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; t a 




(Paris omnia para) 

Arab Proverb. 

'Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole." 

"Decameron " conclusion. 

" Erubui t, posuitque meum Lucretia librum 

Sed coram Bru to. Brute I recede, leget. " 


" Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre, 

Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes. ' ' 


"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One 
Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small 
part of these truly enchanting fictions." 

CRICHTON'S "History of Arabia, 



anfc a 








Shammar Edition 

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, 
of which this is 






To whom with more pleasure or propriety can I inscribe 
this volume than to my preceptor of past times ; my dear old friend, 
whose deep study and vast experience of such light literature as The 
Nights made me so often resort to him for good counsel and right 
direction ? Accept this little token of gratitude, and believe me, with 
the best of wishes and the kindest of memories, 

Ever your sincere and attached 


LONDON, July 15, 1886. 


AFTER offering my cordial thanks to friends and subscribers 
who have honoured "THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT" 
(Kama Shastra Society) with their patronage and approbation, 
I would inform them that my "'Anthropological Notes " are by 
no means exhausted, and that I can produce a complete work 
only by means of a somewhat extensive Supplement. I therefore 
propose to print (not publish), for private circulation only, five 
volumes, bearing title 




This volume and its successor (Nos. i. and ii.) contain Mr. John 
Payne's Tales from the Arabic ; his three tomes, being included 
in my two. The stories are taken from the Breslau Edition 
where they are distributed among the volumes between Nos. iv. 
and xii., and from the Calcutta fragment of 1814. I can say 
little for the style of the story-stuff contained in this Breslaa 
text, which has been edited with phenomenal incuriousness. 
Many parts are hopelessly corrupted, whilst at present we have 
no means of amending the commissions and of supplying the 
omissions by comparison with other manuscripts. The Arabic 

vHi The Translator's Foreword. 

is not only faulty, but dry and jejune, comparing badly with that 
of the "Thousand Nights and a Night," as it appears in the 
Macnaghten and the abridged Bulak Texts. Sundry of the tales 
are futile ; the majority has little to recommend it, and not a few 
require a diviner rather than a translator. Yet they are valuable 
to students as showing the different sources and the hetero- 
geneous materials from and of which the great Saga-book has been 
compounded. Some are, moreover, striking and novel, especially 
parts of the series entitled King Shah Bakht and his Wazir 
Al-Rahwan (pp. 191-355). Interesting also is the Tale of the 
"Ten Wazirs " (pp. 55-155), marking the transition of the 
Persian Bakhtiyar-Nameh into Arabic. In this text also and 
in this only is found Galland's popular tale " Abou-Hassan ; 
or, the Sleeper Awakened," which I have entitled a The Sleeper 
and the Waker." 

In the ten volumes of " The Nights " proper, I mostly 
avoided parallels of folk-lore and fabliaux which, however 
interesting and valuable to scholars, would have over-swollen 
the bulk of a work especially devoted to Anthropology. In the 
" Supplementals," however it is otherwise ; and, as Mr. W. A. 
Clouston, the " Storiologist," has obligingly agreed to collaborate 
with me, I shall pay marked attention to this subject, which 
will thus form another raison d'etre for the additional volumes. 


December i, 1886. 




(Lane, ii. pp. 352-79, The Story of Abu-l- Hasan the Wag, or the Sleeper Awakened). 


















x Contents. 


























Contents. xi 











WERE RESTORED TO HIM ......... 253 


























IT hath reached me, O auspicious King, that there was once & 
Baghdad, in the Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, a man and a 
merchant, who had a son Abu al-Hasan-al-Khah"a by name. 8 
The merchant died leaving great store of wealth to his heir who 

1 Arab. " Al-Naim wa al-Yakzn." This excellent story is not in the Mac. or Bresl. 
Edits.; but is given in the Breslau Text, iv. 134-189 (Nights cclxxii.-ccxci). It is familiar 
to readers of the old "Arabian Nights Entertainments " as " Abou- Hassan or the Sleeper 
Awakened ; " and as yet it is the only one of the eleven added by Galland whose original 
has been discovered in Arabic : the learned Frenchman, however, supplied it with embel- 
lishments more suo, and seems to have taken it from an original fuller than our text as 
is shown by sundry poetical and other passages which he apparently did not invent. 
Lane (vol. ii. chap. 12.), noting that its chief and best portion is an historical anecdote 
related as a fact, is inclined to think that it is not a genuine tale of The Nights. He 
finds it in Al-Ishakf who finished his history about the close of Sultan Mustafa the 
Osmanli's reign, circa A.H. 1032 (= 1623) and he avails himself of this version as it is 
"narrated in a simple and agreeable manner." Mr. Payne remarks, ("The above title 
(Asleep and Awake) is of course intended to mark the contrast between the everyday 
(or waking) hours of Aboulhusn and his fantastic life in the Khalif s palace, sup. 
posed by him to have passed in a dream ; " I may add that amongst frolicsome Eastern 
despots the adventure might often have happened and that it might have given a hint to 

i.e. The Wag. See vol. i. 311 : the old version calls him "the Debauchee." 
VOL. I. A 

2 Supplemental Nights. 

divided it into two equal parts, whereof he laid up one and spent 
of the other half; and he fell to companying with Persians 1 and 
'with the sons of the merchants and he gave himself up to good drink- 
ing and good eating, till all the wealth 2 he had with him was wasted 
and wantoned ; whereupon he betook himself to his friends and 
comrades and cup-companions and expounded to them his case, dis- 
covering to them the failure of that which was in his hand of wealth. 
But not one of them took heed of him or even deigned answer him. 
So he returned to his mother (and indeed his spirit was broken) 
and related to her that which had happened to him and what had 
befallen him from his friends, how they had neither shared with 
him nor requited him with speech. Quoth she, "O Abu al- 
Hasan, on this wise are the sons 3 of this time : an thou have aught, 
they draw thee near to them, 4 and if thou have naught, they put 
thee away from them." And she went on to condole with him, 

what while he bewailed himself and his tears flowed and he 


repeated these lines : 

An wane my wealth, no man will succour me, o When my wealth waxeth 

all men friendly show : 
How many a friend, for wealth showed friendliness o Who, when my wealth 

departed, turned to foe! 

Then he sprang up and going to the place wherein was the other 
half of his good, took it and lived with it well ; and he sware that 
he would never again consort with a single one of those he had 
known, but would company only with the stranger nor entertain 
even him but one night and that, when it morrowed, he would never 
know him more. Accordingly he fell to sitting every eventide on 
the bridge over Tigris and looking at each one who passed by him; 

1 Arab. "Al-Fars"; a people famed for cleverness and debauchery. I cannot sec 
why Lane omitted the Persians, unless he had Persian friends at Cairo. 

* I.*, the half he intended for spending-money. 

' i.t. "men,'' a characteristic Arab idiom : here it applies to the sons of all time. 

i.e. make much oi thee. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 3 

and if he saw him to be a stranger, he made friends with him and 
carried him to his house, where he conversed and caroused with 
him all night till morning. Then he dismissed him and would 
never more salute him with the Salam nor ever more drew 
near unto him neither invited him again. Thus he continued 
to do for the space of a full year, till, one day, while he sat 
on the bridge, as was his wont, expecting who should come co 
him so he might take him and pass the night with him, behold, 
up came the Caliph and Masrur, the Sworder of his vengeance 1 
disguised in merchants' dress, according to their custom, So 
Abu al-Hasan looked at them and rising, because he knew 
them not, asked them, " What say ye ? Will ye go with me to my 
dwelling-place, so ye may eat what is ready and drink what is at 
hand, to wit, platter-bread 2 and meat cooked and wine strained?" 
The Caliph refused this, but he conjured him and said to him, 
" Allah upon thee, O my lord, go with me, for thou art my guest 
this night, and baulk not my hopes of thee ! " And he ceased not 
to press him till he consented ; whereat Abu al-Hasan rejoiced 
and walking on before him, gave not over talking with him till 
they came to his house and he carried the Caliph into the saloon. 
Al-Rashid entered a hall such as an thou sawest it and gazedst 
upon its walls, thou hadst beheld marvels ; and hadst thou looked 
narrowly at its water-conduits thou wouldst have seen a fountain 
cased with gold. The Caliph made his man abide at the door ; 
and, as soon as he was seated, the host brought him somewhat 
to eat ; so he ate, and Abu al-Hasan ate with him that eating 
might be grateful to him. Then he removed the tray and they 
washed their hands and the Commander of the Faithful sat down 

1 In Lane the Caliph is accompanied by " certain of his domestics." 

2 Arab. " Khubz Mutabbak," bread baked in a platter, instead of in an oven, an 
earthen jar previously heated, to the sides of which the scones or bannocks of dough 
are applied : " it is lighter than oven-bread, especially if it be made thin and leavened." 
See Al-Shakurf, a medical writer quoted by Dozy. 

4 Supplemental Nights. 

again ; whereupon Abu al-Hasan set on the drinking vessels and 
seating himself by his side, fell to filling and giving him to drink 1 
and entertaining him with discourse. And when they had drunk 
their sufficiency the host called for a slave-girl like a branch of 
Ban who took a lute and sang to it these two couplets : 

O thou aye dwelling in my heart, o Whileas thy form is far from sight, 
Thou art my sprite by me unseen, o Yet nearest near art thou, my sprite. 

His hospitality pleased the Caliph and the goodliness of his 
manners, and he said to him, " O youth, who art thou ? Make me 
acquainted with thyself, so I may requite thee thy kindness." But 
Abu al-Hasan smiled and said, " O my lord, far be it, alas ! that 
what is past should again come to pass and that I company witk 
thee at other time than this time ! " The Prince of True Believers 
asked, " Why so ? and why wilt thou not acquaint me with thy 
case ? " and Abu al-Hasan answered, " Know, O my lord, that my 
story is strange and that there is a cause for this affair." Quoth 
Al-Rashid, " And what is the cause ? " and quoth he, " The cause 
hath a tail." The Caliph 2 laughed at his words and Abu al-Hasaa 
said, " I will explain to thee this saying by the tale of the Larrikia 
and the Cook. So hear thou, O my lord, the 


One of the ne'er-do-wells found himself one fine morning 
without aught and the world was straitened upon him and patience 

1 In other parts of The Nights Harun al-Rashid declines wine-drinking. 

* The 'Allamah (doctissimus) Sayce (p. 212, Comparative Philology, London, Triibner, 
1885) goes far back for Khalifah = a deputy, a successor. He begins with the Semitic 
(Hebrew P) root " Khaliph " = to change, exchange : hence " Khaleph " = agio- From 
this the Greeks got their KoAAvos and Cicero his "Collybus," a money-lender. 

3 Arab. " Harfiish," (in Bresl. Edit. iv. 138, " Kharfush "), in popular parlance a 
" blackguard." I have to thank Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal, of New York, for sending 
me a MS. copy of this tale. 

Story of the Larrikin and the Cook. 5 

failed him ; so he lay down to sleep and ceased not slumbering till 
the sun stang him and the foam came out upon his mouth, 
whereupon he arose, and he was penniless and had not even so 
much as a single dirham. Presently he arrived at the shop of a 
Cook, who had set his pots and pans over the fire and washed his 
saucers and wiped his scales and swept his shop and sprinkled it ; 
and indeed his fats and oils were clear and clarified and his spices 
fragrant and he himself stood behind his cooking-pots ready to 
serve customers. So the Larrikin, whose wits had been sharpened 
by hunger, went in to him and saluting him, said to him, " Weigh 
me half a dirham's worth of meat and a quarter of a dirham's 
worth of boiled grain 1 and the like of bread." So the Kitchener 
weighed it out to him and the good-for-naught entered the shop, 
whereupon the man set the food before him and he ate till he had 
gobbled up the whole and licked the saucers and sat perplexed, 
knowing not how he should do with the Cook concerning the 
price of that he had eaten, and turning his eyes about upon every- 
thing in the shop ; and as he looked, behold, he caught sight of an 
earthen pan lying arsy-versy upon its mouth ; so he raised it from 
the ground and found under it a horse's tail, freshly cut off and 
the blood oozing from it ; whereby he knew that the Cook 
adulterated his meat with horseflesh. When he discovered this 
default, he rejoiced therein and washing his hands, bowed his 
head and went out ; and when the Kitchener saw that he went 
and gave him naught, he cried out, saying, " Stay, O pest, O 

1 Arab. " Ta'am," in Egypt and Somaliland = millet seed (Holcus Sorghum) cooked in 
various ways. In Barbary it is applied to the local staff of life, Kuskusu, wheaten or other 
flour damped and granulated by hand to the size of peppercorns, and lastly steamed (as we 
steam potatoes), the cullender-pot being placed over a long-necked jar full of boiling water. 
It is served with clarified butter, shredded onions and meat ; and it represents the Risotto 
of Northern Italy. Europeans generally find it too greasy for digestion. This Barbary 
staff of life is of old date and is thus mentioned by Leo Africanus in early sixth century. 
" It is made of a lump of Dow, first set upon the fire, in a vessel full of holes and 
afterwards tempered with Butter and Pottage." So says good Master John Pory, " A 
Geographical Historic of Africa, by John Leo, a Moor,' 1 London, 1600, impensis 
George Bishop. 

6 Supplemental Nights. 

burglar!" So the Larrikin stopped and said to him, " Dost thou 
cry out upon me and call to me with these words, O cornute ? " 
Whereat the Cook was angry and coming down from the shop, 
cried, " What meanest thou by thy speech, O low fellow, thou that 
devourest meat and millet and bread and kitchen and goest forth 
with 'the Peace 1 be on thee!' as it were the thing had not been, 
and payest down naught for it ? " Quoth the Lackpenny, " Thou 
liest, O accursed son of a cuckold ! " Whereupon the Cook cried 
out and laying hold of his debtor's collar, said, " O Moslems, this 
fellow is my first customer 2 this day and he hath eaten my food 
and given me naught." So the folk gathered about them and 
blamed the Ne'er-do-well and said to him, " Give him the price 
of that which thou hast eaten." Quoth he, " I gave him a dirham 
before I entered the shop ; " and quoth the Cook, " Be everything 
I sell this day forbidden to me, if he gave me so much as the 
name of a coin ! By Allah, he gave me naught, but ate my food 
and went out and would have made off, without aught said.'* 
Answered the Larrikin, " I gave thee a dirham," and he reviled the 
Kitchener, who returned his abuse; whereupon he dealt him a 
buffet and they gripped and grappled and throttled each other. 
When the folk saw them fighting, they came up to them and 
asked them, " What is this strife between you, and no cause for 
it ? " and the Lackpenny answered, " Ay, by Allah, but there is a 
cause for it, and the cause hath a tail ! " Whereupon, cried the 
Cook, " Yea, by Allah, now thou mindest me of thyself and thy 
dirham ! Yes, he gave me a dirham and but a quarter of the coin 
is spent. Come back and take the rest of the price of thy dirham." 
For he understood what was to do, at the mention of the tail ; 
"and I, O my brother" (added Abu al-Hasan), " my story hath a 
cause, which I will tell thee." The Caliph laughed at his speech 

Arab. " Bi al-Salam " (pron. " Bissalam ") = in the Peace (of Allah). 

And would brinfj him bad luck if allowed to go without paying. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 7 

and said, " By Allah, this is none other than a pleasant tale ! Tell 
me thy story and the cause." Replied the host, " With love and 
goodly gree ! Know, O my lord, that my name is Abu al-Hasan 
al-Khalfa and that my father died and left me abundant wealth, 
of which I made two parts. One I laid up and with the other I 
betook myself to enjoying the pleasures of friendship and con- 
viviality and consorting with intimates and boon-companions and 
with the sons of the merchants, nor did I leave one but I caroused 
with him and he with me, and I lavished all my money on 
comrades and good cheer, till there remained with me naught; 1 
whereupon I betook myself to the friends and fellow-topers upon 
whom I had wasted my wealth, so perhaps they might provide for 
my case ; but, when I visited them and went round about to them 
all, I found no vantage in one of them, nor would any so much as 
break a bittock of bread in my face. So I wept for myself and re- 
pairing to my mother, complained to her of my case. Quoth she : 
Such are friends; an thou have aught, they frequent thee and 
devour thee, but, an thou have naught, they cast thee off and chase 
thee away. Then I brought out the other half of my money and 
bound myself by an oath that I would never more entertain any 
save one single night, after which I would never again salute him 
nor notice him ; hence my saying to thee : Far be it, alas ! that 
what is past should again come to pass, for I will never again 
company with thee after this night." When the Commander of 
the Faithful heard this, he laughed a loud laugh and said, " By 
Allah, O my brother, thou art indeed excused in this matter, now 
that I know the cause and that the cause hath a tail. Nevertheless^ 
Inshallah,! will not sever myself from thee." Replied Abu al-Hasan, 
" O my guest, did I not say to thee, Far be it, alas ! that what is 
past should again come to pass ? For indeed I will never again 
foregather with any ! " Then the Caliph rose and the host set 

1 i'.t'. of the first half, as has been shown. 

8 Supplemental Nights. 

before him a dish of roast goose and a bannock of first-bread 1 and 
sitting down, fell to cutting off morsels and morselling the Caliph 
therewith. They gave not over eating till they were filled, when Abu 
al-Hasan brought basin and ewer and potash 2 and they washed 
their hands. Then he lighted three wax-candles and three lamps, 
and spreading the drinking-cloth, brought strained wine, clear, old 
and fragrant, whose scent was as that of virgin musk. He filled the 
first cup and saying, " O my boon-companion, be ceremony laid 
aside between us by thy leave ! Thy slave is by thee ; may I not 
be afflicted with thy loss ! " drank it off and filled a second cup, 
%vhich he handed to the Caliph with due reverence. His fashion 
pleased the Commander of the Faithful, and the goodliness of his 
speech and he said to himself, " By Allah, I will assuredly requite 
him for this ! " Then Abu al-Hasan filled the cup again and handed 
it to the Caliph, reciting these two couplets: 3 

Had we thy coming known, we would for sacrifice o Have poured thee out 

heart's blood or blackness of the eyes ; 
Ay, and we would have spread our bosoms in thy way, o That so thy feet 

might fare on eyelids, carpet-wise. 

When the Caliph heard his verses, he took the cup from his hand 
and kissed it and drank it off and returned it to Abu al-Hasan, 
who make him an obeisance and filled and drank. Then he filled 
again and kissing the cup thrice, recited these lines : 

Your presence honoureth the base, And we confess the deed of grace ; 
An you absent yourself from us, No freke we find to fill your place. 

Then he gave the cup to the Caliph, saying, "Drink it in 
health and soundness! It doeth away malady and bringeth 

1 Arab. "Kumajah" from the Persian Kumlsh = bread unleavened and baked in 
*she. Egyptians use the word for bannocks of fine flour. 

Arab. " Kali," our "alcali" : for this and other abstergents see vol. i. 279. 
These lines have occurred twice in vol. i. 117 (Night xii.); I quote Mr. Payne. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 9 

remedy and setteth the runnels of health to flow free." So they 
ceased not carousing and conversing till middle-night, when the 
Caliph said to his host, " O my brother, hast thou in thy heart a 
concupiscence thou wouldst have accomplished or a contingency 
thou wouldst avert ? " Said he, " By Allah, there is no regret in 
my heart save that I am not empowered with bidding and for- 
bidding, so I might manage what is in my mind ! " Quoth the 
Commander of the Faithful, " By Allah, and again by Allah, 1 my 
brother, tell me what is in thy mind ! " And quoth Abu al-Hasan, 
"Would Heaven I might be Caliph for one day and avenge 
myself on my neighbours, for that in my vicinity is a mosque and 
therein four shaykhs, who hold it a grievance when there cometh a 
guest to me, and they trouble me with talk and worry me in words 
and menace me that they will complain of me to the Prince of True 
Believers, and indeed they oppress me exceedingly, and I crave of 
Allah the Most High power for one day, that I may beat each and 
every of them with four hundred lashes, as well as the Imdm of 
the mosque, and parade them round about the city of Baghdad 
and bid cry before them : This is the reward and the least of the 
reward of whoso exceedeth in talk and vexeth the folk and turneth 
their joy to annoy. This is what I wish, and no more." Said the 
Caliph, " Allah grant thee that thou seekest ! Let us crack one 
last cup and rise ere the dawn draw near, and to-morrow night I 
will be with thee again." Said Abu al-Hasan, " Far be it ! " 
Then the Caliph crowned a cup, and putting therein a piece of 
Cretan Bhang, 2 gave it to his host and said to him, " My life on thee, 
O my brother, drink this cup from my hand ! " and Abu al-Hasan 
answered, " Ay, by thy life, I will drink it from thy hand." So he 
took it and drank it off ; but hardly had it settled in his stomach, 
when his head forewent his heels and he fell to the ground like one 

1 Arab. "Ya 'Hah, yd 'Hah;" vulg. used for "Look sharp!" e.g. "Ya 'llah JM, 
yi walad " = " Be off at once, boy." 

* Arab. " Ban] akdtashf," a term which has occurred before. 

IO Supplemental Nights. 

slain ; whereupon the Caliph went out and said to his slave' 
Masrur, " Go in to yonder young man, the house master, and take 
him up and bring him to me at the palace ; and when thou goest 
out, shut the door.'* So saying, he went away, whilst Masrur 
entered, and taking up Abu al-Hasan, shut the door behind him, 
and made after his master, till he reached with him the palace 
what while the night drew to an end and the cocks began crowing, 1 
and set him down before the Commander of the Faithful, who 
laughed at him. 2 Then he sent for Ja'afar the Barmecide and 
when he came before him, said to him, " Note thou yonder young 
/nan" (pointing to Abu al-Hasan), "and when thou shalt see him 
to-morrow seated in my place of estate and on the throne 3 of my 
Caliphate and clad in my royal clothing, stand thou in attendance 
upon him and enjoin the Emirs and Grandees and the folk of my 
household and the officers of my realm to be upon their feet, as in 
his service and obey him in whatso he shall bid them do; and thou, 
if he speak to thee of aught, do it and hearken unto his say and 
gainsay him not in anything during this coming day." Ja'afar 
acknowledged the order with " Hearkening and obedience " and 
withdrew, whilst the Prince of True Believers went in to the 
palace women, who came up to him, and he said to them, "When 
this sleeper shall awake to-morrow, kiss ye the ground between 
his hands, and do ye wait upon him and gather round about 
him and clothe him in the royal clothing and serve him with the 
service of the Caliphate and deny not aught of his estate, but 

1 A natural clock, called by West Africans Cokkerapeek= Cock-speak. All the world 
over it is the subject of superstition : see Giles's " Strange Stories from a Chinese 
Studio " (i. 177), where Miss Li, who is a devil, hears the cock crow and vanishes. 

3 In Lane Al-Rashid " found at the door his young men waiting for him and ordered 
them to convey Abu-l-Hasaa upon a mule and returned to the palace ; Abu-1-Hasan 
being intoxicated and insensible. And when the Khaleefeh had rested himself in the 
palace, he called for," etc. 

'Arab. " Kursi," Assyrian " Kussu "rrthrone ; and " Korsii " in Aramaic (or Nabatheaa 
as Al-Mas'udi calls it), the second growth-period of the "Semitic" family, which 
supplanted Assyrian and Babylonian, and became, as Arabic now is, the common speech! 
of the "Semitic " world. 

The Sleeper and the Waker< \ \ 

say to him, Thou art the Caliph." Then he taught them what they 
should say to him and how they should do with him and withdraw- 
ing to a retired room, 1 let down a curtain before himself and slept. 
Thus fared it with the Caliph ; but as regards Abu al-Hasan, he 
gave not over snoring in his sleep till the day brake clear, and the 
rising of the sun drew near, when a woman in waiting came up to 
him and said to him, " O our lord, the morning prayer ! " Hearing 
these words he laughed and opening his eyes, turned them 
about the palace and found himself in an apartment whose walls 
were painted with gold and lapis lazuli and its ceiling dotted and 
starred with red gold. Around it were sleeping chambers, with 
curtains of gold-embroidered silk let down over their doors, and 
all about vessels of gold and porcelain and crystal and furniture 
and carpets dispread and lamps burning before the niche wherein 
men prayed, and slave-girls and eunuchs and Mamelukes and black 
slaves and boys and pages and attendants. When he saw this he 
was bewildered in his wit and said, " By Allah, either I am dream- 
ing a dream, or this is Paradise and the Abode of Peace ! " 2 And 
he shut his eyes and would have slept again. Quoth one of the 
eunuchs, M O my lord, this is not of thy wont r O Commander of 
the Faithful!" Then the rest of the handmaids of the palace 
came up to him and lifted him into a sitting posture, when he 
found himself upon a mattrass, raised a cubit's height from the 
ground and all stuffed with floss silk. So they seated him upon 
it and propped his elbow with a pillow, and he looked at the 
apartment and its vastness and saw those eunuchs and slave-girls 

1 Arab. "Makan mahjtib," which Lane renders by "a private closet," and Payne by 
a " privy place," suggesting that the Caliph slept in a nume'ro cent. So, when starting 
for the " Trakki Campaign," Sir Charles Napier (of Sind), in bis zeal for lightening 
officers* baggage, inadvertently chose a water-closel tent for his head-quarters magno 
cum risu not of the staff, who had a strange fear of him, but of the multitude who 
had not. 

'Arab. "Dar al-SaJam," one of the seven "Gardens" into which the Mohammedan 
Paradise is divided. Man's fabled happiness began in a Garden (Eden) and the sugges- 
tion came naturally that it would continue there. For the seven Heavens, sec vol. via. , 1 1 1 

*2 Supplemental Nights. 

fn attendance upon him and standing about his head, whereupon 
he laughed at himself and said, " By Allah, 'tis not as I were on 
wake, yet I am not asleep ! " And in his perplexity he bowed his 
chin upon his bosom and then opened his eyes, little by little, 
smiling and saying, " What is this state wherein I find myself ? " 
Then he arose and sat up, whilst the damsels laughed at him 
privily ; and he was bewildered in his wit, and bit his finger ; and 
as the bite pained him, he cried " Oh ! " and was vexed ; and 
the Caliph watched him, whence he saw him not, and lasghed. 
Presently Abu al-Hasan turned to a damsel and called to her ; 
whereupon she answered, " At thy service, O Prince of True 
Believers!" Quoth he, what is thy name?" and quoth she, 
Shajarat al-Durr." 1 Then he said to her, " By the protection of 
Allah, O damsel, am I Commander of the Faithful?" She 
replied, "Yes, indeed, by the protection of Allah thou in this 
time art Commander of the Faithful." Quoth he, " By Allah, 
thou liest, O thousandfold whore!" 2 Then he glanced at the 
Chief Eunuch and called to him, whereupon he came to him and 
kissing the ground before him, said, " Yes, O Commander of the 
Faithful." Asked Abu al-Hasan, "Who is Commander of the 
Faithful?" and the Eunuch answered "Thou." And Abu al-Hasan 
said, "Thou liest, thousandfold he-whore that thou art!" Then 
he turned to another eunuch and said to him, " O my chief, 3 by 
the protection of Allah, am I Prince of the True Believers?" 
Said he, " Ay, by Allah, O my lord, thou art in this time Com- 
mander of the Faithful and Viceregent of the Lord of the three 
Worlds." Abu al-Hasan laughed at himself and doubted of his 
reason and was bewildered at what he beheld, and said, u In one 
night do I become Caliph ? Yesterday I was Abu al-Hasan the 

1 Branch of Pearl, see vol. ii. 57. 

1 Arab. " Kahbah," the lowest word (vol. i. 70), effectively used in contrast with the 
speaker's surroundings. 

* Arab. " Ya kabirf," = mon brave, my good rnan. 

Tht Sleeper and the Waker. 13 

Wag, and to day I am Commander of the Faithful." Then the 
Chief Eunuoh came up to him and said, "O Prince of True 
Believers (the name of Allah encompass thee !) thou art 
indeed Commander of the Faithful and Viceregent of the Lord 
of the three Worlds ! " And the slave-girls and eunuchs flocked 
round about him, till he arose and abode wondering at his case. 
Hereupon the Eunuch brought him a pair of sandals wrought 
with raw silk and green silk and purfled with red gold, and he 
took them and after examining them set them in his sleeve ; 
whereat the Castrato cried out and said, " Allah ! Allah ! O my 
lord, these are sandals for the treading of thy feet, so thbu mayst 
wend to the wardrobe." Abu al-Hasan was confounded, and 
shaking the sandals from his sleeve, put them on his feet, whilst 
the Caliph died 1 of laughter at him. The slave forewent him to 
the chapel of ease, where he entered and doing his job, 2 came 
out into the chamber, whereupon the slave-girls brought him a 
basin of gold and an ewer of silver and poured water on his 
hands 3 and he made the Wuzu-ablution. Then they spread 
him a prayer-carpet and he prayed. Now he knew not how 
to pray 4 and gave not over bowing and prostrating for twenty 
inclinations, 5 pondering in himself the while and saying, "By 
Allah, I am none other than the Commander of the Faithful 
in very truth ! This is assuredly no dream, for all these things 
happen not in a dream." And he was convinced and determined 
in himself that he was Prince of True Believers ; so he pronounced 

1 This exaggeration has now become familiar to English speech. 

2 Like an Eastern he goes to the water-closet the first thing in the morning, or rather 
dawn, and then washes ceremonially before saying the first prayer. In Europe he 
would probably wait till after breakfast. See vol. iii. 242. 

3 I have explained why an Eastern does not wash in the basin as Europeans do in vol. i. 
p. 241. 

* i.e. He was so confused that he forgot. All Moslems know how to pray, whether 
they pray or not. 

5 The dawn-prayer consists of only four inclinations (raka'di) ; two " Farz" (divinely 
appointed), and two Sunnah (the custom of the Apostle). For the Raka'ah see Lane, 
M.E. chapt. iii. ; it cannot be explained without illustrations. 

14 Supplemental Nights. 

the Salam 1 and finished his prayers ; whereupon the Mamelukes 

and slave-girls came round about him with bundled suits of silken 

and linen stuffs and clad him in the costume of the Caliphate 

and gave the royal dagger in his hand. Then the Chief Eunuch 

came in and said, " O Prince of True Believers, the Chamberlain 

is at the door craving permission to enter." Said he, " Let 

him enter!" whereupon he came in and after kissing ground 

offered the salutation, " Peace be upon thee, O Commander of the 

Faithful ! " At this Abu al-Hasan rose and descended from the 

couch to the floor ; whereupon the official exclaimed " Allah f 

Allah ! O Prince of True Believers, wottest thou not that all men 

are thy lieges and under thy rule and that it is not meet for the 

Caliph to rise to any man ? " Presently the Eunuch went out 

before him and the little white slaves behind him, and they ceased 

not going till they raised the curtain and brought him into the hall 

of judgment and the throne-room of the Caliphate. There he 

saw the curtains and the forty doors and Al-'Ijlf and Al-Rakdsh{ 

the poet, and 'Ibddn and Jadfm and Abu Ishak 2 the cup-companion 

and beheld swords drawn and the lions 3 compassing the throne 

as the white of the eye encircleth the black, and gilded glaives 

and death-dealing bows and Ajams and Arabs and Turks and 

Daylamites and folk and peoples and Emirs and Wazirs and 

Captains and Grandees and Lords of the land and men of 'war in 

band, and in very sooth there appeared the might of the house of 

Abbas 4 and the majesty of the Prophet's family. So he sat down 

upon the throne of the Caliphate and set the dagger 5 on his lap, 

1 After both sets of prayers, Farz and Sunnah, the Moslem looks over his right 
shoulder and says "The Peace (of Allah) be upon you and the ruth of Allah," and 
repeats the words over the .'> shoulder. The salutation is addressed to the Guardian 
Angels or to the bystanders (Moslems) who, however, do not return it 

* i.e. Ibrahim of Mosul the musician. See vol. iv. 108. 

1 Arab. "Liyuth "plur. of "Layth," a lion : here warriors are meant. 

4 The Abbasides traced their descent from Al- Abbas, Mohammed's uncle, and justly 
held themselves as belonging to the family of the Prophet. See vol. ii. 6l. 

4 Arab. " Nfmshah " = half-sword." See voL ii. p. 193. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 15 

whereupon all present came up to kiss ground between his hands 
and called down on him length of life and continuance of weal. 
Then came forward Ja'afar the Barmecide and kissing the ground, 
said, " Be the wide world of Allah the treading of thy feet and 
may Paradise be thy dwelling-place and the Fire the home of thy 
foes ! Never may neighbour defy thee nor the lights of fire die 
out for thee, 1 O Caliph of all cities and ruler of all countries ! " 
Therewithal Abu al-Hasan cried out at him and said, " O dog of 
.he sons of Barmak, go down forthright, thou and the chief of the 
city police, to such a place in such a street and deliver an hundred 
dinars of gold to the mother of Abu al-Hasan the Wag and bear 
her my salutation. Then, go to such a mosque and take the four 
Shaykhs and the Imdm and scourge each of them with a thousand 2 
lashes and mount them on beasts, face to tail, and parade them 
round about all the city and banish them to a place other than this 
city ; and bid the crier make cry before them, saying : This is the 
reward and the least of the reward of whoso multiplieth words and 
molesteth his neighbours and damageth their delights and stinteth 
their eating and drinking ! " Ja'afar received the command and 
answered <( With obedience " ; after which he went down from 
before Abu al-Hasan to the city and did all he had ordered him 
to do. Meanwhile, Abu al-Hasan abode in the CalipTiate, taking 
and giving, bidding and forbidding and carrying out his command 
till the end of the day, when he gave leave and permission to 
withdraw, and the Emirs and Officers of state departed to their 
several occupations and he looked towards the Chamberlain and 

1 i.e. May thy dwelling-place never fall into ruin. The prayer has, strange to say, 
been granted. "The present city on the Eastern bank of the Tigris was built by 
Haroun al-Rashid, and his house still stands there and is an object of reverent 
curiosity." So says my friend Mr. Grattan Geary (vol. i. p. 212, " Through Asiatic 
Turkey", London: Low, 1878). He also gives a sketch of Zubaydah's tomb on the 
western bank of the Tigris near the suburb which represents old Baghdad : it is a 
pineapple dome springing from an octagon, both of brick once revetted with white 

2 In the Bresl. Edit., four hundred. I prefer the exaggerated total. 

1 6 Supplcmen tal Nights. 

the rest of the attendants and said, " Begone ! " Then the 
Eunuchs came to him and calling down on him length of life and 
continuance of weal, walked in attendance upon him and raised 
the curtain, and he entered the pavilion of the Harem, where he 
found candles lighted and lamps burning and singing-women 
smiting on instruments, and ten slave-girls, high-bosomed maids. 
When he saw this, he was confounded in his wit and said to 
himself, " By Allah, I am in truth Commander of the Faithful ! " 
presently adding, " or haply these are of the Jann and he who 
was my guest yesternight was one of their kings who saw no way 
to requite my favours save by commanding his Ifrits to address me 
as Prince of True Believers. But an these be of the Jann may 
Allah deliver me in safety from their mischief ! " As soon as he 
appeared, the slave-girls rose to him and carrying him up on to the 
daYs, 1 brought him a great tray, bespread with the richest viands. 
So he ate thereof with all his might and main, till he had gotten 
his fill, when he called one of the handmaids and said to her, 
" What is thy name ? " Replied she, " My name is Miskah," 2 
and he said to another, " What is thy name ? " Quoth she, " My 
name is Tarkah." 3 Then he asked a third, " What is thy name ? " 
who answered, " My name is Tohfah ; " 4 and he went on to 
question the damsels of their names, one after other, till he had 
learned the ten, when he rose from that place and removed to the 
wine-chamber. He found it every way complete and saw therein 
ten great trays, covered with all fruits and cates and every sort of 
sweetmeats. So he sat down and ate thereof after the measure of 
his competency, and finding there three troops of singing-girls, was 

1 i.e. the raised recess at the upper end of an Oriental saloon, and the place of honoyr, 
which Lane calls by its Egyptian name "Liwdn." See his vol. i. 312 and his M.E. 
chapt. i : also my vol. iv. p. 71. 

z "Bito'Musk." 

3 "A gin," a snare. 

4 " A gift," a present. It is instructive to compare Abu al- Hasan with Sancho Panza, 
sprightly Arab wit with grave Spanish humour. 

The Sleeper and tfie Waker. if 

amazed and made the girls eat. Then he sat and the singers also 
seated themselves, whilst the black slaves and the white slaves 
and the eunuchs and pages and boys stood, and of the slave-girls 
some sat and others stood. The damsels sang and warbled all 
varieties of melodies and the place rang with the sweetness of the 
songs, whilst the pipes cried out and the lutes with them wailed, 
till it seemed to Abu al-Hasan that he was in Paradise and his 
heart was heartened and his breast broadened. So he sported and 
joyance grew on him and he bestowed robes of honour on the 
damsels and gave and bestowed, challenging this girl and kissing 
that and toying with a third, plying one with wine and morselling 
another with meat, till nightfall. All this while the Commander 
of the Faithful was diverting himself with watching him and 
laughing, and when night fell he bade one of the slave-girls drop 
a piece of Bhang in the cup and give it to Abu al-Hasan to 
drink. So she did his bidding and gave him the cup, which 
no sooner had he drunk than his head forewent his feet. 1 
Therewith the Caliph came forth from behind the curtain, 
laughing, and calling to the attendant who had brought 
Abu al-Hasan to the palace, said to him, "Carry 2 this man to 
his own place." So Masrur took him up, and carrying him to 
his own house, set him down in the saloon. Then he went forth 
from him, and shutting the saloon-door upon him, returned to the 
Caliph, who slept till the morrow. As for Abu al-Hasan, he gave 
not over slumbering till Almighty Allah brought on the morning, 
when he recovered from the drug and awoke, crying out and 
saying, " Ho, Tuffahah ! Ho, Rahat al-Kulub ! Ho, Miskah ! Ho, 
Tohfah ! " 3 And he ceased not calling upon the palace hand-maids 

1 i./. he fell down senseless. The old version has "his head knocked against 
.his knees." 

2 Arab. "Waddi" vulg. Egyptian and Syrian for the classical "Add!" (ii. of 
Adii = preparing to do). No wonder that Lane complains (iii. 376) of the "vulgar 
style, abounding in errors." 

8 O Apple, O Repose o' Hearts, O Musk, O Choke Gift. 

VOL. I. B 

1 8 Supplemental Nights. 

till his mother heard him summoning strange damsels, and rising, 
came to him and said, " Allah's name encompass thee ! Up with 
thee, O my son, O Abu al-Hasan ! Thou dreamest." So he opened 
his eyes, and finding an old woman at his head, raised his eyes and 
said to her, " Who art thou ? " Quoth she, " I am thy mother ; " 
and quoth he, " Thou liest ! I am the Commander of the Faithful, 
the Viceregent of Allah." Whereupon his mother shrieked aloud 
and said to him, " Heaven preserve thy reason ! Be silent, O my 
son, and cause not the loss of our lives and the wasting of thy 
wealth, which will assuredly befal us if any hear this talk and 
carry it to the Caliph." So he rose from his sleep, and finding 
himself in his own saloon and his mother by him, had doubts of 
his wit, and said to her, " By Allah, O my mother, I saw myself 
in a dream in a palace, with slave-girls and Mamelukes about me 
and in attendance upon me, and I sat upon the throne of the 
Caliphate and ruled. By Allah, O my mother, this is what I saw, 
and in very sooth it was no dream ! " Then he bethought himself 
awhile and said, " Assuredly, 1 I am Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a, and 
this that I saw was only a dream when I was made Caliph and 
bade and forbade." Then he bethought himself again and said, 
" Nay, but 'twas not a dream, and I am none other than the 
Caliph, and indeed I gave gifts and bestowed honour-robes." 
Quoth his mother to him, " O my son, thou sportest with thy 
reason : thou wilt go to the mad-house 2 and become a gazing- 
stock. Indeed, that which thou hast seen is only from the foul 
Fiend, and it was an imbroglio of dreams, for at times Satan 
sporteth with men's wits in all manner of ways." 3 Then said she 
to him, " O my son, was there any one with thee yesternight ? " And 
he reflected and said, " Yes ; one lay the night with me and I 

1 Arab. " Doghri," a pure Turkish word, in Egypt meaning " truly, with truth," 
Straightforwardly ; in Syria =: straight (going), directly. 

2 Arab. " Maristan," see vol. i. 288. 

* The scene is a rechauffe of Badr al-Din Hasan and his wife, i. 247. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 19 

acquainted him with my case and told him my tale. Doubtless, 
he was of the Devils, and I, O my mother, even as thou sayst 
truly, am Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a." She rejoined, "O my son 
rejoice in tidings of all good, for yesterday's record is that there 
came the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide and his many, and beat the 
Shaykhs of the mosque and the Imam, each a thousand lashes ; 
after which they paraded them round about the city, making pro- 
clamation before them and saying : This is the reward and the 
least of the reward of whoso faileth in goodwill to his neigh- 
bours and troubleth on them their lives ! And he banished 
them from Baghdad. Moreover, the Caliph sent me an hundred 
dinars and sent to salute me." Whereupon Abu al-Hasan cried 
out and said to her, " O ill-omened crone, wilt thou contradict me 
and tell me that I am not the Prince of True Believers ? 'Twas 
I who commanded Ja'afar the Barmecide to beat the Shaykhs and 
parade them about the city and make proclamation before them 
and 'twas I, very I, who sent thee the hundred dinars and sent to, 
salute thee, and I, O beldam of ill-luck, am in very deed the 
Commander of the Faithful, and thou art a liar, who would make 
me out an idiot." So saying, he rose up and fell upon her and 
beat her with a staff of almond-wood, till she cried out, " Help, 

Moslems ! " and he increased the beating upon her, till the 
folk heard her cries and coming to her, found Abu al-Hasan 
bashing his mother and saying to her, "O old woman of ill-omen, 
am I not the Commander of the Faithful ? Thou hast ensor- 
celled me ! " When the folk heard his words, they said, " This 
man raveth," and doubted not of his madness. So they came in 
upon him, and seizing him, pinioned his elbows, and bore him 
to the Bedlam. Quoth the Superintendant, " What aileth this 
youth?" and quoth they, "This is a madman, afflicted of the 
Jinn." " By Allah," cried Abu al-Hasan, " they lie against me! 

1 am no madman, but the Commander of the Faithful." And the 
Superintendant answered him, saying, " None lieth but thou, O 

2O Supplemental Nights. 

foulest of the Jinn-maddened ! " Then he stripped him of his 
clothes, and clapping on his neck a heavy chain, 1 bound him to a 
high lattice and fell to beating him two bouts a day and two 
anights ; and he ceased not abiding on this wise the space of 
ten days. Then his mother came to him and said, " O my son, 
O Abu al-Hasan, return to thy right reason, for this is the 
Devil's doing." Quoth he, "Thou sayst sooth, O my mother, 
and bear thou witness of me that I repent me of that talk and 
turn me from my madness. So do thou deliver me, for I am nigh 
upon death." Accordingly his mother went out to the Superin- 
tendant 2 and procured his release and he returned to his own 
house. Now this was at the beginning of the month, and when 
it ended, Abu al-Hasan longed to drink liquor and, returning to 
his former habit, furnished his saloon and made ready food and bade 
bring wine ; then, going forth to the bridge, he sat there, expecting 
one whom he should converse and carouse with, according to 
his custom. As he sat thus, behold, up came the Caliph and 
Masrur to him ; but Abu al-Hasan saluted them not and said to 
Al-Rashid, " No friendly welcome to thee, O King of the Jann ! " 
Quoth Al-Rashid, *' What have I done to thee ? " and quoth Abu 
al-Hasan, " What more couldst thou do than what thou hast done 
to me, O foulest of the Jann ? I have been beaten and thrown 
into Bedlam, where all said I was Jinn-mad and this was caused 
by none save thyself. I brought thee to my house and fed thee 
with my best ; after which thou didst empower thy Satans and 
Marids to disport themselves with my wits from morning to 
evening. So avaunt and aroynt thee and wend thy ways ! " The 
Caliph smiled and, seating himself by his side said to him, " O my 
brother, did I not tell thee that I would return to thee ? " Quoth 

1 Arab. "Janzlr," another atrocious vulgarism for "Zanjir," which, however, has 
occurred before. 

2 Arab. " Arafshah." 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 21 

Abu al-Hasan, "I have no need of thee; and as the byword 1 

sayeth in verse : 

Fro' my friend, 'twere meeter and wiser to part, * For what eye sees not born shall 
ne'er sorrow heart. 

And indeed, O my brother, the night thou earnest to me and we 
conversed and caroused together, I and thou, 'twas as if the Devil 
came to me and troubled me that night" Asked the Caliph, 
" And who is he, the Devil ?" and answered Abu al-Hasan, " Ke 
is none other than thou ; " whereat the Caliph laughed and coaxed 
him and spake him fair, saying, " O my brother, when I went out 
from thee, I forgot the door and left it open and perhaps Satan 
came in to thee." * Quoth Abu al-Hasan, " Ask me not of that 
which hath betided me. What possessed thee to leave the door 
open, so that the Devil came in to me and there befel me 
with him this and that ? M And he related to him all that had 
betided him, first and last (and in repetition is no fruition) ; 
what while the Caliph laughed and hid his laughter. Then 
said he to Abu al-Hasan, " Praised be Allah who hath done 
away from thee whatso irked thee and that I see thee once 
more in weal ! " And Abu al-Hasan said, " Never again will I 
take thee to cup-companion or sitting-comrade ; for the pro- 
verb saith : Whoso stumbleth on a stone and thereto returneth, 
upon him be blame and reproach. And thou, O my brother, 
nevermore will I entertain thee nor company with thee, for that I 
have not found thy heel propitious to me." 2 But the Caliph coaxed 
him and said, " I have been the means of thy winning to thy wish 
anent the Imam and the Shaykhs." Abu al-Hasan replied, 

1 In the ' Mishkdt al-Masabih" (ii. 341), quoted by Lane, occurs the Hadis, "Shot 
your doors anights and when so doing repeat the Basmalah ; for the Devil may not open 
a door shut in Allah's name." A pious Moslem in Egypt always ejaculates, " In the 
name of Allah, the Compassionating," etc., when he locks a door, covers up bread, dpfr 
his clothes, etc., to keep off devils and daemons. 

2 An Arab idiom meaning, " I have not found thy good fortune (Ka'b= heel, glory, 
prosperity) do me any good." 

32 Supplemental Nights. 

" Thou hast ;" and Al-Rashid continued, " And haply somewhat 
may betide which shall gladden thy heart yet more." Abu al- 
Hasan asked, " What dost thou require of me ? " and the Com- 
mander of the Faithful answered, " Verily, I am thy guest ; reject 
not the guest." Quoth Abu al-Hasan, " On condition that thou 
swear to me by the characts on the seal of Solomon David's son 
(on the twain be the Peace !) that thou wilt not suffer thine Ifrits 
to make fun of me." He replied, " To hear is to obey ! " Where- 
upon the Wag took him and brought him into the saloon and set 
food before him and entreated him with friendly speech. Then 
he told him all that had befallen him, whilst the Caliph was like to 
die of stifled laughter ; after which Abu al-Hasan removed the 
tray of food and bringing the wine-service, filled a cup and cracked 
it three times, then gave it to the Caliph, saying, " O boon-com- 
panion mine, I am thy slave and let not that which I am about to 
say offend thee, and be thou not vexed, neither do thou vex me. 4 * 
And he recited these verses : 

Hear one that wills thee well ! Lips none shall bless o Save those who drink 

for drunk and all transgress. 
Ne'er will I cease to swill while night falls dark o Till lout my forehead 

low upon my tasse : 
In wine like liquid sun is my delight o Which clears all care and gladdens 


When the Caliph heard these his verses and saw how apt he was 
at couplets, he was delighted with exceeding delight and taking the 
cup, drank it off, and the twain ceased not to converse and carouse 
till the wine rose to their heads. Then quoth Abu al-Hasan to 
the Caliph, " O boon-companion mine, of a truth I am perplexed 
concerning my affair, for meseemed I was Commander of the 
Faithful and ruled and gave gifts and largesse, and in very deed, O 
my brother, it was not a dream." Quoth the Caliph. " These were 
the imbroglios of sleep," and crumbling a bit of Bhang into the cup, 
said to him, " By my life, do thou drink this cup ;" and said Abu 

The Sleeper and tlie Waker. 23 

al-Hasan, " Surely I will drink it from thy hand." Then he took 
the cup and drank it off, and no sooner had it settled in 
his stomach than his head fell to the ground before his feet. 
Now his manners and fashions pleased the Caliph and the excel- 
lence of his composition and his frankness, and he said in himself, 
" I will assuredly make him my cup-companion and sitting-com- 
rade." So he rose forthright and saying to Masrur, " Take him 
up," returned to the palace. Accordingly, the Eunuch took up 
Abu al-Hasan and carrying him to the palace of the Caliphate, set 
him down before Al-Rashid, who bade the slaves and slave-girls 
compass him about, whilst he himself hid in a place where Abu 
al-Hasan could not see him. Then he commanded one of the 
hand-maidens to take the lute and strike it over the Wag's head, 
whilst the resx smote upon their instruments. So they played 
and sang, till Abu al-Hasan awoke at the last of the night and 
heard the symphony of lutes and tambourines and the sound of the 
flutes and the singing of the slave-girls, whereupon he opened his 
eyes and finding himself in the palace, with the hand-maids and 
eunuchs about him, exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and there is 
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! Come to my help 
this night which meseems more unlucky than the former ! Verily, I 
am fearful of the Madhouse and of that which I suffered therein 
the first time, and I doubt not but the Devil is come to me again, 
as before. O Allah, my Lord, put thou Satan to shame ! " Then 
he shut his eyes and laid his head in his sleeve, and fell to laugh- 
ing softly and raising his head bytimes, but still found the apart- 
ment lighted and the girls singing. Presently, one of the eunuchs 
sat down at his head and said to him, " Sit up, O Prince of True 
Believers, and look on thy palace and thy slave-girls." Said 
Abu al-Hasan, " Under the veil of Allah, am I in truth Com- 
mander of the Faithful, and dost thou not lie ? Yesterday I rode 
not forth neither ruled, but drank and slept, and this eunuch 
cometh to make me rise." Then he sat up and recalled to 

24 Supplemental Nights. 

thought that which had betided him with his mother and how 
he had beaten her and entered the Bedlam, and he saw the marks 
of the beating, wherewith the" Superintendant had beaten him, and 
was perplexed concerning his affair and pondered in himself, 
saying, " By Allah, I know not how my case is nor what is this 
that betideth me ! " Then, gazing at the scene around him, he 
said privily, " All these are of the Jann in human shape, and I 
commit my case to Allah." Presently he turned to one of the 
damsels and said to her, " Who am I ? " Quoth she, " Thou art 
the Commander of the Faithful ; " and quoth he, " Thou liest, O 
calamity ! l If I be indeed the Commander of the Faithful, bite my 
finger." So she came to him and bit it with all her might, and he 
said to her, " It doth suffice." Then he asked the Chief Eunuch, 
" Who am I ? " and he answered, " Thou art the Commander of 
the Faithful." So he left him and returned to his wonderment : 
then, turning to a little white slave, said to him, "Bite my ear;" 
and he bent his head low down to him and put his ear to his 
mouth. Now the Mameluke was young and lacked sense ; so he 
closed his teeth upon Abu al-Hasan's ear with all his might, till he 
came near to sever it ; and he knew not Arabic, so, as often as the 
Wag said to him, " It doth suffice," he concluded that he said, " Bite 
like a vice," and redoubled his bite and made his teeth meet in the 
ear, whilst the damsels were diverted from him with hearkening 
to the singing-girls, and Abu al-Hasan cried out for succour from 
the boy and the Caliph lost his senses for laughter. Then he dealt 
the boy a cuff, and he let go his ear, whereupon all present fell down 
with laughter and said to the little Mameluke, " Art mad that thou 
bitest the Caliph's ear on this wise ? " And Abu al-Hasan cried to 
them, " Sufficeth ye not, O ye wretched Jinns, that which hath 
befallen me ? But the fault is not yours : the fault is of your Chief 
who transmewed you from Jinn shape to mortal shape. I seek 

1 Arab. " Yi Nakbah " = a calamity to those who have to do with thee ! 

The Sleeper and the IVaker. 2$ 

refuge against you this night by the Throne-verse and the Chapter 
of Sincerity J and the Two Preventives ! " 2 So saying the Wag 
put off his clothes till he was naked, with prickle and breech 
exposed, and danced among the slave-girls. They bound his 
hands and he wantoned among them, while they died of laughing 
at him and the Caliph swooned away for excess of laughter. 
Then he came to himself and going forth the curtain to Abu al- 
Hasan, said to him, " Out on thee, O Abu al-Hasan ! Thou 
slayest me with laughter." So he turned to him and knowing 
him, said to him, " By Allah, 'tis thou slayest me and slayest my 
mother and slewest the Shaykhs and the Imam of the Mosque 1 " 
After which he kissed ground before him and prayed for the 
permanence of his prosperity and the endurance of his days. The 
Caliph at once rob.ed him in a rich robe and gave him a thousand 
dinars ; and presently he took the Wag into especial favour and 
married him and bestowed largesse on him and lodged him with 
himself in the palace and made him of the chief of his cup- 
companions, and indeed he was preferred with him above them 
and the Caliph advanced him over them all. Now they were ten 
in number, to wit, Al-'Ijli and Al-Rakashi and 'Ibddn and Hasan 
al-Farazdak and Al-Lauz and Al-Sakar and Omar al-Tartis and 
Abu Nowas and Abu Ishak al-Nadim and Abu al-Hasan al- 
Khali'a, and by each of them hangeth a story which is told in 
other than this book. 3 And indeed Abu al-Hasan became high in 
honour with the Caliph and favoured above all, so that he sat with 
him and the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, whose treasuress 
Nuzhat al-Fudd 4 hight, was given to him in marriage. After this 
Abu al-Hasan the Wag abode with his wife in eating and drinking 

1 Koran cxii., the "Chapter of Unity." See vol. iii. 307. 
* See vol. iii. 222. 

3 Here the author indubitably speaks for himself, forgetting that he ended Night 
cclxxxi. (Bresl. iv. 168), and began that following with Shahrazad's usual formula. 

4 '.*. " Delight of the vitals " (or heart). 

26 Supplemental Nights. 

and all delight of life, till whatso was with them went the way of 
money, when he said to her, " Harkye, O Nuzhat al-Fuad ! " Said 
she, " At thy service ; " and he continued, " I have it in mind to 
play a trick on the Caliph ' and thou shalt do the like with the 
Lady Zubaydah, and we will take of them at once, to begin with, 
two hundred dinars and two pieces of silk." She rejoined, "As 
thou wiliest, but what thinkest thou to do ? " And he said, " We will 
feign ourselves dead and this is the trick. I will die before thee 
and lay myself out, and do thou spread over me a silken napkin 
and loose my turban over me and tie my toes and lay on my 
stomach a knife and a little salt. 2 Then let down thy hair and 
betake thyself to thy mistress Zubaydah, tearing thy dress and 
slapping thy face and crying out. She will ask thee, What aileth 
thee? and do thou answer her, May thy head outlive Abu al- 
Hasan the Wag ; for he is dead. She will mourn for me and weep 
and bid her new treasuress give thee an hundred dinars and a 
piece of silk 3 and will say to thee : Go, lay him out and carry him 
forth. So do thou take of her the hundred dinars and the piece 
of silk and come back, and when thou returnest to me, I will rise 
up and thou shalt lie down in my place, and I will go to the 
Caliph and say to him, May thy head outlive Nuzhat al-Fuad, 
and rend my raiment and pluck out my beard. He will mourn 
for thee and say to his treasurer, Give Abu al-Hasan an hundred 
dinars and a piece of silk. Then he will say to me, Go ; lay her 
out and carry her forth ; and I will come back to thee." There- 
with Nuzhat al-Fuad rejoiced and said, " Indeed, this is an excel- 
lent device." Then Abu al-Hasan stretched himself out forthright 
and she shut his eyes and tied his feet and covered him with the 

1 The trick is a rechauffe of the trick played on Al-Rashid and Zubaydah. 

* " Kalb" here is not heart, but stomach. The big toes of the Moslem corpse are 
still tied in most countries, and in some a sword is placed upon the body ; but I am not 
aware that a knife and salt (both believed to repel evil spirits) are so used in Cairo. 

* The Moslem, who may not wear unmixed silk during his lifetime, may be shrouded 
in it. I have noted that the " Shukkah," or piece, averages six feet in length. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 27 

napkin and did whatso her lord had bidden her; after which she 
tare her gear and bared her head and letting down her hair, went in 
to the Lady Zubaydah, crying out and weeping. When the Princess 
saw her in this state, she cried, " What plight is this ? What'is 
thy story and what maketh thee weep?" And Nuzhat al-Fuad 
answered, weeping and loud-wailing the while, " O my lady, may 
thy head live and mayst thou survive Abu al-Hasan al Khali'a ; for 
he is dead ! " The Lady Zubaydah mourned for him and said, 
" Alas, poor Abu al-Hasan the Wag ! " and she shed tears for him 
awhile. Then she bade her treasuress give Nuzhat al-Fuad an 
hundred dinars and a piece of silk and said to her, " O Nuzhat 
al-Fuad, go, lay him out and carry him forth." So she took the 
hundred dinars and the piece of silk and returned to her dwelling, 
rejoicing, and went in to her spouse and acquainted him what had 
befallen, whereupon he arose and rejoiced and girdled his middle 
and danced and took the hundred dinars and the piece of silk and 
laid them up. Then he laid out Nuzhat al-Fuad and did with 
her as she had done with him ; after which he rent his raiment 
and plucked out his beard and disordered his turban and ran out 
nor ceased running till he came in to the Caliph, who was sitting in 
the judgment-hall, and he in this plight, beating his breast. The 
Caliph asked him, " What aileth thee, O Abu al-Hasan ? " and he 
wept and answered, *' Would heaven thy cup companion had never 
been and would his hour had never come ! " * Quoth the Caliph, 
" Tell me thy case : " and quoth Abu al-Hasan, " O my lord, may 
thy head outlive Nuzhat al-Fuad ! " The Caliph exclaimed, 
" There is no god but God ; " and smote hand upon hand. 
Then he comforted Abu al-Hasan and said to him, " Grieve not, 
for we will bestow upon thee a bed-fellow other than she." And 
he ordered the treasurer to give him an hundred dinars and a piece 

1 A vulgar ejaculation ; the " hour " referring either to birth or to his being made 
one of the Caliph's equerries. 

28 Supplemental Nights. 

of silk. Accordingly the treasurer did what the Caliph bade him, 
and Al-Rashid said to him, " Go, lay her out and carry her forth and 
make her a handsome funeral." So Abu al-Hasan took that which 
he had given him and returning to his house, rejoicing, went in to 
Nuzhat al-Fifad and said to her, "Arise, for our wish is won." Hereat 
she arose and he laid before her the hundred ducats and the piece 
of silk, whereat she rejoiced, and they added the gold to the 
gold and the silk to the silk and sat talking and laughing 
each to other. Meanwhile, when Abu al-Hasan fared forth the 
presence of the Caliph and went to lay out Nuzhat al-Fuad, the 
Commander of the Faithful mourned for her and dismissing the 
divan, arose and betook himself, leaning upon Masrur, the Sworder 
of his vengeance, to the Lady Zubaydah, that he might condole 
with her for her hand-maid. He found her sitting weeping and 
awaiting his coming, so she might condole with him for his boon- 
companion Abu al-Hasan the Wag. So he said to her, " May 
thy head outlive thy slave-girl Nuzhat al-Fuad ! " and said she, 
" O my lord, Allah preserve my slave-girl ! Mayst thou live and 
long survive thy boon-companion Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a ; for he 
is dead." The Caliph smiled and said, to his eunuch, " O 
Masrur, verily women are little of wit. Allah upon thee, 
say, was not Abu al-Hasan with me but now ? " l Quoth 
the Lady Zubaydah, laughing from a heart full of wrath, 
" Wilt thou not leave thy jesting ? Sufficeth thee not that Abu 
al-Hasan is dead, but thou must put to death my slave-girl also 
and bereave us of the twain, and style me little of wit ? " The 
Caliph answered, " Indeed, 'tis Nuzhat al-Fuad who is dead." 
And the Lady Zubaydah said, " Indeed he hath not been with 


thee, nor hast thou seen him, and none was with me but now 
save Nuzhat al-Fuad, and she sorrowful, weeping, with her clothes 

1 Here the story-teller omits to say that Masrur bore witness to the Caliph's state* 

The Sleeper and the Water. 29 

torn to tatters. I exhorted her to patience and gave her an 
hundred dinars and a piece of silk ; and indeed I was awaiting 
thy coming, so I might console thee for thy cup-companion 
Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a, and was about to send for thee." ' The 
Caliph laughed and said, " None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad ; " 
and she, " No, no, good my lord ; none is dead but Abu al-Hasan 
the Wag." With this the Caliph waxed wroth, and the Hashimf 
vein 2 started out from between his eyes and throbbed : and he 
cried out to Masrur and said to him, " Fare thee forth to the 
house of Abu al-Hasan the Wag, and see which of them is dead." 
So Masrur went out, running, and the Caliph said to the Lady 
Zubaydah, " Wilt thou lay me a wager ? " And said she, " Yes, 
I will wager, and I say that Abu al-Hasan is dead." Rejoined 
the Caliph, " And I wager and say that none is dead save Nuzhat 
al-Fuad ; and the stake between me and thee shall be the Garden 
of Pleasance 8 against thy palace and the Pavilion of Pictures." * 
So they agreed upon this and sat awaiting Masrur's return with 
the news. As for the Eunuch, he ceased not running till he came 
to the by-street, wherein was the stead of Abu al-Hasan al- 
Khali'a. Now the Wag was comfortably seated and leaning back 
against the lattice, 5 and chancing to look round, saw Masrur 
running along the street and said to Nuzhat al-Fuad, " Meseemeth 
the Caliph, when I went forth from him dismissed the Divan and 
went in to the Lady Zubaydah, to condole with her ; whereupon 
she arose and condoled with him, saying, Allah increase thy 

1 Arab. " Wakuntu raihah ursil warak," the regular Fellah language. 

1 Arab. "'Irk al-Hishimi," See vol. ii. 19. Lane remarks, "Whether it was so 
in Hashim himself (or only in his descendants), I do not find ; but it is mentioned 
amongst the characteristics of his great-grandson, the Prophet." 

3 Arab. " Bostan al-Nuzhah," whose name made the stake appropriate. See vol. ii. 81. 

* Arab. " Tamasil " = generally carved images, which, amongst Moslems, always 
suggest idols and idolatry. 

6 The " Shubbik" here would be the " Mashrabiyah," or latticed balcony, projecting 
from the saloon-wall, and containing room for three or more sitters. It is Lane's 
" Meshrebeeyeh," sketched in M.E. (Introduction) and now has become familinr t* 

3O Supplemental Nights. 

recompense for the loss of Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a ! And he 
said to her, None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad, may thy head 
outlive her ! Quoth she, 'Tis not she who is dead, but Abu 
al-Hasan al-Khali'a, thy boon companion. And quoth he, None 
is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad. And they waxed so obstinate that 
the Caliph became wroth and they laid a wager, and he hath sent 
Masrur the Sworder to see who is dead. Now. therefore, 'twere 
best that thou lie down, so he may sight thee and go and acquaint 
the Caliph and confirm my saying." * So Nuzhat al-Fuad stretched 
herself out and Abu al-Hasan covered her with her mantilla and 
sat weeping at her head. Presently, Masrur the eunuch suddenly 
came in to him and saluted him, and seeing Nuzhat al-Fuad 
stretched out, uncovered her face and said, " There is no god but 
God ! Our sister Nuzhat al-Fuad is dead indeed. How sudden was 
the stroke of Destiny ! Allah have ruth on thee and acquit thee 
of all charge ! " Then he returned and related what had passed 
before the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah, and he laughing as he 
spoke. " O accursed one," cried the Caliph, " this is no time 
for laughter ! Tell us which is dead of them." Masrur replied, 
" By Allah, O my lord, Abu al-Hasan is well, and none is dead 
but Nuzhat al-Fuad." Quoth the Caliph to Zubaydah, "Thou 
hast lost thy pavilion in thy play," and he jeered at her and 
said, " O Masrur, tell her what thou sawest." Quoth the Eunuch, 
" Verily, O my lady, I ran without ceasing till I came in to Abu 
al-Hasan in his house and found Nuzhat al-Fuad lying dead and 
Abu al-Hasan sitting tearful at her head. I saluted him and 
condoled with him and sat down by his side and uncovered the 
face of Nuzhat al-Fuad and saw her dead and her face swollen. 2 

1 This is lo show the cleverness of Abu al-Hasan, who had calculated upon the 
difference between Al-Rashid and Zubaydah. Such marvels of perspicacity are frequent 
enough in the folk-lore of the Arabs. 

2 An artful touch, showing how a tale grows by repetition. In Abu al-Hasan's case 
(infra) the eyes are swollen by the swathes. 

T/te Sleeper and the Waker. 31 

, A 

So I said to him : Carry her out forthwith, so we may pray over 

her. He replied : 'Tis well ; and I left him to lay her out and 

came hither, that I might tell you the news." The Prince of True 

Believers laughed and said, " Tell it again and again to thy lady 

Little-wits." When the Lady Zubaydah heard Masrur's words 

and those of the Caliph she was wroth and said, " None is little of 

wit save he who believeth a black slave." And she abused Masrur, 

whilst the Commander of the Faithful laughed : and the Eunuch, 

vexed at this, said to the Caliph, " He spake sooth who said : 

Women are little of wits and lack religion." 1 Then said the 

Lady Zubaydah to the Caliph, " O Commander of the Faithful, 

thou sportest and jestest with me, and this slave hoodwinketh 

me, the better to please thee ; but I will send and see which of 

them be dead." And he answered, saying, " Send one who shall 

see which of them is dead." So the Lady Zubaydah cried out to 

an old duenna, and said to her, " Hie thee to the house of Nuzhat 

al-Fuad in haste and see who is dead and loiter not." And she 

used hard words to her. 2 So the old woman went out running, 

whilst the Prince of True Believers and Masrur laughed, and she 

ceased not running till she came into the street. Abu al-Hasan 

saw her, and knowing her, said to his wife, " O Nufchat al-Fuadj 

meseemeth the Lady Zubaydah hath sent to us to see who is 

dead and hath not given credit to Masrur's report of thy death : 

accordingly, she hath despatched the old crone, her duenna, to 

discover the truth. So it behoveth me to be dead in my turn 

for the sake of thy credit with the Lady Zubaydah." Hereat he 

lay down and stretched himself out, and she covered him and 

s i 

bound his eyes and feet and sat in tears at his head. Presently 

( the old woman came in to her and saw her sitting at Abu 
.al-Hasan's head, weeping and recounting his fine qualities; and 

1 A Hadis attributed to the Prophet, and very useful to Moslem husbands who 
wives differ overmuch with them in opinion. 

2 Arab. " Masarat fi-ha," which Lane renders, " And she threw money to hex." 

32 Supplemental Nights. 

when she saw the old trot, she cried out and said to her, u See 
what hath befallen me ! Indeed Abu al-Hasan is dead and hath 
left me lone and lorn ! " Then she shrieked out and rent her 
raiment and said to the crone, <C O my mother, how very good he 
was to me ! " ! Quoth the other, " Indeed thou art excused, for 
thou wast used to him and he to thee." Then she considered what 
Masrur had reported to the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah and 

said to her, " Indeed, Masrur goeth about to cast discord between 


the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah." Asked Nuzhat al-Fuad, 
"And what is the cause of discord, O my mother? " and the other 
replied, " O my daughter, Masrur came to the Caliph and the Lady 
Zubaydah and gave them news of thee thai thou wast dead and that 
Abu al-Hasan was well." Nuzhat al-Fuad said to her, " O naunty. 
mine, 2 1 was with my lady just now and she gave me an hundred 
dinars and a piece of silk ; and now see my case and that 
which hath befallen me ! Indeed, I am bewildered, and how shall 
I do, and I lone, and lorn ? Would heaven I had died and he 
had lived ! " Then she wept and with her wept the old woman, 
who, going up to Abu al-Hasan and uncovering his face, saw his 
eyes bound and swollen for the swathing. So she covered him 
again and said, " Indeed, O Nuzhat al-Fuad, thou art afflicted in 
Abu al-Hasan ! " Then she condoled with her and going out from 
her, ran along the street till she came into the Lady Zubaydah 
and related to her the story ; and the Princess said to her, laugh- 
ing, " Tell it over again to the Caliph, who maketh me out little 
of wit, and lacking of religion, and who made this ill-omened 
liar of a slave presume to contradict me.'* Quoth Masrur, " This 
old woman lieth ; for I saw Abu al-Hasan well and Nuzhat al- 
Fuad it was who lay dead." Quoth the duenna " 'Tis thou that 

1 A saying common throughout the world, especially when the afflicted widow intends 
to marry again at the first opportunity. 

* Arab. " Y Khalati " = O my mother's sister; addressed by a woman to an elderly 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 33 

liest, and wouldst fain cast discord between the Caliph and the Lady 
Zubaydah." And Masrur cried, " None lieth but thou, O old 
woman of ill-omen and thy lady believeth thee and she must be 
in her dotage." Whereupon the Lady Zubaydah cried out at him, 
and in very sooth she was enraged with him and with his speech and 
shed tears. Then said the Caliph to her, " I lie and my eunuch 
lieth, and thou liest and thy waiting-woman lieth ; so 'tis my rede 
we go, all four of us together, that we may see which of us telleth 
the truth." Masrur said, " Come, let us go, that I may do to this 
ill-omened old woman evil deeds l and deal her a sound drubbing 
for her lying." And the duenna answered him, " O dotard, is thy 
wit like unto my wit ? Indeed, thy wit is as the hen's wit.'* 
Masrur was incensed at her words and would have laid violent 
hands on her, but the Lady Zubaydah pushed him away from her 
and said to him, " Her truth-speaking will presently be distin- 
guished from thy truth-speaking and her leasing from thy leasing." 
Then they all four arose, laying wagers one with other, and went 
forth a-foot from the palace-gate and hied on till they came in 
at the gate of the street where Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a dwelt. He 
saw them and said to his wife Nuzhat al-Fuad, "Verily, all that is 
sticky is not a pancake 2 they cook nor every time shall the crock 
escape the shock. It seemeth the old woman hath gone and told 
her lady and acquainted her with our case and she hath disputed 
with Masrui the Eunuch and they have laid wagers each with 
other about our death and are come to us, all four, the Caliph and 
the Eunuch and the Lady Zubaydah and the old trot." When 
Nuzhat al-Fuad heard this, she started up from her outstretched 
posture and asked, " How shall we do?" whereto he answered, 
" We will both feign ourselves dead together and stretch ourselves 
out and hold our breath." So she hearkened unto him and they 

1 i.e. That I may put her to shame. 
2 Arab. " Zalabiyah." 

34 Supplemental Nights. 

both lay down on the place where they usually slept the siesta 1 
and bound their feet and shut their eyes and covered themselves 
with the veil and held their breath. Presently, up came the 
Caliph, Zubaydah, Masrur and the old woman and entering, 
found Abu al-Hasan the Wag and wife both stretched out as dead ; 
which when the Lady saw, she wept and said, " They ceased not 
to bring ill-news of my slave-girl till she died , 2 methinketh Abu al- 
Hasan's death was grievous to her and that she died after him.'" 
Quoth the Caliph, " Thou shalt not prevent me with thy prattle 
and prate. She certainly died before Abu al-Hasan, for he came 
to me with his raiment rent and his beard plucked out, beating 
his breast with two bits of unbaked brick, 4 and I gave him an 
hundred dinars and a piece of silk and said to him, Go, bear her 
forth and I will give thee a bed-fellow other than she and hand- 
somer, and she shall be in stead of her. But it would appear that 
her death was no light matter to him and he died after her ; 5 so it 
is I who have beaten thee and gotten thy stake." The Lady 
Zubaydah answered him in words galore and the dispute between 
them waxed sore. At last the Caliph sat down at the heads of 
the pair and said, " By the tomb of the Apostle of Allah (whom 
may He save and assain !) and the sepulchres of my fathers and 
forefathers, whoso will tell me which of them died before the 
other, I will willingly give him a thousand dinars ! " When Abu- 

1 Arab. '"Ala al-Kaylah," which Mr. Payne renders by " Siesta -carpet." Lane 
reads " Kjblah '* (" in the direction of the Kiblah ") and notes that some Moslems turn 
the corpse's head towards Meccah and others the right side, including the face. So the 
old version leads "feet towards Mecca." But the preposition "Ala" requires the 
former sig. 

2 Many places in this text are so faulty that translation is mere guess-work ; e.g. 
" Bashaiah" can hardly be applied to ill-news. 

* ^. of grief for his loss. 

4 Arab. " Tobdoi " which Lane renders "two clods." I have noted that the 
Tob (Span. Adobe = At- Tob) is a sunbaked brick*. Beating the bosom with such 
material is still common amongst Moslem mourners of the lower class and the hardness 
of the blow gives the measure of the grief. 

6 i.e. of grief for her loss. 

Sleeper and the Waker. 35 

al-Hasan heard the Caliph's words, he sprang up in haste and 
said, " I died first, O Commander of the Faithful ! Here with the 
thousand dinars and acquit thee of thine oath and the swear thou 
sworest." Nuzhat al-Fuad rose also and stood up before the 
Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah, who both rejoiced in this and 
in their safety, and the Princess chid her slave-girl. Then the 
Caliph and Zubaydah gave them joy of their well-being and knew 
that this death was a trick to get the gold ; and the Lady said 
to Nuzhat al-Fuad, " Thou shouldst have sought of me that which 
thou neededst, without this fashion, and not have burned } my 
heart for thee." And she, " Verily, I was ashamed, O my lady." 
As for the Caliph, he swooned away for laughing and said, "O 
Abu al-Hasan, thou wilt never cease to be a wag and do peregrine 
things and prodigious ! " Quoth he, "O Commander of the Faith- 
ful, this trick I played off for that the money which thou gavest 
me was exhausted, and I was ashamed to ask of thee again. When 
I was single, I could never keep money in hand ; but since thou 
marriedst me to this damsel, if I possessed even thy wealth, I 
should lay it waste. Wherefore when all that was in my hand was 
spent, I wrought this sleight, so I might get of thee the hundred 
dinars and the piece of silk ; and all this is an alms from our lord. 
But now make haste to give me the thousand dinars and acquit 
thee of thine oath." The Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah laughed 
and returned to the palace; and he gave Abu al-Hasan the 
thousand dinars saying, " Take them as a douceur" 1 for thy preser- 
vation from death," whilst her mistress did the like with Nuzhat 
al-Fuad, honouring her with the same words. Moreover, the 
Caliph increased the Wag in his solde and supplies, and he and 
his wife ceased not to live in joy and contentment, till there came 
to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies, the 
Plunderer of palaces, and the Garnerer of graves. 

1 Arab. " Ihtirdk " oflen used in the metaphorical sense of consuming, torturing. 
1 Arab. " Halawat," lit. = a sweetmeat, a gratuity, a thank-offering. 





IT is said that, when the Caliphate devolved on Omar bin 
Abd al-Aziz 2 (of whom Allah accept), the poets resorted to him, 
as they had been used to resort to the Caliphs before him, and 
abode at his door days and days, but he suffered them not to 
enter, till there came to him 'Adf bin Artah, 3 who stood high in 
esteem with him, Jarir 4 accosted him and begged him to crave 
admission for them to the presence ; so Adi answered. " 'Tis 
well ; " and, going in to Omar, said to him, " The poets are at 
thy door and have been there days and days ; yet hast thou not 
given them leave to enter, albeit their sayings abide 5 and their 
arrows from mark never fly wide." Quoth Omar, " What have I 
to do with the poets ? " and quoth Adi, " O Commander of the 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 182-188, Nights ccccxxxii-ccccxxxiv. 

* "The good Caliph" and the fifth of the Orthodox, the other four being Abu Bakfv 
Omar, Osman and Ali ; and omitting the eight intervening, Hasan the grandson of the 
Prophet included. He was the I3th Caliph and 8th Ommiade A.H. 99-ioi(= 717- 
720) and after a reign of three years he was poisoned by his kinsmen of the Banu 
Umayyah who hated him for his piety, asceticism, and severity in making them disgorge 
their ill-gotten gains. Moslem historians are unanimous in his praise. Europeans 
find him an anachorete couronnl, bfroide et respectable figure, who lacked the diplomacy 
of Mu'awiyah and the energy of Al-Hajjaj. His principal imitator was ANMuhtadi 
bi'llah, who longed for a return to the rare old days of AM slam. 

3 Omar 'Adi bin Artah ; governor of Kufah and Basrah under " the good Caliph." 

* Jarfr al-Khatafah, one of the most famous of the "Islami" poets, i.e., those who 
wrote in the first century (A.H.) before the corruption of language began. (See Terminal 
Essay, p. 267.) Ibn Khallikan notices him at full length i. 294. 

5 Arab. " Bakiyah," which may also mean eternal as opposed to " Faniyah " = tem- 
poral. Omar's answer shows all the narrow-minded fanaticism which distinguished the 
early Moslems : they were puritanical as any Praise-God-Barebones, and they haled 
" boetry and bainting " as hotly as any Hanoverian. 

4O Supplemental Nights. 

Faithful, the Prophet (Abhak J) 1 was praised by a poet 2 and gave 
him largesse, and in him * is an exemplar to every Moslem." 
Quoth Omar, " And who praised him ? " and quoth Adi, " 'Abbas 
bin Mirdas 4 praised him, and he clad him with a suit and said, O 
Generosity, 5 cut off from me his tongue ! " Asked the Caliph, 
* Dost thou remember what he said ? " and Adi answered, " Yes." 
Rejoined Omar, " Then repeat it ; " so Adi repeated : 6 

I saw thee, O thou best of human race, o Bring out a Book which brought to 

graceless Grace. 
Thou showedst righteous road to men astray o From Right, when darkest 

Wrong had ta'en its place ; 
Thou with Isldm didst light the gloomiest way, o Quenching with proof live 

coals of frowardness ; 
I own for Prophet mine Mohammed's self ; o And man's award upon his word 

we base ; 
Thou madest straight the path that crooked ran, o Where in old days foal 

growth o'ergrew its face. 
Exalt be thou in Joy's empyrean o And Allah's glory ever grow apace. 

" And indeed (continued Adi), this Elegy on the Prophet 
(Abhak !) is well known and to comment it would be tedious." 
Quoth Omar, " Who is at the door ? " and quoth Adi, " Among 

1 The Saturday Review (Jan. 2, '86), which has honoured me by the normal reviling 
in the shape of a critique upon my two first vols., complains of the "Curious word 
Abhak-" as " a perfectly arbitrary and unusual group of Latin letters." May I ask 
Aristarchus how he would render " Sal'am," (vol. ii. 24), which apparently he would 
confine to "Arabic MSS.' 1 (!). Or would he prefer to A(llah) b(less) h(im) a(nd) k(eep) 
" W. G. B." (whom God bless) as proposed by the editor of Ockley ? But where 
would be the poor old " Saturnine " if obliged to do better than the authors it abuses ? 

2 He might have said " by more than one, including the great Labid." 
* Fi-hi either " in him " (Mohammed) or " in it " (his action). 

4 Chief of the Banu Sulaym. According to Tabari, Abbas bin Mirdas (a well-known 
poet), being dissatisfied with the booty allotted to him by the Prophet, refused it and 
lampooned Mohammed, who said to Ali, " Cut off this tongue which attacketh me," 
i.e. "Silence him by giving what will satisfy him." Thereupon Ali doubled the 
Satirist's share. 

4 Arab. "Yd Bilal": Bilal ibn Rabah was the Prophet's freedman and crier: see 
vol. iii. 106. But bilal also signifies " moisture " or " beneficence," " benefits ": it may 
be intended for a double entendre but I prefer the metonymy. 

6 The verses of this Kasidah are too full of meaning to be easily translated : it is fine 
old poetry. 

The Caliph Omar Bin Abd al-Aziz and the Poets. 41 

them is Omar ibn Abi Rabi'ah, the Korashf " * ; whereupon the 
Caliph cried, " May Allah show him no favour neither quicken 
him ! Was it not he who said these verses : 

Would Heaven what day Death shall visit me o I smell as thy droppings and 

drippings 2 smell'! 
Could I in my clay-bed on Salmi lie o There to me were better than Heaven 

or Hell ! 

Had he not been (continued the Caliph) the enemy of Allah, he 
had wished for her in this world, so he might after repent and 
return to righteous dealing. By Allah, he shall not come in to 
me! Who is at the door other than he?" Quoth Adi, ''Jamfl 
bin Ma'mar al-Uzri 3 is at the door ; " and quoth Omar, " 'Tis he 
who saith in one of his elegies : 

Would Heaven conjoint we lived, and if I die o Death only grant me a grave 

within her grave : 
For I'd no longer deign to live my life o If told upon her head is laid the pave. 4 

Quoth Omar, " Away with him from me ! Who is at the 
door ? " and quoth Adi, " Kuthayyir 'Azzah " 5 ; whereupon Omar 
cried, " 'Tis he who saith in one of his odes : 

Some talk of faith and creed and nothing eMse o And wait for pains of Hell in 
prayer-seat ; 9 

But did they hear what I from Azzah heard, o They'd make prostration, fear- 
full, at her feet. 

" Leave the mention of him. Who is at the door ? " Quoth 

1 i.e. of the Koraysh tribe. For his disorderly life see Ibn Khallikan if. 372 : he 
died however, a holy death, battling against the Infidels in A.H. 93 (= 711-12), 
some five years before Omar's reign. 

2 Arab. " Bayn farsi-k wa '1-daml " = lit. between faeces and menses, i.e. the foulest 
part of his mistress's person. It is not often that The Nights are " nasty " ; but here is 
a case. See vol. v. 162. 

3 "Jamil the Poet," and lover of Buthaynah: see vol. ii. 102, Ibn Khallikan (i. 331), 
and Al-Mas'udi vi. 381, who quotes him copiously. He died A.H. 82 (= 701), or 
sixteen years before Omar's reign. 

1 Arab. " Safih " = the slab over the grave. 

5 A contemporary and friend of Jamil and the famous lover of Azzah: See vol. ii. 102, 
and Al-Mas'udi, vi. 426. The word "Kuthayyir" means "thedwarf." Term. Essay, 

6 i.e. in the attitude of prayer. 

42 Supplemental Nights, 

Adi, " Al-Ahwas al-'Ansdr/." > Cried Omar, " Allah Almighty 
put him away and estrange him from His mercy ! Is it not he 
who said, berhyming on a Medinite's slave-girl, so she might 
outlive her lord : 

Allah be judge betwixt me and her lord ! o "Who ever flies with her and I 


" He shall not come in to me. Who is at the door, other than 
he ? " Adi replied, " Hammam bin Ghalib al-Farazdak ; " 2 and 
Omar said, " 'Tis he who saith, glorying in whoring : 

Two girls let me down eighty fathoms deep, o As low sweeps a falcon wi' pinions 

spread ; 
And cried, as my toes touched the ground, '' Dost live o To return, or the fall 

hath it done thee dead ? " 

" He shall not come in to me. Who is at the door, other than 
he?" Adi replied, "Al-Akhtal al-Taghlibi " 3 and Omar said, 
" He is the Miscreant who saith in his singing : 

Ramazan I ne'er fasted in life-time ; nay o I ate flesh in public at undurn day 4 ; 

Nor chide I the fair, save in way of love, o Nor seek Meccah's plain 5 in salva- 
tion-way : 

Nor stand I praying like rest who cry o " Hie salvationwards " 9 at the dawn's 
first ray. 

But I drink her cooled 7 by fresh Northern breeze o And my head at dawn to 
her prone I lay. 8 

1 In Bresl. Edit. " Al-Akhwass," clerical error noticed in Ibn Kkallikan i. 526. His 
satires banished him to Dahlak Island in the Red Sea, and he died A.H. 179 ( = 795-6). 

2 Another famous poet Abu' Firas Hammam or Humaym (dimin. form), as debauched 
asjarir, who died forty days before him in A.H. no(= 728-29), at Basrah. Cf. Term. 
Essay, 269. 

s A famous Christian poet. See C. de Perceval, Joum. Asiat April, 1834, Ibn 
Khallikan iii. 136, and Term. Essay, 269. 

* The poet means that unlike other fasters he eats meat openly. See Pilgrimage (i. 
1 10), for the popular hypocrisy. 

8 Arab. " Batha " the lowlands and plains outside the Meccan Valley : See Al- 
Mas'udi, vi. 157. Mr. (now Sir) W. Muir in his Life of Mahomet, vol. i., p. ccv., re- 
marks upon my Pilgrimage (iii. 252) that in placing Arafat 12 miles from Meccah, I had 
given 3 miles to Muna, + 3 to Muzdalifah + 3 to Arafat =9. But the total does not iiv- 
elude the suburbs of Meccah and the breadth of the Arafat-Valley. 

6 The words of the Azan, vol. i. 306. 

7 Wine in Arabic is feminine, ' ' Shamul " = liquor hung in th wind to cool, * 
favourite Arab practice often noticed by the poets. 

6 i.e. I will fall down dead drunk. 

The Caliph Omar Bin Abd al-Aziz and ttie Poets. 43 

" By Allah, he treadeth no carpet of mine ! Who is at the door, 
other than he ? " Said Adi, " Jarfr ibn al-Khatafah " ; and Omar 
cried, " 'Tis he who saith : 

But for ill-spying glances had our eyes espied o Eyne of the antelope and ring- 
lets of the Reems. 1 

A Huntress of the eyes 2 by night-tide came and I eCried, "Turn in peace, no 
time for visit this, meseems ! " 

An it must be and no help, admit Jarir." ,So_Adi went forth 
and admitted Jarir, who entered, saying : 

Yea, he who sent Mohammed unto man, o A just successor for Imm s assigned. 
His ruth and justice all mankind embrace, o To daunt the bad and stablish 

Verily now I look to present good, o For man hath ever-transient weal in mind. 

Quoth Omar, " O Jarir, keep the fear of Allah before thine eyes 
and say naught save the sooth." And Jarir recited these couplets : 

How many widows loose the hair in far Yamdmah-land 4 o How many an 

orphan there abides feeble of voice and eye, 
Since faredst thou who wast to them instead of father lost o When they like 

nested fledglings were sans power to creep or fly ! 
And now we hope, since brake the clouds their word and troth with us, o Hope 

from the Caliph's grace to gain a rain 5 that ne'er shall dry. 

When the Caliph heard this, he said " By Allah, O Jarir, Omar 
possesseth but an hundred dirhams. 6 Ho, boy ! do thou give them to 

1 Arab. 'Aram," plur. of Irm, a beautiful girl, a white deer. The word is connected 
with the Heb. Reem (Deut. xxxiii. 17), which has been explained unicorn, rhinoceros, 
and aurochs. It is the Ass. Rimu, the wild bull of the mountains, provided with a 
human face, and placed at the palace-entrance to frighten away foes, demon or human. 

2 i.e. she who ensnares [all] eyes. 

3 Imam, the spiritual title of the Caliph, as head of the Faith and leader (lit. "fore- 
man," Antistes) of the people at prayer. See vol. iv. in. 

4 For Yamamah see vol. ii. 104. Omar bin Abd al-Aziz was governor of the province 
before he came to the Caliphate. To the note on Zarka, the blue-eyed Yamamite, I may 
add that Marwan was called Ibn Zarka, son of " la femme au drapeau bleu," such 
being the sign of a public prostitute. Al-Mas'udi, v? 509. 

4 Rain and bounty, I have said, are synonymous. 
* About 2 I os. 

44 Supplemental Nights. 

him." Moreover, he gifted him with the ornaments of his sword; 
and Jarir went forth to the other poets, who asked him, ".What is 
behind thee ? " ! and he answered, " A man who giveth to the 
poor and denieth the poets, and with him I am well-pleased." 

1 i.e. what is thy news. 




THEY tell that Al-Hajjaj 2 once bade the Chief of Police go his 
rounds about Bassorah city by night, and whomsoever he found 
abroad after supper-tide that he should smite his neck. So he 
went round one night of the nights and came upon three youths 
swaying and staggering from side to side, and on them signs of 
wine-bibbing. So the watch laid hold of them and the captain said 
to them, " Who be you that ye durst transgress the commandment 
of the Commander of the Faithful 3 and come abroad at this 
hour ? " Quoth one of the youths, " I am the son of him to whom 
all necks 4 abase themselves, alike the nose-pierced of them and the 
breaker ; they come to him in their own despite, abject and sub- 
missive, and he taketh of their wealth and of their blood." The 
Master of Police held his hand from him, saying, " Belike he is of 
the kinsmen of the Prince of True Believers," and said to the 
second, " Who art thou ? " Quoth he, " I am the son of him whose 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 188-9, Night ccccxxxiv. 

2 Of this masterful personage and his energie indomptable I have spoken in vol. iv. 3, 
and other places. I may add that he built Wash city A,H. 83 and rendered eminent 
services to literature and civilization amongst the Arabs. When the Ommiade Caliph 
Abd al- Malik was dying he said to his son Walid, " Look to Al-Hajjaj and honour him 
for, verily, he it is who hath covered for you the pulpits ; and he is thy sword and thy 
tight hand against all opponents ; thou needest him more than he needeth thee and 
when I die summon the folk to the covenant of allegiance ; and he who saith with his 
head thus, say thou with thy sword thus " (Al-Siyuti, p. 225) yet the historian 
simply observes, " the Lord curse him." 

* i.e. given through his lieutenant. 

4 "Necks" per synecdochen for heads. The passage is a description of a barber- 
surgeon in a series of double-entendres the " nose-pierced " (Makhzum) is the subject 
who is led by the nose like a camel with halter and ring and the " breaker " (hashim) 
may be a breaker of bread as the word originally meant, or breaker of bones. Lastly 
the " wealth " (mal) is a recondite allusion to the hair. 

48 Supplemental Nights. 

rank 1 Time ctoaseth not, and if it be lowered one day, 'twill 
assuredly return to its former height ; thou seest the folk crowd 
in troops to the light of his fire, some standing around it and some 
sitting." So the Chief of Police refrained from slaying him and 
asked the third, " Who art thou ? " HQ answered, " I am the son 
of him who plungeth through the ranks 2 with his might and 
levclleth them with the sword, so that they stand straight : his 
feet are not loosed from the stirrup, whenas the horsemen on the 
day of the battle are a-weary." So the Master of Police held his 
hand from him also, saying. " Belike, he is the son of a Brave of 
the Arabs." Then he kept them under guard, and when the 
morning morrowed, he referred their case to Al-Hajjaj, who caused 
bring them before him and enquiring into their affair, when 
behold, the first was the son of a barber-surgeon, the second of a 
bean-seller and the third of a weaver. So he marvelled at their 
eloquent readiness of speech and said to the men of his assembly, 
" Teach your sons the rhetorical use of Arabic : 3 for, by Allah, but 
for their ready wit, I had smitten off their heads ! " 

1 Arab. " Kadr " which a change of vowel makes "Kidr" = a cooking-pot. The 
description is that of an itinerant seller of boiled beans (Ful mudammas) still common 
in Cairo. The "light of his fire "suggests a doublc-entendre some powerful Chief 
like masterful King Kulayb. See vol. ii. 77. 

2 Arab. " Al-Sufiif," either ranks of fighting-men or the rows of threads on a loora. 
Here the allusion is to a weaver who levels and corrects his threads with the wooden 
spathe and shuttle governing warp and weft and who makes them stand straight (behave 
aright). The " stirrup " (rikab) is the loop of cord in which the weaver's foot rests. 

* " Adab." See vols. i. 132, and ix. 41. 



THEY tell 2 that Harun Al-Rashid was sitting one day to abate 
grievances, when there came up to him a woman and said, " O 
Commander of the Faithful, may Allah perfect thy purpose and 
gladden thee in whatso He hath given thee and increase thee in 
elevation ! Indeed, thou hast done justice and wrought equitably." 3 
Quoth the Caliph to those who were preseni with him, w Know ye 
what this one meaneth by her saying ? " and quoth they, " Of a 
surety, she meaneth not otherwise than well, O Prince of True 
Believers." Al-Rashid rejoined ; " Nay, in this she purposeth only 
to curse me. As for her saying, ' Allah perfect thy purpose/ 
she hath taken it from the saying of the poet : 

When thy purpose is effected beginneth its decay ; o when they say ' Thy wish 
is won ' feel thou sure 'twill pass away. 

As for her saying * Allah gladden thee in whatso He hath given 
thee,' she took it from the saying of Almighty Allah, 4 'Till, 
whenas they were gladdened in that which they were given, We 
suddenly laid hold of them and lo, they were in despair ! ' As for 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 189-191, Night ccccxxxiv. 

1 Arab. "Za'mii," a word little used in the Cal., Mac. or Bui. Edit.; or in the 
Wortley Montague MS. ; but very common in the Bresl. text. 

3 More double-entend res. "Thou hast done justice" ('adalta) also means "Thou 
hast swerved from right ;" and " Thou hast wrought equitably" (Akasta iv. of Kast) 
= " Thou hast transgressed." 

4 Koran vi. 44. Allah is threatening unbelievers, " And when they had forgotten 
heir warnings We set open to them the gates of all things, until, when they were 
gladdened," etc. 

52 Supplemental Nights. 

her saying, ' Allah increase thee in elevation \ ' she took it from 
the saying of the poet : 

'No flier flieth however tall o but as he flieth shall come to fall.' 

And as for her saying, 'Indeed, thou hast done justice and 
wrought equitably,' 'tis from the saying of the Almighty, ' If 
ye swerve 1 or lag behind or turn aside, verily, Allah of that which 
ye do is well aware ; ' and ' As for the swervers 2 they are fuel for 
Hell.' " Then he turned to the woman and asked her, " Is it not 
thus?" Answered she; " Yes, O Commander of the Faithful," 
and quoth he, " What prompted thee to this ? " Quoth she, 
"Thou slewest my parents and my kinsfolk and despoiledst their 
good." Enquired the Caliph, " Whom meanest thou ? " and 
she replied, " I am of the house of Barmak." Then said he to her, 
" As for the dead, they are of those who are past away, and it 
booteth not to speak of them ; but, as for that which I took of 
wealth, it shall forthright be restored to thee, yea, and more 
than it." And he was bountiful to her to the uttermost of his 

1 Arab. "Ta'dilu" also meaning, " Ye do injustice ' s : quoted from Koran iv. 
*-Arab. " Al-Xasituna " before explained. Koran Ixxii. 15.^ 




THERE was once, of old days, a king of the kings, whose name 
was Azadbakht ; his capital was hight Kunaym Madud 2 and his 

1 Bresl. Edit. vol. vi. pp. 191-343, Nights ccccxxxv-cccclxxxvii. This is the old 
Persian Bakhtyar Natneh, i.t. the Book of Bakhtyar, so called from the prince and hero 
" Fortune's Friend." In the tale of Jili'ad and Shimas the number of Wazirs is seven, 
as usual in the Sindibad cycle. Here we have the full tale as advised by the Imam al- 
JaraH : " it is meet for a. man before entering upon important undertakings to con- 
sult ten intelligent friends ; if he have only five to app'y twice to each ; if only one, ten 
times at different visits, and if none, let him repair to his wife and consult her ; and 
whatever she advises him to do let him do the clear contrary," (quoting Omar) or a* 
says Tommy Moore, 

Whene'er you're in doubt, said a sage I once knew, 
'Twixt two lines of conduct which course to pursue, 
Ask a woman's advice, and whate'er she advise 
Do the very reverse, and you're sure to be wise. 

The Romance of the Ten Wazirs occurs in dislocated shape in the " Nouveaux 
Contes Arabes, ou Supplement aux Mille et une Nuits, etc., par M. 1'Abbe" * * 
Paris, 1788. It is the "Story of Bohetzad (Bakht-zad = Luck-born, v.p.), and his 
Ten Viziers," in vol. iii., pp. 2-30 of the "Arabian Tales," etc., published by Dom 
Chavis and M. Cazotte, in 1785 ; a copy of the English translation by Robert Heron, 
Edinburgh, 1792, I owe to the kindness of Mr. Leonard Smithers of Sheffield. It 
appears also in vol. viii. of M. C. de Perceval's Edition of The Nights ; in Gauttier's 
Edition (vol. vi.), and as the " Historia Decem Vizirorum et filii Regis Azad-bacht," 
text and translation by Gustav Knds, of Goettingen (1807). For the Turkish, Malay and 
other versions see (p. xxxviii. efc.) " The Bakhtiyar Nama," etc. Edited (from the 
Sir William Ouseley's version of 1801) by Mr. W. A. Ctouslon and privately printed, 
London, 1883. The notes are valuable but their worth is sadly injured by the want of 
an index. I am pleased to see that Mr. E. J. W. Gibb is publishing the " History of 
the Forty Vezirs ; or, the Story of the Forty Morns and Eves," written in Turkish bj 
" Sheykh-Zadah," evidently a nom de plume (for Ahmad al-Misri?), and translated 
from an Arabic MS. which probably dated about the xvth century. 

* In Chavis and Cazotte, the " kingdom of Dineroux (comprehending all Syria 
and the isles of the Indian Ocean) whose capital was Issessara." An article in the 
Edinburgh Review (July, 1886), calls the "Supplement" a "bare-faced forgery ;'' but 
evidently the writer should have " read up " his subject before writing. 

56 Supplemental Nights. 

kingdom extended to the confines of Sistan 1 and from the confines 
of Hindostan to the Indian Ocean. He had ten Wazirs, who 
ordered his kingship and his dominion, and he was possessed of 
judgment and exceeding wisdom. One day he went forth with cer- 
tain of his guards to the chase and fell in with an Eunuch riding a 
mare and hending in hand the halter of a she-mule, which he led 
along. On the mule's back was a domed litter of brocade purfled 
with gold and girded with an embroidered band set with pearls 
and gems, and about it was a company of Knights. When King 
Azadbakht saw this, he separated himself from his suite and, 
making for the horsemen and that mule, questioned them, saying, 
" To whom belongeth this litter and what is therein ? " The 
Eunuch answered, (for he knew not that the speaker was King 
Azadbakht,) saying, " This litter belongeth to Isfahand, Wazir to 
King Azadbakht, and therein is his daughter, whom he is minded 
to marry to the King hight Zad Shah." 

As the Eunuch was speaking with the king, behold, the maiden 
raised a corner of the curtain that shut in the litter, so she might 
look upon the speaker, and saw the king. When Azadbakht 
beheld her and noted her fashion and her loveliness, (and indeed 
never did seer 2 espy her like,) his soul inclined to her and she 
took hold upon his heart and he was ravished by her sight. So 
he said to the Eunuch," Turn the mule's head and return, for I am 
King Azadbakht and in very sooth I will marry her myself, inas- 
much as Isfahand her sire is my Wazir and he will accept of this 
affair and it will not be hard to him." Answered the Eunuch, 
" O king, Allah prolong thy continuance, have patience till I 
acquaint my lord her parent, and thou shalt wed her in the way of 
consent, for it besitteth thee not, neither is it seemly for thee, to 

1 The Persian form ; in Arab. Sijistan, the classical Drangiana or province East of 
Fars= Persia proper. It is famed in legend as the feof of hero Rustam. 

1 A fab. Rau>t = z professional tale-teller, which Mr. Payne justly holds to be a clerical 
prof foi "/fat. a beholder, one who seeth." 

The Ten Wazirs^ or the History of King Azadbakht. 57 

seize her on this wise, seeing that it will be an affront to her father 
an if thou take her without his knowledge." Quoth Azadbakht, 
" I have not patience to wait till thou repair to her sire and return, 
and no shame will betide him, if I marry her." And quoth the 
eunuch, " O my lord, naught that in haste is done long endureth 
nor doth the heart rejoice therein ; and indeed it behoveth thee 
not to take her on this unseemly wise. Whatsoever betideth thee, 
destroy not thyself with haste, for I know that her sire's breast 
will be straitened by this affair and this that thou dost will not 
win thy wish." But the king said, " Verily, Isfahand is my Mame- 
luke and a slave of my slaves, and I reck not of her father, an he 
be fain or unfain." So saying, he drew the reins of the mule and 
carrying the damsel, whose name was Bahrjaur, 1 to his house 
married her. Meanwhile, the Eunuch betook himself, he and the 
knights to her sire and said to him, " O my lord, thou hast served 
the king a many years' service and thou hast not failed him a 
single day ; and now he hath taken thy daughter without thy con- 
sent and permission." And he related to him what had passed 
and how the king had seized her by force. When Isfahand heard 
the eunuch's words, he was wroth with exceeding wrath and 
assembling many troops, said to them, . " Whenas the king 
was occupied with his women 2 we took no reck of him ; 
but now he putteth out his hand to our Harim ; wherefore 
'tis my rede that we look us out a place wherein we may have 
sanctuary." Then he wrote a letter to King Azadbakht, say- 
ing to him, " I am a Mameluke of thy Mamelukes and a slave of 
thy slaves and my daughter at thy service is a hand-maid, and 
Almighty Allah prolong thy days and appoint thy times to be in 
joy and gladness ! Indeed, I went ever waist-girded in thy ser- 
vice and in caring to conserve thy dominion and warding off from 

1 In Persian the name would be Bahr-i-Jaur = "luck" (or fortune, "bahr") of Jaur- 
(or Jur-) city. 
5 Supply ' and cared naught for his kingdom." 

58 Supplemental Nights. 

thee all thy foes ; but now I abound yet more than erewhile in 
zeal and watchfulness, because I have taken this charge upon 
myself, since my daughter is become thy wife." And he de- 
spatched a courier to the king with the letter and a present. 
When the messenger came to King Azadbakht and he read the 
letter and the present was laid before him, he rejoiced with joy 
exceeding and occupied himself with eating and drinking, hour 
after hour. But the chief Wazir of his Wazirs came to him and said, 
" O king, know that Isfahand the Wazir is thine enemy, for that his 
soul liketh not that which thou hast done with him, and this 
message he hath sent thee is a trick; so rejoice thou not 
therein, neither be thou misled by the sweets of his say and the 
softness of his speech." The king hearkened to his Wazir's speech, 
but presently made light of the matter and busied himself with 
that which he was about of eating and drinking, pleasuring and 
merrymaking. Meanwhile, Isfahand the Wazir wrote a letter and 
sent it to all the Emirs, acquainting them with that which had be- 
tided him from King Azadbakht and how he had forced his 
daughter, adding, " And indeed he will do with you more than 
he hath done with me." When the letter reached the chiefs, 1 
they all assembled together to Isfahand and said to him, " What 
was his affair ? " 2 Accordingly he discovered to them the matter 
of his daughter and they all agreed, of one accord, to strive 
for the slaughter of the king ; and, taking horse with their troops, 
they set out to seek him. Azadbakht knew naught till the noise 
of the revolt beset his capital city, when he said to his wife 
Bahrjaur, " How shall we do ? " She answered, " Thou knowest 
best and I am at thy commandment ; " so he bade fetch two swift 
horses and bestrode one himself, whilst his wife mounted the other. 

1 Arab. " Atraf," plur. of "Tarf," a great and liberal lord. 

2 Lit. " How was," etc. Kayf is a favourite word not only in the Bresl. Edit., bat 
throuchout Egypt and Syria. Classically we should write "Mi;" vulgarly "A)sh. f * 

Tfie Ten Wazirs, or the History of King Azadbakhi. 59 

Then they took what they could of gold and went forth, flying 
through the night to the desert of Karman; 1 while Isfahand 
entered the city and made himself king. Now King Azadbakht's 
wife was big with child and the labour pains took her in the 
mountain ; so they alighted at the foot, by a spring of water, and 
she bare a boy as he were the moon. Bahrjaur his mother pulled 
off a coat of gold-woven brocade and wrapped the child therein, 
and they passed the night in that place, she giving him the breast 
till morning. Then said the king to her, " We are hampered by 
this child and cannot abide here nor can we carry him with us ; so 
melhinks we had better leave him in this stead and wend our ways, 
for Allah is able to send him one who shall take him and rear him." 
So they wept over him with exceeding sore weeping and left him 
beside the fountain, wrapped in that coat of brocade : then they 
laid at his head a thousand gold pieces in a bag and mounting 
their horses, fared forth and fled. Now, by the ordinance of the 
Most High Lord, a company of highway robbers fell upon a cara- 
van hard by that mountain and despoiled them of what was with 
them of merchandise. Then they betook themselves to the high- 
lands, so they might share their loot, and looking at the foot 
thereof, espied the coat of brocade: so they descended to see 
what it was, and behold, it was a boy wrapped therein and the gold 
laid at his head. They marvelled and .said, " Praised be Allah ! 
By what misdeed cometh this child here ? " Thereupon they divided 
the money between them and the captain 2 of the highwaymen 
took the boy and made him his son and fed him with sweet milk 
and dates, 3 till he came to his house, when he appointed a nurse 

1 Karmania vulg. and fancifully derived from Kirman Pers. = worms because the silk- 
worm is supposed to have been bred there ; but the name is of far older date as we find 
the Asiatic /Ethiopians of Herodotus (iii. 93) lying between the Gcrmanii (Karman) and 
the Indus. Also Karmania appears in Strabo and Sinus Carmanicus in other classics. 

* Arab. ' Ka'id ;" lit. =one who sits with, a colleague, hence ihe Span. Alcayde ; in 
Marocco it is = colonel, and is prefixed e.g. Ka'id Maclean. 

8 A favourite food ; Al- Hariri calls the dates and cream, which were sold together io 
bazars, the " Proud Rider on the desired Steed." 

60' Supplemental Nights. 

for rearing him. Meanwhile, King Azadbakht and his wife stayed 
not in their flight till they came to the court of the King of Pars, 
whose name was Kisra 1 When they presented themselves to him, 
he honoured them with all honour and entertained them with 
handsomest entertainment, and Azadbakht told him his tale from 
incept to conclusion. So he gave him a mighty power and wealth 
galore and he abode with him some days till he was rested, when 
he made ready with his host and setting out for his own dominions, 
waged war with Isfahand and falling in upon the capital, defeated 
the whilome Minister and slew him. Then he entered the city and 
sat down on the throne of his kingship ; and whenas he was rested 
and his kingdom waxed peaceful for him, he despatched mes- 
sengers to the mountain aforesaid in search of the child ; but they 
returned and informed the king that they had not found him. As 
time ran on, the boy, the son of the king, grew up and fell to 
cutting the way 2 with the highwaymen, and they used to carry 
him with them, whenever they went banditing. They sallied forth 
one day upon a caravan in the land of Sistan, and there were 
in that caravan strong men and valiant, and with them a mighty 
store of merchandise. Now they had heard that in that land 
banditti abounded : so they gathered themselves together and 
gat ready their weapons and sent out spies, who returned and gave 
them news of the plunderers. Accordingly, they prepared for 
battle, and when the robbers drew near the caravan, they fell upon 
them and the twain fought a sore fight. At last the caravan-folk 
overmastered the highwaymen by dint of numbers, and slew some 
of them, whilst the others fled. They also took the boy, the son 
of King Azadbakht, and seeing him as he were the moon, a model of 
beauty and loveliness, bright of face and engraced with grace, 
asked him, "Who is thy father, and how earnest thou with these 

1 In Bresl. Edit. vi. 198 by misprint " Kutru : " Chavis and Cazolte have " 
In the story of Bihkard we find a P.N. " Yatru." 
8 i.e. waylaying travellers;, a term which has often occurred. 

The Ten Wazirs* or the History of King Azadbakht. 6 1 

banditti ? " And he answered, saying, " I am the son of the 
Captain of the highwaymen." So they seized him and carried him 
to the capital of his sire, King Azadbakht. When they reached 
the city, the king heard of their coming and commanded that they 
should attend him with what befitted of their goods. Accordingly 
they presented themselves before him, and the boy with them, whom 
when the king saw, he asked them, "To whom belongeth this 
boy ? " and they answered, " O King, we were going on such a road, 
when there came out upon us a sort of robbers ; so we fought 
them and beat them off and took this boy prisoner. Then we 
questioned him, saying, Who is thy sire ? and he replied, I am the 
son of the robber-captain." Quoth the king, " I would fain have 
this boy ; " and quoth the captain of the caravan, " Allah maketh 
thee gift of him, O king of the age, and we all are thy slaves." 
Then the king (who was not aware that the boy was his son) dis- 
missed the caravan and bade carry the lad into his palace and he 
became as one of the pages, while his sire the king still knew not 
that he was his child. As the days rolled on, the king observed in 
him good breeding and understanding and handiness galore and 
he pleased him ; so he committed his treasuries to his charge and 
shortened the Wazirs' hand therefrom, commanding that naught 
should be taken forth save by leave of the youth. On this wise 
he abode a number of years and the king saw in him only good 
conduct and the habit of righteousness. Now the treasuries had 
baen aforetime in the hands of the Wazirs to do with them whatso 
they would, and when they came under the youth's hand, that of 
the Ministers was shortened from them, and he became dearer 
than a son to the king who could not support being separated from 
him. When the Wazirs saw this, they were jealous of him and 
envied him and sought a device against him whereby they might oust 
him from the King's eye, 1 but found no means. At last, when Fate 

1 i.e. the royal favour. 

62 Supplemental Nights. 

descended, 1 it chanced that the youth one day of the days drank wine 
and became drunken and wandered from his right wits ; so he fell 
to going round about within the king's palace and Destiny led him 
to the lodging of the women, in which there was a little sleeping 
chamber, where the king lay with his wife. Thither came the 
youth and entering the dormitory, found there a spread couch, to 
wit, a sleeping place : so he cast himself on the bed, marvelling at 
the paintings that were in the chamber, which was lighted by 
one waxen taper. Presently he fell asleep and slumbered heavily 
till eventide, when there came a hand-maid, bringing with her as of 
vont all the dessert, eatables and drinkables, usually made ready 
for the king and his wife, and seeing the youth lying on his back, 
(and none knowing of his case and he in his drunkenness 
unknowing where he was), thought that he was the king asleep 
on his couch ; so she set the censing-vessel and laid the perfumes 
by the bedding, then shut the door and went her ways. Soon after 
this, the king arose from the wine-chamber and taking his wife by 
the hand, repaired with her to the chamber in which he slept 
He opened the door and entered when, lo and behold ! he saw the 
youth lying on the bed, whereupon he turned to his wife and said 
to her, " What doth this youth here ? This fellow cometh not 
hither save on thine account." Said she, " I have no knowledge 
of him." Hereupon the youth awoke and seeing the king, sprang 
up and prostrated himself before him, and Azadbakht said to him, 
** O vile of birth, 2 O traitor of unworth, what hath driven thee to 
my dwelling ? " And he bade imprison him in one place and the 
Queen in another. 

1 i.e. When the fated hour came down (from Heaven). 

* As the Nights have proved in many places, the Asl (origin) of a man is popularly 
held to influence his conduct throughout life. So the Jeweller's wife (vol. ix.) was of 
servile birth, which accounted for her vile conduct ; and reference is hardly necessary to 
a host of other instances. We can trace the same idea in the sayings and folk-lore of 
the West, e.g. Bon sang ne peut mentir, etc., etc. 

Jpitst Bag. 


WHEN the morning morrowcd and the king sat on the throne of 
his kingship, he summoned his Grand Wazir, the Premier of all his 
Ministers, and said to him, " How seest thou the deed this robber- 
youth hath done ? l He hath entered my Harim and lain down 
on my couch and I fear lest there be an object between him 
and the woman. What deemest thou of the affair ? " Said the 
Wazir, "Allah prolong the king's continuance! What sawest 
thou in this youth? 2 Is he not ignoble of birth, the son of 
thieves ? Needs must a thief revert to his vile origin, and 
whoso reareth the serpent's brood shall get of them naught 
but biting. As for the woman, she is not at fault ; since from 
time ago until now, nothing appeared from her except good breeding 
and modest bearing ; and at this present, an the king give me 
leave, I will go to her and question her, so I may discover to thee 
the affair." The king gave him leave for this and the Wazir went 
to the Queen and said to her, " I am come to thee, on account of 
a grave shame, and I would fain have thee soothfast with me fa 
speech and tell me how came the youth into the sleeping-chamber. 1 ' 
Quoth she, " I have no knowledge whatsoever of it, no, none at 
all," and sware to him a binding oath to that intent, whereby he 
knew that the woman had no inkling of the affair, nor was in fault 
and said to her, " I will show thee a sleight, wherewith thou mayst 
acquit thyself and thy face be whitened before the king." Asked 

1 i.e. ' ' What deemest thou he hath done ? " 

2 The apodosis wanting " to make thee trust in him ? ' 

64 Supplemental Nights. 

she, " What is it ? " and he answered, " When the king calleth 
for thee and questioneth thee of this, say thou to him : 
Yonder youth saw me in the boudoir-chamber and sent me a 
message, saying : I will give thee an hundred grains of gem for 
whose price money may not suffice, so thou wilt suffer me to enjoy 
thee. I laughed at him who bespake me with such proposal and 
rebuffed him ; but he sent again to me, saying : An thou consent 
not thereto, I will come one of the nights, drunken, and enter and lie 
down in the sleeping-chamber, and the king will see me and slay 
me ; so wilt thou be put to shame and thy face shall be blackened 
with him and thine honour dishonoured. Be this thy saying to 
the king, and I will fare to him forthright and repeat this to him." 
Quoth the Queen, "And I also will say thus." Accordingly, the 
Minister returned to the king and said to him, " Verily, this youth 
hath merited grievous pains and penalties after the abundance of 
thy bounty, and no kernel which is bitter can ever wax sweet j 1 but, 
as for the woman, I am certified that there is no default in her." 
Thereupon he repeated to the king the story which he had taught 
the Queen, which when Azadbakht heard, he rent his raiment and 
bade the youth be brought. So they fetched him and set him before 
the king, who bade summon the Sworder, and the folk all fixed their 
eyes upon the youth, to the end that they might see what the 
sovran should do with him. Then said Azadbakht to him (and 
his words were words of anger and the speech of the youth was 

1 In the Braj Bakha dialect of Hindi, we find quoted in the Akhldk-i-Hindi, " Tale 
of the old Tiger and the Traveller " : 

Jo jako paryo subhao jae na jio-sun ; 
Nim na mitho hoe sichh gur ghio sun. 

Ne'er shall his nature fail a man whate'er that nature be, 

The Nim-tree bitter shall remain though drenched with Gvr and Ghl. 

The Nim (Melia Azadirachta) is the " Persian lilac," whose leaves, intensely bitter, are 
used as a preventive to poison : Gur is the Anglo-Indian Jaggeri = raw sugar and 
Chi = clarified butter. Roebuck gives the same proverb in Hindostani. 

The Story of the Merchant who Lost his Luck. 6$ 

reverent and well-bred), " I bought thee with my money and 
looked for fidelity from thee, wherefore I chose thee over all my 
Grandees and Pages and made thee Keeper of my treasuries. Why, 
then, hast thou outraged mine honour and entered my house and 
played traitor with me and tookest thou no thought of all I have 
done thee of benefits ? " Replied the youth, " O king, I did this 
not of my choice and freewill and I had no business in being there ; 
but, of the lack of my luck, I was driven thither, for that Fate was 
contrary and fair Fortune failed me. Indeed, I had endeavoured 
with all endeavour that naught of foulness should come forth me 
and I kept watch and ward over myself, lest default foreshow in 
me ; and none may withstand an ill chance, nor doth striving 
profit against adverse Destiny , as appeareth by the example of the 
merchant who was stricken with ill luck and his endeavour availed 
him naught and he fell by the badness of his fortune." The king 
asked, " What is the story of the merchant and how was his luck 
changed upon him by the sorriness of his doom ? " Answered the 
youth, " May Allah prolong the king's continuance ! " and began 


There was once a merchant man, who prospered in trade, and 
at one time his every dirham won him fifty. Presently, his luck 
turned against him and he knew it not ; so he said to himself, " I 
have wealth galore, yet do I toil and travel from country to 
country ; so better had I abide in my own land and rest myself in 
my own house from this travail and trouble and sell and buy at 
home." Then he made two parts of his money, and with one 
bought wheat in summer, saying " Whenas winter cometh, I shall 
sell it at a great profit." But, when the cold set in wheat fell to 

1 InChavisand Cazotte "Story of Kaskas ; or the Obstinate Man." For ill-luck, 
see Miss Frere's " Old Deccan Days" (p. 171), and Giles's "Strange Stories," &.C. 
(p. 430), where the young lady says to Ma, "You often asked me for money; but on 
account of your weak luck I hitherto refrained from giving it." 

VOL. L B, 

66 Supplemental Nights. 

half the price for which he had purchased it, whereat he was con- 
cerned with sore chagrin and left it till the next year. However, 
the price then fell yet lower and one of his intimates said to him, 
" Thou hast no luck in this wheat ; so do thou sell it at whatso- 
ever price." Said the merchant, " Ah, long have I profited ! so 'tis 
allowable that I lose this time. Allah is all-knowing t An it 
abide with me ten full years, I will not sell it save for a gaining 
bargain." 1 Then he walled up in his anger the granary-door with 
clay, and by the ordinance of Allah Almighty, there came a great 
rain and descended from the terrace-roofs of the house wherein 
was the wheat so that the grain rotted ; and the merchant had to 
pay the porters from his purse five hundred dirhams for them to 
carry it forth and cast it without the city, the smell of it having 
become fulsome. So his friend said to him, " How often did I 
tell thee thou hadst no luck in wheat ? But thou wouldst not give 
ear to my speech, and now it behoveth thee to go to the astrologer 2 
and question him of thine ascendant." Accordingly the trader 
betook himself to the astrologer and questioned him of his star, 
and astrophil said to him, " Thine ascendant is adverse. Put 
not forth thy hand to any business, for thou wilt not prosper 
thereby." However, he paid no heed to the astrologer's words and 
said in himself, " If I do my business, 1 am not afraid of aught." 
Then he took the other half of his money, after he had spent the 
first in three years, and builded him a ship, which he loaded with a 
cargaison of whatso seemed good to him and all that was with him 
and embarked on the sea, so he might voyage questing gain. The 
ship remained in port some days, till he should be certified whither 
he would wend, and he said, " I will ask the traders what this 
merchandise profiteth and in what land 'tis wanted and how much 
can it gain." They directed him to a far country, where his 

1 True to life in the present day, as many a standing hay-rick has shown. 

2 The " Munajjim " is a recognised authority in Egyptian townlets, and in the village- 
Kpublics of Southern India the " Jyoshi " is one of the paid officials. 

The Story of the Merchant who Lost his Luck. 67 

dirham should produce an hundredfold. So he set sail and made 
for the land in question ; but, as he went, there blew on him a 
furious gale, and the ship foundered. The merchant saved him- 
self on a plank and the wind cast him up, naked as he was, on the 
sea-shore, where stood a town hard by. He praised Allah and gave 
Him thanks for his preservation ; then, seeing a great village nigh 
hand, he betook himself thither and saw, seated therein, a very 
old man, whom he acquainted with his case and that which had 
betided him. The Shaykh grieved for him with sore grieving, 
when he heard his tale and set food before him. He ate of it 
and the old man said to him, "Tarry here with me, so I may 
make thee my overseer 1 and factor over a farm I have here, and 
thou shalt have of me five dirhams a day." Answered the mer- 
chant, "Allah make fair thy reward, and requite thee with His 
boons and bounties." So he abode in this employ, till he had 
sowed and reaped and threshed and winnowed, and all was clean 
in his hand and the Shaykh appointed neither agent nor inspector, 
but relied utterly upon him. Then the merchant bethought 
himself and said, " I doubt me the owner of this grain will never 
give me my due ; so the better rede were to take of it after the 
measure of my wage ; and if. he give me my right, I will return 
to him that I have taken." So he laid hands upon the grain, after 
the measure of that which fell to him, and hid it in a hiding 
place. Then he carried the rest and meted it out to the old man, 
who said to him " Come, take thy wage, for which I conditioned 
with thee, and sell the grain and buy with the price clothes and 
what not else ; and though thou abide with me ten years, yet shalt 
thou still have this hire and I will acquit it to thee on this wise." 
Quoth the merchant in himself, " Indeed, I have done a foul deed 
by taking it without his permission." ' Then he went to fetch that 

1 Arab. " Amin " sub. and adj. In India it means a Government employe* who collect* 
revenue ; in Marocco a commissioner sent by His Shannon Majesty. 

68 Supplemental Nights? 

"which he had hidden of the grain, but found it not and returned, 
perplexed, sorrowful, to the Shaykh, who asked him, "What 
aileth thee to be mournful ?" and he answered, "Methought thoti 
wouldst not pay me my due ; so I took of the grain, after the 
measure of my hire ; and now thou hast paid me all my right and 
I went to bring back to thee that which I had hidden from thee, 
but found it gone, for those who had come upon it have stolen it." 
The Shaykh was wroth, when he heard these words, and said to 
the merchant, " There is no device against ill luck ! I had given 
thee this but, of the sorriness of thy doom and thy fortune, thou 
hast done this deed, O oppressor of thine own self! Thou 
deemedst I would not fulfil to thee thy wage ; but, by Allah, 
nevermore will I give thee aught." Then he drove him away from 
him. So the merchant went forth, woeful, grieving, weeping-eyed, 
and wandered along the sea-shore, till he came to a sort of duckers 1 
diving in the sea for pearls. They saw him weeping and wailing 
and said to him, " What is thy case and what garreth thee shed 
tears ?" So he acquainted them with his history, from incept 
to conclusion, whereby the duckers knew him and asked him "Art 
thou Such-an-one, son of Such-an-one?" He answered "Yes;" 
whereupon they condoled with him and wept sore for him and 
said to him, " Abide here till we dive upon thy luck this next time 
and whatso betideth us shall be between us and thee." 2 Accord- 
ingly, they ducked and brought up ten oyster-shells, in each two 
great unions : whereat they marvelled and said to him, " by Allah, 
thy luck hath re-appeared and thy good star is in the ascendant !" 
Then the pearl-fishers gave him the ten pearls and said to him, " Sell 
two of them and make them thy stock-in-trade : and hide the rest 
against the time of thy straitness." So he took them, joyful and 

1 Our older word for divers = Arab " Ghawwasun " : a single pearl (in the text Jauhar = 
the Port. Aljofar) is called " habbah " = grain or seed. 

2 The kindly and generous deed of one Moslem to another, and by no means rare m 
real life. 

The Story of the Merchant who Lost his Luck. 69 

contented, and applied himself to sewing eight of them in 
his gown, keeping the t\vo others in his mouth ; but a thief 
saw him and went and advertised his fellows of him ; where- 
upon they gathered together upon him, and took his gown 
and departed from him. When they were gone away, he arose, 
saying, "The two unions I have will suffice me," and made for the 
nearest city, where he brought out the pearls for sale. Now 
as Destiny would have it, a certain jeweller of the town 
had been robbed of ten unions, like those which were with the 
merchant ; so, when he saw the two pearls in the broker's hand, 
he asked him, " To whom do these belong ? " and the broker 
answered, " To yonder man." The jeweller, seeing the merchant 
in pauper case and clad in tattered clothes, suspected him and 
said to him, " Where be the other eight pearls ?" The merchant 
thought he asked him of those which were in the gpwn, whenas 
the man had purposed only to surprise him into confession, and 
replied, ''The thieves stole them from me." When the jeweller 
heard his reply, he was certified that it was the wight who had 
taken his good ; so he laid hold of him and haling him before the 
Chief of Police, said to him, "This is the man who stole my 
unions : I have found two of them upon him and he confesseth to 
the other eight." Now the Wali knew of the theft of the pearls ; 
so he bade throw the merchant into jail. Accordingly they 
imprisoned him and whipped him, and he lay in trunk a whole 
year, till, by the ordinance of Allah Almighty, the Chief of Police 
arrested one of the divers aforesaid, and imprisoned him in the 
prison where the merchant was jailed. The ducker saw him and 
knowing him, questioned him of his case; whereupon he told 
them his tale, and that which had befallen him ; and the diver 
marvelled at the lack of his luck. So, when he came forth of the 
prison, he acquainted the Sultan with the merchant's case and told 
him that it was he who had given him the pearls. The Sultan 
bade bring him forth of the jail, and asked him of his story, 

70 Supplemental Nights. 

whereupon he told him all that had befallen him, and the Sovran 
pitted him and assigned him a lodging in his own palace, together 
with pay and allowances for his support. Now the lodging in 
question adjoined the king's house, and whilst the merchant was 
rejoicing in this and saying, "Verily, my luck hath returned, and 
I shall live in the shadow of this king the rest of my life," he 
espied an opening walled up with clay and stones. So he cleared 
the opening the better to see what was behind it, and behold, it 
was a window giving upon the lodging of the king's women. 
When he saw this, he was startled and affrighted and rising in 
haste, fetched clay and stopped it up again. But one of the 
eunuchs 1 saw him, and suspecting him, repaired to the Sultan, and 

1 " Eunuch," etymologically meaning chamberlain (fuvrj + ?x tv )> a bed-chamber- 
ervant or slave, was presently confined to castrated men found useful for special 
purposes, like gelded horses, hounds, and cockerels turned to capons. Some wnter* 
hold that the creation of the semivir or apocopus began as a punishment in Egypt and 
elsewhere ; and so under the Romans amputation of the " peccant part " was frequent : 
others trace the Greek " invalid," i.e., impotent man, to marital jealousy, and not a few 
to the wife who wished to use the sexless for hard work in the house without danger to 
the slave-girls. The origin of the mutilation is referred by Ammianus Marcellmu* 
(lib. iv., chap. 17^, and the Classics generally, to Semiramis, an "ancient queen" of 
decidedly doubtful epoch, who thus prevented the propagation of weaklings. But ia 
Genesis (xxxvii. 36 ; xxxix. I, margin) we find Potiphar termed a " Sarim " (castrato| 
an " attenuating circumstance " for Mrs. P. Herodotus (iii. chap. 48) tells us thai 
Periander, tyrant of Corinth, sent three hundred Corcyrean boys to Alyattes for castra- 
tion cVlflT eKTO/xfl, and that Pamonios of Chios sold caponised lads for high prices, 
(viii. 105) : he notices (viii. 104 and other places) that eunuchs " of the Sun, of 
Heaven, of the hand of God," were looked upon as honourable men amongst the 
Persians whom Stephanus and Brissonius charge with having invented the name 
(Dabistan i. 171). Ctesias also declares that the Persian kings were under the influence 
of eunuchs. In the debauched ages of Rome the women found a new use for these 
effeminates, who had lost only the testes or testiculi = the witnesses (of generative force) : 
it is noticed by Juvenal (i. 22 ; ii. 365-379 ; vi. 366.) 

sunt quos imbelles et mollia semper 
Oscula delectanu 
So Martial, 

vult futui Gallia, non parere, 

And Mirabeau knew (see Kadfsah) " qu'ils mordent les femmes et les liment avee 
une prcieuse continuitS." (Compare my vol. ii. 90; v. 46). The men also used them 
as catamites (Horace i. Od. xxxvii.) 

' Contaminate cum grege turpium 
Morbo virorum." 

The Story of tlie Merchant who Lost his Luck. 71 

told him of this. So he came and seeing the stones pulled out, 
was wroth with the merchant and said to him, "Be this my 

_, In religion the intestabilis or intestatus was held ill-omened, and not permitted 
to become a priest (Seneca Controv. ii. 4), a practice perpetuated in the various Christian 
churches. The manufacture was forbidden, to the satisfaction of Martial, by Domitian, 
whose edict Nero confirmed ; and was restored by the Byzantine empire, which 
advanced eunuchs, like Eutropius and Narses, to the highest dignities of the realm. 
The cruel custom to the eternal disgrace of mediaeval Christianity was revived in Rome 
for providing the choirs iti the Sistine Chapel and elsewhere with boys' voices. 
Isaiah mentions the custom (Ivi. 3-6,). Mohammed, who notices in the Koran (xxiv. 
31), ''such men as attend women and have no need of women" i.e. "have no natural 
force," expressly forbade (iv. 118), "changing Allah's creatures," referring, say the 
commentators, to superstitious ear-cropping of cattle, tattooing, teeth-sharpening, 
sodomy, tribadism, and slave-gelding. See also the " Hidayah," vol. iv. 121 ; and the 
famous divine Al-Siyuti, the last of his school, wrote a tractate Fi '1-Tahrfmi Khidmati 
'1-Khisyan = on the illegality of using eunuchs. Yet the Harem perpetuated the 
practice throughout Al-Islam and African jealousy made a gross abuse of it. To 
quote no other instance, the Sultan of Dar-Forhad a thousand eunuchs under a Malik or 
king, and all the chief offices of the empire, such as Ab (father) and Bab (door), were; 
monopolised by these neutrals. The centre of supply was the Upper Nile, where the 
operation was found dangerous after the age of fifteen, and when badly performed only one 
in four survived. For this reason, during the last century the Coptic monks of Girgah 
and Zawy al-Dayr, near Assiout, engaged in this scandalous traffic, and declared that it 
was philanthropic to operate scientifically (Prof. Panuri and many others). Eunuchs 
are now made in the Sudan, Nubia, Abyssinia, Kordofan, and Dar-For, especially the 
Messalmiyah district: one of those towns was called "Tawishah" (eunuchry) from 
the traffic there conducted by Fukahd or religious teachers. Many are supplied by the 
district between Majarah (Majarash?) and the port Masawwah ; there are also depots 
at Mbadr, near Tajurrah-harbour, where Yusuf Bey, Governor in 1880, caponised some 
forty boys, including the brother of a hostile African chief: here also the well-known 
Abu Bakr was scandalously active. It is calculated that not less than eight thousand of 
these unfortunates are annually exported to Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. Article IV. of 
the Anglo- Egyptian Convention punishes the offence with death, and no one would object 
to hanging the murderer under whose mutilating razor a boy dies. Yet this, like most 
of our modern "improvements" in Egypt, is a mere brulum fulmen. The crime is 
committe'd under our very eyes, but we will not see it. 

The Romans numbered three kinds of eunuchs : I. Castrati, clean-shaved, from 
Gr. Kt'orpos. 2. Spadones, from <r7raa>> when the testicles are torn out, not from 
"Spada," a town of Persia ; and, 3. Thlibii, from 0\i'<u. to press, squeeze, when the 
testicles are bruised, &c. In the East also, as I have stated (v. 46), eunuchs are of three 
kinds : I. Sandali, or the clean-shaved, the classical apocopus. The parts are swept Q? 
by a single cut of a razor, a tube (tin or wooden) is set in the urethra, the wound is caute 
rised with boiling oil, and the patient is planted in a fresh dunghill. His diet is milk ; antf 
and if under puberty, he often survives. This is the eunuque aqueduc, who must pass his 
water through a tube. 2. The eunuch whose penis is removed : he retains all the power 
of copulation and procreation without the wherewithal ; and this, since the discovery 
of caoutchouc, has often been supplied. 3. The eunuch, or classical Thlibias and 
Semivir, who has been rendered sexless by removing the testicles (as the priests oC 

72 Supplemental Nights. 

reward from thee, that thou seekest to unveil my Harim?" 
Thereupon he bade pluck out his eyes ; and they did as he 
commanded. The merchant took his eyes in his hand and said, 
" How long, O star of ill-omen, wilt thou afflict me ? First my 
wealth and now my life ! " And he bewailed himself, saying, 
" Striving profiteth me naught against evil fortune. The 
Compassionate aided me not, and effort was worse than 
useless. 1 ' 1 " On like wise," O king, continued the youth, " whilst 
fortune was favourable to me, all that I did came to good ; but 
now that it hath turned against me, everything turneth to mine ill." 
^When the youth had made an end of his tale, the king's anger 
subsided a little, and he said, "Return him to the prison, for the 
day draweth to an end, and to-morrow we will look into his 
affair, and punish him for his ill-deeds." 

Cybele were castrated with a stone knife), or by bruising (the Greek Thlasias), twisting, 
searing, or bandaging them. A more humane process has lately been introduced : a 
horsehair is tied round the neck of the scrotum and tightened by slow degrees till the 
circulation of the part stops and the bag drops off without pain. This has been adopted 
in sundry Indian regiments of Irregular Cavalry, and it succeeded admirably : the 
animals rarely required a day's rest. The practice was known to the ancients. See 
notes on Kadisah in Mirabeau. The Eunuchala -virgo was invented by the Lydians, 
according to their historian Xanthus. Zachias (Qusest. medico-legal.) declares that the 
process was one of infibulation or simple sewing up the vulva ; but modern experience 
has suggested an operation like the "spaying" of bitches, or mutilation of the womb, in 
modern euphuism "baby-house." Dr. Robert ('* Journey from Delhi to Bombay, 
Muller's Archiv. 1843") speaks of a eunuch'd woman who after ovariotomy had no 
breasts, no pubes, no rotundities, and no desires. The Australians practise exsection of 
the ovaries systematically to make women barren. Miklucho Maclay learned from the 
traveller Retsch that about Lake Parapitshurie men's urethras were split, and the girls 
were spayed : the latter showing two scars in the groin. They have flat bosoms, but 
feminine forms, and are slightly bearded ; they mix with the men, whom they satisfy 
mechanically, but without enjoyment (?). MacGillivray, of the " Rattlesnake," saw near 
Cape York a woman with these scars : she was a surdo-mute, and had probably been 
spayed to prevent increase. The old Scandinavians, from Norway to Iceland, systemati- 
cally gelded "sturdy vagrants," in order that they might not beget bastards. The 
Hottentots before marriage used to cut off the left testicle, meaning by such semi- 
castration to prevent the begetting of twins. This curious custom, mentioned by the 
Jesuit Tochard, Boeving, and Kolbe, is now apparently obsolete at least, the traveller 
Fritsch did not rind it. 
1 Arab. " Harim " = forbidden," sinful. 



WHEN it was the next day, the second of the king's Wazirs, whose 
name was Baharun, came in to him and said, "Allah advance 
the king ! This deed which yonder youth hath done is a grave 
matter, and a foul misdeed and a heinous against the household of 
the king." So Azadbakht bade fetch the youth, because of the 
Minister's speech; and when he came into the presence, said 
to him, " Woe to thee, O youth ! There is no help but that I 
do thee die by the dreadest of deaths, for indeed thou hast 
committed a grave crime, and I will make thee a warning to the 
folk." The youth replied, "O king, hasten not, for the looking 
to the ends of affairs is a column of the kingdom, and a cause 
of continuance and assurance for the kingship. Whoso looketh 
not to the issues of actions, there befalleth him that which befel 
the merchant, and whoso looketh to the consequences of actions, 
there betideth him of joyance that which betideth the merchant's 
son." The king asked, " And what is the story of the merchant 
and his sons ? " and the youth answered, " Hear, O king, 


There was once a merchant, who had abundant wealth, and a 
wife to boot. He set out one day on a business journey, leaving 
his wife big with child, and said to her, " Albeit, I now leave thee, 

1 In Chavis and Cazotte, who out-galland'd Galland in transmogrifying the Arabic, 
this is the " Story of Illage (Al-Hajj) Mahomet and his sons ; or, the Imprudent Man." 
The tale occurs in many forms and with great modifications : See, for instance, the 
Gesta Romanorum " Of the miraculous recall of sinners and of the consolation which 
piety offers to the distressed," the adventures of the knight Pla*idus, vol. ii. 99- 
Charles Swan, London. Rivington, 1824. 

74 Supplemental Nights. 

yet I will return before the birth of the babe, Inshallah ! " Then 
he farewelled her and setting out, ceased not faring from country 
to country till he came to the court of one of the kings and fore- 
gathered with him. Now this king needed one who should order 
his affairs and those of his kingdom and seeing the merchant 
well-bred and intelligent, he required him to abide at court and 
entreated him honourably. After some years, he sought his 
Sovran's leave to go to his own house, but the king would not 
consent to this ; whereupon he said to him, " O king, suffer me 
go and see my children and come again." So he granted him 
permission for this and, taking surety of him for his return, gave 
him a purse, wherein were a thousand gold dinars. Accordingly, 
the merchant embarked in a ship and set sail, intending for his 
mother-land. On such wise fared it with the trader ; but as re- 
gards his wife, news had reached her that her husband had accepted 
service with King Such-an-one ; so she arose and taking her two 
sons, (for she had borne twins in his absence,) set out seeking those 
parts. As Fate would have it, they happened upon an island and 
her husband came thither that very night in the ship. So the 
woman said to her children, " The ship cometh from the country 
where your father is : hie ye to the sea-shore, that ye may enquire 
of him." Accordingly, they repaired to the sea-shore and going 
up into the ship, fell to playing about it and busied themselves 
with their play till evening evened. Now the merchant -their sire 
lay asleep in the ship, and the noisy disport of the boys troubled 
him ; whereupon he rose to call out to them " Silence " and let the 
purse with the thousand dinars fall among the bales of merchandise. 
He sought for it and finding it not, buffeted his head and seized 
upon the boys, saying, " None took the purse but you : ye were 
playing all about the bales, so ye might steal somewhat, and there 
was none here but you twain." Then he took his staff, and laying 
hold of the children, fell to beating them and flogging them, whilst 
they wept, and the crew came round about them saying, " The 

The Tale of the Merchant and his Sons. 7 5 

of this island are all rogues and robbers." Then, of the 
greatness of the merchant's anger, he swore an oath that, except 
they brought out the purse, he would drown them In the sea; so 
when by reason of their denial his oath demanded the deed, he 
took the two boys and binding them each to a bundle of reeds, 
cast them into the water. Presently, finding that they tarried from 
her, the mother of the two boys went searching for them, till she 
came to the ship and fell to saying, " Who hath seen two boys of 
mine? Their fashion is so and so and their age thus and thus." 
When the crew heard her words, they said, " This is the description 
of the two boys who were drowned in the sea but now." Their 
mother hearing this began calling on them and crying, " Alas, my 
anguish for your loss, O my sons ! Where was the eye of your 
father this day, that it might have seen you ? " Then one of the 
sailors asked her, "Whose wife art thou ?" and she answered, "I: 
am the wife of Such-an-one the trader. I was on my way to him,' 
and there hath befallen me this calamity." When the merchant i 
heard her words, he knew her and rising to his feet, rent his 
raiment and beat his head and said to his wife, " By Allah, I have 
destroyed my children with mine own hand ! This is the end of 
whoso looketh not to the endings of affairs. This is his reward 
who taketh not time to reflect." Then he took to wailing and 
weeping over them, he and his wife, and he said to his shipmates, 
"By Allah, I shall never enjoy my life, till I light upon news of 
them ! " And he began to go round about the sea, in quest of his, 
sons, but found them not. Meanwhile, the wind carried the two, 
children from the ship towards the land, and cast them up on the' 
sea-shore. As for one of them, a company of the guards of theJ 
king of those parts found him and carried him to their lord, who 

marvelled at him with exceeding marvel and adopted him, giving 


out to the folk that he was his own son, whom he had hidden, 1 of 

1 i.t. For fear of the "eye": see vol. i. 123 and passim. In these days the practice ' 

76" Supplemental Nights. 

his love for him. So the folk rejoiced in him with joy exceeding, 
for their lord's sake, and the king appointed him his heir-apparent 
and the inheritor of his kingdom. On this wise a number of 
years passed, till the king died and they enthroned the youth 
sovran in his stead, when he sat down on the seat of his kingship 
and his estate flourished and his affairs prospered with all regularity. 
Meanwhile, his father and mother had gone round about, in quesl 
of him and his brother, all the islands of the sea, hoping that the 
tide might have cast them up, but found no trace of them ; so they., 
despaired of them and took up their abode in a certain of the 
islands. One day, the merchant, being in the market, saw a broker, 
and in his hand a boy he was crying for sale, and said in himself 
** I will buy yonder boy, so I may solace myself with him for my 
sons." 1 So he bought him and bore him to his house; and, when 
his wife saw him, she cried out and said, " By Allah, this is mj^ 
son ! " Accordingly his father and mother rejoiced in him with 
exceeding joy and asked him of his brother ; but he answered, 
" The waves parted us and I knew not how it went with him.'* 
Therewith his father and mother consoled themselves with him and 
on this wise a number of years passed by. Now the merchant and 
his wife had homed them in a city of the land where their other 
son was king, and when the boy they had recovered grew up, his 
father assigned unto him merchandise, to the end that he might 
travel therewith. Upon this he fared forth and entered the city 
wherein his brother ruled and anon news reached the king that a 
merchant had come thither with merchandise befitting royalties ; 
so he sent for him and the young trader obeyed the summons and 
going in to him, sat down before him* Neither of them knew the 

is rare ; but, whenever you see at Cairo an Egyptian dame daintily dressed and leading 
by the hand a grimy little boy whose eyes are black with flies and whose dress is oru and 
unclean, you see what has taken its place. And if you would praise the brat you must 
not say " Oh, what a pretty boy ! " but " Inshallah ! "the Lord doth as he pleaseth. 
1 The adoption of slave lads and lasses was and is still common among Moslems. 

The Taie of the Merchant and his Sons. 77 

other ; but blood moved between them 1 and the king said to the 

merchant youth, " I desire of thee that thou tarry with me and I 

will exalt thy station and give thee all that thou requirest and 

cravest." Accordingly, he abode with him awhile, never quitting 

him ; and when he saw that he would not surfer him to depart 

from him, he sent to his father and mother and bade them remove 

thither to him. Hereat they resolved upon moving to that 

island, and their son still increased in honour with the king, albeit 

he knew not that he was his brother. Now it chanced one night 

that the king sallied forth without the city and drank and the wine 

got the mastery of him and he became drunken. So, of the 

youth's fear for his safety, he said, " I will keep watch myself over 

the king this night, seeing that he deserveth this from me, for that 

which he hath done with me of kindly deeds ; " and he arose 

forthright and baring his brand, stationed himself at the door of 

the king's pavilion. But one of the royal pages saw him standing 

there, with the drawn sword in his harrd, and he was of those who 

envied him his favour with the king ; therefore, he said to him, 

"Why dost thou on this wise at this time and in the like of 

this place ? " Said the youth, " I am keeping watch and ward 

over the king myself, in requital of his bounties to me." The page 

said no more to him ; however, when it was morning, he acquainted 

a number of the king's servants with the matter, and they said, 

"This is an opportunity for us. Come, let us assemble together 

and acquaint the king therewith, so the young merchant may lose 

regard with him 2 and he rid us of him and we be at rest from 

him." So they assembled together and going in to the king, said 

to him, "We have a warning wherewith we would warn thee." 

Quoth he, " And what is your warning ? " and quoth they, " This 

1 I have elsewhere noted this " pathetic fallacy" which is a lieu commun of Eastern 
folk-lore and not less frequently used in the mediaeval literature of Europe before statistics 
were invented. 

* Arab. ' Yaskut min 'Aynayh," lit. = fall from his two eyes, lose favour. 

78 Supplemental Nights. 

youth, the trader, whom them hast taken into favour and whose rank 
thou hast exalted above the chiefest of thy lords, we saw yesterday 
bare his brand and design to fall upon thee, to the end that he 
might slay thee." Now when the king heard this, his colour changed 
and he said to them, " Have ye proof of this ? " They rejoined, 
" What proof wouldst thou have ? An thou desirest this, feign 
thyself drunken again this night and lie down as if asleep, and 
privily watch him and thou wilt see with thine eyes all that we 
have mentioned to thee." Then they went to the youth and said 
to him, " Know that the king thanketh thee for thy dealing 
yesternight and exceedeth in commendation of thy good deed;" 
and they prompted him again to do the like. Accordingly, when 
the next night came, the king abode on wake, watching the youth ; 
and as for the latter, he went to the door of the pavilion and 
unsheathing his scymitar, stood in the doorway. When the king 
saw him do thus, he was sore disquieted and bade seize him and 
said to him, " Is this my reward from thee ? I showed thee favour 
more than any else and thou wouldst do with me this abominable 
deed." Then arose two of the king's pages and said to him, " O 
our lord, an thou order it, we will smite his neck." But the king 
said, " Haste in killing is a vile thing, for 'tis l a grave matter ; the 
quick we can kill, but the killed we cannot quicken, and needs 
must we look to the end of affairs. The slaying of this youth will 
not escape us." 2 Therewith he bade imprison him, whilst he 
himself went back to the city and, his duties done, fared forth to 
the chase. Then he returned to town and forgot the youth ; so the 
pages went in to him and said to him, " O king, an thou keep 
silence concerning yonder youth, who designed to slaughter thee, 
all thy servants will presume upon the king's majesty, and indeed 
the folk talk of this matter." Hereat the king waxed wroth and 

1 i.e. killing a man. 
.* i.e. we can slay him whenever we will. 

The Tale of tlie Merchant and his Sons. 79 

cried, " Fetch him hither ; " and bade the headsman strike off his 
head. So they brought the youth and bound his eyes ; and the 
sworder stood at his head and said to the king, " By thy leave, O 
my lord, I will smite his neck." But the king cried, " Stay, till I 
look into his affair. Needs must I put him to death and the 
dispatching of him will not escape me." Then he restored him to 
the prison and there he abode till it should be the king's will to do 
him die. Presently, his parents heard of the matter ; whereupon 
his father arose and going up to the palace, wrote a letter and 
presented it to the king, who read it, and behold, therein was 
written, saying, " Have ruth on me, so may Allah have ruth on 
thee, and hasten not in the slaughter of my son ; for indeed I acted 
hastily in a certain affair and drowned his brother in the sea, and 
to this day I bemourn him. An thou must needs kill him, kill me 
in his stead." Therewith the old merchant, weeping bitterly, 
prostrated himself before that king, who said to him, " Tell me 
thy tale." Said the merchant, "O my lord, this youth had a 
brother and I in my haste cast the twain into the sea." And he 
related to him his story, first and last, whereupon the king cried 
with a mighty loud cry and casting himself down from the throne, 
embraced his father and brother and said to the merchant. " By 
Allah, thou art my very father and this is my brother and thy wife 
is our mother." And they abode weeping, all three of them. Then 
the king acquainted his people with the matter and said to them, 
" O folk, how deem ye of my looking to the consequences of 
action ? ; " and they all marvelled at his wisdom and foresight. 
Then he turned to his sire and said to him, " Hadst thou looked to 
the issue of thine affair and made due delay in whatso thou didst, 
there had not betided thee this repentance and chagrin all this time." 
Thereupon he sent for his mother and they rejoiced one in other and 
lived all their days in joy and gladness." " What then " (continued 
the young treasurer), " is more grievous than the lack of looking 
to the ends of things ? Wherefore hasten thou not in the slaying 

8o Supplemental Nights. 

of me, lest penitence betide thee and sore chagrin." When the 
king heard this, he said, " Return him to the prison till the morrow, 
so we may look into his affair ; for that deliberation in such is 
advisable and the slaughter of this youth shall not escape us." 



WHEN it was the third day, the third Wazir came in to the king 
and said to him, " O king, delay not the matter of this youth, 
because his deed hath caused us fall into the mouths of folk, and 
it behoveth that thou slay him forthright, that the talk may be 
cut from us and it be not said : The king saw on his bed a man 
with his wife and spared him." The king was chagrined by these 
words and bade bring the youth. Accordingly, they fetched him 
in fetters, and indeed the king's anger was upstirred against him 
by the Minister's speech and he was troubled ; so he said to him, 
" O base of birth, thou hast dishonoured us and marred our 
mention, and needs must I do away thy life from the world." 
Quoth the youth, " O king, make use of patience in all thine 
affairs, so wilt thou win to thy wish, for that Allah Almighty hath 
appointed the issue of long-suffering to be in abounding good, and 
indeed by patience Abu Sabir ascended from the pit and sat down 
upon the throne." Asked the king, " Who was Abu Sabir, and 
what is his tale ? " and the youth answered, saying, " Hear thou, 
O king, 


There was once a man, a village headman, 1 Abu Sabir hight, 
and he had much black cattle and a buxom wife, who had borne 

1 In Chavis and Cazotte " Story of Abosaber the Patient." " AW Sabir " would mean 
" Father of the Patient (one)." 

1 Arab. " Dihkan," in Persian a villager ; but here something more, a village-eider 
or chief. Al-Mas'udi (chap, xxiv.), and other historians apply the term to a class of 
noble Persians descended from the ten sons of Wahkert, the first " Dihkan," the fourth 
generation from King Kayomars. 

VOL. I. F 

82 Supplemental Nights. 

him two sons. They abode in a certain hamlet and there used to 
oome thither a lion and rend and devour Abu Sabir's herd, so 
that the most part thereof was wasted and his wife said to him one 
day, tl This lion hath wasted the greater part of our property. 
Arise, mount thy horse and take thy host and do thy best to kill 
him, so we may be at rest from him." But Abu Sabir said, " Have 
patience, O woman, for the issue of patience is praised. This lion 
it is which transgresseth against us, and the transgressor, perforce 
must Almighty Allah destroy him. Indeed, 'tis our long-suffer- 
ing that shall slay him, 1 and he that doth evil needs must it recoil 
upon him." A few days after, the king went forth one morning 
to hunt and falling in with the lion, he and his host, gave chase 
to him and ceased not pursuit till they slew him. This news 
reached Abu Sabir who improved the occasion to his wife, " Said 
I not to thee, O woman, that whoso doth evil, it shall recoil 
upon him ? Haply an I sought to slay the lion myself, I had not 
prevailed against him, and this is the issue of patience." It befel, 
after this, that a man was slain in Abu Sabir's village ; wherefore 
the Sultan bade plunder the village, and they spoiled the patient 
one's goods with the rest. Thereupon his wife said to him, " All the 
king's officers know thee ; so do thou prefer thy plaint to the sovran, 
that he may bid thy beasts to be restored to thee. But he said to 
her, " O woman, said I not to thee that he who worketh wrong 
shall be wronged ? Indeed, the king hath done evil, and right 
soon he shall suffer the issues of his deed, for whoso taketh the 
goods of the folk, needs must his goods be taken." A man of his 
neighbours heard his speech, and he was an envier of his ; so he 
went to the Sultan and acquainted him therewith, whereupon the 
king sent and plundered all the rest of his goods and drave him 
forth from the village, and his wife and family with him. They 

1 Reminding one not a little of certain anecdotes anent Quakers, current in England 
and English-speaking lands. 

The Story of Abu Sabir. 83 

went wandering in the waste grounds about the hamlet and his wife 
said to him, "All that hath befallen us cometh of thy slowness in 
affairs and thy, helplessness." But he said to her, " Have patience, 
for the issue of patience is good." Then they walked on a little 
way, and thieves met them and despoiling them of whatso remained 
with them, stripped them of their raiment and took from them the 
two children ; whereupon the woman wept and said to her husband, 
" Hearkye, my good man, put away from thee this folly and up 
with us to follow the thieves, so, peradventure they may have com- 
passion on us and restore the children to us." He replied, " O 
woman, have patience, for he who doth evil shall be requited with 
evil and his frowardness shall revert upon him. Were I to follow 
them, belike one of them would take his sword and smite my 
neck and slay me ; but have patience, for the issue of patience is 
praised." Then they fared on till they made a village l in the 
land of Kirman, and by it a river of water ; so the man said to his 
wife, " Tarry thou here, whilst I enter the village and look us out a 
place wherein we may home ourselves." And he left her by the 
water and entered the village. Presently, up came a horseman in 
quest of water, wherewith to water his horse : he saw the woman 
and she was pleasing in his eyes ; so quoth he to her, " Arise, 
mount with me and I will take thee to wife and entreat thee 
kindly." Quoth she, " Spare me, so may Allah spare thee! In- 
deed I have a husband." But he drew his dudgeon and said to 
her, " An thou obey me not, I k will smite thee and slay thee." 
When she saw his frowardness, she wrote on the ground in the sand 
with her finger, saying, " O Abu Sabir, thou hast not ceased to be 
patient, till thy good is gone from thee and thy children and now 

1 Arab. " Karyah," a word with a long history. The root seems to be Karaha, he 
met ; in Chald. Karih and Kdria (emphatic Kdrita) = a town or city ; and in Heb. 
Kirjath, Kiryathayim, etc. We find it in Carthage = Karti hidisah, or New Town as 
opposed to Utica (Atlkah) = Old Town ; in Carchemish and in a host of similar com- 
pounds. In Syria and Egypt Kariyah, like Kafr, now means a hamlet, a village. 

84 Supplemental Nights. 

thy wife, who was more precious in thy sight than everything and 
than all thy monies, and indeed thou abidest in thy sorrow the whole 
of thy life long, so thou mayest see what thy patience will profit 
thee," Then the horseman took her, and setting her behind him, 
went his way. As for Abu Sabir, when he returned, he saw not 
his wife but he read what was writ upon the ground, wherefore he 
wept and sat awhile sorrowing. Then said he to himself, " O 
Abu Sabir, it behoveth thee to be patient, for haply there shatl 
betide thee an affair yet sorer than this and more grievous ; " and 
he went forth a-following his face, 1 like to one love-distraught and 
passion-madded, till he came to a gang of labourers working upon 
the palace of the king, by way of forced labour. 2 When the over- 
seers saw him, they laid hold of him and said to him, " Work thou 
with these folk at the palace of the king ; else we will imprison 
thee for life." So he fell to working with them as a labourer and 
every day they gave him a bannock of bread. He wrought with 
them a month's space, till it chanced that one of the labourers 
mounted a ladder and falling, brake his leg ; whereupon he cried 
out and shed tears. Quoth Abu Sabir to him, " Have patience and 
weep not ; for in thine endurance thou shalt find ease." But the 
man said to him, u How long shall I have patience ? " And he 
answered, saying, " Long-suffering bringeth a man forth of the 
bottom of the pit and seateth him on the throne of the kingdom/' 
It so. fortuned that the king was seated at the lattice, hearkening to 
their talk, and Abu Sabir's words angered him for the moment ; where- 
fore he bade bring him before him and they brought him forthright. 
Now there was in the king's palace an underground dungeon 
and therein a vast silo 3 and a deep, into which the king caused 
cast Abu Sabir, saying to him, " O little of wit, soon shall we ee 

1 i.e. wandering at a venture. 

2 Arab. " Sakhrah," the old French Corvee, and the " Begdr " of India. 

3 Arab. " Matmvirah : " see vol. ii. 39, where it is used as an " underground ceH. " Tfce 
word is extensively used in the Maghrib or Western Africa. 

The Story of Abu Sabir. 8$ 

how thou wilt come forth of the pit to the throne of the kingdom." 
Then he used continuously to come and stand at the mouth of 
the pit and say, " O little of wit, O Abu Sabir, 1 I see thee not 
come forth of the pit and sit down on the king's throne ! " And 
he assigned him each day two bannocks of bread, whilst Abu 
Sabir kept silence and spake not, but patiently bore whatso 
betided him. Now the king had a brother, whom he had im- 
prisoned in that pit of old time, and he had died there ; but the 
folk of the realm deemed him still alive, and when his durance 
grew long, the courtiers of the king used to talk of this and of 
the tyranny of their liege Lord, and the bruit spread abroad that 
the sovran was a tyrant, so they fell upon him one day and slew 
him. Then they sought the silo and brought out therefrom Abu 
Sabir, deeming him the king's brother, for that he was the nearest 
of folk to him in favour and the likest, and he had been long in 
the pit. So they doubted not but that he was the Prince and 
said to him, " Reign thou in thy brother's room, for we have slaini 
him and thou art sovran in his stead." But Abu Sabir was silent 
and spoke not a word ; 2 and he knew that this was the result of 
his patience. Then he arose and sitting down on the king's 
throne, donned the royal dress and dispensed justice and equity, 
and affairs prospered ; wherefore the lieges obeyed him and the 
subjects inclined to him and many were his soldiers. Now the king, 
who erst had plundered Abu Sabir's goods and driven him forth 
of his village, had an enemy ; and the foe mounted horse against' 
him and overcame him and captured his capital; wherefore he 
betook him to flight and came to Abu Sabir's city, craving support 

1 Arab. " Ya Abd Sabir." There are five vocative particles in Arabic ; " Ya,'' com- 
mon to the near and far ; " Aya " (ho !) and " Haya" (holla !) addressed to the far, 
and " Ay " and "A" (A-'Abda-llahi, O Abdullah), to those near. All govern the 
accusative of a noun in construction in the literary language only ; and the vulgar use Done 
but the first named. The English-speaking races neglect the vocative particle, and I never 
heard it except in the Southern States of the Anglo-American Union = Oh, Mr. Smith. 

2 He was not honest enough to undeceive them ; a neat Quaker-like touch. 

86" Supplemental Nights. 

of him and seeking that he should succour him. He knew not 
that the king of the city was the headman whom he had spoiled ; 
so he presented himself before him and made complaint to him ; 
but Abu Sabir knew him and said to him, " This is somewhat of 
the issue of patience. Allah the Most High hath given me power 
over thee." Then he commanded his guards to plunder the 
unjust king and his suite; so they spoiled them and stripping 
them of their clothes, put them forth of his country. When Abu 
Sabir's troops saw this, they marvelled and said, "What be this 
deed the king doth ? There cometh a king to him, craving pro- 
tection, and he spoileth him ! This is not the fashion of kings." 
But they dared not speak of this. Presently, news came to the 
king of highwaymen in his land ; so he set out in quest of them 
and ceased not to follow after them, till he seized on them all, and 
behold, they were the very thieves who had plundered him and 
his wife by the way and had carried off his children. Accordingly 
he bade bring them before him, and when they came into his 
presence, he questioned them, saying, " Where are the two boys 
ye took on such a day ? " Said they, " They are with us and we 
will present them to our lord the king for Mamelukes to serve him 
and give him wealth galore that we have gotten together and doff 
all we own and repent from lawlessness and fight in thy service." 
Abu Sabir, however, paid no heed to their words, and seized all 
their good and bade put them all to death. Furthermore, he took 
his two boys and rejoiced in them with exceeding joy, whereat the 
troops murmured among themselves, saying, " Verily, this is a 
greater tyrant than his brother ! There cometh to him a gang of 
thieves, and they seek to repent and proffer two boys by way of 
peace-offering, and he taketh the two lads and all their good and 
slayeththem! Indeed this be violent oppression." After this came 
the horseman, who had seized Abu Sabir's wife, and complained of 
her to the king that she would not give him possession of her 
person, and solemnly declared that she was his wife. The king 

The Story of Abu Sabir. 87 

bade bring her before him, that he might hear her plea and 
pronounce judgment upon her. So the horseman came with her 
before him, and when the king saw her, he knew her and taking 
her from her ravisher, bade put him to death. Then he became 
aware of the troops, that they murmured against him and spake 
of him as a tyrant ; so he turned to his courtiers and ministers 
and said to them, " As for me, by Allah of All-might, 1 I am not 
the king's brother ! Nay, I am but one whom the king im- 
prisoned upon a word he heard from me and he used every day to 
come and taunt me therewith. Ye deem me the king's brother ; 
but I am Abu Sabir and the Lord hath given me the kingship in 
virtue of my patience. As for the king who sought protection of 
me and I plundered him, 'twas he who first wronged me, for that 
he plundered me aforetime and drave me forth of my native land 
and banished me, without due cause ; wherefore I requited him 
with that which he had done to me, in the way of lawful 
retribution. As for the highwaymen who proffered repentance, 
there was no repentance for them with me, because they began 
upon me with foul dealing and waylaid me by the road and 
despoiled me and seized my good and my sons, the two boys that 
I took of them, and those ye deemed Mamelukes are my very 
sons ; so I avenged myself on the thieves of that which they did 
with me whilome and requited them with strict justice. As for 
the horseman whom I slew, this woman I took from him was my 
wife and he seized her by force, but Allah the Most High hath 
restored her to me ; so this was my right, and my deed that I have 
done was righteous, albeit ye, judging by the externals of the 
matter, deemed that I had done this by way of tyranny." When 

1 Here the oath is justified ; but the reader will have remarked that the name of Allah 
is often taken in vain. Moslems, however, so far from holding this a profanation deem 
it an acknowledgment of the Omnipotence and Omnipresence. The Jews from whom the 
Christians have borrowed had an interest in concealing the name of their tribal divinity; 
and therefore made it ineffable. 

88 Supplemental Nights. 

the folk heard these words, they marvelled and fell prostrate before 
him ; and they redoubled in esteem for him and exceeding affection 
and sued pardon of him, admiring that which Allah had done 
with him and how He had given him the kingship by reason of his 
longsuffering and his patience and how he had raised himself by 
his endurance from the bottom of the pit to the throne of the 
kingdom, what while Allah cast down the late king from the 
throne into the pit. 1 Then Abu Sabir foregathered with his wife 
and said to her, " How deemest thou of the fruit of patience and its 
sweetness and the fruit of haste and its bitterness ? Verily, all 
that a man doth of good and evil, he shall assuredly encounter the 
same." " On like wise, O king " (continued the young treasurer), 
" it besitteth thee to practise patience, whenever it is possible to 
thee, for that longsuffering is the wont of the noble, and it is the 
chiefest of their reliance, especially for kings." When the king 
heard this from the youth, his wrath subsided ; so he bade return 
him to the prison, and the folk dispersed that day. 

1 i.e. the grave, the fosse commune of slain men. 


WHEN it was the fourth day, the fourth Wazir, whose name was 
Zushdd, 1 made his appearance and prostrating himself to his liege 
lord, said to him, " O king, let not the talk of yonder youth delude 
thee, for that he is not a truth-teller. As long as he shall remain 
alive, the folk will not leave talking nor will thy heart cease to 
be occupied with him." Cried the king, " By Allah, thou sayst 
sooth and I will cause fetch him this day and slay him between 
my hands." Then bade he bring the youth ; so they fetched him 
in fetters and he said to him, " Woe to thee ! Thinkest thou to 
appease my heart with thy prate, whereby the days are spent in 
talk ? I mean to do thee die this day and be quit of thee." Said 
the youth, " O king, 'tis in thy power to put me out of the world 
whenso thou wilt, but haste is the wont of the ignoble and patience 
the sign of the noble. An thou do me to death, thou wilt repent, 
and when thou desire to bring me back to life, thou wilt not be 
able. Indeed, whoso acteth hastily in an affair, there befalleth 
him what befel Bihzad, son of the king." Quoth the king, " And 
what is his tale ? " Replied the treasurer, " O king, hear 


There was once, of olden time, a king and he had a son Bihzad 
hight, there was not in his tide a fairer than he and he loved to 

1 A fancy name ; "Zawash" in Pers. is = Zevs, the planet Jupiter, either borrowed 
from Greece, or both descended from some long forgotten ancestor. 

1 In Chavis and Cazotte "Story ofBhazad (!) the Impatient. The name is Persian, 
Bih (well, good) Zad (born). In the adj. bih we recognise a positive lost in English and 
German which retain the comparative (bih-tar = better) and superlative (bih-tarin = 

9O Supplemental Nights. 

fellow with the folk and to mix with the merchants and sit and 
talk with them. One day, as he was seated in an assembly, 
amongst a number of people, he heard them talking of his own 
beauty and loveliness, and saying, " There be not in his time a 
fairer than he." But one of the company said, " Indeed, the 
daughter of King Such-an-one is seemlier than he." When Bihzad 
heard this saying, his reason fled and his heart fluttered and he 
called the last speaker and said to him, " Repeat to me that which 
thou saidst and tell me the truth concerning her whom thou 
avouchest to be goodlier than I and whose daughter she is." 
Quoth the man, " She is the daughter of King Such-an-one ;" 
whereupon Bihzad's heart clave to her and his colour changed. 
Presently the news reached his sire, who said to him, " O my son, 
this maiden to whom thy heart cleaveth is at thy command and we 
have power over her ; so wait till I demand her in wedlock for 
thee." But the Prince said, " I will not wait." So the king 
hastened in the matter and sent to demand her of her sire, who 
required of him an hundred thousand dinars paid down to his 
daughter's dowry. Quoth Bihzad's father, " So be it," and 
weighed out what was in his treasuries, and there remained to 
his charge but a little of the dower. 1 So he said, " Have 
patience, O my son, till we gather together the rest of the 
money and send to fetch her for thee, since now she is become 
thine." Therewith the Prince waxed wroth with exceeding wrath 
and cried, " I will not have patience ; " so he took his sword 
and his lance 2 and mounting his horse, went forth and fell to 
cutting the way 3 . It chanced one day that he fell upon a com 
pany of folk who overcame him by dint of numbers and taking him 

1 ' i.e. the moiety kept by the bridegroom, a contingent settlement paid at divorce or on 
the death of the husband. 

2 Arab. " Rumh" = the horseman's lance not the footman's spear. 

* i.e. became a highwayman (a time-honoured and honourable career) io order to 
collect money for completing the dowry. 

The Story oj Prince Bihzad. 91 

prisoner, pinioned him and carried him to the lord of that land 
wherein he was a-highwaying. This king saw his semblance and 
loveliness and misdoubting of him, said s " This be no robber's 
favour. Tell me truly, O youth, who thou art." Bihzad was 
ashamed to acquaint him with his condition and preferred death 
for himself; so he answered, " I am naught but a thief and a 
bandit." Quoth the king, " It behoveth us not to act hastily in 
the matter of this youth, but that we look into his affair, for that 
impatience gendereth penitence." So he imprisoned him in his 
palace and assigned him one to serve him. Meanwhile the 
news spread abroad that Bihzad, son of the sovran, was lost, 
whereupon his father sent letters in quest of him to all the kings 
including him with whom he was imprisoned. When the letter 
reached the latter, he praised Almighty Allah for that he had not 
anyways hastened in Bihzad's affair and bidding them bring him 
before himself, said to him, "Art thou minded to destroy thy 
life ? " Quoth Bihzad, " I did this for fear of shame ;" and the 
king said, " An thou fear shame, thou shouldst not practise haste 
in thy doings ; knowest thou not that the fruit of impatience is 
repentance ? Had we hasted, we also, like thee, had repented." 
Then he conferred on him a robe of honour and engaged to him 
for the completion of the dowry and sent to his father, giving him 
the glad tidings and comforting his heart with news of his son's 
safety ; after which he said to Bihzad, " Arise, O my son, and go 
to thy sire." Rejoined the Prince, " O king, complete thy 
kindness to me by hastening my going-in to my wife ; for, an I 
go back to my sire, the time will be long till he send a messenger 
and he return, promising me dispatch. The king laughed and 
marvelled at him and said to him, " I fear for thee from this 
precipitancy, lest thou come to shame and win not thy wish." 
Then he gave him muchel of wealth and wrote him letters, com- 
mending him to the father of the Princess, and despatched him to 
them. When he drew near their country, the king came forth to 

92 Supplemental Nights. 

meet him with the people of his realm and assigned him a fine 
lodging and bade hasten the going-in of his daughter to him, in 
compliance with the other king's letter. He also advised the 
Prince's father of his son's coming and they busied themselves with 
the affair of the young lady." When it was the day of the bride's 
going-in 1 Bihzad, of his impetuosity and lack of patience, betook 
himself to the wall, which was between himself and her lodging 
and wherein was a hole pierced, and of his haste looked through 
it, so he might see his bride. But her mother espied him 2 and this 
was grievous to her ; so she took from one of the pages two red- 
hot iron spits and thrust them into the hole through which the 
Prince was looking. The spits ran into his eyes and put them 
out and he fell down fainting and the wedding-festival was 
changed to mourning and sore concern. " See, then, O king " 
(continued the youth), "the issue of the Prince's haste and lack 
of deliberation, for indeed his impatience bequeathed him long 
penitence and his joy turned to annoy ; and on like wise was it 
with the woman who hastened to put out his eyes and delayed 
not to deliberate. All this was the doing of haste ; wherefore it 
behoveth the king not to be hasty in putting me to death, for that I 
am under the hold of his hand, and whatso time thou desirest my 
slaughter, it shall not escape thee." When the king heard this 
his anger subsided and he said, u Return him back to the prison 
till to-morrow, so we may look into his case." 

v i.e. to the bride, the wedding-day; not to be confounded with "going in unto" 

2 Probably meaning that she saw the eyes espying through the crevice without knowing 
whose they were. 



WHEN it was the fifth day, the fifth Wazir, whose name was 
Jahrbaur, 1 came in to the king and prostrating himself before him, 
said, " O king, it behoveth thee, an thou see or hear one look 
on thy house, 2 that thou pluck out his eyes. How then should 
it be with him whom thou sawest a middlemost thy palace and 
on thy royal bed, and he suspected with thy Harim, and not of thy 
lineage or of thy kindred ? So do thou away this shame by 
putting him to death. Indeed, we urge thee not to this, except 
for the assurance of thine empire and of our zeal for thy loyal 
counselling and of our affection to thee. How can it be lawful 
that this youth should live for a single hour?" Therewith the 
king was filled with fury and cried, " Bring him forthright." So 
they fetched the youth whom they set before him in fetters, and 
the king said to him, " Woe to thee ! Thou hast sinned a great 
sin and the time of thy survival hath been long ; s but needs must 
we put thee to death, because there is no ease for us in thy life till 
we take it," Quoth the youth, ' Know O king, that I, by Allah, 
am guiltless, and by reason of this I hope for life, for that he who 
is innocent of all offence goeth not in fear of pains and penalties, 
neither greateneth his mourning and his concern ; but whoso hath 
sinned, needs must his sin be expiated upon him, though his life 
be prolonged, and it shall overtake him, even as it overtook 
Dadbm the king and his Wazir." Asked Azadbakht, " How was 

1 A fancy name intended to be Persian. 

1 i.e. thy Harem, thy women. 

3 i.e. thy life hath been unduly prolonged. 

94 Supplemental Nights. 

that ? " and the youth said, " Hear, O King (whose days may 
Allah increase!), 


There was once a king in the land of Tabaristan, 2 by name 
Dddbin, and he had two Wazirs, one called Zorkhan and the other 
Kdrddn. 3 The Minister Zorkhan had a daughter, there was not 
in her day a fairer than she nor yet a chaster or a more pious, 
for she was a faster, a prayer and an adorer of Allah the Almighty, 
and her name was Arwa. 4 Now Dadbin, the king, heard tell of 
her praises ; so his heart clave to her and he called the Wazir 
her sire and said to him, " I desire of thee that thou marry me to 
thy daughter." Quoth Zorkhan, " O my liegest lord, suffer me 
to consult her, and if she consent, I will marry thee with her." 
And the king said, " Haste thee with this." So the Minister 
went in to his daughter and said to her, "O my daughter, the 
king seeketh thee of me and desireth to marry thee." She said, 
" O my father, I desire not a husband, and if thou wilt marry me, 
marry me not but with a mate who shall be mine inferior in rank 
and I nobler than he, so he may not turn to other than myself nor 
lift his eyes upon me, 5 and marry me not to one who is nobler than 
I, lest I be with him as a slave-girl and a serving-woman." Accord- 
ingly the Wazir returned to the king and acquainted him with that 
which his daughter had said, whenas he redoubled in desire and 

1 See Chavis and Gazette, "Story of Ravia (Arwa!) the Resigned." Ddd-bin 
(Persian) = one who looks to justice, a name hardly deserved in this case. 

2 For this important province and city of Persia, see Al-Mas'udl, ii. 2; iv. 86, etc. 
It gave one of many names to the Caspian Sea. The adjective is Tabari, whereas 
Tabarini = native of Tiberias (Tabariyah) . 

8 Zor-khin = Lord Violence, and Kir-dan = Business-knower ; both Persian, 
* "Arwa" written with a terminal of yd is a woman's P.N. in Arabic. 
5 i.e. Not look down upon me with eyes of contempt. This "marrying belov one ** 
L is still an Eastern idea, very little known to women in the West. 

The Story of King Dadbin and his Wazirs. 95 

love-longing for her, and said to her sire, " An thou marry me not 
to her of good grace, I will take her in thy despite and by force." 
The Minister again betook himself to his daughter and repeated 
to her the king's words, but she replied, " I want no husband." 
So he returned to the king and told him what she said, and he 
was wroth and threatened him, whereupon the father took his 
daughter and fled with her. When this came to the king's 
knowledge, he despatched troops in pursuit of Zorkhan, to stop 
the road upon him, whilst he himself went out and overtaking 
the Wazir, smote him on the head with his mace ! and slew him. 
Then he took his daughter by force and returning to his dwelling 
place, went in to her and married her. Arwa resigned herself 
with patience to that which betided her and committed her case 
to Allah Almighty ; and indeed she was used to serve Him night 
and day with a goodly service in the house of King Dadbin her 
husband. It befel one day that the king had occasion to make 
a journey ; so he called his second Wazir Kardan and said to 
him, " I have a charge to commit to thy care, and it is yonder 
lady, my wife, the daughter of the Wazir Zorkhan, and I desire 
that thou keep her and guard her thy very self, because I have 
not in the world aught dearer than she." Quoth Kardan in his 
mind, "Of a truth, the king honoureth me with an exceeding 
honour in entrusting me with this lady." And he answered, 
" With love and all gladness." When the king had departed on 
his journey, Kardan said in himself, "Needs must I look upon 
this lady whom the king loveth with all this love." So he hid 
himself in a place, that he might espy her, and saw her surpassing 
description ; wherefor he was confounded at her and his wit was 
wildered and love gat the lordship of him, so that he sent to her, 

1 Chavts and Cazotte call the Dabbus a " dabour " and explain h as a "sort of scepter 
sed by Eastern Princes, which serves also as a weapon." For the Dabbus, or mace, 
see vol. vi. 249. 

<X> Supplemental Nights. 

saying, " Have pity on me, for indeed I perish for the love of 
thee." She sent back to him and replied, " O Wazir, thou art in 
the place of faith and confidence, so do not thou betray thy trust, 
but make thine inward life like unto thine outward 1 and occupy 
thyself with thy wife and that which is lawful to thee. As for 
this, 'tis mere lust and women are all of one and the same taste.* 
And if thou wilt not be forbidden from this talk, I will make 
thee a byword and a reproach among folk." When the Minister 
heard her answer, he knew that she was chaste of soul and body ; 
wherefore he repented with the utmost of repentance and feared 
for himself from the king and said, " Needs must I devise a device 
whereby I may destroy her ; else shall I be disgraced with 
the king." Now when the king returned from his journey, he 
questioned Kardan of the affairs of his kingdom, and the Wazir 
answered, " All is right well, O king, save a vile matter, which 
I have espied here and with which I am ashamed to confront 
the sovran ; but, if I hold my peace thereof, I fear lest other than 
I discover it and I shall have played traitor to the king in the 
matter of my warning and my trust." Quoth Dadbin, " Speak, 
for to me thou art none other than a truth-teller, a trustworthy 
and a loyal counsellor in whatso thou sayest, undistrusted in 
aught." And the Minister said, " O king, this woman to whose 
love thy heart cleaveth and of whose piety thou talkest and her 
fasting and her praying, I will plainly prove to thee that this 
is craft and guile." Hereat the king was troubled and said, 
" What may be the matter ? " and the Wazir replied, " I would have 
thee wot that some days after thy departure, one came to me and 
said to me, Come, O Wazir, and look. So I went to the door 
of the queen's sleeping-chamber and behold, she was sitting with 

1 /.*. Let thy purposes be righteous as thine oulward profession. 
1 See vol. vi. 130. This is another lieu commttn amongst Moslems ; and its unfaot 
requires only statement. 

The Story of King Dadbin and his Wazirs. 9 7 

Abu al-Khayr, her father's page, whom she favoureth, and she did 
with him what she did, and such is the manner of that which I 
saw and heard." When Dadbin heard this, he burnt with rage 
and said to one of his eunuchs, 1 " Go and slay her in her chamber." 
But the eunuch said to him, " O king, Allah prolong thy life ! 
Indeed, the killing of her may not be in this way neither at this 
time ; but do thou bid one of thine Castrates take her up on a 
camel and carry her to one of the trackless wolds and cast her 
down there ; so, if she be guilty, Allah shall cause her to perish, 
and if she be innocent, He will deliver her, and the king shall 
be free from default against her ; for that this lady is dear to thee 
and thou slewest her father by reason of thy love for her." Quoth 
the king, " By Allah, thou sayst sooth ! " Then he bade one 
of his eunuchs carry her on a camel to one of the far-off wilds and 
cut-off wolds and there leave her and wend his ways, and he 
forbad her torment to be prolonged. So he took her up and 
betaking himself with her to the desert, left her there without 
provaunt or water and returned, whereupon she made for one of 
the hills, and ranging stones before her in form of prayer-niche, 
stood praying. Now it chanced that a camel-driver, belonging to 
Kisr& 2 the king, lost certain camels, and his lord threatened him, 
if he found them not, that he would slay him. Accordingly he set 
out and plunged into the wastes till he came to the place where the 
lady was, and seeing her standing at prayer utterly alone, waited till 
she had made an end of her orisons, when he went up to her and 
saluted her with the salam, saying, " Who art thou ? " Quoth 
she, " I am a hand-maid of the Almighty." He asked, " What 
doest thou in this desolate place ? " and she answered, " I serve 
Allah the Most High." When he saw her beauty and loveliness, 
he fell in love with her, and said to her, "Harkye! Do thou 

1 Afterwards called his " chamberlain," i.e. guardian of the Harem-door. 
* i.e. Chosroes, whom Chavis and Cazotte make " Cyrus." 
VOL. I. 

9$ Supplemental Nights. 

take me to mate and I will be tender to thee and use thee 
with exceeding ruth, and I will further thee in obedience to Allah 
Almighty." But she answered, saying, <f I have no need of wed- 
lock and I desire to abide here alone with my Lord and His worship ; 
but an thou wouldst have ruth upon me and further me in the 
obedience of Allah the Most High, carry me to a place where there 
is water and thou wilt have done me a kindness." Thereupon 
he took her to a place wherein was running water and setting 
her down on the ground, left her and went his ways, marvelling at 
her. After he left her, he found his camels, by her blessing, and 
when he returned, King Kisra asked him, " Hast thou found the 
camels ? " He answered " Yes," and acquainted him with the 
affair of the damsel, and detailed to him her beauty and love- 
liness : whereupon the king's heart clave to her and he mounted 
\vith a few men and betook himself to that place, where he found 
the lady and was amazed at her, because he saw her surpassing 
the description wherewith the camel-driver had described her to 
him. So he accosted her and said to her, " I am King Kisra, 
greatest of the kings. Wilt thou not have me to husband?" 
Quoth she, " What wilt thou do with me, O king, and I a woman 
abandoned in the waste ? " And quoth he, " Needs must this 
be, and if thou wilt not consent to me, I will take up my abode 
here and devote myself to Allah's service and thy service, and 
with thee worship the Almighty." Then he bade set up for her a 
tent and another for himself, facing hers, so he might adore Allah 
with her, and fell to sending her food ; and she said in herself, 
" This is a king, and 'tis not lawful for me that I suffer him for 
my sake to forsake his lieges and his land." Presently she said 
to the serving-woman, who used to bring her the food, " Speak 
the king that he return to his women, for he hath no need of me, 
and I desire to abide in this place, so I may worship therein 
Allah the Most High." The slave-girl returned to the king and 
told him this, whereupon he sent back to her, saying, " I have no 

The Story of King Dadbin and his Wazirs. 99 

need of the kingship and I also desire to tarry here and worship 
Allah with thee in this waste." When she found this earnestness 
in him, she fell in with his wishes, and said, "O king, I will 
consent to that which thou desirest and will be to thee a wife, 
but on condition that thou bring me Dadbin the king and his 
Wazir Kardan and his Chamberlain the chief Eunuch, and that 
they be present in thine assembly, so I may speak a word with 
them in thy presence, to the intent that thou mayst redouble in 
affection for me." Quoth Kisra, " And what is thy want unto 
this ? " So she related to him her story from first to last, how 
she was the wife of Dadbin the king and how the Wazir Kardan 
had misspoken of her honour. When King Kisra heard this, he 
redoubled in love-longing for her and affection and said to her, " Do 
whatso thou wiliest : " then he let bring a litter l and carrying her 
therein to his dwelling-place, entreated her with the utmost honour 
and espoused her. Presently he sent a great army to King 
Dadbin and fetching him and his Wazir Kardan and the Eunuch- 
chamberlain, caused bring them before him, they unknowing the 
while what he might purpose to do with them. Moreover, he 
caused set up for Arwa a pavilion 2 in the courtyard of his palace, 
and she entered it and let down the curtain before herself. 
When the servants had set their seats and they had seated them- 
selves, Arwa raised a corner of the curtain and said, " O Kardan, 
rise to thy feet, for it besitteth not that thou sit in the like of 
this assembly, before this mighty King Kisra." When the Wazir 
heard these words, his heart fluttered and his joints were loosened 
and he rose to his feet of his fear Then said she to him, " By the 
virtue of Him who hath made thee stand up to judgment in this 
standing-stead, and thou abject and humiliated, I conjure thee 
speak the truth and say what egged thee on to lie against me and 

1 Arab. " Takiyah," used for the Persian Takhtrawan, common in The Nights. 
* Arab. " Kubbah," a dome-shaped tent, as elsewhere. 

TOO Supplemental Nights. 

drive me from my home and from the land of my husband and 
made thee practise thus against a man and a Moslem so as to slay 
him. 1 This is no place wherein lying availeth nor may artifice be 
herein." When the Wazir was 'ware that she was Arwa and 
heard her speech, he knew that it behoved him not to lie and that 
naught would avail him save truth ; so he bowed his head ground- 
wards and wept and said, " Whoso doth evil, needs must he incur 
it, albe his day be prolonged. By Allah, I am he who hath 
sinned and transgressed, and naught prompted me unto this but 
fear and overmastering desire and the misery writ upon my brow. 2 
And indeed this woman is pure and chaste and free from all fault." 
When King Dadbin heard this, he beat his face and said to 
Kardan, his Wazir, " Allah slay thee ! " 3 "Tis thou that hast 
parted me and my wife and wronged me ! " But Kisra the 
king said to him, "Allah shall assuredly slay thee, because thou 
hastenedst and lookedst not into thine affair, and knewest not 
the guilty from the guiltless, Hadst thou wrought deliberately,, 
the unright had been made manifest to thee from the right ; so 
when this villain Wazir purposed thy ruin, where was thy judgment 
and whither went thy sight ? " Then he asked Arwa,- " What 
wilt thou that I do with them ?" and she answered, " Accomplish 
on them the ordinance of Almighty Allah : 4 let the slayer be 

1 This can refer only to Abu al-Khayr's having been put to death on Kardan's charge, 
although the tale-teller, with characteristic inconsequence, neglected to mention the 

2 Not referring to skull sutures, but to the forehead, which is poetically compared 
with a page of paper upon which Destiny writes her irrevocable decrees. 

3 Said in the grimmest earnest, not jestingly, as in vol. iv. 264. 

4 i.e. the l(x taltonis, which is the essence of Moslem, and indeed, of all criminal 
jurisprudence. We cannot wonder at the judgment of Queen Arwa : even Confucius, 
the mildest and most humane of lawgivers, would not pardon the man who allowed his 
father's murderer to live. The Moslem lex talionis (Koran ii. 173) is identical with 
that of the Jews (Exod. xxi. 24), and the latter probably derives from immemorial usage. 
But many modern Rabbins explain away the Mosaical command as rather a demand 
for a pecuniary mulct than literal retaliation. The well-known Isaac Aburbanel cites 
many arguments in proof of this position : he asks, for instance, supposing the accused 
have but one eye, should he lose it for having struck out one of another roan's two ? 

The Story of King Dadbin and his Wazirs. 101 

slain and the transgressor transgressed against, even as he trans- 
gressed against us ; yea, and to the well-doer weal shall be done 
even as he did unto us." So she gave her officers order concerning 
Dadbin and they smote him on the head with a mace and slew him, 
and she said, " This is for the slaughter of my sire." Then she 
bade set the Wazir on a beast and bear him to the desert whither 
he had caused her to be borne, and leave him there without pro- 
vaunt or water ; and she said to him, " An thou be guilty, thou 
shalt suffer the punishment of thy guilt and die in the desert of 
hunger and thirst ; but an there be no guilt in thee, thou shalt be 
delivered, even as I was delivered." As for the Eunuch-chamber- 
lain, who had counselled King Dadbin not to slay her, but to 
cause carry her to the desert, she bestowed on him a costly robe 
of honour and said to him, " The like of thee it befitteth kings 
to hold in favour and promote to high place, for that thou spakest 
loyally and well, and a man is requited according to his deed.*' 
And Kisra the King made him Wali in a certain province of his 
empire. " Know, therefore, O king " (continued the youth), " that 
whoso doeth good is requited with good, and he who is guiltless 
of sin and offence feareth not the issue of his affair. And I, 
O my liege lord, am free from guilt, wherefore I hope in Allah 
that He will show forth the truth to mine auspicious king, and 
vouchsafe me the victory over enemies and enviers." When the 
king heard this, his wrath subsided and he said, " Return him 
to the prison till the morrow, so we may look into his case." 

Moreover, he dwells upon the impossibility of inflicting a punishment the exact equivalent 
of the injury; like Sbylock's pound of flesh without drawing blood. Moslems, how- 
ever, know nothing of these frivolities, and if retaliation be demanded the judge must 
grant it. There is a legend in Marocco of an English merchant who was compelled 
to forfeit tooth for tooth at the instance of an old woman, but a profitable concession 
gilded the pill. 



WHEN it was the sixth day, the wrath of the Wazirs redoubled, 
because they had not won their will of the youth and they feared 
for their lives from the liege lord ; so three of them went in to 
him and prostrating themselves between his hands, said to him, 
" O king, indeed we are loyal counsellors to thy dignity and fondly 
solicitous for thy weal. Verily, thou persistest long in leaving this 
youth alive and we know not what is thine advantage therein. 

Every day findeth him yet on life and the talk of folk redoubleth 


suspicion on thee ; so do thou do him dead, that the talk may be 
made an end of." When the king heard this speech, he said, " By 
Allah, verily ye say sooth and speak rightly ! " Then he bade 
them bring the young treasurer and when he came into the 
presence said to him, " How long shall I look into thy case, and 
find no helper for thee and see them athirst for thy blood ? " The 
youth answered, " O king, I hope for succour only from Allah, 
not from created beings : an He aid me, none shall have power to 
harm me, and if He be with me and on my side, because of the 
truth, from whom shall I fear, because of untruth ? Indeed, I 
have made my intent with Allah a pure intent and a sincere, and 
I have severed my expectation from the help of the creature ; and 
whoso seeketh aid of Allah findeth of his desire that which 
Bakhtzaman found." Quoth the king, " Who was Bakhtzaman and 
what is his story ? " and quoth the youth, " Hear, O king, 

There was once a king of the kings, whose name was Bakhtza- 

1 In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Bhazmant (!) ; or the Confident Man." " Bakht 
i-i-)Zaman " in Pers. would = Luck of the Time. 

The Story of King Bakhtzaman. 103 

man, and he was a great eater and drinker and carouser. Now 
enemies of his made their appearance in certain parts of his realm, 

which they coveted ; and one of his friends said to him, " O king, 

the foe intendeth for thee : be on thy guard against him." Quoth 

Bakhtzaman, " I reck not of him, for that I have weapons and 
wealth and warmen and am not afraid of aught." Then said his 
friends to him, " Ask aid of Allah, O king, for He will help thee 
more than thy wealth and thy weapons and thy warriors." But 
he turned a deaf ear to the speech of his loyal counsellors, and 
presently the enemy came upon him and waged war upon him and 
got the victory over him and profited him naught his trust in 
other than Allah the Most High. So he fled from him and seeking 
one of the sovrans, said to him, " I come to thee and lay hold 
upon thy skirts and take refuge with thee, so thou mayst help me 
against my foe." The king gave him money and men and a 
mighty many and Bakhtzaman said in himself, " Now am I 
fortified with this force and needs must I conquer my foe with 
such combatants and overcome him ;" but he said not, " With the 
aid of Allah Almighty." So his enemy met him and overcame him 
again and he was defeated and put to the rout and fled at random : 
his troops were dispersed from him and his money lost and the 
enemy pursued him. Thereupon he sought the sea and passing 
over to the other side, saw a great city and therein a mighty 
citadel. He asked its name and that of its owner, and they said 
to him, " It belongeth to Khadfddn ' the king." So he fared on till 
he came to the royal palace and concealing his condition, passed 
himself off for a horseman 2 and sought service with King Khadidan, 
who attached him to his attendance and entreated him with 
honour ; but his heart still clung to his mother-land and his 

1 Chavis and Cazotte change the name to "Abadid," which, like " Khadfda"n," 
is non-significant. 

2 Arab. " Fdris," here a Reiter, or Dugald Dolgetti, as mostly were the hordes led by 
the mediaeval Italian CondoUieri. 

1O4 Supplemental Nights. 

home. Presently, it chanced that an enemy came out against 
King. Khadidan ; so he sent his troops to meet him and made 
Bakhtzaman head of the host. Then they went forth to the field 
and Khadidan also came forth and ranged his troops and levelled 
lance and sallied out in person and fought a sore fight and 
overcame his foe, who with his troops ignominiously fled. When 
the king and his army returned in triumph, Bakhtzaman said to 
him, " Harkye, O king ! This be a strange thing I see in thee 
that thou art compassed about with this mighty great army, yet 
dost thou apply thyself in person to battle and adventurest thy 
life." Quoth the king, " Dost thou call thyself a knight and a 
learned wight and deemest that victory is in the many of men ? " 
Quoth Bakhtzaman, " Such is indeed my belief." And Khadidan 
the king cried, " By Allah, then, thou errest in this thy belief ! " 
presently adding, " Woe and again woe to him whose trust is 
in other than Allah ! Indeed, this army is appointed only for 
phantasy and majesty, and victory is from Allah alone. I too, O 
Bakhtzaman, whilome believed that victory was in the number of 
men, 1 and an enemy came out against me with eight hundred head, 
whilst I had eight hundred thousand. I trusted in the tale of 
my troops, whilst my foe trusted in Allah, so he defeated me and 
routed me and I was put to a shameful flight and hid myself 
in one of the mountains, where I met with a Religious who had 
withdrawn himself from the world. So I joined myself to him and 
complained to him of my case and acquainted him with all that had 
befallen me. Quoth the Recluse, Wottest thou why this befel 
thee and thou wast defeated ? Quoth I, I know not ; and he 
said, Because thou didst put thy trust in the multitude of thy war- 
men and reliedst not upon Allah the Most High. Hadst thou put 
thy trust in the Almighty arid believed of Him that it is He alone 

1 So Napoleon the Great also believed that Providence is mostly favourable to "gros 

The Story of King Bakhtmman. 105 

who advantageth and endamageth thee, never had thy foe availed 
to cope with thee. Return unto Allah. So I returned to my right 
senses, and repented at the hands of that Religious, who said to me : 
Turn back with what remaineth to thee of troops and confront 
thy foes, for, if their intents be changed and turned away from Allah, 
thou wilt overcome them, e'en wert thou alone. When I heard the 
Solitary's words, I put my trust in Allah of All-Might ; and, 
gathering together those who remained with me, fell upon mine 
enemies at unawares in the night. They deemed us many and 
fled with the shamefullest flight, whereupon I entered my city 
and repossessed myself of my place by the might of Almighty 
Allah, and now I fight not but trusting in His aid." When 
Bakhtzaman heard these words he awoke from his heedlessness 
and cried, " Extolled be the perfection of God the Great ! O 
king, this is my case and my story, nothing added and naught 
subtracted, for I am King Bakhtzaman and all this happened to 
me : wherefore I will seek the gate of Allah's mercy and repent 
unto Him." So he went forth to one of the mountains and 
worshipped Allah, there awhile, till one night, as he slept, 
a personage appeared to him in a dream and said to him, 
"O Bakhtzaman, Allah accepteth thy repentance and openeth 
on thee the door of succour and will aid thee against thy 
foe." When he was assured of this in the dream, he arose 
and turned back, intending for his own city; and when he 
drew near thereunto, he saw a company of the king's retainers, 
who said to him, " Whence art thou ? We see that thou art a 
foreigner and fear for thee from this king, for that every stranger 
who entereth this city, he destroyeth him, of his dread of King 
Bakhtzaman." Said Bakhtzaman, " None shall prejudice him 
nor profit him save Allah the Most High." And they replied, 
" Indeed, he hath a vast army and his heart is fortified in the 
multitude of his many." When King Bakhtzaman heard this, his 
mind was comforted and he said to himself, " I place my trust in 

io6 Supplemental Nights. 

Allah. An He will, I shall overcome mine enemy by the might of 
the Lord of Omnipotence." So he said to the folk, " Wot ye not 
who I am ? " and they said, " No, by Allah." Cried he, " I 
am King Bakhtzaman." When they heard this and knew that it 
was indeed he, they dismounted from their horses and kissed his 
stirrup, to do him honour, and said to him, "O king, why thus 
risk thy life ? " Quoth he, " Indeed, my life is a light matter to 
me and I set my trust in Almighty Allah, looking to Him 
for protection." And quoth they, "May that suffice thee!" 
presently adding, " We will do with thee that which is in 
our power and whereof thou art worthy: hearten thy heart, 
for we will succour thee with our substance and our existence, 
and we are his chief officers and the most in favour with him 
of all folk. So we will take thee with us and cause the lieges 
follow after thee, because the inclination of the people, all of them, 
is thee-wards." Said he, " Do whatso Allah Almighty enableth 
you to do." So they carried him into the city and hid him with 
them. Then they agreed with a company of the king's chief 
officers, who had aforetime been those of Bakhtzaman, and ac- 
quainted them with this ; whereat they rejoiced with joy exceeding. 
Then they assembled together to Bakhtzaman, and made a cove- 
nant and handfast of fealty with him and fell upon the foe and 
slew him and seated King Ba-khtzaman again on the throne of his 
kingship. And his affairs prospered and Allah amended his estate 
and restored to him His bounty, and he ruled his subjects justly and 
abode in the obedience of the Almighty. " On this wise, O king," 
(continued the young treasurer), " he with whom Allah is and 
whose intent is pure, meeteth naught save good. As for me, I 
have no helper other than the Almighty, and I am content to sub- 
mit myself to His ordinance, for that He knoweth the purity of 
my intent." With this the king's wrath subsided and he said, 
" Return him to the prison till the morrow, so we may look into 
his case." 



WHEN it was the seventh day, the seventh Wazir, whose name was 
BihkamAl, 1 came in to the king and prostrating himself to him, 
said, "O king, what doth thy long-su fieri ng with this youth profit 
thee ? Indeed the folk talk of thee and of him. Why, then, dost 
thou postpone the putting him to death?" The Minister's words 
aroused the anger of the king, and he bade bring the youth. So 
they fetched him before him in fetters, and Azadbakht said to 
him, "Ho, woe to thee! By Allah, after this day there abideth 
no deliverance for thee from my hand, by reason that thou hast 
outraged mine honour, and there can be no forgiveness for thee." 
The youth replied, " O king, there is no great forgiveness save in 
case of a great default, for according as the offence is great in so 
much magnified is mercy ; and it is no grace to the like of thee if 
he spare the like of me. Verily, Allah knoweth that there is no 
crime in me, and indeed He commandeth to clemency, and no 
clemency is greater than that which spareth from slaughter, for 
that thy pardon of him whom thou purposes! to put to death 
is as the quickening of a dead man ; and whoso doth evil shall find 
it before him, even as it was with King Bihkard." Asked the 
king, " And what is the story of King Bihkard ?" And the youth 
answered, " Hear, O king, 

There was once a king named Bihkard and he had mickle of 

1 Pers. and Arab. = " Good perfection." 

2 In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Baharkan." Bihkard (in Shiiaz pronounced 
"Kyard)" = "Wellbedid." 

108 Supplemental Nights. 

wealth and many troops ; but his deeds were evil and he would 
punish for a slight offence, and he never forgave any offender. 
He went forth one day to hunt and a certain of his pages shot a 
shaft, which lit on the king's ear and cut it off. Bihkard cried, 
" Who shot that arrow ?" So the guards brought him in haste the 
misdemeanant, whose name was Yatru, 1 and he of his fear fell 
down on the ground in a fainting fit. Then quoth the king, " Slay 
him ; " but Yatru said, " O king, this which hath befallen was not 
of my choice nor of my knowledge ; so do thou pardon me, in the 
hour of thy power over me, for that mercy is of the goodliest of 
deeds and belike it shall be in this world a provision and a good 
work for which thou shalt be repaid one of these days, and a 
treasure laid up to thine account with Allah in the world to come. 
Pardon me, therefore, and fend off evil from me, so shall Allah fend 
off from thee the like evil." When the king heard this, it pleased 
him and he pardoned the page, albeit he had never before par- 
doned any. Now this page was of the sons of the kings and 
had fled from his sire on account of a sin he had committed : then 
he went and took service with Bihkard the king, and there hap- 
pened to him what happened. After a while, it chanced that a man 
recognized him and went and told his father, who sent him a letter, 
comforting his heart and mind and calling upon him to return to 
him. Accordingly he returned to his father, who came forth to 
meet him and rejoiced in him, and the Prince's affairs were set 
right with his sire. Now it befel, one day of the days, that king 
Bihkard shipped him in a ship and put out to sea, so he might 
fish : but the wind blew on them and the craft sank. The king 
made the land upon a plank, unknown of any, and came forth, 
mother-naked, on one of the coasts ; and it chanced that he landed 
in the country whereof the father of the page aforesaid was king. 
So he came in the night to the gate of the sovran's capital, and 

1 See "KaUu " in the Introduction to the Bakhtiyar-namah. 

The Story of King Bihkard. 109 

finding it shut, lodged him in a burying-place there. When the 
morning morrowed and the folk came forth of the city, behold, 
they found a man lately murthered and cast down in a corner of 
the burial ground, and seeing Bihkard there, doubted not but it 
was he who had slain him during the night ; so they laid hands 
on him and carried him up to the king and said to him, "This 
feliow hath slain a man." The king bade imprison him ; where- 
upon they threw him in jail, and he fell to-saying in himself, what 
while he was in the prison, " All that hath befallen me is of the 
abundance of my sins and my tyranny, for, indeed, I have slain much 
people unrighteously and this is the requital of my deeds and that 
which I have wrought whilome of oppression. As he was thus 
pondering in himself, there came a bird and lighted down on the 
pinnacle of the prison, whereupon, of his passing eagerness in the 
chase, he took a stone and threw it at the bird. Now the king's 
son was playing in the exercise-ground with the ball and the bat, 1 
and the stone lit on his ear and cut it off, whereupon the Prince 
fell down in a fit. So they enquired who had thrown the stone 
and finding that it was Bihkard, took him and carried him before 
the king's son, who bade do him die. Accordingly, they cast the 
turband from his head and were about to fillet his eyes, when the 
Prince looked at him and seeing him cropped of an ear, said to 
him, "But for thy villainies thine ear had not been cut off." 
Said Bihkard, " Not so, by Allah ! Nay, but the story of the 
loss of my car is so and so, and I pardoned him who smote me 
with an arrow and cut off my ear." When the prince heard this, 
he looked in his face and knowing him, cried out and said, " Art 
thou not Bihkard the king ?" "Yes," replied he, and the Prince 
said to him, " What ill chance threw thee here ? *' Thereupon he 
told him all that had betided him and the folk wondered and 

1 The text has " Jaukalin" for Saulajan, the Persia* " Chaugan " = the crooked bat 
used in Polo. See vol. I. 46. 

I TO Supplemental Nights. 

extolled the perfection of the Almighty, crying " Subhdna 'llah ! 
laud to the Lord ! " Then the Prince rose to him and embraced 
him and kissed him and, entreating him with respect, seated 
him in a chair and bestowed on him a robe of honour ; and 
he turned to his sire and said to him, " This be the king who 
pardoned me and this be his ear which I cut off with a 
shaft ; and indeed he deserveth my pardon by having pardoned 
me." Then said he to Bihkard, " Verily, the issue of mercy hath 
been a provision for thee in such hour as this." And they entreated 
him with the utmost kindness and sent him back to his own 
country in all honour. " Know, then, O king " (continued the 
youth), "that there is no goodlier quality than mercy and that all 
thou dost of clemency, thou shalt find before thee a treasure for 
thee treasured up." When the king heard this, his wrath subsided 
and he said, " Return him to the prison till the morrow* so we may 
look into his case.-" 



WHEN it was the eighth day, the Wazirs all assembled and had 
speech together and said, " How shall we do with this youth, who 
overcometh us with his much talk ? Indeed, we fear lest he be 
saved and we fall into destruction. So, let us all go in to the king 
and unite our efforts to gain our cause, ere he appear without guilt 
and come forth and get the better of us." Accordingly they all 
went in to the king and prostrating themselves before him, said to 
him, " O king, beware lest this youth ensorcell thee with his 
sorcery and beguile thee with his wiles. An thou heardest what 
we hear, thou wouldst not suffer him live ; no, not a single day. 
Wherefore heed not his speech, for we are thy Ministers, who 
endeavour for thy permanence, and if thou hearken not to our word, 
to whose word wilt thou hearken ? See, we are ten Wazirs who 
testify against this youth that he is guilty and entered not the 
king's sleeping chamber save with ill intent, so he might put the 
king to shame and outrage his honour ; and if the king slay him 
not, let him banish him his realm, that the tongue of the folk may 
desist from him." When the king heard his Ministers' words, he 
was wroth with exceeding wrath and bade bring the youth, and 
when he came in to the king, the Wazirs all cried out with one 
voice, saying, " O Lack-wits, thinkest thou to save thyself from, 
slaughter by guile and sleight, that thou wilest the king with thy 
talk and hopest pardon for the like of this mighty great crime thou 
hast committed ? " Then the king bade fetch the sworder, so he 
might smite his neck ; whereupon each of the Wazirs fell to saying, 
" I will slay him ; " and they sprang upon him. Quoth the 
youth, " O king, consider and ponder the eagerness of these thy 

112 Supplemental Nights. 

Ministers. Is this of envy or is it not ? They would fain make sever- 
ance between me and thee, so there may fall to them what they 
shall plunder, as aforetime." And the king said to him, " Consider 1 
their witness against thee." The young man said, " O king, how 
shall they testify of that which they saw not ? * This is but envy 
and despight ; and thou, an thou slay me, wilt indeed regret me t 
and I fear lest there betide thee of repentance that which betided 
Aylan Shah, by reason of the malice of his Wazirs.'* Asked 
Azadbakht, " And what is his story ? " and the youth answered, 
* Hear, O king, 


Whilome there was a merchant named Abu Tammam, and he 
was a clever man and a well-bred, quick-witted and truthful in all 
his affairs, and he was monied to boot. Now there was in his land 
a king as unjust as he was jealous, and Abu Tammam feared for 
his wealth from this king and said, " I will remove hence to 
another place where I shall not be in dread." So he made for the 
city of Aylan Shah and built himself a palace therein and trans- 
porting his wealth thither, took up his abode there. Presently, the 
news of him reached King Aylan Shah ; so he sent to invite him 
to his presence and said to him, " We know of thy coming to us 
and thine entering under our allegiance, and indeed we have heard 
of thine excellence and wit and generosity; so welcome to thee 

and fair welcome ! The land is thy land and at thy command, and 

whatsoever need thou needest of us, 'tis already accomplished to 
thee ; and it behoveth that thou be near our person and of our 

1 Amongst Moslems, I have noted, circumstantial evidence is not lawful : the witness 
must swear to what he has seen. A curious consideration, how many innocent men have 
been hanged by "circumstantial evidence." See vol. v. 97. 

2 In Chavis and Cazotte " Story of Abattamant (!), or the Prudent Man ; " also Aylan 
Shah becomes Olensa after Italian fashion. 

The Story of Ay Ian Shah and Abu Tammam. 113 

assembly." Abu Tammam prostrated himself before the king, 
and said to him, " O king, I will serve thee with my monies and 
with my life, but do thou excuse me from nearness to thee, for that 
an I took office about thee, I should not be safe from enemies and 
enviers." Then he applied himself to the royal service with 
presents and largesses, and the king saw him to be intelligent, well- 
bred and of good counsel ; so his heart inclined to him and he 
committed to him the ordinance of his affairs and the power to bind 
and to loose was in his hand. Now Aylan Shah had three Wazirs, 
in whose hands public affairs were wont to be and they had been 
accustomed not to quit the king night or day ; but they became shut 
out from him by reason of Abu Tammam and the king was occupied 
with him to their exclusion. Herewith the Ministers took counsel 
together upon the matter and said, " What is your rede we should 
do, seeing that the king is occupied from us with yonder man, and 
indeed he honoureth him with more honour than us ? But now 
come, let us devise some device whereby we may alienate him 
from the king." So each of them spoke forth that which was in 
his mind, and one of them said, " The king of the Turks hath a 
daughter, whose like there is not in the world, and whatso 
messenger goeth to demand her in marriage, him her father 
slaughtereth. Now our king hath no knowledge of this ; so, come, 
let us foregather with him and bring up the mention of her : when 
his heart is taken with her, we will advise him to dispatch Abu 
Tammam to seek her hand in marriage; whereupon her father 
will slay him and we shall be quit of him and settle his affair once 
for all." Accordingly, they went in to the king one day (Abu 
Tammam being present among them,) and mentioned the affair of 
the damsel, the daughter of the Turks' king, and enlarged upon 
her charms, till the king's heart was taken with her and he said to 
them, " We will send one to demand her to wife for us ; but who 
shall be our messenger ? " Quoth the Wazirs, "There is none fit 

for this business but Abu Tammam. by reason of his wit and good 
VOL. I. H 

114 Supplemental Nights. 

breeding ;" and the king said, " Indeed, even as ye say, none is 
fitting for this affair save he." Then he turned to Abu Tammam 
and said to him, " Wilt thou not go with my message and seek 
me in marriage the daughter of the Turks' king?" and he 
answered, " To hear is to obey, O my Sovran ! " So they made 
ready his affair and the king conferred on him a robe of honour, 
and he took with him a present and a letter under the king's hand 
and setting out, fared on till he came to the capital city of 
Turkistan. When the king of the Turks knew of his coming, he 
despatched his officers to receive him and entreated him with 
honour and lodged him as befitted his rank. Then he guested him 
three days, after which time he summoned him to his presence and 
Abu Tammam went in to him; and, prostrating himself as beseemeth 
before kings, laid that present before him and gave him the letter. 
The king read the writ and said to Abu Tammam, " We will do 
what behoveth in the matter ; but, O Abu Tammam, needs must 
thou view my daughter and she view thee, and needs must thou 
hear her speech and she hear thine." So saying, he sent him to 
the lodging of the Princess, who had had notice of this ; so that 
they had adorned her sitting-room with the costliest that might be 
of vessels of gold and silver and the like, and she seated herself on 
a chair of gold, clad in the richest of royal robes and ornaments. 
When Abu Tammam entered, he took thought and said, " The 
wise declare that whoso governeth his sight shall suffer naught un- 
right and he who guardeth his tongue shall hear naught of foul 
taunt, and he who keepeth watch over his hand, it shall be 
lengthened and not shortened." l So he entered and seating him- 
self on the floor, cast down his eyes and covered his hands and 
feet with his dress. 2 Quoth the king's daughter to- him, " Raise 

1 In Arab, idiom a long hand or arm means power, a phrase not wholly unused in 
European languages. Chavis and Cazotte paraphrase " He who keeps bis hands crossed 
epon his breast, shall not see them cut off." 

8 Arab. "Jama' a atrafah," lit. = he drew in his extremities, k being contrary to 

The Story of Ay Ian Shah and Abu Tatnmam. 1 1 5 

thy head, O Abu Tammam, and look on me and speak with me.'* 
But he spake not neither raised his head, and she continued, " They 
sent thee only to view me and talk with me, and yet behold thou 
sayest not a word ; " presently adding, " Take of these union- 
pearls that be round thee and of these jewels and gold and silver." 
But he put not forth his hand to aught, and when she saw that he 
paid no heed to anything, she was angry and cried, " They have 
messaged me with a messenger, blind, dumb, deaf." Then she 
sent to acquaint her father with this ; whereupon the king called 
Abu Tammam to him and said to him, " Thou earnest not save to 
view my daughter : why, then, hast thou not looked upon her ? " 
Quoth Abu Tammam, " I saw everything ; " and quoth the king, 
* Why didst thou not take somewhat of that which thou sawest 
of jewels and the like ? Indeed they were set out for thee." But he 
answered, " It behoveth me not to put out my hand to aught that 
is not mine." When the king heard his speech, he gave him a 
sumptuous robe of honour and loved him muchly 1 and said to him, 
" Come, look at this well." So Abu Tammam went up to the pit- 
mouth and looked, and behold, it was full of heads of the sons of 
Adam, and the king said to him, " These are the heads of envoys 
whom I slew, because I saw them without loyalty to their lords, 
and I was used, whenas I beheld an envoy without good 
manners, to say, He who sent him is worse-mannered than he, 
because the messenger is the tongue of him who sendeth him 
and his breeding is of his master's breeding ; and whoso is after 
this fashion, it befitteth not that he be a"kin to me." 2 For this 
reason I used to put the envoys to death ; but, as for thee, 

"etiquette" in the presence of a superior not to cover hands and feel. In the wild 
Argentine Republic the savage Gaucho removes his gigantic spurs when coming into the 
presence of his master. 

1 About the equivalent to the Arab, or rather Egypto-Syrian form " Jiddan," used in 
the modern slang sense. 

* i.. that he become my son-in-law. 

1 1 6 Supplemental Nights. 

thou hast overcome us and won my daughter, of the excellence 
of thy manners ; so hearten thy heart, for she is thy lord's." Then 
he sent him back to King Aylan Shah with presents and rarities 
and a letter, saying, " This that I have done is in honour of thee 
and of thine envoy." When Abu Tammam returned after accom- 
plishing his mission and brought the presents and the letter, King 
Aylan Shah rejoiced in this and redoubled all his favours 
and showed him honour the highest. Some days after, the 
King of Turkistan sent his daughter and she went in to King 
Aylan Shah, who rejoiced in her with exceeding joy and Abu 
Tammam's worth was exalted in the royal sight. When the 
Wazirs saw this, they redoubled in envy and despite and said, " An 
we contrive us not a contrivance to rid us of this man, we shall 
die of rage." So they bethought them and agreed upon a device 
they should practise. Then they betook themselves to two boys, 
pages affected to the service of the king, who slept not but on 
their knee, 1 and they lay at his head, for that they were his bed- 
chamber pages. So the Ministers gave them each a thousand 
dinars of gold, saying, " We desire of you that ye do somewhat we 
require and take this gold as a provision against your time of 
need." Quoth the lads, " What is it ye would have us do ? " and 
quoth the Wazirs, " This Abu Tammam hath marred matters for us, 
and if his case abide in this way, he will remove us all from the 
king's favour ; and what we want of you twain is that, when ye 
are alone with the king and he leaneth back, as he were asleep, one 
of you say to his fellow: Verily, the king hath taken Abu 
Tammam into high favour and hath advanced him to exalted rank, 
yet he is a transgressor against the king's honour and an accursed 
wight. Then let the other of you ask : And what is his trans- 

1 For the practice of shampooing often alluded to in The Nights, see vol. Hi. 17. The 
king "sleeping on the boys' knees" means that he dropped off whilst his feet were on 
the laps of the lads. 

The Story of Aylan Shah and Abu Tammam. 117 

gression ? and let the first answer : He outrageth the king's 
honour and saith, the King of Turkistan was used, when a 
messenger went to him to seek his daughter in marriage, to slay 
him ; but me he spared, because she liked me, and by reason of 
this her sire sent her hither, for that she loved me. Then let the 
other say, Knowest thou this for truth ? and let the first reply : By 
Allah, this is familiar to all the folk, but, of their fear of the king, 
they dare not divulge it to him ; and as often as the king is absent 
a-hunting or a-wayfaring, Abu Tammam cometh to her and is 
private with her." Whereupon the boys answered, " We will say 
this." Accordingly, one night, when they were alone with the 
king and he leant back, as he were asleep, they said these words 
and the king heard all and was like to die of fury and despite 
and said to himself, " These are young boys, not come to years of 
discretion, and have no business with any ; and unless they had 
heard these words from some one, they had not spoken thereof 
each with other." When it was morning wrath overmastered him, 
so that he stayed not neither deliberated, but summoned Abu 
Tammam and taking him apart, said to him, " Whoso guardeth not 
the honour of his liege lord 1 , what deserveth he?" Said Abu 
Tammam, " He deserveth that his lord guard not his honour." 
Aylan Shah continued, " And whoso entereth the king's house and 
playeth traitor with him, what behoveth unto him ? " and Abu 
Tammam replied, " He shall not be left alive." Whereupon the 
king spat in his face and said to him, " Both these deeds hast tho* 
done." Then he drew his poinard on him in haste and smiting 
him in the belly, slit it and Abu Tammam died forthright ; where- 
upon the king dragged him along and cast him into a well that 
was in his palace. After he had slain him, he fell into repentance 
and mourning increased and chagrin waxed sore upon him, and 
he would acquaint none who questioned him with the cause, nor, 

1 Meaning the honour of his Harem. 

1 1 8 Supplemental Nigkts. 

of his love for his wife, did he tell her of this, and whenever she 
asked him wherefore he grieved, he answered her not. When the 
Wazirs knew of Abu Tammam's death, they rejoiced with exceed- 
ing joy and knew that the king's sorrow arose from regret for 

him. As for Aylan Shah, after this he used to betake himself by 

night to the sleeping-chamber of the two boys and spy upon them, 

that he might hear what they said concerning his wife. As he 
stood one night privily at the door of their chamber, he saw them 
spread out the gold between their hands and play with it and 
heard one of them say, " Woe to us ! What doth this gold profit 
us ? Indeed we cannot buy therewith any thing nor spend it 
upon ourselves. Nay, but we have sinned against Abu Tammam 
and done him dead unjustly." And said the other, " Had we 
known that the king would slay him on the spot, we had not done 
what we did." When the king heard that, he could not contain 
himself, but rushed in upon them and said to them/' Woe to you ! 
What did ye? Tell me." And they cried, " Aman 1 , O king!" 
He cried, " An ye would have pardon from Allah and me, you are 
bound to tell me the truth, for nothing shall save you from me but 
soothfastness." Hereat they prostrated themselves before him and 
said, " By Allah, O king, the Wazirs gave us this gold and taught 
us to lie against Abu Tammam, so thou mightest kill him, and 
what we said was their speech." When the king heard this, he 
plucked at his beard, till he was like to tear it up by the roots and 
bit upon his fingers, till he well nigh cut them in twain, for repent- 
ance and sorrow that he had wrought hastily and had not delayed 
with Abu Tammam, so he might consider his case. Then he sent 
for the Ministers and said to them, " O villainous Wazirs, ye 
deemed that Allah was heedless of your deed, but right soon shall 

1 Pardon, lit. = security : the cry for quarter already introduced into English 
"Or raise the craven cry Aman." 

It was Mohammed's express command that this prayer for mercy should be respected even 
in the fury of fight. See vol. i. 342. 

The Story of Ay Ian Shah and Abu Tammam. 119 

your wickedness revert upon you. Know ye not that Whoso 
diggeth for his brother a pit shall himself fall into it ? * Take from 
me the punishment of this world and to-morrow ye shall receive 
the punishment of the next world and requital from Allah." Then 
he bade put them to death ; so the headsman smote off their heads 
before the king, and he went in to his wife and acquainted her 
with whatso he had misdone to Abu Tammam ; whereupon she 
grieved for him with mighty great grief and the king and his 
household ceased not weeping and repenting all their lives. More- 
over, they brought Abu Tammam forth of the well and the king 
built him a dome 2 in his palace and buried him therein. " See, then, 
O auspicious king " (continued the youth), " what jealousy doth 
and injustice and how Allah caused the Wazirs' malice to revert 
upon their own necks ; and I trust in the Almighty that He will 
empower me over all who envy me my favour with the king and 
show forth the truth unto him. Indeed, I dread naught for my 
life from death ; only I fear lest the king repent of my slaughter, 
for that I am guiltless of offence, and if I knew that I were guilty 
on any wise, my tongue would be dumb-struck." When the king 
heard this, he bowed his head groundwards in perplexity and con- 
fusion and said, " Restore him to the prison till the morrow, so we 
may look into his case." 

1 A saying found in every Eastern language beginning with Hebrew ; Proverbs xxvi. 
27, "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein." 

1 i.e. a domed tomb where prayers and prelections of the Koran could be made. 
" Kubbah " in Marocco is still the term for a small square building with a low media 
naranja cupola under which a Santon lies interred. It is the " little Waly " of our " bliml 
travellers" in the unholy " Holy Land." 

120 Supplemental Nights* 


Now when it was the ninth day, the Wazirs met and said one to 
other, " Verily, this youth baffleth us, for as often as the king is 
minded to kill him, he beguileth him and bewitcheth him with a 
story ; so what be your rede we should do, that we may slay him 
and be at rest from him ? " Then they advised together and 
agreed that they should go to the king's wife. 1 So they betook 
themselves to her and said to her, " Thou art careless of this affair 
wherein thou art and this uncare shall not profit thee ; whilst the 
king, occupied with eating and drinking and diversion, for- 
getteth that the folk beat upon tambourines and sing of thee and 
eay, The wife of king loveth the youth ; and as long as he abideth 
alive the talk will increase and not diminish." Quoth she, " By 
Allah, 'twas ye egged me on against him, and what shall I do 
now ? " and quoth they, " Go thou in to the king and weep and 
say to him, Verily, the women come to me and inform me that I 
am dishonoured throughout the city, and what is thine advantage 
in the sparing of this youth ? An thou wilt not slay him, slay me 
to the end that this talk may be cut off from us. So the woman arose 
and rending her raiment, went in to the king, in the presence of the 
Wazirs, and cast herself upon him, saying, " O king, is my shame 
not upon thee or fearest thou not shame ? Indeed, this is not of 
the fashion of kings that their jealousy over their women should 
be such as this. 2 Thou art heedless and all the folk of the realm 

1 i.e. to secure her assistance in arousing the king's wrath. 
8 i,e. so slow to avenge itself.. 

The Story of King Ibrahim and his Son. \ 2 \ 

prate of thee, men and women. Either slay him, that the talk may 
be cut off, or slay me, if thy soul will not consent to his slaughter." 
Thereupon the king's wrath waxed hot and he said to her, " I have 
no pleasure in his continuance and needs must I slay him this 
very day. So return to thy palace and solace thy heart." Then 
he bade fetch the youth; whereupon they brought him before 
him and the Wazirs said, " O base of base, fie upon thee ! 
Thy life-term is at hand and earth hungereth for thy flesh, so it 
may make a meal of it." But he said to them, " Death is not in 
your word or in your envy ; nay, it is a destiny written upon the 
forehead : wherefore, if aught be writ upon my front, there is no 
help but it come to pass, and neither striving nor thought-taking 
nor precaution-seeking shall deliver me therefrom ; even as hap- 
pened to King Ibrahim and his son." Quoth the king, "Who was 
King Ibrahim and who was his son?" and quoth the youth 
" Hear, O king, 


There was once a king of the kings, Sultan Ibrahim hight, to 
whom the sovrans abased themselves and did obedience ; but he 
had no son and was straitened of breast because of that, fearing' 
lest the kingship go forth of his hand. He ceased not to long for 
a son and to buy slave-girls and lie with them, till one of them 
conceived, whereat he rejoiced with passing joy and gave great 
gifts and the largest largesse. When the girl's months were com- 
plete and the time of her lying-in drew near, the king summoned 
the astrologers and they watched for the hour of child-bearing 
and raised their astrolabes and carefully noted the time. The 

1 Story of Sultan Hebriain (!), and his Son" (Chavis and Calotte). Unless they 
greatly enlarged upon the text, they had a much fuller copy than that found in the Bresl. 

122 Supplemental Nights. 

hand-maid gave birth to a man-child, whereat the king rejoiced 
exceedingly, and the people congratulated one another with this 
glad news. Then the astrophils made their calculations and looked 
into his nativity and his ascendant, whereupon their colour changed 
and they were confounded. Quoth the king to them, " Acquaint 
me with his horoscope and ye shall have assurance of pardon and 
have naught to fear." * They replied, " O king, this princely 
child's nativity denoteth that, in the seventh year of his age, there 
is fearful danger for him from a lion, which shall attempt to rend 
him : and if he be saved from the lion, there will betide a matter 
yet sorer and more grievous even than that." Asked the king, 
" What is it ? " and they answered, " We will not speak, except 
the king command us and give us assurance from fear." Quoth 
the king, " Allah assure you ! " and quoth they, " An he be 
saved from the lion, the king's destruction shall be at his hand." 
When the king heard this, his complexion changed and his breast 
was straitened ; but he said to himself, " I will be watchful and do 
my endeavour and suffer not the lion to eat him. It cannot be 
that he will kill me, and indeed ' The astrologers lied.'" 2 Then 
he caused rear him among the wet-nurses and the noble matrons ;* 
but withal he ceased not to ponder the prediction of the astro- 
phils and verily his life was troubled. So he betook himself to the 
top of a high mountain and hollowed there a deep excavation 4 
and made in it many dwelling-places and rooms and filled it with 
all that was needful of rations and raiment and what not else and 
laid in it pipe-conduits of water from the mountain and lodged 

1 A right kingly king, in the Eastern sense of the word, would strike off their heads 
for daring to see omens threatening his son and heir : this would be constructive treasom 
of the highest because it might be expected to cause its own fulfilment. 

2 Mahommed's Hadis " Kazzibu '1-Munajjimuna br Rabbi '1-Ka'abah " = the As- 
trologers lied, by the Ka'abah's Lord! 

3 Arab. " Khawatin," plur. of Khatun, a matron, a lady, vol. iv. 66. 

4 See Al-Mas'udi, chapt. xvii. (Fr. Transl. ii. 48-49) of the circular cavity two miles 
deep and sixty in circuit inhabited by men and animals on the Caucasus near Derbend. . 

The Story of King Ibrahim and his Son. \ 23 

the boy therein, with a nurse who should rear him. Moreover, at 
the first of each month he used to go to the mountain and stand 
at the mouth of the hollow and let down a rope he had with him 
and draw up the boy to him and strain him to his bosom and kiss 
him and play with him awhile, after which he would let him down 
again to his place and return ; and he was wont to count the days 
till the seven years should pass by. Now when arrived the time of 
the Fate foreordered and the Fortune graven on the forehead and 
there remained for the boy but ten days till the seven years 
should be complete, there came to that mountain hunters chasing 
wild beasts and, seeing a lion, they attacked him. He fled from 
them and seeking refuge in the mountain, fell into the hollow in its 
midst. The nurse saw him forthwith and escaped from him into 
one of the chambers ; upon which the lion made for the lad 
and seizing upon him, tare his shoulder, after which he sought the 
room wherein was the nurse and falling upon her, devoured her, 
whilst the boy lay in a swoon. Meanwhile, when the huntsmen 
saw that the lion had fallen into the pit, they came to the mouth 
and heard the shrieking of the boy and the woman ; and after 
awhile the cries died away, whereby they knew that the lion had 
slain them. Presently, as they stood by the mouth of the excava- 
tion behold, the lion came scrambling up the sides and would have 
issued forth : but, as often as he showed his head, they pelted him 
with stones, till they beat him down and he fell ; whereupon one 
of the hunters descended into the pit and despatched him and 
saw the boy wounded ; after which he went to the chamber, where 
he found the woman dead, and indeed the lion had eaten his fill of 
her. Then he noted that which was therein of clothes and what 
not else, and notifying his mates, fell to passing the stuff up to 
them : lastly, he took up the boy and bringing him forth of the 
pit, carried him to their dwelling-place, where they dressed 
his wounds. He grew up with them, but acquainted them 
not with his affair ; and indeed, when they questioned him, he 

1 24 Supplemental Nights. 

knew not what he should say, because they let him down into 
the pit when he was a little one. The hunters marvelled at his speech 
and loved him with exceeding love and one of them took him to 
son and abode rearing him by his side and training him in hunting 
and horse-riding, till he reached the age of twelve and became a 
brave, going forth with the folk to the chase and to the cutting of 
the way. Now it chanced one day that they sallied forth to stop the 
road and fell in with a caravan during the night : but its stout 
fellows were on their guard ; so they joined battle with the robbers 
and overcame .them and slew them and the boy fell wounded and 
tarried cast down in that place till the morrow, when he opened 
his eyes and finding his comrades slain, lifted himself up and 
arose to walk the road. Presently, there met him a man, a trea- 
sure-seeker, and asked him, " Whither away, O lad ? " So he told 
him what had betided him and the other said, " Be of good heart, 
for that the tide of thy good fortune is come and Allah bringeth 
thee joy and gladness. I am one who am in quest of a hidden 
treasure, wherein is a mighty mickle of wealth. So come with me 
that thou mayst help me, and I will give thee monies with which thou 
shalt provide thyself all thy life long." Then he carried the youth 
to his dwelling and dressed his wounds, and he tarried with him 
some days till he was rested ; when the treasure-seeker took him 
and two beasts and all that he needed, and they fared on till they 
came to a towering highland. Here the man brought out a book 
and reading therein, dug in the crest of the mountain five cubits 
deep, whereupon there appeared to him a stone. He pulled it up 
and behold it was a trap-door covering the mouth of a pit. So 
he waited till the foul air * was come forth from the midst of the 
pit, when he bound a rope about the lad's middle and let him down 
bucket-wise to the bottom, and with him a lighted waxen taper. 

1 Arab. " Nafas" lit. = breath. Arabs living in a land of caverns know by experience 
the danger of asphyxiation in such places. 

The Story of King Ibrahim and his Son. 125 

The boy looked and beheld, at the upper end of the pit, wealth 
abundant; so the treasure-seeker let down a rope and a basket 
and the boy fell to filling and the man to drawing up, till the 
fellow had got his sufficiency, when he loaded his beasts and ceased 
working, whilst the boy looked for him to let down the rope and 
draw him up ; but he rolled a great stone to the mouth of the pit 
and went his ways. When the boy saw what the treasure-seeker 
had done with him, he relied upon Allah (extolled and exalted be 
He !) and abode perplexed concerning his case and said, " How 
bitter be this death ? " for indeed the world was darkened on him 
and the pit was blinded to him. So he fell a-weeping and saying, 
" I escaped the lion and the robbers and now is my death to be in 
this pit, where I shall die by slow degrees." And he abode per- 
plexed and looked for nothing but death. But as he stood pon- 
dering, behold, he heard a sound of water rushing with a thunder- 
ous noise ; so he arose and walked in the pit, following the 
sound, till he came to a corner and heard the mighty coursing 
of water. Then he laid his ear to the sound of the current and 
hearing it rushing in great strength, said to himself, " This is the 
flowing of a mighty watercourse and needs must I depart life in 
this place, be it to-day or to-morrow ; so I will throw myself into 
the stream and not die a slow death in this pit" Thereupon he 
called up his courage and gathering up his skirts, cast himself 
into the water, and it bore him along with force exceeding and 
carrying him under the earth, stayed not till it brought him out into a 
deep Wady, adown which ran a great river, that welled up from under 
the ground. When he found himself on the face of earth, he abode 
dazed and a-swoon all that day ; after which he came to himself 
and rising, fared on along that valley ; and he ceased not his way- 
fare, praising Almighty Allah the while, till he came to an inhabited 
land and a great village in the reign of the king his sire. So he- 
entered and foregathered with the villagers, who questioned him 
of his case ; whereupon he told them his tale, and they admired 

1 26 Supplemental Nights. 

how Allah had delivered him from all those dangers. Then he took 
up his abode with them and they loved him much. On this wise 
happened it to him ; but as regards the king, his father, when he 
went to the pit, as was his wont, and called the nurse, she returned 
him no answer, whereat his breast was straitened and he let 
down a man who found the woman dead and the boy gone and 
acquainted therewith the king, who when he heard this, buffeted 
his head and wept with sore weeping and descended into the midst 
of the pit that he might see how the case stood. There he espied 
the nurse slain and the lion dead, but beheld not the boy ; so he 
returned and acquainted the astrologers with the soothfastness of 
their saying, and they replied, " O King, the lion hath eaten him ; 
destiny hath been wroughten upon him and thou art delivered 
from his hand ; for, had he been saved from the lion, we indeed, by 
Allah, had feared for thee from him, because the king's destruction 
would have been at his hand." So the king ceased to sorrow for 
this and the days passed by and the affair was forgotten. Mean- 
while the boy grew up and abode with the people of the village, and 
when Allah willed the accomplishing of His commandment, which 
no endeavour availeth to avert, he went forth with a party of 
the villagers to cut the way. The folk complained to King 
Ibrahim his father, who sallied out with a company of his men 
and surrounded the highwaymen. Now that boy was with them, 
and he drew forth an arrow and launched it at them, and it 
smote the king and wounded him in a mortal place. So they 
carried him to his palace, after they had laid hands upon the 
youth and his comrades and brought them before the sovran, 
saying, " What biddest us to do with them ? " Quoth he, " I am 
presently in trouble for myself, so bring me the astrologers." 
Accordingly, they brought them before him and he said to them, 
" Ye said to me Thy death shall be by slaying at the hand of thy 
son : how, then, befalleth it that I have got my death-hurt by 
yonder thieves ? " The astrologers marvelled and said to him. " O 

The Story of King Ibrahim and his Son. 127 

king, 'tis not beyond the lore of the stars, together with the doom 
of Allah, that he who hath smitten thee should be thy son. When 
King Ibrahim heard this, he bade fetch the thieves and said to 
them, " Tell me truly, which of you shot the shaft that wounded 
me." Said they, " 'Twas this youth that is with us." Where- 
upon the king fell to considering him and said, " O youth, acquaint 
me with thy case and tell me who was thy father and thou shalt 
have assurance of safety from Allah." The youth replied, " O my 
lord, I know no father ; as for me, my father lodged me in a pit, 
with a nurse to rear me, and one day, there fell in upon us a lion, 
which tare my shoulder, then left me and occupied himself with 
the nurse and rent her in pieces ; and Allah vouchsafed me one 
who brought me forth the pit." Then he related to him all that 
had befallen him, first and last ; which when King Ibrahim heard, 
he cried out and said, "' By Allah, this is my son ! " presently 
adding, " Bare thy shoulder." So he uncovered it, and behold, it 
was scarred. Then the king assembled his lords and lieges and 
the astrologers and said to them, " Know that what Allah hath 
writ upon the forehead, be it fair fortune or misfortune, none 
may efface, and all that is decreed to a man must perforce befal 
him. Indeed, this my care-taking and my endeavour profited me 
naught, for what weird Allah decreed for my son, he Jiath dreed and 
whatso He decreed to me I have endured. Nevertheless, I praise 
Allah and thank Him because this was at my son's hand, and not 
at the hand of another, and Alhamdolillah laud to the Lord 
for that the kingship is come to my son ! " And he strained the 
youth to his bosom and embraced him and kissed him, saying 
" O my son, this matter was after such fashion, and of my watchful- 
ness over thee from Fate, I lodged thee in that pit ; but caretaking 
availed not." Then he took the crown of the kingship and set it 
on his son's head and caused the lieges and the people do homage 
to him and commended the subjects to his care and enjoined to him 
justice and equity. And he farewelled him that night and died 

l 2 8 Supplemental Nights. 

and his son reigned in his stead. 1 " On like wise, O king" (continued 
the young treasurer), " 'tis with thee. If Allah have written 
aught on my forehead, needs must it befal me and my speech to 
the king shall not avail me ; no, nor my illustrating it to him with 
instances, against the doom of Allah. And so it is with these Wazirs, 
for all their eagerness and endeavour for my destruction, this shall 
not profit them ; because, if Allah determine to save me, He will 
give me the victory over them." When the king heard these words 
he became perplexed and said, " Return him to the prison till the 
morrow, so we may look into his affair, for the day draweth to 
an end and I mean to do him dead in foulest sort, and to-morrow 
we will visit him with that which he meriteth." 

1 This simple tale is told with much pathos not of words but of sense. 



WHEN it was the tenth day (now this day was called Al-Mihrjan* 
and it was the day of the coming in of the folk, gentle and simple, 
to the king, so they might give him joy and salute him and go 
forth), the council of the Wazirs agreed that they should speak 
with a company of the city notables. So they said to them, 
" When ye go in to-day to the king and salute him, do ye say to 
him : O king, (to the Lord be the laud !) thou art praiseworthy of 
policy and procedure and just to all thy subjects ; but respecting 
this youth whom thou hast favoured and who nevertheless hath 
reverted to his base origin and done this foul deed, what is thy 
purpose in his continuance ? Indeed, thou hast prisoned him in thy 
palace, and every day thou hearest his palaver and thou knowest not 
what the folk say." And they answered, " Hearing is obeying." 
Accordingly, when they entered with the folk and had prostrated 
themselves before the king and congratulated his majesty, he raised 
their several degrees. Now it was the custom of the folk to salute 

1 Arab. " Ajal"=the appointed day of death; also used for sudden death. See 
vol. i. 74. 

2 i.e. the Autumnal Equinox, one of the two great festival days (the other being the 
New Year) of the Persians, and surviving in our Michaelmas. According to Al-Mas'udi 
(chap, xxi.), it was established to commemorate the capture of Zahhak (Azhi-Dahaka), the 
biting snake (the Hindu Ahi) of night and darkness, the Greek Astyages, by Furaydun or 
Feridun. Prof. Sayce (Principles of Comparative Philology, p. n) connects the latter 
with the Vedic deity Trita, who harnessed the Sun-horse (Rig. v. i. 163, 2, 3), the 
TpiToyej/eia of Homer, a title of Athene, the Dawn-goddess, and Burnouf proved th 
same Trita to be Thrae"taona, son of Athwya, of the Avesta, who finally became 
Furaydun, the Greek Kyrus. See vol. v. I. 

VOL. L - I 

S3 Supplemental Nights. 

and go forth ; but they took seat, and the king knew that they had 
a word they would fain address to him : so he turned to them (the 
Wazirs being also present) and said, "Ask your need." There- 
fore they repeated to him all that the Ministers had taught them 
and the Wazirs also spoke with them ; and Azadbakht said to 
them, " O folk, I would have it known to you that there is no doubt 
with me concerning this your speech proceeding from love and 
loyal counsel to me, and ye ken that, were I inclined to kill half 
these folk, I could do them die and this would not be hard to me ; 
so how shall I not slay this youth and he in my power and in the 
bending of my hand ? Indeed, his crime is manifest and he hath 
incurred death penalty ; and I have deferred it only by reason of 
the greatness of the offence ; for, an I do this with him and my 
proof against him be strengthened, my heart is healed and the 
heart of my whole folk ; and if I slay him not to-day, his slaying 
shall not escape me to-morrow." Then he bade fetch the youth 
who, when present between his hands, prostrated to him and 
blessed him; whereupon quoth the king, "Woe to thee ! How 
long shall the folk upbraid me on thine account and blame me for 
delaying thy death ? Even the people of my city reproach me 
because of thee, so that I am grown a prating-stock amongst them, 
and indeed they come in to me and reproach me for not putting 
thee to death. How long shall I delay this ? Verily, this very 
day I mean to shed thy blood and rid the folk of thy prattling." 
The youth replied, " O king, an there have betided thee talk 
because of me, by Allah, and again by Allah the Great, those who 
have brought on thee this talk from the folk are none but these 
wicked Wazirs, who chatter with the crowd and tell them foul tales 
and ill things of the king's house , but I hope in the Most High 
that He will cause their malice to recoil upon their own heads. As 
for the king's menace of slaying me, I am in the grip of his hand ; 
so let not the king occupy his mind with my slaughter, because I 
am like the sparrow in the grasp of the fowler ; if he will, he cutteth 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 1 3 1 

his throat, and if he will, he letteth him go. As for the delaying of 
my death, 'tis not from the king, but from Him in whose hand is 
my life ; for, by Allah, O king, an the Almighty willed my slaughter, 
thou couldst not postpone it; no, not for a single hour. And, 
indeed, man availeth not to fend off evil from himself, even as it 
was with the son of King Sulayman Shah, whose anxiety and care- 
fulness for the winning of his wish in the matter of the new-born 
child availed him naught, for his last hour was deferred how many 
a time ! and Allah saved him until he had accomplished his 
period and had fulfilled his life-term." Cried the king, " Fie upon 
thee, how great is thy craft and thy talk ! Tell me, what was their 
tale." And the youth said, " Hear, O king, 


There was once a king named Sulayman Shah, who was goodly 
of policy and rede, and he had a brother who died and left a 
daughter ; so Sulayman Shah reared her with the best of rearing 
and the girl became a model of reason and perfection, nor was 
there in her time a more beautiful than she. Now the king had 
two sons, one of whom he had appointed in his mind to wed her, 
while the other purposed to take her. The elder son's name was 
Bahluwdn 2 and that of the younger Malik Shah, 3 and the girl was 
called Shdh Khdtun. Now one day, King Sulayman Shah went 
in to his brother's daughter and kissing her head, said to her, 
" Thou art my daughter and dearer to me than a child, for the love 

1 In Chavis and Gazette, " Story of SeJimansha and his Family." 

2 Arab, for Pers. Pahluwdn (from Pahlau) a brave, a warrior, an athlete, applied in India 
to a champion in any gymnastic exercise, especially in wrestling. The Frenchman calls 
him "Balavan"; and the Bresl. text in more than one place (p. 312) calls him 
" Bahwdn." 

3 i.e. King (Arab.) King (Persian): we find also Sultan Malik Shah = King King 

1 3 2 Supplemental Nights. 

of thy late father who hatn found mercy; wherefore I purpose 1 
espousing thee to one of my sons and appointing him my heir 
apparent, so he may be king after me. Look, then, which thou wilt 
have of my sons, 1 for that thou hast been reared with them and 
knowest them." The maiden arose and kissing his hand, said to 
him, " O my lord, I am thine hand-maid and thou art the ruler over 
me ; so whatever liketh thee do that same, inasmuch as thy wish is 
higher and honourabler and holier than mine and if thou wouldst 
have meservetheeas a hand-maid for the rest of my life, 'twere fairer 
to me than any mate." The king cgmmended her speech and con- 
ferred on her a robe of honour and gave her magnificent gifts ; after 
which, his choice having fallen upon his younger son, Malik Shah, 
he wedded her with him and made him his heir apparent and bade 
the folk swear fealty to him. When this reached his brother 
Bahluwan and he was ware that his younger brother had by favour 
been preferred over him, his breast was straitened and the affair 
was sore to him and envy entered into him and hate ; but he hid 
this in his heart, whilst fire raged therein because of the damsel 
and the dominion. Meanwhile Shah Khatun went in bridal 
splendour to the king's son and conceived by him and bare a son, 
as he were the illuming moon. When Bahluwan saw this betide 
his brother, envy and jealousy overcame him ; so he went in one 
night to his father's palace and coming to his brother's chamber, 
saw the nurse sleeping at the door, with the cradle before her and 
therein his brother's child asleep. Bahluwan stood by him and 
fell to looking upon his face, whose radiance was as that of the 
moon, and Satan insinuated himself into his heart, so that he 
bethought himself and said, " Why be not this babe mine ? 
Verily, I am worthier of him than my brother ; yea, and of the 
damsel and the dominion." Then the idea got the mastery of him 
and anger drave fiim, so that he took out a knife and setting it to 

1 Arab. " Aulad-l," a vulgarism, plural for dual. 

Story of King Su lay man Shah and his Niece. 133 

the child's gullet, cut his throat and would have severed his wind- 
pipe. So he left him for dead and entering his brother's chamber, 
saw him asleep, with the Princess by his side, and thought to slay 
her, but said to himself, " I will leave the girl-wife for myself." 
Then he went up to his brother and cutting his throat, parted 
head from body, after which he left him and went away. But 
now the world was straitened upon him and his life was a light 
matter to him and he sought the lodging of his sire Sulayman 
Shah, that he might slay him also, but could not get admission 
to him. So he went forth from the palace and hid himself in the 
city till the morrow, when he repaired to one of his father's 

fortalices and therein fortified himself. On this wise it was with 

him ; but as regards the nurse, she presently awoke that she might 

give the child suck, and seeing the cradle running with blood, 
cried out ; whereupon the sleepers started up and the king was 
aroused and making for the place, found the child with his throat 
cut and the bed running over with blood and his father dead with 
a slit weasand in his sleeping chamber. They examined the child 
and found life in him and his windpipe whole and they sewed up 
the place of the wound : then the king sought his son Bahluwan, 
but found him not and saw that he had fled ; so he knew that it 
was he who had done this deed, and this was grievous to the king 
and to the people of his realm and to the lady Shah Khatun. 
Thereupon the king laid out his son Malik Shah and buried him 
and made him a mighty funeral and they mourned with passing 
sore mourning ; after which he applied himself to rearing the 
infant. As for Bahluwan, when he fled and fortified himself, his 
power waxed amain and there remained for him but to make war 
upon his father, who had cast his fondness upon the child and 
used to rear him on his knees and supplicate Almighty Allah that 
he might live, so he might commit the command to him. When 
he came to five years of age, the king mounted him on horseback 
and the people of the city rejoiced in him and prayed for him 

1 34 Supplemental Nights. 

length of life, that he might take vengeance for his father 1 and 
heal his grandsire's heart. Meanwhile, Bahluwan the rebel* 
addressed himself to pay court to Caesar, king of the Roum 8 and 
crave aid of him in debelling his father, and he inclined unto him 
and gave him a numerous army. His sire the king hearing of 
this sent to Caesar, saying, " O glorious king of might illustrious, 
succour not an evil doer. This is my son and he hath done so 
and so and cut his brother's throat and that of his brother's son in 
the cradle." But he told not the king of the Roum that the child 
had recovered and was alive. When Caesar heard the truth of 
the matter, it was grievous to him as grievous could be, and he 
sent back to Sulayman Shah, saying, " An it be thy wish, O king, 
I will cut off his head and send it to thee." But he made answer, 
saying, " I care naught for him : soon and surely the reward of 

' * 

his deed and his crimes shall overtake him, if not to-day, then 
to-morrow." And from that date he continued to exchange letters 
and presents with Caesar. Now the king of the Roum heard tell 
of the widowed Princess 4 and of the beauty and loveliness where- 
with she was endowed, wherefore his heart clave to her and he 
sent to seek her in wedlock of Sulayman Shah, who could not 
refuse him. So he arose and going in to Shah Khatun, said to 
her, " O my daughter, the king of the Roum hath sent to me to 

1 Mr. Payne translates, " so he might take his father's leavings " i.e. heritage, 
reading " Asar" which I hold to be a clerical error for Sar = Vendetta, blood revenge 
(Bresl. Edit. vi. 310). 

2 Arab. " Al-'Asi " the pop. term for one who refuses to obey a constituted 
authority and syn. with Pers. " Yaghl." "Anl'Asi?" Wilt thou not yield thyself? 
says a policeman to a refractory Fellah. 

3 i.e. of the Greeks : so in Kor. xxx. I. " Alif Lam Mim, the Greeks (Al-Roum) have 
been defeated." Mr. Rodwell curiously remarks that " the vowel-points for 'defeated * 
not being originally written, would make the prophecy true in either event, according as 
the verb received an active or passive sense in pronunciation." But in discovering this 
mare's nest, a rank piece of humbug like Aio te Aeacidaetc., he forgets that all the Pro- 
phet's "Companions," numbering some 5,000, would pronounce it only in one way and 

[that no man could mistake "ghalabat " (active) for " ghulibat " (passive). 

4 The text peisistently uses"Jariyah " = damsel, slave-girl, for the politer " 
\s young lady, being written in a rude and uncourtly style. 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 135 

seek thee in marriage. What sayst thou ? " She wept and replied, 
"O king, how canst thou find it in thy heart to address me thus ? 
As for me, abideth there husband for me, after the son of my 
uncle ? " Rejoined the king, " O my daughter, 'tis indeed as thou 
sayest ; but here let us look to the issues of affairs. I must now 
take compt of death, for that I am a man shot in years and fear not 
save for thee and for thy little son ; and indeed I have written to 
the king of the Roum and others of the kings and said, His uncle 
slew him, and said not that he hath recovered and is living, but 
concealed his affair. Now the king of the Roum hath sent to 
demand thee in marriage, and this is no thing to be refused and 
fain would we have our back strengthened with him." 1 And she 
was silent and spake not. So King Sulayman Shah made answer to 
Caesar with " Hearing and obeying." Then he arose and despatched 
her to him, and Caesar went in to her and found her passing the 
description wherewith they had described her ; wherefore he loved 
her every day more and more and preferred her over all his women 
and his affection for Sulayman Shah was increased ; but Shah 
Khatun's heart still clave to her child and she could say naught. 
As for Sulayman Shah's son, the rebel Bahluwan, when he saw 
that Shah Khatun had married the king of the Roum, this 
was grievous to him and he despaired of her. Meanwhile, his 
father Sulayman Shah watched over the child and cherished him 
and named him Malik Shah, after the name of his sire. When he 
reached the age of ten, he made the folk do homage to him and 
appointed him his heir apparent, and after some days, the old 
king's time for paying the debt of nature drew near and he died. 
Now a party of the troops had banded themselves together for 
Bahluwan ; so they sent to him, and bringing him privily, went 
in to the little Malik Shah and seized him and seated his uncle 
Bahluwan on the throne of kingship. Then they proclaimed him 

1 So our familar phrase " Some one to back us.'' 

1 36 Supplemental Night 

king and did homage to him all, saying, "Verily, we desire thee 
and deliver to thee the throne of kingship ; but we wish of thee that 
thou slay not thy brother's son, because we are still bounden by the 
oaths we sware to his sire and his grandsire and the covenants 
we made with them." So Bahluwan granted this to them and 

imprisoned the boy in an underground dungeon and straitened 

him. Presently, the grievous news reached his mother and this 

was to her a fresh grief ; but she could not speak and committed 
her affair to Allah Almighty, for that she durst not name this 
to King Caesar her spouse, lest she should make her uncle King 
Sulayman Shah a liar. But as regards Bahluwan the Rebel, he 
abode king in his father's place and his affairs prospered, while 
young Malik Shah lay in the souterrain four full-told years, till 
his favour faded and his charms changed. When He (extolled 
and exalted be He !) willed to relieve him and to bring him forth 
of the prison, Bahluwan sat one day with his chief Officers and the 
Lords of his land and discoursed with them of the story of his 
sire, King Sulayman Shah and what was in his heart. Now there 
were present certain Wazirs, men of worth, and they said to him, 
" O king, verily Allah hath been bountiful to thee and hath 
brought thee to thy wish, so that thou art become king in thy 
father's place and hast won whatso thou wishedst. But, as for this 
youth, there is no guilt in him, because he, from the day of his 
coming into the world, hath seen neither ease nor pleasure, and 
indeed his favour is faded and his charms changed. What is his 
crime that he should merit such pains and penalties ? Indeed, 
others than he were to blame, and hereto Allah hath given thee 
the victory over them, and there is no fault in this poor lad." 
Quoth Bahluwan, " Verily, 'tis as ye say ; but I fear his 
machinations and am not safe from his mischief ; haply the most 
part of the folk will incline unto him." They replied, " O 
king, what is this boy and what power hath he ? An thou fear 
him, send him to one of the frontiers." And Bahluwan said, " Ye 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 1 37 

speak sooth ; so we will send him as captain of war to reduce one 
of the outlying stations." Now over against the place in question 
was a host of enemies, hard of heart, and in this he designed 
the slaughter of the youth : so he bade bring him forth of the 
underground dungeon and caused him draw near to him and 
saw his case. Then he robed him, whereat the folk rejoiced, and 
bound for him the banners 1 and, giving him a mighty many, des- 
patched him to the quarter aforesaid, whither all who went or were 
slain or were taken. Accordingly Malik Shah fared thither with his 
force and when it was one of the days, behold, the enemy attacked 
them in the night ; whereupon some of his men fled and the rest 
the enemy captured ; and they seized Malik Shah also and cast 
him into a pit with a company of his men. His fellows mourned 
over his beauty and loveliness and there he abode a whole twelve- 
month in evillest plight. Now at the beginning of every year it was 
the enemy's wont to bring forth their prisoners and cast them down 
from the top of the citadel to the bottom ; so at the customed 
time they brought them forth and cast them down, and Malik 
Shah with them. However, he fell upon the other men and the 
ground touched him not, for his term was God-guarded. But 
those who were cast down there were slain upon the spot and 
their bodies ceased not to lie there till the wild beasts ate them 
and the winds scattered their bones. Malik Shah abode strown 
in his place and aswoon, all that day and that night, and when he 
revived and found himself safe and sound, he thanked Allah the 
Most High for his safety and rising, left the place. He gave not 
over walking, unknowing whither he went and dieting upon 
the leaves of the trees ; and by day he hid himself where he 
might and fared on at hazard all his night; and thus he did 
for some days, till he came to a populous part and seeing folk 
there, accosted them. He acquainted them with his case, giving 

1 Arab. " 'Akkada lahu ray," plur. of rdyat, a banner. See vol. iii. 307. 

1 3 8 Supplemental Nights. 

them to know that he had been prisoned in the fortress and that 
they had thrown him down, but Almighty Allah had saved him 
and brought him off alive. The people had ruth on him and 
gave him to eat and drink and he abode with them several days ; 
then he questioned them of the way that led to the kingdom of his 
uncle Bahluwan, but told them not that he was his father's brother. 
So they showed him the road and he ceased not to go barefoot, till 
he drew near his uncle's capital, naked, anhungered, and indeed 
his limbs were lean and his colour changed. He sat down at 
the city gate, when behold, up came a company of King Bah- 
luwan's chief officers, who were out a-hunting and wished to 
water their horses. They lighted down to rest and the youth 
accosted them, saying, " I would ask you of somewhat that ye 
may acquaint me therewith/' Quoth they, "Ask what thou 
wilt ;" and quoth he, " Is King Bahluwan well ? " They derided 
him and replied, "What a fool art thou, O youth! Thou art 
a stranger and a beggar, and whence art thou that thou should'st 
question concerning the king ? " * Cried he, " In very sooth, he is- my 
uncle ;" whereat they marvelled and said, " 'Twas one catch- 
question 2 and now 'tis become two." Then said they to him, 
" O youth, it is as if thou wert Jinn-mad. Whence comest thou 
to claim kinship with the king? Indeed, we know not that he 
hath any kith and kin save a nephew, a brother's son, who was 
prisoned with him, and he despatched him to wage war upon 
the infidels, so that they slew him." Said Malik Shah, " I am 
he and they slew me not, but there befel me this and that." 
They knew him forthwith and rising to him, kissed his hands 
and rejoiced in him and said to him, " O our lord, thou art 
indeed a king and the son of a king, and we desire thee naught 

1 i.e. "What concern hast thou with the king's health ?" The question is offensively 
* Arab. " Masalah," a question ; here an enigma. 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 139 

but good and we pray for thy continuance. Look how Allah 
hath rescued thee from this wicked uncle, who sent thee to 
a place whence none ever came off safe and sound, purposing 
not in this but thy destruction ; and indeed thou fellest 
upon death from which Allah delivered thee. How, then, 
wilt thou return and cast thyself again into thine foeman's 
hand ? By Allah, save thyself and return not to him this 
second time. Haply thou shalt abide upon the face of the 
earth till it please Almighty Allah to receive thee; but, an 
thou fall again into his hand, he will not suffer thee to live a 
single hour." The Prince thanked them and said to them, " Allah 
reward you with all weal, for indeed ye give me loyal counsel ; 
but whither would ye have me wend ?" Quoth they, " To the 
land of the Roum, the abiding-place of thy mother." " But," 
quoth he, "My grandfather Sulayman Shah, when the king of 
the Roum wrote to him demanding my mother in marriage, 
hid my affair and secreted my secret ; and she hath done the 
same, and I cannot make her a liar." Rejoined they, " Thou 
sayst sooth, but we desire thine advantage, and even wert thou to 
take service with the folk, 'twere a means of thy continuance." 
Then each and every of them brought out to him money and 
gave him a modicum and clad him and fed him and fared on with 
him the length of a parasang, till they brought him far from 
the city, and letting him know that he was safe, departed from 
him, whilst he journeyed till he came forth of his uncle's reign 
and entered the dominion of the Roum. Then he made a 
village and taking up his abode therein, applied himself to 
serving one there in earing and seeding and the like. As for 
his mother, Shah Khatun, great was her longing for her child 
and she thought of him ever and news of him was cut off from 
her, so her life was troubled and she foresware sleep and could 
not make mention of him before King Caesar her spouse. Now 
she had a Castrato who had come with her from the court of 

f 40 Supplemental Nights, 

her uncle King Sulayman Shah, ana he was intelligent, quick- 
witted, right-reded. So she took him apart one day and said 
to him, shedding tears the while, " Thou hast been my Eunuch 
from my childhood to this day ; canst thou not therefore get 
me tidings of my son, seeing that I cannot speak of his 
matter ? " He replied, " O my lady, this is an affair which thou 
hast concealed from the commencement, and were thy son 
here, 'twould not be possible for thee to entertain him, lest 1 
thine honour be smirched with the king ; for they would never 
credit thee, since the news hath been bruited abroad that 
thy son was slain by his uncle." Quoth she, "The case is 
even as thou sayst and thou speakest sooth ; but, provided I 
know that my son is alive, let him be in these parts pasturing 
sheep and let me not sight him nor he sight me." He asked, 
" How shall we manage in this matter ? " and she answered, 
"Here be my treasures and my wealth : take all thou wilt 
and bring me my son or else tidings of him." Then they 
devised a device between them, which was that they should 
feign some business in their own country, to wit that she had 
wealth there buried from the time of her husband, Malik Shah, 
and that none knew of it but this Eunuch who was with her, so 
it behoved him to go fetch it. Accordingly she acquainted the 
king her husband with that and sought his permit for the Eunuch 
to fare: and the king granted him leave of absence for the 


journey and charged him devise a device, lest he come to grief. 
The Castrato, therefore, disguised himself in merchant's habit and 
repairing to Bahluwan's city, began to make espial concerning 
the youth's case ; whereupon they told him that he had been 
prisoned in a souterraia and that his uncle had released him and 
despatched him to such a place, where they had slain him. When 

1 Arab. " Lialla " (i.e. li, an, Id) lest ; but printed here and elsewhere with the yd ai 
if it were " laylan,'' = for a single night. 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 141 

the Eunuch heard this, the mishap was grievous to him and his 
breast was straitened and he knew not what to do. It chanced 
one day of the days that a certain of the horsemen, who had fallen 
in with the young Malik Shah by the water and clad him and 
given him spending-money, saw the Eunuch in the city, habited 
as a merchant, and recognising him, questioned him of his case 
and of the cause of his coming. Quoth he, " I came to sell mer- 
chandise ; " and quoth the horseman, " I will tell thee somewhat, 
an thou canst keep it secret." Answered the Neutral, " That I 
can ! What is it ? " and the other said, " We met the king's son 
Malik Shah, I and sundry of the Arabs who were with me, and 
saw hire by such a water and gave him spending-money and sent 
him towards the land of the Roum, near his mother, for that we 
feared for him lest his uncle Bahluwan slay him." Then he told 
him all that had passed between them, whereat the Eunuch's 
countenance changed and he said to the cavalier " Thou art safe ! " 
The knight replied, "Thou also art safe though thou come in 
quest of him.'* And the Eunuch rejoined, saying, " Truly, that 
is my errand : there is no rest for his mother, lying down or 
rising up, and she hath sent me to seek news of him." 
Quoth the cavalier, " Go in safety, for he is in a quarter 
of the land of the Roum, even as I said to thee." The 
Castrato thanked him and blessed him and mounting, returned 
upon his road, following the trail, whilst the knight rode with him 
to a certain highway, when he said to him, " This is where we left 
him." Then he took leave of him and returned to his own city, 
whilst the Eunuch fared on along the road, enquiring in every 
village he entered of the youth, by the description which the rider 
had given him, and he ceased not thus to do till he came to the 
village wherein was young Malik Shah. So he entered, and dis- 
mounting, made enquiry after the Prince, but none gave him news 
of him ; whereat he abode perplexed concerning his affair and 
made ready to depart. Accordingly he mounted his horse ; but, as 

142 Supplemental Nights. 

he passed through the village, he saw a cow bound with a rope 
and a youth asleep by her side, hending the halter in hand ; so he 
looked at him and passed on and heeded him not in his heart ; 
but presently he halted and said to himself, " An the youth whom 
I am questing have become the like of this sleeping youth whom I 
passed but now, how shall I know him ? Alas, the length of my 
travail and travel ! How shall I go about in search of a somebody 
I know not, one whom, if I saw him face to face I should not 
know ? " So saying he turned back, musing anent that sleeping 
youth, and coming to him, he still sleeping, dismounted from his 
mare and sat down by his side. He fixed his eyes upon his face 
and considered him awhile and said in himself, " For aught I wot, 
this youth may be Malik Shah ; " then he began hemming and 
saying, " Harkye, O youth ! " Whereupon the sleeper awoke and 
sat up i and the Eunuch asked him, " Who be thy father in this 
village and where be thy dwelling ? " The youth sighed and 
replied, " I am a stranger ; " and quoth the Castrato, " From what 
land art thou and who is thy sire ? " Quoth the other, " I am 
from such a land," and the Eunuch ceased not to question him 
and he to answer his queries, till he was certified of him and knew 
him. So he rose and embraced him and kissed him and wepl over 
his case : he also told him that he was wandering about in search 
of him and informed him that he was come privily from the king, 
his mother's husband, and that his mother would be satisfied to 
weet that he was alive and well, though she saw him not. Then he 
re-entered the village and buying the Prince a horse, mounted 
him and they ceased not going till they came to the frontier of 
their own country, where there fell robbers upon them by the way 
and took all that was with them and pinioned them ; after which 
they threw tnem into a pit hard by the road and went their ways 
and left them to die there ; and indeed they had cast many folk 
into that pit and they had perished. The Eunuch fell a weeping 
in the pit and the youth said to him, " What is this weeping and 

The" Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 143 

what shall it profit here ? " Quoth the Castrate, " I weep not for 
Tear of death, but of ruth for thee and the cursedness of thy case 
and because of thy mother's heart and for that which thou hast 
suffered of horrors and that thy death should be this ignoble 
death, after the endurance of all manner dire distresses." But 
the youth said, " That which hath betided me was writ to me and 
that which is written none hath power to efface ; and if my life- 
term be advanced, none may defer it." ! Then the twain passed 
that night and the following day and the next night and the next 
day in the hollow, till they were weak with hunger and came 
nigh upon death and could but groan feebly. Now it fortuned 
by the decree of Almighty Allah and His destiny, that Caesar, 
king of the Greeks, the spouse of Malik Shah's mother Shah 
Khatun, went forth a-hunting that morning. He flushed a head of 
game, he and his company, and chased it, till they came up with 
it by that pit, whereupon one of them lighted down from his horse, 
to slaughter it, hard by the mouth of the hollow. He heard a sound 
of low moaning from the sole of the pit ; whereat he arose and 
mounting his horse, waited till the troops were assembled. Then 
he acquainted the king with this and he bade one of his servants 
descend into the hollow : so the man climbed down and brought 
out the youth and the Eunuch in fainting condition. They cut 
their pinion-bonds and poured wine down their throats, till they 
came to themselves, when the king looked at the Eunuch and 
recognizing him, said, " Harkye, Such-an-one ! " The Castrato 
replied, " Yes, O my lord the king," and prostrated himself to 
him ; whereat the king wondered with exceeding wonder and 
asked him, " How earnest thou to this place and what hath befallen 
thee ?" The Eunuch answered, " I went and took out the treasure 
and brought it thus far ; but the evil eye was behind me and I 
unknowing. So the thieves took us alone here and seized the 

1 i.r. if my death be fated to befal to-day, none may postpone it to a later date. 

144 Supplemental Nights., 

money and cast us into this pit that we might die the slow death 
of hunger, even as they had done with others ; but Allah the 
Most High sent thee, in pity to us." The king marvelled, he and 
his, and praised the Lord for that he had come thither ; after which 
he turned to the Castrato and said to him, " What is this youth 
thou hast with thee ? " He replied, " O king, this is the son of a 
nurse who belonged to us and we left him when he was a little one. 
I saw him to-day and his mother said to me, ' Take him with 
thee : ' so this morning I brought him that he might be a servant 
to the king, for that he is an adroit youth and a clever." Then the 
king fared on, he and his company, and with them the Eunuch 
and the youth, who questioned his companion of Bahluwan and his 
dealing with his subjects, and he replied, saying, "As thy head 
liveth, O my lord the king, the folk are in sore annoy with him and 
not one of them wisheth a sight of him, be they high or low." 
When the king returned to his palace, he went in to his wife Shah 
Khatun and said to her, " I give thee the glad tidings of thine 
Eunuch's return ; " and he told her. what had betided and of 
the youth whom he had brought with him. When she heard 
this, her wits fled and she would have screamed, but her reason 
restrained her, and the king said to her, " What is this ? Art thou 
overcome with grief for the loss of the monies or for that which 
hath befallen the Eunuch ? " Said she, " Nay, as thy head liveth, 
O king ! but women are weaklings." Then came the Castrato 
and going in to her, told her all that had happened to him and 
also acquainted her with her son's case and with that which he 
had suffered of distresses and how his uncle had exposed him 
to slaughter, and he had been taken prisoner and they had cast 
him into the pit and hurled him from the highmost of the 
citadel and how Allah had delivered him from these perils, all of 
them ; and whilst he recounted to her all this, she wept. Then 
she asked him, "When the king saw him and questioned thee of 
him, what was it thou saidst him ? " and he answered, " I said to 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 145 

him : This is the son of a nurse who belonged to us. We 
left him a little one and he grew up; so I brought him, 
that he might be servant to the king." Cried she, " Thou didst 
well ; " and she charged him to serve the Prince with faithful service. 
As for the king, he redoubled in kindness to the Castrato and 
appointed the youth a liberal allowance and he abode going in to 
and coming out of the king's house and standing in his service, and 
every day he waxed better with him. As for Shah Khatun, she used 
to station herself at watch for him at the windows and in the 
balconies and gaze upon him, and she frying on coals of fire on his 
account ; yet could she not speak. In such condition she abode a 
long while and indeed yearning for him was killing her ; so she 
stood and watched for him one day at the door of her chamber and 
straining him to her bosom, bussed him on the breast and kissed 
him on either cheek. At this moment, behold, out came the 
major-domo of the king's household and seeing her embracing 
the youth, started in amazement. Then he asked to whom that 
chamber belonged and was answered, " To Shah Khatun, wife of 
the king," whereupon he turned back, quaking as one smitten by 
a leven-bolt. The king saw him in a tremor and said to him, 
" Out on thee ! what is the matter ? " Said he, " O King, what 
matter can be more grievous than that which I see ? " Asked the 
king, " What seest thou ? " and the officer answered, " I see that 
the youth, who came with the Eunuch, was not brought with him 
save on account of Shah Khatun ; for I passed but now by her 
chamber door, and she was standing, watching ; and when the 
youth came up, she rose to him and clipped him and kissed him 
on his cheek." When the king heard this, he bowed his head 
amazed, perplexed, and sinking into a seat, clutched at his beard 
and shook it till he came nigh upon plucking it out. Then he 
arose forthright and laid hands on the youth and clapped him in 
jail he also took the Eunuch and cast them both into a 
souterrain under his palace. After this he went in to Shah 
VOL. I. K 

146 Supplemental Nights. 

Khatun and said to her, " Brava, by Allah, O daughter of nobles. 
O thou whom kings sought to wed, for the purity of thy repute 
and the fairness of the fame of thee! How seemly is thy 
semblance ! Now may Allah curse her whose inward contrarieth 
her outward, after the likeness of thy base favour, whose exterior 
is handsome and its interior fulsome, face fair and deeds foul ! 
Verily, I mean to make of thee and of yonder ne'er-do-well an 
example among the lieges, for that thou sentest not thine Eunuch 
but of intent on his account, so that he took him and brought him 
into my palace and thou hast trampled 1 my head with him ; and 
this is none other than exceeding boldness ; but thou shalt see 
what I will do with you all." So saying, he spat in her face and 
went out from her ; whilst Shah Khatun said nothing, well knowing 
that, an she spoke at that time, he would not credit her speech: 
Then she humbled herself in supplication to Allah Almighty and 
said, " O God the Great, Thou knowest the things by secrecy 
ensealed and their outwards revealed and their inwards concealed ! 
If an advanced life-term be appointed to me, let it not be deferred, 
and if a deferred one, let it not be advanced ! " On this wise she 
passed some days, whilst the king fell into bewilderment and 
forsware meat and drink and sleep, and abode, knowing not what 
he should do and saying to himself, " An I slay the Eunuch and 
the youth, my soul will not be solaced, for they are not to blame, 
seeing that she sent to fetch him, and my heart careth not to kill 
them all three. But I will not be hasty in doing them die, 
for that I fear repentance." Then he left them, so he might look 
into the affair. Now he had a nurse, a foster-mother, on whose 
knees he had been reared, and she was a woman of understanding 
and suspected him, yet dared not question him. So she went in 

1 Arab. "Dnstf n : $o the ceremony vulgarly called "Doseh" and by the Ilalo- 
Egyptians "Dosso," the riding over disciples' backs by the Shaykh of the Sa'diyah 
Darwayshes (Lane M.E. chapt. xxv.) which took place for the last time at Cairo in 1881. 

The Story of King Sulayman Skah and his Niece. 147 

to Shah Khatun and finding her in yet sadder plight than he, 
asked her what was to do ; but she refused to answer. However, 
the nurse gave not over coaxing and questioning her, till she swore 
her to concealment. Accordingly, the old woman made oath that 
she would keep secret all that she should say to her, whereupon 
the Queen to her related her history, first and last, and told her 
that the youth was her son. With this the old woman prostrated 
herself before her and said to her, " This is a right easy matter." 
But the Queen replied, " By Allah, O my mother, I prefer my 
destruction and that of my son to defending myself by a plea 
which they will not believe ; for they will say : She pleadeth this 
only that she may fend off shame from herself. And naught will 
profit me save long-suffering." The old woman was moved by her 
speech and her wisdom and said to her, " Indeed, O my daughter, 
'tis as thou sayest, and I hope in Allah that He will show forth 
the truth. Have patience and I will presently go in to the king 
and hear his words and machinate somewhat in this matter, 
Inshallah ! " Thereupon the ancient dame arose and going into the 
king, found him with his head between his knees in sore pain of 
sorrow. She sat down by him awhile and bespake him with soft 
words and said to him, 1 " Indeed, O my son, thou consumest my 
vitals, for that these many days thou hast not mounted horse, and 
thou grievest and I know not what aileth thee." He replied, " O 
my mother, all is due to yonder accursed, of whom I deemed so 
well and who hath done this and that." Then he related to her the 
whole story from beginning to end, and she cried to him, " This 
thy chagrin is on account of a no-better-than-she-should-be ! " 
Quoth he, " I was but considering by what death I should slay 
them, so the folk may take warning and repent" And quoth she, 
" O my son, 'ware precipitance, for it gendereth repentance and the 

1 In Chavis and Cazotte she conjures him " by the great Maichonarblatha Sarsourat 
(Mlat wa arba'at ashar Surat) = the 114 chapters of the Alcoran. 

148 Supplemental Nights. 

slaying of them shall not escape thee. When thou art assured of 
this affair, do whatso thou wiliest." He rejoined, " O my mother, 
there needeth no assurance anent him for whom she despatched 
her Eunuch and he fetched him." But she retorted, " There is a 
thing wherewith we will make her confess, 1 and all that is ia 
her heart shall be discovered to thee." Asked the king, " What 
is that ? " and she answered, " I will bring thee the heart of a 
hoopoe, 2 which, when she sleepeth, do thou lay upon her bosom and 
question her of everything thou wouldest know, and she will discover 
the same unto thee and show forth the truth to thee." The king 
rejoiced in this and said to his nurse, " Hasten thou and let none 
know of thee." So she arose and going in to the Queen, said 
to her, " I have done thy business and 'tis as follows. This 
night the king will come in to thee and do thou seem asleep ; and 
if he ask thee of aught, do thou answer him, as if in thy sleep." 
The Queen thanked her and the old dame went away and fetching 
the bird's heart, gave it to the king. Hardly was the night come, 
when he went in to his wife and found her lying back, a-slumbering ; 
so he sat down by her side and laying the hoopoe's heart on her 
breast, waited awhile, so he might be assured that she slept. Then 

1 I have noted that Moslem law is not fully satisfied without such confession which, 
however, may be obtained by the bastinado. It is curious to compare English procedure 
with what Moslem would be in such a case as that of the famous Tichborne Claimant. 
What we did need hardly be noticed. An Arab judge would in a case so suspicious at 
once have applied the stick and in a quarter of an hour would have settled the whole 
business ; but then what about the " Devil's own," the lawyers and lawyers' fees? And 
be would have remarked that the truth is not less true because obtained by such compul- 
sory means. 

2 The Hudhud, so called from its cry " Hood ! Hood ! " It is the Lat. upupaj 
Or. fKoty from its supposed note epip or upup ; the old Egyptian Kukufa ; Heb. 
Dukiphath and Syriac Kikupha (Bochart Hierozoicon, part ii. 347). The Spaniards 
call it Gallo de Marzo (March-Cock) from its returning in that month, and our old 
writers "lapwing" (Deut. xiv. 18). This foul-feeding bird derives her honours from 
chapt. xxvii. of the Koran (q.-v. ), the Hudhud was sharp-sighted and sagacious enough 
to discovet water underground which the devils used to draw after she had marked the 
place by her bilk 

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 149 

said he to her, " Shah Khatun, 1 Shah Khatun, is this my reward 
from thee ? " Quoth she, " What offence have I committed ? " and 
quoth he, " What offence can be greater than this ? Thou sentest 
after yonder youth and broughtest him hither, on account of the 
lust of thy heart, so thou mightest do with him that for which thou 
lustedst." Said she, " I know not carnal desire. Verily, among 
thy pages are those who are comelier and seemlier than he ; yet 
have I never desired one of them." He asked " Why, then, didst 
thou lay hold of him and kiss him ? " And she answered, " This 
youth is my son and a piece of my liver ; and of my longing and 
affection for him, I could not contain myself, but sprang upon him 
and kissed him." When the king heard this, he was dazed and 
amazed and said to her, " Hast thou a proof that this youth is thy 
son ? Indeed, I have a letter from thine uncle King Sulayman 
Shah, informing me that his uncle Bahluwan cut his throat." Said 
she "Yes, he did indeed cut his throat, but severed not the wind- 
pipe ; so my uncle sewed up the wound and reared him, for thai 
his life-term was not come." When the king heard this, he said, 
" This proof sufficeth me," and rising forthright in the night, bade 
bring the youth and the Eunuch. Then he examined his stepson's 
throat with a candle and saw the scar where it had been cut from 
ear to ear, and indeed the place had healed up and it was like a 
thread stretched out. Thereupon the king fell down prostrate before 
Allah, who had delivered the Prince from all these perils and from 
the distresses he had suffered, and rejoiced with joy exceeding 
because he had delayed and had not made haste to slay him, in 
which case mighty sore repentance had betided him. 2 "As for the 
youth " continued the young treasurer, " he was not saved but 

1 Here the vocative Ya is designedly omitted in poetical fashion (e.g., Khaliliyya my 
friend !) to show the speaker's emotion. See p. 113 of Captain A. Lockett's learned 
and curious work the " Miet Amil "( = Hundred Regimens) Calcutta, 1814. 

2 The story-teller introduces this last instance with considerable art as a preface lo the 

1 50 Supplemental Nights. 

because his life-term was deferred, and in like manner, O king, 'tis 
with me : I too have a deferred term, which I shall attain, and a 
period which I shall accomplish, and I trust in Almighty Allah 
that He will give me the victory over these villain Wazirs." 
When the youth had made an end of his speech, the king said, 
" Restore him to the prison ; " and when they had done this, he 
turned to the Ministers and said to them, "Yonder youth 
lengtheneth his tongue upon you, but I know your tenderness for 
the weal of mine empire and your loyal counsel to me ; so be of 
good heart, for all that ye advise me I will do." They rejoiced 
when they heard these words, and each of them said his say. 
Then quoth the king, " I have not deferred his slaughter but to 
the intent that the talk might be prolonged and that words might 
abound, yet shall he now be slain without let or stay, and I desire 
that forthright ye set up for him a gibbet without the town and 
that the crier cry among the folk bidding them assemble and take 
him and carry him in procession to the gibbet, with the crier 
crying before him and saying : This is the reward of him whom 
the king delighted to favour and who hath betrayed him ! " The 
Wazirs rejoiced when they heard this, and for their joy slept not 
that night ; and they made proclamation in the city and set up 
the gallows. . 


WHEN it was the eleventh day, the Wazirs repaired in early 
morning to the king's gate and said to him, " O king, the folk are 
assembled from the portals of the palace to the gibbet, to the end 
they may see the king's order carried out on the youth." So 
Azadbakht bade fetch the prisoner and they brought him ; where- 
upon the Ministers turned to him and said to him, " O vile of 
birth, can any lust for life remain with thee and canst thou hope 
for deliverance after this day ? " Said he, " O wicked Wazirs, shall 
a man of understanding renounce all esperance in Almighty 
Allah ? Howsoever a man be oppressed, there cometh to him 
deliverance from the midst of distress and life from the midst of 
death, as in the case of the prisoner and how Allah delivered him." 
Asked the king, " What is his story ? " and the youth answered,, 
saying, " O king, they tell 


There was once a king of the kings, who had a high palace, 
overlooking his prison, and he used to hear in the night one say- 
ing, " O Ever-present Deliverer, O Thou whose deliverance is aye 
present, relieve Thou me ! " One day the king waxed wroth and 
said, " Yonder fool looketh for relief from the pains and penalties 
of his crime." Then said he to his officers, " Who is in yonder 
jail ? " and said they, " Folk upon whom blood hath been 

1 See Chavis and Cazotte " Story of the King of Haram and the slave." 

152 Supplemental Nights. 

found. >n Hearing this the king bade bring that man before him 
and said to him, " O fool, O little of wit, how shalt thou be delivered 
from this prison, seeing that thy crime is mortal ? " Then he 
committed him to a company of his guards and said to them, 
*' Take this wight and crucify him within sight of the city." Now 
it was the night season. So the soldiers carried him without the 
city, thinking to crucify him, when behold, there came out upon 
them robbers and fell upon them with swords and other weapons. 
Thereat the guards left him whom they purposed to slay and fled 
whilst the man who was going to slaughter also took to flight and 
plunging deep into the desert, knew not whither he went before he 
found himself in a copse and there came out upon him a lion of 
terrible aspect, who snatched him up and cast him under him. 
Then he went up to a tree and uprooting it, covered the man 
therewithal and made off into the thicket, in quest of the 1-ioness. 2 
As for the man, he committed his affair to Allah the Most High, 
relying upon Him for deliverance, and said to himself, " What is 
this affair ? " Then he removed the leaves from himself and 
rising, saw great plenty of men's bones there, of those whom the 
lion had devoured. He looked again and behold, he saw a heap 
of gold lying alongside a purse-belt; 3 whereat he marvelled and 
gathering up the gold in the breast of his gaberdine, went forth of 
the copse and fled at hap-hazard, turning neither to the right nor 
to the left, in his fear of the lion ; nor did he cease flying till he 
came to a village and cast himself down, as he were dead. He 
lay there till the day appeared and he was rested from his travail, 
when he arose and burying the gold, entered the village. Thus 
Allah gave him relief and he got the gold. Then said the king, 

1 i.e. men caught red-handed. 

2 Arab. " Libwah," one of the multitudinous names for the king of beasts, still 
used in Syria where the animal has been killed out, soon to be followed by the bear 
(U. Syriacus). The author knows that lions are most olten fcund in couples, 

3 Arab, "Himyan or Hamyan/' = a girdle. 

Tke Ten Wazirs ; or the History of King Azadbakkt. 153 

* How long wilt thou beguile us, O youth, with thy prate ? But 
now the hour of thy slaughter is come." So he bade crucify him 
upon the gibbet. But as they were about to hoist him up, lo and 
behold ! the Captain of the thieves, who had found him and reared 
him, came up at that moment and asked, " What be this assembly 
and the cause of the crowds here gathered together ? " They 
informed him that a page of the king had. committed a mighty 
great crime and that he was about to do him die ; so the Captain 
of the thieves pressed forward and looking upon the prisoner, knew 
him, whereupon he went up to him and strained him to his bosom 
and threw his arms round his neck, and fell to kissing him upon 
his mouth. 1 Then said he, " This is a boy I found under such a 
mountain, wrapped in a gown of brocade, and I reared him and he 
fell to cutting the way with us. One day, we set upon a caravan, 
but they put us to flight and wounded some of us and took the 
lad and ganged their gait. From that day to this I have gone 
round about the lands seeking him, but have not found news 
of him till now ; and this is he." When the king heard this, he 
was assured that the youth was his very son ; so he cried out at 
the top of his voice and casting himself upon him, embraced him 
and kissed him and shedding tears, said, " Had I put thee to death, 
as was mine intent, I should have died of regret for thee." Then 
he cut his pinion-bonds and taking his crown from his head, set it 
on the head of his son, whereupon the people raised cries of joy, 
whilst the trumpets blared and the kettledrums beat and there 
befel a mighty great rejoicing. They decorated the city and it 
was a glorious day ; even the birds stayed their flight in the welkin, 
for the greatness of the greeting and the clamour of the crying. 
The army and the folk carried the prince to the palace in splendid 
procession, and the news came to his mother Bahrjaur, who fared 

1 As he would kiss a son. I have never yet seen an Englishman endure these 
masculine kisses, formerly so common in France and Italy, without showing clearest 
*igns of his disgust. 

154 Supplemental Nights. 

forth and threw herself upon him. Moreover, the king bade open 
the prison and bring forth all who were therein, and they held high 
festival seven days and seven nights and rejoiced with a mighty 
rejoicing. Thus it betided the youth ; but as regards the Ministers, 
terror and silence, shame and affright fell upon them and they gave 
themselves up for lost. After this the king sat, with his son by 
his side and the Wazirs on their knees before him, and summoned 
his chief officers and the subjects of the city. Then the prince 
turned to the Ministers and said to them, " See, O villain Wazirs, 
the work of Allah and his speedy relief." But they answered ne'er 
a syllable and the king said, " It sufficeth me that there is nothing 
alive but rejoiceth with me this day, even to the birds in the sky, 
but ye, your breasts are straitened. Indeed, this is the greatest 
of hostility in you me-wards, and had I hearkened to you, my 
regret had been prolonged and I had died miserably of sorrow." 
Quoth the prince, " O my father, but for the fairness of thy thought 
and thy perspicacity and thy longanimity and deliberation in 
affairs, there had not betided thee this great joy. Hadst thou 
slain me in haste, repentance would have been sore on thee and 
longsome annoy, and on this wise whoso preferreth haste shall 
rue." Presently the king sent for the Captain of the robbers 
and bade indue him with a robe of honour, commanding that all 
who loved the king should doff their dresses and cast them upon 
him. 1 So there fell robes of honour on him, till he was a-wearied 
with their weight, and Azadbakht invested him with the mastership 
of the police of his city. Then he bade set up other nine gibbets 
by the side of the first and said to his son, " Thou art innocent, 
and yet these villain Wazirs strave for thy slaughter." Replied 
the prince, "O my sire, I had no fault in their eyes but that I 
was a loyal counsellor to thee and still kept watch over thy wealth 

1 A cheap way of rewarding merit, not confined to Eastern monarchs, but practised 
by all contemporary Europe. 

The Ten Wazirs; or the History of King A zadbakht. 15$ 

and withdrew their hands from thy hoards and treasuries ; where- 
fore they were jealous and envied me and plotted against me and 
planned to slay me." Quoth the king, " The time of retribution 
is at hand, O my son ; but what be thy rede we should do with 
them in requital of that they did with thee ? And indeed they 
have striven for thy slaughter and exposed thee to disgrace and 
smirched mine honour among the kings." Then he turned to 
the Wazirs and said to them, " Woe to you ! What liars ye 
are ! And is aught of excuse left to you ? " Said they, " O 
king, there remaineth no excuse for us and we are houghed 1 by 
the deed we would have done to him. Indeed we planned evil 
to this youth and it hath reverted upon us, and we plotted 
mischief against him and it hath overtaken us ; yea, we digged 
for him a pit and we ourselves have fallen into it." So the king 
bade hoist up the Wazirs upon the gibbets and crucify them there, 
because Allah is just and decreeth that which is due. Then 
Azadbakht and his wife and son abode in joyance and gladness, 
till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and they died all ; 
and extolled be the Living One, who dieth not, to whom be glory 
and whose mercy be upon us for ever and ever ! Amen. 

1 Arab " Kasf," = houghing a camel so as to render it helpless. The passage 8137 
read, " we are broken to bits (Kisi) by our own sin." 




IT is told of Ja'afar bin Yahya the Barmecide that he sat down 
one day to wine and, being minded to be private, sent for his boon- 
companions, with whom he was most familiar, and charged the 
chamberlain that he suffer none of the creatures of Almighty 
Allah to enter, save a man of his cup-mates, by name Abd al- 
Malik bin Salih, who was behindhand with them. Then they 
donned brightly-dyed dresses, 2 for it was their wont, as often as 
they sat in the wine-stance, to endue raiment of red and yellow 
and green silk, and they sat down to drink, and the cups went 
round and the lutes thrilled and shrilled. Now there was a man of 
the kinsfolk of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, by name Abd al- 
Malikbin Salih 3 bin Ali bin Abdallah bin al- Abbas 4 , who was great 
of gravity and sedateness, piety and propriety, and Al-Rashid used 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol vii. pp. 251-4, Night dlxv. 

* See vol. vi. 175. A Moslem should dress for public occasions, like the mediaeval 
stndent, in vestibus (quasi) nigris aut subfuscis ; though not, except amongst the Abba- 
sides, absolutely black, as sable would denote Jewry. 

* A well-known soldier and statesman, noted for piety and austerity. A somewhat 
fuller version of this story, from which I have borrowed certain details-, is given in the 
Biographical Dictionary of Ibn Khallikdn (i. 303-4). The latter, however, calls the 
first Abd al-Malik " Ibn Bahran " (in the index Ibn Bahrain), which somewhat 
spoils the story. " Ibn Khallikan," by-the-by, is derived popularly from '* KhalH " 
(let go), and " KSna " (it was, enough), a favourite expression of the author, which at 
last superseded his real name, Abu al-Abbds Ahmad. He is better off than the com- 
panion nicknamed by Mohammed Abu Horayrab = Father of the She-kitten (not the cat), 
and who in consequence has lost his true name and pedigree. 

4 In Ibn Khallikan (I. 303) lie is called the " Hashimite," from his ancestor, Hashira 
ibn Abd Mandf. The Hasbimites and Abbasides were fine specimens of. the Moslem 
Pharisee," as he is known to Christians, not the noble Purushi of authentic history. 

l6o Supplemental Nights. 

instantly to require that he should company him in converse 
and carouse and drink with him and had offered him to such end 
abounding wealth, but he never would. It fortuned that this Abd 
al-Malik bin Salih came to the door of Ja'afar bin Yahya, so he 
might bespeak him of certain requisitions of his, and the chamber- 
lain, doubting not but he was the Abd al-Malik bin Salih aforesaid 
(whom Ja'afar had permitted him admit and that he should suffer 
ncne but him to enter), allowed him to go in to his master. 
A-cordingly Abd al-Malik went in, garbed in black, with his 
Rusafiyah 1 on his head When Ja'afar saw him, his reason was 
like to depart for shame and he understood the case, to wit, 
that the chamberlain had been deceived by the likeness of 
the name; and Abd al-Malik also perceived how the matter 
stood and perplexity was manifest to him in Ja'afar's face. 
So he put on a cheery countenance and said, "No harm be 
upon you! 2 Bring us of these dyed clothes." Thereupon 
they brought him a dyed robe 3 and he donned it and sat dis- 
coursing gaily with Ja'afar and jesting with him. Then said he, 
" Allow us to be a partaker in your pleasures, and give us to drink 
of your Nabfz. 4 So they brought him a silken robe and poured him 
out a pint, when he said, " We crave your indulgence, for we have 
no wont of this." Accordingly Ja'afar ordered a flagon of Nabfz 
be set before him, that he might drink whatso he pleased. Then, 
having anointed himself with perfumes, he chatted and jested with 

1 Meaning a cap, but of what shape we ignore. Ibn Khallikan afterwards calls it a 
4 'Italansua," a word still applied to a mitre worn by Christian priests. 

8 Arab. La baas," equivalent in conveisation to our "No matter," and "All 

* As a member of the reigning family, he wore black clothes, that being the especial 
colour of the Abbasides, adopted by them in opposition to the rival dynasty of the 
Ommiades, whose family colour was white, that of the Fatimites being green. The Moslems 
borrowed their sacred green, "the hue of the Pure," from the old Nabatheans and the 
other primitive colours from the tents of the captains who were thus distinguished. 
Hence also amongst the Turks and Tartars, the White Horde and the Black Horde. 

4 The word has often occurred, meaning date-wine or grape-wine. Ibn Khaldft* 
contends that in Ibn Khallikan it here means the former. 

J a' afar bin Yahya and Abd al-Malik bin Salih the Abbaside. 161 

them till Ja'afar's bosom broadened and his constraint ceased from 
him and his shame, and he rejoiced in this with joy exceeding and 
asked Abd al-Malik, " What is thine errand ? Inform me thereof, 
for I cannot sufficiently acknowledge thy courtesy." Answered the 
other, " I come (amend thee Allah !) on three requirements, of which 
I would have thee bespeak the Caliph ; to wit, firstly, I have on 
me a debt to the amount of a thousand thousand dirhams, 1 which 
I would have paid : secondly, I desire for my son the office of 
Wali or governor of a province, 2 whereby his rank may be raised : 
and thirdly, I would fain have thee marry him to Al-'Aliyah, the 
daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, for that she is his 
cousin and he is a match for her." Ja'afar said, " Allah acconv 
plisheth unto thee these three occasions. As for the money, 
it shall be carried to thy house this very hour : as for the govern- 
ment, I make thy son Viceroy of Egypt ; and as for the marriage, 
I give him to mate Such-an-one, the daughter of our lord the Prince 
of True Believers, at a dowry of such and such a sum. So depart 
in the assurance of Allah Almighty." Accordingly Abd al-Malik 
went away much astonished at Ja'afar's boldness in undertaking 
such engagements. He fared straight for his house, whither he 
found that the money had preceded him, and on the morrow 
Ja'afar presented himself before Al-Rashid and acquainted him 
with what had passed, and that he had appointed Abd al-Malik's 
son Wali of Egypt 3 and had promised him his daughter, Al-'Aliyah 
to wife. The Caliph was pleased to approve of this and he 
confirmed the appointment and the marriage. Then he sent for 

1 =.25,000. Ibn Khallikan (i. 304) makes the debt four millions of dirhams or 
90,000 1 00,000. 

2 In the Biographer occurs the equivalent phrase, " That a standard be borne over his 

3 Here again we have a suggestion that Ja'afar presumed upon his favour with the 
Caliph ; such presumption would soon be reported (perhaps by the austtre intrigant 
himself) to the royal ears, and lay the foundation of ill-will likely to end in utter 


1 62 Supplemental Nights. 

the young man and he went not forth of the palace of the Caliphate 
till Al-Rashid wrote him the patent of investiture with the govern- 
ment of Egypt ; and -he let bring the Kazis and the witnesses and 
drew up the contract of marriage. 


I6 5 


IT is said that the most wondrous of matters which happened to 
Al-Rashid was this. His brother Al-Hddf, 2 when he succeeded to 
the Caliphate, enquired of a seal-ring of great price, which had 
belonged to his father Al-Mahdi, 8 and it reached him that Al< 
Rashid had taken it. So he required it of him, but he refused to 
give it up, and Al-Hadi insisted upon him, yet he still denied the 
seal-ring of the Caliphate. Now this was on Tigris-bridge, and he 
threw the ring into the river. 4 When Al-Hadi died and Al-Rashid 
succeeded to the Caliphate, he went in person to that very place 
with a seal-ring of lead, which he cast into the stream at the same 
stead, and bade the divers seek it. So the duckers did his bidding 
and brought up the first ring, and this was counted an omen of 
Al-Rashid's good fortune and of the continuance of his reign.* 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 258-60, Night dlxvfi. 

8 Fourth Abbaside, A.D. 785-786, vol. v. 93. He was a fantastic tyrant who was 
bent upon promoting to the Caliphate his own son, Ja'afar ; he cast Harun into prison 
and would probably have slain him but for the intervention of the mother of the two 
brothers, Khayzaran widow of Al-Mahdi, and Yahya the Barmecide. 

3 Third Abbaside, A.D. 775-785, vol. vii. 136; ix, 334. 

4 This reminds us of the Bir Al-Khatim (Well of the Signet) at Al-Medinah ; in 
which Caliph Osman during his sixth year dropped from his finger the silver ring 
belonging to the founder of Al-Islam, engraved in three lines with " Mohammed | 
Apostle (of) | Allah | ." It had served to sign the letters sent to neighbouring kings and 
had descended to the first three successors (Pilgrimage ii. 219). Mohammed owned three 
seal-rings, the golden one he destroyed himself; and the third, which was of carnelian, 
was buried with other objects by his heirs. The late Subhi Pasha used to declare that 
the latter had been brought to him with early Moslem coins by an Arab, and when he 
died he left it to the Sultan. 

* Mr. Payne quotes Al-Tabari's version of this anecdote. " El-Mehdi had presented 
his son Haroun with a ruby ring, worth a hundred thousand dinars, and the latter being 
one day with his brother [the then reigning KhalifJ, El Hadi saw the ring on his finger 
and desired it. So, when Haroun went out from him, he sent after him, to seek the 

1 66 Supplemental Nights. 

When Al-Rashid came to the throne, he invested Ja'afar bin 

Yahya bin Khalid al-Barmaki l with the Wazirate. Now Ja'afar 

was eminently noted for generosity and munificence, and the 

histories of him to this purport are renowned and have been 

documented. None of the Wazirs rose to the rank and favour 

whereto he attained with Al-Rashid, who was wont to call him 

brother 2 and used to carry him with him into his house. The 

period of his Wazirate was nineteen 3 years, and Yahya one day 

said to his son Ja'afar, "O my son, as long as thy reed trembleth, 4 

water it with kindness." Men differ concerning the reason of 

Ja'afar's slaughter, but the better opinion is as follows. Al-Rashid 

could not bear to be parted from Ja'afar nor from his own sister 

'Abbdsah, daughter of Al-Mahdi, a single hour, and she was the 

loveliest woman of her day ; so he said to Ja'afar, " I will marry 

thee to her, that it may be lawful to thee to look upon her, but 

thou shalt not touch her." After this time the twain used to be 

present in Al-Rashid's sitting chamber. Now the Caliph would 

get up bytimes and leave the chamber, and they being filled with 

wine as well as being young, Ja'afar would rise to her and know 

ring of him. The Khalifs messenger overtook Er Reshid on the bridge over the Tigris 
and acquainted him with his errand ; whereupon the prince, enraged at the demand, 
pulled off the ring and threw it into the river. When El Hadi died and Er Reshid 
succeeded to the throne, he went with his suite to the bridge in question and bade his 
Vizier Yehya ben Khalid send for divers and cause them make search for the ring. It 
had then been five months in the water and no one believed it would be found. How- 
ever, the divers plunged into the river and found the ring in the very place where he 
had thrown it in, whereat Haroun rejoiced with an exceeding joy, regarding it as a 
presage of fair fortune." 

1 Not historically correct. Al-Rashid made Yahya, father of Ja'afar, his Wazir ; and 
the minister's two sons, Fazl and Ja'afar, acted as his lieutenants for seventeen years from 
A.D. 786 till the destruction of the Barmecides in A.D. 803. The tale-telter quotes 
Ja'afar because he was the most famous of the house. 

2 Perhaps after marrying Ja'afar to his sister. But the endearing name was usually 
addressed to Ja'afar's elder brother Fazl, who was the Caliph's foster-brother. 

' Read seventeen: all these minor inaccuracies tend to invalidate the main state- 

* Arab. " Yar'ad " which may also mean " thundereth." The dark saying apparently 
means, Do good whilst thou art in power and thereby strengthen thyself. 

A l-Raskid and the Barmecides. 1 67 

her carnally. 1 She conceived by him and bare a handsome boy ; 
and, fearing Al-Rashid, she dispatched the new-born child by one 
of her confidants to Meccah the Magnified (May Allah Almighty 
greaten it in honour and increase it in venerance and nobility and 
magnification !). The affair abode concealed till there befel a 
brabble between Abbasah and one of her hand-maidens whereupon 
the slave-girl discovered the affair of the child to Al-Rashid and 
acquainted him with its abiding-place. So, when the Caliph 
pilgrimaged, he sent one who brought him the boy and found the 
matter true, wherefore he caused befal the Barmecides whatso 
befel. 2 

1 The lady seems to have made the first advances and Bin Abu Hajilah quotes a 
sbcaine in which she amorously addresses her spouse. See D'Herbelot, s.v. Abbassa. 

3 The tale-teller passes with a very light hand over the horrors of a massacre which 
terrified and scandalised the then civilised world, and which still haunt Moslem history. 
The Caliph, like the king, can do no wrong ; and, as Viceregent of Allah upon Earth, 
what would be deadly crime and mortal sin in others becomes in his case an ordinance 
from above. These actions are superhuman events and fatal which man must not 
judge nor feel any sentiment concerning them save one of mysterious respect. For the 
slaughter of the Barmecides, see my Terminal Essay, vol. x. 



IT is related that Ibn al-Sammdk* went in one day to Al- 
Rashid, and the Caliph, being athirst, called for drink. So his cup 
was brought him, and when he took it, Ibn al-Sammak said to 
him, " Softly, O Prince of True Believers ! An thou wert denied 
this draught, with how much wouldst thou buy it ? " He replied, 
"With the half of my reign ;" and Ibn al-Sammak said, "Drink 
and Allah make it grateful to thee ! " Then, when he had drunken; 
he asked him, "An thou wert denied the issuing forth of the 
draught from thy body, with what wouldst thou buy its issue ? w 
Answered Al-Rashid, " With the whole of my reign ; " and Ibn al- 
Sammak said, " O Commander of the Faithful, verily, a realm that 
weigheth not in the balance against a draught of water or a voiding 
of urine is not worth the striving for." And Harun wept. 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 260-1, Night dlxviii. 

8 Ibn al-Sammak (Son of the fisherman or fishmonger), whose name was Abu al- 
Abbas Mohammed bin Sabfh, surnnmed Al-Mazkur (Ibn al-Athir says Al-Muzakkai), 
was a native of Kufah (where he died in A.H. 183 = 799~8o), a preacher and pro- 
fessional tale-teller famed as a stylist and a man of piety. Al-Siyuti (p. 292) relate* 
of him that when honoured by the Caliph with courteous reception he said to him, " Thjr 
humility in thy greatness is nobler than thy greatness." He is known to have been the 
only theologician who, ex talhtdrd, promised Al-Rashid a place in Parauis*. 



IT is said that Al-Maamun 2 came one day upon Zubaydah, 
mother of Al-Ami'n, 3 and saw her moving her lips and muttering 
somewhat he understood not ; so he said to her, " O mother mine, 
art thou cursing me because I slew thy son and spoiled him of 
his realm ? " Said she, " Not so, by Allah, O Commander of the 
Faithful ! " and quoth he, " What then was it thou saidst ? " 
Quoth she, " Let the Prince of True Believers excuse me." But 
he was urgent with her, saying, " There is no help but that thou 
tell it." And she replied, " I said, Allah confound importunity ! " 
He asked, " How so ? " and she answered, " I played one day at 
chess with the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and 
he imposed on me the condition of forfeits. 4 He won and made 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 261-2, Night dlxviii. 

1 Seventh Abbaside, A.H. 198-227 = 813-842. See vol. iv. 109. He was a favourite 
with his father, who personally taught him tradition ; but he offended the Faithful by 
asserting the creation of the Koran, by his leaning to Shi'ah doctrine, and by changing 
the black garments of the Banu Abbas into green, He died of a chill at Budandun, a 
day's march from Tarsus, where he was buried : for this Podendon = iroSa Ttivetv 
:= Mretch out thy feet, see Al-Siyuti, pp. 326-27. 

'Sixth Abbaside, A.D. 809-13. See vol. v. 93: 152. He was of pure Abbaside 
blood on the father's side and his mother Zubaydah's. But he was unhappy in his 
Wazir Al-Fazl bin Rabi', the intriguer against the Barmecides, who estranged him from 
his brothers Al-Kasim and Al-Maamun. At last he was slain by a party of Persians, " who 
struck him with their swords, and cut him through the nape of his neck and went with 
his bead to Tahir bin al-Husayn, general to Al-Maamun, who set it upon a garden-wall 
and made proclamation, This is the head of the deposed Mohammed (Al-Amin)." Al- 
Siyuti, pp. 306-311. It was remarked by Moslem annalists that every sixth Abbaside 
met with a violent death : the first was this Mohammed al- Amin surnamed Al-Makhlu* 
= The Deposed ; the second sixth was Al-Musta'(n ; and the last was Al-Muktadi 
bi Mlah. 

* Lit. " Order and acceptance." See the Tak of the Sandal-wood Merchant and 
the Sharpers : vol. vi. 202. 

176 Supplemental Nights. 

me doff my dress and walk round about the palace, stark naked ; 
so I did this, and I felt incensed against him. Then we fell again 
to playing and I won ; whereat I made him go to the kitchen and 
lie with the foulest and fulsomest wench of the wenches thereof ; 
but I found not a slave-girl fouler and filthier than thy mother j 1 
so I bade him tumble her. He did my bidding and she conceived 
by him of thee, and thus was I the cause of the slaying of my son 
and the spoiling him of his realm." When Al-Maamun heard 
this, he turned away, saying, " Allah curse the importunate!** 
that is, himself, who had importuned her till she acquainted him 
with that affair. 

1 This is not noticed by Al-Siyuti (p. 318) who says that his mother was a slave- 
concubine named Marajil who died in giving him birth. The tale in the text appears 
to be a bit of Court scandal, probably suggested by the darkness of the Caliph's com- 




IT is said that Al-Nu'umdn 2 had two boon-companions, one of 
whom was hight Ibn Sa'ad and the other Amru bin al-Malik, and 
he became one night drunken and bade bury them alive ; so they 
buried them. When he arose on the morrow, he asked for them 
and was acquainted with their affair, whereupon he built over 
them a building and appointed to himself a day of ill-luck and a 
day of good fortune. If any met him on his unlucky day, he slew 
him and with his blood he washed that monument, which is a place 
well known in Kufah ; and if any met him on his day of good 
fortune he enriched him. Now there accosted him once, on his 
day of ill-omen, an Arab of the Banii Tay, 8 and Al-Nu'uman would 
have done him dead ; but the Arab said, " Allah quicken the 
king ! I have two little girls and have made none guardian over 
them ; wherefore, an the king see fit to grant me leave to go to 
them, I will give him the covenant of Allah 4 that I will return 
to him, as soon as I shall have appointed unto them a guardian." 
Al-Nu'uman had ruth on him and said to him, " An a man 
will be surety for thee of those who are with us, I will let 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. viii. pp. 226-9, Nights dclx-i. 

1 King of the Arab kingdom of Hi rah, for whom see vol. v. 74. This ancient villain 
rarely appears in such favourable form when tales are told of him. 

3 The tribe of the chieftain and poet, Hatim Tai, for whom see vol. iv. 94. 

* i.e. I will make a covenant with him before the Lord. Here the word "Allah" 
is introduced among the Arabs of The Ignorance. 

1 80 Supplemental Nights. 

thee go, and if thou return not I will slay him." Now there 
was with Al-Nu'uman his Wazir Shank bin Amru : so the Taf 1 
looked at him and said : 

Ho thou, Sharfk, O Amru-son is there fro* Death repair ? O brother to men 

brotherless, brother of all in care ! 
O brother of Al-Nu'umin an old man this day spare, o An old man slain and 

Allah deign fair meed for thee prepare ! 

Quoth Sharik, " On me be his warranty, Allah assain the king ! " 
So the Tcii departed, after a term had been assigned him for his 
returning. Now when the appointed day arrived, Al-Nu'uman sent 
for Sharik and said to him, " Verily the high noon of this day 
is past;" and Sharik answered, "The king hath no procedure 
against me till it be eventide." Whenas evened the evening, 
there appeared one afar off and Al-Nu'uman fell to looking upon 
him and on Sharik who said to him, " Thou hast no right over me 
till yonder person come, for haply he is my man." As he spake, 
up came the Tdf in haste and Al-Nu'uman said, " By Allah, 
never saw I any more generous than you two t I know not which 
of you be the nobler, whether this one who became warrant for 
thee in death-risk or thou who returnest to thy slaughter." Then 
quoth he to Sharik, " What drave thee to become warrant for him, 
knowing the while that it was death ? " and quoth he, " I did 
this lest it be said, Generosity hath departed from Wazirs.'' Then 
Al-Nu'uman asked the T4f, " And thou, what prompted thee to 
return, knowing that therein was death and thine own destruction ? " 
and the Arab answered, " I did this lest it be said, Fidelity hath 
departed from the folk ; for such thing would be a shame to 
mine issue and to my tribe." And Al-Nu'uman cried, " By Allah, 
I will be the third of you, lest it be said, Mercy hath departed 

' i.e. The man of the tribe of Tay. 

Al-Nu'uman and the Arab of the Banu Tay. 181 

from the kings." So he pardoned him and bade abolish the day 
of ill-luck ; whereupon the Arab began to say : 

A many urged me that I false my faith, e But I refused whatso the wights could 

plead ; 
For I'm a man in whom Faith dwells for aye, o And every true man's word is 

pledge of deed. 

Quoth Al-Nu'uman, '"What prompted thee to keep faith, the case 
being as thou sayest ? " Quoth he, " O king, it was my religion."' 
Al-Nu'uman asked, " What is thy religion ? " and he answered, 
" The Nazarene ! " The king said, " Expound it to me/' So 
the Tdf expounded it to him and Al-Nu'uman became a 
Christian. 1 

1 A similar story of generous dealing is told of the Caliph Omar in The Nights. See 
vol. v. 99 et sqq. 



THEY relate that a certain king sat one day on the terrace-root of 
his palace, solacing himself with the view, and presently, his wander- 
ing glances espied, on a house-top over against his palace, a woman 
seer never saw her like. So he turned to those present and asked 
them, " To whom belongeth yonder house ?" when they answered, 
u To thy servant Firuz, and that is his spouse." So he went down 
(and indeed passion had made him drunken as with wine, and he 
was deeply in love of her), and calling Firuz, said to him, " Take 
this letter and go with it to such a city and bring me the reply." 
Firuz took the letter and going to his house, laid it under his 
head and passed that night ; and when the morning morrowed, he 
farewelled his wife and fared for that city, unknowing what his 
sovran purposed against him. As for the king, he arose in haste 
after the husband had set out and repairing to the house of Firuz 
in disguise, knocked at the entrance. Quoth Firuz's wife, " Who's at 
the door ? " and quoth he, saying, " I am the king, thy husband's 
master." So she opened and he entered and sat down, saying, 
" We are come to visit thee." She cried, " I seek refuge 2 from this 
visitation, for indeed I deem not well of it ;" but the king said, 
" O desire of hearts, I am thy husband's master and methinks 
thou knowest me not." She replied, " Nay, I know thee, O my 
lord and master, and I wot thy purpose and whatso thou wantest 

1 Bres. Edit., vol. viii. pp. 273-8, Nights dclxxv-vi. In Syria and Egypt Firuz 
(the Persian " Piroz ") = victorious, triumphant, is usually pronounced Fayniz. The 
tale is a rechauffe of the King and the Wazir's Wife in The Nights. See vol. vi. 

* i.t. I seek refuge with Allah = God forfend. 

Supplemental Nights. 

and that thou art my husband's lord. I understand what thou 
wishest, and indeed the poet hath forestalled thee in his saying 
of the verses referring to thy case : 

Now will I leave your water-way untrod ; o For many treading that same way 

I see : 
When fall the clustering flies upon the food, o 1 raise my nand whate'er my 

hunger be : 
And lions eke avoid the water-way o When dogs to lap at fountain-side are 


Then said she, " O king, comest thou to a watering-place 
whereat thy dog hath drunk and wilt thou drink thereof?" The 
king was abashed at her and at her words and fared forth from her 
but forgot his sandal in the house. Such was his case ; but as 
regards Firuz, when he went forth from his house, he sought the 
letter, but found it not in pouch ; so he returned home. Now his 
return fell in with the king's going forth and he came upon the 
sandal in his house, whereat his wit was wildered and he knew 
that the king had not sent him away save for a device of his own. 
However, he kept silence and spake not a word, but, taking the 
letter, went on his mission and accomplished it and returned to 
the king, who gave him an hundred dinars. So Firuz betook him- 
self to the bazar and bought what beseemeth women of goodly 
gifts and returning to his wife, saluted her and gave her all he 
had purchased, and said to her, " Arise and hie thee to thy father's 
home." Asked she, " Wherefore ? " and he answered, " Verily, the 
king hath been bountiful to me and I would have thee make this 
public, so thy father may joy in that which he seeth upon thee." 
She rejoined " With love and gladness," and arising forthwith, 
betook herself to the house of her father, who rejoiced in her 
coming and in that which he saw upon her ; and she abode with 
him a month's space, and her husband made no mention of her. 
Then came her brother to him and said, " O Firuz, an thou wilt 
not acquaint me with the reason of thine anger against thy wife, 

Firuz and his Wife. \ 87 

come and plead with us before the king." Quoth he, " If ye 
will have me plead with you, I will e'en plead." So they went to 
the king and found the Kazi sitting with him ; whereupon the 
damsel's brother began, " Allah assist our lord the Kazi ! I let 
this man on hire a flower-garden, high-walled, with a well well-con- 
ditioned and trees fruit-laden ; but he beat down its walls and 
ruined its well and ate its fruits, and now he desireth to return it 
to me." The Kazi turned to Firuz and asked him, " What sayest 
thou, O youth?" when he answered, " Indeed, I delivered him 
the garden in better case than it was before." So the Kazi said to 
the brother, " Hath he delivered to thee the garden, as he 
avoucheth ? " And the pleader replied, " No ; but I desire to 
question him of the reason of his returning it." Quoth the Kazi, 
" What sayest thou, O youth ? " And quoth Firuz, " I returned it 
willy nilly, because I entered it one day and saw the trail of the 
lion ; so I feared lest an I entered it again, the lion should devour 
me. Wherefore that which I did, I did of reverence to him and 
for fear of him." Now the king was leaning back upon the 
cushion, and when he heard the young man's words, he com- 
prehended the purport thereof ; so he sat up and said, " Return to 
thy flower-garden in all ease of heart ; for, by Allah, never saw I 
the like of thy garth nor stronger of guard than its walls over its 
trees ! " So Firuz returned to his wife, and the Kazi knew not the 
truth of the affair, no, nor any of those who were in that assembly, 
save the king and the husband and the wife's brother. 



THEY relate that there was once, in days of yore and in bygone 
ages and times long gone before, a king of the kings of the time, 
Shah Bakht hight, who had troops and servants and guards in 
hosts and a Wazir called Al-Rahwan, who was learned, under-: 
standing, a loyal counsellor and a cheerful acceptor of the com- 
mandments of Almighty Allah, to whom belong Honour and Glory. 
The king committed to this Minister the affairs of his kingdom 
and his lieges and spake according to his word, and in this way he 
abode a long space of time. Now this Wazir had many foes, who 
envied his position and sought to do him harm, but thereunto 
found no way and the Lord, in His immemorial fore-knowledge and 
His fore-ordinance decreed that the king dreamt that the Minister 
Al-Rahwan gave him a fruit from off a tree and he ate it and died. 
So he awoke, startled and troubled, and when the Wazir had pre^ 
sented himself before him and had retired and the king was alone 
with those in whom he trusted, he related to them his vision and 
they advised him to send for the astrologers and interpreters and 
commended to him a Sage, whose skill and wisdom they attested. 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 84-318, Nights dccclxxv-dccccxxx. Here again the 
ames are Persian, showing the provenance of the tale; Shah Bakht is = King Luck 
and Rahwan is a corruption of Rahban = one who keeps the (right) way ; or it may be 
Ruhban=the Pious. Mr. W. A. Clouston draws my attention to the fact that this ttle 
is of the Sindibad (Seven Wise Masters) cycle and that he finds remotely allied to it a 
Siamese collection, entitled Nonthuk Pakaranam in which Princess Kankras, to save 
the life of her father, relates eighty or ninety tales to the king of Palaliput (Palibothra.) 
He purposes to discuss this and similar subjects in extenso in his coming volumes, 
" Popular Tales and Fictions: their Migrations and Transformations," to which I look 
forward with pleasant anticipations. 

192 Supplemental Nights. 

Accordingly the king bade him be brought and entreated him with 
honour and made him draw near to himself. Now there had been 
in private intercourse with that Sage a company of the Wazir's 
enemies, who besought him to slander the .Minister to the king 1 
and counsel him to do him dead, in view of what they promised 
him of much wealth ; and he made agreement with them on this 
and acquainted the king that the Minister would slay him within 
the coming month and bade him hasten to put him to death, else 
would he surely be killed. Presently, the Wazir entered and the 
king signed to him to clear the place. So he signed to those who 
were present to withdraw, and they withdrew ; whereupon quoth 
the king to him, " How deemest thou, O Minister of loyal counsel 
in all manner of contrivance, concerning a vision I have seen in 
my sleep ? " " What is it, O king ? " asked the Wazir, and Shah 
Bakht related to him his dream, adding, *' And indeed the Sage 
interpreted it to me and said to me :* An thou do not the Wazir 
dead within a month, assuredly he will slay thee. Now to put the 
like of thee to death, I am loath exceedingly, yet to leave thee on 
life do I sorely fear. How then dost thou advise me act in this 
affair?" The Wazir bowed his head earthwards awhile, then 
raised it and said, " Allah prosper the king ! Verily, it availeth 
not to continue him on life of whom the king is afraid, and my 
counsel is that thou hasten to put me out of the world." When 
the king heard his speech and dove into the depths of his meaning, 
he turned to him and said, " 'Tis grievous to me, O Wazir of good 
rede ; " and he told him that the other sages had attested the wit 
and wisdom of the astrophil. Now hearing these words Al-Rahwan 
sighed and knew that the king went in fear of him ; but he showed 
him fortitude and said to him, " Allah assain the sovran ! My rede 
is that the king carry out his commandment and his decree be 
dight, for that needs must death be and 'tis fainer to me that I 
die oppressed, than that I die an oppressor. But, an the king 
judge proper to postpone the putting of me to death till the 

King Shah Bakht and his Wazir Al-Rahwan. 193 

morrow and will pass this night with me and farewell me whenas 
the morning cometh, the king shall do whatso he willeth." Then 
he wept till he wetted his gray hairs and the king was moved to 
ruth for him and granted him that which he craved and vouchsafed 
him a respite for that night. 1 

1 So far this work resembles the Bakhtiyar-nimeh, in which the ten Wazirs are eager 
for the death of the hero who relates tales and instances to the king, warning him against 
the evils of precipitation. 


JFtrst "Niofrt of t&e 

WHEN it was eventide, the king caused clear his sitting chamber 
and summoned the Wazir, ivho presented himself and making 
his obeisance to the king, kissed ground before him and related 
to him 



There was once a man of Khorasan and he had a son, whose 
moral weal he ardently wished ; but the young man sought to be 
alone and far from the eye of his father, so he might give him- 
self up to pleasuring and pleasance. Accordingly he sought of his 
sire leave to make the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah and 
to visit the tomb of the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain !). 
Now between them and Meccah was a journey of five hundred 
parasangs ; but his father could not contrary him, for that the 
Holy Law had made pilgrimage 1 incumbent on him and because 
of that which he hoped for him of improvement. So he joined 
unto him a tutor, in whom he trusted, and gave him much money 
and took leave of him. The son set out with his governor on the 
holy pilgrimage, 2 and abode on the like wise, spending freely and 
using not thrift. Also there was in his neighbourhood a poor 
man, who had a slave-girl of passing beauty and grace, alnd the 
youth conceived a desire for her and suffered sore cark and care 

1 One pilgrimage (Hajjat al-Islam) is commanded to all Moslems. For its conditions 
eee The Nights, vol. v. 202, et sqq. 

2 Arab. " Hajj al-Sharif." For the expenses of the process see my Pilgrimage 
Hi. 12. As In all "Holy Places," from Rome to Benares, the sinner in search of 
salvation is hopelessly taken in and fleeced by the " sons of the sacred cities." 

The Tale of the Man of Khorasan, his Son and his Tutor. 195 

for the love of her and her loveliness, so that he was like to 
perish for passion ; and she also loved him with a love yet greater 
than his love for her. Accordingly, the damsel summoned an 
old woman who used to visit her and acquainted her with her 
case, saying, " An I foregather not with him, I shall die." The 
crone promised her that she would do her best to bring her to 
her desire ; so she veiled herself and repairing to the young 
man, saluted him with the salam and acquainted him with the 
girl's case, saying, " Her master is a greedy wight ; so do thou 
invite him and lure him with lucre, and he will sell thee the hand- 
maiden." Accordingly, he made a banquet, and standing in the 
man's way, invited him l and brought him to his house, where 
they sat down and ate and drank and abode in talk. Presently, 
the young man said to the other, " I hear thou hast with thee a 
slave-girl, whom thou desirest to sell ; " but he said, " By Allah, 

my lord, I have no mind to sell her !" Quoth the youth, " I 
have heard that she cost thee a thousand dinars, and I will give 
thee six hundred over and above that sum ; " and quoth the other, 
" I sell her to thee at that price." So they fetched notaries who 
wrote out the contract of sale, and the young man weighed to the 
girl's master half the purchase money, saying, " Let her be with 
thee till I complete to thee the rest of the price and take my 
hand-maid." The owner consented to this and took of him a 
written bond for the rest of the money, and the girl abode with 
her master, on deposit." 2 As for the youth, he gave his governor a 
thousand dirhams and sent him to his sire, to fetch money from him, 
so he might pay the rest of the hand-maid's price, saying to him, 
" Be not long away." But the tutor said in his mind, " How shall 

1 fare to his father and say to him, Thy son hath wasted thy 

1 Here a stranger invites a guest who at once accepts the invitation ; such is the 
freedom between Moslems at Meccah and Al Medinah, especially during pilgrimage- 

* i.e. the master could no longer use her carnally. 

Supplemental Nights. 

money and made love with it ? " ! With what eye shall I look 
on him and, indeed, I am he in whom he confided and to whom 
he hath entrusted his son? Verily, this were ill rede. Nay, I 
will fare on with this pilgrimage -caravan 2 in despite of my fool 
of a youth ; and when he is weary of waiting, he will demand 
back his money and return to his father, and I shall be quit of 
travail and trouble." So he went on with the pilgrimage-caravan 3 
and took up his abode there. 4 Meanwhile, the youth tarried 
expecting his tutor's return, but he returned not ; wherefore con- 
cern and chagrin grew upon him because of his mistress, and 
his yearning for her redoubled and he was like to kill himself. 
She became aware of this and sent him a messenger, bidding him 
visit her. Accordingly he went to her, and she questioned him of the 
case ; when he told her what was to do of the matter of his tutor, 
and she said to him, " With me is longing the like of that which is 
with thee, and I doubt me thy messenger hath perished or thy 
father hath slain him ; but I will give thee all my jewellery and 
my dresses, and do thou sell them and weigh out the rest of my 
price, and we will go, I and thou, to thy sire." So she handed to 
him all she had and he sold it and paid the rest of her price ; 
after which there remained to him for spending-money an 
hundred dirhams. These he spent and lay that night with the 
damsel in all delight of life, and his sprite was like to fly for joy : 
but when he arose in the morning, he sat weeping and the damsel 
said to him, " What causeth thee to weep ? " Said he, " I 
know not an my father be dead, and he hath none other heir 

1 i.e. wantoned it away. 

2 Here "Al-Hajj" = the company of pilgrims, a common use of the term. 

3 The text says, " He went on with the caravan to the Pilgrimage," probably a clerical 
error. " Hajj " is never applied to the Visitation (Ziyarah) at Al-Medinah. 

* Arab. "Jawar," that is, he became a mujawir, one who lives in or near a 
collegiate mosque. The Egyptian proverb says, " He pilgrimaged : quoth one, Yes, 
and for his villainy lives (yujawir) at Meccah," meaning that he found no other place bad 
enough for him. 

The Tale of the Man of Khorasan, his Son and his Tutor. 197 

save myself; but how shall I get to him, seeing I own not a 
dirham?" Quoth she, "I have a bangle ; sell it and buy seed- 
pearls with the price : then round them and fashion them into 
great unions * and thereby thou shalt gain much money, with the 
which we may find our way to thy country." So he took the 
bangle and repairing to a goldsmith, said to him, ' Break up this 
bracelet and sell it ; " but he said, " The king seeketh a perfect 
bracelet : I will go to him and bring thee its price." Presently 
he bore the bangle to the Sultan and it pleased him greatly 
by reason of its goodly workmanship. Then he called an old 
woman, who was in his palace, and said to her, " Needs must I 
have the mistress of this bracelet though but for a single night, or I 
shall die ; " and the old woman replied, " I will bring her to thee." 
Thereupon she donned a devotee's dress and betaking herself 
to the goldsmith, said to him, " To whom belongeth the bangle 
which is now with the king ?" and said he, "It belongeth to a 
stranger, who hath bought him a slave-girl from this city and 
lodgeth with her in such a place." Upon this the old woman 
repaired to the young man's house and knocked at the door. 
The damsel opened to her and seeing her clad in devotee's garb, 2 
saluted her with the salam and asked her saying, " Haply thou hast 
some need of us ? " Answered the old woman, " Yes, I desire a 
private place, where I can perform the Wuzu-ablution ; " and quoth 
the girl, " Enter." So she entered and did her requirement and 
made the ablution and prayed : 3 then she brought out a rosary 
and began to tell her beads thereon, and the damsel said to her, 

1 1 have often heard of this mysterious art in the East, also of similarly making rubies 
and branch-coral of the largest size ; but, despite all my endeavours, I never was allowed 
lo witness the operation. It was the same with alchemy, which, however, I found very 
useful to the "smasher." See my History of Sindh, chapt. vii. 

2 Elsewhere in The Nights specified as white woollen robes. 

8 Whilst she was praying the girl could not address her; but the use of the rosary is a 
kind of " parergon." 

198 Supplemental Nights. 

" Whence comest thou, O pilgrimess ? " ! Said she, " From visit- 
ing the Idol of the Absent in such a church. 2 There standeth up 
no woman before him 3 , who hath a distant friend and discloseth to 
him her desire, but he acquainteth her with her case and giveth 
her news of her absent one." Said the damsel " O pilgrimess, 
we have an absent one, and my lord's heart cleaveth to him and 
I desire to go question the Idol of him." Quoth the crone, " Do 
thou wait till to-morrow and ask leave of thy spouse, and I will 
come to thee and fare with thee in weal and welfare." Then she 
went away, and when the girl's master came, she sought his permis- 
sion to go with the old trot, and he gave her leave. So the beldame 
came and took her and carried her to the king's door, she, un- 
knowing whither she went. The damsel entered with her and 
beheld a goodly house and decorated apartments which were no 
idol's chamber. Then came the king and seeing her beauty and 
loveliness, went up to her to buss her ; whereupon she fell down in 
a fainting fit and struck out with her hands and feet. 4 When he 
saw this, he held aloof from her in ruth and left her ; but the 
matter was grievous to her and she refused meat and drink, and 
as often as the king drew near to her, she fled from him in fear, so 
he swore by Allah that he would not approach her save with her 
consent and fell to presenting her with ornaments and raiment ; 
but her aversion to him only increased. Meanwhile, the youth 
her master abode expecting her; but she returned not and his 
heart already tasted the bitter draught of separation ; so he went 
forth at hap-hazard, distracted and knowing not what he should 
do, and began strewing dust upon his head and crying out, " The 

1 Arab. "Ya Hajjah" (in Egypt pronounced " Haggeh "), a polite address to an 
elderly woman, who is thus supposed to have " finished her faith." 

* Arab. " Kanfsah " (from Kans = sweeping) a pagan temple, a Jewish synagogue, 
and especially a Christian church. 

J t.t. standeth in prayer or supplication. 

* '.#. fell into hysterics, a very common complaint amongst the highly nervous and 
excitable races, of the East. 

The Tale of the Man of K/iorasan, his Son and his Tutor. 199 

old woman hath taken her and gone away ! " The little boys 
followed him with stones and pelted him, crying, " A madman ! 
A madman ! " Presently, the king's Chamberlain, who was a per- 
sonage of years and worth, met him, and when he saw this youth, he 
forbade the boys and drave them away from him, after which he 
accosted him and asked him of his affair. So he told him his tale 
and the Chamberlain said to him, " Fear not ! I will deliver thy 
slave-girl for thee ; so calm thy concern." And he went on to 
speak him fair and comfort him, till he had firm reliance on his 
word. Then he carried him to his home and stripping him of his 
clothes, clad him in rags ; after which he called an old woman, 
who was his housekeeper, 1 and said to her, " Take this youth and 
bind on his neck yon iron chain and go round about with him in 
all the great thoroughfares of the city, and when thou hast done 
this, go up with him to the palace of the king." And he said to 
the youth, " In whatsoever stead thou seest the damsel, speak not 
a syllable, but acquaint me with her place and thou shalt owe her 
deliverance to none save to me." The youth thanked him and 
went with the old woman in such fashion as the Chamberlain bade 
him. She fared on with him till they entered the city, and 
walked all about it ; after which she went up to the palace of 
the king and fell to saying, " O fortune's favourites, look on a 
youth whom the devils take twice in the day and pray to be pre- 
served from such affliction ! " And she ceased not to go round 
with him till she came to the eastern wing 2 of the palace, where- 
upon the slave-girls hurried out to look upon him and when they 
saw him they were amazed at his beauty and loveliness and wept 
for him. Then they informed the damsel, who came forth and 
considered him and knew him not ; but he knew her ; so he 
drooped his head and shed tears. She was moved to pity for him 

1 Arab. " Kahramanah," a word which has often occurred in divers senses, nurse, 
duenna, chamberwoman, stewardess, armed woman defending the Harem, etc. 

2 Which is supposed to contain the Harem. 

20O Supplemental Nights. 

and gave him somewhat and went back to her place, whilst the 
youth returned with the housekeeper to the Chamberlain and told 
him that she was in the king's mansion, whereat he was chagrined 
and said, " By Allah, I will assuredly devise a device for her and 
deliver her ! " Whereupon the youth kissed his hands and feet. 
Then he turned to the old woman and bade her change her habit 
and her semblance. Now this ancient dame was sweet of speech 
and winsome of wit ; so he gave her costly and delicious ottars 
and said to her, " Get thee to the king's slave-girls and sell them 
these essences and win thy way to the damsel and ask her if she 
desire her master or not." So the old woman went out and 
making her way to the palace, went in to the hand-maid and drew 
near her and recited these couplets : 

Allah preserve our Union-days and their delights. Ah me ! How sweet was 

life ! how joys were ever new ! 
May he not be who cursed us twain with parting day ; c How many a bone he 

brake, how many a life he slew ! 
He shed my faultless tear-floods and my sinless blood ; And beggaring me of 

love himself no richer grew. 

When the damsel heard the old woman's verses, she wept till 
her clothes were drenched and drew near the speaker, who asked 
her, " Knowest thou such-an-one ? " And she wept and answered, 
** He is my lord. Whence knowest thou him ? " Rejoined the 
old woman, " O my lady, sawest thou not the madman who came 
hither yesterday with the old woman ? He was thy lord," presently 
adding, " But this is no time for talk. When 'tis night, get thee 
to the top of the palace and wait on the terrace till thy lord come 
to thee and compass thy deliverance." Then she gave her what 
she would of perfumes and returning to the Chamberlain, acquainted 
him with whatso had passed, and he told the youth. Now as soon 
as it was evening, the Chamberlain bade bring two hackneys and 
great store of water and provaunt and a riding-camel and a fellow 
to show them the way. These he ambushed without the town 

The Tale of the Man of Khorasan t 'his Son and his Tutor. 20 1 

whilst he and the young man, taking with them a long rope, made 
fast to a staple, went and stood below the palace. Whenas they 
came thither, they looked and behold, the damsel was standing on 
the terrace-roof, so they threw her the rope and the staple, which she 
made fast, and tucking up her sleeves above her wrists, slid down 
and landed with them. They carried her without the town, where 
they mounted, she and her lord, and fared on, with the guide in 
front, 1 directing them on the way, and they ceased not faring night 
and day till they entered his father's house. The young man 
greeted his sire, who was gladdened in him, and to whom he related 
all that had befallen him, whereupon he rejoiced in his safety. As 
for the tutor, he wasted whatso was with him and returned to the 
city, where he saw the youth and excused himself. Then he ques* 
tioned him of what had betided him and he told him, whereat he 
admired and returned to companionship with him ; but the youth 
ceased to have regard for him and gave him nor solde nor ration 
as was his wont, neither discovered to him aught of his secrets, 
When the tutor saw that there was no profit from him he returned 
to the king, the ravisher of the slave-girl, and recounted to him 
what the Chamberlain had done and counselled him to slay that 
official and egged him on to recover the damsel, promising to 
give his friend a poison-draught and return. Accordingly the 
king sent for the Chamberlain and chid him for the deed he 
had done ; whereat the king's servants incontinently fell upon 
the Chamberlain and put him to death. Meanwhile the tutor 
returned to the youth, who asked him of his absence, and he told 
him that he had been in the city of the king who had taken 
the slave-girl. When the youth heard this, he misdoubted of his 
governor and never again trusted him in anything but was always on 

1 Especially mentioned because the guide very often follows his charges, especially 
whin he intends to play them an ugly trick. I had an unpleasant adventure of the kind 
! Somaliland ; but having the fear of the "Aborigines Protection Society " before my 
yes, refrained from doing more than hinting at il. 


Supplemental Nights. 

his guard against him. Then the tutor without stay or delay caused 
prepare great store of sweetmeats and put in them deadly poison 
and presented them to the youth, who, when he saw those sweet- 
meats, said to himself, " This is an extraordinary thing of the 
tutor ! Needs must there be in this sweetmeat some mischief, and 
I will make proof of his confectionery upon himself." Accordingly 
he got ready food and set amongst it a portion of the sweetmeat, and 
inviting the governor to his house placed the provaunt before him. 
He ate, and amongst the rest which they brought him, the poisoned 
sweetmeat ; so while in the act of eating he died ; whereby the 
youth knew that this was a plot against himself and said, 
" Whoso seeketh his fortune by his own force 1 attaineth a failure." 
" Nor," continued the Wazir, " is this, O king of the age, stranger 
than the story of the Druggist and his Wife and the Singer." 
When King Shah Bakht heard the tale of Al-Rahwan he gave 
him leave to withdraw to his own house and he tarried there the 
rest of the night and the next day till eventide evened. 

1 i.e. otherwise than according to ordinance of Allah. 


&fcon& Nig&t of tfje 

WHEN the evening evened, the king sat private in his sitting- 
chamber and his mind was occupied with the story of the Singer 
and the Druggist. So he called the Wazir and bade him tell the 
tale. Answered he, " I will well. They recount, O my lord, the 


There was once in the city of Hamadan 1 a young man of seemly 
semblance and skilled in singing to the lute ; wherefore he was 
well seen of the citizens. He went forth one day of his home with 
intent to travel, and gave not over journeying till his travel brought 
him to a town and a goodly. Now he had with him a lute and its 
appurtenance, 2 so he entered and went round about the streets till 
he happened upon a druggist who, when he espied him, called to 
him. So he went up to him and he bade him sit down ; accordingly, 
the youth sat down by his side, and the druggist questioned him of 
his case. The singer told him what was in his mind, and the 
pharmacist took him up into his shop and bought him food and 
fed him. Then said he to him, " Rise and take up thy lute and 
beg about the streets, and whenas thou smellest the reek of wine, 
break in upon the drinkers and say to them, I am a singer. 
They will laugh and cry, Come in to us. And when thou 
singest, the folk will know thee and speak one to other of thee ; 
so shalt thou become known about town, and thou shalt better 
thy business." He went round about, as the druggist bade him. 

1 A well-known city of Irik 'Ajamf (or Persian). 

* i.e. spare pegs and strings, plectra, thumb-guards, etc. 

2O4 Supplemental Nights. 

till the sun waxed hot, but found none drinking. Then he entered 
a lane, that he might take rest, and seeing there a handsome house 
and a lofty, stood in its shade and fell to observing the excellence 
of its-edification. Now while he was thus engaged, behold, a case- 
ment opened and there appeared thereat a face, as it were the 
moon. Quoth the owner of the face, " What aileth thee to stand 
there ? Dost thou want aught ? " And quoth he, " I am a 
stranger," and acquainted her with his adventure ; whereupon 
asked she, "What sayst thou to meat and drink and the enjoy- 
ment of a fair face and getting thee spending-money ? " And he 
answered, " O mistress mine, this is my desire whereof I am going 
,about in quest ! " So she opened the door to him and brought him 
in : then she seated him at the upper end of the room and served 
him with food. He ate and drank and lay with her and futtered 
her. This ended, she sat down in his lap and they toyed and laughed 
and exchanged kisses till the day was half done, when her hus- 
band came home and she had no recourse but to hide the singer 
in a mat 1 , in which she rolled him up. The husband entered and 
seeing the battle-place 2 disordered and smelling the reek of liquor 
questioned her of this, Quoth she, " I had with me a bosom friend 
i of mine and I conjured her to crack a cup with me ; and so we 
drank a jar full, I and she, and but now, before thy coming in, 
she fared forth." Her husband deemed her words true and went 
away to his shop, he being none other than the singer's friend the 
druggist, who had invited him and fed him ; whereupon the lover 
came forth and he and the lady returned to their pleasant pas- 
time and abode on this wise till evening, when she gave him 
money and said to him, " To-morrow in the forenoon come 
hither to me." He replied, " Yes," and departed ; and at night- 

1 Arab. " Hasir," the fine matting used for sleeping on during the hot season io 
JEgypt and Syria. 

2 i.e. The bed where the " rough and tumble " had taken place. 

Tale of the Singer and the Druggist. 205 

fall he went to the Hammam-bath. On the morrow, he betook 
himself to the shop of his friend the druggist, who welcomed 
him as soon as he saw him, and questioned him of his case and 
how he had fared that day. Quoth the singer, " Allah requite 
thee with welfare, O my brother, for indeed thou hast directed me 
to a restful life ! " Then he acquainted him with his adventure 
and told him the tale of the woman, till he came to the mention of 
her husband, when he said, " And at midday came the horned 
cuckold, 1 her husband, and knocked at the door. So she wrapped 
me in the mat, and when he had wended his ways I came forth 
and we returned to our pleasant play." This was grievous to the 
druggist, and he repented of having taught him how he should do 
and suspected his wife. Accordingly he asked the singer, " And 
what said she to thee at thy going away ? " and the other 
answered, " She said, Come back to me on the morrow. So, 
behold, I am off to her and I came not hither but that I might 
acquaint thee with this, lest thy thoughts be pre-occupied with 
me." Then he farewelled him, and walked out. As soon as the 
druggist was assured that he had reached the house, he cast the 
net 2 over his shop and made for his home, in some suspicion of his 
wife, and knocked at the door. Now the singer had entered and 
the druggist's wife said to him, " Up with thee and enter this chest.'* 
Accordingly he entered it and she shut it down on him and opened 
to her husband, who came in all distraught, and searched the house 
but found none and overlooked the chest. Hereat he said in his mind 
" The house 3 is one which favoureth my house and the woman is 

1 This word, which undoubtedly derives from cuculus, cogul, cocu, a cuckoo, has 
taken a queer twist, nor can I explain how its present meaning arose from a she-bird 
which lays her egg in a strange nest. Wittol, on the other hand, from Witan to know, 
is rightly applied to one whom La Fontaine calls " cocu et content," the Arab Dayyus. 

3 Arab. " Shabakah," here a net like a fisherman's, which is hung over the hole in 
the wall called a shop, during the temporary absence of the shopkeeper. See my Pil- 
grimage, i. 100. 

3 i.e. of which the singer speaks. 

206 Supplemental Nights. 

one who favoureth my wife," and returned to his shop ; whereupon 
the singer came forth of the chest and falling upon the druggist's 
wife, had his wicked will of her and spent upon her what was her 
due, and weighed down the scale for her with full measure. Then 
they ate and drank and kissed and clipped necks, and in this way 
they abode till the evening, when she gave him money, because she 
found his weaving nice and good, 1 and made him promise to come to 
her on the morrow. So he left her and slept his night and on the 
morrow he returned to the shop of his friend the druggist and saluted 
him. The other welcomed him and questioned him of his case ; 
whereat he told his tale 'till he ended with the mention of the 
woman's husband, when he said, " Then came the horned cuckold, her 
mate and she stowed me away in the chest and shut down the lid 
upon me, whilst her addlepated pander 2 of a husband went about 
the house, top and bottom ; and when he had gone his way, we 
returned to our pleasant pastime." With this, the druggist was 
assured that the house was his house and the wife his wife, and 
quoth he, " Now what wilt thou do to-day ? " Quoth the singer, 
" I shall return to her and weave for her and full her yarn 3 , and I 
came not 4 save to thank thee for thy dealing with me." Then 
he went away, whilst the fire was loosed in the heart of the 
druggist and he shut his shop and returning to his house, rapped 
at the door. Said the singer, " Let me jump into the chest, for he 
saw me not yesterday ; " but said she, " No ! wrap thyself up in 
the mat." So he wrapped himself up and stood in a corner of the 
room, whilst the druggist entered and went no whither else save 

1 i.e., she found him good at the to-and-fro movement ; our corresponding phrase is 
" basket-making." 

2 Arab. " Mu' arris" : in vol. i. 338, I derived the word from 'Are marriage, like 
the Germ. Kupplerin. This was a mere mistake ; the root is 'Ars (with a Sad not a Sin) 
and means a pimp who shows off or displays his wares, 

3 Arab. " Akhmitu Ghazla-ha " lit. = thicken her yarn or thread. 

4 I must again warn the reader that the negative, which to us appears unnecessary,,!* 
emphatic in Arabic. 

Tale of the Singer and the Druggist. 207 

to the chest, but found naught inside. Then he walked round 
about the house and searched it, top and bottom, but came upon 
nothing and no one and abode between belief and disbelief, and 
said to himself, " Haply, I suspect my wife of what is not in her;" 
So he was certified of her innocence and going forth content, 
returned to his shop, whereupon out came the singer and they 
resumed their former little game, as was their wont, till eventide 
when she gave him one of her husband's shirts and he took it and 
going away, nighted in his own lodging. Next morning he 
repaired to the druggist, who saluted him with the salam and came 
to meet him and rejoiced in him and smiled in his face, deeming 
his wife innocent. Then he questioned him of his case on yester- 
day and he told him how he had fared, saying, " O my brother, 
when the cornute knocked at the door, I would have jumped into 
the chest ; but his wife forbade me and rolled me up in the mat. 
The man entered and thought of nothing save the chest ; so he 
brake it open and woned like one jinn-mad, going up and coming 
down. Then he went about his business and I came out and we 
abode on our accustomed case till eventide, when she gave me 
this shirt of her husband's ; and behold, I am now off to her." 
When the druggist heard the singer's words, he was assured of 
the adventure and knew that the calamity, all of it, was in his own 
house and that the wife was his wife ; and he considered the shirt, 
whereupon he redoubled in assuredness and said to the singer, 
" Art thou now going to her ? " Said he, " Yes, O my brother,'* 
and taking leave of him, went away; whereupon the druggist 
started up, as he were stark mad, and dismantled his shop. 1 
Whilst he was thus doing, the singer won to the house, and pre- 
sently up came the druggist and knocked at the door. The lover 
would have wrapped himself up in the mat, but she forbade him 
and said, "Get thee down to the ground floor of the house and 

1 i.t By removing the goods from the " but " to the "ben." Pilgrimage i. 99. 

208 Supplemental Nights. 

enter the oven-jar 1 and close the cover upon thyself." So he did 
her bidding and she went down to her husband and opened the 
door to him, whereupon he came in and went round the house, 
but found no one and overlooked the oven-jar. Then he stood 
musing and sware that he would not again go forth of the house 
till the morrow. As for the singer, when his stay in the oven-jar 
grew longsome upon him, he came forth therefrom, thinking that 
her husband had gone away ; and he went up to the terrace- 
roof and looking down, beheld his friend the druggist : whereat 
he was sore concerned and said in himself, " Alas, the disgrace, 
ah ! This is my friend the druggist, who of me was fain and 
dealt me fair and I have paid him with foul." He feared to return 
to the druggist ; so he stepped down and opened the first door 
and would have gone out at a venture, unseen of the husband ; 
but, when he came to the outer door, he fourjd it locked and saw 
not the key. Hereat he returned to the terrace and began drop- 
ping from roof to roof till the people of the house heard him 
and hastened to fall upon him, deeming him a thief. Now that 
house belonged to a Persian man ; so they laid hands on him 
and the house-master fell to beating him, saying to him, " Thou 
art a thief." He replied, " No I am not a thief, but a singing-man, 
a stranger who, hearing your voices, came to sing to you." When 
the folk heard his words, they talked of letting him go ; but the 
Persian said, " O folk, let not his speech cozen you. This one is 
none other than a thief who knoweth how to sing, and when he 
cometh upon the like of us, he is a singer." Said they, " O our 
lord, this man is a stranger, and needs we must release him." 
Quoth he, " By Allah, my heart heaveth at this fellow ! Let me 
kill him with beating ; " but quoth they " Thou mayst no ways do 
that." So they delivered the singer from the Persian, the master 

1 Arab. " Tannur," here the large earthern jar with a cover of the same material, 
round which the fire is built. 

Tale of the Singer and the Druggist. 209 

of the house, and seated him amongst them, whereupon he began 
singing to them and they rejoiced in him. Now the Persian had 
a Mameluke, 1 as he were the full moon, and he arose and went 
out, and the singer followed him and wept before him, professing 
lustful love to him and kissing his hands and feet. The Mame- 
luke took compassion on him and said to him, " When the night 
cometh and my master entereth the Harim and the folk fare 
away, I will grant thee thy desire ; and I sleep in such a place." 
Then the singer returned and sat with the cup-companions, and 
the Persian rose and went out with the Mameluke by his side. 
Now 2 the singer knew the place which the Mameluke occupied at 
the first of the night ; but it chanced that the youth rose from his 
stead and the waxen taper went out. The Persian, who was 
drunk, fell over on his face, and the singer supposing him to be the 
Mameluke, said, " By Allah, 'tis good ! " and threw himself upon 
him and began to work at his bag-trousers till the string was 
loosed ; then he brought out 3 his prickle upon which he spat and 
slipped it into him. Thereupon the Persian started up, crying 
out and, laying hands on the singer, pinioned him and beat him 
a grievous beating, after which he bound him to a tree that stood in 
the house-court. Now there was in the house a beautiful singing- 
girl and when she saw the singer tight pinioned and tied to the tree, 
she waited till the Persian lay down on his couch, when she arose 
and going up to the singer, fell to condoling with him over what 
had betided him and making eyes at him and handling his yard 
and rubbing it, till it rose upright. Then said she to him, " Do 
with me the deed of kind and I will loose thy pinion-bonds, lest he 

1 Being a musician the hero of the tale was also a pederast. 

2 Here Mr. Payne supplies " Then they returned and sat down (apparently changing 
places)." He is quite correct in characterising the Bresl. Edit, as corrupt and " fearfully 
incoherent." All we can make certain of in this passage is that the singer mistook the 
Persian for his white slave (Mameluke) . 

3 Arab. "Bazaka," normally used in the sense of spitting: here the saliva might be 
applied for facilitating insertion. 

VOL. I. O 

2IO Supplemental Nights. 

return and beat thee again ; for he purposeth thee an ill purpose," 

Quoth he, " Loose me and I will do it ; " but quoth she, " I fear 

that, an I loose thee, thou wilt not do it. But I will do it and 

thou have me standing ; and when I have done, I will loose thee." 

So saying, she opened her clothes and introducing the singer's 

prickle, fell to toing and froing. 1 Now there was in the house a 

fighting-ram, which the Persian had trained to butting, 2 and when 

he saw what the woman was doing, he thought she wished to do 

battle with him ; so he broke his halter and running at her, butted 

her and split her skull. She fell on her back and shrieked ; 

whereupon the Persian started up hastily from sleep and seeing 

the singing-girl on her back and the singer with yard on end. 

cried to him, " O accursed, doth not what thou hast erewhile done 

suffice thee ? " Then he beat him a shrewd beating and opening 

the door, thrust him out in the middle of the night. He lay the rest 

of the dark hours in one of the ruins, and when he arose in the 

morning, he said, " None is in fault ! I, for one, sought my own 

good, and he is no fool who seeketh good for himself; and the 

druggist's wife also sought good for herself; but Predestination 

overcometh Precaution and for me there remaineth no tarrying in 

this town." So he went forth from the place. *' Nor " (continued 

the Wazir), " is this story, strange though it be, stranger than that 

of the King and his Son and that which betided them of wonders 

and rare marvels." When the king heard this story, he deemed it 

1 In Persian "Award o burd," = brought and bore away, gen. applied to the move- 
ment of the man as in the couplet, 

Chenin burd o award o award o burd, 
Kih dayeh pas-i-pardeh zi ghussah murd. 

He so came and went, went and came again, 
That Nurse who lay curtained to faint was fain. 

* Alluding to the fighting rams which are described by every Anglo-Indian traveller. 
They strike with great force, amply sufficient to crush the clumsy hand which happens 
to be caught between the two foreheads. The animals are sometimes used for Fal or 
consulting futurity : the name of a friend is given to one and that of a foe to the other ; 
and the result of the fight suggests victory or defeat for the men. 

King Shak Bakht and his Wazir Al-Rahwan. 211 

pretty and pleasant and said, " This tale is near unto that which I 
know and 'tis my rede I should do well to have patience and hasten 
not to slay my Minister, so I may get of him the profitable story 
of the King and his Son,'* Then he gave the Wazir leave to go 
away to his own house ; so he thanked him and tarried in his 
home all that day. 


of tfoe Jflontfc. 

WHEN it was supper-time the king sought the sitting-chamber ; 
and, summoning the Wazir, sought of him the story he had 
promised him ; and the Minister said, " They tell, O king, 


There came to a king of the kings, in his old age, a son, who grew 
up comely, quick-witted, clever : and, when he reached years of 
discretion and became a young man, his father said to him, " Take 
this realm and rule it in lieu of me, for I desire to flee from the sin 
of sovranty 2 to Allah the Most High and don the woollen dress 
and devote all my time to devotion." Quoth the Prince, " And I 
am another who desireth to take refuge with the Almighty." So the 
king said, " Arise, let us flee forth and make for the mountains and 
there worship in shame before God the Most Great." Accordingly, 
the twain gat them gear of wool and clothing themselves there- 
with, fared forth and wandered in the wolds and wastes ; but, when 
some days had passed over them, both became weak for hunger 
and repented them of that they had done whenas penitence 
profited them not, and the Prince complained to his father of 
weariness and hunger. Cried the king, " Dear my son, I did with 
thee that which behoved me, 3 but thou wouldst not hearken to me, 

1 Arab. "Jauhar" = the jewel, the essential nature of a substance. Compare M. 
Alcofribas' " Abstraction of the Quintessence." 

2 In parts of the Moslem world Al-Jabr = the tyranny, is the equivalent of what we 
call ' civil law," as opposed to Al-Shari'ah, or Holy Law, the religious code ; Diwao 
Al-Jabr (Civil Court) being the contrary of the Mahkamah or Kazt's tribunal. See 
4 'First Footsteps in East Africa," p. 126. 

, 3 i*. in offering thee the kingship. 

The Tale of the King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 2 1 3 

and now there is no means of returning to thy former estate, for 
that another hath taken the kingdom and defendeth it from all 
foes : but indeed I will counsel thee of somewhat, wherein do thou 
pleasure me by compliance/' The Prince asked, " What is it ?" 
and his father answered, " Take me and go with me to the market- 
street and sell me and receive my price and do with it whatso thou 
wiliest, and I shall become the property of one who shall provide 
for my wants." The Prince enquired, " Who will buy thee of me, 
seeing thou art a very old man ? Nay, do thou rather sell me, inas- 
much as the demand for me will be more." But the king replied, 
"An thou wert king, thou wouldest require service of me." Accord- 
ingly the youth obeyed his father's bidding and taking him, carried 
him to the slave-dealer and said, " Sell me this old man." Said the 
dealer, " Who will buy this wight, and he a son of eighty years ? "* 
Then quoth he to the king, "In what crafts art thou cunning ? " and 
quoth he, " I ken the quintessence of jewels and I ken the quint- 
essence of horses and I ken the quintessence of men ; brief, I 
ken the quintessence of all things." So the slave-dealer took 
him and went about, offering him for sale to the folk ; but none 
would buy. Presently, up came the Chef of the Sultan's kitchen 
and asked, " What is this man ?" and the dealer answered, " This 
be a Mameluke for sale." The kitchener marvelled at this and 
bought the king, after questioning him of what he could do, for 
ten thousand dirhams. Then he weighed out the money and 
carried him to his house, but dared not employ him in aught of 
service ; so he appointed him an allowance, a modicum sufficient 
for his maintenance, and repented him of having bought him, 
saying, " What shall I do with the like of this wight ? " Presently, 
the king of the city was minded to go forth to his garden, 2 
a-pleasuring, and bade the cook precede him and appoint in his 

' i.e. "a man of fourscore." 
* i.e. oulside the city. 

2i4. Supplemental Nights. 

stead one who should dress the royal meat, so that, when he 
returned, he might find the meal ready. The Chef fell to thinking 
of whom he should appoint and was perplexed concerning his 
affair. As he was thus, the Shaykh came to him, and seeing him 
distraught as to how he should do, said to him, " Tell me what is 
in thy mind ; haply I may bring thee relief." So he acquainted 
him with the king's wishes and he said, " Have no care for this, 
but leave me one of the serving-men and do thou go companying 
thy lord in peace and surety, for I will suffice thee of this." Hereat 
the cook departed with the king, after he had brought the old man 
what he needed and left him a man of the guards ; and when he was 
gone, the Shaykh bade the trooper wash the kitchen-battery and 
made ready food exceedingly fine. When the king returned he 
set the meat before him, and he tasted dishes whose like he had 
never savoured ; whereat he was startled and asked who had 
dressed it. Accordingly they acquainted him with the Shaykh's 
case and he summoned him to his presence and asking him anent 
the mystery, increased his allowance of rations j 1 moreover, he 
bade that they should cook together, he and the kitchener, and the 
old man obeyed his bidding. Some time after this, there came 
two merchants to the king with two pearls of price and each of 
them declared that his pearl was worth a thousand dinars, but the 
folk was incompetent to value them. Then said the cook, " Allah 
prosper the king ! Verily, the Shaykh whom I bought affirmed 
that he knew the quintessence of jewels and that he was skilled in 

cookery. We have tried him in his cuisine, and have found him 

the most knowing of men ; and now, if we send after him and 

prove him on jewels, his second claim will be made manifest to us, 
whether true or false." So the king bade fetch the Shaykh and he 
came and stood before the Sultan, who showed him the two pearls. 
Quoth he, " Now for this one, 'tis worth a thousand dinars ;" and 

1 See the conclusion of the story. 

The Tale of the King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 2 1 3 

quoth the king, " So saith its owner." " But for this other," 
continued the old man, " 'tis worth only five hundred." The people 
laughed and admired his saying, and the merchant who owned the 
second pearl asked him, " How can this, which is bigger of bulk 
and worthier for water and righter of rondure, be less of value than 
that ?" and the old man answered," I have said what is with me." ' 
Then quoth the king to him, " Indeed, the outer semblance thereof 
is like that of the other pearl ; why then is it worth but the half 
of its price ? " and quoth the old man, " Yes, but its inward is 
corrupt." Asked the merchant, '* Hath a pearl then an inward and 
an outward ?" and the Shaykh answered, "Yea ! In its interior is 
a teredo, a boring worm ; but the other pearl is sound and secure 
against breakage." The merchant continued, " Give us approof 
of this thy knowledge and confirm to us the truth of thy saying ;" 
and the old man rejoined, <( We will break it : an I prove a liar, 
here is my head, and if I speak sooth, thou wilt have lost thy 
pearl ; " and the merchant said, " I agree to that." So they brake 
the pearl and it was even as the old man had declared, to wit, in 
the heart of it was a boring worm. The king marvelled at what 
he saw and questioned him of how he came by the knowledge of 
this. The Shaykh replied, " O king, this kind of jewel is engen- 
dered in the belly of a creature called the oyster 2 and its origin is a 
drop of rain and it resisteth the touch and groweth not warm 
whilst hent in hand : 3 so, when its outer coat became tepid to my 
touch, I knew that it harboured some living thing, for that things 
of life thrive not save in heat"." Therefore the king said to the 
cook, " Increase his allowance ; " and the Chef appointed to him 

1 ijt. \ have said my say. 

* Arab. " Al-Mutabattil," usually = one who forsakes the world. The Katarat aU 
Naysin or rain-drops in the month Naysan (April) produce pearls when falling into the 
oyster-shells and poison in the serpent's mouth. The allusions to them are innumerable 
in Persian poetry, and the idea gives rise to a host of moralities more or less insipid. 

3 This is the general idea concerning the diamond in all countries where the gem is 
dug, but I never heard it of the pearl. 

2 1 6 Supplemental Nights, 

fresh rations. Now some time after this, two merchants pre- 
sented themselves to the king with two horses, and one said, " I 
ask a thousand ducats for my horse," and the other, " I seek five 
thousand ducats for mine." Quoth the cook, " We are now 
familiar with the old man's just judgment ; what deemeth the king 
of fetching him ? " So the king bade fetch him, and when he saw 
the two horses, 1 he said, " This is worth a thousand and that two 
thousand ducats." Quoth the folk, " This horse thou misjudgest 
is evidently a thoroughbred and he is younger and faster and com- 
pacter of limb and finer of head and clearer of colour and skin 
than the other ; " presently adding, " What assurance hast thou of 
the sooth of thy saying ? " And the old man said, " This ye state 
is true, all true ; but his sire is old and this other is the son of a 
young horse. Now, when the son of an old horse standeth still 
a-breathing, his breath returneth not to him and his rider falleth 
into the hand of him who followeth after him ; but the son of a 
young horse, an thou put him to speed and after making him run, 
alight from him, thou wilt find him, by reason of his robustness, 
untired." Quoth the merchant, " 'Tis even as the Shaykh avoucheth 
and he is an excellent judge." And the king said, " Increase his 
allowance." But the Shaykh stood still and did not go away ; so 
the king asked him, " Why dost thou not go about thy business ? '* 
and he answered, " My business is with the king.'' Said the king, 
" Name what thou wouldest have," and the other replied, " I would 
have thee question me of the quintessence of men, even as thou 
hast questioned me of the quintessence of horses." Quoth the 
king, ** We have no occasion to question thee thereof :" but quoth 
the old man, " I have occasion to acquaint thee." " Say what 
thou wilt," rejoined the king, and the Shaykh said, " Verily, the 
king is the son of a baker." Cried the king, " How and whereby 

1 Arab. " Faras," properly a mare ; but the writer begins by using Ihe feminine, and 
then employs the masculine. It is an abominable text. 

The Tale of the King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 2 1 7 

kennest thou that ?" and the Shaykh replied, " Know, O king, that 
I have examined into degrees and dignities 1 and have learned this." 
Thereupon the king went in to his mother and asked her anent his 
sire, and she told hhii that the king her husband was impotent ; 2 
" So," quoth she, " I feared for the kingdom, lest it pass away % 
after his death ; wherefore I yielded my person to a young man, a 
baker, and conceived by him and bare a man-child ; 3 and the 
kingship came into the hand of my son, that is, thyself." So the 
king returned to the Shaykh and said to him, " I am indeed the 
son of a baker ; so do thou expound to me the means whereby 
thou knewest me for this." Quoth the other, " I knew that, hadst 
thou been the son of a king, thou wouldst have gifted me with 
things of price, such as rubies and the like ; and wert thou the son 
of a Kazi, thou hadst given largesse of a dirham or two dirhams, 
and wert thou the son of any of the merchants, thou hadst given 
me muchel of money. But I saw that thou bestowedst upon me 
naught save two bannocks of bread and other rations, wherefore 
I knew thee to be the son of a baker ;" and quoth the king, " Thou 
hast hit the mark." Then he gave him wealth galore and advanced 
him to high estate. The tale aforesaid pleased King Shah Bakht 
and he marvelled thereat ; but the Wazir said to him, " This story 
is not stranger than that of the Richard who married his beautiful 
daughter to the poor Shaykh." The king's mind was occupied 
with the promised tale and he bade the Wazir withdraw to his 
lodging ; so he went and abode there the rest of the night and the 
whole of the following day. 

1 Arab. " Rutab wa mandzil," may also mean "stations and mansions (of the moon 
and planets)." The double entendre was probably intended. 

* Arab. " Za'if," still a popular word, meaning feeble, sick, ailing, but especially, 
weak in venery. 

3 See the original of this tale in King Al-Afa : Al-Mas'udi, chap. xlvi. 


Jfourtf) Nt'g&t of tfje 

WHEN the evening evened, the king sat private in his sitting- 
chamber and bade fetch the Wazir. When he presented himself 
before him, he said to him, " Tell me the tale of the Richard." 
The Minister replied, " I will. Hear, O puissant king, 


A certain rich merchant had a beautiful daughter, who was as 
the full moon, and when she attained the age of fifteen, her father' 
betook himself to an old man and spreading him a carpet in his 
sitting-chamber, gave him to eat and conversed and caroused 
with him. Then said he to him, " I desire to marry thee to my 
daughter." The other drew back, because of his poverty, and said 
to him, " I am no husband for her nor am I a match for thee." 
The merchant was urgent with him, but he repeated his answer to 
him, saying, " I will not consent to this till thou acquaint me with 
the cause of thy desire for me. An I find it reasonable, I will fall 
in with thy wish ; and if not, I will not do this ever.'* Quoth the 
merchant, " Thou must know that I am a man from the land of 
China and was in my youth well-favoured and well-to-do. Now I 
made no account of womankind, one and all, but followed after 
youths 1 , and one night I saw, in a dream, as it were a balance set 
up, and hard by it a voice said, * This is the portion of Such-an- 
one.' I listened and presently I heard my own name ; so I looked 
and behold, there stood a woman loathly to the uttermost : where- 
upon I awoke in fear and cried, ' I will never marry, lest haply this 

1 He says this without any sense of shame, coolly as Horace or Catullus wrote. 

The Tale of the Richard who married his beautiful Daughter. 2 1 9 

fulsome female fall to my lot.' Then I set out for this city with 
merchandise and the journey was pleasant to me and the sojourn 
here, so that I took up my abode in the place for a length o time 
and gat me friends and factors. At last I sold all my stock-in- 
trade and collected its price and there was left me nothing to 
occupy me till the folk * should depart and I depart with them. 
One day, I changed my clothes and putting gold into my sleeve, 
sallied forth to inspect the holes and corners of this city, and as I 
was wandering about, I saw a handsome house : its seemliness 
pleased me ; so I stood looking on it and beheld a lovely woman 
at the window. When she saw me, she made haste and descended, 
whilst I abode confounded. Then I betook myself to a tailor 
there and questioned him of the house and anent whose it was. 
Quoth he, " It belongeth to Such-an-one the Notary, 2 God damn 
him ! " I asked, " Is he her sire ? " and he answered, " Yes." So 
I repaired in great hurry to a man, with whom I had been wont to 
deposit my goods for sale, and told him I desired to gain access 
to Such-an-one the Notary. Accordingly he assembled his friends 
and we betook ourselves to the Notary's house. When we came 
in to him, we saluted him and sat with him, and I said to him, " I 
come to thee as a suitor, desiring in marriage the hand of thy 
daughter." He replied, " I have no daughter befitting this man ; " 
and I rejoined, " Allah aid thee ! My desire is for thee and not for 
her." 3 But he still refused and his friends said to him, " This is an 
honourable match and a man thine equal, nor is it lawful to thee 
that thou hinder the young lady of her good luck." Quoth he to 
them, " She will not suit him ! " nevertheless they were instant 
with him till at last he said, " Verily, my daughter whom ye seek 

' i.e. of the caravan with which he came. 

7 Arab. " Al-'AdL-" In the form of Zu 'adl it = a legal witness, a man of good ie 
pute ; in Marocco and other parts of the Moslem world 'Adul (plur. 'Udul) signifies an 
assessor of the Kazi, a notary. Padre Lerchundy (loc. cit. p. 345) renders it notario. 

9 i.t. I would marry thy daughter, not only for her own sake, but for alliance with thy 

22O Supplemental Nights. 

is passing ill-favoured and in her are all blamed qualities of person." 
And I said, " I accept her, though she be as thou sayest." Then said 
the folk, " Extolled be Allah ! Cease we to talk of a thing settled ; 
so say the word, how much wilt thou have to her marriage-settle- 
ment?" Quoth he, " I must have four thousand sequins;" and 
I said, " To hear is to obey ! " Accordingly the affair was con- 
cluded and we drew up the contract of marriage and I made the 
bride-feast ; but on the wedding-night I beheld a thing ! than which 
never made Allah Almighty aught more fulsome. Methought her 
folk had devised this freak byway of fun ; so I laughed and looked 
for my mistress, whom I had seen at the window, to make her 
appearance ; but saw her not. When the affair was prolonged and 
I found none but her, I was like to lose my wits for vexation and 
fell to beseeching my Lord and humbling myself in supplication 
before Him that He would deliver me from her. When I arose 
in the morning, there came the chamberwoman and said to me, 
" Hast thou need of the bath * ? " I replied, " No " ; and she asked, 
" Art thou for breakfast ? " But I still answered " No ; " and on this 
wise I abode three days, tasting neither meat nor drink. When 
the young woman my wife saw me in this plight, she said to me, 
" O man, tell me thy tale, for, by Allah, if I may effect thy deliver- 
ance, I will assuredly further thee thereto." I gave ear to her 
speech and put faith in her sooth and acquainted her with the 
adventure of the damsel whom I had seen at the window and how 
I had fallen in love with her ; whereupon quoth she, " An that 
girl belong to me, whatso I possess is thine, and if she belong to 
my sire, I will demand her of him and detain her from him and 
deliver her to thee." Then she fell to summoning hand-maid after 
hand-maid and showing them to me, till I saw the damsel whom I 
loved and said, " This is she." Quoth my wife, " Let not thy heart 

1 i.e. the bride's face. 

* The Ghusl or complete ablution after car. cop. 

The Tale of the Richard who married his beautiful Daughter. 221 

be troubled, for this is my slave-girl. My father gave her to 
me and I give her to thee :' so comfort thyself and be of good 
cheer and of eyes cool and clear." Then, when it was night, she 
brought the girl to me, after she had adorned her and perfumed 
her, and said to her, " Cross not this thy lord in aught and every 

that he shall seek of thee." When she came to bed with me, I 

said in myself, " Verily, this my spouse is more generous than I ! " 

Then I sent away the slave-girl and drew not near her, but arose 
forthwith and betaking myself to my wife, lay with her and abated 
her maidenhead. She conceived by me at the first bout ; and, 
accomplishing the time of her pregnancy, gave birth to this dear 
little daughter ; in whom I rejoiced, for that she was beautiful 
exceedingly, and she hath inherited her mother's sound sense and 
the comeliness of her sire. Indeed, many of the notables of the 
people have sought her of me in wedlock, but I would not wed her 
to any, because I saw in a dream, one night, that same balance set 
up and men and women being therein weighed, one against other, 
and meseemed I saw thee and her and the voice said to me, ' This 
is such a man, the portion of such a woman.' 2 Wherefore I knew 
that Almighty Allah had allotted unto her none other than thy- 
self, and I choose rather to marry thee to her in my lifetime than 
that thou shouldst marry her after my death." When the poor 
man heard the merchant's story, he became desirous of wedding 
his daughter : so he took her to wife and was blessed of her with 
exceeding love. " Nor " (continued the Wazir), " is this story on 
any wise stranger or this tale rarer than that of the Sage and his 
three Sons." When the king heard his Minister's story, he was 
assured that he would not slay him and said, " I will have patience 
with him, so I may get of him the story of the Sage and his 
three Sons." And he bade him depart to his own house. 

1 Thus the girl was made lawful to him as a concubine by the " loathly ladye," whose 
good heart redeemed her ill-looks. 

2 Meaning the poor man and his own daughter. 


Jfilfy ttfigfct of tfje 

WHEN the evening evened, the king sat private in his chamber 
and summoning the Wazir, required of him the promised story. 
So Al-Rahwan said, " Hear, O king, 


There was once a Sage of the sages, who had three sons and 
sons' sons, and when they waxed many and their seed multiplied, 
there befel dissension between them. So he assembled them and 
said to them, " Be ye single-handed against all others and despise 
not one another lest the folk despise you, and know that your 
case is the case of the man and the rope which he cut easily, when 
it was single ; then he doubled it and could not cut it : on this 
wise is division and union. 2 And beware lest ye seek help of 
others against your own selves or ye will fall into perdition, for by 
what means soever ye win your wish at his hand, his word will rank 
higher than your word. Now I have money which I will presently 
bury in a certain place, that it may be a store for you against the 
time of your need." Then they left him and dispersed and one of 
the sons fell to spying upon his sire, so that he saw him hide the 
hoard outside the city. When he had made an end of burying it, the 
Sage returned to his house ; and as soon as the morning morrowed, 
his son repaired to the place where he had seen his father bury 

1 Mr. Payne changes the Arab title to the far more appropriate heading, " Story of 
the Rich man and his Wasteful Son. The tale begins with yEsop's fable of the 
faggot ; and concludes with the " Heir of Linne," in the famous Scotch ballad. Mr. 
Clouston refers also to the Persian Tale of Murchlis (The Sorrowful Wazir) ; to the 
Forty Vezirs (23rd Story) to Cinthio and to sundry old English chap-books. 

2 Arab. "Tafrik wa'1-jam'a." 

The Tale of the Sage and his three Sons. 223 

the treasure and dug and took all the wealth he found and fared forth. 
When the old man felt that his death J drew nigh, he called his sons 
to him and acquainted them with the place where he had hidden 
his hoard. As soon as he was dead, they went and dug up the 
treasure and came upon much wealth, for that the money, which the 
first son had taken singly and by stealth, was on the surface and 
he knew not that under it were other monies. So they carried it 
off and divided it and the first son claimed his share with the rest 
and added it to that which he had before taken, behind the backs 
of his father and his brethren. Then he married his cousin, 
the daughter of his father's brother and was blessed through her 
with a male-child, who was the goodliest of the folk of his time. 
When the boy grew up, his father feared for him poverty and 
decline of case, so he said to him, " Dear my son, know that during 
my green days I wronged my brothers in the matter of our father's 
good, and I see thee in weal ; but, an thou come to want, ask 
not one of them nor any other than they, for I have laid up 
for thee in yonder chamber a treasure ; but do not thou open it 
until thou come to lack thy daily bread." Then the man died, 
and his money, which was a great matter, fell to his son. The 
young man had not patience to wait till he had made an end 
of that which was with him, but rose and opened the chamber, 
and behold, it was empty and its walls were whitened, and in 
its midst was a rope hanging down as for a bucket and ten 
bricks, one upon other, and a scroll, wherein was written, " There 
is no help against death ; so hang thyself and beg not of any, but 
kick away the bricks with thy toes, that there may be no escape for 
thy life, and thou shalt be at rest from the exultation of enemies and 
enviers and the bitterness of beggary." Now when the youth saw 

1 Arab. ' Wafdt " pop. used as death, decease, departure ; bat containing the idea of 
departing to the mercy of Allah and " paying the debt of nature." It is not so ill-omened 
a word as Maut = death. 

224 Supplemental Nights. 

this, he marvelled at that which his father had done and said, 
" This is an ill treasure." Then he went forth and fell to eating 
and drinking with the folk, till naught was left him and he passed 
two days without tasting food, at the end of which time he took a 
handkerchief and selling it for two dirhams, bought bread and 
milk with the price and left it on the shelf and went out. Whilst 
he was gone, a dog came and seized the bread and polluted the 
milk, and when the young man returned and saw this, he beat 
his face, and fared forth distraught. Presently, he met a friend, 
to whom he discovered his case, and the other said to him, " Art 
thou not ashamed to talk thus ? How hast thou wasted all this 
wealth and now comest telling lies and saying, The dog hath 
mounted on the shelf, and talking such nonsense ? " And he 
reviled him. So the youth returned to his house, and verily the 
world had waxed black in his eyes and he cried, " My sire said 
sooth." Then he opened the chamber door and piling up the 
bricks under his feet, put the rope about his neck and kicked 
away the bricks and swung himself off ; whereupon the rope gave 
way with him and he fell to the ground and the ceiling clave 
asunder and there poured down on him a world of wealth. So he 
knew that his sire meant to chasten him by means of this and 
he invoked Allah's mercy on him. Then he got him again that 
which he had sold of lands and houses and what not else and 
became once more in good case ; his friends also returned to him 
and he entertained them for some time. Then said he to them one 
day " There was with us bread and the locusts ate it ; so we set in 
its place a stone, one cubit long and the like broad, and the 
locusts came and nibbled away the stone, because of the smell of 
the bread." Quoth one of his friends (and it was he who had 
given him the lie concerning the dog and the bread and milk), 
" Marvel not at this, for rats and mice do more than that." There- 
upon he said, " Get ye home ! In the days of my poverty I was 
a liar when I told you of the dogs jumping upon the shelf and 

The Tale of the Sage and his three Sons. 225 

eating the bread and defiling the milk ; and to-day, because I am 
rich again, I say sooth when I tell you that locusts devoured a 
stone one cubit long and one cubit broad." They were abashed 
by his speech and departed from him ; and the youth's good pros- 
pered and his case was amended. " Nor " (continued the Wazir), 
" is this stranger or more seld-seen than the story of the Prince 
who fell in love with the Picture." Quoth the king, Shah Bakht, 
" Haply, an I hear this story, I shall gain wisdom from it : so I 
will not hasten in the slaying of this Minister, nor will I do him 
die before the thirty days have expired." Then he gave him 
leave to withdraw, and he hied away to his own house. 


of tfie .$Umtf>. 

WHEN the day absconded and the evening arrived, the king sat 
private in his chamber and, summoning the Wazir, who presented 
himself to him, questioned him of the story. So the Minister 
said, " Hear, O auspicious king, 



There was once, in a province of Persia, a king of the kings, who 
was great of degree, a magnifico, endowed with majesty and 
girt by soldiery ; but he was childless. Towards the end of his 
life, his Lord vouchsafed him a male-child, and that boy grew up 
and was comely and learned all manner of lere. He made him a 
private place, which was a towering palace, edified with coloured 
marbles and jewels and paintings. When the Prince entered the 
palace, he saw in its ceiling the picture of a maiden, than whom he 
had never beheld a fairer of aspect, and she was surrounded by 
slave-girls ; whereupon he fell down in a fainting fit and became 
distracted for love of her. Then he sat under the picture till his 
father came in to him one day, and finding him lean of limb and 
changed of complexion (which was by reason of his continual 
looking on that picture), imagined that he was ill and summoned 
the sages and the leaches, that they might medicine him. He also 
said to one of his cup-companions, " An thou canst learn what 
aileth my son, thou shalt have of me the white hand." ! There- 
upon he went in to him and spake him fair and cajoled him, till 
he confessed to him that his malady was caused by the picture. 

1 i.e. gifts and presents. See vol. iv. 185. 

The Tale of the Prince who fell in love with the Picture. 227 

Then the courtier returned to the king and told him what ailed 
his son, whereupon he transported the Prince to another palace 
and made his former lodging the guest-house ; and whoso of the 
Arabs was entertained therein, him he questioned of the picture, 
but none could give him tidings thereof, till one day, when there 
came a wayfarer who seeing the picture, cried, " There is no 
god but the God ! My brother painted this portrait." So the king 
sent for him and questioned him of the aflfair of the picture and 
where was he who had painted it. He replied, " O my lord, we 
are two brothers and one of us went to the land of Hind and fell 
in love with the Indian king's daughter, and 'tis she who is the 
original of the portrait. He is wont in every city he entereth to 
limn her likeness, and I follow him, and longsome is my way." 
When the king's son heard this, he said, " Needs must I travel to 
this damsel." So he took all manner rare store and riches galore 
and journeyed days and nights till he entered the land of Hind, 
nor did he reach it save after sore travail. Then he asked of the 
King of Hind who also heard of him, and invited him to the 
palace. When the Prince came before him, he sought of him his 
daughter in marriage, and the king said, "Indeed, thou art her 
match, but there is one objection, to wit, none dare name a male 
before her because of her hate for men." So he pitched his tents 
under her palace windows, till one day of the days he gat hold of 
a girl, one of her favourite slave-girls, and gave her a mint of 
money. Quoth she to him, " Hast thou a need ?" and quoth he, 
" Yes," and presently acquainted her with his case ; when she said, 
" In very sooth, thou puttest thyself in peril." Then he tarried, 
flattering himself with false hopes, till all that he had with him 
was gone and the servants fled from him ; whereupon he said to 
one in whom he trusted, " 1 am minded to repair to my country and 
fetch what may suffice me and return hither." The other an- 
swered, " 'Tis for thee to judge." So they set out to return, but 
the way was long to them and all that the Prince had with him 


Supplemental Nights. 

was spent and his company died and there abode but one with him 
whom he loaded with the little that remained of the victual and 
they left the rest and fared on. Then there came out a lion and 
devoured the servant, and the king's son found himself alone. He 
went on, till his hackney stood still, whereupon he left it and walked 
till his feet swelled. Presently he came to the land of the Turks, 1 
and he naked, hungry, nor having with him aught but somewhat 
of jewels, bound about his fore-arm. 2 So he went to the bazar of 
the goldsmiths and calling one of the brokers gave him the gems. 
The broker looked and seeing two great rubies, said to him, 
" Follow me." Accordingly, he followed him, till he brought 
him to a goldsmith, to whom he gave the jewels, saying, " Buy 
these," He asked, " Whence hadst thou these ? " and the 
broker answered, " This youth is the owner of them." Then 
said the goldsmith to the Prince, " Whence hadst thou these 
rubies ? " and he told him all that had befallen him and that he 
was a king's son. The goldsmith sat astounded at his adventures 
and bought of him the rubies for a thousand gold pieces. Then 
said the Prince to him, " Equip thyself to go with me to my 
country." So he made ready and went with him till the king's 
son drew near the frontiers of his sire's kingdom, where the people 
received him with most honourable reception and sent to acquaint 
his father with his son's arrival. The king came out to meet him 
and they entreated the goldsmith with respect and regard. The 
Prince abode awhile with his sire, then set out, he and the gold- 
smith, to return to the country of the fair one, the daughter of the' 
king of Hind ; but there met him highwaymen by the way and he 

1 i.e. Turcomans , presently called Sistan, for which see vol. ii. 218. 

2 In my Pilgrimage (i. 38), I took from Mr. Gallon's Art of Travel, the idea of 
opening with a lancet the shoulder or other fleshy part of the body and inserting into it 
a precious stone. This was immensely derided by not a few including one who, then a 
young man from the country, presently became a Cabinet Minister. Despite their om- 
niscience, however, the " dodge " is frequently practised. See how this device was 
practised by Jeshua Nazarenus, vol. v. 238. 

The Tale of the Prince who fell in love with the Picture. 229 

fought the sorest of fights and was slain. The goldsmith buried 
him and set a mark ! on his grave and returned to his own country 
sorrowing and distraught, without telling any of the Prince's 
violent death. Such was the case of the king's son and the gold- 
smith ; but as regards the Indian king's daughter of whom the 
Prince went in quest and on whose account he was slain, she had 
been wont to look out from the topmost terrace of her palace and 
to gaze on the youth and on his beauty and loveliness ; so she said 
to her slave-girl one day, " Out on thee ! What is become of the 
troops which were camped beside my palace ? " The maid replied, 
They were the troops of the youth, son to the Persian king, who 
came to demand thee in wedlock, and wearied himself on thine 
account, but thou hadst no ruth on him." Cried the Princess, 
" Woe to thee ! Why didst thou not tell me ? " and the damsel 
replied, " I feared thy fury." Then she sought an audience of the 
king her sire and said to him, " By Allah, I will go in quest of 
him, even as he came in quest of me ; else should I not do him 
justice as due." So she equipped herself and setting out, traversed 
the wastes and spent treasures till she came to Sistan, where she 
called a goldsmith to make her somewhat of ornaments. Now as 
soon as the goldsmith saw her, he knew her (for that the Prince had 
talked with him of her and had depictured her to him), so he 
questioned her of her case, and she acquainted him with her errand, 
whereupon he buffeted his face and rent his raiment and hove 
dust on his head and fell a- weeping. Quoth she, " Why dost 
thou all this?" And he acquainted her with the Prince's case 
and how he was his comrade and told her that he was dead ; 
whereat she grievedfor him and faring on to his father and mother, 
acquainted them with the case. Thereupon the Prince's father 
and his uncle and his mother and the lords of the land repaired to 

1 Arab. '"Alam," a pile of stones, a flag or some such landmark. The reader will 
find them described in 4< The Sword of Midian," i. 98, and passim. 

230 Supplemental Nights. 

his grave and the Princess made mourning over him, crying aloud. 
She abode by the tomb a whole month ; then she caused fetch 
painters and bade them limn her likeness and the portraiture 
of the king's son, She also set down in writing their story and 
that which had befallen them of perils and afflictions and placed 
it, together with the pictures, at the head of the grave ; and after 
a little, they departed from the spot. " Nor " (continued the 
Wazir), " is this stranger, O king of the age, than the story of the 
Fuller and his Wife and the Trooper and what passed between 
them." With this the king bade the Minister hie away to his 
lodging, and when he arose in the morning, he abode his day in 
his house. 


S&ebentf) ikiQ&t of t&e 

AT eventide the king sat in his wonted seat and sending 
for the Wazir, said to him, " Tell me the story of the Fuller and 
his Wife." The Minister replied, " With joy and goodly gree ! " 
So he came forward and said, " Hear, O king of the age, 


There was once in a city of the cities a woman fair of favour, 
who took to lover a trooper wight.. Her husband was a fuller, and 
when he went out to his work, the trooper used to come to her 
and tarry with her till the time of the fuller's return, when he would 
go away. After this fashion they abode awhile, till one day the 
trooper said to his mistress, " I mean to take me a tenement close 
to thine and dig a Sardab-souterrain from my house to thy house, 
and do thou say to thy spouse : My sister hath been absent with 
her husband and now they have returned from their travels ; and 
I have made her home herself in my neighbourhood, in order that 
I may foregather with her at all times. So go thou to her mate 
the trooper and offer him thy wares for sale, and thou wilt see 
my sister with him and wilt see that she is I and I am she, without 
a doubt. Now, Allah, Allah, 2 go to my sister's husband and give 

1 Mr. Clouston refers to the " Miles Gloriosus" (Plautus) j to " Orlando Innamorato " 
of Berni (the Daughter of the King of the Distant Isles) ; to the " Seven Wise 
Masters" ("The Two Dreams," or "The Crafty Knight of Hungary") ; to his Book of 
Sindibad, p. 343 ff.; to Miss Busk's Folk-Lore of Rome, p. 399 ("The Grace of the 
Hunchback"); to Prof. Crane's "Italian Popular Tales," p. 167, and "The Elope, 
ment," from Pitre's Sicilian collection. 

8 In sign of impatience ; " Look sharp I" 

232 Supplemental Nights. 

ear to that which he shall say to thee." So the trooper bought 
him a house near hand and made therein a tunnel abutting upon 
his mistress's house. When he had accomplished his affair, the 
wife bespoke her husband as her lover had lessoned her and he 
went out to go to the trooper's house, but turned back by the way, 
whereupon said she to him, "By Allah, go at once, for my sister 
asketh of thee." The fool of a fuller went out and made for the 
trooper's house, whilst his wife forewent him thither by the under- 
ground passage, and going up,sat down beside the soldier her leman. 
Presently, the fuller entered and saluted the trooper and salamed 
to his own wife and was confounded at the coincidence of the 
case. 1 Then, doubt befalling him, he returned in haste to his 
^dwelling; but she preceded him by the Sardab to her chamber 
and donning her wonted clothes, sat awaiting him and said to him, 
" Did I not bid thee go to my sister and greet her husband and 
make friends with them ? " Quoth he, " I did this, but I mis- 
doubted of my affair, when I saw his wife ; " and quoth she, " Did I 
not tell thee that she favoureth me and I her, and there is naught 
to distinguish between us but our clothes ? Go back to her and 
make sure." Accordingly, of the heaviness of his wit, he believed 
her, and returning on his way, went in to the trooper ; but she 
had foregone him, and when he saw her by the side of her lover, 
he began looking on her and pondering. Then he saluted her 
and she returned him the salam ; and when she spoke he was 
clean bewildered. So the trooper asked him, " What aileth thee 
to be thus ? " and he answered, " This woman is my wife, and the 
speech is her speech." Then he rose in haste and, returning to 
his own house, saw his wife, who had preceded him by the secret 
passage. So he went back to the trooper's house and found her 
sitting as before ; whereupon he was abashed in her presence and 

1 i.e, the resemblance of the supposed sister to his wife. This is a rechauffe of Kamar 
ai-Zamdn iid. 

The Tale of the Fuller and his Wife and the Trooper. 233 

seating himself in the trooper's sitting-chamber, ate and drank with 
him and became drunken and abode senseless all that day till 
nightfall, when the trooper arose and, the fuller's hair being long 
and flowing, he shaved off a portion of it after the fashion of the 
Turks, 1 clipped the rest short and clapped a Tarbiish on his 
head. Then he thrust his feet into walking-boots and girt him with 
a sword and a girdle and bound about his middle a quiver and a 
bow and arrows. He also put some silvers in his poke and thrust 
into his sleeve letters-patent addressed to the governor of Ispahan, 
bidding him assign to Rustam Khamartakani a monthly allowance 
of an hundred dirhams and ten pounds of bread and five pounds 
of meat and enrol him among the Turks under his commandment. 
After which he took him up and carrying him forth, left him in 
one of the mosques. The fuller ceased not sleeping till sunrise, 
when he awoke and finding himself in this plight, misdoubted of 
his affair and fancied that he was a Turk and fell a-putting one 
foot forward and drawing the other back. Then said he in him- 
self, " I will go to my dwelling, and if my wife know me, then am 
I Ahmad the fuller ; but an she know me not, I am a Turk." So 
he betook himself to his house ; but when his wife, the cunning 
witch, saw him, she cried out in his face, saying, " Whither now, 
O trooper ? Wilt thou break into the house of Ahmad the fuller, 
and he a man of repute, having a brother-in-law a Turk, a man of 
rank with the Sultan ? An thou depart not, I will acquaint my 
husband and he will requite thee thy deed." When he heard her 
words, the dregs of his drink wobbled in his brain and he fancied 
that he was indeed a Turk. So he went out from her and putting 
his hand to his sleeve, found therein a writ and gave it to one who 

1 This leaving a long lock upon the shaven poll is a very ancient practice : we find it 
amongst the old Egyptians. For the Shushah or top-knot of hair, see vol. i. 308. It is 
differently worn in the several regions of the Moslem world : the Maroccans of the Rif 
country grow it not on the pole but on one side of the head. As a rule, however, it is 
onfined to boys, and is shaved off at puberty. 

234 Supplemental Nights. 

read it to him. When he heard that which was in the scroll, his 
mind was confirmed in his phantasy; but he said to himself, 
" My wife may be seeking to put a cheat on me ; so I will go to 
my fellows the fullers ; and if they recognise me not, then am I 
for sure Khamartakani the Turk." So he betook himself to the 
fullers and when they espied him afar off, they thought that he was 
really Khamartakani or one of the Turks, who used to send their 
washing to them without payment and give them never a stiver. 
Now they had complained of them aforetime to the Sultan, and 
he said, " If any one of the Turks come to you, pelt him with 
stones." Accordingly, when they saw the fuller, they fell upon him 
with sticks and stones and pelted him ; whereupon quoth he, 
" Verily, I am a Turk and knew it not." Then he took of the 
dirhams in his pouch and bought him victual for the way and hired 
a hackney and set out for Ispahan, leaving his wife to the trooper. 
" Nor," continued the Wazir, " is this stranger than the story of the 
Merchant and the Crone and the King." The Minister's tale pleased 
King Shah Bakht and his heart clave to the story cf the merchant 
and the old woman ; so he bade Al-Rahwan withdraw to his 
lodging, and he went away to his house and abode there the next 
day till he should be summoned to the presence. 



WHEN the evening evened, the king sat private in his chamber 
and bade fetch the Wazir, who presented himself before him, and 
the king required of him the story. So the Wazir answered 
" With love and gladness. Hear, O king, 


There was once a family of affluence and distinction, in a city 
of Khorasan, and the townsfolk used to envy them for that which 
Allah had vouchsafed them. As time went on, their fortune 
ceased from them and they passed away, till there remained of 
them but one old woman. When she grew feeble and decrepit, 
the townsfolk succoured her not with aught, but thrust her forth 
of the city, saying, " This old woman shall not neighbour with 
us, for that we do good to her and she requiteth us with evil." 1 ; 
So she took shelter in a ruined place and strangers used to bestow 
alms upon her, and in this way she tarried a length of time. 
Now the king of that city had aforetime contended for the king- 
ship with his uncle's son, and the people disliked the king ; but 
Allah Almighty decreed that he should overcome his cousin. 
However, jealousy of him abode in his heart and he acquainted 
the Wazir, who hid it not and sent him money. Furthermore, he 

1 Suspecting her to be a witch because she was old and poor. The same was the case 
in Europe when these unfortunates were burned during the early part of the last century 
and even now the country-folk are often ready to beat or drown them. The abominable 
witchcraft acts, which arose from bibliolatry and belief in obsolete superstitions, can 
claim as many victims in "Protestant" countries, England and the Anglo-American 
States as the Jesuitical Inquisition. 

236 Supplemental Nights. 

fell to summoning all strangers who came to the town, man after 
man, and questioning them of their creed and their goods, and 
whoso answered him not satisfactory, he took his wealth. 1 Now a 
certain wealthy man of the Moslems was way-faring, without know- 
ing aught of this, and it befel that he arrived at that city by night, 
and coming to the ruin, gave the old woman money and said to 
her, " No harm upon thee." Whereupon she lifted up her voice 
and blessed him : so he set down his merchandise by her and 
abode with her the rest of the night and the next day. Now 
highwaymen had followed him that they might rob him of his 
monies, but succeeded not in aught : wherefore he went up to the 
old woman and kissed her head and exceeded in bounty to her. 
Then she warned him of that which awaited strangers entering the 
town and said to him, " I like not this for thee and I fear mischief 
for thee from these questions that the Wazir hath appointed for 
addressing the ignorant." And she expounded to him the case 
according to its conditions : then said she to him, " But have thou 
no concern : only carry me with thee to thy lodging, and if he ques- 
tion thee of aught enigmatical, whilst I am with thee, I will 
expound the answers to thee." So he carried the crone with him 
to the city and lodged her in his lodging and entreated her 
honourably. Presently, the Wazir heard of the merchant's 
coming ; so he sent to him and bade bring him to his house and 
talked with him awhile of his travels and of whatso had befallen 
him therein, and the merchant answered his queries. Then said the 
Minister, " I will put certain critical questions to thee, which an thou 
answer me, 'twill be well for thee," and the merchant rose and 
made him no answer. Quoth the Wazir, " What is the weight of 
the elephant ? " The merchant was perplexed and returned him 
no reply, giving himself up for lost ; however, at last he said, 
"Grant me three days of delay.*' The minister granted him 

1 It is not easy to make sense of this passage especially when the Wazir is spoken of. 

The Tale of the Meniiant, the Crone and the King. 237 

the time he sought and he returned to his lodging and related 
what had passed to the old woman, who said, " When the morrow 
cometh, go to the Wazir and say to him, Make a ship and launch 
it on the sea and put in it an elephant, and when it sinketh in the 
water, mark the place whereunto the water riseth. Then take out 
the elephant and cast in stones in its place, till the ship sink to 
that same mark ; whereupon do thou take out the stones and 
weigh them and thou wilt presently know the weight of the 
elephant.*' 1 Accordingly, when he arose in the morning, he went 
to the Wazir and repeated to him that which the old woman had 
taught him; whereat the Minister marvelled and said to him, 
" What sayest thou of a man, who seeth in his house four holes, 
and in each hole a viper offering to sally out upon him and slay 
him, and in his house are four sticks and each hole may not be 
stopped but with the ends of two sticks ? How, then, shall he 
stop all the holes and deliver himself from the vipers ? " When 
the merchant heard this, there befel him such concern that it 
garred him forget the first and he said to the Wazir, " Grant me 
delay, so I may reflect on the reply " ; and the Minister cried, " Go 
out, and bring me the answer, or I will seize thy monies." The 
merchant fared forth and returned to the old woman who, seeing 
him changed of complexion, said to him, " What did his hoariness 
ask thee ? " So he acquainted her with the case and she cried, 
" Fear not ; I will bring thee forth of this strait." Quoth he, " Allah 
requite thee with weal ! " Then quoth she, " To-morrow go to 
him with a stout heart and say : The answer to that whereof thou 
asketh me is this. Put the heads of two sticks into one of the 
holes ; then take the other two sticks and lay them across the 
middle of the first two and stop with their two heads the second 
hole and with their ferrules the fourth hole. Then take the ferrules 

1 This is a rechauffe of the Sandal-Wood Merchant and the Shaipers. Vol. vi. 202. 

238 Supplemental Nights. 

of the first two sticks and stop with them the third hole." 1 
So he repaired to the Wazir and repeated to him the answer ; and 
he marvelled at its justness and said to him, "Go; by Allah ; I 
will ask thee no more questions, for thou with thy skill marrest 
my foundation." 2 Then he treated him as a friend and the 
merchant acquainted him with the affair of the old woman ; 
whereupon quoth the Wazir, " Needs must the intelligent company 
with the intelligent." Thus did this weak woman restore to that 
man his life and his monies on the easiest wise ; " Nor," con- 
tinued the Wazir, "is this stranger than the story of the Simpleton 
Husband." When the king heard this, he said, " How like it must 
be to this our own case ! '' Then he bade the Minister retire to 
his lodging ; so he withdrew and on the morrow he abode at home 
till the king should summon him to his presence. 

1 I have followed Mr. Payne's adaptation of the text as he makes sense, whilst the 
Arabic does not. I suppose that the holes are disposed crosswise. 

9 i.e. Thy skill is so great that thou wilt undermine my authority with the king. 


Jlfatf) tftfl&t of tfje 

WHEN the night came, the king sat private in his chamber and 
sending after the Wazir, sought of him the story ; and he said, 
*' Hear, O august king, 


There was once in olden time a foolish man and an ignorant, 
who had abounding wealth, and his wife was a beautiful woman, 
who loved a handsome youth. The Cicisbeo used to watch for 
her husband's absence and come to her, and on this wise he abode 
a long while. One day of the days, as the woman was closeted 
with her lover, he said to her, " O my lady and my beloved, an 
thou desire me and love me, give me possession of thy person and 
satisfy my need in the presence of thy husband ; otherwise I will 
never again come to thee nor draw near thee while I live my life." 
Now she loved him with exceeding love and could not suffer his sepa- 
ration an hour nor could endure to anger him ; so, when she heard 
his words, she said to him, " Bismillah, so be it, in Allah's name, 

1 This famous tale is first found in a small collection of Latin fables (Adolphi Fabulae 
apud Leyser Hist. Poet. Medii /Evi, p. 200-8), beginning 

Caecus erat quidam, cui pulcra virago, etc. 

The date is 1315, and Caxton printed it in English in 1483; hence it was adopted 
by Boccaccio, Day vii., Novella 9 ; whence Chaucer's " Marchaundes Tale": this, 
by-the-by, was translated by Pope in his sixteenth or seventeenth year, and christened 
"January and May." The same story is inserted in La Fontaine (Contes, lib. ii., 
No. 8), " La Gageure des trot's Commlres" with the normal poirier ; and lastly it 
appears in Wieland's " Oberon," canto vi. ; where the Fairy King restores the old 
husband's sight, and Titania makes the lover on the pear-tree invisible. Mr. 
Clouston refers me also to the Bahdr-i- Danish, or Prime of Knowledge (Scott's transla- 
tion, vol. ii.,pp. 64-68) ; " How the Brahman learned the Tirrea Bede" ; to the Turkish 
"Kirk Wazir" (Forty Wazirs) of Shaykh-Zadeh (xxivth Wazir's story)"; to the 
" Comcedia Lydiae," and to Barbazan's "Fabliaux, et Contes t. iii., p. 451, "L 
Saineresse," the cupping- woman. 

240 Supplemental Nights. 

O my darling and coolth of mine eyes : may he not live who would 
vex thee ! " Quoth he, " To-day ? " and quoth she, " Yes, by thy 
life," and made an appointment with him for this. When her hus- 
band came home, she said to him, " I want to go a-pleasuring," 
and he said, " With all my heart." So he went, till he came to 
a goodly place, abounding in vines and water, whither he carried 
her and pitched her a tent by the side of a tall tree ; and she 
betook herself to a place alongside the tent and made her there 
a Sardab, in which she hid her lover. Then said she to her 
husband, " I want to climb this tree 1 "; and he said, " Do so." 
So she clomb it and when she came to the tree-top, she cried out 
and slapped her face, saying, " O thou lecher, are these thy lewd 
ways ? Thou swarest faith to me, and thou liedest." And she 
repeated her speech twice and thrice. Then she came down 
from the tree and rent her raiment and said, " O lecher, an 
these be thy dealings with me before my eyes, how dost thou 
when thou art absent from me?" Quoth he, " What aileth thee? " 
and quoth she, " I saw thee futter the woman before my very 
eyes." Cried he, " Not so, by Allah ! But hold thy peace till I 
go up and see." So he clomb the tree and no sooner did he 
begin to do so than out came the lover from his hiding-place and 
taking the woman by the legs, fell to shagging her. When the 
husband came to the top of the tree, he looked and beheld a 
man futtering his wife ; so he called out, " O whore, what doings 
are these ? " and he made haste to come down from the tree to 
the ground. But meanwhile the lover had returned to his hiding- 
place and his wife asked him, " What sawest thou ? " and he 
answered, " I saw a man shag thee ; " but she said, " Thou liest ; 
thou sawest naught and sayst this only by way of phantasy." 
The same they did three several times, and every time he clomb 
the tree the lover came up out of the underground place and 

1 In the European versions it is always a pear-tree. 

The Tale of the Simpleton Husband. 241 

mounted her, whilst her husband looked on and she still 
" Seest thou aught, O liar ? " " Yes," would he answer, and came 
down in haste, but saw no one and she said to him, " By my life, 
look and speak naught but sooth ! " Then he cried to her, 
" Arise, let us depart this place, for 'tis full of Jinn and Marids." 1 
Accordingly, they returned to their house and nighted there, and 
the man arose in the morning, assured that this was all but phan- 
tasy and fascination. And so the lover won his wicked will. 
" Nor, O king of the age," continued the Wazir, " is this stranger 
than the story of the King and the Tither." When the king 
heard this from the Minister, he bade him go away, and he 

1 This supernatural agency, ever at hand and ever credible to Easterns, makes this the. 
most satisfactory version of the world-wide tale. 



WHEN it was eventide, the king summoned the Wazir and 
sought of him the story of the King and the Tither, and he said,, 
" Hear, O king, 



There was once a king of the kings of the earth, who dwelt in 
a flourishing city, abounding in good ; but he wronged its people 
and entreated them foully, so that he ruined the city ; and he was 
named naught else but tyrant and oppressor. Now he was wont, 
wheneas he heard of a violent man in another land, to send after 
him and lure him with lucre to take service with him ; and there 
was a certain Tither, who exceeded all other Tithers in oppression 
of the people and foul dealing. So the king sent after him and 
when he stood before him, he found him a man of mighty fine 
presence and said to him, "Thou hast been described to me, but 
I see thou surpassest the description. Set out to me some of 
thy doings and sayings, so I may be dispensed therewith from 
enquiring into the whole of thy case." Answered the other, " With 
all my heart ! Know, O King, that I oppress the folk and people 
the land, whilst other than I ruineth it and peopleth it not." Now 
the king was leaning back : but presently he sat upright and said, 
" Tell me of this." The Tither replied, " Tis well : I go to the man 
whom I purpose to tithe and cozen him and feign to be busied with 
certain business, so that I seclude myself therewith from the people ; 
and meanwhile the man is squeezed with the foulest of extortion, till 
naught of money is left him. Then I appear and they come in to 
me and questions arise concerning him and I say : Indeed, I was 
ordered worse than this, for some one (may Allah curse him !) hath 

The Tale of the Unjust King and the Tither. 243 

slandered him to the king. Presently I take half of his good 
and return him the rest publicly before the folk and dismiss him to 
his house, in all honour and worship, and he garreth the money 
returned be carried before him, whilst he blesseth me and all who 
are with him also bless me. So is it bruited abroad in the city 
that I have restored to him his monies and he himself notifieth the 
like, to the intent that he may have a claim on me for the 
favour due to those who praise me. On this wise I keep half his 
property. Then I seem to forget him till the year 1 hath passed 
over him, when I send for him and recall to him somewhat of that 
which hath befallen aforetime and require of him somewhat of 
money in secret ; accordingly he doth this and hasteneth to his 
house and forwardeth whatso I bid him, with a contented heart. 
Then I send to another man, between whom and the first is enmity, 
and lay hands upon him and feign to the other man that it is he 
who hath slandered him to the king and hath taken the half of his 
good ; and the people praise me." 2 The King wondered at this 
and at his wily dealing and clever contrivance and made him con- 
troller of all his affairs and of his kingdom and the land was placed 
under his governance, and he said to him, " Take and people." 8 
One day, the Tither went out and saw an old man, a woodcutter, 
and with him wood ; so he said to him, " Pay a dirham tithe for thy 
load." Quoth the Shaykh, " Behold, thou killest me and killest my 
family ; " and quoth the Tither, " What ? Who killeth the folk ? " 
And the oldster answered, "An thou let me enter the city, I shall 
there sell the load for three dirhams, whereof I will give thee one 
and buy with the other two silvers what will support my family ; 

1 i.e. till next harvest time. 

2 The ' ' ' Ashshdr,' ' or Tither, is most unpopular in the Nile-valley as in Wales ; and ne 
generally merits his ill-repute. Tales concerning the villainy of these extortioners abound 
in Egypt and Syria. The first step in improvement will be so to regulate the tithes that 
the peasants may not be at the mercy of these " publicans and sinners" who, however, 
can plead that they have paid highly for appointment to office and must recoup themselves. 

3 Arab. "'Ammir"= cause to flourish. 

244 Supplemental Nights. 

but, an thou press me for the tithe outside the city, the load will 
sell but for one dirham and thou wilt take it and I shall abide 
without food, I and my family. Indeed, thou and I in this 
circumstance are like unto David and Solomon (on the twain be 
the Peace ! ") " How so ? " asked the Tither, and the woodcutter 
answered, " Do thou hear 


Certain husbandmen once made complaint to David (on whom' 
be the Peace !) against some sheep-owners, whose flocks had come 
down upon their crops by night and had devoured them, and he 
bade value the crops and that the shepherds should make good 
the damage. But Solomon (on whom be the Peace !) rose and 
said, " Nay, but let the sheep be delivered to the husbandmen, so 
they may take their milk and wool, till they have recouped the 
value of their crops ; then let the sheep return to their owners." 
Accordingly David reversed his own decision and caused execute 
that of Solomon ; yet was David no oppressor ; but Solomon's 
judgment was the juster and he showed himself therein better, 
versed in jurisprudence and Holy Law. 1 When the Tither heard 
the old man's speech, he felt ruthful and said to him, " O Shaykh, 
I make thee a gift of that which is due from thee, and do thou 
cleave to me and leave me not, so haply I may get of thee gain 
which shall do away from me my wrongousness and guide me on 
the path of righteousness." So the old man followed him, and 
there met him another with a load of wood. Quoth the Tither 
to him, " Pay me that which thou owest me ; " and quoth he, 
" Have patience with me till to-morrow, for I owe the hire of a 

1 Arab. " Afkah," a better Fakih or theologian ; all Moslem law being based upon the 
Koran, the Sayings (Hadis) and Doings (Sunnat) of the Prophet ; and, lastly, the Rasn 
or immemorial custom of the country provided that it be not opposed to the other three. 

The Tale of the Unjust King and the Tither. 24$ 

house, and I will sell another load of fuel and pay thee two days' 
tithe." But he refused him this and the Shaykh said to him, 
" An thou constrain him unto this, thou wilt compel him quit thy 
country, because he is a stranger here and hath no domicile ; and 
if he remove on account of one dirham, thou wilt forfeit of him 
three hundred and sixty dirhams a year. 1 Thus wilt thou lose the 
mickle in keeping the little." Quoth the Tither, " Verily 2 will I 
give him a dirham every month to the rent of his lodging." Then 
he went on and presently there met him a third woodcutter and 
he said to him, " Pay thy due ; " but he said, " I will pay thee a 
dirham, when I enter the city ; or take of me four daniks 3 now." 
Quoth the Tither, " I will not do it," but the Shaykh said to him, 
" Take of him the four daniks presently, for 'tis easy to take and 
hard to give back." Exclaimed the Tither, "By Allah 'tis 
good ! " and he arose and hied on, crying out at the top of his 
voice and saying, " I have no power this day to do evil." 4 Then 
he doffed his dress and went forth wandering at a venture, 
repenting unto his Lord. " Nor" (continued the Wazir), " is this 
story stranger than that of the Robber who believed the Woman 
and sought refuge with Allah against falling in with her like, by 
reason of her cunning contrivance for herself." When the king 
heard this, he said to himself, " Since the Tither repented, in 
consequence of the woodcutter's warnings, it behoveth I leave this 
Wazir on life so I may hear the story of the Robber and the 
Woman." And he bade Al-Rahwan return to his lodging. 

1 If the number represent the days in the Moslem year it should be 354 (=6 months 
of 29 days and the rest of 30). 

2 The affirmative particle " kad " preceding a verb in the past gives it a present and 
at times a future signification. 

3 A danik, the Persian " Ding," is one-sixth of a dirham, f.t. about one penny. See 
vol. ii. 204. 

4 It would mightily tickle' an Eastern audience to hear of a Tither being unable to do 
any possible amount of villainy. 


!Blebent& tfig&t of t&e 

WHEN the evening came and the king had taken his seat, he 
summoned the Wazir and required of him the story of the Robber 
and the Woman. Quoth the Minister, " Hear, O king, 


A certain Robber was a cunning workman and used not to steal 
aught, till he had wasted all that was with him ; moreover, he 
stole not from his neighbours, neither companied with any of 
the thieves, for fear lest some one should betray him, and his case 
become public. After this fashion he abode a great while, in. 
flourishing condition, and his secret was concealed, till Almighty 
Allah decreed that he broke in upon a beggar, a poor man whom 
he deemed rich. When he gained access to the house, he found 
naught, whereat he was wroth, and necessity prompted him to 
wake that man, who lay asleep alongside of his wife. So he 
aroused him and said to him, " Show me thy treasure." Now he 
had no treasure to show ; but the Robber believed him not and was 
instant upon him with threats and blows. When he saw that he 
got no profit of him, he said to him, " Swear by the oath of 
divorce 1 from thy wife that thou hast nothing." So he sware and 
his wife said to him, " Fie on thee ! Wilt thou divorce me ? Is 
not the hoard buried in yonder chamber ? " Then she turned to 
the Robber and conjured him to be weightier of blows upon her 
husband, till he should deliver to him the treasure, anent which 

1 i.e. The oath of triple divorce which is, I have said irrevocable, and the divorcee 
may not be taken again by her husband till her marriage with another man (the 
Mustahill of The Nights) has been consummated. See vol. iv. 48. 

The Tale of the Robber and the Woman. 247 

he had forsworn himself. So he drubbed him with a grievous 
drubbing, till he carried him to a certain chamber, wherein she 
signed to him that the hoard was and that he should take it up. 
So the Robber entered, he and the husband ; and when they were 
both in the chamber, she locked on them the door, which was a 
stout and strong, and said to the Robber, " Woe to thee, O fool ! 
Thou hast fallen into the trap and now I have but to cry out 
and the officers of police will come and take thee and thou wilt 
lose thy life, O Satan ! " Quoth he, Let me go forth ;" and 
quoth she, " Thou art a man and I am a woman ; and in thy hand 
is a knife, and I am afraid of thee." He cried, " Take the knife 
from me." So she took it and said to her husband, " Art thou a 
woman and he a man ? Pain his neck-nape with tunding, even as 
he tunded thee ; and if he put out his hand to thee, I will cry out 
a single cry and the policemen will come and take him and hew 
him in two." So the husband said to him, " O thousand-horned, 1 
O dog, O dodger, I owe thee a deposit 2 wherefor thou hast dunned 
me." And he fell to bashing him grievously with a stick of 
holm-oak, 3 whilst he called out to the woman for help and prayed 
her to deliver him : but she said, " Keep thy place till the morning, 
and thou shalt see queer things." And her husband beat him 
within the chamber, till he killed 4 him and he swooned away. 
Then he left beating him and when the Robber came to himself, 
the woman said to her husband, " O man, this house is on hire 
and we owe its owners much money, and we have naught ; so 
how wilt thou do ? " And she went on to bespeak him thus. 
The Robber asked " And what is the amount of the rent ? " The 

1 i.e. thousandfold cuckold. 

* Arab. " Wadi'ah"=r the blows which the Robber had given him. 

' Arab. "Sindiyan" (from the Persian) gen. used for the holm-oak, the Quercus 
pseudo-cocdfera, vulgarly termed ilex, or native oak, and forming an extensive scrub in 
Syria. For this and other varieties of Quercus, as the Mallul and the Ballut, see 
Unexplored Syria, i. 68. 

* Hibcrnicc. 

248 Supplemental Nights. 

husband answered, " Twill be eighty dirhams ; " and the thief said, 
" I will pay this for thee and do thou let me go my way." Then 
the wife enquired, " O man, how much do we owe the baker and 
the greengrocer ? " Quoth the Robber, " What is the sum of this ? " 
And the husband said, " Sixty dirhams." Rejoined the other, " That 
makes two hundred dirhams ; let me go my way and I will pay 
them." But the wife said, " O my dear, and the girl groweth up 
and needs must we marry her and equip her and do what else is 
needful." So the Robber said to the husband, " How much dost 
thou want ? " and he rejoined, " An hundred dirhams in a 
modest way." 1 Quoth the Robber, " That maketh three hundred 
dirhams." Then the woman said, " O my dear, when the girl is 
married, thou wilt need money for winter expenses, charcoal and 
firewood and other necessaries." The Robber asked " What wouldst 
thou have ? " And she answered, " An hundred dirhams." He 
rejoined, " Be it four hundred dirhams." And she continued, " O 
my dear and O coolth of mine eyes, needs must my husband 
have capital in hand, 2 wherewith he may buy goods and open 
him a shop." Said he, " How much will that be ? " And she, 
"An hundred dirhams.*' Quoth the Robber, "That maketh five 
hundred dirhams ; I will pay it ; but may I be triply divorced 
from my wife if all my possessions amount to more than this, and 
they be the savings of twenty years ! Let me go my way, so I 
may deliver them to thee." Cried she, " O fool, how shall I let 
thee go thy way ? Utterly impossible ! Be pleased to give me a 
right token." 8 So he gave her a token for his wife and she cried 
out to her young daughter and said to her, " Keep this door." 
Then she charged her husband to watch over the Robber, till she 

1 Lit. " In the way of moderation " = at least, at the most moderate reckoning. 

* Arab. " Rasmali" the vulg. Syrian and Egyptian form of Raas al-mal = stock-in- 

3 Usually a ring or something from his person to show that all was fair play ; here 
however, it was a watchword. 

The Tale of the Robber and the Woman. 249 

should return, and repairing to his wife, acquainted her with his 
case and told her that her husband the thief had been taken and 
had compounded for his release, at the price of seven hundred 
dirhams, and named to her the token. Accordingly, she gave her 
the money and she took it and returned to her house. By this 
time, the dawn had dawned ; so she let the thief go his way, and 
when he went out, she said to him, " O my dear, when shall I see 
thee come and take the treasure ? " And he, " O indebted one, 1 
when thou needest other seven hundred dirhams, wherewith to 
amend thy case and that of thy children and to pay thy debts." 
And he went out, hardly believing in his deliverance from her. 
" Nor/' continued the Wazir, " is this stranger than the story of 
the Three Men and our Lord Isa." So the king bade him hie to 
his own home. 

Arab. " Y4 Madyubah," prob. a clerical error for " Madyiinah," alluding to her 
many debts which he had paid. Here, however, I suspect the truly Egyptian term 
" Ya Manyukah !" = O thou berogered ; a delicate term of depreciation which may b 
heard a dozen times a day in the streets of Cairo. It has also a masculine form, " Yi 
Manyuk !" 

SKodftf) jitg&t of t&e 

WHEN it was eventide, the king summoned the Minister and bade 
him tell the promised tale. He replied, " Hearing and obeying. 
Give ear, O glorious king, to 


Three men once went out questing treasure and came upon a 
nugget of gold, weighing fifty maunds. 1 When they saw it, they 
took it up on their shoulders and carried it till they drew near a 
certain city, when one of them said, " Let us sit in the cathedral- 
mosque, 2 whilst one of us shall go and buy us what we may eat." 
So they sat down in the mosque and one of them arose and entered 
the city. When he came therein, his soul promted him to false 
his two fellows and get the gold to himself alone. Accordingly, 
he bought food and poisoned it : but, when he returned to his 
comrades, they sprang upon him and slew him, in order that they 
might enjoy the gold without him. Then they ate of the poisoned 
food and died, and the gold lay cast down over against them. 

1 About = 100 Ib. Mr. Sayce (Comparative Philol. p. 210) owns that Mn is old 
Egyptian but makes it a loan from the "Semites," like Siis (horse), Sar (prince), Sepet 
(lip) and Murcabutha (chariot), and goes to its origin in the Acratan column, because " it 
is not found before the times when the Egyptians borrowed freely from Palestine." But 
surely it is premature to draw such conclusion when we have so much still to learn con- 
cerning the dates of words in Egyptian. 

* Arab. Jami'. This anachronism, like many of the same kind, is only apparent. 
The faith preached by Sayyidnd Is was the Islam of his day and dispensation, and 
it abrogated all other faiths till itself abrogated by the mission of Mahommed. It is 
therefore logical to apply to it terms which we should hold to be purely Moslem. On 
the other hand it is not logical to paint the drop-curtain of the Ober-Ammergau 
11 Miracle-play " with the Mosque of Omar and the minarets of Al-Islam. I humbly 
represented this fact to the mechanicals of the village whose performance brings them in 
so large a sum every decade ; but Snug, Snout and Bottom turned up the nose of 
contempt and looked upon me as a mere "shallow sceptic." 

The Disciples Story. 251 

Presently, fs4 bin Maryam (on whom be the Peace !) passed 
by and seeing this, besought Allah Almighty for tidings of their 
case ; so He told him what had betided them, whereat great was 
his surprise and he related to his disciples 1 what he had seen. 
Quoth one of them, " O Spirit of Allah, 2 naught resembleth this 
but my own adventure." Quoth Isa, " How so ? " and the other 
began to tell 


Once I was in such a city, where I hid a thousand dirhams in a 
monastery. After a while, I went thither and taking the money, 
bound it about my waist. Then I set out to return and when I 
came to the Sahara-waste, the carrying of the money was heavy 
upon me. Presently, I espied a horseman pushing on after me ; 
so I waited till he came up and said to him, " O rider, carry this 
money for me and earn reward and recompense in Heaven." Said 
he, <c No, I will not do it, for I should tire myself and tire out my 
horse." Then he went on but, before he had gone far, he said in 
his mind, " An I take up the money and put my steed to speed 
and devance him, how shall he overtake me ?" And I also said in my 
mind, "Verily, I erred ; for, had he taken the money and made off, 
what could I have done ?" Then he turned back to me and cried 
to me, " Hand over the money, that I may carry it for thee." But 
I replied to him, " That which hath occurred to thy mind hath oc- 
curred to mine also ; so go thou and go safe." Quothlsa (on whom 

1 Arab. " Tatemizah," plur. of Tilmfz, a disciple, a young attendant. The word is 
Syriac t iiQ_^Z : and there is a Heb. root -^ but no Arabic. In the Durrat 
al-Ghawwls, however, Tilmfz, Bilkis, and similar words are Arabic in the form of 
Fa'lfl and Fi'lil. 

2 Riih Allah, lit. == breath of Allah, attending to the miraculous conception according 
to the Moslems. See vol. v. 238. 

3 Readers will kindly pronounce this word " Sahra." not Sahara. 

252 Supplemental Nights. 

be the Peace !), " Had these done prudently, they had taken thought 
for themselves ; but they unheeded the issues of events ; for that 
whoso acteth cautiously is safe and winneth his wish, and whoso 
neglecteth precaution is lost and repenteth." * " Nor," continued 
the Wazir, " is this stranger or rarer than the story of the King, 
whose kingdom was restored to him and his wealth, after he had 
become poor, possessing not a single dirham." When the king 
heard this, he said in himself, " How like is this to my own story 
in the matter of the Minister and his slaughter ! Had I not used 
deliberation, I had done him dead." And he bade Al-Rahwan 
hie to his own home. 

1 Mr. Clouston refers for analogies to this tale to his " Oriental Sources of some 
of Chaucer's Tales" (Notes and Queries, 1885-86), and he finds the original of The 
Pardoner's Tale in one of the Jatakas or Bhuddist Birth-stories entitled Vedabbha 
Jataka. The story is spread over all Europe ; in the Cento Novelle Antiche ; Morlini ; 
Hans Sachs, etc. And there are many Eastern versions, e.g. a Persian by Farfd al-Dfn 
11 'Attar " who died at a great age in A.D. 1278 ; an Arabic version in The Orientalist 
(Kandy, 1884); a Tibetan in Rollston's Tibetan Tales; a Cashmirian in Knowles' Diet, 
of Kashmiri Proverbs, etc., etc., etc. 



WHEN the evening evened, the king sent for the Wazir to his 
sitting chamber and bade him tell the promised tale. So he said, 
" Hearkening and obedience. They relate, O king, 


There was once, in a city of the cities of Al-Hind, a just king 
and a beneficent, and he had a Wazir, a man of understand- 
ing, upright in his rede, and praiseworthy in his policy, a Minister 
in whose hand was the handling of all the affairs of the realm ; for 
he was firmly based on the Sultan's favour and high in esteem 
with the folk of his time, and the king set great store by him and 
entrusted himself to him in all his transactions, by reason of his 
excellent management of the lieges, and he had guards l who were 
content with him and grateful to him. Now that king had a 
brother, who envied him and would lief have taken his place ; 
and when he was a-weary of looking for his death and the term of 
his life seemed distant, he took counsel with certain of his par- 
tisans and they said, " The Minister is the monarch's counsellor 
and but for this Wazir the king were kingdomless." So the 
pretender cast about for the ruin of the defender, but could find no 
means of furthering his design ; and when the affair grew long- 
some upon him, he said to his wife, " What deemest thou will 
gar us gain herein?" "What is it?" "I mean in the matter of 

1 Arab. " 'Awan " lit. -aids, helpers ; the " Aun of the Jinn " has often occurred. 

254 Supplemental Nights. 

yonder Minister, who inciteth my brother to worship with all his 
might and biddeth him unto devoutness, and indeed the king doteth 
upon his counsel and stablisheth him governor of all monies and 
matters." " True ; but how shall we devise with him ? " " I 
have a device, so thou wilt help me in that which I shall say to 
thee." " Thou shalt have my help in whatsoever thou desirest." 
* I mean to dig him a pit in the vestibule and conceal it artfully." 
Accordingly, he did this, and when it was night, he covered the 
pit with a light covering, so that, when the Wazir trod upon it, it 
would give way under his tread. Then he sent to him and sum- 
moned him to the Court in the king's name, and the messenger 
bade him enter by the private wicket-way. So he came in alone, 
and when he stepped upon the covering of the pit, it caved in 
with him and he fell to the bottom ; whereupon the king's brother 
fell to pelting him with stones. When the Minister beheld what 
had betided him he gave himself up for lost ; so he stirred not for 
a while and lay still. The Prince, seeing him make no sign 
deemed him dead ; so he took him forth and wrapping him up in 
his robes, cast him into the surges of the sea in the middle night. 
When the Wazir felt the water, he awoke from the swoon and 
swam for an hour or so, till a ship passed by him, whereupon he 
shouted to the sailors and they took him up. Now when the 
morning morrowed, the people went seeking for him, but found 
him not ; and the king learning this, was perplexed concerning 
his affair and abode unknowing whatso he should do. Then 
he sought for a Minister to stand in his stead, and the king's 
brother said, " I have for Wazir an efficient man." Said the king, 
" Bring him to me." So he brought him a man, whom he 
set at the head of affairs ; but he seized upon the kingdom 
and threw the king in fetters and made his brother king in lieu 
of him. The new ruler gave himself up to all manner of froward- 
ness, whereat the folk murmured and his Minister said to him, 
" I fear lest the Hindians take the old king and restore him to 

The Tale of the Dethroned Ruler. 2$$ 

;the kingship and we both come to ruin : so, if we seize him and 
cast him into the sea, we shall be at rest from him ; and we will 

^Jt'V- -- ' ' 

Ipublish among the folk that he is dead.'* And they, agreeing 
upon this, took him up and carrying him out to sea, cast him 
in. When he felt the water, he struck out, and ceased not swim- 
ming till he landed upon an island, where he tarried five days 
finding nothing which he might eat or drink ; but, on the sixth 
day, when he despaired of his life, behold, there passed a ship ; so 
he made signals to the crew and they came and took him up and 
fared on with him to an inhabited country, where they set him 
ashore, mother-naked as he was. There, seeing a man seeding, he 
sought guidance of him and the husbandman asked, " Art thou a 
foreigner ? " " Yes," answered the king and sat with him and they 
talked. The peasant found him clever and quick-witted and said 
to him, " An thou beheld a comrade of mine, thou wouldst see him 
the like of what I see thee, for his case is even as thy case, and he 
is at this present my friend." Quoth the king, " Verily, thou 
makcst me long to look at him. Canst thou not bring us 
together, me and him ? " Quoth the husbandman, " With joy and 
goodly gree ; " and the king sat with him till he had made an end 
of his seeding, when he carried him to his homestead and brought 
him in company with the other stranger, and behold it was his 
Wazir. When each saw other, the twain wept and embraced, and 
the sower wept for their weeping ; but the king hid their affair and 
said to him, " This man is from my mother-land and he is as my 
brother." So they homed with the husbandman and helped 
him for a hire, wherewith they supported themselves a long spell, 
Meanwhile, they sought news of their patrial stead and learned 
that which its people suffered of straitness and severity. One day 
there came a ship and in it a merchant from their own country, 
who knew them and rejoiced in them with joy exceeding and clad 
them in goodly clothing. He also acquainted them with the 
manner of the treachery that had been practised upon them, 

256 Supplemen tal Nights. 

and counselled them to return to their own land, they and he with 
whom they had made friends, 1 assuring them that Almighty Allah 
would restore them to their former rank. So the king 1 returned 
and the folk joined themselves to him and he fell upon his brother 
and his Wazir and took them and threw them into jail. Then he 
sat down again upon the throne of his kingship, whilst the Minister 
stood between his hands and they returned to their former estate, 
but they had naught of worldly wealth. Presently the king saidl 
to his Wazir, " How shall we continue tarrying in this city, and we 
thus poorly conditioned ? " and he answered, " Be at thine ease 
and have no concern." Then he singled out one of the soldiers * 
and said to him, " Send us thy service 3 for the year." Now there 
were in the city fifty thousand subjects 4 and in the hamlets and 
villages 5 a like number ; and the Minister sent to each of these, 
saying, " Let each and every of you get an egg and set it under a 
hen." They did this and it was neither burden nor grievance to 
them ; and when twenty days had passed by, each egg was hatched, 
and the Wazir bade them pair the chickens, male with female, and 
rear them well. They did accordingly and it was found a charge 
unto no one. Then they waited for them awhile and after this the 
Minister asked of the chickens and was answered that they were 
become fowls Furthermore, they brought him all their eggs and 
he bade set them ; and after twenty days there were hatched from 
each pair of them thirty or five-and-twenty or fifteen chickens at 
the least. The Wazir bade note against each man the number of 
chickens which pertained to him, and after two months, he took 
the old partlets and the cockerels, and there came to him from each 
man some half a score, and he left the young partlets with them. 

1 i.e. the peasant. 

2 i.e. those serving on the usual feudal tenure ; and bound to suit and service for their; 

3 i.e. the yearly value of his fief. 
* i.e. men who paid faxes. 

6 Arab. " Rasatik" plur. of Rustak. See vol. vi. 289. 

The Tale of the Dethroned RuUr. 2 5 / 

Even so he sent to the country folk and let the cocks remain with 
them. Thus he got him whole broods of young poultry and appro- 
priated to himself the sale of the fowls, and on this wise he gained 
for him, in the course of a year, that which the kingly estate required 
of the King, and his affairs were set right for him by the cunning 
contrivance of the Minister. And he caused the country to thrive 
and dealt justly by his subjects and returned to them all that he 
took from them and lived a grateful and prosperous life. Thus 
right counsel and prudence are better than wealth, for that under- 
standing profiteth at all times and seasons. " Nor," continued the 
Wazir, " is this stranger than the story of the Man whose cautioa 
slew him." When the king heard the Words of his Wazir, he 
wondered with the uttermost wonder and bade him retire to his 

Jpourtientf) ttf fgfjt of tije 

WHEN the Minister returned to the presence, the King soughT 
of him the story of the Man whose caution slew him and he 
said, " Hear, O auspicious King, 


There was once a man who was cautious exceedingly con- 
cerning himself, and he set out one day on a journey to a land 
abounding in wild beasts. The caravan wherewith he fared came 
by night to the gate of a city ; but the warders would not open to 
them, for there were lions there ; so they nighted without the 
walls. Now that man, of the excess of his caution, could not 
determine a place wherein he should pass the night, for fear of 
the wild beasts and reptiles ; so he went about seeking an empty 
stead wherein he might lie. At last, as there was a ruined 
building hard by, he climbed up on to a high wall and ceased 
not clambering hither and thither, of the excess of his carefulness, 
till his feet betrayed him and he slipped and fell to the bottom 
and died, whilst his companions arose in the morning safe and 
sound. Now, had he overmastered his wrongous rede and had he 
submitted himself to Fate and Fortune, it had been safer and 
better for him ; but he made light of the folk and belittled their 
wit and was not content to take example by them ; for his soul 
whispered him that he was 4 man of wits and he fancied that, 
an he abode with them, he would perish ; so his folly cast him 
into perdition. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this stranger 
than the story of the Man who was lavish of his house and 
tiis provision to one he knew not." When the King heard this, 
he said, " I will not separate myself from the folk and slay my 
Minister." And he bade him hie to his own house. 


tNTfgfct of tfre 

WHEN the evening evened, the King bade fetch the Wazir and 
required of him the story. So he said, " Hear, O King, 


There was once an Arab of high rank and noble presence, 
a model of magnanimity and exalted generosity, and he had 
brethren, with whom he consorted and caroused, and they 
were wont to assemble by rotation at one another's homes. 
When it came to his turn, he gat ready in his house all manner 
goodly meats and pleasant and dainty drinks and the fairest 
flowers and the finest fruits, and he provided all kinds of instru- 
ments of music and store of wondrous dictes and marvellous 
stones and pleasant instances and histories and witty anecdotes 
and verses and what not else, for there was none among those 
with whom he was wont to company but enjoyed this in every 
goodly fashion, and the entertainment he had provided contained 
all whereof each had need. Then he sallied forth in quest of 
his friends, and went round about the city, so he might assemble 
them ; but found none of them at home. Now in that town was a 
man of pleasant conversation and large generosity, a merchant 
of condition, young of years and bright of blee, who had come 
to that place from his own country with merchandise in great 
store and wealth galore. He took up his abode therein and 
the town was pleasant to him and he was large in lavishing, 
so that he came to the end of all his wealth and there remained 

260 Supplemental Nights. 

in his hand naught save what was upon him of raiment. So 
he left the lodging which had honied him in the days of his 
prosperity ; after he had wasted that which was therein of 
furniture, and fell to finding refuge in the houses of the towns- 
folk from night to night. One day, as he went wandering about 
the streets, he beheld a woman of the uttermost beauty and 
loveliness, and what he saw of her charms amazed him and 
there happened to him what made him forget his sorry plight. 
She accosted him and jested with him and he besought her of 
union and intimacy ; so she consented to this and said to him, 
" Let us go to thy lodging." Herewith he repented and was 
perplexed concerning his procedure and grieved for that which 
must escape him of her company by reason of the straitness 
of his hand, for that he had not a whit of spending-money. But 
he was ashamed to say " No," after he had sued and wooed her ; 
wherefore he went on before her, bethinking him how he should 
rid himself of her and seeking some excuse which he might put 
off on her, and gave not over going from street to street, till he 
entered one that had no issue and saw, at the farther end, a 
door, whereon was a padlock Then said he to her, " Do thou 
excuse me, for my lad hath locked the door and how shall we 
open it ? " Said she, " O my lord, the padlock is worth only some 
ten dirhams ;" and presently she tucked up her sleeves from fore- 
arms as they were crystal and taking a stone, smote the padlock 
and broke it ; and, opening the door, said to him, " Enter, 
O my lord." Accordingly he went in, committing his affair to 
Allah (to whom belong Honour and Glory), and she entered after 
him and locked the door from within. They found themselves- 
in a pleasant house, collecting all good and gladness ; and the 
young man fared forwards, till he came to the sitting-chamber, 

1 This adventure is a rechauffe" of Amjad's adventure (vol. iii. 333) without, however 
its tragic catastrophe. 

The Tale of the Man who was lavish of his House. 261 

and, behold, it was furnished with the finest of furniture as hath 
before been set out. 1 He seated himself and leant upon a cushion, 
whilst she put out her hand to her veil and doffed it. Then she 
threw off her heavy outer clothes till she was clad in the thinnest 
which showed her charms, whereupon the young man embraced 
her and kissed her and enjoyed her ; after which they washed with 
the Ghusl-ablution and returned to their place and he said to her, 
" Know that I have little knowledge of what goeth on in my own 
house, for that I trust to my servant : so arise thou and see what 
the lad hath made ready in the kitchen." Accordingly, she 
arose and going down into the kitchen, saw cooking pots over 
the fire, wherein were all manner of dainty viands, and firsts- 
bread * and fresh almond cakes.* So she set bread on a dish and 
ladled out what she would from the pots and brought it to him. 
They ate and drank and played and made merry a while of the 
day; and as they were thus engaged, suddenly up came the 
master of the house, with his friends, whom he had brought with 
him, that they might converse together, as of wont He saw the 
door opened and knocked a light knock, saying to his company, 
" Have patience with me, for some of my family are come to visit 
me : wherefore excuse belongeth first to Allah Almighty, and then 
to you." 4 So they farewelled him and fared their ways, whilst 
he rapped another light rap at the door. When the young man 
heard this, he changed colour and the woman said to him, 
*' Methinks thy lad hath returned." He answered, " Yes ;" and 
she arose and opening the door to the master of the house, said to 

1 The text is so concise as to be enigmatical. The house was finely furnished for a 
feast, as it belonged to the Man who was lavish, etc. 

* Arab. " Khubz Samiz ;" the latter is the Arabisation of the Pers. Samid, fine white 
bread, simnel, Germ, semmel. 

8 The text has " Bakulat " = pot-herbs ; but it is probably a clerical error for 
" Baklawat." See vol. ii. 31 1. 

4 Egyptian-like he at once calls upon Allah to witness a lie and hi* excuse would be 
that the lie was well-intentioned. 

262 Supplemental Nights. 

him, "Where hast thou been? Indeed, thy master is angry with 
thee ? " and he said, " O my lady, I have not been save about his 
business. " Then he girt his waist with a kerchief and entering, 
saluted the young merchant, who said to him, " Where hast thou 
been ? " Quoth he, " I have done thine errands ; " and quoth the 
youth, " Go and eat and come hither and drink." So he went away, 
as he bade him, and ate ; then he washed hands and returning to 
the sitting-room, sat down on the carpet and fell to talking with 
them ; whereupon the young merchant's heart was heartened and 
his breast broadened and he applied himself to pleasure. They 
were in all joyance of life and the most abounding pleasance till a 
third part of the night was past, when the house-master arose, 
and spreading them a bed, invited them to take their rest. So 
they lay down and the youth wide awake, pondering their affair 
till daybreak, when the woman roused herself from sleep and said 
to her companion, " I wish to go." He farewelled her and she 
departed ; whereupon the master of the house followed her with a 
purse of silver and gave it to her, saying, " Blame not my lord," 
and made his excuse to her for his master. Then he returned to 
the youth and said to him, " Arise and come to the Hammam ;" * 
and he fell to shampooing his hands and feet, whilst the youth 
called down blessings on him and said "O my lord, who art 
thou ? Methinks there is not in the world the like of thee ; 
no, nor a pleasanter in thy disposition." Then each of the twain 
acquainted the other with his case and condition and they went to 
the bath ; after which the master of the house conjured the young 
merchant to return with him and summoned his friends. So 
they ate and drank and he told them the tale, wherefore they 
thanked the house-master and praised him ; and their friendship 
was complete while the young merchant abode in the town, 
till Allah made easy to him a means of travel, whereupon 

1 *>. The private bagnio which in old days every grand house possessed. 

King Shak Bakht and kis Wazir Al-Rakwan. 263 

they farewelled him and he departed ; and this is the end of* 
his tale. " Nor," continued the Wazir, " O king of the age, 
is this stranger than the story of the Richard who lost hi 
wealth and his wit" When the king heard the Minister's story, 
it pleased him and he bade him hie to his home. 



WHEN the evening evened, the King sat in his sitting-chamber 
and sending for his Wazir, bade him relate ; _the story of the 
Wealthy Man who lost his wealth and his'^irffc So he said, 
" Hear, O King, 


There was once a Richard hight 'Ajlan, the Hasty, who wasted his 
wealth, and concern and chagrin gat the mastery of him, so that he 
became a Melancholist 2 and lost his wit. There remained with 
him of his monies about twenty dinars and he used to beg alms 
of the folk, and whatso they gave him in charity he would gather 
together and add to the gold pieces that were left him. Now 
there was in that town a Sharper, who made his living by roguery, 
and he knew that the Melancholist had somewhat of money ; 
so he fell to spying upon him and ceased not watching him till 
he saw him put into an earthen pot that which he had with him of 
silvers and enter a deserted ruin, where he sat down, as if to make 
water, and dug a hole, wherein he laid the pot and covering 
it up, smoothed the ground as it had been. Then he went 
away and the Sharper came and taking what was in the pot, 
restored it to its former place. Presently 'Ajlan returned, with 
somewhat to add to his hoard, but found it not ; so he bethought 

1 This is a fancy title, but it suits the tale better than that in the text (xi. 183) " The 
Richard who lost his wealth and his wits." Mr. Clouston refers to similar stories in 
Sacchetti and other early Italian novelists. 

* Arab. " Al-Muwaswis": for "Wiswas" see vol. i. 106. This class of men in 
stories takes the place of our "cunning idiot," and is often confounded with the 
Saudawi, the melancholist proper. 

Tfie Tale of the Melancholist and the Sharper, 265 

him of who had followed him and remembered that he had found 
that Sharper assiduous in sitting with him and questioning him. 
So he went in search of him, assured that he had taken the 
pot, and gave not over looking for him till he saw him sitting ; 
whereupon he ran to him and the Sharper saw him. Then 
the Melancholist stood within earshot and muttered * to himself 
and said, " In the pot are sixty ducats and I have with me other 
twenty in such a place and to-day I will unite the whole in the 
pot." When the Sharper heard him say this to himself, muttering 
and mumbling, repeating and blundering in his speech, he 
repented him of having taken the sequins and said, " He will 
presently return to the pot 2 and find it empty ; wherefore that 
for which I am on the look-out will escape me ; and meseemeth 
'twere best I replace the dinars, so he may see them and leave all 
which is with him in the pot, and I can take the whole." Now he 
feared to return to the pot at once, lest the Melancholist should 
follow him to the place and find nothing and on this wise his 
arrangements be marred ; so he said to him, " O 'Ajlan, 3 I would 
have thee come to my lodging and eat bread with me." There- 
upon the Melancholist went with him to his quarters and he 
seated him there and going to the market, sold somewhat of 
his clothes and pawned somewhat from his house and bought the 
best of food. Then he betook himself to the ruin and replacing 
the money in the pot, buried it again ; after which he returned 
to his lodging and gave the Melancholist to eat and drink, 
and they went out together. The Sharper walked away and hid 
himself, lest his guest should see him, whilst 'Ajlan repaired to 
his hiding-place and took the pot. Presently, the Sharper returned 
to the ruin, rejoicing in that which he deemed he should get, 

1 Arab. " Hamhama,** an onomapoeic, like our hum, hem, and haw. 

2 Arab. " Barniyah,'* a vessel either of glass or pottery like that in which the manna 
was collected (Exod. xvi. 33). 

3 = A hasty man, as Ghazban = ac angry man. 

266 Supplemental Nights. 

and dug in the place, but found naught and knew that the 
Melancholist had outwitted him. So he began buffetting his 
face for regret, and fell to following the other whitherso he went, 
to the intent that he might win what was with him, but he failed 
in this, because the Melancholist knew what was in his mind and 
was assured that he spied upon him ; so he kept watch over 
himself. Now, had the Sharper considered the consequences of 
haste and that which is begotten of loss therefrom, he had not done 
on such wise. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this tale, O king 
of the age, rarer or stranger or daintier than the story of Khalbas l 
and his Wife and the learned man and that which befel between 
the three." When the king heard this story, he left his purpose 
of putting the Minister to death and his soul bade him to continue 
him on life. So he ordered him off to his house. 

1 The Bresl. Edit, misprint. " Khablas" in more places than one, now with a Sin, 
then with a Sad. Khalbas suggests " Khalbus," a buffoon, for which see vol. ii. 143. 
In Egypt, however, the latter generally ends in a Sad (see Lane's " Khalboos " 
M. E. chap, xxvii). 


Sbebentemtf) ^igtt of t&e 

WHEN the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister, and 
as soon as he presented himself, he required of him the story. So 
he said, " Hearkening and obedience. Hear, O august King, 


There was once a man called Khalbas, who was a fulsome 
fellow, a calamity, notorious for this note, and he had a charming 
wife, renowned for beauty and loveliness. A man of his townsfolk 
fell in love with her and she also loved him. Now Khalbas was 
a wily wight and full of guile, and there was in his neighbour- 
hood a learned man, to whom the folk used to resort every day 
and he told them histories and admonished them with moral 
instances ; and Khalbas was wont to be present in his assembly, 
for the sake of making a show before the folk. This learned man 
also had a wife famed for comeliness and seemlihead and quick- 
ness of wit and understanding and the lover sought some device 
whereby he might manage to meet Khalbas's wife ; so he came to 
him and told him as a secret what he had seen of the learned 
man's wife and confided to him that he was in love with her and 
besought his assistance in this. Khalbas told him that she was 
known as a model of chastity and continence and that she exposed 
herself not to ill doubts ; but the other said, " I cannot renounce 
her, in the first place because the woman inclineth to me and 
coveteth my wealth, and secondly, because of the greatness of my 
fondness for her ; and naught is wanting- but thy help." Quoth 
Kha-bas, " I will do thy will ; " and quoth the other, " Thou shalt 

268 Supplemental Nights. 

have of me every day two silvern dirhams, on condition that thou 
sit with the learned man and that, when he riseth from the 
assembly, thou speak a word which shall notify to me the break- 
ing up of the meeting." So they agreed upon that and Khalbas 
entered and sat in the session, whilst the lover was assured in his 
heart that the secret was safe and secure with him, wherefore he 
rejoiced and was content to pay the two dirhams. Then Khalbas 
used to attend the learned man's assembly, whilst the other would 
go into his wife and be very much with her, on such wise as he 
thought good, till the learned man arose from his meeting ; and 
when Khalbas saw that he proposed rising, he would speak a word 
for the lover to hear, whereupon he went forth from the wife of 
Khalbas who knew not that doom was in his own home. But when 
the learned man saw Khalbas do the same thing every day, he 
began to suspect him, especially on account of that which he knew 
of his bad name, and suspicion grew upon him ; so, one day, he 
resolved to advance the time of his rising ere the wonted hour and 
hastening up to Khalbas, seized him and said to him, " By Allah, 
an thou say a single syllable, I will do thee a damage ! " Then he 
went in to his wife, with Khalbas in his grip, and behold, she was 
sitting, as of her wont, nor was there about her aught of suspicious 
or unseemly. The learned man bethought him awhile of this, 
then made for Khalbas's house, which adjoined his own, still hold- 
ing his man ; and when they entered, they found the young lover 
lying on the bed with Khalbas's wife ; whereupon quoth the 
learned man to him, " O accursed, the doom is with thee and in 
thine own home ! " So Khalbas divorced his wife and went forth, 
fleeing, and returned not to his own land. " This, then " (con- 
tinued the Wazir), " is the consequence of lewdness, for whoso 
purposeth in himself wile and perfidious guile, they get possession of 
him, and had Khalbas conceived of himself that dishonour and cala- 
mity which he conceived of the folk, there had betided him nothing 
of this. Nor is this tale, rare and curious though it be, stranger or 

King Shah Bakht and his Wazir Al-Rahwan. 269 

rarer than the story of the Devotee whose husband's brother 
accused her of lewdness." When the king heard this, wonder- 
ment gat hold of him and his admiration for the Wazir redoubled ; 
so he bade him hie to his home and return to him on the morrow, 
according to his custom. So the Minister withdrew to his lodging, 
where he passed the night and the ensuing day. 

(Kfg&trentf) STtgtt of tfje 

WHEN the evening evened, the King summoned the Wazir and 
required of him the story ; so he said, " Tis well. Hear O King, 


There was once a man of Nfsh^bur 2 who, having a wife of the 
uttermost beauty and piety, yet was minded to set out on the 
pilgrimage. So before leaving home he commended her to the 
care of his brother and besought him to aid her in her affairs and 
further her wishes till he should return, for the brothers were on 
the most intimate terms. 3 Then he took ship and departed 
and his absence was prolonged. Meanwhile, the brother went to 
visit his brother's wife, at all times and seasons, and questioned 
her of her circumstances and went about her wants ; and when 
his calls were prolonged and he heard her speech and saw her 
face, the love of her gat hold upon his heart and he became 
passionately fond of her and his soul prompted him to evil. So 
he besought her to lie with him, but she refused and showed him 
how foul was his deed, and he found him no way to win what he 
wished ; 4 wherefore he wooed her with soft speech and gentle 
ways. Now she was righteous in all her doings and never swerved 
from one saying ; 5 so, when he saw that she consented not to him, 

1 This story is a rechauffe of the Jewish Kazi and his pious wife ; see vol. v. 256. 
7 The Arab form of " Nayshlpiir " = reeds of (King) Shapur : see vol. ix. 230. 

3 Arab. "Ala Tarik al-Satr wa al-Salamah," meaning that each other's wives did,; 
not veil before their brothers-in-law as is usually done. It may also mean that they were 
under Allah's protection and in best of condition. 

4 i.e. he dared not rape her. 

" ' i.e. her " yes " meant " yes" and her " no " meant " no." 

The Tale of the Devotee accused of Lewdness. 271 

he had no doubts but that she would tell his brother, when 
he returned from his journey, and quoth he to her, "An thou 
consent not to whatso I require of thee, I will cause a scandal to 
befal thee and thou wilt perish." Quoth she, " Allah (extolled and 
exalted be He!) judge betwixt me and thee, and know that, 
shouldst thou hew me limb from limb, I would not consent to 
that thou biddest me to do." His ignorance l of womankind per- 
suaded him that she would tell her spouse ; so he betook himself 
of his exceeding despite, to a company of people in the mosque and 
informed them that he had witnessed a man commit adultery with 
his brother's wife. They believed his word and documented his 
charge and assembled to stone her.* Then they dug her a pit 
outside the city and seating her therein, stoned her, till they 
deemed her dead, when they left her. Presently a Shaykh of a 
village passed by the pit and finding her alive, carried her to his 
house and cured her of her wounds. Now he had a youthful son, 
who, as soon as he saw her, loved her and besought her of her 
person ; but she refused and consented not to him, whereupon he 
redoubled in love and longing and his case prompted him to 
suborn a youth of the people of his village and agree with him 
that he should come by night and take somewhat from his father's 
house and that, when he was seized and discovered, he should 
say that she was his accomplice in this and avouch that she was 
his mistress and had been stoned on his account in the city. 
Accordingly he did this, and, coming by night to the villager's 
house, stole therefrom goods and clothes ; whereupon the owner 
awoke and seizing the thief, pinioned him straitly and beat him 
to make him confess; and he confessed against the woman that 

1 "Ignorance" (Jahl) may, here and elsewhere mean wickedness^ frowardness, folly, 
vicious folly or uncalled-for wrath. Here Arabic teaches a good lesson for ignorance, 
intemperance and egoism are, I repeat, the roots of all evil. 

* So Mohammed said of a child born in adultery " The babe to the blanket (i.e. let it; 
be nursed and reared) and the adultress to the stone." 

272 Supplemental Nights. 

she was a partner in the crime and that he was her lover from 
the city. The news was bruited abroad and the citizens assembled 
to put her to death ; but the Shaykh with whom she was forbade 
them and said, " I brought this woman hither, coveting the 
recompense of Allah, and I know not the truth of that which 
is said of her and will not empower any to hurt or harm her." 
Then he gave her a thousand dirhams, by way of alms, and thrust 
her forth of the village. As for the thief, he was imprisoned for 
some days ; after which the folk interceded for him with the old 
man, saying, " This is a youth and indeed he erred ; " and he 
released him from his bonds. Meanwhile the woman went out at 
hap-hazard and donning a devotee's dress, fared on without ceasing, 
till she came to a city and found the king's deputies dunning 
the townsfolk for the tribute, out of season. Presently, she saw 
a man, whom they were pressing for the tribute ; so she asked 
of his case and being acquainted with it, paid down the thousand 
dirhams for him and delivered him from the bastinado ; where- 
upon he thanked her and those who were present. When he 
was set free, he walked with her and besought her to go with him 
to his dwelling : accordingly, she accompanied him thither and 
supped with him and passed the night. When the dark hours 
gloomed on him, his soul prompted him to evil, for that which 
he saw of her beauty and loveliness, and he lusted after her, 
and required her of her person ; but she rejected him and 
threatened him with Allah the Most High and reminded him of 
that which she had done with him of kindness and how she had 
delivered him from the stick and its disgrace. However, he would 
not be denied, and when he saw her persistent refusal of herself 
to him, he feared lest she should tell the folk of him. So, when 
he arose in the morning, he wrote on a paper what he would of 
forgery and falsehood and going up to the Sultan's palace, said, 
" I have an advisement for the King." So he bade admit him 
and he delivered him the writ he had forged, saying, " I found this 

The Tale of the Devotee accused of Lewdness* 273 

letter with the woman, the devotee, the ascetic, and indeed shj& 
is a spy, a secret informer against the sovran to his foe ; and I 
deem the King's due more incumbent on me than any other claim 
and warning him to be the first duty, for that he uniteth in himself 
all the subjects, and but for the King's existence, the lieges would 
perish ; wherefore I have brought thee good counsel." The King gave 
credit to his words and sent with him those who should lay hands 
upon the Devotee and do her to death ; but they found her not. 
As for the woman, when the man went out from her, she resolved 
to depart ; so she fared forth, saying to herself, " There is no way- 
faring for me in woman's habit." Then she donned men's dress, 
such as is worn of the pious, and set out and wandered over the 
earth; nor did she cease wandering till she entered a certain city. 
Now the king of that city had an only daughter, in whom he 
gloried and whom he loved, and she saw the Devotee and deem- 
ing her a pilgrim youth, said to her father, " I would fain have this 
youth take up his lodging with me, so I may learn of him lere 
and piety and religion." Her father rejoiced in this "and com- 
manded the pilgrim to take up his abode with his daughter in. 
his palace. So they were in one place and the Princess was 
strenuous to the uttermost in continence and chastity and nobility 
of mind and magnanimity and devotion ; but the ignorant tattled 
anent her, and the folk of the realm said, "The king's daughter 
loveth the pilgrim youth and he loveth her." Now the king was 
a very old man and destiny decreed the ending of his life-term ; 
so he died and when he was buried, the lieges assembled and 
many were the sayings of the people and of the king's kinsfolk 
and officers, and they counselled together to slay the Princess 
and the young pilgrim, saying, " This fellow dishonoureth us with 
yonder whore and none accepteth shame save the base." So they 
fell upon them and slew the king's daughter in her mosque, with- 
out asking her of aught; whereupon the pious woman (whom 

they deemed a youth) said to them, " Woe to you, O miscreants 
VOL. I. s, 

274 Supplemental Nights. 

Ye have slain the pious lady." Quoth they, " O thou fulsome 
fellow, dost thou bespeak us thus ? Thou lovedst her and she 
loved thee, and we will assuredly slay thee." And quoth she, 
" Allah forfend. Indeed, the affair is the clear reverse of this." 
They asked, " What proof hast thou of that ?" and she answered, 
" Bring me women." They did so, and when the matrons looked 
on her, they found her a woman. As soon as the townsfolk saw this, 
they repented of that they had done and the affair was grievous 
to them ; so they sought pardon of Allah and said to her, " By the 
virtue of Him whom thou servest, do thou crave pardon for us." 
Said she, " As for me, I may no longer tarry with you and I am 
about to depart from you." Then they humbled themselves before 
her and shed tears and said to her, " We conjure thee, by the 
might of Allah the Most High, that thou take upon thyself the 
rule of the realm and of the lieges." But she refused and drew 
her back ; whereupon they came up to her and wept and ceased 
not supplicating her, till she consented and undertook the king- 
ship. Her first commandment to them was that they bury the 
Princess and build over her a dome and she abode in that palace, 
worshipping the Almighty and dealing judgment between the 
people with justice, and Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) 
vouchsafed her, for the excellence of her piety and her patience 
and renunciation, the acceptance of her prayers, so that she 
sought not aught of Him (to whom belong Might and Majesty), 
but He granted her petition ; and her fame was bruited abroad 
in all lands. Accordingly, the folk resorted to her from all parts 
and she used to pray Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty) 
for the oppressed and the Lord granted him relief, and against his 
oppressor, and He brake him asunder ; and she prayed for the 
sick and they were made sound ; and in this goodly way she 
tarried a great space of time. So fared it with the wife ; but 
as for her husband, when he returned from the pilgrimage, his 
brother and the neighbours acquainted him with the affair of his 

The Tale of the. Devotee accused of Lewdness. 275 

spouse, whereat he was sore concerned and suspected their story, 
for that which he knew of her chastity and prayerfulness ; and he 
shed tears for the loss of her. Meanwhile, she prayed to Almighty 
Allah that He would stablish her innocence in the eyes of her 
spouse and the folk, and He sent down upon her husband's 
brother a sickness so sore that none knew a cure for him. 
Wherefore he said to his brother, " In such a city is a Devotee, a 
worshipful woman and a recluse whose prayers are accepted ; so 
do thou carry me to her, that she may pray for my healing and 
Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty) may give me ease of 
this disease." Accordingly, he took him up and journeyed with 
him, till they came to the village where dwelt the Shaykh, the grey 
beard who had rescued the devout woman from the pit and carried 
her to his dwelling and healed her in his home. Here they 
halted and lodged with the old man, who questioned the husband 
of his case and that of his brother and the cause of their journey, 
and he said, " I purpose to go with my brother, this sick wight, to 
the holy woman, her whose petitions are answered, so she may 

pray for him, and Allah may heal him by the blessing of her 


orisons." Quoth the villager, " By Allah, my son is in parlous 
plight for sickness and we have heard that this Devotee prayeth 
for the sick and they are made sound. Indeed, the folk counsel 
me to carry him to her, and behold, 1 I will go in company with 
you." And they said, " Tis well." So they all nighted in that 
intent and on the morrow they set out for the dwelling of the 
Devotee, this one carrying his son and that one bearing his 
brother. Now the man who had stolen the clothes and had forged 
against the pious woman a lie, to wit, that he was her lover, 
sickened of a sore sickness, and his people took him up and set 
out with him to visit the Devotee and crave her prayers, and 

1 Arab. "Wa ha "etc., an interjection corresponding svith the Syriac "ho* 1 
lo ! (*".#., look) behold ! etc. 

276 Supplemental Nights. 

Destiny brought them altogether by the way. So they fared 
forward in a body till they came to the city wherein the man 
dwelt for whom she had paid the thousand dirhams to deliver 
him from torture, and found him about to travel to her by reason 
of a malady which had betided him. Accordingly, they all 
journeyed on together, unknowing that the holy woman was she 
whom they had so foully wronged, and ceased not going till they 
came to her city and foregathered at the gates of her palace, that 
wherein was the tomb of the Princess. Now the folk used to go 
into her and salute her with the salam, and crave her orisons ; and 
it was her custom to pray for none till he had confessed to her 
his sins, when she would ask pardon for him and pray for him 
that he might be healed, and he was straightway made whole of 
sickness, by permission of Almighty Allah. When the four sick 
men were brought in to her, she knew them forthright, though they 
knew her not, and said to them " Let each of you confess and 
specify his sins, so I may sue pardon for him and pray for him. 
And the brother said, " As for me, I required my brother's wife 
of her person and she refused ; whereupon despite and ignorance 
prompted me and I lied against her and accused her to the towns- 
folk of adultery ; so they stoned her and slew her wrongously and 
unrighteously ; and this my complaint is the issue of unright and 
falsehood and of the slaying of the innocent soul, whose slaughter 
Allah hath made unlawful to man." Then said the youth, the 
old villager's son, " And I, O holy woman, my father brought to us 
a woman who had been stoned, and my people nursed her till 
she recovered. Now she was rare of beauty and loveliness ; 
so I required her of her person ; but she refused and clave in 
chastity to Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty), wherefore 
ignorance prompted me, so that I agreed with one of the youths 
that he should steal clothes and coin from my father's house. 
Then I laid hands on him and carried him to my sire and made 
him confess. He declared that the woman was his mistress from 

The Tale of the Devotee accused of Lewdness. 277 

the city and had been stoned on his account and that she was 
his accomplice in the theft and had opened the doors to him ; but 
this was a lie against her, for that she had not yielded to me in 
that which I sought of her. So there befel me what ye see of 
requital." And the young man, the thief, said, " I am he with 
whom thou agreedst concerning the theft, and to whom thou 
openedst the door, and I am he who accused her falsely and 
calumniously and Allah (extolled be He !) well knoweth that I 
never did evil with her ; no, nor knew her in any way before that 
time." Then said he whom she had delivered from torture by 
paying down a thousand dirhams and who had required her of 
her person in his house, for that her beauty pleased him, and 
when she refused had forged a letter against her and treacherously 
denounced her to the Sultan and requited her graciousness with 
ingratitude, " I am he who wronged her and lied against her, 
and this is the issue of the oppressor's affair." When she 
heard their words, in the presence of the folk, she cried 
" Alhamdolillah, praise be to Allah, the King who over all things 
is omnipotent, and blessing upon His prophets and apostles!" 
Then quoth she to the assembly, " Bear testimony, O ye here 
present, to these men's speech, and know ye I am that woman 
whom they confess to having wronged." And she turned to her 
husband's brother and said to him, " I am thy brother's wife and 
Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) delivered me from that where- 
into thou castedst me of calumny and suspicion, and from the 
folly and frowardness whereof thou hast spoken, and now hath 
He shown forth my innocence, of His bounty and generosity. 
Go, for thou art quit of the wrong thou didst me." Then she prayed 
for him and he was made sound of his sickness. Thereupon she 
said to the son of the village Shaykh, " Know that I am the woman 
whom thy father delivered from strain and stress and whom 
there betided from thee of calumny and ignorance that which thou 
hast named." And she sued pardon for him and he was made 

278 Supplemental Nights. 

sound of his sickness. Then said she to the thief, " I am the 
woman against whom thou liedst, avouching that I was thy leman 
who had been stoned on thine account, and that I was thine 
accomplice in robbing the house of the village Shaykh and had 
opened the doors to thee." And she prayed for him and he was 
made whole of his malady. 1 Then said she to the townsman, him 
of the tribute, " I am the woman who gave thee the thousand 
dirhams and thou didst with me what thou didst." And she asked 
pardon for him and prayed for him and he was made whole ; 
whereupon the folk marvelled at her enemies who had all been 
afflicted alike, so Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) might show 
forth her innocence upon the heads of witnesses. 2 Then she turned 
to the old man who had delivered her from the pit and prayed for 
him and gave him presents manifold and among them a myriad^ 
a Badrah ; 3 and the sick made whole departed from her. When 
she was alone with her husband, she made him draw near unto 
her and rejoiced in his arrival, and gave him the choice of abiding 
with her. Presently, she assembled the citizens and notified to 
them his virtue and worth and counselled them to invest him with 
management of their rule and besought them to make him king 
over them. They consented to her on this and he became king 
and made his home amongst them, whilst she gave herself up to 
her orisons and cohabited with her husband as she was with him 
aforetime. " Nor," continued the Wazir, " is this tale, O king of the 
time, stranger or pleasanter than that of the Hireling and the Girl 
whose maw he slit and fled." When King Shah Bakht heard this, he 
said, " Most like all they say of the Minister is leasing, and his 

innocence will be made manifest even as that of the Devotee was 

f . 

manifested." Then he comforted the Wazir's heart and bade him 
hie to his house. 

1 This paragraph is supplied by Mr. Payne : something of the kind has evidently, 
fallen out of the Arab text. 

3 i.e. in the presence of witnesses, legally. 

3 Lit. a myriad, ten thousand dirhams. See vol. iv. 281. 


Nineteenth Nfft&t of t&e Jfllontfj. 

WHEN the evening evened, the King bade fetch the Wazir and 
sought of him the story of the Hireling and the Girl. So he said, 
" Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O auspicious King, to 


There was once, of old time, in one of the tribes of the Arabs, a 
woman pregnant by her husband, and they had a hired servant, a 
man of insight and understanding. When the woman came to her 
delivery-time, she gave birth to a girl-child in the night and they 
sought fire of the neighbours. 1 So the Hireling went in quest of 
fire. Now there was in the camp a Divineress, 2 and she questioned 
him of the new-born child, an it was male or female. Quoth he, 
<"Tis a girl;" and quoth she, "That girl will whore with an 
hundred men and a hireling shall wed her and a spider shall slay 
her." When the hired man heard this, he returned upon his steps 
and going in to the woman, took the child from her by wily 
management and slit its maw : then he fled forth into the wold 
at hap-hazard and abode in strangerhood while Allah so willed.* 
He gained much money ; and, returning to his own land, after 

1 The fire was intended to defend the mother and babe from Jinns, bad spirits, the 
evil eye, etc. Romans lit candles in the room of the puerpara ; hence the goddess 
Candelifera, and the term Candelaria applied to the B.V. In Brand's Popular Antiqui- 
ties (ii. 144) we find, "Gregory mentions an ordinary superstition of the old wives who 
dare not trust a child in a cradle by itself alone without a candle ; " this was for fear of 
the " night-hag " (Milton, P. L., ii. 662). The same idea prevailed in Scotland and 
in Germany: see the learned Liebrecht (who translated the Pentamerone) "Zur Folks- 
kunde," p. 31. In Sweden if the candle go out, the child maybe carried off by the 
Trolls (Weckenstedt, Wendische Sagen, p. 446). The custom has been traced to the 
Malay peninsula, whither it was probably imported by the Hindus or the Moslems, and 
amongst the Tajiks in Bokhara. For the Hindu practice, see Katha S S. 305, and ProC. 
Tawney's learned note analysed above. 

2 Arab. " Kahinah," fern, of Kahin (Cohen) : see Kahanah, vol. i. 28. 
a i.e. for a long time, as has been before explained. 

28o Supplemental Nights. 

twenty years' absence, alighted in the neighbourhood of an old 
woman, whom he wheedled and treated with liberality, requiring 
of her a young person whom he might enjoy without marriage. 
Said she, " I know none but a certain fair woman, who is renowned 
for this industry." Then she described her charms to him and 
made him lust after her, and he said, " Hasten to her this minute 
and lavish upon her whatso she asketh." So the crone betook 
herself to the girl and discovered his wishes to her and invited her 
to him ; but she answered," 'Tis true that I was in habit of whore- 
dom, but now I have repented to Almighty Allah and have no 
more longing to this : nay, I desire lawful wedlock ; so, if he be 
content with that which is legal, I am between his hands." ' The 
old woman returned to the man and told him what the damsel 
said ; and he lusted after her, because of her beauty and her peni- 
tence; so he took her to wife, and when he went in to her, he 
loved her and after like fashion she loved him. Thus they 
abode a great while, till one day he questioned her of the 
cause of a scar 2 he espied on her body, and she said, " I wot 
naught thereof save that my mother told me a marvellous thing 
concerning it." Asked he, " What was that ?" and she answered, 
" My mother declared that she gave birth to me one night of the 
wintry nights and despatched a hired man, who was with us, in 
quest of fire for her. He was absent a little while and presently 
returning, took me and slit my maw and fled. When my mother 
saw this, chagrin seized her and compassion possessed her ; so she 
sewed up my stomach and nursed me till the wound healed by the 
ordinance of Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty)." When 
her husband heard this, he said to her, " What is thy name and 
what may be the name of thy mother and who may be thy 
father ? " She told him their names and her own, whereby he 

1 i.e. at his service. Arabia was well provided with Hetauae and public women long 
before the days of AUIslam. 

2 Arab. " Athar" = sign, mark, trail. 

The Tale of the Hireling and tht Girl. 281 

knew that it was she whose maw he had slit and said to 
her, "And where are thy mother and father?" "They are 
both dead." "I am that Hireling who slit thy stomach." 
" Why didst thou that ? " " Because of a saying I heard from the 
wise woman." " What was it ? " " She declared thou wouldst play 
the whore with an hundred men and that I after that should wed 
thee." * Ay, I have whored with an hundred men, no more and 
no less, and behold, thou hast married me." " The Divineress 
also foresaid, that thou shouldst die, at the last of thy life, of the 
bite of a spider. Indeed, her saying hath been verified of the 
fornication and the marriage, and I fear lest her word come true 
no less in the death.'' Then they betook themselves to a place 
without the city, where he builded him a mansion of solid stone 
and white stucco and stopped its inner walls and plastered them ; 
leaving not therein or cranny or crevice, and he set in it two slave- 
girls whose services were sweeping and wiping, for fear of spiders. 
Here he abode with his wife a great while, till one day the man 
espied a spider on the ceiling and beat it down. When his wife 
saw it, she said, " This is that which the wise woman foresaid 
would slay me ; so, by thy life, suffer me to kill it with mine own 
hand." Her husband forbade her from this, but she conjured him 
to let her destroy the spider ; then, of her fearfulness and her eager- 
ness, she took a piece of wood and smote it. The wood brake of 
the force of the blow, and a splinter from it entered her hand and 
wrought upon it, so that it swelled. Then her fore-arm also swelled 
and the swelling spread to her side and thence grew till it reached 
her heart and she died. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is this 
stranger or more wondrous than the story of the Weaver who 
became a Leach by commandment of his wife." When the King 
heard this, his admiration redoubled and he said, " In very 
truth, Destiny is written to all creatures, and I will not accept 
aught that is said against my Minister the loyal counsellor." 
And he bade him hie to his home. 


tEfaentietf) tNTig&t of t&t 

WHEN the evening evened, the King bade summon his Minister 
and he presented himself before him, whereupon he required of 
him the hearing of the story. So the Wazir said, " Hearkening 
and obedience. Give ear, O Kingj to 


There was once, in the land of Pars, 1 a man who wedded a woman 
higher than himself in rank and nobler of lineage, but she had no 
guardian to preserve her from want. She loathed to marry one 
who was beneath her ; yet she wived with him because of need, 
and took of him a bond in writing to the effect that he would ever 
be under her order to bid and forbid and would never thwart her 
in word or in deed. Now the man was a Weaver and he bound 
himself in writing to pay his wife ten thousand dirhams in case of 
default. After such fashion they abode a long while till one day 
the wife went out to fetch water, of which she had need, and saw a 
leach who had spread a carpet hard by the road, whereon he had 
set out great store of simples 2 and implements of medicine and he 
was speaking and muttering charms, whilst the folk flocked to him 
from all quarters and girt him about on every side. The Weaver's 
wife marvelled at the largeness of the physician's fortune 3 and 
said in herself, " Were my husband thus, he would lead an easy 
life and that wherein we are of straitness and poverty would be 

1 i*e. Persia. See vol. v. 26. 

1 Arab. "'Akdkir " plur. of 'Akkr prop. = aromatic roots; but applied to vulgar > 
drugs or simples, as in the Tale of the Sage Duban, i. 46. 
1 Arab. " Si'at rizki-h " i.e. the ease with which he earned his copious livelihood. 

The Tale of the Weaver who became a Leach. 283 

widened to him." Then she returned home, cark-full and care- 
full , and when her husband saw her in this condition, he ques- 
tioned her of her case and she said to him, " Verily, my breast is 
narrowed by reason of thee and of the very goodness of thine 
intent," presently adding, " Narrow means suit me not and thou 
in thy present craft gainest naught ; so either do thou seek out a 
business other than this or pay me my rightful due 1 and let me 
wend my ways." Her husband chid her for this and advised her 
to take patience ; but she would not be turned from her design and 
said to him, " Go forth and watch yonder physician how he doth 
and learn from him what he saith." Said he, " Let not thy heart 
be troubled," and added, " I will go every day to the session of 
the leach." So he began resorting daily to the physician and com- 
mitting to memory his answers and that which he spoke of jargon, 2 
till he had gotten a great matter by rote, and all this he learned 
and thoroughly digested it. Then he returned to his wife and said 
to her, " I have stored up the physician's sayings in memory and 
have mastered his manner of muttering and diagnoses and pre- 
scribing remedies and I wot by heart the names of the medicines* 
and of all the diseases, and there abideth of thy bidding naught 
undone : so what dost thou command me now to do ? " Quoth she, 
" Leave the loom and open thyself a leach's shop ; " but quoth he, 
" My fellow-townsmen know me and this affair will not profit me, 
save in a land of strangerhood ; so come, let us go out from this 
city and get us to a foreign land and there live." And she said, 
*' Do whatso thou wiliest." Accordingly, he arose and taking his 

1 i.e. the ten thousand dirhams of the bond, beside the unpaid and contingent poition 
of her " Mahr " or marriage-settlement. 

2 Arab. " Al-Hizur " from Hazr = loquacity, frivolous garrulity. Every craft in the 
East has a jargon of its own and the goldsmith (Zargar) is famed for speaking a language 
made unintelligible by the constant insertion of a letter or letters not belonging to the 
word. It is as if we rapidly pronounced How d'ye do = Howth doth yeth doth ? 

'Arab. " Asma al-Adwiyah," such as are contained in volumes like the "Alaz 
al-Adwiyah" (Nomenclature of Drugs) 

284 Supplemental Nights. 

weaving gear, sold it and bought with the price drugs and simples 
and wrought himself a carpet, with which they set out and 
journeyed to a certain village, where they took up their abode. 
Then the man fell to going round about the hamlets and villages 
and outskirts of towns, after donning leach's dress ; and he began 
to earn his livelihood and make much gain. Their affairs 
prospered and their circumstances were bettered ; wherefore they 
praised Allah for their present ease and the village became to them 
a home. In this way he lived for a long time, but at length he 
wandered anew, 1 and the days and the nights ceased not to trans- 
port him from country to country, till he came to the land of the 
Roum and lighted down in a city of the cities thereof, wherein was 
Jah'nus 3 the Sage ; but the Weaver knew him not, nor was aware 
who he was. So he fared forth, as was his wont, in quest of a 
place where the folk might be gathered together, and hired the 
courtyard 3 of Jalinus. There he spread his carpet and setting out 
on it his simples and instruments of medicine, praised himself 
and his skill and claimed a cleverness such as none but he might 
claim. 4 Jalinus heard that which he affirmed of his understanding 
and it was certified unto him and established in his mind that the 
man was a skilled leach of the leaches of the Persians and he said 
in himself, " Unless he had confidence in his knowledge and were 
minded to confront me and contend with me, he had not sought 
the door of my house neither had he spoken that which he hath 
spoken." And care and doubt gat hold upon Jalinus : so he drew 
near the Weaver and addressed himself to see how his doings 
should end, whilst the folk began to flock to him and describe to 

1 I am compelled to insert a line in order to make sense. 

* " Galen," who is considered by Moslems as a kind of pre-Islamitic Saint ; and whom 
Rabelais (iii. c. 7) calls Le gentil Falot Galen, is explained by Eustathius as the Serene 
FaA^i/os from> = rideo. 

* Arab. 4 Sahah" the clear space before the house as opposed to the "Bathah" 
(Span. Patio) the inner court. 

L A naive description of ihe naive tyle of rtclam e adopted by the Eastern Bob Sawyer. 

The Tale of the Weaver who became a Leach. 285 

him their ailments, 1 and he would answer them thereof, hitting the 
mark one while and missing it another while, so that naught ap- 
peared to Jalinus of his fashion whereby his mind might be assured 
that he had justly estimated his skill. Presently, up came a woman 
with a urinal, 2 and when the Weaver saw the phial afar off, he said 
to her, " This is the water of a man, a stranger." Said she, 
" Yes ;" and he continued. " Is he not a Jew and is not his ailment 
flatulence?" " Yes," replied the woman, and the folk marvelled 
at this ; wherefore the man was magnified in the eyes of Jalinus, 
for that he heard speech such as was not of the usage of doctors, 
seeing that they know not urine but by shaking it and looking 
straitly thereon, neither wot they a man's water from a woman's 
water, nor a stranger's from a countryman's, nor a Jew's from a 
Sharif's. 3 Then the woman asked, " What is the remedy ? " and 
tne Weaver answered, " Bring the honorarium." 4 So she paid him 
a dirham and he gave her medicines contrary to that ailment and 
such as would only aggravate the complaint. When Jalinus saw 
what appeared to him of the man's incapacity, he turned to his 
disciples and pupils and bade them fetch the mock doctor, with all 
his gear and drugs. Accordingly they brought him into his presence 
without stay or delay, and when Jalinus saw him before him, he asked 
him, " Knowest thou me?" and the other answered, " No, nor did 
I ever set eyes on thee before this day." Quoth the Sage, " Dost 
thou know Jalinus ? " and quoth the Weaver, " No." Then said 
Jalinus, " What drave thee to do that which thou dost ?" So he 
acquainted him with his adventure, especially with the dowry and 
the obligation by which he was bound with regard to his wife 

1 Which they habitually do, by the by, with an immense amount of unpleasant detail.] 
See Pilgrimage i. 18. 

2 The old French name for the phial or bottle in which the patient's water is sent. 

3 A descendant ftom Mohammed, strictly through his grandson Husayn. See vol.* 
IT. 170. 

* Arab. " Al-Futuh " lit. the victories; a euphemistic term for what is submitted to 
the " musculus guineaouim." 

286 Supplemental Nights. 

whereat the Sage marvelled and certified himself anent the matter 
of the marriage-settlement. Then he bade lodge him near himself 
and entreated him with kindness and took him apart and said to 
him, " Expound to me the story of the urine-phial and whence 
thou knewest that the water therein was that of a man, and he a 
stranger and a Jew, and that his ailment was flatulence ? " The 
Weaver replied, " 'Tis well. Thou must know that we people of 
Persia are skilled in physiognomy, 1 and I saw the woman to be 
rosy-cheeked, blue^eyed and tall-statured. Now these qualities 
belong to women who are enamoured of a man and are distracted 
for love of him ; 2 moreover, I saw her burning with anxiety ; so I 
knew that the patient Was her husband. 3 As for his strangerhood, 
I noted that the dress of the woman differed from that of the 
townsfolk, wherefore I knew that she was a foreigner ; and in the 
mouth of the phial I saw a yellow rag, 4 which garred me wot 
that the sick man was a Jew and she a Jewess. Moreover, she 
came to me on first day ; 5 and 'tis the Jews' custom to take 

1 Arab. " Firasah " lit. judging the points of a mare (faras). Of physiognomy, or 
father judging by externals, curious tales are told by the Arabs. In Al-Mas' udi's (chapt. 
Ivi.) is the original of the camel blind of one eye, etc., which the genius of Voltaire has 
made famous throughout Europe. 

2 I here quote Mr. Payne's note. "Sic in the text; but the passage is apparently 
corrupt. It is not plain why a rosy complexion, blue eyes and tallness should be peculiar 
to women in love. Arab women being commonly short, swarthy and black-eyed, the 
attributes mentioned appear rather to denote the foreign origin of the woman ; and it is 
probable, therefore, that this passage has by a copyist's error, been mixed up with that 
which relates to the signs by which the mock physician recognized her strangerhood, the 
clause specifying the symptoms of her love-lorn condition having been crowded out in the 
process, an accident of no infrequent occurrence in the transcription of Oriental works." 

3 Most men would have suspected that it was her lover. 

4 The sumptuary laws, compelling for instance the Jews to wear yellow turbans, and 
the Christians to carry girdles date from the Capture of Jerusalem in A.D. 636 by Caliph 
Omar. See vol. i. 77; and Terminal Essay I. 

8 i.e. Our Sunday : the Jewish week ending with the Sabbath (Saturday). I have 
already noted this term for Saturn's day, established as a God's rest by Commandment 
No. iv. How it lost its honours amongst Christians none can say : the text in Col. ii. 16, 
17, is insufficient to abolish an order given with such pomp and circumstance to, and 
obeyed, so strictly and universally by, the Hebrews, including the Founder of Christianity. 
The general idea is that the Jewish Sabbath was done away with by the Christian dis 
pensation (although Jesus kept it with the usual scrupulous care), and that sundry of the 

The Tale of the Weaver who became a Leach. 287 

meat-puddings 1 and food that hath passed the night 2 and eat them 
on the Saturday their Sabbath, hot and cold, and they exceed in 
eating ; wherefore flatulence and indigestion betide them. Thus I 
was directed and guessed that which thou hast heard." Now when 
Jalinus heard this, he ordered the Weaver the amount of his wife's 
dowry and bade him pay it to her and said to him, " Divorce her." 
Furthermore, he forbade him from returning to the practice of 
physic and warned him never again to take to wife a woman of 
rank higher than his own ; and he gave him his spending-money 
and charged him return to his proper craft. " Nor " (continued the 
Wazir), " is this tale stranger or rarer than the story of the Two 
Sharpers who each cozened his Compeer." When King Shah Bakht 
heard this, he said to himself, " How like is this story to my 
present case with this Minister, who hath not his like ! " Then 
he bade him hie to his own house and come again at eventide. 

Councils at Cclossae and Laodicea anathematised those who observed the Saturday after 
Israelitish fashion. With the day its object changed ; instead of "keeping it holy," as 
all pious Jews still do, the early Fathers converted it into the " Feast of the Resurrec- 
tion," which could not be kept too joyously. The " Sabbatismus " of the Sabbatarian 
Protestant who keeps holy the wrong day is a marvellous perversion and the Sunday 
feast of France, Italy, and Catholic countries generally is far more logical than the 
mortification day of England and the so-called Reformed countries. 

1 Harais plur. of Harisah : see vol. i. 131. 

* It would have been cooked on our Thursday night, or the Jewish Friday night and 
would be stale and indigestible on the next day. 



WHENAS nighted the night, the Wazir presented himself before 
the King, who bade him relate the promised story. So he said, 
" Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O King, to 


There was once, in the city of Baghdad, a man hight AU 
Marwazf, 1 who was a sharper and ruined the folk with his rogueries 
and he was renowned in all quarters for knavery. He went 
out one day, carrying a load of sheep's droppings, and sware to 
himself that he would not return to his lodging till he had sold it 
at the price of raisins. Now there was in another city a second 
sharper, hight Al-Rdzf, 2 one of its worst, who went out the same 
day, bearing a load of goat's droppings, 3 anent which he had 
sworn to himself that he would not sell it but at the price of sun- 
dried figs. So the twain fared on with that which was by them 
and ceased not going till they met in one of the khans 4 and 

1 Marw (Margiana), which the Turkomans pronounce " Mawr," is derived by Bournouf 
from the Sansk. Maru or Marw ; and by Sir H. Rawlinson from Marz of Marj, the JLat. 
Margo ; Germ. Mark ; English March ; Old French Marche and Neo-Lat. Marca. So 
Marzban, a Warden of the Marches : vol. iii. 256. The adj. is not Mardzf, as stated in 
vol. iii. 222 j but Marwazi, for which see Ibn Khallikan, vol. i. p. 7, etc. : yet there are 
good writers who use " Marazi" as Razl for a native of Rayy. 

* i.t. naitive of Rayy city. See vol. iv. 104. 

3 Normally used for fuel and at times by funny men to be put into sweetmeats by way 
of practical joke : these are called " Nukl-i-Pishkil " = goat-dung bonbons. The tale 
will remind old Anglo-Indians of the two Bengal officers who were great at such 
" sells " and who ' swopped " a spavined horse for a broken-down "buggy." 

4 In the text "khanddik," ditches, trenches; probably (as Mr. Payne suggests) a 
clerical or typographical error for "Fanddik," inns or caravanserais; the plural of, 
41 Funduk" (Span. Fonda), for which see vol. viii. 184. 

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each cozened his Compeer. 289 

one complained to other of what he had suffered on travel in 
quest of gain and of the little demand for his wares. Now each 
of them had it in mind to cheat his fellow ; so the man of Marw 
said to the man of Rayy, " Wilt thou sell me that ? " He said, 
" Yes," and the other continued, " And wilt thou buy that which 
is with me ? " The man of Rayy consented ; so they agreed 
upon this and each of them sold to his mate that which was with 
him in exchange for the other's ; after which they bade farewell 
and both fared forth. As soon as the twain were out of sight, 
they examined their loads, to see what was therein, and one of 
them found that he had a load of sheep's droppings and the other 
that he had a load of goat's droppings ; whereupon each of them 
turned back in quest of his fellow. They met again in the khan 
and laughing at each other cancelled their bargain ; then they 
agreed to enter into partnership and that all they had of money 
and other good should be in common, share and share alike. Then 
quoth Al-Razi to Al-Marwazi. " Come with me to my city, for 
that 'tis nearer than thine." So he went with him, and when he 
arrived at his quarters, he said to his wife and household and 
neighbours, " This is my brother, who hath been absent in the land 
of Khorasan and is come back." And he abode with him in all 
honour for a space of three days. On the fourth day, Al-Razi 
said to him, " Know, O my brother, that I purpose to do some- 
thing.'* The other asked, " What is it ? " and the first answered, 
" I mean to feign myself dead and do thou go to the bazar and 
hire two porters and a bier. Then take me up and go about the 
streets and markets with my body and collect alms on my 
account. 1 " Accordingly the Marw man repaired to the market and, 
fetching that which he sought, returned to the Rayy man's house, 

1 This sentence is supplied by Mr. Payne to remedy the incoherence of the text. 
Moslems are bound to see True Believers decently buried and the poor often beg alms 
for the funeral. Here the tale resembles the opening of Hajji Baba by Mr. Morier, that 
admirable picture of Persian manners and morals. 


290 Supplemental Nights. 

where he found his fellow cast down in the entrance-passage, with 
his beard tied and his eyes shut, and his complexion was paled 
and his belly was blown and his limbs were loose. So he deemed 
him really dead and shook him but he spoke not ; then he took 
a knife and pricked his feet, but he budged not. Presently 
said Al-Razi, " What is this, O fool ? " and said Al-Marwazi, 
*' I deemed thou wast dead in very deed." Al-Razi cried, " Get 
thee to business, and leave funning." So he took him up and 
went with him to the market and collected alms for him that 
'day till eventide, when he bore him back to his abode and 
waited till the morrow. Next morning, he again took up the 
bier and walked round with it as before, in quest of charity. 
Presently, the Chief of Police, who was of those who had given 
him alms on the previous day, met him ; so he was angered 
and fell on the porters and beat them and took the dead body, 
saying, "I will bury him and win reward in Heaven." 1 So 
.his followers took him up and carrying him to the Police- 
officer, fetched grave-diggers, who dug him a grave. Then they 
brought him a shroud and perfumes 2 and fetched an old man of 
the quarter, to wash him : so the Shaykh recited over him the 
appointed prayers 3 and laying him on the bench, washed him and 
shrouded him. After he had been shrouded he skited ; 4 so the 
grey beard renewed the washing and went away to make the Wuzu- 
ablution, whilst all the folk departed to do likewise, before the orisons 

1 Arab. "Al-ajr" which has often occurred. 

2 Arab. " Haniit," i.e. leaves of the lotus-tree to be infused as a wash for the corpse ; 
camphor used with cotton to close the mouth and other orifices ; and, in the case of a 
wealthy man, rose-water, musk, ambergris, sandal -wood, and lign-aloes for fumigation. 

* Which always begin with four " Takbirs " and differ in many points from the usual 
orisons. See Lane (M. E. chapt. xxviii.) who is, however, very superficial upon an 
intricate and interesting subject. He even neglects to mention the number of Ruk'dt 
(bows) usual at Cairo and the absence of prostration (sujud) for which see vol. ii. 10. 

4 Thus requiring all the ablutional offices to be repeated. The Shaykh, by handling 
the corpse, became ceremonially impure and required "Wuzu" before he could pray 
.either at home or in the Mosque. 

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each cozened his Compeer. 29! 

of the funeral. When the dead man found himself alone, he sprang 
up, as he were a Satan ; and, donning the corpse-washer's dress^ 1 
took the cups and water-can 2 and wrapped them up in the napkins ; 
then he clapped his shroud under his armpit and went out. The 
doorkeepers thought that he was the washer and asked him,'* Hast 
thou made an end of the washing, so we may acquaint the Emir ? '* 
The sharper answered " Yes," and made off to his abode, where 
he found the Marw man a-wooing his wife and saying to her, 
" By thy life, thou wilt never again look upon his face for the best 
reason that by this time he is buried : I myself escaped not from 
them but after toil and trouble, and if he speak, they will do him 
to death." Quoth she, " And what wouldst thou have of me ? " and 
quoth he, "Satisfy my desire and heal my disorder, for I am 
better than thy husband/' And he began toying with her as a 
prelude to possession. Now when the Rayy man heard this, he 
said, "Yonder wittol-pimp lusteth after my wife; but I will at 
once do him a damage." Then he rushed in upon them, and when 
Al-Marwazi saw him, he wondered at him and said to him, " How 
didst thou make thine escape ? " Accordingly he told him the trick 
he had played and they abode talking of that which they had 
collected from the folk, and indeed they had gotten great store of 
money. Then said the man of Marw, "In very sooth, mine 
absence hath been prolonged and lief would I return to my own 
land." Al-Razi said, " As thou wiliest ; " and the other rejoined, 
" Let us divide the monies we have made and do thou go with me 
to my home, so I may show thee my tricks and my works." 
Replied the man of Rayy, " Come to-morrow, and we will divide 
the coin." So the Marw man went away and the other turned to 
his wife and said to her, " We have collected us great plenty of 
money, and the dog would fain ta"ke the half of it ; but such thing 

1 The Shaykh had left it when he went out to perform Wuzu. 

2 Arab. " Satl" = the Lat. and Etruscan " Situla" and "Situlus," a water-pot. 

292 Supplemental Nights. 

shall never be, for my mind hath been changed against him, since I 
heard him making love to thee ; now, therefore, 'I propose to play 
him a trick and enjoy all the money ; and do thou not oppose me." 
She replied, " Tis well ; " and he said to her, " To-morrow, at 
peep o' day I will feign myself dead, and do thou cry aloud and tear 
thy hair, whereupon the folk will flock to me. Then lay me out 
and bury me ; and, when the folk are gone away from the 
grave, dig down to me and take me ; and fear not for me, as I can 
abide without harm two days in the tomb-niche." 1 Whereto she 
made answer, " Do e'en whatso thou wilt." Accordingly, when it 
was the dawn-hour, she bound his beard and spreading a veil over 
him, shrieked aloud, whereupon the people of the quarter flocked 
to her, men and women. Presently, up came Al-Marwazi, for the 
division of the money, and hearing the keening asked, " What may 
be the news? " Quoth they, " Thy brother is dead ; " and quoth 
he in himself, " The accursed fellow cozeneth me, so he may get all 
the coin for himself, but I will presently do with him what shall 
soon re-quicken him." Then he tare the bosom of his robe and bared 
his head, weeping and saying, " Alas, my brother, ah ! Alas, my 
chief, ah ! Alas, my lord, ah ! " And he went in to the men, 
who rose and condoled with him. Then he accosted the Rayy 
man's wife and said to her, " How came his death to occur ? " Said 
she, " I know nothing except that, when I arose in the morning, I 
found him dead." Moreover, he questioned her of the money which 
was with her, but she cried, " I have no knowledge of this and no 
tidings." So he sat down at his fellow-sharper's head, and said to 
him, " Know, O Razi, that I will not leave thee till after ten days 
with their nights, wherein I will wake and sleep by thy grave. So 
rise and don't be a fool." But he answered him not, and the man 

1 Arab. " Lahd, Luhd," the niche or cell hollowed out in the side of the oblong 
trench : here the corpse is deposited and covered with palm-fronds etc. to prevent the 
earth touching it. See my Pilgrimage ii. 304. 

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each cozened his Compeer. 293 

of Marvv drew his knife and fell to sticking it into the other's hands 
and feet, purposing to make him move; but he stirred not and 
he presently grew weary of this and determined that the sharper 
was really dead. However, he still had his suspicions and said to 
himself, " This fellow is falsing me, so he may enjoy all the money." 
Therewith he began to prepare the body for burial and bought 
for it perfumes and whatso was needed. Then they brought him 
to the washing-place and Al-Marwazi came to him; and, heating 
water till it boiled and bubbled and a third of it was evaporated, 
fell to pouring it on his skin, so that it turned bright red and 
lively blue and was blistered ; but he abode still on one case. 1 
Presently they wrapped him in the shroud and set him on the bier, 
which they took up and bearing him to the burial-place, placed 
him in the grave-niche and filled in the earth ; after which the 
folk dispersed. But the Marw man and the widow abode by the 
tomb, weeping, and ceased not sitting till sundown, when the 
woman said to him, " Come, let us hie us home, for this weeping 
will not profit us, nor will it restore the dead." He replied to her, 
" By Allah, I will not budge hence till I have slept and waked by 
this tomb ten days with their nights ! " When she heard this his 
speech, she feared lest he should keep his word and his oath, and 
so her husband perish ; but she said in her mind, " This one dis- 
sembleth : an I leave him and return to my house, he will tarry by 
him a little while and go away." And Al-Marwazi said to her, 
" Arise, thou, and hie thee home." So she arose and repaired to 
her house, whilst the man of Marw abode in his place till the night 
was half spent, when he said to himself, " How long ? Yet how 
can I let this knavish dog die and lose the money ? Better I 
open the tomb on him and bring him forth and take my due of 
him by dint of grievous beating and torment." Accordingly, he 

1 For the incredible amount of torture which Eastern obstinacy will sometimes endure, 
see Al-Mas'udi's tale of the miserable little old man who stole the ten purses, vol. viii. 
S3 1 "f- 

294 Supplemental Nights. 

dug him up and pulled him forth of the grave ; after which he 
betook himself to a garden hard by the burial-ground and cut 
thence staves and palm-fronds. 1 Then he tied the dead man's 
legs and laid on to him with the staff and beat him a grievous 
beating ; but the body never budged. When the time grew long- 
some on him, his shoulders became a-weary and he feared lest 
some one of the watch passing on his round should surprise and 
seize him. So he took up Al-Razi and carrying him forth of the 
cemetery, stayed not till he came to the Magians' mortuary-place 
and casting him down in a Tower of Silence, 2 rained heavy blows 
upon him till his shoulders failed him, but the other stirred not. 
Then he seated him by his side and rested ; after which he rose and 
renewed the beating upon him ; and thus he did till the end of the 
night, but without making him move. Now, as Destiny decreed, a 
band of robbers whose wont it was, when they had stolen anything, 
to resort to that place and there divide their loot, came thither 
in early-dawn, according to their custom ; they numbered ten 
and they had with them much wealth which they were carrying. 
When they approached the Tower of Silence, they heard a noise 
of blows within it and their captain cried, " This is a Magian whom 
the Angels 3 are tormenting." So they entered the cemetery and as 
soon as they arrived over against him, the man of Marw feared lest 
they should be the watchmen come upon him, therefore he fled 

1 Arab. " Jaridah " (whence the Jarid-game) a palm-frond stripped of its leaves and 
used for a host of purposes besides flogging, chairs, sofas, bedsteads, cages etc. etc. 
Tales of heroism in " eating stick " are always highly relished by the lower orders of 
Egyptians who pride themselves upon preferring the severest bastinado to paying the 
smallest amount of " rint." 

2 Arab. " Nawus," the hollow tower of masonry with a grating over the central well 
upon which the Magian corpse is placed to be torn by birds of prey: it is kept up by 
the Parsi population of Bombay and is known to Europeans as the " Tower of Silence." 
Nafs and Nawus also mean a Pyrethrum, a fire-temple and have a whimsical resem- 
blance to the Greek Noos. 

3 For Munkar and Nakir the Interrogating Angels, see vol. v. III. According to AV 
Mas'udi (chapt. xxxi.) these names were given by the Egyptians to the thirteenth and 
fourteenth cubits marked on the Kilometer which, in his day, was expected to show 

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each cozened his Compeer. 295 

and stood among the tombs. 1 The robbers advanced to the place 
and finding the man of Rayy bound by the feet and by him some 
seventy sticks, wondered at this with exceeding wonder and said, 
." Allah confound thee ! This was a miscreant, a man of many 
crimes ; for earth hath rejected him from her womb, and by my 
life, he is yet fresh ! This is his first night in the tomb and the 
Angels were tormenting him but now ; so whoso of you hath 
a sin upon his soul, let him beat him, by way of offering to 
Almighty Allah." The robbers said, "We be sinners one and 
all ; " so each of them went up to the corpse and dealt it 
about an hundred blows, one saying the while, " This is for my 
father ! " 2 and another laid on to him crying, " This is for my 
grandfather ! " whilst a third muttered, " This is for my brother ! " 
and a fourth exclaimed, " This is for my mother ! " And they 
gave not taking turns at him and beating him till they were 
weary, whilst Al-Marwazi stood laughing and saying in himself, 
"'Tis not I alone who have entered into default against him. 
There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! " 3 Then the robbers applied themselves to 
sharing their loot wherein was a sword which caused them to fall 
out anent the man who should take it. Quoth the Captain, " 'Tis 
my rede that we make proof of it ; so, an it be a fine blade, we 
shall know its worth, and if it be worthless we shall know that ; " 
whereto they said, " Try it on this corpse, for it is fresh." So 
the Captain took the sword anM drawing it, brandished and made 
a false cut with it ; but, when the man of Rayy saw this, he 

1 The text (xi. 227) has " Tannur " = an oven, evidently a misprint for " Kubiir " = 

2 Arab. " 'An Abi " = (a propitiatory offering) for my father. So in Marocco the 
"Powder-players" dedicate a shot to a special purpose or person, crying, " To my 
sweetheart ! " " To my dead ! " " To my horse ! " etc. 

8 For this formula see vol. i. 65. It is technically called " Haukalah" aad " Hau- 
lakah " words in the third conjugation of increased triliterals, corresponding with the 
quadriliteral radicals and possessing the peculiar power of Kasr = abbreviation. Of this 
same class is Basmalah (vol. v. 206 ; ix. l). 

296 Supplemental Nights. 

felt sure of death and said in his mind, " I have borne the washing- 
slab and the boiling water and the pricking with the knife-point 
and the grave-niche and its straitness and all this, trusting in 
Allah that I might be delivered from death, and indeed I have 
been delivered ; but the sword I may not suffer seeing that one 
stroke of it will make me a dead man." So saying, he sprang to 
his feet and seizing a thigh-bone of one departed, shouted at the 
top of his voice, " O ye dead ones, take them to yourselves ! " 
And he smote one of them, whilst his mate of Marw smote 
another and they cried out at them and buffeted them on their 
neck-napes : whereupon the robbers left that which was with them 
of loot and ran away ; and indeed their wits took flight for terror 
and they ceased not running till they came forth of the Magians 
mortuary-ground and left it a parasang's length behind them, when 
they halted, trembling and affrighted for the muchness of that 
which had befallen them of fear and awe of the dead. 1 As for 
Al-Razi and Al-Marwazi, they made peace each with other and 
sat down to share the spoil. Quoth the man of Marw, " I will not 
give thee a dirham of this money, till thou pay me my due of 
the monies that be in thy house." And quoth the man of Rayy, 
" I will do naught of the kind, 2 nor will I withdraw this from 
aught of my due." So they fell out thereupon and disputed each 
with other and either of the twain went saying to his fellow, " I 
will not give thee a dirham ! " Wherefore words ran high between 
them and the brawl was prolonged. Meanwhile, when the robbers 
halted, one of them said to the others, " Let us go back and see ; " 
and the Captain said, ' This thing is impossible of the dead : 
heard we that they came to life in such way. Return we 

1 This scene with the watch would be relished in the coffee-house, where the tricks 
of robbers, like a gird at the police, are always acceptable. 

* Arab. " La af'al " ; more commonly Ma afal. Mi and \A are synonymous 
negative particles, differing, however, in application. Ma (Gr. ^) precedes definites, 
or indefinites : La and Lam (Gr. ov) only indefinites as " La ilaha " etc. 

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each cozened Jus Compeer. 297 

and take oar monies, for that the dead have no need of money." 
And they were divided in opinion as to returning : but presently 
one said, " Indeed, our weapons are gone and we may not prevail 
against them and will not draw near the place : only let one of us 
go look at it, and if he hear no sound of them, let him suggest 
tb us what we shall do." At this they agreed that they should 
send a man of them and assigned him for such mission two parts 
of the plunder. Accordingly he returned to the burial-ground 
and gave not over going till he stood at the door of the Tower of 
Silence, when he heard the words of Al-Marwazi to his fellow, 
" I will not give thee a single dirham of the money ! " The other 
said the same and they were occupied with brawling and abuse 
and talk. So the robber returned in haste to his mates, who said, 
" What is behind thee ? " * Quoth he, " Get you gone and run 
for your lives, O fools, and save yourselves : much people of the 
dead are come to life and between them are words and brawls." 
Hereat the robbers fled, whilst the two sharpers returned to the 
man of Rayy's house and made peace and added the robbers' spoil 
to the monies they had gained and lived a length of time. " Nor, O 
king of the age " (continued the Wazir), "is this stranger or rarer 
than the story of the Folir Sharpers with the Shroff and the Ass." 
When the king heard this story, he smiled and it pleased him 
and he bade the Minister to his own house. 

1 Alluding to the proverb, "What bast thou left behind thee, O Asdm?" i.e., what 
didst thou see?. 


Sfoentp-^cconU Nt'afjt of tfje IHontf). 

WHEN the evening evened, King Shah Bakht summoned the 
Wazir and required of him the hearing of the story. So Al- 
Rahwan said, " Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O King, to 


Four sharpers once plotted against a Shroff, a man of much 
wealth, and agreed upon a sleight for securing some of his coins. 
So one of them took an ass and laying on it a bag, wherein were 
dirhams, lighted down at the shop of the Shroff and sought of him 
small change. The man of monies brought out to him the silver 
bits and bartered them with him, whilst the sharper was easy 
with him in the matter of the exchange, so he might gar him long 
for more gain. As they were thus, up came the other three 
sharpers and surrounded the donkey ; and one of them said, " Tis 
he," and another said, " Wait till I look at him." Then he took to 
considering the ass and stroking him from crest 2 to tail ; whilst 
the third went up to him and handled him and felt him from 
head to rump, saying, " Yes, 'tis in him." Said another, " No, 
'tis not in him ; " and they left not doing the like of this for 
some time. Then they accosted the donkey's owner and chaf- 
fered with him and he said, "I will not sell him but for ten 
thousand dirhams." They offered him a thousand dirhams ; but 
he refused and swore that he would not vend the ass but for that 
which he had said. They ceased not adding to their offer till 

1 Arab. " Sayrafi," s.s. as " Sarraf " : see vol. i. 210. 

* Arab. " Al-Ma'rafah " = the place where the mane grows. 

The Tale of the Sharpers with the Shroff and the Ass. 299 

the price reached five thousand dirhams, whilst their mate still 
said, " I'll not vend him save for ten thousand silver pieces." The 
Shroff advised him to sell, but he would not do this and said to 
him, " Ho, shaykh ! Thou wottest not the case of this donkey. 
Stick to silver and gold and what pertaineth thereto of exchange 
and small change ; because indeed the virtue of this ass is a mystery 
to thee. For every craft its crafty men and for every means of 
livelihood its peculiar people." When the affair was prolonged 
upon the three sharpers, they went away and sat down aside ; then 
they came up privily to the money-changer and said to him, " An 
thou can buy him for us, do so, and we will give thee twenty dir- 
hams." Quoth he, " Go away and sit down at a distance from 
him." So they did as he bade and the Shroff went up to the 
owner of the ass and ceased not luring him with lucre and say- 
ing, " Leave these wights and sell me the donkey, and I will 
reckon him a present from thee," till he sold him the animal far 
five thousand and five hundred dirhams. Accordingly the money- 
changer weighed out to him that sum of his own monies, and the 
owner of the ass took the price and delivered the beast to him, 
saying, " Whatso shall betide, though he abide a deposit upon thy 
neck, 1 sell him not to yonder cheats for less than ten thousand 
dirhams, for that they would fain buy him because of a hidden 
hoard they know, whereto naught can guide them save this donkey. 
So close thy hand on him and cross me not, or thou shalt repent" 
With these words he left him and went away, whereupon up came 
the three other sharpers, the comrades of him of the ass, and said 
to the Shroff, " God requite thee for us with good, in that thou 
hast bought him ! How can we reward thee ? " Quoth he, " I will 
not sell him but for ten thousand dirhams." When they heard 
that they returned to the ass and fell again to examining him like 
buyers and handling him. Then said they to the money-changer, 

* i.e. though the ass remain on thy hands. 

30O Supplemental Nights. 

" Indeed we were deceived in him. This is not the ass we sought 
and he is not worth to us more than ten nusfs." 1 Then they 
left him and offered to go away, whereat the Shroff was sore 
chagrined and cried out at their speech, saying, " O folk, ye asked 
me to buy him for you and now I have bought him, ye say, we 
were deceived in him, and he is not worth to us more than ten 
nusfs." They replied, " We thought that in him was whatso we 
wanted ; but, behold, in him is the contrary of that which we wish ; 
and indeed he hath a blemish, for that he is short of back." Then 
they made long noses 3 at him and went away from him and dis- 
persed. The money-changer deemed they did but play him off, 
that they might get the donkey at their own price ; but, when 
they walked away from him and he had long awaited their return, 
he cried out, saying, " Well-away ! " and " Ruin ! " and " Sorry case 
I am in ! " and shrieked aloud and rent his raiment. So the 
market-people assembled to him and questioned him of his case ; 
whereupon he acquainted them with his condition and told them 
what the knaves had said and how they had cozened him and 
how they had cajoled him into buying an ass worth fifty dirhams 3 
[for five thousand and five hundred. 4 His friends blamed him and 
a gathering of the folk laughed at him and admired his folly 
and over-faith in believing the talk of the sharpers without sus- 
picion, and meddling with that which he understood not and 
thrusting himself into that whereof he had no sure knowledge. 
"On thiswise, O King Shah Bakht " (continued the Wazir), " is 
the issue of greed for the goods of the world and indeed coveting 
that which our knowledge containeth not shall lead to ruin and 
repentance. Nor, O King of the age (added he), is this story stranger 
than that of the Cheat and the Merchants." When the King heard 

1 "Halves," i.e. of dirhams: see vol. ii. 37. 
1 Arab. " Taannafu," = the Germ, lange Nase. 

3 About forty shillings. 

4 About 220. 

Shah Babkt and kis Wazir Al-Rahwan, 301 

these words, he said in himself, " Indeed, had I given ear to the 
sayings of my courtiers and inclined to their idle prate in the 
matter of my Minister, I had repented to the utterest of penitence, 
but Alhamdolillah laud be to the Lord who hath disposed 
me to endurance and long-suffering and hath vouchsafed to me 
patience !" Then he turned to the Wazir and dismissed him 
to his dwelling and gave conge* those who were present, 
according to his custom. 


Ntg&t of t&e 

WHEN the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister and 
when he presented himself before him, he required of him the 
hearing of the story. So he said, " Hearing and obeying. Give 
ear, O illustrious lord, to 


There was once in olden time a certain Cheat, who could turn 
the ear inside out by his talk, and he was a model of cleverness 
and quick wit and skill and mischief. It was his wont to enter a 
town and make a show of being a trader and engage in intimacy 
with people of worth and sit in session with the merchants, for his 
name was noted as a man of virtue and piety. Then he would 
put a sleight on them and take of them what he might spend 
and fare forth to another stead ; and he ceased not to do thus 
for a while of time. It chanced one day that he entered a certain 
city and sold somewhat that was with him of merchandise and 
made friends of the merchants of the place and took to sitting 
with them and entertaining them and inviting them to his quarters 
and his assembly, whilst they also invited him to their houses. 
He abode after such fashion a long time until he was minded to 
quit the city, and this was bruited among his intimates, who 
grieved for parting from him. Then he betook himself to one of 
them who was the richest in substance and the most conspicuous 
for generosity, and sat with him and borrowed his goods ; and 
when rising to depart, he bade him return the deposit that he had 
left with him. Quoth the merchant. " And what is the deposit ? " 
and quoth the Cheat, " Tis such a purse, with the thousand dinars 

The Tale of the Cheat and the Merchants, 303 

therein." The merchant asked, "And when didst thou give me 
that same ? " and the Cheat answered, " Extolled be Allah of All 
Might ! Was it not on such a day, by such a token which is thus 
and thus ? " The man rejoined, " I know naught of this/' and 
words were bandied about between them, whilst the folk who 
heard them disputed together concerning their sayings and 
doings, till their voices rose high and the neighbours had know- 
ledge of that which passed between them. 1 Then said the Cheat, 
" O people, this is my friend and I deposited with him a deposit 
which he denieth having received : so in whom shall men put trust 
after this ? " And they said, " This person is a man of worth and 
we have known in him naught but trustiness and good faith and 
the best of breeding, and he is endowed with sense and manliness. 2 
Indeed, he affirmeth no false claim, for that we have consorted 
and associated with him and he with us and we know the sincerity 
iof his religion." Then quoth one of them to the merchant, 
" Ho, Such-an-one ! Bethink thee of the past and refresh thy 
memory. It cannot be that thou hast forgotten." But quoth 
"he, "O people, I wot nothing of what he saith, for indeed he 
deposited naught with me : " and the matter was prolonged 
between them. Then said the Cheat to the merchant, " I am 
about to travel and I have, praised be Allah Almighty, much 
wealth, and this money shall not escape me ; but do thou make 

1 Characteristically Eastern and Moslem is this action of the neighbours and bystanders. 
A walk through any Oriental city will show a crowd of people screaming and gesticu- 
lating, with thundering yells and lightning glances, as if about to close in mortal fight, 
concerning some matter which in no way concerns them. Our European cockneys and 
ibadauds mostly content themselves with staring and mobbing. 

1 Arab. " Muruwwah," lit. manliness, especially in the sense of generosity. So 
( lhe saying touching the " Miydn," or Moslem of India : 

Fl '1-ruz kuwwah : 
Fl '1 Hindi muruwwah. 

When rice have strength, you'll haply nod, 
In Hindi man, a manly mind. 

304 Supplemental Nights. 

oath to me." And the folk said, " Indeed, this man doth justice' 
upon himself." * Whereupon the merchant fell into that which 
he disliked 2 and came nigh upon loss and ill fame. Now he had 
a friend, who pretended to sharpness and intelligence ; so he 
came up to him secretly and said to him, " Let me do so I may 
cheat this Cheat, for I know him to be a liar and thou art near 
upon having to weigh out the gold ; but I will parry off suspicion 
from thee and say to him, The deposit is with me and thou 
erredst in suspecting that it was with other than myself; and so 
I will divert him from thee." The other replied, " Do so, and rid the 
people of such pretended debts." Accordingly the friend turned 
to the Cheat and said to him," O my lord, I am Such-an-one, and thou 
goest under a delusion. The purse is with me, for it was with me 
that thou depositedst it, and this Shaykh is innocent of it." But 
the Cheat answered him with impatience and impetuosity, saying, 
" Extolled be Allah ! As for the purse that is with thee, O noble 
and faithful man, I know 'tis under Allah's charge and my heart 
is easy anent it, because 'tis with thee as it were with me ; 
but I began by demanding the purse which I deposited with this 
man, of my knowledge that he coveteth the goods of folk." At 
this the friend was confounded and put to silence and returned 
not a reply ; and the only result of his meddling was that each 
of them merchant and friend had to pay a thousand gold pieces. 
So the Cheat took the two thousand dinars and made off; and 
when he was gone, the merchant said to his friend, the man 
of pretended sharpness and intelligence, " Ho, Such-an-one ! 
Thou and I are like the Falcon and the Locust." The friend 

1 i.e. His claim is just and reasonable. 

2 I have noted (vol. i. 17) that good Moslems shun a formal oath, although " by 
Allah I" is ever on their tongues. This they seem to have borrowed from Christianity, 
which expressly forbade it, whilst Christians cannot insist upon it too much. The 
scandalous scenes lately enacted in a certain legislative assembly because an M.P. did not 
believe in a practice denounced by his creed, will b the wonder and ridicule of our 

The Story of the Falcon and the Locust. 305 

asked, " What was their case ? " and the merchant answered 


There was once, of old time, a Falcon who made himself a nest 
hard by the home of a Locust, and his neighbour gloried in such 
neighbourhood and betaking herself to him, saluted him with the 
salam and said, " O my lord and lord of all the birds, indeed the 
nearness to thee delighteth me and thou honourest me with thy 
vicinity and my soul is fortified with thee." The Falcon thanked 
her for this and friendship between them followed. One day, the 
Locust said to the bird, " O prince of the flying race, how is it 
that I see thee alone, solitary, having with thee no friend of thy 
kind, the volatiles, on whom thou mayst repose in time of glad- 
ness and of whom thou mayst seek aid in tide of sadness? 
Indeed, 'tis said : Man goeth about seeking ease of body and 
ward of strength, and there is naught in this more necessary to 
him than a true friend who shall be the crown of his comfort and 
the column of his career and on whom shall be his dependence in 
his distress and in his delight. Now I, although ardently desiring 
thy weal in that which befitteth thy rank and degree, yet am 
weak in that which the soul craveth ; but, an thou deign give me 
leave, I will seek out for thee one of the birds who shall fellow 
thee in body and strength." And the Falcon said, "I commit 
this to thee and rely upon thee herein." Thereupon, O my 
brother (quoth the merchant), the Locust began going round the 
company of the birds, but saw naught resembling the Falcon in 
bulk and body save the Kite and thought well of her. So she 

1 Most Arabs believe that the black cloud which sometimes produces, besides famine, 
contagious fevers and pestilence, like that which in 1799 depopulated the cities and 
country of B?.rbary, is led by a king locust, the Sultan Jarad. 

VOL. I. tJ 

306 Supplemental Nights. 

brought the twain together and counselled the Falcon to foregather 
with the Kite. Presently it fortuned that the Falcon fell sick and 
the Kite tarried with and tended him a long while till he recovered 
and became sound and strong , wherefore he thanked her and 
she fared from him. But after some days the Falcon's sickness 
returned to him and he needed succour of the Kite , so the Locust 
went out from him and was absent from him a day ; after which 
she returned to him with another locust, 1 saying, " I have brought 
thee this one." When the Falcon saw her, he said, " God requite 
thee with good ! Indeed, thou hast done well in the quest and 
thou hast shown subtlety and discrimination in the choice." All 
this, O my brother (continued the merchant) befel because the 
Locust had no knowledge of the essence which lurketh in the 
outer semblance of bodies. As for thee, O my brother, (Allah 
requite thee with weal !) thou wast subtle in device and usedst 
precaution , but forethought availeth not against Fate, and Fortune 
foreordained baffleth force of fence. How excellent is the saying 
of the poet when he spake these couplets : 2 

It chances whiles that the blind man escapes a pit, o Whilst he who is clear 

of sight falls into it. 
The ignorant man may speak with impunity o A word that is death to the 

wise and the ripe of wit. 
The true believer is pinched for his daily bread, oWhilst infidel rogues enjoy 

all benefit. 
Where is a man's resource and what can he do ? o It is the Almighty's will ; 

we must submit. 

" Nor " (continued the Wazir) " is this, O king of the age, rarer 
or stranger than the story of the King and his Chamberlain's 

1 The text is hopelessly corrupt, and we have no other with which to collate. Ap- 
parently a portion of the tale has fallen out, making a non-sens of Us ending, which 
suggests that the kite gobbled up the two locusts at her ease, and left the falcon to 

2 The lines have occurred in vol. i. 265. I quote Mr. Payne. 

King Shah Bakht and his Wazir At-Rakwan. 307 

wife ; nay, this is more wondrous than that and more delectable." 
When the king heard this story, he was strengthened in his 
resolve to spare the Minister and to eschew haste in an affair 
whereof he was not certified ; so he comforted him and bade him 
hie to his home. 


^foent^jFouttf) yigftt W tfce 

WHEN it was night, the King summoned the Wazir and fought 
of him the hearing of the story. Al-Rahwan replied, " Hearkening 
and obedience! Listen, O august sovran, to 


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long 
gone before, a King of the kings of the Persians, who was much 
addicted to the love of fair women. His courtiers spoke him of 
the wife of a certain of his Chamberlains, a model of beauty and 
loveliness and perfect grace, and this egged him on to go in to her. 
When she saw him, she knew him and said to him, " What urgeth 
the King to this that he doeth ? " and he replied, saying, "Verily, I 
long for thee with excess of longing and there is no help but that 
I enjoy thy favours." And he gave her of wealth that after whose 
like women lust ; but she said, " I cannot do the deed whereof the 
king speaketh, for fear of my husband ; " 2 and she refused her-' 
self to him with the most rigorous of refusals and would not 
suffer him to win his wish. So the king went out in wrath, and 
forgot his girdle in the place. Now it chanced that her husband 
entered immediately after his lord had departed, and saw the 
girdle and knew it. He was aware <Jf the king's love for women ; 
so quoth he to his wife, " What be this I see with thee ? " Quoth 
she, " I'll tell thee the truth," and recounted to him the occurrence ; 

1 The fabliau is a favourite in the East ; this is the third time it has occurred with 
minor modifications. Of course the original was founded on fact, and the fact was and is 
by no means uncommon. 

* This would hardly be our Western way of treating a proposal of the kind ; nor would 
the European novelist neglect so grand an opportunity for tall-talk. 

The Story of the Crone and the Draper's Wife, 309 

but he believed her not and suspicion entered his heart. As for the 
King, he passed that night in care and concern, and when the morn- 
ing morrowed, he summoned that Chamberlain and made him 
governor of one of his provinces ; then he bade him betake himself 
thither, purposing, after he should have departed and fared afar, to 
foregather with his wife. The Chamberlain perceived his project and 
kenned his intent ; so he answered, saying, " To hear is to obey ! " 
presently adding, " I will go and order my affairs and give such 
injunctions as may be needed for the well-doing of my affairs ; 
then will I go about the sovran's commission." And the King 
said, " Do this and make haste." So the Chamberlain went about 
that which he needed and assembling his wife's kinsfolk, said to 
them, " I am determined to dismiss my wife." They took this 
ill of him and complained of him and summoning him before the 
sovereign, sat prosecuting him. Now the King had no knowledge 
of that which had passed ; so he said to the Chamberlain, " Why 
wilt thou put her away and how can thy soul consent to this and 
why takest thou unto thyself a fine and fertile piece of land and 
presently forsakest it ? " Answered the husband, " Allah amend 
the king ! By the Almighty, O my King, I saw therein the trail oi 
the lion and fear to enter that land, lest the lion devour me , and 
the like of my affair with her is that which befel between the 
Crone and the Draper's Wife." The king asked, " What is their 
adventure ?" and the chamberlain answered, " Hear, O king, 



There was once a man of the Drapers, who had a beautiful wife, 
and she was curtained 2 and chaste. A certain young man saw 
her coming forth of the Hammam and loved her and his heart 

1 This is a recbauflfe of " The House with the Belvedere :" see vol. vi. 188. 

a Arab. " Masttirah,"= veiled, well-guarded, confined in the Harem. 

310 Supplemental Nights. 

was engrossed with her. So he devised for access to her all 
manner of devices, but availed not to foregather with her ; and 
when he was a-weary and his patience failed for travail and trouble 
and his fortitude betrayed and forsook him and he was at an end 
of his resources against her, he complained of this to an ill-omened 
crone, 1 who promised him to bring about union between him and 
his beloved. He thanked her for this and promised her all manner 
of douceurs ; and she said to him, " Hie thee to her husband and 
buy of him a turband-cloth of fine linen, and let it be of the very 
best of stuff." So he repaired to the Draper and buying of him a 
turband-cloth of lawn, returned and gave it to the old woman, 
who took it and burned it in two places. Then she donned the 
dress of a devotee and taking the turband-cloth with her, went to 
the Draper's house and knocked at the door. When the Draper's 
wife saw her thus habited as a holy woman, she opened to her 
and admitted her with kindly reception, and made much of her 
and welcomed her : so the crone went in to her and conversed 
with her awhile. Then said she to her, " I want to make the 
Wuzu-ablution preparatory to prayer." 2 At these words the wife 
brought the water and she made the ablution and standing up to 
pray, prayed and satisfied herself; and when she had ended her 
orisons, she left the turband-cloth in the place of prayer and fared 
forth. Presently, in came the Draper, at the hour of night-devo- 
tions, and sitting down in the prayer-place where the old woman 
had prayed, looked about him and espied the turband. He knew 
it and suspected foul play ; so wrath showed in his face and he 
was furious with his wife and reviled her and abode his day and 
his night without speaking to her, during all which while she 
knew not the cause of his rage. Then she looked and seeing the 

1 Arab. " 'Ajiiz nahs"=an old woman so crafty that she was a calamity to friends 
and foes. 

2 Here, as in many places the text is painfully concise : the crone says only, " The 
Wuzu lor the prayer!" 

The Story of the Crone and the Draper's Wife. 311 

turband-cloth before him and noting the traces of burning thereon, 
understood that his anger was on account of this and concluded 
that he was in ill-temper because it was burnt. When the morning 
morrowed, the Draper went out, still wroth with his wife, and the 
crone returned to her and found her changed of colour, pale of 
complexion, dejected and heart-broken. So she questioned her of 
the cause, and the wife told her how her husband was angered 
against her on account of the burns in the turband-cloth. 1 Re- 
joined the old woman, " O my daughter, be not chagrined; for 
I have a son, a fine-drawer, and he, by thy life, shall fine-draw 
the holes and restore the turband-cloth as it was." The wife 
rejoiced in her saying and asked her, '* And when shall this 
be ? " The crone answered, " To-morrow, Inshallah an it please 
Allah the Most High I will bring him to thee, at the time 
of thy husband's going forth from thee, and he shall fine- 
draw it and depart forthwith." Then she comforted her heart 
and going away from her, returned to the young man and 
acquainted him with what had passed. Now when the Draper saw 
the turband-cloth, he determined to divorce his wife and waited 
only till he could collect that which was obligatory on him of the 
contingent dowry and what not else, 2 for fear of her people. When 
the crone arose in the morning, she took the young man and 
carried him into the Draper's house. The wife opened the door to 
her and the ill-omened old woman entered with him and said 
to the lady, " Go, fetch that which thou wouldest have fine-drawn 
and give it to my son." So saying, she bolted the door on her, 
whereupon the young man raped 3 her against her will and did his 

1 I have followed Mr. Payne who supplies this sentence to make the Tale run 

8 i.e. the half of the marriage-settlement due to the wife on divorcement and whatever 
monies he may have borrowed of her. 

3 Here we find the vulgar idea of a rape, which is that a man can, by mere force, 
possess a woman against her will. I contend that this is impossible unless he use drugs 
like chloroform or violence, so as to make the patient faint or she be exceptionally 
weak. " Good Queen Bess" hit the heart of the question when she bade Lord High 

312 Supplemental Nights. 

want of her and went forth. Then cried the crone, " Know that 
this is my son and that he loved thee with exceeding love and 
was like to lose his life for longing after thee ; so I devised for 
thee with this device and came to thee with this turband-cloth, 
which is not thy husband's, but my son's. Now have I won to my 
wish ; so do thou trust in me and I will put a sleight on thy 
husband for setting thee right with him, and thou wilt be subject 
to me and to him and to my son." 1 And the wife replied, " 'Tis 
well. Do so." Presently the old woman returned to the lover and 
said, " Know thou that I have engineered the affair for thee with 
her; and now we must mend that we have marred. Hie thee 
and sit with the Draper and mention to him the turband-cloth, 
saying, " The turband I bought of thee I chanced to burn in two 
places ; so I gave it to a certain old woman, to have fine-drawn, 
and she took it and went away, and I know not her dwelling- 
place 2 When thou seest me pass by, rise and lay hold of 
me, and demand of me the cloth, to the intent that I may 
arrange her affair with her spouse and that matters go right with 
thee in her regard." Accordingly he repaired to the Draper's 
shop and sat down by him and asked him, " Thou knowest the 
turband-cloth I bought of thee ? " " Yes." " Knowest thou what 
is come of it ?" " No." " After I bought it of thee, I fumigated 
myself 3 and it fortuned that the turband-cloth was burnt in two 
places ; so I gave it to a woman, whose son, they said, was a fine- 
drawer, and she took it and fared forth with it ; and I know not 

Chancellor Burleigh sheath his sword, she holding the scabbard-mouth before him and 
keeping it in constant motion. But it often happens that the woman, unless she have a 
loathing for her violator, becomes infected with the amorous storge, relaxes her defence, 
feels pleasure in the outer contact of the parts and almost insensibly allows penetration 
and emission. Even conception is possible in such cases as is proved in that curious 
work, "The Curiosities of Medical Experience." 

1 *.. thou wilt have satisfied us all three. 

8 Here I follow Mr. Payne who has skilfully fine-drawn the holes in the original 

3 See vol. vii. 363 ; ix. 238. 

The Story of the Crone and the Draper's Wife. 313 

her home." When the Draper heard this, he was startled by the 
thought that he had suspected his wife wrongfully, and marvelled 
at the story of the turband-cloth, and his mind was made easy 
anent her. After a short while, up came the old woman, where- 
upon the young man sprang to his feet and seizing her, demanded 
of her the turband-cloth. Said she, " Know that I entered one 
of the houses and wuzu'd and prayed in the prayer-place ;' and I 
forgot the turband-cloth there and went out. Now I weet not 
the house in which I prayed, nor have I been divinely directed 3 
thereto, and I go round about every day till the night, so haply I 
may light on the dwelling, for I know not its owner." When the 
/Draper heard these words, he said to the old woman, " Verily, 
Allah restoreth to thee what thing thou hast lost. Be gladdened by 
good news, for the turband-cloth is with me and in my house." And 
he arose forthright and handed to her the turband-cloth, as it was, 
and she handed it to the young man. Then the Draper made 
peace with his wife and gave her raiment and jewellery, till she 
was content and her heart was appeased. When the king 
heard his Chamberlain's story, he was dazed and amazed and said 
to him, " Abide on thy service and ear thy field for that the lion 
entered it, but marred it not, and he will never more return thither." 4 
Then he bestowed on him an honourable robe and made him a 

1 Arab. " Musalla," which may be either a praying carpet, a pure place in a house* 
Or a small chapel like that near Shiraz which Hafiz immortalised, 

" Bring, boy, the sup that's in the cup ; in highest Heaven man ne'er shall find 
Such watery marge as Ruknabad, Musalla's mazes rose entwined." 

* Arab. " Ihtida," = divine direction to Huda or salvation. The old bawd was 
Still dressed as a devotee, and keeps up the cant of her caste. No sensible man in the 
East ever allows a religious old woman to pass his threshold. 

8 In this tale " poetical justice " is neglected, but the teller skilfully caused the wife toj 
be ravished and not to be a particeps criminis. The lover escapes scot-free because 
Moslems, as well as Hindus, hold that the amourist under certain conditions is justified in 
obtaining his object by fair means or foul. See p. 147 of " Early Ideas, a Group of 
Hindoo Stories," collected and collated by Anaryan ; London, Aliens, 1881. 

4 This is supplied from the " Tale of the King and bis Wazir's Wife," 139*, 

3 14 Supplemental Nights. 

costly present ; and the man returned to his wife and people, 
rejoicing, his heart having been set at rest concerning his wife. 
" Nor" (continued the Wazir), "O King of the age, is this rarer 
or stranger than the story of the beautiful wife, a woman gifted 
of amorous grace, with the ugly Man, her husband." When king 
Shah Bakht heard the Minister's speech, he deemed it delectable 
and it pleased him ; so he bade him hie to his house, and there he 
tarried his day long. 


Sfotnts-fiftf) Jitgfjt of tfje 

WHEN the evening evened, the King summoned his Wazir and 
bade him tell the tale. So he said, " 'Tis well. Hear, O King, 



There was once a man of the Arabs who had a number of- 
children, and amongst them a boy, never was seen a fairer than 
he of favour nor a more complete in comeliness ; no, nor a more 
perfect of prudence. When he came to man's estate, his father 
married him to his first cousin, the daughter of one of his paternal 
uncles, and she excelled not in beauty, neither was she laudable 
for qualities; wherefore she pleased not the youth, but he bore 
with her for the sake of kinship. One day, he fared forth in 
quest of certain camels 1 of his which had strayed and hied him on 
all his day and night till eventide, when he was fain to seek 
hospitality in an Arab camp. So he alighted at one of 
the tents of the tribesmen and there came forth to him a man 
short of stature and foul of favour, who saluted him with the 
salam ; and, lodging him in a corner of the tent, sat entertaining 
him with chat, the cheeriest that might be. When his food was 
dressed, the Arab's wife brought it to the guest, and he looked at 
the mistress of the tent and saw a semblance than which no 
seemlier might be. Indeed, her beauty and loveliness, her 
symmetry and perfect grace amazed him and he was struck with 
astonishment, gazing now at her and then at her mate. When 
his looking grew long, the man said to him, " Ho, thou son of 

1 Arab. " Ibl," a specific name : it is presently opposed to " Nikah," a she-dromedoty, 

and " RaHIah," a riding-camel, 

3 I 6 Supplemental Nights. 

the worthy ! Busy thyself with thine own business, for by me and 
this woman hangeth a wondrous tale, which is even better than that 
thou seest of her beauty ; and I will tell it to thee when we have 
made a finish of our food." So, when they had ended eating 
and drinking, the young man asked his host for the story, and 
he said : Know that in my youth I was the same as thou seest 
me in the matter of loathliness and foul favour ; and I had 
brethren of the fairest of the folk ; wherefore my father preferred 
them over me and used to show them kindness, to my exclusion, 
and made me serve in their stead, like as a master employeth 
slaves. One day, a dromedary of his strayed from the herd of 
camels, and he said to me, " Go thou forth in quest of her and 
return not but with her." I replied, " Send other than I of thy 
sons." But he would not consent to this and scolded me and 
insisted upon me, till the matter came to such a pass with him 
that he took a thong-whip and fell to beating me. So I arose and 
saddling a riding-camel, mounted her and sallied forth at random, 
purposing to go out into the wolds and the wilds and return to 
him never more. I fared on all my night and the next day and 
coming at eventide 1 to the encampment of this my wife's people, 
alighted down with and became the guest of her father, who was 
a Shaykh well stricken in years. Now when it was the noon of 
night, I arose and went forth the tent at a call of nature, and 
none knew of my case save this woman. The dogs followed me 
as a suspected stranger and ceased not worrying me 2 till I fell on 

1 Here " Amsaytu" is used 5n its literal sense "I evened 1 * (came at evening), and 
this is the case with seven such verbs, Asbaha, Amsa, Azha, Azhara, A'tama, Zalla, and 
Bdta, which either conjoin the sense of the sentence with their respective times, 
morning, evening, forenoon, noon and the first sundown watch, all day and all night 
or are used "elegantly," as grammarians say, for the simple " becoming" or "being." 

8 The Badawi dogs are as dangerous- as those of Montenegro but not so treacherous : 
the latter will sneak up to the stranger and suddenly bite him most viciously. I once 
had a narrow escape from an ignoble death neat the slaughter-house of Alexandria. 
Ramlah, where the beasts were unusually ferocious. A pack assailed me at early dawn 
and but for an iron stick and a convenient wall I should have been torn to pieces. 

The Tale of the Ugly Man and his Beautiful Wife. 317 

my back into a pit, wherein was water, a deep hollow and a steep ; 
and a dog of those dogs fell in with me. The woman, who was then 
a girl in the bloom of youth, full of strength and spirit, was moved 
to ruth on me, for the calamity whereinto I was fallen, and coming 
to me with a rope, said to me, " Catch hold of the rope." So I 
hent it and clung to it and she haled me up ; but, when I was 
half-way up, I pulled her down and she fell with me into the pit ; 
and there we abode three days, she and I and the hound. When 
her people arose in the morning and did not see her, they sought 
her in the camp, but, finding her not and missing me also, never 
doubted but she had fled with me. 1 Now she had four brothers, 
as they were Saker-hawks, and they took horse and dispersed in 
search of us. When the day yellowed on the fourth dawn, the dog 
began to bark and the other hounds answered him and coming to 
the mouth of the pit, stood howling to him. The Shaykh, my 
wife's father, hearing the howling of the hounds, came up and 
standing at the brink of the hollow, looked in and beheld a 
marvel. Now he was a brave man and a sensible, an elder 
experienced in affairs, so he fetched a cord and bringing forth the 
three, questioned us twain of our case. I told him all that had 
betided and he fell a-pondering the affair. Presently, her brothers 
returned, whereupon the old man acquainted them with the whole 
case and said to them, " O my sons, know that your sister intended 
not aught but good, and if ye kill this man, ye will earn abiding 
shame and ye will wrong him, and wrong your own souls and eke 
your sister : for indeed there appeareth no cause such as calteth for 
killing, and it may not be denied that this accident is a thing 
whose like may well occur and that he may easily have been the 
victim of suchlike chance." Then he addressed me and ques- 
tioned me of my lineage ; so I set forth to him my genealogy 
and he, exclaiming, " A man of her match, honourable, under- 

1 These elopements are of most frequent occurrence : see Pilgrimage iii. 52. 

318 Supplemental Nights. 

standing," offered me his daughter in wedlock. I consented to 

this and marrying her, took up my abode with him and Allah 
hath opened on me the gates of weal and wealth, so that I am 
become the richest in monies of the tribesmen ; and the Almighty 
hath stablished me in that which He hath given me of His 
bounties." The young man marvelled at his tale and lay the 
night with him ; and when he arose in the morning, he found his 
estrays. So he took them and returning to his folk, acquainted 
them with what he had seen and all that had befallen him. 
" Nor " (continued the Wazir) " is this stranger or rarer than the 
story of the King who lost kingdom and wealth and wife and 
children and Allah restored them to him and requited him with a 
realm more magnificent than that which he had forfeited and 
better and finer and greater of wealth and degree." The 
Minister's story pleased the King and he bade him depart to his 



WHEN came the night, the king summoned his Wazir and bade 
him tell the story of the King who lost kingdom and wife and 
wealth. He replied, " Hearing and obeying ! Give ear, O 
sovran, to 

TO HIM? * 

There was once a king of the kings of Hind, who was a model o 
morals, praiseworthy in policy, lief of justice to his lieges, lavish to 
men of learning and piety and abstinence and devoutness and worship 
and shunning mischief-makers and froward folk, fools and traitors, 
After such goodly fashion he abode in his kingship what Allah the 5 
Most High willed of watches and days and twelvemonths, 2 and he 
married the daughter of his father's brother, a beautiful woman and 
a winsome, endowed with brightness and perfection, who had been 
reared in the king's house in delicacy and delight. She bare him 
two sons, the most beauteous that might be of boys, when came 
Destiny from whose decree is no deliverance and Allah the Most 
High raised up against the King another king, who came forth 
upon his realm, and was joined by all the folk of the city that 
had a mind to lewdness and frowardness. So he strengthened 

1 The principal incidents, the loss and recovery of wife and children, occur in the* 
Story of the Knight Placidus (Gesta Romanorum, ex.). But the ecclesiastical tale-teller 
does not do poetical justice upon any offenders, and be vilely slanders the great Caesar, 

2 t.e. a long time : the idiom has already been noticed. In the original we have " of 
days and years and twelvemonths" in order that " A'wim " (years) may jingle with) 
"Ayyam" (days). 

3 2 Supplemental Nights. 

himself by means of them against the King and compassed his' 
kingdom, routing his troops and killing his guards. The King 
took his wife, the mother of his sons, and what he might of monies 
and saved his life and fled in the darkness of the night, 
unknowing whither he should wend. Whenas wayfare grew sore 
upon them, there met them highwaymen on the way, who took 
all that was with them, so that naught remained to each of them 
save a shirt and trousers ; the robbers left them without even 
provaunt or camels or other riding-cattle, and they ceased not to 
fare on afoot, till they came to a copse, which was an orchard of 
trees on the ocean shore. 1 Now the road which they would have 
followed was crossed by a sea-arm, but it was shallow and scant of 
water ; wherefore, when they reached that place, the king took up 
one of his children and fording the water with him, set him down 
on the further bank and returned for his other son, whom also he 
seated by his brother. Lastly, returning for their mother, he took 
her up and passing the water with her, came to the place where he 
had left his children, but found them not. Thereupon he looked 
at the midst of the island and saw an old man and an old woman, 
engaged in making themselves a reed-hut : so he set down his wife 
over against them and started off in quest of his children, but none 
gave him news of them and he went round about right and left, yet 
found not the whereabouts they were. On this wise fared it with 
him ; but as to the children, they had entered the copse to make 
water, and they found there a forest of trees, wherein, if a sturdy 
horseman 2 strayed, he might wander by the week, and never know 
its first from its last. So the boys pushed into it and wotted not 
how they should return and went astray in that wood, for a 
purpose willed of Allah Almighty, whilst their father sought 

1 Nothing can be more beautiful than the natural parks which travellers describe oo 
the coasts of tropical seas. 

2 Arab. " Khayyal,"not only a rider but a good and a hard rider. Hence the 
proverb " Al-Khayyal kabr maftiih " = uomo a cavallo sepoltura aperta. 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth. 321 

them, but found them not. So he returned to their mother and 
they abode weeping for their children ; as for whom, when they 
entered the forest, it swallowed them up and they fared at hap- 
hazard, wandering in it many days, knowing not whence they came 
or whither they went, till they issued forth, at another side, upon the 
open country. Meanwhile, their parents, the king and queen, 
tarried in the island, over against the old man and his old woman, 
and ate of the fruits and drank of the rills that were in it till, 
one day of the days, as they sat, behold, up came a ship and 
made fast to the island-side, for provisioning with water, whereupon 
they 1 looked one at other and spoke. The master of the craft 
was a Magian man and all that was therein, both crew and goods, 
belonged to him, for he was a trader and went round about the 
world. Now greed of gain deluded the old man, the owner of 
the island, and he fared to the ship and gave the Guebre news 
of the King's wife, setting out to him her charms, till he made him 
long for her and his soul moved 2 him to practise treachery and 
cozenage upon her and take her from her husband. Accordingly, 
he sent to her, saying, " Aboard with us is a woman with child, 
and we dread lest she be delivered this night : hast thou aught of 
skill in midwifery ? " She replied, " Yes." Now it was the last of 
the day ; so he sent to her to come up into the ship and deliver 
the woman, for that the labour-pangs were come upon her ; and 
he promised her clothes and spending-money. Hereat, she 
embarked confidently, with heart at ease for herself, and trans- 
ported her gear to the ship ; but no sooner had she come thither 
than the sails were hoisted and the canvas was loosed 3 and the 

1 i.e. the crew and the islanders. 

2 Arab. " Hadas," a word not easy to render. In grammar Lumsden renders it by 
41 event" and the learned Captain Lockett (Miut Amil) in an awful long note (pp. 195 
to 224) by " mode," grammatical or logical. The value of his disquisition is its proving 
that, as the Arabs borrowed their romance from the Persians, so they took their physics 
and metaphysics of grammar and syntax; logic and science in general, from the Greeks. 

3 We should say the anchors were weighed and the canvas spread. 

VOL, I. X 

Supplemental Nights. 

ship set sail. When the King saw this, he cried out and his wife 
wept in the ship and would have cast herself into the waves ; but 
the Magian bade his men lay hands on her. So they seized her 
and it was but a little while ere the night darkened and the ship 
vanished from the King's eyes ; whereupon he fainted away 
for excess of weeping and lamentation and passed his night 
bewailing his wife and his children. And when the morning 
morrowed he began improvising these couplets: 1 

World, how long, this spite, this enmity ? 
Say me, dost ever spare what spared can be ? 

And look ! my friends have fared fain and free ! 

They went and went wi> them my dear delight 

E'en from the day when friends to part were dight 
And turbid made their lost life's clarity. 

By Allah, ne'er I wist their worth aright 

Nor ever wot I worth of friends unite 
Till fared they, leaving flame in heart of me ! 

I'll ne'er forget them since what day each wight 
Hied and withdrew fro' me his well-loved sight 
And yet I weep this parting-blow to dree. 

1 vow an Heaven deign my friends return 
And cry the crier in mine ears that yearn 

" The far is near, right soon their sight shalt see ! " 
Upon their site my cheeks I'll place, to sprite 
I'll say, " Rejoice, thy friends return to thee ! f> 
Nor blame my heart when friends were lief to flee : 

I rent my heart ere rent my raimentry. 

He sat weeping for the severance of his wife and children till the 
morning, when he went forth wandering at a venture, unweeting 
what he should do, and ceased not walking along the sea-shore days 
and nights, unknowing whither he went and taking no food save 
the herbs of the earth and seeing neither man nor wildling nor 

1 The rhymes are disposed in the quaintest way, showing extensive corruption. Mr. 
Payne has ordered them into couplets with a " bob " or refrain : I have followed sok, 
preserving the original vagaries of rhymes. 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth* 323 

other living thing, till his wayfare brought him to a mountain- 
top. He sojourned in the highland and abode awhile, there 
alone, eating of its fruits and drinking of its founts; then he 
came down thence and trudged along the high road three days, 
when he hit upon tilled fields and villages and gave not over 
going till he made a great city on the shore of the salt sea and 
came to its gate at the last of the day. The gatekeepers allowed 
him no admission ; so he spent his night anhungered, and whea 
he arose in the morning, he sat down hard by the portal. Now 
the king of the city was dead and had left no son/and the 
citizens fell out anent who should be ruler over them : and their 
words and redes differed, so that civil war was like to befal them 
thereupon. But it came to pass that, after long jangle, they 
agreed to leave the choice to the late king's elephant and that 
he unto whom he consented should be king and that they would 
not contest with him the sway. So to this they sware and on 
the morrow, they brought out their elephant and fared forth 
to a site within sight of the city ; nor was there man or woman 
but was present at that moment. Then they adorned the 
elephant and raising the throne on his back, gave him the 
crown in his trunk ; and he went round about examining the 
countenances of the folk, but stopped not over against any of 
them till he came at last to the forlorn King, the exile who had 
lost his children and his wife, when the beast prostrated himself 
to him and placing the crown on his head, took him up and 
set him upon his back. Thereupon the people all prostrated 
themselves and gave mutual joy of this and the drums ! of 
good tidings beat before him, and he entered the city and 
went on till he reached the House of Justice and the Audience- 
hall of the Palace and sat down upon the throne of the kingdom, 

1 Arab. " Nuwab," broken plur. (that is, noun of multitude) of Naubah, the Anglo- 
Indian Nowbut. This is applied to the band playing at certain intervals before the 
gate of a Rajah or high official. 

324 Supplemental Nights. 

crown on head ; whereat the lieges entered to congratulate him 
and to bless him. Then he addressed himself, as was his wont 
in the kingship, to forwarding the affairs of the folk and ranging 
the troops according to their ranks and looking into their affairs 
and those of all the Ryots. He also released those who were in 
the dungeons and abolished the custom-dues and gave honourable 
robes and lavished great gifts and bestowed largesse and conferred 
favours on the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords of the realm^ and the 
Chamberlains l and Nabobs presented themselves before him and 
did him homage. So the city people rejoiced in him and said, 
" Indeed, this be none other than a King of the greatest of the 
kings." And presently he assembled the sages and the theolo- 
gians and the sons of the Sovrans and conversed with them and 
asked them subtile questions and casuistical problems and talked 
over with them things manifold of all fashions that might direct 
hirti to rectitude in the kingship ; and he questioned them also 
of mysteries and religious obligations and of the laws of the 
land and the regulations of rule and of that which it beseemeth 
the liege lord to do of looking into the affairs of the lieges and 
repelling the foe and fending off his malice with force and fight ; 
so the subjects' contentment redoubled and their exultation 
in that which Allah Almighty had vouchsafed them of his 
kingship over them. On such wise he upheld the ordinance 
Df the realm, and the affairs abode stablished upon the accepted 
custom and local usage. Now the late king had left a wife 
and two daughters, and the people would fain have married the 
Princess royal to the new king that the rule might not pass clean 
away from the old rulers. Accordingly, they proposed to him 
that he should wed her or the other of the deceased king's 

1 Arab. " Hajib " : Captain Trotter (" Our Mission to the Court of Morocco in 
:"]8o: Edinburgh, Douglas, 1 88 1) speaks, passim, of the "cheery little Hajeb or 
Eyebrow.' " Really ihis is too bad : why cannot travellers consult an Orientalist when 
treating of Oriental subjects ? 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth. 325 

daughters, and he promised them this, but put them off from him, 
of his respect for the covenant he had made with his former 
wife, his cousin, that he would marry none other than herself. 
Then he betook himself to fasting by day and praying through 
the night, multiplying his alms-deeds and beseeching Allah 
(extolled and exalted be He !) to reunite him with his children 
and his wife, the daughter of his father's brother. When a year 
had elapsed, there came to the city a ship, wherein were many 
merchants and much merchandise. Now it was their custom 
from time immemorial that the king, whenever a ship made the 
port, sent to it such of his pages as he trusted in, who took agency 
of the goods, to the end that they might be first shown to the Sovran, 
who bought as much of them as befitted him and gave the merchants 
leave to sell whatso he wanted not. So he commissioned, according 
to his custom, a man who should fare to the ship and seal 
up the bales and set over them one who could watch and 
ward them. Meanwhile the Queen his wife, when the Magian 
fled with her and proffered himself to her and lavished upon 
her abounding wealth, rejected him and was like to kill her- 
self 1 for chagrin at that which had befallen and for concern 
anent her separation from her husband. She also refused meat 
and drink and resolved to cast herself into the sea ; but the 
Magian chained her and straitened her and clothed her in a coat 
of wool and said to her, " I will continue thee in wretchedness 
and humiliation till thou obey me and accept me." So she took 

1 Suicide is rare in Moslem lands, compared with India, China, and similar " pagan " 
countries ; for the Mussulman has the same objection as the Christian " to rush into the 
presence of his Creator ", as if he could so do without the Creator's permission. The 
Hindu also has some curious prejudices on the subject : he will hang himself, but not by 
the neck, for fear lest his soul be defiled by exiting through an impure channel. ID 
England hanging is the commonest form for men ; then follow in due order drowning, 
cutting or stabbing, poison, and gun-shot : women prefer drowning (except in the cold 
months) and poison. India has not yet found a Dr. Ogle to tabulate suicide; but the 
cases most familiar to old Anglo-Indians are leaping down cliffs (as at Giruar), drowning, 
and starving to death. And so little is life valued that a mother will make a vow 
obliging hr son to suicide himself at a certain age. 

326 Supplemental Nights. 

patience and looked for the Almighty to deliver her from the 
hand of that accursed ; and she ceased not travelling with him 
from country to country till he came with her in fine to the 
city wherein her husband was king and his goods were put under 
seal. Now the woman was in a chest and two youths of the 
late king's pages, who were now in the new King's service, were 
those who had been charged with the watch and ward of the 
craft and her cargaison. When the evening evened on them, 
the twain began talking and recounted that which had befallen 
them in their days of childhood and the manner of the faring 
forth of their father and mother from their country and kingdom 
when the wicked overcame their realm, and how they had gone 
astray in the forest and how Fate had severed them from their 
parents ; for short, they told their tale from first to last. When 
the woman heard their talk, she knew that they were her sons 
and cried out to them from the chest, " I am your mother, Such- 
an-one, and the token between you twain and me is thus and 
thus." The young men knew the token and falling 'upon the 
chest, brake the lock and brought out their mother, who seeing 
them, strained them to her bosom, and they fell upon her and 
fainted away, all three. When they came to themselves, they 
wept awhile and the people assembled about them, marvelling 
at that they saw, and questioned them of their case. So the 
young Princes vied each with other who should be the first to 
discover the story to the folk ; and when the Magian saw this, 
he came up, crying out, " Alack ! " and " Ruin ! " and said to 
them, " Why and wherefore have ye broken open my chest ? 
Verily, I had in it jewels and ye have stolen them, and this 
damsel is my slave-girl and she hath agreed with you both upon 
a device to take my wealth." Then he rent his raiment and cried 
for aid, saying, " I appeal to Allah and to the just King, so he may 
quit me of these wrongous youths ! " They both replied, " This is 
our mother and thou stolest her:" whereupon words waxed manifold 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth. 327 

between them and the folk plunged into talk with many a "he 
said " and " 'twas said " concerning their affair and that of the 
pretended slave-girl, and the strife increased between them, so 
that at last they carried them all four to the King's court. 
When the two young men presented themselves between his 
hands and stated their case to him and to the folk and the 
sovran heard their speech, he knew them and his heart was like 
to fly for joy : the tears poured from his eyes at their sight 
and the sight of his wife, and he thanked Allah Almighty and 
praised Him for that He had deigned reunite them. Then he bade 
the folk who were present about him be dismissed and commanded 
the Magian and the woman and the two youths be to morrow 
committed to his armoury 1 for the night, ordering that they should 
keep guard over them all until the Lord should make the morning 
to morrow, so he might assemble the Kazis and the Justiciaries 
and Assessors and determine between them, according to Holy 
Law, in the presence of the four judges. So they did this and 
the King passed the night praying and praising Allah of All-might 
for that which he had vouchsafed him of kingship and power and 
victory over the wight who had wronged him and thanking Him 
who had reunited him with his own. When the morning mor- 
rowed, he assembled the Kazis and Deputies and Assessors 2 and 
summoning the Magian and the two youths and their mother, 
questioned them of their case ; whereupon the two young men 
began and said, " We are the sons of King Such-an-one and 
foemen and lewd fellows gat the mastery of our realm ; so our 
sire fled forth with us and wandered at hap-hazard, for fear of 
the foe." And they recounted to him all that had betided them, 
from beginning to end. 3 Quoth he, " Ye tell a marvel-tale ; but 

1 Arab. Zarad-Khanah," before noticed : vol. vii. 363. Here it would mean a temporary 
prison for criminals of high degree. De Sacy, Chrestom, ii. 179. 

2 Arab. '"Advil," I have said, means in Morocco, that land of lies and subterfuges, a 
public notary. 

3 This sentence is inserted by Mr. Payne to complete the sense. 

328 Supplemental Nights. 

what hath Fate done with your father?" Quoth they, "We 
know not how Fortune dealt with him after our loss." And he 
was silent. Then he bespake the woman, " And thou, what 
sayst thou ? " So she set forth to him her case and all that 
had betided her and her husband, from the beginning of their 
hardships to the end, and recounted to him their adventures up 
to the time when they took up their abode with the old man 
and woman who dwelt on the sea-shore. Then she reported 
that which the Magian had practised on her of fraud and how he 
had carried her off in the craft and everything that had betided 
her of humiliation and torment ; all this while the Kazis and 
Judges and Deputies hearkening to her speech as they had lent 
ear to the others' adventures. When the King heard the last 
of his wife's tale, he said, "Verily, there hath betided thee a 
mighty grievous matter ; but hast thou knowledge of what thy 
husband did and what came of his affair ? " She replied, " Nay, 
by Allah ; I have no knowledge of him, save that I leave him 
no hour unremembered in righteous prayer, and never, whilst 
I live, will he cease to be to me the father of my children and 
my cousin and my flesh and my blood." Then she wept and 
the King bowed his head, whilst his eyes welled tears at her 
tale. Presently he raised his head to the Magian and cried to 
him, "Say thy say, thou also." So the Magian replied, "This is 
my slave-girl, whom I bought with my money from such a land 
and for so many dinars, and I made her my betrothed 1 and 
loved her exceedingly and gave my monies into her charge ; 
but she falsed me in my substance and plotted with one of my 
lads to slay me, tempting him by a promise that she would kill 
me and become his wife. When I knew this of her and was 
assured that she purposed treason against me, I awoke from my 
dream of happiness and did with her that which I did, fearing 

1 i.e. He intended to marry her when time served. 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth. 329 

for my life from her craft and perfidy ; for indeed she is a 
trickstress with her tongue and she hath taught these two 
youths this pretence, by way of sleight and of her guile and 
her malice : so be you not deluded by her and by her talk." 
"Thou liest, O accursed," cried the King and bade lay 
hands on him and iron him. Then he turned to the two 
youths, his sons, and strained them to his breast, weeping sore 
and saying, " O all ye people who are present of Kazis and 
Assessors and Lords of the land, know that these twain are my 
sons and that this is my wife and the daughter of my father's 
brother ; for that whilome I was king in such a realm." And 
he recounted to them his history from commencement to con- 
clusion, nor is there aught of fruition in repetition ; whereupon 
the folk cried out with weeping and wailing for the stress of 
what they heard of marvellous chances and that wondrous story. 
As for the king's wife, he bade carry her into his palace and 
lavished upon her and upon her sons all that befitted 'and be- 
seemed them of bounties, whilst the lieges flocked to offer up 
prayers for him and give him joy of his reunion with his wife 
and children. When they had made an ehd of blessings and 
congratulations, they besought the king to hasten the punishment 
of the Magian and heal their hearts with tormenting and abasing 
him. So he appointed them for a day on which they should 
assemble to witness his requitement and that which should betide 
him of torment, and shut himself up with his wife and two sons 
and abode thus private with them three days, during which they 
were veiled from the folk. On the fourth day the King entered 
the Hammam, and faring forth, sat down on the throne of his 
kingship, crown on head, whereupon the folk came in to him, 
according to their custom and after the measure of their several 
dignities and degrees, and the Emirs and Wazirs entered, and eke 
the Chamberlains and Nabobs and Captains of war and the 
Falconers and Armbearers and Commanders of the body-guard. 

3 3O Supplemental Nigh ts. 

Then he seated his two sons, one on his right and the other on his 
left hand, whilst the subjects all stood before him and lifted up 
their voices in thanksgiving to Allah the Most High and glorifica- 
tion of Him and were instant in orisons for the king and in setting 
forth his virtues and excellent qualities. He answered them with 
the most gracious of answers and bade carry the Magian outside 
the city and set him on a high scaffold which had been builded for 1 
him there ; and he said to the folk, " Behold, I will torture him 
with torments of all kinds and fashions." Then he began telling 
them that which he had wrought of villainy with his cousin-wife 
and what he had caused her of severance between her and her 
husband and how he had required her of her person, but she 
had sought refuge for her chastity against him with Allah (to 
whom belong honour and glory) and chose abasement rather than 
obedience to him, despite stress of torture: neither recked she 
aught of that which he lavished to her of monies and raiment, 
jewels and ornaments. When the King had made an end of his 
story, he bade the bystanders spit in the Magian's face and curse 
him ; and they did this. Then he bade cut out his tongue and on 
the next day he bade lop off his ears and nose and pluck out 
both his eyes. On the third day he bade hew off his hands 
and on the fourth his feet ; and they ceased not to dismember 
him, limb after limb, and each member they cast into the fire, 
after its amputation, before his face, till his soul departed, after 
he had endured torments of all kinds and fashions. Then the 
King bade crucify his trunk on the city wall for three days ; after 
which he gave orders to burn it and reduce its ashes to powder 
and scatter them abroad in air. And when this was done, the King 
summoned the Kazi and the Witnesses and commanded them 
marry the old king's daughter and her sister to his own sons ; so 
the youths wedded them, after the King had made a bride-feast 
three days and displayed their brides to them from nightfall to 
day-dawn. Then the two Princes went in unto their brides and 

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth. 331 

abated their maidenheads and loved them and were vouchsafed 
issue by them. As for the King their sire, he abode with 
his cousin-wife, their mother, what while Allah (to whom be 
honour and glory) willed, and they rejoiced in reunion each with 
other. The kingship endured unto them and high degree and 
victory, and the sovran continued to rule with justice and equity, 
so that the lieges loved him and prayed for him and for his sons 
length of life and durance of days; and they lived the most 
delightsome of existences till there came to them the Destroyer of 
delights and Severer of societies, the Depopulator of palaces and 
Garnerer of graves ; and this is all that hath come down to us of 
the story of the King and his Wife and Sons. " Nor," continued 
the Wazir, "if this story be a solace and a diversion, is it plea- 
santer or more diverting than the tale of the Youth of Khorasan 
and his mother and sister." When King Shah Bakht heard this 
story, it pleased him and he bade the Minister hie away to his 
own house. 


of t|je 

evening came, the king Shah Bakht bade fetch the 
Wazir ; so he presented himself before him and the King ordered 
him to tell the tale. So he said, " Hearkening and obedience. 
Give ear, O sovran, to 


Know, O king (but Allah alone knoweth His secret purpose and 
is versed in the past and the foredone among folk bygone) that 
there was once, in the parts of Khorasan, a man of its affluent, 
who was a merchant of the chiefest of the merchants 1 and was 
blessed with two children, a son and a daughter. 2 He was diligent 
exceedingly in rearing them and they were educated with the 
fairest of education ; for he used to teach the boy, who taught his 
sister all that he learnf, so that, by means of her brother, the 
damsel became perfect in the knowledge of the Traditions of the 
Prophet and in polite letters. Now the boy's name was Sah'm and 
that of the girl Salma. When they grew up and were fully grown, 
their father built them a mansion beside his own and lodged them 
apart therein and appointed them slave-girls and servants to tend 
them and assigned to each of them pay and allowances and all that 
they needed of high and low ; meat and bread ; wine, dresses, and 
vessels and what not else. So Salim and Salma abode in that palace, 
as they were one soul in two bodies, and they used to sleep on one 

1 Arab, from Pers. Khwajah and Khawajdt : see vol. vi. 46. 

* Probably meaning by one mother whom he loved best of all his wives : in the next 
page we read of their sister. 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 333 

couch and rise amorn with single purpose, while firmly fixed in each 
one's heart were fond affection and familiar friendship for the other. 
One night, when the half was spent, as Salim and Salma sat recount- 
ing and conversing, they heard a noise on the ground floor ; so they 
looked out from a latticed casement which gave upon the gate of 
their father's mansion and saw a man of fine presence, whose clothes 
were hidden under a wide cloak. He came straight up to the gate 
and laying hold of the door-ring, rapped a light rap ; whereupon 
the door opened and behold, out came their sister, with a lighted 
taper, and after her their mother, who saluted the stranger and 
embraced him, saying, " O dearling of my heart and light of mine 
eyes and fruit of my vitals, enter." So he went in and shut 
the door, whilst Salim and Salma abode amazed. The youth 
turned to the girl and said to her, " O sister mine, how deemest 
thou of this trouble and what advice hast thou to offer ? " She 
replied, '' O my brother, indeed I know not what I shall say anent 
the like of this ; but he is not disappointed who divine direction 
seeketh, nor doth he repent who counsel taketh. One getteth not 
the better of the traces of burning by haste, and know that this is 
an affliction that hath descended 1 on us and a calamity fore- 
ordained to us ; so we have need of wise rede to do it away and 
contrivance which shall wash our shame from our faces," And 
they ceased not watching the gate till daybreak, when the young 
man opened the door and their mother farewelled him ; after which 
he went his way and she entered, she and her hand-maid. Hereat 
said Salim to his sister, " Know thou I am resolved to slay this 
man, an he return the next night, and I will say to the folk, He 
was a robber, and none shall weet that which hath befallen. Then 
I will address myself to the slaughter of whosoever knoweth what 
is between the fellow and my mother." But Salma said, " I fear 
lest an thou slay him in our dwelling-place and he be not 

1 Come down, i.e. from heaven. 

334 Supplemental Nights. 

convicted of robberhood, suspicion and ill-fame will revert upon 
ourselves, and we cannot be assured that he belongeth not to a 
tribe whose mischief is to be feared and whose enmity is to be 
dreaded, and thus wilt thou have fled from hidden shame to open 
shame and to disgrace public and abiding." Asked Salim : " What 
then is it thy rede to do ? " And she answered, " Is there no 
help but thou kill him ? Let us not hasten unto slaughter, for that 
the slaughter of a soul without just cause is a mighty grave 
matter." When Shahban 1 heard this, he said within himself, " By 
Allah, I have indeed been hasty and reckless in the slaying of 
women and girls, and Alhamdolillah lauded be the Lord who 
hath occupied me with this damsel from the slaughter of souls, 
for that the slaughter of souls is a grave matter and a grievous ! 
By the Almighty if Shah Bakht spare the Wazir, I will assuredly 
spare Shahrazad ! " 2 Then he gave ear to the story and heard her 
say to her sister : Quoth Salma to Salim, " Hasten not to slay him, 
but overthink the matter and consider the issue whereto it may 
tend ; for whoso considereth not of actions the end hath not 
Fortune to friend." Then they arose on the morrow and busied 
themselves with contriving how they should turn away their parent 
from that man, and the mother forefelt mischief from them, for what 
she saw in their eyes of change, she being wily and keen of wit. 
So she took precaution for herself against her children and Salma 
said to Salim, " Thou seest what we have fallen upon through 
this woman, and very sooth she hath sensed our purpose and 
wotteth that we have discovered her secret. So, doubtless, she 
will plot against us the like of that which we plot for her ; for 
indeed up to now she had concealed her affair, and from this time 

1 This is the Bresl. Edit's. form of Shahrydr= city-keeper (like Marzbdn, guardian of 
the Marches), for city-friend. The learned Weil has perferred it to Shahryar. 

2 Sic : in the Mac. Edit. "Shahrazad" and here making nonsense of the word. It is 
regretable that the king's reflections do not run at times as in this text : his compunctions 
lead well up to the denoGement. 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 335 

forth she will become harsh to us ; wherefore, methinks, there is a 
thing forewritten to us, whereof Allah (extolled and exalted be 
He !) knew in His foreknowledge and wherein He carrieth out His 
commandments." He asked, <f What is that ? " and she answered, 
" It is that we arise, I and thou, and go forth this night from this 
land and seek us a town wherein we may wone and witness naught 
of the doings of yonder traitress ; for whoso is absent from the 
eye is absent from the heart, and quoth one of the poets in the 
following couplet r 1 

'Tis happiest, best for thee, the place to leave, o For then no eye can see, 
nor heart can grieve." 

Quoth Salim to her, 2 " Tis for thee to decide and right is thy 
rede ; so let us do this, in the name of Allah the Almighty, trusting 
in Him for guiding and grace." Accordingly they arose and took the 
richest of their raiment and the lightest of that which was in their 
treasuries of gems and things of price and gathered together much 
matter. Then they equipped them ten mules and hired them 
servants of other than the people of the country ; and Salim bade his 
sister Salma don man's dress. Now she was the likest of all creatures 
to him, so that, when she was clad in man's clothing, the folk 
knew no difference between them : extolled be the perfection of 
Him who hath no like, there is no god but He ! Then he told her 
to mount a mare, whilst he himself took another, and they set 
out under cover of the night ; nor did any of their family or 
household know of them. So they fared on into Allah's wide 
world and gave not over going night and day for a space of two 
months, at the end of which they came to a city on the sea- 
shore of the land of Makran, 3 by name Al-Sharr, and it is the 

1 The careless text says "couplets." It has occurred in vol. i. 149: so I quote 
Torrens (p. 149.) 

8 In the text Salma is made to speak, utterly confusing the dialogue. 

3 The well-known Baloch province beginning west of Sind ; the term is supposed to 
be a corruption of Mahi-Khordn = Ichthyophagi. The reader who wishes to know more 

336 Supplemental Nights* . 

first city in Sind. 1 They lighted down within sight of the 
place and when they arose in the morning, they saw a populous 
city and a goodly, seemly of semblance and great, abounding 
in trees and rills and fruits and wide of suburbs which stretched to 
the neighbouring villages. So the young man said to his sister 
Salma, " Tarry thou here in thy place, till I enter the city and 
make proof of it and its people and seek us out a stead which we 
may buy and whereto we may remove. An it befit us, we will 
make us a home therein, otherwise will we take counsel of departing 
elsewhere. Quoth she, " Do this, trusting in the bounty of Allah 
(to whom belong honour and glory) and in His blessing." Ac- 
cordingly he took a belt, wherein were a thousand gold pieces, 
and girding it about his waist, entered the city and ceased not 
going round about its streets and bazars and gazing upon its 
houses and sitting with those of its citizens whose aspect showed 
signs of worth and wealth, till the day was half spent, when he 
resolved to return to his sister and said to himself, " Needs must I 
buy what we rnay eat of ready-cooked food ; I and my sister.'* 
Hereupon he addressed a man who sold roast meat and who was 
clean of person, albe foul in his way of getting a living, and 
said to him, "Take the price of this dishful and add thereto of 
fowls and chickens and what not else is in your market of meats 
and sweetmeats and bread and arrange it in the plates." So the 
Kitchener took the money and set apart for him what he desired, 
then calling a porter, he laid it in the man's crate, and Salim, after 
paying the price of provisions and porterage in fullest fashion, was 
about to go away, when the Cook said to him, " O youth, doubtless 
thou art a stranger ? " He replied, " Yes ;" and the other re- 

about it will do well to consult " Unexplored Baluchistan," etc. (Griffith and Farran, 
1882), the excellent work of my friend Mr. Ernest A. Floyer, long Chief of the 
Telegraphic Department, Cairo. 

1 Meaning the last city in Makran before entering Sind. Al-Sharr would be a fancy ( 
name, " The Wickedness." 

The Tale of Salim t the Youth of Khorasan. 337 

joined, " 'Tis reported in one of the Traditions that the Apostle 
said, Loyal admonition is a part of religion ; and the wise and 
ware have declared counsel is of the characteristics of True 
Believers. And verily that which I have seen of thy ways pleaseth 
me and I would fain give thee a warning." Rejoined Salim, 
" Speak out thy warning, and may Allah strengthen thy purpose ! " 
Then said the Cook, " Know, O my son, that in this our city, 
when a stranger entereth and eateth of flesh-meat and drinketh 
not old wine upon it, 'tis harmful to him and disturbeth his 
body with disorders which be dangerous. Wherefore, an thou 
have provided thee somewhat of wine it is well, but, if not, haste to 
procure it, ere thou take the meat and carry it away." Quoth 
Salim, "Allah requite thee with weal Canst thou shew me 
where liquor is sold ? " and quoth the Cook, " With me is all thou 
seekest." The youth asked, " Is there a way for me to see it ? " 
and the Cook sprang up and answered, " Pass on." So he entered 
and the man showed him somewhat of wine ; but he said, 
"I desire better than this;" whereupon he opened a door and 
entering, said to Salim, " Come in, and follow me." Accordingly 
Salim followed him till he brought him to an underground chamber 
and showed him somewhat of wine that suited him. So he 
occupied him with looking at it and taking him unawares, sprang 
upon him from behind and threw him to the ground and sat upon 
his breast. Then he drew a knife and set it to his jugular ; where- 
upon there betided Salim that wherewith Allah made him forget 
all that He had decreed to him, 1 and he cried to the Cook, "Why 
dost thou this thing, O good fellow ? Be mindful of the Almighty 
and fear Him. Seest thou not I am a stranger man ? And 
knowest thou not I have behind me a forlorn defenceless 2 woman. 
Wherefore wilt thou kill me ? " Quoth the Kitchener, " Needs must I 

1 i.e. think of nothing but his present peril. 

2 Arab. " Munkaii'ah "=lit. " cut off" (from the weal of the world). See Pilgrimage 

I. 22. 


338 Supplemental Nights. 

kill thee, so I may take thy money ;" and quoth Salim, " Take 
my money, but kill me not, neither enter into sin against me ; and 
do with me kindness, for indeed the taking of my coin is more 
venial than the taking of my life." The Cook replied, " This is 
nonsense. Thou canst not deliver thyself herewith, O youth, 
because in thy deliverance is my destruction." Cried Salim, " I 
swear to thee and give thee the bond of Allah (to whom belong 
honour and glory) and His covenant, which He took of His prophets 
that I will not discover thy secret ; no, never." But the Kitchener 
replied, " Away ! Away ! Alas ! Alas ! To this there is no path." 
However, Salim ceased not to conjure him and humble himself to 
him and weep, while the Cook persisted in his intent to cut his 
throat: then he shed tears and recited these couplets 1 : 

Haste not to that thou dost desire, for haste is still unblest ; Be merciful to 

men, as thou on mercy reckonest : 
For no hand is there but the hand of God is over it And no oppressor but 

shall be with worse than he opprest 

Quoth the Kitchener, " There is no help save that I slay thee, O 
fellow ; for an I spare thee, I shall myself be slain." But Salim 
said, "O my brother, I will advise thee somewhat 2 other than 
this." Asked the Cook, " What is it ? Say and be brief, ere I cut 
thy throat ; " and Salim answered, " Suffer me to live and keep me 
as thy Mameluke, thy white slave, and I will work at a craft of 
the skilled workmen, wherefrom there shall result to thee every 
day two dinars." Quoth the Kitchener, " What is the craft ? " 
and quoth Salim, " The cutting of gems and jewels.'' When the 
man heard this, he said to himself, " 'Twill do me no hurt if I im- 
prison him and fetter him and bring him that whereat he may 
work. An he tell truth, I will let him live, and if he prove a liar, 
I will kill him." So he took a pair of stout shackles and fitting 

1 The lines are in vol. L 207 and iv. 189. I here quote Mr. Payne. 

2 i.e. I have another proposal to make. 

The Tale of Salim , the Youth of Khorasan. 330, 

them on Salim's legs, jailed him within his house and charged a 
man to guard him. Then he asked him what tools he needed for 
work ; and Salim described to him whatso he required, and the 
Cook went out from him awhile and brought him all he wanted. 
Then Salim sat and wrought at his craft ; and he used every day 
to earn two dinars ; and this was his wont and custom with the 
Kitchener, who fed him not but half his fill. Thus befei it with 
Salim ; but returning to his sister Salma, she awaited him till the 
last of the day, yet he appeared not ; and she expected him a second 
day and a third and a fourth, yet there came no news of him. So 
she wept and beat hand on breast and bethought her of her affair 
and her strangerhood and the disappearance of her brother ; and 
she improvised these couplets : 

Salam t'you ! Would I could see you again, e> To the joy of my heart and the 

coolth of my eyes : 
You are naught but my hope and the whole of my hope o And under my ribs 1 

Jove for you buried lies. 

She tarried on this wise awaiting him till the end of the month, 
but no tidings of him came nor happened she upon aught of his 
trace ; wherefore she was troubled with exceeding trouble and 
sending her servants hither and thither in search of him, abodje in 
the sorest that might be of chagrin and concern. When it was the 
beginning of the new month, she arose in the morning and bidding 
one of her men cry her brother throughout the city, sat to receive 
visits of condolence, nor was there any in town but made act of 
presence to condole with her ; and they were all sorry for her, 
doubting not her being a man. When three nights had passed 
over her with their days of the second month, she despaired of him 
and her tears never dried : then she resolved to take up her abode 
in that city and making choice of a dwelling, removed thither. 

1 i.c. In ray heart's core : the figure has often occurred. 

340 Supplemental Nights. 

The folk resorted to her from all parts, to sit with her and hear her 
speech and witness her fine breeding ; nor was it but a little while 
ere the king died and the folk differed anent whom they should 
invest with the kingship after him, so that civil war was like to 
befal them. However, the men of judgment and the folk of under- 
standing and the people of experience directed them to crown the 
youth who had lost his brother, for that they still held Salma to 
be a man. They consented to this one and all; and, betaking 
themselves to her, offered the kingship. 1 She refused, but they 
were urgent with her, till she consented, saying within herself, 
" My sole desire in the kingship is to find my brother." Then 
they seated her upon the throne of the realm and set the crown upon 
her head, after which she undertook the business of governance 
and ordinance of affairs ; and they rejoiced in her with the utmost 
joy. On such wise fared it with her ; but as for Salim he abode 
with the Cook a whole year's space, bringing him two dinars a day ; 
and when his affair waxed longsome, the man felt for him and 
pitied him. Presently he promised him release on condition that, 
if he let him go, he should not discover his ill-deeds to the Sultan ; 
for that it was his wont now and then to entrap a man and carry 
him to his house and slay him and take his money and cook his 
flesh and give it to the folk to eat. 8 So he asked him, " O youth, 
wilt thou that I release thee from this thy misery, on condition 
that thou be reasonable and never discover aught of thine affair ? w 
Salim answered, "I will swear to thee by whatsoever oath thou wilt 

1 These sudden elevations, so common in the East and not unknown to the West in the 
Napoleonic days, explain how the legend of "Joanna Papissa" (Pope John XIII.), who 
succeeded Leo IV. in A.D. 855 and was succeeded by Benedict III., found ready belief 
amongst the enemies of papacy. She was an English woman born in Germany who 
came to Rome and professed theology with eclat, wherefore the people enthroned her. 
" Pope Joan " governed with exemplary wisdom, but during a procession on Rogation 
Sunday she was delivered of a fine boy in the street : some make her die on the spot ; 
others declare that she perished in prison. 

2 That such things should happen in times of famine is only natural ; but not at other 
seasons. This abomination on the part of the butcher is, however, more than once 
alluded to in The Nights : see vol. L 332. 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 34! 

administer that I will keep thy secret and will not speak one 
syllable anent thee, what while I am in the land of the living.'* 
Quoth the Kitchener, " I purpose to send thee forth with my 
brother and cause thee voyage with him over the sea, on condition 
that thou be to him a Mameluke, a boughten slave ; and when he 
cometh to the land of Hind, he shall sell thee and thus wilt thou 
be delivered from prison and slaughter." And quoth Salim, " 'Tis 
well : be it as thou sayst, may Allah the Most High requite thee 
with weal ! " Accordingly the Cook equipped his brother and 
freighting him a craft, stowed therein a cargaison of merchandise. 
Then he committed Salim to him and they set out with the ship. 
The Lord decreed them safety, so that they arrived at the first city 
of Hind, which is known as Al-Mansurah, 1 and cast anchor there. 
Now the king of that city had died, leaving a daughter and a 
widow who, being the quickest-witted of women and cleverest of 
the folk of her day, gave out that the girl was a boy, so that the 
kingship might be established unto them. The troops and the 
Emirs gave credit that the case was as she avouched and that the 
Princess was a Prince ; wherefore they obeyed her bidding and the 
Queen-mother took order for the matter and used to dress the girl 
in man's habit and seat her on the throne of the kingship, so that 
the Lords of the land and the chief officers of the realm used to go 
in to her and salute her and do her service and depart, nothing 
doubting but she was a boy. After this fashion they fared for 
months and years and the Queen-mother ceased not to do thus till 
the Cook's brother came to the town in his ship, and with him 
Salim. He landed with the youth and displayed him for sale 
to the Queen who, when she saw him, prognosticated well of him ; 
presentlyshe bought him and was kind to him and entreated him with 

1 Opinions differ as to the site of this city, so celebrated in the mediaeval history of 
Al-Islam : most probably it stood where Hyderabad of Siud now is. The question has 
been ably treated by Sir Henry M. Elliot in his " History of India," edited from his 
posthumous papers by Professor Dowson. 

34 2 Supplemental Nights. 

honour. Then began she to prove him in his moral parts and 
make assay of him in his affairs, and she found in him all that is 
in kings' sons of understanding and fine breeding and good 
manners and qualities. Thereupon she sent for him in private and 
said to him, " I am minded to do thee a service, so thou canst keep 
a secret." 1 He promised her all that she desired and she discovered 
to him her mystery in the matter of her daughter, saying, " I will 
marry thee to her and commit to thee the governance and con- 
stitute thee king and ruler over this city." He thanked her and 
promised to carry out all she should order him, and she said to 
him, " Go forth to such-an-one of the neighbouring provinces 
privily." So he went forth and on the morrow she made ready 
loads and gear and gifts and bestowed on him abundant substance, 
all of which they loaded on the backs of baggage-camels. Then 
she gave out among the folk that the nephew of the king, the 
son of his brother, was come and bade the Grandees and troops 
go forth to meet him in a body : she also decorated the city in his 
honour and the kettle-drums of good tidings beat for him whilst 
all the king's household went out and dismounting before him, 
escorted him into, and lodged him with the queen-mother in the 
palace. Then she bade the Headmen of the state attend his 
assembly ; so they obeyed and witnessed of his breeding and good 
parts that which amazed them and made them forget the breeding 
of the kings who had preceded him. When -they were grown to 
like him, the Queen-mother began sending privily for the Emirs 
and Councillors, one by one, and swearing them to conceal her 
project ; and when she was assured of their discretion, she dis- 
covered to them that the king had left naught save a daughter and 
that she had done this only that she might continue the kingship 

1 Which, by-the-by, the average Eastern does with even more difficulty than the 
average European. For the most part the charge to secrecy fixes the matter in his mind 
even when he has forgotten that it is to be kept secret. Hence the most unpleasant 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 343 

in his family and that the rule should not go forth from them ; 
after which she informed them that she was minded to marry her 
daughter with her nephew, the new-comer ; and that he should be 
the holder of the kingship. They approved her proposal and 
when she had discovered the secret to the last of them and assured 
herself of their aid, she published the news abroad and threw off 
all concealment. Then she sent for the Kazis and Assessors, who 
drew up the contract of marriage between Salim and the Princess, 
and they lavished gifts upon the soldiery and overwhelmed them 
with largesse. The bride was incontinently carried in procession 
to the young man and the kingship was established to him. They 
tarried after this fashion a whole year when Salim said to the 
Queen-mother, " Know that my life is not pleasing to me nor can 
I abide with you in content till I get me Udi-ngs of my sister and 
learn how her affair hath ended and how she hath fared after me. 
So I will go forth and be absent from you a year's space ; then 
will I return to you, Inshallah an it please God the Most High 
and I win of this that which I hope." Quoth she, " I will not 
trust to thy word, but will go with thee and help thee to whatso 
thou wishest and further thee myself therein." Then she took a 
ship and loaded it with all manner things of price, goods and 
monies and the like. Furthermore, she appointed one of the 
Wazirs, a man in whom she trusted for his conduct and con- 
trivance, to rule the realm, saying to him, " Abide in governance 
a full year and ordain all thou needest." Presently the Queen- 
mother and her daughter and son-in-law Salim went down to the 
ship and sailed on till they made the land of Makran. Their 
arrival there befel at the last of the day ; so they nighted in their 
ship, and when the morn was near to dawn, the young king landed, 
that he might go to the Hammam, and walked market-wards. 
As he drew near the bath, the Cook met him on the way and 
knew him ; so he seized him and pinioning him straightly, carried 
him to his house, where he clapped the old fetters on his feet and 

344] Supplemental Nights. 

cast him back into his former place of durance vile. 1 Salim, find- 
ing himself in that sorry condition and considering that wherewith 
he was afflicted of tribulation and the reverses of his fair fortune, 
in that he had been a king and was now returned to fetters and 
prison and hunger, wept and groaned and lamented and im- 
provised these couplets : 

My God, no patience now can aid afford ; o Strait is my breast, O Thou of 

Lords the Lord : 
My God, who in resource like thine hath force ? o And Thou, the Subtle, dost 

my case record. 

On this wise fared it with Salim ; but as regards his wife and her 
mother, when she awoke in the morning and her husband returned 
not to her with break of dawn, she forbode all manner of calamity 
and, straightway arising, she despatched her servants and all who 
were with her in quest of her spouse ; but they happened not on 
any trace of him nor could they hear aught of his news. So she 
bethought herself concerning the case and plained and wept and 
groaned and sighed and blamed Fortune the fickle, bewailing the 
changes of Time and reciting these couplets 2 : 

God keep the days of love-delight ! How passing sweet they were ! How 

joyous and how solaceful was life in them whilere ! 
Would he were not, who sundered us upon the parting-day ! How many a body 

hath he slain, how many a bone laid bare ! 
Sans fault of mine, my blood and tears he shed and beggared me Of him I love 

yet for himself gained nought thereby whate'er. 

When she had made an end of her verses, she considered her 
affair and said within herself, " By Allah, all these things have be- 
tided by the predestination of Almighty Allah and His decree and 

1 Such an act appears impossible, and yet history tells us. of a celebrated Sufi, 
Khayr al-Nassaj (fhe Weaver), who being of dark complexion was stopped on return 
from his pilgrimage at Kufah by a stranger that said, " Thou art my negro slave and thy 
name is Khayr." He was kept at the loom for years, till at last the man set him free, 
and simply said, " Thou wast not my slave " (Ibn Khali, i. 513). 

a These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne for variety. 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 345 

this upon the forehead was written in lines." Then she landed and 
walked on till she came to a spacious place, and an open, where 
she asked of the folk and hired a house. Thither she transported 
forthright all that was in the ship of goods and sending after 
brokers, sold all that was with her, Presently she took part of the 
price and began enquiring of the folk, so haply she might scent out 
tidings of the lost one ; and she addressed herself to lavishing alms 
and preparing medicines for the sick, clothing the naked and 
watering the dry ground 1 of the forlorn. She ceased not so doing 
a whole year, and little by little she sold off her goods and gave 
charitable gifts to the sick and sorry ; whereby her report was 
bruited abroad in the city and the folk abounded in her praise. 
All this while Salim lay in fetters and strait prison, and melancholy 
gat hold of him by reason of that whereinto he had fallen of this 
affliction. At last, when care waxed on him and calamity grew 
longsome, he fell sick of a sore sickness. Then the Kitchener, seeing 
his plight (and verily he was like to sink for much suffering), loosed 
him from the fetters and bringing him forth of the prison, com- 
mitted him to an old woman, who had a nose the bigness of a 
giigglet, a and bade her nurse him and medicine him and serve him 
and entreat him kindly, so haply he might be made whole of that 
his sickness. Accordingly the old woman took him and carrying 
him to her lodging, began nursing him and giving him to eat and 
drink ; and when he was delivered of that torment, he recovered 
from the malady which had afflicted him. Now the old woman 
had heard from the folk of the lady who gave alms to the sick, and 
indeed the news of her bounties reached both poor and rich ; so 
she arose and bringing out Salim to the door of her house, laid him 

1 Arab. "Tasill sallata'l-Munkati'fn " = lit. "raining on the drouth-hardened earth 
of the cut-off." The metaphor is admissible in the eyes of an Arab who holds water to 
be the chiefest of blessings, and makes it synonymous with bounty and beneficence. 

a Possibly this is said in mere fun ; but, as Easterns are practical physiognomists, it 
may hint the fact that a large nose in womankind is the sign of a masculine nature. 

346 Supplemental Nights. 

upon a mat and wrapped him in an Abd-gown and sat over against 
him. Presently, it befel that the lady passed by them, and the old 
woman seeing her rose to her and blessed her, saying, " O my 
daughter, O thou to whom belong goodness and beneficence and 
charity and almsdoing, 1 know that this young man is a foreigner, 
and indeed lack and lice and hunger and nakedness and cold slay 
him." When the lady heard this, she gave her alms and presented 
her with a part of that which was with her ; and indeed her 
charitable heart inclined to Salim, but she knew him not for her 
spouse. The old woman received the alms from her and carrying it 
to Salim, took part for herself and with the rest bought him an old 
shirt, 2 in which she clad him, after she had stripped him of that he 
had on. Then she threw away the frock she had taken from off 
him and arising forthwith, washed his body of that which was 
thereon of grime and scented him with somewhat of scent. She 
also bought him chickens and made him broth ; so he ate and his life 
returned to him and he abode with her in all comfort of condition 
till the morrow. Next morning the old woman said to Salim," When 
the lady cometh to thee, arise and buss her hand and say to her : 
I am a homeless man and indeed cold and hunger kill me ; so 
haply she may give thee somewhat that thou mayest expend upon 
thy case." And he answered, " To hear is to obey." Then she 
took him by the hand and carrying him without her house, seated 
him at the door; and as he sat, behold, the lady came up to him, 
whereupon the old woman rose to her and Salim kissed her hand 
and, looking at her the while, blessed her. But when he saw her, 
he knew her for his wife; so he shrieked and shed tears and 

1 Arab. "Zakdt wa Sadakat," =lit. paying of poor rate and purifying thy property by 
almsdeeds. See vol. i. 339. 

2 I have noted (i. 293) that Kamfs (vmovi Chemise, Cameslia, Camisa) is used in the 
Hindostani and Bengali dialects. Like its synonyms praetexta and shift, it has an 
equivocal meaning and here piobably signifies the dress peculiar to Arab devotees and 
devout beggars. 

The Tale of Salt 'm, the Youth of Khorasan. 347 

groaned and plained, at which she came up to him and threw her- 
self upon him ; for indeed she knew him with all knowledge, even 
as he knew her. So she hung to him and embraced him and 
called to her serving men and attendants and those who were about 
her ; and they took him up and carried him forth of that stead. 
When the old woman saw this, she cried out to the Cook within the 
house, and he said to her, " Fare thou before me." So she fore- 
went him and he ran after her and ceased not running till he over- 
took the party and seizing Salim, exclaimed, " What aileth you to 
take my slave-lad ?" Whereupon the Queen cried out at him, say- 
ing, " Know that this is my husband, whom I had lost ;" and Salim 
also cried out, saying, " Mercy ! Mercy ! I appeal to Allah and to the 
Sultan against this Satan !" Therewith a world of folk straightway 
gathered together and loud rose the cries and the clamours between 
them ; but the most part of them said, " Carry their case up to the 
Sultan." So they referred the matter to the king, who was none 
other than Salim's sister Salma. Then they repaired to the palace 
and the dragoman went in to Salma and said to her, " O king of 
the age, here is a Hindi woman, who cometh from the land of 
Hind, and she hath laid hands on a servant, a young man, claim- 
ing him as her husband, who hath been lost to her these two years, 
and she journeyed not hither save for his sake, and in very sooth these 
many days she hath done almsdeeds in thy city. And here is a fel- 
low, a Kitchener, who declareth that the young man is his slave." 1 
When the Queen heard these words, her vitals quivered and she 
groaned from a grieving heart and called to mind her brother 
and that which had betided him. Then she bade those around her 
bring them between her hands, and when she saw them, she knew 
her brother and was about to cry aloud ; but her reason restrained 

'I omit here and elsewhere the parenthetical formula "Kala al-Rawi," etc. = The 
Story-teller sayeth, reminding the reader of its significance in a work collected from the 
mouths of professional Tale-tellers and intended mainly for their use. 

348 Supplemental Nights. 

her ; yet could she not prevent herself rising up and sitting down. 1 
At last, however, she enforced her soul to patience and said to them, 
" Let each and every of you acquaint me with his case." So Salim 
came forward and kissing ground before the king, lauded him and 
related to him his story from first to last, until the time of their 
coming to that city, he and his sister, telling him how he had entered 
the place and had fallen into the hands of the Cook and that which 
had betided him and whatso he had suffered from him of beating and 
collars, of fetters and pinioning, till the man had made him his 
brother's Mameluke, a boughten slave, and how the brother had sold 
him in Hind and he had become king by marrying the Princess : and 
how life was not lovesome to him till he should foregather with his 
sister and now the same Cook had fallen in with him a second 
time and had pinioned and fettered him. Brief, he acquainted her 
with that which had betided him of sickness and sorrow for the 
space of a whole year. When he had made an end of his speech, 
his wife straightways came forward and told her story, from incept 
to termination, how her mother bought him 2 from the Cook's partner 
and the people of the kingdom came under his rule; nor did she cease 
telling till she came, in her history, to that city and acquainted the 
king with the manner of her meeting her husband. When she had 
made an end of her adventure, the Kitchener exclaimed, " Alack, 
what befals us from lying rascals. By Allah, O king, this woman 
lieth against me, for this youth is my rearling 3 and he was born of 
one of my slave-girls. He fled from me and I found him again." 
When the Queen heard the last of the talk, she said to the Cook, 
" The decree between you shall not be save in accordance with 
justice." Then she dismissed all those who were present and 
turning to her brother, said to him, " Indeed thy truth is stablished 
with me and the sooth of thy speech, and praised be Allah who 

1 The usual sign of emotion, already often mentioned. 

* It being no shame to Moslems if a slave become King. 

* Arab. "Tarbiyati," i.e. he was brought up in my house. 

The Tale of Salim. the Youth of Khorasan. 349 

hath brought about reunion between thee and thy wife ! So now 
begone with her to thy country and cease to seek thy sister Salma 
and depart in peace." But, hearing this, Salim replied, " By Allah, 
by the might of the All-knowing King, I will not turn back from 
seeking my sister till I die or I find her, Inshallah ! " Then he 
called his sister to mind and improvised from a heart disappointed,' 
troubled, afflicted, these couplets : 

O them who blam'st me for my heart, in anger twitting me, o Hadst tasted 

what my heart did taste, thou wouldst be pitying me ! 
By Allah, O my chider for my sister leave, ah ! leave o My heart to moan its 

grief and feel the woes befitting me. 
Indeed I grew to hold her dear privily, publicly ; o And in my bosom bides a 

pang at no time quitting me ; 
And in my vitals burns a flame that ne'er was equalled by o The fire of hell 

and blazeth high to Death committing me. 

Now when his sister Salma heard what he said, she could no longer 
restrain her soul, but threw herself upon him and discovered to him' 
her case. When he knew her, he threw himself upon her swoon- 
ing awhile ; after which he came to himself and cried, " Lauded be 
the Lord, the Bountiful, the Beneficent ! " Then they plained each 
to other of that they had suffered from the pangs of parting, whilst 
Salim's wife wondered at this and Salma's patience and endurance 
pleased her. So she saluted her with the Salam, and thanked her 
for her fair boons, saying, " By Allah, O my lady, all that we are 
in of gladness never befel us save by thy blessing ; so praised be 
Allah who deigned vouchsafe us thy sight ! " Then they tarried 
all three, Salma, Salim and his wife, in joy and happiness and 
delight three days, veiled from the folk ; and it was bruited abroad 
in the city that the king had found his brother, who was lost for 
many a year, and had saved him from the Cook's house. On the 
fourth day, all the troops and the lieges assembled together to see 
the King and standing at his gate, craved leave to enter. Salma 
bade admit them ; so they entered and paid her royal suit and 

35O Supplemental Nights. 

service and gave her joy of her brother's safe return. She bade 
them do homage to Salim, and they consented and sware fealty to 
him ; after which they kept silence awhile, so they might hear 
what the king should command. Then quoth Salma, " Ho, ye 
gathering of soldiers and subjects, ye wot that ye forced me willy- 
nilly to accept the kingship and besought me thereof and I con- 
sented to your desires anent my being raised to rule over you ; and 
I did this against my will ; for I would have you know that I am 
a woman and that I disguised myself and donned man's dress, so 
peradventure my case might be concealed when I lost my brother. 
But now Allah hath deigned reunite me with my brother, and It is 
no longer lawful to me that I be king and Sultan over the people, 
and I a woman ; because there is no Sultanate for women, whenas 
men are present. 1 For this reason, an it suit you, set my brother 
on the throne of the kingdom, for this is he ; and I will busy my- 
self with the worship of Allah the Most High and thanksgiving to 
Him for my reunion with my brother. Or, an ye prefer it, take 
your kingship and make whom ye will ruler and liege lord thereof. 
Upon this the folk all cried out, saying, " We accept him to king 
over us ;" and they did him suit and service and gave him joy of 
the kingship. So the preachers preached the sermon 2 in his name 
and the court-poets praised him ; and he lavished largesse upon 
the soldiery and the suite and overwhelmed them with favours and 
bounties and was prodigal to the Ryots of justice and equity, with 

1 There is no Salic law amongst Moslems ; but the Rasm or custom of Al-Islam, 
established by the succession of the four first Caliphs, to the prejudice of Ayishah and 
other masterful women would be a strong precedent against queenly rule. It is the reverse 
with the Hindus who accept a Rani as willingly as a Rajah and who believe with Euro- 
peans that when kings reign women rule, and vice versa. To the vulgar Moslem 
feminine government appears impossible, and I was once asked by an Afghan, " What 
would happen if the queen were in childbed ? " 

2 Arab. " Khutbah," the sermon preached from the pulpit (Mimbar) after the congre- 
gational prayers on Friday noon. It is of two kinds, for which see Lane, M.E.. chap. iii. 
This public mention of his name and inscribing it upon the newly-minted money are the 
special prerogatives of the Moslem king : hence it often happens that usurpers cause * 
confusion of Khutbah and coinage. 

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan. 351 

goodly policy and polity. When he had effected this much of his 
affect, he caused bring forth the Cook and his household to the divan, 
but spared the old woman who had nursed him, because she had been 
the cause of his deliverance. Then all assembled without the 
town and he tormented the Cook and those who were with him with 
all manner torments, after which he did him to die by the foulest 
of deaths 1 and burning him with fire, scattered his ashes far and 
wide in the air. After this Salim abode in the governance, invested 
with the Sultanate, and ruled the people a whole year, when he re- 
turned to Al-Mansurah and sojourned there another year. And he 
and his wife ceased not to go from city to city and tarry in this a 
year and that a year, till he was vouchsafed children and they grew 
up, whereupon he appointed him of his sons, who was found fitting, 
to be his deputy in one kingdom and he ruled in the other ; and 
he lived, he and his wife and children, what while Almighty Allah 
willed.'' 2 " Nor " (continued the Wazir), " O King of the age, is this 
story rarer or stranger than the King of Hind and his wronged 
and envied Minister." When the King heard this, his mind was 
occupied, 3 and he bade the Wazir hie to his own house. 

1 For a specimen of which, blowing a man up with bellows, see Al-Mas'udi, chap, 

1 I.A A long time : the idiom has been noted before more than once. 
* i.e. \Viih what he had heard and what he was promised. 


STfoents^tg&tf) antr tLast Nt'gfjt of t&e 

WHEN the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister and 
bade him tell the story of the King of Hind and his Wazir. So he 
said, " Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O auspicious King, 


There was once in the Hind-land a king illustrious of worth, 
endowed with understanding and policy, and his name was Shah 
Bakht. He had a Minister, a godly man and a sagacious, right 
prudent in rede, conformable to him in governance and just in 
judgment ; for which cause his enviers were many and many were 
the hypocrites who sought faults in him and set snares for him, so 
that they insinuated into King Shah Bakht's eyes hatred against 
him and sowed in his heart despite towards him ; and plot followed 
plot, and their rancour waxed until the king was brought to arrest 
him and lay him in jail and to confiscate his wealth and degrade 
him from his degree. When they knew that there was left him no 
possession for which the king might lust, they feared lest the 
sovran release him, by the influence of the Wazir's good counsel 
upon the king's heart, and he return to his former case, so should 
their machinations be marred and their degrees degraded, for that 
they knew that the king would need whatso he had known from 
that man nor would forget aught wherewith he was familiar in him. 
Now it came to pass that a certain person of perverted belief 1 
found a way to the adorning of falsehood with a semblance of fair- 

1 Arab. " Shakhs mafsud," i.e. an infidel. 

The Tale of the King of Hind and his Wazir. 353 

seeming and there proceeded from him that whereby the hearts of 
the folk were occupied, and their minds were corrupted by his 
lying tales ; for that he made use of Indian quiddities 1 and forged 
them into proof for the denial of the Maker, the Creator, extolled 
be His might and exalted be He and glorified and magnified 
above the speech of the deniers. He avouched that it is the 
planets which order all worldly affairs and he set down twelve 
mansions 2 to twelve Zodiacal signs and made each sign thirty 
degrees, 3 after the number of the days of the month, so that in 
twelve mansions there are three hundred and sixty, after the 
number of the days of the year ; and he wrought a work, wherein 
he lied and was an infidel and denied the Deity, be He for ever 
blessed ! Then he laid hold of the king's heart and the enviers 
and haters aided him against the Minister and won the royal 
favour and corrupted his intent against the Wazir, so that he got 
of him that which he got and at last his lord banished him 
and thrust him away. By such means the wicked man obtained 
that which he sought of the Minister and the case was prolonged 
till the affairs of the kingdom became disordered, by dint of ill 
government, and the most part of the king's reign fell off from him 
and he came nigh unto ruin. On this wise he was assured of the 
loyalty of his whilome sagacious Wazir and the excellence of his 
ordinance and the rectitude of his rede. So he sent after him and 
brought him and the wicked man before him and summoning to 
his presence the Lords of his land and the Chiefs of his chieftain- 
ship, gave them leave to talk and dispute and forbade the wicked 

1 Arab. " Bunud," plur. of Persian " band " = hypocrisy, deceit. 

'Arab. " Buruj " pi. of Burj. lit. = towers, an astrological term equivalent to our 
"houses" or constellations which form the Zodiacal signs surrounding the heavens as 
towers gird a city ; and applied also to the 28 lunar Mansions. So in Al-Hariri (Ass. of 
Damascus) " I swear by the sky with its towers," the incept of Koran chapt. Ixxxv. j 
see also chapts. xv. 26 and xxv. 62. " Burj " is a word with a long history : 
burg, burgh, etc. 

* Arab. " Bundukah " = a little bunduk, nut, filbert, pellet, rule, musket bullet. 
VOL. I. Z 

354 Supplemental Nights. 

man from his perverted belief. 1 Then arose that wise Minister and 
skilful and praised Allah Almighty and lauded Him and glorified 
Him and hallowed Him and attested His unity and disputed with 
the miscreant and overcame him and silenced him ; nor did he 
cease from him till he compelled him to make confession of repent- 
ance from that which he had misbelieved. Therewith King Shah 
Bakht rejoiced with exceeding great joy and cried, " Praise be to 
the Lord who hath saved me from this man and hath preserved 
me from the loss of my kingship and my prosperity ! " So the 
affair of the Wazir returned to order and stablishment and the 
king restored him to his place and raised him to higher rank. 
Lastly, he assembled the folk who had striven against him and 
destroyed them all, to the last man. " And how like " (continued 
the Wazir), " is this story to that of myself and King Shah Bakht, 
with regard to that which befel me of the changing of the King 
and his crediting others against me ; but now is the fairness of my 
fashion fulfilled in thine eyes, for that Allah Almighty hath 
inspired thee with wisdom and endowed thee with longanimity 
and patience to hear from me whatso He allotted to those who 
forewent us, till He hath shown forth my innocence and made 
manifest unto thee the truth. For lo and behold ! the days are 
now past, wherein it was declared to the king that I should labour 
for the loss of my soul, 2 that is within the month ; and lookye, the 
probation-time is gone by, and past is the season of evil and it 
hath ceased by the protection of the King and his good fortune." 
Then he bowed his head and was silent. When King Shah Bakht 
heard his Wazir's speech, he was abashed before him and con- 
founded, and he marvelled at the gravity of his intellect and his 
long-suffering. So he sprang up to him and embraced him and 

1 See John Raister's " Booke of the Seven Planets ; or, Seven Wandering Motives,' 
London, 1598. 
* i.e. for the king whom I love as my own. soul. 

King Shah Bakht and his Wazir AI-Rakwan. 355 

the Minister kissed his feet Then the King called for a costly 
robe of honour and cast it over Al-Rahwan and honoured him 
with the highmost honour and showed him especial favour and 
restored him to his degree and Wazirate. Furthermore he im- 
prisoned those who had devised his destruction with lies and 
leasing and gave him full leave and license to pass judgment upon 
the Interpreter who had expounded to him the dream. So the 
Wazir abode in the ordering of the realm until Death came to 
them ; " And this " (added Shahrazad) " is all, O king of the age> 
that hath come down to us of King Shah Bakht and his Wazir." 



As for King Shahryar, he wondered at Shahrazad with the utmost 
wonder and drew her near to his heart of his abounding affection 
for her; and she was magnified in his eyes and he said within 
himself, " By Allah, the like of this is not deserving of slaughter, 
for indeed the time favoureth us not with her equal. By the 
Almighty, I have been reckless of mine affair, and had not the 
Lord overcome me with His ruth and put this one at my service 
so she might recount to me instances manifest and cases truthful 
and admonitions goodly and traits edifying, such as should restore 
me to the right road, I had come to ruin ! Wherefore to Allah be 
the praise herefor and I beseech the Most High to make my end 
with her like that of the Wazir and Shah Bakht." Then sleep 
overcame the king and glory be unto Him who sleepeth not ! * 
When it was the Nine hundred and thirtieth Night, Shahrazad 
said, " O king, there is present in my thought a tale which treateth 
of women's trickery and wherein is a warning to whoso will be 
warned and an admonishment to whoso will be admonished and 
whoso hath sight and insight ; but I fear lest the hearing of this 
belittle me with the liege-lord and lower my degree in his esteem ; 
yet I hope that this will not be, because 'tis a rare tale. Women, 
are indeed mischief-makers ; their craft and their cunning may not 
be told nor may their wiles be known ; while men enjoy their 

1 The Bresl. Edit. (xi. 318-21) seems to assume that the tales were told in the early 
night before the royal pair slept. This is no improvement ; we prefer to think that the 
time was before peep of day when Easterns usually awake and have nothing to do till 
the dawn-prayer. 

360 Supplemental Nights. 

company and are not instant to uphold them in the right way, 
neither are they vigilant over them with all vigilance, but relish 
their society and take whatso is winsome and regard not that which 
is other than this. Indeed, they are like unto the crooked rib, 
which an thou go abput to straighten, thou distortest it, and 
which an thou persist in -straightening, thou breakest it; 1 so it 
behoveth the wise man to be silent concerning them." Thereupon 
quoth Dinarzad, " O sister mine, bring forth that which is with 
thee and that which is present to thy mind of the story concerning 
the guile of women and their wiles, and have no fear lest this 
lessen thee with the king ; 'for that women are, like jewels, of all 
kinds and colours. When a gem falleth into the hand of an 
expert, he keepeth it for himself and leaveth all beside it Eke 
he preferreth some of them over others, and in this he is like the 
potter, 2 who filleth his kiln with all the vessels he hath moulded 
and under them kindleth his fire. When the baking is done and 
he taketh out that which is in the kiln, he findeth no help for it 
but that he must break some of them, whilst others are what the 
folk need and whereof they make use, while yet others there are 
which return to be as they were. So fear thou not nor deem it a 

1 See vol. ii. 161. 

2 Arab. Al-Fakhir. No wonder that the First Hand who moulded the Man-mud is a 
lieu commun in Eastern thought. The Pot and the Potter began with the old Egyptians. 
" Sitting as a potter at the wheel, god Cneph (in Philse) moulds clay, and gives the spirit 
of life (the Genesitic " breath ") to the nostrils of Osiris." Then we meet him in the 
Vedas, the Being "by whom the fictile vase is formed ; the clay out of which it is fabri- 
cated." We find him next in Jeremiah (xviii. 2) " Arise and go down unto the Potter'i 
house," etc., and in Romans (ix. 20), " Hath not the Potter power over the clay?" He 
appears in full force in Omar-i-Khayyam (No. xxxvii.) : 

For I remember stopping by the way 

To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay : 

And with its all obliterated Tongue 
It murmur'd "Gently, Brother, gently, pray !** 

Lastly the Potter shows in the Kasidah of Hajf Abdii al-Yezdi (p. 4) : 

"The first of pots the Potter made by Chrysorrhoas' blue-green wave ; 
Methinks I see him smile to see what guerdon to the world he gave." 

Shahrazad and Shahryar. 361 

grave matter to adduce that which thou knowest of the craft of 
women, for that in this is profit for all folk." Then said 
Shahrazad, " They relate, O king (but Allah alone knoweth the 
secret things) the Tale of 



ALADID (like Khadfdin) non -significant, 

'Abbas bin Mirdas (Chief of the Banu 

Sulaym), 40. 
Abbasides traced their descent from Al- 

Abbas, 14. 

Abd al-Malik bin Salih, 159. 
Abhak (composite word), 40. 
Abu al- Hasan (cleverness of), 30. 
AW al-Hasan-al-Khall'a, ?.<?., The Wag 

(old version "debauchee"), I. 
Abu Ishdk, /.*., Ibrahim of Mosul the 

musician, 14. 
Abu Sdbir = Father of the Patient (one), 


" Adab " translated "Arabic," 48. 
'Adi (A1-) = the Notary, 219. 
Adoption of slave lads and lasses common 

among Moslems, 76. 
'Adul = Assessors, 327. 
Afkah, a better Fakih or theologian, 

Ahwas al-'Ansrf (A1-) (Al-Akhwass 

Breslau Ed.}, 42. 
Ajal = the appointed day of death (tr. 

"appointed term"), 129. 
'Ajlan = a hasty man, 265. 
Ajr (A1-) = Heaven, 290. 
'Ajuz nahs = a foul crone, 310. 
'Akakfr (pi. of 'Akkdr) .-= aromatic roots 

(tr. " simples "), 282. 
Akhmitu Ghazla-ha lit. thicken her yarn 

or thread, 206. 
"Akkada lahu ray," plur. of "rayat " = 

a banner, 137. 
Ala al-Kaylah = "the place where they 

usually slept the siesta," 34. 

" Ala Tarflc al-Satr wa al-SalsSmab, 

meaning that each other's wives did not 

veil before their brothers-in-law, 270, 
'Alam = a pile of stones (tr. a "mark"), 

Allah (in peace of), 6. 

(and again by Allah), 9. 

(the peace of, be upon you and the 

ruth of Allah), 14. 

(is threatening unbelievers), 51. 

(name of, taken in vain), 87. 

(accomplish on them the ordinance 

of Almighty), 100. 
(I will give him the covenant of), 

(I seek.refnge with) = God forfend, 

(Allah, Allah ! sign of impatience) = 

Look sharp ! 231. 

(O spirit of), 251. 

(calls upon to witness a lie), 261. 
(while Almighty Allah willed) = a 

longtime, 351. 

Aman = Pardon (lit. "security"), 118. 
Amin = Overseer, 67. 
Amfn (AI-) Sixth Abbaside(A.D. 809-13), 

'Ammir = cause to flourish (tr. "Take 

and people "), 243. 
Amourist justified in obtaining his object 

by fair means or foul, 313. 
Amsaytu = I came at evening, 316. 
'An AW = (a propitiatory offering) for mjr 

father, 265. 

Arafshah = superintendent, 20. 
Aram (pi. of Inn), a beautiful girl, a white 

deer (Ir. " Reems ") 43. 

Supplemental Nights. 

Arwa written with a terminal ya is a 
woman's P.N. in Arabic, 94. 

Asar, clerical error for Sar = Vendetta, 
blood revenge, 134, 

'Ashshir or Tither, 243. 

A^i (AI-) = rebel, syn. with Pers. 

Asmi al-Adwiyah = names of the medi- 
cines, 283. 

Athr = sign, nark, trail (tr. "Scar"), 

Atraf(pl. of "Tarf") = great and liberal 
lords (tr. "chiefs"), 58. 

Aulad-i = sons (vulg. plural for dual) 

'Awn #/.= aids, helpers (tr. "guards"), 

Award o burd (Pars.) = brought and bore 
away, 210. 

BADAWI dogs dangerous, 316. 

Badrah lit. a myriad, ten thousand dir- 

hams, 278. 
Bahluwan (Arab, for Pers. Pahluwan) = 

a brave, a warrior, 131. 
Bahrjaur (in Pers. Bahr-i-Jaur = luck of 

Jaur-city), 57. 
Bakht (i) Zaman (Persian) = Luck of the 

Time, 102. 
Bakiyah = may also mean Eternal, as 

opposed to Faniyah = temporal (tr. 

"abide"), 39. 
Bakulat = pot-herbs (tr. " almond cakes "), 

probably clerical error for " Baklawat," 

Bandukah = a little bunduk, nut, bullet, 

etc. (tr. "degrees"), 353. 
Banj akrftashi = Cretan Bhang, 9. 
Banii Tay, the tribe of the chieftain and 

poet Hdtim Tal, 179. 
Barniyah = Pot (in which manna was 

collected), 265. 
Basharah, can hardly be applied to ill 

news (faulty text), 34. 
Bastinado used to extort confession, 148. 
Bathd = lowlands and plains outside 

Meccan Valley, 42. 
Bathah = inner court, 284. 
Bayn farsi-k wa '1-damf = lit. between 

fceces and menses (tr. " thy droppings 

and drippings"), 41. 

Bazaka = brought out, 209. 

Beating the bosom with a sunbaked brick, 


Bi al-Salam = in the Peace (of Allah), 6. 
Bihkamal (Pers. and Arab.) = "Good 

Perfection," 107. 
Bihkard = " Well he did," 107. 
Bihzad (Persian) = Bih (well, good) Zdd 

(born), 89. 

Bilal = moisture, beneficence, etc., 40. 
Bir al-Khatim = Well of the signet, 165. 
Blood moved between them (a "pathetic 

fallacy"), 77. 

Blowing a man up with bellows, 351. 
Book of Bakhtyar (Persian Bakhtydr 

Nameh) " The ten Waztrs, etc.," 55. 
Bostan al-Nuzhah = the Garden of 

Pleasance, 29. 
Breslau Edition quoted, I, 4, 15, 25, 39^ 

42, 47, 51, 55, 58, 60, 121, 131, 134, 

159, 165, 171, 175, 179, 185, 191, 266, 

334. 359- 
Buniid (pi. of Pers. " band ")= hypocrisy,' 

deceit (tr. "quiddities"), '353. 
Buruj (pi. of Burj) = lit. towers (tr. 

"mansions"), 353. 

Bystanders excited about some matter in 
no way concerning them, 303. 

CALIPH can do no wrong, 167. 

Caliph Omar bin Abd al-Aziz (The Good 

Caliph), 39. 
Chaugan (Persian) = the crooked bat used 

in polo, 109. 
Chavis and Cazotte quoted, 55, 60, 65, 

73. 81, 89, 94, 95. 97. 102, 103, 107, 

112, 121, 131, 147. IS 1 ' 
Circumstantial evidence not lawful amongst 

Moslems, 112. 
Cloud of Locusts believed by Arabs to be 

led by a King locust (the Sultan Jardd), 


Cock-speak = a natural clock called by 
West Africans Cokkerapeek, 10. 

Condition of forfeits (lit. order and accept- 
ance), 175. 

Cuckold, origin of, 205. 

"Cut the way" = became a highway- 
man, 90. 

Cutting the way (t.e. t waylaying travellers), 



= a mace, 95. 
Dad-bin (Persian) = one who looks to 

justice, 94. 

Dais (place of honour), 16. 
Danik (Pers. "Dang") = one-sixth of a 

dirham, i.e., about a penny halfpenny, 

Daral-Salam = Abode of Peace, n. 
Dastl = thou trampledst, 146. 
Dates and cream ( <{ Proud rider on the 

desired steed "), 59. 
Dawn prayer, 13. 
Days in Moslem year 354 ( = 6 months of 

29 days and the rest of 30), 245. 
Descended = Come down from Heaven, 

Devil may not open a door shut in Allah's 

name, 21. 
Diamond does not grow warm whilst held 

in the hand, 215. 

50 = about 40 shillings, 300. 
5.500 = 220, . 300. 

1,000,000 = 25,000, . 161. 
Died of laughter (now become familiar to 

English speech), 13. 
Dihkdn, in Persian = a villager (tr. " village 

headman"), 81. 
Dismantled his shop (removing goods from 

the " but " to the " ben "), 207. 
Doghrl = assuredly, 18. 
(They) Draw thee near to them = they 

make much of thee, 2. 
Dress (a Moslem should dress for public 

occasions), 159. 
Dyed robe (Abbasides, black ; Ommiades, 

vjhite ; Fatimites, green), 160. 

ELOPEMENTS of frequent occurrence, 317. 

Eunuchs, 70. 

Eyes swollen by swathes, 30. 

FAKHIR (Al-) = the potter, 360. 

Faras = amare (tr. "horses"), 216 

Fa>is=a Rider (tr. "horseman"), 103. 

Fars= Persia, 282. 

Fars (A1-) = Persians (a people famed for 

cleverness and debauchery), 2. 
Farl (Caliph's foster-brother), 1 66. 
" Feet towards Mecca," 34. 
Fighting rams, 2ia 

Ff-hi= " In him " (i.*.,either Mahommed) 

or " in it " (his action), 40. 
Firasah lit. judging the points of a mare 

(tr. "physiognomy"), 286. 
Fire lighted to defend mother and babe 

from bad spirits, 279. 
First day = our Sunday, 286. 
Firiiz (Pers. " Piroz ") ' = Victorious, 

triumphant, 185. 
Forehead (compared with a page of paper 

upon which Destiny writes her 

decrees), loo. 
Futiih (A1-) /t/.=the victories (tr. "the 

honorarium"), 285. 

GHAZBAN = an angry man, 265. 
Ghawwasun = divers (tr. "duckers"), 68. 
Ghusl or complete ablution after car. cop. 

Goat's droppings (used as fuel, also for 

practical jokes), 288. 
Guide going in front, 201. 

HADAS = moved ("event," a word not easy 

to translate), 321. 
Hadf (A1-) Fourth Abbaside (A.D. 785- 

786), 165. 

Hajib = Chamberlain, 324. 
" Hajj " never applied to the Visitation 

(ZiyaVah) at Al-Medinah, 196. 
Hajj (Al-) = the company of pilgrims (tr. 

"pilgrimage caravan "), 196. 
Hajj al-Sharif= Holy pilgrimage, 194. 
Hajjaj (A1-), 47. 

Hajjat al-Islam, the Pilgrimage com- 
manded to all Moslems, 194. 
Halawat = /V. a sweetmeat, a gratuity, a 

thankoffering (tr. "a douceur"), 35. 
Half of marriage settlement due to wife on 

divorcement, 311. 
Hamadan, a well-known city of Irk 

'Ajamf, 203. 

Hamhama= muttered, 265. 
Hammdm i.e. the private bagnio, 262. 
Hammam bin Ghdlib al-Farazdak, * 

famous Christian Poet, 42. 
Hantlt = perfumes (leaves of the lotus 

tree), 290. 
Hardis (pi. of Harisah)=meat puddings, 


Haram = " forbidden," sinful (tr, "use- 
less"), 72. 


Supplemental Nights. 

Harem, supposed t6 be in Eastern Wing 
of Palace, 199. 

Harfush= Larrikin, popularly a "black- 
guard," 4. 

Haron al-Rashid (house still standing), 


Hashim = breaker, 47. 

Hashimites (and Abbasides) fine specimens 

of the Moslem Pharisee, 159. 
Hasfr=mat (used for sleeping on during 

the hot season), 204. 
Haukalah " and " Haulakah," 265. 
Hazur (Al-)= loquacity, frivolous garrulity 

(tr. " jargon "), 283. 
" He Pilgrimaged : quoth one, Yes, and 

for his villainy lives (yujawir) at 

Meccah." Egyptian Proverb, 196. 
41 He who keeps his hands crossed upon 

his breast, shall not see them cut off." 


Hibemice, "kilt" for beaten, 247. 
Hidden, (for fear of the " Eye "), 75. 
"Hie Salvationwards " (the Words of 

Azan), 42. 
Himyan (or Hamyan) = a girdle (tr. 

"purse belt"), 152. 
His head forewent his feet = He fell down 

senseless, 17. 
Ho, Tuffahah! Ho, Rahat al-Kulub=O 

Apple, O Repose o' Hearts, &c., 17. 
Hour (would his' hour had never come), 


41 How very good he was to me," 32. 
Hudhud (tr. " hoopoe ") called from its 

cry " Hood ! Hood ! "), 148. 
Hundred dirhams = .4 (about), 43. 
Hysterics, common amongst the races of 

the East, 198. 

I AM BETWEEN His HANDS =at his service, 

I have not found thy heel propitious to 
me, 21. 

Ibl, specific name for camels (tr. " certain 
camels"), 315. 

Ibn al-Sammak = Son of the fisherman or 
fishmonger, 171. 

Ihtida divine direction, 313. 

Ihtirak= burning (used in the metaphor- 
ical sense of consuming, torturing), 35. 

Imam (the spiritual title of the Caliph), 43. 

In a modest way (lit. In the way of 

moderation), 248. 
'Irk al-Hashimi=the Hashimi vein, 29. 

JABR (Al-) = the tyranny (equiv. of " Chil 

law "), 212. 

Jahl= ignorance (also wickedness), 271. 
Jahrbaur (a fancy name intended to be 

Persian), 93. 
Jalinus= " Galen" (considered by Moslems 

a pre-Islamitic saint), 284. 
Jama'a atrdfah, /zY.=he drew in his ex- 
tremities (tr. "covered his hands and 

feet with his dress "), 1 14. 
Jami' = cathedral mosque, 250. 
Jamil bin Ma'mar al-Uzri. ("Jamil the 

Poet," and lover of Buthaynah) 41. 
Janzir (vulgarism for "Zanjlr"=a chain. 

Jaridah = Palm -frond stripped of its 

leaves, 264. 
Jarlr al-Khatafah, 39. 
Jariyah = damsel, slave-girl, used instead 

of " Sabiyah " = young lady, 134. 
Jauhar= the jewel, the essential nature of 

a substance (tr. "quintessence"), 212. 
Jawar=he became a mujawir (one who 

lives near a collegiate mosque), 196. 
Jewel inserted in the shoulder, 228. 
Jiddan (Egypto-Syria)= muchly, 115. 
Joanna Papissa (Pope John VUI. called 

" Pope Joan "), 340. 

KA*B=heel, glory, prosperity, 21. 

Kad = verily (affirmative particle preced- 
ing a verb gives it a present and at 
times a future signification), 245. 

Kadr=rank, 48. 

Kabbah = whore, 12. 

Kahinah = Divineress (fern, of Kahin), 

Kahramanah = housekeeper (also nurse, 
duenna, &c. &c.), 199. 

Ka'id ; lit. =one who sits with a colleague 
(tr. "Captain"), 59. 

Kala al-Rawi, etc., parenthetical formula 
= " The Story Teller sayeth, etc." 347. 

Kalb=stomaoh (sometimes "heart,") 26 

Kali = potash (our "alcali"), 8. 

Kamis (x i v> chemise, etc-) = shirt, 346. 



Kanfsah-a Pagan temple, a Jewish 

synagogue, a Christian church, 198 
Kariyah = a village (derivation), 83. 
Kdrddn (Persian) = Business-knower, 94. 
Karmdn = Karmania, vulg. and fancifully 
derived from Kirmdn. Pers. = worms, 59. 
Kasf= houghed, 155. 
Kasituna (Al-) = The Swervers, 52. 
Kasr = abbreviation, 295. 
Kayf, favourite word in Egypt and Syria, 


Khalbas (suggests Khalbus = a buffoon), 

Khalifah (Caliph) = a deputy, a successor 

(derivation), 4. 
Khanddik = ditches or trenches (for 

Fanadik, "khans"), 288. 
Khawdtfn (pi. of Khatun) = a matron, a 

lady, 122. 

Khayr al-Nassaj (the Weaver), 344. 
Khayydl = sturdy horseman, 320. 
" Khayyal kabrhu maftuh " (proverb), 320. 
Khubz Mutabbak = platter-bread, 3. 
Khubz Samiz = firsts bread, 261. 
Khulbah = sermon, 350. 
Khwajah and Khawajat (Pers.) = mer- 
chants (Arab.), 332. 
Kidr=a cooking pot, 48. 
King's Eye = Royal favour, 61. 
Kisra=Kutru (Bresl.) Kassera (Chavis 

and Cazotte), 60. 
Kisra=Chosroes, 97. 
" Kissing him upon the mouth," 153. 
Knife and salt placed on the stomach 

{Ar. Kalb) to repel evil spirits, 26. 
Koran quoted 

(cxii.) ... 25. 
vi. 44. - . 51- 
iv. 134, ... 52. 
Ixxii. 15, . . . it. 

ii. 173, . . . ICO. 
xxx. I, ... 134. 
xxvii., . . . 1 48. 
Ixxxv.; xv. 26 ; xxv. 62, 353. 
Kubbah = a dome-shaped tent (tr. 

" Pavilion "), 99. 

Kubbah (square building with Cupola), 1 19. 
Kubur = tombs, 295. 

Kumaj ah = First-bread (i.e., Bread un- 
leavened and baked in ashes), 8 
Kunaym Mad<id = Kingdom of Diacroux, 

Kursi= Throne, 10. 

Kuthayyir 'Azzah (contemporary of Jamil), 

Kuthayy !.-:=" the drawf," 41, 

LA AK'AL ("I will do naught of the kind ") 

more commonly M4 afal, 296. 
Labaas="No matter "or "AH right," 

(tr. " No harm be upon you), 160. 
Lahd, Luhd = tomb-niche, 292. 
Lane, quoted, 3, 10, II, 13, 16, 17, 27, 

29, 3i 34, 146, 290. 
Lex talionis (the essence of Moslem and 

all criminal jurisprudence), 100. 
Lialla (i.e., li, an, la) = lest, 140. 
Lib wah- lioness, 152. 
Liyuth (pi. of Layth) = Lions (used for 

"warriors"), 14. 
Long hand, or arm, means power (Arab. 

idiom), 114. 
Long lock left en shaven poll, 233. 

MAAM^N (A1-) Seventh Abbaside. (A,H 

198-227), 175. 
Mahdi (A1-) Third Abbaside (A.D. 

77S-785). 165- 

Mahr= marriage settlement, 283. 
Makan mahjub = a retired room, II* 
Makhzum = nose pierced, 47. 
Makra"n, the well-known Baloch province 

West of Sind, 335. 
Mai = wealth, 47. 
Malik Shah = King (Arab.) King (Persian), 


Mansurah (Al-)= opinions differ as to the 
site of, 341. 

Ma'rafah (A1-) = the place where the mane 
grows (tr. ' ' crest ' ' ), 298. 

Mat istan = Mad house, 18. 

' Marrying below one," 94. 

Marwazi = Marw (derived from Sansk. 
Maru or Marw), 288. 

Marzba'n=guardian of the Marshes, 234. 

Masalah=a question (tr. "catch-ques- 
tion"), 138. 

Masarat fi-ha = and she used hard words 
to her, 31. 

Mastiirah = veiled (fr. "curtained"), 309. 

Matmurah = a silo, maTamor, or "undc- 
ground cell," 84. 


Supplemental Ni&hts. 

Maunds (fifty) = about too !bs., 250. 
Miat wa arba'at ashar Surat=the 114 

chapters of the Alcoran, 147. 
Mihrjan (Al-) = the Autumnal Equinox, 


Milk and dates, a favourite food, 59. 
Miskah = Bit o' Musk, 16. 
Moslems all know how to pray, 13. 

bound to see True Believers 

buried, 289. 

shun a formal oath, 304. 
Mu'arris = pander, 206. 
Munajjim = Astrologer (authority in 

Egyptian townlets), 66. 
Munkati'ah = #/. "cut off" (from the 

weal of the world) tr. "defenceless," 

Munkar and Nakfr, the Interrogating 

Angels, 294. 

Muruwwah lit. = manliness, 303. 
Musalla = Prayer-place, 313. 
Musician, also a pederast, 209. 
Mutabattil (A1-) usually = one who forsakes 

the world (tr. " oyster "), 215. 
Muwaswas (Al-) = Melancholist, 264. 

NAB fz = date-wine (or grape-wirie). 160. 
Nafas Kt.= breath (tr. "air"), 124. 
Nairn (A1-) wa al- Yakzan = The Sleeper 

and the Waker, I. 
Nakah = She-dromedary, 315. 
Nawus = Tower of Silence, 264. 
" Necks " per synecdochen for heads, 47. 
Negative emphatic in Arabic, 206. 
Never may neighbour defy thee, etc. (May 

thy dwelling-place never fall into ruin), 

Nim = Persian Lilac (Melia Azadirachta) 

used as preventive to poison, 64. 
Nimshah=half sword or dagger, 14. 
Nishabur (Arab form of Nayshapur= reeds 

of (King) Shapur), 270. 
Nose (large in,- a woman indicating a 

masculine nature), 345. 
Nukl-i-Pishkil = goat-dung bonbons, 288. 
Nusfs = Halves (i.e., of dirhams), 300. 
Nu'uman (A1-), King of the Arab kingdom 

ofHirah, 179. 
Nuwab, (broken plur. of "Naubah,") the 

Anglo-Indian Nowbut (tr. "Drums"), 


Nuzhat al-FusCd = "Delight of th 
Vitals" (or heart), 25. 

O THOUSAND-HORNED (thousandfold 

cuckold), 247. 
Ovile of birth (origin (Asl) of a man held 

to influence his conduct throughout 

life), 62. 

Oath of triple divorce irrevocable, 246. 
Ober-Ammergau "Miracle play," 250. 
Omar 'Adi bin Artah, 39. 
Omar bin Abd al-Aziz = the good Caliph, 


Omar ibn Abi Rabi'ah, the Korashl (i.e. 
of the Koraysh tribe), 41, 



Payne quoted, I, 8, n, 34, 56, 134, 165, 
209, 222, 238, 278, 286, 288, 289, 306, 
311, 312, 322,327, 338, 344. 
Pilgrimage quoted 
i. 1 8, . 
22, . 
.38, . 

99, . 

100, . 
no, . 

ii. 219, . 
iii. 12, . 
Pit = grave, 88. 
Prayers at burial, beginning with foot 

"Takbirs," 290. 

Prayers, whilst at, the Moslem cannot be 
spoken to, 197* 


= a riding camel, 315. 
Rahwan (cor. of Rahban) = one who keep8 

the (right) way, 191. 
Rain and bounty are synonymous, 43. 
Rape, 311. 

Rasatik (pi. of Rustak) = villages, 256, 
Rasmal (vulg. Syrian and Egyptian form 

of Raas al-mal = stock in trade) = 

capital in hand, 248. 
Rawi = a professional tale-teller (tr. 

" Seer "), 56. 

Rizf (A1-) = a native of Rayy City, 288. 
Ring given as token to show fair play, 

Rising up and sitting down, usual sign of 

emotion, 348. 


Roum = Greeks, 134. 

Ruh Allah ///. = breath of Allah (tr. 

Spirit of Allah"), 251. 
Rumh = lance, 90. 
Rusdfiyah = a cap, 160. 
Rutab wa manazil = degrees and dig* 

nities, 217. 

SAFfH=slab over the grave (tr. " pave "), 

Safiil (A1-) = ranks of fighting men, or rows 

of threads on a loom, 48. 
Sahah = Courtyard (as opposed to "Bat- 

hah " = Inner Court), 284. 
Sahard/n?. Sahra, 251. 
Sails hoisted and canvas loosed (anchors 

weighed and canvas spread), 321. 
Sakhrah = labour, 84. 
Salim pronounced after prayers, 14. 
Sail = water-can (Lat. and Etruscan Situla 

and Situlus, a water-pot), 291. 
Secret, difficult foi an Eastern to keep, 

Seed pearls made into great pearls (also 

rubies and branch -coral), 197. 
Service (yearly value of his fief) 256. 
Shabakah = net (hung over shop during 

absence of shopkeeper), 205. 
Shah Bakht=King Luck, 191. 
Shahban, Bresl. Edit, form of Shahrydr= 

City Keeper, for City-friend, 334. 
Shahrazad (in Mac. Edit. Shahrazad), 


Shajarat al-t)urr= Branch of Pearl, 12. 
Shakhs mafsud=man of perverted belief 

(i.e. an infidel), 352. 
Shampooing (practice of), 116. 
Shamul (fem.) = liquor hung in the wind 

to cool, 42. 
Sharif (a descendant from Mohammed), 

Sharr (A1-) (" the wickedness "j last city in 

Makran before entering Sind, 336. 
Shaykh becomes ceremonially impure by 

handling a corpse, 290. 
Shroff (Arab Sayrafi), 298. 
ShubbaW lattice (also " Mashrabiyah" = 

latticed balcony,) 29. 
Si'at rizki-h = the ease with which he 

earned his livelihood (tr. " fortune "), 


Silk, Moslems may be shrouded in it, 

Sindiyan (from the Persian) = holm-oak, 

Sfstdn (Persian) Arab. Sijistdn, 56. 

Slave become a King (no shame to Mos- 
lems), 348. 

Soldiers serving on feudal tenure, 256. 

" Some one to back us," 135. 

Sons = Men, a characteristic Arab, 
idiom, 2. 

Stranger invites a guest during pilgrimage- 
time, 195. 

Subjects (men who pay taxes), 256. 

Suicide rare in Moslem lands, 325. 

Sultanate for Women. Custom of Al- 
Islam, a strong precedent against 
queenly rule, 350. 

TA'-AM = Millet seed (tr. "grain"), 5. 

Taannafu = Iong noses, 300. 

Tabaristan (adj. Tabari, whereas Tabarini 

=native of Tiberias), 94. 
Ta'dilu= Swerve (also " Ye do injustice "), 

Tafrik wa'1-jam'a = division and union, 


Tai = The man of the tribe of Tay, 180. 
Takiyah = litter, 99. 

TaHmizah = disciples (sing. Talmfz), 2$r. 
Tale of the Simpleton Husband (History), 

Tales were told before the peep of day, 


Tamasll = (the Pavilion of) Pictures (gener- 
ally carved images), 29. 

Tannur = large earthen jar (tr. " oven- 
jar "), 208. 

Tannur = oven (misprint for *' Kubur '* 
= Tombs), 265. 

Tarblyatl = rearling, 348. 

Tarkah = " A gin," a snare, 16. 

Tasill sallata'l-Munkatffn = tit. "raining 
on the drouth-hardened earth of the 
cut-off" (tr. "Watering the dry 
ground "), 34$- 

"That a standard be borne over his 
head," 161. 

" The Astrologers lied," 122. 

The babe to the blanket, and the adultress 
to the stone, 271. 


Supplemental Nights. 

The sumptuary laws compelling Jews to 
wear yellow turbans, 286. 

"Thou hast done justice" ('adalta), also 
means " Thou hast swerved from 
right." " Thou hast wrought equit- 
ably " also = "Thou hast transgress- 
ed," 51. 

Tither, unable to do evil, 245. 

Tobdni = unbaked brick, 34. 

Tohfah = A gift, 16. 

Torture endured through Eastern obstinacy, 

Twelvemonths, i.e. a long time, 319. 

UNDER MY RIBS = In my heart's core, 339. 

Urinal (old French name for phial in 

which the patient's water is sent), 285. 

VOCATIVE PARTICLES (five in Arabic), 85. 


(the regular Fellah language), 29. 
Waddi = Carry, 17. 

Wadi'ah = deposit (here sig. blows), 247. 
Wafat = death (decease, departure, as op- 
posed to Maut= death), 223. 
" Wahd," etc. (Arab.) corresponding with 

Syriac " ho "= behold! 275. 
Water-closet, Eastern goes to, first thing 

in the morning, 13. 
"We are broken to bits (Kisf.) by our 

own sin," 155. 
"What hast thou left behind thee, 0, 

Asdm"? *'.*. What didst thou seeP 

What is behind thee ? = What is thy 

news P 44. 
What was his affair P=/*V. "How was," 

etc., 58. 
When Fate descended (i.e. When the fated 

hour came down from Heaven), 62. 
White band, i.e. gifls and presents, 226. 
" Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein," 


Witch, 235. 

Women (all of one and the same taste), 96. 
" Women are of little wits and lack reli- 
gion," 31. 

YA. omitted (in poetical fashion) to show 

speaker's emotion, 149. 
Yd Abd Sabir = O Abu Sabir, 85 
Ya Bildl = O generosity, 40. 
Yd Hajjah (pron. Haggeh) = O Pilgritness, 

Ya Kabfri = mon brave, my good man 

(tr. "my chief"), 12. 
Ya Khalati = O my mother's sister (tr. 

" O naunty mine"), 32. 
Yd Madyubah = O indebted one, 249. 
Ya Nakbah = O calamity, 24. 
Yd 'llah ja"ri, yd walad = " Be off at once, 

boy," 9. 
Ya 'llah, ya 'llah = Allah and again by 

Allah (vulg. used for " Look sharp !") 


Ydhya, father of Ja'afar, made Wazir by 

Al-Rashid, 166. 
Yamdmah-land, 43. 
Yar'ad = trembleth (also thundereth), 

"Yaskut min 'Aynayh" lit. = fall from 

his two eyes, lose favour (tr. "lose 

regard with him"), 77. 

ZA'fF := impotent, 217. 

Zakdt wa Sadakdt = lit. paying of poor 
rate and purifying thy property by alms 
deeds (tr. " goodness and beneficence 
and charity and almsdoing,") 346. 

Za'mu = they tell, 51. 

Zalabiyah = a pancake, 33. 

Zird-Khdnah = armoury, 327. 

Zor-Khdn = Lord Violence, 94. 

Zubaydah's tomb, 15. 

Ziishdd (a fancy name) " Z&waah " fa 
Persian = ZwSi 9- 

BURTON, tr. 


Arabian nights, Supp., 1&86 

v. 1