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^ ^ 


(Paris omnia para) 

Arab Proverb. 

'Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole." 

"Decameron " conclusion. 

' Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum 

Sed coram Bruto. 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 Thouaand-and-Oae 
Stones makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively vmafi 
part of these truly enchanting fictions. " 

CRICHTON'S "History of Arabia. 


Nt$ts an* a M 







Shammar Edition 

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, 
of which this is 


1 2 1972 




To a consummate artist like yourself I need hardly suggest 
that The Nights still offers many a virgin mine to the Playwright ; and I 
inscribe this volume to you, not only in admiration of your genius but in 
the hope that you will find means of exploiting the hidden wealth which 
awaits only your " Open, Sesame 1 " 

Ever yours sincerely, 


LONDON, August i, 1886. 
























viii Contents. 




15. WOMEN'S WILES . 137 


AL-MILAH . . I$i 
















Contents. ix 




























THERE was once in the climes 2 of Egypt and the city of Cairo, 
under the Turks, a king of the valiant kings and the exceeding 
mighty Soldans, hight Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Bibars al- 
Bundukdari, 3 who was used to storm the Islamite sconces and the 
strongholds of " The Shore " 4 and the Nazarene citadels. His 
Chief of Police in the capital of his kingdom, was just to the 
folk, all of them ; and Al-Malik al-Zahir delighted in stories of the 
common sort and of that which men purposed in thought ; and he 
loved to see this with his own eyes and to hear their sayings with his 
own ears. Now it fortuned that he heard one night from a certain 
of his nocturnal reciters 5 that among women are those who are 
doughtier than the doughtiest men and prower of prowess, and that 
among them are some who will engage in fight singular with the 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 321-99, Nights dccccxxx-xl. 

2 Arab. "Iklfm" from the Gr. /cXt/xa, often used as amongst us (e.g. "other 
climes ") for land. 

3 Bibars whose name is still famous and mostly pronounced " Baybars," the fourth of 
the Baharite Mamelukes whom, I would call the "Soldans." Originally a slave of 
Al-Salih, seventh of the Ayyubites, he rose to power by the normal process, murdering 
his predecessor, in A.D. 1260 ; and he pushed his conquests from Syria to Armenia. In 
his day " Saint " Louis died before Tunis (A.D. 1270.) 

4 There are sundry Sahils or shore-lands. "Sahil Misr" is the &iver-side of Cairo 
often extended to the whole of Lower Egypt (vol. i. 290) : here it means the lowlands 
of Palestine once the abode of the noble Philistines ; and lastly the term extends to the 
sea-board of Zanzibar, where, however, it is mostly used in the plur. " Sawahil " = the 

5 Arab. " Sam mar " (from Samar, = conversatio nocturna), = the story-teller who in 
camp or house whiles away the evening hours. 

4 Supplemental Nights. 

sword and others who beguile the quickest-witted of Walls and 
baffle them and bring down on them all manner of miseries ; 
wherefore said the Soldan, " I would lief hear this of their leger- 
demain from one of those who have had to do with it, so I may 
hearken unto him and cause him discourse." And one of the 
story-tellers said, " O king, send for the Chief of Police of this 
thy city." Now 'Alam al-Din 1 Sanjar was at that time Wali and 
he was a man of experience, in affairs well versed ; so the king 
sent for him and when he came before him, he discovered to him 
that which was in his mind. Quoth Sanjar, " I will do my 
endeavour for that which our lord seeketh." Then he arose and 
returning to his house, summoned the Captains of the watch and 
the Lieutenants of the ward and said to them, " Know that I pur- 
pose to marry my son and make him a bridal banquet, and I desire 
that ye assemble, all of you, in one place. I also will be present, 
I and my company, and do ye relate that which you have heard of 
rare occurrences and that which hath betided you of experiences." 
And the Captains and Runners and Agents of Police answered 
him, " Tis well : Bismillah in the name of Allah ! We will make 
thee see all this with thine own eyes and hear it with thine own ears." 
Then the Chief of Police arose and going up to Al-Malik al-Zahir, 
informed him that the assembly would meet on such a day at his 
house ; and the Soldan said, " 'Tis well," and gave him somewhat 
of coin for his spending-money. When the appointed day came 
the Chief of Police set apart for his officers and constables a saloon, 
which had latticed casements ranged in order and giving upon 
the flower-garden, and Al-Malik al-Zahir came to him, and he 
seated himself and the Soldan, in the alcove. Then the tables 
were spread for them with food and they ate : and when the bowl 
went round amongst them and their souls were gladdened by meat 
and drink, they mutually related that which was with them and, 

1 " Flag of the Faith :" Sanjar in old Persian = a Prince, a King. 

Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Bibars at Bundukdari. 5 

revealed their secrets from concealment. The first to discourse 
was a man, a Captain of the Watch, hight Mu'fn al-Din, 1 whose 
heart was wholly occupied with the love of fair women ; and he 
said, " Harkye, all ye people of high degree, I will acquaint you 
with an extraordinary affair which fortuned me aforetime." Then 
he began to tell 

1 "Aidtr of the Faith." 


KNOW ye that when I entered the service of this Emir, 2 I had a 
great repute and every low fellow and lewd feared me most of all 
mankind, and when I rode through the city, each and every of the 
folk would point at me with their ringers and sign at me with theii* 
eyes. It happened one day, as I sat in the palace of the Prefecture, 
back-propped against a wall, considering in myself, suddenly there 
fell somewhat in my lap, and behold, it was a purse sealed and 
tied. So I hent it in hand and lo ! it had in it an hundred 
dirhams 3 , but I found not who threw it and I said, " Lauded be 
the Lord, the King of the Kingdoms ! " 4 Another day, as I sat j 
in the same way, somewhat fell on me and startled me, and 
lookye, 'twas a purse like the first : I took it and hiding thd 
matter, made as though I slept, albeit sleep was not with me. 
One day as I thus shammed sleep, I suddenly sensed in my lap a 
hand, and in it a purse of the finest ; so I seized the hand and 
behold, 'twas that of a fair woman. Quoth I to her, " O my lady, 
who art thou ? " and quoth she, " Rise and come away from here, 
that I may make myself known to thee." Presently I rose up and 

1 These policemen's tales present a curious contrast with the detective stories of 
M. Gaboriau and his host of imitators. In the East the police, like the old Bow Street 
runners, were and are still recruited principally amongst the criminal classes on the 
principle of "Seta thief," &c. We have seen that the Barmecide Wazirs of Baghdad 
"anticipated Fourier's doctrine of \hepassionel treatment of lawless inclinations," and 
employed as subordinate officers, under the Wali or Prefect of Police, accomplished 
villains like Ahmad al-Danaf (vol. iv. 75), Hasan Shuuman and Mercury AH (ibid.) and 
even women (Balilah the Crafty) to coerce and checkmate their former comrades. 
Moreover a gird at the police is always acceptable, not only to a coffee-house audience, 
but even to a more educated crowd; witness the treatment of the "Charley "and the 
" Bobby " in our truly English pantomimes. 

2 i.e. the Chief of Police, as the sequel shows. 

3 About 4. 

i.e. of the worlds visible and invisible. 

The First Constables History. *j 

following her, walked on, without tarrying, till we stopped at the 
door of a high-builded house, whereupon I asked her, " O my lady, 
who art thou ? Indeed, thou hast done me kindness, and what 
is the reason of this ? " She answered, " By Allah, O Captain 1 
Mu'in, I am a woman on whom love and longing are sore for desire 
of the daughter of the Kazi Amin al-Hukm. 2 Now there was 
between me and her what was and fondness for her fell upon my 
heart and I agreed upon an assignation with her, according to 
possibility and convenience ; but her father Amin al-Hukm took 
her and went away, and my heart cleaveth to her and yearning and 
distraction waxed sore upon me for her sake." I said to her, 
marvelling the while at her words, " What wouldst thou have me 
do ? " and said she, " O Captain Mu'in, I would have thee lend 
me a helping hand." Quoth I, " Where am I and where is the 
daughter of the Kazi Amin al-Hukm ? " 3 and quoth she " Be 
assured that I would not have thee intrude upon the Kazi's 
daughter, but I would fain work for the winning of my wishes. 
This is my will and my want which may not be wroughten save by 
thine aid." Then she added, "I mean this night to go with 
heart enheartened and hire me bracelets and armlets and anklets 
of price ; then will I hie me and sit in the street wherein is the house 
of Amin al-Hukm ; and when 'tis the season of the round and 
folk are asleep, do thou pass, thou and those who are with thee of 
the men, and thou wilt see me sitting and on me fine raiment and 
ornaments and wilt smell on me the odour of Ottars ; whereupon 

1 Arab. " Mukaddam : " see vol. iv, 42. 

2 "Faithful of Command ;" it may be a title as well as a P.N. For Al-Amin," 
see vol. iv. 261. 

3 i.e. " What have I to do with, etc. ?" or *' How great is the difference between me 
and her." The phrase is still popular in Egypt and Syria ; and the interrogative form 
only intensifies it. The student of Egyptian should always try to answer a question by 
a question. His labours have been greatly facilitated by the conscientious work of my 
late friend Spitta Bey. I tried hard to persuade the late Rogers Bey, whose knowledge of 
Egyptian and Syrian (as opposed to Arabic) was considerable, that a simple grammar of 
Egyptian was much wanted ; he promised to undertake it, but death cut short the design. 

3 Supplemental Nights. 

do thou question me of my case and I will say : I hail from the 
Citadel and am of the daughters of the deputies 1 and I came down 
into the town for a purpose ; but night overtook me all unawares 
and the Zuwaylah Gate 2 was shut against me and all the other 
portals and I knew not whither I should wend this night. Presently 
I saw this street and noting the goodly fashion of its ordinance 
and its cleanliness, I sheltered me therein against break of day. 
When I speak these words to thee with complete self-possession, 8 
the Chief of the watch will have no ill suspicion of me, but will 
say : There's no help but that we leave her with one who will take 
care of her till morning. Thereto do thou rejoin : 'Twere best 
that she night with Amin al-Hukm and lie with his wives 4 and 
children until dawn of day. Then straightway knock at the Kazi's 
door, and thus shall I have secured admission into his house, 
without inconvenience, and won my wish ; and the Peace! " I said 
to her, " By Allah, this is an easy matter." So, when the night 
was blackest, we rose to make our round, followed by men with 
girded swords, and went about the ways and compassed the city, 
till we came to the street 5 where was the woman, and it was the 
middle of the night. Here we smelt mighty rich scents and heard 
the clink of rings : so I said to my comrades, " Methinks I espy a 
spectre ; " and the Captain of the watch cried, " See what it is." 
Accordingly, I undertook the work and entering the thoroughfare 
presently came out again and said, " I have found a fair woman 
and she telleth me that she is from the Citadel and that dark night 

* Arab. " NawwaV' plur. of Naib (lit. deputies, lieutenants) = a Nabob. Till the 
unhappy English occupation of Egypt, the grand old Kil'ah (Citadel) contained the 
palace of the Pasha and the lodgings and offices of the various officials. Foreign rulers, 
if they are wise, should convert it into a fort with batteries commanding the town, like 
that of Hyderabad, in Sind. 

* For this famous and time-honoured building, see vol. i. 269. 

* Arab. "Tamldn," gravity, assurance. 

Arab. '"lyal-hu" lit. his family, a decorous circumlocution for his wives and 

5 Arab. "D*rb," lit. a road; here a large thoroughfare. 

The First Constable's History. 9 

surprised her and she saw this street and noting its cleanness and 
goodly fashion of ordinance, knew that it belonged to a great 
man 1 and that needs must there be in it a guardian to keep watch 
over it, so she sheltered her therein.'' Quoth the Captain of the 
watch to me, " Take her and carry her to thy house ; " but quoth 
I, " I seek refuge with Allah ! 2 My house is no strong box 3 and 
on this woman are trinkets and fine clothing. By Allah, we will 
not deposit the lady save with Amin al-Hukm, in whose street she 
hath been since the first starkening of the darkness ; therefore do 
thou leave her with him till the break of day." He rejoined, " Do 
whatso thou wiliest." So I rapped at the Kazi's gate and out came 
a black slave of his slaves, to whom said I, " O my lord, take this 
woman and let her be with you till day shall dawn, for that 
the lieutenant of the Emir Alam al-Din hath found her with 
trinkets and fine apparel on her, sitting at the door of your 
house, and we feared lest her responsibility be upon you ; 4 where- 
fore I suggested 'twere meetest she night with you.'* So the 
chattel opened and took her in with him. Now when the morning 
morrowed, the first who presented himself before the Emir was the 
Kazi Amin al-Hukm, leaning on two of his negro slaves ; and he 
was crying out and calling for aid and saying, " O Emir, crafty 
and perfidious, yesternight thou depositedst with me a woman 
and broughtest her into my house and home, and she arose in the 

1 When Mohammed All Pasha (the ' Great") began to rule, he found Cairo 
" stifled " with filth, and gave orders that each householder, under pain of confiscation, 
should keep the street before his house perfectly clean. This was done after some 
examples had been made and the result was that since that time Cairo never knew the 
plague. I am writing at Tangier where a Mahommed Ali is much wanted. 

3 i.e. Allah forfend ! 

3 Arab. " Mustauda' "= a strong place where goods are deposited and left in charge. 

4 Because, if she came to grief, the people of the street, and especially those of the 
adjoining houses would get into trouble. Hence in Moslem cities, like Damascus and 
Fez, the Harat or quarters are closed at night with strong wooden doors, and the guards 
will not open them except by means of a silver key. Mohammed Ali abolished thi 
inconvenience, but fined and imprisoned all night-walkers who carried no lanterns. See 
Pilgrimage, vol. i. 173. 

lo Supplemental Nights. 

dark and took from me the monies of the little orphans my wards, 1 
six great bags, each containing a thousand dinars, 2 and made off; 
but as for me, I will say no syllable to thee except in the Soldan's 
presence." 3 When the Wali heard these words, he was troubled 
and rose and sat down in his agitation ; then he took the Judge 
and placing him by his side, soothed him and exhorted him to 
patience, till he had made an end of talk, when he turned to the 
officers and questioned them of that. They fixed the affair on me 
and said, "We know nothing of this matter but from Captain 
Mu'in al-Din." So the Kazi turned to me and said, " Thou wast 
of accord to practice upon me with this woman, for she said 
she came from the Citadel." As for me, I stood, with my 
head bowed ground-wards, forgetting both Sunnah and Farz, 4 
and remained sunk in thought, saying, " How came I to be 
the dupe of that randy wench ? " Then cried the Emir to 
me, '* What aileth thee that thou answerest not ? " Thereupon 
I replied, " O my lord, 'tis a custom among the folk that he who 
hath a payment to make at a certain date is allowed three days' 
grace : do thou have patience with me so long, and if, at the end 
of that time, the culprit be not found, I will be responsible for 
that which is lost." When the folk heard my speech they all 
approved it as reasonable and the Wali turned to the Kazi and 
sware to him that he would do his utmost to recover the stolen 
monies adding, " And they shall be restored to thee. Then he 
went away, whilst I mounted without stay or delay and began 
to-ing and fro-ing about the world without purpose, and indeed 

1 As Kazi of the quarter he was ex-officio guardian of the orphans and their property, 
and liable to severe punishment (unless he could pay for the luxury) in case of fraud or 

2 Altogether six thousand dinars = ^3000. This sentence is borrowed from the sequel 
and necessary to make the sense clear. 

3 i.e. " I am going at once to complain of thee before the king unless thou give e 
due satisfaction by restoring the money and finding the thief." 

4 The Practice (of the Prophet) and the Holy Law (Koranic) : sec vofc . r, 36, i<6f> 
and i. 169. 

The First Constable's History. \ \ 

I was become the underling of a woman without honesty or 
honour ; and I went my rounds in this way all that my day and 
that my night, but happened not upon tidings of her ; and thus 
I did on the morrow. On the third day I said to myself, " Thou 
art mad or silly ; " for I was wandering in quest of a woman 
who knew me ! and I knew her not, she being veiled when I met 
her. Then I went round about the third day till the hour of mid- 
afternoon prayer, and sore waxed my cark and my care for 
I kenned that there remained to me of my life but the morrow, 
when the Chief of Police would send for me. However, as 
sundown-time came, I passed through one of the main streets, 
and saw a woman at a window ; her door was ajar and she was 
clapping her hands and casting sidelong glances at me, as who 
should say, " Come up by the door." So I went up, without fear 
or suspicion, and when I entered, she rose and clasped me to her 
breast. I marvelled at the matter and quoth she to me, " I am 
she whom thou depositedst with Amin al-Hukm." Quoth I to 
her, " O my sister, I have been going round and round in request 
of thee, for indeed thou hast done a deed which will be chronicled 
and hast cast me into red death 2 on thine account." She asked 
me, " Dost thou speak thus to me and thou a captain of men ? " and 
I answered, " How should I not be troubled, seeing that I be in 
concern for an affair I turn over and over in mind, more by 
token that I continue my day long going about searching for 
thee and in the night I watch its stars and planets ?" 8 Cried 
she, " Naught shall betide save weal, and thou shalt get the better 
of him." 4 So saying, she rose and going to a chest, drew out 
therefrom six bags full of gold and said to me, " This is what I 

1 In the corrupt text " Who knew me not ;" thus spoiling the point. 

2 Arab. Maut Ahmar" = violent or bloody death. For the various coloured 
deaths, see vol. vi. 250. 

3 i.e. for lack of sleep. 

4 i.e. of the Kazi. 

1 2 Supplemental Nights. 

took from Amin al-Hukm's house. So an thou wilt, restore it ; 
else the whole is lawfully * thine ; and if thou desire other than 
this, thou shalt obtain it; for I have monies in plenty and I 
had no design herein save to marry thee." Then she arose and 
opening other chests, brought out therefrom wealth galore and 
1 said to her, " O my sister, I have no wish for all this, nor 
do I want aught except to be quit of that wherein I am." Quoth 
she, " I came not forth of the Kazi's house without preparing for 
thine acquittance." Then said she to me, "When the morrow 
shall morn and Amin al-Hukm shall come to thee bear with 
him till he have made an end of his speech, and when he is 
silent, return him no reply ; and if the Wali ask : What aileth thee 
that thou answerest me not ? do thou rejoin : O lord and 
master 3 know that the two words are not alike, but there is 
no helper for the conquered one 3 save Allah Almighty. The 
Kazi will cry, What is the meaning of thy saying, The two 
words are not alike ? And do thou retort : I deposited with 
thee a damsel from the palace of the Sultan, and most likely 
some enemy of hers in thy household hath transgressed against 
her or she hath been secretly murdered. Verily, there were 
on her raiment and ornaments worth a thousand ducats, and 
hadst thou put to the question those who are with thee of slaves 
and slave-girls, needs must thou have litten on some traces of 
the crime. When he heareth this from thee, his trouble will 
redouble and he will be amated and will make oath that thou 
hast no help for it but to go with him to his house: however, 
do thou say, That will I not do, for I am the party aggrieved, 
more especially because I am under suspicion with thee. If 

1 Arab. "Mubah," in the theologic sense, an action which is not sinful (hardm) or 
quasi-sinful (maknih) ; vulgarly "permitted, allowed"; so Shahrazad "ceased to say 
her say permitted " (by Shahryar). 

z Arab. ' Ya Khawand" ; see vol. vii. 315. 

3 i.e. we both make different statements equally credible, but without proof, and the 
case will go against me, because thou art the greater man. 

The First Constable's History, 13 

he redouble in calling on Allah's aid and conjure thee by the 
oath of divorce saying, Thou must assuredly come, do tho* 
reply, By Allah, I will not go, unless the Chief also go with 
me. Then, as soon as thou comest to the house, begin by 
searching the terrace-roofs ; then rummage the closets and 
cabinets ; and if thou find naught, humble thyself before the 
Kazi and be abject and feign thyself subjected, and after stand 
at the door and look as it thou soughtest a place wherein 
to make water, 1 because there is a dark corner there. Then 
come forward, with heart harder than syenite-stone, and lay 
hold upon a jar of the jars and raise it from its place. Thou 
wilt find there under it a mantilla- skirt ; bring it out publicly 
and call the Wali in a loud voice, before those who are present. 
Then open it and thou wilt find it full of blood, exceeding for 
freshness, and therein a woman's walking boots and a pair of 
petticoat-trousers and somewhat of linen." When I heard 
from her these words, I rose to go out and she said to me, 
" Take these hundred sequins, so they may succour thee ; and 
such is my guest-gift to thee." Accordingly I took them and 
leaving her door ajar returned to my lodging. Next morning, 
up came the Judge, with his face like the ox-eye, 2 and asked, 
" In the name of Allah, where is my debtor and where is my 
property ? " Then he wept and cried out and said to the Wali, 
"Where is that ill-omened fellow, who aboundeth in robbery 
and villainy ? " Thereupon the Chief turned to me and said, 
"Why dost thou not answer the Kazi;" and I replied, " O 
Emir, the two heads 3 are not equal, and I, I have no 
helper; 4 but, an the right be on my side 'twill appear/' 

1 Arab. " Irtiydd " = seeking a place where to stale, soft and sloping, so that the urine 
spray may not defile the dress. All this in one word ! 

? Arab. " Bahar," the red buphthalmus Sylvester often used for such comparisons. In 
Algeria it is called ' Arawah : see the Jardin Parfume, p. 245, note 144 

3 i.e. parties. 

* i.e. amongst men. 

14 Supplemental Nights. 

At this the Judge grew hotter of temper and cried out, 
" Woe to thee, O ill-omened wight ! How wilt thou make 
manifest that the right is on thy side ? " I replied " O our lord 
the Kazi, I deposited with thee and in thy charge a woman whom we 
found at thy door, and on her raiment and ornaments of price. 
Now she is gone, even as yesterday is gone j 1 and after this thou 
turnest upon us and suest me for six thousand gold pieces. By 
Allah, this is none other than a mighty great wrong, and assuredly 
some foe 2 of hers in thy household hath transgressed against her ! " 
With this the Judge's wrath redoubled and he swore by the most 
solemn of oaths that I should go with him and search his house. I 
replied, " By Allah I will not go, unless the Wali go with us ; for, 
an he be present, he and the officers, thou wilt not dare to work thy 
wicked will upon me." So the Kazi rose and swore an oath, saying, 
" By the truth of Him who created mankind, we will not go but 
with the Emir ! " Accordingly we repaired to the Judge's house, 
accompanied by the Chief, and going up, searched it through, but 
found naught ; whereat fear fell upon me and the Wali turned to 
me and said, " Fie upon thee, O ill-omened fellow ! thou hast put 
us to shame before the men." All this, and I wept and went round 
about right and left, with the tears running down my face, till we 
were about to go forth and drew near the door of the house. I looked 
at the place which the woman had mentioned and asked, " What 
is yonder dark place I see ? " Then said I to the men, " Pull up 3 
this jar with me." They did my bidding and I saw somewhat 
appearing under the jar and said, " Rummage and look at what is 
under it." So they searched, and behold, they came upon a 
woman's mantilla and petticoat-trousers full of blood, which when 
I espied, I fell down in a fainting-fit. Now when the Wali saw 

1 Almost as neat as "oil sont les neiges d'autan,? " 

1 Arab. "Adi," one transgressing, an enemy, a scoundrell 

3 It was probably stuck in the ground like an amphora. 

The First Constables History. 15 

this, he said, " By Allah, the Captain is excused ! " Then my 
comrades came round about me and sprinkled water on my face 
till I recovered, when I arose and accosting the Kazi (who was 
covered with confusion), said to him, " Thou seest that suspicion is 
fallen on thee, and indeed this affair is no light matter, because 
this woman's family will assuredly not sit down quietly under her 
loss." Therewith the Kazi's heart quaked and fluttered for that 
he knew the suspicion had reverted upon him, wherefore his colour 
yellowed and his limbs smote together; and he paid of his own 
money, after the measure of that he had lost, so we would quench 
that fire for him. 1 Then we departed from him in peace, whilst I 
said within myself, " Indeed, the woman falsed me not." After 
that I tarried till three days had passed, when I went to the 
Hammam and changing my clothes, betook myself to her home, 
but found the door shut and covered with dost. So I asked the 
neighbours of her and they answered, "This house hath been 
empty of habitants these many days ; but three days agone there 
came a woman with an ass, and at supper-time last night she took 
her gear and went away." Hereat I turned back, bewildered in my 
wit, and for many a day after I inquired of the dwellers in that 
street concerning her, but could happen on no tidings of her. And 
indeed I wondered at the eloquence of her tongue and the readiness 
of her talk ; and this is the most admirable of all I have seen and 
of whatso hath betided me. When Al-Malik al-Zahir heard the 
tale of Mu'in al-Din, he marvelled thereat. Then rose another 
constable and said, " O lord, hear what befel me in bygone days." 

1 i.c. hush up the matter. 



I WAS once an overseer in the household of the Emir Jamil 
al-Din al-Atwash al-Mujhidi, who was made governor of the two 
provinces, Shark/yah and Gharbiyah, 1 and I was dear to his heart 
and he hid from me naught of whatso he desired to do ; and he 
was eke master of his reason. 2 It came to pass one day of the days 
that it was reported to him how the daughter of Such-an-one had a 
mint of monies and raiment and ornaments and at that present 
she loved a Jewish man, whom every day she invited to be private 
with her, and they passed the light hours eating and drinking in 
company and he lay the night with her. The Wali feigned not to 
believe a word of this story, but he summoned the watchmen of 
the quarter one night and questioned them of this tittle-tattle. 
Quoth one of them, " As for me, O my lord, I saw none save a 
Jew 3 enter the street in question one night ; but I have not made 
certain to whom he went in ;" and quoth the Chief, " Keep thine 
eye on him from this time forward and note what place he 
entereth." So the watchman went out and kept his eye on the 
Judaean. One day as the Prefect sat in his house, the watchman 
came in to him and said, " O my lord, in very sooth the Jew goeth 
to the house of Such-an-one." Whereupon Al-Atwash sprang to his 
feet and went forth alone, taking with him none save myself/' 4 As 

1 In Egypt ; the former being the Eastern of the Seven Provinces extending to the 
Pelusium branch, and the latter to the Canobic. The " Barari " or deserts, i.e. grounds 
not watered by the Nile, He scattered between the two and both are bounded South by 
the Kalubfyah Province and Middle Egypt. 

8 i.e. a man ready of wit and immediate of action, as opposed to his name Al-Atwash= 
(one notable for levity of mind. 

8 The negative is emphatic, * I certainty saw a Jew,'* etc* 

4 The " Irish bull " is In the text ; justified by 

They hand-in-hand, with wand' ring steps and slow 
Through Eden took their solitary way. 

The Second Constable's History. 17 

he went along, he said to me, " Indeed, this girl is a fat piece of 
meat." 1 And we gave not over going till we came to the door of 
the house and stood there until a hand-maid came out, as if to buy 
them something wanted. We waited till she opened -the door, 
whereupon, without question or answer, we forced our way into the 
house and rushed in upon the girl, whom we found seated with the 
Jew in a saloon with four da'fses, and cooking-pots and candles 
therein. When her eyes fell on the Wali, she knew him and risingto 
her feet, said, "Well come and welcome and fair cheer ! By Allah, 
great honour hath betided me by my lord's visit and indeed thou 
dignifiest my dwelling." Hereat she carried him up to the da'fs 
and seating him on the couch, brought him meat and wine and gave 
him to drink ; after which she put off all that was upon her of 
raiment and ornaments and tying them up in a kerchief, said to him, 
" O my lord, this is thy portion, all of it." Then she turned to the 
Jew and said to him, "Rise, thou also, and do even as I :" so he 
arose in haste and went out very hardly crediting his deliverance. 2 
When the girl was assured of his escape, she put out her hand to 
her clothes and jewels and taking them, said to the Chief, " O 
Emir, is the requital of kindness other than kindness ? Thou hast 
deigned to visit me and eat of my bread and salt; so now arise and 
depart from us without ill-doing ; or I will give a single outcry and 
all who are in the street will come forth." So the Emir went out 
from her, without having gotten a single dirham ; and on this wise 
she delivered the Jew by the seemliness of her stratagem. The 
company admired this tale, and as for the Wali and Al-Malik 

1 As we should say, " There are good pickings to be had out of this job." Even in 
the last generation a Jew or a Christian intriguing with an Egyptian or Syrian 
Moslemah would be offered the choice of death or Al-Islam. The Wali dared not break 
open the door because he was not sure of his game. 

2 The Jew rose seemingly to fetch his valuables and ran away, thus leaving the Wali 
no proof that he had been there in Moslem law which demands ocular testimony, rejects 
circumstantial evidence and ignores such partial witnesses as the policeman who accom- 
panied his Chief. This I have before explained. 


jg Supplemental Nights. 

al-Zahir, they said, Ever devised any the like of this device ?" 
and they marvelled with the utterest of marvel. Then arose a 
third constable and said, " Hear what betided me, for it is yet 
stranger and rarer."- 


I WAS one day abroad on business with certain of my comrades ;, 
and, as we walked along behold, we fell in with a company of 
women, as they were moons, and among them one, the tallest of 
them and the handsomest. When I saw her and she saw me, she 
lagged behind her companions and waited for me till I came up to 
her and bespake her. Quoth she, " O my lord (Allah favour thee !) I 
saw thee prolong thy looking on me and I fancied that thou knewest 
me. An it be thus, let me learn more of thee." Quoth I, " By 
Allah, I know thee not, save "that the Most High Lord hath cast the 
love of thee into my heart and the goodliness of thy qualities hath 
confounded me ; and that wherewith the Almighty hath gifted 
thee of those eyes that shoot with shafts hath captivated me." 
And she rejoined, " By Allah, indeed I feel the like of that which 
thou feelest ; ay, and even more ; so that meseemeth I have known 
thee from childhood." Then said I, " A man cannot well effect all 
whereof he hath need in the market-places." She asked me, " Hast 
thou a house ? " and I answered, " No, by Allah, nor is this city my 
dwelling-place." Rejoined she, " By Allah, nor have I a place ; 
but I will contrive for thee.*' Then she went on before me and I 
followed her till she came to a lodging-house 1 and said to the House- 
keeper, " Hast thou an empty room ? " The other replied, " Yes :" 3 
and my mistress said, " Give us the key." So we took the key and 
going up to see the room, entered to inspect it ; after which she 
went out to the Housekeeper and giving her a dirham, said to her 

1 Arab. " Raba', " lit. = spring- quarters. See Marba', iii. 79. 

2 Arab. " Ni'am," an exception to the Abbe Sicard's rule. " La consonne N est 
1' expression naturelle du doute chez toutes les nations, par ce que le son que rend la 
louche nasale, quand 1'homme incertain examine s'il fera ce qu'on lui <femande ; aini 
NE ON, NE OT, NE EC, NE tt, d'ou 1'on a fait non> not, net, nil. 

2O Supplemental Nights. 

w Take the douceur of the key l for the chamber pleaseth us, and 
here is another dirham for thy trouble. Go, fetch us a gugglet 
of water, so we may refresh ourselves and rest till siesta-time pass 
and the heat decline, when the man will depart and bring our bag and 
baggage.' 1 Therewith the Housekeeper rejoiced and brought us a 
mat, two gugglets of water on a tray, a fan and a leather rug. We 
abode thus till the setting-in of mid-afternoon, when she said, 
Needs must I make the Ghusl-ablution ere I faro," 2 Said ij 
" Get water wherewith we may both wash," and drew forth from 
my pocket a score or so of dirhams, thinking to give them to her ; 
but she cried, " Refuge with Allah ! " and brought out of her 
pocket a handful of silver, saying, " But for destiny and that the 
Almighty hath caused the love of thee fall into my heart, there had 
not happened that which hath happened." Quoth I, " Accept this 
in requital of that which thou hast spent ;" and quoth she, "O my 
lord, by and by, whenas mating is prolonged between us, thou wilt 
see if the like of me looketh unto money and means or no/' Then 
the lady took a jar of water and going into the lavatory, made the 
Ghusl-ablution 3 and presently coming forth, prayed the mid-after- 
noon prayer and craved pardon of Allah Almighty for the sin into 
which she had fallen. Now I had asked her name and she answered, 
" Rayhdnah," 4 and described to me her dwelling-place. When I 
saw her make the ablution, I said within myself, " This woman doth 
on this wise, and shall I not do the like of her doing ? " Then quoth 
I to her, " Peradventure 5 thou wilt seek us another jar of water ? " 
Accordingly she went out to the Housekeeper and said to her,"O my 

1 For this "Halawat al-Miftah," or sweetmeat of the key-money, the French denier 
a Z)ieu, Old English "God's penny," see vol. vii. 212, and Pilgrimage i. 62. 

3 Showing that car. cop. had taken place. Here we 6nd the irregular use of the inn, 
perpetuated in not a few of the monster hotels throughout Europe. 

3 For its rules and right performance see vol. vi. 199. 

4 i.e. the " Basil (issa)," mostly a servile name, see vol. i. 19. 

3 Arab. '* La'alla," used to express the hope or expectation of some event of possible 
occurrence; thus distinguished from "Layta" Would heaven! utinam ! Osi! etc. 
expressing desire or volition. 

The Third Constable's History. 21 

sister, take this Nusf and fetch us for it water wherewith we may 
wash the flags." 1 So the Housekeeper brought two jars of water 
and I took one of them and giving her my clothes, entered the 
lavatory and bathed. When I had made an end of bathing, I cried 
out, saying, " Harkye, my lady Rayhanah ! " However none answered 
me. So I went out and found her not ; but I did find that she had 
taken my clothes and all that was in them of silver, to wit, four 
hundred dirhams. She had also carried off my turband and my ker- 
chief and I lacked the wherewithal to veil my shame ; so I suffered 
somewhat than which death is less grievous and abode looking 
about the place, hoping that haply I might espy a rag wherewith to 
hide my nakedness. Then I sat a little and presently going up to 
the door, smote upon it ; whereat up came the Housekeeper and I 
said to her, " O my sister, what hath Allah done with the woman 
who was here ? " She replied, <f The lady came down just now and 
said : I'm going to cover the boys with the clothes, adding, and I 
have left him sleeping ; an he awake, tell him not to stir till the 
clothes come to him." Then cried I, " O my sister, secrets are safe 
with the fair-dealing and the freeborn. By Allah, this woman is not 
my wife, nor ever in my life have I seen her before this day ! " And 
I recounted to her the whole affair and begged of her to cover me, in- 
forming her that my private parts were clean unconcealed. She 
laughed and cried out to the women of the lodging-house, saying, 
"Ho, Fatimah ! Ho, Khadfjah ! Ho, Harffah ! Ho, San/nah ! " Where- 
upon all those who were in the place of women and neighbours 
flocked to me and fell a-mocking me and saying, " O pimp, 2 what 
hadst thou to do with gallantry ? " Then one of them came and 
looked in my face and laughed, and another said, " By Allah, thou 
mightest have known that she lied, from the time she said she liked 

1 Arab. " Baldt," in Cairo the flat slabs of limestone and sandstone brought from the 
Turah quarries, which supplied stone for the Jfzah Pyramids. 

3 Arab. " Ya Mu'arras ! " here = O fool and disreputable; see vol.i. 338. 

22 Supplemental Nights. 

thee and was in love with thee ? What is there in thee to love ? * 
A third said, " This is an old man without wisdom ;" and all vied 
one with other in exercising their wits upon me, I suffering mighty 
sore chagrin. However, one of the women took compassion on 
me after a while, and brought me a rag of thin stuff and cast it on 
me. With this I covered my shame, and no more, and abode 
awhile thus : then said I in myself, " The husbands of these 
women will presently gather together upon me and I shall be dis- 
graced." So I went out by another door of the lodging-house, 
and young and old crowded about me, running after me and crying, 
" A madman ! A madman ! " * till I came to my house and knocked 
at the door ; whereupon out came my wife and seeing me naked, 
tall, bare of head, cried out and ran in again, saying, " This is a 
maniac, a Satan ! " But, when my family and spouse knew me, they 
rejoiced and said to me, " What aileth thee ? " I told them that 
thieves had taken my clothes and stripped me and had been like to 
slay me ; and when I assured them that the rogues would have 
slaughtered me, they praised Allah Almighty and gave me joy of 
my safety. So consider the craft this woman practised upon me, 
and I pretending to cleverness and wiliness. Those present mar- 
velled at this story and at the doings of women ; then came for- 
ward a fourth constable and said, "Now that which hath betided 
me of strange adventures is yet stranger than this , and 'twas after 
the following fashion." 

1 These unfortunates in hot climates enjoy nothing so much as throwing off the clothes 
which burn their feverish skins : see Pilgrimage iii. 385. Hence the boys of Eastern cities, 
who are perfect imps and flibbertigibbets, always raise the cry " Majmin " when they see 
a man naked whose sanctity does not account for his nudity* 


WE were sleeping one night on the terrace-roof, when a woman 
made her way through the darkness into the house and, gathering 
into a bundle all that was therein, took it up that she might go away 
with it. Now she was big with child and nigh upon her time of 
delivery ; so, when she packed up the bundle and prepared to 
shoulder it and make off with it, she hastened the coming of the 
labour-pangs and bare a child in the dark. Then she sought for 
the fire-sticks and when they burned, kindled the lamp and went 
round about the house with the little one, and it was weeping. The 
wail awoke us, as we lay on the roof, and we marvelled. So we rose 
to see what was to do, and looking down through the opening of the 
saloon, 1 saw a woman, who had lit the lamp, and heard the little 
one crying. As we were peering, she heard our words and raising 
her head to us, said,, u Are ye not ashamed to deal thus with us and 
bare our shame ? Wist ye not that the day belongeth to you and 
the night to us ? Begone from us ! By Allah, were it not that ye 
have been my neighbours these many years, I would assuredly 2 
bring down the house upon you ! " We doubted not but that she 
was of the Jinn and drew back our heads; but, when we rose on 
the morrow, we found that she had taken all that was with us and 
made off with it ; 8 wherefore we knew that she was a thief and had 

1 Arab. " Daur al-Ka'ah " - the round opening made in the ceiling for light and 

2 Arab. " La-nakhsifanna " with the emphatic termination called by grammarians 
" Nun al-taakid "the N of injunction. Here it is the reduplicated form, the Nun 
al-Sakilah or heavy N. The addition of Ld (not) e.g. "La" yazrabanna " * let him 
certainly not strike, answers to the intensive or corroborative negative of the Greek 
effected by two negations or even more. In Arabic as in Latin and English two negatives 
make an affirmative. 

3 Parturition and death in warm climates, especially the damp-hot like Egypt are easy 
compared with both processes in the temperates of Europe, This is noticed by every 

2f. Supplemental Nights. 

practised on us a device, such as was never before practised ; and 
we repented, whenas repentance availed us naught. The company, 
hearing this tale, marvelled thereat with the utmost marvelling. 
Then the fifth constable, who was the lieutenant of the bench, 1 
came forward and said, " This is no wonder and there befel me a 
story which is rarer and stranger than this/' 

traveller. Hence probably Easterns have never studied the artificial Euthanasia which 
is now appearing in literature. See p. 143 "My Path to Atheism," by Annie Besant, 
London: Freethought Publishing Company, 28, Stonecutter Street, E.G., 1877; based 
upon the Utopia of the highly religious Thomas Moore. Also " Essay on Euthanasia," 
by P. D. Williams, Jun., and Mr. Tollemache in the "Nineteenth Century." 

1 i.e. he whose turn it is to sit on the bench outside the police-office in readiness for 



As I sat one day at the door of the Prefecture, behold, a woman' 
suddenly entered and said as though consulting me, " O my lord, 
I am the wife of Such-an-one the Leach, and with him is a com*> 
pany of the notables 1 of the city, drinking fermented drinks to 
such a place." When I heard this, I misliked to make a scandal $ 
so I bluffed her off and sent her away unsatisfied. Then I rose 
and walked alone to the place in question and sat without till the 
door opened, when I rushed in and entering, found the companyi 
even as the woman aforesaid had set out, and she herself with 
them. I saluted them and they returned my salam and rising, 
treated me with honour and seated me and served me with meat. 
Then I informed them how one had denounced them to me, but I 
had driven him away and had come to them by myself; so they 
thanked me and praising me for my kindness, brought out to me 
from among them two thousand dirhams 2 and I took them and 
went away. Now two months after this adventure, there came to 
me one of the Kazi's officers, with a paper, wherein was the 
judge's writ, summoning me to him. So I accompanied the 
officer and went in to the Kazi, whereupon the plaintiff, he who 
had taken out the summons, sued me for two thousand dirhams, 
declaring I had borrowed them of him as the agent or guardian of 
the woman. I denied the debt, but he produced against me a 
bond for that sum, attested by four of those who were to company 
on the occasion ; and they were present and bore witness to the 
loan. I reminded them of my kindness and paid the amount, 

1 Arab. " 'Udul " (plur. of 'Adil), gen. men of good reptrte, qtmfifted as witnesses ia 
the law-court, see vol. hr. 271. It is also used us belowj lor the Kazi'6 A&M**W*. 
About j8o. 

26 Supplemental Nights. 

swearing that I would never again follow a woman's counsel. Is 
not this marvellous ? The company admired the goodliness of his 
tale and it pleased Al-Malik al-Zahir ; and the Wali said, " By 
Allah, this is a strange story ! " Then came forward the sixth 
constable and said to those present, " Hear my adventure and that 
which befel me, to wit, that which befel Such-an-one the Assessor, 
for 'tis rarer than this and finer." 


A CERTAIN Assessor one day of the days was taken with a woman 
and much people assembled before his house and the Lieutenant 
of police and his posse came to him and rapped at the door. The 
Assessor peered from house-top and seeing the folk, said, " What 
do ye want ? " Replied they, " Speak with the Lieutenant of 
police Such-an-one." So he came down and as he opened the 
door they cried to him, " Bring forth the woman who is with thee." 
" Are ye not ashamed ? How shall I bring forth my wife ? " " Is 
she thy wife by book 1 or without marriage-lines ? " " She is my 
wife according to the Book of Allah and the Institutes of His 
Apostle." "Where is the contract?" "Her lines are in her 
mother's house." " Arise thou and come down and show us the 
writ." " Go from her way, so she may come forth." Now, as 
soon as he got wind of the matter, he had written the bond and 
fashioned it after the fashion of his wife, 2 to suit with the case, 
and he had written therein the names of certain of his friends to 
serve as witnesses and forged the signatures of the drawer and the 
wife's next friend and made it a contract of marriage with his wife 
and a legal deed. 3 Accordingly, when the woman was about to 
go out from him, he gave her the contract he had forged, and the 
Emir sent with her a servant of his, to carry her home to her 

1 Arab. "Kitdb" = book, written bond. This officiousness of the neighbours is 
thoroughly justified by Moslem custom ; and the same scene would take place in this our 
day. Like the Hindu's, but in a minor degree, the Moslem's neighbours form a 
volunteer police which oversees his every action. In the case of the Hindu this is 
required by the exigencies of caste, an admirable institution much bedevilled by ignorant 
Mlenchhas, and if "dynamiting " become the fashion in England, as it threatens to 
become, we shall be obliged to establish "Vigilance Committees" which will be as 
inquisitorial as caste. 

2 e.g. writing The contract of A. with B., daughter of Such-an-one, etc. 

3 Arab. " Hujjat," which may also mean an excuse. 

28 Supplemental Nights. 

father. So the servant went with her and when she was inside 
she said to him, " I will not return to the citation of the Emir ; but 
let the Assessors present themselves and take my contract.* 
Hereupon the servant carried this message to the Lieutenant of 
police, who was standing at the Assessor's door, and he said, 
" This is permissible." Then said the Assessor to the servant, 
" Fare, O eunuch, and fetch us Such-an-one the Notary ; " for that 
he was his friend and 'twas he whose name he had forged as the 
drawer-up of the contract. 1 So the Lieutenant sent after him and 
fetched him to the Assessor, who, when he saw him, said to him, 
" Get thee to Such-an-one, her with whom thou marriedst me, and 
cry out upon her, and when she cometh to thee, 2 demand of her the 
contract and take it from her and bring it to us." And he signed 
to him, as much as to say, " Bear me out in the lie and screen me, 
for that she is a strange woman and I 3 am in fear of the Lieu- 
tenant who standeth at the door ; and we beseech Allah Almighty 
to screen us and you from the woes of this world. Amen." So 
the Notary went up to the Lieutenant, who was among the 
witnesses, and said, "'Tis well. Is she not Such-an-one whose 
marriage-contract we drew up in such a place ? " Then he betook 
himself to the woman's house and cried out upon her ; whereat 
she brought him the forged contract and he took it and returned 
with it to the Lieutenant of police. 4 When the officer had taken 
cognizance of the document and professed himself satisfied, the 
Assessor said to the Notary, " Go to our lord and master, the 
Kazi of the Kazis, and acquaint him with that which befalleth his 
Assessors." The Notary rose to go, but the Lieutenant feared for 
himself and was urgent in beseeching the Assessor and in kissing his 

1 The last clause is supplied by Mr. Payne to stop a gap in the broken text. 

2 The text idiotically says " To the King." 

3 In the text " Nahnu " = we, for I ; a common vulgarism in Egypt and Syria. 

4 This clause has required extensive trimming ; the text making the Notary write out 
the contract (which was already written) in the woman's house. 

The Sixth Constable's History. 29 

hands till he forgave him ; whereupon the Lieutenant went away 
in the utmost concern and affright. On such wise the Assessor 
ordered the case and carried out the forgery and feigned marriage 
with the woman ; and thus escaped calumny and calamity by the 
seemliness of his stratagem. 1 The folk marvelled at this with the 
uttermost marvel and the seventh constable said : There befel 
me in Alexandria the God-guarded a wondrous thing, and 'twas 
this. 2 

1 Arab. "Husn tadbir" = lit. " beauty of his contrivance." Husn, like KoA.05, 
pulcher, beau and bello, is applied to moral and intellectual qualities as well as to 
physical and material. Hence the KO\O y/>o>v, or old gentleman which in Romaic 
becomes Calogero, a monk. 

8 fa that some one told me the following tale. 


THERE came one day an old woman to the stuff-bazar, with 
a casket of mighty fine workmanship, containing trinkets, and 
she was accompanied by a young baggage big with child. The 
crone sat down at the shop of a draper and giving him to know 
that the girl was pregnant by the Prefect l of Police of the city, 
took of him, on credit, stuffs to the value of a thousand dinars 
and deposited with him the casket as security. She opened the 
casket and showed him that which was therein and he found 
it full of trinkets of price; so he trusted her with the goods 
and she farewelled him and carrying the stuffs to the girl who 
was with her, went her way. Then the old woman was absent 
from him a great while, and when her absence was prolonged, 
the draper despaired of her ; so he went up to the Prefect's house 
and asked anent the woman of his household who had taken 
his stuffs on credit ; but could obtain no tidings of her nor happen 
on any trace of her. Then he. brought out the casket of jewellery 
and showed it to experts, who told him that the trinkets were 
gilt and that their worth was but an hundred dirhams. When 
he heard this, he was sore concerned thereat and presenting 
himself before the Deputy of the Sultan made his complaint to 
him ; whereupon the official knew that a sleight had been served 
upon him and that the sons of Adam 2 had cozened him and 
conquered him and cribbed his stuffs. Now the magistrate in 
question was a man of experience and judgment, well versed 
in affairs ; so he said to the draper, " Remove somewhat from 
thy shop, including the casket, and to-morrow morning break 

1 Arab. " Mutawallf " : see voL i. 259. 
1 *'.*. his Moslem neighbours. 

The Seventh Constable's History. 31 

the lock and cry out and come to me and complain that they have 
plundered all thy shop. 1 Also mind thou call upon Allah for 
aid and wail aloud and acquaint the people, so that a world of folk 
may flock to thee and sight the breach of the lock and that which 
is missing from thy shop : and on this wise display it to every 
one who presenteth himself that the news may be noised abroad, 
and tell them that thy chief concern is for a casket of great value, 
deposited with thee by a great man of the town and that thou 
standest in fear of him. But be thou not afraid and still say 
ever and anon in thy saying : My casket was the casket of Such- 
an-one, and I fear him and dare not bespeak him ; but you, O 
company and all ye who are present, I call you to witness of this 
for me. And if there be with thee more than this saying, say it ; 
and the old woman will assuredly come to thee." The draper 
answered with " To hear is to obey " and going forth from the 
Deputy's presence, betook himself to his shop and brought out 
thence the casket and a somewhat making a great display, which 
he removed to his house. At break of day he arose and going 
to his shop, broke the lock and shouted and shrieked and called 
on Allah for aid, till each and every of the folk assembled about 
him and all who were in the city were present, whereupon he 
cried out to them, saying even as the Prefect had bidden him ; 
and this was bruited abroad. Then he made for the Prefecture 
and presenting himself before the Chief of Police, cried out 
and complained and made a show of distraction. After three 
days, the old woman came to him and bringing him the thousand 
dinars, the price of the stuffs, demanded the casket. 2 When he 
saw her, he seized her and carried her to the Prefect of the city ; 
and when she came before the Kazi, he said to her, "Woe to 
thee O Sataness ; did not thy first deed suffice thee, but thou 

1 In the text is a fearful confusion of genders. 

8 Her object was to sue him for the loss of the pledge and to demand fabulous 


32 Supplemental Nights. 

must come a second time ? " She replied, a I am of those 
who seek their salvation J in the cities, and we foregather every 
month; and, yesterday we foregathered." He asked her, "Canst 
thou cause me to catch them ? " and she answered, " Yes ; but, 
an thou wait till to-morrow, they will have dispersed ; so I will 
deliver them to thee to-night." The Emir said to her, "Go;" 
and said she, " Send with me one who shall go with me to them 
and obey me in whatso I shall say to him, and all that I bid 
him he shall not gainsay and therein conform to my way." 
Accordingly, he gave her a company of men and she took 
them and bringing them to a certain door, said to them, "Stand 
ye here, at this door, and whoso cometh out to you, seize him ; 
and I will come out to you last of all/' " Hearing and obeying," 
answered they and stood at the door, whilst the crone went 
in. They waited a whole hour, even as the Sultan's deputy 
had bidden them, but none came out to them and their standing 
waxed longsome ; and when they were weary of waiting, they went 
up to the door and smote upon it a heavy blow and a violent, 
so that they came nigh to break the wooden bolt. Then one 
of them entered and was absent a long while, but found naught ; 
so he returned to his comrades and said to them, " This is the 
door of a dark passage, leading to such a thoroughfare; and 
indeed she laughed at you and left you and went away." 2 Wheni 
they heard his words, they returned to the Emir and acquainted 
him with the case, whereby he knew that the old woman was 
a cunning craft-mistress and that she had mocked at them 
and cozened them and put a cheat on them, to save herself. 
Witness, then, the wiles of this woman and that which she 

1 Arab. " Ya*tamiduna hnda-hum " = purpose the right direction, a skit at the 
devotees of her age and sex ; and an impudent comment upon the Prefect's address 
"O she-devil!" 

2 The trick has often been played in modern times at urs, shows, etc. Witness the 
old Joe Miller of the Moving Multitude." 

The Seventh Constables History. 


contrived of guile, for all her lack of foresight in presenting 
herself a second time to the draper and not suspecting that 
his conduct was but a sleight; yet, when she found herself 
hard upon calamity, she straightway devised a device for her 
deliverance. When the company heard the seventh constable's 
story* they were moved to mirth galore, than which naught 
could be more ; and Al-Malik al-Zahir Bibars rejoiced in that 
which he heard and said, " Verily, there betide things in this 
world wherefrom kings are shut out, by reason of their exalted 
degree ! " Then came forward another person from amongst the 
company and said, " There hath reached me through one of my 
friends a similar story bearing on the malice of women and their 
wiles, and it is more wondrous and marvellous, more diverting 
and more delectable than all that hath been told to you." Quoth 
the company there present, " Tell us thy tale and expound it unto 
us, so we may see that which it hath of extraordinary." And he 
began to relate 


YE must know that a company, amongst whom was a friend of 
mine, once invited me to an entertainment ; so I went with him, 
and when we came into his house and sat down. on his couch, he 
said to me, " This is a blessed day and a day of gladness, and who 
is he that liveth to see the like of this day ? I desire that thou 
practise with us and disapprove not our proceedings, for that thou 
hast been accustomed to fall in with those who offer this." 1 I 
consented thereto and their talk happened upon the like of this 
subject 2 Presently, my friend, who had invited me, arose from 
among them and said to them, " Listen to me and I will acquaint 
you with an adventure which happened to me. There was a 
certain person who used to visit me in my shop, and I knew him 
not nor he knew me, nor ever in his life had he seen me ; but he 
was wont, whenever he wanted a dirham or two, by way of loan, 
to come to me and ask me, without acquaintance or introduction 
between me and him, and I would give him what he required. I 
told none of him, and matters abode thus between us a long while 
till he began a-borrowing at a time ten or twenty dirhams, more or 
less. One day, as I stood in my shop, behold, a woman suddenly 
came up to me and stopped before me ; and she was a presence as 
she were the full moon rising from among the constellations, and 
the place was a-light by her light When I saw her, I fixed my 
eyes on her and stared in her face ; and she fell to bespeaking me 
with soft voice. When I heard her words and the sweetness of her 
speech, I lusted after her ; and as soon as she saw that I longed for 
her, she did her errand and promising me an assignation, went 

1 Apparently meaning the forbidden pleasures of wine and wassail, loose talk and tales 
of women's wiles, a favourite subject with the lewder sort of Moslem. 
' i.e. women's tricks. 

The Eighth Constable's History. '$f 

away, leaving my thoughts occupied with her and fire a-flame in my 
heart. Accordingly I abode, perplexed and pondering my affair, 
the fire still burning in my heart, till the third day, when she came 
again and I could hardly credit her coming. When I saw her, I 
talked with her and cajoled her and courted her and craved her 
favour with speech and invited her to my house ; but, hearing all 
this, she only answered, " I will not go up into any one's house." 
Quoth I, " I will go with thee " and quoth she, u Arise and come 
with me." So I rose and putting into my sleeve a kerchief, wherein 
was a fair sum of silver and a considerable, followed the woman, 
who forwent me and ceased not walking till she brought me to a 
lane and to a door, which she bade me unlock. I refused and 
she opened it and led me into the vestibule. As soon as I had 
entered, she bolted the entrance door from within and said to me, 
" Sit here till I go in to the slave-girls and cause them enter a 
place whence they shall not see me." " 'Tis well," answered I and 
sat down : whereupon she entered and was absent from me an eye- 
twinkling, after which she returned to me, without a veil, and 
straightway said, " Arise and enter in the name of Allah." So I 
arose and went in after her and we gave not over going till we 
reached a saloon. When I examined the place, I found it neither 
handsome nor pleasant, but desolate and dreadful without 
symmetry or cleanliness ; indeed, it was loathsome to look upon 
and there was in it a foul smell. After this inspection I seated 
myself amiddlemost the saloon, misdoubting ; and lo and behold t 
as I sat, there came down on me from the dais a body of seven 
naked men, without other clothing than leather belts about their 
waists. One of them walked up to me and took my turband,' 
whilst another seized my kerchief that was in my sleeve, with my 
money, and a third stripped me of my clothes ; after which a 
fourth came and bound my hands behind my back with his belt 
Then they all took me up, pinioned as I was, and casting me 
down, fell a-haling me towards a sink-hole that was there and 

36 Supplemental Nights. 

were about to cut my throat, when suddenly there came a violent 
knocking at the door. As they heard the raps, they were afraid 
and their minds were diverted from me by affright ; so the woman 
went out and presently returning, said to them, " Fear not ; no 
harm shall betide you this day. 'Tis only your comrade who hath 
brought you your dinner." With this the new-comer entered, 
bringing with him a roasted lamb ; and when he came in to them, 
he asked, " What is to do with you, that ye have tucked up sleeves 
and bag-trousers ? " Replied they, " This is a head of game we've 
caught." As he heard these words, he came up to me and peering 
in my face, cried out and said, " By Allah, this is rny brother, the 
son of my mother and father ! Allah ! Allah ! " Then he loosed 
me from my pinion-bonds and bussed my head, and behold it 
was my friend who used to borrow silver of me. When I kissed 
his head, he kissed mine and said, " O my brother, be not 
affrighted ; " and he called for my clothes and coin and restored 
all to me nor was aught missing. Also, he brought me a porcelain 
bowl full of sherbet of sugar, with lemons therein, and gave me to 
drink ; and the company came and seated me at a table. So I ate 
with them and he said to me, " O my lord and my brother, now 
have bread and salt passed between us and thou hast discovered 
our secret and our case ; but secrets with the noble are safe." I 
replied, " As I am a lawfully-begotten child and a well-born, I will 
not name aught of this nor denounce you ! " They assured them- 
selves of me by an oath ; then they brought me out and I went 
my way, very hardly crediting but that I was of the dead. I 
lay ill in my house a whole month ; after which I went to the 
Hammam and coming out, opened my shop and sat selling and 
buying as was my wont, but saw no more of that man or that 
woman till, one day, there stopped before my shop a young 
Turkoman, 1 as he were the full moon ; and he was a sheep- 

1 The "Turkoman" in the text first comes in afterwards. 

The Eighth Constable's History. 37 

merchant and had with him a leathern bag, wherein was money, 
the price of sheep he had sold. He was followed by the woman, 
and when he stopped over against my shop, she stood by his side 
and cajoled him, and indeed he inclined to her with great incli- 
nation. As for me, I was dying of solicitude for him and began 
casting furtive glances at him and winked at him, till he chanced 
to look round and saw me signing to him ; whereupon the woman 
gazed at me and made a signal with her hand and went away. 
The Turkoman followed her and I deemed him dead without 
a doubt; wherefore I feared with exceeding fear and shut 
my shop. Then I journeyed for a year's space and returning, 
opened my shop ; whereupon, behold, the woman as she walked 
by came up to me and said, "This is none other than a great 
absence." I replied, "I have been on a journey;" and she 
asked, " Why didst thou wink at the Turkoman ? " I answered, 
" Allah forfend ! I did not wink at him." Quoth she, " Beware 
lest thou thwart me;" and went away. Awhile after thrs a 
familiar of mine invited me to his house and when I came to 
him, we ate and drank and chatted. Then he asked me, "O 
my friend, hath there befallen thee aught of sore trouble in 
the length of thy life ? " Answered I, " Tell me first, hath there 
befallen thee aught ? " He rejoined : Know that one day 
I espied a fair -woman ; so I followed her and sued her to 
come home with me. Quoth she, I will not enter any one's 
house but my own ; so come thou to my home, an thou wilt, 
and be it on such a day. Accordingly, on the appointed day, 
her messenger l came to me, proposing to carry me to her ; 
and when he announced his purpose I arose and went with 
him, till we arrived at a goodly house and a great door. He 
opened the door and I entered, whereupon he bolted it behind 
me and would have gone in ; but I feared with exceeding 

1 Arab. " Ksisid," the oW Anglo-Indian "Cossid " : see voL vii. 340. 

3# Supplemental Nights. 

fear and foregoing him to the second door, whereby he would 
have had me enter, bolted it and cried out at him, saying, 
" By Allah, an thou open not to me, I will slay thee ; l for I 
am none of those whom thou canst readily cozen ? " " What 
deemest thou of cozening?'* "Verily, I am startled by the 
loneliness of the house and the lack of any keeper at its 
door ; for I see none appear.'* " O my lord, this is a private 
door." " Private or public, open to me." So he opened to me 
and I went out and had gone but a little way from the door 
when I met a woman, who said to me, " A long life was 
fore-ordained to thee ; else hadst thou never come forth of 
yonder house." I asked, " How so ? " and she answered, 
"Enquire of thy friend Such-an-one," (naming thee), "and 
he will acquaint thee with strange things." So, Allah upon 
thee, O my friend, tell me what befel thee of wondrous and 
marvellous, for I have told thee what befel me." " O my brother 
I am bound by a solemn oath." " O my friend, false thine oath 
and tell me/' 2 " Indeed, I dread the issue of this/' But he 
urged me till I told him all, whereat he marvelled. Then I 
went away from him and abode a long while, without further 
news. One day, I met another of my friends who said to 
me, " A neighbour of mine hath invited me to hear singers " 
but I said : " I will not foregather with any one/' However, he 
prevailed upon me ; so we repaired to the place and found there a 
person, who came to meet us and said, " Bismillah ! " 3 Then he 
pulled out a key and opened the door, whereupon we entered and 
he locked the door after us. Quoth I, "We are the first of the 
folk ; but where be the singers' voices ? " He replied, " They're 

1 Being a merchant he wore dagger and sword, a safe practice as it deters attack and 
far better than carrying hidden weapons, derringers and revolvers which, originating in 
the United States, have now been adopted by the most civilised nations in Europe. 

2 I have noted (vol. ii. 186, iv. 175) the easy expiation of perjury amongst Moslems, aa 
ugly blot in their moral code. 

3 i*e. Enter in the name of Allah. 

The Eighth Constable's History. 39 

within the house : this is but a private door ; so be not amazed at 
the absence of the folk." My friend said to me, " Behold, we are 
two, and what can they dare to do with us ? " Then he brought 
us into the house, and when we entered the saloon, we found it 
desolate exceedingly and dreadful of aspect. Quoth my friend, 
" We are fallen into a trap ; but there is no Majesty and there is 
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " And quoth I, 
" May God never requite thee for me with good ! M1 Then we sat 
down on the edge of the dais and suddenly I espied a closet 
beside me ; so I peered into it and my friend asked me, " What 
jseest thou ? J> I answered, " I see there wealth in store and corpses 
of murdered men galore. Look." So he looked and cried, " By 
Allah, we are down among the dead ! " and we fell a-weeping, 1 
and he. As we were thus, behold, four men, came in upon us, by 
the door at which we had entered, and they were naked, wearing 
only leather belts about their waists, and made for my friend. He 
ran at them and dealing one of them a blow with his sword-pommel, 
knocked him down, whereupon the other three rushed upon him. 
I seized the opportunity to escape while they were occupied with 
him, and espying a door by my side, slipped into it and found 
myself in an underground room, without issue, even a window. 
So I made sure of death, and said, " There is no Majesty and there 
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " Then I 
looked at the top of the vault and saw in it a range of glazed and 
coloured lunettes ; 2 so I clambered up for dear life, till I reached 

1 i.e. Damn your soul for leading me into this danger ! 

8 Arab. "Saff Kamariyat min aUZujaj." The Kamariyah is derived by Lane 
(Introd. M.E) from Kamar = moon ; by Baron Von Hammer from Khumdrawayh, 
second of the Banu-Tulun dynasty, at the end of theixth century A.D., when stained 
glass was introduced into Egypt. N.B. It must date from many centuries before. 
The Kamariyah are coloured glass windows about 2 feet high by 18 inches wide, placed 
in a row along the upper part of the Mashrabiyah or projecting lattice-window, and are 
formed of small panes of brightly-stained glass set in rims of gypsum-plaster, the whole 
framed in wood. Here the allusion is to the "Mamrak"or dome-shaped skylight 
crowning the room. See vol. viii. 156. 

40 Supplemental Nights. 

the lunettes, and I out of my wits for fear. I made shift to 
remove the glass and scrambling out through the setting, found 
behind them a wall which I bestrode. Thence I saw folk walking 
in the street ; so I cast myself down to the ground and Allah 
Almighty preserved me, and when I reached the face of earth, 
unhurt, the folk flocked round me and I acquainted them with my 
adventure. Now as Destiny decreed, the Chief of Police was 
passing through the market-street ; so the people told him what 
was to do and he made for the door and bade raise it off its hinges. 
We entered with a rush and found the thieves, as they had thrown 
my friend down and cut his throat ; for they occupied not them- 
selves with me, but said, " Whither shall yonder fellow wend ? 
Verily, he is in our grasp." So the Wali hent them with the hand 1 
and questioned them of their case, and they confessed against the 
woman and against their associates in Cairo. Then he took them 
and went forth, after he had locked up the house and sealed it ; 
and I accompanied him till he came without the first house. He 
found the door bolted from within ; so he bade raise it and we 
entered and found another door. This also he caused pull up, 
enjoining his men to silence till the doors should be lifted, and we 
entered and found the band occupied with new game, whom the 
woman had just brought in and whose throat they were about to 
cut. The Chief released the man and gave him back whatso the 
thieves had taken from him ; and he laid hands on the woman and 
the rest and took forth of the house a mint of money, with 
which they found the purse of the Turkoman sheep-merchant. 
They at once nailed up the thieves against the house-wall, whilst, as 
for the woman, they wrapped her in one of her mantillas and 
nailing her to a board, set her upon a camel and went round about 
the town with her. Thus Allah razed their dwelling-places and 
did away from me that which I feared from them. All this befel, 

1 i.e. easily arrested them. 

The Eighth Constable's History. 41 

whilst I looked on, and I saw not my friend who had saved me 
from them the first time, whereat I wondered to the utterest of 
wonderment. However, some days afterward, he came up to 
me, and indeed he had renounced the world and donned a Fakir's 
dress ; and he saluted me and went away. 1 Then he again began 
to pay me frequent visits and I entered into conversation with him 
and questioned him of the band and how he came to escape, he 
alone of them all. He replied, " I left them from the day on 
which Allah the Most High delivered thee from them, for that 
they would not obey my say ; so I sware I would no longer con* 
sort with them." Quoth I, " By Allah, I marvel at thee, for that 
assuredly thou wast the cause of my preservation ! " Quoth he, 
" The world is full of this sort ; and we beseech the Almighty 
to send us safety, for that these wretches practice upon men with 
every kind of malpractice." Then said I to him, " Tell me the 
rarest adventure of all that befel thee in this villainy thou 
wast wont to work." And he answered, " O my brother, I was 
not present when they did such deeds, for that my part with them 
was to concern myself with selling and buying and feeding them ; 
but it hath reached me that the rarest thing which befel them was 
on this wise." 

1 The reader will not forget the half- penitent Captain of Bandits in Gil Bias. 



THE woman who acted decoy for them and trapped their game 
and used to inveigle damsels from marriage-banquets, once caught 
them a woman from a bride-feast, under pretence that she had a 
wedding in her own house, and fixed for her a day when she should 
come to her. As soon as the appointed time arrived, the woman 
presented herself and the other carried her into the house by a 
door, declaring that it was a private wicket. When she entered 
the saloon, she saw men and braves 1 and knew that she had fallen 
into a snare ; so she looked at them and said, " Harkye, my 
fine fellows! 2 I am a woman and in my slaughter there is no 
glory, nor have ye against me any feud of blood-wite wherefor 
ye should pursue me ; and that which is upon me of raiment and 
ornaments ye are free to take as lawful loot." Quoth they, " We 
fear thy denunciation ;" but quoth she, " I will abide with you, 
neither coming in nor going out." So they said, " We grant thee 
thy life." Then the Captain looked on her and she pleased him ; 
so he took her for himself, and she abode with him a whole year 
doing her very best in their service, till they became familiar with 
her and felt assured of her faith. One night of the nights she 
plied them with drink and they drank till they became drunken ; 
whereupon she arose and took her clothes and five hundred dinars 
from the Captain ; after which she fetched a razor and shaved off 
all their beards. Then she took soot from the cooking-pots and 
blackening their faces 3 opened the doors and fared forth ; and 

1 Arab. "Abtal"= champions, athletes, etc, plur. of Batal, a brave : so Batalat=r 
a virago. As the root Batala=it was vain, the form " Battdl " may mean either a hero 
or a bad lot : see vol. viii. 335 ; x. 74, 75. 

2 Arab. " Fityan ;" plur. of Fata : see vol. i, 67. 

3 This was in popular parlance " adding insult to injury:" the blackeniag their 
faces was a promise of Hell-fire. 

The Thief s Tale. 45 

when the thieves recovered from their drink, they abode confounded 
and knew that the woman had practiced upon them. All present 
marvelled at this his story and the ninth constable came forward 
'and said, " I will tell you a right pleasant tale I heard at a 



A CERTAIN singing-girl was fair of favour and bruited of repute, 
and it happened one day that she fared forth to a garden a-pleasur- 
ing. As she sat in the summer-house, behold, a man lopped of the 
hand stopped to beg of her, and suddenly entered in at the door. 
Then he touched her with his stump, saying, " An alms, for the 
love of Allah ! " l but she answered/'Allah open ! " and insulted him. 
Many days after this, there came to her a messenger and gave her 
the hire of her going forth. 2 So she took with her a hand-maid and 
an accompanyist ; 3 and when she came to the place appointed, the 
messenger brought her into a long passage, at the end whereof was a 
saloon. So (quoth she) we entered therein and found nobody, but 
we saw the room made ready for an entertainment with candles, 
dried fruits and wine, and in another place we saw food and in a 
third beds. Thereupon we sat down and I looked at him who had 
opened the door to us, and behold he was lopped of the hand. I 
misliked this, and when I sat a little longer, there entered a man, who 
filled the candelabra in the saloon and lit the waxen candles ; and 
behold, he also was handlopped. Then flocked the folk and there 
entered none except he were lopped of the hand, and indeed the 
house was full of these companions. 4 When the session was com- 
plete, the host came in and the company rose to him and seated him 
in the place of honour. Now he was none other than the man who 

1 Arab. " Shayyan li 'lldh!" lit. = (Give me some) Thing for (the love of) Allah, 
The answer in Egypt, is " Allah ya'tik : "= Allah will give it thee (not I), or, " Yaftah 
*Allah," = Allah open (to thee the door of subsistence): in Marocco "Sir fi halik" 
|pron. Sirfhak) = Go about thy business. In all cities there is formula which suffices the 
asker ; but the Ghashim (Johnny Raw) who ignores it, is pestered only the more by his 
protestations that " he left his purse at home," etc. 

8 i.e. engaged her for a revel and paid her in advance. 

3 Arab. " Rasilah " = a (she) partner, to accompany her on the lute. 

* Suggesting that they are all thieves who had undergone legal mutilation* 

The Ninth Constable's History. 45 

had fetched me, and he was clad in sumptuous clothes, but his hands 
were in his sleeves, so that I knew not how it was with them. They 
brought him food and he ate, he and the company ; after which they 
washed hands and the host began casting at me furtive glances. Then 
they drank till they were drunken, and when they had taken leave 
of their wits, the host turned to me and said, " Thou deal test not in 
friendly fashion with him who sought an alms of thee, and thou 
saidst to him : How loathsome art thou ! " I considered him and 
behold, he was the lophand who had accosted me in my pleasance. 1 
So I asked, " O my lord, what is this thou sayest ? " and he 
answered, " Wait ; thou shalt remember it." So saying, he shook 
his head and stroked his beard, whilst I sat down for fear. Then 
he put out his hand to my mantilla and walking-boots and laying 
them by his side, cried to me, " Sing, O accursed ! " Accordingly, 
I sang till I was tired out, what while they occupied themselves 
with their case and drank themselves drunk and the heat of their 
drink redoubled. Presently, the doorkeeper came to me and said, 
" O my lady, fear not ; but when thou hast a mind to go, let me 
know." Quoth I, " Thinkest thou to delude me ? " and quoth he, 
" Nay, by Allah ! But I have ruth on thee for that our Captain 
and chief purposeth thee no good and methinketh he will kill thee 
this night/' Said I to him, " An thou be minded to do me a 
favour, now is its time ;" and said he, " When our Chief riseth to 
his need andgoeth to the Chapel of Ease, I will precede him with the 
light and leave the door open ; and do thou wend whithersoever thou 
wiliest. 1 ' Then I sang and the Captain cried, " Tis good." Replied 
I, " Nay, but thou 'rt loathsome/' He looked at me and rejoined, 
" By Allah, thou shalt never more scent the odour of the world ! '* 
But his comrades said to him, " Do it not," and gentled him, till he 
added, " An it must be so, and there be no help for it, she shall tarry 
here a whole year and not fare forth." My answer was, " I am 

1 Arab. " Nuzhat-1 :" see vol. ii. 81. 

46 Supplemental Nights. 

content to submit to whatso pleaseth thee : if I have failed in respect 
to thee, thou art of the clement.'* He shook his head and drank, 
then arose and went out to do his need, whilst his comrades were 
occupied with what they were about of merry-making and drunken- 
ness and sport. So I winked to my friends and we all slipped out 
into the corridor. We found the door open and fled forth, unveiled 1 
and unknowing whither we went ; nor did we halt till we had fared 
afar from the house and happened on a Cook cooking, of whom I 
asked, " Hast thou a mind to quicken the dead ? " He said, 
" Come up ;" so we went up into the shop, and he whispered, " Lie 
down." Accordingly, we lay down and he covered us with the 
Halfah grass, 2 wherewith he was used to kindle the fire under the 
food. Hardly had we settled ourselves in the place when we heard 
a noise of kicking at the door and people running right and left 
and questioning the Cook and asking, " Hath any one passed by 
thee?" Answered he, " None hath passed by me." But they 
ceased not to go round about the shop till the day broke, when 
they turned back, disappointed. Then the Cook removed the reeds 
and said to us, " Rise, for ye are delivered from death." So we 
arose, and we were uncovered, sans veil or mantilla ; but the Cook 
carried us up into his house and we sent to our homes and fetched us 
veils ; and we repented to Allah Almighty and renounced singing, 
for indeed this was a mighty narrow escape after stress. 8 Those 
present marvelled at this, and the tenth constable came forward 
and said, " As for me, there befel me that which was yet rarer than 
all ye have yet heard." Quoth Al-Malik al-Zahir, " What was 
that ?" And quoth he, " Deign give ear to me." 

1 Arab. " Muhattakat ;" usually " with torn veils " (fern, plur.) here "without veils," 
metaphor, meaning in disgrace, in dishonour. 

2 For this reedy Poa, see vol. ii. 18. 

3 I have repeatedly noticed that singing and all music are, in religious parlance, 
"Makruh," blamcable though not actually damnable; and that the first step after 
"getting religion " is to forswear them. 



A ROBBERY of stuffs had been committed in the city and as it was 
a great matter I was cited, 1 I and my fellows : they 2 pressed hard 
upon us : but we obtained of them some days' grace and dispersed 
in search of the stolen goods. As for me, I sallied forth with five 
men and went round about the city that day ; and on the morrow 
we fared forth into the suburbs. When we found ourselves a para- 
sang or two parasangs away from the city, we waxed athirst ; and 
presently we came to a gar/Jen. There I went in alone and going 
up to the waterwheel, 3 entered it and drank and made the Wuzu- 
ablution and prayed. Presently, up came the keeper of the garden 
and said to me, " Woe to thee ! Who brought thee to this water- 
wheel ? " and he smote me and squeezed my ribs 4 till I was like 
to die. Then he bound me with one of his bulls and made me 
work the water-wheel, flogging me as I walked round with a cattle- 
whip 5 he had with him, till my heart was a-fire; after which he 
loosed me and I went out, knowing not the way. Now when I 
came forth, I fainted : so I sat down till my trouble subsided ; then 
I made for my comrades and said to them, " I have found 
money and malefactor, and I affrighted him not neither troubled 
him, lest he should flee ; but now, come, let us go to him, so we 

1 i.e. to find the thief or make good the loss. 

2 i.e. the claimants. 

3 Arab. "Sakiyah :" see vol. i. 123. 

4 The lower orders of Egypt and Syria are addicted to this bear-like attack ; so the 
negroes imitate fighting- rams by butting with their stony heads. Let me remark that 
when Herodotus (iii. 12), after Psammenitus' battle of Pelusium in B.C. 524, made 
the remark that the Egyptian crania were hardened by shaving and insolation and the 
Persians were softened by wearing head-cloths, he tripped in his anthropology. The 
Iranian skull is naturally thin compared with that of the negroid Egyptian and the negro. 

* Arab. " Farkalah," </>paye/\Aioi/ from flagellum ; cattle-whip with leathern thongs. 
Lane, M.E. ; Fleischer Glos. 83-84 ; Dozy s.v. 

4 8 

Supplemental Nights. 

may contrive to lay hold upon him." Then I took them and we 
repaired to the keeper of the garden, who had tortured me with 
tunding, with the intent to make him taste the like of that which 
he had done with me and lie against him and cause him eat many 
a stick. So we rushed to the water-wheel and seized the keeper. 
Now there was with him a youth and, as we were pinioning the 
gardener, he said, " By Allah, I was not with him and indeed 'tis 
six months since I entered this city, nor did I set eyes on the stuffs 
until they were brought hither." Quoth we, " Show us the stuffs ;" 
upon which he carried us to a place wherein was a pit, beside the 
water-wheel, and digging there, brought out the stolen goods with 
not a thread or a stitch of them missing. So we took them and 
carried the keeper to the Prefecture of Police where we stripped him 
and beat him with palm-rods till he confessed to thefts manifold. 
Now I did this by way of mockery against my comrades, and it 
succeeded. The company marvelled at this story with the utmost 
marvelling, and the eleventh constable rose and said, " I know a 
story yet stranger than this : but it happened not to myself." 



THERE was once in times of yore a Chief Officer of Police and 
there passed by him one day of the days a Jew, hending in hand a 
basket wherein were five thousand dinars ; whereupon quoth that 
officer to one of his slaves, " Art able to take that money from 
yonder Jew's basket ? " " Yes/' quoth he, nor did he tarry beyond 
the next day ere he came to his lord, bringing the basket. So 
(said the officer) I bade him, " Go, bury it in such a place ; " 
whereupon he went and buried it and returned and told me. 
Hardly had he reported this when there arose a clamour like 
that of Doomsday and up came the Jew, with one of the king's 
officers, declaring that the gold pieces belonged to the Sultan and 
that he looked to none but us for it. We demanded of him three 
days' delay, according to custom and I said to him who had taken 
the money, " Go and set in the Jew's house somewhat that shall 
occupy him with himself." Accordingly he went and played a 
mighty fine trick, which was, he laid in a basket a dead woman's 
hand, painted with henna and having a gold seal-ring on one 
of the fingers, and buried that basket under a slab in the Jew's 
home. Then we came and searched and found the basket, where- 
upon without a moment of delay we clapped the Jew in irons 
for the murder of a woman. As soon as it was the appointed 
time, there entered to us the man of the Sultan's guards, who 
had accompanied the Jew, when he came to complain of the loss 
of the money, 1 and said, " The Sultan sayeth to you, Nail up * 
the Jew and bring the money, for that there is no way by which 
five thousand gold pieces can be lost." Wherefore we knew 

1 This clause is supplied to make sense. 

2 i.e. to crucify him by nailing him to an upright board. 

50 Supplemental Nights. 

that our device did not suffice. So I went forth and finding 
a young man, a Haurdni, 1 passing along the road, laid hands 
on him forthright and stripped him, and whipped him 
with palm-rods. Then I threw him in jail, ironed, and carrying 
him to the Prefecture, beat him again, saying to them, " This be 
the robber who stole the coin." And we strove to make him 
confess; but he would not. Accordingly, we beat him a third 
and a fourth time, till we were aweary and exhausted and he 
became unable to return a reply ; but, when we had made an 
end of beating and tormenting him, he said, "I will fetch the 
money this very moment." Presently we went with him till he 
came to the place where my slave had buried the gold and 
he dug there and brought it out; whereat I marvelled with 
the utmost marvel and we carried it to the Prefect's house. 
When the Wali saw the money and made sure of it with his 
own eyes, he rejoiced with joy exceeding and bestowed on 
me a robe of honour. Then he restored the coin straightway 
to the Sultan and we left the youth in durance vile ; whilst I 
said to my slave who had taken the money, " Say me, did yonder 
young man see thee, what time thou buriedst the money?" 
and he replied, "No, by Allah the Great 1" So I went in to 
the young man, the prisoner, and plied him with wine 2 till he 

1 i.e. a native of the Hauran, Job's country east of Damascus, now a luxuriant waste, 
haunted only "by the plundering Badawin and the Druzes of the hills, who are no better ; 
but its stretches of ruins and league-long swathes of stone over which the vine was 
trained, show what it has been and what it will be again when the incubus of Turkish 
mis-rule shall be removed from it. Herr Schuhmacher has lately noted in the Hauran 
sundry Arab traditions of Job ; the village Nawd, where he lived : the Hammam 'Ayyub, 
where he washed his leprous skin; the Dayr Ayyub, a monastery said to date from the third 
century ; and the Makan Ayyub . at Al-Markaz, where the semi-mythical patriarch and 
his wife are buried. The ' Rock of Job," covered by a mosque, is a basaltic monolith 
7 feet high by 4, and is probably connected with the solar worship of the old 

* This habit " torquere mero," was a favourite with the mediaeval Arabs. Its 
effect varies greatly with men's characters, making some open-hearted and communi- 
cative, and others more cunning and secretive than in the normal state. So far it is an 

The Eleventh Constable 9 s History. 51 

fecovered, when I said to him, "Tell me how thou stolest the 
money ? " Answered he, " By Allah, I stole it not, nor did I 
ever set eyes on it till I brought it forth of the earth ! " Quoth 
I, " How so ? " and quoth he, " Know that the cause of my 
falling into your hands was my parent's imprecation against 
me; because I entreated her evilly yesternight and beat her and 
she said to me, " By Allah, O my son, the Lord shall assuredly 
gar the oppressor prevail over thee ! ' Now she is a pious 
woman. So I went out forthright and thou sawest me on my 
way and didst that which thou didst ; and when beating was 
prolonged on me, my senses failed me and I heard a voice 
saying to me, * Fetch it,' So I said to you what I said and the 
Speaker 1 guided me till I came to the place and there befel what 
befel of the bringing out of the money ." I admired this with 
the utmost admiration and knew that he was of the sons of 
the pious. So I bestirred myself for his release and cured him 
and besought him of acquittance and absolution of responsibility. 
All those who were present marvelled at this story with the 
utmost marvel, and the twelfth constable came forward and said, 
" I will tell you a pleasant trait that I heard from a certain person, 
concerning an adventure which befel him with one of the thieves." 

excellent detection of disposition, and many a man who passes off well when sober has 
shown himself in liquor a rank snob. Among the lower orders it provokes what the 
Persians call Bad-mastf (le vin mediant) : see Pilgrimage iii. 385. 

1 This mystery is not unfamiliar to the modern "spiritualist;" and 11 Eastern 
tongues have a special term for the mysterious Voice. See vol. i. 142. 


(QUOTH he) I was passing one day in the market, when I found 
that a robber had broken into the shop of a shroff, a changer of 
monies, and thence taken a casket, wherewith he had made off 
to the burial-ground. Accordingly I followed him thither and 
came up to him, as he opened the casket and fell a-looking 
into it ; whereupon I accosted him, saying, " Peace be on you ! " l 
'And he was startled at me; so I left him and went away from 
him. Some months after this, I met him again under arrest, 
in the midst of the guards and " men of violence," 2 and he 
said to them, " Seize this man." So they laid hands on me and 
carried me to the Chief of Police, who said, " What hast thou 
to do with this wight ? " The robber turned to me and looking 
a long while in my face, asked, "Who took this man?" and 
the officer answered, " Thou badest us take him ; so we took 
him." And he cried, " I ask refuge of Allah ! I know not 
this man, nor knoweth he me ; and I said not that to you 
but of a person other than this." So they released me, and 
a while after the thief met me in the street and saluted me 
with the salam, saying, O my lord, fright for fright! Hadst 
thou taken aught from me, thou hadst a part in the calamity," s 
1 replied to him, " Allah be the judge between me and thee ! " * 
And this is what I have to recount. Then came forward the 
thirteenth constable and said, " I will tell you a tale which a 
man of my friends told me." 

1 Arab. " Alaykum " : addressed to a single person. This is generally explained by 
the " Salam" reaching the ears of Invisible Controuls, and even the Apostle. We 
find the words cruelly distorted in the Pentamerone of Giambattista Basile (partly trans- 
lated by John E.Taylor, London : Bogue, 1848), "The Prince, coming up to the old 
woman heard an hundred Licasalemme," p. 383. 

2 Arab. " Al-Zalamah " ; the policeman ; see vol. vi. 214. 

3 i.e. in my punishment. 

* i.e. on Doomsday thou shalt get thy deserts. 



(QUOTH he) I went out one night of the nights to the house of & 
friend and when it was the middle of the night, I sallied forth 

> ' ''' ' i,*t '"-. f , , . fi 'Vv t ' . '.-.. v ' v <f 

alone to hie me home. When I came into the road, I espied a 
sort of thieves and they espied me, whereupon my spittle dried 


up ; but I feigned myself drunken and staggered from side to side, 
crying out and saying, " I am drunken." And I went up to the 
walls right and left and made as if I saw not the thieves, who 
followed me afoot till I reached my home and knocked at the door, 
when they went away. ' Some few days after this, as I stood at 
the door of my house, behold, there came up to me a young man, 
with a chain about his neck and with him a trooper, and he said 
to me, "O my lord, an alms for the love of Allah !" I replied, 
" Allah open ! " and he looked at me a long while and cried 
" That which thou shouldst give me would not come to the worth 
of thy turband or thy waistcloth or what not else of thy habit, to 
say nothing of the gold and the silver which were about thy 
person." I asked, " And how so ? " and he answered, " On 
such a night, when thou fellest into peril and the thieves would 
have stripped thee, I was with them and said to them, Yonder 
man is my lord and my master who reared me. So was I and 
only I the cause of thy deliverance and thus I saved thee from 
them." When I heard this, I said to him, "Stop ;" and entering 
my house, brought him that which Allah Almighty made easy to 
me. 1 So he went his way ; and this is all I have to say. Then 
came forward the fourteenth constable and said, " Know that the 
tale I have to tell is rarer and pleasanter than this ; and 'tis as 

what I could well affofO, 



I HAD a draper's shop before I entered this corporation, 1 and 
there used to come to me a person whom I knew not, save by his 
face, and I would give him whatso he sought and have patience 
with him, till he could pay me. One night, I foregathered with 
certain of my friends and we sat down to liquor : so we drank and 
were merry and played at Tab ; 2 and we made one of us Wazir 
and another Sultan and a third Torchbearer or Headsman. 8 
Presently, there came in upon us a spunger, without bidding, and 
we went on playing, whilst he played with us. Then quoth the 
Sultan to the Wazir, " Bring the Parasite who cometh in to the 
folk, without leave or license, that we may enquire into his case ; 
after which will I cut off his head ; " so the headsman arose and 
dragged the spunger before the Sultan who bade cut off his head. 
Now there was with them a sword, that would not cut clotted 
curd ; 4 so the headsman smote him therewith and his head flew 
from his body. When we saw this, the wine fled from our brains 
and we became in the foulest of plights. Then my friends lifted 
up the corpse and went out with it, that they might hide it, whilst 

1 Arab. Hirfah=a trade, a guild, a corporation : here the officers of police. 

8 Gen. " tip-cat " (vol. ii. 314.) Here it would mean a rude form of tables or back- 
gammon, in which the players who throw certain numbers are dubbed Sultan and Wazir, 
and demean themselves accordingly. A favourite bit of fun with Cairene boys of a past 
generation was to "make a Pasha;" and for this proceeding, see Pilgrimage, vol. i. 

3 In Marocco there is great difficulty about finding an executioner who becomes 
obnoxious to the Thar, vendetta or blood -revenge. For salting the criminal's head, 
however, the soldiers seize upon the nearest Jew and compel him to clean out the brain 
and to prepare it for what is often a long journey. Hence, according to some, the local 
name of the Ghetto, Al-Mallah, = the salting-ground. 

* Mr. Payne suspects that "laban," milk, esp. artificially soured, (see vol. vi, 201) is 
a clerical error for "jubn M = cheese. This may be; but I follow the text as the 
exaggeration is greater. 

The Fourteenth Constable* s History. 5$ 

I took the head and made for the river. Now I was drunken ati4 
my clothes were drenched with the blood ; and as I passed along 
the road, I met a robber. When he saw me, he knew me and 
cried to me, " Such-an-one ! " " Well ? " said I, and he rejoined, 
" What is that thou hast with thee ? " So I acquainted him with 
the case and he took the head from me. Then we fared on till we 
came to the river, where he washed the head and considering it 
straitly, exclaimed, " By Allah, verily this be my brother, the son 
of my sire, and he used to spunge upon the folk ; " after which he 
threw that head into the river. As for me, I was like a dead man 
for dread ; but he said to me, " Fear not, neither do thou grieve> 
for I acquit thee of my brother's blood." Presently, he took my 
clothes and washed them and dried them and put them on me ; 
after which he said to me, " Get thee gone to thy house." So I 
returned to my house and he accompanied me, till I came thither t 

when he said to me, " Allah never desolate thee ! I am thy friend 


Such-an-one, who used to take of thee goods on credit, and I owe 
thee a kindness ; but henceforward thou wilt never see me more." 
Then he went his ways. The company marvelled at the manliness 
of this man and his clemency 1 and courtesy, and the Sultan said, 
* Tell us another of thy stories, O Shahrazad." 2 She replied " 'Tis 
well ! They set forth 3 

1 i.e. in relinquishing his blood -wite for his brother. 

2 The Story-teller, probably to relieve the monotony of the Constables' histories, here 
returns to the original cadre. We must not forget that in the Bresl. Edit, the Nights 
are running on, and that the charming queen is relating the adventure of Al-MaliK 

8 Arab. " Za' amu " = they opine, they declare; a favourite term with the Bresl. Edit. 


A THIEF of the thieves of the Arabs went one night to a certain 
man's house, to steal from a heap of wheat there, and the people of 
the house surprised him. Now on the heap was a great copper tasse, 
and the thief buried himself in the corn and covered his head with 
the tasse, so that the folk found him not and went their ways ; but, 
as they were going, behold, there came a mighty great fart 1 forth 
of the corn. So they went up to the tasse and raising it, discovered 
the thief and laid hands on him. Quoth he, " I have saved you 
the trouble of seeking me : for I purposed, in breaking wind, to 
direct you to my hiding-place; wherefore do you be easy with me 
and have ruth on me, so may Allah have ruth on you ! " Accord- 
ingly they let him go and harmed him not. " And for another 
story of the same kind/' (she continued) " hearken to 

1 Arab. "Zirtah" the coarsest of terms for what the French nuns prettily termed 
un sennet: I find ung sonnet also in Nov. ii. of the Cent nouvelles Nouvelles. Captain 
Lockett (p. 32) quotes Strepsiades in The Clouds ppovra /co/u8?} 7ramrd " because he 
cannot express the bathos of the original (in the Tale of Ja'afar and the old Badawi) 
without descending to the oracular language of Giacoma Rodogina, the engastrymylhian 
prophetess." But Sterne was by no means so squeamish. The literature of this subject 
is extensive, beginning with "Peteriana, ou 1'art de peter," which distinguishes 62 
different tones. After dining with a late friend en gar$on we went into his-sitting-room 
and found on the table 13 books and booklets upon the Crepitus Ventris, and there 
was some astonishment as not a few of the party had never seen one. 


THERE was once an old man renowned for clever roguery, and 
he went, he and his mates, to one of the markets and stole thence 
a quantity of stuffs : then they separated and returned each to his 
quarter. Awhile after this, the old man assembled a company of 
his fellows and, as they sat at drink, one of them pulled out a 
costly piece of cloth and said, Is there any one of you will dare 
sell this in its own market whence it was stolen, that we may con- 
fess his superior subtlety ? " Quoth the old man, " I will ;" and 
they said, " Go, and Allah Almighty open to thee the door ! " 
So early on the morrow, he took the stuff and carrying it to the 
market whence it had been stolen, sat down at the very shop out 
of which it had been purloined and gave it to the broker, who 
hent it in hand and cried it for sale. Its owner knew it and 
bidding for it, bought it and sent after the Chief of Police, 
who seized the Sharper and seeing him an old man of grave 
presence and handsomely clad said to him, " Whence hadst thou 
this piece of stuff?'* Quoth he, " I had it from this market and 
from yonder shop where I was sitting." Quoth the Wali, " Did 
its owner sell it to thee ? " and quoth the robber, " Not so ; I 
stole it, this and other than it." Then said the Chief, "How 
earnest thou to bring it for sale to the place whence thou stolest 
it ? " " I will not tell my tale save to the Sultan, for that I have 
a profitable counsel wherewith I would lief bespeak him." " Name 
it ! " ' Art thou the Sultan ? " No ! " " Til not tell it save to 
himself." Accordingly the Wali carried him up to the Sultan and 
he said, "I have a counsel for thee, O my lord." Asked the 
Sultan, " What is thy counsel ? " And the thief said, " I repent 
and will deliver into thy hand all who are evildoers ; and whom- 
soever I bring not, I will stand in his stead." Cried the Sultan, 

58 Supplemental Nights. 

" Give him a robe of honour and accept his profession of penitence/* 
So he went down from the presence and returning to his com- 
rades, related to them that which had passed, when they confessed 
his subtlety and gave him that which they had promised him. 
Then he took the rest of the booty and went up therewith to 
the Sultan, who, seeing him, recognised him and he was magnified 
in the royal eyes and the king commanded that naught should be 
taken from him. After this, when he went down, the Sultan's 
attention was diverted from him, little by little, till the case was 
forgotten, and so he saved the booty for himself. Those present 
marvelled at this and the fifteenth constable came forward and 
said, u Know that among those who make a trade of trickery 
are those whom Allah Almighty taketh on their own testimony 
against themselves." It was asked him, " How so ? " and he began 
to relate 



IT is told of a thieving person, one of the braves, that he used to 
rob and cut the way by himself upon caravans, and whenever the 
Chief of Police and the Governors sought him, he would flee from 
them and fortify himself in the mountains. Now it came to pass 
that a certain man journeyed along the road wherein was that 
robber, and this man was single-handed and knew not the sore perils 
besetting his way. So the highwayman came out upon him and 
said to him, " Bring out that which is with thee, for I mean to kill 
thee and no mistake." Quoth the traveller, * kill me not, but 
annex these saddle-bags and divide that which is in them and take 
to thee the fourth part." And the thief answered, " I will not take 
aught but the whole." 2 Rejoined the traveller, Take half, and let 
me go ; " but the robber replied, " I will have naught but the whole, 
and eke I will kill thee." So the wayfarer said, " Take it." Accord- 
ingly the highwayman took the saddle-bags and offered to slay the 
traveller, who said, " What is this ? Thou hast against me no 
blood-feud that should make my slaughter incumbent" Quoth 
the other, " Needs must I kill thee ; " whereupon the traveller dis^ 
mounted from his horse and grovelled before him, beseeching 
the thief and bespeaking him fair. The man hearkened not to his 
prayers, but cast him to the ground; whereupon the traveller 
raised his eyes and seeing a francolin flying over him, said, in his 

1 This tale is a replica of the Cranes of Ibycus. This was a Rhegium man. who 
when returning to Corinth, his home, was set upon by robbers and slain. He cast his 
dying eyes heavenwards and seeing a flight of cranes called upon them to avenge him 
and this they did by flying over the theatre of Corinth on a day when the murderers were 
present and one cried out, " Behold the avengers of Ibycus ! " Whereupon they were 
taken and put to death* So says Paulus Hieronymus, and the affecting old tale has newly 
been sung in charming verse by Mr. Justin H. McCarthy (" Serapion." London : 
Chattoand Windus.) 

2 This scene is perfectly true to Badawi life ; see my Pilgrimage iiL 68. 


Supplemental Nights. 

agony, " O Francolin, 1 bear testimony that this man slayeth me 
unjustly and wickedly ; for indeed I have given him all that was 
with me and entreated him to let me go, for my children's sake ; 
yet would he not consent. But be thou witness against him, for 
Allah is not unmindful of deeds which the oppressors do." The 
highwayman paid no heed to what he heard, but smote him and 
cut off his head. After this, the rulers compounded with the 
highwayman for his submission, and when he came before them, 
they enriched him and he became in such favour with the lieu- 
tenant of the Sultan that he used to eat and drink with him and 
there befel between them familiar converse which lasted a long 
while till in fine there chanced a curious chance. The lieutenant of 
the Sultan one day of the days made a banquet, and therein was a 
roasted francolin, which when the robber saw, he laughed a loud 
laugh. The lieutenant was angered against him and said to him, 
" What is the meaning of thy laughter ? Seest thou any fault or dost 
thou mock at us, of thy lack of good manners ? " Answered the 
highwayman, " Not so, by Allah, O my lord ; but I saw yonder 
francolin, which brought to my mind an extraordinary thing ; and 
'twas on this wise. In the days of my youth, I used to cut the 
way, and one day I waylaid a man, who had with him a pair of 
saddle-bags and money therein. So I said to him, " Leave these 
saddle-bags, for I mean to slay thee." Quoth he, " Take the fourth 
part of that which is in them and leave me the rest ; " and quoth 
I, " Needs must I take the whole and kill thee without mistake." 
Then said he, " Take the saddle-bags and let me wend my way ; " 
but I answered, " There is no help but that I slay thee." As we 
were in this contention, behold, he saw a francolin and turning to 
it, said, " Bear testimony against him, O Francolia, that he slayeth 
me unjustly and letteth me not go to my children, for all he hath 

1 Arab. " Durraj " : so it is rendered in the French translation of Al-Masudi, rtu 

The Fifteenth Constable's History. 6l 

taken my money." However, I had no pity on him neither 
hearkened to that which he said, but smote him and slew him and 
concerned not myself with the evidence of the francolin." His 
story troubled the lieutenant of the Sultan and he was enraged 
against him with sore rage; so he drew his sword and smiting 
him, cut off his head while he sat at table ; whereupon a voice 
recited these couplets 

An wouldst not be injured, injure not ; o But do good and from Allah win 

goodly lot ; 
For what happeth by Allah is doomed to be o Yet thine acts are the root I 

would have thee wot. 1 

1 A fait friend found the idea of Destiny in The Nights become almost a night-marc. 
Yet here we suddenly alight upon the true Johnsonian idea that conduct makes fate. Botfe 
extremes are as usual false. When one man fights a dozen battles unwounded and 
, another falls at the first shot we cannot but acknowledge the presence of that mysterious 
" luck " whose laws, now utterly unknown to us, may become familiar with the ages. I 
may note that the idea of an appointed hour beyond which life may not be prolonged, is 
as old as Homer (II. vi. 487). 

The reader has been told (vol. vii. 135) that "Kaza" is Fate in a general sense, the 
universal and eternal Decree of Allah, while "Kadar " is its special and particular 
application to man's lot, that is Allah's will in bringing forth events at a certain time and 
place. But the former is popularly held to be of two categories, one Kaza al-Muham 
which admits of modification and Kaza al-Muhkam, absolute and unchangeable, the 
doctrine of irresistible predestination preached with so much energy by St. Paul 
(Romans ix. 15-24) ; and all the world over men act upon the former while theoreti- 
cally holding to the latter. Hence "Chinese Gordon " whose loss to England is 
greater than even his friends suppose, wrote " It is a delightful thing to be a fatalist," 
meaning that the Divine direction and pre- ordination of all things saved him so mucfc 
trouble of forethought and afterthought. In this tenet he was not only a Calvinist but 
also a Moslem whose contradictory ideas of Fate and Freewill (with responsibility) are 
not only beyond Reason but are contrary to Reason ; and although we may admit the 
argumentum ad verecundiam> suggesting that there are things above (or below) human 
intelligence, we are not bound so to do in the case of things which are opposed to the 
common sense of mankind. Practically, however, the Moslem attitude is to be loud in 
confessing belief of " Fate and Fortune " before an event happens and after it wisely to 
console himself with the conviction that in no way could he have escaped the occurrence. 
And the belief that this destiny was in the hands of Allah gives him a certain dignity 
especially in the presence of disease and death which is wanting in his rival religionist 
the Christian. At the same time the fanciful picture of the Turk sitting stolidly under a 
shower of bullets because Fate will not find him out unless it be so written is a freak of 
fancy rarely found in real life. 

There are four great points of dispute amongst the schoolmen in Al-Islam ; (i) the Unity 
and Attributes of Allah ; (2) His promises and threats ; (3) historical as the office of Imam ; 
and (4) Predestination and the justice thereof. On the latter subject opinions range 

62 Supplemental Nights. 

Now this voice was the francolin which bore witness against hint 
The company present marvelled at this tale and all cried, " Woe 
to the oppressor ! " Then came forward the sixteenth constable 
and said, " And I for another will tell you a marvellous story 
which is on this wise." 

the whole cycle of possibilities. For instance, theMu'tazilites, whom the learned Weil makes 
the Protestants and Rationalists of Al- Islam, contend that the word of Allah was created 
in subjecto, ergb, an accident and liable to perish, and one of their school, the Kadiriyah 
(= having power) denies the existence of Fate and contends that Allah did not create 
evil but left man an absolutely free agent. On the other hand, the Jabariyah (or Mujab- 
bar = the compelled) is an absolute Fatalist who believes in the omnipotence of Destiny 
and deems that all wisdom consists in conforming with its decrees. Al-Mas'udi (chapt. 
cxxvii) illustrates this by the saying of a Moslem philosopher that chess was the inven- 
tion of a Mu'tazil, while Nard (backgammon with dice) was that of a Mujabbar proving 
that play can do nothing against destiny. Between the two are the Ashariyah j trimmers 
whose stand-point is hard to define ; they would say, " Allah creates the power by which 
man acts, but man wills the action," and care not to answer the query, " Who created 
the will?" (See Pocock, Sale and the Dabistan ii. 352). Thus Sa'adi says in the 
Gulistan (Hi. 2), "The wise have pronounced that though daily bread be allotted, yet it 
is so conditionally upon using means to acquire it, and although calamity be predestined, 
yet it is right to secure oneself against the portals by which it may have access." Lastly, 
not a few doctors of Law and Religion hold that Kaza al-Muhkam, however absolute, 
regards only man's after or final state j and upon this subject they are of course as wise 
as other people, and no wiser. Lane has treated the Moslem faith in Destiny very 
ably and fully (Arabian Nights, vol. i. pp. 58-61), and he being a man of moderate and 
orthodox views gives valuable testimony. 


I WENT forth one day of the days, intending to travel, and 
suddenly fell upon a man whose wont it was to cut the way. 
When he came up with me he offered to slay me and I said to 
him, " I have naught with me whereby thou mayst profit." Quoth 
he, " My profit shall be the taking of thy life." I asked, " What 
is the cause of this ? Hath there been enmity between us afore- 
time?" and he answered, "Nay; but needs must I slay thee." 
Thereupon I ran away from him to the river side ; but he caught 
me up and casting me to the ground, sat down on my breast. So 
I sought help of the Shaykh of the Pilgrims l and cried to him, 
" Protect me from this oppressor ! " And indeed he had drawn 
a knife to cut my throat when, lo and behold ! there came a might) 
great crocodile forth of the river and snatching him up from off my 
breast plunged into the water, with him still hending knife in 
hand, even within the jaws of the beast : whilst I abode extolling 
Almighty Allah, and rendering thanks for my preservation to 
him who had delivered me from the hand of that wrong-doer. 2 

1 Arab. Shaykh al-Hujjaj." Some Santon like Hasan al-Marabit, then invoked by 
the Meccan pilgrims : see Pilgrimage) i. 321. It can hardly refer to the famous HajjaJ 
bin Yusuf al-Sakafi (vol. iv. 3). 

2 Here the Stories of the Sixteen Constables abruptly end, after the fashion of the 
Bresl. Edit. They are summarily dismissed even without the normal " Bakhshish." 



NAFF. 1 

KNOW thou, O King of the Age, that there was in days of yore 
and in ages and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad, 
the Abode of Peace, a Caliph Harun al-Rashid hight, and he 
had cup-companions and tale-tellers to entertain him by night. 
Among his equerries was a man named Abdullah bin Ndfi', who 
stood high in favour with him and dear to him, so that he did not 
forget him a single hour. Now it came to pass, by the decree of 
Destiny, that it became manifest to Abdullah how he was grown 
of small account with the Caliph, who paid no heed unto him nor, 
if he absented himself, did he ask after him, as had been his 
habit. This was grievous to Abdullah and he said within him- 
self, " Verily, the soul of the Commander of the Faithful and his 
Wazir are changed towards me and nevermore shall I see in him 
that cordiality and affection wherewith he was wont to treat me." 
And this was chagrin-full to him and concern grew upon him, so 
that he recited these couplets : 

Whoso's contemned in his home and land o Should, to better his case, in 

self-exile hie : 
So fly the house where contempt awaits, o Nor on fires of grief for the parting 

Crude Ambergris 2 is but offal where o "Pis born ; but abroad on our necks shall' 

stye ; 
And Kohl at home is a kind of stone, o Cast on face of earth and on roads 

to lie ; 
But when borne abroad it wins highest worth o And thrones between eyelid 

and ball of eye. 

1 Bresl. Edit. vol. xi. pp. 400-473 and vol. xii. pp. 4-50, Nights dccccxli-dcccclvii. 
For Kashghar, see vol. i. 255. 

2 Mr. Payne proposes to translate " 'Anbar " by amber, the serai-fossilised resin muc? 

68 Supplemental Nights. 

(Quoth the sayer,) Then he could brook this matter no longer ; 
so he went forth from the dominions of the Prince of True Believers^ 
under pretence of visiting certain of his kith and kin, and took 
with him nor servant nor comrade, neither acquainted any with 
his intent, but betook himself to the road and fared deep into the 
wold and the sandwastes, unknowing whither he went. After 
awhile, he unexpectedly fell in with travellers who were making 
the land of Hind and journeyed with them. When he came 
thither, he lighted down in a city of that country and housed him 
in one of the lodging-houses ; and there he abode a while of days, 
relishing not food neither solacing himself with sleep ; nor was 
this for lack of dirhams or dinars, but for that his mind was occu- 
pied with musing upon the shifts of Destiny and bemoaning him- 
self for that the revolving sphere had turned against him in enmity, 
and the days had decreed unto him the disfavour of our lord the 
Imam. 1 After such fashion he abode a space of days, and presently 
he homed him in the land and took to himself friends and got him 
many familiars, with whom he addressed himself to diversion and 
good cheer. He used also to go a-pleasuring with his companions 
and their hearts were solaced by his company and he entertained 
them every evening with stories and displays of his manifold 
accomplishments 2 and diverted them with delectable verses and 
told them abundance of stories and histories. Presently, the report 
of him reached King Jamhur, lord of Kashgar of Hind, who sent 
in quest of him, and great was his desire to see him. So Abdullah 
repaired to his court and going in to him, kissed ground before 
him ; and Jamhur welcomed him and treated "him with kindness 

used in modern days, especially in Turkey and Somaliland, for bead necklaces. But, 
as he says, the second line distinctly alludes to the perfume which is sewn in leather and 
bung about the neck, after the fashion of our ancient, pomanders (pomme cTambre). 

1 i.e. The Caliph : see vol. i. p. 50. 

* Arab. " Adab : " see vol. i. 132, etc, In Moslem dialects which borrow more 
or less from Arabic, " Bf-adabf " = being without Adab, means rudeness, disrespect* 
"impertinence " (in its modern sense). 

Tale of Harun al-Rashid and Abdullah bin Nafi. 69 

and bade lodge him in the guest-house, where he abode three 
days, at the end of which the king sent to him a chamberlain of 
his chamberlains and bade bring him to the presence. When he 
came before him, he greeted him, and the truchman accosted him, 
saying, " Verily, King Jamhur hath heard of thy report, that thou 
art a pleasant cup-companion and an eloquent teller of night- 
tales, and he would have thee company with him o' nights and 
entertain him with that which thou knowest of histories and 
pleasant stories and verses." And he made answer, " To hear is 
to obey ! " (Quoth Abdullah bin Nafi',) So I became his boon-; 
companion and entertained him by night with tales and talk 5 and 
this pleased him with the utmost pleasure and he took me into 
favour and bestowed on me robes of honour and set apart for me 
a lodging ; indeed he was bountiful exceedingly to me and could 
not brook to be parted from me a single hour. So I sojourned 
with him a while of time and every night I caroused and conversed 
with him till the most part of the dark hours was past ; and when 
drowsiness overcame him, he would rise and betake himself to his 
sleeping-place, saying to me, " Forsake not my service and forego 
not my presence." And I made answer with " Hearing and 
obeying." Now the king had a son, a nice child, called the Emir 
Mohammed, who was winsome of youth and sweet of speech : 
he had read books and had perused histories and he loved above all 
things in the world the telling and hearing of verses and tales and 
anecdotes. He was dear to his father King Jamhur, for that he 
owned no other son than he on life, and indeed he had reared him in 
the lap of love and he was gifted with exceeding beauty and love* 
liness, brilliancy and perfect grace : he had also learnt to play upon 
the lute and upon all manner instruments and he was used tq 
converse and company with friends and brethren. Now it was 
his wont, when the king arose seeking his sleeping-chamber, to 
sit in his place and require me to entertain him with tales and 
verses and pleasant anecdotes ; and on this wise I abode with them 

70 Supplemental NigkU. 

both a great while in all joyance and delight, and the Prince 
still loved me with mighty great love and treated me with the 
Utmost tenderness. It fortuned one day that the king's son came 
to me, after his sire had withdrawn, and cried, "O Ibn Nafi'! H 
"At thy service, O my lord;" "I would have thee tell me a 
wondrous story and a marvellous matter, which thou hast never 
related either to me or to my father Jamhur." " O my lord, what 
story is this that thou desirest of me and of what kind shall it 
be of the kinds ? " " It mattereth little, so it be a goodly story, 
whether it befel of olden tide or in these times." " O my lord, 
I know by rote many stories of various kinds ; so which of the 
kinds preferrest thou, and wilt thou have a story of mankind or of 
Jinn-kind ? " " Tis well ! An thou have espied aught with thine 
eyes and heard it with thine ears, tell it me/' Then he bethought 
himself and said to me, " I conjure thee by my life, tell me a tale 
of the tales of the Jinn and that which thou hast heard of them 
and seen of them ! " I replied, " O my son, indeed thou conjurest 
me by a mighty conjuration ; so lend an ear to the goodliest of 
stories, ay, and the strangest of them and the pleasantest and 
rarest." Quoth the Prince, " Say on, for I am attentive to thy 
speech ; '' and quoth I, " Hear then, O my son, 


The Viceregent of the Lord of the three Worlds, Harun al-Rashid, 
had a boon-companion of the number of his boon-companions, by 
name Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Nadim al-Mausili, 1 who was the most 
accomplished of the folk of his time in smiting upon the lute ; 
and of the Commander of the Faithful's love for him, he set apart 
for him a palace of the choicest of his palaces, wherein he was 
wont to instruct hand-maidens in the arts of singing and of lute- 

1 i.e. Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab musicians ; see vol. iv. 119. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat at-Kulub. 71 

playing. If any slave-girl became, by his instruction, clever in 
the craft, he carried her before the Caliph, who bade her perform 
upon the lute ; and if she pleased him, he would order her to the 
Harim ; else would he restore her to Ishak's palace. One day, 
the Commander of the Faithful's breast was straitened ; so he 
sent after his Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide and Ishak the cup- 
companion and Masrur the eunuch, the Sworder of his vengeance ; 
and when they came, he changed his habit and disguised himself, 
whilst Ja'afar and Ishak and Masrur and Al-Fazl l and Yunus 2 
(who were also present) did the like. Then he went out, he and 
they, by the postern, to the Tigris and taking boat fared on till 
they came to near Al-Taf, 3 when they landed and walked till they 
came to the gate of the high street. Here there met them an old 
man, handsome in his hoariness and of a venerable bearing and a 
dignified, agreeable of aspect and apparel. He kissed the earth 
before Ishak al-Mausili (for that he knew only him of the 
the company, the Caliph being disguised, and deemed the others 
certain of his friends), and said to him, " O my lord, there is 
presently with me a hand-maid, a lutanist, never saw eyes the 
like of her nor the like of her grace, and indeed I was on my way 
to pay my respects to thee and give thee to know of her ; but 
Allah, of His favour, hath spared me the trouble. So now I 
desire to show her to thee, and if she take thy fancy, well and 
good ; otherwise I will sell her." Quoth Ishak, " Go before me 
to thy quarters, 4 till I come to thee and see her." The old man 
kissed his hand and went away ; whereupon quoth Al-Rashid to 
him, " O Ishak, who is yonder man and what is his want ? " The 
other replied, " O my lord, this is a man Sa'/d the Slave-dealer 
hight, and 'tis he that buyeth us maidens and Mamelukes. He 

1 The elder brother of Ja'afar, by no means so genial or fitted for a royal frolic. See 
Tetminal Essay. 

* Zbn Hablb, a friend of Isaac, and a learned grammarian who lectured at Basrah, 
8 A suburb of Baghdad, mentioned by Al-Mas'udl. 
4 Containing the rooms in which the girl or girls were sold. See Pilgrimage i, 8? , 

72 Supplemental Nights. 

declareth that with him is a fair slave, a lutanist, whom he hath 
withheld from sale, for that he could not fairly sell her till he had 
passed her before me in review.' Quoth the Caliph, " Let us go 
to him so we may see her, by way of solace, and sight what is 
in the slave-dealer's quarters of slave-girls ; " and quoth Ishak, 
"Command belongeth to Allah and to the Commander of the 
Faithful/' Then he forewent them and they followed in his 
track till they came to the slave-dealer's quarters and found a 
building tall of wall and large of lodgment, with sleeping-cells and 
chambers therein, after the number of the slave-girls, and folk 
sitting upon the wooden benches. So Ishak entered, he and his 
company, and seating themselves in the place of honour, amused 
themselves by looking at the hand-maids and Mamelukes and 
watching how they were bought and sold, till the vending came to 
an end, when some of the folk went away and some remained 
seated. Then cried the slave-dealer, " Let none sit with us ex- 
cept whoso purchaseth by the thousand dinars and upwards." 
Accordingly those present withdrew and there remained none but 
Al-Rashid and his suite; whereupon the slave-dealer called the 
damsel, after he had caused set her a chair of Fawwdk, 1 lined 
with Grecian brocade, and she was like the sun shining high in 
the shimmering sky. When she entered, she saluted and sitting 
down, took the lute and smote upon it, after she had touched its 
strings and tuned it, so that all present were amazed. Then she 
sang thereto these couplets : 

Breeze o' Morn, an thou breathe o'er the loved one's land, o Deliver my greet- 
ing to all the dear band ! 

And declare to them still I am pledged to their love o And my longing excels 
all that lover unmanned : 

O ye who have blighted my heart, ears and eyes, o My passion and ecstasy 
grow out of hand ; 

And torn is my sprite every night with desire, * And nothing of sleep can my 
eyelids command. 

* Dozy quotes this passage but cannot explain the word Fawwak. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 


Ishak exclaimed, " Brava, O damsel ! By Allah, this is a fair 
hour! " Whereupon she sprang up and kissed his hand, saying", 
" O my lord, in very sooth the hands stand still before thy presence 
and the tongues at thy sight, and the loquent when confronting 
thee wax dumb ; but thou art the looser of the veil." * Then she 
clung to him and cried, " Stand ; " so he stood and said to her, 
" Who art thou and what is thy need ? " She raised a corner of 
the veil, and behold she was a damsel as she were the full moon 
rising or the leven glancing, with two side-locks of hair which 
fell down to her anklets. She kissed his hand and said to him, 
" O my lord, know that I have been in these quarters some five 
months, during which I have withheld myself from sale till thou 
shouldst be present and see me ; and yonder slave-dealer also 
made thy coming a pretext for not vending me, and forbade me for 
all I sought of him night and day that he should cause thee come 
hither and vouchsafe me thy company and gar me and thee 
forgather." Quoth Ishak, " Tell me what thou wouldst have ; " 
and quoth she, " I beseech thee, by Allah Almighty, that thou 
buy me, so I may be with thee by way of service." He asked, 
"Is that thy desire?" and she answered "Yes." So Ishak 
returned to the slave-dealer and said to him, " Ho thou, Shaykh 
Sa'id ! " Said the old man, " At thy service, O my lord," and Ishak 
continued, " In the corridor is a chamber and therein wones a 
damsel pale and wan. What is her price in dirhams and how much 
dost thou ask for her ? " Quoth the slave-dealer, " She whom thou 
mentionest, O my lord, is called Tohfat al-Humakd ? " 2 Ishak 

1 A passage has apparently dropped out here. The Khalif seems to have gone 
away without buying, le&ving Ishac behind, whereupon the latter was accosted by 
another slave-girl, who came out of a cell in the corridor." So says Mr. Payne vol. ii. 
207. The " raiser of the veil " means a fitting purchaser. 

8 i.e. Choice gift of the Fools," a skit upon the girl's name "Tohfat al-Kulub " = 
Choice gift of the Hearts. Her folly consisted in refusing to be sold at a high price, and 
this is often seen in real life. It is a Pundonor amongst good Moslems not to buy a girl 
and not to sleep with her, even when bought, against her will. 

74 Supplemental Nights. 

asked, "What is the meaning of Al-Humaka V and the old man 
answered, " Her price hath been weighed and paid an hundred 
times and she still saith, Show me him who would buy me; 
and when I show her to him, she saith, This one I mislike ; he 
hath in him such and such a default. And in every one who would 
fain buy her she noteth some defect or other, so that none careth 
now to purchase her and none seeketh her, for fear lest she find 
some fault in him." Quoth Ishak, " She seeketh at this present 
to sell herself ; so go thou to her and inquire of her and see her 
price and send her to the palace. Quoth Sa'id, " O my lord, her 
price is an hundred dinars, though, were she free of this paleness 
that is upon her face, she would be worth a thousand gold pieces ; 
but wanton folly and wanness have diminished her value ; and 
behold I will go to her and consult her of this," So he betook 
himself to her and enquired of her, " Wilt thou be sold to Ishak bin 
Ibrahim al-Mausili ? " She replied, " Yes/' and he said, " Leave 
folly, for to whom doth it happen to be in the house of Ishak the 
cup- companion ? " ! Thereupon Ishak went forth the slave-dealer's 
quarters and overtook Al-Rashid who had preceded him ; and 
they ceased not walking till they came to their landing-place, where 
they embarked in the boat and fared on to Thaghr al-Khdnakah. 2 
As for the slave dealer, he sent the damsel to the house of Ishak 
al-Nadim, whose slave-girls took her and carried her to the 
Hammam. Then each damsel gave her somewhat of her gear and 
they decked her with earrings and bracelets, so that she redoubled 
in beauty and became as she were the moon on the night of its 
full. When Ishak returned home from the Caliph's palace, Tohfah 
rose to him and kissed his hand ; and he saw that which the 
hand-maids had done with her and thanked them for so doing and 
said to them, " Let her home in the house of instruction and 

1 *' Every one cannot go to Corinth." The question makes the assertion emphatic* 
* i.e. The Narrows of the (Dervishes') convent. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 7$ 

bring her instruments of music, and if she be apt at song teach 
her ; and may Allah Almighty vouchsafe her health and weal ! " 
So there passed over her three months, while she homed with him 
in the house of instruction, and they brought her the instruments of 
music. Furthermore, as time went on she was vouchsafed health 
and soundness and her beauty waxed many times brighter than 
before and her pallor was changed to white and red, so that she 
became a seduction to all who saw her. One day, Ishak bade 
summon all who were with him of slave-girls from the house of 
instruction and carried them up to Al-Rashid's palace, leaving 
none in his house save Tohfah and a cookmaid ; for that he 
thought not of Tohfah, nor did she come to his memory, and 
none of the damsels reminded him of her. When she saw 
that the house was empty of the slave-girls, she took the lute 
(now she was singular in her time for smiting upon the lute, 
nor had she her like in the world, no, not Ishak himself, nor any 
other) and sang thereto these couplets : 

When soul desireth one that is its mate o It never winneth dear desire of 

My life for him whose tortures tare my frame, * And dealt me pine he can 

alone abate ! 
He saith (that only he to heal mine ill, o Whose sight is medicine to my doleful 

" O scoffer-wight, how long wilt mock my woe * As though did Allah nothing 

else create ? " 

Now Ishak had returned to his house on an occasion that called 
for him ; and when he entered the vestibule, he heard a sound of 
singing, the like whereof he had never heard in the world, for that 
it was soft as the breeze and more strengthening than oil 1 of 

1 Arab. " Akw& min dahni *l-lauz." These unguents have been used in the East 
from time immemorial* whilst the last generation in England knew nothing of anointing 
with oil for incipient consumption, A late friend of mine, Dr. Stocks of the Bombay 
Establishment, and I proposed it as long back as 1845 J but n those days it was a far 
cry from Sind to London. 

76 Supplemental Nights, 

almonds. So the pleasure of it gat hold of him and delight so 
seized him, that he fell down fainting in the vestibule. Tohfah 
heard the noise of footfalls and laying the lute from her hand, 
went out to see what was the matter. She found her lord Ishak 
lying aswoon in the entrance ; so she took him up and strained 
him to her bosom, saying, " I conjure thee in Allah's name, O my 
lord, tell me, hath aught of ill befallen thee ? " When he heard 
her voice, he recovered from his fainting and asked her, " Who art 
thou ? " She answered, " I am thy slave-girl Tohfah ; " and he 
said to her, " Art thou indeed Tohfah ? " " Yes," replied she ; 
and he, " By Allah, I had indeed forgotten thee and remembered 
thee not till this moment!" Then he looked at her and said, 
"Verily, thy case is altered to other case and thy wanness is 
changed to rosiness and thou hast redoubled in beauty and love- 
liness. But was it thou who was singing just now ? " She was 
troubled and affrighted and answered, " Even I, O my lord ; " 
whereupon Ishak seized upon her hand and carrying her into the 
house, said to her, " Take the lute and sing ; for never saw I nor 
heard thy like in smiting upon the lute ; no, not even myself ! " 
Quoth she, " O my lord, thou mockest me. Who am I that thou 
shouldst say all this to me ? Indeed, this is but of thy kindness." 
Quoth he, " Nay, by Allah, I said but the truth to thee and I am 
not of those on whom pretence imposeth. For these three months 
nature hath not moved thee to take the lute and sing thereto, and 
this is naught save a rare thing and a strange. But all this 
cometh of strength in the art and thy self-restraint." Then he 
bade her sing ; and she said, " Hearkening and obedience." So 
she took the lute and tightening its strings to the sticking point, 
smote thereon a number of airs, so that she confounded Ishak's 
wit and for delight he was like to fly. Then she returned to the 
first mode and sang thereto these couplets : 

By your ruined stead aye I stand and stay, * Nor shall change or dwelling 
depart us tway ! 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. Tf 

No distance of homestead shall gar me forget * Your love, O friends, but I 
yearn alway : 

Ne'er flies your phantom the babes of these eyne * You are moons in Night- 
tide's murkest array : 

And with growing passion mine unrest grows * And each morn I find union 
dissolved in woes. 

When she had made an end of her song and laid down the lute, 
Ishak looked fixedly on her, then took her hand and offered to 
kiss it ; but she snatched it from him and said to him, " Allah, O 
my lord, do not that ! " ! Cried he, " Be silent. By Allah, I had 
said that there was not in the world the like of me ; but now 
I have found my dinar in the art but a danik, 2 for thou art more 
excellent of skill than I, beyond comparison or approximation 
or calculation ! This very day will I carry 3 thee up to the 
Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and when his 
glance lighteth on thee, thou wilt become a Princess of woman- 
kind. So Allah, Allah upon thee, O my lady, whenas thou 
becomest of the household of the Prince of True Believers, do not 
thou forget me ! " She replied, " Allah, O my lord, thou art 
the root of my fortunes and in thee is my heart fortified." Thereat 
he took her hand and made a covenant with her of this and she 
swore to him that she would not forget him. Then said he to her, 
" By Allah, thou art the desire of the Commander of the Faithful ! 
Now take the lute and sing a song which thou shalt sing to the 
Caliph, when thou goest in to him." So she took the lute and 
tuning it, improvised these couplets : 

His lover had ruth on his woeful mood o And o'erwept him as still by his 

couch he* stood : 
And garred him drink of his lip-dews and wine 8 e Ere he died and this food 

was his latest good. 

1 The sequel will explain why she acted in this way. 

2 i.e. Thou hast made my gold piece (10 shill.) worth only a doit by thy superiority 
in the art and mystery of music. 

3 Arab. " Uaddfki," Taadiyah (iid. of Adi, he assisted) means sending, forwarding. 
In Egypt and Syria we often find the form " Waddi" for Addi, imperative. 

4 Again "he" for "she." 
9 i.e. Honey and wine. 

78 Supplemental Nights. 

Ishak stared at her and seizing her hand, said to her, " Know 
that I am bound by an oath that, when the singing of a damsel 
pleaseth me, she shall not end her song but before the Prince of 
True Believers. But now tell me, how came it that thou tarriedst 
with the slave-dealer five months and wast not sold to any one, and 
thou of this skill, especially when the price set on thee was no great 
matter ? " Hereat she laughed and answered, " O my lord, my 
story is a wondrous and my case a marvellous. Know that I 
belonged aforetime to a Maghribi merchant, who bought me when 
I was three years old, and there were in his house many slave-girls 
and eunuchs ; but I was the dearest to him of them all. So he 
kept me with him and used not to address me otherwise than, ' O 
daughterling, 1 and indeed to this moment I am a clean maid. 
Now there was with him a damsel, a lutanist, and she reared me 
and taught me the art, even as thou seest. Then was my master 
removed to the mercy of Allah Almighty 1 and his sons divided his 
monies. I fell to the lot of one of them ; but 'twas only a little 
while ere he had wasted all his wealth and there was left him 
naught of coin. So I gave up the lute, fearing lest I should fall into 
the hand of a man who knew not my worth, for well I wot that needs 
must my master sell me ; and indeed but a few days passed ere he 
carried me forth to the quarters of the slave-merchant who buyeth 
damsels and displayeth them to the Commander of the Faithful. 
Now I desired to learn the art and mystery ; so I refused to be sold 
to other than thou, until Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) 
vouchsafed me my desire of thy presence ; whereupon I came out 
to thee, as soon as I heard of thy coming, and besought thee to buy me. 
Thou heartenedst my heart and boughtest me ; and since I entered 
thy house, O my lord, I have not taken up the lute till now ; but 
to-day, when I was left private by the slave-girls, I took it ; and 
my purpose in this was that I might see if my hand were changed 2 

1 M. he died. 

* i,e. if my hand bad lost its cunning. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-K*lub. 79 

or not. As I was singing, I heard a footfall in the vestibule ; so 
springing up, I laid the lute from my hand and going forth to see 
what was to do, found thee, O my lord, after this fashion." Quoth 
Ishak, " Indeed, this was of thy fair fortune. By Allah, I know 
not that which thou knowest in this art ! " Then he arose and 
opening a chest, brought out therefrom striped clothes 1 , netted 
with jewels and great pearls and other costly gems and said to 
her, " In the name of Allah, don these, O my lady Tohfah." So 
she arose and donned that dress and veiled herself and went up 
with Ishak to the palace of the Caliphate, where he made her 
stand without, whilst he himself went in to the Prince of True 
Believers (with whom was Ja'afar the Barmaki) and kissing the 
ground before him, said to him, " O Commander of the Faithful, I 
have brought thee a damsel, never saw eyes of seer her like for 
excellence in singing and touching the lute ; and her name is 
Tohfah." Al-Rashid asked "And where be this Tohfah 2 who 
hath not her like in the world ? " Answered Ishak, " Yonder she 
standeth, O Commander of the Faithful ; " and he acquainted the 
Caliph with her case from first to last. Then said Al-Rashid. 
" Tis a marvel to hear thee praise a slave-girl after this fashion. 
Admit her that we may look upon her, for verily the morning 
may not be hidden." Accordingly, Ishak bade admit her; so 
she entered, and when her eyes fell upon the Prince of True 
Believers, she kissed ground before him and said, " The Peace be 
upon thee, O Commander of the faithful Fold and Asylum of all 
who the true Creed hold and Quickener of justice in the Worlds 
threefold ! Allah make thy feet tread on safest wise and give 
thee joy of what He gave thee in generous guise and make thy 
harbourage Paradise and Hell-fire that of thine enemies ! " Quoth 

1 Arab. " Thiyab 'Amtidiyah": 'Amud = tent -prop or column, and Khatt 'Amud = a 
perpendicular line. 

2 i.e. a choice gift. The Caliph speaks half ironically, " Where's this wonderful 
present, etc ? " So further on when he compares her with the morning. 

80 Supplemental Nights. 

Al-Rashid, " And on thee be the Peace, O damsel ! Sit." So she 
sat down and he bade her sing ; whereupon she took the lute and 
tightening its strings, played thereon in many modes, so that the 
Prince of True Believers and Ja'afar were confounded in sprite 
and like to fly for delight. Then she returned to the first mode 
and improvised these couplets : 

mine eyes! I swear by him I adore, o Whom pilgrims seek thronging 

Arafat ; 

An thou call my name on the grave of me, o I'll reply to thy call tho' my bones 
go rot : 

1 crave none for friend of my heart save thee ; o So believe me, for true are the 


Al-Rashid considered her comeliness and the goodliness of her 
singing and her eloquence and what other qualities she comprised 
and rejoiced with joy exceeding ; and for the stress of that which 
overcame him of delight, he descended from the couch and sitting 
down with her upon the floor, said to her, " Thou hast done well, 
O Tohfah. By Allah, thou art indeed a choice gift ! " l Then he 
turned to Ishak and said to him, "Thou dealtest not justly, O 
Ishak, in the description of this damsel, nor didst thou fairly set forth 
all that she compriseth of charms and art ; for that, by Allah, she 
is inconceivably more skilful than thou ; and I know of this craft 
that which none knoweth save I ! " Exclaimed the Wazir Ja'afar, 
" By Allah, thou sayst sooth, O my lord, O Commander of the 
Faithful. Indeed, she hath done away my wit, hath this damsel." 
Quoth Ishak, " By Allah, O Prince of True Believers, I had said 
that there was not on the face of the earth one who knew the art 
of the lute like myself; but when I heard her, my skill became 
nothing worth in mine eyes." Then said the Caliph to her, 
" Repeat thy playing, O Tohfah." So she repeated it and he cried 
to her, " Well done ! " Moreover, he said to Ishak, " Thou hast 

1 Again the usual pun upon the name. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 81 

indeed brought me a marvellous thing, one which is worth in mine 
eyes the empire of the world." Then he turned to Masrur the 
eunuch and said to him, " Carry Tohfah to the chamber of honour." 
Accordingly, she went away with the Castrato and the Caliph 
looked at her raiment and ornaments and seeing her clad in 
clothing of choice, asked Ishak, u O Ishak, whence hath she these 
robes ? " Answered he, " O my lord, these are somewhat of thy 
bounties and thy largesse, and they are a gift to her from me. By 
Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, the world, all of it, were little 
in comparison with her ! " Then the Caliph turned to the Wazir 
Ja'afar and said to him " Give Ishak fifty thousand dirhams and a 
robe of honour of the choicest apparel." " Hearing and obeying," 
replied Ja'afar and gifted him with that which the Caliph ordered 
him. As for Al-Rashid, he was private with Tohfah that night 
and found her a pure virgin and rejoiced in her ; and she took high 
rank in his heart, so that he could not suffer her absence a single 
hour and committed to her the keys of the affairs of the realm, for 
that which he saw in her of good breeding and fine wit and leal 
will. He also gave her fifty slave-girls and two hundred thousand 
dinars and a quantity of raiment and ornaments, gems and jewels 
worth the kingdom of Egypt ; and of the excess of his love for 
her, he would not entrust her to any of the hand-maids or eunuchs ; 
but, whenever he went out from her, he locked the door upon her and 
took the key with him, against he should return to her, forbidding 
the damsels to go in to her, of his fear lest they should slay her or 
poison her or practise on her with the knife ; and in this way he 
abode awhile. One day, as she sang before the Commander of the 
Faithful, he was delighted with exceeding delight, so that he 
offered to kiss her hand j 1 but she drew it away from him and 
smote upon her lute and broke it and wept ANRashid wiped 
away her tears and said, " O desire of the heart, what is it maketh 

1 Throughout the East this is the action of a servant or a slave, practised by freemen 
only when in danger of life or extreme need and therefore humiliating. 


82 Supplemental Nights. 

thee weep ? May Allah not cause an eye of thine to shed tears ? " 
Said she, " O my lord, what am I that thou shouldst kiss my 
hand ? Wilt thou have Allah punish me for this and my term 
come to an end and my felicity pass away ? For this is what none 
ever attained unto/' He rejoined, " Well said, O Tohfah. Know that 
thy rank in my esteem is high and for that which delighted me of 
what I saw in thee, I offered to do this, but I will not return unto 
the like thereof; so be of good cheer, with eyes cool and clear, for 
I have no desire to other than thyself and will not die but in the 
love of thee, and thou to me art queen this day, to the exclusion 
of all humankind." Therewith she fell to kissing his feet ; and 
this her fashion pleased him, so that his love for her redoubled and 
he became unable to brook severance from her a single hour. Now 
Al-Rashid one day went forth to the chase and left Tohfah in her 
pavilion. As she sat perusing a book, with a candle-branch of gold 
before her, wherein was a perfumed candle, behold, a musk-apple 
fell down before her from the top of the saloon. 1 So she looked 
up and beheld the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, 2 who saluted her 
with a salam and acquainted her with herself, whereupon Tohfah 
sprang to her feet and said, " O my lady, were I not of the number 
of the new, 3 I had daily sought thy service ; so do not thou bereave 
me of those noble steps." 4 The Lady Zubaydah called down 
blessings upon her and replied, " I knew this of thee ; and, by the 
life of the Commander of the Faithful, but that it is not of my 
wont to go forth of my place, I had come out to do my service to 
thee." Then quoth she to her, " Know, O Tohfah, that the Com- 
mander of the Faithful hath deserted all his concubines and 
favourites on thine account, even myself hath he abandoned on 

1 It had been thrown down from the Mamrak or small dome built over such pavilions 
for the purpose of light by day and ventilation by night. See vol. i. 257, where it is 
called by the Persian term " Badhanj." 

2 The Nights have more than once applied this patronymic to Zubaydah. See vol. vui 

56, 158. 

8 Arab. " Mutahaddis{n" = novi homines, upstarts. 
4 i.e. thine auspicious visit*. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 83 

this wise, and I am not content to be as one of the mistresses ; yet 
hath he made me of them and forsaken me, and I have sought thee,so 
thou mayst beseech him to come to me, though it be but once a month, 
in order that I may not be the like of the hand-maids and concu- 
bines nor take rank with the slave-girls ; and this is my need of 
thee." Answered Tohfah, " Hearkening and obedience! By Allah, 
O my lady, I would that he might be with thee a whole month and 
with me but one night, so thy heart might be heartened, for that I 
am one of thy hand-maids and thou in every case art my lady." 
The Princess Zubaydah thanked her for this and taking leave of 
her, returned to her palace. When the Caliph came back from 
the chase and course, he betook himself to Tohfah's pavilion and 
bringing out the key, opened the lock and went in to her. She 
rose to receive him and kissed his hand, and he gathered her to 
his breast and seated her on his knee. 1 Then food was brought to 
them and they ate and washed their hands ; after which she took 
the lute and sang, till Al-Rashid was moved to sleep. When aware 
of this, she ceased singing and told him her adventure with the 
Lady Zubaydah, saying, "O Prince of True Believers, I would 
have thee favour me with a favour and hearten my heart and accept 
my intercession and reject not my supplication, but fare thee forth- 
right to the Lady Zubaydah." Now this talk befel after he had 
stripped himself naked and she also had doffed her dress ; and he 
said, "Thou shouldst have named this ere we stripped ourselves 
naked, I and thou ! " But she answered, saying, " O Commander 
of the Faithful, I did this not except in accordance with the saying 
of the poet in these couplets : 

Of all intercessions can none succeed, * Save whatso Tohfah bint Marjdn 
sue'd : 

Wo intercessor who comes enveiled ; * * She sues the best who sues mother- 

1 He being seated on the carpet at the time. 

3 A quotation from Al-Farazdat who had quarrelled with his wife Al-HowAr (see Ihe 

84 Supplemental Nights. 

When Al-Rashid heard this, her speech pleased him and he strained 
her to his bosom. Then he went forth from her and locked the 
door upon her, as before ; whereupon she took the book and sat 
perusing it awhile. Presently, she set it aside and taking the lute, 
tightened its strings ; and smote thereon, after a wondrous fashion, 
such as would have moved inanimate things to dance, and Yell to. 
singing marvellous melodies and chanting these couplets : 

Cease for change to 'wail, * The world blames who rail ; 
Bear patient its shafts * That for aye prevail. 
How often a joy * Grief-garbed thou shalt hail : 

How oft gladding bliss * Shall appear amid bale ! 

Then she turned and saw within the chamber an old man, hand- 
some in his hoariness and stately of semblance, who was dancing 
in goodly and winning wise, a dance whose like none might dance. 
So she sought refuge with Allah Almighty from Satan the Stoned 
and said, " I will not give over what I am about, for whatso the; 
Lord willeth, He fulfilleth." Accordingly, she went on singing till 
the Shaykh came up to her and kissed ground before her, saying, 
" Well done, O Highmost of the East and the West ! May the world; 
be not bereaved of thee ! By Allah, indeed thou art perfect of 
manners and morals, O Tohfat al-Sudur ! * Dost thou know me ? " 
Cried she, " Nay, by Allah, but methinks thou art of the Jann." 
Quoth he, "Thou sayst sooth; I am Abu al-Tawaif 2 Iblis, and. 
1 come to thee every night, and with me thy sister Kamariyah, for 
that she loveth thee and sweareth not but by thy life ; and her 
pastime is not pleasant to her, except she come to thee and see 
thee whilst thou seest her not. As for me, I approach thee upon 
an affair, whereby thou shalt gain and rise to high rank with the 

tale in Ibn Khallikan, i. 521), hence "the naked intercessor" became proverbial fog 
one who cannot be withstood. 

1 i.e. Choice Gift of the Breasts, that is of hearts, the continens for the contentum. 

>' Pron. " Abuttawaif," the Father of the (Jinn-) tribes. It is one of the Moslem 
Satan's manifold names, alluding to the number of his servants and worshippers, so fat 
agreeing with that amiable Christian doctrine, "Few shall be saved.'* 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 85 

kings of the Jann and rule them, even as thou rulest mankind ; and 
to that end I would have thee come with me and be present at the 
festival of my daughter's wedding and the circumcision of my son ; * 
for that the Jann are agreed upon the manifestation of thy com- 
mand. And she answered, " Bismillah ; in the name of the Lord." a 
So she gave him the lute and he forewent her, till he came to the 
Chapel of Ease, 3 and behold, therein was a door and a stairway. 
When Tohfah saw this, her reason fled ; but Iblis cheered her with 
chat. Then he descended the steps and she followed him to the 
bottom of the stair, where she found a passage and they fared on 
therein, till they came to a horse standing, ready saddled and 
bridled and accoutred. Quoth Iblis, "Bismillah, O my lady 
Tohfah ; " and he held the stirrup for her. So she mounted and the 
horse heaved like a wave under her and putting forth wings soared 
upwards with her, while the Shaykh flew by her side ; whereat she 
was affrighted and clung to the pommel of the saddle; 4 nor was it 
but an hour ere they came to a fair green meadow, fresh-flowered 
as if the soil thereof were a fine robe, purfled with all manner 
bright hues. Amiddlemost that mead was a palace towering high 
in air, with crenelles of red gold, set with pearls and gems, and a 
two-leaved door ; and about the gateway were much people of the 
chiefs of the Jann, clad in costliest clothing. When they saw the 
Shaykh, they all cried out, saying, " The Lady Tohfah is come ! '* 
And as soon as she reached the palace-gate, they pressed forward 
in a body, and dismounting her from the horse's back, carried her 
into the palace and fell to kissing her hands. When she entered, 

1 Mr. Payne supplies this last clause from the sequence. 

2 i.e. " Let us go," with a euphemistic formula to defend her from evil influences. 
Iblis uses the same word to prevent her being frightened. 

3 Arab. " Al-Mustarah," a favourite haunting- place of the Jinn, like the Hamma'm 
and other offices for human impurity. For its six names Al-Khald, Al-Hushsh, Al- 
Mutawazza, Al-Kanif, Al-Mustarah, and Mirhaz, see Al-Mas'udi, chap, cxxvii., and 
Shirishi's commentary to Hariri's 47, Assembly. 

* Which, in the East, is high and prominent whilst the cantle forms a back to the 
seat and the rider sits as in a baby's chair. The object is a firm seat when fighting : 
" across country " it is exceedingly dangerous. 

86 Supplemental Nights. . 

she beheld a palace whereof seers ne'er saw the like ; for therein 
were four halls, one facing other, and its walls were of gold and its 
ceilings of silver. It was high-builded of base, wide of space, and 
those who descried it would be posed to describe it. At the upper 
end of the hall stood a throne of red gold set with pearls and jewels, 
up to which led five steps of silver, and on its right and on its 
left were many chairs of gold and silver. Quoth Tohfah, " The 
Shaykh led me to the estrade and seated me on a chair of gold 
beside the throne, and over the da'fc was a curtain let down, gold and 
silver wrought and broidered with pearls and jewels." And she was 
amazed at that which she beheld in that place and magnified her 
Lord (extolled and exalted be He !) and hallowed Him. Then the 
kings of the Jann came up to that throne and seated themselves 
thereon ; and they were in the semblance of Adam's sons, 
excepting two of them, who appeared in the form and aspect of the 
Jann, each with one eye slit endlong and jutting horns and pro- 
jecting tusks. 1 After this there came up a young lady, fair of 
favour and seemly of stature, the light of whose face outshone that 
of the waxen flambeaux ; and about her were other three women, 
than whom none fairer abode on face of earth. They saluted 
Tohfah with the salam and she rose to them and kissed ground 
before them ; whereupon they embraced her after returning her 
greeting 2 and sat down on the chairs aforesaid. Now the four 
women who thus accosted Tohfah were the Princess Kamariyah, 
daughter of King Al-Shfsban, and her sisters ; and Kamariyah 
loved Tohfah with exceeding love. So, when she came up to her, 
she fell to kissing and embracing her, and Shaykh Iblis cried, " Fair 

1 In Swedenborg's "Arcana Ccelestia " we read, "When man's inner sight is opened, 
which is that of his spirit ; then there appear the things of another life which cannot be 
made visible to the bodily sight." Also " Evil spirits, when seen by eyes other than 
those of their infernal associates, present themselves by correspondence in the beast 
(fera} which represents their particular lust and life, in aspect direful and atrocious." 
These are the Jinns of Northern Europe. 

3 This exchange of salams was a sign of her being in safety. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. Sf 

befal the accolade ! Take me between you." At this Tohfah 
laughed and Kamariyah said, " O my sister, I love thee, and 
doubtless hearts have their witnesses, 1 for, since I saw thee, I have 
loved thee." Replied Tohfah, " By Allah, hearts have sea-like 
deeps, and thou, by Allah, art dear to me and I am thy hand-maid." 
Kamariyah thanked her for this and kissing her once more said, 
" These be the wives of the kings of the Jann : greet them, with 
the salam ! This is Queen Jamrah, 2 that is Queen Wakhimah and 
this other is Queen Shararah, and they come not but for thee.** So 
Tohfah rose to her feet and bussed their hands, and the three 
queens kissed her and welcomed her and honoured her with the 
utmost honour. Then they brought trays and tables and amongst 
the rest a platter of red gold, inlaid with pearls and gems ; its 
raised rims were of or and emerald, and thereon were graven $ these 
couplets : 

To bear provaunt assigned, o By hands noble designed, 
For the gen'rous I'm made Not for niggardly hind ! 
So eat safe all I hold o And praise God of mankind 

After reading the verses they ate and Tohfah looked at the two 
kings who had not changed shape and said to Kamariyah, " O 
my lady, what be this feral and that other like unto him ? By Allah, 
mine eye may not suffer the sight of them." Kamariyah laughed 
and answered, <c O my sister, that is my sire Al-Shisban and the 
other ishightMaymun the Sworder; and of the arrogance of their 
souls and their insolence, they consented not to change their 
created shapes. Indeed, all whom thou seest here are nature- 

1 Arab. "Shawahid," meaning that heart testifies to heart. 

2 i.e. A live coal, afterwards called Zalzalah, an earthquake ; see post p. 105. " Wak- 
himah" = an unhealthy land, and " Shararah " = a spark. 

3 I need hardly note the inscriptions upon the metal trays sold to Europeans. They 
are usually imitation words so that infidel eyes may not look upon the formulae of 
.prayer ; and the same is the case with table-cloths, etc., showing a fancy Tohgra or 
Sultanic sign-manual. 

&8 Supplemental Nights. 

fashioned like them ; but on thine account they have changed 
favour, for fear lest thou be disquieted and for the comforting of thy 
mind, so thou mightest become familiar with them and be at thine 
ease. 5 ' Quoth Tohfah, " O my lady, verily I cannot look at them. 
How frightful is this Maymun, with his monocular face ! Mine eye 
cannot brook the sight of him, and indeed I am in affright of him.** 
Kamariyah laughed at her speech, and Tohfah continued, " By 
Allah, O my lady, I cannot fill my eye with the twain ! " l Then 
cried her father Al-Shisban to her, " What be this laughing ? " 
So she bespoke him in a tongue none understood but they two 
and acquainted him with that which Tohfah had said ; whereat he 
laughed a prodigious loud laugh, as it were the roaring thunder. 
Presently they ate and the tables were removed and they washed 
their hands ; after which Iblis the Accursed came up to Tohfah 
and said to her, " O my lady, thou gladdenest the place and en- 
lightenest and embellishest it with thy presence; but now fain 
would these kings hear somewhat of thy singing, for Night hath 
dispread her pinions for departure and there abideth of it but a 
little." Quoth she, "Hearing and obeying." So she took the 
lute and touching its strings with rare touch, played thereon after 
wondrous wise, so that it seemed to those who were present as if 
the palace surged like a wave with them for the music. Then she 
began singing and chanting these couplets : 

Folk of my faith and oath, Peace with you be ! o Quoth ye not I shall meet 

you, you meet me ? 
I'll chide you softerwise than breeze o' morn, o Sweeter than spring of coolest 

P faith mine eyelids are with tears chafed sore j o My vitals plain to you some 

cure to see. 
My friends ! Our union to disunion changed o Was aye my fear for 'twas my 

I'll plain to Allah of all ills I bore : e For pine and yearning misery still I 


1 i.e. I cannot look at them long. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 89 

The kings of the Jann were moved to delight by that sweet 
singing and seemly speech and thanked Tohfah therefore ; and 
Queen Kamariyah rose to her and threw her arms round her neck 
and kissed her between the eyes, saying, " By Allah, 'tis good, O 
my sister and coolth of mine eyes and core of my heart ! " Then 
said she, " I conjure thee by Allah, give us more of this lovely 
singing ;" and Tohfah answered with " To hear is to obey." So 
she took the lute and playing thereon in a mode different from the 
former fashion, sang these couplets : 

I, oft as ever grows the pine of me, o Console my soul with hope thy sight to 

Haply shall Allah join our parted lives, o E'en as my fortunes far from thee 

cast He ! 
Then oh ! who thrallest me by force of love o Seized by fond affection's 

All hardships easy wax when thou art nigh ; * And all the far draws near 

when near thou be. 
Ah ! be the Ruthful light to lover fond, o Love-lorn, frame-wasted, ready Death 

to dree ! 
Were hope of seeing thee cut off, my loved ; o After thine absence sleep mine 

eyes would flee ! 
I mourn no worldly joyance, my delight * Is but to sight thee while thou seest 

my sight. 

At this the accursed Iblis was hugely pleased and thrust his 
finger up his fundament, 1 whilst Maymun danced and said, "O 
Tohfat al-Sudur, soften the sound ; 2 for, as pleasure entereth into 
my heart, it arresteth my breath and blood." So she took the 
lute and altering the tune, played a third air ; then she returned 
to the first and sang these couplets : 

The waves of your 3 love o'er my life have rolled ; o I sink while I see you all 
aid withhold : 

1 Evidently a diabolical way of clapping his hands in applause. This description of 
the Foul Fiend has an element of grotesqueness which is rather Christian than Moslem. 

2 Arab. " Rikki al-Saut," which may also mean either " lower thy voice,"or "change 
the air to one less touching." 

9 "Your" for "thy." 

go Supplemental Nights 

You have drowned my vitals in deeps of your love, o Nor can heart and sprite 

for your loss be consoled : 
Deem not I forget my troth after you : How forget what Allah decreed of 

old? 1 
Love clings to the lover who nights in grief, o And 'plains of unrest and of 

woes ensouled. 

The kings and all those who were present rejoiced in this with 
joy exceeding and the accursed Iblis came up to Tohfah and 
kissing her hand, said to her " Verily there abideth but little of the 
night ; so tarry with us till the morrow, when we will apply our- 
selves to the wedding 2 and the circumcision." 3 Then all the Jana 

1 i>. written on the " Guarded Tablet" from all eternity. 

7 Arab. "Al-'Urs w'al-Tuhur " which can only mean, " the wedding (which does 
not drop out of the tale) and the circumcision." 

3 I here propose to consider at some length this curious custom which has prevailed 
amongst so many widely separated races. Its object has been noted (vol. v. 209), viz. to 
diminish the sensibility of the glans, no longer lubricated with prostatic lymph ; thus the 
part is hardened against injury and disease and its work in coition is prolonged. 
On the other hand " praeputium in coitu voluptatem (of the woman) auget, unde femina 
praeputiatis concubitum malunt quam cum Turcis ac Judaeis" says Dimerbroeck 
(Anatomic). I vehemently doubt the fact. Circumcision was doubtless practised from 
ages immemorial by the peoples of Central Africa, and Welcker found traces of it in a 
mummy of the xvith century B.C. The Jews borrowed it from the Egyptian priest- 
hood and made it a manner of sacrament, " uncircumcised " being ="unbaptised," that 
is, barbarian, heretic ; it was a seal of reconciliation, a sign of alliance between the Creator 
and the Chosen People, a token of nationality imposed upon the body politic. Thus it 
became a cruel and odious protestation against the brotherhood of man, and the cosmo- 
politan Romans derided the verpae ac verpi. The Jews also used the term figuratively as 
the " circumcision of fruits " (Lev. xix. 23), and of the heart (Deut. x. 16) ; and the old law 
gives copious historical details of its origin and continuance. Abraham first amputated 
his horny " calotte " at aet. 99, and did the same for his son and household (Gen. xvii. 
24-27). The rite caused a separation between Moses and his wife (Exod. iv. 25). It 
was suspended during the Desert Wanderings and was resumed by Joshua (v. 3-7), 
who cut off two tons weight of prepuces. The latter became, like the scalps of the 
Scythians and North- American " Indians," trophies of victory ; Saul promised his 
daughter Michol to David for a dowry of one hundred, and the son-in-law brought 
double tale. 

Amongst the early Christians opinions concerning the rite differed. Although the 
Founder of Christianity was circumcised, St. Paul, who aimed at a cosmopolitan faith, 
discouraged it in the physical phase. St. Augustine still sustained that the rite removed 
original sin despite the Fathers who preceded and followed him, Justus, Tertullian, 
Ambrose and others. But it gradually lapsed into desuetude and was preserved only in 
the outlying regions. Paulus Jovius and Munster found it practised in Abyssinia, but 
as a mark of nobility confined to the descendants of " Nicaules, queen of Sheba." The 

The Tale of the Damsel Tokfat al-Kulub, 91 

went away, whereupon Tohfah rose to her feet and Iblis said, " Go 
ye up with Tohfah to the garden for the rest of the night." So 

AbyssinSans still follow the Jews in performing the rite within eight days after the 
birth and baptise boys after forty and girls after eighty days. When a circumcised 
man became a Jew he was bled before three witnesses at the place where the prepuce 
had been cut off, and this was called the " Blood of alliance." Apostate Jews effaced 
the sign of circumcision : so in I Matt. i. 16, fecerunt sibi praeputia et recesserunt a 
Testament Sancto. Thus making prepuces was called by the Hebrews Meshookim = 
recutitis, and there is an allusion to it in I Cor. vii. 18, 19, M tmcrirao-Oai (Farrar, 
Paul ii. 70). St. Jerome and others deny the possibility ; but Mirabeau (Akropodie) 
relates how Father Conning by liniments of oil, suspending weights, and wearing the 
virga in a box gained in 43 days 7J lines. The process is still practised by Armenians 
and other Christians who, compelled to Islamise, wish to return to Christianity. I cannot 
however find a similar artifice applied to a circumcised clitoris. The simplest form of cir- 
cumcision is mere amputation of the prepuce and I have noted (vol. v. 209) the difference 
between the Moslem and the Jewish .rite, the latter according to some being supposed 
to heal in kindlier way. But the varieties of circumcision are immense. Probably none 
is more terrible than that practised in the Province Al-Asir, the old Ophir, lying south 
of Al-Hijaz, where it is called Salkh, lit. = scarification. The patient, usually from 
ten to twelve years old, is placed upon raised ground holding in right hand a spear, whose 
heel rests upon his foot and whose point shows every tremour of the nerves. The tribe 
stands about him to pass judgment on his fortitude, and the barber performs the 
operation with the Jumbiyah-dagger, sharp as a razor. First he makes a shallow cut, 
severing only the skin across the belly immediately below the navel, and similar incisions 
down each groin ; then he tears off the epidermis from the cuts downwards and flays 
the testicles and the penis, ending with amputation of the foreskin. Meanwhile the spear 
must not tremble and in some clans the lad holds a dagger over the back of the stooping 
barber, crying, " Cut and fear not ! " When the ordeal is over, he exclaims " Allaho 
Akbar ! " and attempts to walk towards the tents soon falling for pain and nervous ex- 
haustion, but the more steps he takes the more applause he gains. He is dieted with 
camel's milk, the wound is treated with salt and turmeric, and the chances in his favour 
are about ten to one. No body-pile or pecten ever grows upon the excoriated part 
which preserves through life a livid ashen hue. Whilst Mohammed Ali Pasha 
occupied the province he forbade " scarification" under pain of impalement, but it was 
resumed the moment he left Al-Asir. In Africa not only is circumcision indigenous, the 
operation varies more or less in the different tribes. In Dahome it is termed Adda- 
gwibi, and is performed between the twelfth and twentieth year. The rough operation 
is made peculiar by a double cut above and below ; the prepuce being treated in the 
Moslem, not the Jewish fashion (loc. cit.). Heated sand is applied as a styptic and the 
patient is dieted with ginger-soup and warm drinks of ginger-water, pork being especially 
forbidden. The Fantis of the Gold Coast circumcise in sacred places, e.g. t at Accra on 
a Fetish rock rising from the sea. The peoples of Sennaar, Taka, Masawwah and the 
adjacent regions follow the Abyssinian custom. The barbarous Bissagos and Fellups 
of North Western Guinea make cuts on the prepuce without amputating it ; while the 
Baquens and Papels circumcise like Moslems. The blacks of Loango are all " verpae," 
otherwise they would be rejected by the women. The Bantu or Caffre tribes are 
circumcised between the ages of fifteen and eighteen; the " Fetish boys," as we caH 
them, are chalked white and wear only grass belts ; they live outside the villages m 

92 Supplemental Nights 

Kamariyah took her and went with her into the garden, which 
contained all manner birds, nightingale and mocking-bird and 

special houses under an old "medicine-roan," who teaches them not only virile arts but 
also to rob and fight. The " man-making" way last five months and ends in fetes and 
dances : the patients are washed in the river, they burn down their quarters, take new 
names, and become adults, donning a kind of straw thimble over the prepuce. In Ma da- 
gascar three several cuts are made causing much suffering to the children ; and the 
nearest male relative swallows the prepuce. The Polynesians circumcise when childhood 
ends and thus consecrate the fecundating organ to the Deity. In Tahiti the operation is 
performed by the priest, and in Tonga only the priest is exempt. The Maories on the 
other hand fasten the prepuce over the glans, and the women of the Marquesas Islands 
have shown great cruelty to shipwrecked sailors who expose the glans. Almost all 
the known Australian tribes circumcise after some fashion : Bennett supposes the rite to 
have been borrowed from the Malays, while Gason enumerates the " Kurrawellie wonk- 
auna " among the five mutilations of puberty. Leichhardt found circumcision about the 
Gulf of Carpentaria and in the river-valleys of the Robinson and Macarthur : others 
observed it on the Southern Coast and among the savages of Perth, where it is noticed 
by Salvado. James Dawson tells us " Circumciduntur pueri," etc., in Western Victoria. 
Brough Smyth, who supposes the object is to limit population (?), describes on the Western 
Coast and in Central Australia the "Corrobery "-dance and the operation performed 
with a quartz-flake. Teichelmann details the rite in Southern Australia where the 
assistants all men, women, and children being driven away form a "manner of 
human altar" upon which the youth is laid for circumcision. He then receives the 
normal two names, public and secret, and is initiated into the mysteries proper for men. 
The Australians also for Malthusian reasons produce an artificial hypospadias, while the, 
Karens of New Guinea only split the prepuce longitudinally (Cosmos p. 369, Oct. 1876^: 
the indigens of Port Lincoln on the West Coast split the virga : Fenditur usque ao. 
urethram a parte infera penis between the ages of twelve and fourteen, says E. J. Eyre in 
1845. Missionary Schtirmann declares that they open the urethra. Gason describes in 
the Dieyerie tribe the operation " Kulpi " which is performed when the beard is long 
enough for tying. The member is placed upon a slab of tree-bark, the urethra is 
incised with a quartz-flake mounted in a gum handle and a splinter of bark is inserted 
to keep the cut open. These men may appear naked before women who expect others 
to clothe themselves. Miklucho Maclay calls it " Mika " in Central Australia : he was 
told by a squatter that of three hundred men only three or four had the member 
intact in order to get children, and that in one tribe the female births greatly out- 
numbered the male. Those mutilated also marry : when making water they sit l:ke 
women slightly raising the penis, this in coition becomes flat and broad and the sem ?n 
does not enter the matrix. The explorer believes that the deed of kind is more 
quickly done (?). Circumcision was also known to the New World. Herrera relates 
that certain Mexicans cut off the ears and prepuce of the newly-born child, causing many 
to die. The Jews did not adopt the female circumcision of Egypt described by Huet 
on Origen t ' ' Circumcisio feminarum fit resectione T^S Wfj,<f>rj<s (sive clitoridis) quse pars 
in Australium mulieribus ita crescit ut ferro est coercenda." Here we have the normal 
confusion between excision of the nymphae (usually for fibulation) and circumcision of 
the clitoris. Bruce notices this clitoridectomy among the Abyssinian*. Werne describes 
the excision on the Upper White Nile and I have noted the complicated operation among 
the Somali tribes. Girls in Dahome are circumcised by ancient sages femmes, and a 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 93 

ringdove and curlew 1 and other than these of all the kinds. 
Therein were all manner of fruits : its channels 2 were of gold and 
silver and the water thereof, as it broke forth of its conduits, was 
like the bellies of fleeing serpents, and indeed it was as it were the 
Garden of Eden. 3 When Tohfah beheld this, she called to mind 
her lord and wept sore and said, " I beseech Allah the Most High 
to vouchsafe me speedy deliverance and return to my palace and 
to my high estate and queendom and glory, and reunion with my 
lord and master Al-Rashid." Then she walked about that garden 
and saw in its midst a dome of white marble, raised on columns 
of black teak whereto hung curtains purfled with pearls and gems. 
Amiddlemost this pavilion was a fountain, inlaid with all kinds of 
jacinths, and thereon a golden statue of a man and beside it a 
little door. She opened the door and found herself in a long 
corridor : so she followed it and entered a Hammam-bath walled 
with all kinds of costly marbles and floored with a mosaic of 
pearls and jewels. Therein were four cisterns of alabaster, one 
facing other, and the ceiling of the bath was of glass coloured 
with all varieties of colours, such as confounded the understanding 
of those who have insight and amazed the wit of every wight. 
Tohfah entered the bath, after she had doffed her dress, and behold 
the Hammam-basin was overlaid with gold set with pearls and red 
balasses and green emeralds and other jewels : so she extolled Allah 
Almighty and hallowed Him for the magnificence of that which 
she saw of the appointments of that bath. Then she made her 

woman in the natural state would be derided by every one (See my Mission to Dahome, 
ii. 159). The Australians cut out the clitoris, and as I have noted elsewhere extirpate 
the ovary for Malthusian purposes (Journ. Anthrop. Inst., vol. viii. of 1884). 

1 Arab. "Kayrawan" which is still the common name for curlew; the peewit and 
plover being called (onomatopoetically) " Bibat " and in Marocco Yahudi, certain impious 
Jews having been turned into the Vanellus Cristatus which still wears the black skull- 
cap of the Hebrews. 

2 Arab. "Sawakf," the leats which irrigate the ground and are opened and closed 
with the foot. 

3 The eighth (in altitude) of the many-storied Heavens. 

94 Supplemental Nights. 

Wuzu-ablution in that basin and pronouncing the Prohibition, 1 
prayed the dawn-prayer and what else had escaped her of orisons ;* 
after which she went out and walked in that garden among 
jessamine and lavender and roses and chamomile and gillyflowers 
and thyme and violets and basil royal, till she came to the door of 
the pavilion aforesaid. There she sat down, pondering that which 
would betide Al-Rashid after her, when he should come to her 
apartment and find her not ; and she plunged into the sea of her 
solicitude, till slumber overtook her and soon she slept. Presently 
she felt a breath upon her face ; whereupon she awoke and found 
Queen Kamariyah kissing her, and with her her three sisters, 
Queen Jamrah, Queen Wakhfmah and Queen Shararah. So she 
arose and kissed their hands and rejoiced in them with the utmost 
joy and they ceased not, she and they, to talk and converse, 
what while she related to them her history, from the time of her 
purchase by the Maghrabi to that of her coming to the quarters 
of the slave-dealer, where she besought Ishak al-Nadim to buy 
her, 8 and how she won union with Al-Rashid, till the moment 
when Iblis came to her and brought her to them. They gave not 
over talking till the sun declined and yellowed and the hour of its 
setting drew near and the day departed, whereupon Tohfah was 
urgent in supplication 4 to Allah Almighty, on the occasion of the 
sundown-prayer, that he would reunite her with her lord Al-Rashid. 

1 Arab. " Ihramat h al-Salat, i.e. She pronounced the formula of Intention (Niyat) 
without which prayer is not valid, ending with Allaho Akbar = Allah is All-great. Thu* 
she had clothed herself, as it were, in prayer and had retired from the world pro temp. 

2 i.e. the prayers of the last day and night which she had neglected while in company 
with the Jinns. The Hammam is not a pure place to pray in ; but the Farz or Koranic 
orisons should be recited there if the legal term be hard upon its end. 

3 Slaves, male as well as female, are as fond of talking over their sale as European 
dames enjoy looking back upon the details of courtship and marriage. 

* Arab. " Du'a," = supplication, prayer, as opposed to " Salat " = divine worship, 
"prayers." For the technical meaning of the latter see vol. iv. 65. I have objected 
to Mr. Redhouse's distinction without a difference between Moslems' worship and prayer : 
voluntary prayers are not prohibited to them and their praises of the Lord arc mingled, 
as amongst all worshippers, with petitions. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 95 

After this, she abode with the four queens, till they arose and 
entered the palace, where she found the waxen tapers lit and 
ranged in candlesticks of gold and silver, arid censing vessels of 
silver and gold filled with lign-aloes and ambergris, and there were 
the kings of the Jann sitting. So she saluted them with the salam, 
kissing the earth before them and doing them service ; and they 
rejoiced in her and in her sight. Then she ascended the estrade 
and sat down upon her chair, whilst King Al-Shisban and King 
Al-Muzfir 1 and Queen Luluah and other kings of the Jann sat on 
chairs, and they brought choice tables, spread with all manner 
meats befitting royalties. They ate their fill ; after which the 
tables were removed and they washed their hands and wiped them 
with napkins. Then they brought the wine-service and set on 
tasses and cups and flagons and beakers of gold and silver aod 
bowls of crystal and gold ; and they poured out the wines and 
they filled the flagons. Then Iblis took the bowl and signed to 
Tohfah to sing : and she said, " To hear is to obey! " So she 
hent the lute in hand and tuning it, sang these couplets : 

Drink wine, O ye lovers, I rede you alway, * And praise his worth who loves 

night and day ; 
'Mid the myrtle, narcissus and lavender, o And tne scented herbs that bedeck 

the tray. 

So Iblis the Damned drank and said, " Brava, O desire of 
hearts ! But thou owest me still another aria." Then he filled 
the cup and signed to her to sing. Quoth she, " Hearkening and 
obedience," and chanted these couplets : 

Ye wot, I am whelmed in despair and despight, o Ye dight me blight that 

delights your sight : 
Your wone is between my unrest and -my eyes ; o Nor tears to melt you, nor 

sighs have might. 

1 Al-Muzfir = the Twister ; Zafair al-Jinn = Adiantum capillus veneris. Luluah = The 
Pearl, or Wild Heifer : see vol. ix. 218. 

g6 Supplemental Nigkts. 

How oft shall I sue you for justke, and you * With a pining death my dear 

love requite ? 
But your harshness is duty, your fatness near ; Your hate is Union, your 

wrath is delight : 
Take your fill of reproach as you will : you claim * All my heart, and I reck 

not of safety or blame. 

All present were delighted and the sitting-chamber was moved 
like a wave with mirth, and Iblis said, * Brava, O Tohfat al- 
Sudur ! " Then they left not liquor-bibbing and rejoicing and 
making merry and tambourining and piping till the night waned 
and the dawn waxed near ; and indeed exceeding delight entered 
into them. The most of them in mirth was the Shaykh Iblis, 
and for the stress of that which befel him of joyance, he doffed 
all that was on him of coloured clothes and cast them over 
Tohfah, and among the rest a robe broidered with jewels and 
jacinths, worth ten thousand dinars. Then he kissed the earth 
and danced and he thrust his finger up his fundament and hending 
his beard in hand, said to her, " Sing about this beard and 
endeavour after mirth and pleasance, and no blame shall betide 
thee for this." So she improvised and sang these couplets : 

Barbe of the olden, the one-eyed goat ! o What words shall thy foulness 

o' deed denote ? 
Be not of our praises so pompous-proud : o Thy worth for a dock-tail dog's I 

By Allah, to-morrow shall see me drub Thy nape with a cow-hide ' and dust 

thy coat ! 

those present laughed at her mockery of Iblis and wondered 
at the wittiness of her visnomy 2 and her readiness in versifying, 
whilst the Shaykh himself rejoiced and said to her, " O Tohfat 
al-Sudur, verily, the night be gone; so arise and rest thyself 

1 Arab. " Bi jildi '1-bakar." I hope that captious critics will not 6nd fault with my 
rendering, as they did in the case of Fals ahmar = a red cent, vol. i. 321. 

2 Arab. "Farasah" = lit. knowing a horse. Arabia abounds in tales illustrating 
abnormal powers of observation. I have noted this in vol. viii. 326. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 97 

ere the day; and to-morrow there shall be naught save weal." 
Then all the kings of the Jinn departed, together with those 
who were present of guards; and Tohfah abode alone, pondering 
the case of Al-Rashid and bethinking her of how it went with 
him after her going, and of what had betided him for her loss, till 
the dawn lightened, when she arose and walked about the palace. 
Suddenly she saw a handsome door ; so she opened it and 
found herself in a flower-garden finer than the first ne'er saw 
eyes of seer a fairer than it. When she beheld this garth, she 
was moved to delight and she called to mind her lord Al-Rashid 
and wept with sore weeping and cried, " I crave of the bounty 
of Allah Almighty that my return to him and to my palace 
and to my home may be nearhand ! " Then she walked about 
the parterres till she came to a pavilion, high-builded of base 
and wide of space, never espie mortal nor heard of a grander 
than it. So she entered and found herself in a long corridor, 
which led to a Hammam goodlier than that aforetime described, 
and its cisterns were full of rose-water mingled with musk. 
Quoth Tohfah, " Extolled be Allah ! Indeed, this > is none other 
than a mighty great king. Then she pulled off her clothes 
and washed her body and made her Ghusl-ablution of the whole 
person 2 and prayed that which was due from her of prayer from 
the evening of the previous day. 3 When the sun rose upon 
the gate of the garden and she saw the wonders thereof, with 
that which was therein of all manner blooms and streams, and 
heard the voices of its birds, she marvelled at what she beheld 
of the rareness of its ordinance and the beauty of its dispo- 
sition and sat musing over the case of Al-Rashid and pondering 
what was come of him after her. Her tears coursed down her 

1 i.e. the owner of this palace. 

3 She made the Ghusl not because she had slept with a man, but because the impurity 
of Satan's presence called for the major ablution before prayer. 
3 i.e. she conjoined the prayers of nightfall with those of dawn. 


98 Supplemental Nighis. 

cheeks and the zephyr blew on her; so she slept and knew no 
more till she suddenly felt a breath on her side-face, whereat she 
awoke in affright and found Queen Kamariyah kissing her, 
and she was accompanied by her sisters, who said, " Rise, for the 
sun hath set." So Tohfah arose and making the Wuzu-ablution, 
prayed her due of prayers ! and accompanied the four queens 
to the palace, where she saw the wax candles lighted and the 
kings sitting. She saluted them with the salam and seated 
herself upon her couch ; and behold, King Al-Shisban had 
shifted his semblance, for all the pride of his soul. Then came 
up Iblis (whom Allah damn !) and Tohfah "rose to him and kissed 
his hands. He also kissed her hand and blessed her and asked, 
" How deemest thou ? Is not this place pleasant, for all its 
desertedness and desolation ? " Answered she, " None may be 
desolate in this place ; " and he cried, " Know that this is a site 
whose soil no mortal dare tread ; " but she rejoined, " I have 
dared and trodden it, and this is one of thy many favours." Then 
they brought tables and dishes and viands and fruits and sweet- 
meats and other matters, whose description passeth powers of 
mortal man, and they ate their sufficiency ; after which the tables 
were removed and the dessert-trays and platters set on, and they 
ranged the bottles and flagons and vessels and phials, together 
with all manner fruits and sweet-scented flowers. The first to 
raise the bowl was Iblis the Accursed, who said, " O Tohfat al- 
Sudur, sing over my cup." So she took the lute and touching 
it, carolled these couplets : 

Wake ye, Ho sleepers all ! and take your joy o Of Time, and boons he deigned 

to bestow ; 
Then hail the Wine-bride, drain the wine-ptisane o Which, poured from flagon, 

flows with flaming glow : 

1 i.e. those of midday, mid -after noon and sunset. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 99 

O Cup-boy, serve the wine, bring round the red * o Whose draught gives all we 

hope for here below : 
What's worldly pleasure save my lady's face, * Draughts of pure wine and 

song of musico ? 

So Iblis drained his bowl and, when he had made an end of 
his draught, waved his hand to Tohfah ; then, throwing off 
that which was upon him of clothes, delivered them to her. 
The suit would have brought ten thousand dinars and with it 
was a tray full of jewels worth a mint of money. Presently 
he filled again and gave the cup to his son Al-Shisban, who 
took it from his hand and kissing it, stood up and sat down again. 
Now there was before him a tray of roses ; so he said to her. 
" O Tohfah, sing thou somewhat upon these roses." She replied, 
" Hearkening and obedience," and chanted these two couplets : 

It proves my price o'er all the flowers that I Seek you each year, yet stay 

but little stound : 
And high my vaunt I'm dyed by my lord Whom Allah made the best e'er 

trod on ground. 8 

So Al-Shisban drank off the cup in his turn and said, " Brava, 
O desire of hearts ! " and he bestowed on her that was upon 
him, to wit, a dress of cloth-of-pearl, fringed with great unions 
and rubies and purfled with precious gems, and a tray wherein 
were fifty thousand dinars. Then Maymun the Sworder took 
the cup and began gazing intently upon Tohfah, Now there 
was in his hand a pomegranate-flower and he said to her, " Sing 
thou somewhat, O queen of mankind and Jinn-kind upon this 
pomegranate-flower ; for indeed thou hast dominion over all 
hearts." Quoth she, " To hear is to obey ; " and she impro- 
vised and sang these couplets : 

Breathes sweet the zephyr on fair parterre ; * Robing lute in the flaming* 
that fell from air : 

1 Arab. " Sahba," red wine preferred for the morning draught. 

2 The Apostle who delighted in women and perfumes. Persian poetry often alludes to 
the rose which, before white, was dyed red by his sweat. 

I oo Supple men tal Nights. 

And moaned from the boughs with its cooing rhyme Voice of ring-doves 

plaining their love and care : 
The branch dresses in suit of fine sendal green And in wine-hues borrowed 

from bloom Gulnare. 1 

Maymun the Sworder drained his bowl and said to her, " Brava, 
O perfection of qualities ! " Then he signed to her and was 
absent awhile, after which he returned and with him a tray of 
jewels worth an hundred thousand ducats, which he gave to 
Tohfah. Thereupon Kamariyah arose and bade her slave-girl 
open the closet behind the Songstress, wherein she laid all that 
wealth ; and committed the key to her, saying, " Whatso 
of riches cometh to thee, lay thou in this closet that is by thy 
side, and after the festivities, it shall be borne to thy palace 
on the heads of the Jinn." Tohfah kissed her hand and another 
king, by name Munir, 2 took the bowl and filling it, said to her, 
" O ferly Fair, sing to me over my bowl somewhat upon the 
jasmine." She replied with, " Hearkening and obedience," and 
improvised these couplets : 

Twere as though the Jasmine (when self she enrobes e On her boughs) doth 

display to my wondering eyne ; 
In sky of green beryl, which Beauty enclothes, Star-groups like studs of the 

silvern mine. 

Munir drank off his cup and ordered her eight hundred thousand 
dinars, whereat Kamariyah rejoiced and rising to her feet, kissed 
Tohfah on her face and said to her, " Be the world never 
bereaved of thee, O thou who lordest it over the hearts of Jinn- 
kind and mankind ! " Then she returned to her place and the 
Shaykh Iblis arose and danced, till all present were confounded ; 
after which the Songstress said, " Verily, thou embellishest my 

1 For the etymology of Julnar Byron's *' Gulnare "see vol. wi. 268. Here the rhymer 
seems to refer to its origin ; Gul (Arab. Jul) in Persian a rose ; and Anar, a pome- 
granate, which in Arabic becomes Nar = fire. 

* i.e. "The brilliant", the enlightened. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 101 

festivities, O thou who commandest men and Jinn and rejoicest 
their hearts with thy loveliness and the beauty * of thy faithfulness 
to thy lord. All that thy hands possess shall be borne to thee in 
thy palace and placed at thy service ; but now the dawn is near- 
hand; so do thou rise and rest thee according to thy custom." 
Tohfah turned and found with her none of the Jinn ; so she 
laid her head on the floor and slept till she had gotten her 
repose ; after which she arose and betaking herself to the lakelet, 
made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed. Then she sat beside the 
water awhile and meditated the matter of her lord Al-Rashid 
and that which had betided him after her loss and wept with 
sore weeping. Presently, she heard a blowing behind her; 2 so she 
turned and behold, a Head without a body and with eyes slit 
endlong : it was of the bigness of an elephant's skull and biggei 
and had a mouth as it were an oven and projecting canines 
as they were grapnels, and hair which trailed upon the ground. 
So Tohfah cried, " I take refuge with Allah from Satan the 
Stoned!" and recited the Two Preventives; 3 what while the 
Head drew near her and said, " Peace be with thee, O Princess 
of Jinn and men and union-pearl of her age and her time 1 Allah 
continue thee on life, for all the lapsing of the days, and reunite 
thee with thy lord the Imam!" 4 She replied, "And upon thee 
be Peace ; O thou whose like I have not seen among the Jann ! " 
Quoth the Head, " We are a folk who may not change their 

1 i.e. the moral beauty. 

2 A phenomenon well known to spiritualists and to "The House and the Haunter.'* 
An old Dutch factory near Hungarian Fiume is famed for this mode of "obsession": 
the inmates hear the sound of footfalls, etc., behind them, especially upon the stairs, and 
see nothing. 

3 The two short Koranic chapters, The Daybreak (cxiii.) and The Men (cxiv. and 
fast) evidently so called from the words which occur in both (versets i., "I take refuge 
with"). These "Ma'uzatani", as they called, are recited as talismans or preventives 
against evil, and are worn as amulets inscribed on parchment ; they are also often used 
in the five canonical prayers. I have translated them in vol. in. 222. 

4 The antistes or fugleman at prayer who leads off the orisons of the congregation j 
and applied to the Caliph as the head of the faith. See vol. ii 203 and iv. 1 1 1. 

102 Supplemental Nights. 

favours and we are night Ghuls : mortals summon us to their 
presence, but we cannot present ourselves before them without 
leave. As for me, I have gotten leave of the Shaykh Abu al- 
Tawaif to appear before thee and I desire of thy favour that 
thou sing me a song, so I may go to thy palace and question 
its Haunters 1 concerning the plight of thy lord after thee and 
return to thee ; and know, O Tohfat al-Sudur, that between thee 
and thy lord be a distance of fifty years' journey for the bond-fide 
traveller." She rejoined, "Indeed, thou grievest me anent him 
between whom and me is fifty years* journey ; " but the Head * 
cried to her, " Be of good cheer and of eyes cool and clear, for the 
sovrans of the Jann will restore thee to him in less than the 
twinkling of an eye." Quoth she, " I will sing thee an hundred 
songs, so thou wilt bring me news of my lord and that which 
betided him after me." And quoth the Head, " Do thou favour 
me and sing me a song, so I may go to thy lord and fetch thee 
tidings of him, for that I desire, before I go, to hear thy voice, so 
haply my thirst 3 may be quenched." So she took the lute and 
tuning it, sang these couplets : 

They have marched, yet "rib empty stead left they : They are gone, nor 

heart grieves me that fled be they : 
My heart forebode the bereaval of friends ; Allah ne'er bereave steads where* 

from sped be they ! 
though they hid the stations where led were they, I'll follow till stars fall in 

disarray ! 
Ye slumber, but wake shall ne'er fly these lids ; * 'Tis I bear what ye never 

bore well- away ! 
it had irked them not to farewell who fares With the parting-fires that my 

heart waylay. 

1 Arab. "'Ummdr" i.e. thiejf Jinn," the "spiritual creatures" which walk this earth, 
and other noji-humans who occupy it.T 

9 A parallel to this bodiless Head is the Giant Face, which appears to travellers (who 
expect it) in the Lower Valley of the Indus. See Sind Re-visited, i. 155. 

3 Arab. "Ghalfli" = my yearning. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 103 

My friends, 1 your meeting to me is much * But more is the parting befel us 

tway : 
You're my heart's delight, or you present be Or absent, with you is my soid 

for aye ! 

Thereupon the Head wept exceeding sore and cried, " O my lady, 
indeed thou hast solaced my heart, and I have naught but my 
life ; so take it" She replied, " Nay, an I. but knew that thou/ 
wouldst bring me news of my lord Al-Rashid, 'twere fainer to me 
than the reign of the world ; " and the Head answered her, " It 
shall be done as thou desirest." Then it disappeared and return- 
ing to her at the last of the night, said, " O my lady, know that I 
have been to thy palace and have questioned one of its Haunters 
of the case of the Commander of the Faithful and that which 
befel him after thee ; and he said : When the Prince of True 
Believers came to Tohfah's apartment and found her not and saw 
no sign of her, he buffeted his face and head and rent his raiment. 
Now there was in thy chamber the Castrate, the chief of thy house- 
hold, and the Caliph cried out at him, saying : Bring me Ja'afar 
the Barmaki and his father and brother at this very moment ! * 
The Eunuch went out, bewildered in his wit for fear of the King; 
and when he stood in presence of Ja'afar, he said to him, " Come 
to the Commander of the Faithful, thou and thy father and thy 
brother." So they arose in haste and betaking themselves to the 
presence, said, "O Prince of True Believers what may be the 
matter ? " Quoth he, There is a matter which passeth descrip- 
tion. Know that I locked the door and taking the key with me, 
betook myself to my uncle's daughter, with whom I lay the night ; 
but, when I arose in the morning and came and opened the door, 
I found no sign of Tohfah. Quoth Ja'afar : O Commander of the 
Faithful have patience, for that the damsel hath been snatched 
away, and needs must she return, seeing that she took the lute 

1 Arab. " Ahbabu-na " plur. for singular = my beloved. 

IO4 Supplemental Nights. 

with her, and 'tis her own lute. The Jinns have assuredly carried 
her off, and we trust in Allah Almighty that she will return. 
Cried the Caliph : This * is a thing which may nowise be ! And 
he abode in her apartment, nor eating nor drinking, while the 
Barmecides besought him to fare forth to the folk ; and he 
weepeth and tarrieth on such fashion till she shall return. This, then, 
is that which hath betided him after thee." When Tohfah heard his 
words, they were grievous to her and she wept with sore weeping ; 
whereupon quoth the Head to her, " The relief of Allah the Most 
High is nearhand ; but now let me hear somewhat of thy speech." 
So she took the lute and sang three songs, weeping the while. 
The Head exclaimed, " By Allah, thou hast been bountiful to 
me, the Lord be with thee ! " Then it disappeared and the 
season of sundown came : so she rose and betook herself to her 
place in the hall ; whereupon behold, the candles sprang up from 
under the earth and kindled themselves. Then the kings of the 
Jann appeared and saluted her and kissed her hands and she 
greeted them with the salam. Presently appeared Kamariyah and 
her three sisters and saluted Tohfah and sat down ; whereupon the 
tables were brought and they ate ; and when the tables were 
removed there came the wine-tray and the drinking-service. So 
Tohfah took the lute and one of the three queens filled the cup 
and signed to the Songstress. Now she had in her hand a violet, 
so Tohfah improvised these couplets : 

I'm clad in a leaf-cloak of green ; o In an honour-robe ultramarine : 
I'm a wee thing of loveliest mien o But all flowers as my vassals are seen : 
An Rose title her " Morn-pride," I ween o Nor before me nor after she's 

The queen drank off her cup and bestowed on Tohfah a dress 
of cloth-of-pearl, fringed with red rubies, worth twenty thousand 

1 i.e. her return. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 105 

ducats, and a tray whereon were ten thousand sequins. All this 
while Maymun's eye was upon her and presently he said to her, 
" Harkye, Tohfah ! Sing to me." But Queen Zalzalah cried 
out at him, and said " Desist, * O Maymun. Thou sufferest not 
Tohfah to pay heed to us." Quoth he, " I will have her sing to 
me : " and many words passed between them and Queen Zalzalah 
cried aloud at him. Then she shook and became like unto the Jinns 
and taking in her hand a mace of stone, said to him, " Fie upon 
thee ! What art thou that thou shouldst bespeak us thus ? By 
Allah, but for the respect due to kings and my fear of troubling 
the session and the festival and the mind of the Shaykh Iblis, I 
would assuredly beat the folly out of thy head ! " When Maymun 
heard these her words, he rose, with the fire shooting from his 
eyes, and said, " O daughter of Imldk, what art thou that thou 
shouldst outrage me with the like of this talk ? " Replied she, 
'" Woe to thee, O dog of the Jinn, knowest thou not thy place ?" 
So saying, she ran at him, and offered to strike him with the mace, 
but the Shaykh Iblis arose and casting his turband on the ground, 
Cried, " Out on thee, O Maymun ! Thou dost always with us on 
this wise. Wheresoever thou art present, thou troublest our 
pleasure ! Canst thou not hold thy peace until thou go forth of 
the festival and this bride-feast be accomplished ? When the 
circumcision is at an end and ye all return to your dwellings, then 
do as thou wiliest. Fie upon thee, O Maymun ! Wottest thou not 
that Imlak is of the chiefs of the Jinn ? But for my good name, 
thou shouldst have seen what would have betided thee of humilia- 
tion and chastisement ; yet on account of the festival none may 
speak. Indeed thou exceedest : dost thou not ken that her sister 
Wakhimah is doughtier 2 than any of the Jann ? Learn to know 

1 Arab. " Arja ' " lit. return! but here meaning to stop. It is much used by donkey- 
boys from Cairo to Fez in the sense of " Get out of the way." Hence the Spanish arre ! 
which gave rise to arriero = a carrier, a muleteer. 

3 Arab. " Afras " lit. = a better horseman. 

Io6 Supplemental Nigktt. 

thyself : hast thou no regard for thy life ? " So Maymun was 
silent and Iblis turned to Tohfah and said to her " Sing to the 
kings of the Jinns this day and to-night until the morrow, when 
the boy will be circumcised and each shall return to his own 
place." Accordingly she took the lute and Kamariyah said to her 
(now she had a citron in hand), " O my sister, sing to me somewhat 
on this citron." Tohfah replied, " To hear is to obey," and 
improvising, sang these couplets : 

I'm a dome of fine gold and right cunningly dight ; And my sweetness of 

youth gladdeth every sight : 
My wine is ever the drink of kings o And I'm fittest gift to the friendliest 


At this Queen Kamariyah rejoiced with joy exceeding and 
drained her cup, crying, " Brava ! O thou choice Gift of hearts ! " 
Furthermore, she took off a sleeved robe of blue brocade, fringed 
with red rubies, and a necklace of white jewels worth an hundred 
thousand ducats, and gave them to Tohfah. Then she passed the 
cup to her sister Zalzalah, who hent in her hand herb basil, and 
she said to Tohfah, " Sing to me somewhat on this basil." She 
replied, " Hearing and obeying/' and improvised and sang these 
couplets : 

I'm the Queen of herbs in the stance of wine And in Heaven Na'fm are 

my name and sign : 
And the best are promised, in garth of Khuld, * Repose, sweet scents and the 

peace divine : l 
What prizes then with my price shall vie ? What rank even mine, in all 

mortals' eyne ? 

Thereat Queen Zalzalah rejoiced with joy exceeding and bid- 
ding her treasuress bring a basket, wherein were fifty pairs of 

1 A somewhat crippled quotation from Koran Ivi. 87-88, " As for him who is of those 
brought near unto Allah, there shall be for him easance and basil and a Garden of 
Delights (Na'im)." 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 107 

bracelets and the same number of earrings, all cf gold, crusted 
with jewels of price, whose like nor mankind nor Jinn-kind pos- 
sessed, and an hundred robes of vari-coloured brocades and 
an hundred thousand ducats, gave the whole to Tohfah. Then she 
passed the cup to her sister Shararah, who had in her hand a stalk 
of narcissus ; so she took it from her and turning to the 
Songstress, said to her, " O Tohfah, sing to me somewhat on this." 
She replied, " Hearkening and obedience/' and improvised these 
couplets : 

With the smaragd wand doth my form compare ; o 'Mid the finest flowers my 

worth's rarest rare : 
My eyes are likened to Beauty's eyne, o And my gaze is still on the bright 


When she had made an end of her song, Shararah was moved 
to delight exceeding, and drinking off her cup, said to her, " Brava, 

thou choice Gift of hearts ! " Then she ordered her an hundred 
dresses of brocade and an hundred thousand ducats and passed 
the cup to Queen Wakhimah. Now she had in her hand some- 
what of Nu'uman's bloom, the anemone ; so she took the cup 
from her sister and turning to the Songstress, said to her, " O 
Tohfah, sing to me on this." Quoth she, " I hear and I obey," and 
improvised these couplets : 

I'm a dye was dyed by the Ruthful's might ; o And all confess me the goodliest 
sight : 

1 began in the dust and the clay, but now o On the cheeks of fair women I 

rank by right. 

Therewith Wakhimah rejoiced with joy exceeding and drinking 
off the cup, ordered her twenty dresses of Roumi brocade and a 
tray, wherein were thirty thousand ducats. Then she gave the 
cup to Queen Shu'd'ah, 1 Regent of the Fourth Sea, who took 

1 i.f. Queen Sunbeam. 

io8 Supplemental Nights. 

it and said, " O my lady Tohfah, sing to me on the gillyflower.'* 
She replied, " Hearing and obeying/' and improvised these 
couplets : 

The time of my presence ne'er draws to a close, Amid all whose joyance with 
mirth o'erflows ; 

When topers gather to sit at wine o Or in nightly shade or when morning 

I filch from the flagon to fill the bowls And the crystal cup where the wine- 
beam glows. 

Queen ShuVah rejoiced with joy exceeding and emptying her 
cup, gave Tohfah an hundred thousand ducats. Then up sprang 
Iblis (whom Allah curse !) and cried, " Verily, the dawn lighteneth ;" 
whereupon the folk arose and disappeared, all of them, and there 
abode not one of them save the Songstress, who went forth to the 
garden and entering the Hammam made her Wuzu-ablutions and 
prayed whatso lacked her of prayers. Then she sat down and 
when the sun rose, behold, there came up to her near an hundred 
thousand green birds, which filled the branches of the trees with 
their multitudes and they warbled in various voices, whilst Tohfah 
marvelled at their fashion. Suddenly, appeared eunuchs, bearing 
a throne of gold, studded with pearls and gems and jacinths, both 
white and red, and having four steps of gold, together with many 
carpets of sendal and brocade and Coptic cloth of silk sprigged with 
gold ; and all these they spread in the centre of the garden and 
setting up the throne thereon, perfumed the place with virgin 
musk, Nadd * and ambergris. After that, there came a queen ; 
never saw eyes a fairer than she nor than her qualities ; she was 
robed in rich raiment, broidered with pearls and gems, and on her 
head was a crown set with various kinds of unions and jewels. 
About her were five hundred slave-girls, high-bosomed maids, as 
they were moons, screening her, right and left, and she among 

1 See vol. i, 310 for this compound perfume which contains musk, ambergris and other 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 109 

them like the moon on the night of its full, for that she was the 
most worthy of them in majesty and dignity. She ceased not 
walking till she came to Tohfah, whom she found gazing on her in 
amazement ; and when the Songstress saw her turn to her, she 
rose to her, standing on her feet, and saluted her and kissed 
ground between her hands. The queen rejoiced in her and 
putting out her hand to her, drew her to herself and seated 
her by her side on the couch ; whereupon the Songstress kissed 
her hands and the queen said to her, " Know, O Tohfah, that all 
which thou treadest of these carpets belongeth not to any of the 
Jinn, who may never tread them without thy leave, 1 for that I am the 
queen of them all and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif Iblis sought my 
permission to hold festival 2 and prayed me urgently to be present 
at the circumcision of his son. So I despatched to him, in my 
stead, a slave-girl of my slave-girls, namely, Shu'a'ah Queen of the 
Fourth Sea, who is vice-reine of my reign. When she was present 
at the wedding and saw thee and heard thy singing, she sent to 
me, informing me of thee and setting forth to me thy grace and 
amiability and the beauty of thy breeding and thy courtesy. 3 So 
I am come to thee, for that which I have heard of thy charms, 
and hereby I do thee a mighty great favour in the eyes of all 
the Jann." 4 Thereupon Tohfah arose and kissed the earth and 
the queen thanked her for this and bade her sit. So she sat down 
and the queen called for food ; when they brought a table of gold, 
inlaid with pearls and jacinths and jewels and bearing kinds 
manifold of birds and viands of various hues, and the queen said, 
" O Tohfah, in the name of Allah ! Let us eat bread and salt 
together, I and thou." Accordingly the Songstress came forward 
and ate of those meats and found therein somewhat the like 

1 I can hardly see the sequence ot this or what the carpets have to do here. 

2 Here, as before, some insertion has been found necessary. 

3 Arab. " Dukhulak " lit. = thy entering, entrance, becoming familiar. 

* Or'" And in this there shall be to thee great honour over all the Jinn.'* 

1 1 o Supplemen tal Nights. 

whereof she had never eaten ; no, nor aught more delicious than it, 
while the slave-girls stood around the table> as the white com- 
passeth the black of the eye, and she sat conversing and laughing 
with the queen. Then said the lady, " O my sister, a slave-girl 
told me of thee that thou saidst : How loathly is what yonder 
Jinni Maymun eateth ! " * Tohfah replied, " By Allah, O my lady, 
I have not any eye that can look at him, 2 and indeed I am fearful 
of him/' When the queen heard this, she laughed till she fell 
backwards and said, " O my sister, by the might of the graving 
upon the seal-ring of Solomon, prophet of Allah, I am queen over 
all the Jann, and none dare so much as cast on thee a glance of 
the eye ; " whereat Tohfah kissed her hand. Then the tables were 
removed and the twain sat talking. Presently up came the kings 
of the Jinn from every side and kissed ground before the queen 
and stood in her service ; and she thanked them for this, but 
moved not for one of them. 3 Then appeared the Shaykh Abu al- 
Tawaif Iblis (Allah curse him !) and kissed the earth before her, 
saying, " O my lady, may I not be bereft of these steps 1 " 4 She 
replied, " Shaykh Abu al-Tawdif, It behoveth thee to thank the 
bounty of the Lady Tohfah, who was the cause of my coming." 
^Rejoined he, " Thou sayest sooth," and kissed ground. Then 
the queen fared on towards the palace and there arose and 
alighted upon the trees an hundred thousand birds of manifold 
hues. The Songstress asked, " How many are these birds ; " and 
Queen Wakhimah answered her, " Know, O my sister, that this 
queen is hight Queen al-Shahbd 5 and that she is queen over all 

1 Mr. Payne thus amends the text, " How loathly is yonder Genie Meimoun ! There 
is no eating (in his presence) ;" referring back to p. 88. 

2 i.e. " I cannot bear to see him ! " 

3 This assertion of dignity, which is permissible in royalty, has been absurdly affected 
by certain "dames *' in Anglo-Egypt who are quite the reverse of queenly ; and who 
degrade " dignity " to the vulgarest affectation. 

4 i.e. " May thy visits never fail me ! " 

* i.e. Ash- coloured, verging upon white. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 1 1 1 

the Jann from East to West. These birds thou seest are of her host, 
and unless they appeared in this shape, earth would not be wide 
enough for them. Indeed, they came forth with her and are pre- 
sent with her presence at this circumcision. She will give thee 
after the measure of that which hath been given to thee from the 
first of the festival to the last thereof ; l and indeed she honoureth 
us all with her presence." Then the queen entered the palace and 
sat down on the couch of the circumcision 2 at the upper end of 
the hall, whereupon Tohfah took the lute and pressing it to her 
breast, touched its strings suchwise that the wits of all present 
were bewildered and Shaykh Iblis cried to her, "O my lady 
Tohfah, I conjure thee, by the life of this noble queen, sing for me 
and praise thyself, and cross me not/' Quoth she, " To hear is to 
obey ; still, but for thine adjuration, I had not done this. Say me, 
doth any praise himself? What manner thing is this?" Then 
she improvised these couplets : 

In all fetes I'm Choice Gift 3 to the minstrel-race ; 
Folk attest my worth, rank and my pride of place, 
While Fame, merit and praises with honour engrace. 

Her verses pleased the kings of the Jann and they cried, " By 
Allah, thou sayst sooth ! " Then she rose to her feet, hending lute 
in hand, and played and sang, whilst the Jinns and the Shaykh 
Abu al-Tawdif danced. Presently the Father of the Tribes came 
up to her bussing her bosom, and gave her a Brdhmani 4 carbuncle 
he had taken from the hidden hoard of Ydfis bin Nuh 6 (on whom 
be the Peace), and which was worth the reign of the world ; its 

1 i.e. " She will double thy store of presents." 

2 The Arab boy who, unlike the Jew, is circumcised long after infancy and often in 
his teens, thus making the ceremony conform after a fashion with our "Confirmation," 
is displayed before being operated upon, to family and friends ; and the seat is a couch 
covered with the richest tapestry. So far it resembles the bride-throne. 

3 Tohfah. 

4 i.e. Hindu, Indian. 

6 Japhet, son of Noah. 

1 1 2 Supplemental Nights. 

light was as the sheen of the sun and he said to her, % * Take this 
and be equitable therewith to the people of the world/' 1 She 
kissed his hand and rejoiced in the jewel and said, " By Allah, this 
befitteth none save the Commander of the Faithful." Now Queen 
Al-Shahba laughed with delight at the dancing of Iblis and she 
said to him, u By Allah, this is a goodly pavane ! " He thanked 
her for this and said to the Songstress, " O Tohfah, there is not on 
earth's face a skilfuller than Ishak al-Nadim ; 2 but thou art more 
skilful than he. Indeed, I have been present with him many a 
time and have shown him positions 3 on the lute, and there has 
betided me with him that which betided. Indeed, the story of my 
dealings with him is a long one but this is no time to repeat it ; 
for now I would show thee a shift on the lute, whereby thou shalt 
be exalted over all folk." Quoth she, " Do what seemeth good to 
thee." So he took the lute and played thereon a wondrous play- 
ing, with rare divisions and marvellous modulations, and showed 
her a passage she knew not ; and this was goodlier to her than all 
that she had gotten. Then she took the lute from him and playing 
thereon, sang and presently returned to the passage which he had 
shown her ; and he said, " By Allah, thou singest better than I ! " 
As for Tohfah, it became manifest to her that her former practice 
was all of it wrong and that what she had learnt from the Shaykh 
Abu al-Tawaif Iblis was the root and foundation of all perfection 
in the art and its modes. So she rejoiced in that which she had 
won of skill in touching the lute far more than in all that had 
fallen to her lot of wealth and honour-robes and kissed the Master's 
hand. Then said Queen Al-Shahba, " By Allah, O Shaykh, my 

1 Mr. Payne translates * ' Take this and glorify thyself withal over the people of the 
world." His reading certainly makes better sense, but I do not see how the text can 
curry the meaning. He also omits the bussing of the bosom, probably from artistic 

a A skit at Ishdk, making the Devil praise him. See vol. vii. 113. 

3 Arab. " Mawazf " (plur of Mauza') = lit. places, shifts, passages. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 1 1 3 

sister Tohfah is indeed singular among the folk of her time, and I 
hear that she singeth upon all sweet-smelling blooms," Iblis 
replied, " Yes, O my lady, and I am in extremest wonderment 
thereat. But there remaineth somewhat of sweet-scented flowers, 
which she hath not besung, such as myrtle and tuberose and 
jessamine and the moss-rose and the like." Then the Shaykh 
signed to her to sing somewhat upon the rest of the flowers, that 
Queen Al-Shahba might hear, and she said, " Hearing and obey- 
ing." So she took the lute and played thereon in many modes, 
then returned to the first and sang these couplets : 

I'm one of the lover-retinue o Whom long pine and patience have doomed 

rue : 
And sufferance of parting from kin and friends o Hath clothed me, O folk, in 

this yellow hue : 
Then, after the joyance had passed away, o Heart-break, abasement and cark 

I knew, 
Through the long, long day when the lift is light, o Nor, when night is murk, 

my pangs cease pursue : 
So, ? twixt fairest hope and unfailing fear, o My bitter tears ever flow anew. 

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with joy exceeding and 
cried, " Brava, O queen of delight ! No one is able to describe 
thee. Sing to us on the Apple." Quoth Tohfah, " Hearkening 
and obedience." Then she recited these couplets : 

I surpass all forms in my coquetry o For mine inner worth and mine outer 

Tend me noble hands in the sight of all o And slake with pure waters the 

thirst of me ; 
My robe is of sendal, and eke my veil a Is of sunlight the Ruthful hath 

bidden be : 
When my fair companions are marched afar, o In sorrow fro* home they are 

forced to flee : 
But noble hands deign hearten my heart o With beds where I sit in my high 

degree ; l 
And where, like full moon at its rise, my light o 'Mid the garden-fruits thou 

shalt ever see. 

1 The bed (farsh) is, I presume, the straw-spread (?) store-room where the apples are 


1 14 Supplemental Nights. 

Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced in this with exceeding joy and 
cried, " Brava 1 By Allah, there is none excelleth thee." Tohfah 
kissed the ground, then returned to her place and versified on the 
Tuberose, saying : 

I'm a marvel-bloom to be worn on head 1 * Though a stranger among you 

fro' home I fled : 

Make use of wine in my company o And flout at Time who in languish sped. 
E'en so doth camphor my hue attest, c O my lords, as I stand in my present 

So gar me your gladness when dawneth day, o And to highmost seat in your 

homes be I led : 
And quaff your cups in all jollity, o And cheer and ease shall ne'er cease to be. 

At this Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy and 
cried, " Brava, O queen of delight ! By Allah, I know not how 
I shall do to give thee thy due ! May the Most High grant us the 
grace of thy long continuance ! " Then she strained her to her 
breast and bussed her on the cheek ; whereupon quoth Iblis (on 
whom be a curse !), " This is a mighty great honour ! " Quoth 
the queen, " Know that this lady Tohfah is my sister and that her 
biddance is my biddance and her forbiddance my forbiddance. 
So all of you hearken to her word and render her worshipful 
obedience." Therewith the kings rose in a body and kissed ground 
before Tohfah, who rejoiced in this. Moreover, Queen Al-Shahba 
doffed dress and habited her in a suit adorned with pearls, jewels 
and jacinths, worth an hundred thousand ducats, and wrote for 
her on a slip of paper l a patent appointing her to be her deputy. 
So the Songstress rose and kissed ground before the Queen, who 
said to her, " Of thy favour, sing to us somewhat concerning the 
rest of the sweet-scented flowers and herbs, so I may hear 
thy chant and solace myself with witnessing thy skill." She 

i Arab. " Farkb warak, which sounds like an atrocious vulgarism, 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 1 1 5 

replied, " To hear is to obey, O lady mine," and, taking the lute, 
improvised these couplets: 

My hue excelleth all hues in light, * And I would all eyes should enjoy my 

sight : 
My site is the site of fillets and pearls Where the fairest brows are with 

jasmine dight : 
My light's uprist (and what light it shows !) o Is a silvern zone on the waist 

of Night. 

Then she changed the measure and improvised these couplets : - 

I'm the gem of herbs, and in seasons twain o My tryst I keep with my lovers- 
train : 

I stint not union for length of time $ Nor visits, though some be of severance 
fain ; 

The true one am I and my troth I keep, And, easy of plucking, no hand 

Then, changing measure and the mode, she played so that 
she bewildered the wits of those who were present, and Queen 
Al-Shahba, moved to mirth and merriment, cried, " Brava, O 
queen of delight ! " Presently she returned to the first mode and 
improvised these couplets on Nenuphar : 

I fear me lest freke espy me, * In air when I fain deny me ; 

So I root me beneath the wave, o And my stalks to bow down apply me. 

Hereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy, and cried, 
" Brava, O Tohfah ! Let me hear more of thy chant." Accord- 
ingly, she smote the lute and changing the mode, recited on the 
Moss-rose these couplets : 

Look on Nasrfn * those branchy shoots surround ; o With greenest leafery 'tis 

deckt and crowned : 
Its graceful bending stem draws every gaze o While beauteous bearing makes 

their love abound. 

1 The Moss-rose ; also the eglantine, or dog-rose, and the sweet-briar, whose leaf, 
unlike other roses, is so odorous. 

1 1 6 Supplemental Nigkts. 

Then she changed measure and mode and sang these couplets 
on the Water-lily : 

O thou who askest Susan ' of her scent, o Hear thou my words and beauty of 

my lay. 
" Emir am I whom all mankind desire '* o (Quoth she) " or present or when 

ta'en away." 

When Tohfah had made an end of her song, Queen Al-Shahba 
rose and said, " I never heard from any the like of this ;" and she 
drew the Songstress to her and fell to kissing her. Then she took 
leave of her and flew away ; and on like wise all the birds took 
flight with her, so that they walled the horizon ; whilst the rest of 
the kings tarried behind. Now as soon as it was the fourth night, 
there came the boy who was to be circumcised, adorned with jewels 
such as never saw eye nor heard ear of, and amongst the rest a 
crown of gold crusted with pearls and gems, the worth whereof 
was an hundred thousand sequins. He sat down upon the couch 
and Tohfah sang to him, till the chirurgeon 2 came and they snipped 
his foreskin in the presence of all the kings, who showered on him 
a mighty great store of jewels and jacinths and gold. Queen 
Kamariyah bade her Eunuchs gather up all this and lay it in 
Tohfah's closet, and it was as much in value as all that had fallen 
to her, from the first of the festivities to the last thereof. More- 
over, the Shaykh Iblis (whom Allah curse !) bestowed upon the 
Songstress the crown worn by the boy and gave the circumcisee 
another, whereat Tohfah's reason took flight. Then the Jinu 
departed, in order of rank, whilst Iblis farewelled them, band after 
band. Seeing the Shaykh thus occupied with taking leave of the 

1 The lily in Heb., derived by some from its six (shash) leaves, and by others from its 
vivid cheerful brightness. "His lips are lilies" (Cant. v. 13), not in colour, but in 
odoriferous sweetness. , 

3 The barber is now the usual operator ; but all operations began in Europe with the 
*' barber-surgeon." 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 117 

kings, Maymun seized his opportunity, the place being empty, and 
taking up Tohfah on his shoulders, soared aloft with her to the 
confines of the lift, and flew away with her. Presently, Iblis 
came to look for the Songstress and see what she purposed, but 
found her not and sighted the slave-girls slapping their faces : so 
he said to them, " Fie on you ! What may be the matter ? " They 
replied, " O our lord, Maymun hath snatched up Tohfah and flown 
away with her." When Iblis heard this, he gave a cry whereto 
earth trembled and said, " What is to be done ? " Then he 
buffetted his face and head, exclaiming, " Woe to you ! This be 
none other than exceeding insolence. Shall he carry off Tohfah 
from my very palace and attaint mine honour ? Doubtless, this 
Maymun hath lost his wits." Then he cried out a second time, so 
that the earth quaked, and rose on his wings high in air. The 
news came to the rest of the kings ; so they flew after him and 
overtaking him, found him full of anxiety and affright, with fire 
issuing from his nostrils, and said to him, u O Shaykh al-Tawaif, 1 
what is to do ? " He replied, " Know ye that Maymun hath 
carried off Tohfah from my palace and attainted mine honour." 
When they heard this, they cried, " There is no Majesty and there 
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. By God he 
hath ventured upon a grave matter and verily he destroyeth self 
and folk ! " Then Shaykh Iblis ceased not flying till he fell in with 
the tribes of the Jann, and they gathered together a world of 
people, none may tell the tale of them save the Lord of All- 
might. So they came to the Fortress of Copper and the Citadel 
of Lead, 2 and the people of the sconces saw the tribes of the 
Jann issuing from every deep mountain-pass 3 and said, " What be 

1 Sic in text xii. 20. It may be a misprint for Abu al-Tawaif, but it can also mean 
"O Shaykh of the Tribes (of Jinns) !" 

2 The capital of King Al-Shisban. 

3 Arab. " Fajj," the Spanish "Vega" which, however, means a mountain-plain, ft 

1 1 8 Supplemental Nights. 

the news ? " Then Iblis went in to King Al-Shisban and acquainted 
him with that which had befallen ; whereupon quoth he, " Verily, 
Allah hath destroyed Maymun and his many ! He pretendeth to 
possess Tohfah, and she is become queen of the Jann ! But have 
patience till we devise that which befitteth in the matter of 
Tohfah." Iblis asked, " And what befitteth it to do ? " And 
Al-Shisban answered, " We will fall upon him and kill him and 
his host with cut of brand." Then quoth Shaykh Iblis, "'Twere 
better to acquaint Queen Kamariyah and Queen Zalzalah and 
Queen Shararah and Queen Wakhimah ; and when they are 
assembled, Allah shall ordain whatso He deemeth good in the 
matter of her release." Quoth Al-Shisban, "Right is thy rede" and 
they despatched to Queen Kamariyah an Ifrit hight Salhab who 
came to her palace and found her sleeping ; so he roused her and 
she said, "What is to do, O Salhab?" Cried he, "O my lady, 
come to the succour of thy sister the Songstress, for Maymun hath 
carried her off and attainted thine honour and that of Shaykh 
Iblis." Quoth she, " What sayst thou ?" and she sat up straight 
and cried out with a great cry. And indeed she feared for Tohfah 
and said, " By Allah, in very sooth she used to say that he gazed 
at her and prolonged the gaze ; but ill is that whereto his soul 
hath prompted him." Then she rose in haste and mounting a 
Sataness of her Satans, said to her, " Fly." So she flew off with 
her and alighted in the palace of her sister Shararah, whereupon 
she sent for her sisters Zalzalah and Wakhimah and acquainted 
them with the tidings, saying, " Know that Maymun hath snatched 
up Tohiah and flown off with her swiftlier than the blinding leven." 
Then they all flew off in haste and lighting down in the place 
where were their father Al-Shisban and their grandfather the 
Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif, found the folk on the sorriest of situations. 
When their grandfather Iblis saw them, he rose to them and wept, 
and they all wept for the Songstress. Then said Iblis to them, 
'* Yonder hound hath attainted mine honour and taken Tohfah. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub, 1 19 

and I think not otherwise 1 but that she is like to die of distress 
for herself and her lord Al-Rashid and saying : The whole that 
they said and did was false. 2 " Quoth Kamariyah, " O grand- 
father mine, nothing is left for it but stratagem and device for her 
deliverance, for that she is dearer to me than everything; and 
know that yonder accursed when he waxeth ware of your coming 
upon him, will ken that he hath no power to cope with you, he 
who is the least and meanest of the Jann ; but we dread that he, 
when assured of defeat, will slay Tohfah ; wherefore nothing will 
serve but that we contrive a sleight for saving her ; else will she 
perish/' He asked," And what hast thou in mind of device ? " and 
she answered, " Let us take him with fair means, and if he obey, all 
will be well ; 3 else will we practise stratagem against him ; and expect 
not her deliverance from other than myself." Quoth Iblis, " The 
affair is thine ; contrive what thou wilt, for that Tohfah is thy sister 
and thy solicitude for her is more effectual than that of any other." 
So Kamariyah cried out to an Ifrit of the Ifrits and a calamity 
of the calamities, 4 by name Al-Asad al-Tayydr, the Flying Lion, 
and said to him, " Hie with my message to the Crescent 
Mountain, 5 the wone of Maymun the Sworder, and enter and 
say to him, My lady saluteth thee with the salam and asketh 
thee : How canst thou be assured for thyself of safety, after what 
thou hast done, O Maymun ? Couldst thou find none to maltreat 
in thy drunken humour save Tohfah, she too being a queen ? But 
thou art excused, because thou didst not this deed, but 'twas thy 
drink, and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif pardoneth thee, because thou 
wast drunken. Indeed, thou hast attainted his honour ; but now 

1 i.e. I am quite sure : emphatically. 

2 i.e. all the Jinn's professions of affection and promises of protection were mere lies. 

3 In the original this apodosis is wanting : see vol. vi. 203, 239. 
* Arab. " Dahiyat al-Dawdhi ;" see vol. ii. 87. 

5 Arab. " Al-jabal al-Mukawwar " = Chaine de montagnes de forme demi circulaire, 
from Kaur, a park, an enceinte. 

I ao Supplemental Nights. 

restore her to her palace, for that she hath done well and favoured 
us and rendered us service, and thou wottest that she is this day 
our queen. Belike she may bespeak Queen Al-Shahba, whereupon 
the matter will become grievous and that wherein there is no good 
shall betide thee ; and thou wilt get no tittle of gain. Verily, I 
give thee good counsel, and so the Peace ! " Al-Asad answered 
" Hearing and obeying," and flew till he came to the Crescent 
Mountain, when he sought audience of Maymun, who bade admit 
him. So he entered and kissing ground before him, gave him 
Queen Kamariyah's message, which when he heard, he cried to the 
I frit, " Return whence thou comest and say to thy mistress : 
Be silent and thou wilt show thy good sense. Else will I come 
and seize upon her and make her serve Tohfah ; and if the kings 
of the Jinn assemble together against me and I be overcome by 
them, I will not leave her to scent the wind of this world and she 
shall be neither mine nor theirs, for that she is presently my sprite 1 
from between my ribs ; and how shall any part with his sprite ? " 
When the I frit heard Maymun's words, he said to him, " By Allah, 
O Maymun, art thou a changeling in thy wits, that thou speakest 
these words of my lady, and thou one of her page-boys ? " 
Whereupon Maymun cried out and said to him, " Woe to thee, O 
dog of the Jinns ! Wilt thou bespeak the like of me with these 
words ? " Then he bade those who were about him bastinado 
Al-Asad, but he took flight and soaring high in air, betook himself 
to his mistress and told her the tidings : when she said, " Thou 
hast done well, O good knight ! " Then she turned to her sire and 
said to him, " Hear that which I shall say to thee." Quoth he, " Say 
on ;" and quoth she, " I rede thee take thy troops and go to him, for 
when he heareth this, he will in turn levy his many and come forth 
to thee ; whereupon do thou offer him battle and prolong the 
fight with him and make a show to him of weakness and giving 

1 Arab. " Rtihf " lit. my breath, the outward sign of life. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 121 

way. Meantime, I will devise me a device for getting at Tohfah 
and delivering her, what while he is busied with you in battle ; and 
when my messenger cometh to thee and informeth thee that I 
have gotten possession of Tohfah and that she is with me, return 
thou upon Maymun forthwith and overthrow him and his hosts, 
and take him prisoner. But, an my device succeed not with him 
and we fail to deliver Tohfah, he will assuredly practice to slay 
her, without recourse, and regret for her will remain in our hearts." 
Quoth Iblis, " This is the right rede " and bade call a march 
among the troops, whereupon an hundred thousand knights, 
doughty wights of war, joined themselves to him and set out for 
the country of Maymun. As for Queen Kamariyah, she flew off 
to the palace of her sister Wakhimah, and told her what deed 
Maymun had done and how he declared that, whenas he saw 
defeat nearhand, he would slay Tohfah ; adding, " And indeed, 
he is resolved upon this ; otherwise had he not dared to work such 
sleight. So do thou contrive the affair as thou see fit, for in 
rede thou hast no superior." Then they sent for Queen Zalzalah 
and Queen Shararah and sat down to take counsel, one with other, 
concerning what they had best do in the matter. Presently said 
Wakhimah, " 'Twere advisable we fit out a ship in this our island- 
home and embark therein, disguised as Adam's sons, and fare 
on till we come to anchor under a little island that lieth over 
against Maymun's palace. There will we sit drinking and smiting 
the lute and singing ; for Tohfah will assuredly be seated there over- 
looking the sea, and needs must she see us and come down to us, 
whereupon we will take her by force and she will be under our 
hands, so that none shall be able to molest her any more. Or, an 
Maymun be gone forth to do battle with the Jinns, we will storm 
his stronghold and take Tohfah and raze his palace and slay all 
therein. When he hears of this, his heart will be broken and 
we will send to let our father know, whereat he will return upon 
him with his troops and he will be destroyed and we shall 

1 2 2 Supplemental Nights. 

have rest of him." They answered her, saying, " This is a good 
counsel." Then they bade fit out a ship from behind the mountain,* 
and it was fitted out in less than the twinkling of an eye ; so they 
launched it on the sea and embarking therein, together with four 
thousand Ifrits, set out, intending for Maymun's palace. They 
also bade other five thousand Ifrits betake themselves to the 
island under the Crescent Mountain and there He in wait for them 
ambushed well, Thus fared it with the kings of the Jann ; but 
as regards Shaykh Abu al-Tawdif Iblis and his son Al-Shisban 
the twain set out, as we have said, with their troops, who were of 
the doughtiest of the Jinn and the prowest of them in wing-flying 
and horsemanship, and fared on till they drew near the Crescent 
Mountain. When the news of their approach reached Maymun, 
he cried out with a mighty great cry to the troops, who were 
twenty thousand riders, and bade them make ready for departure. 
Then he went in to Tohfah and kissing her, said, " Know that 
thou art this day my life of the world, and indeed the Jinns are 
gathered together to wage war on me for thy sake. An I win the 
day from them and am preserved alive, I will set all the kings of 
the Jann under thy feet and thou shalt become queen of the 
world." But she shook her head and shed tears ; and he said, 
" Weep not, for I swear by the virtue of the mighty inscription 
borne on the seal-ring of Solomon, thou shalt never again see the 
land of men ; no, never ! Say me, can any one part with his 
life ? Give ear, then, to my words ; else will I slay thee." So she 
was silent. And forthright he sent for his daughter, whose name 
was Jamrah, 2 and when she came, he said to her/' Harkye, Jamrah ! 
Know that I am going to fight the clans of Al-Shisban and Queen 
Kamariyah and the Kings of the Jann. An I be vouchsafed the 
victory over them, to Allah be the laud and thou shalt have of me 

i.*. Kaf. 

i.*. A bit of burning charcoal. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 123 

largesse ;* but, an thou see or hear that I am worsted and any 
come to thee with ill news of me, hasten to kill Tohfah, so she 
may fall neither to me nor to them." Then he farewelled her and 
mounted, saying, "'When this cometh about, pass over to the 
Crescent Mountain and take up thine abode there, and await what 
shall befal me and what I shall say to thee." And Jamrah 
answered " Hearkening and obedience." Now when the Songstress 
heard these words, she fell to weeping and wailing and said, " By 
Allah, naught irketh me but severance from my lord Al-Rashid ; 
however, when I am dead, let the world be ruined after me ? " 2 
And she was certified in herself that she was assuredly lost. Then 
Maymun set forth with his army and departed in quest of the 
hosts of the Jinn, leaving none in the palace save his daughter 
Jamrah and Tohfah and an I frit which was dear to him. They 
fared on till they met with the army of Al-Shisban ; and when 
the two hosts came face to face, they fell each upon other and 
fought a fight, a passing sore than which naught could be more. 
After a while, Al-Shisban's troops began to give way, and when 
Maymun saw them do thus, he despised them and made sure of 
victory over them. On this wise it befel them ; but as regards 
Queen Kamariyah and her company they sailed on without ceasing, 
till they came under the palace wherein was Tohfah, to wit, that 
of Maymun the Sworder ; and by the decree of the Lord of 
destiny, the Songstress herself was at that very time sitting on the 
belvedere of the palace, pondering the affair of Harun al-Rashid 
and her own and that which had befallen her and weeping for that 
she was doomed to death. She saw the vessel and what was 

1 Arab. " Al-yadal-bayza," = lit. The white hand: see vol. iv. 185. 

2 Showing the antiquity of "Apres moi le deluge," the fame of all old politicians 
and aged statesmen who can expect but a few years of life. These " burning questions " 
(e.g. the Bulgarian) may be smothered for a time, but the result is that they blaze forth 
with increased violence . We have to thank Lord Palmerston (an Irish landlord) for 
ignoring the growth of Fenianism and another aged statesman for a sturdy attempt to 
disunite the United Kingdom. An old notion wants young blood at its head. 

1 24 Supplemental Nights. 

therein of those we have named, and they in mortal guise, and 
said, "Alas, my sorrow for this ship and for the men that be 
therein ! " As for Kamariyah and her many, when they drew near 
the palace, they strained their eyes and seeing the Songstress sitting, 
cried, "Yonder sitteth Tohfah. May Allah not bereave us of her!" 
Then they moored their craft and, making for the island which lay 
over against the palace, spread carpets and sat eating and drinking ; 
whereupon quoth Tohfah, " Well come and welcome to yonder 
faces ! These be my kinswomen and I conjure thee by Allah, O 
Jamrah, that thou let me down to them, so I may sit with them 
awhile and enjoy kindly converse with them and return." Quoth 
Jamrah, " I may on no wise do that ;" and Tohfah wept. Then 
the folk brought out wine and drank, while Kamariyah took the 
lute and sang these couplets : 

By Allah, had I never hoped lo greet you o Your guide had failed on camel to 

seat you ! 
Far bore you parting from friend would greet you o Till meseems mine eyes 

for your wone entreat you. 

When Tohfah heard this, she cried out so great a cry, that the 
folk heard her and Kamariyah said, " Relief is nearhand." Then 
the Songstress looked out to them and called to them, saying, " O 
daughters of mine uncle, I am a lonely maid, an exile from kin 
and country: so for the love of Allah Almighty, repeat that song!" 
Accordingly Kamariyah repeated it and Tohfah swooned away. 
When she came to herself, she said to Jamrah, " By the rights 
of the Apostle of Allah (whom may He save and assain !) unless 
thou suffer me go down to them and look on them and sit with 
them for a full hour, I will hurl myself headlong from this palace, 
for that I am aweary of my life and know that I am slain to v all 
certainty ; wherefore will I kill myself, ere you pass sentence upon 
me." And she was instant with her in asking. When Jamrah 
heard her words, she knew that, an she let her not down, she 
would assuredly destroy herself. So she said to her, " O Tohfah, 

The Tale of the Damsel Tokfat al-Kulub. 125 

between thee and them are a thousand cubits ; but I will bring the 
women up to thee." The Songstress replied, " Nay, there is no 
help but that I go down to them and solace me in the island and 
look upon the sea anear ; then will we return, I and thou ; for that, 
an thou bring them up to us, they will be affrighted and there will 
betide them neither joy nor gladness. As for me, I wish but to be 
with them, that they may cheer me with their company neither 
give over their merrymaking, so peradventure I may broaden my 
breast with them, and indeed I swear that needs must I go down 
to them ; else I will cast myself upon them." And she cajoled 
Jamrah and kissed her hands, till she said, " Arise and I will set 
thee down beside them." Then she took Tohfah under her armpit 
and flying up swiftlier than the blinding leven, set her down with 
Kamariyah and her company ; whereupon she went up to them 
and accosted them, saying, " Fear ye not : no harm shall befal 
you ; for I am a mortal, like unto you, and I would fain look on 
you and talk with you and hear your singing." So they welcomed 
her and kept their places, whilst Jamrah sat down beside them and 
fell a snuffing their odours and saying, " I smell the scent of the 
Jinn ! * Would I wot whence it cometh ! " Then said Wakhimah 
to her sister Kamariyah, "Yonder foul slut smelleth us and 
presently she will take to flight; so what be this inaction 
concerning her ? " 2 Thereupon Kamariyah put out an arm long 
as a camel's neck, and dealt Jamrah a buffet on the head, that 
made it fly from her body and cast it into the sea. Then cried 
she, " Allah is All-great ! " 3 And they uncovered their faces, 
whereupon Tohfah knew them and said to them, " Protection ! " 

1 Suggesting the nursery rhyme : 

Fee, fo, fum, 

I smell the blood of an Englishman. 

2 i.e. why not at once make an end of her. 
8 The well-known war-cry. 

120 Supplemental Nights. 

Queen Kamariyah embraced her, as also did Queen Zalzatah and 
Queen Wakhimah and Queen Shararah, and the first-named said to 
her, " Receive the good tidings of assured safety, for there abideth 
no harm for thee ; but this is no time for talk." Then they cried 
out, whereupon up came the Ifrits ambushed in that island, hending 
swords and maces in hand, and taking up Tohfah, flew with her to 
the palace and made themselves masters of it, whilst the Ifrit 
aforesaid, who was dear to Maymun and whose name was 
Bukhan, 1 fled like an arrow and stinted not flying till he came 
to Maymun and found him fighting a sore fight with the Jinn. 
When his lord saw him, he cried out at him, saying, " Fie upon 
thee ! Whom hast thou left in the palace ? " Dukhan answered, 
paying, " And who abideth in the palace ? Thy beloved Tohfah 
they have captured and Jamrah is slain and they have taken the 
palace, all of it." At these ill tidings Maymun buffeted his face 
and head and said, " Oh ! Out on it for a calamity ! " Then he 
cried aloud. Now Kamariyah had sent to her sire and reported 
to him the news, whereat the raven of the wold 2 croaked for the 
foe. So, when Maymun saw that which had betided him, (and 
indeed the Jinn smote upon him and the wings of eternal sever- 
ance overspread his host,) he planted the heel of his lance in the 
earth and turning its head to his heart, urged his charger thereat 
and pressed upon it with his breast, till the point came forth 
gleaming from his back. Meanwhile the messenger had made the 
friendly host with the news of Tohfah's deliverance, whereat the 
Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif rejoiced and bestowed on the bringer of lief 
tidings a sumptuous robe of honour and made him commander 
over a company of the Jann. Then they charged home upon 
Maymun's host and wiped them out to the last man ; and when 

1 Lit. " Smoke " pop. applied, like our word, to tobacco. The latter, however, is not 
here meant. 

2 Arab. " Ghurab al-bayn," of the wold or of parting. See vol. vii. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 127 

they came to Maymun, they found that he had slain himself and 
was even as we have said. Presently Kamariyah and her sister 
Wakhimah came up to their grandfather and told him what they 
had done ; whereupon he came to Tohfah and saluted her with the 
salam and congratulated her on deliverance. Then he made over 
Maymun's palace to Salhab ; and, taking all the rebel's wealth gave 
it to the Songstress, while the troops encamped upon the Crescent 
Mountain. Furthermore, the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif said to Tohfah, 
*' Blame me not," and she kissed his hands, when behold, there 
appeared to them the tribes of the Jinn, as they were clouds, and 
Queen Al-Shahba flying in their van, drawn sword in grip. As 
she came in sight of the folk, they kissed ground between her 
hands and she said to them, " Tell me what hath betided Queen 
Tohfah from yonder dog Maymun and why did ye not send to me 
and report to me ? " Quoth they, " And who was this dog that we 
should send to thee on his account ? Indeed he was the least and 
lowest of the Jinn." Then they told her what Kamariyah and her 
sisters had done and how they had practised upon Maymun and 
delivered the Songstress from his hand, fearing lest he should slay 
her when he found himself defeated ; and she said," By Allah, the 
accursed was wont to lengthen his looking upon her ! " And 
Tohfah fell to kissing Al-Shahba's hand, whilst the queen strained 
her to her bosom and kissed her, saying, "Trouble is past; so 
rejoice in assurance of deliverance." Then they rose and went up 
to the palace, whereupon the trays of food were brought and they 
ate and drank ; after which quoth Queen Al-Shahba, " O Tohfah, 
sing to us, by way of sweetmeat 1 for thine escape, and favour us 
with that which shall solace our minds, for that indeed my thoughts 
have been occupied with thee." And quoth Tohfah, " Hearkening 
and obedience, O my lady." So she improvised and sang these 
couplets : 

1 Arab. " Halawah " : see vol. iv. 60. 

128 Supplemental Nights. 

Breeze of East *an thou breathe o'er the dear ones' land * Speed, I pray thee, 

my special salute and salam : 
And say them I'm pledged to love them and o In pine that passeth all pine 

I am. 

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced and with her all who were 
present ; and they admired her speech and fell to kissing her ; and 
when she had made an end of her song, Queen Kamariyah said to 
her, " O my sister, ere thou go to thy palace, I would fain bring 
thee to look upon Al-'Anka, 2 daughter of Bahram Jur, whom 
Al-'Anka, daughter of the wind, carried off, and her beauty ; for 
that there is not her fellow on earth's face." And Queen Al- 
Shahba said, " O Kamariyah, I also think it were well an I beheld 
her." Quoth Kamariyah, " I saw her three years ago ; but my sister 
Wakhimah seeth her at all times, for she is near to her people, 
and she saith that there is not in the world fairer than she. Indeed, 
this Queen Al-Anka is become a byword for beauty and come- 
liness." And Wakhimah said, " By the mighty inscription on the 
seal-ring of Solomon, there is not her like for loveliness here 
below." Then said Queen Al-Shahba, " An it needs must be and 
the affair is as ye say, I will take Tohfah and go with her to 
Al-Anka, so she may look upon her " ! So they all arose and 
repaired to Al-Anka, who abode in the Mountain Kaf. When she 
saw them, she drew near to them and saluted them, saying, " O 
my ladies, may I not be bereaved of you ! " Quoth Wakhimah to 
her, "Who is like unto thee, O Anka ? Behold, Queen Al-Shahba 
is come to thee." So Al-Anka kissed the queen's feet and lodged 
them in her palace ; whereupon Tohfah came up to her and fell 

to kissing her and saying, "Never saw I a seemlier than this 


semblance.",: Then she set before them somewhat of food and 

1 Here the vocative particle " Ya" is omitted. 

2 Lit. "The long-necked (bird)" before noticed with the Rukh (Roc) in vol. v. 122. 
Here it becomes a Princess, daughter of Bahram-i-Gur (Bahram of the Onager, his 
favourite game), the famous Persian king in the fifth century, a contemporary of 
Theodosius the younger and Honorius. The " Anka " is evidently the Iranian Sfmurgh. 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 129 

they ate and washed their hands ; after which the Songstress took 
the lute and smote it well ; and Al-Anka also played, and they fell 
to improvising verses in turns, whilst Tohfah embraced Al-Anka 
every moment. Al-Shahba cried, "O my sister, each kiss is 
worth a thousand dinars ;" and Tohfah replied, "And a thousand 
dinars were little therefor ;" whereat Al-Anka laughed and after 
nighting in her pavilion on the morrow they took leave of her and 
went away to Maymun-s palace. Here Queen Al-Shahba fare- 
welled them and taking her troops, returned to her capital, whilst 
the kings also went away to their abodes and the Shaykh Abu al- 
Tawaif applied himself to diverting Tohfah till nightfall, when he 
mounted her on the back of one of the Ifrits and bade other thirty 
gather together all that she had gotten of treasure and raiment, 
jewels and robes of honour. Then they flew off, whilst Iblis went 
with her, and in less than the twinkling of an eye he set her down 
in her sleeping room, where he and those who were with him bade 
adieu to her and went away. When Tohfah found herself in her 
own chamber 1 and on her couch, her reason fled for joy and it 
seemed to her as if she had never stirred thence : then she took 
the lute and tuned it and touched it in wondrous fashion and 
improvised verses and sang. The Eunuch heard the smiting of the 
lute within the chamber and cried, " By Allah, that is the touch of 
my lady Tohfah ! " So he arose and went, as he were a madman, 
falling down and rising up, till he came to the Castrato on guard 
at the gate of the Commander of the Faithful and found him sitting. 
When his fellow neutral saw him, and he like a madman, slipping 
down and stumbling up, he asked him, " What aileth thee and 
what bringeth thee hither at this hour ? " The other answered, 
"Wilt thou not make haste and awaken the Prince of True 
Believers ? " And he fell to crying out at him ; whereupon the 

1 " Chamber " is becoming a dangerous word in English. Roars of laughter from the 
gods greeted the great actor's declamation The bed has not been slept in ! Her little 
chamber is empty ! " 

VOL. II. * 

1 30 Supplemental Nights. 

Caliph awoke and heard them bandying words together and 
Tohfah's slave crying to the other, " Woe to thee ! Awaken the 
Commander of the Faithful in haste." So quoth he, " O Sawab, 
what hast thou to say?" and quoth the Chief Eunuch, "O our 
lord, the Eunuch of Tohfah's lodging hath lost his wits and crieth : 
Awaken the Commander of the Faithful in haste ! " Then said 
Al-Rashid to one of the slave-girls, " See what may be the matter." 
Accordingly she hastened to admit the Castrate, who entered at 
her order ; and when he saw the Commander of the Faithful, he 
salamed not neither kissed ground, but cried in his hurry, " Quick : 
up with thee ! My lady Tohfah sitteth in her chamber, singing a 
goodly ditty. Come to her in haste and see all that I say to thee ! 
Hasten ! She sitteth awaiting thee." The Caliph was amazed at 
his speech and asked him, " What sayst thou ? " He answered, 
" Didst thou not hear the first of the speech ? Tohfah sitteth in the 
sleeping-chamber, singing and lute-playing. Come thy quickest ! 
Hasten ! " Accordingly Al-Rashid sprang up and donned his 
dress ; but he believed not the Eunuch's words and said to him, 
" Fie upon thee ! What is this thou sayst ? Hast thou not seen 
this in a dream ? " Quoth the Eunuch, " By Allah, I wot not what 
thou sayest, and I was not asleep ; " and quoth Al-Rashid, " An thy 
speech be soothfast, it shall be for thy good luck, for I will free 
thee and give thee a thousand gold pieces ; but, an it be untrue 
and thou have seen this in dream-land, I will crucify thee." The 
Eunuch said within himself, " O Protector, let me not have seen 
this in vision ! " then he left the Caliph and running to the 
chamber-door, heard the sound of singing and lute-playing ; 
whereupon he returned to Al-Rashid and said to him, " Go and 
hearken and see who is asleep." When the Prince of True 
Believers drew near the door of the sleeping-chamber, he heard 
the sound of the lute and Tohfah's voice singing ; whereat he 
could not restrain his reason and was like to faint for excess of 
delight. Then he pulled out the key, but his hand refused to draw 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub. 131 

the bolt : however, after a while, he took heart and applying him- 
self, opened the door and entered, saying, " Methinks this is none 
other than a vision or an imbroglio of dreams." When Tohfah 
saw him, she rose and coming to meet him, pressed him to her 
breast; and he cried out a cry wherein his sprite was like to 
depart and fell down in a fit. She again strained him to her 
bosom and sprinkled on him rose-water mingled with musk, and 
washed his face, till he came to himself, as he were a drunken man, 
and shed tears for the stress of his joy in Tohfah's return to him, 
jafter he had despaired of her returning. Then she took the lute 
and smote thereon, after the fashion she had learnt from Shaykh 
Iblis, so that Al-Rashid's wit was bewildered for excess of joy and 
his understanding was confounded for exultation ; after which she 
improvised and sang these couplets : 

That I left thee my heart to believe is unlief ; <* For the life that's in it ne'er 

leaveth ; brief, 
An thou say " I went," saith my heart " What a fib ! " And I bide 'twixt 

believing and unbelief. 

When she had made an end of her verses, Al-Rashid said to 
her, " O Tohfah, thine absence was wondrous, yet is thy presence 
still more marvellous." She replied, " By Allah, O my lord, thou 
sayst sooth ; " then, taking his hand, she said to him, " O Com- 
mander of the Faithful, see what I have brought with me." So 
he looked and spied treasures such as neither words could describe 
nor registers could document, pearls and jewels and jacinths and 
precious stones and unions and gorgeous robes of honour, adorned 
with margarites and jewels and purfled with red gold. There 
he beheld what he never had beheld all his life long, not even 
in idea ; and she showed him that which Queen Al-Shahba had 
bestowed on her of those carpets, which she had brought with her, 
and that throne, the like whereof neither Kisra possessed nor 
Caesar, and those tables inlaid with pearls and jewels and those 
vessels which amazed all who looked on them, and that crown 

1 32 Supplemental Nights. 

which was on the head of the circumcised boy, and those robes 
of honour, which Queen Al-Shahba and Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif 
had doffed and donned upon her, and the trays wherein were 
those treasures ; brief, she showed him wealth whose like he had 
never in his life espied and which the tongue availeth not to 
describe and whereat all who looked thereon were bewildered, 
Al-Rashid was like to lose his wits for amazement at this 
spectacle and was confounded at that he sighted and witnessed. 
Then said he to Tohfah, " Come, tell me thy tale from beginning 
to end, and let me know all that hath betided thee, as if I had 
been present," She answered, " Hearkening and obedience,' 1 
and acquainting him with all that had betided her first and last, 
from the time when she first saw the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif, how 
he took her and descended with her through the side of the 
Chapel of Ease ; and she told him of the horse she had ridden, 
till she came to the meadow aforesaid and described it to him, 
together with the palace and that was therein of furniture, and 
related to him how the Jinn rejoiced in her, and whatso she had 
seen of their kings, masculine and feminine, and of Queen 
Kamariyah and her sisters and Queen ShuVah, Regent of the 
Fourth Sea, and Queen Al-Shahba, Queen of Queens, and King 
Al-Shisban, and that which each one of them had bestowed upon 
her. Moreover, she recited to him the story of Maymun the 
Sworder and described to him his fulsome favour, which he had 
not deigned to change, and related to him that which befel her 
from the kings of the Jinn, male and female, and the coming of 
the Queen of Queens, Al-Shahba, and how she had loved her and 
appointed her her vice-reine and how she was thus become ruler 
over all the kings of the Jann ; and she showed him the writ of 
investiture which Queen Al-Shahba had written her and told him 
what had betided her with the Ghulish Head, when it appeared 
to her in the garden, and how she had despatched it to her 
palace, beseeching it to bring her news of the Commander of the 

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat aLKulul. 1 33 

Faithful and of what had betided him after her. Then she 
described to him the flower-gardens, wherein she had taken her 
pleasure, and the Hammam-baths inlaid with pearls and jewels and 
told him that which had befallen Maymun the Sworder, when he 
bore her off, and how he had slain himself; in fine, she related to 
him everything she had seen of wonders and marvels and that 
which she had beheld of all kinds and colours among the Jinn. Then 
she told him the story of Al-Anka, daughter of Bahram Jur, with 
Al- Anka, daughter of the wind, and described to him her dwelling- 
place and her island, whereupon quoth Al-Rashid, " O Tohfat 
al-Sadr, 1 tell me of Al-Anka, daughter of Bahram Jur ; is she 
of the Jinn-kind or of mankind or of the bird-kind ? For this 
Jong time have I desired to find one who should tell me of her." 
Tohfah replied, " 'Tis well, O Commander of the Faithful. I 
asked the queen of this and she acquainted me with her case 
and told me who built her the palace." Quoth Al-Rashid, 
" Allah upon thee, tell it me ; " and quoth Tohfah, " I will well," 
and proceeded to tell him. And he was amazed at that which 
he heard from her and what she reported to him and at that which 
she had brought back of jewels and jacinths of various hues and 
precious stones of many sorts, .such as amazed the beholder and 
confounded thought and mind. As for this, Tohfah was the 
means of the enrichment of the Barmecides and the Abbasides, 
and they had endurance in their delight. Then the Caliph went 
forth and bade decorate the city: so they decorated it and the 
drums of glad tidings were beaten ; and they made banquets to 
the people for whom the tables were spread seven days. And 
Tohfah and the Commander of the Faithful ceased not to enjoy 
the most delightsome of life and the most prosperous till there 
came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of 
societies ; and this is all that hath come down to us of their story. 

1 Choice Gift of the breast (or heart). 



ON the following night Dunyazad said to her sister Shahrazad, 
" O sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee tell us a 
tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours." 
She replied : With love and gladness. 2 It hath reached me, 
O magnificent King, that whilome there was in the city of 
Baghdad, a comely youth and a well-bred, fair of favour, tall of 
stature, and slender of shape. His name was Aid al-Dm and 
he was of the chiefs of the sons of the merchants and had a 
shop wherein he sold and bought. One day, as he sat in his 
shop, there passed by him a merry girl 8 who raised her head 
and casting a glance at the young merchant, saw written in 
a flowing hand on the forehead 4 of his shop door these words, 
OVERCOMETH WOMEN'S CRAFT." When she beheld this, she 
was wroth and took counsel with herself, saying, " As my head 
liveth, there is no help but I show him a marvel-trick of the wiles 
of women and put to naught this his inscription ! " Thereupon 
she hied her home ; and on the morrow she made her ready and 

1 From the Calc. Edit. (1814-18), Nights cxcvi.-cc., vol. ii., pp. 367-378. The 
translation has been compared and collated with that of Langles (Paris, 1814), appended 
to his Edition of the Voyages of Sindbad. The story is exceedingly clever and well 
deserves translation. 

* It is regretable that this formula has not been preserved throughout The Nights : it 
affords, I have noticed, a pleasing break to the long course of narrative. 

3 ~ Arab. " Banat-al-hawd," lit. daughters of love, usually meaning an Anonyma, a 
fille de joie ; but here the girl is of good repute* and the offensive term must be 
modified to a gay, frolicsome lass. 

* Arab. "Jabhat," the lintel opposed to the threshold. 

138 Supplemental Nights. 

donning the finest of dress, adorned herself with the costliest of 
ornaments and the highest of price and stained her hands with 
Henna. Then she let down her tresses upon her shoulders and 
went forth, walking with coquettish gait and amorous grace, 
followed by her slave-girl carrying a parcel, till she came to the 
young merchant's shop and sitting down under pretext of seeking 
stuffs, saluted him with the salam and demanded of him some- 
what of cloths. So he brought out to her various kinds and she 
took them and turned them over, talking with him the while. 
Then said she to him, " Look at the shapeliness of my shape and 
my semblance ! " Seest thou in me aught of default ? " He 
replied, " No, O my lady ; " and she continued, " Is it lawful in any 
one that he should slander me and say that I am humpbacked ? " 
Then she discovered to him a part of her bosom, and when he 
saw her breasts his reason took flight from his head and his heart 
clave to her and he cried, " Cover it up, 1 so may Allah veil thee ! " 
Quoth she, " Is it fair of any one to decry my charms ? " and 
quoth he, " How shall any decry thy charms, and thou the sun of 
loveliness ? " Then said she, " Hath any the right to say of me 
that I am lophanded ? " and tucking up her sleeves, she showed 
him forearms as they were crystal ; after which she unveiled to 
him a face, as it were a full moon breaking forth on its fourteenth 
night, and said to him, " Is it lawful and right for any to decry 
me and declare that my face is pitted with smallpox or that I 
am one-eyed or crop-eared ? " and said he, " O my lady, what is it 
moveth thee to discover unto me that lovely face and those fair 
limbs, wont to be so jealously veiled and guarded ? Tell me the 
truth of the matter, may I be thy ransom ! " And he began to 
improvise : 2 

1 Arab. *' Ghatti," still the popular term said to a child showing its nakedness, Or a 
lady of pleasure who insults a man by displaying any part of her person. 

2 She is compared with a flashing blade (her face) now drawn from its sheath (her hair) 
then hidden by it. 

Women's Wiles. 139 

White Fair now drawn from sheath of parted hair, o Then in the blackest 

tresses hid from sight, 
Flasheth like day irradiating Earth o While round her glooms the murk of 

nightliest night. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister, 
" O sister mine, how delectable is this tale and how desirable ! " 
She replied, saying, " And where is this compared with that which 
I will recount to thee next night, Inshallah ? " 


f$utrtfre& an* Ntnetg'sebentft jNftgJt. 

Now when came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister 
Shahrazad, " O sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee 
finish thy tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark 
hours." She replied : With love and gladness ! It hath reached 
me, O auspicious King, that the girl said to the young merchant, 
"Know, O my lord, that I am a maid oppressed of my sire, who 
speaketh at me and saith to me, Thou art loathly of looks and 
semblance and it besitteth not that thou wear rich raiment ; for 
thou and the slave girls are like in rank, there is no distinguishing 
thee from them. Now he is a richard, having a mighty great 
store of money and saith not thus save because he is a pinchpenny, 
and grudgeth the spending of a farthing ; wherefore he is loath to 
marry me, lest he be put to somewhat of expense in my marriage,- 
albeit Almighty Allah hath been bounteous to him and he is a 
man puissant in his time and lacking naught of worldly weal." 
The youth asked, " Who is thy father and what is his condition ? " 
and she answered, " He is the Chief Kazi of the well-known 
Supreme Court, under whose hands are all the Kazis who 
administer justice in this city." The merchant believed her and 
she farewelled him and fared away, leaving in his heart a thousand 
regrets, for that the love of her had prevailed over him and he 
knew not how he should win to her ; wherefore he woned 
enamoured, love-distracted, unknowing if he were alive or dead. 
As soon as she was gone, he shut up shop and walked straightway 
to the Court, where he went in to the Chief Kazi and saluted him. 
The magistrate returned his salam and treated him with distinc- 
tion and seated him by his side. Then said Ala al-Din to him, 
" I come to thee seeking thine alliance and desiring the hand of thy 
noble daughter." Quoth the Kazi, " O my lord merchant, welcome 

Women's Wiles. 141 

to thee and fair welcome ; but indeed my daughter befitteth 
not the like of thee, neither beseemeth she the goodliness of thy 
youth and the pleasantness of thy composition and the sweetness 
of thy speech ; " but Ala al-Din replied, " This talk becometh 
thee not, neither is it seemly in thee ; if I be content with her, 
how should this vex thee ? " So the Kazi was satisfied and they 
came to an accord and concluded the marriage contract at a dower 
precedent of five purses L ready money and a dower contingent of 
fifteen purses, so it might be hard for him to put her away, her 
father having given him fair warning, but he would not be warned. 
Then they wrote out the contract-document and the merchant said 
" I desire to go in to her this night." Accordingly they carried 
her to him in procession that very evening, and he prayed the 
night-prayer and entered the private chamber prepared for him ; 
but, when he lifted the head-gear from the bride's head and the 
veil from her face and looked, he saw afoul face and a favour right 
fulsome ; indeed he beheld somewhat whereof may Allah never 
show thee the like ! loathly, dispensing from description, inasmuch 
as there were reckoned in her all legal defects. 2 So he repented, 
when repentance availed him naught, and knew that the girl had 

cheated him. And Shaharazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad, 
her sister, " O sister mine, how delectable is thy story and how 
sweet ! " She replied, saying, " And where is this compared with 
that which I will recount to thee next night an I be spared and 
suffered to live by the King, whom Almighty Allah preserve ? " 

1 The " Muajjalah " or money paid down before consummation was about 2$ ; and 
the "Mu'ajjalah" or coin to be paid contingent on divorce was about 7$. In the 
Calc. Edit. ii. 371 both dowers are 3$. 

./. All the blemishes which justify returning a slave to the slave-dealer. 


an& ^Tmetu-ef^ti Ntgftt. 

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister 
Shahrazad, " O sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee 
finish thy story which shall beguile our watching through the dark 
hours, for indeed 'tis a fine tale and a wondrous." She replied : 
With love and gladness ! It hath reached me, O generous King, 
that the unhappy merchant carnally knew the loathly bride, sore 
against the grain, and abode that night troubled in mind, as he were 
in the prison of Al-Daylam. 1 Hardly had the day dawned when 
he arose from her side and betaking himself to one of the 
Hammams, dozed there awhile, after which he made the Ghusl- 
ablution of ceremonial impurity * and donned his every day dress. 
Then he went out to the coffee house and drank a cup of coffee ; 
after which he returned to his shop and opening the door, sat down, 
with concern and chagrin manifest on his countenance. After 
an hour or so, his friends and intimates among the merchants and 
people of the market began to come up to him, by ones and twos ; 
to give him joy, and said to him, laughing, " A blessing ! a 
blessing ! Where be the sweetmeats ? Where be the coffee ? * 
'Twould seem thou hast forgotten us ; and nothing made thee 
oblivious save that the charms of the bride have disordered thy 
wit and taken thy reason, Allah help thee ! We give thee joy, we 
give thee joy." And they mocked at him whilst he kept silence 
before them, being like to rend his raiment and shed tears for 

1 Media: see vol. ii. 94. The " Daylamite prison " was one of many in Baghdad. 

8 See vol. v. 199. I may remark that the practise of bathing after copulation was 
kept up by both sexes in ancient Rome. The custom may have originated in days when 
human senses were more acute. I have seen an Arab horse object to be mounted by 
the master when the latter had not washed after sleeping with a woman. 

3 On the morning after a happy night the bridegroom still offers coffee and Halwa to 

Women's Wiles. 143 

rage. Then they went away from him, and when it was the hour 
of noon, up came his mistress, the crafty girl, trailing her skirts 
and swaying to and fro in her gait, as she were a branch of Ban in 
a garden of bloom. She was yet more richly dressed and adorned 
and more striking and cutting * in her symmetry and grace than on 
the previous day, so that she made the passers stop and stand in 
espalier to gaze upon her. When she came to Ala al-Din's shop, 
she sat down thereon and said to him, " Blessed be the day to thee, 

my lord Ala al-Din ! Allah prosper thee and be good to thee and 
perfect thy gladness and make it a wedding of weal and welfare ! " 
He knitted his brows and frowned in answer to her ; then asked her, 
"Wherein have I failed of thy due, or what have I done to harm thee, 
that thou shouldst requite me after this fashion ? " She answered, 
"Thou hast been no wise in default; but'tis yonder inscription written 
on the door of thy shop that irketh me and vexeth my heart. An 
thou have the courage to change it and write up the contrary thereof, 

1 will deliver thee from thine evil plight." And he answered, " Thy 
requirement is right easy : on my head and eyes ! " So saying 
he brought out a sequin 2 and summoning one of his Mamelukes, 
said to him, " Get thee to Such-an-one the Scribe and bid him 
write us an epigraph, adorned with gold and lapis lazuli, in these 

HUMBLETH THE FALSES OF MEN." And she said to the white 
slave, " Fare thee forthright." So he repaired to the Scribe, who 
wrote him the scroll, and he brought it to his master, who set it 
on the door and asked the damsel, " Is thy heart satisfied ?" She 
answered, " Yes ! Arise forthwith and get thee to the place 
before the citadel, where do thou foregather with all the mounte- 
banks and ape-dancers and bear-leaders and drummers and pipers 

1 i.e. More bewitching. 

* Arab. " Sharif! " more usually Ashrafi, the Port. Xerafim, a gold coin = 6s. -75. 

8 The oft-repeated Koranic quotation. 

144 Supplemental Nights. 

and bid them come to thee to-morrow early, with their kettle- 
drums and flageolets, whilst thou art drinking coffee with thy 
father-in-law the Kazi, and congratulate thee and wish thee joy, 
saying : A blessing, O son of our uncle! Indeed, thou art the vein ' 
of our eye ! We rejoice for thee, and if thou be ashamed of us, 
verily we pride ourselves upon thee ; so, although thou banish us 
from thee, know that we will not forsake thee, albeit thou forsake 
us. And do thou fall to throwing dinars and dirhams amongst 
them ; whereupon the Kazi will question thee, and do thou 
answer him, saying : My father was an ape-dancer and this is our 
original condition ; but our Lord opened on us the gate of fortune 
and we have gotten us a name amongst the merchants and with 
their provost. Upon this he will say to thee, Then thou art an 
ape-leader of the tribe of the mountebanks ? and do thou rejoin, 
I may in nowise deny my origin, for the sake of thy daughter and 
in her honour. The Kazi will say, It may not be that thou shalt 
be given the daughter of a Shaykh who sitteth upon the carpet of 
the Law and whose descent is traceable by genealogy to the loins 
of the Apostle of Allah,, 2 nor is it rneet that his daughter be in 
the power of a man who is an ape-dancer, a minstrel. Then do 
thou reply, Nay, O Efendi, she is my lawful wife, and every hair of 
her is worth a thousand lives, and I will not put her away though I 
be given the kingship of the world. At last be thou persuaded 
to speak the word of divorce and so shall the marriage be voided 
and ye be saved each from other." Quoth Ala al-Din, " Right is 

thy rede," and locking up his shop, betook himself to the place 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad, her sister, " O sister 
mine, how goodly is thy story and how sweet ! " She replied, 
saying, "And where is this compared with that which I will 
recount to thee next night, Inshallah ! " 

1 Arab. 'Irk " : oar phrase is " the apple of the eye." 
* Meaning that he was a Sayyid or a Sharif. 


f^un&refc anfc JUmeig-nmtt) 

AND whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, " O 
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, pray finish thy tale 
which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours." She 
replied : With love and gladness ! It hath reached me, O 
generous King, that the young merchant betook himself to the 
place before the citadel, where he foregathered with the dancers, 
the drummers and pipers and instructed them how they should do, 
promising them a mighty fine reward. They received his word 
with "Hearing and obeying;" and he betook himself on the 
morrow, after the morning prayer, to the presence of the Judge, 
who received him with humble courtesy and seated him by his 
side. Then he addressed him and began questioning him of 
matters of selling and buying and of the price current of the 
various commodities which were carried to Baghdad from all 
quarters, whilst his son-in-law replied to all whereof he was ques- 
tioned. As they were thus conversing, behold, up came the 
dancers and drummers with their drums and pipers with their 
pipes, whilst one of their number preceded them, with a long 
pennon-like banner in his hand, and played all manner antics with 
voice and limbs. When they came to the Court-house, the Kazi 
cried, " I seek refuge with Allah from yonder Satans ! " and the 
young merchant laughed but said naught. Then they entered 
and saluting his worship the Kazi, kissed Ala al-Din's hands and 
said, " A blessing on thee, O son of our uncle ! Indeed, thou 
coolest our eyes in whatso tho'u doest, and we beseech Allah for the 
enduring greatness of our lord the Kazi, who hath honoured us by 
admitting thee to his connection and hath allotted to us a portion 
in his high rank and degree/' When the Judge heard this talk, it 

bewildered his wit and he was dazed and his face flushed with 

146 Supplemental Nights. 

rage, and quoth he to his son-in-law, " What words are these ? " 
Quoth the merchant, " Knowest thou not, O my lord, that I am of 
this tribe ? Indeed this man is the son of my maternal uncle and 
that other the son of my paternal uncle, and if I be reckoned of 
the merchants, 'tis but by courtesy ! " When the Kazi heard 

these words his colour changed And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day, whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister "O sister mine, 
how delectable is thy story and how desirable ! " She replied, 
saying, " And where is its first compared with its last ? But I will 
forthwith relate it to you an I be spared and suffered to live by 
the King, whom may Allah the Most High keep ! " Quoth the 
King within himself, " By the Almighty, I will not slay her until I 
hear the end of her tale ! " 


foo f^untircm!) Ktgjt of tfte ^ijougan* IBtfgfcts an* a 

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, " O 
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish thy 
tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours." 
She replied : With love and gladness ! It hath reached me, 
O auspicious king, that the Kazi's colour changed and he was 
troubled and waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and was 
like to burst for stress of rage. Then said he to the young 
merchant, "Allah forfend that this should last! How shall 
it be permitted that the daughter of the Kazi of the Moslems 
cohabit with a man of the dancers and vile of origin ? By 
Allah, unless thou repudiate her forthright, I will bid beat 
thee and cast thee into prison and there confine thee till thou 
die. Had I foreknown that thou wast of them, I had not 
suffered thee near me, but had spat in thy face, for that thou 
art more ill-omened than a dog or a hog." l Then he kicked him 
down from his place and commanded him to divorce ; but he said, 
" Be ruthful to me, O Efendi, for that Allah is ruthful, and hasten 
not : I will not divorce my wife, though thou give me the kingdom 
of Al-Irak." The Judge was perplexed and knew that compul- 
sion was not permitted of Holy Law ; 2 so he bespake the young ( 
merchant fair and said to him, " Veil me, 3 so may Allah veil thee: 
An thou divorce her not, this dishonour shall cleave to me till the* 
end of time." Then his fury gat the better of his wit and he 
cried, " An thou divorce her not of thine own will, I will forthright 

1 i.e. than a Jew or a Christian. So the Sultan, when appealed to by these religionists, 
who were as usual squabbling and fighting, answered, "What matter if the dog tear the 
hog or the hog tear the dog " ? 

2 The Sharf'at " forbidding divorce by force. 

3 i.*. protect my honour. 

148 Supplemental Nights. 

bid strike off thy head and slay myself; Hell-flame but not 
shame." l The merchant bethought himself awhile, then divorced 
her with a manifest divorce and a public 2 and on this wise he won 
free from that unwelcome worry. Then he returned to his shop 
and presently sought in marriage of her father her who had done 
with him what she did 3 and who was the daughter of the Shaykh 
of the guild of the blacksmiths. So he took her to wife and they 
abode each with other and lived the pleasantest of lives and the 
most delightsome, till the day of death : and praise be to Allah the 
Lord of the Three Worlds. 

1 For this proverb see vol. v. 138. I have remarked that " Shame " is not a passion 
in Europe as in the East ; the Western equivalent to the Arab. "Haya " would be tlw 
Latin " Pudor." 

2 Arab. " Talakan bainan," here meaning a triple divorce before witnesses, making 
it irrevocable. 

3 i.e. who had played him that trick. 



THERE was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone 
before, a merchant of the merchants of Damascus, by name Abu 
al-Hasan, who had money and means, slave-blacks and slave-girls, 
lands and gardens, houses and Hammams in that city ; but he was 
not blessed with boon of child and indeed his age waxed great. 
So he addressed himself to supplicate 2 Allah Almighty in private 
and in public and in his bows and his prostrations and at the 
season of prayer-call, beseeching Him to vouchsafe him, before 
his decease, a son who should inherit his wealth and possessions. 
The Lord answered his prayer ; his wife conceived and the days 
of her pregnancy were accomplished and her months and her 
nights ; and the travail-pangs came upon her and she gave birth 
to a boy, as he were a slice of Luna. He had not his match 
for beauty and he put to shame the sun and the resplendent 
moon ; for he had a beaming face and black eyes of Bdbilf 
witchery 8 and aquiline nose and carnelian lips; in fine, he was 
perfect of attributes, the loveliest of folk of his time, sans 
dubitation or gainsaying. His father joyed in him with exceeding 
joy and his heart was solaced and he was at last happy : he 

1 The Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 50-116, Nights dcccclviii-dcccclxv.) entitles !t 
"Tale of Abu al-Hasan the Damascene and his son Sldi Nur al-Dfn 'All." Sldi 
means simply " my lord " , but here becomes part of the name, a practice perpetuated in 
Zanzibar. See vol. v. 283. 

3 i.e. at the hours of canonical prayers and other suitable times he made an especial 
orison (du'a) for issue. 

3 See vol. i. 85, for the traditional witchcraft of Babylonia. 

152 Supplemental Nights. 

made banquets to the folk and he clad the poor and the widows. 
Presently he named the boy Sfdf Nur al-Din Ali and reared him 
in fondness and delight among the hand-maids and thralls. When 
he had passed his seventh year, his father put him to school, 
where he learned the sublime Koran and the arts of writing and 
reckoning ; and when he reached his tenth year, he was taught 
horsemanship and archery and to occupy himself with arts and 
sciences of all kinds, part and parts. 1 He grew up pleasant 
and polite, winsome and lovesome; a ravishment to all who 
saw him, and he inclined to companying with brethren and 
comrades and mixing with merchants and travelled men. From 
these he heard tell of that which they had witnessed of the 
wonders of the cities in their wayfare and heard them say, 
" Whoso journeyeth not enjoyeth naught ; 2 especially of the 
city of Baghdad." So he was concerned with exceeding concern 
for his lack of travel and disclosed this to his sire, who said 
to him, "O my son, why do I see thee chagrined?" Quoth 
he, " 1 would fain travel ; " and quoth Abu al-Hasan, " O my 
son, none travelleth save those whose need is urgent and those 
who are compelled thereto by want. JAs for thee, O my son, thou 
enjoyest ample means ; so do thou content thyself with that 
which Allah hath given thee and be bounteous to others, even 
as He hath been bountiful to thee; and afflict not thyself with 
the toil and tribulation of travel, for indeed it is said that travel 
is a piece of Hell-torment.'* 3 But the youth said, " Needs must 
I journey to Baghdad, the House of Peace." When his father 
saw the strength of his resolve to travel, he fell in with his 
wishes and fitted him out with five thousand dinars in cash and 
the like in merchandise and sent with him two serving-men. 

1 *>. More or less thoroughly. 

* >. ' He who quitteth not his native country diverteth not himself with a sight of 
the wonders of the world." 
3 For similar sayings, see vol. ix. 257, and my Pilgrimage i. 127. 

tfur aL-Din All of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 153 

So the youth fared forth, on the blessing of Allah Almighty ; * 
and his parent went out with him, to take leave of him, and 
returned to Damascus^ As for Nur al-Din Ali, he ceased not 
travelling days and nights till he entered Baghdad city, and 
laying up his loads in the Wakdlah 2 , made for tha. , Ham mam- 
bath, where he did away that which was upon him^of the soil 
of the road and doffing his travelling clothes, donned a costly 
suit of Yamanf stuff, worth an hundred dinars. Then he loaded 
his sleeve with a thousand miskals of gold and sallied forth 
a-walking and swaying gracefully as he paced along. His gait 
confounded all those who gazed upon him, as he shamed the 
branches with his shape and belittled the rose with the redness 
of his cheeks and his black eyes of Babili witchcraft : thou wouldst 
deem that whoso looked on him would surely be preserved from 
bane and bale ; 3 for he was even as saith of him one of his 
describers in these couplets : 

Thy haters and enviers say for jeer * A true say that profits what ears will 

*' No boast is his whom the gear adorns j * The boast be his who adorns the 

gear ! 

So Sidi Nur al-Din went walking in the highways of the city 
and viewing its edifices and its bazars and thoroughfares and 
gazing on its folk. Presently, Abu Nowds met him. (Now he 
was of those of whom it is said, " They love fair lads," and indeed 
there is said what is said concerning him). 4 When he saw 
Nur al-Din Ali, he stared at him in amazement and exclaimed, 

1 i.e. relying upon, etc. 

2 The Egyptian term for a khan, called in Persia caravanserai (karwdn-serdf) ; and in 
Marocco funduk, from the Greek ; whence the Spanish "fonda." See vol. i. 92. 

3 Arab. " Baliyah," to jingle with " Babiliyah." 

* As a rule whenever this old villain appears in The Nights, it is a signal for an 
outburst of obscenity. Here, however, we are quittes pour la ptur. See vol. v. 65 for 
some of his abominations. 

1 54 Supplemental Nights. 

" Say, I take refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak ! " Then he 
accosted the youth and saluting him, asked him, " Why do I see 
my lord lone and lorn? Meseemeth thou art a stranger and 
knowest not this country ; so, with leave of my lord, I will put 
myself at his service and acquaint him with the streets, for 
that I know this city." Nur ai-Din answered, "This will be 
of thy favour, O nuncle." Abu Nowas rejoiced at this and fared 
on with him, showing him the streets and bazars, till they came 
to the house of a slave-dealer, where he stopped and said to the 
youth, " From what city art thou ? " " From Damascus," replied 
Nur al-Din ; and Abu Nowas said, " By Allah, thou art from a 
blessed city, even as saith of it the poet in these couplets : 

Now is Damascus a garth adorned For her seekers, the Houris and Paradise- 

Sidi Nur al-Din thanked him and the twain entered the mansion 
of the slave-merchant When the people of the house saw Abu 
Nowas, they rose to do him reverence, for that which they knew 
of his rank with the Commander of the Faithful ; and the slave- 
dealer himself came up to them with two chairs whereon they 
seated themselves. Then the slave-merchant went inside and 
returning with a slave-girl, as she were a branch of Ban or a 
rattan-cane, clad in a vest of damask silk and tired with a black 
and white headdress whose ends fell down over her face, seated 
her on a chair of ebony ; after which he cried to those who were 
present, " I will discover to you a favour as it were a full moon 
breaking forth from under a cloud-bank." They replied, " Do 
so;" whereupon he unveiled the damsel's face and behold, she 
was like the shining sun, with shapely shape and dawn-bright 
cheeks and thready waist and heavy hips ; brief, she was endowed 
with an elegance, whose description is unfound, and was even as 
saith of her the poet : ! 

1 The lines are in vols. viii. 279 and ix. 197. I quote Mr. Payne. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milak. 155 

A fair one, to idolaters if she herself should show, They'd leave their idols 

and her face for only Lord would know ; 
And if into the briny sea one day she chanced to spit, Assuredly the salt 

sea's floods straight fresh and sweet would grow. 

The dealer stood at the hand-maid's head and one of the merchants 
said, " I bid a thousand dinars for her." Quoth another, " I bid 
one thousand one hundred dinars ; " and a third, " I bid twelve 
hundred." Then said a fourth merchant, " Be she mine for 
fourteen hundred ducats." And the biddings standing still at 
that sum, her owner said, " I will not sell her save with her 
consent : an if she desire to be sold, I will sell her to whom she 
willeth." The slave-dealer asked him, "What is her name?" 
Answered the other, " Her name is " Sitt al-Milah ;" J whereupon 
the dealer said to her, " With thy leave, I will sell thee to yonder 
merchant for this price of fourteen hundred dinars." Quoth she, 
" Come hither to me." So the man-vendor came up to her 
and when he drew near, she gave him a kick with her foot 
and cast him to the ground, saying, " I will not have that old- 
ster." The slave-dealer arose, shaking the dust from his dress 
and head, and cried, " Who biddeth more of us ? Who is 
desirous ? " 2 Said one of the merchants, " I," and the dealer 
said to her, " O Sitt al-Milah, shall I sell thee to this merchant ? " 
She replied, " Come hither to me ; " but he rejoined, " Nay ; speak 
and I will hear thee from my place, for I will not trust myself 
to thee nor hold myself safe when near thee." So she cried, 
" Indeed I will not have him." Then the slave-dealer looked at 
her and seeing her fix eyes on the young Damascene, for that 
in very deed he had fascinated her with his beauty and loveliness, 
went up to him and said to him, " O my lord, art thou a looker-on 
or a buyer ? Tell me." Quoth Nur al-Din, " I am both looker- 

1 Lady or princess of the Fair (ones). 
* i.e. of buying. 

1 56" Supplemental Nights. 

on and buyer. Wilt thou sell me yonder slave-girl for sixteen 
hundred ducats ? " And he pulled out the purse of gold. Here- 
upon the dealer returned, dancing and clapping his hands and 
saying, " So be it, so be it, or not at all ! " Then he came to 
the damsel and said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, shall I sell thee 
to yonder young Damascene for sixteen hundred dinars ? " But 
she answered, " No," of bashfulness before her master and the by- 
standers ; whereupon the people of the bazar and the slave- 
merchant departed, and Abu Nowas and Ali Nur al-Din arose 
and went each his own way, whilst the damsel returned to her 
owner's house, full of love for the young Damascene. When the 
night darkened on her, she called him to mind and her heart 
hung to him and sleep visited her not ; and on this wise she 
abode days and nights, till she sickened and abstained from 
food, So her lord went in to her and asked her, " O Sitt al-Milah, 
how fmdest thou thyself ? " Answered she, " O my lord, dead 
without chance of deliverance and I beseech thee to bring me my 
shroud, so I may look upon it ere I die." Therewith he went out 
from her, sore concerned for her, and betaking himself to the 
bazar, found a friend of his, a draper, who had been present on 
the day when the damsel was cried for sale. Quoth his friend to 
him, " Why do I see thee troubled ? " and quoth he, " Sitt al-Milah 
is at the point of death and for three days she hath neither eaten 
nor drunken. I questioned her to-day of her case and she said : 
O my lord, buy me a shroud so I may look upon it ere I die." 
The draper replied, " Methinks naught aileth her but that she is 
in love with the young Damascene, and I counsel thee to mention 
his name to her and declare to her that he hath foregathered 
with thee on her account and is desirous of coming to thy quarters, 
so he may hear somewhat of her singing. An she say : I reck 
not of him, for there is that to do with me which distracteth me 
from the Damascene and from other than he, know that she 
saith sooth concerning her sickness ; but, an she say thee other 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sit I al-Milah. 1 57 

than this, acquaint me therewith." So the man returned to his 

lodging and going in to his slave-girl said to her, " O Sitt al-Milah, 

I went out for thy need and there met me the young man of 

Damascus, and he saluted me with the salam and saluteth thee ; 

he seeketh to win thy favour and prayed me to admit him as a 

guest in our dwelling, so thou mayst let him hear somewhat of 

thy singing." When she heard speak of the young Damascene, 

she gave a sob, that her soul was like to leave her body, and 

answered, " He knoweth my plight and how these three days past 

I have not eaten nor drunken, and I beseech thee, O my lord, 

by Allah of All-Might, to do thy duty by the stranger and bring 

him to my lodging and make excuse to him for me." When her 

master heard this, his reason fled for joy, and he went to his 

familiar the draper and said to him, " Thou wast right in the 

matter of the damsel, for that she is in love with the young 

Damascene ; so how shall I manage ? " Said the other, " Go to 

the bazar and when thou seest him, salute him, and say to him : 

Thy departure the other day, without winning thy wish, was 

grievous to me; so, an thou be still minded to buy the maid, 

I will abate thee of that which thou badest for her an hundred 

sequins by way of gaining thy favour ; seeing thou be a stranger in 

our land. If he say to thee : I have no desire for her and hold 

off from thee, be assured that he will not buy ; in which case, let 

me know, so I may devise thee another device ; and if he say to 

thee other than this, conceal not from me aught." So the girl's 

owner b.etook himself to the bazar, where he found the youth 

seated at the upper end of the place where the merchants mostly 

do meet, selling and buying and taking and giving, as he were the 

moon on the night of its full, and saluted him. The young man 

returned his salam and he said to him, " O my lord, be not 

offended at the damsel's speech the other day, for her price shall 

be lowered to the intent that I may secure thy favour. An thou 

desire her for naught, I will send her to thee or an thou 

1 5 8 Supplemental Nights. 

wouldst have me abate to thee her price, I will well, for I desire 
nothing save what shall content thee ; seeing thou art a stranger 
in our land and it behoveth us to treat thee hospitably and have 
consideration for thee." The youth replied, "By Allah, I will 
not take her from thee but at an advance on that which I bade thee 
for her afore ; so wilt thou now sell her to me for one thousand 
and seven hundred dinars ? " And the other rejoined, " O my 
lord, I sell her to thee, may Allah bless thee in her ! " Thereupon 
the young man went to his quarters and fetching a purse, sent for 
the girl's owner and weighed out to him the price aforesaid, 
whilst the draper was between the twain. Then said he, " Bring 
her forth ; " but the other replied, " She cannot come forth at this 
present ; but be thou my guest the rest of this day and night, and 
on the morrow thou shalt take thy slave-girl and go in the ward 
of Allah." The youth agreed with him on this and he carried 
him to his house, where, after a little, he bade meat and wine 
be brought, and they ate and drank. Then said Nur al-Din to 
the girl's owner, " I would have thee bring me the damsel, because 
I bought her not but for the like of this time." So he arose and 
going in to the girl, said to her, " O Sitt al-Milah, the young man 
hath paid down thy price and we have bidden him hither ; so he 
hath come to our quarters and we have entertained him, and he 
would fain have thee be present with him." Therewith the damsel 
rose deftly and doffing her dress, bathed and donned sumptuous 
apparel and perfumed herself and went out to him, as she were a 
branch of Ban or a cane of rattan, followed by a black slave-girl, 
bearing the lute. When she came to the young man, she saluted 
him and sat down by his side. Then she took the lute from 
the slave-girl and screwing up its pegs, 1 smote thereon in four-and 
twenty modes, after which she returned to the first and sang 
these couplets : 

1 Arab. " Azan-W lit. = iU ears. 

Nur al-Din All of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 1 59 

My joy in this world is to see and sit near thee. o Thy love's my religion ; thy 

Union my pleasure. 
Attest it these tears when in memory I speer thee, o And unchecked down my 

cheeks pours the flood without measure. 
By Allah, no rival in love hast to fear thee ; o I'm thy slave as I sware, and 

this troth is my treasure. 
Be not this our last meeting : by Allah I swear thee o Thy severance to me 

were most bitter displeasure ! 

The young man was moved to delight and cried, "By Allah, 
thou sayest well, O Sitt al-Milah ! Let me hear more." Then 
he largessed her with fifty gold pieces and they drank and the 
cups made circuit among them ; and her seller said to her, 
(< O Sitt al-Milah, this is the season of farewelling ; so let us 
hear somewhat thereon/' Accordingly she struck the lute and 
touching upon that which was in her heart, improvised these 
couplets : 

I thole longing, remembrance and sad repine, o Nor my heart can brook woes 

in so lengthened line . 
O my lords think not I forget your love ; >My case is sure case and cure shows 

no sign. 
If creature could swim in the flood of his tears, o I were first to swim in 

these floods of brine : 
O Cup-boy withhold cup and bowl from a wretch o Who ne'er ceaseth to drink 

of her tears for wine ! 
Had I known that parting would do me die, o -I had shirked to part, but 'twas 

Fate's design. 

Now whilst they were thus enjoying whatso is most delicious of 
ease and delight, and indeed the wine was to them sweet and 
the talk a treat, behold, there came a knocking at the door. So 
the house-master went out, that he might see what might be the 
matter, and found ten head of the Caliph's eunuchs at the entrance. 
When he saw this, he was startled and said, " What is to do ? " 
" The Commander of the Faithful saluteth thee and requireth of 
thee the slave-girl whom thou hast exposed for sale and whose 
name is Sitt al-Milah." " By Allah, I have sold her." " Swear by 

1 60 Supplemental Nights. 

the head of the Commander of the Faithful that she is not in thy 
quarters," The slaver made oath that he had sold her and that 
she was no longer at his disposal : yet they paid no heed to his 
word and forcing their way into the house, found the damsel and 
the young Damascene in the sitting-chamber. So they laid hands 
upon her, and the youth said, " This is my slave-girl, whom I have 
bought with my money ; " but they hearkened not to his speech 
and taking her, carried her off to the Prince of True Believers. 
Therewith Nur al-Dln's pleasure was troubled: he arose and 
donned his dress, and his host said, " Whither away this night, O 
my lord ? " Said he, " I purpose going to my quarters, and to- 
morrow I will betake myself to the palace of the Commander of 
the Faithful and demand my slave-girl." The other replied, " Sleep 
till the morning, and fare not forth at the like of this hour." But 
he rejoined, "Needs must I go ; " and the host said to him, " Go 
in Allah his safeguard." So the youth went forth and, drunkenness 
having got the mastery of his wits, he threw himself down on a bench 
before one of the shops. Now the watchmen were at that hour 
making their rounds and they smelt the sweet scent of essences 
and wine that reeked from him ; so they made for it and suddenly 
beheld the youth lying on the bench, without sign of recovering. 
They poured water upon him, and he awoke, whereupon they 
carried him to the office of the Chief of Police and he questioned 
him of his case. He replied, " O my lord, I am an alien in this 
town and have been with one of my friends : I came forth from 
his house and drunkenness overcame me." The Wali bade carry 
him to his lodging ; but one of those in attendance upon him, 
Al-Murddi hight, said to him, " What wilt thou do ? " This man 
is robed in rich raiment and on his finger is a golden ring, whose 
bezel is a ruby of great price ; so we will carry him away and slay 
him and take that which is upon him of clothes and bring to thee 
all we get ; for that thou wilt not often see profit the like thereof, 
especially as this fellow is a foreigner and there is none to ask after 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al- Milan. 161 

him." 1 Quoth the Chief, " This wight is a thief and that which he 
saith is leasing." Nur al-Din said, "Allah forfend that I should be 
a thief!" but the Wali answered, "Thou liest." So they stripped 
him of his clothes and taking the seal-ring from his finger, beat 
him with a grievous beating, what while he cried out for succour, 
but none succoured him, and besought protection, but none 
protected him. Then said he to them, "O folk, ye are quit 2 of 
that which ye have taken from me ; but now restore me to my 
lodging." They replied, " Leave this knavery, O rascal ! thine 
intent is to sue us for thy clothes on the morrow." The youth 
cried, " By the truth of the One, the Eternal One, I will not sue 
any for them ! " but they said, " We find no way to this." And 
the Prefect bade them bear him to the Tigris and there slay him 
and cast him into the stream. So they dragged him away, while 
he wept and said the words which shall nowise shame the sayer : 
" There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! " When they came to the Tigris, one of 
them drew the sword upon him and Al-Muradi said to the 
sworder, " Smite off his head ;" but one of them, hight Ahmad, 
cried, " O folk, deal softly with this poor wretch and slay him not 
unjustly and wickedly, for I stand in fear of Allah Almighty, lest 
He burn me with his fire." Quoth Al-Muradi, " A truce to this 
talk ! " and quoth the Ahmad aforesaid, " An ye do with him 
aught, I will acquaint the Commander of the Faithful." They 
asked, " How, then, shall we do with him ? " and he answered^ 
" Let us deposit him in prison and I will be answerable to you for 
his provision ; so shall we be quit of his blood, for indeed he is a 
wronged man." Accordingly they agreed to this and taking him up 
cast him into the Prison of Blood, 5 and then went their ways. So 

1 Here again the policeman is made a villain of the deepest dye; bad enough to 
gratify the intelligence of his deadliest enemy, a lodging-keeper in London. 

8 *".*. You are welcome to it and so it becomes lawful (haldl) to you. 

* Arab. * Sijn al-Dam," the Carcere duro inasprito (to speak Triestine), where mea 
convicted or even accused of bloodshed were confined. 


1 62 Supplemental Nights. 

far as regards them ; but returning to the damsel, they carried her 
to the Commander of the Faithful and she pleased him ; so he 
assigned her a chamber of the chambers of choice. She tarried in 
the palace, neither eating nor drinking and weeping sans surcease 
night and day, till, one night, the Caliph sent for her to his sitting- 
hall and said to her, " O Sitt al-Milah, be of good cheer and keep 
thine eyes cool of tear, for I will make thy rank higher than any 
of the concubines and thou shalt see that which shall rejoice 
thee." She kissed ground and wept ; whereupon the Prince of 
True Believers called for her lute and bade her sing : so in 
accordance with that which was in her heart, she sang these 
improvised couplets : 

By the sheen of thy soul and the sheen of thy smile 1 , o Say, moan'st thou for 

doubt or is't ring-dove's moan ? 
How many have died who by love were slain ! o Fails my patience but blaming 

my blame rs wone. 

Now when she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from 
her hand and wept till she fainted away, whereupon the Caliph bade 
carry her to her chamber. But he was fascinated by her and loved 
her with exceeding love ; so, after a while, he again commanded to 
bring her in to the presence, and when she came, he ordered her 
sing. Accordingly, she took the lute and chanted to it that which 
was in her heart and improvised these couplets : 

Have I patience and strength to support this despair? o Ah, how couldst thou 

purpose afar to fare ? 
Thou art swayed by the spy to my cark and care : o No marvel an branchlet 

sway here and there ! 2 
With unbearable load thou wouldst load me, still o Thou loadest with love 

which I theewards bear. 

Then she cast the lute from her hand and fainted away ; so she 

1 Arab. "Mabasim" ; plur. of Mabsim,a smiling mouth which shows the foreteeth, 
* The branchlet, as usual, is the youth's slender form. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 163 

was carried to her sleeping-chamber and indeed passion grew 
upon her. After a long while, the Prince of True Believers sent 
for her a third time and commanded her to sing. So she took 
the lute and chanted these couplets : 

O of piebald wild ye dunes sandy and drear, o Shall the teenful lover 'scape 

teen and tear ? 
Shall ye see me joined with a lover, who o Still flies or shall meet we in joyful 

cheer ? 

hail to the fawn with the Houri eye, $ Like sun or moon on horizon clear ! 
He saith to lovers, " What look ye on ?" o And to stony hearts, " Say, what 

love ye dear " ? * 

1 pray to Him who departed us o With severance-doom, " Be our union near ! ** 

When she had made an end of her verse, the Commander of the 
Faithful said to her, " O damsel, thou art in love." She replied, 
" Yes ; " and he asked, " With whom ? " Answered she, " With my 
lord and sovran of my tenderness, for whom my love is as the 
love of the earth for rain, or as the desire of the female for the 
male ; and indeed the love of him is mingled with my flesh and 
my blood and hath entered into the channels of my bones. O 
Prince of True Believers, whenever I call him to mind my vitals 
are consumed, for that I have not yet won my wish of him, and 
but that I fear to die, without seeing him, I had assuredly slain 
myself." Thereupon quoth he, " Art thou in my presence and 
durst bespeak me with the like of these words ? Forsure I will 
gar thee forget thy lord." Then he bade take her away; so she 
was carried to her pavilion and he sent her a concubine, with a 
casket wherein were three thousand ducats and a collar of gold 
set with seed-pearls and great unions, and jewels, worth other 
three thousand, saying to her, " The slave-girl and that which is 
with her are a gift from me to thee." When she heard this, she 
cried, " Allah forfend that I be consoled for the love of my lord 

1 Subaudi> "An ye disdain my love." 

164 Supplemental Nights. 

and my master, though with an earth-full of gold ! " And she 
improvised and recited these couplets : 

By his life I swear, by his life I pray ; o For him fire Pd enter unful dismay ! 
" Console thee (cry they) with another fere o Thou lovest ! " and I, " By 's life, 

nay, NAY! " 
He 's moon whom beauty and grace array ; o From whose cheeks and brow ) 

shineth light of day. 

Then the Commander of the Faithful summoned her. to his 
presence a fourth time and said, " O Sitt al-Milah, sing." So she 
recited and sang these couplets : 

The lover's heart by his beloved is oft disheartened o And by the hand of 

sickness eke his sprite dispirited, 
One asked, " What is the taste of love?" ' and I to him replied, < " Love is a 

sweet at first but oft in fine unsweetened." 
I am the thrall of Love who keeps the troth of love to them 2 o But oft they 

proved themselves 'Urkub 3 in pact with me they made. 
What .in their camp remains ? They bound their loads and fared away ; o To 

other feres the veiled Fairs in curtained litters sped ; 
At every station the beloved showed all of Joseph's charms : o The lover woned 

with Jacob's woe in every shift of stead. 

When she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute 
from her hand and wept herself a-swoon. So they sprinkled on 
her musk-mingled rose-water and willow-flower water ; and when 
she came to her senses, Al-Rashid said to her, " O Sitt al-Milah, 
this is not just dealing in thee. We love thee and thou lovest 
another." She replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, there is 
no help for it." Thereupon he was wroth with her and cried, " By 
the virtue of Hamzah 4 and 'Akfl 5 and Mohammed, Prince of the 

1 In the text "sleep." 

2 " Them " and " him " for " her." 

3 'Urkub, a Jew of Yathrib or Khaybar, immortalised in the A.P. (i. 454) as ' more 
promise-breaking than 'Urkub." 

4 Uncle of Mohammed. See vol. viii. 172. 

5 First cousin of Mohammed. See ib. 

Nur al-Din Alt of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. i6$ 

Apostles, an thou name in my presence one other than I, I will 
assuredly order strike off thy head ! " Then he bade return her to 
her chamber, whilst she wept and recited these couplets : 

" Oh brave ! " I'd cry an I my death could view ; My death were better than 

these griefs to rue, 
Did sabre hew me limb by limb ; this were a Naught to affright a lover leal-true. 

Then the Caliph went in to the Lady Zubaydah, complexion- 
altered with anger, and she noted this in him and said to him, 
" How cometh it that I see the Commander of the Faithful 
changed of colour ? " He replied, " O daughter of my uncle, I 
have a beautiful slave-girl, who reciteth verses by rote and telleth 
various tales, and she hath taken my whole heart ; but she loveth 
other than myself and declareth that she affecteth her former lord ; 
so I have sworn a great oath that, if she come again to my sitting- 
hall and sing for other than for me, I will assuredly shorten her 
highest part by a span." J - Quoth Zubaydah, " Let the Commander 
of the Faithful favour me by presenting her, so I may look on her 
and hear her singing." Accordingly he bade fetch her and she came, 
upon which the Lady Zubaydah withdrew behind the curtain, 2 where 
the damsel saw her not, and Al-Rashid said to her, " Sing to us." 
So she took the lute and tuning it, recited these couplets : 

O my lord ! since the day when I lost your sight, *> My life was ungladdened, 

my heart full of teen ; 
The memory of you kills me every night ; And by all the worlds is my trace 

unseen ; 
All for love of a Fawn who hath snared my sprite o By his love and his brow 

as the morning sheen. 
Like a left hand parted from brother right o I became by parting thro' Fortune's 

On the brow of him Beauty deigned indite o " Blest be Allah, whom best of 

Creators I ween ! " 
And Him I pray, who could disunite o To re-unite us. Then cry " Ameen I " * 

1 This threat of " 'Orf with her 'ead " shows the Caliph's lordliness. 
8 Arab. " Al-Bashkhanah." 
1 '.*. Amen. See vol. ix. 13*- 

1 66 Supplemental Nights. 

When Al-Rashid heard the end of this, he waxed exceeding 
wroth and said, " May Allah not reunite you twain in gladness 1 " 
Then he summoned the headsman, and when he presented himself, 
he said to him, " Strike off the head of this accursed slave-girl." 
So Masrur took her by the hand and led her away ; but, when she 
came to the door, she turned and said to the Caliph, " O Com- 
mander of the Faithful, I conjure thee, by thy fathers and fore- 
fathers, behead me not until thou give ear to that I shall say ! " 
Then she improvised and recited these couplets : 

Emir of Justice, be to lieges kind For Justice ever guides thy generous 

mind ; 
And, oh, who blamest love to him inclining ! o Are lovers blamed for laches 

By Him who gave thee rule, deign spare my life o For rule on earth He hath 

to thee assigned. 

Then Masrur carried her to the other end of the sitting-hall and 
bound her eyes and making her sit, stood awaiting a second order : 
whereupon quoth the Lady Zubaydah, " O Prince of True Be- 
lievers, with thy permission, wilt thou not vouchsafe this damsel a 
portion of thy clemency? An thou slay her, 'twere injustice.** 
Quoth he, "What is to be done with her ? " and quoth she, " For- 
bear to slay her and send for her lord. If he be as she describeth 
him in beauty and loveliness, she is excused, and if he be not on 
this wise then kill her, and this shall be thy plea against her." l 
Al-Rashid replied, " No harm in this rede ; " and caused return the 
damsel to her chamber, saying to her, " The Lady Zubaydah saith 
thus and thus." She rejoined, " God requite her for me with good ! 
Indeed, thou dealest equitably, O Commander of the Faithful, in 
this judgment." And he retorted, " Go now to thy place, and to- 
morrow we will bid them bring thy lord." So she kissed ground 
and recited these couplets : 

When asked, on Doomsday, his justification for having slain her. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milak. r 67 

I indeed will well for whom love I will: o Let chider chide and let blamer blame : 
All lives must die at fixt tide and term o But I must die ere my life-term came: 
Then Oh whose love hath afflicted me o We I will but thy presence in haste 
I claim. 

Then she arose and returned to her chamber. Now on the 
morrow, the Commander of the Faithful sat in his hall of 
audience and his Wazir Ja'afar bin Yahya the Barmecide came in 
to him ; whereupon he called to him, saying, " I would have thee 
bring me a youth who is lately come to Baghdad, hight Sidi 
Nur al-Din Ali the Damascene." Quoth Ja'afar, " Hearing and 
obeying/' and going forth in quest of the youth, sent to the bazars 
and Wakalahs and Khans for three successive days, but discovered 
no trace of him, neither happened upon the place of him. So on 
the fourth day he presented himself before the Caliph and said to 
him, "O our lord, I have sought him these three days, but have not 
found him." Said Al-Rashid, " Make ready letters to Damascus. 
Peradventure he hath returned to his own land." Accordingly 
Ja'afar wrote a letter and despatched it by a dromedary-courier to 
the Damascus-city ; and they sought him there and found him not 
Meanwhile, news was brought that Khorasan had been conquered ; l 
whereupon Al-Rashid rejoiced and bade decorate Baghdad and 
release all in the gaol, giving each of them a ducat and a dress. 
So Ja'afar applied himself to the adornment of the city and bade 
his brother Al-Fazl ride to the prison and robe and set free the 
prisoners. Al-Fazl did as his brother commanded and released all 
save the young Damascene, who abode still in the Prison of Blood, 
saying, " There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, 
the Glorious, the Great ! Verily, we are God's and to Him are we 
returning," Then quoth Al-Fazl to the gaoler, " Is there any left 
in the prison ? " Quoth he, " No," and Al-Fazl was about to 

1 Khorasan which included our Afghanistan, turbulent then as now, was in a chronic 
ftate of rebellion during the latter part of Al-Rashid' s reign. 

168 Supplemental Nights. 

depart, when Nur al-Din called out to him from within the prison, 
saying, O our lord, tarry awhile, for there remaineth none in the 
prison other than I and indeed I am wronged. This is a day of 
pardon and there is no disputing concerning it" Al-Fazl bade 
release him ; so they set him free and he gave him a dress and a 
ducat. Thereupon the young man went out, bewildered and 
unknowing whither he should wend, for that he had sojourned in 
the gaol a year or so and indeed his condition was changed and 
his favour fouled, and he abode walking and turning round, lest 
Al-Muradi come upon him and cast him into another calamity. 
When Al-Muradi learnt his release, he betook himself to the Wall 
and said, " O our lord, we are not assured of our lives from that 
youth, because he hath been freed from prison and we fear lest 
he complain of us." Quoth the Chief, " How shall we do ?'" and 
quoth Al-Muradi, " I will cast him into a calamity for thee." Then 
he ceased not to follow the Damascene from place to place till he 
came up with him in a narrow stead and cul-de-sac ; whereupon he 
accosted him and casting a cord about his neck, cried out, "A 
thief! " The folk flocked to him from all sides and fell to beating 
and abusing Nur al-Din, 1 whilst he cried out for aidance but none 
aided him, and Al-Muradi kept saying to him, "But yesterday 
the Commander of the Faithful released thee and to-day thou 
robbest ! " So the hearts of the mob were hardened against him 
and again Al-Muradi carried him to the Chief of Police, who bade 
hew off his hand. Accordingly, the hangman took him and 
bringing out the knife, proceeded to cut off his hand, while Al- 
Muradi said to him, " Cut and sever the bone and fry 2 not in oil the 

1 The brutality of a Moslem mob on such occasions is phenomenal : no fellow-feeling 
makes them decently kind. And so at executions even women will take an active part 
in insulting and tormenting the criminal, tearing his hair, spitting in his face and so forth- 
It is the instinctive brutality with which wild beasts and birds tear to pieces a wounded 

9 The popular way of stopping haemorrhage by plunging the stump into burning oil 
which continued even in Europe till Ambrose Pare" taught men to take up the arteries. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 169 

stump for him, so he may lose all his blood and we be at rest from 
him." But Ahmad, he who had before been the cause of his 
deliverance, sprang up to him and cried, " O folk, fear Allah in 
your action with this youth, for that I know .his affair, first and 
last, and he is clear of offence and guiltless : he is of the lords of 
houses, 1 and unless ye desist from him, I will go up to the 
Commander of the Faithful and acquaint him with the case from 
beginning to end and that the youth is innocent of sin or crime/' 
Quoth Al-Muradi, " Indeed, we are not assured from his mischief;" 
and quoth Ahmad, " Set him free and commit him to me and I 
will warrant you against his doings, for ye shall never see him 
again after this." So they delivered Nur al-Din to him and he 
took him from their hands and said to him, " O youth, have ruth 
on thyself, for indeed thou hast fallen into the hands of these folk 
twice and if they prevail over thee a third time, they will make an 
end of thee ; and I in doing thus with thee, aim at reward for thee 
and recompense in Heaven and answer of prayer." 2 So Nur al- 
Din fell to kissing his hand and blessing him said, " Know that I 
am a stranger in this your city and the completion of kindness is 
better than its commencement ; wherefore 1 pray thee of thy 
favour that thou make perfect to me thy good offices and 
generosity and bring me to the city-gate. So will thy beneficence 
be accomplished unto me and may God Almighty requite thee for 
me with good ! " Ahmad replied, " No harm shall betide thee : 
go ; I will bear thee company till thou come to thy place of 
safety." And he left him not till he brought him to the city-gate 
and said to him, 4< O youth, go in Allah's guard and return not to 
the city ; for, an they fall in with thee again, they will make an 
end of thee." Nur al-Din kissed his hand and going forth the city, 
gave not over walking till he came to a mosque that stood in one 

1 i.e. folk of good family. 

*'.*. the result of thy fervent prayers to Allah for me. 

1 70 Supplemental Nights. 

of the suburbs of Baghdad and entered therein with the night. 
Now he had with him naught wherewith he might cover himself; 
so he wrapped himself up in one of the mats of the mosque and 
thus abode till dawn, when the Muezzins came and finding him 
seated in such case, said to him, " O youth, what is this plight ? " 
Said he, " I cast myself on your protection, imploring your defence 
from a company of folk who seek to slay me unjustly and 
wrongously, without cause." And one of the Muezzins said, " I 
will protect thee ; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of 
tear." Then he brought him old clothes and covered him there- 
with ; he also set before him somewhat of victual and seeing upon 
him signs of fine breeding, said to him, " O my son, I grow old 
and desiring help from thee, I will do away thy necessity." Nur 
al-Din replied, " To hear is to obey ; " and abode with the old 
man, who rested and took his ease, while the youth did his service 
in the mosque, celebrating the praises of Allah and calling the 
Faithful to prayer and lighting the lamps and filling the spout-pots 1 
and sweeping and cleaning out the place of worship on thiswise it 
befel the young Damascene ; but as regards Sitt al-Milah, the 
Lady Zubaydah, the wife of the Commander of the Faithful, made 
a banquet in her palace and assembled her slave-girls. And the 
damsel came, weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, and those present 
blamed her for this, whereupon she recited these couplets : 

Ye blame the mourner who weeps his woe ; o Needs must the mourner sing, 

weeping sore ; 
An I see not some happy day I'll weep o Brine-tears till followed by gouts of 


When she had made an end of her verses, the Lady Zubaydah 
bade each damsel sing a song, till the turn came round to 

1 Arab. " Al-Abdrik" plur. of Ibrik, an ewer containing water for the Wuzu-ablution. 
I have already explained that a Moslem wishing to be ceremonially pure, cannot wash as 
Europeans do, in a basin whose contents are fouled by the first touch. 

Nur al-Din Alt of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 171 

Sitt al-Milah, whereupon she took the lute and tuning it, carolled 
thereto four-and-twenty carols in four-and -twenty modes ; then 
she returned to the first and sang these couplets : 

The World hath shot me with all her shafts o Departing friends parting-grief 

t' aby : 
So in heart the burn of all hearts I bear o And in eyes the tear-drops of 

every eye. 

When she had made an end of her song, she wept till she garred 
the bystanders weep and the Lady Zubaydah condoled with her 
and said to her, "Allah upon thee, O Sitt al-Milah, sing us 
somewhat, so we may hearken to thee." The damsel replied, 
" Hearing and obeying," and sang these couplets : 

People of passion, assemble ye ! This day be the day of our agony : 

The Raven o severance croaks at our doors ; Our raven which nigh to us 

aye see we. 

The friends we love have appointed us The grievousest parting-dule to dree. 
Rise, by your lives, and let all at once Fare to seek our friends where their 

sight we see. 

Then she threw the lute from her hand and shed tears till she 
drew tears from the Lady Zubaydah who said to her, " O Sitt al- 
Milah, he whom thou lovest methinks is not in this world, for 
the Commander of the Faithful hath sought him in every 
place, but hath not found him." Whereupon the damsel arose 
and kissing the Princess's hands, said to her, "O my lady, 
an thou wouldst have him found, I have this night a request 
to make whereby thou mayst win my need with the Caliph." 
Quoth the Lady, "And what is it;" and quoth Sitt al-Milah, 
" 'Tis that thou get me leave to fare forth by myself and 
go round about in quest of him three days, for the adage 
saith, Whoso keeneth for herself is not like whoso is hired 
to keen ! J An if I find him, I will bring him before the 

1 Arab. *' Naihah ", the praeficaor myriologist. See vol. i. 311. The proverb means, 
' If you want a thing done, do it yourself." 

1 72 Supplemental Nights. 

Commander of the Faithful, so he may do with us what he will, 
and if I find him not, I shall be cut off from hope of him and 
the heat of that which is with me will be cooled." Quoth the 
Lady Zubaydah, "I will not get thee leave from him but for 
a whole month ; so be of good cheer and eyes cool and clear." 
Whereat Sitt al-Milah rejoiced and rising, kissed ground before 
her once more and went away to her own place, and right glad 
was she. As for Zubaydah, she went in to the Caliph and 
talked with him awhile ; then she fell to kissing him between 
the eyes and on his hand and asked him for that which she 
had promised to Sitt al-Milah, saying, " O Commander of the 
Faithful, I doubt me her lord is not found in this world ; but, an 
she go about seeking him and find him not, her hopes will be 
cut off and her mind will be set at rest and she will sport and 
laugh ; and indeed while she nourisheth hope, she will never 
take the right direction." And she ceased not cajoling him 
till he gave Sitt al-Milah leave to fare forth and make search 
for her lord a month's space and ordered her a riding-mule 
and an eunuch to attend her and bade the privy purse give 
her all she needed, were it a thousand dirhams a day or even 
more. So the Lady Zubaydah arose and returning to her palace 
bade summon Sitt al-Milah and, as soon as she came, acquainted 
her with that which had passed ; whereupon she kissed her hand 
and thanked her and called down blessings on her. Then she 
took leave of the Princess and veiling her face with a mask 1 , 
disguised herself; 2 after which she mounted the she-mule and 
sallying forth, went round about seeking her lord in the highways 
of Baghdad three days' space, but happed on no tidings of him ; 

1 Arab. "Burka'," the face veil of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia with two holes for the 
eyes, and the end hanging to the waist, a great contrast with the "Lithdm" or 
coquettish fold of transparent muslin affected by modest women in Stambul. 

2 i.e. donned petticoat-trousers and walking boots other than those she was wont to 

Nur al-Din Alt of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 173 

and on the fourth day, she rode forth without the city. Now 
it was the noon-hour and fierce was the heat, and she was aweary 
and thirst came upon her. Presently, she reached the mosque of 
the Shaykh who had lodged the young Damascene, and dis- 
mounting at the door, said to the old Muezzin, " O Shaykh, hast 
thou a draught of cold water ? Verily, I am overcome with heat 
and thirst." Said he, " 'Tis with me in my house." So he 
carried her up into his lodging and spreading her a carpet, 
seated her ; after which he brought her cold water and she drank 
and said to the eunuch, " Go thy ways with the mule and to- 
morrow come back to me here." Accordingly he went away and 
she slept and rested herself. When she awoke, she asked the old 
man, " O Shaykh, hast thou aught of food ? " and he answered, 
" O my lady, I have bread and olives.'' Quoth she, " That be 
food which befitteth only the like of thee. As for me, I will 
have naught save roast lamb and soups and reddened fowls 
right fat and ducks farcis with all manner stuffing of pistachio- 
nuts and sugar." Quoth the Muezzin, "O my lady, I have never 
heard of this chapter l in the Koran, nor was it revealed to our 
lord Mohammed, whom Allah save and assain ! " 2 She laughed 
and said, " O Shaykh, the matter is even as thou sayest ; but 
bring me pen-case and paper." So he brought her what she 
sought and she wrote a note and gave it to him, together with a 
seal-ring from her finger, saying, st Go into the city and enquire for 
Such-an-one the Shroff and give him this my note." Accordingly 
the oldster betook himself to the city, as she bade him, and asked 

1 "Surah" (Koranic chapter) maybe a clerical error for "Surah" (with a Sad) s= 
sort, fashion (of food). 

2 This is solemn religious chaff; the Shaykh had doubtless often dipped his hand 
abroad in such dishes ; but like a good Moslem, he contented himself at home with 
wheaten scones and olives, a kind of sacramental food like bread and wine in southern 
Europe. But his retort would be acceptable to the True Believer who, the strictest of 
conservatives, prides himself on imitating in all points, the sayings and doings of the 

174 Supplemental Nights. 

for the money-changer, to whom they directed him. So he gave 
him ring and writ, seeing which, he kissed the letter and breaking 
it open, read it and apprehended its contents. Then he repaired 
to the bazar and buying all that she bade him, laid it in a porter's 
crate and made him go with the Shaykh. The old man took 
the Hammal and went with him to the mosque, where he 
relieved him of his burden and carried the rich viands in to 
Sitt al-Milah. She seated him by her side and they ate, he 
and she, of those dainty cates, till they were satisfied, when 
the Shaykh rose and removed the food from before her. She 
passed that night in his lodging and when she got up in the 
morning, she said to him, "O elder, may I not lack thy kind 
offices for the breakfast ! Go to the Shroff and fetch me from 
him the like of yesterday's food." So he arose and betaking 
himself to the money-changer, acquainted him with that which 
she had bidden him. The Shroff brought him all she required 
and set it on the heads of Hammals; and the Shaykh took 
them and returned with them to the damsel, when she sat down 
with him and they ate their sufficiency, after which he removed 
the rest of the meats. Then she took the fruits and the flowers 
and setting them over against herself, wrought them into rings 
and knots and writs, whilst the Shaykh looked on at a thing 
whose like he had never in his life seen and rejoiced in the sight. 
Presently said she to him, " O elder, I would fain drink." So he 
arose and brought her a gugglet of water ; but she cried to him, 
" Who said to thee Fetch that ?" Quoth he, " Saidst thou not to- 
me, I would fain drink ? " and quoth she, " I want not this ; nay, 
I want wine, the solace of the soul, so haply, O Shaykh, I may 
refresh myself therewith." Exclaimed the old man, " Allah forfend 
that strong drink be drunk in my house, and I a stranger in the 
land and a Muezzin and an Imam, who leadeth the True Believers 
in prayer, and a servant of the House of the Lord of the three 
Worlds ! " " Why wilt thou forbid me to drink thereof in thy 

Nur al-Din Alt of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milak. 175 

house?" "Because 'tis unlawful." "O elder, Allah hath for- 
bidden only the eating of blood and carrion l and hog's flesh : 
tell me, are grapes and honey lawful or unlawful ? " " They are 
lawful." " This is the juice of grapes and the water of honey." 
" Leave this thy talk, for thou shalt never drink wine in my house." 
" O Shaykh, people eat and drink and enjoy themselves and we are 
of the number of the folk and Allah is indulgent and merciful." 2 
" This is a thing that may not be." " Hast thou not heard what 
the poet saith ? " And she recited these couplets : 

Cease thou to hear, O Sim'an-son, 3 aught save the say of me ; How bitter 

'twas to quit the monks and fly the monast'ry ! 
When, on the Fete of Palms there stood, amid the hallowed fane 4 , A pretty 

Fawn whose lovely pride garred me sore wrong to dree. 
May Allah bless the night we spent when he to us was third, While Moslem, 

Jew, and Nazarene all sported fain and free. 
Quoth he, from out whose locks appeared the gleaming of the morn, " Sweet 

is the wine and sweet the flowers that joy us comrades three. 
The garden of the garths of Khuld where roll and rail amain, Rivulets 'neath 

the myrtle shade and Bdn's fair branchery ; 
And birds make carol on the boughs and sing in blithest lay, Yea, this indeed 

is life, but, ah ! how soon it fades away." 

She then asked him, " O Shaykh, an Moslems and Jews and 
Nazarenes drink wine, who are we that we should reject it ? " 
Answered he, " By Allah, O my lady, spare thy pains, for this be a 
thing whereto I will not hearken." When she knew that he would 
not consent to her desire, she said to him, " O Shaykh, I am of 

1 i.e. animals that died without being ceremonially killed. 

2 Koran ii. 168. This is from the Chapter of the Cow where " that which dieth of 
itself (carrion), blood, pork, and that over which other name but that of Allah (i.e. idols) 
hath been invoked " are forbidden. But the verset humanely concludes : " Whoso, how- 
ever, shall eat them by constraint, without desire, or as a transgressor, then no sin shall 
be upon him." 

3 i.e, son of Simeon = a Christian. 

* Arab, and Heb. " Haykal," suggesting the idea of large space, a temple, a sanctuary, 
a palace which bear a suspicious likeness to the Accadian E-kal or Great House = 
the old Egyptian Perao (Pharaoh ?), and the Japanese " Mikado." 

176 Supplemental Nights. 

the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful and the food 
waxeth heavy on me and if I drink not, I shall die of indigestion, 
nor wilt thou be assured against the issue of my case. 1 As for me, 
I acquit myself of blame towards thee, for that I have bidden 
thee beware of the wrath of the Commander of the Faithful, after 
making myself known to thee." When the Shaykh heard her 
words and that wherewith she threatened him, he sprang up ana 
went out, perplexed and unknowing what he should do, and there 
met him a Jewish man, which was his neighbour, and said to him, 
" How cometh it that I see thee, O Shaykh, strait of breast ? Eke, 
I hear in thy house a noise of talk, such as I am unwont to hear 
with thee." Quoth the Muezzin, " Tis of a damsel who declaretn 
that she is of the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful, 
Harun al-Rashid ; and she hath eaten meat and now would drink 
wine in my house, but I forbade her. However she asserteth that 
unless she drink thereof, she will die, and indeed I am bewildered 
concerning my case." Answered the Jew, " Know, O my neigh- 
bour, that the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful are 
used to drink wine, and when they eat and drink not, they die ; 
and I fear lest happen some mishap to her, when thou wouldst not 
be safe from the Caliph's fury." The Shaykh asked, " What is to 
be done ? " and the Jew answered, " I have old wine that will suit 
her." Quoth the Shaykh, " By the right of neighbourship, deliver 
me from this descent 2 of calamity and let me have that which is 
with thee! " Quoth the Jew, " Bismillah, in the name of Allah," 
and passing to his quarters, brought out a glass flask of wine, 
wherewith the Shaykh returned to S'itt al-Milah. This pleased her 
and she cried to him, " Whence hadst thou this ? " He replied, " I 
got it from the Jew, my neighbour : I set forth to him my case with 

1 Wine, carrion and. pork being lawful to the Moslem if used to save life. The 
former is also the sovereignest thing for inward troubles, flatulence, indigestion, etc. 
See vol. v. 2, 24. 

* Arab. " Ndzilah," *.*. a curse coming down from Heaven. 

Nural-Din All of Damascus and the Damsel Sift al-Milak. 177 

thee and he gave me this." Thereupon Sitt al-Milah filled a cup 
and emptied it ; after which she drank a second and a third. Then 
she crowned the cup a fourth time and handed it to the Shaykh, but 
he would not accept it from her. However, she conjured him, by 
her own head and that of the Prince of True Believers, that 
he take the cup from her. till he received it from her hand and 
kissed it and would have set it down ; but she sware him by her life 
to smell it. Accordingly he smelt it and she said to him, " How 
deemest thou ? " Said he, " I find its smell is sweet ; " and she 
conjured him by the Caliph's life to taste thereof. So he put it to 
his mouth and she rose to him and made him drink ; whereupon 
quoth he, " O Princess of the Fair, 1 this is none other than good." 
Quoth she, " So deem I : hath not our Lord promised us wine n> 
'Paradise?" He answered, " Yes ! The Most High saith: And 
rivers of wine, delicious to the drinkers. 2 And we will drink 
it in this world and in the next world." She laughed and empty- 
ing the cup, gave him to drink, and he said, " O Princess of the 
Fair, indeed thou art excusable in thy love for this." Then he hent 
in hand from her another and another, till he became drunken and 
his talk waxed great and his prattle. The folk of the quarte/ 
heard him and assembled under the window ; and when the Shaykh 
was ware of them, he opened the window and said to them, "Are 
ye not ashamed, O pimps ? Every one in his own house doth 
whatso he willeth and none hindereth him ; but we drink one single 
day and ye assemble and come, panders that ye are! To-day, 
wine, and to-morrow business ; 3 and from hour to hour cometh 
relief." So they laughed together and dispersed. Then the girl 

1 Here and below, a translation of her name. 

2 "A picture of Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing! Therein are rivers 
of water which taint not ; and rivers of milk whose taste changeth not ; and rivers of 
Wine, efr "'Koran xlvii. 16. 

8 Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, 
Sermons and soda-water the day after. 

Hon.fuan\\. 178. 


i;8 Supplemental Nights. 

drank till she was drunken, when she called to mind her lord 
and wept, and the Shaykh said to her, " What maketh thee weep, 

my lady ? " Said she, " O elder, I am a lover and a separated." 
He cried, " O my lady, what is this love ? " Cried she, " And 
thou, hast thou never been in love ?" He replied, " By Allah, O 
my lady, never in all my life heard I of this thing, nor have I ever 
known it! Is it of the sons of Adam or of the Jinn?" She 
laughed and said, " Verily, thou art even as those of whom the 
poet speaketh, in these couplets : 

How oft shall they admonish and ye shun this nourishment ; o When e'en the 
shepherd's bidding is obeyed by his flocks ? 

1 see you like in shape and form to creatures whom we term o Mankind, but 

in your acts and deeds you are a sort of ox. 1 

The Shaykh laughed at her speech and her verses pleased him. 
Then cried she to him, " I desire of thee a lute." So he arose and 
brought her a bit of fuel. 2 Quoth she, "What is that?" and 
quoth he " Didst thou not say : Bring me fuel ? " Said she, " I 
do not want this," and said he, " What then is it that is hight fuel, 
other than this ? " She laughed and replied, " The lute is an 
instrument of music, whereunto I sing." Asked he, " Where is this 
thing found and of whom shall I get it for thee ?" and answered 
she, " Of him who gave thee the wine." So he arose and be- 
taking himself to his neighbour the Jew, said to him " Thou 
favouredst us before with the wine ; so now complete thy favours 
and look me out a thing hight lute, which be an instrument for 
singing; for she seeketh this of me and I know it not." Re- 
plied the Jew, " Hearkening and obedience," and going into his 
house, brought him a lute. The old man carried it to Sitt 
al-Milah, whilst the Jew took his drink and sat by a window 

1 The ox (Bakar) and the bull (Taur, vol. i. 16) are the Moslem emblems of stupidity, 
as with us are the highly intelligent ass and the most sagacious goose. 

* In Arab. "Ud" means primarily wood; then a lute. See vol. ii. 100. The 
Muezzin, like the schoolmaster, is popularly supposed to be a fool. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. \ 79 

adjoining the Shaykh's house, so he might hear the singing. The 
damsel rejoiced, when the old man returned to her with the lute, and 
taking it from him, tuned its strings and sang these couplets : 

Remains not, after you are gone, or trace of you or sign, o But hope to see 

this parting end and break its lengthy line : 
You went and by your wending made the whole world desolate ; o And none 

may stand this day in stead to fill the yearning eyne. 
Indeed, you 've burdened weakling me, by strength and force of you o With 

load no hill hath power t'upheave nor yet the plain low li'en : 
And I, whenever fain I scent the breeze your land o'erbreathes, o Lose all my 

wits as though they were bemused with heady wine. 

folk no light affair is Love for lover woe to dree o Nor easy 'tis to satisfy its 

sorrow and repine. 

1 've wandered East and West to hap upon your trace, and when o Spring- 

camps I find the dwellers cry, " They Ve marched, those friends o' thine ! " 
Never accustomed me to part these intimates I love ; o Nay, when I left them 
all were wont new meetings to design. 

Now when she had ended her song, she wept with sore weep- 
ing, till presently sleep overcame her and she slept. On the 
morrow, she said to the Shaykh, " Get thee to the Shroff and fetch 
me the ordinary ; " so he repaired to the money-changer and 
delivered him the message, whereupon he made ready meat and 
drink, according to his custom, with which the old man returned 
to the damsel and they ate their sufficiency. When she had eaten, 
she sought of him wine and he went to the Jew and fetched it. 
Then the twain sat down and drank ; and when she waxed 
drunken, she took the lute and smiting it, fell a-singing and 
chanted these couplets : 

How long ask I the heart, the heart drowned, and eke o Refrain my complaint 

while my tear-floods speak ? 
They forbid e'en the phantom to visit me, o (O marvel !) her phantom my 

coUch to seek. 1 

1 I have noticed that among Arab lovers it was the fashion to be jealous of the 
mistress's nightly phantom which, as amongst mesmerists, is the lover's embodied will. 

I8o Supplemental Nights. 

And when she had made an end of her song, she wept with 
weeping. All this time, the young Damascene was listening, and 
now he likened her voice to the voice of his slave-girl and then he 
put away from him this thought, and the damsel had no know- 
ledge whatever of his presence. Then she broke out again into 
song and chanted these couplets : 

Quoth they, " Forget him ! What is he ? " To them I cried, * " Allah forget me 

when forget I mine adored ! " 
Now in this world shall I forget the love o' you ? o Heaven grant the thrall 

may ne'er forget to love his lord ! 
I pray that Allah pardon all except thy love o Which, when I meet Him may 

my bestest plea afford. 

After ending this song she drank three cups and filling the old 
man other three, improvised these couplets : 

His love he hid which tell-tale tears betrayed ; o For burn of coal that 'neath 

his ribs was laid : 
Civ'n that he seek his joy in spring and flowers o Some day, his spring *s the, 

face of dear-loved maid. 
O ye who blame me for who baulks my love ! o What sweeter thing than boon 

to man denayed ? 
A sun, yet scorcheth he my very heart ! * A moon, but riseth he from breasts 

a-shade ! 

When she had made an -end of her song, she threw the lute from 
her hand and wept, whilst the Shaykh wept for her weeping. 
Then she fell down in a fainting fit and presently recovering, 
crowned the cup and drinking it off, gave the elder to drink, after 
which she took the lute and breaking out into song, chanted 
these couplets : 

Thy parting is bestest of woes to my heart, o And changed my case till all 

sleep it eschewed : 
The world to my being is desolate ; aThen Oh grief ! and Oh lingering solitude ! 

be the Ruthful incline thee to me o And join us despite what our foes 

have sued i 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milah. 1 8 1 

Then she wept till her voice rose high and her wailing was dis- 
covered to those without ; after which she again began to drink 
and plying the Shaykh with wine, sang these couplets : 

An they hid thy person from eyen-sight, <* They hid not thy name fro* my 

mindful sprite : 
Or meet me ; thy ransom for meeting I'll be ! l o Or fly me ; and ransom I'll be 

for thy flight ! 
Mine outer speaks for mine inner case, o And mine inner speaks for mine outer 


When she had made an end of her verses, she threw the lute from 
her hand and wept and wailed. Then she slept awhile and presently 
awaking, said, rt O Shaykh, say me, hast thou what we may eat ? " 
He replied, " O my lady, I have the rest of the food ; " but she 
cried, " I will not eat of the orts I have left. Go down to the bazar 
and fetch us what we may eat." He rejoined, " Excuse me, O 
my lady, I cannot rise to my feet, because I am bemused with 
wine ; but with me is the servant of the mosque, who is a sharp 
youth and an intelligent. I will call him, so he may buy thee whatso 
thou wantest." Asked she, " Whence hast thou this servant ? " 
and he answered, " He is of the people of Damascus/* When she 
heard him say " of the people of Damascus," she sobbed such a 
sob that she swooned away ; and when she came to herself, she 
said, " Woe is me for the people of Damascus and for those who 
are therein ! Call him, O Shaykh, that he may do our need/' 
Accordingly, the old man put his head forth of the window and 
called the youth, who came to him from the mosque and sought 
leave to enter. The Muezzin bade him come in, and when he 
appeared before the damsel, he knew her and she knew him ; 
whereupon he turned back in bewilderment and would have fled 

1 /.#, I will lay down my life to save thee from sorrow a common-place hyperbole 
of love. 

1 8 2 Supplemental Nights. 

at hap-hazard ; but she sprang up to him and held him fast, and they 
embraced and wept together, till they fell to the floor in a fainting 
fit. When the Shaykh saw them in this condition, he feared for 
himself and fared forth in fright, seeing not the way for drunken- 
ness. His neighbour the Jew met him and asked him, " How is 
it that I behold thee astounded ? " Answered the old man, " How 
should I not be astounded, seeing that the damsel who is with me 
is fallen in love with the mosque servant and they have embraced 
and slipped down in a swoon ? Indeed, I fear lest the Caliph 
come to know of this and be wroth with me ; so tell me thou what 
is thy device for that wherewith I am afflicted in the matter of 
this damsel." Quoth the Jew, " For the present, take this casting- 
bottle of rose-water and go forthright and sprinkle them there- 
with : an they be aswoon for this their union and embrace, they 
will recover, and if otherwise, then take to flight." The Shakyh 
snatched the casting-bottle from the Jew and going up to the 
twain, sprinkled their faces, whereupon they came to themselves 
and fell to relating each to other that which they had suffered, 
since both had been parted, for the pangs of severance. 
Nur al-Din also acquainted Sitt al-Milah with that which he had 
endured from the folk who would have killed 1 him and utterly 
annihilated him ; and she said to him, " O my lord, let us for the 
nonce leave this talk and praise Allah for reunion of loves, and all 
this shall cease from us." Then she gave him the cup and he said, 
"By Allah, I will on no wise drink it, whilst I am in this case ! * f 
So she drank it off before him and taking the lute, swept the 
strings and sang these couplets : 

1 Arab. " Katl." I have noticed the Hibernian "kilt "which is not a bull but, 
like most provincialisms and Americanisms, a survival, an archaism. In the old Frisian 
dialect, which agrees with English in more words than rt bread, butter and cheese," we 
find the primary meaning of terms which with us have survived only in their secondary 
senses, e.g. killen = to beat and slagen = to strike. Here is its great value to the 
English philologist. When the Irishman complains that he is " kilt n we know through 
the Frisian what he really means. 

Nur al-Din AH of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-Milak. 183 

O absent fro' me and yet present in place, o Thou art far from mine eyes and yet 

ever nigh ! 
Thy farness bequeathed me all sorrow and care o And my troublous life can 

no joy espy : 
Lone, forlorn, weeping-eyelidded, miserablest, o I abide for thy sake as though 

banisht I : 
Then (ah grief o' me !) far thou hast fared from sight o Yet canst no more 

depart me than apple of eye ! 

When she had made an end of her verse, she wept and the young 
man of Damascus, Nur al-Din, wept also. Then she took the 
lute and improvised these couplets : 

Well Allah wots I never named you o But tears o'erbrimming eyes in floods 

outburst ; 
And passion raged and pine would do me die, c Yet my heart rested wi' the 

thought it nurst ; 
O eye-light mine, O wish and O my hope ! & Your face can never quench mine 

eyes' hot thirst. 

When Nur al-Din heard these his slave-girl's verses, he fell 
a- weeping, while she strained him to her bosom and wiped away 
his tears with her sleeve and questioned him and comforted his 
mind. Then she took the lute and sweeping its strings, played 
thereon with such performing as would move the staidest to 
delight and sang these couplets : 

Indeed, what day brings not your sight to me. o That day I rem'mber not as 

dight to me ! 
And, when I vainly long on you to look, o My life is lost, Oh life and light o 1 


After this fashion they fared till the morning, tasting not the 
nourishment of sleep 1 ; and when the day lightened, behold the 
eunuch came with the she-mule and said to Sitt al-Milah, " The 
Commander of the Faithful calleth for thee." So she arose and 
taking by the hand her lord, committed him to the Shaykh, saying, 

1 The decency of this description is highly commendable and I may note that the 
Bresl. Edit, is comparatively free from erotic pictures. 

1 84 Supplemental Nights. 

" This is the deposit of Allah, then thy deposit, 1 till this eunuch 
cometh to thee ; and indeed, O elder, my due to thee is the white 
hand of favour such as filleth the interval betwixt heaven and 
earth." Then she mounted the mule and repairing to the palace of 
the Commander of the Faithful, went in to him and kissed ground 
before him. Quoth he to her, as who should make mock of her, " I 
doubt not but thou hast found thy lord ;" and quoth she, " By thy 
felicity and the length of thy continuance on life, I have indeed 
found him!" Now Al-Rashid was leaning back; but, when he 
heard this, he sat upright and said to her, " By my life, true ? " 
She replied, "Ay, by thy life!" He said, "Bring him into my 
presence, so I may see him ; " but she said, " O my lord, there 
have happened to him many hardships and his charms are changed 
and his favour faded ; and indeed the Prince of True Believers 
vouchsafed me a month ; wherefore I will tend him the rest of the 
month and then bring him to do his service to the Commander 
of the Faithful." Quoth Al-Rashid, " Sooth thou sayest : the 
condition certainly was for a month ; but tell me what hath 
bedded him." Quoth she, "O my lord (Allah prolong thy 
continuance and make Paradise thy place of returning and thine 
asylum and the fire the abiding-place of thy foes !), when he 
presenteth himself to serve thee, he will assuredly expound to thee 
his case and will name to thee his wrong-doers ; and indeed this is 
an arrear that is due to the Prince of True Believers, by whom 
may Allah fortify the Faith and vouchsafe him the victory over 
rebel and froward wretch ! " Thereupon he ordered her a fine 
house and bade furnish it with carpets and vessels of choice and 
commanded them to give all she needed. This was done during 
the rest of the day, and when the night came, she sent the eunuch 
with a suit of clothes and the mule, to fetch Nur al-Din from the 
Muezzin's lodging. So the young man donned the dress and 

1 *'.** " I commit him to thy charge under God." 

Nur al-Din All of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt at-Milah. 185 

mounting, rode to the house, where he abode in comfort and 
luxury a full-told month, while she solaced him with four things, 
the eating of fowls and the drinking of wine and the sleeping 
upon brocade and the entering the bath after horizontal refresh- 
ment 1 Furthermore, she brought him six suits of linen stuffs and 
took to changing his clothes day by day ; nor was the appointed 
time of delay accomplished ere his beauty and loveliness returned 
to him ; nay, his favour waxed tenfold fairer and he became a 
seduction to all who looked upon him. One day of the days Al- 
Rashid bade bring him to the presence ; so his slave-girl changed 
his clothes and robing him in sumptuous raiment, mounted him on 
the she-mule. Then he rode to the palace and presenting himself 
before the Caliph, saluted him with the goodliest of salutations 
and bespake him with Truch man's 2 speech eloquent and deep- 
thoughted. When Al-Rashid saw him, he marvelled at the 
seemliness of his semblance and his loquence and eloquence and 
asking of him, was told that he was Sitt al-Milah's lord ; where- 
upon quoth he, " Indeed, she is excusable in her love for him, and 
if we had put her to death wrongfully, as we were minded to do, 
her blood would have been upon our heads." Then he accosted 
the young man and entering into discourse with him, found him 
well-bred, intelligent, clever, quick-witted, generous, pleasant, 
elegant, excellent. So he loved him with exceeding love and 
questioned him of his native city and of his sire and of the cause 
of his journey to Baghdad. Nur al-Din acquainted him with 
that which he would know in the goodliest words and concisest 
phrases ; and the Caliph asked him, " And where hast thou been 
absent all this while? Verily, we sent after thee to Damascus 
Mosul and all other cities, but happened on no tidings of 

1 This is an Americanism, but it translates passing well " Al-'ilaj " = insertion. 

2 Arab, (and Heb.) "Tarjuman" = a dragoman, foi which see voL i. 100. In the 
next tale it will occur with the sense of polyglottic. 

186 Supplemental Nights. 

thee." Answered the young man, " O my lord, there betided thy 
slave in thy capital that which never yet betided any." Then he 
acquainted him with his case, first and last, and told him that 
which had befallen him of evil from Al-Muradi and the Chief of 
Police. Now when Al-Rashid heard this, he was chagrined with 
sore chagrin and waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and cried, 
" Shall this thing happen in a city wherein I am ? " And the 
Hdshimf vein 1 started out between his eyes. Then he bade fetch 
Ja'afar, and when he came between his hands, he acquainted him 
with the adventure and said to him, " Shall this thing come to pass 
in my city and I have no news of it ? " Thereupon he bade 
Ja'afar fetch all whom the young Damascene had named, and 
when they came, he bade smite their necks : he also summoned 
him whom they called Ahmad and who had been the means of 
the young man's deliverance a first time and a second, and thanked 
him and showed him favour and bestowed on him a costly robe of 
honour and made him Chief of Police in his city. 2 Then he sent 
for the Shaykh, the Muezzin, and when the messenger came to 
him and told him that the Commander of the Faithful summoned 
him, he feared the denunciation of the damsel and walked with 
him to the palace, farting for fear as he went, whilst all who passed 
him by laughed at him. When he came into the presence of the 
Commander of the Faithful, he fell a-trembling and his tongue 
was tied, 3 so that he could not speak. The Caliph smiled at him 
and said, " O Shaykh, thou hast done no offence ; so why fearest 
thou ? " Answered the old man (and indeed he was in the sorest 
of that which may be of fear), " O my lord, by the virtue of thy pure 
forefathers, indeed I have done naught, and do thou enquire of my 
manners and morals." The Caliph laughed at him and ordering 

1 Ses vol. i p. 35. 

* After putting to death the unjust Prefect. 

1 Arab. * Lajlaj." See vol. ix. 322. 

Nur al-Din Alt of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt al-MUah. 187 

him a thousand dinars, bestowed on him a costly robe of honour 
and made him headman of the Muezzins in his mosque. Then 
he called Sitt al-Milah and said to her, " The house wherein thou 
lodgest with all it containeth is a largesse to thy lord : so do thou 
take him and depart with him in the safeguard of Allah Almighty ; 
but absent not yourselves from our presence." Accordingly she 
went forth with the young Damascene and when she came to the 
house, she found that the Prince of True Believers had sent them 
gifts galore and good things in store. As for Nur al-Din, he sent 
for his father and mother and appointed for himself agents in the 
city of Damascus, to receive the rent of the houses and gardens and 
Wakalahs and Hammams ; and they occupied themselves with 
collecting that which accrued to him and sending it to him every 
year. Meanwhile, his father and mother came to him, with that 
which they had of monies and merchandise of price and, fore- 
gathering with their son, found that he was become of the chief 
officers and familiars of the Commander of the Faithful and of 
the number of his sitting-companions and nightly entertainers, 
wherefore they rejoiced in reunion with him and he also rejoiced 
in them. The Caliph assigned them solde and allowances ; and 
as for Nur al-Din, his father brought him those riches and his 
wealth waxed and his estate was stablished, till he became the 
richest of the folk of his time in Baghdad and left not the presence 
of the Commander of the Faithful or by night or by day. He was 
vouchsafed issue by Sitt al-Milah, and he ceased not to live the 
goodliest of lives, he and she and his father and his mother, a while 
of time, till Abu al-Hasan sickened of a sore sickness and departed 
to the mercy of Allah Almighty. Presently, his mother also died 
and he carried them forth and shrouded them and buried and made 
them expiations and funeral ceremonies. 1 In due course his 
children grew up and became like moons, and he reared them 

1 Arab. f Mawalid " lit. = nativity festivals (plur. of Maulid). See vol. ix. 289. 

1 8 8 Supplemental Nights. 

in splendour and affection, while his wealth waxed and his case 
never waned. He ceased not to pay frequent visits to the 
Commander of the Faithful, he and his children and his slave-girl 
Sitt al-Milah, and they abode in all solace of life and prosperity 
till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the 
Sunderer of societies ; and laud to the Abiding, the Eternal ! 
This is all that hath come down to us of their story. 




THERE was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long 
gone before, in the city of Baghdad, the House of Peace, a king 
mighty of estate, lord of understanding and beneficence and 
generosity and munificence, and he was strong of sultanate and 
endowed with might and majesty and magnificence. His name 
was Ins bin Kays bin Rabf al-Shaybanf, 2 and when he took horse, 
there rode about him riders from the farthest parts of the two 
Jraks. 3 Almighty Allah decreed that he should take to wife a 
woman hight 'Afifah, daughter of Asad al-Sundusi, who was 
endowed with beauty and loveliness and brightness and per- 
fect grace and symmetry of shape and stature ; her face was 
like the crescent moon and she had eyes as they were gazelle's 
eyes and an aquiline nose like Luna's cymb. She had learned 
cavalarice and the use of arms and had mastered the sciences 
of the Arabs; eke she had gotten by heart all the drago- 
manish 4 tongues and indeed she was a ravishment to mankind. 
She abode with Ins bin Kays twelve years, during which time he 
was not blessed with children by her ; so his breast was straitened 
by reason of the failure of lineage, and he besought his Lord to 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. pp. 116-237, Nights dcccclxvi-dcccclxxix. Mr. Payne entitles 
It " El Abbas and the King's Daughter of Baghdad." 

2 "Of the Shayban tribe." I have noticed (vol. ii. i) how loosely the title Malik 
(King) is applied in Arabic and in mediaeval Europe. But it is ultra-Shakespearian to 
place a Badawi King in Baghdad, the capital founded by the Abbasides and ruled by those 
Caliphs till their downfall. 

8 i.e. Irak Arab! (Chaldsea) and 'Ajami (Western Persia.) For the meaning of Al- 
Irdk, which always, except in verse, takes the article, see vol. ii, 132. 

4 See supra, p. 185. Mr. Payne suspects a clerical error for *'Tbrkuraa'niyah"=: 
Turcomanisb ; but this is hardly acceptable* 

I9 2 Supplemental Nights. 

vouchsafe him a son. Accordingly the queen conceived, by per- 
mission of Allah Almighty ; and when the days of her pregnancy 
were accomplished, she gave birth to a maid-child, than whom 
never saw eyes fairer, for that her face was as it were a pearl pure- 
bright or a lamp raying light or a candle gilt with gold or a full 
moon breaking cloudy fold, extolled be He who her from vile 
water dight and made her to the beholders a delight ! When her 
father saw her in this fashion of loveliness, his reason fled for joy, 
and when she grew up, he taught her writing and belles-lettres and 
philosophy and all manner of tongues. So she excelled the folk 
of her time and surpassed her peers ; and the sons of the kings 
heard of her and all of them longed to look upon her. The first 
who sought her to wife was King Nabhdn * of Mosul, who came 
to her with a great company, bringing an hundred she-camels, 
laden with musk and lign-aloes and ambergris and five score 
loaded with camphor and jewels and other hundred laden with 
silver monies and yet other hundred loaded with raiment of silken 
stuffs, sendal and brocade, besides an hundred slave-girls and a 
century of choice steeds of swift and generous breeds, completely 
housed and accoutred, as they were brides ; and all this he had laid 
before her father, demanding her of him in wedlock. Now King 
Ins bin Kays had bound himself by an oath that he would not 
marry his daughter save to him whom she should choose ; so, 
when King Nabhan sought her in marriage, her father went in to 
her and consulted her concerning his affair. She consented not 
and he repeated to Nabhan that which she said, whereupon he 
departed from him. After this came King* Bahrdm, lord of the 
White Island, with treasures richer than the first ; but she accepted 
not of him and he returned disappointed ; nor did the kings cease 
coming to her sire, on her account, one after other, from the 
farthest of the lands and the climes, each glorying in bringing 

1 As fabulous a personage as " King Kays." 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 193 

more than those who forewent him ; but she heeded not any one 
of them. Presently, Al-' Abbas, son of King Al-'Azfz, lord of the 
land of Al-Yaman and Zabfdtin 1 and Meccah (which Allah in- 
crease in honour and brightness and beauty !) heard of her ; and 
he was of the great ones of Meccah and Al-Hijaz 2 and was a youth 
without hair on his side-face. So he presented himself one day 
in his sire's assembly, whereupon the folk made way for him and 
the king seated him on a chair of red gold, crusted with pearls 
and gems. The Prince sat, with his head bowed ground-wards 
and spake not to any : whereby his father knew that his breast 
was straitened and bade the cup-companions and men of wit 
relate marvellous histories, such as beseem the sessions of kings ; 
nor was there one of them but spoke forth the goodliest of that 
which was with him ; but Al-'Abbds still abode with his head 
bowed down. Then the king bade his sitting-companions with- 
draw, and when the chamber was private, he looked at his son 
and said to him, " By Allah, thou cheerest me with thy coming in 
to me and chagrinest me for that thou payest no heed to any of 
the familiars nor of the cup-companions. What is the cause of 
this ? " Answered the Prince, " O my papa, I have heard tell that in 
the land of Al-Irak is a woman of the daughters of the kings, and 
her father is called King Ins bin Kays, lord of Baghdad ; she is 
famed for beauty and loveliness and brightness and perfect grace, 
and indeed many of the kings have sought her in marriage ; but her 
soul consented not unto any one of them. Wherefore my thought 
prompteth me to travel herwards, for that my heart cleaveth to 
her, and I beseech thee suffer me to go to her." His sire replied, 
" O my son, thou knowest that I have none other than thyself of 
children and thou art the coolth of mine eyes and the fruit of my 
vitals ; nay, I cannot brook to be parted from thee a single hour 

1 Possibly a clerical error for Zabid, the famous capital of the Tahamah or lowlands 
of Al-Yaman. 

2 The Moslem's Holy Land whose capital is Meccah. 

VOL. IT. # 

1 94 Supplemental Nights. 

and I purpose to seat thee on the throne of the kingship and 
espouse thee to one of the daughters of the kings, who shall be 
fairer than she." Al- Abbas gave ear to his father's word and 
dared not gainsay him ; wherefore he abode with him awhile, 
whilst the love-fire raged in his vitals. Then the king took rede 
with himself to build his son a Hammam and adorn it with various 
paintings, so he might display it to him and divert him with the 
sight thereof, to the intent that his body might be solaced thereby 
and that the accident of travel might cease from him and he be 
turned from his purpose of removal from his parents. Presently 
he addressed himself to the building of the bath and assembling 
architects and artisans from all his cities and citadels and islands, 
assigned them a foundation-site and marked out its boundaries. 
Then the workmen occupied themselves with the building of the 
Hammam and the ordinance and adornment of its cabinets and 
roofs. .They used paints and precious minerals of all kinds, 
(iccording to the contrast of their colours, red and green and blue 
and yellow and what not else of all manner tincts ; and each 
Artisan wrought at his craft and each painter at his art, whilst the 
rest of the folk busied themselves with transporting thither vari-* 
Coloured stones. One day, as the Master-painter wrought at his 
work, there came in to him a poor man, who looked long upoa 
him and observed his mystery ; whereupon quoth the artist to him, 
>' Knowest thou aught of painting ? " Quoth the stranger, " Yes ; " 
$o he gave him tools and paints and said to him, " Limn for us a 
fare semblance." Accordingly the pauper stranger entered one of 
the bath-chambers and drew on its walls a double border, which 
he adorned on both sides, after a fashion than which eyes never 
saw a fairer. Moreover, amiddlemost the chamber he limned a 
picture to which there lacked but the breath, 1 and it was the 

1 A hinted protest against making a picture or a statue which the artist cannot-quicken ; 
as this process will be demanded of him on Doomsday. Hence also the Princess is called 
Mariyah (Maria, Mary) a non- Moslem name* 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 195 

portraiture of Mdriyah, daughter to the king of Baghdad. Then, 
when he had finished the portrait, he went his way and told none 
of what he had done, nor knew any wight the chambers and doors 
of the bath and the adornment and ordinance thereof. Presently 
the chief artisan came to the palace and sought audience of the 
king who bade admit him. So he entered and kissing the earth, 
saluted him with a salam beseeming Sultans and said, " O king 
of the time and lord of the age and the tide, may prosperity 
endure to thee and acceptance and eke thy degree over all 
the kings both morning and evening 1 exalted be! The work 
of the bath is accomplished, by the king's fair fortune and the 
purity of his purpose, and indeed, we have done all that behoved 
us and there remaineth but that which behoveth the king." Al- 
Aziz ordered him a costly robe of honour and expended monies 
galore, giving unto each who had wroughten after the measure 
of his work. Then he assembled in the Hammam all the Lords 
of his realm, Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Nabobs, 
and the chief officers of his kingdom and household, and sending 
for his son Al- Abbas, said to him, " O my son, I have builded 
thee a bath, wherein thou mayst take thy pleasance ; so enter 
that thou mayst see it and divert thyself by gazing upon it 
and viewing the beauty of its ordinance and decoration." " With 
love and gladness," replied the Prince and entered the bath, 
he and the king and the folk about them, so they might divert 
themselves with viewing that which the workmen's hands had 
worked. Al-Abbas went in and passed from place to place 
and chamber to chamber, till he came to the room aforesaid 
and espied the portrait of Mariyah, whereupon he fell down in 
a fainting-fit and the workmen went to his father and said to 
him, "Thy son Al-Abbas hath swooned away." So the king 
came and finding his son cast down, seated himself at his head 

1 i.e. day and night, for ever. 

196 Supplemental Nights. 

and bathed his face with rose-water. After awhile he revived and 
the king said to him, " I seek refuge with Allah for thee, O my 
son ! What accident hath befallen thee ? " The Prince replied, 
" O my father, I did but look on yonder picture and it bequeathed 
me a thousand qualms and there befel me that which thou 
beholdest" Therewith the king bade fetch the Master-painter, 
and when he stood before him, he said to him, "Tell me of 
yonder portrait and what girl is this of the daughters of the 
kings ; else I will take thy head." Said the painter, " By Allah, 
O king, I limned it not, neither know I who she is; but 
there came to me a poor man and looked hard at me. So I 
asked him, Knowest thou the art of painting? and he an- 
swered, Yes. Whereupon J gave him the gear and said to him, 
Limn for us a rare semblance. Accordingly he painted yonder 
portrait and went away and I wot him not neither have I 
ever set eyes on him save that day." Hearing this, the king 
ordered all his officers to go round about in the thoroughfares 
and colleges and to bring before him all strangers they found 
there. So they went forth and brought him much people, 
amongst whom was the pauper who had painted the portrait 
When they came into the presence, the Sultan bade the crier 
make public proclamation that whoso wrought the portrait should 
discover himself and have whatso he wished. Thereupon the 
poor man came forward and kissing the ground before the king, 
said to him, " O king of the age, I am he who limned yonder 
likeness." Quoth Al-Aziz, "And knowest thou who she is?" 
and quoth the other, " Yes, this is the portrait of Mariyah, daughter 
of the king of Baghdad." The king ordered him a robe of 
honour and a slave-girl and he went his way. Then said Al- 
Abbas, "O my papa, give me leave to seek her, so I may look 
upon her : else shall I farewell the world, withouten fail." The 
king his father wept and answered, " O my son, I butlded thee 
a Hammam, that it might turn thee from leaving me, and behold, 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 197 

it hath been the cause of thy going forth ; but the behest of Allah 
is a determinate decree." 1 Then he wept again and Al- Abbas 
said to him, "Fear not for me, for thou knowest my prowess 
and puissance in returning answers in the assemblies x>f the 
land and my good breeding and accomplishments together with 
my skill in rhetoric ; and indeed for him whose father thou art 
and whom thou hast reared and bred and in whom thou hast 
united praiseworthy qualities, the repute whereof hath traversed 
the East and the West, thou needest not fear aught, more 
especially as I purpose but to seek pleasuring and return to thee, 
an it be the will of Allah Almighty." Quoth the king, "Whom 
wilt thou take with thee of attendants and what of monies ?" 
Replied Al- Abbas, "O my papa, I have no need of horses or 
camels or weapons, for I purpose not warfare, and I will have 
none go forth with me save my page 'Amir and no more." Now 
as he and his father were thus engaged in talk, in came his mother 
and caught hold of him ; and he said to her, " Allah upon thee, 
let me gang my gait and strive not to divert me from what 
purpose I have purposed, for needs must I go." She replied, 
" O my son, if it must be so and there be no help for it, swear to 
me that thou wilt not be absent from me more than a year." 
And he sware to her. Then he entered his father's treasuries 
and took therefrom what he would of jewels and jacinths and 
everything weighty of worth and light of load : he also bade his 
servant Amir saddle him two steeds and the like for himself, 
and whenas the night beset his back, 2 he rose from his couch 

1 Koran xxxiii. 38; this concludes a "revelation" concerning the divorce and mar- 
riage to Mohammed of the wife of his adopted son Zayd. Such union, superstitiously 
held incestuous by all Arabs, was a terrible scandal to the rising Faith, and could 
be abated only by the " Commandment of Allah." It is hard to believe that a 
man could act honestly after such fashion ; but we have seen in our day a statesman 
famed for sincerity and uprightness honestly doing things the most dishonest possible. 
Zayd and Abu Lahab (chap. cxi. i.) are the only contemporaries of Mohammed named 
in the Koran. 

2 i.e. darkened behind him. 

1 98 Supplemental Nights. 

and mounting his horse, set out for Baghdad, he and Amir, 
whilst the page knew not whither he intended. 1 He gave not 
over going and the journey was joyous to him, till they came 
to a goodly land, abounding in birds and wild beasts, whereupon 
Al-Abbas started a gazelle and shot it with a shaft. Then he 
dismounted and cutting its throat, said to his servant, " Alight 
thou and skin it and carry it to the water." Amir answered him 
with " Hearkening and obedience " and going down to the water, 
built a fire and broiled the gazelle's flesh. Then they ate their 
fill and drank of the water, after which they mounted again 
and fared on with diligent faring, and Amir still unknowing 
whither Al-Abbas was minded to wend. So he said to him, 
" O my lord, I conjure thee by Allah of All-might, wilt thou 
not tell me whither thou intendest ? " Al-Abbas looked at him 
and in reply improvised these couplets : 

In my vitals are fires of desire and repine ; o And naught I reply when they 

flare on high : 
Baghdad-wards I hie me on life-and-death work, o Loving one who distorts my 

right judgment awry : 
A swift camel under me shortcuts the wold o And deem it a cloud all who 

nearhand espy : 
O 'Amir make haste after model of her o Who would heal mine ill and Love's 

cup drain dry : 
For the leven of love burns the vitals of me ; o So with me seek my tribe and 

stint all reply. 

When Amir heard his lord's verses, he knew that he was a slave 
of love and that she whom he loved abode in Baghdad. Then 
they fared on night and day, traversing plain and stony way, till 
they sighted Baghdad and lighted down in its environs 2 and there 
lay their night. When they arose in the morning, they removed 
to the bank of the Tigris where they encamped and sojourned a 

1 Here we have again, as so common in Arab romances, the expedition of a modified 
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. 

2 Arab. " Arzi-ha" = in its earth, its outlying suburbs. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 199 

second day and a thiid. As they abode thus on the fourth day, 
behold, a company of folk giving their beasts the rein and crying 
aloud and saying, " Quick ! Quick ! Haste to our rescue, Ho 
thou the King !*' 4 Therewith the King's chamberlains and officers 
accosted them and said, "What is behind you and what hath 
betided you ? " Quoth they, " Bring us before the King." So 
they carried them to Ins bin Kays ; and when they saw him, they 
said to him, " O king, unless thou succour us, we are dead men ; 
for that we are a folk of the Banu Shayban, 1 who have taken up 
our abode in the parts of Bassorah, and Hodhayfah the wild Arab 
hath come down on us with his steeds and his men and hath slain 
our horsemen and carried off our women and children ; nor was 
one saved of the tribe but he who fled ; wherefore we crave 
help first by Allah Almighty, then by thy life/ 1 When the king 
heard their speech, he bade the crier proclaim in the highways of 
the city that the troops should busk them to march and that the 
horsemen should mount and the footmen fare forth ; nor was it 
but the twinkling of the eye ere the kettle-drums beat and the 
trumpets blared ; and scarce was the forenoon of the day passed 
when the city was blocked with horse and foot. Presently, the 
king reviewed them and behold, they were four-and-twenty 
thousand in number, cavalry and infantry. He bade them go 
forth to the enemy and gave the command of them to Sa'ad ibn 
al-Wdkidf, a doughty cavalier and a dauntless champion ; so the 
horsemen set out and fared on along the Tigris-bank. Al- Abbas, 
son of King Al-Aziz, looked at them and saw the flags flaunting 
and the standards stirring and heard the kettle-drums beating ; so 
he bade his page saddle him a blood-steed and look to the 
surcingles and bring him his harness of war, for indeed horseman- 
ship 2 was rooted in his heart. Quoth Amir, " And indeed I saw 

1 The king's own tribe. 

* i*. he was always " spoiling for a fight." 

2OO Supplemental Nights. 

Al-Abbas his eyes waxed red and the hair of his hands on end." 
So he mounted his charger, whilst Amir also bestrode a destrier, 
and they went forth with the commando and fared on two days. 
On the third day, after the hour of the mid-afternoon prayer, they 
came in sight of the foe and the two armies met and the two ranks 
joined in fight. The strife raged amain and sore was the strain, 
whilst the dust rose in clouds and hung in vaulted shrouds, so that 
all eyes were blinded ; and they ceased not from the battle till the 
night overtook them, 1 when the two hosts drew off from the mellay 
and passed the night, perplexed concerning themselves. When 
Allah caused the morning to morrow, the two hosts were aligned 
in line and their thousands fixed their eyne and the troops stood 
looking one at other. Then sallied forth Al-Haris ibn Sa'ad 
between the two lines and played with his lance and cried out and 
improvised these couplets : 

You in every way are this day our prey ; o And ever we prayed your sight 

to see : 
The Ruthful drave you Hodhayfah- wards o To the Brave, the Lion who sways 

the free : 
Say, amid you's a man who would heal his ills, o With whose lust of batlle 

shrewd blows agree ? 
Then by Allah meet me who come to you * And whoso is wronged shall the 

wronger be. 2 

Thereupon there sallied forth to him Zuhayr bin Habfb, and 
they wheeled about and wiled a while, then they exchanged 
strokes. Al-Haris forewent his foe in smiting and stretched him 
weltering in his gore ; whereupon Hodhayfah cried out to him, 
" Gifted of Allah 3 art thou, O Haris ! Call out another of them." 

1 In the text the two last sentences are spoken by Amir and the story-teller suddenly 
resumes the third person. 

* Mr. Payne translates this "And God defend the right " (of plunder according to 
the Arabs). 

8 Arab. " Lillahi darruk" ; see vol. iv. 20. Captain Lockett (p. 28) justly remarks 
that " it is a sort of encomiastic exclamation of frequent occurrence in Arabic and much 
easier to comprehend than translate." Darra signifies flowing freely (as milk from the 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 201 

So he cried aloud, " I say, who be a champion ? " But they of 
Baghdah held back from him ; and when it appeared to Al-Haris 
that consternation was amongst them, he charged down upon them 
and overrolled the first of them upon the last of them and slew 
of them twelve men. Then the evening caught him and the 
Baghdadis began addressing themselves to flight. No sooner had 
the morning morrowed than they found themselves reduced to a 
fourth part of their number and there was not one of them had 
dismounted from his horse. Wherefore they made sure of 
destruction and Hodhayfah rushed out between the two lines 
(now he was reckoned good for a thousand knights) and cried out, 
" Harkye, my masters of Baghdad ! Let none come forth to 
me but your Emir, so I may talk with him and he with me ; and 
he shall meet me in combat singular and I will meet him, and 
may he who is clear of offence come' off safe." Then he repeated 
his words and said, " How is it I see your Emir refuse me a 
reply ? " But Sa'ad, the Emir of the army of Baghdad, answered 
him not, and indeed his teeth chattered in his mouth, when he 
heard him summon him to the duello. Now when Al-Abbas 
heard Hodhayfah's challenge and saw Sa'ad in this case, he came 
up to the Emir and asked him, " Wilt thou suffer me to answer 
him and I will be thy substitute in replying him and in monom- 
achy with him and will make my life thy sacrifice?" Sa'ad 
looked at him and seeing knighthood shining from between his 
eyes, said to him, " O youth, by the virtue of Mustafa the Chosen 
Prophet (whom Allah save and assain), tell me who thou art and 
whence thou comest to bring us victory." J Quoth the Prince, 
11 This is no place for questioning ; " and quoth Sa'ad to him, " O 
Knight, up and at Hodhayfah ! Yet, if his Satan prove too strong 

udder) and was metaphorically transferred to bounty and to indoles or natural capacity. 
Thus the phrase means "your flow of milk is by or through Allah," .*., of unusual 
4 The words are euphemistic : we should say " comest thou to our succour." 

2O2 Supplemental Nights. 

for thee, afflict not thyself in thy youth." 1 Al- Abbas cried, " Allah 
is He of whom help is to be sought ;" 2 and, taking his arms, 
fortified his purpose and went down into the field, as he were a 
fort of the forts or a mountain's contrefort. Thereupon Hodhayfah 
cried out to him, saying, " Haste thee not, O youth ! Who art 
thou of the folk ? " He replied, " I am Sa'ad ibn al-Wakidi, 
commander of the host of King Ins, and but for thy pride in 
challenging me, I had not come forth to thee ; for thou art no 
peer for me to front nor as mime equal dost thou count nor canst 
thou bear my brunt. Wherefore get thee ready for the last march 3 
seeing that there abideth but a .little of thy life/' When 
Hodhayfah heard this speech, he threw himself backwards, 4 as if 
in mockery of him, whereat Al-Abbas was wroth and called out 
to him, saying, " O Hodhayfah, guard thyself against me." Then 
he rushed upon him, as he were a swooper of the Jinn, 5 and 
Hodhayfah met him and they wheeled about a long while. Pre- 
sently, Al-Abbas cried out at Hodhayfah a cry which astounded 
him and struck him a stroke, saying, " Take this from the hand of 
a brave who feareth not the like of thee." Hodhayfah met the 
sabre-sway with his shield, thinking to ward it off from him ; but 
the blade shore the target in sunder and descending upon his 
shoulder, carrie forth gleaming from the tendons of his throat and 
severed his arm at the armpit ; whereupon he fell down, wallowing 
in his blood, and Al-Abbas turned upon his host ; nor had the sun 
departed the dome of the welkin ere Hodhayfah's army was in 
full flight before Al-Abbas and the saddles were empty of men. 

1 i.e. If his friend the Devil be overstrong for thee, flee him rather than be slain ; as 

He who fights and runs away 

Shall live to fight another day. 
3 i.e. I look to Allah for aid (and keep my powder dry). 

3 i.e. to the next world. 

4 This falling backwards in laughter commonly occurs during the earlier tales ; it is, 
however, very rare amongst the Badawin. 

* *'.*. as he were a flying Jinni, swooping down and pouncing falcon-like upon a 
mortal from the upper air. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 

Quoth Sa'ad, " By the virtue of Mustafa the Chosen Prophet, whom 
Allah save and assain, I saw Al-Abbas with the blood upon his 
saddle-pads, in clots like camels' livers, smiting with the sword 
right and left, till he scattered them abroad in every gorge and 
wold ; and when he hied him back to the camp, the men ol 
Baghdad were fearful of him." But as soon as they saw this victory 
which had betided them over their foes, they turned back and 
gathering together the weapons and treasures and horses of those 
they had slain, returned to Baghdad, victorious, and all by the 
knightly valour of Al-Abbas. As for Sa'ad, he foregathered with 
his lord, and they fared on in company till they came to the place 
where Al-Abbas had taken horse, whereupon the Prince dismounted 
from his charger and Sa'ad said to him, " O youth, wherefore 
alightest thou in other than thy place ? Indeed, thy rights be 
incumbent upon us and upon our Sultan ; so go thou with us to 
the dwellings, that we may ransom thee with our souls." Replied 
Al-Abbas, " O Emir Sa'ad, from this place I took horse with thee" 
and herein is my lodging. So, Allah upon thee, mention not me 
to the king, but make as if thou hadst never seen me because I 
am a stranger in the land/' So saying, he turned away from him 
and Sa'ad fared on to his palace, where he found all the courtiers 
in attendance on the king and recounting to him that which had 
betided them with Al-Abbas. Quoth the king, " Where is he ? " 
and quoth they, " He is with the Emir Sa'ad." So, when the 
Emir entered, the king looked, but found none with him ; and 
Sa'ad, seeing at a glance that he longed to look upon the youth, 
cried out to him, saying, " Allah prolong the king's days ! Indeed^ 
he refuseth to present himself before thee, without order or leave." 
Asked the king, " O Sa'ad, whence cometh this man ? " and the 
Emir answered, " O my lord, I know not ; but he is a youth fair 
of favour, amiable of aspect, accomplished in address, ready of 
repartee, and valour shineth from between his eyes." Quoth the 
king, " O Sa'ad, fetch him to me, for indeed thou describest to me 

2O4 Supplemental Nights, 

at full length a mighty matter." * And he answered, saying, " By 
Allah, O my lord, hadst thou but seen our case with Hodhayfah, 
when he challenged me to the field of fight and the stead of cut- 
and-thrust and I held back from doing battle with him \ Then, 
as I thought to go forth to him, behold, a knight gave loose to his 
Bridle-rein and called out to me, saying : O Sa'ad, wilt thou suffer 
me to be thy substitute in waging war with him and I will ransom 
thee with myself? And quoth I, By Allah, O youth, whence comest 
thou ? and quoth he, This be no time for thy questions, white 
Hodhayfah standeth awaiting thee." Thereupon he repeated 
to the king all that had passed between himself and Al- Abbas 
from first to last ; whereat cried Ins bin Kays, " Bring him to me 
in haste, so we may learn his tidings and question him of his case." 
" 'Tis well," replied Sa'ad, and going forth of the king's presence, 
repaired to his own house, where he doffed his war-harness and 
took rest for himself. On this wise fared it with the Emir Sa'ad j 
but as regards Al- Abbas, when he dismounted from his destrier, 
he doffed his war-gear and reposed himself awhile ; after which 
he brought out a body-dress of Venetian 2 silk and a gown of green 
damask and donning them, bound about his head a turband of 
Damietta stuff and zoned his waist with a kerchief. Then he 
went out a-walking in the highways of Baghdad and fared on till 
he came to the bazar of the traders. There he found a merchant, 
with chess before, him ; so the Prince stood watching him, and 
presently the other looked up at him and asked him, " O youth, 
what wilt thou bet upon the game ? " He answered, " Be it thine 
to decide." Said the merchant, " Then be it an hundred dinars," 
and Al-Abbas consented to him ; whereupon quoth he, " Produce 

1 This may be (reading Imraan = man, for Amran= matter) " a masterful man" ; but 
I can hardly accept it. 

8 Arab- " Bunduki," the adj. of Bunduk, which the Moslems evidently learned from 
Slav sources ; Venedik being the Dalmatian corruption of Venezia, See Dubrovenedik 
in vol. ii. 219. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 205 

the money, O youth, so the game may be fairly stablished." 
Accordingly Al-Abbas brought out a satin purse, wherein were a 
thousand dinars, and laid down an hundred dinars therefrom on 
the edge of the carpet, whilst the merchant produced the like, and 
indeed his reason fled for joy when he saw the gold in possession 
of Al-Abbas. The folk flocked about them, to divert themselves 
with watching the play, and they called the bystanders to witness 
the wager and after the stakes were duly staked, the twain fell 
a-playing. Al-Abbas forebore the merchant, so he might lead 
him on, and dallied with him a full hour ; and the merchant won 
and took of him the hundred dinars. Then said the Prince, " Wilt 
thou play another partie ? " and the other said, " O youth, I will 
not play again, save for a thousand dinars/' Quoth the youth, 
" Whatsoever thou stakest, I will match thy stake with its like." 
So the merchant brought out a thousand dinars and the Prince 
covered them with other thousand. Then the game began, but 
Al-Abbas was not long with him ere he beat him in the house of 
the elephant, 1 nor did he cease to do thus till he had beaten him 
four times and won of him four thousand dinars. This was all 
the merchant had of money ; so he said, " O youth, I will play 
thee another game for the shop." Now the value of the shop 
was four thousand dinars ; so they played and Al-Abbas beat him 
and won his shop, with whatso was therein ; upon which the other 
arose, shaking his clothes, 2 and said to him, " Up, O youth, and take 
thy shop." Accordingly Al-Abbas arose and repairing to the shop, 
took possession thereof, after which he returned to the place where 
he had left his servant 'Amir, and found there the Emir Sa'ad, 
who was come to bid him to the presence of the king. The Prince 
consented to this and accompanied him till they came before King 

1 I.*, the castle's square. 

2 In sign of quitting possession. Chess in Europe is rarely plaved for money, witfa 
the exception of public matches : this, however, is not the case amongst Easterns, who 
are also for the most part as tricky as an old lady at cribbage rightly named. 

206 Supplemental Nights. 

Ins bin Kays, whereupon he kissed the ground and saluted him 
and exaggerated 1 the salutation. So the king asked him, " Whence 
comest thou, O youth, and whither goest thou ? " and he answered, 
" I come from Al-Yaman." Then said the king, " Hast thou a 
need we may fulfil to thee ; for indeed thou hast strong claims to 
our favour after that which thou didst in the matter of Hodhayfah 
and his folk ? " And he commanded to cast over him a mantle 
of Egyptian satin, worth an hundred dinars. He also bade his 
treasurer give him a thousand dinars and said to him, O youth, 
take this in part of that which thou deservest of us ; and if thou 
prolong thy sojourn with us, we will give thee slaves and 
servants." Al-Abbas kissed ground and said, "O king, Allah 
grant thee abiding weal, I deserve not all this." Then he put 
his hand to his pouch and pulling out two caskets of gold, in 
each of which were rubies whose value none could estimate, 
gave them to the king, saying, " O king, Allah cause thy welfare 
to endure, I conjure thee by that which the Almighty hath 
vouchsafed thee, heal my heart by accepting these two caskets, 
even as I have accepted thy present." So the king accepted the 
two caskets and AI-Abbas took his leave and went away to 
the bazar. Now when the merchants saw him, they accosted 
him and said, " O youth, wilt thou not open thy shop ? " As 
they were addressing him, up came a woman, having with her 
a boy bare of head, and stood looking at Al-Abbas, till he turned 
to her, when she said to him, " O youth, I conjure thee by Allah, 
look at this boy and have ruth on him, for that his father hath 
forgotten his skull-cap in the shop he lost to thee ; so, an thou 
see fit to give it him, thy reward be with Allah! For indeed 
the child maketh our hearts ache with his excessive weeping, and 
the Lord be witness for us that, had they left us aught wherewith 
to buy him a cap in its stead, we had not sought it of thee." 

1 i.e. he was as eloquent and courtly as he could be* 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and kis Daughter. 207 

Replied Al- Abbas, " O adornment of womankind, 1 indeed, thou 
bespeakest me with thy fair speech and supplicatest me with 
thy goodly words ! But bring me thy husband." So she went 
and fetched the merchant, whilst a crowd collected to see what 
Al- Abbas would do. When the man came, he returned him the 
gold he had won of him, art and part, and delivered him the keys 
of the shop, saying, " Requite us with thy pious prayers." 
Therewith the woman came up to him and kissed his feet, and 
in like fashion did the merchant her husband : and all who were 
present blessed him, and there was no talk but of Al-Abbas. 
Thus fared it with him ; but as for the merchant,, he bought 
him a head of sheep 2 and slaughtering it, roasted it and dressed 
birds and other meats of various kinds and colours and purchased 
dessert and sweetmeats and fresh fruits; then he repaired to 
Al-Abbas and conjured him to accept of his hospitality and 
visit his home and eat of his provaunt. The Prince consented 
to his wishes and went with him till they came to his house, when 
the merchant bade him enter: so Al-Abbas went in and saw 
a goodly house, wherein was a handsome saloon, with a vaulted 
ceiling. When he entered the saloon, he found that the merchant 
had made ready food and dessert and perfumes, such as may not 
be described ; and indeed he had adorned the table with sweet- 
scented flowers and sprinkled musk and rose-water upon the 
food ; and he had smeared the saloon walls with ambergris and 
had burned aloes-wood therein and Nadd. Presently, Al-Abbas 
looked out of the window of the saloon and saw by its side a 
house of goodly ordinance, tall of base and wide of space, with 
rooms manifold and two upper stories crowning the whole; but 
therein was no sign of inhabitants. So he said to the merchant, 

1 Arab. "Yd Zinat al-Nisd," which may either be a P.N. or a polite address as 
Bella f I (Handsome woman) is to any feminine in Southern Italy. 

2 Arab. " Raas Ghanam " : this form of expressing singularity is common to Arabic 
and the Eastern languages, which it has influenced. 

508 Supplemental Nights. 

"Verily, thou exaggeratest in doing us honour; but, by"Allah, 
I will not eat of thy meat until thou tell me what hath caused 
the voidance of yonder house." Said he, "O my lord, that 
was Al-Ghitrif's house and he passed away to the mercy of 
the Almighty and left no heir save myself; whereupon the 
mansion became mine, and by Allah, an thou have a mind to 
sojourn in Baghdad, take up thine abode in this house, whereby 
thou mayst be in my neighbourhood ; for that verily my heart 
inclineth unto thee with affection and I would have thee never 
absent from mine eyes, so I may still have my fill of thee and 
hearken to thy speech." Al-Abbas thanked him and said to 
him, " By Allah, thou art indeed friendly in thy converse and 
thou exaggeratest in thy discourse, and needs must I sojourn 
in Baghdad. As for the house, if it please thee to lodge me, 
I will abide therein; so accept of me its price." Therewith 
he put hand to his pouch and bringing out from it three 
hundred dinars, gave them to the merchant, who said in himself, 
" Unless I take his dirhams, he will not darken my doors." So 
he pocketed the monies and sold him the mansion, taking witnesses 
against himself of the sale. Then he arose and set food before 
Al-Abbas and they sat down to his good things; after which 
he brought him dessert and sweetmeats whereof they ate their 
sufficiency, and when the tables were removed they washed their 
hands with musked rose-water and willow-water. Then the 
merchant brought Al-Abbas a napkin scented with the smoke of 
aloes-wood, on which he wiped his right hand, and said to him, 
"O my lord, the house is become thy house; so bid thy page 
transport thither the horses and arms and stuffs." The Prince 
did this and the merchant rejoiced in his neighbourhood and left 
him not night nor day, 1 so that Al-Abbas said to him, " By the 

1 This most wearisome form of politeness is common in the Moslem world, where 
men fondly think that the more you see of them the more you like of them. Yet their 

Tale of King Ins lin Kays and kis Daughter. 209 

Lord, we distract thee from thy livelihood.'* He replied, "Allah upon 
thee, O my lord, name not to me aught of this, or thou wilt break 
my heart, for the best of traffic art thou and the best of livelihood." 
So there befel strait friendship between them and all ceremony 
was laid aside. Meanwhile 1 the king said to his Wazir, "How 
shall we do in the matter of yonder youth, the Yamani, on 
whom we thought to confer gifts, but he hath gifted us with ten- 
fold our largesse and more, and we know not an he be a sojourned 
with us or not ? " Then he went into the Harim and gave the 
rubies to his wife Afifah, who asked him, "What is the worth 
of these with thee and with other of the kings ? " Quoth he, 
" They are not to be found save with the greatest of sovrans nor 
can any price them with monies." Quoth she, " Whence gottest 
thou them ? " So he recounted to her the story of Al- Abbas 
from beginning to end, and she said, "By Allah, the claims of 
honour are imperative on us and the King hath fallen short of his 
devoir; for that we have not seen him bid the youth to his 
assembly, nor hath he seated him on his left hand." When 
the king heard his wife's words, it was as if he had been asleep 
and awoke ; so he went forth the Harim and bade kill poultry and 
dress meats of every kind and colour. Moreover, he assembled 
all his courtiers and let bring sweetmeats and dessert and 
all that beseemeth the tables of kings. Then he adorned 
his palace and despatched after Al-Abbas a man of the chief 
officers of his household, who found him coming forth of the 
Hammam, clad in a jerkin 2 of fine goats' hair and over it a 
Baghdddi scarf; his waist was girt with a Rustaki* kerchief and 

Proverbial Philosophy ("the wisdom of many and the wit of one ") strongly protests 
against the practice : I have already quoted Mohammed's saying, "Zur ghibban, tazid 
Hibban " visits rare keep friendship fair. 

1 This clause in the text is evidently misplaced (vol. xii. 144.) 

'Arab. Dara* or Dira'= armour, whether of leather or metal; here the coat worn 
tinder the mail. 

8 Called from Rustak, a quarter of Baghdad. For Rustak town see vol. vi. 289. 

VOL. a. o 

2 1 o Supplemental Nights. 

on his head he wore a light turband of Damietta ! stuff. The 
messenger wished him joy of the bath and exaggerated in doing 
him honour : then he said to him, " The king biddeth thee in 
weal.*' 2 " To hear is to obey," quoth Al- Abbas and accompanied 
the officer to the king's palace. Now Afifah and her daughter 
Mariyah were behind the curtain, both looking at him ; and when 
he came before the sovran he saluted him and greeted him with the 
greeting of kings, whilst all present gazed at him and at his 
beauty and loveliness and perfect grace. The king seated him at 
the head of the table ; and when Afifah saw him and considered 
him straitly, she said, " By the virtue of Mohammed, prince of 
the Apostles, this youth is of the sons of the kings and cometh 
not to these parts save for some noble purpose ! " Then she looked 
at Mariyah and saw that her favour was changed, and indeed her 
eye-balls were as dead in her face and she turned not her gaze from 
Al-Abbas a twinkling of the eyes, for that the love of him had 
sunk deep into her heart. When the queen saw what had befallen 
her daughter, she feared for her from reproach concerning 
Al-Abbas; so she shut the casement-wicket that the Princess 
might not look upon him any more. Now there was a pavilion 
set apart for Mariyah, and therein were boudoirs and bowers, bal- 
conies and lattices, and she had with her a nurse, who served her 
as is the fashion with the daughters of the Kings. When the 
banquet was ended and the folk had dispersed, the King said to 
Al-Abbas, " I would fain have thee abide with me and I will buy 
thee a mansion, so haply we may requite thee for thy high 
services ; and indeed imperative upon us is thy due and magnified 
in our eyes is thy work ; and soothly we have fallen short of thy 

1 From Damietta comes our " dimity." The classical name was Tamidthis apparently 
Coptic grsecised : the old town on the shore famed in Crusading times was destroyed in 
A.H. 648=1251. 

2 Easterns are always startled by a sudden summons to the presence either of King or 
Kazi : here the messenger gives the youth to understand that it is in kindness, not in 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 

deserts in the matter of distance." * When the youth heard the 
king's speech, he rose and sat down 2 and kissing ground, returned 
thanks for his bounty and said, *' I am the King's thrall, whereso- 
ever I may be, and under his eye/' Then he told him the tale of 
the merchant and the manner of the buying of the house, and the 
king said, " In very truth I would fain have had thee in my neigh- 
bourhood and by side of me." Presently Al-Abbas took leave 
of the king and went away to his own house. Now it chanced 
that he passed under the palace of Mariyah, the king's daughter, 
and she was sitting at a casement. He happened to look round 
and his eyes met those of the Princess, whereupon his wit de- 
parted and he was ready to swoon away, whilst his colour changed, 
and he said, " Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him are we return- 
ing ! " But he feared for himself lest severance betide him ; so he 
concealed his secret and discovered not his case to any of the 
creatures of Allah Almighty. When he reached his quarters, his 
page Amir said to him, " I seek refuge for thee with Allah, O my 
lord, from change of colour ! Hath there betided thee a pain 
from the Lord of All-might or aught of vexation ? In good sooth, 
sickness hath an end and patience doeth away trouble." But the 
Prince returned him no answer. Then he brought out ink-case 8 
and paper and wrote these couplets : 

I cry (and mine *s a frame that pines alway), o A mind which fires of passion 
e'er waylay ; 

And eyeballs never tasting sweets of sleep ; o Yet Fortune spare its cause I ever 

While from world-perfidy and parting I o Like Bishr am with Hind, 4 that well- 
loved may ; 

1 i.f. in not sending for thee to court instead of allowing thee to live in the city without 

8 In sign of agitation : the phrase has often been used in this sense and we find it 
also in Al-Mas'udi. 

3 I would remind the reader that the " Dawdt " (ink -case) contains the reed-pens. 

* Two well-known lovers. 

212 Supplemental Nights. 

Yea, grown a bye-word 'mid the folk but aye o Spend life unwinning wish or 

night or day. 
" Ah say, wots she my love when her I spied o At the high lattice shedding 

sunlike ray?" 
Her glances, keener than the brand when bared o Cleave soul of man nor ever 

'scapes her prey : 
I looked on her in lattice pierced aloft o When bare her cheat of veil that 

slipped away ; 
And shot me thence a shaft my liver pierced o When thrall to care and dire 

despair I lay. 
Knowst thou, O Fawn o' the palace, how for thee o I fared from farness o'er 

the lands astray ? 
Then read my writ, dear friends, and show some ruth o To wight who wones 

black-faced, distraught, sans stay ! 

And when he ended inditing, he folded up the letter. Now the 
merchant's wife aforesaid, who was the nurse of the king's 
daughter, was watching him from a window, unknown of him, 
and when she saw him writing and reciting, she knew that some rare 
tale attached to him ; so she went in to him and said, " Peace be 
with thee, O afflicted wight, who acquaintest not leach with thy 
plight ! Verily, thou exposest thy life to grievous blight. I con* 
jure thee by the virtue of Him who hath afflicted thee and with 
the constraint of love-liking hath stricken thee, that thou acquaint 
me with thine affair and disclose to me the truth of thy secret ; far 
that indeed I have heard from thee verses which trouble the mind 
and melt the body." Accordingly he acquainted her with his 
case and enjoined her to secrecy, whereof she consented, saying, 
"What shall be the recompense of whoso goeth with thy letter 
and bringeth thee its reply ? " He bowed his head for shame 
before her and was silent ; and she said to him, " Raise thy head 
and give me thy writ " : so he gave her the letter and she hent 
it and carrying it to the Princess, said to her, " Take this epistle 
and give me its answer." Now the dearest of all things to Mariyah 
was the recitation of poesy and verses and linked rhymes and the 
twanging of lute-strings, and she was versed in all tongues ; where- 
fore she took the writ and opening it, read that which was therein 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 2 1 3 

and understood its purport. Then she threw it to the ground and 
cried, " O nurse, I have no answer to make to this letter." Quoth 
the nurse, " Indeed, this is weakness in thee and a reproach to thee, 
for that the people of the world have heard of thee and commend 
thee for keenness of wit and understanding; so dothou return him 
an answer, such as shall trick his heart and tire his soul." Quoth 
she, " O nurse, who may be the man who presumeth upon me with 
this correspondence ? Haply 'tis the stranger youth who gave my 
father the rubies." The woman said, " It is himself/' and Mariyah 
said, " I will answer his letter in such fashion that thou shalt not 
bring me other than it." Cried the nurse, "So be it" 1 There- 
upon the Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote these 
couplets : 

Thou art bold in the copy thou sentest ! May be o 'Twill increase the dule 

foreign wight must dree ! 
Thou hast spied me with glance that bequeaths thee woe o Ah ! far is thy hope, 

a mere foreigner's plea ! 
Who art thou, poor freke, that wouldst win my love o Wi* thy verse ? What 

seeks thine insanity ? 
An thou hope for my favours and greed therefor ; o Where find thee a leach 

for such foolish gree ? 
Then rhyme-linking leave and fool-like be not o Hanged to Cross at the 

doorway of ignomy ! 
Deem not that to thee I incline, O youth ! a 'Mid the Sons of the Path 8 is no 

place for me. 
Thou art homeless waif in the wide wide world ; o So return thee home where 

they keen for thee : 8 
Leave verse-spouting, O thou who a-wold dost wone, o Or minstrel shall name 

thee in lay and glee : 
How many a friend who would meet his love o Is baulked when the goal is 

right clear to see I 
So begone and ne'er grieve for what canst not win o Albe time be near, yet 

thy grasp 'twill flee. 
Now such is my say and the tale I'd tell ; a So master my meaning and fare 

thee well ! 

1 On such occasions the old woman (and Easterns are hard de dolo vetularum) always 
assents to the sayings of her prey, well knowing what the doings will inevitably be. 

2 Travellers, Nomads, Wild Arabs. 

8 Whither they bear thee back dead with the women crying and keening. 

2 1 4 Supplemental Nights. 

When Mariyah had made an end of her verses, she folded the 
letter and delivered it to the nurse, who hent it and went with it 
to Al-Abbas. When she gave it to him, he took it and breaking 
it open, read it and comprehended its contents; and when he reached 
the end of it, he swooned away. After awhile, he came to him- 
self and cried, " Praise be to Allah who hath caused her return a 
reply to my writ ! Canst thou carry her another missive, and with 
Allah Almighty be thy requital ? " Said she, " And what shall 
letters profit thee, seeing that such is her reply;" but he said, 
" Peradventure, she may yet be softened." Then he took ink-case 
and paper and wrote these couplets : 

Reached me the writ and what therein didst write, o Whence grew my pain 

and bane and blight : 
I read the marvel-lines made wax my love o And wore my body out till slightest 

Would Heaven ye wot the whole I bear for love o Of you, with vitals clean for 

you undight ! 
And all I do t' outdrive you from my thought o 'Vails naught and 'gainst th* 

obsession loses might : 
Couldst for thy lover feel'twould ease his soul ; o E'en thy dear Phantom would 

his sprite delight ! 
Then on my weakness lay not coyness-load o Nor in such breach of troth be 

traitor-wight : 
And, weet ye well, for this your land I fared o Hoping to 'joy the union-boon 

forthright : 
How many a stony wold for this I spanned ; o How oft I waked when men 

kept watch o' night ! 

To fare fro' another land for sight of you o Love bade, while length of way for- 
bade my sprite : 
So by His name 2 who molt my frame, have ruth, o And quench the flames thy 

love in me did light : 
Thou fillest, arrayed with glory's robes and rays, o Heaven's stars with joy and 

Luna with despight. 
Then who dare chide or blame me for my love * Of one that can all Beauty's 

boons unite ? 

1 Arab. Aznam = emaciated me. 
* Either the Deity or the Love -god. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 2 1 5 

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the 
letter and delivering it to the nurse, charged her keep the secret. 
So she took it and carrying it to Mariyah, gave it to her* The 
Princess broke it open and read it and apprehended its purport ; 
then cried she, " By Allah, O nurse, my heart is chagrined with 
exceeding chagrin, never knew I a sorer, because of this corre- 
spondence and of these verses." And the nurse made answer to 
her, " O my lady, thou art in thy dwelling and thy palace and thy 
heart is void of care ; so return him a reply and reck not." 
Accordingly, the Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote 
these couplets : 

Ho thou who wouldst vaunt thee of cark and care ; o How many love-molten, 

tryst-craving be there ? 
An hast wandered the. wold in the murks of night o Bound afar and anear on 

the tracks to fare, 
And to eyne hast forbidden the sweets of sleep, o Borne by Devils and Marids 

to dangerous lair ; 
And beggest my boons, O in tribe-land 1 homed o And to urge thy wish and 

desire wouldst dare ; 
Now, woo Patience fair, an thou bear in mind o What The Ruthful promised 

to patient prayer ! 2 
How many a king for my sake hath vied, * Craving love and in marriage 

with me to pair. 
Al-Nabhdn sent, when a- wooing me, o Camels baled with musk and Nadd 

scenting air, 
They brought camphor in boxes and like thereof o Of pearls and rubies that 

countless were ; 
Brought pregnant lasses and negro-lads, o Blood steeds and arms and gear 

rich and rare ; 
Brought us raiment of silk and of sendal sheen, o And came courting us but no 

bride he bare : 
Nor could win his wish, for I 'bode content o To part with far parting and love 

forswear j 
So for me greed not, O thou stranger wight o Lest thou come to ruin and dire 

despair i 

1 Arab. " Hima " = the tribal domain, a word which has often occurred. 
a " O ye who believe ! seek help through patience and prayer : verily, Allah is* with 
the patient.*' Koran ii. 148. The passage refers to one of the battles, Bedr or Ohod. 

2 1 6 Supplemental Nights. 

When she had made an end of her verses, she folded the letter and 
delivered it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to Al- Abbas. 
He broke it open and read it and comprehended its contents ; then 
took ink-case and paper and wrote these improvised couplets : 

Thou hast told me the tale of the Kings, and of them o Each was rending 

lion, a furious foe : 
And thou stolest the wits of me, all of them o And shotst me with shaft of 

thy magic bow : 
Thou hast boasted of slaves and of steeds and wealth ; o And of beauteous 

lasses ne'er man did know ; 
How presents in mighty store didst spurn, o And disdainedst lovers both high 

and low : 
Then I followed their tracks in desire for thee, o With naught save my scymitar 

keen of blow ; 
Nor slaves nor camels that run have I ; o Nor slave-girls the litters enveil, 

ah, no! 
But grant me union and soon shalt sighto My trenchant blade with the 

foeman's woe ; 
Shalt see the horsemen engird Baghdad o Like clouds that wall the whole 

world below, 
Obeying behests which to them I deal o And hearing the words to the foes I 

throw ! 
An of negro chattels ten thousand head o Wouldst have, or Kings who be 

proud and prow, 

Or chargers led for thee day by day * And virgin girls high of bosom, lo ! 
Al-Yaman land my command doth bear o And my biting blade to my foes I 

I have left this all for the sake o* thee, o Left Aziz and my kinsmen for ever- 

mo'e ; 
And made Al-Irdk making way to thee o Under nightly murks over rocks 

arow ; 
When the couriers brought me account of thee o Thy beauty, perfection, and 

sunny glow, 
Then I sent thee verses whose very sound o Burns the heart of shame with a 

fiery throe ; 
Yet the world with falsehood hath falsed me, o Though Fortune was never so 

false as thou, 
Who dubbest me stranger and homeless one o A witless fool and a slave-girl's 


Then he folded the letter and committed it to the nurse and gave 
her five hundred dinars, saying, tt Accept this from me, for by 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 217 

Allah thou hast indeed wearied thyself between us." She replied, 
"By Allah, O my lord, my aim is to bring about forgathering 
between you, though I lose that which my right hand possesseth." 
And he said, " May the Lord of All-might requite thee with good !" 
Then she carried the letter to Mariyah and said to her, " Take 
this letter ; haply it may be the end of the correspondence." So 
she took it and breaking it open, read it, and when she had made 
an end of it, she turned to the nurse and said to her, " This one 
foisteth lies upon me and asserteth unto me that he hath cities 
and horsemen and footmen at his command and submitting to his 
allegiance ; and he wisheth of me that which he shall not win j 
for thou knowest, O nurse, that kings' sons have sought me in 
marriage, with presents and rarities ; but I have paid no heed unto 
aught of this ; how, then, shall I accept of this fellow, who is the 
ignoramus of his time and possesseth naught save two caskets of 
rubies, which he gave to my sire, and indeed he hath taken up his 
abode in the house of Al-Ghitrif and abideth without silver or 
gold ? Wherefore, Allah upon thee, O nurse, return to him 
and cut off his hope of me." Accordingly the nurse rejoined 
Al- Abbas, without letter or answer ; and when she came ii* 
to him, he looked at her and saw that she was troubled, 
and he noted the marks of anger on her face; so he said 
to her, " What is this plight ? " Quoth she, " I cannot set forth 
to thee that which Mariyah said ; for indeed she charged me 
return to thee without writ or reply." Quoth he, " O nurse of 
kings, I would have thee carry her this letter and return not 
to her without it." Then he took ink-case and paper and wrote 
these couplets: 

My secret now to men is known though hidden well and true o By me : enough 

is that I have of love and love of you : 
! left familiars, friends, and kin to weep the loss of me o With floods of tears 

which like the tide aye flowed and flowed anew J 
Then, left my home myself I bore to Baghdad-town one day, o When parting 

drave me there his pride and cruelty to rue : 

2 1 8 Supplemental Nights. 

I have indeed drained all the bowl whose draught repression 1 was o Handed 

by friend who bitter gourd 2 therein for drinking threw. 
And, oft as strove I to enjoin the ways of troth and faith, * So often on 

refusal's path he left my soul to sue. 
Indeed my body molten is with care I'm doomed dree ; o And yet I hoped 

relenting and to win some grace, my due. 
But wrong and rigour waxed on me and changed to worse my case ; o And 

love hath left me weeping-eyed for woes that aye pursue. 
How long must I keep watch for you throughout the nightly gloom ? * How 

many a path of pining pace and garb of grief endue ? 
And you, what while you joy your sleep, your restful pleasant sleep, o Reck 

naught of sorrow and of shame that to your friend accrue : 
For wakefulness I watched the stars before the peep o' day, o Praying that 

union with my dear in bliss my soul imbrue ; 
Indeed the throes of long desire laid waste my frame and I o Rise every morn 

in weaker plight with hopes e'er fewer few : 
"Be not (I say) so hard of heart ! " for did you only deign o In phantom guise 

to visit me 'twere joy enough to view. 
But when ye saw my writ ye grudged to me the smallest boon o And cast 

adown the flag of faith though well my troth ye knew ; 
Nor aught of answer you vouchsafe, albe you wot full well o The words 

therein address the heart and pierce the spirit through. 
You deemed yourself all too secure for changes of the days * And of the far 

and near alike you ever careless grew. 
Hadst thou (dear maid) been doomed like me to woes, forsure hadst felt o 

The lowe of love and Lazd-hell which parting doth enmew ; 
Yet soon shall suffer torments such as those from thee I bear And storm of 

palpitation-pangs in vitals thine shall brew : 
Yea, thou shalt taste the bitter smack of charges false and foul, o And public 

make the privacy best hid from meddling crew ; 
And he thou lovest shall approve him hard of heart and soul o And heedless 

of the shifts of Time thy very life undo. 
Then hear the fond Salam I send and wish thee every day o While swayeth 

spray and sparkleth star all good thy life ensue ! 

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the 
scroll and gave it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to 
Mariyah. When she came into the Princess's presence, she saluted 
her ; but Mariyah returned not her salutation and she said, " O my 

1 Arab. "Sirr" (a secret) and afterwards " Kitmn " (concealment) i.e. Keeping a 
lover down-hearted. 
8 Arab. " 'Alkam " = the bitter gourd, colocynth ; more usually " Hanzal." 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 219 

lady, how hard is thy heart that thou grudgest to return the salam ' 
Accept this letter, because 'tis the last that shall come to thee from 
him." Quoth Mariyah, " Take my warning and never again enter 
my palace, or 'twill be the cause of thy destruction ; for I am 
certified that thou purposest my disgrace. So get thee gone from 
me " And she bade beat the nurse who went forth fleeing from 
her presence, changed of colour and 'wildered of wits, and gave 
not over going till she came to the house of Al-Abbas^ When the 
Prince saw her in this plight, he became like a sleeper awakened 
and cried to her, " What hath befallen thee ? Acquaint me with 
thy case." She replied, " Allah upon thee, nevermore send me to 
Mariyah, and do thou protect me, so the Lord protect thee from 
the fires of Gehenna ! " Then she related to him that which had 
betided her with Mariyah which when Al-Abbas heard, there took 
him the pride and high spirit of the generous and this was grievous 
to him. The love of Mariyah fled forth of his heart and he said 
to the nurse, " How much hadst thou of Mariyah every month ? " 
Quoth she, " Ten dinars " and quoth he, " Be not concerned." Then 
he put hand to pouch and bringing out two hundred ducats, gave 
them to her and said, " Take this wage for a whole year and turn 
not again to serve anyone of the folk. When the twelvemonth 
shall have passed away, I will give thee a two years' wage, for that 
thou hast wearied thyself with us and on account of the cutting 
ofif the tie which bound thee to Mariyah." Also he gifted her with a 
complete suit of clothes and raising his head to her, said, " When 
thou toldest me that which Mariyah had done with thee, Allah 
uprooted the love of her from out my heart, and never again will 
she occur to my thought ; so extolled be He who turneth hearts 
and eyes !, 'Twas she who was the cause of my coming out from 
Al-Yaman, and now the time is past for which I engaged with my 
folk and I fear lest my father levy his forces and ride forth in 
quest of me, for that he hath no child other than myself nor can 
he brook to be parted from me ; and in like way 'tis with my 

22O Supplemental Nights. 

mother." When the nurse heard his words, she asked him, "O 
my lord, and which of the kings is thy sire ? " He answered, 
saying, " My father is Al-Aziz, lord of Al-Yaman, and Nubia and 
the Islands 1 of the Banu Kahtan, and the Two Sanctuaries 2 (Allah 
of All-might have them in His keeping !), and whenever he taketh 
horse, there ride with him an hundred and twenty and four thousand 
horsemen, each and every smiters with the sword, besides attendants 
and servants and followers, all of whom give ear to my word 
and obey my bidding." Asked the nurse, " Why, then, O my lord, 
didst thou conceal the secret of thy rank and lineage and passedst 
thyself off for a foreigner and a wayfarer ? Alas for our disgrace 
before thee by reason of our shortcoming in rendering thee thy 
due ! What shall be our excuse with thee, and thou of the sons 
of the kings ? " But he rejoined, " By Allah, thou hast not fallen 
short ! Indeed, 'tis incumbent on me to requite thee, what while 
I live, though from thee I be far distant." Then he called his man 
Amir and said to him, "Saddle the steeds." When the nurse 
heard 'his words and indeed she saw that Amir brought him the 
horses and they were resolved upon departure, the tears ran down 
upon her cheeks and she said to him, " By Allah, thy separation is 
saddening to me, O coolth of the eye ! " Then quoth she, " Where 
is the goal of thine intent, so we may know thy news and solace 
ourselves with thy report ?" Quoth he, " I go hence to visit 'Akfl, 
the son of my paternal uncle, for that he hath his sojourn in the 
camp of Kundah bin Hishdm, and these twenty years have I not 
seen him nor hath he seen me ; so I purpose to repair to him 
and discover his news and return. Then will I go hence to 
Al-Yaman, Inshallah ! " So saying, he took leave of the nurse 
and her husband and set out, intending for Akil, the son of his 
father's brother. Now there was between Baghdad and AkiPs 

1 ' For Jazfrah " = insula, island, used in the sense of " peninsula,*' see vol. i. 2. 

2 Meccah and Al-Medinah. Pilgrimage L 338 and ii. 57, used in the proverb " Sharr 
fi al-Haramayn" = wickedness in the two Holy Places. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 221 

abiding-place forty days' journey; so Al- Abbas settled himself 
on the back of his steed and his servant Amir mounted also and 
they fared forth on their way. Presently, Al-Abbas turned right 
and left and recited these couplets : 

Pm the singular knight and my peers I slay ! o I lay low the foe and his whole 

array : 
I fare me to visit my friend Al-Akfl, o And in safety and Allah-lauds 1 shorten 

the way ; 
And roll up the width of the wold while still o Hears 'Amir my word or in 

earnest or play. 8 
I spring with the spring of a lynx or a pard o Upon whoso dareth our course 

to stay ; 
O'erthrow him in ruin and abject shame, o Make him drain the death-cup in 

fatal fray. 
My lance is long with its steely blade ; o A brand keen-grided, thin-edged I 

sway : 
With a stroke an it fell on a towering hill o Of the hardest stone, this would 

cleave in tway : 
I lead no troops, nor seek aid save Cod's, o The creating Lord (to whom laud 

alway !) 
On Whom I rely in adventures all o And Who pardoneth liches of freeman and 


Then they fell a-faring night and day, and as they went, behold, 
they sighted a camp of the camps of the Arabs. So Al-Abbas 
enquired thereof and was told that it was the camp of the Banu 
Zohrah. Now there were around them herds and flocks, such as 
filled the earth, and they were enemies to Al-Akil, the cousin of 
Al-Abbas, upon whom they made daily raids and took his cattle, 
wherefore he used to pay them tribute every year because he 
lacked power to cope with them. When Al-Abbas came to the 
skirts of the camp, he dismounted from his destrier and his servant 
Amir also dismounted ; and they set down the provaunt and 
ate their sufficiency and rested an hour of the da>c. Then said 
the Prince to his page, " Fetch water from the well and give the 

1 Arab. Al-hamd (o li'llah). 

* i.e. play, such as the chase, or an earnest matter, such as war, etc. 

222 Supplemental Nights. 

horses to-Hnkjmd draw up a supply for us in thy bag, 1 by way 
of provision for the road." So Amir took the water-skin and 
made for the well ; but, when he came there, behold, two young 
men slaves were leading gazelles, and when they saw him, they said 
to him, "Whither wendest thou, O youth, and of which of the 
Arabs art thou?" Quoth he, * Harkye, lads, fill me my water- 
skin, for that I am a stranger astray and a farer of the way, and 
I have a comrade who awaiteth me." Quoth the thralls,." Thou 
art no wayfarer, but a spy from Al-Akil's camp." Then they 
took him and carried him to their king Zuhayr bin Shabfb ; and 
when he came before him, he said to him, "Of which of the 
Arabs art thou ? " Quoth Amir, " I am a wayfarer." So 
Zuhayr said, " Whence comest thou and whither wendest 
thou ? " and Amir replied, " I am on my way to Al-Akil." When 
he named Al-Akil, those who were present were excited ; but 
Zuhayr signed to them with his eyes and asked him, "What 
is thine errand with Al-Akil ? " and he answered, " We would 
fain see him, my friend and I." As soon as Zuhayr heard his words, 
he bade smite his neck ; 2 but his Wazir said to him, " Slay 
him not, till his friend be present." So he commanded the two 
slaves to fetch his friend ; whereupon they repaired to Al- Abbas 
and called to him, saying, " O youth, answer the summons of 
King Zuhayr." He enquired, " What would the king with me ? " 
and they replied, "We know not/' Quoth he, "Who gave the 
king news of me ? " and quoth they, " We went to draw water, 
and found a man by the well. So we questioned him of his case, 

1 Arab. "Mizwad," or Mizwad = lit. provision-bag, from Zdd = viaticum; after- 
wards calkd Kirbah (pron. Girbah, the popular term), and Sakl. The latter is given 
in the Dictionaries as Askalah = scala, echelle, stage, plank. 

1 Those blood-feuds are most troublesome to the traveller, who may inlayed by 
them for months : and, until a peace be patched up, he will never be aODwed to pass 
from one tribe to their enemies. A quarrel of the kind prevented my crossing Arabia 
from Al-Medinah to Maskat (Pilgrimage, ii. 297), and another in Africa from visiting 
the bead of the Tanganyika Lake. In all such journeys the traveller who has to fight 
against Time is almost sure to lose. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 223 

but he would not acquaint us therewith, wherefore we carried 
him willy-nilly to King Zuhayr, who asked him of his adventure 
and he told him that he .was going to Al-Akil. Now Al-Akil 
is the king's enemy and he intendeth to betake himself to his 
camp and make prize of his offspring, and cut off his traces." 
Said Al-Abbas, "And what hath Al-Akil done with King 
Zuhayr ?" They replied, " He engaged for himself that he would 
bring the King every year a thousand dinars and a thousand 
she-camels, besides a thousand head of thoroughbred steeds and 
two hundred black slaves and fifty hand-maids ; but it hath 
reached the king that Al-Akil purposeth to give naught of this ; 
wherefore he is minded to go to him. So hasten thou with us, 
ere the King be wroth with thee and with us." Then said Al- 
Abbas to them, " O youths, sit by my weapons and my stallion 
till I return." But they said, " By Allah, thou prolongest dis- 
course with that which beseemeth not of words ! Make haste, 
or we will go with thy head, for indeed the King purposeth 
to slay thee and to slay thy comrade and take that which is 
with you." When the Prince heard this, his skin bristled with 
rage and he cried out at them with a cry which made them 
tremble. Then he sprang upon his horse and settling himself 
in the saddle, galloped till he came to the King's assembly, when 
he shouted at the top of his voice, saying, " To horse, O horse- 
men ! " and couched his spear at the pavilion wherein was Zuhayr. 
Now there were about the King a thousand smiters with the sword ; 
but Al-Abbas charged home upon them and dispersed them from 
around him ; and there abode none in the tent save Zuhayr and 
his Wazir. Then Al-Abbas came up to the door of the tent 
wherein were four-and-twenty golden doves; so he took them, 
after he had tumbled them down with the end of his lance. 
Then he called out saying, " Ho, Zuhayr ! Doth it not suffice 
thee that thou hast abated Al-Akil's repute, but thou art minded 
to abate that of those who sojourn round about him ? Knowest 

224 Supplemental Nights. 

thou not that he is of the lieutenants of Kundah bin Hisham 
of the Banu Shayban, a man renowned for prowess ? Indeedi 
greed of his gain hath entered into thee and envy of him hath 
gotten the mastery of thee. Doth it not suffice thee that thoul 
hast orphaned his children 1 and slain his men? By the virtue 
of Mustafa, the Chosen Prophet, I will make thee drain the cup 
of death ! " So saying, he bared his brand and smiting Zuhayr 
on his shoulder-blade caused the steel issue gleaming from his 
throat tendons; then he smote the Wazir and clove his crown 
asunder. As he was thus, behold, Amir called out to him and 
said, "O my lord, come help me, or I be a dead man I" So 
Al-Abbas went up to him guided by his voice, and found him cast 
down on his back and chained with four chains to four pickets 
of iron. 2 He loosed his bonds and said to him, " Go in front 
of me, O Amir.' 1 So he fared on before him a little, and pre- 
sently they looked, and, behold, horsemen were making to 
Zuhayr's succour, and they numbered twelve thousand riders 
led by Sahl bin Ka'ab bestriding a coal-black steed. He 
charged upon Amir, who fled from him, then upon Al-Abbas,' 
who said, " O Amir, hold fast to my horse and guard my back." 
The page did as he bade him, whereupon Al-Abbas cried out at 
the folk and falling upon them, overthrew their braves and 
slew of them some two thousand riders, whilst not one of them 
knew what was to do nor with whom he fought. Then said 
one of them to other, " Verily, the King is slain ; so with whom 
do we wage war ? Indeed ye flee from him ; but 'twere better 
ye enter under his banners, or not one of you will be saved." 
Thereupon all dismounted and doffing that which was upon 
them of war-gear, came before Al-Abbas and proffered him 

1 *.*. his fighting-men. 

2 The popular treatment of a detected horse-thief, for which see Burckhardt> TrasU 
|n Arabia (1829), and Notes on the Bedouins and Wahabys (1830). > 

pf King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 22$ 

allegiance and sued for his protection. .So he withheld his 
brand from them and bade them gather together the spoils. 
Then he took the riches and the slaves and the camels, and 
they all became his lieges and his retainers, to the number (accor- 
ding to that which is reported) of fifty thousand hors* Further- 
more, the folk heard of him and flocked to him from, all' sides; 
whereupon he divided the loot amongst them and gave largesse 
and dwelt thus three days, and there came gifts to him. 
After this he bade march for Al-Akil's abiding place ; so 
they faced on six days and on the seventh they sighted the 
camp^ Al-Abbas bade his man Amir precede him and give 
Al^/ikil the good news of his cousin's coming; so he rode on 
to the camp and, going in to Al-Akil, acquainted him with the 
glad tidings of Zuhayr's slaughter and the conquest of his clan. 1 
Al-Akil rejoiced in the coming of Al-Abbas and the slaughter 
of his enemy and all in his camp rejoiced also and cast robes 
of honour upon Amir ; while Al-Akil bade go forth to meet 
Al-Abbas, and commanded that none, great or small, freeman or 
slave, should tarry behind. So they did his bidding and going 
forth all, met Al-Abbas at three parasangs' distance from the camp ; 
and when they met him, they dismounted from their horses 
and Al-Akil and he embraced and clapped palm to palm. 2 Then 
rejoicing in the coming of At-Abbas and the killing of their 
foeman, they returned to the camp, where tents were pitched for 
the new-comers and skin-rugs spread and game slain and beasts 
slaughtered and royal guest-meals spread ; and after this fashion 
they abode twenty days in the enjoyment of all delight of life On 
this wise fared it with Al-Abbas and his cousin Al-Akil ; but 
as regards King Al-Aziz, when his son left him, he was desolated 
for him with exceeding desolation, both he and his mother ; and 

1 Arab. " Ashfrah" : see vol. vii. 121. 
*Arab. " Musafahah" : see vol. vi. 287. 

aa6 Supplemental Nights. 

when tidings of him tarried long and the tryst-time passed 
without his returning, the king caused public proclamation to be 
made, commanding all his troops to get ready to mount and 
ride forth in quest of his son Al-Abbas, at the end of three days, 
after which no cause of hindrance or excuse would be admitted 
to any.* So on the fourth day, the king bade muster the troops 
who numbered four-and-twenty thousand horse, besides servants 
and followers. Accordingly, they reared the standards and the 
kettle-drums beat the general and the king set out with his power 
intending for Baghdad ; nor did he cease to press forward with all 
diligence, till he came within half a day's journey of the city, 
when he bade his army encamp on the Green Meadow. There 
they pitched the tents, till the lowland was straitened with them, 
and set up for the king a pavilion of green brocade, purfled with 
pearls and precious stones. When Al-Aziz had sat awhile, he 
summoned the Mamelukes of his son Al-Abbas, and they were 
five-and-twenty in number besides ten slave-girls, as they were 
moons, five of whom the king had brought with him and other 
five he had left with the prince's mother. When the Mamelukes 
came before him, he cast over each and every of them a mantle of 
green brocade and bade them mount similar horses of one and the 
same fashion and enter Baghdad and ask after their lord Al-Abbas. 
So they rode into the city and passed through the market-streets 
and there remained in Baghdad nor old man nor boy but came 
forth to gaze on them and divert himself with the sight of their 
beauty and loveliness and the seemliness of their semblance and 
the goodliness of their garments and horses, for all were even as 
moons. They gave not over going till they came to the palace, 1 
where they halted, and the king looked at them and seeing their 
beauty and the brilliancy of their apparel and the brightness of 
their faces, said, " Would Heaven I knew of which of the tribes 

, ~ * Tr 

1 In the text, " To the palace of the king's daughter." 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter, 227 

these are ! " And he bade the Eunuch bring him news of them. The 
castrate went out to them and questioned them of their case, 
whereto they replied, " Return to thy lord and enquire of him con- 
cerning Prince Al- Abbas, an he have come unto him, for that he 
left his sire King Al- Aziz a full-told year ago, and indeed longing for 
him troubleth the King and he hath levied a division of his army 
and his guards and is come forth in quest of his son, so haply 
he may light upon tidings of him/' Quoth the Eunuch, " Is there 
amongst you a brother of his or a son ? " and quoth they, " Nay, 
by Allah, but we are all his Mamelukes and the purchased of his 
money, and his sire Al-Aziz hath sent us to make enquiry of him. 
Do thou go to thy lord and question him of the Prince and return 
to us with that which he shall answer thee." Asked the Eunuch, 
" And where is King Al-Aziz ? " and they answered, " He is 
encamped in the Green Meadow ? " l The Eunuch returned and 
told the king, who said, " Indeed we have been unduly negligent 
with regard to Al-Abbas. What shall be our excuse with the 
King ? By Allah, my soul suggested to me that the youth was 
of the sons of the kings ! " His wife, the Lady Afifah saw him 
lamenting for his neglect of Al-Abbas, and said to him, " O King, 
what is it thou regrettest with this mighty regret ? " Quoth he, 
"Thou knowest the stranger youth, who gifted us with the 
rubies ? " Quoth she, " Assuredly ; " and he, " Yonder youths,, 
who have halted in the palace court, are his Mamelukes, and 
his father, King Al-Aziz, lord of Al-Yaman, hath pitched his camp 
on the Green Meadow, ; for he is come with his army to seek 
him, and the number of his troops is four-and-twenty thousand 
horsemen/' Then he went out from her, and when she heard 
his words, she wept sore for him and had compassion on his case 

1 Arab. " Marj Sail' " = cleft meadow (here and below). Mr. Payne suggests that 
this may be a mistranscription for Marj Sail* (with a Sad) = a treeless champaign. 
It appears to me a careless blunder for the Marj akhzar (green meadow) before 

228 Supplemental Nights. 

and sent after him, counselling him to summon the Mamelukes 
and lodge them in the palace and entertain them. The king 
hearkened to her rede and despatching the Eunuch for the Mame- 
lukes, assigned unto them a lodging and said to them, " Have 
patience, till the King give you tidings of your lord Al-Abbas." 
When they heard his words, their eyes ran over with a rush of 
tears, of their mighty longing for the sight of their lord. Then 
the King bade the Queen enter the private chamber opening upon 
the throne-room and let down the curtain before the door, so she 
might see and not be seen. She did this and he summoned them 
to his presence ; and, when they stood before him, they kissed 
ground to do him honour, and showed forth their courtly breeding 
and magnified his dignity. He ordered them to sit, but they 
refused, till he conjured them by their lord Al-Abbas : accord- 
ingly they sat down and he bade set before them food of various 
kinds and fruits and sweetmeats. Now within the Lady Afifah's 
palace was a souterrain communicating with the pavilion of the 
Princess Mariyah : so the Queen sent after her and she came to 
her, whereupon she made her stand behind the curtain and gave 
her to know that Al-Abbas was son to the King of Al-Yaman and 
that these were his Mamelukes : she also told her that the Prince's 
father had levied his troops and was come with his army in quest 
of him and that he had pitched his camp on the Green Meadow 
and had despatched these Mamelukes to make enquiry of their lord. 
Then Mariyah abode looking upon them and upon their beauty 
and loveliness and the goodliness of their raiment, till they had 
eaten their fill of food and the tables were removed ; whereupon 
the King recounted to them the story of Al-Abbas and they took 
leave of him and went their ways. So fortuned it with the 
Mamelukes ; but as for the Princess Mariyah, when she returned 
to her palace, she bethought herself concerning the affair of 
Al-Abbas, repenting her of what she had done ; and the love of 
him took root in her heart. And, when the night darkened upon 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 22% 

ker, she dismissed all her women and bringing out the letters, 
to wit, those which Al- Abbas had written her, fell to reading them 
and weeping. She left not weeping her night long, and when 
she arose in the morning, she called a damsel of her slave-girls, 
Shaf/kah by name, and said to her, " O damsel, I purpose to 
discover to thee mine affair and I charge thee keep my secret, 
which is that thou betake thyself to the house of the nurse, who 
used to serve me, and fetch her to me, for that I have grave 
need of her." Accordingly, Shafikah went out and repairing to 
the nurse's house, entered and found her clad in clothing other 
and richer than what she had whilome been wont to wear. So 
she saluted her and asked her, " Whence hadst thou this dress, 
than which there is no goodlier ? " Answered the nurse, " 
Shafikah, thou deemest that I have seen no good save of thy 
mistress ; but, by Allah, had I endeavoured for her destruction, 
I had acted righteously, seeing that she did with me what she did 
and bade the Eunuch beat me, without offence by me offered : 
so tell her that he, on whose behalf I bestirred myself with her, 
hath made me independent of her and her humours, for he hath 
habited me in this habit and given me two hundred and fifty 
dinars and promised me the like every year and charged me 
to serve none of the folk." Quoth Shafikah, " My mistress hath a 
need for thee ; so come thou with me and I will engage to restore 
thee to thy dwelling in safety and satisfaction." But quoth the 
nurse, " Indeed her palace is become unlawful and forbidden to 
me ! and never again will I enter therein, for that Allah (extolled 
and exalted be He !) of His favour and bounty hath rendered me 
independent of her." Presently Shafikah returned to her mistress 
and acquainted her with the nurse's words and that wherein she 
was of prosperity ; whereupon Mariyah confessed her unmannerly 

1 The palace, even without especial and personal reasons, not being the place for a 

religious and scrupulous woman.. 

230 Supplemental Nights. 

dealing with her and repented when repentance profited her not ; 
and she abode in that her case days and nights, whilst the fire of 
longing flamed in her heart On this wise happened it to her ; but 
as regards Al-Abbas, he tarried with his cousin Al-Akil twenty 
days, after which he made ready for the journey to Baghdad and 
bidding bring the booty he had taken from King Zuhayr, divided 
it between himself and his cousin. Then he sent out a-marching 
Baghdad-wards and when he came within two days' journey of the 
city, he summoned his servant Amir and said to him, " Mount thy 
charger and forego me with the caravan and the cattle." So 
Amir took horse and fared on till he came to Baghdad, and the 
season of his entering was the first of the day ; nor was there in 
the city little child or old greybeard but came forth to divert 
himself with gazing on those flocks and herds and upon the beauty 
of those slave-girls ; and their wits were wildered at what they saw. 
Soon afterwards the news reached the king that the young man Al- 
Abbas, who had gone forth from him, was come back with booty and 
rarities and black slaves and a conquering host and had taken up 
his sojourn without the city, whilst his servant Amir was presently 
come to Baghdad, so he might get ready for his lord dwelling- 
places wherein he should take up his abode. When the King 
heard these tidings of Amir, he sent for him and caused bring him 
before him ; and when he entered his presence, he kissed the 
ground and saluted with the salam and showed his fine breeding 
and greeted him with the goodliest of greetings. The King bade 
him raise his head and, this done, questioned him of his lord 
Al-Abbas ; whereupon he acquainted him with his adventures and 
told him that which had betided him with King Zuhayr and of the 
army that was become at his command and of the spoil he had 
secured. He also gave him to know that Al-Abbas was to arrive 
on the morrow, and with him more than fifty thousand cavaliers, 
obedient to his orders. When the king heard his words, he bade 
decorate Baghdad and commanded the citizens to equip themselves 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 23 1 

with the richest of their apparel, in honour of the coming of 
Al-Abbas. Furthermore, he sent to give King Al-Aziz the glad 
tidings of his son's return and informed him of all which he had 
heard from the Prince's servant. When the news reached King 
Al-Aziz, he joyed with exceeding joy in the approach of his son and 
straightway took horse, he and all his host, while the trumpets 
blared and the musicians played, so that the earth quaked and 
Baghdad also trembled, and it was a notable day. When Mariyah 
beheld all this, she repented in all possible penitence of that which 
she had done against Al-Abbas and the fires of desire raged in her 
vitals. Meanwhile, the troops 1 sallied forth of Baghdad and went 
out to meet those of Al-Abbas, who had halted in a garth called 
the Green Island. When he espied the approaching host, he 
strained his sight and, seeing horsemen coming and troops and 
footmen he knew not, said to those about him, " Among yonder 
troops are flags and banners of various kinds ; but, as for the great 
green standard that ye see, 'tis the standard of my sire, the which 
is reserved to him and never displayed save over his head, and 
thus I know that he himself is come out in quest of me." And 
he was certified of this, he and his troops. So he fared on towards 
them and when he drew near them, he knew them and they knew 
him ; whereupon they lighted down from their horses and saluting 
him, gave him joy of his safety and the folk flocked to him. 
When he came to his father, they embraced and each greeted 
other a long time, whilst neither of them could utter a word, for 
the greatness of that which betided them of joy in reunion. Then 
Al-Abbas bade the folk take horse; so they mounted and his 
Mamelukes surrounded him and they entered Baghdad on the 
most splendid wise and in the highest honour and glory. Now 
the wife of the shopkeeper, that is, the nurse, came out, with the 

1 " i.e. those of El Aziz, who had apparently entered the city or passed through it on 
their way to the camp of El Abbas." This is Mr. Payne's suggestion. 

232 Supplemental Nights. 

rest of those who flocked forth, to divert herself with gazing upon 
the show, and -when she saw Al-Abbas and beheld his beauty and 
the beauty of his host and that which he had brought back with 
him of herds and slave-girls, Mamelukes and negroes, she impro- 
vised and recited these couplets : 

Al-AbMs from the side of Akfl is come ; o Caravans and steeds he hath 

plundered : 
Yea ; horses he brought of pure blood, whose necks o Ring with collars like 

anklets wher'er they are led. 
With domed hoofs they pour torrent-like, o As they prance through dust on 

the level stead : 
And bestriding their saddles come men of war, o Whose fingers play on the 

kettle-drum's head : 
And couched are their lances that bear the points o Keen grided, which nil 

every soul with dread : 
Who wi* them would fence draweth down his death o For one deadly lunge 

soon Shall do him dead : 
Charge, comrades, charge ye and ghie me joy, o Saying, " Welcome to thee, 

O our dear comrkde ! n 
And who joys at his meeting shall 'joy delight o Of large gifts when he from 

his steed shall 'light. 

When the troops entered Baghdad, each of them alighted in his 
tent, whilst Al-Abbas encamped apart on a place near the Tigris 
and issued orders to slaughter for the soldiers, each day, that which 
should suffice them of oxen and sheep and to bake them bread 
and spread the tables : so the folk ceased not to come to him and 
eat of his banquet. Furthermore, all the country-people flocked 
to him with presents and rarities and he requited them many times 
the like of their gifts, so that the lands were filled with his renown 
and the fame of him was bruited abroad among the habitants of wold 
and town. Then, as soon as he rode to the house he had bought, 
the shopkeeper and his wife came to him and gave him joy of his 
safety; whereupon he ordered them three head of swift steeds 
and thoroughbred and ten dromedaries and an hundred head of 
sheep and clad them both in costly robes of honour. Presently he 
chose out ten slave-girls and ten negro slaves and fifty mares and 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 233 

the like number of she-camels and three hundred of sheep, 
together with twenty ounces of musk and as many of camphor, 
and sent all this to the King of Baghdad. When the present 
came to Ins bin Kays, his wit fled for joy and he was perplexed 
wherewith to requite him. Al-Abbas also gave gifts and largesse 
and bestowed robes of honour upon noble and simple, each after 
the measure of his degree, save only Mariyah ; for to her indeed he 
sent nothing. This was grievous to the Princess and it irked her 
sore that he should not remember her ; so she called her slave- 
girl Shafikah and said to her, " Hie thee to Al-Abbas and salute 
him and say to him : What hindereth thee from sending my lady 
Mariyah her part of thy booty ? " So Shafikah betook herself to 
him and when she came to his door, the chamberlains refused her 
admission, until they should have got for her leave and permission. 
When she entered, Al-Abbas knew her and knew that she had 
somewhat of speech with him ; so he dismissed his Mamelukes 
and asked her, " What is thine errand, O hand-maid of good ? " 
Answered she, " O my lord, I am a slave-girl of the Princess 
Mariyah, who kisseth thy hands and offereth her salutation to thee. 
Indeed, she rejoiceth in thy safety and blameth thee for that thou 
breakest her heart, alone of all the folk, because thy largesse 
embraceth great and small, yet hast thou not remembered her with 
anything of thy plunder, as if thou hadst hardened thy heart 
against her." Quoth he, " Extolled be He who turneth hearts ! 
By Allah, my vitals were consumed with the love of her ; and, of 
my longing after her I came forth to her from my mother-land 
and left my people and my home and my wealth, and it was with 
her that began the hardheartedness and the cruelty. Natheless, 
for all this, I bear her no malice and there is no help but that I 
send her somewhat whereby she may remember me ; for that I 
sojourn in her country but a few days, after which I set out for the 
land of Al-Yaman." Then he called for a chest and thence bringing 
out a necklace of Greek workmanship, worth a thousand dinars, 

234 Supplemental Nights. 

wrapped it in a mantle of Greek silk, set with pearls and gems and 
purfled with red gold, and joined thereto a couple of caskets con- 
taining musk and ambergris. He also put off upon the girl a 
mantle of Greek silk, striped with gold, wherein were divers 
figures and portraitures depictured, never saw eyes its like. There- 
withal the girl's wit fled for joy and she went forth from his pre- 
sence and returned to her mistress. When she came in to her, she 
acquainted her with that which she had seen of Al- Abbas and that 
which was with him of servants and attendants and set out to her 
the loftiness of his station and gave her that which was with her. 
Mariyah opened the mantle, and when she saw that necklace (and 
indeed the place was illumined with the lustre thereof), she 
looked at her slave-girl and said to her, ** By Allah, O Shafikah, 
one look at him were dearer to me than all that my hand 
possesseth ! Oh, would Heaven I knew what I shall do, when 
Baghdad is empty of him and I hear of him no news ! " Then 
she wept and calling for ink-case and paper and pen of brass, 
wrote these couplets : 

Longsome my sorrows are \ my liver 's fired with ecstasy ; o And severance- 
shaft hath shot me through whence sorest pangs I dree : 

And howso could my soul forget the love I bear to you ? o You-wards my wiM 
perforce returns nor passion sets me free : 

J 'prison all desires I feel for fear of spies thereon * Yet tears that streak my 
cheek betray for every eye to see. 

No place of rest or joy I find to bring me life-delight; * No wine tastes weOj 
nor viands please however savoury : 

Ah me ! to whom shall I complain of case and seek its cure Save unto thee 
whose Phantom deigns to show me sight of thee ? 

Then name me not or chide for aught I did in passion-stress, o With vitab 
gone and frame consumed by yearning-malady I 

Secret I keep the fire of love which aye for severance burns ; o Sworn slave * 
to Love who robs my rest and wakes me cruelly : 

And ceaseth not my thought to gaze upon your ghost by night, * Which falsing 
comes and he I love still, still.unloveth me. 

Awb. " Hatif " ; geo.=an ally. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 23$ 

Would Heaven ye wist the blight that I for you are doomed to bear o For love 

of you, which tortures me with parting agony I 
Then read between the lines I wrote, and mark and learn their sense o For such 

my tale, and Destiny made me an outcast be : 
Learn eke the circumstance of Love and lover's woe nor deign o Divulge its 

mysteries to men nor grudge its secrecy. 

Then she folded the scroll and giving it to her slave-girl, bade her 
bear it to Al-Abbas and bring back his reply. So Shafikah took 
the letter and carried it to the Prince, after the doorkeeper had 
sought leave of him to admit her. When she came in to him, she 
found with him five damsels, as they were moons, clad in rich 
raiment and ornaments ; and when he saw her, he said to her, 
" What is thy need, O hand-maid of good ? " Presently she put out 
her hand to him with the writ, after she had kissed it, and he bade 
one of his slave-girls receive it from her. 1 Then he took it from 
the girl and breaking the seal, read it and comprehended its con- 
tents ; whereupon he cried, " Verily, we be Allah's and unto Him 
we shall return ! " and calling for ink-case and paper, wrote these 
improvised couplets : 

I wonder seeing how thy love to me o Inclined, while I in heart from love 

declined : 
Eke wast thou wont to say in verseful writ, o "Son of the Road * no road to 

me shall find ! 
How oft kings flocked to me with mighty men * And bales on back of Bukhti 8 

beast they bind : 
And noble steeds of purest blood and all o They bore of choicest boons to me 

consigned ; 
Yet won no favour ! " Then came I to woo o And the long tale o' love I had 

I fain set forth in writ of mine, with words o Like strings of pearls in goodly 

line aligned : 

Set forth my sev'rance, griefs, tyrannic wrongs, o And ill device ill-suiting lover- 

1 Not wishing to touch the hand of a strange woman. 
8 i.e. a mere passer-by, a stranger ; alluding to her taunt. 

8 The Bactrian or double-humped dromedary. See vol. iii. 67. Al-Mas'udi (viL 
169) calls it " Jaraal falij," lit = the palsy-camel. 

236 Supplemental Nights. 

How oft love-claimajxt, craving secrecy, o How oft have lovers 'plained as sore 

they pined, 
" How many a brimming bitter cup I've quaffed, o And wept my woes when 

speech was vain as wind ! " 
And thou : " Be patient, 'tis thy bestest course o And choicest medicine for 

mortal mind !" 
Then unto patience worthy praise cleave thou ; o Easy of issue and be lief 

resigned : 
Nor hope thou aught of me lest ill alloy o Or aught of dross affect my blood 

refined : 
Such is my speech. Read, mark, and learn my say ! o To what thou deemest 

ne'er I'll tread the way. 

Then he folded the scroll and sealing it, entrusted it to the damsel, 
who took it and bore it to her mistress. When the Princess read 
the letter and mastered its meaning, she said, "Meseemeth he 
recalleth bygones to me." Then she called for pens, ink, and paper, 
and wrote these couplets : 

Love thou didst show me till I learnt its woe o Then to the growth of grief 

didst severance show : 
I banisht joys of slumber after you o And e'en my pillow garred my wake to 

How long in parting- shall I pine with pain o While severance-spies 1 through 

night watch every throe ? 
IVe left my kingly couch and self withdrew o Therefrom, and taught mine eye- 

lids sleep t' unknow : 
'Twas thou didst teach me what I ne'er can bear : o Then didst thou waste 

my frame with parting-blow. 
By oath I swear thee, blame and chide me not : o Be kind to mourner Love 

hath stricken low ! 
For parting-rigours drive him nearer still o To narrow home, ere clad in 

shroud for clo* : 
Have ruth on me, since Love laid waste my frame, o 'Mid thralls enrolled me 

and lit fires that flame. 

Mariyah rolled up the letter and gave it to Shafikah, bidding her 
bear it to Al-Abbas. Accordingly she took it and going with it 

1 i.e. Stars and planet*. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 237 

to his door, proceeded to enter ; but the chamberlains and serving- 
men forbade her, till they had obtained her leave from the Prince. 
When she went into him, she found him sitting in the midst of the 
five damsels before mentioned, whom his father had brought for 
him ; so she gave him the letter and he tare it open and read it. 
Then he bade one of the damsels, whose name was Khafffah and who 
came from the land of China, tune her lute and sing anent separa- 
tion. Thereupon she came forward and tuning her lute, played 
thereon in four-and-twenty modes: after which she returned to 
the first and sang these couplets : 

Our friends, when leaving us on parting-day, o Draveus in wolds of severance- 
grief to stray : 
When bound the camels' litters bearing them, o And cries of drivers urged them 

on the way, 
Outrusht my tears, despair gat hold of me o And sleep betrayed mine eyes to 

wake a prey. 
The day they went I wept, but showed no ruth o The severance-spy and 

flared the flames alway : 
Alas for lowe o' Love that fires me still ! o Alack for pine that melts my heart 

away ! 
To whom shall I complain of care, when thou o Art gone, nor fain a-pillow 

head I lay ? 
And day by day Love's ardours grow on me, o And far's the tent that holds 

my fondest may r 
O Breeze o' Heaven, bear for me a charge o (Nor traitor-like my troth in love 

betray !), 
Whene'er thou breathest o'er the loved one's land o Greet him with choice 

salam fro' me, I pray : 
Dust him with musk and powdered ambergris o While time endures ! Such is 

my wish for aye. 

When the damsel had made an end of her song, Al- Abbas swooned 
away and they sprinkled on him musked rose-water, till he recovered 
from his fainting-fit, when he called another damsel (now there 
was on her of linen and raiment and ornaments that which undoeth 
description, and she was a model of beauty and brightness and 
loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, such as shamed the 
crescent moon, and she was a Turkish girl from the land of the 

338 Supplemental Nights. 

Roum and her name was Hafizah) and said to her, " O Hafizah, 
close thfne eyes and tune thy lute and sing to us upon the days of 
severance." She answered him, " To hear is to obey " and taking 
the lute, tightened its strings and cried out from her head, 1 in a 
plaintive voice, and sang these couplets : 

My friends ! tears flow in painful mockery, o And sick my heart from parting 

agony : 
My frame is wasted and my vitals wrung o And love-fires grow and eyes set 

tear-floods free : 
And when the fire burns high beneath my ribs o With tears I quench it as sad 

day I see. 
Love left me wasted, baffled, pain-begone, o Sore frighted, butt to spying 

enemy : 
When I recal sweet union wi' their loves o I chase dear sleep from the sick 

frame o' me. 
Long as our parting lasts the rival joys o And spies with fearful prudence gain 

their gree. 
I fear me for my sickly, langourous frame o Lest dread of parting slay me 


When Hafizah had ended her song, Al-Abbas cried to her, 
" Brava ! Verily, thou quickenest hearts from griefs/* Then he 
called another maiden of the daughters of Daylam, by name 
Marjanah, and said to her, " O Marjanah, sing to me upon the 
days of parting." She said, " Hearing and obeying," and recited 
these couplets : 

" Cleave to fair Patience ! Patience 'gendereth weal M : o Such is the rede to us 

all sages deal : 
How oft I plained the lowe of grief and love o Mid passions cast my soul in 

sore unheal. 
How oft I waked and drained the bitter cup * And watched the stars, nor sleep 

mine eyes would seal ! 
Enough it were an deal you grace to me * In writ a-morn and garred no 

hope to feel. 

1 i.e. Sang in tenor tones which are always in falsetto. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 239 

But Thoughts which probed its depths would sear my heart o And start from 

eye-brows streams that ever steal : 
Nor cease I suffering baleful doom and nights o Wakeful, and heart by sorrows 

rent piece-meal : 
But Allah purged my soul from love of you o When all knew secrets cared I 

not reveal. 
I march to-morrow from your country and o Haply you'll speed me nor fear 

aught unweal j 
And, when in person you be far from us, o Would heaven we knew who shall 

your news reveal. 
Who kens if home will e'er us two contain o In dearest life with union naught 

can stain ! 

When Marjanah had made an end of her song, the Prince said 
to her, " Brava, O damsel ! Indeed, thou sayest a thing which had 
occurred to my mind and my tongue was near to speaking it." 
Then he signed to the fourth damsel, who was a Cairene, by name 
Sitt al-Husn, and bade her tune her lute and sing to him upon the 
same theme. So the Lady of Beauty tuned her lute and sang 
these couplets : 

Patience is blest for weal comes after woe o And all things stated time and 

ordinance show ; 
Haps the Sultan, hight Fortune, prove unjust o Shifting the times, and man. 

excuse shall know : 
Bitter ensueth sweet in law of change o And after crookedness things 

straightest grow. 
Then guard thine honour, nor to any save a The noble knowledge of the 

hid bestow : 
These be vicissitudes the Lord commands o Poor men endure, the sinner and 

the low. 

When Al-Abbas heard her make an end of her verses, they 
pleased him and he said to her, " Brava, O Sitt al-Husn ! Indeed, 
thou hast done away anxiety from my heart and hast banished the 
things which had occurred to my thought" Then he sighed and 
signing to the fifth damsel, who was from the land of the Persians 
and whose name was Marzfyah (now she was the fairest of them 
all and the sweetest of speech and she was like unto a lustrous 
star, a model of beauty and loveliness and perfection and bright- 

240 Supplemental Nights. 

ness and justness of shape and symmetric grace and had a face like 
the new moon and eyes as they were gazelle's eyes) and said to 
her, " O Marziyah, come forward and tune thy lute and sing to us 
on the same theme, for indeed we are resolved upon faring to the 
land of Al-Yaman." Now this maiden had met many of the 
monarchs and had foregathered with the great ; so she tuned her 
lute and sang these couplets : 

Friend of my heart why leave thou lone and desolate these eyne ? o Fair union 

of our lots ne'er failed this sitting-stead of mine ! 
And ah! who dwellest singly in the heart and sprite of me, o (Be I thy 

ransom !) desolate for loss of friend I pine ! 
By Allah ! O thou richest form in charms and loveliness, o Give alms to lover 

who can show of patience ne'er a sign ! 
Alms of what past between us tway (which ne'er will I divulge) o Of privacy 

between us tway that man shall ne'er divine : 
Grant me approval of my lord whereby t' o'erwhelm the foe a And let my 

straitness pass away and doubtful thoughts malign : 
Approof of thee (an gained the meed) for me high rank shall gain o And show 

me robed in richest weed to eyes of envy fain. 

When she had ended her song, all who were in the assembly 
wept for the daintiness of her delivery and the sweetness of her 
speech and Al- Abbas said to her, " Brava, O Marziyah ! Indeed, 
thou bewilderest the wits with the beauty of thy verse and the 
polish of thy speech." * All this while Shafikah abode gazing upon 
her, and when she beheld the slave-girls of Al-Abbas and con- 
sidered the charms of their clothing and the subtlety of their senses 
and the delicacy of their delivery her reason flew from her head. 
Then she sought leave of Al-Abbas and returning to her mistress 
Mariyah, sans letter or reply, acquainted her with what she had 
espied of the damsels and described to her the condition wherein he 
was of honour and delight, majesty, venerance and loftiness of 
rank. Lastly, she enlarged upon what she had seen of the slave- 

k'~ ; ~~ ~~; ~ ; ~ : : : : ~ ;T "~ 

1 Arab. Tahzib= reforming morals, amending conduct, chastening style* 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 24 1 

girls and their case and that which they had said and how they 
had incited Al-Abbas anent returning to his own country by the 
recitation of songs to the sound of the strings. When the Princess 
heard this her slave-girl's report, she wept and wailed and was like 
to leave the world. Then she took to her pillow and said, " O 
Shafikah, I will inform thee of a something which is not hidden 
from Allah the Most High, and 'tis that thou watch over me till 
the Almighty decree the accomplishment of His destiny, and when 
my days are ended, take thou the necklace and the mantle with 
which Al-Abbas gifted me and return them to him. I deem not 
he will survive me, and if the Lord of All-might determine against 
him and his days come to an end, do thou give one charge to 
shroud us and entomb us both in one tomb." Then her case 
changed and her colour waxed wan ; and when Shafikah saw her 
mistress in this plight, she repaired to her mother and told her that 
the lady Mariyah refused meat and drink. Asked the Queen, 
" Since when hath this befallen her ? " and Shafikah answered, 
'" Since yesterday's date ;" whereat the mother was confounded and 
betaking herself to her daughter, that she might inquire into her 
case, lo and behold ! found her as one dying. So she sat down al 
her head and Mariyah opened her eyes and seeing her mother 
sitting by her, sat up for shame before her. The Queen questioned 
her of her case and she said, " I entered the Hammam and it 
stupefied me and prostrated me and left in my head an exceeding 
pain ; but I trust in Allah Almighty that it will cease." When her 
mother went out from her, Mariyah took to chiding the damsel for 
that which she had done and said to her, " Verily, death were : 
dearer to me than this ; so discover thou not my affair to any and 
I charge thee return not to the like of this fashion." Then she 
fainted and lay swooning for a whole hour, and when she came to 
herself, she saw Shafikah weeping over her ; whereupon she pluckt 
the necklace from her neck and the mantle from her body and said 

to the damsel, " Lay them in a damask napkin and bear them to 

242 Supplemental Nights. 

Al-Abbas and acquaint him with that wherein I am for the stress 
of severance and the strain of forbiddance." So Shafikah took 
them and carried them to Al-Abbas, whom she found in readiness 
to depart, being about to take horse for Al-Yaman. She went in 
to him and gave him the napkin and that which was therein, and 
when he opened it and saw what it contained, namely, the mantle 
and the necklace, his chagrin was excessive and his eyes turned in 
his head 1 and his rage shot out of them. When Shafikah saw that 
which betided him, she came forward and said to him, " O bounti- 
ful lord, verily my mistress returneth not the mantle and the neck- 
lace for despite ; but she is about to quit the world and thou hast the 
best right to them." Asked he, " And what is the cause of this ? " 
and Shafikah answered, " Thou knowest. By Allah, never among 
the Arabs nor the Ajams nor among the sons of the kings saw I a 
harder of heart than thou ! Can it be a slight matter to thee that 
thou troublest Mariyah's life and causest her to mourn for herself 
and quit the world for the sake of thy youth ? 2 Thou wast the 
cause of her acquaintance with thee and now she departeth this 
life on thine account, she whose like Allah Almighty hath not 
created among the daughters of the kings." When Al-Abbas 
heard from the damsel these words, his heart burned for Mariyah 
and her case was not light to him ; so he said to Shafikah, " Canst 
thou bring me in company with her, so haply I may discover her 
concern and allay whatso aileth her ? " Said she, " Yes, I can do 
that, and thine will be the bounty and the favour." So he arose 
and followed her, and she preceded him, till they came to the 
palace. Then she opened and locked behind them four-and-twenty 
doors and made them fast with padlocks ; and when he came to 
Mariyah, he found her as she were the downing sun, strown upon a 
Tdif rug of perfumed leather, 3 surrounded by cushions stuffed with 

1 i.e. so as to show only the whites, as happens to the " mesmerised." 

* i.e. for love of and longing for thy youth. 

i.e. leather from Al-Taif : see vol. viii. 303. The text has by mistake 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 243 

ostrich down, and not a limb of her quivered. When her maid saw 
her in this state, she offered to cry out ; but Al-Abbas said to her, 
" Do it not, but have patience till we discover her affair ; and if 
Allah (be He extolled and exalted !) have decreed her death, wait 
till thou have opened the doors to me and I have gone forth. Then 
do what seemeth good to thee." So saying, he went up to the 
Princess and laying his hand upon her bosom, found her heart 
fluttering like a doveling and the life yet hanging to her breast 1 
So he placed his hand on her cheek, whereat she opened her eyes 
and beckoning to her maid, said to her by signs, " Who is this that 
treadeth my carpet and transgresseth against me ? " 2 " O my 
lady," cried Shafikah, " this is Prince Al-Abbas, for whose sake 
thou forsakest the world." When Mariyah heard speak of Al- 
Abbas, she raised her hand from under the coverlet and laying it 
upon his neck, inhaled awhile his scent. Then she sat up and her 
complexion returned to her and they abode talking till a third part 
of the night was past. Presently, the Princess turned to her hand- 
maid and bade her fetch them somewhat of food, sweetmeats, and 
fruits, fresh and dry. So Shafikah brought what she desired and 
they ate and drank and abode on this wise without lewdness, till 
night went and light came. Then said Al-Abbas, " Indeed, the 
morn breaketh. Shall I hie to my sire and bid him go to thy 
father and seek thee of him in wedlock for me, in accordance with 
the book of Allah Almighty and the practice of His Apostle 
(whom may He save and assain !) so we may not enter into trans- 
gression ? " And Mariyah answered, saying, " By Allah, 'tis well 
counselled of thee 1 " So he went away to his lodging and naught 
befel between them ; and when the day lightened, she recited these 
couplets : 

1 i.e. she was at her last breath, when cured by the magic of love. 
a /.*. violateth my private apartment. 

244 Supplemental Nights. 

O friends, morn-breeze with Morn draws on amain : A Voice * bespeaks us, 

gladding us with 'plain. 
Up to the convent where our friend we'll sight And wine more subtile than 

the dust 2 we'll drain ; 
Whereon our friend spent all the coin he owned And made the nursling in 

his cloak contain ; 3 
And, when we oped the jar, light opalline * Struck down the singers in its 

search waylain. 
From all sides flocking came the convent-monks * Crying at top o' voices, 

" Welcome fain ! " 
And we carousing sat, and cups went round, * Till rose the Venus-star o'er 

Eastern plain. 
No shame in drinking wine, which means good cheer And love and promise 

of prophetic strain ! 4 
Ho thou, the Morn, our union sundering, These joyous hours to fine thou 

dost constrain. 
Show grace to us until our pleasures end, And latest drop of joy fro' friends 

we gain : 
You have affection candid and sincere * And Love and Joy are best of Faiths 

for men. 

Such was the case with Mariyah ; but as regards Al- Abbas, 
he betook himself to his father's camp, which was pitched on the 
Green Meadow, by the Tigris-side, and none might thread 
his way between the tents, for the dense network of the tent- 
ropes. When the Prince reached the first of the pavilions, the 
guards and servants came out to meet him from all sides and 
walked in his service till he drew near the sitting-place of his 
sire, who knew of his approach. So he issued forth his marquee 
and coming to meet his son, kissed him and made much of him. 
Then they returned together to the royal pavilion and when 
they had seated themselves therein and the guards had taken 
up their station in attendance on them, the King said to Al- 

1 The voice (Sha*zz) is left doubtful : it may be girl's, nightingale's, or dove's. 

2 Arab. " Hiba," partly induced by the rhyme. In desert countries the comparison 
will be appreciated : in Sind the fine dust penetrates into a closed book. 

3 i.e. he smuggled it in under his 'Abd-cloak : perhaps it was a better brand than that 
made in the monastery. 

4 i.e. ihe delights of Paradise promised by the Prophet. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 245 

Abbas, "O my son, get ready thine affair, so we may go to 
our own land, for that the lieges in our absence are become 
as they were sheep lacking shepherd." Al- Abbas looked at his 
father and wept till he fainted, and when he recovered from 
his fit, he improvised and recited these couplets : 

I embraced him, 1 and straight I waxt drunk wi' the smell Of a fresh young 

i branch wont in wealth to dwell. 

Yea, drunken, but not by the wine ; nay, 'twas By draughts from his lips 

that like wine-cups well : 
For Beauty wrote on his cheek's fair page " Oh, his charms ! take refuge fro* 

danger fell ! " 2 
Mine eyes, be easy, since him ye saw ; Nor mote nor blearness with you 

shall mell : 
In him Beauty showeth fro' first to fine * And bindeth on hearts bonds un- 

frangible : 
An thou kohl thyself with his cheek of light Thou'll find but jasper and or 

in stelle : 3 
The chiders came to reproach me when c For him longing and pining my 

heart befel : 
But I fear not, I end not, I turn me not From his life, let tell-tale his tale 

e'en tell : 
By Allah, forgetting ne'er crossed my thought While by life-tie bound, or 

when ends my spell : 

An I live I will live in his love, an I die Of love and longing, I'll cry, u 'Tis 
well ! " 

Now when AI-Abbas had ended his verses, his father said to 
him, " I seek refuge for thee with Allah, O my son \ Hast 
thou any want thou art powerless to win, so I may endeavour 
for thee therein and lavish my treasures in its quest." Cried 
Al-Abbas, "O my papa, I have, indeed, an urgent need, on 
whose account I came forth of my mother-land and left my 
people and my home and affronted perils and horrors and became 
an exile, and I trust in Allah that it may be accomplished by 

1 Again, "he" for "she," making the lover's address more courtly and delicate. 
* i.e. take refuge with Allah from the evil eye of her charms. 

3 i.e. an thou prank or adorn thyself: I have translated literally, but the couplet 
strongly suggests " nonsense verses." 

246 Supplemental Nights. 

thy magnanimous endeavour." Quoth the King, "And what 
is thy want ? " and quoth Al- Abbas, " I would have thee go 
and ask for me to wife Mariyah, daughter of the King of Baghdad, 
for that my heart is distracted with love of her." Then he 
recounted to his father his adventure from first to last. When 
the King heard this from his son, he rose to his feet and calling 
for his charger of parade, took horse with four-and-twenty Emirs 
of the chief officers of his empire. Then he betook himself to 
the palace of the King of Baghdad who, when he saw him 
coming, bade his chamberlains open the doors to them and 
going down himself to meet him, received him with all honour 
and hospitality and carried him and his into the palace ; then 
causing make ready for them carpets and cushions, sat down upon 
his golden throne and seated the guest by his side upon a chair 
of gold, framed in juniper-wood set with pearls and jewels. 
Presently he bade bring sweetmeats and confections and scents 
and commanded to slaughter four-and-twenty head of sheep and 
the like of oxen and make ready geese and chickens and pigeons 
stuffed and boiled, and spread the tables ; nor was it long before 
the meats were served up in vessels of gold and silver. So they 
eat their sufficiency and when they had eaten their fill, the tables 
were removed and the wine-service set on and the cups and 
flagons ranged in ranks, whilst the Mamelukes and the fair 
slave-girls sat down, with zones of gold about their waists, 
studded with all manner pearls, diamonds, emeralds, rubies and 
other jewels. Moreover, the king bade fetch the musicians ; so 
there presented themselves before him twenty damsels with 
lutes and psalteries 1 and viols, and smote upon instruments of 
music playing and performing on such wise that they moved the 

1 Arab. "Santir:" Lane (M. E., chapt. xviii) describes it as resembling the Kanun 
(dulcimer or zither) but with two oblique peg-pieces instead of one and double chord? 
of wire (not treble strings of lamb's gut) and played upon with two sticks instead of the 
little plectra. Dozy also gives Santir from ij/aXrypiov, the Fsaltriin of Daniel. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 247 

assembly to delight. Then said Al-Aziz to the King of Baghdad, 
" I would fain speak a word to thee ; but do thou not exclude 
from us those who are present. An thou consent unto my wish 
thine is ours and on thee shall be whatso is on us ; l and we will 
be to thee a mighty forearm against all unfriends and foes." 
Quoth Ins bin Kays, " Say what thou wilt, O King, for indeed 
thou excellest in speech and in whatso thou sayest dost hit the 
mark/ 1 So Al-Aziz said to him, " I desire that thou marry thy 
daughter Mariyah to my son Al-Abbas, for thou knowest what he 
hath of beauty and loveliness, brightness and perfect grace and 
his frequentation of the valiant and his constancy in the stead of 
cut-and-thrust." Said Ins bin Kays, " By Allah, O King, of my 
love for Mariyah, I have appointed her mistress of her own hand ; 
accordingly, whomsoever she chooseth of the folk, to him will I 
wed her." Then he arose to his feet and going in to his daughter, 
found her mother with her ; so he set out to them the case and 
Mariyah said, " O my papa, my wish followeth thy word and my 
will ensueth thy will ; so whatsoever thou choosest, I am obedient 
to thee and under thy dominion," Therewith the King knew that 
Mariyah inclined to Al-Abbas ; he therefore returned forthright 
to King Al-Aziz and said to him, " May Allah amend the King ! 
Verily, the wish is won and there is no opposition to that thou 
commandest." Quoth Al-Aziz, " By Allah's leave are wishes 
won. How deemest thou, O King, of fetching Al- Abbas and 
documenting the marriage-contract between Mariyah and him ? " 
and quoth Ins bin Kays, " Thine be the rede." So Al-Aziz sent 
after his son and acquainted him with that which had passed; 
whereupon Al-Abbas called for four-and- twenty mules and ten 
horses and as many camels and loaded the mules with fathom-long 
pieces of silk and rugs of leather and boxes of camphor and musk 

1 i.e. That which is ours shall be thine, and that which is incumbent on thee shall be 
incumbent on us = we wUl assume thy debts and responsibilities* 

24* Supplemental Nights. 

and the 'Camels and horses with chests of gold and silver. Eke, 
he took the richest of the stuffs and wrapping them in wrappers 
of gold-purfled silk, laid them on the heads of porters, 1 and 
they fared on with the treasures till they reached the King of 
Baghdad's palace, whereupon all who were present dismounted in 
honour of Al- Abbas and escorting him in a body to the presence 
of Ins bin Kays, displayed to the King all that they had with them 1 
of things of price. The King bade carry all this into the store 
rooms of the Harim and sent for the Kazis and the witnesses, 
who wrote out the contract and married Mariyah to Al-Abbas, 
whereupon the Prince commanded slaughter one thousand head of 
sheep and five hundred buffaloes. So they spread the bride-feast 
and bade thereto all the tribes of the Arabs,, men of tents and 
men of towns, and the banquet continued for the space of ten days. 
Then Al-Abbas went in to Mariyah in a commendable and 
auspicious hour and lay with her and found her a pearl unthridden 
and a goodly filly no rider had ridden ; 2 wherefore he rejoiced and 
was glad and made merry, and care and sorrow ceased from him 
and his life was pleasant and trouble departed and he ceased not 
abiding with her in most joyful case and in the most easeful of life, 
till seven days were past, when King Al-Aziz resolved to set out 
and return to his realm and bade his son seek leave of his father- 
in-law to depart with his wife to his own country. So Al-Abbas 
spoke of this to King Ins, who granted him the permission he 
sought ; whereupon he chose out a red camel, 3 taller and more 

1 This passage is sadly disjointed in the text : I have followed Mr. Payne's ordering. 

* The Arab of noble tribe is always the first to mount his own mare : he also greatly 
fears her being put out to full speed by a stranger, holding that this should be reserved 
for occasions of life and death ; and that it can be done to perfection only once during 
the animal's life. 

a The red (Ahmar) dromedary like the white-red (Sahab) were most valued because 
they are supposed best to bear the heats of noon ; and thus " red camels " is proverbially 
used for wealth. When the head of Abu Jahl was brought in after the Battle of Bedr, 
Mahommed exclaimed, " 'Tis more acceptable to me than a red camel ! " 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 249 

valuable than the rest of the camels, and loading it with apparel 
and ornaments, mounted Mariyah in a litter thereon. Then they 
spread the ensigns and the standards, whilst kettle-drums beat and 
the trumpets blared, and set out upon the homewards way. The. 
King of Baghdad rode forth with them and companied them three 
days' journey on their route, after which he farewelled them and 
returned with his troops to Baghdad. As for King Al-Aziz and 
his son, they fared on night and day and gave not over going till 
there remained but three days' journey between them and Al- 
Yaman, when they despatched three men of the couriers to the 
Prince's mother to report that they were bringing with them 
Mariyah, the King's daughter of Baghdad, and returning safe and 
laden with spoil. When the Queen-mother heard this, her wit took 
wings for joy and she adorned the slave-girls of Al-Abbas after 
the finest fashion. Now he had ten hand-maids, as they were 
moons, whereof his father had carried five with him to Baghdad, 
as hath erst been set forth, and the remaining five abode with his 
mother. When the dromedary-posts 1 came, they were certified of 
the approach of Al-Abbas, and when the sun easted and their 
flags were seen flaunting, the Prince's mother came out to meet 
her son ; nor on that day was there great or small, boy or grey- 
beard, but went forth to greet the king. Then the kettle-drums of 
glad tidings beat and they entered in the utmost of pomp and 
the extreme of magnificence ; so that the tribes and the towns- 
people heard of them and brought them the richest of gifts and 
the rarest of presents and the Prince's mother rejoiced with joy 
exceeding They butchered beasts and spread mighty bride-feasts 
for the people and kindled fires, 2 that it might be visible afar to 

1 i.e. Couriers on dromedaries, the only animals used for sending messages over long 

* These guest-fires are famous in Arab poetry. So Al-Harfri (Ass. of Banu Haram) 
sings : 

A beacon fire I ever kindled high ; 

2 5O Supplemental Nights. 

townsman and tribesman that this was the house of hospitality 
and the stead of the wedding-festival, to the intent that, if any 
passed them by, it should be of his own sin against himself. So 
the folk came to them from all districts and quarters and in this 
way they abode days and months. Presently the Prince's mother 
bade fetch the five slave-girls to that assembly ; whereupon they 
came and the ten damsels met. The queen seated five of them 
on her son's right hand and other five on his left and the folk 
gathered about them. Then she bade the five who had remained 
with her speak forth somewhat of poesy, so they might entertain 
therewith the stance and that Al-Abbas might rejoice thereat. 
Now she had clad them in the costliest of clothes and adorned them 
with trinkets and ornaments and moulded work of gold and silver 
and collars of gold, wrought with pearls and gems. So they 
paced forward, with harps and lutes and zithers and recorders and 
other instruments of music before them, and one of them, a damsel 
who came from the land of China and whose name was B&'uthah, 
advanced and screwed up the strings of her lute. Then she cried 
out from the top of her head and recited these couplets : 

Indeed your land returned, when you returned, * To whilom light which over- 
grew its gloom : 

Green grew the land that was afore dust-brown, o And fruits that failed again 
showed riping bloom : 

And clouds rained treasures after rain had lacked, o And plenty poured from 
earth's re-opening womb. 

i.e. on the hill-tops near the camp, to guide benighted travellers. Also the Lamiyat 
al-Ajam says : 

The fire of hospitality is ever lit on the high stations. 

This natural telegraph was used in a host of ways by the Arabs of The Ignorance ; for 
instance, when a hated guest left the camp they lighted the ' Fire of Rejection," and 
cried, " Allah, bear him far from us ! " Nothing was more ignoble thar to quench such 
fire : hence in obloquy of the Fazar tribe it was said : 

Ne'er trust Fazdr with an ass, for they 

Once roasted ass-pizzle, the rabble rout : 
And, when sight they guest, to their dams they say, 

" Piss quick on the guest-fire and put it out ! " 
(Al-Mas'udi vi. 140.) 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 25 1 

Then ceased the woes, my lords, that garred us weep, o With tears like 

dragons' blood, our severance-doom, 
Whose length, by Allah, made me yearn and pine, a Would Heaven, O lady 

mine, I were thy groom ! 

When she had ended her song, all who were present were delighted 
and Al-Abbas rejoiced in this. Then he bade the second damsel 
sing somewhat on the same theme. So she came forward and 
tightening the strings of her harp, which was of balass ruby, 1 
raised her voice in a plaintive air and improvised these couplets : 

Brought the Courier glad news of our absentees, 2 o To please us through those 

who had wrought us unease : 
Cried I, " My life ransom thee, messenger man, o Thou hast kept thy faith 

and thy boons are these." 
An the nightlets of union in you we joyed o When fared you naught would 

our grief appease ; 
You sware that folk would to folk be true, o And you kept your oaths as good 

faith decrees. 
To you made I oath true lover am I o Heaven guard me when sworn from 

all perjuries : 
I fared to meet you and loud I cried, o " Aha, fair welcome when come you 

please ! " 
And I joyed to meet you and when you came, o Deckt all the dwelling with 

And death in your absence to us was dight, o But your presence bringeth us 

life and light. 

When she had made an end of her verse, Al-Abbas bade the third 
damsel (who came from Samarkand of Ajam-land and whose name 
was Rummanah) sing, and she answered, " To hear is to obey." 
Then she took the zither and crying out from the midst of her 
head, recited and sang these couplets : 3 

My watering mouth declares thy myrtle-cheek my food to be o And cull my 
lips thy side-face rose, who lily art to me ! 

1 i.e. of rare wood, set with rubies. 

2 i.e. whose absence pained us. 

3 Mr. Payne and I have long puzzled over these enigmatical and possibly corrupt 
lines : he wrote to me in 1884, "This is the first piece that has beaten me." In the 
couplet above (vol. xii. 230) " Rayhanl " may mean " my basil-plant " or " my food " 
(the latter Koranic), " my compassion," etc. ; and Susani is equally ancipitous " My lilies 1 " 
or " my sleep " : see Bard al-Susan = les douceurs du sommeil in Al-Mas'udi vii. 168. 

252 Supplemental Nights, 

And twixt the dune and down there shows the fairest flower that blooms o Whose 

fruitage is granado's fruit with all granado's blee. 1 
Forget my lids of eyne their sleep for magic eyes of him ; o Naught since he 

fared but drowsy charms and languorous air I see. 3 
He shot me down with shaft of glance from bow of eyebrow sped : What 

Chamberlain 3 betwixt his eyes garred all my pleasure flee ? 
Haply shall heart of me seduce his heart by weakness' force o E'en as his own 

seductive grace garred me love-ailment dree. 
'For an by him forgotten be our pact and covenant o I have a King who never 

will forget my memory. 
His sides bemock the bending charms of waving Tamarisk, 4 o And in his 

beauty-pride he walks as drunk with coquetry : 
His feet and legs be feather-light whene'er he deigns to run o And say, did 

any ride the wind except 'twere Solomon ?* 

Therewith Al- Abbas smiled and her verses pleased him. Then he 
bade the fourth damsel come forward and sing, (now she was from 
the Sundown-land 6 and her name was Balakhsha) ; so she came 
forward and taking the lute and the zither, tuned the strings and 
smote them in many modes ; then she returned to the first and 
improvising, sang these couplets : 

1 The " Nika* " or sand hill is the swell of the throat : the Ghaur or lowland is the fall 
of the waist : the flower is the breast anent which Mr. Payne appropriately quotes the 
well-known lines of Fletcher : 

" Hide, O hide those hills of snow, 

That thy frozen bosom bears, 
On whose tops the pinks that grow 

Are of those that April wears." 

2 Easterns are right in regarding a sleepy languorous look as one of the charms of 
women, and an incitement to love because suggestive only of bed. Some men also find 
the same pleasure in a lacrymose expression of countenance, seeming always to call for 
consolation : one of the most successful women I know owes her exceptional good 
fortune to this charm. 

3 Arab. " Hajib," eyebrow or chamberlain; see vol. iii. 233. The pun is classical 
used by a host of poets including Al-Harfrl. 

4 Arab. " Tarfah." There is a Tarfia Island in the Guadalquivir and in Gibraltar a 
" Tarfah Alto " opposed to " Tarfah bajo." But it must not be confounded with Tarf=a 
side, found in the Maroccan term for "The Rock" Jabal al-Tarf= Mountain of the 

! Point (of Europe). 

8 For Solomon and his flying carpet see vol. iii. 267. 

6 Arab. "Bilad al-Maghrib (al-Aksa," in full) = the Farthest Land of the setting 
Sun, shortly called Al-Maghrib and the people " Maghribi." The earliest occurrence 
of our name Morocco or Marocco I find in the "Marakiyah" of Al-Mas'udi (iii. 241), 
who apparently applies it to a district whither the Berbers migrated, 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 253 

When to the stance all for pleasure hied o Thy lamping eyes illumined its 

every side ; 
While playing round us o'er the wine-full bowl o Those necklace-pearls old 

wine with pleasure plied, 1 
Till wits the wisest drunken by her grace o Betrayed for joyance secrets sages 

And, seen the cup, we bade it circle round * While sun and moon spread 

radiance side and wide. 
We raised for lover veil of love perforce * And came glad tidings which new 

joys applied : 
Loud sang the camel-guide ; won was our wish o Nor was the secret by the spy 

espied : 
And, when my days where blest by union-bliss * And to all-parting Time was 

aid denied, 
Each 'bode with other, clear of meddling spy * Nor feared we hate of foe or 

The sky was bright, friends came and severance fared o And Love-in-union 

rained boons multiplied : 
Saying, " Fulfil fair union, all are gone o Rivals and fears lest shaming foe 

deride : 
Friends now conjoined are : wrong passed away o And meeting-cup goes round 

and joys abide : 
On you be Allah's Peace with every boon o Till end the dooming years and 

time and tide. 

When Balakhshd had ended her verse, all present were moved to 
delight and Al- Abbas said to her, " Brava, O damsel ! " Then he 
bade the fifth damsel come forward and sing (now she was from 
the land of Syria and her name was Rayhanah ; she was passing 
of voice and when she appeared in an assembly, all eyes were 
fixed upon her), so she came forward and taking the viol (for she 
was used to play upon all instruments) recited and sang these 
couplets ; 

Your me-wards coming I hail to sight ; o Your look is a joy driving woe from 

sprite : 
With you love is blest, pure and white of soul ; o Life's sweet and my planet 

grows green and bright : 

The necklace-pearls are the cup-bearer's teeth. 

254 Supplemental Nights. 

By Allah, you^wards my pine ne'er ceased o And your like is rare and right 

worthy hight. 
Ask my eyes an e'er since the day ye went o They tasted sleep, looked on lover- 

wight : 
My heart by the parting-day was broke o And my wasted body betrays my 

plight : 
Could my blamers see in what grief am I, o They had wept in wonder my 

loss, my blight ! 
They had joined me in shedding torrential tears o And like me a-morn had 

shown thin and slight : 
How long for your love shall your lover bear oThis weight o'er much for the 

hill's strong height ? 
By Allah what then for your sake was doomed o To my heart, a heart by its 

woes turned white ! 
An showed I the fires that aye flare in me, o They had 'flamed Eastern world 

and earth's Western site. 

But after this is my love fulfilled o With joy and gladness and mere delight ; 
And the Lord who scattered hath brought us back o For who doeth good shall 

of good ne'er lack. 

When King Al-Aziz heard the damsel's song, both words and 
verses pleased him and he said to Al-Abbas, " O my son, verily 
long versifying hath tired these damsels^ and indeed they make us 
yearn after the houses and the homesteads with the beauty of their 
songs. These five have adorned our meeting with the charm of 
their melodies and have done well in that which they have said 
before those who are present ; so we counsel thee to free them for 
the love of Allah Almighty." Quoth Al-Abbas, "There is no 
command but thy command-; " and he enfranchised the ten damsels 
in the assembly ; whereupon they kissed the hands of the King and 
his son and prostrated themselves in thanksgiving to the Lord of 
All-might. Then they put off that which was upon them of orna- 
ments and laying aside the lutes and other instruments of music, 
kept to their houses like modest women and veiled, and fared not 
forth. 1 As for King Al-Aziz, he lived after this seven years and 

1 In these unregenerate days they would often be summoned to the houses of the royal 
family ; but now they had "got religion" and, becoming freed women, were resolved to. 

Tale of King Ins bin Kays and his Daughter. 2$$ 

was removed to the mercy of Almighty Allah ; when his son Al- 
Abbas bore him forth to burial as beseemeth kings and let make 
for him perfections and professional recitations of the Koran. He 
kept up the mourning for his father during four successive weeks, 
and when a full-told month had elapsed he sat down on the throne 
of the kingship and judged and did justice and distributed silver and 
gold. He also loosed all who were in the jails and abolished griev- 
ances and customs dues and righted the oppressed of the oppressor ; 
so the lieges prayed for him and loved him and invoked on him 
endurance of glory and continuance of kingship and length of 
life and eternity of prosperity and happiness. The troops submitted 
to him, and the hosts from all parts of the kingdom, and there 
came to him presents from each and every land : the kings obeyed 
him and many were his warriors and his grandees, and his subjects 
lived with him the most easeful of lives and the most delightsome. 
Meanwhile, he ceased not, he and his beloved, Queen Mariyah, in the 
most enjoyable of life and the pleasantest, and he was vouchsafed 
by her children ; and indeed there befel friendship and affection 
between them and the longer their companionship was prolonged, 
the more their love waxed, so that they became unable to endure 
each from other a single hour, save the time of his going forth to 
the Divan, when he would return to her in the liveliest that might 
l)e of longing. And after this fashion they abode in all solace of 
life and satisfaction till there came to them the Destroyer of 
delights and the Severer of societies. So extolled be the Eternal 
whose sway endureth for ever and aye, who never unheedeth 
neither dieth nor sleepeth ! This is all that hath come down to 
us of their tale, and so the Peace ! 

be " respectable." In not a few Moslem countries men of wealth and rank marry pro- 
fessional singers who, however foose may have been their artistic lives, mostly distinguish 
themselves by decency of behaviour often pushed to the extreme of rigour. Also jeune 
coquette, vieille de"vote, is a rule of the world, Eastern and Western. 



KING SHAHRYAR marvelled at this history 2 and said, " By Allah, 
verily, injustice slayeth its folk ! " 3 And he was edified by that 
wherewith Shahrazad bespoke him and sought help of Allah the 
Most High. Then said he to her, " Tell me another of thy tales, 
O Shahrazad ; supply me with a pleasant story and this shall be 
the completion of the story- telling." Shahrazad replied, " With 
love and gladness ! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that a 
man once declared to his mates, I will set forth to you a means 
of security against annoy. A friend of mine once related to me and 
said : We attained to security against annoy, and the origin of it 
was other than this ; that is, it was the following 4 : 

1 Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. p. 383 (Night mi). The king is called as usual " Shahrbin," 1 
which is nearly synonymous with Shahryar. 

2 i.e. the old Sindibad-Nameh (see vol. vi. 122), or "The Malice of Women "which 
the Bresl. Edit, entitles, " Tale of the King and his Son and his Wife and the Seven 
Wazirs." Here it immediately follows the Tale of Al-Abbas and Mariyah and occupies 
pp. 237-383 of vol. xii. (Nights dcccclxxix-m). 

3 i.e. Those who commit it. 

4 The connection between this pompous introduction and the story which follows is 
not apparent. The " Tale of the Two Kings and the Wazir's Daughters " is that of Shahr- 
azad told in the third person, in fact a rechauffe of the Introduction. But as some 
three years have passed since the marriage, and the denotement of the plot is at hand, 
the Princess is made, with some art I think, to lay the whole affair before her husband 
in her own words, the better to bring him to a "sense of his duty." 



I OVERTRAVELLED whilome lands and climes and towns and 
visited the cities of high renown and traversed the ways of 
dangers and hardships. Towards the last of my life, I entered 
a city of the cities of China, 2 wherein was a king of the Chosroes 
and the Tobbas 3 and the Caesars. 4 Now that city had been 
peopled with its inhabitants by means of justice and equity; but 
its then king was a tyrant dire who despoiled lives and souls 
at his desire ; in fine, there was no warming oneself at his fire, 5 
for that indeed he oppressed the believing band and wasted the 
land. Now he had a younger brother, who was king in Samar- 
kand of the Persians, and the two kings sojourned a while of 
time, each in his own city and stead, till they yearned unto each 
other and the elder king despatched his Wazir to fetch his 
younger brother. When the Minister came to the King of 

1 Bresl. Edit. vol. xii. pp. 384-412. 

3 This clause is taken from the sequence, where the elder brother's kingdom is placed 
in China. 

3 For the Tobbas = "Successors'* or the Himyaritic kings, see vol. i. 216. 

4 Kayasirah, opp. to Aksirah, here and in many other places. 

5 See vol. ii. 77. King Kulayb ("little dog") al-Wa"'il, a powerful chief of the 
Banu Ma'ad in the Kasin district of Najd, who was connected with the war of 
Al-Basus. He is so called because he lamed a pup (kulayb) and tied it up in the midst 
of his Hima (domain, place of pasture and water), forbidding men to camp within sound 
of its bark or sight of his fire. Hence " more masterful than Kulayb," A. P. ii. 145, 
and Al-Hariri Ass. xxvi. (Chenery, p. 448) This angry person came by his death for 
wounding in the udder a trespassing camel (Sorab) whose owner was a woman named 
Basils. Her friend (Jasus) slew him ; and thus arose the famous long war between 
the tribes Wa'il Bakr and Taghlib. It gave origin to the saying, " Die thou and be an 
expiation for the shoe-latchet of Kulayb." 

264 Supplemental Nights. 

Samarkand and acquainted him with his errand, he submitted 
himself to the bidding of his brother and answered, " To hear 
is to obey." Then he equipped himself and made ready for 
wayfare and brought forth his tents and pavilions. A while after 
midnight, he went in to his wife, that he might farewell her, and 
found with her a strange man, lying by her in one bed. So he 
slew them both and dragging them out by the feet, cast them 
away and set forth on his march. When he came to his brother's 
court, the elder king rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and 
lodged him in the pavilion of hospitality beside his own palace. 
Now this pavilion overlooked a flower-garden belonging to the 
elder brother and there the younger abode with him some days. 
Then he called to mind that which his wife had done with him 
and remembered her slaughter and bethought him how he was 
a king, yet was not exempt from the shifts of Time ; and this 
affected him with exceeding affect, so that it drave him to abstain 
from meat and drink, or, if he ate anything, it profited him naught. 
When his brother saw him on such wise, he deemed that this had 
betided him by reason of severance from his folk and family, and 
said to him, " Come, let us fare forth a-coursing and a-hunting." 
But he refused to go with him ; so the elder brother went to the 
chase, whilst the younger abode in the pavilion aforesaid. Now, 
as he was diverting himself by looking out upon the flower-garden 
from the latticed window of the palace, behold, he saw his 
brother's wife and with her ten black slaves and ten slave-girls. 
Each slave laid hold of a damsel and another slave came forth 
and did the like with the queen ; and when they had their wills 
one of other they all returned whence they came. Hereat there 
betided the King of Samarkand exceeding surprise and solace 
and he was made whole of his malady, little by little. After a 
few days, his brother returned, and finding him cured of his 
complaint, said to him, " Tell me, O my brother, what was the 
cause of thy sickness and thy pallor, and what is the reason of the 

Tale of the 7 wo Kings and the Wazir' s Daughters. 265 

return of health to thee and of rosiness to thy face after this ? " 
So he acquainted him with the whole case and this was grievous 
to him ; but they hid their affair and agreed to leave the kingship 
and fare forth a-pilgrimaging and adventuring at hap-hazard, for 
they deemed that there had befallen none the like of what had 
befallen them. Accordingly, they went forth and as they 
journeyed, they saw by the way a woman imprisoned in seven 
chests, whereon were five padlocks, and sunken deep in the midst 
of the salt sea, under the guardianship of an Ifrit ; yet for all 
this that woman issued out of the ocean and opened those pad- 
locks and coming forth of those chests, did what she would with 
the two brothers, after she had practised upon the Ifrit. When 
the two kings saw that woman's fashion and how she circum- 
vented the Ifrit, who had lodged her in the abyss of the main, 
they turned back to their kingdoms and the younger betook him- 
self to Samarkand, whilst the elder returned to China and 
contrived for himself a custom in the slaughter of damsels, which 
was, his Wazir used to bring him every night a girl, with whom 
he lay that night, and when he arose in the morning, he gave 
her to the Minister and bade him do her die. After this fashion 
he abode a long time, whilst the folk murmured and God's 
creatures were destroyed and the commons cried out by reason 
of that grievous affair into which they were fallen and feared 
the wrath of Allah Almighty, dreading lest He destroy them by 
means of this. Still the king persisted in that practice and in his 
blameworthy intent of the killing of damsels and the despoilment 
of maidens concealed by veils, 1 wherefore the girls sought succour 
of the Lord of All-might, and complained to Him of the tyranny 
of the king and of his oppression. Now the king's Wazir had 
two daughters, sisters german, the elder of whom had read the 

1 Arab. " Mukhaddardt, maidens concealed behind curtains and veiled in the Harem. 

266 Supplemental Nights. 

books and made herself mistress of the sciences and s^idied the 
writings of the sages and the stories of the cup-companions, 1 and 
she was a maiden of abundant lore and knowledge galore and 
wit than which naught can be more. She heard that which the 
folk suffered from that king in his misusage of their children ; 
whereupon ruth for them gat hold of her and jealousy and she 
besought Allah Almighty that He would bring the king to 
renounce that his new and accursed custom, 2 and the Lord 
answered her prayer. Then she consulted her younger sister and 
said to her, " I mean to devise a device for freeing the children of 
folk ; to wit, I will go up to the king and offer myself to marry 
him, and when I come to his presence, I will send to fetch thee. 
When thou comest in to me and the king hath had his carnal will 
of me, do thou say to me : O my sister, let me hear a story of 
thy goodly stories, wherewith we may beguile the waking hours of 
our night, till the dawn, when we take leave each of other ; and 
let the king hear it likewise ! " The other replied " Tis well ; for- 
sure this contrivance will deter the king from this innovation he 
practiseth and thou shalt be requited with favour exceeding and 
recompense abounding in the world to come, for that indeed thou 
perilest thy life and wilt either perish or win to thy wish." So 
she did this and Fortune favoured her and the Divine direction 
was vouchsafed to her and she discovered her design to her sire, 
the Wazir, who thereupon forbade her, fearing her slaughter. 
However, she repeated her words to him a second time and a 
third, but he consented not. Then he cited to her a parable, 
which should deter her, and she cited to him a parable of import 

1 i.e. The professional Rawis or tale-reciters who learned stories by heart from books 
like " The Arabian Nights." See my Terminal Essay, vol x. 163. 

a Arab. " Bid'ah," lit. = an innovation, a new thing, an invention, any change from 
the custom of the Prophet and the universal practice of the Faith, whether it be in the 
cut of the beard or a question of state policy. Popularly the word = heterodoxy, heresy ; 
but theologically it is not necessarily used in a bad sense. See vol. v. 167. 

Tale of the Two Kings and the WaziSs Daughters. 267 

contrary to his, and the debate was prolonged between them and 
the adducing of instances, till her father saw that he was powerless 
to turn her from her purpose and she said to him, " There is no 
help but that I marry the King, so haply I may be a sacrifice for 
the children of the Moslems : either I shall turn him from this his 
heresy or I shall die." When the Minister despaired of dissuading 
her, he went up to the king and acquainted him with the case, 
saying, " I have a maiden daughter and shedesireth to give herself 
in free gift to the King." Quoth the King, " How can thy soul 
consent to this, seeing that thou knowest I abide but a single 
night with a girl and when I arise on the morrow, I do her dead, 
and 'tis thou who slayest her, and again and again thou hast done 
this ? " Quoth the Wazir, " Know, O king, that I have set forth all 
this to her, yet consented she not to aught, but needs must she 
have thy company and she chooseth to come to thee and present 
herself before thee, albeit I have cited to her the sayings of the 
sages ; but she hath answered me with more than that which I said 
to her and contrariwise." Then quoth the king, " Suffer her visit 
me this night and to-morrow morning come thou and take her and 
kill her ; and by Allah, an thou slay her not, I will slay thee and 
her also ! " The Minister obeyed the king's bidding and going 
out from the presence returned home. When it was night, he 
took his elder daughter and carried her up to the king ; and when 
she came before him she wept j 1 whereupon he asked her, " What 
causeth thee weep ? indeed, 'twas thou who willedst this." She 
answered, " I weep not but of longing after my little sister ; for 
that, since we grew up, I and she, I have never been parted from 
her till this day ; so, an it please the King to send for her, that I 
may look on her, and listen to her speech and take my fill of her 
till the morning, this were a boon and an act of kindness of the 

1 About three parts of this sentence have been supplied by Mr. Payne, the careless 
scribe having evidently omitted it. 

268 Supplemental Nights. 

King." So he bade fetch the damsel and she came. Then there 
befel that which befel of his union with the elder sister, 1 and when 
he went up to his couch, that he might sleep, the younger sister 
said to her elder, " Allah, upon thee, O my sister, an thou be not 
asleep, tell us a tale of thy goodly tales, wherewith we may beguile 
the watches of our night, ere day dawn and parting." Said she, 
" With love and gladness ; " and fell to relating to her, whilst the 
king listened. Her story was goodly and delectable, and whilst 
she was in the midst of telling it, the dawn brake. Now the king's 
heart clave to the hearing of the rest of the story ; so he respited 
her till the morrow; and, when it was the next night, she told him 
a tale concerning the marvels of the lands and the wonders of 
Allah's creatures which was yet stranger and rarer than the first. 
In the midst of the recital, appeared the day and she was silent 
from the permitted say. So he let her live till the following night, 
that he might hear the end of the history and after that slay her. 
On this wise it fortuned with her ; but as regards the people of 
the city, they rejoiced and were glad and blessed the Wazir's 
daughters, marvelling for that three days had passed and that the 
king had not put his bride to death and exulting in that he had 
returned to the ways of righteousness and would never again 
burthen himself with blood-guilt against any of the maidens of 
the city. Then, on the fourth night, she related to him a still 
more extraordinary adventure, and on the fifth night she told him 
anecdotes of Kings and Wazirs and Notables. Brief, she ceased not 
to entertain him many days and nights, while the king still said 
to himself, " Whenas I shall have heard the end of the tale, I will 
do her die,'* and the people redoubled their marvel and admiration. 
Also, the folk of the circuits and cities heard of this thing, to wit, 
that the king had turned from his custom and from that which he 

1 Here, as in ihe Introduction (vol. i. 24), the king consummates his marriage in 
presence of his virgin sister-in-law, a process which decency forbids amongst Moslems* 

Shahrazad and Shahryar. 269 

had imposed upon himself and had renounced his heresy, wherefor 
they rejoiced and the lieges returned to the capital and took up 
their abode therein, after they had departed thence ; and they 
were constant in prayer to Allah Almighty that He would stablish 
the king in his present stead." " And this," said Shahrazad, " is 
the end of that which my friend related to me." Quoth Shahryar, 1 
"O Shahrazad, finish for us the tale thy friend told thee, inasmuch 
as it resembleth the story of a King whom I knew ; but fain would 
I hear that which betided the people of this city and what they 
said of the affair of the King, so I may return from the case 
wherein I was." She replied, " With love and gladness ! " Know, 
O auspicious king and lord of right rede and praiseworthy meed 
and prowest of deed, that, when the folk heard how the king 
had put away from him his malpractice and returned from his 
unrighteous wont, they rejoiced in this with joy exceeding and 
offered up prayers for him. Then they talked one with other of the 
cause of the slaughter of the maidens, and the wise said, " Women 
are not all alike, nor are the fingers of the hand alike." Now 
when King Shahryar heard this story he came to himself and 
awaking from his drunkenness, 2 said, " By Allah, this story is my 
story and this case is my case, for that indeed I was in reprobation 
and danger of judgment till thou turnedst me back from this into 
the right way, extolled be the Causer of causes and the Liberator 
of necks ! " presently adding, " Indeed, O Shahrazad, thou hast 
awakened me to many things and hast aroused me from mine 
ignorance of the right." Then said she to him, " O chief of the 
kings, the wise say : The kingship is a building, whereof the 
troops are the base, and when the foundation is strong, the building 
endureth ; wherefore it behoveth the king to strengthen the founda- 
tion, for that they say, Whenas the base is weak, the building 

1 Al-Mas'udi (vol. iv. 213) uses this term to signify viceroy in "Shahryar Sajastan." 

2 *.#. his indifference to the principles of right and wrong, which is a manner of moral 

270 Supplemental Nights. 

falleth. In like fashion it besitteth the king to care for his troops 
and do justice among his lieges, even as the owner of the garden 
careth for his trees and cutteth away the weeds that have no profit 
in them ; and so it befitteth the king to look into the affairs of his 
Ryots and fend off oppression from them. As for thee, O king, 
it behoveth thee that thy Wazir be virtuous and experienced in 
the requirements of the people and the peasantry; and indeed 
Allah the Most High hath named his name 1 in the history of Musa. 
(on whom be the Peace !) when he saith : And make me a Wazir 
of my people, Aaron. Now could a Wazir have been dispensed 
withal, Moses son of Imrdn had been worthier than any to do with- 
out a Minister. As for the Wazir, the Sultan discovereth unto him 
his affairs, private and public ; and know, O king, that the likeness 
of thee with the people is that of the leach with the sick man ; and 
the essential condition of the Minister is that he be soothfast in his 
sayings, reliable in all his relations, rich in ruth for the folk and in 
tenderness of transacting with them. Verily, it is said, O king, that 
good troops be like the druggist ; if his perfumes reach thee not, 
thou still smellest the fragrance of them ; and bad entourage be 
like the blacksmith ; if his sparks burn thee not, thou smellest his 
evil smell. So it befitteth thee take to thyself a virtuous Wazir, 
a veracious counsellor, even as thou takest unto thee a wife 
displayed before thy face, because thou needest the man's 
righteousness for thine own right directing, seeing that, if thou do 
righteously, the commons will do right, and if thou do wrbngously, 
they also will do wrong.'* When the King heard this, drowsiness 
overcame him and he slept and presently awaking, called for the 
candles ; so they were lighted and he sat down on his couch and 
seating Shahrazad by him, smiled in her face. She kissed the 
ground before him and said, " O king of the age and lord of the 

1 *.i. hath mentioned the office of Wazir (in Koran xx. 30). 

Shahrazad and Shahryar. 271 

time and the years, extolled be the Forgiving, the Bountiful, who 
hath sent me to thee, of His grace and good favour, so I have 
incited thee to longing after Paradise; for verily this which thou 
wast wont do was never done of any of the kings before thee. Then 
laud be to the Lord who hath directed thee into the right way, 
and who from the paths of frowardness hath diverted thee ! As 
for women, Allah Almighty maketh mention of them also 
whn He saith in His Holy Book : " Truly, the men who 
resign themselves to Allah 1 and the women who resign 
themselves, and the true-believing men and the true-believing 
women and the devout men and the devout women and 
truthful men and truthful women, and long-suffering men and 
long-suffering women, and the humble men and the humble women, 
and charitable men and charitable women, and the men who fast 
and the women who fast, and men who guard their privities and 
women who guard their privities, and men who are constantly 
mindful of Allah and women who are constantly mindful, for 
them Allah hath prepared forgiveness and a rich reward. 2 As 
for that which hath befallen thee, verily, it hath befallen many 
kings before thee and their women have falsed them, for all they 
were more majestical of puissance than thou, and mightier of king- 
ship and had troops more manifold. If I would, I could relate 
unto thee, O king, concerning the wiles of women, that whereof I 
should not make an end all my life long ; and indeed, in all these 
my nights that I have passed before thee, I have told thee many 
tales of the wheedling of women and of their craft ; but soothly 
the things abound on me ; 3 so, an thou please, O king, I will relate 
to thee somewhat of that which befel olden kings of perfidy from 1 
their women and of the calamities which overtook them by 

1 i.e. Moslems, who practise the Religion of Resignation. 

2 Koran xxxiii. 35. This is a proemium to the " revelation " concerning Zayd and 

3 i.e. I have an embarras de richesse in my repertory. 

272 Supplemental Nights. 

reason of these deceivers. Asked the king, " How so ? Tell 
on ; " and she answered, " Hearkening and obedience. It hath 
been told me, O king, that a man once related to a company 
the following tale of 



ONE day of the days, as I stood at the door of my house, and the 
heat was excessive, behold, I saw a fair woman approaching, and 
with her a slave-girl carrying a parcel. They gave not over going till 
they came up to me, when the woman stopped and asked me, " Hast 
thou a draught of water ? " Answered I, " Yes, enter the vestibule, 

my lady, so thou mayst drink/' Accordingly she came in and 

1 went up into the house and fetched two gugglets of earthenware, 
smoked with musk 2 and full of cold water. She took one of them 
and discovered her face, the better to drink ; whereupon I saw that 
she was as the rising moon or the resplendent sun and said to her, 
" O my lady, wilt thou not come up into the house, so thou mayst rest 
thyself till the air cool and afterwards fare thee to thine own place ? " 
Quoth she, " Is there none with thee ? " and quoth I, " Indeed I am 
a bachelor and have none belonging to me, nor is there a wight in 
the site ; 8 whereupon she said, " An thou be a stranger, thou art he 
in quest of whom I was going about." So she went up into the 
house and doffed her walking dress and I found her as she were 
the full moon. I brought her what I had by me of food and drink 
and said to her, " O my lady, excuse me : this is all that is ready ;" 
and said she, " This is right good 4 and indeed 'tis what I sought." 
Then she ate and gave the slave-girl that which was left ; after 

1 The title is from the Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 398-402). Mr. Payne calls it " The 
Favourite and her Lover." 

2 The practice of fumigating gugglets is universal in Egypt (Lane, M. E., chapt. v.) ; 
but I never heard of musk being so used. 

3 Arab. " Laysa fi '1-diyari dayyar a favourite jingle. 

Arab. " Khayr Kathir " (pron. Katfr) which also means " abundant kindness." 

276 Supplemental Nights. 

which I brought her a casting-bottle of musked rose-water, and 
she washed her hands and abode with me till the season of mid- 
afternoon prayer, when she brought out of the parcel she had with 
her a shirt and trousers and an upper garment * and a gold-worked 
kerchief and gave them to me ; saying, " Know that I am one of 
the concubines of the Caliph, and we be forty concubines, each of 
whom hath a cicisbeo who cometh to her as often as she would 
have him ; and none is without a lover save myself, wherefore I 
came forth this day to get me a gallant and now I have found thee. 
Thou must know that the Caliph lieth each night with one of us, 
whilst the other nine-and-thirty concubines take their ease with 
the nine-and-thirty masculines, and I would have thee company 
with me on such a day, when do thou come up to the palace of 
the Caliph and sit awaiting me in such a place, till a little eunuch 
come out to thee and say to thee a certain watch-word which is, Art 
thou Sandal ? Answer Yes, and wend thee with him." Then she 
took leave of me and I of her, after I had strained her to my bosom 
and thrown my arms round her neck and we had exchanged kisses 
awhile. So she fared forth and I abode patiently expecting the 
appointed day, till it came, when I arose and went out, intending 
for the trysting-place ; but a friend of mine met me by the way 
and made me go home with him. I accompanied him and when I 
came up into his sitting-chamber he locked the door on me and 
walked out to fetch what we might eat and drink. He was absent 
until midday, then till the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, whereat I 
was chagrined with sore concern. Then he was missing till sun- 
down, and I was like to die of vexation and impatience ; and 
indeed he returned not and I passed my night on wake, nigh upon 
death, for the door was locked on me, and my soul was like to 
depart my body on account of the assignation. At daybreak, my 

1 Dozy says of "Hunayni" (Haini), II semble etre le nom d'un v&ement. On 
which we may remaik, Connu ! 

The Concubine and the Caliph. 27 f 

friend returned and opening the door, came in, bringing with hiri. 
meat-pudding * and fritters and bees' honey, and said to me, " By 
Allah, thou must needs excuse me, for that I was with a company 
and they locked the door on me and have let me go but this very 
moment." I returned him no reply ; however, he set before me 
that which was with him and I ate a single mouthful and went out, 
irunning at speed so haply I might overtake the rendezvous which 
had escaped me. When I came to the palace, I saw over against 
it eight-and-thirty gibbets set up, whereon were eight-and-thirty 
men crucified, and under them eight-and-thirty 2 concubines as 
they were moons. So I asked the cause of the crucifixion of the 
men and concerning the women in question, and it was said unto 
me, " The men thou seest crucified the Caliph found with yonder 
damsels, who be his bed-fellows." When I heard this, I prostrated 
myself in thanksgiving to Allah and said, "The Almighty re- 
quite thee with all good, O my friend ! " For had he not invited 
me and locked me up in his house that night, I had been crucified 
with these men, wherefore Alhamdolillah laud to the Lord f 
" On this wise," (continued Shahrazad), " none is safe from the 
calamities of the world and the vicissitudes of Time, and in proot 
of this, I will relate unto thee yet another story still rarer and 
stranger than this. Know, O king, that one said to me : A friend 
of mine, a merchant, told me the following tale of 

1 Arab. Harfsah : see vol. i. 131. Westerns make a sad mess of this dish when they 
describe it as une sorte cToHa podrida (the hotch-pot), une patee de viandes, de froment 
et de legumes sees. (Al-Mas'udi vtii. 438). Whenever I have eaten it, it was always 
a meat-pudding, for which see vol. i. 131. 

2 Evidently one escaped because she was sleeping with the Caliph and a second because 
she had kept her assignation. 




As I sat one day in my shop, there came up to me a fair woman, 
as she were the moon at its rising, and with her a hand-maid. 
Now I was a handsome man in my time ; so that lady sat down 
on my shop 2 and buying stuffs of me, paid the price and went her 
ways. I asked the girl anent her and she answered, " I know not 
her name." Quoth I, " Where is her abode?" Quoth she, " In 
heaven;" and I, "She is presently on the earth; so when doth 
she ascend to heaven and where is the ladder by which she goeth 
up ? " 3 The girl retorted, " She hath her lodging in a palace 
between two rivers, 4 that is, in the palace of Al-Maamun al- 
Hakim bi-Amri 'llah." 5 Then said I, " I am a dead man, without 
a doubt;" but she replied, " Have patience, for needs must she 
return to thee and buy other stuffs of thee." I asked, " And how 
cometh it that the Commander of the Faithful trusteth her to go 
out ?" and she answered, " He loveth her with exceeding love 

1 Mr. Payne entitles it, The Merchant of Cairo and the Favourite of the Khalif el' 
Mamoun el Hakim bi Amrillah." 

2 See my Pilgrimage (i. 100) : the seat would be on the same bit of boarding where the 
master sits or on a stool or bench in the street. 

3 This is true Cairene chaff, give and take ; and the stranger must accustom himself to 
it before he can be at home with the people. 

4 i.e. In Rauzah-island : see vol. v. 169. 

* There is no historical person who answers to these names, " The Secure, the Ruler 
by Commandment of Allah." The cognomen applies to two soldans of Egypt, of 
vhom the later Abu al-Abbas Ahmad the Abbaside (A.D. 1261-1301) has already 
been mentioned in The Nights (vol.v. 86). The tale suggests the earlier Al-Hakim 
(Abu All al-Mansur, the Fatimite, A.D. 995-1021), the God of the Druze " persuasion ; " 
and the tale-teller may have purposely blundered in changing Mansur to Maamiin for 
fear of offending a sect which has been most dangerous in the matter of assassination 
and which is capable of becoming so again. 

282 Supplemental Nights. 

and is wrapped up in her and crosseth her not." Then the slave- 
girl went away, running after her mistress ; whereupon I left the 
shop and followed them, so I might see her abiding-place. I kept 
them in view all the way, till she disappeared from mine eyes, 
when I returned to my place, with heart a*fire. Some days after, 
she came to me again and bought stuffs of me : I refused to take 
the price and she cried, " We have no need of thy goods." Quoth 
I, " O my lady, accept them from me as a gift ; " but quoth she, 
" Wait till I try thee and make proof of thee." Then she brought 
out of her pocket a purse and gave me therefrom a thousand 
dinars, saying, " Trade with this till I return to thee." So I took 
the purse and she went away and returned not till six months 
had passed. Meanwhile, I traded with the money and sold 
and bought and made other thousand dinars profit on it. At 
last she came to me again and I said to her, " Here is thy money 
and I have gained with it other thousand ducats ; " and she, 
" Let it lie by thee and take these other thousand dinars. As 
soon as I have departed from thee, go thou to Al-Rauzah, the 
Garden-holm, and build there a goodly pavilion, and when the 
edifice is accomplished, give me to know thereof." So saying, 
she left me and went away. As soon as she was gone, I betook 
myself to Al-Rauzah and fell to building the pavilion, and when 
it was finished, I furnished it with the finest of furniture and 
sent to tell her that I had made an end of the edifice ; where- 
upon she sent back to me, saying, " Let him meet me to-morrow 
about daybreak at the Zuwaylah gate and bring with him a strong 
ass." I did as she bade and, betaking myself to the Zuwaylah 
gate, at the appointed time, found there a young man on horse- 
back, awaiting her, even as 1 awaited her. As we stood, behold, 
up she came, and with her a slave-girl. When she saw that 
young man, she asked him, " Art thou here ? " and he answered, 
"Yes, O my lady." Quoth she, "To-day I am invited by this 
man : wilt thou wend with us ? " and quoth he, " Yes." Then 

The Concubine of Al-Maamun. 283 

said she, "Thou hast brought me hither against my will and 
parforce. Wilt thou go with us in any case ? " 1 He cried, 
" Yes, yes," and we fared on, all three, till we came to Al-Rauzah 
and entered the pavilion. The dame diverted herself awhile 
with viewing its ordinance and furniture, after which she doffed 
her walking-dress and sat down with the young man in the 
goodliest and chiefest place. Then I fared forth and brought 
them what they should eat at the first of the day ; presently I 
again went out and fetched them what they should eat at the last 
of the day and brought for the twain wine and dessert and 
fruits and flowers. After this fashion I abode in their service, 
standing on my feet, and she said not unto me, " Sit," nor 
" Take, eat " nor " Take, drink," while she and the young man 
sat toying and laughing, and he fell to kissing her and pinching 
her and hopping over the ground 2 and laughing. They remained 
thus awhile and presently she said, " Hitherto we have not 
become drunken ; let me pour out." So she took the cup, and 
crowning it, gave him to drink and plied him with wine, till 
he lost his wits, when she took him up and carried him into a 
closet. Then she came out, with the head of that youth in her 
hand, while I stood silent, fixing not mine eyes on her eyes 
neither questioning her of the case ; and she asked me, " What 
be this ? " " I wot not," answered I ; and she said, " Take it 
and throw it into the river." I accepted her commandment and 
she arose and stripping herself of her clothes, took a knife 
and cut the dead man's body in pieces, which she laid in three 
baskets, and said to me, " Throw them into the river." I did her 
bidding and when I returned, she said to me, "Sit, so I may 
relate to thee yonder fellow's case, lest thou be affrighted at 
what accident hath befallen him. Thou must know that I am 

1 Arab. 'Ala kulli h*l " = " whatever may betide," or " willy-nilly." The phrase 
is still popular. 

2 The dulce desipere of young lovers, he making a buffoon of himself to amuse her. 

284 Supplemental Nights. 

the Caliph's favourite concubine, nor is there any higher in honour 
with him than I ; and I am allowed six nights in each month, 
wherein I go down into the city and tarry with my whilome 
mistress who reared me ; and when I go down thus, I dispose 
of myself as I will. Now this young man was the son of certain 
neighbours of my mistress, when I was a virgin girl. One day, 
my mistress was sitting with the chief officers of the palace and I 
was alone in the house, and as the night came on, I went up 
to the terrace-roof in order to sleep there, but ere I was ware, 
this youth came up from the street and falling upon me knelt on 
my breast. He was armed with a dagger and I could not get 
free of him till he had taken my maidenhead by force ; and this 
sufficed him not, but he must needs disgrace me with all the 
folk for, as often as I came down from the palace, he would stand 
in wait for me by the way and futtered me against my will and 
follow me whithersoever I went. This, then, is my story, 
and as for thee, thou pleasest me and thy patience pleaseth me 
and thy good faith and loyal service, and there abideth with 
me none dearer than thou." Then I lay with her that night 
and there befel what befel between us till the morning, when 
she gave me abundant wealth and took to meeting me at the 
pavilion six days in every month. After this wise we passed 
a whole year, at the end of which she cut herself off from 
me a month's space, wherefore fire raged in my heart on her 
account. When it was the next month, behold, a little eunuch 
presented himself to me and said, " I am a messenger to thee 
from Such-an-one, who giveth thee to know that the Commander 
of the Faithful hath ordered her to be drowned, her and those 
who are with her, six-and-twenty slave-girls, on such a day at 
Dayr al-Tin, 1 for that they have confessed of lewdness, one 
against other and she sayeth to thee, Look how thou mayst do 

4 " The convent of Clay," a Coptic monastery near Cairo. 

The Concubine of Al-Maamun. 28 J 

with me and how thou mayst contrive to deliver me, even an 
thou gather together all my money and spend it upon me, for 
that this be the time of manhood." 1 Quoth I, " I know not this 
Woman ; belike it is other than I to whom this message is sent ; 
so beware, O Eunuch, lest thou cast me into a cleft." Quoth he, 
11 Behold, I have told thee that I had to say/' and went away, 
leaving me in sore concern on her account. Now when the 
appointed day came, I arose and changing my clothes and 
Favour, donned sailor's apparel; then I took with me a purse 
full of gold and buying a right good breakfast, accosted a boat- 
man at Dayr al-Tin and sat down and ate with him ; after which 
I asked him, " Wilt thou hire me thy boat ? " Answered he, 
h The Commander of the Faithful hath commanded me to be 
here ; " and he told me the tale of the concubines and how the 
Caliph purposed to drown them that day. When I heard this 
from him, I brought out to him ten gold pieces and discovered 
to him my case, whereupon he said to me, " O my brother, get 
thee empty gourds, and when thy mistress cometh, give me 
to know of her and I will contrive the trick." So I kissed 
his hand and thanked him and, as I was walking about, waiting, 
up came the guards and eunuchs escorting the women, who were 
seeping and shrieking and farewelling one another. The Castrates 
cried out to us, whereupon we came with the boat, and they said 
to the sailor, "Who be this?" Said he, "This be my mate 
whom I have brought to help me, so one of us may keep the 
boat, whilst another doth your service." Then they brought 
out to us the women, one by one, saying, " Throw them in by the 
Island ; " and we replied, " 'Tis well." Now each of them was 
shackled and they had made fast about her neck a jar of sand. 
We did as the neutrals bade us and ceased not to take the women, 
one after other, and cast them in, till they gave us my mistress 

1 i.e. this is the time to show thyself a man. 

286 Supplemental Nights. 

and I winked to my mate. So we took her and carried her 
out into mid-stream, where I threw to her the empty gourds l and 
said to her, Wait for me at the mouth of the Canal." a Then 
we cast her in alongside the boat, after we had loosed the jar of 
sand from her legs 3 and done off her shackles, and returned. 
Now there remained one woman after her: so we took her 
and drowned her and the eunuchs went away, whilst we dropped 
down the river with the craft till we came to the mouth of 
Khalij, where I saw my mistress awaiting me. We haled her 
up into the canoe and returned to our pavilion on Al-Rauzah. 
Then I rewarded the sailor and he took his boat and went away ; 
whereupon quoth she to me, "Thou art indeed the friend ever 
faithful found for the shifts of Fortune.*' 4 And I sojourned with 
her some days; but the shock wrought upon her so that she 
sickened and fell to wasting away and redoubled in languor and 
weakness till she died. I mourned for her with exceeding 
mourning and buried her ; after which I removed all that was 
in the pavilion to my own house and abandoned the building. 
Now she had brought to that pavilion a little coffer of copper 
and laid it in a place whereof I knew not ; so, when the Inspector of 
Inheritances 5 came, he rummaged the house and found the coffer, 
with the key in the lock. Presently he opened it and seeing 
ft full of jewels and jacinths and earrings and seal-rings and 
precious stones (and 'twas a matter such as is not found save with 

1 The Eastern succedaneum for swimming corks and other "life-preservers." The 
practice is very ancient : we find these gourds upon the monuments of Egypt and 

2 Arab. " Al-Khalij," the name, still popular, of the Grand Canal of Cairo, whose 
banks, by- the -by, are quaint and picturesque as anything of the kind in Holland. 

3 A few lines higher up it was " her neck " ; but the jar may have slipped down. 

4 We say more laconically ' A friend in need." 

5 Arab. "Nzir al-Mawaris", the employe* charged with the disposal of legacies and 
seizing escheats to the Crown when Moslems die intestate. He is usually a prodigious 
rascal as in the text. The office was long kept up in Southern Europe, and Camoens 
was sent to Macao as " Provedor dos defuntos e ausentes." 

The Concubine of Al-Maamun. 


kings and sultans), took it, and me with it, and he and his men 
ceased not to put me to the question with beating and torment 
till I confessed to them the whole affair, from beginning to end. 
Thereupon they carried me to the Caliph and I told him all that 
had passed between me and her ; and he said to me, "O man, 
depart this city, for I release thee on account of thy courage and 
because of thy constancy in keeping thy secret and thy daring in 
exposing thyself to death." So I arose forthwith and fared from 
his city ; and this is what befel me. 



Here end my labours with the Supflevvntal Tales of the 
Breslau text; and now I take the opportunity of introducing 
MR. CLOUSTON to my readers. 










FEW of the stories in the "Arabian Nights" which charmed our marvelling 
boyhood were greater favourites than this one, under the title of "Abou 
Hassan ; or, the Sleeper Awakened." What recked we in those days whence 
it was derived ? the story the story was the thing ! As Sir R. F. Burton 
observes in his first note, this is " the only one of the eleven added by Galland, 
whose original has been discovered in Arabic ; " > and it is probable that 
Galland heard it recited in a coffee-house during his residence in Constanti- 
nople. The plot of the Induction to Shakspeare's comedy of " The Taming of 
the Shrew" is similar to the adventure of Abu al-Hasan the Wag, and is 
generally believed to have been adapted from a story entitled " The Waking 
Man's Fortune " in Edward's collection of comic tales, 1570, which were retold, 
somewhat differently in Goulart's "Admirable and Memorable Histories,'* 
1607 ; both versions are reprinted in Mr. Hazlitt's " Shakspeare Library,'* 
vol. iv., part I, pp. 403-414. In Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English 
Poetry" we find the adventure told in a ballad entitled "The Frolicksome 
Duke ; or, the Tinker's Good Fortune," from the Pepys collection : "whether 

1 Sir R. F. Burton has since found two more of " GallandV tales in an Arabic 
text of The Nights, namely Aladdin and Zeyn al-Asnam. 

292 Appendix: Variants and Analogues, 

it may be thought to have suggested the hint to Shakspeare or is not rather 
Of later date," says Percy, " the reader must determine" : 

Now as fame does report, a young duke keeps a court, 

One that pleases his fancy with frolicksome sport : 

But amongst all the rest, here is one, I protest, 

Which will make you to smile when you hear the true jest : 

A poor tinker he found lying drunk on the ground, 

As secure in a sleep as if laid in a swownd. 

The duke said to his men, William, Richard, and Ben, 
Take him home to my palace, we'll sport with him then, 
O'er a horse he was laid, and with care soon convey'd 
To the palace, altho' he was poorly arrai'd ; 
Then they stript off his cloaths, both his shirt, shoes, and hose* 
And they put him in bed for to take his repose. 

Having pull'd off his shirt, which was all over durt, 
They did give him clean holland, this was no great hurt : 
On a bed of soft down, like a lord of renown, 
They did lay him to sleep the drink out of his crown. 
In the morning when day, then admiring 1 he lay, 
For to see the rich chamber both gaudy and gay. 

Now he lay something late, in his rich bed of state, 
Till at last knights and squires they on him did wait ; 
And the chamberling bare, then did likewise declare, 
He desired to know what apparel he'd ware : 
The poor tinker amaz'd, on the gentleman gaz'd, 
And admired how he to this honour was rais'd. 

Tho' he seem'd something mute, yet he chose a rich suit* 
Which he straitways put on without longer dispute ; 
With a star on his side, which the tinker offt ey'd, 
And it seem'd for to swell him no little with pride ; 
For he said to himself, Where is Joan my sweet wife ? 
Sure she never did see me so fine in her life. 

From a convenient place, the right duke his good grace 
Did observe his behaviour in every case. 
To a garden of state, on the tinker they wait, 
Trumpets sounding before him : thought he this is great : 
Where an hour or two, pleasant walks he did view, 
With commanders and squires in scarlet and blew. 

A fine dinner was drest, both for him and his guests, 

He was placed at the table above all the rest, 

In. a rich chair, or bed, lin'd with fine crimson red, 

With a rich golden canopy over his head : 

As he sat at his meat, the musick play'd sweet, 

With the choicest of singing his joys to compleaf. 

* i.e. wondering ; thus Lady Macbeth says : 

*'You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting, 
With most admired disorder." Macbeth^ iii. 4. 

The Sleeper and the Waker. 293 

While the tinker did dine, he had plenty of wine. 

Rich canary with sherry and tent superfine, 

Like a right honest soul, faith, he took off his bowl, 

Till at last he began for to tumble and roul 

From his chair to the floor, where he sleeping did snore, 

Being seven times drunker than ever before. 

Then the duke did ordain, they should strip him amain, 
And restore him his old leather garments again : 
'Twas a point next the worst, yet perform it they must, 
And they carry'd him strait, where they found him at first j 
Then he slept all the night, as indeed well he might, 
But when he did waken, his joys took their flight. 

For his glory to him so pleasant did seem, 

That he thought it to be but a meer golden dream ; 

Till at length he was brought to the duke, where he sought 

For a pardon as fearing he had set him at nought ; 

But his highness he said, Thou'rt a jolly bold blade, 

Such a frolick before I think never was plaid. 

Then his highness bespoke him a new suit and cloak, 
Which he gave for the sake of this frolucksome joak ; 
Nay, and five hundred pound, with ten acres of ground, 
Thou shalt never, said he, range the counteries round, 
Crying old brass to mend, for I'll be thy good friend, 
Nay, and Joan thy sweet wife shall my duchess attend. 

Then the tinker reply'd, What ! must Joan my sweet bride 

Be a lady in chariots of pleasure to ride ? 

Must we have gold and land ev'ry day at command ? 

Then I shall be a squire I well understand : 

Well I thank your good grace, and your love I embrace, 

I was never before in so happy a case. 

The same story is also cited in the "Anatomy of Melancholy," part 2, 
sec. 2, memb. 4, from Ludovicus Vives in Epist. 1 and Pont. Heuter in Rerura 
Burgund., as follows : 

" It is reported of Philippus Bonus, that good Duke of Burgundy, that the 
said duke, at the marriage of Eleonora, sister to the King of Portugal, at 
Bruges in Flanders, which was solemnized in the deep of winter, when as by 
reason of the unseasonable (!) weather he could neither hawk nor hunt, and 
was now tyred with cards, dice, &c., and such other domestical sports, or to see 
ladies dance, with some of his courtiers, he would in the evening walk disguised 
all about the town. It so fortuned as he was walking late one night, he found a 
country fellow dead drunk, snorting on a bulk ; he caused his followers to bring 
him to his palace, and there stripping him of his old clothes, and attiring him after 

1 Ludovicus Vives, one of the most learned of Spanish authors, was born at Valentia 
in 1492 and died in 1540. 

204 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

the court fashion, when he waked, he and they were all ready to attend upon 
hte excellency, persuading him that he was some great duke. The poor fellow, 
admiring how he came there, was served in state all the day long ; after 
supper he saw them dance, heard musick, and the rest of those court-like 
pleasures ; but late at night, when he was well tipled, and again fast asleep 
they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where they first 
found him. Now the fellow had not made them so good sport the day before, 
as he did when he returned to himself ; all the jest was to see how he looked 
upon it. In conclusion, after some little admiration, the poor man told his 
friends he had seen a vision, constantly beleeved it, would not otherwise be 
perswaded ; and so the jest ended." 

I do not think that this is a story imported from the East : the adventure is 
just as likely to have happened in Bruges as in Baghdad ; but the exquisite 
humour of the Arabian tale is wanting even Shakspeare's Christopher Sly is 
not to be compared with honest Abu al-Hasan the Wag. 

This story of The Sleeper and the Waker recalls the similar device practised 
by the Chief of the Assassins that formidable, murderous association, the terror 
of the Crusaders on promising novices. Von Hammer, in his " History of the 
Assassins," end of Book iv., gives a graphic description of the charming gardens 
into which the novices were carried while insensible from hashish : 

In the centre of the Persian as well as of the Assyrian territory of the 
Assassins, that is to say, both at Alamut and Massiat, were situated, in a space 
surrounded by walls, splendid gardens true Eastern paradises. There were 
flower-beds and thickets of fruit-trees, intersected by canals, shady walks, and 
verdant glades, where the sparkling stream bubbled at every step ; bowers of 
roses and vineyards ; luxurious halls and porcelain kiosks, adorned with Persian 
carpets and Grecian stuffs, where drinking-vessels of gold, silver, and crystal 
glittered on trays of the same costly materials ; charming maidens and hand- 
some boys of Muhammed's Paradise, soft as the cushions on which they reposed, 
and intoxicating as the wine which they presented. The music of the harp was 
mingled with the songs of birds, and the melodious tones of the songstress 
harmonized with the murmur of the brooks. Everything breathed pleasure, 
rapture, and sensuality. A youth, who was deemed worthy by his strength and 
resolution to be initiated into the Assassin service, was invited to the table 
and conversation of the grand master, or grand prior, he was then intoxicated 
with hashish and carried into the garden, which on awaking he believed to be 
Paradise ; everything around him, the houris in particular, contributing to con- 
firm the delusion. After he had experienced as much of the pleasures of 
Paradise, which the Prophet has promised to the faithful, as his strength would 
admit ; after quaffing enervating delight from the eyes of the houris and in* 
toxicating wine from the glittering goblets j he sank into the lethargy produced 
by debility and the opiate, on awakening from which, after a few hours, he again 
found himself by the side of his superior. The latter endeavoured to convince 

The Ten Wazfrs. 295 

him that corporeally he had not left his side, but that spiritually he had been 
wrapped into Paradise and had there enjoyed a foretaste of the bliss which 
awaits the faithful who devote their lives to the service of the faith and the 
obedience of their chiefs. 


THE precise date of the Persian original of this romance (" Bakhtyar Ndma ") 
has not been ascertained, but it was probably composed before the beginning 
of the fifteenth century, since there exists in the Bodleian Library a unique 
Turk! version, in the Uygur language and characters, which was written in 
1434. Only three of the tales have hitherto been found in other Asiatic story- 
books. The Turkf version, according to M. Jaubert, who gives an account of 
the MS. and a translation of one of the tales in the Journal Asiatique^ 
tome x. 1827, is characterised by "great sobriety of ornament and extreme 
simplicity of style, and the evident intention on the part of the translator to 
suppress all that may not have appeared to him sufficiently probable, and all 
that might justly be taxed with exaggeration ; '' and he adds that " apart from 
the interest which the writing and phraseology of the work may possess for 
those who study the history of languages, it is rather curious to see how a 
Ta"ta*r translator sets to work to bring within the range of his readers storiea 
embellished in the original with descriptions and images familiar, doubtless, to 
a learned and refined nation like the Persians, but foreign to shepherds." 

At least three different versions are known to the Malays different in the 
frame, or leading story, if not in the subordinate tales. One of those is 
described in the second volume of Newbold's work on Malacca, the frame of 
which is similar to the Persian original and its Arabian derivative, excepting 
that the name of the king is Zddbokhtin and that of the minister's daughter 
(who is nameless in the Persian) is Mahrwat. Two others are described in 
Van den Berg's account of Malay, Arabic, Javanese and other MSS. published 
at Batavia, 1877 ; p. 21, No. 132 is entitled "The History of Ghutem, son of 
Zddbukhtdn, King of Ada"n, in Persia," and the frame also corresponds with 
our version, with the important difference that the robber-chief who had 
brought up Ghuldm, " learning that he had become a person of consequence, 
came to his residence to visit him, but rinding him imprisoned, he was much 
concerned, and asked the king's pardon on his behalf, telling him at the same 
time how he had formerly found Ghuldm in the jungle ; from which the king 
knew that Ghuldm was his son." The second version noticed by Van dea 
Berg (p. 32, No. 179), though similar in title to the Persian original, " History 
of Prince Bakhtyar," differs very materially in the leading story, the outline of 

96 Appendix : Variants anff Analogues. 

which Is as follows : This prince, when his father was put to flight by a younger 
brother, who wished to dethrone him, was born in a jungle, and abandoned by 
his parents. A merchant named Idris took charge of him and brought him 
qp. Later on he became one of the officers of state with his own father, who 
had in the meanwhile found another kingdom, and decided with fairness, the 
cases brought before him. He was, however, put in prison, on account of a 
supposed attempt on the king's life, and would have been put to death had 
he not stayed the execution by telling various beautiful stories. Even the king 
came repeatedly to listen to him. At one of these visits BakhtyaYs foster-father 
Idrfs was present, and related to his adopted son how he had found him in the 
jungle. The king, on hearing this, perceived that it was his son who had been 
brought up by Idrfs, recognised Bakhtydr as such, and made over to him the 
kingdom." I have little doubt that this romance is of Indian extraction. 

Vol. / /. 94. 

THIS agrees pretty closely with the Turki version of the same story (rendered 
into French by M. Jaubert), though in the latter the names of the characters 
are the same as in the Persian, King Ddm and the Wazfrs Kamgdr and 
Kdrddr. In the Persian story, the damsel is tied hands and feet and placed 
upon a camel, which is then turned into a dreary wilderness. "Here sne 
suffered from the intense heat and from thirst ; but she resigned herself to the 
will of Providence, conscious of her own innocence. Just then the camel lay 
down, and on the spot a fountain of delicious water suddenly sprang forth ; the 
cords which bound her hands and feet dropped off; she refreshed herself by a 
draught of the water, and fervently returned thanks to Heaven for this blessing 
and her wonderful preservation." This two-fold miracle does not appear in the 
Turki and Arabian versions. It is not the cameleer of the King of Persia, but 
of King Dddi'n, who meets with the pious damsel in the wilderness. He takes 
her to his own house and one day relates his adventure to King Da" din, who 
expresses a wish to see such a prodigy of sanctity. The conclusion of the 
Persian story is quite dramatic : The cameleer, having consented, returned at 
once to his house, accompanied by the king, who waited at the door of the 
apartment where the daughter of Kamgdr was engaged in prayer. When she 
had concluded he approached, and with astonishment recognised her. Having 
tenderly embraced her, he wept, and entreated her forgiveness. This she 
readily granted, but begged that he would conceal himself in the apartment 
while she should converse with Kdrda>, whom she sent for. When he arrived, 
and beheld her with a thousand expressions of fondness, he inquired how she 
had escaped, and told her that on the day the king banished her into the wilder- 

Story of Ay Ian Shah and Abu Tammdm. 297 

ness, he had sent people to seek her and bring her to him. "How much 
better would it have been," he added, " had you followed my advice, and agreed 
to my proposal of poisoning the king, who, I said, would one day destroy you 
as he had done your father ! But you rejected my advice, and declared yourself 
ready to submit to whatever Providence should decree. Hereafter you will pay 
more attention to my words. But now let us not think of what is past. I am 
your slave, and you are dearer to me than my own eyes." So saying, he 
attempted to clasp the daughter of Kdmgdr in his arms, when the king, who 
was concealed behind the hangings, rushed furiously on him and put him to 
death. After this he conducted the damsel to his palace, and constantly 
lamented his precipitancy in having killed her father. This tale seems to have 
been taken from the Persian "Tuti Ndrna," or Parrot-book, composed by 
Nakhshabf about the year 1306 j 1 it occurs in the 5ist Night of the India Office 
MS. 2573, under the title of " Story of the Daughter of the Vazfr KMssa, and 
how she found safety through the blessing of her piety :" the name of the king 
is Bahrain, and the Wazfrs are called Khussa and Khaldssa. ; 


' THE catastrophe of this story forms the subject of the Lady's 3;th tale in the 
text of the Turkish " FortyJ/ezfrs/ translated by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb. This 
is how it goes : 

In the palace of the world there was a king, and that king had three vezfrs, 
but there was rivalry between them. Two of them day and night incited the 
king against the third, saying, " He is a traitor." But the king believed them 
not. At length they promised two pages much gold, and instructed them thus : 
" When the king has lain down, ere he yet fall asleep, do ye feign to think him 
asleep, and while talking with each other, say at a fitting time, ' I have heard 
from such a one that yon vezfr says this and that concerning the king, and that 
he hates him ; many people say that vezfr is an enemy to our king.'" So they 
did this, and when the king heard them, he said in his heart, " What those 
vezfrs said is then true ; when the very pages have heard somewhat it must 
indeed have some foundation. Till now, I believed not those vezfrs, but it is 
then true." And the king executed that vezfr. The other vezfrs were glad and 
gave the pages the gold they had promised. So they took it and went to a 
private place, and while they were dividing it one of them said, " I spake first ; 
I want more." The other said, " If I had not said he was an enemy to our 
king, the king would not have killed him ; I shall take more." And while they 

* There was an older "Tuti Ndma," which Nakhshabi modernised, made from a 
Sanskrit story-book, now lost, but its modern representative is the " Suka Saptatf," or 
Seventy (Tales) of a Parrot, in which most of Nakhshabi's tales are famd. 

298 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

were quarrelling with one another the king passed by there, and he listened 
attentively to their words, and when he learned of the matter, he said, " Dost 
thou see, they have by a trick made us kill that hapless vezir." And he was 


Vol. I. p. 131. 

THE Persian original has been very considerably amplified by the Arabian 
translator. In the "Bakhtya'r Nma" there is not a word about the two 
brothers and their fair cousin, the attempted murder of the infant, and the 
adventures of the fugitive young prince. This story has also been taken from 
the "Tuti Nama" of Nakhshabi, Night the $oth of the India Office MS, 2573, 
where, under the title of " Story of the Daughter of the Kaysar of Roum, and 
her trouble by reason of her son," it is told somewhat as follows : 

In former times there was a great king, whose army was numerous and whose 
treasury was full to overflowing ; but, having no enemy to contend with, he 
neglected to pay his soldiers, in consequence of which they were in a state of desti- 
tution and discontent. At length one day the soldiers went to the prime minister 
and made their condition known to him. The vazir promised that he would speedily 
devise a plan by which they should have employment and money. Next morn- 
ing he presented himself before the king, and said that it was widely reported 
the Kaysar of Roum had a daughter unsurpassed for beauty one who was fit 
only for such a great monarch as his Majesty ; and suggested that it would be 
advantageous if an alliance were formed between two such great potentates. 
The notion pleased the king well, and he forthwith despatched to Roum an am- 
bassador with rich gifts, and requested the Kaysar to grant him his daughter in 
marriage. But the Kaysar waxed wroth at this, and refused to give his daughter 
to the king. When the ambassador returned thus unsuccessful, the king, enraged 
at being made of no account, resolved to make war upon the Kaysar ; so, open- 
ing the doors of his treasury, he distributed much money among his troops, and 
then, " with a woe-bringing host, and a blood-drinking army, he trampled Roum 
and the folk of Roum in the dust." And when the Kaysar was become power- 
less, he sent his daughter to the king, who married her according to the law of 

Now that princess had a son by a former husband, and the Kaysar had 
said to her before she departed, " Beware that thou mention not thy son, for 
my love for his society is great, and I cannot part with him." l But the princess 

1 According to Lescallier's French translation of the " Bakhtyar Nama," made from 
two MSS- = " She had previously had a lover, with whom, unknown to her father, she 
had intimate relations, and had given birth to a beautiful boy, whose education she 
secretly confided to some trusty servants." 

JStory of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece. 299 

was sick at heart for the absence of her son, and she was ever pondering how 
she should speak to the king about him, and in what manner she might 
contrive to bring him to her. It happened one day the king gave her a string 
of pearls and a casket of jewels. She said, " With my father is a slave who 
is well skilled in the science of jewels." The king replied, " If I should ask 
that slave of thy father, would he give him to me ? " " Nay,' 1 said she, " for 
he holds him in the place of a son. But if the king desire him, I will send a 
merchant to Roum, and I myself will give him a token, and with pleasant 
wiles and fair speeches will bring him. hither." Then the king sent for a 
clever merchant who knew Arabic eloquently and the language of Roum, and 
gave him goods for trading, and sent him to Roum with the object of procuring 
that slave. But the daughter of the Kaysar said privily to the merchant, 
" That slave is my son ; I have, for a good reason, said to the king that he is 
a slave ; so thou must bring him as a slave, and let it be thy duty to take care 
of him." In due course the merchant brought the youth to the king's service ; 
and when the king saw his fair face, and discovered in him many pleasing and 
varied accomplishments, he treated him with distinction and favour, and con- , 
ferred on the merchant a robe of honour and gifts. His mother saw him from 
afar, and was pleased with receiving a secret salutation from him. 

One day the king had gone to the chase, and the palace remained void of 
rivals ; so the mother called in her son, kissed his fair face, and told him the 
tale of her great sorrow. A chamberlain became aware of the secret, and ; 
another suspicion fell upon him, and he said to himself, " The harem of the king 
is the sanctuary of security and the palace of protection. If I speak not of this, ' 
I shall be guilty of treachery and shall have wrought unfaithfulness." When 
the king returned from the chase, the chamberlain related to him what he had 
seen, and the king was angry and said, " This woman hath deceived me with 
words and deeds, and has brought hither her desire by craft and cunning. This 
conjecture must be true, else why did she play such a trick ? And why did she 
hatch such a plot? And why did she send the merchant?" Then the king, 
enraged, went into the harem, and the queen saw from his countenance that 
the occurrence of the night before had become known to him, and she said, 
"Be it not that I see the king angry?" He said, "How should I not be 
angry ? Thou, by craft, and trickery, and intrigue, and plotting, hast brought 
thy desire from Roum what wantonness is this that thou hast done ? " And 
then he thought to slay her, but he forebore, because of his great love for her. 
But he ordered the chamberlain to carry the youth to some obscure place, and 
straightway sever his head from his body. When the poor mother saw this, 
she well-nigh fell on her face, and her soul was near leaving her body. But 
she knew that sorrow would not avail, and so she restrained herself. 

And when the chamberlain took the youth into his own house, he said to 
him, " O youth, knowest thou not that the harem of the king is the sanctuary 
of security? What great treachery is this that thou hast perpetrated?" The 
youth replied, " That queen is my mother, and I am her true son. Because of 

3OO Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

her natural delicacy, she said not to the king that she had a son by another 
husband. And when yearning came over her, she contrived to bring me 
here from Roum ; and while the king was engaged in the chase, maternal 
love stirred in her, and she called me to her and embraced me/' On hearing 
this, the chamberlain said to himself, " What is passing in his mother's breast ? 
What I have not done I can yet do, and it were better that I preserve this 
youth some days, for such a rose may not be wounded through idle words, and 
such a bough may not be broken by a breath. For some day the truth of the 
matter will be disclosed, and it will become known to the king when repentance 
may be of no avail." So he went before the king and said, " That which was 
commanded have I fulfilled." On hearing this the king's wrath was to some 
csctent removed, but his trust in the Kaysar's daughter was departed ; while 
she, poor creature, was grieved and dazed at the loss of her son. 

Now in the palace-harem there was an old woman, who said to the queen, 
u How is it that I find thee sorrowful ? " And the queen told the whole story, 
concealing nothing. This old woman was a heroine in the field of craft, and she 
answered, " Keep thy mind at ease ; I will devise a stratagem by which the heart 
of the king will be pleased with thee, and every grief he has will vanish from 
his heart." The queen said that, if she did so, she should be amply rewarded. 
One day the old woman, seeing the king alone, said to him, "Why is thy 
former aspect altered ? And why are traces of care and anxiety visible on thy 
countenance?" The king then told her all. Then said the old woman, "I 
have an amulet of the charms of Sulayman, in the Syriac language, and in the 
writing of the jinn (genii). When the queen is asleep, do thou place it on her 
breast, and whatever it may be, she will tell the truth of it. But take care, fall 
not thou asleep, but listen well to what she says." The king wondered at this 
and said, " Give me that amulet, that the truth of this matter may be learned." 
So the old woman gave him the amulet, and then went to the queen and 
explained what she had done, and said, "Do thou feign to be asleep, and 
relate the whole of thy story faithfully." 

When a watch of the night was past, the king laid the amulet upon his wife's 
breast, and she thus began : " By a former husband I had a son, and when my 
father gave me to this king, I was ashamed to say I had a tall son. When my 
yearning passed all bounds, I brought him here by an artifice. One day that 
the king was gone to the chase I called him into the house, when, after the way 
of mothers, I took him in my arms and kissed him. This reached the king's 
ears ; he unwittingly gave it another construction, and cut off the head of that 
innocent boy, and withdrew from me his own heart. Alike is my son lost to 
me and the king angry." When the king heard these words he kissed her and 
exclaimed, " O my life, what an error is this thou hast committed ! Thou hast 
brought calumny upon thyself, and hast given such a son to the winds, and 
hast made me ashamed J " Straightway he called the chamberlain, and said, 
" That boy whom thou hast killed is the son of my beloved and the darling of 
my beauty ! Where is his grave, that we may make there a guest-house ? " The 

Firm and his Wife. 

chamberlain said, " That youth is yet alive. When tlie king commanded his 
death, I was about to kill him, but he said, 'That queen is my mother. 
Through modesty before the king, she revealed not the secret that she has a 
tall son. Kill me not ; it may be that some day the truth will become known, 
and.repentance profiteth not, and regret is useless.' " The king commanded 
them to bring the youth ; so they brought him forthwith. And when the mother 
saw the face of her son, she thanked God and praised the Most High, and 
became one of the Muslims, and from the sect of unbelievers came into the 
faith of Islam, And the king favoured the chamberlain in the highest degree, 
and they passed the rest of their lives in comfort and ease. 

FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE. Vol. I. p. 185. 

THIS tale, as Sir R. F. Burton remarks, is a rechauffe* of that of the King and 
theWazfrSs Wife in the "Malice of Women," or the Seven Wazfrs (vol. vi. 129) ; 
and at p. 308 we have yet another variant. 1 It occurs in all the Eastern texts 
of the Book of Sindibad, and it is commonly termed by students of that cycle 
of stories " The Lion's Track," from the parabolical manner in which the hus- 
band justifies his conduct before the king. I have cited some versions in the 
Appendix to my edition of the Book of Sindibad (p. 256 ff), and to these may 
be added the following Venetian variant, from Crane's " Italian Popular Tales," 
as an example of how a story becomes garbled in passing orally from one 
generation unto another generation : 

A king, averse from marriage, commanded his steward to remain single. 
The latter, however, one day saw a beautiful girl named Vigna and married her 
secretly. Although he kept her closely confined in her chamber, the king be- 
came suspicious, and sent the steward on an embassy. After his departure the 
king entered the apartment occupied by him, and saw his wife asleep. He did 
not disturb her, but in leaving the room accidentally dropped one of his gloves 
on the bed. When the husband returned he found the glove, but kept a dis- 
creet silence, ceasing, however, all demonstration of affection, believing his 
wife had been unfaithful. The king, desirous to see again the beautiful woman, 
made a feast and ordered the steward to bring his wife. He denied that he had 
one, but brought her at last, and while every one else was talking gaily at the 
feast she was silent. The king observed it, and asked the cause of her silence, 
and she answered with a pun on her own name, " Vineyard I was, and Vineyard 
I am. I was loved and no longer am. 1 know not for what reason the Vine- 

1 There is a slight mistake in the passage in p. 313 supplied from the story in vol. vi. 
It is not King Shah Bakht, but the other king, who assures his chamberlain that "the 
lion " had done him no injury. 

302 . Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

yard has lost its season." Her husband, who heard this, replied, "Vineyard] 
thou wast, and Vineyard thou art : the Vineyard lost its season, for the lion's 
claw.*' The king, who understood what he meant, answered, " I entered the 
Vineyard ; I touched the leaves ; but I swear by my crown that I have not 
tasted the fruit." Then the steward understood that his wife was innocent, 
land the two made peace, and always after lived happy and contented 

So far as I am aware, this tale of " The Lion's Track " is not popularly 
'known in any European country besides Italy ; and it is not found in any of 
the Western versions of the Book of Sindibdd, generally known under the title 
of the " History of the Seven Wise Masters ;" how, then, did it reach Venice, 
and become among the people " familiar in their mouths as household words ? * 
I answer, that the intimate commercial relations which long existed between 
the Venetian Republic and Egypt and Syria are amply sufficient to account for 
the currency of this and scores of other Eastern tales in Italy. This is not 
one of those fictions introduced into the south of Europe through the Ottomans, 
since Boccaccio has made use of the first part of it in his "Decameron," Day I. 
nov. 5 ; and it is curious to observe that the garbled Venetian popular version 
has preserved the chief characteristic of the Eastern story the allegorical 
reference to the king as a lion and his assuring the husband that the lion had 
done no injury to his " Vineyard." 


Vol. I. p. 191. 

WHILE the frame-story of this interesting group is similar to that of the T'en 
Wazi'rs (vol. i. p. 55), insomuch as in both a king's favourite is sentenced to death 
in consequence of the false accusations of his enemies, and obtains a respite 
from day to day by relating stories to the king, there is yet a very important 
difference : Like those of the renowned Shahrazdd, the stories which Al- 
Rahwan tells have no particular, at least no uniform, " purpose," his sole object 
being to prolong his life by telling the king an entertaining story, promising, 
when he has ended his recital, to relate one still " stranger " the next night, if 
the king will spare his life another day. On the other hand, Bakhtydr, while 
actuated by the same motive, appeals to the king's reason, by relating stories 
distinctly designed to exhibit the evils of hasty judgments and precipitate 
conduct in fact, to illustrate the maxim, 

Each order given by a reigning king, 
Should after long reflection be expressed ; 

For it may be that endless woe will spring 
From a command he paused not to digest* ' 

The Art of Enlarging Pearls. 303 

And in this respect they are consistent with the circumstances of the case, like 
the tales of the Book of Sindiba'd, from which the frame of the Ten Wazi'rs was 
imitated, and in which the Wazi'rs relate stories showing the depravity and 
profligacy of women and that no reliance should be placed on their unsup- 
ported assertions, and to these the lady opposes equally cogent stories setting 
forth the wickedness and perfidy of men. Closely resembling the frame-story 
of the Ten Wazi'rs, however, is that of a Tamil romance entitled " Alakeswara 
Katha 1 ," a copy of which, written on palm leaves, was in the celebrated Mac- 
kenzie collection, of which Dr. H. H. Wilson published a descriptive catalogue ; 
it is " a story of the Raja" of Alakepura and his four ministers, who, being 
falsely accused of violating the sanctity of the inner apartments, vindicate their 
innocence and disarm the king's wrath by relating a number of stories." 
Judging by the specimen given by Wilson, the well-known tale of the Lost Camel, 
it seems probable that the ministers' stories, like those of Bakhtydr, are suited 
to their own case and illustrate the truth of the adage that " appearances are 
often deceptive." Whether in the Siamese collection " Nonthuk Pakkaranam " 
(referred to in vol. i. p. 191) the stories related by the Princess Kankras to 
the King of Pataliput (Palibothra), to save her father's life, are similarly 
designed, does not appear from Benfey's notice of the work in his paper in 
" Orient und Occident," iii. 171 ff. He says that the title of the book, " Non- 
thuk Pakkaranam,'' is taken from the name of a wise ox, Nonthuk, that plays 
the principal part in the longest of the tales, which are all apparently trans- 
lated from the Sanskrit, in which language the title would be Nandaka Prak- 
aranam, the History of Nandaka. 

Most of the tales related by the wazir Al-Rahwan are not only in themselves 
entertaining, but are of very considerable importance from the story-comparer's 
point of view, since in this group occur Eastern forms of tales which were known 
in Italy in the I4th century, and some had spread over Europe even earlier. 
The reader will have seen from Sir R. F. Burton's notes that not a few of the 
stories have their parallels or analogues in countries far apart, and it is interest- 
ing to find four of them which properly belong to the Eastern texts of the Book 
of Sindibad, with the frame-story of which that of this group has so close an 


" Quoth she, I have a bangle ; sell it and buy seed pearls with the price ; then round 
them and fashion them into great pearls." 

FOR want of a more suitable place, I shall here reproduce an account of the 
''Method of making false pearls" (nothing else being meant in the above 

304 Appendix : Variants and Analogues, 

passage), cited, from Postl. Com. Diet., in vol. xxvi. of " Rees' Cyclopaedia," 
London, 1819 : 

" Take of thrice distilled vinegar two pounds, Venice turpentine one pound, 
mix them together into a mass and put them into a cucurbit, fit a head and 
receiver to it, and after you have luted the joints set it when dry on a sand 
furnace, to distil the vinegar from it ; do not give it too much heat, lest the stuff 
swell up. After this put the vinegar into another glass cucurbit in which there 
is a quantity of seed pearls wrapped in a piece of thin silk, but so as not to touch 
the vinegar ; put a cover or head upon the cucurbit, lute it well and put it in bal. 
Marise, where you may let it remain a fortnight. The heat of the balneum will 
raise the fumes of the vinegar, and they will soften the pearls in the silk and 
bring them to the consistence of a paste, which being done, take them out and 
mould them to what bigness, form, and shape you please. Your mould must be 
of fine silver, the inside gilt ; you must also refrain from touching the paste with 
your fingers, but use silver-gilt utensils, with which fill your moulds. When 
they are moulded, bore them through with a hog's bristle or gold wire, and 
then thread them again on gold wire, and put them into a glass, close it up, 
and set them in the sun to dry. After they are thoroughly dry, put them in a 
glass matrass into a stream of running water and leave them there twenty 
days ; by that time they will contract the natural hardness and solidity of pearls. 
Then take them out of the matrass and hang them in mercurial water, where 
they will moisten, swell, and assume their Oriental beauty ; after which shift 
them into a matrass hermetically closed to prevent any water coming to them, 
and let it down into a well, to continue there about eight days. Then draw the 
matrass up, and in opening it you will find pearls exactly resembling Oriental 
ones." (Here follows a recipe for making the mercurial water used in the 
process, with which I need not occupy more space.) 

A similar formula, " To make of small pearls a necklace of large ones," is given 
in the "Lady's Magazine" for 1831, vol. iv., p. 119, which is said to be extracted 
from a scarce old book. Thus, whatever mystery may surround the art in 
Asiatic countries there is evidently none about it in Europe. The process 
appears to be somewhat tedious and complicated, but is doubtless profitable. 

In Philostratus' Life of Apollonius there is a curious passage about pearl- 
making which has been generally considered as a mere " traveller's tale " : 
Apollonius relates that the inhabitants of the shores of the Red Sea, after having 
calmed the water by means of oil, dived after the shell-fish, enticed them with 
some bait to open their shells, and having pricked the animals with a sharp- 
pointed instrument, received the liquor that flowed from them in small holes 
made in an iron vessel, in which it hardened into real pearls. It is stated by 
several reputable writers that the Chinese do likewise at the present day. And 
Sir R, K Burton informs me that when he was on the coast of Midian he 
found the Arabs were in the habit of " growing " pearls by inserting a grain 
of sand into the shells. 



THE diverting adventures related in the first part of this tale should be of peculiar 
interest to the student of Shakspeare as well as to those engaged in tracing the 
genealogy of popular fictions. Jonathan Scott has given for reasons of his 
own a meagre abstract of a similar tale which occurs in the " Bahdr-i- Danish * 
(vol. iii. App., p. 291), as follows : 


A YOUNG MAN, being upon business in a certain city, goes on a hunting ex- 
cursion, and, fatigued with the chase, stops at a country house to ask refresh- 
ment. The lady of the mansion receives him kindly, and admits him as her 
lover. In the midst of their dalliance the husband comes home, and the young 
man had no resource to escape discovery but to jump into a basin which was in 
the court of the house, and stand with head in a hollow gourd that luckily hap- 
pened to be in the water. The husband, surprised to see the gourd stationary in 
the water, which was itself agitated by the wind, throws a stone at it, when the 
lover slips from beneath it and holds his breath till almost suffocated. For- 
tunately the husband presently retires with his wife into an inner room of the 
house, and thus the young man was enabled to make good his escape. 

The next day he relates his adventure before a large company at a coffee- 
house. The husband happens to be one of the audience, and, meditating 
revenge, pretends to admire the gallantry of the young man and invites him to 
his house. The lover accompanies him, and on seeing his residence is over- 
whelmed with confusion ; but, recovering himself, resolves to abide all hazards, 
in hopes of escaping by some lucky stratagem. His host introduces him to his 
wife, and begs him to relate his merry adventure before her, having resolved, 
when he should finish, to put them both to death. The young man complies, 
but with an artful presence of mind exclaims at the conclusion, " Glad was I 
when I awoke from so alarming a dream." The husband upon this, after some 
questions, is satisfied that he had only told his dream, and, having entertained 
him nobly, dismisses him kindly. 

The story is told in an elaborate form by Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, in 
41 II Pecorone " (The Big Sheep, or, as Dunlop has it, The Dunce), which was 
begun in 1378 but not published till 1554 (at Milan). It is the second novel of 
the First Day and has been thus translated by Roscoe : 


THERE were once two very intimate friends, both of the family oif Saveli, m 
Rome ; the name of one of whom was Bucciolo, that of the other, Pietro Paolo j 

306 Appendix; Variants and Analogues. 

'both of good birth and easy circumstances. Expressing a mutual wish to study 
'for a while together at Bologna, they took leave of their relatives and set out. 
, One of them attached himself to the study of the civil law, the other to that of the 
canon law, and thus they continued to apply themselves for some length of time. 
But the subject of Decretals takes a much narrower range than is embraced by 
the common law, so Bucciolo, who pursued the former, made greater progress 
than did Pietro Paolo, and, having taken a licentiate's degree, he began to think 
of returning to Rome. " You see, my dear fellow student," he observed to his 
friend Paolo, " I am now a licentiate, and it is time for me to think of moving 
homewards." " Nay, not so," replied his companion ; " I have to entreat you 
will not think of leaving me here this winter. Stay for me till spring, and we 
can return together. In the meantime you may pursue some other study, so 
that you need not lose any time j " and to this Bucciolo at length consented, 
promising to await his relative's own good time. 

Having thus resolved, he had immediate recourse to his former tutor, in* 
forming him of his determination to bear his friend company a little longer, and 
entreating to be employed in some pleasant study to beguile the period during 
which he had to remain. The professor begged him to suggest something he 
should like, as he should be very happy to assist him in its attainment. " My 
worthy tutor," replied Bucciolo, " I think I should like to learn the way in which 
one falls in love, and the best manner to begin." " O very good ! " cried the tutor, 
laughing. " You could not have hit upon anything better, for you must know that 
if such be your object I am a complete adept in the art. To lose no time, in the 
first place go next Sunday to the church of the Frati Minori [Friars Minor of St. 
Francis], where all the ladies will be clustered together, and pay proper attention 
during service in order to discover if any one of them in particular happens to 
please you. When you have done this, keep your eye upon her after service, to see 
the way she takes to her residence, and then come back to me. And let this be 
the first lesson the first part of that in which it is my intention to instruct 
you." Bucciolo went accordingly, and taking his station the next Sunday in the 
church, as he had been directed, his eyes, wandering in every direction, were 
fixed upon all the pretty women in the place, and upon one in particular, who 
pleased him above all the rest. She was by far the most beautiful and attrac- 
tive lady he could discover, and on leaving church he took care to obey his 
master and follow her until he had made himself acquainted with her residence. 
Nor was it long before the young lady began to perceive that the student was 
smitten with her ; upon which Bucciolo returned to his master and informed 
him of what he had done. " I have," said he, " learned as much as you 
ordered me, and have found somebody I like very well." " So far, good," cried 
the professor, not a little amused at the sort of science to which his pupil had 
thus seriously devoted himself " so far, good ! And now observe what I have 
next to say to you : Take care to walk two or three times a day very respect- 
fully before her house, casting your eyes about you in such a way that no one 
may catch you staring in her face ; look in a modest and becoming manner, so 

The Singer and the Druggist. 307 

that she cannot fail to notice and be struck with it. And then return to me ; 
and this, sir, will be the second lesson in this gay science/' 

So the scholar went and promenaded with great discretion before the lady's 
door, who observed that he appeared to be passing to and fro out of respect to 
one of the inhabitants. This attracted her attention, for which Bucciolo very 
discreetly expressed his gratitude by looks and bows, which being as often 
returned, the scholar began to be aware tlrat the lady liked him. He imme- 
diately went and told the professor all that had passed, who replied, " Come, 
you have done very well. I am hitherto quite satisfied. It is now time for you 
to find some way of speaking to her, which you may easily do by means of 
those gipsies who haunt the streets of Bologna, crying ladies' veils, purses, 
and other articles for sale. Send word by her that you are the lady's most 
faithful, devoted servant, and that there is no one in the world you so much 
wish to please. In short, let her urge your suit, and take care to bring the 
answer to me as soon as you have received it. I will then tell you how you are 
to proceed." 

Departing in all haste, he soon found a little old pedlar woman, quite perfect 
in the trade, to whom he said he should take it as a particular favour if she 
would do one thing, for which he would reward her handsomely. Upon this 
she declared her readiness to serve him in anything he pleased. " For you 
know," she added, "it is my business to get money in every way I can." 
Bucciolo gave her two florins, saying, " I wish you to go for me to-day as far 
as the Via Maccarella, where resides a young lady of the name of Giovanna, 
for whom I have the very highest regard. Pray tell her so, and recommend me 
to her most affectionately, so as to obtain for me her good graces by every 
means in your power. I entreat you to have my interest at heart, and to say 
such pretty things as she cannot refuse to hear." " O leave that to me, sir," 
said the little old woman ; *' I will not fail to say a good word for you at the 
proper time." " Delay not," said Bucciolo, <c but go now, and I will wait for you 
here ; " and she set off at once, taking her basket of trinkets under her arm. 
On approaching the place, she saw the lady before the door, enjoying the air, 
and curtseying to her very low, " Do I happen to have anything here you would 
fancy ? " she said, displaying her wares. " Pray take something, madam- 
whatever pleases you best." Veils, stays, purses, and mirrors were now spread 
in the most tempting way before the lady's eyes. Out of all these things her 
attention seemed to be most attracted by a beautiful purse, which, she observed, 
if she could afford, she should like to purchase. " Nay, madam," exclaimed 
the crone, " do not think anything about the pricetake anything you please, 
since they are all paid for already, I assure you." Surprised at hearing this, 
and perceiving the very respectful manner of the speaker, the lady rejoined, 
" Do you know what you are saying ? What do you mean by that ?" The old 
woman, pretending now to be much affected, said, "Well, madam, if it must be 
so, I shall tell you. It is very true that a young gentleman of the name of 
Bucciolo sent me hither ; one who loves you better than all the world besides. 

308 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

There is nothing he would not do to please you, and indeed he appears so very 
wretched because he cannot speak to you, and he is so very good, that it is quite 
a pity. I think it will be the death of him, and then he is such a fine such 
an elegant young man, the more is the pity ! " On hearing this, the lady, 
blushing deeply, turned sharply round upon the little old woman, exclaiming, 
" O you wicked creature ! were it not for the sake of my own reputation, I 
would give you such a lesson that you should remember it to the latest day of 
your life ! A pretty story to come before decent people with ! Are you not 
ashamed of yourself to let such words come out of your mouth ? " Then 
seizing an iron bar that lay across the doorway, " 111 betide you, little wretch ! " 
she cried, as she brandished it. " If you ever come this way again, depend 
upon it, you will never go back alive \ " The trembling old trot, quickly 
bundling up her wares, scampered off, in dread of feeling that cruel weapon on 
her shoulders, nor did she once think of stopping till she had reached the place 
where Bucciolo stood waiting her return. Eagerly inquiring the news and how 
she had succeeded, " O very badly very badly," answered the crone. " I never 
was in such a fright in all my life. Why, she will neither see nor listen to you, 
and if I had not run away, I should have felt the weight of a great iron bar 
upon my shoulders. For my own part, I shall go there no more j and I advise 
you, signor, to look to yourself how you proceed in such affairs in future." 

Poor Bucciolo became quite disconsolate, and returned in all haste to acquaint 
the professor with this unlucky result. But the professor, not a whit cast down, 
consoled him, saying, " Do not despair ; a tree is not levelled at a single stroke, 
you know. I think you must have a repetition of your lesson to-night. So go 
and walk before her door as usual ; notice how she eyes you, and whether she 
appears angry or not, and then come back again to me." Bucciolo accordingly 
proceeded without delay to the lady's house. The moment she perceived him 
she called her maid and said to her, " Quick, quick hasten after the young 
man that is he, and tell him from me that he must come and speak with me 
this evening without fail without fail." The girl soon came up with Bucciolo, 
and thus addressed him : " My lady, signor, my lady, Giovanna, would be glad 
of your company this evening, she would be very glad to speak with you." 
Greatly surprised at this, Bucciolo replied, " Tell your lady I shall be most 
happy to wait upon her," so saying, he set off once more to the professor, and 
reported the progress of the affair. But this time the master looked a little 
more serious ; for, from some trivial circumstances put together, he began to 
entertain suspicions that the lady was (as it really turned out) no other than his 
own wife. So he rather anxiously inquired of Bucciolo whether he intended to 
accept the invitation. " To be sure I do," replied his pupil. " Then," said the 
professor, "promise that you will come here before you set off." "Certainly I 
will," answered Bucciolo readily, and took his leave. 

Now Bucciolo was far from suspecting that the lady bore so near a relation- 
ship to his respected tutor, although the latter began to be rather uneasy as to 
the result, feeling some twinges of jealousy which were by no means pleasant. 

The Singer and the Druggist. 


For he passed most of his winter evenings at the college where he gave lectures, 
and not unfrequently remained there for the night. " I should be sorry," said 
he to himself, "if this young gentleman were learning these things at my 
expense, and I must therefore know the real state of the case." In the evening 
his pupil called according to promise, saying, " Worthy master, I am now ready 
to go." " Well, go," replied the professor ; <c but be wise, Signor Bucciolo be 
wise, and think more than once what you are about." " Trust me for that," 
Said the scholar, a little piqued : " I shall go well provided, and not walk into 
the mouth of danger unarmed." And away he went, furnished with a good 
cuirass, a rapier, and a stiletto in his belt. He was no sooner on his way than 
the professor slipped out quietly after him, dogging his steps closely, until, 
trembling with rage, he saw him stop at his own house-door, which, on a smart 
tap being given, was quickly opened by the lady herself and the pupil admitted. 
When the professor saw that it was indeed his own wife, he was quite over- 
whelmed and thought, " Alas, I fear this young fellow has learned more than 
he confesses at my expense ; " and vowing to be revenged, he ran back to the 
college, where arming himself with sword and dagger, he then hastened to his 
house in a terrible passion. Arriving at his own door, he knocked loudly, and 
the lady, sitting before the fire with Bucciolo, instantly knew it was her husband, 
so taking hold of Bucciolo, she concealed him hurriedly under a heap of damp 
clothes lying on a table near the window ready for ironing, which done, she ran 
to the door and inquired who was there. " Open quickly," exclaimed the 
professor. " You vile woman, you shall soon know who is here ! " On 
opening the door, she beheld him with a drawn sword, and cried in well- 
affected alarm, " O my dearest life, what means this ? J> " You know very well 
what it means," said he. " The villain is now in the house." " Good Heaven ! 
what is that you say ? " exclaimed the lady. " Are you gone out of your wits ? 
Come and search the house, and if you find anybody, I will give you leave to 
kill me on the spot. What ! do you think I should now begin to misconduct 
myself as I never before did as none of my family ever did before ? Beware 
lest the Evil One should be tempting you, and, suddenly depriving you of your 
senses, draw you to perdition ! " But the professor, calling for candles, began 
to search the house from the cellars upwards among the tubs and casks in 
every place but the right place running his sword through the beds and under 
the beds, and into every inch of the bedding leaving no corner or crevice of 
the whole house untouched. The lady accompanied him with a candle in her 
hand, frequently interrupting him with, " Say your beads say your beads, good 
signor ; it is certain that the Evil One is dealing with you, for were I half so 
bad as you esteem me, I would kill myself with my own hands. But I entreat 
you not to give way to this evil suggestion : oppose the adversary while you can." 
Hearing these virtuous observations of his wife, and not being able to discover 
any one after the strictest search, the professor began to think that he must, 
after all, be possessed, and presently extinguished the lights and returned to 
the college. The lady, on shutting the door after him, called out to Bucciolo 

Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

to come from his hiding place, and then, stirring the fire, began to prepare a 
fine capon for supper, with some delicious wines and fruits. And thus they 
regaled themselves, highly entertained with each other, nor was it their least 
satisfaction that the professor had just left them, apparently convinced that they 
had learned nothing at his expense. 

Proceeding to the college next morning, Bucciolo, without the least suspicion 
of the truth, informed his master that he had something for his ear which he 
was sure would make him laugh. "How so?" demanded the professor. 
" Why," said his pupil, " you must know that last night, just as I had entered 
the lady's house, who should come in but her husband, and in such a rage ! 
He searched the whole house from top to bottom, without being able to find me. 
I lay under a heap of newly-washed clothes, which were not half dry. In 
short, the lady played her part so well that the poor gentleman forthwith took 
his leave, and we afterwards ate a fine capon for supper and drank such wines 
and with such zest ! It was really one of the pleasantest evenings I ever 
spent in my life. But I think I'll go and take a nap, for I promised to return 
this evening about the same hour." " Then be sure before you go," said the 
professor, trembling with suppressed rage, " be sure to come and tell me when 
you set out." " O certainly," responded Bucciolo, and away he went. Such 
was now the unhappy tutor's condition as to render him incapable of delivering 
a single lecture during the whole day, and such was his extreme vexation and 
eagerness for evening, that he spent his time in arming himself with sword and 
dagger and cuirass, meditating only upon deeds of blood. At the appointed 
time came Bucciolo, with the utmost innocence, saying, " My dear master, I am 
going now." " Yes, go," replied the professor, " and come back to-morrow 
morning, if you can, and tell me how you have fared." " I intend doing so," 
said Bucciolo, and departed at a brisk pace for the house of the lady. 

Armed cap-a-pie,\h.t professor ran out after him, keeping pretty close to his 
heels, with the intention of catching him just as he entered. But the lady, being 
on the watch, opened the door suddenly for the pupil and shut it in her husband's 
face. The professor began to knock and to call out with a furious noise. 
Extinguishing the light in a moment, the lady placed Bucciolo behind the 
door, and throwing her arms round her husband's neck as he entered, motioned 
to her lover while she thus held his enemy to make his escape, and he, upon 
the husband's rushing forward, slipped out from behind the door unperceived. 
She then began to scream as loud as she could, " Help, help ! the professor 
has gone mad ! Will nobody help me ? " for he was in an ungovernable 
rage, and she clung faster to him than before. The neighbours running to her 
assistance and seeing the peaceable professor armed with deadly weapons, 
and his wife crying out, " Help, for the love of Heaven ! too much study 
hath driven him mad ! " they readily believed such to be the fact. " Come, 
good signor," they said, " what is all this about ? Try to compose yourself 
nay, do not struggle so hard, but let us help you to your couch." " How can I 
rest, think you,'' he replied, " while this wicked woman harbours paramours in 

The Singer and the Druggist. 311 

my house ? ! saw him come in with my own eyes." " Wretch that I am ! " 
cried his wife. " Inquire of all my friends and neighbours whether any one 
of them ever saw anything the least unbecoming in my conduct." The whole 
party with one voice entreated the professor to lay such thoughts aside, 
for there was not a better lady breathing, or one who set a higher value upon 
her reputation. "But how can that be," said he, "when I saw him enter the 
house, and he is in it now?" In the meanwhile the lady's two brothers 
arrived, when she began to weep bitterly, exclaiming, " O my dear brothers, 
my poor husband has gone mad quite mad, and he even says there is a man 
in the house. I believe he would kill me" if he could ; but you know me too 
well to listen for a moment to such a story," and she continued to weep. 

The brothers then accosted the professor in no gentle terms : " We are 
surprised, signer we are shocked to find that you dare bestow such epithets 
on our sister. What can have led you, after living so amicably together, to 
bring these charges against her now ?" "I can only tell you," answered the 
professor, "that there is a man in the house. I saw him enter." "Then 
come, and let us find him. Show him to us," retorted the incensed brothers, 
" for we will sift this matter to the bottom. Show us the man, and we will then 
punish her in such a way as will satisfy you." One of the brothers, taking 
his sister aside, said, " First tell me, have you really got any one hidden in 
the house ? Tell the truth " " Heavens ! " cried his sister, " I tell you, I 
would rather suffer death. Should I be the first to bring a scandal on our 
house ? I wonder you are not ashamed to mention such a thing." Rejoiced 
to hear this, the brothers, directed by the professor, at once commenced a search. 
Half frantic, he led them at once to the great bundle of linen, which he pierced 
through and through with his sword, firmly believing he was killing Bucciolo, 
all the while taunting him at every blow. " There ! I told you," cried his wife, 
" that he was mad. To think of destroying our own property thus ! It is plain he 
did not help to get them up," she continued, whimpering" all my best clothes 1 " 

Having now sought everywhere in vain, one of the brothers observed, " He 
is indeed mad," to which the other agreed, while he again attacked the pro- 
fessor in the bitterest terms : " You have carried matters too far, signer ; your 
conduct to our sister is shameful, and nothing but insanity can excuse it." 
Vexed enough before, the professor upon this flew into a violent passion, and 
brandished his naked sword in such a way that the others were obliged to use 
their sticks, which they did so very effectively that, after breaking them over his 
head, they chained him down like a maniac upon the floor, declaring he had lost 
his wits by excessive study, and taking possession of his house, they remained 
with their sister all night. Next morning they sent for a physician, who 
ordered a couch to be placed as near as possible to the fire, that no one should 
be allowed to speak or reply to the patient, and that he should be strictly dieted 
until he recovered his wits ; and this regimen was diligently enforced. 1 ^ 

1 Such was formerly the barbarous manner of treating the insane.,) 

5 1 2 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

A report immediately spread through Bologna that the good professor had 
become insane, which caused very general regret, his friends observing to each 
other, " It is indeed a bad business ; but I suspected yesterday how it was he 
could scarcely get a word out as he was delivering his lecture, did you not 
perceive ? " " Yes," said another, " I saw him change colour, poor fellow." 
And by everybody, everywhere, it was decided that the professor was mad. 
In this situation numbers of his scholars went to see him, and among the rest 
Bucciolo, knowing nothing of what had happened, agreed to accompany them 
to the college, desirous of acquainting his master with last night's adventure. 
What was his surprise to learn that he had actually taken leave of his senses, 
and being directed on leaving the college to the professor's house, he was almost 
panic-struck on approaching the place, beginning to comprehend the whole 
affair. Yet, in order that no one might be led to suspect the real truth, he 
walked into the house along with the rest, and on reaching a certain apartment 
which he knew, he beheld his poor tutor almost beaten to a mummy, and 
chained down upon his bed, close to the fire. His pupils were standing round 
condoling with him and lamenting his piteous case. At length it came to 
Bucciolo's turn to say something to him, which he did as follows : " My dear 
master, I am as truly concerned for you as if you were my own father, and if 
there is anything in which I can be of service to you, command me as your 
own son." To this the poor professor only replied, " No, Bucciolo, depart in 
peace, my pupil ; depart, for you have learned much, very much, at my 
expense." Here his wife interrupted him : " You see how he wanders heed 
not what he says pay no attention to him, signer." Bucciolo, however, pre- 
pared to depart, and taking a hasty leave of the professor, he proceeded to the 
lodging of his friend Pietro Paolo, and said to him, " Fare you well. God bless 
you, my friend. I must away ; and I have lately learned so much at other 
people's expense that I am going home.'* So saying, he hurried away, and in 
due course arrived in safety at Rome. 

The affliction of the professor of Giovanni's sprightly tale will probably be 
considered by most readers as well-merited punishment ; the young gallant 
proved an apt scholar in the art of love, and here was the inciter to evil repaid 
with the same coin ! 

Straparola also tells the story, but in a different form, in his "Pleasant 
Nights" (Piacevoli Notti), First Day, second novella ; and his version is taken 
into a small collection entitled "Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie," first 
published in or before 1590 a catchpenny tract in which, of course, Dick 
Tarlton had never a hand, any more than he had in the collection of jests, 
which goes under his name. 

The Singer and the Druggist. 



IN Pisa, a famous cittieof Italye, there lived a gentleman of good linage andlandes, 
feared as well for his wealth, as honoured for his vertue, but indeed well thought 
on for both ; yet the better for Lis riches. This gentleman had one onelye 
daughter, called Margaret, who for her beauty was liked of all, and desired of 
many. But neither might their sutes nor her owne prevaile about her father's 
resolution, who was determyned not to marrye her, but to such a man as should 
be able in abundance to maintain the excellency of her beauty. Divers yong 
gentlemen proffered large feoffrnents, but in vaine, a maide shee must bee still : 
till at last an olde doctor in the towne, that professed phisicke, became a sutor 
to her, who was a welcome man to her father, in that he was one of the welthiest 
men in all Pisa ; a tall stripling he was and a proper youth, his age about foure 
score, his heade as white as milke, wherein for offence sake there was left never 
a tooth. But it is no matter, what he wanted in person he had in the purse, 
which the poore gentlewoman little regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one 
that might fit her content, though they lived meanely, then to him with all the 
wealth in Italye. But shee was yong, and forest to follow her father's direction, 
who, upon large covenants, was content his daughter should marry with the 
doctor, and whether she likte him or no, the match was made up, and in short 
time she was married. The poore wench was bound to the stake, and had not 
onely an olde impotent man, but one that was so jealous, as none might enter 
into his house without suspition, nor shee doo any thing without blame ; the 
least glance, the smallest countenance, any smile was a manifest instance to him 
that shee thought of others better then himselfe. Thus he himselfe lived in a 
hell, and tormented his wife in as ill perplexitie. 

At last it chaunced that a young gentleman of the citie, comming by her 
house, and seeing her looke out at her window, noting her rare and excellent 
proportion, fell in love with her, and that so extreamelye, as his passions had no 
xneanes till her favour might mittigate his heart sicke discontent. The yong 
man that was ignorant in amorous matters, and had never beene used to courte 
anye gentlewoman, thought to reveale his passions to some one freend that might 
give him counsaile for the winning of her love, and thinking experience was the 
surest maister, on a daye seeing the olde doctor walkinge in the churche that 
was Margaret's husband, little knowing who he was, he thought this the fittest 
man to whom he might discover his passions, for that hee was olde and knew 
much, and was a phisition that with his drugges might helpe him forward in his 
purposes ; so that seeing the olde man walke solitary, he joinde unto him, and 
after a curteous salute, tolde him that he Was to impart a matter of great import 
to him, wherein, if hee would not onely be secrete, but indevour to pleasure him, 
his pains should bee every way to the full considered. You must imagine, 

1 From " Tarlton's Newes Out of Purgatorie." 

314 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

gentleman, quoth Mutio, for so was the doctor's name, that men of our profes- 
sion are no blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts bottome, and therefore 
reveale what you please, it shall not onely be concealed, but cured, if either my 
art or counsaile may doo it. Upon this, Lyonell, so was the young gentleman 
called, told and discourst unto him from point to point, how he was falne in love 
with a gentlewoman that was married to one of his profession, discovered her 
dwelling and the house, and for that he was unacquainted with the woman, and 
a man little experienced in love matters, he required his favour to further him 
with his advice. Mutio at this motion was stung to the hart, knowing it was 
his wife hee was fallen in love withall, yet to conceale the matter, and to 
experience his wive's chastity, and that if she plaide false, he might be 
revenged on them both, he dissembled the matter, and answered that he 
knewe the woman very well, and commended her highly : btit said she had 
a churle to her husband, and therefore he thought shee would bee the 
more tractable : Trye her, man, quoth hee, fainte harte never wonne faire 
lady, and if shee will not be brought to the bent of your bowe, I will provide 
such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content : and to give you further 
instructions for oportunitie, knowe that her husband is foorth every after-noone 
from three till sixe. Thus farre I have advised you, because I pitty your 
passions, as my selfe being once a lover, but now I charge thee reveale it to none 
whomsoever, least it doo disparage my credit to meddle in amorous matters. 

The yong gentleman not onely promised all carefull secrecy, but gave him 
harty thanks for his good counsell, promising to meete him there the next day, 
and tell him what newes. Then hee left the old man, who was almost mad for 
feare his wife any way should play false : he saw by experience brave men came 
to beseige the castle, and seeing it was in a woman's custodie, and had so weeke 
a governor as himselfe, he doubted it would in time be delivered up : which 
feare made him almost franticke, yet he drivde of the time great torment, till he 
might heare from his rival. Lionello he hastes him home and sutes him in his 
braverye, and goes downe toward the house of Mutio, where he sees her at the 
windowe, whome he courted with a passionate looke, with such humble salute 
as shee might perceive how the gentleman was affectionate. Margaretta, look- 
ing earnestlye upon him, and noting the perfection of his proportion, accounted 
him in her eye the flower of all Pisa, thinkte herselfe fortunate if shee might 
have him for her freend, to supply those defaultes that she found in Mutio. 
Sundry times that afternoone he past by her window, and he cast not up more 
loving lookes, then he received gratious favours, which did so incourage him 
that the next daye betweene three and sixe hee went to her house, and knocking 
at the doore, desired to speake with the mistris of the house, who hearing by her 
maid's description what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she inter- 
tained him with all courtesie. 

The youth that never before had given the attempt to court a ladye, began 
his exordium with a blushe ; and yet went forward so well, that hee discourst unto 
ber howe hee loved her, and that if it might please her to accept of his service, as 

The Singer and the Druggist. 315 

of a freende ever vowde in all dutye to bee at her commaunde, the care of her 
honour should bee deerer to him than his life, and hee would be ready to prise her 
discontent with his bloud at all times. The gentlewoman was a little coye, but, 
before they part, they concluded that the next day at foure of the clock hee 
should come thither and eate a pound of cherries, which was resolved on with a 
succado des labras^ and so with a loath to depart they tooke their leaves. 
Lionello as joyfull a man as might be, hyed him to the church to meete his 
olde doctor, where he found him in his olde walke : What newes, syr, quoth 
Mutio, how have you sped ? Even as I can wishe, quoth Lionello, for I have 
been with my mistrisse, and have found her so tractable, that I hope to make 
the olde peasant, her husband, looke broadheaded by a paire of browantlers. How 
deepe this strooke into Mutio's hart, let them imagine that can conjecture what 
jelousie is ; insomuch that the olde doctor askte when should be the time. 
Marry, quoth Lionello, tomorrow, at foure of the clocke in the afternoone, and 
then Maister Doctor, quoth hee, will I dub the old squire knight of the forked 

Thus they past on in that, till it grew late, and then Lyonello went home to 
his lodging and Mutio to his house, covering all his sorrowes with a merrye 
countenance, with full resolution to revenge them both the next day with 
extremitie. He past the night as patiently as he could, and the next daye, 
after dinner, awaye hee went, watching when it should bee foure of the clocke. 
At the hour justly came Lyonello and was intertained with all curtesie ; but 
scarce had they kist, ere the maide cryed out to her mistresse that her maister 
was at the doore ; for he hasted, knowing that a home was but a litle while in 
grafting. Margaret, at this alarum, was amazed, and yet for a shift chopt 
Lionello into a great driefatte 1 full of feathers, 8 and sat her downe close to her 
woorke. By that came Mutio in blowing, and as though hee came to looke 
somewhat in haste, called for the keyes of his chambers, and looked in everye 
place, searching so narrowlye in everye corner of the house, that he left not the 
very privie unsearcht. Seeing he could not finde him, hee saide nothing, but 
fayning himselfe not well at ease, staide at home ; so that poor Lionello was 
faine to staye in the drifatte till the olde churle was in bed with his wife ; and 
then the maide let him out at a backe doore, who went home with a flea in his 
eare to his lodging. 

Well, the next day he went againe to meete his doctor, whome he found 
in his wonted walke. What newes ? quoth Mutio, how have you sped ? A 
poxe of the olde slave, quoth Lyonello ; I was no sooner in, and had given my 
mistresse one kisse, but the jelous asse was at the doore ; the maide spied him, 
and cryed her maister ; so that the poore gentlewoman, for very shifte, was 

1 A basket. 

2 In thefa&Kau " De la Dame qui atrappa un Pretre, un PieV6t, et un Forestier " (or 
Constant du Hamel), the lady, on the pretext that her husband is at the door, stuffs her 
lovers, as they arrive successively, unknown to each other, into a large tub full of 
feathers and afterwards exposes them to public ridicule. 

Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

faine to put me in a driefatte of feathers that stoode in an olde chamber, and 
there I was faine to tarrie while 1 he was in bed and a-sleepe, and then the 
maide let me out, and I departed. But it is no matter ; 'twas but a chaunce, 
and I hope to crye quittance with him ere it be long. As how ? quoth Mutio. 
Marry, thus, quoth Lionello : shee sent me woord by her maide this daye that 
upon Thursday next the olde churle suppeth with a patient of his a mile out of 
Pisa, and then I feare not but to quitte 2 him for all. It is well, quoth Mutio ; 
fortune bee your frende. I thanke you, quoth Lionello : and so, after a little 
more prattle, they departed. 

To bee shorte, Thursdaye came, and about sixe of the clocke, foorth goes 
Mutio no further then a freendes house of his, from whence he might descrye 
who went into his house ; straight hee sawe Lionello enter in, and after goes 
hee, insomuche that hee was scarcelye sitten downe, before the mayde cryed 
out againe, my maister comes. The goodwife, that before had provided for 
after-claps, 3 had found out a privie place between two seelings of a plauncher, 4 
and there she thrust Lionello, and her husband came sweting. What news, 
quoth shee, drives you home againe so soone, husband ? Marry, sweete 
wife, quoth he, a fearfull dreame that I had this night, which came to my 
remembrance, and that was this : me thought there was a villaine that came 
secretlye into my house, with a naked poinard in his hand, and hid himselfe, 
but I could not finde the place ; with that mine nose bled, and I came backe ; 
and, by the grace of God, I will seeke every corner in the house for the quiet 
of my minde. Marry, I pray you doo, husband, quoth she. With that he 
lockt in all the doors, and began to search every chamber, every hole, every, 
chest, every tub, the very well ; he stabd every feather bed through, and made 
havocke like a mad man, which made him thinke all was in vaine ; and hee 
began to blame his eies that thought they saw that which they did not. Upon 
this he rest halfe lunaticke, and all night he was very wakefull, that towards 
the morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then was Lionello conveighed 

In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by no meanes hee 
should be able to take Lionello tardy : yet he laid in his head a most dangerous 
plot 5 and that was this : Wife, quoth he, I must the next Monday ride to 
Vycensa, to visit an olde patient of mine ; till my returne, which will be some 
ten dayes, I will have thee staye at our little graunge house in the countrey. 
Marry, very well content, husband, quoth she. With that he kist her, and was 
verye pleasant, as though he had suspected nothing, and away hee flings to the 
church, where he meetes Lionello. What, sir, quoth he, what news ? is your 
mistresse yours in possession ? No, a plague of the olde slave, quoth hee. I 
think h6 is either a witch, or els woorkes by magick ; for I can no sooner enter 
into the doores, but he is at my backe, and so he was againe yesternight ; for 

1 Until. > Accidents. 

* Requite. A boarding. 

The Singer and the Druggist. 317 

I was not warm in my seate before the maide cryed, my maister comes ; and 
then was the poore soule faine to conveigh me betweene two seelings of a 
chamber, in a fit place for the purpose, wher I laught hartely to myself too see 
how he sought every corner, ransackt every tub, and stabd every feather bed, 
but in vaine ; I was safe enough till the morning, and then, when he was fast 
asleepe, I lept out. Fortune frownes on you, quoth Mutio. I, 1 but I hope, 
quoth Lionello, this is the last time, and now shee wil begin to smile ; for on 
Monday next he rides to Vicensa, and his wife lyes at the grange house a little 
[out] of the towne, and there in his absence I will revenge all forepast 
misfortunes. God send it be so, quoth Mutio ; and so took his leave. 

These two lovers longd for Monday, and at last it came. Early in the 
morning Mutio horst himselfe and his wife, his maide and a man, and no more, 
and away he rides to his grange house, wher, after he had brok his fast, he 
took his leave, and away towards Vicensa. He rode not far ere, by a false 
way, he returned into a thicket, and there, with a company of cuntry peasants, 
lay in an ambuscade to take the young gentleman. In the afternoon comes 
Lionello galloping, and as soon as he came within sight of the house, he sent 
back his horse by his boy, and went easily afoot, and there, at the very entry, 
was entertained by Margaret, who led him up the staires, and convaid him 
into her bedchamber, saying he was welcome into so mean a cottage. But, 
quoth she, now I hope fortun shall not envy the purity of our loves. Alas ! 
alas 1 mistris, cried the maid, heer is my maister, and 100 men with him, with 
bils and staves. We are betraid, quoth Lionel, and I am but a dead man. 
Feare not, quoth she, but follow me : and straight she carried him downe into 
a low parlor, where stoode an olde rotten chest full of writinges ; she put him 
into that, and covered him with olde papers and evidences, and went to the 
gate to meet her husband. 

Why, Signer Mutio, what meanes this hurly burly ? quoth she. Vile and 
shameless strumpet as thou art, thou shalt know by and by, quoth he. Where 
is thy love ? All we have watcht him and seen him enter in. Now, quoth he, 
shall neither thy tub of feathers or thy seeling serve, for perish he shall with 
fire, or els fall into my handes. Doo thy worst, jealous foole, quoth she, I ask 
thee no favour. With that, in a rage, he beset the house round, and then set 
fire on it. Oh, in what perplexitie was poore Lionello in that he was shut in a 
chest, and the fire about his eares ! and how was Margaret passionat, that 
knew her lover was in such danger ! Yet she made light of the matter, and, 
as one in a rage, called her maid to her and said : Come on, wench, seeing thy 
maister, mad with jelousie, hath set the house and al my living on fire, I will 
be revengd on him : help me heer to lift this old chest where all his writings 
and deeds are ; let that burne first, and as soon as I see that on fire I will 
walke towards my freends, for the old foole will be beggard, and I will refuse 

1 The letter I is very commonly substituted for "ay" in i6th century English 

318 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

him. Mutio, that knew al his obligations and statutes lay there, puld her back 
and bad two of his men carry the chest into the field, and see it were safe, 
himselfe standing by and seeing his house burnd downe sticke and stone. 
Then, quieted in his minde, he went home with his wife and began to flatter 
her, thinking assuredly that he had burnt her paramour, causing his chest to be 
carried in a cart to his house in Pisa. Margaret, impatient, went to her 
mother's and complained to her and her brethren of the jealousie of her 
husband, who maintaned her it to be true, and desired but a daies respite to 
proove it 

Wei, hee was bidden to supper the next night at her mother's, she thinking 
to make her daughter and him freends againe. In the meane time he to his 
'woonted walk in the church, and there, pr ester expectationem, he found Lionello 
walking. Wondring at this, he straight enquires what newes. What newes, 
Maister Doctor, quoth he, and he fell in a great laughing ; in faith yesterday, 
I scapt a scouring, for syrrha, I went to the grange-house, where I was appointed 
to come, and I was no sooner gotten up the chamber, but the magicallvilleine, 
her husband, beset the house with bils and staves, and that he might be sure no 
seeling nor corner should shrowde me, he set the house on fire, and so burnt it 
downe to the ground. Why, quoth Mutio, and how did you escape ? Alas, 
quoth he, wel fare a woman's wit ; she conveighed me into an old chest full of 
writings, which she knew her husband durst not burne, and so I was saved and 
brought to Pisa, and yesternight, by her maide, let home to my lodging. This, 
quoth he, is the pleasantest jest that ever I heard ; and upon this I have a sute 
to you : I am this night bidden foorth to supper, you shall be my guest, onely 
I will crave so much favour, as after supper for a pleasant sporte, to make rela- 
tion what successe you have had in your loves. For that I will not sticke^quoth 
he, and so he conveyed Lionello to his mother-in-lawe's house with him, and 
discovered to his wive's brethren who he was, and how at supper he would dis- 
close the whole matter ; For, quoth he, he knowes not that I am Margaret's 
husband. At this all the brethren bad him welcome, and so did the mother to, 
and Margaret, she was kept out of sight. Supper time being come they fell to 
their victals, and Lionello was carrowst unto by Mutio, who was very pleasant, 
to drawe him into a merry humor, that he might to the ful discourse the effect 
and fortunes of his love. Supper being ended, Mutio requested him to tel to 
the gentlemen what had hapned between him and his mistresse. Lionello, with 
a smiling countenance, began to describe his mistresse, the house and street 
where she dwelt, how he fell in love with her, and how he used the councell of 
this doctor, who in all his affaires was his secretarye. Margaret heard all this 
with a great feare, and when he came to the last point, she caused a cup of wine 
to be given him by one of her sisters, wherein was a ring that he had given 
Margaret. As he had told how he had escapt burning, and was ready to con- 
firme all for a troth, the gentlewoman drunke to him, who taking the cup and 
seeing the ring, having a quick wit and a reaching head, spide the fetch, and 
perceived that all this while this was his lover's husband to whome hee had 

The Singer and the Druggist. 319 

revealed these escapes ; at this drinking the wine and swallowing the ring into 
his mouth he went forward. Gentlemen, quoth he, how like you of my loves 
and my fortunes ? Wei, quoth the gentlemen ; I pray you is it true ? As 
true, quoth he, as if I would be so simple as to reveal what I did to Margaret's 
husband ; for, know you, gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be her husband 
whom I notified to be my lover ; and for that he was generally known through 
Pisa to be a jealous fool, therefore, with these tales I brought him into 
paradice, which are follies of mine owne braine ; for, trust me, by the faith of 
a gentleman, I never spake to the woman, was never in her companye, neyther 
doo I know her if I see her. At this they all fell in a laughing at Mutio, who 
was ashamde that Lionello had so scoft him. But all was well ; they were 
made friends ; but the jest went so to his hart that he shortly after died, and 
Lionello enjoyed the ladye. 

Ser Giovanni's story, Roscoe observes, is " curious as having through the 
medium of translation suggested the idea of those amusing scenes in which the 
renowned Falstaff acquaints Master Ford, disguised under the name of Brooke, 
with his progress in the good graces of Mrs. Ford. The contrivances likewise 
by which he eludes the vengeance of the jealous husband are similar to those 
recounted in the novel, with the addition of throwing the unwieldly knight into 
the river. Dunlop says that the same story has been translated in a collection 
entitled * The Fortunate, Deceived, and Unfortunate Lovers,' and that Shak- 
speare may probably also have seen it in * Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie,* 
where the incidents related in the Lovers of Pisa are given according to Strapa- 
rola's story. Moliere made a happy use of it in his * Ecole des Femmes,' where 
the humour of the piece turns upon a young gentleman confiding his progress 
in the affections of a lady to the ear of her guardian, who believed he was on 
the point of espousing her himself." Two other French plays were based upon 
the story, one of which was written by La Fontaine under the title of " La 
Maitre en Droit." Readers of " Gil Bias " will also recollect how Don Raphael 
confides to Balthazar the progress of his amour with his wife, and expresses 
his vexation ajt the husband's unexpected return. 

It is much to be regretted that nothing is known as to the date and place of 
the composition of the Breslau edition of The Nights, which alone contains 
this and several other tales found in the collections of the early Italian 

320 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

THINGS. Vol. I. p. 212. 

ALTHOUGH we may find, as already stated, the direct source of this tale in the 
forty-sixth chapter of Al-Mas'udi's " Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems," 
which was written about A.D. 943, yet there exists a much older version if not 
the original form in a Sanskrit collection entitled, " Vetalapanchavinsatf," or 
Twenty-five Tales of a Vampyre. This ancient work is incorporated with the 
"Katha" Sarit Sdgara," or Ocean of the Streams of Story, composed in 
Sanskrit verse by Somadeva in the nth century, after a similar work, now 
apparently lost, entitled, "Vrihat Kathd," or Great Story, written by 
Gunadhya, in the 6th century. 1 In the opinion of Benfey all the Vampyre 
Tales are of Buddhist extraction (some are unquestionably so), and they 
probably date from before our era. As a separate work they exist, more or 
less modified, in many of the Indian vernaculars , in Hindi, under the title of 
." Baital Pachfsi" ; in Tamil, " Vedala Kadai" ; and there are also versions in 
Telegu, Mahratta, and Canarese. The following is from Professor C. H. 
Tawney's complete translation of the " Kathd Sarit Sdgara " (it is the 8th 
recital of the Vetala) : 


THERE is a great tract of land assigned to Bralimans in the country of Anga, 
called Vrikshaghata. In it there lived a rich sacrificing Brdhman named 
Vishnusvdmin. And he had a wife equal to himself in birth. And by her he had 
three sons born to him, who were distinguished for preternatural acuteness. In 
course of time they grew up to be young men. One day, when he had begun a 
sacrifice, he sent those three brothers to the sea to fetch a turtle. So off they 
went, and when they had found a turtle, the eldest said to his two brothers, 
" Let one of you take the turtle for our father's sacrifice ; I cannot take it, as it 
is all slippery with slime." When the eldest brother said this, the two younger 
ones answered him, " If you hesitate about taking it, why should not we ? " 
When the eldest heard that, he said, " You two must take the turtle ; if you do 
not, you will have obstructed your father's sacrifice, and then you will certainly 
sink down to hell." When he told the younger brothers this, they laughed and 
said to him, " If you see our duty so clearly, why do you not see that your own 
is the same ? " Then the eldest said, " What, do you not krrow how fastidious 
I am ? I am very fastidious about eating, and I cannot be expected to touch 
what is repulsive." The middle brother, when he heard this speech of his, said 
to his brother, " Then I am a more fastidious person than you, for I am a most 

1 Oesterley mentions a Sanskrit redaction of the Vampyre Tales attributed to Sivadasa, 
and another comprised in the " Katharnava." 

The King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 

fastidious connoisseur of the fair sex." When the middle one said this, 
eldest went on to say, " Then let the younger of you two take the turtle." 
the youngest brother frowned, and in his turn said to the two elder, " You fools, 
J am very fastidious about beds ; so I am the most fastidious of the lot." 

So the three brothers fell to quarrelling with one another, and being, 
'completely under the dominion of conceit, they left that turtle, and went off 
! immediately to the court of the king of that country, whose name was 
:Prasenajit, and who lived in a city named Vitankapura, in order to have the 
'dispute decided. There they had themselves announced by the warder, and 
iwent in, and gave the king a circumstantial account of their case. The king 
said, " Wait here, and I will put you all in turn to the proof ; * so they agreed 
and remained there. And at the time that the king took his meal, he had 
them conducted to a seat of honour, and given delicious food fit for a king, 
possessing all the six flavours. And while all were feasting around him, the 
Brdhman who was fastidious about eating alone of all the company did not eat, 
but sat there with his face puckered up with disgust. The king himself asked; 
the Brdhman why he did not eat his food, though it was sweet and fragrant, 
and he slowly answered him, " I perceive in this food an evil smell of the reek 
from corpses, so I cannot bring myself to eat it, however delicious it may be.** 
When he said this before the assembled multitude, they all smelted it by the! 
king's orders, and said, " This food is prepared from white rice and is good and 
fragrant." But the Brdhman who was so fastidious about eating would not! 
touch it, but stopped his nose. Then the king reflected, and proceeded to| 
inquire into the matter, and found out from his officers that the food had been! 
made from rice which had been grown in a field near the burning gkdt of a 
certain village. Then the king was much astonished, and, being pleased, hei 
said to him, " In truth you are very particular as to what you eat ; so eat of] 
some other dish." 

And after they had finished their dinner, the king dismissed the Brdhmans 
to their apartments, and sent for the loveliest lady of his court. And in thej 
^evening he sent that fair one, all whose limbs were of faultless beauty,| 
splendidly adorned, to the second Brahman, who was so squeamish about the* 
fair sex. And that matchless kindler of Cupid's flame, with a face like the full 
moon of midnight, went, escorted by the king's servants, to the chamber of the 
.Brdhman. But when she entered, lighting up the chamber with her brightness,; 
that gentleman who was so fastidious about the fair sex felt quite faint, and I 
stopping his nose with his left hand, said to the king's servants, " Take her 
away ; if you do nt>t, I am a dead man : a smell comes from her like that of a 
goat." When the king's servants heard this, they took the bewildered fair 
one to their sovereign, and told him what had taken place. And the king 
immediately had the squeamish gentleman sent for, and said to him, " How, 
can this lovely woman, who has perfumed herself with sandal-wood, camphor, 
black aloes, and other splendid scents, so that she diffuses exquisite fragrance 
through the world, smell likeagoat?" But though the king used this argument! 
VOL. II. & 

322 Appendix: Variants and Analogues* 

to the squeamish gentleman he stuck to his point ; and then the king began to 
have his doubts on the subject, and at last, by artfully framed questions, he 
elicited from the lady herself that, having been separated in her childhood from 
her mother and nurse, she had been brought up on goat's milk. 

Then the king was much astonished, and praised highly the discernment of 
the man who was fastidious about the fair sex, and immediately had given to 
the third Brdhman, who was fastidious about beds, in accordance with his taste, 
a bed composed of seven mattresses placed upon a bedstead. White smooth 
sheets and coverlets were laid upon the bed, and the fastidious man slept upon 
it in a splendid room. But, before half a watch of the night had passed, he rose 
up from that bed, with his hand pressed to his side, screaming in an agony of 
pain. And the king's officers, who were there, saw a red crooked mark on his 
side, as if a hair had been pressed deep into it. And they went and told the 
king, and the king said to them, " Look and see if there is not something under 
the mattress." So they went and examined the bottom of the mattresses one 
by one, and they found a hair in the middle of the bedstead underneath them 
all. And they took it and showed it to the king, and they also brought the man 
who was fastidious about beds, and when the king saw the state of his body, he 
was astonished. And he spent the whole night in wondering how a hair could 
make so deep an impression on his skin through seven mattresses. 1 

And the next morning the king gave three hundred thousand gold pieces to 
those three fastidious men, because they were persons of wonderful discernment 
and refinement. And they remained in great comfort in the king's court, for- 
getting all about the turtle, and little did they reck of the fact that they had 
incurred sin by obstructing their father's sacrifice. 2 

The story of the brothers who were so very "knowing" is common to 
most countries, with occasional local modifications. It is not often we find the 
knowledge of the "quintessence of things" concentrated in a single individual, 
as in the case of the ex-king of our tale, but we have his exact counterpart and 
Ihe circumstance is significant in No. 2 of the * Cento Novelle Antiche," the 
first Italian collection of short stories, made in the I3th century, where a 

1 And well might his sapient majesty "wonder" ! The humour of this passage is 

a In the Tamil version (Babington's translation of the "Veddla Kadai") there are 
but two brothers, one of whom is fastidious in his food, the other in beds ; the latter lies 
on a bed stuffed with flowers, deprived of their stalks. In the morning he complains of 
pains all over his body, and on examining the bed one hair is found amongst the flowers. 

-r _ il T T? 3/ il I- i i *1 1 A l T \ 1 -.1 i. /"-.I. 

in the back, therefore I could not sleep." The youth who was fastidious about the fair 
sex had a lovely damsel laid beside him, and he was on the point of kissing her, but on 
smelling her breath he turned away his face, and went to sleep. Early in the morning 
the king (who had observed through a lattice what passed) asked him, " Did you pass 
the night pleasantly ? " He replied that he did not, because the smell of a goat 
proceeded from the girl's mouth, which made him very uneasy. The king then sent 
tor the procuress and ascertained that the girl had been brought up on goat's milk. 

The King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 323 

prisoner informs the king of Greece that a certain horse has been suckled by a. 
she-ass, that a jewel contains a flaw, and that the king himself is a baker. 
Mr. Tawney, in a note on the Vetila story, as above, refers also to the decisions; 
of Hamlet in Saxo Grammaticus, 1839, P J 3 8 i * n Simrock's "Quellen des 
Shakespeare/' I, 81-85 ; 5, 170 ; he lays down that some bread tastes of blood 
(the corn was grown on a battlefield) ; that some liquor tastes of iron (the malt, 
was mixed with water taken from a well, in which some rusty swords had lain) ; 
that some bacon tastes of corpses (the pig had eaten a corpse) ; lastly, that the' 
king is a servant and his wife a serving-maid. But in most versions of the' 
story three brothers are the gifted heroes. 

In " Melusine " l for 5 Nov. 1885, M. Rene* Basset cites an interesting 
variant (in which, as is often the case, the ** Lost Camel" plays a part, but we 
are not concerned about it at present) from Radloft's " Proben der Volksliteratur, 
der tiirkischen Stamme des Siid-Siberiens," as follows : 


MEAT and bread were set before the three brothers, and the prince went out. 
The eldest said, " The prince is a slave ;" the second, " This is dog's flesh ;" 
the youngest, " This bread has grown over the legs of a dead body." The 
prince heard them. He took a knife and ran to find his mother. "Tell me the 
truth," cried he "were you unfaithful to my father during his absence? A 
man who is here has called me a slave." " My son," replied she, " if I don't 
tell the truth, I shall die ; if I tell it, I shall die. When thy father was absent, 
I gave myself up to a slave." The prince left his mother and ran to the house 
of the shepherd : " The meat which you have cooked to-day what is it ? Tell 
the truth, otherwise I'll cut your head off." " Master, if I tell it, I shall die ; if I 
don't, I shall die. I will be truthful. It was a lamb whose mother had no 
milk ; on the day of its birth, it was suckled by a bitch : that is to-day's ewe."' 
The prince left the shepherd and ran to the house of the husbandman : " Tell 
the truth, or else I'll cut off your head. Three young men have come to my 
house. I have placed bread before them, and they say that the grain has grown 1 
over the limbs of a dead man." " I will be frank with you. I ploughed with 
my plough in a place where were [buried] the limbs of a man ; without knowing; 
it, I sowed some wheat, which grew up." The prince quitted his slave and 
returned to his house, where were seated the strangers. He said to the first r 
" Young man, how do you know that I am a slave ? " " Because you went out* 
as soon as the repast was brought in." He asked the second, " How do you, 
know that the meat which was served to-day was that of a dog ? " " Because it 
has a disagreeable taste like the flesh of a dog." Then to the third : " How 
come you to know that this bread was grown over the limbs of a dead person ? " 
" What shall I say ? It smells of the limbs of a dead body ; that is why I 

1 Melusine : Revue de Mythologie, Literature Populaire, Traditions, et Usages. 
Dirige'e par H. Gaidoz et E. Rolland. Paris. 

324 Appendix; Variants and Analogues. 

recognised it. If you do not believe me, ask your slave ; he will tell you that 
what I say is true." 

In the same paper (col. 516) M. Rend Basset cites a somewhat elaborate 
variant, from Stier's " Ungarische Sagen und Marchen," in which, once more, 
the knowledge of the "quintessence of things" is concentrated in a single 
individual : 


A CLEVER Magyar is introduced with his companions in disguise into the camp 1 
of the King of the Ta"ta"rs, who is menacing his country. The prince, suspicious, 
causes him to be carefully watched by his mother, a skilful sorceress. They 
brought in the evening's repast. " What good wine the prince has I '' said she. 
" Yes," replied one, " but it contains human blood.'* The sorceress took note of 
the bed from whence these words proceeded, and when all were asleep, she 
deftly cut a lock of hair from him who had spoken, crept stealthily out of the 
room, and brought this mark to her son. The strangers started up, and when 
our hero discovered what had been done to him, he cut a lock from all, to render 
his detection impossible. When they came to dinner, the king knew not from 
whom the lock had been taken. The following night the mother of the prince 
again slipped into the room, and said, " What good bread has the prince of the 
Ta"ta~rs ! " " Very good," replied one, " it is made with the milk of a woman. 5 ' 
When all were asleep, she cut a little off the moustache of him who was lying 
in the bed from which the voice proceeded. This time the Magyars were still 
more on the alert, and when they were apprised of the matter, they all cut a little 
from their moustaches, so that next morning the prince found himself again 
foiled. The third night the old lady hid herself, and said in a loud voice, 
" What a handsome man is the prince of the Ta"ta>s ! " " Yes," replied one, 
" but he is a bastard." When all were asleep, the old lady made a mark on the 
visor of the helmet of the one from whence had come the words, and then 
acquainted her son of what she had done. In the morning the prince perceived 
that all the helmets were similarly marked. 1 At length he refrained, and said, " I 
see that there is among you a master greater than myself ; that is why I desire 
very earnestly to know him. He may make himself known ; I should like to see 
and know this extraordinary man, who is more clever and more powerful than 
myself." The young man started up from his seat and said, " I have not wished 
to be stronger or wiser than yourself. I have only wished to find out what you 
had preconcerted for us. I am the person who has been marked three nights." 
" It is well, young man. But prove now your words : How is there human blood 

1 The trick of the clever Magyar in marking all the other sleepers as the king's 
mother had marked himself occurs in the folk-tales of most countries, especially in the 
numerous versions of the Robbery of the King's Treasury, which are brought together 
in my work on the Migrations of Popular Tales and Fictions (Blackwood), vol. ii., pp. 

The King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 325 

in the wine ?" " Call your butler and he will tell you." The butler came in 
trembling all over, and confessed that when he corked the wine he had cut his 
finger with the knife, and a drop of blood had fallen into the cask. " But how 
is there woman's milk in the bread ?" asked the king. " Call the bakeress," 
he replied, "and she will tell it you." When they questioned her, she 
confessed that she was kneading the bread and at the same time suckling her 
baby, and that on pressing it to her breast some milk flowed and was mixed 
with the bread. The sorceress, the mother of the king, when they came to the 
third revelation of the young man, confessed in her turn that the king was 

Mr. Tawney refers to the Chevalier de Mailly's version of the Three Princes 
of Serendip (Ceylon) : The three are sitting at table, and eating a leg of lamb, 
sent with some splendid wine from the table of the emperor Bahrain. The 
eldest maintains that the wine was made of grapes that grew in a cemetery ; the 
second, that the lamb was brought up on dog's milk ; while the third asserts 
that the emperor had put to death the son of the wazfr, and that the latter is 
bent on vengeance. All these statements turn out to be well-grounded. Mr. 
Tawney also refers to parallel stories in the Breslau edition of The Nights; namely, 
in Night 458, it is similarly conjectured that the bread was baked by a sick 
woman ; that the kid was suckled by a bitch, and that the sultan is illegitimate; 
and in Night 459, a gem-cutter guesses that a jewel has an internal flaw, a 
man skilled in the pedigrees of horses divines that a horse is the offspring of a 
female buffalo, and a man skilled in human pedigrees that the mother of the 
favourite queen was a rope-dancer. Similar incidents occur in " The Sultan of 
Yemen and his Three Sons," one of the Additional Tales translated by Scott, 
from the Wortley-Montague MS., now in the Bodleian Library, and comprised 
in vol. vi. of his edition of "The Arabian Nights Entertainments," published at 
London in 1811. 

An analogous tale occurs in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb's recently-published trans- 
lation of the " History of the Forty Vezfrs " (the Lady's Fourth Story, p. 69 ff.), 
the motif of which is that " all things return to their origin :" 


THERE was in the palace of the world a king who was very desirous of seeing 
Khizr 1 (peace on him !), and he would even say, "If there be any one who will 
show me Khizr, 1 will give him whatsoever he may wish." Now there was at 

1 A mythical saint, or prophet, who, according to the Muslim legend, was despatched 
by one of the ancient kings of Persia to procure him some of the Water of Life. After 
a tedious journey, Khizr reached the Fountain of Immortality, but having drank of its 
waters, it suddenly vanished. Muslims believe that Khizr still lives, and sometimes 
appears to favoured individuals, always clothed in green, and acts as their guide in 
difficult enterprises. 

326 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 


that time a man poor of estate, and from the stress of his poverty he said to 
himself, " Let me go and speak to the king, that if he provide for me during 
three years, either I shall be dead, or the king will be dead, or he will forgive 
me my fault, or I shall on somewise win to escape, and in this way shall I make 
merry for a time." So he went to the king and spake these words to him. 1 
The king said, " An thou show him not, then I will kill thee," and that poor 
man consented. Then the king let give him much wealth and money, and the 
poor man took that wealth and money and went to his house. Three years he 
spent in merriment and delight, and he rested at ease till the term was accom- 
plished. At the end of that time he fled and hid himself in a trackless place 
and he began to quake for fear. Of a sudden he saw a personage with white 
raiment and shining face, who saluted him. The poor man returned the salu- 
tation, and the radiant being asked, " Why art thou thus sad ? " But he gave no 
answer. Again the radiant being asked him and sware to him, saying, " Do 
indeed tell to me thy plight, that I may find thee some remedy." So that hap- 
less one narrated his story from its beginning to its end, and the radiant being 
said, " Come, I will go with thee to the king, and I will answer for thee." So 
they arose. 

Now the king wanted that hapless one, and while they were going some of the 
king's officers who were seeking met them, and they straightway seized the poor 
man and brought him to the king. Quoth the king, " Lo, the three years are 
accomplished ; come now, and show me Khizr." The poor man said, " My 
king, grace and bounty are the work of kings forgive my sin." Quoth the 
king, " I made a pact ; till I have killed thee, I shall not have fulfilled it." And 
he looked to his chief vezfr and said, " How should this be done ? " Quoth the 
vezir, " This man should be hewn in many pieces and then hung up on butchers' 
hooks, that others may see and lie not before the king." Said that radiant being, 
" True spake the vezir ; all things return to their origin." Then the king 
looked to the second vezfr and said, " What sayest thou ? " He replied, " This 
man should be boiled in a cauldron." Said that radiant being, " True spake the 
vezfr ; all things return to their origin." The king looked to the third vezir 
and said, " What sayest thou ? " The vezfr replied, " This man should be hewn 
in small pieces and baked in an oven." Again said that elder, " True spake 
the vezfr ; all things return to their origin." Then quoth the king to the fourth 
vezfr, "Let us see what sayest thou ?" The vezfr replied, " O king, the wealth 
thou gavest this poor creature was for the love of Khizr (peace on him !) He, 
thinking to find him, accepted it ; now that he has not found him he seeks 
pardon. This were befitting, that thou set free this poor creature for the love of 
Khizr." Said that elder, " True spake the vezfr ; all things return to their 
origin." Then the king said to the elder, " O elder, my vezfrs have said different 
things contrary the one to the other, and thou hast said concerning each of 

1 " Spake these words to the king" certainly not those immediately preceding ! but 
that, if the king would provide for him during three years, at the end of that period he 
would show Khizr to the king. 

The King who kenned the Quintessence of Things. 327 

them, * True spake the vezfr ; all things return to their origin.' What is the 
reason thereof?" That elder replied, "Oking, thy first vezfr is a butcher's 
son ; therefore did he draw to his origin. Thy second vezfr is a cook's son, 
and he likewise proposed a punishment as became his origin. Thy third vezfr 
is a baker's son ; he likewise proposed a punishment as became his origin. But 
thy fourth vezfr is of gentle birth ; compassion therefore becomes his origin, 
so he had compassion on that hapless one, and sought to do good and counselled 
liberation. O king, all things return to their origin." 1 And he gave the king 
much counsel, and at last said, " Lo, I am Khizr," and vanished. 2 

The discovery of the king's illegitimate birth, which occurs in so many 
versions, has its parallels in the story of the Nephew of Hippocrates in the 
" Seven Wise Masters," and the Lady's 2nd Story in Mr. Gibb's translation of 
the "Forty Vezfrs." The extraordinary sensitiveness of the third young 
Brahman, in the Vetala story, whose side was scratched by a hair that was 
under the seventh of the mattresses on which he lay, Rohde (says Tawney), in 
his " Greichische Novellistik," p. 62, compares with a story told by Aelian of 
the Sybarite Smindyrides, who slept on a bed of rose-leaves and got up in the 
morning covered with blisters. He also quotes from the Chronicle of Tabari a 
story of a princess who was made to bleed by a rose-leaf lying in her bed. 3 

The eleventh recital of the Vetala is about a king's three sensitive wives : 
As one of the queens was playfully pulling the hair of the king, a blue lotus 
leaped from her ear and fell on her lap ; immediately a wound was produced 
on the front of her thigh by the blow, and the delicate princess exclaimed 
" Oh ! oh ! " and fainted. At night, the second retired with the king to an 
apartment on the roof of the palace exposed to the rays of the moon, which fell 
on the body of the queen, who was sleeping by the king's side, where it was ex- 
posed by her garment blowing aside ; immediately she woke up, exclaiming, 
" Alas ! I am burnt," and rose up from the bed rubbing her limbs. The king 
woke up in a state of alarm, crying out, " What is the meaning of this ?" Then 
he got up and saw that blisters had been produced on the queen's body. In 

1 Mr. Gibb compares with this the following passage from Boethius, " De Consola- 
tione Philosophise," as translated by Chaucer : " All thynges seken ayen to hir propre 
course, and all thynges rejoysen on hir retourninge agayne to hir nature." 

* In this tale, we see, Khizr appears to the distressed man in white raiment. 

3 In an old English metrical version of the " Seven Sages," the tutors of the prince, 
in order to test his progress in general science, secretly place an ivy leaf under each of 
the four posts of his bed, and when he awakes in the morning 

"Par fay ! " he said, " a ferli cas ! 
Other ich am of wine y-drunk. 
Other the firmament is sunk, 
Other wexen is the ground, 
The thickness of four leaves round ! 
So much to-night higher I lay, 
Certes, than yesterday." 


Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

the meanwhile the king's third wife heard of it and left her palace to come to 
him. And when she got into the open air, she heard distinctly, as the night 
was still, the sound of a pestle pounding in a distant house. The moment the 
gazelle-eyed one heard it, she said " Alas ! I am killed,' 7 and she sat down on 
the path, shaking her hands in an agony of pain. Then the girl turned back, 
and was conducted by her attendants to her own chamber, where she fell on 
her bed and groaned. And when her weeping attendants examined her, they 
saw that her hands were covered with bruises, and looked like lotuses upon 
which black beetles had settled. 

To this piteous tale of the three very sensitive queens Tawney appends the 
following note : Rohde, in his " Greichische Novellistik," p. 62, compares with 
this a story told by Timaeus, of a Sybarite who saw a husbandman hoeing a 
field, and contracted rupture from it. Another Sybarite, to whom he told the 
tale of his sad mishap, got ear-ache from hearing it. Oesterley, in his German 
translation of the Baital Pachisf, points out that Grimm, in his " Kinder- 
marchen," iii. p. 238, quotes a similar incident from the travels of the Three Sons 
of Giaffar : out of four princesses, one faints because a rose-twig is thrown into 
her face among some roses ; a second shuts her eyes in order not to see the 
statue of a man; a third says, <( Go away ; the hairs in your fur cloak run into 
me ;" and the fourth covers her face, fearing that some of the fish in a tank may 
belong to the male sex. He also quotes a striking parallel from the " Elites des 
contes du Sieur d'Onville :" Four ladies dispute as to which of them is the 
most delicate. One has been lame for three months owing to a rose-leaf having 
fallen on her foot ; another has had three ribs broken by a sheet in her bed 
having been crumpled ; a third has held her head on one side for six weeks 
owing to one half of her head having three or more hairs on it than the other ; 
a fourth has broken a blood-vessel by a slight movement, and the rupture 
cannot be healed without breaking the whole limb. [Poor things !] 


Vol. I. p. 226. 

IN the Persian tales of "The Thousand and One Days," a young prince en- 
tered his father's treasury one day, and saw there a little cedar chest " set 
with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and topazes ; " on opening it (for the key was 
in the lock) he beheld the picture of an exceedingly beautiful woman, with whom 
he immediately fell in love. Ascertaining the name of the lady from an in- 
scription on the back of the portrait, he sets off with a companion to discover 
her, and having been told by an old man at Baghdad that her father at one 
time reigned in Ceylon, he continued his journey thither, encountering many 

The Fuller, his Wife, and the Trooper. 329 

unheard-of adventures by the way. Ultimately he is informed that the lady 
with whose portrait he had become enamoured was one of the favourites of 
King Solomon. One should suppose that this would have effectually cured the 
love-sick prince ; but no : he " could never banish her sweet image from his j 
heart." 1 

Two instances of falling in love with the picture of a pretty woman occur 
in the " Katha" Sarit Sahara." In Book ix., chap. 51, a painter shows King 1 
Prithvirupa the " counterfeit presentment " of the beauteous Princess Rapalata", 
and "as the king gazed on it his eye was drowned in that sea of beauty her 
person, so that he could not draw it out again. For the king, whose longing 
was excessive, could not be satisfied with devouring her form, which poured 
forth a stream of the nectar of beauty, as the partridge cannot be satisfied with 
devouring the moonlight." In Book xii., chap. 100, a female ascetic shows a 
wandering prince the portrait of the Princess Manddravati, "and Sundarasenal 
when he beheld that maiden, who, though she was present there only in a 
picture, seemed to be of romantic beauty and like a flowing forth of joy, im- 
mediately felt as if he had been pierced with the arrows of the god of the! 
flowery bow [i.e. Kama]." In chapter 35 of Scott's translation of the " Baha"r-i-i 
Danish," Prince Ferokh-Faul opens a volume, " which he had scarcely done 
when the fatal portrait of the fair princess who, the astrologers had foretold, 
was to occasion him so many perils, presented itself to his view. He instantly 
fainted, when the slave, alarmed, conveyed intelligence of his condition to the 
Sultan, and related the unhappy cause of the disorder." In Gomberville's 
romance of Polexandre, the African prince, Abd-el- Malik, falls in love with the 
portrait of Alcidiana, and similar incidents occur in the romance of Agesilaus 
of Colchos and in the Story of the Seven Wazfrs (vol. vi.); but why multiply 
instances ? Nothing is more common in Asiatic fictions. 

Vol. I. p. 231. 

IN addition to the versions of this amusing story referred to on p. 23i^all of 
which will be found in the second volume of my work on " Popular Tales and 
Fictions," pp. 212-228 there is yet another in a Persian story-book, of unknown 
date, entitled " Shamsa u Kuhkuha," written by Mirza Berkhorder Turkman, 
of which an account, together with specimens, is given in a recently-published 
little book (Quaritch), " Persian Portraits : a sketch of Persian History, Litera- 
ture, and Politics," by Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot, author of " Early Ideas : a Group 
of Hindoo Stories." 

1 See also the same story in The Nights, vols. vii. and viii., which Mr. Kirby 
considers as probably a later version. (App. vol. x. of The Nights, p. 500.) 

330 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

This version occurs in a tale of three artful wives or, to employ the story- 
teller's own graphic terms, "three whales of the sea of fraud and deceit : three 
dragons of the nature of thunder and the quickness of lightning ; three defamers 
of honour and reputation ; namely, three men-deceiving, lascivious women, each 
of whom had from the chicanery of her cunning issued the diploma of turmoil 
to a hundred cities and countries, and in the arts of fraud they accounted Satan 
as an admiring spectator in the theatre of their stratagems. 1 One of them was 
sitting in the court of justice of the kazi's embrace ; the second was the 
precious gem of the bazaar-master's diadem of compliance ; and the third was 
the beazle and ornament of the signet-ring of the life and soul of the superin- 
tendent of police. They were constantly entrapping the fawns of the prairie of 
deceit within the grasp of cunning, and plundered the wares of the caravan of 
tranquillity of hearts of strangers and acquaintances, by means of the edge of 
the scimitar of fraud. One day this trefoil of roguery met at the public bath, 
and, according to their homogeneous nature they intermingled as intimately as 
the comb with the hair ; they tucked up their garment of amity to the waist of 
union, entered the tank of agreement, seated themselves in the hot-house of 
love, and poured from the dish of folly, by means of the key of hypocrisy, the 
water of profusion upon the head of intercourse ; they rubbed with the brush of 
familiarity and the soap of affection the stains of jealousies from each other's 
limbs. After a while, when they had brought the pot of concord to boil by the 
fire of mutual laudation, they warmed the bath of association with the breeze of 
kindness, and came out. In the dressing-room all three of them happened 
simultaneously to find a ring, the gem of which surpassed the imagination of the 
jeweller of destiny, and the like of which he had never beheld in the storehouse 
of possibility. In short, these worthy ladies contended with each other for pos- 
session of the ring, until at length the mother of the bathman came forward and 
proposed that they should entrust the ring to her in the meanwhile, and it 
should be the prize of the one who most cleverly deceived and befooled her 
husband, to which they all agreed, and then departed for their respective 
domiciles." 2 

1 So, too, in the " Bahar-i-Danish " a woman is described as being so able a pro- 
fessor in the school of deceit, that she could have instructed the devil in the science of 
stratagem ; of another it is said that by her wiles she could have drawn the devil's 
claws ; and of a third the author declares, that the devil himseli would own there was 
no escaping from her cunning ! 

2 There is a similar tale by the Spanish novelist Isidro de Robles (circa 1660), in 
which three ladies find a diamond ring in a fountain ; each claims it ; at length they 
agree to refer the dispute to a count of their acquaintance who happened to be close by. 
He takes charge of the ring and says to the ladies, " Whoever in the space of six weeks 
shall succeed in playing off on her husband the most clever and ingenious trick (always 
having due regard to his honour) shall possess the ring ; in the meantime it shall remain 
in my hands." (See Roscoe's " Specimens of the Spanish Novelists," Chandos edition, 
p. 438 ff.) This story was probably brought by the Moors to Spain, whence it may 
have passed into France, since it is the subject of a fabliau, by Haisiau the trouvere, 
entitled "Des Trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel,'' which is found in Meon's edition 
of Barbazan, 1808, tome iii. pp. 220-229, and in Le Grand, ed. 1781, tome iv. pp. 

The Fuller, his Wife, and the Trooper. 331 

Mr. Arbuthnot's limits permitted only of abstracts of the tricks played upon 
their husbands by the three ladies which the story-teller gives at great length 
and that of the kazi's wife is as follows : 

The kazi's wife knows that a certain carpenter, who lived close to her r was 
very much in love with her. She sends her maid to him with a message to say 
that the flame of his love had taken effect upon her heart, and that he must make 
an underground passage between his house and her dwelling, so that they might 
communicate with each other freely by means of the mine. The carpenter digs 
"the passage, and the lady pays him a visit, and says to him, " To-morrow I 
shall come here, and you must bring the kazi to marry me to you." The next 
day the kazi goes to his office ; the lady goes to the carpenter's house, and 
sends him to bring her husband, the kazi, to marry them. The carpenter 
fetches him, and, as the kazi hopes for a good present, he comes willingly 
enough, but is much surprised at the extreme likeness between the bride and 
his own wife. The more he looks at her, the more he is in doubt ; and at last, 
offering an excuse to fetch something, he rushes off to his own house, but is 
forestalled by his spouse, who had gone thither by the passage, and on his 
arrival is lying on her bed. The kazi makes some excuses for his sudden entry 
into her room, and, after some words, goes back to the carpenter's house ; but 
his wife had preceded him, and is sitting in her place. Again he begins the 
ceremony, but is attracted by a black mole on the corner of the bride's lip, 
which he could have sworn was the same as that possessed by his wife. Making 
more excuses, and in spite of the remonstrances of the carpenter, he hurries 
back to his house once more ; but his wife had again got there before him, and 
he finds her reading a book, and much astonished at his second visit. She 
suggests that he is mad, and he admits that his conduct is curious, and returns to 
the carpenter's house to complete the ceremony. This is again frequently 
'interrupted, but finally he marries his own wife to the carpenter, and, having 
behaved in such an extraordinary manner throughout, is sent off to a lunatic 

For the tricks of the two other ladies, and for many other equally diverting 
tales, I refer the reader to Mr. Arbuthnot's pleasing and instructive little book, 
which is indeed an admirable epitome of the history and literature of Persia, 
and one which was greatly wanted in these days, when most men, " like the dogs 
in Egypt for fear of the crocodiles, must drink of the waters of information as 
they run, in dread of the old enemy Time." 

I have discussed the question of the genealogy of this tale elsewhere, but, 
iafter a somewhat more minute comparative analysis of the several versions, am 
disposed to modify the opinion which I then entertained. I think we must con- 
sider as the direct or indirect source of the versions and variants the " Miles 
Gloriosus " of Plautus, the plot of which, it is stated in the prologue to the second 
act, was taken from a Greek play. It is, however, not very clear whether Berni 
adapted his story from Plautus or the " Seven Wise Masters " ; probably from 

332 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

the former, since in both the lady is represented, to the captain and the cuckold, 
as a twin sister, while in the S. W. M. the crafty knight pretends that she is his 
leman, come from Hungary with tidings that he may now with safety return 
home. On the other hand, in the S. W. M., as in Plautus, the lovers make their 
escape by sea, an incident which Berni has altered to a journey by land no doubt, 
in order to introduce further adventures for the development of his main plot. 
But then we find a point of resemblance between Berni and the S. W. M., in the 
incident of the cuckold accompanying the lovers part of their way in the latter 
to the sea- shore ; while in Plautus the deceived captain remains at home to 
prosecute an amour and get a thrashing for his reward (in Plautus, instead of a 
wife, it is the captain's slave-girl). It is curious that amidst all the masquerade 
of the Arabian story the cuckold's wife also personates her supposititious twin- 
sister, as in Plautus and Berni. In Plautus the houses of the lover and the captain 
adjoin, as is also the case in the modern Italian and Sicilian versions ; while in 
Berni, the S. W. M., the Arabian, and the Persian story cited in this note 
they are at some distance. With these resemblances and variations it is not 
easy to say which version was derived from another. Evidently the Arabian 
story has been deliberately modified by the compiler, and he has, I think, con- 
siderably improved upon the original: the ludicrous perplexity of the poor 
fuller when he awakes, to find himself apparently transformed into a Turkish 
trooper, recalls the nursery rhyme of the little woman " who went to market 
her eggs for to sell," and falling asleep on the king's highway, a pedlar cut 
off her petticoats up to the knees, and when she awoke and saw her condition 
she exclaimed, " Lawk-a-mercy me, this is none of I ! " and so on. And not 
less diverting is the pelting the blockhead receives from his brother fullers, 
altogether, a capital story. 


THE " curious " reader will find European and Asiatic versions of this amusing 
story in " Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales," 
published for the Chaucer Society, pp. 177-188 and (in a paper contributed by 
me : "The Enchanted Tree") p. 341-364. 

Vol. I. p. 250. 

UNDER the title of " The Robbers and the Treasure-Trove " I have brought 
together many European and Asiatic versions of this wide-spread tale in 
tt Chaucer Analogues," pp. 415-436. 



Vol. 7. /. 264. 

A SIMILAR but much shorter story is found in Gladwin's " Persian Moonshee," 
and story-books in several of the Indian vernaculars which have been rendered 
into English : 

A miser said to a friend, " I have now a thousand rupees, which I will bury 
out of the city, and I will not tell the secret to any one besides yourself.' 1 They 
went out of the city together, and buried the money under a tree. Some days 
after the miser went alone to the tree and found no signs of his money. He 
said to himself, " Excepting that friend, no other has taken it away ; but if I 
question him he will never confess." He therefore went to his (the friend's) 
house and said, " A great deal of money is come into my hands, which I want 
to put in the same place ; if you will come to-morrow, we will go together." 

, The friend, by coveting this large sum, replaced the former money, and the 
miser next day went there alone and found it. He was delighted with his own 

contrivance, and never again placed any confidence in friends. 

One should suppose a miser the last person to confide the secret of his 
wealth to any one ; but the Italian versions bear a closer resemblance to the 
Arabian story. From No. 74 of the " Cento Novelle Antiche " Sacchetti, 
who was born in 1335 and is ranked by Crescimbini as next to Boccaccio, 
adapted his igSth novella, which is a most pleasing version of the Asiatic 
story : 


'A BUND man of Orvieto, of the name of Cola, hit upon a device to recover a 
hundred florins he had been cheated of, which showed he was possessed of all 
the eyes of Argus, though he had unluckily lost his own. And this he did 
without wasting a farthing either upon law or arbitration, by sheer dexterity ; 
for he had formerly been a barber, and accustomed to shave very close, having 
then all his eyes about him, which had been now closed for about thirty years. 
Alms seemed then the only resource to which he could betake himself, and such 
was the surprising progress he m a short time made in his new trade that he 
counted a hundred florins in his purse, which he secretly carried about him 
until he could find a safer place. His gains far surpassed anything he had 
.realised with his razor and scissors ; indeed, they increased so fast that he no 
longer knew where to bestow them ; until one morning happening to remain 
the last, as he believed, in the church, he thought of depositing his purse of a 
hundred florins under a loose tile in the floor behind the door, knowing the 
situation of the place perfectly well. After listening some time without hearing 
& foot stirring > he very cautiously laid it in the spot j but unluckily there 

334 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

remained a certain Juccio Pezzichernolo, offering his adoration before an image 
of San Giovanni Boccadoro, who happened to see Cola busily engaged behind 
the door. He continued his adorations until he saw the blind man depart, 
when, not in the least suspecting the truth, he approached and searched the 
place. He soon found the identical tile, and on removing it with the help of his 
knife, he found the purse, which he very quietly put into his pocket, replacing 
the tiles just as they were, and, resolving to say nothing about it, he went 

At the end of three days the blind mendicant, desffous of inspecting'his 
treasure, took a quiet time for visiting the place, and removing the tile searched 
a long while in great perturbation, but all in vain, to find his beloved purse. At 
last, replacing things just as they were, he was compelled to return in no very 
enviable state of mind to his dwelling ; and there meditating on his loss, the 
harvest of the toil of so many days, by dint of intense thinking a bright thought 
struck him (as frequently happens by cogitating in the dark), how he had yet a 
kind of chance of redeeming his lost spoils. Accordingly in the morning he 
called his young guide, a lad about nine years old, saying, "My son, lead me 
to church," and before setting out he tutored him how he was to behave, seating 
himself at his side before the entrance, and particularly remarking every person, 
who should enter into the church. " Now, if you happen to see any one who 
takes particular notice of me, and who either laughs or makes any sign, be sure 
you observe it and tell me." The boy promised he would ; and they proceeded 
accordingly and took their station before the church. 

When the dinner-hour arrived, the father and son prepared to leave the 
place, the former inquiring by the way whether his son had observed any one 
looking hard at him as he passed along. " That I did," answered the lad, "but 
only one, and he laughed as he went past us. I do not know his name, but he 
is strongly marked with the small-pox and lives somewhere near the Frati 
Minori." " Do you think, my dear lad," said his father, " that you could take 
me to his shop, and tell me when you see him there ? " *' To be sure I could, 1 * 
said the lad. " Then come, let us lose no time," replied the father ; " and when 
we are there tell me, and while I speak to him you can step on one side and 
wait for me." So the sharp little fellow led him along the way until he reached 
a cheesemonger's stall, when he acquainted his father, and brought him close to 
it. No sooner did the blind man hear him speaking with his customers than he 
recognised him for the same Juccio with whom he had formerly been acquainted 
during his days of light. When the coast was a little clear, our blind hero 
entreated some moments 1 conversation, and Juccio, half suspecting the occasion, 
took him on one side into a little room, saying, " Cola, friend, what good news ? n 
"Why," said Cola, " I am come to consult you, in great hopes you will be of use 
to me. You know it is a long time since I lost my sight, and being in a 
destitute condition, I was compelled to earn my subsistence by begging alms. 
Now, by the grace of God, and with the help of you and of other good people 
of Orvieto, I have saved a sum of two hundred florins, one hundred of which I 

The Melancholist and the Sharper. 335 

have deposited in a safe place, and the other is in the hands of my relations, 
which I expect to receive with interest in the course of a week. Now if you 
would consent to receive, and to employ for me to the best advantage, the whole 
sum of two hundred florins, it would be doing me a great kindness, for there is 
no one besides in all Orvieto in whom I dare to confide ; nor do I like to be at 
the expense of paying a notary for doing business which we can as well transact 
ourselves. Only I wish you would say nothing about it, but receive the two 
hundred florins from me to employ as you think best. Say not a word about 
it, for there would be an end of my calling were it known I had received so 
large a sum in alms." Here the blind mendicant stopped ; and the sly Juccio, 
imagining he might thus become master of the entire sum, said he should be 
very happy to serve him in every way he could, and would return an answer the 
next morning as to the best way of laying out the money. Cola then took his" 
leave, while Juccio, going directly for the purse, deposited it in its old place 
being in full expectation of soon receiving it again with the addition of the other 
hundred, as it was clear that Cola had not yet missed the money. The cunning 
old mendicant on his part expected that he would do no less, and trusting 
that his plot might have succeeded, he set out the very same day to the 
church, and had the delight, on removing the tile, to find his purse really there. 
Seizing upon it with the utmost eagerness, he concealed it under his clothes, 
and placing the tiles exactly in the same position, he hastened home whistling, 
troubling himself very little about his appointment of the next day. 

The sly thief Juccio set out accordingly the next morning to see his friend 
Cola, and actually met him on the road. "Whither are you going?" inquired 
Juccio. "I was going," said Cola, "to your house." The former, then taking 
the blind man aside, said, " I am resolved to do what you ask ; and since you are 
pleased to confide in me, I will tell you of a plan that I have in hand for laying 
out your money to advantage. If you will put the two hundred florins into my 
possession, I will make a purchase in cheese and salt meat, a speculation which 
cannot fail to turn to good account/' " Thank you," quoth Cola, " I am going to- 
day for the other hundred, which I mean to bring, and when you have got them 
both, you can do with them what you think proper." Juccio said, " Then let 
me have them soon, for I think I can secure this bargain ; and as the soldiers 
are come into the town, who are fond of these articles, I think it cannot fail 
to answer ; so go, and Heaven speed you." And Cola went ; but with very 
different intentions from those imagined by his friend Cola being now clear- 
sighted, and Juccio truly blind. The next day Cola called on his friend with 
very downcast and melancholy looks, and when Juccio bade him good day, he 
said, " I wish from my soul it were a good, or even a middling, day for me." 
"Why, what is the matter?" "The matter ?" echoed Cola; "why, it is all 
over with me : some rascal has stolen a hundred florins from the place where 
they were hidden, and I cannot recover a penny from my relations, so that I 
may eat my fingers off for anything I have to expect." Juccio replied, " This is 
like all the rest of my speculations. I have invariably lost where I expected to 

336 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

make a good hit. What. I shall do I know not ; for if the person should choose 
to keep me to the agreement I made for you, I shall be in a pretty dilemma 
indeed." " Yet," said Cola, " I think my condition is still worse than yours. I 
shall be sadly distressed, and shall have to amass a fresh capital, which will 
take me ever so long. And when I have got it, I will take care not to conceal 
it in a hole in the floor, or trust it, Juccio, into any friend's hands." " But/' 
said Juccio, "if we could contrive to recover what is owing by your relations, 
we might still make some pretty profit of it, I doubt not." For he thought, if 
he could only get hold of the hundred he had returned it would still be some- 
thing in his way. " Why," said Cola, " to tell the truth, if I were to proceed 
against my relations, I believe I might get it ; but such a thing would ruin my 
business, my dear Juccio, for ever : the world would know I was worth money, 
and I should get no more money from the world ; so I fear I shall hardly be 
able to profit by your kindness, though I shall always consider myself as much 
obliged as if I had actually cleared a large sum. Moreover, I am going to teach 
another blind man my profession, and if we have luck you shall see me again, 
and we can venture a speculation together." So far the wily mendicant, to whom 
Juccio said, " Well, go and try to get money soon, and bring it ; you know 
where to find me, but look sharp about you and the Lord speed you ; farewell." 
" Farewell," said Cola ; "and I am well rid of thee," he whispered to himself ; 
and going upon his way, in a short time he doubled his capital ; but he no 
longer went near his friend Juccio to know how he should invest it. He had 
great diversion in telling the story to his companions during their feasts, always 
concluding, " By St. Lucia ! Juccio is the blinder man of the two : he thought it 
was a bold stroke to risk his hundred to double the amount." 

For my own part, I think the blind must possess a more acute intellect than 
other people, inasmuch as the light, exhibiting such a variety of objects to view, 
is apt to distract the attention, of which many examples might be adduced. 
For instance, two gentlemen may be conversing together on some matter of 
business, and in the middle of a sentence a fine woman happens to pass by, 
and they will suddenly stop, gazing after her ; or a fine equipage, or any other 
object is enough to turn the current of their thoughts. And then we are obliged 
to recollect ourselves, saying, "Where was I ?" "What was it that I was ob- 
serving ? " a thing which never occurs to a blind man. The philosopher 
Democritus very properly on this account knocked his eyes out in order to catch 
objects in a juster light with his mind's eye. 

It is impossible to describe Juccio's vexation on going to church and finding 
the florins were gone, His regret was far greater than if he had actually lost a 
hundred of his own ; as is known to be the case with all inveterate rogues, half 
of whose pleasure consists in depriving others of their lawful property. 

There are many analogous stories, one of which is the well-known tale of 
the merchant, who, before going on a journey, deposited with a dervish 1,000 
sequins, which he thought it prudent to reserve in case of accidents. When he 

The Melancholist and the Sharper. 337 

returned and requested his deposit, the dervish flatly denied that he ever had 
any of his money. Upon this the merchant went and laid his case before the 
kazi, who advised him to return to the dervish and speak pleasantly to him, 
which he does, but receives nothing but abuse. He informed the kazi of this, 
and was told not to go near the dervish for the present, but to be at ease for he 
should have his money next day. The kazi then sent for the dervish, and 
after entertaining him sumptuously, told him that, for certain reasons, he wasj 
desirous of removing a considerable sum of money from his house; that he! 
knew of no person in whom he could confide so much as himself; and that if 
he would come the following evening at a late hour, he should have the pre- 
cious deposit. On hearing this, the dervish expressed his gratification that so 
much confidence should be placed in his integrity, and agreed to take charge 
of the treasure. Next day the merchant returned to the kazi, who bade him go 
back to the dervish and demand his money once more, and should he refuse* 
threaten to complain to the kazi. The result may be readily guessed : no 
sooner did the merchant mention the kazi than the rascally dervish said, " My 
good friend, what need is there to complain to the kazi ? Here is your money ; 
it was only a little joke on my part." But in the evening, when he went to 
receive the kazi's pretended deposit, lie experienced the truth of the saw, that 
**covetousness sews up the eyes of cunning.'* 

A variant of this is found in the continental " Gesta Romanorum " (ch. cxviiL 
of Swan's translation), in which a knight deposits ten talents with a respectable 
old man, who when called upon to refund the money denies all knowledge of it. 
By the advice of an old woman, the knight has ten chests made, and employs a 
person to take them to the old man and represent them as containing treasure ; 
and while one of them is being carried into his house the knight enters and in 
the stranger's presence demands his money, which is at once delivered to him. ' 

In Mr. Edward Rehatsek's translated selections from the Persian story-book 
"Shamsa u Kuhkuha" (see ante^ p. 329), printed at Bombay in 1871, undejr 
the title of " Amusing Stories," there is a tale (No. xviii.) which also bears some 
resemblance to that of the Melancholist and the Sharper ; and as Mr. Rehatsek's 
little work is exceedingly scarce, I give it in extenso as follows : 

There was in Damascus a man of the name of Zayn el- Arab, with the honey 
of whose life the poison of hardships was always mixed. Day and night he 
hastened like the breeze from north to south in the world of exertion, and he was 
burning brightly like straw, from his endeavours in the oven of acquisition in 
order to gain a loaf of bread and feed his family. In course of time, however, 
he succeeded in accumulating a considerable sum of money, but as he had 
tasted the bitter poison of destitution, and had for a very long time carried the 
heavy load of poverty upon his back, and fearing to lose his property by the 
chameleon-like changes of fortune, he took up his money on a certain night, 
carried it out of the city, and buried it under a tree. After some time had 
passed he began sorely to miss the presence of his treasure, and betook himself 

238 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

to the tree to refresh his eyes with the sight of it. But when he dug up the 
ground at the foot of the tree he discovered that his soul-exhilarating deposit was 
refreshing the palate of some one else. The morning of his prosperity was 
suddenly changed into the evening of bitterness and disappointment. He was 
perplexed to what friend to confide his secret, and to what remedy to fly for 
the recovery of his treasure* The lancet of grief had pierced the liver of his 
peace, and the huntsman of distress had tied up the wings and feet of the bird of 
his serenity. One day he went on some business to a learned and wise man of the 
city with whom he was on a footing of intimacy. This man said to him, " It 
is some time since I perceived the glade of your circumstances to have been 
destroyed by the burning coals of restlessness, and a sad change to have taken 
place in your health. I do not know the reason, nor what thorn of tnisfortune 
has pierced the foot of your heart, nor what hardship has dawned from the east 
of your mind." Zayn el-Arab wept tears of sadness and said, " O thou standard 
coin from the mint of love ! the treachery of misfortune has brought a strange 
accident upon me, andlhe bow of destiny has let fly an unpropitious arrow upon 
my feeble target. I have a heavy heart and great sorrow, and were I to reveal 
it to you perhaps it would be of no use and would plunge you also into grief." 
The learned man said, " Since the hearts of intimate friends are like looking- 
glasses and are receiving the figures of mutual secrets, it is at all times necessary 
that they should communicate to each other any difficulties which they have 
fallen into, that they may remove them by taking in common those steps which 
prudence and foresight should recommend." Zayn el-Arab replied, "Dear 
friend, I had some gold, and fearing lest it should be stolen, I carried it to such 
and such a place and buried it under a tree, and when I again visited the place, 
I perceived the garment of my beloved Joseph to be sprinkled with the blood of 
the wolf of deception." The learned man said, " This is a grave accident, and 
it will be difficult to get on the track of your gold. Perhaps some one saw you 
bury it : he who has taken it will have to give an account of it in the next world, 
for God is omniscient. Give me ten days' delay, that I may study the book of 
expedients and stratagems, when mayhap somewhat will occur to me." 

That knowing man sat down for ten days in the school of meditation, and how 
much so ever he turned over the leaves of the volume of his mind from the pre- 
face to the epilogue, he could hit upon no plan. On the tenth day they again 
met in the street, and he said to Zayn el- Arab, "Although the diver of my mind 
has plunged deeply and searched diligently in this deep sea, he has been unable to 
seize the precious pearl of a wise plan of operation : may God recompense you 
from the stores of His hidden treasury ! " They were conversing in this way when 
a lunatic met them and said, " Well, my boys, what secret-mongering have you 
got between you?" The learned man said to Zayn el-Arab, "Come, let us 
relate our case to this crazy fellow, to see the flower of the plant that may bloom 
from his mind." Zayn el-Arab replied, " Dear friend, you, with all your 
knowledge, cannot devise anything during ten days : what information are we 
likely to gain from a poor lunatic who does not know whether it is now day o* 

The Melanchohst and the Sharper. 339 

night ?" Tile learned man said, "There is no telling what he may say to us. 
But you know that the most foolish as well as the most wise have ideas, and a 
sentence uttered at random has sometimes furnished a clue by which the desired 
object may be attained." Meanwhile a little boy also came up, and perceiving- 
the lunatic stopped to see his tricks. The two friends explained their case to 
the lunatic, who then seemed immersed in thought for some time, after which he 
said, " He who took the root of that tree for a medicine also took the gold," and 
having thus spoken, he turned his back upon them and went his way. They 
consulted with each other what indication this remark might furnish, when the 
little boy, who had overheard the conversation, asked what kind of a tree it was. 
Zayn el-Arab replied that it was a jujube tree. The boy said, " This is an easy 
matter : you ought to inquire of all the doctors of this town for whom a medicine 
has been prescribed of the roots of this tree." They greatly admired the 
boy's acutenetes and also of the lunatic's lucky thought. 1 The learned man was 
well acquainted with all the physicians of the city and made his enquiries, till he 
met with one who informed him that about twenty days ago he had prescribed 
for a merchant of the name of Khoja Semen der, who suffered from asthma, and 
that one of the remedies was the root of that jujube tree. The learned man 
soon discovered the merchant's house, found him enjoying excellent health, and 
said to him, " Ah, Khoja, -all the goods of this world ought to be surrendered 
to procure health. By the blessing of God, you have recovered your health, and 
you ought to give up what you found at the root of that tree, because the owner 
of it is a worthy man and possesses nothing else." The honest merchant 
answered, " It is true, I Jiave found it, and it is with me. If you will describe it 
I will deliver it into your hands." The exact sum being stated, the merchant 
at once delivered up the gold. 

In the " Kathd Sarit Sagara," Book vi. ch. 33, we have probably the original 
of this last story : A wealthy merchant provided a Brahman with a lodging near 
his own house, and every day gave him a large quantity of unhusked rice and 
other presents, and in course of time he received like gifts from other great 
merchants. In this way the miserly fellow gradually accumulated a thousand 
dinars, and going into the forest he dug a hole and buried it in the ground, and 
he went daily to carefully examine the spot. One day, however, he discovered 
that his hoard had been stolen, and he went to his friend the merchant near 
whose house he lived, and, weeping bitterly, told him of his loss, and that he 
had resolved to go to a holy bathing-place and there starve himself to death. 
The merchant tried to console him and dissuade him from his resolution, saying, 
" Brahman, why do you long to die for the loss of your wealth ? Wealth, like 
an unseasonable cloud, suddenly comes and goes." But the Brahman would 

1 Idiots and little boys often figure thus in popular tales : readers of Rabelais will 
remember his story of the Fool and the Cook ; and there is a familiar example of a boy's 
precocity in the story of the Stolen Purse " Craft and Malice of Women," or the Seven. 
jWazirs, vol. vi. of The Nights. 

340 Appendix ; Variants and Analogues. 

not abandon his fixed determination to commit suicide, for wealth is dearer to 
the miser than life itself. When he was about to depart for the holy place, the 
king, having heard of it, came and asked him, '" Brahman, do you know of any 
mark by which you can distinguish the place where you buried your dinars ? " 
He replied, " There is a small tree in the wood, at the foot of which I buried 
that money." Then said the king, " I will find the money and give it back to 
you, or I will give it you from my own treasury ;- do not commit suicide, 
; Brahman." 

When the king returned to his palace, he pretended to have a headache, and 
summoned all the physicians in the city by proclamation with beat of drum. 
And he took aside every one of them singly and questioned them privately, 
saying, " What patients have you, and what medicines have you prescribed for 
each ? " And they thereupon, one by one, answered the king's questions. Ai 
length a physician said, " The merchant Mdtridatta has been out of sorts, Oi 
|king, and this is the second day I have prescribed for him ndgabald [the plant 
\Uraria Lagopodioides\" Then the king sent for the merchant, and said to. 
him, "Tell me, who fetched you the ndgabald ? " The merchant replied, " My, 
servant, your highness." On hearing this, the king at once summoned the, 
'servant and said to him, " Give up that treasure belonging to a Brahman, 
consisting of a store of dinars, which you found when you were digging at the 
foot of the tree for ndgabald" When the king said this to him the servant was 
frightened, and confessed immediately ; and bringing the money left it there. 
Then the king summoned the Brahman and gave him, who had been fasting 
meanwhile, the dinars-, lost and found again, like a second soul external to his 
body. Thus did the king by his wisdom recover to the Brahman his wealth 
which had been taken away from the root of the tree, knowing that that simple] 
grew in such spots. 

LEWDNESS. Vol. L p. 270. 

THIS is one of three Arabian variants of Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale (the 
Story of Constance), of which there are numerous versions see my paper; 
entitled "The Innocent Persecuted Wife," pp. 365-414 of "Originals andi 
Analogues of some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales." 



WIFE. Vol. L p. 282. 

SOMEWHAT resembling this, but much more elaborate, is the amusing story of 
Ahmed the Cobbler, in Sir John Malcolm's " Sketches of Persia," ch. xx., the 
original of which is probably found in the tale of Harisarman, book vi. ch. 30, 
of the " Kathd Sarit Slgara," and it has many European variants, such as the 
German story of Doctor Allwissend, in Grimm's collection, and that of the 
Charcoal Burner in Sir George Dasent's " Tales from the Fjeld." According to 
the Persian story, Ahmed the Cobbler had a young and pretty wife, of whom he 
was very fond. She was ever forming grand schemes of riches and splendour, 
and was firmly persuaded that she was destined to great fortune. It happened 
one evening, while in this frame of mind, that she went to the public baths, 
where she saw a lady retiring dressed in a magnificent robe, covered with jewels, 
and surrounded by slaves. This was the very condition she had always longed 
for, and she eagerly inquired the name of the happy person who had so many 
attendants and such fine jewels. She learned it was the wife of the chief 
astrologer to the king. With this information she returned home. Ahmed met 
her at the door, but was received with a frown, nor could all his caresses obtain 
a smile or a word ; for several hours she continued silent, and in apparent 
misery ; at length she said, " Cease your caresses, unless you are ready to give 
me a proof that you do really and sincerely love me. w " What proof of love," 
exclaimed poor Ahmed, "can you desire that I will not give?" "Give over 
cobbling; it is a vile, low trade, and never yields more than ten or twelve 
dinars a day. Turn astrologer ; your fortune will be made, and I shall have all 
I wish and be happy." "Astrologer! " cried Ahmed " astrologer ! Have you 
forgotten who I am a cobbler, without any learning that you want me to 
engage in a profession which requires so much skill and knowledge?" "I 
neither think nor care about your qualifications," said the enraged wife ; " all 
1 know is that if you do not turn astrologer immediately, I will be divorced 
from you to-morrow." The cobbler remonstrated, but in vain. The figure of 
the astrologer's wife, with her jewels and her slaves, took complete possession 
of her imagination. 1$ All night it haunted her : she dreamt of nothing else, 
and on awakening declared she would leave the house if her husband did 
not comply with her wishes. What could poor Ahmed do ? He was no astro- 
loger ; but he was dotingly fond of his wife, and he could not bear the idea of 
losing her. He promised to obey ; and having sold his little stock, bought an 
astrolabe, an astronomical almanac, and a table of the twelve signs of the zodiac. 
Furnished with these, he went to the market-place, crying, " I am an astrologer ! 
I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the twelve signs of the zodiac ; 
I can calculate nativities ; J can foretell everything that is to happen. " No 
man was better known than Ahmed the Cobbler. A crowd soon gathered 

342 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

round him. " What, friend Ahmed," said one, " have you worked till your head 
is turned ? " " Are you tired of looking down at your last," cried another, " that 
you are now looking up at the stars?" These and a thousand other jokes 
assailed the ears of the poor cobbler, who notwithstanding continued to exclaim 
that he was an astrologer, having resolved on doing what he could to please his 
beautiful wife. 

It so happened that the king's jeweller was passing by. He was in great 
distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the king. Every search had 
been made to recover this inestimable jewel, but to no purpose ; and as the 
jeweller knew he could no longer conceal its loss from the king, he looked for- 
ward to death as inevitable. In thi hopeless state, while wandering about the 
town, he reached the crowd around Ahmed, and asked what was the matter. 
" Don't you know Ahmed the Cobbler ? " said one of the bystanders, laughing. 
"He has been inspired and is become an astrologer/ A drowning man will 
catch at a broken reed : the jeweller no sooner heard the sound of the word 
astrologer than he went up to Ahmed, told him what had happened, and said, 
" If you understand your art, you must be able to discover the king's ruby. Do 
so, and I will give you two hundred pieces of gold. But if you do not succeed 
within six hours, I will use my influence at court to have you put to death as an 
impostor." Poor Ahmed was thunderstruck. He stood long without being able 
to speak, reflecting on his misfortunes, and grieving, above all, that his wife, 
whom he so loved, had, by her envy and selfishness, brought him to such a 
fearful alternative. Full of these sad thoughts, he exclaimed aloud, "O woman ! 
woman ! thou art more baneful to the happiness of man than the poisonous 
dragon of the desert ! " Now the lost ruby had been secreted by the jeweller's 
wife, who, disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of her 
'female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her master speak to 
the astrologer, drew near ; and when she heard Ahmed, after some moments of 
abstraction, compare a woman to a poisonous dragon, she was satisfied that he 
must know everything. She ran to her mistress, and, breathless with fear, cried, 
" You are discovered by a vile astrologer ! Before six hours are past the whole 
story will be known, and you will become infamous, if you are even so fortunate 
as to escape with life, unless you can find some way of prevailing on him to be 
merciful." She then related what she had seen and heard ; and Ahmed's 
exclamation carried as complete conviction to the mind of the terrified lady as 
it had done to that of her slave. The jeweller's wife, hastily throwing on her 
veil, went in search of the dreaded astrologer. When she found him, she cried, 
" Spare my honour and my life, and I will confess everything." " What can 
you have to confess to me ? " said Ahmed, in amazement. " O nothing nothing 
with which you are not already acquainted. You know too well that I stole the 
king's ruby. I did so to punish my husband, who uses me most cruelly ; and 
I thought by this means to obtain riches for myself and have him put to death. 
But you, most wonderful man from whom nothing is hidden, have discovered 
and defeated my wicked plan. I beg only for mercy, and will do whatever you 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 343 

command me." An angel from heaven could not have brought more consolation 
to Ahmed than did the jeweller's wife. He assumed all the dignified solemnity 
that became his new character, and said, " Woman ! I know all thou hast done, 
and it is fortunate for thee that thou hast come to confess thy sin and beg for 
mercy before it was too late. Return to thy house ; put the ruby under the 
pillow of the couch on which thy husband sleeps ; let it be laid on the side 
farthest from the door ; and be satisfied thy guilt shall never be even sus- 
pected." The jeweller's wife went home and did as she was instructed. In an 
hour Ahmed followed her, and told the jeweller he had made his calcula- 
tions, and found by the aspect of tine sun and moon, and by the configuration 
of the stars, that the ruby was at that moment lying under the pillow of his 
couch on the side farthest from the door. The jeweller thought Ahmed must 
be crazy ; but as a ray of hope is like a ray from heaven to the wretched, he ran 
to his couch, and there, to his joy and wonder, found the ruby in the very place 
described. He came back to Ahmed, embraced him, called him his dearest 
friend and the preserver of his life, gave him two hundred pieces of gold, 
declaring that he was the first astrologer of the age. 

Ahmed returned home with his lucky gains, and would gladly have resumed 
his cobbling, but his wife insisting on his continuing to practise his new pro- 
fession, there was no help but to go out again next day and proclaim his 
astrological accomplishments. By mere chance he is the means of a lady 
recovering a valuable necklace which she had lost at the bath, and forty chests 
of gold stolen from the king's treasury, and is finally rewarded with the hand of 
the king's daughter in marriage. 

AND WEALTH. Vol. /. /. 319. 

IN the " Indian Antiquary" for June 1886 the Rev. J. Hinton Knowtes gives a 
translation of what he terms a Kashmfrf Tale, under the title of " Pride 
Abased," which, he says, was told him by " a Brahman named Mukund Ba"yu" , 
who resides at Suthu, Sn'nagar," and which is an interesting variant of the 
Wazlr Er-Rahwan's second story of the King who lost his Realm and Wealth : 


THERE was once a king who was noted throughout his dominions for daily 
boasting of his power and riches. His ministers at length became weary of 
this self-glorification, and one day when he demanded of them, as usual, whether 

1 1 have considerably abridged Mr. Knowles' story n several places. 

Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

there existed in the whole world another king as powerful as he, they plainly 
told him that there was such another potentate ; upon which he assembled his 
troops and rode forth at their head, challenging the neighbouring kings to fight 
with him. Ere long he met with more than his match, for another king came 
with a great army and utterly defeated him, and took possession of his king- 
dom. Disguising himself, the humbled king escaped with his wife and two 
boys, and arriving at the sea shore, found a ship about to sail. The master 
agreed to take him and his family and land them at the port for which he was 
bound. But when he beheld the beauty of the queen, he became enamoured 
of her, and determined to make her his own. The queen was the first to go 
on board the ship, and the king and his two sons were about to follow, when 
they were seized by a party of ruffians, hired by the shipmaster, and held back 
until the vessel had got fairly under way. The queen was distracted on seeing 
her husband and children left behind, and refused to listen to the master's suit, 
who, after having tried to win her love for several days without success, resolved 
to sell her as a slave. Among the passengers was a merchant, who, seeing 
that the lady would not accept the shipmaster for her husband, thought that if 
he bought her, he might in time gain her affection. Accordingly he purchased 
her of the master for a large sum of money, and then told her that he had done 
so with a view of making her his wife. The lady replied that, although the 
shipman had no right thus to dispose of her, yet she would consent to marry 
him at the end of two years, if she did not during that period meet with her 
husband and their two sons ; and to this condition the merchant agreed. In the 
meanwhile the king, having sorrowfully watched the vessel till it was out ol 
sight, turned back with his two boys, who wept and lamented as they ran beside 
him. After walking a great distance, he came to a shallow but rapid river, 
which he wished to cross, and, as there was no boat or bridge, he was obliged 
to wade through the water. Taking up one of his sons he contrived to reach 
the other side in safety, and was returning for the other when the force of the 
current overcame him and he was drowned. 

When the two boys noticed that their father had perished, they wept 
bitterly. Their separation, too, was a further cause for grief. There they stood, 
one on either side of the river, with no means of reaching each other. They 
shouted, and ran about hither and thither in their grief, till they had almost 
wearied themselves into sleep, when a fisherman came past, who, seeing the 
great distress of the boys, took them into his boat, and asked them who they 
were, and who were their parents ; and they told him all that had happened. 
When he had heard their story, he said, " You have not a father or mother, 
and I have not a child. Evidently God has sent you to me. Will you be my 
own children and learn to fish, and live in my house ?" Of course, the poor 
boys were only too glad to find a friend and shelter. " Come," said the fisher- 
man kindly, leading them out of the boat to a house close by, " I will look 
after you." The boys followed most happily, and went into the fisherman's 
house ; and when they saw his wife they were still better pleased, for she was 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife> and Wealth. 345 

very kind to them, and treated them as if they had been her own children. The 
two boys went to school, and when they had learned all that the master could 
teach them, they began to help their adoptive -father, and in a little while 
became most expert and diligent young fishermen. 

Thus time was passing with them, when it happened that a great fish threw 
itself on to the bank of the river and could not get back again into the water. 
Everybody in the village went to see the monstrous fish, and cut a slice of its 
flesh and took it home. A few people also went from the neighbouring villages, 
and amongst them was a maker of earthenware. His wife had heard of th* 
great fish and urged him to go and get some of the flesh. So he went, although 
the hour was late. On his arrival he found that all the people had returned 
to their homes. The potter had taken an axe with him, thinking .that the bon<-s 
would be so great and strong as to require its use in breaking them. When he 
struck the first blow a voice came out of the fish, like that of some one in pain, 
at which the potter was greatly surprised. " Perhaps," thought he, " the fish is 
possessed by a bhut. 1 " I'll try again ; " whereupon he struck another blow 
with his axe. Again the voice came forth from the fish, saying, "Woe is me ! 
woe is me 1 " On hearing this, the potter thought, " Well, this is evidently not 
a bhut, but the voice of an ordinary man. I'll cut the flesh carefully. May be 
that I shall find some poor distressed person.** So he began to cut away the 
flesh carefully, and presently he perceived a man's foot, then the legs appeared, 
and then the entire body. " Praise be to God," he cried, " the soul is yet in 
him." He carried the man to his house as fast as he could, and on arriving 
there did everything in his power to recover him. A large fire was soon got 
ready, and tea and soup given the man, and great was the joy of the potter and 
his wife when they saw him reviving, 2 For some months the stranger lived 
with those good people, and learnt how to make pots and pans and other 
articles, and thereby helped them considerably. Now it happened that the 
king of that country died, and it was the custom of the people to take for their 
sovereign whomsoever the late king's elephant and hawk should select. And 
BO on the death of the king the royal elephant was driven all over the country, 
and the hawk \vas made to fly about, in search of a successor, and it came to 
pass that the person before whom the elephant saluted and on whom the hawk 
alighted was considered as the divinely-chosen one. Accordingly the elephant 
and the hawk went about the country, and in the course of their wanderings 
came by the house of the potter who had so kindly succoured the poor man 
whom he found in the belly of the monstrous fish ; and it chanced that as they 

1 A species of demon. 

2 This is one of the innumerable parallels to the story of Jonah in the "whale's " 
belly which occur in Asiatic fictions. See, for some instances, Tawney's translation of 

Vera Historia," a monster fish swallows a ship and her crew, who live a long time in 
the extensive regions comprised in its internal economy. See also Herrtage's " Gesta 
Romanorum " {Early English Text Society), p. 297. 

346 -Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

passed the place the stranger was standing by the door, and behold, no sooner 
did the elephant and hawk see him than the one bowed down before him and 
the other perched on his hand. " Let him be king ! let him be king ! " shouted 
the people who were in attendance on the elephant, and they prostrated them- 
selves before the stranger and begged him to accompany them to the palace. 1 

' The ministers were glad when they heard the news, and most respectfully 
welcomed their new king. As soon as the rites and ceremonies necessary for 
the installation of a king had been observed, his majesty entered on his duties. 
The first thing he did was to send for the potter and his wife and grant them 
some land and money. In this and other ways, such as just judgments, proper 
laws, and kindly notices of all who were clever and good, he won for himself 
the good opinion and affection of his subjects and prospered in consequence 
thereof. After a few months, however, his health was impaired, and his 
physicians advised him to take out-door exercise. Accordingly, he alternately 
rode, hunted, and fished. He was especially fond of fishing, and whenever he 
indulged in this amusement, he was attended by two sons of a fisherman, who 
were clever and handsome youths. 

About this time the merchant who bought the wife of the poor king that 
was carried away by the rapid river visited that country for purposes of trade. 
He obtained an interview with the king, and displayed before him all his pre- 
cious stones and stuffs. The king was much pleased to see such treasures, and 
asked many questions about them and the countries whence they had been 
brought. The merchant satisfied the king's curiosity, and then begged per- 
mission to trade in that country, under his majesty's protection, which the king 
readily granted, and ordered that some soldiers should be placed on guard in 
*he merchant's courtyard, and sent the fisherman's two sons to sleep in the 

One night those two youths not being able to sleep, the younger asked his 
brother to tell him a story to pass the time, so he replied, " I will tell you one 

1 In the Arabian version the people resolve to leave the choice of a new king to the 
royal elephant because they could not agree among themselves (vol. i., p. 323) ; but in 
Indian fictions such an incident frequently occurs as a regular custom. In the 
" Sivandhi Sthala Purana," a legendary account of the famous temple at Trichinopoli, 
as supposed to be told by Gautama to Matanga and other sages, it is related that a cer- 
tain king having mortally offended a holy devotee, his capital and all its inhabitants were, 
in consequence of a curse pronounced by the enraged saint, buried beneath a showet 
of dust. * Only the queen escaped, and in her flight she was delivered of a male-child. 
After sometime, the chiefs of the Chola kingdom, proceeding to elect a king, determined, 
by the advice of the saint, to crown whomsoever the late monarch's elephant should 
pitch upon. Being turned loose for this purpose, the elephant discovered and brought 

Antiquary," vol. iii. the elder is chosen king in like 
ner by an elephant who meets him in the forest, and takes him on his back to the palace, 
where he is immediately placed on the throne. See also "Wide-Awake Stories from 
the Panjab and Kashmir," by Mrs. Steel and Captain Temple, p. 141 ; and Rev. Lai 
Behari Day's " FolkTales of Bengal," p. too, for similar instances. The hawk taking 
part, in this story, with the elephant in the selection of a king does not occur in any 
other tale known to me. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom , Wife, and Wealth. 347 

out of our own experience : Once upon a time there lived a great and wealthy 
king, who was very proud, and his pride led him to utter ruin and caused him 
the sorest afflictions. One day when going about with his army, challenging 
other kings to fight with him, a great and powerful king appeared and con- 
quered him. He escaped with his wife and two sons to the sea, hoping to find 
a vessel, by which he and his family might reach a foreign land. After walking 
several miles they reached the sea-shore and found a ship ready to sail. The 
master of the vessel took the queen, but the king and his two sons were held 
back by some men, who had been hired by the master for this purpose, until 
the ship was under way. The poor king after this walked long and far till he 
came to a rapid river. As there was no bridge or boat near, he was obliged to 
wade across. He took one of his boys and got over safely, and was returning 
for the other when he stumbled over a stone, lost his footing, and was carried 
down the stream ; and he has not been heard of since. A fisherman came 
along, and, seeing the two boys crying, took them into his boat, and afterwards 
to his house, and became very fond of them, as did also his wife, and they were 
like father and mother to them. All this happened a few years ago, and the two 
boys are generally believed to be the fisherman's own sons. O brother, we 
are these two boys ! And there you have my story." 

The tale was so interesting and its conclusion so wonderful that the younger 
brother was more awake than before. It had also attracted the attention of 
another. The merchant's promised wife, who happened to be lying awake at 
the time, and whose room was separated from the warehouse by a very thin 
partition, overheard all that had been said, and she thought within herself, 
" Surely these two boys must be my own sons." Presently she was sitting beside 
them and asking them many questions. Two years or more had made a great 
difference in the persons of both the boys, but there were certain signs which a 
hundred years could not efface from a mother's memory. These, together with 
the answers which she elicited from them, assured her that she had found her 
own sons again. Tears streamed down her face as she embraced them, and 
revealed to them that she was the queen, their mother, about whom they had 
just been speaking. She then told them all that had happened to her since 
she had been parted from them and their poor father, the king ; after which she 
explained that although the merchant was a. good man and very wealthy yet 
she did not like him well enough to become his wife, and proposed a plan for 
her getting rid of "him. " My device," said she, "is to pretend to the merchant 
that you attempted my honour. I shall affect to be very angry and not give 
him any peace until he goes to the king and complains against you. Then will 
the king send for you in great wrath and inquire into this matter. In reply you 
must say it is all a mistake, for you regard me as your own mother, and in proof 
of this you will beg the king to summon me into his presence, that I may cor- 
roborate what you say. Then I will declare that you are really my own sons, 
and beseech the king to free me from the merchant and allow me to live with 
you in an/ place I may choose for the rest of my days." 

348 Appendix: Variants and Analogues* 

The sons agreed to this proposal, and next night, when the merchant was also 
sleeping in the house, the woman raised a great cry, so that everybody was 
awakened by the noise. The merchant came and asked the cause of the out- 
cry, and she answered, " The two youths who look after your warehouse have 
attempted to violate me, so I screamed in order to make them desist." On 
hearing this the merchant was enraged. He immediately bound the two youths, 
and, as soon as there was any chance of seeing the king, took them before him 
and preferred his complaint. " What have you to say in your defence ? " said 
the king, addressing the youths ; " because, if what this merchant charges 
against you be true, I will have you at once put to death. Is this the gratitude 
you manifest for all my kindness and condescension towards you ? Say quickly 
what you have to say." " O king, our benefactor," replied the elder brother, 
" we are not affrighted by your words and looks, for we are true servants. We 
have not betrayed your trust in us, but have always tried to fulfil your wishes to 
the utmost of our power. The charges brought against us by this merchant 
are unfounded. We have not attempted to dishonour his wife ; we have rather 
always regarded her as our own mother. May it please your majesty to send 
for the woman and inquire further into this matter." 

The king consented, and the woman was brought before him. " Is it true," 
he asked her, " what the merchant, your affianced husband, witnesses against 
these two youths ? " " O king, 3 ' she replied, " the youths whom you gave to 
help the merchant have most carefully tried to carry out your wishes. But the 
night before last I heard their conversation. The elder was telling the younger 
a tale, from his own experience, he said. It was a story of a conceited king 
who had been defeated by another more powerful than he, and obliged to fly 
with his wife and two children to the sea. There, through the vile trickery of 
the master of a vessel, the wife was stolen and taken away to far distant lands, 
where she became engaged to a wealthy trader ; while the exiled king and his 
two sons wandered in another direction, till they came to a river, in which the 
king was drowned. The two boys were found by a fisherman and brought up 
as his own sons. These two boys, O king, are before you, and I am their 
mother, who was taken away and sold to the trader, and who after two days 
must be married to him. For I promised that if within a certain period I should 
dot meet with my husband and two sons I would be his wife. But I entreat 
your majesty to free me from this man. I do not wish to marry again, now 
that I have found my two sons. In order to obtain an audience of your majesty, 
this trick was arranged with the two youths." 

By the time the woman had finished her story the king's face was suffused 
with tears, and he was trembling visibly. When he had somewhat recovered 
he rose from the throne, and going up to the woman and the two youths em- 
braced them long and fervently. " You are my own dear wife and children/' 
he cried. " God has sent you back to me. I, the king, your husband, your 
fether, was not drowned as you supposed ; but was swallowed by a great fish 
and nourished by it for some time, and then the monster threw itself upon 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 349 

the river's bank and I was extricated. A potter and his wife had pity on me 
and taught me their trade, and I was just beginning to earn my living by 
making earthen vessels when the late king of this country died, and I was 
chosen king by the royal elephant and hawk I who am now standing here." 
Then his majesty ordered the queen and her two sons to be taken into the inner 
apartments of the palace, and explained his conduct to the people assembled. 
The merchant was politely dismissed from the country. And as soon as the 
two princes were old enough to govern the kingdom, the king committed to 
them the charge of all affairs, while he retired with his wife to a sequestered 
spot and passed the rest of his days in peace. 

The tale of Sarwar and Nfr, " as told by a celebrated Bard from Baraut, 
in the Merath district," in vol. iii. of Captain R. C. Temple's " Legends of the 
Panjlb u (pp. 97-125), though differing in form somewhat from the Kashmiri 
version, yet possesses the leading incidents in common with it, as will be seen 
from the following abstract : 


AMBA the raja" of PUnd had a beautiful wife named AmH and two young 
sons, Sarwar and Nfr. There came to his court one day a fakfr. The raja" 
promised to give him whatsoever he should desire. The fakfr required Amba* to 
give up to him all he possessed, or lose his virtue, and the raja" gave -him all, 
save his wife and two children, receiving in return the blessings of the fakfr. 
Then the raja" and the ra"nf went away ; he carrying Sarwar in his bosom, and 
she with Nfr in her lap. For a time they lived on the fruits and roots of the 
forest. At length the ranf gave her husband her (jewelled) bodice to sell in 
the ba"zr, in order to procure food. He offered it to Kundan the merchant, 
who made him sit down, and asked him where he had left the ranf, and why he 
did not bring her with him. Amba" told him that he had left her with their two 
boys under the banyan-tree. Then Kundan, leaving Amba" in the shop, went 
and got a litter, and proceeding to the banyan-tree showed the ra"nf the bodice, 
and said, " Thy husband wishes thee to come to him." Nothing doubting, the 
ra"nf entered the litter, and the merchant sent it off to his own house. Leaving 
the boys in the forest, he returned to AmbaYand said to him that he had not 
enough money to pay the price of the bodice, so the raja* must take it back. 
Amb took the bodice, and coming to the boys, learned from Sarwar how their 
mother had been carried away in a litter, and he was sorely grieved in his 
heart, but consoled the children, saying that their mother had gone to her 
brother's house, and that he would take them to her at once. Placing the two 
boys on his shoulders he walked along till he came to a river. He set down 
Nfr, and carried Sarwar safely across, but as he was going back for the other, 
behold, an alligator seized him. It was the will of God : what remedy is there 
against the writing of Fate ? The two boys, separated by the river, sat down 

350 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

and wept in their sorrow. In the early morning a washerman was up and 
spreading his clothes. He heard the two boys weeping and came to see. He 
had pity on them and brought them together. Then he took them to his house, 
and washed their faces and gave them food. He put them into a separate 
house and a Brdhman cooked for them and gave them water. 1 He caused the 
brothers to be taught all khids of learning, and at the end of twelve years they 
both set out together to seek their living. They went to the city of Ujjain, and 
told the raja" their history how they had left their home and kingdom. The 
raja" gave them arms and suitable clothing, and appointed them guards over 
the female apartments. 8 One day a fisherman caught an alligator in his net. 
When he cut open its body, he found in it Raja" Amba", alive. 3 So he took 
him to the raja* of Ujjain, and told how he had found him in the stomach 
of an alligator. Ambd related his whole history to the rdj ; how he gave up 
all his wealth and his kingdom to a fakfr ; how his wife had been stolen from 
him ; and how after safely carrying one of his young sons over the river in 
returning for the other he had been swallowed by an alligator. On hearing of 
all these misfortunes the ra"ja" of Ujjain pitied him and loved him in his heart: 
he adopted Amba" as his son ; and they lived together for twenty years, when 
the ra"jd died and Amba' obtained the throne. 

Meanwhile the beautiful Ra*nf Amli, the wife of Ambd had continued to refuse 
the merchant Kundan's reiterated prefers of love. At length he said to her, 
" Many days have passed over thee, live now in my house as my wife." And 
she replied, " Let me bathe in the Ganges, and then I will dwell in thy house." 
So he took elephants and horses and Idkhs of coin, and set the ra"ni in a litter 
and started on the journey. When he reached the city of Ujjain, he made a 
halt and pitched his tents. Then he went before Ra"ja* Amba* and said, " Give 
me a guard, for the nights are dark. Hitherto I have had much trouble and no 
ease at nights. I am going to bathe in the Ganges, to give alms and much 
food to Brdhmans. I am come, raja", to salute thee, bringing many things from 
my house." 

The raja" sent Sarwar and Nfr as guards. They watched the tents, and while 
the rain was falling the two brothers began talking over their sorrows, saying 
" What can our mother be doing ? Whither hath our father gone ? " Their 
mother overheard them talking, and by the will of God she recognised the 
princes ; then she tore open the tent, and cried aloud, " All my property is 
gone ! Who brought this thief to my tent ? " The ra"nf had both Sarwar and 
Nfr seized, and brought before Raja" Ambd on the charge of having stolen her 
property. The rajd held a court, and began to ask questions, saying, " Tell me 
what hath passed during the night. How much of thy property hath gone, my 

1 So that their caste might not be injured. A dhobi, or washerman, is of much 
lower caste than a Brahman or a Khshatriya. 

2 A responsible position in a raja's palace. 

3 " And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Raja Amba 
must have been fully twelve years in the stomach of the alligator. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 351 

friend ? I will do thee justice, according to thy desire : my heart is grieved 
that thy goods are gone." Then said the ra"m, "Be careful of the young 
elephant 1 The lightning flashes and the heavy rain is falling. Said Nfr, 
* Hear, brother Sarwar, who knows whither our mother hath gone?' And I 
recognised my sons ; so I made all this disturbance, raja" [in order to get access 
to thee]."' 1 Hearing this/Rajd Amba" rose up and took her to his breast Amtt 
and Ambd. met again through the mercy of God. The raja" gave orders to have 
Kundan hanged, saying, " Do it at once ; he is a scoundrel ; undo him that he 
may not live." They quickly fetched the executioners and put on the noose ; 
and then was Kundan strangled. The ra"n( dwelt in the palace and all her 
troubles passed far away. She fulfilled all her obligations, and obtained great 
happiness through her virtue. 


UNDER the title of " Krisa Gautami " in the collection of " Tibetan Tales from 
Indian Sources," translated by Mr. Ralston from the German of Von Schiefner, 
we have what appears to be a very much garbled form of an old Buddhist 
version of our story. The heroine is married to a young merchant, whose 
father gives him some arable land in a hill district, where he resides with 
Krisa Gautami his wife. 

When the time came for her to expect her confinement, she obtained leave of 
her husband to go to her parents' house in order that she might have the 
attendance of her mother. After her confinement and the naming of the boy, 
she returned home. When the time of her second confinement drew near, she 
again expressed to her husband a desire to go to her parents. Her husband 
set out with her and the boy in a waggon ; but by the time they had gone half 
way she gave birth to a boy. When the husband saw that this was to take 
place, he got out of the waggon, sat under a tree, and fell asleep. While 
he was completely overcome by slumber a snake bit him and he died. When 
his wife in her turn alighted from the waggon, and went up to the tree in order 
to bring him the joyful tidings that a son was born unto him, he, as he had. 
given up the ghost, made no reply. She seized him by the hand and found 
that he was dead. Then she began to weep. Meantime a thief carried off the 
oxen. After weeping for a long time, and becoming very mournful, she looked 
around on every side, pressed the new-born babe to her bosom, took the elder 
child by the hand, and set out on her way. As a heavy rain had unexpectedly 
fallen, all the lakes, ponds, and springs were full of water, and the road was 
flooded by the river. She reflected that if she were to cross the water with 
both the children at once, she and they might meet with a disaster, and there- 
fore the children had better be taken over separately. So she seated the elder 

1 This device of the mother to obtain speech of the king is much more natural tl;an 
that adopted ta the Kashmiri version. 

352 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

boy on the bank of the river, and took the younger one in her arms, walked 
across to the other side, and laid him down upon the bank. Then she went 
back for the elder boy. But while she was in the middle of the river, the 
younger boy was carried off by a jackal. The elder boy thought that his mother 
was calling him, and sprang into the water. The bank was very steep, so he 
fell down and was killed. The mother hastened after the jackal, who let the 
child drop and ran off. When she looked at it, she found that it was dead. So 
after she had wept over it, she threw it into the water. When she saw that the 
elder was being carried along by the stream, she became still more distressed. 
She hastened after him, and found that he was dead. Bereft of both husband 
and children, she gave way to despair, and sat down alone on the bank, with 
only the lower part of her body covered. There she listened to the howling of 
the wind, the roaring of the forest and of the waves, as well as the singing of 
Various kinds of birds. Then wandering to and fro, with sobs and tears of woe, 
she lamented the loss of her husband and her two children. 

She meets with one of her father's domestics, who informs her that her 
parents and their servants had all been destroyed by a hurricane, and that " he 
only had escaped " to tell her the sad tidings. After this she is married to a 
weaver, who ill-uses her, and she escapes from him one night. She attaches 
herself to some travellers returning from a trading expedition in the north, and 
the leader of the caravan takes her for his wife. The party are attacked bjr 
robbers and the leader is killed. She then becomes the wife of the chief of the 
robbers, who in his turn finds death at the hands of the king of that country, 
and she is placed in his zenana. ^ v ( t . t 

The king died, and she was buried alive in his tomb, after having had great 
honour shown to her by the women, the princes, the ministers, and a vast 
concourse of people. Some men from the north who were wont to rob graves 
broke into this one also. The dust they raised entered into Krisa Gautami's 
nostrils, and made her sneeze. The grave-robbers were terrified, thinking that 
she was a demon (vetdla), and they fled j but Krisa Gautami escaped from the 
grave through the opening which they had made. Conscious of all her 
troubles) and affected by the want of food, just as a violent storm arose, she 
went out of her mind. Covered with merely her underclothing, her hands and 
feet foul and rough, with long locks and pallid complexion, she wandered about 
until she reached Sravastf. There, at the sight of Bhagavant, she recovered 
her intellect. Bhagavant ordered Ananda to give her an over-robe, and he 
taught her the doctrine, and admitted her into the ecclesiastical body, and he 
appointed her the chief of the Bhikshunfs who had embraced discipline. 1 

1 The story of Abu* Sdbir (see vol. i. p. 81 ff.) may also be regarded as an analogue. 
He is unjustly deprived of all his possessions, and, with his wife and two young boy% 
driven forth of his village. The children are borne off by thieves, and their mother 
forcibly carried away by a horseman. Abu" Sabir, after many sufferings, is raised from 
dungeon to a throne. He regains his two children and his wife, who had steadfast!/ 
refused to cohabit with her captor. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 353 

This remarkable story is one of those which reached Europe long anterior 
to the Crusades. It is found in the Greek martyr acts, which were probably 
composed in the eighth century, where it is told of Saint Eustache, who was 
before his baptism a captain of Trajan, named Placidus, and the same legend 
reappears, with modifications of the details, in many mediaeval collections and 
forms the subject of several romances. In most versions the motif is similar 
to that of the story of Job. The following is the outline of the original legend, 
according to the Greek martyr acts : 


As Placidus one day hunted in the forest, the Saviour appeared to him between 
the antlers of a hart, and converted him. Placidus changed his name into 
Eustache, when he was baptized with his wife and sons. God announced to 
him by an angel his future martyrdom. Eustache was afflicted by dreadful 
calamities, lost all his estate, and was compelled to go abroad as a beggar with 
his wife and Kis children. As he went on board a ship bound for Egypt, his 
wife was seized by the shipmaster and carried off. Soon after, when Eustache 
was travelling along the shore, his two children were borne oft by a lion and a 
leopard. Eustache then worked for a long time as journeyman, till he was 
discovered by the emperor Trajan, who had sent out messengers for him, and 
called him to court. Reappointed captain, Eustache undertook an expedition 
against the Dacians. During this war he found his wife in a cottage as a 
gardener the shipmaster had fallen dead to the ground as he ventured to 
touch her and in the same cottage he found again his two sons as soldiers : 
herdsmen had rescued them from the wild beasts and brought them up. Glad 
was their meeting again ! But as they returned to Rome they were all burnt in 
a glowing bull of brass by the emperor's order, because they refused to sacrifice 
to the heathen gods. 1 

The story of Placidus, which forms chapter 1 10 of the continental " Gesta 
Romanorum," presents few and unimportant variations from the foregoing : 
Eustatius came to a river the water of which ran so high that it seemed 
hazardous to attempt to cross it with both the children at the same time , one 
therefore he placed upon the bank,, and then passed over with the other in his 
arms, and having laid it on the ground, he returned for the other child. But: 
in the midst of the river, looking back, he beheld a wolf snatch up the child he 
had just carried over and run with it into- the adjoining wood. He turned to 
rescue it, but at that instant a huge lion approached the other child and dis- 
appeared with it. After the loss of his two boys Eustatius journeyed on till he 

1 Introduction to the romance of " Torrent of Portingale," re-edited (for the Early 
English Text Society, 1886) by E. Adam, Ph.D., pp. xxi. xxii. 


354 Appendix : Variants and Analogues* 

came to a village, where he remained for fifteen years, tending sheep as a hired 
servant, when he was discovered by Trajan's messengers, and so on. 

The story is so differently told in one of the Early English translations of 
the "Gesta Romanorum" in the Harleian MSB. 7333 (re-edited by Herrtage 
for the E.E.T. Soc., pp. 87-91) that it is worth while, for purposes of comparison, 
reproducing it here in full : 


AVERIOS was a wise emperour regnyng in the cite of Rome ; and he let crye a 
grete feste, and who so ever wold come to that feste, and gete victory in the 
tournement, he shuld have his doughter to wyf, after his decesse. So there 
was a doughti knyght, and hardy in armys, and specially in tournement, the 
which hadde a wyf, and two yong children, of age of thre yere ; and when this 
knyght had herd this crye, in a clere morowenyng 1 he entred in to a forest, and 
there he herd a nyghtingale syng upon a tre so swetly, that he herd never so 
swete a melody afore that tyme. The knyght sette him doun undre the tre, 
and seid to him self, " Now, Lord, if I myght knowe what this brid 3 shold 
bemene ! " 3 There come an old man, and seid to him, " That thou shalt go 
within thes thre daies to the emperours feste, and thou shalt suffre grete 
persecution or thou come there ; and if thou be constant, and pacient in all 
thi tribulation, thy sorowe shal turne the 4 to grete joy ; and, ser, this is the 
interpretacion of his song." When this was seid, the old man vanysshed, and 
the brid flyaway. Tho 6 the knyght had grete merveill ; he yede 6 to his wif, and 
told her the cas. 7 " Ser," quod she, " the will of God be fulfilled, but I counsell 
that we go to the feste of the emperour, and that ye thynk on the victory in the 
tournement, by the which we may be avaunced 8 and holpen." 9 When the 
knyght had made all thing redy, there come a grete fire in the nyght ; and brent i0 
up all his hous, and all his goodis, for which he had grete sorowe in hert ; never- 
theles, notwithstondyng all this, he yede forthe toward the see, with his wife, 
and with his two childryn ; and there he hired a ship, to passe over. When 
thei come to londe, the maister of the shippe asked of the knyght his hire for 
his passage, for him, and for his wif, and for his two childryn. " Dere frend," 
said the knyght to him, " dere frend, suffre me, and thou shalt have all thyn, 
for I go now to the feste of the emperour, where I trust to have the victory in 
turnement, and then thou shalt be wele ypaied." " Nay, by the feith that I 

1 Morning. e Yede : went. 

8 Bird. Case. 

* Mean; betoken. * Avaunced: advanced ; promoted. 
4 Thee. Holpen : helped* 

Tko : then. lo Brent: burnt* 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 355 

owe to the emperour," quod that other, "hit shal not be so, for but if 1 you 
pay now, I shal holde thi wif to wed, 2 tyll tyme that I be paied fully my 
salary." And he seid that, for he desired the love of the lady. Tho the 
knyght profren his two childryn to wed, so that he myght have his wif ; and 
the shipman seid, "Nay, such wordis beth 3 vayn, for," quod he, "or* I wol 
have my mede, or els I wolle holde thi wif." So the knyght lefte his wif with 
him, and kyst her with bitter teris ; and toke the two childryn, scil. oon on his 
arme, and that othir in his nek, and so he yede forth to the turnement. Aftir t 
the maister of the shippe wolde have layn by the lady, but she denyed hit, and 
seid, that she had lever dey 5 than consente therto. So within short tyme, the 
maister drew to afer 6 lond, and there he deied; and the lady beggid her 
brede fro dore to dore, and knew not in what lond her husbond was duellinge. 
The knyght was gon toward the paleis, and at the last he come by a depe 
water, that was impossible to bepassid, but 7 hit were in certein tyme, when hit 
was at the lowist. The knygnt sette doun oo 8 child, and bare the othir over 
the water ; and aftir that he come ayen 9 to fecche over the othir, but or I0 he 
myght come to him, there come a lion, and bare him awey to the forest. The 
knyght pursued aftir, but he myght not come to the lion ; and then he wept 
bitterly, and yede ayen over the water to the othir child ; and or he were 
ycome, a bere had take the child, and ran therwith to the forest. When the 
knyght saw that, sore he wepte, and seid, " Alias ! that ever I was bore, for 
now have I lost wif and childryn. O thou brid ! thi song that was so swete is 
y turned in to grete sorowe, and hath ytake away myrth fro my hert." Aftii 
this he turned toward the feste, and made him redy toward the turnement ; and 
there he bare him so manly, and so doutely in the turnement, and that twies 
or thries, that he wan the victory, and worship, and wynnyng of that day. 
For the emperour hily avauncid him, and made him maister of his oste, 11 and 
commaundid that all shuld obey to him ; and he encresid, and aros from day 
to day in honure and richesse. And he went aftirward in a certain day in the 
cite, [and] he found a precious stone, colourid with thre maner of colours, as in 
oo partie 12 white, in an othir partie red, and in the thrid partie blak. Anon hfr 
went to a lapidary, that was expert in the Vertue of stonys ; and he seid r 
that the vertue of thilke 13 stone was this, who so ever berith the stone upon 
him, his hevynesse M shall turne in to' joy ; and if he be povere, 15 he shal 
be made riche j and if he hath lost anything, he shall fynde hit ayen with 
grete joy. And when the knyght herd this, he was glad and blith, and thought 
in him self, " I am in grete hevynesse and poverte, for I have lost all that I 

1 But if: unless. 9 Ayen: again. 

2 To wed: in pledge , in security. 10 Or : ere ; before. 
*Beth: are. "Army; host. 
*O; either. "Part. 

8 Lever dey : rather die. l8 That 

6 Far ; distant. u Grief; sorrow. 

f Unless. Poor. 

3^6 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

had, and by this stone I shal recovere all ayen, whether hit be so or no, 
God wote ! " Aftir, when he must go to bataile of the emperour he gadrid 
to-gidre * all the oste, and among them he found two yong knyghtis, semely 
in harneis, 2 and wele i-shape, the which he hired for to go with him yn bataill 
of the emperour. And when thei were in the bataill, there was not oon in all 
the bataill that did so doutely, 3 as did tho 4 two knyghtis that he hired ; and 
therof this knyght, maister of the ost, was hily gladid. When the bataill was 
y-do, 5 thes two yong knyghtes yede to her oste 6 in the cite ; and as they sat 
to-gidir, the elder seid to the yonger, " Dere frend, hit is long sithen 7 that we 
were felawys, 8 and we have grete grace of God, for in every batail we have the 
victory ; and therfore I pray you, telle me of what contre ye were ybore, and in 
what nacion ? For I askid never this of the or now ; and if thou wilt telle me 
soth, 9 1 shall telle my kynrede and where I was borne.'' And when oo felawe 
spak thus to the othir, a faire lady was loggid 10 in the same ostry ; ll and when 
she herd the elder knyght speke, she herkened to him ; but she knew neither 
of hem, 12 and yit she was modir of both, and wyf of the maister of the oste, 13 the 
which also the maister of the shippe withheld for ship-hire, but ever God kept 
her fro synne. Then spake the yonger knyght, " Forsoth, good man, I note l * 
who was my fader, or who was my modir, ne 15 in what stede 16 I was 
borne ; but 1 have this wele in mynde, that my fader was a knyght, and that 
he bare me over the water, and left my eldir brothir in the lond ; and as he 
passid over ayen to fecche him, there come a lion, and toke me up, but a man 
of the cite come with houndis, and when he saw him, he made him to leve me 
with his houndis.'' l7 " Now sothly," quod that othir, " and in the same maner 
hit happid with me. For I was the sone of a knyght, and had only a brothir ; 
and my fader brought me, and my brothir, and my modir, over the see toward 
the emperour ; and for my fader had not to pay to the maister of the ship for 
the fraught, he left my modir to wed ; and then my fader toke me with my yong 
brothir, and brought us on his bak, and in his armys, tyll that we come unto a 
water, and there left me in a side of the water, and bare over my yong brothir ; 
and or my fader myght come to me ayene, to bare me over, ther come a bere, 
and bore me to wode ; 18 and the people that saw him, made grete cry, and 
for fere the bere let me falle, and so with thelke 19 poeple I duellid x. yere, and 
ther I was y-norisshed.'' When the modir herd thes wordis, she seid, 
" Withoute doute thes ben my sonys ;" and ran to hem anon, and fil upon her M 
nekkes, and wepte sore for joy, and seid, " A ! dere sonys, I am your modir, 

1 Gathered, or collected, together. n Inn. 

2 Arms ; accoutrements ; dress. 12 Hem : them. 

3 Bravely. l3 Chief of the army. 

4 Those. M / note ; 1 know not. 

5 Done ; ended. 15 Nor. 

6 Their lodgings ; inn. 16 Place. 

' Since. l7 That is, by means of his houndf. 

8 Comrades. 18 A wood 

9 Truly. Those. 

10 Lodged. * Her: their. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife and Wealth. 357 

that your fader left with the maister of the shippe ; and I know wele by 
your wordis and signes that ye beth true brethern. But how it is with your 
fader, that I know not, but God, that all seth, 1 yeve 2 me grace to fynd my 
husbond." And alle that nyght thes thre were in gladnes. On the morow the 
modir rose up, and the childryn, scil. the knyghtis, folowid ; and as thei yede, 
the maister of the oste mette with hem in the strete, and though he were her 
fader, he knew hem not, but 3 as thei had manli fought the day afore ; and 
therfor he salued hem honurably, and askid of hem what feir lady that was, 
that come with hem ? Anon as his lady herd his voys, and perceyved a cer- 
teyn signe in his frount, 4 she knew fully therby that it was her husbond j and 
therfore she ran to him, and clypt him, and kyst him, and for joy fille doun to 
the erth, as she had be ded. So aftir this passion, she was reised up ; and 
then the maister seid to her, " Telle me, feir woman, whi thou clippest me, and 
kyssist me so ?" She seid, " I am thi wif, that thou leftist with the maister of 
the ship ; and thes two knyghtis bene your sonys. Loke wele on my front, and 
see." Then the knyght byheld her wele, with a good avisement, 6 and knew 
wele by diverse tokyns that she was his wif; and anon kyst her, and the 
sonys eke ; and blessid hiely God, that so had visited hem. Tho went her 
ayen to his lond, with his wif, and with his children, and endid faire his lif. 

From the legend of St. Eustache the romances of Sir Isumbras, Octavian, 
Sir Eglamour of Artois, and Sir Torrent of Portugal are derived. In the last, 
while the hero is absent, aiding the king of Norway with his sword, his wife 
Desonelle is delivered of twins, and her father, King Calamond, out of his 
hatred of her, causes her and the babes to be put to sea in a boat ; but a 
favourable wind saves them from destruction, and drives the boat upon the 
coast of Palestine. As she is wandering aimlessly along the shore, a huge 
griffin appears, and seizes one of her children, and immediately after a leopard 
drags away the other. With submission she suffers her miserable fate, relying 
on the help of the Holy Virgin. The king of Jerusalem, just returning from 
a voyage, happened to find the leopard with the child, which he ordered to be 
saved and delivered to him. Seeing from the foundling's golden ring that the 
child was of noble descent, and pitying its helpless state, he took it into his 
palace, and brought him up as if he were his own son, at his court. The 
dragon with the other child was seen by a pious hermit, St. Antony, who, 
though son of the king of Greece, had in his youth forsaken the world. 
Through his prayer St. Mary made the dragon put down the infant. Antony 
carried him to his father, who adopted him and ordered him to be baptized. 
Desonelle wandered up and down, after the loss of her children, till she hap- 
pened to meet the king of Nazareth hunting. He, recognising her as the king 

1 Looks towards ; attends to. 8 Excepting ; unless. 

1 Give. * Face ; countenance. 

* Care ; close examination. 

358 Appendix : Variants and Analogues. 

of Portugal's daughter, gave her a kind welcome and assistance, and at his 
court she lived several years in happy retirement. Ultimately she is re-united 
to her husband and her two sons, when they have become famous knights. 

The following is an epitome of " Sir Isumbras," from Ellis's " Specimens of 
Early English Metrical Romances " (Bonn's ed. p. 479 if.) : 


"THERE was once a knight, who, from his earliest infancy, appeared to be the 
peculiar favourite of Fortune. His birth was noble j his person equally re- 
markable for strength and beauty ; his possessions so extensive as to furnish 
the amusements of hawking and hunting in the highest perfection. Though 
he had found no opportunity of signalising his courage in war, he had borne 
away the prize at numberless tournaments; his courtesy was the theme of 
general praise ; his hall was the seat of unceasing plenty ; it was crowded 
with minstrels, whom he entertained with princely liberality, and the possession 
of a beautiful wife and three lovely children completed the sum of earthly 

Sir Isumbras had many virtues, but he had one vice. In the pride of his 
heart he forgot the Giver of all good things, and considered the blessings so 
abundantly showered upon him as the proper and just reward of his distin- 
guished merit. Instances of this overweening presumption might perhaps be 
found in all ages among the possessors of wealth and power ; but few sinners 
have the good fortune to be recalled, like Sir Isumbras, by a severe but salutary 
.punishment, to the pious sentiments of Christian humility. 

It was usual with knights to amuse themselves with hawking or hunting 
whenever they were not occupied by some more serious business ; and, as busi- 
ness seldom intervened, they thus amused themselves every day in the year. 
One morning, being mounted on his favourite steed, surrounded by his dogs, 
and with a hawk on his wrist, Sir Isumbras cast his eyes on the sky, and dis- 
covered an angel, who, hovering over him, reproached him with his pride, and 
announced the punishment of instant and complete degradation. The terrified 
knight immediately fell on his knees ; acknowledged the justice of his sentence ; 
returned thanks to Heaven for deigning to visit him with adversity while the 
possession of youth and health enabled him to endure it ; and, filled with 
contrition, prepared to return from the forest. But scarcely had the angel 
disappeared when his good steed suddenly fell dead under him ; the hawk 
dropped from his wrist ; his hounds wasted and expired ; and, being thus left 
alone, he hastened on foot towards his palace, filled with melancholy forebodings, 
but impatient to learn the whole extent of his misfortune. 

He was presently met by a part of his household, who, with many tears, 
informed him that his horses and oxen had been suddenly struck dead with 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 359 

lightning, and that his capons were all stung to death with adders. He received 
the tidings with humble resignation, commanded his servants to abstain from 
murmurs against Providence, and passed on. He was next met by a page, who 
related that his castle was burned to the ground, that many of his servants had 
lost their lives, and that his wife and children had with great difficulty escaped 
from the flames. Sir Isumbras, rejoiced that Heaven had yet spared those who 
were most dear to him, bestowed upon the astonished page his purse of gold as 
a reward for the intelligence. 

A doleful sight then gan he see; 
His wife and children three 

Out of the fire were fled : 
There they sat, under a thorn, 
Bare and naked as they were born, 

Brought out of their bed. 
A woful man then was he, 
When he saw them all naked be, 

The lady said, all so blive, 
" For nothing, sir, be ye adrad." 
He did off his surcoat of pallade, 1 

And with it clad his wife. 
His scarlet mantle then shore* he ; 
Therein he closed his children three 

That naked before him stood. 

He then proposed to his wife that, as an expiation of their sins, they should 
at once undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem ; so, cutting with his knife a 
sign of the cross on his bare shoulder, he set off with the four companions of his 
misery, resolving to beg his bread till they should arrive at the Holy Sepulchre. 
After passing through " seven lands," supported by the scanty alms of the 
charitable, they arrived at length at a forest, where they wandered during three 
days without meeting a single habitation. Their food was reduced to the few 
berries which they were able to collect ; and the children, unaccustomed to 
such hard fare, began to sink under the accumulated difficulties of their 
journey. In this situation they were stopped by a wide and rapid though 
shallow river. Sir Isumbras, taking his eldest son in his arms, carried him 
over to the opposite bank, and placing him under a bush of broom, directed 
him to dry his tears, and amuse himself by playing with the blossoms till his 
return with his brothers. But scarcely had he left the place when a lion, starting 
from a neighbouring thicket, seized the child and bore him away into the 
recesses of the forest. The second son became, in like manner, the prey of an 
enormous leopard ; and the disconsolate mother, when carried over with her 
Infant to the fatal spot, was with difficulty persuaded to survive the loss of her 

1 Palata> Lat. (Paletot, O. Fr.), sometimes signify ing a particular stuff, and sometimes 
a particular dress. See Du Cange. 
* Cut; divided. 

360 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

two elder children. Sir Isumbras, though he could not repress the tears 
extorted by this cruel calamity, exerted himself to console his wife, and, humbly 
confessing his sins, contented himself with praying that his present misery 
might be accepted by Heaven as a partial expiation. 

Through forest they went days three, 
Till they came to the Greekish sea ; 

They grette, 1 and were full wo ! 
As they stood upon the land, 
They saw a fleet sailand,* 

Three hundred ships and mo. 3 
With top-castels set on-loft, 
Richly then were they wrought, 

With joy and mickle 4 pride : 
A heathen king was therein, 
That Christendom came to win ; 

His power was full wide. 

It was now seven days since the pilgrims had tasted bread or meat ; the 
soudan's 5 galley, therefore, was no sooner moored to the beach than they 
hastened on board to beg for food. The soudan, under the apprehension that 
they were spies, ordered them to be driven back on shore ; but his attendants 
observed to him that these could not be common beggars ; that the robust limbs 
and tall stature of the husband proved him to be a knight in disguise ; and that 
the delicate complexion of the wife, who was " bright as blossom on tree," 
formed a striking contrast to the ragged apparel with which she was very 
imperfectly covered. They were now brought into the royal presence ; and the 
soudan, addressing Sir Isumbras, immediately offered him as much treasure as 
he should require, on condition that he should renounce Christianity and con- 
sent to fight under the Saracen banners. The answer was a respectful but 
peremptory refusal, concluded by an earnest petition for a little food ; but the 
soudan, having by this time turned his eyes from Sir Isumbras to the beautiful 
companion of his pilgrimage, paid no attention to his request. 

The soudan beheld that lady there, 
Him thought an angel that she were, 

Comen a-down from heaven ; 
' Man ! I will give thee gold and fee, 
An thou that woman will sellen me, 

More than thou can neven. 6 
I will give thee an hundred pound 
Of pennies that been whole and round, 

And rich robes seven : 
She shall be queen of my land, 

1 Wept. 3 More. 6 Sultan. 

2 Sailing. Much. Name. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom , Wife, and Wealth. 361 

And all men bow unto her hand, 

And none withstand her Steven." * 
Sir Isumbras said, " Nay ! 
My wife I will nought sell away, 

Though ye me for her sloo ! 2 
I weddid her in Goddislay, 
To hold her to mine ending day, 

Both for weal and wo." 

tt evidently would require no small share of casuistry to construe thff 
declaration into an acceptance of the bargain ; but the Saracens, having heard 
(he offer of their sovereign, deliberately counted out the stipulated sum on the 
mantle of Sir Isumbras ; took possession of the lady ; carried the knight with 
his infant son on shore ; beat him till he was scarcely able to move ; and then 
returned for further orders. During this operation, the soudan, with his own 
hand, placed the regal crown on the head of his intended bride ; but recollecting 
that the original project of the voyage to Europe was to conquer it, which might 
possibly occasion a loss of some time, he delayed his intended nuptial, and 
ordered a fast-sailing Vessel to convey her to his dominions, providing her at the 
same time with a charter addressed to his subjects, in which he enjoined them 
to obey her, from the moment of her landing, as their legitimate sovereign-. 

The lady, emboldened by these tokens of deference on the part of her new 
lord, now fell on her knees and entreated his permission to pass a few moments 
in private with her former husband, and the request was instantly granted by 
the complaisant Saracen. Sir Isumbras, still smarting from his bruises, was 
conducted with great respect and ceremony to his wife, who, embracing him 
with tears, earnestly conjured him to seek her out as soon as possible in her 
new dominions, to slay his infidel rival, and to take possession of a throne 
which was probably reserved to him by Heaven as an indemnification for his 
past losses. She then supplied him with provisions for a fortnight ; kissed him 
and her infant son ; swooned three times ; and then set sail for Africa. 

Sir Isumbras, who had been set on shore quite confounded by this quick 
succession of strange adventures, followed the vessel with his eyes till it 
vanished from his sight, and then taking his son by the hand led him up to 
some rocky woodlands in the neighbourhood. Here they sat down under a tree 
and after a short repast, which was moistened with their tears, resumed their 
journey. But they were again bewildered in the forest, and, after gaining the 
summit of the mountain without being able to descry a single habitation, lay 
down on the bare ground and resigned themselves to sleep. The next morning 
Sir Isumbras found that his misfortunes were not yet terminated. He had 
carried his stock of provisions, together with his gold, the fatal present of the 
soudan, enveloped in a scarlet mantle ; and scarcely had the sun darted its 
first rays on the earth when an eagle, attracted by the red clothj swooped 
down upon the treasure and bore it off in his talons. Sir Isumbras,' 

1 Voice, 1'.*. command. Slew. 

362 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

waking at the moment, perceived the theft, and for some time hastily 
pursued the flight of the bird, who, he expected, would speedily drop the 
heavy and useless burthen ; but he was disappointed ; for the eagle, con- 
stantly towering as he approached the sea, at length directed his- flight 
towards the opposite shore of Africa. Sir Isumbras slowly returned to his 
child, whom he had no longer the means of feeding j but the wretched father 
only arrived in, time to behold the boy snatched from him by a unicorn. The 
knight was now quite disheartened. But his last calamity was so evidently 
miraculous that even the grief of the father was nearly absorbed by the contrition 
of the sinner. He fell on his knees and uttered a most fervent prayer to Jesus 
and the Virgin, and then proceeded on his journey. 

His attention was soon attracted by the sound of a smith's bellows : he 
quickly repaired to the forge and requested the charitable donation of a little 
food ; but was told by the labourers that he seemed as well able to work as they 
did, and they had nothing to throw away in charity. 

Then answered the knight again, 
*' For meat would I swink 1 fain." 

Fast he bare and drow ; 8 
They given him meat and drink anon. 
And taughten him to bear stone : 

Then had he shame enow. 

This servitude lasted a twelvemonth, and seven years expired before. he had 
fully attained all the mysteries of his new profession. He employed his few leisure 
hours in fabricating a complete suit of armour : every year had brought him 
an account of the progress of the Saracens ; and he could not help entertaining 
a hope that his arm, though so ignobly employed, was destined at some future 
day to revenge the wrongs of the Christians, as well as the injury which he had 
personally received from the unbelievers. 

At length he heard that the Christian army had again taken the field ; that 
the day was fixed for a great and final effort ; and that a plain at an inconsider- 
able distance from his shop was appointed for the scene of action. Sir Isumbras 
rose before day, buckled on his armour, and mounting a horse which had hitherto 
been employed in carrying coals, proceeded to the field and took a careful view of 
the disposition of both armies. When the trumpets gave the signal to charge, 
he dismounted, fell on his knees, and after a short but fervent prayer to 
Heaven, again sprang into his saddle and rode into the thickest ranks of the 
enemy. His uncouth war-horse and awkward armour had scarcely less effect 
than his wonderful address and courage in attracting the attention of both 
parties ; and when after three desperate charges, his sorry steed was slain 
under him, one of the Christian chiefs made a powerful effort for his rescue, 

Labour. a Drew. 

Story of the King 'who lost Kingdom , Wife, and Wealth. 363 

bore him to a neighbouring eminence, and presented to him a more suitable 
coat of armour, and a horse more worthy of the heroic rider. 

When he was armed on that stead, 
It is seen where his horse yede, 1 

And shall be evermore. 
As sparkle glides off the glede,* 
In that stour he made many bleed> 

And wrought hem wonder sore. 
He rode up into the mountain, 
The soudan soon hath he slain, 

And many that with him were. 
All that day lasted the fight ; 
Sir Isumbras, that noble knight, 

Wan the battle there. 
Knights and squires have him sought, 
And before the king him brought ; 

Full sore Wounded was he. 
They asked what was his name ; 
He said, " Sire, a smith's man ; 

What will ye do with me ? " 
The Christian king said, than, 
'* I trow never smith's man 

In war was half so wight." 
" I bid 3 you, give me meat and drink 
And what that I will after think, 

Till I have kevered 4 my might." 
The king a great oath sware, 
As soon as he whole were, 

That he would dub him knight. 
In a nunnery they him leaved, 
To heal the wound in his heved, 9 

That he took in that fight. 
The nuns of him were full fain, 
For he had the soudan slain, 

And many heathen hounds ; 
For his sorrow they gan sore rue ; 
Every day they salved him new, 

And stopped well his wounds. 

We may fairly presume, without derogating from the merit of the holy sisters 
or from the virtue of their salves and bandages, that the knight's recovery was 
no less accelerated by the pleasure of having chastised the insolent possessor 
of his wife and the author of his contumelious beating. In a few days his 
health was restored ; and having provided himself with a " scrip and pike " and 
the other accoutrements of a palmer, he took his leave of the nuns, directed 

1 Went 3 Pray ; beg. 

* Burning coal. * Recovered. 


364 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

his steps once more to the " Greekish Sea," and, embarking on board of a 
vessel which he found ready to sail, speedily arrived at the port of Acre. 

During seven years, which were employed in visiting every part of the Holy 
Land, the penitent Sir Isumbras led a life of continued labour and mortification : 
fed during the day by the precarious contributions of the charitable, and sleep- 
ing at night in the open air, without any addition to the scanty covering which 
his pilgrim's weeds, after seven years' service, were able to afford. At length 
his patience and contrition were rewarded. After a day spent in fruitless 
applications for a little food, 

Beside the burgh of Jerusalem 
He set him down by a well-stream, 

Sore wepand 1 for his sin. 
And as he sat, about midnight, 
There came an angel fair and bright, 

And brought him bread and wine ; 
He said, " Palmer, well thou be ! 
The King of Heaven greeteth well thee ; 

Forgiven is sin thine." 

Sir Isumbras accepted with pious gratitude the donation of food, by which 
his strength was instantly restored, and again set out on his travels ; but he was 
still a widower, still deprived of his children, and as poor as ever ; nor had his 
heavenly monitor afforded him any hint for his future guidance. He wandered 
therefore through the country, without any settled purpose, till he arrived at a 
" rich burgh," built round a " fair castle," the possessor of which, he was told, 
was a charitable queen, who daily distributed a florin of gold to every poor man 
who approached her gates, and even condescended to provide food and lodging 
within her palace for such as were distinguished by superior misery. Sir 
Isumbras presented himself with the rest ; and his emaciated form and squalid 
garments procured him instant admittance. 

The rich queen in hall was set ; 
Knights her served, at hand and feet, 

In rich robes of pall : 
In the floor a cloth was laid ; 
"The poor palmer,' 1 the steward said, 

" Shall sit above you all." 
Meat and drink forth they brought ; 
He sat still, and ate right nought, 

But looked about the hall. 
So mickle he saw of game and glee 
(Swiche mirthis he was wont to see), 

The tears he let down fall. 

Conduct so unusual attracted the attention of the whole company, and even 
Of the queen, who, ordering " a chair with a cushion " to be placed near the 

1 Weeping. 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth. 36$ 

palmer, took her seat in it, entered into conversation with him on the subject o| 
his long and painful pilgrimage, and was much edified by the moral lessons 
which he interspersed in his narrative. But no importunity could induce him 
to taste food : he was sick at heart, and required the aid of solitary meditation 
to overcome the painful recollections which continually assailed him. The 
queen was more and more astonished, but at length left him to his reflections, 
after declaring that, "for her lord's soul, or for his love, if he were still alive," 
she was determined to retain the holy palmer in her palace, and to assign him 
t a convenient apartment, together with a servant to attend him. 

An interval of fifteen years, passed in the laborious occupations of blacksmith 
and pilgrim, may be supposed to have produced a very considerable alteration 
in the appearance of Sir Isumbras ; and even his voice, subdued by disease and 
penance, may have failed to discover the gallant knight under the disguise 
which he had so long assumed. But that his wife (for such she was) should 
have been equally altered by the sole operation of time ; that the air and 
gestures and action of a person once so dear and so familiar to him should have 
awakened no trace of recollection in the mind of a husband, though in the 
midst of scenes which painfully recalled the memory of his former splendour, 
is more extraordinary. Be this as it may, the knight and the queen, though 
lodged under the same roof and passing much of their time together, continued 
to bewail the miseries of their protracted widowhood. 

Sir Isumbras, however, speedily recovered, in the plentiful court of the rich 
queen, his health and strength, and with these the desire of returning to his 
former exercises. A tournament was proclaimed ; and the lists, which were 
formed immediately under the windows of the castle, were quickly occupied by 
a number of Saracen knights, all of whom Sir Isumbras successively overthrew. 
So dreadful was the stroke of his spear, that many were killed at the first 
encounter j some escaped with a few broken bones ; others were thrown head- 
long into the castle ditch ; but the greater number consulted their safety by 4 
timely flight ; while the queen contemplated with pleasure and astonishment 
the unparalleled exploits of her favourite palmer. 

Then fell it, upon a day, 

The Knight went him for to play, 

As it was ere bis kind ; 
A fowl's nest he found on high ; 
A red cloth therein he seygh l 

Wavand 2 in the wind. 
To the nest he gan win ; $ 
His own mantle he found therein \ 

The gold there gan he find. 

The painful recollection awakened by this discovery weighed heavily on the 
soul of Sir Isumbras. He bore the fatal treasure to his chamber, concealed it 

1 Saw. 3 Waving. 3 Began to climb. 


366 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

under his bed, and spent the remainder of the day in tears and lamentations, 
The images of his lost wife and children now began to haunt him continually ; 
and his altered demeanour attracted the attention and excited the curiosity of 
the whole court, and even of the queen, who could only learn from the palmer's 
attendant that his melancholy seemed to originate in the discovery of some- 
thing in a bird's nest. With this strange report she was compelled to be 
satisfied, till Sir Isumbras, with the hope of dissipating his grief, began to 
resume his usual exercises in the field ; but no sooner had he quitted his 
chamber than the "squires" by her command broke open the door, discovered 
the treasure, and hastened with it to the royal apartment. The sight of the 
gold and the scarlet mantle immediately explained to the queen the whole 
mystery of the palmer's behaviour. She burst into tears ; kissed with fervent 
devotion the memorial of her lost husband ; fell into a swoon ; and on her 
recovery told the story to her attendants, and enjoined them to go in quest of 
the palmer, and to bring him at once before her. A short explanation removed 
her few remaining doubts ; she threw herself into the arms of her husband, and 
the reunion of this long separated couple was immediately followed by the 
coronation of Sir Isumbras and by a protracted series of festivities. 

The Saracen subjects of the Christian sovereign continued, with unshaken 
loyalty, to partake of the plentiful entertainments provided for all ranks of 
people on this solemn occasion ; but no sooner had the pious Sir Isumbras 
signified to them the necessity of their immediate conversion, than his whole 
" parliament '' adopted the resolution of deposing and committing to the flames 
their newly-acquired sovereign, as soon as they should have obtained the con- 
currence of the neighbouring princes. Two of these readily joined their forces 
for the accomplishment of this salutary purpose, and invading the territories of 
Sir Isumbras with an army of thirty thousand men, sent him, according to 
usual custom, a solemn defiance. Sir Isumbras boldly answered the defiance, 
issued the necessary orders, called for his arms, sprang upon his horse, and 
prepared to march out against the enemy ; when he discovered that his subjects 
had, to a man, abandoned him, and that he must encounter singly the whole 
host of the invaders. 

Sir Isumbras was bold and keen, 
And took his leave at the queen, 

And sighed wonder sore : 
He said, " Madam, have good day ! 
Sickerly, as you I say, 

For now and evermore !" 
i* Help me, sir, that I were dight 
In arms, as it were a knight ; 

I will with you fare : 
Gif God would us grace send, 
That we may together end, 

Then done were all my care.** 
Soon was the lady dight 
In arms, as it were a knight ; 

Story of the King who lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth, 367 

He gave her spear and shield : 
Again 1 thirty thousand Saracens and mo.* 
There came no more but they two, 

When they met in field. 

Never, probably, did a contest take place between such disproportioned 
forces. Sir Isumbras was rather encumbered than assisted by the presence of 
his beautiful but feeble helpmate ; and the faithful couple were upon the point of 
being crushed by the charge of the enemy, when three unknown knights 
suddenly made their appearance, and as suddenly turned the fortune of the 
day. The first of these was mounted on a lion, the second on a leopard, and 
the third on a unicorn. The Saracen cavalry, at the first sight of these 
unexpected antagonists, dispersed in all directions. But flight and resistance 
were equally hopeless : three and twenty thousand unbelievers were soon laid 
lifeless on the plain by the talons of the lion and leopard and by the resistless 
horn of the unicorn, or by the swords of their young and intrepid riders ; and 
the small remnant of the Saracen army who escaped from the general carnage 
quickly spread, through every corner of the Mohammedan world, the news of 
this signal and truly miraculous victory. 

Sir Isumbras, who does not seem to have possessed the talent for unravelling 
mysteries, had never suspected that his three wonderful auxiliaries were his own 
children, whom Providence had sent to his assistance at the moment of his 
greatest distress ; but he was not the less thankful when informed of the 
happy termination of all his calamities. The royal family were received in the 
city with every demonstration of joy by his penitent subjects, whose loyalty 
had been completely revived by the recent miracle. Magnificent entertainments 
were provided ; after which Sir Isumbras, having easily overrun the territories 
of his two pagan neighbours, who had been slain in the last battle, proceeded 
to conquer a third kingdom for his youngest son ; and the four monarch?, 
uniting their efforts 1 for the propagation of the true faith, enjoyed the happiness 
of witnessing the baptism of all the inhabitants of their respective dominions* 

They lived and died in good intent ; 
Unto heaven their souls went, 

When that they dead were. 
Jesu Christ, heaven's king, 
Give us, aye, his blessing, 

And shield us from care ! 

On comparing these several versions it will be seen that, while they differ 
one from another in some of the details, yet the fundamental outline is identical, 

* Against. More. 

368 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

with the single exception of the Tibetan story, which, in common with Tibetan 
tales generally, has departed very considerably from the original. A king, or 
knight, is suddenly deprived of all his possessions, and with his wife and two 
children becomes a wanderer on the face of the earth ; his wife is forcibly 
taken from him ; he afterwards loses his two sons ; he is once more raised to 
affluence ; his sons, having been adopted and educated by a charitable person, 
enter his service; their mother recognises them through overhearing their 
conversation ; finally husband and wife and children are happily re-united. 
Such is the general outline of the story, though modifications have been made 
in the details of the different versions probably through its being transmitted 
orally in some instances. Thus in the Arabian story, the king is ruined 
apparently in consequence of no fault of his own ; in the Panjabf version, he 
relinquishes his wealth to a fakir as a pious action ; in the Kashmfrf and in the 
romance of Sir Isumbras, the hero loses his wealth as a punishment for his 
overweening pride ; in the legend of St. Eustache, as in the story of Job, the 
calamities which overtake the Christian convert are designed by Heaven as a 
trial of his patience and fortitude ; while even in the corrupted Tibetan story the 
ruin of the monarch is reflected in the destruction of the parents of the heroine 
by a hurricane. In both the Kashmfrf and the Panjabf versions, the father is 
swallowed by a fish (or an alligator) in re-crossing the river to fetch his second 
child ; in the Tibetan story the wife loses her husband, who is killed by a snake, 
and having taken one of her children over the river, she is returning for the 
other when, looking back, she discovers her babe in the jaws of a wolf: both 
her children perish : in the European versions they are carried off by wild 
beasts and rescued by strangers the romance of Sir Isumbras is singular in 
representing the number of children to be three. Only in the Arabian story do 
we find the father carrying his wife and children in safety across the stream, 
and the latter afterwards lost in the forest. The Kashmfrf and "Gesta'' 
versions correspond exactly in representing the shipman as seizing the lady 
because her husband could not pay the passage-money : in the Arabian she is 
entrapped in the ship, owned by a Magian, on the pretext that there is on board 
4 a woman in labour ; in Sir Isumbras she is forcibly "bought * by the Soudan. 
She is locked up in a chest by the Magian ; sent to rule his country by the 
Soudan ; respectfully treated by the merchant in the Kashmfrf story, and, 
apparently, also by Kandan in the Panjdbf legend ; in the story of St. Eustache 
her persecutor dies and she is living in humble circumstances when discovered 
by her husband. I think there is internal evidence, apart from the existence of 
the Tibetan version, to lead to the conclusion that the story is of Buddhist 
extraction, and if such be the fact, it furnishes a further example of the 
indebtedness of Christian hagiology to Buddhist tales and legends. 

The Fifteenth Constables Story. 

POLICE. Vol. II. p. 3. 

WE must, I think, regard this group of tales as being genuine narratives of the 
exploits of Egyptian sharpers. From the days of Herodotus to the present 
time, Egypt has bred the most expert thieves in the world. The policemen 
don't generally exhibit much ability for coping with the sharpers whose 
tricks they so well recount; but indeed our home-grown "bobbies' 1 are not 
particularly quick-witted. 

THE THIEF S TALE. Vol. II. p. 42. 

A PARALLEL to the woman's trick of shaving off the beards and blackening the 
faces of the robbers is found in the well-known legend, as told by Herodotus 
(Euterpe, 121), of the robbery of the treasure-house of Rhampsinitus king of 
Egypt, where the clever thief, having made the soldiers dead drunk, shaves off 
the right side of their beards and then decamps with his brother's headless body. 


THE narrow escape of the singing-girl hidden under a pile of half ah grass may 
be compared with an adventure of a fugitive Mexican prince whose history, as 
related by Prescott, is as full of romantic daring and hair's-breadth 'scapes as 
that of Scanderbeg or the " Young Chevalier." This prince had just time to 
turn the crest of a hill as his enemies were climbing it on the other side, when 
he fell in with a girl who was reaping chian, a Mexican plant, the seed of which 
is much used in the drinks of the country. He persuaded her to cover him 
with the stalks she had been cutting. When his pursuers came up and inquired 
if she had seen the fugitive, the girl coolly answered that she had, and pointed 
out a path as the one he had taken. 


THE concluding part of this story differs very materially from that of the 
Greek legend of Ibycus (fl. B.C. 540), which is thus related in a small MS, 
collection of Arabian and Persian anecdotes in my possession, done into English 
from the French : 


370 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

It is written in the history of the first kings that in the reign of a Grecian 
king there lived a philosopher named Ibycus, who surpassed in sagacity all 
other sages of Greece. Ibycus was once sent by the king to a neighbouring 
court. On the way he was attacked by robbers, who, suspecting him to have 
much money, formed the design of killing him. " Your object in taking my 
life," said Ibycus, "is to obtain my money ; I give it up to you, but allow me to 
live.'* The robbers paid no attention to his words, and persisted in their purpose. 
The wretched Ibycus, in his despair, looked about him to see if any one was 
coming to his assistance, but no person was in sight. At that very moment a flock 
of cranes flew overhead. " O cranes ! " cried Ibycus, " know that I have been 
seized in this desert by these wicked men, and I die from their blows. Avenge 
me, and demand from them my blood." At these words the robbers burst into 
laughter : " To take away life from those who have lost their reason," they 
observed, " is to add nothing to their hurt." So saying, they killed Ibycus and 
divided his money. On receipt of the news that Ibycus had been murdered, the 
inhabitants of the town were exasperated and felt great sorrow. They caused 
strict inquiries to be made for the murderers, but they could not be found. 
After some time the Greeks were celebrating a feast. The inhabitants of the 
adjoining districts came in crowds to the temples. The murderers of Ibycus 
also came, and everywhere showed themselves. Meanwhile a flock of cranes 
appeared in the air and hovered above the people, uttering cries so loud and 
prolonged that the prayers and ceremonies were interrupted. One of the robbers 
looked with a smile at his comrades, saying, by way of joke, " These cranes come 
without doubt to avenge the blood of Ibycus." Some one of the town, who was 
near them, heard these words, repeated them to his neighbour, and they together 
reported them to the king. The robbers were taken, strictly cross-examined, 
confessed their crime, and suffered for it a just punishment. In this way the 
cranes inflicted vengeance on the murderers of Ibycus. But we ought to see in 
this incident a matter which is concealed in it : This philosopher, although 
apparently addressing his words to the cranes, was really imploring help from 
their Creator ; he hoped, in asking their aid, that He would not suffer his blood 
to flow unavenged. So God accomplished his hopes^ and willed that cranes 
should be the cause that his death was avenged in order that the sages of the 
world should learn from it the power and wisdom of the Creator. 

This ancient legend was probably introduced into Arabian literature in the 
9th century, when translations of so many of the best Greek works where made ; 
and, no doubt, it was adapted in the following Indian (Muslim) story: l 

There was a certain pir y or saint, of great wisdom, learning, and sanctity, 
who sat by the wayside expounding the Kurdn to all who would listen to him. 

1 From an early volume of the "Asiatic Journal, 1 ' the number of which I did not 
"make a note of" thus* for once at least, disregarding the advice of the immortal 
Captain Cuttle. 

Tale of the Damsel Tuhfat al-Kulub. 371 

He dwelt in the out-buildings of "a ruined mosque close by, his only companion 
being a maina, or hill-starling, which he had taught to proclaim the excellence 
of the formula of his religion, saying, " The Prophet is just ! " It chanced that 
two travellers passing that way beheld the holy man at his devotions, and though 
far from being religious persons yet tarried a while to hear the words of truth. 
Evening now drawing on, the saint invited his apparently pious auditors to his 
dwelling, and set before them such coarse food as he had to offer. Having 
eaten and refreshed themselves, they were astonished at the wisdom displayed 
by the bird, who continued to repeat holy texts from the Kuran. The meal 
ended, they all lay down to sleep, and while the good man reposed, his 
treacherous guests, who envied him the possession of a bird that in their hands 
might be the means of enriching them, determined to steal the treasure and 
murder its master. So they stabbed the sleeping devotee to the heart and then 
seized hold of the bird's cage. But, unperceived by them, the door of it had 
been left open and the bird was not to be found. After searching for the bird 
in vain, they considered it necessary to dispose of the body, since, if discovered, 
suspicion would assuredly fall upon them ; and carrying it away to what they 
deemed a safe distance they buried it. Vexed to be obliged to leave the place 
without obtaining the reward of their evil deeds, they a -am looked carefully for 
the bird, but without success ; it was nowhere to be seen, and so they were 
compelled to go forward without the object of their search. The maina had 
witnessed the atrocious deed, and unseen had followed the murderers to the 
place where they had buried the body ; it then perched upon the tree beneath 
which the saint had been wont to enlighten the minds of his followers, and when 
they assembled flew into their midst, exclaiming, " The Prophet is just ! "making 
short flights and then returning. These unusual motions, together with the 
absence of their preceptor, induced the people to follow it, and directing its 
flight to the grave of its master, it uttered a mournful cry over the newly-covered 
grave. The villagers, astonished, began to remove the earth, and soon dis- 
covered the bloody corse. Surprised and horror-stricken, they looked about 
for some traces of the murderers, and perceiving that the bird had resumed the 
movements which had first induced them to follow it, they suffered it to lead 
them forward. Before evening fell, the avengers came up with two men, who 
no sooner heard the maina exclaim, " The Prophet is just ! " and saw the crowd 
that accompanied it, than they fell upon their knees, confessing that the Prophet 
had indeed brought their evil deeds to light ; so, their crime being thus made 
manifest, summary justice was inflicted upon them. 


AN entertaining story, but very inconsistent in the character of Iblis, who is 
constantly termed, in good Muslim fashion, " the accursed," yet seems to be 

372 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

.somewhat of a follower of the Prophet, and on the whole a good-natured sort of 
fellow. His mode of expressing his approval of the damsel's musical "talent " 
fe, to say the least, original. 

WOMEN'S WILES. Vol. II. p. 137. 

A VARIANT perhaps an older form of this story occurs in the tale of Prince 
Fadlallah, which is interwoven with the History of Prince Calaf and the 
Princess of China, in the Persian tales of "The Thousand and One Days " : 

The prince, on his way to Baghdad, is attacked by robbers, his followers are 
all slain, and himself made prisoner, but he is set at liberty by the compassionate 
wife of the robber-chief during his absence on a plundering expedition. When 
he reaches Baghdad he has no resource but to beg his bread, and having 
stationed himself in front of a large mansion, an old female slave presently 
comes out and gives him a loaf. At this moment a gust of wind blew aside the 
curtain of a window and discovered to his admiring eyes a most beautiful 
damsel, of whom he became immediately enamoured. He inquired of a passer- 
by the name of the owner of the mansion, and was informed that it belonged to 
a man called Mouaffac, who had been lately governor of the city, but having 
quarrelled with the kazi, who was of a revengeful disposition, the latter had 
found means to disgrace him with the khalif and to have him deprived of his 
office. After lingering near the house in vain till nightfall, in hopes of once 
more obtaining a glimpse of this beauty, he retired for the night to a burying- 
ground, where he was soon joined by two thieves, who pressed upon him a share 
of the good cheer with which they had provided themselves ; but while the thieves 
were feasting and talking over a robbery which they had just accomplished, the 
police suddenly pounced upon them, and took all three and cast them into 

In the morning they were examined by the kazf, and the thieves, seeing it 
was useless to deny it, confessed their crime. The prince then told the kazf 
how he chanced to fall into company of the thieves, who confirmed all he said, 
and he was set at liberty. Then the kazf began to question him as to how he 
had employed his time since he came to Baghdad, to which he answered very 
frankly but concealed his rank. On his mentioning the brief glance he had of 
the beautiful lady at the window of the ex-governor's house, the kazf's eyes 
sparkled with apparent satisfaction, and he assured the prince that he should 
have the lady for his bride ; for, believing the prince to be a mere beggarly 
adventurer, he resolved to foist him on Mouaffac as the son of a great monarch. 
So, having sent the prince to the bath and provided him with rich garments, the 
kazf despatched a messenger to request Mouaffac to come to him on important 
business. When the ex-governor arrived, the kazf told him blandly that there 
was now an excellent opportunity for doing away the ill will that had so long 

Women's Wiles. 373 

existed between them. " It is this," continued he : " the prince of Basra, 
having fallen in love with your daughter from report of her great beauty, has 
just come to Baghdad, unknown to his father, and intends to demand her of 
you in marriage. He is lodged in my house, and is most anxious that this 
affair should be arranged by my interposition, which is the more agreeable to 
me, since it will, I trust, be the means of reconciling our differences." Mouaffac 
expressed his surprise that the prince of Basra should think of marrying his 
daughter, and especially that the proposal should come through the kdzf, of 
all men. But the kazi begged him to forget their former animosity and consent 
to the immediate celebration of the nuptials. While they were thus talking, the 
prince entered, in a magnificent dress, and was not a little astonished to be 
presented to Mouaffac by the treacherous kazi as the prince of Basra, who had 
come as a suitor for his daughter in marriage. The ex-governor saluted him 
with every token of profound respect, and expressed his sense of the honour of 
such an alliance : his daughter was unworthy to wait upon the meanest of the 
prince's slaves. In brief, the marriage is at once celebrated, and the prince 
duly retires to the bridal chamber with the beauteous daughter of Mouaffac. 
But in the morning, at an early hour, a servant of the kazi knocks at his door, 
and, on the prince opening it, says that he brings him his rags of clothes and is 
required to take back the dress which the kazi had lent him yesterday to per- 
sonate the prince of Basra. The prince, having donned his tattered garments, 
said to his wife, " The kazf thinks he has married you to a wretched beggar, 
but I am no whit inferior in rank to the prince of Basra I am also a prince, 
being the only son of the king of Mosel," and then proceeded to recount all his 
adventures. When he had concluded his recital, the lady despatched a servant 
to procure a suitable dress for the prince, which when he had put on, she said, 
" I see it all : the kazf, no doubt, believes that by this time we are all over- 
whelmed with shame and grief. But what must be his feelings when he learns 
that he has been a benefactor to his enemies ! Before you disclose to him your 
real rank, however, we must contrive to punish him for his malicious intentions. 
There is a dyer in this town who has a frightfully ugly daughter but leave this 
affair in my hands." ^ ( 

The lady then dressed herself in plain but becoming apparel, and went out 
of the house alone. She proceeded to the court of the kazi, who no sooner cast 
his eyes upon her than he was struck with her elegant form. He sent an officer 
to inquire of her who she was and what she had come about. She made 
answer that she was the daughter of an artisan in the city, and that she desired 
to have some private conversation with the kazf. When the officer reported 
the lady's reply, the kazi directed her to be conducted into a private chamber, 
where he presently joined her, and gallantly placed his services at her disposal.' 
The lady now removed her veil, and asked him whether he saw anything ugly 
or repulsive in her features. The kdzf on seeing her beautiful face was suddenly 
plunged in the sea of love, and declared that her forehead was of polished 
silver, her eyes were sparkling diamonds, her mouth a ruby casket containing a 

374 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

bracelet of pearls. Then she displayed her arms, so white and plump, the 
sight of which threw the kazf into ecstasies and almost caused him to faint. 
Quoth the lady. " I must tell you, my lord, that with all the beauty I possess, 
my father, a dyer in the city, keeps me secluded, and declares to all who come 
to ask me iri marriage that I am an ugly, deformed monster, a mere skeleton, 
lame, and full of diseases." On this the kazi burst into a tirade against the 
brutal father who could thus traduce so much beauty, and vowed that he would 
make her his wife that same day. The lady, after expressing her fears that he 
would not find it easy to gain her father's consent, took her leave and returned 

The kazf lost no time in sending for the dyer, and, after complimenting 
him upon his reputation for piety, said to him, " I am informed that behind the 
curtain of chastity you have a daughter ripe for marriage. Is not this true ?" 
Replied the dyer, "My lord, you have been rightly informed. I have a 
daughter who is indeed fully ripe for marriage, for she is more than thirty years 
of age ; but the poor creature is not fit to be a wife to any man. She is very 
ugly, lame, leprous, and foolish. In short, she is such a monster that I am 
obliged to keep her out of all people's sight." " Ha ! " exclaimed the kazf, 
" you can't impose on me with such a tale. I was prepared for it. But let me 
tell you that I myself am ready and willing to marry that same ugly and leprous 
daughter of yours, with all her defects." When the dyer heard this, he looked 
the kazi full in the face and said, " My lord, you are welcome to divert yourself by 
making a jest of my daughter." " No," replied the kazi, " I am quite in earnest. 
I demand your daughter in marriage." The dyer broke into laughter, saying, 
" By Allah, some one has meant to play you a trick, my lord. I forewarn you 
that she is ugly, lame, and leprous." "True," responded the kazi, with a 
knowing smile ; " I know her by these tokens. I shall take her notwith- 
standing." The dyer, seeing him determined to marry his daughter, and 
being now convinced that he had been imposed upon by some ill-wisher^ 
thought to himself, " I must demand of him a round sum of money which ma/ 
cause him to cease troubling me any further about my poor daughter." So he 
said to the kazi, " My lord, I am ready to obey your command ; but I will not 
part with my daughter unless you pay me beforehand a dowry of a thousand 
sequins." Replied the kazi, " Although, methinks, your demand is somewhat 
exorbitant, yet I will pay you the money at once," which having done, he 
ordered the contract to be drawn up. But when it came to be signed the 
dyer declared that he would not sign save in the presence of a hundred men of 
the law. "Thou art very distrustful," said the kdzi, "but I will comply in 
everything, for I am resolved to make sure of thy daughter." So he sent for 
all the men of law in the city, and when they were assembled at the house of 
the kdzf, the dyer said that he was now willing to sign the contract ; "But I 
declare," he added, " in the presence of these honourable witnesses, that I do 
so on the condition that if my daughter should not prove to your liking when 
you have seen bier, and you should determine to divorce her, you shall oblige 

Women's Wiles. 37$ 

yourself to give her a thousand sequins of gold in addition to the same amount 
which I have already received from you." <( Agreed," said the kdzi, " I 
oblige myself to it* and call this whole assembly to be witnesses. Art thou now 
satisfied ? " " I am," replied the dyer, who then went his way, saying that he 
would at once send him his bride. 

As soon as the dyer was gone, the assembly broke up, and the ka"zf was 
left alone in his house. He had been two years married to the daughter of a 
merchant of Baghdad, with whom he had hitherto lived on very amicable 
terms. When she heard that he was arranging for a second marriage, she 
came to him in a great rage. "How now," said she, "two hands in one glove ! 
two swords in one scabbard ! two wives in one house ! Go, fickle man ! Since 
the caresses of a young and faithful wife cannot secure your constancy, I am 
ready to yield my place to my rival and retire to my own family. Repudiate 
me return my dowry and you shall never see me more." " I am glad you have 
thus anticipated me," answered the kdzi, " for I was somewhat perplexed how 
to acquaint you of my new marriage." So saying, he opened a coffer and took 
out a purse of five hundred sequins of gold, and putting it into her hands, 
" There, woman," said he, "thy dowry is in that purse : begone, and take with 
you what belongs to you. I divorce thee once ; I divorce thee twice ; three 
times I divorce thee. And that thy parents may be satisfied thou art divorced 
from me, I shall give thee a certificate signed by myself and my nayb." This 
he did accordingly, and his wife went to her father's house, with her bill of 
divorce and her dowry. 

The kdzf then gave orders to furnish an apartment sumptuously for the 
reception of his bride, The floor was spread with velvet carpets, the walls 
were hung with rich tapestry, and couches of gold and silver brocade were 
placed around the room. The bridal chamber was decked with caskets filled 
with the most exquisite perfumes. When everything was in readiness, the ka"zf 
impatiently expected the arrival of his bride, and at last was about to despatch 
a messenger to the dyer's when a porter entered, carrying a wooden chest 
covered with a piece of green taffeta. " What hast thou brought me there, 
friend ? " asked the kdzi. " My lord," replied the porter, setting the chest on 
the floor, " I bring your bride.'' The kdzi opened the chest, and discovered a 
woman of three feet and a half, defective in every limb and feature. He was 
horrified at the sight of this object, and throwing the covering hastily over it, 
demanded of the porter, "What wouldst thou have me do with this frightful 
creature ?" " My lord," said the porter, "this is the daughter of Omar the 
dyer, who told me that you had espoused her out of pure inclination." "O 
Allah ! " exclaimed the kazf, " is it possible to marry such a monster as this ? ' 
Just then, the dyer, well knowing that the kdzi must be surprised, came in 
"Thou wretch," cried the kdzi, "how dost thou dare to trifle with me? In 
place of this hideous object, send hither your other daughter, whose beauty is 
beyond comparison ; otherwise thou shalt soon know what it is to insult me." 
Quoth the dyer, " My lord, I swear, by Him who out of darkness produced 

376 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

light, that I have no other daughter but this. I told you repeatedly that she 
was not for your purpose, but you would not believe my words. Who, then, is 
to blame ? " Upon this the ka*zf began to cool, and said to the dyer, " I must 
tell you, friend Omar, that this morning there came to me a most beautiful 
damsel, who pretended that you were her father, and that you represented her to 
everybody as a monster, on purpose to deter all suitors that came to ask her in 
marriage." " My lord," answered the dyer, " this beautiful damsel must be an 
impostor; some one, undoubtedly, owes you a grudge." Then the kazf, 
having reflected for a few minutes, said to the dyer, " Bid the porter carry thy 
daughter home again. Keep the thousand sequins of gold which I gave thee, 
but ask no more of me, if thou desirest that we should continue friends." The 
dyer, knowing the implacable disposition of the kazf, thought it advisable to 
content himself with what he had already gained, and the kazf, having formally 
divorced his hideous bride, sent her away with her father. The affair soon got^ 
wind in the city and everybody was highly diverted with the trick practised on 
the k&f. 

It will be observed that in the Arabian story there are two clever devices : 
that of the lady who tricks the boastful merchant, whose motto was that men's 
craft is superior to women's craft, into marrying the ugly daughter of the kazf j 
and that of the merchant to get rid of his bad bargain by disgusting the kazf 
with the alliance. The scene at the house of the worthy judge the crowd of 
low rascals piping, drumming, and capering, and felicitating themselves on their 
pretended kinsman the merchant's marriage is highly humorous. This does 
not occur in the Persian story, because it is the kazf who has been duped into 
marrying the dyer's deformed- daughter, and she is therefore simply packed off 
again to her father's house. 

That the tales of the " Thousand and One Days " are not (as is supposed by 
the writer of an article on the several English versions of The Nights in the 
" Edinburgh Review" for July 1886, p. 167) mere imitations of Galland 1 is most 
certain, apart from the statement in the preface to Petis' French translation, 
which there is no reason to doubt see vol. x. of The Nights, p. 166, note I. 
Sir William Ouseley, in his Travels, vol. ii., p. 21, note, states that he brought 
from Persia a manuscript which comprised, inter alia, a portion of the " Hazdr 
u YekRtiz," or the Thousand and One Days, which agreed with Petis' translation 
of the same stories. In the Persian collection entitled " Shamsa ti Kuhkuha " 
occur several of the tales and incidents, for example, the Story of Nasiraddoli 
King of Mousel, the Merchant of Baghdad, and the Fair Zeinib, while the Story 

1 "It was no wonder," says this writer, "that his [i.e. Galland's] version of the 
' Arabian Nights ' achieved a universal popularity, and was translated into many languages, 
and that it provoked a crowd of imitations, from * Les Mille et Un Jours ' to the ' Tales 
of the Genii.' " 

Tale of King Ins Bin Kays and his Daughter. 377 

of the King of Thibet and the Princess of the Naimans has its parallel in the 
Turkish " Kirk Vazfr," or Forty Vazirs. Again, the Story of Couloufe and the 
Beautiful Dilara reminds us of that of Haji the Cross-grained in Malcolm's 
" Sketches of Persia." But of the French translation not a single good word 
can be said the Oriental "costume" and phraseology have almost entirely 
disappeared, and between Petis de la Croix and the author of " Gil Bias " 
who is said to have had a hand in the work the tales have become ludicrously 
Frenchified. The English translation made from the French is, if possible, still 
worse. We there meet with "persons of quality," "persons of fashion," with 
" seigneurs," and a thousand and one other inconsistencies and absurdities. A 
new translation is much to be desired. The copy of the Persian text made by 
Petis is probably in the Paris Library and Ouseley's fragment is doubtless among 
his other Oriental MSS. in the Bodleian. But one should suppose that copies 
of the "Hazar ti Yek Ruz "may be readily procured at Ispahan or Tehran, and 
at a very moderate cost, since the Persians now-a-days are so poor in general 
that they are eager to exchange any books they possess for the "circulating 

Vol. //./. 151. 

THIS is an excellent tale ; the incidents occur naturally and the reader's interest 
in the fortunes of the hero and heroine never flags. The damsel's sojourn with 
the old Muezzin her dispatching him daily to the shroff bears some analogy 
to part of the tale of Ghanim the Slave of Love (vol. ii. of The Nights), which, 
by the way, finds close parallels in the Turkish " Forty Vazirs" (the Lady's i8th 
story in Mr. Gibb's translation), the Persian " Thousand and One Days " (story 
of Aboulcasem of Basra,) and the " Bagh.o Bahdr" (story of the First Dervish). 
This tale is, in fact, a compound of incidents occurring in a number of different 
Arabian fictions. 


VoL //. /. 191. 

HERE we have another instance of a youth falling in love with the portrait of 
B pretty girl (see ante, p. 328). The doughty deeds performed by the young 
prince against thousands of his foes throw into the shade the exploits of the 
Bedouin hero Antar, and those of our own famous champions Sir Guy of 
Warwick and Sir Bevis of Hampton. 

Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 


I FIND yet another variant of this story in my small MS. collection of Arabian 
and Persian anecdotes, translated from the French (I have not ascertained its 
source) : 

They relate that a lord of Basra, while walking one day in his garden, saw 
the wife of his gardener, who was very beautiful and virtuous. He gave a com- 
mission to his gardener which required him to leave his home. He then said 
to his wife, "Go and shut all the doors." She went out and soon returned, 
saying, " I have shut all the doors except one, which I am unable to shut." 
The lord asked, "And where is that door?" She replied, "That which is 
between you and the respect due to your Maker : there is no way of closing it." 
When the lord heard these words, he asked the woman's pardon, and became a 
better and a wiser man. 

We have here a unique form of the wide-spread tale of " The Lion's Track,'* 
which, while it omits the husband's part, yet reflects the virtuous wife's rebuke . 
of the enamoured sultan. 


IF Straparola's version is to be considered as an adaptation of Ser Giovanni's 
novella which I do not think very probable it must be allowed to be an im- 
provement on his model. In the Arabian story the singer is first concealed in 
a mat, next in the oven, and again in the mat, after which he escapes by 
clambering over the parapet of the druggist's roof to that of an adjoining house, 
and his subsequent adventures seem to be added from a different story. In Ser 
Giovanni's version the lover is first hid beneath a heap of half-dried clothes, 
and next behind the street door, from which he escapes the instant the husband 
enters, and the latter is treated as a madman by the wife's relatives and the 
neighbours an incident which has parallels in other tales of women's craft and 
its prototype, perhaps, in the story of the man who compiled a book of the 
Wiles of Woman, as told in " Syntipas," the Greek version of the Book of 
Sindibad. In Straparola the lover as in the Arabian story is concealed 
three times, first in a basket, then between two boardings, and lastly in a chest 
containing law papers ; and the husband induces him to recount his adventures 
in presence of the lady's friends, which having concluded, the lover declares the 
story to be wholly fictitious : this is a much more agreeable ending than that of 
Giovanni's story, and, moreover, it bears a close analogy to the latter part of the 
Persian tale, where the lover exclaims he is right glad to find it all a dream. 

Additional Notes. 379 

Straparola's version has another point of resemblance in the Persian storyso 
far as can be judged from Scott's abstractand also in the Arabian story : the 
lover discovers the lady by chance, and is not advised to seek out some object 
of love, as in Giovanni ; in the Arabian the singer is counselled by the druggist 
to go about and entertain wine parties. Story-comparers have too much cause 
to be dissatisfied with Jonathan Scott's translation of the " BahaV-i-Ddnish "a 
work avowedly derived from Indian sources although it is far superior to Dow's 
garbled version. The abstracts of a number of the tales which Scott gives in 
an appendix, while of some use, are generally tantalising : some stories he has 
altogether omitted " because they are similar to tales already well known " (un- 
fortunately the comparative study of popular fictions was hardly begun in his 
time) ; while of others bare outlines are furnished, because he considered them 
" unfit for general perusal." But his work, even as it is, has probably never 
been " generally " read, and he seems to have had somewhat vague notions of 
"propriety," to judge by his translations from the Arabic and Persian. A com- 
plete English rendering of the "Baha'r-i-Da'nish'' would be welcomed by all 
interested in the history of fiction. 


THE trick played on the silly fuller of dressing him up as a Turkish soldier 
resembles that of one of the Three Deceitful Women who found a gold ring in 
the public bath, as related in the Persian story-book, " Shamsa u Kuhkuha : " 

When the wife of the superintendent of police was apprised that her turn had 
come, she revolved and meditated for some time what trick she was to play off 
on her lord, and after having come to a conclusion she said one evening to him, 
" To-morrow I wish that we should both enjoy ourselves at home without inter- 
ruptions, and I mean to prepare some cakes." He replied, " Very well, my 
dear ; I have also longed for such an occasion." The lady had a servant who 
was very obedient and always covered with the mantle of attachment to her. 
The next morning she called this youth and said to him, " I have long contem- 
plated the hyacinth grove of thy symmetrical stature ; and I know that thou 
travellest constantly and faithfully on the road of compliance with all my 
wishes, and that thou seekest to serve me. I have a little business which I wish 
thee to do for me." The servant answered, " I shall be happy to comply." 
Then the lady gave him a thousand dinars and said, " Go to the convent which 
is in our vicinity ; give this money to one of the kalandars there and say to 
him, ' A prisoner whom the Amfr had surrendered to the police has escaped 
last night. He closely resembles thee, and as the superintendent of the police 
is unable to account to the Amir, he has sent a man to take thee instead of the 
escaped criminal. I have compassion for thee and mean to rescue thee. Take 

380 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

this sum of money ; give me thy dress ; and flee from the town ; for if thou*, 
remainest in it till the morning thou wilt be subjected to torture and wilt lose 
thy life.' " The servant acted as he was bid, and brought the garments to his 
mistress. When it was morning she said to her husband, " I know you have 
long wished to eat sweetmeats, and I shall make some to-day." He answered, 
" Very well." His wife made all her preparations and commenced to bake the 
sweetmeats. He said to her, " Last night a theft was committed in a certain 
place, and I sat up late to extort confessions ; and as I have spent a sleepless 
night, I feel tired and wish to repose a little." The lady replied, " Very well.'* .' 
Accordingly the superintendent of the police reclined on the pillow of rest j 
and when the sweetmeat was ready his wife took a little and putting an opiate 
into it she handed it to him, saying, " How long will you sleep ? To-day is a 
day of feasting and pleasure, not of sleep and laziness. Lift up your head and, 
see whether I have made the sweets according to your taste." He raised his 
head, swallowed a piece of the hot cake and lay down again. The morsel was 
still in his throat when consciousness left and a deep sleep overwhelmed him.' 
His wife immediately undressed him and put on him the garments of thef 
kalandar. The servant shaved his head and made some tattoo marks "on his 
body. When the night set in the lady called her servant and said, " Hyacinth,' 
be kind enough to take the superintendent on thy back, and carry him to the 
convent instead of that kalandar, and if he wishes to return to the house in thej 
morning, do not let him." The servant obeyed. Towards dawn the superin-' 
tendent recovered his senses a little ; but as the opiate had made his palate ; 
very bitter, he became extremely thirsty. He fancied that he was in his own 
house, and so he exclaimed, " Narcissus, bring water." The kalandars awoke, 
from sleep, and after hearing several shouts of this kind, they concluded that he. 
was under the influence of bang, and said, " Poor fellow ! the narcissus is in the H 
garden ; this is the convent of sufferers, and there are green garments enough 1 , 
here. Arise and sober thyself, for the morning and harbinger of benefits as 
well as of the acquisition of the victuals for subsistence is approaching." When ! 
the superintendent heard these words he thought they were a dream, for he had 
not yet fully recovered his senses. He sat quietly, but was amazed on 
beholding the walls and ceiling of the convent : he got up, looked at the 
clothes in which he was dressed and at the marks tattooed on his body, and 
began to doubt whether he was awake or asleep. He washed his face, and, 
perceived that the caravan of his mustachios had likewise departed from 
the plain of his countenance. 

_. In this state of perplexity he went out of the convent and proceeded to his 
house. There his wife, with her male and female servants, was expecting his 
arrival. He approached the house and placed his hand on the knocker of the 
door, but was received by Hyacinth, who said, " Kalandar, whom seekest 
thou ? " The superintendent rejoined, " I want to enter the house." Hyacinth 
continued, " Thou hast to-day evidently taken thy morning draught of bang 
earlier and more copiously than usual, since thou hast foolishly mistaken the 

'Additional Notes. 381 

road to thy convent Depart ! This is not a place in which vagabond kalandars 
are harboured. This is the palace of the superintendent of the police ; and if 
the symurgh looks with incivility from the fastness of the west of Mount Ka"f at 
this place, the wings of its impertinence will at once become singed." The 
superintendent said, u What nonsense art thou speaking ? Go out of my way, 
for I do not relish thy imbecile prattle." But when he wanted to enter, 
Hyacinth struck him with a bludgeon on the shoulder, which the superintendent 
returned with a box on the ear, and both began to wrestle together. At that 
moment the lady and her maid-servants rushed forth from the rear and 
assailed him with sticks and stones, shouting, " This kalandar wishes in plain 
daylight to force his way into the house of the superintendent. What a pity 
that the superintendent is sick, or else this crime would have to be expiated on 
the gallows ! n In the meantime all the neighbours assembled, and on seeing 
the shameless kalandar's proceedings they cried, "Look at that impudent 
kalandar who wants forcibly to enter the house of the superintendent.** Ulti- 
mately the crowd amounted to more than five hundred persons, and the gentle- 
man was put to flight and pursued by all the little boys, who pelted him with^ 
stones till they expelled him from the town. 

At the distance of three farsangs from the town there was a village where 
the superintendent concealed himself in the corner of a mosque. During the 
evenings he went from house to house and begged for food to sustain life, until 
his mustachios again grew and the tattooed scars gradually began to disap- 
pear. Whenever anyone inquired for the superintendent at his house, he 
was informed by the servants that the gentleman was sick. After one month 
had expired, the grief of separation and the misery of his condition had again 
driven him back to the city. He went to the convent because fear hindered 
him from going to the house. His wife happened one day to catch a glimpse of 
him from her window, and perceived him sitting in the same dress with a com- 
pany of kalandars. She felt compassion for him, called the servant and said, 
" The superintendent has had enough of this ! * She made a loaf of bread and 
put some opiate into it, and said, " When the kalandars are asleep, you must 
go and place this loaf under the pillow of the superintendent." The servant 
obeyed, and when the gentleman awoke in the middle of the night he was stir- 
prised to find the loaf. He fancied that when his companions had during the 
night returned from begging, they had placed it there, and so he ate some of it. 
During the same night the servant went there by the command of the lady, 
took his master on his back and carried him home. When it was morning, the 
lady took off the kalandar's clothes from her husband and dressed him in his 
own garments, and began to make sweetmeats as on the former occasion. After 
some time he began to move, and his wife exclaimed, " O superintendent, do 
not sleep so much. I have told you that we shall spend this day in joy and 
pleasure, and it was not fair of you to pass the time in this lazy way. LHt up 
your head and see what beautiful sweetmeats I have baked for you." When he 
opened his eyes, and saw himself dressed in his own clothes and at home, the 

382 Appendix: Variants and Analogues. 

rosebush of his amazement again brought forth the flowers of astonishment, and 
he said, " God be praised ! What has happened to me ? " He sat up, and ex- 
claimed, " Wife, things have happened to me which I can scarcely describe." She 
replied, " From the uneasy motions which you have made in your sleep, it appears 
you must have had extraordinary dreams." " Dreams, forsooth," said he j 
** since the moment I lay down I have experienced the most strange adven- 
tures." " Certainly/' rejoined the lady, "last night you have been eating food 
disagreeing with your constitution, and to-day the vapours of it have ascended 
into your brains, and have caused you all this distress." The superintendent 
said, " Yes, last night we went to a party in the house of Serjeant Bahman, and 
there was roasted pillau, of which I ate somewhat more than usual, and the 
vapour of it has occasioned me all this trouble." * 

Strikingly similar to this story is the trick of the first lady on her husband in 
the " Fabliau des Trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel." Having made him 
drunk, she causes his head to be shaved, dresses him in the habit of a monk, 
and carries him, assisted by her lover, to the entrance of a convent. When he 
awakes and sees himself thus transformed he imagines that God by a miraculous 
exercise of His grace had called him to the monastic life. He presents himself 
before the abbot and requests to be received among the brethren. The lady 
hastens to the convent in well-feigned despair, and is exhorted to be resigned 
and to congratulate her husband on the saintly vow he has taken. " Many a 
good, man," says the poet, " has been betrayed by woman and by her harlotry. 
This one became a monk in the abbey, where he abode a very long time. 
Wherefore, I counsel all people who hear this story told, that they ought not to 
trust in their wives, nor in their households, if they have not first proved that 
they are full of virtues. Many a man has been deceived by women and by their 
treachery. This one became monk against right, who would never have been 
such in his life, if his wife had not deceived him." z 

The second lady's trick in the fabliau is a very close parallel to the story in 
The Nights, vol. v. p. 96. 3 She had for dinner on a Friday some salted and 
smoked eels, which her husband bade her cook, but there was no fire in the 
house. Under the pretext of going to have them cooked at a neighbour's fire 

1 This is a version of The Sleeper and the Waker with a vengeance ! Abyi Hasan 
the Wag, the Tinker, and the Rustic, and others thus practised upon by frolic-loving 
princes and dukes, had each, at least, a most delightful "dream." But when a man 
is similarly handled by the " wife of his bosom" in stories, only, of course the case is 
very different, as the poor chief of the police experienced. Such a "dream" as his 
wife induced upon him we may be sure he would remember ** until that day that he did 
creep into his sepulchre ! " 

2 I call this * strikingly similar ' to the preceding Persian story, although it has fewer 
incidents and the lady s husband remains a monk ; she could not have got him back 
even had she wished ; for, having taken the vows, he was debarred from returning to 
' the world," which a kalandar or dervish may do as often as he pleases. 

"The Woman's trick against her Husband." 

Additional Notes. 383 

she goes out and finds her lover, at whose house she remains a whole week. 
On the following Friday r at the hour of dinner, she enters a neighbour's house 
and asks leave to cook the eels, saying that her husband is angry with her for 
having no fire, and that she did not dare to go back, lest he should take off her 
head. As soon as the eels are cooked she carries them piping hot to her own 
house. The husband asks her where she has been for eight days, and com* 
mences to beat her. She cries for help and the neighbours come in, and 
amongst them the one at whose fire the eels had been cooked, who swears that 
the wife had only just left her house, and ridicules the husband for his assertion 
that she had been away a whole week. The husband gets into a great rage and 
is locked up for a madman. 

The device of the third lady seems a reflection of the " Elopement," but 
without the underground tunnel between the houses of the wife and the lover. 
The lady proposes to her lover to marry him, and he believes that she is only 
jesting, seeing that she is already married, but she assures him that she is quite 
in earnest, and even undertakes that her husband will consent. The lover is to 
come for her husband and take him to the house of Dan Eustace, where he has 
a fair niece, whom the lover is to pretend he wishes to espouse, if he will give 
her to him. The wife will go thither, and she will have done her business with 
Eustace before they arrive. Her husband cannot but believe that he has left 
her at home, and she will be so apparelled that he cannot recognise her. This 
plan is accordingly carried out. The lover asks the husband for the hand of 
his niece in marriage, to which he joyously consents, and without knowing it 
makes a present of his own wife. " All his life long the lover possessed her, 
because the husband gave and did not lend her ; nor could he ever get her 

Le Grand mentions that thisfa&Kau is told at great length in the tales 
of the Sieur d'Ouville, tome iv. p. 255. In the "Facetiae Bebelianae," 
p. 86, three women wager which of them will play the best trick on her husband. 
One causes him to believe he is a monk, and he goes and sings mass ; the 
second husband believes himself to be dead, and allows himself to be carried 
to that mass on a bier ; and the third sings in it quite naked. (There is a very 
similar story in Campbell's " Popular Tales of the West Highlands.") It is 
also found, says Le Grand, in the " Convivales Sermones," tome i. p. 200 ; in 
the"Delices de Verboquet," p. 166; and in the Facetiae of Lod. Domdnichi, 
p. 172. In the " Contes pour Hire," p. 197, three women find a diamond, and 
the arbiter whom they select promises it, as in \hzfabliau, to her who concocts 
the best device for deceiving her husband, but their ruses are different. 


l-),//.of Ibrfk,an ewer contain- 
ing water for the Wuzu -ablution, 170. 

Abta"! (pi. of Batal) = champions, athletes 
(tr. "braves"), 42. 

Abu al-Tawaif (pron. " Abut-tawsiif "), 
the Father of the (Jinn-) tribes, 84. 

Abu Nowds (appearing in The Nights, a 
signal for an outburst of facetiae), 153. 

Adab= accomplishments, 68. 

'Adi=an enemy (tr. "foe"), 14. 

Afras=/*V. a better horseman (tr. 
"doughtier"), 105. 

Ahbdbu-nd//. for sing. = my beloved (tr. 
11 my friends"), 103. 

'Akil, first cousin of Mahommed, 164. 

Akw& min dahni'l-lauz=more strengthen- 
ing than oil, 75. 

'Ate kulli hal=" whatever may betide" 
or " willy nilly," 283. 

'Alam al-Din="Flag of the Faith,' 1 4. 

Alaykum= " Peace be on you " (addressed 
to a single person), 52. 

'Alkam=the bitter gourd, colocynth, 218. 

Allah, ("An alms, for the love of), 44. 

be the judge between me and thee, 52. 

decreed of old, 90. 

"Enter in the name of "=Bismillah, 


Gifted of, 200. 

I look to, for aid, 202. 

is All-great, 125. 

"I seek refuge with" i.e., Allah 

forfend, 9. 

made easy to me, 53. 

Men, who resign themselves to =*.*., 

Moslems who practice the Religion of 
Resignation, 271* 

Allah open to thee the door of subsistence, 

removed to the mercy of=he died, 

Take refuge with, from the Evil eye 

of her charms, 245. 
This is the deposit of, then thy 

deposits " I commit him to thy charge 

under God," 184. 

whom Allah save and assain, 173. 

Allah ya'tik = Allah will give it thee, 

not I, 44. 
"A mighty matter "may also mean "A 

masterful man " (reading Imraam = man 

for Amran = matter), 204. 
Amin al-Hukm = ' ' Faithful of Command," 


'Anbar (tr. "Ambergris"), 67. 
'Ankd (A1-) = lit. "The long-necked " 

(bird), 128. 

" Apres rnoi le de*luge," 123. 
Arab lovers jealous of their mistresses* 

nightly phantom, 179. 
Arab, of noble tribe, always first to mount 

his own mare, 248. 
Arja'=/zV. return (tr. " desist "), 105. 
Arzi-ha=in its earth, its outlying suburbs 

(tr. "environs"), 198. 
Ashf rah = clan, 225. 
At her last breath, when cured by the 

magic of love, 243. 
Atwash (Al-) = one notable for levity of 

mind, 16. 
A'zn-hu=/*/. " its ears " (tr, " its pegs ") 

Azndni = emaciated one, 214. 


Supplemental Nights 

BAHAR = ox-eye herb, 13. 

Bakar (Ox) and Taur (Bull), Moslem 

emblems of stupidity, 178. 
Balass ruby = of rare wood set with rubies, 

Balat = the flags (slabs of limestone and 

sandstone), 21. 
Baliyah = bane and bale (to jingle with 

" Bdbiliyah "), 153. 
Bandt al-hawa" lit. daughters of love (tr. 

"a merry girl"), 137. 
Banii Shayban=the King's own tribe, 


Barari = deserts, 1 6. 
Barber, the usual operator in circumcision, 


Bashkhinah (Al-) = the curtain, 165. 
Bathing after copulation kept up by both 

sexes in ancient Rome, 142. 
Bi-adabl = being without Adab ( = rudeness, 

etc.), 68. 

Bibars (pron* "Baybars"), 3. 
Bid 'ah =;/*>. an innovation, a new thing (tr. 

" accursed custom"), 266. 
Bi jildi 'l-bakar = a cow hide, 96. 
"Bildd al-Maghrib (al-Aksa"" in full) = 

the Farthest Land of the Setting Sun 

(tr. " Sundown-Land "), 252. 
Bishr and Hind (two well-known lovers), 

"Bismillah" = Enter in the name of Allah, 

41 Bismillah j in the name of the Lord" = 

11 Let us go," etc., 85. 
Blackening faces a promise of Hell-fire, 

Blood-feuds troublesome to travellers, 


Brdhmani = Hindu, Indian, in. 
Branchlet = a youth's slender form, 162. 
Breslau Ed. quoted, 3, 54, 55, 63, 67, 151, 

183, 191, 259, 263, 275. 
Bridegroom offers coffee and Halwd to 

friends after a "happy night," 142. 
Brutality of a Moslem mob, 168. 
Bukhti = The Bactrian or double-humped 

dromedary, 23$. 

Bunduki (adj. of Bunbuk) = Venetian, 204. 
Burka' =the face veil of Egypt, etc., 172. 

CALCUTTA Edition quoted, 137, 141. 

Carrion, animals that died without being 

ceremonially killed, 175. 
Chamber, a dangerous word in English, 


Chapter of the Cow (Koran), 175. 
Chess rarely played for money in Europe, 


" Children " used for fighting men, 224. 
Circumcision, 90. 
Citadel of Lead = Capital of King Al- 

Shisban, 117. 

Couch of Circumcision, III. 
Cranes of Ibycus, 59. 
"Cried out from her head " = Sang in 

tenor tones which are always in falsetto, 

Crucifixion by nailing to an upright board, 

Cup-companions = the professional Ravvis 

or tale reciters, 266. 

DAniYAT al-Dawa"hf== a calamity of the 

Calamities, 119. 
Dara' or Dira' = armour (tr. "jerkin"), 


Darb=///. a road (tr. " street "), 8. 
Daur al-Kd'ah=the opening made in the 

ceiling for light (tr. "the opening of 

the saloon"), 23. 

Dawa"t = ink-case (containing the reed- 
pens, etc.), 211. 
Daylam (A1-) prison, 142. 
Dayr al-Tin = "The Convent of Clay," a 

Coptic monastery near Cairo, 284. 
Delights of Paradise promised by the 

Prophet, 244. 
Destiny, 61. 
Die thou and be thou an expiation for the 

shoe-latchet of Kulayb, 263. 
Dignity, permissible in royalty, affected by 

dames in Anglo-Egypt, no. 
Dimity (der. from " Damietta"), 210. 
Divorce and marriage to Mahommed of 

the wife of Zayd (his adopted son), 

"Dog or hog"=a Jew or a Christian, 

Dromedaries the only animals used for 

sending messages over long distances, 

Du'a = supplication, prayer as opposed to 

" Salat" = divine worship, 94. 



Dukhan = /?'/. smoke, 126. 

Dukhulak = /#. thy entering (fr. thy 

courtesy"), 109. 
DurraJ (fr. Francolin), 60. 

EASTERNS startled by sudden summons to 

the presence of a king, 210. 
"Empty gourds," Eastern succedaneum 

for swimming corks, 286. 
" Every one cannot go to Corinth," 74. 
Exchange of salams a sign of safety, 86. 
Executioner, difficulty in Marocco about 

finding one who becomes obnoxious to 

the Thdr or blood-feud, 54. 

FAJ J = mountain pass (Spanish, Vega = also 

a mountain plain), 117. 
Falling backwards in laughter rare amongst 

the Badawin, 202. 
Fardsah=/#. Knowing ahorse (tr. "Vis- 

nomy "), 96. 

Farkalah (</t>aye'AAtoi/) = cattle whip, 47. 
Farkh Waralc =a slip of paper, 1 14. 
Farsh = bed or straw-spread store room 

where apples are preserved, 113. 
Fawwak (chair of), 72. 
Fazl (Al-1 the elder brother of J a* afar, 71. 
Fitydn (pi. of Fata) = my fine fellows, 42. 
Flower = the breast, 252. 
Fumigating gugglets (with musk), 275. 

GAVE her the hire of her going forth (i.e. 

Engaged her for a revel and paid her 

in advance), 44. 
Ghalili = my yearning (tr. " my thirst 1 '), 


Gharbiyah (province in Egypt), 1 6. 

Ghatti= Cover it up," 158. 

Ghaur (or lowland) = the fall of the waist, 

Ghurab al-bayn = Raven of the wold or of 

parting, 126. 
Ghusi-ablution, 2O. 
Giant Face (a parallel to the " Bodiless 

Head"), 102. 
Guest-fires, 249. 

HAEMORRHAGE stopped by plunging the 
stump into burning oil, 1 68. 

Hajib = eyebrow or chamberlain, 252. 

Halawah = Sweetmeat, 127. 

Haldwat al-MiiWh = Sweetmeat of the 
Key-money (fr. "douceur of the 
Key"), 20. 

Halfah grass, 46. 

Hamd (Al-) = Allah-lauds, 221. 

Hamzah, uncle of Mahommed, 164. 

Hdra"t (or quarters) closed at night with 
strong wooden doors, 9. 

Harisah = meat pudding, 277. 

Hatif=an ally, 234. 

Haurni= (native of Hauran), Job's coun 
try, 5- 

Haykal (Ar. and Heb.) = a large space, a 
temple (fr. " hallowed fane "), I75 

He is of the lords of houses = folk of good 
family, 169. 

" Hell-flame but not shame," proverb, 

Hibd = dust. 

Hijdz (Al-)=The Moslem's Holy Land, 
(Cap. Meccah), 193. 

Hima=the tribal domain (tr. "tribe- 
land "), 215. 

Hirfah = a trade, a guild, a corporation 
(here the officers of police), $4. 

" His eyes turned in his head" (to show* 
the whites, as happens to the mes- 
merised), 242. 

Horse-thief chained to four pickets of iron, 

House of the Elephant (at chess) = the 
Castle's square, 205. 

Hujjat=a legal deed (may also mean " an 
excuse"), 27. 

Husn tadbir = lit. " beauty of his con- 
trivance " (tr. " Seemliness of his 
stratagem "), 29. 

I CANNOT fill my eye with the twain = 

cannot look at them long, 88. 
" I commit him to thy charge under God," 

" If his friend the Devil be overstrong for 

thee, flee him rather than be slain," 

If my hand we re changed = if my hand had 

lost its cunning, 78. 
" I have not any eye that can look at 

him" = "I cannot bear to see him," 



Supplemental Nights. 

Ihramat li al- Said t- she pronounced the 
formula of Intention (Hiyat) (tr. " the 
Prohibition "), 94. 

Iklfm= clime, 3. 

'Jlaj (Al-) = insertion (tr. "horizontal re- 
freshment"), 185. 

Imam= Antistes or fugleman at prayer who 
leads off the orisons, 101. 

Inscriptions on metal trays sold to Euro- 
peans (also on tablecloths), 87. 

Iraks (two) = Ira"k Arab! (Chaldsea) and 
'Ajami (Western Persia), 191. 

'Irk = vein (of our eye) equiv. to " the 
apple of the eye," 144. 

Irregular use of inn, perpetuated in some 
monster hotels throughout Europe, 20. 

Irtiydd == a place where the urine spray 
may not defile the dress (tr. ' a place 
to make water "), 13. 

Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab 
Musicians, 70. 

I smell the scent of the Jinn, 125. 

I think not otherwise " = " I am quite 
sure," 119. 

X will lay down my life to save thee from 
sorrow a commonplace hyperbole of 
love, 181. 

lyal-hu=/*Y. his family (tr. wives), 8. 

= the Cres- 


cent Mountain (from Kaur 

Jabhat = the lintel, opposed to the thresh- 

hold (tr. here <" forehead' of his 

shop "), 137. 

Jamal falij = the palsy-camel, 235 
Jamrah=a bit of burning charcoal. 122. 

=a live coal, 87. 

Jazirah=insula, Island, used in the sense 

of " peninsula," 220. 
Jinns of Northern Europe, 86. 
Job (traditions of), 50. 
Julndr=Gulnare, 100. 

KAMARIYAH (der. front Kamar=Moon) = 

coloured glass windows, 39. 
Ka*sid = messenger, 37. 
Katl=killed (Irish " Kilt"), 182. 
Kaydsirah " (Caesars) opp. to Akasirah, 


Kayrawdn = Curlew, 93. 
Kazi, ex-officio guardian of the orphans 
and their property, liable to punish- 
ment in case of fraud, 10. 
Khalij (A1-), The Canal (Grand Canal of 

Cairo), 286. 
Khayr kathir=This is right good (also 

" abundant kindness"), 275, 
Khorasan (including our Afghanistan), in a 
chronic state of rebellion in Al-Rashid's 
reign, 167. 

King consummates his marriage in presence 
of his virgin sister-in-law, 268. 

Kulayb ("little dog") al-Wa'il, 263. 

Nabhdn, 192. 

of the Kingdoms (i.e. of the worlds 

visible and invisible), 6. 
Kissing the hand, the action of a servant. 

or slave, 81. 

Kitab=book, written bond, 27. 
Koran quoted 

ii. 148, . . . 215. 
ii. 168, . . . 175. 
xx. 30, . . . 270. 
xxxiii. 35, . .271. 
xxxiii. 38, . . 197. 
xlvii. 1 6, . 177. 
Ivi. 87, 88, . . 106. 
cxiii., cxiv., . . IOI. 

LA' ALLA = perad venture (used to express 
expectation of possible occurrence), 2O, 
Laban = milk soured (tr. "curd"), 54. 
Lajlaj = tied (his tongue was), 186. 
La-nakhsifanna=I would assuredly, etc., 


Lane quoted, 246. 

Last march (to. the next world), 202. 

Laysa fi '1-diyari dayyar = "nor is there a 

wight in the site " (a favourite jingle), 


Leather from Al-Tdif, 242. 
Legal defects, (which justify returning a 

slave to the slave-dealer), 141. 
Lieutenant of the bench, 24. 
Lillahi durrak = Gifted of Allah, 200. 
Lithdm = the coquettish fold of transparent 

muslin used by women in Stambul, 


Love (for "sleep"), 164. 
Lulaah = The Pearl or Wild Heifer, 95. e 



-) AL-HXsimB'AMRi 'LLAH 
=The Secure, the Ruler by Command- 
ment of Allah, 281. 

Mabasim (pi. of Mabsim) = a smiling 
mouth, 162. 

Madmen in hot climates enjoy throwing 
off their clothes, 22. 

Majnuti = " A madman," 22. 

Making a picture (or statue), which artist 
cannot quicken, a process demanded 
on Doomsday, 194. 

Makruh=blameable, not actually damn- 
able, 46. 

Malldh (Al-)=the salting ground, 54. 

Malik (King), a title loosely applied in 
Arabic, 191. 

Mamrak, or small dome built over pavilions 
(also Pers. " Ba"dhanj)," 82. 

Mamrak = dome -shaped skylight, 39. 

Ma"riyah (Maria, Mary) a non- Moslem 
name, 194. 

Marj Sali = cleft meadow (here and below) 
tr. "Green Meadow," 227. 

Mardcco, earliest occurrence of name, 

Maut ahmar= violent or bloody death (tr. 
'* red death,") n. 

Ma'uzatani=The Two Preventives (two 
chapters from the Koran), 101. 

Mawalid (//.of Maulid)=/zV. "nativity 
festivals," (here " funeral ceremonies"), 

Mawazi (//.of Mauza') = /tV. places, shifts 
(tr. "positions"), 112. 

May God never requite thee for me with 
good (i.e. Damn your soul for leading 
me into this danger), 39. 

May I not be bereft of these steps = may 
thy visits never fail me, no. 

Meccah and Al-Medinah=The two Sanc- 
tuaries, 220. 
Merchants wear dagger and sword, 38. 

Mizwad (or Mizwa"d)-/*V. provision bag, 

Mohammed Ali Pasha (the "Great "), ** 

More cutting=more bewitching, 143. 

Morning and evening = day and night for 
ever, 195. 

Moslems think the more you see of them 
the more you like them, 208. 

Mu'ajjalah= money paid down before con- 
summation, 141. 

Mu'ajjalah=coin paid contingent on di- 
vorce, 141* 

Mubah=an action not sinful (kardm) or 
quasi-sinful (maknih) (tr. " lawfully"), 


Muhattakdt = usually "with torn veils," 

metaphor meaning in disgrace (tr. 

"unveiled"), 46. 

Mu'in al-Din=" Aider of the Faith, 5. 
Mukaddam = Captain, 7. 
Mukhaddarat= maidens concealed behind 

curtains and veiled in the Harem, 265. 
Munlr="The brilliant, " the enlightened, 

Musa7ahah= clapping palm (of the hand), 


Mustauda= strong box, 9. 
Mustarah (Al-) = Chapel of Ease (a 

favourite haunting-place of the Jinn), 

Mutahaddisin=novi homines, upstarU(/n 

"of the number of the new,") 82* 
Mutawallf= Prefect (of Police), 30. 
Muzfir (Al-)=the Twister, 95. 

NADD, a compound perfume, 108. 

Nahnu=we (for I), 28. 

Nihah=the prsefica or myriologist, 171. 

" Naked intercessor" (one who cannot be 
withstood), 83. 

Nasrin= moss-rose, 115. 

Nawwab(//. of Ndib)=a Nabob (tr.M 
"denudes"), 8. 

Ndzilah= descent (of calamity), 176. 

Nazir al-Mawdris=" Inspector of Inheri- 
tances," 286. 

Necklace-pearls = the cup-bearer's teeth, 

Ni'am=Yes (an exception to the Abbe* 

Sicard's rule), 19, 
Night beset his back = darkened behind 

him, 197. 
Nikd (lit. sand hill) = the swell of the 

throat, 252. 

Nun al-taakid=the N of injunction, 23. 
Nuzhat-i=pleasance, 45. 

OCULAR testimony demanded by Moslem 
law, 17. 

Oil, anointing with, for incipient consump- 
tion, 75. 


(Supplemental Nights. 

"On my shop" = bit of boarding where 
the master sits, or on a stool in the 
street, 281. 

Orisons = the prayers of the last day and 
night, 94. 

PALACE between two rivers = In Rauzah- 

island, 281. 
Palace not the place for a religious and 

scrupulous woman, 229. 
jPart and parts = more or less thoroughly. 

Parturition and death easy compared with 

both processes in the temperates of 

Europe, 23. 
Payne quoted, 28, 54, 67, 73, 85, no, 112, 

154, 191, #., 200, 227, 231, 248, 251, 

267, 275, 281. 
Perjury easily expiated amongst Moslems, 

Pilgrimage quoted 

i. 62, . 

.87, . 

100, . 

119 . 

127 . 







321 .. 

1. 338 .. 

ii. 57, . 
ii. 297, . . 
iii. 68, . . 
iii. 385 .. 
iii. 385, . . 
** Plied him with wine," a favourite habit 

with mediaeval Arabs, 50. 
Poetry (Persian,) often alludes to the rose, 

etc., 99. 

Police (Eastern), 6. 

Professional singers, becoming freed 
women and turning " respectable,"254. 
Pummel of the saddle, 85. 

QUARTERS, containing rooms in which girls 

are sold, 71. 

Queen Shu'd'ah = Queen Sunbeam, 107. 
"Quench that fire for him" (i.e. hush up 

the matter), 15. 

RAAS GHANAM = a head of sheep (form of 
expressing singularity common to 
Arabic), 207. 

Raba' = ///. spring quarters (tr. " a lodging 

house"). 19* 
Rasilah = a (she) partner (tr. "accom- 

panyist"), 44. 
Rayhanah, i.e. the " Basil," mostly a ser 

vile name, 20. 
Red Camel (Ahmar), 248. 
Rikki al- Saul = soften the sound (or 

" lower thy voice "), 89. 
Ruhf = lit. my breath (tr. " my sprite "), 

1 20. 
Rustaki, from Rustak, a quarter of Bagh- 

dah, 209. 


and coloured lunettes, 39. 
Sahba=red wine, 99. 
Sahils, or shorelands, 3. 
Sakiyah = waterwheeli 47. 
Sam mai= reciters, 3. 
Santir= psalteries, 246. 
Sat down (in sign of agitation), 211. 
Sawdkf= channels, 93. 
Severance-spies = stars and planets, 236. 
Shahrazad and Shahryar, 259. 
Shaking his clothes (in sign of quitting 

possession), 205. 
Shararah=a spark, 87. 
Shari'at, forbidding divorce by compulsion, 


Sharifi= a sequin, 143. 
Sharkiyah (province in Egypt), 16. 
Sharr fi al-Haramayn = wickedness in the 

two Holy Places, 220. 
Shawahid (meaning that heart testifies to 

heart) tr. " hearts have their witnesses," 

Shaybanf (Al-) = " Of the Shayban tribe," 

191, 199. 
Shaykh al-Hujjdj = Shaykh of the Pilgrims, 


" Shaykh al-Tawaif " may mean Shaykh 
of the Tribes" (ofjinns), 117. 

Shayyan Ii 'llah= lit. (Give me some) Thing 
for (the love of) Allah (tr. "An alms, 
for the love of Allah), 44. 

Shazz= Voice (doubtful if girl's, nightin- 
gale's, or dove's), 244. 

"She heard a blowing behind her" (a 
phenomena well known to spiritualists), 



" She will double thy store of presents," 

Shuhbd (AM = Ash-coloured, verging upon 
white, no. 

Sfdf = " my lord " (here becomes part of a 
name), 151. 

Sijn al-Dam = the Prison of Blood, 161. 

Sim'an-son=son of Simeon, i.e. a Chris- 
tian, 175 

Singing and music blameable (Makruh), 
though not actually damnable, 46. 

Sir fl halik (pron. Sirfhak) = Go about thy 
business. 44. 

Sirr (a secret), afterwards Kitman (conceal- 
ment) =keeping a lover down-hearted, 

Sitt al-Milah= Lady or princess of the Fair 
(ones), 155. 

Slaves fond of talking over their sale, 94. 

Sons of Adam = his Moslem neighbours, 


Sons of the Path = Travellers, Nomads, 

Wild Arabs, 213. 
" Son of the Road"=a mere passer-by, a 

stranger, 235. 

" Spoiling for a fight," 199. 
"Squeezed my ribs" a bear-like attack, 

common amongst lower orders of Egypt 

and Syria, 47. 
Sunnah and Farz=The practice (of the 

Prophet) and the Holy Law (Koranic), 

Surah = Koranic chapter ; here possibly 

clerical error for Surah sort (of food), 


SSsan=the lily (in Heb.), 116. 
Swooper of the Jinn, 202. 

TAB =" tip-cat," 54. 

Taf (A1-) a suburb of Baghdah, 71. 

Tahzlb reforming morals, amending con- 
duct, etc., 240. 

Talakan bayinan=a triple divorce before 
witnesses, 148. 

Tamkin= gravity, assurance (tr. Self- 
possession"), 8. 

Tarfah = Tamarisk, 252. ' 

Tarjuman= a dragoman (^."Truchman"), 


Thaghr al-Khanakah=The narrows of the 
(Dervishes') convent, 74. 

Thieves with hands lopped off, 44. 

" Thine is ours and on thee shall be whatso 
is on us"=we will assume thy debts 
and responsibilities, 247. 

This girl is a fat piece of meat (i.e. " There 
are good pickings to be had out of this 
job"), 17. 

Thiyab 'Amudiyah= striped clothes, 79. 

Those noble steps = thine auspicious visits, 

Thou comest to bring us victory =" comest 
thou to our succour," 201. 

Thrust his finger up his fundament (a dia- 
bolical way of clapping hands in ap- 
plause), 89. 

'Tis more acceptable to me than a red 
camel, 248. 

Tobbas=" Successors" or the Himyaritic 
Kings, 263. 

"To-day wine, and to-morrow business," 


Tohfah=a Choice Gift, 79. 
Tohfat al-Humakd = Choice Gift of the 

Fools, 73. 
Tohfat al-Kulub= Choice Gift of the 

Hearts 73. 
Tohfat al-Sudur = Choice Gift of the 

Breasts (i.e. of the hearts), 84-133. 
True believer imitates sayings and doings 

of the Apostle, 173. 
Turkumdniyah = Turcomanish (tr. " drago- 

manish "), 191. 

'tJD= primarily " wood " ; then a " lute" 

(tr. here "fuel"), 178. 
'Udul (pi. of Adil)=men of good repute 

(tr." notables "), 25. 
'Umma>=the Jinn (tr. " Haunters "), 102. 
'Urkub, a Jew of Yathrib, 164, 
'Urs (A1-) w'al-Tuhur ="the wedding 

(which does not drop out of the tale) 

and the circumcision," 90. 

VEIL me = protect my honour, 147. 

Veil (raiser of) means a fitting purchaser* 


Violateth my private apartment, 243. 
Voice (mysterious), 51. 


Supplemental Nights. 

WAKALAH (Egyptian term for a Khan), 153. 
Wakhfmah=an unhealthy land, 87. 
Where am I, and where is the daughter, 
etc. ?= " What have I to do with, etc.,'* 


"Whoso journeyeth not enjoyeth not," 

" Whoso keeneth for himself is not like 

whoso is hired to keen." Proverb = 

" If you want a thing done, etc.," 171. 
Wine and Wassail, loose talk, etc., a 

favourite subject with lewd Moslems, 

Wine, carrion and pork lawful to Moslem 

if used to save life, 176. 
" With love and gladness," 137. 
Women, drowsy charms of, 252. 

YAD (AL-) AL-BAYzA=/zV. The white hand 

(tr. "largesse"), 123. 
Ydfis bin Nuh=Japhet, son of Noah, ill. 
Yaftah* Allah = Allah open (to thee the 

door of subsistence), 44. 
Ya Khawand=" O lord and master," 12. 

Y4 Mu'arras=O fool and disreputable (tr. 

"O pimp"), 21. 
Ya'tamiduna huda-hum = purpose the 

right direction (tr. ''those who seek 

their salvation "), 32. 
Ya" Zfnat al-Nisd = O adornment of 

womankind, 207. 
" Ye are quit of," etc = You are welcome 

to it and so it becomes lawful (haldt) to 

you, 161. 
Yiinus = Ibn Habib, a friend pf Isaac of 

Musul, 71. 

ZA'AMU = they opinerthey declare' (fr. 

' They set forth "), 55. 
Zabidim (here probably a clerical error for 

Zabid, Capital of Tahamah), 193. 
Zafair al- Jinn = Adiantum apillus Veneris, 

Zalamah (Al-)=the policeman (tr. " men 

of violence"), 52. 
Zirtah=fart, 56. 
Zur ghibban, tazid hibban= visits rare keep 

friendship fair, 209. 
Zuwaylah Gate, 8. 

BURTON, tr. 

Arabian nights, Supp.,