reached his home, where he found
his mother alone, weeping and lamenting over
what had happened in his absence. Seeing her in
this state, he inquired the cause, upon which she
informed him of everything that had taken place,
from first to last.
When Mazin heard the terrible news, he cried
out in an agony of distress for the loss of his wife
and children, and fell fainting to the ground,
oblivious of his own existence. When his mother
saw him in this condition, she slapped his face, and
sprinkled water over him till he came to himself,
when he wept, and said, " Inform me of what my
wife may have spoken on her departure." She
repeated her farewell words, upon which his distress,
and his ardent longing for his wife and children,
redoubled. He remained mournfully at home for
ten days, after which he resolved to set out on his
way to the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk, which lie at
the distance of a hundred and fifty years' journey
Mazin departed from his mother after taking leave
of her, and entreating her prayers for his success ;
but she was so much afflicted that she ordered her
tomb to be prepared, and did nothing but weep
night and day for her son, who travelled without
halting until he reached the palace of the seven
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 333
sisters. They were surprised to see him, and said
to one another, " There must be some urgent cause
for his returning so speedily."
They saluted him, and inquired after his affairs,
upon which he told them how his wife had deserted
him, after advising him to seek her in the islands
But they replied, " This expedition is impossible
for you or any of your race to attempt ; for these
islands are distant a hundred and fifty years' journey,
so that you cannot live to reach them."
But Mazin exclaimed, " It is incumbent upon me
to make the attempt, although I should perish on
the road. If God has decreed my reunion with
my wife, I shall meet her again ; but if not, I
shall die, and be received into the mercy of the
The sisters did not cease to urge him to abandon
the journey, but it was impossible for him to obey
them, or to remain at ease ; upon which their grief
for his situation increased. They knew that he
could never traverse the distance by human means,
but they pitied and admired his ardent love for his
wife and children. After this, they consulted with
one another how to assist him on the journey.
He remained with them a month, but was unable
to repose or to take pleasure in anything.
334 New Arabian Nights.
The sisters had two uncles, one named Abd al
Kuddoos, and the other Abd al Sulleeb, who lived
at three months' journey from them, and to them
they wrote as follows: "The bearer of this letter
is our friend Mazin of Khorassan. If you can
direct him how to reach the islands of Wauk-al-
Wauk, assist him ; but if not, prevent him from
proceeding, lest he plunge himself into destruction.
At present he will not attend to our advice or
reproofs, from excess of love to his wife and chil
dren ; but through you he may finally arrive at
safety and success."
When they had sealed this letter, they gave it to
Mazin, and furnished him with three months' store
of water and provisions laden upon camels, and a
steed for his conveyance, upon which he took leave
of them with many thanks, fully resolved to pursue
his journey to the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk.
He pursued his journey with much pain and
difficulty, taking no pleasure whatever in rest or
refreshment during the three months of his pilgrim
age At length he reached a verdant pasturage,
covered with flowers, where flocks of sheep and herds
of cattle were feeding. It was indeed a paradise
upon earth. On one side he perceived a pleasant
eminence, where buildings were erected, to which
he advanced, and entered a court Here he beheld
He beheld a venerable-looking old man.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 337
a venerable-looking old man, with a beard flowing
to his middle. Mazin saluted the sage, who returned
his compliments, welcomed him with respectful
demeanour, and congratulated him on his arrival.
He seated him, and laid a collation before him, of
which they both partook.
Mazin lodged with him that night, and in the
morning the sage inquired who he was, and what
had brought him to such a sequestered spot.
Mazin informed him ; and, behold, the sage was
Abd al Kuddoos, who when he heard his guest
mention particulars of his brother's children, re
doubled his attentions to him, and said : " Did
they give you any letter ? "
Mazin replied, " Yes."
He eagerly exclaimed, " Give it to me."
He gave it him, when he opened it, read it to
himself, and considered the contents word by
Abd al Kuddoos gazed earnestly at Mazin, reflect
ing on his astonishing adventures, and how he had
plunged himself into difficulty and danger in such
a wild pursuit. He then said to him,
"My son, my advice is that you return by the
way you came, and no longer vex your soul on
account of impossibilities, for you cannot accom
plish this affair. I will write to the daughters of my
338 New Arabian Nights.
brother to let you live happily with them ; and in
time you will regain your peace of mind. There
fore return to them, and vex yourself no further,
for between this spot and the islands of Wauk-al-
Wauk is the distance of a hundred and fifty years'
journey. Besides, there are great perils on the way,
for you must traverse the abodes of genii, the
haunts of wild beasts and monstrous serpents, and
long districts where neither food nor water can be
procured. Have compassion on yourself, my son,
and do not rush upon destruction."
Abd al Kuddoos continued to dissuade Mazin from
his resolution during three days, but he would not
hear advice or reproof. On the third day Mazin
prepared to depart, being sufficiently refreshed, upon
which the old man, seeing his firmness, arose and
kindled a fire. He cast perfumes into it and uttered
some unintelligible words, upon which a genius forty
cubits in height suddenly appeared before them. He
was one of the genii who were subdued by our lord
Solomon, and he muttered and growled saying : " O
my master, why have you summoned me here ?
Shall I tear up this hill by the roots and hurl it
beyond Mount Kaf?"
Abd al Kuddoos replied : " God be merciful to thee !
I need your aid, and request you to accomplish my
bidding in one day."
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 341
Upon this the genius answered : " To hear is to
And Abd al Kuddoos continued : " Take up this
young man and convey him to my brother, Abd al
He consented, although the distance was an
ordinary journey of seventy years. The genius
immediately took Mazin up and soared with him
through the air from morning till sunset, when he
descended before Abd al Sulleeb, paid his respects,
and informed him of the commands of his brother
Abd al Kuddoos. The sage then greeted Mazin,
who gave him the letter from the daughters of his
brother, which he opened and read. When he had
considered its contents he was astonished at the ad
ventures of Mazin, his arrival with him, and his
resolve to penetrate to the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk.
But he said : " My son, I advise that you should no
longer vex yourself with these difficulties and dan
gers, for you can never attain your object, or reach
Mazin now began to despair, and when he thought
of his wife and children he wept till he fainted ; and
when Abd al Sulleeb beheld his unhappy condition
he pitied him from his heart. He perceived that he
would not return from his pursuit or listen to advice
and therefore thought it best to assist his progress
34 2 New Arabian Nights.
towards the islands. He went into another room
and kindled a fire, over which he sprinkled perfumes
and uttered incantations, when lo, ten genii presented
themselves before him, and said : " Inform us, O
master, of what you desire, and we will bring it in
He replied : " May God be gracious to you ! " and
related the story of Mazin and his wife and children.
When the ten genii heard the narrative they ex
claimed : " This affair is wonderful and miraculous ;
however, we will take him with us, and carry him
safely over the mountains and deserts to the bounds
of our country and dominion, and leave him there.
But we cannot promise him further assistance, as we
dare not pass a step beyond our own territories, for
the land belongs to others. In it are innumerable
horrors, and we dread the inhabitants."
When Mazin heard this, he answered : " I accept
your offer with gratitude."
The ten genii now took up Mazin and soared Math
him through the air for a night and a day, till they
came to the limits of their territories, and set him
down in a country called the Land of Kafoor. They
then took leave of him and vanished from his sight.
He walked onwards and did not neglect to employ
his thoughts in prayer, beseeching God to preserve
him, and to grant him the attainment of his desires.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 343
Often would he exclaim : " O God, who canst deliver
from bondage, and guide in safety over mountains,
who feedest the wild beasts of the forest, who decreest
life and death, if Thou wilt, Thou canst grant me
relief from all my distress and free me from all my
He travelled thus for ten days, and on the tenth
day he beheld three men engaged in mortal
combat, each endeavouring to kill the others. He
was astonished at their conduct, but advanced
towards them. Upon his approach they ceased
the fight, and all exclaimed : " We will be judged
before this young man, and whoever contradicts his
opinion shall be deemed in the wrong." To this
they agreed, and coming up to Mazin demanded of
him a just arbitration in their dispute. They then
showed him a cap, a small copper drum, and a
wooden ball, saying : " We are three brothers by the
same father and mother, who have both been received
into the mercy of God, and have left behind them
these articles. They are three and we are three ; but
a dispute has arisen among us respecting their allot
ment, for each of us said : ' I will have the cap.'
Our contention made us proceed to blows, but now
we desire that you should arbitrate between us, and
allot an article to each as you shall judge best, when
we will rest satisfied with your decision ; but should
344 New Arabian Nights.
either of us contradict it, he shall be judged an
When Mazin heard this he was surprised, and said
to himself: " These articles are so paltry and of such
trifling value as not to be worth an arbitration, for
surely this shabby cap, the drum, and the wooden
ball, cannot be worth more altogether than half a
dinar, but I will inquire further about them." He
then said : " My brethren, wherein lies the virtue of
these three articles about which you were contending,
for they appear to me of very little value."
They replied : " Dear uncle, each of them has a
property worth untold treasures, and to each of them
belongs a tale so wonderful that if you were to write
it on a table of adamant it would remain an example
for those who would be admonished."
Mazin then requested them to relate to him the
history of the three articles, when they said : " The
eldest brother shall first deliver an account of the
properties of one, and what can be gained from them ;
and we will not conceal anything from you."
" This cap," said the eldest brother, " is called the
cap of invisibility, and whosoever possesses it may
become sovereign of the world. When he puts it on
he may enter where he pleases, for neither men nor
genii can perceive him, so that he may convey away
whatever he pleases unseen in security. He may
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 345
enter the cabinets of kings and statesmen, and hear
all their conversation respecting political intrigues.
If he desires wealth he, may visit the royal treasuries
and plunder them at his pleasure ; and if he wishes for
revenge, he can kill his enemy without being detected.
In short, he can act as he pleases, without fear of
Upon this, Mazin said to himself, " This cap is not
suitable for any one but me, to whom it will be
most advantageous in the object of my expedition.
Perhaps it may conduct me to my wife and children
and I may obtain from its possession all that I wish.
It is certainly one of the wonders of the world and
rarities of the age, and not to be found among the
riches of kings at the present day." Having con
cluded his reflections he said : " I am acquainted
with the properties of the cap, but what are those
of the drum ? "
The second brother then said, " If any one who has
this drum in his possession should be involved in a
difficult situation, let him take it out of its case and
beat gently with the sticks upon the characters en
graven on the copper, when, if his mind be collected
and his courage firm, wonderful things will appear to
him. The virtue of it consists in the words inscribed
upon it, which were written by our Lord Solomon,
the son of David, in talismanic characters, each of
346 New Arabian Nights.
which has control over certain princes of the genii
and a power that cannot be described in speech.
Hence, whoever is master of this drum may become
superior to all the monarchs of the present day ; for
on his beating it in the manner already described,
when he is pressed for help, all the princes of the
genii, with their sons and followers, will appear
ready to obey his commands. Whatever he may
order them to execute they will perform, by virtue
of the talisman of our Lord Solomon, the son of
When Mazin heard this, he said to himself, " This
drum is fitting only for me, and I have much more
need of it than the brothers. It will protect me
from all evil in the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk, if I
should reach them, and meet with my wife and
Children. It is true that if I take only the cap I
may be able to enter all places ; but this drum will
keep injury from me, and with it I shall be secure
from all enemies." He then said : " I have been
informed of the virtues of the cap and the properties
of the drum. There now only remains the account
of the wooden ball, that I may give judgment be
tween you, therefore let the third brother speak."
The third brother answered : " To hear is to obey.
My dear uncle, whoever possesses this ball will find
in it wonderful properties ; for it brings distant parts
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 347
near, and makes near distant ; it shortens long
journeys, and lengthens short ones. If any person
wish to perform a journey of two hundred years in
two days, let him take it from its case, lay it upon
the ground, and mention to what place he desires to
go. It will instantly be in motion, and rush over the
earth like the blast of the stormy gale. He must then
follow it till he arrives at the place desired, which he
will have the power to do with ease."
When the youth had concluded his description of
the virtues of the wooden ball, Mazin resolved within
himself to take this also from the brothers, and said :
" If you wish me to arbitrate between you, I must
first prove the virtues of these three articles, and
afterwards let each take that which may fall to him
by my decision."
The three brothers exclaimed : " We have heard
and we consent. Act as you think best, and may
God protect you in your undertakings."
Mazin then put on the cap, placed the drum under
his vestband, took up the ball and placed it on the
ground, when it sped before him as quickly as the
gale. He followed it till it came to the gate of a
building which it entered, and Mazin also went in
The brothers ran till they were tired, and cried
out, " You have sufficiently tried them!" but in vain,
348 New Arabian Nights.
for by this time there was the distance of ten years'
journey between him and them.
Mazin now rested, took the drum in his hands, and
rubbed his lingers over the talismanic characters,
hesitating whether he should strike them with the
sticks. Then he taboured lightly upon them, when,
lo ! a voice exclaimed : " Mazin, you have gained
your desires. Nevertheless you will not arrive at
your object without much trouble ; but take care of
the ball in this spot, for you are at present in the
land of evil genii."
Upon this Mazin took up the ball and concealed it
in his clothes ; but he was overcome with astonish
ment at hearing words without seeing the speaker,
and exclaimed : " Who art thou, my lord ?"
" I am," replied the voice, " one of the slaves of
the characters which you see engraved upon the
drum, and am constantly in attendance ; but the
other servants will not appear unless the drum is
beaten loudly, when three hundred and sixty chiefs
will attend your commands, each of whom has under
his authority ten thousand genii, and every individual
of them numerous followers."
Mazin now inquired the distance of the islands of
Wauk-al-Wauk, to which the voice replied, " Three
years' journey." Upon this he struck the ball before
him, and followed it till he arrived in a region
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 349
infested by serpents, dragons, and ravenous beasts;
and here, too, there were mines of copper in the
mountains. He now taboured gently on the drum,
and the voice replied : " I am ready to obey your
"Inform me," said Mazin, "what is the name of
this country ? "
The voice replied : " It is called the land of dra
gons and ravenous animals. Be careful here, and
make no delay, nor regard fatigue ; for these moun
tains are not to be passed without a chance of trouble
from the inhabitants, who are genii ; and the caves
harbour furious wild beasts."
Upon this he struck the ball afresh, and followed
it unceasingly, until at length he reached the sea
shore and perceived the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk
at a distance, and their mountains appeared of a
fiery red, like the sky gilded by the beams of the
setting sun. When he beheld them he was struck
with awe and dread, but recovering, he said to him
self, " Why should I be afraid ? Since God has
conducted me hither, He will protect me now ; or if
I die, I shall be relieved from my troubles, and be
received into the mercy of God." He then gathered
some fruit, which he ate, drank some water, and,
having performed his ablutions, laid himself down to
sleep, and did not awake till morning.
350 New Arabian Nights.
In the morning Mazin tapped gently upon the drum,
when the voice inquired his commands. " How am I
to pass the sea and enter the islands ?" he inquired.
" That is not to be done," replied the voice, " with
out the assistance of a sage who resides in a cell on
yonder mountain. It is a day's journey, but the ball
will conduct you there in half an hour. When you
reach his abode knock gently at the door, when he
will appear and inquire whence you came and what
you want. When you enter he will receive you
kindly, and desire you to relate your adventures
from beginning to end. Conceal nothing from him
for he alone can assist you to pass the sea."
Mazin then struck the ball, and followed it till he
arrived at the abode of the hermit. He found the
gate locked, and when he knocked a voice from
within replied : " Who is at the gate ?"
"A guest," replied Mazin ; upon which the sage
arose, opened the door, and admitted him. He en
tertained him kindly for a whole night and day, after
which Mazin ventured to inquire how he could pass
The sage replied : " What occasions you to seek
such an object?"
" My lord," answered Mazin, " I desire to enter the
islands, and have travelled far from my own country
for that purpose."
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 3 5 1
When the sage heard this he stood up before him,
opened a book, and read it to himself for some time,
every now and then casting a look of astonishment
upon Mazin. At length he raised his head and ex
claimed : " Heavens, what troubles, disasters, and
afflictions in exile have been decreed to this youth
in search of his object !"
Upon this Mazin asked : " Wherefore, my lord, did
you look at the book and then at me so earnestly ? "
The sage replied : " My son, I will instruct you
how to reach the islands, since such is your desire ;
but you will not obtain your object till after much
labour and inconvenience. However, at present re
late to me your adventures from first to last."
"My lord," returned Mazin, "my story is so sur
prising, that if it were engraved on tablets of adamant
it would be an example for those who would take
When he had related his story from beginning to
end, the sage exclaimed : " God willing, you will
attain your wishes " ; upon which Mazin inq aired
respecting the sea surrounding the islands, and how
he could overcome such an impediment to his pro
gress. The sage then said : " By God's permission,
we will repair to the mountains in the morning, and
I will show you the wonders of the seas."
When God permitted morning to dawn, the hermit
35 2 New Arabian Nights.
arose, taking Mazin with him, and they ascended
the mountains till they reached a structure resem
bling a fortress, which they entered, and proceeded
to the inmost court, in which stood an enormous
brazen statue, hollowed into pipes, and having in
the midst of it a reservoir lined with marble, the
work of magicians. When Mazin beheld this, he
was astonished, and began to tremble with fear at
the vastness of the statue, and at the idea of the
miraculous powers it might contain. The hermit
now kindled a fire, threw some perfumes into it, and
muttered some unintelligible words, when suddenly
dark clouds arose, whence issued violent gusts of
wind, lightning, thunder, groans, and frightful noises,
and in the midst of the reservoir appeared boiling
waves, for it was near the ocean surrounding the
islands. The hermit did not cease to utter his
incantations until the hurricane and noises had
subsided by his authority, for he was more powerful
than any of the magicians, and had power over the
rebellious genii, He now said to Mazin, "Go out,
and look towards the ocean surrounding the islands."
Mazin repaired to the summit of the mountain,
and looked towards the sea, but could not distinguish
the smallest trace of its existence ; upon which he
was astonished at the miraculous power of the
hermit. He returned to him, exclaiming, " I can
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 353
behold no remains of the ocean, and the islands
appear joined to the mainland ; " when the sage said,
" My son, put thy reliance on God, and pursue thy
journey," after which he vanished from sight.
Mazin now advanced boldly towards the islands,
and did not stop until he reached a verdant
spot, watered by clear rivulets, and shaded by lofty
trees. It was now sunrise, and among the wonders
which he beheld was a tree like the weeping willow,
on which hung beautiful damsels instead of fruit,
who exclaimed : " Praise to God our Creator, who
has formed the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk." They
then dropped from the tree and expired.
At sight of this prodigy his senses were con
founded, and he exclaimed, "By heavens, this is
miraculously surprising ! "
When he had recovered himself, he wandered
through the groves, and admired the creations of
the Almighty till sunset, when he sat down to rest.
He had not rested long before a masculine-look
ing old woman of disagreeable appearance drew
near him ; and perceiving that he was alarmed
at her approach, reassured him, saying, " What is
your name, and what do you desire ; do you belong
to this country ? Tell me truly, and fear nothing,
for I will pray to God that I may be the means
of forwarding your wishes."
354 New Arabian Nights.
On hearing these words, the heart of Mazin was
encouraged, and he related to her his adventures
from first to last.
When she had heard his story, she knew that
he must be the husband of the sister of her mistress,
who was queen of the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk ;
and she said, " Your object is a difficult one, but I
will assist you to the utmost of my power."
The old woman now conducted Mazin through
bye paths to the capital of the island ; and during
the darkness of night, when the inhabitants had
ceased to pass through the streets, she led him to
her own house. She then offered him refreshments,
and he ate and drank with fresh appetite, and
praised God for his safe arrival. The old woman
then informed Mazin that his wife had endured
great troubles and afflictions since her separation,
and repented sincerely of her flight.
When Mazin heard this, he wept bitterly, and
fainted with anguish. The old woman revived him
by her exertions ; and after comforting him with
promises of the speedy attainment of his wishes,
she left him to repose.
Next morning the old woman, desiring Mazin to
wait patiently for her return, repaired to the
palace, where she found the queen and her sisters
in consultation respecting the wife of Mazin, and
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 355
saying, " This wretch has married a man, instead
of a prince of her own race ; but now she has
returned with her children, we will put her to
death after various tortures."
When the old lady entered they rose, saluted
her with great respect, and seated her, for she had
been their nurse. When she had rested a little,
she said, " Were you not conversing about your
unfortunate sister? But can you reverse the decrees
"Dear nurse," replied they, "no one can avoid
the will of Heaven ; and had she married one of
our own nature, there would have been no disgrace ;
but she has married a human being, by whom she
has had children, and all our race will reproach
and despise us on her account. Her death is there
The nurse rejoined, " If you put her to death,
your offence will be greater than hers, for she was
wedded lawfully ; but I wish to see her."
The eldest sister answered, " She is now confined
in a subterranean dungeon ; " upon which the nurse
again asked leave to see her, which was granted,
and one of the sisters conducted her to the prison
The nurse found the wife of Mazin in great
distress from the cruelty of her sisters. The children
were playing round her, but very pallid from the
356 New Arabian Nights.
closeness of their confinement. As the nurse entered,
she stood up, made her obeisance, and began to
weep, saying, "My dear nurse, I have been long
in this dungeon, and know not what may be my
fate at last."
The old woman kissed her cheeks, and said,
" My dear daughter, God will send you relief, per
chance this very day."
When the wife of Mazin heard this, she said,
" Good heavens, my dear nurse, your words recall
a gleam of comfort which last night came into my
mind from a voice which said : ' Be comforted, oh
wife of Mazin, for help is near.' "
Upon this, the old woman replied : " Comfort
indeed awaits you, for your husband is at my
house, and will speedily release you."
The unfortunate prisoner fainted with joy-, but
was soon revived by the nurse sprinkling water in
her face, when she said : " I conjure you by heaven,
my dear nurse, to tell me whether you speak the
truth, or whether you are dissembling."
" I not only speak truth," answered the nurse
but with God's help you shall meet your husband
After this she left her and returned home, when
she asked Mazin if he was able to take his wife away,
provided he was admitted into the dungeon at night.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 357
He replied " Yes." When night set in she conducted
him to the spot where his wife was imprisoned,
and left him near the gate alone. He then put on
his cap of invisibility and remained there all night
unperceived by any one. Early in the morning the
queen, his wife's eldest sister, came and opened the
gate of the prison and entered, when Mazin followed
unseen behind her, and seated himself in a corner of
the apartment. The queen went up to her sister and
beat her cruelly with a whip till she was covered
with blood, while the children wept around her. At
last she went out, leaving her hanging by her hair
from a pillar, and locked the door of the dungeon.
Mazin now arose, unloosed his wife's hair, and pulling
off the cap appeared before her, when she exclaimed :
" From whence did you come ? "
They fell into each other's arms, and he said :
" Ah, why did you act thus, and leave me in such
affliction, and plunge yourself into such distress,
which, indeed, your conduct almost deserved ? "
" It is true," replied she ; " but what is past is past,
and reproach will not avail unless you can effect our
Upon this he asked : " Does your inclination really
lead you to accompany me to my own country ? "
And she replied : " Yes, deal with me as you think
358 New Arabian Nights.
They remained conversing until evening, when the
keeper of the prison approached, and Mazin put on
his cap of invisibility. The keeper, who had brought
provisions for the night, retired into a recess of
the dungeon and fell asleep, when Mazin and his
family sat down and refreshed themselves. Mazin
then tried the door and found it unlocked, upon
which he and his wife and children left the prison
and travelled as quickly as possible all night. When
the queen was informed of her sister's escape in the
morning, she was enraged, and summoned an army
of seven thousand genii, with whom she marched out,
resolved to cut the fugitives to pieces.
Mazin, looking behind him, perceived a cloud of
dust, from whence emerged the forces of his wife's
sister, crying out with terrible voices : " Whither will
ye fly, ye wretches? Where can you hide your
selves ? "
Upon this Mazin took out his drum and beat it
violently, when lo, there appeared before him count
less legions of genii, who fought with the armies of
the queen, who was taken prisoner with her principal
When the wife of Mazin beheld her sister in this
distress, her compassion was moved towards her, and
she said to her husband : 4< Hurt not my sister, nor
use her ill, for she is older than I ; " upon which he
Mazin perceived a cloud of dust, from whence emerged the forces of
his wife's sister.
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 361
treated her respectfully, and commanded tents to be
pitched for her and her court.
Peace being established, the sisters took an affec
tionate leave ; and Mazin, with his family, departed
for the residence of Abd al Sulleeb, which they
speedily reached with the assistance of the genii,
and the directing ball. The old man received him
kindly and inquired his adventures. When he related
them to him, he was surprised, especially at the
account of the cap, the drum, and the ball, of which
last Mazin begged his acceptance, as he was now
near home and had no further occasion for its use.
Abd al Sulleeb was much pleased, and entertained
him magnificently for three days, after which Mazin
wished to depart, when the old man presented him
with rich gifts, and took leave of him.
Mazin was continuing his journey, when suddenly
a company of a hundred banditti advanced towards
him with the intention of putting him and his
companions to death and plundering the caravan.
Mazin cried out to them : " Brother Arabs, let the
covenant of God be between you and me, and keep
at a distance from me."
When they heard this they increased their
insolence, and surrounded him, supposing they could
easily seize all that he had, and they said one to
another : " Let us put him to death and not suffer
him to live."
362 New Arabian Nights.
When Mazin saw that they were bent upon attack
ing him, he took out the drum and beat it gently, when
behold ten genii appeared before him, and inquired
his commands. He replied : " I desire the dispersal
of yonder horsemen." Upon which one of the ten
advanced among the hundred banditti and uttered
such a tremendous yell that the mountains re-echoed
the sound. The banditti were instantly struck with
terror, and fled among the rocks, while such as fell
from their horses' backs escaped on foot, so that they
lost their reputation, and were ridiculed among the
chiefs of the Abbasside tribes. Mazin now pursued
his journey, and did not halt until he reached the
abode of Abd al Kuddoos, who advanced to meet him,
and saluted him, but was astonished when he beheld
his company and the wealth he had attained. Mazin
related the dangers that had befallen him, and his
sufferings from hunger and thirst, his safe arrival in
the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk, the deliverance of his
wife from prison, and the defeat of the army sent to
oppose his return. He mentioned also the reconcilia
tion between his wife and her sister, and all that had
happened to him from first to last.
Abd al Kuddocs was greatly astonished at his
adventures, and said to Mazin : " Truly, my son,
these events are most surprising, and can never have
occurred to any one else."
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 363
Mazin rested there for three days, and was treated
with hospitality and respect until the fourth, when he
resolved to continue his journey, and took his leave.
He proceeded towards his own country, and did not
halt on the way until he arrived at the palace of the
seven sisters, who had so much befriended him.
When Mazin drew near, the sisters came out to
meet him, and saluted him and his wife, and con
ducted them to the palace ; but they were astonished
at his return, and at first could hardly believe that he
had succeeded, wondering that he had not perished
on the road or been torn in pieces by the wild beasts
of the desert, for they had regarded it as impossible
that he should ever reach the islands of Wauk-al-
When they were seated and had heard his extra
ordinary adventures, they were even more astonished ;
after which refreshments were brought in and they
all ate together. They then wrote a letter and des
patched it to the mother of Mazin, congratulating
her on the health of her son, and his safe return
with his wife and children.
Mazin remained with the sisters a month, enjoying
himself in feasting and amusements ; after which he
begged permission to depart to his own country, for
he was anxious about his mother. They took leave
of him and he travelled unceasingly till he arrived
364 New Arabian Nights.
at Bagdad. He entered the city at sunset and
proceeded to his own house, when his mother came
out and saluted and embraced him. She had erected
her tomb in the court of the house, and wept night
and day till she became blind ; but when the letter
arrived from the sisters her sight returned to her
again from the rapture of her joy. She beheld the
children of her son and embraced them, and that
night was as a holy festival to her.
When God caused the morning to dawn, the chief
personages of the city visited Mazin to congratulate
him on his return, and the principal ladies came to
visit his mother, and rejoiced with her on the safety
of her son. At length the news reached the Caliph
Haroun al Rashid, who summoned Mazin to his
presence. Having entered the hall of audience, he
made his obeisance, when the Caliph returned his
salute and commanded him to sit down. When he
was seated, the Caliph demanded that he should
inform him of all that had befallen him, to which he
answered : " To hear is to obey."
Mazin then related how he had been decoyed away
from home by the fire-worshipper, the mode of his
coming to the palace of the seven sisters, the rnanner
in which he had entrapped his wife, her flight from
the palace of the Sultana Zobeide, his journey to
the islands of Wauk-al-Wauk, and the dangers
The Story of Mazin of Khorassan. 365
and difficulties which he had encountered on the
The Caliph was astonished, and said: "The sub
stance of these adventures must not be lost or
concealed, but must be recorded in writing." He
then sent for an amanuensis, and seated Mazin by
him until he had taken down his adventures from
beginning to end.
ABU NEUT AND ABU NEUTEEN.
PERSON named Abu Neut (or the well-
intentioned), being much distressed in his
own country, resolved to seek a better
livelihood in another. Accordingly he took
with him a single piastre, which was all that
he possessed, and began his journey. He had not
travelled far when a man overtook him, whose name
was Abu Neuteen (or the double-minded). They
entered into conversation, and as they were both
seeking to improve their fortunes, they agreed to
travel together ; and it was settled that Abu Neut
should be the bearer of the common stock. The
other possessed ten piastres.
After some days' toilsome journey, they reached
a city ; and when they entered, a beggar cried out,
" Worthy believers, disburse your alms, and you
shall be rewarded tenfold." Upon this, Abu Neut
gave him a piastre ; but his companion, enraged at
what he considered prodigality, demanded back his
Abu Neut and Abie Neuteen. 367
money, which was given him, when he marched off,
leaving his new friend penniless. Abu Neut, resigned
to his fate, and relying on Providence, proceeded
to a mosque to pay his devotions, hoping to meet
with some charitable person who would relieve his
necessities. But he was mistaken, for although he
remained in the mosque for a night and a day, no
one offered him charity. At length he stole out in
the dusk of evening, and wandered through the
streets fainting with hunger. Presently he perceived
a servant throwing fragments from an eating-cloth,
when he advanced, gathered them up, and sat down
in a corner, where he gnawed the bones and broken
fragments with eagerness, after which he raised his
eyes to heaven, and thanked God for his scanty
meal. The servant, who had watched his proceed
ings, was surprised and affected at his wretched
condition and his devotion. He informed his
master, who being a charitable man, took ten piastres
from his purse, and ordered the servant to give them
to Abu Neut.
The avaricious servant retained one piastre as his
perquisite, and delivered the rest to Abu Neut, who
counted the money, and thanked God for his bounty,
but said that, agreeably to the scriptural declaration,
he ought to have had tenfold for the piastre which
he had given to the beggar. The master of the
368 New Arabian Nights.
servant, overhearing this, called Abu Neut upstairs
and having seated him, inquired his story, which he
faithfully related to his host, who was a merchant,
and was so much pleased with his pious simplicity,
that he resolved to befriend him, and desired him
to abide in his house for the present.
After Abu Neut had resided with his new friend
for some days, the merchant, who was punctual in
discharging the duties of religion, examined his
stock, and set apart the tenth of it in kind, which
he bestowed upon his guest, advising him to open
a shop, and try his fortune in trade. Abu Neut did
so, and was so successful that in a few years he
became one of the richest merchants in the place.
One day, as he was sitting in his warehouse, he
caught sight of his old companion, Abu Neuteen, in
the street. He was lean, clothed in rags, and his eyes
were sunken and dim, and he was begging alms of
the passengers with the importunate cry of distress.
Abu Neut, compassionating his miserable situation,
sent a servant to call him, and on his arrival he
saluted him, and sent for refreshments to relieve his
immediate want. He then invited him to spend the
night at his house ; and in the evening he shut up
his warehouse and conducted him home, where a
bath was made warm for him ; and when he had
bathed, he was presented with a change of hand-
A bath was made warm for him.
Abu Neut and Abu Neuteen. 371
some apparel. Supper was served, and when they
had eaten till they were satisfied, they conversed
on various subjects. At length Abu Neut exclaimed,
" Do you not recollect me, my brother ? "
" No, by Allah, most liberal host," replied the other ;
" who are you ? "
"I was your travelling companion at such a
period," answered Abu Neut ; " but my disposition
is still unchanged, and I have not forgotten our old
connection. Half of what I possess is yours."
Having said this, Abu Neut balanced his accounts,
and gave half his property to his distressed fellow-
traveller, who stocked a warehouse, and traded for
himself with good success. The two friends lived
near each other for some time in good repute, when
Abu Neuteen became restless, and requested Abu
Neut to quit their present abode, and travel for
recreation and profit.
" My dear friend," replied Abu Neut, " why should
we travel ? Have we not ease and affluence here, and
what more can we enjoy in any part of the world ? "
But his remonstrances had no effect on Abu
Neuteen, who became so importunate that at length
his kind friend yielded to his whim. So they prepared
a caravan, loaded an ample stock of merchandise
on mules and camels, and departed for the city of
372 New Arabian Nights.
After travelling for ten days, they encamped one
evening near a deep well. In the morning, Abu
Neut was let down into the well by his own desire,
in order to fill the water-bags more easily for the
use of the men and animals belonging to the caravan,
little suspecting what Providence had decreed to
befall him ; for his ungrateful friend, who envied his
prosperity and coveted his wealth, loaded the beasts,
cut the rope at the top of the well, and departed,
leaving him to his fate.
Abu Neut remained all day without food, but
humbly putting his trust in Allah for deliverance.
About the middle of the following night, he over
heard two afreets conversing with each other, when
one said : " I am now perfectly happy, for at length
I have possessed the beautiful Princess of Mosul ;
and no one can drive me away, unless by sprinkling
the infusion of wormwood under her feet on a
Friday, during Divine service in the great mosque ;
a form of exorcism which will hardly be found out."
" I have been as fortunate as yourself," replied the
other afreet, " for I am in possession of such a
hidden treasure of gold and jewels under the mound
near Mosul that the amount cannot be computed.
The talisman cannot be opened to any one unless
by killing a white cock on the mound, and pouring
the blood over it. I imagine that no man will dis-
Abu Neut and Abu Neuteen. 373
cover the secret." Having said this, the afreets
took their flight from the well.
Abu Neut treasured up in his mind the conversa
tion of the afreets, and at daylight was happily
released from the well upon the arrival of a caravan,
some of the followers of which were let down to fetch
water, and having discovered him, charitably drew
him up, and gave him some food. When he was
somewhat revived, they asked him by what accident
he had remained in the well ; upon which he con
cealed the treachery of his ungrateful companion, and
informed them that he had slept by the brink, and
had fallen in ; and as his fellow travellers had not
missed him at the time, the caravan had continued
its journey without him. He then begged leave to
accompany his generous deliverers to Mosul, to which
they agreed, and liberally furnished him with a con
On entering the city, Abu Neut perceived all the
population in motion, and on inquiring the reason,
was informed that they were hastening to the great
square before the palace, to see the beheading of a
physician, who had failed in attempting to expel
a demon who had long possessed the daughter of
the Sultan, and that this had been the fate of many
unhappy men who had tried their skill* upon the
unfortunate princess. Upon this intelligence he
374 New Arabian Nights.
hastened with all speed to the palace, and having
obtained admission to the Sultan, made the usual
prostrations, after which he offered to expel the
demon, and begged as part of his reward the life of
the unsuccessful physician. The Sultan consented
to delay the execution, but declared that if Abu
Neut should fail in his undertaking, he would
execute them both together, as ignorant pretenders
to their art. Abu Neut then begged that the trial
of his skill might be deferred until the next Friday,
which he requested of the Sultan might be solemnly
observed, as the devout prayers of all true believers
would draw down a blessing on his operations. To
this the Sultan agreed, and the unfortunate physician
was released from the executioner, and commanded
to be kept in the palace, in which Abu Neut had
likewise an apartment allotted to him. Proclamation
was then made throughout the city for the strict ob
servance of religious worship on the approaching
Friday, under pain of the royal displeasure on those
who should neglect it.
When Friday arrived, and the whole city was
assembled at prayers, Abu Neut prepared the in
fusion of wormwood as the afreet had mentioned.
Being introduced into the apartment of the princess,
who lay in a melancholy stupor, he poured the
infusion upon her feet, when a loud yell was heard
Abu Neut and Abie Neuteen. 375
near her, and she started up as if from sleep, and
called to her attendants to assist her in rising. News
was immediately conveyed to the Sultan of the prin
cess's recovery, and he came, overjoyed to find that
her senses had returned. He commanded public
rejoicings to be made, distributed large sums in
alms, and desired Abu Neut to demand what he
chose for his important services, at the same time
ordering the unsuccessful physician to be set at
liberty with a handsome present.
Abu Neut, who had been captivated by the beauty
of the princess, asked her hand in marriage as his
reward. Upon this the Sultan consulted with his
viziers, who advised him to dismiss the petitioner
for the present, with orders to return in the morning,
when he should receive the Sultan's decision on a
request which demanded much consideration. When
Abu Neut had retired, the viziers represented to the
Sultan that it was fitting that the husband of his
daughter should at least possess great wealth ; for
although Abu Neut had expelled the demon, yet if
he could not support her in a manner becoming her
rank, he was not worthy to marry her. They there
fore advised him to select a number of his most
valuable jewels, to show them to Abu Neut, and to
demand as a dowry for the princess some of equal
value. If he could produce them he was ready to
376 New Arabian Nights.
receive him as his son-in-law, but if not he must
accept a compensation for his services more suited
to his condition than the royal alliance.
When Abu Neut appeared at court next day, the
Sultan displayed the jewels, and made the proposal
advised by his viziers. But Abu Neut looked upon
the brilliant stones before him with the utmost in
difference, and assured the Sultan that he would
next day present him with ten times the number, of
superior value and lustre. This astonished the whole
court ; for it was well known that no prince pos
sessed richer gems than those belonging to the
Sultan of Mosul.
Abu Neut took leave of the Sultan, and proceeded
to the poultry market, where he bought a cock which
was entirely white and free from blemish. He carried
it to his lodgings, where he continued till the rising
of the moon, when he walked out of the city alone,
and hastened to the mound of bluish earth which the
afreet of the well had mentioned as containing in
valuable hidden treasures. Having arrived at the
mound, he ascended it and cut the throat of the
cock, and as soon as the blood began to flow the
earth shook and made an opening, through which,
to his great satisfaction, he perceived such heaps of
inestimable precious stones of all sorts as are not to
be adequately described. Abu Neut now returned
Abu Neut and Abu Neuteen. 379
to the city, where, having procured ten camels with
two panniers on each, he returned and loaded
them with his treasure, which he conveyed to his
lodging, having first filled up the opening in the
In the morning Abu Neut repaired with his loaded
camels to the palace, and, entering the court of the
divan where the Sultan sat expecting him, he made
a profound obeisance, and exclaimed : " Descend for
a moment, my lord, and examine the dowry of the
The Sultan rose from his throne, and descended
the steps of the hall. The camels were made to
kneel, and he examined the panniers, and was so
astonished at the richness of their contents, being
jewels far surpassing his own in size and lustre, that
he exclaimed : " By Allah, if the treasures of all the
sultans of the world were brought together, they
could not afford gems equal to these ! "
When he was a little recovered from his surprise,
he asked his viziers how he should now act towards
Abu Neut, when they all cried out together : " By
all means give him your daughter ! "
The marriage was immediately celebrated with
great splendour ; and Abu Neut conducted himself
so well in his high station that the Sultan, his father-
in-law, committed to him the giving public audience
380 New Arabian Nights.
in his stead, and the decision of all appeals three days
in each week.
Some days after his elevation, Abu Neut was
giving audience in the magnificent hall of one of
his country palaces, when he beheld a man among
the crowd of a sorrowful aspect, who cried out : " O
true believers, O charitable gentlemen, relieve the
Abu Neut sent one of his attendants to bring him
to his presence, when he immediately recognised his
treacherous companion who had left him in the
well. Without making himself known, or betray
ing any emotion but that of compassion, he ordered
attendants to conduct him to the warm bath ; and
after bathing he was arrayed in a magnificent robe
and again brought to the divan. Abu Neut then
retired with him into a private apartment, and said :
" Do you not know me, my old friend ? "
" No, by Allah ! " replied the other.
" Know then," returned he, " that I am Abu Neut,
your benefactor and companion, whom you trea
cherously left in the well." He then related all his
adventures, and added that so far from resenting his
treachery, he regarded his conduct as the impulse of
fate, and as the means by which he himself had
attained to his present dignity and affluence, which
he would share with him.
Abu Neut and Abu Neiiteen. 381
But the envious heart of Abu Neuteen was un
conquerable ; and, instead of thanking the noble-
minded Abu Neut for his forgiveness and liberality,
he exclaimed : " Since the well has been so fortunate
to you, why should it not also prove so to me?"
Having said this, he hastily rose up and quitted the
palace, without even taking leave of Abu Neut, who
would not punish his rudeness.
Abu Neuteen then hastened with all speed to the
well, and, having descended by a rope, sat down,
impatiently expecting the arrival of the two afreets,
who alighted on the terrace above about midnight
They sat down by the well and began to inquire
into each other's adventures.
" Since we last met," said one, " I have been
rendered miserable ; for a cunning Muslim found
out the means of overpowering me, and has married
my princess, and I cannot revenge myself, for he is
under the protection of one of the converted genii,
whom the Prophet has appointed to watch over him."
" I have been just as unfortunate as yourself," re
plied the other afreet, " for the same man who has
married the princess discovered my hidden treasure,
and keeps it in spite of my efforts to recover it. But
let us fill up this abominable well, which has been
the cause of all our misfortunes."
Having said this the two afreets immediately
382 New Arabian Nights.
hurled the large stones from the terrace into the well,
and crushed the ungrateful and envious Abu Neuteen
Some days afterwards the good Abu Neut, find
ing that he did not return, visited the well, and
seeing it fallen in, ordered it to be cleared, when
the discovery of the body proved to him that the
malicious spirit of the wretch had been the cause
of his own destruction. He exclaimed reverently :
" There is no strength nor refuge but in Almighty
God. May He preserve us from envy, which is de
structive to the envious alone ! "
Abu Neut returned to the capital, where his father-
in-law, the Sultan, soon afterwards died, and left him
heir to the kingdom. His succession was disputed
by the husbands of the two elder sisters of his wife ;
but the ministers and people being in favour of the
Sultan's will, they resigned their pretensions and
submitted to his authority. But when two sons were
successively born, the sisters bribed the servants to
make away with them, and accounted for their dis
appearance by some idle tale. On the occasion of
the birth of a princess, however, Abu Neut happened
to intercept the servant who was carrying away the
infant. The two other children had been thrown out
at the gate of one of the royal palaces, but were
taken up by the gardener and his wife, who brought
Abu Neitt and Abu Neuteen. 383
them up as their own. A few years afterwards Abu
Neut visited the garden with his daughter, who
showed an instinctive affection for them. From this,
and from observing their martial sports (for they had
made themselves horses of clay, bows and arrows,
etc.) he was led to ask the gardener if they were
really his own children. Upon this the gardener
told him that he had found them exposed at the
gate of the palace ; and further inquiries resulted in
the discovery of the royal birth of the children, and
in the disclosure of the whole plot. But Abu Neut,
though informed of the wickedness and imposition
of the sisters, left them to be punished by the pangs
of their own consciences, convinced that envy is its
own severest tormentor. The two young princes
were acknowledged as the sons of the good Abu
Neut, who had the satisfaction of seeing them grow
up to follow his example.
THE FISHERMAN'S SON.
'HERE was once a fisherman's son who
caught a large fish, which his father pro
posed to present to the Sultan, in hopes of
receiving a great reward. While the father
went to fetch a basket, the son, in compassion,
threw the fish back into the water ; but fearful of his
father's anger, fled from the country to a distant
city, where he obtained employment as a servant.
Strolling through the market one day he saw a Jew
purchase a cock at a very high price, which he sent
to his wife by a slave, with orders to keep it safely
till his return home. The fisherman's son suspected
that the Jew would not have given so high a price
for the cock unless it possessed some extraordinary
property; and resolved to obtain possession of it. He
therefore bought two large fowls and carried them
to the Jew's wife, whom he informed that her hus
band had sent him for the cock, which he had
exchanged for the fowls. She gave him the cock
The Fisherman s Son. 385
which he took home and killed, when he found
a magic ring in its entrails. He rubbed it, when
a voice proceeded from it, inquiring the commands of
its possessor, which should be immediately executed
by the genii who were the servants of the ring.
The fisherman's son was rejoiced at his good
fortune, and while meditating what use he should
make of his ring, passed by the Sultan's palace, at the
gate of which were suspended many human'- heads.
On inquiring the reason, he was informed that they
were those of unfortunate princes who had been put
to death for failing to perform the conditions on
which the Sultan's daughter had been offered them in
marriage. He resolved to demand the princess's hand
himself, hoping for better fortune with the aid of the
ring. He rubbed it, and asked for a magnificent
dress, which was instantly laid before him. He put
it on and repaired to the palace, and being intro
duced to the Sultan, demanded the hand of his
daughter. The Sultan consented on condition that
his life should be forfeited unless he could remove
a lofty and extensive mound of sand which lay on
one side of the palace, which must be done before he
could wed the princess. He accepted the condition,
demanding an interval of forty days to perform his
task, which was granted him.
He then took leave and repaired to his lodging,
386 New Arabian Nights.
when he rubbed his rkig and commanded the genii
to remove the mound and to erect on the space it
covered a magnificent palace, suitably furnished for
a royal residence. In fifteen days the task was com
pleted, when he was wedded to the princess and
declared heir to the Sultan.
In the meanwhile the Jew whom he had tricked
out of the cock and the magic ring, was making
preparations to travel in search of his lost prize,
when he was informed of the wonderful removal of
the mound, and of the erection of the palace. He
concluded that this must have been done by means
of his ring, and he devised the following stratagem
to recover it. He disguised himself as a merchant,
repaired to the palace and cried some valuable
jewels for sale. The princess, hearing this, sent an
attendant to examine them and inquire their price,
when the Jew asked in exchange only old rings.
When this was reported to the princess she remem
bered that her husband kept an old shabby looking
ring in his writing stand, and as he was asleep, and
she did not wish to disturb him, she took it out and
sent it to the Jew, who knew it to be the ring which
he had so long sought for, and eagerly gave for it all
the* jewels in his basket. He carried off his prize,
and having rubbed the ring, commanded the genii to
carry the palace and all its inhabitants, except the
The Fisherman s Son. 389
fisherman's son, to a distant desert island, which was
When the fisherman's son awoke in the morning,
he found himself lying on the mound of sand which
had again covered the spot. He arose in terror,
fearing that the Sultan would put him to death in
revenge for the loss of his daughter, and fled to
another kingdom as quickly as possible. Here he
lived a miserable life, subsisting on the sale of some
jewels which he happened to have about him at the
time of his flight. As he was strolling through a
town one day, a man offered him a dog, a cat, and
a rat for sale. He purchased and kept them, divert
ing his melancholy with their tricks and uncommon
playfulness. These supposed animals proved to be
magicians, and in return for his kindness to them
they promised their master aid in the recovery
of his lost prize. He eagerly thanked them, and
they all set out in search of the palace, the ring, and
the princess. At length, after a long journey, they
reached the ocean and perceived the island where
the palace stood, when the dog swam over, carry
ing the cat and the rat on his back. When they
reached the palace the rat entered and found the
Jew asleep upon a sofa, with the ring laid before
him. He took it in his mouth and returned to his
companions, upon which they began to cross the sea
3QO New Arabian Nights.
as before ; but when they were half way over, the
dog expressed a wish to carry the ring in his mouth.
The rat refused, lest he should drop it ; but the dog
threatened to dive and drown them all in the sea
if he would not give it him. The rat, fearing for his
life, complied with the demand, but the dog missed
his aim in catching at the ring, which fell into the sea.
When they landed and informed the fisherman's son
of the loss, he resolved to drown himself, when just as
he was about to execute his purpose a great fish
appeared with the ring in his mouth, and swimming
close to shore, dropped it within reach of the de
spairing youth, exclaiming :
" I am the fish whom you released from captivity,
and thus reward you for your generosity."
The fisherman's son returned overjoyed to his
father-in-law's capital, and when night fell he rubbed
the ring and commanded the genii to convey the
palace back to its old site. This being done in an
instant, he entered the palace and seized the Jew,
whom he commanded to be cast alive into a burning
pit, in which he was consumed. From this period
he lived happily with the princess, and on the death
of the Sultan he succeeded to his dominions.
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